Wednesday 30 September 2015

Be Open to New Possibilities

Okay, so I did sit down on Sunday and got my bookkeeping up to date . . . sorta. You see, banks don’t update their online entries until Monday . . . or a perhaps Tuesday. So there were a few receipts from the weekend that I couldn’t process. 

The trouble with that is that I couldn’t make sure that my books were up to the second accurate. This, of course, is the whole point of doing these books every week. So I have decided to make Wednesday night the new night that I sit down and do my books. 

This way I will have had three weekdays since the weekend for things to clear. I should be able to get my books up to date accurate. As always this is a learning and process of constant refinement. I shall see how this goes.

You see, I do most of my shopping on the weekends and spent almost nothing during the week. This is because during the week I am far away from stores and on the weekend in their parking lot. So I buy supplies when I am “in town” and just manage when I am “out of civilization.” As in, the barren retail landscape that an industrial park is.

This morning I was a bit reflective so I started to jot a few things down about my past and my life’s journeys. Events and what have you that have helped shape me into being who I have become. I have the feeling that a heavily edited version of this meandering rambling may end up as the opening of the book about this journey towards Debt Freedom. 

As far as exactly what I will do once I am credit card debt free (Nov 22) and with the loans refinanced (mid Jan), I still don’t know. I will focus on Savings and paying the Wanda and Trea Debts off equally and see what happens after that. 

There are too many options open to me; too many paths that I can choose. I feel not unlike a prisoner who has just been released from prison and is a bit “institutionalized.” You get so used to not having any choices and that all of your money is all allocated that when that suddenly isn’t the case, you don’t really know what to do.

What I will do is carry on and leave myself open to new possibilities. The fun thing is that once the debts are refinanced, I will have more leeway in what things I can do. I can start to think about what I really want to do with my life. 

Hmm, there is no rush to make drastic changes, but change will come eventually. After all, the only constant in life is change.  Those who survive and thrive are not necessarily the: best, brightest or strongest, but those most adept at adapting to change.

I still want to put down roots somewhere, perhaps a nice mountain cabin by a lake. Hmm . . . being as self-sufficient as possible while surrounded by nature also sounds good. A wife, kids, grandkids pets, and more, sounds nice too. Then again having a massive home filled with all manner of family and friends sounds nice too.

The point to take away from this is that anything is possible. As I have said before: dream for the future, plan for the mid-term and work for the now. I can dream about what would be nice, but I must keep my focus on the mid-term goals I have set for myself:

1)  Pay off all credit cards by Nov 22
2)  Refinance and hopefully consolidate Wanda and Trea loans into one (Mid-January).

After that I can focus on saving and paying down those debts equally. I will see how things go and what opportunities come my way. If I save as much as I can not only will I have a cash cushion for eventualities, but I could possibly pay the consolidated loan off early (penalty or no).

I really don’t know what will happen, but I will still work my plan and see what comes my way. You know . . . be open to new possibilities.

Tuesday 29 September 2015

Winter is Nigh (Le Sigh)

The weather is starting to change, if a bit, and I must change with it. I have started to wear my thermal undies to bed and warm clothes in the evening. Yes, the water conserving methods are in effect. I had a rousing bachelor’s bath in my bathtub . . . a daily ritual for the next six months (groan).

The first realization each year that winter is coming has always hit me hard while out here on the prairies. This year it is accompanied by another deeper groan. I know what is coming and what lays in store for me. I will do it, and I will make it through winter. I just don’t like it. Even when living in a house I hated winter. I am not one to frolic and play in the snow . . . nope . . . not me.

This has turned my thoughts to how much easier it would be if I even just had a place to park Wanda. This then sparked thoughts of home ownership and what form that might take. I have looked at a few different options and mused over each one. 

There are many possibilities and I am still not sure, what, if any I should do. An intriguing thought is to somehow accomplish this without a mortgage. 

There is also the possibility that the increased payments on Wanda will kill any thought of savings. Once again, I will not know this until I sit down with the bank in January. My initial numbers do look scary, unless I can somehow extend the term of the loan to lower those payments.

Such thoughts of my future are not helpful at this time and will only serve to confuse and depress me. I will keep my mind focussed on what I need to do now, and the next goal that I have set for myself. I will remain focussed on preparing for winter and paying off my credit cards.

Then the savings phase will begin, and Christmas and then the talk with the bank, in January. Then and only then will I know how bad the refinanced Wanda loan will be. Spending too much time thinking about things in the future does not help me now. 

That is then, this is now. I need to do a few things before I can get to that place. Leave the past in the past and the future in the future. Plan for it, but work for and in the now.

Monday 28 September 2015

The Blizzard of September 26, 2015!

It was brutal, it was bitterly cold, and the snow fell in historic proportions. It is the most sudden, intense and unimaginably cold blizzard to ever hit the city of Calgary. Snow fell and piled up with fifteen feet of snow and the temperature dropped to -50C! 

