Big lumps


Coal's place.

Somewhere along our collective path, a home stopped being shelter, and became a house. Then it turned into an investment asset. Then a mark of social stature divorced from income or debt. Then an entire financial plan. And then a lot of us got into trouble.

Owning real estate is fine. But property does not a home make.

And just as Chris the new dad in the previous post seemed to confuse the two, so Coal in the note below wrenches us back to basics.

Most of us would not trade places, but many wish we might.

Hello Garth

Been following your blog for quite some time now, you pretty much nail it every time with what you post.  I got smart some 12 years ago and went the RV way of life.  Started out in a small fifth wheel trailer, living at one campground or the other always close to work.  I attached a pic of my current rig, which I paid for in cash last year. A luxury rig and we are very comfortable in this unit, me the wife and a 14 year old.  We park at my business where I own and operate a small truck repair facility for the winter months when I do the bulk of my work.  Seasonal camp in a campground about 10 miles away for the other 5 months of the year.

Business has been about 50 % down this last year.  So I layed off two guys and now it is just myself and my main guy working the shop. Everything I own is paid for and we have no debt, personal or business.  I own my receivables but none the less, we are making no money during this economic slump, but I am in a great position to weather these problems.  The last month or so our sales have picked up and my best scenario is too stay in my shop for as long as I can.  We have about 10 grand to fall back on, not alot, but we have no debt and my recievables are sitting around 40 grand right now with current bills in the business sitting around 10 grand.  I should also say that we got to this point from the economy but also from having to move our shop 4 times in the last year, can’t find a suitable shop, ok right now.  Also our previous trailer burned down last year and we had commercial insurance which paid out 50 %, shit, in ten months we spend 75 grand on two trailers and got back 17.  Big lumps.

My point of all this, is because we chose to live this lifestyle, our overhead in minimal.  I started my business 5 years ago and was able to save and pay out approximately 150 grand for equipment.  Save and pay for my boat, my custom dually diesel truck to pull my fiver, and a vehicle for the wife.  Had I had a mortgage and did like so many others do, finance everything, the last six months I would have lost everything and become bankrupt.  My wife does not work either, but helps out with some paperwork at the business, but mostly a full time mom looking after our 14 year old and also has time for our grandkids.

My mom has owned two houses, and says that every time she owns a house, it takes all the money.  My guy that works for me, has a half million house, and it takes everything he has to keep the boat afloat, wife working, and the parents living there to help. He carries no debt either with the exception of the mortgage, he and I both have not had credit cards of lines of credit for well over 25 years.

Getting close to 50 now and seriously thinking of some property in Northern Ontario where one day I can retire and park my trailer, fish and maybe work part time, have no idea of how much money I will have by then, maybe nothing, hinges on the economy.  Isn’t that a sad thing to say.

So keep up the good work with the blog as I look forward to each post on what you have to say.



#1 Prairie gal on 06.12.09 at 10:36 pm

I spent last summer living in a 5th wheel in the Okanagan – two disastrous rental experiences drove us to it. Ah, sweet freedom! My hunny and I both agree that it was the best summer ever. It wasn’t glamorous but we had everything we needed.

Selling the RV is a key element of our current debt-elimination plan but I totally get why people would want to live in one. There is no urge to accumulate more stuff – just living the good life, simply. It was like a taste of retirement at 33.

Having said that, our campground had several families living there full-time in relative comfort. I figured it was a symptom of the insane Okanagan real estate market, but upon further investigation I discovered these people had homes but chose to rent them out and ‘camp’. Why not?

#2 nonplused on 06.13.09 at 12:09 am

Lots of folks live in RV’s for work. I worked a bridge construction job many years ago and both foremen lived in the campground just down the road for the length of the project. The one guy had actually built his own out of a retired transit bus. The company would put it on a boat or a truck for him and he only had to drive it from the depot to the campground. Pretty professional job to, he hired tradesmen to do all the cabinetry and such.

My cousin is a truck driver, and when working a job more than an hour or so from home will live in his RV during the week too.

#3 Jon B on 06.13.09 at 12:25 am

I have often wondered why more people do not seriously consider living in an RV in the BC lower mainland. I think social stigmas might play a part. If I was a first time buyer in a frothy market like Vancouver, a manufactured home on wheels would seem quite attractive.

#4 dd on 06.13.09 at 12:28 am


#5 dd on 06.13.09 at 12:30 am

Or is that yikes.

#6 Steve on 06.13.09 at 12:58 am

Garth, I don’t know where most people learned about money, but I learned about it from my mom–the banker. She always said to me, “If you can’t pay for it, don’t buy it,” meaning if you couldn’t afford it in cash, don’t used credit to buy it. It’s a maxim that’s served me well.

#7 . . . fried eggs and spam . . . on 06.13.09 at 1:02 am

“. . . Then an entire financial plan. . . . But property does not a home make. . . . some property in Northern Ontario where one day I can retire and park my trailer, fish . . .”

The family you have written of are not sheeple, and this will carry over to future generations.

The last two sentences above speak eloquently about property. Indeed, property does not a home make and yes, a nice couple of acres are more than sufficient to enjoy a plentiful life.

There are no written guarantees that say each person will have an easy life here — far from it.

They seem to be content with what they have, unlike the blithering idiots called sheeple.
Ron Paul gets his wish — audit the Fed! —

As well, it’s interesting to note that this has happened before. —
What goes up must come down, except here both are dragging others with them. —

#8 spork on 06.13.09 at 1:03 am

I’ve heard of negative connotations for people living in trailers (aka. tornado-bait-trailer-trash) but I have never heard of the term ‘camper trash’ :)

#9 Barb the proof reader on 06.13.09 at 1:21 am

Prairie Gal, I get it too. As a footloose working ski bum I rented a 4×6 closet in a trailer one winter.
And when the vacancy rate in Calgary was about zero, we settled in a rented tent trailer for a few more months. The year-round trailer park residents were happy, content, good neighbours in communities like any other. Shelter is what one makes of it.

#10 Devil's Advocate on 06.13.09 at 1:58 am

#1 Prairie gal on 06.12.09 at 10:36 pm

Or a boat in Georgia Straight.

#11 Repatriated Expat on 06.13.09 at 6:59 am

Glad this works for Coal, but I for one would not want to live in a trailer.

What I would like to see is a reversal towards building affordable and diverse housing options. Kinda hard to imagine how this could happen now that modern citys are already builtup with too-many, too-expensive, too-energy intesive, too-large single family houses.

As a city dweller, if you are really hard up for a place to live, Walmarts in the u.s. encourages campers to park overnight in their parking lots. There are 5 Walmarts within 10 km of where I live. I wonder how long I could keep that up before getting busted.

#12 CalgaryRocks on 06.13.09 at 7:46 am

Actually a lot of immigrants buy businesses (laundromat, chinese take-out etc) and live in the business while saving money and establishing themselves.

THEN they buy the huge house!

#13 Rob in Onterrible on 06.13.09 at 8:22 am

#11, Last summer we flew to Calgary and rented an RV. It was in Edmonton that I learned that you can park a RV overnight at any Walmart for free compared to $25 a night for a spot in a glorified parking lot. I remember the manager coming out and yelling at one guy with a Class C motorhome that he’s been there for months and had to move so I think it is very discretionary. I suspect that if you move the RV during the day and park in a different spot every night that you could stay for a while at any Walmart as long as you parked in the back.

Oh, I loved RVing out West. RVing is highly addictive. BTW I heard that people in Fort Mac also lived in their RVs because the vacancy rate was 0 a few years ago. It may become the new thing one day as homes flood the market and the first time buyers are all gone. All those home owners will eventually flood the rental market driving the vacancy rate to 0 so maybe RVing will the new thing one day.

#14 Downsized and Delighted on 06.13.09 at 8:25 am

Chris – I hope you are reading this “success story” to see how totally nuts the advice on this blog is. Folks – there is a big world out there between the trailer and the monster home!

By the way Garth – didn’t you just buy a house?

And sold two. — Garth

#15 Nostradamus jr. on 06.13.09 at 9:07 am

The Mcmansion is a dying entity….except in the elitist and most desirable world cities.

…Too many baby boomers overlook the fact their next generation offspring will not require 7 bedrooms/7 bath homes.

At the appropriate time, I will move into a seniors only manufactured home/trailer park here on the North Shore.

Vancouver will become, actually it already is Canada’s elitist and most desirable city.

…And all the surrounding bedroom communities in the lower mainland, even those on Vancouver Island are just that, bedroom communities.

You heard it here first….The North Shore, North & West Vancouver will become the elite of the elite Vancouver Communities.

Nothing to read here, move along. Nostradamus jr.

#16 David Bakody on 06.13.09 at 9:09 am

Interesting life of a ” Gypsy” or “Zorba the Greek” fine for some but not for me. Perhaps the time will come for more Row Houses or Commune living who knows? I am always amazed how most people appear to live in the middle of no where and have nice digs. Being Canadian in a world of 6 Billion puts us in the top 20% to start with so perhaps that is why? Having a 500K home puts people in the top 2% so the fall from home ownership from most Canadians could be quite traumatic in that perspective as opposed to living in China, India or Russia. The issue of course is complex as the government requires a large number in the 2% plus range for tax purposes to ensure all Canadians can live in the 20% range. Health care, CCP & OAS, roads and schools are taken for granted. Here in Nova Scotia small towns still remain and will provide good living areas but health care and the lack of youth is a problem. It all might come down to young Seniors looking after Senior Seniors as the Senior Boomers generation take hold.

