Donairs are great

Yet a donor might even be a bit greater….even without the sweet sauce.

I was recently down at the local registry renewing my license and while I had a great time (oh so good when I said I wanted to wear my colander) I did something I am pretty proud of and that I would encourage you all to seriously consider.

I’ve become a fully registered donor, frankly I think this is almost something you should have to opt out of rather than opt in…because I think there are so many great people that would be willing to do this….but just never quite get around to it. Being able to help someone with a gift that in many cases exceed anything you could have done for them in your current life just totally kicks ass on a mega bonus level.

I also strongly suggest that anyone considering doing this actually speak to their significant others including parents or children…I’ve heard horror stories of people’s organ donations being delayed past the point of benefit because of delays caused by their own loved ones. If you think your *whomever* is going to have an issue…sit down with them and discuss why you want this to happen..

So…do it ….now or next time you get your license renewed…tell me about it next time we bump into each other and I’ll buy you a beer or a pot o tea. (whatever your taste is)


Cults and Amway

The wife and I got misled (from my perspective) into heading down to Calgary to attend a great “leadership” event that was 3 days long. While I asked the lovely wife to provide me a description of the event or an itinerary of speakers I didn’t really push it and the wife kept insisting it was going to be great and a good step in her career path of becoming a holistic worker. We’ve attend past great events (the seed event) so part of me was hoping this mysterious event would be good. I eventually acquiesced and we loaded up the car, booked some very costly hotel rooms and headed down to cowtown.

I’m going to have an entire other post dedicated to how expensive hotel rooms are…and how uncomfortable they are to stay in….

At the hotel I looked around during the shitty continental breakfast and was sure there was a Mormon convention in town, everyone wearing stark black illfitting suits with small backpacks and smiling at you in that unsettling manner. At this point I started to get a bit nervous as I was starting to suspect that these people might be attending the leadership event. One cereal eater casually turned to me and said the Bible had plenty to teach women about patience before returning back to poking the toaster with a plastic fork to free her trapped bagel.

Janelle was still optimistic and in her business casual attire we hopped on the LRT and popped out a few minutes later at the Stadium. A girl named Yvonne we friend’d on the train bubbled about how the previous nights speeches had been so inspirational and we would love today. Her comments were “I never knew you could ask so many questions to find things out about friends and family”.

We got there…sat in the huge stadium full of people wearing those same illfitting suits (since when does business casual include a tie?)

The lights went down……a huge drum roll….strobe lights..a smoke bomb….a throng of people rushed the stage……..shrills cry’s of excitement rise up to fill the arena….am I at a…I dunno…beiber concert?  Nope…out runs out some crazy dudes and hi-fives fly around the room and then BAM.


Serious? I got roped into a 3day amway selling convention? what.the.fuck. (pardon the profanity in this post but I’m still pretty pissed) I’m a freaking self identified minimalist who has worn the same toque for 30 years..I cut my hair with a bread knife……I’m almost a dang hobo….but with a corporate slant

Listen…I don’t mind selling…or people selling things..when my friend calls me up and goes “hey buddy, we got a new kind of olive oil in we think you’d enjoy” or “Hey, last minute deal on a trip to cuba”….I don’t mind…cause you know what….they are being upfront at least in offering you something…

Amway…Quixstar….Primerica….Norwex…Passion Parties…are all pyramid scams….yes…legal…legal pyramid scams…and I realize they all make good products…I really do…I have no doubt most of their products are solid….but their focus is on recruiting and intruding into the lives of those close to you…that’s a big freaking intrusion…

If you feel that you can only get a “friend” to show up to an event by excluding certain details (or downright deceiving you) then maybe it shouldn’t be an event you should be promoting to them…

I realize that a lot of the aforementioned pyramid scams have a huge amount of very loyal followers who would likely tear me apart for saying anything negative (if anyone read this blog) and that’s to be expected…most of them use very cult like behaviour and practices to encourage those types of people to join up. When I was looking around that arena full of people freaking out I felt totally terrified I would get exposed and ripped apart so I stood up and screamed “I LOVE YOU, YOU WONDERFUL BASTARD!, GO AMWAY!!”

*at this point I should point out I take some artistic licence with my posts.

But I can tell you this….look at the statistics and don’t get sucked along if you want to get involved in one of those organizations…Most people involved in them do not make money…that is an absolute fact…and you know what…I think most people that get involved in these things can do great things….you have motivation already! inside of you! it’s easy to take the route of going to an arena and pee’ing your pants over false idols but take a little bit more time to develop your own business if you want to do something great. Find out what gets you excited about them and do it yourself!

That’s all…I wasn’t sure exactly where this post is going when I started it but you know…I think it ended up slightly more positive than I expected…cause I’m thinking of all the people who have approached me about these types of things and I think most had a strong will to succeed and do great things….. these are people who I would consider to be “influencers and motivators”….there are so many great ways that you can impact and be useful to someone else’s life (and frankly make a bit of monies too) . To use a saying I hate….”think outside the box” and stop looking for your motivation and success in nicely pre-packaged books and seminars.

And with that….down from my soap box I go… a few hundred dollars and a weekend shorter…but perhaps a bit wiser?

**For the record Janelle and I still had a decent time…visited a bunch of markets…drank too much by the pool and ran into some old friends of mine…..just wish the whole weekend had started off a bit differently.






