Tag Archives: in_conversation

Wonderful Aphorisms

An aphorism is a short, pointed sentence that expresses a wise or clever observation or a general truth… like these gems:

  • The nicest thing about the future is that it always starts tomorrow.
  • Money will buy a fine dog but only kindness will make him wag his tail.
  • If you don’t have a sense of humor you probably don’t have any sense at all.
  • Seat belts are not as confining as wheelchairs.
  • A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you’re in deep water.
  • How come it takes so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark to become a teenager who wants to stay out all night?
  • Business conventions are important because they demonstrate how many people a company can operate without.
  • Why is it that at class reunions you feel younger than everyone else looks?
  • Scratch a dog and you will have a permanent job.
  • There are no new sins — the old ones just get more publicity.
  • There are worse things than getting a call for a wrong number at 4 a.m — like, it could be the right number.
  • No one ever says “It’s only a game” when their team is winning.
  • I’ve reached the age where ‘happy hour’ is a nap.
  • Money can’t buy happiness but somehow it’s more comfortable to cry in a Cadillac
  • After 60, if you don’t wake up aching in every joint you’re probably dead.
  • Always be yourself because the people that matter don’t mind – and the ones that mind don’t matter.
  • Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.


(ed. – Thank you to our friend Claude Bennett for forwarding this wonderful list.)

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.

Q: Who’s on your special party guest list?

Here is a wonderful question to pose while swirling your cocktail on New Year’s evening. It is sure to prompt a lot of interesting conversations.

In planning for a New Year’s Eve party, you are given a magical opportunity to invite a total of 3 people currently living and 3 people from the past.  Aside from all your immediate friends and family members, who would be on your special guest list?

For the record, here’s who would be at a George party:

Sir John A Macdonald

Ernest Hemingway

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bruce Springsteen

Bob Gainey

John Irving


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.

More questions for “Over the Eggnog Bowl” (5)

  1. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?
  2. It used to be that at a party one should never discuss religion, sex and politics. Does this still stand? Are there other subjects that need to be added to this list of avoidable conversations?
  3. Do sports make life more bearable? Are sports akin to religion, alcohol or a literal pastime?
  4. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
  5. When was the last time you lied?  Do you lie when you do not voice truth? Is it possible to lie without saying anything at all?
  6. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and unjustified.  What do you do?
  7. Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?
  8. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
  9. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?
  10. Is it crazier to choose to be poor, or to spend 40 years of your life hating 40 hours a week?
  11. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
  12. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

This is the fifth and final installment of our series providing questions and observations that will serve as perfect conversation starters at this season’s social gatherings.

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.

Over the Eggnog Bowl (4)


  1. Merry Christmas! Is it time to insist that “Christ” is put back into “Christmas”?
  2. Is Santa coming to your family this Christmas? You do believe in Santa, right!?
  3. Joy is found with simple awareness.  What does your joy look like today?
  4. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
  5. If I gave you $20, what percentage would you – really – save?  If I gave you $200,000, what percentage would you save?  Should there be a difference?
  6. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
  7. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?
  8. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?
  9. Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough time?  How many hours a week do you spend watching TV, or playing video games, or…?
  10. What’s the difference between ‘living’ and ‘existing?’
  11. What have you not done that you wanted to do today – something that you still can accomplish? Will you do it?
  12. Do you ask enough questions, or do you settle for what you know?

This is the fourth installment of our series providing questions and observations that will serve as perfect conversation starters at this season’s social gatherings.

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.

Over the Eggnog Bowl (3)

  1. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
  2. Has your greatest fear ever come true?
  3. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
  4. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
  5. What’s your single greatest moment of personal failure?  Looking back on it now, did it make you weaker or stronger?  What did you learn?
  6. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
  7. When you help someone, do you ever think, “What’s in it for me?”
  8. What haven’t you achieved to date that you definitely want to do? If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose? If not now, then when?
  9. What do you love?  Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
  10. If someone could tell you the exact day and time that you are going to die, would you want them to tell you?
  11. If you found out you were going to die today, would you have any regrets?  Would you be happy with the way you spent the last 24 hours of your life?
  12. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?

