Feb 19

The Risk Gene

Scientists now report that based on recent research they have identified what is being referred to as the “risk gene.” Supposedly, 20 percent of us are born with this gene. The “risk gene” causes certain of us to be more daring … take greater risks … than those who are not genetically predisposed with this gene. Reportedly, the daredevils among us who are quickly drawn to risky sports and activities that would terrify most have this gene. As one researcher stated, “some people really are born with a need for speed.” Naturally, there are those who disagree with these findings believing that activities in our early years predispose us to our risk tolerance levels. As someone who has spent more than 42 years in the business world and in particular, the architectural glass and metal industry, I tend to side with the “risk gene” concept. Over the years I met and interacted with people who now that I think about, had a heavy dose of the “risk gene” and so much so that it sometimes led to their demise, while others wouldn’t know what such a gene looked like if it bit them on the nose. I’m sure that people born with the risk gene often have it modified or perhaps even stifled due to occurrences that happen early in their lives, but I can easily buy into this concept. Think about it for a moment, and think about some of the people you know … and tell me you disagree.

Congratulations, DWM

USGlass’ sister publication, Door and Window Market magazine (DWM), has been named a finalist for this year’s J.H. Neal Award for “Editorial Excellence.” In 2002, the prestigious American Society of Business Publication Editors named DWM as the “Best New Publication of the Year for the Eastern U.S. Region”. DWM publisher Tara Taffera was a previous Neal Award finalist for her USGlass magazine article, “Millions Spent, Nothing Gained,” which received national acclaim. Way to go, DWM team. We’re all proud of you guys!


As any long-time reader of this blog knows … and by the way, I got talked into this weekly blog arrangement three years ago this coming June and I can’t believe I am still at it … I have had more than a passing interest for some time now in the BIGFOOT story. Specifically, based on a picture taken in my backyard with a nighttime infrared camera strapped to a tree, I have what appears to be a picture of a large, upright, hairy animal running across my patio on a warm summer night a couple of years back. I was not able to get more than the one picture of this animal, and I subsequently lost the one and only printout I made. I put the camera out for several more nights but only got pictures of three coyotes, a huge skunk and a couple of stray cats. You see, I live near a heavily wooded area complete with a large creek and not too far from two decent-sized golf courses. Plenty of room for critters to wander at night and hide by day. So for a couple of years now, the BIGFOOT thing has captivated me. And recently, I was invited to take part in a BIGFOOT hunt in the northern Adirondacks this summer. Naturally, I don’t want to waste my time on anything foolish, but I gotta tell you, I think the BIGFOOT thing might be real. Then again, maybe I should start putting the infrared camera out every night and hope to get lucky again. Not sure what to do here and it’s driving me a little crazy. Oh well!

A Tough Winter Indeed – Part Two

Well, we’re finally starting to get a little relief, at least in my part of the country, and it can’t come fast enough. A few people have asked me how I have been able to cope with the incredible amounts of snow and bitterly cold temperatures of this winter while trying to recover from my health issues. You see, several readers know that I have a driveway that is almost 250 feet long, not including the garage apron area. I love the privacy that being set back off the main street provides, but it is a challenge sometimes in the winter. I have a couple of snow blowers but my health situation has more or less prevented me from getting to spend much quality time with them this winter. But thankfully, the kids and grandkids have come through. My son Patrick and son-in-law Ben have done the snow blowing and several of the grandkids have pitched in as well. So, I’m going to get through it and if all holds together, I’ll get back to dealing with it personally next winter, which I actually enjoy.

Patrick at the controls

Patrick at the controls


Ryan Hill and friend Evan

Ryan Hill and friend Evan

The Sports Thing

Maybe it’s just me but the Olympics just are not as exciting and interesting to me this year as they have been in the past. I was looking forward to it all but have been a little disappointed. I have enjoyed the hockey … and was quite pleased with the Finn’s victory over the Russians (3-1) earlier today, but the other events just have not done much for me. Not sure why, but I have heard others make similar comments.

I need to thank Tom Minnon yet once again for being such a stand-up guy. After taking my money over a Superbowl wager, Mr. Minnon sent me a Tom Brady (New England Patriots quarterback) dollar bill. The bill has all of the proper identification on it including the notation that it is a “Federal Reserve Note.”  The only difference between it and a normal dollar bill is that Brady’s face is where George Washington’s typically appears. It was sealed in a very nifty acrylic case and I was impressed. However, I am a very frugal guy so I took it to the bank to deposit it in my savings account and the teller told me it was not real. Imagine my disappointment … I mean, what do I do with a phony dollar bill with Tom Brady’s picture on it? However, the teller, a pleasant guy in his late 20s I would guess, offered me $1for the acrylic case. So I accepted his offer and then deposited that dollar in my savings account so all was not lost. Thank you, Tom Minnon.

The Quotable Thing

This week’s quote was sent to me by a former co-worker who does not want his name published. I believe it’s original quote and I think we all know people like this.

“I always know when my boss is about to arrive. His ego is so big that it usually shows up about five minutes before he does.”

Have a Wonderful Week, Everyone!


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  1. Jack Carter

    On that invite to the Bigfoot hunt, be carefull not to confuse “Bobo” of the tv series In Search of Bigfoot as an actual Sasquatch. The resemblence is uncanny.
    Thanks for the great blogs and hope you are feeling as well as you are blogging.
    all the best,
    Jack Carter

  2. Lyle R. Hill

    Thanks Jack and I will take your advice. Getting a little stronger every day. Much to be thankful for. Lyle

  3. Tim McNeil

    Lyle, Finished “The Broken Tomato” earlier today and I enjoyed every word. I will be in Columbus this coming weekend, where I hope to show it to some of the guys responsible for purchasing reading materials for the business. Very happy to hear that you’re on the mend.
    Tim McNeil

    1. Lyle R. Hill

      Thanks Tim. Glad you liked it and travel safely. LRH

  4. joel Helfer

    Hi Lyle,
    Glad to see your back to full speed, well healthy and taking no more risks!

    Loved your explanation of the Risk Gene. I believe most subs don’t just have their fare share of risk genes, but a risk brain. Who else would take a job at cost and assume they would find a way to make money… and even get paid.

    Love ya pal
    Be well
    The best to you and yours.

    1. Lyle R. Hill

      Well said Joel and always nice to hear from you. I’m not sure I understood the words “get paid” but I will look them up in an effort to get their definition and see what I have been missing. Take care. Lyle

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