A Grand Birthday

(left col) Pictures cannot do this majestic scenery justice. Ever. See that picture jest below middle? Those are people on a glass bottom skywalk, a must do. Book it HERE. (right col) Things to do at the Grand Canyon: 1) Propose to your girlfriend. 2) Take some great pictures. 3) See some amazing caves. 4) Watch a fabulous sunset. 5) Take plenty of selfies (just don’t lean back too far). 6) Stay well hydrated in the dry air. 7) See eagles soar below you. 8) What-the-heck, BE an eagle and book a helicopter tour. 9) Shown your pride. What a wonderful country this is!

I love history. And our country. And birthdays. (ok, mostly the cake and the frosting and ice cream and the candles and the party and all the presents, and family and friends…).  This week marks a big milestone in our nation’s birthday history – the 100-year anniversary of the establishment of the Grand Canyon National Park.  Now, I’m not sure about you, but whenever I see images of the Park, I’m just amazed at its grandeur, scope and influence on the west.  I also love the details about how the temperatures change from the basin to the ridge (yea, I’m a temperature heat/cooling geek), and marvel at the way it changes throughout the day and night based on sunlight and moonlight.  I went out west a few years ago with Jackie and the girls,  we were blessed to be able to experience the immensity up close!  Absolutely AMAZING! We also realized that getting to close to the edge could ruin your whole day! While visiting, the National Park Ranger regaled us with stories of the Canyon, also explaining to the younger park visitors the theory of Darwin as it relates to going too close to the edge of the Canyon! The stories we heard of folks taking their “last” selfies were shocking. I dug into the archives and found some interesting history on the canyon, and some fun facts too.  It’s a bit long below, but hard to leave stuff out – enjoy, and thanks Wikipedia and Smithsonian for the info.

