“The Thrill of Victory. And the…”

Agony of 768 blog

Top four rows: Stills from the most famous epic fail ever.
Bottom row: Vinko Bogota (the agony of defeat guy) received a standing ovation at the ABC Wide World of Sports 20th Anniversary event April 21, 1981. Little known fact: Mohamed Ali was the first (among an army of other famous athletes) to get his autograph. Catch this cool video tribute HERE


Do you know the rest? Etched in most of our minds is the classic theme song, stunning ski jumper crash visuals and announcer’s voice of the Wide World of Sports, which debuted on this day in 1961. What began as a simple idea – television coverage blended with human interest stories, all wrapped around small sporting events, has grown into a trillion-dollar world wide industry. Sports coverage and sports celebrities today saturate television, the web, radio, newspapers, magazines and more, popularized over 50 years ago when a small group of reporters at ABC contracted to cover little-known AAU college track meets.

The Wide World of Sports was the brainchild of Edger Scherick, who hired a young Roone Arledge to produce the show (Roone, went on to a fantastic career at ABC producing the breakthrough shows WWoS, Monday Night Football, ABC News Tonight, Primetime, Nightline and 20/20). The debut telecast featured both the Penn and Drake Track Relays, broadcast from Drake Stadium. Hosting the show was Jim McKay with field reporting from Jesse Abramson, Bob Richards, Jim Simpson and Bill Flemming, all who went on to great broadcast careers.

Using videotape to capture each event, along with personal interviews with the coaches and athletes, the group would “jet” back to NY, assemble and edit the shows and then air them on Saturday afternoons. The segment ran in the spring and summer, filling a low ratings slot on Saturday afternoons. Due to slower reporting back then (no internet of course), they were able to present the show in a “near live” framework, injecting athlete stories and real emotions (to also attract more women viewers), something never before done on television.

As a kid, I loved tuning into the WWoS, and watching the events. Didn’t matter what it was – bowling, racing, skiing, climbing – I was intrigued by the grit and determination of the athletes. Looking back, it probably taught me the importance of hard work and determination, the thrill of winning and the reality of defeat. It also reminds me what a pioneer my Dad was, walking away from a good job, to start his own business, focused on engaging and delighting his audience. In his own way, he set out with a simple idea, and with the help of his family and team, guided KHT forward – kind of our “Roone”.

So next time you have the remote in your hand and you are searching for Derbyshire World Toe Wrestling, European Military Bed Racing, Wife Carrying in Finland, Bossaball in Spain, or Naked Bike Racing in the Alps (painful!), remember the early days of sports coverage and the “agony of defeat.” We are all better as a result!



Happy Earth Day

Senior man and baby holding the Earth in hands against a rainbow in spring. Ecology concepttulips 768 blog

We have hundreds of red tulips coming up around the buildings!


Today marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement known as Earth Day. At KHT, we’re proud of our environmental record and actions we take every day to respect and protect our environment. Like most, we are constantly learning, not only what we can do as a company, but every day as individuals. Here’s some history on this incredible movement, started by an individual with a concern. It’s a bit long for my post, but a great read. Enjoy, and be sure to stop by the plant to see our early spring plantings and winter clean up.

Setting the Stage
The height of counterculture in the United States, 1970 brought the death of Jimi Hendrix, the last Beatles album, and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” War raged in Vietnam and students nationwide overwhelmingly opposed it. At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. “Environment” was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news. Although mainstream America largely remained oblivious to environmental concerns, a watershed moment emerged with the heightened awareness of the 1962 book Silent Spring, raising public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and links between pollution and public health.

The Idea
The idea for a national day to focus on the environment came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes from Harvard as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land. April 22, falling between Spring Break and Final Exams, was selected as the date.

When it all Began
On April 22,1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values. Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. By the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. “It was a gamble,” Gaylord recalled, “but it worked.”

Going Global
By 1990, the Earth Day celebration had gone global, mobilizing over 200 million people in nearly 150 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. It also prompted President Bill Clinton to award Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1995)—the highest honor given to civilians in the United States—for his role as Earth Day founder. By 2010, Earth Day 2010 came at a time of great challenge for the environmental community. Climate change deniers, well-funded oil lobbyists, reticent politicians, a disinterested public, and a divided environmental community all contributed to the narrative—cynicism versus activism. Despite these challenges, Earth Day prevailed and grew to include a 250,000-person National Mall rally and the “Billion Acres of Green” global tree planting initiative (now called the Canopy Project), connecting 22,000 partner organizations in 192 countries.

Earth Day Today
Earth Day has reached its current status as the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year, and a day of action that changes human behavior and provokes policy changes. Much like the early days, the fight for a clean environment continues with increasing urgency, as the ravages of climate change become more manifest every day. Strong voices shout on both sides as to what we should, or should not do next. It’s up to each of us to decide what’s right and act.

Special thanks to earthday.org for much of this content. To learn more, visit http://www.earthday.org/about/the-history-of-earth-day/#sthash.K2XJxoG3.dpuf




Happy 564th Birthday Leonardo

davinci 768 blog r2

Here’s to a life well lived.


