Writing What I Feel

By Lloyd Graff

Original copy for today’s blog, sent to Emily for transcription

I was surprised by some of the outraged comments on my blog about the sale of Doosan to a private equity firm and changes in the machinery market which have affected the company.

I wrote stuff that was available on the street for the people in the machine tool industry. There was some inside info I gleaned from reliable sources which gave the piece a newsy flavor. I’m happy I wrote an article that was not all common knowledge. My blog also will never be a vehicle for public relations releases. Today’s Machining World has a space for official company news called “Industry News,” but every Swarfblog is original editorial content.

Publishing two original, provocative articles each week while running two businesses can be quite daunting. Fortunately, I do not do all of the writing. Noah writes really interesting pieces, and I find friends and accomplices to write occasional blogs. But I still do the bulk of the writing. The only way I manage to be as prolific as I am is to follow two simple guidelines I have laid out for myself. I write about things I know and I write about things I care about.

With the Doosan piece, I did know something about the topic because I live in the machine tool world and I talked to people who knew more than I did. I really cared about the piece, too, because the ups and downs of the new machine tool market affect my used machinery business.

The Doosan piece was a fairly unusual one for me, however, because I do not usually spend my days hunting for scoops about the industry. If I was a full-time journalist it might be fun to do that, but I’m not, so the Doosan story was an exception to the usual Swarfblog.

My blogs generally reflect my passions, introspections, joys and fears.

The ones that really touch people, I think, are pieces where I let my humanness show – the ones where I cry a little when I write them, and honest tears are left on the page when I photograph the copy with my iPhone and email it to Emily Halgrimson for transcription.

I know it’s a bit dangerous to get down to the bones when I write this blog for 50,000 people, most of whom I do not know, but I have learned that honesty and pain and self-searching is what it’s about in life and in writing about life. I may fake it in business at times to move the ball, but in this work I want it to be from my heart. I want to be as straight with the readers as I can be.

My daughter Sarah is a Rabbi in California. She prepares for months mentally and emotionally for her big sermons. We usually confer while she writes them, always at the last minute. I find her messages almost always incredibly powerful because she weaves the stories of people she knows around powerful, emotional themes. Her stories connect with her congregants because they puncture the skepticism and cynicism people arm themselves with when they hear other supposedly spiritual messages that are not really authentic.

I have learned a lot from her. Speak from your gut but do it with stories, not admonitions. People reject lessons, but they learn from stories.

The empty page on the legal pad is always a challenge for me. I know I fail more than I hit with these columns, but it is an amazing feeling to occasionally nail one, even if the readers don’t always comment or blister me with vitriol.

I’m going to continue to write what I feel. I hope it works for you.

Question: Trump? Sanders? Third Party?

Lloyd Graff is a Writer and the Owner of Today’s Machining World, and also runs Graff-Pinkert, a used machinery firm in Oak Forest, IL.

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46 thoughts on “Writing What I Feel

  1. Anonymous

    Thank you for writing from your heart. If I just got a PR departments news releases in my inbox, I would delete them. I am feeling the pains from the Doosan Ellison change already and it has been a rocky start to my new relationship I was forced into with Ellison. Right now it feels like a forced arranged marriage with the hope of it eventually becoming a mutually beneficial relationship based on common respect. Some times the reality of what is happening doesn’t match the expectations of Doosan and Ellison management. What I hope they are doing is listening and working everyday to make improvements instead of just rejecting their customer’s opinions as false. Work on training technician’s on closing the knowledge gap of the existing machines and the current machines. Work on being a advocate for the customer when they run into issues and work to solve those issues with the manufacturer. And don’t expect the customer to pay for your service techs to learn on our machines. In time I think these issues will all be solved. Ellison has solved my issues but it did take longer than I was used to.

