Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Despite the incredible frustrations of the times we really do have a lot to be thankful for. Now that sounds pretty canned as something anyone would say around this time of year. But I believe it actually. I am thankful for the folks I have the honor to work with- from my co-workers to my suppliers to our customers. (Also my friends that happen to be competitors or not fit in any of these categories) I count myself as blessed because of those groups and I am sure I am not alone. We all have to fight the battles these days but we’re not in it alone- and hopefully- sooner than later- the roller coaster will be going in the up direction! In any case to all who read, comment and support this blog a happy and healthy thanksgiving to ya!


Short week… short post… heck let’s just skip to the links shall we?

Off to the Links!

Some great ones from the "Link Chick" this week.. (a Happy Turkey Day to you too LC)

-- If you came of “age” in the mid to late 80’s and watched any MTV, then you probably enjoyed the game show “Remote Control”- it really was ahead of its time. Sadly, it’s host- Ken Ober passed this week.. Here’s a good, quick, piece on his legacy.

-- CRAZY story on a shortage of Eggo Waffles… seriously… and yes the Link Chick and my wife BOTH said the same thing to me on this… “thank god it wasn’t Pop Tarts”… oh you better believe it… if Pop Tarts starts a shortage, that’s like nuclear winter for me.

-- Interesting story… group refuses to pay “mandatory tip” on its food bill because service was miserable…. What happens next? They get busted… but still you wonder if there’s a better way to get the message across… or was this the best way?

Video of the Week

This week’s video comes for a buddy of mine who is close friends with this performer… they actually go to Miami Dolphin games together… so I can’t wait to see what he finds out when he asks her about this fall flat on her behind during the American Music Awards… it’s Jennifer Lopez- and you have to either watch until the 2:33 mark or fast forward to that because soon after she comes crashing down… but she handles it well… still I’ll be waiting for the inside scoop… (By the way this buddy also sits next to big time pro golfers and is friends with the Williams sisters too... no clue why he keeps company with folks like me!!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Let's hope this is not true...

The relative positivity of last week’s Greenbuild show went away pretty quick when I picked up a story that said some analysts see the commercial glass industry struggling until… get this… 2013! Seriously that was a prediction and the first I have seen that has not shown the uptick coming by the end of 2010. Just typing this boggles my mind, but we’ve had such a solid run for a long time, you just can’t fathom that some of the tough times could continue that long. But when you read stats like Atlanta having enough empty commercial buildings to last 14 years, it may actually come true. For the good of our industry and our personal health, let’s hope this call is wrong.


-- Ironically, the ABI (Architectural Billings Index) did well last month scoring best since the credit crunch hit. It’s a bumpy road folks no doubt, let’s keep hoping for the best.

-- Greenbuild did end pretty well and looks like they’ll have everyone back in Chicago next year exhibiting again. I picked our booth out and in the ginormous McCormick Center, you’ll be able to find me somewhere near Milwaukee. Instead of spokesmodels I may hire Sherpas to lead people to the booth.

-- In the November issue of USGlass (the one with incredible Art Gallery of Ontario on the cover) the letters to the editor has a great one from Terry Newcomb of Thermal Windows. Terry hammers home the point about all of the obnoxious spam we get from Chinese companies looking to steal our businesses. Thank you Terry for stepping up and having your voice heard, you are yet another person who “gets it” when it comes to the threat the Chinese are to our way of life.

-- I hate flying as it is, but this week’s flight was even more galling. Sitting in the 2nd row behind the bulkhead. Person in front of me already has great leg room thanks to the bulkhead, and plus it’s a lady who is probably 5 feet tall, 90 pounds soaking wet. So we take off and what does she do? Leans that chair ALL THE WAY back into my ever expanding waistline, crushing my knees to the floor. I look up and over at her (because I can see since she’s leaned so far back on me) and her feet are a good 2 feet away from the bulkhead wall! Simply unreal. I just wish airlines would take away all reclining- it’s never doled out right and it’s already so freakin tight.

-- Wednesday night I spoke at the Top of the Rockies event for the Colorado Glazing Contractors Association. What a tremendous event, honoring the jobs that the glaziers in this territory did throughout the year. The CGCA is a great organization, led by Rebecca Kaspari, that it really should be copied nationwide. As for the awards, Metropolitan Glass represented by Marty Richardson was the night’s big winner. (Kinda like the way Slumdog Millionaire won all the Oscars last year) Good stuff and I was honored to be involved.

-- NFRC is meeting this week and I’ve laid off of it. I’ve gotten some comical notes though on some of the goings on (though nothing as good as people falling asleep in the meetings dang it) and will have more on this next post.

-- Speaking of next post- we’ll have a small post up here next Tuesday the 24th- since my normal Thursday spot is covered by Thanksgiving. (Which in my humble opinion is the best holiday of them all… I love the combo of Food, Family and Football! You simply can’t beat it) So in advance of that, hope everyone enjoys the upcoming holiday and you can eat and be merry with the ones you love and give Thanks for the good things we have in life!

