Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Notice: Local Stapler News is Confusing

As a current Wisconsinite, I do have a keen interest in local news because we have some gems living in this state. I don't think we'll beat the kind of local news you can dig up by reading a Police Beat from Alaska (shame on you David Chiklak), but we have our own breed of amusements down here. Like this great news blurb from Sheboygan, where some guy was getting hit in the head with a stapler for some reason. I've read it a couple times and I'm still not sure exactly what happened (poor understaffed Sheboygan Press) so I'll take you, my loyal reader by the hand and relive the excitement.

First our victim's wife (we'll call her Wifey) is awoken by such a clatter that she ran to the kitchen to see what was the matter, and what to her wondering eyes should appear, but 24 year old Aaron A. Bell beating her husband (we'll call him Hubby) about the head with a "heavy-duty stapler". Wifey joined the fray and pulled Aaron off of Hubby and Hubby ran to the bedroom. Hubby tried to climb out the Bedroom window to get to the porch but he was too drunk (it makes me wonder what was so important on that porch). Hubby fell out of the window and was knocked unconscious. Aaron eventually escaped the grasp of Wifey and went outside to yell at the now unconscious Hubby. Aaron decided to try to run away, but the Boys in Blue used their top notch detective skills and tracked him down by visiting his house.

Now I did a quick google search for Heavy Duty Staplers, and the most common type are similar to the image above. Something with a solid base and a big handle is what the industry likes to refer to as a "Heavy Duty Stapler", and while I don't in anyway encourage or endorse beating on other humans with staplers, I would theoretically encourage you to use a Long Reach Stapler as it would allow you to get a little more muscle behind each swing. Aaron was charged with "misdemeanor battery with a dangerous weapon" but if you attacked somebody with a Long Reach Stapler you would probably be saddled with a felony charge.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Is a Paper Clip a Children's Product?

As it would happen those killjoys at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (yeah, those guys who force companies to recall products because they explode, catch fire, or contain to much lead) were recently discussing what is and isn't a "children's product" and how the contents of science kits would be affected. Currently, you can sell a science kit with a bunch of regular house-hold stuff (like paper clips) thrown in it and advertise it for kids and the CPSC doesn't care too much because kids have access to that kind of stuff all the time. The Science Kit people don't like this because they'll have to spend extra time and money performing tests to see if their paper-clips are toxic and that means less profit for them. Science Geeks don't like this because that makes the kits more expensive and fewer people may take an interest in science from an early age.

I'm just worried about this because they might find out that these paper clips that I have previously been throwing around my office and using to hold stacks of papers together with reckless abandon might be toxic. I'm not sure how a piece of steel that's been rolled out thinly and folded oddly would be more toxic than any other piece of steel, but I'm just making wild speculation here, not factual examination.

It is possible that those colored paper clips that the kids think are so dope these days might be a little dangerous. Sure we know that they have a basic steel construction that is covered with colored vinyl, but we don't know what kind of vinyl it is, or what kind of dye is used to color the vinyl. I'm sure it is completely non-toxic, but because Sparco doesn't intend their gorgeous vinyl-coated gem clips as a "children's product", but rather an "adult office supply product," they don't have to test their products. Sparco is probably glad they never have to test what might happen if somebody puts their paper-clips next to a piece of cheddar cheese and fries it up between two slices of rye bread. I don't know if you should eat it, but it would probably be delicious.

Kid's Science News via Yahoo! Associated Press Feed

Monday, October 18, 2010

Purple Hanging Folders

With Smead's purple hanging folders you can come one step closer to treating your files like the royalty they are. Even though purple dye or purple ink is no longer limited to the richest of the rich, you can still pretend that normal purple dye used on these hanging folders is Tyrian purple and your files won't know the difference (they are just papers after all). The people at Smead want you to think that these colored folders are just to help you organize your files so you can easily find what you are looking for, but sometimes your files need to be pampered.

So, because everybody already knows that purple is the obvious choice for royalty, shouldn't we question why royal blue got to have royal in the name, while nobody ever says "royal purple" to describe a color? What evil cabal of designers is running this color naming scheme? Check google images for the Queen of England (you can't get any more royal than she is) and I couldn't find a picture of her in blue or purple, mostly white or pink and one picture in a lime green something or other. Hey evil cabal, how's royal lime green sound? Judging by those photos, and the lack of availability of pure white hanging file folders she'd be most happy with the multi-color pack of hanging file folders.

