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Unfamiliar surroundings

April 28, 2008

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When you make a fast-food cashier roll her eyes, you know it"s been a long day.Unfamiliar surroundings can make me about as smooth as when I accidentally stabbed my date with the corsage pin before junior prom (yes, that did happen). I"m on the road this week, and today I drove a certain rental car...

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Time to lawyer up

April 25, 2008

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This week I attended an open house event at ESAB Welding & Cutting Products, Florence, S.C.. I got to see some wonderful welding innovations—many of which you will see in upcoming issues of The FABRICATOR and Practical Welding Today—and had the opportunity to chat with the company"s...

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Hey, buddy, can you spare a pole?

April 25, 2008

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Editor's Note: I'm running late with my blog because I've been out of town. Here's a quick plea from STAMPING Journal Editor Kate Bachman that should tide you over. C'mon, let's make those phones ring. DDD.On the same day, I received a plea from the coach of a youth...

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Jobs go up in smoke

April 23, 2008

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Various media have reported that a Whirlpool Corp. factory in Evansville, Ind., has suspended 39 workers who signed insurance paperwork claiming they don't use tobacco and then were seen smoking or chewing tobacco on company property. Tobacco users at Whirlpool pay an extra $500 in insurance...

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Don"t let service go down the drain

April 22, 2008

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I don"t know much, but I do know this: If metal fabricators had my plumber"s customer service record, they wouldn"t be in business for long.Forgive my venting, but I"m sure many can relate. We had an oh-so-delightful problem with our plumbing1946 vintage. The trouble really began when we bought...

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Remembering VT

April 16, 2008

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When I sat down to write this post it was with the conviction to write about something positive on this day of sad remembrance, but quite honestly, I"m not sure I have it in me. Today is the first anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings, a tragedy that hit close to home. My husband and his...

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Who knew?

April 15, 2008

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Chicago police shot a cougar on the North Side on Monday afternoon. I guess the cougar didn"t feel like running anymore and stood its ground, leaving the policemen no other choice than to kill the 150-pound cat. That"s not the story you expect to wake up and read in the morning paper. I have to...

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Cheap labor never stays cheap

April 14, 2008

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Labor costs continue to rise. Companies feel the pinch of surging raw material prices. Margins are declining. Companies can"t find the labor they need, and manufacturers strive to cut costs and keep work on their shores. This sounds like the problems manufacturers face stateside, but it"s not.It"s...

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Don't be bearish; attack your problem

April 11, 2008

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Let it not be said that I wasn"t paying attention in church on Sunday. Check out this golden piece of wisdom from Rev. Victor A. Scantlebury, assistant bishop of the Diocese of Chicago: A guy skipped church one Sunday to go hunting. He was out and about on a beautiful day when he turned a...

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Relo or no?

April 9, 2008

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Last week's Welding Wire e-newsletter addressed the skilled welder shortage and asked subscribers to e-mail us any welding programs they were aware of in their areas. Thefabricator.com is interested in compiling a list of programs that can be used by both those interested in welding careers...

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METALFORM report: Stampers add value, not labor

April 8, 2008

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My brother-in-law and fellow blogger, Chris Walker, is having trouble with his Internet provider, something not too unusual until you consider his locale and his problem. He"s spending a year in Mumbai, India, as part of a fellowship program that helps for-profit humanitarian enterprises find...

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Listen for the key to conflict resolution

April 4, 2008

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I was going to write about the economy, but something I was watching on TV last night really stuck with me. My wife grabbed the remote control from me and sat down to watch Larry King's interview with Jenny McCarthy, who is the mother of an autistic son and has just written a book about the...

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What makes Grand Rapids so grand?

March 31, 2008

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Last week three researchers walked the streets of Grand Rapids, Mich., to answer a curious question: Why has the city"s manufacturing job market fared so well, relative to the rest of the state?The team from George Washington University"s Institute of Public Policy visited the city to see what was...

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Some things just don't pan out

March 28, 2008

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My wife and kids are on a spring break trip with the in-laws in Florida. I stayed behind to get some work done and save up some vacation time for trips this summer.(As I write this, it"s snowing yet again in Rockford, Ill. This comes after we got 7 inches of snow on the first day of spring last...

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What is Tata thinking?

March 26, 2008

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Scanning a major news site this morning, I faced a difficult decision—which story would I read first? Vying for my attention were the compelling headlines about the escalated fighting in Iraq, the floods in Arkansas, and American Airlines grounding its MD-80 jets and the not-so-compelling...

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