Tag Archives: in_conversation

The Charlie Schulz Philosophy

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip. (You don’t have to actually answer the questions. Just read the piece straight through, and you’ll get the point.)

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five World Cup trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of Miss World .
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade’s worth of FA Cup winners.

How did you do?

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and
special!!
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Is this second quiz easier?

The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. None of us remember the headliners of yesterday, even though these are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. However, when applause dies, achievements are forgotten and accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Simply put, the people who make a difference is your life are the ones who care the most.

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

A look back at By George’s “Butter Tart Month”

By George declared July “Butter Tart Month.” Here is the full menu of delectable articles!

Butter Tarts are the Quintessential Canadian Food

The All-Important Question: Raisins or No-Raisins?

First Printed Recipe of Butter Tarts

The humble origins of the butter tart

Canadian Living‘s Butter Tart Recipe

A Dozen Delectable Photos 

Mom, Tarts, and Life Lessons

2020 Title Holder for Best Tart is From the Ottawa Valley

An artist’s rendering… delicious!

Kids and Butter Tarts – a very happy combination 

Butter Tart Daydreams

Elizabeth Baird’s Butter Tart Recipe 

An Award-Winning Butter Tart Recipe

An apology for adding raisins

It’s the all important question: raisins or no-raisins (a mid-month update)

Butter Tart Recipes from The Great Canadian Cookbook

Bacon Butter Tarts

The Bee Hive Corn Syrup Recipe

Butter Tart Daydreams II

The Best Butter Tart Festival 

The (Infamous) Butter Tart Tour

Wellington County Butter Tarts

Almonte and Pakenham Bakeries are “Must-Stops”

Maple Butter Tart Liqueur

Maple Butter Tart Pie Recipe

Butter Tarts – Plus

7 “Of Ontario’s Best” Butter Tarts

Torontonians’ Top 10 List of Best Butter Tarts

A Definitive List of Ontario’s Best Butter Tarts

By George’s “Best Butter Tarts – Ever”

The answer to the all-important butter tart question is….

Follow By George Journal on Facebook and on Twitter for the sweetest kinds of diversions. 

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

The answer to the all-important butter tart question is…

To conclude the By George celebration of “Butter Tart Month” let us share with you the results of our survey and that all-important question for all butter tart lovers:

“Does the ultimate butter tart contain raisins – or no raisins?”

Given the responses this month from our By George tart lovers, it appears the answer to this controversial question is…. raisins! 

Raisin 56 %

No-Raisins 33%

Other 11%

(“Other” responses include “both” or “neither,” and some answered with other ingredients like pecans or currants.)

RAISINS IT IS. Although, with one-in-three tart lovers not wanting those plump pieces of goodness in their fillings, we’re sure this debate will continue.  

By George has declared July as “Butter Tart Month.” Here is a menu of our delectable articles on Canada’s iconic dessert.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Left Riddled and Confused

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1. There were two fathers and two sons on a boat fishing. They each caught a fish, but only three fish where caught. How can this be so?

2. A man has to get a fox, a chicken, and a sack of corn across a river. He has a rowboat, and it can only carry him and one other thing. If the fox and the chicken are left together, the fox will eat the chicken. If the chicken and the corn are left together, the chicken will eat the corn. How does the man do it?

3. No sooner spoken than broken. What is it?

4. What do these three have in common: Dogs, Diamonds, and Double Plays

5. Dee Septor, the famous magician, claimed to be able to throw a ping-pong ball so that it would go a short distance, come to a complete stop, and then reverse itself. He also added that he would not bounce the ball off any object, or tie anything to it. How could he perform this trick?

6. Voiceless it cries / wingless flutters / toothless bites / mouthless mutters

7. Dies half its life / lives the rest / dances without music / breathes without breath

8. There are eight pills. They are all the same size and color. One pill weighs slightly more than the others and it is poisonous. You have a balanced scale and can only use it twice. How can you find the poisoned pill?

9. If it takes 6 men 6 days to dig 6 holes, how long will it take 3 men to dig half a hole?

10. What two words, when combined, hold the most letters?

11. What is better than the best, more evil than demons, the poor have it and the rich need it, and if you eat it, you will die?

12. A traveller comes to a fork in the road which leads to two villages. In one village the people always tell lies, and in the other village the people always tell the truth. The traveller needs to conduct business in the village where everyone tells the truth. A man from one of the villages is standing in the middle of the fork, but there is no indication of which village he is from. The traveller approaches the man and asks him one question. From the villager’s answer, he knows which road to follow. What did the traveller ask?

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

 

 

Albert Einstein’s Riddle

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Einstein has been widely credited online with the following riddle, and with the claim that 98% of the world could not solve it. There is a logical answer…

There are 5 houses in 5 different colors in a row. In each house lives a person with a different nationality. The 5 owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar, and keep a certain pet.

