Mar 25

Equal Opportunity Corruption

Equal Opportunity … corruption that is. In case you missed it, yet another Illinois politician is leaving office under a cloud of accusations and potential lawsuits. This time, it is a Republican (Congressman Aaron Schock). I know, some of you are surprised that Illinois even has an elected official who is a Republican. But there are a few, and this one is from downstate Illinois, where the chances of getting elected as a non-Democrat are much higher than in, say, Cook County.

Illinois has been labeled the most corrupt state in the country and, as a lifelong resident of the state, I think it is a deserved title. But the bigger issue, or question if you will, is why people, politicians and others, so corrupt are in the first place? Why do we cheat, lie, steal and take advantage of others in the first place? The quick answer … personal gain. A long time ago, I stopped being shocked by the stories of corrupt behavior. And why is there so much corruption in the political arena in a state like Illinois? Because it has historically been so easy, so pervasive, and so accepted. Just think of where we could be without corruption in this country. Oh well.

I Knew It

Now comes a report that says that 18 percent of all drivers on the road admitted that they “cannot resist” texting or reading while they are driving. Now, you know if 18 percent admitted it, at least another 5-10 percent do it but denied it, so that means that probably one out of every four drivers you pass on the road is not paying 100 percent attention to their driving and are being distracted by a hand held device of some type. Does this frighten you? It does me! Be careful out there you guys!

The turtles are back.

The turtles are back.

And You Thought You Were Old

According to a recent news report, a pretzel has been discovered in Germany that is 250 years old! It has been called an “archaeological sensation” by scientists. I have no idea how they determined the pretzel’s age, or even how they knew it was a pretzel, but the story caught my attention because I was reminded of all of the pretzels I used to find in my car when my kids were young. Some of them looked like they were 250 years old, and some day, they will be.

The Sports Thing

Well, with the incredible number of upsets in the NCAA basketball tournament, I am imagining that most people would like a “do-over” with their bracket selections. But of course, that is not to be. I know the smart money is on Kentucky, but I have never been accused of being smart with my money … I picked Wisconsin, remember. We’ll find out soon, won’t we?

Also, in case you missed this, the Washington Nationals have issued a contract to pitcher Max Scherzer for $210 million. It’s a seven-year agreement. Is it worth it? Who knows? By the way, the addition of Scherzer made the           Nationals a preseason favorite to win the World Series with the Vegas prognosticators. I’m sure season tickets sales took off, as well. Again, we’ll see where this leads.

The Quotable Thing

I thought this was pretty good. Sent in by Art Lafferty and attributed to Ben Bernanke.

“Nobody likes to fail, but failure is an essential part of life and of learning. If your uniform isn’t dirty, you haven’t been in the game.”

Please Have a Wonderful Week Everyone

Mar 18

I Am Not a Snoop!

I am not a snoop. I almost always have enough stuff going on in my own life to keep myself completely occupied. So what other people are doing or saying is usually not something I care all that much about … unless, of course, it directly impacts me. But I “accidently” overheard a conversation last week at the Glass Association of North America’s (GANA) Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference that kinda proved a point I have tried to make in the past about the real value of such events. For those of you who may not be aware, the event took place last week and, as expected, it was a huge success. Solid educational and informational presentations were, as usual, well-received and attended, and keynote speaker Jim Abbott (more on him below under sports) was a huge hit.

However, the networking that goes on at these things is incredible and probably understated. You see, the conversation I “accidently” overheard involved a negotiation between a glazing contractor and a glass supplier that apparently resulted in a very nice transaction for both parties … during one of the coffee breaks, no less! I’m telling you, things happen at these events! The educational benefits are real, but the networking that happens should not be overlooked, either. For more on this you can check out USGNN.com™’s coverage, both video and print, here.

You Can Always Call Bob

For those of you who attended the BEC in Las Vegas last week, the following picture will quickly be understood. For those who didn’t and are curious, give Bob Price (JE Berkowitz) a call and he can explain. I brought two of the little fellas home with me, and my granddaughter loved them!

You Can Always Call Bob!

You Can Always Call Bob!

The Oil Thing

We have regularly shared comments here about oil prices, retail gas prices and energy surcharges. And as has been said on a number of occasions over the past several months, it is hard to correlate changes in prices to what seems to be going on in the world. This was particularly so over the past few weeks, as gas prices went up by several percentage points (average of 37 cents a gallon in the last 30 days), while oil prices continued to decline. Some blamed it on the switch from winter to summer grades, but the insiders I have spoken with over the years have told me this change does not really impact pricing all that much. But now comes some interesting news that should continue to keep prices low, and maybe even drive them lower than expected. You see, the country is running out of places to store the increased (that’s right – INCREASED) domestic production. We may not be drilling, but we are pumping that stuff out of our existing wells at an incredible rate. According to industry reports, the U.S. of A. has been producing and importing a million more barrels of oil a day than it has been consuming for the past seven weeks. Some analysts are predicting that the cost of oil could drop all the way to $30/barrel or lower in weeks to come. On a global scale … lots of supply and decreasing demand. As for the energy surcharge thing … not going there right now.

Back By Popular Request

I don’t know why, but I have had requests to run the face in the beans picture again (I think this makes three times in the last four years), and so here it is … for the LAST time! Really bright people will find it in seconds. The not so bright among us will maybe never find it. It took me only three days. Good luck.

Find The Face

Find The Face

You Never Know Who Might Be Watching

Glazier Bob Bernahl was doing a door repair at a storage facility in Elmhurst, Ill. last week when he had an eerie feeling that he was being watched – and indeed he was. He took the following picture with his cell phone of the group who had virtually appeared out of nowhere while he was working away. I wonder if he got a round of a-paws when he finished???

ou Never Know Who’s Watching!

ou Never Know Who’s Watching!

The Sports Thing

Jim Abbott, the former MLB pitcher who was born without a right hand, was the keynote speaker last week at the BEC. And while I had heard him speak before, I was still taken by his story. His speech’s title was “Overcoming Adversity,” and what he had to overcome to reach the pinnacle of his profession is almost unimaginable. His story is incredible, and his presentation was excellent. Thanks GANA for making him available. Great story … great guy and a true inspiration.

Hey … it’s MARCH MADNESS time, and I know you expect a pick from me — right? OK, I’m going with Wisconsin. Why, you might ask? Because the world has already crowned Kentucky, so I think that would be too easy. Besides, I vacation regularly in Wisconsin, spent part of a summer on the Madison campus, and my daughter in law and son met at the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater. Now you know!

The Quotable Thing

This week’s quote suggestion was sent in by Amy Newling (aka Allstate Amy), and while it is similar to a quote used here a few weeks back, I think it puts a slight twist to what was previously shared. Its author is unknown … although as we know, sometimes an alert reader or two has helped us identify authors of these things in the past. Anyway … here it is:

“Good luck is with the man who does not include it in his plans.”

Please Have a Wonderful Week Everyone

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