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pure silly fun at amazon  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
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Things worked out so that several packages were picked up in town late on christmas eve. And they were brought back here very late on christmas eve. And on christmas morning we opened the packages.

Most were for the gappers (yay!) and one was for me.

It contained two amazon gift cards. The first card was for $750 and labeled "For the purpose of expanding the Empire and world domination". Which is great because budgets are very tight right now. Tim and Rick are fighting over ladders and extension cords in the shop. They asked for three more ladders and eight more extension cords and I limited them to one ladder and four 25 foot extension cords - the rest will have to come later. Now, we can move forward with those! And, I suspect that about 15 minutes after I post this I will get a list of stuff needed that fits precisely into $750.

The second card was for $250. And it says "For the purpose of pure silly fun. Must not be used on anything practical." I sat there for a while kinda double stunned. Some guy just handed me a thousand bucks - a rather large amount of funds. There is no exchange. There is no business. And it is a really big gob of money. I suppose, in reading between the lines, it says "I like what you are doing THIS much!" And, of course, it does a lot to project us forward and make things easier for everybody working within the empire - both here in montana and here in cyberspace.

For the second part of "double stunned" I sat for a good five minutes, while everybody else opened their stuff, trying to think of what I might be able to find at amazon that is "pure silly fun". I could not think of one single thing. I use the "wish list" feature at amazon mostly to note things that I would get when I have lots of money - currently lots of good fuel cans, some tools and books. Pretty much everything is tied to permaculture.

Hours pass ...

Nearly every day Jesse is coming up with some wacky question like "if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?" And he asks me "If you went back to your birth and could live your whole life over again, but you cannot do any of the things you have done, what would you do?" It took me a moment and I said "I would want to be an artist. Probably a sculptor. Maybe do stuff like the 'rivers and tides' guy."

Then I remembered that I used to have a book. A coffee table book. And when I was having a bad day, I would spend a half hour with this book and it seemed to mend my bad day. It was a book full of maybe a thousand pictures of different gardens where people had done different artistic things. Jesse is often asking questions about "what's your favorite _____" and I am learning that I am a person that has squandered my life by not contemplating what my favorite song is, or my favorite soup, or my favorite _____ is. But in that book there was one thing that was my favorite. I always started the book by finding that favorite picture. And before putting the book away I would go back to that picture. I just tried to find that picture on google image search, but I struck out.

The picture was of a terra cotta tile couch. It looked like a big, cushy couch that was made of terra cotta tiles. Granted, a lot of the tiles were flat, but a lot of the tiles had to be special made. So they would take a blob of terra cotta clay, shape to the perfect curve for a couch arm, fire it at about 1600 degrees, there is a good chance it would break or come out wonky, so this would need to be repeated several times .... and after weeks or months of working at it - there would be a simple couch made from terra cotta tiles. It would look like something that somebody made in an hour, but of course the time investment would be huge.

At the time, I owned 80 acres which had several springs. I thought of this one spot that was hard to get to and pretty hidden. I imagined building the couch there. I imagined shaping a bit of a pool and directing the spring into the pool. The level of the pool would an inch lower than a terra cotta tile "floor" with the couch. And across from the couch there would be a terra cotta tile television set (1972 style). And out of the screen would be flowers and mosses growing.

I just tried to find this book on amazon. I can't remember the name or what the cover looked like or anything. So I didn't find it.

Maybe a fun project would be to make the top of a terra cotta submarine, just cresting the surface of the soil.

Thanks, Bill Crim, for the gift cards, the trip down memory lane, and, most of all, the dilemma I now face: to explore "pure silly fun" to the tune of $250 at amazon.com I put a few apples in your stocking.

So my question to you all: any suggestions on what, at amazon, would qualify as "pure silly fun"?
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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From this garden writers article, there are a few garden couch images, though they aren't exactly what you described. Plus, they are most likely not your style, either.





I'm drawing a blank on what kind of coffee table type book might fit the "pure silly fun" aspect.

