Friday 31 December 2010

Brushing Away The Flies & Cobwebs For 2011 - A Philosophy

The Wisdom of Futility: Are You Trying to Break Through a Closed Window? (By Alex Pattakos): Buzz Buzz Buzz - there's another fly banging against a closed window... Have you ever seen a dead fly on a windowsill? Sure you have. At one time or another, I bet that you've also seen a fly buzzing so frantically against a closed window that it looked like it was trying to escape from prison. Drawn by the seductive light outside and fixated on what seemed to be its one and only path to freedom, the fly eventually succumbed to forces greater than its own. Ironically, many of these poor souls - and I'm still talking about flies- - appear completely unaware that there were other "escape" routes available to them, such as an open door or window on the other side of the same room!

Although I've freed many flies from captivity over the years, I've also witnessed the remains of many who obviously weren't so fortunate. Indeed, it doesn't take long for many windowsills, especially around spring cleaning time, to look like graveyards for flies whose lives ended tragically and prematurely due to basic instincts that did not in the final analysis serve their best interests or highest good. Existentially-challenged, flies don't have the capacity to learn from experience, gain insight into their personal circumstances, and grow or consciously evolve as a result. Flies, in other words, appear to be doomed to repeat their past mistakes no matter what or how dire the consequences!

Now think about how the fly and the behavior just described represent so much of life as it is lived by us - human beings. As we begin 2011 this kind of thought-provoking exercise is especially fitting and may help to put those "New Year Resolutions," along with the stresses and challenges at this time of year, into their proper context. Imagine for a moment that you are now staring at a dead fly on a windowsill. What thoughts or images about life in general and about your life in particular fill your mind? I'm not asking you to become the character played by Jeff Goldblum in the 1986 movie, "The Fly," only to reflect upon what life from a fly's perspective may have to do with the meaning of your life.

Let me try to jumpstart your thinking. I think that we all can agree that the fly expended or exhausted all of its life energy on a futile, joyless undertaking. Let's face it, there was no way that the fly was going to break through the closed glass window, even though the view from outside may have been very attractive and seductive. Whatever the fly's "vision" at the time, there was no way that it was going to achieve its ultimate aim. Metaphorically-speaking the windowsill became the fly's "field of dreams" that would never be realized. Despite the fly's unrelenting, Herculean efforts to reach its goal on the other side of the window, freedom proved to be an illusion that was out of reach. Indeed, unbeknownst to the fly, things are not always what they seem! And, sadly, because it is incapable of stopping, listening and learning from its predicament, it isn't able to take corrective action that may save and extend its life.

So what does this little fly teach us about life? To be sure, we all know people who live their lives like this fly did! You know, people trying to get "out" through a closed window. We may even know people who "died" in mind, body, and/or spirit trying to do so! What seemed like a desirable "exit strategy," one that promised true freedom and a better quality of life, proved not to be one after all. These poor souls (now I am referring to people not flies) invested everything they had into getting through the closed window but were only able to die trying. And like the fly who died on the windowsill, these individuals, despite giving all they had, ended up leaving it on their field of dreams unfulfilled; that is, on the windowsill of life.

Fortunately, we are not flies even if we sometimes behave like one. As humans, we do have the innate capacity to learn, to be creative, and to grow in productive, meaningful ways. Whereas the fly never heard someone say, "Hey fly, you cannot get through that window, it's crazy to keep trying, so why don't you try the door or something else," I suspect that over the course of our lives, each of us has received such guidance from someone at some time. Moreover, because we are blessed with reasoning (i.e., critical thinking) and creative abilities, we've also been able to navigate our way through life's challenges and learn practical lessons along the way. These life lessons, in turn, provide a platform for future thinking and action enabling us to learn and grow further as a result. As we know, flies do not have such capacity and therefore don't share the same manifest destiny as humans, unless of course the latter choose to behave like flies!

Unlike the fly who saw the window as a way out and was determined to go through the window even if it killed it (and it did kill it), we have not only the freedom of will, but also a will to meaning that, if we use these powerful and uniquely human resources, can lead us to unlimited possibilities. And while we may not always have control over the circumstances within which we find ourselves, we always have the ultimate freedom to choose how we will respond to them, even if only through our choice of attitude. Fortunately, in most cases, we can do more than simply exercise the freedom to choose our attitude towards a situation confronting us. Unlike the fly, we have options; that is, creative license to find alternatives to the closed windows that separate and prevent us from where we'd like to go. Equipped with the benefits of faith and reason, we can get to our destination even if it means rethinking our strategy and taking a course that is much different and maybe less obvious than the window to nowhere. And because we are human, we have the added benefit of enjoying and discovering the deeper meaning of the journey too. So as 2011 begins, let it be the year you, like the fly, don't die on the windowsill of life. Instead, let 2011 be your year to explore other options, other routes, and live life to the fullest.

Our opinions shape attitude toward life, other people (by Beth Pratt): I’m not a horror movie watcher, but I can guess that serving up a gigantic spider to catch human-sized prey is almost certainly a feature of some such film. Until the north wind blows decisively colder weather our way, we find it difficult to walk outside without tangling with some remnant of a spider’s web. Only our size enables us to escape the silky, sticky bond.

Daily brushing away of the webs does not deter the spider from spinning the filament again a few hours later in the same location. I’m not particularly afraid of spiders, but I do like to keep my distance from the wolf spider and the tarantula because they can jump. I really hate to get a near-invisible piece of the web wrapped around an arm or in my hair when I inadvertently walk through one of their lines cast from whatever object is handy to a plant, an outside chair or door.

Suddenly, I begin to feel as if spiders are crawling on my head or my neck although I’ve never found that to be the case. The spider is generally more afraid of me than vice versa. Both of us want nothing more than to be left alone by the other, I’m sure. Once a garden spider glues its woven birthing sack to the window frame, there is little that can dislodge it. That garden spider is a master weaver. No stream of water from a hose will dislodge the silken bed that cradles its offspring. Thus, in the fall, window cleaning becomes a more tedious chore.

