Saturday, June 27, 2015

No Post This Week

Just a quick update...

No post this week...  next new one will be on July 5th.

I must note though... that the reaction to last week's Bird article has been unreal.  Thank you!

Have a great week everyone and a safe and happy 4th of July in the US.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Birds and Glass

I had a feeling the issue of bird protective glazing was going to be a big one this year and it surely has.  And now with the latest news, our industry has to be even more prepared to deal with some of the blowback.  Before I get into the latest part, I will admit that I struggled last year with the process and intentions on some of the bird related issues surrounding the Minnesota football stadium.  In the end I surely misread the situation and the objectives of the people involved who wanted consideration for the bird population that will be effected by the structure.  So it’s been a learning experience for sure.
Now fast forward to this past week and where our industry now has to be prepared.  At Duke University, one of the “green” buildings on campus is being blamed for the 85 bird deaths during three migration periods in the last year.  There’s many ways I can go with this story but I’ll just say this.  There are options for bird friendly glazing.  And it’s time for the focus to go from the glass being an issue to the glass being a solution.  The owner/architect needs to be on some of the hooks here- the materials are there and the designer needs to take into account bird migration paths and design accordingly.  So while you’ll see in the linked article that glass is listed as the bad guy, I sincerely hope that we as an industry can stand up and note that it simply shouldn’t be all on us.

Elsewhere…

--  By the way I have to think Julie Schimmelpenningh who brought the issue of bird protection up years and years ago at GANA meeting to mostly giggles has to be shaking her head right now and saying “I told you so…”

--  An interesting new market study was just released about the glass industry.  According the a blurb from a study by Grand View Research Inc. the global flat glass market will register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.1% over the next 7 years.  It noted “High performance flat glass will drive the market”  Wow.

--  So I am trying to raise my level of organization.  I have cleaned my desk with the goal of it looking like Russ Ebeid’s.  (His desk, perfectly clear- with me, it will never happen but I will try) I am also trying to go “Inbox Zero” with my emails.  Slowly but surely I am getting there.  I know a few of you are doing the “Inbox Zero” thing so any other tips are welcomed.

--  Just wrapping up my search for someone in the industry with Apple Watch.  Tom Lee of Lee & Cates hit me up on Twitter that he had one… so he’s the visionary!  I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing him at GlassBuild to see how it is still going.  Meanwhile I did hear through the grapevine that my good friend Kris Vockler also has one- that does not surprise me as Kris is always on the cutting edge of everything.

--  Last this week… Gas prices are going back up… my guess is $4 in most places by mid July.  I know that the low prices had some negative effects on the economy but man I enjoyed it personally.

LINKS of the WEEK

--  A very long but interesting and thorough look at PTSD.

--  For the tech geeks how there- how the Beats headphones aremade.  Pretty cool on the weight additions…

--  A robotic grocery store.  This will be one to watch for sure…

VIDEO of the WEEK

I did see the Jurassic World movie and enjoyed it- but this trailer is a hoot.  Some people have the great mix of talent, creativity, and time… and they can do a take off like this.  Funny stuff.




Sunday, June 14, 2015

Big Movement in Process

A few months ago I briefly mentioned a glazier certification movement and so this week after fielding some questions from interested parties, I looked into it to see what was new.  What I found was everything is still on pace and looking good.  I communicated with the program managers (John Kent and Jeff Dalaba) and they shared their excitement on the progress including having 14 companies going through the process so far and the plan of releasing the first batch of certified glaziers in July.  More information can be found at http://www.naccprogram.com 
This program could surely help companies improve themselves but more importantly improve the industry as a whole.  And as I have noted here many times (like last week on Hale Glass and their internal programs) making the industry better benefits everyone in the end.

Elsewhere….

--  Registration for GlassBuild America opened this week and expectations for the show are strong.  The floor is loaded with some amazing suppliers and the amount of innovation that will be on display will be mind blowing.  Obviously I am excited because I believe in the importance of this show (and I do work for the show too), but this year the level of exhibit is beyond any expectation.   That said… you know you are going, so get registered now and if you do it before June 25th, you will be entered into a contest to win 4 tickets to the Braves/Blue Jays games at GlassBuild America night at the ballpark.  Good stuff.  Obviously as the show grows closer I will have more previews and insight here.

