Sunday 30 November 2008

TIME Magazines Window Cleaning in Pictures

Time magazine release pictures celebrating window cleaners around the world. Very timely & curious as the American Window Cleaner Magazine & the Master Window Cleaners of America have just recently started giving out prizes for the best window cleaning pictures. Below are the pictures & captions for each picture, click on them to enlarge.

Gateshead, U.K.: Which end you want to start?

Chicago, Illinois: A good strong rope is the key.

Philadelphia: Don't drop that bucket!

Bangkok, Thailand: Silhouetted against the bright morning sun, he stretches to clean a spot.
Beijing, China: Formation Window-Washing will be a demonstration event at next year's Olympics. Here the Chinese team practice a move.

Floating your BoatBy the time you've finished cleaning the windows on the QE2, it's time to start over again.

Manila, Philippines: Never walk below a window cleaner's cradle.

Orlando, Florida: Holy Soapsuds! The Caped Crusader, down on his luck, is forced to take a second job.

Kunming, China: You can always trust someone to take things too far. Two Chinese high-rise window washers tie the knot. Tight.

Shanghai, China: Ever had the feeling that you made a bad career choice?

Hong Kong: Too many panes of glass, not enough cleaners.

Berlin, Germany: For a nosey parker it's an interesting job.


You may have noticed the newsletter sign-up form in the top right hand column. I plan on sending out newsletters around once a month to offer YOU the reader, priveledged information & offers not available anywhere else on the internet - FOR FREE. Be sure to sign up as they will not be readily available from either the suppliers or found on this blog. Are you ready to miss out on deals that won't be offered anywhere else? Be assured: Your information will never be sold, rented or leased to a third-party. You can unsubscribe at any time with the automated system. Thanks for reading & thanks for making this a successful blog! Cheers, Karl Robinson.

Saturday 29 November 2008

Radical Squeegee-ing & Showing Off!

You may have noticed the newsletter sign-up form in the top right hand column. I plan on sending out newsletters around once a month to offer YOU the reader, priveledged information & offers not available anywhere else on the internet - FOR FREE. Be sure to sign up as they will not be readily available from either the suppliers or found on this blog. Are you ready to miss out on deals that won't be offered anywhere else? Be assured: Your information will never be sold, rented or leased to a third-party. You can unsubscribe at any time with the automated system. Thanks for reading & thanks for making this a successful blog! Cheers, Karl Robinson.

OK, so some of these video's are just for show & probably could be done at twice the speed by using a bigger squeegee or even a Wagtail, with or on a pole. But for the fun of it, I've included some older videos as well just to group them.

Please, don't try this at home - its for entertainment purposes only!

Friday 28 November 2008

Window Cleaners Scrim

Irish Linen - The Cloth of Kings: Did you know that linen is the oldest fabric known to man and even pre-dates the invention of the wheel? But, while it was prehistoric man who created the first-ever fabric from the fibres of the flax plant, it was probably the Egyptians who, in recognizing it as a noble fabric, pioneered the industrial production of what was to become the cloth of kings. Three thousand years before Christ was born, linen was the favored fabric of the Pharaohs and the Egyptian aristocracy in both life and death. Indeed, mass production of linen was essential because it would have taken approximately 1000 yards of linen to wrap around an Egyptian king, as part of the mummifying process. It was to be several thousand years before linen made its way to Ireland. It is thought to have arrived in early Christian times and it is said that St. Patrick is buried in a shroud of Irish Linen.

While historical records show that linen was being made in Ireland through the Middle Ages, it was not until the early 17th Century that the Irish Linen industry began to develop in any structured way. Production was concentrated in the north of the country, particularly in the area of land between the two great rivers of the north, the Bann and the Lagan. To this day, the area is known as The Linen Homelands. But what is it that sets Irish Linen apart? Why is it the preferred fabric of The White House, The Sultan of Brunei, Queen Elizabeth II, the Imperial Court of Japan and the Vatican?

There are other reasons that Irish Linen has become the world's favorite. The linen manufacturing process is complicated and requires great skill at each stage of production. Linen is a natural fabric produced from fibres of the flax plant (pictured left). The plant is sown in April, produces delicate blue flowers in June (pictured right) and is harvested in August. After pulling, the crop is laid out in the fields to ret, a process where the woody bark of the plant is naturally rotted so that the fibres come loose from the main stem. The seeds are removed and used for linseed oil or cattle cake and the bark is removed by a process called scutching. It is used for chipboard. No part of the flax plant is wasted.

