How to get out of debt: Part 1

Stop Impulse Buying….


Stop Impulse Buying….

Easier said than done, eh?  Actually, it is not as hard as it sounds.  I read a book on money management, and 90% of the way through the book, I was still asking the question “Okay, how?”  I won’t do that to you, here are some quick tips to get you on the road to recovery right now.  “Just the facts mam, just the facts!”  😉

A friend is in A.A. and while I don’t know much about the program, I found a few of his tips helpful.

  1. Not Today! My wife and I started using this one way back when.  It is very easy to use, especially when we are together.  I was finding that when we were together it was easier to say, “Sure, why not” when she asked me should we buy this.  As soon as I learned about “Not Today” those joint shopping trips cost a lot less.  It works when you are on your own too, whether you say it out loud or not.  😉  Take each day one at a time, if you don’t need to buy it today, then don’t.
  2. A higher power!
    1. God! Many Christians have heard the concept of treating your money not as your own, but as God’s money.  We are all stewards of his money, therefore we have to think “Would God want me to buy this or not?”  If you believe in God, or another higher power this might work for you, but if not what then?
    2. Your Partner! Another Higher power is your spouse, you pretend that the money is theirs, and they pretend that the money is yours, therefore you still have to ask “Would they want me to buy this or not?”
    3. Your creditors! Who do you owe the money too?  The bank?  Friends?  Family?  If all else fails, every time your reach for that candy bar at the grocery store counter, or want to go out for fast food, picture the person you owe money to standing there asking how you have money to waste on junk food, when you owe them money.  Of course the double edge sword here is that if you suffer from depression already that this depresses you more, and drives you to want more junk food.
  3. Smarter Buys! Try replacing those impulse buys with smarter buys that cost less and last longer.  For example buying healthy food and cooking meals, rather than going out to eat.  Buy carrots and celery sticks instead of candy bars.  Scale back slowly if you have to.  Instead of going and spending $50 to go see a movie with popcorn, buy the movie for $20 on DVD and watch it at home.  Then instead of buying the movie, rent it on Pay per View for $4.  And finally, instead of renting it, wait for it to come out on Netflix or another streaming service with unlimited movies for $8 per month.  That may be twice the price of one Pay per View, but if you watch one per weekend, that’s $16, so Netflix is half the price!  You could then make your own popcorn a nice meal for a stay-in Date Night, and you would still be saving money in the long run!


Next:  Part 2:  Priorities

Reblog: Meet and Greet: 9/10/16

Dream Big, Dream Often


It’s the Meet and Greet weekend!!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times!  It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want.  It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

Now that all the rules have been clearly explained get out there and Meet and Greet your tails off!

See ya on Monday!!

View original post

The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything

I was watching Star Wars – Return of the Jedi and it hit me. Love and faith are the answer to life the universe and everything. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy fans will say that that is “42”, but that doesn’t explain much, so let me explain myself.

To summarize the first 6 Star Wars movies, the Jedi represent the prophets in biblical times, who God had given magical powers. In the first 3 episodes (also known as the prequels because they were made after episodes 3-6), the Jedi had not had an equal enemy in over 1,000 years, so when one came around they were afraid. They forgot that as Yoda says in episode 5, “Size matters not”, and the size of the enemies’ army doesn’t matter. In The Bible, a man named Gideon defeated an army of 10,000 with only 300 men, and no weapons, only noise, God did the rest by confusing the large army to kill each other.

So, in the prequels, the Jedi’s own fear that they couldn’t defeat the Sith, and their fear of this young Jedi trainee, is what eventually turned on them and did them in. George Lucas filmed the next 3 episodes first, because it is the story of how Love and Faith in the end defeated the evil Emperor and the Sith.

In the original 3 movies, Luke Skywalker learns of the power that can move mountains – faith and love. Later when he realizes that his enemy turns out to be his dad who turned to the dark side, he has faith that his dad won’t let him be killed by the evil Emperor, and it turns out that his dad does sacrifice himself to save his son.

So, how does that help us? First we have to believe that there is a God, and that he is our father in heaven, and that he loves us. Wow, that’s a lot. Let’s take it one step at a time. First, do you believe in God? Most of us do believe in something, God, the universe, or mother earth. If you believe in any of these, I believe that they are the same thing, so for simplicity sake I will just refer to them as God. If you don’t believe in any of these then I ask you, how do you explain a peacock?

A peacock is a beautiful bird, that when frightened by another animal puts out its tail, and a hundred eyes scare its attacker into thinking that he is outnumbered, and it runs away. Now I ask you, if you don’t believe in an all-powerful, overlooking force, how could a bird evolve to have such a defense system?

And then there are many of you who believe in God, but hate him. Nevertheless, you still believe in God, you just don’t believe that he loves you. You have probably also had a parent or teacher that you believed hated you was well, right? That is because God is the ultimate parent and teacher, and we often don’t like or understand the lessons that he is trying to teach us, and so we come to the conclusion that he hates us, and so we hate him back. But what happens when we do that? Life doesn’t go so smoothly does it?

