Friday 29 November 2013

Jesse Green The Cartoon Guy - Thanksgiving Musings

“Off the Deep End” - A weekly window cleaning cartoon strip by Jesse Green. #1

My pre-Thanksgiving tradition of gorging myself on Chinese takeout while watching the original Twilight Zone yielded the seed that would grow into this blog involving window cleaning and obscure social theory.

You see, when I popped open the fortune cookie, a wise little paper banner unfurled which perfectly embodies the Thanksgiving spirit: “If you don't enjoy what you have, how could you be happier with more?”

I guess there is a synchronicity at work in the universe. When takeout food, holidays and my writing schedule align.... kapow!

Coincidence #2

Putting off the writing of this blog article, I reached for a book which chronicled the 2008 economic collapse and the dwindling post industrial American landscape through personal narratives – I know the perfect book to settle your stomach after you've eaten too much, right?

Opening the book in the middle to a random page, it so happened that this page briefly lays out Mimetic Desire – exactly what I had been thinking about over the past few days but without a fancy name to gift wrap it for the mind.

Mimetic Desire is the theory proposed by Rene Girard to explain why humans seem to want the same things. It states that people want and value things because other people want and value them. Little Freddy is happy playing with the toy motorcycle and doesn't even care about that toy tug boat in the corner until little Bobby grabs it. Now, suddenly the tugboat is all little Freddy can think about. After seeing little Bobby cut through imaginary waters to pull valuable freight to the shores, little Freddy cannot stop until he is the captain of that magnificent vessel.

This phenomenon of desiring what other's have is, according to Girard, the root of human conflict.

This got me to thinking about why I went into window cleaning. When I made the decision to start a business, I did the opposite of what Mr. Girard says many of us do. I tried to pick something that I thought no one else was doing.

I looked around and saw landscapers and house painters and the occasional carpet cleaning van driving through my town. But, I didn't see a single soul cleaning windows. Maybe it helped that I lived in “the rain-belt” near Seattle. The grayest, rainiest part of the country was surely not the epicenter of the window cleaning industry.

But even here in sunnier Cape Cod, Massachusetts, I rarely see other window cleaning vans driving down the streets. And even fewer people evidently want to scoop out people's gutters as I hear all the time from customers who say they can't find anyone to do the task.

Maybe that's the secret to economic well being, if not exactly riches : 1) pick something that no one else is doing.

And if that becomes increasingly difficult, go to step 2) Pick an area where no one else is marketing to.

My friend Jonny Alden of Jonny Windows picked an neglected side of town where no other window cleaners were interested in servicing. Building up a route of customers, he established a thriving business over time.

It takes more imagination to come up with a plan to do something that no one else is doing, but the rewards can be greater than dropping your line in the water where everyone else is fishing.

Hopefully, my window cleaning efforts will stay on the sidelines as I grow my company. But I've got a few back up plans if everyone start diving into cleaning windows in the future: 1) pet taxidermy. Who doesn't want dear sweet Muffy the kitty princess next to their bedside stuffed and preserved for all time? 2) Surrogate Vacationing. It's a lot of work going on vacation, packing bags, catching flights. I'll do the work for you, take lots of pictures and give you a slide-show of all the places “we” went together.

So, in the meantime: keep a lid on how great window cleaning is. The less we praise it's hidden pleasures, the less competition we'll have.
Jesse Green of Sparkle King in Cape Cod, Massachusetts: Hi, my name is Jesse Green. I have the fortunate job of cleaning windows and gutters in a really great place - Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I fell in love with the area when I came to see my friends get married here. The history, the natural beauty, and most of all the people won me over. I have been very fortunate. Cape Codders have welcomed me with open arms – spreading the word and referring me to friends and family.

Thursday 28 November 2013

Window Cleaners Foil Attempted Robbery

Window cleaners, James Rowley and Daniel Sandholm chased & captured would be robber.
Window cleaners tell how they foiled bank robbery: Two window cleaners have described how they foiled an attempted bank stick-up before catching the would-be robber as he tried to escape on his mountain bike. James Rowley and Daniel Sandholm were on their way home from work just before 3pm on Wednesday and pulled over in Coulsdon for James to go into to visit Lloyds Bank in Brighton Road. But their routine was shattered when a man strode into the bank and ordered the cashier to hand over money, threatening her with a gun that turned out to be a fake.

Mr Rowley, 34, of Caterham, was paying in money at the time and recalls: “A guy walked in with a crash helmet on. He held up a gun and demanded the cashier put the money in. “I turned around and told him to f*** off . “He was saying, ‘I am going to shoot through the glass, I am going to shoot you through the glass.’ “I told him he was a prick and to go f*** himself. Then he went towards the door and was pretending there was someone else outside.”

Mr Rowley said he then grabbed a fire extinguisher from inside the bank and chased out the suspect who started pedalling up Station Approach Road on a mountain bike. He continued: “I was thinking there is probably a getaway car outside, not a bike, so I was going to throw the extinguisher at the car. “I was running after him and chased him up the road. I threw the fire extinguisher at him and knocked him off his bike and then he ran at me with the crash helmet.”

Father-of-two Mr Rowley was knocked to the ground and Mr Sandholm, who had been waiting in the van, took up the chase. Mr Sandholm, 23, of Purley, said: “I heard some shouting when I was sitting in the van and then I saw James chasing him. “He whacked James around the back of his head with the helmet and then James fell to the ground as I was running up. It was quite nasty. “Then I chased the guy down towards Brighton Road. I grabbed him and pushed him up by the boarding [at the flats development] and we held him there until police came. “He was trying to struggle but when I caught him to be fair he was struggling a little bit at first afterwards he just sort of waited with me.”

Mr Sandholm, who works for Mr Rowley, said police arrived before the would-be robber was taken away to hospital in an ambulance after complaining of breathing difficulties. Mr Rowley himself was due to see a doctor on Thursday morning to check his head after his fall. He added: “I felt sorry for the cashier because she was an old woman. I would do it again if it happened in front of me. “The police were very happy with what I had done. They said they had never known anyone to stop an armed robbery and catch the suspect at the same time.”

The London Ambulance Service confirmed its staff had attended and treated a man, reported to be in his forties, who was taken to Croydon University Hospital. A police spokesman confirmed police officers were called at around 2.40pm to reports of an attempted robbery at a bank in Brighton Road. He added: "Police attended and a 46-year-old man, who had been detained by a member of the public, was arrested nearby on suspicion of attempted robbery. "Officers also recovered an imitation firearm nearby." The 46-year-old was in police custody at the time of writing late Thursday morning. Detectives from the Met’s Flying Squad are investigating. Enquiries continue.

The scene in Coulsdon this afternoon
Window cleaners foil attempted robbery at Coulsdon bank: A pair of window cleaners foiled an attempted bank robbery this afternooon, the Advertiser understands. Witnesses say a man tried to rob LLoyds Bank in Brighton Road, Coulsdon, at around 3pm. But was chased out and caught by a window cleaner and his colleague before being arrested by police, the Advertiser understands. The would-be robber threatened the bank staff with a gun that turned out to be fake. Updates to follow..

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Window Cleaner Steals Ladders To Set Up Business

A Thieving window cleaner caught carrying a stolen pair of ladders had taken them to help set up his own business.
Aspiring Darlington window cleaner stole ladders to help set up his own business, court hears: A Thieving window cleaner caught carrying a stolen pair of ladders had taken them to help set up his own business, a court heard. Aspiring window cleaner Andrew Warwick was caught by police carrying the pair of stolen ladders down Northgate, in Darlington, at about 12.30am on the morning of Saturday, November 9.

Magistrates in Darlington heard the 30-year-old had seen the £300 ladders on the roof of a van parked in the street and asked a nearby stranger if they were for sale. The man said they were and Warwick paid £20 for them before the pair removed them and he went on his way. Prosecutor Rachael Dodsworth said: “A random man has offered these ladders for sale to the defendant and he has accepted them.”

In mitigation, Graham Hunsley said Warwick, of High Northgate, in Darlington, has been without a job for a number of years and, to help him get back into employment, he had been working with staff at the Job Centre who were helping him to get started as a window cleaner.

A grant had helped him to secure some equipment, but he had to borrow a pair of ladders as he didn’t have his own. Mr Hunsley said: “The opportunity to accept them in the circumstances he did was one motivated on the one hand dishonestly, but on the other hand by an attempt at bettering himself in terms of keeping this employment going.

“If anybody was going to be stopped by police I suspect it is a man walking through Darlington at half past midnight carrying some ladders. “He might as well have been wearing a black and white striped jumper and carrying a bag marked swag.”

Warwick, who is on licence after being released from a ten-month prison sentence, admitted theft from a motor vehicle. Magistrates sentenced him to a six-month community order and ordered him to complete 40 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge. Sentencing Warwick, chairman of the bench Glynn Wales told him: “We wish you well with your window cleaning business.”

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Window Cleaners Replaced With Acrobats In London

Instead, they’ll be retaining the services of a “Cirque du Soleil-style” company that specialises in super-high tightrope walking.
Heathrow Airport Needs Tightrope Walkers Just To Change Its Lightbulbs: Heathrow’s Terminal Five was designed to be a soaring, light-filled tribute to the wonders of flight. Five years into its life though, 60 per cent of its lightbulbs are burned out — because there’s been no safe or cost-effective way to change them. Now, officials say they’ve found a solution: acrobats.

According to The Telegraph, Heathrow officials began examining, uh, unusual alternatives to the issue after cherry pickers usually and other specialised machines used by electricians proved to be too expensive or simply unsafe. Instead, they’ll be retaining the services of a “Cirque du Soleil-style” company that specialises in super-high tightrope walking. More than 35m above the floor of the terminal, these acrobats will replace every single light bulb in the 120,000-bulb array that blankets architect Richard Rogers’ soaring ceiling.

It sounds like an extreme oversight: Didn’t anyone on the design team think about the damn lightbulbs? In fact, this is far from the first instance of architectural grandeur trumping practical issues. A whole industry has been born out of new structures that are difficult to keep clean: From the ceiling of Daniel Libeskind’s Denver Art Museum, which is rumoured to be impossible to clean, to a new breed of window washers who must use advanced mountaineering skills just to clean the façades of buildings like London’s Gherkin. But… tightrope walkers? That’s certainly a new high.
The major bulb replacement task is expected to take nearly four months and cost several million pounds, according to an email sent to staff from Vicki O’Brien, head of Heathrow customer service at British Airways. Sixty per cent of the 120,000 light bulbs at Terminal Five have blown yet not a single one has been changed since 2008, faced with “no viable way to replace them”, according to O’Brien. Various ways of replacing them have been investigated, including gondolas and high-level cherry pickers, none of which were deemed “practical or safe”. Following months of discussion, the airport has finally found a “safe and robust way to replace all of the light bulbs” using ‘Cirque du Soleil-style’ high-level rope work done by a specialist company. The airport plans to re-lamp the entire ceiling of the departures concourse with environmentally-friendly LED (light emitting diodes) bulbs that will last up to five years, according to a spokesman for Heathrow.

