Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Crusher (review)

Last week, I purchased a Basic Industries International aluminum can crusher, and installed it in my kitchen. Here in Hawaii, aluminum beverage cans have a 5-cent deposit, and crushing them means I can take more of them to the recycling drop-off in a single trip. "The Crusher" comes in three different models - a single-can open-framework one, an open-framework one with a multi-can chute on top, and a solid-sided one.

After checking them all out at 
Ace Hardware around the corner, I chose the solid-sided one (model 77701), since it was clearly the only design that could handle cans larger than 12 ounces, and Coca-Cola brands come in 16-ounce cans here. I think it may still not be able to handle the huge Arizona Iced Tea cans, though.

Installation was easy enough, requiring only three rather sturdy screws and a stable place to mount it. I took a few photos and made a single image to show what it is and what it does.

So far I like it, overall. Occasionally a half-crushed can does slip out during the crushing process, but not often. Other than that, and the possible inability to handle giant cans from iced tea that I don't drink anyway, I have no problems with it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Is Office Depot simply stupid, or evil too?

I ate at Burger King recently, and the placemat on my tray featured NASCAR racer Tony Stewart, who is sponsored by (among others) Burger King and Office Depot.  It even included a coupon for $10 off a qualifying purchase of $30 or more at Office Depot (shown here).

Hawaii residents know that although Hilo has its own OfficeMax, the nearest Office Depot is over 200 miles away, in Honolulu. But I shouldn't hold this against Burger King or Office Depot - I presume they at least checked to make sure there was a store somewhere in the state, and it's not their fault if going 2 counties away like that requires spending a hundred bucks or so to fly there, right?

But the question of "stupid or evil?" goes deeper than that.  You can't really read the small print in this picture, since I used my phone, but here's what it reads:

Valid in-store only. Must present the original coupon to cashier at time of purchase. Photocopies/reproductions not valid. Coupon cannot be used as a credit card payment. No cash value. Not valid for purchases 1) made in Office Depot outlet/clearance stores; 2) by contract customers with Store Purchasing or Procurement Cards; 3) of Gift Cards; 4) of any technology or consumer electronic products and accessories or media and software products, 5) of postage stamps; 6) of product protection plans; 7) of HP ink and toner; or 8) of wireless, satellite, internet, technology, installation, mailing, shipping or third-party services.  Coupon is good for one-time use only, is not transferrable, not for resale or auction and cannot be combined with other offers or promotions. We reserve the right to limit quantities sold to each customer. Limit 1 coupon per household/business. Void where prohibited. Coupon expires 10/31/09.

So I have until the end of this month to buy tickets, fly 200 miles, find $30 or more worth of stuff that isn't technology (sorry, no stone implements or pointy sticks allowed!), save my $10, and fly back (oh, it had better be stuff I can take on a plane.)  Woo, excitement!

And I had better not think of "transferring" this coupon to anyone else, because Burger King's creepy "King" guy is doubtless following me (he's that kind of creepy, am I right?) to make sure I don't give it to anyone else.

Actually, if someone does shop at Office Depot for profoundly uncool stuff, I think I might be able to fool that King guy by mailing the coupon... unless they're watching my mail, too...


Why I'm leaving Twitter.

I've stuck it out and continued participating on Twitter while Elon Musk has run it into the ground, made it progressively more inhospit...