#17 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 06.13.09 at 9:32 am

Somewhere along our collective path, a home stopped being shelter, and became a house. Then it turned into an investment asset. Then a mark of social stature divorced from income or debt. Then an entire financial plan. And then a lot of us got into trouble.

You’ve come full circle mon ami. Perhaps the so-called ‘Nuclear Family’ perpetrated by unstable economic policies and employment pushed people into that realm of insanity?

The past 40 years have been nothing but a failed experiment promoted by the financial gurus who have been running the longest ever Ponzi scheme on society.

People have replaced real life with virtual life, family with workplace associates, and communities with strangers who neither talk to each other nor work together for their own common good.

The change was gradual like the frog in slowing heating water. Was it planned that way or merely another episode in the long climb from the New Dark Ages?

I think Pogo had the answer a long time ago ‘We has found the enemy and they is us!’

#18 Jeremy on 06.13.09 at 9:55 am

But dude, you live in a fifth wheel.

#19 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 06.13.09 at 10:05 am

Isn’t it strange how people love to talk about freedom, but then enslave themselves to things like way overpriced houses and mortgages? Have they not read ‘Pride goeth before the fall’, or Luke’s wise counsel ‘No man builds a tower without first counting the cost.’? Just simple and enduring wise counsel in both cases. Solomon, after having it all, concluded it was all vanity. Now, regardless of any religious connotations, good, sound philosophy is still just that.

People need the tree things in life ‘Food, rainment, and shelter.’ and beyond that is mere pleasure and luxury. Perhaps the big problem is too many people are just Sheeple, following along mindlessly, even over the cliff?

What does it matter what type of housing one lives in? It is not the inanimate thing, the house, that detertmines a person’s worth as a human being, it is their content of character, their integrity, their humanity that truly matters. How much of our perceptions are derived from the bias and manipulations of the MSm and other groups promoting their own interests over common sense? If people are happy then they are already far wealthier than those who are not, regardless of their form of shelter.

I suggest people start re-evaluating what is important, because NOW is the time. Change yourself and you help change the world.

Have a good day.

#20 JO on 06.13.09 at 10:52 am

Gotta admire the simple, low stress lifestyle. Way to go Coal..many people will be making the same decision in the next 4-5 will accelerate once the upcoming, inevitable bond market disaster starts for real around the fall..anyone renewing a mortgage from fall 09 through 2011, and who bought with les than 20 down and cheap 04-06 rates, will be in for the shock of their lives. Housing is shelter, not investment. More than any other graph or stat I or anyone can show, the most reliable indicator that any asset is due to come down is when a deeply held optimism toward the asset is witnessed among professionals and everyday people. I, for one, want nothing to do with housing for the next few years. The majority since 04 bought (they were and are homebuyers, not homw owners) with less than 15 % down (many on 0 or 5-10) and locked in a 4.5-5.5 rate: Now, fall 09 onward: renewal comes, 5 yr in 2010 could reach 8-10 %. Mtg payment goes from 1500 to much higher (don’t have time to do actual calc)…want to sell ? Ooops, by the way, so do about 1/3rd or more of your neighbours…even if you sell, after expenses, you will owe lots of $…need or want to move to another city or closer to a new job ? Good luck, you are stuck in muck…any “equity” you thought you had in the house, evaporating every day with each passing sale in your hood…money that should have been in the bank ready to pay for rent or food in the event of a job loss, which is likely for 1 in 5 over the next 5 yrs…

So the RV plan is brilliant !!!! Housing has already wiped out a large portion of the buyers of the last 6-7 yrs in Western Europe and the US…2-3 yrs from now, Canadians will be included. Housing will be a catastrophe that wipes out most of the recent buyers in the next 4-5 yrs…stay with the plan my pays to avoid the herd.

#21 Barb the proof reader on 06.13.09 at 10:53 am

#134 Herb Aaron Wherry — the best summation of a day in federal politics ever.”

Thanks Herb, I’d set it aside, read it this morning. Hilarious read.

Also Herb,
You had noted my link. Interesting, eh?

#22 rala2 on 06.13.09 at 11:05 am

RVs are fine…until they start leaking, which they inevitably do. Then they get moldy, the electrical systems fail and become a fire hazard, and bugs move in. I know – I have a low income friend who lived in one for years until the conditions exacerbated her asthma so badly that she was being hospitalized three times a year for two weeks at a time. I finally couldn’t bear watching the inexorable degeneration of her health and built her a small cabin with electric heat , gas range and proper insulation and roof. Her health has improved considerably, but if she had stayed in that 5th wheel she’d likely be dead now. So, not a viable long-term option, in my opinion.

#23 palebird on 06.13.09 at 11:27 am

I strongly suggest that if you think you would like to live in an RV you give your head a shake, it is ok for camping, etc but when it IS home things take a slightly different perspective (I was forced into one for a year due to nasty divorce). It works for some people but you can do so much better, just have to use your imagination and think outside the box..

#24 taxpayer like you on 06.13.09 at 11:29 am

Musky Bill said:

“People have replaced real life with virtual life”

No arguement there considering we’re both on this website…….still…….(!!)………

#25 Arthur Fonzerelli on 06.13.09 at 11:57 am

FTA: “but mostly a full time mom looking after our 14 year old and also has time for our grandkids.”

Their 14 year old son made grandkids already, or are there older kids which moved out of the RV bringing by grandkids to visit?

#26 Herb on 06.13.09 at 12:03 pm

Who wudda thunk it:

Canada poised for negative inflation: We’re paying less for goods for first time in 15 years, economists say”

Nothing I have looked at buying recently has been cheaper than a year ago. Of course, Canada’s “core inflation rate … strips out certain volatile energy and food prices …”

#27 John Warnock on 06.13.09 at 12:47 pm

Buying a house in Regina?

House prices have risen dramatically in Regina over the past two years. It is nearly impossible to rent as no apartments have been built for at least ten years, thank you city planners, and there is less social housing today than ten years ago, as the Regina Housing Authority, and others owned by Aboriginal organizations, have been selling off units.

So today the average price of a house sold in Regina (no median figures available) is $246,000. The median household income is $56,000.

Across the border in North Dakota, which has been doing quite well in the Great Recession, thanks in part to the existence of the North Dakota State Bank which serves the people. The median household income is $43,753 and the median value of a house sold in the first four months of 2009 was $106,800. Median property taxes were $821.

What is wrong here?

#28 Samantha on 06.13.09 at 12:49 pm

Coal –

The RV solution seems to work for you and your family. However, after reading your story, I believe it is the business side of your situation that is leaving you vulnerable.

From your story, I gather that you are a diesel mechanic with a “small truck repair facility”, seasonal in nature, with the winter months bringing you the bulk of your work. Then you are in a seasonal camp for the remaining 5 months of the year.

You retain a shop (and the overhead) but are only using it for part of a year, and despite the last month increase in sales “Business has been about 50% down this last year.”

You could still have the RV rig gig for example, if you moved to a trucking hub area like Winnipeg. You could hire on with one of the many large carriers, get a decent wage and benefits, and park the RV in one of the many smaller communities or rural areas outside the city. Plus you might be able to do some side work on days off. No more overhead from the shop or headaches from the following part:

“The last month or so our sales have picked up and my best scenario is too stay in my shop for as long as I can.  We have about 10 grand to fall back on, not alot, but we have no debt and my recievables are sitting around 40 grand right now with current bills in the business sitting around 10 grand.”

Receivables are too high for a company of your size. The economy is tanking and you need to get that money in. If I read those numbers correctly, only 25% of your receivables are current.

“My wife does not work either, but helps out with some paperwork at the business, but mostly a full time mom looking after our 14 year old and also has time for our grandkids.”

Your wife can help you get your receivables in (your money that you worked for and is owing to you) by dialing for dollars. The squeaky wheel gets the grease and if no one is calling for money on a regular basis, the cash flow will dry up and fast. If they can’t pay the entire bill, get payment arrangements in place with a specific amount and time for each payment.

“Getting close to 50 now and seriously thinking of some property in Northern Ontario where one day I can retire and park my trailer, fish and maybe work part time, have no idea of how much money I will have by then, maybe nothing, hinges on the economy.  Isn’t that a sad thing to say.”

This last quote is why I wrote the above. You aren’t that old. At some point you will need to replace the RV or the dually diesel. Life will happen and even living off a whole lot of fish, you and your wife will need cash for certain needs. What happens if your health precludes living in a remote area?

You can have your property in Northern Ontario or wherever, but you need a plan to get there. And, I can’t see how you can do it when you are bleeding cash right now with your current business.

A bonus with Winnipeg is that it’s within a reasonable drive on weekends for excellent fishing areas in MB and parts of ON.

Good luck and hope things work out well for you and your family.

#29 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 06.13.09 at 1:21 pm

#27 John Warnock

What is wrong here (in Canada) is that people have jumped on the insane ‘My house is my retirement and major investment Band Wagon’. In the States most people look at their house as their HOME. Sure they put a little sweat equity into them (if they are wise) and then when there is a reason to move they sell at a profit. The ones who can’t are those who have piled on second and thrid mortgages to pay their credit card and other debts. They are locked in to either selling ata profit or filing bankruptcy.

Part of the reason is that the U.S. taxes capital gains on property and you must buy a house of equal or greater value within two years to avoid the taxes. So, most people tend to look at the real estate differently. Canadians spend far too much time playing ‘Keeping up with the Jones’, and then trying to beat them at the game.

Not to say there are not those in the States who haven’t been on the Wagon themselves. There are millions. But North Dakota is a not the coast areas, nor New York, or Arizona (Huge migration in the ’80’s and ’90’s from California that drove RE prices to double or triple their actual value. The reason, Californians wanted to have the Movie Star lifestyle, but then didn’t want to pay the taxes for all that glitz and services.

