July 30, 2020…Lift-off for Mars!!!  Touchdown on Mars February 18, 2021!!!!  People were watching from homes, offices and coffee shops across the country and around the world. The discoveries yet to be found will be used as a springboard by the next generation of space travelers. I do wonder what that next generation will be doing on Mars. Exciting stuff, my friends!

What a cool word.  We hear it often from those who just never give up.  Relentless drive. Digging for answers.  Training to become better, then the best.  It’s a word for those who seek to achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.  Been there, Done that you say? Awesome. What’s great for me here at KHT is that it’s embedded in our walls, our culture, our past and our people.  Solving your PIA (@%$) Jobs! is never easy.  We test, retest, and retest the retest.  And tweak and tinker, figure and fuss, until we get it right.  And then proudly share it with you, hoping you’ll honor us with the opportunity to do your work.  For the hundreds of people who were a part of the successful Mars Rover Landing last week, we salute you.  And then can just say, ”WOW”!  True Perseverance. Overcoming obstacles, painstaking planning, simple solutions (off the shelf cameras) and crazy solutions (electricity from decaying plutonium (what?)) It all came together in a breathtaking way.  Enjoy the trivia and videos below from the mission – they are truly amazing. Thanks to and YouTube/Elton for the music track.

Great Soundtrack while you read  
Backstory Video 
Amazing Landing Video
Full Video Library Access

Mission Name: Mars 2020
Rover Name: Perseverance
Main Job: The Perseverance rover will seek signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for possible return to Earth.
Launch: July 30, 2020, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
Landed: Feb. 18, 2021
Landing Site: Jezero Crater, Mars
Mission Duration: At least one Mars year (about 687 Earth days)
Tech Demo: The Mars Helicopter is a technology demonstration, hitching a ride on the Perseverance rover.

Over the past two decades, missions flown by NASA’s Mars Exploration Program have shown us that Mars was once very different from the cold, dry planet it is today. Evidence discovered by landed and orbital missions point to wet conditions billions of years ago. These environments lasted long enough to potentially support the development of microbial life.

The Mars 2020/Perseverance rover is designed to better understand the geology of Mars and seek signs of ancient life. The mission will collect and store a set of rock and soil samples that could be returned to Earth in the future. It will also test new technology to benefit future robotic and human exploration of Mars.

Key objectives include: Explore a geologically diverse landing site, Assess ancient habitability,
seek signs of ancient life, particularly in special rocks known to preserve signs of life over time, gather rock and soil samples that could be returned to Earth by a future NASA mission, demonstrate technology for future robotic and human exploration.

Perseverance carried seven instruments to conduct unprecedented science and test new technology on the Red Planet. They are:
Mastcam-Z, an advanced camera system with panoramic and stereoscopic imaging capability with the ability to zoom. The instrument also will determine mineralogy of the Martian surface and assist with rover operations. The principal investigator is James Bell, Arizona State University in Tempe. Check out the first view

  • SuperCam, an instrument that can provide imaging, chemical composition analysis, and mineralogy at a distance. The principal investigator is Roger Wiens, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico. This instrument also has a significant contribution from the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (CNES/IRAP), France.
  • Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry (PIXL), an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer and high-resolution imager to map the fine-scale elemental composition of Martian surface materials. PIXL will provide capabilities that permit more detailed detection and analysis of chemical elements than ever before. The principal investigator is Abigail Allwood, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
  • Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals (SHERLOC), a spectrometer that will provide fine-scale imaging and uses an ultraviolet (UV) laser to map mineralogy and organic compounds. SHERLOC will be the first UV Raman spectrometer to fly to the surface of Mars and will provide complementary measurements with other instruments in the payload. SHERLOC includes a high-resolution color camera for microscopic imaging of Mars’ surface. The principal investigator is Luther Beegle, JPL.
  • The Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE), a technology demonstration that will produce oxygen from Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide. If successful, MOXIE’s technology could be used by future astronauts on Mars to burn rocket fuel for returning to Earth. The principal investigator is Michael Hecht, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA), a set of sensors that will provide measurements of temperature, wind speed and direction, pressure, relative humidity, and dust size and shape. The principal investigator is Jose Rodriguez-Manfredi, Centro de Astrobiología, Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aeroespacial, Spain.
  • The Radar Imager for Mars’ Subsurface Experiment (RIMFAX), a ground-penetrating radar that will provide centimeter-scale resolution of the geologic structure of
    the subsurface. The principal investigator is Svein-Erik Hamran, the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, Norway.

Size and Dimensions – The car-sized Perseverance rover is about 10 feet long (not including the arm), 9 feet wide, and 7 feet tall, weighing in at 2,260 pounds.
Technology – Perseverance will also test new technology for future robotic and human missions to the Red Planet. That includes an autopilot for avoiding hazards called Terrain Relative Navigation and a set of sensors for gathering data during the landing (Mars Entry, Descent and Landing Instrumentation 2, or MEDLI2). A new autonomous navigation system will allow the rover to drive faster in challenging terrain.
Power System – is a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) provided by the U.S. Department of Energy. It uses the heat from the natural decay of plutonium-238 to generate electricity.
Program Management – The Mars 2020 Project is managed for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C., by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California. At NASA Headquarters, George Tahu is the Mars 2020 program executive and Mitchell Schulte is program scientist. At JPL, John McNamee is the Mars 2020 project manager and Ken Farley of Caltech is project scientist.

The Mars Helicopter is a small, autonomous aircraft that was carried to the surface on the Red Planet attached to the belly of the Mars 2020 rover. Its mission is experimental in nature and completely independent of the Mars 2020 science mission. In the months after landing, the helicopter will be placed on the surface to test – for the first time ever – powered flight in the thin Martian air.

Its performance during these experimental test flights will help inform decisions relating to considering small helicopters for future Mars missions, where they could perform in a support role as robotic scouts, surveying terrain from above, or as full standalone science craft carrying instrument payloads. Taking to the air would give scientists a new perspective on a region’s geology and even allow them to peer into areas that are too steep or slippery to send a rover. In the distant future, they might even help astronauts explore Mars.

Key objectives include: Prove powered flight in the thin atmosphere of Mars. The Red Planet has lower gravity (about one- third that of Earth) but its atmosphere is just 1% as thick, making it much harder to generate lift, demonstrate miniaturized flying technology that requires shrinking down onboard computers, electronics and other parts so that the helicopter is light enough to take off, operate autonomously using solar power to charge its batteries and rely on internal heaters to maintain operational temperatures during the cold Martian nights.
Size and Dimensions: Weighs 4 pounds (1.8 kg), Solar-powered and recharges on its own, Wireless communication system, Two 4-foot-long (1.2- meter-long) rotor system that
spins up to 2,400 revolutions per minute, Equipped with inertial sensors, a laser altimeter and
two cameras (one color and one black-and-white)
Program Management – The Mars 2020 Project and Mars Helicopter Technology Demonstration are managed for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a division of Caltech in Southern California. At NASA Headquarters, David Lavery is the program executive for the Mars helicopter. At JPL, MiMi Aung is the Mars Helicopter project manager and J. (Bob) Balaram is chief engineer.

Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!



It’s A Comin’

Ever see a snowflake really close? My microscopes and macro lensed cameras can help. Beautiful, aren’t they. So, snowy days may bring some shoveling chores (I work it into my exercise routine) but everything else about a winter snowfalls are awesome!!! Enjoy it while it’s here!!!!!! :)))

Yep, it’s here again.  After two exciting days this week of snow fall, slow roads and frustrated drivers, we got hit with another load.  No just in NE Ohio, but all the way down to Texas.  As a kid, and still to this day, I “love” the snow.  Call me crazy, but I still enjoy going for walks and high-stepping in drifts.  As kids, we used to make these enormous “forts” and have wonderful games.  Then from time to time we would make the snowballs, go behind the house and see if we could throw them over the house and hit the street), and back when there were bumpers, we’d hitch a ride every now and then (don’t tell Mom!!). Once my own girls got big enough we would all go outside and make the Kowalski snowman, that would be the one that is 10’ tall! We actually needed a ladder to put the hat on top! (see picture above, lower right)Here’s some facts and trivia about snowflakes, drifts and records we’re glad do not happen here in Ohio.  I’ll take the sunny days, even when there’s white on the ground.  Enjoy!  And thanks to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,, and You Tube for this classic old song.

