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paul wheaton
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I have lots going on today. The rocket mass heater workshop is happening and I would like to go up and get in on it a bit more.

But the last 24 hours has generated some artifacts that are a surprise to me.

Beer artifacts.

I found two bottle caps on the ground this morning. And some beer bottles sitting out in the auditorium.

I'm surprised. I just never thought that permaculture people would litter.

Tim has found lots of caps and bottles near the wofati. All micro brew or organic beers. All fresh.

Last year there was a guy here that enjoyed beer. He kept everything picked up, but when I would take the recycling in - it was made a significant chore due to the quantity of bottles. Plus the stink was terrible. The beer drinkers have heard about this and they say they will take that recycling in. But when I go to the recycling area, it stinks of stale beer.

So, I kinda want to see some discussion started to figure out what to do about this. Somebody suggested that this is a pig bucket problem .... maybe a little. But I think, like many problems, a bit of thinking it through and some brainstorming will go a long ways.

22) somebody pointed out that we need more garbage cans and recycling cans around. So in the spot where I found the caps, there were no garbage cans. I think this is a pretty good point. Of course, since we don't use paper plates, paper napkins, plastic forks, etc. I guess we just haven't had a need for a garbage can up until the point that somebody opens a store bought beer. Still, I think it would be wise for us to have more garbage/recycling cans about.

23) When people are coming here, we send them a document outlining our quirks. Like no tobacco or pot. Maybe we should include something about how beer is okay, but beer has been a source of headache - so we ask that if you are going to consume beer ....

24) I wonder if we could turn the problem into a solution. Maybe the thing to do is to have a beer bottle collection station. A place where we rinse the bottles and store them for a future cob project.

25) Since I am not a beer drinker, I feel like it is really easy to say "no beer". But people do seem to enjoy that gross liquid so very much. It seems like something that we should be able to work out. I suppose that people that enjoy beer might keep an extra sharp eye out for where beer enjoyment might be causing a bit of a problem and step in and mend things before it gets to be a bigger problem. But I think that that is probably the case for all things - so it probably isn't worth mentioning.



Anybody else have thoughts in this space?



 
kadence blevins
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I like the idea of havin a spot for the bottles to go be rinsed out and stored for projects. Perhaps if there was a sort of designated hangout spot for alcoholic beverages with the rinse n storing area right near..?
 
allen lumley
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Slugs ! Slugs love beer and wine! 1) have a collection point Just for the bottles which are placed in eaves troughs facing neck down !
Trough drains to a bucket ! Turn a problem into a solution !

2 ) A big sign that says *Used Beer Department !*8 Drown a Slug** ( We Don't want your beer after It has gone through your Kidneys !) *

3 ) a quick rinse station to dunk bottles under water will really help with the smell ! 4) seeing the sign and using the station is positive
reinforcement for Good Behavior ! (Hang a bucket for bottle caps which can be turned into decent boot scrapers ! ) Hope this helps and is timely
Big AL



 
Jessica Gorton
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How about the only beer allowed is that which is brewed onsite? My husband is finding that homebrewing is a really good incentive for rinsing the bottles after drinking - otherwise, the cleaning and prepping for the next batch is way tougher.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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paul wheaton wrote:
22) somebody pointed out that we need more garbage cans and recycling cans around. So in the spot where I found the caps, there were no garbage cans. I think this is a pretty good point. Of course, since we don't use paper plates, paper napkins, plastic forks, etc. I guess we just haven't had a need for a garbage can up until the point that somebody opens a store bought beer. Still, I think it would be wise for us to have more garbage/recycling cans about.

I thought I saw you pick up one bottle cap just 5 feet from the household garbage can at the south end of the garage.

paul wheaton wrote:
23) When people are coming here, we send them a document outlining our quirks. Like no tobacco or pot. Maybe we should include something about how beer is okay, but beer has been a source of headache - so we ask that if you are going to consume beer ....

That document also says we don't drink much here - drinking in general. We've had more drinking in the evenings in the last few weeks, than we've had almost all summer. On those same nights, we've also problems with the kitchen being left messy and too much noise when others are trying to sleep.

paul wheaton wrote:
24) I wonder if we could turn the problem into a solution. Maybe the thing to do is to have a beer bottle collection station. A place where we rinse the bottles and store them for a future cob project.