Now, also being fair and honest (pay attention Oddawahaha, you might just catch on how it is done?), there are people who flip houses for a living as well in the States. They have an advantage in that game because they are generally buying HUD properties at auction or past due taxes prices.

Basically any improvement will net a gain in those places. They then tend to either sell or rent them out and go on to the next one.

Detroit is a Flipper’s Paradise, EXCEPT for the CRIME, Drug dealers, Gangbangers, and other miscreants plaguing their streets. I have seen houses for a mere $625 U.S..

Canada has a lot of government owned housing as well, but the government just lets them go to Hell and keeps them in their portfolio.

Personally, I think the best apoproach is for the Crown to own all the land, rent it out for a measly sum on along term lease, and the people own the property. then the Crown would not have many of the problem they have with environmental concerns as they would have authority to force the renter into compliance, which is obviously needed with all the Brownfield spaces that are sitting around being wasted while we let developers destroy our Greenfield spaces for profit.

We have that very situation in this area and the environmental engineering firm is all for High Tech solutions when simply Land Farming (turning over the soil, mixing it with manure, and letting nature deal with the pollutants naturally over a one year or so period.

A little common sense low tech cures a lot of big problems for peanuts instead of millions.

The US Midwest is probably the most sane region in the U.S., but then they have not had the benefit of silly Booms like California, Alberta, Texas, etc. They are hard working folks who understand what life is truly about.

As to most Candian RE prices, IMO they are assinine and unrealistic, but when the Sheeple flock to the pasture sure enough they leave behind their droppings making the pasture very slippery for whomever follows along.

#30 john on 06.13.09 at 1:22 pm

When does the real estate correction start?

#31 wjp on 06.13.09 at 1:23 pm

# 26 Herb…
Of course, Canada’s “core inflation rate … strips out certain volatile energy and food prices …”


#32 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 06.13.09 at 1:25 pm

#24 taxpayer like you

That’s what you get for having a private phone line instead of a party line like in the old days! LOL

This is, to my thinkling, a wonderful public forum, not a game or escape from reality. In fact, Garth’s Blog may be one of the few existing Reality Checks around?

#33 coal on 06.13.09 at 1:36 pm

Samantha, I lived in Winnipeg for ten plus years back in the 80’s, too cold for me now. I owned a trucking company there and a nasty divorce took care of that.

Our recievables used to be a year ago double what they are now. Half of the recievables are long term financing that I provide for some of my customers, generally a one year term or less. I am not concerned about the recievables at all, it’s incoming money every month and this has more than come in handy due to moving the shop 4 times over a one year period. Shutting down and reopening caused alot of business interruption.

The shop works fulltime year round, but we do our most profitable work in the winter time due to truck collision and paint repairs, summer and spring is usually welding and custom fab work. I park my rv as in the pic, at my shop during the 7 winter months, to take full advantage of the workload available, which for me is at least a 6 day 12 hour a day schedule. Spring were in the seasonal campground that costs me 425.00 per month for the site. Customers wanted me to work this weekend, but had plans to go out on the boat. ha.

The wife is tied up alot with my son, army cadets and extra stuff with school. This is every night of the week. We do it the old fashioned way, she looks after the house and I look after the business. She has it worse than me for sure, she is a very busy person.

Yes the economy is tanking, I have taken steps to curb my overhead, but because of the decisions that I made and maintain over the last number of years with regard to housing and debt, I can really live on a small amount of money if needed. My income is down considerably this year but I will get by, till hopefully it turns around??

50 I agree is not that old, but I do want a large number of days of relaxing and doing what I want to do before my time is up. Many pieces of land up Northern Ontario way, for under 20 grand. My needs are simple.

#34 Gord In Vancouver on 06.13.09 at 1:51 pm

Vancouver real estate – you buy it, you keep it.

#35 bigpictureguy on 06.13.09 at 1:54 pm

RVs are just another option. Some people hate surburbian houses. Some people hate the box in the sky. Some people hate renting. There is no right or wrong. It’s a personal decision… what ever works financially or life style wise.

Some people are just hell bent on criticizing others shaped by their own narrow experiences.

#36 coal on 06.13.09 at 2:16 pm

Rv lifestyle certainly is not for everyone. Many of my buddies love what I do, but they would not be able to convince their better halfs to go along.
Ours is a luxury fifth wheel, retails for over 100 grand, 4 slideouts, ac, washer dryer, king size bed, power everything, separate living room with sofa and two lazyboy rocker recliners and fireplace. 40 feet long and I am 6 foot 3 and cannot touch the ceiling in the living room. |It is basically a small house on wheels.

Very well built unit, but just like a house, they need to be looked after. Yes roofs will leak, yes they have to be repaired. I have all the same issues as the average homeowner except a home owner does not have to check tires.

I love my lifestyle, one day that may change but I have been at it for over 12 years and it was the single best thing I did for myself and family. Were outside, campfires most nights, lots of bbqing, pool and my kid has 30 acres of playground. Absolutely no crime and I know all my neighbours and their kids.

But the best is, that I can hookup and take off up north for a week of different scenary and I don’t forget to bring anything as I got the whole damn house with me including the dirty laundry lol.

Check out my little blog about all the stuff I have to do to maintain this lifestyle in a Canadian winter.

#37 Barb the proof reader on 06.13.09 at 2:34 pm

Garth, I hope people with McMansions and big mortgages have left enough room in their future budget for the needlessly ever-rising costs, er, gouging by healthcare privateers.

The 2009 healthcare debate in the U.S. this time around will be the mother of all battles.

So, meanwhile, individual investors have a conundrum. Despite our healthcare disaster-in-the-making caused only by these commercial profiteers cunningly high-jacking our public healthcare dollars, there is the ethical question of whether to make personal investments in that industry. I say no, but that’s a personal choice, my line in the sand.

I was reminded of this when watching Bill Moyers on PBS last evening. His interview with Robert Reich was a follow-up to Moyers’ previous shows regarding the universal public healthcare system that the vast majority, 76 percent of U.S. citizens had wanted, always wanted, and still want, but will never get, because of the powerful corruption of big money and their lobbyist’s. Even Obama has conceded that he can’t overcome the false blockade that big money profiteers have enshrined. Worse, Obama’s compromise plan, single payer, isn’t even on the table. Gone! Caput! Shut right up.

Here in Canada, those same private profiteers have propagandized and wedged themselves into the Canadian purse and wallet far, far too much, and for too long. Their Lobbyists and campaigns to confuse citizens from getting the real information about healthcare, the true picture, is collapsing our healthcare on purpose. It’s dangerous and it’s wrong. Alberta is already overrun by them.

Commercial healthcare profiteers know their propaganda is working and they are more cocky than ever here. They don’t just push the politicians around.. their own people run for office or get appointed, and are running things their way as we speak. Just check out how many politicians, fed, prov, local, etc., either own or are affiliated in private healthcare, insurance, medical supply, pharmaceutical, etc. Of course, likely all are invested in it, but too many are insiders.

Insider politicians may or may not be cheats, but the lobbyists of the profiting healthcare industry never stop pushing to have ‘medical need’ set aside in favour of their wallets.
Healthcare should be run smartly, and with sufficient funding, and helped by politicians with the guts to move it that way. If Canadians don’t grasp this, then we are fully screwed into the downhill spiral of denial. It’s really Canadians’ own fault for not paying attention.

This is how Canada is failing, sheep falling for well placed, very calculated, very cold sets of lies. The profiteers have been proven to be crooked, plain and simple, and the numbers show it. They will say and do anything to continue to pick the pocket of the public purse.

It’ll be no different here than in the U.S. where they are fully entrenched. Back in 1994 the “swiftboat” of healthcare was done by false ads run by Rick Scott, who is a shady businessman still actively deceiving the public, despite being convicted of fraud in 1997. A crook, profiteer and lobbyist, he was caught red-handed.

His well-placed ads featured fictional characters, Harry and Louise, who infamously starred in the series of U.S. political ads that helped sour the public’s view and killed U.S. healthcare reform. Fifteen years later,
even Harry and Louise would no longer believe their fiction.

This industry and it’s lobby are sophisticated and ready at all times to protect their interests. They watch for and react to detractors even in Canada, so they can trounce and try to scare off, muzzle or attempt to discredit anyone who would speak out about them.

The question is, will enough people get their heads out of the sand, read, research and get active about this?

What’s the measure of truth? Who’s right. As the famous adage goes, follow the money.

(and don’t forget to leave enough room in your future budget to pay the medical profit thieves)

rant over

#38 JoJo on 06.13.09 at 2:42 pm

Recession is Over…..

G-8 nations get ready for economic recovery

AP Business Writers
On Saturday June 13, 2009, 12:31 pm EDT

LECCE, Italy (AP) — The Group of Eight industrialized nations began looking ahead to economic recovery on Saturday, as they considered how to unwind their massive stimulus policies .
Acknowledging “signs of stabilization in our economies,” G-8 finance ministers tasked the International Monetary Fund with studying how best to roll back measures introduced to help the global economy once the crisis could be considered over.

The U.S. and Britain are worried that continental Europe has not done enough to deal with the recession, while more cautious countries like Germany fret about the potential long-term risks posed by the stimulus measures.

The finance ministers’ meeting — meant to set the agenda for a gathering of G-8 heads of state next month in L’Aquila, in central Italy — was held as several months of improving economic data fueled a rally on world stock markets.

