Thursday 31 October 2013

Bill Crome Sees Dead People

Bill Crome, supernatural encounters.
Bill Crome, Window Cleaner (by the gentle author): This is Bill Crome, a venerable window cleaner with thirty years’ experience in the trade, who makes a speciality out of cleaning the windows of the old houses in the East End. You might assume cleaning windows is a relatively mundane occupation and that, apart from the risk of falling off a ladder, the job is otherwise without hazard – yet Bill’s recent experiences have proved quite the contrary, because he has supernatural encounters in the course of his work that would make your hair stand on end.

“It wasn’t a career choice,” admitted Bill with phlegmatic good humour, “When I left school, a man who had a window cleaning business lived across the road from me, so I asked his son for a job and I’ve been stuck in it ever since. I have at least sixty regulars, shops and houses, and quite a few are here in Spitalfields. I like the freedom, the meeting of people and the fact that I haven’t got a boss on my back.” In spite of growing competition from contractors who offer cleaning, security and window cleaning as a package to large offices, Bill has maintained his business manfully, even in the face of the recession, but now he faces a challenge of another nature entirely. Although, before I elaborate, let me emphasise that Bill Crome is one of the sanest, most down-to-earth men you could hope to meet.

“I’ve heard there is a window cleaner in Spitalfields who sees ghosts,” I said, to broach the delicate subject as respectfully as I could. “That’s me,” he confessed without hesitation, colouring a little and lowering his voice, “I’ve seen quite a few. Five years ago, at the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings in Spital Sq, I saw a sailor on the second floor. I was outside cleaning the window and this sailor passed in front of me. He was pulling his coat on.  He put his arms in the sleeves, moving as he did so, and then walked through the wall. He looked the sailor on the Players Navy Cut cigarette packet, from around 1900 I would guess, in his full uniform.

And then I saw a twelve year old girl on the stair, she was bent down, peering at me through the staircase. I was about to clean the window, and I could feel someone watching me, then as I turned she was on the next floor looking down at me. She had on a grey dress with a white pinafore over the top. And she had a blank stare.

I did some research. I went to a Spiritualist Church in Wandsworth and one of the Spiritualists said to me, ‘You’ve got a friend who’s a sailor haven’t you?’ They told me how to deal with it. When we investigated we found it was to do with the old paintings at the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings, amongst the collection were portraits of a sailor and of a girl. Once I was walking up to the top floor, and I looked at the picture of the girl and she had a smiling face – but when I went back to collect my squeegee, I looked again and she had a frown. It sounds really stupid doesn’t it? I found a leaflet in the house explaining about the history of the paintings and how the family that gave them was dying off. The paintings are off the wall now, yet they had a nice feeling about them, of sweetness and calm.”

Bill confirmed that since the paintings were taken down, he has seen no more ghosts while cleaning windows in Spital Square and the episode is concluded, though the implications of these sinister events have been life changing, as he explained when he told me of his next encounter with the otherwordly.

“I was cleaning the windows of a house in Sheerness, and I looked into the glass and I saw the reflection of an old man right behind me. I could see his full person, a six foot four inch very tall man, standing behind me in a collarless shirt. But when I turned round there was no-one there.

I went down to the basement, cleaning the windows, and I felt like someone was climbing on my back. Then I started heaving, I was frozen to the spot. All I kept thinking was, ‘I’ve got to finish this window,’ but as soon as I came out of the basement I felt very scared. Speaking to a lady down the road, she told me that in this same house, in the same window, a builder got thrown off his ladder in the past year and there was no explanation for it.

I won’t go back and do that house again, I can tell you.”

As Bill confided his stories, he spoke deliberately, taking his time and maintaining eye contact as he chose his words carefully. I could see that the mere act of telling drew emotions, as Bill re-experienced the intensity of these uncanny events whilst struggling to maintain equanimity. My assumption was that although Bill’s experience at the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings might be attributed to a localised phenomenon, what happened in Sheerness suggests that Bill himself is the catalyst for these sightings.

“I feel that I have opened myself up to it because I’ve been to the Spiritualist Church a few times,” he revealed to me. “I do expect to see more ghosts because I work in a lot of old properties, especially round Spitalfields. I don’t dread it but I don’t look forward to it either. It has also made me feel like I do want to become a Spiritualist, and every time I go along, they say, ‘Are you a member of the church?’ But I don’t know. I don’t know what can of worms I’ve opened up.”

