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Archive for August, 2011

Sharks on the YBR

I only recently started watching Shark Tank and have been amazed by the ideas (good and bad) but more about the negotiating process. The only invention I can claim goes back to my childhood (circa 1957) when I mixed Colgate toothpaste with Lavoris  (a cinnamon flavored mouth wash) and made a paste of what I called “paste wash.”  The name was terrible but the idea wasn’t a bad one, especially when you recall that years later Close-up toothpaste (the first toothpaste-mouthwash hit the market) changed the way we brushed our teeth.

Well, since 1957 I haven’t had a marketable idea.  I’d never make it on Shark Tank. Hell, I wouldn’t even make it if they had Guppy Tank for bad ideas. And speaking of bad ideas, there are far more of them than good ones.

Take a look at some ideas from the past that, well to use current vernacular…sucked.

Sea-shoes

Did you ever try to cross a New York City street after a deluge?

TV glasses

Don’t laugh. They could have worked. Maybe. Alright, maybe not.

illuminated tires

When a street lamp just doesn’t cut it. But for those of you who think this idea was lame, the makers of the Mini Cooper have a leg up on bringing this bad idea back as seen in a prototype they hope to roll out soon.

Mini's luminous tires

Maybe I just have to go back to the drawing board. Who knows, I could invent the next worst invention.

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August 16, 1911

Time, it certainly does fly on the YBR. It’s hard to believe that my late father was born 100 years ago…in Brooklyn. And although he only lived to be 86, I thought it important to recognize a milestone.

Why?

Why not?

In fact, I’m hosting a 100th birthday for my father. A birthday with a cake, balloons, streamers…and even a game or two.

Crazy? Of course it’s crazy, but I am a firm believer in craziness. In fact I think there is a shortage of it in the world today.

Fortunately my wife and kids are behind this crazy idea. And that’s good. It proves craziness runs in the family.

My father was hardly a saint. Growing up my father was a royal pain in the ass. But he was transformed into a  royal grandfather…who could still be a pain in the ass at times, but he had mellowed to the point of becoming a real character.

My kids found him totally amusing. He had very bizarre eating habits (he’d load his cereal bowl with any left over fruit and jello he’d find in the refrigerator); he had no style (he’d wear a plaid shirt with striped pants and argyle socks); he was a total foreigner in the kitchen (soon after my mother died he attempted to cook a hot dog in the microwave. He called me up at work and asked me “where the hell did it go?”  I said “where did what go? (he thought I could see through the phone). “The hot dog. I put the goddamn hot dog in the microwave and now it’s gone.”  I asked him, “:How long did you put it in for?” He paused. “Five minutes.”  “Five minutes?” I said. “You didn’t cook your hot dog, you annihilated  it. Look in the microwave and you’ll see hot dog fallout all over the inside.) My father needed a recipe to make ice.

And did I tell you he was handy?  If God had asked him to build the Ark, he would have had to ask someone else to give all the animals swimming lessons.

And loud?  He only had one volume. VERY, VERY LOUD.

And was he hard of hearing? Yes. He’d hit his ring against the table and yell “Come in.”

And how was his driving?  He once told my kids that you only had to stop at stop signs if a car was coming in the other direction.

He was a character. And he would have been a 100.

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