Wednesday 30 November 2011

Two Window Cleaners, Two Amazing Stories

Deirdre Mitchell and her daughters Shannon, Rebecca and Nadine with the family photograph including their late father Peter. The girls are holding the souvenirs from the New York Marathon given to them by their Uncle, Kevin Greene.
A symbol of hope keeps Window Cleaner Peter’s memory alive for local family: A Lurgan family, robbed of a loving husband and father, have been given a ‘symbol of hope’ that keeps his memory alive. The symbol comes in the form of a medal from the New York Marathon, won by the late Peter Mitchell’s brother-in-law Kevin Greene. Peter, a well-liked window cleaner in the town, passed away on July 28 having been diagnosed with an aggressive, fast growing brain tumour exactly a year ago today (Thursday). After Peter’s diagnosis his brother-in-law Kevin Greene made the decision to train for the New York Marathon. His logic was, although he’d never competed as a runner before, at least he had the ability to walk, unlike his brother-in-law Peter who had lost that ability.

Having completed the marathon Kevin donated the medal to his sister Deirdre. He has further plans to run three more marathons so he can present nieces Rebecca (11), Nadine (8) and Shannon (7) with three more medals. Kevin, who celebrated his 28th birthday on Monday, said: “It all really came about when Peter was diagnosed and I saw Action Cancer were doing places for the New York Marathon. “Peter was the inspiration for training and doing the marathon. It was also great to be able to help such a fantastic charity as Action Cancer. Peter and the family were being helped by a lot of cancer charities. “It was a spur of the minute thing. I’m not a runner, I play a bit of football but that’s it. I saw Peter lying in hospital and I got the inspiration to do it for Peter who was wasn’t able to walk or run.”

Of his brother-in-law Kevin said: “We were very close. The fact I was doing this for a family member is what inspired me, what kept me going. “We’d have gone to Donegal together in the caravan and we’d have done the odd job together. We’re both interested in jet skis and caravans. We’d have bought a lot of things between us. There was a strong bond there.” Kevin, who lives in Taghnevan with his father Vincent, added: “When my mother Ann was sick he was always there for her. She died of cancer 12 years ago. That was another reason to do the marathon for Action Cancer.”

Having put in months of training including 6am starts at the swimming pool, Peter tackled the Big Apple’s showpiece event on November 6. He did the marathon in a time of five hours. In the process he raised almost £3,000 for Action Cancer. He added: “My aim is to do three or four marathons down the line. I’ve given the first medal to Deirdre. I want to give medals to all of the children as well.” Deirdre told how the medal serves as a symbol of hope to the family.

Of the touching moment when Kevin handed over his medal, Deirdre said: “When Kevin arrived home, he came to me with the medal he received immediately after completing the marathon. “He told me, ‘Deirdre, I want you to have this medal’. “I was totally stunned. He saw my reaction and told me he didn’t do the run for himself, but for Peter, and therefore he wanted the children and me to have the medal. “I told him, ‘But Kevin, that medal is a symbol of a great achievement YOU have made’. “He quietly told me that he will always know of his achievement inside his own mind and went on to repeat that he didn’t do the run for himself but for Peter. “The medal serves as a symbol of hope and Kevin proves that there really are good people in our local community.”

Proudly on display along with Kevin’s medal is a family photo taken in June 2010 in Lanzarote. Deirdre said: “Last June we went to Lanzarote for seven weeks. Looking back it was meant to be. It was such a perfect holiday.” “When Peter got home that’s when he took his first seizure. He was playing on the trampoline with the girls when he had to stop and rest on the bench. “I knew then something was wrong, but he was in denial. He was so, so fit and healthy. He loved walking. He couldn’t imagine it happening to him. “He was diagnosed with epilepsy and the doctor told us when adults are diagnosed with epilepsy it usually means something more serious.”

She continued: “This time last year he was being tested. It was a year ago he got the results of the biopsy. He was told he had a brain tumour in two possible areas. “It was a devastating diagnosis as we have three young children. “He really didn’t handle the news well at all. As Peter was getting out of the car at home I thought he was taking a stroke. It was another strong seizure. The ambulance was called on same day he was diagnosed. “We nearly lost him that day. We had the priest to give him the Last Rights.”

Deirdre commented: “Peter went from being a very active, well known man from the town, to being totally bed ridden within months. “He was a really nice man, really friendly, he never offended anyone. He lived for he daughters. He loved to entertain them. He’d take them anywhere they wanted to go no matter what the cost. “I gave up work completely when Peter was sick. I worked as a complimentary therapist. “I didn’t want to put him in respite. He belonged with us. We used the remaining time we had together as best we could. “He had brain surgery and radiotherapy but it wasn’t enough to save him.”

Peter died on July 28 this year aged 45. Deirdre said: “When Peter was in hospital Kevin was babysitting the girls. I came home one night from the hospital and he was sitting with the laptop. He said, ‘Deirdre, you’ll never guess what I’ve done - I’ve signed up for the New York Marathon’. “I said to him, ‘You’ll never do a marathon’. He said, ‘At least I can walk’. “He said he was doing the marathon for Peter and for our mother who died of cancer 11 years ago. “Kevin has been a rock for us. I was 14 when he was born and I used to look after him. Now it’s the other way round.”

Deirdre added: “People often say to me you’re very strong. I get strength from the meetings we go to with cancer groups as a family. “The cancer support groups have been unbelievable - all of them. It’s impossible to single one out as they’ve all been so brilliant to us.” With Kevin’s marathon efforts providing a focus, the family intend to keep on fundraising for local cancer organisations.

Window Cleaners Daughter: Girl bounces back from being hit by car. A simple knock at the door changed Lori Crandall’s life forever. Lori cries a couple times a day when she watches her daughters from across the room. She’s also quick to say that she loves her daughters Lilly and Anna more than she has at any other point in her life. And it’s not just today, on Thanksgiving Day, that Mike and Lori Crandall will gather with their family to give thanks. For the Crandalls, every day since May 10, 2011, has been Thanksgiving day. May 10. That’s the day Mike and Lori Crandall reaffirmed their faith in angels. How else could two parents explain how their little nine-year-old daughter survived a tragic car accident after getting off the school bus and crossing a busy Highway 95 to get the mail.

It was normal for Lori Crandall to hear the school bus drop off her daughter at home after school each day. On a normal day, Lilly would go get the mail and the Crandalls’ dogs would meet Lilly halfway. But Tuesday, May 10 was no ordinary day. Lori heard the bus drop off Lilly and the dogs ran down the driveway. But out of routine was a knock on the front door of the Crandall home. An 18-year-old female was standing at the door. Her message: She had just hit Lilly with her car. “I took off down the driveway,” Lori Crandall recalled. She hadn’t run in a long time and her legs were starting to hurt as she got halfway down the driveway. But nothing was going to stop her. She had to get to the side of her daughter.

When Lori Crandall arrived at the end of her driveway and onto Highway 95, she recalls seeing traffic backed up as far as she had ever seen to the east towards Cambridge. The scene was chaotic as she saw a number of people taking  care of Lilly. Mike, a window-cleaning contractor in Anoka, got word of Lilly’s accident through a receptionist at his company. "Nothing can prepare you for that call,” Mike Crandall said. “You don’t ever want that call,” he said. He looked at his phone and saw a number of voice messages. One featured Lilly screaming in the background. “When I picked up the phone, the severity of the situation wasn’t registering. All I remember thinking was, ‘Not my Lilly.’,” he said.

Mike Crandall embarked on the longest 45-minute ride from Anoka to Princeton that any one could image. He was really out of the loop on what the situation was back home and a million ideas were going through his mind as he made his way north up Highway 47. “On the ride home I was yelling and screaming. I was definitely in a different state of mind.” When Mike arrived home, the accident scene was cleared for the most part and Lilly was on her way by helicopter to North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale. Mike was greeted by stories of strangers who stepped up in the role of heroes to help save his daughter that day. The experience reaffirmed both Lori and Mike’s belief in angels. “We’re so grateful that so many people helped us out,” Mike said.

