From Fiction To Reality The Evolution Of Beacon Technology

Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, gradually turning every science fiction into reality. Beacon technology is one of those technological advancements, which was once a figment of the imagination of many researchers. Let’s have a look at how beacon technology is evolving and changing our business world.What is a Beacon?A Beacon is a tiny, battery-powered, wireless, low-cost sensor with a built-in Bluetooth chip device that works on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). It allows Bluetooth enabled devices to receive data within short distances.Beacon device is designed in such a way that it is easy to fix anywhere and can be efficiently used by everyone. It continuously broadcasts a radio signal, and when a device receives this signal it reads the beacon’s ID and triggers the action in the smartphone app based on the proximity of the beacon. What makes a beacon technology different is its ability to “wake up” an app, which is not open but has been downloaded on the Smartphone.Deep Dive into Beacon TechnologyMost beacons use BLE technology / Bluetooth Smart Technology as it requires low energy consumption and low implementation cost. The technology only allows for small amounts of data transmission, and it is the reason most beacons only transmit their IDs.Beacon IDs consists of three values:

Universally unique identifier (UUID)

Major value

Minor value
The purpose of transmitting the ID is to distinguish a beacon from all other beacons in a network. Major and Minor values are the integer values assigned to the beacon, for greater accuracy in identification. Beacon also carries information about its signal power to determine the proximity of the source.iBeaconiBeacon is a brand name created by Apple Inc., which was first presented at the World Wide Developer’s Conference in 2014 as part of Apple’s iOS 7. It is a technology innovation of Apple that has been implemented in the location framework in iOS 7 and newer operating systems. As described above, iBeacon uses BLE technology to sense proximity and transmit a UUID, which triggers an action in a compatible app or operating system.Eddystone – A Game ChangerIn response to iBeacons, Google came up with its beacon project called Eddystone on July 14, 2015, with more open and flexible approach. Eddystone is Google’s open-source, cross-platform BLE beacon format. While Apple’s iBeacon only works with iOS devices, Eddystone works with both Android and iOS devices. Unlike iBeacons, they broadcast not only their UUID but also pre-programmed web page URLs and thus don’t require the installation of specific apps. The URL could be a regular web page providing relevant information, for e.g. a beacon next to a restaurant can broadcast a link to a YouTube clip or their specialty menu. Certainly, Eddystone will bring in new IoT use cases.Beacons EmpoweredWith this drastic rise in beacon technology, companies are investing in this technology to generate greater revenues. Here I have given a brief detail about how retail industry is utilizing and availing benefits of beacon technology.Smart RetailThe rapidly growing e-Commerce industry has resulted in the decrease of footfall and in-store sales for both the small-time retailers and big brands. In-stores have understood that they have to mimic e-commerce in the areas of personalized offers and shopping experiences.Thus, Retail is a critical area where beacons are expected to bring huge impact – from proximity marketing to contactless payments to in-store analytics. 85% of the retail industry is expected to leverage beacon technology by the end of the year 2016. Beacons may seem like hype today, but let’s have a glance at few of its revolutionary aspects.Beacons send location awareness alerts, updates on merchandise/products, and promotional notifications to tempt a passerby to enter the store. It can also be used to analyse customers who walk past the store and their visit duration. This analysis will help in making strategic decisions on product display.Beacons use in-store navigation and provide real-world analytics like:

The areas and items a customer likes to explore

Where a customer spent most of her/his time

What and when s/he makes a purchase

Most in-store rushed locations

In-store deserted locations

Busiest days of the store

Number of people who walk into their store per day
These data provides insight into customer behavior and store performance. This analysis will help the retailers to organize their products, prices and place their products in strategic locations on strategic days and time. By knowing the repeated visitors to the store, retailers can reward those customers with loyalty benefits for their purchase.Beacon makes a customer’s in-store journey personalized and unique. It fetches data from the wish list of a customer and notifies him when he comes across that particular product. It also recommends products based on price, quality, and offers to provide better in-store experience.The customers who have already set up their payment information through their smartphone can use a connected beacon and complete their purchase by processing their payment (a.k.a contactless payment) without waiting in long queues. When a payment is done, the stock will be automatically updated.Beacon technology is spreading gradually in not just the retail space; it is being adapted to various other sectors like Hotels, Airline industry, Football Leagues, B2B arena and more. Beacons help businesses to attract more customers and to understand the demands of their potential customers. It is a cost-effective and targeted marketing technique that promotes your sales and generates higher revenues.

