Day 12-Quarantine-Respirators by GM?

This post will not be a reflection of my day, rather an opinion on President Trump’s latest effort to move the country through the COVID-19 virus. This morning I listened to a news bit about Trump’s direction to General Motors to make respirators by the thousands and in a hurry. GM offered to help the country, but is moving slowly so the president being a typical impatient CEO has taken over and is using the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to force them into action. My comment on that is “Good Luck Pres.”

At one time GM was the largest car maker in the world and they let the Japs take it away from them. If any company will work like government i.e. slow, sluggish, takes forever, gets lost in its own bureaucracy General Motors is it. One of their largest problems has been with dealing in downsizing in order to increase profit. They have not learned how to make more with less, and that is after thirty years of trying. One anchor around their corporate neck is the UAW union.

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GM knows how to make cars, that is their business and that is what they can do best. How in the world will they be able to translate car manufacturing into respirators is a wish. Unfortunately, wishes don’t get things done. I give them credit for trying.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a disgruntled former GM employee. I started at GM in 1963 working for the Electromotive Division. At that time GM had over 90% of the world market share for diesel locomotives. What is their market share today? Who knows, but they lost the bulk of it to competitor’s because of two reasons; 1. They didn’t listen to their customers, and 2. They continued to kiss the ass of the UAW. GM finally gave up making locomotives in 2005 after converting the world from steam to diesel.

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I can not picture the kind of respirator that GM will build. It will most likely have four wheels and great styling, and they will all look like a Chevy or Cadillac . . .  SUV’s.

Another problem is that GM produces cars from components made in countries around the world. They only assemble them in the US. An internet search reports that 55 percent of GM car parts are from the United States and Canada, 20 percent from Japan, 15 percent from China,…

Any car company would be better off starting a new factory in an available warehouse with all new CNC machines installed for making parts. They would also buy ready made high volume components like pumps from companies that make pumps for a living. Put a team of engineers on this project and challenge them to get the problem solved, and respirators made in record time. I wouldn’t use GM engineers, because their culture is not to do things fast. The guys at Ford would be better suited for this type of project.

In my day as Chief Engineer, I would have had a field day managing this kind of work, and could easily have respirators in production quickly. The only requirement being that we don’t have to design the device from scratch.

Companies that make equipment like respirators for hospitals.

  • Resmed (USA)
  • Weinmann (Germany)
  • Philips Healthcare (Netherlands)
  • Carefusion (USA)
  • GE Healthcare (USA)
  • Medtronic (USA)
  • Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (New Zealand)
  • Teijin Pharma (Japan)
  • MEKICS (South Korea)
  • Dräger Medical (Germany)
  • DeVilbiss (USA)
  • Apex Medical (Taiwan)
  • Air Liquide (France)
  • Hamilton Medical (Switzerland)
  • SLE Ltd (United Kingdom)
  • eVent Medical (USA)
  • Maquet (Germany)
  • Siare Engineering (Italy)

I don’t see General Motors on this list anywhere. I would use these companies to make respirators en masse, not GM.

Another thing, I would demand a realistic estimate of the quantity needed. There is at least one report I read that stated we need seven billion respirators. Really? That is one for every citizen on the planet Earth. That is panic reporting and stupid. Not all seven billion people on this planet are sick today. The panic sellers conclude that this pandemic has the potential for infecting the entire Earth. Even if that happened only a small percentage would need respirators. And if we all needed them who would be healthy enough to hook us up to them? Calm down folks, there comes a time when we have to let nature take it’s course.

People who worry about death from pandemics also worry that the population of the Earth is too large thus causing all kinds of pollution and global warming.  Wars reduce population too, so does terrorism, and humans love to kill each other. A good purge might be healthy for Earth.

My prediction is that we will get through this pandemic in good condition because the virus will disappear for reasons we don’t understand. That will give us some time to finish and proof the vaccines in process, and that will happen long before GM can tool up to make seven billion respirators.

 

Day 7-Self Imposed Quarantine-Alone

Last year I was hooked on a program called “Alone”. This reality show put ten people into a wild area and miles apart from each other. They were equipped with only a few tools of their choosing. The idea was to see who would last the longest living off the land without any contact from the outside world. Each contestant had an emergency radio which he could use to call for for help, or to tap out. Each, had cameras to film and record every move they made. It was interesting to watch the various outdoorsman from all walks of life and all parts of the country pit themselves against nature. Those who lasted the longest were clearly superior mentally. Most could fend for themselves by hunting trapping, fishing, eating plants etc. but those who dropped out early did so because of the games they played with themselves mentally. The winners clearly possessed superior mental strength in addition to their survival skills.

