I guess I'm either A) lazy, or B) lacking in the confidence to try splicing. After looking at numerous videos and the step-by-step photo instructions located on this forum it just looks like something more complicated than I feel comfortable attempting.
The very first thing I tried was melting the ends and wasn't satisfied with the result. That's what inspired the idea to use heat shrink tubing. The whole process takes about 2 minutes and requires little "thinking" or tools more specialized than some scissors and a lighter... Must be "A".
If it's stupid but works, it isn't stupid.