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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Long Island: Prescription Drugs from Mom and Dad Leading to Heroin Use by Teens

Got up at 4 am this morning at a Hyatt on Long Island for an early flight out of JFK to Houston –just in time to make the memorial for a friend who died of cancer recently. Millions in high tech treatment was not enough to save him. But my plane was held up two hours at JFK due to “maintenance issues.” When they say “maintenance”

When they say “Maintenance” I say “take all the time you need.” As a pilot I know the last thing I want is a airplane not working right when you are flying, especially with passengers in your care.

The flight delay put me in a crunch to make the memorial in Sugar Land. Bob was an avid sailor from Long Island to the Atlantic who settled here on the Gulf Coast. Not only did he enjoy our weather he also was a gifted literary teacher and insightful advisor to many.

The most amazing story was told by one of his children. They were in a sailboat race years ago in Long Island Sound when it became evident that a large tug, pulling a barge with a cable, was between them and winning the race.

Bob said to his son: “If we have to go behind the barge, we lose the race.”

Then an amazing thing happened. The tugboat Captain, seeing the situation, cut his engine just enough to let the cable pulling the barge slip below the waves -- just long enough for Bob and his boat to sail over -- and win the race! Then the tug powered up, the cable tightened, and the tug continued on its journey with its cargo.

Another son recalled a time when a large cruise ship hit their boat and they had to jump into the water.

And about another not-so-kind tug operator who powered up his boat to deliberately create the largest wake possible --knowing the wake force could capsize Bob’s tiny boat with him and his young son in it. Somehow Bob was “in tune” with the universe and it all worked out well.

FYI. I didn’t know this. NY C TV carried a fascinating, disturbing, story last night. Apparently there is an epidemic on Long Island of teens starting on mom’s and dad’s prescription drugs –and going on to heroin after getting addicted to things like Vicodin. One mom had only five pills, yet it was enough to get her son hooked, and seeking bigger highs from heroin, which is easily obtained there.

To stop it, one teen who was on the wrong side of addiction said it simply: “You lock up your guns. You should also lock up your prescription drugs.”

Or else they are readily available to be abused and possibly kill your kids, like it is doing in Long Island today, a suburb of white, middle class, economically safe people –not homeless people like some might like to think.

The NYC news also run some funny stories on the political races going on there. It was fun to watch that part. I like Long Island and its quaint little houses that reminded me of Iowa and suburbia combined.

On the national front, all remains the same.

Security and safety in the 21st Century -- means that we need to pay attention to what is going on globally or get blindsided yet again.

Not paying attention to the technology development in Asia and Europe also puts the U.S. at a disadvantage to the other competing economic powerhouses of the world, from China to India to even Russia.

We need to be global tech leaders and, if necessary, interplanetary entrepreneurs to stay ahead – or risk being just another economy in a vast super global economic engine – that ends up driving the rest of this century – and the next.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fall Colors in NY

Here is a shot of the tree colors on Long Island next to the job we were doing on a JP Morgan Chase bank - one of the first to get hurricane window film. The bank is only 1/2 mile from the Atlantic coast.

I had to get a new Blackberry Storm to replace the one toasted after I loaded Windows 7 - they had never seen anything like it. After I downloaded the newest BB software the system stablized.

I may go check out an old lighthouse on the tip of the island today - my first day off in eons. It poured cold rain for a couple days but the sun broke out yesterday and it is supposed to be good the next several days.

I put my crew on a Jet Blue flight yesterday - which was due to arrive last night in the middle of the heavy rains.

Despite their reputation for being short, I found the experience of working with New Yorkers pleasant. Yeah, there was another contractor on the job yesterday who sounded like a pit bull when I asked his crew not to put their fingers in still-drying sealant, but so what. LOL.

Flying back tomorrow. Today I am going to enjoy a rare day off...
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

in New York with a dead Blackberry and a crippled compute

I'm in New York with a dead Blackberry and a crippled computer, where it has been pouring a COLD rain for the last two days.

While working on a bank to secure it from hurricanes (only 1/2 mile from the ocean) I downloaded the new Windows 7 to go on a month-old new computer. All was fine until it started crashing last night - while I had my Blackberry Storm hooked up to it. Now my Storm has the "white screen of death" which says in tiny print "Reload software 507."

What software 507? It's toast, along with only files I had on it.

Good thing is that we finished the job. But now I have no phone and a computer that only works in "safe mode." Unless it crashes again.