I know you enjoy the book about Damanhur and The Hand Sculpted House and other books showing gorgeous pics of natural building. Though as you told me, the art at Damanhur is not necessarily your style, it's the community that's fascinating. And all of these have practical aspects for what you're doing.
 
paul wheaton
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So here is the basic couch shape:


source


And this might give you an idea of how the terra cotta tiles were shaped:


source


Here is the closest I have found so far:


[img=http://carolynsshadegardens.com/2011/08/08/chanticleer-part-2-garden-seating/]source[/img]

 
Ann Torrence
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I will never forget the day someone explained that fun is not a 4-letter word.

How about some giant lawn toys like you should have had as a kid?
Or gizmos to make Rube Goldberg solar-pumped water features?
Or an aquarium?
Or ginormous wind socks?

Fun - it's for big kids too.
 
Ken Peavey
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Horseshoes

Snow Sled Saucer
In the summer, line it with aluminum foil to make a parabolic reflector/cooker

Cribbage Board
of course, you could always make one.
and you'll need some cards.

I'd spend the whole thing on these
 
Miles Flansburg
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R Scott
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It is more than a hobby...
 
Cris Fellows
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I figured that. you could buy a really fun knife to cut that part off.
 
John Wolfram
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With $30-$50 of that money you could buy a Stirling Engine.


Amazon: Stirling Engine

Right now, they don't have much practical use, but are kind of cool.
 
R Scott
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You could spend $250 on games, old school no power or plastic games.

Or some musical instruments to have around, different thing to do while sitting around the fire. Decent guitar, a harmonica or two, just no kumbaya...

 
Will Meginley
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R Scott wrote:You could spend $250 on games, old school no power or plastic games.


I highly recommend Apples to Apples, Sequence, and Carcassonne!

The more people playing and the more warped your sense of humor the more hilarious Apples to Apples becomes.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Dave Burton
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Kinda silly, on amazon there are cherry pie and bacon air fresheners.

 
Mike Feddersen
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Paul, your silly fun search made me think that a permies coffee table book might be a great addition to your world domination empire.

You may have seen the 24/7 photo books that came out a few years back, we have the one for Arizona. They did one for all 50 states.

I think it would be great to have photos of all the areas of permaculture.

Mike
 
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paul wheaton
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We have "farmopoly" here.


I just put the first dent into the $750 gift card. ernie and erica are here. We need some more silicone tape for ducts. The rocket mass heater in the house is now running. In fact, we are trying to get it to run much cooler. Ernie and Erica think that we had it up to about 3500 to 4000 degrees F yesterday. So we are trying to throttle that back. So we needed materials and the $750 gift card was deployed.


I'm still not quite sure what to spend the $250 on. What about spending it on whatever it takes to get "the hammock hut" deployed?

Plus, I know that Tom sent some books and stuff about saunas - maybe we need to use the $250 to make sauna stuff happen? I'm not a sauna guy - but it seems that everybody else is bonkers about sauna stuff.



 
Ann Torrence
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NO No No! Anyone disagree that gift is for Paul's sole entertainment? Paul, not everyone else?

Rest and recreation are necessary, not frivolous. The closer you get to burn-out, the more necessary and frivolous-seeming it is. Fun is not a 4-letter word. ou are not wasting time. You are making yourself more resilient.
The money won't go bad while you ponder what could be fun. Surprise us, even if it's just some high powered earplugs and meditation incense.

Edited to correct spelling and to ask if you would like a Paul-sized hammock with a "reserved for the Duke" sign? and some tiki drink umbrellas with the spare change?


 
paul wheaton
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I have four hammock-like chairs. But they rarely get hung up. It would be great to have a spot where they are hung up all the time - preferably outside. I do like sitting in those chairs. I used to sit in them and "tag magazines" (go through the magazine and stick a sticky note in the magazine to note an article I would want to mention when I got back to my computer). Now the magazines pile up and I don't tag them.



 
Will Meginley
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paul wheaton wrote:

Maybe a fun project would be to make the top of a terra cotta submarine, just cresting the surface of the soil.



You mean like this?

http://patriotspoint.org/explore_museum/cold_war_memorial/

Sounds fun. Not sure how helpful Amazon would be for making THAT happen, though.
 
