Tuesday, July 31, 2007

An ACT that makes sense

Have you ever heard of the Buy American Act? Well if you have lost or are about to lose a job to China or Columbia it’s something you should take a few minutes to investigate. This act, was put into place to protect domestic goods and on jobs that feature public money, using foreign material is prohibited unless a series of items are met. However, most of the time, no one pays attention to this act, and projects are allowed to skate through. (Like the KC arena where the mayor made the shortsighted call and no one challenged it) So do some research and chew on it a bit. I am putting together more information and will share it soon.


-- Great article that was e-mailed to me HERE on China and the growth there… like 4 New Manhattans…
In addition, Forward Magazine ran a piece on the biggest issue we have in dealing with China is that we are all splintered. They listed 4 groups who have issues with China. The manufacturing side, the unions, the environmentalists, and the human rights folks. The article said if all 4 could work together possibly good things could come of it. Will it happen- probably not- but very interesting to say the least.

-- Well this is what you would call the “Dog Days” of summer. Basically everyone is busy and any real “news” is slow to come out. That’s why some rumors percolate longer than others, because there’s nothing else to take the spotlight. And aside from the handful of people who follow the NFRC adventures, it really is slow news wise… but despite that, I still try and keep up the flow of info…On the Pella/Efco rumors, I feel like its kinda like when Nightline did its “America Held Hostage-Day 33” back in the 80’s. Everyday people are checking and waiting for word on this.. Now we are just waiting to see if the scuttlebutt that continues to be seemingly everywhere finally plays out. I’ll tell you this, if it does not, this will be the smokiest non fire ever.

-- Saw the note that Sage Electrochromics announced new funding that will help them reduce costs. That is great news. It’s a solid company with a true cutting edge product. Count me as a fan. Being able to bring the costs down will only help the momentum they have started.

On NFRC, a few items…

1. E-Glass Weekly had a poll on the NFRC adventures and how many people had heard about it. Almost 70% of the respondents had never heard of this stuff or heard about it but knew little to nothing about it. And people think the magazines spend TOO much time and effort on this! My goodness when this thing is resolved, if people are so unaware, it’s not going to be pretty. By the way, I would venture a guess that even more architects and developers are unaware- and they’ll be the ones on the hook.

2. Got an e-mail that ranted better than I do:

"What have you done to me? I now can’t help but read anything I see about NFRC CMA . I’m shocked there is debate about “…whether one project could use a previously documented rating for an identical system.” What’s the big deal? Are they worried about product substitutions? – e.g. supplying a configuration that isn’t what the supplier says it is? Pretty soon NFRC is going to charge a fee for one of their people to sit in your factory inspecting the fenestration construction to make sure no substitutions happen … oh wait, better send them to the extruders & float plants too so they’re not using inferior ingots or sand that will cause a building’s energy consumption to triple over night. Thanks for looking out for me NFRC?? And again, where are all the building owners, tenants, architects, and fabricators at that are begging for NFRC to develop this CMA program? Have a Great Day!"

Wait you just gave them an idea- have the IA’s go to the extruders and the float plants!

Remember this is a group (NFRC) that has patently ignored the fact that the architect or designer SPECIFIES specific products. This is a group that thinks the glazier just wily nily orders “Low E” or “Storefront” instead of calling it out and of course believes the evil fabricator will just grab whatever they want off the shelf to satisfy the order.

2 things- NFRC has never accepted the fact that in commercial glazing, its professionals dealing with professionals- on every level. This is not like residential where you have a homeowner involved. Second, the goal of the program should be to promote a simple, cost effective, easy to use rating system. This way designers, WHEN THEY SPECIFY, could use such a tool to call out the products they want. However, in the charitable world of a 501c3- 3rd party oversight, you can never, ever, ever trust the manufacturers… so instead of creating a doable system, we’ll make it as insane as we can. And yes I understand oversight and respect it, (and in any certification program it is needed) but the angles that NFRC has taken have been out of the stratosphere and it’s mainly because too many people make too much money from their association with NFRC- thus keeping it simple and smart falls down the ladder because someone’s revenues will suffer. Because end of the day, the glazier will glaze, the manufacturer will manufacture, the fabricator will fabricate but the test lab… the inspection agency… they need the NFRC to help their businesses by creating extra layers and levels.
Sorry that was too much NFRC… but man its tough not to go off on.

-- Last, Oil on Tuesday hit an alltime high today… but gas prices were dropping… so how long before a refinery has a leak and gas prices start shooting up again?