  • The snowflake might be the world’s favorite symbol of winter. These surprisingly complex and beautiful shapes are made of ice, nature’s simplest hydrogen bond crystal, and under the right conditions, can pile up to significant heights.
  • A snowflake begins to form when an extremely cold water droplet freezes onto a pollen or dust particle in the sky. This creates an ice crystal. As the ice crystal falls to the ground, water vapor freezes onto the primary crystal, building new crystals – the famous six arms of the snowflake.
  • The ice crystals that make up snowflakes are symmetrical (or patterned) because they reflect the internal order of the crystal’s water molecules as they arrange themselves in predetermined spaces (known as “crystallization”) to form the six-sided snowflake.
  • Ultimately, it is the temperature at which a crystal forms — and to a lesser extent the humidity of the air — that determines the basic shape of the ice crystal. Typically, long needle-like crystals form at 23 degrees F and very flat plate-like crystals form at 5 degrees F.
  • The intricate shape of a single arm of the snowflake is determined by the atmospheric conditions experienced by entire ice crystal as it falls. A crystal might begin to grow arms in one manner, and then minutes or even seconds later, slight changes in the surrounding temperature or humidity causes the crystal to grow in another way. Although the six-sided shape is always maintained, the ice crystal may branch off in new directions. Because each arm experiences the same atmospheric conditions, the arms look identical.
  • It’s said that no two snowflakes are exactly alike.  That’s because individual snowflakes all follow slightly different paths from the sky to the ground —and thus encounter slightly different atmospheric conditions along the way. Therefore, they all tend to look unique, resembling everything from prisms and needles to the familiar lacy pattern.
  • Blowing and drifting snow are similar, but not exactly the same.  Blowing and drifting snow are often misunderstood not only among the general public, but also meteorologists who use the terms in their forecasts. While they share many similarities, blowing and drifting snow can be very different.
  • Blowing snow is defined as snow lifted from the surface by the wind, at a height of 8 feet or more, that will reduce visibility.  While blowing snow is to be expected during a snowstorm with gusty winds, you may also see it in your local forecast after the snow has stopped falling, even if it’s a sunny day. If winds remain strong enough behind a snowstorm, that fresh powder can still be picked up by the wind, reducing visibility with each gust.
  • Drifting snow, like blowing snow, is defined as snow lifted from the surface by the wind. The key difference is that the lifted snow remains below 8 feet. Once it rises to 8 feet or higher, it becomes blowing snow.
  • Drifting snow generally doesn’t reduce visibility as much as blowing snow does, since it’s not lifted as high into the air.  The blowing and drifting snow has to end up somewhere, which is how snow drifts form. If the winds are blowing in the same direction for several hours, the snow is also going to blow in that direction, allowing snow drifts to continuously grow larger.
  • When snow drifts grow higher than the windows and doors in your house, you may not be able to exit during an emergency. As the snow continuously gets blown against your home, it can be nearly impossible to get any doors open.  Should this happen, just relax pull out a good book or turn on your favorite show and enjoy the peace and quiet!
  • Ever wonder why snow melts even when it’s below freezing?  If the sun is out, the energy of the sunlight can be sufficient to raise the temperature of the parcels of snow to above freezing, despite the ambient air temperature, especially if the snow is on other objects such as pavement or roofing which readily absorb solar energy. This effect typically doesn’t occur if it is colder than about 0 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • And, why does the snow pack down so much, especially at the apron of my driveway?  The snow itself undergoes a settling process after it is on the ground or another object like pavement. The air pockets that are originally caught between the flakes slowly escape and the snow “compresses”… typically as much as 3 inches per foot of snow in a days’ time. When the plow goes down the street, the snow compacts, and gets stronger and heavier.  This could cause it to appear to have melted, as there isn’t as much snow there today, for instance, as there was yesterday, but actually it’s just packing down.
  • And we complain?? … The most commonly accepted figure of the most snow that fell in 24 hours is the 75.8” of snow accumulation in Silver Lake, Colorado on April 14-15, 1921. State by State records
  • And about those drifts … Tamarack in California claims the record for the deepest snow ever recorded: 11.5 metres (>37 feet)on March 11, 1911. That was clearly some year in the Sierra Nevada, as Tamarack also recorded the largest snowfall in a single month in the US: almost 10 metres (~33 feet).
  • Austria is home to the world’s tallest snowman, after entering the Guinness World Records.  The snowman, nicknamed “Riesi,” which roughly translates as “giant” in English, measures a gigantic 38.04 meters (125 feet) smashing the previous record held by a snow-woman 37.21 meters tall, named “Olympia,” in the US state of Maine in 2008.
  • And yes, catching snowflakes on your tongue still rocks!!


Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!



The Bard

If you’re alive, breathing, seeing, smelling & touching…you know that there’s nothing like being in love. Here’s to a purrrrfect Valentines Day!

Love stories.  As old as the hills.  Unsuspecting encounters, a first glance and then something special happens, that changes things forever.  Today marks a special anniversary – the date believed to be the first enactment of William Shakespeare’s world-renowned play Romeo and Juliet.  Written sometime between 1591 and 1595, it stands in the historical record as one of the greatest love stories ever written.  Retold many times in playhouses and theaters and a wealth of film adaptations of both traditional and modern interpretations it has become part of our culture and vernacular still today.  In pre-celebration of Valentine’s Day on Sunday, and lovers throughout the ages, here are some surprising facts and tidbits you most likely never knew.  Be sure to spoil all those in your life who you love in your own special way, and thanks Will for this amazing story.  And tons of love to my family, friends, KHT team and customers! Thx to You Tube for the videos and and for the insights.

Click on these links and enjoy the music while reading:
The Pointer Sisters
Bruce’s Live Version

  • For those who skipped their middle school reading assignment, here’s a recap: “An age-old vendetta between two powerful families erupts into bloodshed as a group of masked Montagues risk further conflict by gatecrashing a Capulet party. A young lovesick Romeo Montague falls instantly in love with Juliet Capulet, who is due to marry her father’s choice named Paris. With the help of Juliet’s nurse, the women arrange for Romeo and Juliet to marry the next day, but Romeo’s attempt to halt a street fight leads to the death of Juliet’s own cousin, Tybalt, for which Romeo is banished. In a desperate attempt to be reunited with Romeo, Juliet follows the Friar’s plot and fakes her own death. The message fails to reach Romeo in time, and believing his beloved Juliet dead, he takes his own life in her tomb. Juliet wakes to find Romeo’s corpse beside her and filled with anguish, kills herself. The grieving family agree to end their feud.”
  • or as some have recapped – “just a couple of sneaky, spoiled rich teenagers getting all jazzed up over each other, and then, when they can’t get their way, overdoing it in the end.”
  • Historians have researched Romeo and Juliet and believe in fact, that the play was not of William’s own creation – but rather a variation on a story told many times from the 1400s onwards.  Centered on the theme of star-crossed lovers, borrowed from poets as far back as ancient Greece, Romeo and Juliet’s tale was told at least a century before Shakespeare actually wrote it.
  • The first certain tale of the woes of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet descends from Italian author Masuccio Salernitano (1410-1475). Published a year after his death, Salernitano’s 33rd chapter of his Il Novellino tells of Mariotto and Giannoza, a pair of lovers who come from the feuding families of Maganelli and Saraceni respectively. In this account, their love affair takes place in Siena, Italy rather than in Verona and is believed to have occurred contemporary with Salernitano’s time.  Mariotto and Giannoza fall in love and marry secretly with the aid of an Augustine friar. Shortly thereafter, Mariotto has words with another noble citizen—in this case, not his love’s cousin—and kills the nobleman, resulting in his fleeing the city to avoid capital punishment. Giannoza, distraught, is comforted only by the fact that Mariotto has family in Alexandria, Egypt and makes a good home for himself there.  However, her own father—unaware of her wedding—decides it is time for her to take a husband, putting her in a terrible position. With the aid of the friar who had wed her and Mariotto, Giannoza drinks a sleeping potion to make her appear dead, so she can be smuggled out of Siena to reunite with her husband in Alexandria. Of course, this plan goes terribly awry, and her letter to explain their plan to Mariotto never reaches him, though news of her death quickly does.  While she flees to Alexandria to finally reunite with him, Mariotto returns to Siena – risking his own life to see her corpse one final time. It is then that he is captured and taken to be executed for his previous crimes, beheaded three days before Giannoza’s own return to the city. Giannoza then, heartbroken, wastes away of a broken heart, supposedly to be finally reunited with her beloved husband in heaven.  Like Shakespeare’s account of Romeo finding Juliet sleeping but believing her dead, Salernitano’s earlier story contains a scene in which Mariotto finds the sleeping body of Giannoza, and believes she has died.  Like Shakespeare’s account of Romeo finding Juliet sleeping but believing her dead, Salernitano’s earlier story contains a scene in which Mariotto finds the sleeping body of Giannoza, and believes she has died.
  • The themes of feuding families, the forbidden love, the sleeping potion, and the terrible communication mishap all lead to the parallel ending of mutual death of the star-crossed lovers. Writing only a hundred years apart, Shakespeare could well have come across Salernitano’s work, or one of the many other variations that were written before the story reached the Bard’s desk.
  • Luigi da Porta in the 1530s wrote a similar compilation, telling the tale of Romeo Montechhi and Giulietta Cappelleti, moving the setting of their lives from Siena to the Verona – the same place where Shakespeare would locate it. The pair again wed in secret with the aid of a friar, only to be torn apart by Romeo’s accidental killing of Giulietta’s cousin and their subsequent deaths—Romeo by Giulietta’s sleeping potion, and Giulietta by holding her breath so she could die with him.
  • Despite the numerous versions of Romeo and Juliet’s story that preceded William Shakespeare, it cannot be denied that it was his work that transformed their love affair into one of the greatest stories ever known. The Bard might have borrowed heavily from Salernitano, Bandello, and Brooke, but the audience which his play was presented to took the text into their hearts and spread it throughout Elizabethan England until the characters’ names became interchangeable with the mantra “meant to be”.
  • Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet’s undying affection have made the passionate story immortal, and it remains one of the foremost inspirations for modern romantic literature.

