Sunday, May 25, 2014

Groundbreaking Educational Opportunities

Huge news with the announcement of a new program and how it relates to you and your educational “must haves” broke last week.  The program is Express Learning and it will be held on the floor at GlassBuild America.  In the past there were education sessions but they were usually in a conference room a few floors about the exhibit hall.  These sessions will be on the actual trade show floor and be set in the perfect length for learning- 20 minutes. And did I mention it’s FREE.  So if you are an attendee or exhibitor at the show, you can come to as many as you want- free of charge.   Some awesome subjects are on the docket as well.  Subjects that can make a significant different in your business and approach like “Solving our Workers Shortage” and “Help Architects Help You” have me pretty pumped.  The info is here- so check it out- I’ll be talking more about this as it gets closer, but needless to say this is groundbreaking and it will be the best and most comprehensive opportunity you can have to learn while attending the one event you HAVE to attend in GlassBuild America.  I’ve always said those who don’t come to the show get left behind by their competitors… now with this Express Learning program, its even more crucial you attend and be involved.


--  By the way the one subject- “Solving our Workers Shortage” should be front and center one everyone’s mind.  This is basically a crisis right now, so any insight and education is must.

--  An industry classic announced his retirement this past week… Jim Roesing, President of Super Sky stepped down after leading that company since 1987 and 47 years total in the business.  I had the honor of working for a short time with Jim and it was a tremendous experience.  This is a guy that changed the way the modern commercial Skylight was developed and installed and a true pioneer.  Plus he looks just like the most interesting man in the world (from the Dos Equus commercials) and easily can tell stories that would make him eligible for that title if it were real.  Our industry will miss him for sure… enjoy the retirement Jim!!

--  The Katy Devlin blog from last week on Las Vegas was excellent reading.  The stories behind the whole City Center project would make an amazing book.  I wish I had the time, money, and talent because I’d love to do it.  So much from the planning, the financing, the building, the problems etc. it would read better than any thriller on the market today.  Or at least a fun book for construction geeks like myself.

--  The Dodge Momentum Index had a nice jump in April after a couple of down months.  I think people are now getting busy in every region, so the worry now is two fold… finding workforce (as in noted above) and dealing with cash flow.  Both issues really have a serious way of dampening the enthusiasm of a busier stretch.

--  Last this week, I find myself rooting hard for the gang at the Green Building Initiative and I believe you all should as well.  I have been outspoken against LEED for its various issues but I dislike nothing more than a monopoly for services or ratings.  LEED right now is the biggest and baddest on the block but the Green Building Initiative is making inroads and had two interesting releases recently.  One was showing a diverse list of new projects that received their certifications and another that compared their cost on a project to LEED.  This one is worth the read, especially when you see LEED’s cost in the six-figure range, while Green Building Initiative at less than 10K.  Competition is a very good thing folks, lets hope this gets embraced because green building is only going to grow; we need good and logical options to rate and certify it.


--  The continuing decline of mental health is our world, all summed on this story about Facebook posts.  I’m not sure why mental health does not get the focus it deserves, but it surely is a more pressing and serious issue than most of what we all talk about these days.

--  This man is a tremendous businessperson.  Brilliant!!

--  The one-armed football player… like a friend mentioned to me, this will be a movie of the week one of these days!


This is easily the funniest post game interview ever.  Obviously the player does not want to talk…. Love it.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Are the Hurricanes Coming?

One area where the glass and glazing industry is a true leader is in hurricane glazing products.  Time after time, when a hurricane hits, buildings that use hurricane protective glass and metal come through with flying colors.  So its no secret that this industry follows closely the annual hurricane forecasts put out by the various weather agencies ahead the season starting on June 1.  Right now the US is on a record run with it being nine years since a major hurricane (one that is classified as a 3,4,or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale) hit landfall.  As an example, “Super Storm Sandy” last year was only a category 1.  The last major hurricane was Wilma in 2005.  For this year the forecasts are once again calling for the season to be below average but the experts are worried since this nine-year streak is now the longest on record since 1878. Among the weather experts, there’s a gut feeling that our luck is about to run out and we may see that major hurricane this season.  Given the absolute craziness of our current weather patterns, I for one would not rule that out.  The clock starts in a few weeks… we’ll see if we once again can dodge the major bullet, but if not, at least we know the products this industry provides will once again be doing their jobs well.


