Time For The Monster Mash !

Oct 26th, 2011 | Filed under Music, Video

As Halloween arrives again this year, I thought I should post a song I always associated with it, The Monster Mash.

Enjoy

Who’s Eating My Pies ?

Oct 4th, 2011 | Filed under Opinions and Perspectives, Rants

Through many years of hard work and sacrifice, living as a poor man even through prosperous times, I ended up saving away quite a bit of money through out my working life. In order to save money, I forced myself to give up on on many luxuries, and one of the things I gave up, that I will be using for an example in this article, was pies. I love pies, but have not bought one over a decade, they may be inexpensive where you come from, but for me they were the cost of two-three meals, and did not have enough value for me to keep spending on them.

About six years ago, being forced to move and sell my home, I decided to take the savings and invest where the news, my peers, and the banks, all told me to, mutual funds. I was told through no additional work on my part, that I would double my money in about five years, it sounded like a great idea. I did some research, took the Bank’s Investment Manager’s advice, and signed some papers.

A Pie Plus Five YearsI thought I was so smart, by resisting buying myself a pie that day, and waiting five years, I would then be able to buy two of them. I thought that was great, after all I was only 34, I should still be alive at 40 and get to eat my two pies right?

Now that it has been five years, and the bank said at this point my money would have doubled, you would think I could get my two pies now right? Believe it or not, somehow I am only stuck with about halve of a pie. Not only has my money gone down, but inflation has been going up. I had invested in funds containing only blue chip companies, and they had used my money to help turn record profits over the last five years, so it is a bit strange to me that I should actually be losing money. Did I not invest in a company? Should it’s profits not be my profits? Something is wrong here, I understand about the stock market fluctuating up and down with demand for the stock, but where did my share of the profit go? Why on earth do I invest in companies, if during times of profits, I somehow actually lose money?! The market is down about 11% since I bought, but my mutual funds are actually down more? How is this possible? Do all those little electronic transfers from my bank to the investment really take so much manpower, hard work, and energy that it needs so much of my money just to pay for itself?

Should I eat this part of a pie now before it is all gone, wait and be satisfied once my whole pie has been returned to me, or hold out for the two pies that I was already supposed to have by now? If the banks lived up to their promises, in another five years, all things being even, I should actually have four pies. I no longer believe that even two pies are possible anymore, I mean with the record profits of the last five years, and me losing money, is there really any hope for the future?

Money does not disappear, it only moves around, my money was not sucked into a black hole and erased, it moved from my bank account, into others.

Due to the large bonuses corporations are paying themselves, as well as stock traders, mutual fund managers, bankers, and all the other “professionals” that are involved in my supposed “Wealth Management” actually get to not only use my money, and keep all my profits, but if I sold them today, also about 30% of my initial investment! Amazing isn’t it !

Buying into mutual funds is not supposed to be gambling, it is supposed to be an investment, you give your money to investment groups, who put your money into actual corporations to help them grow, and after they grow, they are supposed to give a share of the profits back to you. Of course if they lose money, you lose money, but recently as they make money, you lose money!!

Rather than the dream pictures the banks paint you of Mutual Fund investments, let’s have a look at an example of something a bit closer to reality. Have a look at a short clip from South Park below.

I can hear you all screaming at me now, that when the stocks go up, so will my investments, I hear you, but it is not proportionate to the inflation or the profits the companies have earned. There is too much wealth being absorbed by the people at the top, and virtually nothing trickles down to the investor anymore. Mutual Funds seem to be broken, and if my full pie ever returns, I will be investing either directly in high dividend stocks, property, or most likely my own company.

Monopoly Man Has My Pie

A friend of mine has no savings at all, he never has, he eats his pies every time he gets enough money to buy one. I used to tell him he should save his money, and get more pies in the future. Now though I am having a good look at myself here. I have not afforded myself a pie in about fifteen years, I should be able to afford rooms full of them now and eat until I explode from them, but I cant. I can see now that I am the fool, to be taken in by such a massive scam.