“These early signs of improvement are encouraging, but the global economy is still operating well below potential and we still face acute challenges,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told reporters after the meeting.
“Economic and financial recovery … will be stronger and more sustainable if we make clear today how we get back to fiscal sustainability when the storm has passed.”

The World Bank forecast earlier this week that the global economy will shrink by 3.0 percent this year, far worse than a previous estimate for a 1.75 percent contraction.

In their communique after the two-day meeting, ministers from the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada, Russia and the European Union said that the “situation remains uncertain and significant risks remain to economic and financial stability” and stressed their commitment to provide any more stimulus the economy might need (PRINT MORE MONEY BABY).

But they also said they had asked the IMF to assist with the process of outlining exit strategies from monetary and fiscal stimulus measures, like tax cuts and lower interest rates, and said such plans were “essential to promote a sustainable recovery over the long term.”

Germany has been a particularly strong critic of the lower interest rates, tax cuts and measures to boost the money supply that have been employed aggressively by countries such as Britain and the United States, warning they could stoke inflation and swell deficits.

A senior U.S. official said the best way to unwind those positions was to get growth back on track, raise employment and get credit flowing.

The G-8 ministers also agreed on the objectives of a strategy, dubbed the Lecce Framework, to identify and fill regulatory gaps and to implement new rules to promote transparency in international business and finance.

And they reaffirmed their commitments to tighten international regulation, to refrain from protectionism and to pass the longer-term reform of international financial institutions pledged at the Group of 20 meeting in London in April.

Geithner said that proposals on regulatory reform due to be outlined in the United States next week would include several international measures. The U.S. will call on foreign banking regulators to develop proposals by the end of this year to find ways to quickly resolve failures of cross-border financial firms, he said.

While ministers gathered, about a thousand anti-globalization protesters marched peacefully through the historic center of the southern Italian town in protest of the meeting, shouting slogans including “G-8, economy, lies,” and carrying banners urging debt cancellation.

There was no mention in the communique of public stress tests on major banks — Geithner had said earlier this week that he would explain the rigorous public stress tests conducted on 19 of America’s biggest banks to his counterparts.

Britain has conducted the tests, but released less detail on the results than the United States, while Germany has argued they could undermine the fledgling economic confidence.

#39 Nostradamus jr. on 06.13.09 at 2:52 pm


>>”Fix California By Chopping It Into Three States”

The secessionists are seizing their moment.<>I suppose I could say GM has been the kiss of death anywhere it has been. The reality, however, is anyplace dependent on manufacturing in general and union manufacturing in particular has been the kiss of death.

Times change. Cities that adapt thrive. Cities that can’t or won’t, don’t.<<

#40 Nostradamus jr. on 06.13.09 at 2:55 pm

>>”Fix California By Chopping It Into Three States”

The secessionists are seizing their moment.<<

…time for Canada to chop itself into two….right down the Manitoba / Ontario border.

(Garth, time to replace the mice in your server, my last post got chopped up…no pun intended)

#41 Phil on 06.13.09 at 2:59 pm

The RV thing is not a good long term option becuase they aren’t making any more land and there will soon be nowhere left to park an RV. Best to buy property now! ;)

#42 VFC on 06.13.09 at 3:38 pm

I’ve been brought up (for good or bad) that all debt is bad. And by the way, a mortgage on a home or RV is debt.

There is no such thing as good debt.

That’s like saying there is bad profit…

#43 sunil on 06.13.09 at 4:20 pm

Hi Garth,
Having been a regular reader of your blog. I am convinced house prices are too high, more so in lower mainland, B.C.
I am in a catch 22 situation, with interest rates so low, monthly payment is low. If i wait, interest rates have only one direction ie up. Even If the property prices come down(for which there is no certainity), monthly payment will still be same or more because of interest rates.
So Why not take advantage of this low interest rates and the correction which has already occured.

Confused and in Dilema

#44 Barb the proof reader on 06.13.09 at 4:34 pm

re: Garth’s blog post on Raitt.

Does this sound sincere? Lisa Raitt quote yesterday:

“The most difficult part of the week was calling my seven-year-old and explaining to him that I was going to be making an apology because my words were taken in a bad way,” Lisa Raitt said yesterday in Toronto.
“And trying to explain that people took my words and took them in a certain way when I didn’t mean it.”

I supposed that. She never means what she says, including her cleverly worded statement earlier this week in which she spoke no sorrow for her avarice.

“Gov.” means never having to say you’re sorry.

#45 Basil Fawlty on 06.13.09 at 5:02 pm

A buddy of mine has worked construction and lived in a variety of RV’s over the past 25 years. He told me that they are not made to be lived in, when I considered buying one for a place to live. Further investigation has revealed that he was correct. RV’s are not well made and they tend to leak. The constuction is basically cheap with poor quality materials.
Having said that, I may buy one when oil get’s so expensive that they are giving RV’s away, because few can afford to move them around.

#46 Tom Jeffries on 06.13.09 at 6:04 pm

How many people in your neighborhood, or apartment building will be ready or willing to live and work like Coal has?
My guess is VERY few.

Coal’s thrift also puts the propaganda of owning a home as being the “Canadian Dream”, to the test.
Who benefits if you ‘buy’ a home?

Tax collectors would be around the top of the list.

In my personal lexicon – a home is NOT an asset in the strictest sense of the word – I would argue it is a liability because you have to pay it’s upkeep and the taxes.

You also are making a huge bet that what you are buying will go up in price.

Why would anyone borrow to ‘invest’ in something that is dropping in price.

That’s what happening in Vancouver.

People are buying homes that have just absorbed an 8% tax increase, as the economy stumbles closer to a wily coyote moment.

The front page of the Vancouver Province had a headline screaming ‘ten hottest places for Real Estate’.
I think if Garth were here, he would have been putting his Harley boots through the display window.
Of course, Real Estate never goes down, right?

Hence= Greater Fool.

Be careful out there.

Parting thoughts – from Bill Bonner at Daily Reckoning.

“It is as if everyone were waiting to see what happens next. Let’s see…

“We’ve seen the biggest stock crash in history…

“..the biggest property crash in history…

“..the biggest deficits in history (four times the previous record!)…

“..the biggest bailouts in history (we can’t even count that high)…

“..the biggest bankruptcies in history…

“..the auto industry and the finance industry have been largely nationalized…

“..the president of the United States of America is now making financial decisions for formerly private industries…

“What’s left to see?

#47 David Bakody on 06.13.09 at 6:20 pm

Sorry for being off topic but this is a bigger deal than RE although it will have a tremendous effect on RE in a host of areas.

CBC news …..

Canada, U.S. will renegotiate Great Lakes water treaty


If any American or Canadian tells you water is a renewable source please stand up and yell ” If water is a renewable source then let America renew their own”

Garth this would even put country homes and home gardens at risk as water tables would be directly effected!

#48 john m. on 06.13.09 at 7:10 pm

Well Coal i also have lived in an RV and loved it…………renting sucks!–at least an RV is yours, if you don’t like the neighbors just hook up and move,no one came come in and walk thru and tell you how to live (apartment managers do),most parks are utilities know what your living cost is! ,in a RV park you have your own don’t have to try to find a parking space in your apartment complex when your car is loaded with groceries (or look for it in the morning).Or lug your stuff thru 2 security doors then wait for an elevator or worse yet 3 flights of stairsYou can put a battery charger on your car,change a tire,wash your car,make a deck and plant some flowers….you might even be able to build a campfire in the barbecue area etc etc–not a bad life by any step of the imagination .:-)Ah yes its great to retire in a mcmansion a motorhome love it!,travel,and sit around the campfire and tell all the other people about how big your home is and how much it costs to keep while your spending 99 % of your time actually enjoying life in an RV park ……hmmmmmmmmmmmm…not a bad way to live :-)

#49 CalgaryRocks on 06.13.09 at 7:12 pm

#20 JO on 06.13.09 at 10:52 am Gotta admire the simple, low stress lifestyle. Way to go Coal..many people will be making the same decision in the next 4-5 yrs..

It’s not a ‘low stress’ lifestyle. The man works 12 hour days in his own business so that he can survive in this economy and get ahead while saving for retirement while he is young enough to enjoy it.

It’s called having a goal and doing what is necessary to achieve it. Not to be confused with some people on this web site that have no ambition, no goals and want the whole world to crash so that they can justify their own failures.

#50 Guardia Civil Tricornio on 06.13.09 at 7:36 pm

I think Garth’s point here is owning real estate like RV’s is a (soon to be) depreciating asset hit with soaring energy costs.

#51 $fromA$ia on 06.13.09 at 7:39 pm

Nostradamus jr said, “Nothing to read here, move along. Nostradamus jr.”

You know what you write is a waste of time. I don’t think theres enough idiots out there for you to create a 2 member cult.

#52 . . . fried eggs and spam . . . on 06.13.09 at 7:48 pm

A 1:04 clip of the very near future, given by a person in the US. Comment by — — “One more month to go.”

There is Kim Jong-Il in North Korea — “Our military first policy calls for an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, retaliation for retaliation, ultra-hardline for hardline, war for war, total war for total war, nuclear war for nuclear war.” – Kim Jong-il

Then Ahmadinejad was declared the winner in Iran, who doesn’t seem to be overly popular in Israel. Somebody seems to be setting all these events up, possibly leading to WW3.

Remember the Nostradamus link from the other night? WW3 from 2009 – 2012 (dates flexible).
Change and Climate are two of the many, but separate constants here in the lower psychic regions.

Put those two words together — Climate and Change — and Climate Change is a reality we all live with.

Whether bloggers agree or disagree doesn’t matter, as nature always takes care of itself regardless of us puny humans.

