Sunday, July 29, 2012

Working through the dog days of summer

So news of big price increases in the industry hit in the last few weeks… There’s no question that costs have gone up on everything… not only in our industry but also in our lives as a whole.  Whether it’s groceries or building supplies the cost to produce, handle and ship have been rising pretty consistently in recent times.  In most industries a price increase is what it is… but in this one, because of past history, nothing is easy or as it seems.  Will this be an increase that sticks or will this just be another footnote in our crazy past of handling of costs?  There’s a ton of dynamics at play here, and it sure will be something to watch what moves are made in the marketplace and who makes them.


--  The Olympics kicked off this past Friday and the two main thoughts I had… The lack of a moment of silence for the athletes murdered in 1972 continues to be a major stain on the Olympic movement.  While small and private memorials have been done, the Olympics absolutely refuse to recognize or honor the victims of that heinous time on a true stage of legitimacy for the world to see.  So my message to the organizers…. keep avoiding facing it head on and the drumbeat for the need to honor the victims will just keep growing.  Why doing the right thing is so hard here is beyond me.  Also beyond me, most of that opening ceremony!  Weird and bizarre are two words that sum up most of it.  Plus who woulda thunk “The Pet Shop Boys” would have a song played during an Olympic opening… crazy.

--  Congrats to the National Glass Association for an Olympic sized victory this week… The NGA was one of the groups behind HR 4078, which is legislation that will do the following:

Reform legislation to streamline the time-consuming permitting process, bring transparency to rules issued by agencies as a result of an out-of-court agreement, and prohibit agencies from issuing a cascade of regulations when a change of administrations occurs.

Basically this bill reduces the massive red tape that small business owners have to face when building their business.  Nice to see theNational Glass Association really getting into it like this and let’s hope the Senate now does the right thing and continues this momentum.

--  The update on GlassBuild America.  Tuesday the 31st (so if you are reading this via e-glass weekly, that is TODAY) is the last day for the awesome rates at the LVH hotel for GlassBuild.  So jump off this blog now by clicking here, and book before the rates go up.  The actual hotel block is available still through August 21st, but you know you’re going to the show, so why wait?  Book now!

--  Last this week... a good friend of mine called me this week and took me to task about my blog.  It’s boring and the same stuff over and over again he excitedly told me.  He mentioned that he still reads it weekly but its just not cutting it lately.  I heard him out and agreed with a lot of it, as this summer has been very slow for news and opinion and it does seem like some subjects have been more prominent than others.  We are in the dog days and I have found myself caught up in it.  In any case, I am aware of it and I will keep grinding along and try to bring you the blog you expect and have been supporting since 2005.  I appreciate everyone who reads, comments, e-mails etc., so keep it coming.


--  Wild story of a bear in a suburban Pittsburgh mall.  It is not the mall my sister works at otherwise the bear would’ve left decked out in all new Nordstrom gear… because she can sell anyone- man, woman, child and animal.

--  This is the wildest story of the weak… guy sends a negative tweet during a concert and gets booted!  Wow.

--  And reason # 3,798 that I hate banks these days…


In the spirit of the Olympics, here is a look at some great “fails” from the world of Track and Field… some are truly epic!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Uh Oh... the ABI stays negative

That awful sound you may be hearing is the Architectural Billings Index (ABI) gasping for air.  Can it really be happening again?  Once you think you have made it out of the woods, you realize you’re still lost.  In any case the news this past week that the ABI is still trending in negative territory was brutal.  And considering that the graph of the ABI from year to year looks eerily similar, 2013 could take the same shape as 2012.  Part of me does believe the ABI and its ilk are just educated guesses anyway, but even if true people do believe and follow them.   Bottom line is we are still in tenuous territory.  That said, does any of this matter?  The election in November is going to move the needle one way or another and all of the future research is basically worthless because of that.  So we wait…


--  Got great insight and reaction on my post from last week about SAM saving the day.  Best was the education I got from people who have dealt with spontaneous breakage due to nickel sulfide and how hard it is to find.  These folks pretty much shot down SAM’s effectiveness.  So now I am curious to see how this program will actually work, as the experts I talked with were pretty adamant that this is very wishful thinking. 

--  Anyone else having trouble with picking their winners on the Glass Magazine awards?  Man it is brutal- so many great candidates.  I am betting these elections are going to be insanely close, so please vote.  Best of all this is a great and fair way to recognize talent- even being nominated is huge.  There’s no politics in the end selection process, which is really refreshing.

