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Showing posts from March, 2008

RIP Chris "Punch" Andrews

One of my teenage mentors died this morning.

Chris Andrews, known for the past decade and a half by his on-air name "Punch" Andrews, died of lung cancer after a public and very upbeat battle.

Chris had a growing Facebook support group that, I'm told, is still growing. I'm not on Facebook, but I'm told the group is at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=24463005229.

Everyone there has his or her own story ... I have mine, so here it is.

I met Chris about twenty years ago, when I was in grade 9 and started volunteering at Rogers Cable 10 in Newmarket. My first gig there was pulling cables and changing tapes for cameraman Chris at the Miss Portuguese Cultural Centre Pageant in Bradford.

From there, I worked alongside Chris as he toiled on both sides of the camera ... producing, directing, shooting, editing and hosting virtually anything on Cable 10. While he's long been known as a high-energy party DJ, he was equally adept at hosting all the shows. He was the …

Sleepy landing

If you can see this, we've landed safely in Halifax after a week in Cuba.

Our flight was delayed more than four hours ... Five hours? I can't keep track. It's almost 3am as we prepare for takeoff in Varadero. I'm starving and exhausted. The delay is due to a big ass snowstorm in Halifax. A brutal end to a gorgeous week.

Anyway, just a note to say we've landed ... And are heading home to sleeeeep. Hoping the phone won't wake us. :) We'll be in touch soon.

Hola from Cuba, mang

Greetings from the sunny shores of the Barcelo Marina Palace in Varadero, Cuba.

We're having a lovely time here. The food is fabulous (bacon bacon bacon, as promised), the staff is friendly, the amenities are plenty, and the weather has been decent. The first coupla days were H-O-T-T and humid like a sticky Toronto afternoon, but today it's a lot cooler and windy... too surfy to swim.

Tomorrow we're off to Havana for a tour ... next day is a half-day of snorkeling on the reef.

Lots of photos to come upon our return.

Many thanks to Laura for cat-sitting ...

The internet is slow, and for some reason the hotel appears to be using Vista on its two public machines with mucho security enabled, so I can't even get at my main email ... so ... I'm gonna wrap up and go get a sunburn.

This is not a Personal Finance blog

I've been reading a lot of Personal Finance blogs lately. There's a whole genre of blogs out there run by people who share their financial plights and successes with the world. Some are struggling to get out of debt and blogging about how to save a few bucks here and there. Some are making millions and explaining how the average Joe or Jane can do the same.

I started at Give Me Back My Five Bucks, run by krystalatwork. She's a young Vancouver woman who buried her debt in a hurry and is now ambitiously saving up emergency funds, travel funds, condo down payments and whatnot. She links to lots of other Canadian and American PF blogs.

One that appears chock full of great links is Quest For Four Pillars run by Mr. Cheap.

Articles at Millionaire Mommy Next Door (closed) made me question the conventional wisdom that home-buying is the best investment.

So, yeah, there's a lot out there. And a lot of these bloggers show their stats for all to see. I applaud them, though I'…

What's in your wallet?

I've been reading a lot of personal finance blogs lately. Seems a bunch of them are answering the question "What's in your wallet?" I figured it might be fun to do the same here ...



So ... here's what's there right now.


One $20 bill
Thirteen Halifax Metro Transit tickets
Two (why two?) business cards for my financial advisor at RBC Royal Bank
Air Miles collector card (collector since 05/98 and I've never cashed in my points)
American Express Air Miles credit card -- more miles
Citibank MasterCard -- had this one since I was about 19
RBC Gold Visa -- just got this one and I've only used it once
RBC client card #1 for my personal accounts
RBC client card #2 for the shared accounts
Nova Scotia Health card
Ontario Health card in rough shape and useless
Rogers Video membership mood card
Video Difference membership card (excellent video store, BTW!)
Blockbuster membership card (I doubt I've ever been to Blockbuster in Halifax)
Company insurance card
Staples Dividends ca…