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 »

It’s Round-Up Time

This is number two. Numero dos. This is my penultimate blog of the year and I am taking a look back at the biggest industry stories of the year. Today, I am focusing on news events in the past six months that have long-term ramifications for the industry.  I have even included a category called “stories with legs” for stories about glass that grow legs beyond the glass industry and into the mainstream consumer press. Here is a brief look at the last six months: Bankruptcies: Dlubak Inc. in early August. Mergers and acquisitions: The acquisition of said Dlubak by Grey Mountain after quite a bidding war, Apogee’s acquisition of… Read More »

And the Envelope, Please

Well, it’s almost that time of year again, and we are getting ready.  No, it’s not Christmas or New Year, and Hanukkah is over. Nope, it’s not any of the usual suspects. There are three annuals that hit every December and you won’t find them on any datebook except the glass industry’s calendar. The first is the USGlass Magazine Product of the Year Awards. Announced every December, these highly anticipated awards are given by our readers and editors together to the products we wrote about in 2013 that were so new, so revolutionary or unique that they merited honor. The Products of the Year will be announced in the December… Read More »

Wired on the Wire

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Sometimes you hit a nerve. Sometimes you open a wound.  Sometimes you rub the proverbial salt in it. Well, I guess last week I did all three. In addition to the comments posted in response to my blog about misinformation about wired glass being thrown around like fact, a received a number of email comments and phone calls. Though the callers were different, the message was the same: why doesn’t somebody do something? Well, a number of people have offered some possible courses of action and I will start putting them out there for your input during the next few weeks. Thanks to everyone who wrote with acknowledgement of the… Read More »

Down to the Wired

Lots of wired glass installed long ago remains in this country. This fifth floor elevator lobby skylight at the Marriott Fisherman

I have kept my tongue long enough and it’s time to let loose. I have had it with FOX News, and I am ready to tell you why.

A Worldwide War

I have seen lots of differing opinions, some disagreements and a few heated arguments in my 32 years in the glass industry. But I have to say the 90.1 brawl, the battle for the wall, and even the repair vs. replacement feud, pale in comparison to this one. This one is a full blitzkrieg with all the hallmarks—ideology, politics, money and some personal attacks—of a great war. The subject of this great quarrel is the fight surrounding the importation of foreign curtainwall into this country.  To briefly recap, the Commerce Department ruled affirmatively when asked last summer by a group of domestic glazing contractors if its ruling on anti-dumping and… Read More »

The Leadership Thing

It really is the most elusive of qualities. It can’t be taught, yet it isn’t genetic either. So where do the qualities that make a great leader come from? And how do we get them? I’ve been pondering this question a lot in the past few weeks, especially because of an interview I recently saw on the TODAY show. The interview was in advance of this weekend’s opening of a movie about his called “Captain Phillips.” In the interview, the real-life captain of the Maersk-Alabama, who had been kidnapped by Somali pirates, talked about leadership. But the captain, Captain Richard Phillips of New England, did not respond to the question… Read More »

Ah, the Hum

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It wasn’t an overwhelming buzz, it was more like a hum—a strong, steady hum. Last week’s show in Atlanta brought a greater air of optimism than I have seen at any time in the past five years. And those great harbingers of business—the machinery and truck manufacturers—were deliriously happy. It may be September, but it feels like spring! Now some of it is pent up demand as they say, that’s true, but pent up demand alone could not account for nearly every single piece of machinery being either pre-sold or sold on the floor. And deals–real deals–were being done. Gone was the “How are you, really?” question of the last… Read More »

The Stories You Don’t Write

I just settled into my seat on Delta 1483 headed to Atlanta … for the 32nd time. Yes, that’s right, this is my 32nd year of consecutive attendance at this show. If there is someone out there who has attended more consecutive shows, I have yet to find them—though I think Dan DeGorter has been to more overall shows, just not consecutively. As one of my co-workers said “I don’t know whether to envy you or pity you.” They have a point. You decide. This year’s event is back at the site of the first one in which I participated in 1981, though in those days the whole event, including… Read More »

Prayers Most Welcome

Lyle and his oldest grandchild Jack, looking for gold last week.

This is the hardest blog I have ever had to write and one of the toughest things I have ever had to announce. There is really no way to make bad news any better than it is, so I will just tell you. Our dear friend and USGlass magazine columnist Lyle Hill has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. He knew something was wrong because, in less than seven weeks, a small nodule inside his left cheek had grown into a large mass upon the left side of his neck. Luckily, he was on it right away and had sought diagnosis and treatment early. It is a very… Read More »