Top Ten Tubular Bathtubs

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I believe it was Ernie who claimed the “rubber ducky” is what made bath time “so much fun”. But how often do we overlook the tub itself? The following is a collection of ten bathtubs so fun, so creative, so totally tubular… you won’t even need the ducky.
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10. Pod Bathtub

The i-Sopod floatation tank is the height of relaxation, so long as you’re not claustrophic. This pod is lit with LEDs with programmable lighting and music. The effect is a futuristic, womb-like sanctuary, so good at alleviating physical stress it is commonly used by professional athletes.
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9. Bubble Bathtub 

From bathing with bubbles to bathing inside of one, this transparent tub is probably not best for the modest bather. This bathtub by Russian designer Alexander Zhukovsky fills from the ceiling, so it can also double as a shower. And if the unique shape wasn’t enough, this tub also has custom-controlled temperature, humidity, light and sound.

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8. Golden Bathtub

For many years, this lavish tub adorned the Kominato Hotel in Japan. The bathtub was made of 18-karat gold and stainless steel, and was estimated to cost roughly one million dollars. For reasons unknown, no one thought to put a video camera on this prized possession, and the tub was mysteriously stolen from the hotel in 2007 without a trace.

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7. Book Bathtub

Ever curled up in the bathtub with a good book? How about curling up in a bathtub made of good books? Titled ‘Bath of Knowledge’, this art piece by Vanessa Mancini may not be functional, but it’s certainly ingenious. Mancini custom cut each recycled book to rest perfectly on a tub-shaped metal frame. Perfect for a hygiene-obsessed bookworm!

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6. Boulder Bathtub  

 Although little is known about this trippy bathtub, its sheer creativity is hard to ignore. Apparently carved from a granite boulder, the tub’s real novelty comes from above: in the form of a chandelier that doubles as a showerhead. A perfect blend of nature and elegance!
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5.   Rotating Bathtub

As a general rule, you should never flip over your bathtub. If your bathtub is the Disambigua Rotating tub, however, flipping your tub is a requirement. Designed to save space, the Disambigua tub can instantly turn from tub to sink in one rotation. Just be careful to drain your water before you flip it!

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Hammock Tub

4.   Hammock Bathtub

What’s more relaxing, a bathtub or a hammock? With the Vessel Hammock Bathtub, you don’t have to choose! This ingenious tub is made of carbon fiber, making it light enough to hang, and suspended above the ground for maximum relaxation. This Hammock tub comes variety of colors, but there’s no cost stated on their official website, so expect a major price tag.
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3.   Color-Changing Bathtub

Ever wanted to bathe in a rainbow? Of course you have. But before you start pouring food coloring into your bubble bath, check out this bathtub by Takeshita Co.  Named “Hotaru”, Japanese for “firefly”, this tub is packed with dynamic LED lights that subtly shift into a variety of colors. You too can turn your bathroom into a rave party for just $8,639 bucks.

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2. High-Heeled Bathtub 

Now here’s a bathtub fit for a modern queen. Italian designer Massimiliano Della Monaca combines art and function with this tub in the shape of an opulent high-heeled shoe. The bathtub is covered in a mosaic of precious glass in a variety of colors, and curved to fit the body comfortably. It costs a steep $17,000, but that’s chump change compared to the price tag on our final tub…

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1.   Crystal Bathtub

What is it with Italy and unbelievably gorgeous bathtubs? The Baldi Rock Crystal bathtub is one of the most beautiful tubs in the world, and at $790,000 certainly one of the most expensive. Carved from a single block of Amazonian white rock crystal, there are only three of these tubs in existence, the most recent selling for an impressive $1.5 million. Baldi, the Italian company famous for its luxury tubs, says the rocks took three months to excavate deep in the Amazon rainforest.
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Know an amazing tub we forgot? Leave a reply!

The Social Revolution

With a major recession squeezing small businesses and big business as big as ever, how is a local company supposed to thrive and continue getting its name out to customers? Our answer came in the form of a service most of us use all the time: our Facebook. |

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| In the age of social media, it has never been easier or less expensive to let people know you exist, and that logic also applies to small businesses. Today you can broadcast any message (or offer) to as many people who will listen, for free. People aren’t buying directories anymore, they’re looking up what they need online, and at no cost your business can be a part of it. If you provide a service that’s worth raving about, people will find a way to rave publicly on sites like Yelp. Of course this increased connectedness can work against you, making your company slip ups more visible than ever (see the Amy’s Baking Company debacle for a master class in what not to do). The best way to deal with these public mistakes is to try to take the criticism constructively, remember we’re all human, and try to never make that same mistake twice. In the end, this increased transparency adds up to a more level playing field than ever; where the best have a better chance of rising to the top, regardless of size.