OK video of the week… it’s a guy fighting off a mob after he steals a parking space… it must’ve been a plum of a space, and this guy was able to keep everyone off of him…

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Quick Sunday Comment

I'll dig more into this later in the week, but a quick comment based on one of the quotes in the USGNN story on the NFRC meetings last week.

The comment from the USGNN story:

Denny Raske with Allmetal spoke out, saying NFRC needs to "step up to the plate" to get the CMA program finalized.

"It can't happen at a cost of time. NFRC has to find some way [to get] this up," Raske said, comparing the development to that of ASTM E 2190, which was completed in two years, primarily by four people. "You have to take a look at the industry and not NFRC. NFRC's got to get better market penetration--only 10 percent after [18] years is not much. Inform the industry and if you do that they will understand the fees."

I am befuddled by this comment on several levels.

1. No one bashes the NFRC more than me, but why would you want them to rush a program that won't work on to the market? Would your company rush product to the market if they knew it would fail? The issue should not be how long they are taking but the fact that they had little business getting into this industry the way they did. If they would've approached this from a different angle, it probably would be done by now, but when you start with so many levels of unnecessary fat and policing, (and you have test labs and consultants pushing you too) it takes time to drill down. And while its not to a great level yet, believe me, where the program is at now is 1000 times better than where it was 2 years ago.

2. Inform the industry and they'll understand the fees? Let's see NFRC has informed the industry and groups like GANA and IGMA who represent a majority of the industry are fighting them for being too high for a program like this. (and they are fighting with facts like payback for a non profit, lack of outside funding etc. Not just on costs being too high- which they are) I pay membership to both and am glad that they have mine and this industries best interests at heart. The fees and costs of this program are still too high but I guess when the only skin you have in this game is spacer, it doesn't translate.

Bottom line is once the program is sensible, workable, fair, and cost effective, then it will be ready. To rush it for either your own business needs or for the fact its "taking too long" is extremely shortsighted and harmful to our industry.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Comments and Reactions

Last week’s posts did elicit several responses and comments. And I guess there are a few people out there who did fall completely asleep by my weekend NFRC rant also. So that’s good. Needless to say this week’s post starts with some of the comments that came in.

On the Vegas Top 5 list…

“You missed it by leaving the Venetian off. The blue glass really works with that place- very classy.”

I can see your point and if there was a #6 it would be that one.

“What you don’t like garish old fashioned reflectives like they have on the RIO?”

No thank you, if there was a bottom five it would be on it- though it would not be worse than the Flamingo Hilton and its Pink/Peach mish mosh of glass that looked so bad they needed to do a skyscraper sized wrap of singer Toni Braxton to cover it.

“Have you seen anything at City Center and if so what do you think?”

CityCenter is going right now and I did spend some time there. It’s an interesting look- it will be the lightest job in Vegas that’s for sure- I would assume because of the high visible light needs that the building needs to get the LEED certification it’s going for. Honestly I need to sit back and see what it looks like before it’s done before I make a call.

On the comical NFRC “Case Study”

“Are you familiar with Dewey, Az and Killeen, Tx mentioned in Potomac's case study attached to your blog? Dewey is a bustling metropolis consisting of one defunct farm, a gas station/restaurant and a used car lot. Killeen is in the middle of nowhere, Tx and its claim to fame is Fort Hood and proximity to Bush's ranch. Strange that two of the three "Building Officials" used in their study would have the in depth knowledge of commercial construction these guys would have.”

Wow, you know I missed that- and the e-mailer is dead on- Dewey has 6 thousand people! Gee I wonder how many commercial buildings that person had been through, and same on Killeen. You know that piece has no business being called a case study. It should be called an “advertorial.” But guess what was mentioned, according to press reports, at this week’s NFRC meeting? Yep our good ole clueless cooked study…. Maybe the next study will have a guy from Logan, Ohio, one from area 51 in Nevada and maybe someone from Brownsville, Texas….

On the words of the “next big deal”

Of course last week’s rumor section ruffled some feathers… The thing is I am hearing it from very non traditional sources and it is all over the street. Plus search engines are showing people are looking constantly for a deal, so something must be brimming. But in any case if this is untrue, it is one heck of a whopper!

