Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy birthday to Lionel Ritchie...

... who turns 60 today! Here are some of his hit songs:


Say You. Say Me.:

Dancing on the Ceiling:

All Night Long:


Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy birthday, Garfield!

Garfield, the world's favourite lasagna-loving feline, first appeared 31 years ago today on June 19, 1978! Happy birthday!

Thinking positive is important...

... but it's just as important to be realistic. This motorcycle racer declared victory a bit too early while forgetting that he had another lap to run. You can see the members of his team freaking out at his error.

Being confident and being cocky are two different things.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lots of people have advice for this year's graduates

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Editorial Page

It's graduation season and it seems like everyone and their dog have some sage advice for high school and university students moving on to the next stages of their lives. For this week's column, I asked my Facebook friends and Twitter followers to contribute advice they'd give to graduates if they had the chance. Here's what they had to say:

From Twitter: "Two things. First: Join Katimavik! Second: Read 'Oh, the Places You'll Go' by Dr. Seuss. Love that book!" ... and, "Try lots of things!"

Another quoted a speech by U.S. President Barack Obama to graduates of Arizona State University given on May 13: "... that in fact the elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short-term gain over lasting achievement is precisely what your generation needs to help end. I'm talking about an approach to life -- a quality of mind and quality of heart; a willingness to follow your passions, regardless of whether they lead to fortune and fame; ... a lack of regard for all the traditional markers of status and prestige -- and a commitment instead to doing what's meaningful to you, what helps others, what makes a difference in this world."

A university classmate made this suggestion: "Dream big, then work toward that goal. It's amazing what you can do when you really want it."

Volunteer work was advised as one way of getting ahead. "I don't believe the graduates' future employers will only look at education and work experience. I would suggest they add a healthy dose of community (volunteer) involvement. Lots of organizations need help. It is also a great way to network with some influential people."

Another university classmate wrote: "Wear sunscreen. But really... find something you love to do and find a way to get paid to do it. It's no fun the other way. If you can stay in school, do so. Put money in RRSPs. If you think this is the end of your education, you may not go far. Be nice to the geek sitting next to you because you may need them later on for a job."

Saving for retirement was a common theme. "Start putting money into RRSPs or bonds as soon as you start working. If you have the choice between buying a car or getting more education, go to school! Give as much as you can comfortably give of yourself because you get out of life what you give. What goes around comes around."

A couple of websites were suggested by other friends. Go online and Google Bill Gates' advice to graduates regarding the 11 things they did not -- and will not -- learn in school. Another friend suggested checking out YouTube for the video of the song Always Look on the Bright Side of Life from the Monty Python movie Life of Brian.

A former work colleague gave this advice: "Demonstrate a strong work ethic but don't be in a rush to get ahead and get to the top. That will come in time, but you only have one chance to savour your accomplishments (big or small) along the way. Find three mentors and listen to the advice they wish to share and then reciprocate when further along in your career. Treat your peers, colleagues and superiors the way in which you want to be treated yourself -- chances are you'll see them more than once (on the way up and perhaps in the dips in the road). Respect your integrity and never ever compromise your own ethics and values."

Another university classmate quoted from scripture: "Whatever one believes regarding the Holy Bible, there is some basic sense in this passage from Matthew 5:45, '... for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." Life is hard and often (usually) unfair. Work hard to be among the good and the just when dealing with other people, regardless of how they are treating you. That's my advice."

One Facebook friend suggested never forgetting your roots. "Don't forget to give back to the people and place from which you came. Not specifically monetarily, but with advice and guidance. So many people I know have left the Maritimes for greener pastures and never looked back. This practice alone is enough to devastate a declining economic region like ours."

An elementary school friend had this to say: "Always show others respect if you wish to get some yourself. Don't always assume things. If you don't know something or are doubting yourself, don't hesitate to ask someone else. No question is a dumb question if you are not sure."

And finally: "Remember the Golden Rule: treat others the way you like to be treated. Say 'good morning' to people you meet. It may be the first kind words some hear that day. Reach out to others. Smile! Cultivate a positive attitude!"

And my own advice: As soon as possible, take an in-depth course on leadership, goal-setting and time management. Plan your best life possible and don't waste years drifting. Get yourself a "life coach." Believe in things and don't by cynical. Learn to cook. Eat real food. Take care of your health. You only need one credit card -- and pay it off every month. If you want pets, adopt homeless ones. Watch less television.

Buy a house -- don't pay rent. If the person you think you love treats you like garbage, run the other way. Read The Secret and other books on the "law of attraction" and know that whatever you believe, you will create in your life -- good or bad.

Enjoy the rest of your exciting lives, graduates! Make the world a better place.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Junior Achievement re-launching in southeastern New Brunswick


June 17, 2009
For immediate release

Junior Achievement re-launching in southeastern New Brunswick

MONCTON, N.B. – Students in southeastern New Brunswick will once again have the opportunity to learn more about entrepreneurship from local successful business people with the re-launch of the Junior Achievement Company Program – A Student Venture in southeastern New Brunswick.

Junior Achievement gives students the opportunity to acquire basic business knowledge, relevant work experience and to develop interpersonal skills in a unique learning environment. In accepting the challenge and responsibility of owning and operating their own business, participants discover the rewards of teamwork, commitment and individual initiative.