And for my trivia buffs out there:

1. William Shakespeare wasn’t the first person to write about the Montagues and the Capulets. The two families were kicking around long before William Shakespeare got a hold of them. In “Divine Comedy,” the epic poem that took Dante more than 10 years to complete, he makes the following reference, written more than 250 years before Shakespeare was even born.
“Come and see, you who are negligent, / Montagues and Capulets, Monaldi and Filippeschi: / One lot already grieving, the other in fear. / Come, you who are cruel, come and see the distress / Of your noble families, and cleanse their rottenness.”
2. It wasn’t always called Romeo and Juliet – When it was first published, Romeo and Juliet went by a much more descriptive—and much longer—title: The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.
3. The first publication of Romeo and Juliet is thought to be an unauthorized version of the play. Romeo and Juliet was originally published in 1597, in the First Quarto. But Shakespeare scholars have long argued that this version of the play was not only incomplete, but unauthorized. The 1599 version, published in the Second Quarto, is the version of Romeo and Juliet we all know and love today.
4. Juliet is just 13 years old – We know that Romeo and Juliet are a young couple in love—but it’s easy to miss just how young Juliet is. In Act I, Scene III, Lady Capulet says that Juliet is “not fourteen.” She is actually just about two weeks shy of her 14th birthday. Romeo’s exact age is never given.
5. The couple’s courtship was indeed a whirlwind – Talk about a whirlwind romance! Given that we know Juliet is just 13 years old, her impetuousness might seem more understandable. But from the time they meet to the time they marry Romeo and Juliet have known each other less than 24 hours.
6. There is no balcony in Romeo and Juliet’s “balcony scene.” – One of Romeo and Juliet’s most iconic moments is what has become known as “The Balcony Scene,” which occurs in Act II, Scene 2. There’s just one problem: The word balcony is never mentioned in Shakespeare’s play. There’s a good reason for that, too: according to Merriam-Webster, the earliest known usage of the term, originally spelled balcone, didn’t occur until 1618—more than 20 years after Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet. According to the play, the scene takes place at Capulet’s Orchard when “Juliet appears above at a window.”
7. It wasn’t until 1662 that a woman played the role of Juliet – As anyone who has seen Shakespeare in Love knows, back in the Bard’s days and up until 1660, all stage roles were performed by men. But in 1662, actress Mary Saunderson stepped onto the stage as Juliet; she is believed to be the first woman to play the iconic role.
8. One writer dared to give Romeo and Juliet a happy ending – Irish poet and lyricist Nahum Tate, who became England’s poet laureate in 1692, had a penchant for messing around with Shakespeare’s words. In addition to rewriting Shakespeare’s King Lear as 1681’s The History of King Lear—in which he tacked on a happy ending to the tragedy (Cordelia married Edgar)—he did the same with Romeo and Juliet. Unlike his version of King Lear, which became quite popular, his alternate ending for Romeo and Juliet didn’t seem to stick.
9. Romeo has become shorthand for a male lover – Romeo and Juliet has had a lasting effect on the English language, including its popularization of words like ladybird and phrases like wild goose chase. But Romeo, too, has his own dictionary entry: in addition to being defined as “the hero of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet who dies for love of Juliet” by Merriam-Webster, Romeo has also come to mean “a male lover.”

BONUS:  Turns out, 58 million pounds of chocolate are purchased in the seven days leading up to Feb. 14 and 225 million roses are grown and cultivated for Valentine’s Day.

You Can’t Say That

Controversy was never funnier. Many of you may never have heard of them, but the Smothers Brothers were so darn funny!!! They poked fun at everything and everyone. Especially the president which at the time was the 36th president, Lyndon B. Johnson who wrote a letter to the brothers. (Above near the top) That letter from President Johnson was verified on And check this out: Tommy Smothers does a dead-on imitation of Johnny Carson (Another guy many of you may never have heard of) on Feb 20, 1992.   

Free speech. One of our American rights we cherish and challenges us to protect every today.  Over 50 years ago, television writers and producers at CBS were up against a tough adversary – a successful western show that had a secure, nationwide audience.  At that time, westerns dominated television, with shows like “Gunsmoke”, “Have Gun Will Travel”, “The Rifleman” and “Wagon Train”.  The number one show on TV in the mid 60’s was “Bonanza”, another western that ran on rival NBC.  Trying to pull away viewers – talk about a PIA (pain in the @%$) Job! – CBS, after many flops, took a chance on two “hip” and “edgy” young stars, brothers actually, to appeal to the under-30 generation. Right smack in the middle of the civil rights movement, the hippie revolution, the war, political upheaval and major shifts in music, the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour debuted on this day in 1967 and took the country by storm – later becoming what some consider the most controversial show in TV history.  Starring Tommy and Dick, two folk singing brothers (‘mom always liked you best”), with amazing timing and childlike banter, they pushed the envelope with the help of some soon-to-be star writers and comedians and broke the dominance of Big Hoss and Little John.  Enjoy.  And thanks to, Wikipedia and for the info and YouTube for the amazing videos. (be sure to watch the videos – classics!)

