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Oct 30

Where Are You Going?

It’s a true classic and one of my favorites. It comes from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” and is a conversation between Alice and The Cat. Alice asks, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” The Cat responds, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” To this, Alice says, “I don’t much care where” to which The Cat shrewdly replies, “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.” I guess I like this simple but uniquely profound exchange because it kind of begs the question … where are you going, do you have a direction, a goal, a plan, or are you simply drifting along hoping for a happy landing? It seems to me that those who get somewhere in life had a somewhere to get to picked out at a much earlier stage than others. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

I Can’t Go, But You Should

I had planned to go and believe me I would have except for my current medical situation. I refer here of course to the Glass Expo Midwest™ show being held this Thursday, October 31, and Friday, November 1, at the Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumburg, Ill., which is just a couple of miles northwest of O’Hare Airport. These regional shows offer a great opportunity to reconnect with friends, suppliers and yes, even a competitor or two, and get caught up on what’s going on. This year’s seminar schedule is value packed and I really am going to miss seeing you there. Go to http://www.usglassmag.com/gems/ for more information including a complete schedule and on line pre-registration. Don’t miss it!

You’re Wrong, Mr. Greenberg

In an interesting exchange of emails with Glen Greenberg (Elmont Glass) a few days back, Glen stated “78 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.” However, after receiving this from him, I did my own quick investigation, study and analysis and determined that 82 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot, and then typically quoted publicly, and usually in support of some argument or position that is being made. And by the way, I have … based on similar studies that I have conducted in the past … a 75-percent reliability factor that my 82-percent figure is correct, plus or minus a 3-percent survey error allowance.

Does This Seem Right?

According to an article in the last week’s edition of Bloomberg Magazine, the average income of America’s wealthiest 10 percent is 15.9 times higher than that of the lowest 10 percent. For comparison purposes, the multiple in Japan is 4.5 times. And, the U.S. multiple keeps growing. The disparity or differential widens with each passing year. There are those who believe we are wiping out the middle class in the U.S. and sometimes, it is hard to argue with that position. So where do we go from here? Is there a legitimate argument for a “redistribution of the wealth” in this country? And if so, how is it done? I am at heart a capitalist because the system has worked and worked well for a long time. But I’m wondering if we have become so greedy, so corrupt, so concerned with “getting mine” and not caring about anybody else that we have tainted the system. I’ll have a more personal example of this in next week’s blog. I just want to verify my facts before I tell it. Stand by, please.

The Cancer Thing

I did not start another round of chemo last Friday (as expected) because my cell counts were pretty bad, I was quite weak, and the doctors didn’t think I could take another round at that point. So I am home trying to strengthen/rebuild and then after a scan and blood tests, a determination will be made on my next action. Amazingly, I lost just a little under 30 pounds in about five weeks but have gained almost 4 pounds back in the last few days while recuperating at home. I know a lot of this is water, but I continue to be amazed at what the human body is capable of doing and enduring. Support from friends, family and you has been terrific. The emails and cards are so appreciated and some of you have really touched my heart with your thoughts and in some cases stories of what you or your loved ones have gone through and conquered. And the idea that so many continue to include me in their prayers is quite humbling. Thank you so much.

Those Wonderful Grandkids

On the mornings when I have gone in for rounds of chemo, I am greeted by balloons and posters from each one of the grandkids. They sneak over the night before and place them up and down my driveway. I can’t tell you how encouraging and good this makes me feel. I‘ve included a couple of pictures below to give you an idea of what I see as I head off to the hospital.

 get well posters 002_1_formatmore get well photos 008_2_formatThe Broken Tomato

It finally got finished, after a couple of years of poking and prodding by the fine people at Key Communications, and to my amazement, when an email release came out last week announcing it, people actually went online and started ordering it. I refer here to the release of my book, “The Broken Tomato.” I want to publicly thank Dawn Campbell and Chris Bunn for all of their help with this. They were terrific in every way. And, I also especially want to thank the first three people that ordered the book from that very first little blurb … you got the process started. So, thank you (#1) Dan Davidson (Gateway) of St. Charles, Ill., (#2) Darin Veldhuisen (SW Glass Center) of Marshall, Minn., and (#3) Tom Hoffert (VT Industries) of Holstein, Iowa. Thank you so much for getting the ball rolling. I just hope you like it!

The Sports Thing

Maybe I should just stop making any kind of sports predictions of any kind. I have been wrong so many times … and thank you to the many of you who have felt compelled to point this out to me …I should probably just give up. But alas, I can’t! And if you really follow sports stuff and have deep feelings about certain teams, you understand. So bear with me just one more time. The Cardinals in seven! They’re gonna win tonight to even it up and wrap it up in game seven!

The Quotable Thing

This week’s quote comes from old friend and regular contributor Art Lafferty, who I hadn’t heard from in a while so it’s nice to know you’re still out there, Art, and are staying involved. Art commented that given all that’s going on these days with our government that this seemed appropriate. I agree.

“If you can’t convince them, confuse them.”    -Harry Truman

Have a Good Week, Everybody!                   

 

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