Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Green Promotion

Every day the world of “green” continues to gain influence. It is not only a buzz word but according to many, it is the way we all survive what the future holds and in some cases will make a difference in your career. Today I came across a release from YKK that stated you would need to have the LEED AP accreditation to be eligible for a promotion. It’s a very interesting angle that’s for sure but is it right? The reason I ask is you have some amazingly talented people who never got their LEED AP but know the system better than most. And then you have others who just geared up to take and pass the test but wouldn’t know a green building compared to a blue one. And as for that test, those that have taken it will tell you it’s one of the most insane processes ever. Anyway props to YKK for advancing the green push… I'll be curious to see if it has any appreciable effect.


Sorry that this will be a very short post. Way too much going on out there that takes precedence…. next week should return to normal... or whatever normal is in my odd world.

-- A MUST read… GANA talks about the Climate Change Legislation and the industry. CLICK HERE. Seriously important to at least view and get a flavor. And by the way guys like Warren Buffett- who is a lot smarter than me, feel like this legislation- as it is written now- is very bad.

-- Saw a very interesting story from the New York Times that several people sent me. Basically the gist is that the solar world is now getting introduced to labor unions. And the unions want their piece. Click here to read.

Off to the links..

The awesome “link chick” was after it again this week…

-- Great story on a woman who was married 68 years that loses her wedding ring (the original) but it gets found and returned by a guy with a metal detector.

-- 80 year old guys playing ice hockey. These guys are awesome. At 80 I hope that I can watch hockey let alone play.

-- And since we are on the track of seniors and their exploits, let’s finish with an 80 year old woman who chases down a purse snatcher on her bike. She must be related to Lance Armstrong.

Video of the week:

Incredible bicycle tricks… sent in by good friend Pat Pickrell. Pat just actually retired making him a hero of mine. (Though he was a hero even before he retired…) So I am guessing with all of his free time he’ll be working on bike tricks too. Thanks Pat!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Buy American or North American

At the bottom of last week’s post, a comment was left with a link to a very interesting story. The story was on how some people thought that any Buy American treaties would be bad and bad for jobs and so on. The article had some interesting points, some I agreed with and some not. The biggest frustration I have is I’d actually like to see the act be a Buy North American play. I simply cannot get why in some circles Canada is considered the enemy. Drives me crazy actually. Yes we are two different countries but our ideals are very similar. There was no worse usage of “Canada is a foreign country” then in the World Trade Center debacle… where the Port Authority in New York basically said buying from China and buying from Canada was the same. The article in its entirety can be found HERE. So if we can get over that hump and remember who our friends are, then I think some good policy could be written. Until then it’s going to be very shaky.
By the way in a ironic move… China announced a “Buy China” plan for their stimulus money… story is here for your comic relief.


-- One item that came up in an e-mail to me at the end of last week was the old battle of suppliers selling direct to the end customer. That has been an adventure for years and it’s happening now more than it has happened ever before because its slow out there. However, for some reason, the people who should be mad, aren’t. I’ll never understand it, but getting mad over losing work to your supplier is seemingly not a priority…

-- In case you have not heard, Greg Carney has been released from the hospital and is now at home. Simply awesome… no news now can bring me down when you think about the return to health by one of legends in our industry. Now hopefully in time, Greg will be back at it and the values of our industry will be back in his very capable hands.

-- So many comments I could make on the Bill Stone buying back his company from the UGC… but I can’t bring myself to it. So we’ll leave that one alone… yep finally an issue that even the therapy of this blog can’t help. But I do have to say that they (UGC) did do one good thing, they let BDM Products go, easily the industry’s most talented manufacturers rep firms go… so for that I am grateful.

-- On to good news… the Penguins winning the Stanley Cup… what a year for the Pittsburgh sports fan… Steelers in January and Penguins in June… now if the Pirates win it in October…. Ha ha… actually no way the Pirates can win it in October because if they would make the World Series, the games would be cancelled because all hell would be frozen over….

-- Check out this quote from the GPD in Finland and was on USGNN…
Despite the strong theme of solar energy at this year’s event, Bostick did note one “non-trend“ of sorts: “Solar cells are not really big on any architect’s mind … I think it’s also too expensive still,” he said. He added candidly, “I don’t think the architects are quite that interested in energy efficiency yet.”
Did this architect really say that architects are not into energy efficiency? Did I read that right? Maybe he meant solar, which he’s also crazy on judging from the excitement virtually any architect gets talking about BIPV. Wow. Hell if this guy doesn’t think energy is an issue I may have found an ally against the NFRC- heck he’s gotta hate them!

