Saturday, February 19, 2011

My First Patent Application

"It's A Bouncing Baby Boy 'Thing-A-Majig' Mr. Rogers..."

I'm pleased to report that the past seven days has been a banner week here at the International Headquarters of Plastics Engineering Technologies A.K.A. The Turbo Pup Compound on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River.

I've been a little mentally uneasy and distracted all week as I've had to fight off a malady which was trying to develop into a full blown cold or case of the Flu, but I managed to somehow wander through the process anyway and get the minimum paper work done and pushed out the door or on to the Internet.

Thus this weekend I guess I can with good conscience turn my attention back to my basement construction projects and possibly burning a giant pile of vegetative crap out in the back yard weather permitting.

Meanwhile, during dinner last night I received an E-mail from the lawyer's office with the first draft of the Patent Application I've been working on as the engineer of record for the past twelve weeks. With any luck we'll finish the paper work process this week and officially be "Patent Pending" so we can move the project into the Prototype Phase of product development.

I've never expected to become very rich working as an injuneer, but I have made a good living on and off from time to time in the process and the one thing I do pride myself in is that the work I do actually gets built...I design things which can be made and used by their owners in return for them paying for drawings and calculations.

Anybody in the engineering business knows how many people there are out there that do work which is impossible to build or fails miserably when produced.

Not ME, no WAY, no HOW...I will not be associated with crap quality work.

And the fact that our patent application will get submitted shortly and that the product will move forward toward being available on the consumer market is worth more than the value of any check I have cashed in the past or in the future.

I guess that I pursue injuneering more as an art than an a avocation or profession.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Broken English Better Than Know No English At All?

"Think So GI Joe....Me Nots "

Just Dammit, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I've outsmarted myself again apparently.

You see, I joined this thing you've probably heard of..."Groupon "...and bought a couple of things like half price  dinner coupons and such to use locally here recently with great success.

I don't do everything they do like half day Spa treatments or half price Hot Air Baloon  Rides but they threw out a coupon last week before Valentines Day for $40 worth of flowers or gifts with FTD for $20 cost.

I jumped on the deal figuring that I'd use it later this year for birthdays or whatever since I had already bought Pat's Valentines' Day flowers from

The only downside to Proflowers' product is that you have to put the arrangement together yourself after the flowers arrive in a box with a Vase and other crap you buy.

Historically FTD has the local member florist put everything together and delivers it to your door ready to go.

Therein is the only SINGLE advantage FTD's business model has today as I see it and if they are not careful, just like travel agents and buggy whip makers, based on my experience with them this week I'd say that FTD will be out of the flower delivery business before the end of the year 2011 because of the incompentence of their customer no-service system and the decline in their flower dealer network.

You see, I found out this morning that the local florist in my Mom's little town down in Alabama has dropped out of the FTD network...i.e. they've elected to stop paying the fee to FTD to be a member probably because the business generated using the formerly well recognized and regarded FTD brand is no longer worth the golden logo it's printed on.

Then after three days spent on and off trying to place an order and get sale prices and use the "Groupon" I finally managed to get through this morning and successfully negotiate their website, use the "Groupon" ID code, and hit the ORDER button.

Then I printed my confirmation page and put it in a file and went on to other taking my mid-day nap.

Then not TWO HOURS later yet another lovely young woman which had apparently studied speaking English using cassette or eight track tapes played in a 1973 Chevy Vega or Ford Pinto with AudioVOX or Jensen 6x9 inch triaxal speakers called and woke me up and said something like this:

Lovely Lady on Phone: "Local florist say no live blooming flowers ready (the order was for a week and one half from now) OK they use cut flowers with live green plants in pot?"

Me: Whuuaaaaattt?

Lovely Lady On Phone: "You OK cut life flowers for life blooming flower in arrangement?"

Me: "No Ma'am, just cancel the order because I don't have time to think about it right now."

So now I'm back to square one again, having spent $20 trying to save $20, and still probably owing another $20 to get something moving for my sister's birthday, and having spent going on THREE hours which I normally sell for somewhere between $50 and $85 per hour to clients.

If this keeps up I could probably BUY my own florist operation and deliver the flowers myself and SAVE MONEY in the process.

Is it just me?


I went back to the FTD site to try to order something else and the stupid Groupon Code wouldn't work because they had cancelled my earlier order but not voided out the Groupon.

So I had to CALL GROUPON and explain everything to them and get them to issue me a refund on my Debit card for the original purchase.

Let me be clear here...I have no problem with GROUPON...BUT...