--  Great tweet from the account of ICD last week with a story on “green” being old news and “zero impact” being the future.  So totally dead on.  The zero impact way really is the next frontier.  The story is here and if you want to follow a person who is constantly linking interesting and need to know stuff, follow ICD and my pal the Glass Pundit, Kris Vockler.   

--  Speaking of “green”…  Last Wednesday a new group was announced with a press release that brought together a lot of building and construction associations to start the American High Performance Buildings Coalition.  This new organization is going to do something that I have been preaching here for a long time, and that is to get into the real crux of the green movement and ensure that the development of all green standards available make sense.  This group will also be ANSI accredited which is a positive too.  Hopefully they can be fair and transparent (and not biased or political) and make these programs truly effective.

--  In my weekly look at GlassBuild America news… it was announced that the Innovative Product Pavilion had sold out.  That is awesome news- it proves that the advancements in technology in our industry are not a fable, but true blue.  So on the floor in Las Vegas will be the technology that will take our industry into the future and that is extremely exciting.  I am not sure how anyone in business can choose to miss this…  Wouldn’t you want to be in the front of trend innovation and knowledge wise instead of chasing?  So there ya go, my weekly plug for the show… BE THERE!

--  Last this week, back in December 2010 I ran this story about the amazing practice of an online eyeglass seller letting bad reviews drive his business and then bullying people that purchased from him.   Basically he is opposite of what we all try to do, but it was working… until the guy behind it eventually went too far with the threats and was arrested for the threats he laid out.   Now an update comes that his bail has been revoked… and he is still in business too.  Amazing.


--  For my fellow road warriors out there… scary news about the possibility of an airline pilot shortage…. Oh the joy (scarcasm intended) of flying to continue…

--  Can somebody tell me after reading this article why the dad thinks it’s the park’s fault his daughter burned her feet?  Dude, you looked away, and your shoeless toddler stepped out onto a metal grate.  Gotta love how people refuse to take responsibility.

--  Dennis Rodman’s dad… name is Philander… has 29 kids by 16 women.  That is not a misprint.  Philander.  29 kids.  16 women. 


Once upon a time I was a producer in the news/sports business  and we had an epic reel of failures… well with youtube, they are easy to find daily and he’s a pretty good compilation of them.  Best one that appeals to our world is one we showed a while back of a news reporter trying to break glass around the 2:40 mark.  This entire piece though does feature some salty language so its probably not safe for work.  

Sunday, July 15, 2012

SAM to the rescue

When I saw the news come across about a robot that could help inspect glass on Toronto condos, I immediately clicked on it.    I would assume you are aware of the whole “glass falling from the condo” issue in Toronto (and elsewhere but mostly Toronto) that has been a huge story.  Now with this news, there could be a whole new angle.  The robot SAM could scan the building and find the areas of need and distress.  If this robot actually can work, and I am sure there’s experts out there who believe it won’t, it could be a major player in the downtown high rise markets for skittish developers worried about glass falling out.   I still believe though at the end of the day all balcony material should go to laminated, but that would only be new buildings, the thousands of current structures are here to stay and now maybe we can get a glimpse into the future.


--  Speaking of glass breakage I saw the story a few weeks back that glass at the new World Trade Center was damaged after by being struck by a load of steel moved by a huge gust of wind.  Thankfully no one was hurt and all has still supposedly stayed on schedule.  If true, I have to assume that the glass broken was the stuff made in the US and not the materials that came from overseas.  Would be curious to see how bad the turn would be if it was the overseas stuff, could’ve been a great lesson for the Port Authority.  Then again they could probably care less.

--  Gotta say that last week’s post here surely had legs.  This blog was the first place that the info on Serious Energy was listed including the ouster of Kevin Surace.  Soon after a San Francisco paper followed suit as did others.  Then the video of the week on the amazing 3D printing ended up as a front section story in USA Today.  And yes I am sure it was all coincidence but sure was nice to be ahead of the curve!

--  This week’s note on GlassBuild America focuses on the networking aspect.  Plain and simple no other event brings the amount of people, quality, connected people, to one place like the show does.  Add in the awesome reception (always after night 1 of the show) sponsored by the fine folks at Quanex and you have the recipe to not only network to the best of your ability but have a great night too.  GBA is less than 60 days away!

