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Swingline GBC Thermal Laminator (Refurbished)

  • Heats up in 47 seconds (that’s fast)
  • Handles documents up to 12 inches wide (that’s wide)
  • Laminates 47" per minute, almost an inch a second (that’s crazy fast)
  • Uses plastic pouches up to 10 mil thick (that’s thick)
  • Thermal laminating, not adhesive (that’s superior)
  • A high-end, professional-grade laminator (that’s for real)
  • Model: 5100L (such a simple number to own on Google - these Swingline people know model numbers as well as they know staplers)
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Laminates & Lamentations: 10 Songs About Touring

Hey, Meh writer @JasonToon here. I don’t know much about laminators. Or what people do with them. My first thought was to make counterfeit backstage passes (“laminates” to showbiz people). My second thought was to protect flimsy paper boardgame pieces. My third thought was that there’s gotta be a list of laminatable things online. There is.

So then there’s this laminator. At a current price of almost four hundred bucks and a list price of nearly eight hundred, what makes the Swingline GBC Thermal Laminator better than some twenty-dollar Office Depot special? Near as I can tell, five things. The width of the documents it can handle (12 inches, top of the line). The thickness of the plastic pounches it can handle (up to 10 mil, ditto). The fact that it thermally seals the plastic instead of using a sloppier, bubble-prone adhesive. And the volume of stuff it can laminate: 47 inches a minute (!!!), up to four letter-size pouches a minute. It all adds up to a high-grade laminator for people who are serious about coating things in plastic.

Am I missing anything? Laminator fiends, hip us to the deets in the forum, please.

And in return, I’ll present a playlist of ten songs about backstage passes and road cases, motel rooms and sound checks. Good thing the Ramones apparently thought “Touring” was “never boring”, because they did it incessantly for twenty-plus years:

Whether they meant it or not, it’s refreshing to hear a band who sounds happy to be doing what so many of us dreamed about. The '70s in particular saw endless dreary mythologizing about the hardships and hedonism endured by the road warriors of rock. The Who’s “Postcard” is among the best of these thanks to John Entwistle’s bubbling bass and self-effacing travelogue lyrics:

Mott the Hoople were the kings of rock-band-as-street-gang mythologizing. But Ian Hunter had too much self-awareness and humor not to undercut the mythology. “All the Way From Memphis” is the story of his guitar getting mistakenly routed to Baltimore while he was on his way to Memphis, and his sheepish journey to retrieve it. It’s presented not as a Herculean epic, but as one more moment when “you look like a star but you’re really out on parole”:

But road-weary '70s confessionals aren’t the only mode for tour songs. They Might Be Giants imagined what it would be like to be a different band of indie heroes, and discovered in the madcap “We’re the Replacements” that it would be like being the Monkees with a dash of Three Stooges:

This next one is a tour complaint, but a weirdly specific one. The Directions were part of a late '70s “mod revival” scene of British bands that combined mid-'60s pop with punk energy. One night, when the PA hadn’t arrived to the venue, the other two bands on the bill wanted to bail out, but the Directions wanted to go ahead and give it a try with the amps they had. In the end, the PA showed up and the show went on… but that didn’t stop the Directions from calling out the other two bands by name (the Teenbeats and the Sta-Prest) as moneygrubbers in the chorus of their next single! “Three Bands Tonite” hits a level of DGAF public beef you usually only find in hip-hop:

Now’s a good time to admit I was once (OK, twice) the kind of character narrating Jawbreaker’s “Tour Song”, who “drove seven hundred miles to play to fifteen angry men.” Those smelly-van DIY punk tours could be the greatest time or they could be embarrassing drudgery, but Blake Schwarzenbach nails how even a shitty show can be redeemed by the fact that “two cool people came.”

For lovable UK glam yobbos Slade (my choice for most underrated rock band ever), touring is about winding up in places you never thought you’d go. In “Far Far Away”, their glittery platform boots stomp from “the mountains of Alaska” to “the glory that was Rome”, and they’re still looking forward to more:

Whereas Motörhead sees the tour circuit as a blur of junk food, sniffing glue, and scars, and they love every debauched minute of it because “(We Are) The Road Crew”:

Why am I not surprised that Simon & Garfunkel tours don’t seem like as much fun in “Keep the Customer Satisfied”?

Finally, I’ve tried to avoid the most obvious tour songs, from the corny to the great. But I would be derelict in my duty if I ended this list without Willie Nelson and “On the Road Again”:

If there’s a tour song that makes you want to fire up the laminator and bluff your way onto the tour bus, let’s hear it in the forum. Just make sure the lamination job looks professional.

More weekend playlists for those long lonely hours on the tour bus:

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