Flax fibers are amongst the oldest fiber crops in the world. The use of flax for the production of linen goes back 5000 years. Pictures on tombs and temple walls at Thebes depict flowering flax plants. The use of flax fibre in the manufacturing of cloth in northern Europe dates back to Neolithic times. Fiber crops are field crops grown for their fibers, which are used to make paper, cloth, or rope. Flax fibre is extracted from the bast or skin of the stem of flax plant. Flax fibre is soft, lustrous and flexible. It is stronger than cotton fibre but less elastic. The best grades are used for linen fabrics such as damasks, lace and sheeting. Coarser grades are used for the manufacturing of twine and rope. Flax fibre is also a raw material for the high-quality paper industry for the use of printed banknotes and rolling paper for cigarettes. Flax mills for spinning flaxen yarn were invented by John Kendrew and Thomas Porthouse of Darlington in 1787.

Flax seeds come in two basic varieties, brown and yellow or golden, with most types having similar nutritional values and equal amounts of short-chain omega-3 fatty acids. The exception is a type of yellow flax called Linola or solin, which has a completely different oil profile and is very low in omega-3. Although brown flax can be consumed as readily as yellow, and has been for thousands of years, it is better known as an ingredient in paints, fibre and cattle feed. Flax seeds produce a vegetable oil known as flaxseed or linseed oil; it is one of the oldest commercial oils and solvent-processed flax seed oil has been used for centuries as a drying oil in painting and varnishing.

Thursday 27 November 2008

RoundTracker V4 Window Cleaning Softwear

Mark Henderson of Window Cleaning Resources has just released the fully functional release of Roundtracker Version 4. Click the Roundtracker V4 at top of page to take you to the videos now!

Easy to navigate and intuitive to’s all there in front of you! Entering customer information is quick and easy. Unlike many software programs for window cleaners there is no need to navigate through different screens in order to access or update information. All information is there in front of you, which may at first glance look complicated, but in practice makes life easier. Pop up notes, video tutorials and online support included.

Flexible to meet the needs of your want got it! We realize that not all window cleaners manage their round in the same way. Round Tracker v4 is designed in such a way that you can use the program to generate job lists based on any number of factors and combinations by using the filter tools. Job frequency is calculated in days so it doesn’t matter if you run a 4 week or a calendar month schedule. We know that the weather can upset your schedule so rescheduling work is a piece of cake! We can even customise the program to meet your specific needs.

What will it do to help my business?........ more organised, more money! Being organised and efficient when it come to the scheduling of your work will not only help you to maintain a good reputation as being professional and reliable, but knowing exactly what jobs are to do and which jobs are priority, will also mean an increase in earnings as you make the most of your day.

Home page
The hub of the program, this is where you enter the customer info. Generate and print flexible job lists or debt lists quickly according to any criteria you wish. Customer status profile tells you the number and value of new, active, irregular or inactive customers that you have and the total monthly value of your round. Prioritise and refine your work. Include job notes or reminders to take certain equipment. Calendar view - see what round would be due on any given day in the future. Re-schedule overdue work or first time cleans. See at a glance how much is due today, due tomorrow and total outstanding in the work overview.
PDA Worksheet
Transfer your round or job list to take with you on a PDA device and update as you go. This page can also be used as a ‘notepad’ for reorganising the order jobs appear in the round. If you wish to give a job list to employees without the prices shown, you can do that here.
Income History Keep track of work done each day by transferring it to this page. Using the date filters, see immediately how much work was done on any given date or period. Include job history notes that you can refer back to (eg. said to “miss this time”, price increase, change of frequency etc.)
Simple Accounts
Keep a record of the total amount of earnings and expenses for each day. Enter how many hours you worked to be shown average hourly earnings after expenses. See from the average earnings which round is the most lucrative and which is least to help refine your work.

Full Accounts
Keep a record of all money handled, cash or cheque. Show movement of money as it is deposited in back and record expenses. This page reflects your bank statements as well as cash in hand. Using a code for each type of transaction and expense, you can quickly see how much you have spent on any given category and when as well as how much takings you received as cash, cheque or BACS payment or otherwise. Reconcile your records with your bank statements to trace bank errors or errors in your own record keeping.
Invoice Records
Create 10 invoices automatically and once printed, add them to your invoice records. Include Purchase Order numbers, supplier reference numbers if you need to. VAT is automatically calculated if you tick the box on the Home page indicating you are VAT registered. Keep a record of your invoices and when they are paid (including part payments). Set payment terms (eg. to be paid in 28 days) and when it becomes overdue the invoice shows up as being LATE.
Print Invoices
Print from 1 to 10 automatically generated invoices at a time.Professional layout based on the invoices included in our Business Stationery Templates Kit.Personalise the invoices to suit your business with a choice of logos or by using your own.Add further information to the invoice body if need be.
Quote Calculator
Put this sheet on your PDA or smart phone and use to help you quote for larger jobs.Calculate the quote based on estimated time and target hourly rate,Quote larger jobs in sections to provide quotes for specific areas of the job.
*Requires Microsoft Excel 2003 or later to be fully functional.
Free Trial Version Available

