Noah and Building Things

Controversy has risen over the upcoming Noah, a movie about the Biblical account of a great flood that washed over the earth, leaving havoc in its wake, but also leading to a fresh start for mankind in the form of Noah and his family. The movie has been lauded by Christians for the emphasis that it places on an event so central to the Judaistic faith, while it has been critically acclaimed for its directing and cinematography. Here comes the dispute: the atheist director, Darren Aronofsky, has stating that the movie is the least biblical film ever, regardless of its roots in the Bible. Further, a reporter from the Telegraph has issued a statement saying that the word “God” is not spoken once in the movie, which takes much artistic license in the retelling of the classic tale. The main character, Noah, played out by Russell Crowe who has received numerous awards for his roles in films such as Les Miserables and Gladiator, has been converted more into a role of an environmentalist, rather than a man carrying out commands from God.

Regardless of the leanings of the film and its director, at Short Run Pro we saw within the movie (and the story that it comes from) a familiar process, a process that we undertake daily. In our comparison, you, the customer, with great excitement most assuredly, will be placed in a role similar to that of God in the account of the great flood.  We at Short Run Pro will be likened unto Noah.  Now we understand that the daily process at Short Run Pro lacks that cataclysmic ingredient found in the great flood, but bare with us as we outline the similarities.  

In the time of the great flood God faced an issue to which a solution was to be applied. The solution incorporated the development, planning and execution of a product design - a product that is now call Noah’s Ark.  God outlined the product specifications to Noah and placed it in his hands to build.  Once, the design was worked out and the intentions communicated, Noah went about his work in building that Ark (boat).  

Everyday Short Run Pro communicates with customers around the world developing and planning products that are meant to solve a problem, fit a need or fill a requirement that was previously unmet.  While most of these products are not as involved as the construction of a massive ship like Noah’s Ark, these requests can be quite involved and require the expertise that Short Run Pro will provide to complete.  Similar to Noah’s boat, we can build your parts to custom dimensions, as each piece’s specifications are worked through with our team of production specialists and engineers to produce the best fit for your needs.

Lathe trial_3.jpg

Thankfully, unlike Noah’s Ark, our production services do not take years to complete.  We have a lot of technological advances and cutting-edge equipment to add to our know-how, and all this allows us to complete your part requirement fast!  Some estimate Noah took up to 75 years (nearly a century) to finish the ark. It takes us a fraction of that time to complete your product , and considering the human lifespan these days is much shorter than in Noah’s time, that’s probably a good thing!

Screen-Shot-2014-03-25-at-1.46.11-PM.jpg

Another similarity between our process and that of Noah’s Ark is found in the sourcing of materials for building the product.  Noah used materials that he could source in his regional area.  Each product made by Short Run Pro is made right here, in the USA.  While we have much greater availability to outsource products and production services from foreign lands, we choose to keep our work within our country.  This allows us to both ensure the quality of your products as well as create jobs for hardworking Americans. We don’t joke around when it comes to the quality of our work - each piece is made with high-grade steel by high grade metal working professionals.

Screen-Shot-2014-03-25-at-1.49.06-PM.jpg

Now, we’re not going to tell you what you should think about the movie. Go see the movie on March 28th and see for yourself what the story is about (also consider reading the account  of Noah’s Ark in Genesis). One thing we will tell you is that, when it comes to custom parts, no one does it better than Short Run Pro. We’ll be with you every step of the way. From the moment that your requirement is communicated to the time the finished product is in your hand, we are there.  Our customer service is top-notch, and when you receive the product that has been custom built for you, you’ll be glad you chose Short Run Pro.

For more information or to submit a quote request visit our site - www.shortrunpro.com.

 

The American Dream: Is it Dying?

In one of my rather random internet travels, I found a brief article on how Time magazine often composes different covers (and thus different cover stories) for the United States versus literally every other country. One example is found in the different covers featuring “Made in China”, for the rest of the world, and the United States’ version “The History of the American Dream.”  More aptly, the subtitle to the US cover was “Is it Dying?” This last one struck me. As the Chinese market takes over the electronic industry, the American Dream - that promise of a land of opportunity - could be dying.