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Need and Importance of Effective Communication

NEED AND IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATION”Identification is one of the key ingredients of effective communication. In fact, unless your listeners can identify with what you are saying and with the way you are saying it, they are not likely to receive and understand your message.”Communication refers to exchange of views, ideas, thoughts, beliefs and feelings with the intention of conveying information from the sender to the receiver, through verbal or non verbal means. We communicate for numerous reasons like for sharing information, learning, consulting, for connecting with others, writing rules and regulations, giving advice, sharing values and mission, teaching, expressing our expectations/ creativity/ philosophy/ research work, selling of products/ services, for publicity, maintaining public relations and advertising, networking with people with common interest or even with Internal and External source of the organization.A study conducted by North Carolina State University concluded that in most of the organization Communication Skills were considered more important than either technical knowledge or computer skills. This itself conveys the Importance of Communication in work place. Many experts explain Communication as ‘foundation of every relationship’s, ‘life blood of an organization’, ”life blood for a successful team’ etc.The Importance of Effective Communication is discussed further: –
# The success of any business depends on a sound professional relationship between both parties and communication plays a crucial role in building, maintain and enhancing such relations.
# Communication doesn’t only include exchange of words but listening, understanding and interpreting are also a part of effective communication.
# Human Resource (HR) is the most important element in any organization. Managing ‘Man’ is the biggest challenge for the organization. Communication is the lubricant which keeps this resource moving throughout the organizational machinery since it involves communication at all levels – Vertical/ Horizontal/ Parallel/ Lateral and Diagonal.Research has revealed that managers spend a great part of their work time in communication; they generally devote 6 hours per day in communication which includes both written and oral communication.Top management uses Communication for Internal Sources to: -
 Communication provides effective guidance to the employees by informing them about their duties, responsibilities, authorities and the power they have to perform the task.
 To impart the organizational values, mission, vision, goals, objectives to the workforce.
 They also use communication for implementation of the short and long term goals of the organization.
 Communication enables adequate flow of information for effective decision making and problem solving.
 Communication provides a channel through which the employees can give and receive ideas, view, suggestions, opinions, feedbacks etc for the growth and development of the organization.
 Communication enables the management to get feedback about their products/ services from the existing and potential customers.
 No communication or even lack of communication can create confusion and misunderstanding leading to undesirable outcomes, poor performance and low employee morale.
 Management explains their financial plans, operational structure, job expectations, work ethics, corporate social responsibilities, remuneration system, rules, regulations and policies and even provides training and development to the middle and lower level of hierarchy.
 Writing financial reports for directors and shareholders to inform and intimate them about the company’s progress and future plans.
 Communication enables messages to reach to the target audience and get appropriate feedback from them.For External Sources communication is required for the following reasons: - Finding prospective investors.
 Obtaining permits/ licenses.
 Dealing with buyers/ agents/ dealers and suppliers.
 Building long term relationships with the existing customers/ clients.
 Finding new prospective customers/ clients.
 Building healthy relationships with government agencies/ bodies/ organizations.
 Enhancing relationships with media and NGO’s (Non Governmental Organizations).
 Building a congenial relationship with stakeholders and general society at large.However, it is often observed that the best way to communicate with Internal and External source is through establishing an open door organizational culture, collaborative sharing and supporting management which helps to create a safe and healthy environment.

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Where to Invest Money When the Sky Is Falling

Most of us know where to invest money in good times, but when it looks like the sky might be falling, knowing where to invest money and how to invest it becomes a puzzle. In 2014 and 2015 good investments might be hard to find, especially if yesterday’s good investments like stocks and bonds tank. This is not a prediction, but rather a “heads up.” You can’t prepare if you’re not aware, so let’s take a closer look at the sky.We all know that safe choices like money market funds and bank savings accounts don’t look like good investments for 2014 because they pay peanuts. But what if the sky starts falling: either interest rates ignite and/or the stock market tanks? Either way or both… where to invest money is the question of the day. Safe choices will look like good investments for parking money that must be safe.Wall Street’s traditional answer to where to invest money: put about 60% into stocks with about 40% in bonds holding a cash reserve on the sidelines. Problem: in 2014 and 2015 losses in stocks may not be offset by gains in bonds… as was the case for the last 30 years or so. If interest rates soar from today’s record-low levels, neither stocks nor bonds look like good investments.For over 30 years interest rates were falling and bonds were generally good investments. With today’s ridiculously low rates (created by our government to stimulate the economy) a rebound in interest rates is in the cards (as the government unwinds its stimulus). When that happens, bonds will no longer be where to invest money for higher interest income with relative safety. Bonds are NOT good investments when rates go up; they lose money. That’s the way it works. How to invest in bonds in 2014 and 2015 if rates take off: lighten up and opt for safety.Stocks had been very good investments five years running as the year 2014 began. This was at least in part due to government stimulus and cheap money. In a sense, stocks were where to invest money because nothing looked cheap except for money (short term interest rates were set at about one-tenth of one percent). With a gain of over 150% in five years, the downside risk in the stock market is mounting. This begs the question of how to invest money in stocks if the sky starts to look ominous.Remember that the stock market is actually a market of stocks, which means that the vast majority of stocks get hit when the market crumbles – but at least a few will be good investments. And the best way to find good investments in a bad market is to watch the price action. For example, as the market climbed 30% in 2013, some gold stocks were down about 50% by early 2014. If you don’t know how to invest in or how to pick a specific gold stock… you might want to know where to invest money to get a piece of this action. The answer is to invest money in gold funds and let them pick the gold stocks for you.The bottom line is that in 2014 and 2015 investors face an uphill battle, because both stocks and bonds look pricey. That presents a new challenge to today’s investor in search of where to invest money. We are facing uncharted waters in this modern electronic world, where no one really knows how to invest or where to find good investments for the future. This includes the big investors like life insurance companies and pension funds.My suggestion is to take some profits in your stocks and bonds, because the tide will turn eventually if not in 2014 or 2015. Then you’ll have a cash reserve, so you can take advantage of the situation as the skies darkens. Smart investors are always in search of where to invest money next, especially when a change of trend is in the cards. At such times, yesterday’s underperforming sectors or industries often become today’s good investments.

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How is Parkinson’s Disease Treated?

Parkinsons disease is a comparatively common condition of the nervous system which is as a result of problems with the nerve cells in the part of the brain which generates dopamine. This is a chemical substance that is needed for the smooth management of muscles and motion, so the symptoms of the disorder is a result of a reduction of that chemical. Parkinson’s disease mostly impacts individuals aged over 65, but it can and does come on at younger ages with 5-10% developing before the age of forty.

The chief clinical features of Parkinson’s disease are a tremor or shaking, that will commences in one arm or hand; there is often a muscle rigidity or stiffness along with a slowness of motion; the stance gets more stooped; additionally, there are equilibrium concerns. Parkinson’s can also cause greater pain and result in depression symptoms and create problems with memory and sleep. There isn’t any specific test for the diagnosis of Parkinson’s. The identification is usually made primarily based on the history of the symptoms, a physical along with neural evaluation. Other reasons for the signs and symptoms also need to be eliminated. There are imaging assessments, such as a CAT scan or MRI, that can be used to eliminate other issues. From time to time a dopamine transporter diagnostic might also be utilized.

