Metatalktail Hour: Shop Talk July 15, 2017 6:45 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! bookmammal wants to know, "what was the last thing you purchased? Was it a "need" or a "want"?" You can skip routine life-maintenance purchases like groceries and gas and transit cards and things like that (because otherwise 75% of the answers will be "picked up groceries/got gas/loaded my transit card on the way home"). If you would like to cheat and say the last interesting thing you bought, or say the last thing you bought and also the last interesting thing you bought, I won't tell!

These threads are an open forum to chat about whatever you like, so feel free to share your thoughts on anything ... except the dreaded politics!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 6:45 PM (247 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

The last thing I bought was a wookie! I've actually bought a TON of toys this summer because all of my kids, all of my nieces and nephews, and all of my two best friends' kids have summer birthdays, so all I do in June, July, and August is buy toys for children under 8! One of the kids has a birthday party tomorrow, he loves Star Wars, I acquired a wookie.

My baby turned 1 this past week (so big! so fast!) and to commemorate the HORRIBLE GALLSTONES she gave me during pregnancy, I got her a plush gallbladder with gallstones. She loves him. Much reminiscing this week about her surprise, high-speed arrival!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:49 PM on July 15, 2017 [9 favorites]

Digital calipers. Needed to lay out the fretboard for my custom laminated throughneck P-J Bass.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:52 PM on July 15, 2017 [5 favorites]

Years after posting about it, I found a copy of Unmentionable Cuisine at a library book sale! (I mean, I don't need it, but holy crap, I was so amazed it turned up that I had to have it. My husband stole it promptly, so I haven't had the chance to read it yet. But I have it now, yay!)
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:00 PM on July 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

For years I'd seen one version or another of the classic "organize" illustration, never with attribution to the original.

I finally tracked down the original 1980 design, by designer and illustrator Bill Dobbs, and emailed Bill to ask him about it. I learned that he sells prints, so I bought one!
posted by duffell at 7:03 PM on July 15, 2017 [9 favorites]

I bought my son SPACE UNDERPANTS at Target, despite being extremely offended that they do not make such things in adult women's sizes.

(I want my ass to be out of this world!)
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 7:07 PM on July 15, 2017 [8 favorites]

The last thing I bought is a replacement stand for the tv so that the center channel speaker would fit under it. And it would. Except that I forgot to account for the height of the little feeties on the new stand sooooo it blocks maybe a centimeter of the center of the screen. There was embarrassment. At some point in the future there will be the purchase of a smaller speaker, ideally another Celestion 1 like the L/R.

More or less the next thing we're buying is the removal of four mature ash trees that were/are being killed by ash borers. Fucking homeownership, man.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:09 PM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

I decided this week that I am going on vacation in October. I have not bought plane tickets yet, but I will soon!

I don't know if this counts as being interesting, but today I bought a refill for the cat's feather wand. The countdown is on to see how long it takes before he's yanked all the feathers out of this one. This is refill no 3.
posted by janepanic at 7:12 PM on July 15, 2017 [4 favorites]

My last purchase was the book Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. I'm in the mood to read a huge sweeping saga and I heard about this on a book podcast this week and it sounded perfect. Technically I guess this is a "want" but as a book lover, pretty much all my book purchases are classified as "needs".

In other news... After six weeks of various tests and biopsies I found out yesterday that I do NOT have breast cancer! I still need to have a lumpectomy but it's a "let's just be safe" situation. So I am spending this weekend feeling grateful and relieved and I had the best nights sleep last night that I've had since Memorial Day weekend.
posted by bookmammal at 7:13 PM on July 15, 2017 [62 favorites]

A T-shirt. Hanes, plain and its comfy, yup.

I got car insurance but I received a reduction of a buck fity.

I love Flo
posted by clavdivs at 7:13 PM on July 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

I signed up/paid for a 3 month subscription to the online MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV. Best decision I've made in a long time, though ultimately one I didn't need to and this makes me exceedingly happy. I'm currently leveling up an Elven Archer.

My sister is visiting and I'm baking cookies, though not the old fashioned way. One of those tubes, I like to call them "cut and paste cookies". We're going to settle down and watch some Star Wars. The house smells like happy.
posted by Fizz at 7:16 PM on July 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

I bought plane tickets this week; I meant to buy them a couple of weeks ago, but got sidetracked. In the meantime, Southwest announced a sale and they were $100 less than when I had originally priced them - procrastination paid off!
posted by mogget at 7:20 PM on July 15, 2017 [4 favorites]

3 books. Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine, Hunger by Roxane Gay and I Thought It Was Just Me by Brene Brown. Sounds like a blast, huh? All about trauma and shame.

After 10 years of eating disorder recovery and a lot of fucking therapy, I am at the precipice of being truly healthy for the first time in my life. Sounds like hyperbole, but it's true. Cutting off contact with my family was the big catalyst and I'm in a new place in my life. It's both terrifying and very exciting.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:22 PM on July 15, 2017 [21 favorites]

This morning: 10 rolls of 120 color film. 5 Portra 400 and 5 Portra 800.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:28 PM on July 15, 2017 [10 favorites]

Craft supplies! Balsa wood and nails that became poster frames (for these free posters) and fabric that is in the process of becoming pajamas.
posted by zeptoweasel at 7:29 PM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

I bought a GPS unit with maps of 17,000 lakes shown with 1-foot contours (and chartplotter/sonar/ /fishfinder/bottom mapping) for my boat, Moxie. The boat came with a depth finder but it isn't very reliable--the alarm goes off unnecessarily--and there's a few unmarked hazards that treacherous (I was a passenger in a sailboat that hit one and it was terrible). I want to be able to take the boat on longer trips, even if it's just out to one of the marinas for dinner, without worrying about finding my way home in the dark. I don't know how to fish and doubt I will ever get into it--I only want to catch edible fish because I don't want to be pointlessly cruel to them, but that seems impossible--but I like seeing the schools of fish and the rare monster sturgeon swimming beneath me. It gets installed Tuesday.
posted by carmicha at 7:36 PM on July 15, 2017

Everything I buy can be probably mostly crammed into one of these categories: sustenance, shelter, transportation.

If the goal is to talk about consumption, I just had about a dozen different sample flavors of icecream, though. Yum. The winners were surprising to me: salted carmel flavored cashew icecream and marionberry/lemon (or something like that. It was purple and tasted like lemon).
posted by aniola at 7:39 PM on July 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

Wooohoo Bookmammal!!!

I bought an Amazon Echo on Prime Day and I've been badgering Alexa every few hours to tell me something.

Unrelatedly, we also started watching Archer on Netflix and I'm laughing my ass off and becoming a worse human with each episode.
posted by kimberussell at 7:44 PM on July 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

"I bought an Amazon Echo on Prime Day and I've been badgering Alexa every few hours to tell me something."

We've been experimenting with the Echo "messaging" where you can call someone who has the Alexa app on their phone (and have enabled the system) ... so my kids can ask Alexa to call dad of their own initiative in the evening when dad travels for work, and they can have a "speaker phone" conversation with him that all three of them can hear and he can read them a book and it's really nice!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:48 PM on July 15, 2017 [8 favorites]

I bought two chairs, one of which is orange and the other blue. They are for the most interesting thing that I plan to buy in the next week, which is a house. Knock wood, we close on Friday. I am starting to be more excited than terrified.

I don't understand how anyone picks out paint colors.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:49 PM on July 15, 2017 [7 favorites]

I bought a brace, a set of spoon bits, a tapered reamer, and a tenon cutter, thus rounding out my set of tools for making staked furniture. It was definitely a want rather than a need.
posted by jedicus at 7:50 PM on July 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

New Balance running shoes, $4.88 out the door from Goodwill. They appear to have been designed by a committee, in the pejorative sense of that phrase. Dots! Stripes! Rays! Color Gradients! Clear plastic badges (on the soles)! And text. Lots and lots of text. "new balance. Nergy. Stabilicore. Ndurance. NBx. Web Stability. (Or possibly that's supposed to read, Stability Web.) 1012. N."

I got them two sizes too large, for comfort. They look like clown shoes on me. Shoes that fit me hurt my feet now.

Obviously I don't run in these.

Before that, a 4-quart Farberware stock pot, the old fashioned kind with the unencapsulated aluminum bottom. I heedlessly left its predecessor empty on the electric stove and melted the aluminum off the bottom.
posted by Bruce H. at 7:50 PM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

I bought some summer shirts, linen and Madras. Summer wardrobe is always hard for me for some reason.

More interestingly, I recently tracked down a copy of "The Countryman's Cookbook" after reading about it in another book. It's from the 1940s, written by Haydn S. Pearson who I know almost nothing about. He was apparently the son of a preacher in a small New Hampshire town and wrote several books about life as a "Yankee". It's a very opinionated cookbook including paragraphs on the proper way to eat turkey (in soup) and the value of salt pork.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:54 PM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

A vacuum cleaner. The corners of my apartment are now, for the very first time, dust-free.
posted by btfreek at 7:56 PM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

The last thing I purchased, literally five seconds ago, was this pair of Fluevog shoes, which was my reward to myself for getting a new job and sticking with it even when it was super hard, and also a way of reminding myself that I matter and I can have nice things too sometimes. It is like my One Purchase For Self this month and I am super excited for its arrival.
posted by corb at 7:56 PM on July 15, 2017 [25 favorites]

Those shoes are fabulous, corb!
posted by carmicha at 8:05 PM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

I bought a Fuji Instax Mini and some film for it! I do not need another goofy camera, particularly such a sort of limited one but...but . . . I am a sucker for cameras and it's so green and adorable. I'm so excited! I used up all my Amazon points I've been saving forever and I'm so looking forward to taking it traveling.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:05 PM on July 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

There was a shitty old Lowrey organ at the ReStore in Bracebridge a few weeks ago visiting my parents and it was $10 (Canada Day Blowout!) so I couldn't resist. Here's my mom appreciating some tasty vintage Lowrey beats.
posted by chococat at 8:09 PM on July 15, 2017 [8 favorites]

My most recent non-routine purchase was one of these T shirts.
posted by flabdablet at 8:12 PM on July 15, 2017

Last week's MetaTalktail discussion led to my purchase. In describing the contents of my daily carry waist pack, I discovered that the back loop of my Leatherman tool sheath was tearing, most likely from years of carrying my wooden wand poked through the back of it.

Did an online search and found many nylon sheaths or sheaths made only for later models. Looked on Ebay and found 2 very well-worn and cracked leather sheaths of the correct size that cost almost as much as the tool did.

Sighed and closed the window. Later I thought I'd search again using different terms, this time I found a new-condition, shiny clean, not-cracked sheath due to a spelling error that the lister used and I had also mispellled (almost like a magic spell)!
posted by a humble nudibranch at 8:13 PM on July 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

An Elecom thumb trackball mouse. Right handed, because it was on sale for Prime Day, but I want the left hand version too. As far as I know, Elecom is the only company currently making a lefty version.

I have been a committed Logitech thumb trackball user for over 20 years, so it is nice to try out something new.

Also in that order: some Sugru. Which might come in handy because the Elecom mouse has an inconvenient switch that could cause problems if left as is. Other than that switch, I quite like it.
posted by monopas at 8:14 PM on July 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

I was at the Museum of Natural History in Ottawa, and I bought a postcard for my four-year-old niece. I've been thinking for awhile that I would like to start writing her letters and things so she gets mail and thinks of me fondly, but I haven't actually done it. And then I was in the gift shop looking for something inexpensive I could send her and decided to combine the two.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:20 PM on July 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

We had a fire drill during the week and in the disorganised chaos of people milling around outside the building (our evac point was not communicated well), I slipped away and picked up some thermal leggings from an adventure store.

Sometime in the last few years, a flip in me switched and I was like "I'm too old to pretend I'm not cold anymore. I don't care if no one else is."

Consequently, I've been wearing the thermals under my chinos all week at work. I feel like I have a sensual, delicious, toasty secret that no one else knows about.
posted by smoke at 8:34 PM on July 15, 2017 [5 favorites]

I purchased an opiate overdose response kit! I'm doing some work where I'm around folks who might need such treatment and live in a place where there's a fair bit of heroin use, so I want to be prepared to assist anyone who needs it. I have done overdose response before and have obtained training in how to use nalaxone, so I figured it'd be good to carry a kit at all times.

Today, I also ascended in brogue for the first time! The seed was 147451391. I found a +3 flail early on and some +3 splint mail of reflection that I pumped to +13, so I was able to resist dragon attacks and other spells that were thrown at me. I've been working on ascending for the first time for a few years, so I'm stoked.

Also, I have a MetaTalktail Hour topic idea: What can you do better with your non-dominate than your dominate hand?
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 8:38 PM on July 15, 2017 [9 favorites]

I don't understand how anyone picks out paint colors.

The easy answer is to just paint it rainbow. That's what we're doing.
posted by aniola at 8:41 PM on July 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

Exciting Friday night skin care purchases on the internet! Fresh out of vitamin C for the ol' facemeats so I ordered new serums from the Ordinary.
posted by clavicle at 8:41 PM on July 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Excommunicated Cardinal: Bowl! I got my only turkey with my non dominant hand once.
posted by aniola at 8:43 PM on July 15, 2017

$20 in Skeeball tokens, which were turned first into 543 price tickets, and ultimately an American flag basketball and two Chinese finger traps, as well as an hour's worth of entertainment for my 10 year old nephew.
posted by jenkinsEar at 8:43 PM on July 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm ridiculously frugal, so I had to actually search my records for non-grocery/gas/maintenance items. Assuming work essentials (label maker tape and file folders) similarly don't count, I'll say Scrivener for Dummies (because I've had the software a year, have taken two webinars, and still haven't figured it out). But if we're going for either interesting or over $10, we have to head back a few months (seriously, I mostly buy food!), when I bought an Origami Rack 6-tier bookshelf on sale. I am just nuts about Origami Rack (no, I don't own stock and I'm not an affiliate) -- none of their racks and shelves require tools to put together (which is good, because I'm a klutz). You just open them up, accordion-style (or, as my mom says, ironing board-style), and once you unbox them, it takes just a minute or two to set them up fully.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 8:47 PM on July 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

I bit on a Prime Day deal and got a couple of WeMo outlet switches for my lamps, because I was tired of having to turn off three light switches (one of which is sort of behind a didgeridoo) and turn a dial to shut off the lights when I head to bed. Now I turn off two light switches, hold down the button on the Dash Wand I have on the fridge, and say "lights off." Living the home automation dream over here!

