Monday, May 31, 2010

TV Reality?

NOTE: Going shorter than normal this week because of the holiday and quite frankly a dearth of news or commentable stuff…. Plus the Video of the Week is the best one I have had in a looooong time.

Saw this line on a TV show recently… an episode with a job hunting lawyer waiting in a busy room with other job hunters when another prospect said: “They’re not hiring, just taking resumes for 2011” and with that I think this TV show hit the nail on the head. So many folks see 2010 as a washout and that the real start of return to greatness will come in 2011. Heck even the ABI, if taken 9-12 months out put a good spin on 2011. So I guess that’s what we have to look forward to eh? Keep plugging along, doing all you can and try to get to the 2011 haven. Then again if you take cues from TV/Movies you would know the world is going to end in 2012… oh well… no matter how you slice it, we’re still in a daily battle but at least there’s hope… even if it’s in the form of a TV show…


-- Got tremendous reaction to my Q&A with James Bogdan. And like I told everyone I talked to, it was easy because he is an incredible guy. Also on that note, I did get some good food for thought on some areas of LEED we are missing on and I’ll have more on that hopefully next week here on the blog.

-- Hope everyone had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend… and obviously a major thank you to all that have served this great country.

-- CONGRATS to John Griffith, AKA “Grif” for picking up a much deserved award from CSI. A class act and someone who always treated me much better than I deserved. I am big fan of both he and Alana (and quite frankly everyone at Empirehouse) and they truly deserve the props!

-- Last I loved the way 24 ended... I thought it was perfect and loved the Jack of the last few weeks... Now I can't wait for the movie. The last few weeks and the perfect ending made up for the awful start this year too.

TWEET of the WEEK:

/NatGlassAssoc – this is the feed from the NGA and it’s a great resource all of the good stuff they have going on. You can CLICK HERE to see it. Remember the more you know, the better off you can be…

LINKS of the WEEK:

-- My friend Pat Pickrell always wanted to move to New Zealand… I wonder if this was why… they have parents over there that are having their kids get into “brawls” settle their differences! Yep just like the good ole days…

-- I’m actually reading a great book about Tiger Woods right now (review soon) but this may be an interesting trend, “Tiger Radio” for liars and cheaters… now that’s a wild format switch.

-- And thanks to blog reader Brett… the 8 most unhealthy meals served in America… yep and I have not had any of them… yet….

VIDEO of the WEEK:

Well folks here it is… an absolute classic news reporter “fail” with glass involved… Sit back and enjoy!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Taking on LEED

( NOTE: It's a very "link" heavy edition this week... good stuff from all over!)

For the most part very few people pick on the USGBC and the LEED program, but last week in a powerful Op-Ed in the New York Times, they were taken to task. And quite frankly it was very interesting and about time. This group and program has had a free pass for the most part, and usually when dissent was raised the awesome growth and power of the USGBC shot it down. However you wonder if the pulpit of something as powerful as the pages of the Times will get more focus on the program and try to make it and the other similar efforts out there more effective for today and in the future. Here’s the Op-Ed, surely worth a read!


-- How do you know you have made it as a glass company? When someone is trying to sell your glass on Craigs List… So if need some Viracon material, click here as someone is obviously trying to sell some leftovers…

-- Speaking of Viracon and all of my friends in Minnesota… saw it was supposed to be 91 degrees there this week… so my question is… did you even get Spring, or did you go right from Winter to Summer?

-- If you are not getting the WDWeekly then you are missing out. Even if you are not in the residential world, that newsletter always has something interesting with their section called “The Talk”… It’s a weekly mini editorial wrapped around a poll and then features live feedback from the previous week. Its good stuff… and last week there was reax to the Lead Paint stuff that was fantastic. So if you are not getting this every Wednesday, then click HERE and sign up… believe me it’s worth it.

-- A Happy Anniversary to my brother and his wife… I think they have been married something like 30 years… which is amazing because everyone thinks he’s 42 and I am 52…. Which means they got married at 12…. Anyway a happy one to them and may they have many, many more!

