Memorial Day 2017

We’re in the home stretch now…mere hours away from Memorial Day weekend, or, as I call it, the Official Start Of Summer™.  EXAIR Corporation will be closed on Monday for this occasion. To make good use of this time off, I have three cookouts planned: one at the neighbors’, one at the in-laws’, and the third is self-inflicted.

As much as I like my neighbors and my in-laws (really,) I’m expecting that third one to be my favorite, even considering that I’m the one that has to clean up after it. Why, you may ask? Because we’re going to make s’mores. If you don’t know what s’mores are, I have two thoughts: 1) You’re killing me, and 2) Watch this RIGHT NOW (it’ll make you better understand my first thought too):

Whatever our plans, Monday culminates the celebration of this long weekend…Memorial Day. In the midst of our celebration and activities (or lack thereof – I’m all for some relaxation too,) I encourage you, dear reader, to remember the reason that this day was consecrated.

It was thirteen years ago last month that my wife called me at work to tell me the news that our neighbor’s son had been captured by hostile forces in Iraq.  By the time I got home, yellow ribbons were everywhere…trees, mailboxes, front doors, windows…all in support and hope for Matt Maupin.

Four years later was when the next Memorial Day took on an even more united meaning for our small town, when Matt’s family got the word that he had, in fact, been killed in service of his country.  I still see his father around town, and the grief has spurred determination to make something greater come from the remembrance of his son’s sacrifice.   The Yellow Ribbon Support Center:

*Sends care packages to military individuals serving in harm’s way.

*Hosts an annual “Let Us Never Forget” Scholarship dinner to honor local fallen heroes.  Over half a million dollars worth of scholarships have been awarded to date in remembrance & honor.

*Sends & supports speakers at schools, public events, gatherings, etc. to share the stories of our troops’ heroism.

The Yellow Ribbon Support Center is one of many organizations that could use your help, if you’re so inclined to find one, wherever you may be.  I still think, too, that every one of our fallen heroes, and their families, will want you to have an enjoyable holiday weekend.  It’s been paid for dearly.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Memorial Day 2016

On Monday, Memorial Day will be celebrated across the United States. It’s a third day to a (usually) fair-weathered weekend. It also means that Brian (and I, and I’m sure we’re not the only ones) will be making some S’mores. Lee’s sister can delve into the lighter colors in her closet. And, of course, American flags are in line up & down the streets in my neighborhood.

Many of us who are military veterans receive thanks for our service from time to time. And most of us will acknowledge that it was our honor to serve. But not on Monday – we didn’t earn that. Memorial Day is when we remember those who lost their lives while serving in our nation’s defense.

I got to serve during a time of peace. I’m grateful that I never saw combat, and I’m humbled to share the distinction of “veteran” with those who did. Those who saw combat may very likely know someone they will remember on Monday.  Others will remember a friend or family member…may they know comfort and peace from the thanks of a grateful nation.

Whatever your plans are this weekend, I encourage you to spend the time…even if it’s a just a moment…to consider the price that’s been paid for the freedoms we enjoy.  And have a great Memorial Day – it’s been paid for.

Memorial Day

 

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Father’s Day Weekend 2013

Well, we have finally reached it; the weekend every dad has been looking forward to,  Father’s Day Weekend.  I myself have only been able to celebrate as a father for the past three years.  However, this is the first year that I will get to celebrate with both of my daughters.  Instead of waiting until Sunday to celebrate, I am going to start tonight.  The best way I know how,  is camping……  in the backyard.   That’s right, my oldest daughter has been wanting to go camping since the weather turned warm. She’s never been camping, so tonight we will rough it, in the backyard.

Camping under the stars

By roughing it, I do mean we will be having a fire in the fire pit, roasting S’mores,  and setting the futon mattress in the tent so I don’t have to sleep on the ground.  I’ve even picked up a vintage white gas lantern to try and get working for tonight too.  It’s a lantern that I purchased used and, so of course, it doesn’t work.   With any luck we will be camping under the stars with the flicker of an old white gas lantern.

bighat

Other than that, this will be just another weekend at the Farno household.  What are your plans for the upcoming weekend?

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

A Good Sharpening

I’m going camping this weekend. This could be the start of any Russ Bowman Blog, it’s true, but this one’s different. See, for the past six years, my best friend Andrew and I have gone camping with our sons on Father’s Day weekend. We jokingly call it our Mother’s Day present to our wives, but it’s really all about a bit of wisdom that we found in the writings of one of Israel’s ancient kings, Solomon, who said: “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” He and I practice this principle with each other, and hope that we’re imparting it to the young men in our charge as well.

Now, these outings are notoriously low impact – we’re ardent connoisseurs of State Park Campgrounds. The highest adventure we encounter is ignoring the “No Wading or Swimming” signs at the Lower Falls at Hocking Hills, chasing the raccoons away from our coolers at Paint Creek, or racing down the giant inflatable water slide at Maumee Bay.

Occasionally, we’ve been known to visit local tourist attractions as well, like the Creation Museum, when we camped at nearby Big Bone Lick. This year, we’re going to East Fork State Park, which is just outside of Cincinnati. We thought about a day trip to King’s Island, or taking in a Reds game (Saturday’s promotion is a free Mohawk hat), but in the end, we decided to “just go camping.” Nice and easy: regardless of weather, wildlife, or whatever, it’s a simple, reliable plan to achieve our goal of refreshing and invigorating ourselves and each other. I’ve got enough silly hats anyway.

