Monday, February 21, 2011

More Shameless Idealists

For my dear friend Marilyn, this is YOUR Africa...

Living Donor Paired Exchange becomes first Canada-wide organ donation registry

So after a little bit of a search I found this information for anyone who is interested in looking into how to become a living donor.

Living Donor Paired Exchange becomes first Canada-wide organ donation registry

Shameless Idealists

So I'm home lying in bed exhausted and sick...and bored...and I start looking at news and other items online. And I stumble upon this series, which I would highly recommend.

There are so many celebrities out there who we know very little about, or who do very little to give back. Watching these clips just make me want to be a better person all the way around.

Did you know that Martin Sheen has been arrested over 60 times for civil disobedience?? That he started a union at a golf club as a 13 year old because he felt that they were not being treated right? Watch the link below, it's fascinating!

What would you do?

CANOE -- CNEWS - Good News: Ontario man giving neighbour his kidney

I've been fortunate to never need a transplant but I know people who have, and who have gone through it.

Imagine a world where this kind of benevolence became common place? My children and I are organ doners but there is much that can be done without tragedy having to be part of it.

Would you give bone marrow? Part of your liver? A kidney? Make a blood donation?

I know I would, but I haven't taken steps to do so. I think it's time to change that. Next up...figuring out how to commit to the registries for these things. Will you do it too??

Pension Plan Conundrum

A recent article in the Globe and Mail: What should you do with your Pension Plan, originally published February 11, 2011 states:

The great pension debate that is gaining momentum in Canada is focusing attention on the issue and bringing to light some of the stark realities of the retirement preparedness of Canadians.

For example, it now is estimated that fewer than 40 per cent of Canadians are covered by a registered pension plan.

A recent report by the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGAAG) concludes that “the ability of Canadians to maintain a financially-comfortable and healthy lifestyle after retirement has become one of the nation’s most vexing challenges.”

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cover of the Rolling Stone!

This band from Saskatoon are serious contenders, please vote! :)

LA in a few short days....

In a matter of a little over a week, we'll be making our way to LA, and to a little hotel called The Hollywood Hotel.

Based upon their website info, this should be a wonderful adventure for us

Originally built in 1926, the Hotel Hollywood opened as the Oban Hotel in 1927. The hotel was the preferred choice of lodging for countless celebrities and entertainers. Former hotel guests include Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Paul Newman, Fred McMurray, Orson Wells, Clark Gable, Glen Miller, Harry James and many more. Based on availability, you can request the room that Marilyn Monroe or James Dean stayed in.

The hotel was purchased and restored in 2005 by Westside Rentals (link). The company currently owns and operates the hotel and several others in the Los Angeles and Santa Monica area.

As documented in the book Hollywood Haunted and the National Directory of Haunted Places, several ghosts are said to roam the hotel stairs on a daily basis. The most famous ghost is said to be Charles Love, a prop master and stunt double for comedian Harry Langdon.

Hollywood is the same sun-blasted mecca for celebrity worshippers it’s always been, but trees now line the main drag, Hollywood Boulevard. At night, the club-crawlers come out to play, even though the A-list spots come and go at warp speed (see our Nightlife section for help). The Kodak Theatre hosts the Academy Awards and other splashy events, which means that several blocks of the Boulevard near Highland Avenue are perpetually closed off to traffic so watch out for those red carpet moments! There’s no great shopping (unless you’re looking for T-shirts, fridge magnets or platform sandals in men’s sizes), but lots of hip restaurants and bars. Hollywood is filled with ornate Mediterranean and Art Deco buildings, all gradually getting face-lifts. Thai Town and Little Armenia occupy the eastern end, with great ethnic markets and restaurants, like the famed Palms Thai, where a Thai Elvis-imitator performs nightly. usual we will write about food and the the sights we see. I can hardly wait to start writing about our adventures...begining on March 3, 2011!

Bruno Mars Grenade PARODY! Key of Awesome #35!

HAHAHAHAHA! We were JUST talking about how funny the Bruno Mars song would be as a parody! <3 YouTube!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

For Tarah who I miss so much

Justin loves Tarah as much as I's proof.

Financial literacy: Does the industry really want us to be educated?

Financial literacy: Does the industry really want us to be educated?

If the financial industry is smart then the answer to this question is a resounding YES! In fact, I know a company out there that is actively looking to educate the public on the basics of how money works and does it all at no charge or obligation to the consumer.

And if you want to know or be connected with someone who can help YOU no matter what your financial situation is, message me and I'll connect you. Financial education is out there, and it is available free of charge.

Financial education saved my life and is giving my kids a future. Everyone should learn where they COULD be if they only knew what was possible.

