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New rocket mass heater kickstarter  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
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I cannot think of anything more to polish. And now I'm worried that I've mismatched something in the rewards with something in the description.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulwheaton/1772769920?token=710b2d37

What have I left out? What might be another bit of polish?

 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
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I'm drooling. This looks so entertaining I'd get it even if I didn't have any interest in RMH's. And wait a minute, I don't actually want a rocket mass heater, the catchy music was just so catchy that now I think I can't live without one!

Seriously though, I think the only possible hole I could poke in this is maybe there won't be the same level of interest in the more detailed things than there was level of complaint about the low quality of video footage in the others. I think the shippable core video is the one I"d get if I were getting one. But, the only way to know the interest level is to kickstarter it and see what happens, and you probably already thought all this through anyway.

It looks great, I hope it gets mega-funded and I hope they legalize these things in my town yesterday and that you throw in a free blender.
 
Christian Burns
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We ended up buying wood stoves 2.0 on Amazon. I have to say this is awesome. I couldn't see any typos.
 
Landon Sunrich
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Yeah, this looks really good.

My one critic, and only because you and Erica and other have mentioned so many times wanting to appeal to a broader audience, your title photos totally appeals to the homesteader in me but not so much the soccer Mom. I mean, I guess those are the projects you work on in this dvd so screw it. But something that looks designer and pretty (like others I've seen floating around this site) may just take the appeal of this one to true world domination level.

Anyway, I'm behind it 100 percent. The soccer folks will have to catch up later or something I guess,
 
Dan Driscoll
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Looks excellent to me. I will purchase. I am a mason in MA. I will be building a series of these in my basement soon for my very large home which can all share one flue. I hope to contribute my skills and knowledge to this forum.
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Mat Smith
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Looks great, really good pricing and very professional presentation.

The only thing that I think might be constructive is to add to the descriptions what the specs are for the different video qualities, i.e. explain the difference between "digital download" and "HD streaming". For example:
Digital Download (480p)
HD Streaming (1080p)

This could help prevent disappointment for some people who might not get the quality of video that they were expecting.

Other than that GREAT STUFF!

Mat
 
Christian Burns
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I am wondering if you could have some kind of stretch goal for a 20 min documentary that would be free for all about how amazing and revolutionary RMH would be, posted to YouTube if you raise some crazy number, like 60k or 80k

 
Mat Smith
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Landon Sunrich wrote:appeal to a broader audience, your title photos totally appeals to the homesteader in me but not so much the soccer Mom.


Actually I think this is a really good point too.
I think something simple like a photo or 2 prominently displayed of some 'high end fancy looking' beautiful RMHs could really expand the appeal to a higher market?

I still think it's going to do AWESOME regardless!
I'm in this time around.
 
Dan Driscoll
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For some reason I cant find the pricing?
 
Walt Thornwald
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Presentation is well done. Just one thought.

If the dvd's don't literally give a 100% visual of how to create each of the different designs, don't bother. Some people learn better by seeing. Some by doing. Some by reading. Those who purchase a visual aid, such as a dvd, seem to learn in a hybrid manner - by seeing others doing.

And just for future reference? DVD sets with much talk and duplicative/repetitive intros on each disc are a major bummer. Most people get a wee bit peeved when they find that they've paid for reruns...

Just sayin'...
 
Julia Winter
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Dan, the pricing is along the left side of the screen, going from just $1 at the top to $4000 at the bottom. Personally I think the lowest price should be $2 or $3, and the other ones at the bottom all go up by $1 or $2 accordingly.

* * * *
I found a typo: in Risks and Challenges, second to last sentence; "biggist" instead of "biggest."
 
Tyler Morrison
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I think this looks really good. There aren't any problems or typos that I picked up.

It does a really good job of conveying an easy to follow progression of how this started, what your intentions are, and what the final product is going be. It gives people an excellent idea of what people can and should expect out of this, and that it directly addresses specific questions and issues that there is a demonstrated demand for and that nothing else adequately covers yet. While it is clearly geared towards people who already know about RMH's and are interested in them, it still has enough clearly spelled out information to spark the interest of people who have never heard of a rocket mass heater before.

I think it also helps that you've already demonstrated (and sited evidence) of your success in this arena before, especially for people who may not already be familiar with your work already.

Finally, I think your comments on being grateful for your kickstarter backers and wanting to provide them with all the perks you can will also work in your favor. Nice work on this! I'll be supporting it and spreading the word about it as soon as it goes live.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!
 
ari gold
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man, you definitely were an engineer.. those awards are some sort of complex-assed class hierarchy if I've ever seen one.

that being said, I think the kickstarter's pretty good. personally I'm trying to get more succinct but with this kinda stuff, in this day and age, prolly more is better. and I think that whole "you get something for $1 (or $2 or $3)" bit is pretty clever and very fantastic.

'lil confused by the $40 you get digital download but $50 you get streaming bit, but maybe I just have to think on it.

yeah, I'm aaaaaaall shits and giggles for this to open...
 
Nancy Sinclaire
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I may have just had 3 consecutive Monday record snow storms and not be able to get to my orchard trimmings wood supply. I may have just given birth at home and not be able to chuck wood for a few weeks. I may be 82 years old and not want to walk the icy path to the wood stack. ... I have the best coffee table ever. Lift the cloth and voila! Prepackaged, firewood. Call it bio blocks, or pellets or fake wood logs. I have them and they are waaaay easy to pop into the rocket mass heater. Will the delivery system handle them? I don't want to spend all day tending the fire due to my other needs.
 
Paige Scott
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I was just getting ready to order the old set but now I totally want the new set. It looks really amazing and I even sent it to a friend who is just starting to hear about these rocket mass heater things. I don't know how Kickstarter works really. If we give money, then we get stuff I get but what if all I want are the new DVD's Can't wait to support you campaign!!
 
Tom Trial
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Looks Great Paul! Looking forward to it!

But I think the download window should be bigger than the last kickstarter, I didn't have a problem with the downloads but it was a real possibility and I'd hate to miss the window!

Hopefully this starts AFTER PV2.

BTW, Didn't Diego say someone would have a rocket mass heater on display at PV2?
 
Robert Overturf
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I love it! I was originally thinking to myself that I had already spent the money on the first kickstarter, so I would sit this one out, but after seeing the video I am very excited to squeeze the funds out of the budget and make it happen.
 
Ronen Hirsch
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I am surprised to find myself saying this ... but ... well done Paul ... this follows my response to the previous kickstarter: http://permies.com/forums/posts/list/32554#253872

I didn't think I would be willing to back another one of your kickstarters ever again ... but here I am ... looking forward to it. It feels like you made a real effort to address the faults and shortcomings of the previous production and I appreciate and respect that very much.

Have you considered offering a bundle that will include Erica's new upcoming book (for shipping purposes, if for no other reason)?

I think the one thing "wrong" with this offering is that you are associating it with the previous RMH kickstarter. I think the previous DVD set does an injustice to you, your work, your intentions, Erica and Ernie and rocket mass heaters (yes, that is how poor a production I think it was). Reshoot it and reproduce it ... but otherwise discontinue that set.

The way you present it in the rewards also re-opens the wounds of how I felt cheated with it. You have essentially deprecated the $100 contribution I made to a value of $30 (or less). The only way I can see that as "right" is that it continues to line your pockets. In every other way, I can think of, it feels wrong. It is the one thing that curtails my enthusiasm for the new kickstarter.

I wish you well with the new production.
 
paul wheaton
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Landon Sunrich wrote:
My one critic, and only because you and Erica and other have mentioned so many times wanting to appeal to a broader audience, your title photos totally appeals to the homesteader in me but not so much the soccer Mom.


We have one that is supposed to be the beautiful poster child. But that one got put on hold a bunch of times. It is now running and we need to finish a couple of things and then finish the beauty part. But we just couldn't wait any longer to get this kickstarter started.

So, as with nearly everything here: we make the best of it.

 
paul wheaton
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Mat Smith wrote:
The only thing that I think might be constructive is to add to the descriptions what the specs are for the different video qualities, i.e. explain the difference between "digital download" and "HD streaming". For example:
Digital Download (480p)
HD Streaming (1080p)

This could help prevent disappointment for some people who might not get the quality of video that they were expecting.