I had been putting that off for years, paralyzed by the number of competing options, so getting around to replacing my landlord's light switches with smart ones could take a while longer yet.
posted by zachlipton at 9:03 PM on July 15, 2017

OMG jenkinsEar I fucking LOVE skeeball and can play for hours and hours.

The last thing I bought was a totally self-indulgent self-care item: this beautiful tampico fiber and oak nail brush from Terrain. I work in the dirt, I play in the dirt, and I wanted a beautiful nail brush to get the dirt out from my fingernails that actually works well, doesn't break, and would also look pretty near my sink. It was totally a little gift to myself. I'm not big on "fancy" things like that but it's something I use all the time so I went for some quality. And it is all those things! Every time I use it I feel so awesomely worldly and fancy and it works beautifully! And it's so pretty. My new nail brush is totally enchanting.

Really, it is the small things in life that make it awesome sometimes.
posted by barchan at 9:04 PM on July 15, 2017 [4 favorites]

I just bought a spray bottle, as a fastidious colleague at work has been raving about the magical cleaning powers of Dawn and vinegar, especially for soap scummy showers. I'd never heard of it before but apparently it's a Big Deal on Pinterest. It's a boring purchase BUT really I am buying The Promise of A Sparkling Clean Shower, which is a joyful thing because I have been bathing with scum for too long. TOO LONG!!
posted by emeiji at 9:09 PM on July 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

Prime Day. Using his student trial Prime account, Xbox game for son's upcoming birthday, books, fire tablet so I can put myself to sleep with podcasts or videos. Book I'm most excited about: Behave, which I am reading with a group. But also the 1st 3 books of the gunslinger series, and maybe my son will read them with me. Books were also sent to grandbaby.
posted by theora55 at 9:18 PM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

I bought a 15L Sea to Summit eVent dry compression stuff sack. It was a need in that I have been using a 20L, but its just too large and has been a pain in the ass to stuff into my backpack.

I'm back for a few days. I've hiked about 1/3 of the Colorado Trail. I have a job interview on Monday, and depending on how that goes, I'll be headed back out for some more stomping on new dirt as soon as the new bag arrives.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:26 PM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

I bought Cinema 4D Broadcast. Every job listing in my field requires it, whether the job actually needs it or not. So I decided it was time to learn that software, instead of just knowing 3D in general. It's a lot of fun. I'm already using it for work.

Before that I bought a bunch of Lego bricks. I was making a dslr-based slide "scanner" (inspired by some posts on the blue and green). Lego is my rapid prototyping system. The prototype worked pretty well, but I didn't have enough Technics parts for the "production" model, so I looked online and found a Lego inventory aggregator. You can buy individual bricks for pennies apiece! It's really easy to spend more than you intend... of course, this was for photographic equipment, so I go all black parts. The unit has a cradle for the dslr and a negative/slide holder with a worm-drive height adjuster.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 9:33 PM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

posted by fieldtrip at 9:36 PM on July 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

I went to Fargo last week for a medical appointment, which is a 6-hour drive from my town. To make the trip more enjoyable, I bought Jason Isbell's three most recent solo albums. That was a truly excellent decision--I had two hours and sixteen minutes of blissful travel each day I was on the road.
posted by epj at 9:45 PM on July 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

I bought a bag of gummi bears and I can't wait to dig into 'em!
posted by moonmilk at 9:52 PM on July 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

The last notable purchase I can recall was a cheap nylon hammock, because I've been doing lots of urban camping lately. I'm still getting the hang of hammocking - finding good places to hang it, insulating adequately, etc., but if I can get it figured out it'll probably be more compact than the tent.

In other news, I've been swimming in the river every day and experimenting with different ways to braid my hair afterwards, both of which are great fun.
posted by sibilatorix at 9:53 PM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

What great news, bookmammal!

My most recent purchase was a print of this comic, because that is exactly the sentiment I want hanging on my wall right now. I'm also getting ready to order some spokes for my first foray into wheelbuilding, so that my bike-in-progress may one day roll. I'd have bought them a while ago, but I'm indecisive and have long been on the fence about whether to save a few bucks with straight-gauge spokes or go for double-butted. One half of my brain says "the difference is only a couple percent of the total cost of the bike, so just get the good spokes" and the other half says "30 bucks is 30 bucks."

I guess these both count as wants, although the bike will be a nice upgrade in my daily commute assuming I don't screw anything up in the construction. It'll probably be a couple of months before I have the time to finish it, unfortuntely.

In other news, this week the North American Monsoon finally showed up here in Arizona! Somehow, every year I forget how stupidly hot the summer is, and how welcome the thunderstorms are.
posted by egregious theorem at 9:54 PM on July 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

I just bought what may be the only surviving copy of a mid-Victorian religious novel (this is up from my earlier estimate that there were no surviving copies, thanks to the BL copy being destroyed during the Blitz). Now let's see if it survives the mail...
posted by thomas j wise at 9:57 PM on July 15, 2017 [6 favorites]

Put it on project gutenburg and share the link in projects!
posted by aniola at 10:09 PM on July 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

The last thing I bought was a red bird of paradise. My best friend's mom passed away a few weeks ago, and she adored hummingbirds to the point of having a tattoo of one done, her first tattoo, on her shoulder as she lay in her hospital bed in hospice. The tattoo was done by a dear old friend of mine, and I have a matching one on my ankle, with my best friend's on the back of her neck. Mom helped us pick the colors for ours. So with her passing, I have been filling our tiny yard with hummingbird attracting flowers (salvia, manzanita, kangaroo paw). I flew to Phoenix last week for work, and they have red birds of paradise growing everywhere, and I fell in love with them. So upon my return, off I went to a nursery today, to buy my own and plant it in my sunny Sacramento yard. Now I just wait for the hummingbirds, right? They will come, won't they? Because seeing them somehow makes me feel closer to her, and the broken heart seems to fade just a tiny bit when they hover nearby.
posted by routergirl at 10:11 PM on July 15, 2017 [18 favorites]

After years of keeping an eye out for it, I just bought myself The Nero Wolfe cookbook as a birthday present to myself. Saucisse Minuit might be a bit ambitious, but I'm looking forward to starting out with the Eggs au Buerre Noir.
posted by haruspicina at 10:11 PM on July 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

A copy of The Wind in the Willows for a friend. I've bought more copies of this particular book than any other over the years for various reasons, or people.

+ + + + +

Not much has happened here of late, hence I've been quiet. Someone left 45 bars of Cadbury's chocolate and a few other chocolate products at my back door at some point overnight, and there's an AskMe about it if you want to ponder the integrity of it.

Elsewhere in my temporary and little part of the world, the badgers have stepped up their digging in the local graveyard. There is an informal competition amongst the neighbors on who can find the largest body part that they've left on the surface (all of the remains are several centuries old, and from unmarked and untraceable graves or burials). Reg took the lead last week with an impressive length of spine; I'm still hoping for my first skull. As with all the other parts, our bone-weary minister - who reassuringly likes a nice mug of tea and a lump of cheese for sustenance - has to deal with the bureacracy, and also arrange yet another internment service.

But mostly when not working, looking for work, or when just fed up of looking at the screen, I've been getting out for walks and going to local events. High summer has passed and the nights are gradually starting to draw in. Yesterday was also the first time in several months I've worn a fleece over the usual t-shirt, and the lower temperatures are most agreeable. I'm nearly back on track for 2017 to be the fourth consecutive year I've managed 1,500+ miles in walks and hikes. Therefore, a few observations from my travels...

The challenges at village fetes and shows change over the years. I quite like the "water or wine" games that are now commonplace at these events, where you pay a quid and pick a disguised (usually by newspaper or wrapping paper, depending on how posh the event organisers are) bottle. Unwrapping reveals whether you've got a bottle of mineral water, tap water (if they are going for maximum profit) or wine. I'm quite lucky at winning alcohol at these kind of events, had one go, won, and promptly retired (quit while you are ahead).

A local church also produced a most splendid fete, apart from there being too many tombola stalls. The best way you can tell the wealth and demographics of a community in England is by the quality of the prizes on these stands at their annual summer event. If it's detergent and bleach from the pound store: this is not a wealthy community. If, on the other hand, it's fine wines, jams prominently from Waitrose as opposed from the Tesco value range, perhaps a gift box from a deli containing eight cheese of which at least five have French names, then you're in a rich place, or a place where the locals pretend to be rich. Remembering the English saying of "Three cars in the driveway but no food in the fridge" and other variations.

But apart from every other stall being a tombola stall, the church fete was a pretty good one. I got to speak to the local MP yet again, as well as our trendy vicar. Visitors, of which there were many, could wander around all of the church, and go up into the bell ringing tower, or stare at the 350 year old carved "chair of the lady with the big boobies" and make innuendo-laden comments to each other. Which reminds me to do an FPP about the TV series 'Allo 'Allo one day.

And it was at another fete that I discovered the marble game. I loved this game and spent way too much money on it, as myself and several locals got into an increasingly competitive spiral of playing. Basically, it's how many marbles you can scoop up with a tablespoon and put through the hole of an upturned plant pot in one minute. It isn't easy and as the afternoon wore on several of us developed strategies. I was leading right to the very last try by someone else and was narrowly beaten into second place. Being very English, we solemnly shook hands while I promised (inside my head) that at least eight generations of my family to come will wage battle with eight generations of his. Because we are English and some of us still hold grudges from the third civil war (don't get me started on that - TOO SOON).

As I left the fete, I heard the organiser on the marble game stand speculate that they had taken so much they may be able to build a new wing on the village hall.

Oh, there have also been sunsets, and a graduation I gatecrashed by mistake. It was good, and I clapped and took the odd picture, while having the odd pang of regret because I never went to my graduation as I could not afford it. Maybe if I do manage to complete a PhD, either in Scotland, Europe, the US or wherever I end up depending on circumstance, love, opportunity or whatever, I will finally do the mortar board and cloak thing.

Yesterday, the weather was good, I felt good, I had no appointments or calls or timetabled obligations today, and I was thirsty. As the local church bells struck 11, I thought "A walk! No reason not to!", and by 11:10 I was out of the house, and another ten minutes later out of the town.

A few observations: the maize is already quite high. Not Iowa high, but England high, indicative of the intense weather of late. Cereal crops are doing pretty good too and a few combine harvesters were out doing their epic strim. Also, on the country lanes at least, I continue to argue that no-one at all in this county can drive (properly), as evidenced by the cars zooming past - not always on the right side of the road - at speed, and the proliferation of skid marks and bits of vehicles strewn around the countryside.

My favourite pub or bar this side of the Mississippi was a good place to stop, about halfway round. The one downside of going for a spontaneous walk is that I usually forget to pack something and this time it was a flask of coffee. Hence Pauline the landlady was somewhat startled to receive a somewhat disheveled hiker literally pleading for caffeine as the first lunchtime customer. Splendid caffeination was enjoyed. Some locals - all of whom I recognise from previous visits and am on nodding terms with - ambled in, as did the postman, someone looking for a lost goose, and a delivery man with a parcel I signed for as Pauline was out back feeding her horse.

Pip the pub dog showed his usual interest in me, until someone more likely to feed him turned up and then all interest was lost. I spotted the fixture list for Pateng ... Petangu ... Petenque ... posh bowls and considered timing my next trip perhaps for when there's a match on.

The second half of my walk threw up more observations: my 20 year old Ordnance Survey map is hilariously inaccurate in places, especially around villages which have become towns over time. This part of the world is also, as mentioned, horse country, which is okay if you are into that kind of thing and not the kind of person who horses like to bite. The blackberries on south-facing slopes are ripening quickly now (round here the harvest for these lasts a good five months of the year if you know where to look). If you've just done 80+ mph past me on a narrow lane and I come across you less than a mile later, in a ditch with a crumpled front end, then nope I am not lending you my phone so you can ring a garage and also I am not your "mate". And as you begin to swear at me, I really enjoy strolling on by and giving you the finger. "Mate".

+ + + + +

A word of caution about English or British cuisine.

A few weeks ago found me at a communal picnic table. There are several other people around the table, mostly moms with their youngsters (it's a village school fete). Most of us are eating giant scones, loaded with cream, from the stand behind us. These are seriously large, and with a ridiculous amount of cream and jam on them. Some people bought two and, partway through the second one, were obviously regretting their greed.

Opposite me are an elderly couple, I'd say in their seventies. She is talkative and domineering, he somewhat submissive. He's also not having a good time eating the scone, and is getting most of the cream on his chin, cheeks and nose, rather than in his mouth. After a while, he's starting to look like he has a patchy Santa Claus beard.

She looks at him, sighs, and says (this will always be burnt into my memory):

"Oh, Gerald! You look like one of the actors in those [specific hardcore act] videos that Thomas watches on the Internet."

Several of us glanced at each other with "Did she say what I thought she said?" looks. One of the young children - you know how young children hear everything - asks her attendant mom:

"Mummy; what is [specific hardcore act, pronounced slowly and badly]?"

The mom frowns, says "I don't know, sweetie. I'll Google it" and gets out her smartphone.

At which point several of us make urgent "No no no this is not a good idea" signals and noises at her. One of the other moms whispers in her ear. Her eyes turn wide, then ferociously glares in the direction of the elderly lady. "I think you should leave NOW", she spits out, loudly enough for several people nearby to turn round and stare. And she hurriedly did, literally dragging Gerald, who is still wiping cream off his face and now somehow his ears, forehead and hair, with her.

I wondered, on the walk home, whether the mom would be dreading a phone call from her daughter's school the next day, about some kind of incident where the other children learned a very naughty word.

And that, my friends, is why you should be careful when eating cream-laden scones in public in England.
posted by Wordshore at 10:14 PM on July 15, 2017 [65 favorites]

I spent 7l of gas going the long way home three weeks ago after not being home for 10 days and it was glorious. Mid 30s, low humidity, clear blue sky, though maybe a bit windy, windows down, moonroof back, leisurely cruise. This particular long way is scrub bush and sagebrush which was also a nice break from oppressive greenery.
posted by Mitheral at 10:14 PM on July 15, 2017

Wordshore: you live a fascinating life. Thank you for sharing it with us.
posted by zachlipton at 10:23 PM on July 15, 2017 [7 favorites]

I've been laid off since March so 99% of my money goes to bills and things that keep me alive. Any discretionary funds are spent on the occasional night out with friends. But, my cats ruined my bathmat so I went to Target to get another and I just couldn't bear to get the cheapest piece of shit, so I got a memory foam with super soft loops and it is luxurious.
posted by AFABulous at 10:29 PM on July 15, 2017 [7 favorites]

sibilatorix, I would love to hear more about your urban camping with a hammock! Especially how you avoid getting rousted or arrested. I'd probably do a lot more hammock camping if I didn't have to ride a train three hours and then hike three hours to get there.

