Well now it is official. I got a copy of it and read it word for word and it is quite clear in its description and intent. Of course there will be some who object but I honestly believe that when all of the facts are considered and both sides of the argument heard, it will be hard for anyone to disagree with the final results and determinations. I refer here to the new ASTM International specification Designation: F2813-12 pertaining to the use of glass in furniture applications … or as the standard states, “glass used in unenclosed horizontal surfaces in desks and tables.”
There are going to be plenty of people in the furniture industry who do not like the new standard. I have already heard complaints about it and the most common seems to be that heavy glass table tops, like the one pictured here, do not need to be safety glass. Of course, you will have a hard time convincing the family members of the business executive who fell on to his ¾-inch top a couple of weeks ago and cut himself so badly that he bled to death before help could arrive. This story was widely reported in the news. I am actually OK with the new satndard and I am usually a person who thinks that some of our safety regulations are way overboard. But I have seen glass break and know people who have been cut by glass that was considered safe enough. So I support this and am glad that it has finally arrived. Now let’s get industry buy-in and move on.
The Gun Thing
I am not big on guns. Yes, I do own a handgun and I am properly paper-worked to do so. I also go to great lengths to keep it in a place and state that renders it safe. At one time I also owned a rifle but sold it after realizing that I would probably never really get into the whole hunting thing and I can’t for the life of me understand why any normal citizen needs to own an assault weapon or any type of a weapon that fires a high number of rounds in a small amount of time. So with regards to all that is going on in the world as it relates to gun control and such, I have mixed feelings. I think some sensible regulations make sense, but I do not believe that guns of all types should be banned and certainly not handguns that might be used for self defense.
Many years ago, as a young manager, one of the groups I supervised was a team of customer services workers in a call center setting that took in glass replacement orders from both insurance companies and consumers. One day, while I was walking through this department, one of the ladies working there accidently knocked her purse off of her desk and when it hit the floor, some of the purse’s contents spilled out. One of the items that rolled out was a .25 caliber pistol. She quickly realized that I had seen it and apologized to me. I asked her if it was loaded and she said it was. I was more surprised by this than one might imagine. She simply did not seem like the type of person who would have a loaded gun in her purse. She assured me that the safety lock was in place and as I walked away, she shoved the gun back into her purse. I later spent a somewhat sleepless night thinking about what to do. The company didn’t actually have a written weapons policy at that time but I couldn’t ignore the matter completely … could I?
I called her into my office first thing on the morning after the incident and asked her why she was carrying a gun in her purse, hoping that maybe she had a permit to do so. She quickly explained that she had to ride the bus to work each day through some particularly rough Chicago neighborhoods and that because she had been accosted a few years earlier, she just didn’t feel safe without it. I asked her if she had a permit to do so and she said she did not. She also told me that she couldn’t possibly make the daily bus trips to and from our facility, which was not in the best of neighborhoods either, without her gun and that she would have to quit if she had to give it up. I didn’t want to lose her. She was quite good and well liked by her coworkers. But still …I told her that she needed to try to get a permit and that I would help her do so. I also told her that she was not to bring the gun to work again without a permit or I would have to terminate her. It took us awhile but with the help of a clout-connected attorney, we managed to get her the proper permit to carry a concealed weapon in the city of Chicago, which to this day has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. She also understood that the gun was to be properly stored with a trigger lock on at all times while she was on company property. As for the time in between that meeting and the day she got her permit, I never asked and she kept her purse locked up in one of her desk drawers. There will be some who say this was handled improperly by me, but I made the decision to handle it as i did and would probably make the same decision today. I knew where she lived and I had ridden Chicago buses as well.
The Australian Gun Thing
About a year ago, gun owners in Australia were forced, by law, to give up their weapons. Reportedly, more than 640,000 firearms were turned in by the Australian populace … I think there are about 22 million people living in Australia. Now I am not totally familiar with their law so I am going to assume that certain types of guns and certain types of owners were exempted, but no matter how you slice it, the average Aussie gave up their personal handguns for sure. Recently I read a report about Australian crime statistics since the gun ban took place and I am going to assume they are correct unless I get something that disputes them … I did do a little research and I think these numbers will hold up to scrutiny. Specifically, it is reported that since the gun ban, homicides, assaults and armed robberies are up, and not by just a small amount. It is reported that armed robberies are up 44 percent. And armed robberies had actually been trending downward for several years, until the gun ban went into effect. You see, while law-abiding gun owners turned theirs in, the criminal element, to no-one’s surprise, did not. In the words of one Australian police official, who actually is against gun control laws, “The Australian experience speaks for itself. Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property.” Something to think about, I think.
The Sports Thing
Now I have a real problem. You see, while I am quite pleased that the NHL is back in business, it is creating a bit of a dilemma for me with a few of my partners. Yes, partners … as in ticket partners. Because the season ticket arrangements with the major sports teams are so expensive, almost everybody, except for corporate buyers, takes in partners to help split up and defray some of the cost. In the case of my Hawks tickets, I actually have four other partners that I split up the tickets with. So this year, as I have done for more years than I can count, I took money in from my various partners long before the season actually was to start because payment to the Chicago Blackhawks is expected long before the season begins. And now I have a real problem. Specifically, I have collected money for the equivalent of 34 games and therefore owe my partners tickets to those 34 games. But now, because of the lockout and greatly shortened season that it ultimately caused, I only am going to get tickets for 24 games. So I am 12 games short and that doesn’t include the games I had planned on going to myself. No, money is not the issue. The Hawks will eventually send a refund to me and I will then refund the partners accordingly, but the real problem is that everyone still wants the number of games they signed up for. My partners are real die-hard fans. And I would like to get to a game or two also. I think I am going to have to go to a lottery system of some type based on the percentage of tickets originally purchased. BUT, don’t get me wrong, in spite of this overwhelming problem, I am still extremely happy to have the hockey season, at least part of it, back. A good thing for sure!
OK, OK, I do remember that I had picked the Packers to get back to the Superbowl this year but who would have thought that this kid from the 49ers, Colin Kaepernick, would turn out to be a record-setting quarterback in his rookie year? Now the 49ers have to play the Falcons of Atlanta to get to the big game and beating them is going to be a tall order. However, I am going to herein predict that the 49ers will win and face the Patriots in the Superbowl where I will pick the Patriots. Experience (Brady) over youth (Kaepernick). This time anyway.
The Quotable Thing
This week’s quote is an oldie but goodie and certainly one worth reading and thinking about. It was written by the Apostle Paul in a letter to a church in Corinth a couple of thousand years ago.
“Bad company corrupts good character.”
Have A Great Week, Everybody!!!