The Sunday before Christmas

The jog log:
Slow but steep run to Bettingen (the long way) through slush, mud and melted snow. The temperature was around 5 to 8 degrees plus. Perfect running weather. The soles of my feet were burning for much of the way. Maybe the wrong pair of socks…? But I kept going and feel relaxed now.


Here’s a quote I heard today at Crossroads from Robert Fulgham’s book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”, a book I read many years ago:

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.
These are the things I learned:

  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don’t hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
  • Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  • Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
  • And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – had cookies and milk at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

BTW, Crossroads was beautifully decorated today:

poinsettas at crossroads basel

Compare and contrast these to the 3-meter-high plants in our garden in Nyambadwe last May:


more of the same

My year of photography:
The Malawi plants are some of my first photos I took with my Canon 40D. I bought the dslr shortly before flying to Blantyre. I have had a lot of fun and look forward to learning more.

I’m planning to get a tripod very soon.

I may sound kind of spaced out/weird/disconnected, but taking photos has a therapeutic effect on me. A way to be creative and express myself. To de-stress. To reflect.

Reading List

A regular reader of has suggested that I add a book list.

Yesterday I stopped by at the uni library and browsed thru the marketing section. I picked up “How Customers Think” by Gerald Zaltmann. And some pages caught my eye. The 10’000 feet view.

four challenges

Ways to find original ideas and get out of the customary, surface-oriented thinking about consumers:
for fleeing our worn cognitive hampers

He describes the Titanic Effect here:
the titanic effect

Another book I browsed thru is:
Marketing-Erfolg im Internet” by Martin Blatter-Constantin. It stood out of the crowd ‘cos it offers nifty black and white icons in the left column. And I liked the fact that it talks about personas from the beginning.

anna analog vs achim digit vs dane digital

Other books I brought along for reference purposes, include:

  • The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott – a recommended read; I wrote a couple of blog posts here and here.
  • Marketing your Business, A Guide to Developing a Strategic Marketing Plan by Ronald A. Nykel – no opinion yet.

Last in today’s list is “The Marketing Mavens” by Noel Capon:
marketing maven

Holiday reading II

I recently read “Digging to America” by Anne Tyler.

digging to america

It’s an easy read. I read the entire book in one day while travelling. I can’t really decide on my recommendation level though. I liked it because it feels like a biography and I tend to like biographies. It feels a bit like real life, i.e. it chugs along. No sudden surprises. No unexpected twists. A good description.