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.

A Guide to Commercial Lighting Fixtures

Although incandescent lamps are more frequently used in residential lighting applications, some commercial lighting fixtures also used this technology. Incandescent lamps pass current through a filament, which causes the filament to give off light. Because they are relatively short lived, incandescents are used mostly as decorative commercial lighting fixtures. Their ability to render warm colors effectively without ballast makes them well suited to this application, and the enormous variety of bulb designs make them highly soft after source of any type of accent lighting or decorum based commercial lighting design.Fluorescent Lighting Fixtures
Fluorescent lamps are used extensively in commercial lighting fixtures for a number of reasons. First and foremost of these reasons is their ability to use less power than other commercial lighting fixtures, making them very cost effective from an energy conservation perspective. Fluorescent bulbs also produce a very bright light that is evenly distributed, making them ideal commercial warehouse lighting fixtures, canopy lights, security lights, in interior retail lights in discount stores where high levels of general lighting help psychologically motivate larger bulk purchases of discount merchandise.Fluorescent bulbs produce light by activating phosphors on the interior of the bulb using ultraviolet energy generated by a mercury arc. Ballast helps start and operate the fluorescent lamps by regulating electron flow through the gaseous arc. Trends in fluorescent technology have made them more compact, increasing lumens per watt efficiency as high as 100 lumens per watt, and reducing the amount of toxic mercury within the bulbs interior. Fluorescent commercial lighting fixtures are best deployed underneath building eaves (as in the case of canopy lights), near loading docks, in wall packs on the sides of buildings, or as large grocery store or warehouse lights. Placing them too far out into open spaces tends to diffuse their light output and diminish their intensity.High Intensity Discharge (HID) Commercial Lighting Fixtures
HID stands for High Intensity Discharge. It refers to a technology where light is produced by a gaseous arc discharge using a variety of elements. Typical elements include mercury vapor, metal halide, and high pressure sodium. The arc tube within an HID lamp will contain one or more of such elements, and when current passes between the electrodes at either end of the tube, the current creates an arc that generates visible light.HID lamps feature the highest efficiency in lumens per watt output and also feature a greater level of lighting control. They also last longer than other commercial lighting fixtures, making them a wise investment for a company on a Spartan budget that cannot afford to continually replace equipment. High intensity discharge sources include mercury vapor, metal halide, and high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps. Light is produced in HID and low pressure sodium (LPS) sources through a gaseous arc discharge using a variety of elements. Each HID lamp consists of an arc tube which contains certain elements or mixtures of elements which, when an arc is created between the electrodes at each end, gasify and generate visible radiation.Light Sources and Lamp CharacteristicsMercury Vapor (MV) Lighting Fixtures
Mercury vapor lights were the first HID commercial lighting fixtures developed. They were designed originally to meet a rising demand for a very compact, high output, and energy efficient source of light. They are used extensively in a number of landscape lighting applications, being commonly deployed as tree lights in high-end commercial outdoor lighting systems. In other applications they have proven somewhat less effective duo to their inferior color rendering abilities, although this has improved to a certain extent over the years by phosphor coated interior bulb walls.The life of mercury vapor lamps is good, averaging 24,000 hours for larger wattage lamps. However, because the output diminishes so greatly over time, economical operational life is often much shorter. Efficacy ranges from 30 to 60 lumens per watt, with the higher wattages being more efficacious than the lower wattages.As with other HID lamps, the starting of a mercury vapor lamp is not immediate. Starting time is short, though, taking 4-7 minutes to achieve maximum output depending upon the ambient temperature.High Pressure Sodium (HPS) Light Fixtures
High Pressure Sodium (HPS) commercial lighting fixtures gained huge popularity in the 1970s to meet the needs of a powerful, yet super efficient, source of HID lighting. Lumens per watt output in an HPS lamp can be as high as 140 lumens per watt, approximately 7 times the luminance as incandescent lamps and twice that of MV or Fluorescent. They also last for approximately 24,000 hours—the longest lamp light on the market.The problem with HPS commercial lighting fixtures has always been the quality of light they create. HPS lamps give off a yellowish or orange-tinted color and are not acceptable light sources for situations where illuminating a brand, architectural keynote, or any type of ornate exterior landscaping requires a high level of color rendering. For the most part, they are used in applications such as commercial parking garage lighting, warehouse lighting, and certain outdoor applications such as security flood lighting.Metal Halide (MH Lighting Fixtures
Metal Halide (MH) commercial lighting fixtures are fast becoming the preferred source of HID lighting in most commercial environments. This is because they produce a very bright white light that nearly equivalent to daylight in its color rendering ability. The variety of applications is significant as a result, ranging from decorative street lighting, commercial parking lot lighting, car lot lighting, outdoor landscape lighting, architectural lighting, security lighting, and general site lighting. Traditionally, their biggest drawback has been their short lamp life, only 7,500 hours on the average.Newer designs in Metal Halide commercial lighting fixtures include pulse start technology and ceramic metal halide design. These improvements have increased lumens per watt efficiency, control of the light itself through superior dimmability, better stability of color rendering, longer lamp life, and shorter start time.Unfortunately, recent legislation has called for the phase out of certain standard forms of MH commercial lighting fixtures due to their use of incendiary elements that fall under the classification of greenhouse gas sources. This in turn paves the way for the most sophisticated lighting ever developed on our world, and quite possibly, the singular source of lighting used both commercially and residentially in the very near future: LED commercial lighting fixtures.LED Commercial Lighting Fixtures
As technology improves, the ability to create truly white LED light continues to evolve. LED commercial lighting fixtures are featuring higher lumens per watt efficiencies than their initial prototypes initially offered. This has opened the door for a number of architectural lighting and site lighting applications that were previously the exclusive domain of HID commercial lighting fixtures.We are also seeing an upsurge in the use of led commercial lighting fixtures in street and roadway lighting, where a number of municipalities in the United States and Europe have reported some very promising findings in regards to both power cost reduction and the overall quality of street lighting itself.Look for quarterly leaps and bounds in the engineering gains made by LED commercial lighting fixture manufacturers.

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.