Sunday, December 16, 2012

New Code, New Year

This week as I was reviewing my Twitter feed, I came across a tweet from green building consultant and guru Arlene Stewart on the forthcoming energy codes.  The title of the report that Arlene linked to is called “Are You Ready for the Mandatory Measures in the New Green Building Codes” and it is required reading for everyone in our industry that wants to get a feel for what is happening.  The link can be found HERE.  These codes and the mandatory aspects are just the start, there’s more coming and I expect some to be good for our industry and of course some to be bad.  The key is educating yourself and what is happening and making the necessary preparations for them.  And that will include working with the big suppliers, attending industry workshops, forums, and shows and of course making sure you monitor media like Glass Magazine to stay on top of the latest. 


--  This is my last blog of the calendar year… We’ll be back at it week of 1/6.  Unless something big goes down…

--  The USA Today once again this week went after the USGBC and green building in schools.  I am really enjoying that such a major media outlet is going so hard after this.  And in my opinion they have been dead on… the flaws within LEED have been pretty obvious and it’s great that they are getting exposed on a national level.  A lot of time and resources have been squandered chasing points instead of true sustainability.

--  Happy Anniversary to the fine folks at Heitmann & Associates as they celebrated 46 years in business this past week.  Congrats gang!

--  Very cool link here on the Top 12 Memorable Marketing Campaigns of 2012.  It made me think of which ones in our industry would make a list like that and so without further delay mine would be for 2012:

---------Overall champ would be TGP… they have had a tremendous year in the marketing space, really well done.  They have done it all well, including social, print, and call to action pieces.  The Razwick family and guys like Devin Bowman and Chuck Knickerbocker are already excellent, and this approach just makes them more so….

---------Best magazine ads would be Kawneer and Cardinal- both groups come up with sharp, readable and eye-catching pieces.  Also as I have noted here in the past, I liked PPG’s “hugger” ads.   

---------Best mixed media and promotional push is YKK AP… they are active and energized, just constantly pushing the envelope.  Their effort at AIA (among others) this year was incredible and will be a challenge to top. 

---------And last for best uses of social media, the gang at Guardian.  They have embraced this approach and really have owned it.  It’s like having a whole additional media outlet at your disposal.

And yes I am sure I may have missed some folks in my very unscientific approach, so please feel free to point out anyone you think deserves some props!

--  Since I’ll be off for a few weeks, the NFL season will end and I need to give props to reader Dan for calling out that the Dolphins may win more than the Jets this year.  That still could happen, as the Dolphins have played much better than I thought and Jets worse.  My playoff predictions look pretty solid though the Baltimore-Chicago Super Bowl looking pretty shaky.  We will see…

--  Well that’s all for 2012 folks.  Thank you to everyone who reads and comments (both publicly on here and privately to me)  I truly appreciate it.  I know this blog has evolved from a biting, sometime nasty take on things, to a kindler, gentler piece but yet you all have stayed with me and continued to support the effort.  Thank you.  My best wishes to everyone for a very happy holiday season and a happy, healthy, a profitable 2013!!  See you on the other side!


--  Excellent piece on review sites and if they are worth it.  For me I struggle because you really never know which reviews were plants- good or bad. 

--  Interesting story of insider trading with the daughter of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner.  Wonder if this happens at public companies more than we know?

--  A found Dinosaur bone… in Michigan… not far from my home.. Very cool!


And to end the year… a wild video… the top “face plants” of 2012.  I am amazed at what some people do and even get on video.  Wow.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Big Win for Now

When the US Department of Commerce leveled an anti-dumping duty on aluminum extrusion products back in 2011 it did have a significant effect on many companies.  Some that brought in the Chinese material were scrambling for new suppliers and importers had to take a step back.  Now with last week’s announcement that products like unitized curtain wall are included in that process, I fully expect some consequential fall out.  Leading up to this decision the debate was fierce and I have a feeling that the folks who lost are not going away quietly.  I just don’t think this over.  In the meantime I have to give props to the folks from Architectural Aluminum & Glass, Bagatelos Architectural and Walters & Wolf.  They stepped up to the plate and put themselves in the battle.  Believe me, I have been in the middle of these issues in the past and you’d be amazed how many folks talk a big game, but when push comes to shove they turtle under.  These guys didn’t.  Good for them. 


--  Happy Hanukah… or Chanukah… or however you want to spell it.  As I have noted here in the past, I don’t think there is a wrong spelling….

--  With that holiday here and the others coming, I am sure many of you will be looking to either get a new tablet or update on what you have.  I have been hearing great things about the new Microsoft Surface, though it is very pricey.  I am still an iPad guy…  and hoping that sometime during Hanukah, a new one is waiting for me….

--  And when I get it, one of my first apps to download will be Glass Magazine’s.  Right now I use it all the time, it’s a great app and a super way to read the magazine, which is always excellent.  I like how the updated news comes on, meaning it’s a really up to date App, and you get MUST READ content like this past months article on codes from Julie Ruth.  It truly is a crucial work piece.