I was thinking of that spider’s tenacity in protecting its progeny when it occurred to me that we weave similar protections around our own opinions with silken threads of certainty. Those opinions, right or wrong, shape our attitude toward other people and life in general. We typically value our opinions over factual information and resist what might dislodge or reshape our longstanding opinions. That can be good or bad, depending on how we arrived at our opinion. Interestingly, the opinions we cling to most tightly may be borrowed from others, the result of emotional attachment rather than the result of our own observations or inquiry.

Our human nature is more often to seek comfort in what we believe to be the known rather than to ask too many questions. We fear stepping into the realm of the unknown or the untried. Thus, it is no mystery that it takes the extreme pain of crisis to move us beyond the our opinions of the moment to seek truth.. We really do prefer to let someone else take the risk of being wrong. One of the more ridiculous attitudes that has developed is that truth is relative. In other words, I can have my truth and you can have your truth with both equal in value.

Not so. In a free society, we grant each other the right to disagree, but that right does not mean that truth does not matter. Half-truths are the basic design of all propaganda meant to shape opinion in favor of some political or personal end. That is because it is so much easier to deceive people when you include just enough of a familiar concept, combining it into a persuasive argument to achieve your goal.

Many years ago we talked to an insurance salesman who sold us on taking out a small life insurance policy for each of our preschoolers. We had questions. He had answers. But it wasn’t until we received the policy and read the small print that we realized he had told us what he thought would sell the policy rather than answering truthfully. We canceled the policy immediately, citing the misinformation we were given. Because the company was an ethical business, our money was returned. We learned from that experience a similar lesson to what my dad had told me about the Bible when I was young – “Don’t take someone’s word for what it says. Read it for yourself.” In other words, don’t derive your opinions or take action based entirely on what someone says, but on personal knowledge and study. Then, when you hear various interpretations, you can judge the value by what you know to be true.

My dad enjoyed hearing what others thought. He was humble about his considerable knowledge. He thought people who went to college or seminary knew more. Some did, most didn’t. The late Arnold Maeker reminded me of my dad. He had that gentle spirit and knowledge of spiritual matters. His office was across the street from The A-J for years. When time allowed, we would occasionally have long discussions about the state of religion versus faith.

Maeker and his partner designed the worship space at my church, which was built in the mid-1960s. Later, I learned the respect in which he was held in local, state and national Baptist life. He was a wise and good man. I could name others of similar character and influence who crossed my path during the 25 years as religion editor, but the point is the importance of understanding the difference between opinion and truth. Opinion should change with credible evidence. Truth is unchanging. Real truth-seekers do not fear engaging in the conversation because they are bigger than the web of deceit that is ever present and practiced in the world.

Thursday 30 December 2010

New Year Resolutions For Window Cleaners

11 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Do in 2011: 2011 is just around the corner! So while you prepare your hats and horns don’t forget to plan your entrepreneurial journey for the coming year. There are 365 spankin’ new days laying in front of you, ones you can mold and tweak to be whatever you please if you’re willing to put in the hard work and the determination now! In 2011 I’m going big or going home and I suggest you do the same. Maybe you’ve been sitting on the bench for years, maybe you’ve been racked with anxiety or fear in the past, whatever your reasons for not starting something amazing – for not trying to carve your life into your ideal existence – it’s time to throw all those excuses in the trash and make this coming year like none before it.
  • Chase breakthroughs.
  • Do. More. Video.
  • Slim down.
  • Think Bigger.
  • Stop chasing your passion.
  • Grow your team.
  • Change your scenery.
  • Become a student, again.
  • Visualize your future.
  • Focus, focus, focus.
  • Set 3 goals.

2011 Small Business Resolutions Focus on Building Marketing Muscle: Deluxe sponsored a national small business survey earlier this year that found marketing is a primary challenge, with nearly 80 percent of entrepreneurs expressing frustration about how to make marketing work for their businesses. "Resolving to strengthen your business' marketing program can make the difference between a strong bottom line and a weak one."
  • Find a Coach.
  • Establish a Routine.
  • Measure Your Progress.
  • Find Balance.
  • Stay Motivated.

Five Financial Goals for the New Year: The new year is fast approaching and it is a great time to set some resolutions. You should set small realistic goals to help you to achieve your larger goals. You may want to start with a large goal such as buying a house or retiring early and then look at the things you will need to do to reach that larger goal. You should set your smaller goals on those things rather than a broader less specific goal. Here is a list of five financial goals that you should consider doing this year.
  • Start to Budget.
  • Get Out of Debt.
  • Start Saving Money.
  • Learn About Money and Finances.
  • Begin Investing. 
The new year is almost here, and the past one has no doubt been a challenge. However, 2010 gives you the opportunity to revamp your mission and refresh your procedures. Now is the time to re-evaluate your business and decide which new goals you should set in order to strengthen your operations and become more profitable. Here are five New Year’s resolutions you can make to ensure 2010 is your best year yet:
  • Embrace energy-efficient technology.
  • Amp up customer service.
  • Brand your company.
  • Anticipate changes and keep an open mind.
  • Make team appreciation a focused, regular occurrence

5 New Year’s Resolutions You Should Make at Work: Whether you’re the CEO, department manager or new employee, making goals for the upcoming year is a great way to revamp your job efficiency. In addition to your personal New Year’s resolutions, you should also be thinking about what professional goals you have for 2011. Not sure where to start? No problem. Here are five areas you could start to perfect:
  • Get technologically savvy.
  • Stay organized.
  • Perfect your presentation skills.
  • Get fit for business.
  • Make time to meet & greet.

