We are not alone … and no, I am not referring here to extraterrestrial visitors. I’m not into that stuff, although I think as most of you know, I do believe in Bigfoot. I have a picture … well, actually a partial picture taken with my infrared camera in my own back yard two summers ago. But enough of that. Let’s get back on track here. Indeed, I am actually referring here to the recent announcement out of Berlin that the European Union has levied an immediate 12-percent tariff on Chinese solar panels, cells and wafers. The levy increases to 47 percent by August if a settlement is not reached with China in the next 60 days. The Chinese are accused of “dumping” panels in the European market at a price that is 88 percent below cost. EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht said that “the cheap Chinese products are flooding the market and threaten to bring down EU manufacturers.” He added that “more than 20,000 jobs in Europe are at stake.”
Not unexpectedly, China rejected the EU’s price dumping allegations. Does any of this sound familiar? The U.S., then Canada, and now the European Union … do we not see a trend here?
Maybe It Was Him
I got a call from someone who would like to remain anonymous a couple of days ago telling me that they had just seen a very well-dressed business man walking through terminal One at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport pulling a pinky-purple “Dora the Explorer” travel bag behind him and wanted to know if I thought it might have been Bob Price (JEB). I told him that I didn’t honestly know for sure but it certainly could have been Bob or perhaps a whole new trend has been started and we simply have Bob to thank for it. But I am curious … was that you, Bob???
Sequester This Follow-Up
Tthose who sent responses to me about the sequester commentary from last week, the best of which was … “hey, it’s saving us a lot of money and eliminated some government waste so how come we didn’t start this thing a lot sooner … like maybe back in the 80s?”
Attention All Cheapskates
Now comes a report based on a study conducted by travel website Tripadvisor that claims that among travelers, the Germans lead the way in tipping at hotels and restaurants. Americans were second and the Russians were third. The Spanish finished last, although the French and the Brits were pretty close to the bottom as well.
Would You Buy From This Guy?
‘Cause I sure wouldn’t. I was half-watching TV last night (you know what I mean by half-watching - it’s when the TV is on and you more or less are aware of what’s going on but you are also reading or on the computer or something so the TV thing is not getting all of your attention – when an advertisement started out with a guy saying, “I am former U.S. Senator so and so and I want to tell you about such and such.” And I couldn’t help but think to myself that there is no way in the world I would ever buy anything being promoted by a former politician regardless of which party they claimed as their own. I know that celebrity advertising is a big deal but a former U.S. Senator as a pitchman??? You gotta be kidding me!
Did You Know?
Neither did I actually but I was half-watching TV just now while I was typing this and they said that June is “National Iced Tea Month” so now you also know. Okay … I am a big fan of Diet Snapple Raspberry Tea so I’m gonna take a break and then come back and finish this thing off ……
…. I’m back and the break was just what I needed. You know, the Snapple bottle caps always have these little factoid things which are sometimes quite interesting. The one from the bottle I just finished off was about the world’s smallest mammal, but I remember one from a couple of months back that drove me a little crazy for a while … and obviously it is still on my mind even now or I wouldn’t be bringing it up. It stated that a full moon is four times brighter than a half moon. Does that make sense? Could Snapple have been wrong or is there some scientific thing there I missed? Oh well … gotta get this thing done because I have a deadline here you know.
Battle for The Wall – ASHRAE 189.1 Proposal
Special note here to all Glass Association of North America (GANA) members and those concerned about the loss of glazed exterior wall opportunities if ASHARAE’s current proposal to reduce the allowable glazed area in certain buildings is adopted. Please take a quick look at GANA’s June 4 bulletin (GANA Glass Reflections) and pay particular attention to the section titled … “Call to Action” … because you can help here by filing an appropriate comment about this proposal. Read it … get involved. Please!!
The Sports Thing
First, let me thank the many (at least 7 or 8) Redwings fans who made contact to congratulate me on the Blackhawks’ victory over the Wings in the second round of the NHL playoffs … I even heard from New Yorker Paul Bieber who I know is an avid baseball fan but apparently enjoys hockey almost as much. It was a great series (with the Wings) and it could have gone either way right up to the last goal which was scored in overtime in game seven. Just glad the Hawks prevailed and now, as of this morning, the hawks have a 2-1 series lead over defending Stanley Cup champions Los Angeles with game 4 scheduled for tomorrow night.
Couple more things on this hockey thing and then I’ll stop. First, my son Patrick was at game two of the current series this past Sunday night with Dan “Southside Irish” Simon. Patrick wore his green Blackhawk team sweater (the one with the shamrocks on the sleeve) which he claims is a Hawks lucky charm … you see, they have never lost a game when he has been there wearing that particular green team sweater. I know a lot of people in sports kinda have their superstitions, but does anyone, even my own son, honestly believe in that stuff? And secondly as long as we’re on this, why did you take Southside Simon to the game with you, Patrick, and not me???
The Quotable Thing
Okay, as long as I have gone this far in mentioning Southside Simon’s name, I might as well go all the way. This quote was submitted by Dan a couple of weeks ago and I had promised him that I would consider it. He is not sure who the originator of it is, but it is not bad and from a business perspective at least, worth consideration. Here it is …
“It’s what you do … not what you say.
If you’re not a part of the future, then get out of the way.”
Have A Great Week, Everybody!!!