Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Copyright Owner of email was 14 Years Old

I had no idea that it was a 14 year old boy who received the copyright for email.  In this article by the Washington Post's , on February 17th:

V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai: Inventor of e-mail honored by Smithsonian

As the article later clarified after readers sent Emi email:

Clarification: A number of readers have accurately pointed out that electronic messaging predates V. A. Shiva Ayyadurai’s work in 1978. However, Ayyadurai holds the copyright to the computer program called“email,” establishing him as the creator of the “computer program for [an] electronic mail system” with that name, according to the U.S. Copyright Office.

V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai also has his own website at

Here is a nice graphic that details the history of email.


Monday, February 27, 2012

MTConnect, Manufacturing and BIG Data

Dr. Athulan Vijayaraghavan, CTO and co-founder of Systems Insight, sent me this email:

I posted on our blog ( some estimates on
how much data an MTConnect shop would generate, and I thought you
might be interested in it.

With basic monitoring, a small shop generates over 2TB a year, while a
large-sized enterprise with 500 machines will generate about 80TB a
year. With advanced monitoring with sensors, its about 80 TB for a
small shop, and 4PB for an enterprise. Whats really interesting is if
you scale the entire US machine tool base -- now you are really
talking! With full on sensor-based monitoring, we will generate over 9
Exabytes of data per year. Of course, this is not going to happen
anytime soon, but its definitely something for all those kids who are
looking at twitter hashtags to consider -- who says manufacturing
isn't cool?
Athulan is 100% correct, manufacturing IS COOL!

Athulan has a great blog entry that really lays out BIG data in manufacturing at Systems Insight's home page.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Making It Easy for Shop Owners and Plant Managers

I sent this out today to MTConnect members and it is extremely important for MTConnect in 2012.
I have a very important request for every MTCTAG member that has a product and/or service that is MTConnect enabled.

Far and away, the number one email/phone call we receive at the MTConnect Institute goes like this:

"I checked out MTConnect at your website and it looks like exactly the type of of open protocol that will give my company the plug-n-play on the factory floor that will allow us to easily get information off the factory floor.  I see your member listing, but when I go out to the companies listed, I can only find information on one or two companies.   Why are machine tool companies listed on, but when I go to their websites, I don't see ANYTHING about MTConnect?  I also see the shop floor monitoring listed and other hw and software solutions listed as well, but when I but when I go to their websites, I don't see ANYTHING about MTConnect either?  Help!"  

This is where we need YOUR HELP.   If you are a machine tool builder, please update the following on your website:
  •  Put the MTConnect logo on your front home page.
  •  Put a link on that MTConnect logo to a location at your website.
  •  Please list the following type of information on your website:
    •  CNC Model 
    •  CNC OS 
    •  CNC s/w Version 
    •  Release date 
    •  Adapter Version 
    •  Machine Model
    •  What revision of MTConnect standard that is supported
    •  Phone number and email contact for MTConnect questions
If you are not a machine tool builder, but providing a hardware solution that is MTConnect enabled, please update the following on your website:
  •  Put the MTConnect logo on your front home page.
  •  Put a link on that MTConnect logo to a location at your website.
  •  List what hardware you have and what revision of MTConnect that you support.
  •  Phone number and email contact for MTConnect questions

If you are a software solution that is MTConnect enabled, please update the following on your website:
  •  Put the MTConnect logo on your front home page.
  •  Put a link on that MTConnect logo to a location at your website.
  •  List what software that you have that is MTConnect enabled and what revision of MTConnect that you support.
  •  Phone number and email contact for MTConnect questions

If you are a services company that has MTConnect services, please update the following on your website:
  •  Put the MTConnect logo on your front home page.
  •  Put a link on that MTConnect logo to a location at your website.
  •  List what services that you have for MTConnect.
  •  Phone number and email contact for MTConnect questions
This is HUGELY important to the success of MTConnect in 2012 and you will be hearing from me often on this topic until we have addressed this for all companies.   We CAN NOT BE SUCCESSFUL WITHOUT YOUR HELP.  Please help the shop owners and plant managers by simply putting up the information on MTConnect that I requested.  

Paul, Sheila and I will be working hard this year to make sure ALL of our MTConnect members who have products and/or services provide the minimal information needed for success.