No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar, or drink the same beverage.

Other facts to know:

  1. The Brit lives in the red house.
  2. The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
  3. The Dane drinks tea.
  4. The green house is on the immediate left of the white house.
  5. The green house’s owner drinks coffee.
  6. The owner who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
  7. The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
  8. The owner living in the center house drinks milk.
  9. The Norwegian lives in the first house.
  10. The owner who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats.
  11. The owner who keeps the horse lives next to the one who smokes Dunhill.
  12. The owner who smokes Bluemasters drinks beer.
  13. The German smokes Prince.
  14. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
  15. The owner who smokes Blends lives next to the one who drinks water.

The question is : WHO OWNS THE FISH?

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

 

By George Top-10 Canadian Icons

A few years ago AskMen.com listed the top 10 Canadian icons “that have been branded as our global symbols and that define our Canadian identity.” In ascending order, they picked: maple syrup, Canada goose, beaver, Tim Horton’s, the loon, totem poles, Mounties, the CBC, the maple leaf and their number #1 icon is hockey.

In our own circles, we asked around and have prepared this list:

The By George Top 10 Canadian Icons

10. Newfie jokes, eh! Canadian humour at its best…

9. The beauty of our country’s nature captured in a Group of Seven shoreline painting or with a lone canoeist gliding through the early-morning mist of a fresh water lake

8. A mounted RCMP with Parliament Hill’s Peace Tower serving as his backdrop

7. A Bryan Adams ballad or Margaret Atwood novel – or our country’s next generation of talent – crooner Justin Bieber and renowned Yann Martel

6. Paul Henderson’s ’72 Team Canada sweater – the hopes and dream of a nation immortalized with this $1 million icon

5. The Canada Space Arm reaching out with the globe in the background – a poignant symbol of our remarkable contribution to science and to tomorrow’s dreams

4. A Tim Horton’s double-double and a maple-iced donut (hey, believe it or not in the Maritimes, they’re now ordering 4 x 4s – a coffee with four creams and four sugars!)

3. HNIC’s Coach’s Corner highlighting Bobby Orr soaring through the goal crease, Wayne Gretzky scoring from behind the net, and/or Sydney Crosby skating backward and raising his arms in victory.

2. Terry Fox and his drive and will to make a difference – our memories of Terry’s smile, his curly hair, the lean of his body as he makes his way through the Canadian Shield landscape.

1. The red maple leaf – Through the past forty years, the red leaf in the middle of our nation’s flag has become a definitive icon for Canucks and for the world. From a fluttering flag to the patch on a serviceman’s shoulder, the red maple leaf represents all that is good in our country.

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Top Ten Baseball Players of All-Time

By George Journal consulted 10 reliable baseball sources to tabulate their respective selections for the best players of all time – and here are those magnificent players…

The 10 sources used for this tabulation are The Baseball Almanac, Baseball Reference, MLB Rank, ESPN, The Score, Britannica, Bleacher Report, Ranker.com, Stadium Talk, and Line Ups.

First, honourable mentions include Shoeless Joe Jackson, Joe DiMaggio, Johnny Bench, Mike Trout, Nolan Ryan. Jackie Robinson, Pete Rose, Sandy Koufax, Cal Ripkin Jr., Randy Johnson and Ernie Banks.

Player greats who were selected by at least one of the sources but did not make the top ten list include: Mickey Mantle, Cy Young, Honus Wagner, Satchel Paige, Oscar Charleston, Alex Rodriguez, Rogers Clemens, and Christy Mathewson.

And so, in reverse order, here are the top ten baseball players of all-time.

10. Rogers Hornsby

Hornsby of the St Louis Cardinals 1915-1926 & 1933, NY Giants 1927, Boston Braves 1928, Chicago Cubs 1929-1932, St. Louis Browns 1934-37. Roger Hornsby had a lengthy 23-year career in which he hit .358, and had 2,930 hits. He won seven batting titles, and had two Triple Crown seasons. In 1926 he took home a World Series, and won two MVPs.

9. Stan Musial

Musial of the St Louis Cardinals 1941-1963. Stan The Man racked up over 3,500 hits in his career, and hit .331. He had 475 stolen bases, and nearly 2,000 RBI. He was a three-time World Series champ, and took home seven batting titles. Musial landed on 24 all-star teams and was a three-time MVP.

8. Lou Gehrig

Gehrig of the New York Yankees (1923-39). Lou Gehrig won six World Series with the Yankees (1927-28, ’32, ’36-38) and his career stats included: .340, 2,721 hits, 493 HRs, 1,995 RBIs. It is Gehrig, not Babe Ruth, who has the Yankees’ career RBI record (1,995). Gehrig also holds the record for highest slugging percentage in a World Series. He slugged 1.727 in a four-game sweep of the Cardinals in 1928.

