1) I’m not a movie fan; the only movie I’ve seen in the last couple of years was when I took two of my grandsons to see Kung Fu Panda last month. But because of the furor over no African- Americans being nominated for the best actor roles in the last two years, I wanted to see how Oscar emcee Chris Rock would handle it. Assuming that there were African-American actors worthy of being nominated (I simply don’t know), he deserves to be lauded for his crafty shots at the Academy and some truly funny analogies that scored poignant points; but he pushed it well into the flogging-a-dead-horse category. And his line about a grandmother hanging from a tree was simply extreme bad taste. Sticking with the Oscars, I’m wondering when Leonardo DiCaprio will realize that he’s made his point and has become a crashing bore in his self-appointed role as saviour of the planet.
2) Last Monday the Toronto Maple Leafs called up their budding young star William Nylander from their AHL-leading affiliate, the Toronto Marlies. On Tuesday morning the Toronto Sun ran a truly clever headline: Nylander demoted to Leafs. Speaking of of great lines, Toronto area weight-loss guru Harvey Brooker does a lot of radio ads which have a great tag line: If you could do it alone you’d have done it already.
3) Pete Conacher brought his iPad to our Thursday lunch a while back and showed us some film clips from the deciding game of the 1933 Stanley Cup series between the Leafs and Rangers (which the Rangers won 1-0 in overtime). Pete’s father, Charlie, and Joe Primeau, whose son, Bob, is also a member of our group, were both prominent players in the game. Other interesting aspects included: players wearing their elbow pads outside their sweaters; Rangers goalie Andy Aitkenhead wearing a cap; the face off dots in the defensive zones being very deep; and, when facing off, the centers faced the side boards not the end boards.
4) Five common ways to get a lot of money: find a need and fill it; find something that’s working well and do it better; competently manage other people’s money; marry it; and, divorce it.
5) Just about every time I coached a young executive or professional, the question arose about how to dress for various occasions. My advice was always the same: dress just a little better than the occasion calls for. That way you’ll never be underdressed nor too overdressed.
6) Something that has always puzzled me about crossword puzzles is why I can spend a fairly long time failing to figure out the answers to a couple of clues, and then get them immediately the next time I pick up the puzzle.
7) I’m sick of politicians gathering as many of their colleagues around them as they can dig up when making an announcement on TV. All those people standing in the background should be sitting at their desks doing something useful instead of mugging for the cameras. Add in the time wasted in rounding them up and making sure there’s sufficient “gender balance” and “diversity” to be politically correct, and the cost in lost productivity has to be enormous. I’m also sick of politicians referring to all spending as “investing.” Come to think of it, I’m just plain sick of politicians.
8) Including articles I wrote as a regular columnist for five years with The Financial Times and a couple of years with The Toronto Star, this website, and free-lance pieces for publications such as The Globe and Mail, The Financial Post and Reader’s Digest, I think the total is about 750. The other day at lunch I was asked what was the most popular column I ever wrote. There are two that are virtually tied, and they were both published on this website over six years ago. They are Introducing and Thanking Speakers and Presenting and Accepting Awards. Between them those two articles have had over a million readers. Last month alone about five thousand people accessed them. Yes, I’m proud.