  1. The Smothers Brothers are Thomas (“Tom” – born February 2, 1937) and Richard (“Dick” – born November 20, 1939), American folk singers, musicians and comedians. The brothers’ trademark double act was performing folk songs (Tommy on acoustic guitar, Dick on string bass), which usually led to arguments between the siblings. Tommy’s signature line was “Mom always liked you best”.
  2. Their own television variety show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, became one of the most controversial American TV programs of the Vietnam War era. Despite popular success, the brothers’ penchant for material that was critical of the political mainstream and sympathetic to the emerging counterculture led to their firing by the CBS network in 1969. One show was left unaired.
  3. After a brief time in a folk group called the Casual Quintet, the brothers made their first professional appearance as a duo in February 1959 at The Purple Onion in San Francisco. They were a popular act in clubs and released several successful top 40 albums for Mercury Records, the most successful being Curb Your Tongue, Knave! in 1964. – Their first national television appearance was on The Jack Paar Show on January 28, 1961.  On Sunday night, October 4, 1963 the Smothers Brothers made an appearance on the CBS variety series The Judy Garland Show which also showcased Barbra Streisand. Tom and Dick inherited Garland’s time slot when their own variety series began in early 1967.
  4. The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour started out as only a slightly “hip” version of the typical comedy-variety show of its era, but rapidly evolved into a show that extended the boundaries of what was considered permissible in television satire at that time.  While the Smothers themselves were at the forefront of these efforts, credit also goes to the roster of writers and regular performers they brought to the show, including Steve Martin, Don Novello, Rob Reiner, Presidential candidate Pat Paulsen, Bob Einstein, Albert Brooks, and resident hippie Leigh French.  Enjoy a Pat Paulson editorial.
  5. The series showcased new musical artists to whom other comedy-variety shows rarely gave airtime, due to the nature of their music or their political affiliations.  Stars included George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Joan Baez, Buffalo Springfield, Cass Elliot, Harry Belafonte, Cream, Donovan, The Doors, Glen Campbell, Janis Ian, Jefferson Airplane, The Happenings, Peter, Paul and Mary, Spanky and Our Gang, Steppenwolf, Simon and Garfunkel, The Hollies, The Who and even Pete Seeger were showcased on the show, despite the advertiser-sensitive nature of their music.
  6. In 1968, the show broadcast in successive weeks “music videos” (not called that at the time) for The Beatles’ popular songs “Hey Jude” and “Revolution”. Before a rowdy crowd at the Los Angeles Forum, Jimi Hendrix dedicated “I Don’t Live Today” to the Smothers Brothers, as heard on The Jimi Hendrix Box Set.
  7. The performance by The Who in 1967 was another defining moment in the series; as the group often did during that period, The Who destroyed their instruments at the conclusion of their performance of “My Generation”, with the usual addition of mild explosives for light pyrotechnic effect. The piece would end with guitarist Pete Townshend grabbing Tommy’s guitar and smashing it. On the Smothers Brothers show that night a small amount of explosive was put into the small cannon that Keith Moon kept in his bass drum. But it did not go off during the rehearsal. Unbeknownst to Moon, a stagehand had added another explosive before the taping, and later Moon added another charge so that now there were three explosive charges in the cannon instead of one.  When Moon detonated it, the explosion was so intense that a piece of cymbal shrapnel cut into Moon’s arm; Moon is heard moaning in pain toward the end of the piece. Townshend, who had been in front of Moon’s drums at the time, had his hair singed by the blast; he is seen putting out sparks in his hair before finishing the sketch with a visibly shocked Tommy Smothers. The blast allegedly contributed heavily to Townshend’s long-term hearing loss.
  8. With its focus having evolved toward a more youth-oriented one, the show became both popular and controversial. Three specific targets of satire — racism, the President of the United States, and the Vietnam War— wound up defining the show’s content for the remainder of its run, eventually leading to its demise.
  9. The brothers soon found themselves in regular conflict with CBS’s network censors. At the start of the 1968/69 season, the network ordered that the Smothers deliver their shows finished and ready to air ten days before airdate so that the censors could edit the shows as necessary. In the season premiere, CBS deleted the entire segment of Belafonte singing “Lord, Don’t Stop the Carnival” against a backdrop of the havoc during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, along with two lines from a satire of their main competitor, Bonanza. As the year progressed, battles over content continued, including a David Steinberg sermon about Moses and the Burning Bush.
  10. With some local stations making their own deletions of controversial skits or comments, the continuing problems over the show came to a head after CBS broadcast a rerun on March 9, 1969. The network explained the decision by stating that because that week’s episode did not arrive in time to be previewed, it would not be shown. In that program, Joan Baez paid tribute to her then-husband, David Harris, who was entering jail after refusing military service, while comedian Jackie Mason made a joke about children “playing doctor”. When the show finally did air, two months later, the network allowed Baez to state that her husband was in prison but edited out the reason.
  11. After three seasons, network CEO and President William S. Paley abruptly canceled the show on April 4, 1969. The reason given by CBS was the Smothers refusal to meet the pre-air delivery dates as specified by the network in order to accommodate review by the censors. This cancellation led the brothers to file a successful breach of contract suit against the network. Despite this cancellation, the show went on to win the Emmy Award that year for best writing.
  12. The Smothers Brothers starred in several other television and Broadway shows, but with moderate success.  In 1988, Tom and Dick reunited with CBS for a special celebrating the 20th anniversary of their variety show.  The brothers used the special to pay tribute to their network and also poke fun at it for cancelling them years earlier. The success of the special led to The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1988–1989).  This show began production during a 1988 Writers Guild of America strike as the WGA had agreed to settle with the show’s producer and grant the show an exemption from the strike and allow writers to go back to work for the series.
  13. The brothers have worked independently as well; Dick has appeared as an actor in films, including a rare dramatic role as a Nevada state senator in Martin Scorsese’s Casino. Tom appeared in the 2005 made-for-television movie Once Upon a Mattress.
  14. After more than 51 years of touring, the Smothers Brothers officially announced their retirement from touring during their final performance at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sunday May 16, 2010. The affair was kept low key with some family members and friends in attendance.


Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!


A Star is Born

That quote at the top from Karl Benz gives us some insight into his personality. I like him already. Read on to see how the the automobile actually got its start. The photo of the man and his little girl is Emil Jellinek with his daughter Mercedes. Next to them are Karl Benz with the awesome moustache and Gottlieb Daimler with the awesome head. Below that group is Bertha Benz at the wheel (or stick) of the first motorized carriage. And below her is Karl Benz (in light suit) with family and friends on an outing in one of his automobiles, c. 1894. Next is one of the first Mercedes with all the guys on board. Then there is the evolution of the Mercedes logo. They’re okay but I like my logo better. Below the logos are a race car, concept truck and a concept electric race car. Whaaaaaat??  So, ever since that first car, driving has been something we’ve all looked forward to. The excitement of getting your first driver’s license, your first car, taking your first road trip. Is it even possible to imagine getting around on a horse or a buggy like way back in the day????

As an early riser, I like to get on the road to work before most people even wake up.  I enjoy the early morning sunrise and the freedom of the open road.  Zipping along in my “heat” mobile, I was passed by another adventurous business owner in a newer model Mercedes Benz automobile. The SLS AMG gullwing’s have always been my favorite!  I got to thinking about not only the early morning zeal of that business person, but also the name of the car maker. Where did the Mercedes Benz name come from and why is it such a remarkable brand?  Off to the internet I went, only to discover an amazing story of invention, determination and creativity in solving multiple PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs! by the founder and designer of the company.  Enjoy this history timeline, and next time you are passed on the road by a “benz” you can think of Karl, his wife, his passion for automobiles and the first motorwagon patent.  Enjoy and thanks to Wikipedia for the detailed history.

And a little tune to get you started :)))

Karl Benz was born Karl Friedrich Michael Vaillant, on November 25, 1844 in Mühlburg, now a borough of Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, which is part of modern Germany. His parents were Josephine Vaillant and a locomotive driver Johann Georg Benz, whom she married a few months later. When he was two years old, his father died of pneumonia, and his name was changed to Karl Friedrich Benz in remembrance of his father.

Despite living in near poverty, his mother strove to give him a good education. Benz attended the local grammar school in Karlsruhe and was a prodigious student. In 1853, at the age of nine he started at the scientifically oriented Lyceum and went on to study at the Poly-Technical University under the instruction of Ferdinand Redtenbacher.

Benz had originally focused his studies on locksmithing, but he eventually followed his father’s steps toward locomotive engineering. On September 30, 1860, at age 15, he passed the entrance exam for mechanical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe, which he subsequently attended and then went on to graduate at age 19.

Following his formal education, Benz had seven years of professional training in several companies but did not fit well in any of them.

In 1871, at the age of twenty-seven, Karl Benz joined August Ritter in launching the Iron Foundry and Mechanical Workshop in Mannheim, later renamed Factory for Machines for Sheet-metal Working.  The enterprise’s first year went very badly. Ritter turned out to be unreliable, and the business’s tools were impounded. The difficulty was overcome when Benz’s fiancée, Bertha Ringer, bought out Ritter’s share in the company using her dowry.

On 20 July 1872, Karl Benz and Bertha Ringer married and went on to have five children: Eugen (1873), Richard (1874), Clara (1877), Thilde (1882), and Ellen (1890).

Despite the business misfortunes, Karl Benz led in the development of new engines in the early factory he and his wife owned. To get more revenues, in 1878 he began to work on new patents. First, he concentrated all his efforts on creating a reliable petrol two-stroke engine. Benz finished his two-stroke engine on December 31, 1879, New Year’s Eve, and was granted a patent for it on 28 June 1880.

Karl Benz showed his real genius, however, through his successive inventions registered while designing what would become the production standard for his two-stroke engine. Benz soon patented the speed regulation system, the ignition using sparks with battery, the spark plug, the carburetor, the clutch, the gear shift, and the water radiator – all common features of automobiles still today.

Benz’s lifelong hobby brought him to a bicycle repair shop in Mannheim owned by Max Rose and Friedrich Wilhelm Eßlinger. In 1883, the three founded a new company producing industrial machines: Benz & Companie Rheinische Gasmotoren-Fabrik, usually referred to as Benz & Cie. Quickly growing to twenty-five employees, it soon began to produce static gas engines.

The success of the company gave Benz the opportunity to indulge in his old passion of designing a horseless carriage. Based on his experience with, and fondness for, bicycles, he used similar technology when he created an automobile. It featured wire wheels, unlike carriages’ wooden ones, with a four-stroke engine of his own design between the rear wheels, a very advanced coil ignition and evaporative cooling rather than a radiator. Power was transmitted by means of two roller chains to the rear axle. Karl Benz finished his creation in 1885 and named it “Benz Patent Motorwagen”.

It was the first automobile entirely designed as such to generate its own power, not simply a motorized stagecoach or horse carriage, which is why Karl Benz was granted his patent and is regarded as its inventor.