-- I spent a few minutes on the HPBCCC (High Performance Buildings Coalition) Briefing video stream today from DC. (Sponsored by Guardian Industries) Great use of my lunchtime, eat a sandwich and watch/listen to "Building Star" news… Obviously Building Star brings a lot of potential to help business in our world and hopefully it’s rolled out right and it reaches the tremendous potential. 3 speakers, very good stats and food for thought. The video and live Twitter feed is on GANA’s site HERE.

-- Finally this week… (so many links above and below, just went shorter than normal) a great documentary is running on CNBC called “Beyond the Barrel”…. I believe it’s on next Monday the 31st again, so check local listings but it is a fantastic look at renewable energy and some of the issues and adventures associated with the technology. Set the DVR, you won't be sorry…

Off to the links!

-- Classic story about the head of “LifeLock” the company that is supposed to protect your identity… he’s had identity stolen a bunch of times… oooops…

-- Man uses case of beer as a weapon….surprised this doesn’t happen more….

-- Faking your way through and around Harvard… guess you have to be smart to outsmart those folks right?

Video of the Week:

Very cool and mesmerizing video from our own industry this week…. Viewed from outside the windows of TGP, some amazing high wire acts. This sort of work must get serious hazard pay! Anyway a big thank you to Russ Smith if TGP for taking the video and sharing it…. Awesome stuff…

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cool look at the future

Growing up I always thought by the time 2010 rolled around we’d all be in flying cars and living like “The Jetsons” with space age stuff all around. Now that never happened but this week, 3 major architecture firms were asked what they see New York City looking like in 2030 and the answers/drawings were pretty cool. We don’t get flying cars but we do at least in one scenario get a ton of glass… so that’s good. Check it out for yourself HERE. It will be interesting to look back to see how close this comes to happening!


-- Am I the only one who is not kinda blown away by the whole “living skin” of buildings. Basically it’s a trend the have plant life and vegetation grow up the entire side of the building. I just can’t get my arms around that concept. Saw it in Pittsburgh and now have seen some articles on it and it just strikes me as something that can’t be good for the building but evidently it is.

-- Saw the news on Solutia doing an awards program to honor folks (Architects, designers, fabricators etc) for their creative uses of colored laminated materials in exterior and interior spaces. This is a tremendous idea and a great way to promote not only their product but the usage of value added glass and glazing material too. So end of the day, it raises awareness and for our industry that is a very good thing. Kudos to the folks at Solutia who hatched this awesome plan… I wonder if my gold interlayer desktop can be eligible….

-- Last week we had another industry guy hang em up. Les George retired after many, many years toiling in our industry at places like Floral and Arch. Les was very helpful to me when I started at the company and was always very welcoming and positive with me- So I will always appreciate that. Les also was important in the raising of thousands of dollars for Cystic Fibrosis research. Every year a major CF walkathon was held with Les and his grandchildren (two have CF) as the inspiration to raise money. That incredible act and the money raised will surely be a part of his legacy.

-- Yes with proof of a Friday night post where my daughter somehow picked the 2nd leg of the Triple Crown by picking Looking at Lucky to win. So now she’s going for 3 for 3 in Belmont. She already wants to go to Vegas but she was bummed when I told her that they don’t offer the game “Gin” as one of the things you can bet on out there. (She plays it a lot with her Grandma and thinks she’s a pro!)

-- And yes my daughter is proving that she has the picking genes in the family….

-- Speaking of picking… I am done with hockey and hoops since all my picks are gone. Now it’s time to root and I am hoping that Montreal can pull off going to the Cup. Very happy for my friends at Walker and Glassopolis who are big Habs fans. While it hurt like heck to see my Pens lose, at least it was to people I like.

Tweet of the Week:

/Solarfeeds or click HERE to go to it. Solar Feeds is an aggregator of solar and energy news. Basically if you want to know what’s going on in the solar world- this is the place to find it… Some interesting stuff every day.

Off to the Links!

I had a few people ask me last week if they have a cool link, would I run it? And my answer is surely…. So if you run into a story that you find interesting, feel free to shoot it to me.

