Tuesday 30 September 2008

See Thru Window Cleaning

Keep your windows clean: Nobody appreciates the art and skill of washing windows until they try it. It can cause muscle cramps and marital discord, not to mention the grudging acceptance of a sad fact — that our windows always will have at least a streak or a smudge here and there. It’s like accepting the presence of a facial blemish. There may be a way to fix it but better not leave it to amateurs.
Enter Sherri Medeiros, owner, chief squeegee swirler and an expert with the “S Curve” of See Thru Window Cleaning Service on Marco. For about eight years she’s been keeping windows clean and healthy at a long list of Marco businesses, offices and homes. Did I say healthy? Yep. Sherri says clean windows play a major role in keeping our homes and public places sanitary and health conducive. “Washing windows is more than just getting rid of streaks and smears for cosmetic reasons,” Sherri points out. “Some people don’t realize that glass is porous. Germs, mildew, salt, dust, grime, handprints, pets’ nose and paw prints and a lot of other stuff can get on windows and stay there and that’s not healthy. “And don’t forget smoke. I can always tell when people have been smoking in a building when I wash the inside windows. Smoke builds up and when we clean the glass, the water in our buckets turns yellow. It’s pretty bad.” Sherri recommends that residential windows by cleaned professionally at least twice a year, inside and out, obviously more often for restaurants, which usually get washed weekly, and other places of business. So, why do we need a pro to do the job right? “It’s an art and a skill, knowing how to avoid streaks, how to get into corners, frames and tracks and all that,” she says. Sherri uses the “S Curve” technique, applying the soap and water and then the squeegee. Why nor wash in sections, up, down or across? “You get streaks that way. You must make sure the squeegee is dirt-free and moist. Even a grain of sand can leave a streak. And most important, keep the squeegee on the glass, moving in the S curve.”
We asked Sherri to reveal what cleaning products she uses. Secret stuff?
“Here’s the big secret — water and a small amount of organic dish washing liquid. You don’t need fancy glass cleaners. Besides some leave a buildup on the glass. Also, don’t use paper towels. They leave lint on the windows. Use lint-free towels, dry ones, to avoid streaks.” Sherri also urges homeowners to let her clean their ceiling fans (“Oh, there can be lots of fun stuff up there,” she jokes) and to not forget the mirrors and screens. Meeting Sherri, you know right away that she loves her work. “I love being on the move, meeting new people. And because I’m local, not a huge company, many clients have become my friends.” Sherri is reachable via cell phone at 641-7159 or at her work number, 642-0318.

Monday 29 September 2008

IWCA Seeking Comments

IWCA Seeking Comments on Window Cleaning Safety Standard: The International Window Cleaning Association is reminding interested and affected members of the public that the deadline to comment on the IWCA I-14 Window Cleaning Safety Draft Standard is Monday, Oct. 27. The standard is intended to serve as a guide for window cleaners, regulatory agencies, manufacturers, architects, consultants, designers, and building owners. The initial version of this standard was published in 2001. From that time, the I-14 committee has been making revisions to the standard based on comments and questions from all facets of the industry. IWCA asks that any comments on the draft be submitted by email to Mandie@robstan.com or by U.S. Postal mail to the IWCA, located at 400 Admiral Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 64106. Instructions for submitting comments are as follows:
1. Cite the paragraph where a change is proposed 2. Suggest proposed wording for the change 3. Provide rationale (which may include technical data) for the change
IWCA says that if comments are not received in this format, the committee may not address them but adds that all comments submitted by the Oct. 27 deadline will be reviewed by the committee at its next scheduled meeting.
I have to add this feature that was featured on the same page - not just because of the title, but because any window cleaners with children may also get involved:

ASSE Kicks off Annual 'Safety-on-the-Job' Poster Contest.

ASSE has launched its 7th annual kids' "Safety-on-the-Job" poster contest, which is open to ASSE members' children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, and will have a Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 2009, deadline. ASSE members can also sponsor local schools, co-workers' children, and more to enter. The contest is open to children 5-14 with top prizes to be awarded to those in each of the five age groups that best illustrate being safe on the job. The winning poster in each age group will be featured on the ASSE North American Occupational Safety and Health Week (NAOSH) 2009 poster distributed worldwide. This year's them for NAOSH Week is "Safety Means Always Coming Home," a theme that reverberated throughout the hundreds of posters received from children over the past six years of the contest. NAOSH Week runs from May 3-9, 2009, and is a tool ASSE uses to promote the importance of occupational safety, health, and the environment in everyone's lives. Occupational Safety and Health Professional Day is May 6, 2009.

Sunday 28 September 2008

Window Cleaning Songs

I thought I'd add these video's as it's a Sunday & you might get something out of them. Up first, a video about a window cleaning cowboy - yes really! A nice acapella style & really quite enjoyable.

Next up, Terry "Turbo" Burrows, champion window cleaner from London sings about the congestion charge under Ken Livingstons reign as Mayor of London. Its quite a rare'n this. Played to George Formbys hit "when I'm cleaning windows." Terry is also a black belt in karate (Koodokan). He claims that the karate has made him faster and more determined with his window cleaning competitions and record attempts. Other hobbies include scuba diving (since 15 years of age), fishing, snooker (highest break 85 so far) and playing guitar. And, yes, he even performs "When I'm Cleaning Windows"!

