The Missus is throwing a shindig....UPDATE withAAR

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The Missus is throwing a shindig....UPDATE withAAR

Post by The Highwayman » Sun May 31, 2009 10:25 pm

Hey all. I'm in need of a little brainstorming here, and possibly for some of you to relate some of your personal experiences. Here's the situation-

My wife and two friends are planning to have a party here at my homestead, to celebrate the 4th of July. They will be inviting a bunch of former coworkers and their family, that they worked with at the local (now defunct) Circuit City. The ages of the invitees ranges from 18-50ish, and most are not all that well known to myself, or even some to my wife. The party will be pretty much all day and most of the night, and will be both indoors and out, although I am trying to minimize the indoor activity. The problem with that is, I live in a rural, semi-heavily wooded area, and it tends to get scorching hot here during our summers. We are expecting upwards of possibly 70 people.

Now, here's where I am having reservations. You see, due to some bad experiences when I was younger, I tend to not be very trusting of people on my personal property, let alone inside my house. There are very few people that I wold trust with unfettered access to my home without me being present each and every moment, and none of them will even be here. Also, since our German Sheppard is very protective, as well as territorial, we are going to have to confine him to a large extent.

Now, as I said, I am very leery of folks I don't know around my house regardless, but due to the state of my preps, supplies, and weapons, I am exponentially more so for the past several years. Especially being in hurricane central, I have just too much stuff (cases and cases and 5 gallon jugs of water, cases and cases of canned and dehydrated food, three large storage drawer/shelf things full of medical supplies, crates and ammo cans full of ammo, etc., etc., etc.) throughout the house to be able to entirely conceil it all. For instance, our water supply is well over 30 gallons, and is stored around my dining room.

Now, apart from stashing as much in the spare "war room" that I have a lot of my more sensitive stuff in, what else can I do? I mean, aside from constantly being around, and escorting in, anyone, anytime someone has to use the restroom, wants to check the TV, grab some food, etc. It really boils down to just my wife and I that will be aware of what types and quantities of supplies are located in our home, and I want to keep it this way.

Add to this that the last time I really threw a party over just a few friends, was over 10 years ago, when I was a single guy, who lived in the moment, and really only had a handgun and rifle or three, that I needed to worry about being accessed, and I feel pretty out of the loop.

So, I'm looking for suggestions, ancedotes, and personal experiences pertaining to what I can and should do, to avoid anyone "accidentally" finding out about our preps. I am trying to avoid anyone getting any ideas of returning at a later date and helping themselves to my shit (although my aforementioned GS should be able to handle any attempts at this, I'd rather not give anyone reason to try), as well as any uninvited guests should TSHTF looking to leech off of our stuff.

So, lets hear it; what would y'all do? Thanks.
Last edited by The Highwayman on Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by propdoc » Sun May 31, 2009 10:38 pm

How well do you sew? I can do a simple straight stitch and have a old sewing machine which has done me well in the past.

My suggestion would be to buy some cheap fabric and sew covers for most of the stuff. Then just put a bunch of flowers or some chips in a tray on top of those bulk items you can't move. If you wrap the bottom 24" in brown craft paper, then any one curious who lifts the edge of the fabric still won't see what's underneath. Anyone so curious as to pull the cover off, hit with a baseball bat.
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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by Ricky Romero » Sun May 31, 2009 10:46 pm

I'd suggest cramming it all in the war room, the garage, the attic, anywhere that is securable, and locking the door. If that isn't possible, then do what I do and tell people that you buy in bulk to save money. And hide the guns/ammo. For some reason people freak at the thought that there is a weapon of any sort in the house. Better that they don't know anyway.
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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by raptor » Sun May 31, 2009 10:51 pm

70 people is a lot of people to have over for a party. That is a lot of work for you and wife, both before and after the party. Personally I have a limit of 30 people and after that we have to have the party someplace else. Adding to the work is that some of the people will be unknown to you. That is a big "oh oh" in my book.

You need to limit the people to the outside areas as much as possible. However having said that as you pointed out it will be hot and people will need to use the bathroom.

Personally the heat aspect can be addressed by renting a couple of large part tents for shade and set up some fans in the tents to make them more comfortable. Lots of water, daquaris (no booze), iced tea and lemonaid will also help.