That includes the people at the accident scene, educators and friends who visited Lilly during her week-long hospital stay, the friends and coworkers who built a wheelchair ramp at the Crandall home and all those who lent a helping hand at benefits held in Princeton and Milaca. “The outpouring of support was phenomenal and unexpected,” Mike Crandall said. At the end of the day, Lilly was a very lucky young girl. The impact of the crash threw Lilly about 160 feet, according to crash reconstruction reports. She went up in the air and landed on the hood of the car before coming to rest on Highway 95.

Lilly was in a full leg cast and spent her summer vacation in a wheelchair after suffering a broken femur and broken tibia. She also suffered a chipped bone in her elbow and a serious cut to her ear that required four stitches to close. She also suffered severe road rash from head to toes. Six months later Lilly has recovered from the accident quite well. But the scars of the accident have not faded. Physically, Lilly has a slight limp when she runs, suffers from an occasional headache and during Christmas break will have a plate and several screws removed from her leg.

Emotionally, the accident hits home every day. “I’m reminded every day. When I go out to get the mail I step on an “X” where she was laying on the ground,” Lori Crandall said, referencing painted markings on Highway 95 left behind by the accident recreation. “I’m still happy, mad, and sad all at the same time,” Lori said. “I don’t know how to feel.” But both Mike and Lori Crandall are thankful and are fully aware of the miracle that was bestowed upon their family and the fact that they truly have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day. And one thing is clear when you glance at Lilly, take in her infectious smile and realize that she has bounced back from what surely could have been a tragedy: We should all have a little faith in angels, because you never know where they might be.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

How Much Does Window Cleaning Cost?

Do you price per window or per job? Here are some articles, the second being from 2008.. how have your prices gone up? 

How Much Do Window Cleaning Services Cost? Cleaning windows can be a real “pane”. But, it’s great to be able to look out your window and admire the outdoors like it was meant to be seen. Cleaning windows can be a challenge because of the height issues. Especially hard to clean, are the outside window panes on the outside of your home. Depending on how many stories your home has it can get pretty high up to reach the outside panes of the windows. For this reason, sometimes windows go unclean for decades.
Window Cleaning Prices: It will cost $25 to $45 an hour to hire someone to clean your windows. Another way that a professional window cleaning service may charge you is $200 for a half day and $400 for a full day of cleaning. For an average size home or business it will not take more than half a day to clean the windows. Things to Consider...

The cost of cleaning your windows will depend on:
  • The height of the windows- Are the windows accessible without a ladder? Are the windows accessible with a step ladder? Does a person need a 40 foot ladder to reach your windows?
  • How large are the windows? Are the windows large or small? Larger windows can be washed with a squeegee. This may actually work to your advantage as it will take someone less time to clean large windows with the speed that a squeegee can bring.
  • Do the windows have dividers? Or is the window one solid pane? The greatest time consuming element of windows are navigating the corners of the windows. It can be difficult and more time consuming to get into the corners of windows. 
How Much Does Window Cleaning Cost? Most window cleaning services charge by the number of panes. Each pane is a piece of glass framed on all sides by wood or metal. Some companies charge by the total square footage of the home.

Typical costs:
  • Generally, window cleaning costs $2-$7 per pane. 
  • For a 1,300-square foot home with 20 panes, the cost would run $40-$140. 
  • For a 2,200-square foot home with 28 panes, the price would average $56-$196.
Self-cleaning windows can be made easier with the proper tools. The Housekeeping Channel recommends buying a professional squeegee and using dish soap. Squeegees and window washing tools run under $10.

What should be included: Typically a professional window washer will remove and mark all screens, cleaning both sides of the screens before setting them aside. Both the inside and outside of the windows should be washed, including the window tracks and sills. The clean screens should then be put back in place. Ideally, household windows should be washed twice a year, according to, which describes techniques for specific cleaning tasks such as picture windows or multi-pane windows.

Additional costs:
  • Screen cleaning is .50 cents-$5 each, depending on size. Some companies will not clean broken or torn screens.
  • Sliding glass doors run $2.50-$8 per door. Some companies average the cost of sliding doors with small bathroom windows, to cut the price.
  • Some cleaners will include sills and tracks. If not, the price runs .50 cents-$5.
  • While second-story work is generally charged the same as single story, third and fourth-floor ladder work runs $3-$5 extra per window.
  • Paint or stain removal on the windows costs $3.50-$6 for a regular-sized window.
  • Removing mineral deposits is included by some companies and runs about $20 per pane at others.
  • Some companies offer a 10-20% discount for scheduling with neighbors.
Shopping for window cleaning:
Recent Comments - from 2008 till 2011..
Window Cleaning
Amount: $6.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Ebony in Lttle Rock, AR.    Posted: September 3rd, 2008 08:09AM
Number of Windows: 87    Firm: Best Window Cleaners
Additional Services: Free Pressure washing inclued there was a company that was a little cheper but did not offer such a detail job.

Best Window Cleaning Ever
Amount: $225.00 per cleaning
Posted by: The Beef in Nashville, TN.    Posted: September 12th, 2008 01:09AM
Number of Windows: 200    Firm: Tennessee Commercial Services
Additional Services: Office Cleaners and Floors
We hired these guys to do the windows at our office. They really took thier time and the job turned out really nice. My boss asked if they did sealing and waxing for floors. After they did the floors, my boss hired them to clean our office every night. They do a grear job. I thought our prior cleaners were good, but you never know until you see.

Shees kids or profesinals?
Amount: $2.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Georgia in , Other.    Posted: October 20th, 2008 12:10AM
Number of Windows: 70    Firm: Hamiliton window washing
Additional Services: just neat and tidy
well im to old to wash my windows and so i hired this kid to do it, i don't have a lot of money. But this kid did an excellent job and $2.00 instead of $5.00 a window is good priced if you ask me.

Great window cleaning service
Amount: $208.00 per cleaning
Posted by: JerryTom in Mesa, AZ.    Posted: April 12th, 2009 02:04PM
Number of Windows: 2800 sq feet    Firm: Clearco Window Cleaning
Additional Services: Detailed our tracks
My brother recommended this company to us and they did a great job. They were very polite and attentive. They wore shoe covers in our house and that was nice. They answered when we called and gave us a price over the phone and it was simple and fast. We were able to make an appointment for a few days later to get our windows cleaned.

Excellent Window Cleaning
Amount: $100.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Brett D. in Atlanta, GA.    Posted: May 11th, 2009 11:05AM
Number of Windows: 22    Firm: Howard's Window Cleaning
Additional Services: Cleaned window seals
A friend of mine recommended this company after I hurt my back and couldn't clean my windows. I went onto their website and contacted them and I was able to get a free quote the same day I called. I had planned on just using them temporarily but they did a great job so now I use them for my home and business. I recommend this company to anyone looking in the area.

Did an excellent job
Amount: $99.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Christina Moore in Indianapolis, IN.    Posted: May 23rd, 2009 11:05AM
Number of Windows: 20    Firm:
Additional Services: Just had window done
This company came in and cleaned all of our windows last week. They were very professional and did a great job. My windows have never looked better. They even cleaned my screens for free.

Unbeatable prices, and Unbelievable results
Amount: $150.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Chauncey Forbes in Bountiful, UT.    Posted: June 25th, 2009 10:06AM
Number of Windows: 50    Firm: R&R Window Cleaning
Additional Services: Screens were free
I got a free estimate and scheduled an appointment on the same day. Because the price was so low I was worried about the quality of the job, however I was pleasantly surprised. They worked quickly and efficiently which made it easy for them to charge low prices. Very friendly and polite.

