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Brad Woodside, wearing a tie

Brad Woodside, wearing a tie

I confess to not understanding the purpose of men’s ties. They occasionally give a little flash an otherwise boring uniform, sure, but other than that, what do they DO? Catch soup? Be hideously expensive? Get caught in doors? Make most men look downright uncomfortable on summer days?

This is why I am applauding Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside’s twitter campaign to eliminate the need for ties in business attire.

On Monday he tweeted:

“Happy Monday. Why do men wear ties. Do men have to wear ties. I don’t like ties and I am not wearing one today to protest. It’ll be peaceful.”

On Tuesday, he tweeted:

“Gave a speech today and had a number of meetings No tie No problem We can change the world one person at a time You don’t have to tie one on.”

Brad Woodside is well-known for being a pretty cool guy. He’s on his seventh term as mayor of our little town and that alone should give him the right to decide what goes around his neck. I don’t think he needs to wear one if he doesn’t want to. Nobody should have to. I like bowties. I also like those little cravats, when the occasion calls for it. Maybe a scarf casually tossed over one shoulder. I also happen to believe that an open collar shirt and jacket, a v or crew-neck sweater or shirt are perfectly acceptable menswear for the office or public events. After all, what’s above your neck is ultimately more important than what’s around it.


I wrote that because I just know he’ll love that headline. Still, I appreciate the irony in one of Paul Wells’ most recent posts regarding the head honcho change-up at The Globe and Mail. Wells translates the infamous Crawley memo into twitterspeak and here it is:

Improved, Web 2.0 version:

Teamwork ftw!! ShakingUp Exec Team. $4shareholders=changes. Bye Eddie! lolz Stack=newBoss

Incidentally, Twitter broke the news about Edward Greenspon’s departure before Truth and Stories did. I guess there’s always next time…..

A colleague just sent this to me. Interesting piece in about top Canadian CEOs who twitter. Piece features Fredericton’s Marcel LeBrun, CEO of Radian6 who says Twitter is indispensable tool because, “Your brand is now the sum of conversations about it, which makes “listening” such a critical discipline for every company. We also practice what I call “listening for the point of need” where we pay attention to questions or expressed needs where we can add value and be helpful.”

Marcel Lebrun, CEO of Radian6

Marcel Lebrun, CEO of Radian6

My bandmates and I recently had the great privilege of playing at a benefit for a much-loved family in Keswick Ridge, New Brunswick.  Jeff and Eloise Stillwell-Kennett are hard-working parents, community members, volunteers and all-round great people. Jeff is sick and can’t work so of course, their friends and neighbours wanted to do all they could to help.

The first thing people did was start a facebook group. Word spread like crazy and a few weeks later, more than 300 people turned up for a benefit concert and supper that raised many thousands of dollars for the family. People paid $5 to get in, $2.50 for a bowl of donated chili or baked beans and $1.50 for a piece of homemade pie. People brought more than 30 lemon meringue, pecan, blueberry, butterscotch and coconut cream pies, in case you were wondering. Volunteers laid out a silent auction of donated items like woven hats, massage therapy, music lessons and even somebody’s old printer. Ladies sold raffle tickets on a mother’s day basket and dozens of local musicians (including our band, Delilah) played for free. A local CBC celebrity emceed the event with panache. 

Now Keswick Ridge is a farm community. Jeff is an organic farmer, in fact. Community events in are held in the school or a small building with buzzing flourescent lights. Most people are, well, older. Think white hair and pantsuits. Plaid work-shirts and mesh ballcaps. Not exactly the kind of folks you think of as being connected with the latest social media tools.

 Still, the whole thing was planned online. Most people in this farm community have access to high-speed internet. Many of them video taped the performances for posting to youtube. (I’ll post them here when they make it). The facebook group became the equivalent of the old-fashioned community phone tree – somebody was in trouble and everybody jumped in to help. Old-school community involvement, using new-school tools. Cool.

I love Matt Bai. For anyone who doesn’t know (and I didn’t until a few months ago) he covers politics for the New York Times.  His writing is both clever and funny and he has considerable insight and depth on what’s going on down there in Obamaville.  On Sunday, he wrote about Washington’s current love affair with Twitter, explaining how politicians of all stripes are providing moment-by-moment updates on their travel plans and coffee consumption. He says this is boring, and doesn’t serve democracy.  He says most people are tired of the often meaningless brevity of comments that show up on what has become our endless news cycle. Despite my own mad crush on twitter and tweeting, I think Matt’s probably right on this one.

It appears I have become a blogger. Only a matter of time before I start hanging around scrums and getting myself banned from the legislature grounds in Fredericton. This is most unintentional. It’s a requirement of a course I am enrolled in so please forgive the intrusion on your airspace. I’ll try to be clever. I’ll also try not to write about my cute child too often. I would like one of those hats and snappy embroidered vests that seem to be the fashion among hip bloggers in New Brunswick’s capital city. If anyone knows where to get one please let me know.

July 2018
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  • throwing my grammaaa a party today cant wait to dee the surprisment in her little face :) it makes me excitied evertime i see shes 99 now 5 years ago
  • genuine people dont come around often.If you find somebody real,enough to stay true,keep them close. 5 years ago