Alcohol is also something you have to worry about. Nothing is worse for a party than a few of the guests getting shitfaced. On top of that if you are serving the booze you have some liability if your guests drive DUI. Personally I try to limit everyone to soft drinks, daquaris, beer or wine (due to the low alcohol content). I also do not leave ice chests of beer and wine everywhere. They are available at the bar along with cocktails and daquaris. I also either hire a bartender or put a close friend or my wife in charge of the bar. Remember a bartender is both a drink mixer and someone to make sure that people do not get shitfaced.

As for you preparations and dog I suggest that you move your obvious preps into an private part of the house and lock that door. The dog is a goo excuse to shut off most of the house to your quests. Simply tell them that your dog gets anxious around strangers and that they have stay only in the area you set aside to keep the dog from possibly biting them. That provides both a polite way to bar guests and provides an incentive to your guests not to stray off the permitted area.

Finally I would suggest that you find a public park or such area to have this party. 70 people even 70 well behaved people can cause a lot of damage to your yard and house. It is managable but you have to keep people out of your house.

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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by TheGunslinger » Sun May 31, 2009 10:53 pm

I kinda like the idea of covering things, if possible.

I've had a similar thing though, DTOM - threw a bit of a shindig over at my folks place where we also had a lot of stuff that we didn't really want the public to view.

I don't know the lay-out of your house, but at a lot of parties at a mates house we often essentially barricade in the parts of the house that we don't want people to go.

Nothing too extensive - but if you have say the toilet, fridge and whatever space you want all the people in planned out in advance, then block the rest off.

Incidentally, the water and less obvious prep-stuff can/could be pretty useful. Stack the water, put a sheet and a note saying 'out of bounds - toilet the other way' would probably be enough. Even a piece of rope slung across or some cardboard boxes stacked up is enough of a warning.

The dog could be even more useful - put dog in war room with rest of kit and as much as you can bear to move. Place notice on the door saying 'keep out - feisty dog inside!' and let the guests know that your GS is in their and can be a bit ornery, so please keep out. That'd keep all but the really dumb (or determined) from poking about too much.

I wouldn't expect those kind of preps to be that unusual, either. I've been to plenty of parties where the host has put 'entry fee to be paid in daughters only' on his bedroom door, or something similar.

I've also seen a mate go a little more all out and open the windows and then lock the doors from the inside. No chance of people really going where they shouldn't, then hope back in the window and open the door after all the people have gone. That'd probably be a bit of pain in the arse to do, though.
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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by bonanacrom » Sun May 31, 2009 10:54 pm

Whats the lay-out of the house ? My first thought was to put a ( cheep ) baby gate in the hallway to indicate no farther. The dog on leash a distance behind the gate will enforce this. Move your stuff into the bedrooms behind the gate. Rent porta potties for the party. Build a giant shed to store your stuff till the party is over. If the Missus wants a party you can bet she's going to have a party. I don't trust my extended family, and have locks on the interior doors there not allowed to enter.
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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by AZMedic » Sun May 31, 2009 11:08 pm

I would just put as much as possible in the rooms. Including your bedroom. Both of you may have to sleep in the living room a few nights as you pack and unpack it all. Lock it all in bedrooms.
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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by WoG » Sun May 31, 2009 11:50 pm

This is just me, but if you're that uncomfortable with the idea, change the venue. Nothing like spending July 4th miserable with worry and burning up. It's your home. If you're uncomfortable with the idea (it sounds like you've always been uncomfortable with the idea) I would have just taken your home off the table when talks started about a party. Over a month to go till July 4, shouldn't be too big of a deal to change the location.

If you're in hurricane central though, wouldn't people understand preps? I mean if you have a number of guns, you have a safe- right? Do you have a lock on your bedroom door? Just lock the rooms you don't want people getting into. Put a sign on your house and all the doors inside - beware of huge face eating german shepard.

Personally I think covering things is kind of a mistake. People curious enough to want to get in your house during a party would definitely be curious to take a gander at the huge covered boxes in the corner.

Again, if you're that freaked out, worried about people coming back someday to steal your stuff, just change the venue for the party.

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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by shrapnel » Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:02 am

If there's one thing I've learned from working in theatre and the entertainment industry, it's that stuff that is draped in black fabric instantly becomes invisible. This point was driven home to me at a very fancy corporate event where someone had forgotten to drive an articulated knuckle boom lift out of the room, and the door to the dock had been subsequently completely blocked. Since the show was set to start in like ten minutes, we parked the thing up against a (pale tan colored) wall and draped the entire thing in miscellaneous black fabric. The lift, needless to say, vanished instantly.

Problem: Solved!