The late Peter Sellers gives his performance of George Formby's "when I'm cleaning windows." I've added this video for novelty value more than anything else. Peter was a huge Monty Python fan, a rare window cleaning song by the Python team can be seen here.

Most of you won't have heard this before its featured on Rock FM 97.4 in Leeds, UK by poet, singer song writer Mik Artistic. Quite catchy never the less.

The Mills Brothers were a major African-American jazz and pop vocal quartet of the 20th century producing more than 2,000 recordings that sold more than 50 million copies and garnered at least three dozen gold records. The group was originally composed of four brothers all born in Piqua, Ohio.

I'll leave you to pass judgement on the next offering. Window cleaning operatics: Not my cuppa tea...

Finally a different kind of windows song, enjoy...

Saturday 27 September 2008

New Unger Brush, Conferences, Starbucks & More

Abrasive and lightweight - the Unger HiFlo CarbonTec brush with boar bristles: The new Unger HiFlo CarbonTec brush head made from 100% boar bristles is the right choice for professional cleaners who want their tools to be durable and efficient. The brush head is made of pure mahogany wood, a lightweight but strong wood which retains its shape even under great stress and so is guaranteed to be easy and reliable to use. Brooms and brushes made of animal hair have been popular in cleaning throughout the ages. Experts like to use tools made of natural materials, particularly because of the build-up of electrostatic charge in synthetic bristles. The manually bonded boar bristles are more durable and better at retaining their shape: this latest brush from Unger has been proven to remove surface dirt more effectively than comparable nylon brushes. It is available in sizes 27cm and 40cm.

UK Contract Cleaning Market Research Report - Companies and Markets adds new report. This report on the UK contract cleaning market includes all aspects of the commercial and industrial cleaning market that is contracted out. This includes the interior cleaning of offices, factories, retail outlets etc; window cleaning; industrial equipment cleaning and disinfecting and extermination services. An overview of a number of industry players is also provided, including a five year financial analysis as well as a set of key financial ratios. The report does not attempt to provide a comprehensive list of the leading companies, but reviews a representative sample of the different types of companies operating in the sector in order to provide benchmarking opportunities of relevance to a variety of readers. The UK contract cleaning market research report is updated quarterly and is clearly illustrated with tables and diagrams analysing five year historical data together with five year forecasts. The report analyses the development of the market together with the market size, regional analysis, government employment issues and trends within the UK market. Yours for 600 quid ($1200).

The firing of a Taser stun gun that led an emotionally disturbed man to fall from a Brooklyn building ledge to his death on Wednesday appeared to have violated departmental guidelines, the police said on Thursday. The guidelines tell officers that when possible, the Taser, which fires barbs that deliver thousands of volts of electrical current, should not be used in situations when a person could fall from an elevated surface. A law enforcement official identified the lieutenant who gave the order to use the Taser as Michael Pigott, a 21-year veteran of the force. He was placed on modified assignment without his gun and badge, and the officer who fired the weapon was put on administrative duty amid an investigation by the Police Department and the Brooklyn district attorney. The police declined to identify the officer. Officers at the scene of the confrontation had called by radio for an inflatable bag as the events unfolded, but it had not yet arrived when the man, Iman Morales, 35, was struck with the device and fell, according to a statement by the department’s chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne.

GREAT NECK, N.Y., Hyman Golden - co-founder of Snapple Beverage has died at age 85 in Great Neck, N.Y., from complications of a stroke, his family says. In 1972, Golden and two partners took a small investment and turned it into a beverage business that eventually competed with industry giants such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo., The New York Times reported Sunday. In 1994, Quaker Oats bought Snapple for about $1.7 billion when it had annual sales of $700 million and could be found in delis, stores, machines and homes throughout the country, the Times reported. Golden, who died Sept. 14, was born in Passaic, N.J., working first as a window-washer for his father, a Romanian immigrant, said his daughter, Sharon Golden Brenner.

NEW YORK - Starbucks has ended its four-year relationship US ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, putting its $55m advertising and media combined account up for grabs. The split has been attributed to creative differences less than a year after the coffee chain's first TV campaign. The campaign, which broke late last year in the US, introduced the line 'Pass the cheer'. One of the animated spots in the campaign showed penguins handing a cup of coffee to a window washer.

Finally "picture of the day" A church steeple was reflected on the side of a London building that window washers were cleaning Tuesday. (Adrian Dennis/Agence France-Press — Getty Images.) Click to enlarge.

