Sunday, December 08, 2013


So for the past several weeks I have been sifting through a ton of e-mails recommending to me who should be the 2013 Glass and Glazing MVP.  To win this, the person needed to be a combination of strong company person and someone who also supports our industry.  In simple terms a “go to” candidate that can always be counted on to have our best interests in hand and represent our world right.  I have to say there was no shortage of possibilities as we have some amazing people in our world.  Some who work very hard with little to no recognition, but they do so because of their desire and/or their companies desire to be the best.  Picking one person was very hard, but in the end, I had to buckle down and choose just one… so the winner of my first Glass and Glazing MVP is….. Tracy Rogers of Quanex.   Tracy does bring it all; professionally he possesses great technical knowledge and a strong marketing feel. He also brings superior industry group participation (and that was a big piece for me) and I believe a sincere desire to make sure our world is always represented in the best manner possible.  Kudos would also need to go to Quanex as well because without a strong backing company, one that cares tremendously like they do, Tracy probably couldn’t do all he does.  So congrats to Tracy and Quanex, and since ironically I don’t believe Tracy reads my stuff (but I know plenty of other Quanex people do) please pass this along to him! And with Tracy’s fun sense of humor I can only imagine the comment he’ll be making about this…


This will be my last post of 2013, unless of course major news breaks…

--  It’s been a tremendous and interesting year.  We did experience a bounce back business wise.  While some pockets in North America are still challenged, many others have had a good to great year.  No one I think will admit that publicly, afraid to jinx the trend, but that’s what I am seeing.  Now we need to keep that momentum going!

--  In also looking back… I think we saw great strides in products and technology.  The aluminum guys continue to bring new and innovative products out.  You know I am a fan of YKK, and I have to give props to CRL/US Aluminum, they are really coming down the pike with some fascinating product lines.  On the glass side… The 4th surface Low E play started to make an impact and the dynamic glass space is boiling over with excitement. I know many people are getting wearied about hearing about dynamics, but its here to stay and will be a factor going forward.  Other areas like machinery (one example, the huge Michael Schmidt ForEl news) hardware, and spacers all made major advances in 2013 as well.  In reality, a lot of movers and shakers were doing their thing in 2013 and I am excited to see what next year now brings.

--  As for looking forward, we come into 2014 with some momentum from the forecasts, hopefully they are finally right!  I also believe we’ll see more deals and consolidations as well, there’s been a ton of talk of major forces teaming together and if that happens it will make serious waves.

Other quick notes-

--  I love that GANA BEC will have ESPN analyst and former Philadelphia QB Ron Jaworski as one of their speakers.  “Jaws” will be a fun one to see and hear. 

--  I still don’t have my health insurance lined up for next year; this should be a very interesting few weeks…

--  Loved Bill Evans blog from last week.  The guy consistently delivers greatness.  I think the only thing I have on him is quantity!

--  I saw a quick note on Cristacurva carrying Onyx Solar Products and I was surprised since it sure seemed that the photovoltaic push had stalled some.  This will be interesting to watch and see if it perks back up.

--  For you soccer fans, the US has no chance in the upcoming world cup.  What a horrible draw for them. 

--  For you football fans, what an end to the College Football season… Sparty comes through and we get what should be a fun high scoring final between Auburn and Florida State.

--  Last…. As many of you know I call this blog “my therapy” and it allows me to get thoughts off my chest.  Getting to share with you is a thrill and getting picked up weekly in Glass Magazine is an extreme honor.  So with that I want to wish all of you a happy and HEALTHY 2014.  It will be a good year, I know it.  And on the healthy side, a special wish of health to my brother who will happily turn the page on the misery of 2013, and be 100% in the new year.  What an adventure he’s been on, and I am glad to say he’s finally almost back!

See you in January!!


--  Someone has to explain to me what “Bitcoin” is and how this sign could make 24k.  I am in the wrong business if this is real.

--  Personally I love, but this guy sure doesn’t

--  Never got a note like this for all the miles I fly… but nice touch.