Hear what they are saying.....
"What a brilliant improvement you have made, it seems to be a lot easier to use and move around. Thank you for your time and help sorting me out. Kind Regards John."
"I've just transferred my round to it, and have to say impressed so far. Yes you can add your own logos to invoices, Stuart."
"Being able to organise the order of your jobs is a big plus for me so keep us up to date. If we have already purchased the previous version is there a discount for an upgrade?" YES!
"I'm very happy with the pre-release version and can't think of any things you could improve on! Chris."
Quick to use and extremely flexible, Round Tracker v4 is the best value for money software program for window cleaners you are likely to find. Watch the demo video and see why.

Wednesday 26 November 2008

Window Cleaning News & Videos

Please note: Viewing the videos on this blog with Google Chrome may give unsatisfactory results due to the fact that Chrome is still in its Beta testing stage & not fully functional. Thanks to all that have emailed me.

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 tips for Ettore & Unger scrubber covers in this weeks edition of "Tool Talk."

Legacy: Hyman Golden, 1923-2008: Golden and two partners founded the upstart juice-and-tea company Unadulterated Beverage, later known as Snapple, in 1972. The company helped usher in a more varied and innovative beverage industry in the United States, and Golden made more than $100 million when Snapple was sold, first to a leveraged-buyout firm and then to Quaker Oats, which paid $1.7 billion for the company in 1994. But he had to watch as Quaker Oats botched combining the company with its own operations, sold it off for a mere $300 million, and in the process turned Snapple into a synonym for a failed acquisition. Golden died September 14 from complications of a stroke. He was 85. A high school dropout and onetime window washer, he was immensely proud of Snapple's success. Golden was raised by his father, a Romanian immigrant, after his mother died when Golden was just 4. By age 40, he had graduated from washing windows to brokering window washing businesses. He saved some money and with his partners started a little juice company in Brooklyn, New York.

Cleaning Services in Australia - Companies and Markets adds new report. This is the replacement for IBISWorld´s January 2008 edition of Cleaning Services in Australia report -Industry Market Research Synopsis. This Industry Market Research report from IBISWorld provides a detailed analysis of the Cleaning Services in Australia industry, including key growth trends, statistics, forecasts, the competitive environment including market shares and the key issues facing the industry.Industry Definition; This report relates to establishments mainly engaged in providing window, building, telephone cleaning or similar cleaning services (except carpet cleaning or shampooing services, steam cleaning, or sand blasting of building exteriors).

Santa’s workshop, Palestine, Texas: To help get ready for downtown visitors, volunteers have spent countless hours decorating and cleaning, including a group of teens from area high schools and a family from Jewett. According to Mary Alice Largent, nearly two dozen members of high school Interact clubs from Cayuga, Elkhart and Palestine and the children of ETMC First Physician Clinic manager Tammy Beddingfield helped to wash windows downtown on recent weekends. Many of the window washers are planning to come back to help as elves in the workshop, she added. “It went real well,” she said. “We had fun and got a lot of windows done. We also pulled garland and made it fluffy.” Their efforts even drew the attention of professional window washers from Sky High Window Cleaning who happened to be downtown and stopped to help with particularly tough spots, Beddingfield said.

Window cleaner spotted fire: A WOMAN who left food cooking while she went out returned to find the fire brigade waiting for her. The middle-aged woman left some chicken on the hob at her home in Bingley Grove, Woodley, while she went to the shop on Tuesday, but it caught light, settting off her smoke alarm and alerting a window cleaner, who called the fire brigade. Watch manager Phil Holdford from Wokingham Road fire station said: “She went out just for a minute and when she came back we were there and the house was full of smoke. “We would like to remind people not to leave any cooking food unattended.”

Magnetite Windows announce new franchises in Tasmania and New Zealand. Magnetite Windows (Australia) have opened new franchise offices in Tasmania and New Zealand. In addition to their existing 10 franchises throughout Australia, Magnetite Windows have recently established franchises in Burnie, Auckland and Wellington. Adrian Lafleur, Managing Director of Magnetite Windows said, “The decision to expand into the Tasmanian and New Zealand markets is part of our commitment to growing the business throughout the region. These three new locations fit with our strategy of taking Magnetite to places where affordable window insulation is becoming a necessity for homeowners.” The window system from Magnetite Windows insulates against heat and cold with the added benefit of significantly reducing energy costs. Magnetite Windows utilise innovative technology to provide insulation from outside noise and heat or cold. An optical grade acrylic panel attaches magnetically to window frames, creating an air tight space, which protects against noise and maintains a constant temperature within the home. Magnetite is unobtrusive, easily removed for cleaning and available in a range of colours to ensure the aesthetics and view of the window is not compromised. Ben Lafleur and Adrian Lafleur started Magnetite Windows over 10 years ago in their garage in Sydney. They first saw the product in the North America, at a time when this type of insulation was in its infancy and traditional double glazing was almost the only option for window insulation. They anticipated the enormous potential in Australia and now have 12 franchises across Australia and New Zealand.

