For Your Windows

A VIEW FROM WAY UP THERE

In the process of looking for an interesting picture of a high-rise building to introduce a 360 degree, interactive, online documentary that I link to below, I encountered this amazing stackable high-rise building in Copenhagen that houses businesses, retail and living spaces. Do you think they hire a professional to clean the windows?

Now back to my original purpose. The link below takes you to a site that you might want to bookmark and visit more than once. Make sure you click on items across the bottom of the site after you enter it. The story of this documentary is very interesting. And, the 49 stories from 13 different cities worldwide, with a choice of music if you desire, are complete with many pictures. They are “urban” stories that have to do with what is seen outside the windows of different high-rise living spaces all around the world.

http://interactive.nfb.ca/#/outmywindow/

 

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INSIDE MINE AND OUTSIDE OF THEIRS

I am sure glad that what is inside and outside of windows seems appropriate here, because often those are my favorite subjects.

I want to remind you of something I introduced in my blog last spring. One of my favorite things outside my windows is hummingbirds. Well, forget that in January here. But, I can get my fix by going to the PHOEBE webcam outside the windows at a house in Irvine, California. If you have never been to the site, or have not recently, go check out the 2 new babies that hatched about a week ago. It sure helps me when the hummers are missing here in the winter.

Winter has certainly not stopped something from happening inside my windows. My indoor gardenia plant has buds everywhere. Right now there are 2 blooms happening so I had to flaunt it.

I would have an awful time if I ever had to choose between a gardenia flower and a hummingbird. I like having both the inside and outside window treats.

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ALL I CAN SAY IS “YIKES”!

There is no doubt that window cleaning can sometimes be hazardous, especially the high-rise variety. Even with residential, accidents happen, but fortunately in all my years in the window cleaning business nothing life threatening occurred with employees.

Recently in downtown Singapore, a couple window cleaners put on quite an unplanned show high in the sky with an anxious audience down below. Make sure you watch past the 2 minute mark; that is when it starts making you just a little antsy.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcsiLtwI2SI]

 

Sure glad someone likes to have that kind of fun. GULP….

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TOP OF THE LIST

If I had to create a list of my favorite window or glass topics, greenhouses might have to be on the top. I have talked about them a few times here, but I really do think they deserve a lot more attention.

My first business was an indoor plant store in the 1970’s. The best part of it was the structure itself. Even though it was a kiosk in a mall, it was built with the remnants of a very old greenhouse, old glass and neat wood gutters. I sure wish I had those materials now to build a replica in my back yard. I would love seeing it outside of the windows in my sunroom/office. Pretty weird, I don’t even have a picture of that neat little building.

It is very likely that solar energy was known about and greenhouses existed before 100 AD in Pompeii, before it was buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Through the centuries, these glass buildings have housed, with light, heat and humidity, things of beauty and practicality.

One of the more noteworthy “glass houses” is this one in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Palm House was built in 1839. Separated wings of the structure have different environments to accommodate plants with different demands.

One of the plants on display is a 400 year-old Xanthorrhoea. Wow, I would go crazy looking at plants in that greenhouse. Even in the 1800’s this place often boasted 10,000 visitors a day!

No need to dress up greenhouse windows with anything, and cleaning them can be a real pain(pun intended), but I love them just the same.

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NO SHATTERED GLASS

In my ongoing quest to find unique products related to windows and glass, I ran into some interesting information about bullet proof glass. Do you know there is a film you can buy to put on your windows that pretty much makes them bulletproof?  I probably will never sell any in my online store since the cost is pretty darn high. Wonder what the market is like for such a critter.

Bullet proof glass has a very interesting history, starting with the fact that the discovery of the lamination process involved with making it happened accidentally when in 1903 when a French chemist dropped a glass beaker on the floor. The beaker had been coated with a certain substance that kept it from shattering and that led the way to creating plastic/glass combinations. Hence, we have automobile windshields, hurricane resistance glass and bullet proof windows.

One of the most intriguing examples of bullet proof glass involves the MONA LISA. Because there were some instances of attempted vandalism toward the original painting, she is now displayed with bullet proof glass. She must have been a strong woman; those two nasty events did not damage her one bit.


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QUITE THE INVENTION

Today I want to highlight a story from my hometown of Portland, the West Coast one, that my brother sent me. Thanks Mike, for seeing something about windows and thinking of me. You are better than a Google Alert in my email and a lot easier to hug.

