I was very sad to hear of the untimely passing of Jim Flaherty, our former finance minister. I have poked jabs at Mr. F. but as I said when he stepped down from cabinet, I think he did as good a job as anyone could during a really scary financial period in Canadian history. My humblest of condolences to his family during this sad time.

Jim Flaherty

The Late Jim Flaherty former Finance Minister

“goodnight, sweet prince/and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”

How bad will the Heartbleed Bug end up being? Pretty darn bad by the looks of things. The latest information seems to imply pretty much every major site on the web has been compromised, so you are going to be spending a lot of time thinking up new passwords for each of them. The hard part is figuring out which sites are fixed and when you should change your passwords. Given the CRA web site is down for Netfile’ing (might be back soon), does that mean they are going to extend the deadline for Tax Return submissions? It is not like it is our fault that their system was hacked, I would assume they may give us a small extension in this case (if not, the backlash might be quite interesting).

The Quebec Elections showed that no matter how sure any politician can be at the start of a campaign, it only matters what happens at the end of the campaign. Mme. Marois ran a very interesting campaign, and somehow managed to go from a clear majority forecast to losing the election outright. Quebec Politics are the reason I still watch TV for this kind of stuff, it’s the best reality TV you can watch.

 

My Writings for Week Ending April 12th

Rest in Peace Ultimate Warrior

Young Folk Finding Jobs in Canada in March 2014

Some better news from Stats Canada about the job situations for younger folks in Canada. Let us hope the economy can keep this growth up.

Bell Ringing Banks and Frank Costanza

Serenity NOW, was what I wish I’d yelled as I left my TD Branch after ringing the bell, showing my thanks for the ATM machine and its good works.

Smaug and Wealth Protection

Even the super rich and super chaotic need to think about their financial well-being and future.

Heartbleed Bug ? Should You Care ?

Yes, you should care. You should change your passwords too, but only after you are sure the sight you are accessing has been patched against this problem.

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Cornucopia Section

Lots of interesting stuff not just about the holes in the Internet:

  • Scientific American says that E-Cigarettes’s Effect on Cells Similar to That of Tobacco Smoke, I have been having a Twitter conversation with a few folks about E-cigs, I say they should be treated the same as cigarettes in all ways (e.g. socially, insurance, etc.,).
  • Kerry at Squawkfox shows she has a great deal of “experience” with old technology ideas with Should You Buy It? A flowchart for smart consumers , flowchart? Wow, next time use Step-wise refinement.
  • Phys.org’s medical side points out that In US, vaccine denial goes mainstream, this means comebacks for those old favorites: Measles, Mumps, Chicken Pocks and maybe even Polio! Seriously folks, WTF?
  • Jim Flaherty’s death really does drive home my message to those planning for retirement, that no matter how much money you have, and no matter how much you plan, you may not get to enjoy your retirement, due to health issues. Get healthy as well as wealthy if you want to enjoy your retirement.
  • Mark from the Blunt Bean Counter continues on with his auto-biographical post Confessions of a Tax Accountant -2014- Week 2 never knew accountants were that exciting.
  • Do you have a  Booze Budget ?  Debt Debs does, it seems pretty high too, not to be too judgemental (but wow that is a lot of money for BOOZE).
  • Barry from Money we Have brings us 6 things we need to know about credit cards, they shouldn’t be used to try to jimmy door locks either.
  • Michael James gave us some Bad Advice on Retirement , not that he wants you to follow, just that he has heard.
  • Mark from My Own Advisor writes about an interesting book with My takeaways from Thinking Fast and Slow I have talked about being a slow thinker, and needing to remember that (don’t act on my first impression or decisions is always a good thing for me (unless it is whether to put out my trousers that have caught fire)).
  • Mark (my brother for those that haven’t figured that one out) from 2nd Career Search is having a fresh dose of hell and he writes about it with Bermuda Triangle of Real Estate - TORONTO, I am not sure how anyone actually lives in Toronto these days.
  • Preet wonders Do you need balance protection insurance for your credit card? I think we can guess the answer on this one.

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For MMA Fans

Possibly the greatest MMA fighters of all time:

The Ultimate Warrior’s Debut

So many years ago

TeamBuy: Your Golf Destination!

