Vancouver, like most North American cities has a block layout with back alleys for parking, refuse disposal, telegraph poles and other services. Also like many North American cities there's a culture of leaving things you don't want, but which someone else might next to the bins in these alleys for others to pick up. This appeals to my senses of environmental responsibility and general cheapness, so I often walk the alleys instead of the streets in case anything good's been left out.
A few months back (during winter, naturally) I found a desk fan. It was next to the bin rather than in it, which is the signal that it was still working. It also satisfied my personal rule of only picking things up that aren't overly bedbug friendly, or at least are easy to inspect for the little critters.
It worked of course, but it was pig-ugly, so I set about it with a can of Plastikote (or similar) and lo: Quite a nice little freebie for my desk.
Not sure what the overriding point is for this post, either 'reuse is better than recycle' or 'carefully spraying things a cool colour is an easy way to renovate them'. Take your pick.
And speaking of pics, here's the before, during and after shots: