Oct 15


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”

Oct 01

Are You Kidding Me???

Earlier this week, I saw an advertisement/article for a house that was for sale in the Beverly Hills area of California that has an asking price of $85 million. That’s not a mistake … the house is listed at $85,000,000.00. For this sum of money, you will get eight bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, indoor pool and so forth and so on. The article also mentioned that a 45,000-square-foot house not too far away sold for $102 million this past March. The developer explained that such a home is obviously not for everyone but was built with the type of person who owns a $250 million yacht in mind.

The same day I read this article, I picked up a copy of the Chicago Tribune, and in the business section of that day’s paper, saw an article about the Forbes 400: A billionaires club if you will, which lists the nation’s 400 wealthiest people. At the top of that list is a guy by the name of Ken Griffin (a hedge fund guy), who is reportedly worth $5.5 billion. The combined wealth of the 93 billionaires living in California is $490.58 billion.

I wrote last week of the growing wage gap between the haves and have-nots in this country, and I got a couple of calls and an email or two, as well, that were a bit critical of my comments. I started that commentary last week by saying that “I’m going to climb out on one of those proverbial limbs,” and you know what, I’m glad I did. I think we have a problem in this country that one day may bite us in the rump. I think people should work for what they get … and I think the brighter, more productive, creative people that our country has been blessed with should earn more than those less so. But come on … isn’t the balance of all of this just a little out of whack???

The Bridge

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I have written an article that is scheduled to appear in the USGlass magazine October issue. The picture below is of my granddaughter, Maggie, standing on the bridge, which plays a very important role in the story. Hope you’ll enjoy it.

Maggie at THE Bridge.

Maggie at THE Bridge.

See You Next Week – I Hope

Auto Glass Week is next week (October 7–9 at the Baltimore Convention Center). I have heard from a number of people who will be there, and I have actually made a couple of dinner dates and a few lunch dates, as well. (And Mr. Bud Oliver, don’t forget that you promised to buy dinner on Monday night–there’s a reason you Texans are prospering these days, but I refuse, as a Yankee from Chicago, to contribute, so bring your wallet my friend.) Check it all out at www.autoglassweek.com.

The Sports Thing

This past Sunday (from a sports perspective) was one of the worst days I have had in a long while. You see, my wife Sandi and I were in Door County Wisconsin while the Green Bay Packers were playing my Chicago Bears. The Bears jumped out to a first-half lead and then completely imploded in the second half. It was humiliating, and the Packers fans couldn’t contain themselves. I was sitting on a dock about two blocks from where a large group of Packers fans had gathered to watch the game on an outdoor big screen TV while they scarfed down their cheese and guzzled beer. They were cheering so loudly at every Packer gain that it was if they were sitting next to me. Such crude behavior! The people behind the cheddar curtain are almost uncivilized. We Chicagoans are so much better mannered.

Hey, the NBA has started practicing, and the NHL’s first regular season games start next week. Here we go ………

And finally, last week’s winner in the USGlass NFL “Pick’em” contest was Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting.

The Quotable Thing

This week’s quote was sent in by a glass industry person who wishes to remain anonymous. Apparently he had an argument with his boss that didn’t turn out so well. The original author is unknown.

“Before you have an argument with your boss, take a look at both sides — his side and the outside.”

“Have a Wonderful Week Everyone”

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