July 4th Trivia

I love doing these Friday afternoon emails for you all. They’re fun to do. I find them really interesting. And they give a whole lot of people much needed relief from the week’s stresses. This week’s email is no different. While you’re enjoying the July 4th weekend with friends, family and a hot dog or three, think about all of the other things that have happened on the Fourth of July. And take a listen to this rendition of “Battle Hymn of the Republic”!!!  Be safe!


For most of us, July 4th is synonymous with Independence Day – The day this glorious country was officially was born. For me of course, this means yummy cookouts all day long and an indulgence on all my favorites – potato salad, fruit salad, Jackie’s amazing bean salad, grilled chicken, cheeseburgers, watermelon, chips, my favorite beverages – you get the idea. However, the adoption of the Declaration of Independence wasn’t the only important historical event to take place on this date.  I did some digging and found cool trivia I thought you’d enjoy.  On behalf of all my incredible PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs! gang at KHT, I hope you have a wonderful weekend with family and friends.  Enjoy the info, and be sure to share over the grill. Special thanks to bestlifeonline.com, Wikipedia, You Tube and mentioned publications.

1802: The U.S. Military Academy at West Point officially opens – First announced by newly-minted president Thomas Jefferson a year earlier, the United States Military Academy (USMA) in West Point, New York, officially opened on July 4, 1802. In its early days, there was no strict curriculum or length of study, and the students ranged in age from 10 to 37 years old.

1803: Thomas Jefferson announces the Louisiana Purchase – For $15 million, the United States acquired approximately 827,000 square miles of land to the west of the Mississippi River.  The “purchase” treaty was actually signed on April 30, 1803, but it wasn’t announced to the American people until more than a month later on July 4th.

1817: Construction begins on the Erie Canal – On July 4, 1817, workers broke ground on the Erie Canal in Rome, New York, led by chief engineer James Geddes. The waterway, which would extend 363 miles from the Great Lakes to the Hudson River by the time it was completed in 1825, would go on to transform the nation’s economy. According to the History Channel, by 1853, it carried 62 percent of all U.S. trade,

1826, 1831: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe pass – Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe—the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th presidents of the United States, respectively—all died on the Fourth of July. In fact, Jefferson and Adams, who were legendarily political adversaries, both died on the same day: July 4, 1826.

1826: “Oh! Susanna” composer Stephen Foster is born in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania – Later nicknamed “the father of American music,” Stephen Foster was one of the great composers of parlor and minstrel music. Foster wrote hundreds of songs, but “Oh! Susanna” and “Beautiful Dreamer” are among his best known.

1828: Construction begins on the first U.S. passenger railroad – The first fare-paying, passenger railway service in the world was the Swansea and Mumbles Railway in Swansea, Wales in 1807. The U.S. was just a couple of decades behind, and on July 4, 1828, workers broke ground on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (also called the B&O) at Baltimore Harbor in Maryland. Charles Carroll, the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, laid the first stone at the site, according to America’s Library. The first section opened in 1830; it charged 9 cents for a one-way, 1.5-mile journey.

1831: “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” is performed for the first time – Theology student Samuel Francis Smith wrote the lyrics to “America” (as the song was first named) in 1831 at the request of his friend, church-music composer Lowell Mason, according to the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Impressively, the lyrics took Smith just 30 minutes to write, and were put to the melody of the national anthem in the United Kingdom, “God Save the Queen.” The song was first performed by a children’s choir at an Independence Day celebration that year at Park Street Church in Boston, Massachusetts.

1845: Henry David Thoreau moves into a small cabin that sparks his career – On July 4, 1845, Henry David Thoreau moved into a small cabin near Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts, according to Smithsonian. It was here that Thoreau wrote his first published works. Walden, one of the more famous pieces, was a documentation of his newfound simplistic lifestyle, and later played a key role in the environmental movement.

1855: Walt Whitman publishes the first edition of his poetry collection Leaves of Grass – Throughout his career, American poet Walt Whitman released various iterations of his famed poetry collection Leaves of Grass, but the first edition was published out of a small Brooklyn print shop on July 4, 1855. That initial collection included just 12 poems, whereas the final edition from 1892 included more than 300.

1862: The idea for Alice in Wonderland is conceived – On July 4, 1862, an obscure mathematics lecturer named Charles Lutwidge Dodgson set out on a rowboat excursion on the River Isis to the town of Godstow in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. Dodgson, who went by the pen name Lewis Carroll, was joined by the three young daughters of Dean Henry Liddell. The girls begged for him to tell them a story as they floated down the river. Dodgson obliged, spinning the youngest, Alice Liddell, into the story. Thus, Alice in Wonderland was born. The book was published on November 26, 1865.

1870: Independence Day is celebrated as a federal holiday – For decades, American citizens had celebrated their independence on July 4th. However, it wasn’t until June 28, 1870, that the U.S. government made Independence Day a federal holiday. That made that year’s Fourth of July the first one that was celebrated as a federal holiday.

1883: Cartoonist Rube Goldberg is born – Reuben Garrett Lucius Goldberg was the first president and one of the founders of the National Cartoonists Society. He is best known for his eccentric cartoons of unnecessarily complicated machines meant to complete simple tasks—for example, a 40-step series of levers and pulleys that ultimately lead to something as simple as, say, turning on the faucet. These are now known as Rube Goldberg machines.  Here’s an insane backyard machine (can’t stop watching it)

1884: The Statue of Liberty is presented to the United States in Paris – The significance of the Fourth of July to the statue goes back even further. It was on July 4, 1884, that the Statue of Liberty was presented by the Franco-American Union to the U.S. ambassador to France, Levi Morton, according to the National Constitution Center. Lady Liberty was then taken apart and shipped to the U.S. aboard the French Navy ship, the Isère.  Since its arrival in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty has stood as a welcoming symbol for immigrants who come to America seeking a new life.

1892: July 4th happens twice – The year 1892 was a leap year, and so it had 366 days instead of the typical 365. However, Western Samoa made a change to its time zone that year, thus shifting where the country fell with regard to the International Date Line. As a result, in 1892, Western Samoa had two July 4ths back-to-back, for a total of 367 calendar days that year.

1927: The Lockheed Vega takes its maiden voyage – In 1927, the Lockheed Corporation of California built the Lockheed Vega, a six-passenger monoplane designed for long distances. Its first flight on Independence Day of that year began an important chapter in air travel. It was in this type of aircraft that Amelia Earhart made her famous flight across the Atlantic, and that Wiley Post proved the existence of the jet stream.

1934: Leó Szilárd patents the nuclear chain reaction – According to a passage in Richard Rhodes’ landmark The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Leó Szilárd, an influential nuclear age physicist, first developed the idea of nuclear chain reaction in 1933.  Then, in 1934, inspired by research conducted by Enrico Fermi—yes, the very same one behind the Fermi Paradox—Szilárd took things a step further and patented the idea for a nuclear reactor on July 4th. (Fermi and Szilárd famously worked together on the Manhattan Project, putting this exact science into action.)

1939: Lou Gehrig announces his retirement – Lou Gehrig, or “the Iron Horse,” is one of the most exalted Baseball Hall of Famers of all time. Gehrig played for 17 seasons and was the first player to have his uniform number (No. 4) retired by a team, the New York Yankees—an honor well-deserved, given his six World Series Championships.  On July 4, 1939, shortly after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (which is more colloquially called Lou Gehrig’s Disease today), Gehrig announced his retirement to a sold-out crowd at Yankee Stadium, famously calling himself, “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

1960: The American flag receives its 50th star – Though Hawaii was officially named a state in August of the previous year, the 50th star did not appear on the American flag until it was ceremoniously added on July 4th, 1960.

