Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Small Things, or Are They?

While making breakfast this morning, Carol remarked at what a time-saver it was to have the wrapping on a stick of butter marked with measurements.  Expanding on that observation, the wrapping itself also cuts easily with a sharp knife, allowing the proper portion of the stick to be quickly removed by slicing through the appropriate hash-mark.

The idea of inventions like that started me thinking (always a danger) about others that might be visible from my chair.  Here's a brief list:

  • Empty plastic Folgers two-pound coffee can - we use it for compost.  It has depressions in the cylinder that make it easy to grip with one hand. 
  • Can of ginger ale - the tab top makes it easy to open, and this tab top is a modification of the original idea where the tab was actually removed (I envision some beer drinker popping the tab, dropping it in the can, then deciding to chug the contents.)
  • Cloth loops on the back of a pair of slip-on shoes - Hooking a finger in the loop eases putting them on, eliminating the need for a shoehorn.

There may be several others that I'm missing, but I haven't finished my first cup of coffee yet so give me a break.  It might be (or not) an interesting exercise for you to find small things around you that are really cool innovations.

Hmm... It occurs to me that the recognition of said objects is very much age-dependent.  For example:  I just noticed the phone jack that plugs one of our several phones into the circuit, and clearly recall the clunky wiring that used to be the way phones were connected.  Bet some of you never saw a phone without the accompanying jack setup.

That just prompted me to add an element to the contrivances in Hollywood movies.  How many times have you seen a villain disable a phone by yanking it out of the wall?  Simpler, though far less "dramatic", to just unplug the damn thing.  Add that to my all time favorite:  actor (actress) in pain or rage sweeping the top of a desk, dresser, table or whatever surface and knocking everything on the floor.  Not much nuance there.

So friends and neighbors, locate small things like the above and make your own list.  It beats watching reality TV.

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