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Idea: Duplicate your CD’s!

Yes, I said it, and I meant it!

For those of you who have newer cars, or got an upgraded CD/Radio combination for your car, you should NEVER put your original CDs in your car. Why?

  • The heat of the car in the summer and winter (when your console heater is on) is going to cause your CD to degrade (over a long period, but still it isn’t that good).
  • Lots of “snatch and grab” thieves take CDs from cars these days, you could lose $130.00 worth of CDs if they take 10!
  • If your car CD player goes wonky you can have badly scratched CDs (i.e. you lose them)
    • This happened to us 2 years ago. We have a 6 CD exchanger in the van, and it just went “south” and we couldn’t get any CDs out of it. It finally got fixed but a few of the CDs were ruined, but LUCKILY, they were duplicates I had made.
  • If your house gets broken into, you have back up copies in your car too.

No, I am not espousing Music sharing or silliness like that, but it is your right under copyright laws to make backup copies of your media for your own use (at least in Canada and the US). I use Roxio Easy CD on my PC to duplicate my CDs, but you can use NERO or many other pieces of software to do it.

Word of warning however, SONY has put a nasty little piece of software on their new music CDs to stop you from being able to back them up (and presumably able to share them as well). I suggest avoiding SONY CDs like this library did.

If a CD costs $13.00, to duplicate it costs about 20 cents in media (a small price to pay).

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Financial Rant: Ontario Emissions Tests

This article made me remember this past January. I literally saw RED because of the Ontario Government’s emission testing tax. Luckily these tests stopped in 2019. Not sure how much of the environment was saved by this.

I received my yearly license renewal form and had not noticed that BOTH of my cars were up for emissions tax grab. OK, my Honda Accord is an old clunker and maybe we should make sure it isn’t polluting a lot (not like say all the gas lawn mowers that pollute at a higher rate). Fine, I’ll go do that test. I then came back and was able to renew my license, but then I tried to renew the license on my 2-year-old van, but the government wanted me to spend another $60 (or whatever it was) to test THAT car as well to get a new license sticker. Unless I have been adjusting the carburetor myself (which would void my warranty), how would a 2-year-old van fail an emissions test? Of course, it won’t, but, the government got their money, my dealership got some extra money, my mechanic for my Honda got some money and everyone was happy (except me because I was out another $300 for licensing my cars).

I really hate the way the world is “nickel and diming” me to DEATH. Everyone adds a surcharge or a little extra tax for something, schools, government agencies, airports, gas taxes, and I am dieing financially by attrition!

If I totalled up all these little “add on” taxes and charges, I think you’d need to check me into a rubber room because I’d be figuring out why I never have any extra money, the government has it!

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Volunteers Rule!

Yes folks, another diatribe from the pulpit. This weekend I will be helping out at 2 of my daughter’s basketball tournament. Big deal? To me it is, to the girls I think it is, to the other girls, I guess as well. Volunteers are the backbone of our society these days, and not just for amateur sports.

I have met a lot of folks who help the homeless, helpless and the elderly and these helping souls for the most part don’t take a cent for their good works. I am always astounded when I talk to these people and how it is part of their being to GIVE so much of themselves. My token works really are dwarfed by others, but I also know that my works are still needed.

Volunteer and help out where ever you can, and whomever you can. If you know a volunteer, do something nice for them, buy them a coffee, or just tell them thank you (they’ll most likely say they don’t deserve it but they do).

Thank you volunteers! Remember Volunteer work is payment to your soul, which is more important than monetary payment. It’s good for you.

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Compromise – makes it moribund

compromise
Yes, You are Wrong

This site is possibly the most amazing site on the Internet. The spirit of these posters captures my views on life as none others have. These guys have been around for a while (click on the picture to get to the Despair.com website), and hopefully, they are all filthy, stinking rich from the proceeds of their sales.

What does THIS have to do with Financial Planning? Well, some of the financial folks I have spoken with have this attitude as well. Every compromise is actually you doing what THEY want, not some illusionary “middle ground.”

If you feel strong enough about your feelings or concepts in the financial world, stand up for them and not compromise. Compromise creates something that neither person likes or wants. Do what YOU think is right. After all, YOU are right, aren’t you?

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Keep your Computer Secure (epilogue)

I should really be careful which “Karma” I disrupt when I write these articles. I got home Monday night, my wife was complaining that the Family computer (not the one I have all my stuff on) was running funny. I log in and sure enough something is really bunged up. After 6 hours of me swearing I figure out that the machine was infected with the W32.CHOD.D virus. LOVELY!!!

How do you get this virus? From MSN type interactions! My darling daughters downloaded a virus even after their father (a person who works in high tech) lectured them about NOT doing that. I finally cleaned it all up this morning at 7:59 AM (no I didn’t work all night, but I did start working on it again at 5:45 AM). Wonderful fantastic, great! Let’s just clean up the registry, WHAT A MISTAKE! I removed 1 entry and my machine would never boot correctly again.

I have spent the rest of today rebuilding that machine, and it will take another few days to do this. I am a dolt, and should be much more careful.

What does this have to do with Finance? Debt Reduction? Well, if an allegedly computer literate family such as mine can do this to their computer, it really does behoov you to be careful with your machine as well! Be very careful, and protect your resource.

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