Another hydrophobic coating: "At Fargil, in conjunction with a major US player in the glass industry, we have developed CLEARCOTE®. An unbelievable new product that keeps your windows (and any other glass for that matter) clean, streak free and protected from the elements. No need to install new glass - CLEARCOTE® can be applied direct to your existing windows! 100% of the problem in keeping normal glass clean is due to the surface being micro-porous. This allows the water to penetrate the surface, dragging all the dirt, bacteria and limescale with it. General pollution and even the detergent's we use to 'clean' the glass, all compound the problem. When the water evaporates, the impurities are all left behind, presenting themselves as streaks, smears or smudges on the glass.Fargil's NEW CLEARCOTE® Solution puts an end to this problem and generates a protective coating that is stain and scratch resistant. CLEARCOTE® creates a surface that 'beads' the water from it. Without the porous surface, dirt cannot be deposited on the glass and simply rolls off with the water, leaving the glass clean and dry!

UK: Jealous schoolboy Russell Brand. Russell Brand got an ex-schoolmate in trouble with police because he was jealous of him. The controversial comic has admitted he gave classmate Steve Reynolds' details when he was stopped by train inspectors for dodging rail fares 18 years ago.
Window cleaner Steve - who was 15 at the time - couldn't understand why police arrived at his house and accused him of not buying a ticket until he read Russell's confession in his autobiography 'My Booky Wook'. Steve now claims Russell was envious of him because he was a hit with the girls at their school. He said: "My identical twin Mark and I got a lot of attention from girls. "Russell's fondness for ladies is well known, so maybe he's angry about that even now. But I won't hold a silly grudge." Steve - who was quizzed twice by police before the case was dropped when rail staff didn't recognise him - was previously unaware of who had set him up and said it was a relief the case can finally be laid to rest. He added: "It's great to have closure. But it's a surprise Russell didn't like me. My parents will be pleased I'm exonerated."

Killer 'chopped' his victim with sword, UK: A killer wielding a sword almost sliced his victim's head in two after a row at a party spiralled out of control, a court heard yesterday. Scott Nesbitt struck Morgan Proctor with the weapon in the street earlier this year after the father of one had gone to retrieve his teenage niece from the party in the Townhead area of Glasgow after she became afraid for her safety. Nesbitt, 23, is facing a life sentence after admitting carrying out the attack on the 38-year-old, who suffered a 27cm wound and died within moments of being hit in the early hours of 3 May. The High Court in Glasgow heard that Mr Proctor's 16-year-old niece, Khara Keogh, and her boyfriend, Andrew Duff, had been at the flat in Taylor Place. Mr Proctor had gone to the flat with a number of other men, including Ms Keogh's brother, Stephen, after she rang to say she was worried they were going to be attacked. Andrew Miller, prosecuting, said: "Witnesses describe him as carrying an object which appeared to be a sword with a blade of around two feet in length and two to three inches thick. "He was seen to run towards Morgan Proctor and swing the sword with both hands, striking him on the face."A post-mortem examination found Mr Proctor, a window cleaner, had suffered a 27cm wound, 9cm thick, which sliced across his face. Mr Miller said it caused "almost complete detachment" of the jaw from the upper face. The damage of the jugular vein and other vital arteries caused death. Nesbitt then ran off towards his home nearby, as others rushed to help Mr Proctor. The court heard that, despite the emergency services being called, Mr Proctor died almost instantly.

Makateb consolidates portfolio of 'lifestyle-oriented' office building services with entry of leading international facilities management firm. Makateb Holding, the first Office Building Operator Company in the world, has announced that it has recently established a partnership with Sungwon, the pioneering Facility Management Company in South Korea, to be the Facilities Management Division of Makateb Holding. The partnership sustains Makateb Holding's expanding operations across the UAE as the company takes advantage of the country's huge growth potential amid the surge in construction projects all over the country. The partnership with Sungwon will enable Makateb Holding to deliver a full range of integrated Facilities Management services, including consultancy services, mechanical and electrical maintenance, lifecycle costing, energy management, cleaning, security services, landscape maintenance, window cleaning and building maintenance. Furthermore, the partnership will reinforce Makateb Holding's portfolio of services that are based on a revolutionary new concept that enhances the working environment and delivers optimum business value to office building tenants.
"Makateb Holding is consolidating its portfolio in accordance with the company's commitment to address emerging and future requirements of the business community, particularly among office building tenants. Sungwon OBO has been widely recognised for its world-class Facilities Management services, which is clearly manifested by its impressive client portfolio that includes some of the most prestigious organisations in South Korea and the Middle East region. The company boasts of 35 years of operations, with 3,000 employees and a portfolio of more than thousand projects. This partnership will definitely reinforce our market stronghold and allow us to deliver a wider range of services and maintain the high level of satisfaction of our clients," said Hisham Abdel Ghani, Chairman, Makateb Holding.

