Tuesday, June 24, 2008

One Sided

If no one cares about a fight… is it really a fight? If one guy is boxing and the other is staring listlessly into space, is it a match? Don’t you need two to tango? So with that in mind we have the ever continuing adventures of the NFRC. See last week the NFRC presented at conference in Minnesota. According to press reports, a lot of the same stuff we’ve heard over the years came out… but one relatively new angle was admitted. The glazier will indeed be the “responsible” party for the implementation of this program. And so that brings us to the comments I made at the top. 97% of all glaziers know nothing of the NFRC and quite frankly don’t care. I travel the country and I ask everywhere I go… and I get the same reaction…. blank stares. (I also ask architects and they care even LESS if thats possible) So this will be interesting when the money makers at the NFRC try and stuff this Titanic down our throats and a glazier in Tulsa has no clue what this is even about. Then when they see the costs and the work added… complaining about things like the surcharge will be long from their minds. Eventually when your punched enough, you will fight… but until that sinks in… this is truly a one sided issue with one party not caring a bit…. Yet.

Then again if NFRC throws a party and no one comes.... that I can see happening... abandon ship! Woooooooomp!


-- Credit to Katy Devlin and her blog post (Click here) great stuff and yes even got me hooked in to comment. Sorry folks I can not resist. Someone once asked me why I get so pissy on the NFRC stuff… and it’s simple… because it’s wrong! They are ramming a program that has no true value down our throats… for the main reason of “because we can” Oh and the money too… believe me, if there wasn’t a ton of money involved this issue it would not still be perking along 5 or 6 years after it started.

-- Oh and I love the “protecting the public” argument… yep protecting the public from what? Keeping their hard earned money? Remember NFRC cut their teeth protecting homeowners which actually needed it... professional architects and GC's don't.

-- THANK YOU to everyone who has been reading and also commenting via e-mail or phone. Traffic has been tremendous and I am honored and thrilled. Especially since our industry is in the most boring stretch it’s ever been in news wise.

Book of the week:

The Last Great Fight by Joe Layden… keeping with the boxing theme above… but seriously… a GREAT book here focusing on the Buster Douglas-Mike Tyson fight in 1990 and what happened to each afterwards. A tremendous read if you are into boxing even in the least. And really since the fall of Tyson, boxing is no longer the same and the fall started that night.


Yep I know I usually write more.. but we have more links this week and 2 videos!

-- Folks in the Netherlands think the world will end in 2012. I guess they could care less about NFRC eh?

-- A great breakdown here on gas, the effects from China and Russia and the Big 3. A worthwhile blogpost from the Detroit News.

-- A good feature here on what is BIM… and yes people are still asking even though its been the “hot” topic lately.

-- According to this.. the credit crisis is only ½ way done. And the offshoot of that is commercial buildings will continue to feel that backlash.

-- The Surcharge is EVERYWHERE… alert the lawyers! Even speeding tickets now feature them…

Videos of the Week

Fun one first… sent in by a loyal reader of the blog… great comedy with cats… is it me or how come you can get funnier videos with cats?

2nd one an interesting video from the floor of congress that was sent to me by Larry… AKA "the king of Fantasy Baseball"…. Those new light bulbs come with some serious instructions huh? 5 minutes long but pretty interesting.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Taking a bite out of the Apple Pie

How much of Americana would be gone if Anheuser Busch does get taken over by overseas interest? On that note, what will happen when PPG finally sells its auto glass division (again) as reported last week? If they sell that portion of the business or any of their other segments to foreign interests, how will that affect us in the long run? I think short term it will be OK, but the long term effect will be tremendous. It’s amazing that the proud American company is no longer “King of the Hill” but really with so much focus on businesses trying to pander to markets like China, it was probably a matter of time. Were we arrogant? Were we sleeping at the wheel? How can we be so vulnerable? Today it’s AB, tomorrow it could be Johnson and Johnson… then on and on and on. Very scary no matter how you slice it.


-- As I told a few people who commented on my bad mood blog of last week… you know how you’re not supposed to go to the market on an empty stomach? Well in the new age of technology; don’t do a blog post in a bad mood because you’ll get that slice of bitterness you got last week. But the nice thing was how many people commented to me in passing, hoping I was cheering up. Thanks again to all of you.

-- Great comments too on the Vinyl lobby and its strength or lack thereof… Would love to see more of the people who see it for what it is, be more vocal going forward that is for sure. Bottom line is we have a heavy dependence on oil, why aren’t we looking to wean off of products that use it? Especially when there’s very good options….