OK onto this week…

-- A reply on the NFRC statement that the 10% fee increase had nothing to do the with the commercial based CMA program (which has obviously upset the residential membership). Sorry, it does not fly- in the same comment that Jim Benney was quoted in (on 2 different sources) he also says: “we’ve seen program services and costs increase” Well program services would be the CMA as the major one. See the bottom line is he should’ve been honest and said: “yes the CMA program and the rollout is part of the reason for the increase- the commercial industry is huge and we had no clue what we were getting into because no one on the board truly understands the commercial world. So we eventually had no choice because we did not know what to expect.” That woulda worked… and would’ve been respected… even by the residential guys. But instead perfume applied to pig and all is well.

-- Other movements at the NFRC meeting I will comment on later in the week- on Wednesday there was a marathon session and news has not filtered out yet.

-- Did you see that forecasters have cut the 2007 outlook for hurricanes down? When the original forecast came out calling for several hurricanes there were a lot people leery about the report. And while it may look like that original report is erroneous, hurricanes are more popular in August, September, and October. So while it’s been a blessing and I hope this blessing continues, we are not out of the woods yet.

-- Amazingly, I have no Green note of the week for you. These last few days is the longest stretch I have gone without seeing or reading something about the whole “green” adventure.

-- This week’s video in tribute to the Lindsay Lohan issue… my goodness is she a mess or what? Anyway, she was supposed to be on the Tonight Show, but as probably know by know she did not make it- so Rob Schneider filled in….

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Long, Boring, but Comical notes on the NFRC

As promised some thoughts on recent NFRC events… its long… and boring…. And I really was considering not writing it… but I did anyway…

This coming week is a membership meeting for NFRC, so I think you can expect many details to come out. I was asked yesterday if someone could just show up to the portion of the meeting that affects them. (You know like glazier or fabricator) and the answer is, you’d have to pay for the entire event to attend- as NFRC doesn’t want to make it easy for people to just attend ala carte. Even the Department of Energy requested NFRC look into making the meetings easier and more affordable to attend (IE- pricing for just specific sessions) and of course those requests, like the request to offer training last year in Minnesota, (at Viracon) were summarily ignored.

From the pure comedy section… the NFRC had their PR agency, Potomac Communications do a “Case Study” with code officials. You can read HERE. The highlites…
My first reaction after I read it was that it was made up. I mean I surely hope that if these 3 code officials exist, that they have more clue about the important parts of the codes (safety) than ours.

-- How about the one code official, when asked if he was familiar with NFRC on commercial.. “I’m not but I should be” Wow grand, what a comment. I wonder if they gave him a lollipop after that classic.

-- Then I loved how these clueless code officials somehow had the ability to “question” the validity of the ratings, playing into the profiteering side of the NFRC’s hopes to make sure that evil and cheating manufacturers will be not allowed to do testing.

-- But the best part was this comment, after being so “informed” about the way things are done, was followed by this doozy:

One official kept coming back to the notion of that if all of the IGUs, frames, and spacers are sitting in a warehouse and they’re sent to the site to be assembled, how does one know if they’re put together and installed correctly.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? See this almost proves its made up… they took the three categories and lumped together, forgetting you can’t have an IGU without SPACER! Or does clueless code guy think that the glazier insulates the glass on site too? This study smells so cooked. I mean there’s 1000 things wrong with this comment, I am just too frustrated to type more.

On the rest of it, I could go on and on, but I’ve went on enough on this. This piece was one of the most pathetic case studies I have ever read, I seriously have a hard time believing its real- especially when the compliments rolled in and Potomac made sure to give it a blown up box.

“I like what you have here, gives a holistic approach on a sitebuilt window. If I don’t like what they’re assembling, we’ll challenge it, and if it’s right, it’s right.”
- Arizona Building Official

Yep, sure. As soon as you figure out where that “spacer” goes. Regardless, the sad thing is right now someone at DoE is probably lauding this incredible piece of fluff as “proof” that this program is so desperately needed. And that is sad.

As for what’s happening now… it looks like there’s a new membership cost structure. The good part is that the test labs and IA’s are no longer in that simple $400 category, they have to pay on a sliding scale based on sales like the glazier and manufacturer do. So look for a test lab like ATI to go from a $400 bill to $12,000 or more. The bad news is that the fees were raised across the board- meaning all of the residential members will now have to pay more because of NFRC’s efforts on the commercial side. In addition the fees charged to Trade groups went up 250%- I guess that’s the penalty for trying to protect your membership. Lastly they created a category to try and entice General Contractors… good luck with that.

