Oct 22

You Should Have Known

It’s here and it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to those who are well informed. I speak here of the incredible demand for materials and labor in the glass industry as we move through the fourth quarter. In talking with any number of people in the industry, including several that I spent time with at Auto Glass Week™ a week and a half ago in Baltimore, it has gotten a little crazy out there as lead times have really been stretched and qualified people can’t be found. A number of manufacturers have followed Viracon’s lead (of a couple of months ago) by simply not taking new orders until they can catch up with current production demands. I am personally involved with two jobs that have seen material lead times double and have personal knowledge of a glazing contractor turning down a very nice mid-size project that he bid last June but that he can no longer man in the timeframe the job is needed. How much longer does this last? Who knows? But it is an interesting time in which we are operating. Go get ‘em guys!

Here’s Something That’s Kinda Scary

According to a recent report released to Bloomberg Business Week, only 36 percent of adult Americans can name the three branches of government. This is pretty pathetic. We used to study this stuff in school and get tested repeatedly on it. So why wouldn’t at least 90 percent of the populace know that the three branches of government are the military, the IRS and the post office? What’s wrong with you people???

And This Is Maybe A Little Scary Too

Did you know that Chinese nationals spent approximately $22 billion on U.S. homes last year and that predictions are that this amount will go up even more in the coming years? Just asking. 

Not Again – Please

According to both the Farmer’s Almanac (which has an incredible level of historical accuracy) and the National Weather Service (which has an accuracy level less than the Farmer’s Almanac but still not bad) have now predicted a winter season for the upcoming season that will be similar to last year’s winter season. This is not good news. Remember the “Polar Vortex” thing. Well my friends, it is apparently coming back for a winter rerun. Get ready!

It's on its way!

It’s on its way!

 

The Sports Thing

This is that time of year when a guy like me can suffer from “Sports Overload” and I’ll give you just a couple of quick examples. To start with, I am the official photographer for the Willowbrook (High School) Renegades varsity hockey team. I had to cover a game last Saturday night (away game) and the team’s home opening game on Sunday night. This team is the team that my grandson Sam plays on. I also got to a game that grandson Ryan plays on earlier in the afternoon on Saturday. This made for three in-person games in a span of about 28 hours. Last night the Giants beat the Royals in the first game of the World Series but I only caught bits and pieces of it because I was much more interested in the Blackhawks – Philadelphia Flyers NHL game (Hawks won 4-0). I’m also trying to keep up with the NFL games (my Bears were pathetic this past Sunday afternoon) because I am intent on winning the USGlass pickem contest at least one week this season. So as you can see, OVERLOAD is definitely taking place here!!!

Last week’s winner in the NFL “Pickem” contest was Tara Taffera of DWM magazine.

The Quotable Thing

This week’s quote comes from Amy Newling (Allstate) and is, in its own unique way, thought provoking. The quote is credited to columnist George Crane.

“There is no future in any job. The future lies in the person who holds the job.”

Have a Wonderful Week, Everyone!                          

 

Oct 15

WOW – JUST WOW!

It was everything it had been promoted to be and then some. The crowds were huge, the mood was upbeat and energetic, and the competitions were the best ever. Indeed, the 2014 Auto Glass Week™ event was simply fantastic. As I have said before, part of the fun for me at these shows is the chance to see and talk with old friends, and there were plenty of them this year— Chuck Bibbiano, Eddie Cheskis, Mario Ercolini, Ed Golda, Patti LaMarco, Bud Oliver, David Rolfing and so, so many others.

On the seminar side of the show, I particularly enjoyed the presentations by Sergeant Dakota L. Meyer, United States Marine Corps veteran and recipient of the Medal of Honor – the military’s highest honor. Bill George of NSG Pilkington was incredibly interesting and insightful, and Tony Aquila, the founder and CEO of Solera Holdings Inc., also presented a thought provoking look into the future, especially as it relates to the glass business.

Probably the most exciting part of the three-day event for me, though, was the competitions that were going on almost non-stop throughout the show floor. Windshield repair, windshield replacement, paint protection film, auto film tinting, and my favorite, architectural glass film competitions, attracted the best in the country and many from outside of the U.S., as well. What a show … what a competition … and what a great job Deb Levy and her team did to pull off an event that will be talked about for years.

For competition winners and other reports, visit glassbytes.com.

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The Sports Thing

This is a very special time of the year for sports fans. The NFL is in full swing, the NHL has just kicked off its season, the NBA is a couple of weeks into its preseason, and MLB has its World Series playoffs in full gear. It’s enough to make your head spin. By the way, my Blackhawks are 2-0 in the early going and are looking pretty good. It’s early, but I’ve got a special feeling about the Hawks this year.

I have taken a little bit of heat about how far down I am in the NFL Pick’em contest, but I have an excuse … or maybe I should call it an explanation. That sounds better. Anyhow, I have missed two weeks of picking, and while I have no one to blame but myself, my score is not that bad when you realize I missed two of the first six weeks of picking. So lighten up, guys. And I fully expect to win a weekly event or two before the end of the season. So watch out!

Last week finished in a tie between Tom Darigo of APG and Steve Lewis of Technical Glass Products. Andy Johnson of the Solar Seal Company won the week before.

The Quotable Thing

I am particularly happy about this week’s “quote of the week,” not so much because it is a good quote … although it certainly is … but because of who sent it to me. You see, I happen to be an admirer of Tara Taffera’s writing, and the fact that she has won a number of journalism awards is testament to her skill and ability. So when someone of Tara’s position takes the time to send me something for my blog, it is a very special occasion for me. I didn’t even know she read my blogs, but apparently she does, and I am honored. Now, it is possible that she only reads the Quotable Thing portion of the blog, but even if that’s all she glances at, I still feel honored. Tara reports that she picked up this quote while interviewing a female CEO for an upcoming article, and when Tara asked this powerful lady what advice she might have for other women wanting to achieve a position similar to hers, her reply was …

“Have a thick skin and a slippery back. You have to let things slide off your back”

“Have a Wonderful Week Everyone”

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