  2. Jack

    Thanks Lloyd.
    I look forward to reading your blog.
    Trump? Sanders? Third Party? I don’t know.
    Trump – I like some of what Trump has to say.
    Bernie – He seems a little nuts. But can be fun to listen to.
    Third Party? Who?
    Bout the only thing I’m sure of with the coming election is: NO WAY Hillary
    I cannot stand that no good lying……. She is a bad bad bad person.
    How can anyone admire her.

    1. Noah Graff

      You don’t think Trump seems like a bad person/lier as well?

      So mean to call someone a bad person. Although they are both not very likable.

      Lord help us! 🙂

      1. Jack

        I did say: I like some of what Trump has to say. There is a lot of what he says I don’t like. He goes too far with the personal attacks.
        I’m not a mean person, Ok. Hillary is a pathological liar. Does that make her a bad person I don’t know.

      2. Jack

        After thinking about this some more. YES, she is a bad person.
        But hey. Bill said she endured 11 hours of questioning on Benghazi so that’s who we need as president. Someone that can lie for 11 hours straight without losing her cool.
        She lied to the families at the memorial. And now she says they are lying about what she said to them.
        Bad person? YES she is a bad person.

  3. Hard Working American

    Trump is saying that a huge percentage of thinking American’s who know and care already are thinking and discussing around the watering holes (local eateries).
    No time before in my 55 years have I witnessed so much anger from hard working American’s who are just fed up with walking in lock step politicians and parties.
    Third party? There is none, and by design.
    Nope, we’ve got a Trump and we need to embrace him or just go down the hill with Hillary the piece of work or feel the BERN with the Socialist.
    Not interested in another four years of a Clinton scandal in the White House nor some wack job type who is not a Conservative thinker.
    I do see where the Socialistic thinking is coming from and Hillary ain’t not Socialist, heck she and Bill are rich beyond compare with houses aplenty and more money running from their butts than you can count.
    Nope, just not a happy camper but I am a hard working American white boy who drug himself up to build a company from nearly nothing and am employing other hard working folks who are trying to stay alive.
    Ain’t happy, ain’t gonna get happy, ain’t happy about that either.
    SMILE! I’m just playing with you about not being happy. I’m not going to let Old Hillary or Old “feel the Bern” Sanders the Socialist get under my skin.
    Soon the FBI will take Hillary away as they did in Illinois with some governors and other nar-do-well Chicago Democrats and I’ll smile as I see that occur.
    I can only hope.
    I’m a bit more than tired of all the freeloading and welfare addicts who love to live on the public funds and the printing press paper that won’t stop printing.
    Time for some old white boys who have had enough to begin writing songs like they did back in the protest days with Dylan and those others and take to the road selling our message of being fed up with bull crap from cronies, liars, rapists and other elected butt holes.
    Thanks for the forum to rant.
    Time to go back to work so others who are in their 20’s and 30’s can get a check from me so they can keep watching those large TV’s from their sofas in houses I paid for.

    1. Erik

      What does your race have to do with it? I’m not really sure what you think you’re saying, and I don’t think you are either.

      Thanks for labelling yourself.

    2. Sara

      From another hard working American:
      Kudos, Hard working American!!! Finally someone who provides the jobs for the 20, 30 and 40 years so they can complain and follow PC. The cronies have ruined our schools, communities, towns, counties, our states and most of all our wonderful country that still having long waiting lines to come into for the American dream.
      Wake up Citizens and take our country back. This is why non-political candidates are so popular. The Political Class deserves a kick in the pants. We are privileged to live here and no one has automatic entitlements. Earn your place.

  4. Erik

    None of them. I hate Trump and Clinton. Trump is a blowhard buffoon with a spray tan, a bad haircut, and a big mouth. The rules don’t apply to Clinton, just ask her. A proven liar. Bernie is fine as a guy to have a coffee with, but not as our president. Ted Cruz? Arrrrghhhh! I really don’t have any idea where this election will wind up, but I don’t like it.

    The only blog I regularly read is this one. We’re in the same industry, so I suppose there’s a connection, but I like your thoughtful writing, even when I don’t agree with you. Keep it up. If you weren’t writing meaningful things, you wouldn’t get strong reactions. Consider it a compliment.

