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2020 Christmas Letter

After writing 25 years worth of these letters, I realized that I always just dive straight in without taking time to introduce myself. My name is Omar Lutfey, and in some dimension of your life, you know who I am. I could be one of your top 5 favorite UPS drivers you see every day at the mall. Perhaps I live in your neighborhood. Who knows– you might even be an AI robot from the future tasked with extracting the last valuable information before the planet is destroyed to make way for a new inter-galactic bypass. Whatever your motives, sit back and enjoy as I detail all of the quirks and features of my latest trip around the sun.

To place things in their proper historical context for future generations, I can’t, with any clear conscience, start this letter with anything but the most polarizing issue of the year: What are all the prime factors of 2020? Despite being completely obvious, in the interests of mathematical rigor I’ll start by pointing out the fact that even my dog could tell me that 101 is the largest prime factor. That, of course leaves 20 to be factored as 2*2*5. So there we have it. And, to head off the avalanche of questions in the comment section, the next prime year will be 2027. [NOTE TO READER: if this document hasn’t been wirelessly transmitted into your cerebral cortex and you happen to be uploading this data visually from paper or similar antique medium, please send all comments, along with a self addressed stamped envelope, to the address below.] [NOTE TO AI ROBOT FROM THE FUTURE: In all likelihood the United States Post Office no longer exists, so please disregard.]

We started the year off by adopting a whole food plant based diet. (AKA we went vegan.) I honestly think more people would switch to this lifestyle if someone could come up with a better name. The weight I’ve lost and my improved healthification overrule the times I miss the taste of bacon and doughnuts. I don’t generally bring it up in causal conversation because nobody wants to listen to me lecture about what things they should and shouldn’t shove in their own mouth hole. My best guess is that it is like unplugging from the matrix– you will just know when you are ready. Also, on some level, people want to believe they will die a heroic and honorable death involving space lasers, rescuing a large group of people from certain death, and, of course, getting the girl. The reality is everyone will most likely succumb to a highly preventable pedestrian killer such as heart disease or cancer. The odds of perishing while fighting a Marvel villain are statically zero.

Getting back to dog news, Mya’s assimilation process into our family unit is proceeding according to plan. Our last dog, Maury, really loved when I would jump on top of him, grab his nose with both of my hands, stare him in the eyes, and yell “WHO IS IN CHARGE? DAD IS!” To be honest, Mya seems to in no way enjoy this activity so I’ve removed it from my daily to-do list. Now that I think about it, nobody else in the family enjoys it either. Mya’s new favorite movie is “Best In Show” after we let her watch it for her birthday. [NOTE TO READER: please recreate your favorite scene from the movie now.] For some reason it is still not Katherine’s favorite movie, so I can only assume I haven’t forced it upon her enough. I don’t want to give away too much here, but I think it is safe so say that some four legged creature in our house might just be getting a busy bee from Santa this year. As a side note, if I ever end up murdered from a shattered “Best In Show” DVD being lodged in my neck and/or eye sockets, it was TOTALLY my wife.

While I’m by no stretch of the imagination a neat freak, I do make an effort to keep my car fairly clean. After cleaning all of the windows, both inside and out, I had the following insight to share with my children. “I understand that random fingerprints are going to show up on the inside glass near where you sit. However, when they show up in the shape of a smiley face I am forced to conclude it was intentional.” Their uncontrolled laughter proved their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Hey, that turns out to be a wonderful segue into my next topic– performing my civic responsibility of jury duty. Against all odds, my number was called and I was selected to serve on the jury. The biggest lesson I learned is that judging people in my head is a whole lot easier than having to decide what real life consequences should be doled out. Also, I spent a lot of time during the trail wondering why Tina Fey hasn’t produced a full feature length movie of “The Rural Juror” which was prominently featured in the first season of “30 Rock.”

So that kind of wraps things up for this year. I’ve done my best to answer all the questions I think have been silently asked about my existence in 2020. As a sneak peak, here are some new questions which could quite possibly be answered in future letters:

Why do I think Battlefield Earth is a good movie when it literally has the worst recorded score in the history of all movies on Rotten Tomatoes?

Who is going to be the first celebrity to personally respond to being mentioned in any of my Christmas Letters? Related question: Is Jennifer Garner really living on my route incognito? I suspect so, but I value her privacy too much to ask.

Also, why am I missing one UPS sock?

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What is the “best” way to heat and cool a house?

While no single advancement in technology will completely solve this problem, the mission of Lutfey Innovations is to create an affordable, energy efficient, and practical system for a home’s heating and cooling needs.