I'm waiting for delivery of a bunch of fabric and fancy rope with which I hope to make a new tarp and hammock.

I just spent all day splicing Amsteel for the suspension. If you're not used to modern high-modulus rope, it's amazing. It's stronger than steel cable per unit weight and per unit cross-sectional area, and it's a hollow braid so it can be spliced just by running one piece down the middle of the other piece. Under tension, the outer "sheath" tightens up like a Chinese finger trap and grips the inner "core" with 95+% of the original strength. And if you do it right (search "whoopie sling" and "utility constrictor rope" if you're curious) the splices are adjustable, so you can make adjustable-length ropes without hardware.

DIY camping equipment is kind of magic, actually. $25 of materials and a weekend of labor gets me a tarp that would cost me $100-$200 to buy. The key, of course, is that the commercial manufacturers consider labor an expense and I consider the labor a profit. Even if I had to give the tarp away afterward, I'd probably be willing to pay $25 for a weekend's entertainment making it.

Now if only the camping weren't so miserable. I like the hiking, and the scenery, and the food, and the whole sleeping under the stars experience, but I also like going to bed clean, and that just doesn't seem to be an option in the woods.
posted by d. z. wang at 10:37 PM on July 15, 2017 [5 favorites]

The last truly interesting thing I bought (other than books, which are always interesting) is my first ever new car. In the bright blue! It's lovely and I haven't named it yet.
posted by suelac at 10:38 PM on July 15, 2017 [4 favorites]

My last major non-boring purchase came with help from Ask Metafilter- I was too dumb to even know what I needed and people were kind and helpful. Anyway, I have been loving my running vest the last couple weeks. It doesn't bounce at all and I am sure my dopey canine companion enjoys anything that gets me out of the car faster and less frustrated so he can go be a nutball.

Speaking of nutballs, one of my best friends from high school is a couple minutes away from finishing this. I can't even. You start to think you are kind of fit and then it turns out there is a whole bother bonkers level it makes you hurt to think about.
posted by charmedimsure at 10:40 PM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Stumbled into an arts festival by my house that I'd forgot was happening and impulse-bought the best t-shirt ever.
posted by ActionPopulated at 10:49 PM on July 15, 2017 [7 favorites]

OK, I am incredibly frugal so I haven't bought anything recently, but I did find a really nice pair of shorts in the clothing bin outside my apartment the other day, so I am happy about that.

Oh and I also have a fondness for trash bikes! Last year a colleague of mine was leaving the country and offered me her bike. I had coincidentally just gotten another third hand clunker, but knew my neighbor's daughter was looking for something so I took it. I gave it to the neighbor and promptly forgot about it. Then about six months ago my junk bike become unusable due to flat, rotten tires and a broken chain. I was disappointed, but it was cold at the time so I just started driving to work instead and forgot all about it. Out of the blue, last week my neighbor mentioned that he had upgraded his bike and asked me if I wanted his old one. He said I was the first person he asked because I gave his daughter a bike last year, which I totally forgot about! Jackpot! I got a new trash bike to beat on, yahoo!
posted by Literaryhero at 11:10 PM on July 15, 2017 [4 favorites]

I am in major rebuild mode since a major move. However, I suffered shopping sticker shock yesterday trying to find a backpack for the daughter ($130+) and an emergency pair of Keen sandals because my emergency walking shoes were making my feet bleed (+$170) Let this be a lesson in trying to learn how to shop in a new city. Also, to not leave your shoes outside your door where the theft of said shoes necessitates emergency purchasing.
posted by jadepearl at 11:14 PM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Last thing I bought that wasn't food/drink/smokes was stuff for my fishtank that was ordered on the 2nd. I bought two pouches of Purigen and some of this stuff that is needed to recharge the Purigen I was pulling out of the tank. And I got another brand of goldfish food to spice up my little guys diet.

I just have a small tank with some live plants and 4 little 7 cent feeders. Kinda shocked I have kept them all alive over the last year.
posted by johnpowell at 11:43 PM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

I impulse-bought a couple of cheap joinery saws, on the supposition that someday I may want to tackle some wood-related hobby projects.
There was only one of each saw left on the wall o' saws, a sign (I don't really believe in signs, I tell myself) that I should buy them rather than waiting.

I also bought a tiny, adorable barrel cactus at the same store.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 11:49 PM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Since it was the baby's first birthday, I went back and read the metatalk from when she was born and awwwwww I love youse guys.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 12:03 AM on July 16, 2017 [7 favorites]

To celebrate my birthday I bought a ticket to War of the Planet of the Apes, a medium popcorn, and a large diet Coke. Then I followed the matinee up with a trip to the bookstore, where I purchased a $4 Stephen King book off the remainders table and a large iced latte made with nonfat milk. The only time I buy dead tree books anymore is when they're cheaper than the Kindle versions.

I'm gonna miss the ape movies. They're flawed but something about the way Caesar was portrayed really punched me in the gut.
posted by xyzzy at 12:08 AM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Two FitBits.

I can explain.

I decided that I wanted a FitBit, to keep track of exercise, so that I'd exercise more. From a local Buy Nothing group, I got a used FitBit Flex - which I promptly destroyed by accident two weeks later, by showering with it on. I check the FitBit site, the Flex is 50% off, and I figure that I can splurge on $40 to replace it.

Now, if you're unfamiliar with the Flex, it has a clasp that can come undone, and the Flex can fall off your wrist. Which promptly happened, 72 hours after I got it. Feeling dismayed that two FitBit Flexes have gone to meet their Maker in the space of three weeks, I whine to FitBit Customer Service, asking when the Flex will go on sale again. They have no idea, but that's a string of bad luck, would a 25% off coupon for a new FitBit help?

Yes - yes it would. Feeling that 1. I need a FitBit with a better clasp, and 2. I need a more professional looking watch for job hunting, I splurged and ordered the FitBit Blaze with that coupon, at school. What impeccable timing, because as soon as I got home, I had found that someone returned my second FitBit Flex. Which I'm going to keep as a backup FitBit.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:33 AM on July 16, 2017 [5 favorites]

I bought some records from a charity shop yesterday afternoon. One has both of the Shostakovich piano concertos on it, with Eugene List as the soloist; the second has some more Russian piano concertos, this time Rimsky-Korsakov's, Prokofiev's (his 1st) & Glazunov's, with the wonderful Sviatoslav Richter the pianist. The third record was a 10" disc on the Melodiya label with only Russian text on the sleeve that I was unable to construe on the spot, but which I bought anyway as it was only a pound. It turned out to feature rousing choral & orchestral renditions of the Soviet anthem and the Internationale...
posted by misteraitch at 12:59 AM on July 16, 2017 [6 favorites]

corb, your boots are lovely, and spinifex23, I miss my Fitbit and hope your new ones behave!

I bought a sewing machine! It's a Janome 7025, and I've been planning this for a couple of years as my celebration for paying off my student loans. I also bought some spare needles, and I've been amassing fabric and patterns on trips because Ireland's retail options for dressmaking are pretty crappy these days.

I am so. excited. It's been years since I've had a working machine, and this is exactly the hobby I need right now.
posted by carbide at 12:59 AM on July 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

I think the last purchase I made (that wasn't just food, or stuff I got reimbursed for) was probably during the Steam Summmer Sale. I bought Sunless Sea. I have been enjoying it immensely. My captain has somehow acquired a taste for human flesh.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:00 AM on July 16, 2017

Oh, and I'd classify my FitBits as a 'need'. I have a hysterectomy coming up, and i want to be in the best possible shape for it.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:02 AM on July 16, 2017

I bought in-ear headphones for the gym. I kind of am already regretting it, because my ears are really tiny and even the smallest size tips of the last pair I bought, years ago, wouldn't go in. Hopefully these ones will.

Relatedly I've changed gyms and am feeling weirdly anxious about going to the new one. :(
posted by Panthalassa at 1:14 AM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

after my SO's first visit to Disney World almost a year ago she is quite hooked and has gone from disney vacation sceptic to full blown fanatic. This is fascinating because she does not come from a culture where visiting a Disney park is a childhood rite of passage, but she simply fell IN LOVE with the place after our first visit. So our latest purchase was a bunch of Disney Vacation Club points from a member to stay in a villa in the Polynesian hotel for our next visit. Doing the math this ends up saving us quite a bit when compared to a "normal" hotel stay, so we're quite content and looking forward to our next visit already.
posted by alchemist at 1:25 AM on July 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

I bought a small cut glass bowl with lid for the purposes of storing the various bits of Swedish liquorice I bought in Stockholm last week, partially so I don't forget what I have but mostly because having sampled them all, I had too many open bags. (I am particularly fond of the salty liquorice, which is why I almost always have salmiak lakerols to hand). Definitely a want, not a need.

(The most ridiculous 'want' that I bought recently was a cat shaped teapot, which my husband then followed up by getting me the matching cat shaped biscuit tin, so now I have two entirely ridiculous cat shaped things that bring me much ridiculous joy.)
posted by halcyonday at 1:34 AM on July 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

My last purchase was at Value Village two days ago, where I bought a man's plaid flannel shirt (women's plaid shirts seem to consistently be of a crappy quality) and a little basket.

I don't really think in terms of need vs. want. For me it's more about how much I'll use something.
posted by orange swan at 2:10 AM on July 16, 2017

I am cheating and listing the last three significant things I bought (or booked).

This perfect IKEA water bottle
for the thirsty teacher is appropriately non-branded, large enough to hold enough water for me to get through a two-hour lesson and unlike every other plastic item sold in this city, does not feature a cartoon character or brand other than the colour green (which is the best colour). I had been looking for months and I love it.

Janet Mock's new book Surpassing Certainty was the last book I popped onto my Kindle and I'm devouring it. I've never read a biography by someone my age! Janet's life is both deeply different to my own and yet the similarities - what it is like to navigate your twenties and early thirties and, yes, begin to achieve and then surpass certainty - are striking and inspiring.

My Christmas break hotel in Bangkok, Tints of Blue - a lovely little hotel/guesthouse right near the Asok/Sukhumvit crossing so close to where so many of my favourite bars and restaurants are, as well as many of my friends. This year momdonley is joining me! Very excited. :)
posted by mdonley at 3:54 AM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

A Torx T10 screwdriver to attempt to repair my xbox. Didn't work.
posted by lmfsilva at 4:11 AM on July 16, 2017

An OXO Ice Cream scoop. The old scoop that we had was made of aluminum. So it was corroded by dish washer soap. Then we got one of those scoops with the little flippy scraper thing in the bowl. It bent into uselessness on some hard ice cream. I was watching Good Eats last night and Alton did a piece about ice cream scoops. This is the kind that he recommended. Immediate purchase.
posted by Splunge at 4:40 AM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

A pair of Eileen Fisher tencel linen latern pants in olive. It's been too damn hot for denim.
posted by jazzbaby at 4:46 AM on July 16, 2017

My oldest friend got married yesterday - we meet in Salem Massachusetts when I was 6 months old and she was 7 months old and our moms walked past each other in a park while pushing strollers with babies the same age. I had a dress to wear to the wedding, but it was knee length and my legs are currently covered with bug bite scars and I was really unhappy about looking like I had smallpox or some other terrible disease. My mom kept saying it was fine, but she had to run out to get stockings, so I asked if we could stop at Kohl's.

I found a really nice, ankle length dress and my mom got a new shirt, and it was on sale and we found a $50 gift card in the bottom of my wallet that I didn't remember having and we had a 15% off coupon, so all in all it was only $15!

The wedding was successful and beautiful, up on a hill overlooking Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire. Instead of a champagne toast, everyone did shots of Uzo at the end of the speeches. Since my parents don't drink, I had a fun night and a slightly less perky morning than I could have. It was a little sad being 29 and single, hanging out at a wedding with my parents, but we had a lot of fun and it was so nice to see my friend get married to a wonderful, sweet, kind guy!
posted by ChuraChura at 5:22 AM on July 16, 2017 [20 favorites]

Yesterday I bought a new pair of sneakers and a minivan.
posted by saladin at 5:36 AM on July 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

On vacation in Germany - I loaded up on stuff I can't (easily)get in the US:
- loads of marzipan (for friends)
- Weleda mouthwash (for friends)
- fennel tea (for a friend's baby)
- a dirndl dress pattern and a bunch of cotton print fabric to make matching dirndls for me and the girls
- organic cosmetics, toothpaste, and some medications
- crayons and other art supplies for the kids
- a super duper Knipex brand tool for DIY plumbing projects
- tissues. German tissues rule.
I'm bummed however because I'm still unable to buy German ebooks. Seems like my Amazon account is registered under a US address and thus I'm not allowed to purchase German language ebooks :( Maybe this would be worth an Ask but maybe I'm too lazy to post one...
posted by The Toad at 6:25 AM on July 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

I forgot to specify that I needed new shoes. My previous every day shoes were a 24 year old pair of Nike hiking boots. The cleated soles had come off about ten years ago and they both had holes under the big toes.
posted by Bruce H. at 6:26 AM on July 16, 2017

Yesterday, with my partner out of town and therefore usual weekend activities in limbo, I roadtripped to the fabrics outlet in Burlington to see if they had cork fabric (they didn't), and contemplate whether to make curtains or buy vertical blinds for some of the windows in the house (still undecided).

There was an antiques mall a couple miles away from it, and I spent a couple hours there (the place is large) kicking around, looking for eyeglass frames (nothing worthwhile) and other things (there were many other things, for example this, this, this and this). Bought a small white ceramic hippo bank (I don't like hippos much, cartoony or otherwise, but this one amused me so, hey hippos, you're off the hook for the moment) and a small ceramic cup that we'll use for planting one of our innumerable little tiny succulents. Or maybe it'll be holding ear swabs in the bathroom. As I was checking out, I spotted a display of steel emergency room implements (tweezers, forceps, bandage scissors, etc.) that were being sold on the cheap due to shipping FOT, so I grabbed a random assortment for a couple bucks apiece. Even cheap Asian import medical implements tend to be better-made and more precise (and, in this case, cheaper) than equivalent tools sold to crafts hobbyists, so this was a score.

Before that I took advantage of Prime Day to buy some vision assistance equipment to experiment with, like desktop macroscopes and headset magnifiers. Like the vast majority of Amazon Prime Day sales tat, they're pretty low quality, but they were also cheap as such things go and I figured it was better to use these figure out whether such things can be useful to me. If they can, great. If they seem like they can but their flimsiness gets in the way, then I can consider investing the big bucks on the serious equipment these are knockoffs of.
posted by ardgedee at 6:27 AM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

As of Thursday my wife and I have been married for 13 years, when you add in the 5 years of dating, we've actually been a couple our entire adult lives, and even a touch before. So I bought her lovely green lace... jacketish thing. Oh and some chocolate and a small notepad with pictures of narwals on every page.

We try to take a trip to a small downtown area nearby about once a month to support local businesses, there's a spice shop, a cheese place, a chocolate shop, lots of gift shops featuring local craftspeoples' work, and that general sort of thing. At this point, we're both boring adults and lack time to shop on our own so this month we actually went shopping for each others' anniversary gifts as a unit, with our three kids, and even used them as a messengers about who had to leave which store when, and also "what size of (item of clothing) do you wear?" and "would you wear a watch?" kinds of questions. It felt like a really appropriate symbol of our relationship at this point.

I'm sure from the outside the whole thing seems pretty normal and boring, and maybe it is, but I recently got a job that gives me weekends off so I really appreciated being able to do that kind of thing at all.
posted by Gygesringtone at 6:44 AM on July 16, 2017 [11 favorites]

One of my best friends is preg, and I think the last non-essential things I bought was gifts for her upcoming shower. Mostly off the registry, but I threw in a pretty comprehensive first aid kit, because they're important. (I got them a plunger and Command hooks as a housewarming gift, I'm all about practical items)
posted by Fig at 6:45 AM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

My last fun purchase was a pillow from Target. I try so hard not to impulse-buy, but I'd been eyeing it for awhile and it was on clearance! And it has the most amazing softness, and I'm happy every time I look at it or use it so I know it was worth a little splurge.
posted by Mouse Army at 6:59 AM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

I finally booked my flight out to Gencon next month. This will be second time going and I hope it will be as fun as the first. Like last time, I will be going with one of my brothers, one of my sisters and her husband so I get some family time along with the game playing.

I'm signed up for a nice variety of games so I am excited about that. I am also going to be running a game which filled up quickly on event sign up day. There is some trepidation about running a game but I play tested the scenario a few days ago and it went well. I got some good feedback on how to improve it further which I will incorporate before the second play test next weekend.
posted by nolnacs at 7:00 AM on July 16, 2017

On Friday I bought cheap water shoes and cargo-type shorts for my first-ever kayaking trip yesterday, which was even more fun than I had anticipated. I did end up in a tandem kayak, but as the choices were "double kayak" or "triple kayak," I think I did ok, plus the person behind me was a guide, so he was presumably more patient than average. We paddled around the bay in Sausalito, so I got to see all the various funky Sausalito houseboats for the first time. We also saw many harbor seals, two gigantic blue herons, and a lot of terns and cormorants and seagulls.

The guide who was in the kayak with me was good at teaching me what to do -- mainly correcting me (nicely) when my hands were uneven on the paddle -- and despite my normal introverted "Ugh, people" tendencies, I really enjoyed talking with him and with the other people in the group. We started talking about Boston, since we had both gone to school there, and he brought up how Harvard seems to be working on eliminating its fraternity-equivalents, and I got a little "Oh, man, older white man bringing up frats, this is not going to go well," but he was all in favor of it and had apparently chosen his own college because it didn't have frats or a big sports program. This led to an interesting conversation about integrating women in previously all-men's colleges in the 60s and 70s. Then he and one of the other guides started talking about their anti-Vietnam War activities in college, and she told us about getting arrested for blocking traffic in Washington, joining an ACLU lawsuit about it, and eventually getting $1100 back from the federal government for unlawful arrest. (She said she donated part of it back to the ACLU and used the rest to visit her sister in Paris.)

OH! And apparently I am a very strong paddler -- the guide said he actually couldn't paddle for most of the trip, because we would have gone too fast for the group, though we did do a brief all-out fast-as-we-could sprint which was awesome -- and that apparently brought some closure to memories I had not remembered having of getting into a, erm, heated debate with my father while canoeing on some summer trip when I was younger. And I now have blisters on my thumbs of which I am very proud, and I'm trying to see if I can sign up for an overnight kayak/camping trip with the same agency.
posted by lazuli at 7:06 AM on July 16, 2017 [17 favorites]

I bought an inexpensive patio set and some pots for plants. I don't have a great space outside at my house. No deck, for example. But I miss having an outdoor space. So I am going to try to repurpose part of my driveway as a patio. We'll see.
posted by Stewriffic at 7:09 AM on July 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

I rarely buy anything other than necessities (being an ill-paid freelancer), but my aunt sent me a generous amount of money for my birthday and they were having a sale on Lagavulin (my favorite scotch) at the liquor store so I blew most of the birthday money on a bottle. In ordinary times I'd classify this as a "want," but at this particular point in history I'm calling it a "need."
posted by languagehat at 7:13 AM on July 16, 2017 [21 favorites]

I'm one of those that's gotten towards not wanting things, partly as a defensive mechanism from suddenly being able to afford much, much less than before. I only very rarely buy goods for myself, and most of my money goes to keeping House Ghidorah afloat. I made two purchases recently, and my regrets will probably keep my gunshot for a while. I picked up some new flip flops because shoes in my size in Japan are rare enough that I jump on the opportunity, yet they don't fit well, and my feet are constantly slipping off to the side. Grr, I sez.

The other purchase was a birthday present to myself, In the Charcuterie, which is heard was a great book, and yeah, I guess it is, but it's definitely a (fantastic) book for a beginning at doing meat things like making sausage, pate and the rest, but even then, it's overly broad in trying to do so much but in the end remains sort of shallow in terms of the things you'd buy such a book to learn about.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:33 AM on July 16, 2017

Bought a custom mini Zero bag from Rickshaw, inspired by last week's Metatalk post (thanks, lazuli and rainbowbrite!) since I've been looking for a very small bag for a while. I mulled over the purchase for several days, placed the order Thursday, and miraculously it arrived yesterday! I think it might have superpowers.
posted by ferret branca at 7:37 AM on July 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

The other purchase was a birthday present to myself, In the Charcuterie, which is heard was a great book, and yeah, I guess it is, but it's definitely a (fantastic) book for a beginning at doing meat things like making sausage, pate and the rest, but even then, it's overly broad in trying to do so much but in the end remains sort of shallow in terms of the things you'd buy such a book to learn about.

"Charcuterie" is my go to book when I'm looking to make some super fancy charcuterie.
posted by Gygesringtone at 7:40 AM on July 16, 2017

I didn't technically buy it, but since our monies have been combined for over 20 years, it counts.

Went to the Reds v. Nationals game last night specifically to get the Billy Hamilton bobble head giveaway. Billy is my favorite player, hands down. He's adorable (always smiling, always looks like a kid in a candy store because he loves the game and he gets to play on a pro team and it is the CUTEST THING), he's so good at the game, he's ridiculously (almost preternaturally ) fast, and he steals bases. A LOT. I love that. I want to bring him to my house and make him dinner. It's very much a motherly feeling I have for him.

Anyway, get there an hour early, go through the gates.......all the bobbles are gone. 20,000 bobbles already given out. I am so bummed. Oh well. Go off to find a beer and sulk, away from my husband and son.

I return to our seats and my husband holds up a Billy Hamilton bobble head!! "WHAT!" I say. He says he saw a guy carrying a bag full of them and offered him $15 for one. I might add here that my husband is super frugal, does not like spending money, and especially really doesn't like knickknacks.

Stuff like this? It's why I fell in love in the first place. He is too good to me and always puts my happiness first (and me with him, I might add. I adore him).

Billy will be in my office, keeping my Billy Hamilton Lego minifig and my Reds garden gnome company.
posted by cooker girl at 7:41 AM on July 16, 2017 [13 favorites]

Wordshore, add a civilian detective of some sort, and your village stories would sell like scones with jam and cream. They are a delight to read.
posted by theora55 at 8:18 AM on July 16, 2017 [12 favorites]

Some beer and potato chips at a corner store on Broadway and 231st. Definitely a 'need.'
posted by jonmc at 8:32 AM on July 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

Before that I went online and bought a t-shirt of the NWOBHM band Raven. The young jonmc loved them. Plus in the video for Van Halen's "Panama" at about 2:49, during Eddie's solo, they pan out out over the audience, and a dude who looks like Weird Al's burnout cousin pumps his fist at the camera with his Raven tee clearly visible, which I thought was an incredibly cool moment. Since then, I've looked for that shirt. Mine isn't exactly the same but close enough.
posted by jonmc at 8:41 AM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Bought a custom mini Zero bag from Rickshaw, inspired by last week's Metatalk post (thanks, lazuli and rainbowbrite!) since I've been looking for a very small bag for a while. I mulled over the purchase for several days, placed the order Thursday, and miraculously it arrived yesterday! I think it might have superpowers.

Yay, ferret branca! Mine came super-fast, too; I like the idea of super-powered bags.
posted by lazuli at 9:45 AM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

I bought three used books! I loved Cynthia Ozick's Seam of the Snail... her language was very precise and it was enchanting. I loved it so much I bought Bloodshed and Three Novellas, A Cynthia Ozick Reader, and Quarrel & Quandary: Essays.

This summer, I've been reading a lot of books that are more academic, or you know, books that you "should" read. But reading bell hook's All About Love, I get that sparkly reading feeling (??) again and now I'm like screw it.
posted by typify at 9:53 AM on July 16, 2017

Yesterday I got a UV/blacklight flashlight, for identifying secret cat-pee areas in our house before our houseguests come -- happily, I haven't found anything unexpected. The glamour is nonstop around here.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:06 AM on July 16, 2017 [19 favorites]

On the plus side, now you have a UV blacklight flashlight, which has endless potential for fun and amusement.

I mean, I've only ever used mine for looking at my passport in the dark, but I'm sure there are other possibilities.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:08 AM on July 16, 2017

I'm eager to hear all suggestions for things to look at, fun facts about UV, etc.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:10 AM on July 16, 2017

Buy some old Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath UV posters. When I was a kid the record stores used to be fulla them.
posted by jonmc at 10:21 AM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

jacquilynne, it may only be Canadian passports that do crazy things under UV. I use UV flashlights for identifying (very mildly) radioactive vaseline glass in thrift stores.

I bought an Inky pHAT, a tiny dual colour EPD for Raspberry Pi. Though it's not very high resolution (212×104) it makes lovely crisp black/white/red images like this.
posted by scruss at 10:23 AM on July 16, 2017

On Prime Day I bought a deep fryer, so I've been Frying All The Things and experimenting with low-carb batter options.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:36 AM on July 16, 2017

Baking with Kafka. Actually a pre-order if you want to be picky.
posted by Segundus at 11:25 AM on July 16, 2017

This morning I woke up with two thoughts from a dream: first the sentence "you shouldn't talk to Magneto like that," and second the desire to finally get a cutlery set (and more importantly, dishwasher-safe container) for bringing my own lunches to work. I'm still not sure about the Magneto thing, but a packable cutlery set is on its way.

Also while on Amazon, I grabbed a copy of This Is Not My Hat for my precocious young book-loving friend.
posted by deludingmyself at 11:25 AM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Coast Guard survival rations, rather pleasant tasting compressed cookie bars. Five year shelf life!
posted by Sternmeyer at 11:34 AM on July 16, 2017

I also got sucked into Prime day, picking up a decent amount of on demand TV seasons that I am pretty sure were raised in price for the weeks before prime day but came down by even more on prime day, basically to the point where I was willing to pay rather than just getting sucked in. I was totally sucked in by the bargain time with the 210L water butt (and stand), season 2 of SW Rebels, Wipeout Omega for PS4, and an Adam Hochschild book on kindle. I bought some Uncle Joe's mintballs also, but at full price, as I was running out. Lyn Never's purchase sounds much more dangerous.
posted by biffa at 11:34 AM on July 16, 2017

Coast Guard survival rations, rather pleasant tasting compressed cookie bars. Five year shelf life!

How long did they last?
posted by biffa at 11:35 AM on July 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

My last interesting purchase was actually Mefi-inspired: I bought a super strong magnet for magnet fishing*.

Both my kids have gone vegetarian/vegan, so I was wondering what to suggest as a replacement for their fishing trips with their grandpa. And then the Metafilter post by Stark about magnet fishing came along a few weeks ago, and hey presto, problem solved!

(*Although since we're in Finland now, we prefer to call it Metal Fishing. Ahem.)
posted by sively at 11:37 AM on July 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

I did an impulsive stop at a garage sale yesterday and bought three heaping bags of extremely nice clothes and shoes for my grandchildren for $23! I can't wait to give them to my daughter.
I need nothing, but it's fun to give.
posted by readery at 12:17 PM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

The two most interesting things I've bought recently (everything else has been very utilitarian):

1. A decent upright bass. It's been maybe 15 years since I last played upright bass, because I moved on to trumpet and then sax. But I'm living in an apartment right now so I can't practice sax without bothering the neighbors and I really miss doing something musical. I abruptly discovered I've forgotten 95% of whatever bass technique I had; it's almost like starting from scratch. Nevertheless I feel confident I can get it all back eventually. And oh, that bass sounds nice! And it shore is purty.

2. These toilet seat mats. Seems an odd thing to call "interesting", I know, but hear me out. My apartment stays on the chilly side in the winter months (my sole heat is a couple of portable room heaters), and I got fed up with having to suppress a whoop every time I parked my poor bare backside on that frigid seat. I got to where I was considering blowing a fair chunk of change on a heated seat when I saw these - I didn't expect much of them, but they were so cheap that it would have been silly not to check them out. They have really delivered! They feel like soft cotton or velvet and they have a glossy plastic backing that sticks to the seat but you can peel them off to wash them then stick them back on again. And they do a fantastic job of protecting me from the shock of the cold seat. Most satisfying purchase in the last 18 months at least (other than the bass, of course).
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:34 PM on July 16, 2017 [5 favorites]

d. z. wang: The City of Portland (Oregon) has declared a sort-of-truce with urban campers. So long as you're not making a big mess and neighbors aren't complaining more than usual they only come through and force you out every month or two, and they give you some notice first.