7. Walter Johnson

Johnson of the Washington Senators (1907-1927). Walter Johnson was baseball’s original strikeout king; he was the only member of the 3,000 strikeout club for over 50 years. Johnson led the league in strikeouts a record 12 times, one more than Nolan Ryan. His 110 shutouts are 20 more than any other player in MLB history. His career record is W-L: 417-279, 110 shutouts (all-time leader), 5,914 1/3 innings pitched, 2.17 ERA and 3,509 strikeouts.

6. Barry Bonds

Bonds of the Pittsburgh Pirates (1986-92), San Francisco Giants (’93-2007). Bonds’ career stats: .298, 2,935 hits, 762 HRs, 1,996 RBIs, and 2,558 BBs (all-time leader). Bonds is the all-time leader in home runs, walks (2,558) and MVP awards (seven). No other player in MLB history has won more than three MVP awards. Bonds also holds the top two spots in single-season on-base percentage. His .609 on-base percentage in 2004 is the highest and his .582 OBP in 2002 ranks second.

5. Ty Cobb

Cobb of the Detroit Tigers (1905-26), Philadelphia A’s (’27-28). Cobb’s career stats: .366 (all-time leader), 4,189 hits, 117 HRs, and 1,933 RBIs. Cobbis the the only player to lead his league in hits eight times, ranks second all time in hits, runs and triples, as well as fourth in doubles and stolen bases. His 54 steals of home are most all time, and his .367 batting average is also the best ever. He led the American League in that category a whopping 12 times, including nine in a row from 1907-15.

4. Ted Williams

Williams of the Boston Red Sox (1939-42, ’46-60). Williams career stats: .344 (all-time leader, 2,654 hits, 521 HRs, and 1,839 RBIs. Williams won two Triple Crowns and two MVPs — yet neither of his MVPs came in the Triple Crown years, or in his famed .406 season in 1941. He ranks first all time in on-base percentage at .482, a number reached in a single season in the past 50 years by only two players.

3. Hank Aaron

Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves (1954-65), Atlanta Braves (’66-74), Milwaukee Brewers (’75-76). Aaron’s career stats: .305, 3,771 hits, 755 HRs, 2,297 RBIs (all-time leader),and 6,856 TBs (all-time leader). Aaron was baseball’s all-time home run leader from 1974 to 2007, finishing with 755 career home runs. Aaron had 20 or more home runs in 20 consecutive seasons, the most such seasons and longest such streak all time.

2. Willie Mays

Mays of the New York Giants (1951-52, ’54-57), San Francisco Giants (’58-72), New York Mets (’72-73). Willie Mays played Major League Baseball for twenty-two seasons and was named to twenty-four All-Star Games. He was the first player in National League history to join the 30 Home Runs and 30 Stolen Bases Club. Mays won twelve consecutive Gold Gloves starting the year the award was first introduced (1957) and up through 1968. Mays finished his career with 660 home runs, third most in big league history behind Aaron and Ruth.

1. Babe Ruth

Ruth of the Boston Red Sox (1914-19), New York Yankees (’20-34), Boston Braves (’35). Forgive us but By George is providing the “fast facts” section from the Baseball Almanac on the best player of all-time.

Babe Ruth is the single most famous baseball player in the entire world. Babe Ruth is also one of the greatest baseball players in the history of the game. The Bambino’s slugging ability was so great, his last name became an adjective – “Ruthian” – used to describe performances of heroic proportion.

Babe Ruth the “champion”: Ruth was a World Series champion seven times, American League home run champion twelve times, RBI Champion six times, On-Base Percentage Champion ten times and the Sluggin Average Champion thirteen times.

Babe Ruth the “home run king”: Ruth was the first player in Major League history to hit 200, 300, 400, 500, 600 and 700 home runs. In 1919, Ruth hit 29 home runs becoming the all-time single-season home-run leader. A year later Ruth hit 54 home runs, breaking his own record as the all-time single-season home run leader and became the first player to hit over 50 home runs in a season. The very next year, he hit 59 home runs, breaking his own record yet again. Finally, in 1927, The Sultan of Swat hit 60 home runs, breaking the mark and establishing a plateau that was legendary for decades. Currently, Ruth still holds records for most home runs in any decade (467 in the 1920s), fastest player to hit 600 home runs (2,044 games) and fastest player to hit 700 home runs (2,418 games).

Babe Ruth the “best left-handed pitcher in baseball”: Ruth was 18-8 with a 2.44 ERA his first full season on the mound (1915). Ruth still holds pitching records for most shutouts in a season by a lefty with 9 (tied by Ron Guidry in 1978) and most innings pitched (14) in a World Series game – a complete game 2-1 victory in 1916. Ruth is part of an elite set of pitchers in Major League history whose career on the mound spanned at least ten seasons and NEVER once included a losing record!

