Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy New Year but with a sad note

Hope everyone is well... tons to actually go over, but we'll save that for the 1st post of the new year... but a quick note... a sad time right now, as Randy Johnson, of Johnson Sales passed away earlier this week.

I will have more on this as well, since I don't have any of the details or info, but suffice to say, Randy was legend in Minnesota and will be sorely missed by all.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Year in Review Part 2

Before I get to part 2 of the year in review…. Tuesday’s USGNN had a piece on a suit filed against four primary glass manufacturers. I read the entire piece and obviously I am not a lawyer, but my goodness if this is not an absolute ambulance chase, I do not what is. Trying to piggyback what happened in Europe with what’s happening here makes no sense and the examples did not scream out fixing to me. Hey our industry has its ills, and I know there’s plenty of people unhappy over this and that, but I gotta tell you, this effort does not pass muster and I really see it as frivolous. Plus how do you leave out ½ of the people that supply unless your just chasing what happened in Europe… the irony being the same people from Europe were listed in this suit, ignoring the guys that supply in the states only. Anyway, this screams of a Lionel Hutz… Simpsons episode. But that said I am not a lawyer, so who knows….


A quick congrats to Don Pyatt at Viracon for winning the USGlass award for CEO of the year. Don is a class act all the way around and very deserving of this award. USGlass and the voters really got it right on that pick.

Now on to Part 2 of the Year in Review on the Blog


-- ISO takes a jab at NFRC announces that they will have a program to rate systems and says it will take less then the 15 years NFRC has had. Comically we’ve never heard another word from ISO on this again.

-- NFRC has its PR agency, Potomac do one of the most comical case studies ever. Asking code officials about the proposed commercial program. In Potomac’s brilliance, 2 of the 3 people they interview come from towns that have one horse or less. Amazing what a 6 figure gig gets you these days eh?

-- Rumors start to heat up about the next big acquisition in our industry


-- All month the blog is all over the impending EFCO-Pella deal. Traffic is through the roof, and I hear from many EFCO employees that my blog keeps them updated on the process. By the 29th, the deal is done. By the way, still to this day, there are people who this site by typing “Efco-Pella Sale” or something like that. Its unreal.

-- The Say NO To China pin is released and sent throughout the country. It will debut at the glass show. Of course the glass show’s official magazine mocks the pin, but it was there in force.


-- The Industry Superstar list is released and good, deserving people get much due credit.

-- Glassbuild takes place, it’s a mixed review of goods and bads, but plenty of our friends from China on hand to try and take pictures and look to reverse engineer.

-- Guardian’s Showerguard is featured on the TV Show “Designing Spaces”- notable because its great positive pub for the industry and for a good product, as well as the great looking gal who hosted the show- she surely captured a ton of attention.


-- Alecia Ward, never a fan of our industry, loses her bid to be re-elected to the NFRC Board in a huge upset. Tony Rygg keeps his seat but only because “Unopposed” could only muster 25% of the vote.

-- The debut of the Advanced Building Coalition with a meeting in Chicago. A tremendous concept of bringing all of the parties on every side of the energy issue together for meaningful and constructive discussions. Brilliant.

-- Jack Deyo of Mid Ohio Tempering announces his retirement. A tough departure for the industry, but good for him since he gets away from all these adventures and enjoys life.

-- The Blog turns 2… and the terrible two’s begin… nah, it would be hard to be worse than 1 was in the first 2 years….


-- The NFRC has its meeting in Arizona and the CMA is now forever known…in my mind for sure.. as the “Titanic”… abandon ship… whooomp… whooomp.

-- I get stalked at the meeting, probably by Potomac, (trying to earn the obscene amount of money they get for whatever they do) but to no avail. Keep trying guys.

-- The NGA jumps into the fray of the NFRC issue, really taking NFRC to task… now the next question is… will they keep at it?

-- Ohio State beats Michigan again… damn… but at least my pizza will arrive warm from whichever Buckeye is working at Hungry Howies tonight.

-- We say goodbye to an industry pioneer in Don Vild


So that brings us to the present… I’ll probably have a few more posts until the end of the year, but I wanted to wish all that were reading now, a happy and healthy holiday season and 2008. The next year will be quite interesting… we’ll still be dealing with the communists, and the NFRC… but also watching the economy… will residential start to uptick? Will commercial falter? Who is next to be bought and sold? What else in the world can go “green” and basically anything that goes on in our industry we’ll cover here… so thank you again for reading and supporting!

The Video of the 2nd half of the year (and maybe the year really) was Miss Teen USA showing that beauty sometimes does not come with brains. I love when the question is being asked… as soon as the person says “map” Miss South Carolina’s face falls… and then she answers amazingly…. Seriously it is the most incredible 48 second trainwreck.. ever.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The quick weekend post

Quick one with a few great links...

China... remember them....

Click Here for a great article that my brother found this morning.... its called "Offshoring Santa" and it even features this great line:

Glass and electronics are two other industries that have moved overseas, shifting jobs from the U.S. to India and Asia.

See keep on supporting them... and say bye bye.... and yes this does include glaziers- I know its nuts, but there's already more than a handful of projects that have come from communist China already glazed, meaning direct sells and finding craftsman and not glaziers to set into place. Believe me if the mirror side of the business has taught us anything, going direct is always the goal.

Then this great one... people in China.. DON'T WANT TO BUY toys MADE THERE!!!!

Click Here!

Its a hoot... so we get stuck with leaded up Dora the Explorer and they are smart enough to avoid it!

Last- the best movie of the season and one of the best ever made was on last night... "Its a Wonderful Life"

That movie rules and I swear, Donna Reed is the just the ultimate woman... and yes my wife knows I feel that way.. I may be the only human in the world with a crush on a movie character from 1946.... you can keep Jessica Alba and the rest, I'm down with my babe from 46....

