The only thing predictable about Quebec politics is it’s unpredictability, as Pauline Marois (aka La Femme de Fer) has called an election for April 7th, no doubt hoping that her nutty “No religions in Quebec” kick will get her a majority government. For all who scoff at this thought, this is Quebec, who elected NDP candidates in the last Federal Election (a few of whom had never even visited their ridings), so hold onto your hats, strap on your boots and let’s wait for another wild political journey. Mme. Marois has fired the first salvo by declining the invite to the English Language debates, should be an interesting election campaign.

The World Health Org stated this week that we should be lowering our sugar in take, in other news they commented about how the Sun seemed to rise in the East and the sky is blue mostly. It’s always helpful when the obvious needs to be a headline for anyone to notice.

A young lady in New Jersey is suing her parents because they refuse to pay for her final year in Private High School and for her College Education. Seriously folks, sometimes this stuff just writes itself, see video clip at the end of this for more information.

Another cosmic giant rock went hurtling by the Earth Thursday morning, I think we all need to join up at Seti.Org and see if we can find a few more of these before they hit us.


Dramatic eh? No it’s not the real asteroid, however, picture courtesy of Getty and their free embed’ing service.

My Weekly Recap

My Writings for Week Ending March 7th

Really, Who Still Uses an Electronic Calculator ?

RRSP Deadline Let the Taxes Begin!

Yup, you could have done something about your RRSPs up until Monday, now we are down to the nitty gritty of tax season.

Financial Calculator Giveaway

This giveaway continues until next week, wouldn’t it be great to have a spiffy new financial calculator to do your taxes with?

Personal Finance: Lent Begins Today

Yes we are now in the season of Lent, what are you going to do to make your finances better for 40 days?

We Don’t Seem to Dread Debt

I read a very interesting study in the Harvard Business Review that I based an interesting observation on. Not very scientific, but still quite interesting.

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Swiss Army Knife Section

Wonder if the Swiss are worried about all the excitement in the Ukraine, I know I am:

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Adventures in Real Estate

So if you thought you had the worst problems with your house or apartment, how about a blow hole in your driveway?

The 80′s Called They said, “You’re Done!”

The Super Bowl ad for Radio Shack seems a little prophetic, in that Radio Shack in the states is closing a whole lotta stores:

Folks who HAD Their Education Paid For By Their Parents

Thank you Monty Python:

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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This week saw the 2500th (or so) post from me, and I seem to be still at it after about 9 years of writing. Thanks for the kind words from those who left them, I hope I can keep this up for a while longer.

Tomorrow we can celebrate Saint David’s Day, the patron saint of Wales. Go find some daffodils, and turn on some Rugby (unfortunately no 6 nations games this week). Saint David is the less drunken Gaelic patron saint. If you wish to enjoy some authentic Welsh cuisine, start off with some Leek Soup, follow by a plate of Faggots and Mushy Peas.

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus!!!

Welsh Flag

Happy Saint David’s Day All my Welsh Brethren

It is RRSP time, and I was even mentioned in the Toronto Star (under my actual name, and there is even a picture of me, Mrs. C8j and the little C8j as well). I remember doing the interview about Spousal RRSPs and whether they are still relevant (they are) but no one told me that it had been published. There are a few articles in this post talking about RRSP season as well.

Look for me in the pages of Moneysense some time fairly soon as well espousing the need for better RDSP traction in the banking system.

Jim Lange (no not the guy from the Love Boat, that was Ted Lange) former host of the Dating Game passed away this week. I must admit I did watch the dating game when I was younger, a very interesting glimpse into the American Experience.

My Weekly Recap

My Writings for Week Ending February 28th

Luckily in Ottawa the Rideau Canal is Still Open

CPI Up A Little to Start 2014 in Canada

Stats Canada points out that prices are going up slowly, but note that Electricity prices are going up quickly, and this month Gas is going up again too.

Public Service: Government Cheques Going Away

I was asked to post a Guest Post about the fact that Government cheques will be going away soon, and will be replaced by direct deposit. You have been warned!

