February 23, 2020


The first escalator I remember riding was at the Woolworth’s in Watertown, New York. The escalator took shoppers down to a lower level where you would find a selection of small shops, sort of like a mini-mall. I remember riding the escalator down and then back up and then being told by my mom that one ride was enough. We then ate lunch in the Harvest House restaurant.

My husband and I did a little bit of shopping today. One of our stops was at a recently opened Menard’s (insert banjo music, “Save big money at Menard’s!). I was a little tickled to see it was a two story building, with bridges across a big opening and nifty escalators that could accommodate carts and wheelchairs and everything.

At the top of the escalator was a woman playing a grand piano. I kind of thought she should have been playing banjo music but the grand piano was a nice touch.

Recycle. Reuse.

The guest room closet was getting clogged up with unused computer equipment. A 2009 iMac, a 2007 Apple Cinema Display. These things would have to be removed to get the luggage out for our trips. Truman delighted himself by hiding behind the equipment until we shut the door, then he’d climb up and knock something off the shelf to let us know he was trapped in the closet.

We’d then find him in there and he’d come running out with an innocent look on his face.

I decided to finally get rid of our excess computer equipment. Instead of putting it in the building’s recycling room I decided it needed to find a new home, so we donated the equipment to FreeGeek Chicago.

A while back I purchased a used laptop from this shop in the basement of storefront on Milwaukee and Diversy. I really like what they do; they take old computer equipment, make whatever they can functional by cleaning it up, making sure it works, and installing Linux Mint, and then sell the computers to breathe new life into old equipment. Instead of cluttering up landfills with older equipment that still has lots of life in it, FreeGeek finds new homes for this equipment. This helps save the environment, it reduces waste, and it spreads some Linux love around the area.

I really like this approach.

FreeGeek Chicago also refurbishes Apple computers and other devices and sells them for continued use. In addition, FreeGeek also offers educational services around the world of Linux and other open source software.

It’s a great organization and I hope to become a volunteer there one day. I hope the new owners of our iMac and Cinema Display enjoy them as much as I did.

At least they’re not sitting in a landfill.