This is the third installment of our series providing questions and observations that will serve as perfect conversation starters at this season’s social gatherings.

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.


Over the Eggnog Bowl (2)


  1. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
  2. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
  3. Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
  4. If your life was a novel, what would be the title and how would your story end?
  5. If you could be given another talent or ability, what would you want it to be?  Have you ever – really – tried to perfect this ability in yourself?
  6. What’s the most expensive gift you have ever received?  Is it the best gift you have ever received?
  7. Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
  8. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
  9. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
  10. If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?
  11. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
  12. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

This is the second installment of our series providing questions and observations that will serve as perfect conversation starters at this season’s social gatherings.

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.

Perfect conversation starters for over the eggnog bowl

As we enter year-end 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 will provide questions and observations that can serve as perfect conversation starters.  In the next few days, we’ll call this conversational thread “Over the Eggnog Bowl”.

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?

(ed. – This series of “eggnog bowl” conversation starters was first compiled and published in the By George Journal a few years back. Over this weekend, we are reposting 5 articles that should provide you with more than enough interesting conversations to get you though the holidays. Cheers!)


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.


Say it ain’t so: 2017, the new 1984

By George, how has it happened that everything in our world has become so black and white? We live in such an increasingly complex and interdependent world. Yet, isn’t it interesting that advocacy campaigns and successful politicians win by making the issues of day simple. It’s the simple truths, told simply, that are the most compelling.


However, in many cases, those simple explanations are simple-stupid. And in many case, we blinded accept them anyway?! (The obvious question is “Is 2017 the new 1984?”)


Each year, the By George Journal sets down a new editorial line-up to bring fresh, interesting material to our readers. In 2017, we are setting a three-point mission:

  1. Publish a new feature “just_the_facts” that will compile statistics and points of fact on given issues of the day
  2. Post background stories to provide insightful context on leading figures and issues.
  3. Repeat classic jokes and humourous e-mails sent our way (to lighten the day)


With this line-up we hope By George will be resourceful and relevant concerning the issues that are both dominating the news cycles and your discussions at the office or social club.


By George will extend our dialogue more consistently with our Facebook page, in our LinkedIn network and on the Twitter feed. We will also mine supporting content found in these platforms to regularly share in the Journal.


We embark on this mission with the firmly held belief that, though the world’s problems are complicated, the facts of the problem need to be understood in order to truly assess whether the simple explanation provided is just that – or is it simple-stupid?


As always, we look forward to your feedback along the way.


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

Football is Americans’ Thanksgiving


There is a rather large number of Americans that believe American Thanksgiving is all about the football games – “Praise the Lord and pass the gravy!”

Of course, not everyone believes this. American humourist Erma Bombeck mused: “If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead.”

However, even she admitted: “Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.”

So, on this, one of America’s biggest of football days, let’s honour this celebrated sport. Here are 15 of our favourite pigskin quotes.

  • Football is like life, it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority. – Vince Lombardi
  • Football is an incredible game. Sometimes it’s so incredible, it’s unbelievable. – Tom Landry
  • Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. – Vince Lombardi
  • The only yardstick for success our society has is being a champion. No one remembers anything else. – John Madden
  • Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. – Vince Lombardi
  • Gentlemen, it is better to have died a small boy than to fumble this football. – John Heisman
  • Football is not a contact sport. It’s a collision sport. Dancing is a good example of a contact sport. – Duffy Daugherty
  • When you win, nothing hurts. – Joe Namath
  • Confidence doesn’t come out of nowhere. It’s a result of something… hours and days and weeks and years of constant work and dedication. – Roger Staubach
  • Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. – Vince Lombardi
  • Football combines two of the worst things in American life. It is violence punctuated by committee meetings. – George Will
  • If my mother put on a helmet and shoulder pads and a uniform that wasn’t the same as the one I was wearing, I’d run over her if she was in my way. And I love my mother. – Bo Jackson
  • Football is a game played with arms, legs and shoulders but mostly from the neck up – Knute Rockne
  • Pro football is like nuclear warfare. There are no winners, only survivors. – Frank Gifford
  • Football is not a game but a religion, a metaphysical island of fundamental truth in a highly verbalized, disguised society, a throwback of 30,000 generations of anthropological time. – Arnold Mandell

