Magic & Mystery Abound

So, I’ve seen some pretty random stuff for sale on the ol’ interwebs in my day, but this one just might take the cake. And I do realize that the products I’m referring to here are actually quite useful, and are downright essential to certain jobs. But they seem like the kind of thing that people who actually need them just automatically have—like how no one’s ever actually gone out and bought a stapler. Everyone that needs one just has one, somehow.

“Jeez, Kev Dog,” you’re likely saying right about now. “Your killing me with the suspense over here. Just what in the H-E-double-stuff-Oreo are you talking about, man?!?” Well, I’ll tell you…right after this.

*advert for chewing gum*

And we’re back! So, the items in question? Clothing tag attachers (sold by AndFel [?] in this case)—the little plastic pistol-looking things that you attach tags to clothing with (it’s more than just a clever name). Like I said above, obviously these are quite useful to the right people. Having worked in a retail clothing store in the past, I can attest to their worth. But, honestly, has anyone ever needed to purchase one? Or, upon realizing you needed such a thing, did you find that you magically had one in a drawer or closet already?

That’s what I thought. It just appeared, and you have no idea from whence. Magic and mystery abound…

Miami Vise

Now, I’m not much of a handyman, because I enjoy having fingers that aren’t broken, and with my level of clumsiness, a broken finger or two would probably be the best case scenario if I were to try my hand at building anything more complex than a Lego Batmobile. That said, I do know that actual handyman types do need devices called vises to hold their…whatever it is they’re working on when they’re working on what they’re working on.

BUT..why and how are there so many different types of vises out there? They really and truly all do the exact same thing (clamp closed to hold the item being worked on in place) in the exact same way (by clamping closed to hold the item being worked on in place). Apart from size variations, how the H-E-double-stuff-Oreo much more to it could there be?

Does the world really need an entire website devoted solely to the sale of vises? Apparently so—I stumbled across one in my insomniac internet investigations. And there are vises as far as the eye can see on said site. I guess I can see the advantage of an automatic vise over a regular hand-crank one—I can’t imagine anyone would complain about a device that makes manual labor easier.

So there’s automatic and manual vises of different sizes. We’ll say extra small through extra large, for the sake of argument. But still, that only gets us up to ten variations on the theme. Why an entire site for what should be less than a dozen products?

Because it’s the internet, so why not, I guess.

Or Just Buy A Lot of Bread…

There are times when a website is dubbed Weirdohead not because of what it is selling, but because it is selling that particular item or items in the first place. Case in point: a site I stumbled across that is dedicated almost solely to selling twist ties. You read that correctly: a website that sells those little paper coated wire thingies that hold the bag around your bread closed.

There’s no question that twist ties are useful—obviously, the world needs some way to keep bread fresh. And twist ties do have about a million other uses, like keeping the cables and wires behind your TV in neat, orderly coils or holding Xmas lights in place when you have them cascading down the bannister of your stairs.

But, why would someone go online to buy twist ties? All one really needs to do is plan ahead a little bit and keep all the complimentary twist ties that, for example, come with loaves of bread. Most everyone I know eats bread on the reg, so it won’t take long before you’ve got quite a stockpile of twist ties to use for this, that, and/or the other.

I will admit that this site shucking twist ties offers a pretty huge variety of the things, in numerous lengths and thicknesses and etc. that most people probably never even knew existed. But, if you need a longer than usual twist tie, you can just twist two normal length ones together et voila. Or, if you need a stronger than usual twist tie, you can just use two (or more). It’s not rocket surgery, for crying out loud.

However, these cats do offer one interesting option that might be worth the time and money. They have special twist ties with holiday themed designs printed on them, in particular a Halloween themed variety emblazoned with jack o’ lanterns. I really have no clue what one would use them for, I just really like pumpkins. So that’s neat.

 

More Brushes Than You Can Shake A Stick At

Just off the top of your head, I’m sure you could think of about a dozen or so different types of brushes. Like a toothbrush, a paint brush, etc. You might, if you’re of a more DIY or mechanically inclined sort, even think of a wire brush, the sort that excels at, among other things, removing rust from metal surfaces.

 

Even those most familiar with the wire brush would likely not be able to think of half a dozen different types of wire brushes. Yet I swear to you such a profligacy of things exists. In a recent ramble through the realm of the interwebs, this insomniac adventurer discovered a site that offers so many brushes it would make your head spin—not just wire brushes, but hundreds if not thousands of brushes of all kinds, most of them probably being varieties you never even knew existed.

