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Saturday, December 17, 2016

I am so outraged ... I must continue blogging


Recently a turn of events so outrageous has occurred that has thrust me back into blogging.

               The Problem Item






Yes you guessed it I am talking about the situation with the threads on Fender Guitar tremelo arms.




OK I admit this is partly my fault. I removed the tremelo arm on my guitar because I did'nt ever use it.  Then fast forward 14 years and I want to play a song that requires one. Now someone the original arm got swallowed by the house and  I need to acquire a new one. No problem, Jeff Bezos to the rescue. $8 and 2 days later the new part arrives..and it does'nt fit, the thread size is too big.

An hour of internet research later I find out that fender produced 3 different thread sizes for guitars manufactured over the last 14 years. I return the item to Amazon and amazingly they return my money and tell me to keep the item:) It must cost them more to receive it back than the $8 refund.

So after my internet research and some engineering measuring I think I have located the correct part at Guitar center. Run to Guitar center No luck. Wrong sizes again, this time too small:(

Now I am really frustrated. I realize I can re-machine the last possible thread size onto the Amazon arm. Voilo, it worked. So here's the bill, I will send it to the Fender Guitar Company. I will estimate using methods similar to any business (car repair shop, appliance repair my company's service department etc.) Service rate is $100 an hour.

1- hour diagnosing problem - $100
1 - hour driving to guitar center to acquire and return part - $100
36 miles at 0.60 a mile - $21.60
30 minutes to machine new threads + shop charge - $50 + $25 (Now I am forced to provide a solution because the customer is mad and I cant leave without fixing their issue)

 Total $296.6

Cost of brand new guitar $299

Fender could have just shipped me a new guitar and come out even.
This cost could have been avoided if Fenders Design department could have just standardized on a single thread type. Imagine if 1000 guitars a year ran into this problem and its a warranty item. It would cost the company $100,000s dollars a year every year because 3 engineers couldn't agree on a thread size.

In my case I spent 2 1/2 hours of my time and only $3 in gas and I got the part for free.Thanks Jeff Bezos. Jeff can afford it he is worth $30 B dollars. It brings to mind what would Jeff Bezos have done in this situation...Probably just chucked the entire guitar in the rubbish bin and told his assistant to order him a new one. Alas the $299 solution.  But I saved a guitar from ending up in a landfill.








Saturday, April 30, 2016

...and this is really crappy

This blog is turning into "how to fix all the stuff in your house that's broke:. Latest casualty shown above. It was making a gurgling noise and by my standards for what needs mending, its making a noise, its making a smell, its emitting smoke,or its vibrating. (I know this could describe me most of the time)  and I need a lot of mending these days. But if its gurgling I am thinking it might explode one day and we especially don't want that!

First attempt to replace the flapper valve failed to quite the gurgling. Second attempt, and this project also follows that golden rule that any home fix requires at least 2 trips to the hardware store. Still gurgling. So I spend my evenings watching toilet repair videos on You Tube. I cant believe my life has sunken to this. I bet Elizabeth Holmes doesn't fix her own toilets, heck shes such a god, I bet she doesn't even go to the bathroom.

Swapped the brand new flapper valve I just bought with another one. Gurgling finally stopped. But wait.there's a leak now. Turns out when you disturb an old shut off valve it can start to leak. One more trip to the hardware store, install new valve. Then another leak, reinstall new float assembly in which I had installed a component upside down (That one I had to re-read the instructions which I had already thrown away). Wait 2 days, another leak. Tighten new shut off valve. Finally good.

Now I have a great sense of satisfaction in completing the job myself and since I am not Elizabeth Holmes I must now leave you..I have to go to the bathroom.

Monday, April 25, 2016

This really sucks

Above is our Kirby Vacuum. Its as old as Carrot Chopper. It still has the best suction of any vacuum on the market. Recently is suffered a breakdown of some of it components. After researching the matter thoroughly, the RQ and I decided to attempt to repair it ourselves. We were able to bring it back up to like new conditions with about $80 in parts. This vacuum is built to last and fully serviceable. As such it has given us 25 years of use and there is no indication it wont last another 25. Most consumer items today are built to wear out in 5-7 years and then be disposed of. This keeps the initial costs low, the sales high and the landfills full. The total life cycle costs end up higher and consumers get flooded with cheap low quality products. We need to change this cycle. The problem is how to convince a consumer that buying a $500 vacuum over the $250 vacuum is a better deal. But consider Over 25 years you would have to purchase 5 $250 vacuums at a total cost of $1250 vs $500 for the well built unit with say $250 in repair parts over this life time. That's a savings of $500 and 4 less vacuums in a landfill. And thats what really sucks!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Roger and Me too

I have avoided charity rides for cancer research even though I am a cancer survivor.
By the way, the support color for colon cancer is brown, and no one looks good in brown.
I am riding in the Tour deCure this year because my family has been effected by diabetes and I design products which diagnose it and I personally feel it is treatable and curable. I am riding on my company's team. I have ponied up $52 and I only need to raise $200 more. If you feel moved please donate.

Donate Now

If you donate $20 or more I will give you a free copy of my book which I am currently writing which chronicles my escapades in Indy Car. The book is due to be published later this year and has a working Title; "Roger and Me too: Adventures of an Indy Car Engineer".

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Edgar Winter or The Mind is a Terrible thing

I have been watching a new favorite band on YouTube , Phish. They are very talented and look like a bunch of middle aged soccer Dads, except the drummer who looks kike a Hawaiian tita and the bassist who looks like the Jeff Dunham character Melvin (You will have to do the googlin yourself on this one but let me tell you its worth it.) I saw them do this cover of a song from the 70's. I knew the song but couldn't pull the name of the song or the band from my memory. It was right there but I couldn't bring it.24 hours later while just laying in bed thinking about nothing, out of the blue I utter the word "Edgar Winter". The mind is a terrible thing.

 

..and I just couldn't resist




Saturday, April 9, 2016

Are you smarter than a Silicon Valley Billionaire

Pictured below is Elizabeth Holmes 30 year old Stanford drop out, billionaire, entrepreneur and celebrity. Her business does the same thing my business does. The exact same thing! I am confident that the innovations myself and my team have come up with over the past 10 years surpass anything her company has done. Her company is under FDA scrutiny for poorly accurate blood tests, my company is considered the gold standard in the industry.
I find it discouraging that
a) I am not a billionaire
b)   I am not featured in Forbes magazine.
c) After 13 years of continually taking on more responsibility and making huge contributions to the companies revenue and value I make the same amount of salary (adjusted for inflation)and am at the same level (Maybe one up) as when I started 13 years ago. I am basically just a guy.

I have come to realize that a billion dollars is the difference between the value of your work when you are the company founder and someone who just works there.



Its all in the Hips

video

I have been trying to increase my swing speed for years, here's how. If you go to www.swing-speed.com you can see the instructions using their $280 device. I can do the same exercises with a resistance band I already own. My current swing speed is average 96 mph and my average carry is around 230 yards. The PGA tour average is 113 mph and 275 yards. I will do these exercises over the summer and report back my progress.