7 Important Questions To Ask Yourself Before The Year Ends: It’s December again and the year is coming to an end! How do you feel? Excited? Eager to see what’s in store for the new year? For myself personally, I love Decembers because it’s the time when I take a breather, look back and see how the year has been. I just did my year end review yesterday, and I’m extremely excited...
  • On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with 2010?
  • Why did you score that way?
  • What are your biggest accomplishments this year?
  • What are the biggest lessons you learned this year?
  • What are your biggest goals that you want to achieve next year?
  • What new habits do you want to cultivate?
  • What are your immediate next steps to achieve them?
*You can read my personal goals in the WCRA forum here.

Wednesday 29 December 2010

Greek Safety Rules Ignored In Cleaner’s Fatal Fall

Safety rules ignored in cleaner’s fatal fall: A window cleaner who fell to his death while working at a government building did not have social insurance and safety rules had not been followed, the Labor Inspectorate confirmed yesterday without giving details about what action would be taken against the contractor that employed the father of four. Asiz Emad, an Egyptian immigrant, died on December 19 died after losing his balance and falling from the third floor of the Labor Ministry’s general administration building. His death only came to light when Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) MP Michalis Kritsotakis tabled a question in Parliament on December 23 about the incident.

In its first official statement on the subject, the Labor Inspectorate, which is responsible for ensuring labor laws and safety regulations are adhered to, said yesterday that in Emad’s case, the rules had not been followed. “According to initial information, the deceased fell from the third floor to the ground due to the lack of safety measures… which indicates a breach in health and safety regulations,” the inspectorate said. It also confirmed that Emad’s social security contributions were not being paid by the contractor employing him. The Labor Inspectorate did not name the company involved but said that it had notified it to give its version of events. Legal action will be launched after that.

“The responsibility of the contractor is great and it needs to be punished swiftly and strictly,” said New Democracy MP Yiannis Vroutsis, who is the party’s labor and social insurance spokesman. “But the responsibilities of the Labor Ministry are also great.” The Attica Union of Cleaners (PEKOP) is demanding that the government explain why Emad was working on a Sunday when the contract with the ministry stipulated the cleaning would take place on weekdays. PEKOP also wants to know why no record was kept of the cleaners’ presence in the building and why Emad had no social insurance.

Cleaners protest ministry death: Members of a cleaners’ union are due to protest outside the Labor Ministry on Korai Street in central Athens at 6 p.m. today to demand answers from the government about the circumstances in which a father of four died while cleaning the building’s windows earlier this month. Asiz Emad, an Egyptian immigrant, died on December 19 died after losing his balance and falling from the third floor of the Labor Ministry. His death only came to light when Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) MP Michalis Kritsotakis tabled a question in Parliament on December 23 about the window cleaner’s death. The Labor Inspectorate, which operates under the auspices of the Labor Ministry, told Kathimerini yesterday that it did not make an announcement at the time because the employee who would have dealt with the matter was on vacation.

The Labor Inspectorate said that legal action had been launched against the contractor responsible for cleaning the building. If found guilty of breaking the law, the company would be excluded from bidding for state contracts for the next three years. However, the Attica Union of Cleaners (PEKOP) is demanding that the government explain why Emad was working on a Sunday when the contract with the ministry stipulated the cleaning would take place on weekdays between 4 and 9 p.m. Also, the ministry building is officially kept closed on the weekend, so the unionists are asking for information about who let the cleaners in. PEKOP also wants to know why no record was kept of the cleaners’ presence in the building and why Emad had no social insurance.

Constantina Kuneva, the Bulgarian cleaner disfigured in an acid attack in December 2008, was PEKOP’s general secretary at the time. Her plight had highlighted the operation of several cleaning companies who employ mostly immigrants without abiding by labor laws or paying their social security contributions.

Tuesday 28 December 2010

Window Cleaners Hidden Death, Fuzzy Endorsement & Wage Legislation

Greek ministry 'covered up Egyptian window cleaner death: Greece's labour ministry came under fire on Tuesday for allegedly covering up the death of an Egyptian window cleaner in a fatal fall at one of its buildings over a week ago. Greek newspapers said the ministry was keeping mum on the death of Asiz Emad who died on December 19 after losing his balance and falling from the third floor of the ministry's central offices in Athens. "The labour ministry has blood on its windows," charged left-wing Avgi daily.
The greater Athens union of cleaners (Pekop) has accused the ministry of trying to cover up Emad's death and demanded to know why the father of four was working on a Sunday in violation of his contract. A protest is to be held outside the ministry on Wednesday. The ministry could not be reached for comment. A spokesman for the state labour inspectorate told Kathimerini daily that legal action has been initiated against the cleaning contractor.
In a break with usual practice, no announcement was made on Emad's death because the competent employee was on vacation, the inspectorate said. Over 60 people have been officially recorded as work-related casualties in Greece this year, Communist daily Rizospastis said.

Mayor John Peyton, Celebrity Endorser? Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton has another accomplishment to add to his resume, that of celebrity endorser. The mayor, who will leave office next summer, appeared in print ads for Krystal Klean, a Jacksonville company that provides pressure washing and window washing services, over the Christmas weekend. The ad, which ran in the Florida Times-Union on December 24, 26 and 27, apparently took the mayor by surprise.
"When the workers were present they asked to take a photo and get his feedback to use as a testament to their work with potential new customers," said Jennifer Savage, a spokesman for the mayor's office. The mayor, it seems, didn't intend for his personal testimony to be used as advertisement for the company. His spokesman said he's asked the company to refrain from running the ad in the future.

