Did you play it forward today?

Did you randomly smile and say thank you? Did you wait patiently for the Sandwich or Pizza Artisan at your favorite takeout restaurant? Did you thank the Barista who quickly and calmly filled your order while being overwhelmed by inpatient customers?

Is it a sign of frustrating times economically or socially? Does the milk of human kindness, camaraderie, or co-existence often get lost in your day?

This brings me to a time about 20 or 25 years ago while on assignment in Panama City Beach, FL. Friends who lived there took me to the local Miami Sub® Restaurant and advised me to watch my sub in the making by a true Artisan. The older man in the kitchen was very quiet and so intense. My friends told me that he was emotionally challenged, had been homeless, and the owner of the shop hired him with few questions asked. This gentle man, who should have been retired and lazing on the beach, made each sandwich a challenge and His Master Piece. Each layer of the ingredients and the condiments were place as if the roll was a canvas and he was a master painter. Sure he took a bit longer than the average worker, but when he was done and handed it to you, the pride of a job well done in his look was both humbling and overwhelming.

I carry this experience with me to this day and try to use it in managing both crew members and projects. Whether I am at a fast food restaurant, a casual or formal sit-down restaurant, or a vendor’s manufacturing floor, I remember my sub and the man who made it those many years ago.

When I first ventured into the field of Quality, my supervisor assured me that it is harder for a person to do a job wrong than do it correctly and professionally. Yes, a person might be stressed out, harried, or just plain tired, but the likelihood of a serious mistake is slim. On rare occasion an individual might be so disturbed that sabotage occurs, I agree. But we should discount that extreme and just play it forward every day.

Who knows what a smile, hello, or thank you might do for a stranger?

©Donald Crusan 11-Nov-14

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Thoughts on Black Welds:

Recently a Major North American ERW Pipe Manufacturer had a spate of weld line cracks that did not fit into any familiar or normal terminology. In fact, both the terms oxidized and un-oxidized were used to describe this indication. The UT inspections show a condition very similar to the “mill cracks” other Line Pipe Manufacturers are famous for when describing atypical indications and who can never tell an Inspector what causes them, but just tries to send them back through the system. The Metallurgist, a damn bright guy, told me that he had tried to upgrade conditions to be in line with other Manufacturers. Naturally, as you know, most Inspectors have an almost photographic memory and are copious note and mental data collectors. I was determined to quietly observe, discreetly take photos, and ideate through this, sometimes maybe a little too wrapped up in the investigation. The Mill’s end millers are pretty good for normal machine shop work, but not heavy duty enough or clean enough for the application. I still prefer the old method of using knives used by a lot of other mills at the trim line. After much observation, consulting with friends in the Precision Manufacturing & other Manufacturing Sectors, and studying the photos, I realized what we probably all know. The end miller lacks the capabilities to completely remove the entire chip, and the “wiper” technique used is lacking. Chips remain clinging to the edge of the skelp and either turns down akin to a lap or turns up and is melded into the weld. Photos show these conditions. My concern is the down turned chips and the laminar indication developed that show up on UT. So, I ask is the potential for failure while in service enhanced by this or does it not matter (especially in an area where a near UT hit is found).

Quite a few of these are rejectable indications per N5 notch and 1’8″ hole.

Should I be concerned because the UT operator also gets a lot of close hits, proves some up with MT, and lets some pass?

Any thoughts on this?

I am writing a paper on this, discrete as it should be to specifics, and plan on presenting it for publication

And the collaboration between my Mentors: Miles Free, Chris Schoen, Allen Book, John Bowen, and myself.

The first one looked like a black weld from shorting across the vee — just what a chip or whisker would do if it contacted both sides of the vee away from the crotch.

Of course you should be concerned, but you’re probably limited by the customer spec, and API 5L doesn’t cover near misses.  If you can get them to also look at some near misses with UST in static mode, and search for max amplitude (same as prove-up for exceeding threshold), it would provide more confidence.