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

Donald Trump (Prez-elect)

Here is a list of family facts and personal history details of the soon-to-become 45th President of the United States Donald Trump


The Snapshot:


  • Donald John Trump, was born June 14, 1946.
  • He will be 70 years old on election day.
  • From the Internet, he is 6’2″ or 6’3′ and weighs between 195 and 200 lbs.
  • He has a full head of blond/brown hair (which is long and elaborately combed) and blue eyes.
  • The Internet tells us he wears a size 12 shoe.
  • Donald Trump was born the fourth of five children who were born over eleven years.
  • The oldest, Mary Ann, was born in 1937 and is currently a Federal Judge.
  • His older brother, Fred Jr, died in early adulthood as a result of complications from alcoholism.
  • He has another older sister, Elizabeth and a younger brother, Robert.
  • Donald Trump has been married three times.
  • Trump’s first wife, Ivana, was an immigrant from Czechoslovakia and a divorcee who has been married 4 times in her life. She is a lifelong avid skier and worked in design at the Trump Organization.
  • Marla Maples, Trump’s second wife is an actress and model
  • Trump’s third wife, Melania is an immigrant from Slovenia (born in Yugoslavia) and has been a super model.
  • Two of Trump’s children, Donald Jr. And Ivanka, have gone to Penn. Son Eric, went to Georgetown.
  • Donald Trump tells us that he is Presbyterian.
  • Donald Trump does not appear to have had any interest in occults, mysticism or exotic mythologies.
  • Donald Trump’s oldest daughter, Ivanka, and her three children are Jewish.
  • Trump’s oldest daughter, Ivanka, is married to Jared Kushner who is, among other things, a newspaper publisher. The Kushner family is very successful in New York City area real estate.
  • Donalds grandmother, mother, first wife, and third wife are all immigrants.
  • Donald Trump was born and raised in Queens NY
  • Though his family was very wealthy, Trump’s boyhood home in the Jamaica Estates section of Queens was not a grand mansion. The Trump home was a larger version of the homes Fred Trump built for his tenants.
  • There are no indications that the Trump family lived among the wealthy elites on vacations or country clubs.
  • Queens is the largest of New York’s five boroughs and the most ethnically diverse.
  • Trump attended a local private day school, the Kew Forrest School, in Queens until about 8th grade.
  • His secondary schooling was at New York Military Academy which is about 60 miles north of NYC in Cornwall on the Hudson. He was in class of 1964.
  • Trump was never a Preppie.”
  • Trump never embraced any aspect of the “Hippie” movement of the time.
  • Trump was a very good high school athlete – football, soccer, and especially baseball. He had potential to become a professional baseball player.
  • Even in high school – Trump liked women and women liked him.
  • Trump was generally popular in high school.
  • Trump’s boarding school room mate liked him.
  • He attended Fordham University in NYC for two years and transferred to the University of Pennsylvanias Wharton School of Business.
  • At that time, the Wharton School offered a rare program for Real Estate Business.
  • Though he was of age, Donald Trump did not serve in Vietnam.
  • He was not drafted due to bone spurs in his heels (4F) and also student deferments.
  • Ultimately, in the draft lottery, he drew a high number.
  • By all we know, Donald Trump does not smoke, drink or use recreational drugs. He’ll be the first President in more than 25 years who hasn’t smoked weed.
  • BTW: Trump’s children don’t smoke or drink.
  • Trump makes it well known that he enjoys sexual interaction with women.
  • His doctor publicly announced Donald to be in excellent health.


