Jan 02

Not a Surprise to Me!

Many people were surprised and some even shocked at the news. I was neither. Of course, in this particular situation, I had a bit of an advantage over most others. And what was that advantage, one might ask? Well, it has to do with my heritage. You see, I’m about 75 percent Irish and so in this particular case, I had an insider’s view of the entire situation and nothing that I read or heard about the matter took me by surprise. In fact, I think we will continue to hear stories such as these well into the future now that the scientific community and the general population have gained new insights into the value of the common potato. Although when you think about it, is it really fair to call a potato common? I think not!

The story … actually a scientific study … had to do with analysis that had been done in aircraft to see what impact certain electronic device usage would have on an airplane’s internal operating systems. And those doing the study … Boeing was at the center of all of this … didn’t feel that it was practical to have real live human beings sitting in the aircraft for hours on end while their analysis was performed, so they used potatoes. That’s right … potatoes … to simulate human beings. Apparently they stacked up sacks of the tubers in a manner that would replicate people sitting in the airplane’s seats. The Boeing team named the study SPUDS … Synthetic Personnel Using Dialectic Substitution … which is in itself quite creative. No doubt the team included several Irish engineers who not only would comprehend the value of the potato in such scientific endeavors but would also feel free to use their Irish wit as well. Again, now that it’s true value has been discovered, watch for even greater use of the potato in future scientific research. Long overdue in my opinion.

Christmas Scenes 032

Lyle’s Favorite Christmas Tree Ornament

Thank You, Doug

I finally got my Torstenson Glass calendar and not a minute too soon. It arrived in the mail on the 29th of December and I immediately took down the 2012 one and replaced it with the one for this year. Wow, that was close!

Thank You Dave

I feel quite compelled to send a very special THANK YOU out to Dave Carnahan of Mainstreet Computers. Dave started helping me out with a charity that I am involved with about a decade ago and his support and generosity has never waivered and continues to impress me. A lot of people, and companies, do charitable work for business purposes … because it gets them more business … or ingratiates them to certain customers … or gets their name on a plaque of some kind. Not so in this case. I can’t give Dave anything more than a “thank you” so in this situation, the support comes for all of the right reasons and believe me, it is truly appreciated. Of course there are others like Dave and I am very lucky to not only know people like this but to get to work with them on a regular

Sacks of Potatoes Simulate Passengers (Photo: Associated Press)

Sacks of Potatoes Simulate Passengers (Photo: Associated Press)

basis. These individuals make the world a better place for all of us!

Buyers Beware

Got some email traffic earlier this week about some unscrupulous machinery suppliers doing business with people in the glass industry … taking deposits for equipment and then not ever delivering or providing a refund … and I want to send out a quick reminder to all that before you send someone who you have not dealt with before a deposit of any kind, CHECK their references. As an industry, we need to be watching out for each other so pick up the phone or send an e-mail or two out before signing off on something. I think it’s that old “ounce of prevention” thing that makes as much sense today as it did when Ben Franklin first came up with it.

Still Growing

As we start the New Year … 2013 … you might be interested to know that there are now 315.1 million of us living in the good old USA. According to the US Census Bureau that’s an increase of approximately 0.73 percent from a year ago, or roughly 2.3 million more of us. The Bureau also says that as of right now, one birth is expected every eight seconds and one death every 12 seconds. So depending on how fast a reader you might be and how much time you may have spent looking at the above pictures while you were making your way through this blog, 15 or so new little human beings came into this world as citizens of this country and 10 or so took their last breath. Amazing when you really stop and think about it!

The Sports Thing

Like a lot of you, I am a little bit caught up in the NFL playoffs and the whole college bowl thing but I came across an article in the December 18issue of USA Today that I think it is worthy of sharing because it proves a valuable lesson, at least in my opinion. Specifically, Notre Dame’s football team (which plays for a national championship in a few days) has a 97 percent Graduation Success Rate (GSR) and Duke’s top ranked basketball team has a 100 percent GSR. Hats off to both of these schools. And by the way, Northwestern broke its 60 year bowl jinx yesterday with its win over MississippiState and Northwestern is another of those schools with a very high GSR. I have been fortunate enough to have gotten to see both their football and basketball teams up close and personal this season. I actually believe that schools that fail to achieve a reasonable GSR should not be allowed to compete in bowl games or in tournaments of any kind. Radical idea, huh?

The Quotable Thing

Got this one from a union tradesman from Michigan who would like to remain anonymous but told me in his e-mail that he has long felt that it was unfair of his union to take money out of his paycheck and turn it over to politicians he did not support. Here it goes …

“To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves or abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”  -Thomas Jefferson


Have A Great Week, Everybody!!!


  1. Chuck Knickerbocker


    Regarding the quote: I agree with the base sentiment. What the union tradesman fails to understand is that since he’s part of a union that protects his rights as far as a fair wage, great benefits, including health care, pensions, etc, and all that comes with a union, his responsibility is to work harder to change the minds of his fellow union members that they’re not using the part he has a problem with correctly, or it should be used differently. In for penny, you buy the whole pound. That’s how a democracy works, we all go along with whatever the majority decides. Some of the time, we may be the minority. Don’t like what the majority decided? Buckle down, work hard to change their minds the next time around. But you can’t complain about all that’s been gained doing it this way for what, now close to 237 years?

    I was surprised you missed commenting on Da Bears. I know your pain, didn’t like seeing Reid cut loose either.

  2. Lyle Hill

    Chuck … Your comments are always appreciated. As for Da Bears, I am not at all surprised that coach Smith was fired after what turned out to be an incredibly disappointing season. Not sure that the QB shouldn’t have gone with him. Take care. Lyle

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