Monday, April 03, 2006

Back on the Job

Cancel the APB, the missing blogger has been found!

I took a sabbatical of sorts, and was hanging around machinists. I felt a bit like Alice in Wonderland when I googled into the Practical Machinist bulletin board. Lots of talk of tapers, lathes, tig welding, turrets, and tailstock. Although I can argue global warming with the best of them, I confess I had no idea what most of the discussions were about. All was not a loss, however, because I discovered that some machinists like to buy American-made, and some have a sense of humor. To whit, the following example of board banter:

Machinist 1: I was watching James Bond, The Man with the Golden Gun. James visited the shop of Mr. Lazare, who has a custom weapons design shop on the show, and I saw a small lathe in the right hand side of the room. Can anyone identify it?

Machinist 2: Naked women in every scene and the machinists go: "Hey, didja see that scene where they had a palm tree growing up through a 4 jaw chuck? Was it a Cushman about 1933?" No wonder machinists are dying out. They're too dumb to breed.

On the manufacturing front, it looks like Hedstrom Corp. (Ashland, OH), makers of spring horses, teeter-totters, and other fun kids toys, is out of that business. The only remnant of the company I could find is Hedstrom--Ball, Bounce, and Sports Inc., makers of sports balls, and Hedstrom Plastics, specializing in rotational molding for custom applications. I also discovered that Dura-Craft, the Oregon-based maker of wonderful dollhouse kits, has gone out of business after 30 years.

Each company that I take off my site feels like another knick. I know these are businesses that were people’s lives and livelihood. As a consumer, I have lost the opportunity to buy their products. The truly discouraging thing is that I am surrounded by well-off folks who don’t care at all where products are made, or under what conditions.

So, forgive me for losing my sense of purpose. The good news is I’m back on the job and it could have been worse!

Stephanie, Webmaster

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Stephanie, thank you for your contributions to the
Practical Machinist board. I do hope that you stop
back in from time to time, even if only to say hay.
I wish you and your son, life long happiness and


jim r
Member # 629