Creative commentary plus crafty composition

Archive for March, 2016

The Blue and the Grey Monday

Even though I’m no longer part of the active workforce, there’s something about Monday, especially the morning, which still gives it a uniquely discomfiting feel compared to any other day of the week.

Moreover, when you couple that with dreary weather, the palette for a picture to make the day worthwhile has some duller colours to work with.  Of course, more creative artists can still find ways to carve out a pretty picture. (more…)

Exercises in Futility

Over this past week two developments relating to fitness have put a crimp in plans of some of us wishing to continue exorcising aspects of poor health.

The first occurred in the Federal budget which was introduced this past Tuesday.  For reasons which seem to defy logic, the new Liberal government is proposing (which, given its majority, means there’s little chance of stopping it) to eliminate a tax credit for minor age children enrolled in fitness related programs. (more…)

Perhaps Time to Mint Some Change

It seems that not much is sacred concerning institutions these days.  Try to find an institutional body or modus operandi which doesn’t have serious detractors; it will be a short list.

As I was reminded at a presentation earlier today, the electoral system in Canada is on the precipice of a major structural shift. (more…)

Life Lessons from Pets


Someone once wisely stated that a measure of a society is how well it treats its animals.

Thankfully, in Canada at least, for the most part we have clear evidence that many of us care very much about the fauna population.  From animal support organizations to volunteer groups to, simply, individuals wanting to make a positive difference, stories abound of efforts to make their places in the world better – hopefully outweighing terrible revelations of what the uncaring or outright cruel do to creatures whose main fault may be to expect humans to act humane. (more…)

Life Lessons from Nurse Jackie


There are learning advantages in binge watching well written and acted TV shows on speciality channels, available after the spread-out airing on their originating venues.  Not only is it more enjoyable to view them uninterrupted (i.e. commercial-free), but also seeing the evolving palette of character and plot developments can provide thought-provoking perspectives, even if over-dramatized, about the modern human condition. (more…)

TOP 10 Signs of St. Patrick’s Day (revisited)


Technically, only one day a year

  • Everyone named Patrick has a halo
  • People spend green to buy green to wind up feeling green
  • You can’t tell if pedestrians are staggering from liquor or from icy sidewalks (more…)

It Started Tongue-in-Cheek


A couple of past tongue-in-cheek articles from Toastmaster magazine inspire a launch point for observing some foibles in our use of the English language.

First of all, consider my use in the first line of ‘tongue-in-cheek’.  Have you consciously tried to maintain this juxtaposition physically?  Not only is it uncomfortable, it’s rather difficult to focus on doing much else while so engaged – although the effort can serve as an alternative tongue strengthening exercise in speech preparation, so you could conclude that there is a silver lining. (more…)

Bumper Headlines for 2016

Thanks to 24/7 news and entertainment reporting, there are cascading varieties of bumper headlines these days…

  • Can/Am leaders kiss, test results positive
  • Early bird doesn’t adjust to daylight savings time, loses worm
  • Hot Canadian housing markets turning molehills into mountains
  • Essential oils becoming more valuable than fuel oils
  • Infrastructure becomes most googled four syllable term (more…)

‘Meeting’ Expectations

A qualities of leadership article in the March issue of Toastmaster magazine focuses on personal improvement in the context of behaviour at meetings.

The author suggests that “performance in meetings (appears) to be a proxy for career progression”, or at least “relevant to promotion”.

(Based on my own anecdotal experience, I would question this posit as a de facto (more…)

Verbal & Non-Verbal Miscues


A pair of short articles in the current issue of Toastmaster magazine point out foibles which can undercut our attempts at positive influence with others.

Under the umbrella of ‘phrases that sabotage success’ are five expressions heard commonly, often spoken by people of power and influence, in speeches or sound bytes.  When held up to the light, the weak image they shed becomes more obvious… (more…)