Examining the general needs of a house reveals the following:

  • some things always need to be cold (refrigerators and freezers)
  • some things always need to be hot (water for taking a shower),
  • some things can vary (interior living space)

Can this all be incorporated into a single system?

A heat pump takes heat energy from one area to another. A window mounted air conditioner takes heat energy from interior air and moves it outside. A refrigerator extracts heat from inside the unit and puts it into the nearby living space.

While heat pumps are most commonly associated with cooling air, they work just as well transferring energy between liquids. Running a heat pump between two tanks of water will result in hot and cold water. Both of these tanks can be used for the desired benefit.

It should be noted that this is nothing new. Systems have been built that use a traditional air conditioning to heat the water in an outdoor swimming pool. Also heat pump water heaters naturally cool the surrounding air which can be generally beneficial in hot climates. While these setups do exist, they are not widely used and the benefits are more of a convenient afterthought rather than a design feature.

The core of our system uses a heat pump to create hot and cold fluid that is stored in highly insulated tanks. The actual fluid used is Glycol to prevent freezing and other undesirable chemical reactions. The cold fluid is pumped into a refrigerator/freezer to keep food cold and frozen as needed.  The hot fluid is passed through a simple heat exchanger for domestic hot water. Hot or cold fluid is used to regulate the temperature inside the house.

But what happens when the demand for heat is greater than cold (or vice versa)?

To solve this problem a third tank is added to the system which is placed directly on the concrete basement floor. Fluid from the hot or cold tanks can cycle through this tank to add or remove energy from the system as needed. This is the same process that is used in existing geothermal heating and cooling systems.

This configuration employs existing technologies to meet residential heating and cooling needs using the most energy efficient methods possible.

Slight Tangent: Can we design a more efficient heat pump?

While heat pumps have been around for 150 years now, their basic design has seen only incremental improvements over the years. The practical efficiency of current heat pumps is still significantly below their theoretical potential.

As with many great ideas, this one started when I was doodling on the butcher paper table covering at Macaroni Grill.

I theorized a heat pump could be constructed from a series of heat tubes arranged in a circular pattern. Spinning these tubes at a specific speed would cause the outer edge of the disk to become hot and the center to cool down. Strategically placed insulation and fan blades cause hot air to be moved in one direction and cold air in the other way. Viola– a heat pump with a single moving part!

The images below are from the pending US Patent.

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About Omar

My name is Omar Lutfey and I am the owner of Lutfey Innovations and I run the website at Lutfey.com. Here is my story– or at least some of it.

I graduated from Colorado State University with Bachelor degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science.

I currently work as a UPS package car driver in Fort Collins, Colorado.

I have my own blog just for fun that goes back to 1994. I used to have all this stuff on it’s own website, but due to poor website administration skills on my part I accidentally let the domain name expire and now I’ve combined everything into a single site.

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Tesla News

When asked how he balances work and family life, SpaceX founder Elon Musk explained how he makes an effort to find common ground. “For example, I spent the last forth of July with my children and we all put our heads together and came up with a system for reuseable fireworks.”

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Adventures in Europe

The first step in planning a trip to Europe is deciding where to visit. My first idea was to map out an itinerary that faithfully recreated Matt Daemon’s adventures in the first three Borne movies. After closer examination, however, this plan requires travel to four separate continents and would probably not be suitable for small children. Also, to be honest, I don’t think Katherine would be willing play the part of Marie who ends up getting shot and driving a jeep off a bridge in India. Similar logistical issues arose when I considered other movies such as National Lampoon’s European Vacation and Taken.

The scaled down version of our trip took us to Frankfurt, Paris, and Amsterdam which form a equilateral-ish triangle served well by high speed trains.

Since a trip to Europe is more involved than, say, just about any other place I’m ever going to visit, carefully planning what to bring is crucial. While a cooler full of soda and crunchy potato chips might provide a refreshing snack, such an approach might not prove to be cost effective given the current state of airline baggage fees.

After deciding what clothes to bring, I told Katherine to make sure everything was washed and would fit into the designated luggage. Our washing machine, sensing the importance of getting our clothes clean, decided to rebel. “The washing machine is broken” is not the text I wanted to receive at work the day before our big vacation. But what fun would that be?

A little home appliance side note here– all I needed to do to fix the washer was to clean out the drain trap. However, the way Whirlpool designed the machine I had to unstack the washer and dryer, tip the washer up, and remove screws on the bottom of the machine just to reach the trap. Thanks Whirlpool for adding several hours to what should have been a ten minute project. Also, I called customer service to have someone come out and help me lift the dryer back on top of the washer but they informed me that… OK, I didn’t actually call, but I fantasized about it. Obviously the entire design is a result of the small appliance repair mafia.