Off to the links…

The “Link Chick” underestimates her value here- last week I met someone who reads the blog and when I thanked them for reading they said “Oh I just read it for the links…” Yep… and this is not the first time that’s been said either… so without further adieu here’s this week’s submissions…

-- Dude makes 85k per year selling shirts off his back… what is wrong with our world?

-- This link is worth it for the pictures… an “open range” zoo in Australia that has come up with a way to get the animals VERY close to you. Wild, wild stuff.

-- Crazy story in Wisconsin about muggers who are so patriotic that if they mug you and find you are a soldier or reservist, they’ll return your stuff.

Video of the Week

Chris McMahon (Phoenix TV star) sent me this one… it’s the epic failure of understanding the automatic sliding glass door. My question is… is this real? Wild to watch no matter what.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Greenbuild Day 2 and beyond

Welcome to Greenbuild with 25,000+ people on hand.. pretty much all of the major players of our industry are here along with any green scheme that can be had. Anyway here are some quick hits on what I saw and experienced so far…

-- Once again it’s a goofy convention center layout. A gigantic hall in the basement and a secondary hall on the third floor (5 escalators up). Yep that’s one horrid layout- not as bad as San Antonio’s famous “kids room” set up for AIA a few years ago but not good either.

-- As mentioned in my post yesterday, I got lucky and for the only time in my life I find my booth next to Edgetech. I’ll never get next to them at Glassbuild because they live in that high rent district and they don’t let my kind in there… but here they are right next door and with a very cool mock up showing the strength of their Tri Seal spacer. That thing is a show stopper for sure. Anyway they have not called show security on me… yet. Still awesome to have a popular booth right next store to draw from!

-- There’s a sign at the front of the halls that say “No Suitcasing” - Which means against show rules to go try and sell someone materials in their booth… so I guess it’s the green way of saying “No Soliciting?” But seriously isn’t that the point of a trade show? Attract customers but also see vendors and have the chance to pick up new customers? (Actually have a picture but for some reason I can't upload it)

-- The drinks at the show come in cups made from corn. How do I know this? It says it on there. Wild stuff.

-- How green is this? After the show Tuesday night- tons of people parked in a parking garage… all trying to leave at the same time- all sitting… cars idling… emissions everywhere…. It took us almost an hour to get out… What do you think the carbon footprint was on that bad boy? Gonna have to have a lot more cups made from “corn” to make up for that debacle.

-- One person I did not get to see today was Chris McMahon from Technoform…. but all of Phoenix did see him as the local TV station interviewed him. Rumor has it he has now hired an agent. Video in case your curious is HERE.

-- Last for this for now (more next week I am sure) kudos to the gang at Viracon for following the rules. Greenbuild said that you were not supposed to bring any paper or brochures to the show... and basically EVERYONE ignored them... except the shrewd folks at Viracon who left the paper at home making them the hero of the environmental crowd! (Note I did not plan on bringing any paper but when I arrived Monday and saw everyone had paper- I relented- dang peer pressure!!)


-- A few years I blogged about going to a baseball game here in Arizona and while it was 110 degrees outside, the roof of the stadium was open and the AC was blasting… at that same venue is where Al Gore gave his keynote address tonight. With record highs here, I wonder if the AC was blasting and how in any case that’s explained as green or good for the environment.

-- You may have caught in the comments from my last post about NFRC extending their elections a week due to lack of quorum. Well it’s true and it’s absolutely hilarious. Why would anyone want to vote in an election that no one is running in? If you only have one choice, what’s the point? But don’t worry somewhere in DC, Marc LaFrance is mumbling to himself about how great the NFRC is… yep they sure are Marc… Anyway this is what the NFRC wanted- they ramrodded the dissenters out and now they have their perfect little group, hopefully the world is watching.

-- Congrats to Bob Larson, saw on USGNN he is now at Texas Tempering as VP of Operations. I was on the GANA Board with Bob for a few years and he is a class character. Best of luck in your new gig!

-- Also on USGNN, the note on Syracuse Glass and their 100th anniversary… props to John Dwyer and his family on the awesome accomplishment. I get to see John once or twice a year at GANA events and he always has a kind word for me… which means he’s in the minority… in any case running a business is brutal and to make it long term like John and his family have deserve a major pat on back!

Off to the Links

-- Like it or hate it, the UFC (Cage Fighting) sure has some characters- like this guy who was so down on his luck before his last fight he was eating the yummy (not)combo of Rice and Ketchup. Interesting story, this guy could be the “Rocky” of the sport with stuff like this.

-- I live in the country so I am always afraid I’ll hit a deer with my car… but this couple in Oklahoma had bigger problems, like almost hitting and ELEPHANT… yep an Elephant!

-- Yep Al Gore and the “green” folks here at the show would be aghast if they read this article on a “green” couple being forced to drive to their recycling center… oh my!

Video of the week

When I saw this one, I actually sent it to the “Link Chick” as she is a Soccer expert. You may have heard about the women’s college soccer player who played VERY rough last week. Well if you haven’t seen it, here it is… absolutely amazing… and the big thing for both me and the Link Chick was how did the Refs miss this and how could the opposing team just “take it”… wild stuff.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Greenbuild underway

Greenbuild is off and running and in my normal weekly post we'll have the tidbits that you come to expect from me...