Long before he became famous, before he painted the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper, invented the helicopter, and before he drew the most famous image of man, Leonardo da Vinci was an armorer and a maker of things – and most likely the world’s foremost genius heat treater. In 1482, at the age of 30, he wrote a letter to the Duke of Milan, describing his capabilities and vision to solve what we would refer to as “Ludovico il Moro’s PIA (pain in the @#$) Jobs!” The translation of his letter is quite remarkable.

“Most Illustrious Lord, Having now sufficiently considered the specimens of all those who proclaim themselves skilled contrivers of instruments of war, and that the invention and operation of the said instruments are nothing different from those in common use: I shall endeavor, without prejudice to any one else, to explain myself to your Excellency, showing your Lordship my secret, and then offering them to your best pleasure and approbation to work with effect at opportune moments on all those things which, in part, shall be briefly noted below.

1. I have a sort of extremely light and strong bridges, adapted to be most easily carried, and with them you may pursue, and at any time flee from the enemy; and others, secure and indestructible by fire and battle, easy and convenient to lift and place. Also methods of burning and destroying those of the enemy.

2. I know how, when a place is besieged, to take the water out of the trenches, and make endless variety of bridges, and covered ways and ladders, and other machines pertaining to such expeditions.

3. If, by reason of the height of the banks, or the strength of the place and its position, it is impossible, when besieging a place, to avail oneself of the plan of bombardment, I have methods for destroying every rock or other fortress, even if it were founded on a rock, etc.

4. Again, I have kinds of mortars; most convenient and easy to carry; and with these I can fling small stones almost resembling a storm; and with the smoke of these cause great terror to the enemy, to his great detriment and confusion.

5. And if the fight should be at sea I have kinds of many machines most efficient for offense and defense; and vessels which will resist the attack of the largest guns and powder and fumes.

6. I have means by secret and tortuous mines and ways, made without noise, to reach a designated spot, even if it were needed to pass under a trench or a river.

7. I will make covered chariots, safe and unattackable, which, entering among the enemy with their artillery, there is no body of men so great but they would break them. And behind these, infantry could follow quite unhurt and without any hindrance.

8. In case of need I will make big guns, mortars, and light ordnance of fine and useful forms, out of the common type.

9. Where the operation of bombardment might fail, I would contrive catapults, mangonels, trabocchi, and other machines of marvellous efficacy and not in common use. And in short, according to the variety of cases, I can contrive various and endless means of offense and defense.

10. In times of peace I believe I can give perfect satisfaction and to the equal of any other in architecture and the composition of buildings public and private; and in guiding water from one place to another.

11. I can carry out sculpture in marble, bronze, or clay, and also I can do in painting whatever may be done, as well as any other, be he who he may. Again, the bronze horse may be taken in hand, which is to be to the immortal glory and eternal honor of the prince your father of happy memory, and of the illustrious house of Sforza.

And if any of the above-named things seem to anyone to be impossible or not feasible, I am most ready to make the experiment in your park, or in whatever place may please your Excellency — to whom I comment myself with the utmost humility, etc.”

Let me see – strong, light bridges, trench pumps, mortar casings, strong vessels, safe chariots, light ordnance, catapults & mangonels, AND a pretty talented painter/artist – sounds like a guy who’d fit right in here at KHT solving problems and delivering great solutions to all our clients. So whether you are bogged down on the production line, stuck on parts that aren’t performing, or just needs some “great artistic and scientific minds” to solve your PIA Jobs, give us a call. I’ll get my “Leonardo’s” right on it.



Before the Shot, there was The Pass


Kris Jenkins sinks a game-winning three-point buzzer beater to lead Villanova over North Carolina in the 2016 National Championship game and give the Wildcats their second national title.


What a beautiful thing to watch. Like most fans, I really enjoyed NC’s comeback last Monday night highlighted by North Carolina’s Marcus Paige double-clutch, off-balance three-pointer tying the game with 4.7 seconds left. It was miraculously followed by Ryan “Arch” Arcidiacono’s unselfish set up pass to Kris Jenkins on his winning NCAA Championship three pointer. Instant classic. (even his Mom said it was gonna go in when she saw his release).

As kids, we used to play this same thing over and over in the backyard (let me know if you did too).  We had a big court that would then change into a hockey rink in the winter – “three seconds on the clock, bounce pass to Kowalski in the corner… he dribbles, shoots at the buzzer “aaaaahhhhhh” – it’s good! We had so many versions – “falling out of bounds, he shoots one handed, off the backboard – good!” And my favorite – “hand in his face, eyes closed, left handed hook shot from the trees over the backboard – with the clock ticking down – swish!”

Boy I miss those days just playing outside with my brothers and sisters.

Having fun like that makes me think of our awesome gang here at KHT. Like so many well-oiled teams, we work together everyday drawing up plans, calling plays and setting picks for one another, just having a blast working on your PIA (Pain in the @#$) Jobs. We are putting up our own hoop out back too, and with the weather changing, it’s just natural that we’ll be out there on sunny days during lunch pumping jumpers and acting like Jenkins.