That said, I have access to excellent storage and work to do elsewhere during the day, so I've just been setting up late and packing up early, usually tucked behind some trees in a park or by the river. Different place every night, so I don't have much (perceived) impact. Always observe "leave no trace" and "pack in, pack out." Eat dinner somewhere else, set up at dark, pack up at dawn and leave to go eat breakfast.

It's basically the same as "stealth camping," which I do sometimes when bike touring. Just sleep there and move on.

I would love to start making more of my own gear! Don't really have the time right now, though. One of these days...
posted by sibilatorix at 12:42 PM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

I fell down a rabbit hole of double wall insulated tumblers and mugs. Apparently I've been using normal cups that sweat in the heat all this time like a chump.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:54 PM on July 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

A ride for my daughter on the Ferris wheel.
posted by escabeche at 1:03 PM on July 16, 2017 [6 favorites]

I splurged on a copy of Will it Waffle and am looking forward to it's arrival.
posted by mightshould at 1:36 PM on July 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

Fabric and other assorted sewing notions! This isn't an uncommon occurrence recently, but it's still exciting (for me, at least). I'm only just learning—I can't even consistently sew in a straight line yet—and as a new homeowner, I'm finding lots of excuses for relatively simple sewing projects. First up was reusable Swiffer pads (with cute litle owls! and sheep!). Once I finish those, I'll be moving on to some placemats: a solid backing with a handful of different-colored strips on the front, such that all are thematically similar (blues, teals, and purples, most with tendrils or leaves!), but no two are exactly the same. It's fun to be able to exert some creativity over these projects in terms of fabric selection even though I barely even know what I'm doing. And maybe by the end of it I'll be a little better at that whole "sewing straight" thing.
posted by cellar door at 2:35 PM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

I signed up for the cheap adult ballet class at my local community center. A want, but also a way to help my painfully bad posture.
posted by congen at 2:35 PM on July 16, 2017 [9 favorites]

congen, that sounds amazing! Good for you.
posted by Night_owl at 2:37 PM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm just about to pull the trigger on this cooling coat for my black GSD (ob photo), and a set of practice weave poles for agility work, since she only wants to do the poles when she's on my left, which is inconvenient.
posted by suelac at 2:53 PM on July 16, 2017

A year or so ago, I bought a subscription to Consumer Reports and used it to research what nice dishwasher my girlfriend should buy for her house. Yesterday, I renewed my subscription to Consumer Reports and used to to research what cheap substitute dishwasher we should buy for her house, which we will be renting out, because she bought a new house and I will be damned if we leave the fancy-ass dishwasher in the old house.

On the "want" side of things, I have my eye on a spiffy pair of shoes that I decided I can't buy myself until I get a job. I have a phone interview on Monday and my birthday is on Friday, so I'm really hoping that I can order them as a birthday present to myself.
posted by coppermoss at 3:11 PM on July 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

A liter bottle of Kodak HC-110 concentrated black & white film developing solution from B&H. I've gone down the rabbit hole of experimenting with pushing film far beyond its stated iso (light sensitivity) so that I can shoot in very low light. So far I've had great results with pushing Ilford HP5+ 400 three stops to 3200, still getting good details in the shadows and no noticeable grain.
posted by octothorpe at 3:13 PM on July 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

> A decent upright bass. It's been maybe 15 years since I last played upright bass

Man, I wish I'd learned to play bass; I envy you. I not only enjoy the much-reviled bass solos on jazz records, I own more than one solo bass CD.
posted by languagehat at 3:17 PM on July 16, 2017

Recently I posted about vintage mah jong sets, which, naturally, led me down the ebay rabbit hole. Now, I have a nice vintage bamboo set in an asian-style tin box, so I don't actually "need" another set, but the vintage set I thought I had a line on can't be found . . . so. I found a nice professional-player set in a case, and the tiles are black! Here's what it looks like: Black Tiles Mahjong set. I'm talking to my friends about restarting our regular game play and the only thing I have to do is memorize the Chinese characters for the numbers 2 through 9; everything else is obvious. I was a little startled by the thickness of the tiles but figured out that normal play is without racks, so they need to be thick enough to stand on their own. I'm really pleased with it and figure the vintage bamboo set will live in its box and come out for special occasions.
posted by MovableBookLady at 3:28 PM on July 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

I got a good leather wallet for my husband. He is carrying the same one he had when I met him, and there is still, for some reason, a round pricing sticker inside with the phone number of my graduate school office written on it. He mentioned a few weeks ago that it was in really bad shape, and I said he should get a new one, but he was all like, no, this one is fine, it still works. I got a really nice wallet for Christmas a couple years ago, and it is just lovely to interact with it daily. So I got him a really nice one. Nobody tell; his birthday is next week.
posted by BrashTech at 3:39 PM on July 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

I bought $200 worth of imported beer yesterday. It was a "want," for sure, and every can/bottle was overpriced, but it's so exciting what's found its way to Seoul in recent months--Stone, Bear Republic, Fantome, Upright, Pizza Port, Uinta, Firestone Walker...mmmm.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:08 PM on July 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

rtha and I went to BevMo this morning and stocked up on what we call "sipping rye" as opposed to "mixing rye" or even "cooking rye". We may have also purchased some "mixing rye." Our housemate bought us a bottle of chartreuse to replace the one she borrowed from us. She also bought liquor for herself and we're now drinking experimental cocktails of mezcal, chartreuse, Ancho Reyes chile liqueur, lime juice, and habanero bitters.

Previous to that, I think my last interesting purchases were t-shirts. Ones that say "Decriminalize Already" from a friend on etsy and ones from Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants
posted by gingerbeer at 4:15 PM on July 16, 2017 [6 favorites]

I've mostly been doing tedious grocery store restocking/buying for the home pantry (though I did buy some boxes of Joe O's for the work food drive for the Capital Area Food Bank), but we did get this mug with Sasquatch decoration for a birthday gift for a friend of Mr. gudrun's who is obsessed with bigfoot/sasquatch. I was looking for something with a bigfoot image for her for a while, and this mug is dishwasher and microwave safe so it's actually usable, unlike some art mugs.
posted by gudrun at 4:32 PM on July 16, 2017

gingerbeer, I so want to drink with you folks.
posted by chococat at 4:51 PM on July 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

gingerbeer, I so want to drink with you folks.

Highly recommended!
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 5:00 PM on July 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

My last purchase was a combined want/need: I bought this book, unsurprisingly for my Spanish syntax class, and while I was in the bookstore I decided I wanted some swag so I bought a university-branded T-shirt.

I suppose the latter could also be classed as a need, since over the last year fully three-quarters of my T-shirts have been relegated to the "only paint in these, do not wear outside" pile due to wear and tear.
posted by chainsofreedom at 5:52 PM on July 16, 2017

gingerbeer, I so want to drink with you folks.

(There's a statistically good chance that something of the kind will be happening at
this regional campout. Anyone in the Washington/Oregon/northern California that's interested in camping under the redwoods - and of course having a nip or two - is welcome to join us.)
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:00 PM on July 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

"I'm eager to hear all suggestions for things to look at, fun facts about UV, etc."

FLOWERS! You can see some during the day but it'll be easier to spot at night (or at least at dusk).

Make G&Ts with real tonic water -- it glows -- have a movie night in the dark with glowing G&Ts!

Throw powdered laundry detergent all over your walls, college room party style. Also your teeth (brighteners in your toothpaste), fluorescent-colored clothes often glow different colors under a blacklight, and you might search through a jewelry box (fancy and costume both), since jewelry is just a rock collection and some of them fluoresce. Turmeric also fluoresces, I think you're supposed to put it in clear alcohol for the best effect (maybe some of the gin!).

"upright bass"

I keep remembering, and then forgetting, and then remembering that I have to move my upright bass when we move and I am not sure how I am going to do it and I have no recollection of how I got it here.

"I splurged on a copy of Will it Waffle and am looking forward to it's arrival."

Strongly recommend the waffled sausage, my kids love it!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:23 PM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

The last thing I purchased, about ten minutes ago, was a temporary data plan so I can read email and post to Metafilter from the wilds of Lac Pemichangan in Quebec. This is the first year we've even had a signal up here. Usually I'm off the grid for two weeks. Progress, I guess.
posted by bondcliff at 7:04 PM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

The last indulgent thing I bought was this display for my Steven Universe POPs. It makes me ridiculously happy to see my figures in it.
posted by dogmom at 7:09 PM on July 16, 2017

Anyone in the Washington/Oregon/northern California that's interested in camping under the redwoods

(I guess I should mention you can be from any state, not just the 3 mentioned!)
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:15 PM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

I keep remembering, and then forgetting, and then remembering that I have to move my upright bass when we move and I am not sure how I am going to do it and I have no recollection of how I got it here.

I'm guessing the same way upright basses get anywhere, either a station wagon or a mini-van. Otherwise there's the chance of an odd fox\chicken\grain situation involving a nude princess, the bass, and John Cleese (NSFW).
posted by Gygesringtone at 7:33 PM on July 16, 2017

I have to move my upright bass when we move and I am not sure how I am going to do it

Check with a local luthier or bass shop, if such exists in your area.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:48 PM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

I ordered new lenses for my last pair of glasses. I'd budgeted FSA money so I could do both those and my current frames, but it turns out my prescription hasn't changed.

Also today I made a hotel reservation in Paris, where my wife and I will be celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary (see, the traditional gift is wood, and wine and brandy are aged in wood barrels, and we're sticking with that justification, because no trip to Paris really needs to be justified).
posted by fedward at 7:48 PM on July 16, 2017

Yes - drink with us under the redwoods! Or come visit SF and the many awesome Bay Area mefites!
posted by gingerbeer at 7:54 PM on July 16, 2017

And apparently I am a very strong paddler -- the guide said he actually couldn't paddle for most of the trip, because we would have gone too fast for the group, though we did do a brief all-out fast-as-we-could sprint which was awesome -- and that apparently brought some closure to memories I had not remembered having of getting into a, erm, heated debate with my father while canoeing on some summer trip when I was younger.

Phone conversation with my father today:
Me: I went kayaking yesterday! It was so much fun! [brief description]
He: You know, you were never very athletic as a child.
Me: I know, but I'm really enjoying being more active now.
He: Yeah, I'm going to withhold judgment. I'm not sure I can change my mind that fast.
Me: I walked six and a half miles today. I kayaked for two hours yesterday. I may not have been athletic as a kid, but I think that's an out-of-date idea about me now.
He: Well, I still withhold judgment. I can't change my image of you that quickly.

Keep in mind, I AM FORTY YEARS OLD, people. I go to the gym three or four times a week. I do five- to ten-mile hikes every couple weeks, and five- to seven-mile walks pretty much every week. My father consistently brags that the only times he gets up are to walk from his couch to his attached garage to drive himself to breakfast, or from his couch to his covered porch to smoke a cigar. WTF, Dad? Argh. /button-pushing parental freak-out
posted by lazuli at 8:02 PM on July 16, 2017 [13 favorites]

I wanna hear more about this so-called "sipping rye" although I think I've spent too much on rum lately to get away with buying sipping rye. On my most recent trip to the boozeria I planned to restock our standard daiquiri rum and maybe add another some reliable sources recommended, and came home with five bottles. But they had OFTD in stock!
posted by fedward at 8:04 PM on July 16, 2017

Oh, I threw a few hundred bucks at friends' GoFundMes for good things, but that's not really "buying" nor want/need, honestly. Just an expense I'm fine with.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:10 PM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

chococat, I hope you treasure that silly video of your mom grooving to the Lowrey for all time.

I just filmed my first-ever music video out in the Mojave Desert a few days ago, and as a graphical element I just picked up this amazing 1944 wartime R-2 sectional aeronautical chart for the Los Angeles area. It's blowing my mind.
posted by mykescipark at 8:11 PM on July 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

Bought two books today.

Sherman Alexie's new memoir, You Don't Have to Say You Love Me, mostly because I read his open letter about why he was cancelling a chunk of his tour. It will probably take me a while to be brave enough to read the book, since the open letter made me cry.

And Meddling Kids, because of this review and the sample I downloaded. It's what happens when a Scooby-like gang of kids grows up.
posted by rtha at 8:48 PM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

This morning (GMT+9) I bought tickets for a fall trip to visit friends in Paris and northern Italy. Lodging is next.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:49 PM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

After 10 years of waffling, I bought a fancy espresso machine and equivalently fancy coffee grinder to celebrate a big win at work. Surprisingly, the grinder is cooler than the coffee machine. You stick the portafilter into the holder, tell it how much coffee you want ground down to the tenth of a gram, and in 5 seconds you're ready to tamp.

I used to think I didn't like cappuccinos, but it ends up that I just don't like how big-box coffee shops steam milk.

Having practically every other method of making coffee (drip, siphon, pour-over, etc), I've never made as much coffee at home as I have since getting this setup. Best. Purchase. Ever. And the only expensive thing I've ever bought which didn't follow with terrible buyers' remorse.

I'm glad this question came when it did. This coming week I'm buying a mattress. A little less interesting.
posted by hwyengr at 8:50 PM on July 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

Sipping rye is what you drink neat or on the rocks, slowly. Tasty stuff. Usually expensive-ish, like in the $40-80/bottle range. Mixing rye is what you make cocktails with, including rye lime rickeys, rye and soda, manhattans, old fashioneds, etc. For us, that is usually Bulleit Rye, often bought in large bottles from Costco.
posted by gingerbeer at 8:55 PM on July 16, 2017

At COSTCO I bought one of those 12 gallon, tall, slim cooler/shopping bags in dark blue canvas, with a bleached yellow VW bus stenciled on the side, along with a surf board, and it says surfer. So I have a tall cooler bag, to match my van! Just $6.95, cheap thrills! I already used it to go visit a river and take lunch for myself, and water to drink. It is two feet by two feet, but not very wide, with nice, sturdy handles. Blah, blah, blah. It made me happy.
posted by Oyéah at 8:57 PM on July 16, 2017

Yesterday was my 3 week wedding anniversary and my husband and I just bought a house in Iowa. A state I only visited for the first time ever last week to go house hunting . Definitely not a routine purchase.
posted by TestamentToGrace at 9:02 PM on July 16, 2017 [7 favorites]

Congrats, TestamentToGrace! Awesome!
(why Iowa, if I may ask?)
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:08 PM on July 16, 2017

gingerbeer, I see we're in the same ballpark (but DC's Costco no longer seems to stock Bulleit, so we have to get our handles elsewhere). We've got a bottle of the "maple finished" rye from Catoctin Creek (finished in a barrel previously used to age maple syrup – we also have the syrup for that matter) but most of our fancy sipping booze is bourbon, single malt Scotch, or Armagnac.
posted by fedward at 9:24 PM on July 16, 2017

what was the last thing you purchased?