--  A friend of mine this week sent me a copy of the wildest specification they have ever seen:

"Items listed with no substitute manufacturers have been requested by Owner/Architect to match existing for continuity and/or future performance and maintenance standards or, because the owner just wants it that way.” 

Gotta love that last line.  I was not told which product that this was for, but man I wish I had that sort of protection back in the time I was in manufacturing.

--  A major congratulations to Chris Dolan of Guardian Industries on his newest position at the company.  Chris is now Director of Marketing- North America Flat Glass and the promotion is well deserved.  Chris is the “MegaTron” of the industry (see my past fantasy football article) because of his ability to be in so many areas and do them all extremely well.  He’ll absolutely do a great job with this new challenge!

--  Not only are the people at Google interested in the world of “glass” but they’ve also developed a self-driving car.  Seriously.  After reading this article, I can tell you there’s no way I could ever sit in a vehicle and trust it the way Google expects you too.  It’s a computer after all… and my luck is while the car was speeding down the road the computer would get hung up like my home one does on random e-mails or websites.  To me this may be scarier than anything else Google is developing.

--  Oh and speaking of Google- if you have an account with them for Gmail or Youtube etc. you may want to check out this article about Google using your face and name in their ads.  If you don’t want to be in them, the article does give you instructions on opting out.

--  If you are a manufacturer and you have not checked out Katy Devlin’s article on the new, serious, wrinkles to LEED version 4, you need to do so… The issues she brings up in the piece will be affecting you and your business.  You really do need to start understanding them.  

- Great comments left on the blog last week, and thank you to everyone who left them.  I appreciate you all taking the time and adding to the flavor of the blog.  Please keep them coming!

--  Last this week… with Memorial Day next week; let’s remember those men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice in protecting the United States at home and abroad.  And as always, please keep all veterans and currently serving military folks in your thoughts as the jobs they had and continue to do are truly heroic.


--  Props to this juror for saving a life in the courtroom

--  Fascinating act of charity, though somewhat bizarre.   And also brings to mind the issue of there’s so much wasted food in our world- we have to find a better way to make sure it can be shared and not wasted.

--  The ins, outs, ups, and downs of online commenting continue.


In honor of Memorial Day- a very moving video about our soldiers past and present.  And if you are moved to do something for these brave men and women, consider giving to an organization like the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes.  Learn more at  Thank you.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Bad Old Buildings

I was fascinated this week from stats that the excellent John Wheaton posted on his twitter feed.  The information made it pretty clear where our major issue is from an energy efficiency standpoint.  Our problems are not as much with the buildings we are constructing now (though some are not good energy wise) but with the fact the building inventory is outdated and guaranteed to be not even close to the energy standards that everyone wants/needs to achieve.  John's posted stats from a conference he was attending...  93% of commercial building stock was constructed before 2003.  74% before 1989!  That is simply mind blowing.  So while many of those buildings have at least insulating glass (in the regions that makes sense) many probably have outdated or no high performing glass, spacer and aluminum in them.  So while the push forward to continues to build “better buildings” we really need to examine the ones that are already up and not going anywhere…


--  I was very happy for the fine folks at ICD on the announcement of the groundbreaking of a new facility.  The Vockler family is pure class, and flanked by great people like Steve O’Hollaren and Jim Butler, just makes them even better.  This new step I am sure is very exciting for them and I know great things will come from it!

--  I do start to wonder what’s in the water in the Pacific Northwest- I think every week I am congratulating someone from that area.  Between the Garibaldi, TGP, Hartung, ICD, NWI, Bill Coady, Rich Porayko, Chris Ketchum, Darand Davies, Washington Glass Association etc… man what an area for solid companies and people.

--  Just a reminder on a great tool that I had to use this week for a friend.  The Efficient Window Collaborative has a window selection piece on their website that is simply awesome.  It’s great way to determine the best windows to buy for your home and the tool continues to become easier and easier to use.  

--  Speaking of really helpful tools, for the first time I was able to use PPG’s “Glass eView” and it was really strong.  Lots of different options and uses, I was on there for a lot longer than I planned.  

--  To me there’s nothing more frivolous in our economy than spending on political campaigns.  While I realize it does help some aspects of the economy (TV Stations and Graphic Artists/Ad Agencies) the money spent is downright insane.  In Michigan it’s expected that 50 million dollars will be spent on the senate campaign.  50 MILLION.  Something is seriously wrong with this picture.  I am sure 2016 Presidential campaign will break the BILLION dollar mark.  And really for what???

--  Last this week… Got my new issue of Glass Magazine this week- awesome as always. (special kudos on the graphic layout, really impressive!) And like I have been doing each month- I’m noting the ad in there that jumps out and impresses me. M3 Glass Technologies did it this month with a clean and catchy piece that made me stop and read.  Nice job!


--  For my fellow road warriors… top hotel tips.

--  Pretty sick person here.  These stories just kill me.

--  Being a hero during wedding pictures.  Cool.


Since I think winter may actually be over, the video of the week looks back at it, with a comical security video that shows that the shoveling is never actually done…

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Recognize those people!!

I think most people who know me, know that I do love recognizing people on this blog.  I enjoy getting acknowledgement to those folks who deserve it and letting the world know what I already do- these are good people!  Well each year the fine folks from Glass Magazine do up the “recognition” process better than anyone with their Glass Magazine Award-People Categories.  Getting the thumbs up from the industry with these awards is the industries most prestigious honor and now’s your chance to nominate those people who should be in the running.  Nominations are open until May 15th, so this is the time where you get put up the names of the best project manager, best production supervisor, best sales rep, and best installer.  After the finalists are named it will come down to the popular vote.  But your best can’t win if their not nominated, so get to it. 


--  The airport piece I had last week hit home for a lot of folks and I even got pictures from one of our industries most tuned in people.  Rob Botman of Glassopolis shared these shots from the Zurich Airport… bright and clean, good use of glass floor to ceiling. 

Zurich Airport via Rob Botman, Glassopolis

So folks as you travel, shoot some pictures at the airports you visit (and the good use of glass) and I’ll run them here. (As I figure out how to strategically place them of course!)  Thank you.  I just wish I was at Dulles to grab some shots.

--  Speaking of shots… Joe Carlos of Triview sent me one that depressed me... giving me the news that gas is already way over $4 in California… so that means while most states will break the $4 mark this summer, California will probably top 5.  That’s depressing.

--  Congrats to the fine folks at Technical Glass Products on winning the Seattle Magazine award for Manufacturer of the Year in the state of Washington.  A well-deserved honor and I can tell from visiting there last year, TGP is in a class by itself when it comes to its plant and manufacturing operation.  A big year for the team at TGP too- first their beloved Seahawks win the Super Bowl and now this!

--  I have no clue what “Foursquare” (some sort of social network) but no way would I ever use it after reading that the founder and head of Foursquare stole a bib to run in the Boston Marathon. This story tells it better than I can, I just hate when people who don’t get what they want decide to cheat to get it.

--  California Chrome wins the Derby... look out folks we may have a Triple Crown winner for the first time since 1978.  The only horse that can stand in his way is Untapable... we'll see.

--  Last this week… it’s May.  I can’t believe how fast this year is flying by.  Maybe partly since it still feels like winter in Michigan.


--  Whenever I read these stories it seriously makes my head spin.  Teacher giving a lap dance.  Really???
--  Getting your kids ready for college- really important- even in Kindergarten in some states.  Wow.

--  Fellow Disney fanatics, a look back at some great pictures of Disneyland back in the day.

Shirtless man interviewed during some California wildfires this week decides to ask out the reporter.  Comical.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Derby Picks

Just because....

Derby picks.

Natalie- Danza

Me- Dance with Fate

Zach- California Chrome

Beth- Wicked Strong