Black is bad and I don’t care what they say. Generally, that indicated a fusion problem of some nature, especially in the ERW field. Naturally that’s why it is frowned upon in the Pressure Vessel field. Pipelines still love it due to price. But what is a pipe, except the most prevalent pressure vessel in use around the world. The oxidation which can be a cause of the blackened areas also leads to the poor fusion in the welded areas. Any type of resistance welding application MUST have the proper “LASH” which is my way of saying the 4 things controlled by welders and amounts to the success of a good weld. Length, angle, speed and heat. Length of the arc, angle of the electrode, speed of travel and heat on the machine. These variables are critical in the ERW process. If the wheels are not prepared properly (length and angle) the weld will suck, if the process is not set to procedure (speed and heat) the process will suck. With ERW, those factors must be controlled especially tight. I used to make the statement that I could teach a welder to make an automated weld with enough stalks of bananas but that really was a joke. PQR’s are critical for any welding process and just looking at those pictures with no history, it appears that somebody did not follow procedure very well.

Give me some more details and I can go further but from the photos, it appears to be a bad fusion problem.

Boiler and Pressure Vessel systems, Nuke and some pipeline companies get extremely concerned about the “leftovers” that you are picking up with UT. Most Pipeline Companies could give a rat’s ass if the line pipe meets API specs and rightfully so since the hoop stresses are covered by the strength requirements in the specs. API can really screw it up when they do not have the pipe you order and can substitute a stronger spec since it meets or exceeds the original order. If they are out of X60, they can legally substitute X70. Really screws with the electrode groupings on a PQR/WPS.

If the piping system is subject to cyclic loading, I believe the concern should go well beyond the Norm for pipelines as appears to be your case. I did a 2 year stint with an EP out in West Texas and saw a lot of what you are working on but only because the metallurgist on the project at the time went into enough detail and concern to do some testing and find out why the mechanisms failed and do a root cause. Most of the piping showed the same discontinuities you are seeing. Neat research but costly if not a necessity. A lot of their failures were due to soil type which caused accelerated corrosion as well as erosion due to water being in the lines and the hilly terrain out there. After a period of time the water would build up and create a blockage effect in the line and wash back and forth causing the erosion internally. When it reached the discontinuities in the ERW welds, everything speeded up and failure occurred prematurely. And in some cases, catastrophically.

I believe to some extent, the mills are at fault due to the end results of getting the pipe out the door. All the reasons you cited and the fact that ERW sucks as a welding process unless the parameters are tightly controlled. There is limited research in these areas to support our concerns and you may be on to something really big. Most likely, the lack of research is due to the lack of funding to support the time involved. The military does some in the area of explosion welding which creates the same type discontinuity in a lot of their cladding applications when viewed under magnification. IE: aluminum clad to carbon steel. When magnified, it appears like small cat claws in the surface of the carbon steel. Failure normally occurs at the interface of these discontinuities. DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Classic stress risers.

Solutions to Edge Oxidation

Solutions are either mechanically remove the oxide, use a chemical etch such as deoxidine, or use nitrogen as the assist gas. Each of these has a price. The first method is labor, the second is labor and chemicals, and the third is cost and possible loss in productivity. When cutting with nitrogen, there is a point where the feed-rate becomes slower than that with oxygen and the amount of gas used is dramatically more.

