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Boobs as a Metaphor for Earthquakes?

Dear Gentle Reader, there are days that I can see the topic that I wish to write about as clear as the sun, and then there are days like this. The topic is obtuse and a bit vulgar, my apologies, not sure what the heck it’s about.

Promiscuity Causes Disasters

This was the comment from Hojatoleslam Kazim Sadeghi leading Prayer Leader in Iran, that effectively due to promiscuity and women who dress provocatively, is causing earthquakes, and the only way to stop this is to live a chased Islamic life (I am paraphrasing a little, but I think that is the message). My take is that women dressing alluringly is causing God to be angry, and as we have seen in the Old Testament, when God gets mad, no one enjoys it (ask the population of Sodom and Gomorrah if you don’t believe me).

This is an interesting cause and effect discussion, that I don’t think I completely buy into (OK, I disagree with it, but I don’t wish to sound anti-Islamic in my words), however, this kind of “cause and effect” argument can be seen in the financial world, and while they don’t sound as provocative the Prayer Leader’s statements, you still have to ask, what other interesting cause and effects are out there (financially):

Warning the following list is prepared purely with a tongue in cheek attitude and should not be taken as advice, or the author advocating any of this

  • The reason that most Ponzi schemes fail is that people try to take their money out of them eventually, if these folks had simply left their money in the scheme, everything would have kept working just fine. Perversely this is actually true, however, the scheme can still fail if the scheme owner blows all the money and disappears (and doesn’t keep sending out false financial statements), so you should just keep your money in the Ponzi scheme.
  • The reason the Tech Bubble exploded at the start of the 21st century, was because the Porn industry could not gobble up the bandwidth and technology available fast enough. Obtusely this is somewhat true, if the porn industry could have figured out how to use up all the un-lit fibre in the ground, the Tech Bubble might still be going on right now (after all the Porn Industry is usually one of the first adapters of new technologies).
  • People don’t have problems with credit cards because they are spending too much, the reason generally is they can’t pay back enough, thus if they stopped paying off their credit cards there would be no problem. You don’t hear about people having problems spending with their credit cards, but you always hear about them having problems paying them off! (OK this one is really bad, my apologies)
  • Money is the root of all evil thus spending it is spreading evil, so you should hoard money to protect your neighbours and friends from this evil thing. I think I like this one, it might actually work in a symposium on how to get rich quick. A corollary would be you should steal everything too, because paying for things is also spreading the evil of money.

Are there any I have missed. I think promiscuously dressed young ladies can cause debt as well, and the cause and effect argument is actually much more linear than with the Earthquake comment too (I believe Red Ingle wrote about the evils of “Cigarettes and whisky and wild, wild women”). I know I have spent a quid or two in similar situations (in my younger days).

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Technology & Theology

Billy Graham has been “the Preacher to the Presidents” in his time, and this talk he did for the Ted conference in 1998 still shows some of the eloquence and power he had when he spoke. I grew up and snickered at Pastor Graham’s sermons when they came onto TV (usually because it interrupted some important episode of Gilligan’s Island or something like that). In some ways, I missed out on not watching these sermons from Mr. Graham when he was younger because the power of his oration and the charisma he showed were astounding. His views on Technology and Theology are interesting.

Even in this simple talk about how technology is great, but it cannot cure the evils in the human soul, you sense the charisma in his delivery.

No, this isn’t much to do with money, but I like it.

The Rev. Billy Graham is a religious leader with a worldwide reach. In his long career as an evangelist, he has spoken to millions and been an advisor to US presidents. Full bio and more links


Best of Money Carnival #39

I have the privilege of hosting this week’s version of the Best of Money Carnival. What is this carnival about? I’m glad you asked:

The Best of Money Carnival features the ten best (in the opinion of the carnival host) money-related posts of the past two weeks — giving readers the best of the best in personal finance.

Now this differs from my Random Thoughts posting because these posts have been sent in and entered for judging by me, so the content is a little different. There were many, many entries and it was hard to get the list down to a “Top 10” format, but I did (and my apologies to those who did not get chosen, remember there is always next time).

Best of Money Carnival #39

There were a lot of great articles posted this week, and it was hard for me to choose a winner and the 9 runner ups, but given I am the “decider” this week, here are the posts:


These posts were really good, but which one is the best this time?

Craig Ford presents The Infinite Advantages Of Paying Cash For A New Car posted at Money Help For Christians.
I must admit I do have
a vested interest in this one because I just did pay cash for my “New to me” car.

Jeff Rose presents Warning Signs You Need to Fire Your Financial Advisor posted at Jeff Rose.
A very good list of points to look for to make sure your Financial Advisor is on the “up and up”, also if your Financial Advisor goes on better vacations than you every year, start wondering about that as well.

GLBL presents Money Saving Mondays: How to know if your loan should be refinanced posted at Gather Little by Little.
OK, I am a sucker for any post with a racing car on it, but also some good points about when it might be a good idea to refinance your debt (no, it is not when your bank thinks it would be a good idea).

Wealth Pilgrim presents Why This Boyfriend Doesn’t Need A Valentines Day Gift Idea posted at Wealth Pilgrim: Money Management Advice, Financial Stress Management, & Resources.
The price of the gift is not what matters, it’s the reason for the gift that matters, and that message resonates with me a lot. I still think his girlfriend isn’t going to be very impressed by this, but that is just my opinion.

