Musings about 
Life, the Universe, and Everything * 
from Linda / LUE-42 Enterprises 

Issue #77; July 2017
Coming in JULY

JULY is Ice Cream Month and Independent Retailer Month

1 Canada Day!
6 International Kissing Day
  6 Fried Chicken Day
7 Global Forgiveness Day
11 World Population Day (UN)
12 World Simplicity Day
15 World Youth Skills Day (UN)
16 Corn Fritters Day
19 Hot Dog Day
24 Tell an Old Joke Day
25 Wine and Cheese Day
28 World Hepatitis Day (WHO)
29 Lipstick Day
30 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (UN)


My Canada Cord
Shout Out!
A big thanks to some who made my life better in June!

MaryJane Alanko
David Cheoros
Ellen Chorley
Brian Edwards
Mandy Foster
Liz Garratt
Jim Gwartney
Jeff Mawson
Kelly McClung
Iris Moellenbeck
Joyce Pelletier
Darlene Ramsum
Paul Rechner
Darren Scott
Joan Seath
Jill Wood & Curtis Smith
Donna Stonehocker
Mike Stringer
Dave Sutherland
Janna Tominiuk
Theresa Tsoukalas
Gerry West
"The capacity to care is the thing that gives life its deepest meaning and significance."
 -- Pablo Casals
This is My Canada (A pretty nice video of our great country)
Click here

Why Our Brains Don't Like Thinking About the Future (Turns out, planning isn't our natural state. Duh!) Click Here

Is Scattering Ashes Littering? (North American info, but better to check your local authority before doing anything)
Click Here

What Not To Say To Someone With Cancer
(Like me, I bet you say it...) Click Here

5 Things You Didn't Know About The Rock (Not Newfoundland & Labrador -- I'm Talking Dwayne Johnson!!!)
Click Here

Dwayne Johnson & Jimmy Fallon
(Their costumes were made in Edmonton!) Click Here

Swearing Makes You Stronger
(Good to know)
Click Here 

One Expensive Tree (Maybe you're familiar with this Vancouver condo) Click Here

LUE-42 Enterprises (Mine)  
Northern Sabbatical Productions (Mine)   
Heard in the
Reader Notes
Wish I'd said that...


Dave Semenko was my favourite hockey player and my dream guy for years. I believed he was one of very few men who could literally sweep me off my feet and not look like it was killing him.
Rest in peace, Dave.
     Some people need to work harder to achieve what they want. Heather Matthews says that instead of comparing ourselves to others (and failing), "we just need to find our voice (and)...stand up to ourselves when we're pulling ourselves down." Here are some tips on how to be more confident:

1. Be grateful. The more you count your lucky stars, the more confident you'll be. Always look for a better perspective and see your life from there.
2. Keep a joke in your pocket. When you try to break tension and relate to people, you will feel relieved at having been able to make them laugh or elicit a reaction from them.
3. Power dress. No matter how you feel inside, looking sharp on the outside can do wonders. Dress better than you normally would. If you look together, you'll act together.
4. Talk louder. Don't shout, but speak up. Talk loud enough for people to hear what it is you have to say. Watch them react differently to you.



Are YOU under all that clutter?


Inspired Living and Working

Books by Moi   


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

ISBN 978-0-9866030-0-6

 (NOTE: There is good stuff in here, but this book isn't aligned with the Federal NFP Corporations Act or the new BC Societies Act. Email me directly with your bylaws questions about NFPs registered federally or in BC)


 Exceptional Board Members, Exceptional Boards 

ISBN 978-0-9866030-1-3



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Spread the Word!