Jon Meacham’s article based upon the cover, entitled “Keeping the Dream Alive”, was enlightening. Meacham begins with a brief background on the now-common phrase “the American Dream.” Though first used in 1931 by James Truslow Adams in his book The Epic of America, the American dream was no new idea. It had been around since our founding fathers, or before that with the first settlers of the unknown continent. The idea of America as a land of a new beginning, to rewrite the wrongs of the past and move toward an amazing new future, has been around for centuries.  While America has been through much - many wars and depressions, much cultural, social and economic pressure - throughout it all we’ve still prospered and from Meacham’s viewpoint the American Dream lived.

house_buildings_home_235007_l.jpg

But now has this dream died? Has the chance to rise from the ashes and have that iconic white picket fence been relegated to a dusty shelf of years gone-by? While 90% of Americans identify themselves as middle-class, specialists argue that middle-class may be better defined now by aspiration rather than actual possessions. Meacham summarizes our present problem in a few words:

“The unemployment rate is dispiritingly high. The nation’s long-term fiscal health is at risk, and the American political system… shows no sign of reaching solutions… It is more difficult now than in the past for many people to achieve middle-class status because prices for certain key goods — health care, college and housing — have gone up faster than income… Americans are making less now than they were when Bill Clinton was in the White House.”      (Meacham, Keep the Dream Alive)

Then come the devastating words, “The American dream may be slipping away.”, along with the hopeful words, “We have overcome such challenges before.” Meacham argues that the way to restore and refurbish our dying dream is to know the history behind it. While I certainly agree that understanding where you have been is very helpful, I do not think it is the full answer to the problem of the dying American Dream.  I believe that along with a history lesson should come a good lesson on perspective.  I submit the points below as a brief synopsis on this perspective:

It was through vigorous toil and blood, sweat and tear that the untamed expanse of the once mysterious western continent was tamed.  It was at the loss of life and limb that the resources held within this vast continent where loosed and allowed to propel a country to superpower status while at the same time showing the world as a whole a new standard of freedom and enterprise.  Many sacrifices were made and many challenges overcome to establish what some have called the American Dream.

If you were to speak with those early settlers and pioneers, I don’t believe they would speak of dreams.  I think they would talk of work, strain, and danger.  I believe that the idea of dream would have been foreign to the people who established the foundations for what was to rise up in the American continent.  Even great industrialists like Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, and Ford would have not reflected on the idea of a dream, but more likely, they would have referred to hard work and vision.  It is not that these leaders were not dreamers.  But instead they were too engrossed in the daily toil of building their visions to be stuck dreaming while work was to be done.  


rockefeller-beam-workers-lunch-construction.jpg

Picture via Business Insider

White picket fences and shiny new cars were not the American Dream to our forefathers.  Their “dream”, or rather their toil, was the freedom to work in pursuit of the happiness so desired.  Their labor was to provide freedom for their posterity to have a country where people would be at liberty to live as they choose and pursue their endeavors as they saw fit, with an understanding that one should be proud of their honest labor regardless of the “dream” it produced.  

If the American Dream is in fact dying, what is to be lost?  Is it the visions of picket fences or the proclamation of joining the “middle class”?  Does the death of the American Dream mean a discontinuance of the entitlement mentality that pervades society in the United States?  Does it mean that we can no longer expect that we will have that which is entitled to us because of our citizenship?  If this is the case, I would suggest that the death of the American Dream is not such a bad thing.  

Remember that the American Dream was never to be dreamed by those living in America.  The dream was for those who lived outside the fortunate borders of this great country.  The American Dream was the life that those on the outside saw Americans living.  Those living in America lived the American Life.  That would be a life that endures hardship, has hope in a bright future, raises standards so that all might experience a better tomorrow and WORKS so that our posterity will have the opportunity to live the American Life after we have expired.  

So as a matter of perspective, if by having the American Dream die, the citizens of the United States can be resurrected to that same honor of freedom and responsibility to fellow citizen that moved the people of the Continental United States to risk all and sacrifice even life in pursuit of an idea, I say bring on the twilight.  The American Life is so much more than white picket fences or a middle class title.  It is in the pursuit that we live, the dream can go to hell.

Helping People is What it is All About

Photo via Flickr

So what’s it like helping people develop and produce over 150,000 different custom parts?  The Short Run Pro team now knows. Since our inception in 2006, Short Run Pro and her affiliated companies have helped its customers design and create over 150,000 parts!

Our web-based platform, engineering team and production partners assisted in the procurement of excellent, quality certified, custom parts to fit the needs of consumers, small business and Fortune 50 clients for the last 8 years. Our state-of-the-arts, U.S. based manufacturing facilities produced every part right here in hometowns around the United States, providing jobs for our neighbors and fellow countrymen.  This is our commitment!  