Average Canadian family's debt hits $100,000

Average Canadian family's debt hits $100,000

This article is horrifying in it's stark reality. The truly frightening part is that this article really just looks at loans and credit card debt. To know that the majority of families are facing retirement below the poverty line, or worse becoming McSenior's as their only way of surviving is utterly horrifying.

Through hard work, focus and good advice, I've spent the last year of my life working out of the hole of bad debt and for the first time in my life I have savings.

If you know people who are facing this reality and want to know how I did it, have them call me or email! I'm happy to pass on what I've learned!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My baby is growing up...

Last night my youngest called down to me from his bedroom with what might be the funniest thing I've heard in a LONG time. The conversation went something like this:

Justin: "Mummy, I have a girlfriend."
Mummy: "oh do you?"
Justin: "yes, her name is Ava."
Mummy: "Do you hug her?"
Justin: "yes."
Mummy: "Do you hold her hand?"
Justin: "yes."
Mummy: (growing a little concerned) "uhhhh, do you give her kisses?"
Justin: "EWWWWWW NO!"

Small pause, falls out of bed, tears ensue.

Mummy: (while cuddling sniffly boy) "Are you going to marry Ava?"
Justin: "No."
Mummy: "Is she still your girlfriend?"
Justin: "No."
Mummy: "Did you break up with her without telling her?"
Justin: "yes."
Mummy: "Never do that Squidge."
Justin: "why?"
Mummy: "It's rude."
Justin: Shrugs shoulders and says "meh."

He turned 6 today...Happy Birthday Justin. :)

Canadians don't believe they can be millionaires: survey

Canadians don't believe they can be millionaires: survey

This piece in yesterday's StarPhoenix evoked several responses from me. First of all I don't know why anyone would be surprised that the majority of Canadians don't believe they can be millionaires. Societally we are taught, in Canada, to be humble; work hard; pay your dues; be grateful for what you have; don't expect more. With this mentality, and please don't get me wrong, I don't think its bad to be humble, it's easy to understand why we as a nation would feel that prosperity is an impossibility.

My second thought was the deep lack of understanding that we as a generation have of how money really works and how to make it work for you. A subject I've spent the better part of the last year learning about.

If only I had known in my 20's what I've now learned in my 30's....but at least I'm now on the right track.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

CANOE -- CNEWS - Media News: 'Dragon's Den' stars sound off on entrepreneurship

CANOE -- CNEWS - Media News: 'Dragon's Den' stars sound off on entrepreneurship

What never fails to baffle me with watching Dragon's Den, is the fact that every pitch that fails, fails because the financials are not solid. Or those presenting don't know their own financials. The show has been out there for awhile kids, WHY are you not apprised of the fact that you are going to look like an idiot and be humiliated if you don't know what numbers you can realistically produce??

98% of Dragon's Deals are predicated on strong financial proof AND predictions, you would think people who call themselves entrepreneurs would understand this small but simple fact.

Sneaky Football Play

For my man, BRILLIANT!

Sneaky Football Play

Best Answering Machine Message Ever

Best Answering Machine Message Ever

Omigosh!!! This very well may be the VERY best thing I've heard this week...with the exception of my Valentine's Day card...because that WAS the best thing all the way around!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

What little boys do....

This morning my sometimes adorable 5 year old woke me up with Valentine's kisses and told me he loved me.

A year and a half a go he was more honest about what he wanted to do to me...check out the video of my muchkin's being 'honest' with their mummy....

My Granny

This is my grandmother. When I forget who I am or where I came from, Google is but a click away to help remind me, this is my lineage, and I am her legacy, she is my family.

Founder Profile (Smt. Tara Ali Baig)

Former President

Smt. Baig has been President of SOS Children's Villages of India between 1967 and 1989. During these 22 years, the organization grew from a small nucleus to a large and effective child welfare organization.
Her's has been a lifetime spent looking after the welfare of the child and the recognition of women. Smt. Baig is a recipient of the Order of Merit and an Honorary Degree from the Tehran School of Social Work in 1965, as well as the Golden Pin of Honour awarded by SOS in 1970, the Gold Medal and Special Award of the International Union for Child Welfare in 1984, the National Award for Child Welfare in 1984, and an Honorary Doctor of law Degree by Alberta University Canada, in 1988.
Smt. Baig's list of accomplishments in Child Welfare starts from the time she set up the Indian Council of Child Welfare, of which she later became President. In 1977 she was elected President of the International Union for Child Welfare in Geneva for a term of 5 years, the first Asian and the first woman to hold this post.

Besides being the President of SOS Children's Villages of India, she also held the position of Vice President, SOS Kinderdorf International, Austria, from 1968. Her contributions have allowed SOS Children's Villages of India to develop a number of vocational and training programs for employment and self-dependence, and extended the reach and network of the organization into one of the largest bodies working in the field of child care.

