Rosalind Brewer took the helm at Walgreens this week, becoming one of only a few African American woman CEOs to ever lead a large American corporation. She had been #2 at Starbucks before being recruited by Walgreens.
I wasn’t surprised to see a black woman get a top job with a company like Walgreens. It would have been more shocking if a black woman’s small machining firm applied for membership in the Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA), an organization I belong to as a technical member.
This is not a putdown of the PMPA, which I am happy to be a member of. It is an observation about my America, where women have generally been outsiders in manufacturing, engineering and metals, both by culture and by prejudice for as long as I can remember.
Perhaps the scene is changing, with Mary Barra now heading GM, but an African-American woman running a machining outfit with 25 employees in America is something I would love to see in my lifetime.
As I talk to clients and people in the industry, I’m getting the strong impression that business is perking up. While the media is obsessed with COVID-19, empty malls, and evictions, the shortage of people who want to take manufacturing jobs gets even more acute.
Even in fossil fuels, which we all know are yesterday, the US is still pumping 11 million barrels of oil a day and importing the black gold from Canada too. Farm prices are up, which means tractors are finally selling, and car lots are short of inventory.
Home sales are allegedly frantic, at least in the suburbs, and new home builders are having their best years ever.
It’s all a bit bewildering as the Washington politicians lament the worst economy since the Depression and are bargaining the difference between $600 billion and $1.6 trillion to dump into the economy.
The stock market has given its verdict. Buy, buy, buy. The Fed has made its call to keep interest rates low. Bank losses have been a fraction of what had been expected to this point.
It must be the time to book a cruise for this summer.
The least recognized vital aspect of health is posture. I don’t know how the chimpanzees and gorillas live like they do, but a bent over Lloyd is a miserable mammal.
The last year has been brutal on my body. I have been home for much of the time, from Groundhog Day to Groundhog Day, and it feels like perpetual winter. During this period, I have made the kitchen table my workspace, and my neck has been almost continually bent as I navigate the phone and iPad to write. My spine feels like a defective erector set. I look like a FANUC robot. I might be turning FANUC yellow as well.
My neck and shoulders are tight as 2-year-old unopened pickle jars. I keep fiddling with the thermostat because the compression of my shoulders and neck and rib cage gives me the chills.
I tried to throw a snowball the other day and it landed 12 feet from me. I am a sorry heap.
But, I now have placed three foam rollers strategically around the house, and I’m starting to feel like bread dough. The rolling is beginning to work. My pain is six Advils less a day. I have fewer groans when I hit the bed. The chills are fading. My stretches have some elasticity.
Why, oh why, didn’t I start the bread dough a year ago?
Question: What are your back pain remedies?