Wednesday, 24 December 2008
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Monday, 22 December 2008
Don Marsh, the window cleaner from Gainesville, Florida talks about the most fundamental reasons why you should or should not start a business.
Remember, if you are looking for a certain video, just put in your search term in the top left search box at the top of the blog to find what you are looking for i.e. Wagtail.
Sunday, 21 December 2008
At a time when some companies are slashing costs and laying off workers, Bend’s GlasWeld Systems Inc. is having the best year in its 25-year history. That’s according to company President Mike Boyle, who prefers the title chief visionary officer. Earlier this month, GlasWeld acquired a Las Vegas-based competitor and is moving it to Bend. GlasWeld, which is privately-held, now has 16 employees, but Boyle expects the company will double in size in the next two years as it absorbs its competitor and continues to expand. Boyle has helped the company grow from a “garage-type” business that built and sold windshield repair kits to an industry authority that is shaking up the way glass manufacturers do business.
Its original line of business is windshield repair kits and training. According to Boyle, the company is the world’s largest manufacturer of windshield repair kits. GlasWeld’s system uses a vacuum tool that removes moisture and contaminants from a windshield crack or ding and then injects a resin into the affected area. The resin is then cured with an ultraviolet lamp. Boyle said repairing a windshield is safer than replacing a windshield, as the factory bond between the windshield and the vehicle frame isn’t easily duplicated by third-party contractors. Several years ago, GlasWeld patented a system to repair scratches without altering the optics of the affected glass. In other words, it could repair a scratch, using a proprietary compound and special buffer without distorting the glass around the scratch as buffing alone can do.
It works on windshields, but GlasWeld found it also worked on flat glass, the industry term for windows and other architectural glass. This presented the company with more than a few growth opportunities. Boyle said glass manufacturers typically send 6 percent of their production to the dump. Boyle said his company’s systems can salvage 80 percent of that glass.
In an era where waste is unacceptable due to negative environmental perceptions and impact to the bottom line. Boyle said glass manufacturers are turning to GlasWeld to help them keep costs down both in the plant and the field. “The reason we’ve gone (with GlasWeld is) we do expect to save on our service costs and the amount of glass we throw away,” said Kim Flannery, engineering director for Milgard Windows and Doors in Tacoma, Wash. Milgard’s windows have a lifetime warranty, Flannery said. To replace a scratched piece of glass in the field is expensive and time-consuming, but with GlasWeld’s system, it can take one Milgard technician as little as five minutes. And it doesn’t alter the optics, which is something Flannery had never seen before.
“The reason we never got excited about this in the past was because other scratch-repair technology changed the characteristics of the glass,” Flannery said. “If you looked at it just right, you knew something had been done, but so far that has not been an issue here, and that seems to be the thing I’m most impressed with.” That’s one prong of GlasWeld’s growth, Boyle said. Another is the company’s burgeoning forensic glass services. Boyle half-jokingly calls it Glass Scene Investigations, a play on the popular television show “CSI,” or Crime Scene Investigation.
As Boyle explained, when developers discover that the windows installed in their projects, be it skyscrapers or luxury condos, are scratched, they want to know whom to bill for the repairs: the manufacturer, the shipper, the installer, the window cleaner or the mason who may have accidentally nicked a window with his trowel.
Boyle said his company can determine from the damage who is to blame. “We know more about glass than most of the people who produce it,” Boyle said. In the past few years, GlasWeld has been called to assess the glass in several high-profile projects, including the 57-floor Comcast Center in Philadelphia and the Wynn Las Vegas casino in Nevada. At the Wynn, Boyle said, a carpenter accidently scratched the front windows of a jewelry store three days before the casino opened. The scratched windows cost roughly $60,000 and had taken six months to produce, meaning no immediate replacements were available. Boyle sent over a GlasWeld contractor who spent the next three days repairing the glass.
A similar incident happened at the Four Seasons Resort in Jackson, Wyo., he said. A developer had discovered the windows in his luxury condos were scratched. Rather than replace the windows, the developer hired GlasWeld to remove the scratches. It took a few months, but GlasWeld was able to complete the task, at considerable savings to the developer, Boyle said.
