I Have Learned A Lot

I have traveled these past couple days. Started at home, traveled north through Detroit into Canada on my way to Toronto, Ontario Canada. I had planned on stopping in Detroit to take some photos of the abandoned skyscrapers and whatnot. Well, Thursday morning I just woke up way to late and subsequently got on the road way to late, about 3 hours, to do this. So instead I passed by my stops in Detroit and headed directly for my border crossing at the Ambassador bridge. Got there, and well I guess I meet a profile but I got invited to the secondary search area. So after CBP spent 30 minutes going through my SUV and looking me up on the computer and asking if I had any guns with me, I finally got through the border.

This is when my schooling started.

First of all I am not completely naive and understand certain differences between the US and Canada. Understanding this and actually dealing with this though are two different things. One of the first things I notice is the 90kph speed limit. After a few moments I remember that there is actually is basic KPH readings on my speedo. The metric system, I know it, not well but after a little thinking I was able to convert in my head. Road signs are different and look different.

Next is kind of related to the first, distances, specifically in kilometers. That one actually was nice. What I mean is that I have a sign saying “80 km to Toronto.” In theory that sounds bad because my brain is thinking 80 miles traveling at 55mph. Where as what was actually happening was that I had 80 kilometers to go while traveling 120kph. That is a much better, and faster, ratio of travel time and speed.

Then was my cell phone. I do not own a standalone GPS system for navigation. So I did not have easy communications or navigation, because I use the Google Maps app. I incurred some, probably expensive, international roaming charges because of a little data use. I have a Samsung Galaxy S4. Out of the box it is an unlocked international phone, supposedly. Mine is a Verizon Wireless version. All I should have to do is plug in a new SIM and probably change a few settings. This I will be testing out in the next few months.

This is a more related to just generic travel anywhere, but it was the “little-things.” Specifically parking and toll roads. In this modern world both things required cash. Well I do not carry cash, have not for a long time. That is going to change. Not a lot needs to be said about that. I am going to start keeping cash in my wallet and glove box 24/7. Plus when traveling my personal bags. I might even add a coin to the mix ass well. Now that I think about it I have coin in my backpack. About a $1.35 USD, enough to get my through my first toll to an atm. O well.

Finally I see that my old fashioned American plastic cards in my wallet need to be upgraded. What I mean is that most of the rest of the world no longer uses magnetic strips on cards. They use something called the ‘Chip-and-Pin’ system or EMV. These systems are much more secure. Remember Target and the other retailers at the end of last year? Yeah that would not have been possible with the newer system. Frankly it is just what the rest of the world is going to. While I was able to transact everywhere I went, it was not as smooth or easy as it could have been. Especially when I was purchasing gas this morning at the Canadian Petrol and breakfast at Tim Hortons. Plus that way I can have that new technology first, haha. The US is converting over to the ‘Chip-and-Pin’ system. Just slowly because of the amount of systems and vast cost.

GPS/Communication Tech

2014 – A New Year’s Resolutions

As 2013 draws towards a close I think back on what I did and did not accomplish. I could have been more productive. I have a few regrets. These are all things I really want to fix.

I need to be a better husband. I need to communicate with my wife more and make more quality time for her. We need to play games and take pictures. We need to make memories like we used to. In modern times I do not think picture albums are as frequent as they were to previous generations. With out them though how can you go back and relive things. Looking at pictures on a computer, doubtful. I feel I need her to know how much I appreciate her, cause I do not think I do a good enough job.

I need to make a better life for us. In this respect I need a better job. I need to find something with better pay and less hours. 12 hours a day 5 or 6 days a week keep me from completing my above mentioned goal. I went a week recently without really seeing my wife. All because I went to sleep at night before she finished her day. And I started mine at 3am, way before she got up. I want to be a police officer. I need to be a police officer. This year, somehow I will be a police officer.

I do not know what people call it. What doctors or dietitians call it. But I call my current body style fat. I do not like being fat. I have been picked on because I was fat. I need to be in a gym 3 days a week, NO FUCKING EXCUSES for me!! Not only that though I need to adjust my eating habits. I have two bad issues. First is portion sizes, they are too big, just to much food per meal. Secondly I eat fast food way, way way way, to much. Taking a per-made meal for lunch to work will help both those. I suppose if I really want to dump extra on there. I do not eat a balanced enough diet. I need a little less fatty food, a little more protein and a lot less carbs. I also really need to up my H2O intake. That will wash some of the crap out I have eaten over the years. At least 2L a day.

My last big resolutions is money. To save much much more of it. To start saving it. I plan to become debt free sooner rather than later. Also cut down expenditures. There is not a need for so much of my money to go out. My wife should not ever have to pay for anything. I do not need satellite radio in the truck. And I am sure there are other services that will get the ax as well. We need to set down and make a budget.

This is going to be a big year and I am looking forward to it.



Snowball Debt Reduction Calculator Spreadsheet





Use our free Debt Reduction Calculator to help you eliminate your credit cardautostudent loan, and other debts. Easily create a debt reduction schedule based on the popular debt snowball strategy, or experiment with your own custom strategy.

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The download includes 2 Excel files: The debt-reduction-calculator_10.xls file lets you list up to10 creditors. The debt-reduction-calculator_20.xls file lets you list up to 20 creditors. The .ods file included with the download is for OpenOffice.org users.


3/17/09 Update (version 1.2) – Now includes a Snowball Growth Chart so you can see how the snowball increases and your interest due decreases over time (only in the Excel versions).

Click to download –>> debt-reduction-calculator