Supplies for emergency medical kit. I used a bunch trying to get some kid (i.e. early 20's) cleaned up after a car accident collision, and reorged the whole thing.

Still got the tourniquets, nasopharyngeal airway, quikclot, chest seal, and 20-gauge needle - thanks HM1.

Wear your seatbelts.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:42 PM on July 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

fedward -- we actually did purchase a bottle of Catoctin Creek! The Roundstone Rye. Some of our sipping booze is scotch, but the rye and bourbon is a lot cheaper than the Islay scotches we like.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:45 PM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've been really down for a few weeks (literally summertime blues, I guess), so I just took a walk and bought myself some ice cream. My girlfriend is out of town and it was brutally hot today, so I think I deserve nothing less than to watch TV and eat toffee ice cream.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 9:45 PM on July 16, 2017 [5 favorites]

Maybe they really like the RAGBRAI.

(I solve this problem by living a block away from a little copy shop.)
posted by aniola at 9:46 PM on July 16, 2017

Update: my ice cream has small toffee bits in it, which increases its power to cheer me up.

Also, since folks are talking about booze, I discovered that O'Doul's is actually pretty good for a non-alcoholic beer. Since I can't drink alcohol, I have to take what I can get (I treated myself to a 4-pack of fancy ginger beer the other day). If only there were a non-alcoholic scotch, or a cognac alternative.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 9:50 PM on July 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

I guess non-alcoholic cognac would just be syrup. Ah, the chilly evenings spent by the fire with a little sherry glass of grenadine...
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 9:55 PM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh, this reminded me that I've been meaning to take radioamy's advice and get some SleepPhones. So, I guess my last purchase was minutes ago, when I ordered them off of Amazon.
posted by Tentacle of Trust at 10:02 PM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

"I'm guessing the same way upright basses get anywhere, either a station wagon or a mini-van."

I used to haul mine around in an Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera sedan! Lay the front passenger seat allllll the way down, open the door as wide as possible, and very carefully maneuver it in. (But yeah, it'll probably end up being either a solo trip with it in my minivan, or I'll have to rent a bigger minivan and make a special trip.)

"Check with a local luthier or bass shop, if such exists in your area."

Sadly, no.

"He: Well, I still withhold judgment. I can't change my image of you that quickly. ... WTF, Dad? Argh. /button-pushing parental freak-out"

I super feel you! otoh at least he is upfront about it! I gave the toast at my sister's wedding and LITERALLY EVERY MEMBER of my VERY LARGE FAMILY called me on the phone to remind me not to tell embarrassing stories during the toast and I was like I HAVE LITERALLY NOT DONE THAT SINCE I WAS FOURTEEN and I am such a good public speaker I was elected to public office! But apparently in my family I will forever be the gauche eleven-year-old who tells embarrassing stories under the misapprehension that they're amusing. I was SO GRUMPY about the whole thing. And when I was like, "Come on, people!" they were like, "You totally do that!" NO! I DON'T! NOT SINCE HIGH SCHOOL! I feel like I would have been moderately less annoyed if they admitted it was something I did as a kid and they just can't get past it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 10:10 PM on July 16, 2017 [6 favorites]

Where in Iowa, TestamentToGrace? A while back, some of us were talking about maybe doing an Eastern Iowa meetup.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:14 PM on July 16, 2017

ITFMA buttons. My second set of 10, after giving away most of my first set to members of my book club.
posted by jeri at 12:26 AM on July 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Tickets to Japandroids, mysteriously discounted to about half price. Should be fun.

My news of the moment is that I ran my second ultramarathon. Well, I finished my second ultra - there wasn't a lot of running involved. I knew it was going to be a tough day when my left knee was hurting only 20km in. Then it got worse when, distracted by my knee, I tripped and cramped my right calf. I managed to run bits and pieces of the rest, but mostly walked it in. Luckily I can walk reasonably fast uphill or I'd probably still be out there.

Still happy to have finished, it's not an easy course by any means (62km, 3km of ascent and a bit more descent, real mix of terrain and it was muddy as anything).
posted by Pink Frost at 12:32 AM on July 17, 2017 [4 favorites]

Most recently arrived, as opposed to paid for, non-routine purchase turned up in the mail today: a pair of carbon fibre tubes, matt finish, 16mm outside diameter, 12mm inside diameter, 500mm length.

I sanded both ends down to a 2mm radius all round to stop them puncturing the skins, then took them down the back and tried them out on the drum kit. And you know what? They are bloody magnificent. Way more power on tap than my usual wooden sticks, probably because of the extra length, and still light enough to achieve the quick stuff easily. Really nice click tone for stick-on-stick and rimshots. So much easier to stay relaxed and avoid disappearing down the play everything louder than everything else hole. I couldn't be more pleased with them from a musical point of view.

After an hour of playing they're showing ever-so-slight surface scuffing where the edges of the cymbals have hit them. No furry fibres evident at all as yet.

Time will tell whether the extra hardness compared to wood is going to crack the crap out of all my brassware or not.
posted by flabdablet at 12:42 AM on July 17, 2017 [4 favorites]

My last purchase was Yoon Ha Lee's 'Raven Stratagem', an excellent sequel to 'Ninefox Gambit' (first chapter). prequel short story.

other shorts, 2, 3
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:25 AM on July 17, 2017

flabdablet, that's neat! I've never heard of someone drumming with carbon fiber tubes. Do you usually play with a heavy stick? It sounds like you're basically getting the same width as something like a 2B, but much lighter (and longer). I usually play with thin sticks, at least a 7A or lighter, because I like how they feel in my hand, so I'm curious to know what the advantage of carbon fiber is for you is over just using a lighter wooden stick.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:30 AM on July 17, 2017

Mine was 'American Wife' by Curtis Sittenfield, which I look forward to getting my hands on - with 'Prep' and 'Eligible' she may have become one of my new 'auto-buy' authors.
posted by Ziggy500 at 2:48 AM on July 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Aided and abetted by my visiting sibling, I bought a gorgeous fat notebook and three (3!) pens yesterday, specifically for writing stories. I used to make up stories and write just for fun and do National Novel Writing Months - but 95% of that went away when depression and burnout moved in. Now the need to write is slowly creeping in on me, and I'm really freaking excited about getting that joy back!
posted by rawrberry at 3:42 AM on July 17, 2017 [5 favorites]

Ziggy500--I loved American Wife! It's by far my favorite Sittenfield novel. And it's looooooong. Enjoy!
posted by bookmammal at 3:51 AM on July 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

never heard of someone drumming with carbon fiber tubes

Me either. Motivation was destroying yet another set of maple 7ANs and looking around for something sturdier.

Vic Firth has carbon fibre sticks but they cost way more than I was willing to punt, so I started looking for 14mm carbon fibre rod. Couldn't find any at anything approaching a reasonable price. 16mm tube with a 2mm wall thickness was available, so I got a couple of pieces of that to try out.

I figured that 16mm is about the thickness of a normal 2B stick, so it wouldn't be outrageous in my hand, and the 500mm length of a precut tube would let me make a normal-ish size stick without too much wastage. Also seemed to me that tube with 2mm wall thickness would actually have most of the strength and rigidity of a solid rod anyway.

I thought I'd probably have to invent something clever for the tips, but trying the simplest thing that could possibly work first is a pretty sound principle, so I did, and it does. Rounding the ends of the tubes to a 2mm radius all round gives me a tip that leaves comparable dents in a test piece of softwood to what I'd get from a normal drumstick with a nylon tip on it. And as it turns out, I really like the 500mm length so I don't think I'm going to cut them down.

Do you usually play with a heavy stick?

I've occasionally blazed away with a pair of 2B when I feel like getting my Bonzo on, but I've always preferred the sound and feel of 7AN.

I went for 16mm tube because I thought being hollow it might end up a bit light. But I've just weighed one of my usual maple 7ANs at 32g and these tubes are 67g each so yeah, they're much much heavier. Odd thing is, though, they don't feel heavy when I'm playing with them; they seem to want to move very quickly and I find them nowhere near as tiring as a normal 2B. I'm guessing that the extreme rigidity and elasticity of the carbon fibre soaks up less of the stroke energy than a maple stick would.

Going to 1mm wall thickness would cut the weight in half, but I think it would also make the business end sharp enough to cut skins unless I invented a cleverer end for it. The same eBay site also offers 2mm wall thickness tubes in 14mm diameter, same as a 7A, so if these are still holding up well after a few more sessions I'll grab a pair of those to try as well.
posted by flabdablet at 4:28 AM on July 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

14x10x400mm tubes of the same material should end up around 67g × 302/352 × 400/500 = 46g each. I'm sure I've owned oak 7ANs that heavy.
posted by flabdablet at 4:52 AM on July 17, 2017

And when I was like, "Come on, people!" they were like, "You totally do that!" NO! I DON'T! NOT SINCE HIGH SCHOOL! I feel like I would have been moderately less annoyed if they admitted it was something I did as a kid and they just can't get past it.

Eyebrows, definitely, and it's been a multiyear campaign to get my father to this place of understanding that there's even a slight possibility that his vision of me may be due to childhood me rather than adult me. I'm still working on the "Yes, my brother hated waiting in lines for restaurants when he was EIGHT, but I think he understands that's how a lot of restaurants work now, given that he's lived in New York for A DECADE AND A HALF, and that every time he's visited you as an adult and had to wait in line he's been TOTALLY FINE, so I think we'd be ok going to that busy restaurant" thing.

My father, he is stubborn.
posted by lazuli at 5:31 AM on July 17, 2017 [4 favorites]

The last indulgent thing I bought were two sets of SPACE Leggings from threadless. I have absolutely nowhere to wear them too, but they match my nails which I had done recently and my phone case, so I was space themed all of Saturday evening.

My space pants (because team #legginsarepants) combined with my space phone and my space nails made me irrationally happy this weekend... my bf even noted that if space nails make me this happy maybe I should get my nails done with fancy nail art more often. (I don't because holy crap gel nails are horrible for your actual nails and fancy gel art nails are $$$$)

So in conclusion, SPACEPANTS! Although now I need to find ways that I, a >30yrold & overly tall and non petite lady can wear these in public in NYC.
posted by larthegreat at 6:05 AM on July 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

So in conclusion, SPACEPANTS!

If you're not already familiar with startorialist, it might be of interest.
posted by zamboni at 6:22 AM on July 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

Zojirushi commuter thermos/mug. The instruction sheet is incredible; I'm going to frame it and mount it on the office wall.
posted by notyou at 7:06 AM on July 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Re parents having fixed perceptions of their offspring: when I told my dad that I was thinking about becoming a teacher, his jaw dropped and he said, "But you HATE kids!"

I patiently pointed out to him that every single job I'd ever had was kid-centric: babysitting, nannying, teaching music lessons, volunteering in 2 different child development labs in college, working at 2 separate pediatric hospitals... Never mind that at every single family gathering I wind up spending most of my time playing with my cousins' babies and ignoring the adults.

I asked him wherever had he gotten the idea that I hated kids: apparently, when I was 15 or so, I was annoyed by the 4th and 5th graders at school running up and down the stairs with their backpacks on wheels bumping along behind them and hitting me in the shins, and from that he decided that I didn't like children. I just... GAH!
posted by coppermoss at 7:10 AM on July 17, 2017 [6 favorites]

My father is still shocked, absolutely stunned, I say, every time I don't pick up a phone call because I have plans or other social engagements. Yes, I was a total loner in high school and I am a total introvert, but I'm not actually a misanthrope, despite what you might believe.
posted by PearlRose at 7:20 AM on July 17, 2017 [4 favorites]

Now that I have told the boss, I can tell the rest of y'all:

I got a new job!! Starting August 14th I'm gonna be the grants manager for a transportation advocacy nonprofit!

I've been interested in urban planning since high school and even considered applying to grad school for it. Now I get to learn and talk and write about it every day!

And on topic: I bought my friend some breastfeeding supplies off her baby shower registry, along with OF COURSE the baby-sized UNC dress she had on there. Tar Heels unto the seventh generation.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:51 AM on July 17, 2017 [15 favorites]

> A decent upright bass. It's been maybe 15 years since I last played upright bass

>>Man, I wish I'd learned to play bass; I envy you. I not only enjoy the much-reviled bass solos on jazz records, I own more than one solo bass CD.

Dave Holland FTW!

what was the last thing you purchased?


1. We took SIL & BILIL to NASA Glenn visitor center (at Great Lakes Science Center). GLCC has a moon rock, a burnt up Apollo command module (Skylab 4), space suits, and lots of interactive fun for kids of all ages.

b) Pilobolus, July 29th!
posted by Herodios at 9:15 AM on July 17, 2017

The local (BBC) TV news here is ... not a very good operation. Yesterday, their lead story in the lunchtime slot was about grass growing on the sides of roads in a housing estate.

Today, they decided to do a live interview with a policeman in Leicester City Centre, on the police initiative to crack down on "anti-social behavior". Always a bit of a risk, these live outside broadcasts, I thought as they cut to it. Never have I been so right (NSFW).
posted by Wordshore at 10:09 AM on July 17, 2017 [4 favorites]

Never have I been so right (NSFW).

It's no transfer day purple dildo [contains dildo but nothing sexual*] but it's not bad :D

*Unless "sexual" includes 'Fully clothed Sky Sports presenter being taunted with a dildo'; which, given Rule 34, it might.
posted by Pink Frost at 12:39 PM on July 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

There's a MeFi-related story about my latest non-routine purchase.

A little over two years ago in a thread on smartwatches, I posted that I had dreamed for a while of having a "completely minimalist" watch — meaning one that had an hour hand and a minute hand on its face, and nothing else. No logo or other brand indication, no numbers, no date indicator, no tick marks for hours or minutes, not even a single dot at 12.

Not too long after that, I discovered and purchased a watch that met that specification: the Ziiiro Ion. I loved the watch face, exactly what I wanted. What I did not love was the band. The Ion, along with some of Ziiiro's other watches, has interchangeable bands — you can pop the actual watch part out and stick it in a different Ziiiro band. I knew in advance that the bracelet-style band that came with the Ion by default would be too small for me, so I also purchased a larger bracelet-style band along with it.