Remember my RSS feed is available too, and I have added an RSS Comment Feed as well. Have a look at my micro-blog on Twitter, where you can see a whole plethora of good articles and pithy comments by me as well. Twitter feed where I re-tweet many great articles by some of my featured writers (and make the occasional odd or off colour commentary on life (in 140 characters or less)). I am also on reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest and other Social Media sites (look for the BigCajunMan userid) as well. If you have social media accounts, don’t forget to vote for my posts (see the nifty dashboard on the bottom of each article, where you can cast your votes).As they say in Quebec, vote early and vote often! This site is iPhone Friendly (and Android , iPod Touch and iPad Friendly), enjoy it on the go, in a readable format for the device. If you are reading with an iPhone or Android device, drop me a comment and tell me if this needs any improvements. This site is also in the Kindle Blog list, if you are interested.

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After seeing that Prince Andrew is jumping on the Self-Portrait bandwagon and someone else is having #Selfie Day, I do believe that fad has run its race and is done. It is a rather damning statement that we are into pictures of ourselves, seems the 21st Century is trying to out do the ME Century (20th Century).

BAD!!!

The Worst #Selfie Ever!

The Quebec Election looms on Monday, and what will those wacky Quebec voters do? As a Quebec born patriot, I look forward to the rest of Canada attempting to explain this election, it will be entertaining. Remember Quebec gave you an Orange Tide in the last Federal election, what might they do Provincially? My hope was that the Rhinoceros party might make a comeback, but no matter what happens, the rest of Canada will be left scratching their heads wondering, “What were they thinking?”.

Only in Ottawa could you have a controversy over the name of a Football Team Mascot (that looks suspiciously like the Acadia Axeman). You got it Big Joe Mufferaw (a Stompin’ Tom classic (see below for a video)) was announced and then withdrawn as the name, now the mascot is simply called Large Man with Axe, no, it’s actually Big Joe. Evidently Mufferaw is a mispronunciation of a French Canadian name.

It was Autism awareness day on Wednesday, I didn’t write anything specific for it, since Autism Awareness is every day in the C8j homestead. I did post my previous rant about Autism & Advice, and it is important to understand that it looks like we have a generation which will include a lot of “different thinking” individuals, maybe we need to start thinking how this might work? I did wear Blue Underwear on the day, but I am not sure that counts as showing solidarity.

My Writings for Week Ending April 5th

Spring may finally have come back to Ottawa!

Inflation at 1.1%, That is Low for February

Low numbers from Stats Canada, yet prices keep going up, and I feel like I have less money, wonder if they take that into consideration?

Pay Day Loan Mortgages Revisited

A very ham-handed attempt at an April Fool’s joke, most folks read through it, wonder what someone might think of it if they read it on July 1st?

Tax Haiku

Yes, when I have nothing else to write and I have no ideas, I fall back on my Poetic roots. Having Welsh ancestry I just channel my inner Dylan Thomas (and drink myself into a stupor).

Long Distance Laptop Repair

Maybe it would have been better to just buy my daughters two computers at the start of school, and avoid having this problem?

 

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Cornucopia Section

A veritable horn of plenty of interesting articles from the finance (and other categories) world:

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Give ‘em Heck Gail!

Gail Vaz-Oxlade gives debtors heck on City TV

Mufferaw Joe

Only in Ottawa could you have a controversy about the name of a Football team’s mascot:

A New Monty Python Video

It is called the Silly Walk Song, however, the chorus is “Money is the root of evil”, so very topical too!

TeamBuy: Your Golf Destination!
Remember my RSS feed is available too, and I have added an RSS Comment Feed as well. Have a look at my micro-blog on Twitter, where you can see a whole plethora of good articles and pithy comments by me as well. Twitter feed where I re-tweet many great articles by some of my featured writers (and make the occasional odd or off colour commentary on life (in 140 characters or less)). I am also on reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest and other Social Media sites (look for the BigCajunMan userid) as well.

If you have social media accounts, don’t forget to vote for my posts (see the nifty dashboard on the bottom of each article, where you can cast your votes).As they say in Quebec, vote early and vote often! This site is iPhone Friendly (and Android , iPod Touch and iPad Friendly), enjoy it on the go, in a readable format for the device. If you are reading with an iPhone or Android device, drop me a comment and tell me if this needs any improvements. This site is also in the Kindle Blog list, if you are interested.

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Don Quixote has dismounted from his trusty steed, and I see that my ranting about Banks and RDSPs got no notice by anyone, I suppose I’ll have to resharpen my lance and try again soon to get banks to make the whole RDSP easier to use. Fear not Don Quixote is not giving up, he is just taking a rest for now. I did find out the National Bank might offer something, I also include the Tweet I sent to TD, which has not been responded to (as of yet):

 

Remember it is tax time real soon now, and you should be putting those final touches on your tax returns for the year 2013. The later you file the longer it will take to receive any refund (if you owe money, you can still file now, you only have to pay on the deadline date (via on line banking)). You have until April 30th to file this year, so don’t procrastinate much more.