On the CMA program itself. The debate rages on. The last ballot put to vote amongst the membership was voted down, (and people on both sides actually voted it down) because it has more holes in it than swiss cheese. Still work continues. GANA, AEC, IGMA, and yes even AAMA are all still working pretty hard to ensure that whatever comes out, it makes sense for the end user. The biggest problem is there is still little desire from the Architectural community for it. And those that “want it” totally misunderstand what the program, as it is set up right now, will do. And not surprisingly the NFRC had fed that misunderstanding, telling architects about this simple computer program they’ll be able to plug in values on and all will be just cherry! In addition, on another on line chat board, on Architect noted that NFRC told him that they “welcome competition” on their effort. That was hilarious considering NFRC went to great lengths to fight the AAMA 507 proposal at IECC. Bottom line on the CMA is that if a program comes out that is not streamlined, simple and cost effective (in the real world, not the NFRC’s) it will be an unmitigated disaster and will push designers away from glass and custom materials because of the unnecessary adventures and costs.

I finish with the fact; that again, I am not against a program that figures whole system calculations. I think it will be a huge help to the designer and in promoting more energy efficient products and would support it wholeheartedly. The basis for my frustration is that the group charged with this responsibility simply can not and will not do the right thing by the public it serves. It would rather pay groups like Potomac to do hokey case studies instead of learning the way things could work that would make sense. It would rather raise membership fees and try and make its “investments” back in break neck speed than do the right thing by the standards of being a charity would normally provide.

Anyway I know I am up against on this. All I can do is bring the issues up. Hopefully the level headed professionals out there in Denver (Greg Carney, Tom Culp, Margaret Webb etc) for the meeting will be successful in getting the messages across. By their efforts, they’ll actually be doing more for the “public” than the NFRC will, because at least they are fighting for what’s sensible.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Vegas List and More Rumors too!

After my post last week, I got an e-mail asking me about some of the projects in Vegas. Which then gave me the idea to the following… the From the Fabricator TOP FIVE glass projects on the strip in Vegas. So without further adieu here they are from five to one…

#5- The exterior at Mandalay Bay

The Gold glass may be a turn off to some, but the way it’s used in this building works for me. Plus the glass looks great- it’s a clean looking, classy building. Plus they have been either lucky or had lots of attic stock because the mis-match issues that plague the other gold building in Vegas (The Mirage) do not get Mandalay. In addition, the gold glass with white exterior works nicely when placed next to the black pyramid of the Luxor.

#4- Mesa Grill inside Caesars Palace

Yes I am biased here, but the Mesa Grill uses several types of decorative glass and it sets this restaurant apart from all of the others inside. Sadly pictures do not do this project justice because of the lighting within the casino. But when you go there and see it in person it makes an impression.

#3- The exterior at Wynn

When this building was going up I did not like it. But once complete the chocolate brown glass looks spectacular. It’s a unique color and its very eye catching. Plus its classy, which is appropriate for that hotel.

#2- The interior, first floor of MGM Grand

The first floor of MGM is like a Deco Glass paradise. It was like all of the restaurants got together and said “I can out do you” and then they went through their various deco glass suppliers and did it. Walking the floor of MGM you will see virtually every style of decorative- from laminated interlayers, to textured, to colored and so on. Personally I think GANA’s next Decorative Glass Division meeting should be held there for a walking tour.

And #1 is….

The Exterior at New York/New York.

Now some industry elite may say I am crazy here but this building has always blown me away. I love the glass choices and the way they work within the theme of the building. Plus you don’t see dark green or violet glass very often, and on NY/NY its there and its outstanding. In addition, the days of the “themed” hotels in Vegas are over. (Treasure Island is now TI and Luxor is now being stripped of all of its Egyptian flair, trendy is in now, theme is out.) Next time you are in Vegas look at all the glass (once you get past the Statue of Liberty and Roller Coaster) and you’ll see what I mean. It’s simply a wonderful use of product that adds to the style of the building without going overboard or affecting the theme.


On the buying spree side….2 items…. And continuing unrest on the Aluminum side…

-- One is the on going Alcoa saga- first they lose out on Alcan and now according to the story on USGNN, they are the prey to be attacked. Wow. The second is rumors plowing around that EFCO indeed is in play, with the possible buyer being Pella. I heard it last week and it stunned me, but then I heard it again today and figured the fire is raging. In addition a very popular search term on line this week has been “efco rumor” so people are looking for it that’s for sure. And it makes sense as it seems like every residential guy out there is realizing that their business is a disaster and its time to come to wonderful world of commercial. So whether it’s a PGT, Pella, Marvin or so on- there’s no question folks with a major stake in residential want to differentiate.