The actual cause of Parkinson’s isn’t known. It does appear to have both genetic and environmental elements with it plus some specialists think that a virus may induce Parkinson’s as well. Decreased amounts of dopamine and also norepinephrine, a substance which in turn is responsible for the dopamine, have already been found in those with Parkinson’s, but it is not yet determined what is causing this. Unusual proteins which are named Lewy bodies have been located in the brains of those who have Parkinson’s; nevertheless, experts don’t know what role they may play in the development of Parkinson’s. While the specific cause just isn’t known, studies have identified risk factors that establish groups of people who are more prone to develop the condition. Men are more than one and a half times more prone to get Parkinson’s as compared to women. Caucasians are much more prone to get the condition as compared to African Americans or Asians. Those who have close members of the family who have Parkinson’s disease are more likely to develop it, implying the inherited contribution. A number of toxins could raise the potential for the problem, implying a role of the environment. People who experience difficulties with brain injuries can be more likely to go on and have Parkinson’s disease.

There is no identified remedy for Parkinson’s disease. That will not imply that the signs and symptoms can’t be handled. The main method is to use medicines to raise or replacement for the dopamine. Balanced and healthy diet together with frequent exercise is crucial. There may be changes made to the surroundings at home and work to keep the individual involved as well as active. There are also some options sometimes for brain surgical treatment which can be used to relieve some of the motor symptoms. A diverse team of different health professionals are often involved.

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Understanding the Impacts of Gout

Gout is among those historical problems because there are numerous mentions of it in historical literature, at least since ancient times. The traditional typecast of it is that it is related to the upper classes that binge in alcohol and certain foods. This image was pictured in early art work illustrating people who had gout. Gout has stopped being viewed as a problem of over consumption, because of the current research demonstrating an important genetic component to it.

Gout is a distressing inflammation related disorder which mostly impacts the joints, most commonly the great toe joint with the feet. It is because of uric acid crystals getting placed in joints in the event the bloodstream uric acid quantities are increased. The uric acid comes from the breakdown of purines which come from the consuming of foods like venison, salmon, tuna, haddock, sardines, anchovies, mussels, herring along with alcohol consumption. It is possible to understand how that old misconception was produced according to the overindulgence of the higher classes in those types of food and alcoholic beverages. The actual problem is not really the quantity of those foods which can be consumed, but the actual genetics of the biochemical pathway which usually breaks the purines in these food items down into the uric acid and how your body deals with it.

While diet is still important in the treating of gout and lowering the quantity of food which have the purines with them continues to be considered essential, however it is becoming apparent recently that this is just not sufficient by itself and just about all those who have gout probably will need pharmaceutical management. It goes without saying that drugs are likely to be needed for relief of pain throughout an acute flare up. The acute phase of gout is extremely painful. Over the long term there are two forms of drugs which you can use for gout. One kind of medicine block chemicals in the pathway which splits the purines into uric acid, which simply implies there will be much less uric acid in the blood stream that could find its way in to the joints to trigger an acute episode of gout or lead to the long-term gout. The other main kind of drug is one that can help the renal system remove much more uric acid. This would also reduce the urates in the bloodstream. Generally, only one of those drugs is all that’s needed, however occasionally both are needed to be utilized at the same time. Since these prescription medication is ordinarily pretty successful, that will not indicate that the life-style and eating habits changes may be pushed aside. Local measures, including wearing good fitting shoes if the big toe joint gets too painful is important. Also ice packs during an acute flare up will also help with the relief of pain.

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How To Approach Removing Asbestos Removal in Sydney

Planning to renovate your home built decades ago? Well, you got to be careful! There is a good chance it may have asbestos. This is a popular building material used throughout Australia before it was completely banned in 2003.

Asbestos is not generally considered hazardous. In fact, homeowners are only allowed to remove up to ten square meters of non-friable asbestos. More than that, people are advised to seek professional help, especially handling friable ones. Because of the health risks involved, DIY removal is considered illegal.

