Old Bricks


Doug Blechner

xiem clay center

This is a an exhibition of a friend of mine.

He is an artist and teacher...



Tom The Travelling Tie

It has been moons since I follwed up with Tom but here he is on his way to Austrila.



Accidental Salvador Dali

In our world at work all we hear is tile, brick and precast, please help me.

We have become hard surface therapists / psychologists.

A customer sent Will some picture for us to replicate, which mean please help I can not find it anywhere.

One of the pics just struck me as one to share.

It is how I see our customers sometimes "in my mind".

I want to call this "Tile On My Mind"


B-52 Mistakenly Drops Bombs on Nearby Lake

KCTV5 News, Weather, Traffic and Sports for the Kansas City Area B-52 Mistakenly Drops Bombs on Nearby Lake: "Jordan said the bombs, all of which apparently hit the water, were filled with concrete, not explosives, and didn't pose a threat to the public."

The bombs were safe because they were filled with concrete and only could have crushed the swimmers.

Thats the connection, concrete bombs



On Air Now Hewitt WHO?

NPCA - Podcasts

My marketing mentor Hugh Hewitt. Better watch out. I picked a 4 minute or so POD cast interview of me by a very heavy association "National Precast Concrete Association". For those in Ohio those heavy things that can fall on you in a tunnel if not fastened with the correct epoxy and bolt .

here is a direct link to the pod cast.

here is a link to the page.


Funny thing happened on the way to Buy a Used Air Compressor on EBAY.

Very excited today. Just purcahsed my first item off of EBAY. I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on the net for business and persnol items. I have surfed EBAY sites many times but have never bid. I even have an account I set up back in the 90's, never used it. I needed an air compressor for the plant, got some quotes and choked. I have eaten up a lot homerepo air compressors so I needed a good one and I needed a lot of scfm, 37 plus for one item. Well I bid for the first time and won. Here is a link to my item. LINK

So know you know the reason for the destination. Not really it was Fontana 1 hour east of West Los Angeles. Now the adventure.

I miscaluclted. I got out to Fontna almost three hours ahead of time. Yes that is a lot. That normally is not a problem but had in the car with me three kids of my own and two first cousins the ages 4 to 10 median age 5. Ouch. No problem had my wifes Honda Odessey a very manly vehicle with it over the top GPS. So I searched for parks and historic sites to visit. Did plenty of drive-bys (spelling). Then it happened Jensen-Alvarado Ranch. Drove down a regular looking rsidential street. I thought my wife's GPS was broken. Looked like a dead end or culdesac depending on your tax bracket. All of a sudden two homes were not where they should have been and there was an entrance to I think 45 acres of what is left of the historic site ranch.

Parked the VAN and got out. Wow its hot. We left Santa Monica / Westside it was what 71 degrees farehit. Got in the VAN had the AC full blast opend the door in Riverside and it was 101. It was hot the kids melted but they were free to run and sweat. We walked the property did not know what to expect. Came to some dirty pigs in the shade laying in some cool mud. Turn the corner and there is a beuatiful house, a sqaure brick building, a tower and white linens hanging up. It was a real surprise. Got closer and there was a docent Mrs. Henry. Very nice she asked us what we were doing here. I said I am here to buy a air compressor and I got out here to early. How much time do you have she said. I said about and hour. So here is the hour tour.
Jensen came from Denmark with a cargo laiden ship to Gold Rush San Francisco. Sold everything married a 16 year old Alvarado of Alvarado Street fame of Los Angeles. Had 12 kids 10 became adults. Had a winery and was the social center of the community. The kids can churn butter, clean laundry and churn Ice cream. There is much more like some military guy named Sherman stayed there. Anycase great people, great history not enough time. Definitley and redo.


Went to kickthe tires on the air compressor. Oh thats right at this time I had not bid on the compressor. Met a great guy named Mark. He is a master tinkerer.His back yard is a man's playground trucks, machines compressors,not abandoned being worked on. The compressor looks great I hope it runs and picked up a drill press for one hundred dollars. Good deal. I hope it runs. Then Mark walked me to behind his home the kids had peeled away to the VAN by now. Well behind his home were a few avocado trees. He handed me the bigest avacados I have seen. As I end this note I am rushing to the end so I can go to the bed. We left had pizza. The end. Pictures Below.

These are the pictures below.

