Periodically I've mentioned my friend from UCLA grad school, Greg van Buskirk. The two of us had much in common -- we lived in the same graduate dorm, and had near-identical disciplines: I got a Masters degree in screenwriting, and he got a PhD in chemistry.
The eminent Dr. van Buskirk worked for years at Clorox, where I've always liked to say he invented Scrubbing Bubbles, even though a) he didn't, and b) that was from another company. But he was in charge of some top products, and when he went out on his own, invented a fabric softener that also acted as a stain repellent (a project which is still ongoing). And now, Dr. Buzz not only has a new one, but this invention is not only a full line of home products, but has actually started to hit the shelves. The only bad news in all this is that apparently is made the market too late to qualify for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
It's a product line called, Sensitive Home, which are cleaning products, particularly suitable for those who suffer from chemical sensitivities and people who are concerned about toxins in their home -- but it's made, as Greg says with his usual eloquence, "for use and enjoyment by all!"
Without one knowing anything about the product, just reading it, I'm not crazy about the name -- "HOME" is a big tech term for connected households (like Google Home and many others) -- but when you actually see the product itself and on the shelves, I think the name works very well. And ultimately that's where people will see the product.
Because on the shelves is the point here. Because -- o huzzah! -- the Sensitive Home line actually got a distributor and will soon be hitting the the very popular Wegmans Food Markets, a regional grocery on the East Coast. Moreover, they also are looking to sell the products on Amazon in November and then, moving to the other side of the country, hope to make it to market with a well-regarded West Coast chain, which I shall leave nameless for the moment...
And then there are further plans to develop product concentrates, disinfecting products, and a range of other direct-to-consumer items. (I wouldn't be surprised if we eventually see a line of frozen pies, sailboats, and a Sensitive Home 24/-7 news channel. Dr. Buzz has big dreams. Or...wait, sorry, those are mine. He's the chemist, so his plans are more reality and elements-based.) You can read all about it on their website here.
I'm just very pleased for the good fellow because, not only is he a really good fellow who also plays the guitar and takes apart motorcycles, sometimes at the same time, but this is such a huge step-up for him from the days when his wife (these days a dynamic opera-singing attorney) Sharon Kantor invited me to their home in Northern California years ago for the Thanksgiving weekend, and I was dragged unknowingly into an all-day event with their friends to play Dungeons & Dragons, an epic, full-participation, costume-optional extravaganza which for all I know is still going on. (I was going to use the phrase, "geeky friends," but decided that was not necessary.)
I should add that the next time I went up to visit -- enough safe years later after checking they had not scheduled any similar games or were obligated to join that earlier one still in progress-- I had to drive into San Francisco for an event. They gave me the directions back, which focused on the important, "Two freeways merge, but stay in the right-hand lane, and you'll be fine. I did just that -- only to discover that as the freeways merged, I was supposed to be in the left-hand lane, and had to quickly cross over four lanes of high-speed traffic in about 50 yards in the dark, and I have night blindness. I made it, and am happy to say that five years ago my fingers finally got unclenched from grasping the steering wheel so tightly.
And Dr. Buzz has made it, too -- to the shelves of grocery stores, online and more to come. I look forward to his promotional tour on the late-night talk shows. Believe me, watching him take apart a motorcycle and put it back together while playing the guitar is not something you want to miss. It may not have the same impact of Sensitive Home, but sometimes to need to take a step back and take a breath for all manner of things...