"I am Canadian,
Free to speak without fear,
Free to worship in my own way,
Free to stand for what I think is right,
Free to oppose what I believe is wrong, or
Free to choose those who shall govern my country. 
This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind."
-- John Diefenbaker


    Whoosh...just like that half a year is gone already. June saw me in Saskatoon with a great client plus bonus time with my niece. I've always liked Saskatoon, and took time to visit some old haunts and discovered many new ones. I even found 8 place settings of my grandmother's silver pattern, with serving pieces, for $50. Score!
     I ended up in Calgary a few times, also with great clients and dear friends, plus had four days in Vancouver to connect with old friends, new clients (hopefully), and several microbreweries. I have to say, that made for some awesome adventures!
     I had many lunches and coffees with friends in person and via Skype, and I celebrated a birthday.
     In Dawson City, someone stole the toe from the Sour Toe Cocktail (and later returned it). I marked the 6-year anniversary of joining the Sour Toe Club, and I can tell you I'd rather swallow it than carry it around.
     Of course, all the CFL training camps opened, the pre-season ran its course where players were hired/fired/injured, and the official CFL season is already in Week 2. It seems like it will never get here and then suddenly we are in the throes of it. It really is where I'm my happiest.
     Early in June I was honoured to have my play TRAIL AND ERROR nominated for two Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards (which are Edmonton's theatre awards). One nomination was for me for writing the best new work for Fringe and the other was for Ellen Chorley for her acting (as me!). The awards were handed out at a fun ceremony on June 26. We didn't win, but it truly was an honour to be nominated for a Sterling Award.

At Sterling Awards, not winning

      I am happy about Canada's 150th but am also aware of the negative undercurrent, particularly with the indigenous peoples. This has made me less celebratory that I would normally be, but no less proud. The Confederation people were, like us, flawed but they did many things right to get us out of the starting gate. And because we are just people, we got quite a few things wrong along the way, too. For now, I will focus on the positives, and later (like next week) I will step up my efforts to work on what didn't go so well.
     In the spring I was asked to provide an invocation and toast to Canada. I spoke about three ideals. Here is an excerpt from my speech:

     It is not a stretch to say that 150 years ago, Canada itself was founded on the ideals of friendship, cooperation, and service to human kind. A review of the Confederation Debate speeches shows this.
     George-Etienne Cartier talked of a country "capable of bridging the ethnic, religious, and linguistic divides among a fractured population." He envisioned a "great nation", finding value and strength of diversity in our common country and upon an ideal of equal justice to all. This is Friendship.
     Thomas D'Arcy McGee coined the phrase "A New Nationality," arguing that what kept nations intact is a principle of federalism - of "our Country" -- of liberty and stability with broad interests united inside a larger Canada. This is Cooperation.
     George Brown spoke of how Canadians solved conflicts peacefully instead of plunging into civil war. This was possible only by releasing the regional conflicts and uniting for one goal (that would better serve all). This is service.
     When asked whether Canada would be a country at all, John A Macdonald answered, "We will be one people, we will be united, and we will be free."
     So let us pause to appreciate that and to thank those whose efforts have made and make this Country possible. Let us in gratitude focus on our ideals of friendship, cooperation, and service - ideals under which our nation was formed - and share a toast. To Canada.