©Donald Crusan 11-Nov-14

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Response to EID Post: Why I Support Natural Gas Development in My Township

I have not been running from the debate, but!
1. Very often a significant Quality Concern mandates Rapid Mobilization and Addressing. Such happened recently and I had to devote my time to rectifying so the show could go on without a hitch.
2. And, I needed time to address my Passion for Safety, Quality, & Integrity in this fabulous business that has given me many new friends, allowed me to be reacquainted with old ones, learn new things, and share my knowledge and beliefs.
3. That said, I thought through the many ways I believe we need more control at the local playing field and then this happened:
EPA: 40K Gallons Dumped; Hagan Demands Arrest
Wow, did that give all of us pause for thought and concern? In fact, so much concern that posts of it have been deleted on some LinkedIn Pro Utica & Marcellus Groups. Censorship is not good from either side, we need open dialogue to generate new ideas and police ourselves. Almost the whole month of Jan-2013 before the state agencies could respond, because of their restrictions!! With Local Jurisdiction, the Police Department or Sheriff could have made an arrest and stopped in at the start. What causes one to have so many disregards for the environment, such greed, and possibly even so much hate? I am sure that you all agree that 99% of us would not do this, nor would we want to. We should openly discuss it to more readily have answers if it happens, which is something that a few of us do (So much for a Social Life, but it is what we love). If you have been around for a bit, you would know that I have longed questioned Deep Injection Wells, both because their instability has been called into question since the Rocky Mountain Arsenal quakes that started in 1961 and D&L Energies long time evidence of pollution, the many violations on both PA & OH, and some very pro-active fans of drilling who work at some of the Youngstown area Tubular Mills, making Casing, OCTG, and Line Pipe.
Historical Precedence
There is definitely historical precedence for manmade causes of earthquakes in Colorado.
“This state is the biggest natural laboratory in the world for human-induced earthquakes,” Matthews said. “There have been three major experiments in the state concerning human-induced events that prove human activities can indeed touch off earthquakes.”
The most famous episode of a human-induced earthquake began in 1961, when a 12,000-foot disposal well was drilled in the U.S. Army’s Rocky Mountain Arsenal northeast of Denver. The well was used for disposing of nuclear waste & fluids from arsenal operations, and injection commenced in March 1962.
Shortly thereafter an unusual series of earthquakes erupted in the area, and by the end of December 1962 about 190 earthquakes had occurred. None caused damage until December, when several structures were damaged in Dupont and Irondale.
Over 1,300 earthquakes were recorded between January 1963 and August 1967. In April 1967 the largest earthquake since the series began in 1962 occurred, and damage was recorded in the arsenal, Derby and Boulder. This tremor measured 5.0 on the Richter scale.
Even after the Rocky Mountain Arsenal waste dumping practice stopped, earthquakes continued to be felt in the Denver area, so in 1968 the Army began removing fluid from the arsenal well very slowly in an effort to reduce the earthquake activity.
The second episode was in the 1970s at the Rangley Field in northwest Colorado, Matthews said. The USGS heard reports that earthquakes in the area were touched off by water flooding in the field.
The USGS got permission from Chevron, the field’s operator, to conduct an experiment in part of the field on some abandoned wells. The USGS stopped injection in the area, and earthquake activity dropped from about 50 a day to one or two. Scientists then began injection again to determine if the earthquakes would increase again when the pressure built up. Sure enough, the episodes jumped back up to about 50 a day.
The USGS shut down injection operations and the tremors died down.
The most recent experiment is in the Paradox Valley, where the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is attempting to prevent salt from entering the Dolores River and then flowing into the Colorado River, according to Matthews.
“The Paradox Valley is a salt anticline, and the salt in the Delores River comes from the ground water,” he said. “The Bureau of Reclamation has drilled a series of wells all along the river to intercept the ground water flowing into the river, and that water is then injected into a 14,000-foot injection well.
“The bureau has a very talented seismo-tectonic group that researches earthquakes related to dams and other projects, so when this Paradox Valley injection program began they expected to generate earthquakes,” he continued. “They installed a network of instruments to monitor any activity and, sure enough, tremors did start when they began water injection.”
