Monthly Archives: July 2016

When you Search for “Packaging Supplies”

The internet is a strange and wondrous thing.  If you haven’t gone to college to learn about all of the fancy words and sayings (like algorithm, optimization, canonical tags…) than the actual internet probably makes very little sense.  People like me see the 2D version of the internet, completely unaware of everything that goes on behind the scenes.  It turns out that the World Wide Wide is a complex system consisting of codes and equations and it takes a special set of people to be able to navigate it.  Like astronauts going to outer space.  Or explorers going deep under the surface of the earth.  The rest of us are certainly grateful for this “special set”, even if we don’t really know it, because they are the ones that make internet searches yield the appropriate results.  If it wasn’t for them, if we try to do a search for “packaging supplies” we might wind up getting results for trampolines, or Wal-Mart.  Basically, not what we are looking for.

The internet has revolutionized marketing and advertising for businesses.  You’ve still got your Mad Men type crew, the ones who draw up the ads and sell them to companies and all that jazz.  But things have gone further into the great unknown with the presence of the internet, and there are now people who don’t do any drawing whatsoever when it comes to advertising and marketing.  These are the people that know the difference between a 301 and a 302 and when it’s appropriate to use which, what and RSS feed is, and can readily decipher the meanings behind SERP and mozRank and CSS.  These are the people that type in codes and do some crazy magic so that when you type in “packaging supplies” you get results for packaging supplies, and local ones too, if need be!

It isn’t necessary to know everything when you start a company.  There is not a single business owner out there who can single-handedly keep the books, organize the stock, manage personnel, handle marketing, and design a website.  No way!  They are going to hire an accountant, and a marketing and advertising team, a website design company, and an SEO company.  All of it works together for the success of the company.  Missing out on search engine optimization simply because you don’t know how to do it is just a bad excuse.  Most of the business companies receive winds up coming in through the internet, so maximize it!


The “Can” in Candy Boxes

There are some people that are just plain hard to buy gifts for.  They usually have everything, or they don’t know how to enjoy what they already have.  Or they are blind, like my father-in-law, which makes 95% of what I would normally consider buying him completely obsolete.  It’s incredibly difficult to buy presents for a blind person.  Or boyfriends.  Boyfriends are really hard to buy gifts for because they aren’t quite men but they aren’t quite boys, so what do you get them?

This is when I think candy boxes has all the answers.  Because everyone eats candy, blind, young, old, rich, or poor.  They just do.

Candy Boxes

I have these three nephews, and they are fabulous little people but they are all boy!  They don’t actually play with toys because they are too busy fighting one another, and anything you do buy them winds up getting broken or sold for a fraction of the price in some middle-school black market.  My go-to gift idea for these delightful little fiends is a tackle box chock full of candy.  So first you buy a tackle box and about twelve to fifteen different kinds of candy.  Then you fill all of the little compartments with all different candies.  When you are done you will have these irresistible candy boxes laid out in front of you and you will want to dip in and have a bite from each of the spots, but you will stop yourself because you snacked on everything while you were making them and already feel guilty.

From licorice to Swedish fish to runts, the possibilities are just about endless.

When I have a birthday party for my own kids I like to have the guests decorate their own candy boxes, and then fill them from a veritable candy shop that I have set up specifically for this purpose.  Everybody knows that the bubbles and erasers and cheap yoyos that you put in goody bags for the kids to take home doesn’t impress anyone (especially not the parents).  Turn it into candy, and that’s a different story!  Even the parents won’t mind, I assure you.  Once they see a table piled high with bowls and bowls of candy that they can fill those custom candy boxes with, they won’t think twice.  Who cares about the sugar high that everyone will be suffering from later on!  You can always figure something out with candy, and that’s just a scientific fact.

A Creepy Story that Involves Cheap Moving Boxes

Steph was surrounded by stacks and stacks of cheap moving boxes that had been filled with her belongings and taped shut and loaded and unloaded into this new apartment.  The point isn’t so much that they were cheap moving boxes, so much as moving boxes, but I know that she would appreciate some specification because she did a lot of searching to get the best possible deal and she wound up feeling pretty satisfied with the results.  So there you have it.  Shameless plug.

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She didn’t know where to start unpacking.  She wanted to get to her books, but her books were at the very bottom of the stacks because they were the heaviest, and she wasn’t going to unstack the stacks and wind up with even less available floor space.  Except the stuff at the top was all the boring stuff, like the junk drawer and important papers.  She couldn’t even do anything about that until she got her desk, and she couldn’t get her desk until she opened up more space for somewhere to put it.

As she considered this dilemma, Steph saw a shadow pass by her door.  She didn’t know why she even noticed it at all, until she realized she had seen it several times before.  It wasn’t that the first time had caught her attention, but that her brain was causing her to be aware that it had already happened multiple times and she hadn’t thought anything of it.  Well, apparently her brain thought that it was time (to think something of it, I mean).


