Sunday, December 18, 2011

And that's a wrap!

Well the year is almost done and what a year it has been. 2011 had more twists and turns than the Pacific Coast Highway. I for one will be extremely happy when it is over, put this whole adventure in the rear view mirror and focus on the positive that are coming in 2012 and beyond. I am confident that we are headed towards good things as an industry. Also this is a time to say thanks to my loyal blog readers for sticking with me and following the adventures here week after week. I appreciate that more than words can show. It continues to be great therapy for me to write these… Hope everyone reading this, and yes even my competition that lives to see what I write each week (so they can go cover the stories I find prominent) I hope you have a great set of holidays and a happy and healthy 2012!

-- Wow I have gotten kindler and gentler… shame that the woefully boring blog that used to take people (ex employees and friends mostly) out for lunches and write about em doesn’t do that anymore… I coulda been asked! Ha ha ha.

-- Yep… I guess I still have a tiny bit of an edge.

-- Over the next two weeks I may post a few things here, but I think I am going to take a little bit of a break. Not a Bill Stone break mind you (one blog every 6 months- C’mon Bill, don’t let the mainstream trade media hold you down!) but a couple of weeks to just catch my breath…

-- See this post is turning into a response for all the people who liked how I used to blog back in the day…. But this is one time only… I am mellow and have changed, though I will always enjoy any chance to tweak competition. Especially when they show they can’t handle it.

-- Ok enough…. What’s happening here reminds me of a great quote….

“A drunk mans words are a sober mans thoughts”

I’m not drunk, but if I keep going on here with no mental (or physical) editor… my oh my this would be pretty bad.

Before I go semi dark for the rest of 2011, some quick last minute thoughts:

-- There are still some super talented people in our industry looking for work. Sales and operations… smart companies will advance with the additions available. And my best hopes and wishes out to those looking.

-- I do like LSU in the BCS. So between the McCallister’s at Coral and Danik up at Walker (all big Bama fans) celebrations are now taking place.

-- My kid wanted a Tebow jersey but they are all sold out- everywhere and even on line. Crazy how popular. If Tebow makes the Superbowl it will be the biggest show ever.

-- Congrats to Apogee on their solid 3rd quarter. See I am telling you better times are ahead!

-- Same with kudos to Quanex on their good news. Lots of very good people that are apart of the Quanex team and deserve some positive vibes. Happy for them!

-- Last, on what the big deal of 2012 will be? I have no clue but I think I can confidently say I WON’T be in the middle of it!

Ok so put it in the books…. Happy and Healthy to all!!!

LINKS of the WEEK

-- Howard Stern joining the judging panel of America’s Got Talent… I’ll have to defer to my brother who is the king of these talent shows on if this is a good move or not. Should be interesting though.

-- Why this is NOT getting more coverage is beyond me. Censorship on the web is in the offing and here are the details. Scary.

-- Girl threatens Santa if her wish list doesn’t get answered. This has to be fake right? If not… wow.

VIDEO of the WEEK

The video to end the year… a runaway cart bowling people over at a football game. You just have to watch it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Code Insight

The latest issue of Glass Magazine featured a tremendous column by Julie Ruth on the code process. Simply said, everyone should take a few minutes and read it. Thanks to efforts from people like Julie, our industry still has a voice, but she points out both how that voice could’ve been silenced and how sometimes our voice isn’t as strong as it needs to be. No matter how you feel about the codes or their facilitators (and those who know me, know I have passionate feelings here) they are a major player in our world, and will only grow more so. The moral here is no matter what vehicle you want to take through the code process (yourself, trade organization, suppliers, collaborative etc.) it’s important that you do.

Elsewhere…

-- Another year and another round of the Solutia World of Color Awards. As I noted when this was created, I loved the idea and overall concept. The jury was just announced and the team at Solutia did a great job identifying some super people. Programs like this and when YKK did a YouTube video contest are great and positive interest builders for our industry. Props to Aimee Davis and team and good luck with contest!

-- And speaking of kudos, also sending them north of the border to Danik Dancause and Matthew Christie on their new promotions at Walker Glass. I have known Danik for a while and aside from being the best-dressed guy in our industry he is an absolute talent. As for Matt, a very sharp guy that I met for the first time at GlassBuild. I can tell you that after we met he basically figured out that I am nuts- so that alone proves he has brains! Good luck gentlemen.

-- Who are you taking in the LSU-Alabama game? I just wish there was a playoff in college football. Can you imagine THOSE bracket contests? Wow.

-- For you folks who love architecture, how about this great blog post on 15 architects who changed our world. Really good stuff- even if you just look at only the pictures.

-- Last this week, back to the world of sports… those of you who may fans of Indiana University Basketball congrats on the return of your team to national prominence. IU upset #1 Kentucky on Saturday with a buzzer beater and looks to be headed in the right direction.

LINKS of the WEEK:

-- Evidently this was a big a few weeks back- a clerk at McDonald’s taking on some customers. Very wild video and story…

-- Something tells me that this story will be one that continues to grow… the argument of blogger vs. journalist. In some areas there’s not doubt between the two, then in others one of the two disciplines is so weak, that the other would cringe.

Interesting piece on colleges being proactive to protect themselves in an ever-changing web world…

VIDEO of the WEEK:

Ok this video has been making the rounds on the internet… was this anchorperson under the influence or was their something else at play? Take a look…

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Better buildings and better for us!

This past February when the President announced his Better Buildings Initiative, it did send a positive jolt through the industry. Now fast forwarding to the present, last Friday brought news of the next step- a Presidential Memorandum announcing the Better Building Challenge. This latest effort features a ton of very powerful companies and a lot of cash from them to add to the government’s commitment that really should push things in the right direction. The focus now has $2 billion to use on upgrading federal buildings, as well as another $2 billion of private money (from those powerful companies I hinted to above) for energy efficiency projects of existing buildings. The improvement of existing buildings is a biggie as it plays into the hot segment of retrofit and it fills the huge hole that we have as a society in that our older buildings suck a ton of energy thanks to outdated and underperforming products. Hopefully this initiative does not get bogged down or stuck in a game of political football. Too much good can come from it.

Elsewhere…

-- I got painfully lost last week and did not have my GPS. All I can say is the GPS is the greatest invention ever. Will never get into a car without it. Plus that means I’ll never get to do the TV show “The Amazing Race” because I have zero sense of direction.

-- The sale of Southwall to Solutia was formally completed this week. It will be fun to watch how this plays out. There’s potential for some great synergies to happen and combining of some very good people. Not sure of how it will work but teaming the likes of the awesome pair of Aimee Davis and Julie Schimmelpenningh of Solutia with top performers like Bruce Lang and Tom Marsh at Southwall and you have insane possibilities.

-- This past Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that contained an amendment to buy American made solar products. The Buy American Solar Amendment will ensure that "Buy American" requirements apply to all photovoltaic (PV) devices that supply power Department of Defense property or facilities. This will be big because the Department of Defense will be required to comply with this act and closes a previous loophole that amazingly allowed these properties to buy products from foreign entities. This could be a nice boon for the U.S. Solar segment and for the folks in the glass industry who are working in it.

-- Just a heads up on some fantastic technical resources available… Glass Magazine has some very helpful pieces available… click here for more details. All I can say is it never hurts to have the knowledge. The smarter you can be in this competitive landscape the better.

-- Thank you to all who checked in on my brother on his hospital adventures. He was just released and is now taking the road back to recovery. Slowly but surely he’ll be back at it and hopefully no more issues come up!

-- Normally this would be in the links section, but this piece was too good. A very interesting read on the great depression, the “banksters” and the guy who brought them to justice. Very ironic as some parts of history really do repeat!

-- Last this week- college football is winding down… and lost amongst the wild weekend of games was my alma mater Ohio U choking at their chance to win the MAC Championship. Brutal. Ohio had a 20-point lead at half, only to lose 23-20 at the gun. Fellow Bobcat and AGC Sales icon Rodger Ruff had to witness the carnage in person. Hopefully he’s recovering, because that was painful.

LINKS of the WEEK:

-- OK- this is a great discussion point… guy comes in to rob your store- you have a gun… do you shoot him dead or do you first give him a warning shot? Read the article here and decide…

-- I guess one place a GPS doesn’t help is when you get lost in the woods searching for a Christmas tree. This family got lost and quite frankly got very lucky to get out.

-- OK now this will depress me… your printer, yes your printer can be susceptible to a virus or hackers. Wonderful.

