ramblings from the noisedoctor

May 28, 2009

and that’s why it was called “the web” in the first place

Filed under: freecycle, soapbox, unclear on the concept, useless junk — Tags: , — noisedoctor @ 8:53 am

In my effort to save an item from the landfill and maybe make someone else’s life just a little brighter, I posted an item on our local freecycle group yesterday. It happens to be a wedding cake top decoration that my wife and I got as a gift before our wedding but never used. To make it easier for people to see what it looks like, I added a link to the manufacturer’s web site so they could see a picture. Makes sense, right? Here’s what I got today from the moderator:

Links are not allowed to be used on this group. Most of the time, link go to a sales site and this is a Free site.
Please use our PHOTO tab for your photos or just add ‘photo available upon request’.

You may repost.

Thanks!

Um… isn’t that what the whole point of the world-wide-web was in the first place? Instead of stealing the image from the manufacturer’s web site and posting it somewhere else, I chose to simply link people to it. And the whole “free” and “sales site” just doesn’t make any sense to me. Interesting, Yahoo hosts the freecycle group page and there are plenty of links within Yahoo to services they sell. Actually, there’s 3 “sponsor results” on the yahoo group site. So, the difference would be???

I just can’t help but think of Jesus and the religious “establishment” he challenged time and again. They took God’s law and built up all these traditions around it–some good and some not so good. Here our local power-hungry moderator has added a whole set of rules (ala traditions) on top of the freecycle.org guidelines (ala law). And, yes, there’s nothing in there about not posting links, I checked.

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May 20, 2009

that’s an interesting device you’re after

Filed under: freecycle, humor, useless junk — Tags: — noisedoctor @ 6:48 am

I saw this last week as a subject line on a posting on our local freecycle group.

Wanted: refrigerator lawnmower

I just had to read the message to learn what a refrigerator lawnmower was. But, when I read the message (“We are in need of a working refrigerator and a lawnmower that runs.”) I was just a little disappointed–nothing more than a missing conjunction. Dang, I thought there was a new lawnmower that could keep my lemonade cool.

May 19, 2009

not impressed with the arbor day foundation

Filed under: gardening, lame companies — Tags: , — noisedoctor @ 11:34 am

I decided to “join” the Arbor Day Foundation (TM). To be accurate, I decided to take their 10-flowering-trees-for-$10 offer that I keep getting in the mail. And, for responding right away, I was to get a free bonus bush of some type. Yippie!

Now, I’m a realist. I know for $10 I wasn’t going to get massive, local-nursery-quality trees in the mail. I expected to get a box of bareroot, dormant trees. The key words in my mind were: box and trees. Okay, trees and box.

What I got was a plastic bag with tiny sticks. I’ve used bamboo skewers that were longer and thicker than these alleged trees. That’s not really the problem. As long as they grow (it looks like maybe half of them were actually showing hints of life, the others I’m skeptical), I’m cool with that. If I wanted big trees now, I’d go to the nursery and plunk down $100 and have it. I don’t mind waiting.

What really ticked me off the most was that none of the trees had any kind of label. I have 2 each of 5 different varieties of flowering trees (assuming they live) and no way to know which is which. It would be nice to maybe have some sort of plan to how I put them around the yard. Also, assuming some don’t live (not a stretch to me), I have no way to request them to send me replacements since I don’t know which is which.

Like I said, I wasn’t expecting amazing size and quality here for $10. But… if you can’t label the trees… come on, charge what you need to in order to do a decent job.

so voluntary, it’s required! (part 2)

Filed under: soapbox, unclear on the concept, useless junk — Tags: — noisedoctor @ 10:16 am

Here’s a note I got from my employer recently. I am one of those few oddball people that believe that questionnaires that ask for your “race” is pointless. My “race” is human. Not white, African-American, Hispanic, etc. We’re all one race. So, I don’t fill it in. Ever. And, almost everywhere, that information is optional. It would appear that with my employer, it is optional… sort of. I don’t have to fill it in, but they’ll just go ahead and do it for me. For whatever good that will accomplish. Supposedly the federal government requires this information. Brilliant policy, folks. But, what else would I expect coming from the feds.

A recent audit of [company name]’s Human Resources systems has identified your employee record as having an Ethnic Group value of “Not Applicable” or “I prefer not to disclose.” As an affirmative action employer, [company name] is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity and is required to report race/ethnicity data to the federal government. To assist us in complying with that commitment, please update the Race/Ethnic Group value in your record in HR Online no later than [date]. This information will be kept confidential and will be used for employment compliance purposes only.

The government defines the race/ethnic groups. Please follow the instructions below to update your record with the applicable race/ethnic group value(s). Even though you have had an opportunity to self-identify in the past, the federal government now has additional options from which to select. There is an option to select more than one race/ethnic group if you so desire.

If you choose not to self-identify your race/ethnicity by the aforementioned date, the federal government requires [company name] to determine this information by visual survey and/or other available information. Once [company name] makes a visual determination of your race/ethnicity, your record will be updated accordingly.

[…instructions for how to provide the information…]

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

ants, ants, everywhere?

Filed under: wildlife — noisedoctor @ 10:01 am

Is the rest of the world suffering from the ant over-population we’re seeing here? I can barely pull a weed in the yard without disturbing an ant colony. We’ve had house invasion after invasion. I talked to some folks that work in a local hardware store and they said they’ve never had so many people coming in for ant bait products as they have this year. What’s up with that?

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