Happy Labour Day 2014

Hope you are all enjoying the end of the Summer 2014, as usual, I have no idea where the summer went, but it’s time to realize a few important things about this date:

  • There are 4 months left in this year, like I said, time flies.
  • Less than 4 months until Christmas, and I am pretty sure it is already Christmas at Costco, and the first Christmas commercial will come on right after the Back to School events are over.
  • Back to School, for those of us with kids, could mean a lot of money being spent on “small things”. Oh and on Tuesday the 2nd, stay the heck away from Wal-Mart and Staples, it’s like Boxing Day in September there.

If you have some spare time read some of my thoughts on Labour and Work:

  • Do you enjoy work? Maybe you should Work Less and Pay Less Taxes? Maybe not, but you know what I mean.
  • Does your Money work for you, or do you work for your money? I know I work for my money, but maybe one day it will work for me as well.
  • I am also a firm believer in the Value of a Day Off, and I can hear Mrs C8j shouting about how I don’t take enough vacation, but again, do as I say, not as I do.

Enjoy your day off!

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An eventful week at the C8j household, with young Master C8j breaking his humerus, whilst playing on the Monkey Bars at camp. It was a long process to get him fixed up, Mrs. C8j carried the brunt of the load, but now Master C8j has 4 Kirschner Wires in his elbow and a while until he gets to climb on the Monkey Bars again. This is what 9 year olds do, is what I am told by the surgeon (he says there are many of these same procedures done on kids at CHEO every year). Yesterday all I could think of was Bill Cosby’s old standup routine about the Playground (I have included it at the end of this in the Video Section), but it’s true you never see any grownups on the monkey bars!

Here is a useful like to Donate to CHEO as well.

It is in you to give

Yup, that is my arm

During stressful situations, you meet the most interesting folks, and during Master C8j’s repairs, one of the Doctors we met at CHEO, actually is a leading EBOLA doctor (why he was working in the Emergency Room of CHEO, just shows Doctors do lots of interesting things). He made one very interesting comment about the current problems in Africa, it is not as much a medical issue, as it is a Policing of Patients issue. People want to visit their family in hospital, and don’t know why they can’t, worse still the patients don’t want to be in Hospital so they keep trying to leave! Fascinating very short chat we had.

Congrats to the Canadian Women’s Rugby 15′s team for winning the Silver Medal at the World Cup of Rugby for Women. Canadian Women are tough broads (I should know, I have 3 daughters (one that plays Rugby)).

Under the “That’s Incredible” section of things, Mrs. C8j has been married to me for 27 years today, I believe that is the “You Realize, You Are Still Wrong!” anniversary, or something like that. Mrs. C8j is a patient loving woman, who has very poor taste in choosing mates, of which I took full advantage.

I gave blood this week as well, and now have been selected to be a Blood Platelets donor as well.
Give Blood This Year

My Writings for Week Ending August 22nd

Given all the excitement down at the Big C8j Hacienda, didn’t get a lot written this week (and I am on vacation next week too), but I did get a couple of good ones in, for your reading pleasure, Good Reader.

Scotia Bank Value Visa
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This week Robin Williams decided he couldn’t deal with the inner demons (or Parkinson’s Disease, evidently) he had, and ended his life. Everyone has choices in life, but if you are having these thoughts, please go get help before you make any final decisions.

BAD!!!

More likely the photo used if I am ever mentioned in the Media (Cranky Old Guy)

The ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ) “folks” in the states seem to have found a viral shtick that is catching on and that is the Ice Bucket Challenge. It seems many celebrated folks are dowsing themselves with Ice Water to show their support for folks suffering from ALS (if you click on the Ice Bucket Challenge link, you’ll get to where you can donate to the ALS Canada organization). ALS (to me) is the most frightening disease out there, and when they find a cure, I will celebrate.

The #IfTheyGunnedMeDown movement in the states is an interesting commentary on the media’s portrayal of minorities. I am confident if I am mentioned in the news in some fashion it will most likely be a very unflattering photo, but I am curious to see if the media changes their use of Social Media to find unflattering photos for folks in News stories?

Give Blood This Year

My Writings for Week Ending August 15th

Lots of rain in Ottawa, and a chill in the air that is reminding us there are only 19 more Fridays ’til Christmas!

  • Stats Canada’s news last week about Moribund Job Growth in Canada, underlines the problem that this economy seems to be creating a large number of part-time jobs, but not enough full-time jobs. Will Part-Time become the new norm in this economy?
  • Even though we have had the TFSA for a while folks are still having problems getting the hang of the TFSA Two Step, the important factor to remember is that it is not like a regular savings account, so read the rules carefully.
  • I got to meet with a Financial Planner when I was laid off from Nortel, and I did write about it 6 years ago, so I figured it was time to do a Financial Planner Retrospective, given I now have 20/20 hindsight to rely on.