Paterson vetoes prevailing wage legislation: MAYVILLE - A veto signed Thursday by Governor David Paterson was good news to Chautauqua County IDA Director Bill Daly. The legislation, which had passed the state Senate and Assembly, would have broadened prevailing wage requirements for contract service workers at public agencies. That wouldn't have been beneficial for the state as a whole, Daly said prior to the veto. "This was a wonderful, wonderful early Christmas present for the people in the state of New York," Daly said Thursday. "For the workers in the state of New York, for job seekers, for our economy - it sends a big message."
In specific, the legislation would have required utility companies and public agencies such as IDAs to pay prevailing wages to services workers such as janitors, security guards, handymen, gardeners and window cleaners. After having passed the Senate, the legislation subsequently passed the Assembly and continued on to Paterson. On Dec. 2, Daly sent a mass e-mail explaining his opposition and calling on people to petition the governor for a veto. "All the pressure from IDAs, economic development, business councils and not-for-profits paid off," Daly said after the veto.
Several vetoes were actually signed by Paterson regarding the issue - the Senate's version, the Assembly's version and the chapter amendments. "In sum," Paterson writes in the veto message, "while I respect and admire the intentions of the sponsors and supporters of this legislation, I fear its impact on the economic well-being of our state at a particularly perilous moment."

Monday 27 December 2010

Weather Outlook For Window Cleaners Looks Grim

Heavy snow is set to return to parts of the UK over the next two days, the Met Office has warned. The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for today, with showers likely to add to snow already lying in northern England, Scotland and Wales. Meteorologists expect the situation to deteriorate during the early hours of Tuesday morning, as a band of snow moves across the country. London, the West Midlands, Yorkshire, the south-east, north-west, north-east, east and south-west of England are facing the prospect of 10cm of snow, with 15cm expected on higher ground.
The snow and plummeting temperatures mean further disruption across the travel network is likely, with icy roads set to be a major problem all over the country. This month is on course to become the coldest December in the UK since records began, following on from the lowest ever Christmas Day temperature of -18.2C at Altnaharra in Scotland.

Storm brings blizzard conditions: A blizzard warning, which is issued when snow is accompanied by sustained winds or gusts over 35 mph for three hours, was in effect early Monday from Delaware to the far northern tip of Maine. The storm was expected to bring its heaviest snowfall in the pre-dawn hours Monday, sometimes dumping 2 to 4 inches an hour. A total of 12 to 16 inches was expected across nearly all of Rhode Island, Connecticut and eastern Massachusetts, though forecasters said winds of 50 mph could create much deeper snow drifts.
States of emergency were declared in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Maine and Massachusetts, where Gov. Deval Patrick urged people who did not have to be on the roads to stay home, to ensure their safety and that of work crews. Nonessential state workers were told to stay home Monday. In Boston, Mayor Thomas Menino declared a snow emergency that bans parking on all major streets, and the New England Aquarium bubble-wrapped its four 5-foot-tall penguin ice sculptures to protect them from the wind and snow.
More than 2,400 sanitation workers were working in 12-hour shifts to clear New York City's 6,000 miles of streets. Not that Mayor Michael Bloomberg wanted people to use them. New York City's John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports remain closed Monday. Boston's Logan International Airport was open _ but it was nearly abandoned, without flights coming in or out. Wind gusts of up to 80 mph knocked out power to thousands. Utilities reported about 30,000 customers were out in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, mostly on Cape Cod and south of Boston.

While for another window cleaner on the other side of the world - she is worrying about something completely different...

Cheap living and a lack of social outlets, it's no wonder Reedy Creek has the highest rate of singles on the Gold Coast. The suburb was announced as having the most "unattached" residents in a yearly report released by online dating site e-Harmony. The report was compiled using information from 120,000 singles who registered on the site in the past six months. Reedy Creek locals are limited when it comes to meeting a significant other, with only a neighbourhood shopping centre, a McDonalds, a church and some schools forming the town, the report says.
Single mum Eli Ferreira has called Reedy Creek home since her husband passed away seven years ago and said she wouldn't live anywhere else. "We moved from the northern Gold Coast to Reedy Creek when my husband was first diagnosed with cancer to be near the Robina Hospital," the 49-year-old window washer of "Arteli Window Washing" said. "Sadly he passed away as we moved in, but I never left. "I have a lot of single friends; it seems Reedy Creek is a popular place for older singles. "It is cheaper living than most other areas. There are schools nearby and good public transport. It's perfect for a single parent." Ms Ferreira said it was hard to meet people in the suburb. "I like living at Reedy Creek, it makes me feel safe. "It is a close-knit community here. We all look out for one another."

Sunday 26 December 2010

Window Cleaning Christmas Spirit

The Lambrinides brothers of Window Cleaning Resource (WCR)give a years round-up to window cleaning events & what's occurred in the last year. A new promotion for the end of December.. Purchase a subscription to the new window cleaning magazine (WCBO), and you could be the lucky winner. Issue #2 is now shipping, get in before the end of the year to beat the 2011 price increase. Go here to see the video.

It's a film about people. A portrait of human courage: the resourcefulness of window cleaners, operating in London with its windows blown out. The courage of shopkeepers who pick up their decapitated mannequins and start the day again. We're used to reading about the courage of the Blitz, but never seen before as presented in this film. Enjoy..

Harold Garnaat, left, helps lift 97-year-old Nettie Lakso into her family's house on Christmas morning with the help of Nettie's nephew, Charles Chase. Garnaat, who has been honored for his volunteerism by the STAR (Sharing Time and Resources) Awards program, said his reward comes in the form of the responses of those he helps. "At Christmas, you pick Grandma up at the nursing home and then when you get her home the family's out in the driveway waiting, and they've got tears in their eyes," he said.
Garnaat, 62, worked for the city of Kalamazoo for 33 years, retiring as a heavy-equipment operator in 2002. Since then, he has continued operating a window-cleaning business that he started 40 years ago and also works part time for Langeland Family Funeral Homes. He said his desire to help others was passed down from his parents, who were both active volunteers. "Mom was always helping people out down at the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission," he said. "I guess I followed in her footsteps." As far as not spending Thanksgiving or Christmas at home, Garnaat said he and Vicki are OK with that.

