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Apr 01

We’re Getting There

At the recent Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference, which was organized and orchestrated by the Glass Association of North America (GANA), it was reported that the general mood among attendees was upbeat if not downright enthusiastic. The conference was held in Las Vegas March 16-18 and as usual, attendees were pleased with the event and the knowledge gained by participating. But for most, the positive mood of the event was equally pleasing. Well, now comes a report from Engineering News Record (ENR) just published a few days ago that confirms what those at the BEC were feeling and hearing. Specifically, according to ENR, construction industry executives are seeing and expect to continue to see growth within the industry for the next few years. And many expect the rate of that growth to accelerate. The growth is spread nicely over virtually all segments although there are still a couple of down segments – entertainment theme parks as an example. Also, the ENR poll of CFOs indicates that 23 percent of those surveyed believe profit margins will be better in 2014 than in 2013. Lastly, I had breakfast last Friday with a couple of guys from the surety bonding industry (we share hockey tickets and needed to make some play-off ticket arrangements) and during our brief time together, both of them said that surety was loosening up with a number of new players coming onto the scene. So while “Happy Days” may not be totally back, apparently the construction industry is headed in that direction.

In Case You Missed It

Long-time glass industry leader and spokesman Richard Voreis (CEO at Consulting Collaborative) produced a short but incredibly insightful article in the January edition of USGlass (yes, I know it’s April but I sometimes fall behind in my reading) in which he addressed the need for constant vigilance in examining and assessing what works and doesn’t work for a given business. One of Voreis’ comments particularly caught my eye. He stated that “maintaining the status quo in a changing construction economy is “the kiss of death” and there is no doubt in my mind that the construction economy in this country is changing and doing so quite rapidly. If you missed the article, click here to read it in the January digital edition. I think he has hit the proverbial nail right on its proverbial head here.

Maybe I Am Wrong – Part Three – Taco Bell

Last week I made the comment that I was doubtful if there were any Taco Bell restaurants in Mexico. This was in follow-up to my comment that there are no Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants in Mexico. And before we cause some kind of an international problem here, let me once again say that I like (what I have come to believe is) Mexican food and both of the aforementioned restaurants are fine with me. However, alert reader Ken Harvey submitted an email comment after reading last week’s blog that on two occasions, Taco Bell has tried to enter the Mexican market (1992 and 2007) and failed both times. So, what does this perhaps confirm? I think it tells us that what we call Mexican food in the states is not Mexican food. I will most likely not discuss this subject again. You can put a fork in this fajita.

Hey, by the way, did any of you see that Taco Bell now serves breakfast? Just started last week. I read where there is a breakfast burrito, a grilled taco, and a waffle taco along with about 10 more new breakfast items. Anyone tried it yet? Just wondering.

Just Say “NO”

I had the opportunity of watching a mother and her young child interact in a grocery store a few days back and I am now more convinced than ever (and I was pretty convinced before) that every parent in the world should have to take a course on using the word “NO” when dealing with their kids (and meaning it when they do). The words “maybe” and “we’ll see about it” and “later” should be banned. A simple yes or no would be better for the kids … and a whole lot better for the parents if they can force themselves to use them. Sorry, didn’t mean to get preachy there.

The Sports Thing

Yes, I know March Madness has reached a feverish pitch, that the MLB baseball season has now begun and that the NLRB has just approved the unionization of college athletes, but this week I need to forget all of that and focus on something really big. And here it is … my granddaughter Sydney Marie Hill (daughter of Renee and Patrick) took third place at the girls state gymnastics finals last Saturday on the uneven bar. That’s right, third in state! Nothing more (relative to sports news) to report here this week!

 

Sydney Marie Hill

Sydney Marie Hill

The Quotable Thing

Tom York, who tells me he has just recently started reading this blog, sent the following in. Thanks Tom, for both reading and contributing. Heaven knows I need all the help I can get!

            “The most dangerous phrase in the language is ‘we’ve always done it this way.'”  -Grace Hopper (scientist)

Have a Wonderful Week, Everyone!

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