Friday, May 31, 2013

So close at Sunset

The start of the season was upon us very quickly.  I had an opportunity to test drive the car, but not to race test the car.  The test date was rained out, so we went to the first race without any track time.  This is not the ideal situation.  We double checked all the nuts and bolts to make sure everything was tight, and out we went on old tires.  I use the old tires to gauge my car against the competition on new tires.  Old tires allow me to feel the car at it's worst.  On the track the car was good, a little loose. Our first order was to keep the car from spinning out on corner entry.  A quick sway bar adjustment and it was much better.  This is where I made the first mistake.  I reacted to quickly and should have left the car alone.  The first heat was good. The car was a little too tight with new tires.
 I adjusted sway bar again and he car was almost perfect for the feature.  After the second place finish in the heat race, I was looking to gain one more position.  The feature race went by very quickly.
 I did the best I could driving through the field.  While challenging for third, I was pushed down the track and into the grass with my left wheels.  That was exciting for a while, I don't recommend trying that out.  There was grass flying into the car.  It felt like I was cutting the grass at about 70 MPH.
 It took another 6 laps to catch back up, and we fought hard to get to second place.  I am very proud of the efforts made in the month prior to the first race.  The new car looks amazing. A second place finish is a great way to start the new season.  Up next is Flamboro, and hopefully one better finishing position.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Welding: An iron will to do better

May 24, 2013  | 
 Welding: An iron will to do better
By Amy Kenny
Juan Esteban Moreno Montes has done it all. Landscaping, stonework, cleaning, farming, tiling, hospitality. You name it, Montes has done it. He couldn't imagine doing any of it for the rest of his life, but he didn't think he had that many options. 

After high school, Montes finished a semester at a liberal arts college, then dropped out. He took a job packing vinyl siding at Burlington's GenTek Building Products, but was laid off in 2012. That's when Montes, 21, found out about a joint program through Mohawk College and steel manufacturer, Walters, Inc. The Mechanical Techniques Welding and Fabrication certificate was launched at the Stoney Creek campus in January 2013. It's a kind of preapprenticeship that mixes hands-on classroom learning with one paid day a week working at Walters. Students (there are 12 in Montes' class) can earn six welding tickets and get on-the-job experience. 

Montes says it fosters a different mentality to be completing real work orders versus class projects. At Walters, he's currently welding parts of a mining headpiece for a site in Saskatchewan. When finished, it will be the largest of its kind in the world.

"That's something we can't replicate in school," says Marla Robinson, associate dean at Mohawk's skilled trades campus. "The sheer size of what they're working on is something we can't even touch."

According to Marty Verhey, HR manager at Walters, it's a mutually beneficial arrangement. He says there's a shortage of skilled tradespeople. Among those who do get into welding, their training is broad. It's hard to find employees who have focused on the kind of structural welding done at Walters. The partnership with Mohawk addresses both problems. 

Linda MacKay, manager of issues and media relations at the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, says that Ontario Job Futures projected employment opportunities for Ontario welders and related machine operators to be average over the 2009 to 2013 period (the 2013-2017 outlooks are being updated for late 2013).

Futures says new positions will depend on current welders retiring and continued activity in the construction, manufacturing, and oil and gas sectors. However, it also says that because welding skills are transferable to many industries, welders are less vulnerable to economic slumps. 

MacKay says the Mohawk/Walters program will help employer and potential employee. Companies like pre-apprenticeships because they better prepare students for entry-level positions; students like Montes benefit from the combination of theory and practice.

"I have friends who are apprentices now and it took them two, three years to find an apprenticeship," Montes says. "Being started as an apprentice now is actually a huge advantage. I have friends who aren't in the program and they're like 'wow you guys are golden. You guys got the chance we never got.'"

The Mechanical Techniques Welding and Fabrication certificate begins again in January 2014.

Monday, May 27, 2013

5 days later.

It was great to get the chassis back so quickly.  It looks totally different in the semi gloss black colour.  A new chapter will begin with the tough looking chassis.  It turns out that up until now, the easy work was done.  Every single part of the car was to be torn apart, cleaned, inspected, painted and rebuilt.  New wiring, bearings, seals, switches and gears.  We also thought it would be a good time to drop in a new motor.
Did I mention I started this project only 29 days from our first official 2013 track day.

I have to say thanks to and everyone that attended the MACC event.
I found the messages that night to be very motivational.  I spent many long days and nights in the race shop.
I had a chance to reflect on my passions in life. I am very proud to say that I will continue to chase after them every chance I get. 
Only 23 days until open practice.

