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Ten Years and Still Going

Ten years ago today I wrote a simple post

First Entry

I was planning on creating this site on my account on another ISP, but decided, maybe this is more of a BLOG type thing. I will turn on Comments and such once I get some content up to discuss.

Little did I know that it would start a 10 year run of writing about money, life, family and a few other odd topics.

10 Years is a Long Time

Ten Years Later

Ten Years is a Long Time

What has changed financially over these 10 years?

  • The TFSA didn’t exist 10 years ago, it wasn’t even a thought, now it is a key aspect of how Canadians save.
  • The RDSP didn’t exist for parents with disabled loved ones.
  • The great crash of 2008, which we are still recovering from. Goodness, that was a crash!
  • I got laid off, and then found another job (eventually). Nortel went bankrupt, but I managed to dodge that bullet too.
  • We all got used to LUDICROUSLY Low Interest Rates, how will we ever kick that habit?
  • Gasoline prices back in 2005 were about 90 cents a litre and today they are about $1, so gas has only gone up 10 cents in 10 years right?
  • Banks not only open on Saturdays now they Open on Sundays too (they didn’t in 2005)
  • The iPhone appeared and hipsters round the world danced a happy jig.
  • Plenty of tax changes:
    • Public Transit tax credit
    • Safe deposit boxes are no longer an investment carrying charge
    • Introduction of Sports (and Arts) credits for active/artsy kids
    • Income splitting for Pensioners, and a meager attempt for others.
  • I published over 2700 articles? Wow, that is a lot of words. Over 300 of those articles are on Personal Finance .

Did I miss anything big over the past 10 years?

Will I be doing this in 10 years? Who knows?

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Happy New Year 2015

Yes, 2015 begins today, and let us hope it is a year of wonder, hope and good things for all of us. The year 2014 had some seriously weird undulations in the Stock Market, and many nasty events in the world (Ebola, Ukrainian Incursion, Planes disappearing, Social Unrest all over the Globe, etc., etc.,), so let us hope that 2015 is a less eventful year?

2015 the Year of the RAM

Happy 2015, I do so love Geek Humor

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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Hopefully you are enjoying this long weekend, and are enjoying the Feast of the Harvest.

For those wonder about how we celebrate it in the Big Caj family, this picture sums it up nicely:

Thanksgiving
New Age Thanksgiving

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it! This is how my son described Thanksgiving to his sister, and she drew it for him, you can’t tell me the mind of a child in the Autism Spectrum isn’t wonderfully different.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Dad What Do You Want For Father’s Day ?

My Dad passed away a few years ago, and he was never really “on board” with the whole idea of folks fussing about him on a specific day. He did make my brothers and I do something about Father’s Day but only because he knew my Mother would have been upset (his favorite expression was always, “Don’t upset your mother”), and that is really what your Father wants, is for your Mother to be happy (don’t think I am breaking any masonic code with that truth).

If I was your Father what would I want from you? I think it’s pretty darn simple, it’s a short list of simple things you can do that will make your Dad and me happy:

  • Who the heck is that?

    I am still astounded that I am a Father

    Be better than us. Your Dad may be a hero to you, but your goal in life is to be better than him, that way Dads (as a species) keep getting better. You want to show your Father something, be better than him and that will make him happy (we are complicated beings, we Fathers).

  • Be happy. For God’s sake that is what your parents in general want, but Dads in specific. All Fathers want their family to be happy, because when they aren’t happy, we have to talk about things and discuss things (which detracts from our ability to snooze, watch sports and do things we want to do). Your Dad wants you to be happy.
  • Don’t eat the big piece of chicken. OK I stole that one from Chris Rock, but it’s true, if you are in your Father’s house, show some respect, let him have the big piece of chicken, and maybe thank him for what he has done for you (but don’t get all emotional or loud about it, your Dad is OK with, “Thanks Dad“, not some frigging singing card). Conversely your Father should show you respect in your house as well (yes respect is a two-way street).

Your Father wants to know that whatever he taught you (by act, deed or statement), has prepared (or is preparing) you for life, because we don’t want you moving back in with us. Your parents do their best to help you out, but eventually they should be allowed to live their lives too (in most cases, but we will protect our kids who need protection, as well).

Bring your Dad a beer, say “Thanks Dad“, and make sure your Mother is happy and your Dad will be happy. Oh and for the  young ladies out there, tell your boyfriends/husbands to shut up during the football games, your Dad doesn’t really want to hear their opinions either (he just wants to watch the damn game).

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Sometimes One Sentence is Enough

After preparing for Post # 2500 I went through my archives, but also my Draft folder as well, and found this completely off topic, but still interesting article I wrote 4 years ago, doesn’t really have too much to do with money, more about the power of words and how sometimes we need to be careful about what we say, especially to younger folk.

Motivating Phrases

One of the more interesting parts of my life is I (on occasion) have a chance to watch young athletes and young people trying hard to meet their goals, and I always ponder in those situation what is motivating these kids to do what they are doing?

In many instances, a lot of kids (and adults) are self-motivated, or whatever is motivating them is something personal that they use as their inner dynamo pushing them towards their goals, but I’d like to share two interesting stories that maybe helps show that sometimes a simple phrase may be enough to motivate (or completely derail) a child’s goals.

We’ll Make A Mathematician of You Yet

That phrase (along with many other things I would guess) is one of the motivating reasons someone dear to me chose the path that he did and became a Statistician. He was in a class one day (during the second world war) and as usual he had a substitute or temporary teacher for Math. This teacher didn’t know this lad from Adam, and could have easily said nothing, but after this student had answered a particularly tricky question, this Teacher uttered that phrase which set this student on a path towards success.

Astounding isn’t it that a single phrase can do that?

You’ll never amount to anything!

Hardly what you would call a motivating phrase, now would you? This is another example that different people get motivated by different things, but this motivation is solely mine.

I was in a high school math class, and I must admit that I was a mouthy little twit, and this Math teacher, no doubt had enough of my big mouth and decided he’d shut me up, by uttering that phrase, in the context of talking about who would succeed in Mathematics. This was done in front of the entire class and done with purpose to put me in my place.

The expression I remember from his face said to me that this was not an off-hand remark, he really meant it, and I took it very much to heart, and initially it demotivated tremendously.

It took a while before I was able to turn this barbed comment to heart and use it to motivate myself to succeed (if not exceed) in Math, because I was going to show this teacher just how wrong he was, and I think at the end of it, I may have proven him wrong (certainly in my mind, I did).

Choose Your Words Carefully

The real point of this is that if you deal with kids or young people, think about what you are saying to them, because you never know when you might actually say that could either inspire or worse deflate a fragile young ego.

I am confident both of the “adults” in this story have no idea that they motivated either student by their simple comment, but that just shows the power that you have when dealing with young minds.

Should we be heaping praise on kids when they don’t deserve it? My opinion is no, but that does not mean you need to necessarily heap scorn on them either, encouragement doesn’t mean praise where it is not earned. Encouragement really means helping a kid move forward and learn about themselves.

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