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Let there be light!

We need a light source for our patio area... With some special snowflake requirements below. [more inside]
posted by LaBellaStella on Jul 27, 2014 - 6 answers

ISO best practices for cleaning up broken glass outdoors

I have a (potentially) lovely area in my yard where I'd like to put some patio furniture. Problem: it seems to have been used as a midden/trash heap at some point in the past. Things I've found there include old glass fuses, broken window glass, and old vacuum cleaner parts (some with tree roots growing right through them). I suspect the *right* way to fix it is to dig up and replace a few inches of the topsoil (or to pave it over), but I'm renting. I'm willing to put down a few inches of mulch, but I'd like to get as much of the glass up as I can beforehand. I've been picking it up by (gloved) hand but if anyone has any secret tips for locating and picking up broken glass off of dirt, I'd love to hear them!
posted by mskyle on Jun 12, 2014 - 10 answers

Where can I get interlocking rubber play surface mats in the bay area?

I am looking for something like these for our backyard. They need to be designed for outdoor use and rain. You can find similar ones online, but since these are really heavy, the shipping costs are as much as the mats. Are there any local retailers in the bay area that will sell small quantities to an individual? I have Amazon Prime but have not found anything Prime-eligible that looks decent.
posted by benzenedream on Apr 10, 2014 - 3 answers

The Great Outdoors: Furniture Edition

Never-ending winter be damned! I want to think about outdoor furniture, but I'm basically clueless. What holds up well? Dining set-up or lounge? Specific recommendations appreciated! [more inside]
posted by Diagonalize on Mar 23, 2014 - 10 answers

Best apartment gift?

My brother's birthday is next Friday, and I am honestly stymied as to what to get him (and cannot get a serious answer out of him.) He is in his early 30's, and just moved into a new apartment that has a cute outdoor space. (Pavement ground) Does anyone have a similar space? He and his girlfriend have already furnished the place, so they don't need essentials. Etsy-friendly suggestions particularly welcome.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 28, 2014 - 10 answers

Big Dog Problem

After 9 years, we've reached the end of our tether trying to control our German Shepherd x Border Collie. Not content with climbing over our 8-ft high fences, he's now taken to breaking out the windows of our house. Is there any hope for him, and what should we be trying? [more inside]
posted by Jimbob on Feb 8, 2014 - 48 answers

Alpine touring setup for a 105 lbs, 5'0" beginner skier

With just about every activity that I ended up enjoying, I started out by buying cheap-ish gear and then having to purchase everything all over again when I was ready to upgrade. Help me not do that when it comes to a randonee/alpine touring ski setup to be used in the Pacific Northwest backcountry. Complications: I'm a 5'0" woman with mondo size 22 feet, don't weigh a whole lot, and I'm going back to skiing after a decade of snowboarding (lessons start next month and I tend to be a very fast learner). I've my backpack, all clothing and avy gear, but I need skis, bindings, boots, poles, and skins. I'm on a budget and unfortunately nothing is available used in my size, but I'm willing to invest. Help?
posted by halogen on Nov 28, 2013 - 9 answers

Definitive book for Doing Things?

Is there a definitive activity book? Sort of like a cookbook, but for Activities To Do? [more inside]
posted by aniola on Nov 17, 2013 - 6 answers

Help me figure out how to choose and set up an outdoor speaker system.

I would like to surprise my husband with an outdoor speaker system. Please give me advice about whether to go wired or wireless, which speakers to buy, other things I should know before I start this project. [more inside]
posted by semacd on Jul 28, 2013 - 4 answers

Is "polywood" (recycled plastic) patio furniture worth the investment?

We are getting a new patio soon (woo hoo) and are looking at furniture. We are in favor of using recycled materials, and we are not good at staining/storing our outdoor stuff. Someone told us about polywood (which is made from old milk jugs?) and it looks pretty sharp. All of the polywood sales sites promise 20-year or longer warranties, say that no maintenance is required, and promise that the stuff is basically weatherproof. But I'm skeptical. So, does anyone have polywood furniture? Does it perform as advertised? Is it comfy? Does it look nice? Are there any brands that are clearly better than others?
posted by AgentRocket on Jun 21, 2013 - 5 answers

What's this little creature found in my pond?

I saw this little critter swimming around in my outdoor goldfish pond. It's maybe a little over 1/8" in diameter, seems to paddle around carelessly with feet/paddles on its underside. It's kind of flat, roundish and transparent, except for some spidery markings/innards. Seems to have a hint of a tail, and a couple eye-like spots. A search for baby crawfish turns up nothing quite like this. Mysterious how he got in the pond in the first place.
posted by 2N2222 on Apr 18, 2013 - 7 answers

Best basketballs around

As March Madness is here, want to get a basketball as a gift. What's the best basketball on the market? [more inside]
posted by neoist on Mar 25, 2013 - 7 answers

Help Identify this Climbing Gear Please!

Can anyone help me identify the use of these climbing ropes are? Pictures inside. [more inside]
posted by melizabeth on Dec 2, 2012 - 8 answers

Outdoor volunteering with kids in NYC?

