A Brand New Recipe For Branding

In a recent article, I told the story of when I was a young whippersnapper, attaining classes at what was then and still is called "one of the more famous hotel schools in North America", the marketing professor gave us an interesting, but quite challenging assignment.

We were to find a hospitality business that marketed itself by using the participation of the owner as part of the "distinctiveness" of the business. At the time, this seemed like a most difficult assignment, because in those days, it seemed that not too many people really stood out in this field. At least that what it seemed like to me in my youth. Or maybe it was just that they did not want to either make a fool of themselves. There seemed little need to drive the world to their door. I chose a very different restaurant enclosed within an old 19th century Mansion in this very cosmopolitan city. It was called Julie's Mansion and was owned and operated by a very eccentric, but wonderful showman who knew that he had to differentiate his restaurant from all the rest. He knew that the best way to do that – after the assumption of great food, entertainment and service – was to turn himself into the "brand."

My job, as a young hospitality student, was to watch him carefully and learn as much as I could. One Saturday night I showed up and Julie was trying to 'insert' himself into the home team's pro hockey uniform. It was immediately obvious that Julie had never played hockey. To see a middle-aged man struggling to get into and then have to have me extricate him from the jersey, equipment, elbow pads et al, was hilarious for a young guy like me, who had been on skates and playing the game since age four. He certainly was not afraid to make a fool of himself. When I showed up that night, he had less than no idea what piece of equipment went where, and was struggling with the shin guards. He had got himself all tangled up with what he thought were hip guards, when in fact they were shoulder pads, worn over the shoulders. It was indeed the first time I had ever seen a 'player' wearing shoulder pads, stretched around his butt.

I helped him get 'dressed'. Next came the taping of the hockey stick. This was really hilarious, watching this fellow trying to figure out the right way to tape a hockey stick without making a mess of it and looking foolish to his customers. He had a special plan for that stick.

I taped his stick and now he was ready. He had on his uniform, equipment and helmet, borrowed from one of the local NHL players who were a frequent guest at the mansion. Now, he actually looked like a real NHL hockey player … in black and white running shoes, sans skates!

Then Julie 'flew through' the different alcoves and floors of the restaurant with a big ball of foodservice aluminum foil as his 'puck'. He stick-handled in and out and between tables, took shots with the aluminum ball off the walls, cross-checked his own waiters trying to serve tables, all the while yelling cheers and the phrase made famous' round the world, by Foster Hewitt : "he shoots …. he scores!" All this, at the top of his lungs. Then he had planned for a horn to sound loudly indicating that the 'period of play' in his imaginary 'game' was over. It was now time to go to the dressing room. In a flash, just like an on-stage magician, he quickly disappeared into thin air, hidden in his office.

My face was covered in tears. I could not stop laughing! The restaurant was in an uproar. Guests were laughing so hard … one guy literally fell off his chair. The waiters were laughing, the guests were laughing, I was laughing and all the while Julie was having a ball too. Here was a restaurateur who made his work fun.

I had not met one of these types before. I really liked and respected this fellow. But I figured then, and still today, that anyone who had that much fun … and made that much money … must know something the others did not. And he did. He became his own brand. 'Distinctive. 'Differentiated. 'There is attractive to people who are sick of seeing the same old, same old every day. People are attracted to differences not similarities. Take a look at what you can do with yours. It's right under your own nose.

© Copyright, Roy W. MacNaughton, 2006

What Makes a Fine Wedding Portrait?

Your wedding is bound to be one of the most memorable days in your life. Even when the privilege of having a portrait made was reserved only for the very wealthy, people often did their best to have some sort of reminder of their big day, even if it was a simple daguerreotype, sketch or miniature. Today, couples are far luckier. They can have a wedding portrait made quite easily, and even have it customized to suit their fancy.

Having a wedding portrait painted in oil is one great way to ensure that your wedding is immortalized in a medium that is more lasting than paper. It is also an excellent piece of interior decor that you will be proud to display in your living room for many years to come.

But what exactly are the ingredients for a fine wedding portrait? The answer, of course, can simply be a matter of personal taste. It often depends heavily on how the couple perceives themselves. For some people who have no-fuss, happy-go-lucky personalities, a good portrait painting can be one that shows them in a relaxed, casual pose that is imbued with a little humor.

