Monday, February 26, 2007

Sports

I want to advise in advance that this is going to be a short post. But next weeks post will be long so wait and see.

In high school i was quite the jock. I was captain of the basketball team and volleyball team. I won MVP awards and was the school athlete of the year on two occasions. It occurred to me a few weeks ago that i no longer do anything even remotely athletic anymore. I go the the gym and work out from time to time. But i wouldn't really call running on a treadmill and lifting weights athletic. If you define athletics as running, jumping and throwing then at best i do one of those. I wonder how i let this happen. I used to love playing sports. I guess when i got to college i decided it was better to work and have money than to play sports for no money in my spare time. Ten years ago i wouldn't have thought it possible that the time would come when i would go a week without touching a basketball. But as of writing this i haven't played a game of organized bball in a gym for over 7 yrs. There was a time when i could dunk very easily. I am not saying that i was Vince Carter, i wasn't doing 360 windmills or anything like that but i was able to do simple one handed dunks no problem. But now after all these years i would be surprised if i could touch the rim. It really is quite pathetic.

I don't want to be one of those guys who is always reflecting back on the good old days when they were the star of the high school sports team. Yet still i look back on those fondly. I don't think i will be joining any adult sports leagues or anything. I simply don't have the time right now. But in the future i would like to try to reclaim at least a little of my athleticism.

Next Week: Microsoft...

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Price of Owning a Car


I bought my car in April 2005. I went shopping shortly after my 25th birthday. I did this because for men car insurance is suppose to decrease after your 25th birthday. Seeing as how i had an accident on my record i couldn't afford not to take advantage of every saving opportunity i could. I had dreamed about buying a car for years. In college my saving inched past the 10k mark and seriously considered blowing it all on a car. I actually went to different used car dealerships on a regular basis. I was very close to buying a 97 Chrysler Seabring convertible at one point. Thankfully eventually came to my senses i didn't buy the car. My part time job would have not been able to carry the cost of owning a car at that time. In fact it wasn't until I was out of university for two years with a full time job for over a year that I actually bought my first car.

Originally, i had m heart set on one of three cars. I was going to buy either a Honda Accord, Nissan Maxima, or a Mazda Millenia. Unfortunately the Mazda was sold out when i got to the dealership and the Maxima and Accord cost a little more than i had in mind. Then one day I went to a different dealership and saw a different car.

It was a 2000 black Oldsmobile Intrigue GLS. It had tan leather interior and alloy rims. It really wasn't the car i originally had in mind but the price was really good. It was only 8.9k and i talked the guy down to 8.4. With tax and Licensing and all that other shit it was only about 10k on the road. The accords and Maxima's were around 12k before tax.

I am coming up on the two year anniversary of Buying my car which is why i am writing this blog. So far I think things have worked out. That being said the car has cost me quite a bit of money. Not in repairs but in other expenses. In terms of repairs i think i have only made about 700 dollars with in the 20+ months that i have owned the car. The expenses have come in other ways.

When i first bought the car the remote door opener didn't work. I went to GM and they said a new one would cost $300. So i said fuck it. I bought a car alarm with a door opener and that only cost $200. The problem is the car alarm started to malfunction when i took a business trip to Montreal. So i had to have it pulled out. Then decided to tine the windows to the tune of $300 and change the CD player to one that plays mp3 ($300). In addition to that now that i work farther away from home i putting many more miles on the car. I have to get oil changes more often. And i have to license to stupid thing every year. Right now it has just over 165k. Which means i have managed to put on over 40k in less than 2 yrs. So i am expecting repair cost to skyrocket soon.

Overall i look back on it now and wonder if i would have been better off still driving my mothers car. Considering insurance and repair and other cost i would probably have like an extra 16k-18k to my name today if i did. But on the other hand at some point a man simply wants to have his own things.
I will close by posting my first blog picture. It is of the accident my car was in. Not me but the car was in an accident. Parked in front of my house, some woman ran into the back of my car.