The Motorwagen was patented on January 29, 1886 (that was 135 years ago if you are counting!) as DRP-37435: “automobile fueled by gas”. The 1885 version was difficult to control, leading to a collision with a wall during a public demonstration. The first successful tests on public roads were carried out in the early summer of 1886. The next year Benz created the Motorwagen Model 2, which had several modifications, and in 1889, the definitive Model 3 with wooden wheels was introduced, showing at the Paris Expo the same year.

Benz began to sell the vehicle (advertising it as “Benz Patent Motorwagen”) in the late summer of 1888, making it the first commercially available automobile in history. The second customer of the Motorwagen was a Parisian bicycle manufacturer Emile Roger, who had already been building Benz engines under license from Karl Benz for several years. Roger added the Benz automobiles (many built in France) to the line he carried in Paris and initially most were sold there.

The world’s first ever long-distance automobile trip was undertaken by Bertha Benz using a Model 3. On the morning of August 5, 1888 Bertha – supposedly without the knowledge of her husband – she took the vehicle on a 65 mile trip from Mannheim to Pforzheim to visit her mother, taking her sons Eugen and Richard with her. In addition to having to locate pharmacies along the way to refuel, she repaired various technical and mechanical problems. One of these included the invention of brake lining; after some longer downhill slopes she ordered a shoemaker to nail leather onto the brake blocks.

Bertha Benz and sons finally arrived at nightfall, announcing the achievement to Karl by telegram. It had been her intention to demonstrate the feasibility of using the Benz Motorwagen for travel and to generate publicity in the manner now referred to as live marketing. Today, the event is celebrated every two years in Germany with an antique automobile rally.

In 2008, the Bertha Benz Memorial Route was officially approved as a route of the industrial heritage of mankind, because it follows Bertha Benz’s tracks of the world’s first long-distance journey by automobile in 1888. The public can now follow the 194 km of signposted route from Mannheim via Heidelberg to Pforzheim (Black Forest) and back. The return trip – which didn’t go through Heidelberg – was along a different, slightly shorter route, as shown on the maps of the Bertha Benz Memorial Route.

The great demand for static internal combustion engines forced Karl Benz to enlarge the factory in Mannheim, and in 1886 a new building located on Waldhofstrasse (operating until 1908) was added. Benz & Cie. had grown in the interim from 50 employees in 1889 to 430 in 1899.  During the last years of the nineteenth century, Benz was the largest automobile company in the world with 572 units produced in 1899.

In 1896, Karl Benz was granted another patent for his design of the first flat engine. It had horizontally opposed pistons, a design in which the corresponding pistons reach top dead center simultaneously, thus balancing each other with respect to momentum. Flat engines with four or fewer cylinders are most commonly called boxer engines, boxermotor in German, and also are known as horizontally opposed engines. This design is still used by Porsche, Subaru, and some high-performance engines used in racing cars.

Although Gottlieb Daimler died in March 1900—and there is no evidence that Benz and Daimler knew each other nor that they knew about each other’s early achievements—eventually, competition with Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (DMG) in Stuttgart began to challenge the leadership of Benz & Cie. In October 1900, the main designer of DMG, Wilhelm Maybach, built the engine that would later be used in the Mercedes-35hp of 1902. The engine was built to the specifications of Emil Jellinek under a contract for him to purchase thirty-six vehicles with the engine, and for him to become a dealer of the special series. Jellinek stipulated the new engine be named Daimler-Mercedes (for his daughter).

Maybach would quit DMG in 1907, but he designed the model and all of the important changes. After testing, the first was delivered to Jellinek in December 1900. Jellinek continued to make suggestions for changes to the model and obtained good results racing the automobile in the next few years, encouraging DMG to engage in commercial production of automobiles, which they did in 1902.

Benz countered with Parsifil, introduced in 1903 with a vertical twin engine that achieved a top speed of 37 mph. Then, without consulting Benz, the other directors hired some French designers.

France was a country with an extensive automobile industry based on Maybach’s creations. Because of this action, after difficult discussions, Karl Benz announced his retirement from design management on January 24, 1903, although he remained as director on the Board of Management through its merger with DMG in 1926 and, remained on the board of the new Daimler-Benz corporation until his death in 1929.

The German economic crisis worsened in 1923, Benz & Cie. produced only 1,382 units in Mannheim, and DMG made only 1,020 in Stuttgart. The average cost of an automobile was 25 million marks because of rapid inflation. Negotiations between the two companies resumed and in 1924 they signed an “Agreement of Mutual Interest” valid until the year 2000. Both enterprises standardized design, production, purchasing, sales, and advertising—marketing their automobile models jointly—although keeping their respective brands.

On 28 June 1926, Benz & Cie. and DMG finally merged as the Daimler-Benz company, baptizing all of its automobiles, Mercedes-Benz, honoring the most important model of the DMG automobiles, the 1902 Mercedes 35 hp, along with the Benz name. The name of that DMG model had been selected after ten-year-old Mercédès Jellinek, the daughter of Emil Jellinek who had set the specifications for the new model.

Karl Benz was a member of the new Daimler-Benz board of management for the remainder of his life. A new logo was created in 1926, consisting of a three-pointed star (representing Daimler’s motto: “engines for land, air, and water”) surrounded by traditional laurels from the Benz logo, and the brand of all of its automobiles was labeled Mercedes-Benz. Model names would follow the brand name in the same convention as today.

The next year, 1927, the number of units sold tripled to 7,918 and the diesel line was launched for truck production. In 1928, the Mercedes-Benz SSK was presented.

On April 4, 1929, Karl Benz died at home in Ladenburg at the age of eighty-four from a bronchial inflammation. Until her death, Bertha Benz continued to reside in their last home. Members of the family resided in the home for thirty more years. The Benz home now has been designated as historic and is used as a scientific meeting facility for a nonprofit foundation, the Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz Foundation, that honors both Bertha and Karl Benz for their roles in the history of automobiles.

Karl was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1984 and the European Automotive Hall of Fame.

What was your first car???
Let me know in an email. Or give me a call.

Here’s an original ad for my first car, a beige AMC Pacer Wagon. Total chic magnet!  :))))

Here’s an original ad for my friend Dan’s first car, a white 1960 Chevy Impala Super Sport convertible.

And here’s an original ad for my friend Pete’s first car, a hunter green Datsun 260 z. Clearly, the coolest of the three commercials.



I’m Surely Going Nuts Today

At a ballgame, between hot dogs, beers and ice cream, I can go through three bags of peanuts. L-O-V-E them!!! I love my peanut butter, too. If YOU love peanuts and peanut butter, there’s apparel and costumes available online to prove it…by the way, I want those socks!!! Whatever, peanuts and peanut butter are a great source of the protein a body needs. Add jelly and, BOOM!! Oh, yeah!!!! Now you’re talking‘!!

Being a foodie, my mind most days is focused on food.  What to have for breakfast? How long before lunch?  Wonder what Jackie and I will whip up for dinner – (ok, what Jackie has in mind…).  For quick satisfaction, sometimes I drift back to my childhood and seek out one of my “go-to” favorites – a simple peanut and butter sandwich (or two).  Being one of 18, Mom used to make a number of different stops on her grocery run, one the dairy and one being the bakery.  I can still remember the smell of fresh bread and filling our carts with multiple loaves.  I knew it wasn’t long before I’d be back home, spreading yummy crunchy peanut butter and strawberry jam in between two lovely slices.  A side of fritos (yea, I’d put them inside sometimes too), and I was set. These days the occasional PBJ for a snack does me wonders. I like mine toasted so that the peanut butter starts to melt before the first bite!  This month writer Kate Wheeling wrote a little history on peanut butter for Smithsonian magazine that sparked my memories and taste buds and directed me to do a bit more digging for this blog.  Special thanks to Smithsonian, Wikipedia,,, the Georgia Peanut commission and The Marathons and YouTube.  Enjoy this fun “how it’s made” video and song and help me with my reader’s poll – send me an email – what’s your preference: grape or strawberry.