-- The Dow is going to break 14,000. That is incredible wouldn’t ya say?

-- Did you see an Ohio waitress won the CNBC Stock picking contest? She won the prize beating out 377,000 other entrants. The best part… she has never bought stock in her life. Simply amazing. Where was she when I bought stock in Ford Motor? Anyway, I guess it shows you sometimes luck can do it and sometimes old fashioned intuition works too.

-- This weeks “Green” note… USA Today had a quick survey of Real Estate agents. The question was: Do you think using environmentally sustainable materials will be a significant factor in the US real estate market in the next 12 months? First off that question is somewhat bizarre and from a residential side, the “Green” movement is not quite off the ground yet. That said the respondents said:

60% said YES 22% said NO and 18% said the only “Green” they know is Kermit.

Just joking on the Kermit, the 18% were “Neutral”

The relevance is that at least the agents know that sustainable products exist and they are important, despite the fact there’s not that much going into the houses at this time.

-- Last… later this week for those NFRC junkies, I’ll be dedicating an entire post to their upcoming meetings next week in Denver….

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday Reading

Found two interesting articles while reading the Sunday Papers....

First- an editorial from the Detroit Free Press by Ron Dzwonkowski on China. Click HERE to read. Great take, and he clearly explains the problem with the currencies- and why cheap may not be so great...

Second- a look at top level executives getting the Blogging bug. Execs from Fortune 500 companies jumping in and in one case getting in trouble. To read- click HERE.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Struggling with an Answer

Last week’s “Question of the Week” on the daily USGNN e-mail was: Has the acquisition of independent fabricators by large companies peaked? I have been chewing on that question since first seeing it, trying to figure a quick easy answer. And amazingly I don’t have that answer. Has it peaked? Well maybe but not really. Business for the most part in the commercial sector is very good, but looking at the misery that has hit the residential side, you always have to keep in your mind that same result may/will come calling on the commercial side- pushing people to sell or making the larger companies even hungrier to buy. So to me it depends on the economy- if the commercial side of the business starts to stutter like a few analysts think it may in early 2008, then action may take place. If for some reason it rides out the storm, then I think, the deals will be few and far between. Regardless there’s probably 2 major deals left to take place in 2007- so stayed tuned, we’ll still have some fun stuff to talk about.


-- I am in Las Vegas this week and everytime I come here I get more amazed over the incredible excess. The good part is the use of glass and metal is spectacular… You really have to give it to the designers here because they really use all of the great products that are available in North America (and beyond in some cases) and really do not play the value engineering role in going to less extravagant, weaker performing material. So while I hate the amount of water that is being wasted and electrical being used, I am thrilled about the fenestration side.

-- When you come to Glassweek/BEC next February (Which is truly the most important and best gathering in our industry), a must show to see is “LOVE” at Mirage. It’s a Cirque show based on The Beatles and it’s simply mind blowing. Easily jumps to #1 on the list show wise here. If you like The Beatles you’ll love this show and even if you don’t like them (which is scary if you ask me) you’ll still love this show.

-- Saw on the Tuesday edition of USGNN that Interedge Technologies is changing its name to AGC Interedge Technologies. Wow. And that wins this week’s award of “Skimpiest reason to have a Press Release.” I am working on a press release right now that will announce from here on out, this blog will be named the Max From the Fabricator Blog. Let’s go guys, save the precious press release stuff for serious use huh?

-- I really can hammer China again, I mean there’s just so much material there it’s simply becoming unreal. How about the export surplus or the execution of the former minister or we could just continue to talk about the reps who have gotten burned by dastardly deals. (Yes another one contacted me last week after my story ran) It’s just getting too easy.

-- Speaking of easy… rating glass and fenestration is sooooo easy that ISO out of Switzerland announced they are getting into it too. You know because there’s just not enough controversy or issues on it already. The story is HERE from E-Weekly. Best line is

“The NFRC has been trying develop a standard for the last 15 years and there’s nothing yet”

Oooooooh those are fighting words…. My take… and I can’t believe I am writing this… but taking a pot shot at NFRC is wrong. Develop your standard and get on with it and leave the complaining about NFRC to the experts… But seriously I am concerned about their motives and timing. Does ISO really have a simple, inexpensive program already done that can be used? To me that is very hard to believe, but I guess we will see. In addition the story quoted Bipin Shah, who used to work at NFRC, is quoted sometimes as an employee of NFRC, and I think actually does some work for NFRC. So is Bipin covering all of the bases now? Plus who are the reps from the US? Hopefully more will come of this and hopefully it’s not another adventure to have to follow.