Tuesday 25 November 2008

The Carbon Fiber Ladder

About the Cima Ladder: We found on this object a good opportunity to show the capabilities and amazing properties of composites materials. A useful and important object with a simple function, but with a lot of meaning behind it. We built the ladder around 3 major inspirations: Lightness: strip the ladder from the heavy look, from the complex assembly of a standard ladder to a simple and light shape. Functionally the weight of a ladder is a main factor. From our calculation our ladder weight is less than a kilogram. Paradox: between the outside shape and the inner shape, between the strength and the lightness, between the pure functionality and the pure aesthetics. Climb: like climbing a tree, brings us closer to the basic nature of climbing up to reach the top, climbing as a metaphor of growth and self elevation in life.

The manufacture of the ladder is produced in a single piece using the monocoque technique, similar to that used in bicycle frames. The material used is a carbon fibre composite. The continuous shape and the closed frame spread the forces in all directions. This study of form added to the high strength of the carbon fiber and allowed an extra thin and light ladder of only 1 Kg. The fact that the finished ladder works as a single piece makes the ladder more stable during the lifetime avoiding rattle of assembly parts.
The composite materials gives us the opportunity to re-think and redefine the ladder, to come out of the closet and stand proudly in the salon of the house. This way of re-thinking the ladder brings life to a normally unnoticed but important tool that goes beyond the pure function.

Monday 24 November 2008

Window Cleaning Radio

Franchise Interviews is hosted by Marty McDermott and Don Johnson. If you have ever dreamed about owning your own business, this is the show for you! Marty McDermott is a Business Professor at Kaplan University. Marty has a BS in Marketing, an MBA in International Business and a Post-MBA in Entrepreneurial Studies from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Marty is considered an expert in entrepreneurship and franchising. Don Johnson is the President of Diamond Financial Services of New Jersey and owner of Franchise Interviews. Diamond Financial Services specializes in SBA lending for small and medium-sized businesses. Don is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University and is considered an expert in franchising.

Franchise Interviews: Marty McDermott is meeting with Chad Kunkel, owner to the franchise Fish Window Cleaning. Next time you get in your car, look at all the windows around you: from storefronts, restaurants, office buildings, schools, houses, and strip malls. Businesses and homes all have one thing in common, windows that get dirty. Not only do they need to be cleaned today, but again next week, next month, and next year. Since 1978, Fish Window Cleaning has made keeping these windows clean their business. Click the "blogtalkradio" picture to take you to the Fish franchise 1 hour interview.

Click the picture of Carolyn Monaghan to listen to the radio interview as she hangs over the edge of the ABC building in East Perth, ready to take on the life of a window cleaner. It appears to be a job for thrillseekers, abseiling down buildings, washing windows, and looing inside at the workers inside. And it's what Ken Hitchings does for a living. "I come from a background of a cleaning business and I had two brothers that went into window cleaning," he explains. "At 17 I walked into it and 21 years later I'm still here!" The highest he's been up "on cradles, is 76 storeys. Abseiling, the legal limit is usually around 20 storeys." And it's abseiling that seems to be the most fun. "We just jump over the side and off we go," Ken enthuses, "I have a lot of fun doing it - swinging around and watching the goldfish bowl inside."
And, the sights inside that goldfish bowl can sometimes be distracting. "I've caught a few people out," Ken reveals, "a few guys on early morning internet, and I came across Elle MacPherson in '91 on the Regent Hotel in Sydney - she came up to the window and was in a bit of a lingerie outfit. No one believes me, but it's true. She's like 'hello' and I'm like 'hello!' Took me a while to wash the window!"
That may not be the reason why, but our reporter Carolyn Monaghan then offers to enrol in the job. "I always say women are better abseilers than most guys because they're more flexible," Ken encourages. She comes across one problem though. It's with the chest harness. "I think my chest is larger than yours," she laughingly tells Ken. "They're not built for women!" She eventually gets off the ground. "This is quite fun actually. I'm, only a little way up but I think that's enough for me! "I'm just going to do a little bit of window washing..." "Too slow and missed a spot," is Ken's assessment of Carolyn's efforts. "We'll have to train you up!"