For those companies willing to put themselves out there and “work it”, the rewards can be phenomenal. Every time we hear someone say social media’s just a fad or waste of time, we remember so was rock and roll, so was the internet, the mobile phone. There are 15 million companies on Facebook now. 15 million. Millions more on Linkedin, Twitter, the list goes on. So every time we hear those words, “fad”, we can’t help but think the person’s just in denial, or afraid of change. There are some bandwagons you just have to jump on, or you’ll be left alone in a ghost town, and social media is one of them.

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Social media is the new neighbor on the block. Except instead of talking across a fence, you’re talking across the world. Just wait until figures start coming in about how much commerce has been produced from social media. For our company, it has changed everything. It’s sharpened our skills, made it easier to refer others and find products, to stay updated on our community, and has made conducting business generally more enjoyable. So jump on board the social media bandwagon: we guarantee you’ll be a better, more aware company for it.

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What do you think about this social media revolution? Leave a reply!

morganmillerplumbing.com

Top Twelve Unique Urinals

What is it about the urinal that inspires so much creativity? The public fascination may have started in 1917, when Marcel Duchamp revolutionized the art world with a signed urinal on its side he named, “Fountain”.

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Since then, the humble urinal has taken about every form imaginable; from ornate, to innovative, to downright scary.  Here’s a list of the twelve most unique urinals we’ve seen over the years, and as plumbers, we’ve seen our share:

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#12: Guitar Urinal

This electric guitar urinal, commissioned by Billboard Music Brasil,  is hard to top. The pressure-sensitive strings play music while you go, and you can even download an “M-Pee-3” of your urinal masterpiece online afterwards.

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#11: Horn Urinal

Encore! Here’s another music-inspired urinal out of a pub in Freiburg, Germany. These urinals were crafted from old tenor horns, but good luck getting a concerto out of them. The design has drawn a few complaints from music lovers, but we appreciate the humor and creativity.

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#10: Ceramic Art Urinal

The Kohler Art Center out of Sheboygan, Wisconsin has some of the most beautiful urinals on Earth, but this one from artist Ann Agee takes the cake. Painted to look like ceramic dishware, this urinal is an ode to all things water.

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#9: Guillotine Urinal

Here’s a urinal that will make you think twice before stepping up to it, let alone flushing. This foreboding guillotine urinal is located in Rheinfels Castle, Germany. As if you weren’t vulnerable enough in public restrooms…

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#8: Shark Urinal

On the subject of scary but unique urinals, we give you the Shark urinal from the tourist pirate ship in sunny Puerto Vallarta!

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#7: Venus Fly Trap Urinal

One more for the scary urinal files,  behold the Venus Fly Trap urinal! This fully-functional beauty was crafted by San Francisco artist Clark Sorensen. With its sharps spikes and an asking price of $11,500, we sincerely hope this urinal is only used for decoration.

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#6: Flower Urinals

You know, Clark Sorensen’s work is just too amazing for one entry. His company, Clarkmade, makes some of the most whimsical urinals in existence, and they’re all one-of-a-kind. On his work Clark says, “The contradiction of taking an unsightly urinal and transforming it into a graceful object like a flower or shell is a potent combination.”

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#5: Planter Urinal

Another combination of nature and urinal, this photograph, titled “pisspots”, was taken by Alana Mandel at a university in Austin, Texas. Apparently this bathroom was converted from boy’s to girl’s, so instead of costly renovations, they turned the urinals into planters. Brilliant!

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#4: Tree Urinals

We can’t find much information on this unique set of tree urinals except the location: a Hello Kitty theme park in (where else?) Tokyo, Japan. Personally, I find these guys creepier than the guillotine.

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#3: Super Nintendo Urinal

This fully-functional, fantastically nerdy urinal is made entirely of old SNES game cartridges. If you wanted to make one yourself, the guys who thought it up have in-depth instructions on their blog.

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#2: Glow-in-the-dark Urinal

Just when you thought you’d seen it all, a urinal that glows in the dark. This polyethylene beauty, called “illuminating gloo” was designed by Philip Watts and lit with LEDs. Check out their website for other styles and pricing.