Bill’s testimony was touching in its frankness – neither bragging nor dramatising –  instead he was thinking out loud, puzzling over these mysterious events in a search for understanding. As we walked together among the streets of ancient dwellings in the shadow of the old church in Spitalfields where many of the residents are his customers, I naturally asked Bill Crome if he has seen any ghosts in these houses. At once, he turned reticent, stopping in his tracks and insisting that he maintain discretion. “I don’t tell my customers if I see ghosts in their houses.” he informed me absolutely, looking me in the eye,“They don’t need to know and I don’t want to go scaremongering.” If you would like your windows cleaned by Bill Crome, you can call him on 07720431452
Ghosts 101: Haunting First Aid - How to Reduce the Scariness/Malevolence. Cleaning - Once you have smudged, you need to *clean* the house or space of all dust, dirt, bug fragments, and so forth. I recommend doing this particular step in the daytime. Let the sunlight in -- clean the windows so that the healing and cleansing power of the sun can reach everywhere. Open the windows if the weather is good. If you do not have windows that let in the sunlight, use brightly colored candles (yellow is good) or oil lamps.

Wednesday 30 October 2013

BitCoin A Clear Choice For Seattle Window Cleaner

Your portal in to the World of Bitcoin. Click here.
Bitcoin: a clear choice for Seattle window cleaner - The window cleaning industry isn’t exactly recession-proof. Just ask Christian Bennett, a 23-year veteran that started his own Seattle-based business, Christian Bennett Window Cleaning, in 2000. For Bennett, the job began as way to work hard for a season, rake in some cash and split for the winter to travel the world.

Today, such luxuries are harder to come by. “In the last 10 years I’ve seen window cleaning rates only rise by 10% to 20% on average, while the cost of pretty much everything else has doubled in that time,” Bennett told CoinDesk. “I’m finding I’m having to compete with businesses that are still charging what they were 10 to 15 years ago.”

Bennett, however, thinks he’s found the solution for his business and the ailing window cleaning industry: bitcoin. He recalls that he first learned about bitcoin last spring, and it wasn’t long before he says he was committing classic “noob” mistakes. “I saw BTC go from $45 to $266 overnight. I went into full noob panic mode trying to get my first BTC,” Bennett recalls. “For all I knew they were going to $2,000. By the time I was able to buy one, the price had dropped to $75. I bought two at $150.”

Despite his interest in bitcoin, Bennett didn’t start accepting it at his business until September when he discovered Coinvoice, a merchant-facing service that he says helped him circumvent his still working knowledge of the currency. Bennet now accepts BizXchange credits and hopes to soon take litecoin, but he still regrets his initial reluctance to start using virtual currencies. “My general excuse was that with so few people owning BTC I should really wait a couple more years, until it’s more well known before getting involved,” Bennett said.

Bennett says he has already seen an increase in business related to bitcoin, and that he expects a more noticeable bump come spring due to both the increased volume of business and the 15% discount he currently offers on bitcoin purchases. “Most people don’t know about or understand BTC, but they understand that discount right away,” Bennett said. “I’ve gotten some skeptical responses, but if I take the time to clearly explain it to them they usually show an openness to learn more about it.”

Going forward, Bennett plans to keep a more personal approach to bolstering his bitcoin earnings. He will soon issue a postcard to clients that explains bitcoin and includes the tools they need to start their own research. It’s a grassroots approach, according to Bennett, but he likes the social aspect of virtual currency the best. “I hope I can inspire other business owners and entrepreneurs to take the leap and get involved. It’s a lot of fun and very enlightening,” Bennett said. Bitcoin is an innovative payment network and a new kind of money. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin is open-source; its design is public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can take part. Through many of its unique properties, Bitcoin allows exciting uses that could not be covered by any previous payment system.

A Vancouver resident uses the world's first bitcoin ATM.
Bitcoin cashes in as its first ATM opens in Vancouver: Virtual currency takes another step towards the mainstream as easy-to-use machine opens in Canadian coffee shop. A silver and blue ATM, perched up next to the espresso bar in a trendy Vancouver coffee shop, could launch a new era for the virtual currency bitcoin, offering an almost instant way to exchange the world's leading virtual money for cash. The value of a bitcoin soared from $13 in January to a high of $266 in April as more businesses and consumers used them to buy and sell online. Some investors are also treating bitcoins like gold, using them to hedge against currency fluctuations and speculating on their rise.