Sunday 23 November 2008

Cleaning French - What a Pane!

French windows, colonials, Georgian, cut-ups, splits or whatever you want to call them - don't you just hate 'em? The first video shows Sörbo Samuelsson showing us his especially adapted Sörbo squeegee that takes the pain away. Don Marsh - "the king of podcasts" shows us his excellent review on pole-ing those puckers. And finally a beginner shows us just how hard it can be.

Finally we have a few views of how to water fed pole those suckers. First up is Seth Fenderstock of Windows Only from Washington D.C., secondly Brett Williams of New Albany Window Cleaning & third, Duke of Cotswold Cleaning & maintenance.

Saturday 22 November 2008

The Window Cleaning Extra

Queenstown, NZ: Mike Legge reckons being a real-life showbiz bit-player can be just as bizarre as anything from hit TV comedy Extras. The Queenstown window cleaner has landed a bucketful of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearances in megabuck movies and TV adverts filmed in the Wakatipu during the last 20 years. But unlike the hapless wannabe character Andy Millman, played by funnyman Ricky Gervais in Extras, down-to-earth Legge treats his acting sideline as a bit of a laugh. “Put it this way, the money from the movies has enabled me to become a window cleaner,” he jokes. The 48-year-old has seen it all while on set. He chuckles when recalling how one of his walk-on pals halted filming of the 1988 Val Kilmer sword-and-sorcery flick Willow.
Scenes were shot near Glenorchy and Legge remembers Hollywood director Ron Howard tearing his hair out when a big fight scene suddenly went pear-shaped. “Just after the action began, Ron suddenly yelled ‘Cut’,” he explains. “He then came over and told us ‘that was good, guys, but I don’t think anyone in the middle of a battle would start waving to the camera’.” “It turned out one of the extras wanted to say ‘Hi mum’. There’s always one.” Legge also shudders at a run-in with a temperamental luvvie while shooting a TV commercial for Harpic bathroom cleaner at a house in Dalefield last year. “It was a 10-second role where I had to pretend to be blinded by the light of a sparkling toilet and then fall to the floor while pulling down a curtain,” he says. “But the director was acting like he was making a major movie and wasn’t happy with my performance.” “We must have done about 300 takes and he kept saying things like ‘what’s your motivation?’ and ‘you’re not giving me enough’. He adds: “The truth is when it appeared on TV, if you didn’t concentrate really hard you wouldn’t even have seen it at all.”
Legge – who’s on the books of Queenstown-based ICAN Models & Talent agency – has had a few disappointments. He was gutted to discover his appearance as a spear-chucking warrior in Willow had hit the cutting-room floor. And in the 2001 climbing flick The Vertical Limit, which starred Chris O’Donnell and was shot on the Remarkables, Legge simply couldn’t recognise himself in any scenes because “all the extras in it had beards and looked exactly the same”.
But the married dad-of-one had better luck with a fleeting performance in the 2007 family film The Water Horse, when he finally got to watch himself in action on the big screen playing a British soldier. “You could say that over the years I’m slowly getting more and more exposure,” he grins.

Originally from Auckland, Legge arrived in Queenstown in 1984 – after failing to get into drama school in Wellington. For many years, he worked as a kitchen hand while writing musicals and plays, as well as performing standup comedy in local pubs. In 2000 he moved to England to be with his now wife Kate, where he had a five-year spell washing dishes at world-famous Windsor Castle, a residence of the Queen, before returning home in 2005. “I used to enjoy standing on the castle battlements in my apron and rubber gloves and imagining I was one of the Royal Family.” He hopes to land a part in The Hobbit, the much-anticipated follow-up to the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. “I missed out on Lord of the Rings when some of it was filmed in Queenstown because I was in the UK at the time,” he says. “I’m determined to make up for it by appearing in The Hobbit ... but I might have to lose a bit of height for that one.”

Friday 21 November 2008

Grim Window Cleaning News

Ayrshire, Scotland: Michael Dorrans claims he has been forced out of the window cleaning business by rogues. The Crosshouse handyman says he can’t compete against undercutting, unlicensed and uninsured window cleaners. The father-of-three, said: “I can’t afford to feed my family from making an honest living by cleaning windows.” Michael understands that householders are choosing the cheaper service in a bid to save cash during the credit crunch. But he is furious that the council is failing to stamp out on the rogue window cleaners. Michael, who runs his own company Handymen Services, is registered and licensed through East Ayrshire Council. He has been police checked and pays every three years for a licence to work in the area. The fed-up 44 year old handed his window cleaning licence back in disgust to East Ayrshire Council bosses this week. He is planning to simply concentrate on his handyman work now. Michael says he had recently lost 40 window cleaning customers to unlicensed men working for “small change or beer money”. He said: “I’d try to work an hourly rate of £7.50 so I’d make £70 for about a 10-hour day. “It was long hours for not a great deal of money. “I’d built up a good customer base but I found I was being over run by unlicensed operators pushing for business. They were undercutting every time.” Michael claims that dodgy window cleaners have no fear of the EAC enforcement officers, who check their licence to trade, and simply avoid them. A public register of all licensed window cleaners can be viewed by contacting the Civic Government licensing section at EAC’s headquarters. A council spokesman said: “Any person found to be operating without a licence will be reported to police.” Previous blog on licensed cleaners here.