But that one always felt a bit loose on my wrist, and I felt it wasn't really professional-looking, so after a few months I bought a band with an adjustable clasp. It fit better, but the clasp wasn't exactly a traditional watch band clasp and not well-designed and had a tendency to come undone if I bumped it the wrong way. I don't know how many times it came off, and I nearly lost it a couple of times that way.

But that's not how I finally lost it. My best guess is that I went out hiking one day, and it being a warm day, I left my jacket in the car, and also took off my watch (which I tend to do when hiking, especially when it's warm) and casually tossed it on top of the jacket. And at some point afterwards I retrieved my jacket, forgot and did not notice the watch on top of it, whereupon it fell to the ground, never to be seen again, no matter how much I looked for it. That's only my best guess — I'm not certain that's what happened. What I am certain of is that I never saw that watch again.

So I went back to an old, inexpensive but functional Timex, with the brand name and numbers and tick marks and a date indicator and a second hand, and that stayed on my wrist. I was not interested in buying another Ion unless Ziiiro could put it on a decent band.

Recently I thought of my ideal watch again, and decided to look and see if either Ziiiro had made a reasonable band compatible with the Ion (no), or if there were other watches meeting my specifications (yes). In fact, I found about three other manufacturers making the style of watch I wanted, so I ordered a Projects Outside watch, the least expensive of the bunch and also much less expensive than the Ion had been. (It's listed as "Out of Production" on the linked site, but I found one through a reseller.) I am now eagerly awaiting its arrival.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:00 PM on July 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

Last thing I bought was a pair of swim fins, a life jacket and a cheap body board. I'm putting them in both a want and need basket. I need to exercise and wanted to finally take advantage that I live 5 mins from this and for the past few summers just never seem to make it down the road. It's dumb. People pay money to come here and vacation every year cause it's so awesome. It's my backyard and it always seems to be 'okay next week I'll go.'

Been there 3 days in a row and it's been glorious. I work all day and fly down at the end of the day for some exercise and mental break. I swim a bit and then just bob around and relax and stretch. Yesterday I had to spend several hours dealing with a huge tree that had fallen down onto the bean field next to my house. I was sore, tired and hot. Dragged myself down the road and bliss....

Best money I've spent in a long time. Only regret is I didn't do this sooner.
posted by Jalliah at 1:35 PM on July 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

My mother does not think that I know how to cook, and when I help her in the kitchen, she tells me things like how long to boil spaghetti, and that I should take the outer skin off the onion before I chop it. Despite the fact that I'm a grown-ass 43-year-old woman who cooks nearly every damn day, talks constantly about cooking, posts recipes and pictures of the stuff I cook on Facebook all the time where she Likes them.

Despite the fact that she was the one who taught me to cook in the first place.

Did you know, knives are sharp? My mom knows. And I know, too. Because she tells me every time she hands me a knife, "Be careful, this is sharp."
posted by BrashTech at 2:14 PM on July 17, 2017 [12 favorites]

Last interesting thing I bought was our plane tickets down to Cozumel for later in the year - I'd tried out a resort dive there over the Christmas break, had a fantastic time, and now I'm going to go finish out my diving certification there. I'm excited (and also a bit nervous, since my pool sessions were... somewhat stressful and cold.) Can't wait to see the beautiful fish again!

(On the parents still thinking of their grown children as children, my mother has a weirdly charming habit of still tucking the pullcord from the blinds up high, as she got into the habit of doing so when I was a toddler. Her justification for continuing to do so now, thirty-odd years later, is that the cats might go after them. Right.)
posted by tautological at 6:49 PM on July 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

I saw Easy Rider on a big screen. It was kind of a shitty print and it even looked suspiciously like a full screen projection, but I hadn't seen the movie in 25 years or so and never on a big screen. Aspects I had forgotten or never knew: Toni Basil is one of the hookers and even gets opening credit. Three bit parts were played by actors who had Star Trek roles: Sabrina Schiff, who was Mirimanee; Robert Walker, who was Charlie X; and another dude who was the Klingon who starts the bar fight in "The Trouble With Tribbles." Bridget Fonda is one of the little children at the commune. And Jack Nicholson's drunken line about listening to bullfrogs in the moonlight makes me wonder if his line in Batman wasn't a callback.

But anyways, there were many senior citizens in the audience. So many that I think I can make my fortune with a line of organic laxatives called "Easy Rider."
posted by octobersurprise at 6:50 PM on July 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

larthegreat, since we're talking space, I saw a dress on eshakti earlier this week with a space print. If I had money in my budget to go full on Miss Frizzle I would totally get it, as my kids are at just the right age to appreciate it.
posted by vignettist at 8:21 PM on July 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

The latest slightly interesting thing I bought is a piece of pine board, about 20 inches by 28 or something, ~2 inches thick. It's a bit excessive for what I had in mind, but that's what was on the market when I looked around at the local wood shop. It's been sitting on the floor here for a week. Whether I ever succeed in making a goban out of it remains to be seen, but I have sandpaper and am making slow progress.
posted by sfenders at 9:08 PM on July 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

All Big Trip related stuff: hotel rooms; kindle books (A Place of Greater Safety, The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness (I cracked with this one and started it this week, but I'm not loving it, after really loving the first essay a LOT, boo), and Seveneves; and a lot of random comfort items for the flights (2 of, both like 10? 12? 15? hours, it's going to be a lot of fun).
posted by glitter at 10:27 PM on July 17, 2017

Did you know, knives are sharp? My mom knows. And I know, too. Because she tells me every time she hands me a knife, "Be careful, this is sharp."

The Principle of Universal Irony allows me to state with complete certainty that your future contains a day when she hands you a knife and warns you it's sharp and your ensuing eye roll takes your attention off the blade for long enough to let it inflict a nasty gash.
posted by flabdablet at 11:38 PM on July 17, 2017 [4 favorites]

I have continued the gradual upgrading of my cookware that's now become a minor obsession with getting said cookware at mega reduced prices. So last prime day I got a le creuset 24cm Dutch oven. During the January sales it was a le creuset grill pan at the outlet. This Prime day it was's turn with a Mauviel stainless steel M'cook 3 pot set at 50% off.

It's a want that is sort of need-ish because man, I am now remembering the amazballs difference in cooking with this stuff instead of the shitty thin stuff I made the best of for the past 19 years. Now I just need to wait for the pot lids to go on sale...
posted by romakimmy at 1:12 AM on July 18, 2017 [4 favorites]

It's not only parents who continue to treat their grown children as children. I am the youngest of six and boy howdy, do I know it. Despite having been married now for almost 22 years, having two nearly grown children of my own (20 and 17), working a professional job of some sort for nearly all of my adult life, AND BEING ALMOST 47 YEARS siblings STILL treat me like the baby. I'm the last to hear of family news, if I even hear it at all. No one asks my opinion about get-togethers, they were all visibly surprised when I took over managing our parents' medical stuff, no one ever asks for my advice (despite me being the go-to among ALL of my friends)'s just SO ANNOYING.

YOU GUYS, I manage the tracking and distribution of literally MILLIONS of dollars at my job. And my siblings still treat me like I'm five.
posted by cooker girl at 6:00 AM on July 18, 2017 [12 favorites]

The last thing I bought was a set of egg cups.

(I only had one, and I'm moving in with Mr. Nat soon, so we're gonna need a set.)
posted by nat at 6:28 AM on July 18, 2017 [3 favorites]

Way late to this thread, but the last thing I bought was this jade roller. You roll it around on your face, apparently, and it promotes circulation and increases skin elasticity. It hasn't come yet, but I can't wait to try it! I'm still waiting for the day when my beauty appliance/serum purchases equal the amount I'd spend on botox or lasers--almost there but not quite.

Actually, that's not quite true. The last thing I bought was a Mainstays storage bin--I reorganized our closet this weekend and needed one or two for linens. Went to the store, pulled out two bins, said to myself, eh, just get one to see how you like it--you can always come back and get more later. Ended up going back to the store for another one LESS THAN 24 HOURS LATER and they were ALL GONE!! Like 12 bins that had been there the night before! All gone! I drove to the Walmart in the next small town over, too, and THEY were all out! Like a big gap on the shelf where they should have been! They had tons of other storage bins, including the size I wanted in TEAL, but none in clear! It was so bizarre--like someone came in and cleaned them out of the EXACT THING I needed (obviously because I jinxed myself). Lesson learned--next time you buy storage bins, BUY TONS and you can always return the ones you don't need!
posted by stellaluna at 1:48 PM on July 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Went to our local farmer's market near work today at lunch and bought the following: a big bouquet of flowers for the workplace, roasted hazelnuts and ghost pepper roasted kale for workplace snacking, green beans to take home for salad. All wants, no needs. I'm a want-fulfillment kinda girl.
posted by bearwife at 3:07 PM on July 18, 2017 [4 favorites]

I'm eager to hear all suggestions for things to look at, fun facts about UV, etc.

Well, I thought they were for finding scorpions. In AZ they're sold as scorpion lights.
posted by bongo_x at 4:04 PM on July 18, 2017

I own more than one solo bass CD.

Bill Laswell?
posted by bongo_x at 4:04 PM on July 18, 2017

One more recent purchase, from Prime Day, as I am in love with it and also I fought off all suggestions on a fairly recent AskMeFi I posted here that I get one -- my new Instant Pot! It was crazy cheap as I had lots of Amazon dollars plus Prime Day, and it is already transforming my life. I subscribe to a CSA and the weekly veggies and the Instant Pot are a match made in heaven.

You were right, Metafilter! You were right! Damn you all!
posted by bearwife at 4:07 PM on July 18, 2017 [4 favorites]

Bill Laswell?

Wow, there's a name I haven't thought of in something like 20 years...
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:30 PM on July 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

I know the weekend is over, but I didn't shop for anything frivolous this weekend and I can't think of anything that I have bought in the past month... but, I just bought a dataset for about $150K for work... which...I mean... I needed to - it's for work - but trust me, it is shiny and new and exciting and I love it. If it were a person, I'd want to name it George.
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:52 PM on July 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

The last thing I purchased was a throwable self-unfolding mosquito netting tent thingy with a tarp base for our Earthquake Preparedness Kit. With the bivy and additional blankets in the kit we should be able to camp out comfortably in our backyard if need be. Wasn't expensive. I'd think of it as a "need" though my wife might disagree. She thinks I've gone a bit overboard with our kit.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:27 PM on July 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

> Bill Laswell?

No, Peter Kowald's Was Da Ist (a terrific album; you can hear enticing snippets here, and note that there is no question mark after the title, despite what you'll see in some places—I wrote about that in the obit I posted for him here). I have albums by Michael Formanek and William Parker, and I thought I had a solo album by one of them, but apparently I was remembering solo bass programs I'd been to by each of them in NYC. If I turn up another solo album on my shelves, I'll mention it, but so far it looks like I just have the one.
posted by languagehat at 5:28 PM on July 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

I’ve been having trouble with this one because I’m not a traditional consumer. Yeah, I buy things, but mostly old things, and I find things, and scour for things. But I don’t really enjoy traditional methods of material acquisition. I do like some new things. I prefer new food, for example. And I’ve got this job where they’ve unconscionably given me far too much responsibility and for that they pay me a silly amount of money, and because of that I’ve started buying some new clothes because I think they expect it. Some really nice shirts, and lots of boots. I like boots, but I tend to like them better when they’re worn in, not new.

So I’d thought I would instead focus on a different expense. My favorite expenditure is one I gladly pay almost every day, and I can usually afford it. It's the expenditure of time in an important ritual.

I’ve got a kid on the spectrum and she’s a handful, but every day when the weather is decent, we head out with the dog to the dog park. We started doing this several years ago but we continue to do it to this day. Ostensibly it’s about the dog, getting her out, getting some exercise, but I’m beginning to think it might be more about my kid. The dog is a great dog, the kind that doesn’t usually even need a leash. And she’s got a great big crush on me. Every morning as I start to stir she sneaks up to my face in the bed trying to steal little kisses, and while being told no, she’s sent confusing signals with the skritches and loving I gladly reciprocate with. She’ll do pretty much anything I say except, “No kisses.”

But at the dog park, it’s like the dog and the kid switch roles. The dog is really timid around other dogs and is reluctant to play. And her constant signaling of submissiveness tends to make her a target of dickhead aggressive dogs. Every now and then she’ll find a pooch with Sympatico, and they’ll chase each other for an hour in the park, but typically she just stays by me and watches somewhat warily. The kid, on the other hand, opens up at the park. Not only with the dogs which she’s practiced and almost too comfortable with, but also with the people. Folks let their guard down at a dog park. They tend to be friendly with strangers it seems, even with those who are socially awkward and clearly struggling to communicate. And it’s great practice for her as most other environments tend to be too overwhelming, and social interaction often falls aside when she’s struggling just to keep her shit together. I don’t have to interpret or make excuses for her at the dog park. People just seem more tolerant and able to understand.

So that’s my favorite expenditure. I make it whenever the weather isn’t ensuring that no one else will be at the dog park. And it’s the source of some of the best parts of my, my kid’s, and my dog’s typical day. I love the dog park. Would buy again.
posted by Stanczyk at 6:33 PM on July 18, 2017 [28 favorites]

Aww, Stanczyk, that's a great story.
posted by theora55 at 7:30 PM on July 18, 2017

Wow, there's a name I haven't thought of in something like 20 years..

You've just forgotten that Memory Serves.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 7:41 PM on July 18, 2017

I heard this story on NPR this afternoon and remain convinced that Wordshore is somehow involved: The Brits are in the midst of a great big cheddar cheese caper
Rich Clothier of Wyke Farms was a proud man: His traditional vintage cheddar had just won first prize at the prestigious Yeovil farm show in Somerset, England.

Imagine a sort of Olympics of old-school English country life. As well as best cheddar, there are also awards for best dog, best blacksmith and best vintage tractor. It’s no exaggeration to say that this is probably one of the most important cheddar competitions in the world.

Clothier's family has been making cheddar their own way for a long time, he says. "My grandmother was the first one to write the recipe down. So, she would have been really proud of us winning awards like this. And we still make this vintage cheddar to my family's hundred-year-old recipe."

But shortly after taking home the prize, things started to curdle. Clothier left his prize-winning cheeses at the judging table overnight — ready to display the next day.