Time to hit the reset button

Strange things happen in the off season.  How much work, repairs, or painting should one do to a race car.  The original paint on the chassis of the trusted #88 was showing signs of age.  To be honest, it was looking really bad.  After much debate, I went to work on the car.  It was the first time I have ever stripped a car completely.  Every nut, bolt, rivet and part were removed.  Once all the parts were removed I could see the true condition of the car.  It was in great condition, minimal welding repairs were needed.  The red paint was faded, chipped and flaking off.  I had a choice to make.  Should I paint, or powder coat?  Everyone I asked said "powder coat was the best" for durability and finish.  So down the road to Force Powder coating in Burlington for a sandblast and new colour.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Three Ways to Get Unstuck in Your Career

From The Wall Street Journal 
May 15, 2013, 12:00 PM
By Bob Sullivan and Hugh Thompson

NBC Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) in ‘The Office’

 Are you’re constantly overlooked for a promotion that never comes?
Do you grind away at the job you think you have to do instead of DOING the job you want to do?
Do you think your work life will get better if your boss would just [insert any of the following]: notice, retire, relax, focus, get it together, give you some help, get fired?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, conventional wisdom says to push through and try harder, but that is probably the worst career advice you’ll ever get. When you’re in a career plateau — a place where hard work stops working – you are battling one of the most powerful forces of nature: The Plateau Effect. And you’re not alone. The Plateau Effect is woven into the fabric of the universe. It’s why we get diminishing returns for our efforts, but with some battle-tested techniques you can break free. We’ve spent the past few years mining the fields of behavioral psychology, mathematics, sports, leadership and even culinary arts to find out how some of the most successful people and companies in the world have gone from stuck to success. Call your frustration a plateau, and you are bound to come up with many more constructive solutions.

Here are three:

1. Master the Art of Diversity: People, relationships, businesses and even physical processes become immune to the same techniques, the same approaches, the same solutions. Maybe your mastery of one skill, like delivering a killer PowerPoint presentation, got you where you are, but eventually any one skill tops out. Immunity is the most basic force of the Plateau Effect. If your career is in an immunity plateau we have good news: the path to getting unstuck is diversity. It might take you a lot of effort to move from an A-minus presenter to an A-plus presenter, but it requires far less effort to make big progress on a weaker skill. Try an improv comedy class to electrify your conversations with coworkers or clients. Take a career vacation and shadow a chef, or a realtor, or a winemaker for a day. You’ll think a little differently, bust through your immunity plateau and you might even find that a path outside of corporate America awaits.

click here to read on Link to Article

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Some unfilled apprenticeship positions in Western Ontario

Job # Trade
#  level
13022 Automotive Service Tech in Auburn x 1 3rd year
13013 Truck & Coach Tech in Baden x 2 2nd year
12983 Automotive Service Tech in Guelph x 1 2nd year
12961 Agricultural Equipment Tech in Elmira x 10 0 years
12960 Industrial Mechanic Millwright in Stoney Creek x 1 3rd year
12959 Electrician in Stoney Creek x 1 3rd year
12928 Truck & Coach Tech in Stoney Creek x 1 1st year
12929 Auto Body Repairer in Stoney Creek x 1 1st year
12917 Auto Service Tech in Waterloo x 1 1st year
12893 Hairstylist in Waterdown x 1 1st year
12892 Powered Lift Truck Tech in Kitchener x 1 1st year
12885 Roofer in Exeter x 4 0 years
12882 Tool & Die Maker in Cambridge x 1 1st year

To apply to these jobs and more across Ontario login or created a profile and login at


Tuesday, May 14, 2013



The construction regulation (O. Reg. 213/91) requires that any worker who may be endangered by vehicular traffic on a project must wear a garment that provides a high level of visibility.

There are two distinct features to high-visibility clothing.

Background Material
This is the fabric from which the garment is made. It must be fluorescent orange or bright orange in colour and afford increased daytime visibility to the wearer. Fluorescent orange provides a higher level of daytime visibility and is recommended.

Retroreflective Stripes or Bands
The stripes or bands must be fluorescent and retroreflective and be arranged on the garment with two vertical stripes down the front and forming an X on the back. The stripes must be yellow and 50 mm wide. Retroreflective stripes are to afford the worker both lowlight and night-time visibility.

to download a PDF and read more click here