Microsoft instructions are starting to look like NASA launch codes. "Go update your drivers"
Duh? Isn't that the new software's job?

So LOL, I'm on Long Island without a working comm device. I may have to resort to smoke signals, after seeing all the unpronounceable Indian street names like "ConnQuot" or something like that.

But it is beautiful when the sun is out. But today it is still blowing like a blue norther and it's time to head SOUTH when that happens.

I just hope to have a working phone and computer by then. My Blackberry is my email, phone, calendar, calculator - my office!

LOL. To Be continued. Must go ship tools back and get crew on a flight back to their families...

I'd post photos but not sure this computer would last long enough to do it. Later.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Balloon Fest to Amityville NY

Saturday the sky was full of balloons hovering over Clear Lake. Then it was on to NY, where the trees are yellow, red -- and drop dread beautiful. Here is a blurry photo passing Amityville...

Also included is a photo that I took with my Blackberry Storm of one balloon appearing to land on a building in Clear Lake (I was too tired from two trade shows in one week to take more photos of an excellent event on a perfectly still, beautiful day. lol):
More on our adventures on Long Island later. High is 60-something and the low is 40, and DRY. Found a deal on a golf resort on for about the cost of a Comfort Inn. It's like being in the country, not New York...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Houston Rocks - Despite Congress Hypocrites

Yesterday, I drove in the rain from Ft. Worth (where the Mayor of every town in Texas you never heard of were hanging out) to set up for the architect's meeting at the GRB. The difference in attitude was striking. Houston ROCKS.

I was at a trade show in Ft. Worth's Convention center where they made the vendors unload in the pouring rain instead of letting them pull into the loading dock on the day of the show. I saw a guy with a trailer loaded with heavy equipment they wouldn't let in. They told him he could unload in the rain and carry it in. Yikes!

In contrast, every show I have been at at the George R Brown, the staff have been helpful and cooperative. Ft. Worth has a pretty downtown but it was not friendly to the people who paid a lot of money to exhibit there.

The marathon continues today, then it's on to NY for another job.

I am amazed how Americans don't get it. The growth is in green jobs and green technology - (our sales are up over 500% from last year). If we don't lead it (and the space race), then China and India will. Wake up America. The old economy and old ways don't work anymore. Either we innovate or lose to those who are.

For example, Nick Lampson wrote in the Chronicle today about building a space-based solar collector. This is a pratical way to both advance our technology and get free sun power at the same time.

I think it's ironic the current Congressman from CD22 who voted against the stimulus money now wants part of it to fund NASA's $3 billion shortfall. NASA should get that money to keep us from being left behind. But we DON'T need are negative Congressional reps who spend all their time voting no against everything the President, but then demand $$$ for NASA. Not convincing or even helpful to NASA to have a hypocrite from the minority party as a rep....

Monday, October 19, 2009

Seabrook Sunrise on Fall

This is sunrise this morning in Seabrook, looking towards Kemah.

Yesterday, boats ranging in size from one-man dinghies to Yachts were on the move. Fall and fresh air. No heat and humidity for a day or so.


Today, I'm on the move. Covering three cities or more in the next week...
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Jumping Fish

It's fall on the lake. Here is the view from the new Seabrook office overlooking Clear Lake. This is looking through my self-installed window film, which cuts the normal glare.

During morning coffee and evening wine, the lake puts on a show. There are jumping fish - some only jump once, but some will do 5 or 6 jumps. Some of them look a small as an inch long but jump a foot or two each time.

Then we have the bird show, especially during morning breakfast and evening dinner. The Pelicans fly over the lake in formation like fighters, then alternate between flapping and power glides. Amazing sight. Most of the Pelicans are brown but a group of white Pelicans hang out in a nearby Marsh. Finally saw one fly by a couple days ago.

This is the first "break" all year. We are preparing to do a New York job next week. This week I'm running from a trade show in Ft Worth to one in Houston.

The best thing about a water office is how much it relaxes you. We all need that these days. It's been a tremendous year. We are proof that the growth is in green technology and green jobs.

And we haven't even scratched the surface of what is possible...

Friday, October 16, 2009

No Balloon Boy Over Clear Lake

Apparently people have too much time on their hands, as do the media, when two hours of TV time is spent following a balloon over Colorado. I walked into a house we were doing in Friendswood and even my crew was watching the TV. It now appears to have been a TV PR stunt. Duh!

