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 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!


-- 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.


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.


-- 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!


-- 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.


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.


-- 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.


-- 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…


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