--  Are you all as conflicted as me on whom to vote for in the Glass Magazine awards?  Some amazing candidates- a massive congratulation is due to everyone nominated and the great companies that employ them.  If you have not voted yet, you can go here to check it out.

--  Last this week… this link brings big news… the end of the world is not coming on December 21, 2012 as the Mayan’s supposedly predicted.  New evidence and research is showing that 12/21/12 was just the end of the Mayan calendar.  So we have to still keep working…


--  Tom Cruise not happy with the National Enquirer…

--  Insane.  The US Olympic team will be decked out in outfits made in China.  Sorry folks, that is shameful. 

--  This story.  You just can’t this stuff up.


You may have seen this video from a different angle previously.  It is the San Diego 4th of July Fireworks show that basically went up in smoke.  This is from much closer… wild stuff.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Knowledge is Power

Hope everyone had a good holiday.  Though having the holiday on a Wednesday made for a seriously disjointed workweek!

GlassBuild America is about two months away and judging from the suppliers lining up to do the show, it’s looking to be a terrific event.  In this world we live in, information and knowledge leads to extreme power, and with what will be on display in Vegas this year that “powerful” opportunity will be at hand.  Obviously I am biased as I am a supporter of the show, but take that away and look at some of the people and products that will be on display and you will see where I am going with this.  The technology and innovation being readied are difference makers and the people that attend will benefit and those who stay home will be steps behind.  So starting with this week’s post I’ll make one note a week here on the blog about GBA, just because I believe its THAT important.  And I’m also sure you’ll be hearing tons more about the show in the next 30-45 days but take a few minutes, review the current trade show floor, and go book your flights & hotels as the prices are pretty economical.  It’s worth it folks, plain and simple.


--  Quietly it looks like Kevin Surace is now gone officially from Serious Materials.  Surace surely made a heck of an impression in his short time in the industry.  He was a memorable keynote speaker at the Glazing Executive Forum last year and was never shy with an opinion or new approach.  He was a lightning rod for sure.  My favorite was when Surace blogged that the window industry needed to shed 50% of its capacity… pretty bizarre since you know we’d all like half our competitors to just “give up” and his company actually was adding capacity including grabbing plants for publicity more than production.   So all that said you now have to wonder how what happens next there… especially will the famous Chicago plant (the sit in plant, where Surace rode to the rescue) be sold to the employees, as they want?   Gonna be interesting…

--  Hot enough for everyone?  Hopefully my friends in the DC/Virginia area are starting to get back to normal after the brutal storms.  Mother Nature has not been kind.

--  There were some sneaky good tweets by Mark Silverberg of Technoform during the Facades Tectonics Conference last week.  He linked to a few good pieces and he passed on a great line from conference speaker Mic Patterson of Enclos  “We must innovate our way to sustainability in the building sector” Right on guys! Oh and to clarify, I say “sneaky” because Mark is like the “EF Hutton” of Tweeters… when he tweets, people listen! (At least I do)

--  Speaking of good tweets, Glass Magazine’s Katy Devlin kept everyone up to date on what sounded like a great WDMA meeting in Minnesota.  The highlites once again were the advanced technology plays (see that theme again!) that are an absolute must for our industry to thrive. 

--  Was introduced to one of the brains behind Swarfbuster this past week.  I had heard of them and seen them mentioned on blogs and on LinkedIn but honestly I never knew what/who they were… so it was pretty cool to actually get some knowledge.  Turns out to be a fascinating product too as I never knew about “Swarfs” and it’s effect on glass fabrication.  (Swarfs are the dust and leftover particles that end up bonding together to gunk up glass fabrication equipment like polishers) You learn something new everyday.   I hope to see them at the show!

--  Last this week this comical story from New Jersey about the New York Giants and Jets filing a lawsuit to stand in the way of some redevelopment in the area around their stadium.   The teams are worried about the traffic it will cause during their game days…. Uh can we get any shorter sighted?  Football teams play once per week….  So sure let’s stand in it’s way right?  Unreal. 


And yes our society falls down yet another peg… yeesh.

This was hilarious… the real names of foods… Love the Twinkie one as I may be the only human alive that think they are awful.

This is a classic case of being really book smart and having zero common sense.  Amazing. 


This one comes from my friend Manny, still glowing from his Miami Heat title… it’s the most amazing printer I have ever seen… simply mind blowing stuff here.