  • Peanuts are actually not nuts but legumes grown underground.  It’s rich in heart-healthy fats and is a good source of protein, which can be helpful for vegetarians looking to include more protein in their diets. A 2-tablespoon serving of peanut butter contains up to 8 grams of protein and 2 to 3 grams of fiber.
  • The U.S. is the third largest producer of peanuts (Georgia and Texas are the two major peanut-producing states). More than half of the American peanut crop goes into making peanut butter. China and India are the first and second largest producers, respectively.
  • The earliest reference to peanut butter can be traced back to the Ancient Incas and the Aztecs who ground roasted peanuts into a paste. However, modern peanut butter, its process of production and the equipment used to make it, can be credited to at least three inventors.
  • In 1884 Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Canada patented peanut paste, the finished product from milling roasted peanuts between two heated surfaces. In 1895 Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (the creator of Kellogg’s cereal) patented a process for creating peanut butter from raw peanuts. He marketed it as a nutritious protein substitute for people who could hardly chew on solid food. In 1903, Dr. Ambrose Straub of St. Louis, Missouri, patented a peanut-butter-making machine.
  • Kellogg’s “food compound” involved boiling nuts and grinding them into an easily digestible paste for patients at the Battle Creek Sanitarium, a spa for all kinds of ailments. The original patent didn’t specify what type of nut to use, and Kellogg experimented with almonds as well as peanuts, which had the virtue of being cheaper. While modern peanut butter enthusiasts would likely find Kellogg’s compound bland, Kellogg called it “the most delicious nut butter you ever tasted in your life.”
  • A Seventh-Day Adventist, Kellogg endorsed a plant-based diet and promoted peanut butter as a healthy alternative to meat, which he saw as a digestive irritant and, worse, a sinful sexual stimulant. His efforts and his elite clientele, which included Amelia Earhart, Sojourner Truth and Henry Ford, helped establish peanut butter as a delicacy. As early as 1896, Good Housekeeping encouraged women to make their own with a meat grinder and suggested pairing the spread with bread. “The active brains of American inventors have found new economic uses for the peanut,” the Chicago Tribune rhapsodized in July 1897.
  • It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
  • Before the end of the century, Joseph Lambert, an employee at Kellogg’s sanitarium who may have been the first person to make the doctor’s peanut butter, had invented machinery to roast and grind peanuts on a larger scale. He launched the Lambert Food Company, selling nut butter and the mills to make it, seeding countless other peanut butter businesses. As manufacturing scaled up, prices came down. A 1908 ad for the Delaware-based Loeber’s peanut butter, claimed that just 10 cents’ worth of peanuts contained six times the energy of a porterhouse steak.
  • Americans eat around 700 million pounds of peanut butter per year (about 3 pounds per person).
  • By World War I, U.S. consumers—whether convinced by Kellogg’s nutty nutrition advice or not—turned to peanuts as a result of meat rationing. Government pamphlets promoted “meatless Mondays,” with peanuts high on the menu. Americans “soon may be eating peanut bread, spread with peanut butter, and using peanut oil for our salad,” the Daily Missourian reported in 1917, citing “the exigencies of war.”
  • Manufacturers sold tubs of peanut butter to local grocers and advised them to stir frequently with a wooden paddle as oil would separate out and spoil. Then, in 1921, a Californian named Joseph Rosefield filed a patent for applying a chemical process called partial hydrogenation to peanut butter, which is liquid at room temperature and converted into an oil that’s solid or semisolid at room temperature and thus remains blended; the practice had been used to make substitutes for butter and lard, like Crisco.  Rosefield was the first to apply it to peanut butter allowing the more stable spread could be shipped across the country, stocked in warehouses and left on shelves, clearing the way for the national brands we all know today.  Rosefield went on to found Skippy, which debuted crunchy peanut butter and wide-mouth jars in the 1930s.
  • The only invention that did more than hydrogenation to cement peanut butter in the hearts (and mouths) of America’s youth was sliced bread—introduced by a St. Louis baker Otto Rohwedder   in the late 1920s—which made it easy for kids to construct their own PB&Js. An average American child eats 1,500 PB&J sandwiches before graduating from high school.
  • In World War II, tins of Skippy were shipped with service members overseas, while the return of meat rationing at home again led civilians to peanut butter. Even today, when American expats are looking for a peanut butter fix, they often seek out military bases as they’re guaranteed to stock it.
  • Americans still eat far more of the spread than the people in any other country: It’s a gooey taste of nostalgia, for childhood and for American history. By 2020, when Skippy and Jif released their latest peanut butter innovation—squeezable tubes—nearly 90 percent of American households reported consuming peanut butter.
  • No American is more closely associated with peanuts than George Washington Carver.  Contrary to popular belief, George Washington Carver did not invent peanut butter.  He was one of the greatest inventors in American history, discovering over 300 hundred uses for peanuts including chili sauce, shampoo, shaving cream and glue. He was a pioneer in the agricultural world, and many refer to him as father of the peanut industry. His innovations also increased the legume’s popularity and made peanuts a staple in the American diet.
  • Born enslaved in Missouri around 1864 and trained in Iowa as a botanist, Carver took over the agriculture department at the Tuskegee Institute, in Alabama, in 1896. He found that cotton had stripped the region’s soil of its nutrients.So Carver began experimenting with plants like peanuts and sweet potatoes, which could replenish the nitrogen that cotton leached. In classes and at conferences and county fairs, Carver showed often packed crowds how to raise these crops.
  • Since his death in 1943, many of the practices Carver advocated—organic fertilizer, reusing food waste, crop rotation—have become crucial to the sustainable agriculture movement. Mark Hersey, a historian at Mississippi State University, says Carver’s most prescient innovation was a truly holistic approach to farming.
  • Whether you’re a fan of creamy or chunky, peanut butter has always had a place in our culture. Perhaps the bigger question – grape jelly or strawberry jam?  I already know my favorite!

How Peanut Butter is Actually Made 
People Try American Peanut Butter For The First Time
Making a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich in Space
How to Grow Your Own Peanuts at Home



“Stop, In the …”

Motown music is attracting a whole new generation…and then some. You go, Detroit!!!

I know, you can see the hand gestures and the singers dancing together.  For me, there’s just something about the classic Motown songs of the 60’s and 70’s.  Seems wherever I am down, or I’m feelin’ low, a good tune by the Temptations, the Miracles or the Four Tops just picks me up and puts a smile on my face (let’s face it, the past months have been tough – for everyone).  60 years ago today, a budding genius named Berry Gordy signed an unknown group of high school girls to his budding label.  After a number of duds, the girls looked to drift off into obscurity, until a simple song hit the charts – and I guess the rest is rock n roll history.  The lead signer was of course Diana Ross, and her group the Supremes.  Here’s some history on the early days, their rocket to stardom, the changes within the group and the end of the ride decades later. Thanks to Wikipedia, Allmusic and Google for the insights.

As you read through, be sure to pick one of these links and enjoy the groove.
Supremes Greatest Hits
Motown Greatest Hits
Earth Wind & Fire – Greatest Hits Live (Full Album)