Friday 26 September 2008

Gun Gang Targeted Window Cleaning Firm

Bolton, UK: Masked gunmen carried out terrifying raids on four businesses in the space of just 11 days, a court heard. Lee Davies and Paul Woodcock, both aged 34, of Kendrew Road, Deane, appeared at Bolton Crown Court yesterday, accused of raiding the office of a window cleaning company, two bookmakers and a post office between December 31, 2007, and January 10, 2008. In total, they each denied five charges of robbery and four counts of firearms offences. Henry Blackshaw, prosecuting, showed the jury two imitation guns used in the four robberies. He said: “Each one of these robberies was a terrifying experience for the people involved. “All of the incidents have common features. There were two men carrying these guns. On each occasion it was a small business.” The robbers were wearing dark clothing with scarves covering their faces, wearing hood tops and gloves, which prevented police identifying them by fingerprints or facial recognition. Officers gathered mobile phone records and a knife used in the first robbery was recovered as evidence. The first raid took place at C and G Cleaning in Willows Lane, Deane, on December 31, 2007. Secretary Donna Smith, answered the door at 3pm, assuming it was one of the firm’s window cleaners. Mr Blackshaw told the court that the first man, said to be Woodcock, shouted: “Where’s the money?” Owner Colin Gregory thought it was one of his staff playing a practical joke. The men ordered Mr Gregory to open the safe, but it was not in use and he did not have a key. They demanded Mr Gregory’s wallet, containing 700 euros he had collected for a holiday, and Ms Smith’s mobile phone, which she had tried to use to call the police. Later that day a relative of Davies cashed 260 euros at Deane Post Office but staff were suspicious and contacted the police. In the final robbery, the court heard, two armed men stole between £2,000 and £3,000 from Daisy Hill Post Office in Westhoughton. The court heard Davies was only directly involved, allegedly, in the first two robberies. The trial continues.

The Pulex MicroTiger

New from Pulex, the MicroTiger sleeve incorporates soft abrasive stripes within the microfibre for extra scrubbing action that are ideal for removing food debris & has a abrasive end pad and velcro fixing. This scrubber manages to hold more than your average for water retention & less drips. Mark Strange of "Beautiful View window cleaning" Toronto, Canada gives his unbiased view on this remarkable sleeve. Available to buy in the here in the UK & here in USA.

Thursday 25 September 2008

The Water Fed Pole Quad

Kevin James has a new ride - and it isn't your normal vehicle for a window cleaner! Kevin of "Life on a Ledge window cleaning" operates on the Somerset/Wiltshire border servicing the main towns: Bath, Bradford on Avon, Frome, Westbury and Trowbridge. He uses a quad (Can-Am 800) that is capable of towing 500 kilos - more than enough to clean the houses of the 850 residential clients he services. In fact he states that he now needs 1000 clients to fill five days a week on a six week turnaround with the use of the water fed pole! Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Kevin says "the quad is completely road legal, taxed as PLG, not agricultural." "The bike carries 120 kilos on rear with 40 kilos on the front & it has an Omnipole Back Pack on the front, with an external leisure battery that is charged via split relay off the bikes electrics - I only have to charge the battery every 10 days!" He adds it "really suits residential work in the UK & customers dont mind me parking in their drives or lawns - I used to spend £35 a week on petrol (Volvo 2 litre estate with trailer) but now I'm down to £20." Contact James of "Life on a Ledge" on 07773 616059

Wednesday 24 September 2008

The Pareto Principle

Another fascinating video from Kevin the Window Cleaning Business Coach:

"Have you heard of the 80/20 rule before? It is sometimes referred to as the “Pareto Principle”, and maintains (among other things) that 80% of revenue generated by your business - and any business - comes from only 20% of your clients.Take a moment to ask yourself if that is true of your business. Is it? Of the last $25,000 you’ve earned, has 80% of it come from your 20% most important clients? Probably so. Maybe in your case, its more like 85/15 or 75/25, but the principle basically holds true."
"Now, here’s the kicker, and the beauty of embracing and accepting this: You can make a lot more profitable use of your time in the next 3 and 6 months by focusing more attention and importance on your communication with this precious 20%. How so? Well, one way is to spend a bit more time and effort on giving them more interesting and compelling offers and communication, making their lives a little more fun, and helping them enjoy doing business with you a bit more than your average client."

Italian economist Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto observed in 1906 that 80 percent of the land in Italy was owned by 20 percent of the population. Later, he observed this noteworthy ratio seemed to apply to other parts of life, such as gardening: 80 percent of his peas were produced by 20 percent of the peapods. Over time, this concept has come to be known as the "Pareto Principle," "The 80/20 Rule," and even "The Vital Few and Trivial Many Rule." Interestingly, another of Pareto's most noteworthy and controversial theories is that human beings are not, for the most part, motivated by logic and reason but rather by sentiment.
Observing the Pareto Principle in Action
Here are some 80/20 rule applications:
Does 20 percent of your sales force produce 80 percent of revenues?
Do 20 percent of your products account for 80 percent of product sales?
Do 80 percent of your visitors see only 20 percent of your Web site pages?
Do 80 percent of delays arise from 20 percent of the possible causes of delay?
Do 80 percent of customer complaints arise from 20 percent of your products or services?
We all waste lots of time on trivial, repetitive tasks. That often means people are kept busy whether it is important or not, equipment is running whether needed or not, sales are made whether they are profitable or not.
Is the assertion that a small number of events produce the majority of results valid? It may not be a hard rule with a fixed ratio, but the observation has merit:
A handful of customers out of many produces the bulk of revenues.
A handful of products out of many items in a line produces the bulk of orders.
A handful of salespeople out of many produces the majority of new business.
A handful of scientists produces most research and development innovations.
Most grievances come from a few employees, and most absenteeism can be narrowed down to specific individuals.
Most accidents occur in clearly identifiable groups.
Truly poor (or great) performance is achieved by a few easily identifiable individuals.
We tend to ignore these realities in practice.

