Earlier this month my first Quarterly subscription arrived. With Quarterly, you sign up to a particular person’s subscription, and they send you whatever they want, basically, four times a year (every quarter, hence the name). The thought of getting a bundle of random stuff through the post got me all jolly. I signed up for the first of Tim Ferriss’ deliveries. When my parcel arrived my inner-geek reared up, and I couldn’t resist photographing the unboxing.
Even the packaging made me product-horny. I tore open that mother.
Here’s the best of a mystery package: when you start to get a hint of the contents but you’re still not sure what you’ve got (discovering it’s not anthrax: also a bonus)
The first thing that caught my eye was this cool-looking ‘letter from Tim’
After setting down the letter I dug my hands into the box and grabbed a handle. Unable to figure out what it connected to, I pulled. Some of the packaging poured out. Something sizeable was in there.
This, my friends, is a Razor Saw, a blade with deadly teeth along both edges. An implement handy for chopping wood or avenging the death of your master.
Obligatory warrior pic
And so to the rest:
So here was have Bigger Stronger Faster, a documentary about steroid use in America. I’d seen it before but it’s awesome and I’m happy to finally own a copy.
Bird by Bird, a book about writing (and other things) by Ann Lamott. I’ve never read it, it sounds a bit flowery, but Ferriss swears by it. As he does the other book, Letters from a Stoic by Seneca. I own a copy already because of Ferriss’ recommendation. I read half and gave up. Seneca makes some interesting points but I quickly got bored. But Stoicism does sound interesting and I had been planning on looking into it some more, so maybe I’ll give Letters another shot.
The tub is a multivitamin/supplement type-thing called Athletic Greens (which also has a very in-your-face site). I’ve been taking the stuff for about two weeks now. I did feel a difference in the first few days. Perhaps that’s due to the placebo effect, but still I checked the site to see what the cost would be to order more. Too much. The cheapest way to get it still worked out around £55 per month. The healthy feeling I got from taking it seems to have dissipated now, which is probably a good thing, seeing as I’m not going to keep it up.
The pencils, well, they’re pencils. Some light blue joints that comic artists use, apparently. I’ve sharpened one but haven’t used it yet. But the fact remains, if you don’t like getting an unexpected pencil (#UnexpectedPencil) then you’re a sick man. Receiving a pen or a pencil never gets old, for real.
That last thing is a Buddha Board. It’s a board you write on with water. Within minutes the water runs off into a drip tray and the board is clear, ready to be defaced anew.
There’s something relaxing about using it, even when I was scrawling increasingly violent messages on it. Or creating the titles for my new TV production company…
And that’s that. Receiving the Quarterly delivery was fun times. Alas, it won’t be something I continue, for two reasons:
1) Price. Ferriss knows his fans will pay a premium for this, so his deliveries cost two or three times that of most other Quarterly contributors. If I continued to subscribe, every delivery would cost me £75. £300 a year! I don’t grudge Ferriss charging that. Based on this delivery I think that’s a reasonable amount to charge for what I received. But it’s simply out of my price bracket (though I’d imagine he’s suggest budgeting for it)
2) Stuff. Already my shelves and drawers creak under the weight of…shit. As much as I’d probably like most of the stuff I’d get from Quarterly, I have enough as it is. A shelf of unread books, stacks of unwatched DVDs, drawers already full of odd stuff that I haven’t got around to. Nowadays, if I’m paying for something I want experiences, not just a collection of things.
Despite what I just said I could see me taking out another Quarterly subscription again in the future. Not Ferriss’, but if someone else I follow became a contributor and provided a third of the stuff at a third of the price, I’d consider it. But not just now.
Alas, my journey with Quarterly has quickly come to an end. I love the idea behind this service, of receiving a parcel and having no idea what’s inside it. There’s a childlike sense of fun and mystery to it, which has a value of its own. As of writing the site now has 27 contributors. I suggest everyone should at least take a look at it.
Or I’ll Razor Saw your face off.