Here's Johnny - My inventions, redux
Calling something an "encore edition" is usually just a cheap excuse for rerunning a previous column or story. (Dear Readers of my vintage will recall when we called television programs that had already run "repeats," and when binge watching meant demolishing a tub of ice cream during a favorite show.) However, since I wrote about the following inventions (patent pending) on this page a little more than a year ago, we have a new president whose pro-business mentality could make me a billionaire. Or a millionaire. I'm not greedy. Well, I am a little greedy. Anyway, I can't wait. Don't despair, though: When, pretty soon, I'm rich, I'll keep writing this column. It'll contain a lot more bragging, but judging by how our commonwealth voted last November, boasting isn't seen as a major character flaw. But I digress ... (I also use the "But I digress ..." line far too often. When I'm rich, I'll purchase another stock phrase. Gimme a break.) Here are some of the ideas I proposed in the April 23, 2016, edition of The Woodford Sun: Every time I start to gripe about too much rain, I recall Jack Frost's lovely work in February and March and think, "It could be worse. Much worse." Okay, I still complain a little bit. But all these flood watches and flood warnings and flood alerts and actual floods have inspired my next million-dollar idea, a copy of which is under review by the U.S. Patent Office and perhaps Homeland Security (so don't even think about stealing it for yourself): flood plugs. Here's how flood plugs will work: Find the lowest spot in your back yard (or front yard, or field) and install a plug slightly larger than what's found in an ordinary bathtub. When the area becomes saturated and begins to flood, put on a pair of galoshes, walk to the middle of the yard, and pull the plug. Pretty simple. I don't see how it can fail. Certainly, Daisy Hill Senior Living could use one to better manage that lake in their front yard. Also under consideration in the patent office and dreamed up by yours truly: Year-round and nearly free heating and cooling. In the winter, put a few giant jugs outside on an especially cold night and the next morning, seal 'em and carry 'em down to your basement. They shouldn't be too heavy, as they're full of air. When summer comes, those cold air-filled jugs can be opened to cool your home. My free heating proposal works the same way: Stick a few giant jugs outside on a 95-degree day, seal 'em up at sundown, bring 'em down to a different section of the basement, and open 'em up when winter rolls around. I don't see how these ideas can fail, though the patent office's cease and desist letters suggest that bureaucracy, not science or common sense, is my chief foe. What has become of these ideas since I published 'em, you ask? While I haven't had a chance to install a flood plug, I have hauled the giant jugs full of cool air that I captured over the winter into my home. When it gets warm again, I'll uncork them, one at a time. Sorry, Kentucky Utilities - you'll not pad my bill with air conditioning charges this summer. As each one is emptied, I'll replace the cold winter air with warm summer air for - you guessed it - next winter. On the downside, that bureaucracy hired by politicians who're always complaining about bureaucracies has thus far stymied my efforts to invent, market and sell these inventions. Of course, it's possible - just barely -- that I never sent those plans off to the U.S. Patent Office. I'll double-check that as soon as the last word of this missive is typed and sent to The Silver Fox. Up next: what I call a "forget-me-not," a device designed to prevent people from forgetting stuff like sending plans and designs to the U.S. Patent Office. It's in the mail as soon as I remember where I left it. Something completely different And now for something completely different (my first Monty Python reference in a long while). Time flies when you enjoy your work, your co-workers and the people you cover, be they public officials or ordinary folks doing extraordinary things - like quintuplet parents Jordan and Briana Driskell, for instance. So let me use the final few lines of this column to thank every person who reads The Sun and encourage them to encourage non-readers to correct the error of their ways by any means necessary. I don't do this for free, you know. As always, you can reach me at (859) 873-4131, ext. 13, or email@example.com with story ideas, column proposals, constructive criticism and illustrations of my latest invention ideas.