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Random Thoughts That Won’t Offend Anyone?

January 23, 2023

Jeff Pinyot

I decided to see if it was possible for me to write an article that offended NOBODY. Yes, not a single person. Could I write about something that after reading it, all people would feel entertained, hopeful, or positive. Could it be done? 


On my way to Las Vegas the other day heading to a meeting, I was sitting in the aisle of the exit row and a young woman struggled by me with a fidgety child in her arms. As she passed me, DJ, her little boy, looked me straight in the eyes and reached for me. I took him and sat him on my lap. He reached for his blanket from his mommy and snuggled into a total stranger’s arms. Total innocence and total trust. It got me thinking that we should learn to enter every relationship like DJ did, First with Trust Before Skepticism. Maybe we should hold back on sinking into everyone’s arms, but I’d rather default to giving everyone the chance that they deserve. 


Speaking of babies, I once attended a very intimate wedding service in a chapel. I sat behind relatives of the groom in the third row. A mother, seated in front of me, had her infant baby with her in the service and he never stopped fussing and crying. It was disrupting the entire service. The bride and groom and pastor continued to glare at her, and she was not taking the hint. 


Not knowing this woman, having never met her, did not stop me from grabbing her baby out of her arms and exiting the chapel into the narthex with the child, who was now quiet in my arms. I don’t know why I did it, I just did it. The woman did NOT come out after her baby until after the service was over. I stood in the receiving line, Bride, Groom, as the creepy guy who was still holding someone else’s child. I was congratulated and thanked as much or more than the bride and groom. 


A few weeks ago, I was sitting across the aisle from a man from Silicon Valley. I’ve become a big fan of that area, as well as the entire state of California. It’s clearly one of the most innovative places and beautiful states in our nation. Being from Indiana, you might understand that my politics are different from this guy, and we both knew it, but we both seriously enjoyed the discussion on energy that we had across the aisle from each other. 


A couple weeks after our chance meeting on the plane, we did a Zoom call between a few of his guys and my guys. It was refreshing that we could put politics aside and look at ways that we could contribute to the global need for good and sustainable energy solutions. It got me thinking that we need to cross that proverbial aisle over and over and once again see the goodness in others. 


Many years ago, I was granted a U.S. patent on a novel beverage concept that Pepsi was interested in. Upon my arrival to their headquarters in White Plains/Purchase, NY to present my patented product idea, they asked me if they could get me a beverage. Without hesitation, I asked for a Diet Coke. That’s a true story. The joke was on me, because within a year, Coca Cola, not Pepsi, stole my idea and my complete marketing plan. 


Chalk up a victory to big corporate American Greed, where they are willing to squash a little guy who personally funded the patent from prototype to presentation. But, lucky for all of you, had they licensed my idea, you might not be reading my column because I would have been fabulously wealthy. 


The really cool part is that I never suffered from bitterness or anger over this. I believe it cleared my mind of the cobwebs and allowed room for our invention and development of the ECO Falcon Vision PGS system. It’s hard to explain, or for others to believe, but the gift of inventing isn’t in the financial reward, it’s in the acceptance of your idea by the marketplace. That is the reward. 


Having Coca Cola steal my idea was rewarding in Maslovs hierarchy, just not in my PNC bank account. For those who love to invent and dream of making it huge one day, here is little bit of sobering news, often the value of the invention is realized at 5-7 percent of the money. Making it a reality and the expertise in product and market development is worth 93 – 95 percent. Most big companies will have no interest in your product unless it is threatening their revenue or market share. Don’t believe the lies that money is the happiness maker, it isn’t. It’s in using the full capacity of your brain that pays dividends. 


I’m a Voice fan. It’s the only show that I actually know what time it comes on and that I will make somewhat of an effort to watch. I have no big takeaway from this admission, I just felt you might need to know it. In stark contrast, I’m a hockey player from Pittsburgh, and I also enjoy musicals (thanks Mom and Sisters). I feel better for telling you this information. “My name is Jeff Pinyot and I watch The Voice.” 


Some of my kids performed in Joseph when they were young, and I think my boys know every word to the play “Newsies”! We all saw it on Broadway before it left. It was absolutely Fantastic. My favorite musical of all time is “Les Misérables.” We almost named our daughter, Cosette. She thanks us regularly for naming her Caroline instead. 


I can’t stand “Star Wars” type movies. I don’t like science fiction really at all. I prefer a movie with a purpose. I can watch the Tom Cruise courtroom scene from “A Few Good Men” every day if it’s on TV, where it turns out, he CAN handle the Truth. I love watching the loyalty play out in “Gladiator,” loyalty to the death. Is a person any better of a person than one who would give his very existence for a just cause? I love the “Green Mile,” injustice with class. For fun, who can beat “Fletch”? One of Chevy Chase’s best comedies. 



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