The Solutions..

The first first lower level Solution: Utilising a waterfed pole for the lower lights with correct risk assessment & method statement & preferably done at night with less foot traffic & cordoned off areas. Both products made by Unger.

Left: Light bulb changing fingers are two thirds coated with rubber providing excellent turning power and ease of inserting bulbs. Adjusts onto various shaped bulbs. Attaches easily to Unger poles. From the window cleaning warehouse UK.

Unger Flood Sucker Bulb Changer: Change recessed flood lights and light bulbs 300 watts & larger quickly and easily. This patented, insulated tool features 6 suction cups and replaces flat, beveled and round bulbs. From window cleaning resource.

Or failing that...

The diesel and battery bi-energy power pack makes the lift suitable for indoors or outside work.  It doesn’t have to be plugged into a mains electric supply, saving set-up time and the requirement for extension cables.”
 it doesn’t have to be plugged into a mains electric supply, saving set-up time and the requirement for extension cables.”
Paramount introduces Omme: UK-based Paramount Platforms has taken delivery of its first Omme tracked platform. The Omme Lift 3700 RJ has a 37 m compact, telescopic boom mounted on a crawler chassis with an outreach of up to 14 m. It has a 130° fly-jib jib, 180° platform rotation and a safe working load of 250kg, sufficient for two people with tools.

The diesel and battery bi-energy power pack makes the lift suitable for indoors or outside work. Designed to be compact, it has a 1.98 m stowed height and 7.78 m stowed length, while its 1.5 m width can be retracted hydraulically to 1.10m. Lee Kerr of Paramount Platforms said: “It is a very versatile machine, in particular the dual power train so it can work on the diesel engine outdoors and battery power indoors. And unlike its competitors it doesn’t have to be plugged into a mains electric supply, saving set-up time and the requirement for extension cables.”

Paramount’s first Omme will be used in telecommunications and for commercial window cleaning where narrow access is a challenge. The Chelmsford-based company purchased the lift from Access Platform Sales (APS), the official UK distributor for Omme products. Additionally Paramount has invested in a new Hinowa 20.10 tracked lift, adding to its existing fleet of products from the Italian manufacturer. APS is also the exclusive UK distributor for Hinowa tracked products. The company also recently took delivery of a 34 m Bronto truck-mounted boom and it has a Niftylift HR28 on order from APS.

Thanks Heathrow... that'll be million quid please. And if you still don't know how to do it.. please call me for the technicalities!

Monday 25 November 2013

Hiring Window Cleaners - Shooting Window Cleaners

Eric Van Horn starts his work day in his truck and ends it the same way.
American dream takes another hit: By all logic, Eric Van Horn should have a line of job seekers at his business. But despite hiring from the area’s largest unemployed age group, he must go begging for workers. By all logic, Eric Van Horn should have a line of job seekers at his business. But despite hiring from the area’s largest unemployed age group, he must go begging for workers.
Van Horn is on the front line of a disturbing trend in our economy, a new generation of jobless. Increasing numbers of young people are employable but resisting work. They form yet another “have-not” sector of our economy, and their numbers have only recently begun to cause alarm. They’ve quit on the American dream. “Frankly, I think a lot of people simply don’t want to work anymore,” Van Horn said.
He owns Shiny Brite, a Canton window washing service. He looks for workers age 18 to 30 and starts them at $9.50 an hour, above minimum wage, with raises if they are productive. He offered health insurance but no longer does. “Hard to believe, but nobody wanted to sign the papers,” he said.
His biggest fringe benefit: He offers to train his workers in “how to start their own business, attract and keep customers and manage employees. “This is my responsibility for the future,” he said. “I’ll even show them how to start a business like mine.” No takers there, either.

STILL ON A LADDER: Van Horn had figured that by now, he’s 57... he could sit back and manage his company. But no, he’s out there on a ladder with one of his crews every day. He talks to other business owners and said that all of them share the same concern. “The government isn’t helping. In my hiring, my biggest competitor is military recruiters,” he said. “I am losing a whole crew (three members) to the Navy and Marine Corps. Recruiters track us down and sign the papers on the job.” He has turned to seeking employees at his church and the churches of his friends. He spends a lot of time on it and is wondering if he ever will get off the ladders. “None of the old ways to find employees work today,” he said.
An economist in Forbes magazine researched the rapid decline in U.S. labor-force participation and found it “striking.” Millions of employable Americans from teens to pre-retirement have stopped looking for work. Even those in their prime earning years are opting to stay at home. The problem is worldwide. Some 57 percent of businesses report they cannot find enough workers for entry-level jobs traditionally worked by young people, according to the International Labor Organization.
You won’t find the non-working employables in the unemployment rate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “U-6” unemployment report, which does include the otherwise uncounted unemployed, today’s 7.3 percent jobless rate actually is closer to 13.8 percent. You will see the non-workers in the little-publicized “employment-to-population rate.” Over 20 years, an average of 67 percent of us in employable condition were at work, building our economy, seeking our dreams. The latest figure has dropped to 58 percent, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics chart is trending straight down.

Bringing the employable back into the fold may be the biggest challenge we face, but reinvigorating our work force is less expensive than watching the numbers of non-working Americans grow. “All I’m looking for is reasonable, trustworthy human beings who can pass a drug test and have a driver’s license,” Van Horn said. “I’ve never seen so many people who are unwilling to do that.”

Mr Day's air rifle pellet, like this one pictured, hit a nearby window cleaner.
Pensioner shot window cleaner with air rifle in New Addington: A pensioner has been ordered to carry out 40 hours of community service after hitting a window cleaner while shooting his air rifle.
Frank Day of Arnhem Drive, New Addington, pleaded guilty to firing an air weapon and assault by beating, when he appeared at Croydon Magistrates Court on Friday. The court heard the 65-year-old was firing the air rifle from his home, when one pellet ricocheted hitting nearby window cleaner Samuel Bartlett, who was working across the road.

Day initially contested the assault charge claiming he did not accept the pellet could have hit Mr Bartlett. But he later asked for the charge to be put to him again where he pleaded guilty. Describing Day's actions as "foolish and reckless", District Judge Teresa Szagun sentenced him to 40 hours community service to be carried out within 12 months and ordered the forfeiture and destruction of his air rifle. He was also ordered to pay £60 in damages to Mr Bartlett and £85 in court costs.

Assassination Mission #2 – The Multi-Target Assassination (GTA 5 Assassination Missions Walk through Guide): For this mission you also need to have the ‘Merryweather Heist’ completed. The next target is in West Vinewood and Lester gives you the hint ‘Look for dirty windows’. The target is a window washer, and is out in the open, hanging off the side of a building on a window washer platform. Pop him.
The Mole And Jersey Show - Episode 3: The Mole & Jersey Show: A new kinda show has come to town! A lot like Window Cleaning Nation only with a reckless abandon & inside jokes that probably only window cleaners would get, the World awaits as episode 3 makes an entrance.
For some reason a direct link can't be added from YouTube because the video is unlisted? It can still be seen from this link. If the YouTube link eventually works it can be watched here.

Friday 22 November 2013

Jesse Green The Cartoon Guy - Fatigue Makes Cowards Of Us All

“Off the Deep End” - A weekly window cleaning cartoon strip by Jesse Green.
Jesse Green The Cartoon Guy: “Fatigue makes cowards of us all” – Vince Lombardi
As a coward and as a tired person, I understand what old Vince was trying to say. He's saying that when it comes down to it, it doesn't matter how much you hope, wish and pray, that old Chevy wont make it to the top of the hill if it doesn't have enough gas in the tank. 

Old Vince was talking about preparation - everything that needs to happen prior to that “big moment.” In sports, it's when there is only seconds on the clock and the game is tied. 

In window cleaning, it's when the sun is setting, and the customer wants you gone, but you still have 5 more windows to clean and fifty screens to re-install. You are weak, tired and hungry and you don't know if you can finish the job. The worst part is that you can't come back tomorrow or the day after because you are booked solid for a month.

No catchy phrases or eye-of-the-tiger theme music is going to get you through this. 

In truth, the help you needed at your 5 o'clock “moment of truth” should have happened much earlier. Think for a moment: 

What if you stretched for an hour and went to bed at early instead of catching up with your friends at the bar? 

What if you had organized your window cleaning gear the night before so you could wake up and tackle the day ready? 

What if you prepared a nutritious lunch the night before, so you wouldn't have to waste time grabbing a greasy burger from the local fast food joint or even worse skipping lunch entirely causing you to stumble and bumble through your window cleaning battle in a weakened frazzled state. 

“Be prepared”, is the Boy Scout's motto. As one of the worst boy scouts in North America, I remember enviously gazing at the wise scoutmaster's well stocked tent full of useful provisions. As I trudged towards my sad barren little tent devoid of even a sleeping bag (that's how ill prepared I was in those days) to shiver as vigorously as I could to keep warm for the night, I thought, “one day I will be prepared.” 

That day finally came.... 25 years later. 

If it had come earlier, I might be an investment banker, a scientist, or perhaps a great philanthropist. 

But at least I am a limber, organized, uninjured, and well fed window cleaner. And not a frantic, starving, disorganized wreck of a human being frantically looking for a fresh rubber and a dry cloth in a disorganized heap of a work van.... no that was last year.

Jesse's tip for winter warmth.
How to stay warm this winter: 

2 lbs coarsely ground chuck 2 (16 ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped 1 green pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed 2 -3 tablespoons chili powder 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon cumin salt
1) Brown ground chuck on top of stove, drain fat.
2) Put ground chuck and the rest of the ingredients in a 5-quart crockpot before you go to bed
3) Wake up and scoop hot chili into thermos
4) Drive to your window cleaning job with the warm fuzzy feeling that comes from having a hot lunch ready when you need it
Jesse Green of Sparkle King in Cape Cod, Massachusetts: Hi, my name is Jesse Green. I have the fortunate job of cleaning windows and gutters in a really great place - Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I fell in love with the area when I came to see my friends get married here. The history, the natural beauty, and most of all the people won me over. I have been very fortunate. Cape Codders have welcomed me with open arms – spreading the word and referring me to friends and family.

Thursday 21 November 2013

Inside The Winbot - Robotic Window Cleaner

How it works. Click to enlarge.
Inside the Winbot 730, a Robotic Window Cleaner: If you don’t do windows, fear not: there’s a robot for you. The Winbot from Ecovacs is designed to automatically clean windows and other smooth glass surfaces with the push of a button. The Winbot works much like other cleaning robots, including those built by iRobot that zip around your floor. When the Winbot is placed on glass, it figures out the size of the surface, then travels back and forth to clean it.

