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.


-- 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!!


-- 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.


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.


-- 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!


-- 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.

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.