Rant: Option Irregularities at Apple

In the early days of 2006 I used to comment a great deal more about Stock Market issues.

Apple II Computer
Apple II Computer

OK folks this is something a little too near and way too annoying to my heart. Evidently there is yet another brewing scandal at Apple computers (not that Apple has had a lot of scandal, just it is another scandal in the area of Corporate Options). This whole Option shell game that is played in the upper levels of corporations sickens me to my lower intestines.

If you own stock in a corporation, read the yearly prospectus you get and see how many stock options the CEO, President and VP’s at that company get EVERY year (no matter whether the company is profitable or a dead piece of rotting skunk flesh). Take note of this, and wonder who is paying for this? You give up? YOU! As stock holder they are going to siphon off profits so that these fat cats get more money and you get the bill, isn’t that lovely?

I think I’d respect companies more that just gave cash bonuses at least they are being above board and there is no hiding. Stock options have been the “dirty little secret” in Corporations for years and it is only now that the stench has got too much even for the skunks at the top.

It was the one company that had stock options that were back dated 10 years even though they had been given out that year, they were completely vested at the price of the stock 10 years previous that made me violently ill (won’t mention name, since I think it is still only an allegation).

And this is only what we hear about folks, you’d be disgusted if you heard of what goes on, that we don’t know about! It really, really smells bad!!!


End of Year 2006 !

Remember you have 1.5 days left to get that end of year stuff done, for it to count on your 2006 tax return. The ones I can remember are:

  • RESP contributions, I also remembered to create an RESP account for my son, which took a HECK of a long time over at my bank, luckily I did it on the Wednesday, and they still got it wrong! Oh well, it seems to be up and running finally, and it has some money in it too.
  • Charitable donations, again, never a bad thing to help with your Karma, or your tithing, or for whatever reason you wish.
  • RRSP donations, YES, I know we have until February 28th, but the sooner you put your money in, the sooner it starts to grow as well.
  • Tax payments due this quarter, in case you are in that boat.

The bank was a zoo yesterday, I would guess on Friday it might just be a lunatic asylum. I usually do all of this on line, but it ended up being easier to create accounts in my local branch (after they figured out what they were doing)

The Itunes store evidently yesterday had it’s own boxing day melt down, Cyber shopping emulates the real world again!

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Boxing Day? Big Bloody Deal!

An early rant about Boxing Day and life. LIfe is too short to be this grouchy about that time of the year.

So this is the first boxing day I have spent in Ottawa in 20 years. I grew up in Montreal, and Boxing Day was simple, all stores opened at noon, and away you go. I kept hearing about HUGE SALES and GREAT BARGAINS and people lined up for blocks and over $1.4B spent today alone (the second most significant day of buying in the year). All I can say is?

I went out this morning to get some milk and bought some storage containers at 1/2 price ($1.49, great buy). We went to Staples, Wal-Mart, and Indigo along with a grocery store, and it felt like a Sunday. Wal-Mart looked a little whacky, but the craziest thing I saw was the RETURNs line! Why would you go to a store to return something on Boxing Day unless you had no life and wanted to spend a long time in line? A lot of stores don’t even allow returns on Boxing Day, so what is the point?

No big whoop here. No huge bargains, no big-screen TVs, I think we bought some cheap Christmassy tea towels, and I looked at the “Big Hauler” train set at Loblaws, but that is about it. Boxing Day? Please leave it to the pugilists!

Previous Boxing Days?

I have written on the topic of Boxing Day a few times.

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Merry Christmas 2006

For my devoted readers, just a quick note that I will be enjoying Christmas with my family, so there will not be as many posts over the next week or so. I will have postings as I think of them, just not as many, but fear not; I have not disappeared, just taking a break for some R&R.

I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Mirthful Kwanza and a Happy and Prosperous 2007!

Christmas Wishes from the Past

I seem to do this a lot, so here are my Christmas wishes from years gone by:


Buying Cheques From a Bank, I am a Shmuck

Yes, I ended up ponying up $26.00 to buy 150 cheques from my bank yesterday, and I think I am a shmuck for doing it. For those of you unsure of exactly what a Schmuck is (and honestly if you don’t a great Christmas gift would the “The Joys of Yiddish” by Leo Rostein, it is an amazing piece of cultural fun).

The Book Itself

schmuck also shmuck (shmŭk) Pronunciation Key
n. Slang
A clumsy or stupid person; an oaf.

[Yiddish shmok, penis, fool, probably from Polish smok, serpent, tail.]

The Joys of Yiddish – Leo Rosten

If you buy the book or take it out of the library, there is an amusing story about a camel to do with Smuck.

But to return to why I am a shmuck, why am I paying 18 cents a cheque for the priviledge of writing a cheque? I use one order of cheques a year at the most and the cheques predominantly go to two places, my Church and the kids’ schools (for all those hidden fees and such). The Church does offer a direct withdrawal deal, but it is once a month and I don’t like that, and the school, well they have figured out that if they asked me for $1000 fee at the start of the year I’d explode but if they ask for $50 20 times, I won’t complain as much (I may exaggerate, but it feels like that much money, that is for sure)

So what am I to do? Are there cheaper cheque printing services out there? I think it is time to go to my bank and ask why they think I should pay this much for a service that used to be free.


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