Happy New Year to one and all… now will it really be a “happy” new year for our industry? Personally and professionally I do think by year end we will look back and note that things have turned the corner. However here are a few landmines that have popped up recently and may not be getting enough press right now that could affect the positivity. Silver…. It just hit a 30 year high and predictions are that it will keep going higher. In fact I have seen stories talking about silver going up to anywhere from 60 to even 86… (It’s sitting now at 28/29). Silver is a pretty important player in a lot of what our industry provides so a massive price growth there will have effects. (like high costs in an industry that somehow never gets a higher selling price)
In addition costs of lumber have been growing as well. I think everyone would love to get materials on returnable and reusable steel racks, but sometimes that’s not possible. Major increases in wood also will take a toll. And last on my doomsday opener here… Gas…. Yep I have been whining about gas prices for years… and now the predictions are 4 and 5 dollar per gallon gas in the future. Yikes. All in all though I am still positive… it’s a great new year ahead and we’ll work through all the landmines thrown at us.
-- If you missed my year in review, you can find it by clicking HERE.
-- Also if you missed it the ABI did have a nice finish to the end of the year. Congrats to those of you in the Northeast, man it looks pretty promising your way.
-- This week is the International Builder Show. I am hoping to get there for one quick day. As always it will be interesting to see the attitude on the floor. That show sometimes can be a pretty decent indicator of the year ahead. Though sometimes I think people that sell in that world and attend that show have very loose grips on reality.
-- I cracked up this week in reading about SAPA acquiring Arch’s extrusion facility. First laugh was I coulda swore I read that Arch was “done” restructuring. Then the 2nd laugh and more heartily was the quote that said that Arch could be MORE reliable now that they sold their operation. Yep things always get better the LESS control you have. (Or if you can’t figure out how to run something I guess) Oh well, the beat goes on… Any quotes from the new Arch guy are an absolute treasure trove of unintended comedy.
-- Did you happen to see the article on China Glass Holdings expecting their energy related products to make up half of their sales by 2012? Right now that segment is only 10% of their work… so of course my thought is at least China is getting and grasping the need for value added energy related products. Also in that article a very ominous line:
"I'm a little worried about new supply in the glass market in 2011. Glass prices will be under pressure this year, although perhaps demand will help keep the falls capped," said Haitong International Securities analyst Zheng Zhihao.
Wow, when the Chinese are worried about capacity… that really makes the mind race.
-- The fine folks from the Window and Door Dealers Alliance put out a piece HERE explaining the new tax credit rules for residential windows. I know most people who read this blog are commercial folks, but this question does sometimes cross over and heck its good just to know.
-- Also for 2011, I started yet another phase of a lifestyle change… otherwise known as a diet. Since I am now bigger than most offensive lineman in the NFL and more importantly I am running out of clothes that fit, I had to get back on the wagon. So much fun just eating like crazy…. Oh well. So with that news if you have stock in Domino’s or M&M Mars, you may want to sell… because their biggest customer is now off the market for a while.
-- Registration is open for Glassweek and BEC. Some very good pieces yet again on tap for that event. If you have never gone or haven’t been in a few years, give it a go. It is worth it on several levels.
-- Funniest thing I saw during the holidays? When I was in LA, I saw a van advertising a local plumber… his motto was in all seriousness... “The Smell Good Plumber”… I never ever associated my need for a plumber with the smell he may leave behind.
-- By the time many of you read this the BCS National Championship will have passed… but so I am on record… I am going with Oregon…. I think it’s a close first half but Oregon wears em down in the 2nd. Final score Oregon 41 Auburn 24.
LINKS of the WEEK
-- The aftermath of that winter storm before new years that left people stuck in airports for days….people fired up…
-- Simply amazing story about a real life “Thumbelina”
-- I am not an Auto Glass guy but they have this wild “Bullying” controversy going on over there. Tremendous blog take on it here. Some of the stuff that happens on the auto side really dwarfs any of our controversies that’s for sure.
VIDEO of the WEEK
You may have heard about the homeless guy with the “Voice of God” but in case you missed it, here’s the video that started it all. Since this video went viral, the homeless guy has gotten a ton of gigs and now has an agent to boot. Crazy.