Life, the Universe, and Everything*

     Musings from Linda and LUE-42 Enterprises   

Upcoming Events   APRIL


April 12-18 is National Volunteer Week

3 -- World Party Day
4 -- N'l Walk to Work Day
5 -- World Pillow Fight Day
7 -- World Health Day (UN)
9 -- Vimy Ridge Day
11 -- 8-Track Tape Day*
18 -- Record Store Day*
22 -- Intern'l Mother Earth Day
23 -- World Book & Copyright Day
26 -- Hug an Australian Day
29 -- World Dance Day

Shout Out!


A big thanks to some who made my life better in March 


Spring Alibi 
 Sue, Andy, Kevin

Bakehouse Theatre 

Pamela Munt, Stephen Dean   

Adelaide Fringe Festival

Ned Kuhne

Our Mates

Tracy & Shane, Jon & Kymberly, Dylan & Jenna, Jill Roszell, Patti Stiles, Shelley Switzer, Andrew Harrison/Myk Aussie, Brian Edwards, Leslie Arnott & Family, and so many travellers 




National Volunteer Week (Resources to Help You Celebrate)

Click Here


Banff Executive Leadership (Some articles, newsletters, etc. that are great for boards)

Click Here 


5 Tips for Surviving a Really Bad Day

Click Here 


Tiny Hamster Eating Tiny Burritos

Click Here 


LUE-42 Enterprises  

How to Have a Better Sleep

One Way Money Buys Happiness


Wish I'd said that...


Heard in the Board Room


Books by Moi   


Understanding Bylaws: A Guide for Directors of Not-For-Profit Organizations

ISBN 978-0-9866030-0-6


 Exceptional Board Members, Exception Boards 

ISBN 978-0-9866030-1-3



Join Our List


Issue: #50                              

April 2015



    Only the most recent subscriber to this e-zine will not know that I was in Australia for all of March -- in fact I am still there as I write this. You can expect stories from this adventure to roll out over the next several issues and, hopefully, they will be as relevant and entertaining for you as they've been for me.
     My family has a history with thoroughbred racing, and especially the BIG races. When my mom died in May last year she had $20 in her purse. I hung onto it until August 2014 when I bet it on a horse in the Canadian Derby. I made back her money so I took it to Australia and bet it on a horse at the Adelaide Cup. There was no grey horse (her tradition) but she would have loved the experience and she would not have minded losing the twenty bucks. It was a fun affair and, as far as pomp and circumstance, was as close as I've been to the Kentucky Derby.
     Our run of Spring Alibi at the Adelaide Fringe was wonderful and we were correct to think the Australians would appreciate our brand of humour. In fact, theirs is even edgier than ours (I'd say)! We had the support of so many people and although it was hard to get the audiences that Spring Alibi and its terrific performers Sue Huff and Andy Northrup deserved, we managed to spread laughter to theatre audiences on the other side of the world. Producing a show at an international event is hard work and it takes a long time, but it is worth it. Thank you again to all who made this bucket list item come true for us.
     One of the cool things in Spring Alibi is its multiple references to 8-Track tapes. For 8-Track Tape Day (April 11) celebrate by listening to some Beatles, as they were the first band to release an album on 8-Track. This system of magnetic tape recording was invented in 1964 by Bill Lear (yes, of Lear Jets) along with Ampex, Ford, Motorola, and RCA Victor records.
     Maybe some of you remember the joy of listening to a great album on 8-Track and then in the middle of the song hearing " hissss - Ka Chunk! - hissss" as it would switch tracks and pick up where it left off.
     If you miss that sound, or if you want to hear it for the first time, email me a little story on why you deserve to own my "portable" 8-Track player and all my tapes plus one carrying case! I am prepared to let them all go for the cost of shipping. I even have a head cleaner plus an 8-Track converter that lets you play cassette tapes!
     So be creative and send me your plea by April 30. You could be enjoying anyone from Al Martino to The Who for your Victoria Day party :)
     For Record Store Day (April 18) I have a couple hundred albums for sale at $1 each. If you're a fan of vinyl, get in touch and I'll let you know what I've got. I am keeping 67 albums but the rest are being liberated. I've got 45s too!
     If you don't want any of my music, make sure to visit an independent record store or watch the film LAST SHOP STANDING directed by Pip Piper, based on a book by Graham Jones.
     After the Adelaide Fringe I went on my walk-about, visiting Melbourne, Darwin/Northern Territory, West Australia, and Sydney (where I am right this minute). I'm pretty sure there's a play or two in there somewhere and trust that the stories will roll out in due course, much in the way my adventure on the Chilkoot Trail in 1997 is still doing. Yes, some day that sucker is going to be a play! I saw an incredible play in Darwin that still has me thinking. On the other hand, Australia just won the world cup of Cricket (against New Zealand) and I have no idea what anyone is talking about!
     Years ago one of my board chairs told me if you can play tennis you can go anywhere in the world and find someone to play with (i.e., you'll fit in). "Costco Magazine" (March/April 2015) agrees with that sentiment. Apparently 6.5 million Canadians played tennis over 12 months in 2012-2013. That's an increase in 38%. This is partly because tennis easy to manage and you don't need to assemble a large team to play. It's also (comparatively) inexpensive, not time consuming, and you can play at almost any age. Plus there are thousands of public courts in Canada and around the world.
     Tennis has medical benefits, too. It improves cholesterol levels, muscle tone, bone health, balance, motor skills, and hand-eye coordination says Dr. Neeru Jayanthi from Loyola University.
     Turns out I didn't pick up a tennis racquet in Australia although I was prepared to (actually, I haven't picked up a racquet since the 1980s). In my experience, low maintenance things like enjoying black coffee and beer put me in plenty of quality social situations wherever I am in the world. Maybe I'll try tennis for the next adventure! ]
     I'll talk to you again when I get back to the Northern Hemisphere. In the meantime, have a great month.
     (The photo below has nothing to do with tennis, but I do still really enjoy playing Jacks).


