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A Brick That Stores More Carbon Than It Takes To Make It

I love clever people. Here are some bricks from England, made by some very clever people. From the article in FastCompany, these bricks are described as:

The “carbon buster” is made of recycled wood and sequestered incinerator fumes. They aren’t pretty, but you can build a house with it.

I’m somewhat saddened by the 5% premium they’re going to charge for their clever carbon sucking creation over traditional bricks. In my mind, unless ‘sustainable’ is cheaper than the status quo, you’re always going to have an uphill battle convincing the majority of the market,to invest.

Posted by Barrie Bramley on October 9th, 2013 .
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The Global Wraps FourSquare last mile flop

When FourSquare opened it’s ‘borders’ to include South Africa, I think I might have been in the 20 first users. I worked hard to learn the culture and energy around this social media positioning platform that I was reading so much about. I religiously checked into every spot I found myself at. I think I even ended one of the early weeks on the top of the South African FourSquare charts (haven’t been able to get close since). Like, with all new social media platforms I’ve had to work hard to integrate how it ‘was done’ into my world. But because the work I do requires I continue learning about this new world we’re moving into, I persevered.

The power of FourSquare only hit home when I checked into Kauai at Sandton City a month or two ago. As I checked in I saw a small orange square with the words ‘Special Offer’ in the top right of my screen. I clicked onto the square and there it was. The magic of FourSquare! It was an offer from Global Wrapps (a few stores down from Kauai) saying that if I checked into Global Wrapps I would unlock a special offer that would entitle me to a R5 smoothie from them.

Amazing. It’s the equivalent of putting up a Global Wrapps banner in the best possible position inside their opposition, in this case Kauai, to speak to Kauai’s customers. That’s powerful! Amazing!

I didn’t take up their offer on that particular visit because I’d already ordered from Kauai. Today, because I knew about the promotion I did things differently. Event though my wife and 2 daughters wanted smoothies from Kauai, I decided to test Global Wrapps out. So I checked in, unlocked the special, and handed my iPhone across to the person behind the counter at Global Wrapps. He looked at my phone with much puzzlement, and then handed it to his senior colleague. He told me it was only valid on Tuesdays. But I could see in his eyes that he hadn’t seen a ‘special offer’ like the one I was showing him before. So I stayed for some conversation. He admitted that he didn’t know what this was all about, and he handed it off to another person, who looked, and then said it was his auntie’s shop and I should ask her. She was nowhere to be found, and so I left, a lot annoyed but not surprised and ordered from Kauai.

So there you have it. A fantastic idea. A great innovation. The first South African store I’ve seen use FourSquare in this manner, and it failed in the ‘last mile’. I imagine the story from Global Wrapps goes something like, ‘we thought up this brlilliant idea at head office, and unfortunately we haven’t been able to get all the stores, their owners, and staff that work there, on board’.

It’s the same story in most innovative and creative executions. It starts with great gusto and enthusiasm somewhere, but the execution fails dismally because someone forgot to tell someone at the edge that this is what we are doing.

In the last two or three months I’ve talked up Global Wrapps and their clever marketing through FourSquare. Oh how my story is about to change : )

Below are the images off of my phone to show you how it all works. I’ve also sent this story to Global Wrapps, Kauai and FourSquare. Will be interesting to see if I get a response, and what it is?

Posted by Barrie Bramley on April 6th, 2010 .
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Nedbank you #fail today – beeg time

I have a friend called Ben. He’s walked 5km’s to Nedbank’s Bryanston Branch and back, three times over the past two days to get his FICA sorted out. It’s still not sorted. Here’s some of the blow by blow.

  • Because he lives on my property I had to fill in forms. And prove I live here and that he does as well. I did this. I also made one or two errors in completing the form, but initialed each error. I gave him an April electricity statement.
  • This morning he walked to Nedbank’s Bryanston Branch and they told him April wasn’t good enough and that they need a May or June or July statement (July’s only just begun). I gave him the May one.
  • This afternoon he walked there again and they then tell him my errors (that are initialed) aren’t good enough so I have to fill the form in again.
  • So that’s three trips so far, and one more on Monday with hopefully all the correct documents?

Keep in mind he did try to do this last year already and they clearly picked up an error somewhere and started the process again.

Who are these people (or person at inquiries)? Why the ‘drip feed’ of information?

And why is it OK for Ben to have to walk backwards and forwards to Nedbank. Absolutely unacceptable customer service in my opinion.