-- This just in… Tiger Woods is insanely good. That Saturday night of golf was unreal. I had a buddy who was there on the 13th hole when Tiger made his first Eagle and he said it was the most amazing thing he’s ever been a part of. And this coming from a guy who’s been to 10 Masters, Super Bowls, Stanley Cups and so on. And I’d have to say, even watching on TV it was awesome.

-- More on the PPG stuff up top… interesting interview with the CEO Charles Bunch (here if you missed it) I think once again the fascinating angle will be.. once the auto glass business gets sold, what happens to the flat glass side? Do they focus energy and resources on the flat side knowing that the albatross of auto is gone or do they look to become more of a chemical company (where you make real money) and put flat up for sale? Should be very interesting.

To the LINKS we go…

-- Gas prices got your frustrated? This piece by USA Today really breaks it down in detail.

-- According to the founder of the Weather Channel, it’s all Al Gore’s fault. Here’s a speech dedicated to it. And it’s a pretty interesting read… not the populist view, that’s for sure!

-- E-mail issues happen all the time- a great tech piece on what’s happening in that world.

Video of the Week:

Thanks to Brigid for finding this and sending it… its only 16 seconds long but I found hilarious given all we seemingly ever talk about…. And by the way as someone who lives for Peanut M&M’s… if they ever got in trouble, then I’d have to step up!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bitter is the theme

OK, be prepared… its nasty and cynical down below. For some reason I am in a bad mood today, and sadly most of my posts reflect that. One frustration is on how for some reason glass gets less “love” from the green community than a product like vinyl. Isn’t vinyl made from Oil? Isn’t glass a recycled product, with technology pushing performances upward daily? I thought so… but ask someone in the green lobby and they scoff at the recycled nature of glass- even pushing parts of LEED away from glass. But oooooh Vinyl is great to them. So damn frustrating it’s not even funny. Seriously isn’t Oil a major part of vinyl? Why isn’t that a big issue? Aren’t we trying to wean ourselves from oil? They’ll be more on this in the weeks and months to come, but its just another area where the NFRC style of people who are out there making the most illogical assumptions ever.


-- You know I guess the economy is not so bad. Everyone I talk to is still going on vacation and in fact, when I went to go make dinner reservations for my trip to Disney next month, all the places we wanted were booked. So is this the mainstream media making much ado about nothing? At least in my mood right now it sure as heck seems like it.

-- That said I found it hilarious that the Energy Department announced that consumers can expect gas to stay at the $4 range for the next year. Considering its going up a few cents daily and up a buck from a year ago, how can they say that? Heck just last week analysts predicted $5 per gallon gas by the 4th of July. The story today said they expect gas prices to peak at 4.15. I’ll believe it when I see it.

-- Saw USGNN’s report on the CSI show in Vegas and I must say I am pretty surprised. It’s amazing that the writer failed to mention in the glowing report that this show was seriously un-supported by major portions of our industry. If you did not know any better you may have thought this was a good show- (for our industry) which it wasn’t. Now I rarely, if ever, take USGNN on. I think the folks there are top notch- but on this one, I was bothered by the reporting. Bottom line to me is that review should’ve noted that once again the show did not feature about 85% of the industries best, and given some reasons why.

-- Yikes, If I get on the wrong side of USGNN, I'll running out of people that are on the right side.

-- I did get a kick out of the Freedonia study on Solar Control glass and its possible growth. I think about the folks at DOE who still believe no one uses Low E because “its too hard” and that’s why we need an NFRC type of group to push us. Simply comical this world we live in.

-- And bad news from the glazing world, as the owner of Lorain Glass Jack Kosman passed away last week. Lorain Glass is one of the best glazing operations in Ohio and I had the honor of working with Jack over the years. Our condolences go out to his family and friends. We have lost yet another good glass guy.

Picture of the week:

-- This greeted me in my driveway after the Wings won the cup… congrats to Detroit- Great effort and a great series.

Note the 4 plastic forks at the bottom- love the attention to detail!

Off to the LINKS:

-- Actress Susan Sarandon says she’ll leave the US if John McCain wins… you know nothing I hate more than actors who do stuff like this… they make a ton of money to do the simplest of jobs… and think that the world really cares about their opinion…. Its comments like hers that make people want to vote the for the opposite candidate!

-- And add John Cusack to that list… my gosh, the guy from the classic “Better Off Dead” is shilling for a candidate. (AND yes I would feel this way no matter which candidate was supported- I just can’t stand Hollywood’s arrogance)

-- Ah let the attack begin on bottled water! Oh and some of these bottles are made from Oil.. same as vinyl….