Throwing glass away is expensive, he said. But several years ago, Boyle came to the realization it’s also environmentally unsound. Only bottled glass is recycled, he said, while windshields and flat panel glass usually end up in landfills. Windshields can’t be recycled cost-effectively because they have petroleum-based laminate layered between the two panes of glass that make up a windshield. Windows and other architectural glass can’t be recycled cost-effectively because they are usually coated with anti-glare or energy-conservation coating and are affixed to metal or wood frames.
The glass can be ground up, but it’s an expensive process. Most of the time, it goes into the landfill, where it sits, practically forever, he said. Glass, after all, is melted sand. With that environmental message in mind, and adopting a polar bear as the marketing tool, GlasWeld several years ago began growing its glass repair business. The company also changed some of its business practices to keep in line with its message, such as switching from incandescent to fluorescent bulbs, buying a commercial-grade printer to print marketing materials on demand rather than in bulk and reducing packaging. And it’s paid off, Boyle said. “We started building a message of sustainability … so now we’re saving money and getting more market share,” Boyle said. Boyle wants to expand the company’s sustainability message and in the spring plans to host a conference in Sisters for glass industry executives worldwide to share its message. “Our ultimate goal is to become a Baldrige winner,” said Boyle, referring to the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award handed out annually by the U.S. president to businesses that show leadership and other exemplary business practices. “To be worthy of that award, that’s when we hit our stride,” Boyle said.
Saturday, 20 December 2008
All work and no fun is not good for anyone. Here's a technique developed to take care of that prerequisite. But don't let that fool you. It's a perfectly viable technique of doing windows, and you can express your artistic side at the same time. Great for killing time on a Friday afternoon.
You've heard of the jitterbug and the macarena. You've seen The Circler. Continuing our fun series, watch The Swirl. For some real serious speeds, use longer squeegee 3X4 adjustable channels. For French windows, use the MultiSqueegee®.
Friday, 19 December 2008
This is the first production BIPV (building integrated photovoltaic) product of its kind, an enclosed super tempered glass window system, with a patent pending, fully integrated, multi-tier photovoltaic and heat insulation technology. Current production lines are capable of producing window sizes up to 9’ x 9’ (2.74m x 2.74m) with comprehensive options, such as fire and bullet proofing, to meet design, weather, climate, and building code requirements.
The RSi PV-Glass Window uses sunlight to generate electricity, reduce heat, and provide a semi-transparent window that allows for privacy, while maintaining a comfortable level of visibility to the outside world. At the same time, RSi PV-Glass Windows provide a 100% reduction in Ultraviolet and Infrared radiation, adding an extra level of protection not offered by standard glass windows.
RSi embedded many smart home technologies into the complete window system, including an optional built-in electrical privacy curtain, to completely block out an already shaded glass window, and a new technology that converts the entire window into a light panel.
RSi’s vision is of buildings that harvest their own energy from unlimited renewable sources. What the company ultimately proposes to do is to eliminate the need for electrical power plants, as well as the grid infrastructure so that the building itself becomes truly autonomous and fully sustainable in terms of electrical power.
Since one of the biggest heat losses from a home is through a glass window, it looks like RSi has a winning combination, stopping heat loss on cold days and keeping heat out on hot days, while generating electricity at the same time. Let’s hope the opaque windows also stop birds flying into windows and then the only remaining technical challenge is implementing self-cleaning windows.
Thursday, 18 December 2008
A little light hearted comedy leading up to Christmas. Here are some clowns showing you how window cleaning could be done. The first video are the replicants & the second, Mr. Sanchez shows us how to utilise those window cleaning tools with a little scrim talk from Phil as well.
Here are the originals for you..
More from Matt & Phil...
Wednesday, 17 December 2008
Another installment from Mark Strange of "Beautiful View" from Toronto, Canada gives us a few more unbiased reviews of products in the window cleaners workplace. This time his opinion on the Unger ErgoTec® XL handle in this weeks edition of "Tool Talk."