But, with ever-increasing energy and food prices, if this winter is colder and longer than normal, it will not be a happy time for many.

Deflation / Inflation / Stagflation / Hyperinflation really don’t matter now — they are merely words. The same also holds true for the ever-changing (and deteriorating) economy. —

“. . . is similar to buying a toy from the store, then having the store lend you money to buy another toy… ad infinitum: hardly a sensible long-term plan for financial solvency.”
Speaking of changing knickers (currencies) in mid-stream —

#53 David on 06.13.09 at 8:00 pm

Barb, good point on the US system of private healthcare. The worlds largest economy spends 15% of GDP for some of the worst outcomes. The USA comes in about 37th overall and depending on the metric often worse. Among the developed nations the USA finishes last in most studies and usually below many former Communist countries and Third world nations.

#54 Dave Nile on 06.13.09 at 8:06 pm

To #30, John.

Lets face it, we have been duped by sites like this. There is no real estate correction. There might be a slowdown, and there might be minor price drops in some areas, but price drops of 20% or anything like that are not going to happen. Sites like this blog drew us in by suggestion that prices were going to drop off a cliff, but it has not happened, and nor is it likely to. Instead, what I think we will see is one or two years of no real price activity, houses on the market for a long time, and new construction almost non-existent.

So….it was great to think that RE would become affordable for us regular folks, but it seems that is not to be the case.

Realtors suck for supporting this price increase. Now they will screw themselves by trying to keep prices artifically high. It makes no sense….they will make more money by selling houses at the right price than not at all.

I am not really knocking Garth’s perspective – if he had a crystal ball then we could criticize, but he doesnt. So, the forecast drops are not going to come. Shame really.

The ‘faux market’ that Garth described turned out to be a real one. Bummer.

Of course, you’re right. Real estate values will continue to rise, even thought people cannot afford homes. Makes perfect sense. What was I thinking? — Garth

#55 buy gold on 06.13.09 at 9:33 pm

garth, i have friends who bought a house in the lorne park area fro 1.1 million is it a good time to buy a house for that price?

#56 EJ on 06.13.09 at 9:54 pm

Well, the mighty “trend-bucking” Winnipeg was down 13% YoY in May:

“May MLS® unit sales were down 13% (1,367/1,564) while dollar volume as well declined 13%

($278.3 million/$319.7 million) in comparison to the same month last year. Year-to-date MLS®

unit sales are off 12% (4,606/5,253) while dollar volume has decreased 9% ($928.34 million/$1.02

billion) in comparison to 2008. MLS® listings entered on WinnipegREALTORS® predominant

residential database are up 3% (7,624/7,426).”

#57 CalgaryRocks on 06.13.09 at 9:55 pm

#52 David on 06.13.09 at 8:00 pm ….
USA finishes last in most studies and usually below many former Communist countries and Third world nations.

I lived in the US and health care is top notch in terms of quality and service. There is absolutely no comparison with Canada especially in the area of ‘preventive’ medicine. Affordability being a different issue.

#58 nonplused on 06.13.09 at 10:23 pm

#22 rala2

Depends which RV. The new fiberglass/aluminum/injection molded Styrofoam types (of which Coal’s appears to be one) will probably last longer than a modern stick frame house.

In terms of leaking, the roof is a maintenance item just like a house. A new modern RV roof will last 20 years but at some point needs to be redone.

The main drawback with an RV is that very few of them are livable in -30 degree weather. The insulation is at best R10 and few of them are designed for ultra cold weather. Winnipeg’s own Triple E probably builds the best cold weather RV, but it’s expensive as all get out.

#40 Phil

They may not be making any more land but they sure have figured out how to subdivide it! North America is still relatively undeveloped compared to Europe.

#44 Basil Fawlty

My truck gets 18 mpg on the highway empty and 12 when hauling the RV fully loaded including water. There may come a time when I can’t afford to move it around but that will be when I can’t afford to move anything else around including my own rear end either.

I would find an RV to small to live in full time, but have you seen how they build houses? They leak and mold too. The one I am in right now is falling apart and it’s a ‘79. My RV is in far better shape, and the all in cost was a fraction of what it would cost to rehab the house.

#54 buy gold

Since Garth likes to take the weekends off I will take a stab at answering instead:

It is not a good time to buy a first house at any price level. It is a good time to trade down, a poor time to trade up, and a not bad time to trade across since there is a relatively large amount of homes to choose from if you need to move. But in a falling market you always sell before you buy.

#30 isn’t paying attention. Prices are already down 10 – 15 % from the peak in Calgary, even with the spring rally. What, exactly, will it take for people to admit to a downtrend? No collapse yet, and maybe there won’t be one in Canada, but the trend is down.

#59 Jonathan on 06.13.09 at 11:01 pm

#39 Nostradamus jr..

chop Canada down the middle…

ya the west says that now that Ontario has paid $200 billion in transfer payments to the other provinces over the last twenty years..

Nice to see the rewards of our taxes..

and stop congratulating yourself on commodities.. without them the west would have nothing…

#60 Mike B on 06.13.09 at 11:05 pm

Re Dave Nile In order to see real reductions in real estate you will need serious increases in interest rates. Clearly Toronto is no buyers market unless you call 2008 prices buyers prices…. Alot of houses that did not sell last year are on the auction block now…. Buyers do your homework… if they were crap last year they are still crap this year….

#61 . . . fried eggs and spam . . . on 06.14.09 at 12:32 am

As the US Fed is now going to be audited, this is a very good support ;-) mechanism for Geithner and Bernanke! —

Re: Ron Paul’s ‘Audit the Fed’. — — Comment from

“This is the top story IMHO. And the Federal Reserve will fight this any way they can even to the point of threatening to crash the system itself rather than allow inspection of how it has swindled the American people all this last century.

“Money knows no morality.”
A different look at Slumlords (sorry, Landlords) in Limeyland. —

#62 Coho on 06.14.09 at 1:51 am

#42 Sunil,

The correction has just started and has a long way to go yet. In the early 80’s, rising (very high) interest rates caused the housing bubble to burst and house prices in the Lower Maninland Vancouver roughly halved in 1982-83.

If you buy now and the same thing happens, not only will your monthly payments skyrocket when it comes time to renew your mortgage a few years down the road, but your bank will only re-mortgage for the market value of your home at that time.

If the market value of your house is 100K less, you will have to come up with that dough yourself. Pretty scarey scenario. Could make for alot of sleepless nights counting the days until your renewal date and watching your house price tumble at the same time.

#63 Dave on 06.14.09 at 2:13 am

I am not really knocking Garth’s perspective – if he had a crystal ball then we could criticize, but he doesnt. So, the forecast drops are not going to come. Shame really.

The ‘faux market’ that Garth described turned out to be a real one. Bummer.


try being a little more patient, or just go buy a place.

I’m an investment guru. I search high and low for information about the financial markets. As far as real estate goes, you’re not going to get better information, especially not Canadian information, than here on Garth’s site. He’s bang on with his real estate analysis. Consider yourself lucky that you ran into this site and it’s free. There’s many people on here who pay big bucks for various different newsletter subscriptions. Be a little more patient

#64 Maurice on 06.14.09 at 4:58 am

Amigos: This is how the economy works. Be happy don’t worry.

It is the month of June, on the shores of the Black Sea . It is raining, and the little town looks totally deserted. It is tough times, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.

Suddenly, a rich tourist comes to town.

He enters the only hotel, lays a 100 Euro note on the reception counter, and goes to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one.

The hotel proprietor takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay his debt to the butcher.

The Butcher takes the 100 Euro note, and runs to pay his debt to the pig grower.

The pig grower takes the 100 Euro note, and runs to pay his debt to the supplier of his feed and fuel.

The supplier of feed and fuel takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay his debt to the town’s prostitute that in these hard times, gave her “services” on credit.

The hooker runs to the hotel, and pays off her debt with the 100 Euro note to the hotel proprietor to pay for the rooms that she rented when she brought her clients there.

The hotel proprietor then lays the 100 Euro note back on the counter so that the rich tourist will not suspect anything.

At that moment, the rich tourist comes down after inspecting the rooms, and takes his 100 Euro note, after saying that he did not like any of the rooms, and leaves town.

No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now without debt, and looks to the future with a lot of optimism..

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the United States Government is doing business today.

#65 Samantha on 06.14.09 at 6:12 am

#33 Coal on 6.13.09 at 1:36 pm

Hi Coal, and thank you for writing back. Sorry to hear that the divorce cost you your company in Winnipeg back in the ‘80’s. Those were some tough years with the interest rates skyrocketing.

Thanks also for explaining the receivable issue. It’s hard for me to look at receivables outside the context of very tight control due to the strict parameters and policies of some of my previous employers, and the tough economic conditions that existed during the days that I dialed for dollars.

It sounds like you have a great work ethic and that will help you endure and overcome adverse conditions.

It’s nice to hear that your wife is devoted to your son’s activities. Cadets are great for young people and really help them build character and self-confidence.

The land is inexpensive up in N Ontario. Periodically, I run an mls search province by province with 0-50K just to get a feel for what is happening. There are definitely some nice pieces of land up that way.

Your statement “my needs are simple” is a wonderful awareness to have. My husband and I also live simply. It is a much less stressful lifestyle, (and less stuff to dust lol).

I really enjoyed hearing about your experience and how you and your family are using a different approach to the real estate issue. There is such a broad spectrum in what is considered shelter and it’s great to hear from people like yourself, who are thinking outside the box and finding alternate ways to achieve their goals.

All the very best to you and your family.

