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Friday, July 31, 2009

Dog Days & the $100,000 School Elevator -The Calm Before the Storm

People need relief when the dog days of summer are upon us. I just spent some time on the balcony overlooking Clear Lake -- watching the flag snapping in a stiff breeze. One of the great things about the coast is that you get a cooling breeze off the water. Further inland about all that is available is a hot breeze -- if you get any breeze at all.

Parts of Texas are in a two-year drought. The weather is producing some strange twists like yesterday’s 106 degrees in Portland, Oregon! The entire Northwest is in triple digit heat. How weird is that? Places keep getting hotter. Almost every sale we have made this year is of the solar version of security film that cuts solar heat 70%, so they can get heat relief along with the hurricane/explosion protection.

We seem to be in the calm before the storm. It’s in the dog days like these that people are lulled into doing nothing. The heat bakes the energy and ambition out of you. We haven’t had a big storm since Hurricane season started so it is easy for everyone to think we’ll not have another one this year. Denial is a human condition. Then a storm will spring up and everyone will panic and realize they aren’t prepared for it. Then they will all want to act at the same time and, like the line at the gas station, that never works well.

I went to a USGBC meeting listened to an architect presentation on a new school. It was impressive. They have the first geothermal heating/cooling system ever used for a school in Texas. They even have a special $100,000 elevator that will move an entire class from one floor to another.

However, I noticed something was missing. None of the glass so necessary for a proper learning environment has security film on it to protect students and staff from flying glass – and allow them to Shelter in Place should something like yesterday’s chemical plant explosion occur. What if a tornado from a storm hit the school during a session? For less than the cost of that special elevator, they could have had that protection from our Armor Glass film installed on their windows, and save energy too. It would also protect the school from breakins and vandals.

This week I have a crew working a project in California while I took a much needed break. I needed some offline time to catch up with accounting, the website, etc. -- and to spend some time on that balcony, catching the sea breezes. We’ve got a NY project coming up (for a bank), and more work pending right here. International inquiries keep coming in every week – many are entrepreneurs wanting to get into the business in their own country. Most want the blast protection.

We may be in the dog days of summer now, but you cannot repeal the law of nature. Hurricanes are an annual event. Tornadoes too. Nor can we repeal the law of geography; we are as close to the coast this year as we were last year, if not closer after IKE’s erosion.

The dog days won’t last forever. This is the calm before the (next) storm….

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