Holy cow, Mortgage rates are dropping again, you can have a BMO mortgage for 2.909% over five years, is now the time to lock in? Can’t see where it can get much lower, can you?

Notice a change on the site? There is a new Tab on the menu at the top, for RESP, but not just RESP but RESP and University Costs are in there. I have compiled some of my finest rants about RESPs and the cost of University education, enjoy.

For those wondering, Russell Crowe, looks to be the next Charleton Heston starring in a Biblical Epic Noah! after appearing in Gladiator and now this, will he be doing a remake of the Classic The Omega Man or maybe Soylent Green? SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!!!

My Writings for Week Ending March 28st

Whoever is Singing “Let it Snow” Can Stop Now!

“All Sheep will be Fleeced, all Fools will be Punished Severely”

I was unaware that Hunter S. Thompson was such a March Madness fan, but his words do sound a lot like a Hypothetical Hedge Fund Manager as well.

Fill in the Darn Forms

Is it that hard to fill out a form to get a rebate? Evidently for some folks it just might be.

Disability Tax Credit: Please Do It Yourself

The stories I have read about these firms disgust me and I really do hope they all go out of business.

RDSP: Banking Challenge Ignored

I guess I am not as famous a financial blogger as I thought, given I have been thoroughly ignored by all banks and now MPs as well.

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Swiss Army Knife Section

Maybe it is spring in Switzerland, but it sure as heck isn’t in Ottawa:

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The Bicycle Problem

Scientific American has an interesting brain teaser, watch the video and see what you think:

March Madness

The Onion discusses the NCAA looking into expanding March Madness to 4096 teams:

NCAA Expands March Madness To Include 4,096 Teams

Bohemian Rhapsody

One of my favorite new Muppet numbers:

TeamBuy: Your Golf Destination!
Remember my RSS feed is available too, and I have added an RSS Comment Feed as well. Have a look at my micro-blog on Twitter, where you can see a whole plethora of good articles and pithy comments by me as well. Twitter feed where I re-tweet many great articles by some of my featured writers (and make the occasional odd or off colour commentary on life (in 140 characters or less)). I am also on reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest and other Social Media sites (look for the BigCajunMan userid) as well.

If you have social media accounts, don’t forget to vote for my posts (see the nifty dashboard on the bottom of each article, where you can cast your votes).As they say in Quebec, vote early and vote often! This site is iPhone Friendly (and Android , iPod Touch and iPad Friendly), enjoy it on the go, in a readable format for the device. If you are reading with an iPhone or Android device, drop me a comment and tell me if this needs any improvements. This site is also in the Kindle Blog list, if you are interested.

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Today is the first complete day of Spring! You would never guess that might be the case here in Ottawa, with still large amounts of snow, and cold temperatures, but it is Spring (gosh darn it!).

Saw this in My Backyard, I think I agree

Saw this in My Backyard, I think I agree

March Madness has begun as well, much to the Chagrin of my wife (basketball all day all weekend!). Yesterday I published my bracket, which I hope folks do not view as my recommendations, I simply included it as part of the post to show that I am a hypocrite, as well as a Basketball fan (i.e. complaining about how NCAA athletes are working in “indentured servitude” and then watching the games).

If you haven’t picked up a copy of this month’s Money Sense magazine you are missing another opportunity to see a picture of me, and read my views on RDSPs (yes, you can come here and get that for free). The article was written by David Hodges and their is a picture of me and my son (who’s name is Rhys not RhysE as is published in the magazine) which is quite good. I have had a few of my blogging peers comment that I am now a celebrity blogger, somehow I think not. I am thinking of adding a block with a graphic with the following:

Big Cajun Man as seen in the Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star and Money Sense Magazine!

It hasn’t really caused my web servers to crash due to the new readership, oh well.

Farewell to Jim Flaherty to as Finance Minister, as well. Couldn’t have been an easy job, given the times he had the job, and his health issues. Thanks for being fiscally conservative Jim, I think, that is what the country needed at the time.

My Weekly Recap

My Writings for Week Ending March 21st

Spring Has Spring, the Grass Has Riz !

Should You Consolidate Student Loans into Your Mortgage?

The whole idea of consolidation makes me ill, so adding in a loan that has interest payments that are tax write offs, to a mortgage (in Canada) makes no sense.

Read Your Home Insurance Renewal Notices

Things have changed in Canada this year, so read over what is (and is NOT) covered in your home insurance policies this year.

Retirement Dos and Donts

There are no Trolls working at the CRA that I have seen (maybe they work under a bridge somewhere, but from my vantage point none work in their buildings).

