Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Canada - For Sale

I'm not entirely sure exactly where or when it started, but Canada has now been placed on the open market, and it's resources are for sale - sometimes at giveaway prices.  I first noticed this phenomenon quite some time ago.  Our rights to, believe it or not, the marketing of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were sold to Disney.  Of course, it was only for five years, and the rights have now been returned (I believe), but this was the start of a precedent.

Now we are looking at Nestle taking much of our water supply (almost free), and turning around and selling it to Third World countries and those in need.  Nestle seems to believe that water is abundant on the earth and belongs to whomever takes it.

I've recently heard, and this is apparently true, that controlling interest in the Canadian Wheat Board has been sold to G3 Global Grain Group, a joint venture between Bunge Canada (USA controlled) and SALIC Canada (Saudi controlled).

Not only is our water being siphoned off, but now our grain food is being controlled by foreign interests.  Let's see, they now control our water, our food;  what will be next, our air?  I think it's time our politicians lost control of Canada's finances.  They obviously are not concerned with our well being, and have no skills in this area whatsoever.

Next up for sale - Canada's Via Rail.

Monday, April 27, 2015

What kind of writer are you? The Songwriter

The Songwriter - a songwriter is similar to a poet, particularly those songwriters that concentrate on writing the lyrics to songs.  Many songwriters are also musicians, which gives them a distinct advantage to become a full-bodied songwriter; because songwriting not only includes writing lyrics, it requires writing a melody too.

So, to be considered a songwriter, one must write either lyrics or melodies, or both in many circumstances.  That is, unless, the song is written solely as an instrumental.  In many instances a person has the ability to only create either one or the other.  To create a complete song, they will usually have to collaborate with another person.

Myself, I love to write lyrics, and even though I am also a musician, the melody of the song just doesn't come to me.  Of course, I have an idea of what the meter and genre of the song will be (fast, slow, Rock and Roll, Country), but not the melody itself is missing.

Fortunately many of my previous band mates have been talented in writing music, and we have collaborated on numerous songs.  And great ones, I might add.  In my opinion, if a group of musicians in a band are somehow able to write and perform their own music, it doesn't get much better than that.

Songwriting is like modern day poetry, but much more entertaining because it tantalizes the senses in ways poetry cannot.  Even if poetry is spoken, it just doesn't compare to the sound of a great song. Poetry with music, I simply love it.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

RBC Direct Investing Inc. - Legal siphons

Three years ago, my mom got a tip on a very hot stock to buy.  It was going to go through the roof, and soon.  I told her that I wasn't really interested, but she was so sure of it, she sent me $500.00 to invest.  Because I was already a member of RBC, I decided to use RBC Direct Investing Inc. as my broker so that I could keep track of this wonderful investment right on my RBC Online account.  There was a one time buying fee of 6.95 or something like that, so I bought over 600 shares at a value of about $450.00.

I then basically forgot about this wonderful investment, but received regular statements that showed it going up and down, and not materializing into the 'get rich' value mom had told me it would go to.  This is the important part for people to understand.  This was a relatively small investment, and actually no investment on my part, but RBC has quarterly management fees that they tend to hide in their multitude of information upon signing up.

There is a $25.00 quarterly fee deducted from your account every three months.  Now, on a 447.00 investment that isn't doing as wonderful as predicted, within three years these small fees add up to $300.00.  Then add in a stock change of some sort about a year into the purchase (the value of the shares dropping somehow), my mom's $450.00 investment not only deteriorated in value, any increases were eaten away by RBC.

The stocks are now about $0.00, and the only people that made any money off them was RBC Direct Investments Inc.  Fortunately my mom purchased her shares through CIBC, and hers are still holding their original value (or slightly less).  The moral of the story - DON'T use RBC Direct Investing Inc. for any small share portfolios.  They'll ensure they make as much, or more, than you from your investment.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Muslim beheadings of Non-Believers and Christians..

I have been disgusted in recent months watching the news of ISIS (or whatever they are called now), and their atrocities towards non-Muslims and Christians.  You can say what you want, but it is obvious that they are fighting a religious battle, not matter how distorted their views might seem - or so our new Muslim citizens imply.

Western countries have been taking in Muslim immigrants for years, and now we discover that some of these are terrorists in our own midst.  And our Governments don't seem to have any answer but to allow even more of them into our quiet and previously safe countries.  We have welcomed them with open arms, and they in turn, plot to kill us.

Not only do we welcome these devils, but when caught plotting murder in their new homes, they are slapped on the hands and sent to one of our cushy prisons.  The severity of their crimes is measured in numbers (numbers of years in jail).  What ever happened to an 'eye for an eye' or the 'punishment fits the crime?  Aren't those Christian principles?

I only have to picture my late grandmother, one of the nicest people I have ever know who attended the Catholic Church faithfully, having her head chopped off by one of these bastards.  My Christian punishment would easily fit the crimes of these animals, and I would have not regrets whatsoever.

Friday, April 17, 2015

What kind of writer are you? The Satirist

The Satirist -now this is the kind of writing that I like, and it is really fun.  Just pick any topic that you think is ridiculous, and go to town on it.  But of course, try not to be totally rude and obnoxious when slamming whatever it is you are writing about.

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift is a perfect example of satire.  It is a satire of 18th Century British Society, and is a classic.  Satirists of today can have a field day with topics such as politics, overpaid actors and professional sports figures, and numerous other subjects.  Politics has always been a favorite throughout the times.

When writing satire, keep in mind that you want the reader to find your writing humorous, and not condescending.  You want to leave them with a smile on their face, and something to think about.  You don't want to leave them with the impression that you are just a complainer, and possibly even an arrogant antagonist.