 

To return to the previous example of the wire brush, these particular cats offer a dozen versions of what seems to be an overly specialized and fancified variety, the stainless steel wire brush. That is to say, they have twelve different types of stainless steel wire brushes. Even one stainless steel wire brush seems like a waste of stainless steel.

 

Then again, I think this is what you would use to clean a DeLorean like the Back to the Future time machine, which is also made of stainless steel (so you can’t just take it through a normal car wash). If that’s the case…awesome. Keep up the good work.

When In Michigan, Beware the MichigMAN

I myself have not spent a whole lot of time in Michigan, but for the few brief hours I was there, I had a blast (drove from Chicago to Detroit for a concert, then left immediately afterward to go to Cleveland for another concert by the same artist the next night [whom I had also seen the previous night whilst in Chicago]). However, there are plenty of people in MI who have had experiences that were far less rad.

Traffic laws in the Great Lakes State are some of the most severe in the United States. This puts plenty of folks in danger of being brought down by The Man at the drop of a hat (or the press of a gas pedal). In particular, Michigan’s traffic laws pertaining to “impaired driving” are exceptionally harsh. One arrest on an impaired driving charge in the state results in a lifetime revocation of driving privileges. Of course, drinking (or doing other things to render yourself “impaired”) and driving is a terrible idea and no one should ever do it, so maybe they’re on to something. “One strike and you’re out” seems to be a pretty good way to discourage trouble.

How do I know all this wonderful, funderful information about Michigan’s driving laws? Because there are a group of attorneys in Kalamazoo, MI, with a website that will tell you all about it. Now, it seems to me that if you’re in need of these cats’ services, you probably already know how harsh the penalties can be—they’re preaching to the choir, if you will. But, their website does provide a look at these laws that is far easier to understand than the laws themselves as they’re written? Ever tried to read even the (seemingly) simplest of laws in its true “legalese” form? Might as well be written in Sanskrit.

Home Team Loses, Fans Get Sloshed. Sloshed Fans Break Law, Hilarity Ensues.

After Le Tigres epically pooped the World Series bed last night and got swept by the San Francisco Giants, there were probably more than a few Detroiters whose planned celebrations turned into sorrows-drowning contests. And, since you don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here, it’s entirely possible that some of those opposite-of-celebrating people ran afoul of the law on their ways home, meaning some unfortunate Tigers fans may now have more in common with third baseman and 2012 Triple Crown champion Miguel Cabrera than just that crushing feeling of defeat (i.e. they’re now fellow DUI offenders).

And, since the State of Michigan doesn’t mess around when it comes to traffic laws and violations, those same folks may be in the market for legal representation. Drivers license restoration in Michigan is a notoriously long and difficult process, since by default all drivers license revocations, for any reason, are automatically permanent (yup, PERMANENT—which makes one wonder how ol’ Miggy makes it to the ballpark on a daily basis).

Luckily for any Tigers fan who got taken down by The Man and who can potentially prove that they were innocent, there are those who specialize in drivers license restoration. One has to wonder how lucrative this particular form of legal practice can be, as it seems like most DUI cases are pretty open-and-shut, therefore making the chances of success pretty slim. But, if these cats “specialize” in it, they must really know their stuff.

‘Cause hey, I specialize in writing stupid blog posts inspired by randomly-stumbled-upon websites, and look how well I’m doing!

International House of Pancakes, Er, Plastics

Ah, plastic. The building block of so many of the items we use every day. Everything from soda bottles to video game consoles to body panels on cars is made from magical, fantastical plastic. And, thanks to fancy new technology and such, plastic can be made from plants, making it far better for ye olde environmente. Yes, plastic is pretty much everywhere you look these days.

Which makes me wonder, is there really much of a call for an international plastics supplier? Clearly there’s no shortage of plastic in Europe. Every Asian nation I can think of seems to have plenty with which to work. Perhaps there’s a plastic shortage of which I’m unaware in the heart of darkest Canada.

That’s the only explanation I can dream up for the existence of a company called Plastics International. These cats sell plastic—all kinds of plastic, all over the world, all the time. But it seems hard to believe that there’s a big international market for plastic. Sure, everybody everywhere needs it for pretty much everything, but don’t they (as in international peoples) already have plenty of plastic to go around? It’s not as if the good ol’ US of A has cornered the plastics market.