Post Number 2500 Holy Cow

Yes, that really is me in that picture as well, just keep that in mind if you ever wonder what I look like (crazed lunatic).

Off Topic: Sometimes One Sentence is Enough

Sometimes one sentence is enough to get someone to do something, or stop doing something, so be careful with your words.

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Swiss Army Knife Section

It is so bloody cold in Ottawa (still) I may be breaking out the Swiss Miss Instant Cocoa (with mini-marshmellows):

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Land of MY Fathers

The Welsh National Anthem sung by the Llanelli Male Voice Choir. Llanelli holds a special place in my heart, even though I haven’t been there for a long time:

Inspirational Video High School Basketball

Seth Kraft was a senior and student coach, and he was given a special gift on Seniors Night:

If you Haven’t Watched Many Movies This Year

Jimmy Fallon helps us all out with this brief and fast outline of each movie, so now you can watch the oscars on Sunday night.

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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Post Number 2500 Holy Cow

“Never has so much been written, that made so little sense, and read by so few, about such an important subject.”

- Big Cajun Man 2014 (with apologies to Sir Winston Churchill)

By my official count this is (around) post number 2505 of my illustrious (ignominious?) writing career. Why the heck have I been doing this for so damn long? I really have no idea, but I am still here about 9 years of doing it (given my son was the reason I started doing this, and he turns 9 years old next month).

What are my favorite posts over the years? That’s a very good question I’ll give you a few that I enjoyed writing and some that hurt but needed writing (remember this site is really more cathartic for me, than it is informational for you):

  • Go and look in my RDSP menu item because that is the reason I write really
    • To make some extra money to help with my son’s needs
    • To help other folks who might not be lucky enough to get all the help I have received over the years.
  • My dad passed away a few years ago, I still mention him here but I’m an Adult Now is a raw bit of writing I did about his passing (and the fear it instilled in me).
  • After getting laid off from Nortel in 2008 I wrote a few posts about it but On Being Laid Off is me talking about it publicly for the first time. A year ago, is me looking back after a year of being laid off (I got my new jobs a week after that).
  • Sometimes I write knowing full well I am poking the bear (figuratively) and I am a Civil Servant really is one of those (I grew tired of the constant jokes about how rich we all are).
  • One of my fun favorite writes was recalling a parable my Dad told me about money in Advice: Best Financial Advice Ever Given.
  • I am honest in my writings as well as pointed out in Top 5 Investing Regrets in My Life, yes I have made plenty of mistakes in my financial life.
  • At the end of it all my most popular post continues to be A Script for Customer Retention Deals which I only wrote because I had just got a good deal for my wife and I wanted to remember how I did it (next time).
  • One of the fastest written articles I have done was Ten Things I have said that Have Saved Me Money, I think I wrote it in 5 minutes, yet it remains one of my most read as well.
  • I do still read over some of my more humorous (attempts) and my favorite of those is Gifts Your Shouldn’t Get Your Kids (ever), well worth revisiting that list as well.

Hard to believe that it all started with this Introductory Post (well it didn’t it started with this First Post).

I’d also like to thank my wife (a contributor to this site) and my children for allowing me to use them as examples in my posts and for having the patience of Job, while I string together this string of very odd prose.

Send More Coffee!!!

Send More Coffee!!!

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Hockey Day, Tax & RRSP Time and #FreeFormFridays

In the good ol’ hockey game, it’s the best game you can name, yes, Stompin’ Tom was right, Olympic hockey brings out the best (and worst) in hockey fans. Canada plays the US this afternoon in the mens semi-final, which means nothing is going to get done in Canada this afternoon. It is the last week day of the Olympics, so most offices will be back to normal next week. We saw the Canadian women pull it out of the fire on Thursday with a thrilling victory, let us see whether the Men can play as well.

Rumor has it that the Russian Men’s Hockey team is missing and presumed visiting Siberia for a short “vacation”.

I managed to get my T-4 early this year, so I may end up submitting my taxes even earlier this year (since I think I won’t be owing them any money). Remember you can still get your taxes in early if you owe money, you don’t have to pay until the deadline (and you can do that on line at your banks web site). Haven’t seen a lot of RRSP ads lately, but maybe that is slowly ramping up this year.

