New Product and January Update

Per a customer request, I’ve developed a new product, now available for all!  It is a laser-cut Gizmo Geezer Nose Block Kit for the Jimmie Allen Skokie (BA Cabin).  Just stack/glue these together and add the 1/64th plywood thrust plate and then match it up to your model.  The clear advantage is the precisely placed hole ready for the 3-lobed Gizmo Geezer Adjustable Thrust Button.  For you, it’s only 3 bucks.

VPS-Skokie GG nb Kit


2016 has has been an adventure already.  As I prepared for the long New Year’s weekend Thursday night, the 31st of December, I had a rude jolt about 8pm – my laser cutter stopped working.  No cutting over that long weekend!  and I had to wait until Monday afternoon to contact the west coast supplier of my laser cutter.  I called and told them I thought the controller card was bad.  They said “ok, we will run through some things to check that out, but first – your cutter is an older model, so we can only support you via email.” Lol, what?  Yup.  All future communication was done via email.

After a few days, I mailed out the controller card for replacement.  A new one was returned and I was back burning up the balsa – two weeks after it went out.

That delayed some orders, but mostly, it delayed other plans.  I wanted to upgrade my computer in January, but not knowing how much the laser was going to cost, I put that on hold.  After awhile, I did buy a new computer, transferred the old one to light duty (printing shipping labels int he basement), and reinstalled all important software on the new one.

Then – and this one impacts you, my customers, even more directly – the Post Office decided to raise their shipping rates.  I have been a loyal customer of the USPS since I started, and I have always appreciated the fact that I can print postage right from their website and get a discount from the cost if I took the packages to the Post Office without a subscription fee.  They also will pick up at my house, if I let them know the day before, so everyone is happy – until 18 January, that is.

The USPS decided to drop the web site discount – that, combined with the price hike for postage gave me sticker shock!  It forced me to jump over to a postal supplier that charges a monthly fee.  However, because they still offer a discount, I was able to minimize the increase that I am charging you – states surrounding Michigan will see no increase.  The rest of the country will see my flat fee only go up by 50 cents.

While I did that, I thought it best to fully integrate hardware and software – now my postal scale is hooked to the computer and read by the postal software.  Also, orders and addresses are imported from my website and updated as shipped when I purchase postage.  I purchased a dedicated thermal label printer to print on rolled labels.  All of this has really sped up the postage process of my shipping.   I invested in technology to save that time and money for other things!

Other than that, all is just the same as ever.  I haven’t built since I finished the Elmendorf Special, but should have a new plane underway by this weekend.  I have been working at the virtual drafting board to create new plans, one of which is “commissioned” and under deadline.

I realized the other day that February is nearly here and my first contest is at the beginning of April – that’s only 2 months away!  That’s good and bad:  good because soon I get to fly again; bad because I don’t have the 16 models built yet!  3.8 have been completed and 3 others have been repaired.  I should have one or two others done by flying season – and I hope to have another “big” surprise for Geneseo in July (but I better start building!)

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