Professional,Polite & Honest
Amount: $12,000.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Fred Young Jr. in Peoria, IL.    Posted: July 1st, 2009 08:07AM
Number of Windows: 25    Firm: R & A Professional Window & Cleaning Ser
Additional Services: clean window sills
These Individuals were very Professional, Polite and Honest. They will even Negotiate The price to fit your budget. They did an excellent job. I recommend them to everyone who want a good window cleaning.

Window Cleaning
Amount: $279.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Mrs Raimondo in Bedminster, NJ.    Posted: October 6th, 2009 07:10AM
Number of Windows: 32    Firm: Suburban Window Cleaning
Excellent Service

Above and beyond expectations
Amount: $295.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Mich M. Kincaid in Santa Fe, NM.    Posted: January 10th, 2010 05:01PM
Number of Windows: 35    Firm: We do Windows Santa Fe
Additional Services: Clean seals and screens
They were extremely professional, polite, honest and realible. They did an excellent job! The windows have never looked better.
I recommend them all the time here in Santa Fe.

Amazing Service
Amount: $150.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Shane02 in Adelaide, AL.    Posted: February 2nd, 2010 03:02PM
Number of Windows: 20    Firm: Windows SA
Additional Services: sliding doors
These guys are actually in Adleiade, Australia they are a new but they did the best job ive ever seen. they cleaned the black seals around our windows, and the screens. i highly reccommend them to everyone especially because of the amazing job, for a reasonable price.

Window Washing, Pressure Washing
Amount: $248.00 per cleaning
Posted by: shell in Charlotte, NC.    Posted: February 12th, 2010 04:02PM
Number of Windows: 1800sq. ft. house    Firm: Spencer\'s Extreme Cleaning Services
Additional Services: pressure washing, gutter cleaning, windo
This company did my window washing in and out and pressure washing of my house, driveway, and sidewalk and cleaned my gutters. They did and excellent job! They were professional and very timely. I would recommend this company to everybody. Thanks

Heart of Texas Window Cleaning
Amount: $225.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Jeff Campbell in austin, TX.    Posted: February 23rd, 2010 06:02AM
Number of Windows: 45    Firm: HOT Window Cleaning
Additional Services: added a protective sealant
I usually don't write these things but my wife wanted our windows professionally cleaned. The company we choose was the most expensive but they did a demo on one of our hard water stained windows and that sealed the deal. I see why they were a little more than the other guys now. We were both surprised with how much clean windows brightened up our living room. These guys also wore booties when they came inside our home. True professionals and we'll use them again. Oh, and after it rained we had some mud spatter on one of the side windows on our home. I called just to see if they really honored the rain guarantee. The owner said he would have someone back to our place first thing in the morning and they showed up as promised!

Window Cleaning
Amount: $250.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Trudy in Englewood, NJ.    Posted: July 9th, 2010 02:07PM
Number of Windows: 18    Firm: Total Care Cleaning Services, LLC
Additional Services: laundry, cleaning for entire house,
These guys are really professional, trustworthy and good at what they do. New company, but I like them. They did an awesome job with the windows and the rest of the house. My husband was really impressed with there work and so we use them on a weekly basis. Cost for cleaning lowers after the first week using them, as they do an initial cleaning. Average I pay is between $100 -$150 depending on what I am getting cleaned that week.

Great Value and Results
Amount: $360.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Trisha Pender in Phoenix, AZ.    Posted: August 4th, 2010 10:08AM
Number of Windows:     Firm: Clean Distinction Window Cleaning
This was a great experience. Very fast and efficient. Cleaned all windows inside and out with precision. I get my windows cleaned 2x per year. I now use them on 25 of my retail stores.

Best Cleaning Company Around!
Amount: $220.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Lorena Heimann in San Diego, CA.    Posted: August 16th, 2010 03:08PM
Number of Windows: 28    Firm: Sky High Windows
Additional Services: Tracks & Screens
This was the best window cleaning we've had yet. We just switched to them this year, and they are great! They came on time, very professional, worked efficiently, and did a fantastic job. Even took a few of my torn screens home to repair them & brought them back the next day. I was so impressed I hired them to clean our house and my office. I really liked their professionalism. They gave us a package deal with a great discount.

These guys were great!!!
Amount: $373.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Mrs. Freeman - Freemans Family Daycare in Inglewood, CA.    Posted: August 18th, 2010 06:08PM
Number of Windows: 56    Firm: Precise Window Detailing
Additional Services: Power washing -$60 hr. X 1
WOW, they were on time, professional and did an out standing job. I liked them so much they will be doing my 2 houses, and my shop. Thanks again Jamie and Rayshon...

wow one man per house amazing
Amount: $125.00 per cleaning
Posted by: avery in atlanta, GA.    Posted: September 7th, 2010 05:09PM
Number of Windows: 20    Firm: A window washing company
Additional Services: cleaned sills and screens free
Wo.w this guy was awesome he was early ,he cleaned my windows in house in almost the same time as a full crew. I was not so sure at first because of the low price and he was a alone but he guaranteed no streaks and sparkling windows and that what I got wow.

Window Cleaning
Amount: $255.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Angie Mc in Columbia, SC.    Posted: September 28th, 2010 12:09AM
Number of Windows: 35    Firm: Premiere Pressure & Window Cleaning
I was hesitant to have my windows cleaned by this company, but their prices could not be beat. Most companies that I spoke with quoted me outrageous prices, so I kept calling around. Eventually, Premiere came out and gave me an estimate, schedule an appointment, and now everyone compliments me on my windows. Thanks Premiere! I have recommended you to all of my friends, and co-workers.

Great Professional Service--Non pro price!
Amount: $150.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Carolyn DC to UT in Salem, UT.    Posted: October 7th, 2010 12:10AM
Number of Windows: 48    Firm: Clear Vision Windows
Additional Services: Screens/Stucco removal
They were very professional, knew what they were doing and even got all the stucco off the basements that have never been washed. Recommend them to everyone now. Best job ever.

window cleaning residential
Amount: $75.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Debbie Ramondi in Melbourne, FL.    Posted: November 8th, 2010 08:11AM
Number of Windows: 18    Firm: zlots window cleaning
Additional Services: cleaned the screens as well
great guy, new one man company, beat 2 other price quotes in the area. My windows were spotless. ONLY CHARGED ME $75.00. call this guy if you need your windows done for the holidays. ALAN Z 321-615-2358

These Veterans Are The Best I've Ever Seen
Amount: $120.00 per cleaning
Posted by: D Shepherd in Phoenix, AZ.    Posted: December 9th, 2010 07:12PM
Number of Windows: 40    Firm: Veterans Window Services
Additional Services: Commercial and Residential Cleaning
This was absolutely the best window service I have ever delt with. I Had them do my house on a referral and was taken by the highly respectful and professional manner in which they performed their service. Their attention to detail was spot on, as at times I am a little overbearing about how I like things done. They have always exceeded my expectations and I rarely brag about services I have had, but I must give these guys credit because they really take an honest pride in their work. A perfect example of our loved Veterans. Recommend! Recommend! 602-828-9539

Wonderful Window Cleaning
Amount: $170.00 per cleaning
Posted by: George1 in Greenville, SC.    Posted: January 28th, 2011 05:01AM
Number of Windows: 28    Firm: Clean Windows Plus
Additional Services: Sills and Screens
They did a great job. Everything was simple. They came out told me how much it would be (much lower than others that estimated the job), they then scheduled me for the same week. Eric did a great job and was very professional. Will use them again in the spring.

My pane was their pleasure
Amount: $350.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Steve Toews in Santa Maria, CA.    Posted: February 25th, 2011 12:02PM
Number of Windows: 22    Firm: Royal Pane Window Cleaning
Additional Services: Cleaned screens and tracks, mirrors also
Very professional young man. He showed up as scheduled, did an amazing job!!! Excellent cleaning removing hard water spots from windows and shower doors.Great service and highly recommended. See ya in the Spring.

