Saturday, June 27, 2009

Some perspective on Michael Jackson

A panel discussion on Michael Jackson aired on Thursday night's The National (CBC). Great insight! Panelists are sensible and fair Denise Donlon and Jian Ghomeshi.

Here's an excellent performance by Michael Jackson and Britney Spears in 2001. Look at the crowd. They're in awe... and in love...

Measha Brueggergosman: A Status Report

I'm glad to report that Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman is on the mend after emergency heart surgery. She looks great and is obviously recovering well. She posted this YouTube video on Friday.

Here she is singing Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now":

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

We Are The World

Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie. Pretty much the #1 song in the world in 1985.

The final episode of Another World aired 10 years ago today

Another World ended its long run on June 25, 1999 - 10 years ago today. Here's the final scene.

another world

Confirmed by CNN: Michael Jackson dead

CNN has confirmed that pop singing icon Michael Jackson has died of cardiac rest. He collapsed at his home in Los Angeles today and died at UCLA Medical Center.

In memoriam: Farrah Fawcett

Actress Farrah Fawcett died today at the age of 62. She succumbed after a long and public battle with cancer.

In memoriam: Lucille Randall (1945-2009)

My aunt Lucille Randall passed away on Sunday after a short illness. Please keep her husband - Alfred, children - Terry and Karen, and the rest of her close friends and family in your thoughts.
This is a copy of her obituary as it appeared in the morning's Moncton Times & Transcript. Click on the photo for a larger version.

You get a lot further if you set yourself some goals

NOTE: Anyone interested in taking this course should call Steve Daniels at 506-878-1631. The course is given internationally, so even if you're not in Moncton, give him a call and he can put you in touch with someone who can provide the course near you!

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Editorial Page

I certainly don't consider myself old, but I'm also not at an age when I can act like I'm 12 and pretend to have no obligations. Like many of you, I have a mortgage, car, pets, creditors and employers -- including me, if I count myself as self-employed with writing and other ventures.

There's also the issue of retirement, which I have not even begun to plan -- much to the dismay of my banker. Perhaps that's because I don't plan on retiring, maybe? I really can't see myself staying home watching television or playing golf all day (if that's your idea of retirement, that is). I fully plan on working until the day the UFO kidnaps me to use me for some weird alien medical experiments. All I ask is, Mr. Martian, that you please be gentle and at least get me drunk first.

Retirement holds no appeal to me. I've never bought into the "Get a job with a company with a good pension plan..." way of thinking. I seem to be at that age where society is telling me to plan to retire and my mind is not even close to being there yet.

I was never good at setting goals. I'd learned years ago about visualizing what you want in life -- like athletes do. You know, the basketball player who pictures himself in his mind's eye making that crucial basket; the hockey player who imagines himself making goals; or the gymnast who closes her eyes to see herself performing a perfect routine. I knew about writing goals. I've read a ton of books. I just never sat down to put all this knowledge into action. Why? I'm not sure. Fear of failure?

That is, until now. I signed up for a course called Effective Personal Productivity, a 20-week adventure composed of 10 three-hour classes and lots of homework. My employer and I split the cost of the course, which is perfectly fine with me because it will help me as much in my personal business and life goals as it will in my 9-to-5 day job.

We've only had three classes so far, and I've made a complete 360-degree turn on many things I've been doing. I've started some new, positive habits that will serve me well and am learning how to prioritize things in my life. Is watching mindless hours of television really a high payoff activity for me? Is it helping me reach my goals? Is procrastination or a lack of daily planning getting me anywhere? Of course not.

Since beginning this course, I've started to set real, tangible goals, many of which have been floating around in my head for years. For me, writing goals has always been a very powerful exercise. Just putting something you want on paper is enough to get a whole bunch of things moving in the universe in your favour. Most importantly, writing goals gets things moving inside yourself!

While desire without action is worth more than a complete lack of desire, someone who actually wants to put their time and effort into achieving something can do great and wondrous things.

We often hear of people who've set goals and who don't achieve them. Either they're put aside or people get sidetracked.

Figuratively speaking, so many people go out hunting for moose and end up following rabbit tracks for days, months and years on end. Then they wonder why they didn't get what they want in life. Remember: follow the right tracks! The course I'm taking is helping me figure out what tracks I need to follow.

The goal-setting skills I'm learning in this course are ones I wish I had learned 20 years ago when I was just starting off in my career. I wonder how life would have been different? Not that I'm complaining, but you have to wonder. I believe that everything comes to you when you're ready for it, though. Thankfully, I'm ready for it now. And I especially like the accountability part of the process. There's none of this, "Oh I didn't get around to my homework this week. . ." You're looked right in the eye and asked point-blank, "Why didn't you do your homework? Why are you wasting our time?"