The program has generated over 4,000 earthquakes, but most are too small to be felt on the surface, he said. The earthquakes built until June 2000 when there was a magnitude 4.5 event. That earthquake was large enough that Bureau of Reclamation scientists began looking for a remedy to the situation.
Today the USGS said the bureau is injecting water every other month to minimize the earthquake activity.
“There’s not another place in the world that’s had as many manmade earthquakes as Colorado,” Matthews said. “For that reason we have to look seriously at any series of tremors we have and determine their cause.”
There have been earthquakes in the Trinidad area in the past, and no manmade cause for those earlier quakes has been found. Also, there have been earthquake swarms in the state.
But this swarm is unique in that the events occurred so close together. That’s why residents are hopeful that data from the USGS instruments will provide some answers — fast.
4. So back to the debate. From early 2011 to early 2012, I was a Vendor Field Quality Assurance Manager for a Major E&P working in The Shale Gas Fields at a Vendor of the products needed to bring a well on line and keep it producing safely. In my business my only task is to assure the INTEGRITY of Equipment, including the GPUs or Gas Production Units seen at the well pads. This vendor had no real Quality Program in effect and really didn’t care about anything, but get it out the door. My client was paying a premium to have some equipment upgraded and it was an almost daily task to keep on top of assuring that the welds were Quality and the Equipment had a high Degree of Mechanical Integrity. The philosophy of your too picky was there and if it looks good, ship it out, and process the invoice.
5. Now, you have to remember that when a PO for Equipment is processed, the Vendor Agrees to Comply with what is known as a Standard and any Governmental Rules, Laws, and Regulations and then a Customer Specification, which is usually much stricter than the Standard or Law. So, think of it this way, API and The State Environmental Agency write the rules, the client (Which In This Case is YOU) then writes an ordinance (their Specification) and work proceeds. If you have to wait for a distant agency or Organization to determine an answer days can be lost, as happened in Youngstown last week. I am the eyes of the Customer, educated & trained to interpret the Standard and authorized to make the decisions on site. Since both the State Seat of Government and API are distant, someone needs to be onsite to make the needed quick decisions. In your case, it would be the Township Supervisors or at best an Agency such as myself.
6. Lest you think I am even thinking of taking Range Resources to task, a situation that they are aware of happened at this vendor. Unbeknownst to me, before I started on my project, Range had purchased some Equipment and found, as I hear it, upwards of 50 bad welds after delivery to the field. This just gave me more determination to be stricter with the various weld issues that I encountered. Now, I know you do not want bad welds that may possibly be the cause of a fire or explosion. Just think of the publicity of deaths, destroyed homes, destroyed equipment, loss of livestock, pollution, law suits, and just overall negative publicity, nor does Range Resources or any other E&P. I commend Range for being proactive on this and immediately getting the bad welds removed and replaced, putting the Equipment in Proper Operating Condition and their admirable Safety Record in Washington County attests to this. During this period a lawsuit was in progress and this vendor actually boasted about it. Professional Accountability kept me from contacting Range, but believe me, I often thought about it during the times of frequent frustration and rework to comply… I am not really sure how the lawsuit ended as I finally told the vendor, this was something that I didn’t want or should know about.
7. I will take the chance that a may make a few foes because of this entry, but I bet I will also make a few new friends.
8. Remember this sage piece of advice: “Keep your friends close, but you enemies closer”, attributed to Sun-Tzu Chinese general & military strategist & author of The Art of War, another tome that all should read. We don’t really call anyone out as an enemy, but the real Sun-Tzu’ book is really a well written practice for business success too.
9. I do not believe that Act 13 is good, but it is a start and hopefully with local dialogue and the fact that it becomes a living document, we can achieve equity for all.
10. I just wished the greed wasn’t a factor and for too many locals that is all it is about. PA is a Commonwealth, not a State. Look up Commonwealth and get back to me.

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My Name Is Luigi

Luigi 4Through the course of the days, weeks, months, and years, I have been asked where the nickname Luigi comes form. So, here are a couple of paragraphs sharing how I inherited it.

About 20 years ago I usually took an extended summertime vacation or concentrated on working close to home and also volunteered at Fireman’s Fairs by running a Barbeque Pit.

Like all good entrepreneurs, I needed a hook. In my case it was dressing entirely in white. From a toque or chef’s hat, a white T-shirt, white shorts, and white walking shoes. It worked pretty well and since I did a mean menu, I was kept busy cooking up ribs, chicken breasts, sausages, and other meats that the locals might decide they wanted as Barbeque.

Also about that time, the video game of Mario Brothers had been just released and a local fire chief who had purchased the game decided that I did look like Mario’s’ Brother Luigi.

So, I picked up the moniker, little kids, who had trouble pronouncing Luigi, started calling me Weegee, and it grew from there. Very good friends started calling me Wege and fast became an identifying persona.

Along about that time, I realized there was another Don in the business and a few distant relations with the same name. Today, as an Identifier it has become who I am.

Simple nickname that stuck to me more firmly than any other I picked up through the years.

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Happy New Year Sis, cranky

Street Smart Sukhumvit

Location: NEST Rooftop Bar, Le Fenix, Sukhumvit 11.





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Hi, My Name Is Luigi And I Am One Of Santa’s Elves.


Here is a short story for Christmas 2012 that I wrote and posted on Blogger. I don’t want to lose it, so I am reposting it here on WordPress. Those of you who haven’t read it, enjoy!

It is that Whimsical and Exciting time of The Year for Kids of All Ages, Christmas

Hi, My Name Is Luigi And I Am One Of Santa’s Elves.

So I thought all of you kiddies might like to hear about my important job working for Santa at the North Pole.

As you know The Land of Christmas and our Good Neighbor Lapland, where Reindeers come from and rest after their very hard job of pulling Santa’s Sleigh with the oodles of Important Toys & Gifts, is a very huge land, with miles & miles of factories and billions of comfy little cottages for the more than a gazillion elves to take their naps and eat all of those cookies Ms. Claus is famous for. Speaking of cookies and Mrs. Claus, only your Mom comes even close to baking goodies like she does.

One usually hears names like Elmo, Janny, Bunle, Spark, Ellie, Bounder, Kallie, Jikney, Blitzie, Baffle, Rando, Purdy, Danno, Abran, Wulkie, Zanzwi, Ripplo, Elisa, Aaron, Roger, Ju-Jube, Francios, Gralofski, and Cotelle for the regular Toymaker Elf.

But there are others who are sort of the boss and include.

Bushy Evergreen, the inventor of the magic toymaking machine.

Shinny Upatree is Father Christmas’s (Santa’s) oldest friend and cofounder of the secret village in The Land of Christmas

Wunorse Openslae designed Father Christmas’s sleigh and maintains it for top performance. (It is believed that the reindeer reach speeds faster than Christmas tree lights.) He also cares for the reindeer.

Pepper Minstix is the guardian of the secret of the location of Father Christmas’s land.

Sugarplum Mary is Head of the Sweat Treats, and assistant to Father Christmas’s wife, Mrs. Claus, also known as Mary Christmas.

Alabaster Snowball is very important. He is the Administrator of the Naughty & Nice list.

The More Famous than me, my Brother Mario, who invents and tests the new Video Games each year.

And then there I am, Luigi, semi-retired now and an elf who recruits new elves.

Others of the gazillions of elves include these from Lapland, home of Santa’s Reindeers.

Askasleikir, Baggalutur, Bitahaengir, Bjalmans barnid, Bjalminn sjalfur,  Bjugnakraekir, Faldafeykir, Frodusleikir, Stekkjarstaur,Gattathefur, Giljagaur, Gluggagaegir, Ketkrokur,  Kertasnikir, Laekjaraegir,  Pottasleikir, Raudur, Redda, Skyrjarmur, Sledda, Steingrimur, Stufur, Syrjusleikir, Thvorusleikir, Tifill, and, Tutur.

Since Santa never fires his elves, lays them off, and never outsources, we need new elves very year because of the growing Christmas Lists from all Boys and Girls. This is now my job, finding elves to take back to The Land of Christmas.

There are some interesting things you might like to know about eves:

1)      Elves also live and work with us in the rest of the world, as Engineers, Mechanics, Machinists, Machine Operators,  Laborers, Technicians, Cooks, Bakers, and Truck Drivers doing everything needed to make Santa’s Toy Factory and Businesses in the rest of the world work and run well like a Swiss made Grandfather’s Clock.

2)      Elves are often called Leprechauns, Midgets, Dwarves, Little People, and sometimes worse by cruel people. But I know all Boys and Girls are not like this and love and look to the dwarves with kindness.

3)      Yes there are Boy and Girl Elves and Baby Elves too.

4)      Elves minds develop more quickly than their bodies; by their first year, they can speak, walk and even dance, and their quicker onset of mental maturity makes young Elves seem, to Men, older than they really are. Adulthood comes in around their fiftieth to one hundredth year (by age fifty they reach their adult height), and by their first hundred years of life after birth Elves are fully grown. Elven bodies eventually stop aging physically, while human bodies do not.

5)      Only another Elf can tell the difference between a Boy and Girl Elf if neither one has a beard.

6)      Elves are very hard workers, but so love to sing, dance, tell jokes, and sometimes play pranks on Santa and Rudolph, all kind and in good taste.

7)      Elves at play: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:%C3%84lvalek.jpg

8)      To be one of Santa’s Elves, one must be a Hard Worker, Jovial, Short (around 4’ 6” is best), have white hair, a white beard for the Boy Elves, love to eat Christmas Goodies year round, a portly tummy for all of those cookies & baked goods, and like to wear  Red & Green Clothing. (A lot like me).

So you can see that elves are almost like a lot of you in what they like and what they like to do.

About 15 years ago and since I managed all of the Natural Gas Fired Boilers, Furnaces, and Ovens needed to make The Land of Christmas chug along smoothly, Santa asked me what I thought about living in the NE USA surrounded by The Great Marcellus and Utica Natural Shale Gas Fields to recruit new elves. Always being ready for a new challenge and knowing that I would find some of the hardest working & most honest people in PA, the land of my roots, I eagerly accepted.

I have had the pleasure of meeting, working, and sharing with so many skilled and diverse folks during the last 10 years back home, and I know that I know The Land of Christmas and The Spirit of Sharing and Love will never die

Merry Christmas, Joyeaux Noel, Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings, Happy Kwanza,즐거운 휴일 보내세요, Buone Vacanze, สุขสันต์วันหยุด, or in any Language you choose to celebrate the Holiday.

That brings me to part of why I am here and If anyone is interested, please send you resume to Santa at The North Pole.

©Donald L Crusan-05-Dec-2012


I am sorry for the use of all of the Laplander, Icelandic and Norse names of the various elves. But, I am sure that your little ones will have such love and admiration directed to you that any way you do pronounce it would be right. There are many more I found that would be impossible to try and utter, unless one was versed in most of the old and archaic dialects of the past.

If I had another choice of career it just might be that of a storyteller in the likes of Garrison Keillor. Appalachian Born & Bred, I grew up with the tradition of storytelling and the way to get new ideas was honed by a Louisianan Cajun from Cane River Territory and a South Carolina Good Old Boy from The Blue Ridge Mountains.

The idea for this story came a couple of weeks ago while waiting for the operating parameters for a Factory Acceptance Test of Steam Injectors destined for ExxonMobil’s Grassroots EPC Project in Baytown, TX, at a local manufacturer, to be achieved and balanced.  Doing this is akin to watching grass grow and woolgathering passes the time.         

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Why I Believe In The Future of Natural Gas and Strive With Others To Make It Safe, Secure, & For The Future.

Why I Believe In The Future of Natural Gas and Strive With Others To Make It Safe, Secure, & For The Future..

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