Posts Tagged ‘parks’

Summer Vacation (and other breaks)

March 29, 2010

While Winter Break and Spring Break were opportunities to get away for a few days or have a stay-cation, Summer Vacation was a time to learn.From childhood until our teen years, school was one of the constants in our lives.  Our parents or guardians would enroll us in kindergarten and we would begin school in August or September.  In some parts of the United States (but not here in California), Fall Break may be observed in October.  Of course, Winter Break was always observed during the second half of December.  Spring Break would start in March or April.  The school year would end in May or June, beginning a Summer vacation that lasted two or three months.  By August or September, we found ourselves one grade higher than the year before.  The cycle repeated for the next 12 years of our young lives.

Winter Break was a time for families to get together and lasted at least two weeks.  Fall and Spring Breaks were chances for a few days to get away or have a stay-cation and may last a week or two.  Families made the most of these relatively short breaks.  Summer vacation, however, was quite longer and, as such, parents could not spend the whole time with their kids.  After all, they have bills to pay, a concept most kids are oblivious to, such as mortgage, insurance, and car payments.  They must also be able to fund the vacation they may eventually take.  However, a summer vacation to a faraway location may not be feasible for a year or two, or more.  What, then, could parents do to ease the boredom of their kids during the summer?

Fortunately, Santa Clarita’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department came to the rescue.  From what I can remember during my childhood, my parents made sure that I took part in one activity per summer, sometimes more.  The offerings were somewhat more limited during the rest of the year, and others were even seasonal, but during the summer, I was spoiled for choice.  Therefore, at one point or another, I ended up taking up swimming, Kali (Filipino stick fighting), and a CPR class.  I believe there were other classes, but they escape me at the moment.

When I look back, I’m glad I had taken those classes.  I had my video game systems, of course, but even I grew tired of them.  My parents made sure that, despite Summer Vacation, I was still learning something new.

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Francis M. Unson

Welding Explained

March 9, 2010
Rick Montoya, Welding Aluminum Forging

Rick Montoya, Welding Aluminum Forging

Rick Montoya, president of Valencia Welding, Inc., has worked at Santa Clarita Valley’s Industrial Park for almost 30 years and has done welding with a variety of metals during that time span, from steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and even titanium alloys in aerospace applications.  Unbeknown to me, a non-welding techie, it turns out that there are many, many ways to stick two pieces of metal together.  I won’t give you the earful that Rick gave me, but a small primer about what holds your copper pipes together as well as the titanium tubes in the B-2 Bomber, is forthcoming.

Please retweetWelding has come a long way in a very short time span.  Even as recently as the end of the 1800s, welding consisted of one process alone: forge welding, the process in which blacksmiths joined metals together by heating and hammering them.  However, by the start of World War I, a demand for reliable and inexpensive joining methods brought forth new arc welding and related processes.  The Space Age in the 1950s demanded precision, giving birth to laser beam and electron beam welding. By the turn of the 21st century, the industry had a wide array of welding processes at their disposal.

I alluded to a specific type of welding, but generally speaking, what is welding?  It is a fabrication process that joins materials, such as metals or thermoplastics, by causing coalescence and is usually done by melting the parts with a filler material, forming a pool of molten material that, when cool, becomes a strong joint, depending on the metals used.  On the other hand, the titanium welds that Rick has performed were done in a Spacetron Vacuum Chamber at Spacetron Metal Bellows, a provider of complex, titanium bellows and precision-welded titanium structures for the aerospace industry, where Rick is Chief Operating Officer (COO).

If I didn’t drink so much coffee, I’d have the steady welder’s hand that he has.

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Francis M. Unson

Valencia Welding: Interview with Rick Montoya, President (part 3)

January 22, 2010
  1. Please retweetAre you looking to hire in the coming year?
    Yes, I would like to start hiring once students graduate from the welding program at COC.  They will join the Valencia Welding team to do welding and fabricating services and make repairs on site at local restaurants.  Also, we were invited to participate in the second annual business expo/job fair, which will be held at the OLPH campus in Santa Clarita.
  2. Going the extra mile for our customers.
    On one occasion, I was clear across the Santa Clarita Valley when one of our customers called and needed a weld repair on a critical stainless steel mold.  Without this weld repair, they would not be able to proceed with the production of their products.  Plus, the customer was at their facilities waiting to see the production of their product get back online.  So I got a call at 7:00AM in the morning and had to go across town and be at my customer’s facility within the hour to perform the weld repair.  I arrived within the hour, completed the weld repair, and my customer and their customer were very happy with the results and the production went back on track.

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Francis M. Unson

Valencia Welding: Interview with Rick Montoya, President (part 2)

January 21, 2010
  1. Please retweetWhat niche are you serving with your business?
    The niche of Valencia Welding is a quick turnaround to work closely with our customers to get their product completed.
  2. What products and/or services do you offer?
    We offer welding and fabricating services.
  3. What kind of promotions do you have?
    N/A
  4. What do you like about working in the Santa Clarita Valley?
    I love working in the Santa Clarita Valley.  The people and businesses are great.  We are like a big family.
  5. In terms of your business, what are you looking forward to in the coming year?
    I am looking forward to expanding the business into the Antelope and San Fernando Valleys as well as working together with the Welding Department at the College of the Canyons (COC) to train welders for this type of welding.

    (to be continued…)

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Francis M. Unson

Valencia Welding: Interview with Rick Montoya, President (part 1)

January 20, 2010
  1. Please retweetWhat is your name?
    Rick Montoya.
  2. What is the name of your business?
    Valencia Welding, Inc. (VWI)
  3. What year did you establish your business?
    1994
  4. How did you go about getting your business started?
    I saw a need for commercial welding services in the Santa Clarita Valley, so I launched Valencia Welding to serve machine shops and manufacturing companies in Valencia’s industrial parks.  We started off doing repairs on aluminum injection molds, welding hardware for our customer’s products and fabricating steel tables and storage racks.Now, VWI has launched a new service, specializing in restaurant weld repairs, fabrication and installation of stainless steel and aluminum kitchen equipment.

    (to be continued…)

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Francis M. Unson