VIDEO of the WEEK:

Fast-forward to the one minute mark here- for a stunt that went very wrong at an event in Brazil. Good news is, the stuntman did survive and were actually BACK at work the next day!! Heck if I just rode the bike, I’d be in too much pain to work, let alone what happened here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Recaps, Get Well Wishes, and Widgets- UPDATE

UPDATE: Just heard the very sad news of the passing of Tommy Huskey CEO of Gardner Glass. Tommy was a tremendous man and will be truly missed by many. This is a very sad day for our industry. Condolences go to Tommy's family and his family at Gardner during this very difficult time.

This will be a shorter than normal post since we are coming off an abbreviated week (for at least the American readership). Hope everyone who celebrated had a great holiday! For my readers that only pick this blog up via e-glass weekly, please click HERE to catch up on last week’s post. Full of good stuff including a fabricator on the move making a great hire, a new twitter feed to follow, and most recent Architectural Billings Index.

As for this week…

-- It was not a great holiday for my brother Steve, as he spent the entire holiday in the hospital after complications from a recent surgery. He is still in the hospital and looks to be there for a while longer as he recovers. To make matters worse, no cable TV in his hospital room. For me that would be worse than being laid up in the first place! Anyway, sending positive thoughts to him to get well soon and getting back to doing all the good that he does.

-- PPG released their new Glass Configurator Widget. It’s a very cool little program that can run on any style of computer or smart phone. While geared for architects it does have value for the rest of us who just like to know what is available out there. Nice work.

-- Not glass related but interesting none the less. The hottest trend in school building is the removal of lockers from the design. Schools are deciding that lockers are more harm than good and designers are being told to leave them out. Pretty wild change… Can you imagine going to school without having a locker?

-- Last this week. The Fiscal Times listed the “Top 10 Places to Find a Job” and quite frankly this list was very surprising. Here goes:

1. Ft. Wayne, IN
2. Worcester, MA
3. San Jose, CA
4. Tulsa, OK
5. Houston, TX
6. Tucson, AZ
7. Dallas, TX
8. Akron, OH
9. Phoenix, AZ
10. Boise, ID

To me the surprises were Akron, San Jose and the two Arizona locations. Was not surprised by Texas, Oklahoma or Idaho.

LINKS of the WEEK:

-- Pretty interesting piece on commenters to blogs and websites and whether or not they are worth it. Personally, I think if someone takes the time, it’s worth it. Then again you have folks that create commenters to make their sites look well read/popular… comical.

-- ESPN had a fantastic documentary on Chris Herren a former pro basketball player who was a drug addict. He’s now recovered/recovering and a thanks to that amazing doc, he is a speaker in demand.

VIDEO of the WEEK:

Hard to do a video of the week with my main video hook up (my brother) laid up in the hospital, but he did send me a few before he went down. This is a hockey celebration that started off wrong. Go to the 33 second mark and you’ll see what happens up close.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The best holiday and glass under attack

A very interesting series appeared on CBC last week on the condos in Toronto and some of the issues these structures are having. The blame was placed squarely on the glass and design. As I have written here before Toronto is going crazy with building and the liberal use of glass is exciting. However its pretty obvious from this piece, not everyone loves our products like we do. But I also think the article was very one sided and was disappointing that no other viewpoints (“pro” glass) were included. Plus they wiped our world with a very large brush, placing blame on so many components that it’s virtually impossible for one entity to defend. Not to mention, the buildings in Toronto are different than the condos in New York as they have more material from all over the world, just not North America, so some of the failures most likely are from a poor quality, non certified plant somewhere far far away. Believe me I can go on and on, but we’ll save you the banter. Bottom line is we as an industry never can put our guard down because around every corner lurks a critic.

Elsewhere

-- The Architectural Billings Index popped back up in October. That said I am really looking forward to seeing this coming summer how the predictions truly translated out. That will at least give us a feel for the accuracy of this entire study.

-- Congrats to good friend Mike Dishmon on his new gig at Virginia Glass. Mike is a fantastic guy and will make a great addition to a Virginia Glass team that is making some serious positive noise out there.

-- Went for early holiday shopping and I have to congratulate any parent who has to shop at stores like Hollister. I know the kids love the clothes, but the store is so dark and loud that trying to buy stuff is a challenge. Obviously though its working. Just amazed that it does. And these last few sentences mean I am really old…

-- This is an amazing story that includes breaking of tempered glass. A disgruntled customer rams her wheelchair into an entrance door breaking the glass and door. Worth the watch.

-- Pretty cool that the folks at Viracon jumped into the Twitter fray. You can find them at @ViraconGlass. They really “get it” and are already a must follow.

-- Good luck to Charles “Mickey” Michie of Southern Stretch Forming as he runs in the annual Dallas Turkey Trot with 30,000 of his closest friends. Sounds like fun though for me on that holiday the only running I want to do is to the dinner table!

-- Last this week… as most know I love Thanksgiving, and despite the tumult that I have run into the past two years around this holiday, it is still my favorite. There’s a lot to be thankful for and this is the time you start to reflect on that. As an industry we should be thankful for the technological advancements from the primaries and other manufacturers. That will only make our lives and businesses better. We should be thankful that is was probably a busier year on the commercial side then it looked to be back in February. Hopefully momentum will stay positive and we can keep riding the storms out. Finally, we should be thankful for the people that make up our industry. We have the whole mix, from intelligent to quirky, intense to mellow and everything in between. And yes, so many of us can’t get out of our own way some days, but we are what we are. Anyway, those traits are what make us special, different, and the best industry around. HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!!

LINKS of the WEEK

-- Interesting read on a South Pacific country that is in absolute peril thanks to climate change. 50 years left...

-- Get ready those low special tax exemptions are about to go away. I am not sure I feel too much sympathy though for a few people in this story.

-- The modern day "play with fire, your gonna get burned" story. Man tries to steal electric and gets zapped.

VIDEO of the WEEK

At the time of posting, Youtube was down. So we'll skip it for now... yes I know you are crushed!! Sorry.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Big Code News

The big news of the week was from the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) meetings in Arizona. When the event was complete, the United States finally had for the first time a national green building code. Now obviously creating the code and getting acceptance and execution are another adventure but the groundwork has been formally laid. Overall like in any process there were positives and negatives with the final piece (the excellent Dr. Tom Culp taught me that) but I think overall the good will outweigh the bad. If anything it does continue to force us as an industry to keep evolving and moving the ball forward. And without question this is not the end of the process anyway, as the debates for the next cycle have already begun. End of the day I have always been pretty critical and focused on the code process over the years and will continue to stay on it.

Elsewhere….

-- Speaking of being critical. One of my major targets over the years has been the Department of Energy. Since the Solyndra adventure, DOE has been in a ton of people’s crosshairs and now the Inspector General is investigating them for more than 100 stimulus related issues. Here’s the link.

-- Last week on e-Weekly Bill Evans once again hit one out of the ballpark. Seriously love every time that guy writes. Classy and inspirational.

-- A major thank you to everyone who enjoyed the Twitter post from last week and jumped into following some of those awesome people. And thanks to the folks who decided to follow me, I am grateful.

-- Also from last week, I traded e-mails with Henry Gorry of Guardian. Henry is winding down his incredible career and I for one will miss him greatly. Henry is a tremendously eloquent speaker, one that mixes fact with a calm passion, while keeping discussions absolutely on track. (A stickler for protocol, there was no moving beyond a task without completion when Henry was in the mix!) He made every committee and organization that he was involved in better because of his presence, style and overall professionalism.

-- A happy belated birthday to this blog’s most important reader. My Mom. Without her, this blog doesn’t exist… and imagine what a loss to the world that would be? Ha ha. Anyway, Happy Birthday Mom from your 5th favorite kid out of 4.

-- This following blurb will be on the From The Fabricator site only and not on Glass Magazine as Glass Magazine continues to be the leader in class and professionalism and I appreciate that fact a ton. No need to bring them down to the level of their competition with the sniping back and forth. Last week a competing blog basically dedicated an entire post to me. I must say I am honored. I sincerely love that everything I write here elicits a reaction over there. (Heck if I didn’t post Sunday, they wouldn’t have anything to write about Monday!) Funny since I could dedicate an entire post every week to the comical things written across the street, but why waste the keystrokes? As for the competing post, it’s funny that I am accused of so many things yet; whatever I say sets the agenda and discussion for them to follow. Last week I noted here that the competing magazines and blogs refuse to run legitimate stories based on personal feelings and its true. And they HATE that. That’s why they react like they do. Where there’s smoke… Hey at the end of the day I have been doing this since 2005 and comically the people taking baseless and weak shots at me, loved it when I was doing it for them- even encouraged it- yet all of a sudden it’s a morality play! Very rich considering the way they are being journalistically irresponsible. So they try the whole “Character Assassination” route. I say, bring it on. My character has been shot at so many times in my career that my bio looks likes a piece of swiss cheese. I am not stupid, I know there’s some people who hate me, hate what I do, hate who I am, hate who I work for, hate who my friends are and so on. But I am what I am, I chose this path voluntarily and I will continue to do whatever I have to do to support my family, promote and protect the industry, and keep the dialogue lively.

