E-letter: Pecking order

“Well, boys, like I say,” the coach’s voice was a monotone. “There’s the right way to do things, and then there’s the Knudsen way.” The place was Grade 8 phys ed, and the issue was rope climbing. The time was late spring, and I suppose I had watched one too many Tarzan movies. In any […]

Let’s bore some zombies

I was proud to see Prime Minister Stephen Harper stand up to Russia in Ukraine. Of course, I am no foreign policy expert, and Harper may have been acting at the behest of other world leaders that have too much skin in the game already. Germany, England and the U.S. come to mind. If you think […]

E-letter: Looking for a breakout?

For just a moment, I want to talk about both Canadians and Americans at the same time, since there is no reason we, Canadians and Americans, should see our manufacturing, installation and design industries fail in competition against the rest of the world. The reasons are mostly quite obvious. We have all the natural resources […]

Think tank on shark tanks

I was proofing our Bullets section for this issue, and noticed the item from the Fraser Institute claiming that Canada’s aging population is stunting entrepreneurship. According to the study, between 2004 and 2012, the rate of business start-ups in Canada declined by 16.2 per cent while the proportion of the population over the age of 65 […]

E-letter: Rocking the boat

Oh, let’s be crazy today and talk about the N word. You do know what I mean, don’t you? Of course you do. If people didn’t know what “the N word” means, then they need to have it explained to them, or the whole phrase is meaningless, and if there is no meaning, there is […]

E-letter: Sex sells. Right.

We touch often on the issue of marketing for “occupied-space” product suppliers in Canada, but just when it seems it’s time to move over to something warm and fuzzy, along comes something like the most recent cover feature in Canada’s Marketing magazine: “Porn and Advertising: Will They Ever Hook Up?” Right about here is where […]

E-letter: Doing the math on success

I was fascinated last month by a new study on adult skills from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Economic Development, in cooperation with the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in the U.S. According to the report, OECD Skills Outlook 2013: First Results from the Survey of Adult Skills, North Americans are not bright. In fact, […]

In need of some restraint

The March Wood Industry e-letter on standards violations by Lumber Liquidators had barely made it out the door when the second shoe dropped. Apparently, some of the board members of Lumbers Liquidators, when they found they were under criminal investigation, sold off shares in an action being portrayed as insider trading. We don’t have an […]

Take it easy; own an editor

We continue to receive marketing letters telling us to visit the senders’ websites and find new product releases to place for them. Some of them have no relevance to our business, whatever. While I appreciate the value people see in electronic communication and data storage, including no postage and no separation of prints and text, […]

Browns to dreadnoughts

I stepped out front the other morning, felt the cool, Canadian breeze on my face. The bitter cold of the past weeks had broken, and the day’s forecast was for a high of -8 C and sunny. Out back, the trout in the river are taking a break. All but the fastest water is iced over, […]