The kiosk, which looks like the average ATM but with hand and barcode scanners, opened for business on Tuesday and by mid-morning people were lined up to swap their bitcoins for cash, or to deposit cash to buy more bitcoins. "It's as easy as walking up to a machine, scanning your hand, entering some cash and buying bitcoin," said Jordan Kelley, chief executive of Las Vegas-based Robocoin, the company that builds the ATMs. "With this, it's a 2-minute process. For any online exchange, it's at least two days."

Bitcoins, currently worth about $210 each, can be transferred without going through banks or clearing houses, thereby cutting fees. Users can buy products and services online or in a handful of stores, including the Waves coffee shop where the ATM is located. With the bitcoin ATM, users scan their hand to confirm identity, then funds move to or from a virtual wallet on their smartphone. The system limits transfers to $1,000 a day, in an effort to curb money laundering and other fraud.

Bitcoiniacs, the local dealer that operates the ATM, will roll out four other kiosks across Canada in December. Robocoin said Canada was the ideal place to launch the kiosk due to a critical mass of users and less stringent oversight than in the US, where the bitcoin trade is monitored by anti-money laundering regulators. "We think the Vancouver market is enormous and we're excited to be here," said Kelley. "By the end of 2013, we'll be all over Canada. By the end of 2014, we'll be all over the world, including the US."

Bitcoin is not a recognised currency in Canada, so Ottawa's anti-money laundering watchdog, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre, does not monitor its trade. However, Bitcoiniacs' founders say they are working with the agency to be ready for when Canada does start regulating them. "We're already being proactive in our business," said Bitcoiniacs co-founder Mitchell Demeter. "We abide by any guidelines they would impose - which includes the 'know your customer' laws and anti-money laundering laws."
Going mainstream

Bitcoins were launched in 2008 and are traded within a global network of computers. They are not backed by a single company or government, but their release is tightly controlled, mimicking a central banking system's control over the minting of money. Bitcoins can be bought with near anonymity, which supporters say lowers fraud risk and increases privacy. But critics say that also makes bitcoins a magnet for drug transactions, money-laundering and other illegal activities.

The currency's reputation took a hit this month, when US regulators shut down Silk Road, an online marketplace used to buy and sell illegal drugs, and seized $3.6m (£2.3m) in bitcoins. But the virtual currency is gaining hold among businesses and consumers, a key step to a bigger role. "I think it's definitely going mainstream," said Demeter. "I think as things progress, and the infrastructure is built, it will become easier for people to buy and sell, and so more people will start using it."

In Vancouver, for example, dozens of people attend weekly bitcoin meet-ups and a member co-op is promoting the currency to a growing list of local retailers. At Waves, Vancouver resident Chung Cheong used bitcoin to pay for his mug of tea and was happy to mull over the future of the digital currency. "It's been said that we're at the stage where email was in 1992," he said. "Is it risky? Sure. But look at how the internet and email changed the world."

Major Bitcoin theft from website, claims owner.

Tuesday 29 October 2013

Window Cleaning Equipment Falls From 32-storey Tecom Tower

Below Al Shaiba Tower in Dubai.
Window cleaning equipment falls from 32-storey Tecom tower (Dubai): 1 dead, 1 hurt - Five vehicles damaged: A window cleaning equipment snapped from the 34-storey Al Shaiba Tower A in Tecom, killing one person and leaving one person injured. According to eye witnesses, the two passers-by were in the area to deliver fruits and vegetables. "One of them tried to run away upon seeing the object falling down. He was hit while he was running," said a building employee. While both men were taken to hospital immediately, the seriously injured man, a Pakistani, did not make it, according to unofficial sources. The nationality of the injured person is not known yet.

The accident was caused by the collapse of a window-cleaning cradle, installed on the building. According to the building management, the company was hired to install the equipment only. "They were attaching it to the building floor by floor. When they reached the 31st floor, it collapsed," said a building manager. As a result, one balcony of an apartment on the 31st floor was hit, after which it plunged down. "My wife and her father were at home when it happened. I was at work," said the Egyptian resident of the apartment. "She called me to say that there was a lot of glass and I had to come home. When I entered the apartment, I saw a huge hole in the wall. The entire balcony had come off."

Below the building, the damage is great. Five vehicles have been crashed, four of them are totally damaged. One of the vehicles is a truck belonging to the unfortunate delivery men. "I was sitting on the terrace to drink a coffee while it happened. Suddenly I saw the object flying down. I took my coffee and I started running," said the Syrian Mahmoud Kattan (30), who works at Hair Fiesta, the hair salon under the building. His colleague Ibrham (34) from Egypt had a day off, but was woken up by the loud sound of the collapse, as his apartment is located on the 34th floor. "I suddenly saw the object flying by my apartment window. The sound was crazy, I was in shock.”