1966: The Freedom of Information Act is signed into law – The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 4, 1966, delighting journalists, researchers, and statisticians alike. FOIA mandates the disclosure of certain information held by the United States government, and today allows the general public to request crime data, trial and court history transcripts, investigative reports, and more.

1995: Bob Ross passes – Bob Ross, best known for his fluffy clouds, happy trees, and poofy hair, had his final episode of The Joy of Painting air on May 17, 1994. A little more than a year later, he died of lymphoma on July 4, 1995.  Remember, you cannot have “dark without light”.

1996: Hotmail goes live – One of the first electronic mail providers, Hotmail, launched the revolutionary idea of accessing your messages from anywhere in the world. The e-mail service, whose name stems from the letters HTML, was sold to Microsoft in December 1997 for a reported $400 million. The company was famous for offering 2MB of free storage. Today, Gmail offers 15-20GB.

1997: The Pathfinder lands on Mars – NASA’s Mars Pathfinder was the first rover to go beyond the moon. It fittingly landed on Mars and began its mission on Independence Day of 1997. The 23-pound rover included scientific instruments meant to analyze the big red planet’s atmosphere, climate, and geology, according to NASA.

2012: The Higgs boson discovery is announced – The existence of the particle known as the Higgs boson was theorized in the ’60s, but on July 4, 2012, the discovery of a new particle with a mass between 125 and 127 GeV/c2 was announced. This particle is of critical importance to the field of particle physics, and can conceivably help scientists determine the fundamental properties of how mass works, how matter decays, and how the sun creates such limitless caches of energy, according to Scientific American.

2019: US publication Mad Magazine announces it will stop publishing new material after 67 years – An American humor magazine founded in 1952 by editor Harvey Kurtzman and publisher William Gaines, launched as a comic book before it became a magazine. It was widely imitated and influential, affecting satirical media, as well as the cultural landscape of the 20th century, with editor Al Feldstein increasing readership to more than two million during its 1974 circulation peak.  Can you remember Spy vs. Spy and folding the back cover?

God Bless America!


And check out this video:



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!!







Beep Beep Cha Ching!

The cash machine is something I really take for granted. But it’s only a little older than Kowalski Heat Treating. The first ones in America are in those quaint black & white photos above. Hmm, fashions have changed, too. But they’re so easy! Pull out your card and get some cash. The machines are everywhere. Who knows, in the future, you might tap a button on your watch or ask Seri to get you some cash and an armored robot will show-up at your door in two minutes, cash in hand.  Hey!  It could happen!!  Read on. And if you’re interested, here’s a cool video about How an ATM Works.

There are so many things we take for granted these days – simple devices like traffic lights (invented in Cleveland), clocks working perfectly, computer networks at the touch of a button, or even simpler things like the phone ringing and working when we answer it.  One amazing device is the ATM – that turns 53 this week.  For young guys like me, I don’t remember a time without them.  It’s come a long way since 1967, when the very first ATM was installed in London. Inserting a card, typing in a PIN number and receiving cash is super cool – transactions processed and posted, and accounts balanced.  At KHT, we love innovation and problem solving – you know, your PIA (Pain in the @#$) Jobs! we tackle every single day.  We love it when designers and engineers figure things out and bring them to market.  So here’s to all the ATM inventors, engineers and companies who worked so hard to make these common place.  Thanks to Wikipedia and ncr.com for the info.

The ATM made its debut at Barclays’ Enfield Town branch in north London in June 1967. Its invention is credited to British inventor John Shepherd-Barron. The story goes that Mr. Shepherd-Barron saw vending machines selling chocolate bars and asked why a similar machine couldn’t be used to dispense cash.

An automated teller machine (ATM) is an electronic telecommunications device that enables customers of financial institutions to perform financial transactions, such as cash withdrawals, deposits, funds transfers, or account information inquiries, at any time and without the need for direct interaction with bank staff.

ATMs are known by a variety of names, including automatic teller machine (ATM) in the US (sometimes redundantly as “ATM machine”). In Canada, the term automated banking machine (ABM) is also used, although ATM is also very commonly used in Canada, with many Canadian organizations using ATM over ABM.  In British English, the terms cashpoint, cash machine and hole in the wall are most widely used.  Other terms include any time money, cashline, nibank, tyme machine, cash dispenser, cash corner, bankomat, or bancomat.

ATMs can also be used to withdraw cash in a foreign country. If the currency being withdrawn from the ATM is different from that in which the bank account is denominated, the money will be converted at the financial institution’s exchange rate.

The idea of out-of-hours cash distribution developed from bankers’ needs in Japan, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.  A Japanese device called the “Computer Loan Machine” supplied cash as a three-month loan at 5% p.a. after inserting a credit card. The device was operational in 1966.

Adrian Ashfield invented the basic idea of a card combining the key and user’s identity in February 1962. This was granted UK Patent 959,713 for “Access Controller” in June 1964 and assigned to W. S. Atkins & Partners who employed Ashfield. He was paid ten shillings for this, the standard sum for all patents. It was originally intended to dispense petrol but the patent covered all uses.

In the US patent record, Luther George Simjian has been credited with developing a “prior art device”. Specifically, his 132nd patent (US3079603), which was first filed on 30 June 1960 (and granted 26 February 1963). The roll-out of this machine, called Bankograph, was delayed by a couple of years, due in part to Simjian’s Reflectone Electronics Inc. being acquired by Universal Match Corporation.

An experimental Bankograph was installed in New York City in 1961 by the City Bank of New York but removed after six months due to the lack of customer acceptance.

The idea of a PIN stored on the card was developed by a group of engineers working at Smiths Group on the Chubb MD2 in 1965 and which has been credited to James Goodfellow (patent GB1197183 filed on May 2, 1966 with Anthony Davies). The essence of this system was that it enabled the verification of the customer with the debited account without human intervention. It had a profound influence on the industry as a whole. Not only did future entrants into the cash dispenser market such as NCR Corporation and IBM license Goodfellow’s PIN system, but a number of later patents reference this patent as “Prior Art Device”.

A Chubb-made ATM appeared in Sydney in 1969. This was the first ATM installed in Australia. The machine only dispensed $25 at a time and the bank card itself would be mailed to the user after the bank had processed the withdrawal.

Asea Metior’s Bankomat was the first ATM installed in Spain on January 9, 1969, in downtown Madrid by Banesto. This device dispensed 1,000 peseta bills (1 to 5 max). Each user had to introduce a security personal key using a combination of the ten numeric buttons.  In March of the same year an ad with the instructions to use the Bancomat was published in the same newspaper.

After looking firsthand at the experiences in Europe, in 1968 the ATM was pioneered in the U.S. by Donald Wetzel, who was a department head at a company called Docutel.  Docutel was a subsidiary of Recognition Equipment Inc of Dallas, Texas, which was producing optical scanning equipment and had instructed Docutel to explore automated baggage handling and automated gasoline pumps.