Mike Feddersen
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Paul, my old school brain thought, he needs a portable pocket scanner for the magazines. Old school even went searching, then my other half-brain said, Paul probably all ready has a cool Iphone to take snapshots of those articles and pictures. Sorry 3M for throwing your sticky notes under the newer technology bus.

 
paul wheaton
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The $750 is now gone:

4 extension cords
silicone tape for rocket mass heater stuff
repair a broken headlight on the polaris
glass bowls for the kitchen
starter for the excavator
paintbrush for painting on the leviathan
external hard disk for storing raw video for future dvd projects
rapid charger for the oregon chainsaw


I've had a lot of time to think about this. And I think I want to do the coffee table picture books.

I'm headed into missoula tomorrow. Maybe I should stop by a book store, find a few and write down their particulars.

Anybody have any other thoughts on "pure silly fun"?
 
Sam Barber
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Some pure silly fun that would get used would be the thisSettlers of Catan expansion pack. Or this game Cards against humanity.
 
R Scott
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You got quite the load for your $750. Impressive.
 
leila hamaya
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Nearly every day Jesse is coming up with some wacky question like "if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?" And he asks me "If you went back to your birth and could live your whole life over again, but you cannot do any of the things you have done, what would you do?" It took me a moment and I said "I would want to be an artist. Probably a sculptor."


i feel like you answered your own question here...spend it on clay, sculpting tools....and be a sculptor till your $250 runs out =)

stoneware clay

more clay

sculpting tools

glazes

as an artist and a sculptor, i think this is cool ...course you probably know.... it sounds a lot better than it actually is !
ah now, actually it is at least fun =)
 
paul wheaton
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So Jocelyn and I walked up to the top of the volcano today. We sat up there for a while. On the ground. There is a nice spot in the crater of the volcano. We talked about building a three log bench up there, kinda like this:




And then we talked about how the spot could be something a bit more. A bit of dreaming. Just .... "pure silly fun" !!

So I just now exercised the remaining $250 card for this:



link to amazon


 
paul wheaton
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Bill strikes again.

This year the mail fermented a bit. We got down there yesterday.

Not only were there two more gift cards from Bill, but the messages with the gifts were excellent.

(I suppose a message like this without a gift card could be taken the wrong way - but with the gift card, this was the coolest thing of the day)

First, there is the $750 gift card that says:

A gift from William Crim

To: Overbearing Blowhard Dick Overlord

From: Gogmagog (Bill Crim)

Why the fuck haven't you dominated the world yet? Try harder. Moar Permacutlure! HHH(tm) Approved!


The second is a different gift card for $250 that says:

A gift from William Crim

To: Paul Wheaton

From: Gogmagog (Bill Crim)

This money may not be spent on anything practical. Embrace your bliss, hug your inner child, and spank your monkey.


Does amazon sell porn?

nothing practical .... from amazon .... hmmmm ....

 
Sharla Kew
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I went to Amazon to try to find the goofiest, tackiest yard art possible to suggest for the Silly 250, but instead I found this which I actually really really like.

91ukJ1oWdVL._SL1500_.jpg
[Thumbnail for 91ukJ1oWdVL._SL1500_.jpg]
Beautiful big outdoor wall art
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Sharla Kew wrote:I went to Amazon to try to find the goofiest, tackiest yard art possible to suggest for the Silly 250, but instead I found this which I actually really really like.



I love this, too! I think I'd found the exact same thing on Amazon myself a while back.

Paul had a thought of adding yard art of some kind or another to make the area around the swing at the caldera a bit like a tiki or tropical place. Maybe even a place with voodoo, or sacrifices and such. Something with enough of a theme to make you smile and know it's an irony for Montana!

This tree of life art is far classier than any tiki voodoo theme, though it's possible there could be a classy factor to something fun, too!


 
Nicole Alderman
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:Paul had a thought of adding yard art of some kind or another to make the area around the swing at the caldera a bit like a tiki or tropical place. Maybe even a place with voodoo, or sacrifices and such. Something with enough of a theme to make you smile and know it's an irony for Montana!


