Turtle Does the Butt Dance

Feb 16th, 2011 | Filed under Video

One day a long time ago, when I was a young teenager I decided to came home from the local mall with a couple of baby turtles. I enjoyed watching them swim around in their fish tank, and would often let them out to run around the house. They were cute little guys that would look out at me quite a bit, and seemed to recognize me as their friend.

Turtles for the most part are actually pretty good pets, but I found cleaning their tank a bit of a tedious chore, the longer I had them, the longer the gaps between their cleaning became. Eventually the tank got so bad I just couldn’t bring myself to try and clean it anymore, and the turtles so filthy I no longer wanted to touch them. I was afraid I might let them die as I did my sea monkeys when I was younger, and still being very fond of them I found looking at them swimming in their muck a bit depressing. Thankfully the pet store which sold them to me was willing to take them back.

Having watched the cleaning of this turtle in the video below, I now realize it didn’t need to be such a chore after all, if only I had thought of using a tooth brush.



The Mountain Goats – Cotton

Feb 14th, 2011 | Filed under Music, Song Lyrics, The Mountain Goats, Video

I just heard this song tonight for the first time by a California band called The Mountain Goats.

I like it, have a listen:

This song is for the rats
Who hurled themselves in to the ocean
When they saw that the explosives in the cargo hold
Were just about to blow

This song is for the soil
That’s toxic clear down to the bedrock
Where no thing of consequence can grow
Drop your seeds there
Let them go

Let them all go
Let ’em all go

This song is for the people
Who tell their families that they’re sorry
For things they can’t and won’t feel sorry for

And once there was a desk
And now it’s in a storage locker somewhere
And this song is for the stick pins and the cottons
I left in the top drawer

Let ’em all go
Let ’em all go

I wanna sing one for the cars
That are right now headed silent down the highway
And it’s dark and there is nobody driving
And something has got to give

I saw you waiting by the roadside
You didn’t know that I was watching
Now you know
Let it all go

Let ’em all go
Let it all go

Reverse Millionaire

Feb 2nd, 2011 | Filed under Opinions and Perspectives

As I continue to save some of the little money I earn, in the hope of one day becoming a millionaire, I would like to share with you another concept of financial wealth most people have never heard of before, the reverse millionaire.

I had a work mate introduce me to this idea almost a decade ago, he said:

When I die, I hope I owe a million dollars to the bank, because then I will know that I had spent all my money, and had also spent another million dollars along the way.”

What an interesting concept, Here I am approaching middle age, and I don’t know yet if I have even made a million dollars in my life, certainly not after tax.

Having thought about this a bit, I realized the concept of becoming a reverse millionaire is actually easier than you may think.

How To Become A Reverse Millionaire:
(Do Not Try This At Home)

Step #1 – Borrow a Million Dollars

Option 1 – The Sneaky Borrow

You would need to get a job, preferable a good one, all the while using several credit cards wisely by always paying off the debt. Your responsible use will cause the credit card companies to continually up the credit limits on the cards as you prove yourself to be an upstanding customer. You will find it is not actually that difficult to get the credit limit of a credit card up over $20,000, and with hard work and savings, you could quite possible get them as high as $50,000 – $100,000 each. You should also get lines of credit, and multiple bank accounts with overdrafts at as many banks as possible.

Several high limit credit cards from several banks, as well as your lines of credit and bank accounts overdrafts all cashed out on a single day, could quite easily, and quickly get you the million dollars in cash you are looking for.

Legality = Questionable

I wonder if this is legal. If it is, and too many people try it I am sure there would soon be some sort of “Reverse Millionaire Law”, maybe you could get away with it, but you might want to consult a lawyer first.

Option 2 – The Hard Work And Saving Method

This is the way your parents and school teachers probably told you was the way to get rich, and in the end would lead to the biggest pile of cash.

Go to College, get a steady job, work hard, invest wisely, and save enough money that the bank doesn’t mind you borrowing another million dollars.

Legality = Legal

This will probably never happen to me, though I have gone to college, and do save, but the getting a steady job part unfortunately is my fall down. I just can’t stand “Working for the Man” more than a few years in a row.

Option 3 – The High Interest Method
Reverse Millionaire Compound Interest Graph

Rather than doing the hard work yourself, you can simply let the magic of compound interest do the work for you, by my calculations if you can get enough credit at the age of 25 to borrow just $6,500 at your average credit card rate of 20.5%, with no additional work needed, you will become a reverse millionaire by the age of 50.

Legality = Legal

Hmmmm, I don’t think this was exactly what my work friend meant by this. I think what he was talking about was actually spending an additional million dollars before he died, this is more about the man sticking it to you rather than you “sticking it to the man”. Though definitely not the method of choice, it is something to consider.

Step #2  – Going Beyond Broke

Assuming you did not pick Option #3 above, you now have one million dollars of the banks money, as well as a bunch of your own, this does not yet make you a Reverse Millionaire. To become a true Reverse Millionaire, you must liquidate any assets you have, and spend all of it before the bank takes it away from you.

For myself I am pretty sure I would want to get out of whatever country I did this in as fast as possible, so I would probably spend a large chunk of money initially on something like a yacht, to carry myself, my money and possible a couple of supermodels somewhere beyond the banks reach. The yacht would then be liquidated as quickly as possible into cash, before the bank put a lien on it. I could then commence my decade or so of endless partying somewhere in the tropics until finally becoming a Reverse Millionaire.

Reverse-Millionaire-Success

Happy Happy Joy Joy Song – Video and Lyrics

Jan 28th, 2011 | Filed under Ren And Stimpy, Video

Having just written the long and serious post that follows this one, I thought I would try and lighten the mood up a little bit here with a little bit of happiness and joy, well to be more specific two parts happiness followed by two parts of joy,  happy happy, joy joy.

If you find this happiness recipe a bit confusing for you, I have a little educational video here from my two good Canadian friends  Ren Höek and Stimpson J. Cat  to teach you how to be happy. I am told they can also teach your grandmother to suck eggs.

Best get your pen and paper ready just in case you need to take  notes:

Happy Happy Joy Joy Lyrics

Hello boys and girls, this is your old pal, Stinky Wizzleteats
This is a song about a whale, NO this is a song about being happy
Thats right!
Its the happy happy, joy joy song!

Happy happy, joy joy
Happy happy, joy joy
Happy happy, joy joy
Happy happy, joy joy
Happy happy, joy joy
Happy happy, joy joy
Happy happy, joy joy joy

I dont think your happy enough, thats right!
I’ll teach you to be happy!
I’ll teach your grandmother to suck eggs!
Now boys and girls, lets try it again…

Happy happy, joy joy
Happy happy, joy joy
Happy happy, joy joy
Happy happy, joy joy
Happy happy, joy joy
Happy happy, joy joy
Happy happy, joy joy joy!

Iff-in you ain`t the grandaddy of all liars!
The little critters of nature…they dont know that they’re ugly.
Thats very funny! A fly marrying a bumble bee!
I told you I’d shoot, but you didn’t believe me!
WHY didn’t you believe me?

Happy happy, joy joy
Happy happy, joy joy
Happy happy, joy joy
Happy happy, joy joy
Happy happy, joy joy
Happy happy, joy joy
Happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy, joy joy joyyyy!

Different Priorities

Jan 25th, 2011 | Filed under Interesting, Opinions and Perspectives, Travel, Work

Almost two decades ago, I veered sharply away from the track that hosts the rat race, and started to cut my own paths. Nobody really understood why I did it, and some people feel they can no longer relate to me because of it.

Back in 1994, when I was 22 years old, my financial life was going pretty well, I already owned most of my fully furnished 1200 sq foot, 8th floor condo overlooking both a National Park, and the city of Calgary. I had just become the corporate sales trainer for an international electronics company, a job which included the responsibility of hiring, firing, and training about 150 people at any one time.  I was on track for a $60,000 income that year already, but on a recent business trip to Los Angeles, stock options had just been offered to me, as well as a substantial raise. The real serious money was about to come rolling in.

The beginning of my corporate life was like sitting down to play the first two levels of a video game I had been anticipating for quite some time, only to discover it was just too easy for me to invest any more of my time in. As far as I was concerned at that moment, I had already proven to myself that I was going to win the game. The constant business trips eventually became boring to me. Though the meetings were all in different restaurants and cities, I was always meeting with the same people usually we would order the same things, talk about the same business, and have the same discussions after too many of the same drinks.

I decided it was time for me to step out of the rat race for a bit, and try and live a more interesting life than I was living. Making money, talking about how to make more money, training people, and in general just getting the business done was pretty boring after a while. My father had worked very hard until the day he died, and I did not want this to happen to me.

