Monday, July 26, 2010

Another needed boost

Very interesting that another price increase has hit the streets. Obviously, just like the last one, it’s pretty imperative for it to stick. It’s probably too soon to tell if the last one held, but this one-two punch of price bumps is crucial to the overall long term health of the industry. And yes I know that no one ever wants to pay more, especially when things are so tight, but hopefully this correction is yet another step in the right direction.


-- I saw the blurb last week on the new South Carolina glass manufacturer named “Super Duper Glass”… now I would love to know who they are… gotta admit, the funky name sticks… though there’s probably no truth to the rumor that “Super Duper Glass” beat out “Neato Cool Glass” or “Totally Awesome Glass”…

-- Another good guy out of work… Bill Rooks was let go on Friday by Arch Aluminum. Bill has been in the industry a long time, with most of it at Ford/Visteon/Zeledyne. Tremendous person who I know will land squarely on his feet and make some company very very happy.

-- Strong new issue of Glass Magazine is out… the digital version can be found HERE. Stuff to look at? The breakdown of the new codes that are popping up out there and a few great ads… two of them being yet another super star piece by Glassopolis… and Kawneer continues its recent run of good eye catchers with a piece on their new Clearwall™ Curtainwall System. (Gotta put the ™ or else I’ll get a nasty e mail from my pal Henry Taylor..) In any case, good reading ahead!

-- Looks like Cap and Trade is dead for now… which is good… and it looks like there’s now more focus on a more comprehensive energy bill… which if done right… with thought, discussion and care, that could be tremendous for the glass industry. Hopefully the hurry to get this bill done ahead of the November elections won’t bring bad things in the way of illogical additions or legislations. (or miss crucial needed items) I am confident that the folks representing us as an industry will be all over that though…

-- Last week I noted the LinkedIn stuff and made a comment about “mini blogs” and that prompted a good friend of mine to send me a note that said “Mini-blogs equal Tweets don’t they”…. And to that my answer is “yes”…. Obviously I swung and missed on that comparison!

-- The weather in DC in 2010 has got to be something to behold… terrible winter, now followed by a vicious summer. No doubt this gives the Global Warming or “Climate Change” folks some ammo in their messages.

Links of the Week:

-- You may have seen this story, but if not, worth the click… an Air France Flight Attendant arrested under the suspicion of stealing thousands of dollars from passengers!

-- ESPN did this piece of the safety of food at the ballpark… a must read before you go and buy… (look out for the mold in the ice machine… ewwwwww)

Book of the Week:

War at the Wall Street Journal by Sarah Ellison. Fantastic insider piece on when the Journal and its parent company Dow Jones was bought by Rupert Murdoch. I love those insider style books and this one had fantastic access. A very easy and engrossing read.

Video of the Week:

Couple quietly videotaping a Bison… yes a real live gigantic Bison… and when they go for a closer look… well…. Mr Bison wanted his privacy… and I get that as I hate when tourists try and videotape me while I am walking around my backyard...

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Good and Bad

Does anyone really know what is happening with the economic state of the commercial construction? I think for most people out and about, they will tell you the state is miserable to weak, but seemingly once every few weeks a report comes out that sings the praises of health and growth. (And yes I know there are various reports that say things suck too- but the “good” reports are what are baffling) So what is it? Personally I think it’s both… yes both… I believe that the economy on our side is very weak, but I also do see signs of life, but those signs are minimized by the overcapacity in our world. And overcapacity has led to pricing erosion that has never been seen before. So any bright spots are getting minimized, at least until the herd gets thinned out there and quite frankly you wonder if that will happen. So until then everyone keeps plugging along and all of those positive reports get to be taken with a gigantic grain of salt.


-- What a wild and wacky week that just passed. Again I am thankful and blown away by the support out there and there’s no doubt I look forward to hopefully staying as active as possible in our industry.