--  Follow up from last week; Scott Surma does NOT have an Apple Watch.  I am stunned.  My next guesses were Dan Plotnick and Ted Bleecker but since I did not hear from either guy I am guessing they don’t have one either… so far no one I know is fessing up to having one.

--  As an industry we get many bad raps.  One of them is that we are not great on retrofits of historic buildings.  The excuse is that the glass ruins it, because it will stand out as newer.   That has been disproven many times and now once again.  The project featured in “Great Glazing” proves that we can do so much… congrats to everyone involved on this project.  Simply awesome.

--  Welcome to one the brightest and best in the industry joining those of us who blog at Glass Magazine and on e-glass weekly.  As you surely saw last week, a post from John Wheaton appeared on GlassMagazine.com and it’s great to have him on the team.  I am a huge fan of John’s and I know his posts will be incredibly popular.  John is as dynamic and interesting as they come.

--  I read an article this week on solar paved roads.  There’s five pilot projects that are slated to happen in Idaho later this year and it will be interesting to see if the materials used work and are at all user friendly.  If this works at all, it should have a huge effect on society and also our overall energy usage.  The only bad news is this process is surely decades away from being mainstream but I have a feeling that is when we will need it the most.

--  Last this week- while in some meetings recently I made mention of a person that I was huge fan of.   At that point others in the meeting immediately jumped on me for “always complimenting everyone” and asked if I actually have negative words to say about anyone.  The main person asking has only known me for about 2 years, so they never saw me in my miserable, rip on the world mode.  I did tell them to go look at my blog in 2005 and 2006… and I actually went back and looked and my goodness was I unhinged sometimes.  While I know many wish I could unload on things like I used to, I surely never would want to go back to the maniac I was then!

LINKS of the WEEK

--  A decent run through 10 TV pet peeves.  Some legit, some petty for sure…

--  Possibly a contender for most frivolous lawsuit ever?

--  I am heavily involved in the non profit and charity world and stories like this depress me.  What went wrong with the Red Cross in Haiti?  This answers some questions…


VIDEO of the WEEK

So another movie trailer this week… this one for the newest edition in the National Lampoon Vacation series… not sure this can  top the legendary Chevy Chase one, but we’ll surely be checking it out somewhere down the line.




Saturday, June 06, 2015

1 Trillion

On the heels of last weeks note about the down ABI, an opposite and very positive trend emerged this week.  For the month of April, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of construction spending topped the $1 trillion mark for the first time since November 2008.  Any time you see a stat that refers to the “first time” since pre great recession, it is surely something to note.   Combine this with a very positive trend on the put-in-place investment numbers and right now things are surely moving in the right direction. 

Elsewhere…

--  This is the last month for one of the greatest and nicest people in our industry.  At the end of June, Jan Rogan of PPG is retiring and that is a huge loss.  Anyone who has ever had the honor of dealing with Jan will miss her.  I’ve been lucky enough to know Jan for most of my professional glass life and will always be grateful for her help and assistance along the way, not to mention always seeing her smiling face at the various trade shows I would run into her at.  We will miss you Jan… enjoy retirement, you deserve it!!

--  Props to the folks at IGMA on their latest bulletin on Vacuum Insulating Glass.  There’s no question that VIG is something that intrigues many.  The potential has been staring people in the face a long time but getting it into a mass production scenario has always seemed to be the bugaboo.  IGMA putting out this doc will surely help educate the masses about this product line and give decision makers the proper insight on where and why this technology may work. 

--  I’m a month behind with my normal “best ad of the month in Glass Magazine” thoughts- and actually for this month I am skipping the ad, and giving kudos to the article on the very last page.  The folks at Hale Glass have their own internal training program and the article there breaks down what and why they do what they do.  It’s an excellent read and congrats to Brian Hale and everyone at Hale Glass for making themselves and in effect the industry better!

