Wheel of Miss Fortune

I made it through another Kinetics Race. This was by far the “BEST KINETICS EVA” as our team “Wheel of Miss Fortune” was blessed with a good craft, a great theme, and the undeniably best looking women at the entire reservoir.

Omar (team captain) was sporting a full length formal black dress, blonde shoulder length hair, and a collection of tasteful accessories.

IMG_3044

In the interest of full disclosure, Omar concedes he isn’t a natural blonde and is really a dude.

Katherine (support team) displayed a light spring dress and authentic diamond earrings valued at over 3 billion dollars. Katherine and Omar were faced with the dilemma of attending the Kinetics race or celebrating their sixth wedding anniversary. Katherine INSISTED on going to the race in lieu of an expensive romantic dinner despite Omar’s concerns.

IMG_3045

Isabel and Samantha (cute children) tied for first place in the Miss Fortune competition and helped the cause by spreading misfortune to the other teams by yelling they were out of toilet paper.20150620_132155

Our craft did quite well in the race. We completed about 80% of the course in the time allowed. The course was significantly longer than last year while still keeping the two hour limit. Only three teams finished in time. I’m sure this little snafu will be fixed for next year. The bylaws of the kinetics charter require that at least one thing doesn’t go as planned.

At the awards ceremony our team won the “Comic Relief” trophy. I’m so proud of this trophy as there were many other teams who gave me a run for my money in terms of their level of crazy.

2015-06-20 18.03.55

My only regrets from the race was that I forgot to paint my fingernails, I didn’t wear nearly enough makeup, and my dress didn’t show off enough of my muscular UPS driver calf muscles. I won’t make those mistakes next year.

So now I’m beginning my plans for the 2016 race. I’m going to recruit a larger team, build a bigger craft, ratchet up the crazy four notches, and blow the shark team out of the water. literally. Or maybe they will be sleeping with the fishes. Also, I’m pretty sure next year the race won’t be held on my anniversary. Phew!

dragon fire

2014 Christmas Letter

I believe it was JP Morgan who once said “You don’t rise to the top by jumping in the kiddie pool.” That, or I just made it up a few moments ago. Fact checking isn’t a strong point in my Christmas Letters. Where am I going with this? Well, this year I decided to bring to reality one of the numerous crazy ideas that are constantly percolating in my head at any given moment.

Anyone who has followed me on Facebook knows how I’m always yammering on about “The Lutfey Loop.” It started earlier in the year when I filed a patent that moves heat from places you don’t want/need it such as your attic and basement to places where it will be more useful like your hot water heater. I made arrangements with a lawyer to write the patent. The process started out by writing him a check for a considerable amount of money while my wife looked at me like I’m crazy. Fortunately I’ve learned that when Katherine thinks I’m nuts I’m doing something right.

While trying to read through the entire patent may cause one’s entire body to melt away much like the Nazis who opened the Ark of the Covenant, there are two basic concepts. The first is to install radiant floor heating on the ceiling of an attic to remove unwanted heat. The second idea is to extract geothermal heat from the floor of a basement to efficiently warm up water.

Since the second part involves less destruction of our house I’ve spent the last few months building a ground source heat pump in my basement. The current incarnation involves two 100 gallon horse troughs, the innards of an air conditioner, and several sheets of Styrofoam insulation. If everything works like I want it to (which has been known to happen from time to time) it should cost less than an electric water heater and be as efficient as a geothermal pump. When I’m not working, being an active member of my family, or sleeping I head down into the basement to overcome technical issues such as I don’t know anything about HVAC and none of the parts are being used for anything close to their original purposes. If anyone does attempt to duplicate my efforts I have one warning– buying an air conditioner, taking out the heat pump and radiators, placing a cinder block in the middle, and taking it back to Home Depot for a full refund is not cool.

Despite my busy schedule, my family competed in the annual Kinetics race in Longmont. For anyone who doesn’t know about this already, you have to build and race a human powered vehicle over land, water and other obstacles. As team “Lego my Eggo” we suffered only minor mechanical issues and managed to finish in the top half of the teams. Personally I think it was my speech about the Canadian Waffle Federation trying to steal our waffles, but in reality it was probably due to my kids dressed up as little waffles. That, and several really good teams had the misfortune of their crafts being upside down in the middle of the reservoir.