On September 2, 1969, Chemical Bank installed the first ATM in the U.S. at its branch in Rockville Centre, New York. The first ATMs were designed to dispense a fixed amount of cash when a user inserted a specially coded card. A Chemical Bank advertisement boasted “On Sept. 2 our bank will open at 9:00 and never close again.” Chemical executives were initially hesitant about the electronic banking transition given the high cost of the early machines. Additionally, executives were concerned that customers would resist having machines handling their money.

In recent times, countries like India and some countries in Africa are installing ATMs in rural areas, which are solar powered.

The world’s highest ATM is located at the Khunjerab Pass in Pakistan. Installed at an elevation of 4,693 metres (15,397 ft) by the National Bank of Pakistan, it is designed to work in temperatures as low as -40 degree Celsius – you know, like a Cleveland day in February.

Most ATMs are connected to interbank networks, enabling people to withdraw and deposit money from machines not belonging to the bank where they have their accounts or in the countries where their accounts are held (enabling cash withdrawals in local currency). Some examples of interbank networks include NYCE, PULSE, PLUS, Cirrus, AFFN, Interac, Interswitch, STAR, LINK, MegaLink, and BancNet.

There are no hard international or government-compiled numbers totaling the complete number of ATMs in use worldwide. Estimates developed by ATMIA place the number of ATMs currently in use between 3 million and 4 million units, or approximately 1 ATM per 3,000 people in the world.

To simplify the analysis of ATM usage around the world, financial institutions generally divide the world into seven regions, due to the penetration rates, usage statistics, and features deployed. Four regions (USA, Canada, Europe, and Japan) have high numbers of ATMs per million people.  Despite the large number of ATMs, there is additional demand for machines in the Asia/Pacific area as well as in Latin America.  Macau may have the highest density of ATMs at 254 ATMs per 100,000 adults.  ATMs have yet to reach high numbers in the Near East and Africa.

So what will the future bring for the ATM? One thing that’s clear is that this channel will remain extremely important and continue to evolve, even though the emergence of contactless cards and mobile wallets has reduced consumer reliance on cash in some markets.

Customers will have access to an ever-expanding range of services at the ATM, from core functions like paying bills and transferring money between accounts, to buying stamps, train tickets and gift certificates. Videoconferencing with human tellers is also likely to become more widely available for people who want to complete more complex transactions at the ATM.

As far as security is concerned, biometric authentication is something we can expect to see more of, along with improvements in software to combat evolving cyber threats.

Some more recent developments suggest that cardless and contactless accessibility will be a significant trend for ATMs in the years to come. In 2012, Royal Bank of Scotland launched its Get Cash service, allowing customers to withdraw money from ATMs using a code sent to their mobile phone, eliminating the need for debit cards.

Just last year, Barclays introduced the UK’s first contactless mobile cash facility.

To be honest, I still like to visit the bank, chat with tellers and do my banking business face-to-face – but yes, I’m just fine to use the ATM when on a golfing trip.


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!!


Dads (and Granddads)

You want to know something? It’s fun being a dad!!!  And a granddad!!!!!!
Happy Father’s Day, dads!


This Sunday marks a special day on the calendar – Father’s Day.  For me, it’s filled with current and past memories of my Dad growing up, not just his wisdom helping me transition into the business through his leadership and counsel but also the absolute wonderfully crazy times I had with Dad growing up.  Then the joy of having 4 incredible daughters of my own to help raise and now the thrill of being a “grandpa”.  Dads are special people throughout – caring, protective and loving – but also clumsy (I can’t braid hair to save my life!), silly and patient.

As I read this list below, there are lots of items that bring back so many wonderful memories of both having a great Dad and the joy in being able to help raise four fantastic daughters who love both Marvel movies and Hallmark!  Sports and the Arts!  Plus food, all kinds of great food!  The fact that my children are all within 15 minutes of Jackie and I is so fantastic! Needless to say I could go on for a long time.

Simply put, being a Dad is an incredible joy and blessing!

To all the dads and granddads out there, we salute you.  Enjoy your day and your loved ones.  Here a list of great “dad” attributes – I’m sure you can easily add to the list

Why Dads Are AWESOME – (thanks mom365.com for the insights)

1. Dads are Rough and Tumble – play wrestling, running around like maniacs, or tossing their little ones high into the air, dads tend to be the parent less afraid of pushing the limits. It can make some moms cringe to see just how far dads and their kids can go, but we always know that everyone is having fun and will (probably!) be OK in the end. Some mild roughhousing may teach your kids to be resilient and brave – and as Mom reminds us – “it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt”

2. Two Words: Dad Jokes – Dads are kings of corny jokes. Even though we groan and roll our eyes, you know we love it. Keep on being awesome, dads.

3. Dads are Great Coaches – whether they’re coaching the whole team or just offering some one-on-one advice on how to play the game, dads are amazing at sharing their love of the game. Football, baseball, and soccer are their usual fare, but we’ve known lots of dads who help with ballet and cheerleading, too. We know it’s a little bit love of the sport, but mostly it’s love for their kids.

4. He’s a Fierce Protector – there’s a reason that boys are terrified of meeting their love interest’s dad; dads are protective and unafraid of instilling fear in anyone they think might wrong their child. From chasing away the bogeyman to making sure nobody picks on you at the playground, it’s always comforting to know that dad has your back.

5.  Dads Hide Emotions – there is no sound more amazing than your baby’s heartbeat. Moms can hear the whoosh of the Doppler running over her belly until finally you find it–the fast, rhythmic beat of life from inside. It’s expected that moms-to-be find themselves overwhelmed with emotion the first time they hear it, so don’t be afraid to cry–it really is a miracle.

6. Dads Get Creative at Mealtime – when dad is in charge during dinnertime it can get creative. You know the kids will get fed—but some dads will think outside of the box for meals. Buttered bread and pickles, cereal over ice cream, carrot sticks in peanut butter, or sandwiches stuffed high with every ingredient in the house, dads are great at making dinner an adventure.

7. They’re Gracious Gift-Receivers – every dad eventually receives the dreaded ugly neck-tie. And what does he do? He puts that bad boy on and he rocks it. He rocks it because he loves his kids and isn’t afraid to show it—even if the tie is really, truly, awful. And that’s why we love you.

8. Dads are the Best Nap-Buddies – we all have pictures of our little ones napping with daddy. It’s hard to deny that seeing a dad napping with his mini-me is about the cutest thing in the world. You can see that your little dude knows that dad is the most comfortable sleep surface around, and that’s why you let them rest, no matter how badly you wish you were the one napping instead.

9. They Love to Share Their Hobbies – all dads look forward to the day their kids can carry on the tradition. Dads love to have a common interest with their child. It doesn’t matter so much what his hobby is—the day that he can finally share his expertise and have a little buddy join along is a good day for any dad.  Fishing, sports, hiking, cooking, antique cars – the list is endless.

10. Dads Teach us Discipline – whether it’s quite time in church, saying our “please and thank yous” or just helping someone in need, Dads set the example, and then reinforce it.  Their patience and consistence sets the bar, and shows us where to draw the line.

11. Dads Know About Tools – this one’s a real blessing if you’ve got a fix-it leaning guy. Sure, moms can fix a toy, change a doorknob, or get a crib together, but do they really want to? Dads love to show off their building skills, even if it’s the smallest job ever. It’s fun to see him working hard, plus it sets a good example for kids that you should fix something that’s broken instead of throwing it away. Dads are especially fearless when it comes to get under the sink to fix the drain – that’s when the adventure begins.  Especially once I start yelling that this is a stupid design!!  Just ask my ladies!

