Dad-Daughter Day at 2014 Laconia Bike Week

Summer kicks off in Laconia with at 91st annual bike week

Laconia Bike week logoLaconia Bike Week is the oldest motorcycle rally in the USA, whose roots date back to 1916, but became official in 1923 as part of the Loudon Classic motorcycle races.  The event is held in June each year and is still called by some of the old timers as the Gypsy Tour.  An explanation of the name was given to an attentive crowd by the lead singer of one of the Rock Bands that played in one of the beer tents.  Today motorcycle enthusiasts call these gatherings “runs or rallies”, but Gypsy Tour is truly an American term that described riders from all parts of America that would meet at favorite destination.   Laconia in New Hampshire, Sturgis in South Dakota and Daytona Beach in Florida are a few of the more popular locations.  Bike riders would travel long distances, with the bikes loaded up with camping gear, sleeping along the roads, sitting around campfires, thus they were called gypsies.

While there are many makes and models of motorcycles at the Laconia event, the predominant bike is the Harley Davidson and it is really Laconia Bike Week 2014exciting to see the antique models with nicknames like Panhead, Knucklehead and Shovelhead.   They were given these names because of the distinct shape of their rocker covers.   In the more recent years some claim that Harley Davidson has paid less attention to “style and quality”, and more on being a marketing machine.  While the brute marketing approach is true, there is still something about the sound of the pipes and the thrill of riding an American Classic. Some of the new 2014 bikes are absolute eye candy.  If you enjoy Motorcycles, there are thousands of them to see during the week and most proudly show them off in various ways.

Making the bling look good

A number of years ago, our company, Static Clean had the fortune to work on Harley Davidson parts with one of their outsourced manufacturing partners.  Besides the Harley sound, the most attractive thing about a Harley is the chrome or bling as it is called today.   The speedometer and tachometer instrument gauges were being manufactured in Connecticut and secondary processing such as decorating or chrome plating were required.   Any debris or particles on the parts would show up in the finished product.   Our ionizing air nozzles were implemented and the reject rates were vastly reduced.   Static Clean helps hundreds of companies towards yield improvements by controlling the particle attraction of static electricity.  The automotive industry in general considers static to be a major problem that needs to be addressed.  It is exciting working on “cool things”.

Planes, Trains, Automobiles and the Restaurants and Hotels in Between

As a frequent travel I sometimes wonder: Who writes the rules? I’m not just talking about the rules of the road, but the protocol that the service industry follows when a salesperson hits the road for overnight trips. As a salesperson for Static Clean International, if my travel schedule is within 350 miles in any direction from home, I typically drive. The hassle of the airport makes driving more practical and, frankly, more enjoyable. The big tossup is whether to take a car to New York City or take the train. The train seems to be winning the NYC battle, but elsewhere, it is the car.

Rules of the Road

It was interesting to learn that while the Romans had to deal with problems related to horse–drawn chariots, the “rules of the road” didn’t really start until the motoring age. The history of these rules is steeped in British law that dates back to the Highway Act of 1835.

It’s also interesting to note is the “rules of the road” spilled over into the “rules of the sea” for ships to follow when navigating the oceans of the world. Especially alarming is that no one vessel has absolute right of way over another vessel. There can be a “give way” and a “stand on” situation, where the “give way” vessel is burdened and a “stand on” vessel is one with privilege. However, the “stand on” vessel does not have absolute right of way over the “give way.” If a dispute that ends in a collision happens, you have to take it up with the Admiralty. Who’s up for a cruise?

Try driving your automobile on the roads of America using the rules of the sea. I’ve driven in Italy, and the rules of the sea seem fitting when trying to get from the outskirts of Rome to St. Peter’s Square. Nobody has the right of way, so everybody goes, and it resulted in a costly fine that took a year to settle with the Polizia.

The Importance of Eye Contact

Let’s assume that you made it safely to your hotel. After check in, you decide to eat at the hotel or go to a local restaurant. As you look around, you notice other people sitting by themselves, but they are seated so they are not face to face with each other. Instead they are dispersed throughout the eatery in a way that reduces eye contact. Doesn’t that seem silly? Many of the eating establishments of Europe place you shoulder to shoulder with complete strangers, which results in some great conversations.

Feeling Lucky is Relative

These same things happened in 1989 while visiting Yugoslavia, a country that no longer exists and is now divided into Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. We found ourselves in the mountains just below Sarajevo without a hotel, so we decided to grab a bite at a local watering hole. The waitress sat us at a long table with complete strangers, so we struck up a conversation with a couple of gentlemen seated next to us. One man was a pilot for Yugoslavia’s national airline. He went on to tell us how lucky he was in life. He said, “You don’t understand — I have 12 hectares of land and a cow. I get fresh milk every day.” With help from our new friends, we ended up finding a clean hotel, and the next morning, as we jumped into our Yugo automobile, we came to realize how lucky we are to live in America, but that it is okay to bend the rules and make eye contact once in awhile.

It’s that personal connection with clients that we believe separates Static Clean from our competitors. Discover more about what we offer by contacting us.

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

When my daughter was younger, Paul McCartney came on TV. I said to my daughter, “That’s Paul McCartney.” She said, “Who is Paul McCartney?” and I said he was in the Beatles. She said, “What are the Beatles?”

The Summer of 69

How is it possible that she didn’t know the Beatles? I never wanted to be cynical like our parents, who always claimed they had a simpler life, enjoyed better times — even though they had less, and they thought that music ended with Elvis and Sinatra. As a teen, I saw the Beatles, the Bee Gees, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison & the Doors, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Rolling Stones and just about every band that came through Boston on tour. It just couldn’t get any better than the “Summer of 69.”