Tuesday 23 September 2008

George Formby Was No Good at Cleaning Windows

Historical texts have proven that Ukulele player George Formby was not a good window cleaner. Contemporary reports from the time revealed that the comedy maverick was often tardy, left his ladders all over the place, used the same water for days, and did not clean around the edges of the window. PC Plod said: 'We had many complaints about Formby back in the day. His employer often said he was a wrong'un, but these details speak for themselves. A Mrs Smith from 57 complained that Formby left his ladder in her backyard for four days, whilst a Mr Benn from 52 Festive Road often complained about the state of George's bucket. PC Plod continued: 'We also had many reports that he was loitering with intent, but he just sang us a song about Leaning on a Lampost, until a certain little lady comes by. He was a charmer, but we could tell he was not meant to be a Window cleaner, or a stalker.' OY - Formby, you missed a spot.

He was born George Hoy Booth on 26 May 1904 in Wigan, Lancashire. The show business career of George Formby spanned exactly FORTY YEARS, beginning in 1921 until his death in 1961. During that period he appeared in 21 hit films, cut over 230 records, made hundreds of stage performances, appeared in two Royal Command Performances and entertained an estimated THREE MILLION Allied Servicemen and women during World War II throughout Europe (see video in Normandy below) and the Middle East. Although he never performed in the U.S.A. he did make personal appearances and was quite popular in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
By 1939, George Formby was the most popular and highest paid entertainer in the British Isles and was estimated to be earning over £100,000 a year. The secret of his success was a unique combination of personality, natural ability and talent coupled with the driving force of his wife, Beryl as his Manager. With his natural human warmth and friendliness, George could hold a live audience in the palm of his hand as he sang and played the ukulele in his own inimitable style. He seemed to have the ability to make people enjoy what he did, and his audiences always called for more. George Formby helped write and perform over 300 original songs, largely flavoured with his own brand of English North Country humour. He was well known for playing the Banjo Ukulele, a hybrid instrument combining the Hawaiian ukulele and the big American Banjo, which had been invented by Alvin D. Keech and christened by him as the 'Banjulele.' He was buried in Warrington Cemetery in the family grave, and an estimated 100,000 mourners lined the streets on the day of the funeral to show their respect for one of the greatest entertainers this country has ever known.

Monday 22 September 2008

Selling Windows On 164,000 Ladder Accidents Per Year

Loose the Ladder: Cleaning second floor windows is an arduous, time-consuming task that usually involves climbing on a ladder. Dragging heavy buckets of water and slippery cloths up the ladder is a risky proposition to say the least. Window washing is one of the reasons why more than 164,000 Americans visit the emergency room each year after tumbling off of ladders, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission as reported by Marvin Windows and Doors.
Avoid using a ladder for that type of cleaning by installing Marvin's new Ultimate Replacement Casement windows. The window swivels to let the homeowner easily wash it from inside the home. The product is suggested as a replacement for old, drafty, double-hung windows since one of the designs is a simulated check rail that matches the style of that traditional look. The window has a narrow jab and is easily installed as a frame-in-frame insert into old vinyl, aluminum or virtually any other existing window. The product also is suitable for use in a tear-out or new construction. Low E II glass with argon keeps heat in during the winter and out in the summer, lowering heating and cooling bills.

Pilkington Activ™ Moves Into Programme Sponsorship To Step Up TV Presence: Pilkington is boosting TV support for its market leading Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass through sponsorship of some of Britain’s favourite property design and home improvement programmes. In a deal with leading digital broadcaster UKTV Style Pilkington Activ™ will sponsor their “Home Sweet Home” strand of programming; a combination of internally produced shows & popular repeats from the BBC archive. Set to reach more than four million homeowners across the six-month period September to March, the campaign offers the opportunity to see the messages an average of 28 times. Programmes being sponsored include DIY SOS, Colin & Justin’s Home Show and The WOW Factor. Pilkington Activ™ will join such iconic brands as Marks & Spencer, Cadburys, British Gas and Focus Do It All by choosing the sponsorship route as part of its consumer marketing mix, which with UKTV Style, ideally associates the product with home improvements and lifestyle. Following on from past TV commercials a humorous approach continues to be the thread for the idents which will be shown at the beginning and end of commercial breaks around each programme within the strand. A series of ten-second films show the lengths to which people will go to keep their newly clean windows free of obstructions - with seemingly house proud individuals suddenly removing whatever object is obscuring the view through their self-cleaning windows. Two Christmas ‘special’ idents will also be broadcast in the run up to the festive period. Julia Berkin, Marketing Communications Manager for Pilkington Activ™ says that programme sponsorship moves the game on for the product, which has revolutionised the way that window glass is marketed: “Our television advertising campaign has been very successful with many window installers enjoying excellent extra sales by taking advantage of the exposure the advertising has generated. But it is important to develop fresh ideas to reach new audiences and, having researched all options, our new programme sponsorship deal provides exciting new opportunities for any company offering Pilkington Activ™ to its customers.

