Travel and Limos 101

It’s the busy travel season and since I am in the limo business, I want to share some tips if you are traveling and using a car service or limo company during your trip. There are so many disreputable limo companies that have no business even BEING in business and they give the rest of us a bad name. I have heard dozens of horror stories from my clients over the past few years that I feel it would be a public service to my readers and clients so that they know what to look for! Here are some things to know that will make your limo service a pleasant one and keep your holiday happy!1. BOOK EARLY – I cannot stress how important it is to book your limo service early to avoid disappointment and to make sure that you have a car for your event!! Thanksgiving Day is the single biggest travel day of the entire year!! If you don’t book your reservation at least 10-14 days in advance, you will NOT be getting a car. The same is true of New Year’s Eve which is the single biggest night in the industry–BOOK EARLY and USE A CREDIT CARD!! There are several reliable limo service websites, the two best in the industry are limos.com where you can rate your service and airportservice.com where many airport travelers find car service for airport transportation. You can easily check for limos at both websites and you can find my company, dependablelimos.com listed at both sites! Always use a credit card for your reservation so that the limo service KNOWS you are going to show up and get into the car. If you cancel your reservation within a certain time frame, your card will not be charged, but if you cancel at the last minute and/or don’t show up, expect to pay the full price for the trip. The limo company turned away people to honor your reservation and they expect to be paid for the trip. This is standard practice in the industry, it’s just like a guaranteed hotel room.2. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A CONTACT NUMBER FOR THE COMPANY. The airports are packed with people in the holiday season and people get lost in airports and traffic is usually very snarled outside major airports and limo companies are very tightly booked. If your plane is going to be late, then make sure you call the limo company and TELL THEM!! Any reputable company will bend over backwards to make sure that you get your ride no matter HOW late your plane comes in–but it helps if you let them know. If you get bumped and put on a different flight. CALL AND TELL THEM!! We are not psychic, and the more you help us, the better we are able to serve you. If your flight is early (it DOES happen) then call the company and tell them when you land–and always check your voice mail for a message from the company when you get off the plane. You might have to wait for your car, but you will get one and a little patience and understanding on both sides helps.3. AIRLINES LIE ABOUT ARRIVAL TIMES No matter how many times I receive bad information from the airline about flight times, it still infuriates me that I get incorrect information on a regular basis about flight arrival times from the airlines! If I ran my business like the airlines run theirs, I’d be in bankruptcy too–like so many airlines are!! Jet Blue is particularly bad about this–they have a flight from California to Ft. Lauderdale that is scheduled to arrive every day at 5 a.m. and it ROUTINELY lands about 4:15 a.m. This is infuriating as in order to meet the plane and get proper sleep, I have to go to bed about 9 p.m. Eastern time–and the plane leaves CA at 9 p.m. Pacific time (midnight EST) and I am asleep since I have to be up no later than 3:30 a.m. to meet this flight. When it arrives early, it breaks my back since it’s almost an hour’s drive to that particular airport.4. TIP YOUR CHAUFFEUR. Most limo drivers work almost entirely for your tips. We are waiters/waitresses with Lincolns. Limo company owners are buried with insurance bills that are ridiculous, as are licensing and permit fees and chauffeurs are working for your tips. The standard is 20% of the fare for good service and if you receive excellent service. which you do with my company and my affiliates, please show your appreciation to the hardworking chauffeur who drove the car safely, cleaned it before and after you got in and out, carried and loaded your luggage on both ends of the trip and took care of any special requests you made along the way.

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.

Using and Implementing Outdoor News Screens

News is an obsession for many people, whether it’s via newspapers, the internet, mobile phone, TV or radio, most of us devour regular news content throughout the day.

Because of this desire to read news content, many outdoor news screens are being installed in many different types of locations to entertain, inform customers. These news feeds are often intermixed with advertising content to provide a revenue source that can pay for the screens and news content.

Most news screens receive direct feeds from over the internet from news agencies like Reuters, Association Press (AP) or Press Association (PA), but local and more targeted news is offered by many local news organisations.

Weather and sporting news are also provided on these types of screen and provides a reason for people to look out for the screen, hence creating a captivated audience for advertisers.

Most news screens are placed in quite hostile locations, however, such as draughty bus stations or even ferry terminals where spray and excessive temperatures can be a potential problem. Many of these outdoor news screens are in outdoor locations too so they need to be protected from the weather and other outdoor elements.

The TV screens used for providing these news feeds tend to be standard commercial grade screens commonly used for digital signage and other out of home use, few of these screens are designed for outdoor use so they are protected using outdoor LCD enclosures.

Designed to accommodate nearly all major sizes of screen, the LCD enclosure provides all the outdoor protection these screens require to allow them to function outside. They ensure the screen is waterproof whilst also ensuring the internal temperatures of the enclosure are never too high or too low from the optimum for the device-regardless of the ambient conditions.

Richard N Williams is a technical author and a specialist in the digital signage industry helping to develop outdoor digital signage and protection for plasmas. Please visit us for more information about LCD Enclosures or other digital signage solutions.