Though the device needs to be plugged in and put in place by hand, it functions largely free of human intervention. The window cleaning robots come in two options. Both models, the 710 and 730, work on framed glass. The more-expensive 730 model also is equipped with a frameless window detection system so you can clean mirrors and glass doors, according to Ecovacs, the manufacturer of the Winbot. The 730 below costs $400.

Underbelly of the Winbot.
Window Cleaning Robot Alters Your Views In Minutes: Dog breath vapored and finger printed windows, shaving creamed and water spotted mirrors are irritating, but seldom rise to the level of must clean more than monthly. Actually, I rarely clean the bay windows or sliding door glass unless company comes and the streaking that remains makes me wish I'd left them dirty.  But if I had a robot to clean the buggers, it might just change my view about the whole process. Alas, here's the Winbot by Ecovacs....A professional window washing robot!

Yes, the Winbot is clinging to the window by itself. Its suction cups, vacuum pump, and anti-slip treads allow it to remain vertical and slide effortlessly across your window.  Here's the 'mysterious underbelly' of the bot... You can see the suction cups and the tread.  Now look at the larger micropad in the front of the bot; that, along with the Winbot's own cleaning solution, washes your windows.  And the smaller micropad on the rear side is what dries your windows. No streaks.  Windows clean in a matter of minutes and the bot even revisits more stubborn streaks. The Winbot comes with a 10-foot electrical cord for operation; in addition, a suction-backed battery pack is included in case of a power outage (so the bot doesn't fall off the window).

For more on the Ecovacs Winbot see:

Mr. Savadian said that since his company invented the Winbot, he no longer does his own windows.

Robot cleans up competition: A robotic window cleaner invented by a teenager has cleaned up at the Bright Spark Awards. The contraption created by Sohail Abdulla in his Mt Roskill basement laboratory took the top prize at the awards this month. Sohail started working on the robot two years ago after seeing his father struggling to clean the windows because of back and knee pain. "The idea is to develop it to clean high-rise buildings. A lot of people have lost their lives cleaning the windows up high," the 18-year-old says.

Last year's version won him a third prize in the Bright Spark Awards and separately he scored the American Ambassador Outstanding Award at the Realise the Dream award ceremony. His win saw him jetting to Phoenix, Arizona, to take part in the INTEL Science and Engineering Fair. "This new version is completely different, I've built it again from scratch," he says. "I've tried to make the size of the device smaller and decrease the weight."

The revised robot is now comprised of two units. The control panel component lets the user move the device and has an LCD that monitors progress of the clean on a little map. The cleaning unit attaches to the window and moves across using a series of suckers. Two squeegees on the unit tackle the dirt and dust and a final wipe is done by a microfibre cloth.

The Bright Sparks judges were impressed with Sohail's design, which integrates software, electronics and mechanical engineering elements. As the winner of the 17 years and above category he receives a $1000 cash prize. Taking the Supreme Award means he will get mentoring from Baldwin's Intellectual Property. In his quest to improve the robot the next step will be giving it the ability to traverse over ledges.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Sponsored Window Cleaning Magazine T.V.

Lee Burbidge, behind the camera.
WCM TV to hit State side again in 2014: The Window Cleaning Magazine is excited to inform that its production side WCM TV plans a trip to the US in the early part of April 2014 to film the much rumored new window cleaning show based on the life of Peter Artusa, New York. No confirmation of the title is available at this time. Sponsorship for filming has been secured by WCR and Unger and the filming schedule will coincide with Unger’s big birthday milestone. So we have planned an ‘Inside Unger’ shoot at the same time.

Lee Burbidge of WCM goes on to say, ” I am really excited by this project. We have other projects lined up too in the UK such as a job swap with a National Window Cleaning company and a smaller or ‘one man band’ business and other films such as ‘I’m a traditional window cleaner and I am going to stay that way’. I am aiming to bring the very best quality programing geared 100% for the window cleaning community.”

Q & A with Lee Burbidge

So when will WCM become WCM Video Mag? Will videos be your main focus for the future?
Good quality films for window cleaners is part of the whole WCM package. It has not been done before. We are doing ground breaking stuff on real topics that effect window cleaners. The hope is to link video into our articles too. With the Window Cleaning Magazine being in a digital format this is easy to facilitate. 

When are you going to do a window cleaning video on your own company – Highshine?
Funny you should say that. We have been talking to a guy from New York who was interested in joining us in the UK on such a project. We are still waiting for availability from him. 

Have videos always been your passion or was it born out of delivering content to window cleaners?
It was defo the second thing that came along when I started the magazine. It has grown to something massive. How many guys can say that Unger and WCR want to pay for you to film some stuff in their country. They are very generous and I am most thankful for their continued support. I guess they can see the value in WCM TV and appreciate what it stands for. 

Currently..  I am working on Working With "Wagga," aka
Chris Dawber.
Based on the success of your “Window Wars” videos – where to next?
Well we plan a Window Wars UK. Originally we were going to just do that gig in Scotland. Recently, we were thinking to extend this to the rest of the UK and maybe film in a few areas for that program. We have had OCS ( big National Window Cleaners) recently agree to a new project in the New Year where we film a smaller window cleaning business or 'one man band' working with OCS for a day and visa versa. That will be fun. 
We are currently in the selection process for the smaller window cleaner. So if you want to get involved in that project give me a shout. Then there is lots of other stuff in the pipeline such as, "I'm a traditional window cleaner and I am going to stay that way". We will film a window cleaner wanting and seeing the benefits of a wfp system and a window cleaner that will not budge to wfp. We get them to work for a day with a wfp and film their reactions and comments as a fly on the wall documentary. Currently now I am working on Working With Wagga and Perry Tait's UK Reach-iT Tour. 

Can you actually envision a whole magazine done by video?
No. But the two do go hand in hand. 

What’s your take on the new “Mole & Jersey” show?
Josh Cronin is a good friend of mine. I have never met Mr Mole ( hopefully soon), they are as cutting edge as me. Trying stuff out and being the first. Stuff like this just isn't there. They are the pioneers of our time. 

I noticed you just bought a new camera – is a studio in the works as well?
lol, not sure I need a studio. My office doubles up for that at the moment. But when I am in the States filming next year I am taking over the WCR film studio for sure. 

When your on the road filming – what’s one (or two) things you can’t do without?
OK, that's easy. Pants and electrical points, lol. 

Do you ever take a window cleaning tool on the road with you?
No. But in Window Wars USA, Peter Artusa got me doing some store fronts. It was real funny. He has had this one account for years and had hardly seen the manager and when he had seen the manager, the guy has never spoken to him (maybe a 'Hi') Well he sees my camera at first, then comes out just as I put the camera down to work on the glass. He heard my English accent and that was it, he could not stop talking to me. I even got free drinks. Peter was blown away, lol.

How do you finance your window cleaning video jaunts?
Up until now I finance the whole gig. I think sponsors are seeing WCM TV as a great asset plus what it gives to the window cleaning community.

Funniest moment in filming so far?
Jeez, there are so many of them. That's why we have made Out Takes. Think we are up to Volume 2 with Volume 3 to be released sometime next year. If I had to pick? Me surprising Perry Tait from Reach-iT to a TRX class as part of the current project I am working on connected to WCM TV following Reach-iT on its UK tour recently. 
TRX was born out of the Navy Seals and is a tough urban fitness class. To see a confident Perry wilt in front of your eyes was too funny to watch! People could hear me laughing out loud as I edited that bit together the other day.

Most cherished moment in filming so far?
I cherish every single frame that holds the souls of the people I have filmed who have since become my good friends. This would include and not by way an exhausted list of great human beings such as Peter Artusa, Stuart Webster, Chris Lambrinides, Perry Tait, Chris Dawber, Alex Lambrindes, Jorge A. and Kenny, Jeff Temperley with David and Tom and many others.... 

Where will WCM be in 5 years?
I see WCM as a leader in the industry and at the very heart beat of the industry. Manufacturers already come to WCM first with their latest innovations and industry news. I might add that some of the people I have mentioned in the previous question are manufactures or suppliers and we have become friends. They know my believe for the magazine to be on neutral ground within the industry and I know they respect that. WCM supports the entire industry. 

If you were on Mars or somehow missed the first two episodes... here they are:

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Window Cleaning News
Sitting around on the job: A window washer descends Rainier Tower with the building's 11-story pedestal behind him. The Fifth Avenue building is 514 feet tall and was designed by Seattle native Minoru Yamasaki, who is best known for the former World Trade Center towers in New York City.

Window cleaner turned wrestler living out his dreams: World of professional wrestling. Jon Porter won his debut wrestling match in front of his hometown fans in Fleetwood, near Blackpool and is now gearing up to bring the pain once again on Saturday. For the 28-year-old, known inside the ring as ‘Jon Aggro’, winning his first contest was a true rags to riches tale. He said: “I’ve always wanted to be a wrestler and to make my debut in Fleetwood was one of the best feelings ever, knowing my friends could all be there to share the experience.” Aggro, who stands 6ft 2in and weighs 17st, defeated Craig Kollins from Barrow-in-Furness, a renowned up-and-comer on the UK wrestling circuit, at The Legion in Copse Road on Saturday, September 14.
Fans cheered Porter on, chanting his nickname Peanut as he took the fight to the bruising Kollins. He said: “I’ve had the name Peanut since I went to Fleetwood High School because people said I had a peanut-shaped head. “But I bet the people who called me that at school never thought one day fans would be chanting it at a wrestling show!” Self-employed Jon, who also works as a doorman at weekends, said for now wrestling was still very much a hobby, but he is aiming high in the future.
He said: “My ambition is to entertain thousands of people and bring them what they want in terms of action. “Bringing wrestling to Fleetwood was a childhood dream come true and I hope local people really get behind it. People should come see for themselves the quality of the show. “I’ve had comments from people who don’t understand what wrestling is about and their view is that it’s only for kids. But this is hard hitting, family entertainment for everyone. Come check it out, you may be surprised and even enjoy it. “And it’s certainly more glamorous than cleaning windows!”

