I was really quite surprised by the responses my article in the April issue of USGlass magazine prompted from a number of readers. The article was titled “Put Up – Or Shut Up” and I was actually trying to raise awareness about the ongoing battle between certain segments of the American glass industry and alleged Chinese curtainwall suppliers accused of illegal dumping of their products into the states. But I began the article with a few paragraphs about the gas pricing situation that has been at the center of a number of discussions and debates of late and then moved on to the Chinese situation. I stated early on that I was “climbing out on a limb with my opinions” but then went on to say that I felt “entitled to my opinions” and that “I was not afraid to share them.” This then lead to a very brief commentary about supply and demand and such and then I slid into the Chinese issue. Well, I gotta tell you, I sure didn’t expect the responses I got!
USGlass magazine has an audited circulation of more than 42,000 readers and is easily the most read and respected publication in the glass industry. In fact, the last time I looked, there wasn’t even another publication submitting to an annual audit so we don’t even know how many readers whoever is in the number two spot has. Now I regularly receive and very much appreciate the responses and such that I get from monthly articles … but the responses to this last one blew me away … and not because of the quantity but the focus of the emails and calls that came my way. You see, to my complete surprise, only a couple of people made contact over the Chinese matter, while more than two dozen wrote or voice-mailed me about the gas price thing!!!
Even guys I have never received a comment from in the past (like Mac Hines, Patrick Hilboldt, Brian Proctor and Jim Workmen) made contact. And some of the comments were very well written and made a lot of sense. Wow. Really hit a nerve with some people on this one. While this is certainly interesting, I think for now, I will stay away from the gas thing in the magazine and perhaps talk about it here in the blog … but not there! Happy driving, everyone.
Hey, Is There Insurance For That?
I saw a news report about the massive ice flows that are destroying houses on certain lake fronts up in Minnesota and I was just wondering if that would be covered by insurance? Can you imagine the call to the agent … “Hey, my house just got wiped out by a glacier?” Or would that be considered a “frozen flood” which would probably not be covered under most policies?! Interesting, I think.
The IRS Thing
Just a quick comment here. I am not at all surprised to hear that the IRS targets certain groups for shall we say a “little more scrutiny” than other groups. They have been coming after me every seventh year for the last 28 years … in the way of a full-blown audit … and have not found that I have ever owed them as much as one penny!!! Go figure.
The Gun Control Issue
I live in the Chicago area where we have taken gun control matters to a whole different (although apparently not any better) level than the rest of the country but I picked up these statistics in the May 13-19 issue of Bloomberg Business magazine and I think they are noteworthy given the current climate. By the way, I do support some form of intelligent gun control but I also believe the constitution protects a citizen’s right to own them and use them as appropriate. Okay, so let’s look at a few numbers. Specifically, from 1993 to 2011, there was a 39-percent drop in gun homicides in the U.S. Further, non-fatal gun crimes dropped by 69 percent during the same time period. Last thing here, during the 1990s, the country averaged 29 homicides annually in our school system whereas during the 2000s, the average school homicides per year dropped to 20–a 31-percent decline. Those are the numbers!
Is It Just Me? (Follow-Up)
Got a few interesting responses to my complaint last week that it seems to me that we have lost all signs of civility and please know that whether you agree or disagree with my thoughts on things, your comments are always appreciated. I know how busy we all are so when someone takes a minute or two and sends an email my way, it is appreciated. Special thanks to John Sidaway who made me smile with his comment that he thinks maybe the reason “take-out” restaurants are so popular is because that way you don’t have to try to eat a meal while listening to someone “shout profanity into their cell phone.” Could be!
Oh Yes, It Was
I got a snippy email telling me that there was no way that the photo of the beautiful flowering dwarf crab apple tree that I used in last week’s blog could have been from my yard because there are no such trees in the Chicago area. Well, I will have you know that there are two of these gorgeous trees in my yard and hundreds spread throughout all of Chicagoland. I’m not going to mention a name here but my dear friend, come out of your cave and see the world and in particular, spend a little time in Chicago … you’d be amazed at what you’ll find here.
The Sports Thing
My hometown baseball teams continue to be stuck in last place but hey, how about those Blackhawks??? Moving on to play Detroit. Gotta find my old “Wing Nut” hat and see if it still is in one piece. From what i read, the Hawks and Redwings have met each other in the playoffs 14 times in the past and each team has come out on top exactly seven times. I pick the Hawks in five games this time around.
The Quotable Thing
This week’s quotation actually comes out of the current edition of the Reader’s Digest. It caught my eye and just seemed so timely that I had to use it. Abraham Lincoln gets credit for it and while it’s one you’ve probably heard before, read it over again and think on it a bit. By the way, do you think good old Abe would have a chance of getting elected today?
“If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” -A. Lincoln (from a speech delivered in Clinton, Ill., on September 8, 1854)
Have A Great Week, Everybody!!!