At Short Run Pro, and our brands, Federal Brace, Killarney Metals, Bison Built and Computer Bracket Solutions, we are in the business of making American jobs. We are proud that each product we offer is designed, prototyped, and created here in the United States, making more jobs within the US. Thank you so much for all of your support as we celebrate this milestone, and move on to provide continued great service to our customers and high-quality products!

Happy New Year 2014!

Every year we celebrate the new year with toasts to good health, watching the ball drop, and metaphorically sweeping out the old as the new is swept in. Celebrations of the new year didn’t begin with Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest’s crowded New York City Times Square hubbub. It even out dates the Gregorian calendar, going back to the Roman’s Janus, the god of gates and new beginnings. The Romans marked the turn of their Julian calendar with a feast for Janus, whose name was later used to form the name for the beginning of the Gregorian calendar - January. In a long tradition of turning pagan festivals into Christian celebrations, Pope Gregory declared that the first day of the new year would be a feast in commemoration of the Christ child’s circumcision, which would historically occur on the eighth day of a Hebrew boy baby’s life. (January 1st is exactly 8 days after Christmas, on December 25th.)

Over time, as the Roman Catholic Church took over the majority of the known world, this morphed into a very widely-spread celebration, and today is celebrated in every time zone with fireworks and cheers.Though we’ve certainly steered away from the entire population celebrating the circumcision of a child, we still celebrate the new year as a time of new life and new opportunity. So, here’s to 2014 being a year of prosperity, rebirth and success in all areas of your life. May you keep the good of 2013, and expound upon it. May you toss out the bad, and rejuvenate the ‘old’ areas of your life. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

Building in Cold Weather

It can get pretty cold outside in the winter months, especially up North, and no one wants to be freezing, possibly with the exception of Wim Hof. However, sometimes cold is necessary, and if you are wanting to undergo new construction during these chilly months, here’s what to expect and what to do to combat some potential problems.

1. Budget Constraints

You will need to be sure to tell your client that the budget will need to be larger than it would normally be in warmer months. This increase is necessary due to extra fuel usage, which keeps equipment like concrete mixers and heaters onsite warm.

2. Scheduling Constraints

Because of the possibility of harsh weather conditions, it may take longer in the winter months to build a home. Workers move slower in cold weather because they wear heavier clothing, not to mention the dropped temperatures. If the weather becomes potentially dangerous, construction might end up being postponed until Spring because safety always has to come first. Snow hides hazards on the ground and makes it slippery and unsafe for workers, so remember to stay patient, and remind any clients of this as well.

3. Plan Ahead

Plan what needs to be done before the cold weather hits, and get it done. It would be best to finish the structure of the building so that workers can finish inside and keep warm without costly temporary external heaters. If cold precipitation is expected to come in, make sure the equipment is covered with a tarp for protection.

4. Keep Communication Open

As with any construction project, make sure you know what you want and you clearly communicate it with the contractor and crew. Take into account that cool weather makes everything harder, so you don’t want to have communication problems on top of everything else. Make sure everyone understands the project could take longer and cost more.

There are pros and cons to every construction project whether it’s done in the Spring or Winter. If you start a project in the Spring, your yard will be a construction site all Summer and if you start in the Winter, you have the Summer months to enjoy your yard and your privacy. So it’s completely up to you when you want the project completed, just be sure to be patient.

For more information about building in cold weather or planning the interiors of your home contact Short Run Pro via email at sales@shortrunpro.com or call toll-free at 877-829-9293.

9/11: De Oppresso Liber

Twelve years ago today… I had just been dropped off at my new school, sat down next to my new friend and started organizing the previous day’s homework. It was Benton’s birthday, so we sang to him and then got started with our reading groups. Once those were finished, Mrs. Thornburgh ushered us all outside for snack. I talked to Stephanie and Richie, my cousin that was in another class, while we sat on the curb under the crabapple trees. A third grade teacher, Mrs. Farmer, came out and whispered to Mrs. Thornburgh and Mrs. Patterson, and suddenly Mrs. Thornburgh was yelling out that break was over early and that we had to hurry into Mrs. Patterson’s room. We were excitedly ushered in (I was mainly excited just because I got to stay with my cousin for a bit longer) and a television was rolled in on one of those mobile carts.