I put that in a list for FAQ stuff.

the answer will be:

We are not sure of the exact, final resolution at this time. But in the past, the HD stuff has been about 8 gigs in size - too big to fit on one DVD. So we put that up for the HD streaming stuff. And for digital download, it seems that most people want stuff that will fit well on laptops and phones and stuff. So we ended up with something that was about 800 megs. I think the resolution was the same as most DVDs, but it was the more compressed MP4 format.
 
paul wheaton
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Christian Burns wrote:I am wondering if you could have some kind of stretch goal for a 20 min documentary that would be free for all about how amazing and revolutionary RMH would be, posted to YouTube if you raise some crazy number, like 60k or 80k



We tried that last time. I'm so used to giving everything away, that this is usually how I'm wired. And in the WDG kickstarter we tried something like that. And in my lightbulb kickstarter. It just seems that this doesn't go very far on kickstarter. So, I think the mission will continue to be to give away a lot of stuff and to sometimes sell stuff on kickstarter. And when doing stuff on kickstarter, be respectful of what makes the kickstarter audience happy.
 
paul wheaton
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Julia Winter wrote:
I found a typo: in Risks and Challenges, second to last sentence; "biggist" instead of "biggest."


Good catch! Fixed!
 
paul wheaton
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ari gold wrote:man, you definitely were an engineer.. those awards are some sort of complex-assed class hierarchy if I've ever seen one.


I've been biting my nails over that one too. I've flip flopped a few times on cutting the rewards down. In the end I keep coming back to the longer list.


'lil confused by the $40 you get digital download but $50 you get streaming bit, but maybe I just have to think on it.


I'll have something in the FAQ about that. I just made it up - look a few posts up from here and tell me if that helps.
 
Vida Norris
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I think it looks really good Paul. The video is very well done. It definitely feels worth it to have these dvd's out there so that there can be a really strong source for information. I have been wanting to put in a RMH for a few years now, but couldn't convince my husband. After hearing all your talk about RMH's though, he has changed his mind miraculously! So thank you Paul and hopefully this kickstarter is a major success. I do agree that it would be awesome to start seeing stuff about how pretty we can make RMH's but I feel like that's phase 2 - it would be good to just get all the basic (and advanced) info out there so people can feel confident in building, and then the fun part can be learning to make it beautiful.
 
Vida Norris
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Actually, just wondering - is there going to be anywhere on the page to make this easily sharable on social media? Not sure if that's something that can be put in or not but could be helpful in getting this kick starter around. People like shiny buttons usually

**edit** - just saw the "share this project" button. LOL. I guess it wasn't shiny enough for me
 
paul wheaton
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Tom Trial wrote:
But I think the download window should be bigger than the last kickstarter, I didn't have a problem with the downloads but it was a real possibility and I'd hate to miss the window!


I think last time we just did "Streaming". So everybody was set up and they have streaming forever. The only thing that was in a window was the podcasts, and we extended that and opened new windows several times. For that part, we offered it really cheap - and the only way to do that is with the cooperation of the receiver. I think we offered a 72 hour window which we expanded to about six weeks total. I think this time we gotta be more explicit to get the candy to folks in a timly manner and then be done.

Hopefully this starts AFTER PV2.


It will start sometime in the next 48 hours. So it will be going on DURING PV2.

 
paul wheaton
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Ronen Hirsch wrote: I think the previous DVD set does an injustice to you, your work, your intentions, Erica and Ernie and rocket mass heaters (yes, that is how poor a production I think it was). Reshoot it and reproduce it ... but otherwise discontinue that set.


I think WBS2 is a damn fine product. It is exactly what was asked for: "the workshop is sold out, could your record it for me? I'll pay for video." After interest was so high, we did our best to spruce it up a bit. Any credit for what is good about it goes to ernie, erica, caleb and bart.


The way you present it in the rewards also re-opens the wounds of how I felt cheated with it. You have essentially deprecated the $100 contribution I made to a value of $30 (or less).


I think $100 for four dvds of a sold out workshop was a damn good price.

I think the deprecation will always come with time for a technology that is evolving so rapidly.

 
paul wheaton
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Vida Norris wrote:Actually, just wondering - is there going to be anywhere on the page to make this easily sharable on social media? Not sure if that's something that can be put in or not but could be helpful in getting this kick starter around. People like shiny buttons usually

**edit** - just saw the "share this project" button. LOL. I guess it wasn't shiny enough for me


It is not yet ready for sharing. Right now we are in the "are we ready for prime time?" phase.
 