Similarly, Bonita (36), a South African resident on the 32nd floor was shocked by the intense noise when the object fell down. "At first, I did not dare to come close to the apartment window. I heard that loud sound and then saw a cloud of dust. It was as if the building was going to collapse." When she decided to take a look out of the window, she saw a body lying on the street. "At that point, he was moving his arm, he was still alive." The accident took place just after 11am and Dubai ambulance and police personnel are still at the scene. The area has been cordoned off, although residents are permitted to enter the building.

The accident created a whole in the wall of the living room.
This apartment balcony on the 31st floor was hit by the cradle.
EARLIER STORY: Window cleaning equipment fell from the 32-storey Al Shaiba Tower A in Tecom, injuring at least two people. The equipment landed on a couple of passers-by, causing serious injury to one, Dubai Ambulance personnel told Emirates 24|7. A supermarket staffer in the building said the seriously injured person was a Pakistani delivery boy who worked in the area. Cars parked next to the building were also damaged., with at least four badly damaged. The area is still cordoned off. The accident took place just after 11am and Dubai ambulance and police personnel are still on the scene. "I suddenly heard a loud noise as if the building was falling apart," said Bonita Carr, a South African resident living on the 32nd floor. "When I looked down the balcony, I saw something had fallen down."

Window cleaning cradle collapse: man dead after accident in Tecom, Dubai -  One man was killed and another injured when a window cleaning cradle fell from a 34-storey building in Tecom after its ropes snapped. The accident happened early on Tuesday morning at the Al Shaiba Tower in Tecom. The victim died in hospital on Tuesday afternoon. The falling cradle damaged 12 vehicles parked in front of the residential building, throwing up debris in a 200-metre radius. Stones and pieces of equipment were strewn under cars and across the pavement. Colonel Abdul Qader Al Banay, Director of Jebel Ali police station had earlier told Gulf News two were injured when the cleaning platform fell and some cars parked under the building were also damaged.
2 arrested after 3 injured in Tecom tower window-cleaning cradle plunge:  Two men have been arrested after a window-cleaning cradle plunged from a Dubai skyscraper, injuring three people below. The trio, who are all Asian, were on the street next to Al Shaiba Tower in Tecom about 10.45am yesterday when the unmanned platform fell from the 34-storey building. Initial reports suggested one man had been killed. However, last night the head of Jebel Ali Police Station, Brigadier Abdul Kader Al Banay, said three men had been injured and were being treated at Rashid Hospital. He said one of the men was in a critical condition.

An eyewitness shared what he saw, along with graphic photographs of the accident, on a blog. He said: “There was a strong sound of squeaking glass smashing followed by a boom. People rushed to the street to find the damage on the ground. “With God’s mercy only, the cars parked in front of the buildings were empty except for an unlucky delivery truck. The poor labourer unloading the truck received a direct hit.”

Meanwhile, Al Banay said: “The cradle collapsed and the men tried to escape but pieces of the machine fell on them.” Al Banay added: “The cradle landed on a deep-freeze van. Five other vehicles were also damaged.” Police said they have arrested the cleaning company owner and a supervisor who were responsible for putting up the equipment on the building. They are continuing to question them. The eyewitness said: “Police and rescue workers arrived almost instantly at the scene and the paramedics tried to rescue the badly injured man.”
Two injured as window-cleaning equipment falls in Dubai’s Tecom tower: Two men were injured and several cars damaged on Tuesday morning when window-cleaning equipment fell from a 34-storey tower in Tecom. There were unconfirmed reports that one of the injured men later died in hospital. “The whole building shook,” said a resident who lives on the 30th floor of Al Shaiba Tower A. “I was sitting with my cat on my lap and we both shook because of the noise.” By the time the resident, who asked not to be named, went downstairs to check on the noise, police were there and an ambulance had already taken away the two injured.

One of the two men was delivering fruit and vegetables to a supermarket at the building. “There were vegetables and bananas strewn everywhere,” said the witness. “The whole street was scattered with pieces of metal.” Several cars parked next to the entrance of the building were severely damaged, while other nearby vehicles also had minor damage. Apartment windows on one of the upper floors of the building also appeared to be damaged. One resident said she was afraid for her safety as similar equipment is mounted on the roof of tower B of the complex.

