When Your Shredder Overheats…

You know you have made a good start in  your secure clean up of your old Financial Records!

I attempted this weekend to find the desktop that my computer sits on and the floor in the room I do most of our personal finance work (and mostly where I write this hallowed piece of literature). Most of this clutter is old bills and old financial statements (although some of the clutter is pictures and other things that I am not sure what to do with), so I started using my shredder to dispose of these old records (NEVER throw out old bills as they can easily be used for identity theft).

I view as “old” anything before 5years ago (except for anything to do with my taxes which I keep forever right now). I shredded old check books from old bank accounts (closed ones), old hydro bills, bank statements, etc., and it felt very satisfying.

The shredder did an excellent job until it stopped and I noticed a flashing light on the top (a flashing RED light) which I had never looked at, and in fact I had “overheated” my shredder and it needed to cool off before I did any more work with it. This gave me a feeling of elation knowing that I have disposed of that much financial stuff.

I guess I could try to either buy a bigger shredder or find a place that does secure shredding, so that I don’t burn out my shredder. The other idea would be to use the shredders at work.

Anybody else have any interesting shredder stories? No ties in the shredder stories please.


Back to School

The NFB has a very topical back to school video for we parents who are looking forward to the resumption of classes.

Nightmare at School is an interesting view on starting high school (which was traumatic for me at least).

Who hasn’t felt apprehensive at the thought of starting high school? This is the central theme of this short animated film. Playing on imagination and humour, the director offers viewers a thought-provoking piece dealing with the transition that young people between the ages of 10 and 13 experience. Inspired by the work of Escher and Magritte, Catherine Arcand has created a graphically rich film through optical illusions and trompe-l’oeil effects. Her style aptly illustrates the theme of perceptions and is perfectly suited to conveying the dream world into which the film takes us. A film without words.

Nightmare at School, Catherine Arcand, provided by the National Film Board of Canada


Random Thoughts: Crisis? What Crisis?

Written in the summer of 2009 when the Financial Apocalypse of 2008 might be finishing. It was, but we couldn’t be sure either.

An interesting week with conflicting data coming out about whether the Recession/Financial Apocalypse is “over”, “nearly over” or we are being fooled and it will come back soon. The stock market certainly seems to have recovered and one good quote I read this week said (and I paraphrase), “Fear has given way to Greed again”, which may mean it’s time to get out of the Market again, because when Greedy people get into the market, things get very unstable. We shall see what this all really means, and whether it is real, or simply created by all the money Government has rammed into the economy (which will have it’s own ramifications later).

One of my Favourite Supertramp Albums

Financial Quips for the Week

  • Michael James showed how heartless he is in his article “Nothing is More Important Than Your Family“, where he refuses to protect them from his untimely demise (OK he points out how crappy some insurance policies are, but I had you going there for a little while).
  • Canadian Financial DIY wonders about the Economic Recovery After the Crisis: How Long and Lasting effects, isn’t it great for financial bloggers we can write when the economy goes in the crapper, and we can write about it when it recovers, it’s like we are bookies or something.
  • Larry MacDonald writes about the new Boy Band New Financial Bloggers on the Block, and their new smash hit… ok, he is just writing about new financial bloggers, but they can still dance!
  • Another one of my favorite boy bands Preet at WhereDoesAllMyMoneyGo showed off his new Video Blog capabilities. He’s no Katy Perry, but it had a good beat and it was easy to dance to (nobody remember rate-a-record from American Bandstand? Guess I am showing my age).

I’ll be here all week, try the veal, good night!


Employment Insurance Claimants Up A Lot

August 2009 as the global credit bubble explosion took hold.

Stats Canada published some more worrisome data about the alleged “recovery”, showing that the Employment Insurance  was up 5.1% from last month (almost 39,500 more).

During the second quarter of 2009, the number of beneficiaries increased 18.8%, down from the growth rate (+25.2%) during the first quarter. This trend is similar to that shown by the Labour Force Survey, which recorded a rate of decline in employment in the second quarter that was much reduced from the decline in the first three months of the year.

So the acceleration is lowering, but the numbers still are accelerating.  All these claimants mean no chance of a surplus coming from the EI fund (which in previous years has been used to pay down the deficit and/or the debt).

Claimants on EI up Lots
Claimants on EI up Lots

On the Positive Side

I filled in my last EI claim on line this week, and I am now no longer on this list, even though I wasn’t receiving benefits (due to my severance).  This was a good feeling.


High Tech Hand Me Downs & Back to School

Back to school for older kids usually means figuring out computing needs. In my day I had 3 separate laptop computers to maintain or refresh every year. It was expensive, when you had to buy a new one. The week before I did my job as “Dad I.T. Guy” checking out the status of the laptops. This was my story.

After spending a weekend shuffling computers around my house, and cleaning up disk drives and networks,  it dawned on me that computers in the home have become a commodity that are replaced very often (certainly more often than 10 years ago).

Microsoft Canada

This commodity typically runs out of vogue (i.e. not enough memory, computing power, graphics power, etc.,) in less than 3 years. Interesting that if you buy one for your business you have to write it down over 5 years.

Our family was in dire need of a new computer for my younger children (it really was painful to use, it was 5 years old and really couldn’t keep up with much of anything). We had been looking at replacing the existing computer, however, another methodology came to mind and hence the idea of the hand me down computer came to mind.

Microsoft Canada

My oldest goes back to school soon and she had a new computer last year to go to school with (bought by her grandparents), which was a desktop model. My daughter wanted a laptop. The laptop would make her life easier. I went and investigated laptop prices and then found an ok deal in the “crash and dent” section of the Best Buy (well the box was open, that seems to be the only issue with it).

Microsoft Canada Surface Book 3 English

Buying the laptop made the desktop computer redundant. It could be moved over to her sisters, who were still at home.

This made me think that computers really are hand me downs these days. From older children to younger children and finally donated at the end of their use to the family.

The only problem with the hand me downs, is having to renew Anti-Virus and Office Software along the way.

Other Back to School Thoughts?


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