And what about everybody's favorite King? He doesn't wear purple or blue anything. Depending on if the King Kong you are watching was filmed in black and white or color he was either brown or gray, neither of which are very exciting colors. But let's just assume for one minute that King Kong had some files he needed a hanging file folder for, what would he pick? Of course he'd pick the Safco 14" x 18" Hanging File Folders. They are the only folders big enough for a giant gorilla. So next time you are shopping for file folders ask yourself WWKKD (What Would King Kong Do) and have a laugh at yourself for being clever and remind yourself you don't need anything that big and get some reasonable purple hanging file folders instead.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Internet Loves Chilean Miners

So unless you've been living under a rock, or under 2,040 feet of rocks, you've surely heard all about the Chilean Miners. If you haven't, go look at your Facebook or Twitter updates and you'll see all your friends and family writing all about it. Even the Hipster Kitty is talking about them. So who am I to buck the trend and not write about the Chilean Miners? I mean sure this blog is all about Office Supplies, but surely there must be some wild version of Six Degrees of Office Supplies that will be able to create some kind of link. Well, I was in luck.

The products description for WypAll L40 clearly states that they are "Ideal for health clubs, mining/manufacturing and schools" and who am I to argue with the Kimberly-Clark marketing team. Sure, just a few days ago I was blabbing about how Duct Tape isn't an Office Supply, but this is different - this is awesome. Just stay with me for a minute here, in this box you get 200, yes two hundred, individual use, bath towel sized "cloth-like" towels. Now some of you might get ants in your pants because each of these towels measures in at 19.5" x 42" and a standard Walmart bath towel is 30" x 54", but it is still a nice big towel.

So why would a Chilean Miner want a box of 200 slightly smaller than normal cloth-like towels? I really have no clue. What similarities do mines, health clubs, and schools have? Again, you are asking the wrong guy. The only thing I know for sure is that the Internet loves Chilean Miners and I think they are keen as well. The Grandfather of a friend of a friend of mine was actually a Chilean Copper Miner in the 1900's (honest to god truth) and maybe he'd know why this box of towels is perfect for a mine. Me, I just think a box of disposable towels is cool... but not as cool as Chilean Miners.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Build an Office Supply Gun

So I was checking around the usual blog and news postings for something informationally entertaining about Office Supplies. As usual, there are lots of snooze inducing press releases about Staples doing something boring, and Office Depot doing something even more boring. Just as my eye-lids were about to close, I saw a whip built out of duct tape and had to mop up that little bit of drool off my desk left over from the press releases. I am not an expert on all offices everywhere, but I wouldn't technically consider this an Office Supply. Yes you can technically buy duct tape at a nice discount from just about any Office Supply Retailer, but I prefer to buy that kind of stuff from a building that smells like tires.

Then I happened upon OfficeGuns.com. You'd probably want call me an Office Supply Poseur since it took me this long to finally stumple upon OfficeGuns, and you'd probably be right. While they do showcase a number of highly advanced guns you don't want to take anybody's eyes out, you just want to have some fun. So I suggest you stick to the Double Maul (named after the Mauly binder clips they like to use) for your inter-office warfare needs. Now unless you are friends with an international importer/exporter you won't have access to fancy German binder clips, but you can instead use normal binder clips.

The Mauly 19 and Mauly 32 are nothing more than standard binder clips that are 19mm and 32mm wide. An easy alternative for the Mauly 19 is the Universal 3/4" binder clips, and instead of the Mauly 32 you can grab some Universal 1-1/4" binder clips. With low prices like that on binder clips, why not pick up enough to keep all your enemies at bay. After you've successfully built a Double Maul and used it inflict pain on your least favorite Graphic Designer, why not try out more of the Guns at OfficeGuns.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Canon KP-36IP Eases My Printing Burden

I assume everybody has printed something somewhere at some point. Now some of you, I imagine, have attempted to print on something that wasn't exactly 8.5 x 11 and that is never, ever easy or fun. The fine people over at Canon have felt the pain of hundreds of thousands of pieces of paper getting fed backwards, crumpling jamming paper, and printing on the wrong half of a document. Back in 2002 Canon released the CP-100 in an effort to ease our inkjet printers from our own stupidity and actually make it easy to print a postcard sized image on a glossy piece of paper. Along with the new consumer dye sublimation printer, Canon started selling the KP-36IP to easily supply their end users with a replacement Ink Cartridge and Paper.

