May 08

Thank You!!!

You know, there is nothing in the world wrong with saying “thank you” to someone who has done something positive for you. In fact, I don’t think we say it enough. And in this particular case, I feel compelled to speak for an entire industry when I say “THANK YOU” to the good people at the Glass Association of North America (GANA) for once again rolling up their sleeves and fighting on behalf of an industry that can use all the help it can get these days. I speak here of the recent ICC code hearings which took place over a nine-day period in Dallas during the last week and a half of April during which almost 2000 code changes were reviewed and DEBATED. These were proposed changes to the International Fire Code (IFC), International Residential Code (IRC), International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and the International Existing Building Code ((IEBC). The changes that could impact the glass industry were numerous and in some cases, onerous. GANA’s Glazing Industry Code Committee had Tom Culp and Thom Zaremba there to represent the industry and they not only reviewed and monitored what was going on but also were there to offer expert testimony on the industry’s behalf when required. For more on this you can check out GANA’s website at www.glasswebsite.com. And the next time you get a chance, make sure you say thanks to the staff and industry volunteers who are to make the architectural glass industry a little better for everyone each and every chance they get!

Part of the Problem? I Sure Think So!

I read an incredibly interesting article yesterday … actually it was two articles from two different newspapers but they kinda tied into each other, at least in my mind. And I think it represents a growing problem for our society. Specifically, the first article (from USA Today) dealt with what was termed as “Wage Stall” for the typical American household. Simply put, workers have not, are not, and most likely for the foreseeable future, will not see their wages improve. And with that scenario, they cannot expect their standard of living to improve either. This is probably not a surprise to any person holding down a job right now. The other article (from The Chicago Tribune) dealt with the ever widening pay gap between average employees and high-ranking executives (CEOs and such). You see, in a study conducted on Standard & Poor’s 500 Index companies, it was found that the average multiple of CEO compensation to that of rank-and-file workers is 204. More specifically, the top guy makes 204 times what the average worker makes. And here is the worst part of this … this figure is up 20 percent since 2009!!! One example the article cited, which in itself is quite telling, is the CEO at J.C. Penny who made $53.3 million in pay and benefits last year while the average J.C. Penney worker made $29,688. That is a multiple of 1,795 times!!! And wow, we all know what a wonderful job is being done by top management at J.C. Penney. I remember many years ago listening to an interview of a very wealthy industrialist who, when asked the secret to his success, stated … “I simply beat my suppliers into the ground for lower prices and exploited my laborers at every opportunity.” He was serious! This is not a sustainable approach … for multiple reasons.

Is It Just Me

… or have you also noticed that the world seems to have lost some of its civility of late? Vulgar language in very public places with children present, crude behavior, mis-statements of the truth (aka lying) seem to be everywhere and nobody seems to care. Maybe I am just too old-fashioned … or just too plain old … for my own good but wow, manners seem to now be a thing of the past and it bothers me a bit!

Way To Go David!

My grandson David (aka #6) who is currently in the 5th grade, recently got a poem published in the 2013 edition of “Creative Communication, which sponsors a bit of a writing contest every year among school kids throughout the nation. Their annual book then is a collection of the winning poems written by children from around the country … quite an honor actually and I decided to share David’s poem. Not only because it’s a good poem but because I know what the accomplishment that he is writing about required of him in the way of courage and determination.

The Dive

By David Rush (Grade 5 – Field Elementary-Elmhurst, Illinois)


The word shook me

I stepped forward

It had been just the high dive before

Now it was a skyscraper


It was the pool

But it was 30 miles deep

“JUMP”  never

No today I’m a diver

Courage pushed me off


How did I do it? 



Will It or Won’t It? – Follow-Up

Spring Photos 002 (2)Yes, I am pleased to announce that indeed, it has now arrived and it is beautiful. Spring that is. My dwarf crab apple trees are in full bloom and flowers are coming up everywhere. Hallelujah … I was really worried there for a while.

crab apple tree 002

What a difference just a handful of days can make!

It Has Come To My Attention

I was driving … quite slowly, by the way, due to heavy traffic … westbound on Chicago’s Stevenson expressway yesterday when a new billboard caught my eye. It simply stated – 1 of Every 3 Babies Born Today Will Live To Be 100. Is this possible? And assuming it is, the whole social security thing is in worse shape than maybe any of us are thinking it is.

The Sports Thing 

Did you see it? And if not, did you at least hear about it? I’m talking about my depleted, wounded, illness stricken Chicago Bulls knocking off those ego maniacs from Miami the other night in the first game of the NBA’s second round of playoffs. Now I’m not about to make a prediction here because the Bulls really are decimated due to injuries and such, but it was really nice to see a true underdog beat the big name guys simply by outhustling them and playing a smarter game than the guys who were supposed to walk all over their weaker opponent.

Read an article yesterday that states that the biggest gamblers within the ranks of the NCAA are golfers. This seems incredible to me! Although now that I think about it, maybe some combination of their competitive drive coupled with the fact that they play a relatively risk free sport has some impact on their mental state and pushes them toward gambling. Don’t know … hard to figure this one!

The Quotable Thing

This week’s quotation was sent to me by Sterling Guyette. Is that a cool name or what??? Sterling, a fourth-generation glass guy working at Island Glass in Grand Island, Neb., sent me an email informing me that he believes that he has now become blog reader number ten … as you may remember, last week I stated that I think I have nine regular readers … but now with Sterling coming forward, I can now claim to have ten. This is a momentous occasion! Anyhow, Sterling’s e-mail was very interesting and finished off with his suggestion for a quote to be used herein. I thought it was pretty insightful. Here it is:

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” –Diane Ackerman

Have A Great Week, Everybody!!!


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  1. Tom Culp

    Thanks for saying thanks! We get so bogged down in the 14 hour hearing days (some of our biggest items were debated between 10 pm – midnight !), so it’s great to know it matters and is appreciated. Tom

  2. Lyle R. Hill

    Tom … It’s a thankless job that you do but it is a job that needs to be done and done well. Our industry is a better place to try to earn a living because of guys like you. Lyle

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