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Skittering Put to Rest For Now

My normal view on home repair is to hide in my bed and claim my knee is bothering me (you’d be surprised how many times that works). Unfortunately, some times you cannot ignore some problems, because you know they are going to turn into much bigger issues if you don’t deal with them (an example would be pride goeth before a plumber, where I was so sure I had fixed my plumbing, but not quite).

A problem such as this has arisen at the Cajun Homestead with skittering and scuttering noises in one of our walls.  We noticed that thanks to our awning cover being just under the eaves of our house, some larger creature used that leverage point and pushed up the soffit in the eaves and the following hole was created under there.

Hole in the Eaves with a Mesh DIY Temporary Fix

From what we can tell this hole was then pushed further open to allow all manner of critters into an attic on the side of our house (our house has divided roof decks, and naturally I can’t get into this attic area, to make a repair).

The noise of critters in this attic finally got to Mrs. C8j and she announced to me that she didn’t care how lazy (or injured) I was we had to do something about this before the winter comes and these beasts move in permanently (and then their babies arriving in the spring could create many more problems). I hesitantly agreed and off we went to Home Depot to kibitz about how to fix this hole.

We finally decided on a temporary fix that will cover the hole with a strong metal mesh  (stronger that chicken wire), held in place with metal tapping screws. You can see the fix over the hole in the picture supplied.  This seems to have stopped the critters from entering for now, and hopefully for the foreseeable future as well.

We will eventually have to deal with this and replace the eaves and possibly clear out whatever mess exists in the attic area (figuring out how to get in there is going to be interesting enough), but for now I think our house is a bit better secured (against squirrels at least).

I realize this temporary fix will have to be remedied for real if we ever want to sell the house, but sometimes a temporary measure is needed to get you through a short period.  This kind of short period fix may also be needed with your financial plans, given how screwed up the global economies appear to be, but remember you will eventually have to put in place a real long-term fix (didn’t think I could swing this over to personal finance, did you?).

Why am I writing about this? Pride? No, but it’s important not to procrastinate too much, or you might end up with much bigger problems faster than you think.


Always Put off Today…

Always put off today what you want to end up doing at either the most inconvenient or most inopportune time in your life. I learned this valuable lesson about procrastination, again, a week or two ago. My daughter’s computer blew up a day before she had to return to University. You remember me talking about student computer safety tip how I wasn’t sure how I was going to give my other daughter a lifeboat in case her computer gave up, well I didn’t have to worry about that, because it blew up at a very bad time for me.

An Example of Procrastination Gone Wrong


The offending procrastination example

As background the computer had been giving my daughter problems from day one and had died at the end of the spring term. I managed to get it back up and running and it had been working OK for the summer, but I should have replaced the disk at the start of the summer, or replaced the system, but I kept thinking it would work just fine, but karma proved that I was mistaken in my faith in HP laptops (have I mentioned they are the Devil’s spawn?).

Did I do as I have been espousing to you good reader? I unfortunately did not and procrastinated, and paid the price later (over $600 for a replacement laptop computer).  I ended up having an extra laptop at home. This non-financial procrastination cost me the ultimate price, money, and that is the problem.

I have written about procrastination and finances but as I age I seem to find the things I don’t want to do always come back and bite me in the ass somehow. This is what ends up happening when you procrastinate on decisions (in life but financially as well), you will end up paying for it later.

The other nice part of this kind of bad decision is that I have hindsight to show me the exact path I should have taken in the first place. Small consolation for the money I had to spend, but a lesson learned.


What does the 4th of July Mean?

In Canada, the 4th of  July is really like any other day, except our noisy neighbours down south do put on quite the show for us. We have had our party on the 1st of July (so a lot of times we still are recovering from our own party), but we recognize our cousins to the South and their need to have a big celebration as well. Our stock markets are open, but there isn’t a lot of activity, since the American exchanges are closed. If we deal with American customers or clients it is a quiet day for a lot of folks as well (some of us even take the day off, just because it will be that quiet).

What does the 4th mean to me personally? HOLY CRAP! That sums it up nicely. Why those simple two words? The year is now more than half over and remember all that stuff you were going to get done this year (that you may not have even started)? You have less than 6 months to complete it (in fact since December is usually a write-off, you really only have 5 months left to do it).

Financially how are your plans for this year going? Have you given up on your plans because it’s just too darn hard? Are you succeeding and finding it too easy? Have you just forgotten all of it because of day-to-day issues, and now want to get back to it?

4th of July
Fourth of July

Remember, you can always, re-think, re-start and re-new your plans, don’t walk away from them, simply because you haven’t been able to follow them (although maybe look the plan over, it may be you are being too ambitious and should scale things back, or you are not taking important variables into consideration), but do not give up on your plans. Right now giving up on your plans is easy, the hard thing would be to get back to it and start again financially.

Yes, the year is half over, but you still have time, so give yourself a collective boot in the financial butt, and get cracking on your plans, no excuses now, just get back to it.

How Many Days ’til Christmas?

Oh, and if you hadn’t thought of this, start, Christmas is less than 6 months away, so you had better start planning that in some fashion (although down south they also need to make their Thanksgiving plans as well). Yes, there is a lot to do, but don’t use that as an excuse to do nothing, start doing things it will all start moving from there.