Posted by Barrie Bramley on July 3rd, 2009 .
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Mastering flexible threats

Been trying to get Jordi and Carli to hang up their towels and the last one out of the bath to pull the plug out. For those of you with kids, you know it’s easier said than done : )

Last night was no exception. So I marched through to the lounge armed with a consequence if there wasn’t immeadiate activity. And as I started with my ultimatum I realised this wasn’t going to span both personalities. Very quickly I made the adjustments required and it ended up being delivered like this….

“Carli if you don’t do it you will be at school at 07:00 in the morning. Jordi if you don’t, then there’s no school for you tomorrow!”

With that, immeadiate action happened. Had I reversed the consequence they would have done absolutely nothing : )

Posted by Barrie Bramley on June 25th, 2009 .
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Take a Girl Child to Work Day

For ‘Take a Girl Child to Work Day‘ (supported and sponsored by Cell C) this year I asked Carli if she’d like to come with me. Jordi came with me last year (we went to Cape Town) and it was a school day. Jordi doesn’t take school off for anything.

Sun International (Katie) hosted the two of us this year for a meeting I had with them. Katie really looked after Carli. A sweet bag, hot chocolate, lots of paper, thick pens. What else would a 6 year old want?

One of the interesting things to me, was that Carli was quite taken by the posters depicting the values of Sun International. They had them in the parking garage. On our way in she asked me to tell her what they were, and on the way out she wanted to know them again. Except this time she very accurately told me what they were based on our conversation on the way in. So well done SI, you’ve done a good job. Carli got them, based purely on the pictures. I reckon that’s quite an achievement.

And thanks Katie for hosting us, and making Carli feel so welcome and special. It meant a lot to her. It meant a lot to me. And hopefully one day when she’s a power-house in business, it’ll mean a lot to our country and to women everywhere. After-all, isn’t that what Take a Girl Child to Work Day is all about?

On the way to the meeting we stopped at Vida e for some Hot Chocolate. Click here for the two pics.

Posted by Barrie Bramley on June 4th, 2009 .
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Mothers Day

It was Mother’s Day on Sunday. Hopefully nobody is reading this and in a sudden panic right now : )

I moved away from taking the girls to Mr Price Home et al and letting them loose. This year we did something together. We chose some pics from our recent holiday, had them developed and blown up, bought 4 frames, mounted them together and very badly wrapped them for Leish.

They really were beautiful. I think Leish loved them, well that’s what she’s saying and they’re not socks are they : )

Click here to see the 4 images we chose.

Posted by Barrie Bramley on May 12th, 2009 .
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Face Cleansing

Leish bought her and I a ‘Face Pack’ (I think you call them those)?

We put them on our faces, poured another large glass of wine, tuned into The Mentalist on M-Net, and waited for the deep cleansing to start and finish.

Only my second time, but a fun evening.

Fer Sure.

Posted by Barrie Bramley on May 6th, 2009 .
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Sitting by the sea

Today I wrote a poem here it is:

I sit by the sea all day long.
I hear the waves crashing on the big brown rocks.
I see the dolphins jumping around in the sea.
I walk back to my house very slowly then I fall asleep while I listen to the beautiful sounds of the waves. 

– Jordan Dee Bramley

Posted by Barrie Bramley on April 18th, 2009 .
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Hapiness the Carli way

So you want to be happy? We all do. And the ‘how’ doesn’t sit deep in some ancient text. You don’t have to spend years in the desert, or silent on a mountain top. You don’t have to give anything up or become anything special.

The answer we discovered is easier than you think. For at least one 5 year old I know it’s very simple….

You just have to play with your belly button! That’s it. And it works. Ever since I found out all I do is play with my belly button and I get a large smile on my face and feel very very happy.

You should try it sometime : )

Posted by Barrie Bramley on April 14th, 2009 .
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Home Camp Out

In two weeks time, Jordi and Carli have a school camp out. Embarrassingly I’ve avoided staying at each one, but this year we’re going. Enough of being a spectator to life.

In order to ensure we knew what it was about and what we were doing I arranged to borrow a tent from a mate, and on Saturday night the Scooter Girls and I camped out for the evening. At home. A test run with safety. Don’t laugh.

I was told I would need two adults to build the tent, but the three of us managed perfectly. When you have much enthusiasm and energy I think you can achieve almost anything. After completing the build I phoned my friend and signed up for their next family camping trip.

I had to. When I saw the excitement on the faces of Jordi and Carli how could I not have?

It rained most of the night, and we stayed out all night. We did have a wake up at 3am, as the light had gone out in the tent and Carli wasn’t happy. So up we got, had milkshakes and back to our tent, until around 06:15 in the morning.

Was a fantasmo evening full of fun and camping stuff. Looking forward to the next opportunity.

Go here for pics

Posted by Barrie Bramley on March 15th, 2009 .
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