Did anyone notice how fast fuel surcharges went up during the oil spike?  No?  Did anyone notice how they’re not coming down after prices dropped? Didn’t think so. Have you ever asked your freight providers that question?  Try it, sit back and just listen. It’s a great show.

2. The Green Bay Packers are the classiest organization in all of professional sports. This is not up for debate. Go Pack Go!

3. If you are a HARDI member and you have not been to a Congressional Fly-In, you are truly missing out on a great opportunity. Not only is the entire experience something that cannot be duplicated, it’s a chance to support your industry and company at the same time. I have been fortunate enough to go every year and have met with more than 20 governors, senators and representatives about legislation and regulatory concerns that affect our industry. In many of the meetings, you meet with their staff, but it’s not uncommon to get a face-to-face meeting with the actual politician. HARDI’s Vice President of  Government Relations and Business Development, Jon Melchi, and the HARDI Government Relations Committee set everything up for you, including meetings, schedule and policy talking points. It’s the best event you can go to that does not include golf (and for those who know me, that is saying something). Sitting in a meeting with a governor and Jon Melchi in his white and red candy-striped suit …priceless.

(Tip: If you want to make your trip to Washington extra special, make sure you get your shoes shined at Union Station (best shine anywhere). Make sure you give yourself plenty of time because these shoeshine experts do not like to be rushed.)

4. How come the Operations and Logistics Conference doesn’t have any fun things planned like all the other conference meetings? Are operations people not fun people? (Our Vice President of Operations Dan Benischek says, “Operations doesn’t advertise their shenanigans because they are not Sales.”)

5. Pete Rose will never be in the Baseball Hall of Fame … period. (Wanna bet?)

6. When I grow up, I want to be a consultant who consults on which consultants your company should use for consulting. Makes sense? Didn’t think so.

7. If Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had a debate, and it was only on pay- per-view for $50, would you buy it? I would.

8. It’s going to be an interesting year with refrigerants. What are the prices of R-22 going to spike to? When will contractors go back to the replacements? How much will the anti-dumping rulings affect pricing this year?  Stay tuned.

9. As I write this, it’s almost April, and the lawn here at Larson in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, is covered with snow. I hope we have a hot, sticky summer …. I hope. We’re due (crosses fingers).

10. If you have a supply chain title and don’t meet with customers or have purchasing reports sent to you, are you really a supply chain?

11. If you have never met someone who passed their HVACR business down to their son or daughter, you should. These people are great mentors.

12. Dan Lauterhahn from Packard was 39 when he received recognition for being one of HARDI’s 40 under 40. How close was he to missing out?  Congrats to all the 40 under 40 winners —you truly represent the future of our industry.

13. What does ‘good’ look like when it comes to obsolete inventory? Under 3 percent?  Is it a gut feeling or a science?  I continue to believe that HARDI members should meet somewhere and bring their unwanted list. Switching equipment lines is just one example that creates major obsolete heartburn. One wholesalers’ junk is another wholesalers’ treasure?

14. I remember back in 1992 when the company I worked for had a big meeting. During that meeting, all the employees were informed that they had to start paying $20 biweekly for health insurance. The result was outrage. As we all try to control our companies’ operating expenses, why do health-care costs continue to spiral out of control? Is there any end in sight?

15. The NCAA Tournament has been pretty exciting as a Badger fan they’re the only team to make the Sweet 16 five of the last six years. This year, the tourney changed some of the rules to make it more exciting (i.e., dropping the shot clock to 30 seconds and limiting timeouts). This has led to more possessions and a better product for the fans. HARDI tie-in?  More Turns = More Money.

Final thought: LinkedIn has become a common tool of the recruiter, but to paraphrase Kip from Napoleon Dynamite:

Supply chain and networking