Mrs Jay Johnson
Amount: $171.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Beatrice Boyd in Pittsburgh, PA.    Posted: March 17th, 2011 03:03PM
Number of Windows: 58    Firm: Williams Inc
Additional Services: My House
After I saw the out-come of what those professionals from Ella's Professional Cleaning Team had done for the Office I new I had to try them ,those windows are transparent unbeleaveable I had to have them do my windows and their wonderful and they'll be back agin in 4 months and their prices are Great...

Truely Light and Bright
Amount: $200.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Dankevo in Wayzata, MN.    Posted: April 13th, 2011 09:04AM
Number of Windows: 20    Firm: Light and Bright Cleaning Services
Additional Services: House Cleaning
I was very pleased with the cleaning i received from Light and bright cleaning services. They came to give me an estimate on my windows but ended up doing my windows and house cleaning. The house was left spotless i am very pleased.

Great window cleaning
Amount: $165.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Johnny j in Atlanta, GA.    Posted: June 21st, 2011 07:06PM
Number of Windows: 35    Firm: Gutter Pro
Additional Services: Gutter cleaning
The Gutter Pro guys are great, they have cleaned my gutters for years but they recently cleaned my windows too and man did they do a great job. I would recommend them to everyone.

Great Window Cleaning
Amount: $435.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Maryanne in Brookfield, WI.    Posted: July 14th, 2011 03:07PM
Number of Windows: 34 French Glass windows    Firm:
Windoo did a great job and exceeded my already high expectations. Many of my friends and neighbors had used them and raved about how much better they were than others they had hired in the past.

Diamond Window Cleaning
Amount: $200.00 per cleaning
Posted by: Bob Hover in Torrance, CA.    Posted: July 18th, 2011 04:07PM
Number of Windows: 40    Firm: Diamond Window Cleaning
Additional Services: Pressure washing, Rain Gutter cleaning
I called Diamond Window Cleaning and they showed up on time, wore shoe covers, and power washed the house, there price was the best in town and they did a great job!

Monday 28 November 2011

Window Cleaners In Days Of Yore

Having a trade usually meant you had served a full seven year apprenticeship and were accepted by the associated trade association as being skilled. In industry skilled fitters and turners were tradesmen, the unskilled were labourers. A tradesman owned his own tools, in the Middle Ages he carried these in a 'sack' (actually a kind of cloth bag with rope handles). If an employer was not happy with the man's work he would be 'given the sack', that is told to take his tools and leave. If he did a really bad job his Guild would be called in and if they felt the job was not up to their standards they might require the tools to be burnt, which was called being 'fired'. As the guild controlled who could work in an industry this effectively disbarred the man from working in his trade, reducing him to being a labourer. Tradesmen were the core of the original 'middle classes', along with 'merchants' who buy and sell goods and services, the former generally had higher social status as many distrusted merchants.

New York Times,
September 1st,
Click to enlarge.
Most tradespeople wore the standard working clothing of the day, from the time the railways arrived until the 1940s that would mean for a man a suit consisting of jacket, waistcoat and trousers with leather boots and a hat. The long trousers appeared about the time the railways arrived and rapidly replaced the below-the-knee breeches and stockings worn before that time, the drawback was that long trousers tended to pull on the knees when bending so working men often had a leather strap or piece of twine fastened just below the knee to hitch up the trouser and give a degree of freedom to the knee. The jacket might be taken off in hot weather, but the waistcoat tended to remain on, even if un buttoned. Working men tended to wear blue shirts, skilled men and more senior staff favoured white shirts but most working men did not wear a collar and tie. The collar was a separate item, attached with a collar stud at the back, the blue collar was of no practical value and the white collar was a stiff thing that chafed the neck and served no useful purpose (although they were favoured by merchants). Many tradesmen and labourers wore a coloured handkerchief round their neck, useful for mopping up sweat and in cold weather the muffler (a woolen scarf tucked into the front of the jacket) was a much more practical option. The hats worn by men up to the 1860s were a mixed bag, the two common types seem to have been a wide brimmed hat, made either of soft felt or woven straw, and the cloth cap with a peak (resembling a uniform cap). In the 1860s the flat cap appeared, originally a hat for the sporting gentry but rapidly adopted as a practical bit of kit by working men. Also at this time the bowler hat appeared and became almost a badge of office for foremen and skilled tradesmen.

Skilled men always owned their own set of tools, even when working for a company, and each trade had some fairly distinctive variations. Good tools were expensive so most tradesmen would therefore have a lockable took box, in many cases they would incorporate a lockable compartment in their vehicle, be it a hand cart, a traders tricycle or horse drawn van or wagon. Labourers and most factory workers were dependent on their employer for tools, although generally these amounted to little more than a wheelbarrow and spade and hence did not carry a tool box.

Window cleaners have been operating for many years dealing with commercial buildings, by the 1930s they were doing some domestic cleaning as well (although this was not common until the later 1940s). The scale of the British industry can be judged by the formation of a professional body, National Federation of Master Window Cleaners (now called The Federation of Window Cleaners) in 1947. There are however no restrictions and anyone can set up as a window cleaner, which means there are quite a few accidents involving unskilled people.

They had to carry buckets and ladders and usually operated in pairs, one with the extending ladder for the upstairs rooms, the other with a short 'A' shaped ladder for the downstairs windows. The photographs from the early 20th century often show window cleaners wearing a lightweight jacket, often buttoned only at the neck to allow freedom of movement. Rubber 'wellington boots' reaching nearly to the knee seem to have been common in this trade after their introduction in about 1910 up to the mid 1930s. In towns the staff of larger firms were issued with a long uniform overcoat worn over a bib-and-braces set of overalls, the coat appears to be light weight (probably a waterproof light oilskin). By the 1950s my local suburban window cleaners wore long sleeveless brown jerkins with oilskin pockets to carry their wet chamois leathers.

In towns a hand cart was often used to carry the ladders and equipment, window cleaning companies often sent out teams of four or five with such a cart to handle the shop fronts in a town. This cart would (typically) not have the usual handles fitted as the ladders served for this. They usually had high sides bearing the company name and contact details, when on the move the buckets (one per man) would ride sitting between the rungs of the ladder. In the sketch below the chap on the right (based on a photo dating from around the time of the First World War) would serve for any period from about 1910 to the mid 1930s, the chap on the right would serve from the mid 1930s through to the 1950s.

For the working the suburbs some cleaners used hand carts but many favoured bicycles up to the 1960's, giving them a wider radius of operation. Some began using motorcycle combinations, with the ladders carried on the side car, from the 1940s but in the 1960s there was a distinct shift toward using vans with roof racks for the ladders. On bikes they carried their ladder on one shoulder and the galvanised metal bucket was slung on the handlebars often with a chamois hanging over the side. The picture above is based on my memory of the two chaps operating in my local area in the 1950s and 60s (by which time they wore denim jackets with big oilskin-lined pockets).

Up to the 1960s domestic window cleaners favoured the plain chamois leather, the T shaped 'squeegee' cleaning tool spread from the industrial side of the business in the later 60s. The modern squeegee was invented in 1936 by a Mr Ettore, an Italian living in America. There was something similar on the market, widely used for cleaning skyscraper windows, but it was heavy and not very effective. Mr Ettore approached the largest manufacturer of professional window cleaning products with his design but they were not interested. He contacted the managing director and bet the cost of a new hat that by the end of the month they would be interested. The man took the bet and Mr Ettore then distributed some of his tools to window cleaners, asking only that they evaluate them, when the men asked where they could get one he gave them the manufacturers address and by the end of the month he had won his bet.
The war effort saw women taking the place of conscription male window cleaners as they were sent to war.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Powdered Water - Just Add What?

Powdered water - just add CO2 to save the world.
Your wet truck or van may be a thing of the past! Just imagine if you could transport your pure water for window cleaning dry, without all the costly set-ups & just buy it bulk from your nearest distributor? Your water fed pole system would never be the same again...