To my American friends, family and readers, enjoy the Fourth of July but keep it down, your neighbours to the North may still have a headache from their own fun on the weekend.


Spring To Do List

List or Sentence?

One of the rights of spring in our home is to start up a list of the things around the house that need to be dealt with over the summer. The list typically starts fairly small and reasonable to deal with (financially and in terms of time), but inevitably it extends itself into a wish list of the things we want to change about our house (which are incidentally, quite expensive (in terms of money and time)). This means the list becomes larger and larger, and more and more daunting to deal with. Finally the list is lost or thrown out because it is far too expensive to deal with, and seems impossible to complete.

This has actually happened a few times, even though the list starts off with a good concept, it becomes too large and unachievable. A few times legitimate issues have arisen to stop the list from being deal with, some of these calamities include:

  • Being laid off
  • Surprise pregnancy
  • Illness in family

All legitimate reasons to abandon the Honkin’ Big Summer to do List (it’s new official title), but this year we will attempt to deal with it in a more mature manner.

A Better Way?

I think dealing with the Honkin’ Big Summer to do List like I would a Brain Storming list from work, and then pair it back down around May 1st to make the list achievable (and revisiting any add ons July 1st) should make the list a little more useable.

What is on this list? Some smaller things that should have been dealt with a while ago, and much larger things like replacing windows that are making my house look like a ram shackled crack house (OK, it might not be quite that bad, but it is still pretty bad).

The important point to figure out is what can be done financially, and then what can be dealt with in terms of available time. Once those two variables are dealt with, creating a list is much simpler (it still may not succeed but it is much less huge in size).

Do you have a Honkin’ Big Summer to do List ? What is on the list? Do you succeed in your summer home repair plans?


Top 10 Bad Financial Lists

Yes, I am in one of those moods today, so for those who are lovers of Top 10 lists (no disrespect to David Letterman), here is another great top 10 bad financial lists of my own thinking, and please note the number of entries as well.

Top 10 Bad Financial Lists Ever

Yes, this is a list of lists about Personal Finance that I hope I never actually read. If any of these lists please point them out to me, I’d dearly love to read them.

10. Top 10 Stock Tips from Barbers

Now this is not a slight to barbers (even Wealthy Barbers (amazon book link)), I like barbers in general (although whoever thought up Justin Bieber’s hair thing should have his license revoked), however, if you are looking for stock picking advice from your Gardener, Barber, or your trash collector, you may be looking in the wrong place. I am skeptical of every stock tip I receive in my life, and you should be as well.

9. Top 10 Stocks Rated by their CEO’s Bonus Levels

This list might actually be interesting to read, the real list might be by how little bonus their CEO receives, or should it be by their how much their CEO gets? Either one, is not likely to be published by anyone.

8. Top 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Pay Taxes

Note to anybody from the CRA or the IRS, I am not espousing not paying your Income Tax, this is a humorous list remember? If I didn’t pay taxes I would pretty much double my income, and that should be reason number 1 (if this list existed).

7. Top 10 Credit Cards Based on their Look

If you are getting a Credit Card solely because Kim Kardashian is on it, you really need to rethink why you have a credit card. It might be kind of cool to have a Led Zeppelin Credit Card, if it hard the graphic from their first album on it (the Hindenburg in flames), very topical in terms of personal debt.

6. My Top 10 Favorite Bank Service Charges

I don’t know who could write this list, a favorite bank service charge is like your favorite cold sore, how could anyone really like this? I’d sooner see a list of my top 10 favorite paper cuts!

5. Top 10 Reasons Whole Life is Better than Term Life Insurance

I’m almost positive this list exists somewhere, and at the end of it is a link to where you can buy whole life insurance.

4. Top 10 Pick 7 Lottery Pick Number Sets

This list isn’t as stupid as you think. All sets of numbers should have the same chances of winning, but on the top of the list should be 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 it has the same chance of winning as all others. If you pay to get one of these lists, invest in the person selling the list (they are an entrepreneur).

3. Debt and the Top 10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Pay it Down

On the top of this list, you might as well replace the Gordon Geko statement, “… Greed is good…” with the dumb ass statement, “… Debt is Good…”, no it is not!

Remember I have already got a list about the Top 10 Excuses For Being In Debt. It’s a good list too!

2.3 Top 10 Places to Blow Found Money

This list would be hard to keep to only 10, but if you find money, you should not be looking for a list of places where you might simply spend it, without thinking. Some guesses of places on this list: Strip Club or Bar, Car Dealership,  A Three Card Monty Table and/or Casino, etc.,

2.2 Top 10 Fashion Accessories that will Appreciate in Value

Instead of buying GIC’s or Index funds, this list outlines the Fashion Accessories that you can then use to retire on.

I have no doubt that some clothing may well appreciate in value, but if this is your retirement plan, you really need to seek professional help.

2.1 Top 10 Reasons Why Birth Control is Overrated

Why on this list of lists? Do you know how much kids cost? Using no Birth Control is a financial decision, as well. If my kids are reading this, I will personally staple on all Birth Control if I have to.

#1    Top 10 Reasons Pay Day Loans are Good

Do I really need to explain why this one is number 1? Modern day loan sharks and usury houses should be more tightly regulated, their ability to suck the life out of the poor folks who fall victim to them is tragic, if not immoral.

Did I miss any Top 10 Bad Financial lists ?


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