Outcome vs. Task Focused

In Greek mythology, there was a goddess named Eos who fell in love with a Trojan named Tithonus. She asked Zeus to make Tithonus immortal and Zeus did.


In a different myth, the god Cupid pricks himself with one of his own arrows and falls in love with a mortal woman named Psyche. Eventually they work through all the issues with the mother-in-law-to-be and Cupid makes Psyche immortal so he can marry her.

So both Tithonus and Psyche became immortal, but there was one small but significant difference. Tithonus was made immortal by Zeus who wasn’t really bought into the outcome and was just completing a requested task. Psyche was made immortal by the god who wanted to marry her. Psyche never died and never aged. Zeus left out the never aging part with Tithonus. Tithonus became so decrepit that his wife Eos eventually turned him into a grasshopper.

There is a huge difference in what you get when someone is just completing a task and when someone is really vested in the outcome.

Opposite of a Pond

A pond is a pool of water surrounded by land.  So this must be the opposite–an island of land surrounded by water.  Or maybe this is just a small model of Holland.

A Plan for the Post Office

It appears that thousands of post offices may be closed due to the fact that the USPS is losing large amounts of money each year. I would think that ecommerce would be creating more goods that would be sent though the postal service and this would help offset some of the decreases in the amount of mail people send. Evidently it isn’t enough.

Closing post offices may make sense, but what about doing the opposite? In areas that are less populated, do deliveries every other day, but let people who want mail every day pick it up from a post office box. I would imagine that the cost of keeping a rural post office open is minimal compared to the cost of paying drivers to deliver the mail. Maybe the solution is more and bigger post offices and fewer deliveries to homes.

Phone Prank

When I was in highschool, we once tried to call random people from payphones and then put the phones together. In college we’d call two people, connect them and then just start conferencing in as many random people as possible. Later on, we found a way to get Sprint to call people and connect them to their call center operators.

Still I think the call below beats anything we did.

Water Collection Cost Benefit

The footprint of our house that puts water into gutters is about 2,500 square feet.  This means one inch of water will put about 1,500 gallons through our gutters. with 44 inches of rainfall per year, that means we could collect 66,000 gallons of water from the roof.  Water costs $5 per 1,000 gallons, so if we could use every gallon of water that falls on the roof, it would save us $330 per year.

It looks like you can get a 2,000 gallon water tank for about $2,000. If we need enough capacity to capture 4 inches of water, that would require 6,000 gallon capacity.  I did find a 6,000 gallon tank for about $3,500. We’d also need a pump, additional piping, and the cost of installing it. The best scenario I can imagine would put the cost at $4,000.

If we were able to use all 66,000 gallons instead of rural water, it would take us 12 years to break even if it were to cost $4,000.  Chances seem fairly high that there would be other expenses–like repairs along the way which would push the cost up even more.

Realistically, unless the price of water shoots up dramatically, it is going to be less expensive to water our grass using rural water than collected rain water.