Babe Ruth the “postseason prince”: Ruth set World Series records with 3 homers in a game (and did it twice) and 12 total bases in a game. His 15 postseason home runs, all hit during World Series games, were a record until Mickey Mantle tied him in 1963 then eventually passed him in 1964. And let us never forget the 1932 World Series, legendary and debatable still to this day, courtesy of “The Called Shot”.

Babe Ruth the “nickname collector”: Babe (which some actually believe is his real name due to its use) probably had more well-published nicknames than any other player and here are but a few we have seen in print: The Bambino, The Sultan of Swat, The Colossus of Clout, The Wazir of Wham, The Maharajah of Mash, The Rajah of Rap, The Caliph of Clout, the Behemoth of Bust, The Mammoth of Maul, The Mauling Mastodon, The Mauling Monarch, The Wali of Wollop, and to his teammates, Jidge.

Babe Ruth the “hall of fame legend”: Ruth was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on February 2, 1936, by the Baseball Writers Association of America, as part of the inaugural class of inductees. At the time of his induction, Ruth held literally hundreds of baseball records. The single most prolific hitter in baseball history, a key component in “Murderer’s Row” and a charismatic personality – both on and off the field – that made him a larger-than-life figure and one of the greatest sports heroes, not just in baseball, but in American culture.

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

15 Amazing Hockey Facts

  1. Before 1914, referees used to place the puck on the ice between the players’ sticks for faceoffs. This led to many cuts, bruises and even broken hands for the referees. Starting in 1914, the referees were allowed to drop the puck between the players’ sticks.
  2. The first NHL goal was scored on December 19, 1917 by Dave Ritchie of the Montreal Wanderers against the Toronto Arenas.
  3. Prior to the 1927-28 season, forward passes were not allowed in hockey.
  4. Maple Leaf Gardens — former home of the Toronto Maple Leafs — became the first arena to have a four-sided game clock, in 1932.
  5. Frank Zamboni invented the first self-propelled ice-clearing machine, in 1949.
  6. Chicago Blackhawks Hall of Famer Stan Mikita is most often credited with the creation of the curved stick blade in the 1960s — all blades were previously straight.
  7. Head Games: Andy Brown was the last goaltender to play a game without a mask, doing so with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1974. The last player in the NHL to play without a helmet was Craig MacTavish, who retired in 1997.
  8. The fastest slapshot on record is Bobby Hull’s, which registered 118 miles per hour.
  9. Phil Esposito of the Boston Bruins was the first NHL player to record 100 points in a season, in 1969. Wayne Gretzky was first (and is the only) player to record 200 points in a season.
  10. Darryl Sittler holds the NHL record for most points in a single game, with 10. He scored five goals and had five assists on February 6, 1976, helping his Toronto Maple Leafs defeat the Boston Bruins.
  11. Paul Coffey of the Edmonton Oilers set an NHL record for defencemen with 37 points in the 1985 playoffs.
  12. In 1971, the Boston Bruins signed Bobby Orr to a five-year deal worth $200,000 per season —the first million dollar contract in NHL history.images
  13. Wayne Gretzky, nicknamed “The Great One”, is almost unanimously accepted as the greatest hockey player to every play the game. He holds 61 NHL records, the most by far of any player and finished playing with a total of 2,857 points. Amazingly, even if all of the nearly 900 goals Wayne scored throughout his career were removed from his statistics, he would still hold first place for most points.
  14. Some pro players call their mothers for a few words of encouragement, but not Sidney Crosby; Sid the Kid has a strict rule about not speaking with his mom on game days. He has broken this rule three times, and each time has been injured during the game.
  15. Cup Mishaps: The Stanley Cup is named after a former Canadian Governor General, Lord Stanley of Preston, who donated the trophy in 1893. The Cup has been used as a cereal bowl, accidentally left by the side of the road, tossed into a swimming pool and even lost, like luggage, on a 2010 flight from New Jersey to Vancouver. After the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup in 1962, they accidentally threw the Cup into a celebratory bonfire. In 1905, players from Ottawa Silver Seven, while drunk, kicked the Stanley Cup into the frozen Rideau Canal and had to retrieve it the next morning.

There are plenty of websites with great hockey facts to stump your trivia puckhound. Here are a few good one:

40 Fun Hockey Facts

30 Kickass and Interesting Facts About Ice Hockey

7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Hockey

10 fun hockey facts to share with your kids

Ice Hockey Facts

20 Fun, Random Facts about Hockey
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Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a trusted executive assistant, a communications can-do guy, or a go-to-scribe? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

April, it’s every Canadian sports fan’s dream

There is perhaps no better month of the year for Canadian sports fans than April. This is the glorious time of year when the puck drops on the NHL playoffs and fans enjoy the first pitches of the baseball season.

