As I See It en Lagging economy is troubling <div class="node-body blog-body">I’m troubled by the lackluster performance of the economy this year. On this page last year, I repeated all of the forecasts that I had heard about what a great year 2015 would be. Instead, this year is, to put it mildly, underperforming.</div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Management As I See It Thu, 07 May 2015 19:53:00 +0000 408261 at Bringing Emerson’s dictum to your life <div class="node-body blog-body">What can I say about Weldon Long that hasn’t already been said by Candace Roulo? That said, I’m turning into a big Weldon Long fan and I hope that many contractors will too. I saw Weldon keynote the recent Quality Service Contractors Power Meeting in Scottsdale. His talk centered on his book (that I read in one sitting) The Power of Consistency and its theme of the Prosperity Mindset.</div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Management As I See It Tue, 31 Mar 2015 20:11:00 +0000 407361 at Stop calling yourself a ‘plumbette’ <div class="node-body blog-body">When Lillian Ann Baumbach of Arlington, Va., became the first woman in the U.S. to hold a Master Plumbers license in 1951, all of the newspaper accounts, as a matter of course, referred to her as “pretty.” It was also noted that she corresponded with hundreds of GIs serving overseas and became a pinup girl for an infantry company in Korea. </div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Management Plumbing As I See It Mon, 09 Feb 2015 16:48:00 +0000 405781 at All signs point to a robust 2015 <div class="node-body blog-body">This is going to be a good year. The general economic indicators point to a much better economy, and our interviews with leaders in the plumbing and hydronic heating industry specifically point to a strong 2015. Moreover, we conducted our interviews before the news broke that Q3 GDP was revised upward to 5% and that 321,000 jobs were created in November.</div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Management As I See It Thu, 08 Jan 2015 21:59:00 +0000 404521 at <p>Graphic by Dale Stroud, Uponor.</p> Every time you open a faucet, a pump starts somewhere <div class="node-body blog-body">Every time you turn on a faucet, a pump starts somewhere. I still remember where I heard that first, at a Plumbing Manufacturers International meeting from Gary Klein, Gary Klein & Associates, back when he was still with the California Energy Commission. Water means energy, and for some of the water distributed in California, it means a lot of energy, Klein explained, because it has to be pumped over mountains.</div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Green Plumbing As I See It Thu, 04 Dec 2014 16:42:00 +0000 39251 at <p>Irrigation water. David McNew, Getty Images.</p> Are you our Contractor of the Year? <div class="node-body blog-body">We’re looking for nominations for our annual Contractor of the Year award. You can find the nomination form on Each year we search out a contractor who is doing something so well that it’s worth emulating.</div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Management As I See It Fri, 14 Nov 2014 18:34:00 +0000 38521 at A bartender saves the world <div class="node-body blog-body">That’s not a facetious headline. Yes, Doc Hendley is (or was) a bartender and he’s done more good in the world bringing clean drinking water to the third world than most people, even huge foundations. There are rich, well-known foundations that I don’t need to name working in Africa and Asia to bring sanitation and clean water to villagers who have none. None of them, however, has done as much as Doc Hendley. And I’m sure none of the millionaires and billionaires behind them have ever been shot at by the Janjaweed in Darfur like Doc Hendley has.</div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Plumbing As I See It Mon, 06 Oct 2014 20:34:00 +0000 37241 at The Comfortech Show builds on its successes <div class="node-body blog-body">I thought our Comfortech Show in 2013 in Philadelphia was really good, but the one I recently returned from in Nashville was even better. Attendance as better in Nashville and the seminars were outstanding.</div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Comfortech As I See It Wed, 01 Oct 2014 03:17:00 +0000 37121 at Is water a public trust or private property? <div class="node-body blog-body">I like water. The way I look at it, the readers of CONTRACTOR move fluids — it could be medical gasses, liquid soap or beer, but my favorite is water, which is why I get riled up over people poisoning our drinking water. I’ve written a lot about coal ash ponds from power plants spilling into rivers in West Virginia and North Carolina.</div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Green As I See It Wed, 03 Sep 2014 20:27:00 +0000 36281 at Over 60 years the form changes, not the intent <div class="node-body blog-body">In January 1954, our founder Herb Walther published the first edition of his news tabloid, THE CONTRACTOR. All of the principals in the new magazine had been with Plumbing & Heating Business, the official publication of the National Association of Plumbing Contractors, now Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association. </div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Management Plumbing As I See It Tue, 05 Aug 2014 15:16:00 +0000 35651 at Is this the best we can do? Let’s start chanting: We’re number 13! <div class="node-body blog-body">The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has released its efficiency rankings of major global economies and the U.S. places 13 out of 16. Seriously, folks, the only major economies that are less energy efficient than us are Russia, Brazil and Mexico. </div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> As I See It Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:13:00 +0000 35341 at EPA overreaches in proposed lead rule extension <div class="node-body blog-body">It made sense when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned lead in many consumer products in order to protect children. The agency banned lead in gasoline, in paint and in plumbing products that convey drinking water. This all started in the ‘70s. When lead was found to be harmful, lead was first banned in gasoline in 1973 and then in other products. Lead paint was banned in 1978. Lead was banned in 50:50 tin/lead solder used for potable water pipe in the late 1980s and finally in brass plumbing fittings this year.</div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Plumbing As I See It Tue, 15 Jul 2014 20:09:00 +0000 35231 at You can’t afford to bathe in Evian? <div class="node-body blog-body">According to Now magazine (dontcha just love British gossip rags?), the singer Beyonce spent $5,000 so that she her baby, Blue Ivy, could bathe in Evian water. Unfortunately, the good people of West Virginia and North Carolina don’t have that kind of money. If they did, they wouldn’t have to worry about corporations like Duke Energy poisoning their drinking water.</div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Plumbing As I See It Tue, 03 Jun 2014 21:12:00 +0000 34011 at The political forecast is generally no with an occasional yes <div class="node-body blog-body">Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association held its annual Legislative Conference in Washington in late May and the contractors’ lobbying efforts were a slam-dunk. From what I heard from the contractors who lobbied on Capitol Hill, both Democrats and Republicans agreed with them. First of all, the contractors asked for a reauthorization of the Perkins Act, a block grant program to the states for funding career and technical education. It’s a jobs bill that addresses American competitiveness. How can you be against that? </div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Industry Event News As I See It Mon, 26 May 2014 02:03:00 +0000 33771 at A good economic forecast, at long last <div class="node-body blog-body">I had gotten awfully weary reporting mediocre economic news every year when I put together our annual Book of Giants issue. There were too many times when a couple percent looked much better than being down for the year. But now, finally, we have an economic forecast that’s optimistic.</div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Management As I See It Mon, 12 May 2014 21:15:00 +0000 33561 at