Next week's topic ... Sports.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Superbowl and My favorite show

Super Bowl

So as all football fans know, Last week was the Super Bowl. And my favorite team with my favorite player were in the big game. My favorite player is Peyton Manning. He is about as white bread as a man can be but i like him anyway. I think he is the best player at his position in the league today and maybe ever. I play in a yahoo sports fantasy football league and Peyton has single handily carried my team for the past 3 seasons. In any given week he can lead my team to victory. I am also glad that he won to get that monkey off his back. With this win there will no longer be any question as to wheter or not he can win the Big one. So Congratulations Peyton.

My favorite Show.

Over the course of the last 2 years i would have to say that my favorite TV show has been LOST. It is just about the best drama on TV. With all due respect to the Sopranos and 24, Lost is truly the one show that keeps me guessing. I watch alot of TV. I mean I WATCH A LOT OF TELEVISION. It is to the point that just about nothing surprises me anymore. But watching LOST is different. I trust the producers. I believe that they have an overall story arc and that we the viewers just have to be patient. There were a few decisions of the course of the shows run that i have not agreed with but overall it is great. The episode entitled "The Cost Of Living" which featured (Spoiler Alert) the death of Mr. Eko. Was the single best episode of a TV show (excluding season finales) that i have seen in my whole life. In fact Eko's last line is my signature.

"I did not ask for the life i was given but it was given none the less, and with it i have done my best."

Overall and to avoid spoilers i will say that i was satisfied with the LOST return and am very much looking forward to more of the Best show on TV.

That's it for this week.
Next Week... the price of owning a Car.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

New Years Resolutions Update

In case you don't remember my resolutions were ...

1) Limit my time on the 407etr. The Price is going up and i want to make sure that i don't take the 407 more than twice a week. This should keep my bill under $50 per month. Which is reasonable in my opinion.

2) Go to the gym 4 times per week. Since there is a gym right by my work and since i don't want to get on the 401 at 5pm. This is a reasonable goal.

3) Keep blogging on a regular basis. My goal is to have a new blog addition at least once per week. So far i think that is about as often as i update. If i can keep up that pace i will be happy.

4) Manage money better. I don't think that i have been terribly irresponsible in the past but I do think there is room for improvement. I plan to buy quicken and keep track of all my spending. I would also like to increase the amount of money i put into rrsps.


Staying off the 407etr.
For the most part i have kept this up. However, my hand was forced a few times. What i mean is that two weeks ago i had a doctors appointment in the morning. In order to get to work by ten I had to hop on the 407 to make up the time. There was also a snow storm. I tried to take the 401 during a snow storm and ended up getting to work over an hour late even though i left home 15 minutes early. So, now if there is a snow storm i just take the 407 from the start. I am proud to say that i didn't take it at all last week and i am going to try to do the same next week.

Going to the gym 4 times per week.
This one isn't going as well. I haven't fallen off the map but i am not making four times either. So far i am averaging 3 times per week. I am going to have to make a harder effort to stick to the 4 times per week goal.

Keep Blogging
I am proud to say that i have kept this one up. So far i have put up a new blog post every single week. It has been a day or two late a few times but there has been a new post every week.

Manage money better
This one has about a 50% success rate i think. While i don't think i have made any stupid money decisions i haven't kept track of my finances as i planned to. I have not but quicken yet. And the only things i bought were a few DVDs. I bought the trashtasic Basic Instinct 2 from blockbuster for $7.99 and i bought the Incredible Iron Man for 12.99. So i have only wasted about $21. And since i consider my self to be a DVD collector i don't really look at this as a waste. I haven't increased my RRSP monthly contribution yet but we are comming into tax season so when i go to the bank to buy my RRSP i will increase the monthly contribution then. My net worth did pass a landmark the other day that i am quite proud of. A lot of people my age have no where near what i have saved. It comes largely from living rent free with my parents but i have worked very hard also. So overall i am reasonably happy with my savings.

Next Weeks Topic ...
The Super bowl and The Return of my favorite TV Show.