However, this year, like all things in life, it appears April has been cancelled. The rinks and ball parks are dark. A recent Sports Illustrated editorial tells us:According to the experts—medical experts, not the money-making experts in league offices—we will not have sports any time soon. And when we do, we will not attend the games.”

American epidemiologist Dr. Zach Binney baldly states: “We will not have sporting events with fans until we have a vaccine.” Dr. Binney surmises that barring a medical miracle, the process of developing and widely distributing a vaccine is likely to take 12 to 18 months.

So, cancel April. Cancel spring and summer, perhaps the whole year through to next spring or summer.

For ardent sports fans this is very troubling. For young Canadians who play hockey, soccer, or baseball, or participate in sports like gymnastics, rowing, or martial arts, this is both agitating and heartbreaking at the same time. To cancel sports and halt sporting activities is problematic for everyone — and for society.

The Economist this month broached the subject in an article: “The game’s the thing” in which it forwarded that “cancelling sports will dent morale” and that “a solution may be needed.” The commentary suggests the economic implications will be significant because sport is big business, but the effect on consumer sentiment of the hiatus may be even greater. A majority (59%) of Americans are sports fans (and this number would also hold true in Canada). With the loss of sporting events, an important source of enjoyment disappears. Cancelling sports compounds the effect of being stuck at home.

Cancelling sports robs an individual of an essential physical and emotional outlet. John Maynard Keynes talked a lot about the importance of “animal spirits” to economic growth. The Romans understood the importance of “bread and circuses” – keeping the public not just fed, but entertained with gladiatorial games and chariot races. Athens founded the Olympics for its citizenry. Today, people lose themselves in matches of soccer, football, baseball – and, here in Canada, we lose ourselves in our beloved hockey. The Economist concludes: “If all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, then no work and no play risks making Jack depressed and discontented.”

Looking at the next three weeks without playoff hockey and baseball is depressing – and looking at the weeks and months ahead without sports is very dark indeed. As The Economist alludes: a solution will be needed.

At By George, we are offering a quick-fix for the short-term. Through the remainder of April, By George Journal will be celebrating both the greatest game on ice, and American’s great pastime. We hope our followers will be able to lose themselves in thoughts of “the game” and their own fond memories of their team and that past victory.

Each day we will post articles for your reading pleasure. For a regular stream of quotes, photos and articles that are sure to score, we suggest you follow By George Journal on Facebook and on Twitter. Also, By George Journal will issue two newsletters featuring hockey and baseball in the weeks ahead. If you are not on our newsletter distribution list, you can sign up here.

Our ballparks and arenas may be closed, but rest assured here at By George the puck will drop each day.

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

A British take on conservatism

In the March 14th, 2020 edition of The Economist, the column Bagehot was entitled “The meaning of conservatism” and it reflected the views of British politico Nick Timothy. Here is an excerpt on modern conservative thinking.

First, Nick Timothy has been at the heart of the British government for over a decade, first as Theresa May’s adviser at the Home Office and then as her co-chief of staff at 10 Downing Street. Timothy is recognized a conservative both with a small and large “c.” He has a new book on the lessons he learned from his experiences called “Remaking One Nation: Conservatism in an Age of Crisis.

The Economist article excerpt:

     Mr Timothy argues that, since the French revolution, the role of conservatism has been to act as a corrective to the extremes of liberalism. Today those extremes come in two forms: neo-liberalism, which sees markets as the solution to all problems, and woke liberalism, which sees the world through the prism of minority rights and all-pervasive oppression. Many see these two liberalisms as polar opposites. But for Mr Timothy they are both degenerate versions of classical liberalism. The first undermines markets by failing to see that they require popular legitimacy and the second sacrifices what is best in liberalism (pluralism, scepticism, individualism) on the altar of group rights.

     Mr Timothy presents a dismal picture of the consequences. Bosses have seen their compensation more than quadruple while the value of their companies has hardly risen at all. The largest demographic group—the white working class—has seen incomes stagnate for over a decade. Britain has the highest level of regional inequality in Europe. It also has one of the worst systems of vocational education, with 80 undergraduate degrees awarded for every post-secondary technical qualification. Woke liberals are increasingly willing to no-platform or shout down opponents because they see their objectives as quasi-sacred and their critics not just as wrong-headed folk needing to be reasoned with but as evil-minded enemies who must be destroyed….

     Mr Timothy presents an ideologically eclectic list of solutions to Britain’s problems. They are reminiscent of John Ruskin’s description of himself as both “a violent Tory of the old school” and “the reddest also of the red”. But two ideas give his arguments organising force: the nation-state and civic capitalism. A long-standing Brexiteer, Mr Timothy argues that the nation-state has been uniquely successful in holding global elites accountable to voters while also giving citizens a sense of common purpose. He points out that the welfare state was constructed after the second world war, when the sense of common purpose was at its height. A proud citizen of Birmingham, he champions the sort of civic capitalism practised by Joseph Chamberlain, a local businessman who looked after his workers and went on to be a reforming mayor….