Trump family history (concise version):


  • Donald Trump’s grandparents immigrated to the U.S. From Alsace (Kallstadt, Germany) which throughout history has been alternately French and German. The Trumps are German, originally speaking the same German dialect as the Amish of Lancaster County, PA.
  • His maternal grandparents lived in Scotland.
  • Freiderich (Drumph) Trump made a small but respectable fortune in the late 19th Century in the mining boom towns of the American Northwest.
  • He returned to Germany to marry his childhood neighbor, Elizabeth Christ.
  • The newly married Trumps resettled in the Borough of Queens NY.
  • Freidrich was establishing a Real Estate business in Queens when he died suddenly at age 49 (1918).
  • In 1920, at the age of 15, Fred Trump (Freiderich’s son and Donald’s father), started a business partnership with his widowed mother called Elizabeth Trump & Son.
  • This business was built upon the real estate holdings that his father, Frederich, had amassed (worth about $500,000.00 in today’s dollars). This is the original “seed money” of the current Trump Organization.
  • Elizabeth & Fred remained close business partners her entire life (she died in 1966).
  • In 1936 Fred Trump (age 31) married Mary Ann MacLeod (age 24) of Stoneway Scotland.
  • During the depression, Fred Trump built and successfully operated a supermarket (a new concept at the time) which was sold to King Kullen Co. which operates to this day.
  • Fred Trump made a lot of money building housing for the military during WWII.
  • Fred Trump was investigated by the Justice Department for making “excessive profits” from government contracts.
  • All (or nearly all) of the building of Elizabeth Trump & Son’s non-government building was residential property in Queens.
  • Fred Trump died in 1999 (age 94) – beloved and worth between $250 million and $300 million. His wife died a year later.


“The Donald’s career”:


  • Donald Trump is perhaps the greatest career achiever of the “baby boomer” generation.
  • Donald Trump has reached the zenith in his careers as book author, TV entertainer, sports entertainer, Real Estate developer, and currently as a politician.
  • Donald Trump has authored more than 18 books. At least one of them, The Art of the Deal was a top seller.
  • Donald says that the Holy Bible is his favorite book. The Art of the Deal is his 2nd favorite book. And The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale is his third favorite book.
  • He likes golf. Donald Trump has developed more than 11 golf courses which bear his name.
  • Donald Trump has twice been nominated for an Emmy Award.
  • Donald Trump has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • Donald Trump has been inducted to the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.
  • Donald Trump has appeared in more than a dozen movies such as Home Alone 2, Zoolander, and Little Rascals.
  • Donald Trump has been a guest actor in more than 6 TV shows such as Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Days of Our Lives, Sex and the City, and others.
  • Trump has been the Executive Producer of 7 TV shows.
  • Trump has been the guest host of 5 TV shows such as Extra, Larry King Live, and Saturday Night Live and more.
  • Donald Trump has been co-producer of the longest running reality TV show.
  • Donald Trump performed in several WWE wrestling shows.
  • Donald performed in Wrestlemania 23 which set attendance records and revenue records up till that time.
  • In his first candidacy for public office, Donald Trump received the most electoral votes for the President of the United States out of a field of experienced and successful politicians. And in most cases, he achieved this with less money than any of his opponents.
  • Keeping in mind that 90% of start-up businesses fail, Trump’s record of enterprise is nothing short of amazing.


Donald Trump has enjoyed success in at least 11 very different enterprises:


  • Professional football, Ice Skating rinks, Fragrance, Ice, Steaks, Wines, Model management, Airline, blenders, Men’s wear, Bicycle races, world class beauty contests, and many others. In some of these, such as model management, his firm has risen to the top of that particular industry.
  • There are 31 buildings that bear his name.
  • The largest private real estate development in New York is Trump Riverside. Drive down the Henry Hudson Blvd. – you can’t miss them.
  • There are at least 12 Trump Towers.
  • There are at least 6 Trump Plazas.
  • There are at least 11 Trump Golf Course developments.

