Afterthought: Back to the Future

Today’s Machining World Archives June 2011 Volume 07 Issue 05

For those readers who may be sad that this is the last “Afterthought,” we’re happy to announce that the column will be continuing at To receive the columns in your email, visit the Web site and subscribe to the email list today.

I recently received an email from a childhood friend, Lee Erman, alerting me to a planning meeting for our 50th high school reunion in 2012. Lee was a math whiz and did his graduate work in artificial intelligence and computer science at Carnegie Mellon during the field’s infancy in the 1970s. He moved to California 40 some years ago and now lives in Silicon Valley, where he is a member of my daughter’s synagogue.

Lee is no longer a scientist. He took a class in massage therapy 20 years ago and gradually came to the conclusion what he really wanted was a “hands-on” kind of life. Today Lee is a full-time massage therapist working at hospitals and specializing in hospice clients.

Lee followed his calling, and I did too when I started Screw Machine World 11 years ago. I understood, even as a kid, that I had a gift for collecting and connecting information and ideas and interpreting what I found in a fun way with language. I know this may sound egotistical, but what the heck—this is the last print magazine.

I think that if you have a talent—a gift—you should pursue it. I took a quarterly seminar with Dan Sullivan, called “Strategic Coach” in the ’90s for five years. Dan advocated in session after session that we had to understand our “unique ability” and structure our work lives to take advantage of what we believed to be our special talent.

I knew that my “unique ability” was to interpret and communicate, but I didn’t do anything with it other than write the occasional “magalog”—The Graff-Pinkert Times. When Gardner Publishing decided to attack a vulnerable Automatic Machining in 2000, I decided to do the magazine I had always wanted to read on the topic I knew the most about—the machining business in America. For the last decade this unorthodox magazine has been my passion.

During this run I’ve lost a big piece of my eyesight, been diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer, and spent 12 days on a ventilator before and after quadruple bypass surgery—and met every deadline. My son, Noah, has worked with me for six years and grown into a wonderful writer, editor and confidante.

I feel like I’ve followed my calling and used my gift.

This is the last print edition of TMW, but definitely not the end of TMW and Lloyd Graff’s writing. Our unique stew of articles and constantly fresh material will appear online at and can be emailed to you twice-weekly by joining our email list.

I’m convinced my writing will be juicier than ever without having to worry about all the ancillary stuff like postage and printing bills and circulation details and tons of self-serving advertorials that flacks shower on us to print for their clients who never spend a dime with us.

When I started the magazine I envisioned it as an Internet “Zine,” which was quite avante garde in 2000.

Now I get to go back to the future and follow my calling on the Web. Please continue to join us.

Lloyd Graff

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One thought on “Afterthought: Back to the Future

  1. Dan Hummell

    First, let me thank you for all the work you have put into TMW over the years. As a fairly new discoverer of the magazine, I look forward to reading back issues for years to come. I also appreciate the opportunity you gave me over this past year. I wish you, Noah and Emily all the luck in the world. Please never hesitate to call if there is ever anything I can do for you.


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