    …This is a conservatism which celebrates the power of the state to achieve collective ends by dealing with regional and inter-generational inequalities; which challenges the self-dealing of business elites by rewiring the rules of corporate governance; and which puts a premium on rebuilding local communities and reigniting civic capitalism.

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Defining UP ?!

This two-letter word in English has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is ‘UP.’  It is listed in the dictionary as an [adv], [prep], [adj], [n] or [v].

It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?

At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP, and why are the officers UP for election (if there is a tie, it is a toss UP) and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We callUP our friends, brighten UP a room, polishUP the silver, warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and fix UP the old car.

At other times, this little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is blocked UP.

We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look UP the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with (UP to) a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out, we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it soaks UP the earth. When it does not rain for awhile, things dry UP. One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP, for now . . . my time is UP!

Yes, one more thing: What is the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night?  U…  P…!

Did that one crack you UP?  Send this on to everyone you look UP in your address book . . . or not . . . it’s UP to you.  Now I’ll shut UP!

(Thank you to our Ottawa friend and By George reader, Dick Inwood, who supplied us with this piece of nonsense.)

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

Here’s what to do about stress

In today’s world, we have become obsessed with our “stress”. In glorifying busy, and going all-out on the tread-mill just to keep up with the Joneses, our society has compounded individuals’ stress loads. For many, life seems to be filled with endless deadlines and demands, hassles and heartaches. These people feel entrapped in their daily routine, so much so that their state of stress has become a way of life.

And, do you not think it strange, that while we acknowledge this increasing state of stress, we do little more than lament about it?

Interestingly, the term “stress”, used in its contemporary connotation, is no more than 90 years old. In the late 1920s, medical and psychological professionals began to use this term to refer to a mental strain or to a harmful environmental agent that could cause illness. It is remarkable that, in this little time, understanding and dealing with stress has become an industry.

Dealing with and overcoming stress is the topic of a recent LinkedIn feature article. Deepak Chopra, MD, who is the author of more than 80 books with twenty-two New York Times best-sellers, posted “12 ways to heal stress around you.”

Deepak Chopra cited 12 Ways to Create Stress

  1. You are demanding, critical, and perfectionist – the perfect recipe for stress.
  2. You give erratic orders prone to unpredictable changes.
  3. You show disrespect for others workers and/or their work.
  4. You create an undignified work environment (e.g., a place where swearing, gossip, and sexual remarks are commonplace).
  5. You don’t give other people their own space.
  6. You pass your own workload to others just because you can.
  7. You burden others with personal issues you should deal with yourself.
  8. You criticize a subordinate in public.
  9. You make personal attacks.
  10. You can’t be trusted.
  11. You indulge in casual betrayals.
  12. You devalue another worker’s experience and knowledge.

And here are Chopra’s dozen helpful ways to deal with stress…

The 12 Ways to Heal Stress

  1. Back away from being demanding, critical, and perfectionist.
  2. Be more consistent and less changeable in what you ask of others.
  3. Never show disrespect for other workers or their work.
  4. Maintain a dignified work environment (e.g., a place where swearing, gossip, and sexual remarks are not condoned).
  5. Give other people their own space.
  6. Deal with your own stress instead of passing it down the line.
  7. Don’t burden others with your personal issues; keep it professional.
  8. Never offer criticism in public.
  9. Take a personal interest in others, offering appreciation and praise generously.
  10. Be loyal; show that you can be trusted.
  11. When someone else is talking, pay attention and then follow through if they need something.
  12. Ask for more input from others, showing that you value their experience and knowledge.

To read the full LinkedIn article, click here.

To assess your own stress load, By George recommends you take the time to complete The Stress & Well-Being Survey. This test measures your stress-management, adaptability, resilience and emotional vitality levels and deters the state of your heart, mind and emotions at home and work and in your relationships and finances. Take it – and don’t stress about it!

The Stress & Well-Being Survey

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Top 10 Christmas Record Breakers

Here is an interesting list of some pretty amazing Christmas records.