Sunday 21 September 2008

Sunday Window Cleaning News

Walker grew up in Ohio and had worked in Philadelphia before following his mother to Arizona after she remarried. Even though Walker worked there only part-time in Foothills in recent months he'd been a server and a bartender for six years but owned his own window-washing and custom-screen business. He remained incredibly close to his co-workers there. The recipient of this week's Ben's Bell is Jana Huntsinger (pictured middle), who makes life wonderful for employees at the Foothills restaurant where she works — and made life a lot easier for the family of one of those employees when he took his own life in August. Huntsinger was nominated by Charlotte Tuuri, who described Huntsinger's help after her son, Dave Walker, died as "really over, above and beyond what she had to do." Almost as soon as they walked into the Applebees Neighborhood Grill at the Foothills Mall, they noticed all the employees had on buttons with Walker's face on them. "I was just blown away," Tuuri said. "They put the date he was born and the date he died, and it said, 'We love you, Dave.' That Applebees is a very close-knit place. They care about each other." Walker grew up in Ohio and had worked in Philadelphia before following his mother to Arizona after she remarried. He'd been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, and the desert sun seemed to be helping, she said. But the stresses began piling up. Still, she talked to him about depression, and he told her he was going to be fine.
When Brett Hedrick (pictured) watched a group of youngsters with spina bifida fishing from their wheelchairs last weekend, it brought back memories of some of the happiest moments of his childhood. He, too, was afflicted with the birth defect. And there were some tough times — times when he was shunned by others and made to feel “different.” But fishing was always an escape for Hedrick, a way to fit in and feel proud of himself. And he was hoping to pass along that love of the sport — and its life-changing qualities — to others with spina bifida when he sponsored a special fishing outing last weekend at the James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area. “Now I am trying to give back. I’d like some of these kids to get the same enjoyment out of the outdoors that I always have.” Spina bifida, a birth defect that affects the development of the spinal cord, played a major role in Hedrick’s life. “I spent so much time in the hospital, it was pathetic,” he said. But Hedrick was grateful for the fact that he wasn’t confined to a wheelchair or forced to rely on crutches or a walker, as many victims of spina bifida are. That’s never changed. Today, he has a family, he owns a window cleaning business and he still loves to go fishing.
A YOUNG couple have told how their hopes for a dream wedding in America nearly turned into a nightmare.Stephen Butterfield and Gemma Wrench plus 12 friends and relatives paid more than £7500 to fly to Florida with the airline XL. But, just two weeks before they were due to travel, the company collapsed, leaving them heavily out of pocket. Stephen, 27, and Gemma, 25, spent a week desperately trying to raise enough money to keep their wedding plans alive. The couple, from Burradon, North Tyneside, managed to scrape enough money together to book flights with Virgin Atlantic. This weekend, they are all due to fly to Florida, where they will share two villas. Stephen and Gemma can finally look forward to getting married in the Little White Wedding Chapel at Kissimmee. Gemma said: “I’ve been to hell and back in the last couple of weeks. Stephen, a window cleaner and Gemma, a housewife, have been together for nine years.
Father and son merge companies to form unique business: SANDSTONE - In most family-run businesses there has long been a tradition of passing the business from father to son. But for Steve Miller and his father, Herbert, they decided to combine their talents to form a unique business.Miller’s Exterminating in Sandstone has added the slogan, “We do windows too!”“I had my own window washing company and dad had Miller’s Exterminating,” Steve Miller said. “The merger of our two businesses has been very, very successful.”Miller said he worked for his father for about four years before going into business for himself.“There was a need and demand for a good window washing company in this region, so I opened my own business,” he said. “I didn’t realize how successful that was going to be, but things have been going very well.”Last month, Miller said his dad decided to retire and passed the business to him.“I have experience with both sides of the business, so he left it in good hands,” Miller said.To Miller’s surprise, many of his customers want both pest control and window washing at the same time.“It’s funny how many people will call us out for exterminating services and also get their windows washed,” he said.
A memorial service will be at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008, in Village Baptist Church in Beaverton, Oregon for John Martin Traver, who died Sept. 8 at age 79. John Martin Traver was born Jan. 1, 1929, in Minneapolis, and moved to Portland as a child. He had worked for the Portland Fire Bureau and Portland Police Bureau and more recently had a window cleaning business. In 1969, he married Helen Beebe. Survivors include his wife; son, Marti; daughter, Stephanie Quinn; stepsons, David Glass and Sherman Glass; stepdaughters, Barbara Mann, Kitty Glass, Glenda Glass and Nancy Hlady; brothers, Bill and Bud; sister, Doris Ford; 18 grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren.
A few window cleaning videos for your enjoyment....

