FMA Communications Inc.

Vicki Bell

Web Content Manager
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107

Blog Posts

'Tell me something good'

April 8, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

As many do before heading off to work each day, my husband and I turn on a local television station to check the weather forecast. This morning, the two items we heard before the weather segment were about a gunman who shot several people in California (can we go a day without something like this...

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Blog Posts

April foolery

April 1, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

Today, April 1, is known in the U.S., the U.K., and various other countries as April Fools ' Day, a day in which practical jokes are expected and can be performed without impunity—unless, of course, the joke causes serious harm.My dictionary-that-weighs-a-ton defines practical joke (an...

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Blog Posts

'Cracks' in welds

March 25, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

Are cracks in welds ever acceptable? Is the term 'crack' a misnomer for linear indications, hot tears, lack of fusion, and other weld characteristics, and are these characteristics acceptable?A recent issue of the "Welding Wire" e-newsletter featured an item that originally appeared in...

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Blog Posts

'Why didn't I think of that?'

March 18, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

When you think about it, we all have the ability to innovate. Our innovations can be as simple as coming up with a temporary "fix" for a problem until it can be handled properly. Those of us who work with computers are very familiar with this type of innovation; we call it a workaround. Sometimes,...

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Blog Posts

'Alive and well'

March 11, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

An item in yesterday's "Fabricating Update" e-newsletter described the dialogue surrounding reports of General Motors being more open to filing bankruptcy and the company's rebuttal that its stance on bankruptcy hasn't changed. This item concluded by noting that companies on the...

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Blog Posts

Haphazardly throwing money away

March 4, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

Several e-newsletters arrive in my inbox each week; I imagine the same is true for you. I don't always have time to read all of them as thoroughly as I'd like, but I do open them and scan to see if they contain something I need to make the time to read.The latest Occupational Health &...

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Blog Posts

Extending a lifeline

February 25, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

Did you watch President Obama's speech before Congress last night? According to CNN.com's Quick Vote, 27 percent of the nearly 140,000 survey respondents didn't watch. I have to confess that I'm one of the 27 percent. As I've said in the past, I prefer to read a speech...

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Rapid Creek Cutters—The second time around

February 24, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

At a time when companies are thinning the worker ranks, many people may be thinking about going into business for themselves. Pat Burrington, the owner of Rapid Creek Cutters, has worked for others and for himself. He recommends the latter.

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Blog Posts

When do we say enough already?

February 18, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

While my neighbors are circulating e-mails about the newly opened Irish pub that's within walking distance (conserve fuel and drown your sorrows) and notices about how to reduce the tax assessments on our homes—after all, our home values have dropped; one more reason to hit the...

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Blog Posts

Just the facts - Down and dirty

February 11, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

As I began this post, I had no idea what the title would be. I wanted something positive and, if not positive, at least not negative. How do you put the best possible spin on rotten news? Perhaps I should ask government officials or financial CEOs, who have a lot of experience laundering facts...

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Blog Posts

Good news for Michigan

February 4, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

If any state could use some good news, it's Michigan, which is on track to reach an unwelcomed milestone: 10 consecutive years—a full decade—of job losses. The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that of the 49 metropolitan areas with a...

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Blog Posts

Labor shortage - Point/Counterpoint

January 29, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

If you subscribe to the "Welding Wire" e-newsletter, you may have seen the comments in the January issue from a seasoned metalworker who questions whether the much proclaimed skilled-labor shortage really exists. His comments drew responses from those who wholeheartedly agreed with what he had to...

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Blog Posts

A nice speech

January 21, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

Whether or not you supported President Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, you have to admit that he gave a nice inaugural speech. I listened to the speech (streaming online video) and turned off inaugural coverage after the entire ceremony ended. I really am not interested in watching...

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Blog Posts

A sound investment

January 14, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

Scanning the metal manufacturing news this morning, I ran across a brief item that made me smile. Smiles from industry news don't occur often enough these days. They are almost as rare as receiving a love note from your credit card company that says your interest rate has been lowered because...

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Global Economic Crisis

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'It's the economy, stupid'

January 13, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

The annual "Fabricating Update" survey of metal fabricators about their main business concerns revealed that the economy, which edged out steel prices as the industry's leading concern in 2008, now outranks all other concerns by a huge margin. This latest survey also polled readers of "Stamping News Brief" and "Tube Talk" for an even greater sampling of the metal manufacturing industry.

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