-- As someone who flies every week, this was an interesting look at some of the things the airlines are doing to become more efficient…

On a non bitter closing note… its Father’s Day weekend and if you saw the bottom of the Weds USGNN, they are looking for comments and stories on how special your father is. By all means you should do it, as time flies. If your father is alive, cherish it and don’t take it for granted. And if he works in the industry with you- that’s even better. It’s been 7 years since our dad passed away and not a day goes by where I (along with my brother, sister and mom) do not think of him. I am sure if he was around now he would just read my stuff and shake his head at my antics and comments and wonder where I came from. Anyway, just noting for the record, we miss you big guy, now and forever. And to those you Dad’s out there- have a great day this Sunday!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The race is on

Well the Presidential race is set… Its Obama and McCain and it really should be a very interesting next few months. Where do these guys stand on the issues that we(I) care about? Will they talk tough on China but then turtle away when the time comes? What about the economy as a whole? Will this election get caught up in a racial overtone and will the issues be ignored? How big will the blog be during this since the “main stream media” has been under fire for being one sided (depending on who you watch). Also what are their stances on Energy? Who will be the better "Green" candidate? Just because Obama is a Dem doesn't mean he's more "green" right? Should be wild… and the first biggie is who will be the running mates… will Obama pick old and experienced? Will McCain go for a younger middle of the road VEEP choice? Of all I will be curious on China because Clinton was very vocal with her frustrations as was some of the GOP candidates that lost. These guys need to step up and even the playing field there and not let that monster grow… Man, so many questions… lets just hope whomever gets in, does this country right and protects our interests… should be a very interesting run.


-- Recently a news story came out trumpeting a prediction that 8 hurricanes will hit this season… This coming off of last years very light season which also saw dire predictions. The experts though said they have changed their terminology and studies and really believe that they’ll be right this year... I think its going to be a light year again, despite the predictions… I just think you can study the science forever, but at the end of the day, the number of hurricanes and force are seriously un-predictable….

-- Speaking of unpredictable weather- as noted here a few weeks back on the awful Tornado’s… this year is one of the worst on record… ever. Nothing could’ve predicted that- or the amount of deaths from the Tornado activity. Still it gets very little play… entire towns have been destroyed… where is the coverage?

-- It’s been slow on the Glass and Metal industry lately… no great scuttlebutt- a few straggler rumors and really no big stories, outside of the price increase of course, to talk about. I think a part of that is its summer… schools are almost out and we’re in classic vacation taking time. Soon though I think things will heat up… but we’re surely lacking the buzz this year, especially in comparison to last year.

-- And yes I did see the blurb on USGNN about the NFRC issue and I am pretty thrilled. The more people that can be made aware and educated the better. Just today I had 2 co workers ask me for a run-down on the whole NFRC event… and I made it through the first few minutes without going into my normal hysterics. I was so proud. But seriously, the more you know… the better we’ll all be!

Off to the LINKS!!!!

-- SWEET JUSTICE… one of the lawyer leaders of some really frivolous lawsuits gets caught with kickbacks and gets 30 months in jail… Shame it wasn’t one of the ambulance chasers involved in our industry.

-- There’s someone actually named… In God We Trust… this article is interesting on how people can change their name to anything…. My new name I think will be “Give You Order” so when people call they’d said “Give you Order” please….

-- Yep, don’t fear China… Trust them… like US Commerce Sec Carlos Guiterrez… who left his laptop UNATTENDED and the communist Chinese hacked it! Stupidity abounds…

-- and last, most jewish folk are not known as world class athletes… (And sorry PC Police I can say it because I'm one of em) but this year in major league baseball there’s 2 jewish guys tearing it up and could be on their way to being the MVP in their respective leagues… great story here… see Mom, a couple more years of baseball and this could a been me!

Picture of the week:

This was bound to happen....

Video of the week

I am posting this before Weds Game 6 with the Red Wings and Pens. After game 4, my next door neighbor – a big Wings fan, gave me a handful of plastic forks… to drive home the fact the Pens were done.. “Stick a fork in em!” Well the Penguins battled and won an incredible 3 overtime thriller on Monday night… and while I still think now that the Wings will win- it sure was a great event late Monday/Early Tuesday and a memorable birthday shoutout for my sister as well!

And that really should be the last of the Penguin videos for a while… unless they win it all of course!