When we have anger and fear in us, the fear makes bad things happen to us. Have you heard the expression “If worrying helps anything, then worry all you want.” Well, worrying doesn’t help, in fact it hurts more than it helps. If you are afraid that something is going to happen, it usually does. If you are afraid you will get into a car accident, you usually do. If you are afraid that your car will break down, because you can’t afford the time or the money to repair it, then it probably will. Fear has a way of making things happen.

So, where does fear come from? Fear comes from the absence in believing that there is an all-powerful God that loves you.

Think about it. If there is an all-powerful God that loves you, what do you have to be afraid of? Nothing, because God won’t let anything happen to you that he doesn’t want you to experience. So why does he let bad things happen to you? Because he is a teacher, and we learn by experience, and if bad things didn’t happen to us, we wouldn’t learn, right?

So, what does that leave us with? If you want a better life for yourself, you have to believe in an all-powerful God that loves you, you have to believe that he does want the best for you, and that anything bad that happens is just to make you stronger and better. No matter what happens, believe that He loves you, and wants the best for you.

If you want a better life, have faith in that. Try to learn from your experiences, although sometimes you will never know why, you just have to believe that it is for the best. Plan for the future for yourself and those around you, but keep in mind that we don’t know everything and God does. So expect and allow God to change things, but always do your best. Learn to budget your time and your money so that less unexpected bad things happen, and you are prepared for what God has planned for you next.

I am allergic to my Antihistamines

Yes, you heard me right.  I am allergic to my Antihistamines, or at least the fillers that they put in them.

Did you know that most of them have lactose in them?  How many people are lactose intolerant and they are still using it as fillers in pills?  Well, lactose makes my nose run, therefore if I take too many of those antihistamines they make my nose run too.

Another has Iron in them, and with my Hemochromatosis, I can’t have any Iron, so these are basically toxic for me.

Well, how about these new gel caps?  Those have soy lectin in them, which I am also allergic to.

What about kids liquid?  Those have sugar in them that make me break out into pimples.

I had to get the pharmacy to custom make a allergy free generic benadryl pills.  I don’t know what is in them as a filler, but I noticed that when I take these for too long, they bother me too.  I start out taking about one a week.  Soon I am taking one a day.  Then I start taking it 3 times a day and it does nothing.

Here is how I know that I am allergic to these pills, not that the antihistamine in them stops working (as is the common belief).  The more I take of them, the more my allergies bother me.  I stop taking them, or switch to a different type, and I don’t need one for a week or two.  If they simply stopped working, I would still need an antihistimine, but the fact that I don’t need them anymore means that I was reacting to the antihistamine itself.

So, what do I do?  I basically have to use one of the three (lactose, lectin or custom) pills until they bother me, and then I try the other two to see which one bothers me less, and I use that one until it bothers me, and then switch again.  Anyone else have problems like that?

Reblog: Meet and Greet: 8/6/16

Can I do step 1 & 2 at the same time? I just wrote a post on SmartWatches, if you are interested, please check out:

Dream Big, Dream Often


It’s the Meet and Greet weekend!!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times!  It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want.  It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

Now that all the rules have been clearly explained get out there and Meet and Greet your tails off!

See ya on Monday!!

View original post

What’s a SmartWatch? Do I Need One? Which One?

What is a SmartWatch?

A smartwatch is obviously a watch, but it usually pairs with your SmartPhone to at the very least display notifications.  The idea is that you don’t have to grab your phone every time it beeps to see what message just came in.

Some SmartWatches like the Samsung Gear S & S2 are complete Cell Watches, meaning that they can be used independently and connect to a 3G cellular network all on their own.  Yes, you can make phone calls on your watch, without having to drag a cell phone around with you.  What is 3G you ask?  Before LTE there was 4G, before 4G was 3G.  In Canada we just phased out 2G, so it probably is about 5 years before we phase out 3G, but that’s just Canada, eh?

So, some SmartWatches can do as much as a SmartPhone, with the obvious limitation of a much smaller screen.  However, because of this much smaller screen they usually want you to use the voice recognition, and therefore the voice recognition is much better on some devices.

Do I need One?

If you are tired of reaching for your cell phone everytime it beeps, then you probably want a SmartWatch.  Even more so, if you are tired of dragging a cell phone around with you, then you probably want a 3G SmartWatch.

Also, my wife is prone to falling down, so I got her a SmartWatch to make emergency calls, if her phone is not close by.  While we did get the Samsung Gear S on clearance for around $299, and it is capable of making calls without a cellphone.  We currently opted out of getting the 3G SIM card installed to save the monthly fees, so it does need the cellphone in bluetooth range, but it usually is in the next room or somewhere central in the house.  Also, we can add the SIM card later if we feel we need it.

Which One?

I started out getting my wife and I the Pebble Classic SmartWatches for about $99 each.  My friend has one, and he loves it.  In addition to notifications it has apps that you can install for fitness tracking, watch faces, etc.  It’s input is limited to 3 buttons on the side, which allowed you to scroll through the options nicely.  It charged with a magnetic connector on the side, so it plugged / unplugged easily.  It is a nice inexpensive entry level SmartWatch.  However, for me I found that its bluetooth range in our house wasn’t very good, and it kept disconnecting.  Even worse, when I came back into range, it didn’t give me the notifications that I missed.  For me this was unacceptable, but for my friend he didn’t seem to go out of range, and he loves it.

