Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas tidings.

It's been a while, folks. Sorry for the delay. School just got a little out of hand there in the last few weeks.

Today's observation concerns gift-wrapping, the traditional method of concealing gifts for christmastime. I suck at this.

This surprises a lot of people, because given my propensity for creating things, building things, and machining things to incredibly tight tolerances, you'd think I could handle a piece of wrapping paper. Unfortunately, all my attempts at this result in the generation of lumpy, ripped, patched, uneven, and generally fugly gift boxes. Whether this is due to lack of patience or lack of skill is still undecided.

So, I was discussing this with a few friends, in the interest of finding alternative gift-wrapping methods that don't involve regular old (sucky) wrapping paper. Here are the highlights:

- Black garbage bag. Simple, easy, to the point. Insert gift into bag, give a few good spins, tie a red ribbon around the top, and you're done. With the right variety your gift can also have a lemon scent. Also offers the convenience of a wrapping paper that requires no clean up - you can just throw it away as-is! Or even consolidate everyone else's lame-o wrapping paper into it.

- Duct tape. Why not? It'll keep 'em entertained for hours trying to get it all off. No peeking with this stuff. Probably not suitable for fuzzy gifts, or anything delicate. Also offers the convenience of a wrapping paper that can be used to restrain unruly small children during this hectic time of year.

- Steel plating. My personal favorite alternative. I work with metal on a near-daily basis, with much better results than wrapping paper, so it only makes sense. Get some 1/4" plate, weld up a box with an open top, insert item, weld top on. There's no peeking to be had with this one either. The only inconvenience would be opening it: you can't really just rip it apart. You'd need a cutting torch or grinder or some other such implement. Imagine rolling an oxy/acetylene torch into the living room on Christmas morning to open gifts. How cool would that be? Not suitable for wrapping flammable items or things sensitive to extreme heat.

A by-product of the above suggestion was the idea of using something pretty thick, like 3/4" plate, to build a gift-box for giving someone a honey-baked ham. By the time you managed to cut through the box enough to extract the ham, not only would it have been sufficiently warmed, but it will have taken enough time for everyone to be ready for dinner.

On that note, I shall retire for the evening, and wish everyone a happy holiday. Expect more frequent updates now that the hellish se-mess-ter is over.



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