I just finished a book called “Nothing to Lose, The Making of KISS” which was a great oral history of the first few years of KISS the rock group.  If you like them at all, get the book, great stories on how they started and made it.  (Spoiler: They worked VERY hard).  Anyway, this clip of Gene Simmons of KISS appearing on the Mike Douglas show back in the 70’s has been making the rounds and its really something… bizarre and interesting all at the same time!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

The Young and the Restless

The last big event of the calendar year (Greenbuild) was recently held in Philadelphia and like most shows this year, reactions were once again mixed.  Most people I talked to said the first day was pretty rough but there was some bounce back after that.  However the one item that been frustrating exhibitors is the clientele of architects visiting this show continue to be non-decision makers.  Younger designers and students are the dominant attendees and it just forces the exhibitors to hope that in time their investments will pay off.  Now what does that have to do with our industry as a whole?  Shows like this are important to show off our product lines, technology and industry overall.  If we are not reaching the folks who make the end calls, it certainly is not a positive. Who knows maybe in a few years these young folks that we’ve wined and dined at these shows will come through for our world.


--  At Greenbuild an announcement was made that the USGBC and UL are now working together on some items.  My reaction is one of dread.  These two getting together is like King Kong and Godzilla teaming up.  Going to be brutal.  Good luck to anyone who ends up dealing with this combo.

--  In my last blog I noted the Atlanta Braves are building a new stadium since their old one is all of 17 years old.  Then came news that the Washington Nationals want a roof for their brand new stadium.  I am sure they will get it too when all is said and done.  No one fleeces the taxpayer better than pro sports teams.

--  Next week I will unveil my glass and glazing industry MVP for 2014.  Tons of candidates when all is said and done… this will NOT be an easy choice.

--  The monthly Architectural Billings Index (ABI) update was slightly down but still positive.  Given that it could’ve been affected by the government shutdown, that’s probably not a bad performance.  Again we will see- given the performance of the ABI all year, next year should be very strong.

--  For those of you on the retail side, dealing with reviews on the Internet is a challenge.  Especially when a competitor/imposter is posting negative reviews to hurt your business.  Well this story from last week is a table turner and pretty wild. Unfortunately this policy hampers the wrong party.

--  Whenever I get Glass Magazine the first thing I do is look at all the ads.  I want to see what everyone is doing and how they are doing it.  This past month Cardinal Glass continued their roll of great ads, with a really strong and eye-catching piece on their new spacer offerings.  Gotta give their ad and marketing team props because they always deliver.

--  Last this week… College Football is the best.  Rivalry weekend is amazing and always delivers.  And that Auburn-Alabama game and its finish take the cake.  You will probably see nothing like that for the rest of your life.  Now if only College Football had a true tournament like College Hoops it would be absolutely perfect.


--  This story has it all… football, good coaching, parents, and Ellen.  Love it all.

--  I like fun crowds at sporting events and this sounds like one.

--  5 "bad" gift cards to give for the holidays… and while they may be bad for the writer here, how is any gift actually bad?


YKK premiered its newest music video at Greenbuild.  If you have not seen.. you can now!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A tough loss

The passing of Greg Carney continues to loom large in my mind, so I wanted to spend just a little more time remembering this tremendous man.  So many of the initiatives, policies, and procedures that we follow as an industry had significant input and direction from Greg.  Greg was also involved with new technology and products that have yet to hit full-scale production too… when they do, it will be another awesome remembrance of what he brought to our world.  He had a passion for our world and ironically one of his biggest concerns was one we still have to address- getting younger folks interested in what we do and building talent and depth.  With Greg’s passing, it leaves yet another major hole on the technical side that needs filled. 
On the personal side, Greg was always there as a friend, always there with support whenever you needed it.  When I decided to start my own business, Greg gave me tons of models and insights to consider and follow.  It was also the thought of collaborating with Greg that pushed me to create the business the way I did. Greg Carney was an excellent man, father, and son.  Let’s not forget all he brought our industry and may he forever rest in peace.


--  Just a programming note, no blog from me next week because of the impending Thanksgiving holiday. 

--  Sending out get-well wishes to old friend Wayne Smith of Trulite. Hope you get better quickly sir and congrats on a great year by your “War Eagle” squad.  And what an amazing win by your auburn Tigers this weekend....

--  Greenbuild is this week and I am on record with my feelings for the event.  I am looking forward though to the release of the newest YKK video.  After how great the first two were the bar is very high.  Once I get it I’ll make it the video of the week here.