Dry water a reality that could save world from global warming, say scientists:
  • Powder is droplets coated in silica
  • Soaks up CO2 three times faster
  • Toxic liquids transported as powder
Your dad just lost one of his jokes. Powdered water – a favourite among many bad dad jokes involving improbable concepts such as flameproof matches, inflatable dartboards and glow-in-the-dark sunglasses – is now a reality. And not only is it not funny anymore, it may also save the planet from global warming. In science circles, it's known as "dry water" and it seems those circles have kept it to themselves for quite a while, because it was actually discovered back in 1968, then forgotten about.
It was even "rediscovered" in 2006, purely for study purpose, but it's taken a group of scientists at the University of Liverpool in the UK to find a use for it. "There's nothing else quite like it," researcher Ben Carter, said. "Hopefully, we may see 'dry water' making waves in the future." "It" is actually tiny droplets of of water coated in modified silica, better known in nature as sand. They make up 95 per cent of the powdered water and the silica prevents the droplets from combining and creating the liquid version. The result is a substance that resembles fine sugar and one that has the potential to provide a lucrative return for its powerful ability to soak up gases.
That makes it an ideal candidate for research into finding ways to absord and store a greenhouse gas such as carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, the Liverpool team told the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society this week. In laboratory-scale research, the team found that dry water absorbed over three times as much carbon dioxide as ordinary, uncombined water and silica in the same space of time. It could also be used to collect and store gas in commercial quantities that are difficult to mine, such as frozen methane deposits on the ocean floor, they said. Not only that, dry water technology can also apply to other liquids.
The Liverpool University team showed that by transforming a simple emulsion - such as an oil and water mix - into dry water, it could provide a safer way to store and transport potentially harmful industrial materials. So apologies to dads worldwide for that one. The good news is - as far as we can tell - no one's yet to crack that "glass hammer" idea.

The joke has become a reality.
A bizarre substance known as "dry water," which resembles powdered sugar but is 95% 'wet' water could help fight global warming. Scientists claim the powdered water will change the way chemicals are used and that it could even be used to soak up greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. Each powder particle contains a water droplet surrounded by modified silica, which prevents the water droplets from combining and turning back into a liquid. This means it has an amazing ability to slurp up gases, which chemically combine with the water molecules to form what chemists term a hydrate. Speaking of the find, Dr Ben Carter, from the University of Liverpool said: "We may see dry water making waves in the future"... Oh Dr Carter, how long had you been working on that one? Dry water was originally discovered in 1968 but was forgotten about until scientists at the University of Hull, U.K. rediscovered it in 2006 in order to study its structure.

Dry water, also known as "powdered water", is a solidified form of water, where water droplets are surrounded by a sandy silica coating. Dry water actually consists of 95 percent liquid water, but the silica coating prevents the water droplets from combining and turning back into a liquid. The result is a white powder that looks very similar to powdered sugar. Dry water was first created in 1968 and was immediately snatched up by cosmetic companies as it appeared to have potential applications in the cosmetics field. It was "rediscovered" in 2006 by the University of Hull, UK, and has since been evaluated and studied for its potential use in other fields. The dry water itself is easy enough to manufacture. The hydrophobic silica and water are blended together using a motor with a stirring rod and propeller that spins at 19,000 rpm for 90 seconds, which coats the water droplets completely. 

Saturday 26 November 2011

Failed Windows, Seal Fail & Window Walls

Throw-away Buildings & Thermal Window Failure: How it Happens: Virtually all glass condominium towers feature window wall systems (floor-to-ceiling walls of glass) enclosing the entire facade. Window walls yield spectacular views, but owners who buy a condo unit for the view may not realize that they're relying on a couple of panes of glass separated by less than an inch of insulated space to protect them from the elements. That insulated barrier will degrade over time, even as energy costs increase. On some buildings, five per cent of the thermal windows may have failed before they're even delivered to the construction site. Another 10 - 15 per cent will fail by the 20-year mark as they're exposed to the physics of heat expansion. By the 25 year-mark, a growing number will fail every year. Here's how it happens:

Insulating gas is sealed between glass panes: Insulated glazing technology, commonly known as double glazing, considerably improves the thermal efficiency of the window units used on older buildings. It consists of two and sometimes three panes of glass separated by a system of spacers and seals. It is that separation - not the glass - that provides the window with its primary insulating value.
The space between the panes is often filled with a heavy gas such as Argon or Krypton. Colourless and odorless, inert gasses don't easily allow air to pass through. In fact, Argon gas conducts 67% less heat than regular air, thus helping to keep building interiors cool during the day and warm at night. The seals that trap the gas between the panes of glass are clamped in place by aluminum frames which interlock with the adjacent frames, all of which are attached to the building itself.

Heat expansion damages seals: During the day, the sun's heat causes the exterior surface of the building to expand and contract while the interior surface remains relatively constant. Windows are designed with a certain amount of "give" to help withstand this uneven expansion. But over time, the continual expansion of the glass panes and aluminum frames puts stress on the window seals. The seals begin to break down.

Seals fail and gas escapes: As the window seals deteriorate, the inert gas that is responsible for most of the window's insulating value escapes from the window unit. Because the gas used in thermal windows is colourless and odourless, you won't be able to see that the window seal has failed. Building scientists can detect the failure by shining a laser beam through the window, and measuring the changes to the amount of light that emerges on the other side of the glass.
Although the escaping gas will change the window's thermal rating (from R-4 at the centre of the glass for a middle-of-the-road unit, to R-2.5 (R standing for thermal resistance), the more annoying problem will come as the window unit begins to fog up. Additional methods of analysing the thermal performance of windows are described in Mario D. Gonçalves and Robert Jutras' presentation at the 2007 Symposium on Building Envelope Technology. View Report [954KB .pdf]

Failed windows: The problems will be disguised for many years because the window frames are packed with desiccants - moisture-absorbing crystals. You've seen those tiny envelopes in the box for a new pair of shoes? It's the same principle - they help absorb moisture during shipping and storage. In the case of the window units, the aluminum frames are packed with strips of desiccant (circled left) to absorb water vapour. Desiccant plays a major role in keeping the glazing unit dry for the expected service life of the window unit. However, moisture entering through the seals will eventually overwhelm the desiccant, creating fog in what was once a dry space. You may not even realize your unit now requires more energy to heat and cool if the interior temperature is controlled by a thermostat. But you will certainly notice the foggy glass.
For owners who aren't aware that the expected service life of the window unit is a fraction of the life of the building as a whole, this may also be something of a surprise. For the first few years, the cost of replacing window units one at a time in individual condos will be annoying but not very expensive. However, at the 25-year point, as a growing number of window units fail, or if many of them fail earlier than expected, the condominium corporation will want to consider a complete replacement of the facade. Rising energy costs add pressure to make these changes to reduce the building's energy use.
For further reading on the choices that affect the service life of condominiums, see University of Toronto Professor of Building Science Ted Kesik's paper The Condo Conundrum.[250KB .pdf]