Before I could quit my job, I decided I should sell all my stuff, so I proceeded to sell my condo and car, big screen TVs, my CD and movie collection, my couch, my stereo systems, my dresser, microwave, coffee machine, waffle maker, dinner table, pots, pans, plates, knives, forks, spoons, phones, my bed, bedsheets, and even my towels.

With everything I had accumulated with my five years of productive work since I had left my childhood home turned into cash I was able to buy my backpack, quit my job, and begin my travels.

I bought a one way ticket to India. Why India? you might ask. A very well travelled friend who had hired me at the electronics firm originally had recommended it to me, of course by this time he had actually become one of my employees, but he was still a friend, and wasn’t resentful of me moving up so fast.

One night in a restaurant as we discussed my trip to India over steak and beer, some woman at another table, chose to interrupt us just to tell us that India was a horrible place and asked us why would we go there. We asked her if she had been and she said “No”. I chose to ignore her.

Kovalam India 94

Kovalam Beach In India

India was amazing, I could type story after story here about things that I saw in India, did in India, and experienced in India that are probably well beyond most peoples imagination. So I will skip that for now, but will give a few reasons why India was the best place I have ever been, of course I could also give you the same amount of reasons why it was the worst, but here I will just add the best.

I love beaches, I love waves, and surfing, I love snorkeling and scuba diving and India has the longest coastline in the world, the beaches are incredibly beautiful and usually almost completely unspoilt. It has the oldest cities in the world, with the oldest temples in the world in it. It of course has jungles, deserts, and the Himalayas are the highest mountain range in the world. An amazing history of being the birthplace of most of the major religion in the world. The first churches and temples of every major religion, always seem to be in India. Every jungle topped hill you can climb in India, has a view of ancient temples, stupas, churches, mosques, castles and fortresses, most of which are older than Western written history. It was a fantastic trip, I was present at many astounding parties with thousands of westerners in some amazing places, no one could ever understand without going there.

Hampi India 95

Hampi India in 1995

Ten months into my first trip, I returned to my home country of Canada for my brothers wedding, I had suffered a nasty parasitic infection called giardia in India that nearly killed me, I lost a third of my body mass, and looked almost like a walking skeleton, my short business haircut had grown ungroomed and uncut for almost a year. I tried to tame the hair for my brothers wedding, which had caused it to look really horrible. I guess I didn’t look as much like a winner as I did before I went traveling to at least some people. At the wedding one of my brothers friends came up to me, and said, “Why did you leave it all man? You had everything? ”

“Why did you leave it all man? You had everything? “

I didn’t know what to say to him, he had just finished university studying commerce, and I guess to him I was on a path to having everything he wanted before I left, namely Money.

I said “Everything man? I had nothing.”

I didn’t know what else I could have said, where would I start to explain to him that a life of working under fluorescent lights, and having only slight variations of the same experiences every day was not a life at all. Without the freedom to do what I wanted and go where I wanted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it is just an existence.

I could not write a book about the life I used to have, but the life I have now I could.

Obviously my money could not last me forever, so I often need to work, I returned to my home country in Canada to make a living two times. Although I was able to make good money again, I was not really able to adapt back into life under fluorescent lights. I preferred working in Japan, Korea, and Thailand, although the lighting is pretty much the same, being a stranger in a strange land is always exciting.

I am blessed that I can now work on this website and write for this blog for a living. I enjoy it. I am happy. The best thing about my current job, even though I am not writing about where I am, this particular article has been written during my travels to three different countries, I have been sitting in Kuala Lumpur for part of it, another part I was on a white sandy beach on Ko Samet Island in Thailand with my son, and part of it was written on the edge of the Mekong river in Lao where I sat and enjoyed a meal as the sun set over lush green tropical Asia.

I don’t make a lot of money doing this, I have to take the second class train, and buses where ever I go, but at least I am going somewhere. This to me is more important that being some rich corporate big wig.

I mentioned to a good friend of mine what my brother’s friend had asked me about “Giving it all up”, and he said to me something that seemed to explain the situation completely.

He said “You and him just have different priorities, that’s all.”

Maybe he was right, maybe that is all it is, just different priorities.

I have traveled a lot since then, seen a lot of things, and taken a lot of pictures, these are two of my favorites.

Mentawin People of Siberute 1995

Mentawin of Siberute

Khmer Jungle Temple Angkor Cambodia 1995

Khmer Jungle Temple Angkor Cambodia