So next time you’re in a fix or need some last minute miracles, (or just feel like playing PIG), call us in “when the games on the line” and let us work our magic.





For me, this time of year is “for the birds”

Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) perched on a camera

Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) looking for birds. — photo by Steve Byland


For those of you that know me, you understand what a bird watching nut I am. I set my alarm extra “extra” early, whip down to the office to check on your PIA (pain in the @#$) Jobs and then head out to enjoy the fresh waterfront air and the return of millions of migrating birds to our north coast area. So far I’ve witnessed dozens and dozens of species return to nest, feed and rest up, before making their flight north to Canada. Without a doubt, my favorites still are the yellow tipped bent beak Yappaloo and the Canadian Green Breasted Canvas Back Longneck Moorehead Loon. So take my advice, before you break out the fertilizer or dig into the gardens, take a day or two with friends and family and enjoy the sights and sounds of hundreds of “one of a kind” species of birds and water fowl. Hope to see you lakeside (if you can find me in my KHT cammo gear).

Where To Go: Thanks to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, recommended birdwatching is divided into seven specific “loops” stretching from Ashtabula to Toledo. Here are just five of our favorites. (special thanks to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website for this info – lakeeriebirding.ohiodnr.gov.

Ashtabula Loop: Tucked in the extreme northeastern corner of Ohio, this section of the Lake Erie Birding Trail features the least developed shoreline on the trail. Five sites are featured on this loop, and one of them, Conneaut Harbor, has produced in an inordinate number of very rare birds. The total species list for this loop is 313, and two of those – Red-necked Stint and Black-throated Sparrow – have only been found in this region.

Cleveland Loop: This loop is the most populous region on the trail, (28 sites) as the city of Cleveland and neighboring areas are the most developed locales on Ohio’s Lake Erie shoreline. Every type of habitat found along the lake occurs on this loop, and some of the sites are among the most famous birding hotspots in the Midwest. The total species list for this loop is 356, and a remarkable 12 of those have only been recorded in this region. Be sure to visit Whiskey Island and the Edgewater Cleveland Metroparks area (go to clevelandmetroparks.com for events and guided tours.)

Huron and Lorain Loop: The section of Lake Erie between the Huron and Lorain encompasses the “bottom of the bowl;” the southernmost curve of the lake. The fourteen sites in this region offer some of the finest birding in Ohio. The varied habitats include a power plant’s warm water outlet, sandy beaches, expansive woodlands, marshes, and reservoirs. The total species list for this loop is 325. Slightly inland are Oberlin and Wellington reservoirs; magnets for ducks, plus scoters and long-tailed duck are regularly found. Findley State Park and Vermilion River Reservation are two sites that offer excellent woodland birding, and massive restored wetlands at Sandy Ridge Reservation have become famous for wetlands species such as bitterns, rails, and Sandhill Crane.

Sandusky Bay Loop: The most prominent bridge along Ohio’s Lake Erie shoreline is the State Route 2 span over massive Sandusky Bay. Historically, the bay was ringed with mixed-emergent marshes and prairie wetlands, most of which have been destroyed. However, large marshlands are still protected and provide some of the most important bird habitat along Lake Erie. Sandusky Bay and vicinity is a very important stopover area for migratory waterfowl. The total species list for this loop is 313, and three of them – Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Magnificent Frigatebird, and Ancient Murrelet – have only been found in this region.

Lake Erie Islands Loop: The East Sandusky Bay Metropark is an assemblage of four contiguous but separately named parks that total about 1,200 acres. Huge numbers of waterfowl use the area in migration, including counts of Tundra Swans that can number into the thousands. Ohio’s Lake Erie islands are part of a limestone archipelago and feature seventeen islands, not all of which are accessible. Three of the readily accessible islands are featured in this loop (Kelly’s Middle Bass and South Bass) offer a very different type of adventure than birding the other loops on this trail and one should set aside at least a full day to explore them. The total species list for this loop is 294, and two of them – Great Gray Owl and Baird’s Sparrow – have only been found in this region.

What To Look For: chickadees, tufted titmouse and cardinals, great horned owls herons, hawks and crows, male red-winged blackbirds, hardy eastern phoebes, fox sparrows, bald eagles, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, red-shouldered, cooper’s and red-tailed hawks rearing their young, great horned and barred owl owlets. From the high bluffs of Huntington Reservation, one can witness fantastic numbers and diversity of diving ducks, grebes and loons as they prepare to push north towards nesting grounds. Riding nighttime southerly winds, the first waves of warblers, sparrows and thrushes arrive on the north coast stopping in Ohio only to refuel before continuing their journey north. Others like orioles, grosbeaks and tanagers return to begin their nesting cycle while common grackles, mourning doves and American woodcocks.

For more information, visit: ohiobirds.org, mageemarsh.org, Cleveland.com/neobirding.

Be sure to give me a call and let me know how your trip went.

Oh, and if you’re reading this on April 1, 2016, April Fool!!