  1. Biggest selling Christmas song is Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” The song was written by Sir Bob Geldof, and sold fifty million copies and continues to be a holiday favorite today!
  2. The world’s largest gift was the Statue of Liberty. The people of France gave it to the US in 1886. It’s 151 feet, 1 inch high and weighs 225 tonnes.
  3. The most valuable Christmas card was sold at an auction in Devizes, Wiltshire, UK in 2001 for £20,000 (approx. $40.000). The card was originally sent by Sir Henry Cole of Bath to his grandmother in 1843!
  4. The largest Christmas angel ornament is over 18 feet (5.57 meters) high and over 8 feet wide at the bottom. It’s made out of 2946 beer bottles. The angel was displayed on Alfonso Reyes Avenue, Nuevo Leon, Mexico in January 2000.
  5. World’s largest working Christmas cracker is 181 foot, 11 inch long and 11 foot, 9 inch high. It was made in Australia. It was pulled at a shopping center in Sydney, Australia on December 16, 1998.
  6. The world’s largest Christmas goat made from straw is built every year by the citizens of Gävle Sweden. It is an 13-metre tall, 7-metre long, 3 tonne goat. Unfortunately almost every year the poor goat gets burned down.
  7. The “World’s Largest Christmas Store” is Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, a retail store in Frankenmuth, Michigan. The store has grown to the size of five-and-a-half football fields and is home to over 50000 gifts.
  8. The largest carol service was five-hundred-and-nineteen Christmas carolers, who braved the New York cold to sing themselves into the Guinness World Records Book. The singers gathered on the steps of Manhattan’s General Post Office across the street from Madison Square Garden.
  9. The best-selling book every year is the Bible. The Bible was the first book and is the all-time best selling book with 1 billion copies having been sold.
  10. The tallest-ever Christmas tree in the world was recorded 1999 in Tasmania. This towering Eucalyptus regnans was 80 meters (262 ft) tall and had 3,000 Christmas lights. Later The Guinness Book of Records has rejected The Wilderness Society’s claim for the world’s tallest Christmas Tree on the grounds that the tree was a eucalypt and not a spruce.

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

Conversations over the eggnog bowl

As we enter Christmas and New Year’s festivities, inevitably, we will find ourselves at cocktail parties or dinner settings where we will be reaching for a topic of discussion. To help us through this season, By George Journal provides observations and questions that will serve as perfect conversation starters. Here are a dozen questions to start us off – enjoy your talks!

  1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
  2. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?
  3. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special?
  4. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
  5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
  6. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
  7. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
  8. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
  9. What are you most grateful for?
  10. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
  11. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
  12. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before that?  Or the day before that? What can you do tomorrow that you’ll remember in 5 years? Are you going to do it?

 

More questions for your musings over the eggnog bowl can be found on past By George Journal posts:

Here

Here

Here

And Here

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

Did you know the origins of these sayings?!

Early aircraft’s throttles had a ball on the end of it, in order to go full throttle the pilot had to push the throttle all the way forward into the wall of the instrument panel. Hence “balls to the wall” for going very fast.

During WWII , U.S. airplanes were armed with belts of bullets which they would shoot during dogfights and on strafing runs. These belts were folded into the wing compartments that fed their machine guns. These belts measure 27 feet and contained hundreds of rounds of bullets. Often times, the pilots would return from their missions having expended all of their bullets on various targets. They would say, “I gave them the whole nine yards,” meaning they used up all of their ammunition.

In George Washington’s days, there were no cameras. One’s image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are ‘limbs,’ therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, “Okay, but it’ll cost you an arm and a leg.”

As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October). Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn’t wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term ‘big wig’. Today we often use the term ‘here comes the Big Wig’ because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.

In the late 1700’s, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The ‘head of the household’ always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the ‘chair man.’ Today in business, we use the expression or title ‘Chairman’ or ‘Chairman of the Board.’

Common entertainment included playing. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the ‘Ace of Spades.’ To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren’t ‘playing with a full deck.’

Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV’s or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to ‘go sip some Ale and listen to people’s conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. ‘You go sip here’ and ‘You go sip there.’ The two words ‘go sip’ were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term ‘gossip.’

At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid’s job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in ‘pints’ and who was drinking in ‘quarts,’ hence the phrase ‘minding your ‘P’s and Q’s’.

In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem….how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a ‘Monkey’ with 16 round indentations. However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make ‘Brass Monkeys.’ Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey; Thus, it was quite literally, ‘Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.’

(ed. – Thank you to our friend Dick Inwood who sent this missive through to us this past week. Always appreciated Dick!)

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

The art of listening

Listening is not the same as hearing. It is comprehending what is being said to you, and what is being communicated, and internalizing what is said so that you might provide thoughtful comment.

There is an art to listening and many people do not do it well as they are too busy trying to figure out what to say next, rather than fully understanding the other person’s comments.

Here are 6 great pointers on how to become a better listener.

  • Take the time to converse… permit yourself to “be lost” in a conversation
  • Look into the eyes, give your undivided attention (put away that cell phone)
  • Think to yourself: I will listen to understand, not to respond
  • Watch for any non-verbal communications signs
  • Ask questions to clarify anything not understood; and ask open end questions to obtain more details of what is being discussed
  • Be patient; do not interrupt but allow the speaker finish her thoughts

The best conversationalists are great listeners (is this not true?!). So, let the other(s) speak and learn from them how you can thoughtfully contribute to the exchange. In making an impact with your communications, it is quality not quantity that will create a lasting impression.