Love it! Don't forget a stone altar and a big firepit complete with a spit to roast a pig...or long pig?... on. Those don't cost anything other than time, though. Hmmmm, how about some statues, or even some solar statues, like these:


http://www.amazon.com/Homestyles-11004-Friki-tiki-Solar-Lights/dp/B0039NO7MW/ref=pd_sim_86_4?ie=UTF8&dpID=21bzrlSpcxL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=0BDA4HSW011DQ84ESW82, 6 pack. Enough to surround the firepit or the bench.

Or:

http://www.amazon.com/Flickering-Friki-Makaha-Resin-Accent/dp/B005GQN0ZU/ref=sr_1_6?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1451860565&sr=1-6&keywords=tiki+statue&refinements=p_n_material_browse%3A3611116011

Or:
http://www.amazon.com/Flickering-Friki-Wooden-Accent-Standing/dp/B004T4K6LG/ref=pd_sim_86_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=41tAwWw%2BVRL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR85%2C160_&refRID=0BDA4HSW011DQ84ESW82 Only 12 inches tall, though. Really got to check the sizes on these!

These are all, I'm sure, very culturally insensitive, though. But maybe because they are all so obviously a mismatch of cultures, no one will be offended... Just throw in polenisan, aztec, and other tropical looking things, and it will be so confusing no one will know who to be offended for...
 
Sam Boisseau
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My idea: instead of spending those $250 on some amazon.com art of dubious origin, give the gift card to a local artist in exchange for his work...
 
Erica Strauss
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Sharla Kew wrote:I went to Amazon to try to find the goofiest, tackiest yard art possible to suggest for the Silly 250, but instead I found this which I actually really really like.



That's gorgeous! I like this one too - very Rivendell!

 
michelle salois
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Love this post and your sharing of your inner process Paul! so real
 
paul wheaton
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We are exploring ideas ....

We are talking about making the shopatorium better for movie nights. A popcorn maker, pads for the chairs, stuff to better facilitate our existing floaty chairs ....

Plus two woodburner kits so we get more signs.

 
paul wheaton
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I have a window open for this http://amzn.com/B00N18DLJA

12 really good salt shakers. Stainless. About $2 each.

I am thinking that one is for salt. That leaves 11 more for different flaves. One can be sugar, and another can be cinnamon. That leaves 9. Surely there can be 9 fun things that would go well with salt on popcorn and will keep well in the auditorium ...



 
Casie Becker
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My family routinely puts both Parmesan and Lemon Pepper on popcorn. (usually not together)
 
paul wheaton
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Pure silly fun, thanks to Bill Crim, 2015:



And we have put the willie smits sign there to keep it dry:



We are using one of the kathunka-kathunka label makers to put a message on the swing that it is a gift from bill crim.
 
paul wheaton
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For 2016 we spent a lot of time tossing around ideas. And this was the final order at $251.50:

To aid in pure silly fun by having more movie nights at the auditorium:


http://amzn.com/B00006IUWA



http://amzn.com/B00GFRO47C


A dozen of these (cuz the price got freaky cheap at a dozen) - the idea being that we will come up with a dozen different ways to flavor popcorn

http://amzn.com/B00N18DLJA


A five pound sack of fancy salt:

http://amzn.com/B00HVJI7KI


cinnamon:

http://amzn.com/B00ZGCCTDI


lemon pepper:

http://amzn.com/B001VNFI8O


to make kettle corn - canadian style

http://amzn.com/B000UYFKRY


I already have four "floaty chairs" that are rarely used:

http://amzn.com/B003P5EU7G


In an effort to see them used more often, I thought it might be wise to rig stuff up so that they can be put up and taken down more easily:

http://amzn.com/B000UKUOSI


http://amzn.com/B001LO47JO


And try one chair that has lots of comfort, like a floaty chair, but is a bit more grounded:

http://amzn.com/B0032UY0BU


And then we add in some of the other ideas from the brainstorming ....

For a while I liked the idea of adding more art as we name more things. Like how we have little sculptures of turtles in the turtle lot (although Jocelyn repeatedly points out that a lot of our "turtles" are actually "tortoises"). While doing that research we came up with one more for the turtle lot:


http://amzn.com/B00R2MWVO2


And one more wood burning kit to encourage more sign making:

http://amzn.com/B000EMBEY0


Thanks Bill!
 
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