Sean the salesman, from window cleaning resource gives us an insight into his day to day life before he shoots out to snowboard.
Kevin, the window cleaning business coach recently gave everyone the chance to win $200 of goods over on WCR to find the best flyer or template. Above is the synopsis of the winner from the entries given. More information on the new monthly dossier here. Below is Kevins latest advise on car dealerships & profitability..
UK NEWS IN BRIEF:
Hotel manager who cleaned windows: The winners of the South Cheshire Chamber Business Awards 2008, held in association with the Chronicle, were announced at a ceremony at Crewe Hall Hotel. In this weekly series we are highlighting each of the winners and the secrets of their business success. Hotel manager Steven Hesketh seized upon a window of opportunity to climb the hospitality ladder. The 30-year-old former window cleaner sparkled at the annual South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2008, taking the title of Young Business person of the Year, which he won jointly with Jonathan Mullarkey of Willaston House Business Centre. Father-of-three Steven, who lives with his wife in Chester, headed the opening of the Ramada Encore hotel on Crewe Business Park in Electra Way only two months ago in October.
Business has been steadily growing since, and Steven says the outlook for 2009 is bright despite the credit crunch. His rags-to-riches career story struck a chord with the awards judges. Steven said: “I started as a window cleaner at a resort in Australia while I was still at school 16 years ago, and it was then I fell in love with the industry. “I moved to Australia with my parents when I was one and returned in 1998. My first job here was at the Chester Crowne Plaza 10 years ago as a receptionist. So all my learning has been on the job. He is responsible for a team of 32 staff at the Ramada Encore hotel, overseeing their development while chipping in with whichever job that needs doing at the time.
Soccer fan Michael Sheilds is waiting to hear the word that he is to be freed from jail with a royal pardon. Two High Court Judges ruled that Justice Secretary Jack Straw was wrong to decide that he was powerless to grant a pardon because the conviction happened overseas. In their deceions the judges said Michael qualifies for a pardon since in British law he is "morally and technically innocent". It is widely accepted that Liverpool supporter Michael, 22, was a victim of mistaken identity and wrongly convicted of the attempted murder of a barman in Bulgaria. But he was kept locked-up because of tangle of international red tape and politics. Michael's father, window cleaner Mike Sheilds (pictured) said: "We are thrilled at this decision. "Jack Straw knows Michael is innocent and he should not spend a single day longer behind bars.
The gift of money: With cash being tighter than ever, many Britons are hoping their stockings will be filled with the gift of money instead of traditional Christmas presents this year. New research from Halifax has shown that more than a third (35%) of Britons intends to send money as a gift this Christmas, with children also set to receive money in the form of savings, as friends and relatives choose to open a savings account rather than purchase the latest toys from the high street. Furthermore, the UK's milkmen and window cleaners will receive similar tips to last year as the credit crunch doesn't seem to have impacted people's generosity this Christmas. Most of the UK's milkmen, window cleaners, bin men and paper boys can breathe a sigh of relief as 80% of 'tippers' say they will be paying the same as last year, with 17% saying they will pay more. However, it will be the luck of the draw for service providers in the East Midlands this year as the region has the highest percentage of people planning to tip more (24%), but on the flip side, has the highest number of people who intend to tip less (7%) compared to the rest of the UK.
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
Monday, 15 December 2008
Tony Evans (above) gives us more fun & frolics in the snow from the deepest parts of coldest Iowa.