“Hmm,” Steph mused to herself.  Should she open the door and check it out?  What if it was someone else waiting around for one of her new neighbors.  What if it was some creepy ex-boyfriend whose girlfriend had moved out of the apartment, but who still waited around in case it was all a ploy to shake him off her path?  Steph shuddered.  She knew she was getting herself worked up over nothing, but then she got herself worked up even more because it occurred to her that those types of crazy and tragic things actually did happen to actual people.  And those people always said, “You just never think it’s going to happen to you.”

Steph stood up and walked past the first stack of those cheap moving boxes (there it is again.  I couldn’t help myself).  She walked past the second one.  The shadow outside of her door had stopped.  Right in front of the door…


Def Con Shipping Boxes, Part 1

I was cleaning out my attic the other day and I came across this screen-play that my older brother must have written when he was about 12 years old.  He has always been a kind of Indiana Jones, Star Wars, 007 type nerd (no offense), and it made complete sense that he would have delved into the world of “fan fiction”.  I never understood to what depths his passions ran, and then I read this:

Scene opens on a ship yard, with rows and rows and shipping boxes.  Duke Nightwolf comes racing around the corner, holding a nine millimeter pistol and sweating.  He has a cigar hanging out of his mouth, and he is wearing a sharp black suit with a red tie.  He is very handsome.  He skids to a halt behind one of the shipping boxes and takes a drag from his cigar.  He closes his eyes and nods approvingly.

Nightwolf:  “Nothing like a Cuban.”  And then, “Crikey!” when a bullet goes ricocheting right by his head.  He tosses the cigar down, grinds it out with the heel of his expensive Italian shoe, and takes off running again.


The shipyard is like a labyrinth of shipping boxes, and the bad guys are chasing Nightwolf relentlessly.  Sometimes they are just a turn away, but Nightwolf always manages to throw them off again.  Up and down the rows they go, hour after hour.  Nightwolf occasionally stops to light up another cigar or check his cellphone.

The camera pans out from Nightwolf’s face.  He is on the phone with his girlfriend.

Nightwolf: I told you, Moonbeam, not to mess with the tiger.  It’s not house-trained yet.”  And then, “Gotta go, sugar.  I’ll be home for dinner.” Because a helicopter is flying overhead.  It’s Grimm Flintlock.  Impatient with his henchman, he had decided to take his personal helicopter to the shipyard and find Duke Nightwolf himself.

Over a loudspeaker, Flintlock shouts down from the helicopter: “If you want the job done correctly, you’ve gotta do it yourself, right Nightwolf?”  He is wearing black sunglasses and a bright yellow polo T-shirt.

Nightwolf mimes that he can’t hear Flintlock.

Flintlock: “I said, if you want the job done correctly…IF YOU WANT THE JOB DONE…”  Nightwolf is still miming that he can’t hear.

Nightwolf looks down at hand, which is holding his cellphone, which is vibrating.  The caller ID reads: Grimm Flintlock, Professional Jerk.  He answers it.

Nightwolf: Flintlock, my old friend…

Suggestions for which Shipping Supplies to stock your Shipping Station With

First and foremost, having the right shipping supplies is a moot point if you don’t even have a good shipping station.  Keeping your supplies in a plastic tote and hefting it to the kitchen table does not count.  I’m talking about a desk-like system, with plenty of cubbies at the top and many shelves underneath the actual table part.

On the flip side of that, it doesn’t matter how awesome your shipping station is if you are stocking it with crappy or inappropriate shipping supplies.  When I say inappropriate I am not suggesting that the products are somehow rated PG-13, but I am suggesting that you might be too cheap to be buying the right tools for the right jobs.  Because in the business industry, shipping supplies are absolutely tools.


Now that we have the most obvious, albeit necessary, topics out of the way, I would like to take a minute to share some suggestions of what exactly you could and should be putting in all of those cubbies and lining all of those shelves with:

A large tape dispenser.  Please spare yourself, and anyone else that you might be working with, the absolute horror of trying to deal with scotch tape sans dispenser.  Trying to find the end of the tape, and then having it break off at random individuals, reduces the most stoic individual into a bonafide toddler.  Not to mention the end result is not very professional looking.

A rack for all of the rolls of wraps.  Bubble wrap, foam wrap, rolls of brown packing paper… All of these rolls need to be hung at arm level so that you can just unroll the amount you need and make a proper cut to detach it.  Any time I’ve ever had to cut a piece of bubble wrap off when the roll was just sitting on the ground I wound up making a seriously slanted cut that cut into the amount of bubble wrap I was trying to wind up with.  A waste!  And also, once again, not professional looking.

Folders.  Don’t just haphazardly stack your inventory paperwork or all of the contact information for the retailer’s that provide your shipping supplies. Put them in a folder, and keep the folder at the shipping station.  Or, better yet, but it in a binder and make sure that it stays in the same spot at all times.