I could not post them on the appropiate post. HA


HEADS UP.. Do not trust everything you read on the internet

That's right you can not trust everything you are sent via email or read on a website. Arto Brick is of course an exception to this rule. The information I broadcast/distributed was not something I made up. I copy and pasted,straight from the HGTV website.. Well ..

the background of the above statement is that my show did not air when it was to.

If I get my act together I will discuss the great adventure I had with Arto Grandchildren in a pursuit of an air compressor


HGTV AGAIN AKA TIVO ALERT program them if you got them.

Well there is one more I just found out about.
It is Called reDeisgn

It will first air tomorrow below is the list of air times.

Spanish-Style Kitchen 07/08/2006 8:00 PM HRDN-303
Spanish-Style Kitchen 07/08/2006 11:30 PM HRDN-303
Spanish-Style Kitchen 07/13/2006 8:30 PM HRDN-303
Spanish-Style Kitchen 07/14/2006 12:30 AM HRDN-303
Spanish-Style Kitchen 07/15/2006 4:30 PM HRDN-303


HGTV & Arto Brick on the show URBAN OUTSIDERS

Home & Garden Television
Modern Mediterranean 07/12/2006 9:30 PM HUOUT-101
Modern Mediterranean 07/13/2006 1:30 AM HUOUT-101

It is a common thing now a days for a building products manufacturer company to have product shown on television in the course of a home remodel or tare down. What is uncommon is the size of the company. I am excited to say we are going to be on the air sometime in August. At first I heard July. The link above is the page of the Show "Urban Outsiders" you may know the show as filmed in the UK as "The City Gardner". I will have more as I know. I do know that there is actual drama with this episode. Matt James the host explodes and is bed ridden while the show is being filmed. He does not explode he gets heat stroke.

oh yeah one more thing. In the show is a new product that we are distributing. A line of glazed ceramic tile from a Mary Bianca a local tile maker in Venice California. He really completes the job to have her Blue Hex with or Spanish Cotto Hex.




It happened on my exciting trip to Indianapolis for committee week of the NPCA*. Yes exciting, it really is. One example of exciting is that the foundations subcommittee is adding a new category to the ICC code book. Basically a new product has been created that will make available precast concrete basements for residential use. Yes, exciting. Why? Because I hope basements can make a come back. I like basements and I think all children and all men do too. Plus maybe Arto Brick can put veneer on the walls.
Well what finally happened, First Class happened. Not on the way out. I am too cheap. I was converted. On the way out I sat next to a grandmother and her 10 year old grandson. No big deal. But they did not stop talking. That alone is not bad but they spoke a language I did not know, on a non stop flight from Los Angeles to Indianapolis. The boy was in my prized (assigned) window seat, prized because I have not flown enough to not care about looking out the window. I made my normal move and said it is okay that he is sitting in my seat. The grandma thought I was being rude. I sat through my prison sentence and got off the plane and forgot about the experience.
No conversion yet. On the journey home while I moved through stranded passengers going east I came to my self check-in terminal, slid my ID in, pressed a few buttons and then a message in red letters popped up on the screen. Not as impressive as the Red letters in the Bible those are of Jesus Christ�s message. Not nearly as impressive I realized the red letters were not due to my error at the terminal or indicating that my plane would be stuck in Washington DC because of bad weather. UPGRADE FOR 100 DOLLARS for the longest leg of the flight - Minneapolis to Los Angeles. I took the bait and later had remorse because I figured it is really not that good in first class or that bad in coach. No conversion.
Indy to Minneapolis. I sat next to a person who needed a seat belt extender. I am a fat man but I was thin now by comparison. The arm rest was up because the person overflowed into mine and there was attitude to go along with it. I was looking forward to first class but still no conversion.
Minneapolis to Los Angeles. I walked half mile for the plane change. Got on the plane and turned right and could not find my seat and realized I was fooled because it looked the same as coach. First class was not that special. Then I looked at the number it was 12 not 4. Turned around went past the curtain and sat down in seat 4C. I was converted; lots of room, friendly service, free food and, if I drank, free booze. I am converted.

*NPCA � National Precast Concrete Association
**ICC � International Code Council


NPCA Party

Well it has been a long time since I posted. Feel real guilty.

The picture is of the desert we had at the NPCA party. Real decadent. Loved it. I am sure Caligula did not have a candied star with his name on it. The star did not have my name on it but I did feel special.