Friday 24 December 2010

Christmas Miracle For Window Cleaner

Day in Pictures, Dec 23 2010: JAPAN - Junji Tsuda, right, and Akihiro Kondo, window cleaners dressed as Santa Claus and reindeer react before cleaning a window at a shopping mall in Tokyo. Click to enlarge.

Christmas Miracle for Window Cleaner: Man survives crash that sheered off top of his truck - Kenton Miller knew something had gone horribly wrong as he hurtled down the country road, unable to slow or stop his truck. He just didn’t know exactly what. The 66-year-old owner of a window-washing business saw a single headlight approaching as he neared the intersection of 21 and L roads on the evening of Dec. 14. Then, as he passed the headlight, there was a loud collision.

Miller was temporarily blinded. The steering wheel jammed into his pelvis and pinned his legs, preventing him from pressing on the brake. His westbound 1993 GMC blew through the intersection and sped ahead for a third of a mile before plunging into a cornfield and sinking into the mud. Dazed and struggling to gather his thoughts, a picture of what happened began to come into focus when he looked up. “There’s no roof over my head. I can see the stars in the sky,” he said. He turned in his seat to look behind him. The cab of his truck was gone.

A tractor pulling a piece of farm machinery known as a creaser was headed eastbound on L Road, one of its arms extending into the westbound lanes about four feet above the ground. With no lights or reflectors on the creaser, Miller had no clue what was barreling toward him. The creaser’s arm sheared off the top of Miller’s truck, popping it open like a tuna can. How the creaser didn’t decapitate Miller is a mystery to just about everyone who has seen what’s left of the truck. Miller can only think of one explanation. “I don’t have an answer for that except that God protected me,” he said. Miller’s wife, Joan, and daughter, Megan, part of a deeply spiritual family, agree. “A lot of people say, ‘Oh, miracles are for the olden days,’” Joan Miller said. “God is still a miracle-working God.”

There definitely was a miracle following Kenton Miller that night. The man who spotted debris in the road, waded through the cornstalks to check on him and called 911? It took emergency crews about an hour to extract Miller from his truck. He spent a few hours at St. Mary’s Hospital that night but, as part of his faith, refused pain-relieving drugs. The accident badly skinned his left shin, bruised his left knee and left him with two black eyes and scrapes in several places. Miller returned to work Thursday, just nine days after an accident that, by all accounts, should easily have killed him. The man driving the tractor, 32-year-old Ward Studt of Grand Junction, fled the scene and ditched the creaser at a farm two miles away, according to the Colorado State Patrol. He called the State Patrol the next day to turn himself in.

Public records show Studt has been cited or arrested in Mesa County 14 times since 1998, with most of the offenses relating to speeding and seat-belt infractions. For the Dec. 14 accident, he was ticketed for failing to notify police of an accident, failing to remain at the scene of an accident, failing to provide proof of insurance and failing to equip an implement of husbandry with lamps. Reached by phone Thursday, Studt acknowledged he “didn’t do the right thing” by leaving the scene. But he said he panicked because he thought he had killed the man in the truck. He claimed he returned and saw help had arrived.

The remains of Miller’s truck now sit in the field of a next-door neighbor. Corn husks are jammed into the grill. A cob of corn sits in the passenger seat. Miller said he’ll salvage the tires and try to sell what he can as scrap metal. After the accident, Miller’s family removed his belongings from the truck. But Miller knew something had been left behind. As the sun faded behind Colorado National Monument, he reached through the driver’s side door toward the dashboard and pulled it out: a crisp $20 bill. Cash he carries around, just in case he needs it. Consider it the latest miracle in a line that began 10 nights ago.

Thursday 23 December 2010

Tulsa Window Washer Rescue

Window washers rescued after scaffolding broke in Tulsa, Oklahoma - Two men are safe after begin stuck high in the air Wednesday night. Officials tell 2NEWS the men were washing windows at the Exchange Building near 45th and Garnett. They say their scaffolding unit broke 80 feet in the air. The men were stuck on the side of the building for about 20 minutes. Firefighters had to use their ladder to get them down.

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Window Cleaning News

A window cleaner to write home about - Koron Mays moves from the Willamette Valley to Sandy to expand his business. Koron Mays has established his home-based window washing and gutter cleaning service in Sandy, a business that serves the Portland, Salem, Albany, Corvallis and Jefferson areas. He has accounts in Sandy and serves residential, commercial and post-construction clientele. Mays, who relocated from Jefferson, says — as owner of Koron’s Professional Window Cleaning — he cares about the environment and only uses cleaning products that bear the Green Seal, which are products safe for the environment.
While working at the Mt. Hood Athletic Club in Sandy last week, Mays said he strives not only to get windows clean but to make window cleaning a “wow” experience for clients. “My goal is not to get the job done as fast as possible and do the minimum requirements to get paid,” he said. “My goal is to establish a long-term relationship with my customers and do whatever it takes to earn their return business and enthusiastic referrals.” Mays’ money-back guarantee seems to help his clients feel more comfortable, especially the first time they order service. “I want to give my customers the peace of mind of knowing that they will not be put in the situation (that some people have found themselves in) of having a window cleaner do poor or incomplete work,” he said. “There is no risk with KPWC. If (the customer) is not satisfied with the job, then he or she will not be required to pay.”
Before pursuing his window cleaning business, he worked in Portland and Lebanon as a medical assistant — a detail-oriented career. Mays describes his business philosophy in simple terms: “Establishing lifelong customers through excellent service, competitive prices and a 100-percent satisfaction guarantee.” “Earning your return business, and your enthusiastic referral,” he said, “is my number-one goal.” Mays’ attention to detail is likely responsible for the testimonials on his website. Here’s a sample, from a customer at a real estate office in Albany: “Our windows look amazing. Just looking out and seeing how clean they are makes me happy. You did a fabulous job and we will tell everyone about KPWC and how great of a job you do. Thanks again, you really came at just the right time for our office. Warmest regards.” Mays’ business has been screened by Service Magic, a group of professionals screening service providers. Service Magic screens the following areas of each business it approves and certifies: verify trade license, insurance and state business filings; criminal records search; sex offender search; bankruptcy search; legal search for civil judgments; liens search; and identity verification with a Social Security number and reverse telephone search. Mays accepts payments by major credit cards and PayPal. He offers free estimates, and is licensed and insured.