Thief: 'Let me go, you've got the stuff back': A window cleaner who a court was told has nearly 100 previous convictions, was tackled by staff as he tried to make off with goods from a Docklands store. As he ran from Homebase on Riversway, Preston, John Hendry threw stolen items from a bin bag. Preston Crown Court Prosecutor Kirsten McAteer said security staff had seen the defendant steal lights with a value of about £280. When caught he said: "Why don't you let me go? You have got your stuff back." "I'm going out tonight and needed some money. "Hendry, 46, of Castleton Road, Deepdale, pleaded guilty to theft. The court was told he had 95 previous offences and, at the time of his arrest in May, was serving a community order for a similar matter. Defending, Roger Baldwin said in mitigation Hendry had a long-standing alcohol problem. He had started a window cleaning round and in recent years his offending had been drastically reduced. Judge Christina Lyon said Hendry's record suggested his rate of offending was slowing down. She said she would give him a chance to continue with supervision provided by the probation service. The 16 week jail sentence she passed would be suspended for a year with 12 months supervision. "If you breach these terms you will go to prison", she warned him.
Safety Media release DVD's for managers & employees. Safety Media have developed interactive content as part of this DVD. Questions are posed throughout 5 Steps - Risk Assessment in your Workplace, ensuring that the viewer fully understands the subject matter. This also gives the trainer an opportunity to discuss the content. This DVD will raise awareness within your organisation that everyone is responsible for their own risk assessment. Ideal for every member of the workforce from managers to employees. During 2004/05, 220 people were killed and over 150,000 were injured at work because of a failure to manage risk. Source: HSEIn view of these worrying statistics, Safety Media have developed a NEW Interactive DVD. 5 Steps - Risk Assessment in your Workplace is an innovative solution to risk assessment training. This DVD will show the viewer how risk assessments don't need be daunting and time-consuming tasks. An emphasis is placed on how they can easily become second nature during a working day.
Conman burglar jailed for six years: A conman who posed as a window cleaner so he could steal from people has been jailed for six years. Paul O’Hare of Meadow Bank Road, Chatham, was convicted at Maidstone Crown Court for four distraction burglaries. He sometimes posed as a window cleaner in order to gain access to people’s properties. Police reminded people to be cautious when allowing visitors entry into their home. Their advice is stop, chain, check. Use the door bar or chain before you open the door. Always ask to see identification and if you have any doubts about a caller or are not expecting anyone do not let them in, even if they say they know you. Ask the caller to show you proof of their identify, then check the caller is genuine by ringing the company using the telephone number in the phone book, not on the card. If a caller is genuine they will understand the need to check and will not mind waiting. If you are worried call the police. For more information visit the Kent police website or contact your neighbourhood officer by using the postcode search facility at http://www.kent.police.uk/.
Sunday, 14 December 2008
The findings were as follows: the dilution rate would be approx 1 litre of Isopropanol to 600 litres of water when adding to your tank or in other words 166ml for every 100 litres for your water tank. The tds in the mix would not be enough to impair cleaning at these ratio's. Isopropanol can be taken down to -89C (-128F). This is also an alternative to using methanol for the traditional window cleaners that use buckets. It hardly has any effect on marine life & plants using the ratio's given. Although being an alcohol, the chemical will dry your hands out, so water-proof gloves are advised if you are having direct contact. Please see the MSDS at the foot of this blog for full details.
Freezing Point of Isopropanol (2-Propanol) based Water Solutions: Isopropyl alcohol is also commonly used as a cleaner and solvent in industry. It is also used as a gasoline additive for dissolving water or ice in fuel lines. The concentration of Isopropanol in water is shown below & the lower tempreratures that can be realised by concentration.
Saturday, 13 December 2008
In the business world champions are the ones that put in the effort to create business plans, strategic plans, marketing plans and then revise their plans as conditions evolve, they put in the effort to conduct performance reviews, set challenging expectations, then motivate and coach their staff to meet and exceed those expectations, they put in the effort to gaze into the future and create expansive visions then articulate that vision to pull their company forward towards reaching it.
I could go further down this thought process but these are unusual, perhaps unique, economic times. Companies are threatened in many unusual ways because of the financial situation. I guarantee you that those businesspeople who are willing to "sweat it out in the gym" will be so much better positioned to survive and thrive than those who attend to "business as usual" and neglect the planning, the motivation, the inspiration, the visioning. Those that, in more normal times, are satisfied to be "also-rans" may end up sitting on the sidelines watching. It's a choice. My choice is to get in the gym.