In August I took my Audi in for an oil change and I received the wonderful news that my car was ready for a series of expensive and time consuming repairs. I should clarify that this was wonderful news for the dealership. The guy at the counter explained how the modern computer in my car calculates how much money I have to spend on my car and then sends signals to various systems to stop working at the most inconvenient time such as when I want to drive somewhere. He offered to perform all of the repairs at once for a bargain price of 5.5 times the value of the vehicle. As a bonus he offered to throw in a set of windshield wipers at the full retail price of $65. (I’m not making that part up– really.)

I decided to trade in my car before it executed the complete breakdown protocol. Long story short, I decided on a Kia Soul. Mostly I just love all of those hamster commercials. I decided on a 2014 model because in 2015 all cars will be built without steering wheels and be driven by television androids. While I would have enjoyed being driven around by Commander Data, my budget would have only allowed for Twinkie from Buck Rogers. My new car runs great even if it doesn’t garner respect from my coworkers at UPS. The first day I drove it to work one of the other drivers told me that the engine in his personal car is 5 times larger than mine. But hey, it gets me to work every day and the kids love the free hamster from the Kia dealership.

That leaves me to talk about my life as a UPS driver. I’ve been running the same route for almost two years now, so not much changes in my day to day routine. I would like to thank the women at the cookie store who supplement my otherwise healthy lunch with M&M cookies that I pretty much need both hands to hold. Also, I should mention the girls at the Wax Factory who still scare me by saying things like “true dat” and “you should come in for a waxing.”

So that about wraps things up for the year. Now that I’ve written all this down it seems like I’ve had a pretty busy year. If things go as planned I’ll be writing about how I became a hot water heater tycoon in my 2015 Christmas letter. I’ve already started shopping for a monocle and top hat.

I’ll end this with a quote from Meghan Trainor’s “All About the Bass” because 1) my girls make me show them that video every single time I sit down at my computer and 2) it makes me feel pretty even though I’ve added on a few pounds lately: “I’ve got all the right junk in all the right places.”

Internet Killed the TV star

I showed my kids “Video Killed the Radio Star” on YouTube today. This song has the honor of being the first video ever played on MTV. In a related story, MTV has announced it will play it’s very last music video later on this year.

The “Lutfey Loop” @ lutfey.com

simple house

I finally got around to doing something about my heating and cooling idea this year and I’m calling it the “Lutfey Loop.” It moves heat around from your attic and basement to regulate a home’s temperature with a minimal amount of electricity. You can check it out at:

http://lutfey.com

So how did I manage to get such a short domain name? I was blessed with a short yet unusual last name. I’m sure that is what my Grandfather was thinking about when he moved here from Turkey a hundred years ago.

My goals for this patent are as follows:

  • Save the planet (at least somewhat)
  • Give a TED talk
  • Pitch my movie/TV idea to Joss Whedon
  • Be able to retire from UPS before 2034
  • Have lunch with Al Gore
  • Become well known enough that people bug my sister (one of the few other Lutfeys in the world) about my idea
  • Have enough money to fix the broken cup holder in my car

 

Lawyer Who

dalek

As a new season of Doctor Who is upon us, producers of the show are being tight lipped about episode story lines. Despite the increased security around this topic, the staff at newfunny.com has learned the two part season finale will center around the Dalek invading the United States in an attempt to destroy the economy by simultaneously filing 100 million American with Disabilities Act lawsuits to every business which contains structures that are inaccessible to hostile invading alien species unable to go up a few stairs on their own.

Lego My Eggo

Team Lego My Eggo

It was a good year for team Lego My Eggo. We finished 6th out of 14 teams which means we even exceed our goal of getting the “median award.”

To the best of my knowledge, this was the first year that someone recorded our presentation and posted it on youtube. I still think our Doctor Who Covered Wagon Rap Song was our best all time skit.

From a design perspective the craft did quite well. It had good balance in the water and held together with the exception of the rear bicycle wheel. Next year I’m going to replace the wood frame that connects the frame to the wheel with a metal structure.  Live and learn.

20140621_164501

So now our team is spending the next 10 months trying to think of a new theme for the 2015 race. Until then check out the LongmontKinetics.com website for information on the next race.