Our battle against the COVID-19 virus has put us all into a similar position as the contestants of Alone. The formula for beating the virus it to outlast it by avoiding any contact with people who might be carrying it. So here we are all alone in our homes lacking social contact, and people to talk to. There is one big difference however, between my self exile and those who contend on Alone. I have a telephone by which I can speak to family and friends, and also text message. I also have a computer on my desk that I can use as a phone using FaceTime and see who I am speaking to. The contenders on Alone have nothing of this sort. They must amuse themselves, and fend for themselves in a wild environment. My environment is far from wild. I have more creature comforts than billions of people in the world yet I still have moments during my exile that make me feel alone, lonely, sad, listless. These are all head games that my own brain is using on me. Yesterday, as I folded my freshly washed clothes I came across a white sock without the typical gold toe and heel that I normally wear. Immediately, my mind told me this was one of Peg’s socks, and a rush of sadness overwhelmed me. Why? Clearly it was a moment of grief which I have not felt for some time, but it took over and Peg was on my mind the remainder of the day and night. Today, I seem to be okay, but yesterday grief invaded my brain and slammed me into the wall.

It will be interesting to see how the people of America and the world will fare against this virus during a stay in place situation.

 

It’s Over

My attitude is still positive in spite of the fact that in 2019 I lost my beautiful wife to Alzheimer’s, and just this week learned of two very close friends who passed also. Death is a bummer when taken from the earthly perspective, but it can be the greatest gift one gets when viewed from the heavenly side. Whenever I first learn of a death, I am saddened but within a few days I begin to recover and move forward. There is nothing one can do to change the outcome. I had both of these friends on my daily prayer list for more than two years, It was all I could do.

This year ended my two year term term as President of the Frankfort Lions Club. I took the position seriously and gave it my all, but I was glad it ended. The position gave me a lot of respect from the community, and I enjoyed that, but it also meant I was more available to the community than I was to peg. My term ended the day after Peg died. Needless to say, my regret was not spending more time with her because of my responsibility to the club. Could it have been different? I don’t think so. I needed to get away for a few hours regularly to keep me from going insane watching Peg fall apart.

In 2019 I reached a new milestone. I passed 157,000 miles on my car and I have owned it for fourteen years. That is huge. I never owned a car that provided reliable transport for more than ten years and 110,000 miles. By that time these autos were too tired to be reliable anymore. With my present car I would not hesitate to get in and embark on my Great Last Time Around Tour of ten thousand miles. In my previous jalopies I would never have considered it.

My bucket list is one item shorter because I entered and displayed my Intarsia art in a public show and sale. I didn’t sell anything, but I did enjoy receiving many compliments on my work. It was a joy getting the display ready and borrowing some of the pieces from their owners to display them.

I started a new art project in March only to set it aside in April because Peg needed my attention more than the new piece. A week ago, I returned to the work and this morning I had a long talk with myself about starting another work as ambitious as this one. I find myself sitting and staring at the assemblage to study the contours of the model and then to envision the same lines in the flat pieces of wood before me. What was I thinking runs through my mind. To date, I have recut six pieces, broken four during shaping, and have added more cuts to split large pieces into smaller more manageable ones.

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Although I have not decided to put my house up for sale yet, I spent three months clearing the clutter of too many souvenirs, un-needed gadgets, and clothing, it is show ready.

For the very first time since I retired from work I bounced a check. In fact, I bounced several for three months in a row. I am still trying to determine what I spent so much money on to run my checking account dry.

Twenty nineteen is over, but I look forward with relish and intend to spend as much energy as possible to not waste the precious seconds God is granting me to make humanity better.

Have a very, very happy, and prosperous New Year!

 

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GUEST POST: IF YOU HAVE A PULSE, YOU HAVE A PURPOSE!

A very insightful interpretation of the bible about we should live.

The Godly Chic Diaries

I’m a firm believer that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. I say this with my whole heart, Everyone needs a blessing. And if you have the ability to bless others, be a blessing. And when you are a blessing to others, you will find “joy unspeakable” in the process….

