Got wire, as in wired glass? I hope not. Once again the wired glass issue has come back up and a great deal has been written of late about its viability as a useful glazing product. The latest controversy started when a poorly informed official made a public statement that encouraged its use in schools because of security and safety concerns. This set off a flurry of activity … almost unanimously condemning the person who made the suggestion and the product itself. Well, my turn now.
About four or five years ago I was contacted by a school facilities director who worked for a northeastern state (not giving anymore here because I don’t have the person’s permission to do so and do not want to cause anyone to lose their job) and this particular director had some glass-related questions that he was hoping I could answer. We chatted for maybe 10 minutes and I answered his questions to the best of my ability. I never asked him how he got my name or phone number. Since the time of that initial call, we have now talked numerous times and he has even had a couple of his subordinates call me and has given my name to other school officials in his state as well. I have never taken any money for suggestions or advice and have never sold any products of any kind to him or anyone else in his state. Even though we’ve never met in person, I kind of like the guy and particularly enjoy his New England brand of humor. He has invited me out to speak (about glass) at their next year’s state convention and if I can work it out schedule-wise, I intend to do it.
Recently … meaning about two weeks ago … my northeastern friends ran into a huge problem over the use of ¼-inch unprotected (un-encapsulated) wired glass being required for use in an elementary school renovation project. After many protestations, it appeared they were going to lose their argument against its use. The architect was not the problem, nor was the glazing contractor. The problem was the fire code officials who in many if not most jurisdictions have the final word on life safety issues. I have dealt first-hand with the inflexibility of some fire code officials and in a few cases, have been amazed at how they will dig in on something that is not only impractical but out and out stupid. My northeastern friends asked me for as much information as I could send them to help them get the matter resolved. I did so but at this moment, it is still up in the air and being reviewed. The glass industry, in my opinion, has done a remarkably good job in educating the world about the pros and cons of its products, but it has not finished the job as it relates to wired glass and in particular with fire code officials. We gotta keep fighting here. The job is not yet done.
Does This Seem Right?
I had promised a follow-up story/report on something I had written under this heading in last week’s blog but I still have not verified what I was told and so I am going to wait. It had to do with the growing disparity between the wealthy and the poor in the U.S. and the squeeze being put on the middle class. A few readers sent me emails commenting on my comments so I don’t want you to think I forgot about this. Should be able to wrap this up next week.
The Cancer Thing
Some pretty good news was received yesterday afternoon on the cancer front. Specifically, I am not going to require an additional round of chemotherapy at this point (my tests came back clean) and will now move forward to the stem cell transplant phase of my program. While there will be more chemo required downstream, the fact that I don’t need any more at this point is incredibly encouraging news to me. I have to get my red and white cell counts up and show some platelet improvement but assuming that I continue the same pace of improvement during the coming two weeks that I have during the past two, I should be able to start the transplant program around the 25th of this month … the week of Thanksgiving. It seems kind of appropriate in a way. My energy level is way up, I have gained back another 6 pounds and I am sleeping well. I still have a ways to go but while the past 10 weeks have been absolute torture, we’ve gotten this far and I can see a small light at the end of the dark, cold tunnel. Once again, thank you to all for your cards, letters and emails. Some of you have shared some incredible stories with me of your own battles with cancer and, in each case, they have brought encouragement to me for my own situation. And when compared to so many others, my situation seems not so bad at all. I’ll still take all the prayers I can get from those of you so inclined to do so. More to follow on all of this.
Way Too Short
My favorite time of the year is fall. Now in Chicago, fall doesn’t usually last too long and in fact, sometimes it seems like it never even happened. This year was terrific. The colors came early and seemed to hang on for an exceptionally long time. But now we have moved into November and with a couple of good windy rainfalls and a frosty night or two, it is pretty much gone. I read just a couple of days ago that from November 1 until March 1, Chicagoans (on average) only get to see sunshine on 42 percent of the days during this time period. Chicago is known all too well for its gray winters and early indications are that this one is not going to be an exception. But it was a beautiful fall and I believe with all my heart that it’s going to be an exceptionally beautiful spring as well.
Now This Is Big News
In case you missed the press releases, two glass industry all-stars were recently inducted into the Michigan Construction Hall of Fame during a ceremony held at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich. The two were Linda Vos-Graham, president of Vos Glass located in Grand Rapids, and E. Edward Williams, the retired president and CEO of Edwards Glass in Livonia. This is big news and helps to shine a very bright and positive light on the contributions made to the construction industry by the people from the glass side of it. Thank you, Linda and Ed, for representing us so well. And much deserved congratulations, too!!!
The Sports Thing
I have absolutely nothing to say here this week. I have embarrassed myself beyond belief with my recent predictions and probably should just take some time off from sports commentary. But as long as we’re here … can you believe that the Chicago Bears actually beat the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on a Monday night nationally televised game two nights ago??? Yes, I know both teams were using back-up quarterbacks but so what? I’m still pinching myself. And hey, have you been following that Miami Dolphins bullying thing? Wild, don’t you think? Wait a minute, I had started out saying I had nothing to say so maybe I’d better stop right here!
The Quotable Thing
This week’s quote comes from a former colleague of mine who has asked to remain anonymous and of course I will honor his request. My guess is that he is afraid his boss will see his name attached to this and assume it must be in reference to him (which I would guess is most likely a logical and fair assumption).
“Some executives call passing the buck delegating authority.” -Anonymous
Have a Good Week, Everybody!!!