Slice Of Life

Slice Of Life, is a Weblog (BLOG) that I write, in which I try to tell some sort of story about something, or someone in my life. Sometimes it's happy, sometimes not, sometimes informative, sometimes...... HA, gotcha, did ya think that I was going to say not? Don't know me very well, do ya? :=) I will try to update the BLOG from time to time, whenever I can.

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Location: Chandler, Arizona, United States

My personality is outgoing, I use to be a wallflower, until I realized that it was all the outgoing people that were having the most fun. It was a tough conversion, but nobody I know today would even remotely consider me to be a wallflower. Basically, when I was young, my parents taught me that if you work hard, you can accomplish anything. I haven't quite found the "anything" part to be always true, but it has inspired me to always try to do, and be, my best.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Makin Jerky

I made a "Process Improvement" this week. No, nothing related to the job, it's more related to my "Jerky Making" enterprise. If you've been following my attempts to establish "Tom's Ginger Sesame Teriyaki Jerky", you know the issue isn't with the recipe, which I've perfected, it's with the drying. The Ronco Dehydrator design, is "Convection" (rising heat) based. The unit therefore is extremely inefficient, and it takes ~ 12-14 hours to dry jerky, especially since I added the 4 additional trays that I bought on ebay. Putting on my engineering hat, I realized that what was needed was increased airflow through the unit. When I saw the 115 volt computer case fan, in Fry's Electronics, the "idea light bulb" came on. If I could somehow mount the fan on the top of the Ronco, the vents at the bottom and top would allow me to pull air from the bottom through the dehydrator, and out the top at an increased rate. But how to mount it......? Tupperware to the rescue! I found a bowl in my cupboard, whose upper lip matched the top of the Ronco, and who's lower lip was the diameter of the fan. I took everything out to my workbench, and after saw saw saw, drill drill drill, mount the fan, splice a plug from an extension cord, flip it upside down on top of the Ronco, and plug it in. Guess what? It worked on the first try! First time I can remember an experiment working perfectly the first time. I set it up last weekend for "The Pilot Run", and despite loading up the Ronco with 5+ pounds of beef (max capacity), I was able to reduce the drying time to 9 hours vs. 12-14. Nice to see all that College Engineering instruction didn't go to waste, eh? BTW, I'm already applying for the patent, and I am considering marketing it. What? Crazy Idea? Sure it is..... So was "The Frisbee", and don't forget "Pet Rocks". Just think, someday you can say, you were there in the beginning when Tom got the idea that made him rich :-)


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