Cardiff window cleaner Tim Windows was on his ladder when the heavens opened. “The rain didn’t look too bad at first,” said the 52-year-old from Rhiwbina. “I told my customer that I’d wait for the dark cloud to pass before finishing the job, and then the most incredible torrential downpour started.” Tim took refuge under a canopy outside the nearby Hollybush pub and soon realised the severity of the situation. “I’m not exaggerating when I say there was four or five inches of water on the road, cars were trapped, even buses were using the central camper of the road to get by. “The rain was relentless, it kept coming down with the same ferocity for maybe half an hour, turning Whitchurch Village into a well. “In 16-years of cleaning windows I’ve come across some strange weather but never experienced rain like that.” Heavy rain is set to continue over the whole of Wales this week while the Met Office said that high pressure to the north of the UK could bring above-average rainfall over the next two months.
The calluses on Sean Gaughan's palms are thick, like chunks of jerky; a result of pounding out the beat on his drum at weekend gig after weekend gig, in bar after bar and town after town along Colorado's Front Range. His Honda Pilot takes a pounding from these gigs too, and its trunk bears witness to the damage created from constantly loading and unloading PA's, amps, drums, props, lighting and signage. A box of CDs for sale typically rides shotgun from show-to-show.
G's day job running a window cleaning company affords him the opportunity to chase his musical dreams amongst the dusty suburbs, and continue performing for the fans that love his band, Big Paddy. Ultimately, however, the day job prevents him from diving in 100 percent with his music career, which is where his true talent really lies. In order to feed his family he needs to work full time outside of the music industry, simply because playing live music in this millennium doesn't pay the bills like it used to.
"Many nightclubs and bars have adopted a policy to forgo paying bands in favor of offering them exposure," says Gaughan. "We don't typically accept those types of arrangements unless the exposure is huge, but a lot of starving musicians do. And they don't realize the damage it causes those of us who prefer to get paid for their work, especially since most of us cover all of our own expenses."

79 Degrees North, An Arctic Photography Exhibition, York Theatre Royal exhibition corridor until November 21 - Josh Harrison is showing 79 Degrees North, An Arctic Photography Exhibition, in the York Theatre Royal exhibition corridor until November 21. Josh, from Nafferton, near Driffield, was a window cleaner before turning professional when he entered a young wildlife photographer of the year competition. He made his exhibition debut in February and is now exhibiting his landscape and wildlife photographs in York for the first time. Opening hours are 10am to 9pm daily except on Sundays; originals and prints are for sale; admission is free.

Transparency Enhancement Facilitator – Window cleaner - What a load of jobbledygook: The ridiculous job titles dreamed up by recruitment consultants to make vacancies sound more enticing. 'In today’s job market a receptionist is a guest services agent, a bin man is a sanitation engineer – the list goes on. 'We hear from candidates all the time about job titles which are wildly over the top. One was for a colour distribution technician – it was for a painter and decorator. 'Another jobseeker contacted us after reading about a position for a field nourishment consultant'. It was for a waitress.
And long gone are paper delivery boys, which have been replaced by 'media distribution officers', while fruit pickers are now known as 'five-a-day collection operatives'. Call centre employees can now describe themselves as communication executives while window cleaners are now better known as 'transparency enhancement facilitators'.
Mr Smith, CEO of who commissioned the survey, has called for clarity and plain English in the job market so applicants know exactly what job they are applying for. He added: 'Some of the euphemisms used are downright ridiculous.Being called a gastronomical hygiene engineer doesn’t stop the fact that you’ll be washing pots in a restaurant kitchen day after day.'

World War Two hero in fight with authorities over care home bills: John Watts, 93, is appealing against an NHS decision that he must pay for his care home. D-Day veteran John Watts has become embroiled in a bitter fight with the NHS over payment for his care. Mr Watts, 93, was part of an elite team of army motorcyclists that was one of the first onto the beaches of Normandy in 1944. His platoon was also one of the first allied units to enter the Nazi concentration camp at Belsen after its liberation. Now Mr Watts and his family are being forced to prove that he will require round the clock care once he is released from hospital. Mr Watts who is blind, partially deaf and suffers from Alzheimer’s has been in the Royal Cardiff Infirmary since May following a stroke. His son insists that he is vulnerable to further strokes, is prone to falls and needs help to take medication.
Mr Watts’ Assembly Member Jenny Rathbone has welcomed the announcement of an independent review into his care. “He clearly needs to be in a place where he’s safe and cared for appropriately,” she said. Mr Watts, who grew up on Cardiff’s Maindy Road, followed in his father’s footsteps and worked as a window cleaner in Cardiff for 56 years - only retiring in 1990 at the age of 70. He gave up window cleaning in 1941 at the age of 21 when he was called up to fight in the Second World War. “He went through France Germany and actually went into Belsen when they liberated the camp. He didn’t talk about that much,” said his son. Cardiff Royal Infirmary declined to comment.
Be careful with that pressure washer: Reader Joe Helms wonders whether he should wash his deck with a good cleaning solution or go ahead and pressure wash. He’s getting conflicting advice. I shared a few suggestions – including some tips on how not to mess up with a pressure washer – learned the hard way. I told him in an email to start with the cleaner. It's easier on the deck and on the person doing the cleaning. Power washing a deck is not as quick and simple as it seems in all those helpful how-to videos. If your deck is heavily coated with mildew and green slime, though, if the cleaning solution and scrub brush don't work, then it could be time for a power washer. Read the owner’s manual and safety tips, of course.
Use a delicate nozzle, and hold the tip several feet away from the deck as you get started. If you get too aggressive, you can damage the wood. You might create a sort of “fuzz” of raised wood fibers even if you’re careful. Clean a few boards at a time. Work with the grain, the length of the board. As in painting, you’ll have to work to avoid streaks and lap marks. Be patient and methodical: If you labor over one spot, and skip quickly over others, the difference will show. There are dozens of ways you can mess up. Here are a few:
Do not aim a pressure washer directly at a window overlooking your deck. The water can break the window and, even if it doesn't, it might blast right around the closed sash into the house.
Don’t use a pressure washer from a ladder if you can avoid it. The powerful blast can throw you off balance. I've seen recoil from a washer wand tip over a friend on a stepladder. He was only 2 feet off the ground – but could have been 20 feet up.
You know not to operate a gasoline engine in an enclosed space. CO2 kills. Also, watch the hot exhaust from a gas-powered machine. Don’t burn yourself – or the plants around your house. Don't back into a hot muffler while you're concentrating on washing. Don't position the engine close to greenery. Exhaust can defoliate your favorite azaleas.
Wear stout shoes. Be careful to keep your toes out of the way when cleaning your deck – and appreciate the extra protection if you forget.
WorldPay, the UK's leading payment processing services provider, today announced that its new WorldPay Zinc mobile pay as you go Chip & PIN keypads will become available to buy online and in-store via Dixons retailer Currys PC World. The launch marks a new product area for the UK's leading electronics retailer as it is the first time that it has stocked any kind of pay as you go Chip & PIN device. The keypads will be available in 50 Currys PC World locations UK-wide. With WorldPay Zinc, mobile workers, from plumbers to window cleaners, personal trainers to taxi-drivers, can now take secure card payments on the go. There are no long-term contract commitments or monthly subscription fees, meaning that businesses can use the service as much or as little as they like, they simply pay 2.75% per card payment. The service also offers quick settlement (with money transferred into the business' bank account within 4 business days) and customers have the support of a 24/7 UK based helpline.

Britain's small firms losing £800m a year by not accepting cards - Research indicates that nearly two-thirds of SMEs do not accept credit or debit card payments: Britain’s small businesses could be losing more than £800m of sales a year by not taking credit and debit card payments, research has suggested. A survey of 1,000 British small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) has found that nearly one in 10 firms lost more than £1,800 over the last 12 months as a result of not taking cards.
According to the PayPal research, nearly two-thirds of the SMEs surveyed do not accept card payments. Nearly one in ten firms said they were put off by the expensive set up costs of Chip and PIN machines, while 13 per cent were deterred by high monthly usage costs.
Narik Patel, Director of Mobile Merchant Services, PayPal, said: “One of the challenges small businesses in the UK face is getting paid. “Nowadays few consumers are carrying a cheque book with them, or even cash. “This means businesses need to offer consumers alternatives, otherwise they risk missing a sale. “Many small businesses have not offered card payments in the past because they’ve been put off by high fees and long-term contracts. We wanted to create an affordable ‘pay as you go’ option for them.” In June WorldPay Zinc also launched their own device, designed for market-stall holders, beauticians, window cleaners and other mobile workers. Sole traders need to register for the WorldPay app and can by the chip and pin device from John Lewis from £59.99. There is no long-term contract commitment or monthly subscription fees and it operates on a pay as you go basis.
Bartering gains ground in business community (INDIAN RIVER COUNTY) - What do legal advice, salt lamps, a summer camp in upstate New York, massage gift certificates and septic service all have in common? They’re all products available to Indian River County residents through a bartering network. Mind you this is not your old fashioned direct bartering, “I have a dozen eggs to trade for some home-made soap,” type of deal. Today’s bartering is part of a local-national network and can involve a number of exchanges from a variety of sources for you to achieve your goal. One such membership-based trading community is the International Trade Exchange or ITEX, which is now traded on the NASDAQ.
ITEX started 31 years ago in Bellevue, Wash. Its members and products circumnavigate the globe. Just about any business can be added to the network, from animal groomers and sitters to upholsterers, advertisers wedding planners and welders -- they’re all members of the “barter is smarter” crowd. The florist is paying for braces for her daughter with ITEX credits, of which she now has more with the bouquet purchase. The orthodontist is looking for a getaway so he purchases a weekend stay with his credits. The hotel owner uses some of her credits to pay for a visit to the orthodontist and some to a window washer, who happens to use his credits to advertise in the community newspaper which started off this transaction.
MaineGeneral bets big on new, $312 million Augusta hospital: At $312 million, the facility has been described as the single-largest hospital financing project in the state’s history. Across town, at the very same moment, the emergency department at MaineGeneral’s more than century-old medical center on Chestnut Street will close its doors forever. A window washer spiffs up the glass at the new MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta on Wednesday. The hospital opens on Saturday, Nov. 9.
John D’Amanda previously owned his own window-cleaning business, but it failed during the recession. After his business went under, the only work he could find was at McDonald’s. His wages are so low that he now uses food stamps and Medi-Cal to get access to food and health care. John is not alone. The middle-wage jobs that accounted for the greatest job losses during the recession have been replaced by positions paying much less. With jobs paying too little for families to get by, more and more working families must rely on public assistance programs to make ends meet. This is especially true in the fast-food industry, where the median wage for front-line workers is $8.69 an hour and only 13 percent have health benefits through their employer. These are the people you are most likely to see when you walk into a fast-food restaurant: the people who are working the counters, pouring the drinks and cooking the food.