Seriously, though- haul most of your shit into rooms that can be locked, drape some of what's left out with something vaguely decorative-looking (per propdoc's suggestion), and if you have to, stash anything that's left behind the couch, in the washing machine, etc. And if you have a cat, try wrapping some boxes of stuff in cheap fabric and cover the tops with some incredibly cheap carpet. Then arrange the boxes so that you can claim that they're a jungle gym for the cat! If you do rent an area tent or something, you can always disguise at least a few jugs of water as 'ballasts' for it.
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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by sirenmoses » Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:25 am

Raptor nailed it.

a) move venue
b) if can't, then rent tent, portaloos etc.
c) house is off-limits due to 'nervous' canine & guest safety
d) if alcohol is served, pull keys & include cots in tent rental, along w/hangover supplies for the am. but you'll get your kicks by making 'em work off their lodging by cleaning up all the crap from night before.

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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by Glennbo » Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:03 am

You need to look at this as a the great opportunity it is. Turn all these partygoers into witnesses to your complete lack of anything of value. 70, 80 people...the more the better!

Rent a storage space for a week. Shouldn't cost much. Haul your valuable stuff there for a couple of days before the party. Have a worry-free, fun time at your party! Let people go wherever they want. Keep the dog chained up in a corner of your now empty war room, "because it's crazy". The more pissed-off it is the better. "Hey, look at that...this guy keeps a crazy, pissed-off dog inside his house!". After the party take a day to clean up, and then spend a couple of days hauling all the stuff back again at your leisure. In fact take away everything of value that you own to your storage space like T.V.s, expensive tools, appliances, or audio equipment. Turn your home into an empty shell containing the bare essentials.

This plan has the very important benefit of having 70 people (who will tell 70 others etc...) that you have nothing, absolutely nothing of value to bother coming back for ever, for any reason. They've seen with their very own eyes that the house is barren of anything of value, and you will be remembered as the guy who doesn't have anything except a crazy, pissed-off dog if any of them ever needs something.

It will probably cost you $50 and a lot of time and energy, but the payoff is worth it. You have actually INCREASED your home's security by having this "dreaded" party!

While we're at it, everyone reading this thread should do this once a year. Clear out your house. Invite all your neighbors, especially the "questionable" ones, over for a New Year's Party. Let them roam your entire house and garage, leaving every door unlocked. Let them see that you have absolutely nothing worth taking...even after Christmas!. Why, you didn't even get one decent gift! Then you can slowly sneak it all back in later. The word will get out, and you've increased your future security beyond measure. You can't BUY word of mouth security like that!

You're welcome.
Last edited by Glennbo on Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by Glennbo » Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:15 am

WoG wrote:Personally I think covering things is kind of a mistake. .
That's right. People aren't dumb. If you partition off parts of your house you may as well just put up a sign that says, "We've got so much valuable stuff that we can't even hide it all!".
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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by TravisM.1 » Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:10 am

I'd rent a couple porta pottys and tell people to stay the hell out of the house.
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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by LowKey » Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:02 am

Renting Port-o-potties, and a large awning/tent with tables and chairs would be the 1st step. Run your garden hose down to the tent and rig a sink with faucet, draining into a seep pit or drainage ditch.
Second step, trace the route from your front (or back) door to the kitchen and to the bathroom. Living room is an optional stop if it isn't "en route". Then clear everything you are worried about people seeing out of those areas an into a bedroom or two. Lock the doors to the bedrooms. If all you have are "privacy locks" buy some new doorknobs keyed on both sides. If you don't have one, get a kennel cage for your will keep him from tearing up stuff if he gets a bit anxious/nutty from the noise of all those people and partying.

Place the tent awning a good distance from the house with port-o-potties nearby, preferably downhill from your house to discourage people from walking uphill to go inside your home. Explain to folks that your septic system can't handle 70 people in one 24 hour period so you have the port-o-potties this explanation tends to make them more cooperative. Expect a few diehards to want to use indoor plumbing no matter what, which is why you've cleared sensitive stuff out of the path from your front door to the toilet (and kitchen for the fridge,ect). You've locked the other interior doors to keep folks from getting "lost".

1-Tent at a distance from the house with portable toilets nearby(shade the port-o-potties with a tarp or something...they get hot inside fast).
2- Running water avaible near the tent.
3- Path from front door to kitchen and bathroom cleared of sensitive stuff, all other doors locked. Dog in kennel cage.
4- No alcohol in the house...keep it down at the tent.