Maintenance cradles are safe, Dubai Municipality official says: An official at the civic body said on Wednesday that residents should not have to worry for their safety when cleaning and maintenance works are carried out in their building as all equipment are approved by the Dubai Accreditation Centre. The affirmation came a day after a cradle used to hoist workers on the exterior of a building fell from a 34-storey residential building in Tecom on Tuesday killing one man and injuring another passer-by.

According to Dubai Municipality, either the building owners or the building’s administration are responsible for providing an adequate and reliable maintenance service which includes providing cradles used to clean the glass panels. “Buildings with window curtains have to be designed and built in a way that allows room for cradles to be used on as there are several models of cradles. Before the building is approved, the building’s management has to first test the cradle and ensure that it works properly, and that can only be done by obtaining a certificate of inspection from a private company that attests such equipment,” said Ahmad Khalil, principal safety engineer at the Building Department, Dubai Municipality.

Khalil explained that the private companies attesting the equipment have to be approved by the Dubai Accreditation Centre, and that the responsibility of providing periodic maintenance has to be carried out by the building’s administration. “The management of buildings should never look for ways to cut costs and should always ensure that they are providing residents with services that have been verified and approved by the relevant authorities,” he said. Khalil pointed out that accidents may arise from faulty cradles if the equipment has not been regularly maintained, if the maintenance companies hired do not have the license to operate such equipment, or are generally incautious to following safety procedures.
Men injured in Dubai window-cleaning cradle fall expected to recover:  Both men injured when a window cradle fell from a 34-storey tower on Tuesday morning are expected to make a full recovery, the regulator of the free zone where the tower is located said on Thursday. The Dubai Technology and Free Zone Authority, the regulator for Tecom, the area where Al Shaiba Tower A is located, said a preliminary investigation has been completed. “While we are prohibited from disclosing full details at this time, we can confirm that no fatalities resulted from the incident,” it said. The authority said one man remains in hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. A second suffered minor facial injuries and has already been released from hospital.

“We will continue to work with Dubai Police and other authorities throughout the course of the investigation and will take appropriate action once the process has been completed.” The two men were hurt when the unmanned cradle fell about 10.45am. Several cars were damaged and some windows on surrounding buildings appeared to be damaged. Tecom Investments released a statement, saying it had been in touch with the two injured men “to check on their welfare and gain a better understanding of what occurred”.
Authorities deny reports of fatality in crane fall in Dubai: Tecom, DTMFZA say two workers were injured in the accident, preliminary investigation completed. Authorities have denied reports about a man’s death after a window-cleaning platform crashed from the 34th floor of a tower in the Tecom area on Tuesday morning. The Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority (DTMFZA) on Thursday confirmed that there was no fatality in the incident as reported by a section of the media.

The DTMFZA said it has completed its preliminary investigation into the incident at Al Shaiba Tower A.  “While we are prohibited from disclosing full details at this time, we can confirm that no fatalities resulted from the incident.” The authority said one man was in hospital following prompt medical treatment and is expected to make a full recovery. “The second man sustained minor facial injuries in the accident and has already been discharged.  We will continue to work with the Dubai Police and other authorities throughout the course of the investigation and will take appropriate action once the process has been completed,” its statement added.

Tecom Investments also issued a similar statement. “We are pleased to confirm that the incident at Al Shaiba Tower A did not result in any fatalities, contrary to initial media reports. DTMFZA and Tecom Investments have been in direct contact with the two men injured in the incident to check on their welfare and gain a better understanding of what occurred. We will continue to liaise with DTMFZA, the regulator for the area, and provide our assistance in resolving this matter,” it said.

Khaleej Times had reported that the men were working under the platform, on the ground floor, when the collapse took place. Eyewitnesses said they were stunned when they heard a loud noise and saw the crane come crashing down on top of three workers. The crane also caused damage to six vehicles in the area, one of which was still occupied by its driver, as well as the injury of two passers-by. As a result of the collapse, windows on the 31st floor were also damaged.

Monday 28 October 2013

Cable Ties - Window Cleaners Winter Use

Cable ties - window cleaners life saver.
Ridiculously cheap and ridiculously effective: now that’s the perfect household tool. They’re great for keeping your cords neat and organized, of course, but that’s just one of hundreds of amazing ways to use and reuse (yes, you can recycle them) cable ties. I've used them for everything, from waterfed pole hose to hanging pole holders or baskets in the van. I've used them as a hoop for my scrim when my belt hoop gave way & even used them on my ladder with my bucket-on-a-belt. Pole hose loops for outside pole hose is also another idea if you want to try it & sometimes better than the velcro equivalent. Of course always keep your pocket knife handy. Have your own favorite use? Share them with us in the comments below.