  • With twelve #1 pop singles, numerous gold recordings, sold out concerts, and regular television appearances, the Supremes were not only the most commercially successful female group of the Sixties, but among the top five pop/rock/soul acts of the decade.
  • The Supremes started out as a quartet known as the Primettes. In 1959, two fifteen year olds, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson, met at a talent show. Milton Jenkins, who managed a local doo wop group the Primes, wanted a sister group to accompany the Primes for stage performances. Jenkins asked Ballard to put together such an act.
  • Ballard remembered Wilson and the two of them brought in sixteen year old Betty Travis. Prime’s member Paul Williams recommended a fifteen year old from Detroit’s Brewster Housing project Diane Ross and Jenkins named the group the Primettes after Diane’s parents gave their permission to join. The Primettes then started doing club dates.
  • Betty Travis was forced to quit the Primettes because her parents wanted her to pay more attention to her studies. Barbara Martin took her place, but had to leave shortly, as did Ballard, under the same parental conditions. Wilson and Ross continued to work as duo until the two improved their grades and were allowed to rejoin the group.
  • Ballard, Wilson, and Ross could all sing lead, but Ballard’s voice was considered the best and most powerful of the girls.  According to Carolynn Gill of the Velvelettes, “Florence had a very strong gospel voice, and she was the original lead singer. When the group came to Motown, it was Flo’s group – she had formed it and named it”
  • In 1960, the group met Ross’ neighbor William “Smokey” Robinson and auditioned for him in the basement of the home of his girlfriend Claudette Rogers in hopes of getting to Motown’s hitmaker Berry Gordy. Rogers would later become Robinson’s wife and an original member of the Miracles. The audition turned into a dead end, but they did audition for Gordy later, singing the Drifters’ “There Goes My Baby.” Gordy told them to come back after they completed high school.
  • Undaunted the girls began hanging out in Motown’s office reception room. They continued doing local talent shows where they were spotted by Richard Morris, who brought them to Lupine Records owner/producer Bob West. They recorded two sides “Pretty Baby” with Wilson on lead and “Tears of Sorrow” with Ross on lead for West. Released in 1960, the record went nowhere and they were soon back hanging around Motown again, doing handclaps on Marvin Gaye’s early records and singing some backups for blues artist Mabel John.
  • In January 1961 Barry Gordy finally signed them, but required them to change their name. Ballard who had formed the group named them the Supremes. Wilson and Ross initially disliked the name, but Gordy approved. By this time Ross was calling herself Diana Ross.
  • The Supremes’ first single, issued on the Tamla in April 1961 was “I Want a Guy” and the second an R&B dance tune “Buttered Popcorn” with Ballard on the lead. Both went nowhere.
  • The next three singles barely made the bottom of the Hot 100. Things were going so badly that in the middle of 1962 Ross took a job in cafeteria of Hudson’s Department store in Detroit and Martin left to get married.
  • The best of their early releases “When the Love Light Starts Shining,” in the fall of 1963, reached #23 on the charts. By the fall of the 1964 the Supremes had released eight singles with none even making the Top 20.
  • “Where Did Our Love Go,” a Holland-Dozier-Holland song rejected by the Marvelettes, was brought to the Supremes. By August “Where Did Our Love Go” reached #1 on the Pop and R&B charts. In a matter of weeks, the Supremes went from no billing on the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars show to top billing.
  • Ross was now doing all the lead vocals, which did not always sit well with Ballard. Said Carolynn Gill of the Velvelettes, “It was Berry’s choice to put Diana as lead. I think Diana’s voice appealed to Berry because it was young, crisp commercial sound; maybe Flo’s voice was a little too strong for that time. I don’t think Berry chose Diana because he particularly liked her more than the other girls. They were after all just a bunch of high school kids to him”
  • “Baby Love” followed in September 1964 and reached #1 Pop, R&B, and in the U.K. The Supremes with “Baby Love” became the first all-girl group to reach number one in England.
  • The Supremes became the first American group to have three number ones from the same album when “Come See About Me,’ released in October 1964, reached number one.
  • The Supremes 1964 album “Where Did Our Love Go” featured a song entitled “Send Me No Flowers” about whether sending flowers can take the place of true affection. A floral bouquet may not be as satisfying as a hug but there is always an occasion to send a flower delivery.
  • With “Stop! In the Name of Love,” the Supremes became the first group to have four number ones in a row on the Billboard Hot 100.  The song also reached number 2 R&B and number seven in England.
  • The Supremes began on the historic Motown Revue tour through Europe. It was while on this tour this tour that the Supremes developed their hand motions (resembling a traffic cop stopping oncoming car) for “Stop! In the Name of Love” in the men’s room of a London TV studio with the help of Berry Gordy and the Temptation’s Paul Williams and Melvin Franklin prior to a live appearance.
  • “Back in My Arms Again, on June 12, 1965, became the Supremes fifth #1.
  • Not only were the Supremes competing head on with the British invasion, they were becoming superstars in the realm of pop entertainment. On July 29, 1965 they headlined New York’s famous Copacabana nightclub.
  • The same month “Nothing But Heartaches” was released and broke the string of number ones, only reaching #11.  But it was a short-lived decline as “I Hear a Symphony” reached number one on November 20th.
  • In early 1966 they had hits with “My World is Empty Without You” (#5) and “Love is Like a Itching in My Heart” (#9).  “You Can’t Hurry Love” reached #1 on September 10, 1966 which began a new string of #1s that included “You Keep Me Hanging On,” “Love is Here and Now You Are Gone,” and “The Happening”, the last of ten #1s written by Holland-Dozier-Holland for the Supremes. They left Motown to form their own labels, Hot Wax and Invictus.
  • Friction between Ballard and Ross had taken its toll and Ballard missed two shows in Montreal and New Orleans. Part way through the Supremes appearance at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, Ballard was fired by Gordy and replaced by Cindy Birdsong of the Bluebelles.
  • Gordy now renamed the group Diana Ross and the Supremes. Though Diana was gaining stature on her way to a solo career, the new lineup was not nearly as successful saleswise. Over the next two years twelve singles were released with only “Love Child” reaching number one.
  • “Someday We’ll Be Together,” issued in October 1969, became the Supremes last number one record, the trios last record together, and they performed it in the last of twenty appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. Also, it was the last song they sang together when they appeared at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas on January 14, 1970. Then while on stage Ross introduced her replacement Jean Terrell.
  • On March 7, 1970 the Jean Terrell led Supremes reached the Billboard charts with “Up the Ladder to the Roof” (#10) and proved the group name still had power even without Ross. In fact, their Right On album with Terrell did better (#25) than the double live farewell album with Ross (#46).
  • The new Supremes third single “Stoned Love” (#7 pop) was a million seller in 1970 and became the Supremes eighth number one on the R&B charts.
  • In June 1972, Birdsong left for home and family and was replaced by Lynda Lawrence, who was followed by a succession of replacements that included Sherrie Payne, Birdsong again, and Susaye Greene.  On December 1976 Mary Wilson left and was replaced by Karen Jackson.
  • The Supremes last pop single was “You’re Driving My Wheel” (#85 1976), and the group was soon disbanded. Florence Ballard, after leaving the Supremes in 1967, did two singles for ABC Records and then spent several years fighting Motown in a lawsuit over her firing. She lost the suit, spent sometime on welfare attempting to support her three children and despondent, Ballard died of a heart attack at Monte Carmel Mercy Hospital in Detroit at the age of only thirty two.
  • The driven and aggressive Ross realized her every dream as a superstar performer and actress of the 70s and 80s.  She had forty-one Hot 100 hits and her movie career included roles in Lady Sings the Blues and The Wiz.  Mary Wilson went on to form her own group Mary Wilson and the Supremes, with Karen Jackson and Karen Ragland.
  • In May 1983, she, Ross, and Birdsong reunited for Motown’s 25th anniversary TV show and in 1984, Wilson wrote her story Dream Girl: My life as a Supreme.
  • The Supremes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 as the number one female group. Together they had 18 Hot 100 hits as the Supremes, nine as Diana Ross and the Supremes, three as Diana Ross and the Supremes and Temptations, twelve as the Supremes after Ross left, and two as the Supremes and the Four Tops. Obviously, the whole was always greater than its parts to its fans, and the Supremes sound as good at the end as they did when the hits first started.



Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me
a quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!



What Goes Up…

The Stock Markets. Some people were born to make investments. Full disclosure: I was not one of them. So, it’s worth finding someone you like, who gets it and has a pretty good record of making money grow. But sometimes it doesn’t grow. Instead, it goes into the toilet. (technical jargon) Ever heard of Enron? So, let’s say you’ve made some shrewd investments. What are you going to do with all that extra cash? Buy your dear mother a new house? Definitely!!  Then invest a little in precious metals. Maybe buy a great big boat. And use that boat to get to the island you bought for your wife’s birthday that’s shaped like a heart. Yeah, that’s the move!  But don’t forget, it’s only money. 

Hey gang.  Hope you enjoyed a great holiday break, gave and received many gifts, ate lots of goodies, enjoyed your family and had a few days to relax.  I know I did, and now it’s back to my favorite thing of all – a new year filled with solving your PIA (Pain in The @%$) Jobs!  So many things to be thankful for.  Over the holiday break, like you, I kept reading about the amazing year we just experienced in the financial investment market.  After a really tough drop in the Spring we’re seeing record breaking levels beyond our expectations, – and for now, it just continues to roll.  I did a little digging and put together a simple guide to the history and overview of the major markets – nothing heavy here, some basics, along with some fun stock trivia I thought you’d find interesting.  Enjoy, and thanks to, Wikipedia, Investopedia, and US News and World Report. While reading, be sure to click on this classic.

