The Glass Mystery At Lindy’s Diner

Lindy’s Diner in Keene, New Hampshire has a problem with glass.  We’ll go there in a minute.  Lindy’s is famous for three things, their food, the wonderful waitresses and their control over the elections in New Hampshire and the United States.  (The waitresses all wear t-shirts with the saying, “Hot, fast and cheap”.  I hope they are talking about the food.)  According to the owner, Nancy, there has not been a candidate elected to any office, from President of the US, to the local school committee, who has not had breakfast at Lindy’s in the last twenty years.  100% sure to lose if you don’t go to Lindy’s.  If you were running for office, would you go against those odds?

The 2014 election season is starting and some folks are talking about 2016.  And the parade has started at Lindys.  Just the other day, my wife and I were having breakfast there and a Republican candidate for US Senate came in and spoke to each person there.  Very interesting actually.  This is local politics at its best.

But, what is this glass mystery?  I couldn’t help notice that one of the large windows in the front of Lindy’s was covered in duct tape on the inner lite of an IG unit.  Nancy asked me to take a look at it and give my advice.  She knew a glass expert when she saw one.  There was a run from the bottom to about three-quarters of the way up.  Annealed glass.  No impact points.  The run started below the sight line, and in fact, upon closer inspection, it looked like there was a screw in the inside wooden stop, just about where the run started.

I asked Nancy if this had happened before.  She said it had.  In fact, this same window broke a month after it was installed about a year ago, and the installer replaced it, splitting the cost with Nancy.  And now it is broken again.  It didn’t take a glass expert long to explain to Nancy that the screw point had put pressure on the glass and that is what caused the break.

Nancy asked if she should replace it again and I explained to her the advantage of changing to an aluminum store front instead of her old wooden one.  Energy savings up the wazoo, less condensation running down the glass, easier maintenance and cleaning, and with proper installation, no chance of this type of breakage again.

I gave her the names of two local glaziers who are really good with commercial work and went back to the world’s best homemade cinnamon raisin toast. 

If you are called to do a replacement at an old store front, don’t take the easy way out and just do the replacement.  Take the time to explain the benefits of a retrofit to thermally broken aluminum.  It is our job to teach our customers about energy savings and maintenance benefits.  We can’t take the easy way out and just do the replacement.  Selling the advantages of Low-E should be basic in every estimate you give.  Talk to your distributor and fabricator to get sales literature to leave with your quotes.  Learn it yourself, train your entire staff.  We’ll all be better off for it.





What If Google Really Wanted to Take over the Glass Industry?

They could, you know. They have the bucks to buy all of us.  In fact, so does Apple.  Why is this important?  Google has applied to the U.S. Patent Office to trademark the word ‘GLASS’ because they are calling their new wearable computer GOOGLE GLASS.  Yep, they have stolen our whole industry. 

Their new computer is worn just like a pair of eyeglasses.  It is out in the world in its test mode and they hope to sell it to the public later this year.  It is the hottest topic in the computer industry and has generally received good reviews.  There have been some glitches with certain state governments who are trying to ban the wearing of the computers while driving or being in a movie theater, and there is a certain logic there, but that is not our fight.

Google’s balance sheet shows $60.6 BILLION dollars in cash and investments as of 12/31/13, and Apple’s shows $158.8 BILLION for the same period.  PPG’s market value, as of last night, was $26.7 billion.  While considerable, the computer companies could buy PPG without having to give up their lunch money.  And glass makes up about a third of PPG’s business!

I propose we form a committee to come up with the value of the word glass.  We could have annual meetings, regional meetings, government-sponsored forums that will help us write the standards for how many letters are in the word glass, and then finally set the value for the word glass so the real negotiations can begin.  The negotiations will decide how we divvy up the billions of dollars we will get?  Does USGlass have to change its name to USGOOGLE?  Will the commercials be:  Call Safelite Auto GOOGLE to repair or replace your windshield?  Does a window company get any money; after all, they don’t have the word GLASS in their name?

Should we give up without a fight?  Never!  Or, at least not until we see the green of their checkbooks!

I look forward to meeting all of my friends and readers at the Glass TEXpo™ later this week in San Antonio, Texas.  It looks like it will be a great learning experience and a fun time.  See you there.