Arto in the CUP again

NPCA - 2006 CUP Awards Selection

Last year we participated in this competition and received a honorable mention. Let us see how we do this year.

Project : City Side Walk Replacement San Clemente.

William will also be presenting a marketing idea for the Pinnacle awards. We are competing with other innovative ideas. As you know from previous post William is a champion.
See Why..



Well as I was searching for a photograph to awe you with. I was blind. So I guessed which one it was. The background is that this house was designed by an old customer of my Father (Arto). The customer recently passed away and I had never seen the work in person. Well I did and it looks great. I may make a page on the www.artobrick.com site that shows off projects. Armen


CA Boom 3 - The West Coast Independent Design Show!

CA Boom 3 - The West Coast Independent Design Show!

Yes, a name that does not make me think of new concepts. But it is a show just like that. The staff here at Arto Brick are considering this show. But as shows go we are newbies (green). So there you go. We may last minute join but we will at least roam the isles and conferences.



Bill Love in JEOPARDY!

This is JEOPARDY!: "
Mr. Bill Love , Arto Brick's professional contestant.

I will look for his promo on"ten thousand dollar pyramid"

Just another perk for working @ Arto Brick

Here is the link to his promo

02/01/2006 Lecture Ritual House

02/01/2006 Lecture Ritual House
If at USC tomorrow evening. Stop by. I'll try

"Ritual House: Drawing on Nature's Rhythms for Architecture and Urban Design," Knowles' most recent publication, discusses his theories relating nature�s rhythms to life�s rituals as a basis for sustainable architecture aesthetic.


NLA - New London Architecture

NLA - New London Architecture
I must look for an exhibit here in CALifonia.

Tom, the Traveling Tile

Tom, the Traveling Tile

Just a link.
You must travel to the site to believe what this blog is for. It does speak to the durability and adaptability of tile.
Oh it does bring a smile to your face. :)




The other day William and I visited a customer in the City of Industry. Can I say "Industry"? Can you say I live in "Culver" or must you say Culver City. Back to point. We crossed over the 60 freeway into Roland Heights (nice Name). Found this great looking shopping center. Pictures to follow. We ate at this Korean restaurant which I will push William to write about and I will link to. Good story there.

There was this great outdoor common eating area. My question is after seeing the picture is the common area designed to look like an European City or a Vegas Casino recreating a European city.


Visit San Clemente I hear they have beautiful sidewalks

La Canada Valley Sun: La Canada Flintridge, California: "Ole Hanson founded the 'Spanish Village by the Sea' way back in 1925 with strict guidelines that called for Spanish colonial architecture with red tile roofs and white plaster. In other words, Hanson proposed a theme town before theme towns were cool."

The strict guidelines are still here today. Arto Brick is the specified product to repair the city sidewalks of San Clemente. I will have some pictures up soon.

Oh by the way ... visit San Clememente it is good looking.



A google search brought me here. I need to visit.

Exhibitions Current: "Isaac Julien/True North Billboard
July 16, 2005 - January 31, 2006

In collaboration with the City of West Hollywood Arts and Cultural Affairs Commissions Art on the Outside Program and Viacom Outdoor, a billboard on the corner of Sunset and Olive Drive in West Hollywood, (one block east of La Cienega above the House of Blues) is mounted with an image from Julien's True North series, exhibited at the MAK Center from July - October 2005."

Ambassador Hotel more than just another relic - Opinions

Ambassador Hotel more than just another relic - Opinions
This debate. History versus usefulness. Both sides over state and then who do you believe?

Arto my father trained us a recyclers and in worst case scenarios "tear it down" .


Frank Lloyd Wright Quotes - The Quotations Page

Frank Lloyd Wright Quotes - The Quotations Page: "Turn the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles. "

Hey I live in Los Angeles.

Cal Poly to Exhibit Historic Building Materials

Cal Poly to Exhibit Historic Building Materials: "To me, these ancient building components made of simple natural materials express the unbound creativity of man and tell stories of the social, political and economic nature of the time", said Weisenthal.

Weisenthal speaking of materials from a time period between 1890 and 1930. This is the passion of simplicity that I love. We do very little to our product and what we do to it is done by the hands of men.