Saturday 20 September 2008

Why Window Cleaning is Best Left to the Professionals

Singapore: Man fell while cleaning window. Mum said he was particular about cleanliness. A 39-year-old man, said to be obsessive about cleanliness, fell 20 storeys to his death while wiping his living room window in Toa Payoh, a coroner's court heard on Wednesday. Mr Jimmy Newton Lim Kim Soon, a creative director, was described by his mother as a perfectionist who was very particular about cleanliness and hygiene at home. The incident happened at a block of flats in Lorong 2 on June 7. A coroner's inquiry into Mr Lim's death heard that he was found lying motionless on the ground floor clutching a piece of wet cloth in his right hand. A blue plastic stool and a pail containing murky water were found near the living room window. Mr Lim's 74-year-old mother had returned from her routine morning exercise at about 7.10am that day when she found him lying on the ground floor and thought he had a 'normal'' fall. She tried to wake him up but to no avail.. Her 24-year-old daughter was sleeping in her bedroom and did not hear anything, said Staff Sergeant Raymond Chng in his investigation report. State Coroner Eddy Tham recorded a verdict of misadventure or accidental death.

Thursday 18 September 2008

The 70th Floor Phonecall to Mum

Tommy Florio (pictured left), of Queens, and Dan Sandler, of Massapequa, pose after rescue from broken scaffolding yesterday. Dan Sandler called his mother Thursday morning to wish her a happy birthday. Little did she know he was dangling more than 700 feet in the air waiting for firefighters to rescue him. Sandler, 32, of Massapequa, L.I., was installing a pane of glass on the 71st floor of a 78-story building at 145 W. 56th St. when the brakes failed on the platform holding the workers up. One end of the scaffold began to fall as Sandler and his co-worker, Tommy Florio, 42, of Queens, hit the emergency brakes to stop their descent. The scaffold dropped to the floor below, and they dangled for about 30 minutes until firefighters came and pulled them up. "I called my mother while we were waiting," Sandler told the Daily News. "I didn't tell her where I was, I just said 'Happy Birthday.'" The two veteran glass workers, who work for Philip Kaplan Glass Works in Manhattan, stayed calm until help arrived. "It was scary - I'm not going to lie," Florio said. "It definitely shook me up for a minute. But everything worked out." The two said they also were hooked up to personal safety harnesses and even took pictures of each other with a cell phone camera as they waited to be rescued while a crowd gathered below. Thursday's mishap follows the death of a worker in a scaffold fall at a Harlem building on Sept. 11. "They were lucky they weren't hurt," said Buildings Department spokeswoman Kate Lindquist.
Dorien Brown, an office manager at the glass company, said the scaffold was provided by the building owner, Manhattan Tower, but maintained by another company. Philip Kaplan has a contract with the building and has done jobs there before. "We never had any problems at the building before," Brown said. The Buildings Department issued violations to Philip Kaplan for failure to properly attach personal safety lines, failure to supervise rigging equipment and failure to have a daily maintenance log. Manhattan Tower was cited for those violations as well as failure to provide documentation that the workers had been properly trained and failure to provide a designated foreman. Both men said they'd be back at work today and had no intention of trying to find a safer job. "I love it up there," Sandler said. "The view is amazing. It's like being on top of the world."

The Ettore Backflip

The Ettore "Backflip"- a 4 way wash and squeegee combo will increase your productivity by allowing you to wash and squeegee in one pass. Alternatively you can wash, rotate and squeegee without changing tools. Ideal for pole work. Finally, use them as an individual washer and quick release squeegee tool. A unbiased view is given by Mark Strange of Beautiful View window cleaning in Toronto, Canada. Available in the USA & the UK.

Two Saved From Scaffold - Manhattan 71st Floor

Breaking News: NEW YORK: Two workers have been rescued from a skyscraper scaffold dangling 71 stories above a midtown Manhattan street. The harrowing rescue occurred on the 56th Street side of the Metropolitan Tower condominiums, near Carnegie Hall. Police and fire department officials had to use glass cutters to remove a window and pull the workers through to safety. A crowd gathered below as the workers were pulled into the building through a window. Metropolitan Tower is located between 56th and 57th streets, and Fifth and Sixth avenues. The Buildings Department has been called to the scene. The 78-story tower was built in 1986. Click picture for slideshow.

Diamon-Fusion® Nano-Coating on the NIKE Building

Nike Applies Diamon-Fusion Nanocoating to its Headquarters Building : Diamon-Fusion International, Inc. (DFI Nanotechnology), global developer and exclusive licensor of patented hydrophobic nanotechnologies, announced today it was awarded the exclusive contract to apply the Diamon-Fusion® nano-coating to the NIKE building world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon near Portland. The first phase took place this month on the John McEnroe Building facade along its exterior glass walls and windows. An extensive restoration process on the existing concrete-leached glass was completed utilizing DFI’s proprietary restoration products prior to fashioning the Diamon-Fusion® nano-coating. The John McEnroe Building is only the first building (at Nike’s HQ Campus) to be treated with the Diamon-Fusion® low-maintenance nano-coating. The work for the entire project is being performed by Santa Cruz, California-based DFI Licensee Central Coast Diamon-Fusion® and Window Cleaning.