And much, much, more in real estate.

  • Trump Entertainment, casinos and resorts was recently sold to Carl Ichan.
  • Donald Trumps personal managing of the Wollman Ice Skating Rink project in the early 1980’s is the quintessential case study for MBA students in Wharton, Harvard, and other business schools. His performance there was phenomenal.
  • Donald Trump’s privately held businesses have employed more than 200,000 people.
  • In the casino business in Atlantic City, Trump had to do business with known mobsters – and he stayed “clean” and alive.
  • Aside from his personal investments, Donald Trump has never been a Wall Street player.

The Political Trump:


  • 1967 – 1987 – Democrat (although he was a supporter of Ronald Reagan)
  • 1987 – 1999 Republican
  • 1999 – 2001 – Reform Party (he supported Ross Perot)
  • 2001 – 2009 – Democrat
  • 2009 – 2011 – Republican
  • 2011 – 2012 Independent
  • 2012 – Present Republican
  • Donald Trump was openly supportive of Mitt Romney’s candidacy.
  • Donald Trump does not seem to hold political party organizations in high regard. For the most part, his political involvement has been for practical reasons. Donald Trump does not appear to be held to political ideology.

Some of the take aways (from those who know him):


  • Trump has an extraordinarily energetic central nervous system much like Teddy Roosevelt, but more targeted to industry and enterprise.
  • Trump’s presidency will be very energetic, transparent, and communicative.
  • Trump will be a very hard working President.
  • His interaction with his older brother (who everybody loved) tells me that he thinks that everybody is like him – or wants to be – or should be.
  • His relationship with his older brother was a hard lesson in tolerance for him.
  • Trump is the Babe Ruth of career achievements.
  • He is dumb like a fox. When you think he just said something stupid – he didn’t. It’s just that you were not his target audience.
  • Trump knows the people – the folk.
  • His son, Donald Jr. is right. Trump is a “Blue Collar Billionaire”.
  • More than anything, his TV show, The Apprentice, was his passion.
  • He wants all Americans to have confidence (like he does) to venture.
  • Donald Trump is attracted to and marries smart, high achieving women.
  • The highest levels of a Trump Administration are certain to have many women – and they will be bright and assertive.
  • Donald Trump’s children are very important to him. And it shows.


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

20 “well-turned phrases” to send your colleagues sideways

  • Every morning is the dawn of a new error.
  • Regarding apathy, I have no opinion.
  • Remember you’re unique, just like everybody else.
  • I’m ambivalent? Well, yes and no.
  • Indecision is the key to flexibility.
  • Procrastinate now!
  • I’m a PBS mind in an MTV world.
  • I plead contemporary insanity.
  • Def’n of a committee: a body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.
  • That’s “Deja Moo”: The feeling that you’ve heard this bull before.
  • Def’n of a yawn: an honest opinion openly expressed.
  • Def’n of an egotist: someone who is usually me-deep in conversation.
  • Entrophy isn’t what it used to be.
  • Give me ambiguity or give me something else.
  • Eschew obfuscation.
  • If all is not lost, then where is it?
  • I always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific.
  • I meander to a different drummer.
  • Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans.
  • Any philosophy that can fit into a nutshell belongs there.

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



Communicate More Effectively, More Persuasively

Becoming Better Communicators is a self-empowering handbook to improve your workplace and social exchanges.

Chris George, author, says the book is for anyone who wants to improve how they are received by others, “This book will help you express yourself clearer, present your ideas better and it will give you more confidence when communicating one-to-one.”

“The tips and checklists were first developed to assist senior executives become more effective within their workplaces. However, the handbook will prove helpful for anyone wishing to improve their relationships, whether it be with work colleagues, or with friends or loved ones. “

The e-book’s introduction provides direction for how best to use the handbook. Here is an excerpt:

   Becoming Better Communicators will help you convey your ideas and display your talents at work and in social settings. By accepting the suggestions, you will be nudged towards appreciating and honing your own unique style of communicating. This, in turn, will provide greater confidence and comfort in expressing your opinions, ideas and work.