Al Qaida, you will have a problem getting Americans attention from watching balloon chases, car chases and more "reality" shows that have nothing to do with reality. America, we won't lead the 21st century if our heads are focused on French fries and balloon chases.

This is a calorie free photo of a nice sunset over Clear Lake on one of our first cool, blue October days - after days of heavy condensation hanging on the windows.

Speaking of windows, a Professor who had our film installed last year put it to the test. Either a rock from a mower -- or a person -- broke one of his windows.

The film worked perfectly - containing the glass and avoiding the breach, which means avoiding broken glass and water entry if it was raining.

A photo is attached, showing (with permission) Prof. Cunningham and his shattered window being held together with Armor Glass film.

He'll replace the window with the vendor of his choice -- and we'll put on a new piece of film and he's good to go again, with 100% protection...

I love this job!

The downside is today I heard that a good friend of mine had passed from cancer - the medical bills over over $500,000. According to the widow, the worst part was that the medical folks did little to stop the pain as part of the treatment. No one should have to die in pain...our system needs reforms.

Texas ranks last in both education and medical care for its citizens...How good is that?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Different Look to Solar Security Films - test

I used my new apartment for an experiment - hanging different hurricane/solar films on different panes (for awhile) to compare their look. On the far left is a clear pane. Next to it is the film for reducing 70% of the solar heat on single pane glass (our SS20). Next to it is the double pane film that cuts 50% of the solar heat. And on the far right is the Silver that rejects 79% of the solar heat (even off the glass) but is very reflective. At night the silver looks like a mirror, but during the day it cuts glare and heat like wild.

I prefer the SS20 (third from the right), which cuts the heat 70% without the mirror effect.

ALL provide hurricane security. When I installed the film, the frames were moving/wobbly. THANK God I've reinforced them, since the south windows are exposed and have zero protection from flying debris. I even covered the east windows, including the ladies bathroom, to cut the morning heat and provide a level of security that wasn't there before.

I love this job. Today, we did a house in Friendswood that had more glass sq. footage then Seabrook City Hall, which we did last week. Amazing. Fun. And it's protecting people at the same time. I LOVE this job!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Red Water

This morning I noticed that the lake water was RED if I looked to the west. The water is as smooth as glass.

I didn't know how much wild life Clear Lake had until now. During the day the pelicans and birds are landing and taking off to the point you wonder how they manage their air traffic control. Fish are jumping in the early morning.

On a calm smooth day like this morning, if you sit and watch awhile, you will notice something large comes up and stirs the surface, then its gone.

I will be attaching a photo/video I made of the windows facing South. I taped different tinted security films on each pane for comparison.

I was getting BTU (heat) readings of over 214 on the plain glass (far left). The second pane from the left cuts that 214 solar heat reading by 70%, the next one 50% and the reflective film with the notch in it on the far right cuts 79% of the solar heat, but has too much reflection at night, whereas the others don't. I just threw those up there with tape so its not a perfect test, but does give you a comparison.

Monday, October 05, 2009

(Houston) Mayoral Debate

This is the link to the photos I took at the Mayor's debate for the League of Women Voters (as a volunteer). Feel free to use any of them you wish, with attribution:

One of them will be our next Mayor, so listen up. The debate will air on Local Channel 2 at 9 p.m. Saturday, October 10th.

There were no arm wrestling matches or verbal mud balls thrown, but it was informative.

Friday, October 02, 2009

City of Seabrook: Jail Population - 1

My crew is doing the Seabrook City Hall, which also happens to be the same location for the police department and jail.

When we did the initial inspection of windows, I was told that the jail had exactly one detainee. Yep. One person locked up in the slammer. Obviously, Seabrook is a community gone mad with crime.

City hall is a quaint two story building that was soaked with about 2 feet of water from Hurricane IKE. We are storm-hardening it by applying hurricane window film that also has solar control to cut the heat by 50% - and protect the occupants from everything from an explosion to hurricane-force winds.

We just finished hardening 10 buildings for Chambers County, which took the brunt of Hurricane IKE. As a result their power bills are also on the decline since our film cut 70% of the solar heat entering their windows while providing breach security.

I just moved into a new apartment facing Clear Lake -- and found that the sun really heats it up, especially some unprotected windows facing South. I held up my BTU meter and took the photo above showing a 212 reading! That is like a stove element. The window has eight panes so on a couple of them I hung up three different films that reject from 50 to 70% of that heat -- to see how they look side by side, both during the day and at night. The results were interesting - they cut the glare and dropped the BTU heat readings bigtime.