Muse: That Christmas Feeling

December 1st. Beginning to feel a lot like Christmas: lights … music … let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Music to suit: Billie Holiday yesking remix, ‘I’ve got my love to keep me warm’
(Source: YouTube, DIMJAHMAN1)

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Muse: Black Friday Blog Blowout!

Officially launching my new blog, The Marketing Lens, today, on Black Friday – all about my marketing perspective on work and play. All posts are 100% completely free: today, tomorrow, forever! Come visit, stay a while, comment, like, follow, enjoy … TheMarketingLens.wordpress.com

Music to suit: Charlie Earland, ‘Black Talk’
(Source: YouTube, VintageBlackMusicPD)

Muse: CFL Grey Cup Magic

Looking forward to a little CFL Grey Cup magic this Sunday. 100 years old but still playing fast and loose …

Music to suit: The Tragically Hip, ‘Gift Shop’
(Source: YouTube, cfltv)

A Safe, Simple Way to Prepare your Backyard Pond, Koi and Goldfish for Winter

A well-planted, backyard water garden filled with fish is quite spectacular in the Summer. There’s nothing quite as therapeutic as getting lost in the sights and sounds of falling water, while Koi swim lazily between the Lily pads to greet you at the water’s edge … that is, until Fall arrives. Then it’s time to Winterize the pond and put your fish to bed for the Winter. And since they’re going to spend the entire Winter outside, it’s important to prepare Koi (Japanese for Carp) and Goldfish properly to ensure they wake up happy and healthy in Spring. Here’s the approach I use to close my pond every Fall. It’s an approach I’ve adapted from others who’ve written about their experiences, and so far, I haven’t lost a single fish yet.

Note: My pond is 8′ x 8′ x 2′ deep (with straight walls), in Zone 6 where temperatures can reach -10F (-23C) in Winter.

Fish Requirements in Fall-Winter

Koi and Goldfish are hearty species that can tolerate cold temperatures outside. In Fall, when the water temperature drops below 45F, fish will slow down, stop eating and become inactive. Continue reading

Three Surprisingly Easy Ways to Eliminate Back Pain and get Active Again

Someone once told me, “the only people with good posture are the ones with back problems”. Sadly, I became one of those people about ten years ago. I was working long hours and pushing myself really hard, with machine-like precision. Unfortunately, all machines break down sooner or later without a proper maintenance program. And while I was playing hockey and golf twice a week to unwind, I wasn’t even warming up properly for those activities either. The result was an L5-S1 herniated disc and some permanent nerve damage to the bottom of my left foot. Doctors I saw cautioned me about playing hockey further and carrying my bag for golf. That’s when I decided to create and commit to my own Back Maintenance program. Here’s three surprisingly easy steps I took to help me get back on my feet again, playing hockey and golf without the same reckless abandon as before.

1. Ambidextrous Left-Right Equalization Program

Once you have back problems, you start to realize just how imbalanced you’ve become. Most people aren’t ambidextrous by nature. They have dominant eyes and hands and tend to favour one side over the other. They’ve developed their muscles on that side and trained them over a lifetime to do just about everything. So, I decided to re-balance. I made a conscious effort to do everything with my left hand until my left side caught up to my right side. I used my mouse left-handed, combed my hair left-handed, brushed my teeth left-handed, shaved, raked, shovelled … It’s amazing how poor your muscle control and dexterity is initially. You’ll find you need to stop and think about how you do everyday tasks with your strong side in order to adapt and learn how to do them equally well with your weak side. In the final analysis, I figure sharing the load equally between the two sides means 50% less stress on your strong side, and ultimately, a better-balanced core to support your back. Continue reading

Create your own Experiential Marketing Golf Event to get old friends together every year

A few years ago, I was talking with one of my old high-school buddies when I realized a whole year had gone by since we last got together. Not all that unusual – except that we only live about one hour away from each other. Sadly, I find it’s so easy these days to let the demands of everyday work and family life usurp some of the less frequent, special occasions in life, like spending time with old friends. If you get energized from special moments like these the way I do, you might want to consider using your event marketing skills to create a Perennial Event that brings you and your friends together once a year, regardless of competing priorities.

Introducing, The Beamish Cup!

The first order of business is to find an activity that you and your friends are passionate about. Since my friends and I all like golf, but never seem to get out enough, I decided to kill two birds with one stone by creating an annual golf tournament. Next, you’ll need to decide what you’ll be playing for. In my case, I thought a ‘trophy’ would give the event some heritage and permanency, so I purchased a ceramic beer mug and engraved the event name on it (much like The Stanley Cup, the winner gets to celebrate with it and keep it in his house for the following year). Lastly, you’ll need to settle on an event brand name to personalize the event for your friends and make it feel exclusive to them. Since my high-school buddy’s last name is ‘Beamish’ (an appropriately authentic name from the birthplace of golf), I decided to brand the event and the trophy as ‘The Beamish Cup’. Continue reading

Muse: NHL Monopoly game

Getting an early jump on Christmas shopping this weekend. Was considering the My NHL Monopoly game, where you buy, sell and trade NHL teams as you battle for league ownership … but unfortunately, it takes about 4 months to play.

Music to suit: Pink Floyd, ‘Money’
(Source: YouTube, art7s77)