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Old 06-07-2007, 12:31 PM   #41
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So true, ERD! A few months ago, DH was channel surfing and landed on a symphony orchestra playing. He thought it was one of those community access channels and that it must have the Podunk Community Orchestra of Amateurs. I'm not as astute about classical music as he is, but I thought they sounded damn good and said so. He thought they were "fair." Well---wasn't he embarrassed when the announced that it was the National Symphony Orchestra in DC! Once he knew who they were, he thought they were "very good."

And then there was the experiment done in a DC subway station a few months ago when Joshua Bell, the rock star of the classical violin world, was disguised and performed as an unknown street musician in the station---and just as the Joni Mitchell song said (thanks for that, by the way---
don't know too many people who even remember/have heard that song), no one stopped to hear him, although he played so well. Sad.
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Old 06-07-2007, 01:51 PM   #42
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When we were in Daytona Beach earlier this year, we went to hear the Civic Orchestra's Spring concert at the DB Community College. Extremely well performed by unpaid musicians.

A nice relaxing afternoon for only $5.
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Old 06-07-2007, 03:14 PM   #43
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Definitely some common elements on this thread---hiking/walking, enjoying nature and parks, taking advantage of free or low-cost cultural stuff. So---it leads me to wonder whether it's the chicken or the egg. Do these activities appeal to FIRE types because they're free/low cost? Or did these activities always appeal, this saving money and leading to FIRE?
Inquiring minds want to know!
Interesting thought. It might indeed be that those folks with expensive hobby and entertainment tastes aren't able to FIRE.

But in our case, the activities don't appeal because they are cheap - that's not why we started doing them. They are simply what we enjoy doing the most, and the fact that they are low cost is just icing on the cake.

But I noticed long ago that there was little correlation between how expensive an activity was and how enjoyable it was.

Audrey
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Old 06-07-2007, 04:12 PM   #44
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audrey, you should have mentioned something everyone forgot which can be relatively free though it is normally thought of as rather expensive: travel. this can be country-wide or world-wide.

if you are willing to give up living in one place and either move onto a boat, or into an rv, or if you vagabond living 6 months here and a year there-- because you have to pay to live someplace anyway--then your travel becomes just the cost of living rather than a luxury expense.

unemcumbered by a job and you are free to enjoy a cheap matinee and free weekday use of local parks. unecumbered by a stationary home and you are free to roam.
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Old 06-07-2007, 05:16 PM   #45
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Definitely some common elements on this thread---hiking/walking, enjoying nature and parks, taking advantage of free or low-cost cultural stuff. So---it leads me to wonder whether it's the chicken or the egg. Do these activities appeal to FIRE types because they're free/low cost? Or did these activities always appeal, this saving money and leading to FIRE?
Inquiring minds want to know!
There are plenty of hobbies around that can be next to free. My favorite is woodturning. Once you have the necessary equipment, a lathe, which will cost from $500 on up to $4500, the hobby can be mostly free from there on.

In any large city there is an endless supply of free turning stock just for the asking. All you need is a few friends in the tree trimming business and a way to haul the booty home. A few hours collecting and preparing a few choice pieces can lead to days of cost free fun. Once a piece is finsihed you can sell it for a profit or give it away. There are plenty of galleries that are always looking for new artists.

One of my recent pieces. This one is about 16 inches tall and was made from all free wood, walnut, curly maple and ebonized beech.

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Old 06-07-2007, 05:22 PM   #46
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that's beautiful unclehoney. nice form. love the spout. great colors. if i was into collecting things i would want one.
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:05 PM   #47
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Very beautiful, Uncle Honey.

My favorite low cost activities are reading and walking.
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:18 PM   #48
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Thanks. It's really fun to check out the neighbor's wood pile for unusual finds and then turn something. Several neighbors have bowls I turned from storm damaged trees.

I know one retired eighty+ year old woodcarver that works with free logs and carves fantastic sculptures that sell for thousands. He starts with a chain saw and they end up with a finish that almost glows in the dark.
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:29 PM   #49
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Go to my guitar lesson once a week..cost $21 dollars but I pratice 2 hours a day so it costs 1.50 per hour. This will all come down when I play and not have to take lessons.
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:41 PM   #50
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Watching all the birds and mammals(squirrels rabbits woodchucks raccoons...) for about $60 /month worth of critter food.
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Old 06-07-2007, 09:05 PM   #51
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UncleHoney, that's so beautiful! How long did it take you to do it?

