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..

Sunday, November 03, 2013

The MVP process begins

A few weeks ago I teased that I was going to name an industry MVP for 2013 and soon would be floating some nominees.  And with this post, that process begins. Informally I have a received a handful of nominations of some very deserving people and I am open for some more.  So far here’s whom I have on the list to consider and I will name the winner in my last post for the year in mid December.  I am just putting one liner note next to each person; we’ll go into more detail later.

Tom Culp- His work on the energy side for our industry is tireless and very effective.
Mark Silverberg- Active at the trade level and work with folks in DC, makes us look great in others eyes.
Ed Zaucha- His work/effort is worldwide and he was actually nominated by one of my readers overseas.
Mic Patterson- For many he is the conscience of our industry, and a voice worth listening to.
Oliver Stepe- Heard from several people that Oliver’s unselfish approach to our industry needs commended.
Dr. Helen Sanders- Similar to Mark Silverberg on the trade level work and to Oliver Stepe on the unselfishness.
Scott Thomsen- The “Battle for the Wall” was prominent in the mention I got for Scott.
Tracy Rogers- His leadership/participation at GANA and AAMA and efforts to grow education in our world.

So that’s the initial list so far- if you have someone who you think should be in this race, drop me a line.  The nice thing is you find that there’s A LOT of good people in our world working hard for the good of the industry.


--  Just curious who of you reads any magazines on an app?  I know some who do it religiously and I will do it for a few, but not many. 

--  In my town we have an empty strip mall that 10 years ago was filled.  It’s an eye sore.  So this week I drive by and up in the parking lot of this mall is a new structure being built for an auto place store.  Which makes me wonder… with so much open inventory, why is a brand new building going up?  I just don’t get it sometimes…

--  This is a wild story on turning garbage into glass.  Obviously if this can be refined and done it would be quite the coup.  Finding re-use for our refuse, given the mountains of it we produce as a society is a must, but if we as an industry can some how be a part of it, that would be dynamite.  That said my guess is this is a very long shot.

--  Congrats to the team at Vos Glass on their latest award.  Class company that has been well run for decades.  In fact they were so well run they were always smart enough to never buy from me when I had a company in Michigan! Seriously though, great to see them get recognized as they do right by the industry and are always active in the right causes.

--  I upgraded to the Apple OS called “Mavericks” and I am frustrated by it.  I may be the only one who is, but it’s been miserable for me, especially with my mail.  Any of you using a Mac who have upgraded, let me know if you have any insights.

--  Last this week… it sure looks like College Football is going to come down to a possible crazy finish with more than a few teams in the running for the championship game. The powers that be there probably wish they started that 4 team playoff system this year instead of next!  Going to be a wild finish!


--  Behind the scenes at the Price is Right TV show.  Good read!

--  An amazing story to honor a fallen soldier on his final flight home.

--  Proof that blogs do lead to good things, including a compliment from a powerful CEO.


And the best ending to a College Football game this year… the “Hail Mary” in Nebraska to lead to Cornhuskers to an improbable win over Northwestern.  Wow!