July, 2012

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Product Endorsement?

Monday, July 30th, 2012

When I created this blog, I never thought I’d be doing product endorsements. And I certainly didn’t think I’d be doing one for a product I’d never tried, or even touched. But this looks like too much fun to resist.

The product is called Bugasalt, and basically its a teeny low-power indoor-use shotgun that fires a tiny quantity of table salt over only a few feet, with the intent of causing mortal injury to flies and other bugs. The inventor, who identifies himself only as “Lorenzo… a working artist”, apparently got this thing to the pre-production stage via family financing, and is now collecting pre-orders to get it into full production.

I know what’s involved in product development, especially with an Asian source and engineering team, and my hat is off to Lorenzo. It seems like he’s about eighty percent of the way there, with only volume production and delivery remaining.

I’d been having thoughts about trying to build a fly eradicator based on one of those high-power blue solid-state lasers that are said to be able to light a match. That project is now on indefinite hold, which I’m sure my insurance company and local fire department are quite happy about.

Update – I’ve since purchased one of these, and its every bit as expected. Definitely worthwhile!


On achievements, and life

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

A recent article from my old stomping grounds tells of a fellow who’s been driving a 1966 Volvo P1800S since it was new, and is just a few thousand miles from reaching the 3 million mile mark. Since 1966 isn’t particularly old for an airplane, that got me thinking about the comparison.

A very high-time Skyhawk from 1966 might have as much as 10,000 hours on the airframe. At 110 knots (optimist that I am), that would equate to about 1.2 million miles. A clear win for the Volvo. Working the math the other way, assuming an average road speed of 40 mph, that three million mile Volvo was on the road for 75,000 hours, or about 4.5 hours a day, every day for 46 years. Or in different units, 8.5 continuous years of driving.

I’m quite impressed by what Mr Gordon’s accomplished. But I’ve reached a point in my life where I realize that I don’t have an unlimited amount of time here, and using it optimally is important to me. So without in any way diminishing his achievement, I do find myself asking whether, of all the things he could have done with that 75,000 hours, was setting this record the most rewarding of all possibilities?