Sunday, January 25, 2009

What happened to cool during the '70s?

I've come to the realization, that my parents' generation suffered the greatest breakdown-in-cool ever observed by mankind. You see, as a kid growing up in the '70s I could do nothing more than observe the insidious wave of non-cool to ever sweep the nation.

You might be thinking to yourself, come on...was it really that bad, and how pervasive was this plague of non-cool? Well, I'll let you be the judge, here is a list of symptoms that I observed:

#1 Total disregard for your kids self respect

#2 Owning a vehicle referred to as a "station wagon"

#3 Adding new paint colors and features to cars that God never intended, such as:


  • pea-green (aka puke green)

  • big and bold brown

  • baby bonnet blue

  • Yuck yellow

Optional features:
  • Fake wood paneling

  • A back seat in some models of station wagons that actually faced oncoming traffic (yeah, that was a great idea... : )

#4 Purchasing clothing that had the words: "bell" and "bottom" in them.

Getting back to the station wagon. You know why they called these land yachts 'station wagons', because they took so much fuel to operate that you couldn't venture far from a gas 'station'. Also, they were modeled after some wagons (see image below).

I mean what happened?
Between the '40s and '60s, our parents came up with some really cool ideas, such as:

  • Hey, why don't we build a space craft and go to the moon?

  • How much horse power can we cram into an engine, and still legally drive it around.

  • Let's promote the use of bikinis on U.S. beaches

  • Skateboards

  • Adopting the surfing craze that had been pretty much been confined to Hawaii before that time.

This is just a few examples that prove that something went terribly wrong when our parents started reproducing.
I truly believe that 'cool' took a little hiatus during the '70s and early '80s. Also, you should know that I've forgiven my parents. Forgiven them for what? you might ask. For the humiliation that resulted by being driven around in the family station wagon, and dressing me in the ugliest clothing ever to be invented by mankind.
I truly believe that there was an unspoken competition between many parents of who could own the ugliest car. We may never know for sure if this competition was real of not, because most parents are very tight lipped about this issue. Apparently, they took an oath of silence or something.
It is painfully apparently, that the winner was decided by who had the most embarrassed kids.
However, we all know that the real losers were the kids. Anyway, just look at the picture of the station wagon attached to this post, does'nt it make you wonder: what where they thinking?!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Grates are a great idea!

This is my first blog, so be kind.  : )

The other night I was watching the evening news and caught a couple of reports that peaked my interest.  One of the stories was about a little girl drowning in a local public pool because the pool's intake grate was missing.  She got pulled into the intake and being unable to free herself drowned.  That is terrible I thought to myself.   The reporter then went on to state that the grate was missing because the pool had trouble finding one that was the right size, or some kind of bogus cop out like that.

The other story was about that airliner which was masterfully crash landed on the Hudson, w/o any casualties.  What a great job by that pilot!  The only thing about this story that troubled me was that in the news report, they stated that it was believed that a couple of birds were sucked into the jet's engines thus causing the flame out.

I was really disturbed about the first story, and since I work for a manufacturing/engineering company I pitched the idea of adding a new line of products: pool grates.  I let the owners know about the new report I had caught the night before.

One of the owner's let me know that we would not want to get into to pool grate business because of its susceptibility of lawsuits.  He then proceeded to tell me about another company that makes pool grates that lost a major lawsuit.  The story goes like this, a pool man forgot to replace the intakes grate after performing some maintenance...which of course was negligent on his part.  But to add insult to injury the pool's intake pump had been grossly over sized by the designer.   As you can clearly see, it was not the fault of the grate manufacturer that the pool man forgot to reinstall it, or that the designer over sized the pump.  But loose the case they did.
The pool's owner and the designing firm settled out of court, but the poor grate manufacturer took it in the shorts. 

'That's make no sense', I stated, the grate manufacturer was not to blame because of others negligence.  So feeling a little disappointed, I  then looked at my boss and said: "How about jet engine  intake grates?"