I want to volunteer with an organization that introduces young people to outdoor experiences that they wouldn't otherwise have -- hiking, camping, rock climbing, etc. I've had a look at Outward Bound but it doesn't look like they take volunteers. What are some similar organizations I could check out? I'm in the New York City area.
posted by rsk on Nov 9, 2012 - 11 answers

Outdoor fitness classes in Pittsburgh

Outdoor fitness classes in Pittsburgh? [more inside]
posted by Scottie_Bob on Oct 4, 2012 - 4 answers

Suggested Medium for an Outdoor Beast Head

We had a new heating system installed that created two new pipes sticking out of the back of our house that belch steam. I thought it might be cool to build a huge beast head to hang over it so it looks like a smoke belching beast on the back of our otherwise sensible looking home. Aesthetically, I will just lay all my cards on the table and say that I was envisioning the beast head being built up mostly from flat scaley pieces like an AJ Fosik sculpture or a parade dragon. I have an artistic background and some experience with wood and clay sculpture, but I don't know how to weld or do anything exotic with plastics or anything, so I am in search of a medium that is hopefully cheap, preferably beginner friendly, and can stand up to steam and the outdoors in general (in upstate NY where we get all the seasons). Any suggestions?
posted by SharkParty on Aug 14, 2012 - 9 answers

Algonquin in the winter

Algonquin Park in the winter. Do you have experience/advice/recommendations? [more inside]
posted by molecicco on Aug 1, 2012 - 3 answers

should he stay or should he go?

what to do with a sweet, amazing, seemingly-indoor cat who has showed up on our doorstep twice now. [more inside]
posted by xbonesgt on Jul 24, 2012 - 29 answers

I love this lantern. I would like it even better if it lit up!

What kind of garden lantern is this? Better yet, what does it take to light it up?! [more inside]
posted by Eicats on May 13, 2012 - 7 answers

Building pergola on a hill

How do I build a pergola on a hill. I have graded a small area, but can't seem to get it level. Couldn't I just build a platform that is level, then raise the pergola above that?
posted by merci420 on Feb 19, 2012 - 6 answers

Herding cats a short distance

Please help me move two outside cats a distance of half a block. [more inside]
posted by toodleydoodley on Jan 29, 2012 - 7 answers

Collection of questions concerning creatively capturing cars with a camera?

I am a novice photographer who would like to improve my skills at photographing vintage cars primarily outdoors in natural light. I am looking to replace my old Nikon D50 and 18-55mm lens with a Nikon D3300. What would be the must-have lenses, filters and accessories for my task? Also best camera settings? Also interested in tricks for getting compelling images. Close up? High angle? Low angle? Just experiment? [more inside]
posted by punkfloyd on Jan 24, 2012 - 17 answers

Looking for women's plus-size cold weather exercise pants

I am looking for women's plus-sized (size 2X) cold-weather pants for walking my dog in the morning. I walk/run her for about 45 minutes (we are slowly doing Couch to 5K together). Specifically, I'd like to have something like these thermal running tights that are light, easy to pull on in the morning straight out of bed and will wick away moisture. Regular exercise and/or running tights aren't warm enough. Typical temps I walk in are down to 20F -- I'd like to be warm, but just not cold would be sufficient. I need them in a women's size 2X, but have had no luck finding anything. [more inside]
posted by OrangeDisk on Jan 7, 2012 - 15 answers

Help me avoid Charlie Brown's Christmas urns.

Help me keep my Christmas greenery upright in my outdoor urns this winter. [more inside]
posted by sarajane on Nov 7, 2011 - 8 answers

How did pre-modern Inuit stay warm all winter?

From what I remember of the Inuit film Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner), the clothing, though heavy, seemed to fit very loosely. Although it seemed fine for the relatively mild weather of the film, I wondered if it would be effective enough when it was colder. How different was winter clothing during the era in the film? What are other practical details of staying warm outdoors for many hours in arctic or subarctic climates? Or did people just stay indoors? [more inside]
posted by Lirp on Oct 14, 2011 - 12 answers

New route to California

I'm traveling by car to Tracy, CA from Oklahoma City in mid-October. I usually take I-40, but this time I'm going to try I-70, I-15 to Cedar City, then state roads to Tracy. I intend to see Bryce Canyon. Any additional great outdoor places or interesting sites that I could include in the trip? 100 miles detours are not a deterrent and I like birdwatching.
posted by francesca too on Sep 8, 2011 - 5 answers

A non-Catholic but still recognized wedding?

Help us try to reconcile our desires for having an outdoor wedding with my the wishes of my fiancée's family / the rules of the Catholic Church. We're in Houston, TX and trying to figure this out. It's making our wedding planning very stressful! [more inside]
posted by swhitt on Sep 7, 2011 - 22 answers

Quick! Outdoor NYC spot for beer

It is a beautiful post-hurricane day here in NYC. I would like to celebrate not flooding by getting a beer and drinking it outdoors. Quick, recommend me a bar in the next hour or so! [more inside]
posted by whitneyarner on Aug 29, 2011 - 12 answers

I keep seeing these strange diffusion globes.

