GAMDI #1: Mobile OBD Emissions Testing

Giving Away Million Dollar Ideas #1

We have vehicle emissions testing requirements here in Maricopa county. They run a variety of tests, but unless I’m seriously mistaken, OBDII vehicles (1996-up) simply get an OBD readiness/code check and fuel filler cap test.

The test is about $20. You take time out of your schedule to drive to a testing facility, sit in line, then get out of your vehicle and stand in a little phone booth-type thing while they connect a computer to the OBD port under the dash and hook your gas cap up to a vacuum pump.

Five minutes later, your wallet is $20 lighter and you drive away with a printout showing you passed and the DMV knows this. There’s a reference number on the page just in case.

But what if you could pay someone $35 to come to your home or office and run those tests in 15 minutes? Results get sent to the DMV over the air, you get the printout reference, and can renew your tags online in 30 minutes or less.

If your car fails, you get a print out with the codes, easy to understand explanations of what each means, maybe a short bullet list of DIY things to check, and instructions how to reset your ECU and drive cycle the vehicle so you don’t have to pay a shop (though we have partnered with several local shops you can trust to do honest work at honest prices if that’s not your thing).

Would you be interested in this service? I know I would.

If you served two customers per hour, you’d be grossing $70/hr. 40 hours a week at that rate, you could take a solid month off every year and still make $134k before taxes.

Not bad.

Now imagine your significant other does this too.

Now imagine you add a $50, same-day or after-hours service option to the mix.

Now imagine you develop the hardware package that puts everything you need to start this franchise business into a weatherized Pelican case, available for $5,000 and can sell it to 200 people.

Giving Away Million Dollar Ideas, here. If you do this and it works out, I’d appreciate a tip. 😉

Outside it’s America…

And it’s broke, yo.

Today I feel like I should have a gun in the house. To protect my family.

But I don’t want a fucking gun in my house.

I don’t live in tribal Afghanistan.

I don’t live in Somalia.

I live in a quiet suburb surrounded by elementary schools, where kids still play in the street, unsupervised until the sun goes down. Where we all smile and wave at each other and keep an eye out—even if we don’t know each other’s’ names. Where we still leave our doors unlocked.

I grew up believing I lived in the greatest country on Earth. I played by the rules. I did everything they said I should do. And last night, my new neighbor was shot and killed in the driveway across the street.

I didn’t hear the gunshots, but if I’d been out in the garage working on the podcast, I’d have either been an eye witness—or another victim.

I don’t want a fucking gun in my house. This is America, damnit. It’s supposed to be the greatest country on Earth, where life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are supposed to be unalienable.

I want to live in a civilized society that does ANYTHING AT ALL to keep guns away from the crazy degenerates who draw them on other people.

My country is fast becoming one of the war-torn shitholes we’ve spent 20 years fighting.

And the NRA keeps peeling off those dollar bills, slappin’ em down.

One hundred.

Two hundred.

Outside it’s America…
Outside it’s America…


Everything changes…

This is the post for Sunday, February 18th, 2018. I wrote it on Tuesday, the 20th.

I skipped it to run the “Outside it’s America” post Monday. Knowing your neighbor was shot and killed in his driveway—and you slept right through it—takes a toll on your thought processes.

Everything changes.

Primal instincts roar to life. You notice—and investigate—everything that goes bump in the night. You realize just how much you took your safety for granted as you double check the deadbolt on the front door.

Looking back at this empty placeholder for 2/18, I felt like it represented a sort of lost innocence; a blank page left unwritten because “I’ll get to it tomorrow”—but tomorrow may not come.

It didn’t come for Allen Saka, who’s Chevy Avalanche is still sitting exactly where he parked it in his driveway Sunday afternoon, with a smashed rear window, covered in fingerprinting dust.

In a perfect world, we could all up and quit our jobs and live happily ever after.

But this isn’t a perfect world. And rash, uninformed decisions only make it less so.

Same as it ever was.