Send a comment or question to Larry: Larry@larrygaller.com
"King of the Mountain" - Control versus Experiment
Remember playing the kid's game, "King of the Mountain?" It's still being played by adults in the business world, though it is given a different name.
Direct Marketing (often referred to as "Junk Mail") is a metric driven media. In other words, either it produces results or it doesn't. Often the results of a successful mailing can be expected to remain fairly constant over a very long time - there are some classic mailings that have produced constant results for decades.
But good Direct Marketers don't just sit back and enjoy their successes. They are constantly experimenting. They use the word "control" to define the consistent, results producing advertisement and, whenever they mail the "control," they send a very small amount of an experimental mailing at the same time to see if they can beat the "control." Most of the time, the "control" wins so they continue using it.
Occasionally though, the experiment produces greater results so they expand the test on the next mailing to see if that one experiment was a fluke or does, in fact, outpull the long-used winner. If the experiment consistently performs better it becomes the new "control" and the game of "King of the Mountain" continues with new experiments as the rival.
This "King of the Mountain" technique of measuring results between "the way we've always done it" versus the "new idea" works well in marketing but it is also effective in many different areas such as manufacturing through-put, office procedures, incoming and outgoing telephone sales, even in NASCAR pit stops (if holding the wrench in the right hand is faster than the left hand).
Try playing "King of the Mountain" at your place. Measure the results. When you find a technique that consistently beats the old control, expand the experiment and if it continuously wins, make it the new "King."
Friday, 12 December 2008
Not only do the LEDs use less energy but they last much longer. "The incandescents that we use are professional grade, or for instance the ones that you can buy at Walmart are usually about a 1500 hour bulb for the incandescents. The LEDs are around 100,000 hours they say." Albemarle Window Cleaning designs and installs outdoor holiday lighting for homes and businesses across Central Virginia. But this year they have started uses high efficiency LEDs and offering a carbon off-set. Harshaw says, "Someone brought to my attention all of these Christmas lights we install, and we've done probably about a hundred homes over the past 2 or 3 years, and that's a lot of lights and that's a lot of energy." At the end of the year Albemarle Window Cleaning will buy all of the carbon off sets for the lights they use, helping to reduce the carbon footprint of the holiday season. If your looking to invest in some LED Christmas lights know that they do cost more up front but are well worth the investment, both for your wallet and for the environment. Video here.
This display (below) was the work of Carson Williams, a Mason, Ohio, electrical engineer who spent about three hours sequencing the 88 Light-O-Rama channels that controlled the 16,000 Christmas lights in his annual holiday lighting spectacular (from Christmas 2004). His 2005 display includes over 25,000 lights that he spent nearly two months and $10,000 to hook up. So that the Williams' neighbors aren't disturbed by constant noise, viewers driving by the house are informed by signs to tune in to a signal broadcast over a low-power FM radio station to hear the musical accompaniment. The rough quality of the video has led some viewers to believe it was put together in stop-action form from still photographs, but that is an artifact of the high compression used in the clip circulated via e-mail. Mr. Williams has posted instructions for recreating his "Wizard in Winter" sequencing, and another of his choreographed Christmas light music. Carson's Christmas display proved so popular that it was featured in a Miller Lite beer commercial in December 2005. But so many people had been flocking to see it that it caused a traffic jam in his subdivision. There was a car accident in the subdivision and the police couldn't get to the scene because of the congestion. So he decided to shut it down.
Thursday, 11 December 2008
Hordes of shoppers are pouring into Woolworths stores this morning (December 11) in search of a bargain as the beloved high street shop holds its closing down sale. The historic chain, which has branches across the News Shopper area, collapsed last month after a rescue deal fell through. Woolies’ administrator Deloitte announced the sale yesterday leading to shoppers braving the cold to try and get a bargain. The branch of the chain in Queensway, Petts Wood, is full of people looking for cheap deals. Terry Gill, of Poverest Road, Poverest, went there to see if there were any bargains on window cleaning products. The 67-year-old window cleaner is sad to see the shop closing down. Mr Gill said: “It is sad to see Woolworths going because I have known them since I was a kid. “I used to go in to get paint and chocolate, that sort of thing.”