A Kirkcaldy shopkeeper feared for his life after masked robbers warned him he would be shot if he pressed a panic alarm. A gun was pointed at the head of Fazal Sindhu, who was working alone during the raid before the men fled with cash.  CCTV footage of the robbery at Malkha’s News, Food and Wine Store in the town’s Birnam Road was shown to a judge at the High Court in Edinburgh on Tuesday. Lord Pentland said it gave ‘‘a vivid depiction of what must have been an utterly terrifying event.” The judge noted the pistol was pointed straight at the victim’s head.
Former window cleaner Sonny Gibson (26) of Templehall Avenue and unemployed Jay Johnstone (21) of Appin Crescent, both Kirkcaldy, admitted assaulting Mr Sindhu on July 1 at his store and robbing him of cash. The prosecutor said that Mr Sindhu had been stocking a fridge at his shop when the pair came in with their faces covered up and wearing gloves. He saw the taller of them, Gibson, had his arm extended and was pointing a gun at his head with his index finger close to the trigger. The advocate depute said Gibson shouted “Open the till” but Mr Sindhu at first thought he was joking. But the shopkeeper became alarmed when he repeated the demand and added: “Don’t press any panic buttons or I’ll shoot you.”
Johnstone took money from the till and once it was empty both raiders fled from the shop. Customers came in to ask Mr Sindhu what had happened and found him in a distressed state. The advocate depute said: “Mr Sindhu thought that somewhere in the region of £900 was taken during the robbery.” The prosecutor said the incident had greatly affected Mr Sindhu. She added: “He no longer feels safe working in the shop on his own.” Lord Pentland deferred sentence on Gibson and Johnstone for reports.  He remanded Gibson, who has previous convictions, including serious assault, and Johnstone, who also has a record including assault and robbery, in custody.

Mr Reach It takes strain out of household chores: In starting a new business, James Naumann knows that there's no joy in being a shrinking violet. Since launching household chore business Mr Reach It two months ago, Mr Naumann said every aspect of his marketing had to say "look at me''. The business takes care of out of reach household chores, like changing lightbulbs, cleaning ceiling mould spots and fan cleaning - jobs that would be too small for tradespeople to take on. Mr Naumann said getting the business to stick in people's minds was the biggest challenge in such a niche service. "There is a huge population in Toowoomba, and there would be many people who I believe would love to use my service, but the difficulty is actually finding and targeting those specific people," he said. "I have a small work van decked out in advertising signage which is great at attracting people's attention in the street, a small advertisement campaign … and I have printed out flyers about my business for distribution throughout the community. "However there's a big difference between people being attracted to my advertising and then actually having a need for my business in order for them to write my number down and remember me."
The road to opening his own business started when Mr Naumann carried out various household chores his neighbour and relatives couldn't handle. He said he took his past workplace experiences on board when setting up the business. "(I was) able to look back at my past work experiences, with several previous employers, and combine the facets I liked, the facets I disliked, the facets that I felt I could have done better in and the facets I believe I could have done better than my employer. "(I did this) to create a business where I get to use my past experiences in a positive way to steer my creation."
Secrets of a top duck (and goose) caller (ST. CLOUD, Minn.) — Captivated by the spectacle of a great show. Improved by practicing five hours a day in the garage. Encouraged by friends who said he had talent. Entered a contest. Fared badly. Heeded judges' advice. Mike Benjamin's path to world duck and goose calling competitions contains more than a few parallels to that of a singer rising to fame through a TV talent contest. But the show that inspired him involved hundreds of thousands of snow geese migrating across South Dakota. And his stage — one he'll mount this November for the second time as a competitor — is a main street in an Arkansas town that bills itself as the rice and duck capital of the world.
On a recent evening after his shift as a part-time window washer at St. Cloud Hospital, Benjamin, 24, agreed to demonstrate his competition routine and field calls for the St. Cloud Times. Most competitors call ducks or geese. Benjamin does both. The contest call is a piercing, compressed version of the elements a hunter might use in the field. Looking a bit like a jazz trumpeter, Benjamin bent in to the call as he progressed from sustained notes to near-trilling. "It's not about sounding exactly like a duck. It's about call operation. It's all about control and range and the flow of your routine," Benjamin said.
Threinen, a three-time world live goose calling champion, hired Benjamin to work part-time for his Rochester company, Molt Gear, which he founded after his own competition success. Although no duck would respond to such a sequence, Benjamin said mastering the individual elements makes him a better caller and improves his hunting success. It's no coincidence that most top callers are 17 to 25 years old. They have time to spare and relatively few obligations. "The contest calling has been a trend of a lot of high school kids that like to blow goose calls. It's just like you were in band and choir. But they don't necessarily hunt a lot," Threinen said. Among his biggest wins: he's a three-time Minnesota state goose calling champion and a two-time Illinois state goose calling champion.
Last year, he won the North American Masters goose and live duck competitions in Peoria, Ill. In late November, he'll compete against about 70 callers in the 77th annual World's Championship Duck Calling Contest in Stuttgart, Ark., where the top prize is $15,000. In addition to contest calling — "To win a world championship would be like winning the Super Bowl or the World Series," Benjamin said — he has led seminars, produced videos for Molt Gear and helped design some of its products. "Mike has a big drive to win a world title, whether it be the world open or the world live. Same with the ducks. I think he's on the right track and he's definitely good enough to do it," Threinen said. 

Wyn Geleynse is a multimedia artist from London: Geleynse, whose career in film and video spans nearly three decades, is one of 25 artists participating in the three-day Sweet Magic London (SML) festival this weekend. The festival, running Friday, Saturday and Sunday, includes 17 live music performances and an array of art installations. His installation for the festival involves a single-channel video projection onto a second-floor window of the newly converted three-storey arts centre DNA Artspace (123 Dundas St., formerly Fodemesi Shoes). Frosted tracing paper on the window will act as a screen and the film loop will show the comical spectacle of a man cleaning the window with his tongue.
Tips to reduce energy use: With the cost of energy rising rapidly, we need to do everything we can to make sure we're wasting none of it, writes Charlie Weston. Investing in a building energy rating may prove to be a really good investment and may highlight some remedies to make the house more energy efficient. AVOID DIRT BUILD-UP ON WINDOWS: Some estimates say that dirt build-up can reduce natural light performance by 10pc. A thorough cleaning once a year will help avoid this, as well as help you hold on to a little more of that hard-earned cash. PREVENT HEAT LOSS AT WINDOWS: Much of the heat loss from a house occurs through the windows. Keep your curtains closed at night and make sure they don't block the radiators as they will simply send heat away from the room and towards the widows. It may also be a good idea to check, and replace where necessary, old and broken window seals as this will significantly reduce heat loss.
Clean Your Windows With Black Tea For Streak-Free Glass: Out of window cleaner or just don’t like using harsh chemicals around the house? Black tea is surprisingly effective at cleaning windows. We already know that black tea can work wonderson your skin, but Mother Nature Network claims that the tannins and acidity of a strong cup of black tea can help you achieve spot-free windows too. All you have to do is brew an extra strong cup of black tea, pour it into a spray bottle, and use it just as you would a commercial product. Be sure to check out the source link for more info.

10 Cool Ways to Use Cola Around the House: I don't care how unhealthy it is, there's really nothing better than an icy cold cola on a hot day. Sure, I limit my soda intake as much as I can, but Coke is one thing that is always in my refrigerator, especially in the summer months. But even if you aren't a soda drinker, it turns out there are a lot of inventive ways to use Coca-Cola in your home to make daily chores a whole lot easier. And since it has way less chemicals than a lot of cleaners, I guess it can even be considered a greener way to go? (Maybe?) Check out these great ways to get the most out of your cola stash. Number 2 - Window cleaner -- Cola will remove dirt and grease from windows when you spray it on and wipe them down.

Paul Bastock's a glass act for St Albans: Window cleaner Paul Bastock aims to polish off Mansfield today and help tiny St Albans City make a splash. Bastock, 43, is the oldest player in this season’s FA Cup first round and keeps fit by working five hours a day up and down a ladder. The former Cambridge goalkeeper, who has played more than 1,000 games, believes his job will help him play on into his 50s. Bastock said: “Window cleaning is a very physical job and I burn off about 3,000 calories a day so it helps me stay trim. “I do not feel any different physically than I did when I first started and I always said I will keep going until I lose the desire. “Kevin Poole played for Burton Albion in the FA Cup when he was 48 so it would be nice to beat his record.”
On the day.... St. Albans lost 8 -1.
"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust" may be the traditional view when it comes to death. But "ashes to tattoos" is one unconventional way people have found to honor their dead, as mourning goes skin-deep, mobile, wearable and virtual this century. Generally, it's young people who get tattoos to express grief, Cann said. "Often, they choose one of their grandparents that died, because that's their first loss." To memorialize her grandmother, one young woman opted for a tattoo of a bottle of window cleaner, accompanied by the sentiment "Put some Windex on it" -- a frequent admonition of her grandma.

Sydney Bushfires Leave Northern Beaches Windows Filthy: The devastating weather conditions that have hampered the efforts of the RFS volunteers in fighting the Sydney bushfires, have also forced Sydney property owners to obtain the services of professional window cleaners. With strong Westerly winds blowing across the Sydney basin, sooty deposits have settled on windows across the Greater Sydney region. The air pollution has reached peak levels, which has caused many normally clean windows to be caked in ash and dust. With the bushfires still threatening homes in the Western Suburbs of Sydney, the danger is not over yet, but Sydney property owners are already moving forward.
The ash and dust that has settled on Sydney windows can cause degradation of the rubbers that seal that windows and cause permanent discolouration of the glass. Earnest property owners have recruited professional window cleaners to prevent window damage. Sydney window cleaners, from Parramatta to Manly,  have experienced an increased number of calls from property owners in the past week.