Through the DFI’s patented nano-coating process, the chemical treatment creates a water repellent effect which enables ease of cleaning and protection against scratches, abrasion, and environmental elements, therefore considerably reducing the costs of maintenance to the facade. The Diamon-Fusion® nano-coating is optically clear, and does not affect the natural reflection of the glass exterior. Guillermo Seta, Corporate Vice President and Executive Director of DFI Global Operations, commented: “We are pleased and honored to be working with NIKE, one of the most highly recognizable corporations throughout the world. It’s a testament to the confidence we have created in the quality and innovative technology we’ve been providing for over 10 years.”
DFI Nanotechnology multi-functional characteristics include: water and oil repellency (hydrophobic and oleophobic,), impact and scratch resistance, protection against graffiti, dirt and stains, finger print protection, UV stability, additional electrical insulation, protection against calcium and sodium deposits and increased brilliance and lubricity. DFI’s nanocoating works at nanoscale levels to change the molecular composition of any silica-based surface. Diamon-Fusion® provides, in chemical terms, a ‘cross-linked’, ‘branched’ and ‘capped’ optically clear nano-film along with a strong and durable covalent bond.
If you liked this story, you can find more topics on this subject by inserting nano or lotus effect in the search bar at the top left of the page. Here is the Vietnamese take on DFI.....

Tuesday 16 September 2008

Window Cleaners in Kilts

Vancouver Canada: Window cleaners see bright future in . . . kilts. 'You need to stick out from the crowd,' entrepreneur says. So, when is a gimmick not a gimmick? When there's substance behind it. That's the message from Nicholas Brand, co-owner of the Richmond-based window- and gutter-cleaning company Men In Kilts (meninkilts.net), which expects to do more than $1 million in business next year. Their secret? Keeping clients happy, of course. And the allure, or mystery, of guys in kilts. As one ad puts it: "No peeking." "A lot of our success is word of mouth," Brand, 30, said in an interview about his company, whose tartan-painted vans are increasingly seen throughout Metro Vancouver. "Our customers have fun. They have a laugh. But it's not just a gimmicky thing. "To me, gimmicks come and go and we've taken it beyond a gimmick. If we weren't doing a good job, word would spread just as fast in the opposite direction. And a huge percentage of our growth is from referrals." However, Brand fully understands the recognition that a company can get by sending out men in kilts to clean gutters or wash windows. "All businesses need to be remembered. You need to stick out from the crowd if you go into business. And we're not doing brain surgery here, so let's have fun." Partner Brent Hohlweg, 39, agreed: "It's about a service experience. But from the moment our employees step out, clients see good-looking guys in kilts. "And our employees have got to love the kilts. They've got to love the freedom."
Hohlweg, who joined the company as a business partner three years ago, said Men In Kilts had $450,000 in total revenue in 2007 and is on pace for $750,000 this year. He estimated revenue will top $1 million in 2009. The company has six trucks and 16 full- and part-time employees, all of them bonded. "I chose window cleaning because there were no big national players," said Brand. "Secondly, window cleaning can have a bad reputation. It can be the grubby guy who smokes when he's up there. Some customers have told me that before they hired Men In Kilts they'd followed people around because they didn't trust them. "We hire the kinds of guys you'd like to have over for Sunday dinner." Brand said half the company's business involves cleaning windows and gutters at houses; the other half at strata-title apartments and townhome complexes. "We also do a small number of offices." Brand said Hohlweg - a former client of Brand's who ran a small property management company - came on board because he needed a partner. "Starting a business and growing a business is too much for one person." And the future? "We're hoping to open a new office in Langley next year," said Brand. "But our ultimate goal is franchising. We want to open a test franchise in Victoria."

MEN IN KILTS (Nick & Brent above)
- Year company founded: 2002.
- Total revenue in first year: $20,000.
- Total revenue in 2007: $450,000.
- Projected total revenue in 2008: $750,000.
- Projected total revenue in 2009: more than $1 million.
- Number of employees: 16.
- Number of trucks: six.

Other news on Men in Kilts here & here. You may be interested to know of another window cleaner named Chris Turner that works in a kilt, called Celtic window cleaning based in Castle Rock, Colorado.

U.K. Super Bantam-Weight Window Cleaner

Hayemaker super bantamweight prospect Josh Wale said he is dedicated to boxing 24 hours a day and that he would fight for a British title tomorrow. The 20-year-old fighter (7-0, 3 KOs) faces Marc Callaghan on the undercard of Ryan Rhodes' fight with Jamie Coyle at the Hillsborough Leisure Centre in Sheffield on Saturday. Josh Wale is trained by his father and has been managed by Hayemaker head of boxing Dave Coldwell since turning professional. Hayemaker camp are gushing in their admiration of Wale with Adam Booth saying he fights like a 'little Antonio Margarito' and though the most unassuming fighter you could come across, Wale lacks neither confidence nor ambition. First in his sights is the British super bantamweight title, currently held by Matthew Marsh. "I like pressure fighting," Wale added. "Me and my Dad love to watch the Mexican fighters. [Marco Antonio] Barrera, [Erik] Morales, Antonio Margarito, [Julio Cesar] Chavez. I love Mexican boxing - "Non-stop action, value for money."
His style, combined with his endearing personality, has led to him already building up a following in South Yorkshire and he keeps in contact with many of his fans in his day-job as a window cleaner. "Everybody from Brampton, where I'm from (support me)," Wale said. "I'm a window cleaner there. "I'd like to keep (window cleaning) as long as I can. I'll do it until the day when my Dad tells me to pack it in. "I enjoy it. It gets me to meet local people and shows I am just like anyone else. "My Dad wouldn't let me go up on a ladder if I've got a European title fight coming up I know that much."

