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Bionic boomers

July 9, 2008


Last week I met with my orthopedic surgeon to discuss my upcoming hip replacement procedure. I'm one of the growing numbers, particularly those in the 45 to 64 age group (baby boomers), who are having joint replacement surgery.I'm not a newbie when it comes to this surgery. My left hip... Continue Reading

The economy and the power of hindsight

July 8, 2008


Reading the campaign news this week, I was reminded of a West Wing episode years back when the president"s personal aide, Charlie Young, asks what President Bartlet was doing. The president replied, I"m doing basically what the president does: Asking people for things, and then thanking them.He... Continue Reading

Commemorating history—Creating a legacy

July 2, 2008


It's July, and here in the U.S., we're planning our Independence Day, celebrations. July 4 is an important day in our nation's history. On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence and set the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign... Continue Reading

Nuclear energy not going to waste

June 30, 2008


Reading news of the campaign trail last week, I recalled a park cookout I attended years ago while visiting a friend in West Lafayette, Ind. The conversations there weren"t normal, and not your typical neighborhood get-together talk. These people, including my friend, were nuclear engineering... Continue Reading

A thumbprint in the right direction?

June 25, 2008


Despite efforts by lawmakers and the metals industry, scrap metal theft continues worldwide. Singapore's reported today that metal thieves there are targeting letter boxes. Apparently more than 200 metal letter boxes were stolen in the past two days. According to the report,... Continue Reading

Money in green

June 23, 2008


Last week media reported long gas station lines, with motorists grumbling over record prices. That sounded like 1970s oil-crisis America, but that"s not what reporters were writing about on Friday.They were reporting from Beijing.There, The Times of London gave reports of long lines outside petrol... Continue Reading

Educating tomorrow's welders

June 20, 2008


I think the program I have struggled to keep alive was valuable and rewarding to a certain population. Was it enough to rationalize the expense? I don"t know, but to me and my students, it was valuable and rewarding.That"s the message Lebanon (N.Y.) High School welding teacher Tom Callison shared... Continue Reading

You cannot be serious

June 18, 2008


Although I'm an avid tennis fan, this post is not paying homage to John McEnroe, who often uttered the words "you cannot be serious" and sundry words I can't repeat to umpires and line judges in matches. Rather, the statement was the first thought that crossed my mind when I read about a... Continue Reading

Nerdy no longer

June 16, 2008

I fess up. Yes, I"m an overgrown band geek. I played trombone during high school, on through college, and I continue to do so (very badly, actually) in a local community band. Every Thursday, driving into the rehearsal hall parking lot, I see yet another blast from the past, that preferred... Continue Reading

Fire up the grill

June 13, 2008

I can talk sports all day. If I have a beer while I do that, it"s a great day. If I"m cooking some meat over an open flame, it"s a great day.It"s amazing how little time I set aside to just sit outside with a buddy, grilling up some chicken and ribs, enjoying a tasty microbrew, and listening to the... Continue Reading

Do your job, DOL

June 11, 2008

The May employment numbers were in the news last week. Among the releases on PR Newswire that dealt with the most recentstatistics—49,000 jobs were lost and the unemployment rate jumped from 5.0 percent to 5.5 percent, the largest one-month jump in 22 years—were two spins on the numbers... Continue Reading

Knowledge worth passing on

June 10, 2008

George Hildebrand isn"t retiring. He"s just testing the waters.And why not? As project manager at George Third & Son Ltd., a structural fabricator near Vancouver, British Columbia, he"s been with the company for only 44 years. During that time he"s managed a host of projects, building everything... Continue Reading

Opportunities in the wind

June 6, 2008

The announcement this week that GM was closing several truck-making facilities around the U.S. and Mexico came not as a surprise, but as a disappointment. These high-paying manufacturing jobs are instrumental in keeping these communities alive: Workers invest in their homes, keeping property values... Continue Reading

Saving the environment—One push at a time

June 4, 2008

The weather's warm, and my dormant Bermuda grass that appeared brown and dead all winter now is green and growing. Here in the Southeast, we've been mowing for weeks. We have a John Deere riding mower (for which we paid way too much) that requires annual service (which is also costly) and... Continue Reading

What construction slowdown?

June 3, 2008

Manufacturing continues to plug along, not expanding, but not exactly in a slump either. The Institute for Supply Management"s index, the PMI, released this week, grew slightly, from 48.6 in April to 49.6 in Maystill not in growth mode, but it"s more than most had predicted. The view from the... Continue Reading