  5. Don

    A legal pad with the word “Blog” scrawled across the top. That has to be one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while.

  6. Rod Brower

    Gotta really wonder about Trumps new side kick.

    He is a bit off the wall and with her in the mix none of it makes any sense.

    Love Your Blogs Lloyd, but not our choices for leaders.

  7. Jeff Poole

    I’ve said from the beginning of the campaign cycle “ANYBODY but Hillary”. I know the others have lies, half truths, and nincompoop statements in their closet, but I KNOW the problems with Hillary. And I’m certain that there is even more I don’t know that’s probably worse. Trump is a big mouth with bad hair. But at least he does know enough to at least speak to the way Americans are feeling. Cruz is likely my choice of the ones still standing. The rest are gonna be also rans. I like Carson, but it ain’t gonna happen. Paul is in the same boat.
    Another certainty. The Democratic Party WILL.NOT.NOMINATE. A SOCIALIST. Period. No matter how good Sanders is made to look by the Hillary circus, he’s dead meat (figuratively speaking, of course.)
    I’ve held my nose and voted many times in the past. And honestly, that is part of America’s problem. We haven’t had a candidate since Reagan that truly understood the US, and was statesman enough to work for that. I can hold my nose again, and with that, vote for Trump if that’s what it takes to keep Hillary out. But Trump really is NOT what America needs. THAT has NOT shown up on this elections radar.

    1. Erik

      I can’t agree with you on Cruz, but I agree with the rest. Clinton can not be elected. She is the ONLY thing that could make the gridlock worse.

      Sad thing is, Reagan (who I voted for the first time I was old enough to vote) would be too Liberal for the GOP these days. We really have to start moving back to the center a bit…..

    2. rick

      Correct – they will not let the socialist, strike that, the communist run (this time).
      Hillary will be up to her elbows in more scandals by the time the convention rolls around.
      They will draft Joe Biden at the last moment to save the day since it is his turn.
      (Have you ever seen democrats follow rules? me neither)
      Don’t believe me? look at Lautenberg getting put in at the last minute for the senate seat. This will not be a president.
      And everybody loves Joe.
      Hillary will get a blanket pardon from the president.
      And hopefully fade away…

  8. Lloyd Graff

    Michael Bloomberg is rumored to be considering a third party run for the Presidency. He would be my choice today especially if Trump and Sanders win in the Primaries. This country is too precious to have one of those guys n the White House.
    Bloomberg is one of the most successful business people in America and ran New York well as Mayor.

    He would be hope rather than giving in to fear and anger.

    1. Sophie

      Lloyd I love your “blogs”, but 3rd party Michael Bloomberg. That would be a automatic Hillary win. No Republican voter would switch to Bloomberg. Yes he is successful in business, but deciding no salt shakers and size of soda size. Really!! May be healthy to some, but way to Big Brother for most. Being dependent on every decision made and paid for by the government is the problem we have now. That’s why everyone is here in America is for FREEDOM not constant PC. Enough already!!

  9. Lloyd Graff

    Sophie, I know Bloomberg has become politically correct on climate change and other yuppie hoaxes but he is basically a pragmatist and his self made fortune would enable him to be free of special interests, though I do have some reservations about his ties with Wall Street, the primary buyer of his data.
    But compared to the Buffoon Trump and the avowed Lefty Sanders, he would be Snow White.

      1. Terry Donovan

        The climate is constantly changing, dinosaurs, ice age etc. don’t thing this is something we control.

  10. Rick

    I believe the country should be run by a “virtual” President – a digital figurehead, androgynous that appears to the public to announce decisions made by a selective, highly intellectualized Congress and Senate (those with IQ’s of 200-plus only) that has taken logic streams from like-entities at the state and local level. This way all of the factors influencing governance can be hyper analyzed with the best and most logical solution presented to a highly intellectualized public (those with IQ’s of 200-plus only) for a confirming “vote.”