Meanwhile, some couples would prefer a wedding portrait painting that is more classic and formal. This is a sensible option, because people do not stay twenty-five forever. The day is bound to come when you're older and more serious, and when it does, a formal portrait makes a better display piece than a casual one.

Whether you prefer a casual wedding portrait or a formal one however, a good portrait painting should tell a story about who you are as a couple as well as be a faithful likeness of you and your partner. It is always a good idea to make sure that your artist documents your clothes, jewelery and flowers. This is especially important if you're wearing family heirlooms or designer pieces. Of course, the artist should also be able to capture the looks on your faces – these expressions are priceless reflections of the pride and joy you and your partner feel at finally being committed to each other for the rest of your lives.

A fine wedding portrait painting should also tell a story. The artist can accomplish this by the composition he chooses for your picture, the lighting, the poses and even the props and backgrounds he uses in the picture.

Motorcycle Footwear

When a motorcycle is purchased there are many other purchases to consider. Every biker describes to have riding gear that will keep them safe while riding. Out on the open road there are road hazards and weather conditions to deal with.

Leather motorcycle jackets come in different types of cowhide and buffalo, along with chaps. These protect a rider from the elements, rocks, debris, and road rash. Leather gloves keep the hands warm in cold weather and dry in wet weather. Gloves also protect the hands from road rash. In the case of an accident and being thrown from a motorcycle the natural instinct is to put the hands out to break the fall. With gloves the skin on the hands can stay intact. A helmet is always important. Use your brain to protect your brain.

A long with leather jackets, chaps, gloves, and a helmet the footwear is also an important part of riding gear. Even picking the correct footwear takes careful consideration. A pair of tall leather boots works well when riding a motorcycle. This will protect the riders ankles from being burned on the exhaust pipes and from debris and stones. On a bike it is important to have the soles of the shoes be grippy; these will make the soles of the shoes like an extra set of tires. The feet are what hold up the motorcycle when you are at rest.

Some bikers may where fashion boots or cowboy boots, but these have slippery soles. Fashion boots are available in a work style with grippy rubber soles. Other bikers prefer a boot with Velcro or latches rather than a lace up boot. First they take less time to put on, and second the laces may come loose and get caught in moving parts, like the drive train.

Along with choosing the perfect bike that is comfortable and fits your cycling style, remember to purchase the riding gear including footwear that looks cool and keeps you protected while riding.

Proper Freshwater Aquarium Maintenance is Very Important

Freshwater aquarium maintenance is very important part of your duty if you own an aquarium. You have to look after the house of the fishes where they live. I hope like a normal person you take care of your own home so it is quite natural that fishes will also need some well maintained home to stay in.

Freshwater aquarium maintenance is either tough nor absolutely easy. But yes initially you will need adequate guidance for freshwater aquarium maintenance. The steps of maintenance generally include primary preparation, taking out the fishes, washing the tank properly and then putting back the fishes safely.

What are the things you should take care of for the freshwater aquarium maintenance? Well they mainly the removal of the algae, changing water timely and at proper intervals, checking the condition of the filter, vacuuming and testing the water condition and level. All these are very significant part of the maintenance because these factors are directly or indirectly related to the health of your precious fishes.

You can create a chart for the maintenance and this will help you immensely. Break the activities into daily, monthly, quarterly, six monthly and yearly maintenance. Your daily duty is to offer the freshwater fish with food in small quantity two times each day. You must check the working condition of the filter along with the aerator and heater.

During the week maintenance you must alter ten or twenty percent of water, clean the aquarium completely, and test the condition of the water. During the month you have to check the condition of the water, wash off the algae and alter at least twenty-five percent of the water of the tank. At the interval of six months you must reinstate the filter objects.

The quarterly maintenance includes changing the airstones, changing half of the aquarium water and washing the filter. Every year you must change the existing airstones and cleanse the gravel completely. Caring for the fishes is not completely easy and any mistake can leave dreadful impacts on the fishes. Freshwater aquarium maintenance when done adequately will let the fishes live merrily.