12. What Happens with Dad Stays with Dad – Dad doesn’t mind a little mischief and he knows that sometimes it’s really okay to not tell mom (as long as it isn’t important or too hazardous). Having fun secrets with dad doesn’t make mom the bad guy – but sharing some wild times on the down-low helps strengthen the bond that he shares with his kids. Who can forget the visits to Hot Dog Inn before dinner!

13. And Grandpas get to break ALL THE RULES!  Being a Grandpa is a really special time – holding the babies and promising them the world – and no rules apply – skip the restricted diets, spoil them with gifts and just get down on the floor and play – (harder getting up these days).

Love You Dad – thanks for EVERYTHING!!




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!!




More Please

Whether the farmer grows them or you grow them, potatoes are GREAT!! And when they’re turned into potato salad they’re greater yet!!! Just check-out some of the recipes below, I have.


Growing up in a big family (yes, I’m one of 18 children – world’s bravest Dad and Mom superheroes!) I always enjoy going to family cookouts.  Now that my siblings are married and my kids are grown and hosting parties along with their cousins, I can pretty much find a place for a great cookout every day!!  The food is always amazing since each of us have our own personal favorites – whether grilled brats, hot dogs,  hamburgers, chicken, chops, steak or ribs putting their own culinary twist on things!  Add some corn on the cob, watermelon and one of my favorites – potato salad.  As a kid, as I would be filling up my plate (actually plates!), I’d smother my hot dog in yellow mustard and ketchup (none of that green stuff for me), grab a couple buttery ears of sweet corn and gently balance my  plate with a juicy slab of chilled watermelon, making sure I left enough space for the creamy delight.  Often before I could reach out to grab the spoon to dig into that giant bowl, mom would give me the look that said, “Easy does it Stevie.” I had to control myself navigating that bowl of rich, mayo-drenched potato salad, as I made sure to fill the spaces leftover on my plate.  After I got married, I moved into a whole new phase of food love – my wife Jackie’s cooking.  This includes her magnificent potato salad (no Mom, not starting a battle here).  How can I describe it – expertly cut potatoes, symmetric celery, onions, fluffy hard-boiled eggs, creamy mayonnaise, dash of mustard and of course her well-guarded spice combo.  Unfortunately, I can’t be filling multiple plates with potato salad anymore, anyone who knows me understands why!  Here’s some info and tips (thanks streetdirectory.com, NPR, NYTimes and of course Jackie) to help you get rolling.

– Potato salad has been around for many cookouts. It was first introduced to Europe from the New World by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. These early potato salads were made by boiling potatoes in wine or a mixture of vinegar and spices.

– The more American version of potato salad is rooted in German cuisine and came here with European settlers.

– Main ingredients included: potatoes (many different kinds to experiment with), hard boiled eggs, celery, sweet onion and depending on where you grew up – Hellman’s mayo or Miracle Whip? (we’re a Hellman’s House).

– Potato salad is a dish, usually an appetizer, made, obviously, from potatoes. However so, it still varies throughout different countries and regions of the world. Potato salads are more classified as side dishes than salads for they generally just precede or the follow the main course. As far as I am concerned, it could be the main dish!

– Many would claim on having made the best potato salad and would offer the truest and most authentic way of making it. But no matter what is said by many, the best potato salad, or any kind of salad at that matter, is purely of personal preference. Some like their potato salads mingled and just oozing with its dressing, some would prefer theirs to be really soft and tender, and others would want their potato salad to be crispy.

– Potato salads are definitely a popular menu choice of various chefs and cooks for preparing food for a large crowd, and since they can be made in large quantities with utter ease, they can also be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator until it is their time to be served.

– You must never worry about emptying your wallet when going to the grocery store to buy whatever ingredients you need for you potato salad. The ingredients needed for potato salads are inexpensive and very much affordable. Thus, you do not have to worry about making one yourself because it is, in fact, quite easy.

– You would need two pounds, or approximately six large potatoes which are peeled and quartered.  Of course, you have to cook the potatoes in boiling water for approximately fifteen minutes, or when the potatoes are already barely tender. You have to check every minute or so after the first ten minutes have gone by. Once you have confirmed of the cooked status of your potatoes, cut them into smaller pieces. After that, just leave them be so that they will cool down.

– Then, you should mix the other ingredients you have also prepared in a large bowl. Once you are confident that you mixed them finely, add your already cooled potatoes, and then mix them, altogether, well. When all these are done, chill your self-made potato salad, but just do not forget to stir it a couple of times during the chilling time you have allotted for it.


Jackie’s Tips for Making Great Potato Salad

– Use waxy rather than floury potatoes, such as Yukon gold, red bliss and fingerlings. They have a creamy texture yet keep their shape well when cooked. Although russet potatoes are exceptionally tender, they don’t hold their shape well when boiled and tend to get mushy.

– Cut potatoes into equal-sized pieces so they will cook evenly.  Use the freshest ingredients you can find to mix in.  Experiment with “crunchy” vegies – tiny carrots, cucumber, peppers, radishes – you pick ‘em!

– Don’t overcook potatoes. Take them off the heat while they’re still slightly firm. Drain and let cool before assembling the salad – hot potatoes will flake and get mushy.

– With or without skins? It’s a personal preference. If you leave the skins on, be sure to scrub them well before cooking. Peeled potatoes work especially well for absorbing sauces such as pesto and dressings.

– Season the potatoes while still warm to absorb the flavors more fully.

– Eat right away, or let flavors meld?  I’m all for making and letting things blend – Steve on the other hand can hardly wait, but for sure loves it more days later!

– Chilled or warm – coin flip here.  Warm potato salads taste best the day they are made; however, cold potato salads often taste better the next day. If you’re making potato salad ahead of time, hold off on adding raw onions or fresh herbs until just before serving. You’ll avoid unpleasant pungency and keep your herbs looking fresh.


Super Fun Recipes to Try: 

Jackie’s Homemade German Potato Salad: 
Recipe came from the Italian mother of one of Jackie’s Mom’s childhood friends! (WOW).  Serves 6-8 – unless Steve gets there first!
½ lb bacon
6 large potatoes
1 small onion diced
2 Tbs flour
1 Tbs sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp celery seed
¾ cup cool water
½ cup vinegar
Fry bacon until crisp.  Reserve 1/3 cup bacon fat.  Boil whole potatoes until fork tender.  Drain then peel and slice while a bit hot.  Mix the flour, sugar, salt, celery seed, water and vinegar in a small bowl.  Pour vinegar mixtures into reserved bacon fat and heat until it boils for 1 minute.  Pour sauce over sliced hot potatoes and diced onions.  Serve hot, topped with bacon pieces.

Other recipes to try: (just click the links)
Lemon Grass Ginger Potato Salad
Arugula Pesto Potato Salad
String Bean And Potato Salad With Prosciutto
Patriotic Potato Salad


Potato Music to get you Smiling for the WeekendCLICK



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!!





Smokin Good!!

Smoked meats are fantastic!!! And smokin ‘em is something we can do ourselves. You could build a smokehouse in your backyard for $27,500. Or get the awesome Meadow Creek TS250 Barbeque Smoker Trailer (second photo down) for only $7,195. See that baby HERE.  But most of us will opt for a less expensive option providing the same results. Check out all the smoker options, meat options, helpful tips, a couple of great recipes and some great smokin music in the story below. Haaaaaaaaaappy Smokin!!! 