   Your success with this handbook comes down to the degree you get to know yourself better. The challenge is to continually re-read the suggestions within, and make it a personal goal to take incremental steps towards self-improvement day-by-day, week-by-week. It takes effort to consciously change your communications habits. You must think about and reflect on your changes. Live with them. Take the time to think through how your altered approaches are being received by the different audiences you deal with each day — your colleagues, friends, and even your partner and family.

   By consciously following the suggestions within, systematically re-reading the handbook, and keeping your commitment to self-improvement, you will form new habits in expressing yourself, and you will become a better communicator.

Becoming Better Communicators is available for the low price of $5. To purchase this e-book today, visit the Our E-bookshelf.


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

Our most beloved national symbol

After a month of deliberation on the symbols held dearest by Canadians, By George has determined “the most beloved national symbol.”  Through the last few days we have sought feedback from followers and had direct input from our own By George network and the remaining four top symbols have been ranked. So, here they are — in reverse order — with the last being our # 1.

It gives us great pride to announce the most beloved national symbol here this morning…

# 4 – The Beaver


# 3 – Niagara Falls


# 2 – Our maple leaf flag


# 1 – Our national game – hockey


For those interested in reviewing the By George contest and the Canadiana choices made through June, here are our posts:

Our search for “The Beloved Symbol of Canada”

Have your say on Canadiana

with a link to “The sweet 16” newsletter


Happy Canada and have a great holiday weekend!

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


With every drop of a puck, a Canadian’s heart skips a beat! Is there any doubt that it’s our national pride?!




Choose from our top 4 Canadiana

The By George month-long search for the greatest Canadiana symbol has come to a choice of four iconic symbols Canucks are all familiar with. You are encouraged to click into our By George Journal Facebook page to provide your opinion on the order of the following….


The Beaver


The Canadian Flag




Niagara Falls


Click in here to have your say: By George Journal on Facebook

Our recent newsletter featured “the sweet 16” and you can read the newsletter here.

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

Our search for “The Beloved Symbol of Canada”

green-maple-leaves-wallpapersThrough the month of June, By George will be conducting a Canadiana contest to select the most-Canadian of symbols. It will be a head-to-head choice of 64 different items that are celebrated and treasured by Canucks.


On our By George Facebook page, we will be announcing the individual contests and allowing for our followers to comment on the selections. Should there be a compelling argument or overwhelming outcry about the choice of one of the symbols, or the other, By George will reserve the right to reverse the decision and go with our readership’s favourite. For example, in this week’s contest, there was the head-to-head decision of “Peace Tower” or “Northern Lights”. The winner: “Northern Lights” (as being a more significant symbol of Canadiana). Agree? Disagree? Let us know on our Facebook page – here.

canuck_27 canuck_60

Another of the early examples has “The Loon” going head-to-head against “Pamela Anderson”. The winner: “the Loon.” Agree or disagree? Let us know – click here to make a comment.

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Canadiana Abound


Here are the 64 items to be contested in By George‘s search for “The Beloved Symbol of Canada”

Alex Trebek

Ann Murray



Bobby Orr’s iconic goal

Bryan Adams


Calgary Stampede

Cape Breton


Canadian Goose

Canadian lakes



Celine Dion

Chris Hatfield

CN Tower

Flag of Canada

Group of Seven

Grey Cup



John A. Macdonald

Justin Beiber

Leonard Cohen



Lucy Maude Montgomery

Maritime Coast

Maple Syrup

Margaret Atwood

Mike Myers



Niagara Falls

Northern Lights

Ottawa Canal

Pamela Anderson

Parliament Hill

Peace Tower

Peggy’s Cove

PEI field of potatoes

Pierre Elliot Trudeau


Polar bear

Quebec City


RCMP musical ride

Red Maple

Rockie Mountains

Shania Twain


Snow-covered forests

Stompin Tom Connors

Terry Fox

Tim Horton’s

Tommy Douglas


Toronto Maple Leafs

Totem Poles


Wayne Gretzky

Wheat fields of the Prairies

William Shatner


Follow along on the By George Facebook page to see us pare down this list to “The Beloved Symbol of Canada”


