Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Leaving the glass show coverage to the professionals…. My top story this week is the continued attempts by scammers to rip you off. You know the e mails you get asking you for 40 pieces of glass 30 x 30 and asking what terms of payment you desire? Every day I get one of these bogus requests and it just amazes me that somewhere along the way someone is falling for it. It’s the preying on people who are slower than normal, and need the work. While I have no idea how people get away with this and also have the time and wherewithal to pull of this scam, it’s just sad t hat it happens. So folks, be vigilant… and seriously is something just drops in your lap and it sounds too good to be true… it probably is….


-- The other funny daily e mail I get is from a firm in China who sends their pitch with a picture of a very attractive woman at the bottom. You know so you think it’s coming from her. That’s a classic! Yep, we’re all so stupid here that the hot babe at the bottom of the page will make us want to call RIGHT NOW!

-- A little late on this but major props to the gang at Technoform. A few weeks ago they put out a must download and read white paper on the always evolving fenestration codes. If you missed (shame) it’s here for the reading and saving. Good stuff and props to the people at Technoform who put it together.

-- I guess that more positive Architectural Billings Index in July was a mirage eh? Add that to some of the numbers I am hearing coming out of the show and man 2010 does not look good.

-- Speaking on not looking good if anyone can locate the 2009 Steeler Defense and return them to the field for the late 4th quarter of games all Steeler fans would be appreciative.

-- And while I am on the sports angle… Hockey starts Thursday… good to have the sport back… but if you have Direct TV you won’t be able to see much hockey since Direct TV doesn’t carry Versus anymore and that’s where the NHL has its contract… maybe for their next deal the NHL will sign with a real firm, like Key Communications…

-- One thing I am sorry I missed at the show was the Glass Executive Forum and the panel with Henry Taylor, Rod Van Buskirk and Newton Little. I really like and respect all three of those men and I am sure they put on a fantastic piece. Plus I can say I knew Henry before he became “famous”

Off to the links…

Still tons of links piling up from weekly scans by the awesome “Link Chick”… here’s a few for your enjoyment…

-- If you eat out a lot then you probably should read this article… it’s the top 10 dirty little restaurant secrets…. Or maybe you shouldn’t on 2nd thought… good article though.

-- What do you get when you mix alcohol, nudity, Florida and a 91 year old man? A pretty wild story.

-- A tremendous read on a High school football game touched by tragedy but saved by class.

Video of the Week:

Not sure if you saw the Conan O’Brien fall this week… but here it is… head hits the floor hard...guess he got a concussion and missed a show…

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Call to Action

This is the most important blog post you will ever read… well at least this week that is. But seriously, it’s a call for action because despite the tough economic conditions out there, business still goes on and more importantly codes still get written and enacted. If you don’t take the time to read the info below and reply, then you are doing your company and your industry a disservice.
Ok here’s the deal. As I have noted here a few times, glass and the use of glass is under attack. Basically there are many people out there who would have no problem with seeing buildings with a lot less glass on them. And some of those people have power when it comes to the codes. As an industry we are at a weakness because unfortunately the Glass Industry Code Committee is dissolving. However the Glass Association of North America (GANA) is willing and able to step into the fray and fight on for us… for the industry. But to do this, they need your support. If you are a GANA member you should’ve gotten a survey on this topic. You need to get that survey filled out and back to GANA. The goal is to see if the support is there within the organization to have GANA adopt the GICC charter and keep up and advance the efforts at the code level.
This one is serious and legit. Glass gets beat on because of its alleged lack of energy properties but you and I both know that’s a crock. If the codes get pushed and glass area gets reduced that will hurt us on every level. Right now the industry has a great consensus going on behalf of this issue, but when it comes to the GANA membership we are still missing a portion of the input that is needed.
I have to note, this plea is from me and not GANA. I am not a board member and I do this as an independent, industry caring person. And also someone who loves to sell glass and would hate to see square footage go away unnecessarily. So step up- get with GANA and protect your future interests today! If you need or want more details on this, feel free to e mail me at for more info.


-- Paul Bieber wrote a great piece in his blog this week about his old plant in CT closing. If you missed it, click HERE. Tough go of it right now folks… and speaking of that… these tough times are claiming some very talented people, one of them being Tim Moore. I have worked with Tim for years and he’s pretty freakin incredible on the tech side. I would hope if you are in the market for one of the greatest technical minds around, you contact Tim. His e-mail is .

-- The New York Times had an article on the solar industry recently and there was a great comparison in there… basically it said this… what’s the difference between getting oil from the middle east and solar panels from China…. Fantastic comment… we want energy independence but we’re not headed that way with some of the maneuvers going on in the solar world… and yes I did catch the tariff on Chinese tires that hit last week… now waiting for that protection to come to the glass/solar side. (Yep I know starting a trade war is bad…. But still….)