There is a guy on Ebay who makes beautiful wooden pool cue cases. I love them so much but haven't bought one yet. $200 is usually is asking price for a one cue (two pieces) case.
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Old 06-07-2007, 09:18 PM   #52
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UncleHoney, that's so beautiful! How long did it take you to do it?

There is a guy on Ebay who makes beautiful wooden pool cue cases. I love them so much but haven't bought one yet. $200 is usually is asking price for a one cue (two pieces) case.
Thanks Sam.

This piece took about a week to complete but that time was over several months. The main body of the pitcher was turned from fresh cut walnut that has a lot of water. I rough turned it and then let it dry for several months. In that time the wood usually shrinks and warps some. It may even crack if it drys too fast.

The real fun comes when you put the dried piece back on the lathe and do the finishing cuts and add the accents. I spent several days making the handle and applying the lacquer finish.

UH
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:24 AM   #53
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if you are willing to give up living in one place and either move onto a boat, or into an rv, or if you vagabond living 6 months here and a year there-- because you have to pay to live someplace anyway--then your travel becomes just the cost of living rather than a luxury expense.
Yep - you are very right. When we moved into our RV and sold our house, I also removed the "travel" category from our budget. Now our travel expenses are just part of our daily living expenses.

I don't think I would ever consider traveling to be "cheap" though - not when compared to NOT traveling, unless you are essentially backpacking it which some people definitely do!

But you can definitely get way more bang for the buck as you get experienced with travel. Our first couple of years we signed up for "group" travel excursions which was fun as someone else figured out all the details and we just came along for the ride. It was a great way to get started. But after a couple of years we were really ready to do it on our own, and travel expenses dropped dramatically - maybe cut by 2/3 even. Since, as we've gained more experience and later switched to RVing most of it, they came down even more. Now, fulltiming, they are even lower. So the moral of the story is that as you gain experience, travel expenses can come down dramatically OR you can get a lot more travel in for the same $$$.

Our monthly living expenses are lower now living fulltime in the RV than they were when we had a home base and a smaller RV. But all you have to do is ammortize the cost of the RV we bought (which is a depreciating asset), and any idea that this is "cheap" is blown right out of the water.

Doesn't matter though. The RV is already paid for, so we feel like it's "free". LOL!

Audrey

P.S. UncleHoney that is a SPECTACULAR piece of woodwork!!!
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:28 AM   #54
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There are plenty of hobbies around that can be next to free. My favorite is woodturning. Once you have the necessary equipment, a lathe, which will cost from $500 on up to $4500, the hobby can be mostly free from there on.

In any large city there is an endless supply of free turning stock just for the asking.
Wow, that is an impressive piece. Well done!

However, I think you left a few things out. A few hundred or a few thousand for a lathe, free/cheap wood - OK. But what about talent/skill/artistry? If I attempted to turn something like that it would look more like one of those clay ashtrays (pencil holders these days, I guess) we made as kids in 1st grade.

-ERD50
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:55 AM   #55
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Wow, that is an impressive piece. Well done!

However, I think you left a few things out. A few hundred or a few thousand for a lathe, free/cheap wood - OK. But what about talent/skill/artistry? If I attempted to turn something like that it would look more like one of those clay ashtrays (pencil holders these days, I guess) we made as kids in 1st grade.

-ERD50
Thanks ERD50.

You are right about leaving a few things out. But skills build after time and a lot of practice.

Some of my first pieces looked like real sow's ears.
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:28 PM   #56
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Go to my guitar lesson once a week..cost $21 dollars but I pratice 2 hours a day so it costs 1.50 per hour. This will all come down when I play and not have to take lessons.
Yes! And if you develop to the point of playing gigs out and about, pocket $150-200 per night... all while having fun, entertaining yourself and others!

-AJ
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:39 PM   #57
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uncle honey that is perty!!!

i once worked at an "art craft" shop in brentwood that sold a piece of turned wood for $10,000... it was perty too - but my jaw dropped! we just told the customers about the "artist" and that upped the price of whatever was in the store by a few hundred percent...
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:03 AM   #58
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UncleHoney - what a magnificent piece of art - very nice.

I knit and am now good enough that I could probably sell my work - I don't sell it I give it away to people who appreciate the time involved...plus my relatives. Maybe when I retire I'll see some, then maybe not - it might be *work* then :-)
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