About David Schmidt (cable tie user): David Schmidt began working as a high-rise window washer in his twenties and went on to own his own window cleaning company. After nearly two decades in the window cleaning business, David sold his company and started a new venture: the Dutch Bike Company. His bike business now has two locations, in Seattle and Chicago, and is growing fast. But David still cleans high-rise windows from time to time—just because he loves it.

Shown by David Schmidt to help not only grip in the snow for a bike but also for those window cleaners with bikes, trolleys or portable wheeled apparatus.
SNOWPOCALYPSE! No matter how much we swear we've learned our lessons, Seattle always seems to get caught by surprise by the snow. There we were, minding our own business with our feet all toasty in our sandals and socks, when the temperature plummeted and it turned into Juneau in January. While this year the City did a much better job than last year at preventing widespread carnage and destruction, we at Dutch Bike Seattle still didn't bring in studded tires because it never snows in Seattle. Even if we had stocked them, I'm not sure they'd sell because it never snows in Seattle, right?

David Schmidt
We found something else, though. Something else entirely. You're not going to believe it at first. It's quick, it's cheap, and yes, it looks completely ludicrous. But... it works. It works beautifully. I can accelerate, brake, and corner with aplomb, even on the vile snowpack/sheet ice mix the plows leave in the bike lanes. The zip ties dig nicely into the hardest packed surfaces, but they're thin enough not to bounce the bike around at low speed or on short pavement sections. I've cunningly positioned the tie heads to dig in as soon as the bike goes into a corner while staying up and off the ground in a straight line. This is the place that the ties are most likely to interfere with the fenders, so if you're installing these yourself be careful to make sure you have or can create the clearance. It is at this point that I must admit that I didn't dream up this amazing technique. It pains me to admit this not because my ego suffers, but because the zip-tie-DIY-bicycle-snow-chains idea appears to have originated with my favorite bicycle industry whipping boy: fixed gear hipster culture.

Other Uses from this site...

1. Fix a Broken Toilet Handle. No expensive repairs required: just reattach a broken toilet chain with a couple of cable ties.

2. Keep Plants Upright. Tomatoes, young trees, cucumbers, roses, and any other plants that need staking, keep them in place with a secure, but not too tight, cable tie.

3. Keep Holiday Decor in Place. A little anal about stringing up Christmas lights? Get nice, straight lines that won’t budge by attaching the lights with cable ties. And, at the end of the season, tie the lights up with more of ‘em so next year you won’t have to deal with a big, knotted mess!

4. Child-Proof Your Home. Keep your children, and any little visitors, safe by placing anything you don’t want them to get their hands on in a cabinet, and keeping that cabinet shut and secure with a cable tie.

5. Repair Wire Baskets. Are there a few gaps in your wire basket? No need to replace the whole thing, just replace the missing wires with zip ties.

6. Ridiculously Easy (And Cheap!) DIY Storage. With a couple (free!) plastic milk crates, and a couple cable ties, you can create durable storage for less than $1. Attach milk crates to each other with cable ties, and you’ve got yourself one sturdy storage system. You can even hang it on the wall!

7. Deter Thieves. Stop sticky-handed people when you’re traveling or out on the town. Tie two zippers together to deter muggers and pickpockets.

8. Quickly Fix a Loose Button. No time to sew a loose button on? Keep it in place in the meantime with a cable tie.

9. Replace Missing Zipper Pulls. Zippers aren’t very useful if you can’t pull them up or down! For a quick fix, attach a cable tie to the zipper.

9. Repair Broken Necklaces. Is the clasp broken on your favorite necklace? Don’t throw it out! Loop a small cable tie through both sides and affix it in place.

Friday 25 October 2013

Jesse Green The Cartoon Guy

Jesse says it how it is.
Jesse Green of Sparkle King in Cape Cod, Massachusetts has been on the blog before & featured elsewhere here on the blog. His window cleaning cartoons have been popping up all over facebook & the one above in particular caught my eye. It seems like Jesse is your deep thinker & ponderer on life, shown from many other cartoons that are not window cleaning related, he also takes some of his manifestations from dreams.. there's six months of work there for any psycho-analyst! Jesse will be contributing on a regular basis, so sit back & have a laugh.

Jesses Cartoon speech bubble hat.
When?  "I just started drawing cartoons and publishing them on my website and facebook about a month ago. I have never published cartoons anywhere before that. My "art career" started in the public school system where I doodled to escape the boredom of the government mandated school / prison system."