Monday 15 September 2008

A Lipstick Funny

According to a news report, a certain private school in London was recently faced with a unique problem. A number of 12-year-old girls had begun to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints.
Every night the maintenance man would remove them and the next day the girls would put them back. Finally the principal decided that something had to be done. She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the maintenance man who had to clean the mirrors every night (you can just imagine the yawns from the little princesses).
To demonstrate how difficult it was to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required. He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it. Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror. There are teachers.... and then there are educators.

Although this story has been changed with location - it's still a good one, hence the following video's...

Sunday 14 September 2008

No Cold-Calling & Flyer Zones

It seems that a lot of window cleaners are having trouble with door to door knocking of late in the UK. Groups set up by Community wardens or managers, Parish Councils, Housing agencies, Tenants’ associations, Age Concern/Help the Aged, Social Services, Home Improvement Agencies (accessed through local councils), Citizens Advice Bureaus & Faith organisations. Even back in 2003, a complete ban was requested but denied. Almost all of those polled – 95.7 per cent – backed a ban. Some 15,000 people a year complain about doorstep sellers and their often high-pressure tactics. Under a separate scheme householders can avoid the nuisance of cold telephone calls and junk mail by signing up to a list of addresses companies are prohibited from contacting.

The purpose of ‘No Cold Calling’ zones (NCCZs) is to discourage cold callers from specific residential areas, usually a street or small cluster of houses. The introduction of the scheme provides householders with the opportunity to collectively discourage the often-unwelcome practice of cold calling. The zones are visibly identified by overt signs and by each participant displaying a sticker on their door. The ‘No Cold Calling’ zones are designed to discourage rogue traders who, for example, tell householders work needs doing to their property and then charge exorbitant prices or who try to trick their way into the house to commit a burglary. It is a voluntary scheme which relies on residents of the area to say no to Cold Callers and to report them to Trading Standards or the Police. The zone is there to give a message to callers that they are not wanted in that area and that people in the area will not do business with them so there is no point in them calling! Is it time to buy a canvassing licence?

REMEMBER it is not illegal to cold call. The zone is a message to callers that they are not wanted and that you will not do business with them. However, if residents in the zone then encourage callers this will send out the wrong message and the zone will not work.

In the United States, flyers are generally illegal when put in mail boxes according to Section 1725 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code -prohibits placing mailable materials like circulars and sales bills with unpaid postage in mailboxes with intent to avoid payment of postage. Do-Not-Call List Revives Door-to-Door Sales: While telemarketers have been banned from calling consumers who added their names to Do Not Call Registry, don't expect them to leave consumers alone. Having had one channel of communication essentially shut off, many marketers will simply shift to other methods of reaching consumers. Some marketers are now experimenting with the old, door-to-door approach to marketing and sales. Door-to-door sales used to very popular and prominent in the 50's and 60's but died out almost altogether. Though with the jaded, "seen it all" mentality of the current American culture, there will certainly be a lot of doors slammed and "Solicitors Not Welcome" signs hung if this tactic becomes popular.
Perhaps its time for a different type of buying/selling approach...enjoy.

Saturday 13 September 2008

EcoloBlue RO Without Plumbing

EcoloBlue™ is a state-of-the-art Atmospheric Water Generator (AWG) that produces purified drinking water from the humidity in the air.
To ensure the purified drinking water, EcoloBlue™ uses a multi-stage filtration system free of chemicals, using the “Reverse Osmosis” and the “Ultra Violet” filters, while the “Electrostatic Anti-bacteria & Anti-fungus” filter is cleaning the air in your home/office. The water ready for drinking can be hot or cold 200F or 40F (95c or 5c); a feature also available on all 5 industrial machines. All the AWG machines can be connected to a city water main line and “play the role” of only filtering the water. EcoloBlue™ offers a full line of Atmospheric Water Generators ranging from a home/office unit, EcoloBlue™ 28 producing 28 liters of water per day up to 5000 liters from our industrial/ commercial units: EcoloBlue™ 200liters – 500liters - 1,000liters - 3,000liters and 5,000liters models, utilizing solar or wind technologies as possible alternative sources of energy.

When you need water the most EcoloBlue™ can meet the demand: EcoloBlue™ uses a multi-stage filtration system free of chemicals, using the “Reverse Osmosis” and the “Ultra Violet” filters, while the “Electrostatic Anti-bacteria & Anti-fungus” like the home/office machine, but at an industrial size and quantity. The water ready for drinking can also be hot or cold 200°F or 40°F (95°c or 5°c.) The industrial machines can be connected to a city water main line too, and “play the role” of filtering only the water.

The EcoloBlue™ 28 requires no set-up and comes ready to make water right out of the box. Just plug it in and this revolutionary machine begins making fresh water...up to 7 gallons* in 24 hours! It requires no water source other than the humidity in the air. Each gallon of water uses, on average, $0.20 cents of electricity to produce. That's about $1.00 for every five gallons of water!

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