Agaia, Wal-Mart team up for green cleaning products: Wal-Mart announced the introduction of a line of all-natural cleaning products Friday that use a patented cleaning technology developed partially in Tulsa. Agaia Inc., a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company with operations in Tulsa, said it developed the plant-based cleaning technology behind Wal-Mart's Great Value Naturals cleaning products. The introduction of the product line has the potential to boost Agaia's Tulsa workforce by 50 to 75 positions in the next 18 months to three years, said officials of Agaia (pronounced A-guy-a). Friday's debut of the Evolve technology is the result of an 18-month joint development relationship between Agaia and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The Great Value Naturals products include a laundry detergent, multisurface cleaner, glass and window cleaner, and automatic dishwasher gel.
The products are available in more than 2,000 Walmart stores nationwide and will be available soon through the retailer's website, the Bentonville, Ark.-based company said. Great Value Naturals cleaning products are made from plant-based, all-natural Evolve cleaning technology, the companies said, adding they are chemical- and toxin-free, biodegradable, nonallergenic and packaged in recyclable materials. Agaia said the patented Evolve technology is the first green cleaning technology capable of matching and, in most cases, outperforming petrochemical-based cleaners, detergents and degreasers without costing more. The technology captures and helps to quickly break down soils, grease, grime and odors without chemical fumes ore residues, according to the company.
Evolve is safe for people as well as pets, good for the environment and safe on any fabric and surface, Agaia said. "As the first green technology to match the potency of chemical cleaners, Evolve delivers a level of clean that consumers often notice after a single use," said Benjamin Shell, CEO of Agaia, in a written statement. "... It's no longer necessary to sacrifice the familiar strength of traditional cleaners to have a toxic-free environment at home."
Window washers work on the side of a building Wednesday in Boston. Slow New England job growth seen lagging US gains: Federal spending cuts and reduced consumer demand are slowing economic growth in New England, according to a set of projections released Wednesday. The report by the New England Economic Partnership, a nonprofit that provides analyses and forecasts, said economic growth of 3 percent through 2017 is less than what's considered even moderate. Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire are expected to continue to boast the strongest economies in the region in the next four years.
Arts Council England (ACE) recognises the imbalance in funding between London and the regions and “we have to do something about it," ACE chairman Peter Bazalgette told delegates at the Museums Association Conference 2013 - but "judge us in a couple of years," he added. Special exhibitions programming, several capital projects, and even window cleaning have all been cut at NML, he said, leading to a 20% drop in visitor figures this year from an all-time high in 2012, “because there are fewer of us and because our resources have shrunk”. “Expecting that the private sector is going to pick up public sector bills - I don’t think that’s going to happen,” he added. ACE is talking to local authorities, said Bazalgette. “We are always urging local authorities to consider the impact that culture makes. In many cities the message is getting through. “It is hard when people are faced with cuts to frontline services. But local authorities know that to create jobs they have to attract businesses, and businesses want a culturally rich city.”
Fish Window Cleaning has completed its first nationwide food drive as part of a new, system-wide philanthropic effort called FISH Feeds. In total, 2,257 items were collected and distributed to food banks across the United States.
FISH Feeds is a charitable project of the Fish Window Cleaning system. Fish Window Cleaning is the largest window cleaning franchise in the country with over 250 locations. Through FISH Feeds, franchise locations collect and distribute non-perishable food items to food banks and food pantry sites across the United States.
“More pressure has been put on local food banks due to cuts in the food stamp program,” said Mike Merrick, founder and CEO of Fish Window Cleaning. “Through FISH Feeds, franchisees had an impact in their own communities and hopefully alleviated some of the burdens that their food banks were feeling.” Fish Window Cleaning launched this service to local communities in October. The semi-annual food drive takes place the first full weeks of March and October. More information about participating locations and pictures can be found at
Planners approve southeast Napa subdivision with windows provision (Project can use applied mullions or none at all) - A 32-home subdivision received the green light from the Napa Planning Commission, so long as its developers can figure out what to do with an aesthetic windows element. Last week, the commission approved a new subdivision in southeast Napa, off Saratoga Drive and Silverado Trail, just east of the Alexander Crossing apartments that are under construction. The commission praised most elements of the homes, which would be built in Spanish, Tuscan and Craftsman styles, but took issue with the type of windows the developer, Edenbridge Homes of Los Altos, proposed. “It’s kind of an oxymoron to suggest it’s high-quality architecture when you’re using fake mullions,” Commissioner Gordon Huether said, referring to the proposed tacked-on grid intended to suggest smaller glass panes.
The developer, which has built three other subdivisions in Napa, proposed windows that have internal dividers, saying this would make the homes more affordable to construct and easier to maintain. “Our homeowners in this subdivision will be washing their own homes and maintaining their own homes,” said project manager Eric Zweig. He said the internal mullions are easier to clean and give the appearance of having traditional mullions. Edenbridge has used them on homes that sell for about $2 million. “I feel, personally, that the architecture we’ve proposed here is very high quality for a home we anticipate selling in the $500,000s to the low $600,000s,” Zweig said.
Huether proposed using faux mullions that are applied to the external face of the window, which he said will improve the aesthetic of the home without significantly impacting price. Fellow Commissioner Tom Trzesniewski attested to the difficulty of cleaning windows that have applied or true mullions and suggested they be removed from the project altogether, leaving plain windows. “I clean my own windows and it would be a pain in the butt to clean between those things so I’d rather see them go away,” he said.

Sons make helmet plea after their dad’s tragic death: Helmets should be worn by people riding mobility scooters, say two sons mourning the death of their father in a tragic accident. John Hitchcock (pictured), a retired window cleaner, was riding home on his mobility scooter along the pavement when a wheel went over the edge of the kerb and the scooter toppled into the road. The 75-year-old suffered serious head injuries, including a bleed on the brain, and died less than three months later at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.
His sons, Terry and Michael Hitchcock, attended his inquest in Portsmouth and said after the hearing that a helmet would have saved their dad’s life. Michael, from West Sussex, told The News: ‘He was a truly great father, who was taken from us too soon by the lax legislation surrounding mobility scooters and I hope users of these will take note of how dangerous these scooters are and wear helmets.’
An Ottawa cyclist who says he was struck by a car hours before a pedestrian was sent to hospital with serious injuries from a car, says Laurier Avenue – a street with a designated bike lane – is a dangerous roadway for both cyclists and pedestrians. John Clearwater, who commutes through downtown everyday, said he wasn’t surprised to learn that a pedestrian had been run over while crossing from Bank Street Wednesday morning. He said drivers – like the window cleaning truck that he said clipped the front of his bike wmaking an illegal turn Wendesday morning – don’t give bikers or pedestrians space on the road.

Whitehawk man goes missing after caravan goes up in flames: A former homeless man walked distraught from Whitehawk to Shoreham after seeing his only possessions in the world go up in flames. Steven Weaver sparked a police appeal after going missing on Saturday evening after seeing the £300 caravan he lived in burned down in a fire. Friends feared the worst for the safety of Mr Weaver until they found him sitting on Shoreham beach. The distraught 47-year-old walked to Worthing and back in the pouring rain, severely blistering his feet, as he tried to come to terms with the loss of his caravan.
For the past 13 years, Tony Lockwood, from Manor Road in Brighton, had taken Mr Weaver under his wing. He had helped him find work in his window cleaning business and bought him the caravan which Mr Weaver had been living in for past three months in Whitehawk Crescent. Mr Lockwood said: “He's been a sofa surfer for most of his adult life, he's never had a place of his own for the last 13 years. “He has been attached to my hip, I have looked after this guy, he has no family to speak of.
“He got the caravan and he was really, really happy there. He's a wonderful man who just hasn't had the best start in life.”
A search party found Mr Weaver (pictured) and he returned to Brighton to find a new donation of clothes from Mr Lockwood's family. Mr Lockwood said: “I think it was just desperation that drove him to walk to Worthing, he just thought there was nothing left in Brighton for him. “But I told him, there's people here who care about you whereas in Worthing he would have nothing.” A spokesman from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said: “We were informed by the fire service at 8.11pm on 19 October of a caravan alight in Whitehawk Crescent, Brighton.  “Police attended and the caravan appeared secure, the owner was not traced at the time. “The fire is not believed to be suspicious at this time.”

Banjo bobby adapts George Formby tune in fight against crime: A ukulele-strumming policeman is using the music of George Formby in the fight against crime. Sgt Giles Dean has reworked the classic Formby tune When I'm Cleaning Windows to become When I'm Burgling Houses. The self-taught strummer, who is based in Smethwick in the West Midlands, said it was "incredible" how many people still fail to heed basic advice. The plucky policeman said if his Formby YouTube tribute helped foil just one burglary it would have been worth it. Perhaps the lyrical highlight of his bold re-imagining of the legendary performer's most famous song comes in the opening salvo. In the the first burst of his version, the 44-year-old crime fighter croons: "Now I go burglin' houses to earn a dishonest bob, with all the help you give me it's a very easy job." In the 1936 classic - formally titled The Window Cleaner - Formby himself sings: "Now I go window cleaning to earn an honest bob, for a nosey parker it's an interesting job."

A WOLVES fan said he felt ‘reborn’ after going to a game for the first time since being paralysed. Reg Hazell, aged 53, was guest of honour at the play-off clash with Leeds Rhinos on Saturday. It was the first time in three years the former season ticket holder had gone to the Halliwell Jones Stadium. He was left in a wheelchair in December 2010 when an abcess exploded on his spine. Reg said: “It was like being reborn and going to my first game again. “I’ve got the taste again now and can’t wait to go to another match. “It was brilliant, I really enjoyed it.” The former window cleaner, who worked in the town for 40 years, was greeted at half time of Wolves convincing 40-20 win by club legend Alex Murphy. “I’ve seen him play many times, but I’ve never met him before,” said Reg. “He asked me how I was and said he hoped I would get better soon.” A message was also played in the ground wishing Reg, who previously went to all home and away games, a successful recovery.
Main Street South Jersey: Craftsman gave Pleasantville its name: Window washer David Joyce, of Pleasantville, cleans windows at Alpha & Omega Hair Design on South Main Street in Pleasantville. 

Apprentice Alum James Sun Bucks the Social Networking Trend with Anomo: When did you first get the entrepreneurial bug? James Sun: I started my first company at age 11. It was a window cleaning marketing company that sold cleaning services around the neighborhood. And after working for large companies like Intel and Deloitte Consulting, I realized I love creating new products and services. So I left corporate America and focused on startups – particularly in mobile.
People living near tram construction work in part of Nottingham are to get free window cleaning. The NET Phase Two project team has informed residents living near the former Great Central Railway embankment, which runs through Wilford and Compton Acres, that they are to receive a free monthly window cleaning service. It follows concerns from some residents about dust and dirt on windows and ledges arising from tram construction work along the embankment. The window cleaning service will start next week and take place in St Austell Drive, Kynance Gardens, Ruddington Lane, Brierfield Avenue and Barnfield in Wilford. Homes in Acorn Bank, Lyme Park, Mulberry Close, Cranberry Close and Heathervale in Compton Acres will also receive the service.

Tempers flare; opinions voiced at Commission meeting - Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith asked Baisden to hold his comments under the 2 minute mark to allow everyone who wanted a chance to speak the opportunity to do so. Before taking a seat, Baisden commented that Sparks was known for voicing that he had done a great job for the public and compared that to a window washer bragging on windows he had cleaned on the 84th floor in a building that no one could see. Scotty Sammons was the third speaker to take the floor and jumped to the defense of Sparks and was visibly upset with the statement Baisden had relayed.

Car window washers going Pro'? Window washer gauging support for regulations (Christchurch, NZ) A Christchurch window washer has launched a campaign to get strict regulations in place for his profession. Michael Shattock has been washing windows at the Moorhouse Ave and Lincoln Road intersection for three years. He's now launched a Facebook page to gauge support for making window washers gain a council permit for being on the roads. Mr Shattock says there needs to be regulations to control inappropriate behaviour at intersections. He's suggesting a permit be given if window washers can pass a background criminal history check, undergo training, wear a uniform with name tags and place signage at specific locations. Mr Shattock says camera surveillance should also be made available, to monitor the behaviour of washers.