Residents of this Toronto condo at 81 Navy Wharf Court are suing the developer for alleged defects in the window wall system.
Throw-away buildings: Toronto's glass condos - Many of the glass condominium towers filling up the Toronto skyline will fail 15 to 25 years after they’re built, perhaps even earlier, and will need retrofits costing millions of dollars, say some industry experts. Buyers drawn to glass-walled condos because of the price and spectacular views may soon find themselves grappling with major problems including:
  • Insulation failures.
  • Water leaks.
  • Skyrocketing energy and maintenance costs.
  • Declining resale potential.
Glass condominiums — known in the industry as window walls — have floor-to-ceiling glass, so essentially the window becomes the wall. Window walls generally span from the top of the concrete slab right to the bottom. One developer calls glass-walled condos “throw-away buildings” because of their short lifespan relative to buildings with walls made of concrete or brick.
“We believe that somewhere between, say, five and 15 [years], many, many of those units will fail,” said David House of Earth Development, which bills itself as a socially responsible property developer. House, who also has experience in the standard development industry, spoke to CBC as part of a special three-part series on the issue that starts Monday at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on CBC News Toronto.
No other city in North America is building as many condo towers as Toronto, where they have reshaped the skyline, overshadowed once-prominent buildings such as the Rogers Centre and, in many areas, blocked Lake Ontario from view. About 130 new towers are now under construction.
Not energy-efficient: Glass walls have been popular among developers and consumers alike because they’re cheaper than more traditional materials and make a good first impression. But they aren’t energy-efficient and come with a hidden price that could soar down the road, engineers say.
Floor-to-ceiling glass walls heat up and swell in the summer, freeze and contract in winter, and shift with the wind, engineers say. The insulating argon gas between the panes escapes, the seals are breached and the windows are rendered useless against the city’s weather. Eventually, the glass walls — the skin of these condo high rises — might have to be replaced entirely, with condo owners picking up their share of the multimillion-dollar costs. “Now is about when we should start seeing trouble with 1990s buildings, with the glass starting to get fogged up, the rubber gaskets and sealants starting to fail,” said John Straube, a building science engineer at the University of Waterloo.
Windows tempt buyers: The glass walls that undermine a condo’s durability and energy efficiency are a key part of the attraction when potential buyers first step into those sunlit spaces overlooking the city. “To walk in and see trees, and just to see the city — it’s a wonderful thing,” said Kamela Hurlbut during a recent tour of a condo with her husband, Jason. For first-time buyers like the Hurlbuts, who eventually hope to own a detached house, a condo also seems the only affordable home-ownership option. Their estate agent, Linda Pinizzotto, emphasizes long-term costs as she tries to warn the couple away from glass walls. “As time goes on, what they have to be concerned about are maintenance fees,” Pinizzotto said. “There’s certainly a lot more care and requirements in the building if they have floor-to-ceiling windows.”
Glass-walled condos meet the requirements of the Toronto building code, although the code does not specify how long a building should last. Energy-efficiency is also a fuzzy area, since condos aren’t rated that way. "We don’t have energy-efficiency ratings on condominiums and that’s too bad, because we get them on dishwashers, refrigerators, and they only cost a few hundred dollars,” said Ted Kesik, a professor of building science at the John H. Daniels faculty of architecture, landscape and design at the University of Toronto.
Janice Pynn, president of the Canadian Condo Institute, isn’t sure energy efficiency is a big factor for condo buyers initially — even for buyers who care about not wasting energy. “People talk that they want it, but when it comes down to what it's going to cost them, it doesn't even come into the equation,” says Pynn, whose Simerra Property Management company manages 250 condos across the GTA. “It really is ‘Can I afford to buy this?’ not 'What am I willing to pay to have a green building, or a building in the long term, that will be far more economical, and cost-saving and for the environment?' They're just not asking those questions.”

Toronto may be leading all cities in North America for building condos but its boom could soon turn to crisis. CBC Toronto has produced an investigation into what it calls "throwaway condos" - in reference to the floor-to-ceiling glass windows, which may fail 15 to 25 years after they are built. Given Toronto's massive condo stock, that could equal a lot of failures. In simple terms, the glass window doubles as the outer wall of each unit. While it may make the building look sleek and modern from the outside, what's going on inside is cause for concern - due mostly to Toronto's seasons and temperature changes.
The freeze-thaw cycle that occurs in Toronto (and other Canadian cities who are erecting similar buildings) will eventually cause the sealant in the windows to fail, resulting in more hot & cool air getting into each unit. Condo residents will then have to crank up the heat or air conditioning to keep pace, resulting in higher energy bills. (Check out this graphic that explains how the failure happens). Its not just the higher energy bills that owners will be stuck with - "window-walls" cost a lot more to maintain than traditional building materials in the long run and these owners will be picking up a huge maintenance tab 20-25 years down the road, according to John Straube, a building science consultant and professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo.
"We have a hard time," says Straube, "thinking five years when we buy a laptop, ten years when we buy a car. With these buildings — both the skin and the mechanical systems are going to have to be redone in a 25-year time frame. The concrete structure will be there a long time but in 20, 25 years time, we are going to see a lot of scaffolding on the outside of the buildings as we replace the glazing, sealants and the glass itself." Vancouver has had its own issues with leaky condominiums given its weather but with Toronto taking the lead in condo building and cities with similar climates like Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax and Calgary following suit, condo dwellers can expect energy and maintenance costs to skyrocket, all for the sake of living in a building that has style over substance.

Friday 25 November 2011

Gardiner Super-Lite® Brush Guide Video

Gardiner Super-Lite® Brush Guide Video: An overview of the complete Gardiner Water-Fed Pole brush range for window cleaning given by Alex Gardiner, but also some terminology that is useful for when you need a certain type of brush for a certain job.

Thursday 24 November 2011

Window Cleaning News

A window washer works on the logo for Daiwa Securities Co. outside the company's branch in Tokyo. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. topped Mizuho Financial Group Inc. as the biggest manager of Samurai bond sales as the cheapest yen funding costs relative to dollars in almost two years prompted record sales by Korean companies.

A team of window washers work their way down the National Bank Towers on Queen St in Auckland. The building has twin towers of 17 and 22 levels with a refurbished podium lobby.

Amputee wins £160k compensation from Richmond Council: A grandfather who needed to have his fractured leg amputated after he fell into a hole in a park has won £160,000 in compensation. Edward Tuffrey, 67, was walking his dog in Suffolk Road Recreation Ground, Barnes, when he suffered the life-changing accident. The former window cleaner went through years of agony when medics discovered a metal plate in his leg had snapped and caused an infection. Mr Tuffrey, who lived in Barnes Avenue, Barnes, said he cried when doctors broke the news they needed to amputate. He said he was pleased with the financial settlement from Richmond Council, but added: “I would rather have my leg back. “It has been traumatic. What price do you put on a body part?” He fell in the 10in hole and fractured his leg in three places as his dog played in the park on May 21, 2006.
Doctors inserted a metal plate but it later broke, causing huge complications. Mr Tuffrey said he had nine pins in his leg for nine months and then had it in plaster for a year, but it did not heal and the hospital decided three years ago to amputate. The father-of-two, who now has an artificial limb, said: “It was terrible for my wife as she had to put up with it as well. “I’ve always been an active sort of bloke. I worked for myself as a window cleaner for 25 years. “It’s been going on for five-and-a-half years and we’d just had enough. As you get older there’s only so much you can stand with the stress. “Money doesn’t compensate for the trauma we’ve been through but we want it to finish so we can get on with our lives.” Mr Tuffrey, who has now moved to West Sussex, said he and his neighbours had repeatedly complained to Richmond Council about holes in the park. He was shocked to find them still there when he visited this week.