Ask Erica Wisner about bottles and cob. She just commented the other night that she's seen a lot of bottles in cob done poorly. This first year we have not had proper storage areas for saving bottles. Now that we have a new boneyard, we might be able to find a place for them to be stored.

paul wheaton wrote:
25) Since I am not a beer drinker, I feel like it is really easy to say "no beer". But people do seem to enjoy that gross liquid so very much. It seems like something that we should be able to work out. I suppose that people that enjoy beer might keep an extra sharp eye out for where beer enjoyment might be causing a bit of a problem and step in and mend things before it gets to be a bigger problem. But I think that that is probably the case for all things - so it probably isn't worth mentioning.


I like the idea of fermented beverages as another form of food preservation. Home brewed mead, beer, wine - they all make sense to me. I can even imagine folks cutting loose and wanting to drink a bunch on a weekend (when they aren't driving, of course) here or there. Though several drinks every day (for most Americans, any way), and/or regular binges do bother me. We've seen some excesses like this at base camp, and frankly/unfortunately, it's stressful for me to be around.
 
paul wheaton
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
I thought I saw you pick up one bottle cap just 5 feet from the household garbage can at the south end of the garage.


That is so funny. You're right! I just went outside to the point where I found the first one - it was about five feet away from a garbage can!


 
paul wheaton
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Jessica Gorton wrote:How about the only beer allowed is that which is brewed onsite?


Good idea! I like that!
 
Ann Torrence
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Sounds like gentle confrontation is in order with the partiers rather than more rules if this is a new problem.
A reminder that while you are on vacation, you are still vacationing in OUR HOME, where we do not drink to excessive noise or poor judgment in behavior.
The problem with making rules is that someone has to enforce them and that someone is already host, chief fundraiser and instigator. So there's eventually a confrontation anyway. Might as while get it over with up front and not have to be the enforcer.
 
kadence blevins
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This reminds me of when my mom had some local guys do some work on our house that we didnt know how to do. She let em drink a little but one day they left beer cans allllll over the yard. She ripped into this bunch of grown men like lil kids. No ones gonna do a thing until this yard is spotless, no ones gonna get a nickel, and no one is gonna see any beer if there is one can left or if she finds one stray can after this.

Lol daddy paul wheaton bringin down the meanie parent hammer?
 
Rufus Laggren
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Got enough water in workable places to rinse all the bottles easily?

Better: ditto - at the time/place of use?

Rinsing once with 1/4 to 1/2 bottle full of water kinda works, twice gets the job done well. Provided it happens immediately after use before residue turns to glue.

Requiring/encouraging (rules, culture, tradition, whatever) beer to be drunk from mugs (cups, whatever) encourages the rinsing and disposal of the bottle (and cap) immediately BEFORE drinking the beer.

Toilet training is a drag.

Cheers

Rufus
 
Jessica Gorton
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Also as you progress with the larger design of the community, perhaps there ought to be a particular place or places for imbibing and entertainment - here's the "party" space, away from where people sleep, outfitted in such a way to have a place for rinsing and collecting bottles. Not as an encouragement for bad behavior, certainly, but a safe place to hang out and make music later into the evening, with the understanding that that's where this kind of stuff happens, and it's discouraged elsewhere, or at the least the rules on it are stricter elsewhere.
 
M Johnson
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An alternative to home brewed beer is to save and clean the bottles and use them for kombucha...
 
Aaron Festa
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Perhaps only allow growler fills from a local brewery. A growler is typically a glass jug that can be reused. It would eliminate the issue of bottles and cans
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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This morning, Paul found a beer bottle cap on his desk. Ugh.

There were boxes and six packs of beer outside the back door of the kitchen. I had to complain to get the beer drinkers to clean it up.

We have labeled recycling bins in the kitchen and the garage, plus a recycling document posted in the dining room available for all to review. It was not about a question of where it should go.

I don't like complaining about messes that others leave behind. It makes me feel like a killjoy and a nag. And yet I don't want to live in a place that is trashed out and with litter around like a frat house or dorm room. It stinks and is unsightly.

Yes, only beer brewed here would be great. Recycled/recycling growlers would be great.

The problem I'm seeing is that when people drink they forget they are leaving their crap out due to the powers of the alcohol on their faculties. Including the next day when projects start and the debris continues to be forgotten in their morning-after fog. These are people who generally pick up their coffee mug or water glass and other dishes when sober, but somehow forget their beer bottle and beer snack dishes when drinking.

Paul's vision for the community here is that we'll have extra people, or certain people, whose job it is to clean up after sloppy guests or gappers. The gappers, I suppose, we could nag more than guests or workshop participants, though again, nagging is NOT how I want to live. So far, we don't yet have the kind of people, or bandwidth in our current people, to see and keep on top of normal household things, let alone the addition of beer debris.

Personally, and unfortunately, instead of nagging people to pick up after themselves, I admit that I'd rather be a fuddy-dud and ban beer drinking all together.
 