With 70 people coming, have you considered the parking issues?
I don't know how much property you have, or the layout. Consider doing some "valet" parking under the excuse of needing to fit the cars into a limited space. Tag the keys as you get them with the owners name and car model/color. You keep the keys in a lock box or something, and get the car out for them when they are ready to leave. This helps you control where and how the cars are parked (and avoid them parking on/in something they shouldn't), and you can evaluate the drivers for intoxication when they ask to get their cars back...keeping a drunk off the road.

Keep the phone number to the local cab companies nearby in case someone needs to go home but isn't able to drive.
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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by Lenny » Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:36 am

* Large U-haul truck
* Longe leash tied to back.
Back the truck up to said house use as a "storage" unit. The nice doggy can use the space under the truck as shade until he is needed.
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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by herbalpagan » Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:41 am

Drape the supplies
Put a big "beware of dog " sign on the door
Move stuff into rooms with closed doors
Porta Potty
use "hurricane supplies" as an excuse if anyone makes a comment (who knows, you may find a like minded person)

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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by TC » Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:12 am

Lots of great ideas here. I like the idea of keeping people out of your house as much as possible and blocking doors/paths that you don't want them to take. Most people won't move a table that is in front of a door if it has a sign on it saying something like 'bathroom is the other way' or 'cranky dog - do not enter'. I think having your dog is a big plus here, so make good use of this.

One other thing I'll add is that you should definitely keep a good first aid kit to hand, not with the rest of your hidden preps. People do have accidents, especially where alcohol is involved. Could be someone falling over and having a little scrape at one end of the spectrum to someone going face first onto a hot grill. Be ready for people to do stupid shit to themselves.

I would also say that you should try to not invite people who you know are trouble or might make a scene. It's your home, if they can't behave themselves then you don't have to put up with them. I'd rather someone who isn't a close friend get annoyed that they aren't invited than have my home, family and close friends endangered or pissed off. It also saves having to tell someone to leave during the party, which could get nasty if booze has been consumed.
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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by Jamie » Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:17 am

+1 to nobody in the house...

Rent some porta-potties, have tons of food and drink (and ice) already set up under cover, FAK outside, wireless phone outside (with phonebook, somebody will need to call some number that they don't know), toys and books for kids that come, shelter from sun and rain, etc.

Blame it on the dog, but don't let anyone in the house...that's the easiest way...once they're inside, all bets are off...everybody snoops, some people do worse...70 people is too many to count on good behavior from all...

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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by Ahkaine » Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:19 am

Glennbo wrote:
WoG wrote:Personally I think covering things is kind of a mistake. .
That's right. People aren't dumb. If you partition off parts of your house you may as well just put up a sign that says, "We've got so much valuable stuff that we can't even hide it all!".
I disagree. It may say you've got valuables, if you're upper middle-class or lower upper-class. To my solidly middle-class mind, it says "We had too much to do getting ready for this party and didn't have time to clean the rest of the house. Therefore, please stay out of our messy bedrooms, office, den, etc."

I think Bonanacrom has the best idea, one I've used before: Baby Gate and nervous dog on the other side. As long as people have access to bathrooms and ice, they're usually agreeable.

If watching the game or something similar is important, consider taking a TV outside.

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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by Chantrea » Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:21 pm

WOW, that is a huge party! Is this the first time you guys have had a party that large?

Here are my thoughts, as someone who grew up in a household where it was required that my family entertain about that many people at our house at least once a month.

First, you need to realize that non-survivalists are NOT going to assume that closed doors means that you have lots of goodies. What people will assume (because it is true of virtually everyone) is that closed doors means that you have just cleaned your house for the party and you dumped all your shit at the last minute into those rooms. So frankly, if you are really that worried about it, drape visible things in sheets and put a few laundry baskets of clothes around it. Storage containers and boxes will be fine as is, probably even if they have labels. That is what I personally would do with non-locking doors. If you can lock doors, do so. People are not going to be suspicious of you for doing it. Now, if you act like a freak during the party, they might have their suspicions that you are a weirdo, but they're probably still going to assume that the rooms behind closed doors are a pit, not that they're full of ammo and gold bars. :)

Second, see if you can score a couple of those shade tents at a rental place, if you don't already have one. Though because this would be for a holiday party, you may not be able to find some that are available. If people have shade, and you put a cold drink dispenser there and some chairs, ect. then they'll be happy. Suggest to folks that maybe they'd like to bring a lawn game (croquet, volleyball/badmitton net, ect.) that they like that could be shared. If it's likely that you'll have kids or dogs coming, it might be worth it to buy a cheapie kiddie pool (or two or three). Even young adults will play in those, esp. if it's hot. :D

Third, realize that most people, particularly ones that don't really know you, are not going to stay the whole time. A lot of your RSVPs will not show (this may be balanced out by people who do show up and didn't RSVP, depends though). Many people will choose a last minute party/hangout time with friends, than an office networking party, at the last minute.