  • The known human history of the Grand Canyon area stretches back over 10,000 years, when the first evidence of human presence in the area is found. Native Americans have inhabited the Grand Canyon and the area now covered by Grand Canyon National Park for at least the last 4,000 of those years.
  • Ancestral Pueblo peoples, first as the Basketmaker culture and later as the more familiar Pueblo people, developed from the Desert Culture as they became less nomadic and more dependent on agriculture. They started to use stone in addition to mud and poles to erect above-ground houses sometime around 800 AD, initiating the Pueblo period of Ancestral Pueblo culture. In summer, the Puebloans migrated from the hot inner canyon to the cooler high plateaus and reversed the journey for winter.  Large numbers of sites indicate that the Ancestral Pueblo and the Cohonina flourished until about 1200 AD, when something happened to the climate a hundred years later that forced both of these cultures to move away. (See how I am keeping controversy out of my posts!)
  • In September 1540, under direction by conquistador Francisco Vásquez de Coronado to find the fabled Seven Cities of Gold, Captain García López de Cárdenas led a party of Spanish soldiers with Hopi guides to the Grand Canyon.  It was a group of about 13 Spanish soldiers on a quest to find the fabulous Seven Cities of Gold. According to Castañeda, he and his company came to a point “from whose brink it looked as if the opposite side must be more than three or four leagues by air line.”
  • Being in dire need of water, and wanting to cross the giant obstacle, the soldiers started searching for a way down to the canyon floor that would be passable for them along with their horses. After three full days, Cárdenas finally commanded the three lightest and most agile men of his group to climb down by themselves. After several hours, the men returned, reporting that they had only made one third of the distance down to the river, and that “what seemed easy from above was not so.”
  • The signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 ceded the Grand Canyon region to the United States. Jules Marcou of the Pacific Railroad Survey made the first geologic observations of the canyon and surrounding area in 1856.
  • Jacob Hamblin (a Mormon missionary) was sent by Brigham Young in the 1850s to locate easy river crossing sites in the canyon.  Building good relations with local Native Americans and white settlers, he discovered Lee’s Ferry in 1858 and Pierce Ferry (later operated by, and named for, Harrison Pierce)—the only two sites suitable for ferry operation.
  • A U.S. War Department expedition led by Lt. Joseph Ives was launched in 1857 to investigate the area’s potential for natural resources, to find railroad routes to the west coast, and assess the feasibility of an up-river navigation route from the Gulf of California.  The group traveled in a stern wheeler steamboat named Explorer.
  • Ives discounted his own impressions on the beauty of the canyon and declared it and the surrounding area as “altogether valueless”, remarking that his expedition would be “the last party of whites to visit this profitless locality”.  Attached to Ives’ expedition was geologist John Strong Newberry who had a very different impression of the canyon.  After returning, Newberry convinced fellow geologist John Wesley Powell that a boat run through the Grand Canyon to complete the survey would be worth the risk.
  • Years later The Powell Expeditions systematically cataloged rock formations, plants, animals, and archaeological sites. Photographs and illustrations greatly popularized the canyonland region of the southwest United States, especially the Grand Canyon, using these photographs and illustrations in his lecture tours made him a national figure.
  • Geologist Clarence Dutton followed up on Powell’s work in 1880–1881 with the first in-depth geological survey of the newly formed U.S. Geological Survey.  Painters Thomas Moran and William Henry Holmes accompanied Dutton, who was busy drafting detailed descriptions of the area’s geology. The report that resulted from the team’s effort was titled A Tertiary History of The Grand Canyon District, with Atlas and was published in 1882.
  • A rail line to the largest city in the area, Flagstaff, was completed in 1882 by the Santa Fe Railroad.  Stage coaches started to bring tourists from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon.  The first scheduled train with paying passengers of the Grand Canyon Railway arrived from Williams, Arizona, on September 17 that year, the 64-mile (103 km) long trip cost $3.95 ($102.55 as of 2019), and naturalist John Muir later commended the railroad for its limited environmental impact.
  • The first automobile was driven to the Grand Canyon in 1902. Oliver Lippincott from Los Angeles, drove his Toledo Automobile Company-built car to the South Rim from Flagstaff. Lippincott, a guide and two writers set out on the afternoon of January 4, anticipating a seven-hour journey. Two days later, the hungry and dehydrated party arrived at their destination; the countryside was just too rough for the ten-horsepower (7 kW) auto.
  • John D. Lee was the first person who catered to travelers to the canyon. In 1872 he established a ferry service at the confluence of the Colorado and Paria rivers. Lee was in hiding, having been accused of leading the Mountain Meadows massacre in 1857. He was tried and executed for this crime in 1877. During his trial he played host to members of the Powell Expedition who were waiting for their photographer, Major James Fennemore, to arrive (Fennemore took the last photo of Lee sitting on his own coffin). Emma, one of Lee’s nineteen wives, continued the ferry business after her husband’s death. In 1876 a man named Harrison Pierce established another ferry service at the western end of the canyon.
  • William Wallace Bass opened a tent house campground in 1890. Bass Camp had a small central building with common facilities such as a kitchen, dining room, and sitting room inside. Rates were $2.50 a day ($69.71 as of 2019), and the complex was 20 miles west of the Grand Canyon Railway’s Bass Station (Ash Fort). Bass also built the stage coach road that he used to carry his patrons from the train station to his hotel.
  • Things changed in 1905 when the luxury El Tovar Hotel opened within steps of the Grand Canyon Railway’s terminus.  El Tovar was named for Don Pedro de Tovar who tradition says is the Spaniard who learned about the canyon from Hopis and told Coronado. Charles Whittlesey designed the arts and crafts-styled rustic hotel complex, which was built with logs from Oregon and local stone at a cost of $250,000 for the hotel ($6,970,000 as of 2019) and another $50,000 for the stables ($1,390,000 as of 2019).[27] El Tovar was owned by Santa Fe Railroad and operated by its chief concessionaire, the Fred Harvey Company.
  • President Theodore Roosevelt visited the Grand Canyon in 1903.  An avid outdoorsman and staunch conservationist, he established the Grand Canyon Game Preserve on November 28, 1906.  Livestock grazing was reduced, but predators such as mountain lions, eagles, and wolves were eradicated. Roosevelt added adjacent national forest lands and re-designated the preserve a U.S. National Monument on January 11, 1908. Opponents, such as holders of land and mining claims, blocked efforts to reclassify the monument as a National Park for 11 years. Grand Canyon National Park was finally established as the 17th U.S. National Park by an Act of Congress signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson on February 26, 1919.
  • More history and videos HERE.