Judith Browning
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I guess I am amazed at that amount of disrespect, drunk or sober. You and Paul should only have to say what you expect once. Maybe, the folks who have been there longer and know what's what, could be sharing those expectations with the new folks. I think that, if it were happening here, I would come down on the side of banning drinking also. You all have too much going on to have your time wasted picking up after folks and as you say, nagging. I guess i would expect everyone to be aware of their surroundings and deal with their own stuff. Sounds very immature.....
 
Aaron Festa
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I agree with Judith. I enjoy a pint as much as the next person but I certainly wouldn't dare trash Paul's property. Drink offsite if needed.
 
Cassie Langstraat
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This might be a silly question, but do these beer drinkers know how annoyed you guys are about this? Do they read this thread? Have you made it SUPER clear how upsetting and frustrating this is to you? I just feel like if I knew I was causing someone so much stress I would be embarrassed and make an effort to not let that happen again..
 
paul wheaton
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Jocelyn is getting ready to take the recycling into town. Found a whole lot of smelly beer bottles. In boxes with caps and other garbage. Jocelyn is sorting through to throw the caps and the garbage into the garbage and the beer bottles will each be rinsed so they don't stink as we go into town.
 
Landon Sunrich
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Yeah, so reading through this a little bit so I'm gonna give my obnoxious opinion. Made double obnoxious by the recent import of a fine Dark Heff from the Bayern Brewering in Misoula Mt.

Beer can be great. Glass bottles - so freaking awesome for so many reasons!

But broken glass sucks! I've had glass splinters they are a traumatic experience. I' have learned to walk carefully and pack sturdy boots. Brew coupled with glass leads to broken glass... I don't know as much as 5 times out of 10? Depending on your crowd. And that's not dealing with all the ick and flies and everything. I mean it sounds like you don't have a steam cleaning system on sight which could make the glass into a resource.

Were I in your shoes I'd ban the beer.

Anyone who can't make it into to town and back for a couple drinks probably isn't the sort of person your looking for anyway. They should at least be able to make friends in town and crash their if they need to rumble. You know?

I'm sure the good ant who likes having a beer or two in his quarter after a hard day would be respectful enough to sneak in cans and compact them down to sling away in a sock with him as he leaves.

Yes, my above example was male. That's statistics and experience talking.
 
Craig Dobbson
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Are bottles and cans worth anything? Around here you can get 5 cents for a can or bottle and 10-25 cents for wine bottles and growlers by simply returning them to the store. It's a deposit system, so you're really only getting your 5 cents back when you bring the bottle back. BUT if you are crafty you can collect a lot of discarded bottles and cans from other people and then make a few bucks but returning them. I frequently see people walking along the roadside collecting cans and bottles that have been chucked out of car windows. Some folks make a living doing this.

If Montana doesn't have this then maybe wheaton labs could have it. Or some version that might work better for you all.
 
Rufus Laggren
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The buzz I've heard around Chicago is that microbreweries are turning to cans now. Cheaper, more reliable hygienicly, keeps all light out, ya-di-ya. In that order, probably. <G> They say the right coatings prevent any off flavor.

So maybe cans-only would be a viable requirement if that's any help. Doesn't help solve the rinse-out, though. And I gotta take exception to Landon's draconian ban'm'all stance. Don't know how he ever passes cap-cha tests. Besides, look upon neat beverage habits as training wheels for neat shop, tool and worksite behavior - w/much lower overhead. Find out who's who and make needed corrections early. Bounties, fines, donations, etc come to mind. I bet beer lovers could all get behind a solid do-it-right system.

Rufus
 
Landon Sunrich
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My point is more along the lines of - when bringing a bunch of new people to your property it may be wise to have an official policy of being a hard ass until you have some idea of what you are dealing with. Especially if the burden is falling on those who have nothing to do with the imbibing.
 
Julia Winter
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$1 "deposit" per bottle, collected when beer is brought on site, and refunded when the bottle is rinsed and placed in the right spot.

If you leave your bottle lying around, somebody else can pick it up and collect the dollars.

When I was a kid, I went to a summer camp that put a big deposit on bottles. Some (rich) kids blew off proper return of bottles, but there were enough of us thrilled at the idea of more cash for buying candy that no bottle ever got broken and all were brought in for the refund of the deposit by somebody.
 