--  Back in early October Jenni Chase did the blog of the year about being a “glass geek” and at the time it got a ton of action.  Now on LinkedIn that blog has gotten renewed interest, as in one of the forums, its one of the most popular and commented upon piece.  With that came a great line from Thomas Moore as it pertains to our love for glass…. "People look through the glass and glass fanatics look AT the glass"  So true….

--  Cool education event lined up by the gang at SAPA… it is their Profile Academy for Building and Construction.  Really a loaded educational agenda set for February in Atlanta.  Registration ends in mid January, so if you are a curtain wall manufacturer, glazing contractor or aluminum fabricator, before you break for the holidays, you may want to check this out at

--  Congrats to my good friend Kelly Townsend on his new gig at Wausau… don’t forget us little folks Kelly now that you have gone big time!

--  Last this week- a solid business book for you to check out.  Its called “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg and it offers some really neat insights on how companies like Target can predict what their customers may be purchasing.  Plus there’s a great psychological appeal to the book as it explains habits and cues and its effect on daily life.  Quick informative read. 


--  Gotta love this one… school sells drink that says on its label that it’s not intended for children.  Fail.

--  Uh oh, sounds like a war between Twitter and Instagram.

--  Say goodbye to that DC/DVD drive on your computer…


After several months of not supplying me my videos (because he’s actually way too busy with his day job… imagine that!!???) My brother returns with an oldie but a good one… the marriage proposal gone wrong….

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Approaching the Cliff

One of the big news items in the world right now is the “Fiscal Cliff” discussion in Washington.  For such an extremely important situation it does blow me away that it wasn’t heavily discussed during the election cycle.  I sometimes don’t get the priorities out there.  In any case I think all of us have a stake in what may happen with this issue.  Last week I ran into this article that gave some insight from folks connected with the construction industry and their thoughts.  It’s an interesting read and as the next 4 weeks tick down to the deadline, I am hopeful that the best deal for the country and our industry can be made.


--  Once again the USA Today jumped into discussion about the construction industry, with this weeks story talking about the lack of workforce and worries that if/when the economy really comes back, there won’t be anyone to fill the jobs.  This is a discussion I have had on here a few times specific to our industry.  We still don’t have the bench or bullpen necessary to deal with an influx of business and with cash flow so tight no one can afford the luxury of carrying extra folks.  There’s no question this will be an issue that will come and slap us hard- fascinating to see national media catch on.

--  Congrats to Seth Patterson who just picked up a promotion at Thermal Windows Inc.  Seth is a very good guy and Thermal a solid company.  Very exciting for both parties!

--  I saw that Gary Curtis and Jeff Baker were back on the board at NFRC but then I figured that story had to be a reprint from 2005.  It wasn’t.  For those of you who once upon a time were involved in the NFRC discussions, you probably are shaking your head.  This is the ultimate of “the more things change….”

--  Last weekend USC played Notre Dame.. at the start of the season I picked SC to win it all…. Once again soooo wrong!  Meanwhile I am thrilled for the Irish and their fans- guys like Jerry Decker of WinDoor (who wrote in last week) and former NGA VP David Walker.  Those guys have to be on cloud nine right now.  The championship will be tough though… Alabama is a beast and Nick Saban one of the best.

--  Oh by the way, I am calling it now, Ohio State will win it all in 2013.  They have the easiest schedule in modern football history and an incredible coach in Urban Meyer.

--  Fellow road warriors, have you gotten caught by the newest trick in your hotel room?  Recently every hotel I stay at, when I go to take a shower, the showerhead is pointed out towards the bathroom.  So when you sleepily roll into to start the shower, you get alive quite quick as water is spraying everywhere.  I have a feeling this is the service folks way at the hotel having fun with all of us.

--  Last this week… once upon a time I was a runner.  And in the groove, I really enjoyed it.  Unfortunately I have fallen hard off that wagon.  Maybe I’ll get to it in 2013.  In any case, maybe I won’t after seeing an article in the Wall Street Journal that says running may not be the best for you as you age- in fact it could even be bad for you! I actually can’t wait for Bill Evans to read the piece and see what he says given he’s one of the most accomplished runners I know.  In the meantime, this article is going to be my “get out of exercise free” card…. Yep I’m only looking out for my health!!!! LOL


--  And as I noted above Ohio State really only cares about winning (but that’s everyone in big time college football really) and they showed their colors this past week.

--  Tough story on obese woman who was denied the ability to fly home from overseas for surgery and eventually passed away. 

--  Online book quiz… next week I’ll have an awesome book for you all  to check out… for now try the quiz.


Thanks to Marty Richardson of Metro Glass for sending this in… a very addictive version of Gangnam style with the Denver Nuggets mascot…