Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Suspension Buster
The winter around here has taken a serious toll on our aging interstate highway system. This was emphasized for me a few weeks back as I swerved to avoid a pothole, only to end up in a larger one that devoured the front end of my car. I zigged when I should have zigged, had I zagged the results would have been catastrophic for another driver and me. (On a side note there is an App for potholes - if they get you down you’ll be pleased to know there are several new iPhone tools to help report and track them)

Hum the melody to the Stealers Wheel classic (often mistaken for The Beatles) “Stuck in the Middle with You” and sing the following modified lyrics and you’ll see what I mean:

Well, I don’t know why I came here, tonight
I’ve got the feeling that something ain’t right
I’m so scared in case I steer the wrong way
And I’m wondering how much I will pay
Cars to the left of me
Snowbanks to the right
Here I am
Stuck in a pothole with you

Add procrastination to decades of physical weathering and here we are. There’s nowhere to hide. Pay now or pay more later. Later is now.


We hear this term sparking political debate and the news seems to feed from it. For many, author included, the mere mention of infrastructure connotes higher taxes and out-of-pocket dollars when we can least afford them. The phrase often references a public civil project that sees heavy use by many, and is in constant need of costly repairs. Our tax dollars are collected and used to build and then maintain. - or repair - public infrastructure. The story is the same whether we speak of roads and highways, civic centers, telecommunications networks, airports, or high speed rail. Some public, some private - all infrastructure. We hotly debate their initial construction, eventually acquiesce and then build commerce around them for generations. We freely enjoy ourselves and blissfully ignore their inevitable decay. Eventually we rebuild and the cycle repeats.

I don’t know about you but I appreciate our system of interstates, barely a day goes by without my use of them. I often wonder how arduous travel was and how slow commerce happened before we committed to building them. Telecommunications infrastructure enables similar economic expansion...what would we all do if the internet were to disappear today?

Much recent prosperity in the United Sates was enabled by infrastructure investments made generations ago. It’s interesting to note that China has entered infrastructure build-out mode and on a scale that’s difficult to comprehend without seeing it first-hand. China is making the infrastructure commitments that will enable economic growth for future generations.

We now need to rebuild.


The potholed infrastructure dilemma got me wondering. I’m far from a highway designer but I know a fair amount about infrastructure. The infrastructure I deal with surrounds our living spaces and, as any homeowner will tell you, changing home infrastructure can be as unattractive and painful as writing big checks for increased taxes. The primary difference being that the value of home infrastructure goes directly to the home or building owner - or benefits the next individual who buys the home.

At Homepath Products, with the eXapath in-wall cable pathway system, we make infrastructure with a unique benefit. It may be more accurate to say that eXapath is the infrastructure for infrastructure...I’l explain below.

Designed for today's most advanced insulation products, eXapath provides a permanently accessible channel for entertainment cables.
Today’s low voltage wiring systems for data, entertainment, security, distributed audio and video give homeowners many options that didn’t exist a decade ago. When building and remodeling we customarily bury these low voltage wires within our walls, like we do with electrical wiring. The trouble is that consumer electronics become unfashionable as better models and new advancements come to market. The latest stuff inevitably renders permanently installed low voltage wiring obsolete and replacement costs mount. It’s not just new cables and connectors, they’re pretty inexpensive. Tearing out sections of wall and disturbing the insulation envelope to fish new wires is never easy and often costly.

What if you had a way to install the low voltage wires you need today and a simple way to remove and replace them as they become obsolete. No fishing, no insulation displacement. Infrastructure for infrastructure.

eXapath in-wall cable pathways turn your framing into information superhighways, ready for low voltage cables when you need them.
That’s what eXapath does. Check it out...and avoid being potholed by your low voltage infrastructure.


  1. Nice analogy, Mike. With a little more foresight, so much construction could adapt to change much more easily. Go Homepath!

  2. Not to mention, Mike, the fact that the NEC (National Electric Code) suggests removing old communications cabling from bulidings or tagging it for future use. How often is one going to use that old telephone wire any more after tagging it? I think not... The main reason for removing the old cabling is to attempt to reduce the amount of "fuel" in the walls when there is a fire. And, who pays for it? If you are a landlord in an MDU, and a tenant moves out after installing some poor quality TV or computer cables, are you going to pay to have the walls torn open and the old cables removed? It seems to me that the eXapath cable pathway system is the ideal choice for that flexibility when it's needed.

  3. Have you been to NYC? We have horrible potholes here.

  4. Thanks Leah...and I completely agree. Adaptability is a key component in our sustainable future and helping residential and commercial structures keep pace with change is a big part of what we promise.

    Thanks for the note.


  5. Randy,

    Absolutely...out with the old, in with the new...and in no time flat. Actually, obsolete and aging cables that remain within the walls is a serious fire load and hazard. Being able to remove them before upgrading helps minimize risk.



  6. MC,

    Have I been to NYC to see your potholes? You bet, in fact, the last time I passed through I'm sure I noticed a contented family living in one of them. You guys know how to grow 'em!



  7. What a very interesting article! Getting stuck in a pothole is not really awesome!