Seychellois court jails 9 Somali pirates: A court in Seychelles has handed 22-year jail terms to nine Somali nationals charged with piracy, amid a drive to seek convictions for suspected pirates. "When we come across a boat with ladders on board, we can be sure they are pirates," complained a senior member of NATO's anti-piracy task force in October. "After all, there are no known window-cleaning operations in the Indian Ocean."

Big-hearted Orangemen had a whipround to replace an elderly Dreghorn couple’s stolen Christmas savings – after reading about their plight in the Irvine Herald. Members of Dreghorn and Parish Loyal Defenders LOL 218 were so touched by Eddie and Isabella Short’s story they clubbed together to raise the full £400 nicked by a bogus window cleaner. Eddie, 65, and Isabella, 60, of Cumbrae Court, had scrimped and saved the cash for a year to buy presents for their four grandchildren before the callous conman struck on November 26.

A “sadistic and controlling” window cleaner has been sentenced to two years behind bars for a series of cruel assaults. Basildon Crown Court heard Steven Scannell, 27, carried out a string of inhumane beatings against housemate and work colleague Zack Greaves over six months. The final and worst attack at the pair’s flat in Hollands Walk, Vange, saw Scannell assault his victim with weapons, including a rolling pin, police truncheon and wheel brace. Mr Greaves, 23, who is from the Basildon area, suffered a broken jaw and numerous cuts. He also had to have two skin grafts on his left leg because of the horrific nature of the wounds.
The attacks took place between August and December 2008. The victim had previously made up stories to explain his injuries but informed police after the final assault and Scannell was arrested. Scannell, who was 25 at the time of the attacks, met Mr Greaves through playing roller hockey and later offered him a job working with him as a window cleaner. The victim later moved into his attacker’s flat and the problems began. The court heard Scannell began by withholding cash from his flatmate, telling him he was not capable of looking after his own money.

LEGO – Moscow Office: If you’re anything like me, you lived, breathed, and occasionally ate LEGOs in your younger days. There was nothing more exciting than the chance to build your own toys right out of your imagination. Most of us grew up and had to leave our LEGOs in the back of the closet, but a lucky few get to live the dream of playing with them and get paid for it. Some of those people live in Moscow. And we are looking at their office today. The office doesn’t disappoint. Actually, it has even more LEGOs than I would’ve expected. There’s a fancy doorman, a tourist (sandals and socks!), a window washer, a painter, a knight, a Russian landscape, a monkey, three parrots, hedgehog, an office pig… all made entirely out of LEGOs. They even made a giant Russian nesting doll out of LEGOs!

Loneliness is a disease that afflicts most small-business owners. It can be so severe that mental paralysis prevents the business from growing and it may even lead to failure. The best defense includes surrounding yourself with other business owners who understand the challenges you face daily. They can help you take a step back from problems that seem all consuming so that solutions become more apparent. Additionally, it is likely that others have faced similar challenges and were able to conquer them. Jeannette Watling-Mills, owner of Bob's Window Cleaning in Sarasota told me that, "Even when their business is going well, they are tired of doing it all and doing it alone." In addition to being an entrepreneur, she is a volunteer business mentor with the SCORE Manasota chapter, based in Sarasota, Fla.

Gutter Rake Review: An Easier, Safer Way to Get the Leaves Out - The Product: Gutter Rake. The Price: $9.95, plus $6.95 shipping and handling. The Claims: 10 times faster and easier than other gutter tools. The Gutter Rake reduces the thing I hate most about cleaning gutters -- watching my husband climb a ladder. Greg is the gutter rake in our house. And twice a year my heart stops as he climbs the extension ladder, balances on one leg as he reaches for leaves, then climbs down and moves the ladder over six feet to do it all again. The Gutter Rake, which claims to extend your wingspan up to 32 feet, actually does cut down all that upping and downing and oops-I've-plunged-to-my-death-ing.
The Gutter Rake is a simple, 2-foot piece of plastic with a hook at one end, and a straight scraper at the other. Twist the Gutter Rake onto a broom handle or extension pole. The scraper grabs leaves and other gutter crud, then the hook pushes debris under and past fastening struts. I guess it could add 32 feet to your reach, if you fasten the Gutter Rake to a 16-foot pole, although that's a bit much to maneuver from a ladder. But a 5-foot broom handle is manageable and triples your reach. That translates to fewer ladder moves and fewer chances for it to fall through the kitchen window. The Gutter Rake also makes cleaning gutters obstructed by tree branches easier. Instead of positioning the ladder between branches, Greg parked the ladder 3-feet away from the tree and reached past and under the limbs with the rake.
Is the Gutter Rake 10 times faster than other gutter tools, as it claims? Nope. You still have to scrape the leaves, bag the leaves, and move the ladder. Also, the Gutter Rake is about 2-inches wide, while gutters typically are 5-inches wide, which means repeated passes until you clear all the leaves. But the Gutter Rake does shave time off a dirty and dangerous job that, with a little luck, my husband will do for years to come. Video at link.