-- By the way speaking of Solar and new technology I am dying that I am not at the IGMA meetings this week. They have some tremendous speakers going covering some of the newest and most interesting advancements in solar, switchable, thermo-reflective and so on.

-- Last this week… I noticed that the NFRC hired a marketing consultant to push the CMA program in California and then beyond. Yep gotta love this program that no one wants… now big money will be spent promoting it. THIS IS SUCH A WASTE. It’s a freakin shame that so many people will get burned by this and the NFRC and their benefactors will just roll on and count their cash. Simply despicable…

Off to the links…

The Link Chick was all over it again this week…

-- First up… 7 things that will annoy a flight attendant… and me… and anyone else who has to fly a lot for a living…

-- Nice story about unselfish kids and striving to be better than your surroundings allow…

-- Good ole AIG is at it again… this time making life miserable for passengers from the USAIR Hudson river flight. Unreal.

Video of the Week:

The biggest story video wise was Artie Lange’s appearance on HBO… but that keeps getting scrubbed off the web. It was heavy duty guy humor that is for sure. So with that out of the running, I then move to dedicate this space to the Stanley Cup Champion Penguins… here is the best of game 7 with calls provided by the best hockey announcer ever created... Mike Lange.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Battling the Blahs

Is it too early to have the summer doldrums? Well when it comes to the weekly adventure of this blog I do. Usually news is flowing like crazy and there’s always stuff to comment on, but lately that really has not been the case. Basically it’s the same issues coming up again and again with no new good scuttlebutt to work off of. Thanks to the economy the fun of spoiling a sale or acquisition is gone too since it seems like no one is doing any of that right now. So that said, if you have an issue or insight that you think I should be aware of, please drop me a note. Otherwise we’ll keep doing the best we can to keep the industry up to speed on all of the goings on out there… even if they are few and far between right now.


-- Color me stunned that my Pittsburgh Penguins are in a game 7 vs the might Red Wings… Friday night will surely be ulcer inducing.

-- Greg Carney update… heard today that Greg may be released from the hospital and heading home. Again that is great news. He is still far from being active and at it, but every day it seemingly gets better. No doubt as he recovers I can guarantee you he will be blown away and thankful for all of the thoughts and prayers sent his way!

-- Old story new twist… I have been convinced for years that Marc LaFrance of the DOE does not ever think for himself. And this week I had another example when LaFrance came out in a speech promoting the use of Triple Pane glazing. (Which is a story I'll save for next week) He also had this comment:

“…for the layman, Congress, etc., they understand an R-value better.”

Hmmm.. I wonder who he is been talking to… maybe the guys from Serious Materials… since that’s a big piece of their promotion and this quote was recently published:

“U-value is confusing to the consumer,” he contends. “All of them are close to zero. The insulation industry talks R-value because R-20 is different than R-1, and consumers get that. The world talks R-values.”- Kevin Surace- Serious Materials

Yep all of a sudden “R Value” is everywhere… sorry it’s not a coincidence that LaFrance and Surace are speaking the same language…. and more proof that the DOE has people that are so clueless it hurts. Especially when they have money to spend and rules to make… Very sad… and I wonder how long before LaFrance starts pushing hard for heat mirror…

-- And while I am at it on the whole window thing… when the goofy 30/30 came out, the folks from Weathershield Window actually sent a letter to President Obama praising its greatness… and then soon after they closed on of their plants… wow must not have been that great eh? Note I am never one to wallow in something like that, but the letter to the President was so arrogant that it amazes me to this day they sent it. (and then promoted it). And even more so since the stimulus was propped today for saving and creating jobs yet it seems like daily (Philips, Silverline, Jeld Wen and so on) you have plants closing…

-- By the way how do you qualify a "saved" job? Would love know how that's figured.

-- Last week the prediction for this year’s hurricane season came out and it’s expected to be light… these guys have been wrong before so we will shall see… but one interesting note is that if anyone is at a higher risk for hurricanes it’s the east coast from the Carolinas and north. Hurricane codes up in that region are nowhere near as stringent as in the south, so this could be a lesson learning time for those folks if Mother Nature takes action.

-- I wonder what’s new on the bogus lawsuits that were filed in the states after the European price fixing debacles came up. I ask because once again someone thought I was involved in it because a company that jumped on shares the same last name(dishonorably, in my opinion). No way would I ever put my name on something so seedy.

-- I hate plane travel and this update on new seats and lack of leg room is pretty depressing… details here.