Let the Madness Commence !

Who gets paid for all these basketball games? It sure is not the players!

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Swiss Army Knife Section

As basketball goes, they play it in Switzerland, but haven’t heard of any NBA players being from Switzerland:

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LEGO Dreams

A young lad from Iceland (with Autism) has big LEGO dreams (Titanic size):

Jordan vs. Motumbo

Did Michael Jordan ever dunk over Dikembe Motumbo? I think the answer is Yes.

Farewell Jim Flaherty

CBC’s point of view on Minister Flaherty stepping down:

TeamBuy: Your Golf Destination!
Remember my RSS feed is available too, and I have added an RSS Comment Feed as well. Have a look at my micro-blog on Twitter, where you can see a whole plethora of good articles and pithy comments by me as well. Twitter feed where I re-tweet many great articles by some of my featured writers (and make the occasional odd or off colour commentary on life (in 140 characters or less)). I am also on reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest and other Social Media sites (look for the BigCajunMan userid) as well.

If you have social media accounts, don’t forget to vote for my posts (see the nifty dashboard on the bottom of each article, where you can cast your votes).As they say in Quebec, vote early and vote often! This site is iPhone Friendly (and Android , iPod Touch and iPad Friendly), enjoy it on the go, in a readable format for the device. If you are reading with an iPhone or Android device, drop me a comment and tell me if this needs any improvements. This site is also in the Kindle Blog list, if you are interested.

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Happy Pi Day! Yes it is March the 14, which makes today’s date 3.14 or Pi (to three digits accuracy). Mathematicians and Geeks world wide will be eating Pies and celebrating the day. Next year at 9:26 AM it will be the best Pi day possible because March 14th 2015 at 9:26 AM translates to 3.1415926 (which is Pi to 7 digits accuracy). Yes, we in the world of Math need to get out more (or just need to eat more pies).

Pi Pie

A Pi Pie ? Now that is Interesting

It is March Break for kids in Ontario this week, which means many parents have been scrambling around trying to find things for their kids to do. One of them is leaving them in the McDonald’s play structure all day long? You know you could take them to a Museum instead, or skating, or swimming? Mrs. C8j was not impressed at what a lunatic asylum the Play Area looked like and quickly escaped from it with L’il C8j in tow.

President Obama decided that his approval rating was in the crapper, so the best thing to do was appear on “Between Two Ferns” with Zach G. (from the many Hangover movies and such). If the President wishes to really help his approval rating, I will gladly do a Podcast with him about March Madness or better still why he didn’t just outsource his Socialized medicine idea to Canada? You can watch the video at the end of this article.

It snowed in Ottawa this week, no it really snowed! Just Mother Nature reminding us that just when you think Spring might be near, you are sorely mistaken.

My Weekly Recap

My Writings for Week Ending March 14th

It’s Einstein’s Birthday too!

Stagnant Job Picture in February

Stats Canada paints a not glowing happy picture on job creation, but at least we aren’t losing jobs (yet).

Who Cares About Debt I Only Pay 2% on my Mortgage

Why would someone choose to carry debt? Evidently it’s a normal way to think for some folks.

Myths About Your Taxes

There are no Trolls working at the CRA that I have seen (maybe they work under a bridge somewhere, but from my vantage point none work in their buildings).

Fiscal Fasting

An idea on how you can use a religious idea to help out with your financial situation.

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Swiss Army Knife Section

The Swiss are more excited about Einstein’s birthday I would guess:

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Wonder if Obama Would be MY Guest?

I am no Zach G. but I could find two ferns pretty easily:

 

I Like Trains

Actually my son loves trains, and loves watching this video as well:

Finally, a Hockey Fight (with a Happy Ending)

Who says fighting in hockey is as fake as the WWE ?

Remember my RSS feed is available too, and I have added an RSS Comment Feed as well. Have a look at my micro-blog on Twitter, where you can see a whole plethora of good articles and pithy comments by me as well. Twitter feed where I re-tweet many great articles by some of my featured writers (and make the occasional odd or off colour commentary on life (in 140 characters or less)). I am also on reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest and other Social Media sites (look for the BigCajunMan userid) as well.

If you have social media accounts, don’t forget to vote for my posts (see the nifty dashboard on the bottom of each article, where you can cast your votes).As they say in Quebec, vote early and vote often! This site is iPhone Friendly (and Android , iPod Touch and iPad Friendly), enjoy it on the go, in a readable format for the device. If you are reading with an iPhone or Android device, drop me a comment and tell me if this needs any improvements. This site is also in the Kindle Blog list, if you are interested.

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