After the hiccup: Hurricane Katrina

The hiccup is the lack of order in the street and lack of distribution channels of probably millions of tons of relief. This will pass. What will also pass is the finger pointing at least until the next election cycle. Now after the hiccup how to rebuild. I read the post by Hugh Hewitt on how to rebuild the area, impressive thinking. I would like to edit one point. He suggested"
Second, to speed recovery within that region, the president should
ask for and the Congress should approve a complete exemption from all taxes
--federal, state, and local-- on the income generated from the sale of goods
manufactured in that region by new plants that meet the criteria of employing at
least 100 locals and which are constructed without injury to existing operations
across the U.S. A year of exemption for every 100 manufacturing jobs created in
the recovery region should prove a powerful magnet. Thus if GM built a new plant
in the region employing 800 people, GM would get eight years of tax free revenue
beginning with the first year of operation.

I think that is great but the economic starter fluid for our big block economy is the small company. We are the low capital high risk taking first responders that create jobs.

Honestly I have not thought of any mechanics to benefit the small cap firm but this needs to be addressed. As Hugh Hewitt mentions often this is an open source, so lets figure this out.


" ACID"Construction woes leave firefighters homeless The News-Press: Bonita Springs -

The News-Press: Bonita Springs - Construction woes leave firefighters homeless: "But they can't use it because of a construction mistake: Workers used poisonous muriatic acid to clean the floors, which discolored the tile, ruined the grout and is corroding stainless steel fixtures"

There is no building product that I know of that likes acid. Make sure to follow all the instructions of the products that you use in you project. Read first not last.


Drywall Hanging,finishing,texturing,patching,popcorn

Drywall Hanging,finishing,texturing,patching,popcorn

I get many phone call about sheet rock and I always forget that the name is like Kleenex. It is a trade name. But whati s it, simply gypsum based wall board. The Linked article is pretty good.


U-Daily Bulletin - HOME & GARDEN

U-Daily Bulletin - HOME & GARDEN

This article is very timely. I visited some model homes on the New Port Coast. What is incredible is that some of the outdoor rooms are more incredible than the interior floor plans.


More than I bargained for.

When I started the blog I thought I would be able to write my thoughts down all the time. Show pictures of interesting things. All I have done is create an embarrassing. At least in me. I so want this to be a place for the company to share its vision. I see soon there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. To set aside time just for this endeavor. Also there are some big changes in my head that I look forward to taking action on that will offer more to visitors of the site.

Till then I


Jury Duty

Today themfg was not at work. I was doing jury duty. It would have not been so bad if it was not so boring. The view was good, 11th story of the Superior Court Building @ 210 Temple (on a hill) great view of the city. Walked down to Philippe' s good walk. Walked over the City Hall Project we did. Looks good. Can use some sealer.

The court building for me was a good example of my belief that the porous products grow with building while impervious products do not. Columns were covered with travertine, floor of terrazzo wall of glazed tile. The whole job was probably from the 70's. Everything looked good but the ceramic tile. It was out of date. The other products are timeless.



What is the point? People do not follow them. They are on our boxes on the pallets and in the product binder yet ignorance seems to be bliss.

Just a little bit of sour grapes for me today.


NPCA 2004 CUP Award Entries

NPCA 2004 CUP Award Entries

This is a project we worked on many years ago. It was a test of our strength and agility. We started with little information and turned the plant quickly to achieve success.



The link speaks of the Arto Brick web site's theology.

First Brick

I started this site to free up my business site. The business site is www.artobrick.com. It was getting cluttered with my few entries. Let us see where this goes. The use of this blog will evolve like all things but for now I will discuss my theology on web site design for my industry and the Company . One thing, my small sales staff always complains about the site. Let us see how long before they notice this change


There is now a color chart for the whole line that I have put up. Basicly this is the master color chart. All the colors are interchangeable but change a little from style to style. Remember our motto Rustic Elegance. This is not a complete list and more will be added.


Color, there is a color chart finaly. I have been putting it off for way to long. Look for one for tile soon


I have started this task and now I need more time. BE patient. I have great ideas of what information to put on these solution links.


Starting to add definitions to some of the solutions . If you have ideas for this page please email.


The front page of our site was getting a little stale. At first I impressed myself with the leanness. I had created it before everyone including myself had some version of broadband. So I designed it to load fast to get the point across. Now things have changed and I can add more content to the front page. This is the first installment. The content will focus on…. solutions to job requirements, for example, “what can I use for pool coping”, “what are my options for a step”, and “what can I use for a wall cap”. You get the idea, a distribution point to send you off to the product you are looking for instead of maybe finding a product as you skim our pages.
Thank you for your time.