Optimism + disposition + outlook

I’ve managed to chisel out just about all the people who I have identified as just down right negative…I realize that sometimes we all go through negative streaks and that our friends or family have to put up with that and help bring us out of  our funks…but I’ve also come to realize that some people are just negative and what I am going to call energy vampires (not the new age style)…people who consistently surround themselves and perpetuate negativity…..

You might be one of those people if “everyone is always out to get you” if every single boss you’ve ever had “was always an idiot” or if you are constantly having “its just bad luck” type circumstances….

The world is a pretty amazing place and I got to say that most of us here in Canada are playing life at the “easy setting”. I know two people who are reasonably close to me who have spent time in two different refugee camps and who also happen to be two of the most optimist go lucky people ever. It’s actually kind of shocking sometimes as you forget just how much adversity they have had to go through but sometimes I think it actually has helped them truly decide to live a more intentional and deliberate life full of good and meaning.

I know sometimes I get down and depressed if I don’t feel like I’m paying off debt fast enough or if I can’t afford to go on a vacation or do something I know I would really enjoy.

Today I was taking a first aid class and the teacher was talking about how we never quite now how we would all react in the circumstance of a real emergency were there might be blood or burns or people stressing out and she kind of poked my buddy a bit and he calmly stated “no, there is nothing that I could see today that would throw me for much of a loop” and she kind kept pressing him before he simply stated that he had grown up on “BiDong” island as a Vietnam war refugee and had seen most of his family raped, tortured and literally set on fire by the time he was 10.

It puts things into a real perspective when you bump into a story like this and you realize that true human misery isn’t always just a movie on TV or some abstract concept. People you likely interact with everyday have went through some horrendous things and come out on the other side being beautiful intentional people.

Don’t spend too long feeling sad for yourself, get up and do some good if you have the ability. Suffering has the ability to make you bitter or enlightened in so many ways, you ultimately are responsible for choosing.




Do you know how much utilities cost?

So as a few of you may now I’m a pretty big fan off offgrid and solar solutions. I know quite a few people in the solar industry or who have lived via solar and one thing they pretty much all had in common was that solar was great…but that being ongrid still offered huge benefits in reliability. This is even coming from people who were using solar back in the 60’s up to today…

One thing that came up during the solar class I was taking at Nait was a guy (who worked for the utilities) that the delivery/admin charges were so high that even being 100% solar (but still grid tied) wouldn’t actually realize much savings…this prompted me to check my latest bills…

On my last natural gas bill I paid $112.60, that was $44.44 for actual gas….and $68.16 in admin/misc charges….

On my last electrical bill I paid  $85.86, that was $43.04 for electricity and $42.84 in admin/misc charges.

Even though he warned me I was pretty shocked, most people just kind of pay their bills without looking to closely into it. Definitely makes “utilitiy sharing” ie: tiny community or roomates or group of people type thing a tempting offer….





You don’t need money to be happy



Finances and money have always been an interesting topic to me but one that I only really recently seemed to have taken seriously.

You’re the boss!

While I don’t blame my parents or the school system I grew up in I have to preface this post by saying I am stunning at the lack of free knowledgeable information about finances. For many people it’s a taboo topic, rude to be discussed that puts people on the defensive. I also feel that sometimes people just don’t get a grasp on their finances until much later in life though by learning some basic concepts earlier it can make everything easier.

It’s also important to note that your own financial freedom is most important to….YOU! and only you. While financial advisors are great resources given the right circumstances your own financial goals are not always aligned. Don’t forget how they get paid, by commissions on products to be sold to you! Under no circumstance (maybe forced savings…) is it a good idea to take out a loan at 18% to buy an investment at 5% interest…

Everyone might have a different method that works for them but Janelle and I have a monthly tracking sheet now that we put together and talk about for a few minutes every month. It really allows both of us to understand where our money goes each month and gives us the ability to adjust things as we go on.


Money Leaks

One of the best financial metaphors along the lines that you were nuts if you thought the best way to fill a bathtub with holes was just to keep dumping water into it which is how so many of us approach finances. We keep working longer and harder to make more money and throw in more buckets of water but never stop to take a good look at this tub that has the holes in it were all our hardwork is just running out.

I remember having so many different debts I just didn’t know the entire amount I owed up and it actually took a considerable amount of work to gather all that information. How do you even begin to have a plan if you don’t know where you are starting from?

I’ve also realized that since I am not good at being too organize or paying bills on time (oh yeah, I’ll pay this tomorrow then I lose it then BAM $25 late charge next month) that one of the best things we did is have every single one of our bills hit our credit card…then once a month I just make a single payment to that…no more missed payments, overdraft or other charges.


Resources I would suggest:

There is a huge amount of resources out there including family members, friends, books and website were you can learn all about different financial methods that would have a direct impact on you. Most of it is just being willing to ask for help and guidance and taking off the blinders.

I really enjoy books by Chuck Yeager, the wealthy Barber, Smoke & Mirrors and anything by Bill Waterson as good resources.

Crystal Ball:

You never really know where you are going to end up…so save and make smart decisions but be aware you never know what’s going to happen. A friend of mine just passed on at the age of 34…went to bed in his brand new 2300 sqft house with his stay at home wife and two kids…never woke up….totally shocking and going to be a huge difficulty for those he left behind.

Or maybe you after 40 years of marriage you’ll grow apart or start a successful business…or your successful business will fail…all kinds of things can and will happen. If anything is predictable it’s that life is unpredictable…