This is particularly prohibited in Sydney. Hence, the expertise of your trusted asbestos removalists is required to handle the dangerous job.

Why Removing Asbestos Can Be Dangerous?

There are many DIY ideas. Some are equally fun. Whilst, others can be hazardous, like removing asbestos by yourself.

Here are some reasons why removing asbestos without proper knowledge can be dangerous:

Exposure to diseases

Small quantities of asbestos are present in the air most of the time and are being breathed in by everyone without ill effects. But, exposure to high levels of asbestos for a long time is pretty serious. It can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Accidents and Injuries

Asbestos is used in cement sheeting, drainage and pipes, guttering, and even roofing. But, asbestos roofing can become fragile over time. Hence, you might risk breaking it apart, releasing harmful fibres into the air. Also, a single sheet of asbestos can weigh 30-50 kilograms. Such weight can cause injuries.

Wrong removal and ill-fitting equipment

You may not know the proper ways to remove asbestos, exposing you to very harmful fibres. And the recommended removal equipment is quite expensive. You don’t have to deal with it on your own.

How Much Does It Cost To Remove Asbestos?

Asbestos removal can be pretty costly. It is determined by the type and size of the area, as well as the amount of debris to be removed. The safety risks of asbestos also increase the cost, especially when friable asbestos is involved. But health is wealth. It is always worth the price.

Most junk removalists in Sydney are priced from $99.99 per cubic metre, however, given the highly dangerous nature of asbestos, prices may be higher. It’s important to receive a few quotes before proceeding with an asbestos removal service.

How To Find The Right Asbestos Removal Provider?

There are a few key things you can do right now to ensure that your search for a provider is a successful one. They include:

Check Online Reviews

Does the asbestos removal service provider have an abundance of positive Google reviews? Check the history of their reviews to make sure that they are in-fact, legitimate. Businesses with legitimate reviews tend to have a stream of reviews that span across years of their lifetime; not just all within a few months.

Service Locality

Hiring a local asbestos removal business is always best. This ensures that you receive the best pricing as the business is local and nearby to your location. Typically, local businesses tend to take more pride in their workmanship as a positive reputation is key to their ongoing success.

Number of Years in Business

Given the highly dangerous nature of asbestos, it’s important to check how long the business has been in operation. A business who has over 10 years servicing the local community may provide cheaper pricing, given that they likely will have more refined practices.

Conclusion

Take your time while in search of a suitable asbestos removal provider. Due-dilligence is important and always shop around for the best quotes.

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A Pall Settles Over America

I see it in their eyes, downcast and wary. I see it in their steps, shuffling and tentative. When they talk, they use a word I rarely hear, depressed.

These are the producers, those who make the country work. Hourly and salaried employees and managers, who go to their jobs every day, work hard and provide for themselves and their families.

They’re the kind of people who have been with us since the country began. Back then, we called them Pilgrims, sod-busters, and settlers. Today they go by many names, Physician, Technician, Engineer, and Laborer. But for all of them, life has a rhythm, just as it did two centuries ago, that comes from our agricultural heritage.

Spring has always been the time for planting, and looking forward to the year ahead. Summertime is when they cultivate the crops. Fall is harvest time when we enjoy the fruits of our labor and thank God for blessing us. Winter is the time of austerity, the time to prune, the time to cut back.

But not this year. This year, we are still in harvest time. Yet the pruning has already begun. Major companies across this land are already cutting back, eliminating staff to reduce.

For thousands of laid-off workers, it comes at the worst possible time. Just before the holidays. A time when many who have children will have to cut back this Christmas. There will be little joy for those who lost their jobs these holidays.

If you’ve lived through a corporate “downsizing,” you know that anxiety runs high. No matter how often the boss has assured you that you will be kept on, you’re never sure about your future. Should you start looking for a new job now, or wait? Does the boss know what lies ahead, or might he be on the corporate chopping block? There is no job security once layoffs begin.

But there is much more to our collective angst this year than at any time in our memory. These corporate cutbacks are merely reflecting a more significant issue, an issue that is nationwide.