Dan Ellis
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There have been times when the language used in the videos has competed with the project objective of broad dissemination. I'd encourage you to raise the bar on the language content and explicitly set expectations as to the language content of the film. What some might see as the "full glory of the English language" (I think that's how Paul's described it) -- others might view as vulgar and offensive. For example, when I give some of my friends the video I provide a disclaimer "by the way, there are f-bombs." Several of my friends are very sensitive to such language and have handed back the video and politely declined to watch. How many backers of previous videos have felt similarly? If that language is edited out, being explicit about that might be more inviting to past backers. It will almost certainly increase the audience base and help achieve the objective of broadening dissemination.

It's hard for me to formulate a reason not to edit out language that competes with the objectives of the project. I just can't imagine that there are many people who will watch the video and think, "$#@!. I was so hoping for more f-bombs. I won't act on this. I won't share this with my friends."
 
paul wheaton
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Dan Ellis wrote:There have been times when the language used in the videos has competed with the project objective of broad dissemination. I'd encourage you to raise the bar on the language content and explicitly set expectations as to the language content of the film. What some might see as the "full glory of the English language" (I think that's how Paul's described it) -- others might view as vulgar and offensive. For example, when I give some of my friends the video I provide a disclaimer "by the way, there are f-bombs." Several of my friends are very sensitive to such language and have handed back the video and politely declined to watch. How many backers of previous videos have felt similarly? If that language is edited out, being explicit about that might be more inviting to past backers. It will almost certainly increase the audience base and help achieve the objective of broadening dissemination.

It's hard for me to formulate a reason not to edit out language that competes with the objectives of the project. I just can't imagine that there are many people who will watch the video and think, "$#@!. I was so hoping for more f-bombs. I won't act on this. I won't share this with my friends."


Good point. Gonna add this to the FAQ:

Will their be profane language?

I don't know. I fully enjoy "the full beauty of the English language" and some people have been trained to fear certain words. In other words, I prefer the Robin Williams school of English over the Brian Williams school of English. At the same time, I appear in less than 10% of the footage, and editors that are far better than I will be making the call on what goes in. I think if you fear words, you should probably not support this kickstarter. I think if you desperately need a fix of "the full beauty of the English language" then you might need to also search elsewhere. If, on the other hand, if you want to learn about rocket mass heaters and you don't care what language is used, then this kickstarter is for you! For more on this topic, I invite you to explore these two threads http://www.permies.com/t/37252/md/Word http://www.permies.com/t/12726/tnk/change


 
Patrick Freeburger
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I would like to see .pdf drawings showing the dimensions used to create RMHs in addition to the videos. From the last video set, I didn't have the confidence to rip up my living room and install one, but with some drawings I may feel a little better. Also, there was some mention on the threads about better materials for the shippable cores from the last workshop that was not shared with the general public. It there are specific materials recommended for the RMHs a list of materials needed and locations to buy them would be great additon to the videos.
 
paul wheaton
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Patrick,

I'm gonna put this into the FAQ:

Can I get drawings of the rocket mass heaters built?

Each drawing would require days of effort. Maybe weeks if we wish to show the progression. Maybe months to build an amazing book for each rocket mass heater. The current funding level just barely covers expenses of the DVDs. I suppose for drawings/plans we could do that as stretch goals (provided that we get funded) or maybe do a second kickstarter (again, provided that this project gets funded).
 
Rob Read
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Overall: very excellent. The kickstarter seems very well designed, and I look forward to supporting it. A couple of things:

1. I really like this thing the permaculture chickens Kickstarter did - they had a REALLY solid $1 reward. I think it was that you got a pdf that supported the DVD with lots of practical info. The big advantage, which I didn't see at first, was that the traffic from this cheap gift helped get them to the front page of the documentaries page on Kickstarter for most popular, and also was probably influential in getting them as a staff pick (ie. a staff person saw it was getting lots of traffic, watched it, and picked it). Maybe something like big wad of old podcasts on rocket mass heaters as a $1 gift? This would have the added bonus of getting people so interested that they would want to see the videos, and come back later to support at a higher reward, or later buy the dvds.

2. If you read only the rewards, (which I did first), it was confusing what the 8 dvd set was. Maybe describe it as the full 4 dvds, PLUS the old 4 DVD set as well. At first I thought the 8 disc set was all new content. The long description makes this clear, but honestly, I've supported kickstarters without reading the whole thing. Sometimes just the video, and looking through the rewards is enough to sell me on the project.