--  Anyone have an Apple Watch?  Curious if you like/use it.  Why do I have a feeling former glass industry star Scott Surma will be the one to tell me he has one…

--  Another question while I am at it… does anyone really believe that driverless cars will make it in our world?  I know several major players are experimenting with this, but I just can’t see it working at any sort of level in our society.  Too many moving parts and pieces but the big thing is liability.  Especially in the US.  The liability issue curbs tons of enthusiastic and entrepreneurial approaches on a daily basis; this one would get trampled by it. 

--  Last this week, a GREAT link that anyone in the glass industry will enjoy.  Hollywood making the crash through a window look “safe and easy”- All of us who around glass surely know how it really is! The link lists 4 other things that Hollywood makes different than reality as well.  Good stuff.

LINKS of the WEEK

--  Tremendous inside story on Disney’s billion dollar bet on Magic Bands. 

--  It’s been 30 years since Ferris Bueller’s Day Off took place.  Wow, I am getting old.

--  Science teacher jams cell signal with good intentions and gets interesting results.

VIDEO of the WEEK

We are just a few days from the premiere of the movie Jurassic World… and I have been informed by my son, that we will be seeing the night it comes out… so to get ready I had to check out the trailer- looks like it will be a good, crazy, campy movie.



Sunday, May 31, 2015

No Worry On Decline... Yet

Is there cause for concern after the latest Architectural Billings Index fell again this past month?  The headlines surely give you pause, but when you dig into the report, it does not look as negative as you may think.  The “New Projects” rating was positive again as was the “Design Contracts” index.   Plus the winter weather may have left a bit of hangover when it comes to the overall performance.  I not only see, but also continue to hear too much positivity and confidence in the economic future of our industry to raise the red flag yet.  Obviously this and the other indexes bear watching but for now, I wouldn’t consider this last report anything but a blip on the radar. 

Elsewhere…

--  Congrats to Tubelite on celebrating their 70th year in business.  Really an incredible and impressive run through some volatile territory and times.

--  Excellent article in the new Glass Magazine on ergonomics in the workplace.  It is a must read, especially when you are talking health and welfare of your plant personnel.  Kudos to Lisec, AGNORA, and all others engaged in this excellent process.

--  Minnesota is home to some of the best minds in our industry.  And now that state has a city that is going to really do something fascinating.  Rochester, MN is working to transform itself and doing so with an ambitious 20 year, 6.5 Billion dollar renewal, that will surely need a lot of glass.  Fast Company magazine has the insight and it’s a great read. 

--  As many know, I am big fan of solar, and I still believe in it.  But even though solar performance is growing and products are improving there’s still a massive reluctance to use it.  The big utilities still stand in the way of solar growth and there are a few states that are letting that happen.  It’s an unfortunate battle that is not good in the end for our environment or energy needs.  It also does affect many in our industry that supply to it, though I do know much of it does come from off shore, it’s still a tough one in any form.

--  For those of you in my generation, a fun documentary to watch… “Atari-Game Over”  is a good one chronicling the rise and fall of Atari with regards to one game and its burial in a landfill.  Technology on gaming has come so far in such a short time, and this documentary was a pretty neat walk through the 80’s and the initial gaming explosion.

--  Last this week, just downloaded a new book I am looking forward to reading.  Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry” is now in my queue and while I will never go back to a blackberry (I love my iPhone) I have a feeling this insider tale may be one to immerse myself in and enjoy.  Once done I’ll provide a review.  Still finishing the current book “Becoming Steve Jobs” which has been solid read for sure.

LINKS of the WEEK

--  Interesting graphic on what your hourly wage would need to be by state to afford a 2 bedroom rental. 

 --  Being a media sort of guy I really enjoyed this piece on layouts gone wrong.  Yikes.  Gotta feel for the people involved here!

--  Never knew this existed and it’s wild.

VIDEO of the WEEK

My good friend Dave Gillikin passed this one to me and its awesome.  It’s the incredible Eminem anthem “Lose Yourself” in sign language.  Extremely impressive.