And by the way, you watch, the moment the companies that the other organization ignored because of personal bias has any sort of negative news, THAT story will lead the coverage. Guaranteed. Hopefully the negative never happens- but if it does it will get massive focus.

-- Has anyone noticed that those new light bulbs (CFL ones with the curls) don’t last any longer than the old fashioned bulbs? I put them in hard to reach areas based on that whole “longer life” promise and bam, they burn out at same rate. Brutal.

-- Last this week, college football was depressing yesterday. Hated seeing Stanford lose, but really hated seeing Boise State lose. Love the underdog, and hated that they went down and went down with a missed kick. I feel for that poor kicker.

LINKS of the WEEK:

-- The house within a house is something I think has potential, especially given the economy. Check this story out for how one builder is focusing on it.

-- Cool story about how Tennessee grabbed a kicker of his fraternity house couch to kick in a game a few hours later. Sadly the highlight of a bad year for the Vols.

-- I started this post about the codes and will finish it with this insane abuse of codes. Read this story and shake your head madly. Just mind blowing,

VIDEO of the WEEK:

Basically I think I am turning the Video section to my brother. He keeps finding really good ones- and this one is very cool and creative and for some reason he says this reminds him of our family growing up. Minus the talent I assume.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Tops at Twitter

Back in mid 2009, I debuted the “Twitter Top 10” on my blog and since then I have spotlighted various “tweets” of the week. Well it is time to update the Twitter Top 10 since more and more people have gotten on it and it’s becoming a way of life and communication for many. This list is for industry related folks and companies. In the next few weeks we’ll bring out non-industry “must follows”
Twitter has also changed, it’s not as much used for personal updates but for the sharing of news and information. Some of those pieces normally would not see the light of day, so it’s become valuable.
So if you are on Twitter and you are not following these folks, it is time to do so. You will thank me later. If you are not on Twitter yet, well keep these folks in mind for when you do jump on in.

These are actually in no specific order except the 10+ you should be following.

1. @SouthwallTech – This feed is run by Bruce Lang of Southwall and he mixes in some super links with a daily news piece.
2. @JChaseGlass- The wonderful Jenni Chase (hey I mean it, even if she is my editor when the blog appears on e-Weekly.) runs this one and it’s a great way to stay up on the news as she posts when it happens.
3. @Glassandglazing- Run by Greg Carney. No secret here that I am fan of Greg, and his tweets, while more sporadic than usual lately, are always worthy.
4. @GlassBuild- The best way to stay ahead of news about the premier industry show. And from what I hear this feed will really be ramping up in the next few weeks to become very active.
5. @Glasslam- Run by Matt Hale, this is probably the most active, interesting and diverse feed on Twitter as it relates to our industry. Very rare that a story gets by Matt.
6. @RavenBrick and @Sage_Glass- Two of the powers of the Dynamic Glass world both have strong, growing and interesting Twitter feeds. And with both companies constantly making technical strides, Twitter is a usually a great outlet for that news.
7. @HeatherWestPR- Heather is a PR icon that I have mentioned here before and basically and her feed lives up to her stature. Tons of interesting links and stories. How she finds some of the stuff, which has great relevance to our world, is beyond me.
8. @ArleneOnEnergy- Arlene Stewart as I have noted on here before has made news with her feed and she also is very good from an information dissemination standpoint. She really uses the medium effectively.
9. @YKKAPAmerica- Very green news focused but mixes in fun links and pictures. Also a very conversational feed, not sure who is behind it at YKK but that person deserves a pat on the back.
10. @Enclos- One of the largest glaziers around runs a very sharp and effective feed. They use it well and the reader benefits.

Honorable Mentions… (And still worthy of a follow of course)

@DanPompeoAGS, @GGIGlass, @GuardianGlass, @ICDCoatings, @Kawneer, @GANATechnical, @PPGIndustries


Of course if you want to follow me- I am at @MaxPSoleSource. But I am nowhere as fun or interesting as any of the above. I save it for this blog!

Elsewhere…

-- The new Apple store design really is amazing. Not sure how the other glass geeks out there feel about it but I really dig it.

-- College football is getting interesting. Wild game with Alabama-LSU (Sorry gang at Coral- tough one) and now we head down the stretch with the last few games and conference championships. Gonna be fun to follow.

-- Last this week, Glass Magazine has their latest edition of “G3” out. This is where industry folks weigh in on a question and this month features three absolute heavyweights in David Petratis of Quanex, Lloyd Talbert of CRL, and Mark Silverberg of Technoform. 3 paragraphs from three interesting and well put together men. Check it out.

http://glassmagazine.com/article/commercial/g3-industry-insiders-talk-glass-119018

LINKS of the WEEK:

This is a great human interest story about a rich NFL owner paying for a school band to play in a parade. That part is good. But the parade is a part of an event commemorating the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Ummmm isn’t that a wee bit odd? We’re doing a parade? For Pearl Harbor?

Here’s the big controversy in Detroit… the band playing at the Thanksgiving Day game people don’t like. Oh the horror!!

Crazy blog here- very creative- but how much time does someone have to do this? My gosh. Movie posters organized by look- neat.

VIDEO of the WEEK:


Once again my brother comes through with an awesome video. This one is a take off of the Jay Z song “New York State of Mind” but using Pittsburgh and all of its cool angles. This is a must watch for anyone from or living in Pittsburgh for sure.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

How do you say it?

This week I decided to start with something light. After the last few weeks of negativity, surely time for something different. So here it is. Last week I was watching the West Virginia-Syracuse football game. The announcers kept pronouncing “Syracuse” two different ways. One guy called it “SaRAH-Cuse” while the other was calling it “SEAR-a-Cuse”- slightly different but noticeable and annoying. Honestly I don’t know much about that town other than John Dwyer of Syracuse Glass is the Mayor there- so not sure what the right pronunciation is. But this did make me think of our industry and it the two most commonly mispronounced company names.

Example 1 is Viracon. Most people say (a)“V-EYE-ra-cahn.” But you still have many that call it (b)“Vear-ah-cahn”- So which one is right? I believe it’s (a).

Example 2 is tougher- its 50/50 out there. Tubelite. Is it (a) “Toob-light” or is it (b) “Toob-ah-light” – I also lean to (a) here but I am not as sure as the Viracon example.

Anyway these are major issues that I will get to the bottom of and report back if I ever find out!

Elsewhere…

-- Cover of Time Magazine this week was “The China Bubble” and it had some OK reading in it. The story inside was basically talking about how the success or failure in China will have a massive effect on the world. The scariest comment was the theme that China’s growth came “on an economy built on real estate mania and easy money… sound familiar?”

-- Ironically though, the month of October somehow was the best month on the stock market here in the U.S. since 1974. The analysts were calling it “Rock-tober”- so how come it didn’t feel that good to me? Best since 74? Really shouldn’t the mood and attitudes be better?

-- Book of the week- If you want a seriously non politically correct easy read, then check out Adam Carolla’s book “In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks” Fun read, great pop culture but he is nowhere near politically correct on anything- gender, race, creed- nothing.

-- Congrats to my friends in St. Louis (mostly the Solutia troop) on the Cardinal win. What a wild series!

-- Massive snow in the Northeast this weekend. My gosh, Mother Nature is not happy with that region… earthquakes, floods and October blizzards… yikes.

-- Normally this would go in the links, but I had to include here because it’s about a guy who made more than $300,000 playing fantasy baseball last year! The football version of this guy I believe is Scott Surma.

-- Last this week, we’re headed into my favorite personal stretch of the year. Personal, surely not business! Though I am looking forward to my first non-news cycle Turkey Day in a few years! Starting with Halloween, to my birthday, to Thanksgiving, to the Chanukah/Christmas combo and finishing with New Years… it’s an awesome stretch. And while there’s ton of pressure and frustration out there, it’s this stretch that gives you pause and fills you with hope that things can be on the right track. So I say bring it on!

LINKS of the WEEK:

-- I know many in the industry fly through the airport at Kansas City. This week it had a power outage. Has to be the worst airport to be stranded at because of its layout and lack of amenities.

