Deep Thoughts: New Inventions and Ode to the Humble Paperclip

Okay, some not so deep. But sometimes a muse comes upon and the immenseness of the thoughts must be preserved

This week's thought so profound it might change the civilized world as we know it.

What Paper Clips Say About a Person

Kaitlyn, always have a supply of paper clips somewhere near you. This includes all spaces in your surround where you spend a lot of time.

Grandmother used to tell the employees she supervised that she would fire people who didn't have paper clips.

Okay, so I've never fired anyone for not having paper clips upon or near their desk work area. But I can bet, sweet Granddaughter, that anyone that Grandmother may have fired didn't have paperclips very handy.

Paperclips help to gather like items together for later perusal. They help us to prioritize our life and job duties. They keep little slips and bits of paper from flying all about to eventually end up in some unknown space.

In addition, any notes required for the paper-clipped bundle can be handily affixed in the front of the pile.

Example, currently Grandmother has a task to sign up for the Post Office's postage online service. I've already purchased a postal scale and of course I must ponder these instructions. I must sign onto the USPS online site and most likely promise my first born for payment. Naturally I will need to purchase postal supplies such as clear tape, twine, special shipping packages. To this end I have a brochure with these items delineated with prices and availability.

The organized way to accomplish this task is to gather all of these paper materials with one paperclip. On a note affixed under that same paperclip, I write "figure out home postage system". I might also add a list of things to do for this task, such as: "order supplies; signup for home printing of postage labels; set up postage meter and figure out how it works."

The beauty of this method, Kaitlyn, is that Grandmother doesn't have to do the task immediately. With all materials now paperclipped together with a pertinent note attached, I can put this pile wherever I keep my "todo" backup paperwork and boom, even if forgetful Grandmother gets around to it quite a while later I will still know what the paperclipped bundle is for and what I want to do with it.

All through the miracle of a simple paperclip, Kaitlyn. Because Grandmother knows straightaway if a person is reasonably organized or a total mess of a human being. All determined through there judicious and thoughtful use of the humble paperclip.

Quick Comments on New Products

It would seem that Windex has introduced a new cleaning product called “Windex Multi-Task”. Which means, I’m supposing, that this cleaner is no longer just for windows.

I refer yon reader to my own wise missive in which I provide the BEST, CHEAPEST, and MOST EFFECTIVE household cleaner of them all. I must quote myself:
“As for the cleaning products used, Kaitlyn, Grandmother has tried them all. To include magic erasing sponges, specially designed wands that would clean windows with a mere swipe and one cleaning product called, I’m not making this up, Mean Green.

All you need, Kaitlyn, is some ordinary household cleaning ammonia.

Indeed. I’d argue that Windex itself is little more than diluted cleaning ammonia tinted blue. Now Windex has a new product that will clean everything else in the abode? I’d argue again that this “new” product is nothing more than Windex NOT tinted blue. Or, ahem, the diluted cleaning ammonia that Grandmother recommends for all household cleaning in the missive of her quote above.

Ho, ho, ho. What do we have here? Trash bags (by Glad) that do NOT rip open, no matter the object within jutting out and pushing the plastic dangerously close to an outright eruption that will cause a hole?

There are times that we should spend extra cents and purchase items that save so much grief that the money is well spent. Trash bags that can be stretched almost to infinity? I’m going with it. There is nothing worse to properly tie up a trash bag and carry it along to the receptacle, only to have something innocuous such as a cereal box corner poke a hole during transport and allow bag contents to spill out.
Jay Leno has a regular feature on his late night talk show called “Sold, NOT Sold”. This feature has various inventors hawking their product at a convention for this sort of thing. For the Leno show, the inventors display their products, explain their use and hype the potential. The TV audience is then instructed to vote on whether the new invention sold or did not sell at the convention.

To my surprise, one such feature had a woman holding a small device that she bragged would fit on the top of one of those dry-erase markers. This device, about the size of an ordinary pen cap with feather things jutting from the top, affixes on the dry-erase pens and like the eraser on a pencil, allows the dry-erase marker to be turned over handily to erase the scribbling from the dry marker.

I was surprised because mine own wise self had purchased just such an item the prior day, happy that someone thought up the idea. Before it was required to purchase a separate sort of eraser and then the dry-erase pen markings would often simply smear from the effort, assuming the darn eraser could be found, of erasing the scribblings. Grandmother real quick grabbed a pack of these dry-erase pen tips along with some dry-erase pens.