3. I would second the thought that this could somehow go hand in hand with Erica and Ernie's book kickstarter. How cool would it be to cross-promote these two products as working perfectly together, and one of the rewards on both of them could be to get both products. One products shows you how to do it visually, the other gives you important details like critical dimensions, and solid plans. Some people could get by with just one of them, but most people would probably want both if they were doing an install themselves for the first time without a mentor.
 
Shaz Jameson
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If not drawings, what about sketches? No need to go the full hog and have super technical drawings that would be the RMH manual. But even some thing in MS Paint could be an idea.

Anyway, I'm behind this kickstarter, excited to spread the RMH gospel
 
Christopher Baber
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Both have already been addressed, but my feedback is..

There are too many (confusing) funding options, and that the title of them are hard to parse out of all that text. At least make the finding titles (GLORY, COB, ETC) bolded, and maybe a bit bigger font, to make it easy to spot them.

The difference between download and streaming is not clear. I would normally expect downloadable content to be worth more than streaming only content, but in this case it's reversed. I see above that's because the download is a much, much lower quality than the HD streaming option.

Perhaps you should just offer streaming & downloading as one option, with different qualities being available to download. Sort of like YouTube offers different quality; but downloadable. FWIW, there are lots of ways/tools to download/keep streaming content already, so streaming = downloadable to me, and I prefer the highest quality possible. I can convert to lower quality to put on a phone or tablet myself, so having the highest quality archived is ideal for me.

Regarding quality of HD, 1080 is the goal, and is pretty achievable on even modest equipment these days, including most modern cell phones, so i suggest you just commit to 1080 and publish that as the HD quality that will be provided. If you plan to use footage you already have, which is not of this quality, it can be up scaled during production so the final product is all 1080, even if parts don't look so good due to lower quality footage being used.

With all that said, it looks good, and I'm planning on contributing. I need to build a RMH before next winter gets here.
 
paul wheaton
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I really like this thing the Permaculture Chickens Kickstarter did - they had a REALLY solid $1 reward.


I'm not certain, but I think they put that there because of my suggestion.


Maybe something like big wad of old podcasts on Rocket Mass heaters as a $1 gift?


Have you seen our $1 reward?


If you read only the rewards, (which I did first), it was confusing what the 8 dvd set was. Maybe describe it as the full 4 dvds, PLUS the old 4 DVD set as well.


Good point! Change made!


I would second the thought that this could somehow go hand in hand with Erica and Ernie's book kickstarter.


I have been working with Ernie and Erica on that. We have surprises for you!

 
Rob Read
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LOL - somehow I missed your $1 reward - which IS a solid sweet deal.

best,
Rob
 
paul wheaton
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Christopher Baber wrote:
Perhaps you should just offer streaming & downloading as one option, with different qualities being available to download.


I've reworked the rewards about five times flip flopping on that very idea. There is a long, complicated list of pros and cons for each path. And every time I would have the debate with myself, I would end up with the rewards where they are now.

If there is one thing I have learned from the previous kickstarters is: try to keep your fulfillment options open.

During the first rmh kickstarter we learned about the desire for streaming about halfway through the kickstarter. So we did way too much research - time that really should have been put to getting the word out about the currently running kickstarter. In the end we settled on doing it through youtube. Then, when the time came to hand out the candy, several days were burned up getting a powerful lesson in how broken youtube is for this sort of thing. Weeks were spent in learning how all of the options have upsides and downsides. Dozens of people gave advice for their favorite platform, only to find that things we needed were not offered at those places.

Some sites charge by the meg downloaded, and some charge by the month and some claim things that don't actually work and, of course, there is always the option of hosting it ourselves ...

So, the path laid out on this kickstarter did not come lightly. And your suggestion is the core of the biggest headache I've wrestled with for this kickstarter. It seems like things should be pretty simple in this space now - but .... damn.

 
Christopher Baber
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paul wheaton wrote:
Christopher Baber wrote:
Perhaps you should just offer streaming & downloading as one option, with different qualities being available to download.


I've reworked the rewards about five times flip flopping on that very idea ... And your suggestion is the core of the biggest headache I've wrestled with for this kickstarter.


Ha, sorry for adding salt to that wound. I'm certain you know more about the challenges than I do, so keep on going in the way that feels right to you. I look forward to the final product.
 
Eivind Bjoerkavaag
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Paul Wheaton you are such a tease... I believe I speak for all of us when I say it is long overdue, we're waiting to splash money in your direction to help you get momentum. Just get it out already!
 
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