I'll never use FTD again except in an emergency like flowers for a Funeral, and I suggest that you do the same because their customer service is really custer non-service and their website is inane and customer non-support is feckeless and obtuse at best.

Gee...I don't have a NEGATIVE OPINION of FTD do I?

If You Have A Little Red Dot On Your Forehead

It Might Be From My Laser Gunsight...

Gosh Darn it all...ladies and gentlemen...

I've spent an hour on the phone this morning with "Customer No-Service" with FTD over a flower order to be delivered later this month using a "Groupon."

And just now with Capitol One over a misplaced Credit Card...

I think I was talking to some man named "Peggy" located in India.

They gave me a useless unintelligible answer on the FTD order and I finally managed to figure out how to use the discount code on line on my own, and just now Capitol One held me on the phone for ten minutes and then dropped the call while transferring me between "account service specialists."

All I can say is they are lucky I'm too old and tired to try to find them and come over and kick their stupid incompetent asses right now.

Give me a few minutes and a few more attempts at getting this stuff straightened out and I might work up a good head of steam and make the 11 PM news feed in your town.

Injuneering Pop Quiz

Keeping My head Warm Like A Serving of French Fries Under a Heat Lamp....

Tonight I'm going to wander around in the basement with a pair of wire cutters in my hands and try to finish installing the six recessed Can Lights and three or four outlets in the new Wee Pub A.K.A. "The Turbopup Bar and Grill."

I mentioned earlier that I had pulled the two new electrical service feeds into the basement through a new conduit run bolted to the wall in the carport from the breaker panel, and then Tuesday I drilled out all of the floor joists and pulled the wire up overhead out of the way.

Tonight I'm planning on finishing up the wiring to the Can Light Fixture bodies in the Bar ceiling  and anything else I can think of because...

I have two brand new unused TWENTY AMP BREAKER CIRCUITS!

(My bellybutton has been puckering and unpuckering for the past few days I'm so excited.)

For the laymen in the crowd and those of you that went to engineering school at Fatima Tech or LSU, let's review the design calculations:

Assuming 110 Volts AC as the input power source, a 20 Amp breaker can in theory handle 2200 Watts (2.2 KW) of load, but then reducing things by a 80% safety factor that's still 1760 Watts total...

or an amount equal to a little more than seventeen 100 watt light bulbs.

Since I'm only using six fixtures and the fixtures are rated at 65 Watts each, my lighting load is only 390 Watts.

And then I want to add two wall receptacles and a dedicated 110 VAC outlet for a recessed flat screen TV behind the Bar area, and thus I still have 1370 Watts of capacity to serve the receptacles with all of the lights turned on and Bing Crosby or Elvis playing on the faux wood grained enclosed eight track tape deck.  I also have an old turntable which might appear to play a few albums I still have in vinyl format.

Come to think of it I also have an old Victrola sitting under a layer of dust in the back corner of the basement so I may end up with an addition which is "standing room only" when it is virtually empty.

Things will be getting out of hand if they keep going like they are, and people in Egypt and Iraq probably envy the dirt I walk on these days, if they even have electricity or live in houses with basements and floor joists to drill holes into.

Excuse me for gloating I guess...but still...

Now...has anyone seen my wire nuts and electrical tape because it's time to get to work?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


i'M bUSY...

So now in addition to all of the other crap I have going on I learned last week that the St. Simons Island Rotary Club's "Red Hot Chili Cookoff" is March 5th...JUST TWO WEEKS FROM THIS COMING SATURDAY.

I'm abdicating the chef role this year to one of John's employee's husband who is also a member of the Glynn County Fire Department.

I hope to parlay that connection in a couple of ways into getting a few new awards this year possibly.

The "People's Choice" award  is easier because of the popularity of public institutions like the Glynn County Schools have been historically getting every year while delivering only mediocre chili so an association with the fire department could yield bonus points if played properly. 

My idea is to modify our serving booth theme to make it look like a fire station with a portion of a fire truck sticking out front of the garage door bay.

Any way, in addition to all of the other stuff I'm working on to make a living, nowI have to finish the concept and detailed design drawings for this project and be ready to get down there to the Georgia Coast and help produce another 15 gallons of Chili on a Saturday morning with the proceeds of the event going to local Charities.

Wish us luck, and pray I have the strength to get all of this stuff done between now and then.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I Almost Forgot Valentine's Day?

NO, Not Really....

I forgot to mention earlier here on the blog this weekend's local Valentine's Day festivities.

I generally elect to miss the actual event in public by celebrating early every year. 

