Sunday, January 29, 2006

The New Conservative Government

Well,

I've been thinking about this conservative government we've got in Canada now, and you know, it may not be as bad as we all think...

While, yes we have a conservative minority, we have strong parliamentary representation by four political parties. We can rest assured that Harper's "Conservative Agenda" won't go anywhere because of his weak minority, and I'm beginning to really like minority governments!

You know, this is real democracy at work here. A true democracy supports a wealth of opinion, from all over the political spectrum, where many ideas, representing many (if not yet all) Canadians can be heard. Our parliament now represents that, more than it has during the "Liberal dictatorship". I'm not afraid of Harper because of his weak minority. Canadians wanted change, but they were unsure of where to turn. Canada is not turning towards Harper's conservative views as much as we're punishing the Liberals. Canada has simply gone with whom we feel will do a 'good job' of running the country.

That said, we've given Harper's Conservatives a very short leash, balanced with a good compliment of NDPers. Hopefully, next time around, Jack will get the minority as the majority of Canadians (who I feel are more liberal than conservative) feel confident in the job his party is doing. Once the NDP forms the government, then I'll feel comfortable to move my vote from the NDP to the Greens--I'd like to never see another majority government again!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Most Depressing Day of the Year!

It is.

Here's proof.

So many things seem to go wrong these days. Or as Danny would say: "The hits just keep on comin'!"

So, as it turns out, Danielle is without a job by the end of the month. That means no income. It's a blessing, really, but it just comes at a bad time for us, money-wise. I won't go into details, suffice to say that she was having a hard time at school.

However, I think we need to sell our car (I need the exercise) and sell off most of our crap (we have too much anyways). Good thing we have our real estate, and we can afford (just barely) to live on my wage alone. Too bad we woke up with no heat again (there goes another $500).

Oh, and the real estate we were looking at, it sold under our noses. And to add insult to injury, the people who bought it received an offer to purchase--on the same day they bought it--for $10k more than they paid. Nice way to make 10 grand for a day's work. We missed out on this one....

Today's the federal election, and the country's about to elect a Conservative government. I think that's the last straw! We're going to go teach overseas, and get the hell out of Canada!!


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Stuff (Guitars, real estate and misc)

Greetings to Jen, who's been checking out my blog....click on the post title to see the guitar (I didn't know how the link worked...first time and all)

Still kinda sick, but I went to work today (half day). To answer the question, I got a free guitar from Fender for selling so much Fender stuff over the Christmas sales season. It's a pretty nice guitar (not terribly expensive, but no cheapie either), and I'm going to re-learn how to play guitar now.

I'm also messing around with Japanese. Did you know they have three distinct alphabets? Crazy. But I'm starting to recognize characters in Japanese writing, and learning a few words too. All thanks to Shareaza (you can find ANYTHING on there).

Thinking about contacting my real estate agent this week...There's a couple of inexpensive houses D and I are considering....we might be able to get them with little down, and they would produce great income (nearly as much as I make at my job right now). They would put us on the fast track. Then we could get a house of our own in the summer....

But money's been tight the last few months, and we're just getting to the point now (recovering from buying the first two houses) where we'll have some extra cash to put aside. Just wondering about our 'comfort zone' and whether we should push ourselves as much as possible as quickly as possible. So far we've been safe, but these two properties (we'd only buy them as a pair, from the same seller) would put us outside of our safety zone (more mortgage than we could handle by ourselves, if we received NO rent whatsoever), but they're solid investments that would give us enough cash flow to get something good this summer, plus a property of our own....

So D and I will discuss it this weekend (she's loaded with work, and no prep time at all!) and I'll come up with a solution to the smoking tenant problem. If done right, these next two houses could really be the properties to push us forward over the edge and into financial freedom in only a couple more years....


Friday, January 13, 2006

Sick! (But I Get a Free Guitar)

Well, I'm sick. No surprise, really. I've been feeling bad all week. Puked a couple of times, but c'est la vie. At least I'm getting a free guitar (follow the link). Kinda cool, since I've never gotten anything free before. Did get my stove. But too sick to use it. :-( Downloading software to learn Japanese with shareaza. Danielle is ticked off because Memoirs or a Geisha isn't playing in North Bay. Figures.