But robbers had another idea. They made off with all his cheese — not a trace left. Even the award certificates had been taken.
posted by lazuli at 7:53 PM on July 18, 2017 [8 favorites]

I got a High Distinction on that essay I mentioned submitting on time a couple of Saturday threads ago! Wooooo
posted by Panthalassa at 8:51 PM on July 18, 2017 [4 favorites]

I'm at a coffee place, and I just got the summer special: two espresso shots, Pellegrino, lemon juice, and ice. It has a fancy name, which I've already forgotten. It tastes like a La Croix iced Americano.
posted by box at 5:28 AM on July 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Because of the FPP, I finally went out and got a copy of Bloodborne for the PS4 last night. And then I died. Like, a lot. So then I went to the liquor store for performance-enhancing gin and tonics. And then I died some more.
So yeah, yesterday I bought Death and Gin.
posted by sexyrobot at 7:01 AM on July 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

The last thing I purchased was 7 grams of dank weed, a set of new fine tip pens for doodling in my bullet journal, and Jessamyn Stanley's book, Every Body Yoga. It's a bit of a weird mix of things to purchase, but they were all purchases made to offset the horror of the previous thing I had to pay for: cat euthanasia. My sweetest friend of nearly 15 years had to leave me over the weekend. She was just too sick to stay. The procedure itself was very quick and painless (and the vet and vet tech both petted her and cried with me, which was a comfort), but oh, my heart. My heart is broken. Hence the need to get super baked and stretch and doodle.
posted by palomar at 9:51 AM on July 19, 2017 [10 favorites]

I heard this story on NPR this afternoon and remain convinced that Wordshore is somehow involved: The Brits are in the midst of a great big cheddar cheese caper

Jessamyn and myself are on the case.

posted by Wordshore at 10:25 AM on July 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

JC Penney has a 65% off coupon right now (through tomorrow -- SALE24 if you're interested) so I bought some Fiestaware that I really don't need and I can't really afford right now but man it's so pretty and sales like that don't happen every day. I collect about 10 different colors and just picked up the sugar & creamer set, an oval platter, and the lidded mixing bowls, as well as a few luncheon plates to use at work (I mean they're like $5 each with this sale, why not).
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:53 AM on July 19, 2017

Palomar--I am so sorry. Those furry little souls really leave a heartprint, don't they?
It sounds like you knew in your heart that it was time. Be kind to yourself.
posted by bookmammal at 11:10 AM on July 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

palomar, *hugs* if you want them.
posted by lazuli at 1:21 PM on July 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Jessamyn and myself are on the case.

Ha, I actually searched the front page to make sure you hadn't posted it already. Didn't think to look in MeTa. Go forth and earn your reward!
posted by lazuli at 1:22 PM on July 19, 2017

I got myself a pair of new glasses today. It's only my second pair ever; they're varifocus so they're not cheap. They are purple, look nice, and fit fine. However there seems to be some kind of a problem with them: all of a sudden, there are cat hairs all over everything.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:53 PM on July 19, 2017 [4 favorites]

Imagine a sort of Olympics of old-school English country life. As well as best cheddar, there are also awards for best dog, best blacksmith and best vintage tractor. It’s no exaggeration to say that this is probably one of the most important cheddar competitions in the world.

I have kind of strong feelings about what the most important cheddar competitions in the world are, as I spent a week working as a temp in 2008 at what clearly is the Olympics of old-school English country life, and I was responsible for collating and compiling the scores of all the competitions, including the cheese competitions.

I think Wyke Farms did well that year, too. I've never thought of it as a premium cheddar, perhaps because I first came across the brand in Kwik Save, a supermarket that was exactly as downmarket as the name suggests. I was actually never big on dairy products, and I've pretty much totally stopped eating animal produce, so I think that the next treat myself spending may well be to go to this vegan cheesemaking workshop.

First, however, I've got to move (rented) house, which has put a stop to a lot of discretionary spending, but at least it means it'll be a flat walk to that workshop. The bad news is that at 140 metres higher than the city centre, my return journeys from work will end up totalling an Everest a month.

Back, anyway, to the main coincidence which was why I really posted. The most important thing is that I worked in that temp job immediately after a temp job where I worked in an office that Wordshore had spent several years working in*. Is this just a coincidence, or do the Wordshore/librarian/cheese links go deeper than we'd ever thought?

*I have to point out that I did find this fact out from an article on Wordshore's Twitter, rather than having done a deep-dive into whether any MeFites have ever worked somewhere I work.**

**As additional proof of my lack of MeFi-sleuthing, they discuss the cheese heist in a MeTa written by someone who actually works in the same office as me, and we've never discussed MeFi, or even made much small talk. Hi, Lanark!
posted by ambrosen at 2:20 PM on July 19, 2017 [4 favorites]

Ambrosen: *frowns* I'm very confused (again). I think I may have mistaken you for someone else last year (unless you did work for Eduserv? Or ... not?). If you are now working at Bath University, that is one heck of a hill to skateboard down after work.
posted by Wordshore at 2:37 PM on July 19, 2017

I temped for UKOLN for a week, so it's the tiniest connection. I've never worked in library science (although I have one brother who's a librarian (public), and one who's a library assistant (back end, academic)).

The other think I mentioned is that it just so happens that as a further coincidence that I work about 5 desks away from Lanark, who wrote the MeTa where you & Jessamyn are working out the plot for True Librarians. I'll be living at the top of the hill once I've moved house, but I catch the train to work, so it'll be a decent old "wake me up" bike ride down to the station in the morning. At the moment, I'm ¾ mile up the hill from the station, so I can be on a train 6 minutes after leaving the house on foot.
posted by ambrosen at 3:02 PM on July 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

OMG I'm so sorry, palomar. I really ruined a vet's day when Jester apparently had a stroke and couldn't hold himself upright. It was three days before my wedding. I made it a month before I said to my wife, "not having a cat is bullshit." We adopted these two a couple weeks later.
posted by fedward at 4:11 PM on July 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

It's not a purchase, but I think I'm going to actually do the ginger beer review blog I've been saying I'd do for a couple years. Not because I think it'll be good, or because the world needs it, but because it's nice to make something just for the pleasure of doing it, even if you never reach a big audience. I used to work with a guy who wrote vampire novels, and he was such an awesome, eccentric character, that to have not written vampire novels would have been to squander his amazing potential as a human being. I'm a pretty eccentric person, and when I think about what I want to be remembered as, I'd like the occasional footnote of ("oh also, he had this, like, ginger beer review blog?") to be in there somewhere.

Unrelated to that, palomar, I'm so sorry to hear about your cat. I hope you get stoned as all bejeezus and have a good time drawing.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 6:33 PM on July 19, 2017 [4 favorites]

On the other hand, I just wrote my first ginger beer review, and I hate it and I hate my writing and I'd never keep up with a blog anyway.

I did get to have a ginger beer, though, so it's not all bad.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 8:41 PM on July 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

That's never all bad.
posted by gingerbeer at 8:52 PM on July 19, 2017 [11 favorites]

On the other hand, I just wrote my first ginger beer review, and I hate it and I hate my writing and I'd never keep up with a blog anyway.

If I may make a submission on this point, your Honour, with due humility and from a place of no expertise:

Occasional dissatisfaction with the product of one's creation is a sine qua non of creation. Is it not the fact that you are closest to your work, and the fact of your intellect and talent to examine it in detail, that may make you such work's meanest critic? I humbly submit to your Honour that those who cannot find ANY fault in their productions are the producers of the most dubious outputs - such is the paradox of doing.

On that basis your Honour I would commend you (should you have any doubts upon the matter) to "do", and not to be dismayed by an initial, wholly natural reaction to doing. But also to give your own thoughts upon your actions respect enough to do again - and thus to become the student of yourself, as you become the teacher.

Which is to say, may it please your Honour: I believe your potential for valuable creation to be vast, and the fact that some first draft does not meet the high standards of your imagination merely attests to the quality of your imagination, and your conscientious intellect. I would urge your Honour to take encouragement from that, and not despair, and to produce further work, guided by your intellect and talents!

I too am considering a "creative" endeavour and am facing similar doubts and self-criticisms; yet I shall plug on, in this manner - with thin talent perhaps, but in the hope that the growing knowledge of my (many) vices may serve to keep my (fewer) virtues on a worthwhile path.

And until I can assist you further your Honour, those are my submissions upon this matter.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 12:45 AM on July 20, 2017 [10 favorites]

Late to the party.... The last interesting thing I bought was a nose piercing! I was alone for the weekend and wanted to do something adventurous. I probably deserve a pretty big eyeroll for being a 33 year old mom who thought that getting her nose pierced would be exciting or interesting. I'm aware of that, and I almost talked myself out of it. But then I read this comment by hermitosis and I just decided to go for it. And I'm glad I did! It's cute and shiny and healing nicely so far and it sort of represents something neat that I did just for myself and I'm feeling happy about it.
posted by beandip at 8:25 AM on July 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

Before a trial that was convened at MetaTalk, on July 19, 2017, pursuant to Section I of the About page, MetaTalk, MetaFilter, dated circa 2000, of which shapes that haunt the dusk is, apparently, Judge Advocate:

1. MetaFilter user, shapes that haunt the dusk

CHARGE: Writing poorly

SPECIFICATION: That the Defendant, shapes that haunt the dusk did, on July 19th, write a bad review of a ginger beer, to the prejudice of good fun and good copy. The Defendant wrote a review that was described in disparaging terms, and deemed to be of inferior quality and not a worthwhile creative endeavor.

Of the CHARGE, the Court hereby finds the Defendant "Not Guilty," for reasons outlined by Counsel viz the subjectivity of assessing one's own writing. May the record also show that Counsel, #1 quidnunc kid, is the probably the nicest person on the internet, and has consistently been so for the two and a half years that the Judge Advocate has been present on MetaFilter (may the record also show that it is highly irregular for the Judge Advocate, Prosecutor, and Defendant to be one in the same). The Court wishes to express sincere gratitude for Counsel's impassioned defense, and for being #1 all around great.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 8:49 AM on July 20, 2017 [10 favorites]

The last thing I purchased was entry to a running race. It's an awesome race; for the people doing the Ultimate, it's 7 stages ranging from 10km to marathon distance, in August in Ontario (I.E. be prepared for heat). I'm running a relay with 6 other people in my running group. I get to do the 25km "alpine" trail trace. Up and down a local ski hill 2.5+ times per 5k loop, 5 laps.

Last year I DNF'ed on this same stage at 4.3 loops due to not being ready for the heat and being dizzy despite only walking (with resting/sitting) for the last 30 minutes-ish. So this is a major revenge thing for me. I've been getting out in the heat regularly, and I've already run the full 5 loops last saturday around noon. Definitely money well spent in my book.

The next thing I'm likely to buy is another race entry; this time for That Dam Hill. There's a price increase at Aug 1st. I'm likely to register for the marathon distance, but I'll definitely be taking a few victory laps :) Yeah, too much of my spending is either for races, or my near-never ending purchasing of shoes as they wear out.
posted by nobeagle at 9:38 AM on July 20, 2017

Hm. There hasn't been much besides the basics for me until last night. Our phone provider offered us an extra GB of data for $X more on our shared plan as part of a new contract term and to sweeten the deal, they gave us a free Alcatel A30 tablet. My old iPad has been showing signs of end of life - home button getting sticky, some display issues - so I took it.

I haven't had much time to play with it, but I'm suddenly in the world of Google and Google Play with this new tablet instead of iTunes. So I get to figure out what new apps to get, and what apps I used to have that I want to find for the new toy. I mean, I mostly just want it for browsing and YouTube, but it's still kind of exciting to have something new to fool around with and figure out. If anyone has any suggestions on great apps for it, let me know!
posted by nubs at 9:56 AM on July 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Speaking of interesting purchases, I just found a package of what is probably sausage in my freezer, that I have no slightest memory of purchasing. The reason it's only probably sausage is that it is folded up in the moisture absorbent pad that comes in meat packages and it's still frozen hard enough that I can't yet unfold it to identify it

I reject the notion that some prankster is adding meat to my freezer while I'm out of the house.
posted by Bruce H. at 11:14 AM on July 20, 2017

A copy of The Comics Journal #35 from June 1977 because it has a cover by artist Bernie Wrightson and I must have all the things by Bernie Wrightson. When I opened the package I realized I already had it.
posted by marxchivist at 12:35 PM on July 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

I reject the notion that some prankster is adding meat to my freezer while I'm out of the house.

I have done this.
posted by Gygesringtone at 1:40 PM on July 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

I bought that home bar I was talking about a few weeks ago, and it arrived Tuesday. We put it together and loaded it up with some of our fancy drinks and wineglasses and stuff. It looks really nice in that corner of our living room, and it inspired me to re-organize some other stuff on the shelves next to our bar/kitchen peninsula. So that's fun.
posted by PearlRose at 2:01 PM on July 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

I bought a whole bunch of new camping gear this month, continuing up until today, because I'm taking a bunch of friends to my favorite campground this weekend and it provided a good excuse for some upgrades. I'm most excited about the screen house (because I think it's going to rain) and the big griddle for breakfast noms.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:48 PM on July 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

... probably sausage ...

Mystery solved! It was the moisture absorbing pad from a package of chicken. I had put it in the freezer to keep it from stinking until the next garbage day, and then forgot about it.
posted by Bruce H. at 8:21 AM on July 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

On the upside, you had burritos for dinner.
posted by ardgedee at 1:37 PM on July 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

On the downside, you could have had a delicious moisture absorbing pad from a package of chicken.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:42 PM on July 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

a delicious moisture absorbing pad

Do you have any evidence for this claim?
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:58 PM on July 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Well, tastes like chicken, dunnit?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:00 PM on July 21, 2017

No earthly idea. I'll let you taste it first.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:55 PM on July 21, 2017

Mmm! Delicious! Here, try some.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:06 PM on July 21, 2017

It's like eating a cold box of KFC.

Just the box.

And the chicken that used to be in it was raw.

And freezer burned.

Like I said: Delicious!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:08 PM on July 21, 2017

posted by Greg_Ace at 6:02 PM on July 21, 2017

I don't often travel out of state, nor hang wall decor (renting), nor have space for more clutter (moving to a smaller rental), but I stumbled into an indie shop of maps and prints a few days ago while on vacation--where I could not resist the following:
- a poster of The Volcano[e]s of Cascadia, and then
- a map of the world drawn in 1154, and then
- a little marble that was a miniature globe.

The first one was a purchase after deliberation, and the other two were impulse buys after I spotted them while 1) deliberating over the first buy or 2) walking away from the register after the first buy.

All of them combine into a healthy reminder of humility. In particular, the 1154 map reminds me that there is so much more in the world than human knowledge can hold. But they also remind me of pretty and creative things we can do with what we do have.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 1:47 AM on July 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

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