It’s Great When People Do What You Advise Them To,

…and it WORKS!  What a rush!  What brought this to my mind was yesterday’s post about my experience as a live threatre director.  But years before that, I was rugby coach for (I think) the ONLY ladies high school rugby team in New Brunswick at the time.  So we always had to play college teams, and we ALWAYS got smoked.  I’m talkin’ 72 – 3 type scores.

One team that we played fairly regularly, St. Thomas University, had a player who weighed at least 250 lbs.  And it as ALL muscle.  Her name was Bonnie.  The game plan for every match for STU, was, “give the ball to Bonnie.”  And it worked.

Now, let me turn the story to OUR team – the Fredericton High School Queen Bees.  (It’s a long story – our school colours were black and yellow, and all the other teams are called Black Kats, except for the boys rugby team, which are called the Hornets, and I wanted to call the girls’ team the Hornettes, but whatever.)  We had some exceptional athletes on our squad, many of whom would letter in this and other sports.  But this post is not about them.

This post is about Carolyn Garber.  An extremely intelligent and attractive young lady who was 2 years ahead of herself in grades, and about 15 years ahead in maturity.  She tried out for the RUGBY team, despite being about half the size of any of the other (very fit) girls.

We weren’t even allowed high school field time to practice, so I used to take the ladies down to the Fredericton Green for our workouts.  On one such evening, we were working on tackling drills.  I explained, that not even the largest person in the world can run anywhere, if their ankles are pinned together.

Flash forward to the following weekend.  We are playing STU, and Bonnie (of course) has the ball.  Our biggest, fittest, roughest players are literally BOUNCING off her as she rumbles down the field for a certain try. (“Try” = “touchdown” in rugby.)  THEN, from out of no-where, like a snake or a ferret, comes Carolyn!  She grabs Bonnie by the knees and slips her hands down to her ankles, and it was like a redwood falling.  It seemed to take 5 minutes for Bonnie to hit the turf, and when she did, car alarms went off.  It was AWESOME!.

Anyway,  we still lost like 106-3, but that was ABSOLUTELY my proudest moment as a coach.

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Facebook Fosters Fastasy Friendship?

A few weeks ago, I posted about the new vector the Nigerian scam has taken – through Facebook.

Now, it seems, the original money-makers on the World Wide Web, the pR0n dealers, have discovered Facebook as well:

Justified Arrogance

Every once in a while, if you truly do something better than anyone else, it’s good MARKETING to tell folks about it.  This image was captured on live TV during the Montréal Canadiens victorious 1993 Stanley Cup series against the L.A. Kings.  (Full disclosure: I am a big Habs fan.)

The situation was game 4, when the series was still very much in doubt.  This was a close game, with some pretty damn good hockey players, including Luc Robitaille, Tomas Sandstrom, and (you may recognize this name) Wayne Gretzky, taking shots at goalie Patrick Roy.   There was a particularly intense barrage near the end of the third period.  As Sandstrom skated past the net between plays, Patrick gave him the now-famous “wink.”

Arrogant?  Yes.  Effective?  Probably.  Good marketing?   ABSOLUTELY.   As I’ve written about before, my philosophy about what makes the best marketing in the world, is telling people what you are going to do (or at least try your best to do), and then DOING it.  Saint Patrick was promising Mr. Sandstrom that he would not allow him to score a goal that night.  And Tomas didn’t.  Promise made; promise kept.

If you would like to see “the wink” on tape, check this link.  It’s a rap music (oxymoron?) video by a gentleman named Annakin Slayd, that is about the Habs’ drive for the 2010 Cup, and includes “the wink” at the 2:23 mark.  It’s actually quite a catchy tune, and has some awesome hockey footage if you choose to watch the whole thing.  Don’t miss Maurice Richard’s space-and-time-bending move at about 0:18.  I don’t think Mr. Einstein’s ideas about the speed of light apply on that deke.

How’d You Like to Hire Me?

I ended my relationship with my employer on a VERY amicable note last week.  Here is the blurb I’m sending around while looking for something new:

I have been very successful in a number of roles over my 20 year career.  I began as a Project Manager, and then transitioned into software Product Management and Marketing.  Most recently, I was in charge of delivering marketing consultancy services to IBM Business Partners.

A born New Brunswicker, I spent time in Montreal and Vancouver before returning to my home province with my family 10 years ago.  I have been active in the local arts and technology scenes, serving as VP of the Capitol Theatre Board of Directors, and chairing ThinkNB 2009, the largest IT event in Atlantic Canada.

Here is a nice colour printable JPG of my CV.

Amusement with Preposition Misuse

As I’ve mentioned before, I very rarely literally LOL when I’m reading, watching, or listening to funny stuff.  Not that I’m not entertained – it just takes a lot for me to actually utter audible laughter.  Well, a SINGLE PANEL of Scott Meyer’s latest Basic Instructions comic got me to LOL for at least a minute this morning:

Made With

The rest of the strip is here.

Watch Out, Web

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Whiskey on the Go-Go

 A few weeks ago, 4 families on our street with similarly-aged daughters all went Christmas Tree hunting.  For those of you have have never performed this winter ritual, it involves driving out into the country to a Xmas Tree farm (if you’re the law-abiding sort), walking deep into the property to where the best trees are, wandering around in the snow for a while until you find the perfect  tree, then cutting it down with a bucksaw and dragging it back out.

 Depending on the weather and snow depth, it can be chilly work.  So another part of the tradition is to bring along a little something to warm one’s cockles, if you know what I mean.  On this trip, one of the ladies brought along a small bottle of “Fireball.”  It’s basically a liqueur-strength treatment of Canadian Rye Whiskey heavily flavoured with cinnamon and pepper.  It’s lower alcohol content means that even unhardened drinkers can take it straight, and then get a hot rush of spiciness followed by a slight burn from the whiskey.  So it does feel like it’s actually warming you up – perfect for out in the cold.

Kim, who requested full credit for her quote

Kim, who requested a photo credit

The key word there is “out” – one of the ladies (Kim) observed that she could not remember ever drinking Fireball from a glass; only ever straight from the bottle.  It’s almost always consumed outside, where glasses are scarce.  We went on to wonder what sort of glass one would even serve it in, so they asked me, the ex-bartender.  I replied that nothing like it existed when I was bartending, but the closest thing, peppermint schnapps, was almost always served as part of a shooter.

Fireball is the same as all the not-quite 40% alcohol-by-volume liquors like Jagermeister that have been invented in the last 20 years to get kids drunk faster.  I think the marketing idea went something like this:  “OK, for 20 years (1970 – 1990), we got kids drunk by selling them “shooters”, which had enough alcohol to seem daring, but were still drinkable by newbies because you didn’t really taste the alcohol, and it was reduced from full strength by the addition of juice or lower-octane liqueurs. (E.g. the grandpa of all shooters, the B-52, is made from Grand Marnier (40%), Baileys Irish Cream (17%), and Kahlua (26%).)  Then the kids started wanting something even more risqué – something “straight.”  So we gave them 33% strength booze, and made it taste like candy.”

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