Plain rocks



  • And here's an interesting product I found in a supermarket. Now, I used to have rabits as pets and I know that my kids will only see them in biology books, but this is just taking capitalism too far:

    A strange product selling in a supermarket for 0.60 EUR:

    As you can see (and if you don't, you will have to trust me on this one), those are plain rocks. Nothing out of the ordinary, they are not even shiny! If they were shiny, my girlfriend would have probably made me buy them for her, but there is not one thing that would make me buy those rocks, except maybe the fact that they are "natural". I guess they would be worth buying if you value your time and you earn around 35 EUR/hour (just over 45 USD/hour at today's exchange rate), because that would mean you earn 60 cents in a minute and it's probably the same amount of time you would need to pick up some rocks and wash them.

    Exercise for the reader:

    Which of the following is TRWTF?

    1. Selling plain rocks in supermarkets
    2. I believe it may be cheaper for some people
    3. It actually is cheaper for some people

     What makes you say that? How does your choice make you feel? Share your feelings with your friends. How does that make you feel?



  •  Wrong, kiddo. They're not just "plain rocks"-- they appear to either be river rocks, or rocks that have been tumbled.



  • @Zylon said:

     Wrong, kiddo. They're not just "plain rocks"-- they appear to either be river rocks, or rocks that have been tumbled.

    Agreed, and when you don't buy it in bulk, it's not cheap.  While you could pick up a ton of that stuff for about $50, a 40-pound bag of it at Home Depot is going to run you somewhere in the $10 - $20 range, while a 2 pound bag will run you, oh, $2?  Such is the nature of retail.



  • @Zylon said:

     Wrong, kiddo. They're not just "plain rocks"-- they appear to either be river rocks, or rocks that have been tumbled.

     

    You may have a point. I've lived in five different cities and they were all near large rivers, so I never thought that those rocks may be river rocks, which would make them different from plain (?) rocks.

    PS: This is in a supermarket in a city that's split in two by a large river. I see rocks like that on the ground wherever I look, kiddo.



  • River rocks are good for putting in pots if your pots have soil drainage issues. I keep a bag around for precisely this reason. They're also good to put in the trunk of your car if you're having traction problems over icy road (sand works too). Also, if you're lacking in self defense options (perhaps from living in a country with firearms restrictions) a couple rocks in a tube sock will do in a pinch. I suppose you could just pick rocks up from a nearby creek or river, but then you'd have to bear in mind that you would be hauling a 30 pound sack of rocks for whatever distance the river is from you. Also your sack for the rocks would have to be able to withstand the strain of having a bunch of heavy ass rocks in it. All-in-all, a good bag of rocks is handier to have around than you'd think it would have any right to be.



  • @bstorer said:

    @Zylon said:

     Wrong, kiddo. They're not just "plain rocks"-- they appear to either be river rocks, or rocks that have been tumbled.

    Agreed, and when you don't buy it in bulk, it's not cheap.  While you could pick up a ton of that stuff for about $50, a 40-pound bag of it at Home Depot is going to run you somewhere in the $10 - $20 range, while a 2 pound bag will run you, oh, $2?  Such is the nature of retail.
     

    If they have some real value themselves, I think I might enter the rock business! Are river rocks that valuable or is that just the cost of transportation?

    I know sand is expensive, because you can't find good sand anywhere and large quantities are used in building, but I don't see much use for these rocks... Would TRWTF be that "natural rocks" might actually have some hidden value that I'm not aware of?



  •  Selling rocks?  What's next?!  I bet they'll try selling dirt in bags, and call it "potting soil"!

    At least they haven't started selling tap water in bottles for $1 per liter or more.



  • @Dudehole said:

    ...withstand the strain of having a bunch of heavy ass-rocks in it.

    Ew.



  •  I think you'd be suprised to find out exactly where those rocks came from. Even though you say the supermarket is surrounded by them, you can bet those ones came from some kind of "rock processing plant" where the rocks are graded and bagged, before there journey to the supermarket. 

    As for tap water, I've seen several companies selling it, never a supermarket however. They didn't label it "Tap water", just "Clear water". I remember it appearing on the news and something happening that forced them to stop doing it. Probably something to do with the fact that most tap water in this country lasts a few days tops before changing taste and colour, thanks to the various additives and crap in it.



  • @Dudehole said:

    then you'd have to bear in mind that you
    would be hauling a 30 pound sack of rocks for whatever distance the
    river is from you

    Whereas with a supermarket you could
    rely on home delivery? I imagine that, if you're able to repot a plant
    big enough to need 30lb of rocks just for drainage, carrying the rocks
    by themselves would pose no problem.