-- A real life hit taken out on an Ex… yep not going to work.

The group predicting the end of the world has scrubbed that prediction… we can all rest easy now.

VIDEO of the WEEK:

Sorry, no video this week- my brother did of course send me one, and it was great but I am having connectivity issues. This will return next week.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rough Reports

Ok so two pieces of bad news last week. First the Architectural Billings Index took a nasty tumble. Then numbers from Canada on their non-residential building statistics came out lower than they have been. So it wasn’t exactly an uplifting few days. On the ABI, that continues to be a hard one to swallow, especially since our industry would see any effects from these lower totals middle of 2012. It will bear watching because if 2012 is solid or at least like 2011 has been for some patches of our industry it will blow the whole theory/report out of the water. As for the Canadian report, well all I could think of after reading it was the reaction of people in Toronto when you’d compliment them for being busy. They were seriously afraid that you’d jinx it… and gosh I wonder if I did… Here is the Canadian study by the way.

Elsewhere

-- Our industry has great new “APP” joining the excellent Glass Magazine APP that I mentioned last week. Guardian released their Sunguard application for Apple and I loaded it up and was very impressed. Very sharp, clean and easy to use. Major props to Chris Dolan and his team- a job well done. And if you want to download it, enter “Sunguard” in the search instead of Guardian- it will be easier to find.

-- I hated missing the GANA Fall Conference last week. I heard many good things and the worst part for me was missing a chance to hear the always intelligent and interesting Stanley Yee of The Fa├žade Group. Stanley is as engaging as they come and a good guy for sure. Evidently his presentation on air leakage was a showstopper and I hated missing that and the rest of the event.

-- Had my 900th airport delay of the summer this past week but in a new airport for me. Cincinnati… and I must say, very nice airport- been stuck at much worse places.

-- Last week I linked to an article in Forbes about a possible water shortage and soon after my blog was published I got an e-mail from John Fallon of Water Treatment Technologies. John’s company does yeoman’s work in trying to get people to use and re-use water smartly and I am big fan of him and his company. Anyway, John pointed out that the Forbes piece is accurate (shocking to me in reality) and he went on to note the insane wastes of water from our industry. It is truly food for thought, if you are not recycling your water in your facility, you need to- it’s a no brainer and the right thing to do- and thanks again to John for getting my mind back on it.

-- Yes I am biased on this one because I like the product line and people involved but a great article HERE on how General Glass (GGI) produced the glass for the Harlem Hospital. (Installed by W&W and insulating by JE Berkowitz- what a high-powered group) Very intense stuff. Also interesting is that job is actually not complete yet even though it seems like the glass has been up for years.

-- Congrats to PPG on their awesome 3rd Quarter. As I have noted here before they have some awesome people that make a difference out there. Happy for all of those that worked so hard to achieve it.

-- Last this week, in my new life I have been running into other quality folks who call consulting their career- some great ones like Greg Carney and Arlene Stewart I knew, but I did not know Rick De La Guardia. Well now I do, the guy is a tremendous asset from engineering side and it’s pretty awesome to be in the same realm. Very neat things you learn when you find yourself in a new world that is for sure.

LINKS of the WEEK:

-- Wild story about a plane losing cabin pressure. I have never heard of the airline and I have a hard and fast rule, if I’ve never heard of the airline, I’m not flying on it.

-- When this link was sent to me, my friend said I should do this for a show I would attend… it would be easy- it would be 15 bald guys. Fun link.

I don’t know how I feel about this one. Company can’t find workers…. But really is also not offering much either. At least most in the glass industry offer benefits. Plus when this product "makes it" they'll go off shore to make the stuff. No doubt.


VIDEO of the WEEK:

So my brother has become addicted with finding me videos of the week. And people are noticing. Our good friend Cash called me this week and wondered if my bro was bored in his new gig…. Funny. (Trust me he's not) Anyway this week he found this awesome band performance from of all places, my Alma mater- Ohio University- and starting at the 1 minute mark, you’ll see why they are known as “the most exciting band in the land”

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Decent news in a slow week

Interesting report that Glass Magazine had linked to from FMI. It’s a detailed report surely worth the download and read. The key takeaway was that FMI is projecting 2012 to be like 2003. My memory is not great but 2003 wasn’t awful and if we’re headed that way; I’d be OK with that. The breakdown of industry segments and the growth or lack thereof was also something to digest. How much will the school/institutional construction be affected by current budget shortfalls and the battles in the government? That was one segment that had battled through the storms pretty well and remains the wildcard that no analyst really can accurately portray. Overall a good read- check it out.

Elsewhere…

-- After weeks and weeks of a pretty heavy news cycle, things finally calmed down last week. It was probably one of the slowest news weeks I have seen in a long time. As an industry, I think we deserved the breather! However there’s a lot of movement and news percolating in the background, so the cycle is going to start going full blast again soon.

-- Have you downloaded the Glass Magazine App yet? If not do so, really nice set up. Kudos again to the folks who put that together. A job well done!

-- Want to know what the realistic house of the future will look like? Check this story out… some of it I agree with but others I don’t. Especially on the sky lights, too much technology out there that the writer obviously hasn’t researched yet.

-- This week is the Solar Power International show in Dallas, TX. At one time a few years ago this show had a lot of desirable targets for our industry but you can tell that things have certainly changed and many of the folks that should/could be there are not. Good to see though that Konarka WILL be there and will benefit from the lack of competition on the floor. They deserve to stand out.

-- Forbes Magazine rang the alarm on what could be another crisis… a water shortage crisis… The article does get you to think but also seems so unlikely. In any case I still hate the fact we use up so much clean water for waste disposal. That one gets me crazy.

-- Last this week… Speaking of drinks, have you seen the new Dr. Pepper product geared for men only? The folks there feel like a “man” won’t want to be seen with a “Diet” drink, so they needed to create something new. Now I don’t think that’s a bad thing… a bad thing for a guy is having your favorite alcoholic drink being Malibu and Diet. Take it from me; you never hear the end of that.

LINKS of the WEEK:

-- This family got lost in a corn maze attraction. The kicker, they had a 3 week old with them. Uh, who brings a three week old baby to a corn maze attraction?

-- Great read about two really stupid bank robbers. I bet you both of these guys thought their schemes totally through too!

-- The next frontier… a camera in the actual ball being used for sports. The perspective would be awesome!

VIDEO of the WEEK:

Once again my brother comes through in the clutch with a great Man vs. Glass video. This one is better than the last and shows the wonderful properties of tempered glass!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Greenbuild Recap

Greenbuild last week may have hit its plateau after a rough outing in Toronto. Traffic was down, which was shocking considering the location being the first time in Canada and all. Worse yet was the layout of the show floor. There were two halls separated by a 15-minute walk. Most attendees went to the one hall closest to the street and didn’t make it to the other. The other question was would more decision makers fill the floor and that answer was a resounding no. Younger associates and students still were in the major majority. The show moves to San Francisco next year so it will be very interesting to see if that site, which excites many, brings in the crowds.

Other Greenbuild musings…

-- The city of Toronto is very busy building wise. Something like 131 high rises are in various phases of construction there and there’s these things called “Cranes” all over town. (Haven’t seen many of those since 2006/07!) Funny though when you compliment someone from our industry who works the Toronto market, they get all sheepish- look down and don’t want to acknowledge it out of fear of maybe jinxing their positive fortune right now.

-- On the floor… Dorma’s booth was epic, good to see Rich Albright there- he is always on the ball. I liked Southwall’s booth, I was impressed by their R-20 window. Spotted Tom O’Malley of Doralco from afar, but never got to catch up with him- just too popular. Speaking of popular, the folks at Viracon, were in typical high demand. Got to see the always awesome Farrah Hoffman, and watched Garret Henson do several media sessions, I now wonder how long until Garret has his own PR team. Visited with Tom Herron of NFRC and Kerry Haglund of the Efficient Windows Collaborative and both were very nice to me- much appreciated… they are class folks. And I got to meet in person for the first time, an industry PR legend in Heather West. That was cool.

-- Not cool? This devastating and depressing tidbit… I made my annual stop by the PPG booth and was greeted rudely and shunned. I guess the guy working the booth must not read the blog (stunning I know) or realize I’m a fan of the company. Hopefully Mr. Miserable treated the other attendees better than me. PPG deserves better.

-- Last note on the show and town… Toronto has the worst traffic ever. Simply miserable trying to get anywhere quick. I have a whole new respect for my friends that live there.