Why? "I was a persistent doodler all my life and drew just for the fun of it. I went to graphic design school later on as an adult but hated the way many of the teaches openly criticized students work... some of the teachers were pretty much like chef Gordon Ramsey on Kitchen Nightmares."

The How? "I don't think I stood out as an exceptional artist in the 1st year of art school that I attended as far as technical ability, but I did notice that I could just sit down with a blank piece of paper and draw for hours without looking at anything. There were artists who could look at something at draw it perfectly but couldn't come up with any ideas of their own. I guess I am blessed with diarrhea of the imagination, having no shortage of ideas yet."

This Weeks Cartoon? "This story of the window cleaning clown haunting the streets of Nottingham, England was just too good too pass up. As soon as I read about this creepy window cleaner, I had to make a comic strip. In terms of sheer creepiness of various clowns I've developed the following ranking: creepy clown trying balloon animals gets a 3/10 in creepiness which is enough to elicit a mild nightmare. Next up a clown selling ice cream, ranks significantly higher at 6/10 on the creep-o-meter simply for the fact that he's got sugary sweets that the young ones can't get enough of AND a vehicle for stashing bodies. But creepy window washing clown takes the cake because he's not just milling around in public, he's at YOUR house staring inside YOUR windows. Creepy window cleaning clown gets a 9/10 in my book. The only thing scary is a creepy clown proctologist (not pictured)."

Thursday 24 October 2013

Dog Shit

Dogs... full of shit.
Anger at "dog mess alley" in Newquay: A busy alleyway in Newquay has been dubbed "dog mess alley" by one disgruntled user, who says he is sick of running the gauntlet on his way to the pub. Max Pocklington, 44, is calling on Cornwall Council to install a dog bin on the footpath that links Polwhele Road, where he lives, and Wych Hazel Way.

Dog excrement can cause toxocariasis, a serious infection which can cause abdominal pain, severe eye infections and even blindness. Youngsters are most vulnerable to the condition.
The father of three said the problem had existed for years – but several near misses on the way back from watching the England game in The Tavern last Tuesday finally spurred him into action. The poo-caked alleyway is commonly used by residents of the Treloggan area to access the Gannel or Trenance Boating Lake in one direction, or Morrison's supermarket in the other. Mr Pocklington said he cleans up after his pet sprollie, Willow, and leaves the bags outside the pub to be collected on his way home – but other dog-owners are not so considerate.

He said: "There's no dog bin or even a litter bin for people to put the dog mess in, which is ridiculous considering the amount of people who walk down that alley. People end up just leaving it on the ground or bagging it up and leaving it in the hedges. It's like dog mess alley. "I enjoy walking my dog to the pub but it's like running the gauntlet now, especially as the evenings are darker. I clear mine up but I have to leave the bags outside the pub and pick them up on my way back home."

Mr Pocklington, who runs a window-cleaning business, said it could also be a hazard for young children, including his own, who use the alleyway. Dog excrement can cause toxocariasis, a serious infection which can cause abdominal pain, severe eye infections and even blindness. Youngsters are most vulnerable to the condition.

The Cornish Guardian contacted Treloggan's Cornwall councillor Dave Sleeman on Mr Pocklington's behalf, who said he should be able to pay for a dog bin out of his £3,000 'community chest' allowance. Mr Sleeman said: "It desperately needs a bin up there and I can fund one out of my community chest. I want to make sure that money benefits local people."

He has also teamed up with Newquay town councillors Kevin Towill, Darren Daniel and John Rainbow to form a new Treloggan Residents' Association, due to meet tonight. Projects in the team's sights include fixing the fountain in the boating lake, clearing up Treloggan Green and pond, and creating a new children's play park. "Things are really starting to move forward now," Mr Sleeman said.

Waterfed pole hoses & dog excrement are a constant nuisance for window cleaners. Dog shit isn't funny.
Waterfed pole hoses & dog excrement: A few window cleaners in the UK have even taken to dropping clients when the owners fail to clean up after their dog in the yard or on the lawn. There is even a law to prosecute dog owners when they fail to clean up after them & even on private land where window cleaning & access is needed to carry out window cleaning work. Dog fouling is not only unpleasant it is dangerous. The biggest threat to public health from dog excrement is toxocariasis. Toxocariasis has been named one of the neglected diseases of U.S. poverty, because of its prevalence in Appalachia, the southern U.S., inner city settings, and minority populations. Unfortunately, there is currently no vaccine available or under development.
What is Toxocariasis? Toxocariasis is an infection of the roundworm toxocara canis. The eggs of the parasite can be found in soil or sand contaminated with faeces and if swallowed, result in infection that lasts between six and 24 months. Symptoms include eye disorders, vague ache, dizziness, nausea, asthma and, in extremely rare cases, seizures/fits. Often the eggs are ingested when passed to the mouth by the hands, but this can also occur through contact with dogs or other inanimate objects including the wheels of toys and the soles of shoes. Infected soil samples are often found in play areas and as a result, Toxocariasis most commonly affects children between 18 months and five years.