Brisbane businesses warn against group buying: It's the latest and greatest craze in online shopping but Brisbane businesses are warning that group buying deals and online coupon sites are sending businesses broke, and driving customers away. Group Buying: it's one of Australia's fastest growing industries estimated to be worth $400 million by the year's end, but the unregulated industry has both consumers and businesses off side. The sales pitch to businesses is that their business is guaranteed exposure and new customers through the door, and consumers get discounted goods and services. Win, win right? Wrong. With the endless supply of discounted services available on group buying coupon websites, it might seem like the consumer can't lose but burnt Brisbane businesses say the fast growing group buying industry is sending local businesses broke with dodgy marketing strategies and high pressure selling techniques.
A local window cleaning business owner, who wished to remain anonymous because he's still honouring customers for a deal that may send him out of business, says he's increasingly concerned for his livelihood after signing up to one of the smaller deals sites earlier this year. "My business is only 3 years old and we have never run an overdraft or borrowed money from the bank except for the loan on our work vehicle and were very proud of the fact that we started with nothing to create a small business that was steadily growing, but over the last few months I have watched our bank account empty as we service these deals over full paying customers. "We participated in a deal with a company in May this year and under their guidance, foolishly sold 300 deals for a two hour window cleaning service at $49 each. Of that, we received I think $35.63.
He says the deal company used high pressure sales techniques, pushing him to agree to sell as many as possible. "From start to finish the process was wrapped up in a couple of days by their team with the emphasis being on the urgency of this deal needing to go live by a set date or missing out for months. He says the most frustrating part as a business owner in the transaction was having no clear communication with the company throughout the process. Although his deal expires this week, the business owner is continuing to honour the voucher sold to customers into the New Year, hoping that he will retain some ongoing customers from the experience, but he remains on edge about the state of his business. "With a wife on maternity leave, a 3 month old, looming mortgage and all the business expenses, closing and going down to the Centrelink office is a very real possibility for me. His warning to new businesses considering coupon and discount deals through the various sites is "if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is."
According to another local business, the experience is fast becoming more common than not. She says knows of several Brisbane businesses that have closed down after offering the services. "What a lot of people don't know that these voucher companies are owned by multi-corporations and in my opinion it's the big businesses way of making small businesses slash their prices to a stage where it hurts them so much that it's driving them out of business. "I've heard of at least four or five other businesses that have closed down after offering these services. Ms Stephenson says the sales pitch to small businesses is pushy, and small business can often fall into the trap of not knowing what they're signing up for. "I get phone calls from these places (online group buying sites) and they tell you the deal you're offering isn't good enough, and you've got until the end of the day to make a decision. "I know at the end of the day it will return about $4 an hour to my company and you can' even pay staff with that, let alone the cost of the service. "A lot of the companies being approached don't know that.

Tributes have poured in for a ‘fun loving family man’ who lost his fight against cancer at the age of 41. Craig Hudson, known to his many friends as Ken, died in Kirkwood Hospice after a long fight against liver and pancreatic cancer. His family and friends have spoken fondly of a man who would always put others before himself, and loved nothing more than a Saturday night spent with his wife Erica, stepson Sam, 14, son Annan, six, and three-year-old Jess. “He was a real hands-on dad and a family man,” Erica said. “He loved being at home with me and the kids, chopping wood for the fire.”
Oliver Shaw, friend of more than 15 years, met Craig in his younger days when he enjoyed travelling up and down the country to attend ‘raves’. “He lived life to the full. He was a different person when I met him but he met Erica at the right time when he was ready to settle down,” he said. “I will remember the way he would stop whatever he was doing to help anyone and he would never ask for anything back.” Craig was diagnosed with liver and pancreatic cancer in July this year. The pain forced him to leave the construction trade, so he started his own window cleaning business covering Upper Batley and Tingley. After his diagnosis, Craig’s friends and family rallied around and raised an astonishing £16,000 to pay for alternative therapy at a clinic in Southampton. He was also involved in fundraising efforts for fellow cancer sufferer Bev Dransfield. Craig died at the hospice on October 21 and his funeral was attended by 400 people.

Canned goods for clean windows: A Marquette business is trying to make the sunshine a little brighter while helping to feed a hungry neighbor. The Window Store on Washington Street is giving away their own brand of window cleaner.  Simply bring in 10 non-perishable items for the TV6 Canathon and you can get a can for yourself. The cleaner works for glass of all varieties, including for your home, car and even camera lenses. Employees say they're just doing their part to get people into the store and donate some food. "I think it's important that we get people out to help people in times of need. The holiday season is a great time, and food pantries do great things for the local community," said Window Store president, David Martin. You can drop off your cans and get your free window cleaner through the end of the month.

Sonya Thomas, a 5-foot-5 Korean woman who recently ate 183 chicken wings in 12 minutes, proudly hoisted her trophy after consuming 5.25 pounds of turkey. A 10-pound roasted turkey sat in front of each eater. Ten minutes to binge. At the end, the turkey would be weighed. The winner would take home $1,581, a belt and a bronze turkey trophy with a removable cleaver. No formal blessing was said prior to the dinner bell. But "Crazy Legs Conti," (pictured center) a window washer, nude model and sperm donor from the East Village, said he felt blessed to be a competitive eater. He's ranked 20th in the major league eating circuit and is currently the reigning sweet corn champion. At a recent contest in Singapore, he ate 115 wontons in eight minutes, falling short to the Black Widow's winning number of 130. "This is a communal meal," Conti said as he practiced yoga on the sidewalk in front of The TimesCenter on West 41st Street, minutes before the competition. "Thanksgiving, it's one of the few times you sit down for the express purpose of eating and the company. These are my favorite people in the world. I am fortunate." Conti and Booker delivered 81 turkeys to the City Harvest charity on behalf of sponsor Wild Turkey. Conti grew up in Boston, and he said he admired Jim Rice and Carl Yastrzemski for their charitable efforts. "The fact that Major League Eating has hit the point where Badlands and I were on a truck, driving around to donate 81 turkeys to families that needed them, it was awesome," Conti said.

HOUSTON: This is the 54th night Houston occupiers have stood their ground. They claim there are between 50 and 100 of them every night. A day after a shooting there, two days before Thanksgiving and weeks before it likely gets really uncomfortable outside, we wanted to know just who they are. By his account, JJ Freeman was the only thing on Monday afternoon between the gunman and the Occupy Houston camp he calls home. "I keep everything I own in this crate. This is my daughter Padme," Freeman said, showing us photos. "She turned 14 months old today. And last night, what happened -- I honestly thought I was never going to see her again." Freeman is an unemployed cook and security guard protesting out of frustration that he hasn't been able to find work for more than a year.  "I was doing professional window cleaning," protester Jamin Stocker (pictured) said. A month ago, Stocker had two jobs. "The work dried up," he said. Since then, he's been here. He's content to occupy a park, even though he has family in Houston he could stay with and jobs he could get.

Winds fling window 100m: Strong winds blew a large window 100 metres out of an office building into a nearby carpark this afternoon. The MetService today issued a severe weather warning for the Wellington region with gales expected to continue until nightfall. The window, which was approximately 1m squared, came from the 10th floor of Education House on Willis St. It flew out in a southerly direction and landed about 100 metres away in a carpark behind 190 Willis St. The fire service attended and cleaned up the glass. Natalie Ferguson, who works on the fifth floor of 190 Willis St, saw the window flying and said she was very relieved that no-one was injured in the carpark where it landed. Darrell Ward, assistant secretary for the New Zealand Educational Institute, which owns the building, said: "We're very concerned by this incident and looking into it with a view to making sure this sort of thing never happens again."

British Columbia has introduced a bill to expand mental stress coverage under the Workers Compensation Act. Bill 14 would amend the act to expand compensation for mental stress arising from the course of the worker’s employment to go beyond the current requirement of “an acute reaction to a sudden and traumatic event” and include: the reaction to one or more traumatic events, the reaction to a significant work-related stressor & the reaction to a cumulative series of significant work-related stressors. Stress resulting from employment decisions like discipline, termination or a change in working conditions will continue to be excluded from coverage. To be eligible for mental stress compensation in B.C., a recognized diagnosis will be required, according to the government. “Just as we wouldn’t expect a window washer who sustains physical injuries to go it alone, we shouldn’t expect workers who experience mental health problems as a result of their job to fend for themselves,” said Bev Gutray, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s B.C. division.