I’m so pleased to welcome my featured Guest Blogger: Matik Nicholls

Matik Nicholls who was born in the twin Caribbean islands of Trinidad & Tobago. He grew up climbing trees and frolicking in the waves, surrounded by the vibrant creativity of soul music and the pageantry of his island people. He is part businessman, part churchman, part author, part surfer. His passion is to inspire, equip and empower people to walk in their purpose and fulfill their potential. He is happily married to his life partner; Tricia and together they have a beautiful blended family of five…

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Common Sense

The United States of America has some of the most lenient immigration laws of the world. We allow a million new immigrants into our country every year. The most stringent requirement for a foreigner to apply for citizenship is a valid Green Card. The immigration laws however, are very complex as they have been changed a minimum of twenty-four times since the 1700’s . Lately, the requirements seem to be too strict for most immigrants arriving via the southern border. People entering from the eastern and western borders (Atlantic and Pacific oceans) must adhere to the laws in order to pass through immigration.

Here are some of the rules affecting Americans who wish to migrate to the south.

 

  1. There will be no special bilingual programs in the schools.
  2. All ballots will be in this nation’s language.
  3.  All government business will be conducted in our language.
  1. Non-residents will NOT have the right to vote no matter how long they are here.
  2. Non-citizens will NEVER be able to hold political office.
  3. Foreigners will not be a burden to the taxpayers. No welfare, no food stamps, no health care, or any other government assistance programs. Any who are a burden will be deported.
  4. Foreigners can invest in this country, but it must be an amount at least equal to 40,000 times the daily minimum wage.
  5. If foreigners come here and buy land, their options will be restricted. Certain parcels including waterfront property are reserved for citizens naturally born into this country.
  6. Foreigners may have NO protests; NO demonstrations, NO waving of a foreign flag, no political organizing, NO bad-mouthing our president or his policies. These will lead to deportation.
  7. If you do come to this country illegally, you will be actively hunted and, when caught, sent to jail until your deportation can be arranged. All assets will be taken from you.
  8. Voter registration cards with photo and fingerprint with hologram to prevent forgery, as is the law in Mexico …

 

Too strict.?  The above laws are the current immigration laws of MEXICO.  If it’s good for American’s to obey Mexican laws, then it’s good vice versa.!!!

Factions & White Canes

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One week ago I sat in on a session of OASIS (Orland Area Sight Impaired Support) with fellow Lions. Our club is supporting OASIS in their endeavor to initiate a new chapter in the Will County area. Sight impaired people are no different than you or me in that they love to participate in normal activities the same as they did when they were sighted. The range of impairment goes from blind at birth to age related diseases. Some can see, but very poorly, some are totally blind. When observing the group it was obvious to tell who was totally blind by their mannerisms, but those whose blindness was age related there was no way to tell that they had a problem.

The founders of OASIS is a married couple, both blind, who took it upon themselves to do something to help others in their situation. They have been doing counseling and support for twenty-three years which is how old OASIS is. Kim, leads the group in a discussion by asking a question. Her first and only question of the day was What is your greatest frustration caused by blindness? A very astute and lengthy discussion ensued as each of the participants (eight) responded. The number one frustration is getting transportation to do things, like going to the grocery store, or for a hair-do, or church. Even though our county supports seniors and disabled by running special bus services, the service is considered slow to respond, and inconvenient. Many use Uber, but complain of the high cost. The number two frustration is not getting respect from the public. For instance a few people cited being made fun of because of their cane. For the uninitiated, blind people can learn to negotiate on their own by using a cane. There is a special white cane with a red tip that is available for them to use. Evidently, our culture has shifted from giving the cane respect to one of harassment, and ridicule. In the good old days when a person with a white cane stopped at a street corner to cross there was always a citizen nearby who would step up and assist the blind person across the street. The same happened at building doors, elevators, etc. They complain that the respect is no longer there. Another situation arises when a vision impaired person steps up to the counter at a fast food restaurant. The order taker will ask “order please?” When the blind person responds I can’t see the menu, they respond “look up at the board.”

I can understand the frustration of the order taker who is under pressure to serve as many people as possible in an hour, but there comes a time when speed must be second to politeness and courtesy. I took it upon myself to write to the CEO’s of ten major fast food corporations with a suggestion to fit a  simple excise into their clerk training program. It is too early to have received any responses  yet, but I can hardly wait.

