• Greg Baker

PI Day, Part 2

 First of all, I need to share how my PI Day ended.  As you know, last Friday night, my wife and I were set for a date night to go see Veronica Mars.  Oh, but wait…did it even occur to us that no theater in this city would pick up the movie?  That’s right.  None. Zip. Zero.  Our best hope was the 65-mile journey to the Dutch Square 14 in Columbia – which, by the way, was the only theater in SC to run the flick.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t pull that off on short notice.  We hit the reset button, and got my parents to keep the kids this Friday night so we could make the trip to Columbia.  It turns out, though, that Veronica Mars released on iTunes last Friday as well.  I guess we’ll save the gas and popcorn money and camp out with our Apple TV.  (Please don’t let my mom know, though.)

The Perfect Fish House Accessory – My wife’s family is from upstate Minnesota.  They have a strong Norwegian heritage; so doing things outside in the cold doesn’t strike them as odd.  Her family enjoys a number of outdoor winter activities – snow mobile riding, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing.  Ice fishing is the one activity that always struck my as, well, insane.  Granted, I’m not much of a fisherman, but the idea of sitting in subfreezing weather waiting for a fish on the other side of a sheet of ice to bite into a hook doesn’t really sound like a lot of fun.  But as with most things, there’s more to the story.

Ice fishing is more than a casual activity.  It’s an event that requires investment and preparation.  The first investment is the fish house.  Far from my naïve view of a shivering eskimo dropping a cane pole line through a hole in the ice, the modern ice fisherman practices his sport from the environmentally-controlled surroundings of his fish house.  Standard equipment generally includes electric generators, gas stoves, space heaters and satellite TV.  Of course, some fish houses are larger and more confortable than others.  Add a full kitchen, sleep area, and a bathroom, and one would find only a few reasons to leave the ice.

Ice fishing trips are as common as camping trips down here.  If you can’t get tickets to the Packers game, it’s only a short trip to the fish house to enjoy a weekend of fishing and watching football.  However, if a few extra people show up, you run the risk of running out of supplies.  For example, what happens if you run out of beer?  If the wind picks up, it would be quite a pain to hike back to the marina.  Also, you would miss most of the game.  Fortunately, the local Lakemaid brewery came up with a great solution:  beer-delivery drone.

Don’t believe me?  Let me refer you to You Tube: http://youtu.be/qmHwXf8JUOw.  

Of course, as with most other entrepreneurial endeavors, a federal bureaucracy exists to shut down any and all innovation.  In this case, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a cease and desists because the drone was being used for commercial purposes.  The FAA says they will issue regulations for the commercial use of drone next year, but don’t expect any beer delivery, or delivery of any other product, until at least 2017.

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