    [quote
    user="Mole"]Probably something to do with the fact that most tap water
    in this country lasts a few days tops before changing taste and colour,
    thanks to the various additives and crap in it.[/quote]

    Wow. I'm
    glad I live somewhere where the water is at least chemically inert. I
    don't think anyone tried to sell tap water in a bottle in the UK,
    certainly not since the Dasani debacle.



  •  I think selling the rocks in a supermarket, in an area where they are just lying around is TRWTF.

     I could understand selling this sort of thing in a pet shop, where you might grab them along with a fish tank.



  • @merreborn said:

    At least they haven't started selling tap water in bottles for $1 per liter or more.
     

    Heh, in the Netherlands one brand is doing precisely that. The usual brands use some mineral source that's usually not used for tapping (high in the mountains or something like that)

    Not "Barle-Duc" (the old Romanian name for an area called the "Utrechtse Heuvelrug", basically it's a hill in a province of the Netherlands called Utrecht). They just use the same source as nearly half of the province of Utrecht uses (in the Utrechtse Heuvelrug). I used to live there and I could actually get "Barle-Duc" either from my tap, or at about 1000x the price at my local supermarket...



  • @merreborn said:

     Selling rocks?  What's next?!  I bet they'll try selling dirt in bags, and call it "potting soil"!

    At least they haven't started selling tap water in bottles for $1 per liter or more.

     

    Next thing you know, they'll add a bit of sugar and chemicals in it and sell it for thrice the price!



  • @merreborn said:

    At least they haven't started selling tap water in bottles for $1 per liter or more.

    Isn't that exactly what Bonaqua (Coca-Cola company) does? In Germany, Bonaqua is labeled "Tafelwasser", which means that it's not good enough to be called "Natürliches Mineralwasser", which usually means: It's taken from the public water grid (do you call that grid?). Of course, as Bonaqua is sold by Coca Cola, it's pretty expensive. But still it's quite popular - thanks marketing!



  • In most countries picking up rocks that are "just lying around" and taking them home is actually theft (unless you own the land where the rock was lying or have permission from the owner). There are places where the number of stones or rocks being picked up by people to use in gardens etc. is such a problem that you WILL be prosecuted if you are spotted doing it.

     

    [url=http://www.independent.co.uk/news/seaside-pebble-thieves-warned-1104590.html]See this example[/url]



  • @GettinSadda said:

    In most countries picking up rocks that are "just lying around" and taking them home is actually theft (unless you own the land where the rock was lying or have permission from the owner). There are places where the number of stones or rocks being picked up by people to use in gardens etc. is such a problem that you WILL be prosecuted if you are spotted doing it.

     

    See this example

    Why am I not surprised that happened in Britain? Oh, yeah, I spent 4 years there. You know, if you were to complain about people stealing rocks here, they'd probably haul you off to the nuthouse. Maybe it's because I live in a country with lots of rocks...

     



  • @DOA said:

    Maybe it's because I live in a country with lots of rocks...

    So that would be a country which rocks a lot?



  • @rohypnol said:

    @bstorer said:

    @Zylon said:

     Wrong, kiddo. They're not just "plain rocks"-- they appear to either be river rocks, or rocks that have been tumbled.

    Agreed, and when you don't buy it in bulk, it's not cheap.  While you could pick up a ton of that stuff for about $50, a 40-pound bag of it at Home Depot is going to run you somewhere in the $10 - $20 range, while a 2 pound bag will run you, oh, $2?  Such is the nature of retail.
     

    If they have some real value themselves, I think I might enter the rock business! Are river rocks that valuable or is that just the cost of transportation?

    I know sand is expensive, because you can't find good sand anywhere and large quantities are used in building, but I don't see much use for these rocks... Would TRWTF be that "natural rocks" might actually have some hidden value that I'm not aware of?

    River rock is more valuable than standard stone because they're less common and harder to make artificially.  For example, to make standard stone averaging 3/4" diameter, the standard process is to crush larger rock and run it through a series of sieves to separate by size.  River rock either has to be collected and sieved (which doesn't work in many places where there aren't good sources of it), or somebody has to take the crushed rock and tumble it, which is time intensive.

    Still, it's clearly not expensive in bulk.  The high price for the little bags is that even those little bags were processed by one of a small few aggregate plants, at which point it was bought, transported somewhere, packaged in small bags, sold and transported to a retail store for sale.

    Now, that's not to say that there's no money in the stone business.  Aggregate Industries, one of the largest aggregate companies in the US and UK, was purchased by Holcim in 2005 for about 3.5 billion USD.  If you can get a reliable source for river rock, there probably is some value in it, but it has to be on the order of hundreds of thousands of tons.  If you want investing advice, you have a much better shot at getting rich by finding a few hundred acres of land on a sand vein and stripping it.