#66 ally ally oxycontin free on 06.14.09 at 6:30 am

By appointment of her majesty, Queen Pariah Poilievre, we create the position of a new governor-general for the foothills of Alberta. We happily announce the appointment of governor-general Birdy [ BOO ! ] Baird, to the new principality of Eff-Off-All-Of-Ya. The new g-g, with his mascot, the switchback mountain kangaroo by his side, will appear spontaneously, uninvited, at any location he so chooses, in accordance with the royal prerogative. All public appearances by the new g-g will require the protocol of sumptuous table, for both the g-g and his mascot, accompanied by the theme music from Bali Hai, in recognition of his performance at Bali where he effectively scuttled any attempt to deal with global warming. All HEIL the newly appointed g-g!

#67 Samantha on 06.14.09 at 6:34 am

#43 Barb on 6.13.09 at 4:34

“Gov. means never having to say you’re sorry.” (LOL)

I have to stop drinking coffee when I read some of the comments here. My poor monitor is splattered.

There was a cartoon years ago in the newspaper and I believe a line of stationery products related to it. I think it was called “Love is” or something along those lines. There was a boy and girl character who had these axioms that always started “Love is…”

Anyway, when I saw the above quoted line from your post, I got this visualization in my head of certain gov. persons’ heads transposed onto that cartoon characters’ heads. The image was really funny.

I don’t know if you saw this headline out of the Edmonton sun:

It appears now her words were taken out of context, she has redefined “sexy” and (horrors) – it’s all our fault because we just didn’t get it. It was us, Barb – we took it the wrong way.

Yikes! It’s all our fault. We must apologize. I shall flog myself with a depleted isotope as penance.

#68 mikewasanengineer on 06.14.09 at 6:53 am

To #53

I have about 8 more months till I will be forced to dump my house, unless I find a decent job. Many of my friends and ex-coworkers are in the same boat.

Anyone who believes that house prices won’t drop are kidding them selves. When I dump this drafty, defective Mattamy built shack, I sincerely doubt I will buy another property. Too much heart ache and dispare for another one of those decisions. I doubt that I will have any money anyway.

The bank can kiss my business good buy. The mutual fund business can kiss my business good buy. Oh and Mattamy can kiss my business good by too.

I can’t see how this is going to end well. Every day I a bleeding. Every day I am getting deeper in the hole. No one to help, no one cares. The people I talk to outside of the industry that I work in, have not got a clue what is happening. I have about 60 relatives. Not one has called to invite me over for a meal. NOT ONE.

Dispare is all I am seeing right now.

I sent out 300 resumes. No luck. No phone calls. No nothing.

#69 john m. on 06.14.09 at 8:12 am

Daily i become more amazed how out of touch so many people are with what is happening in the economy.Just yesterday i was chatting with my neighbor,he is in his 30’s has worked for the same company for 10 years which 6 months ago had 50 full time employees,there are now 4 and he just got laid off…he has 4 young children,a mortgage and is worried sick. That company can not survive,the overhead on the factory alone will destroy what little income they now have..and there are hundreds if not thousands in the same boat across the country.All we hear about are the huge vote rich corporations in trouble which are only a drop in the bucket to the masses of small industry withering in the wind. Coal impresses me with his reality and ability to adapt,he will survive,he is a minority.

#70 Bottoms_Up on 06.14.09 at 8:21 am

Nothing to see here, eh Dave Nile:

#71 David Bakody on 06.14.09 at 8:47 am

#67 mikewasanengineer on 06.14.09 at 6:53 am

I wish you good luck Mike ….. as a retired marine engineer I have always said the difference between we engineers and others is that we see in technicolour while others see in black and white. I trust in the end you will be O/K as you know the problems those who continue to sail downstream will soon hear the sounds of falling water and for them it will be too late. And this we know, they will be first to complain ” No one told us” just like the MSM and Flaherty said “No one saw this coming” once again good luck Mike.

#72 905er & Spouse on 06.14.09 at 8:48 am

The RV could be the answer for a lot of people in this recession if they could stomach it, why not? Think of it as a short term adventure and life experience…

Similarly, I knew a couple who lived on a boat for a while to save money for a down payment on their first house.

I am seeing more and more what Garth means about all the Boomer McMansions. All these neighbourhoods seem to have have owners in the 50-plus range. They will all need to sell at the same time. Maybe we would consider picking one up in a few years time. However, seems a little superfluous to have a 3-car garage when your goal is to have only 1 car! Then the utility costs would be scary with all the big, 2 storey foyers and whatnot. They may be destined to become rooming houses like many big old mansions in TO.

#73 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 06.14.09 at 8:53 am

I was thinking about some of the previous comments regarding Boomers as I got up this morning and it came to me that a part of the Boomer psychology was that of the Cold War and MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction).

We were born, and lived most of our lives under the threat of Nuclear War. I think that had a major effect on people about planning for the future because the question was pretty much ‘What future?’

Just a thought I felt needed sharing. Now, it is back out to constructing the new patio. Have a nice day.

#74 molson cdn on 06.14.09 at 9:22 am

you probably could safely hang 2-3 satellite dishes off the side?

i like the RV idea–for retirement

#75 Sidewinder Salamander on 06.14.09 at 9:52 am

Well Garth, I am off your bandwagon. Seems your predictions on real-estate have been wrong consistently. You always have an excuse and you backpeddle furiously when your predictions don’t work out – “Cheap money causing this boom. Didn’t see that in the fall. High end houses not selling – oops they are, uh uh uh, THEY WILL BE SORRY!!! Lost jobs kaboom no need for oil yet $100 oh it’s up now it’s down look at me look at me buy a generator and my book!”

High end houses selling here no problems. Cheap money is nice but these people don’t need it. Why don’t you run for the Rhinos and turn Toronto into a greenhouse to grow bananas? Perhaps you and Miller can give each other pedicures while cursing Harper.

#76 Basil Fawlty on 06.14.09 at 9:58 am

“There may come a time when I can’t afford to move it around but that will be when I can’t afford to move anything else around including my own rear end either.”
In general, RV’s are a discretionary item that are purchased for vacationing a few weeks per year or by snowbirds heading south for a few months. People don’t generally need RV’s and when fuel get’s expensive enough you will conserve it to drive to the grocery store on your 100cc Honda, like so many people in Asia and Latin America. The RV’s will be relics of the cheap oil fiesta and they will sit and rot long before our arse’s stop moving.

#77 Nostradamus jr. on 06.14.09 at 10:03 am

#67 mikewasanengineer

…You are in a dilemna…

Snap out of it….Do what is right…ASAP

Back in the early /80’s….We had 24% mortgage rates!

…People took a $$$ bath on their homes…no Govt bailouts either.

I posted earlier two suggestions for you….Go overseas for an Engineer position or Join the Canadian Armed Forces as an Engineer.

You are fortunate, in other parts of the world you wouldn’t be getting any EI.

60 Relatives haven’t asked you to dinner?

You are a winer…”Help Me?”……uh uh….Help yourself!

#78 lgre on 06.14.09 at 10:09 am

mikewasanengineer – Curious on where you bought your Mattamy? my last house was a Mattamy as well that I had in Milton..I agree that the quality is very poor overall and very expensive.

I offloaded it back in May 08, and it was a good decision overall. Never will I buy a Mattamy again, my mom has a small biz and her customers are always complaining to her about the poor quality of their Mattamy homes ..a lot of them just want to get rid of it.

#79 random guy on 06.14.09 at 10:54 am

mike go get some psychological help, you’re on a downward spiral

#80 Cora on 06.14.09 at 11:37 am

mikewasanengineer, don’t despair, you seem like a nice guy so look deep for hope. Try looking in places like your fridge, your significant other, your children, your garden/hobbies or church. The system sucks, but at least you have your wits about you, hold onto that.

I am not making light or fun of your situation, but my bipolar now schizophrenic brother was released today because the psychiatric units are too full to keep him He has not killed anyone yet, so technically he is harmless, thank goodness. He is unemployed as of last Dec 2008, but is not concerned as he keeps himself busy trying to burn down our father’s home and destroying property. If anyone wants to claim insurance, I can refer you to him so he can burn down your home. Complimentary harrassing phone calls too for free.

My message is, try to keep it together, you have more going for you then you realize. You are coherent and have your faculties about you, that counts for something. Don’t get depressed, it’s a hard hole to climb out of, it distorts reality, and you will miss solutions when they unexpectedly come by.

Good luck. Sometimes good things do happen to good people, or so I’ve heard, lol.

#81 Gord In Vancouver on 06.14.09 at 11:50 am

#67 mikewasanengineer

Until you posted this line, I believed you.:

I have about 60 relatives. Not one has called to invite me over for a meal. NOT ONE.

Don’t you think they’d be MORE supportive if they knew you were unemployed? Why didn’t you state your location?

#82 taxpayer like you on 06.14.09 at 12:32 pm

72 Bill

I dont know if I’d admit to building a patio on this blog lest you be labelled a “home improvement industrial complex” slave! But to make you feel better, as men it is
in our blood, see the following……


What did you think she meant by “sexy”? I understood the context and I’m a man who needs a “big deck” (see above link)

Would you like help with “romantic” music as well? You know, the 19th century stuff?

#83 Vancouver_bear on 06.14.09 at 12:37 pm

#15 Nostradamus jr. on 06.13.09 at 9:07 am

Please stop your realtor’s propaganda. We are all sick of it. Vancouver sucks and the world will see it during olympics once again.

#84 Nostradamus jr. on 06.14.09 at 12:50 pm

Ok Garth…tomorrow Canadians may find out that a Federal Election will be called.