"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.  Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."
-- Helen Keller



The Answer   




A: The main areas of your strategic plan. If a matter that arises cannot be easily attached to a priority area of your strategic plan, it should not make it onto the board agenda. Period. I am hard-nosed about that.  


Board Member: I just found out about a thing that would be great for us to get involved with! 

Me: Is it sexy? Would it be fun? Would it give us more profile? 

Board Member: Yes! Yes! and Yes! 

Me: Could it bring in money?  

Board Member: Maybe!  

Me: Under which strategic priority will it fit?  

Board Member: Um, well if you hold your mouth just right, maybe that one?  

Me: Not good enough! Bye-bye.


According to the Tecker Institute (, the strategic board agenda should be the basis for informed discussion and decision making. My personal comments are in parenthesis.


1. Development, Review, and Adjustment of Strategy (That's right -- do this at every board meeting and not just once a year in Banff)


2. Policy: Public and Operational (Policy making isn't intuitive to most boards, but most board members are able to respond to a request for input/decision on policy drafted by someone else. It doesn't matter who generates the draft policy, only that the board understands, approves, and has the will to implement it) 


3. Discussion of Mega Issue(s) (Boards have a unique way of running out of time before they get to this. Using Richard Chait's model, my colleague Doug Macnamara of Banff Executive Leadership is one of the best at making boards do generative thinking. It's painful {even for me} to go through, but the outcomes are so much better! How about this generative question: What question, if answered, could make the most difference to the future of (your specific situation)?


4. Routine Board Business (It's not a coincidence that this is at the end of the agenda where there may not be much time in the meeting)


    I encourage you to tweak (overhaul!) your board agenda to get better results and to make the time that people spend more meaningful. I can help with that, but it's also ok to try a different format every meeting for a year until you've found one that works for you.




  Save-the-Day Essentials      

     In a recent Ignite! magazine, Michele Sponagle created a 911 tool kit for meeting planners (or anyone who runs an event somewhere else). I think it's a pretty good list!

__ Small & Large Flashlight (and extra batteries)
__St. John's Ambulance emergency medical kit (pre-packed w/first-aid essentials like bandages, rubbing alcohol)
__Pain relievers/antacids/Benadryl (for allergic reactions), moleskin (for blisters), Imodium, hand sanitizer
__Sunscreen, bug repellant
__Lint roller, static cling spray, stain treatment wipes/pens
__Screwdriver w/changeable tips, pliers, wire cutters
__Tape (duct, electrical, packing, scotch, double-sided)
__Adhesive hooks, push pins
__Small stapler, paper clips, binder clips
__Tape measure
__Zip ties, twist ties (S, M, L sizes)
__Staple gun
__Fishing line
__Travel sewing kit (stocked with safety pins, straight pins, pre-threaded needles)

     To this I would add a Multi-tool and scissors (just in case someone swiped them from the first aid kit or sewing kit). I can steal hear my mother yelling, "Where are the good scissors?!"    

Thank You!       

      Linda and the cast and crew of SPRING ALIBI thank all our sponsors and supporters for helping us get to the Adelaide Fringe in Australia:   

Kangaroo Sponsors 

Edmonton Arts Council, Terry Ruddy Sales, LUE-42 Enterprises 

Wallaby Sponsors

Pixel Blue College, Russ Hewitt Photography, Metro Cinema,  

Minuteman Press Leduc 

Wombat Sponsors

Jiffy Lube, InStep Physical Therapy, Melltech Consulting Ltd., Delta Appraisal Corporation, Many Odd Faces on Stage

Koala Sponsors   

Kelly McClung, Sandra & Harry Fast, Helena Hill, Bob Kinasewich,
Paul Manuel, Jenny & Adesh Narine, Hector & Louisa Pothier,
Randal A. Shopik Professional Corporation, Judy & Leland Stelck, Wanda Stephens
Bandicoots (I added this category now that I've seen so many)
All the rest of you!
Spread the Word!

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