This week’s video… in honor of The Beatles… a video of their first hit “Love Me Do”- Enjoy…

Friday, July 06, 2007

China Crackdown Coming

Very interesting story HERE on the fact that the communist Chinese issue will probably become a major issue in 2008 election. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have joined in now. You have a few of the more long shot Republicans like Duncan Hunter involved too, so hopefully its a matter of time before this really takes the forefront.

Also if you did not read the comment attached to the post right below this- please do- it brings alot of passion to what's happening with the NFRC and their approach to the commercial industry.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Comic Relief

Well the excitement of the OC/Vistawall deal is done. So who’s next? Consolidation is still a major player in this industry, and no doubt another major deal will surly be coming down the pike soon.


-- Easily the most comical release ever from our pals at the NFRC last week. In their quarterly edition of their newsletter, the NFRC has once again switched gears on WHY they want to implement their policing program on the commercial fenestration industry. Ready for it…. It’s a doozy…. Because it will help the environment!!!! YES! (Read the actual NFRC piece here) See all that money that NFRC pays to such Public Relation heavyweights like Potomac Communications has paid off. This is probably how it went down….

NFRC Board Member: What do we do? We have a mess of a program that no one wants and will be panned universally...

Potomac: Yep we need a hook… let’s brainstorm

NFRC: How about we say congress demanded it?

Potomac: Nah we did that one already.

NFRC: Ok- then how about we just say it’s in the codes?

Potomac: Not bad, but too much gray area there. People who actually pay attention to stuff like that may question us.

NFRC: Hmm… we can lean on our puppets at the California Energy Commission and have them demand a program ASAP!

Potomac: That’s not bad but that only concerns California… plus won’t it seem fishy that we have California do it when they already sit on your board and jump when you say jump?

NFRC: Well darn it, what do we do? I mean I wish we had a popular angle to attach ourselves to. You know like the IPhone or the Green stuff everyone always talks about.

Potomac: That’s it!!

NFRC: The IPhone? We’ll certify IPhones? Wow that could be big money for our labs!

Potomac: No NOT the IPhone… GREEN! We can promote this as a way to be “green” and “sustainable”! We’ll put in all of those fuzzy Al Gore like buzz words and people will lap it up. I mean it’s in the papers everyday, green this and green that… it’s BRILLIANT! Let’s do it!


So now the NFRC has decided via their newsletter that this effort, that has had a boatload of different reasons of why it was started, has now hitched its wagon to the whole "help our environment" issue. Amazing.

I mean if this was a few years ago, when the NFRC decided that they wanted to “focus on the bigger picture of rating products in untouched markets for the good of the NFRC….” and they noted the “sustainability” angles at that time, that would be fine. But they didn’t and they only do it now because it’s a popular angle. Or maybe when the said "untouched markets" they were talking about "green" but just a different "green" you know like money.... hmmmmm

Oh and by the way, I do take issue with the line about commercial falling behind residential in terms of energy performance and will address that in more detail next week.

-- So I guess the NFRC would be our “Green” note of the week eh? They now join NYC Cabbies, Soy Milk, and weddings as amongst the other green items we’ve covered.

-- Yet another study released last week with details on the future purchases in the industry. My goodness are these organizations just popping out of the woodwork or what? Best line was “The development of new smart glass products such as self cleaning…..” Wait Self Cleaning is new? Holy heck is this 2001? (And is there really such a thing as “self cleaning” didn’t USGlass do a debate on that a few years ago) So you really have to take with a grain of salt any report that notes a 6 year old niche product as “New.”

-- Hate to sound like a broken record but the pressure on communist China continues to grow. USA Today again with yet another feature on what’s happening. Click Here. Great stuff. Bottom line, is when the communist Chinese glass fails like the tires, toothpaste, food etc, its gonna be very ugly and very bad financially for the folks who went that way.

-- A Happy 4th of July Holiday to everyone out there- Make it a safe and enjoyable one. Also take a minute to keep those incredibly brave men and women who are fighting overseas in your thoughts. Whether you are for or against what’s going on there, your support of our troops is crucial... and appreciated.

Our video this week, is a public service announcement done with a comedic tone about being safe this holiday…..