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#1: Color-changing Urinal

Our last entry is a bit of a mystery; what’s been dubbed the “Thermochromatic” urinal. Based on the image, it seems these urinals are covered with heat-sensitive panels that change colors as you go. But it seems impossible to find any other pictures or information regarding this urinal online, so it may not even exist. Even if it’s only legend, this urinal really gets the imagination…flowing.

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Honorable Mentions:

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Any urinals we missed? Leave a reply!

www.morganmillerplumbing.com

Is the Customer Always Right?

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Could you imagine going to work each day dreading the customer you are going to HAVE to work with? How awful would that be? By noon, you’d want to walk out. There is no way a company would stay positive. You could put on your best “fake” voice, but you can only put up with so much disrespect.

Though “the customer’s always right” is commonly accepted, we have learned to say goodbye to many customers over the years. Now, don’t get me wrong…we do NOT take saying goodbye to customers lightly. It is the last thing we want to do, but sometimes in the service industry, it must be done. Confidence in your product or service helps. If you know that your service/product, customer service, work force, and follow up is superb, it’s much easier to say goodbye, though you often wonder why.

Depending on what the customer does to disrespect one of our members, we will generally go through the pros and cons of letting them go, then come to a consensus. Watching fellow employees react to process of “firing a customer” can sometimes be a treat. I say that because in that moment, the employee realizes that the company has their back, no matter what. That in turns creates a workforce that wants the same goals as you, and knows that treating a customer with the upmost respect is extremely important. No one wants to let anyone go after having a bad day, but you also shouldn’t have to bend so far over backwards that you nearly break yourself.

Our workforce knows to do anything and everything possible to ensure our customers plumbing problems are solved quickly, quietly, and neatly. Yet, sometimes this isn’t good enough for some individuals. Constant complaining about pricing, swearing at our technicians, or yelling at the office staff… All of these things and many more are huge red flags to us. It is just like an unhealthy relationship, you know the signs that point to “kick em to the curb” route. Because we do know when to stop bending backwards, we know have many happy, nice, and respectful customers. They then send all their nice family and friends our way. Just remember, you are human too and don’t deserve to be disrespected, at all. Stand up for yourself, employees, and business.

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Social Networking? I’m just a Dentist.

You want to talk social networking? Okay, lets talk social networking… Seems everywhere I travel that’s all anyone wants to talk about anyway so might as well write about it too!

Yesterday while attending my mandatory 6 month visit to the dentist sure enough, that is all he wanted to talk about. How does it work, how do I get started, does it cost money, who is there to help me, how did you get started… And I mean I would have answered all these had he not had his hand in my mouth cleaning my pearly whites. Have you ever tried to answer questions while your dentist has your mouth wide open? It is really difficult, but being the go getter that I am I did try, and by the way my dentist is a great one, been visiting him this side of 20 years and without his great abilities my smiles would be something left to be desired, for sure. My dentist started to spin a story about his twin boys and how they had rebuilt a home recently by exclusively using Google. They had googled every sub contractor, the painter, the electrician, the carpenters, everyone involved they found from Google! My dentist was surprised by this and asked his boys how in the world can you do that. As I said earlier, I’ve been with this dentist for many years so he and I have a lot in common, including age. So to him the Google world is still a dark mysterious journey only the young are enticed to, not the friendly, helpful, resourceful place many are learning it to be. So he couldn’t understand how this could all be done.

His boys then informed him that each contractor has a web presence, most had reviews from numerous review sites, most had Facebook accounts so they could see pictures and get a feel for the contractors personality. Finding the right contractor for the job was a breeze for them. My dentist was fascinated by the reality of being able to do this all by the computer. In fact, I discussed with him on how to get plugged in and turned on to the whole social networking world.

Social networking, you want to talk social networking. Yes, indeed couldn’t even get past the dentist without discussing the magic that is social networking. So maybe, just maybe, a consulting we will go? Who knows, stranger things have happened. I do know this: people are beginning to know, people are ready to learn the social networking game before they get passed by. Trust me, if you are not plugged in you ARE getting past by! Those boys would of never known those contractors existed unless they had an internet presence. This led to thoughts such as wondering how many great contractors are getting left behind. For that matter, how many great dentists are getting left out in the cold. Yes, times are a changin and the sooner the small businesses of the world get turned on and tuned in the sooner you’ll have more work than you could ever handle.

Kansas City Dreamin…

After 35 years in the plumbing industry dreams of a new chapter jump into my thought waves with more regularity than ever before. I suppose this is only a natural occurrence, yet for me it is a new and sometimes unsettling world to be in. To be so close to turning the page is exciting and exhilarating. How will the transition feel? When will I know that I am officially ready? What is it all going to look like, feel like, or be like. Using the word retirement is not going to work, for that is a certainty.