Anyway, a little satire in whatever you write can add spice to your creations.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Advice for young people...

I am now in my 60's and find myself single once again.  Being retired, single and finding that I have more time now to reflect on life (past, present and future), I would like to make some observations to possibly help others one day.

1.  I now know that getting old sneaks up on you.  It seems like just yesterday I was in high school, or University.  When you are younger, you think you have all the time in the world, but in effect, time travels far more quickly than you realize.  Make every moment count, and concentrate on good relationships rather than bad.  Keep your good friends close to you and your family even closer.  They are your support.

2.  Take care of your body while you are young.  This means exercise, eating well and drinking lots of water.  Be aware that any injuries sustained in your youth will be amplified in your later years, so stay away from extreme sports.  A broken leg suffered in a biking accident at a young age can seem like nothing immediately after healing, but can be extremely painful when you are 80 years old.  And there is nothing worse then dying too soon because of stupid decisions or poor health habits.

3.  Start saving a percentage of your salary at a very early age, if not for your children's education (even if you are too young to have/plan for children), but for your retirement.  The Government does not look after the little people in retirement, just the politicians and their friends.  Now whether you should hide your money under the mattress or invest, sorry I can't advise you on that.

4.  Learn how to balance intelligent money management with personal entertainment.  This means be frugal in your daily living, but make sure to put aside something for enjoying yourself.  Hopefully your entertainment doesn't include too much alcohol, and make sure to stay away from dangerous social drugs.  Try buying groceries on sale and in bulk and freezing them for later use.  This can save thousands over a lifetime.

5.  Get enough sleep so your body can protect itself from virus's and disease, and in the worst case scenarios, you have the energy to recuperate from them. I know this may be difficult for University students, but time management is important, and you have to allow time for rest.  It will actually make you smarter.

6. Education, education.  Don't just settle with Grade 12 graduation, go to College or University and get a degree. This will not only open up many career doors for you, it will give you the leverage to make substantially more money over your lifetime.  Unless you are one of the lucky ones that knows in grade school what they want to be when they grow up, higher education can supply even more career ideas.

7.  Don't fall for the 9-5 trap unless it is your decision alone.  If you want to be a business person and support yourself, do it.  If you want to work a little, save up and travel, do it.  Of course your parents may not agree with this, but what do they know anyway?  Just because society teaches and trains you as cattle doesn't mean you have to follow your family and friends to the slaughterhouse.

8. Treat everyone, and that mean's everyone with the respect and dignity you would expect to receive from them.  You are no better than anyone else, and the sooner you realize that, the better.  We are all given a certain amount of time on this earth, and the one certain thing we all face, is death.  Poor people die as well as rich people.  Just because you may have more money or better looks than someone else doesn't mean you are 'special'.

9. When you get older, your mind continues at basically the same speed as always, but your body tends to slow down a little.  Don't give in and let it.  Keep exercising and eating well, and most importantly, keep acting and feeling young - and you will be.  Whoever said we must grow old gracefully was out to lunch.

10. Plan to leave a legacy for your children.  I know this is hard when you haven't had any children yet, but it is important.  If we don't pass anything down to our kids or friends, who exactly will remember us?  And make your legacy a positive one so people don't remember you as an asshole.  I'm writing books about my early life for my children, but not everyone has this desire or ability.  Just make sure to leave something or some memory behind.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

What kind of writer are you? The Playwright

The Playwright - Every time I look at the spelling of this work, I feel it should be spelled 'Playwrite'.  You know, 'play' for the primary function of this genre of writing, and 'write' for what else, writing.  Perhaps it comes from an ancient form of the word 'write'.  Maybe it is actually spelled correctly and my assumption is wrong.

Anyway, a playwright is a person that writes dramatic pieces of literature that are written primarily for performances such as plays and television.  A production that is both visual and oral.  Because they are a drama, they have main characters, protagonists, antagonists, and a plot.  They can be written in prose or poetry, but most modern plays are written in prose.

If a play is written for personal satisfaction, and not for any type of production, in my opinion they are like a flower that will never bloom.  Transposing a play from the pages to the stage, not only allows for an enhanced visual effect of the work, it also gives either the playwright or the production manager room to be even more creative.

In my personal opinion, I have always found plays a more social venue than just going to a movie theater and watching a production on the big screen.  Not only do you get to see real actors, and at times be able to interact with them, most plays have an intermission that allows the attendees to get refreshments and also discuss their feelings on the play thus far.

Definitely a more personal way to view an author's work.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

What kind of writer are you? The Historian

The Historian - Yawn......Sorry, but history was never one of my favorite subjects, and I tended to find myself falling asleep during many classes.  It may not have been the topic itself, it may have been the teacher.  He was a big oaf with a deep voice, and when he spoke, the world stopped spinning and everything went dark.

Seriously though, I have always been extremely interested in history.  I went through a phase a few years back where I ate up every book I could find on World War II.  I have always been a firm believer that if we study our past, we have the opportunity to make fewer mistakes in the future.  Notice I used the word 'opportunity'.  Just because humans have the capacity to learn from their mistakes, does not mean they actually will.

Historians are a little like private investigators or archeologists digging for clues about a subject, and then arranging them in some sense of order.  Hopefully if they accomplish this, they can also make their works interesting reading.  Actually, when you get right down to it, I love a task where I can work alone and spend hours investigating a mystery.

I can't believe it.  I started this article with the premise that historians were boring people and even more boring writers, and I finished with them being some kind of detectives.  Go figure.

Next week's rant - Who knows?