Sardonic nit witticism

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Location: Fort Myers, Florida, United States

People tell me that my sarcasm and cynicism will get me into trouble some day. We'll see.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Don't steal my heart

I'm sure you've seen them. They're all over - those "Support Your Troops" magnetic ribbons on everybody's car. Some cars have two or even three of them. There are many versions, too. Some are red, white and blue, some are yellow, some have flags, stars, or stripes. I've even seen some with eagles on them.

These are similar to other magnetic ribbons you've seen in support of goals such as fighting breast cancer, AIDS, etc.

Because of their shape, it occurred to me that if you bought two of them, you may be able to form a heart by cutting them apart and connecting the loops. So that's what I decided to do. In order to form a nice heart, I needed to either buy two solid color ribbons, or buy two that were uniform in appearance enough to appear seamless where the two ribbons came together to form the heart. They also could not have words on them.

The pattern I chose was a ribbon that was made up of stripes of red, white, and blue, side by side. I searched several stores for such a ribbon, to no avail. Make no mistake - there are plenty of Support Your Troops magnetic ribbons out there, but I was looking for that specific pattern, red, white, and blue, side by side stripes. I know I have seen them, there is one on a red Toyota pickup truck where I work, it was just a matter of finding them.

Realizing I would probably not find them at a local store, I finally decided to search the Internet. Even that was a task. Though magnetic Support Your Troops ribbons are plentiful, it took quite a lot of searching to find exactly the one I was seeking. But sure enough, eventually I found it. A little outfit called 4 Armed Forces,, had just what I was looking for, a red, white, and blue striped ribbon with no letters on it. I ordered four ribbons, in case I ruined any in my attempts to build my little magnetic ribbon heart.

A short time later, my ribbons arrived. Nervously, I took two of them to scissors, not knowing if I would have a nicely shaped heart, or just shredded car magnets. It did not take long to realize I had a challenge to overcome. Because both ribbons have the overlap in the same place, (right over left,) I found that I needed to cut a small section of the discardable part of one of the ribbons and place it where the overlap would have been. Once I did that, then I could carefully cut the resulting loops of ribbon and form the left and right sides of the heart. I used cellophane tape on the joints of the backs of the pieces, and soon I had a very nicely shaped heart made of two Support Your Troops magnetic ribbons.

I was excited to put the finished heart on my car. Once I did, I found I had yet another challenge. The heart looked great up close. However from a distance, such as that from a car waiting behind me at a light, (the most popular viewing distance of these ribbons,) it didn't look so great. The blue on the ribbon didn't have enough contrast with the dark green color of my car. So from a distance you could see the red and white, but it didn't look very heart shaped.

The solution was relatively simple. I took white paint and I painted in the inside and outside outlines of the heart. The finished product looked great on my car. I had something I thought was somewhat unique, (I had never seen another one like it,) and I knew that anyone who wanted to duplicate it was in for quite some effort.

Or so I thought.

I kind of wish I had taken a picture of my heart shaped masterpiece before someone stole it off my car this weekend. But I still have the other pair of ribbons, so if I want to make another one, I can. However, if I do, I'll probably just put it on our refrigerator.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The last thing

You know the expression, "The last thing we want to do is (whatever)"? That always sounds funny to me. "The LAST thing we want to do is spend all our money on gas." It's like you want to do everything else on your list, and THEN spend ALL YOUR MONEY on GAS!

I once read a list of items a company claims they try to accomplish. Bottoming their list was "Ultimately, we want to do right for our customers." I suppose I could state, most accurately, that "the last thing XYZ Company wants to do is what's right for their customers."