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Banned Substances - Elf M. Sternberg
Banned Substances
Yesterday when I got off the bus I stopped by the local "office superstore," a Staples. I have been experimenting with the Hipster PDA on and off, and one of the things I noticed is that it doesn't really work for me. It's too damned big. I use 3x5 cards for my Kitchster Organizer, which is a nifty tool, but I wouldn't want to carry it around with me. I needed something better.

I tried using MindBendertm cards, which are little study flashcards, which have been just perfect for organizing stories and things. Each one has an incident, an unanswered question, a character note-- I use different colors of highlighter to alert me to the nature of the card. Even a short story can generate a dozen or more cards. I hesitate to think of what a novel will create. I have another set with my Kanji and Kanas on them. It hit me yesterday: these are just overpriced business card blanks. They have a hole drilled through them so you can use a ring clip, but a binder clip would be just as effective. The hole even gets in the way.

So I went into Staples and asked for a box of 500 blanks. I expected to pay five bucks or so, which would be half of the price for MindBenders. The guy behind the counter looked at me as if I were insane. "You want what?"

"500 blank business cards. You know, plain business card stock. And no, I don't want the ones you put through a home printer."

"We, uh, don't have any way to sell you those."

"You're a business supply place. You sell business cards, right?"

"Yes, but we order out for those. We don't do the printing here. We don't have any procedure for selling cards with nothing on them. You're not going to do anything strange with them, are you?"

"No, I'm just going to counterfeit the cards from Candyland so I can rig the game in my favor."

He laughed at that. At least he had a sense of humor. "I guess you could order a box of a hundred line cards and just not put anything down in the fields. That would be $10.95."

That would be more than the commercially produced flashcards! I thanked him anyway and will have to find a real printshop later.

Current Mood: exhausted exhausted
Current Music: Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, Touch and Go

10 comments or Leave a comment
solarbird From: solarbird Date: August 4th, 2005 04:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

One alternative

Buy the paper stock you want, mark cut lines, then go into most copy stores of any reasonable size and say, "I want these cut at these lines." It's usually 50c a cut, and this way, you can get whatever kind of paper you want.
From: katybeth Date: August 4th, 2005 04:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Do you need them to be blank on both sides, or just one? I'm sure you can find friends who would be happy to give you hundreds of outdated business cards.
tonyawinter From: tonyawinter Date: August 4th, 2005 05:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Kinkos does their own cards on site. Give them a call and see if they'll let loose with a blank set.
elfs From: elfs Date: August 4th, 2005 10:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the suggestion. I went and tried them and they were a no-go. They use large multi-print sheets and then cut them down with an industrial cutting machine. They wanted even more than Staples did.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 4th, 2005 07:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Biz Card Blanks

Deal with a droid, you get a droid answer, they should have them I know AVERY makes them as a 10 up pre-perforated laser sheet (pricy but handy). Staples.com Item 437179 Model 05881 Avery Color Laser Business Cards 2" x 3-1/2" 160/box $15.29 Item 415471 Avery 5371 Laser Business Cards, White Ten, 2" x 3 1/2" cards per sheet. 250/Box. $12.25
(Deleted comment)
elfs From: elfs Date: August 4th, 2005 10:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Biz Card Blanks

I specifically said I did not want the kind that come in the "preforated" sheets that one puts through his printer. That seemed to confuse the hell out of them.
acelightning From: acelightning Date: August 5th, 2005 12:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Why not buy the kind that you can put through a home printer? Basically, they are just blank card stock which has been pre-cut so as to hold together just enough to run through the printer. Just buy a package of those and separate each sheet into individual pieces - maybe the girls could help.
danlyke From: danlyke Date: August 5th, 2005 05:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

They don't pre-cut 'em

No print shop pre-cuts business cards, there'd be no good way to feed them through the printer if they aren't done several up on a larger sheet. I'd go find a real print shop (if such things exist any more, I used to work in one) and see what they'd charge for a ream or two of your favorite card stock cut down. Not Kinko's or somesuch, but a real place with the smell of solvent in the air and a few old Davidson's, or even an AB Dick 3xx series clanking away, and that squish squish squish as the blanket sucks the image off the plate.

On the "perforated for feeding through your own printer", Avery is doing some that are non-perforated on something like a Post-It note backing, so there are no fuzzy edges. I'm sure more expensive than what you need, but it is possible to feed something that actually looks okay for output.

But then, having done QC on quite a few embossed (not "heat embossed") full-bleed multi-color (but not 4 color process) I have certain standards for business cards, and it takes a lot to impress me.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 6th, 2005 06:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

What about shipping tags?

Seeing what the Hipster PDA is take a look at these:

Staples #4 White Shipping Tags, 4 1/4" x 2 1/8" 1000/Box Item 496241 Model G11041G $29.49

The Staples webpages says they are special order 1 week delivery.
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