  • @Dudehole said:

    They're also good to put in the trunk of your car if you're having traction problems over icy road (sand works too).
    Why would you use river rock for traction?  It's far too smooth.  You'd be better off with a small-diameter gravel (it's cheaper, too).



  •  @_moz said:

    I
    don't think anyone tried to sell tap water in a bottle in the UK,
    certainly not since the Dasani debacle.

    I don't know if it is just tap water, but quite a few places do sell just 'water' (not 'mineral water' or 'spring water'). eg Tesco will sell you 2 litres of water for 13p. At that price, I wouldn't be surprised if it came out of a tap... (A fair portion of the cost will be the bottle, shipping etc). While this may sound dumb, it can actually be useful occasionally. A few years ago there was a hard-to-find water leak further along our road. That meant that sometimes water would be brown when it came through the tap. We just bought a supply of el-cheapo water from Tesco for drinking until they found it and got it fixed, which took a couple of days. (The water company reimbursed anyone who had to buy water at that time).



  • @GettinSadda said:

    In most countries picking up rocks that are "just lying around" and taking them home is actually theft (unless you own the land where the rock was lying or have permission from the owner). There are places where the number of stones or rocks being picked up by people to use in gardens etc. is such a problem that you WILL be prosecuted if you are spotted doing it.

     

    See this example

     

     

    Not suprised at all that scots are this stingy to have laws about taking pebbles off the ground.



  • @Vechni said:

    @GettinSadda said:

    In most countries picking up rocks that are "just lying around" and taking them home is actually theft (unless you own the land where the rock was lying or have permission from the owner). There are places where the number of stones or rocks being picked up by people to use in gardens etc. is such a problem that you WILL be prosecuted if you are spotted doing it.

     See this example

     

     Not suprised at all that scots are this stingy to have laws about taking pebbles off the ground.

     

    Cornwall is not in Scotland!



  • @pscs said:

    The water company reimbursed anyone who had to buy water at that time
    Why am I not surprised that happened in Britain? Oh, yeah, I spent 4
    years there. You know, if you were to ask the water company here to reimburse you for something like that, they'd piss their pants laughing. Maybe it's because I live in a country with lots of cretins...



  • @pscs said:

     @_moz said:

    I
    don't think anyone tried to sell tap water in a bottle in the UK,
    certainly not since the Dasani debacle.

    I don't know if it is just tap water, but quite a few places do sell just 'water' (not 'mineral water' or 'spring water'). eg Tesco will sell you 2 litres of water for 13p. At that price, I wouldn't be surprised if it came out of a tap... (A fair portion of the cost will be the bottle, shipping etc). While this may sound dumb, it can actually be useful occasionally. A few years ago there was a hard-to-find water leak further along our road. That meant that sometimes water would be brown when it came through the tap. We just bought a supply of el-cheapo water from Tesco for drinking until they found it and got it fixed, which took a couple of days. (The water company reimbursed anyone who had to buy water at that time).


    Agreed. My mother-in-law lives in a part of England where the tapwater tastes (almost literally) like shit, and is quite happy to pay 6-7p per litre for what is essentially decent tapwater shipped in from somewhere else.
    And yes, TRWTF is paying water rates for undrinkable tapwater etc. etc. etc.



  • @bstorer said:

    @Dudehole said:

    They're also good to put in the trunk of your car if you're having traction problems over icy road (sand works too).
    Why would you use river rock for traction?  It's far too smooth.  You'd be better off with a small-diameter gravel (it's cheaper, too).

    I was about to say the same thing.  River rock is also far too large to be of much use for traction.  Trying to wedge the rocks under the tires is going to be a pain in the ass.  Cheap kitty litter works pretty well for traction, too.  Since it is clay it will break down pretty well, too.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @bstorer said:
    @Dudehole said:
    They're also good to put in the trunk of your car if you're having traction problems over icy road (sand works too).
    Why would you use river rock for traction? It's far too smooth. You'd be better off with a small-diameter gravel (it's cheaper, too).
    I was about to say the same thing. River rock is also far too large to be of much use for traction. Trying to wedge the rocks under the tires is going to be a pain in the ass. Cheap kitty litter works pretty well for traction, too. Since it is clay it will break down pretty well, too.
    sigh Ballast?



  • @TwelveBaud said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @bstorer said:
    @Dudehole said:
    They're also good to put in the trunk of your car if you're having traction problems over icy road (sand works too).
    Why would you use river rock for traction? It's far too smooth. You'd be better off with a small-diameter gravel (it's cheaper, too).
    I was about to say the same thing. River rock is also far too large to be of much use for traction. Trying to wedge the rocks under the tires is going to be a pain in the ass. Cheap kitty litter works pretty well for traction, too. Since it is clay it will break down pretty well, too.
    sigh Ballast?
    If he's talking about merely to weigh down the car, it's not going to do you a whole hell of a lot of good unless you have rear-wheel drive (or to a lesser extent, all-wheel).  And there are still cheaper ways to weigh down a car than buying enough river rock to make an impact.