Our country is headed in the wrong direction. That is a sentiment shared by three-quarters of us. And we’ve felt that way for a couple of years. Producers know that the country should be operating better. Yes, there were all difficulties associated with the Pandemic. But those are now behind us.

Today recovery should be well underway. But it’s not. Despite all the trillions of dollars pumped into the system, our standard of living is falling. Each day inflation marches on; real income is declining. Gasoline, food, and shelter costs accelerate in real-time, but a salary rise comes annually. Corporate raises will arrive at the end of the year and likely come nowhere near the level of inflation we’ve already experienced.

Producers see all of this.

Producers also know that many, perhaps most, of our problems come from Washington. We see that a feeble old man has his bony fingers on the nation’s tiller, steering us straight for the shoals. He, and those who surround him, have a policy of austerity. In their eyes, less is better, and fewer is preferred. We should use less heat this winter, drive smaller, preferably electric vehicles, and eat vegan. And the less we consume, the better. From this perspective, we are the problem. Our destiny is to have shortages and wants. And they’ve pushed us in that direction.

However, these leaders told us last week that we could change everything. By walking into our voting booth, we could make our voices heard. We, the people, could take this country in a new direction that our leaders were indeed subject to the will of the people.

That didn’t happen. Counting votes has become a haze of computational complexity and slow-walking results. So that the incumbents in Washington get the results they want, it’s the complete inversion of the principal and values that the country’s founders intended. But there it is—today’s reality.

It’s the reason the word I hear most often from Producers today is: depression. And I’m afraid that’s where we’re headed.

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How to Choose the Right YouTube Channel Name for Your Brand

Who is your target audience?

Before you even think about branding, you need to have a clear understanding of who you wish to reach out to and what your main marketing message is going to be. If you are launching a YouTube channel for your new e-commerce business that sells jewelry, the first question you need to ask yourself is who your target audience will be. This will help you further decide how you want your channel to look and what content you want it to feature. For example, if your target audience is females aged between 25 and 40 years and you want to focus on brand engagement, you can use your YouTube channel to post behind-the-scenes videos of your product creation process. Alternatively, if you want to use your channel as a sales and marketing tool, you can create tutorial videos that showcase the various ways your products can be used and even provide suggestions on how to pair them with other accessories.

What do you want to achieve through your channel?

Now that you have identified your target audience, the next thing you need to ask yourself is what your main purpose is for having a YouTube channel in the first place. Is your channel meant to attract new customers, build brand awareness, or increase your sales? Whatever your channel’s main goal is, it is important to convey this to your audience through your channel name. For instance, if your channel is meant to increase your sales, you can use a name that suggests discounts or offers. On the other hand, if you wish to build brand awareness through your channel, you can go with a name that clearly communicates this message.

What words and phrases do you want to be associated with?

Before you even begin thinking about a YouTube channel name, you need to have a clear understanding of words and phrases that you want your channel to be associated with. For example, if you wish for your channel to be associated with creativity and originality, you can go with something along the lines of “Creative Jewelry” or “Jewelry Box”. On the other hand, if you wish to be associated with fashion and style, a good name would be “Fashion Jewels”. A good idea would be to jot down all the words and phrases that you wish your channel to be associated with, and then start brainstorming for possible channel names. This can be done by listing out all the words and phrases that are relevant to your business, crossing off the ones that don’t make sense, and then combining two or three words to create a new and memorable name.

Be Short and Catchy!

The average human attention span is now 8 seconds – that’s how long it takes for your prospective customers to decide whether or not they wish to continue reading or watching your content. This means that you have about 8 seconds to grab their attention and make a lasting impression. And since you only have a few seconds to make a good first impression, it is important to make the most of it and create a name that is short, catchy, and easy to remember. For example, the YouTube channel “Daily Jewelry” is way too long and cumbersome which makes it hard to remember and even harder to type when creating the channel URL. However, the channel name “Jewelry Box” is short, easy to remember, and will definitely make people curious enough to click on your channel. It is even better if you can use an emoji or a GIF in your channel name as they are presented more visually.