An innovative fellow up there has invented a really neat way to insulate windows, especially ones that you would not want to modify appearance-wise, like those that have historical value. And, Portland has a lot of those. Right now, they are only available in the Portland area, but we might have to push for him to expand. His solution means not having to replace windows for energy reasons, and that means it is much less cost.

We founded our first window cleaning business in Portland, and a lot of people had storm windows still, and thermals were not as effective then either. I visualize this new business having great success and even expanding to other places. The window cleaner who lives with me (husband,Glenn) agrees.

Check out this article and see just how cool this is.  Meet INDOW WINDOWS!

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RECAP AND FORECAST

My title probably sounds like a weather report. By the way, outside my windows, it is blue, sunny and 53 degrees here in New Mexico today. If you frequent my blog, you saw that my last post had to do with Sears and the concept of DIY. I entered their guest blog opportunity this month and they chose my post to be on their site. Best part is I get a $75 Sears Gift Card to award to someone soon. Sounds like a fun little shopping spree!


For Your Windows has a fan page on Facebook. For those of you who are on FB please suggest our page to all your FB friends. We are only about 25 away from our 200 fan goal. As soon as we hit it we will give away a $30 Office Depot Gift Card, and then we will start a run for the Sears Card. Guess that all means it might be worth your while to become a member if you are not and to suggest to your friends if you are.  That’s the forecast part.

The recap is pretty simple. First, I want to thank all my blog subscribers and readers. I have been talking about windows and glass for almost a year now. I have learned a lot about those subjects as well as blogging in general. It has been fun!



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DO IT YOURSELF

It is kind of funny that I quite often talk about hiring a professional when it comes to window cleaning since it is too darn hard to do yourself and more fun to have them done by someone who can really wield a squeegee, but the basic theme of my online store definitely promotes doing things yourself. Most of us resort to the DIY concept often, either because of budget or because we like the fun and creativity of it all. Shoot, even just visiting a hardware store is an enjoyable part of the adventure.

Sunday morning, as I was cooking some breakfast, I looked around my comfortable “old” kitchen that may someday get a total overhaul and the juices started to bubble up, and I don’t mean on the stove. I visualized how much better my old cabinets would look if they were freshly painted and adorned with new hardware. That alone would spiffy up the kitchen and not cost too much while it waits, for who knows how long, to get an extreme makeover.

Over our Sunday morning meal, we discussed how we could proceed, colors to use, hardware to buy and tools we would need. Fortunately, hubby just bought a new version of his favorite and most often used tool, a cordless screw gun. It is not unusual to see it charging up somewhere in the house, waiting to be available the minute its name is called. It will come in quite handy when we redo the cabinets, as it does for installing window coverings, curtains rods or replacing old wall plugs.

For Christmas I got new faucets in my bathroom, which was another DIY project, well at least for my son and husband. This year along with replacing a mixer in the back bathroom shower, it looks like the kitchen cabinets will be on the list. Not a bad plan! Since Sears is having some great NEW YEAR sales and is right around the corner, we need to head over and pick out some paint and any other tools we might need.

Yep, we still do some DIY around our house. After picture sometime in the near future.

cabinet

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WAY OUTSIDE MY WINDOWS

This is so cool! Right here in Sunspot, New Mexico at the Apache Point Observatory, there is 138-megapixel camera attached to a 2.5-meter telescope that took this amazing picture.

Check out the article!  There are a half a billion things going on in this picture.

I have to admit this inspires me to become better at using a camera so I don’t miss anything that happens outside my windows in my own back yard. Last week I missed taking a picture of a huge hawk that captured a dove in my own back yard and sat there posing for 10 minutes while I tried to take pictures with my dead cell phone and my husband couldn’t find his camera. Geez…how inadequate are we, anyway?

This picture is truly a window to the universe!

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GRATEFUL FOR MY SUNNY WINDOWS

This time of year, I am so glad I work from a sun room/office that gives me some heat and lots of light. My indoor gardenia plant is grateful too, and it is blooming like crazy.

If the temperature is not at least 25 degrees out I refuse to walk in the morning, and right now it is 25 and 11:10 am. As a result, I get to enjoy what goes on outside my windows from the inside. Since the hummingbirds are gone for now I have been watching the birds that hang around for winter trying to decide if they can bathe in the icy fountain or drink from the fish pond. The doves have been fun to observe. This one decided to jump in on Sunday afternoon when it was warmer.

I captured a picture of the large gold fish looking up through the ice. At least the sun hits the pond and usually thaws it out.

Even though many windows need some window coverings or even window wallpaper, the only decoration I like on my naked sun room windows is the cozy, foggy look when it is cold outside and warm inside.


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