A real head scratcher, that.

O, Kalamazoo!

There’s no denying that drunk drivers are incredibly stupid. Who else but a complete idiot would take the controls of a one ton-plus piece of machinery— which can go very, very fast, mind you— after getting sauced?

But, it seems there are people even dumber than drunk drivers: people who go drunk driving in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I know that these people exist, because there’s random website out there that advertises legal help specifically for Kalamazooan drunk drivers.

“Why is drunk driving in Kalamazoo, Michigan, any stupider than drunk driving anywhere else” you ask? Have you ever been to Kalamazoo? I have. It’s not a real great town to drive in under any circumstances. Why anyone would want to get drunk and then drive around in Kalamazoo (or, even worse, get drunk and then drive to Kalamazoo) is beyond me. I hate to say this, residents of Kalamazoo, but the best thing to do in your town is leave it.

Also, from what I’ve heard, Michigan has extremely tough drunk driving laws. Every state should. Good on you, Michigan.

“How tough are Michigan’s drunk driving laws?” you ask. I think I read somewhere that your first offense gets you huge fines and a revoked driver’s license. For a second offense, they cut off your right foot so you can’t drive any more.

There’s A Case for That

There’s weird-bad, and there’s weird-good. This Weirdohead entry definitely falls under weird-good.

Custom cases are a pretty brilliant idea. It’s weird to think that someone can build an entire business around it, but it’s brilliant nonetheless.

Almost everybody’s got something they would probably prefer to store safely in a case of some kind, but, depending on what that something is, it can be hard to find a case that will actually fit it.

Maybe you’ve got a sweet vintage top hat, for example, that you want to keep in pristine condition for the two occasions a year when you actually want to wear it (what those occasions would be, I don’t know—it’s just an example). But what are you going to put it in? You could get a hatbox for it, but what if the hat’s an unusually tall one (or something like that—again, this is just an example)? A hatbox wouldn’t work.

So…you get a custom-made case. From what I saw, these custom cases can be built in pretty much any dimensions you need, to accommodate your 17-1/2” tall top hat. Or your great-great-grandpa’s old flintlock musket. Or whatever. And the cases come with precision-cut foam padding, so whatever you put in there won’t get knocked around and damaged inside the case.

Like I said, pretty brilliant.

Zip Ties – We Need a Store for That?

a zip tie dressStarting off Weirdohead today with a doublewhammy, both related to zip ties. You know, those handy little plastic strips with teeth on them that you loop around onto themselves to hold things together or use as makeshift handcuffs on badass cop tv shows? Yeah, those zip ties.

No question but that zip ties are handy and useful things and there’s nothing terribly weird about them. We need zip ties, they’re handy to have around. You can pop to any hardware store or big box general store and pick up zip ties in whatever color or size you need.

But what’s weird is the idea of having a website devoted entirely to zip ties. Weirder still is finding two of them in one day.

It started when someone sent me a link to Zip Tie Guy, a site that does nothing but talk about zip ties with the kind of obsession that is usually reserved for your first love or duct tape. And admittedly there were some crazy zip tie implementations on the site, like zip tie dresses and chairs and even elaborate zip tie art using tens or hundreds of thousands of zip ties.

But then that site pointed to another site that is there to let you buy the zip ties. Really, a web store just to sell zip ties. And they have a bazillion different types, from mini zip ties to big ones, red ones, blue ones, releasable zip ties and other things that don’t really look anything like zip ties at all, but apparently have some relation.

I get that zip ties are useful, but they’re also like a buck or two for a dozen. How the hell can a web store stay in business just selling zip ties? Is this run by some employee of Home Depot who picked up a couple cases at a five finger discount and then decided to sell them to raise enough money to… I don’t know… buy a bottle of soda? I’m trying to imagine a scenario in which a store sells enough zip ties to stay in business and pay a wage, and I have to tell you, that’s a hell of a lot of zip ties.

And that, frankly, is the weirder scenario. The idea that this isn’t some guy in his basement, but instead is an actual company with a warehouse and employees and stuff. At that point you have to ask yourself… how the hell many zip ties do people buy? Are they really shipping out boxes and boxes of zip ties all day long, every day?

Yeah, I can’t decide which is more weird, but without question is makes the Weirdohead list of weird ass products being sold online.