This is the Christmas shopping edition of the Wacky World of Rubber. I'm going to present what I see as the Christmas gift list for a number of Rubber & Plastics News staffers, from the perspective of the rubber industry, of course.
As it is with any group, some were more difficult to choose for than others. But let's give this a go.
The easiest to choose for was reporter Kyle Brown. For those of you who regularly follow Wacky World, you know that Kyle specializes in finding all the amazing things rubber bands can do. So it was a no-brainer when my grandson Tino, for his birthday, received the Rubber Band Racers project kit from Geek & Co. Science. According to the box, you can "make cars race, boats motor and planes fly with rubber band power."
Now if I could only find a way to steal Tino's kit and bring it into work without Tino noticing.
That could prove problematic.
Our online content editor, Erin Pustay Beaven, also was relatively easy to select for. She has written a number of times about silicone rubber items up for purchase. If I could, I'd get her a whole kitchen full of silicone gadgets and utensils. But I think we'll have to start off with the Core Kitchen set of eight essential silicone utensils, available from Home Depot. The set includes a spoon, slotted spoon, pointed spatula, slotted turner, basting brush, pasta fork, whisk and locking tongs. We'll have to fill in from there later.
Many of the following gift ideas I came upon during a tour of my local Costco (in between finding the best food samples).
Here's where I came upon the set of Goodyear-brand tire with rope dog toys for Lori DiFrancesco. She is our sales and conference coordinator, but also the owner/parent of two large dogs, whom I sure could get hours of joy from these toys. And it comes two to a package, so that works out perfectly.
It would also be a Goodyear-brand present for Brent Weaver, our sales manager. With his large pickup truck, I'm sure he'd find plenty of use for the package of four ratchet tie downs.
For Chris Sweeney, our news editor, it was a bit more difficult. But in the end I decided on the Michelin-brand windshield wipers on sale at Costco.
Chris follows the automotive beat for RPN, so that was one deciding factor.
Equally as important was that I recently saw TV ads for windshield wipers from both Michelin and Rain-X, but Michelin won out because their's was for sale at Costco.
The ideal gift for Chris actually would have been the world's largest rubber duck Chris wrote about in this space when it made its way to Ohio this past summer, but I doubt it would have fit into his apartment.
While my wife technically isn't on the RPN staff, her list would include a set of WeatherTech floor liners to round out the front seat pair I bought for her Ford Escape when we purchased the vehicle a year ago.
Unfortunately, I probably couldn't get away with the WeatherTech four-piece trim-to-fit car mats on sale at Costco for $29.99, way below the price for their custom-fit floor liners. Until I came across these, I wasn't aware WeatherTech sold at that price point in the market, but I guess it helps pay for those Super Bowl commercials.
I'd also like to include Don Loepp, editor of sister publication Plastics News, on the Wacky World Christmas gift list. I'd get Don a home 3D printer. Why? I don't know exactly, but I can picture him with one in his garage. Ideally, it would be able to 3D print liquid silicone rubber, a material both our publications cover. Then we could operate a side business out of his garage printing a variety of LSR novelties, and PN reporters Frank Esposito and Bill Bregar could chip in with their respective expertise in materials and machines.
What about for me, you ask? That's easy.
I want the boat with the big hole cut out of it that Phil Swift seals with Flex Seal's rubberized tape, then takes for a spin, supposedly around some tropical body of water. After all, how can you go wrong with the company that brought us "liquid rubber in a can."
Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone.
Meyer is editor of Rubber & Plastics News, and he sees potential rubber-related stories nearly everywhere he goes. Follow him on Twitter @bmeyerRPN.