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I came, I saw, I welded

October 9, 2008

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The credit for this headline goes to my publisher, Ed Youdell, who suggested it when I told him about my brief attempt at welding at the 2008 FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show with Metalform that ended Oct. 8.Ed also deserves some of the credit for my attempt. As I explained in an earlier...

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Embracing globalization at FABTECH

October 7, 2008

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As the Dow did its dance on a cliff"s edge yesterday, the FABTECH International&reg & AWS Welding Show kicked off with gusto yesterday here in Las Vegas, and the credit crunch seemed refreshingly far away. Why? It"s because Jim Waters has visited Chinese cities with populations of more...

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Flames of misfortune

October 3, 2008

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I had a meeting in the near northwest suburbs of Chicago earlier this week. To get there, I literally had to go over the hills—that"s the suburb of Lake in the Hills to be exact—and through the woods—also known as the Cook County Forest Preserve.Of course, that was a 25-minute...

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Big fears, short lines

October 1, 2008

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Last night, continuing our long-standing tradition of "date night," my husband and I went to our favorite local restaurant, Alpha Soda. A fixture in our community, Alpha Soda—which was established in 1920 and is said to be the oldest standing business in its city—draws crowds. Not so...

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The SpaceX launch: Who needs government backing?

September 30, 2008

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With all the dire news stories of the past few days, it"s nice to know something went right last weekend. Although it wasn"t on Page 1, the story got coverage, and it was quite significant.The first private company, without government backing, successfully launched a rocket into orbit. On Sunday,...

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Fabricating in the future

September 25, 2008

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$500-a-barrel oil? Believe it&"Boy, that caught my attention as I looked at the Sept. 29 cover of Fortune. Watching gas prices recede slightly in the Chicago area even after U.S. demand has pulled way back, I know that there is nowhere to go but up for oil prices. The future of crude for the...

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Big fears, long lines

September 24, 2008

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Yesterday, I met a co-worker for lunch. You're thinking ho-hum, big deal. Actually it was a big deal for me, because my employer and almost all of my co-workers are located 624 miles from me. However, two of us telecommute long distances from our homes, which just happen to be in the same...

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The (North) American economy

September 23, 2008

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News of how the American government could take up to $700 billion of bad debt out of the hands of the private sector had the weight of something historic. The move will add as never before to our already mounting national debt. It will reshape the financial landscape, not only of the U.S. but of...

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U.S. versus China: Time to get it on

September 18, 2008

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The Olympics are over, so it"s time to turn our attention to a more recent favorite pastime—China bashing.The best part of this activity is everyone can participate. Sure the Democrats have driven this point home in battleground states, such as Michigan and Ohio, where local citizens worry...

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Metal manufacturers on bailouts

September 17, 2008

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The September Fabricating Update e-newsletter discussed recent U.S. government bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Since the newsletter went out, AIG also has been the beneficiary of a government-backed bailout. Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch weren't as lucky.This newsletter also...

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A Ross way of thinking

September 16, 2008

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What a troubled week. Automotive industry execs spent it in front of Congress saying they need a loan. And of course there are those big weekend stories, with Lehman Brothers declaring bankruptcy and Bank of America acquiring brokerage giant Merrill Lynch.Hearing and reading all the pundits pine...

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Get burned up after reading

September 11, 2008

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I heard this company president say one time that one of his hobbies was reading business books. I thought to myself that hobby ranks right up there with sword swallowing and power walking in malls as things that make me scratch my head.I"ve got my own management theory. If a company is run by...

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Where the jobs are and aren't

September 10, 2008

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Texas made the national news today when thousands of Texans in Brazoria County were urged to evacuate, and officials contemplated ordering a mandatory evacuation of one million people in a second county, as Hurricane Ike gathered strength in the Gulf of Mexico on its way toward the state. If the...

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Weathering the storm on Cape Ann

September 9, 2008

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The economy is looking like an intricate patchwork that"s still holding together, though with some seriously thread-bare areas. The housing and financial service sectors make up the brunt of those bare threads, while manufacturing continues to hold surprisingly strong, if you don"t include sectors...

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The right to protect your sourcing

September 4, 2008

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We have an outstanding resource center here at the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association. If you are an FMA member, you probably already know that after having taken advantage of some of our research or information-gathering capabilities.We also have access to many industry magazines. I picked up...

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