Slept some, did some bookkeeping, helped gradma with groceries, slept some more, watched Kids In The Hall. Going to get something for supper and pick up Danielle.

What excitement. This blog is straying somewhat. At least I can communicate with the world this way.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Liars

Why do people lie?

I've got a guy who plows my driveways for me. He's good, he's quick, he's a family friend. About a month ago, my 'neighbor' who lives across the street comes to see me. He says he wants my guy to plow his driveway. However, he wanted to complain about piling snow up on his side of the street.

You know, if he had a problem, why didn't he just tell me, instead of lying to my face? Why do people lie? It just makes life so much more difficult.

Oh, and speaking of lying. Why hasn't my stove shown up yet? Two weeks ago, I bought a stove, and it has yet to be delivered. First it was supposed to be Monday, then Thursday, then the next Monday, now the next Thursday. Why does life have to be like this? This is what is destroying humanity....

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Introductory Post

Here it is.

Since I just sent out a mass email to most people on my list, I'll briefly update my situation.

Living back in North Bay, working at the music store (D is teaching at Widdifield), trying to figure out how to really do what we want to do (or as the books all say: "retire rich, retire early"). So I'm busy taking care of a couple of houses (3 apartments, plus where we're living). Part of this blog's purpose is to let people know what the plans are, to help light a fire under my ass, and keep me moving; part is to keep those people I don't regularly communicate with informed about what I'm doing (and maybe help me increase my correspondence with my friends); part is to document my progress towards my goals (I've never been much of an effective goal setter).

So, working, landlording (yes, it is now a verb!), trying to find some sort of balance in my life (with all my so-called education, I'm still seriously lacking in the sort of knowledge that brings actual happiness) although things are outstanding between D and I (nothing but blind luck there!) so at least something is working for me.

Two important goals for me are to gain control over my weight and my bipolar states. I need to find some middle ground instead of constantly swinging between mania and depression, without the aid of medication or psychiatric intervention. Also, D and I are looking for a way to earn a living without selling our lives (beginning with apartments and ending with total passive income, but what's in between). Oh, and if you don't know what I mean about passive income, you need to email me!!

Again, with my so-called education, I never actually learned how to take care of myself, either emotionally, or financially. Well, the last year has been eye-opening, in terms of gaining some competence concerning financial matters. Current projections put us at retirement (from having to work) at 5 years, and millionaire status in about 10 (not that really matters--it's just a number), but I'm stating here and now, for the record, that these are our timelines, and they're entirely realistic.

Emotionally, I've been working for a long time, and Buddhism (as some of you know) has been my method of investigation. I'm continuing down that path (one that had become somewhat of a blur to me over the last few years) but with a more modern tilt to it. Living authentically and holistically is my main goal, hence the new focus on financial issues, which was until recently, the most neglected element of my life.

NEways, I hope this brief introduction helped give perspective to things, and I hope to hear from many of you whom I haven't had much contact with in awhile. Send me the links to your blog, and I'll post them here. Hope everyone's doing well in the new year, and here's to a fantastic and productive 2006!

~James~


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Stuff Happens

I'm at work right now. The usual sort of stuff.

Not sure why I decided to write; I guess I want to do something with this, since I haven't don anything with it in a week. Having a few problems: with tenants; with the bank; with my computer (ah yes, my damn computer is about an inch from dying, and I don't want to deal with it); with my life.

Life is so depressing sometimes. I get tired just thinking about it. Danielle and I want to do something fun, but I hate to spend money these days...always trying to save and get ahead a bit so we won't always be working. We'll see what happens in the next few days with things. I guess I'll have to deal with problems as they come. Massive action is actually massive angst.

~J~


Monday, January 02, 2006

Big Spender!

We finally did it. After three months of living without one, we finally purchased a stove! I'll be here Thursday (thanks dad) and we'll be cooking with heat again!

First on the agenda: spaghetti and meatballs. Second: Roast Beast and Yorkshire Pudding. Third: Vindaloo chicken!

Also, we're in the process of getting our 2006 plan worked out. We've got our financials taken care of, and we're moving on to some ambitious personal goals. Stay tuned, as I'll be posting our results shortly.