Then I thought about the first verse of the Bryan Adams song with the same name and it went like this.

I got my first real six-string
bought it at the
five and dime
played it til my fingers bled
it was the Summer of 69

We Can Learn from the Past

Then it hit me… The five-and-dime. Just about every town had one, and some towns had two five-and-dime stores. What about Woolworths, drive-in movies — and to make it more personal to Boston: Bradlees, Zayres, Gilchrist’s, Kennedy’s, Raymond’s, and Grants. Every state in the country has a list of defunct department stores. Maybe our parents weren’t so wrong after all. Instead of strolling through town and spending time window shopping, we no longer have time to spare. Instead we troll the internet to do our shopping. The new generation sees this lifestyle as normal, but it would be nice for them to go back in time and experience what it used to be like. Cynical? Yeah, I’m afraid so.

Two more verses from Bryan Adams’ Summer of 69 sum it up.

And now the times are changin’
Look at everything that’s come and gone
Sometimes when I play that old six-string
I think about you and what went wrong

Oh when I look back now
That summer seemed to last forever
And if I had the choice
Yeah, I’d always wanna be there
Those were the best days of my life

The Personal Touch and Static Clean

Footnote: We can’t stop progress and the immediacy of information technology, but maybe we can slow it down a bit by dealing with a local store or a small company that offers excellent service and a personal touch. At Static Clean, we always try to use local vendors, who very often become our friends. For more information about Static Clean and the services we provide, please contact us.

Who said chivalry is dead?

When we think of chivalry it is usually associated with King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table and days of yore. It seems that those days are long gone, and that chivalry is dead, but it isn’t. Just ask Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Bono, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Julie Andrews, Judi Dench, Tom Jones, Patrick Stewart, Helen Mirren, Sean Connery, Tom Courtney, Ben Kingsley, Michael Caine, Anthony Hopkins, Maggie Smith, Ian McKellen and Kate Winslet, all of whom have been knighted by Queen Elizabeth.

At first glance, I thought it was just a British affair, but as I dug deeper, I learned that Bill Gates, Bob Hope and Ronald Reagan along with hundreds of others got tapped on the shoulder by the mighty sword.

As I read through the list of those who received knighthood, I noticed it included some of my favorite musicians. I also noticed the footnote that said that they received an honorary knighthood. I started to think, “did we dilute the true meaning of chivalry by creating the honorary knighthood system?” It seems like the UK has been giving them out like popcorn!

What is chivalry?

The English and American Dictionaries describe chivalry as a noun whose meaning is the medieval institution of knighthood. Chivalry was developed as an early standard of professional ethics for knights. The ceremony usually meant an all-night prayer vigil on the altar before the oath was taken in the morning to:

  • Be brave
  • Always speak the truth
  • Always defend a lady
  • Be loyal to his lord
  • Be devoted to his church
  • Be charitable
  • Defend the poor and helpless

It really was a social code of the times. It could be argued that the musicians and actors mentioned above, especially Bono, have given of their time and money to help the poor, and are therefore covered under the knighthood umbrella, but the general consensus is these celebrities are being honored for their contribution to the arts.

Static Clean and knighthood

How about a company that contributes to solving process problems, improves yields, improves lives, and makes the world a better place for its global citizens? Do these people or companies meet the litmus test of knighthood? Recently Static Clean International started a Going Green campaign, and our first initiative is to move to a paperless system. Maybe we won’t attain knighthood, but our deeds are certainly chivalrous under a code of ethics of professional responsibility.

Contact Static Clean to learn more about our Going Green campaign, and the products and services Static Clean provides.

Will the Big Bang Happen Again?

Big Bang…Again?

According to the astrophysicists, the Big Bang that expanded and stretched the universe can’t happen again because the universe is still expanding. Will the expansion continue forever or will there be a day when everything stops? What would that look like?  Like an airplane that defies gravity with the speed of forward motion, do we need to worry about all things in the universe just dropping out of the sky without forward propulsion?

Even such, the Big Bang keeps us wondering about life itself and how insignificant we may be in the overall scheme of existence. From science, we know that atoms are the smallest particle of an element. Are we or even the world itself just atoms in a system where math doesn’t exist to explain how little we are on the ladder of life? Scientists say that all of the ingredients that were gathered at the time of the Big Bang can be found inside the human body. We are matter and matter is defined by anything that has mass and takes up space. Come to think of it, my mother used to tell me something about “just taking up space.”

The Law of Conservation

Besides trying to figure out the universe and solar system, science can be very confusing. For example, the Law of Conservation of Energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. However, it can change form, as is realized in changing chemical energy to kinetic energy. Ingredients found in dynamite are made up of chemicals, and once the fuse is lit, there is an explosion. The explosion then becomes the kinetic energy and nothing seems to exist afterward, save maybe a few scraps of debris on the ground.

A rule of the above mentioned Law of Conservation of Energy states that perpetual motion cannot exist without an energy source or power to keep it going. This rule seems to support my point at the opening of this post about the expanding universe and going from the Big Bang to continued expansion. At some point, things stop — unless there is another Big Bang to keep things in motion.

Control Static With Our Products

At Static Clean, we manufacture charging power supplies that apply energy to applicators that attack atoms or air molecules to create ions. Of course, that is not the only reason why we build this type of equipment. We are a static control company, which means we also build air ionizers that are used to control static events and prevent explosions on equipment where volatile chemicals vapors are involved in the process.

If static is not kept to low levels explosions can occur. Like the stick of dynamite exploding, companies have to deal with problems associated with converting chemical energy to kinetic energy. For help in controlling static and preventing fires and explosion, contact Static Clean International for expert advice.