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

Keys to making a great first impression

There is a humourous and true adage, “You can only make a first impression once.” So, By George offers a few tips on how to make a great first impression.


Make conversation. Talk or better yet, entertain. Just don’t stand there and let others carry the conversation. Tell a story and share your opinion. And ask questions. Be engaging.


Be blunt, slightly controversial, and completely honest. State your thoughts clearly and with conviction. If you really want to be memorable, you may want to make a statement (without insulting anyone or saying something offensive).


Be a little bit unusual – do something that might be out-of-the-norm. For example, come up with humorous and unusual answers to the typical introductory questions such as, “How are you?” or “What do you do?”


Use confident body language. Have a firm handshake. Stand up straight. Most important: maintain eye contact both while listening and speaking.


Attempt to trigger emotional response(s) from your audience. For example, make them laugh, make a mistake and apologize for it, stroke someone’s ego, tell stories, being helpful, or discussing a topic in a heated manner could all do the trick.  As poet Maya Angelou has most aptly observed: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”


Perhaps the greatest pointer is to be an engaged listener. When you are listening, be attentive. The best conversationalist is a good listener.


What are the subconscious questions on everyone’s mind?


Business Insider recently interviewed Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy on the judgmental questions people unconsciously have in their minds when meeting another for the first time. Cuddy has been studying first impressions for more than 15 years, and she says people quickly answer two questions when they first meet you:


  • Can I trust this person?
  • Can I respect this person?


Psychologists refer to these dimensions as “warmth” and “competence” respectively, and ideally you want to be perceived as having both.


Cuddy says that most people, especially in a professional context, believe that competence is the more important factor. After all, they want to prove that they are smart and talented enough to handle your business.


But in fact warmth, or trustworthiness, is the most important factor in how people evaluate you. “From an evolutionary perspective,” Cuddy says, “it is more crucial to our survival to know whether a person deserves our trust.”  He explains, when you consider primitive cavemen days, it was more important to figure out if your fellow man was going to kill you and steal all your possessions than if he was competent enough to build a good fire.


Trustworthiness. Respect. You have 7 to 12 seconds to demonstrate both a trusting and a respectful character.



SOURCES – Read the full articles here:

How do I become more memorable when meeting someone for the first time?

Psychologist says people judge you based on 2 criteria when they first meet you


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

Pricing the value(s) of work

work_1The best price philosophy for the value(s) of work I’ve seen was on a business card that read:

“Fast, cheap, good. Pick two.”

This meant you could pick fast and cheap, but it wasn’t going to be good.

Or you could pick cheap and good, but it wasn’t going to be fast.

Or you could pick fast and good, but it wasn’t going to be cheap.

You just can’t have everything!