Choosing the right words for your brand name.

When choosing the right channel name, it is important to remember that the words you pick out will not only be used to create your channel name but will also be used as keywords for your YouTube SEO. This means that you have to make sure that the words you pick are relevant to your content and that they make sense when put together. For example, if you wish to create a channel that features jewelry tutorials and designs, “Jewelry Box” is a perfect name as it suggests creativity, originality, and even organization. On the other hand, if you decide to go with a name like “Daily Jewelry”, the words “daily” and “jewelry” don’t really make any sense when put together, and the name isn’t very original either.

Summing up

All in all, the name you choose for your YouTube channel is extremely important because it will be the first thing your prospective customers will see and read. Your channel name will also be used as keywords for your YouTube SEO, so it is important to make sure that it is short, catchy, and grammatically correct. While coming up with a brand name is never an easy task, there are a few things you can do to make the process a little bit easier. The best thing to do is to make a list of all the words and phrases that you wish to be associated with your channel and then start brainstorming for possible names.

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Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7
My Dad repaired most of our shoes believe it or not, I can hardly believe it myself now. With 7 pairs of shoes always needing repairs I think he was quite clever to learn how to “Keep us in shoe Leather” to coin a phrase!

He bought several different sizes of cast iron cobbler’s “lasts”. Last, the old English “Laest” meaning footprint. Lasts were holding devices shaped like a human foot. I have no idea where he would have bought the shoe leather. Only that it was a beautiful creamy, shiny colour and the smell was lovely.

But I do remember our shoes turned upside down on and fitted into these lasts, my Dad cutting the leather around the shape of the shoe, and then hammering nails, into the leather shape. Sometimes we’d feel one or 2 of those nails poking through the insides of our shoes, but our dad always fixed it.

Hiking and Swimming Galas
Dad was a very outdoorsy type, unlike my mother, who was probably too busy indoors. She also enjoyed the peace and quiet when he took us off for the day!

Anyway, he often took us hiking in the mountains where we’d have a picnic of sandwiches and flasks of tea. And more often than not we went by steam train.

We loved poking our heads out of the window until our eyes hurt like mad from a blast of soot blowing back from the engine. But sore, bloodshot eyes never dampened our enthusiasm.

Dad was an avid swimmer and water polo player, and he used to take us to swimming galas, as they were called back then. He often took part in these galas. And again we always travelled by steam train.

Rowing Over To Ireland’s Eye
That’s what we did back then, we had to go by rowboat, the only way to get to Ireland’s eye, which is 15 minutes from mainland Howth. From there we could see Malahide, Lambay Island and Howth Head of course. These days you can take a Round Trip Cruise on a small cruise ship!

But we thoroughly enjoyed rowing and once there we couldn’t wait to climb the rocks, and have a swim. We picnicked and watched the friendly seals doing their thing and showing off.

Not to mention all kinds of birdlife including the Puffin.The Martello Tower was also interesting but a bit dangerous to attempt entering. I’m getting lost in the past as I write, and have to drag myself back to the present.

Fun Outings with The camera Club
Dad was also a very keen amateur photographer, and was a member of a camera Club. There were many Sunday photography outings and along with us came other kids of the members of the club.

And we always had great fun while the adults busied themselves taking photos of everything and anything, it seemed to us. Dad was so serious about his photography that he set up a dark room where he developed and printed his photographs.

All black and white at the time. He and his camera club entered many of their favourites in exhibitions throughout Europe. I’m quite proud to say that many cups and medals were won by Dad. They have been shared amongst all his grandchildren which I find quite special.

He liked taking portraits of us kids too, mostly when we were in a state of untidiness, usually during play. Dad always preferred the natural look of messy hair and clothes in the photos of his children.

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What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping In Your Lifetime

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed
Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.
My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping
Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh
So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services
A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes
Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed
So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.
And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.

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