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How It’s Made

My wife gets mad at me but I will regularly turn off “The Notebook” to watch an episode of “How It’s Made.”

If you’re not familiar with either of them, “The Notebook” is a sad movie that seems to have something to do with Jim Rockford (from “The Rockford Files”) and a painter. Apparently there’s also some time travel involved – I’m not really sure. It’s on TV in my house at least five times a week, thanks to the insatiable appetites for emotion of my wife and two daughters.

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My wife gets mad at me but I will regularly turn off “The Notebook” to watch an episode of “How It’s Made.”

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If you’re not familiar with either of them, “The Notebook” is a sad movie that seems to have something to do with Jim Rockford (from “The Rockford Files”) and a painter. Apparently there’s also some time travel involved – I’m not really sure. It’s on TV in my house at least five times a week, thanks to the insatiable appetites for emotion of my wife and two daughters.

“How It’s Made,” on the other hand, is the best thing ever.

I doubt that I’m alone here, but I think watching something get invented, designed, manufactured and distributed is much more satisfying than bawling your eyes out again and again.

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It doesn’t matter whether I’m learning how a micrometer is built and calibrated, how a kayak is determined to be watertight or an old stick is turned into a didgeridoo, if they’re making it, I’m watching it.

Watching experts ply their crafts is very reassuring to me. Whether it’s my neighbor who is an excavator use his backhoe like an extension of his arm, any of our advertising partners manufacture parts in their factories or our readers assemble and dyno test engines, I’m fascinated with the process of taking nothing and making something.

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At Engine Builder, we are in a constant state of creation. Our monthly magazine is countered with weekly e newsletters and daily web site updates. We tend to work several months out on feature articles and photography requirements, though last minute changes are a constant reality as well. A phone call from a reader this morning often results in an email to an advertiser this afternoon which may create a news item next week which spawns a cover story idea for next year.

And it’s next year I want to talk to you about.

Even though we are less than halfway through 2017, we are already starting to look toward the horizon that is the 2018 editorial calendar. In this sacred document, we outline what topics we cover editorially, what supplements we need to produce and what engines are most important to discuss in print and online.

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Whether you know it or not, every time you send an email, make a phone call or “like” a post online for any of our Engine Builder people or properties, you are helping us determine what’s of greatest interest to you.We have some savvy market research people in our office and they undersand how to use individual data points to help guide our direction, which, we theorize, will help YOU in your businesses.

It’s great to get unsolicited comments from readers, whether filled with praise and satisfaction for a job well done or with constructive criticism for instances where we have, perhaps, crashed our tooling. Keep those notes and messages coming. But I also invite you to visit us online (www.enginebuildermag.com) and look for our new “Pros Only” password protected tab. Enter your subscriber number from the mailing label on the front of this issue and your zip code and you’ll have the opportunity to give our staff some specific suggestions for articles that interest you most.

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No guarantees every suggestion will make the list, but we want your input as we continue to make Engine Builder relevant to the engine builder and machine shop operator of the future.

“Behind the Scenes for 2018” sounds like a great name for a movie – one that none of us will want to miss. No tears needed. ν

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