Think about the pointers provided in this post to become a better listener. If you wish to improve your listening skills over the next month, take Psychology Today’s “Listening Skills Test” and mark down your score. Print off the pointers and consciously think about them in your work and social exchanges. Then retest yourself in a month’s time and measure your improvement.

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Well-Turned Phrases

Regarding apathy, I have no opinion.

Remember you’re unique, just like everybody else.

Give me ambiguity or give me something else.

Indecision is the key to flexibility.

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.

Every morning is the dawn of a new error.

If all is not lost, where is it?

Ignorance is no excuse. It’s the real thing.

I always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific.

I plead contemporary insanity.

Committee: a body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.

Yawn: an honest opinion openly expressed.

Education is what you have left after you’ve lost all your notes.

Procrastinate now.

Deja Moo: The feeling that you’ve heard this bull before.

Any philosophy that can fit into a nutshell belongs there.

No matter where you go, there you are.

Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.

Meandering to a different drummer.

Hermits unite!

Dyslexics Untie!

Eschew obfuscation.

Egotist: someone who is usually me-deep in conversation.

A PBS mind in an MTV world.

Ambivalent? Well, yes and no.

Entrophy isn’t what it used to be.

She had a body like a burlap bag full of bobcats.

Compost happens.

Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans.

That was Zen. This is Tao.

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Our Redundant Redundancies

Have you notice we repeatedly use common figures of speech that are obvious redundancies?  Here are a few we’ve recorded at work in the last few weeks.

  • an added bonus
  • all inclusive
  • basic fundamentals
  • a brief moment
  • it’s boiling hot
  • let’s circle around
  • classic tradition
  • close proximity
  • duplicate copy
  • end result
  • false illusion
  • they’re immortalized forever
  • live audience
  • mental thought
  • my personal opinion
  • new discovery
  • original founder
  • it’s a temporary reprieve
  • true fact
  • unique, one-in-a-lifetime opportunity

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

“THE Q&A” for our digital age

If there was one question and answer that sums up just how strange our world is in our day and digital age, it is the following:

Q: If someone from the 1950s

suddenly appeared today,

what would be the most

difficult thing to explain to

them about life today?

.

A: I possess a device

in my pocket that is capable

of accessing the entirety of

information known to man.

I use it to look at pictures

of cats and get in arguments

with strangers.

.

This Q&A originally was found on Reddit (apparently).

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Answering That Question about What You Do

“So what is it that you do?”

How often do you get asked that question? Do you have a rehearsed answer that gets people attention? Or do you find yourself struggling each time to find the right expressions to explain what “you do”?

When someone asks what your organization does, do you have a concise explanation? What of your colleagues? Would their description of what your organization does be similar?

The best thing an individual or organization can do for themselves is to think through and develop a script to answer the most basic of human exchanges; particularly the obvious questions about one’s identity and purpose. Here’s our suggestion: take the time and craft an “elevator chat” script.

The elevator chat will serve you (and your colleagues) as a concise description of who you are, what you do and why it matters. It can be developed to sound informal; however, a good script will be precise and capture the essence and significance of your work. Because you take the time to refine the key message(s), this script will be clear and accurate.

An effective elevator chat will be intriguing and leave your audience curious and wanting to learn more of what you do.

In order to help you craft a sound and engaging elevator chat, here are four questions to prompt your creative process and hone your core message(s).

  • 1. Answer the question “Why do I care?” Why should someone care and take notice of what you do? Talk about the significance of your work and/or organization – rather than its structure and your duties. In this way, you may establish an emotional connection between you and the person standing before you..
  • 2. Answer the question “What sets you apart?” You should highlight what makes you unique, distinctive – what sets you apart. It may be that you are the first or only one to be doing your work in the area – or perhaps you approach your work in a certain manner from others.
  • 3. Answer the basics. Include relevant details of the what? where? how? when? In order to showcase the explanation of the why? All details should accentuate the why? – the significance of your work.
  • 4. Anticipate the “So what?” question. Your chat should have a strong closing that provides the audience with a way to learn more, become involved, enter into a longer conversation. If you have made an emotional connection in the 30 – 40 seconds of your chat, there is a perfect opportunity to engage your enquirer in another level of discussion.

Have a business card to hand out; a website URL to share; a promise to follow-up in the days ahead. Be sure to follow-up with your enquirer. Take a few minutes each day to write thank you and follow-up notes.

So, the next time someone asks, “What is it that you do?” – there will be no grimacing, no fishing for the right phrase. Each elevator chat is an opportunity to share what is significant and, perhaps, to make a new connection.

(ed. – This is a repost, picked as one of our favourite three posts of 2011, taken from the earlier posts on the By George Journal.  The original post is here.)

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.