You have eloquently described what’s wrong with Canada.

…Since you are not the type to gloat, I am sure you are formulating your election campaign as we speak.

As i see it, Canadian Federal Politics will need a miracle to save itself …Canada’s vast size, diverse cultures, w/gross underpopulation make Canada either a breakup likelyhood or be gobbled up by the U.S.

…At your earliest convenience please post your platform policies…

#85 Got A Watch on 06.14.09 at 1:38 pm

mikewasanengineer – You have to take charge of your life.

I would recommend starting your own business, doing something you always wanted to do. You said you are sick of the auto industry, so no better time to make the change than now. When you say you sent out 300 resumes, are they to auto parts companies? Why? You’ll end up back at an auto parts plant, again.

If you want an idea, here’s one: since the Ontario Gov just passed the new law about solar/wind power, there will be great demand. To get any of the Gov grants, you need to have an ‘energy audit’, and/or a complete heat gain/loss calculation for the building.

This is easy work for an engineer, HRAI offers a course to certify you can perform the calculations etc. See this link:
they will be having a fresh set of classes in Sept/Oct, and it costs about ~$700 for a 3 day course. EI might pick up the cost for you. That plus your engineers background puts you in business doing energy analysis. Once you get onsite, you can make proposals for projects, and be the project manager. Sub out trades, lots looking for work now.

If you still want to be in manufacturing, how about stainless steel mounting brackets for solar collectors, and mounting plates for running the hoses for hot water under walkways and driveways for snow melting – cheap if you are going geo-thermal anyway. And almost no one is doing this type of work en mass yet, and very few make the necessary strong corrosion-free components.

There is a vast amount of opportunity in this field, and it will be exploding in the next few years, driven by Gov and consumer ‘green’ thinking, even if the general economy still sucks. Not many in the field, huge lack of installers with know-how.

There are several great ideas right there. You have to pick up the ball and run with it, or sit around being depressed because nobody is calling you back with a job offer. You sound like a savvy guy, apply that knowledge you have in new directions. Go for it, and don’t look back.

Sell the house, and do what you have to do. Good luck.

#86 Davd on 06.14.09 at 1:58 pm

Folks here should not be to dismissive of Mike’s comments and experiences, as they are probably better grounded and centered in reality than many would like to admit. Either that or those still clinging to hopes for the ongoing housing bubble have never lived through a financial bust. If things are so great why are working families causing food banks stock outs and for that matter why does one of the wealthiest nations on earth even need food banks? One can hope that Mike can get out of his house and his mortgage yoke and find decent paying work and rent in the next 8 months.

#87 Another Albertan on 06.14.09 at 1:59 pm


If you were an engineer before, you’re still an engineer now. Buddy, we didn’t kick you out of the fraternity. Until you decide to send the ring back in, you’re still part of the team.

In addition, through personal experience, adverse personal conditions will garner a myriad of unexpected actions and reactions from others. Anyone who has gone through treatment for a critical illness, either personally or via a family member or friend, will have noticed the following behaviour:

Some people distance themselves. Some people get closer. Some people you thought would always be there for you aren’t. Some people do unexpectedly positive things.

The bottom line is that I am likening many people’s attitudes toward real-world implications of the current economic situation to the same behaviours exhibited by a number of people during my mom’s cancer “situations” in the past few years. “You” need to dig deep into your gut and heart before “you” realize that some simply don’t have a lot of mettle, wherewithal, and class.

#88 Just a Girl on 06.14.09 at 2:30 pm

#67 mikewasanengineer

300 resumes and no bites … thought I’d share a few thoughts from the HR side of the desk. This is not directed to you Mike, really just for anyone who is looking for a job.

Every time we post a job, we get hundreds of resumes. To be honest, I’d say only 5% of those applicants actually take the time to find out who we are as an organization, and synthesize their skills and experiences with our specific needs. That is the number one thing you can do, to tweak an employer’s interest. At least, if I am the hiring manager, to tweak mine. Oh, and to express confidence, passion, and excitement for the position offered.

The other 95% are unfortunately the shot-gun approach. There is nothing personal about their applications. They use different font types in their covering email — you know, “cut and paste” — and sometimes they even forget to remove the other employer’s salutation. Delete, delete. Those resumes go directly to trash.

Then what to do, when you have 300 resumes from out of province. Most people fail to mention if they are willing to relocate, or would be available for an interview by Skype, or whatever else they can do to bridge the distance and have the opportunity of a interview. Unfortunately a nonprofit is just not going to fly out a handful of candidates from across the nation, let alone from other countries. We’re looking for someone who has a plan for their life.

Then we get people who say, “I’m not available for an interview for the next month because I am on a sailboat in Fiji, hiking in the mountains, finishing another contract” etc. Well, I’m glad you’re on vacation, but the interview process will go on without you. We have a plan for our organization, and ‘timing is everything.’

Well I could go on. My post isn’t meant to make job hunters feel bad. But the amount of effort put into an application does show. You have to remember you are *competing* for a job. If ever there was a time to do your homework, and put your best foot forward, it’s when you’re applying for a job.

Honestly, if you do this (and you are truly qualified for the job), you’re already in the top 5%!

#89 Barb the proof reader on 06.14.09 at 3:26 pm

#80 taxpayer like you:
“Samantha/Barb: What did you think she meant by “sexy”?”

taxpayer like you, there’s only one meaning. Raitt is being clever by implying that other people have a different meaning or that they are wrong. A better question would be what does she mean by saying people took her the wrong way as no one took her the wrong way. Raitt and everyone else takes the meaning of sexy as an issue that would attract a lot of attention.

Raitt’s not doing a good job at reframing herself out of this, after all, everyone also understands the words … when we win on this, we get all the credit. I’m ready to roll the dice on this. This is an easy one. You know what solves this problem? Money. And if it’s just about money, we’ll figure it out. It’s not a moral issue.

The first mistake is always the biggest

Raitt’s cleverly written non-apology last week was a mistake. She blamed everyone and didn’t speak of any sorrow for having said her words even if they were in private.

Now she’s making a bigger mistake by attempting to reframe her own words and again blame everyone.

What she should have done, although, unfortunately it wouldn’t have been true, would be to express sorrow for her callousness in expressing, albeit privately, that isotopes and ergo cancer are a wrung on her ladder.

BTW a little known fact, at the time, during her audio-recorded limo ride, Raitt was eating take-out, a meal of deep-fried eye of newt. Fortunately for her, her repast wasn’t mentioned, nor caught on video. Because eating eye of newt on video, much like introducing a private member’s legislation imposing mandatory minimum sentences for human trafficking in children… would have been a career-limiting move, as Raitt says.

And so true, why on earth would anyone want to protect Canada’s children? One could lose their job over that for heaven’s sake! Stick to the sexy, career expanding wrungs.

#90 Eduardo on 06.14.09 at 3:43 pm

BMO Capital Markets…

Miketheformerengineer… Instead of being a car engineer you should expand your skills. I’m thinking that because you worked for a car company you must be a mechanical engineer and know a thing or two about rotating equipment. If that’s the case, expand on those skills. Almost all industrial sites would love to have mechanical engineers for inspection and maintenance jobs.

I think you’re being too narrow minded. What kinds of companies are you applying to?

#91 David Bakody on 06.14.09 at 3:59 pm

Now I know y’all think BC is the place to be but check this shack out for under a mill$ in Nova Scotia

#92 Barb the proof reader on 06.14.09 at 4:00 pm

Another way of putting it: the 2nd World War was sexier than the 1st World War


“If you said this column was sexy, would I hold it against you?” — Southey

#93 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 06.14.09 at 5:05 pm

#80 taxpayer like you

Aw, what the Hell. Yeppers, I love working with my hands and doing high quality craftsmanship, and it is nice to actually see progress accomplished on something. It was hot, sweaty, and all that stuff, but we are doing the GED (Git “er Done).

We are doing it to please ourselves, not as an investment attribute. If we ever have to sell then it will add to the value, but we get to enjoy it until then.

#94 Barb the proof reader on 06.14.09 at 5:29 pm

#78 Cora, re: mikewasanengineer

We are not worthy, Cora. I too, would like to give Mike the engineer encouraging words. Cora, your respectful albeit humourous nudge and nod to him are a great complement to Mike. You took the time, to gift him with a well-expressed whack of your life.

She’s right, you have to get it all into perspective. Revv up your humour genes, the future is going to be interesting.

Just a note, 5 dozen relatives or 5 dozen friends.. we all forget under pressure that we don’t get invites if we don’t make invites. Think of it as having 5 dozen hermits who need coaxing to interact.

You invite them over to your place. Do it one couple at a time. Serve cheap burgers. That will fill your summer and you will see in their faces gratitude that you include them in your life. Signal that you are this worried and that you enjoy their company. Actually, when you’re feeling like you are, it’s hard to do that, but force yourself to anyway.

(On the other hand, if your relatives are dislikable, count yourself lucky and liberally apply the above strategy to neighbours and friends instead.)

Mike, you can’t say no one cares. I care about you and likely so does every last person on this blog, and all 60 of your foodless family.

#95 . . . fried eggs and spam . . . on 06.14.09 at 6:57 pm

#82 Nostradamus jr. at 12:50 pm — “. . . Canada’s vast size, diverse cultures, w/gross underpopulation make Canada either a breakup likelyhood or be [gobbled up by the U.S.]”

The last four words seems to go with David Bakody’s link re: renegotiating water supplies (the US is flat broke, parched and burning) —

Canada has plenty of open, arable land, some water, commodities and resources but not nearly enough people living here to handle all of it.