Boom, I put the tip on the dry-erase marker and tested it out. EASIER than a pencil eraser, this tip removed all remnants of the dry-erase pen by, as designed, a quick flip to the other side of the marker and soft rubbing on the marks on the dry-erase board.

While the rest of Leno’s audience booed the product as being unsold, Grandmother screamed to the world that here, damn it, was that very same invention and Grandmother loves it!

Grandmother noticed a new invention hyped on TV, what is called a “first alert alarm system”. Well God Bless America. All this thing is is a two sided affair, one side containing a magnet and the other side containing some sort of metal to be “grabbed” by the magnet.

The beauty of this invention, which Grandmother has yet to try, is when the metal is separated from the magnet a loud alarm is sounded.

The idea is to affix one side of the two piece item on one side of any item when we’d like an alarm should the seal be broken. Windows are a good example of this, but such as gates or even cabinet doors could also be items we’d want to know if opened. The other side of the invention is put on the OTHER side of the item in a manner that would allow the metal to contact the magnet. Boom, if the metal is separated from the magnet a loud alarm is sounded.

Grandmother can think of ten thousand uses for this invention.
Indeed, it could put the vaunted and costly alarm companies right out of business!

Grandmother’s Own Christmas Card Holder

Grandmother likes to display her Christmas cards within the home in some manner that is aesthetically pleasing, handy for sight and relatively easy to use.

Through the years I’ve purchased many such products designed for such a thing but have never been happy with the use.

One item I’ve used for several years is a piece of green cardboard shaped like a wreath. Within the cardboard wreath, semi-circles were carved out in a fashion meant to contain the holiday card inserted into the partially cut area.

Only the “wreath” filled with cards often became lop-sided and each addition of a new card was an angst-filled exercise, trying to position the newly received card to best display while trying to keep the other cards from tipping out of the semi-circles.

Last year, before putting away all the Christmas paraphernalia, Grandmother created a pile of Christmas frou-frou discards. Such as holiday signs with missing hangers and plastic berry sprays that were pretty but impractical were part of the pile.

From this pile Grandmother created her own specially designed Christmas card display holder, all to mine own specifications.

What, I pondered, would be the best and easiest way to display the many Christmas cards received in Grandmother’s household during the holiday season? Because I do like to put the many card greetings on display as opposed to locking them away in a drawer somewhere.

The entry to my dining room has a clever arched wide door frame. Hmmmm, I thought. Having the cards affixed around this pretty frame would be a most perfect way to display the cards. In fact, I tried to eschew that cardboard wreath thing and do just this but the cards kept falling down from where I taped them to the framing. It was back to the cardboard wreath.

I surveyed my pile of holiday rejects, all ready for the trash can, then surveyed my door frame. I certainly didn’t want to TACK those cards to the arched door frame, what with the ugly holes left behind and everything.

More survey of the door frame had me convinced that if I only had a colorful rope type of affair it would be small matter to drape the dining room door frame with the rope by the discrete placement of two small nails around which to wrap the rope at the top corners of the frame. The rope would then be held taut across the top of the frame with the rope ends hanging down the sides. The holiday cards would then be affixed to the rope in some fashion that would, when the rope was filled with cards, become a card “garland”, as it were.

But how to affix the cards to the rope?


Indeed, with each new holiday card in the daily delivery it would be quick matter to clip the new card to the rope with a handy clothespin.

But clothespins are ugly affairs, not the sort of thing one wants hanging around their door frames during the holidays.

And rope isn’t all that attractive either when I thought about it.

I painted about fifty clothespins a glossy black. On each pin I glued some sort of holiday decoration from that holiday trash pile. A handsome Christmas brooch missing its snap is a good example.

Scrounging around my garage I found a plastic type of roping, already red and this was handy. To this rope I arranged and glued various decorative items from the holiday trash pile. Those pretty plastic berries were perfect to wrap or glue around various spots on the rope. I found a pretty “Merry Christmas” sign that had lost its hanger. I was able to thread the red rope through the letters on this sign and slid the sign over until it was directly in the middle of the rope. I affixed the decorated clothespins to the rope and boom, draped the home made affair over that dining room archway, discretely nailing two small nails at each end of the top of the door frame. The Merry Christmas sign hung down handsomely from the middle of the dining room entry and the rope draped down along the sides of the frame. Even with no cards to place upon, the pretty clothespins looked decorative and festive.

This year the holiday cards come in the mail and each new one is clipped to this rope affair easily.

Hey, the holiday trash was recycled, the effect is fetching and the cost was exactly ZERO.

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