Fighting ashes with ashes: Cleaning glass fireplace doors - Sooty fireplace not looking Santa-ready? Instead of using ammonia or harsh chemical cleaners to clean glass fireplace doors, opt for a most unlikely soot-removing remedy: Fireplace ash. When removing built-up carbon residue and other gunk from glass fireplace and wood stove doors, a normal glass/window cleaner most likely isn’t tough enough given that you're not dealing with regular glass. As an alternative, most folks resort to rags dipped in household ammonia, oven cleaners like Easy-Off, or harsh, heavy-duty products manufactured specifically for the task.
Although these solutions can be effective in removing soot and built-up grime and don’t require an extraneous amount of elbow grease, they must be used with utmost caution given their hazardous properties that call for the wearing of rubber gloves and googles, the holding-in of breath, and the opening of windows. Or, you could avoid chemicals altogether and opt for old newspapers dampened with water and dipped in fireplace ashes. Yep, fireplace ashes. Although it’s counterintuitive and requires a bit more effort on your part, scrubbing glass fireplace doors with the what-in-the-heck-do-I-do-with-this residue left from a raging wood fire does indeed do the trick.

Extra Clean Inc., the leading window cleaning, pressure washing, post construction cleanup, and exterior building maintenance service company in Maryland, Washington DC and Virginia is pleased to announce the appointment of Angela Dixson as the new company president. In her new role, Mrs. Dixson will have total responsibility for day-to-day operations of Extra Clean. Angela Dixson, President of Extra Clean, Inc says
"I look forward to serving Extra Clean in my new role," Angela Dixson said. "I will build on the skills and knowledge I have acquired over the 22 years of working for the company and in the cleaning service industry. I will ensure Extra Clean remains the industries preferred window cleaning, construction cleanup, and pressure washing company in the Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia area".

Elgin residents will have to endure the frigid holidays this year without the favorite Christmastime tradition - the Remembering Elgin calendar: Since 1996, Councilman and auctioneer John Prigge has been publishing a “Remembering Elgin” calendar showing Elgin scenes from the 1940s through the 1960s. But he says he won’t do that this year because sales have gone down over the past two years to the point where he loses money on the project. Each year, Prigge says, he would print about 1,000, of which he would give away 200 to his business clients and offer 800 for sale, mainly at the State Street Market in Elgin. He said people still can buy back issues of the 15 calendars at the State Street Market, for half their original $10.95 price. The photos all were taken by an Elgin window washer named Bob Will, who carried around one of those old-fashioned cameras that took photos on 2.25-inch film, five times as large as the usual 35mm film. Prigge says Will often would come home from church on Sunday, file away that week’s bulletin, then walk back downtown with camera in hand, looking for targets of opportunity.

Cleaning windows 50 metres above the ground: Cleaning the windows of a highrise building doesn't seem like a big deal, until you witness one of the abseil cleaners strap into a harness and lower themselves over the edge. Perched on top of the ABC Collinswood building, some 52 metres above street level, Daniel the operations manager from SA Window Cleaning believes he has one of the best jobs in the world. As he slips over the edge of the building in his abseiling gear, it's easy to notice it is not a job for the faint hearted. "I think it's a good cure for people with a fear of heights," Daniel said. "A few people come in with a fear of heights, they end up doing this and they love it by the end of the day."
Depending on workloads and weather conditions, Daniel can be found on the sides of up to eight buildings per week around Adelaide giving the windows a quick clean. Wind, thunder and rain can make a job unsafe for the crews to start. Even on a relatively calm day, updrafts can make it a little challenging. "It's a bit hard to keep your windows clean with the wind blowing your water back up the side of the building." Abseiling teams are used around Adelaide on buildings of up to 26 storeys in height. "There's a couple a bit bigger than that, but we use the building maintenance units on those ones," Daniel explained.
Strangely for observers, the higher the crews are, the easier the cleaning can be on the larger sites. "The further you get down the building, you get a lot more bounce in your ropes and you pendulum a lot more." With over 12 years of abseil window cleaning, Daniel says apart from the amazing office views the feeling of freedom whilst he is abseiling down the face of buildings keeps him coming back for more. It's not all swinging from ropes and looking at the views though, with the job's physical demands ruling it out for many. "Some jobs it really takes it out of you, especially a long job with a lot of scrubbing involved."
On hot summer days temperatures of 40 degrees can jump another 20 degrees thanks to rising hot air and reflected sun from surrounding buildings. And on hot, windy days, one of the biggest challenges the crews face is their washing water drying too quickly. With a quick smile and a wave, Daniel attaches his cleaning gear bucket and slides over the edge to keep working on cleaning off what the weather and local pigeon population has left decorated on the side of the ABC Collinswood building. More pictures here.

Chicago braves season’s first cold snap:  Window washer Sergio Enriquez dumped some rubbing alcohol into his wash bucket to keep it from freezing. “I usually wear windproof stuff, ’cause it’s kind windy here,” Enriquez said.  “It’s the Windy City.” Kevin Birk, with the National Weather Service in Romeoville, said the region can expect cold temperatures and bitter wind chills for the rest of the week.

Window Cleaning Springs woman sells business, possessions for Buddhist life in Colorado Springs: Gwyn Waterfield, her head shaved and wearing a white robe, walked slowly down an aisle at Shove Chapel on the Colorado College campus last week during her Buddhist Precept Ceremony. Nine months ago, Waterfield was an Austin, Texas, business owner with 10 employees. She gave it up and most of her possessions to pursue becoming a Buddhist nun. “I have some nervousness and fear about my new life,” Waterfield said, “but mostly I have an enormous amount of gratitude.” The ceremony signified Waterfield becoming an Anagarika within Buddhism’s Thai Forest Tradition.
As an Anagarika, Waterfield will adhere to the Eight Buddhist Thai Forest Precepts: refraining from sexual activity, speaking falsely, ingesting mind-altering products, eating after noon, entertainment, beautification, adornment and oversleeping. After one year, Waterfield will be a novitiate, which requires, in addition to the precepts, prohibition from preparing food and driving a car. Two years from now, she may be an ordained Buddhist monastic, though the process usually takes longer.  Waterfield is the first to join the monastic arm of the nonprofit Awakening Truth, founded by Ajahn Thanasanti earlier this year in west Colorado Springs. Awakening Truth also offers Tava Sangha, a free meditation and talk from Thanasanti for lay people.
Monastics within the Thai Forest Tradition take a vow of poverty, making them dependent on donations for survival since they never charge for their talks and good works. “We live in a world where self-discipline, restraint and self-renunciation are not popular,” Thanasanti, sitting cross-legged on a pillow, said. Monastics “open the door for people to question their choices. There is another choice.” Raised on a ranch in Canadian, Texas, Waterfield got a double-shot of Christianity. Mom was a Roman Catholic and Dad a Methodist. Her teen and early-adult years were marked by drinking and drug use, she said. Because of her wayward lifestyle, it took her a number of years to finish her math degree at St. Edward’s University, a Catholic college in Austin. In 1998 she founded “Gwyndows,” a window-cleaning operation in Austin that quickly grew into a formidable residential and commercial business.