Off to the LINKS!

-- Funny one off the top… a Holiday Inn gets a crank call that says to hit the fire alarms, make the sprinkler system work and break some windows… and amazingly the front desk person does it… 50k later, you have a mess… the sordid and sad yet comical details HERE.

The “Link Chick” was back with a serious vengeance this week… in fact over the weekend she sent me like 60 stories… it helped me on Sunday forget about the terrible hockey game played the night before. Anyway here’s some of the best of the lot…

-- Don’t you usually consider a vending machine something for candy or pop? Well not here… check out the 10 most bizarre vending machines…. Wild.

-- I just celebrated 15 years of marriage last week… but I have nothing on this couple that has been married 80 years… 80… That is incredible…

-- Answering the age old question… is it OK to steal hotel amenities? By the way I admit I took everything from the Palm this year at BEC.. that was good stuff… but my normal haunts of the Drury Inn just don’t cut it…

Video of the week:

You may have heard about Bret Michaels of Poison getting beheaded by the curtain at last week’s Tony Awards… if you did not see, here it is… not a great close up, but you’ll get the jist…

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Something that makes no sense

How does this work? While we are watching the economy take a beating, watching unemployment rise, watching our gas prices careen towards $3 per gallon (on its way to 4 by July 4th) and just watching an overall malaise in the business climate, somehow the stock market is doing great! And not only great now but a recent article states that the stock market is headed towards the 14,000 mark… This to me is a massive mystery. How can the stock market do well and everything else around it does badly? What am I missing here? In any case maybe the markets will lift the rest of down areas or maybe this is just a mirage. I guess time will tell…


-- Greg Carney continues to battle, and he is being moved to a hospital in New Orleans. Again all thoughts and prayers are still the call. Can’t wait to get Greg back at it and hopefully his health will continue to progress.

-- Last week the NFRC sent out their newsletter and announced they found yet another sucker….errr sponsor for their meeting. Hunter Douglas will throw money away at the upcoming meeting. Not sure what their angle is (because usually there is an angle!) but I am sure someone knows and will tell me. Otherwise all Hunter Douglas customers should absolutely demand a price break because if they are so rich to sponsor a technical meeting then they have money to blow. What a freakin joke. Maybe Marc LaFrance needs new window coverings so they can pick him up as a customer!

-- Speaking of jokes… let me clarify one item on my issue with the 30/30 sham. I have no issues with creating a standard, for people to hit to get a rebate. My rants are not meant to make the rebates for “everyone” like I have been accused. The issue is the 30/30 makes no real sense nationwide and intelligent, logical people know that. A program that truly met the needs of the regions would’ve added value for the “stakeholder” but this thing as constituted does not.

-- By the way I saw on DWM that Philips Products may be going out of business. If that’s true, that is sad as that was a good old line window company. I thought the 30/30 “saved” everyone because how great it was. Guess not.

-- The Wings are owning the Pens, but as I write this its 2-2 in game 3…(listening to the awesome Mike Lange on play by play) but still I have a feeling my pal Scott Surma will be getting a big bag of M&M’s since his Wings will probably prevail. Dang.

-- Congrats to the folks at Frank Lowe Rubber & Gasket for achieving ISO 9001-2008. Good company, class people that deserve some props. And while there are some companies that just must have publicity to assuage their egos, it’s refreshing that USGNN gave some space to the Frank Lowe achievement.

To the LINKS….

-- Thanks to blog reader W. Cash for this AWESOME article on the price of doing business with China. I am actually shocked I did not get this from Bob Lang because he’s usually all over it. Anyway, click HERE for a great read on how doing business with China could save you money in the short term but ruin you long term.

-- Yet another person calls 911 when McDonald’s screws up an order. Do people not learn in grade school what 911 is for? Unreal.

The “Link Chick” checked in with a couple of good ones…

-- In August Archie, from the “Archie” comic strip will finally pick his chick- either Betty or Veronica… man tough call.. if it’s me, I go with Betty…

-- Very odd story in France… they are letting some prisoners to go cycling… hmmmm

-- A code so tough that even the CIA can’t crack it… and no it’s not the rules and prices of the NFRC CMA program… (though I doubt the CIA could crack or actually believe it either)

Video of the week

I love tennis and love the French Open… but the controversy this week was a teenager that was making some serious grunting noise when she connected. Turn the volume on and listen to this and imagine being on the other side of the net… you’d need ear plugs! (She comes on first for a few seconds and explains herself and then they show the highlites.. wow)