Throughout my 20’s and 30’s retirement was definitely a goal I was set out to achieve, the sooner the better back then. Now in the 50’s the reality is that there is too much time on one’s hands to simply just stop. Sure 20-30 years ago when much more life existed in my body, the idea of retiring and playing around all day seemed like an exotic one. With a bit of age and wisdom in my eyes, I know that just sitting around watching the traffic go by would not hold my interest for very long at all. So what to do, what to do…

Certainly 35 years of doing one thing is enough time for anyone to feel as if perhaps something else to fill my days would be oh so tasty! Thoughts of volunteering my time sounds appealing, or driving people around who need assistance might be fun too (not saying that maybe I myself wouldn’t need assistance), or serving food to the homebound would be interesting. Something to make me feel as if I still matter would be a nice luxury to have. Yet, I do still have dreams. Fortunately there is a little nest egg to fall back on, and I know that is something to never take for granted because some don’t ever have that. So accumulating wealth in my next chapter is not a mandatory item. The wife has also worked for 35 years and claims that in 60 months she is ABSOLUTELY moving on to bigger and better things. We are constantly dreaming together as to how our next chapter will be written. Funny, when I started my plumbing career I had little choice as to what to do with my life, now I feel like a school kid with so many options. I don’t know which way to turn.

Maybe just staying with it is the answer. Put in another 10 or 20 years, why not what else am I going to do? No matter what direction is taken, there will be no wrong way. All have benefits from a lifetime of hard work. The dream right now is somehow fuzzy, but as the time goes on it becomes a little clearer each day. Circumstances may change, as things do happen but for right now selling flower patterned shirts somewhere in the Caribbean is the dream that has me pushing as hard as ever…

I can see it now…

OPTIONS, OUTLOOKS, AND VIEWS.

Every now and then someone says something to you that really sticks. Something that changes your perspective, it changes the way you think, that invigorates, motivates, and allows you to be more than you ever were. One such occurrence slammed into my life just a few weeks ago..

I was at an “after hours” networking gathering trying to meet some new people, find new contacts, ya know that sort of thing, soon enough a conversation was struck up between me and my soon-to-be new friend, Vivek. Vivek is from India and although he has been in America for many years, his Indian accent is still hanging on strongly. Because of this, when Vivek is spinning a story one must listen very intently in order to clearly understand all of his story. This is really a good thing because when Vivek is telling a story he makes it so fun. He is quick witted, uses only a few words to make his point and his perspective on life is unique. Somehow we got started on our life’s story (this is a frequent thing for me, shocking right) and when Vivek started describing to me his journey to America I found myself completely mesmerized by it all. How did he pull it off? How does someone go so far from his home without being paralyzed by the fear of it all? You have to understand these questions are running through my mind because I am a person that still lives less than 10 miles from the very spot I was born, so my perspective is very different from his. Listening to him explain how he fought very long odds when coming 1/2 a world away just to pursue his dreams, HECK, people around here complain about going 1/2 a block away just for a cup of coffee, me being one of them.

As Vivek carried on I couldn’t help but feel that this was going to be one of those nights that sticks with you for a long, long time. As this thought began to overtake me, I listened even closer as he explained some of his adversities because I knew that this was going to be one of my new favorite tracks in the songbook of my life (cliché and cheesy, but I really do have a songbook of life). Sure enough, that is when it happened. That is when Vivek said something to me that indeed did change me. Being the quiet guy that I am, I gasped out, “HOW DID YOU DO IT?” “HOW DOES SOMEONE HAVE SUCH STRENGTH?” Vivek stopped, slowly took a sip from his cocktail, turned to me looked right dead in the eyes and said, “Jeff, for me, failure was not an option.” With those simple words from Vivek’s mouth my outlook on life has changed for the rest of my days on this Earth.

Failure was not an option. Such an easy phrase and one I had heard many times before in my travels, yet this time those words just felt so different. This time they took on a whole new meaning. Perhaps it was the way Vivek delivered those words? Perhaps it was because I had just realized that I too had actually been living that way for the past 15 years while helping run Morgan Miller Plumbing. Who knows really, all I knew was that looking at Vivek and remembering those simple words had changed me forever. I walked out of that meeting repeating those words over and over again, and over the last 3 months not a day has gone by that I have not thought of that. In fact, when days get tough or I start to want to back down I will think of Vivek’s simple words “failure is not an option”… Thank you, Vivek.