All in all should be an interesting show- turnout is expected to be in the 25,000 range- so that should be good.

Have already seen many industry players- lucky enough to be next to Edgetech (more on that in my normal post) and just a few rows away from folks like Trainor, Pilkington (new product line Solar E on Blue), Doralco, RavenBrick (who is showing nicely I must say) Technoform and so on.

Downstairs in the bigger hall I did get to visit with the gang from Viracon (always nice and classy)- and walked by SAGE (very busy), Oldcastle (The big white booth, not the starship dangit), Kawneer (No Henry Taylor- that's a bummer) and Dorma.

More to follow on my normal post- should go up late Weds night-
Also saw Marc and Danik from Walker working the floor- they tried to avoid me, but I was able to chase them down.

Obviously much more to see and report- but after missing Glassbuild & Fall Conference , it was good to see some familiar faces!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

New start for a good man

If you know me or are regular reader of this blog you know that I am a huge fan of Greg Carney. In fact if I had to do a list of the top 10 people who had significant historical positive effects on our industry, Greg would surely be on that list. Now, Greg is starting a new chapter of his life and opening up new avenues to help not only our industry as a whole but many, many parts of it. Greg is now an independent consultant and his services and abilities available for the masses. And while I am sure you think this reads like an advertisement, it’s really meant to be an update as when a guy with 28+ years starts something new, its news and it’s something that people should make note of, especially if they need any help in their operations as it relates to the technical side of things. Best of luck to Greg, a good man who is off to do more good things!


-- After I wrote the above and with all of the election stuff in my head… I thought to myself, “This message brought to you by Greg Carney for industry guru… and then Greg would say I’m Greg Carney and I approve this message” I gotta stop watching TV.

-- GANA did a great job on Wednesday with a webinar updating everyone on the various code movements. If you missed it that was too bad… These things are waaaay too important not to take an hour and listen to. Heck you could eat your lunch while following along. Anyway lots of things happening on the IECC, ASHRAE, ASTM and NFRC front- too much for me to go on in great detail here- but I am confident GANA is working to get our best interests protected but they still need everyone to follow along.

-- I just finished teaching a 4 week course with the NGA Glass Management Institute. My part was a smaller piece of a bigger curriculum- and I was honored to be involved in such a great thing. The people taking part in the GMI really are amongst the smarter folks around because they are bettering themselves and their companies through education instead of sitting still.

-- Funny on how this blog has grown… today I had someone repeat back some things I wrote a couple of years ago… and they weren’t flattering things either… (I was on one of my famous soapbox rants... that's a major oops... gotta self edit myself better!) Anyway thank you all for reading and even remembering- the bad and the good. October was another great month of traffic, so again THANK YOU I truly appreciate you being a part of my therapy.

-- Brett Favre is amazing. Somehow he gets it done. The NFC sure looks like it will be New Orleans and Minnesota down to the wire…

-- Next week is Greenbuild… hearing of more and more people attending… should be very interesting to see how the mood and attitude is- especially after the Solar show last week was so over the top. I'll try to do updates each night ahead of my main post.

-- And no not going to NFRC’s 20th birthday party… I will be in a much better place… I’ll be in Denver at the Top of the Rockies with the awesome Colorado Glazing Contractors Association. There’s a handful of glazing groups in this country that are really, really solid, and I personally think the CGCA is the best of the best.

-- Speaking of NFRC, I do enjoy their blog though and laugh at how much they now use it… just a few years ago the blog concept was poo-poo’d by those guys. Must be the John Lewis factor. (anything good done at NFRC I credit to John.. gotta be him)

-- Last… saw a bid today for a parking garage that had 22 general contractors bidding it… and even though it only had a couple thousand sq ft of glass you can bet they’ll be 40 glaziers bidding.

Book of the week:

-- Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback. If you love the NFL, Peter King is the premier writer on it for Sports Illustrated. He’s also, like me, a graduate of the best University in the state of Ohio..Ohio University. Anyway great and easy read on everything football including a controversial list of the top 100 football players of all time. Good stuff.

Off to the Links:

Link Chick was trying to take it easy on me this week… she normally sends me like 100 links and I pick out the best 3 or 4… this week she told me to check my archives… anyway here ya go…

-- Since we are talking football, one of the bigger disappointments this year has been the Redskins.. and now they are going out of their way to treat the fans… well not good…

-- If you find yourself in Iceland and have the jones for a Big Mac… well you’ll be outta luck.. Mickey D’s is closing there… (but don’t worry I am sure they have 76 Starbucks still)

-- Great read in the New York Times on Al Gore and he’s dual role as green advocate and green investor.

Video of the week:

Every few months I ask for people to send videos if they have- so if you have a good one, send the link to me… always looking… This week… since we talked a lot of football above, it’s a football video… this from Las Vegas- looks like a minor league team, the punt return is going great until…. Uh oh..