Goldilocks and the Three Egg Cartons

It seems like I’m never ready for the way stupid stuff trips me up.  I wanted to upgrade the presentation of our egg cartons, so I ordered a batch of stickers to cover the entire top of the egg cartons.  I thought it would be easy to use a date stamp to imprint the “Best By” dates on each carton.  Wrong wrong wrong.

I bought a stamp and ink pad, but I found that unless each stamp was applied exactly perpendicular to the page, there would be skid marks.  And even when we hit the angle of approach perfectly, the ink tended to bleed.  I replaced it with a self-inking stamp that has a stand built in and a non-bleeding type ink.  That solved the skidding and bleeding problems, but created a new problem because the ink was very slow drying, so most cartons smeared as we stacked them.  I bought a supermarket-grade pricing gun and a big roll of stickers, and at last I’m satisfied that I’ve got a solution that works quickly and produces legible results.

I only wasted about $40 on stamps and ink, so this isn’t anywhere near the top of the list of expensive mistakes in my history.   But it is illustrative of the absurd amounts of time I spend on silly stuff researching and messing around with different options, just for something as trivial as dating egg cartons.

Whenever I encounter a farm (or really any operation) that is running smoothly and efficiently, it is easy to assume that they always were that way.  I’ve come to realize that efficiency is something that only exists after a period of inefficient trial and error.  Maybe over time I’ll get better at sussing out dead ends without having to explore each one.  Somehow I don’t think so.

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