    The IQ of the voter won’t matter much, though, as the optimal solution to the issue at hand will have been determined factually and objectively and would leave no room to be politicized by any number of partisan groups. My VP (virtual president) would de-politicize politics and restore objectivity and fairness to the people not only of our country, but could for those in other countries as well.

    This may seem far-fetched but when you consider how the current president manipulated social media to gain [an unfettered and uneducated] public trust and hence votes during election at the popular and subsequent electoral level, then the digitization of a political process (or processor as it were) that would remove the manipulation aspect from the hands of the unscrupulous politicians and put control of the process at a regulated, objectified and logical level begins to seem more realistic.

    So, instead of voting for a talking homo sapien head on Election Day, with my proposed “VP” system you’d one day be “voting” on predetermined, solid solutions to be implemented at the best phase-in cycle of the processes that are in the best interest in the improvement of the nation as determined by best sociological and scientific practices. The “VP” would announce improvements to the country on Election Day. Society would become cumulatively better, and not thrust into unknown levels of disarray as is the case with the current election system.

    It is time to change. We either go this way (utilize our technology) or continue to trust leadership that does not have the scope or intellect to handle the complexities that exist in an ever increasingly complex world. People are literally dying because of the inequity caused by the politicization of material and intellectual elements intended for the common good.



  11. phil

    Gary Johnson, fiscal conservative, businessman.. libertarian…..successful govenor of new mexico……not repub or dem

  12. rick

    Another nanny statist big government neo European socialist.
    Do you not think we have enough government regulations?

    They came first for the conservatives, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a conservative; And then they came for the gun owners, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a gun owner; And then they came for the smokers, And I didn’t speak up because I didn’t smoke, And then they came for the SUV drivers, And I didn’t speak up because I didn’t own an SUV, And then they came for the meat eaters, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a meat eater, And then they came for the soda drinkers, And I didn’t speak up because I didn’t like soda, And then they came for those who use salt, And I didn’t speak up because I didn’t use much salt; And then . . . they came for me . . .

    Welcome to Bloomberg’s Statist Utopia – You will conform!!!

  13. rick

    I will make a deal with the devil and vote for Trump!
    With his ego, failure is not an option.
    I believe him, when he says he will build a WALL!
    I believe him, when he says he will reduce spending.
    The republicans, that I voted for, who swore they would stop the presidents addenda, gave him a blank cheque.
    Obamacare continues
    The killing of babies, paid by the government continues
    Illegal immigration continues
    OPEN borders continues
    Unchecked refugees continues
    “recess” appointments to the NLRB, conducted while the Senate was formally in session.
    The decision was the 12th time the Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the President
    Yet the Presidential decrees, continue…

  14. Big Al

    All politicians are liars, cheats and crooks. Hillery makes them all look like choir boys/girls.

    Every one of your blogs is interesting. Please don’t stop.

  15. Tim Matthews

    Re Trump, Sanders or Third Party:
    Several years ago there was a movement to add “None of the above” to the ballot. Maybe it’s time to revive it.
    I never fail to marvel at your ability to lucidly express yourself in the blog. It is a pleasure to stop and spend a few minutes with your thoughts.
    You mentioned the large number of comments; do you keep track of the blogs that generate the most?

  16. Lloyd Graff

    How about putting our heads together for a great 3rd Party Candidate.

    Mitch Daniels, former Governor of Indiana, now head of Purdue

    Jeff Immelt, long leader at GE.

    Joe Torre, great ball player, terrific manager, now with MLB

    Robert Gates, headed CIA, ,Defense under Bush and Obama

    Tim Cook of Apple. Would be first openly Gay President.

    Oprah Winfrey. She’s done everything else.

    Give us some more candidates, readers.

  17. Samuel

    After 50 some years of the Democrats fight against the War on Poverty, most of the Democratic run large cities have a worse War on Poverty which increases every day. Those cities are deep in misused public funds and some are actually defunct. Such corruption in the name of War on Poverty.
    What is the definition of failure: Continuing doing the things the same way with the same dismal results.
    Wake up everyone! Teach a person to fish not give them the fish. Success comes in your accomplishments not City Hall.
    Vote differently for once! It could improve on Hopeless Change before it is too late.