Amazingly I have the DVD thanks to my sister, but yet I chose to sit through all of the commercials and watch it on regular TV... and yes I have issues...

Have a good rest of the weekend... and for those of you getting crushed by this winter storm.. stay warm and safe!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Look back before looking forward

It’s time for part 1 of the Year in Review on the blog, but before we get to that, I think some focus has to be paid to what’s going on in the financial and banking markets. The looming threat of a recession is growing every day. In fact, the Wall Street Journal convened experts to discuss and predicts and its gory details are HERE. Anyway you slice it, 2008 will be a tougher year than 2007. I feel for the folks who may have went overboard equipment or space wise, because the pressure will be intense with a slower market. I just hope the commercial side does not hit the depths that the residential side is seeing… but I have a feeling… we will.

Further more the bigwigs at St. Gobain feel the same way. Click HERE. Though they do see 09 coming back. Best line in the article is:

"There can thus be acquisition opportunities to seize," he said.

Hmmmmmm…. I wonder who they could be talking about….. hmmmmmmm…

Anyway to take minds off what could be a cloudy future, let’s look back at the past.

2007, FTF Year in Review


-- AFG changes its name to AGC… which leads me to be very snarky about it. Has the name changed worked?

-- The last (for now) stand alone Glassweek is held in Sarasota- still an amazing event technically. Really the best around for that angle, but the days of socializing and doing deals are done.

-- I put out my top 10 issues to look for in 2007 and #1 was China…. And I have a feeling when the 2008 list comes out in a few weeks, they may be defending their title. Though our pals at NFRC could be challenging them.


-- I predict that the Colts will beat the Bears 30-16 and the final was 29-17… my last and only good prediction of the sporting year.

--An Architect is voted off the show “Survivor” and somewhere a manufacturer is getting ignored and abused because of it.

-- The International Builders Show is held in Orlando amid confidence that the housing situation will improve. As we know now, it did not… and this year’s show should be pretty interesting.


-- The best BEC to date is held in front of a packed Vegas house. Truly a tremendous event….

--The first annual From The Fabricator Power List came out… USGBC was top, followed by AIA, NFRC, GANA, IECC and AEC. I am sure they’ll be some movement and changes on this years edition.

--The Kansas City Star runs a feature on the new Arena in KC featuring all communist Chinese glass. And hopefully because of that they never get an NBA or NHL team. (Thankfully the Penguins stayed home!)


-- NGA announces at the upcoming GlassBuild show that they’ll be a pavilion for “Glass Containers” Sadly and comically, no bottles or jars showed up on the floor when the show was held a few months later. Darn… so much blog material ruined.

--ACH enters into a MOU to be sold to private investors. I would think that deal would be done soon but who knows.

-- Researchers call for “active” Hurricane season. If by “active” they meant, “How much exercise does Max get while watching football on Sundays” then they were right (answer is less than zero). Not a good prediction by the hurricane guys.


-- AIA show is held in San Antonio. Rumor has it some exhibitors are still trying to find their booths. The bizarre mazelike layout will be remembered for years…. Especially by the unlucky exhibitors stuck in the back rooms.

-- Cardinal sues Oldcastle over 6 different issues. And then nothing was ever heard again. Spooky.

-- USGNN first reports that Vistawall maybe sold to Oldcastle. A huge breaking news scoop.


-- NFRC sends one of their classic vague letters (never using any words associated with costs) to the AIA about the upcoming CMA system. Letter most likely has already been recycled and is now a part of a pizza box in Brooklyn.

-- NFRC also announces the proposed fee structure for the CMA… now known as the Titanic. Structure is panned by the industry and by the organizations who represent and protect the industry.

-- The world worst kept secret comes public as Oldcastle officially buys Vistawall.

So there you have it… Part 1 of the Year in Review. And to end it, the most popular video of the 1st half the year… the Beauty pageant contestant falling hard but getting right back up…

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

End of the Year

As we roll to the year end, everyone is hustling to get jobs wrapped up, holiday cards sent and basically preparing for 2008. Anyway speaking of next year, I am still curious to see if the commercial sides business holds up. Those ominous Architectural Billing Index totals will be put to the test and we’ll see how legit they really are. My personal take is that things will be a bit worse than predicted by the ABI, which would also mean that business will be at least level with 2007. I guess we will see. Also a programming note- here at the blog, I will have my “Year in Review” next week, that should be a fun run down memory lane. In addition, the 2nd annual “Power Poll” is coming too. So there’s some good stuff coming.


-- Ok the green effort has gone WAY TOO FAR. Now in Israel they are promoting a “Green” Hunnukah… which means lighting one less candle… see the article HERE… unreal… somewhere Judah Maccabee is really bummed out…

-- I saw where the scammers are at again… it really is amazing that people do these sorts of things. It really is a shame because like I have said before, business these days is hard enough without adding stuff like this. Stay on your toes folks. And by the way, as I have mentioned before, please be aware when you get a call from a magazine you have never heard of, offering to do a spotlight piece on you and your company, out of the blue. These magazines are basically built upon having you find advertisers for them for the “honor” of appearing. When you don’t come through with the goods, they leave you. So just stay away- it’s just not worth it.

-- Lots of articles recently on the on going corruption in China… most have been subscription only, but this one HERE is available for the masses and really interesting. Why oh why do people still fall for these guys? And yes I know it’s everywhere but can’t our industry be a little smarter?

-- Great website of the month? I have mentioned before… a long time ago… but is very good. You can hit that link or CLICK HERE. Anyway it’s a nice comprehensive listing of every player out there. Plus its simple to navigate and that is a major plus, because some sites have become maddening to get through.