Kelly Smith
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this may sound rude, and sorry if im being frank, but tact is not exactly what i am known for.

i assume everyone is over 21, which means they are theoretically an adult.
if you have an adult on your property who isnt able to clean up after themselves and seems to show no signs of changing after it was brought up, why not ask them to leave?
ESPECIALLY if it is causing extra work for others. this will soon grow into contempt and that will open a bigger can of worms, imo

i promise:
others will take notice
people will realize you mean what you say when you say it

it also makes you look like a soft dictator if you allow your rules to be broken.
seems like you are in a position i see in many corporate settings: there are rules, but no consequences when the rules are broken - consequently, the rules are not respected.


caveat: i dont live in an intentional community.


EDIT: to me this follows your reasoning on publishing standards. you dont allow certain things on this website, you should also not allow certain things on your property. (in this case, disrespect for the hosts rules)
 
Ann Torrence
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Clearly there is an entrepreneurial project waiting to happen for a creative person. Beer bottle rentals at the lab. Rent a bottle, return it later. Why yes, you can rent this bottle full of mead or beer or cider. Why no, I don't care if you return it empty, you are just renting the bottle.
 
paul wheaton
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I like the idea where the only alcohol that is allowed is stuff that is brewed on the lab. So, then, yeah, somebody could start a business.
 
elle sagenev
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Whoo. That would annoy me so fast that whoever did it would experience some MAJOR regret. As far as I'm concerned leaving bottle caps on the ground is avoidable. Put them in your pocket till you get to the trash. It's not like we are talking something huge here. I also don't think you should put garbage cans about. You are in Montana. You have wildlife and lots of it. Plus, imagine emptying all those garbage cans you had to put out because people are awful. Nope. I wouldn't put cans out to collect wildlife just because some people are lazy.

IMO you ban beer. People have shown they are too disrespectful to partake of it responsibly. Since they have decided to make it a problem for you your solution is to get rid of the problem.
 
Rufus Laggren
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Kelly

Sounds like you've been lucky enough not to deal w/"adults" too much. <G> Ever been to a condo board meeting? You'd likely leave shaken to your core and not able to eat for the rest of the day at least. <GG>

Seriously. We all grew up w/blind spots and most of us have found ways to slide by w/out powering over all those hillocks of maturity - and there's always another bunch to get over no matter how fast or far we peddle.. "With a little help from my friends...", is what it's all about, ye know.


Rufus
 
kadence blevins
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I like what you just said about people avoid certain "you're an adult now" hills and get by in life.

This is all completely my view of things from following here on the forum and the podcasts! So here goes:
Paul has an ideal of sorts. You need to fit within this rubberband stretch of the ideal or its not gonna work out for ya at The Lab.

Like a "you must be this tall to ride this ride"... You must be this mature in these aspects to come play with them for any decent period of time.

Example...
You have friends. Some of your friends probably do things differently than you. You like them. They have some really awesome qualities. Do you want to share your home with them?
You keep a pretty tidy house. Your friend BobbySue thinks nothing of leaving every dirty dish strewn about the kitchen or entire house for weeks untim theres none left... and then they will clean a bowl and a spoon, eat a bowl of cereal, and toss the dirty stuff back down.
Do you want to live with that person? Not paying rent. Not helping with utilities. Not keeping your home and belongings as you would like them.
Sorry but I dont think it very many people would put up with that long at all. I think there would quickly be an ex-friend that you kicked out.

Paul is doing this on a huge scale with people from around the world whom he doesnt know most of them at all.

It seems like there needs to a Gapper Herder to firstly, report the most likely to be "booted off the island" for these problems.
Like Gapper Herder: Mission One: Who is really not fitting within Pauls rules ((ie: greeting party, watch for things like when paul said a person had shown up and the moment they set down their bag a joint rolled out)).
Mission Two: who doesnt seem to be keeping up with the rules and helping their share? Are they trying to make things work and be better/work harder? Or are they falling to the "35hours.. well maybe 30.. it could have been like 26... i guess its possibly 20.."

So mainly i have to agree. At least for the time being until there is more people there that are on the same page as Paul that no alcohol is probably good.
 
brad millar
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I don't believe alcohol is the problem. The people that leave caps and bottles laying around are the same ones ( in type ) as the ones that ruin dish towels and hide dirty dishes. You're seeing symptoms, not causes.
 
Bill Crim
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Growlers are 64oz glass bottles with screw top or stoppered lids, that are designed to be refillable with beer/ale. You drink the beer by pouring it into a glass. They don't get "recycled" because they are there to be refilled(you wash them out and take them back to the pub/bar to be refilled). Typically you just ask the pub/bar if they offer growlers. It's all the rage in the microbrew space.

You get to have beer...
In a modest quantity. (5.33 beers worth)
With no bottle caps.
With no garbage.
With no recycling.
64oz, screwtop, beverage containers can be repurposed easily.