Now that the mercury is starting to climb, it’s time once again for me to revisit an interest I can’t quite stop thinking about when in the backyard – smoking meats.  Now, for sure I am no expert at all – just a lover of things that come off the grill (and all the other items that fill my plate).  There is no doubt, a good piece of smoked meat is a work of art — it takes time, talent, and know-how to get it right. Even if my fellow “smokers” disagree on the finer points, I’m confident we all agree on one thing: smoked meat is freaking awesome.  To get things started, I searched the internet for some good “basics” on meat and equipment, and then included some of my favorite recipes… (honestly, is there anything better than juicy smoked and barbequed ribs?? (ok, brisket is right up there).  Be sure to check out the links below for additional info – crank up your grills and have fun.  And if you happen to hit the jackpot on a favorite recipe, be sure to send it over for me to try (skowalski@khtheat.com ).  As I am writing this all I can think of is ribs with some of Jackie’s great potato salad! (which will be for a whole other post).  Thanks to Wikipedia, themanual.com, heygrillhey.com, thefoodnetwork.com, youtube.com.

  • Smoking has been used as a way of preserving and flavoring food for many thousands of years.  Our ancestors discovered, probably by serendipity, that foods exposed to smoke lasted longer before spoiling.
  • Smoking processes and methods have been passed down through generations and are still very much in use today around the world.  In some countries, these time-honored techniques form part of the essential yearly ritual of preserving fish and meat, especially in autumn to provide protein over the winter when hunting proves less bountiful.
  • In Medieval Europe, when an animal was slaughtered (often pigs) much of the meat was smoked for preservation.  Many smallholdings had dedicated smoke houses where the meat was smoked and stored.  The less affluent hung their meat high up on the edges oftheir hearth or fireplace at night.  Ashes were placed over the embers to extinguish any flames which produced an ideal Smoky environment in which to preserve their fish or game.
  •  Through years of culinary trial and error, humanity has determined the best smoking techniques and, in the process, elevated the age-old practice to a level of mastery on par with any other cooking endeavor.
  •  There are entire books written on the subject, but contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take years to learn how to smoke. Here’s some information you need to know to dive right in and start smoking meat like pro within a day. First things first, though; you’ll need a smoker.

Types of Smokers

  • Electric smokers use electricity to heat up a rod (or similar heating element), which then causes the wood to smoke. These are the easiest in terms of heat control since all you have to do is turn a dial to adjust the temperature. They also tend to be the most expensive, and they impart the least amount of smoked flavor compared to the other options.
  • Propane smokers work almost exactly like electric smokers, but use a gas-fueled flame instead of a heating element to make the wood pellets smolder. These are pretty simple and might be a better choice for people in areas where electricity is expensive or scarce.
  • Charcoal smokers are a favorite among barbecue masters, who believe that charcoal imbues more flavor compared to propane and electric. Charcoal smokers tend to be cheaper, but you also have to buy charcoal every time you want to smoke. Charcoal also requires you to start and maintain a fire without the help of modern technology.
  • Wood smokers are definitely the way to go for the purest flavor, but they require the most attention and care out of all the options because they’re harder to keep at a constant temperature. For this reason, I would recommend wood smokers after you’ve learned the basics.
  • Pellet smokers are similar to wood smokers, but the wood has been condensed into a convenient pellet form (hence the name). However, they are much easier to use. Instead of splitting firewood, stacking it, and babysitting the flame, you simply load the pellets into an oven-like compartment. The only downside? Like their electric brethren, pellet smokers tend to be expensive.
  • Combos – more serious cook/chefs like to buy combination gas grills and smokers – this can get expensive, but down the road may be the best option for you to truly enjoy the art of outdoor cooking.

Best Meats to Smok

When hunting for the right chunk of meat, try to pick something that will benefit from the slow-cooking process. Don’t shy away from cuts with lots of connective tissue and fat known as “marbling.” A generous marble will make the finished product more succulent and delicious.

  • Beef brisket is a go-to and great “starter” meat, and you can never go wrong with ribs.
  • Pork shoulder is another meat that lends itself to smoking.
  • If you want to smoke a steak, the bigger the cut, the better.
  • You might also turn to your butcher shop for some lesser-known cuts like tri-tip and chuck eye, just to see what happens. Who knows, you may fall in love with a new cut of meat.

Wood For Smoking Meat
This is the flavor engine, along with your rubs and sauces.  Experimenting is big part of the fun, so try different woods and wood combinations – nice excuse to keep cooking too!

  • Alder has a light and naturally sweet flavor, which makes it great for pairing with fish, poultry, and any white meat.
  • Applewood has a fruity and sweet smoke that pairs wonderfully with pork, fish, and poultry.
  • Hickory has a strong and distinct flavor that’s ideal for red meat, especially ribs.
  • Pecan gives your meat somewhat of a fruity flavor and burns cooler than most other barbecue woods. It’s similar to hickory and is best used on large cuts like brisket and pork roast, but can also be used to complement chops, fish, and poultry.
  • Maple has a sweet and delicate taste and tends to darken whatever meat you’re smoking. It goes well with alder, oak, or applewood, and is typically used for poultry and ham.
  • Mesquite is undoubtedly the most pungent wood you can smoke, which means it can easily overpower your meat if used improperly. Avoid using mesquite with larger cuts that require longer cooking times. You can also use it with a mix of other woods.
  • Oak on the other hand, is great for big cuts of meat that take a long time to cook. It has a subtle flavor that will emerge the longer the meat is in the smoker.
  • Cherrywood is best suited for red meat and pork; it also pairs well with alder, hickory, and oak.

The Importance of Brining
Brining your meat keeps it from drying out during the smoking process. It’s all about science — the salt in the brine makes the proteins in the meat more water-absorbent. When sodium and chloride ions get into the meat tissue, their electrical charges mess with the proteins (especially myosin), so they can hold onto moisture more effectively and lose less of it during the cooking process. For optimal moisture retention, soak your meat in a brine for 10-12 hours before smoking.

In its most basic form, brine is nothing more than salty water, however, it benefits from the addition of herbs and spices. To make a good base, add three tablespoons of salt to one quart of water, then throw in whatever else you prefer. Brining is a bit of a double-edged sword: It helps meat retain moisture but also makes it saltier. Some chefs use sugar and molasses to combat the salty flavor.

Keep it Low and Slow:
Low and slow is the key to good meat. Keep your temperature between 212 degrees Fahrenheit and 230 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results. These lower temperatures generally won’t cause the meat’s cell walls to burst, which helps make the meat more succulent and allows it to retain nutrients.

Yummy Recipes: 
Texas Style Smoked Beef Brisket: CLICK
“Oh Baby” Baby Backed Ribs: CLICK

Songs to Smoke Meat To:
You Tube Favorites: CLICK





Have A Coke and A Smile

Coke has been around for a really long time. (See the story below) It’s everywhere including at my house and office. Famous people like Warren Buffet, Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift and Santa Clause drink it. And their advertising is iconic and has evolved nicely over the years. Those two red background ads under Santa Clause say a lot without saying much. On the left it says Coke goes with food (Yes!!) and on the right they introduce their new tall can. Below those ads, is a clever billboard campaign in Italy using the Coke ribbon morphing into a hand to show us way to recycling bins. At the bottom, Coca-Cola Australia ran a campaign in 2019 using a lady bug and some helpful ants to promote their use of 100% recycled plastic. See their really cute commercial HERE. Bottoms up!!!