Does anyone know what these lamps are called?
posted by lazenby on Aug 20, 2011 - 3 answers

Outdoor activities for indoor person?

I'm an indoor person. I love being on my computer, playing videogames, watching TV, etc. I know, however, that I need to give my kids some outdoor time. What kind of outdoor activities can I enjoy with them that I can enjoy myself? [more inside]
posted by macsigler on Jul 27, 2011 - 24 answers

Groovin' Poolside

Please recommend some decent outdoor speakers for under $200! [more inside]
posted by lovableiago on Jul 27, 2011 - 2 answers

Consensual internet hijackery.

Wireless network question! This one's pretty specific to my living circumstances, since what I want to do is share the network in a house across a courtyard from mine. [more inside]
posted by dorothy humbird on Jul 21, 2011 - 11 answers

If you see one of these chairs, BUY IT, they are the best.

I have access to the best chairs in the world, but so far as I know there are only four of them. Can anyone help me find more of these fabulous springy outdoor chairs, probably from the mid-20th century? Details inside. [more inside]
posted by mskyle on Jul 15, 2011 - 11 answers

Make a wish, any wish.

What essential and not-so-essential kit do small voluntary organisations need? [more inside]
posted by fix on Jun 24, 2011 - 8 answers

Keeping cool on the sidelines

What is the best way to keep a merry band of seven- and eight-year old girls cool at soccer games? [more inside]
posted by Doofus Magoo on Jun 10, 2011 - 15 answers

Murals: uplifting or downgrading?

Outdoor murals: for or against? [more inside]
posted by underthehat on May 31, 2011 - 25 answers

How do I make my cats happier?

Should I transition my indoor cats into outdoor cats? [more inside]
posted by timsneezed on May 9, 2011 - 53 answers

How to clean dishes using very little unheated water, and without requiring a rinse?

How to clean dishes using very little water, and without requiring a rinse?. The less water the better. And even better would be if the water is not heated beyond say.. room temp. Suggestions? [more inside]
posted by herox on Jan 18, 2011 - 14 answers

I don't want to look too much like The Mom, you know?

Let's assume you are a 50-ish Lady who's wardrobe has diminished lately. What you you wear to a nice summer outdoor wedding when you don't own a lot of formal stuff and want to sharpen up your wardrobe from office-drab anyway? Where can you find these things? What places should you look? Whom should you listen to for advice? In short, what do stylish Over-50 Ladies wear to their various traditional and non family events on a budget? Ideally in New York?
posted by The Whelk on Nov 27, 2010 - 20 answers

(Boston) T-accessible fall daytrip

(BostonFilter) T-accessible foliage daytrips -- where to go? [more inside]
posted by anotherthink on Oct 19, 2010 - 20 answers

How can I re-live working at summer camp?

I really loved working at overnight summer camp in the mountains when I was a freshman and sophomore in college. Are there any similar jobs or volunteering gigs or programs that can help me re-live that sort of "camp" experience as an adult, and on the weekends during the year? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 12, 2010 - 14 answers

Where to find matching house light.

Can you help me find this outdoor porch light? [more inside]
posted by NotSoSimple on Sep 25, 2010 - 6 answers

Are there any good alternatives to AirMagnet Survey PRO for outdoor site surveying with GPS integration?

Are there any good alternatives to AirMagnet Survey PRO for outdoor site surveying with GPS integration? [more inside]
posted by gttommy on Jul 12, 2010 - 2 answers

Need to party in Orlando

Need to host a party in Orlando. I don't live in Orlando. Need help finding the perfect location. [more inside]
posted by arniec on May 24, 2010 - 7 answers

Where can I learn to teach science using the outdoors?

I'm looking for college-level courses that focus on instructing teachers (either preservice teachers in training, or active teachers) how to use the outdoors in their science teaching. [more inside]
posted by franc.o.bolos on May 24, 2010 - 3 answers

Help me pick a wicking shirt

Help me find a shirt to wear on the Appalachian Trail this very hot summer. [more inside]
posted by looknevada on May 14, 2010 - 25 answers

Stuck on vinyl.

I need a crash course in ordering large (2'x4' or larger) vinyl decals for outdoor display. [more inside]
posted by SamuelF on May 6, 2010 - 7 answers

Life's a beach... but I don't want to die!

Help me plan my Outer Banks beach camping trip! [more inside]
posted by WidgetAlley on Apr 25, 2010 - 5 answers

The Finest Outdoor Dining in the Big Apple

Visiting New York City this weekend! Got any recommendations for fantastic barbecue joints with outdoor seating? How about restaurants of any kind with scenic outdoor seating? [more inside]
posted by Lieber Frau on Apr 13, 2010 - 16 answers

Favorite gear for camping with toddlers?

Best gear for camping with a toddler? [more inside]
posted by gottabefunky on Mar 17, 2010 - 6 answers

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