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

10 Facts about the Irish and St. Patrick’s Day

    • St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17 because it is believed that is the day St. Patrick died. History has it that he died in 461 AD, at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, where he is also reputedly buried.
    • Ironically, the patron saint of Ireland – St. Patrick – was not Irish. He was British, born in Wales, possibly in the southern town of Banwen, in 385 AD. Another account indicates he was born in Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, Scotland, in 387 AD.
    • There are approximately 36.5 million U.S. residents who claim Irish ancestry. This number is more than eight times the population of Ireland itself (4.5 million).
    • The St. Patrick’s Day parade first took place in New York City on March 17, 1762. Today, over 100 St. Patrick’s Day parades are held across the United States every year.
    • The first St. Patrick’s Day in Canada is believed to have taken place in Quebec City in 1765. The largest Canadian parade each year takes place in Montreal.
    • The Shamrock, also called a “seamroy,” is a sacred plant in Ireland, marking the rebirth of Spring. Legend has it that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the holy trinity to the pagans.
    • It is also legend that Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. This is not the case as there have never been snakes in Ireland. (However, snake symbols were common and worshipped in pagan religions, so likely the driving of snakes from Ireland is symbolic of ending that pagan practice.)
    • Traditional music was used by the Irish to celebrate their heritage and language during the English rule – the main reason Queen Elizabeth outlawed Irish music, musicians and pipers. Today, traditional Irish bands have achieved worldwide acclaim and popularity, still using centuries-old instruments like the fiddle, the uilleann pipes, and the tin whistle.
    • The original Irish name for the leprechaun is “lobaircin,” which means “small-bodied fellow.” Leprechauns have no real connection to St. Patrick’s Day. Today’s common representation of a cheerful, jolly leprechaun and symbol of St. Patrick’s Day is purely an American concoction, started by a Walt Disney movie in 1959.
    • The intended meaning of St. Patrick’s Day is that it’s a day for spiritual renewal and for praying for missionaries around the world. (As a surprise to many North Americans, it is not an excuse to drink green beer and eat corned beef and cabbage.)

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

T or F quiz on the Ides of March

March 15th marks a special day on the calendar: “The Ides of March”

Here are ten True or False questions on this special day. Test yourself – and beware.

Is it true or false…

  1. The “Ides of March” is short form for the Tides of March and the saying “Beware the Ides of March” refers to the high tides of the Mediterranean at this time of year.
  2. The Ides of March originates in ancient Athenian history.
  3. There are Ides in each calendar month and they can fall either on the 13th or 15th days of a month.
  4. Julius Caesar was killed on the Ides of March.
  5. Julius Caesar’s wife fore-sees his fate and tells him to “Beware the Ides of March”.
  6. Brutus was one of many Senators who pushed Caesar to his death off the top of the Capital Buildings.
  7. The ancient festival on the Ides of March celebrates the Roman god Jupiter.
  8. William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar has Caesar warning the Senators of the Ides of March.
  9. Canadians Wayne and Shuster have immortalized Caesar’s wife with the screeching lines, “I told him, Julie, don’t go!”
  10. Today, the Ides of March marks a national holiday in Italy commemorating Caesar’s death.

(ed. – The answers to this quiz appear below in the comments section.)


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

BGJ’s Top-10 Innocuous Sayings

Do you not find it irritating when you are looking for a response that might give some idea to what has just happened and your companion lowers her voice and lets escape a milquetoast statement…  In far too many conversations today, when discussing complex or involved issues, it has become customary to shrug and utter an innocuous statement that, rightly or wrongly, conveys tired indifference. The curt retort adds absolutely nothing to the greater understanding of the matter at hand and, more to the point, it often derails any further exploration of the subject.

For those who might have entered into the conversation to arrive at a better understanding of a situation, this is irritating – and, for us, these default statements have become a real pet peeve. (In fact, By George would prefer rather than the innocuous saying to hear the serenity prayer mumbled: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference. But then again, perhaps, this too would become bothersome?)

To bring this subject into clearer focus and have people rethink their use of this conversational tactic, By George shares “Top 10 Innocuous Sayings” counted down to reveal our society’s most irritating utterance.

#10 – Oh well, nothing we can do about it…

#9 – Stupid is what stupid does.

#8 – Suppose, what goes around comes around.

#7 – And, so it goes.

#6 – Tell me something I didn’t know.

#5 – Nothing’s new under the sun.

#4 – Shit happens.

#3 – C’est la vie.

#2 – Whatever…

And, the number one innocuous saying in today’s society is….

It is what it is.

Truthfully, how do you feel when you hear this?! It’s a conversation stopper.


Do you use an innocuous saying to sum up your feigned indifference that is not in this top ten list? Please share.


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