Elsewhere

-- The news Friday that Solutia was buying Southwall was very interesting. Solutia is a very good company and very shrewd. Obviously the details are pretty preliminary at this point so this will be a deal to watch going forward.

-- As those who know me know I love the Rocky movies. They are my favorites. So I tell you with great excitement that the new movie “Real Steel” has some serious Rocky like qualities. It’s almost like the “Rocky” for the new century. Great flick.

-- Last this week, congratulations to Greg Landry on his new gig at Agalite in Anaheim, CA. Great guy with great company, sounds like a nice marriage!

LINKS of the WEEK:

-- Absolutely wild and interesting story about a baby crying so loudly that he and his mother get kicked off the public bus they were riding because the driver couldn’t focus. Plus this was late at night and in an isolated area. Wow.

-- Pretty cool story- hidden operations all around us- hiding in plain site.

-- OK check out this story- this couple avoided restaurants and grocery stores for a whole year- just ate off the land. Interesting, but I’d love to know what they do for income- because feeding yourself sounds like a full time job!

BONUS: You know I like Twitter, but you have always be careful what you write…

VIDEO of the WEEK

My brother sent me to a treasure trove of videos. This one is the classic- Man vs. Glass variety. Look on right side of the screen. Oooof!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Next Up

We’ve gone from GlassBuild season to the onset of Greenbuild this week. Should be a very interesting show in that it’s in Toronto and attracting potentially a much different audience and demographic than in years past. Also will be watching to see if this crowd is still dominated by youth or if the more seasoned professionals are breaking down and joining the green revolution. Lastly, fast forward to a month from now when all of the American exhibitors and attendees get their cell phone bills and they are racked by their carrier for the international calls! Yep that could be the everlasting memory of this event! In any case, next week in this space I’ll have the breakdown of the latest gathering in our world.

Elsewhere…

-- Lost in the excitement of GlassBuild and all of the news in our industry in the last few months was the announcement that Glassweek is no more and being replaced by an Annual Conference. Plus this conference will stand-alone and not be connected to BEC like it was for the last few years. It’s a move that some had wanted for a while and others who didn’t like the connection to BEC really wanted. It is something to watch as adding another travel need in already tight budgets will be a challenge but the technical work so many do at GANA surely will be a factor in the decision to attend. Will it eat into the BEC attendance? Possibly. Anyway you slice it, this is a bold move by the gang at GANA to evolve.

-- My gosh is the DOE getting skewered like crazy or what on Solyndra? Even at my worst I don’t think I beat them up this bad… I’m almost feeling bad for the guys there… almost.

-- Congrats to John Bush on his new appointment at GGI. I have known John for years starting from the days on the board at GANA and know that he is a tremendous talent. It’s a coup for sure for GGI getting him on board full time.

-- I know there are several proud University of Michigan graduates and huge fans that read this, along with a lot of people that were involved in the remodel of the Michigan football stadium. This past weekend I was lucky enough to go to a game at the refurbished stadium- tremendous work done there architecturally and the atmosphere was second to none. So to the folks who had a part in the rebuild, congrats and the folks who are grads and fans- man you are lucky. Great time and the team looks super!

-- Last this week… kudos to the gang at SAGE on the launch of their new website. It’s at www.Sageglass.com and it is a very slick, clean, and impressive site. Sorry Earnest Thompson, Chris Dolan and the folks at Guardian, you have been knocked off the perch for best industry site now. These are heady times for the dynamic glass world and we’re just at the start. Soladigm is gearing up with their new plant, Pleotint is making deals, and obviously I have tremendous faith and confidence in the folks at RavenBrick to be a force. Add that to the positive forecasts about this industry segment and things look very bright. But now we as an industry have a new website to try and knock off the top!

LINKS of the WEEK

-- Amazingly sad. A manual from the labor department making fun of previously sickened workers.

-- You actually see this style of story often but it never gets old. Player get injured, unfairly, but that injury allows doctors to catch something that could’ve led to death. So all ends well. Good read as always.

-- Man brings a 9month old baby to the bar… yep this is not ending well…

BONUS LINK: The Sexy Chicken controversy…. At this point you want to tell PETA to focus their energies on legitimate issues of animal mistreatment…. When you read this story you’ll see why that group takes 3 steps back for every one step forward. Yeesh.

VIDEO of the WEEK


Will be hard to top the treadmill fail from last week, that got more comments to me than any video I have ran in a while! I think this one has potential… inside the Washington Monument during the earthquake from last month. Fast forward to the 1:42 mark… wild!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Good news in the middle of the mess

Lost in the massive malaise of the depressing run on Wall Street last week, along with the continued pathetic performances coming from Washington DC, the AIA released some positive news with the Architectural Building Index. The ABI actually bounced back, shocking analysts and on lookers alike. The biggest surprise was the leap in new projects on the board. There’s two ways to look at that- one it’s about time, we were due for this and it does mean next summer the building segment will be strong. The other is that these projects are pie in the sky efforts that will never get the financing and the study is skewed. My opinion is it’s a little of both. I do think better times are ahead and I continue to discount the ABI for the most part, but I also don’t think massive jumps are in the offing. A steady positive run will be the play here. Bottom line, this was some good news to grab ahold of in the middle of a very volatile week.

Elsewhere…

-- Last week’s blog by the brilliant Bill Evans to me shows that he is a great voice of the glass shop and glazier. He is pure money and I am in awe. When I met Bill at GlassBuild he mentioned he was amazed I write my blog 52 weeks a year, and how do I come up with stuff. I told him what I do and write about is nowhere near the weight and importance that he brings and last week proved that point. Bill’ s work was a tremendous and powerful read and it’s an honor to share a page with him.

-- Was honored yet again to return to Colorado and speak at the Colorado Glazing Contractors Association. I have been a huge fan of the CGCA for years and consider it the model that every regional trade group should follow. Rebecca Kaspari, along with this year’s President Marty Richardson of Metro Glass just do an awesome job.

-- By the way comically when I got to the hotel at the CGCA event was at, I asked the front desk where they were having the speech. They sent me to a room where I started to set up but I recognized no one. I was really spooked; I mean I figured I’d see the ultra classy Cameron Scripture of Viracon at a minimum- and no Rebecca or Marty? What was going on here? So I’m quietly trying to get organized when I asked someone there if this was the CGCA meeting…. And I was then told it was a benefit for orphaned animals in Rwanda. The funny thing is no one there was stopping me from setting up….I should’ve spoken there too!

-- Time for a list… recently Trust in America came out with the “Fattest States” list and here is your top 10…

10. Michigan- Wow we can’t even win this one. But we are fattest in the North!
9. Arkansas
8. South Carolina
7. Oklahoma
6. Kentucky
5. Louisiana
4. Tennessee
3. West Virginia
2. Alabama
1. Mississippi

Amazing comparison, Mississippi a few months ago was noted as the “unhappiest” state by another poll. So that doesn’t jive for me, isn’t the term “Fat and Happy”?

-- The fight in Vegas over the Harmon building at CityCenter rolls on. I’m telling you some day someone will do a book on the entire process, from the birth and concept of that structure, to construction mode with all of its issues, through the lawsuits and eventual conclusion. It will be riveting.

-- Last this week, the Dynamic Glass world surely did get positive momentum with the marketing agreement between PPG and Pleotint. PPG putting its credibility behind a product brings a lot of value and I believe this move benefits all of the technologies in that segment. End of the day new technology in our industry will be the difference maker we need going forward.

LINKS of the WEEK:

-- Wild story on a fake pilot trying to beat security at an airport. A dumb prank with deep repercussions.

-- Well since I live in the 10th fattest state and I myself am in a fat state right now, maybe this amazing new mp3 imbedded jogging suit is my next purchase!

-- Ah forget it, I’d rather eat these triple stack deep fried Oreos… I’m sure they’re low fat! LOL

VIDEO of the WEEK

Well may as keep with the Fat and workout theme, with a comical video of a treadmill FAIL. Wonder what the guy was planning on doing in taping himself on there….

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Putting GBA 2011 in the books

The 2011 GlassBuild is now history and what a wild and enjoyable time it was. Surely great to see everyone and the show continues to cement its place as THE networking event to be at. In case you missed my other recaps, you can find day 2 HERE and Day 3 HERE. Fun stuff in both, especially the incredible hair on one of our industries most talented guys… who knew Fabio was a consultant? Some concluding thoughts of GBA…

- Machinery dominated the floor and had the most interest. I spent a lot of time at Erdman booth and even was lucky enough to get a private tour at the GED booth where the awesome Bill Briese and Dan Reinhart showed me just mind-blowing technology.

