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Precision Stove Knobs

It’s not like I’m about to compete on next season of Iron Chef or anything, but every now and then I find myself about to embark on an episode of “Dad’s Amazing Omelets” and have to wrestle with the indoor grill, more commonly known as the kitchen stove.  It’s been my experience that every gas stove starts pretty much the same way: crank the knob until you hear the ignition clicking, wait for the flame, then you lower the flame to the desired height vis-a-vis the pot or pan that rests upon it.  The problem is you never really know if the flame is at the right height (or if it even came on at...

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Don’t Brush This Idea Off

Ideas can come at any time, though so many seem to strike in the loo. And so was the case when I was brushing my teeth the other day. Maybe you’ve seen ads for the Dollar Shave (commentary: they’re funny). Shave Club is a subscription-based business in which you sign up to have razors mailed to you on a regular basis. I think it’s a monthly subscription, though I’m guessing they offer a Wolfman package for guys who have a 5 o’clock shadow by noon. So as I was running my toothbrush under the running water, it occurred to me that there might be gold in a toothbrush subscription business.  Toothbrushes...

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Idea Potpourri

 More eclectic ideas submitted for your consideration… A public holiday where everyone must remain in bed all day. Contact lenses that work as sunglasses. A bus company that charges Pi for all tickets: meaning, exact fare only. Kidnap prominent Youtube ‘flat earthers,’ and send them into space. Broadcast their reactions live to the world. Amazon.com should save the Amazon rainforest by purchasing it entirely. Build Trump’s Wall, with only one automatic door on the entire border, and have it linked to Twitter. Every tweet  Donald tweets opens the door for however many seconds...

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College Alumni Camp

 The problem: the day-to-day pressure of daily life as a responsible adult The big idea: Summer camp for college alums Who didn’t love college? Almost no one, according to the six people I asked.  Keg parties, fraternities, eating pizza from under your bed for breakfast, classes maybe four days a week.  No one cared that you left your clothes all over the floor and blasted Springsteen at 3 am. Your biggest problem was having to rise by noon on a Thursday so you’d have time to plagiarize your term paper due on Friday evening. No job (work study doesn’t count), unlimited food at the cafeteria,...

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Wink, Wink

 Unlike my sidekicks who contribute to this column (hey you out there in idea land, you’re invited, too!) I don’t get inspired and come up with my own original ideas all that often.  But I can give a shout out to a decent idea that should be stolen, er, realized and taken to market.  Long ago, far away, I asked a young lady if she had any ideas.   She batted her eyelashes at me.  Which gave me the wrong idea.  But she put the brakes on that.  And that’s an appropriate metaphor because brakes are part of a car and so was her idea. Her idea was for cars to have headlights with eyelids and eyelashes. ...

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Don’t Build a House, Print It!

 Although it may seem that 3D printers have just recently burst on the scene, they’ve actually been around for a couple of decades.  The thing that’s changed is that the technology is getting a lot cheaper.  For just a few hundred bucks people can turn an image on their  computer screen into a real object they can hold in their hands.  Pretty neat! (Side note: Looking for a really cool 3D printer kit to assemble with your son or daughter for the holidays? I might have just the ticket for you.) Besides lower cost there are all sorts of new materials out there to print with. Of course there are...

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Drain With A Brain

 The problem: clogged shower drains The big idea: garbage disposal for the shower I’m as bald as Yul Brynner’s newborn baby. My brow gleams like new fallen snow on a church lawn.  I know that can be seen as a flaw to the unenlightened, but I consider it a genetic blessing. Not only do I never experience a bad hair day, but I am never the source of the pile up of nastiness encasing the shower drain on a daily basis. On the other hand, she who must be obeyed (as well as our two teenaged daughters), contribute an unending supply of their formerly flowing tresses to the outbound end of the shower...

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Mirror, Mirror On The Finger

 A few columns ago I suggested you could get rich with baby bottles shaped like trombones or other musical instruments. If the idea of baby Louie Armstrongs isn’t your melody, how about cashing in on the vanity of teenage girls?   Not that there’s anything wrong with vanity and teenage girls.  In fact, there’s a lot right with it if you get this idea on Snapchat or whatever social media thing (which started out as an idea) is hot at the moment. Girls have been known to check a mirror now and then and girls have been known to use fingernail polish.  Well, why not combine the...

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Plunge Right In

 Ok, enough weeks have passed since our introductory column about a foot pedal for toilets.  Even though so many of my ideas should end up in the toilet I didn’t want readers to think this column was all about the place they used to call the water closet. The Problem: Toilet plungers that are ugly, ineffective and messy. The Big Idea:  Pongtu.  My daughter discovered it and knew it was something I’d appreciate.  Invented in South Korea, the Pongtu might finally allow us to end our love/hate relationship with plungers. Pongtu is a thin sheet of yellow plastic that seals to the edges of the toilet...

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