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Invisible Gold Blog featured in Hartford Advocate

Invisible Gold Blog featured in Hartford Advocate
by Nathan Conz
September 28, 2005: Windsor, CT - The Hartford Advocate featured Invisible Gold's founder, John Waiveris, in an article called "My Ride" about his personal lawn mower.

Text of the interview is listed below. The original article can be found at http://www.hartfordadvocate.com/gbase/Lifestyle/content.html?oid=oid:127686

My Ride
John Waiveris
by Nathan Conz - September 29, 2005

John Waiveris, 31
Hometown: Windsor
Job: Website software programmer
Ride: Allis-Chalmers 808 Ride-On Mower

Advocate: When did you get the mower?

Waiveris: I got the mower when I moved into this house a few years ago. But I first drove it when I was 7 or 8 when it was my grandfather's mower.

A: How many acres is your lawn?

W: Three acres.

A: When you began using it, how long would it take to mow your lawn?

W: It'd take me four hours to mow the lawn, pretty much every time, and two tanks of gas.

A: When did you decide to try to improve your mowing time?

W: This year. Honestly, it was to start a blog. [I design website software] and I needed to blog about something, so I started timing how long it'd take me to mow. Then my mower turned into a Frankenstein machine. Every week I'd weld new parts on. I think the record now is around 35 minutes.

A: How often do you need to mow?

W: This time of year, once every two weeks, and regularly once a week.

A: What's the newest addition to the mower?

W: My latest thing is that I put a GPS system in the mower. I'm trying to get the most efficient path. Basically, I've got a GPS receiver, like a radio, and it takes my coordinates to a satellite, and it goes into a pocket PC. I record every point on the path I take, and then I put it into Excel on the computer. I can plot it out and see how far it took me to drive the lawn. I can do a graph in color of where on the path I was driving 6 miles an hour and where I was driving 4 miles an hour, and so on.

A: What was the GPS system meant for originally?

W: I'm a professional programmer and I was living in London at the time and I made something so race cars could time themselves on a race track and analyze where they get the maximum performance on the race course.

A: So what's the best way to mow the lawn?

W: I used to mow it in small sections, but now I choose as long a path as I can without ever stopping or taking a 90-degree turn. So, I'll start here [in the backyard] and I'll take a lap around the front yard and then straight back. I do that as much as I can.

A: What else have you done to it?

W: I've changed the drive ratio. I took about 50 to 100 pounds of extra weight off of it. I sharpened up the blades and balanced them. I also put a gas pedal on it; it revs up now and has a nice idle.

A: How fast can it go now?

W: It only can technically go 6 or 7 miles an hour, but it feels fast.

A: Have you ever crashed it?

W: Yes, my mom says I should wear a helmet.

A: Instead of doing ... this, did you ever consider just getting a new mower?

W: No. I only have like $30 invested in it, and it only takes a quarter to a half a tank of gas every week now. So I probably made back the money I've put into it with saved gas.

A: How much for me to buy it from you right now?

W: Ten bucks, one hundred, I don't know.

A: I'd buy it for $10 with that GPS thing.

W: Yeah, that wouldn't come with it.

John Waiveris, 31
Hometown: Windsor
Job: Website software programmer
Ride: Allis-Chalmers 808 Ride-On Mower