My Weekly Recap

My Writings for Week Ending February 21st

Hockey, Hockey, Hockey!!

Interest Paid - Bank Fee = Shrinkage ?

It might be nice if we were able to write off our bank fees against our measly Interest income (they should at least cancel out).

Cheap Trading Fees a Good Thing?

It’s nice that a bunch of the trading firms are lowering their fees, but is this a good thing in the long run?

The Financial Zen of Roger Sterling

What can Roger Sterling have to say about money? Nothing directly, but if you interpret his Zen-like one-liners, you might be surprised.

Russian Hockey or No Sure Financial Things

What do the Russians losing in the Quarter-finals in the Olympics have to do with Money? Read on and find out (I even get a Nortel mention in there).

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Swiss Army Knife Section

The Swiss women won Bronze in Ice Hockey at the Olympics, and they make great knives too:

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Old Preet is still Good Preet

An oldie but Goody from Preet’s archives

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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More Olympics, Budgets, Love Day and #FreeFormFridays

First let me wish you and your loved ones a very merry Love Day™, hopefully you have bankrupted yourself to your lovers delight, and you will end up wearing boxer shorts wearing red hearts (at the end of the day). Yes a very disturbing image if you know me. Don’t get me wrong Valentine’s Day makes my life as a Financial Whiner Blogger much easier: so many things to complain about.

Valentines Day

An Apropos Sentiment

Valentine’s Day also was my parent’s wedding anniversary, so for me, it is a much more special day than just a reason to send flowers.

Seems the Conservative Party has put a stake in the ground and has started campaigning for the next election (early). The cross hairs for spending cuts are who(m)? Why Civil Servants for one, and of course Retired Civil Servants as well. Take your shots at the Civil Service if you wish, we have a Union and such, and I will enjoy watching how the Government plan on trying to topple the Tower of Sick Leave™ that previous Governments allowed to grow, but c’mon folks, going after Retired Folks Medical Premiums? That is getting a little much. Let us hope there is a sensible roll-out, where this affects (effects) older retirees LESS, or better still make new retirees take the initial brunt of the increase.

I will have a further discussion of the good things in the budget for folks with disabled loved ones, and such next week.

I felt quite chuffed when Tony Clement replied to my Tweet about Increasing the Cost of Retirees medical benefits on Wednesday.

The Olympics continue on with fun stories, heart warming stories and down right odd stuff too. The Canadian Coach that gave a Russian Cross-Country skier a ski, to finish a race was so typically Canadian. Seeing Alex Bilodeau win at moguls was also a fun time to watch, but then you have the poor Canadian Biathlon competitor who fell while in first place. Anyone want to explain why a sport that looks like it came out of Duck Dynasty is in the Olympics (“C’mon Uncle Cy, let’s go ski ’round the woods and shoot things!”)? Yes it is more of a sport than Curling, Ballroom Dancing, or Dressage but c’mon.

My Weekly Recap

My Writings for Week Ending February 14th

Love is in the Air (or is that melting dog poop?)

Unemployment Down, but not that good news to start 2014

Better news from Stats Canada about the job situation, but still a world of improvement is possible in Canada. New Budget points directly to it.

Canadian Consumer Debt Load at $1.4 Trillion

Equifax published these numbers which shows us increasing our consumer debt again, which isn’t that good news either.

This Week’s Magic Number is 85

85 is not just the product of 17 and 5 any more!

Last Minute Financial Love Day Gifts

Valentine’s Day is just like Christmas for me, in that I complain and whine about it, and write sarcastic posts.

 

Swiss Army Knife Section

It was 17C in Sochi this week, let’s bring the Winter Olympics to Ottawa if it means it can be 17C in February:

Wide World of Sports

The ESPN generation wouldn’t recognize this, but to ME, this meant sports on TV #BornInThe60s

Don’t Piss Off Sam Jackson

One thing I have learned in this life, do not piss off Sam Jackson and do your homework before interviewing him:

Lava is Powerful

And finally, a can of Ravioli consumed by Lava:

Other Bookkeeping

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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