Up on the rooftop . . . pros will install your holiday decorations: Decorating for the holidays is such a fun activity that some people plan parties and family traditions around it, with crowds of people helping to trim the tree amid a house full of music and laughter. Taking down the decorations, however, is a lonely, unheralded and even dreaded chore. "Who wants to go out in January when it's 20 degrees out and remove lights?" asked George Wimmer, owner of My Personal Gardener Inc., a landscaping company that offers holiday decorating services in the Indianapolis and Carmel areas.
Many local landscapers, roofers and window washers pull double duty during the holiday season and offer decorating help for homeowners who want to avoid the hassle -- and the dangers -- associated with hanging lights. About 12,000 homeowners nationwide make a trip to a hospital emergency room each year because of holiday-related decorating accidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Not all of those accidents are related to falls. Electrical- and fire-related injuries are also to blame. "There's not only the height factor, but the factor of dealing with electricity and knowing how much lighting you can put on one outlet," said Mike van de Bossche, owner of Earth-Wood Arts in Indianapolis.
Most professional decorator services include providing the decorations, putting them up, taking them down and storing them for the homeowner to use again the next year. The cost can vary, but most experts say to expect to pay from $800 to $1,500 the first year for a professional decorating job. The upfront costs are more because you have to invest in the materials. The average job for holiday decorating last year cost about $1,400 according to Angie's List reports. "We can get higher on rooflines and peaks that they can't reach," Wimmer said. "And we can usually make it look a little better and be a little safer. It's more of a luxury of time. They can enjoy the holidays instead of dealing with the lights. And they don't have to worry about cluttering their garage with boxes and Christmas lights all year."
Most decorators offer a choice between incandescent and LED lights. "It's more expensive to buy LED, but down the road, you don't have issues with the lights going out, and it does use less energy," van de Bossche said. "The coloration of LED lights has also improved. They used to have a bluish glow on them, but that's been improved upon and is no longer the case. LEDs look good, too." Before you hire a professional holiday decorator, meet in person to share ideas and ask to see photos of past work. Ask how the company charges, if they determine price by the square foot or by the hour. Never let just anyone up on your roof to hang holiday lights. Check that the company has liability insurance and worker's compensation.

An attention getting tree: If you are heading west on the Spokane Street Viaduct and look south in the evening you are likely to see a very large lit Christmas tree. Standing approximately 80 feet tall this glowing holiday symbol near West Marginal Way is accomplishing what it was meant to: get some attention for the business that did it, Fleming's Holiday and Event Lighting(FHL). The West Seattle based business employs 30 people who are all about Christmas lighting but there's more to what they do than climb trees.
The owner, Ryan Fleming is a serial entrepreneur. At the age of 12 he got his first business idea when he saw his dad attempt to put up Christmas lights and fall off the ladder. He reasoned, "People should be able to hire someone to do that," and while it would take him a few years, he made it a reality. Before that business was formed however, after graduation from college he formed a car detailing business and shortly there after a couple of other businesses.
When he started seriously doing the lighting it was all residential but people noticed. The business grew rapidly and as it did he began to take on some commercial clients. Then that business grew to the point that Fleming and his crew found themselves doing the inside and outside lighting for Bellevue Square, Tacoma Mall and Alderwood Mall. "I'm a small businessman and I understand where I fit in society but I have big ambitions in life," Fleming said. The tree in West Seattle was decorated by one guy, Phillip who works for FHL and it required 40 hours. That tree is lit with 192 sets of LED mini lights each 25 feet long with 50 bulbs in each string. "It's not enough," said Fleming who cautions however that you can overdo holiday lighting. "There's a fine line," he said. "I've always wanted to decorate that tree," Fleming said and promised more lights for it are likely.
Fleming is out to decorate a lot more large trees. Not for money or really for marketing, but rather to add some holiday beauty during the longest nights of the year. I'm interested in talking to people about lighting trees of that size in some key locations around the area. One he has in mind is a large Blue Spruce tree near the top of the hill as you enter West Seattle. "My goal is to try and get the person that lives right next to that, to allow me to tap into their power so that my company can decorate it. It would be really cool." He has his eyes on trees just off Hwy 520 on either side just off the bridge and any just off I-90 as well. "I want to find trees that are in cool locations that will impact hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis during the holiday season so that it spreads a little more holiday cheer to everyone. If we can see these monstrous trees decorated it would be really cool."
FHL does far more than just light up the night. They work year round offering business consulting, event, wedding, and landscape lighting, window washing/gutter cleaning/pressure washing. It's how he keeps his staff busy and keeps money coming in. If it seems like he is a busy man that would be accurate. But when inspiration strikes he goes for it. When he gets an idea and thinks it has merit he says, "I'll make it happen. that's my mentality. That's what I want to do. That's what I want to have in my life. I want to make things happen."

Myths were busted when dozens of Portlanders filled a community centre to find out about local preparations for the 2012 Games. The first of three public drop-in sessions taking place across the borough and Dorchester amazed organisers with its popularity, when people queued up to get in the Community 2000 centre in Easton – 40 people turned up in the first half hour alone. It followed revelations in the Echo, that proposals for Weymouth during Games-time include closing seafront roads to cars from 10am until 10pm, introducing special ‘gold paper’ parking permits for residents and businesses and ‘hard checkpoints.’Window cleaner Michael Hartley, of Southwell, said: “There’re a lot of rumours including residents needing a pass to get back on to Portland. “Also I work in Weymouth town centre, will I need a gold ticket to get parked on the seafront?” Mr Fooks dismissed the first rumour as false and said local businesses requiring access to the seafront would be accommodated. County council director for environment Miles Butler added: “We’ve just got to make sure the people who have necessary journeys can do them but the people who don’t can use the park and ride, public transport, cycle or walk.”

The Tailless Timing Belt Climbing Platform robot is nowhere near as strong in terms of grip, and doesn’t display the same agility as a gecko.
If you’ve ever encountered a gecko you may have noticed it climbing just about any surface effortlessly. It doesn’t matter how smooth a surface is, a gecko can climb it, even a vertical sheet of glass. The key to this climbing skill is the toe pads on their feet. They are covered in little hairy growths called setae, each of which has thousands of micron-thin structures covering them called spatulae. While other animals use suction, natural glue, or claws to climb, the gecko uses the spatulae to cling to a surface using molecular attraction (known as Van der Waals forces). Each spatulae has a weak attraction to the molecules of a surface. Put many thousands of them close together on a surface, as each gecko foot does, and you have a very strong attraction. For some gecko, that attraction is so strong it is thought they could carry the weight of a human without losing their grip.
Obviously scientists want to take advantage of such an ability. Being able to grip any vertical surface and move along it without leaving a residue or requiring any power has many potential uses, e.g. window cleaning skyscrapers using a robot that can climb glass. Mimicking the gecko feet in man-made form has proved tough, but a research team at Simon Fraser University have recently made a significant breakthrough. They’ve managed to create a robot tank that scales vertical surfaces in the same way a gecko does using molecular attraction. Video here.

The Future of Solar Power: Up until now solar panels have fallen a little flat, literally. Whether they're on a house or an industrial solar field in the desert, solar panels have always been one shape: flat. But the world's not and there's no reason why our solar panels should be either. Inspired by the way trees spread their leaves to capture sunlight, MIT Engineering Professor Jeffery Grossman wondered how efficient a three-dimensional shape covered in solar cells could be. It turns out that it has the potential to be quite efficient, even on an overcast, rainy day in Boston. That's where we found Professor Grossman and his team, on the roof of their research lab at MIT with a desk covered in miniature 3D solar panels.
You might think doing a solar panel demonstration on an overcast day is pointless, but not so with 3D solar panels. Typically, grey skies are like kryptonite for solar power, but Professor Grossman found that 3D panels can actually pick up almost as much electricity on a cloudy day as it can when it's sunny out. That efficiency, created by the dynamic shapes inspired by tree leaves, is what's really impressive about Professor Grossman's design. Not only are they less impacted by bad weather, their vertical shape allows them to pick up more direct sunlight and generate more electricity than flat panels using the same amount of ground space. The team doesn't want their designs hidden away on rooftops either. Rachelle Villalon, the teams architect envisions a day when you'll find 3D solar panels placed around cities like statues, becoming urban icons, instead of simple flat panels hidden on a roof.

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