Cult classic ‘Night of the Comet’ remembered by stars: Maroney, a veteran of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “Chopping Mall,” recalls how the guys who were on set, from producers to crewmembers, loved breaking stuff and blowing things up for the action scenes. “They all ran around going, ‘Fire in the hole!’ They were like kids on Christmas.” That actually came to pass, too, because they filmed some scenes first thing Christmas morning in Los Angeles. They wanted to film the downtown area so it looked as empty as possible in order to accurately depict an apocalyptic landscape. They did find the occasional window washer, though. “The producer would be screaming behind me because in those days we couldn’t CGI those people out,” Maroney says. “If you had window washers in the shot, you lost the shot.”

How Safe Is The Glass Used In Doors And windows: (PITTSBURGH) — In June 2013, Glen Brunken was meeting a friend for lunch. But that lunch never happened. The 69-year-old retired art professor from Slippery Rock University fell through the glass door of Bob’s Sub and Sandwich in Slippery Rock. The glass door shattered. Brunken suffered cuts to his head and neck and died after being rushed to the hospital. The coroner listed the cause of death as “accidental sharp force injury to the neck.” “Every encounter with Glen was a joyous encounter,” says Gary Jurysta, a long-time friend of Brunken’s.

How Briton who walked into glass door in a bikini could push up the price of holidays after winning £24,000 payout - A compensation payout to a holidaymaker who suffered life threatening injuries after walking into a glass door in her bikini is threatening to leave the UK travel industry in chaos, top judges have heard. Lawyers have warned that an award to Moira Japp, who was hurt during her stay at an exclusive Caribbean hotel, will ‘create great difficulties for the tourist industry’ by expecting ‘far-flung exotic places’ to comply with British health and safety standards.
Mrs Japp had been relaxing on her balcony at the Crystal Cove Hotel in Barbados when she heard a phone ring inside, and accidentally walked into the closed French windows which led into her room.
The glass shattered and she suffered deep lacerations all over her body which, according to her lawyers, could have been life-threatening. In October last year Mrs Japp, 53, from Worthing, West Sussex, sued trip organisers Virgin Holidays Limited and was awarded £24,000 damages. However the company are now asking the Appeal Court to overturn that decision.
As Bill de Blasio wins the race for City Hall, promises made to the 99% must be fulfilled. In choosing de Blasio and other liberal Democrats to take office, New Yorkers have decided that they want the wealthy inequality of the last 12 years to end. Jose Ortis supports de Blasio because of his stance on racial profiling. “I’m tired of the police stopping me in the street for no reason and embarrassing me in public,” said Jose Ortiz, 43, a window washer who was drawn to de Blasio by his stance on racial profiling.

Theft of gnomes from Ron: An Alford collector has been left mystified by the motives of thieves who have stole three garden gnomes and a concrete rabbit from outside his home. The petty thefts during the past two to three weeks have upset owner Ron Bloomfield Aka Ron the Gnome, infamous for his collection and also the community of Alford who have been left puzzled by their disappearance. “At first one disappeared and then turned up on the doorstep of the police station,” said Ron. Ron has since been forced to cement his beloved garden friends to the ground to deter thieves from taking them. “I’ve cemented them down to stop them but two haven’t been returned,” add Ron. 
The enthusiast who is a retired window cleaner has turned his home ‘Gnome Cottage’ into a shrine for the models collecting 1,700 to date. “People give me them and leave them in carrier bags, I’ve even got other characters such as Smurfs and Wallace & Gromit in the another room,” he explained. Ron who is a keen charity man has been collecting them for more than 50 years, acquiring so many now that they fill his whole home and even adorn his clothes as pin badges.
He also dresses-up as his favourite gnomes regularly to help raise money for the NSPCC. “I help raise money for lots of local charities, particularly the NSPCC but also Help for Heroes and Lincolnshire Troop Support which helps wounded soldiers in a Birmingham hospital,” added Ron. Ron also gets a lot of visitors and interest from around the nation for his passion and charity work. “I have a lot of visitors coming to look at my cottage and collection too,” said Ron. Local Rainbow groups also attend annually to admire the happy, smiling faces at Ron’s home.
Ron would like the missing two gnomes back and says although they aren’t really valuable its for sentimental. A spokesperson for Lincolnshire Police said: “Although the gnomes may have been taken as a prank, we would remind people that taking property without permission is theft and those responsible could find the consequences aren’t so funny. We would ask the culprits to return the gnomes as quickly as possible and give some consideration to the distress they have caused the householder.” Also see previous blog here.

Mother's heartache: Personal mementos stolen from Lincoln grave: The devastating death of her son in 2001 is something Joan Caine will never come to terms with. But over the years, she has taken some comfort from tending window cleaner Tommy's grave in Newport Cemetery, Lincoln. Now the 75-year-old great grandmother's world has been turned upside down after she discovered personal mementos missing from the plot. "Tommy died of gross cirrhosis of the liver on December 13, 2001 and he was only 39," said Ms Caine, of Ravendale Drive, Ermine, Lincoln, and a former ward orderly at Lincoln County Hospital. "He loved cats and so I placed a 12 inch long by 6 inch high stone ornament of a grey and brown cat on his grave. "Its face looked up as if to say to anyone who visited: 'Are you coming to visit my Tommy?'. "When I noticed it had gone missing it was like losing Tommy all over again. The only time I will ever get over Tommy's death will be when he holds me in his arms in heaven." Ms Caine reported the theft to police on September 16 after she noticed a teddy bear had also gone missing after the cat disappeared. 
The bear tribute had been placed at the graveside by one of her son's friends, who has since died. "Everything that has happened has made me so sad," Ms Caine. The number of heartbreaking thefts from gravestones in Lincolnshire is rising. Lincolnshire Police figures show three thefts from graves between January and December last year, compared to six between January and August. But the problem appears more widespread, with items even being stolen from the graves of babies and children. The City of Lincoln Council has confirmed all of its cemeteries are locked at night. It does not have a policy preventing people from leaving items on burial plots. Lincolnshire Police is investigating the thefts from Tommy Caine's grave.

Fairways FC manager Bobby loses ‘tough’ health battle: The man who was manager of the Fairway football club for more than 30 years has died aged 69. Bob ‘Bobby’ Atkins, of Horley was player-manager of the Sunday League side for 32 years and played his last game at the age of 50. He managed the team until he was 62. Professionally he was a window cleaner in Crawley and surrounding areas from the early 80s and was thinking about retirement when he became ill. His wife Pauline said: “Two years ago we noticed his co-ordination and memory weren’t what they were. He was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour. He fought 18 months a really tough battle.”

Richard I. McCanna, 78, of Sunnyside Road, Greenhurst, and Avon Park, Fla., passed away Friday Nov. 8, 2013, at WCA Hospital. Dick was born June 16, 1935, in Warren, Pa., the son of the late Sherwood and Joan Groves McCanna, who lived in Youngsville, Pa., at the time. Dick spent his early years in Youngsville, and went to elementary school there. He graduated from Jamestown High School in the class of 1953. He then became a jack of all trades. He was a butcher, newspaper man, owner of Jamestown Window Cleaners, a truck salesman. He loved being a tour guide at Chautauqua, and just about anything else you can think of. 

Robert E. Stull, 80, of Decatur, IL went to be with his Lord at 6:07 p.m. on Saturday (Sept. 14, 2013) in Decatur Memorial Hospital. A graveside service to celebrate Robert’s life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday (Sept. 18, 2013) at Graceland Cemetery. Military Rites will be provided by the Macon County Honor Guard. Dawson & Wikoff West Wood Street Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Robert was born on June 13, 1933 in Decatur, IL, the son of Frank and Beatrice (Eichberger) Stull. Robert married Lomonia “Faye” Hill on January 28, 1953. She preceded him in death on March 5, 2009. He worked for Decatur Window Cleaners, also worked as a janitor and did small engine repair. He served proudly with the U.S. Air Force. Robert enjoyed playing bingo and was an avid Chicago Cubs fan.

Donald John Koski, 76, of Longview passed away Sept. 18, 2013, at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center in Clackamas, Ore. He was born July 27, 1937, in Hibbing, Minn., to Neil and Katherine (Sallila) Koski. Don retired from self-employment with Don's Window Cleaning Service. He enjoyed church activities, fishing, old westerns and playing pool and basketball with his son and nephew. Don was a beloved father, brother, uncle and friend who will be missed by all. He is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Martha; three grandchildren, Alyssa, "Mickey Mickey" and Michael Donovan Jr.; a sister, Marilyn Benton; his nieces and nephew, Gayle, Karen, Kelly and Donny; and their children. Don was preceded in death by a brother, Clifford; and two sisters, Doris and Lois. A memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. Sunday at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 308 Paredale Lane in Longview. A graveside service is planned for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Longview Memorial Park. Arrangements are by Steele Chapel at Longview Memorial Park & Crematory.
John Dickson Cameron - Birdman, inventor and artist - Born: December 4, 1925; Died: September 4, 2013. John Cameron, who has died aged 87, was a well-known Glasgow inventor, artist and entrepreneur who became famous for developing techniques to prevent starlings from landing on the window sills of Glasgow's city centre buildings - a talent which won him a mention in Edwin Morgan's poem The Starlings In George Square. His way of thinking and his gung-ho approach to life marked him out from an early age as someone who was always going to be out of the ordinary.
From an impoverished upbringing in a Maryhill tenement with his brother and three sisters, he blossomed as a serial inventor, innovator and entrepreneur of note. His ability to go his own way may have been shaped by his wartime exploits in the merchant navy, which he signed up for at the age of 15 (he lied about how old he was). His time on the Atlantic convoys was something he would never forget.
The fact he was able to account for driving a car down a flight of steps in Malta in 1944 was early testament to his burgeoning creativity. At the end of the war he decided to check out the United States with a view to bringing his new bride, Peggy Ferguson, over to join him. However, before she could get the call he was banished from the US for overstaying his welcome - immigration caught up with him in a New York hospital while he was recovering from a fall from a tenement sustained while cleaning windows. He was briefly detained on Ellis Island - at the same time as mafia boss Lucky Luciano - before being put on a ship for Britain.
Being asked to leave America seems to have been character-building. On his return to Glasgow, infected with enthusiasm for American ways, he opened American Eats, Maryhill's first Yankee-style diner. Unfortunately the establishment succumbed to fire after a few months and had to close.
In 1958 Cameron took his talents to South Africa. While there, he staged a cross-border raid into what was then Southern Rhodesia, selling TV aerials in a country that didn't yet have a TV service. Ultimately, Africa didn't fully appreciate his talents, and after three years he and his growing family were on their way home.
Following his second return to Glasgow, his entrepreneurship and inventiveness came to the fore and he built a highly profitable business sandblasting some of Glasgow's grimy public buildings - one of the first such operations in Scotland - with his Cameron's Commandos crew and their distinctive camouflage-striped vans.
His next big venture was the one that made his name - and led to him being called Birdman in the press, a name that stuck. He developed bird beads, designed to prevent starlings from landing on the window sills of Glasgow's city-centre buildings and depositing their droppings. The system won him a silver medal at an inventors exhibition in Brussels. He also received a mention in The Starlings In George Square for his campaign to rid Glasgow of the curse of the birds, with high-pitched noise and searchlights.
However, just prior to this it was the establishment he upset rather than the birds when he opened Glasgow's first sex shop at St George's Cross - a place incredibly tame by current standards. It did very well with its half-price-for-pensioners offers, but ultimately had to close its doors due to the large number of protesters blocking the entrance.
By 1980, Cameron was increasingly well-known as a serial inventor, with a string of patented items displayed at exhibitions in Britain and abroad and several further awards for his inventions. These ranged from safety gates to roadwork signs that wouldn't blow over, and from an anti-rust beeswax-based coating for North Sea oil rigs to innovative techniques for power drain cleaning.
The final chapter in a highly colourful career saw him building a reputation as an artist. His distinctive abstracts - with paint applied not just by brushes but by lawn mowers and garden rakes as well, and given some sparkle by the addition of crystals and gem stones - attracted a lot of interest. His works were shown at several exhibitions in and around Glasgow. Never the most modest of men, he gifted some of his works to celebrities such as Barbra Streisand.
In recent years, his health was poor, but his humour and enthusiasm for life never left him. He suffered a stroke on August 30 - the same day his grand-daughter Sarah died - and passed away five days later in the Victoria Infirmary. He is survived by his son John, daughters Jaqueline and Margaret, grandchildren Daniel and Laura and four great-grandchildren.