Fourth, have a LOT of garbage cans around the area. In my experience, most people at least attempt not to be piggy, but sometimes they can give up or just stack things somewhere if they have no clue where the garbage is.

Fifth, assuming that you allow people to use your bathroom--with that many people all day, honestly I would do a quick bathroom check every 2 or 3 hours. So if there's a wad of TP that is not completely going down you can break out the plunger and take care of things proactively before things spill over--especially if the guests won't know exactly who to alert to a slow running toilet.

Sixth, if you have the space in your freezer, fill about 5 2 gallon milk jugs 3/4ths of the way with water. Those huge blocks of ice (which can be taken out and hardened back up periodically) keep drinks cold for longer and aren't as hugely messy as having to dump out a bunch of water from your coolers, IME.

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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by ZombieGranny » Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:53 pm

Good ideas with awnings, food, drink, ice, potties, etc. Oh, remember music too! (not too loud, please; or the old folks will go inside to get away from it.)

At parties we string crepe paper streamers from one wall to the other across the hall at the bathroom door, before it goes to bedrooms. Starting at the ceiling down to below waist height, with a hanging arrow marked 'restroom' in front of it. If you think someone would duck under, just continue down to the floor.
It's a party decoration, a notice where the bathroom is, and a keep out of the messy bedrooms warning.
Even when folks are supposed to stay outside, it's a good idea.
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If a one-eyed razorback barbarian warrior was chasing you with an ax, you just had to hope you could outrun him.
Preps buy us time. Time to learn how and time to remember how. Time to figure out what is a want, what is a need.

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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by Wolfdude87 » Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:11 pm

I occasionally throw parties with anywhere up to 100 people constantly arriving and leaving, many of whom I don't know very well. Here's my advice:

1. Keep your weapons locked up. For some reason drunk people who know you have guns always want to see them..

2. Remove anything of value, that would fit easily in a pocket or bag and put it in a safe place (you did say 18 year olds would be there... punk kids). I usually put it all in one room and lock the door so people can't get in. Basically, have an off limits area of the house that only you and your wife can access.

3. If you don't have one go to the hardware store and buy a big industrial trashcan or two, along with the giant trash bags. It'll make for much easier clean up in the afterward.

4. Don't worry so much about people in your house, let them know the rules and enforce them, but over all people are there to have a good time and enjoy the 4th of July. It's not like they're sitting at home, sweating with devious anticipation over the ways they can fuck you over the minute they breach the threshold. People will mostly respect the rules, those who don't can be asked to leave. Can't be friends with everyone right?

5. If you're grilling it's often tempting to man the grill, but if you do you're stuck there, which makes it hard to keep an eye on things. Assign a friend to that.

6. Get into it! If you make this party your own it'll be a good time. If you're going to have music, put on songs you like. I've found that through mingling with complete strangers I've met people who are way more dedicated survivalists than I. I've met people who aren't, but have fascinating skill sets and great stories.

Finally, just relax and don't look at this as a bad idea, parties are a great way to socialize. Don't stress out too much about it, it never hurts to meet new people and network a bit. If anything, just stay on your toes a bit and it'll be fine.

I can't think of anything else right now..

Hey, just started a new blog. Updates 3 times a week. I'd love feedback. Plus it should be pretty entertaining.

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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by nyvp » Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:11 pm

I had a party 3 weeks ago and had 100 boxes of body bags for my Cert group in the living room that was turned into a table with a pcs of sheet rock and a table cloth as the cover. no question asked none given.

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Re: The Missus is throwing a shindig....

Post by ironraven » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:30 pm

OK, my silly question time. You don't know all these people. So why are you inviting them?

Big +1 on a portapot or two. Keep them outside.
"Even if it's only the handful of people I happen to meet on the street or in my home, I can still protect them with one sword."

When a man go no longer speak without malice intended lest he cause offense, that is when truth starts to die.

There are three kinds of man- Man the Toolmaker, Man the Tool User, and man the tool.

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