In Haverhill, Boston errant dog owners at the Katherine Heights condominium complex have been leaving droppings on sidewalks and lawns, so the community’s board of trustees plan to collect DNA to catch the offenders. “We’ve had too many complaints from our residents and we really had to do something,” said board member Diane Murad, who has lived in the 50-unit complex for more than 25 years. “At one point, the mail man even threatened to stop delivering mail. We know who’s doing it, but we haven’t been able to prove it.”

The board approved the new canine policy last year and recently contracted with Nashua-based Dog DNA Today LLC to collect and store samples from about 25 dogs that reside in the development. Pet owners will have to pay $30 to process a DNA sample from their dogs. There will be a $500 penalty for not registering a dog’s DNA. “We tried every angle to solve the problem,” Logan said. “I actually offered rewards to people to catch the offenders on film. The problem is that we had laws against it, but there was no way to enforce them. DNA testing changed that.’’

Radical solutions to the problem of dog mess: It's a problem that gets on lots of people's nerves - the scourge of dog owners who don't clear up after their pets. So, what can be done to rid streets and parks of their mess? The signs are easy to spot - the flattened deposit bearing the imprint of a shoe, the anxious parent quickly steering their offspring to one side, the man repeatedly wiping his foot on the verge as if kick-starting a decrepit motorbike. Few things irritate people quite so much as the abandoned deposits produced by the UK's eight million dogs. It is often suggested that between them they produce 1,000 tonnes of the stuff each day.

In reality there shouldn't be a problem - you own a dog, it eats, it poos, you clean it up. Failing to do so is anti-social, smelly and can spread diseases, including toxicariasis. Dog mess is one of the most common causes of complaints to local councils and four out of 10 people consider it a problem in their local area, says the campaign group Keep Britain Tidy. Along with the Dogs Trust it has launched a campaign, The Big Scoop, to remind the minority of bad owners to clean up after their animals. After a decade of decline, the number of areas affected by dog mess is on the rise, it says. Almost one in five of the recreation areas it surveyed had a problem. But given the decades' old nature of the problem, what are the radical solutions that could be tried?

One of the problems with dog mess is that its earthy tones make it difficult to spot against the ground. Spraying it a bright colour and leaving it in situ for the owners to consider upon their return has been tried by a number of councils. In Dorset, the excrement was painted bright green, while Gloucestershire favoured orange and West Dunbartonshire bright pink. "This pink spray-paint will make this mess really obvious so the owners get the message that it is disgusting," said West Dunbartonshire councillor David McBride.

Elsewhere little flags of the type more usually seen on sandcastles have been left atop piles of poo. In Boston Lincolnshire, they bear "humorous and caustic" messages, including "man's best friend - let's keep it that way" and "flagged up… irresponsible dog owner woz 'ere".

Sometimes the offended party feels the need to go further. In Todmorden, West Yorkshire, British Waterways decorated a tree with dozens of bags of poo-filled plastic bags, to highlight the problem of owners picking the waste up - only to fling it into the foliage.

And in Brunete, a small town 20 miles from Madrid, volunteers were enlisted to look out for irresponsible owners. Many were identified from the town hall pet database and the excrement returned as "Lost Property" in a box bearing the town's insignia. A 70% drop in the amount of mess found on the streets was reported.

Drawing attention to the problem can make owners realise "how much it upsets other people", says Lance Workman, visiting professor of psychology at the University of South Wales. "When people take on a dog they think about the positives. People don't always see the responsibility that goes with it."  But there are some people who won't be reached by attempts to shame them. "Most of us feel guilty even if nobody knows what we've done, but some people have a high threshold for guilt," says Workman.

Elsewhere it has been apparent that members of the public can be enlisted if there's an incentive. Residents of New Taipei City in Taiwan were offered a lottery ticket for every bag of poo they handed in. Officials collected 14,500 bags from 4,000 people, with the scheme said to have halved the amount of excrement in the city. A woman in her 50s won the top prize - a gold ingot worth $2,200 (£1,400). Read more.

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