FIRE Finance presents Annual Fee Introduced for Citi Cash Returns Credit Card posted at FIRE Finance.
I love stories where people simply cancel credit cards or move banks because the reason they were there changes. A sudden fee change is an excellent reason to change or get rid of a Credit Card!

2 Cents presents Taxes: The Missing Step posted at Balance Junkie.
A good list of things we Canadians should remember during tax time (yes it is Tax time both in Canada and the U.S., who says we don’t share crappy traditions?).

LeanLifeCoach presents Combat The Closing Techniques – The Puppy Dog Close posted at Eliminate The Muda!.
I read this and thought, “… wait a minute, I almost fell for this once as well!”, damn puppies! Another important sales technique to watch for, and be wary of.

The Investor presents Pros and cons of being wealthy posted at Monevator.
So this one has me scratching my head, but it is intriguing, so I include it for your perusal. Any article which says, “It ain’t easy being rich”, is bound to make you stop and think (and possibly cause you to have a violent reaction, which makes it a useful article).

The Winner!

Taxes: The Missing Step

Guess I am a sucker for a set of Canadian Tax tips, during Tax season, thanks to all who participated!


Happy Shrove Tuesday

For those who don’t realize it, today is Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Tuesday). This day means Lent starts tomorrow, and in New Orleans we have Mardi Gras festival as well.

The word Shrove, is the past tense of the English verb shrive which means to obtain absolution for one’s sins by way of Confession and doing penance. Doesn’t sound like it is much to do with pancakes, now does it? Evidently we are also supposed to make merry and enjoy ourselves before we go to Lenten confessions (I like the first part, the second is not as likely).

Financial Shrove Tuesday

NO! I am not saying you should go out and blow your finances up before you start your Lenten Financial Journey, far from it. You can have some fun, but all in moderation. If you plan on giving up your daily Latte, then have 1 last one on Tuesday, and savor it. If you plan on brown bagging your lunch for Lent, then maybe a lunch out is OK, however, don’t splurge! If you plan on using cash, maybe it’s time to find a really good hiding spot for your credit cards (or maybe you should visit your bank and put them all away in your safety deposit box). If you are planning on reading some books on Personal Finance, today might be the day to get them out of the Library.

Make sure you have some pancakes too.

Random Acts of Kindness Week?

Forgot to mention that it is getting close to Random Acts of Kindness week (I would not kid about this topic), so if you were thinking about doing a Random Act of Kindness, time to get cracking.

A few ideas:

  • When in line at a Drive Thru (preferably a coffee shop), offer to pay for the next car’s coffee as well
  • Clear your neighbour’s driveway if it is covered in snow (especially if you have a snowblower).
  • Give the toll booth attendant a $20 bill and tell her to pay for as many cars that follow as possible.
  • Phone up a local kids sports team and ask if they have a fund to help pay for less fortunate kids to play, and give them some money.

These are only a few trite examples, you know how you can help out, so do so. Anybody care to comment on what they may have done so far this week?

For my Buddhist readers, a belated Happy Parinirvana Day. May we all reach that level of enlightenment in our lives (some day).

Other Shrove Tuesday Thoughts


Lent in a Week Folks

Yes folks, here I got again, extolling the virtues of Lent and how you can use it to your advantage for your Personal Finances.

Easter is the time for new beginnings or restarting something you need to start doing again, and most people view Lent as a time to “find something to give up”, but that is dull and shows little flare, so another way is to look for something to Enrich your life for the 40 days of Lent (leading up to Good Friday and Easter).

Think about your spiritual journey, yes please do, however, also take advantage of this journey to work on your home finances as well!

Your Financial Lenten Journey

What areas of your personal finances could use either Enrichment or Better still a sacrifice that might help your financial well being? There are some very simple ones that I think about every year (and have done a few of them):

  • The Latte withdrawal penance. Cut out buying coffee for the 40 days of Lent and put that money aside, to either save, give to charity or pay down your debt. Keep track of this and see how much money you might be saving here, it’s worthwhile finding out where this discretionary money is going.
  • Read 4 Personal Finance books over the 40 days to enrich your understanding of your personal finances or your investing adventures. Building up your expertise over Lent is a good thing.
  • Brown bag it for 40 days, give up buying lunch at work, and bring your lunch instead. Another way to find out where your discretionary spending is going.
  • Take the bus to work for Lent, leave the car at home, buy a bus pass and take the Bus to work. Yes gas is cheaper right now, but not driving might have other benefits for you (less stress, more exercise, etc.,).
  • Read financial blogs every day: another way to build up your understanding of finance is reading and learning.
  • Open a TFSA and put found money there: OK, not really a Lent thing per say, but still somewhere to put your new found moneys.
  • Live on cash for 40 days and get rid of your credit cards. Freeze them in your freezer, lock them in your safety deposit box, or cut them up, but live on CASH only (no debit either) and see if you can do it, does it change your spending habits? This one is one heck of a heavy one, and anyone who does try it keep me posted and I will encourage you as best I can!

Think about these or suggest others, I am open to suggestions myself. Shrove Tuesday is coming and then Ash Wednesday means Lent begins and your journey begins that day.

I’m giving you a weeks head start to start thinking about this stuff folks!

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