I included an MTConnect logo for you all to use on your websites.

Let's make it easy for people to find out what is supported with MTConnect.



Dave Edstrom
President and Chairman - MTConnect Institute 

  MTConnect: Different Devices, Common Connection
  MTConnect: To Measure Is To Know

IMTS Lite Video

Very nice IMTS Lite Video below:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Nice Post on Setting up an MTConnect Agent on a Ubuntu System

Prince Arora, currently attending Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and an intern at System Insights, just posted a very nice post on:

Setting up an MTConnect Agent on a Ubuntu System.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mark Albert's Fantastic Article on Agents and Adapters

Mark Albert has done it again with a fantastic article on MTConnect.  This time Mark tackles the tough topic of agents and adapters.   Mark's article on MTConnect agents and adapters at Modern Machine Shop is extremely well written and is a great addition to the Getting Started With MTConnect - Connectivity Guide which was led by David McPhail of Memex Automation and John Turner of FAC & T Consulting.

As Mark starts out:

"These software utilities enable existing machine tools and other shopfloor equipment to use the MTConnect communication protocol for interoperability and interfacing with other software applications.

MTConnect agents and their corresponding device adapters are simply small computer programs that work together so that MTConnect can make shop equipment and networks more readily connectible. In a nutshell, adapters enable existing shopfloor devices “to speak MTConnect,” and agents enable MTConnect messages and data files to be transmitted across a network to MTConnect-compatible applications."

It is a great article and one that we are really going to advertise at and with customers, prospects, software developers, and anyone who wants to have a better understanding of agents and adapters!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

John Coaching Tim in FSBL Game

My oldest son John coached my youngest son Tim's basketball game a week ago today.  The coach of the team quit after Tim's team won by 55 points.  I still don't get that.  John had fun and did a great job.  I was on the sidelines in case any of the basketball league police had an issue with John coaching.  No one did.

Above is (from the left counter-clockwise)  John Magnuson, Tim, Jeremy, Kyle and Peter with John instructing them.

In the background, you can see the standing room only crowds at this game :-)

Above John is making a signal to the ref by touching his head indicating the other team is constantly violating the 24 second shot clock.  I explained to John after the break, high school house league do not have a 24 second clock.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Julie and Chris Matthews

Our financial adviser had an evening with Chris Matthews.  No sales pressure, just a night with Chris Matthews.  Below is my beautiful wife Julie with Chris Matthews.   Unfortunately, we arrived very late, but Chris was still there, so we grabbed two hard copies of his latest book, "John Kennedy Elusive Hero" to have him sign.  Chris was very nice.  Chris had a great line when I said, "Chris, I really enjoy your show."  He looked up at me and said, "Most Republicans do!"  I guess I look like a republican or since our financial adviser's is at 800 Connecticut Avenue and overlooks the White House, he made a BIG assumption :-)

Peter and Dave in a DC Pedicab

Above is Peter Eelman and myself after we attended the NBA Wizards vs. Miami Heat basketball game.  We had dinner at the Kennedy Center with our wives where Julie and Alice were going to watch a concert at the Kennedy Center that evening.  We left Peter's car at the Kennedy Center and we took a cab to the Verizon Center.  Peter and I have season tickets together to the Wizards.  Wizards played great - through three quarters - and lost.

We left the game and were going to take cab back to the Kennedy Center when Peter pointed out the DC Pedicab.  There motto is, "Wheel Get You There!"

The distance between the Verizon Center and the Kennedy Center is about two miles and below is the approximate route we took going directly by the White House.

Our driver was Alex who was a former vet and a great guy.  He shared some funny stories of famous people and drunks in his pedicab.  We were neither ;-)   It was a fun ride and we gave him a very nice tip as well.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Life Long Learning