Most importantly, all beer related activity/cleanup is handled by the drinker/purchaser of the beer.
 
Kelly Smith
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kadence blevins wrote:I like what you just said about people avoid certain "you're an adult now" hills and get by in life.

This is all completely my view of things from following here on the forum and the podcasts! So here goes:
Paul has an ideal of sorts. You need to fit within this rubberband stretch of the ideal or its not gonna work out for ya at The Lab.

Like a "you must be this tall to ride this ride"... You must be this mature in these aspects to come play with them for any decent period of time.


this is effectively what i am saying too.

paul even admits that only 1 in 10,000 permaculturalists would even groove on his stuff, which to me means a lot of people wont make the cut to be there.
it sounds sad, and we are likely getting into the area where innovators start to become assholes in other peoples eyes, as they decide who fits their ideals/vision/project and who doesnt.

i do think there ought to be some sort of orientation or something that lays out the rules so everyone is operating with the same knowledge base.

never forget - most (51%) people will take the path of least resistance. if that means cutting corners for things that have no consequences, it has been my experience that is what will happen. i think this applies to the pug bucket, the clean towels and the beer bottles.

i dont oppose the "only local beer idea" but i think that will not ultimately solve the problem.
sorry if i sound so mechanical about it all.


also - as i go back a reread - it doesnt look like a problem has been clearly defined. what is the actual problem [ie what are we trying to fix here]? the smell? the bottles note rinsed? bottles not put away? the caps not thrown away? the noise associated with people drinking?

just trying to help, maybe give a contrarian perspective.
 
Landon Sunrich
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A few more comments.

Does anyone actually go about hiding dishes? Purposefully? That's like using and exacto blade and peanut butter to rat fuck someones mattress. Pretty low.

Do you guys have a farm truck? Do you do 'cleaning is fun!' days. Soap and bubbles and splashing once the sun is finally shining again can be great team building. A vehicle insured to the business for doing runs to the dump could be super.

Of the farms of other which I have spent significant time there'd usually be 2 or three people fighting to make a company paid visit into town and take care of the garbage. But I don't drive. I mean, I'm licensed... because it's cheep... But I don't own a vehicle.

The guy who puts the truck in the ditch needs a talking to. The guy who puts the truck in the ditch changes the tire gets home safe and cops to it needs a promotion.

Just my few bucks.
 
Dave Burton
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Well, I'm kinda weird to begin with. So pardon me if this is seems silly, but why not just go back to what people back then used to do? Instead of having any bottles on camp, you could have kegs and glasses. Spike a spigot/tap into a keg and let people drink that way.

Also, Landon makes a good suggestion, too. Cleaning days or mornings sound like something that would work. It is a reasonable thing to ask of guests.
 
paul wheaton
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Does anyone actually go about hiding dishes? Purposefully?


Yes.

One of the office desks was full of dirty dishes.

Our decent flatware supplies had been seriously dwindling. As Jocelyn goes about cleaning everything, we seem to now have an abundance. We're finding stuff hidden as well as forgotten.

 
Landon Sunrich
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Dave Burton wrote:Cleaning days or mornings sound like something that would work. It is a reasonable thing to ask of guests.


And like, as long as it's not everyone all the time...

Two or three people who are already showered standing around for an extra hour after dinner chatting and splashing around hot water is a blast! Life gets much worse than having a group of people who can mostly tolerate each other.
 
Landon Sunrich
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paul wheaton wrote:
Does anyone actually go about hiding dishes? Purposefully?


Yes.

One of the office desks was full of dirty dishes.

Our decent flatware supplies had been seriously dwindling. As Jocelyn goes about cleaning everything, we seem to now have an abundance. We're finding stuff hidden as well as forgotten.



Wow.

I live alone. I have gnomes. I don't go about self sabotaging to that degree.
 
Julie Anderson
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Landon Sunrich wrote:
Does anyone actually go about hiding dishes? Purposefully?


My former step-children, The Spawn of Evil Jim, did. They also broke them and put them in the garbage to avoid washing them.

Julie
 
Ken Peavey
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My stomach won't let me drink beer anymore, but back in the day I was a bit more intemperate.
A good campfire, some food, some friends, and an ice chest full of beer makes a fine evening. After a few seasons of fine evenings, it does not take long for kids to start showing up. Having glass around the ground with kids close is a bad combination. We used buckets up at camp. Toss in caps, empties, trash, butts, whatever needed a place, the bucket was it's place. Easy to haul the next day, easy to clean out, stack for the next weekend. If anyone wanted to raise hell, they were welcome to live freely. If they didn't clean up after themselves, they were not invited back.
 
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