Aviva has announced it will give Australians in high-risk occupations and non-working spouses the opportunity to be covered under a new Income Daily Living product. Occupations traditionally classified as too risky, such as labourers, window cleaners and motorcycle couriers, will now be eligible for income protection. The new product provides a benefit of up to $5,000 per month in the event of the insured not being able to perform two out of the five activities of daily living, as well as six times the monthly benefit in the event of a defined critical condition occurring.
The Santaland Diaries: Before his breakthrough, Sedaris looked to most people, starting with his family, to be a hopeless, unemployable loser, which is why he applied to be a Macy’s elf at age 33. The only thing he was good at was cleaning houses: He did windows. And he also kept a diary, which has prescribed the literary form of all his later writing. With the help of his sister Amy, an accomplished actress cited in Santaland, Sedaris started reading his material in a Chicago coffeehouse, where he was heard by some executives from NPR. They aired the narrative early in the day, which caused such a reaction as to burn up the switchboard (this was before the rise of e-mail). Before the day was over, literally by heated public demand, Santaland was broadcast a second time. And Chicago lost a great window cleaner. Confessions of a window washer; Wade McCollum (pictured) in Syracuse Stage’s The Santaland Diaries.
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
A scratch on the leg has led to the death of a popular amateur rugby league player aged just 31. Dad-of-one, Neil Smith, a former Leigh Miners Rangers and Leigh East ARLFC junior player, had been a promising, pacy winger in his day.The former Lancashire Rugby League youth team player is believed to have died from a heart attack after contracting septicaemia from a scratch on his leg. Leigh East's chairman Keith Latham, who coached eight-year-old Neil at the Miners, said: "We are really devastated about it at the club. It was no age at all, he was only 31 and he was a great lad. "He was an exceptional talent as a youngster and he had outstanding pace. "He was destined for big things, there's no doubt in my mind that he could have gone all the way but, sadly, he went out of the game for his own personal reasons. "He was brought up in that age group where Leigh produced so many talented players. "I kept in touch and I still see his parents – who are some of the nicest people you could meet – now and again and I always ask about Neil."Apparently he'd had this cut on his leg and it turned bad." After a spell at Miners, Neil moved over to Leigh East later on in his junior career.
Window cleaner Neil leaves behind a young son, Bradley, parents Brian and Carole and a sister, Gemma. Boss Tex O'Neil found employee Neil in a poorly condition last Monday after going round to his Higher Folds flat. Mr O'Neil had become concerned after Neil failed to report for work. He was taken to hospital but died a couple of days later. His funeral will be held at noon on Tuesday, December 16, at St Gabriel's Church, Higher Folds and Howe Bridge Crematorium.
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
Here is Tony Evans, alias Mister Squeegee - a Professional Window Cleaner from Iowa who will giving us hints & tips about working in the cold weather. Its going to be a long cold winter and Tony has a full list of winter window cleaning topics for us under the title "Weather or Not." Stay warm everybody.
Boston: Retailers are hoping that the combination of cold and snow will put people into the shopping spirit. NewsCenter 5's Gail Huff reported that retailers need shoppers in the holiday spirit because sales have been slow so far this year. "The snow puts people into the Christmas mood," vendor Juan Tavares said. But whether you are a window washer or a window decorator, the bitter air doesn't make it easier for anyone who is working outdoors."Three sweatpants, three sweaters, the super gloves, three hats," vendor Jimmy Milliken said. After Monday, the weather should warm up, but there is a chance of snow.
