Neatorama Update - October 2009

Cake Wrecks Book

A couple of weeks ago, we featured Jen Yates' new book Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong, and promised to send a free book to a Neatoramanaut whose question got answered by Jen. Here's her pick (and answer):

From Avid Cake Wreck Reader Rebecca: "I read on your site that you had taken cake decorating classes with your husband. I wondered if you ever posted one of your cakes as a wreck?"

And the answer is: Yes! You'd have to check the comment section to know this, but the infamous Epcot (aka Spaceship Earth) cake was made by me and John. That's part of why it was so funny when so many commenters told me I was wrong to call it a Spaceship Earth cake. Yep, we got a *huge* kick out of that - and still do when readers make a "I think that's Epcot" crack on a new post. Heh.

Thank you Jen and congratulations, Rebecca! See more at Jen's blog Cake Wrecks

Neatorama Mystery Sale

It's done! After two solid weeks of shipping, all shipments finally went out. Thank you to everyone who participated in the Mystery Sale!

If you haven't gotten yours yet, please be patient: it may be in the last batch, which means that you should get it either by next week or early the following week (USA) or add a week for customs clearance for international destinations.

New at the Neatorama Shop

M-Cups, the measuring cups shaped like matryoshkas or Russian nesting dolls are HOT - we've sold out of the current batch and are waiting for our next shipment ... if you order them today, we'll add a little extra "mystery" bonus to your order. ;)

Thanks for everything Neatorama. Your mystery sales and interesting post are a sliver of imagination and coll stuff in the dark world of the boring internet. Truley a godsend to anyone who is truley bored at work.
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I am really upset with my mstery sale item.. I understand mystery item means you can get whatever, but I would think the value of the item would not be significantly less then what yhou paid. Like an inflatable turkey.
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dirtyd - I got the same thing. I know my face totally fell when I opened my package and realized I had received an inflatable turkey. Oh well. I guess that's why it's called a Mystery Sale. I wish I had been surprised instead of ... disappointed. What can you do though? I love the site! I was trying to be supportive.
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My husband and I loved the inflatable turkey... our manx is absolutely terrified of it, and we use it to torment him and keep him off the couch! We also got bacon air freshener and a bad breath germ plushy! :)
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You guys must have had a lot of inflatable turkeys to unload.
I never would have bought one for myself. But it is kinda cool and the SPAM-like tin is pretty funny.

The big question seems to be:
Is it worth Nine bucks?
Archie McPhee in Seattle retails it for $11.95, and I got quite a laugh from the whole idea. The can looks great in the pantry.
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The turkey does indeed retail for over $10, although this is more than most sane people would ever pay for an inflatable meat product.

I was pretty darn disappointed when I opened the package, but decided to just consider the expense a donation to support Neatorama.

I have no hidden desire to terrify my cat, so I wish it had -some- use. I'd use it as a travel pillow, but it seems too squeaky.
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Waaahhh!!! I got an inflatable turkey!!

Lighten up Francis. I've participated in several mystery sales and the turkey was pretty cool, I actually had a chuckle when I opened it. My coworkers were fascinated by it but I didn't want to take it out of the container.
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I got an inflatable turkey and bacon air fresheners...I'm afraid to open the bacon stuff, but my fiance was able to use the inflatable turkey in a class project the day after we got it...not something I'd ever pay for by choice, but we're an odd couple and it fits us.
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I ordered 2 mystery sale items (hoping I would get something good for at least one item). I got the inflatable turkey and a plush microorganism (athlete's foot!).

I too was disappointed by my items (even though they did throw in a free bacon air freshener, yuck).

But, like elfi21, I felt going into it that it was just a donation to support the website (which I enjoy every day).
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That's how I feel. I know I'll never win the big prizes but I only participate since I feel I should contribute something once in a while to the website/staff.
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Forgot to mention I also got a giant microbe...bad breath. I'm a scientist so it was decent. Even if I'd not gotten anything I would have willingly given $20 to a site that I've followed since just 6 months after it started.
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I too got the inflatable turkey and a bacon air freshner. Alas this will be my last mystery sale purchase. I have yet to get an item really worth getting. I guess it is like the lottery - you can win bigt or lose big
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Argh, now I'm sure I'll also get the inflatable turkey... Dammit. Last time I got the huge remote control (almost cool - if only it managed to control anything :) ) and some dinky little plastic crown (the type you might find at a 50-cent store).