Ipswich: Window cleaner fined more than £500 following fly-tipping offences - A window cleaner has been fined more than £500 for failing to correctly dispose of waste removed from a house he was renovating in Ipswich. Matthew Lister, 38, of Sorrell Close, Ipswich, was ordered to pay a £200 fine, £300 costs and a £20 victim surcharge after pleading guilty to the offences last week. Babergh District Council, which traced Lister after finding the waste dumped off the A137 at Tattingstone and also near Wherstead, has welcomed the magistrates’ decision.
“We are pleased with the magistrates’ decision which even including credit for his guilty plea, has resulted in him being fined more than he was paid, and being made to repay the council’s costs,” said James Buckingham, corporate manager for environmental protection at the council. “This was a costly mistake on Mr Lister’s part. Had he made a few simple checks before handing over the waste, as per his legal obligations, it would not have ended up being fly-tipped.”
Magistrates in Ipswich heard how Lister had been paid £175 to clear waste and a dismantled caravan from a friend’s grandmother’s house in Bucklesham, Ipswich, in September 2012. However, despite accepting a bonus from the grandmother, who believed Lister had been left out of pocket by completing the job, he had not in fact disposed of it himself.
Instead, Lister handed it over to some “unknown men” who had offered to take it in exchange for any metal found within. Lister failed to ask for proof that the men were registered with the Environment Agency to carry waste, where it was taken or for a waste transfer note. “Although Mr Lister did not dump the waste himself, his failure to make basic checks as to whether the men he gave the waste to were properly licensed, resulted in the waste being dumped and significant clean-up costs totalling £230 being footed by Babergh taxpayers,” Mr Buckingham added.
“This is totally unacceptable and we will not hesitate to take action in such cases. “Mr Lister was not a licensed waste carrier and so should not have been involved in taking the waste in the first place. Had he been properly licensed he would have been aware of his legal obligations.” The district council spent more than £13,000 of taxpayers’ money to clear the 224 incidents of fly-tipping in the Babergh district in 2012/13.
Relative says Zachary Price was threatened before 2012 stabbing: A family member testified that Zachary Price was threatened by his mother’s partner and was the aggressor in a brief struggle with the man, eventually stabbing him with a kitchen knife. Richard Meyers, 51, told Price, “I’ll break you like a twig,” at one point during the tussle, said Tyler Meyers, 18, the second witness to take the stand. The argument grew out of a spat Price had with his mother when he was digging a grave for his dead cat.
In July 2012, 51-year-old Richard Meyers died in his Liberty Hill home after being stabbed four times. Both the defense and prosecution said Meyers’ death stemmed from a series of events that spiraled out of control. But as the trial for Price, 21, got under way Tuesday, the two sides painted different pictures of what happened. Zachary Price shared a home with his mother, Lisa Price, and the two teenage sons she had with Meyers. The day after his cat died, Zachary Price began to dig a grave, defense attorney Marc Ranc said. Price got into an argument with his mother, and then fought with Meyers in the kitchen in a “melee of confusion,” Ranc said.
After Price grabbed a kitchen knife, Meyers “threw him against the stove,” Ranc said. When the two were done struggling, Meyers was dead, Ranc said. Prosecutor Brent Webster said Price became “angry” and punched a hole through a wall in the home before getting into an altercation with Meyers. Price stabbed Meyers with an eight-inch blade, Webster said. One of Meyers’ sons asked Zachary Price afterward why he stabbed his father. Price replied, “He deserved it,” Webster said.
That afternoon, Price fled from the house, and was apprehended more than a month later in California. He had been living in the woods, and police found his car near the site of an event at a rural ranch, Webster said. Ranc said Price had been planning on leaving Liberty Hill for a good while because he was frustrated with his family situation. Zachary Price was adopted by his mother, Lisa Price, and her now ex-husband Mark Price, Ranc said. The couple divorced when Lisa Price started an affair with Meyers, about 20 years ago, Ranc said. Though Meyers had a window cleaning business, he made little money, and the burden of supporting the family fell on Zachary Price, Ranc said. Price has been charged with murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. His case is being heard before Judge Rick Kennon in 368th District Court in Williamson County.

High Court grants Cab freezing orders on Dublin man’s properties: Mr Russell was not in court yesterday and was not legally represented during the hearing. In affidavits, he had opposed Cab’s application and denied the properties were acquired with the proceeds of crime. He claimed they were acquired as a result of his work in various enterprises including window cleaning, furniture sales, a taxi business and from car sales. In his ruling, the judge said he was satisfied the assets were the proceeds of crime. Mr Russell had access to “significant amounts of funds” which were “quite in excess of any funds generated by legitimate activities he was involved in”, he said. Mr Russell had 12 previous convictions, the most serious in 1991 in connection with a post office robbery and was also involved in two gangland feuds, the judge said.
Detectives today voiced disgust at a thief who visited a confused elderly woman and pretended he was collecting window cleaning fees. The thief conned the 85-year-old woman, who lives alone, out of £10 and while she was distracted searching for her money he stole a pair of her earrings. He wrote in a leather Filofax in a bid to look the part. The distraught pensioner only realised she was a victim when her genuine window cleaner turned up at her door a few weeks later, and the crime has only just been reported.
Today Det Insp Warren Atkinson said: “The lady realised after 20 minutes her earrings had gone missing, but only knew for sure they had been stolen when the genuine window cleaner turned up. “This is a despicable crime and we are encouraging pepople to come forward with information.” The thief struck at a ground floor flat on Preesall Road, Ashton-on-Ribble, on October 22, at around 11am.
The incident, which is being treated as a distraction burglary, is being investigated by Preston Police and they are appealing to residents in the area who may recognise the criminal’s description to come forward. He is described as a white man, in his 50s, and of stocky build. He was wearing a black woolly hat, black thigh length coat, dark trousers and carried a document holder.
A drink driver forced pedestrians to leap out of the way as he drove a scooter home with his cousin on the back – because his passenger was drunker than he was, a court heard. Members of the public were forced to flee for their lives as Kevin McGuire, 36, mounted the pavement in Pennywell during what his solicitor called a “mercy-mission”, Sunderland magistrates heard. Swerving across Portsmouth Road at 11.20am on August 7, Mcguire narrowly missed the kerb before driving along a footpath, prosecutor Paul Anderson said. McGuire, of Galashiels Road, Grindon, had initially drawn the attention of a passing police car because his cousin was not wearing a helmet,the court heard. Officers had to follow the Peugeot Elyseo 100 scooter across a grassed area until it finally came to a stop. “He said he drove it because his cousin was on the back and he was even more intoxicated than him,” Mr Anderson added. “He said it was the safer option.” 
McGuire, a window cleaner, was found to have 80 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath – more than twice the legal limit of 35 microgrammes. He admitted drink-driving, having no licence and no insurance. Jason Smith, mitigating, said: “His cousin, who was on the back, had borrowed the bike from his father and he had to get it back, or he would be in severe trouble. “Kevin noticed the young man was severely intoxicated. Kevin had been asleep for a few hours and he made what was essentially a mercy-mission. He simply thought he was doing his cousin a favour.” McGuire was banned from driving for two years was fined £110, and told to pay £85 costs. and a £20 victim surcharge.

Families weep as Triangle killer is sent down for six-and-a-half years: A 26 year old window cleaner who killed a partially-sighted man with a punch that forced him to hit his head on the ground was beginning a six-and-a-half year jail sentence tonight. Craig Leighton (pictured) held his head in his hands, but showed no other emotion, as Judge John Reddihough passed sentence at Reading Crown Court today (Friday). The jury of seven women and five men took eight hours and 11 minutes to clear father-of-three Leighton of murdering 52-year-old Kevin White but unanimously found him guilty of manslaughter.  Passing sentence Judge Reddihough rejected Leighton’s claims that the deceased had struck the first blow, and he hadn’t seen him hit the ground.
He added: “Without any explanation, without any basis for doing it but merely because he touched your face you struck him in the face with sufficient force to knock him straight to the ground. “I completely reject your evidence you did not see him go to the ground and I am sure that immediately after you kicked him in the head and in my judgement that is a serious aggravating feature. “It showed total disregard to the fact he must have been badly injured and to make matters worse you ran off.”
As the jury delivered its verdict Leighton’s stepmother and girlfriend began weeping and, as the judge passed sentence, both left the courtroom before returning to hear the length of his jail term. Mr White’s family thanked the police, medical staff and their friends and family for all the support they have been offered throughout the trial. They said that after hearing all the evidence and the sentence they can now try to come to terms with the loss of their son, father and grandfather and added: “No words can express the extreme pain we are going through. Kevin has been taken from us in such a sudden, unjust and violent attack. We hope no other family has to experience what we have.”

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