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.

March 26, 2009

no such thing…

Filed under: freecycle, humor, wildlife — noisedoctor @ 8:19 am

I saw someone posted this on our local freecycle group yesterday:

WANTED: Squirrel proof bird feeders

Yeah… I guess this person doesn’t realize there is no such thing as a “squirrel proof” bird feeder. The best you can ever hope for is “squirrel slow-them-down-and-make-them-think-about-how-to-outwit-the-contraption-and-frustrate-you-to-no-end” bird feeder.

Oh well, it’s nice to hope…

multifunctional

Filed under: freecycle, humor, useless junk — noisedoctor @ 7:53 am

Here’s another result from our local freecycle nazi, er, moderator’s rule that you have to combine all your offer postings together:

Offer: 65 gallon fish tank/dog food container

So, if I get tired of taking care of the fish, I could use it to store dog food. That’s pretty handy. I’ll take it! 🙂

way better than my school science projects

Filed under: geeky stuff, kudos, space — noisedoctor @ 7:49 am

I found this news story about a group of students: “Teenagers armed with only a £56 camera and latex balloon have managed to take stunning pictures of space from 20-miles above Earth.” And, to me, the photos they got are quite impressive. My inner geek is quite happy.

January 30, 2009

thumbs up to goldengadgets.com

Filed under: cool companies, geeky stuff — noisedoctor @ 11:31 am

My wife got me an LED headlamp for Christmas (because I broke my old one). However, when I tried it out, it wouldn’t work. I figured I’d have to go through the hassle of mailing it back before getting a replacement. However, the folks @ goldengadgets.com responded very quickly to my RMA request that they would ship out a replacement. And, they did just that. Good customer service! I am very appreciative.

January 29, 2009

WANTED: a heart

Filed under: freecycle, no good deed goes unpunished, soapbox — Tags: — noisedoctor @ 10:38 am

That’s what I’m tempted to post to our local freecycle group. I’m not looking for a heart for myself, but for our “tin-person” moderators. Let me explain. Over the past few weeks, there have been a series of arson fires in a nearby town–including one that cost 8 or 9 families everything but their lives and the clothes on their backs. Several people posted to the county freecycle group to solicit donations to help these people out. To which one of our moderators posted:

ADMIN: Donations for victims of [town name] Fires
Several members have made posts asking for donations for the victims
of the [town name] fires. While we have sympathy for those affected
by the fires, we must remind members that Freecycle(TM) is not a
charity organization. This is not the appropriate venue for
coordinating a relief effort.

Information posts are not allowed on this group, but may be submitted
to our chat site:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/%5Bgroup name]

Thank you for your cooperation,
The Moderator Team

Yes, I know freecycle isn’t a place for a relief effort. However, it is a grassroots movement. Therefore, it should be very much tied into local events, especially tragedies. But, let’s take a look at the freecycle mission statement.

Our mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.

Let me break down these posts seeking help for these fire-impacted families as I see it:

  • gifting movement: yes definitely encourages gifting
  • reduces waste: no
  • saves precious resources: yes/perhaps I would argue that it does by easing the burden on the Red Cross, etc.
  • eases the burden on our landfills: no
  • enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community: most definitely yes

I’ll admit, that doesn’t result in a resounding yes towards meeting the mission, but it’s far from a responding no either. I can respect the moderators wanting to keep the groun on-topic and keep the “junk” messages to a minimum. But, chastising people for seeking to help a group of families which just lost all their earthly possessions is just cold and heartless.

November 7, 2008

spiked girl scouts?

Filed under: freecycle, humor, useless junk — Tags: , , — noisedoctor @ 10:27 am

One of the (IMHO) annoying policies that our local freecycle list moderator (aka Freecycle Nazi) put in place is that if you are offering multiple items you must combine them into one post. You get a nastygram if you have more than one posting per day, unless you’re offering a major list of items. So, that leads to some very interesting combinations of items. This one struck me as funny.

OFFER: Girl Scout book and 10″ spikes in [—]
Book – Leader’s Guide Girl Scout Badges and Signs 86 pages
Thirty 10″ x 3/8″ diameter metal spikes

Yeah, I know it’s not spiked girl scouts, but…

October 31, 2008

cute witch?

Filed under: freecycle, humor, useless junk — Tags: , , — noisedoctor @ 2:04 pm

In honor of Halloween (not that I celebrate it), here’s a local freecycle posting from a couple weeks ago.

Wanted- Cute Witch Costume for 8 yr old girl
No scare creepy witch but something more friendly would be nice.

Naturally. You want your child to dress as a witch but not be scary. Brilliant.

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