-- The Twitter Top 10… last blog I listed a national list… well its time for the top 10 that I think are interesting- both from an industry and interest standpoint. If you don’t twitter than you can skip, but if you do, I’d go find these guys and follow them….Here they are:

10. /Solarfeeds- You want to follow the solar world, its here… they update it like 1000 times a day.

9. /greenbizdaily- Great green news and info

8. /NatGlassAssoc- Very good effort in keeping it updated, and uses twitter well to prop the upcoming show as well.

7. /aluminumnews- links on the other side of our business

6. /darrenrovell1- He is CNBC’s sports marketing reporter (gosh that’s a dream job!!) and he always has pretty cool tweets.

5. /jaketapper – He is ABC’s chief White House reporter… it is worth the read to see people on the right accuse him of being a liberal and people on the left accuse him of being a neo-con. And best is he replies to these folks.

4. /glassnation- this is GANA’s contribution and great stuff.

3. /usglass- Yep I am suck up, but seriously like what they do and a great way to get the news quick.

2. /sportsguy33 – this is the page of Bill Simmons who is ESPN’s sports guy. Simply the top sports writer in the US today- bar none. No one mixes pop culture and great sports insight like he does. (well I do, but I am in the glass industry)

And #1 on my unofficial list…

/PPGIndustries- Many reasons… they were the first of our industry out… they update it a ton (which is a brutal task) and the stuff they update it with has been pretty cool. Our industry gets picked on for being slow and behind the times, but at least in this case PPG was right on it.

Off to the links…

The “link chick” did not take the week off like I did so I have like 3000 stories from her… I may actually do a post over the weekend with the overflow… especially since I know many of you only read this blog for this section!!

-- Classic… the top most bizarre playgrounds in the world…. Yeah not sure I’d let my kids near any of em.

-- A story that makes you wonder how they figure this stuff out… ready…. Give a cow a better mattress and they produce more milk…. It’s true!

-- And the best of the week… as someone who has placed his share of bizarre ads, here’s a look at ad’s that had some really bad placements… great stuff…

Video of the Week:

This is fantastic video of two Clemson football fans just completely devastated after they lost to Georgia Tech… the best part is the announcers just having a field day with these guys… I am guessing this guy had a ton of money on the game…

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

No post this week

After 267 posts, and pretty much at least one post per week for 4 years, I am taking this week off. I'll be back next week with the Top 10 Twitter list and probably some sort of slam on communist chinese NFRC members that also are lawyers. (or Bankers, since they are more evil than lawyers these days... and remember any law rant does not include the legendary Kim Mann- he's not "one of them")

Hope everyone is well....

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Brutal Banks

I was heartened by the reaction from last week’s blog and the top story of the banks and frozen credit. It’s nice to see it wasn’t just me. However the scary things keep propping up- whether it’s the report of a Bear market ahead or even a full scale depression, the economic news has not been cherry. So the media’s lack of focus on this and the governments lack of action or discussion is pretty frightening. Then again those of you who know me, know that I am a natural reactionary and prone to over-hype, so maybe this is much ado…


-- From all accounts last week’s GANA Fall conference went very well. Congrats to all who put it together.

-- I was one of the thousands that watched the webcast on the last day and was impressed by the line-up of speakers and their messages. Of course the highlite for me was the presentation by John Lewis of NFRC… and I came away impressed. As some of you know who have been following this adventure, John came to NFRC after a stint at AAMA, so he was keenly aware of all of the shenanigans that have gone on. I think that and the fact that John is just a good man, have given some perspective and open-ness that the NFRC has never had before. John’s presentation at Fall Conference was very good overall- especially in tone. He did not talk down to the audience or accuse them of being cheaters. He surely did not call them rats or tell them the reason NFRC is doing this is because they can’t be trusted. (As past NFRC speakers have)He took the high road and probably came away with more people wanting to help than has happened in the last 5+ years of this debacle combined.

-- Basically if John Lewis was in charge in 2004, this program may already be done and good. Instead he has to do massive goodwill to make up for the lack of transparency or care that was perpetrated by his predecessors. There is no doubt there are still warts and roadblocks with this program, but at least it’s in hands that I think are trustable. The problem still lies within the need of the program itself, how it was put together and who ultimately benefits. As long as the labs and inspection agencies can gain financially while all of us have to pay for a program no one actually called for, that’s going to be a problem.

-- Ok moving on… as ½ my audience just clicked away….