Scotia Bank Value Visa
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It is 100 years since the “War to end all Wars” started, and I continue to learn more about this period in history. I had not realized the number of men (and women) that died in the war, and didn’t really comprehend the horrendous conditions that the soldiers (on all sides) fought under. I seem to know a great deal more about the 2nd World War, however, I am embarrassed about how little I know about a war that devastated an entire generation (over 16 million soldiers and civilians died). The fact that 21 years after it, another “War to End All Wars” erupted only strengthens my view that humans are a dumb species (myself included).

Evidently the Russian Mob (or Russian hackers) most likely now have one of your e-mail passwords, might be time to think up a new one, and maybe a heuristic to change your password more than once every time someone hacks the entire web?

Ebola continues to be in the news, I am not sure if I am in a full panic about it yet, but I do wonder if this is worse than we are being told, and things are starting to get a little out of control? The fact that a major US City (Toledo) had a toxic water supply, is another interesting environmental episode this week as well. Wonder if this is Mother Nature finally saying, “You know Homo Sapiens, you have been around long enough”?

My Writings for Week Ending August 8th

It was a shorter week this week, in Ontario we celebrated the Anonymous Long Weekend, next long weekend has a name at least (i.e. Labour Day).

  • How do you celebrate a holiday with no name? Who knows, but I did poke fun at it with Happy Civic Holiday.
  • Mike Tyson seems like an odd foil for Financial Advice, but his statement is prophetic especially for finances, “Everybody got a plan … until they get hit
  • Living beyond your means seems to be the raison d’etre of an entire generation, so Lifestyle Creep really is aimed at the new lost (money) generation.
Birds Series $100 - front / Billet de 100 $ de la série Les oiseaux - recto

My Kind of Specimen
(Courtesy of the Bank of Canada)

 

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Welcome to August 2014, and for those in Ontario who are soon to celebrate a long weekend, I have one query, what is this weekend called? It has many names, “Colonel By Day”, “August Bank Holiday”, or “August Long Weekend”, how can a glorious long weekend not have an official title?

SDG Carolyn Wilkins reviews bank note signature/Carolyn Wilkins, première sous-gouverneure, examine sa signature sur un billet de banque

Doesn’t look a thing like me… SDG Wilkins Reviews a $20 (don’t loan it to Argentina)

Argentina is now officially in default, to compound the bad news for that country (given they lost the World Cup final as well), but what does this really mean? My feeble understanding of global economics seems to suggest some creditors are not going to get paid, but who loaned them the funds in the first place? China? The US? Russia? Maybe it is like Canada where a great deal of the Government’s debt is actually held by the citizens of the country? No matter how you slice this issue, I suspect this is not going to make things better in a very confused and scary world that we are living in.

For those that enjoyed the writings of Tom Clancy the Ebola epidemic (not the right phrase I know (the book I am referencing is Executive Orders)) in Africa lends itself to some interesting discussion points. The U.S. doesn’t really comprehend how close they came to having someone infected with this disease from landing on their soil (an American Doctor has succumbed to the disease, but he was only diagnosed (i.e.  he collapsed) while leaving one plane to then get on a plane destined for the U.S.. Let us hope the SARS protocols put in place by the Canadian immigration folks will help in case this outbreak turns into a more global problem.

For those not following me on Twitter you have missed one of my favorite quotes from Gail Vaz-Oxlade, and it was aimed at me. We were discussing retirement and such and her final response to me was:

@bigcajunman luckily, you die; I live a long unhealthy life as a woman

This is in response to me whining about not having enough money to retire with, so I guess I should stop saving? No, she didn’t mean that, but it was fun to rib her about it.

Forbes

My Writings for Week Ending August 1st

I had a drier writing week, with only two pieces. I have written or started about 6 ideas, but none of them were really worth publishing yet (that means I have about 160 titles and ideas still to finish off).

  • Financial Anarchy Day is another one of my many rants about the media and retailers attempts to make us go nuts and yell “FESTIVAL!!!” and spend like crazy people (Star Trek reference, for those who are unsure). I am not saying you should go watch the movie mentioned though, it is more of a Metaphor than a Recommendation.
  • Sometimes I get fed up with the “Make Money on the Market Using This Fool Proof Technique” e-mails that clog my inbox, so I figured I’d write the most outrageous Stock Picking Idea I could, and then someone points out in the comments there is one even more outlandish one out there, wow.
  • I did find in my archives one of my favorite phrases “Don’t Mistake Activity for Achievement” (a quote from John Wooden), just because you think you are working hard, doesn’t mean you are achieving your goals.

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