image

Our tittering voices hushed as Mrs. Patterson explained, with a face like paper, that something terrible had happened. That people were dying. The television was tuned to the news and we watched as footage showed a massive plane crashing into a huge tower, bursting into flames. A bunch of words that I didn’t know were tossed about - hijack, World Trade Center, terrorist, jihad. I got the basic idea, though… people were dying and New York, New York - the city in all those Frank Sinatra songs that my uncles liked to shout out when they were getting rowdy - was burning, crumbling, and falling to the ground.

image

Several years later, we visited New York. I was a bit older, in high school now, and it was ten years after the horrid deed had been done. We visited the crater that now stood in memoriam of those whose lives had been taken, and saw the pictures of the desolation. We touched the names of those firefighters who had given their lives to save others - now immortalized in black stone. The scene was cold, bleak… it wasn’t comforting, but what happened there was something that lacks all comfort - absolute disregard for human life and an attack on not only a city, but an entire country and the principle of freedom on which it was founded. Today, on the twelfth anniversary of 9/11 (Patriot Day), we remember those who lost their lives and the New York emergency responders who gave their lives to save other people’s lives. The families who mourn their loss are always in our prayers.

July/August USA Manufacturing Report

Great news on the manufacturing front for July and August of 2013! According to the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing expanded last month and it appears to be gaining momentum as new orders and other indexes are increasing.  Miscellaneous Manufacturing was quoted saying that “Business conditions remain stable, possibly improving somewhat in future months.” There is potential for this year to top last year by quite a bit as this first half of the year has proved to show steady improvement over last year’s marks. This will lead to more manufacturing capacities in the future and potential for more jobs as even more orders come in with each passing month. Here at Short Run Pro we’re very excited about the pickup in manufacturing and production. We really like see new orders and new work coming to production floors of the USA because that is what we are all about! Go America! Go US workers!

Independence Day

imageTwo hundred and thirty seven years ago former President John Adams told his beloved wife, Abigail, that the day that the Congressional delegations signed the Declaration of Independence would be celebrated with pomp and circumstance. He said “it ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance… with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward, forever more.” To this day we celebrate the fourth of July as the day that we declared America’s freedom from Britain with fireworks and parties, food and fun. We celebrate our freedom, as a people. We wear our colors - the glorious red, white and blue; we eat hotdogs and hamburgers and sing the Star-Spangled Banner until our throats are sore from yelling that final “braaavvveee”.

imageBut freedom, as nearly any other commodity, comes at a price. Another well-known political activist and theorist, and the author of Rights of Man, Thomas Paine was quoted saying “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” While our forefathers knew well what it cost to gain freedom, we know what it’s like to continue to support that freedom with lives lost and in constant vigilance. Our freedom has been achieved by our predecessors, and it is now up to us, the generations that are alive presently, to retain those freedoms for our progeny. Because of the price that is paid, and the prize that is awarded, we are able to have pride in our nation. We can look on our colors with elation in our hearts, and can sing that song with enthusiasm because of not what we’ve been given, but rather what our nation has earned.

This Independence Day we’d like to thank those who have sacrificed to keep our nation free and to keep our democracy of, by and for our people. While the price may be high, freedom is well worth it. The United States of America is the only country with a known birthday, so today, let’s celebrate it! Let our patriotic hearts beat red, white, and blue, and our flying flag never waver. Go USA, go America! Happy Independence Day!

Bringing It Back

Everyone… well, nearly everyone, knows Justin Timberlake’s song “SexyBack.” Presumably sexy has gone away, and he’s bringing it back. We’ve put a little twist on it - we’re bringing safety back (that’s as far as we’ve gotten in the parody lyrics), with lead-free made-in-the-USA manufactured products. Recent news stories have covered health issues contracted via increased exposure to lead, leading to a variety of extreme issues in both adults and children, and can even affect children in the womb. In adults, lead poisoning can lead to reproductive problems, cancer, nerve disorders, high blood pressure, hypertension, and muscle and joint paint, while the issues plaguing children are more severe - brain and muscle damage, hearing problems, behavioral and learning problems, slowed growth and extreme migraines in addition to all the adult problems when they’re older.