So I exchanged them and got myself the Samsung Gear 2 (shown in the image above) for around $299.  It could do all that the Pebble watch did, but instead of having buttons on the side for controls, it had a colour touch screen, and voice recognition.  The voice recognition is built in to the watch itself, and is better than any voice recognition I have used anywhere to date!  It also could be used as a bluetooth speaker phone, and could save some of your favourite music and be used as a music player.  It also had all the fitness apps, and watch faces.

In addition, this is the only SmartWatch that I have found to have sleep monitoring.  I found out using this watch that the reason that I needed 10 hours of sleep was that I was only getting 8 hours motionless sleep.  This information really helped me.

In general, I believe that this watch is designed by people who actually use it.  It is easy to learn, and things work the way you would expect them to.  Samsung has been leading the market, releasing 3 or 4 models before Apple and Android jumped on the watch band wagon.

The main problem with the Samsungs is that they only pair with Samsung Galaxy phones.  Also, my charging connector worn itself out.  After trying unsuccessfully to get it repaired, because I got it from Amazon and got an International model and the local repair depot only fixes Canadian models, I was able to locate the parts I needed online (as well as the tools needed), and fixed it myself.  I still think that this is the best watch ever invented!

Before I got my wife the Gear S, I heard a lot of good reviews on the Moto 360 SmartWatch, so I got her one of those, also for around $299.  It runs Android Wear, which has it’s pro’s and con’s.  Because it is Android, there is a lot of apps you can get, because it is easy to add the extra code to existing android apps to synchronize with them.  I like that my bank has an app that I have installed on my phone, and I didn’t even have to do anything extra, it just installed automatically on my watch.  Now I can check my bank balance on my watch, without pulling out my phone.  Google maps brings up navigation on your watch, however, because the screen is so small you shouldn’t look at it while you are driving, and it doesn’t show you much anyway. It vibrate to notify you when your turn is coming up, which does help.

On the down side, I still get annoyed when I want to see the time and the screen saver doesn’t turn off when I bring my wrist up at the usual angle.  The voice recognition is not on the watch, it relays your voice to the phone which relays to the Google servers….  It takes a long time, and is not as accurate as the Samsung.  It doesn’t have speakerphone capabilities, in fact it doesn’t have a speaker at all.

I currently am using this one, as when I fixed my Samsung, I lost a screw and it wasn’t water proof anymore.  This wasn’t a problem until I went swimming…..  :-O

Android Wear is not my favorite.  It does give me the time (if the screen saver turns off), and my notifications, but it seems like they are playing catchup with the Samsungs.  It’s awkward to use, and it just seems like the people who designed it didn’t think about how people use it.  For example, I use the timer when barbecuing.  On my Samsung watch, I can stop and reset the timer in the app.  On Android Wear the only way to stop it is to exit the app, and then I have to find the app, restart it, and pick the duration again.  Also, Android Wear doesn’t seem to relay my calendar events and alarms as the Samsung does.  I can turn off my alarms from my Gear watch, but I have to go looking for my phone if I want to silence it when I am using Android Wear.


Most people would be happy with a Pebble SmartWatch.  It is compatible with almost every SmartPhone out there (even Apple), and it is not expensive.  Hopefully you won’t have the range problem that I did.

Android Wear is compatible with any Android phone and many of your existing apps.  However, they are still playing catchup with Samsung.  But if you Don’t have an Samsung Galaxy phone, it is an option.

Samsung is my favorite, but only if you have a Samsung Galaxy phone to pair with it, or go 3G.  I think Samsung would corner the market if they made it compatible with all phones as the Pebble did.

About Me

My dad was a Jack of all trades, and he taught me quite a lot, like basic plumbing, carpentry, mechanics, electrical, painting, drywalling, etc.

Then computers came along, and that’s where I focused my attention.  Although I went to school for it, I learned much more than what was being taught.  I later went on to teach computers at the post secondary institution I graduated from.  Before that, I started my own consulting company and wrote a user-friendly accounting program in user-unfriendly DOS (remember that?).  Yes, I did it all.  I wrote a windows-like text-based menu system.  I created a database system, a background printing system, and more.  The accounting program had accounts receivable / payable, point of sale, payroll, inventory control, etc.

Once DOS died, I switched to writing web database sites.  However, I guess the one skill I didn’t have at the time though was business management, so after 15 years or so, it all died away.

Once it died, I tried to get as far away from computers as I could.  I went back to working in kitchens, I did janitorial, then a care home, and finally I ended up driving a bus for the disabled.  All the time, I really did want to get back to computers, but it just didn’t feel right anymore.  The industry had changed, and it is all database design now.  I don’t know if there is a need for someone who can program on both high and low levels anymore.

Back in the early days I met a lady who agreed to write a manual for my accounting program.  We worked well together, we became friends, and 10 years later we finally got married.  It wasn’t an easy relationship though, we had some really tough times, but we came though them stronger.  Now I think we have a better relationship than any other couple I know.