You might not believe what happened on the nonstop flight from Denver to Frankfurt– nothing. We all just sat in our seats and watched a bunch of movies. Being on a plane for 10 hours and crossing 8 time zones did take a toll on us when we arrived. After checking into our hotel in Heidelberg, Germany, we stopped at a local fast food type restaurant called “The Heidel Burger.” No, it wasn’t really called that. This is where Samantha’s body decided, in no uncertain terms, to be asleep.

Our next stop was Paris. We might have enjoyed this city more if I hadn’t been pick pocketed on the Metro. While not any fun, Katherine managed to keep her wallet the rest of the trip. So I was just a gentleman and let her pay for everything the rest of the trip. She did give me a modest cash allowance each morning.

While in Paris we visited the usual tourist destinations– the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triumph, the Soc duh something, and Notre Dame. We also stopped at the Chocolate Museum, a few random playgrounds, and about 5 local bakeries. After hauling our kids on the Metro for three days I really feel like they are ready for anything else life has to offer.

Next town– Amsterdam. Since I had lived in Holland for 6 months back in the day, I really took over the tour guide duties. Our hotel room, I think by total chance, ended up being the coolest room in which we have ever spent the night. It had floor to ceiling windows and jutted out sideways from the side of the building.

We spent one day visiting Haarlem, the town where I lived.  While I generally preferred fast food while on the trip, I did insist that we have a nice steak meal at my old hangout Wilma and Alberts. We also tried to rent bikes to see more of the city, but we couldn’t find bikes with kid’s seats. Side note here– Haarlem is a lovely medium sided town in Holland and Harlem is a much, much, less lovely borough of New York City. I dream of scraping together enough money so I can get out of this shit hole and move to Lovelaand.

We acquired two bicycles with kid’s seats in Amsterdam. We rode around the outer most canal of the city. Most of that time I spent being completely confused about who had the right of way and riding carelessly into the path of oncoming trams. We also took a break at a playground so the kids could stretch their legs. Apparently riding on the back seat doesn’t wear them out too much.

Frankfurt was our final city to visit on this trip. Our hotel was a small hole in the wall with beds made from surplus WW2 mattresses. We all missed this hotel in Amsterdam, but it was too late to turn back. The highlight of this town was a small playground near our hotel. I didn’t think it was that great, but the kids loved it and we ended up going there three times just to keep them happy.

By the time we arrived in Frankfurt I was tired of navigating foreign language public transit systems, so we just walked around places near the hotel. One thing I noticed is that people in Germany don’t jaywalk very much.

So after 10 days it was time to head back to Denver. While waiting for our connection in Washington, DC, Samantha told me, “I’m not tired sleepy, I’m tired complain-y.”

 

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Fixing the leak

Depending on the outcome of the upcoming Ecuadorian Presidential election, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange may need to find a new place to live. Assange has been living in the Ecuador Embassy in London since 2012 to avoid facing sexual assault charges in Sweden and the possibility extradition the the United States to answer to espionage charges. Guillermo Lasso, a conservative banker has gone on record to evict Assange while government-backed leftist candidate Lenin Moreno vows to let Assange stay.

This explains the flyers appearing near the perimeter of the embassy encouraging everyone to come celebrate the election results with a Guinness World record breaking   “Julian Assange look-alike contest.”

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Team Infinities

Welcome to the post-race wrap-up for the 37th annual Longmont Kinetics Race! I’m the team captain of team Infinities, but to keep things simple you can call me Infini-tease. I’m the one with the pink hair and the fishnet stockings. The other members of my team include Infini Tea, Infini T, and Infini Tee. The differences, being obvious to everyone, will not be elaborated upon.

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Here is the junior team member examining the competitor “We Like Turtles.”

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The race starts out with a confusion-inducing loop around the wood sculpture close to the beach.

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The water portion of the race really separates the [INSERT DOMINANT NOUN OF CHOICE] from the [INSERT CORRESPONDING SUBMISSIVE NOUN HERE].  Here I am during one of the longer water portions of the race.

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With the help of my support team I crossed the finish line in 6th place (out of the 14 teams which started the race). For this accomplishment I ranked first place for a solo team.

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On the trip back home I realized I was feeling the burn. In addition to my support for Bernie Sanders, I also forgot to apply sunscreen over my fishnet stockings.

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There should have been only one

Executives at Hulu are being investigated for “review inflation” after an investigative journalist recently uncovered a “3 out of 5” star rating for Highlander 2. Scientific investigation on this subject have concluded this movie is as close to “absolute zero stars” as is humanly possible.

