Business Cards

Every time I walk into an establishment I grab a business card. I almost never use this card to contact said establishment later, I just keep it with all of the other cards I have. There is absolutely no reason for me to be doing this, aside from the odd joke about me having a card for “My Shaman” etc.

So why in the world do I do this? Well, I just like to, and business cards can be useful. I know several (okay more than that) businessmen (people) who would get sick to their stomach at the idea of taking in more business cards than they already do. I’m sure many people routinely purge their business cards either from their systems entirely or import them into something digital and forget them. I don’t have enough business interactions nor do I walk into enough establishments that have prominently displayed cards for that to be necessary.

I (as with many things I acquire) like having them. But in this case I “can” (should I want to) use them later as well. When indexed properly I can easily find businesses or people in whatever area I’m in that I frequently go to and find contact info or even business hours (and since I’m in the middle of nowhere and many places have no web presence it’s sometimes the only way to find out information like that). And sometimes they are wacky and unique (see “Shaman” above), or pieces of art. But many times they are good examples of what not to do on a card, and upon occasion something you can point to as the best way to make a card ever (that would be my business card, I’m sure of it).

As far as collections go, this one is nice because it doesn’t take up much space and some people can understand why you would want to keep information easily available. And sometimes I realize I’m just a graphic design junkie and I like having all of the styles, sizes, and materials available for reference or brain training or something similar. The cards just look pretty sometimes, which just cements their place in my collections.

What I Need

I’ve bought quite a few things in my lifetime: from action figures to board games, to tools, to art supplies, to the things I carry every day. But did I really need any of that stuff? Probably not. I could probably argue that my EDC (every-day carry) stuff is pretty necessary in my day-to-day life based on how much I use it, but I don’t think it would qualify in anybody’s bare-bone definition of “need”.

What everyone needs is obviously food, water, (in theory) shelter, and the ability to obtain those items. All of the things I “needed” to complete those collections, fill out my EDC, or upgrade my toolset probably weren’t that necessary. But I think I did “need” some of them. Not in the “food and water equals life” sense, but in the “helps me obtain life necessities” sense (the tools), and in the “I have enough resources to get something extra that doesn’t interfere with basic survival” sense.

They might not be things I need, but I can afford them without taking away from mine (or anyone else’s) means of living. In many cases I’m either supporting the company that makes them directly, or the endeavors of the local charity shops. And since I take good care of my stuff I end up with a lot of it, and with a lot of it comes the constant need to justify what I “need”. Do I “need” all of this stuff? If not, why do I have it? Well, I like it, it lets me have fun, and in several cases it gives me an activity to do with friends. It helps me learn new skills to both simply be a more educated person and help friends and family who might be in need.

Now most of it is me just asking myself, but sometimes it’s other people asking “do you really need all of this?” or “What are you gonna do with that thing?” And really, I admit to not being the best person ever, but: I’ve given to people who needed it, donated to charities, recycled and reused many of my disposable items, not stolen from anyone, gotten my basic needs taken care of, and not created a giant pile of stuff that will fall over and kill me or breed disease like a cesspool. I think I can decide I’m at a point where what I “need” isn’t all that needs to be considered when I intend to purchase something.

Now that’s not to say I buy things at random, or that I should “over buy”. Or that I’m too high and mighty to consider what I really need. But I think that I (or you) after basic needs are taken care of (food, water, shelter, safety, backups, etc) have been taken care of, shouldn’t have to justify absolutely every purchase in my mind or to others with “needing” it. It overcomplicates things and puts too much emotional influence on the object. It’s just a thing, and I like things, but I don’t need them.

A Few Interesting Things Part 2 – 7 Day Pill Case, Car Piggy Bank, and Cups for 4

I think is has been long enough since the last slight peek into my collection to do another in my “few interesting things” series. This one will be container themed (I guess you could say the last one was “wood” themed).


The first thing I have is something that I picked up rather recently and would have been innovative closer to when it was made. It’s a “7-days Pill Box Set”. Or in other words, a China-made leatherette zipper case with 7 plastic vials and labels inside. The person I bought it from said they were going to keep bug specimens in it, fortunately for one trying its intended purpose he never got around to it. The company that “made” (read: Imported) it seems to still be around as a “Hospice/Healthcare” provider.