 Life Long Learning

Feb 9, 2012
My oldest son, John, just started his full-time career after finishing his master’s in Computer Science from Virginia Tech. I gave him my standard advice he has heard more than a few times:
  • Life is short.
  • Death is certain.
  • If you don’t make your own decisions now, time will make them for you.
My specific career advice to my son is that you must be in a lifelong learning mode if you want to always stay highly employable – no matter what your field.
This might be advice that you feel is stating the obvious, but have you honestly assessed your worth in the market in the past 6 months? Have you interviewed in the past 6 months? What percent of your time was spent learning a brand new skill last year? Companies like Sun Microsystems used to invest 10 to 12 percent of their revenue on research and development.  How much does your company invest in R&D?  Are you working for a thought leader or a follower?  How much money and time does your company invest in you every year? How much of your own money do you invest in your lifelong learning each and every year?
I spend a lot of my time working with MTConnect and MTInsight. MTConnect is the open and royalty-free protocol that is radically changing manufacturing by making it easy to connect manufacturing equipment to applications.  MTInsight is the game-changing business- intelligence tool that companies must have to succeed in manufacturing today. There are great examples of the importance of lifelong learning with both MTConnect and MTInsight.
Pat McGibbon is VP of Strategic Information & Research and Membership for AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology.  Pat runs MTInsight. He makes a very important point when it comes to how the skill sets of his staff have changed over the years.  On more than one occasion I have heard Pat state that it used to be that understanding the ins and outs of spreadsheets might be the extent of technical knowledge he would expect from a new hire.  Now, the skill sets of those in SIR have expanded to include Business Intelligence (BI), SQL, JavaScript and analytics in the cloud, to name just a few. Pat invests in his people not because he is a nice guy (he is) but because he is a smart businessman who understands the importance of investing in his people. Employees who are always learning and improving their skill sets are happier and more productive. MTInsight won Actuate’s 2011 Business Intelligence Reporting Tool Excellence Award this past year, so the results of investing in your people speak for themselves.
In the Emerging Technology Center at IMTS 2010, I had a very interesting conversation with a gentleman who entered the ETC looking for me. When I introduced myself, he then proceeded to say that he was not happy with me. I was immediately puzzled, as we had never met.  He then explained that he made his living writing low-level drivers for machine tools to speak to applications, and if MTConnect catches on, he will be out of work!  I responded, “You must really be upset with the U.S. government as well then.”  He then looked puzzled at me.and  I smiled saying, “The U.S. government no longer provides economic support for buggy whip makers, so that must really upset you as well.”
We then had a discussion about MTConnect. He was a software developer so he immediately understood the technical side. I shared some statistics with him like in the year 1790, 93% of Americans were farmers.  We needed that 93% to feed all Americans. Today, that number is .68%. Not 68%, but .68%, and it is estimated we could feed another half billion people around the globe on top of that. One could argue that farm automation led to the Internet. If we still had to have 93% of all Americans farming, that would limit us severely on new opportunities.
After he agreed that change could provide opportunity, we discussed the many business opportunities of MTConnect.  I explained that when you can easily network your manufacturing floor, what is the first thing shop owners or plant managers want to do?  Monitor what’s going on.  He agreed.  What is the second thing they will want to do?  Integrate the shop floor information into other systems.  He also agreed with that premise.  I gave him a lot of information and he thanked me.
The next day he returned to the ETC and said, “I thought about what you said regarding new opportunities with MTConnect. It can open up new opportunities for me that will likely be more profitable than what I am doing today.”  He then asked for information on joining MTConnect.
When I think of lifelong learning, I think of the famous Charles Darwin quote:  “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”

Monday, February 6, 2012

MTInsight's IMTS Lite App Released!

I wear two hats in my full time consulting role at AMT - The Association For Manufacturing:

We introduced a GREAT app on the MTInsight platform called IMTS Lite.  This app is for International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) Exhibitors who want to get the absolute BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK at IMTS!

The IMTS Lite app contains all visitor registration data from the 2010 IMTS. You can filter contacts by geography, industry, product interest, buying role, job function, and plant size. In addition, you can filter results to those who visited your booth (leads), those who did not visit your booth (opportunities), or look at all IMTS visitors. 

IMTS Lite app runs until May 31st of this year and then we will roll out the full IMTS app with 2012 registration data.  Don't wait and get your IMTS Lite app TODAY so you can start marketing for a GREAT IMTS and then buy the Full IMTS App on June 1st!

Make the most of your show experience

As an IMTS exhibitor, the IMTS Lite app can help you promote your booth in the 2012 show using contact information from 2010 registrations. 