Canon has been selling the KP-36IP for many years now with minimal changes, and it will work in your vintage CP-100 as well as in your shiny SELPHY CP800. Because it is a dye sublimation ink cartridge, it contains exactly enough ink to print 36 photos and contains exactly 36 pieces of paper. If you are used to inkjet printers, you know you can make your ink cartridges last longer if you print things that are smaller or use fewer colors, but the same doesn't go for dye sublimation cartridges. They operate in a manner similar to the old ribbon in a typewriter or dot matrix printer. Once you print from particular piece of ribbon from the cartridge you can't reuse it.

Just like those old typewriters, you can technically reuse the ribbon on a dye sublimation printer. You'll have no guarantee that the color you want will be where you need it when you need it, but it is technically possible possible to reuse a a dye sublimation cartridge as long as you can find a way to rewind the ribbon. You'll need some additional photo paper if you are going to try it, but I'll guarantee you right now, that any other paper isn't going to be the exact weight as the Canon paper that we all know will work.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Marker of the Beast

One RStevens (purveyor of fine hosiery, pixelly (occasionally NSFW) geeky humor, and math joke shirts) has decided to jump headlong into the exciting world of Satanic Office Supplies. He is selling a limited quantities of what he calls "Marker of the Beast." These are your standard beautiful fine tip Sanford Sharpies that we all know and love, but with the original printing removed (I assume a sacrifice was involved) and relabeled with "666" or "Marker of the Beast" depending on the color. So for $6.66 + $3.49 for shipping you'll get two custom labeled Sharpies, with a glossy black box to keep them in.

Now I'm no slouch with it comes to my love for all things Sharpie related, but paying over $10 for one black and one red Sharpie seems like overkill (especially considering I usually lose them) in this day and age. RStevens doesn't even pretend that these are something special, he just knows there are always going to be a fair number of people interested in purchasing them just for the novelty.

Your standard black Sharpie runs about 60 cents, but you can probably do even better if you find a coupon or a sale. If you look to buy the blister packaged 5-pack of black Sharpies you'll end up paying more, so just buy them individually. Your standard red Sharpie runs about 70 cents (I couldn't tell you why it's more expensive), and Sanford doesn't offer them in the more expensive blister pack, so you can save yourself the simple division.

If you are looking for a Sharpie that will make your friends green with envy, you could pick up a Marker of the Beast pack (and don't forget the shirt) or you could get one the Special Stainless Steel Sharpies. They will easily out last a standard Sharpie in durability and the replaceable refill cartridge means you'll never have to throw it out.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Studies Show Your Office Need Hand Sanitizer

As the weather starts to get a little colder, and our local Walgreens starts advertising for flu shots, you know that Influenza (your friend and mine) is about to show up any day now. Sadly, you can't rid your office of the flu by calling an exterminator (or even prevent it from visiting you), but you can do your best to make sure that when it does show up that it makes minimal impact. Infectious Diseases at BioMed Central published a briefing (and a long version )from a controlled study that shows by simply providing easy access to an alcoholic hand disinfectant you can greatly decrease the amount of time employees spend sick at home.

I'll spare you the gory details and the extremely boring statistical analysis, but basically by supplying an office with easily available hand sanitizer you greatly increase the number of people who will not be spreading diseases and they'll spend less time at home due to things like diarrhea and other words that are easier to spell.  One of my favorite hand sanitizer accessories is this little Purell Pal.  Who knew that hand sanitizers could be cute?  Pick one up and a few 8oz replacement bottles when it gets empty.  While you are here, click the Purell Pal above and check out the 360 degree view so you can uncover the secret to how he stands up.


Hand sanitizer isn't made from any magical secret ingredients, it is mostly alcohol and water, so you don't need to spend the extra money on a name brand if you don't want to.  Genuine Joe hand sanitizers work every bit as well as the more expensive brand names and at a fraction of the cost.  I'm not going to tell you exactly what fraction of the cost it is, because it depends on the size, but ounce-to-ounce Genuine Joe is the best value for your dollar.  Unfortunately, when you buy Genuine Joe you don't get the opportunity to buy the super cute hand sanitizer holder, but you can always buy the Purell Pal and then refill it from the 4 pound hand sanitizer jug.