Diogenes's blog

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How Safe is Your RRSP?

I have a friend who has an RRSP. He is self employed. This RRSP is his pension.

financial analyst

Last July he sold the remaining stocks in the plan and directed all funds be placed in a safe, short term, money market fund like T-Bills

His full service broker at Canaccord Capital purchased a 30 day note that paid a competitive rate of interest.

It's highly rated AAA paper, as good as cash

Not long after, and much to his surprise, he discovered he had purchased Asset Backed Commercial Paper (ABCP). The markets froze Aug 13, 2007.

More than 7 months later he has not seen a dime. There is a chance he never will. The account is frozen. He cannot cash it in, he cannot borrow against it. At the present time, it is worthless.

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Up and Running again

It has been almost two months since the last update and I apologize. I was ill, among other distractions, and the hardest thing to do when you are ill is to be creative.

Flowers (44K) The picture on the left was actually taken on Feb 12th, in a little park on a boulevard not far from where we live. It was a beautiful day, 13°C. In Calgary, just a few days earlier, the high for the day was -23, the low was -29.

There are a number of new pages here.

Antwerp is a beautiful town in Belgium known for its diamond trade and ornate guild houses. So we did up picture page with a little story of our trip there.

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Home from the holidays


I stayed at my Mom's for Christmas this year, which was kind of weird because the last time that happened was almost 35 years ago. I remember why. There was not enough room for me. There is still not enough room for me.

It's her castle and the rules are love it or leave it. A simple and effective strategy that has worked, for the most part.

Mom claims that she watches hardly any TV even though the TV is almost always on. She likes news, weather, and shows like Wheel of Fortune; programs with no time commitment or plot. After all, she has a busy retirement.

The favorite over the holidays was channel 106, which I shall call The Fireplace channel because it featured a crackling fire set in a cozy 32 inch fireplace. Every now and then, a poker appears to stoke the fire.

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Please, bear with me!

My brother bought a new computer recently and I offered to help set it up. It came preinstalled with Windows Vista, which is the only Microsoft choice available in about 90% of computer stores in Calgary.

If you find yourself buying to a Windows Vista system, and you have files on your old system that you would like to see on the Vista system, use a memory stick, an MP3 player, or even a digital camera to transfer the files.

Only a masochist would do it with Microsoft networking. Please, bear with me.

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Merry xmas from WAL-MART

In the days leading up to Christmas I saw a lot of xmas news, which are stories of interest, served up in the absence of real news.

In Calgary, these were features on how much shoppers spend at christmas and how Calgary leads the nation in per-capita gift-buying. Wal-mart stores were open 24 hours in the week leading up to Christmas to serve the demand.

On Christmas Day, Walmart issued a press release that outlined plans to have stores open 24 hours a day for boxing week.

I'm not quite sure how their employees greeted this news or how many knew of it before Christmas. It's not hard to imagine a few Walmart people being called on Christmas day and informed of a change in plans, of a new night shift slot that needs to be staffed.

Walmart is clearly the leader on this. Other stores will blindly follow suit, for fear of being crushed by the competition.

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Like a Rolling Stone

conrad6 (9K) aLifeInProgressIIa (10K)

So the general concensus is that Conrad Black got off very lightly. He did indeed.

Poor Toronto Life writer Douglas Bell did far worse - he has to eat his own blog!

Though Mr. Black's prison sentence is a mere 6½ years, our beloved Conrad has been handed a life sentence excluding him from everything he holds dear.

As fellow convicted felon Martha Stewart might say, this is a good thing.

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A Tribute to Conrad Black

conrad4 (5K)

Today they sentence Conrad Black, an event that I have waited for like a kid waits for Santa.

Mr. Black has maintained all along that the remaining convictions against him are rubbish and even offered his opinion that this is a fine example of how US justice functions as a wealth redistribution system.

I would call him Conrad here, except I don't know him, nor do I think he would consider me his buddy. I don't think he is a member of the British House of Lords anymore, so it has to be Mr. Black. Anything else would be disrepectful.

Here we have a guy named Conrad Black, from Canada, being sentenced for BIG TIME fraud and obstruction of justice by the US legal system. Many people in Canada are thinking, well it's about time! He got away with far too much shit here for way too long. Where were our watchdogs and enforcers?

Hollywood screenwriters are on strike as I write this. A name like Conrad Black might be too hokey for an grade 'A' Hollywood movie script. It's like having a lawyer named Lipschitz as a hired mouthpiece.

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AntwerpCrest statue4

The Reluctant Traveler (TRT) and his sidekick, MLW, visited the city Antwerp in Belgium on this weekend.

For those of you who are wondering why TRT goes by that name, it should be explained that it's the act of traveling that he fears and loathes. Once at the destination, things are all right, even pleasant at times.

TRT looks forward to the day when we can just ethereally transport from place to place at the speed of light, avoiding things like airports and queues and the like. Until that time, TRT will soldier on, reporting to all the joys of "travel".

The train trip to Belgium offered a perfect backdrop for your intrepid reporter.

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Home Sweet Home page

OurHouse (40K)

Welcome to the our new Home page, a quick way of reviewing all the different kinds of rubbish to be found on this site.

Press the <space bar> to step through the menu selection on offer. This is the same as clicking the Next button, except faster.

Click on any of the links on a menu page to view a story page.

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Our Jab Journal

stainedGlass0 (51K)

So we have a new BLOG format now, called the JAB page. It has a scrollable calendar. The coloured days are the JAB days. Full moons are shown, along with some special occasion days.

This will be our online journal of our life and travels in the Netherlands. Move the mouse pointer over a JAB day to see the title or topic. Click on the day to view the JAB for that day.

Most of the content on this website will be found on the JAB page, including some of the real stale content that was on the home page.



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