* View visitors to your booth in 2010 (Leads) 
* Find out who was at the show but who did not visit your booth (Opportunities) 
* Or look at all visitors to the 2010 show (All IMTS) 
* Filter by geography, industry, product interest, buying role, job function, and plant size to narrow your results 
* Use Contact Search option to look for specific individuals or companies 
* Export your results to use in your own company database or marketing campaign 

Friday, February 3, 2012

One Year Anniversary of "Three Perfect Days With Slim"

Today, February 3rd is the one year anniversary of me and Slim picking up my new 2011 Corvette Grand Sport and driving it back to VA.  It was such great memories, then I thought is worth reposting.   Would I do it again?  Absolutely!  Would I be worried as hell about the Goodyear F1 Second Generation Supercar tires?  Yes.   At the time we picked up the new Grand Sport last February, I had no idea just how much of a hot weather, dry only ONLY tire or Max Summer as they like to say, those tires really are.   I am looking forward to putting the Michelin Pilot Sport 2 (PS2) tires on the Grand Sport.  At $500+ a tire, I am not in a REAL hurry though :-)

My father, who I nicknamed Slim in 1976, and I took the perfect three day mini vacation together this past week.  First, why I call my father Slim.  The nickname Slim came about because I was working for Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) my senior year in high school.   During that time period the generic term in the gym was not "hey buddy", but "Slim" when you wanted to talk to someone you did not know.  Everyone called everyone Slim in the gym.    I started calling my father Slim and it stuck :-)

Last fall my perfect wife, Julie, says to me, "Dave it has been ten years since you got your Corvette, isn't  it time for a new Corvette?"  That is just one reason why she is perfect.  As luck would have it I was taking my 1998 Corvette into Tony's Corvette Shop for some minor work the next day, so I told Tony what Julie told me.   Tony then said, "you know Dave, Julie is right."  Tony then goes on to say that it is starting to get harder and more expensive to get parts for my 1998 Corvette.   GM only has to carry parts for ten years.   He then told that as someone who drives the hell out of their Corvette, that I should think about a newer one.  He then told me about the other costs of parts rising on the C5s (1997-2004).  The EBCM Electronic Brake Control Module was no longer being made by GM for the C5s and he had to have them rebuilt - not a cheap proposition.  Something to think about...

After a week or so thinking about it, I decide Julie and Tony are right.  I start looking around for a used Grand Sport.   After a couple of months of scouring the US for the exact one, I decided I was going to order a brand new Corvette, take the museum delivery and bring my father along if his health was up to it.   The museum delivery is a $495 option known as R8C.  Corvette owners refer a lot to the order codes.  Everyone who I talked to said it was well worth it and a once in a lifetime experience.  I decided to first go to Pohanka Chevrolet because that is where my buddy John Meyer purchased his new Corvette and had a great experience there.   I went in the day after Thanksgiving with a printout of
the best internet price I could find on a similar model of Grand Sport I wanted.  The salesman David Coggin went and ran the numbers and they beat it by $3,000.  I just looked at the numbers and said let's do it.   The schedule I was told would be early to mid March for the actual pickup.  That was a good schedule because my father's chemo would be finishing up by then and it the weather should be less of a factor between here and Bowling Green, Kentucky where they have the GM Assembly Plant for Corvette and the National Corvette Museum (NCM).  First, I was going to get one way flights to Nashville, then drive in from there.  With my father's health, sitting in a germ filled airport and germ filled plane did not seem like a good idea.  I decided for a one way rental to Nashville airport and then the NCM had a special one-way rental to the NCM from Enterprise.

The driving factor on why and how I decided to time this new purchase of a brand new Corvette Grand Sport was the one year anniversary of my separation package from Sun/Oracle.  HUGE thanks Scott McNealy, Bill Joy, Andy Bechtolsheim and Vinod Khosla for having the foresight to have a change in control package for Directors and VPs!     Besides buying a new large screen Sony, I did not spend any of that large check.   So, I decided that part of that check would be used to purchase new Corvette Grand Sport with the museum delivery option.  I timed it almost to the exact day of Sun being purchased by Oracle.

The National Corvette Museum is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky.   The plan was that my father and I would be getting a personal factory tour of the Corvette plant, a personal tour of the National Corvette Museum and a personal Corvette Grand Sport overview.  That was the plan.

