Fear Itself

Fear and worry are difficult emotions. They are difficult to control and even harder to conquer. We have things we fear and things we worry about. Oh sure, the unknown and uncertainty are always in there, but otherwise they are usually personal things. Yet in business, there are collective fears and worries. I recently completed a small informal research study among our quietest group of readers—the primary manufacturers—about what keeps this group that starts with sand and ends with glass up at night. The answers may surprise you. I know the results surprised me. I guess that’s because I expected the answers to revolve around the manufacture of glass and… Read More »

Cure-All or Cure-None?

Health insurance business

Have you ever done or said something that, even before you do or say it, you know you shouldn’t? But then you do it anyway. Well, that is me today. I am not wading in; I am diving in and I already know I will be sorry but, geez, I just can’t help myself. Here goes: The topic is the new Affordable Care Law. Now before I go further let me say this. Those who know me personally know my politics defy description.  I vote for Republicans and Democrats alike and I am a registered Independent. I would be considered “liberal” on certain issues, “conservative” on others.  My political views… Read More »

BEC Day Two–Future Shock

Mic Patterson of Enclos makes an impassioned point during his presentation yesterday morning at the BEC Conference in Las Vegas.

Change is often the theme of conferences; that’s nothing new. But the amount and complexity of the changes taking place in the contract glazing business, as detailed at the Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference, which ended just minutes ago, has been staggering. The seminars and private discussions reiterated one fact over and over again: this is not your father’s contract glazing business. Here are the top five trends glazing contractors can expect to affect them in the next five years: 1. Design-Build is out and replaced by Design-Assist. Design-Assist, which I define as the process of helping to develop the glazing system before the job has been awarded, is going… Read More »

Why Am I Doing This Again?

GANA president Jeff Nixon of Glass Coatings and Concepts presents BEC member (and USGlass magazine blogger and columnist) Chuck Knickerbocker of TGP with the BEC "Member of the Year" award.

When I got in my car at 3:45 a.m. yesterday (read: Sunday) morning it was 22 degrees outside and pitch black. As I road along the empty road, I had one of those “why am I doing this again?” moments. You know those moments–you’ve had them, too. They are usually preceded by the internal dialogue that starts “I must be totally crazy, what am I doing and why am I doing this?” Well, by 11 p.m. that night, I knew the answer. That’s because 11 p.m. my time was actually 8 p.m. Las Vegas time and the closing hour of the first day of the Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference,… Read More »

The Green Vaccine

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I always take it as a quiet honor when readers contact us because they are having a problem sourcing a particular product. And I take it as a quiet victory when we are able to help, which we are able to do more times than not. But there’s one type of call I get, about once every four to six weeks, that always starts with the same sense of frustration, bordering on anger. That’s the call from the purchasing or estimating agent who doesn’t know where to turn.  You can just about hear the sense of defeat coming through the phone. The scenario has minor variations, but in general it… Read More »

No Cure for This

tarandgirls

I let out a silent sigh and exhaled slowly so the sound was imperceptible to the caller on the phone. It was her again and she was calling once more to let me know she’d be late. This used to happen occasionally but it had turned into a monthly, and now almost weekly, occurrence. And she always used the same excuse.  I took a long look out the window. Yes, our vice president Tara Taffera was in a situation that no drug, alcohol or gambling rehab was going to cure. In fact, it might not be curable at all. What was I going to do with her? Now before I… Read More »

Quiet Victories

It happened on January 22 ever so quietly, with barely a whimper so no one would notice. But we noticed. Yes, the glass industry noticed and reacted with a mixture of joy and relief, proving that quiet victories can be the most satisfying of all. The occasion of that industry-wide sigh-of-relief was the announcement by the American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers that its working group and then full committee had voted to withdraw the dreaded proposal, the 189.1 Addendum, which would have severely limited the amount of glass that could be put into a building. (For more information, see “The Battle for the Wall,” USGlass, April 2013.)… Read More »

BULL-oney

It seemed like such an innocent article, so righteous, so true and on point. It detailed how the “good guys” had gone after the “bad guys” and gotten money back for the innocents. And in return, they had agreed not to go after the “bad guys” in court. What a victory! BULL-oney!! The article to which I am referring ran on our own daily e-newspaper Friday. It details how attorneys for the creditors’ committee in the Trainor bankruptcy have been able to recover nearly $500,000 that they allege was paid inappropriately to creditors in the months prior to the bankruptcy filing. Again, I say BULL. Those of us who have… Read More »

The End of an Anno Domini

Okay, okay, we’ve been talking about it for the past few weeks so I’ll just come out and say it. Here are my picks for the top five glass industry stories of the year. Now when I say “top five” I don’t mean in terms of popularity or shock value. These five are my picks for the stories that will have the most impact and effect on the industry. Here they are in order: ASHRAE’s withdrawal of its addendum to 90.1 that would have reduced the amount of glazing allowable in buildings.  (See the story here). That addendum had the potential to do more damage to the glass industry than any… Read More »

Have a Happy Merry

2013 was one of the strangest and most unique years through which I have lived. It started with a bang–literally—and ends with a reminder that the miracle of life is all around us and not just the result of a live birth, although that is rather fitting at Christmas time. Join me a for minute and you’ll see what I mean. That bang that began in April was actually the bomb that went off at the Boston Marathon. It’s still hard for me to believe that I was there and saw the bombs go off—what really were the odds of that especially for a person who had never before been… Read More »