EXAIR has posted an FAQ in our Knowledge Base regarding the comparison of compressed air products to those that rely on blower systems, and the analogies to this weekend just started writing themselves:

*Lower purchase costs: A Blower Air Knife can cost over ten times the purchase price of a similar-sized Super Air Knife. Why would we pay to go to an amusement park when the lake is within bicycling range of our reasonably priced campsite?
*Very little, if any, maintenance: Blower bearings need lubrication, and sooner or later, they’re still going to fail. Inlet filters clog and need replacement on a regular basis. With precious few exceptions (the Reversible Drum Vac’s Overflow Preventer Float comes to mind), EXAIR products have no moving parts, and, when supplied with clean, dry air, will run indefinitely…no special attention required. I wish I could say the same for my nine-year old…
*Lower noise levels, well below OSHA requirements: There’s no way around it: blowers make noise. Our products are specifically engineered to operate below OSHA thresholds for occupational sound level exposure. I’m actually going to take the high road here and not comment on the noise level associated with taking the boys camping. Never was a fan of shooting fish in a barrel.
*Infinitely variable force and flow rates: With a blower, you’re locked in to operation at/near it’s output capacity. Sure, you can throttle it down, but it still consumes same amount of energy, and let’s not forget about those bearing replacements (constant throttling puts this in the “sooner” rather than the “later” column). Conversely, when you regulate the air pressure supplied to an EXAIR product, you actually ARE consuming less energy, in the form of less compressed air produced by your compressor. By not locking ourselves into any specific plans this weekend, we’re, in essence, planning for the “infinitely variable” to happen. And I can’t wait to see what that is.
*Simple, compact installation: EXAIR products, unlike blower-fed units, don’t require cumbersome ductwork or noise containment cabinets. “Just camping” requires a tent, a sleeping bag, and a cooler for our food. The most elaborate that we get is the use of bite-size peanut butter cups for our S’mores. And yes, they’re spectacular.

Even if we just use plain old chocolate bars – and we may – I’ll be sharpened, come Monday. Count on that. I am.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: http://www.exair.com
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The Science of S’mores

Ah, Memorial Day weekend. If you have a pool, it’s now open, and the chemical equilibrium dance begins. If you’re fashion-conscious, white pants are now in season…until Labor Day, anyway, which is the same weekend that most pool owners get their chlorine balance just right.  What I’m getting at is, if there are four seasons where you live, this past weekend was the Official Start Of Summer™. Which makes it a great time for picnics, nature hikes, landscaping projects, and parades.

Yes; parades. Lest we forget (and, looking at all the flags and yellow ribbons around my neighborhood, few if any do), Memorial Day is a time for solemn remembrance of true patriots who gave it all, so we could have it all. And remember we did: Friday, our local elementary school had their annual Memorial Day Parade, and my Cub Scout Den had the privilege of helping introduce all the veterans in attendance. They worked in pairs: one Scout passed the microphone; the other shook the veterans’ hands and thanked them for their service. On Monday, we participated in the Vietnam Veterans of America Post 649’s Memorial Day Vigil, commemorating our area’s fallen heroes. As their names were read, we placed flags on white wooden crosses that, coincidentally, my oldest son’s Boy Scout Troop helped place in the field on Saturday morning.

At my home, we wrapped up the nice, long weekend with a grill-out and a fire. As fate (inasmuch as fate put them on the shopping list) would have it, we had a bag of marshmallows, some Hershey bars, and a box of graham crackers. You might know that these are the basic ingredients for that paramount outdoor treat known as a S’more. If not, here’s an instructional video:

Now, I’m a perfectionist when it comes to the “roasting of the mallow” – when it’s golden brown, and starts to sag on the stick, it’s done. If it catches fire, that’s a failure to launch, and we’re back to step one.

In my midst of my quest for the perfect roasted marshmallow last night, I started to think about the physics of heat transfer, and how I might be able to quantify a method that would produce consistent and superior results. I know; “YOU’RE KILLING ME, BOWMAN!”  I hate to admit that some things are just more art than science; more finesse than formula; more madness than method…but here we are.

It can be the same with compressed air applications sometimes. I’m not talking about the quantifiable ones, like specifying a Cabinet Cooler System, or replacing open-pipe blow-offs with engineered products. I’m talking about how many Super Air Knives and/or Nozzles and/or Air Amplifiers it takes to blow the water off parts of a dozen different shapes, exiting a degreasing spray booth. Or how long will it take a Vortex Tube to cool machine welded parts, passing on a conveyor? And what size/how many Vortex Tubes will it take to do it in half the time?

If you have questions like these about your use of compressed air, we want to help find the answers. Our 30-Day Unconditional Guarantee is the safety net if our initial offering doesn’t perform as you expected. When it works as good as it looked on paper, we’re always keenly interested in Case Studies. And if you help us out with some data, we’ll share bragging rights, and, maybe just maybe, something from the co-op’s desk. No promises, but I’ll try my level best.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: www.exair.com
Blog: https://blog.exair.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair