Vehicle Tracking Software

*written for another website, given permission to publish it.*

What is it?

Vehicle tracking software has been around for a while, albeit in a way different form than it is today. The most popular example that people will know is LoJack, which helped to find stolen cars and was mainly used by police. But the software has since evolved into something much much more complex and therefore informative to the user. On all accounts it will be able to digitize and synthesize a wealth of knowledge that can help improve cost efficiency.

Let’s go into the minutiae of the software and then we can get into how it will help your business and what it costs.

What does it do and why should you care?

Vehicle tracking software, also known as GPS fleet tracking, gives you a deep connection to vehicles in your fleet. At any given time you can check on ay number of statuses within your vehicles. You should care because of the immense amount of insight into even the smallest details of your business.

It can provide monitoring of vehicles and assets, which gives you access to the vehicle and whatever is in it, whenever, meaning information 24/7 if need be. This type of monitoring provides an employer the insight into whether or not a package was delivered and if a route is on time. Giving you the ability to see when packages are delivered helps to take out the worry of late packages or even not being delivered at all. This provides information about the interaction of your company with the customer which let’s you know if they were absolutely delivered or not in case of a claim made by the customer. Essentially acting as a safeguard in the process.

Tracking software will be able to reduce fuel consumption and waste. It helps to reduce fuel consumption in a couple different ways. One way is rerouting to find the quickest route, it also has the ability to track idle times that could be affecting overall consumption and waste. And then it can help to cut it out by advising the drivers on better driving practices to avoid traffic and idling.

A classic trait of these systems is the ability to track the vehicle in case of theft. As soon as the vehicle leaves a specific area you can track it and the driver to ensure they are still in control of the vehicle and if not, you know exactly where it is going.

The software gives you insight into diagnostics and the most recent maintenance done to the vehicle. The most efficient vehicle is the one that is up to date on all types of maintenance and addresses problems immediately, using this software you can ensure a long life for your vehicle.

And one of the biggest benefits of it, is the ability to track your driver and the behavior. Your vehicle can be in tip-top shape but with a reckless driver the risk of insurance costs, damaged goods, and wasted time it can all be for nothing.

You can exercise complete control of your enterprise. By being able to locate where vehicles are, how employees work, and maintenance issues whenever they arise you can mitigate costs and use the most beneficial and productive measure to ensure your businesses success.

Why You Might Need This

Now that you see what it can do, you need to figure out if you need it. Here area couple of questions you can ask yourself. Do you have a fleet of vehicles and want to optimize costs for your company? Do you need to track employees after you’ve had a couple of problems with vehicle accidents? Do you want to be able to track goods more efficiently?

If you answered yes to any of these than you should continue reading. If you’re still unsure if it’s worth it, let’s go over some types of companies that use it and if you are in competition with any of them than you’ll see if it’s beneficial to stay up to date with your competitors.

Who uses it

Medical equipment transportation, delivery services, and service providers all use a vehicle tracking software. Medical equipment transportation uses the software in order to ensure that the precious cargo, in forms of very expensive equipment, does not get damaged in the process of transporting. While delivery services benefit from knowing that their drivers deliver packages undamaged and on time. And finally service providers need to know that their drivers are as efficient as possible when they either install or fix something in a customer’s home. This knowledge is immensely beneficial for the employer to know about their business.

Now that you see some types of competitors that utilize it let’s see the companies that provide the software.

Who Offers It?

This is will create quite a diverse list of companies that offer vehicle tracking services. There are a few companies that consistently find their software topping best-of lists. Let’s synthesize some of them for you here with some pros and cons.

Verizon Networkfleet is constantly on top of the lists. They offer high readability, customizable reports  and very easy to use software. The drivers however can see the information which might cause them to adjust their practices without actually benefiting your business.

Fleetistics is able to give you accurate information between vehicles. The information is easily presented and very easy to track. The one con here is that drivers can access and therefore possibly tamper the evidence.

NexTraq gives you an interactive map, great customer service, and easy tracking. The only negative thing is that it doesn’t provide you with fault codes on your vehicles.

The cost of all of these services will vary among providers and the specific items that you need to come along with it. There are a few things you need to consider. There will be a startup fee, cancellation fee, price per vehicle per month, and installation costs. With all things consider it can cost anywhere from $30.00 to over $900.00. The price will vary according to your needs.

While you won’t find a completely free vehicle tracking software company you can utilize some free demos to see if it’s right for you. For instance Fleet Manager by GPDTrackit, Fleet Commander by Agile Access Control, and Manager Plus all offer a free demo. If anything you can give the software a demo to see if it’s worth keeping and how it impacts your productivity.

Vehicle tracking software can provide immense insight into your business and what you can do to improve it, for those reasons you might consider looking into finding the right software for your company and it’s needs.


VoIP Software

*I wrote this for another website and I was given permission to publish it here.*

What is it?

Voice over IP (VoIP) is a technology that enables the ability to communicate with either voice or multimedia capabilities. Essentially acting as a telephone using the internet. However it also enables faxing and SMS as well. The main difference between VoIP and an ordinary telephone is the type of transmission, specifically a telephone uses a circuit-switched network compared to a packet-switched network in IPs.


The first major network was Arpanet and that was back in the 70s. It was already hailed as a huge breakthrough but the major advancements for consumer and business needs came around 2004 when things became more streamlined and widespread.

The major VoIP that most people will know by name is Skype. We all remember the long buffer times in the beginning of each and every session, this was because the model was very basic. However, it did accomplish it’s goal of connecting the ordinary users to each other with free calls and the ability to easily communicate with each other. Meanwhile it charged for more intensive uses.

The next generation brought forth Google Talk and FaceTime from Apple. Now we have the ability to talk to each other over WiFi and from practically anywhere with a better calling service and not to mention more dependably.

These services were huge for the consumers and ordinary people. It enabled communication through free means as long as you had a computer or smartphone and a WiFi connection.

Needs For a Company

Companies need to communicate too and using a VoIP can be immensely beneficial for them to take advantage of.

Everyone has internet connection and access to some type of WiFi or broadband service. Utilizing the internet connection as a means of fast, dependable, and clear communication can help a business flourish. Whether it’s for voice calling, conferencing, or faxing VoIP is cheaper and more dependable than mobile phones and landlines.

Benefits of Using VoIP

The productivity will see a boost as documents, phone calls, and meetings can happen simultaneously. If your business partner needs a document than you can easily attach it during the meeting so they can receive it and discuss it right then and there, not at a meeting the following day or week.

VoIP is very easy to use. And in a high-paced office, user-friendly interfaces and services are very helpful when you mix older generations who have a hard time adjusting to new technology.

One very impressive feature is how voicemail can be turned into an email message and sent to you. Now every call can be recorded for contact details and important information without worrying about missing any specific details.

Conference calls don’t have to take place in a conference room anymore. In fact you can be driving, at a hotel, or in your own home and host a conference call on speaker phone while still having a reliable service. Multitasking and the ability to connect anywhere will benefit a fast paced company.

Small businesses and large business alike can both benefit from a good VoIP. The boost in productivity and a plethora of other features will come in handy when running a business and not having to deal with missing information, poor communication, and hard to use services.

So you need to ask yourself what you need. If you find that you need long distance calling, conference calling, and the ability to maximize productivity than you might want to consider looking into a VoIP service provider.

Current Service Providers

There are services that businesses will find more appealing than a user who just has occasional calls. There packages come at a price and offer a ton of services to cater to a business atmosphere. Companies like RingCentral, PhonePower, offer options like conference calling, international calls and business plans with pricing varying with each option you choose. And after you define your businesses specific needs it will help gauge the price you will be paying and what you need to ask for.


The costs of these services depends completely on your needs. For instance if you are a business that needs to communicate across different countries it will cost more than those dealing strictly in one. There could also accrue setup fees, unlimited plans and business plans. It all comes down to your needs but you could be looking at anywhere ranging from free to over $100.

Free Service Providers

If the word free grabbed your attention than there are free VoIP software providers out there for you. Skype and FaceTime are the first ones that comes to mind but some offer free demos for more intensive purposes. RingCentral, Vonage, and 8×8, Inc are all providing free demos to ensure you like the service before you have to pay for it.

There is one more option that could potentially benefit you. After you identify your needs and you find that one or two are more important than others you can dial into that need and exploit it with open source VoIP software.

Open Source

If you are looking for your own customizable options than open source VoIP software might be your best bet. Companies like Asterisk enable you to build your own open source network in order to fully fit your needs, whether it’s collecting and maintaining voicemail, conference servers, what have you. The costs reflect the services you use instead of paying for services you’ll never use.

There are other considerations when looking into an open source VoIP. SIP Proxies, SIP clients and H.323 Clients are all examples of the amount of variation in different types of open source software. This is where you truly can customize your decisions. SIP stands for session initiation protocol and proxies/clients are making strides to overtake services like Skype with a better connection and more features for both home and business use. H.323 clients are trying to build better voice and video quality calls. They help with conferences and business specific needs.

The market for open source VoIP is ever-growing and has a ton of platforms to choose from. Going this route will take a certain measure of tech savvy but can potentially be more rewarding for your business and at home.

If your business would benefit by utilizing stronger communication lines, better productivity, and staying ahead of the competition than you need to look into VoIP software as the ideal route to take in achieving those goals.



Bike Laws

Bike Laws in Australia
Before hopping on your bike and taking it for a tour around the city you might want to check out the bike laws. According to the NSW legislation website a bicycle is a vehicle and adheres to the

same rules as other vehicles. Which means you must follow all the same rules as any vehicle while entering a roundabout. Riding a bike while under the influence is considered dangerous and against the law. If you are convicted you can lose up to six demerit points. Just don’t.

Head Safety
Let’s start at the top, helmets are mandatory in Australia and this is applied to all age groups as well as any passenger on the bike or in a bicycle trailer. This law was introduced to Australia from 1990-1992. The only exception they allow is for religious reasons.

All bikes must have a warning device such as a bell or a horn. It would also be good to keep these things in mind along the same lines. When riding at night or in dangerous weather the bike must have a red or white light that is clearly visible from 200 metres away on either the front or rear.

Sharing is Caring
You aren’t allowed to cause a traffic hazard by infringing upon the path of a driver or pedestrian.

This really means that if you can’t ride around a parked car or person walking without causing some time of accident… you probably shouldn’t go around them. Also, while you are riding your bike you must stay as close to the left side of the road as possible with the exception of turns and overtaking another cyclist.

Hand Signals Please
Hand Signals will come in handy while trying to avoid accidents. If you are turning or changing lanes you need to throw up some hand signals so people know where you’re going! You are however allowed to ride beside one other bicyclist but you have to stick within 1.5 metres and you are never allowed to ride in three’s. Except when passing another rider.

Bike Lanes
Bicycle lanes are there for you! Use them, as no one else is allowed to be within a bike lane while they are being used and they are there to keep you safe. Stay off the foot paths!

Read the Sign

There are Give way signs on buses that allow buses to pull to the left lane and you must allow them to do so. Don’t worry they’ll get back in the flow of traffic soon enough. You however are permitted to ride your bike in bus lanes but you are not allowed to get in their way if need be, so practice caution! However if it says bus only, stay away! This one seems rather obvious but don’t ride your bike where there are ‘No Bicycle’ signs. Just don’t.


And finally, there are crossing lights installed specifically for cyclists, obey it and stay safe!

Sample Newspaper Piece

A Private Salon, A Personal Experience

Immediately upon entering A Private Salon you get the feeling of warmth, acceptance, enthusiasm and you know you’re in store for a dying form of personal interaction. The barbershop. You know the one from the movies, the fables of our pre-cell phone, pre-grunge days. The classic barber shop where, typically, men sat around with a drink in hand and a smile on their face. The one that has long been endangered, the place where long talks delve into philosophy, the genius of musicians, and the happenings around town all merge into an hour long session where you just so happen get a great haircut.

The atmosphere is set right when you walk in. Music fills the place with an ambience not of a day-spa where a chime is occasionally heard but rather blues, rock, and jazz. But the name doesn’t fool you, this is equal parts salon; a place of relaxation comfort and stress relief, as it is a barbershop; where the idea of having a real, personal conversation and interaction is alive and thriving.

The main attraction here is Freddy, the enigmatic, eclectic hairstylist dancing to rock and roll on his way over to you to give you a firm handshake and a warm welcoming smile. The standard operating procedure here is to give him an idea or picture of what you want done to your hair, discuss whatever quirks you may have about it, and then you get to sit down in a comfortable chair and he gets to work. But you learn rather quickly that it’s so much more than that. The uninitiated don’t know how to react at first, I didn’t. He begins talking with a southern accent that at times is hard to understand and he knows this, he isn’t afraid to repeat himself and will given the opportunity. It isn’t the typical conversation that you would expect; how’s classes, what do you do for a living, how’s your day, etc. A song may come on and he’ll talk about that one time in Germany that it was playing, or the time in China, or the time in Vegas. Then he’ll beckon you into the conversation and soon you’re talking about things you forgot happened to you and your both laughing while he takes a second to let you talk. And he’s not just waiting for the next time he can talk, he wants to know what you have to say and then the conversation ends up changing into something unrecognizable from the beginning. In a good way. It’s mesmerizing and exciting to meet a genuine person. He’s the emotive and animated character that you may meet once or twice in your life, or read in a book, or see in a movie, and now he’s cutting your hair.

He begins to set up with a tool belt of scissors and combs, all the while dancing with tight jeans and boots on which reminds you of a bygone era even if you weren’t a part of said era, and it becomes a fun experience rather than the worry stricken, at times panic inducing, experience that can come from a haircut. You trust this lovable southern man with your hair because at any given time someone will walk in all smiles and talk affectionately and happily thank him for a great job he did for them, their daughter or son and then leave just as quickly and leaving you just as bewildered asking yourself, ‘what did I get myself into’.

By the end of the visit you have a stellar haircut, you’ve had a conversation filled with everything from music to philosophical theories, and the strong urge to come back. Because you just found a hairstylist that has life stories that you can relate to and want to hear more of, you have a haircut that people will graciously compliment, and you have a place where friends are made in less than an hour. Be warned this isn’t a supercuts haircut, it’s going to cost a little extra because you’re paying for what you get. And it’s more than a haircut, it’s an experience.

Ford Factory Americanization: Engineering Americans


In 1914 the Ford Motor company introduced a profit sharing opportunity to their workforce that would give employees more money for less, but improved, work. The program was called the “Five Dollar Day” and in total the company allocated 10 million dollars in its inception. Why institute a new program that would cost millions of dollars to operate? With the introduction of the mass production the company experienced high labor turnover rates among employees, which meant they were losing workers at an exponential rate, workers would not show up to perform the tasks they were hired to do, and they had a high injury rate among the work force. The turnover rate was high but even that is an understatement, a year before the profit sharing was announced, “to maintain a workforce of about 13,600 workers, the company hired over 52,000 workers in the course of a year.” Among other factors, that are harder to calculate but important to mention, immigrant workers dealt with discrimination and were forced to perform tasks that their managers were supposed to be doing. In response to the unfair treatment of the workers, Ford wanted to strengthen the migrant worker population with American values and the ability to defend themselves against maltreatment and thrive in the new economic system. However with the power of language, thrift, and economic wherewithal there was still a forced Americanization on the immigrant workers showing that there were good and bad qualities of paternalism being instilled in the workforce.

The Five Dollar Day

The Five Dollar Day was at its very core a welfare program for the FMC workers. The implementation of the program was met with very excited responses from employees and press alike because of the huge benefits that it had for the workers. The program promised to shorten the workday from nine hours to eight, hire more employees, and of course give a five dollar minimum wage per day. This essentially a welfare program was a huge initiative taken on by the company but in order for it to be carried out it need to be mutually beneficial for the company as well.

The Company Benefits

The introduction of the Five Dollar Day at the Highland Park plant by the Ford Motor Company (FMC) was just as beneficial to the company as it was to the workers involved. How could hiring more employees and giving a large amount of money to the work population benefit the company? The answer has three possible conclusions; an increase in production leading to increased profits, upgrading the quality of life of the workers to ensure a more dependable workforce and re-shaping the workers to fit the new industrial system. The FMC increased production and therefore earned more money after introducing this system than ever before. The short-lived plan was a success for the company as it not only increased production but also increased the quality of life for a more dependable workforce. One way to determine this is to look closely at the injuries accrued over several years and to see how they were affected after the implementation of the Five Dollar Day. Unfortunately we cannot look at the records from the very start of the program as the files are not available but we can examine the records of injuries after the Ford Health and Safety Department was started in 1914. Between 1914 and 1915 the plant went from 390 injuries to 300 injuries, a significant decrease reflecting the positive change in safety for the workers and their lives at the plant. While examining the plant life is a good reflection to see how the FMC affected their workers lives we can also study more closely how their lives were affected outside of the workplace.

In order to see the intent to increase the workers quality of life we need to see that outside the workplace it was better as well, one account of the program working was with an immigrant who was in desperate need for a benevolent intervention from Ford and he received it. The FMC gave particular care to this immigrant where he received a donation from a charity fund ran through Ford and he was able to receive pay every day in order to upgrade his house and pay off loans so that his family could start building their lives. But more on this later. The company was able to meet their goals of upgrading their workforce to meet the growing demands of the consumers while sharing the profit for those who qualified for the program. But who were selected?

Selection Criteria

The introduction of the program reflected Henry Ford’s negative perspective against southern and eastern European immigrants, a conclusion based on who were initially chosen. The immediate introduction of the program was limited to salesmen, clerks, and factory workers. In those selections unmarried men were not considered for the program as they were not up to the Ford’s American ideal. The initial announcement of the program also caused a spark in migration to the Highland Park factory so a new requirement of residency was added so that only people who lived in the Detroit area for six months were considered. While those may or may not be strong indications of the bias, what makes it obvious was shown in the first group to qualify for the program. Of those who qualified, there were an overwhelming amount with British ancestry, in fact 1381 out of the 1400 selected had British ancestry. The idea that “good Ford men” were white, married, males (females were added later) and that the system was made to Americanize the large ethnic population in the workforce slowly became apparent. The situation became worse when the men that were not selected immediately were told that they had six months to meet the standard of a good Ford man with strong American values. Because if they did not meet the standard in six months they were let go from the company. This program may have been coercive and forced the assimilation and Americanization upon the employees. How did they acquire these strong American views and ideals in such a short time? This is where the Ford Sociological Department comes into the picture.

Ford Sociological Department and the English School

The Ford Sociological Department was established in 1913 and was the driving force of the Americanization of the ethnic workers. The man in charge of the program was Samuel Marquis. The FMC selected investigators, “…whose duties are to explain the profit-sharing plan, and collect information and data from every one of the employees.” Employees were chosen for the Five Dollar Day accorded to a criteria set up by the Ford Sociological Department that determined if they were capable of contributing to the profit sharing system. The Ford English School might have been the most beneficial installment to the Sociology Department for the workers because on top of teaching American values it garnered the most basic need to become “American;” the acquisition of the English language. In order for the immigrant workers to learn the criteria and to become an American they would have to learn the language that dominated the factory and the country. The English School taught the immigrants the language in lessons given every day after work with American volunteer teachers that would instruct them in basic sentence structures. The ability to communicate gave them the ability to learn the criteria from the managers to achieve participation in the Five Dollar Day.

The workers were judged on criteria which was left to investigators to evaluate them on, if they did not meet the standards then they would need to attend the English School that instructed them in the same categories. The criteria that workers were judged on and given lessons in were concentrated in the following five categories, “Thrift, honesty, sobriety, better housing, and better living in general.” With the requirements established the investigators were able to sift through the labor-force to see which workers fit the Ford American ideals. If they did not fit, each category had classes to instruct the student workers how to properly behave and conduct themselves. This is where the pattern of Ford paternalism came into play as each category carried with it heavily biased opinions of his workers and how to “fix” them. However the paternalistic attitudes and ideals managed to be both positive and constructive while maintaining a negative and coercive undertone.


The lessons given to the migrant worker-students coincide with the notion that the entire Sociological Departments aim was to Americanize these workers according to the paternalistic Ford ideal. The idea of implementing a system that was paternalistic may be seen as a coercive attempt to force the worker population to become obedient and dependent. However it can also be viewed with a positive, helpful light. The system gave the FMC a dependable and productive workforce that yielded the company higher profits. Teaching the workers skills to survive and thrive in America was very beneficial to them. The ability to communicate with the larger population, learning to save and allocate funds appropriately, and a healthier living condition are all positive attributes of the system. A huge argument for its coercive nature is the fact that they had six months to meet the standards or they were let go from their jobs. A problem with the pamphlets was the way they worded their directions on how to achieve a “better” life. The wording and reflecting ideas tended to be ignorant and negatively biased against the immigrants. There were positives and negatives to the system and based on the criteria of the Sociological Department we can derive what was beneficial to the workers and what was not.

How a man should live encompasses quite a few facets that were considered when judging the employees. Of those considered, childcare, housing, and living conditions are the main focus of a man’s life that Ford’s investigators evaluated and critiqued in the program. All of these aspects of living can be viewed as having positive and negative aspects associated with them.

Childcare was one example of how the FMC wanted to teach their employees how to maintain a healthy and respectable family while remaining ignorant to their conditions. The FMC wanted employees to invest in their children and, “…insure good health, and enable them to enjoy in fullest measure the desires of happy childhood, they should have open ground and space for play.” Which can be viewed as wanting the best for the children and a good thing for the company to suggest. However, it exhibited a rather ignorant view of how the employees took care of their children. For employees to provide ample room and ensure good health it is suggested that the parents have a constant eye on their children, “Do not fail to watch them closely…” For immigrant parents who both work it was not a reality to constantly keep a watchful eye on their children. The parenting advice may have been helpful but it was not completely realistic to judge the family on. What could be looked at more thoroughly was the housing and living conditions which go hand in hand with overlapping factors that the investigators judged the families on.

Living conditions were very important to the investigators evaluation of the employees. How the employees lived, cleaned, and cared for themselves, were viewed as integral to the candidacy of participation in the Five Dollar Day.  The FMC view on how a man should live was discussed in one of his packets where we can decipher subtle subtext of the view of the men. “Employees should live in clean, well conducted homes in rooms that are well lighted and ventilated. Avoid congested parts of the city. The company will not approve, as profit sharers, men who herd themselves into overcrowded boarding houses which are menaces to their health. Do not occupy a room in which one other person sleeps, as the company is anxious to have its employees live comfortably, and under conditions that make for cleanliness, good manhood, and good citizenship.” It is clear that in the eyes of Ford and his investigators that there was an image of immigrants living in small quarters and poor housing as if it was their choice and preference to do so. They seem to have ignored the fact that many workers could not afford to live on their own and had to live with many people to afford housing costs while finding work or working. The aspect of cleanliness was a particular case where the Ford ideals and investigators take the fatherly role too far. While they wanted the best for the men they also viewed them as children, unable to clean themselves without their own instruction as reflected in one particular case, “he bought “a liberal amount of soap’ and gave the family ‘instructions to use freely’.” While the intent to help is there it does have an overwhelming tone of superiority which cannot be viewed as constructive criticism but rather disgust or pity towards the men.

The paternalistic ideals might have been ignorant but they also were a good model for the immigrants to follow in how to conduct their homes. If we examine it as a matter of cleanliness and healthy living, which Ford did, than we can see it was aimed to improve the workers’ lives. In this specific instance, exposure to illnesses in an overcrowded house of people lead to sickness that was reflected in the employee’s absence from work. By reducing the amount of people in one house down to an employee’s immediate family, Henry Ford was trying to provide a model for healthy living. One particular story, that was briefly mentioned earlier, culminates in a graphic scene that reflects the positive virtues of better housing; “…had their dirty, old, junk furniture loaded on a dray [truck or cart]  and under the cover of night moved them to their new home. This load of rubbish was heaped in a pile in the back yard, and a torch was applied and it went up in smoke. There upon the ashes of what had been their earthly possessions, this Russian peasant and his wife, with tears streaming down their faces, expressed their gratitude to Henry Ford, the FORD MOTOR COMPANY, and all those who had been instrumental in bringing about this marvelous change in their lives.” It is important to note that he was able to upgrade his house, furniture, and healthcare for his family after the intervention.

The fact that this was a very generous intervention does not deject from Ford wanting his men to be able to afford these improvements themselves, which is where the virtue of thrift comes into the picture. The FMC wanted the employees to, “…foster habits of thrift, to provide against sickness or any misfortunes that may befall them or their families.” Thrift held a major stake on both sides of the selection process. They were evaluated before they were selected to see if they were handling their money well or if they showed the promise of being able to. And if they were accepted into the profit-sharing program, a procedure was followed to determine if they were ensuring their profits to do a lasting good for themselves. The procedure would involve the investigator calling upon the employees randomly to check in on them. While the system was very paternalistic it also ensured that the men would have a lasting savings account to contribute to him and his family’s future. Unfortunately there were also suggestions that the FMC thought of their employees as naïve and ignorant resulting in an overly paternalistic manner.

There were negative aspects in regards to thrift more specifically the company’s viewpoint and the actions they took onto themselves to instruct the employees were extremely paternalistic. Especially in the advice on how to save their money efficiently. The first line in an instructional packet read in bold letters, “THE BANK IS A SAFE PLACE FOR SURPLUS MONEY.” It was as if the managers felt that the employees were incompetent and ignorant regarding the purpose that banks served, even going as far as assuming employees were only using trunks as a means of banking as reflected in the same handbook, “The company also urges that employees do not use their trunks as savings banks; they were not made for that purpose.” The banking instructions in the handbook are clear on how to save money, where to save it, and to invest it in a house, all contributing to the American ideal that to be considered successful you most own a house and have money saved in the bank. The suggestions should not be looked at as poor advice but rather coercive because of their nature, even in the category of thrift, if the employees did not fully comply with the suggestions they would be released from the company. The idea of thrift goes even further when approached from the growing idea of consumerism at the time. While saving money is one facet of thrift, it also involves buying the best product for the best price, including say, an affordable car that a local company builds. Thrift was one section of evaluation but another comes in the form of communication.

A huge part of the program was teaching non-native immigrants the English language. Due to the fact that the workers were employed in an American factory in the United States the effects of learning the language could only have been positive for them, but with all the rest of the program there is a negative side as well. Showing that the paternalism was engrained in each and every aspect of the company’s profit sharing program.

The positive aspect of the system is the empowerment of learning the language. By teaching his employees English he gave them the chance to earn the Five Dollar Day and to communicate more freely with people inside and out of the factory. He also had their best interests in mind, “…it will ensure safety and save money.” It ensured safety by granting them the ability to defend themselves in positions where they formerly would have been able to be taken advantage of. For instance in the preliminary observations of the factory before they introduced the program, the investigators found that the managers and overseers of the floor would demand more of the lower level workers who could not speak English well. However benevolent it was, ensuring safety and defending themselves had a negative side as well.

The adverse side of the school was not that they were taught English but it deals with more of how they were taught in English. The first words they learned were, “I am a good American.” Which precedes basic greetings or phrases, in this we see that the most important thing they could learn is to become a good American based of what their teachers dictate is “good.” S.S. Marquis, the head of the department, commented on the immigrant’s decision to even be a part of the program in the first place by stating their attendance as, “virtually compulsory. If a man declines to go, the advantages of the training are carefully explained to him. If he still hesitates, he is laid off and given uninterrupted meditation and reconsideration. When it comes to promotion naturally preference is given to the men who have cooperated with us in our work. This, also, had its effect” With this the program is an ultimatum for the immigrant, either learn the language or you are fired, a very coercive statement and viewpoint indeed.

There is a case that completely embodies the workers experience with the Ford English School and effects of the paternalistic ideals. A worker named Mustafa was an immigrant that moved from Turkey to the United States and found work at the Highland Park factory. He was accepted to the program after graduating from the Ford English School. During the time in the program and working he was awarded the Five Dollar Day and saved enough money to save up for his wife and child to be brought to America and live with him which was a very uplifting story reflecting what the program could do for the workers. The downside for the experience was what he gave up to live up to the ideal, his religious beliefs. Before the program was started he was a devout Muslim that prayed five times daily and with that washed his hands and feet for the purpose of prayer, after the program he changed to praying three times to accommodate for the loss of time working. While not a significant change in his daily routine he also took to the idea of making as much money as possible while sacrificing his religion, something that Ford was very proud of and a very American ideal. The worker is the embodiment of the program because while there were positive values in the Ford system it was closely associated with negative trends such as giving up ones religion for work. However the Americanized Mustafa was very grateful for what Ford did for him going as far as saying, “: “Let my only son be sacrificed for my boss (Mr. Ford) as a sign of my appreciation for what he has done for me. May Allah send my boss Kismet.”


The “Five Dollar Day” in its inception was one of joyous relief and aid too many of the workers that the program was offered to. It offered them the chance to better themselves exponentially compared to the humble living situations that they were enduring. The criteria that they were judged upon laid down by the Ford Sociological Department seemed fair and in their defense they wanted the best workers to fulfil the company’s requirements to take part in a profit sharing system. Unfortunately when the workers were being evaluated and educated in how to achieve the Ford ideal the judgments and schooling turned into a very paternalistic reality. The men, and later women, that were involved underwent schooling that taught them how to live better according to Ford. In the end the result of going through the program was not completely negative, teaching them in the fashion that they did can be viewed as both good and bad which yielded those involved higher pay and a steady job. The ignorance by the Ford Motor Company cannot be completely overshadowed but there were equal parts helpful for every part manipulative in their Americanization program.

The paternalistic views embedded in the profit sharing system were reflective of the views towards immigrants at the turn of the 20th century. If we look at the criteria as the point of analysis we come to understand that the viewpoint of immigrants was rather negative. The immigrants were viewed as; dirty, unable to clean themselves, unable to care for their children, bad with money, and had a predilection towards living with many people as a preference. While the criteria and the Sociological Department was meant to guide them towards the Ford ideal it was also indicative of how they viewed proper American citizen. Namely; a clean, active member of the consumeristic society, who had their own house that only sheltered their immediate family, and had money saved in the bank. To make a further point of the views of a proper American, the idea that they were a protestant religious member and spoke English were important. Analyzing the criteria and the Sociological Department we can see the views of what made an ideal American during the first two decades of the 20th century.



Assimilation through Education,” Ford Times June 1915.

Ford Motor Company Archives, Dearborn, Mi.

Ford Motor Company. Helpful Hints and Advice to Employees: To Help Them Grasp the Opportunities Which are Presented to Them by the Ford Profit Sharing Plan. 1915.

“Lecture by Dr. Marquis, Delivered Before the Convention of the Conference of National Charities YMCA, May 17, 1916”, in acc 63, Folder 1, FMCA.


John R Lee, “The So-Called Profit Sharing System in the Ford Plant,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 65, Personnel and Employment Problems in Industrial Management (May, 1916), pp. 297-310, (accessed November, 21, 2014).

Hooker, Clarence, “Ford’s Sociology Department and the Americanization Campaign and the Manufacture of Popular Culture Among Assembly Line Workers c.1910—1917.” Journal of American Culture 20, no.1 (Spring 1997): 47-53.

Meyer III, Stephen “Adapting to the Immigrant Line: Americanization in the Ford Factory 1914- 1921,” Journal of Social History 14, no. 1 (Autumn, 1980): 67-82.

Meyer III, Stephen The Five Dollar Day: Labor Management and Social Control in the Ford Motor Company 1908-1921 (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1981).

City On Fire, Hearts On Fire.

*As seen on*

When you pick up this book you get the initial impression, ‘okay impress me’. For two reasons, one it’s huge and with big books comes the need to make people feel the hours and hours of time put into it was worth the pay off. And two because it’s been shuffled around so much as the book which is worth two million freaking dollars, at least the advance was that much.

But upon cracking open the spine you feel the fireworks on the page come to life. The first book in it starts out just as anticipated, the introduction of a select amount of characters that you will inevitably learn their entire life story. That just comes with the territory of reading so you can get over that. But when you delve into the two million dollar book it becomes apparent that this book is worth a good amount of money and yeah maybe it did deserve to incite a bidding war. It’s wonderfully written with explosions coming in the form of fireworks, 10 cent words, and remarkable descriptions of characters, buildings, and landscapes. This two million dollar book is…rather good. Hmm.

But that’s the problem. It’s good, not great or spectacular or two million dollar good. Because at the end of the day when you hear that it’s worth that much it’s going to nag at you. You’re going to read it with the expectation that it’s a novel that should blow you away with every sentence and word and syllable. Which it’s good but come on, did any of the monuments of literature blow you away with every damn syllable?

The books have been released in England as a box set and has been described as an HBO series in the version of a book. Which it absolutely lives up to. But does that mean the price tag on it will look more reasonable? For some it should, especially when patrons of the show Game Of Thrones heard about the exorbitant cost of filming a scene of a cgi-ed nude person having feces thrown on her and being spit on. Shame on us for not caring. Shame.

And why didn’t we care? Because we were fucking entertained. And because it was television, that stuff is normal, look at the cost of filming an episode of Breaking Bad, Walking Dead or choose any high budget HBO series. But with a book the expectation rises tenfold. And that’s a shame because no book will live up to that expectation with the exception of maybe Thomas Pynchon photos and his signed autographs with pictures of him signing the autographs and autographing those pictures. And even then it will still be too much.

If a part of the advertising of this book was addressing it’s advance cost then they may have failed and/or doomed this author to not letting him live up the expectations.

As you delve into the zine conveniently placed midway you become the journalist. Because as Richard dies the story seems to go cold for a moment. Then Pulaski discovers something and then you read the zine, the last one, the one Richard had in his possession. You become the journalist and embark on the journey of discovering the shooter and the deeper truth about Sam, Charlie, and the PHP. You also get a kick ass zine that is fun to read along.

There will be a certain amount of pain. Of heartbreak. Of emotion that leaves you inexplicably sad. But after hundreds of pages it only seems right to feel this way when someone is dying, figuratively or literally.  It’s a beautiful sadness, one that comes when your emotions get wrapped up in fictional characters.

Now to enjoy this novel it isn’t hard, shut off, tune in, ignore the price tag, and move your eyes all over the words. It’s a wild ride into punk rock, love, hate, sex, and murder.

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Style, Design, and Stunning Pink Table Decorations


Pink table decorations can show your guests how creative and stylish you are. But it’s not always easy coming up with designs that coincide and match up with each other. In this article you will find a few designs, a few suggestions, and a few ideas on how to put it all together. Whether you are a hosting type or you’re just starting out as the host for family gatherings these ideas will help steer you in the right direction.

We’re going to start with centerpieces and expand out. Now, the obvious pink table decoration that we can make is with flowers. When most of us think of pink flowers what we immediately think of are roses. But there are other flowers you can choose from including, azaleas, begonias, or peonies. Now we don’t just want to throw some flowers on a table and call it a day, let’s go over some options that you can incorporate on your table and really make that centerpiece stand out as a talking piece.

Pink Floral Centerpieces

First up is a simple design, about as simple as you can get. What you need is most likely around your house already. You simply pick out a mason jar, or a used and washed out coffee can, or a former candle jar and proceed to fill that up with water. Now you can guess where I’m going, place some of your favorite pink flowers in there and place it in the center of your table. Not so bad, huh? Well if that doesn’t do it for you then let’s step it up, shall we?

Get a mix of flowers, roses, peonies and azaleas, what have you, and make a bouquet out of them. Take your mason jar, candle jar, or coffee can and paint on a light coat of pink paint on it. You don’t necessarily have to completely cover it, a few lines or one large line around it can have a nice look to it. Make sure the paint is dry and then place your flowers in and place in the center of your table.

Don’t be afraid to throw in some lighter colored flowers to really make the pink stand out. Remember that you don’t have to stick to flowers as centerpieces for pink table decorations. You can place a candle as the centerpiece, and if you want to stick with pink table decorations than you can consider putting a pink fabric on the glass surrounding the candle. Now that we’ve covered centerpieces let’s move around the table.

More Than Just a Centerpiece

Pink table decorations aren’t just centerpieces nor do they have to strictly be flowers or candles. As a table consists of more than just a centerpiece, let’s explore how you can decorate the table in full.

A table-cloth seems like it’s pretty self-explanatory. You simply get a nice fabric and a place it over the table. But try to match it up with the centerpiece, or since you’ll probably have the tablecloth longer you might want to match up the flowers to the table cloth. As you would guess, it would help to have some napkins that match the table cloth.

Napkins don’t have to be boring or overlooked when you have a blank canvas to work on. You can, and should, explore designs that stand out and catch your guests eye. Here is one of a few designs that will wow your guests. The french pleat napkin design is visually appealing and it is rather functional as well as it creates three pockets for your spoon, knife, and fork. This design can be used any time of the year and is easy to make. If you are looking for more seasonal designs than you can combine everything to match the season.

Seasonal Designs and Pink Table Decorations

Pink table decorations can come in handy at any time of the year. Take for instance Thanksgiving. While we think of the colors at that time of the year as more earthy, it doesn’t mean you cannot incorporate your favorite color into the pink table decorations. As for flowers, don’t be afraid to mix your roses with earthy colored sprigs and other flowers and use a brown vase or pot as the centerpiece. Then you might want to skip the tablecloth or go with a white pattern. And since we’re going with a Thanksgiving theme, you can make a turkey with your napkins! It sounds complex but if you master it your in-laws will find another reason to be impressed with your talents. You will need two napkins per turkey though so be advised when attempting this intricate piece. Don’t worry, you can match the napkins to either the flowers or the vase as they complement each other appropriately.

And lastly, you can make a cute little napkin pouch that can be used as a container for your flowers, eggs, or bread sticks. Perfect for any occasion, all year round. And since the container can be matched up with the pink table decorations you can arrange them to bring out the beautiful colors and create an eye-popping, yet simple design for weddings, easter, or a nice Sunday dinner.


Pink table decorations are a way to broadcast to your guests that you are a host with an eye for detail and style. Utilizing these designs that are suggested for you will showcase some hidden talents that they might not have known about you. Who would have thought that you could match up a folded turkey napkin design with an earthy, yet appealing, pink floral centerpiece? Or that you could make a nice little pocket out of a napkin? Just remember to make sure to complement each piece with each other and introduce your guests to a relaxed meal and a great evening to come.