A Newhall window cleaner has been given a three-year prison sentence after a police sting on his home uncovered drugs and cash worth almost £22,000. John Balfour, 52, of Manton Close, made almost £69,000 profit from drug dealing, prosecution barrister Sarah Allen told Derby Crown Court during a sentencing hearing yesterday. The court was told how police raided Balfour's home on January 16 as part of Operation Duck - a series of drug raids across South Derbyshire. They found more than 1.6kg of amphetamine in his home and outbuildings with an estimated street value of £20,870 and 31 blister packs of Viagra, along with £6,023 in cash and 390 Euros. Officers also found bin bags, sandwich bags with ties, kitchen foil and weighing scales, with evidence the scales had been recently used to weigh out amphetamine. Despite admitting possessing the drugs at an earlier hearing, Balfour denied they were his and yesterday told the court that he was looking after them for someone else. He said the cash came from his work as a window cleaner, a compensation payout after the death of his coal mining father from industrial disease in the 1990s, and money he had received from his brother, George, by way of inheritance after he bought his father's house.

Grand Junction, Colorado: Window Cleaner (pictured) Allen Grabe is jailed in Mesa County on $1 million bond. He was arrested on allegations of repeatedly shooting and killing his son, Jacob, 13, as the boy slept in his bedroom at the family’s home late Sept. 11. Shortly after a first volley of shots were fired, Allen Grabe allegedly told his wife, Jacob’s mother, “I had to kill him because you were ruining him,” according to an arrest affidavit. Grabe allegedly returned to his son’s bedroom and continued firing. Mesa County Sheriff’s deputies arriving at the home found Grabe sitting on the front porch clutching a revolver — he laid the gun down saying, “I give up” when approached by deputies. A family friend has described the Grabes as devout Christians who regularly attended a small church in Whitewater, while Allen Grabe ran a local window washing business. His son, who had been treated for a mild form of autism, occasionally went with his father on jobs, according business owners who used Grabe’s window services. Jaquette Grabe told arresting officers on Sept. 11 that several financial stressors had recently come up. Grabe is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Dec. 31 on charges of first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death.

A prolific burglar who targeted the elderly has been jailed for six years. Paul O'Hare, 34, posed as a window cleaner or odd-job man to trick his way into pensioners' homes. Maidstone Crown Court heard he struck at three homes in the space of a week in October. At the time he had just been released on licence from a three-year prison sentence imposed for similar burglaries. O'Hare, said to be addicted to heroin and cocaine, stole a purse containing £150 from one couple and conned a 93-year-old Gillingham woman into handing over her bank debit card and PIN number. During the third burglary in Chatham, O'Hare had already been paid £100 for tidying up a backyard when he helped himself to a further £130 and house keys from the 73-year-old homeowner's coat. Jailing him today Judge Philip Statman said O'Hare, of Meadowbank Road, Chatham had caused his victims "untold distress". The court heard that O'Hare committed the offences to feed his drug habit, and in the past has been given help by the courts through drug treatment orders. O'Hare admitted three charges of burglary and asked for another committed at the home of an 85-year-old woman in Rochester on September 30 to be taken into consideration. He was sentenced to six years concurrent for each of the three burglaries.

A Belfast window cleaner with a "simply appalling" driving record has been sentenced to three years in prison. Judge Derek Rodgers told window cleaner Andrew Paul Morrow, 30, of Ardoyne Road, Belfast: "This is as bad as it gets, as far as driving is concerned." Morrow was arrested on 9 February following reports of a car doing hand-brake turns in the Forthriver estate. At one point he drove on the wrong side of the Woodvale Road forcing a motorist to swerve to avoid a collision. A Crown lawyer said Morrow's car collided with two other vehicles resulting in the occupants of those cars sustaining minor injuries. The court heard that when police arrived at the scene, they saw a car driven by Morrow travelling at speed along the Woodvale Road and driving through a red traffic light. Officers used flashing lights and sirens in a bid to stop Morrow but he proceeded along the Shankill Road. The car finally came to a halt after colliding with a telephone junction box close to Tennant Street. As police apprehended Morrow, he climbed into the passenger seat. He proceeded to head-butt a constable during arrest and gave false details to police. Morrow also refused to provide a specimen of breath when he was taken to the police station. During interviews, he admitted to several offences including dangerous driving, driving whilst unfit and assaulting a police officer. He told officers he had no recollection of what had happened. The prosecution lawyer said Morrow had 118 entries on his criminal record, 74 of which are driving related.

