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Jul 02

A Quick Report

Well, it was truly a great week – last week that is. I spent parts of three days at the AIA convention in Chicago and got to spend a whole bunch of time last Wednesday with Ellen Rogers, Kelcy Summers, Chris Bunn and Nick St. Denis (from the USGlass team), showing them around downtown Chicago. We took in some of the city’s architectural wonders and even got to go out on the “TILT” at the Hancock Building. As a quick aside, the Tilt was OK, but in my opinion, does not compare at all with the Glass Ledge(s) at Willis Tower. We had a great time, and I always enjoy just being around these guys. So with this in mind, today’s blog will be more or less AIA Convention-oriented, and probably parts of next week’s blog will be, as well. To me, these things are more about people than product, so I hope you’ll forgive me for heading in that direction.

The Canadian Problem

Or perhaps I should actually refer to this as “My Canadian Problem” instead of THE Canadian Problem. Either way, it is a dilemma for me. I’m not sure when it started or how it even got started, but for as long as I can remember, I have kind of had this “love–hate” thing going on with Canada and its inhabitants. In fact, several years ago, after I had written a somewhat negative, bordering on nasty, article about Canada for a prominent trade magazine, I received a very distasteful letter signed by a group of Canadian business people asking me to never step foot on Canadian soil again.

I honored that request for several years, but eventually everyone cooled down, and I started visiting our neighbors to the north—and even found myself becoming fond of them. And now, after all these years, I find myself seeking out Canadians any time I think they might be at a convention or show that I am attending. Usually it’s to talk about hockey, although sometimes we get into deep political discussion,s and once in a while even talk about real business issues. Anyhow, I spent some enjoyable moments at the AIA Convention with what are now my good friends from Walker Textures (Montreal) and we had, as usual, a pleasant time. They have even now added American John Dunn (far left in picture below) to their team, so I took this as a good sign, too. They have sensational products and I actually, kinda, more or less, really like these Canadians. Sure, they need help with the way they speak, but don’t we all from time to time … eh?

Gotta Love Those Canadians – eh!

Gotta Love Those Canadians – eh!

The Labor Shortage Thing

I really don’t mean to keep harping on this, but in follow-up to what I have mentioned in this blog on a couple of occasions over the past few months, I spoke at length with a couple of recruiting firms that had booths at the AIA show, and in both of those conversations, the approaching “skilled labor shortage” was brought up. The recruiters already have more demand than they can fill, and as has been predicted, it is only going to get worse. Better start planning (and training) right now.

The Cleanup Is Always The Hardest Part

I stopped back at the AIA show on Saturday to give the Key Team a hand in dismantling and packing up their booth, and not unexpectedly, I did most of the work, although Nick (St. Denis), Kelcy (Summers) and Chris (Bunn) did help … a little. Now don’t get me wrong, I like all three of them a lot, but quite truthfully, if I hadn’t stopped by to get them organized and moving, they’d probably still be there, and that was four days ago!

Nick, Kelcy, and Chris At Work – Kinda!

Nick, Kelcy, and Chris At Work – Kinda!

I Never Doubted It Would Get Paid

Although maybe Tom Minnon (Tubelite) did. As you may or may not recall, depending on whether or not you regularly read this blog … and believe me, I understand if you don’t, because there are only so many hours in the day, and heaven knows for most of you that there has to be something more useful and beneficial to you than reading what I write … you might remember that I had soundly beaten Mr. Minnon last year in a number of $1.00 wagers on NFL playoff games. But then we made the big double or nothing bet on the Super Bowl, and Minnon and his Patriots prevailed. So I owed him $2. Well, I paid it off and did so in style when I ran into him (and I knew he would be there) at the AIA Convention in Chicago last week. The following is a picture of Tom holding a $2 bill (securely placed in an acrylic framed) which proves that I paid up.

I Always Pay My Debts!

I Always Pay My Debts!

 The Sports Thing

So it’s now over and I am guessing that the TV ratings, for what’s left, will really take a hit now. I speak here of the USA’s involvement in the World Cup Soccer tournament being held in Brazil. It’s all still a little baffling to me, but maybe because of my age and background, I will never understand the game or its followers. Specifically, the banner headline in the sports section of today’s Chicago Tribune boldly proclaimed “U.S. Stands tall after knockout.” Come on … give me a break. We played four games and lost three of them. We made it into the second round by sheer luck after losing two of the three games we played in the first round, and they should stand tall? The team was never predicted to do anything, yet thousands of people jammed outdoor arenas (including Chicago’s Soldier Field) dressed in all kinds of patriotic adornment to stand in the heat in crowded conditions to watch this team win only one-fourth of the games it played. I don’t get it, but I guess it’s just me. However, the good news for guys like me is that it is now July 2nd, so in only a couple more months, the football and then hockey seasons will begin! Thank goodness.

The Quotable Thing

Old friend and Chinese philosopher How Long (if you read my USGlass columns, you have previously been introduced to Mr. Long) sent this in after I quoted him in the June issue of USG. The quote is credited with being an ancient Chinese proverb, and I like it!

All the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of today”

“Have a Wonderful Week Everyone”

2 comments

1 ping

  1. Marc Deschamps

    How funny … we fooled you Lyle …. on the photo there are 3 Americans and 2 Canadians … and you did not even notice from the way they speak!!

    It was nice seeing you back.

    Cheers.

    Marc

    1. Lyle R. Hill

      You Canadians are always “fooling me” but it was great seeing you any way. Lyle

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