Saturday, October 26, 2013

Wait and See

The story on Central Kentucky Glass being indicted on charges from a Federal Grand Jury hit the news this week and my reaction is very simple.  Wait.  Just wait before you rush to assign guilt to the ownership and folks at Central Kentucky.  In my dealings with the Martin family, while somewhat limited, they were absolutely first class people.  I know other folks, who I have the utmost respect for who vouch for the character of this company as well.   There are two sides to every story and I can’t wait to hear Central Kentucky’s because I have a feeling there’s a lot more to tell.  Plus I am sure many of us have seen specs from a government agency not be the most specific, logical or professional.  Needless to say, I am backing these fine people and just ask everyone to wait before guilt is assumed. 


--  Major congrats to Deron Patterson of PPG on his elevation to International Sales Manager.  Deron is a good man and tremendously talented.  A well deserved promotion there!

--  There was a report this past week on “bulletproof” glass and its market growing in the next few years.  First off, I was always told the word “bulletproof” was incorrect, that it should always be “bullet resistant” and second, I actually believe the report on the growth because the world continues to be a very dangerous place and more and more people are recognizing it and spending more to combat it.

--  The Architectural Billings Index was up yet again last month, with the year it has had, next year in real orders “should” be quite strong.  Of course if you read my blog on a regular basis you now know why I put quotes around the word “should.”

--  I am waiting on reports from the Vitrum glass event held this past week in Italy.  Some initial responses to me have been mixed on how the show was, so I am waiting until all of the folks I know who went get back to North America.

--  The Bill Evans blog from last week was as always fantastic.  Bill always knows the tones to hit…

--  A few weeks ago I railed on the over abundance of pink, mostly in the NFL.  Well I found this incredible blog post from a breast cancer survivor who really put it all into perspective and wrote an incredibly passionate and moving piece on why this “pinkwashing” and all goes with it, is just not the best for the overall effort.

--  Did any of you see the bizarre story on the expert who thought wire glass could save lives in a case of an attack at a school?  If not it’s HERE and the guy who said it is pretty confused about modern wire glass. Personally I would hate to see this get any traction as we are finally making in roads in getting wire glass OUT of our world, I would hate to see it come back in.

--  Another week and another sets of major violence at schools.  I seriously think its time we have a dialogue on the mental health issues in our world, as they are pretty severe.  That to me is more important than any other controls.

--  Last this week… the NBA tips off this week and I am very excited actually about my Detroit Pistons… they may break 500 and make the playoffs… that said, this league still belongs to the Miami Heat and until LeBron retires or leaves them, I’m picking them to win it.


--  Bizarre billboard up the road from me in Flint, MI.  Any clue what it stands for?

--  I am always amazed at Marathon runners who do other stuff while running.  I mean it’s hard enough to RUN, let alone do other stuff like this guy just did…

--  This is a debate I have had with a buddy of mine for a while… college or not?


The Simpsons continues to be a classic show… though I must admit I haven’t watched it in a few years.  I did however catch this cool video of 10 Amazing Facts about the show…

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Oh just wait NEXT year is the year

When it comes to construction forecasts I personally have been all over the board and that actually makes me exactly like the experts paid to make those predictions.  This past week, three major experts got together and presented and I am now as conflicted and frustrated as ever.  The main issue I have is the constant “kick the can down the road” approach.  I have fallen guilty to this effort, which means you are always saying, “just wait, such and such a year will be great!” A year ago the predictions pointed to 2013 being good, especially the 2nd half.  Now this past week one of the major experts booted that “can” down the road and said he hopes non residential will improve “later this year and do even better in 2014 and 2015.”  That comment just eats at me and shows that this is an inexact science- nobody really knows what’s going to happen.
What we do know is many areas are busy and many companies are doing the best they have done since the recession hit.  Bidding activity is strong as well.  But getting clarity from the experts and accurately reading tealeaves is just not something that we can expect.  By the way the experts were overall confident that we are growing in most sectors (though education looks ugly) and the trends are heading in the right direction.  I guess we will see…


--  Now that the shutdown is over or delayed until the fight starts again in 2014, maybe the focus can get on to the other issues that seriously complicate our world.  Then again Washington is so dysfunctional, that will never happen.  And to those of you dealing with the new health care act, I feel your pain, my health plan was cancelled (so much for “if you like your plan you can keep it”), pushing me into a whole new world that so far has not be easy to navigate.  More on this as it plays out. 

--  Greenbuild, the show that just boggles my mind with massive hypocrisy is coming in about a month.  Who’s going?  Philly in late November… should be special.  Attendance though should be good given where the show is and the bizarre hype that show gets.

--  I’ve been playing with an idea (which I am confident will be copied by others, which is fine since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery) to have my own award of MVP of the flat glass industry for 2013.  Someone who has made an impact on our world whether its with technology, codes, companies, growth, charity etc.  I have a few people in mind, and will be laying them out in the coming weeks and naming the winner at the end of the year.  I may even spring for a glass trophy for the winner.  If you have someone in mind that deserves recognition, drop me an e-mail.

--  Last this week… another public get well soon.. as we continue to wish for a speedy recovery of Tim Moore and his daughter, thoughts go out to my brother Steve who underwent a serious neck and spine procedure this past week.  Surgery was smooth but recovery has been very rough.  Get well quick bro… we need you back out there doing all you do!


-- Tremendous and inspiring story of a marathon runner with MD.

--  College admission sabotage and more.  The pressure to get into a college and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for that honor is insane.

The end of coloring at this school… I like it since it’s very frustrating when your kids are in 8th grade and still having to “color” projects.