  18. Bruskie

    The problem with Trump is he enjoys disparaging anyone that dare challenges him, and them simply claims he didn’t disparage these people, and actually believes it himself. That’s almost the definition of a psychopath! Trump for President? Very scary! Maybe I haven’t paid enough attention but I’ve heard little substance from Trump, but a lot of ranting.
    Bernie is surly a man of the people, if your poor or work for a union, I’m sure you “Feel The Bern”. I love his ideas on how to fix Social Security and I love his anti corruption stance. Very important issues to the country.
    Ill never vote for Hillary, ill never vote for The Donald! If the Bern’s not on the general election ballot, ill most likely vote 3rd party…..Again!

  19. Richard Lussier

    I continue to enjoy your bog. You touch on many subjects from human concerns to business to baseball. I especially like never knowing what the next subject is.
    Your speaking from the heart is the center point. Yes, continue “To write what I feel”.

  20. Dennis

    Thanks for the blog … I do enjoy reading it and yes … some subjects are more dear than others to many of us, thus feelings will be pretty strong..
    My guess is we are all united by the manufacturing world.
    Sorry to hear some call others racist for simply describing themselves, in this case the descriptor was the WORD “white”.
    To me the world racist implies an act … not the color of one’s skin.
    I have experienced racism conducted by people of many different colors and races.
    My guess is we all have and unfortunately, is part of the human condition.
    Lets all try to be blind to ones race/color as hard as it is.

    President … man it is always the least of all the evils and I for one will not be voting for any democrats that are running, way too much big government.
    I find myself somewhat reluctantly leaning towards Trump.
    The unfortunate problem is going to be changing the bureaucrats and the culture of our current government.
    The leader of our country will have a hard time reaching down to affect that level.
    Good luck on complaining about executive orders.
    That is is going to be an important tool for change in the direction to smaller government or one that adheres to the constitution.

  21. Ardy

    Lloyd, thanks for proving that we have intelligent well informed people in the manufacturing world. Since we are on the subject of nuts (Trump) v.s hardened criminals (Hillary) why not consider a straight Ahmadinejad/Putin ticket!! All kidding aside, I think it is becoming painfully obvious that somewhere down the road people have to take the job of running the country back from these so called leaders, and do it themselves. It isn’t such a far fetched idea and tools to do it in today’s internet age are by in large in place. If I was forced to make choice today, i will have Biden back on the democratic side and on the Republicans Kasich seems the most qualified.

  22. HM


    The Doosan thing was too much for me. I know a bit about it. Cutting off commentary after a negative bombshell did not give any ‘pro-Doosan’ (or reality based) individuals time to respond and this article is being used by competitors & recruiters to ‘attack’ Ellison employees and hire them away.

    I did a little research and found Doosan sold another division to the same investment group then bought it back from them 3 years later. This is why Doosan chose this group again? Your misinformed opinions have harmed a great many people to the great glee of their competitors. Hard to miss your next article where this is mentioned was just plastered with Okuma ads so I assume you profited from this slander.

    Too much for me, I do not want to be a part of it. Please remove me from your email list.

    Best Regards,

  23. Lloyd Graff

    HM, it would have been sporting of you to at least identify yourself if you wish to slander me by shouting “slander”.

    Your accusation that Okuma’s advertising on the site prompted my piece is absurd. Call them and ask, if you dare, though with your cloak of anonymity I am sure you would not have the courage.

    I stand by everything I put in the Doosan piece, though I got the name wrong of the respected leader, K.Y. Lee who is no longer with headquarters.

    I am sure things are not easy now at Doosan, and whoever you are, your business may be in transition, but that is not my problem. I just try to write good articles that my readers will get something out of.

    And I will be quite happy to get you out of this website.


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