Highlander_II

 

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They made me an offer

Governor of New Jersey and Republican Presidential candidate Chris Christie recently elaborated on his position regarding legalized marijuana in his home state. “Yes, I understand that 58% of the population supports this change, but you have to balance that with the 14% of the state which is directly employed by organized crime. If you were me, which group would you be more worried about keeping happy?”

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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.

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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

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Stock Up on AOL

In a recent press release, AOL announced their latest plan to turn the company around. “We have come a long way since we revolutionized dial-up service in the 1990’s. Customers take their 4G enabled cell phones and call a local number that connects them directly to an AOL phone line. Once the connection is established, they carefully place the cell phone next to a land line headset connected to a 9 volt battery and a 56k modem (separate purchase required). Now customers can enjoy all the benefits of the Internet without any wires. Our marketing department is very excited about Dial Up 2.0!

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Santa Fe

I packed up the family last week and drove down to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Here are some interesting and possibly true and/or false facts about this city.

Santa Fe was founded, according to my daughter Isabel, during the time of dinosaurs. Apparently this was a very busy time that also covered various events such as the creation of the cosmos up until sometime after the time I was born. This claim is supported by the fact that the roads were constructed before the discovery of Euclidean geometry that defined the concept of straight lines. During the initial road building the construction crews ingested liberal quantities of peyote and followed the direction of their spirit guides. This process has led to a series of city streets that curve around randomly, perform loopy-loops, and pass through dimensions that modern day scientists have been unable to recreate. Warning– using Google Maps on your cell phone may very well cause your device to catch on fire.

The city was a pretty quiet place until the arrival of the stucco mafia in the late 1800’s. The city experienced several decades of turmoil until the great drywall massacre of 1847 when the stucco mafia formed an alliance with the wind-catcher union and the trendy restaurant federation. The effects of this epic battle can still be seen today as Santa Fe is best known for endless stucco buildings, people selling wind-catchers for large sums of money built from materials scavenged from the local dump, and a barrage of food establishments which sell strange food on tiny plates that for some reason have to cost way more than seems reasonable.

Well, that about sums up everything I learned last week on vacation. Stay tuned for my next vacation trip blog tentatively titled, “Crap I found in the basement and argue with my wife about if we should throw it away.” I’ll be working on a better title for that between now and August.

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Lost In Translation

Kmart had plenty of sexy Scarlett Johansson “Avenger” posters for sale today, but they were all out of merchandising from her frumpy “Lost in Translation” appearance.

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Cosmic Error

After reading the dozen tweets from Neil deGrasse Tyson regarding the accuracy of the movie Gravity, I would like to point out a glaring inaccuracy in the title sequence of the television series Cosmos. Even if you could travel faster than the speed of light through the cosmos the stars wouldn’t appear to move relative to one another.  At most you would be able to see one star in the center fly at you as you passed next to it as the rest of the cosmos appeared static. Star Wars and Star Trek are also guilty of this mistake, but I have been unable to reach George Lucas and J.J. Abrams to rectify the problem. Also, they are fictional stories.

Despite this slight issue with the show I would like compliment Mr. Tyson on doing a great job promoting scientific principles to the world at large.

Omar Lutfey

newfunny.com

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Turning 40

So I finished turning 40 on Thursday. The biggest difference I’ve noticed is that when I deliver packages in the trailer park the trampy women aren’t throwing themselves at me like they did when I was 39 earlier in the week.

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Wind of Change

So as of this Saturday I’ve officially been a full time package driver at United Parcel Service for 10 years. Only another 10 or 20 years left until I can retire and start drawing my pension. Too bad I didn’t start at UPS earlier.

Also, I’ve come to the realization that I only have 12 more days to earn myself a Field Metal for Mathematical achievement. Apparently once you turn 40 you are no longer eligible for the award. I’ll have to think of a simple polynomial time solution for the “traveling salesman problem” while I’m at work this week. Or as I like to think of it, “the UPS driver wants to get home before his kids go to bed dilemma.”

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Bright Eyes

Delivering packages at the mall is making me feel old. I was at Sephora this week when one of the girls asked if I would get mad if she moved by me as I was unloading packages.  I replied that I was “living in a powder keg and giving off sparks.” None of the three girls in the room understood what I was saying even when I clarified that it was a lyric from Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Still nothing. So next I went to the eye center and explained what just happened and none of them knew what I was talking about until one girl piped up and said “I think I heard that song on American Idol.” I guess that’s something. I was going to make a reference to the song “Glory Days” but I didn’t feel like explaining to everyone about Bruce Springsteen.