Long story short, I found an iPhone in the recycling bin at work and have adopted it as my own.
No idea as to why the previous owner threw it away--perhaps she/he acquired a newer model (this one is the 2G, an early version) or decided to abandon AT&T as a service provider.
- Borrow a cable to get some juice into the battery.
- Reset the device to factory standards (don't worry, previous owner--I resisted the temptation to read all of your old email and/or have fun with your Facebook account).
- Jailbreak and unlock the 2G with Redsn0w so that I can use a non-AT&T sim card.
- Acquire and install T-mobile prepaid sim card (~$32/month for more minutes and texts than I'll ever use).
- Enjoy someone else's "obsolete" technology.