– A stock exchange or stock market is a physical or digital place where investors can buy and sell stock, or shares, in publicly traded companies. The price of each share is driven by supply and demand.
– Stock markets now exist in most countries, but the first appeared in 17th century Amsterdam.
– Though there were some proto exchanges dating back to the middle ages, the first modern stock trading has its birth on the high seas. The Dutch East India Company was the first publicly traded company and the first to be listed on an official stock exchange. The company sent expeditions to Asia to bring back trade goods to Europe.
– Not all of these expeditions returned, which was a lot of risk for one entity to bear. So, the company would sell shares to investors to reduce any one person’s liability should the ship be seized by pirates or lost in a storm. This form of trade spread across Europe into France and Britain who gave charters to their own East India companies.
– The first stocks were bought and sold on slips of paper inside coffee shops. In England, the success of the British East India Company was so great that other companies wanted in. The South Seas Company (SSC) received a charter from the king and started selling shares. The sale of these shares made the SSC a fortune before their ships ever left the harbor. At this time, there was no government regulation and when these companies failed to pay dividends on their shares, the first stock bubble burst. As a result, the British government banned stock trading until 1825.
– Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, America was getting into the game. The first stock exchange in the U.S. was formed in Philadelphia in 1790. This was two years before the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), which would grow to be the Philadelphia exchange’s much larger cousin.
– From the beginning, the NYSE made its home on Wall Street in lower Manhattan, first under a buttonwood tree and eventually in its current digs at 11 Wall Street.  Though other exchanges existed across the country, none rivaled the NYSE in size and power—that is, until 1971 and the creation of the Nasdaq.
– Unlike the NYSE, which was a physical stock exchange, the Nasdaq allowed investors to buy and sell stocks on a network of computers, a system that was faster and more transparent than in-person trading.
– The NYSE is still the largest stock exchange in the world. Yet, there are now exchanges in major cities across the globe trading domestic and international stocks. You’ve likely heard of many of them, including the London and Tokyo Stock exchanges. The Euronext Stock exchange represents the European Union, and there are large exchanges in China, Australia, India and South Africa among others.
– When you read about the stock market you may encounter names like the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). These are stock market indexes, which help describe the performance of a market as a whole or a specific piece of the market.

The S&P 500, for example, lists the 500 largest US publicly traded stocks. It’s a market-cap-weighted index so larger companies represent larger proportions of the index.
Founded in 1896 by Charles Dow and Edward Jones, the DJIA is a price-weighted average, meaning stocks influence the index in proportion to their price per share.  Learn more here

The DJIA keeps track of 30 large, publicly traded, US-based stocks. It was designed as a proxy for the overall economy. So, when you hear a news anchor say that markets were “up” or “down” on a given day they are likely referring to the DJIA.  Learn more here  

– Speaking of markets being up or down, stocks and the market can fluctuate on any given day. The US stock market has historically gone through larger market cycles in which the market expands and shrinks over the course of weeks or even years.
– As an investor, you can buy shares of companies that are traded on the stock exchanges through a stockbroker or you can buy shares directly from online websites like Robinhood.  (be careful though, as this can lead to bad, emotional decisions – that’s why most investors work with brokers)
– There are a number of metrics that you can use to help you determine whether a stock is a good fit for you.

P/E, or the price to earnings ratio, takes a company’s total dollar value divided by its earnings, giving investors an idea of how relatively cheap or expensive a stock is.

Average return shows you how much stocks are likely to grow over time. And stock yield gives you a sense of how much you will receive in dividends compared with a stock’s price.

– For the most part, experts tell us investing in the stock market should be considered a longer-term prospect. Wisdom holds that the longer you hold your stock, the more able you are to ride out the market’s natural periods of ups and downs.  Timing the stock market, trying to predict when stocks will rise and fall and buying according to those predictions is generally not recommended for the average “Joe” or “Jane”.  Here’s a list of top performing stocks over the past 30 years.  Important Disclaimer:  This list does not in any way represent the opinions or recommendations of KHT – it’s from an article I found online published by US News and World Report dated Dec 21, 2020.

•••  Please remember, I’m a very good heat treating guy – but a lousy investment advisor!! ••• 

Here are some top stock returns over the past 30 years: (ticker: AMZN)
Perhaps the least surprising stock on this list is e-commerce and cloud services leader Amazon. The company went public in May 1997. Since that time, Amazon and its stock have gone on a historic run. Over the years, Amazon has pivoted from a niche online bookstore to a $1.6 trillion online marketplace juggernaut. In the 23-plus years since its initial public offering, Amazon has generated a total return of 212,922%, more than any other stock in the past 30 years. In fact, $10,000 invested in AMZN stock back in 1997 would now be worth $21.3 million.

Monster Beverage Corp. (MNST)
Monster Beverage has been an under-the-radar home run investment since its August 1995 IPO. In 25 years, Monster has generated a total return of 212,468%, second only to Amazon. In 2015, Monster struck a deal with Coca-Cola (KO) in which Coca-Cola took a 19% ownership stake in Monster in return for Coca-Cola becoming Monster’s primary global distributor. Since its IPO, Monster shares have generated an average annual return of 35.4%. A $10,000 stake in MNST stock in 1995 would now be worth more than $21.2 million.

Jack Henry & Associates (JKHY)
Jack Henry & Associates is one of the earliest fintech companies, offering technology solutions and payment processing services to its customers in the financial sector. Jack Henry & Associates went public in November 1985 and has generated a cumulative return of 212,322% for shareholders. The company’s 29.1% annualized return since 1990 is the highest among stocks that have been around for at least 30 years. The stock is showing no signs of slowing down, generating about a 500% total return in the past decade. A $10,000 investment in JKHY stock in 1990 would now be worth about $21.2 million.

Cerner Corp. (CERN)
Cerner is one of the largest public health care information technology companies. Cerner went public way back in December 1986 and has generated a 142,419% return for investors over the past 30 years. Cerner was an early mover in automating health care processes, a transition that is still taking place. Since 1990, Cerner has generated an average annual return of 27.4% for shareholders. Unfortunately, Cerner’s growth has slowed, and the stock is up just about 10% overall in the past three years. Still, $10,000 invested in CERN stock 30 years ago would now be worth $14.2 million.

Best Buy Co. (BBY)
Given consumer electronics retailers like Circuit City and Radio Shack have been crushed by Amazon and other online competitors, the fact that Best Buy is among the 10 best-performing stocks of the past 30 years is a testament to the company’s resiliency and adaptability. When Best Buy went public in 1987, the company was selling cassette tapes and VCRs. Today, Best Buy is selling smartphones and tablets. Since 1990, Best Buy has generated a total return of 108,511%, or about 26.2% annually. A $10,000 investment in BBY stock in 1990 would now be worth $10.9 million.

Ross Stores (ROST)
Like Best Buy, Ross Stores’ apparel retail competitors like Forever 21 and J.C. Penney have been crushed by Amazon. But while other retailers are fighting to survive, Ross has thrived. The company went public in August 1985. In the past 30 years, its stock has generated a total return of 81,286%, or about 25% annually. Unfortunately, Ross shares have been flat in 2020 and have significantly lagged the S&P 500 due to economic shutdowns. Despite the disappointing year-to-date performance, a $10,000 investment in ROST stock in 1990 would now be worth $8.1 million.

Kansas City Southern (KSU)
Twenty years into the 21st century, it may be extremely surprising to learn that one of the 10 best stocks of the past 30 years has been a railroad company. Kansas City Southern was founded in 1887 and went public in November 1962. In 2020, trains are still the most cost-effective way to haul large freight loads across the country. In the past 30 years, shares of Kansas City Southern have generated a total return of 78,464%. A $10,000 investment in KSU stock back in 1990 would now be worth $7.8 million.

UnitedHealth Group (UNH)
UnitedHealth is one of the biggest U.S. health insurance providers. United went public in October 1991 and has generated a total return of 63,395% for investors over the past 29 years. That gain works out to an averaged annual return of 24.8%. UnitedHealth was even added to the prestigious Dow Jones Industrial Average in 2012. UnitedHealth shares are still going strong, as the stock has more than doubled the total return of the S&P 500 since 2015. A $10,000 investment in UNH stock back in 1990 would now be worth $6.3 million.

Altria Group (MO)
Global tobacco giant Altria may be another surprise top market performer of the past 30 years. The company went public in July 1985. Despite major public relations and regulatory pressures on the tobacco industry in recent years, Altria shares have gained 61,599% overall in the past three decades, with a 23.9% average annual return. Today, Altria’s revenue growth has slowed to a crawl. The stock is down about 14% in 2020, but Altria still pays a sizable 8% dividend. A $10,000 investment in MO stock in 1990 would now be worth $6.2 million.

Idexx Laboratories (IDXX)
Idexx Laboratories produces health care diagnostics and veterinary equipment for both pet animals and livestock. The company went public in 1991 and has generated a total return of 50,022%, an average annual gain of 23.5% over 29 years. Unlike other stocks that have slowed in recent years, Idexx has caught fire. In the past five years, Idexx has generated a total return of about 580%. A $10,000 investment in IDXX stock in 1991 would now be worth $5 million.

Other hot performing stocks to follow:
Tesla (TSLA), Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL).



Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!



Happy New Year



Wishing You All The Joy of a Happy & Healthy New Year!
~ Your Friends at Kowalski Heat Treating ~

Download “Steve’s Feel Better New Year Recipes” and feel good all year long!


Merry Christmas


The Nativity at Night, 1640 (oil on canvas), Guido Reni.

Merry Christmas!
From the whole Kowalski Heat Treating family to yours.