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!


-- 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.


-- 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.


-- 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.


-- 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…


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.


-- 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 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!


-- 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.


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!