“We are very happy to be expanding our Company Program – A Student Venture high school program back into southeastern New Brunswick after a short break,” said Connie Woodside, president and CEO of Junior Achievement’s New Brunswick chapter. “It’s wonderful to see people from our local business community in the area step up to the plate and take this on of their own free will and time. This will be a tremendous asset to the young people who will learn entrepreneurship skills at the hands of these experts.”

“Our area youth are very fortunate to have business people such as David Hawkins of Colour and David Savoie of Acadian Construction – and many others – stepping forward to make sure this program takes flight again,” Ms. Woodside said. “It’s also encouraging to see the school districts very interested in seeing this happen, as well.”

Guided by business consultants, the young people participating in the program meet weekly for 18 weeks during their high school entrepreneurship class, personal development class or after school. Every aspect of owning and operating a business is covered from developing a business plan, to organizing, managing and liquidating a company.

The initial area Junior Achievement program is scheduled to run after school from October 2009 through to February 2010 in select area schools, with further expansion possible later. The program will be free to students.

“We will be running three groups: one in French and two bilingual (English and French),” Ms. Woodside said. “We are looking for funding for these three groups and require six adult private-sector volunteers per group, so a total of 18 volunteers.

The goals of the program are to:

• Provide an experiential supplement to business and economic education of students to help them better understand how businesses are organized and operated.
• Help students develop critical thinking, speaking and leadership skills.
• Demonstrate the rewards of the free enterprise system.
• Introduce career opportunities and teach basic workforce-readiness skills.
• Foster a positive relationship between our youth and the business community.

Anyone interested in learning more about the local Junior Achievement program and how they can become involved should contact Ryan Richard at 506-457-7420 or

For over 50 years, Junior Achievement learning experiences have helped young Canadians discover leadership, entrepreneurial and workforce readiness skills so they can achieve their highest potential as citizens of our global community. Across Canada, Junior Achievement reaches over 250,000 students annually with 15,000 dedicated business volunteers in over 400 communities delivering a suite of 9 curriculum-matched programs. Since 1955, over 3 million Canadian youth have participated in our business and entrepreneurial education programs free-of-charge.

More than three million students will experience Junior Achievement in Canada over the next 10 years through financial contributions and hands-on involvement. Junior Achievement seeks to be the successful link between education and the world of work by giving youth the confidence and knowledge they need to define personal success, enhance their workforce readiness and pursue their dreams.

Junior Achievement advocates business in the community. Through this support, Junior Achievement inspires youth to make better financial decisions, start a company, develop a career plan and express their innovative spirit.


For more information, please contact:

Connie Woodside
President and CEO
Junior Achievement - NB

OK people... time for the refills on your tranquilizer prescriptions...

Protesters outside CBS in New York yesterday urging the network to fire talk show host David Letterman for a joke he made regarding Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's daughter. He has since apologized for the joke and Governor Palin has accepted his apology.

Today's Hump Day...

... was actually written mostly by Facebook and Twitter friends. I'd asked people to offer their best advice to this year's crop of high school and university graduates and was pleasantly surprised by the amount of wise and sincere advice that I received.

Check it out on the editorial page of today's Moncton Times & Transcript, the largest-circulation newspaper in New Brunswick. It will also be posted here tomorrow.

Remember... if it's Wednesday, it's Hump Day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hawaii Five-O theme lead guitartist dies at 75

"Ventures lead guitarist Bob Bogle, whose fretwork on such instrumental hits such as "Walk -- Don't Run" and "Hawaii Five-O" influenced countless bands, died Sunday in Vancouver, Washington." Click here for more.

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams chews out radio host

Thanks to Halifax Chronicle-Herald political reporter Steve Maher for posting this to Facebook.

From a CBC report on the call:

"Williams was not in an entirely celebratory mood on Tuesday, however.

Shortly after speaking at the NOIA conference, he had an on-air confrontation with open line radio host Randy Simms, who questioned on his top-rated VOCM show whether the province had become too focused on oil.

After insisting that the government has been able to afford a record amount of infrastructure spending because of oil-based revenues, Williams — who has been known to berate journalists and commentators who displease him — said Simms, the mayor of Mount Pearl, should understand the importance of where governments earn their money.

"We don't need that kind of pessimism and crap coming out of your mouth," Williams said, shortly before hanging up on Simms."

Click here for the entire CBC piece.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Celebrity deaths for June 15

Singing legend Ella Fitzgerald died on June 15, 1996:

"Superman" actor George Reeves died 50 years ago today on June 15, 1959:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The mayor of Fredericton can sing!

Check out this video of Brad Woodside, the mayor of Fredericton, singing He Stopped Loving Her Today. The guy can really sing!

Thanks to Fredericton blogger Charles LeBlanc for posting this to his YouTube channel.

Check out this amazing music contraption!

According to the original post on LiveLeak:

"This incredible machine was built as a collaborative effort between the Robert M. Trammell Music Conservatory and the Sharon Wick School of Engineering at the University of Iowa. Amazingly, 97% of the machines components came from JOHN DEERE Industries and More.. Irrigation Equipment of Bancroft, Iowa. YES, farm equipment!

It took the team a combined 13,029 hours of set-up, alignment,calibration, and tuning before filming this video, but as you can see, it was WELL worth the effort. It is now on display in the Matthew Gerhard Alumni Hall at the University and is already slated to be donated to the Smithsonian."