It somehow has historically managed to piss me off when I try to go out on the actual day--Valentine's Day--only to be assaulted by the miss-behavior of the crowds of men which ignore their wives and girlfriends for the entire year and then try to make up for their malfeasance on a single day on the calendar handing out "stuffed bears" and "hoodie footie" outfits and of course the obligatory giagantically over-priced vase of dead or dieing flowers.

I do things a little differently here myself.

Flowers--a dozen roses--showed here up on Friday...bought and paid for weeks ago at a discount without paying more for shipping than the actual cost of the roses. if you are interested...

Then an excellent dinner was had at Copper Cellar  last night, following my command performance Saturday night in my kitchen cooking German Rouladen Beef and Spaetzle and Sour Kraut for dinner.

Did I mention the brunch I cooked for Pat and the Turbo Pup on Sunday morning featuring scrambled eggs and home made hash brown fries with country sausage?

And now this morning I'm making a couple dozen chocolate truffles from raw Ghirardelli Chocolate bars and packaged for distribution here at home and around town over the next couple of days.

At least all of you men out there should say hey to the one you love on Valentine's day...or preferably don't wait until then and show them by your actions how much you care each and every day instead of waiting until February 14th.

That said, I guess that that will be all...for now...

I'm Running Around...

...Like A Chicken With My Head Cut Off

Right now I'm so dang busy that I don't know whether to stand up or sit down or run out into the yard and tear my clothes off.

OK...maybe I'll keep my clothes on based on OSHA jobsite protection issues, but still...

I currently have more things to do on my plate IMMEDIATELY than I've had in probably 12 or 15 years, and in the process I have more projects started here at home than I can possibly do at one time.

Add to the backlog that the current weather forecast for relatively dry conditions with temperatures in the mid 60's for most of the next week places pressure on me to attempt to finish all of the yard chores which were left unfinished when it first turned frigid and started snowing in late November/early December and which has continued on and off through most of January.

Ignoring my injuneering business endeavors for a moment, I still have no less than a half dozen different things going on inside and outside the house in the "home improvement" category of my life.

Yesterday I pulled over 100 feet of 12/2 romex with ground conductor through some 1-1/2" plastic conduit from the breaker panel out in the carport, through a new hole I cut in the wall into the basement shop, and extended one run across the basement ceiling through the floor joists into the new "Wee Pub" A.K.A. "The Turbopup Bar And Grill" which has been under construction for the past couple of weeks now downstairs.

These two new 20 Amp 115 VAC electrical service feeds will substantially upgrade and update the existing early 1960's vintage ungrounded electrical service currently providing juice to most of the basement outlets and lights, and hopefully in the process keep me from losing another house to an electrical fire like I did on April 5th, 2001 in the northern Atlanta suburbs..

And speaking of burning,  yesterday I also tried to take advantage of my new Knox County Government issued "Burn permit" to start getting rid of the school bus sized heap of limbs and other combustible stuff I have piled in the corner of the back yard.  I started a little test fire after lunch time but let it burn out quickly because the wind was gusting on and off a little too hard to make me comfortable keeping things under control.

Hopefully the yard burn project is back on the program for today and or Tuesday if the wind will die down a little because I don't want to look at this giant pile of stuff for the next six months.  I also don't like standing in front of a fire when the ambient temperature is 100 deg F so it behooves me to get this stuff out of my way ASAP.

Meanwhile, regarding national and international news, I'm freaking speechless at the fecklessness of our CIA and other national security organizations' failure to understand what the %$#* is going on in Northern Africa and the Middle East, and even further appalled by the wild eyed variations of rhetoric delivered by President Obamamrama, VP Biden, and the so called Secretary of State sHrillary "Smile when you say that" Clinton.

When you see the chaos and lack of understanding demonstrated over the past two years on domestic policy issues relating to taxes and our business/jobs climate, then combine it with the recent idiotic response to defending our borders and responding to international situations which affect our security here at home and that of our proven allies abroad--Israel specifically--anyone that doesn't get at least a little worked up needs to be euthanized or at least sedated for their own protection in my considered Redneck opinion.

I guess in reality right now I'm so busy I can somehow actually justify not even watching the news for my normal six or eight hours a day because it just pisses me off and distracts me from getting things I need to do done on time.

It's a screwed up world out there Ladies and Gentlemen, and you are either part of the problems (or a result of the problems)...or PART OF THE SOLUTION.

I prefer to be part of the latter rather than the former, and right now working my ASS OFF is the only way I see to move the part of the world I can control forward in 2011.

Why don't YOU get busy defining what you can do and where you need to do it and stop waiting for the government to come to your rescue?