-- Also as I noted last week, Rick Silverstein was also let go, and on Tuesday, my brother Steve too was released. Since I am easier to reach being out there on forums like this, people have been able to find me, but for them it’s been tougher. And especially giving up phone numbers after so many years, that makes you almost invisible. Anyway, to contact Rick, hit him up at and for Steve

-- In the last few weeks I covered both the good news from Guardian and PPG as it results to Solar. Well I missed one other big one on that note which was Pilkington’s deal with Dyesol. That too has absolutely monstrous potential going forward. So proof again that when you have people of the level I have mentioned here and in the past in the solar game, that segment is not going to just go away. Plus when I wrote my first missive, I did get called on the carpet by Solar guru George Petzen, who set me straight on my comments there too.

-- LinkedIn has become a fun aside for me. Some interesting debates and links that I would’ve missed otherwise. Also daily I get to see who I consider right now the Kings of LinkedIn, the guys from Gorell Industries (Brian Zimmerman and Tyson Schwartz) as they are amazing in the way they positively spread the word about their operation and the industry at large. It’s like mini daily blogs from those guys and good stuff. Obviously it all depends on who you are “connected” to, so I guess I am lucky I am in their loop.

-- Lost in last week’s craziness was the fact I wanted to say I am sorry to everyone in Cleveland for the whole LeBron James debacle. My gosh, what a way to get your heart ripped out as a sports fan. The Cavs this year will be the first and only Cleveland sports team I could ever root for, as I hope they somehow find a miracle and do better than the Heat.

-- Football training camps start next week…. Which means Fantasy Football drafts are not far behind…

-- Last, two great industry events are right around the corner and coming up fast… GANA Fall Conference is just about a month away August 23rd in KC. Then the following month is GlassBuild America (along with the Glass Executive Forum) in Las Vegas. Have you made plans yet? During times like this, the better the networking, the better educated, and the better informed you are does set you apart from the masses.

Off to the LINKS

Man I have not done links in weeks… so I am probably rusty….

-- Time Magazine just did a list of the Top 20 reasons to “hate the airlines” and it was pretty good… though I could think of a few more.

-- Pepsi and Coke fighting again, but this time over Pepsi Max and Coke Zero. Umm what are those brands? Gimme a Diet Dr. Pepper anytime over either one…

-- Wild story on a town that instead of replacing the asphalt roads, is letting them return to gravel… geez I guess the stimulus isn’t helping them…

Video of the Week

In case you missed the ESPY’s last week (which were actually good in my opinion… Seth Meyers was tremendous as host) they did a pretty decent take off on the LeBron James “Decision” show. The skit could’ve been better, but still was solid and here it is in case you missed…

Monday, July 12, 2010

And a new door opens

So as of this past Friday I am no longer in the employment of Arch Aluminum. And as a buddy reminded me today it’s been like the line from the Grateful Dead… “what a long strange trip it’s been”. There is no doubt the past 7+ years had goods, bads, uglies and really uglies and I wish some things turned out different/better but it didn’t happen that way. Anyway it really is what it is and I am looking forward to my next stop in life. So now I am free to pursue the one job I really want… CEO of the NFRC. Yep no matter what I’ll still have a sense of humor. And by the way to my friends reading this, my phone number is now different, so best way to reach me is via email ( or via LinkedIn and as I get reorganized I’ll get my number out.

Last word or words on this (for now), a sincere thank you to the many people in the industry I got to get to know during my time at Arch. The last 7 years allowed me the chance to be heavily involved in the industry and be in tune with some of the best and brightest out there. I fully intend to stay involved but then again you never know where life takes you next. But I can say that I feel like the advancements that our industry made in steeling together was born from some (not all obviously) of the push I began in getting people focused/interested on things like NFRC. So that is a good thing to leave behind.

In the few days since this news broke, I’ve received such an awesome outpouring of support along with some great insight. One of my favorites was this:

Suck on the lemons, or make lemonade: what’s it going to be? Only sucking the lemons is like sucking on poison: it’ll only make you sick. Get on with it, the future’s the only great adventure…

Off to the great adventure I go!