- The news of people trying to steal intellectual property was a part of the buzz at the show and should be taken seriously. Sadly other trade media chose to make light of this incredibly serious, immoral, unethical, and basically criminal situation. People work way too hard to create and build products and giving crooks that are trying to steal IP a forum is despicable.

- Chris Mammen was elected as the new Chairman of the NGA and he will do a tremendous job. Chris is the owner of M3 Technologies and just a class guy through and through. He will be a wonderful leader for the organization.

- In case you missed it, Glass Magazine did release an “App” for Apple (and now on Android as well) for the magazine. Very very sharp stuff here. So go to your various “App” store and download it. I have and it really is very cool.

- Last for the show stuff, this year I had the absolute honor of getting to work with the GBA organizers. For years I was an exhibitor and/or attendee and took a lot of things for granted. And I even took some unfair shots too. Well all I can say is when you get in the middle of it; you are blown away about how it all gets done and comes together. Putting on an event to take care of thousands of people and hundreds of exhibitors takes time, precision, care and talent- and the folks at GBA showed all of those skills and more. Thank you for letting me get a taste of it!

Elsewhere…

-- A major congrats to Jennifer Duemler Donahue on the birth of her son Henry Steven. Jennifer is a PR and writing goddess, and one of my favorite folks around. I’m very happy for her and the expanding empire at the Donahue World HQ.

-- The Solyndra solar story has been pretty prominent in the national media now, but those of us who were following the solar world for a while were not surprised. This company had been taking heat from the solar community for a long time. I give them credit for trying to buck some systems, but shame on the DOE and those who kept on approving cash here because the signs were very clear that this was not anywhere near a slam dunk that deserved a half a billion in funding.
Another positive forecast about the flat glass industry hit the streets last week as well. This report is calling for a 9.1% surge in demand thanks to emerging technologies and recovery from the recession. Hopefully this one is on target.

-- Next up show wise is Greenbuild in Toronto in just a few weeks. That show continues to grow- but this edition will be very interesting to see two things. How will the mix of attendance be with the event in Canada for the first time, and will the older more seasoned architects be more in attendance than in the past.

LINKS of the WEEK

-- This is a great example of a frivolous lawsuit. Guy suing fast food chain because he can’t fit in the booths they have. Seriously. And its not like he’s not getting in there because of a disability (that would be a worthy suit)

-- Fun piece here… Top 10 resume bloopers. Yikes!

-- The coolest idea I have seen in a long time! Let’s get these out there!

VIDEO of the WEEK

Because of the show and the ton of video coverage from various news sources, I am video’d out right now. So we’ll skip the video this week from me- sorry gang. We’ll surely be back with one next week.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

GlassBuild Day 3

Day 3 at the show… I’ll be short here because I am whipped and because I’ll have the big recap on Sunday.

As most expected the traffic was lighter on Day 3- but the machinery side was jumping. If there’s a storyline here, it’s the machinery booths seem to have solid to awesome traffic throughout.

A fun video about the show will be up on GlassBuildAmerica.com soon and it does feature a certain well-dressed Canadian showing off his dance moves. Also I did see Greg “Fabio” Carney and he was not pleased with me. Love the hair no matter what.

With the shorter day I missed a few folks in getting back around to them. The fine folks at Technoform- I was there for a heartbeat on Monday and just never made it back. Was great seeing the always awesome Milind Jhaveri, even it was only for a second. Also missed hooking up with Chad Simkins of Soladigm- saw him a few times for a few seconds each, but never could connect. He’s a busy dude growing that product line.

I did get around though to several booths and saw some great things- the equipment at Erdman was awesome, as was the machinery at GED. Loved seeing the new technology at 3M and some wild stuff at Zircon. For all intents, this show really brought out the best in the exhibitor.

The full recap is coming over the weekend. We’ll catch up with you more next post!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

GlassBuild America Day 2

Day 2 at the show was very strong. Very heavy traffic and it seemed like old times for a moment there. Really a fun day all around…. Now to the floor…

I witnessed my first ever impact demo at a show- video of it will be up on GlassBuildAmerica.com by Wednesday morning. Very cool stuff…. Yesterday when I stopped at PPG I did not see Jan Rogan, and I thought she skipped on this one, so I was thrilled when I saw her smiling face this AM. Also nice to see Mark Kearns from Dlubak- the guy is always working it.

The BIG STORY at the show and I’ll mention this in next weeks post as well was Greg Carney… and more specifically, Greg Carney’s hair. Greg now has flowing locks like Fabio. Seriously. For a guy like me that can’t grow hair on my head- seeing Greg sporting just a huge headful… it was stunning.

Elsewhere… the machinery booths were all packed today- surely seemed like interest was at an all time high. The gang from Glassopolis were extremely busy, but they promised SWAG yet all I have seen is cookies… c’mon Rob, gotta step it up. There was a Scott Surma sighting on the floor. So great to see Scott, as I consider him one of the most talented people around. Also the Glass Pundit herself, Kris Vockler was out in about, Wednesday she’ll be leading a very cool seminar on decorative glass but today she was working the floor along side good friend of the blog Steve O’Halloren. I got to walk to the show with Dr. Helen Sanders of Sage, which as always is a complete honor and got to meet Sage’s new VP of Marketing Derek Malmquist, who was an extremely impressive individual.

Missing from the floor…. No Julie Schimmelpenningh as I hear she is down under. (I did see the awesome Aimee Davis of Solutia though) also no Garret Henson from Viracon but there are rumors he may appear on Wednesday. I don’t think I have ever done a GBA without a Viracon sighting. Bobby Hartong of WA Wilson was a no show- we got his Dad and his business partner, but I guess the lack of DQ’s in Atlanta kept him away.

All in all good day at the show- one to go….

Monday, September 12, 2011

GBA 2011 Day 1

So day 1 of GlassBuild America is in the books and after a slow start the afternoon saw some brisk movement throughout the hall. My first thought is this year the show floor looks the best it has ever looked. The exhibiting companies really brought their “A” games. I am blown away by the style and class so many of the booths are showing. Really top notch!

As for seen on the floor… and the way I do this is in a rapid-fire style… so hang on, here it comes….
The first guy through the gates this AM was Dan Pompeo, the headlining manufacturers rep- one of the best around no doubt… As always the gang from Walker Textures dazzled not only with their impeccable clothing choices (as always) but the continuation of the Saturday Night Fever style dance floor. I’ve noted in the past that PPG sets the fashion tone for traditional booth-wear and Rob Struble did not disappoint with lightweight vests that had pockets. Nice stuff, Glenn Miner and Joanne Funyak were styling as always.

Great looking booths… Cristacurva left you speechless. Just strong. My friends from General Glass (GGI) had amazing examples of what they do in full size surrounding the space and they are serving Ice Cream in their booth- so you get great looking stuff and one of the greatest foods around! Loved the Lauren International booth… as they told me it’s hard to make rubber products look exciting- well they did, and they did it with style! Guardian’s booth was huge and very impressive- no doubt Earnest Thompson, Chris Dolan and company are bringing the best every time out now. They raise the bar with each show.

I met one of my blogging heroes, Bill Evans on the floor. The guy is awesome in print- inspirational as heck and just a thrill to meet him in person.

The Glazing Executive Forum was a veritable “who’s who” of the best glaziers in our world- along with some seriously good suppliers. It looked like things went very well though I’ll be curious on what everyone thought of the keynote speech and I’ll have to bring that up in a future post.

The highlight of my time though was the whole Quanex experience. Quanex is without question the dominating presence at the show… bigger than life. This year though I had an amazing opportunity to get inside the booth and have time with the Chairman, President, & CEO of Quanex David Petratis. I did an interview with him that will be up on GlassBuild.com soon and quite frankly I found him to be engaging, genuine and motivating. The guy is a gem. Then later I got to meet Mike Hovan in person for the first time after following him for years and catching up with great old favorites like Erin and Larry Johnson, Joe Erb and new friends Brian & Kim Kress. Just a thrill for me for sure. Ironically they all like the older version of my blog when I was a little “harder” with my edge… I’m a kindler, gentler blogger now… but you never know maybe my teeth with show again…

All in all Day 1 was a crazy whirlwind of a show… people are busy right now for sure, but I believe everyone is very worried about the coming months. No one can really accurately predict what next year will bring and I think that just scares people to the core.
Day 2 and 3 I’ll be all over the floor- I look forward to catching up with more people and seeing things that are “new” for me. So that’s the goal. To me the show is strong because as noted above, the exhibitors really came out strong- people that are attending are enjoying the benefits of that for sure.

