The Honesty Meter
  The Honesty Meter


The Elizabeth Islands South of Cape Cod from 6000 feet.

6/22/04-- Meter reading $4062.25 D.P.H..   When I was younger my father had a sailboat.  He never really sailed it very much.   It had a small diesel engine and my dad and his wife would motor around the upper Chesapeake on weekends.  They were a little timid about raising the sails, especially if there was any wind, and the diesel wasn't all that reliable, so the boat spent most of its time at the dock, and was used more like a summer house than a sailboat.  My brothers and I would roll our eyes and say if you ever divided the total accumulated cost of the boat by the actual number of hours my dad spent sailing you would come up with a figure that would rent Cleopatra's gilded barge complete with crew and food.
     But the karmic wheel has rotated a little since then, and now it's my turn.  I bought a fabric covered, wood winged, complex airplane.  The honesty meter is an attempt at avoiding financial self delusion.  The premise is simple: take the total accumulated cost of the plane and divide it by the number of hours flown.  The result is shown in dollars per hour (D.P.H.)

   Going home at over 200 m.p.h.

     7/1/05-- Meter reading  $890.90 D.P.H..  After 12 months of ownership I thought it would be a good idea to revise the honesty meter.  One thing I didn't count on when I began looking at the costs of flying this way was that the number reading would only go down-- sometimes significantly.  We have flown over 150 hours this year, making the denominator of the fraction a pretty big number.  I confess I had not considered the politcal implications of this.  Now I can say to my wife, "Look honey, flying the plane costs less than 25% of what it did when we started."  She is way too smart to buy that sort of reasoning, but it makes me feel better.