-- As someone that has a very cool Standard Poodle and loves dogs in general, I am aghast at this Poodle… he was entered in a creative grooming contest… while its creative… man it’s wrong… poor guy.

-- Thanks to Frank for this one..... Heinz is changing the formula/recipe of their ketchup! Wonder if it will still come out painfully slow?

-- Classic signs from China... And basically what happens when you try and mix the English language up… hilarious stuff.

Video of the Week:

This video left me pretty speechless actually… it’s a tiny little cannon…. And this video shows how its loaded and then what it can shoot. It’s wild. But then it makes you think, wow, what happens if this falls into the wrong hands? Crazy, crazy stuff…

Friday, May 14, 2010

Preakness Pick

Sorry this is late... but my daughter has chimed in with her pick in the Preakness.... using the theory that the "favorite" never wins... she is leaving Super Saver behind and going with "Looking at Lucky" to win...

And if she wins again we know she is verrrrry lucky.... and also quite possibly NOT my daughter because I can't pick a thing....

Monday, May 10, 2010

Step up and be heard

The most frustrating thing about being in business right now is all of the issues hanging out on the periphery. It’s hard enough to compete in a tough economy on the traditional parts of business but now we as an industry also have to deal with things like the EPA and the lead paint doctrines. The residential installers have been on this for a while, and now word via David Walker VP of the NGA, shows that these rules are headed for the commercial world. If it’s anywhere near as crazy as what the residential guys are dealing with, it will not be good for us as an industry. Get ready to break out the HazMat style suit to deglaze storefronts and curtainwalls and so on. Believe me it won’t be good. So now while you are out selling, running your business and fight fires all over the place, you may as well add this one to the list. It really is crucial for your voice to be heard, and now is the time to let it fly. So pick your flavor- whether it’s the folks at NGA or GANA or both, you need to get on top of this issue and be heard… or else you will be stuck with misery. And trust me you can ask many fine people in the State of Utah that are dealing with NFRC nightmares that wish they woulda got involved in that issue before it was too late.

Oh and while you are at it- check out this white paper on the new “Building Star” act. Again get up to speed and be involved!


-- If you need more info you can go to the NGA by clicking HERE. Also GANA just announced an advocacy website that can be found HERE.

-- A few days in the wilderness really did wonders. Shutting the phone and e mail off for 4 days may be killing me today but the clearing of the mind was spectacular. As for the trip, I learned that my son and I are GPS guys as we got lost in the forest using our compass… in any case I am thrilled I did not get eaten by anything.

-- Each day I see the use of Twitter growing. So as a new feature here on From the Fabricator, I am going to do a “TWEET of the WEEK” where I give props to a feed that you should be following. (For those of you unaware, Twitter is a “Short Attention Span” theater. Short blurbs, 140 characters that usually lead you to more information… it’s very helpful info from an information standpoint and not a major time user.) So this week’s TWEET of the WEEK is: @glassandglazing that is run by Greg Carney. (Click Here to see it) Greg does a nice job of making sure you are aware of what maybe happening from a tech or code side out in the world. Well worth the follow! As for going forward please feel free to send me your submissions for Tweet of the week and we’ll get em on here.

-- Upon popular demand later this week I’ll have my daughter’s Preakness Stakes pick. We’ll see if she can go 2 for 2….

-- For those of you that travel the merger between United and Continental is pretty depressing. Means more packed flights and less inventory. Yeesh… then again I do have to say that it is an industry that needed consolidation since no one was making money…. So a thinning of the herd… hmmmmmm… wonder what other industry could use that….

-- Shorter post this week because of all of the links above and their importance....

Links of the Week!

-- As someone who travels a ton, this piece was awesome! A flight attendant shows how she packs for 10 DAYS in her overnight bag. Brilliant step by step look.

-- Solar panels are the newest “hot” material to steal. See here for what people are doing to stop the crooks!

-- Crazy story... a woman wins the lottery 2 years after her brother won! Seriously? I mean that family is waaaay too lucky. Now I could say that my brother and sister both won the lottery when they got me as a brother… (a mistake for sure 10 years late- though because of me my parents did get air conditioning for the house, so there was that benefit!) but somehow I think they’d take the cash instead!