Now that the thermometer is rising, nothing for me says “summer’s here” like ice cold Coca Cola (well, ok, plus hot dogs, barbeque chicken, potato salad, ice cream, watermelon, lemonade   helps a bit too).  With all of the different drinks on the market, flavored waters, teas, seltzers, sports drinks and more, sometimes I just love the taste of a Coke with vanilla ice cream for a great float (throw in some Mickey D’s fries and I’m good to go!).  I did some digging online and found out some fun facts (like the guy who invented it started to advertise on this day in 1886).  Enjoy the info and fun trivia and pop open a Coke over the weekend and smile for your friends at KHT!

  1. John Stith Pemberton was an American biochemist and American Civil War veteran who is best known as the inventor of Coca-Cola.
  2.  Pemberton was born on July 8, 1831, in Knoxville, Georgia, and spent most of his childhood in Rome, Georgia. His parents were James C. Pemberton and Martha L. Gant.  The Pembertons were of English lineage, the direct paternal ancestor Phineas Pemberton and his family from Lancashire, traveled aboard the ship Submission about 1682 from Liverpool to the Province of Maryland, eventually settling in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  There he built a mansion in 1687 and had served as William Penn’s chief administrator.
  3. Stith Pemberton entered the Reform Medical College of Georgia in Macon, Georgia, and in 1850, at the age of nineteen, he earned his medical degree.  His main talent was chemistry. After initially practicing some medicine and surgery, Dr. Pemberton opened a drug store in Columbus.
  4. During the American Civil War, Pemberton served in the Third Cavalry Battalion of the Georgia State Guard, which was at that time a component of the Confederate Army. He achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel.
  5. He met Ann Eliza Clifford Lewis of Columbus, Georgia, known to her friends as “Cliff”, who had been a student at the Wesleyan College in Macon. They were married in Columbus in 1853. Their only child, Charles Ney Pemberton, was born in 1854.
  6. In April 1865, Dr. Pemberton sustained a saber wound to the chest during the Battle of Columbus. He soon became addicted to the morphine used to ease his pain and soon began seeking a cure for his addiction.
  7. His first recipe was “Dr. Tuggle’s Compound Syrup of Globe Flower”, in which the active ingredient was derived from the buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), a toxic plant that is common in Alaska.  He next began experimenting with coca and coca wines, eventually creating a recipe that contained extracts of kola nut and damiana, which he called Pemberton’s French Wine Coca.
  8. According to Coca-Cola historian Phil Mooney, Pemberton’s world-famous soda was “created in Columbus, Georgia and carried to Atlanta”.  With public concern about drug addiction, depression, and alcoholism among war veterans, and “neurasthenia” among “highly-strung” Southern women, Pemberton’s “medicine” was advertised as particularly beneficial for “ladies, and all those whose sedentary employment causes nervous prostration”.
  9. In 1886, when Atlanta and Fulton County enacted temperance legislation, Pemberton had to produce a non-alcoholic alternative to his French Wine Coca.  Pemberton relied on Atlanta drugstore owner-proprietor Willis E. Venable to test, and help him perfect, the recipe for the beverage, which he formulated by trial and error. With Venable’s assistance, Pemberton worked out a set of directions for its preparation.
  10. He blended the base syrup with carbonated water by accident when trying to make another glassful of the beverage. Pemberton decided then to sell this as a fountain drink rather than a medicine. Frank Mason Robinson came up with the name “Coca-Cola” for the alliterative sound, which was popular among other wine medicines of the time.
  11. Although the name refers to the two main ingredients, because of controversy over its cocaine content, The Coca-Cola Company later said that the name was “meaningless but fanciful”. Robinson hand wrote the Spencerian script on the bottles and ads.
  12. Pemberton made many health claims for his product, touting it as a “valuable brain tonic” that would cure headaches, relieve exhaustion, and calm nerves, and marketed it as “delicious, refreshing, pure joy, exhilarating”, and “invigorating”.
  13. Pemberton had a hunch that his formula “some day will be a national drink”, so he attempted to retain a share of the ownership to leave to his son. In 1888, Pemberton and his son sold the remaining portion of the patent to a fellow Atlanta pharmacist, Asa Griggs Candler, for US$1,750, which in 2020 purchasing power equals about $50,000.
  14. Due to its status as an iconic brand available all around the world, you might feel like you already know all there is to know about Coca-Cola. Yes, you can drink Coke pretty much anywhere, and yes, it’s sold in more countries than there are in the United Nations. Here’s some fun facts:
  15. One of Coca-Cola’s earliest CEOs, Robert Woodruff, wanted to brand and standardize Coke served from soda fountains, so he came up with the iconic bell-shaped glass. The glasses were originally made with a mark to show exactly how much syrup to pour in for each serving.
  16. In 1923, Coca-Cola also began selling packages of six bottles, setting the precedent for the now-commonplace six-pack of today’s beverage industry.
  17. The Coca-Cola Company has, rather dramatically,hidden its secret formula in a vault since the 1920s. It also has some seriously stringent rules for viewing the document with the recipe: Only two employees can know the recipe at a time, and the company board must approve any employee just to look at the document. In 2011, the company seized on the appeal of its secrecy by making the formula vault into an exhibit at its World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta.
  18. If you’d like to spend the next nine years continually drinking different Coca-Cola beverages, feel free—with it’s 500 brands and more than 3,500 beverages, that’s how long it would take you to get through all the Coke products if you drank one per day.
  19. If every ounce of Coke ever produced was lined up in eight-ounce bottles, it could stretch to the moon and back more than 2,000 times. Now mix in other drinks – as the Coca-Cola Company produces more than just sodas, though—it manufactures everything from energy shots to soy-based drinks.
  20. With $35.1 billion in revenue in 2010, Coca-Cola represents an economy larger than some small countries; in fact, it’s bigger than Costa Rica. And if that factoid isn’t enough to shock you, consider that the Coca-Cola brand also has an estimated worth of $74 billion, which is larger than Pepsi, Starbucks, Red Bull, and Budweiser combined.
  21. In 1985 it became the first soda anyone ever drank on the moon. Coca-Cola even produced a special space can for the astronauts on the Space Shuttle Challenger.
  22. Even though the most popular use for Coke is drinking it, you can also pour it on various surfaces as a cleaning and de-rusting agent. You can even dump it on jellyfish stings to neutralize pain, bath in it to remove skunk smell, or pour it on your clothes to get rid of grease stains.
  23. Clearly, there are some unbelievable (but completely true) facts about Coca-Cola. There are, however, some myths surrounding the iconic brand that you shouldn’t pay any attention to. Some say the original drink was green, but it’s always been the same old brown. The liquid only appeared green from the green-tinted bottles and glasses it was sometimes served in. People have also claimed that Coke can dissolve objects like teeth, coins, and even steak when left in the liquid overnight. (It won’t—it will only leave those objects soggier than their original state.)
  24. In first quarter 2020, Coca Cola sold over a billion cans of sparkling and still beverages – now that’s something to smile about.