The new headquarters for Apple are proceeding and the building looks to be amazing.  To help get the city to approve it, Apple produced the video below which I found really interesting.  Especially the comments on the glass of course.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Think about the Pink

Being that it was a quiet week in the industry, I decided got this post to talk about the pink… the pink that is dominating this month thanks to breast cancer awareness efforts.  On the whole I think its amazing and exciting how this effort has taken off, pink dominates so much of society during this month that it’s really mind blowing.   But now is it too much?  Is it becoming too much fashion and not enough focus on the needs to actually cure the disease?  I sincerely wonder if some of the folks going so all in on this would be better off donating cold hard cash to research and a cure instead of these advertising efforts.  Specifically the worst aggressor of this is pro football where even the referees are throwing pink colored penalty flags.  To me their effort is complete overkill.  When money is being spent on items like that, I believe it’s a waste.  Instead of making pink football socks and pink mouth pieces- items that most of the general public would not probably buy- why not donate direct to the cause.  Awareness of this specific disease is surely high- especially this month, but is the money being funneled to the right places for the right usage?

Obviously ALL forms of cancer need to be cured.  All need awareness.  And surely all could use the amount of money that is being spent on pink hand towels for million dollar football players to use for 4 weeks.  I just think it was a great idea that now has gone way overboard and the end user is probably not getting the maximum amount of charity when all is said and done.

Oh and the NFL, if you don’t wear pink you get in trouble, like Brandon Marshall of the Bears, fined almost 6K for wearing green shoes last week to raise awareness during mental health month.  Sad when the league chooses one forum over another.


-- Received word late yesterday that Tim Moore of Standard Bent Glass was in a pretty bad auto wreck.  According to news reports, his car was hit from behind by a person fleeing from the police driving at more than 100 miles per hour.  Tim and his daughter Rachel are hospitalized with some very serious injuries.  Anyone who has ever worked with Tim knows he is an amazingly good man. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and Rachel, and I sincerely hope this can be a speedy and full recovery.  I will update this as we find out more.

--  Welcome to the newest blogger for our industry in Bethany Stough.  Her first effort was excellent and after spending time with her at AIA and GlassBuild America she is proving to be a quick study and someone who gets the personality of our industry.

--  Her blog on marketing was solid, and it did drive me to think on one thing with regards to marketing…  and that is follow up.  Good old-fashioned stuff, like following through on leads, mining your data, determining if your promotion or advertising worked.  Things like that have largely disappeared which usually leads to people saying that their marketing effort “didn’t work” – which makes me laugh since many don’t take enough time to research it to see if it actually did….

--  Great to see my old friend Joe Carlos of Triview Glass in the Glass Magazine “G3” section this month.  The question was a good one too with regards to codes and the challenge their companies face.  The fascinating thing about the subject of codes is these days it encompasses so much and can take so many different directions.  It surely has become a much larger player in our world compared to a decade ago.

--  Last this week… does anyone read the LinkedIn message boards anymore?  Just curious… the last handful of months those boards have been just a mess and its depressing.  There used to be some good conversations going but now its either massive spam or people pleading to sell their product, no matter who is looking…


--  This is a group of people I cannot stand… patent trolls… seriously they may be the worst profession alive right now.

--  Amazing that Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones still uses a flip phone…

When I go to amusement parks I always think about this happening… and sure enough it did…


33 Million people have viewed this video of a rigged coffee shop in NYC.  Not sure how I would react if I was there… wild!

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Occupant Comfort could be the key

The cover story in the latest Glass Magazine is a must read.  The focus is on where our industry can make a massive difference with products now and in the future-in the crucial area of occupant comfort.  We talk all the time about what our role in the building world is and how some times we are taken for granted or not appreciated, well without question, our products play a major role in this equation.  Read Katy Devlin’s awesome piece HERE as she interviewed some of the best minds in our industry and in the architecture world to get a flavor for this entire development. 


--  The latest version of LEED launches in November and once again it will be interesting if the changes made will end up being a positive one. As people who read my stuff on a weekly basis know, I am not a fan of LEED or the USGBC.  But I will keep an open mind.  For those of you who want to know what you are up against with the new version, THIS is a great piece on it.

--  The government shutdown is surely stirring many emotions, and I have tons of opinions on it, but for now my concern is on the economy and I am truly curious to see what the end effect will be.  Sequestration hampered some segments of our industry, will this shutdown do massive damage or will it be spotty? 

--  Tough story of the week, University of Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill suffered his 5th seizure either before or during a game this week.  My heart just breaks for this man who worked his entire life climbing the coaching ladder, landing at a great school and then having this health issue that is obviously un-predictable and untreatable.  Here’s hoping that he can keep battling through these while also continuing to raise awareness of epilepsy and its effects.

--  I saw that AGC and Heliatek signed a development deal recently and I will be watching how that progresses closely.  Heliatek makes organic photovoltaics and that is product I know extremely well.  Will be very curious to see if this can get over the goal line.

--  The next big glass show kicks off in a couple weeks in Italy with Vitrum.  I will not be there because me flying overseas would probably set off many international incidents.  In any case, I know plenty of folks going and will get some reports from the floor.  Will be waiting to see what new products may be making their debut there as well as what the vibe is towards the market and its improvement over the last few months.

--  Last this week… the weather… gotta say it has been unbelievable this fall, at least everywhere I have been.  Which makes me think we are in for a miserable winter.  And the Famers Almanac backs me on that… so enjoy it now folks…


--  Great job by these young men in Fenton, MI… these kids should be applauded!

--  Fellow marketing friends… read this article on the airlines offering more services… curious on what your thoughts are… mine.. WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG!!!

--  Taking catch and release to a new level!


Haven’t shown much soccer in a while… but this one was hard to pass up… probably one of the best free kicks you will ever see….