Those are powerful questions in a world where we let so many things pass us by. Professionals deal with clients who don't respect their time and arrive late for appointments. And often, the clients arrive on time but it's the professionals who aren't on schedule. There's none of this laissez-faire, namby-pamby stuff in this course. If you've set a goal and haven't worked on it in two weeks, you're asked, "Why not? Is this really something you want to do? Why didn't you respect your goal? Why did you allow someone else to hijack your time?"

They're all fascinating questions for people like me who aren't necessarily used to guarding their time jealously or spending it wisely.

This course is fast becoming a life-changer for me. Just the knowledge of how valuable my time is has made a major difference, as well the emphasis on spending time on what is truly important to you.

My desk is spotless now. The piles are gone. My television viewing is down dramatically. I respect my time more than I ever did -- because once you've lost time, you can never get it back. I'm working on ambitious goals I only dreamed about previously.

The further along I get into this course, the more I realize that every single student in this province should go through this process in high school.

The waywardness and drifting that is so predominant in many young people would disappear fast and the seeds of effective goal-setting and time management would be planted forever. We need to stop wasting our time on stuff that doesn't matter. The world needs us to get things done!

Six months to go 'til Ho! Ho! Ho!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

In memoriam: Rt. Hon. Roméo LeBlanc

It's not often that New Brunswick produces a governor general. We could not have done better when one of our own, Roméo LeBlanc, was elevated to Canada's vice-regal position, which he held between 1995 and 1999. Born in Memramcook, Mr. LeBlanc passed away this morning at the age of 81 at his home in Grande-Digue. Tributes have been pouring in from across the nation since his death was announced early this afternoon. A state funeral is planned for Memramcook in early July.

I met Mr. LeBlanc only once - during an event I helped to organize for Habitat for Humanity here in Moncton during his term as governor general. Even though he was the governor general, he helped out on the construction of the Habitat home and couldn't have been more friendly, co-operative, charming and humble.

Mr. LeBlanc's terms as member of parliament, federal cabinet minister, senator and then governor general were marked by sense of decency that is being appreciated by many today.

I would like to take this opportunity to send my deepest heartfelt condolences to his entire family.

This week's Hump Day column...

... is about a course I'm taking called Effective Personal Productivity. It teaches you all about setting goals, time management, and setting priorities. I wish I would have taken this 20 years ago! In fact, I think it should be taught in every school.

Check it out on the editorial page of today's Moncton Times & Transcript, New Brunswick's largest-circulation newspaper.

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

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The ShamWow guy in jail

Ed McMahon dead at 86

The man who made "Here's Johnny!" a household term has died at the age of 87 after a long period of failing health. Ed McMahon was 86.

I guess I can stop waiting at my front door for Ed to show up with my prize in the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. *sigh* R.I.P.

From the Tonight Show:

From Star Search:

Publishers Clearing House:

Monday, June 22, 2009

I want to be...

I love this video!

Breaking news: New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham shuffles cabinet

Premier announces changes to cabinet

June 22, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - A number of changes to cabinet were announced today by Premier Shawn Graham.

Graham said that these changes will provide long-serving senior ministers with new challenges and opportunities and strengthen the entire Executive Council as government works to put in place its five-point plan to strengthen New Brunswick's economy.

"I want to thank my seven colleagues for their hard work and their dedication to their portfolios," said Graham. "All of them have served our government and their departments admirably since we took office in the fall of 2006. I know they will carry out their new duties with the same level of dedication and commitment as we work together to strengthen our economy and bring New Brunswick closer to self-sufficiency."

Seven ministers will assume responsibility for new portfolios:

Victor Boudreau, minister of finance, becomes minister of Business New Brunswick;

Greg Byrne, minister of Business New Brunswick, becomes minister of finance (Energy Minister Jack Keir will assume duties as acting minister of finance until Byrne resumes duties following recent surgery);

T.J. Burke, minister of justice and consumer affairs and attorney general, becomes minister of environment;

Roland Haché, minister of environment, becomes minister of education;

Kelly Lamrock, minister of education, becomes minister of social development and minister responsible for housing. He remains minister responsible for the New Brunswick Provincial Capital Commission;

Michael Murphy, minister of health, becomes minister of justice and consumer affairs and attorney general. He remains government house leader; and

Mary Schryer, minister of social development, becomes minister of health. She remains minister responsible for the status of women.

"I want to especially thank Energy Minister Jack Keir for serving as acting minister for Business New Brunswick during Greg Byrne's recent absence," Graham said. "Once again, he stepped up to take on another demanding portfolio in addition to his already busy mandate as minister of energy."

The changes in portfolio are effective today.

(Note: Please click on the title of the news release for a complete version of the news release.)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Hey kids... click on the photo for a larger version that can be printed and coloured for Dad to enjoy. :)

Happy summer!

If you're reading this post, it's now officially summer!

Today is the longest day of the year! Enjoy!