Video of the Week:

Last week the Round Rock Express minor league baseball team added a new pitcher… and the guy was a riot… check out the video and you’ll see “who” this guy is but can you imagine if you could ever have some fun like this guy does while playing? Funny stuff.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Taking a temporary pass

Obviously the biggest story of the week last week was the departure of Leon Silverstein from Arch Aluminum. And because of my very close proximity to the situation, my e mail box blew up with notes/questions/comments etc. Along the way many people wanted to know how I was going to handle it on here. And quite frankly that whole question has stumped me. I have a ton of thoughts and those who know me, know I am not a political guy, and I usually let it hang out. But on this one, I’m going to sit back for a while on it before I make my thoughts public. I have been burned in the past with comments or commitments too fast, and that among some other reasons is why my take will wait. It will eventually come, no doubt I will not let this pass for good… but for now we’ll let it simmer.


-- You know it is human nature these days that more people care about the inside story of a guy departing his business than what havoc the NFRC will do to your business. Kinda like the fact more people will read a story about Tiger Woods and his 121 mistresses than a story about Cap and Trade.

-- Last week I was lucky enough to happen by a major ribbon cutting ceremony for one of the newest Trainor Glass locations- this one in Ogden, Utah. Very nice event and it was a true ribbon cutting as the city supporters showed up with the biggest real scissors I have ever seen.
Congrats to the gang at Trainor on the opening and best of luck ahead.

-- Well my short run as someone who can pick games ended quick… let’s see I had the Capitals winning the cup… that’s done and I had the Nuggets winning the West in the NBA… kaput too. Yep back to being the “mush”… however thankfully it looks like my daughter did not inherit my crappy pick gene, as on Saturday she picked correctly the Kentucky Derby…. I think we may have to send her to the Preakness now to see if she can go 2 for 2.

-- Oh and speaking of the Capitals… only a hockey player would do this… on his way home from the game 7 loss, Capital Brooks Laich saw a car pulled over with a flat tire and a mom and daughter standing by it. He pulled over and when they told him that AAA was at least 40 minutes out, he changed their tire. Oh and this was on a very busy bridge too… so this guy, right after a heartbreak loss plays the hero… no way do I ever see a baseball or football player doing that. Class act no doubt.

-- The interesting angle to this who EPA lead paint gig is how many people have gotten into it, gone through some sort of training and/or invested in the equipment and material to handle it. Normally our industry moves slow, but obviously this move got to the right people and even though they did not like or agree with it (how anyone logically could is beyond me) they still are rolling with it… though each to a company hopes that saner heads prevail.

-- Last week I had the story on experts seeing improvements in the economy, then we had a tick upward in the ABI. Could all of these good signs mean anything?

-- AIA is coming… curious to see what the turnout and buzz will be… plus a tough time and location… June in Miami…

-- Last... I am taking a vacation at the end of the week… taking my son to 4th grade camp in upper northeast Michigan… yep 3 days with me and a bunch of 9 year olds in the wilderness. No phone, and obviously no lap top. These 3 days for me will be like 39 days for normal people on Survivor. So if there’s no blog next Monday night it’s because I was eaten by a bear or severely dehydrated… or both. Seriously this is either a recipe for disaster or a great future Saturday Night Live sketch.

Off to the Links!

-- Speaking of camping, I was never a boy scout (crazy I know) but now that you can get merit badges for video games, maybe I should go back. Yes , merit badges for video games… yikes.

-- Wooooooo…. The professional wrestler “Nature Boy” Ric Flair is now a part of a game from the North Carolina lottery… probably worth it to go to NC just to play it now…

-- A very cool townhouse “in the sky” that is pretty incredible…. And selling for the steal of 28 million… someday after I win the Ric Flair lottery maybe…

Video of the Week:

From friend and co-worker Dean Mead…. This I believe is him in the mascot suit (it’s what he does on the weekends…) check out this incredible basketball stunt… starting from a 16 foot ladder… awesome…. Deano is a playa...