Although the inflatable turkey can be seen as a fun thought for Thanksgiving, I hope the Neatorama mystery sale people remember that we don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in Europe...

Just once, I wish I could get something really really cool!
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I'm so excited for my matryoshka measuring cups - and whatever mystery bonus comes with it.

I wish you sold the matryoshka sewing kit or those lavender sachets. Love you, neatorama.
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That being said I've just realised I have been following Neatorama since July 13, 2006 at 7:17 pm for Marco Evaristti Ice Cube Project....I was doing research for a project of my own and came across Neatorama.

I've been checking it most days since then so that works out at a measly $2.43 per year (or £0.35p per month)

Worth it!
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I received my inflatable turkey, bacon air freshener, and Penicillin doll. I don't feel it is work the money I paid. I was hoping for something a little more interesting.... possibly a gadget of some sort.
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I got the inflatable turkey as well but I love it! I'm going to give it to my mom because she has a vegan thanksgiving and I said "well at least you can have a kinda realistic turkey but it's still fake!" Love you Neatorama!!
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What's up with the inflatable turkey?
I gave it to a friend as a wedding gift. I ensured him it was worth at least 10 dollars.
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After reading so many people's positive remarks about past mystery sale loot, I ordered my first with a sense of adventure.

I got an inflatable turkey.

My disappointment was substantial.
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This is my first sale, and I bought 2 boxes I'm waiting to get. I've read all the comments from all the sales however, and I've noticed that almost everyone who ordered 1 box got the same prize, and people who ordered multiple boxes got something different. There's not a lot of "randomness" or "mystery" it when you look at the pattern in the shipments. Here's what I've seen so far:
1 Box ordered = Turkey
2 Boxes = Turkey + Virus Plush OR Bacon
3 Boxes = Turkey + Plush + Bacon
And so on. So I think I already know I'll be getting a Turkey and a plushie! But meh, I can't complain, I've wasted more money then this on junk food. :P I just think Neatorama should look into how they ship and make it more random by adding a LOT more variety. I think the biggest complaint I'm seeing is that it's not the fact people are getting the turkey... it's the fact EVERYONE is getting the SAME item. There's no mystery when you can tell exactly what you'll be getting from reading the comments! :) Either way, I'll probably try again, I'm a sucker for silly items.
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Aside from the fact that reading these comments defeated the mystery of the sale. I must say that Neatorama has given me hours of entertainment, and hours of thought provoking articles. Participating in this sale is akin to donating to your local public radio except I didn't get a tote bag or a mug, I got an inflatable turkey. I have found a home for my inflatable turkey. I'm giving to a coworkers son.
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Seriously, this was my last mystery sale--WTH! How does the inflatable turkey cost $9.95 and how do I explain the fact that I bought THAT to my husband????
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Got the inflatable turkey two weeks ago. My husband and I inflated it and then kind of looked at each other with a "Now what?" expression. That's when I decided to start the turkey war by placing the inflated turkey underneath the covers of my sister's bed.

The turkey has now made appearances in the shower, clothes dryer, bicycle basket and fridge. I'm afraid of where it may be right now.

This is my first mystery sale and I thought it was fun. Trust me when I say that I've spent $10 on worse things so I'm not bothered it wasn't something that I normally wouldn't purchase. I do agree that it would be nice if there were a variety of silly things rather than just one set prize per sale.
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So I have just received my inflatable turkey that I paid over $20 for....BUT IT HAS A WHOLE IN IT!

I'd send it back but don't see the point in paying what ever it costs to send it back to USA.
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Geekazoid - I've been thinking the same thing about the queue. I have basically lost all faith in the queue between irregular voting patterns of voters, large amount of garbage and duplicate posts, and the number of posts that get added to the blog by the regular contributors weeks after being voted down in the queue.

That's not a knock at Alex or the other contributors, the queue is a difficult feature to manage effectively.
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