The drama unfolded at around 9am on Monday, December 1, when David, a self-employed window cleaner, lit a cigarette. The next thing I knew I was on fire and shouting for help," he said."I didn't even hear the explosion because I was in it. I couldn't hear or see anything."I was surrounded by rubble and I didn't have a clue what was happening."David and his parents thanked neighbours who rushed to his rescue, tending to him until paramedics arrived. They also praised Flintshire Council's emergency response team, emergency services and local councillor Haydn Bateman. More than 30 residents were evacuated following the blast, with surrounding streets being closed off for days. The family also thanked the Dolphin Inn, where they stayed on the night of the blast, and the Beaufort Park Hotel, New Brighton, where they have been staying ever since. Mum Margaret said: "We lost everything in an instant but everyone has been fantastic, and so helpful." The family do not know where they will be spending Christmas, and have been told the house will take 18 months to repair. The cause of the explosion is still being investigated.
White collar workers are increasingly dodging paying tax, MPs reveal: Builders and decorators might be the tradesmen that you most associate with tax dodging. But a new MPs' report shows that white collar professionals - including lawyers, surgeons and property developers - are increasingly fiddling their figures. The report reveals that Revenue and Customs has caught 57 barristers evading hundreds of thousands of pounds in tax. Of these, 36 agreed to return a total of £605,000 in unpaid taxes and fines. Another 21 barristers are still being investigated while the department states it is trying to trace the owners of luxury yachts and cars. However the majority of middle class tax evaders have not been prosecuted. It is all part of Britain's cash in hand culture which is costing the Treasury more than £2billion in lost revenue every year.
Around two million tax cheats operate in the black economy and their chances of being caught are 'very slight', the report says. Self-employed builders and decorators are singled out as amongst the worst offenders for failing to declare their full earnings by the Commons public accounts committee. It found that around 80 per cent of those working in the hidden economy owed relatively small amounts in tax, but that the total potential loss was 'significant'. Cash payments to workers such as a handyman, childminder or window cleaner are a feature of the UK economy. However, it makes earnings easier to hide from the taxman. A growing area of concern is individuals trading on the internet through auction sites such as ebay. The report reveals that 30,000 cases a year have been uncovered since 2003-04 - a detection rate of just 1.5 per cent. But another 11,900 cases resulting from tip offs to the Tax Evasion hotline last year are still awaiting investigation.
It's a workout he usually does on his own. He's tried to bring along fellow boxers from the Boston Boxing & Fitness Club of Allston in the past. They usually don't stick around. ``They don't last long,'' he admitted. ``They do it a couple of times and they say it's fine. Then that's it. They don't come back.'' But Duquette keeps coming back. Just like he keeps going back to the boxing gym where he has his own key and is its most celebrated competitor. Nearly a decade after he first laced up the gloves, the Waltham resident is still at it. He had his first sparring match at age 16. He had his big breakthrough in a tournament in Kansas City when he was 20. Now, at age 23, he is the New England amateur junior welterweight champion after winning the open 141-pound weight class in Portland, Me. two weeks ago. Next month, he will travel to Lake Placid, N.Y. for the regionals, then perhaps on to Colorado Springs, Colo. for the national championships. The ultimate destination is London in 2012. ``The Olympics have always been kind of a dream,'' he allowed. ``But you could only whisper it before. You don't really want to talk about it out loud. He had his boxing, sure, but how long would that last? To support himself, he was washing windows on three- and four-story houses in Weston. ``You know, all the mansions,'' he dismissed. He was doing it one very cold day shortly before the company he worked for closed up shop for the season when he looked around, and looked deep within himself. ``I remember the day,'' he recalled. ``It was freezing cold, and I'm out there in the winter, with this vision of all my friends I went to high school with sitting at a nice warm desk.''
Healthy skin on your face and body is more than a cosmetic issue. "Severely dry skin can decrease the natural skin barrier, which is our defense against infection," says Dr. Max Adler of Park Cities Dermatology. Dr. Hurley recommends waiting no more than three minutes after a bath or shower to moisturize. "This is one of the best ways to seal in moisture," she says. Skin cancer doesn't take a winter break Hands often dry out fastest because there are fewer oil glands on the hands and feet than elsewhere on the body. Plus, with hands, whatever oil is there can be stripped by repeated washing.
