Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Monday, January 30, 2023
Saturday, January 28, 2023
Friday, January 27, 2023
The following is from The View From The Porch:
One of the challenges in ramping up tank production is a shortage of trained welders—a problem that also constrains shipbuilding. Many of these welding jobs are part of the unionized workforce, which makes it harder for manufacturers to grow their workforces quickly. Specifically, unionization inhibits the manufacturers from immediately doubling the salaries of the welders without affecting the wages of others in the factories. Within the defense sector we need to treat welders the same way the private sector treats star programmers: by paying them extremely well. We cannot afford to have trained welders take jobs at Walmart or as forklift supervisors because they can earn more money. If anything, we should be incentivizing more forklift supervisors to become welders. Welding is a key national security manufacturing task.
See this old M103 heavy tank?
When I first started teaching, just a few blocks from the school was the Blaw-Knox factory. As the description of the photo states, three big-ass castings were welded together to form the hull. Several of my students worked there after graduation. At that time most of the welding was with the stick welding process using welding rods about the size of small baseball bats. Besides having to pass a welding test, because it was for the military, drug and background checks were required, if I remember correctly. I would assume the same thing still applies. So, in addition to finding skilled people, they have to find people who can pass the background and drug test. And as the quote mentions, they can't give the welders a raise without giving everyone else a raise as well. I'm sure they all could use a raise, so I wouldn't mind my tax dollars being spent for that reason, rather than some of the things the federal government wastes money on.
I don't know how many tanks need to be produced but from what I've been reading, none of the branches of the military are ready to fight a war which might be necessary real soon what with our involvement in the Ukraine versus Russia thing. I don't think those knuckleheads in Washington have any idea what they're doing. If you can't get tanks and ships built due to lack of skilled people during peace time, probably shouldn't be looking for trouble. Especially when you're 31 trillion dollars in debt.
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Pretty good morning yesterday - went to Aldi to top off the pantry and the wine cellar, picked up the carb gasket, went to the library for a couple more books, came home and ordered tickets for Post Modern Jukebox on our anniversary. It won't be Hawaii, but it will be a buffet before the show, concert, nice hotel room and breakfast the following morning. It'll be nice to get out and spend a little time away from home with the old girl. Fifty-two years is definitely worth celebrating.
The gasket makes it look like I'll be able to modify the manifold on the jitney or make an adaptor that won't look out of place. I'll need to think it through a bit more yet, but it should be just what the doctor ordered. I took the studs out of the intake using the stud removing tool. I usually just use a pair of vise-grips, but since I have a tool, I figured I should probably dig it out and use it. I've had this thing probably 40 years and I doubt if I've used it more than a half dozen times. As it turned out, the studs weren't much more than finger tight.
The session at the gym went well Sunday. We worked on uppercuts, both throwing and defending against. Our boy who fought in Tulsa last year got tagged with several by his opponent in his last bout. We don't want that to happen again. Since I've been back in the gym, I've noticed the progress of the fighters has been stunted a bit, much of which was probably covid related along with the lack of coaching.
Even though I'm back in the fold, we could still use another quality coach. We need some more people in the gym, as well. When we first opened up we were taking 10-12 fighters to the Gloves each year, all of which were in great shape. This year we're looking at maybe 6 or 7, four of which showed up Sunday morning for the extra session we've been running. Two of them are in good condition, one in fair condition, and one in lousy condition. One of the guys who didn't show works weekends, but he's there during the week all the time. He's in pretty fair condition and knows what he needs to do. One of the other fighters has a long drive and changed jobs. He met us in Indy when we went down there a couple of weeks ago and he looked terrible when sparring. I doubt if he'll be in any kind of shape for this year's Gloves. We need to get the boxers and the gym in better shape this year.
I'll be back in the shop later today, either working on the trailer sides or something on the jitney.