I Was A Teenage Toffee Baron

I Was A Teenage Toffee Baron

In 1973, I lived in Grand Forks, North Dakota, which is located on the Red River. Like the Nile, the Red flows northward, one of the few rivers in the world to do so.

That spring, a river wasn't the only thing flowing north from Grand Forks. My junior high school fed a steady pipeline of exchange students up to Winnipeg, Manitoba, which also is located on the Red.

I don't know how teachers picked kids for these trips, but I suspect only the best and brightest made the cut. Let's be clear: I've never been among the best and brightest in my life—which explains much of what follows.

Read More

The ROI of Saving Like A Canadian

The ROI of Saving Like A Canadian

Who has an easier time saving money, Canadians or Americans?... Canadians!  

According to median income numbers and average personal savings rates, typical Canadians save about $500 more per year than typical Americans. On its own, this probably isn't enough reason to switch citizenship, but it will save a few years off a working career by the time of retirement.

In addition to a few less years of work, there are some other pretty fantastic benefits to living in Canada, in my humble opinion, which include things like mandatory paid time off, paid maternity leave, government-run healthcare, greater social mobility, less inequality, better positioning to handle climate change, cheaper college, better education, more international travel, happier and more fulfilled people, stronger marriages, less jail time, and oh, did I mention more sex?  Yeah, that too.  I've got all the deets. :)

Read More

Have You Found Your Tribe?

Have You Found Your Tribe?

Humans are amongst the most social of primates and the evidence suggests that we lived in tribes for many millennia up to the start of modern times.

It is not difficult to imagine the evolutionary basis for this. When you are all alone in the world with just a flint axe and a loin cloth, surrounded by predators and not knowing where your next meal is coming from, the world can look like a pretty scary place. Having some like minded mates (in both senses of the word) around is obviously going to be helpful from a survival and reproductive standpoint.

Read More

Follow The White Rabbit...

Follow The White Rabbit...

My favourite movie of all time, and the one that helped me start thinking about how I should and could live life on my terms, is The Matrix

It's not because I thought I could kung fu fight my way through life, but it was the numerous messages throughout the movie that made me question steps in life that we just take for granted as being "normal".

Read More

Arbitrage In The Suburbs

Arbitrage In The Suburbs

I woke up this morning and decided to give myself a major treat: I was going out for a specialty coffee. Why? I had a Starbucks reward that I’d been sitting on for over 6 weeks and it was about to expire. So, I decided that this is a perfect opportunity for a treat. I lazily checked Twitter and my favourite bloggers on my smartphone and, when I was good and ready, I rolled out of bed, gathered by laptop and the book I’m reading and headed out the door.

Read More

You're Right Dear. Again.

You're Right Dear. Again.

Why do others always see what isn't working in your life before you do? I find it particularly annoying, I mean really!

In my case, the person who always sees what's going to blow up in my face way before I'm willing to see it is my husband. He's always right in the end, but he's not pushy about it or judgmental (yes, he's a saint). He's happy to let me fall flat on my face (when I deserve it) and offers advice when I seek his counsel.

Read More

For The Love Of Travel, Explore!

For The Love Of Travel, Explore!

I love to travel. Always have and, I hope, always will. I have my parents to thank for it, and for my love of trying new things. I guess the two go hand in hand, really. 

I had the chance to go to many places when I was a kid and it changed the way I think of the world even at an early age. Talk about supplemental education!

Travel does many wonderful things for us as people.

 

Read More

Are You A "Deadhead"?

Are You A "Deadhead"?

No. I don't mean a fan of the Grateful Dead.

I mean are you taking care of yourself?

Huh?

Let me explain. I had an epiphany this morning while I was deadheading some plants in our cul-de-sac. All the flowers on the plants had died due to lack of attention while I was away on a trip two weeks ago. I had made the mistake of leaving for five days without asking a neighbour to water in my absence. Five days of neglect is all is took for the plants to go from beautiful to ugly and brown.

This made me think about people. More specifically how we treat ourselves throughout the five work days and, indeed, throughout life.

Read More