As luck would have it, I got a call that my Grand Sport would be ready to be picked up on February 3rd.   This was great providing my father's health (finished four rounds of chemo for his CLL and is getting treatments currently to get the good white blood cells back up where they should be) was up to it and the weather was not an issue.  Driving a new Corvette back through the mountains of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia is not anyone's idea of fun.   We obviously had to play it by ear.   The week before, my father told me that he felt he would be fine.  Great!   However, the weather was looking to be a real disaster.   It was literally looking like the perfect winter storm.   There was a huge arctic cold front coming deep into the south that would meet with a gulf front to create the mother of all winter storms.     I was monitoring the weather and thought I saw a window on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday early where we could get out in an SUV and deal with any light snow that might hit.  The weather was just north of us on Tuesday and Wednesday.   Returning, it looked like Thursday would provide a window if we drove the 750 miles back in one day.   I called the NCM and they said I should reschedule.  I said I would make a game time decision at 2pm on February 1st.   Slim and I looked at the weather forecast and thought there would be a small window we could hit - if we were really, really lucky....

Above was the first day of driving from 2pm on.  We put in almost 400 hundred miles that included a nice long dinner with my two oldest sons.  I knew my father was looking forward to spending all of this quality son/father bonding time when the first thing he does is pull out his audiobook

We had dinner with John and Michael at Sal's in Blacksburg before continuing on to Bristol to spend the night.

It was about 750 miles door to door.

Pulling into the National Corvette Museum with our one-way rental from Enterprise.  It was actually 11:48 Central time.

Above is one of the photoshop pictures you can buy when you go through the tour.

These were just two of the many welcome screens they had with our names on them.

The sign in front of my new Grand Sport Corvette.

My new Grand Sport in front of the NCM Delivery Offices.  They can do about 8 deliveries a day.  Mine was the only that day with weather and the slow sales for Corvette right now.  Normally 35,000 Corvettes are sold a year and it is down to 12,000 in the current economy.

Below is from the 2011 Corvette brochure on the Grand Sport:

The best combination of all-out performance and efficiency . Grand Sport coupe beat
every other production car with the exception of the Corvette ZR1 (very limited availability)
and a special $460,000 Lamborghini Murcielago in the 2010 edition of the Car and Driver
Lightning Lap at Virginia International Raceway. It lapped the circuit with a time of 2:58.8,
faster than the Audi R8 V10 and the Porsche 911 Carrera S. On the test track, Grand Sport
coupe delivers 1g of lateral acceleration and goes from 0 to 60 mph in less than four
seconds. Yet it does all this with an EPA estimated 26 MPG highway 1 and without a gas-guzzler tax. That’s what engineers call bandwidth.

What makes a Grand Sport?  Start with a wider track, wider tires as well as wider fenders and
quarters. Add a high rear spoiler and special five-spoke Grand Sport wheels. Under the skin
add aggressive dampers and springs, large stabilizer bars, performance gear ratios, additional cooling, and six-piston front and four-piston rear brake calipers engaging cross-drilled rotors.

Slim in front of my Grand Sport at the NCM Delivery area.

Me sitting in the Grand Sport for the first time and getting ready to get an overview on the car's features from Ron.  I watched the C6 Owners Video three times to get ready for the trip.   There is o substitute for hands-on learning.  The NCM has cameras so we sent text messages for family and fellow Corvette owners so they could watch on the NCM cameras.

Back view of the Grand Sport that looks down the hall of the National Corvette Museum.

 We had the world's best NCM Tour Guide in Ron Barton.   Ron worked for GM making Corvettes 35 years before he started working at NCM ten years ago.   Here you can see that Ron is answering one of my countless questions that I had.  I thought I knew a lot about Corvettes until I talked with Ron.  He spent five hours with us the first day at the museum and the four days the second at the factory tour.  My father and I took countless photos.  Slim took the best photos.  His new camera worked great.

Above is Wendell Strode, the Executive Director of the National Corvette Museum standing with my father.  Both served in the Vietnam War with Wendell being awarded a Purple Heart.

I can not recommend the Museum Delivery Option highly enough.  It is the best investment you will ever make for your new Corvette!

  Wendell, Gary Cockriel, Lori Bieschke and Ron Barton were absolutely fantastic.  They made us feel at home and very welcome.  It was fantastic!