This got me to thinking about all the causes and problems experienced by people. I just mentioned the frustration of the blind, but there are many others, like those in wheel chairs or on crutches, or are linguistically impaired. Each segment is a tiny fraction of our total population, but we as citizens expect our businesses to react appropriately to each situation. Even though, what I suggested is a simple and short addition to a training program I began to vision all the other problems that can be taken care of by training. Add them up and the cost of training becomes major. It becomes even more complicated in our country because of the many different nationalities and cultures who look for entry level jobs in fast food restaurants. Many of these people are still learning the language and don’t understand the menu themselves. In the meantime, factional groups register their daily living frustrations.

What is the answer? Robotic order takers. With artificial intelligence programmed into a robot it could be programed to detect situations like language differences, visual impairments, and others. If Robo detects a person is vision impaired he read’s the menu. If a person is hearing impaired he shows a large print electronic menu, and so on.

I’m not sure any of this is necessary, but something has to change or the visually impaired will be doomed to living solitary lives inside their apartments and suffer for help.

Another thing we must do is teach our youngsters from an  early age to be polite and courteous to everyone. We won’t need robots when our neighbors step up and help us out.

I Had a Date With An Angel

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A couple of weeks ago, i went to lunch with my friend and his wife They live in Georgia, the state not the country, and were staying at his wife’s twin sister’s house. I asked him to include his sister-in-law. At the same time I asked my daughter to join the party too. The five of us had a wonderful lunch at the Trail’s Edge restaurant and brewery. Although the place has been open since January, it was my first time there. It was nice. After lunch we continued on to the Creamery, a small roadhouse serving soft serve ice cream delights. It is a long time Frankfort business that maintains itself as an old time business. Open from March through October the place is loaded every day with parents and kids lined up and waiting to buy any number of soft serve treats.

The five of us sat around a concrete table on matching concrete benches enjoying the mid-afternoon sun while wolfing down turtle sundaes. Ice cream doesn’t stay solid very long when it is in the high eighties, and the sun is bright, ergo the wolfing. We spent the better part of an hour shooting the breeze before my friend began to fall asleep. He has Parkinson’s disease and tires easily. Long gone are the days when he and I challenged each other on who could reach the top of a hill faster on our bikes during our one week bicycle-camping trips. Most times he won the challenge. One time, while riding up a hill in Nova Scotia he pedaled so hard he stripped the threads on his rear chain cog; he literally blew his transmission. The rest of that story is in my chronicle of the trip on my blog homepage under the button Bicyclist-Nova Scotia-The Other Side of the Story.

We finished our sundaes and said our goodbyes. I had to drive my daughter home and decided to take a route that was a couple of miles further into the country to avoid the shortest route which was a confirmed speed trap. Try driving thirty-five miles an hour through miles of corn and soybeans. The road I chose was also through corn and soybeans and a beautiful traffic-free drive. I chatted with Jacque and the speedometer needle crept up near sixty. The Death Star has a propensity to go faster when I am not paying attention. I spotted a black SUV parked on the opposite side of the road almost touching the six foot tall corn. I payed no attention to it until I blew by and saw the large white letters spelling out “POLICE” on the side. Oh, oh, I said and looked into the rearview he’s turning around to come after me. He did catch up to me and insisted I pull over. A very young police officer asked for my license and insurance registration. I meekly handed it over without a word. I did ask him which jurisdiction he worked in. “Manhattan” he replied. I was as far from Manhattan as one could get and still be within the limits. “I’m sorry,” I said, “where is the road marked with the limit?” Oh its marked right after the last intersection. (About three quarters of a mile back). “The limit is thirty-five mph.” (in the middle of a houseless stretch of corn and soy beans). So much for avoiding a speed trap.

He gave me three options to stay out of jail: 1.) Pay the speeding fine of $165, and get the citation pegged to my record. 2. ) Pay $205, take a driver safety course, and keep the mark off my license. 3.) Go to court and take my chances with a judge.

I’m not going to take my chances with a judge. No telling what political persuasion the judge may be. If he/she learns I am the opposite of him politically, my odds of getting off are non-existent. My odds of getting off regardless are non-existent. My decision will be whether or not waste four hours and an extra forty dollars to keep the citation off my license. I plan on driving a lot in the upcoming year so I’m leaning toward the safety class. What the heck, I might meet some foxy old lady in class and hook up.

My daughter knows me well enough to keep her mouth shut about the stop while we were in the car together, and we continued our date the rest of the way home as if nothing happened. I told her I planned the stop for her entertainment.

 

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