Today, Grand Canyon National Park receives about five million visitors each year, a far cry from the annual visitation of 44,173 in 1919.

Want to Go?

Need a place to stay at the Grand Canyon? Start HERE.

Thinking of hiking the Grand Canyon? Start HERE.

And HERE’S a great video hike from Vlogger Stuart Brazell. She’s helping to tick-off one of her mom’s bucket list items.




Music to My Ears

Top row l to r: Portrait of the child Mozart, possibly by Pietro Antonio Lorenzoni, painted in 1763 on commission from Leopold Mozart. Portrait owned by the Mozarteum, Salzburg; The family that plays together… The Mozart family on tour. Leopold, Wolfgang, and Nannerl. Watercolor by Carmontelle, ca. 1763. The portrait on the wall is of Mozart’s mother. 

Middle row l to r: Mozart early teens; A great cake to honor Mozart’s birthday. Recipe HERE; A 1782 portrait of Wolfie’s wife, Constanze Mozart by her brother-in-law Joseph Lange.
Bottom row l to r: Mozart in his early 20’s; Photoshoped Mozarts: Cool Mozart, Rad Mozart and Modern Art Mozart; Mozart Plushy that plays music. Get yours HERE.


It’s so fun for me to walk around the operation plants and see everything in motion. My teams are amazing, moving materials, prepping loads, testing, measuring, packing, shipping. Everyone is tuned in and focused in their area of expertise, with a shared goal of completing and delivering your PIA (@#$) Jobs!™ A friend of mine asked me last week if I had a “favorite” heat treating process (I of course had to correct him explaining that it’s not just heat treating , it’s called “distortion sensitive thermal processing!”). We had a bit of a laugh, but it got me to reflect on just how vast our services have become – from our 10 bar K-Vac bar furnaces, to K-Salt, the largest rack salt to salt facility in the Midwest, to our close tolerance specialty K-Flat team, to the deep cryogenic increased wear resistance K-Life team, to the ion-nitriding K-Glow team. All “in motion”, working together like a big orchestra, making beautiful music. Guess who is blessed to be the conductor!

Here in Northeast Ohio, we’re lucky to be home to one of the greatest orchestras in the world, the Cleveland Orchestra. Occasionally Jackie and I will venture over and see a performance, and every time, we are astonished just how incredible they are. I know that Jackie and my daughters are eternally grateful since I have VERY LIMITED musical talents! Today is in fact Mozart’s birthday, born over 260 years ago, in Salzburg, Austria. For my trivia buffs, here is a little bit on this amazing writer, composer and musician. Also included are some links you can listen to of just some of his awesome compositions. Below tells the early days of Wolfgang’s career (special thanks to bio.com) For the complete bio, CLICK HERE. Now sing out loud – “da Da Da dum”.  Enjoy.