All of these issues and just from a little lead? That’s crazy! See, the thing is that many of the products that are around us have lead in them, and only in recent years have these problems begun to be noticed. Warning labels stating that lead poisoning is harmful are generally hidden or go unnoticed due to positioning, and are normally accompanied (oh the irony) by Made in China stickers. Gardening tools, used by people who are intentionally growing their own organic food in order to escape this plague, contain lead. Cheap kitchen appliances contain lead, and are constantly around food, one of the primary ways to come into contact with lead.

In order to avoid lead poisoning, we’re suggesting you bring it back - being safe, and bringing your dollars and manufacturing jobs back to the United States. Look for “Made in the USA” stickers, and make absolutely certain that the product does not have any lead warnings on its surface. All of Short Run Pro’s products are made and manufactured here in the United States, and are 100% lead-free for your protection. We’re bringing safety back, and some much needed jobs here in the USA.

Contact us for more information at our website, Short Run Pro, via email at sales@shortrunpro.com or call toll-free at (877) 829-9293.

June 14, 1777, a group of weirdly dressed men in powdered wigs gathered in a crowded room and proclaimed “Hear ye, hear ye. This beloved red, white, and blue1 hath stood through the mighty fires of yonder redcoats muskets, and thus shall become ours. America, forever.” Or something like that. Regardless of what was actually said, that beloved flag is ours, and shall forever be ours. Whether it was sewn by Betsy Ross or President George Washington himself, it has seen great battles, inspired numerous songs, and rallied men and soldiers towards one cause - freedom. Flag Day commemorates not only that star-spangled banner, but the country she stands for, The United States of America.

Our flag as we see it now - 13 red and white stripes, 50 white stars, and 1 large blue rectangle - is as it’s always been. In fact, it took nearly two hundred years and twenty six different modifications for America to reach our present 50 star-status. The first flag was a union jack in a field of red and white stripes, affectionately called the Grand Union Flag or the Continental Colors. At the same time that Flag Day was adopted, so was the white stars in and field of blue. These stars had no specific arrangement, and thus flags were made with 5-pointed stars in circles, 6-pointed stars in rows, and God knows what else (no. seriously. What is that?). After several states joined the union (meaning 37 states… and many other flags), we finally decided to nail it down to 50 states (or 51 if you ask some people). Robert Heft was responsible for the present design, and, at the age of seventeen, created our 50 state flag for a class project… which he got a B- in. A B- up until the United States Congress accepted his design as our national flag, and his teacher changed his grade to an A.

“White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue… signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice” (Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress) while the “star is a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial; the stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun” (House of Representatives,1977). Our flag is so symbolic for our country, and is a source of pride for her people. Happy Flag Day, and go, America!
1 Nicknames for the American flag include “Old Glory,” “Stars and Stripes,” and the “Star-Spangled Banner”

June 14, 1777, a group of weirdly dressed men in powdered wigs gathered in a crowded room and proclaimed “Hear ye, hear ye. This beloved red, white, and blue1 hath stood through the mighty fires of yonder redcoats muskets, and thus shall become ours. America, forever.” Or something like that. Regardless of what was actually said, that beloved flag is ours, and shall forever be ours. Whether it was sewn by Betsy Ross or President George Washington himself, it has seen great battles, inspired numerous songs, and rallied men and soldiers towards one cause - freedom. Flag Day commemorates not only that star-spangled banner, but the country she stands for, The United States of America.

Our flag as we see it now - 13 red and white stripes, 50 white stars, and 1 large blue rectangle - is as it’s always been. In fact, it took nearly two hundred years and twenty six different modifications for America to reach our present 50 star-status. The first flag was a union jack in a field of red and white stripes, affectionately called the Grand Union Flag or the Continental Colors. At the same time that Flag Day was adopted, so was the white stars in and field of blue. These stars had no specific arrangement, and thus flags were made with 5-pointed stars in circles, 6-pointed stars in rows, and God knows what else (no. seriously. What is that?). After several states joined the union (meaning 37 states… and many other flags), we finally decided to nail it down to 50 states (or 51 if you ask some people). Robert Heft was responsible for the present design, and, at the age of seventeen, created our 50 state flag for a class project… which he got a B- in. A B- up until the United States Congress accepted his design as our national flag, and his teacher changed his grade to an A.

White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue… signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice” (Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress) while the “star is a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial; the stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun” (House of Representatives,1977). Our flag is so symbolic for our country, and is a source of pride for her people. Happy Flag Day, and go, America!


1 Nicknames for the American flag include “Old Glory,” “Stars and Stripes,” and the “Star-Spangled Banner