Next item up I actually have two of. I was given one when I was very little from my local bank. It’s a Studebaker Model/Piggy Bank. I damaged my original one by cutting open the plastic cover (instead of removing it) because the screws were security type and I wanted my change out of it for some reason. Fortunately I found one at a thrift store for a small price and was able to get a working one for myself again. It’s a nice bank, it’s metal and real heavy. It even rolls.


And finally, I have a thing I have almost no information on. Cups for 4 is a set of four plastic inlaid cups in a leather zipper case. They seem to be of different sizes but are at least more portable. It even has a cap to hold it all together. Unfortunately it hasn’t aged well and cracks in the bottom of each cup prevent them from being used on an outing, but it’s still a good idea and I don’t know why I haven’t seen more.


When collecting things one ends up with quite a few categories. For instance, I have a box labeled “flags” and I’m not exactly sure why. I like flags, but I haven’t set out to collect them, though I do wish I had more now.


I have a few of the small flags that one would have at an Independence Day celebration or the like. I have the American, 13-star American, Texas, Texas sesqui-centennial, Wyoming, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand flags in that size. I like the size, and the 13-star American version has its own little stand to display it on. It’s hard to display more than one at a time, but they are nice to have in a pencil holder once in a while.


I also have the German, Mexican, POW/MIA, Come and Take It, and a Fake Texas Confederate Battle flag (got it before they apparently became illegal) in the larger size with grommets. These are much easier to display, but they take up quite a bit of wall space, so more than one is hard to put out, and they aren’t hefty enough to be flown outside (and putting the Confederate flag out might get you in trouble).


Again, I didn’t plan to get these, or specifically order them. I just picked them up slowly as I went about collecting the other things I collect. They have no real use, but they look nice. I’ve always liked flag design and thinking about how flag design affects one’s opinion of a country or group. Most of the famous flags aren’t masterpieces. They’re either much too complicated or much too simple, but they still represent something, and the design process that was going through their creator’s heads would be fascinating to know. It’s good to keep some in decoration rotation anyway.

New Odd Dice

I have a dice problem. I have bought far too many for my own good. But they are great. Rolling dice is a very enjoyable activity, and all of the various sided dice are exciting to find and look at.


Of course everyone is familiar with the standard 6-sided die (D6), and perhaps some of the more common others like D8s, D10s, D20s, D4s, and D12s. But those are just the most simple shapes one can make easily. They are all regular figures which should guarantee a mostly fair roll. In making dice that deviate from these shapes, manufacturers must do more testing to ensure fairness, or at least relative fairness. That hasn’t stopped them, though, and all of these oddballs are now being helped by the easy info access from the internet, and are easier to make with online 3D printing services (


Recently I obtained quite a few of these more unusual (but still common) variations. And I have been having an immense amount of fun. The various strange shapes required to make the dice, especially the odd numbered ones, require quite a bit of thought, and seeing some of the creative work-arounds the designers attempted is interesting and fun. Some of them don’t really lend themselves to usability, like placing the numbers across a crease to get them to fit on the odd- sided dice, but some do, like simply leveling out planes on a sphere for any dice number that couldn’t be created with an standard tiling pattern. And, of course, there’s the standard cheat of “just put a bunch of triangles around a center point and mirror it on the other side”. Nevertheless, they are all still functional (even the D1 which I think is tied with the D2 for my favorite of the 3D printed versions)


Now, I can’t find a “practical” application for any dice really; but it’s even harder to find a use for these very odd dice. They are fun, but not really good for games, as most of them tread old ground or use ratios that aren’t necessary or are too complicated. Most people playing games, even complex ones, want the experience to be as simple as possible. There’s no need to add things that will just confuse them, and so these dice’ll sit, unused.

But if you like shapes, or just the feeling of rolling dice, and want to impress your friends (I can roll a random number between 1 and 10,000,000 or 1 and 7) I’d definitely encourage you to grab a few of the more common ones. The 3D printing isn’t necessary, and the plastic is hard to work with, and some of the more expensive ($10-20) will just weigh you down, but a D7, D18 or a D30 are always fun to bust out now and again and may even serve a purpose.