A WINDOW cleaner found in Colne centre with a knife stuffed down his sock has been spared an immediate jail term. Drug addict Russell Peter Stansfield had also stolen from a woman customer on his round after she allowed him to use her toilet, Pennine magistrates heard. The defendant, who had never been in trouble before, admitted theft in a house, possessing a knife blade in public, failing to surrender to bail and damage. Stansfield (33), of Albert Road, Colne, was given 12 weeks in jail, suspended for a year, with supervision, and must pay £92 compensation and £80 costs. Mr Stephen Parker (prosecuting) said the defendant took a razor from the customer who had helped him in the past and breached her trust. Police received reports of a man said to be carrying a knife in Colne at 3 p.m. When Standfield was searched in Market Street an eight-inch bladed kitchen knife was found down his sock. Stansfield told police he had been to his parents' home to collect his washing, found the knife on a barbecue in the back yard and put it down his sock on the way home. The defendant had also broken a window at a woman's home. He claimed to police she had invited him round to watch a DVD but would not let him in and he punched the window in temper when he saw her with another man. Mr Nick Cassidy (defending) said custody would be at the forefront of the court's mind but Stansfield could be allowed to work with the probation service. He had a drug problem which he had been able to control, but it had taken grip recently. Stansfield had had no intention to steal from the customer when he went to her home and regretted his actions. Mr Cassidy added the defendant, who had been living in a Colne guest house, had used the knife to open a bag of laundry at his parents' home. The solicitor added: "He had a hole in his pocket so that's why he put it in his sock."

Window cleaner jailed: A window cleaner who took part in a series of distraction raids on shops has been jailed for four years. John Wallis was part of a gang which targeted small businesses in towns throughout the country and took thousands of pounds of cash and goods. At Newcastle Crown Court the 35-year-old, of Azalea Terrace South, Sunderland, admitted nine charges of burglary which happened over a nine month period between October 2007 and May 2008.
Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court: "The defendant was part of a team of four or five. "The Crown say the offences display a degree of planning and professionalism. "In each offence Wallis was involved in distracting the shop keeper or assistant while another member of the group stole goods or cash." The court heard stores in Lincolnshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire were raided. And on April 13 a Spar store in Doncaster was targeted, where £2,000 worth of cigarettes were stolen from a rear store room. Mr Recorder William Lowe sentenced Wallis to three-and-a-half years behind bars. The court heard Wallis had served a previous sentence for similar offending but had found work cleaning windows after his release. The judge told him: "The was series of professional burglaries, planned, and inolved obtaining a substantial quantity of cash and cigarettes from small businesses whcih have to struggle anyway to make a living."
Hulk Hogan refuses to pay window cleaning bill: Linda Bollea, wife of wrestler Hulk Hogan, is out of money despite receiving $40,000 a month in temporary alimony payments. "They have to tell me why she's out of money. They have to show me in bank statements," said Ann Loughridge Kerr. In August, both sides in the divorce agreed Linda Bollea would get temporary alimony payments of $40,000 per month. Terry Bollea also agreed to pay some monthly costs like repair and maintenance of their home on Willadel Drive, where Linda now lives. But Linda Bollea's side said the husband is refusing to pay for cable, pest control, window washing and their security system. Greer told Terry Bollea's attorneys their client should pay the cable, pest control and window washing bills, but not the security system payments. That is not Terry Bollea's responsibility, he said.

Thursday 20 November 2008

Hispanic Window Cleaning Videos

A few more videos for you, this time with a Spanish flavour. "Mr. Sanchez" shows us how to detail with a huck/surgical towel. That moustache gets bigger on every outing!

Mmm, an old window cleaning video "remastered," oh dear.

Limpiezas Dalt Vila work in Ibiza, the next island down from me but still in the Balearics. Shown here cleaning hotel partition windows.

This is a very quick video of myself using a 30" Wagtail squeegee before the video gave up. You can see how efficient this tool is on cleaning plate glass & floor to ceiling residential.

Wednesday 19 November 2008

The Ettore Contour Pro

The Ettore Contour Pro is featured in todays Blog. More & more window cleaners are coming to respect this marvelous handle from Ettore that must have been around now for a good 18 months. Another great installment below from Mark Strange of "Beautiful View" from Toronto, Canada who gives us a few more unbiased reviews of this product in the window cleaners workplace. Now all we need is one that takes a clip-less channel! Click on the picture above to read the features.

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