Other than quietly poisoning its’ citizens [been done before and will happen again], through a false-flag of a pandemic (easy way to get rid of old folks) and WW3, it makes an awful lot sense for the US to annex / absorb Canada and Mexico.

This article — — was written in Sept. ’07. How close are the elite to making bigger things happen in the world? Annexation is really the only chance North America has of getting outta this mess, which it won’t.
Hay baybz! ‘Two’ is plural, or double so here a double whammy in July! Or could it means ‘Two’ lights out for us?! —
A Cdn. look at Obama, via Marx. —

“He saves his deepest scorn for Stephen Harper. The spectacle of the Prime Minister, a free-market economist once bankrolled by the insurance industry, . . .”
Would you buy a used car from Those Friendly Folks At The Fed?! —

“Master illusionist Bernanke is just arranging the props for his next big trick. The fact is, Bernanke anticipated the current wave of deflation and set up a straw man (the banks) to deal with it so it wouldn’t look like he was simply printing more paper to finance the deficits. As soon as rates on 10 year notes hit 4 per cent, the banks (that are borrowing money at 0 per cent) will probably start to purchase Treasuries and keep the housing and retail markets from crashing even faster. It’s called “the old switcheroo” and no one does it better than the Fed.”

May go hand-in-hand with the recent idea of bulldozing plenty of housing developments and small towns in their entirety, then rebuild them. The WH knows the economy is screwed and this is the make-shift plan in store for Americans — keep ’em busy, out of trouble and eliminate the older ones.

#96 hagbard on 06.14.09 at 6:59 pm

The heat is on. My wife and I saw a place in Kingsville she especially likes (I think its probably the best place we’ve seen in four months). If they were to accept what we’d be willing to offer ($250k) we could pay cash, no mortgage but then, less cash in the bank.

There really are no suitable places to rent around here, so its either that or stay were we are (renting in a place I like but has noise issues). Frankly, at this point, I see cash as being as much of a risk as real estate. But with RE, we at least have something tangible to show for it.

Go ahead and talk us out of it.

#97 John m. on 06.14.09 at 7:35 pm

Love your blog Garth……… is a sense of reality in a whole lot of victims of misconception in a troubled future for anyone that actually takes a look around. Anyone who buys in this market,or has a huge mortgage and is banking on their paycheque better face reality. Your Mcmansion which consumes 3/4 of your income will not impress anyone. Our cost of living is headed no where but up…….those billions in bailouts for a minority of vote rich corporations.are going to cost us for generations……..(longer than i will live im sure).There is no upside right now just a false economy …the crash has happened our governments billions will buy a couple months.and drive generations into debt and a much different lifestyle. The impact of the crash and the fallout has not even been remotely felt ……..its coming…. anyone who thinks things are now on the upswing……..just give me one reason why?……..waiting……….

#98 Samantha on 06.14.09 at 7:58 pm

#80 taxpayer like you on 6.14.09 at 12:32 pm

What did you think she meant by “sexy”?”

Initially, I was so taken aback by her use of language that I honestly couldn’t fathom what on earth she did mean. The word was so incongruent with the issue, it just didn’t make sense and there was a point where I thought maybe she was misquoted – a glitch with the tape perhaps.

Then the drama of no apology, apology and now from my link on #66, she now says she meant:

“Raitt told Toronto radio station CFRB that when she spoke of the isotope shortage and radioactive leaks as being “sexy,” she meant only that they would be “attractive for people to report on.”

Wouldn’t “interesting” or “provocative” sound better? Especially when one is in politics and any communication – oral, written, even gesture, can be held up for scrutiny?

That’s quite a stretch comparing her use of “sexy” with misconceptions surrounding the definition of “romantic” music. Tsk, tsk…Liszt must be rolling over in his grave.

I enjoyed the “big deck” clip, by the way. I have watched that one before. I don’t know who wrote the skit, but Jeff Foxworthy is a brilliant comedian.

#99 vancvrguy on 06.14.09 at 8:02 pm

One reason in VCR why few people live in RVs and trailer parks is that those that did lie in them have been displaced and forced to move with little choice in the remaining market of trailer parks.
Developers have moved out the trailers and built high end condos, row houses and townhomes as Metro Vancouver swallows up former bedroom communities like Surrey, Burnab y and Coquitlam.
In Coquitlam where I live many of the homeless that are not mentally ill or addicted used to live in trailer parks.
I am by no means a RE bull but one thing I have against renting is that you have no certainty of housing.

#100 $fromA$ia on 06.14.09 at 8:07 pm


This is still a cheap money boom, which is what led to the economic downt turn in the U.S.

Canada still isn’t getting it. There still is very loose lending standards. It will catch up to us as well.

Home values aren’t necessarily reflecting what people can pay for them rather how much they can borrow to buy.

Rediculous really, it’s like cheating on your wife that you have 15 kids with. She’s going to divorce you, take half and child support is going to hurt!!!

#101 . . . fried eggs and spam . . . on 06.14.09 at 8:46 pm

Every dog has its day, and guess who may well be done like dinner?! —

“. . . Harper’s usefulness to the global agenda may well be seen to have run its course.”
The Jokes Of The Year! — /\

In combination with —
Except for the fact I don’t have any spare cash :-D (also a joke, but I haven’t won the lottery recently) this is why I prefer silver to gold. —

“The major monetary metal in history is silver, not gold.” – Noble Laureate Milton Friedman in an interview with James U. Blanchard III for the 20th Anniversary New Orleans Investment Conference, November 7, 1993.
These appear to be TWO of the many elephants in the room! — /\

#102 OttawaMike on 06.14.09 at 9:08 pm

Mike, as mentioned here previously, I left a flaming out auto parts manufacturing biz in late ’80s. I fell into municipal water/wastewater by a newspaper ad and my skills from the auto sector plant reliability field have come in handy.
Canada is a world leader in water treatment plant equipment with many manufacturers and design consultants centred around S. Ontario. I think with infrastructure spending coming there will be employment growth in municipal utilities.
Chin Up Mike, remember you’re still living in the middle of one of the world’s most diverse economies

#103 D from London, ON on 06.14.09 at 10:38 pm

#72 – Bill-Muskoka (NAM)

I’m a Gen-Xer and I lived my first 25 years during the Cold War and under MAD. By the time the Cold War ended (MAD has never ended, and in fact the chance of being nuked by other states has never been higher) my views on life, work habits, etc. were well set. This has not lead to the “neverending party” mentality for me or my generation.

Good thought though – I have often wondered how the Cold War has influenced our society. That was one long war and for most of it we were supposed to pretend it wasn’t going on. That must have affected us somehow. And it must cause some sort of schism between The Blessed Generation/Boomers/Gen Xers on one side and those born in the very late 1980s and later.

If there is anyone in the latter group that has something to say about how they think the Cold War f’d up the still-living older generations (especially wrt to real estate and money management) I would love to read it.

#104 confused and a little crazed on 06.14.09 at 10:52 pm

# 67 Mike,

c’mon Mike get a grip… not to long ago I was on a downward spiral like you. i thought i sold to early but with great friends and good family I pulled through. All material items are transitory. Things get old and they perish but you body and health stay with you until you die so stay healthy if there are no jobs here go somewhere else. It’s not like you are severely handicapped . you are successful enough to before an engineer…there is hope as long as one has his health and happiness is just a different viewpoint from whaat you see now.

for instance you go out fishing aand you did n’t catch anything. But you spent time doing somthing you enjoy and or quality time with your buddy/ nephew/ son. Time passes regardless you are happy or sad… ur choice
No one wants to hire a depressed guy. when you are positive opportunties will present itself but when you sad you are too depressed to see it

so look at your situation from a diffrent point of view. Try a different field all together. Rent a movie get a laugh” KUNG Fu panda…try Yes Man with Jim carey.

I really don’t think you situation is as bad as those in katrina

#105 Bulls Eye on 06.14.09 at 10:54 pm

I have an Airstream – Love it. Sold the house at the peek and am renting. You get what you pay for… I can tell you that I have made more friends in my travels then in any community I have lived in. BTW gas prices are going to go up, though a new line of Diesel trucks will be available in the next few years (ie: Audi Q7, Dodge Ram 5.0 Cummins)
Remember: Bitch all you want about gas – Property tax hikes in Calgary are even more of a burden so will the increase in Insurance rates. I refuse to pay for an IKEA® quality home (Calgary) for half a million. This is were the Blog puts things in perspective – simply put, Particle board is worthless.

#106 Soylent Green is People on 06.14.09 at 11:31 pm

This guy coal has got it going on, nice long five month vacation every summer. That is a good life.

Working yourself to death for some future goal / payoff may not be worth it in the end. How many guys you hear about croaking a few days after they retire? That’s a waste.

Also, having a good attitude is more important than the so-called status of your house. Attitude will get you through most anything.

Ambition is highly over-rated. Better to take care of your two young boys Lisa then spending all your time dicking around in Ottawa with your strange bed fellows.

Hear hear for an election!

#107 Dodged-a-Bullit-in-Alberta on 06.14.09 at 11:37 pm

Greetings: Poster # 63 {Maurice}; your story is wrong. because the hotel owner was not able to keep the 100 dollar bill, he has not been paid by the hooker, and that debt is still outstanding.

#108 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 06.15.09 at 7:20 am

#80 taxpayer like you

BTW, I said patio, not ‘deck’ ;-) That clip is a classic for sure! LMAO!

#109 morfeus on 06.15.09 at 11:57 am

This puts it in perspective (Read the Investment Banker and the fisherman):

#110 Barb the proof reader on 06.15.09 at 1:42 pm

Don Martin: