...he might be a regular at your local game shop. He might be a close personal friend of yours. Heck, he might even be you. He's a great guy and all, but he's, well, lets say terminally disorganized. He's constantly asking to borrow your rulebook, or your dice, or your templates. He has to sneak peeks at the codexes on the store shelves because he forgot to bring his. He proxies soda cans for tanks, because he forgot to grab the model he had just clearcoated before he left the house.
Why do I bring this guy up? Because, chances are, at some point he's walked away with your tape measure. It's now the Christmas season (well, according to the stores, anyway). The next time you go to the hardware store (or past the hardware department in your local big-box store) you'll see a bunch of "stocking stuffer" gift ideas near the main aisle. One of these items will undoubtedly be a miniature tape measure:
...these will probably be priced around $1 (I think the fancy rubberized one in the bottom of the pic was the pricey one, at $1.79). Do yourself a favor - pick up a couple of these. Throw one in each of the bags or boxes that you use to carry your models. Keep one in the glovebox of your car. The next time "that guy" forgets his tape measure and asks to borrow yours, give him one of these as a loaner. And if he walks away with it, at least it wasn't your good one.
The other neat thing I found was these small clamps:
...I have a few similar clamps for household repairs, but these are tiny versions - they look to be just right for clamping foamcore board or styrofoam when I'm building terrain.