--  The Atlanta Braves are getting a new stadium.  You know because their current one is so old and decrepit… built waaaaaay back in the 90’s and all.  Unreal.  In any case a new stadium will be good for the glass industry in Atlanta, but I am not sure it makes great sense for the taxpayers and community though.

--  Hurricane season for the Atlantic ends officially at the end of the month and it looks like it will be one of the most mellow seasons in history.  This would also be the first time since 1968 that no major hurricane formed.  The predictions this year may be worse than all of my sporting predictions combined as the experts were calling for between 7 and 11 hurricane status storms… I guess those forecasters will now come over to the glass industry and start to predict our economic landscape!

--  Normally I would just link this story in my section for that, but it’s a great one.  A boy with Down Syndrome saves a classmate from choking.  Just excellent stuff and a good way to end a very tough week.


--  I have never done Disneyland… I am more a Disney World guy… but good link with helpful tips if you happen to go…

--  Fun facts surrounding the classic movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

--  Horrible and depressing way to end a Cruise.  Wow.


A simply enjoyable mash up of the somewhat unhinged mayor of Toronto and deceased funnyman actor Chris Farley. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Remembering Greg Carney, Rest In Peace

Just heard the news on the passing of Greg Carney.  I have to admit it has shook me up pretty bad.  We have truly lost a tremendous person.  The last several years of Greg’s life were not fun as his health betrayed him at several turns.  A few years ago he fought back but I guess this was finally his time.  I am truly devastated for his kids and family.  A great man taken way too soon.  I will miss Greg’s approach, care, and passion for life and our industry.  He was a fighter for what was right and was never ever afraid to say what was on his mind.  He also had a great sense of humor, could laugh at himself and have fun despite sometimes being in the firing line of industry politics.  When he grew his hair out to look “Fabio” like I noted it here on the blog and he had a field day with it.  He was always there for his friends too- no matter what he came through.  This is a tough one to take.  My thoughts and prayers to Greg’s family during this incredibly trying time.

I am sure that the tributes will be coming from all over the globe.  This is a man who touched many and will be so missed.

As soon as more info comes available I will certainly share.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Price Increase Polka

In the news this week were announcements of price increases.  This is not new or stunning in anyway, in fact it’s become somewhat expected that a few times per year prices would be raised.  But this past spring when we had a price increase I was alerted by an industry insider to look at all of the increases and add them up over the last few years.  So I did… I went back to 2011 and added it all up.  Using all of these increases, clear glass should be at least 30% higher today than it was then.   Is it?  There are a few different angles at play here.  First off I believe we need to have higher prices, we have higher costs (and trust me from my current health care experience, wait until next year for those costs to explode) and the cost of doing business just continues to expand, so getting more for the product is a must.  Are we basically we’re our own worst enemy if we’re not getting mark ups that are needed? And yes there are surely two sides to this story, but I’m just throwing it out there, adding the numbers up surely gets you to think.


--  I am really excited about the interest in my 2013 Industry MVP award.  Great feedback and some additional candidates added.  Now I am even thinking about getting a cool glass award done for the winner.  After all, a most valuable person should get something to remember this award by!

--  Happy Birthday to my mom… hope you have a great one and many many more!

--  I am doing some research into various trade groups within our industry and I am specifically looking for regional glass and metal trade groups.  Examples would be like the Colorado Glazing Contractors Association and Washington Glass Association.  If you know of any, please drop me a line. 

--  I saw on this week that the DOE could be offering up to 1.6 million in funding to rate and certify the energy performance of commercial and residential window attachments.  The funding is subject to congressional appropriations which means it may not happen.  In any case, I am not sure it’s a great usage of public money.  While some of the money may be earmarked for actual technology, it is not known how much of it will be, and right now we need technology advancements more than rating.  And in the end, wouldn’t the NFRC just take that portion over anyway?  I would rather see funding go to companies for R&D with milestones set for these companies to reach to trigger additional support.  Otherwise, great ideas will die on the vine.

--  Last this week, Veterans Day is here and I just ask to please think about supporting a veteran through charitable giving.  These brave men and women fight for our way of life daily and they deserve as much support as we can offer.


--  What is AirBNB and ETSY and are they good or not?

--  Man dies when girlfriend doesn’t call 911.  Amazing.

--  A Pittsburgh man thinks he’s a dog.  Yep.  What a society we live in!


And how about this a car salesman with some solid dance skills..