Friday, April 28, 2006

Why Diet Soda, Mentos and Toilets Don’t Mix

This all started when I saw a video of someone pouring Mentos into a 2-liter bottle of diet soda. The result was a geyser of soda about 6-8 feet into the air. Fortunately, we were scheduled to film a set of tub repair videos later that same morning. Knowing I would have a film crew, I rushed to the local supermarket and loaded up on diet soda and Mentos. Lunacy generally loves to be recorded for posterity.

Intern, Greg, Prepares for Ignition

Diet soda and Mentos – the geyser

When I returned, I decided to experiment and, lo and behold, it actually worked. About two seconds later it dawned on me to try even greater amounts of soda and 20 packs of Mentos and mix them into a toilet. The messy result is the “Public Service Video” we are providing to the general public. Enjoy.

Give it about 10 seconds to load – the video is about 90 seconds long.

Diet Soda, Mentos, and Toilet Mix Video - Quicktime format

Diet Soda, Mentos, and Toilet Mix Video - Windows Media Player format

Of course, we would love to hear your comments and suggestions for other ways to creatively abuse and/or destroy our products. Any item can be considered for elimination: clawfoot tubs, pedestal sinks, shower rods – whatever. You can also choose your preferred form of obliteration: flamethrowers, giant bulldozers, dropping from great heights, etc. Post your ideas to the blog and we will take a look at them. If we get a particularly elegant and destructive suggestion, we might even fly you to lovely Hazleton, PA to help us execute the concept. Hey, we gotta get rid of the defective items somehow. You can also think of this as the intersection of performance art and sanitary ware.

If we get 100 comments and suggestions posted to this blog, I promise you we will do something much bigger and amusing.

OK, the lawyers told me to tell you not to try this, or any of the suggestions that are sure to follow, at home.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Vintage Tub & Bath Announces 2006 Community Giving Program

We are thrilled to officially announce the details of our Community Giving Program for 2006. This year we will be donating over $10,000 to support emergency responders, community programs, veterans programs and charitable organizations in the greater Hazleton, PA area. We announced the project at the Hazleton City Hall with Hazleton Mayor Louis Barletta (shown below, at right, with Vintage Tub and Bath owner Norman Dick).

Norman Dick speaks with Hazleton Mayor Louis Barletta

In the past, we used to donate money from time to time to the local fire companies but we decided to really start giving after we saw just how bad the need was. Some of our local volunteer firefighters respond to fires wearing fire jackets that are no longer fit for service (like the remnant I am holding below):

Allan Dick Showing A Worn Out Fire Jacket Still in Regular Use

But it does not end there – our community ambulance companies use basic life-saving equipment that is worn out, 7 of the 11 playgrounds in the city of Hazleton need major repair so our children can have a safe and fun place to play, only 3 of the 5 fire engines in Hazleton had carbon monoxide detection equipment to identify that deadly gas, our local Rails to Trails organization needed funding to conduct a chainsaw training class so their volunteers could keep the trail open, and so on and so on.

Once we realized just how urgent the need was, we felt we had to take action. We know that a strong company can only exist in a strong community. Our business thrives because we are based in an area with a deep work and volunteer ethic and we need to help maintain that spirit. Also: how, as either a business or as individuals, can we ask the volunteers and professionals who protect our property and safety to do their jobs with obsolescent or non-existent equipment? Yet every day many individuals and businesses unconsciously demand that very service.

Some businesses would argue that this is foolish spending – that it only hurts the bottom line. Did this donation “hurt” our bottom line? From a strictly monetary standpoint, yes it did. Was this donation worth it? In our estimation, yes it was – every last penny.

Fortunately, not all businesses think that community giving is foolish. Let me thank Hitwise (a leading online competitive research firm) and (a great source for REAL Persian carpets at fantastic prices) for their donations to the West Hazleton Fire Department. The $1,100 they donated will go a long way to helping that department modernize its equipment. Assistant Fire Chief Ward is shown below (at right) accepting the Hitwise and checks.

Allan Dick Handing Checks from Hitwise and to West Hazleton Asst. Fire Chief Ward

Full details of our 2006 Community Giving Program can be found here.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Turn the Cute Button up to 11!

Donna R. from Beaverton, OR sent us this picture of her two grandchildren in the new Monroe clawfoot tub from American Bath Factory they just installed. As Donna put it: "it was their first bath in grandma's tub. Can you tell that they were loving every minute of it?"

We love getting pictures from our customers showing off their new bathrooms. If you have pictures and a story you want to share, feel free to send them to me at We might just include them in our Customer Gallery!