More to follow in the coming days- then next Sunday a wrap up….

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Pre Show

Different posting schedule this week with the onset of GlassBuild 2011.... This post will be very shot then I'll have posts here all three nights of the show with recaps and sightings.

I was on the floor yesterday and the exhibits looked spectacular, people really upped their game this year with some great booths. I am excited to see how this all turns out and also as always gauge the attitude and mood of the crowd. Been an odd year for sure- most people are very busy, but I believe everyone is casting a very wary eye towards winter and the the early parts of 2012. So we will see.

And yes it is 9/11 and the 10th anniversary of the horrific event that continues to touch all of us. I am not going to delve deep into it, there's so many tributes and insights out there already- some more amazing than others, that I wouldn't and couldn't do it justice. Needless to say my thoughts are there.

We'll do the LINKS of the WEEK here though because we have some good ones... and on that note, it's always tough to find the good ones, no one does it as good as my old conspirator now across the street. So if you have any good links you want to share, please do not hesitate to send them to me.

LINKS of the WEEK

-- We need more judges like this... he took some attorney's to task in a very creative, and successful way!

-- To me this is just a blatant publicity stunt.... but I am curious what the idea is behind a guy biking 1600 miles to try and meet with Warren Buffett. Biking... sounds uncomfortable.

-- GREAT Story on when bloggers feel swindled. You know you should NEVER get on the bad side of a blogger! LOL. Seriously though these guys portrayed in this story were way over the top and too dramatic. Sorry guys, you are not better than the rest of the world... unless you blog about glass....

Sunday, September 04, 2011

A warning realized...

Lost in the excitement and action of Hurricane Irene was the Earthquake that struck earlier that week. Thankfully there were no reported deaths or major injuries and for the most part everything and everyone survived. However one thing that came out of it was said perfectly by Arlene Stewart, the legendary energy consultant in a tweet. Here goes:

ArleneOnEnergy Arlene Z. Stewart 10 yrs ago, I watched SE codes bodies look at Nanette Lockwood like she was nuts for advocating for seismic provisions. Vindicated much?

And there ya go. For years people have been warning of issues to come and even though we skated on this one, the seismic provisions still should be something to be addressed and put into play. And as for Nanette Lockwood of Solutia, it’s been many years since I had the honor of working with her, but she happens to be an absolute authority on so many of these issues, if she told me to prepare for another quake tomorrow, I’d drop everything and go. So this whole scenario bears watching and we’ll also have to see how it affects us in the glazing world- because it will. And oh if you are not following Arlene on Twitter, you need to.

Elsewhere…

-- One tough image and result from the hurricane was the damage in Vermont. The iconic covered bridges that stood for so long- completely wiped out. Towns flooded. Just awful…

-- The Steve Jobs resignation was also a tough one to take. While many expected this day to eventually come given his health battles, the finality of it all is still stunning. Apple is more than Steve Jobs and I am sure their products (and love of everything glass) will continue on, but it won’t be the same. By the way, here is a quick and simple article on the three main takeaways from the way that Steve Jobs did his business.

-- We are coming up on another anniversary for this blog. I started in October of 2005 and almost 400 postings later I am still here, still plugging along. I thank everyone who reads this and supports it. And just a note, I do actually post this on Sundays at my original site. Ironically it gets tons of hits from the state of Virginia that day, guess I am popular there! Anyway it continues to be a thrill that many of my stories/opinions/comments get picked up by competitors to run on the day before my posts appear Tuesday’s in the always-excellent e Weekly. In any case, for what started as therapy continues and I appreciate everyone for following along!

-- Missed noting my brothers birthday last week… and for his big day the best gift he got was a years membership in the Dairy Queen Blizzard Club. Who woulda thunk that the first Perilstein to have a membership in such an epic club would be the skinny one… Happy Birthday bro…

-- Football predictions… as many may know I have not been into Football this year, but I still have to make my traditional (and usually wrong) call on who wins it all… So fans of 30 teams will be happy and fans of the 2 I pick… not so much… so here goes… your Super Bowl will be the New England Patriots vs. the Chicago Bears… for some reason I think Jay Cutler has a huge year this year, and Brady and the Pats look unstoppable. Of course, and as always, I hope I am wrong.

-- Last this week… here we are on the cusp of the show of the year… GlassBuild America kicks off Monday the 12th. The show floor is sold out and there’s some nice momentum out there on people attending the show. I am really looking forward to seeing so many of the folks that I can only usually hook up with at GBA. I will also, as tradition, something I started way back in the early days of this blog, be posting nightly with all of the flavor, pomp, and color of the show. If you are coming to the event, look for me running around or at my booth #1104. See you there!

LINKS of the WEEK

-- Another industry that is working to develop new products… the paperclip industry… yes seriously… and a very interesting read about a needed work material we use and abuse.

-- Simply the best “out of office” e mail ever written! Wow.

-- Excellent story on the recent Kardashian wedding and how it should actually be considered.

VIDEO of the WEEK

For those of you Jersey Shore fans out there… the fight between Ronnie and “The Situation” was hyped a ton but really did not turn out as much… yet. In case you missed it, here was the “fight” in its glory. By the way, as a parent, if my daughter showed up as a booty call on Jersey Shore, I’d probably lose my mind. Brutal.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Eye of the Storm

I had a great blog already written but because of Hurricane Irene I decided to change it up. Because I post this blog on Sunday’s, the full force of the hurricane and its aftermath has not played out completely. Obviously my thoughts are with everyone in the path and hopefully everyone is staying safe.

So given the circumstances my normal batch of commentary, snark, and kudos is just not appropriate. All I can say is that a hurricane and what happens during it is bad wherever and whenever it hits, but the fact Irene is hitting places that normally just don’t get hurricanes makes this even worse. Add in that so much in our world depends on and runs on what happens in cities like New York. Basically if New York sneezes, the rest of the country can catch a cold. So it does beg the question of how much of an economic affect will this disaster have and how far will it reach?

It has been a very good summer for the glass and construction industry (especially compared to the Winter and Spring) so will this derail it or will lengthen it? No matter what the result there, hopefully everyone there hangs in with as little issue as possible. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

I will though close with some levity. This story on what the folks are hoarding in Brooklyn… and its not water. I guess we all deal with things in different ways!

We’ll be back next week with our regular post.

LINKS of the WEEK:

-- Most un-moderated message boards are worthless (like at least one for our industry), but some like Trip Advisor help people decide on hotels etc. Unless of course those reviews are fake… Nice piece on how to spot a bogus one.

-- Serious article. Scientists are warning that Aliens are coming for us. And to think there’s people who rip on me for what I say and do! Yeesh.

-- This wins the award for the worst written story featuring the dumbest choices in on-flight entertainment. The whole thing is wreck, so of course you have to read it…

VIDEO of the WEEK:

Video of Memphis cops in street fighting training…. One rule I learned from my past, don’t mess with Memphis…. Good place by the way.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

News of all makes and models....

An absolute rollercoaster of a week news-wise… We had good news, sad news, surprising news, and what could possibly be considered depressing news. And we had glass still falling from the sky as well…. Really it was all over the map, so let’s take a look at what happened…

-- We’ll start off with the sad news in the passing of John Neunlist, President of Admiral Glass in Houston. John was one of those consistent, classy industry guys. He always supported our industry, was a fixture at BEC, and simply a force in his world. Our industry lost a very good man last week and thoughts and prayers go out to John’s family.

-- The week also saw more rough numbers out of the Architectural Billings Index. For the 5th straight month the numbers were down. So it is surely now an official “trend.” However I am starting to question he whole methodology involved based on last year to this year. Our industry is currently a ton busier right now than what the ABI predicted 9-12 months ago. And while I think this burst of business was sorely overdue, I am still taking ABI’s latest downward trends with a grain of salt. If our world is dog slow in August of 2012, then we’ll know right?

-- Good news is that remodeling numbers are nowhere close to being down or depressed. That segment has been going hog wild for a while and will continue to do so. The era of “spec” buildings is absolutely toast, and with years of inventory on the markets right now, the remodel, retrofit segment looks very promising.

-- Surprising news on the decision in US Court dismissing the lawsuit against the United States Green Building Council. I really thought the suit would have more legs, but in the end, the judge attacked the logic behind the suit and sided firmly with the USGBC. The fine folks at BuildingGreen.com have a great recap with insights HERE. I don’t think this is the end of attacks on USGBC. There’s still a lot of people have issues with their programs and the overall value to true sustainability in our world. Will be an interesting one to continue to monitor.