Watch Coca Cola’s ‘Have A Coke and a Smile’ 1970’s 60 second Commercial


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!!





We Salute You!


God Bless You!






Squirrels are so great!!!


Ok, so I have to admit it – I am fascinated watching squirrels run around. The amount of energy they have especially when you watch one chase the other around the yard.  It does make you wonder, are they just playing tag or is one of them really, really ticked!  With all of this “stay at home time”, really any movement in the yard is of interest these days – birds, rabbits, deer – we even have wild turkeys in town. Here in Ohio, most of our squirrels are brown in color, with big bushy tails (for those of you who aren’t from around here, we do have some black squirrels on the west side of Cleveland and in the suburb of Lakewood!)  So, here’s a little trivia and nutty facts about these fun-fulled entertainment creatures.  Special thanks to Wikipedia, gizmodo and National Wildlife Association for the info.

– Squirrels are members of the family Sciuridae, a family that includes small or medium-size rodents. (This certainly explains why many folks call squirrels simply rats with bushy tails!)  The squirrel family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots (including groundhogs), flying squirrels, and prairie dogs amongst other rodents.

– The earliest known fossilized squirrels date from the Eocene period and are most closely related to the mountain beaver and to the dormouse among other living rodent families.

– Squirrels are indigenous to the Americas, Eurasia, and Africa, and were introduced by humans to Australia.

– The word “squirrel”, first attested in 1327, comes from the Anglo-Norman esquirel which is from the Old French escurel, the reflex of a Latin word sciurus. This Latin word was borrowed from the Ancient Greek word σκίουρος, skiouros, which means shadow-tailed, referring to the bushy appendage possessed by many of its members.

– The native Old English word for the squirrel, ācweorna, survived only into Middle English (as aquerne) before being replaced

– A group of squirrels is called a “dray” or a “scurry” – (funny how we say “look at that squirrel scurry across the lawn”)

– Squirrels are generally small animals, ranging in size from the African pygmy squirrel and least pygmy squirrel 3.9–5.5 in in total length and just 0.42–0.92 oz in weight to the Bhutan giant flying squirrel at up to 4 ft 2 in in total length, and several marmot species, which can weigh 18 lbs. or more. Not sure what I’d think if I saw a 4’ squirrel in the yard.

– Squirrels typically have slender bodies with bushy tails and large eyes. In general, their fur is soft and silky, though much thicker in some species than others. The coat color of squirrels is highly variable between—and often even within—species.

– In most squirrel species, the hind limbs are longer than the fore limbs, while all species have either four or five toes on each paw. The paws, which include an often poorly developed thumb, have soft pads on the undersides and versatile, sturdy claws for grasping and climbing.

– Tree squirrels, unlike most mammals, can descend a tree head-first. They do so by rotating their ankles 180 degrees, enabling the hind paws to point backward and thus grip the tree bark from the opposite direction. (in my backyard, this helps them feed upside down from my bird feeders).

– As their large eyes indicate, squirrels have an excellent sense of vision, which is especially important for the tree-dwelling species. Many also have a good sense of touch, with vibrissae (wiskers) on their limbs as well as their heads.

– The teeth of squirrels follow the typical rodent pattern, with large incisors (for gnawing) that grow throughout life, and cheek teeth (for grinding) that are set back behind a wide gap, or diastema. Cartoonists love to draw squirrels with giant front teeth.

– Many juvenile squirrels die in the first year of life. Adult squirrels can have a lifespan of 5 to 10 years in the wild (some can survive 10 to 20 years in captivity).

– Squirrels mate either once or twice a year and, following a gestation period of three to six weeks, give birth to a number of offspring that varies by species. The young are altricial, being born naked, toothless, and blind. In most species of squirrel, the female alone looks after the young, which are weaned at six to ten weeks and become sexually mature by the end of their first year. In general, the ground-dwelling squirrel species are social, often living in well-developed colonies, while the tree-dwelling species are more solitary.

– Because squirrels cannot digest cellulose, they must rely on foods rich in protein, carbohydrates, and fats. In temperate regions, early spring is the hardest time of year for squirrels because the nuts they buried are beginning to sprout (and thus are no longer available to eat), while many of the usual food sources have not yet become available. During these times, squirrels rely heavily on the buds of trees.

– The living squirrels are divided into five subfamilies, with about 58 genera and some 285 species.  The oldest squirrel fossil, Hesperopetes, dates back to the Chadronian (late Eocene, about 40–35 million years ago) and is similar to modern flying squirrels.

10 Nutty Facts to Make You Appreciate Squirrels Even More

1. Squirrels can find food buried beneath a foot of snow – Food is important during the cold winter months for squirrels. It makes sense, therefore, that some species are able to smell food under a foot of snow. The squirrel will then dig a tunnel under the snow, following the scent to their (or another squirrel’s) buried treasure.

2. A squirrel’s front teeth never stop growing – This is a common characteristic of other rodents, as well. The word “rodent” actually derives from the Latin “rodere,” which means to gnaw.

3. Squirrels may lose 25 percent of their buried food to thieves – and that’s just from members of their own species! Scatter hoarders (squirrels with multiple caches of food) have a difficult time keeping an eye on all of their hidden food. Fellow squirrels or birds often take advantage of this for a free meal.

4. They zigzag to escape predators – when squirrels feel threatened, they run away in a zigzag pattern. This is an incredibly useful strategy to escape hawks and other predators. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work so well on cars. Consider slowing down and giving squirrels a brake!

5. Squirrels may pretend to bury a nut to throw off potential thieves – Squirrels have been observed engaging in “deceptive caching.” This is where a squirrel digs a hole and vigorously covers it up again, but without depositing the nut. It seems this is done to throw off potential food thieves.

6. A newborn squirrel is about an inch long – if you come across one of these itty-bitty baby squirrels, please consult these resources, which will advise you what to do. That will help give the baby squirrel its best chance at survival.

7. Humans introduced squirrels to most of our major city parks – The story about why U.S. parks are full of squirrels is truly fascinating and worth a read.  HERE

8. Squirrels are acrobatic, intelligent, and adaptable – If you’re not convinced, try to hang a bird feeder without these bandits giving you a challenge.

9. They get bulky to stay warm during the winter – Putting on some extra weight is one strategy squirrels use to stay warm during the cold winter months.

10. Squirrels don’t dig up all of their buried nuts, which results in more trees – they have accidentally contributed countless trees to our nation’s forests. If you ask me, that’s a pretty great reason to appreciate squirrels.


Zany squirrel video:  CLICK


: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : 

Okay, kids, time to
sharpen those colored pencils —

It’s Coloring Contest Time!!
Home with nothing to do? Check.
Bored? Check.
Kids Bored? Check.
Well, here’s something that’ll keep you or your kids (or you AND your kids) busy while researchers around the world work day & night to give us a vaccine for the evil COVID-19.

How to win:
1) Download this crazy squirrel drawing HERE
2) Print it out. 
3) Color it the best you can. Kids and adults can play…it’s all the same to me.  🙂
4) Send it to me, Steve Kowalski, with your name, email and address for a chance to win some great Kowalski Heat Treating prizes! Happy coloring!!!



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. Just in the pictures area. Got it? Good.  :-))))  Have fun!!





