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March 31, 2014

I am from Mundelein, a small town north of Chicago. I usually just tell people I am from Chicago because to do otherwise is to engage in the conversational equivalent of a constantly reconfiguring GPS, as the listener struggles to arrive at some point of reference. “It's near the Wisconsin border,” I often say, a statement analogous to saying someone with a first aid kit is a doctor.

Occasionally, a weather forecaster will include Mundelein in the hourly roundup of current conditions. I am always amazed when my town is mentioned. I feel the same way whenever printing related stories make the national news. A recent New York Times article detailed Sappi's “Off Register” YouTube campaign.

Columnist Stuart Elliot noted the irony of a paper company using a video promotional vehicle, but noted “Plans call for a book about the online series, offering behind-the-scenes looks at the stories and characters.” We'll look forward to future installments featuring more funny folks from Chicago's Second City.

I had a different reaction to “10 Most Overpriced Products You Should Avoid” at www.walletpop.com. Writer Aaron Crowe waxes indignant about the markup of products such as bottled water (4,000%); text messages (6,000%); movie theatre popcorn (1,275%); hotel minibar (400%); and greeting cards (200%).

Crowe, apparently an unreformed Ebenezer Scrooge, suggests we make our own cards. I am going to guess there is no Mrs. Crowe in the picture.

If your age has less than two digits or you are in the early throes of courtship, a DIY card can be very endearing. Otherwise, pony up a few bucks and buy a card. Love is patient and love is kind. But it is not a cheapskate.

“If you don't want to draw your own card, print one out from online,” says Crowe. “Printing them at home for virtually nothing beats paying $4 at the store.”

You know how some people hide the good silver when certain relatives visit? Crowe's family and friends should consider hiding their toner refills. Stealing cartridges is the only way to print at home for “virtually nothing.”

I am proud to buy and send cards printed in the United States and delivered by the men and women of the USPS. Skip the bottled water and buy some greeting cards. It's worth it!

Katherine O'Brien, editor in chief KOB@americanprinter.com

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