-- Glass keeps falling off of buildings, the newest round is in Toronto and that news has been bouncing around the Internet like wildfire. The bad thing in that once again this can be used as a negative mark against glass as a building product. As an industry it surely would be nice to have at least a little run without someone beating on us.

Elsewhere in the very busy week that passed…

-- A hearty congrats to my pal Rich Porayko and his wife Tricia on the birth of their son Levi. The kid I am sure is already taking after his Dad and hustling like crazy. Levi is their first child… Congrats!

-- A wish of good luck to Joe Krusienski as he heads off into new pastures, whatever they may be. I had the absolute honor of working with Joe for several years and there are not many who are better. They just don’t make guys like Joe anymore that is for sure. Hopefully we’ll have a Joe K sighting at GlassBuild in a few weeks.

-- Many thanks to Ted Knopp of McKenzie Glass in Oregon and James M. who noted on last weeks blog I mis-heard the wording on the video that I posted. I appreciate the catch and now know exactly what I did- I heard what I wanted to hear- what I assumed was said and just mixed it up. In any case, thank you guys for reading and for taking the time to post it. Much appreciated!

-- And also thanks to Tish Oye of Glassworks in Seattle, WA for an awesome link about Architects love of glass. You can read the piece HERE, and to get you going this was the first line:
Architects like to build with wood, masonry, concrete and steel, but most really love glass.
Oh my is that not cool or what!

LINKS of the WEEK

-- Awesome read inside the mind of one of the world’s best hackers. Scary.

What happens when your finely tuned marketing campaign gets thrown by a real life issue? In time this story will give us those answers…

On of my past co-workers is a HUGE Jersey Shore guy. I wonder if this story will make him shop elsewhere for his clothes.

VIDEO of the WEEK

Ok I am still not into football yet but getting closer… this clip from the Canadian Football League made me chuckle… what a wild celebration after the touchdown…


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Glass IS Awesome

Last week Glass Magazine linked to an amazing video story on Glass that somehow I missed. After running across it today in working on this post, I had to make it my top story. The link was to a story done on MSNBC about Glass and it was fantastic. Granted the majority of the piece was not about architectural or commercial glass, but there was enough in there that really put our industry into a positive light. At the end the piece legendary architect James Carpenter makes a great statement: “Glass will become more and more persuasive in our lives…” We need to keep promoting and pushing that sentiment exactly. Glass has been taking bad raps for years and much of it unfair. Hopefully with pieces like this, along with the continued amazing advances on the dynamic, energy, safety and decorative side and with hungry people out pushing, we’ll keep turning the tide and changing any negative perceptions that remain. In the meantime, click here to the Glass Magazine story and check out the video.

Elsewhere…

-- This past week I was lucky enough to find myself available to join in on an on line “GlassChat” Created by Social Media Consultant Patricia Linthicum (who runs the excellent “Looking at Glass” blog), the weekly on line Twitter chat is getting more and more popular and becoming a great resource to learn and build from. I got a kick out of seeing great insights flowing from tremendous people representing companies like Glasswerks, ICD, Glasslam, Gardner, Coral, Connors Sales and more. And don’t worry there was not even a sniff of anti trust activities; it’s basically a great interactive version of something you would follow here or in e Weekly. If you want to get in the conversation, there’s a group on LinkedIn or if you follow any of the above companies on Twitter they can lead you there. Or drop me a line at the address below.

-- Also saw a very good update on line this week about changes to UFC codes and ASTM F2248. If you or your company is in the blast protective world, it is surely an update to look at and issue to follow. More can be found clicking HERE. (H/T to the excellent JEI folks)

-- Football, in the pro version is now playing pre season and I am STILL not into it. Getting worried that I lost that groove. College ball is getting closer- and I am somewhat excited about that.

-- The term “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” dates back to the 1820’s but continues to be relevant today. Though it can be frustrating it is uplifting when your efforts get copied. Must mean you are doing something right eh? Anyway its been great to be flattered lately.

-- So we are basically a month away now from the show of the year, GlassBuild America. I am excited about it- having the chance to see people again and network is crucial (for me and really for everyone else isn’t it?) and to see the new products and innovation, to help diversify is a must. No doubt there’s some excitement surrounding the event. Also enthusiasm is growing for the Glazing Executives Forum, as the breakout session moderators have been released and it’s a who’s who of intelligent and solid industry folks. Hope to see you there!

LINKS of the WEEK

-- Interesting story on patent trolls…. And I have a feeling you’ll be hearing more about this in the coming months.

-- Did the great Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavs really call the stock market crash?

-- Infuriating read here about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Criminal stuff. Now I know that when you get waaaay behind on the mortgage something has to give, but these guys are in it for the wrong reasons. Another reason to hate on Congress too.


VIDEO of the WEEK

Growing up loving baseball, when my brother wasn’t around to drive ground balls into my chest and face, I had one of those pitch-back screens that you threw the ball into and it would come right back. So you’d be able to play catch etc. Well this video takes it to a whole new level. Simply amazing to watch this guy hit…

((Thanks to my Mom noticing- the video below was yanked rom Youtube. No clue why. Trying to find another version))


Sunday, August 07, 2011

A word of caution

Being diverse is a good thing. Adding on new avenues to your business is also good. But taking on business that you know little about and stepping all over your subcontractors, well that is bad. And it has potential to be dangerous too. Recently there’s been a trend in our world where general contractors are deciding that they don’t need professional glaziers; they can just install the glass and framing themselves. This maneuver is becoming more prominent as job bids get tighter and people get more desperate for work. However this does upset not only the proper natural order of things (which surely would be debated by some) but the fact that you are working with products that can be very dangerous to not only the installers but the general public as well. In the last few weeks in the northeast, we had such a situation raise its ugly head. A general contractor was able to buy glass direct from a fabricator and then installed it. Except that it was annealed glass and they went into doors… at a hospital no less. Luckily no one got hurt when the first piece broke in large shards no one got hurt and situation addressed. But at the end of the day, fabricators that sell a GC direct are being complicit with a poor and most likely dangerous business practice, and the GC cutting out the glazier is absolutely shameful. I know “desperate times call for desperate measures” but these sorts of moves are not good for anyone and it actually stains us all as an industry. So go ahead and be diverse, but think twice before you step into a scenario that could have serious long lasting and devastating effects.

Elsewhere…

-- Can we backcharge Standard & Poors because of their calculation mistake? What a miserable week on Wall Street.

-- Props to Jenni Chase and the gang at Glass Magazine. Last week in e-Weekly yet another tremendous interview, adding to a really stellar list of people being profiled here. (And more to come!) Glass Magazine and e Weekly has become the place people come to be heard and is the home for in-depth insights of every big story in our world. It is just very exciting to be a part of that.

-- Good news for the “Dynamic” window world with the release mid last week from Lux Research. The world is moving that way and will continue to embrace that technology because it is good… VERY good for our world. Congrats to SAGE and Soladigm for their mentions and don’t sleep on the gang from RavenBrick. They are absolutely in the discussion too. No matter how you slice it, good things are coming and it’s great for our industry.

-- My alma mater, Ohio University, finally won something…. The Princeton Review named OU the #1 party school in the country. Amazing. I wonder if they still do quarter beer night like they did when I went there.

-- You know I like lists, and this week a cool one came out with the Top 10 cities that will be THE places to live in 2020. Boomtowns is what they are calling them… so I guess if you own land in these areas, the boom is coming according to Proximity One.
1. Raleigh, NC
2. Richland, WA
3. Austin/Round Rock TX
4. Provo, UT
5. Hinesville, GA
6. Logan, UT
7. Grand Junction, CO
8. McAllen, TX
9. Idaho Falls, ID (Once upon a time ISU hall of famer Dave Michaeli of AGC surely roamed this area!)
10. Charlotte, NC

I have been to most of these places and could see the allure. You wonder though if they grow too much will they still be as nice?

-- Last this week; did you make your plans yet for GlassBuild America? Show is coming up quick and well worth the time and minimal cost to be there so you can network and advance your business.

LINKS of the WEEK

-- Trying to figure out this guys motive… stealing toilet lever handles. How many would you have to take to make cash?

-- Really cool piece on “you are what you eat” a look at random people and what is in their fridge. Site loads kind of slow but very interesting.

-- Las Vegas is talking about cracking down on street performers and panhandlers… I guess we’ll see if that actually happens. In the meantime, don’t buy the “bottled” water from anyone on the street…

VIDEO of the WEEK


We have lots of dogs at home- but none as cool as this one… great video of it “talking” -- very creative!