         To Canada
The Answer   


A: We need to become less literal about "signatures" and more diligent about the paperwork before and after payment.                       
     I recently attended an seminar on fraud in Not-for-Profits and was stunned to learn that cheques are a thing of the past (I know, I know...) and that Europe doesn't even allow them anymore! This made me, and some of my readers, wonder about the impact of that on some long-held NFP practices. So I asked three really smart women that I know what they thought.
     Professional accountant Meghan DeRoo McConnan says she is seeing "organizations and their banks setting up Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) access restrictions. For instance, dollar values over $x amount require 2 approvals on disbursements." Who signs up to what levels is determined by board policy. This means that approval happens when you are looking at the back up documents, not on the payment itself.
     It occurs to me: isn't this true already? We used the physical signatures as another safe-guard in hopes that the bank would do some of the monitoring for us. But we've all had cheques clear with one (or even no) signature!
     DeRoo McConnan adds that there is less concern with recurring withdrawals once a vendor is set up. This makes sense to me as well. She is also seeing board approval of large dollar amounts being documented manually for times when the EFT process doesn't allow for electronic approval. (Again, it's more about the backup than the payment).
     The upshot is there is now more emphasis on is the bank reconciliation review process, with smaller organizations now involving the Treasurer and/or board in reviewing the bank reconciliation.
     Industry accountant Iris Moellenbeck says the company's auditors still require the written approval of two people on every payment, even though cheques are no longer issued. In this case, the written approval can be electronic (like an email) BUT the approval has to come directly from that signatory's email account. This means it is not acceptable if the receptionist, for example, forwards his boss's approval to the organization. In my view, that safeguard also makes sense.
     For her NFP clients, bookkeeper Heather Lyon says the board reviews a monthly variance report to budget. The bookkeeper makes the EFT payments and the documentation is initialed by the manager and a board member for each transaction (these are the people who would normally sign the cheque). At month end, the treasurer reviews and signs the bank statement and reconciliation report. At end of the fiscal year, a committee does a thorough review of the books and documentation (i.e., an audit or review engagement process). Many NFPs are now also looking at setting a purchase limit that would require prior authorization (i.e., delegations of authority).
     So it seems that our long standing policy of two signatures on cheques never really was all that effective and that nothing replaces due diligence at the payment approval process. Now we also have to expand the circle of who sees the bank reconciliation (and signs off), but I think this will be a modest inconvenience for a better engagement in the process.
     What steps are you taking with the phase out of cheques?    
  Good luck!

The Oxford Comma

     Full disclosure: I am big fan (but I call it the "series comma"). I am such a big fan that several people sent me the same article, because apparently I do go on about it.
     " Should We Give a Damn About the Oxford Comma" by John McWhorter (CNN, March 2017) talks about the evolution of language and punctuation. McWhorter gives a great example of how a truckers union contract went to court and, due to the absence of an Oxford comma, truckers won payment for something that they weren't intended to be paid for under the contract.
   I assumed that he was firmly in my camp, but as I read on McWhorter concludes that we should lighten up about the Oxford comma and only use in when it provides clarity.
     I am trying to see his point, but this is a peeve that I can't seem to release. I am sure marketing and website people, friends under 30 years old, and people in general wish I would soften my stance. How about this: I will try.

Here's a link to the article  Click here 
5 De-Clutter Tips      

     Chatelaine recently revisited Marie Kondo's book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which (you may recall) I've been swearing by for a few months. They said even after all this time, these are the 5 tips that make the biggest difference.

1. Make sure everything has its place.
Everything Kondo owns has its own designated space. Organizing well-frequented areas like entryways, for example, makes evening routines much easier. (LMWE: I am not quite there yet)
2. Get rid of papers.  We're all guilty of opening bills and shoving them into a drawer. Kondo argues that most paperwork is now available digitally, so just access them online. (LMWE: I am doing better at this. Just don't look at my desk)
3. Don't pile things. Instead, store vertically.  Kondo says arranging things vertically (including your fridge contents!) will save space and allow your belongings to become more eye-catching. (LMWE: Other than for underwear, I don't get this)
4. Only keep items of clothing that bring you joy. Kondo's method is to hold each item in your hand, and ask the question: "Does this bring me joy?" You'll know the answer right away. (LMWE: It's true! This works)
5. Keep small change in your wallet.  Kondo argues that putting your change in a piggy bank renders the money useless. Immediately put loose coins into your wallet so that you can spend them. (LMWE: This works too - I have no money at all now!)
Of Corn Fritters and Lipstick 

    I want to draw your attention to two July dates (left column).
    July 16 is Corn Fritter Day. When I was a kid, Burger King made corn fritters and they came with the little packets of jam. Burger King wasn't Burger King as you know it now, and since it closed, you'd be hard pressed to find any fritters around town. Now I can tell you about four places if you've got a craving: Da-De-O, Seoul Fried Chicken, Brick & Whiskey Public House, and Burger Baron (if you can find one). They all have a different take on this deep fried ball of fun, so go ahead and experiment. And don't forget the jam.
     July 29 is Lipstick Day. I've posted it before, but it's worth repeating. How you wear down your lipstick says something about your personality.
PS Don't forget about July 06 International Kissing Day!

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