Hello there old beans. Here we are in the far east having a jolly good time playing the old Sport of Kings, Nepal-style. Being the off-season at home, some of us chaps got a team together and flew out for the annual Pimms and Elephant Polo Festival at Chitwan about 200km from Kathmandu. You know what they say - too much polo is never enough. Jolly good show, too. The main difference, as you can see, is longer sticks and a chap has his own driver - sort of like the chauffeur one has at home. It's jolly relaxing and you have rather a long time to think about your next shot. We all take the sport very seriously and us chaps practise at home by riding around on the top of our Range Rovers swinging mallets fashioned from window-cleaning apparatus.

A 59-year-old Llanelli window cleaner who failed to stop after two road accidents and then resisted arrest has been ordered to pay £365 by town magistrates. Michael Finnegan, of Havelock Street, admitted two charges of failing to stop after an accident and one of obstructing or resisting a police constable in the execution of their duty. Gerald Neave, prosecuting, told the court that police received a report of a hit-and-run road traffic collision outside New Dock Road post office on September 20 this year. Finnegan's Nissan Bluebird was seen to drive away from the scene. A minute later, police received another report saying the same vehicle had hit the fence of a garden at Ropewalk Road. A police officer attended the scene and encountered the defendant. Then, said Mr Neave, Finnegan "became aggressive without provocation". He told magistrates how Finnegan said to the officer: "What the **** are you doing here? I wasn't driving."
Mr Neave said: "He was showing aggressive behaviour. "The defendant clenched his left fist, leaving the officer to believe he was going to strike." The police officer took Finnegan to the floor using a handcuff take down and he continued to struggle, the court was told. The officer called for assistance, but managed to handcuff Finnegan before help arrived. Finnegan told police that after the collision in the post office car park he "panicked", and when he got to his home he collided with a fence. He said he did not answer the door when police called "for fear of being arrested". The court heard Finnegan had been a self-employed window cleaner in the Morfa area, but had given up work. For failing to stop he was fined £100 and his licence was endorsed with ten penalty points, and the second failing to stop after an accident resulted in a further fine of £100. Finnegan was ordered to pay £65 for obstructing a police constable in his duty, prosecution costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £15.

Piano technician, window cleaner sell Lombard 3BD: Cyril, David, Kevin, and Scott Grandsard sold a three-bedroom, four-bath home at 1135 E. Adams St. in Lombard to Ingerrev and Kent Lawrence for $270,000 on June 7. The 1,560-square-foot house was built in 1967 in the Lombard East neighborhood. David Grandsard is the owner of It's A Pitch Piano Service in Lombard, which specializes in tuning, repair and regulation of pianos. He is a certified piano technician. He is a graduate of the Chicago School for Piano Technology. Scott Grandsard is the owner of C & S Window Cleaning in Carpentersville, which he founded in 1979. According to, there have been 462 home sales in Lombard during the past 12 months, with a median sales price of $206,000.

Platmin Completes Placing of US$90 Million of New Shares: A total of 83,846,154 common shares were indirectly placed with Dutch pension manager, Algemene Pensioen Groep N.V. ("APG"). Following completion of the placing, APG will hold, indirectly, 124,998,417 common shares representing approximately 16.7% of the then outstanding common shares. APG provides for the collective pension schemes for participants from the education sector, the government (civil servants), the construction sector, the cleaning/window-cleaning sector, housing corporations and energy/utilities companies, amongst others. APG manages around €265 billion in pension capital for these sectors (as at 30 September 2010). APG works for more than 20,000 employers, provides for the income of more than 4.4 million participants, and manages over 30% of all collective pensions in the Netherlands.

Forty Years Ago: The La Cañada High School Marching Band struck upon a unique fund-raising project for the December break in 1970. Called "Rent-a-Spartan," it allowed La Cañadans to telephone the student chairman of the project and request any type of household assistance, including garage clean-up, window-washing and baby-sitting.

Thanks to the late, pioneering eco-architect Bengt Warne’s Naturhus (Nature House) concept, maintaining a vibrant topical garden while cutting back on household energy costs during the middle of a brutal winter is indeed possible. Basically, a Naturhus is a normal, modestly sized abode completely encased in a greenhouse that “functions as an outer barrier” and allows for the year-round growing of plants that wouldn’t normally survive in frigid climates. Warne’s Naturhus concept has garnered a small but devout following in his native Sweden (Warne completed his own Naturhus in the mid-1970s) that includes Rosemary and Anders Solvarm, a couple whose own Naturhus consists “of a climate-shell, living quarters and a self-contained ecological system.”  The self-contained ecological system conserves energy and nutrients which are transformed by plants and trees into flowers, fruits and vegetables. Any misgivings concerning circulation, window cleaning, problems with humidity, sensitivity to storms etcetera, can now be dismissed.

Toronto-Dominion Bank is buying Chrysler Financial for $6.3 billion, the second time in a week that a Canadian lender has placed a big bet on the U.S. economic recovery. A window washer cleans the sign on a TD Bank in New York's financial district.

Search This Blog