I was not the only departure from Arch, as this morning Rick Silverstein also was let go. Ricky is a good guy who in the last few months did a tremendous job up against unbelievable circumstances. Basically times are a changing and I don’t think this is a major surprise that eventually an overhaul was coming. It now will be interesting to see how things progress, what changes and who rises and falls. Funny looking at it from an industry standpoint you now have two groups Arch and AGC that have basically new upper management structures in place, starting at virtually the same time, so this will be one to track for sure.
Obviously I am going to end this week’s post here. We’ll morph back to normal, or whatever “normal” is in my world next time out.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Solar is here to stay

Last week I had an item about Solar and the fact that Guardian and PPG had success with their various approaches. Then this weekend, the President announced 2 billion of funding for a couple of solar operations. While it still is a far way off, I really believe Solar will be a big part of the advancement of our industry. And while I agree with a lot of the arguments of the costs vs efficiency crowd, I just believe the need for this country to really get serious about renewable energy is going to win out. The delay of the overall success will obviously be tied to the ability for the economy to start rebounding and sadly that looks like it won’t happen until sometime next year. But still its coming and news like the stuff from last week along with the GANA symposium and the continuation of a solar dialogue at GlassBuild America and the Glass Executive Forum will only help keep the progression moving.


-- Hey the NFRC announced that the board is waiving fees to suppliers to get their components in the CMAST library. AMAZING! First off, there should never have been fees; it was yet another blatant money grab by those guys and pretty much now that 6 months into the program they need to do this says to me that they are having issues getting people to play along. Hmmmm…. maybe if they didn’t treat product manufacturers like pure pond scum maybe this thing would be further along. Ya think? As I said before if the NFRC would’ve chosen to work with (and listen to) the manufacturers instead of capitulating to folks like testing labs and consultants (who stand to make serious coin) a better program may have been created. Maybe one that would even be used voluntarily and not jammed down the throat.

-- Congrats to the great folks at Solutia for the grant they just picked up from the DOE. The grant came from the stimulus which was nice to see since this is one group (Solutia) that I know won’t fritter it away. (Especially since Stimulus spending is the only bright spot noted in these drab economic reports) Oh I need to note this is for the film side of Solutia where I actually know nobody… but I figure that if these guys are half as good as the PVB guys, they’re deserving of it.

-- If you missed the details from the recent ASHRAE 90.1 committee, please CLICK HERE. It is absolutely something to get caught up to speed on. There’s good, bad and ugly in there but it is still something to follow and stay aware of…

-- By the way I did pick Germany in the World Cup (I seriously did and am in a poll with some industry folks, so they are witnesses) so that said you know they won’t be winning this week….

-- Did anyone see the hot dog eating contest on the 4th? 54 hot dogs with buns eaten by the champ in 10 minutes. I love food and I love sports, but even this I can’t watch.

-- Finally this week, hope everyone had a great and safe 4th of July. I am continually amazed that every year there’s tons of accidental firework accidents. This years doozy was a guy who set off a rocket that was supposed to be weighed down… after he lit it, because it wasn’t heavy enough, it flew sideways into his house and went kaboom…. No one was hurt but the house is damaged pretty good…. Unreal.

Links of the WEEK

-- Interesting story here on laws in other countries restricting names you can use for your baby…

-- From the travel files… An idea whose time has come… the UPS store is selling luggage boxes… and quite frankly it’s something that I have done on occasion… instead of checking my bags, I ship my stuff via UPS/USPS/Fed Ex ahead of time. Beats the mess of the airports and heck its almost the same price with the bag fees.

-- Long but interesting piece on the National Security folks in Washington and how they work to protect the country. Good behind the scenes reporting here.

Video of the WEEK

Once upon a time in a past life I was a sportscaster and one of the cardinal rules of being a sportscaster is “no cheering in the press box”… you have to be professional… well for the two announcers for Spain this week at the World Cup that rule went out the window…