Eczema, characterized by extreme dry patches, can split the skin on fingers and palms. Dr. Adler tells patients who have eczema on their hands "to skip antibacterial soaps and sanitizers." If you'll be travelling on a plane, carry a travel-size tube of hand and facial moisturizer. Humidity levels on jets are notoriously low. "And the soap in the plane bathrooms is always so harsh," says Curran Dandurand, co-founder of Jack Black, a men's skin-care company in Carrollton. "Reapply whenever you think about it." In the car, Dr. Adler recommends using the floorboard setting on the heater rather than having hot air blow directly onto your face. And don't forget sunscreen. "It's a little-known fact that 90 percent of the sun we get is through the car window, so wear sunscreen every day year-round," he says. Hydrate your skin from the inside out by drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. "Drinking plenty of water is just a good practice regardless," Dr. Hurley says.
SOURCE: National Institutes of Health
PROTECTING YOUR SKIN
The American Academy of Dermatology offers these tips for making skin feel comfortable during winter or when the air is dry: Use a humidifier. With the heat on and windows closed, the air indoors can become very dry in winter, worsening the dryness and itching of eczema. A humidifier adds moisture to the air. Switch to an oil-based moisturizer and use it frequently. The more oil a moisturizer contains, the more effectively it protects against moisture loss. Ointment moisturizers have a high oil content because, by definition, an ointment consists of 80 percent oil and 20 percent water. This water-in-oil emulsion forms a protective layer on the skin and is more “moisturizing” than creams and lotions. Apply a heavy layer of moisturizing, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Use on the face, hands and other exposed skin. This acts as a barrier against the elements and is especially important if you will be outdoors. Dress in layers. The most common triggers of the scratch-itch cycle are sweating and overheating. Layering allows you to remove clothing as needed to prevent overheating. Wear loose-fitting cotton fabrics next to your skin. Shed wet clothes and shoes immediately. These can irritate the skin.
SOURCE: American Academy of Dermatology
THE SIN BIN: -
Fake window cleaner conned woman, 89: A FAKE window cleaner who stole money from an 89-year-old woman has been jailed for four years. A judge told Ian Cornell (43), of Chesterfield Road, Mansfield, that he was 'disgusted' by his behaviour in targeting an elderly woman. The victim was asleep in a chair in her living room in the afternoon on 15th October when she was woken by Cornell, Nottingham Crown Court was told on Friday. Prosecutor Paul Stimson said Cornell told the woman he had come to clean the windows on behalf of her regular cleaner, giving the other man's correct first name. "He then asked if he could come in for a cup of tea because he was cold," said Mr Stimson. Without being invited he followed her in and stole £20 from her purse while she made the tea. It was his 10th conviction for house burglary and although most were derelict properties, the last two, for which he received 28 months in prison, were lived in.Cornell, who admitted the offence, had never had help with his drugs problem and was sorry for what he had done, according to his barrister Sarah Munro. Judge Dudley Bennett told him: "You are a persistent criminal, you conned your way in with your lying pretence that you were a window cleaner."
Window cleaning yob handed CRASBO: A teenager from St Helens who carried out a window cleaning scam has been hit with a criminal ASBO. Lee James Stuart appeared at St Helens Magistrates Court last week where he was given the order after pleading guilty to criminal damage. The 19-year-old was sentenced earlier this year for fraud after taking money from a number of homeowners, promising to clean their windows but then failing to do so. Many of the targets in the unsophisticated scam lived just a few hundreds yards from Stuart's home address. He was given a 12 months conditional discharge, ordered to pay £65 court cost and pay £3 compensation. Stuart, of Brookland Lane, St Helens, admitted the criminal damage charge, which police and council chiefs to apply for the CRASBO, in August. Under the terms of the two-year CRASBO, Stuart is banned from:* Entering the front or rear paths/gardens of any residential property unless he has the authority of the tenant or owner of the property anywhere within the borough of St. Helens* Causing harassment, alarm or distress to any person.Chief Inspector Mike Constantine said: "The court recognised that Mr Stuart had been causing a great deal of distress to vulnerable residents within St Helens by demanding money for the services of cleaning windows and gutters which he had not provided."