Hermann Gmeiner

Superbowl ad that translated into the best Valentine's Day card I've EVER been given...I've never laughed so hard! If you want context, watch the ad below.

Crematorium to heat swimming pool - Weird News -

Crematorium to heat swimming pool - Weird News -

Never. Swimming. In. England. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Beauty of Mathematics

I don't know WHY but I feel like aliens are going to come and suck my brains out as I watch this...yet I can't look away!!!

A firestorm of political correctness - Winnipeg Free Press

A firestorm of political correctness - Winnipeg Free Press

The points outlined in this piece by the Winnipeg Free Press are not easy to read, but to comprehend the complete injustice that has taken place in Saskatoon is difficult but necessary for us to do.

So much of this case is reminiscent of the lynch mob mentality borne in the Southern States in the late 1800's, something I'm sure we would decry in this day and age, or would we??

I think what angers me most is that instead of the death of a troubled young man being properly investigated and the facts weighed appropriately, that a life was summarily dismissed because of the lack of value that others saw in it. That is wrong, and should have been addressed, and it was, well...sort of. Dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation, a group, came together to challenge the police on what was a deplorable 'standard operating procedure'. I don't on any level disagree with this being challenged. Wrong is wrong and deserves challenge.

But what transpired from there is something that we should all be ashamed of. Two men were thrown under the proverbial bus. Their character, their livelihood, their entire lives have been tainted by lies, conjecture and a sad, sad system that cannot do the right thing, but instead makes political moves to appease. The practice that they were accused of was something that was commonly known and used in MANY Canadian departments. Instead of dealing with the issue, two men were metaphorically dragged through the town square and strung up for all to see. And even more sadly we did nothing as a community to stop it.

Two men paid a sad price for the department and city that they served as police officers. I've only had the opportunity to meet both Larry Hartwig and Brad Senger in passing, but I know several people who know and speak highly of their character, integrity and humility. They deserved more than what their community gave them. Having both moved on in their lives, they're respected and admired for their courage and the dignity with which they have quietly moved forward with their lives. I admire this courage and strength of character greatly. And I'm deeply apologetic for being one of the many voices who could have spoken up but did not.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Home is where the 5% loan is

WIKIPEDIA: The word mortgage is a Law French term meaning "dead pledge," apparently meaning that the pledge ends (dies) either when the obligation is fulfilled or the property is taken through foreclosure.[2]

On a 20 year amortization (or 30, or 40 year) you spend more than the first half of that amortization period paying primarily interest only. The fact that the city is offering a ‘low interest’ rate, doesn’t change the simple facts of how a mortgage works.

The Federal Government’s plan of requiring a 20% minimum down payment for mortgages as an attempt to assist Canadians, who currently carry the highest personal debt load in history, to solve financial crisis in families is a step in the right direction. The fact that the City of Saskatoon believes their wisdom is greater than that of Federal leadership, is to be frank, ridiculous and arrogant. Giving a loan for 5% down payments, while they are paying off interest for the first 5 years and aren’t even beginning to pay for the principal, means that the equity built is negligible at best. The low interest rate will only be good for the first 5 years and then the new home owners will be required to pay a ‘regular’ interest rate. If they are already at the end of their financial abilities going into this situation, how are they to afford the new interest rate and thereby increased payments required.

In addition to this, the whole plan is failing to take into consideration property tax and home insurance which are required of all home owners, neither of which are required by renters. The majority of renters also do not pay for full utilities, but have them heavily subsidized if not fully included by landlords. Landlords also take care of things like furnaces that stop working, water heaters that blow up, and toilets that leak. Homeownership is not a divine right but a significant commitment.

As a homeowner, and single parent, who is at the very bottom end of the $45K-$70K annual earning window the City is targeting, I cannot understand why MY taxes are required to subsidize those who are not committed enough to saving a minimum down payment. If they do not have the stamina to save how are they going to have the wherewithal to maintain the significant investment and commitment that homeownership actually is? Maybe Saskatoonian’s need to learn about how to properly financially plan their lives and actually get ahead, as opposed to further exacerbating an already out of control epidemic of creating further debt.

City provides home loans

City of Saskatoon "giving man a fish" but not teaching anyone how to feed themselves.

City provides home loans

Couple plans for retirement, but is saddled with debt

This article in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, is case and point of the continued issues that Baby Boomers are running into. Doing all the 'right' things as they've been told, however still finding themselves nearing retirement with little to no retirement savings in place.

Couple plans for retirement, but is saddled with debt

Billy Joel - Piano Man, in Lego