I understand why people are currently protesting all over the western world about the financial situation, most of them can’t quite put their finger on why employment is so low, crime is up, investments have shriveled up, inheritances have disappeared as some people have not just lost their jobs, but also their homes. The rich have gotten so wealthy, and the middle class are disappearing. Something is wrong.

All the savers of the world, the newly poor, and all their families, should be chanting out on in front of the Banking and Business Capitals of the World. “Who’s eating my pies?” because we all know that somebody is.

Epic Dubstep Robot Man

Oct 3rd, 2011 | Filed under Artistic, Interesting, Music, Video

When listening to a really great tune as I work on the computer here, I often find myself tapping my fingers or feet to it’s rhythm, sometimes I even get up and dance for a while, I just can’t stop myself. I have danced about as long as I can remember, and am also pretty sure I danced before all my memories in my diapers when I was a baby.

Dancing was a pretty big part of socializing for me growing up, through elementary school it was part of our Physical Education curriculum, and my class was even on TV for dancing once when I was eight. From the age of about twelve until eighteen there were a few school dances each year. I found I had a great time, and even made a few girlfriends during them.

For some reason though, when I hit about 15, I became self conscious about dancing. Some of the guys had learned moves I hadn’t that were causing many of the teenage girls to watch them and cheer, I did not know the fancy spins, moonwalks, waves, and other such things that a few of them could do. So during the following summer, I ended up taking a few dance classes, some break dancing and other types of dance. I got pretty good at dancing, and I felt confident enough to dance freely again once I was on a dance floor, and was again able to woo some ladies.

My dancing seemed to get better as I got older, I understood music much better, and confidence was not an issue. Sometime during my late twenties, I even started dancing to separate beats with my upper and lower body, and dancing to offbeats and other such things. I can still do that of course today, and the girls always seemed to love it, as was my goal.

However, I think that time of my great dancing confidence has just come to an end, after watching the video below, “Epic Dubstep Robot Man” may have just moved the bar up so high, I am not sure if I will ever be able to reach it.

Have a look.

The Dangers Of Soccer

Sep 27th, 2011 | Filed under Video

I used to play quite a bit of soccer as a kid, like most soccer players, we played the game very politly and with great honor.

I was shocked to see this video today. Though soccer is usualy played without violence, watch as this poor innocent kid in the red shirt gets unjustly brutalized by the bad guy in yellow.

Totally unbelievable.

Have a look.

The Bitter Taste Of Injustice

Sep 15th, 2011 | Filed under Opinions and Perspectives, Rants

When I think of my first years of school, I usually fist think of the girls I had crushes on, Lynn with her cute little smile, and Stephani with her big black bee hive hairdo, soon after though I usually remember some boy in my kindergarten class deciding it was his turn to play with my toy and hitting me in the head with a wooden block, a different boy punching me in the mouth as I swung on the swing at lunch, and devious little David hiding in the cloakroom jackets waiting for me to get my snack, then ambushing me with a knee to the nuts, at some point during that year, I also learned what it is like to have my hair pulled, my neck strangled, my skin scratched, and to be hit by rocks.

Through all the turmoil of my early school life, I had always held the belief that fairness would eventually be handed down by the adults around me, they always seemed to be there to save me from injustice, if someone stole my toy, they would bring it back to me, tell me everything was going to be alright, and punish the evil doer who took joy in my tears.

One day just before recess in first grade, an announcement came over the loudspeaker from Mrs Littlewood, stating that a bicycle had gone missing on the school grounds, we were told it was an orange bike with a banana seat on it. There was to be a reward for the finder of the bike of one giant sized Hershey Chocolate bar. Honestly at the age of six, I could not think of anything else I wanted more in the world. A chocolate bar as long as my arm and as wide as my stomach was a dream for me. I remember my older neighbor had once received one of these as a reward for delivering so many newspapers, he had tacked its wrapper to his wall above his bed like an award, and I was hoping to do the same.