Can’t Quarantine Love

One thing’s for sure – you can’t quarantine love.  And when it comes to love, the experts rule the day – all of our Moms.  From your buds at KHT, and all of our support team dedicated to solving your PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs!, here’s to all the moms out there – (and grandmas and great grandmas), thanks for your patience, and never ending LOVE.  Enjoy your day on Sunday.



Feel Good Song of the Week 
CLICK——————————————————–>  HERE





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. Just in the pictures area. Got it? Good.  :-))))  Have fun!!





Saddle Up

I love biking. It’s great exercise and great fun. And I love seeing a kid master that balance thing. It’s so great! Going on a long trek or just tooling around the neighborhood, there’s nothing like it. All you really need is a bike and some motivation to just GO!!

I’m guessing you share the same joy I do when the spring sun comes out.  There’s something special about watching the city come alive – people out, birds chirping, squirrels running, families out for walks, kites on the beachfront and more.  With our quarantine requirements, “getting out” this year has taken on a whole new meaning.  It got me to thinking about short and longer bike rides – some through the neighborhood, some to the lakefront (I’m fortunate to live less than a mile away) and longer trips throughout Northeast Ohio. As I am writing this as my usual early bird time, I can see cyclists with their lights on coming into downtown.   I came across this great website https://www.ohiobikeways.net loaded with great info – regional maps, long list of amazing trails, trail guidelines, “rules of the roads”, parking spots, even trail news and a blog link.  I could not believe how detailed the maps were – hundreds of great trail markings to go and explore.  Regarding what to pack, beyond a phone, money and granola bar and water, (or pack a nice lunch – top of my list of course) it’s a good idea to grab extra bike supplies in event of a flat.  Even for a short ride, make sure you’ve reviewed my handy “pre-trip” checklist below to prepare your bike(s) for safe travels.  Thanks to Ohiobikeways.net, Cleveland.com and Tittle & Perlmuter for the recommendations.  And of course, a little trivia for you … you cyclists have a Lorain County man to thank for saving your butts.

That man, Elyria native Arthur L. Garford, invented the first padded bicycle seat in the world over 100 years ago. When no one bought the patent, Garford decided in 1892 to manufacture the seat –with cushions and springs — himself.  A shrewd businessman.  Historians say Garford knew well the need for a padded seat, as a cyclist who raced and used bikes to get around in his younger years.
After selling his saddle seat company about a decade later, the inventor was involved in a number of industrial ventures, including the emerging automobile business. The Garford Company manufactured the high-quality Studebaker-Garford automobiles from 1904 to 1911. He then sold his interest in that company, too.

Garford was community-minded. He was the first president of the Elyria Chamber of Commerce, president of the YMCA and a trustee for the YWCA, public library and Memorial Hospital.  He also was among the men who conceived the idea of buying lakefront land in nearby Lorain to build a water-pumping station so Elyria residents could have access to drinking water — a resource the community continues to use today.

Garford dabbled in politics as well. He was an Ohio delegate for the Republican National Convention in 1896 and 1908 and had an unsuccessful run for Ohio governor in l912 as a Bull Moose Progressive. Two years later, he lost the race for a U.S. Senate seat to Warren G. Harding.  Today, the Lorain Historical Society calls Garford’s Elyria mansion home.

Here’s 5 Must-Visit Trails:

Cleveland Metroparks
The Cleveland Metroparks system is comprised of eighteen different reservations spanning over 23,000 acres. There are over 100 miles of all-purpose trails used for cycling, walking, running, etc., all available to the public. To learn more about the Cleveland Metroparks and the 18 reservations, visit www.clevelandmetroparks.com.

Emerald Necklace Trail
Linking many of the Cleveland Metroparks reservations is an area called the “Emerald Necklace”. A bike path exists creating a route linking the Rocky River, Mill Stream, and Brecksville reservations spanning over 70 miles. Many Emerald Necklace Trail riders use mountain or hybrid bikes, as the trail can be uneven and bumpy throughout certain parts. If you prefer a normal road bike, it’s recommended that you stick to the Valley Parkway which parallels the trail.

Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath
The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath is one of the longest bicycle paths in Ohio. Starting just south of Lake Erie, the trail leads you through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park all the way until you hit New Philadelphia. Following close to the historic Ohio & Erie Canalway, the entire trail is flat terrain, making it perfect for all riders. The towpath is open 24 hours a day and allows hikers or bikers to spend multiple days on the trail.

Cleveland Lakefront Bikeway
The Cleveland Lakefront Bikeway occupies over 17 miles alongside the Lake Erie shoreline. From Lakewood, on the west side, to Euclid, on the east side, the bikeway includes both on-road and off-road paths. The bikeway passes through Bratenahl Village, Collinwood, Edgewater State Park, and more. Some of the most scenic parts of the trail include the Edgewater Park area, historic homes on Lakeshore Blvd., and 2 miles of downtown views.

Harrison-Dillard Bikeway
The Harrison-Dillard Bikeway is geared especially to East-side Clevelanders, running right alongside Martin Luther King Blvd. Enjoy a four-mile scenic ride throughout the city’s Cultural Gardens, Wade Oval, and University Circle, viewing historic stonework and beautiful greenery along the way. University Circle is home to the Botanical Gardens, the Natural History Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and many more attractions that you can visit to take a break from your bike ride!

Handy Pre-Trip Checklist:

1A – Comfortable shorts for a comfortable ride!  SEE Arthur Garford above!
1 – Pump up your tires
Read the PSI markings on the side of the tire to ensure that you are putting the right amount of air in.
2 – Inspect your helmet
Make sure that it is not cracked or impaired in any way, be sure that it fits properly, and tighten the straps as appropriate.
3 – Check your bike
Make sure that your brakes and chain are working properly. It is much easier to make adjustments at home than on the trail. Also, check that your reflectors are clean and that you have a light if you anticipate riding after dark or through a trail tunnel
4 – Pack water
Bring more than enough water, especially on a hot day or if riding in a remote area. Sometimes even that guaranteed water refill spot is not available for one reason or another.
5 – Bring snacks (or lunch, yea!)
Nuts, granola bars, or compact foods that provide a protein punch are the perfect items to take along to keep energy up. As with water, always pack a little more than you think you will need.
6 – Prep your phone
Make sure that your phone is fully charged before heading out.
7 – Plot your route
If you are heading out on a new trail, do not forget to download directions to trailheads and research parking locations. Note where restrooms, water fountains, bike shops, and other services are located within close proximity to the trail. Also determine if your trail requires a fee or permit.
8 – Review your clothing options
Depending on the time of year and conditions on the day that you are riding, consider whether a rain poncho, an extra layer, or gloves are necessary.
9 – Pack a lock
Even if you do not anticipate stopping, a lock is nice to have in the event that plans change.
10 – Bring bike supplies
Be sure to have an extra tube (make sure it is the right one for your bike) or patch kit, as well as tire levers, a cyclist’s multi-tool, and a pump.
11 – Wear sun protection
Do not forget sunscreen and sunglasses, even on an overcast day.
12 – Review other gear
Other items to include in your pack: a band-aid or two, anti-friction chamois cream, lip balm, tissues, cash and a credit card, identification, and your health insurance card (which hopefully you won’t need). If it is a new route, you may also want to consider bringing a map, directions, and a camera.

Enjoy – and share any photos you take on the way – I’d love to see them!

Feel Good Song of the Week 
CLICK——————————–>  HERE



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. Just in the pictures area. Got it? Good.  :-))))  Have fun!!