This is me in front of a 1963 Z06 serial number 1.    This was part of the special back stage tour that you get as part of the NCM Delivery Option for a new Corvette.

Above is Slim lifting an all aluminum Z06 frame at the NCM.

Above is just one example of the exhibits in the NCM.

Above is a 74 Stingray that has 1,350 hp.

Above is the only 1983 Corvette left on planet earth.  Chevy made 55 1983 Corvettes.  The quality was terrible.  Chevy decided to squash the 1983 year and go right to 1984.  There were no 1983 Corvettes ever sold.  They ordered all 55 to be crushed.  Someone pulled one out and hid it.  That one is the white one above that sits at the NCM.  Great trivia question for your Corvette buddies.

This another of the paid for photoshop photos you can get.

Me and Slim after the five hour NCM tour and the detailed Grand Sport features demonstration on Wednesday night.   After that photo, we left my Grand Sport at the museum and had a nice dinner in Bowling Green.  When we drove the Grand Sport out of the museum for the final time all the museum employees were there clapping in a long line which was pretty cool.

Above is the brick that will be forever placed inside the National Corvette Museum to mark that day Slim and I picked up my new 2011 Grand Sport Corvette.

 Above is me in front of the GM Corvette Assembly Plant Tour Entrance.  It was pretty cool having your name up in big letters on the entrance.  The tour is fantastic.  Three hours watching new Corvettes start off on a 7 mile journey through the 1.5 million square foot plant.   The only car they make here are Corvettes.  We saw everything with our VIP Museum Delivery Tour by Ron.   Having someone like Ron who had worked at Corvette Assembly Plants for 35 years was fantastic.    I was also given the opportunity to "birth a new Corvette" by being the first person to start one up after it was completely assembled and ready for final testing.  They also showed us a Carbon Edition Z06 that was extremely cool.  No pictures are allowed inside of course.

Our NCM Tour Guide Ron Barton giving me the FOB for the new Grand Sport before we drove the 750 miles back home to beat the snow coming up behind us as we head through the mountains of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia.

On of the things included with the purchase (if you took delivery in January through mid February) was two full days at either the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving  or the Spring Mountain Advanced Driving School.

Failure was not an option.  Slim and I took turns driving the Grand Sport.  We used OnStar to get weather and traffic reports on the way back as well as messing with the Navigation system and XM.    After dinner, I asked my father if he heard any news on Egypt and the protests going on there.  He responded, "How the HELL would I know, we have been listening to 70s on 7 XM Satellite Radio for the past 486 miles!"   My plan for father and son bonding had worked!  :-)

The weather was not a factor for us but a nightmare for others.  The picture above of the US and Canada gives you some idea.  Chicago had two feet of snow and 50mph winds.  Chicago Schools were closed for the 2nd time in 12 years.   Dallas had one inch of ice.  The south and midwest were nightmares.  Ice storms and massive snows everyplace.  The road between St. Lois and Kansas City (rt. 70) was closed for the first time EVER.   New York City Schools were closed for the first time in 30 years.  We REALLY had to find the right window and the right path to drive both there and back.  Going there I had an SUV.  Coming back we were in a Corvette - not exactly known for its winter driving :-)   Check out these amazing photos of the winter storm of 2011 here.

 We made great time heading back and got very lucky.  I dropped my father off at about 11:15 pm and then got home around midnight.  Julie and Tim got up to check it out.  It was good to be home and not have to worry about any weather issues. 

Back at home with the snow still on the ground.  I now have the "Steve Ferry Problem", which is "Which Corvette Do I Want To Take Today?"  :-)

With my two Corvettes and my wife's Mini Cooper S, we have over 1,000hp of sports cars in our garage.

I stated it earlier, and I can not recommend the Museum Delivery Option highly enough.  It is the best investment you will ever make for your new Corvette!

With the weather, my father's health, it could have been a real disaster, but instead it turned out to be like one of the MasterCard commercials:
  • Price of new Corvette Grand Sport after discounts - $55,000
  • Price of three days of rental cars, hotels, meals, and Corvette souvenirs - $1,500
  • Spending three days with my father who is beating cancer - PRICELESS

That is why I called this blog entry:  Three Perfect Days With Slim.