“Telemarketers” Follow-up

            Last week’s blog, “Dealing with Telemarketers,” continues to attract readers and is now solidly in fifth place on the “views” list of the almost 400 blogs I’ve posted over the past nine years. I’m still receiving comments about it from readers, including people who have employed the strategy themselves, and there’s a common thread: they all say it removes the annoyance factor from dealing with telemarketers.

            In case you’re curious, here are the blogs that are ahead of “telemarketers” on the views list. No. 1 is “Introducing and Thanking Speakers.” No. 2 is “Presenting and Accepting Awards.” No. 3 is “Morell Nicknames.” No. 4 is “My Most Important Day.”

            As they’ve had over a million views between them, and are still attracting thousands of readers every week, numbers 1 and 2 are not in any danger of being caught. If you Google either “Introducing and Thanking Speakers” or “Presenting and Accepting Awards,” my blogs will come up as number one on the list. (I should have sold an ad.)

Blue Jays’ “If Only” List

            While on the subject of blog follow-ups, one of my luncheon colleagues caustically asked me a couple of days ago if I’m still, as stated in a pre-season blog, “cautiously optimistic” that the Blue Jays could be better this year than last year. In a word: no. I’ll be very surprised if they can recover from their abysmal start.

             It’s barely three weeks into the season and the team’s “if only” list is probably the longest in professional sports. To wit: If only: Donaldson had healthier calves; Tulowitzki had healthier everything; Sanchez wasn’t as prone to blisters as a sunburn; Happ had two good elbows; Osuna could regain his form; Goins could hit even half as well as he fields; Bautista would stop trying to hit a grand slam when there’s only one runner on base; Travis could get untracked; Chris Coghlan could hit as well as he somersaults; and, there was someone in the Jays’ farm system who could help.

                       It’s hard to imagine a team with at least ten items on its if only list making the post season.

            I’m not one of the growing chorus calling for manager John Gibbons’ head. Every item on the Jays’ if only list falls into one of two categories: Injuries, which nobody could do anything about; and, everything else, which Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins either felt weren’t a problem or couldn’t fix. Gibbons doesn’t enter into it.

Willie Nelson

            Willie Nelson is 84 years old today, but he obviously still enjoys being on the road. A few weeks ago he drew over 75,000 people to a concert at the Houston Live Stock Show, and his 2017 tour schedule would be impressive for someone half his age.

             I had the pleasure of being in Willie’s company a couple of times back in the ’80s and found him to be an intelligent, engaging, and amusing individual.

             Willie clearly hasn’t lost his sense of humour. At the Houston concert he performed a new song titled “Still Not Dead Again Today.”

More Country Song Titles

            And, while on the subject of country music, here are a few more great song titles I’ve come across.

            She’s Raisin’ Cane in Texas (I’m Pullin’ Weeds in Tennessee)

            It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Easy

            You’re Gonna Ruin My Bad Reputation

            I Cheated Me Right Out Of You

            My Give-A-Damn’s Busted

            When I Stop Leaving I’ll Be Gone

            A Headache Tomorrow Or A Heartache Tonight

            This one isn’t a title, but it may be the best line ever in a country song: You didn’t take her from me, I just left her there.

Politicians Desecrating Our Language

            One reason I have little or no respect for most contemporary politicians, of all stripes at all levels of government, is their desecration of the English language. In their unwillingness to call a spade a spade they fall back on what can at best be called euphemistic spin and at worst outright lying. Their current favourite is referring to all spending, even the most wasteful and self-serving, as “investing.”

            But Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne hit an all-time high (or low, depending on your point of view) during an interview on CTV following Thursday’s provincial budget when she referred to the sell-off of Hydro One as “broadening of the ownership.” Egad.