Jan 15

It’s About Time

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.”

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Pretty or pretty dangerous?

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?

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What was I to do?

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!!!


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  1. sausage

    Oh Boy.
    You want to wade into the gun control thing on a glass site?.
    It’s quite simple Lyle, America has too many guns.
    10,000 to 13,000 deaths per year are not acceptable in our country. More guns are not the answer.
    Of all the western civilized countries we out kill all others by numbers greater than 10 times.
    Let’s not compare ourselves to 3rd world countries and countries in conflict.
    Maybe Australian hold ups have increased by some % since the gun ban, but no one is getting killed, or at least considerably fewer people are getting killed in the hold ups. What’s worse, staying alive and being out a few bucks or having a shoot out where people die? Deaths by guns in hold ups in Australia are down by a factor of 8.
    I hate listening to the 2nd amendment rights like it was handed down from God in perpetuity. Washington and Jefferson where not profits, they where fallible men who made good decisions in their time. A time that has long passed.
    I have been fortunate to live overseas in countries that have no gun laws. I was not mugged, accosted or felt unsafe in any way.
    Those countries have all the nasty play station games our kids do, they have just as many mentally sick people. They look like and are just like Americans.
    Don’t liken guns to cars or other instruments that have an impact on death. Guns are the only items designed with one purpose. To kill.
    If we ban gun ownership today a lot of guns will stay in circulation. Bad guys will always get guns. But street punks won’t. And we won’t get gun control and a safer way of life like people in England/Germany/France/Italy/etc until out grandchildren are themselves grandparents. But if we resolve today to rid ourselves of this plague we will leave this country so better for those who will come after us.

  2. Lyle R. Hill

    Thank you for your thoughts. I do want to point out that you kinda waded into the situation with me on this gun debate … on this glass related website. But the matter is important and as you know, if you have read any of my blogs over the past year and a half, that I am inclined to wander all over the place from time to time so thanks for you indulegnece as well as for your thoughts. One last comment on your comment … according to the Australian report I was sent and read, there are more homicides in Austarlia, as well as more armed robberies, since the gun ban was put in place. Not sure what the answers are to this… Lyle

  3. Amy


  4. Lyle Hill

    Thanks for remembering. LRH

  5. sausage

    Lyle, I love your blog and don’t mind you wandering off the topic of glass. I mean how much can one talk about a piece of glass or the hapless Black Hawks?

    I can’t give you real life experiences of Australia as I have never been there. I can only look at what appear to be sensible information on the web. What I’m seeing is an increase in overall crime in Australia since gun control. But if you look at the graph and go back a few years before they enacted gun control you see that crime was already on the up. I would suggest crime is not directly related to gun control, but more to social and economic factors.
    What I’m seeing in every category of crime (for what I can get real numbers on) is a sharp and massive decrease in death related to crime.

    I can talk about life in Canada and Europe where I have lived and worked for more than 5 years in each place. Not vacationed!
    All these places have crime, but they have a ban on handguns. I believe our problem here in America is handguns and not so much assault weapons.
    I was completely safe in these countries and never suffered any adverse criminal attacks etc.
    The problem we have in the USA is the amount of guns and ease of availability. Your home town of Chicago is suffering terrible gun related deaths primarily in young black males by use of handguns. Because they are so readily available they are changing hands for as little as 50.00.
    My suggestion is we have to ban hand guns. completely. Now. Today.
    We have to also force and hold responsible shooting ranges etc to control the type of weapon they allow to use their facility, so that the hold out guys have no place to take their hand guns.
    If we do this nothing will change much in the next generation. Lots of people will not turn in their guns.
    Black on black kids killing each other will still be huge.
    Crazed mentally ill people will still find ways to get guns and explosives and go on killing people in public places in large numbers.
    But slowly as the police capture criminals and the hold out fanatics, we will reduce the amount of guns in our country.
    The cost of a handgun in Chicago’s ghetto will increase. The cost will only be affordable to the big time hardened criminal. The bank robber, the mafia guy. The punks won’t be able to afford them.
    It will take 2 or 3 generations before we see real effect and reduction in the 10,000 to 13,000 deaths by gun each year. But isn’t it worth it?
    I’m asking gun owners to give up your hobby for the betterment of your grandchildren. Be unselfish. Come fishing with me. Its fun too.
    The second amendment was written when this was a new country and was in fear of the return of the British. When states mistrusted the federal government and their part of this new union. Thos days passed 200 years ago.
    My friend passed on statistic that has been haunting me every day. He told me, and I fact checked, that there are about as many guns in America as there are automobiles. Each day as I sit in traffic I look around and see guns, thousands of them stopped next to me.

    I also paid taxes in those other countries and got sick and was made well by their social medical institutions. We could talk about that too. I think the Mormons have one thing right. Send your kids overseas for a few years and see how other people live.
    we aint so different.

  6. Lyle R. Hill

    Sausage … I read your most recent commentary (above) twice and you have some very compelling arguments (statements). I don’t have the answers to any of this gun control thing and sometimes I am not even sure I know the right questions to ask or consider. I do want to thank you for your thoughtful and well written response to my original response. And you are right, how much can you really talk about a piece of glass or two. Now the Blackhawks … that my frinend is another matter completely! Thanks again!!! Lyle

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