  • Is the real WTF that you all have spent this much time and effort talking about plain rocks?

    Or is it that I took the time and effort to talk about you all talking about plain rocks?

     MArk B.



  • @SteamBoat said:

    Is the real WTF that you all have spent this much time and effort talking about plain rocks?
    But these aren't plain rocks.  They're river rocks.  You're not even paying attention at all, are you?!



  • @bstorer said:

    And there are still cheaper ways to weigh down a car
     

    Like your mom.



  • @Signature Guy said:

    @bstorer said:

    And there are still cheaper ways to weigh down a car
     

    Like your mom.

    Goddammit, I love you Signature Guy!



  • @SteamBoat said:

    Is the real WTF that you all have spent this much time and effort talking about plain rocks?

    Or is it that I took the time and effort to talk about you all talking about plain rocks?

     MArk B.

    No, it's that you feel the need to sign each one of your posts and not use the signature.



  • Meh, there's better stuff available in the internets than at the supermarkets.



  • @Signature Guy said:

    @bstorer said:

    And there are still cheaper ways to weigh down a car
     

    Like your mom.

    Don't be stupid, my mother wouldn't fit in a trunk.  She's too fat.



  • That's why I only drive hatch backs -- easier to cram fat people in the back when I need ballast. Actually I have another question: is sand cheaper per lb than river rock? This thread is really making me think about this whole scenario.



  • @bstorer said:

    @Signature Guy said:

    @bstorer said:

    And there are still cheaper ways to weigh down a car
     

    Like your mom.

    Don't be stupid, my mother wouldn't fit in a trunk.  She's too fat.

    I just read on the news this morning that she died so you can just cut her up into pieces to fit her in the trunk.



  • @Dudehole said:

    That's why I only drive hatch backs -- easier to
    cram fat people in the back when I need ballast.
    Huh, didn't think of that.  TDWTF: A place for learning.

    @Dudehole said:

    Actually I have another question: is sand cheaper per lb than river rock? This thread is really making me think about this whole scenario.
    Depends on the quality of the sand.  The superfine washed sands are typically more (especially play sand), but a coarser sand, like a mortar sand, are usually cheaper.  I still think pea gravel's gonna be better anyway, not to mention being easier to clean up if the bag breaks.



  • @bstorer said:

    I still think pea gravel's gonna be better anyway...

    For traction?  I'm curious.  We're gonna need people in here comparing the traction on sand-covered ice versus on gravel-covered ice, ASAP.

     

    @bstorer said:

    not to mention being easier to clean up if the bag breaks.

    You're probably gonna clean it up the same way for both sand and gravel: shovel out the mass then do clean-up with a shop vac.  I don't see one being easier than the other but I'd prefer to shovel gravel.  Also, gravel is more likely to rough-up the interior of the trunk when it is repeatedly scraped across with a shovel.  That might be a concern.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @bstorer said:

    I still think pea gravel's gonna be better anyway...

    For traction?  I'm curious.  We're gonna need people in here comparing the traction on sand-covered ice versus on gravel-covered ice, ASAP.

    In my experience, gravel's more effective on compacted snow than sand.  Still, none of this really matters because global warming is going to melt the ice caps and kill all the polar bears.  And then we'll be arguing about what we should use to make our cars float better, and that answer is obvious: Al Gore.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    You're probably gonna clean it up the same way for both sand and gravel: shovel out the mass then do clean-up with a shop vac
    WTF?  I just flip my vehicle and shake it.  All the sand is gone pretty quick.  Sometimes I need to get the hose out.

    Yes, I drive a Tonka truck.



  •  Since all the polar bears will be dead as stated above, can't we use them for traction? Would be cheaper than sand, gravel, and rocks!

     



  • @lolwtf said:

    @Dudehole said:

    ...withstand the strain of having a bunch of heavy ass-rocks in it.

    Ew.
     

     

    XKCD reference detected! Stone him!



  • @rohypnol said:

    Which of the following is TRWTF?

    1. Selling plain rocks in supermarkets
    2. I believe it may be cheaper for some people
    3. It actually is cheaper for some people

    Answer: 4. I once watched my great aunt call to hire a company to haul away a large pile of high quality river rocks from her property, right before we went to the grocery store, where she purchased two bags of river rocks (as it happens, packaged by the same company she called).



  • @stewieatb said:

    XKCD reference detected! Stone him!
     

    An excellent application for the palm-fitting river rocks.


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