  • Born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a musician capable of playing multiple instruments who started playing in public at the age of 6. Over the years, Mozart aligned himself with a variety of European venues and patrons, composing hundreds of works that included sonatas, symphonies, masses, chamber music, concertos and operas, marked by vivid emotion and sophisticated textures.
  • Central Europe in the mid-18th century was going through a period of transition. The remnants of the Holy Roman Empire had divided into small semi-self-governing principalities. The result was competing rivalries between these municipalities for identity and recognition. Political leadership of small city-states like Salzburg, Vienna, and Prague was in the hands of the aristocracy and their wealth would commission artists and musicians to amuse, inspire, and entertain.
  • The music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods was transitioning toward more full-bodied compositions with complex instrumentation. The small city-state of Salzburg would be the birthplace of one of the most talented and prodigious musical composers of all time.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s was the sole-surviving son of Leopold and Maria Pertl Mozart. Leopold was a successful composer, violinist, and assistant concert master at the Salzburg court. Wolfgang’s mother, Anna Maria Pertl, was born to a middle-class family of local community leaders. His only sister was Maria Anna (nicknamed “Nannerl”). With their father’s encouragement and guidance, they both were introduced to music at an early age. Leopold started Nannerl on keyboard when she was seven, as three-year old Wolfgang looked on. Mimicking her playing, Wolfgang quickly began to show a strong understanding of chords, tonality, and tempo. Soon, he too was being tutored by his father.
  • Leopold was a devoted and task-oriented teacher to both his children. He made the lessons fun, but also insisted on a strong work ethic and perfection. Fortunately, both children excelled well in these areas. Recognizing their special talents, Leopold devoted much of his time to their education in music as well as other subjects. Wolfgang soon showed signs of excelling beyond his father’s teachings with an early composition at age five and demonstrating outstanding ability on harpsichord and the violin. He would soon go on to play the piano, organ and viola.
  • In 1762, Wolfgang’s father took Nannerl, now age eleven, and Wolfgang, age six to the court of Bavaria in Munich in what was to become the first of several European “tours.” The siblings traveled to the courts of Paris, London, The Hague, and Zurich performing as child prodigies. Wolfgang met several accomplished musicians and became familiar with their works. Particularity important was his meeting with Johann Christian Bach (Johann Sebastian Bach’s youngest son) in London who had a strong influence on Wolfgang. The trips were long and often arduous, traveling in primitive conditions and waiting for invitations and reimbursements from the nobility. Frequently, Wolfgang and other members of his family fell seriously ill and had to limit their performance schedule.
  • In December, 1769, Wolfgang, then age 13, and his father departed from Salzburg for Italy, leaving his mother and sister at home. It seems that by this time Nannerl’s professional music career was over. She was nearing marriageable age and according to the custom of the time, she was no longer permitted to show her artistic talent in public. The Italian outing was longer than the others (1769-1771) as Leopold wanted to display his son’s abilities as a performer and composer to as many new audiences as possible. While in Rome, Wolfgang heard Gregorio Allegri’s Miserereperformed once in the Sistine Chapel. He wrote out the entire score from memory, returning only to correct a few minor errors. During this time Wolfgang also wrote a new opera, Mitridate, re di Ponto for the court of Milan. Other commissions followed and in subsequent trips to Italy, Wolfgang wrote two other operas, Ascanio in Alba (1771) and Lucio Silla (1772).
  • In 1776, he turned his efforts toward piano concertos, culminating in the Piano Concerto Number 9 in E flat major in early 1777. Wolfgang had just turned 21.
  • As 1782 turned to 1783, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart became enthralled with the work of Johannes Sebastian Bach and George Frederic Handel and this, in turn, resulted in several compositions in the Baroque style and influenced much of his later compositions, such as passages in Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) and the finale of Symphony Number 41.
  • During this time, Mozart met Joseph Haydn and the two composers became admiring friends. When Haydn visited Vienna, they sometimes performed impromptu concerts with string quartets. Between 1782 and 1785 Mozart wrote six quartets dedicated to Haydn.

You can find a lot of Mozart on You Tube but you have to check this ONE out.  Plug in your very best speakers and listen as well as watch South Korean Yeol Eum Son do something on the piano that would make Wolfie Amadeus very proud indeed. (And if anyone can tell me why the conductor is using a pencil to conduct, please let me know.)




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.