Orange Bike with Banana Seat

Mission Objective: Orange Bike With A Banana Seat

The bell rang for recess, and I went running out the door with my friend Angus, strait to the bike racks in search of the orange bike with the banana seat, amazingly enough, we saw just such a bike only two meters in from where we first started looking, we grabbed it out of the rack, and ran it to the nearby office to see if it was indeed the bike they were looking for. Through the office doors we charged, there was Mrs Littlewood, we asked her if it was the bike, the parents were still in her office, and confirmed indeed it was the bike. We were so happy, but the looks on their faces were not as happy as ours, we did not know why.

We then went out to play at recess all excited telling several people we found the bike and that we were going to get the big chocolate bar. After recess was finished we both returned to Mrs Beatle’s classroom to continue our studies.

Let me tell you a bit about my first grade teacher Mrs Beatle, since she is a very important character in this story, and in fact a major cause of it. She was a rather large woman, with big chubby rosy cheeks, had curly died blond hair, dark tanned skin, and blue eyes. She liked to wear large bright colored flower dresses, large plastic necklaces and long dangling earring. I remember she would often play us a sad Dolly Parton song about someone’s pet dog that died, as that was her favorite musician, and she thought we all needed multiple lessons about dying dogs for some reason. You may sense some bitterness in my memories towards her, and soon you will understand why.

Shortly after the bell rang, there was an announcement on the loud speaker stating that the bike had been found. Angus and I grinned from ear to ear about the good job that we had done, and a few moments later there was a knock on the door, with the principal holding the giant chocolate bar. He called Mrs Beatle out of the room for a moment, I suspect in hindsight,to share with her his suspicions of Angus of I finding the bike so fast, as he may have actually thought we were its thieves, which of course we were not. After a few moments Mrs Beatle came in with the chocolate bar. We were so excited. She made an announcement to the class that since Angus and I had found the bike, the chocolate bar would be divided amongst the class.

5 pound chocolate bar

This Should Have Been Me

Huh? What? Divided? That was Angus and My chocolate bar, and we did not say this was to be divided ? What is this ? She then put the large chocolate bar down on her desk, ripped  its precious wrapper, that I was hoping to put on my bedroom wall, opened the tin foil, and began to start breaking up the chocolate.

All of this was an absolute horror for my six year old eyes, how could she do this to something she did not own? I did not even get to touch the reward before this started, I wanted to hold it and look at it, and read the back, to sniff it and take it home to divide with my friend and put in the fridge to eat slowly. I wanted to show it to my Mum and hang its wrapper on the wall. My eyes soon started to fill with tears at the painful sight of our beloved reward being broken and damaged at the hands of another. I eventually stood up in protest, the announcement said the finder would be rewarded the chocolate bar, not the finder’s class. I went up to Mrs Beatle, who had already broken a piece off the chocolate bar and shoved it in her mouth about this, I said it was Angus and mine to do what we wanted with it. She told me it belonged to the class, we had to share, and that I should sit down.

I sat down and watched her divide up the massive chocolate bar into two squares for everyone in the class, and started calling people up to hand them out. Angus and I were called up alphabetically, no special than anyone else to get our two squares. When this was all done and I saw Mrs Beatle munching on yet more chocolate again, I went up to her desk upset, she still had over halve of the massive chocolate bar there, and she had already eaten more than me.

I said “Why do you get to eat more than Angus and I ? We found the bike not you. ”

She told me to “Grow Up” and gave me one more piece before wrapping up the massive chocolate bar with her plump fingers, and shoving it into her desk. I never saw it again.

I took that last piece she gave me, and chewed on it, it tasted good, the chocolate was sweet, I swallowed most of it, then my saliva washed away the rest,  after it was all gone, the only flavor that remained behind was the bitter taste of injustice.