-- Still a relatively quiet Hurricane season… but got this very interesting article from Dr. Culp… can Bill Gates stop hurricanes? (No Bill.. No, just Hurricane Impact Glass and Metal can!!!)

-- One of the things that I have endorsed in the past is learning during the slow times. Education and advancement of such is a big item to me. So much so that I am personally involved with the Glass Management Institute. I believe in what this program has to offer overall and the instructors that have signed on are top notch (and heck of a lot better than me!). Anyway, learn or send your folks to learn- get ahead of the curve. Click here for more info.

-- A couple of weeks ago USGNN did a note on the scams that are continuing through the industry. It really has become amazing that these scammers continue to try. I get 2-3 e-mails a day from these shysters. It’s really a sad thing that is happening here, nothing worse than praying on vulnerable people.

-- Football kicks off Thursday night with the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers… so time to make my predictions for this year… as much as I love the Steelers, I am not taking them to repeat… just too tough… so your new champs will be….. and it hurts to type this… the New England Patriots… ugh. Hopefully this prediction goes as well as my $4 for gallon of gas by July 09…

-- Last, saw that there’s a new group out there… the Global Glass Conservation Alliance…. The odd thing was, as far as I could follow from their press release, The National Windshield Repair Association… doesn’t the new makeover seem like a jump? Anyway I am going to research before I endorse or scorch, but on first blush I am leery.

Off to the LINKS….

The “Link Chick” checks in a bevy of goodness….

-- From Power Ranger to MMA fighter? Look out for Tommy Oliver… (and by the way for you Power Ranger fans, Dino Thunder was the best…)

-- The Top 10 Twitter feeds you should follow…. According to CNN… which makes me want to do my own list… and I think I will… look for it next week!

-- And speaking of “Twitter” it’s now a word in the dictionary… that and 263 other new words…

Video of the Week…

A few weeks ago I ran a video with a TV Reporter having a mishap with a skateboard. Well from the same site, another “Failure” but this one is maybe more brutal… the proposal… in public… oh my…

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The secret of frozen credit markets

Last week I teased the latest release of the Architectural Billings Index (ABI). The July report was surely more positive than the previous editions but still treading below where it used to be. But the telling part of the story was a quote by the AIA’s chief economist. He commented that one of the reasons that business is tough right now is that the banks are not lending. And in that comment you have the dirtiest little secret around. The biggest story in this country shouldn’t be the health care or Cap and Trade debacles. It should be that the credit markets are still frozen and despite TARP’s, bailouts and stimuli, credit is NOT flowing- thus hampering everything and everyone in its path. Why this issue is getting no media scrutiny is beyond me, but it is a huge reason that architects are not drawing and commercial construction is stuck in the mud.


-- MUST SEE TV….errrr WEBCAST… Thursday (and I know most people don’t read this until Thursday PM, but there’s many who check this out Weds nights when I post) at 8AM CST. The Webcast is live from the GANA Fall conference in Kansas City for the energy portion of the event. The webcast is being sponsored by the fine folks at that up n coming publication Solar Glazing Magazine. So hopefully you get to check it out, it really should be pretty interesting based on the speaker line up. For more information and to jump on to the webcast go to GANA’s website at or just click HERE!

-- Speaking of GANA, I just hate not being at the Fall Conference… hearing from many people that are there and the reviews have been excellent. Good crowd, strong discussions. Exactly what you expect from a GANA event.

-- The world of LEED has been taking some hits lately…. This week the New York Times weighed in with a piece about the grumblings on whether or not in the long run LEED is worth it. Here’s the article but best line in there was along the lines of “they should have removable screws for the plaques they put up”…. I love it…. It’s funny how many times I hear that the biggest part of LEED is getting that plaque… and not what it’s supposed to do for the building.

-- One more weekend of fake NFL Football and then the real thing… ah I can’t wait! Plus College football starts this weekend… excellent!

-- Short post this week… just way too much going on in the “real” world….

Off to the links!

Thank goodness for the “Link Chick”…. And when I tell her she gets compliments all the time, she totally doesn’t believe it… c’mon like someone in the glass industry would lie?

-- Traveling sucks enough but can you imagine having to stay at a place with beds made of hay? Yeesh!

-- Only in China… they have a basketball league for shorter folks and what happens when someone “too tall” tries to join… mayhem…

-- Can you believe there was still a working bartender left over from the days of prohibition? Well there was… and he just served his last drink…

Comic of the week:
Marg Webb sent this to me…. And it really reminds me of an organization that we all know and love…. click on the comic to make it bigger and easier to read!

Video of the week:
Thanks to Brian Pitman who I know is swamped this week… but he found time to send this quick instant classic in… a ball boy at the US Open… not real graceful…