Life and hearts stopped in this city on the prairie . . . or so my local gas station must have thought. (Okay, I’ll admit it, that pic was a photo I grabbed off the internet.)

In fact it was a nice day with a high of 14.7C, a might chilly but still T-shirt and shorts weather. Yet my local gas station, the one that I dump at and fill up my fresh water tank at, has turned the water off. If you ask them they always say “It’s winter” and they don’t want their pipes to freeze. 

What this means for me is that I am now in winter water management mode, meaning the only water that I have is the one in my jug with a hand pump. So I will have to buy my water from the local grocery store at $3.00 for five gallons.

Yet it is not sooo cold that I can’t dump, I mean the cold weather hasn’t hit us yet, and most likely won’t for a week or two. What this means is that I can still use my black and grey water tanks. 

With that in mind I have created a new contraption, this is for me to wash my hands with and also let me flush my toilet. Even when I have to stop using the black and grey water tanks I plan to still use this to wash my hands. 

I had some left over clear tubing so I used that and attacked it to the collapsible water jug and then attached a simple tap on the other end. This way I can just trickle the water out to get my hands wet, turn it off, lather my hands up and turn it on again to rinse them. This even will store in my closet nicely. 

I am glad that I had my five gallon jug of reserve water, so I don’t have to start buying my water right away. I now have about a week before I have to buy more water. I got into the habit of having that extra jug of water for just this possibility. 

This also answers another dilemma for me: to winterize or not to winterize? My RV dealership sent me a promotional email flyer telling me of a winterizing special. I won’t even have to unhook or leave the RV there. For one low price they will winterize it on the spot, while I wait. I was wondering if I should or shouldn’t do this. 

Well, with no ready access to drinking water, there is no point in not winterizing. So I will say goodbye to indoor running water for the next six months. In about two weeks I will dump for the last time in six months also. I am not looking forward to pooping in a bucket again, or resurrecting my pee jar. 

I froze myself and endured winter in Wanda last year to pay the banks. This year I will endure the same for myself. I will be paying myself and working towards home ownership, and actually owning something. I have rented for the last time, so when I move to a fixed address, it will be into a place that I own, a place that I will have earned.

Friday 25 September 2015

Not Going to be Oliver

I forced myself to finish the chapter that I started this week. Sure, it needs to be edited and tweaked a bit, but the important thing is that progress was made. I sometimes take a day off, and I know that I need to force myself to get back into the groove lest I lapse my writing for more than a few days. 

The other thing that seems never far from my thoughts is the fact that I have only four paydays to go until I am credit card debt free. I keep pondering what I will do after the glorious ‘Liberation Day’ which is the 22nd of November, 2015. 

I will most likely wait until January before talking to the bank to refinance my car and truck loans. Why? Because it takes about a month before what happens to your card to hit your credit score. 

I want my credit report to show that I am credit card debt free and have my credit score to be as high as possible before I talk to the bank. I actually want to enjoy this talk and not feel like Oliver asking for more porridge.

Then my thoughts turned towards actually buying something . . . as in a house or land or a condo. Hmm . . . how can I sneak into home ownership without a down payment and what avenue is best for me? 

Buy a plot in a nearby hamlet to park Wanda on? Buy an acreage? Perhaps buy a condo to get my feet into the home ownership market. Hmm . . . decisions, decisions, decisions.

For me, this is a lot like what you do after you buy that lotto ticket yet before the draw. You sit there and wonder what you will do with your newfound fortunes. For me, I wonder what I will do with my newfound disposable income. 

Once again, for no reason whatsoever, here is your sunrise shot.

Thursday 24 September 2015

Lights Out

Okay, I was able to disable the lights on the front of Wanda last night, so there will be no draining of my batteries unless I do it myself. There are two lights, one on the hitch post and the other on the front of Wanda. 

Both of these lights are activated by a switch on them, thus the problem. With my porch light that is turned on and off by a switch inside Wanda. With these two though, anyone can walk by and flip a switch. I wouldn’t mid it if it was someone who used the light for a few seconds, but to turn them on and walk away, is just wrong.

As I suspected, the light on the post was in fact three LED’s on a PCB. I was able to disable this light by disconnecting a ground wire. Thankfully there were two ground wires going to the same screw. One ground wire was for the motor and the other was for the light. By just disconnecting the ground wire and wrapping it in electrical tape, I disabled the light but also allowed myself to be able to reattach it later. 

With one on the wall it was much simpler . . . I just took out the bulb. I made sure to put a small label in there telling you the type of bulb it takes. Just in case I lose the bulb and want to reactivate this light in the future. 

By doing this I have prevented anyone from turning my lights on and walking away. This was the simplest and less confrontational method to accomplish this. Sure I could have stayed up at night or rigged up some sort of alarm to alert me if someone flipped on a switch. 

All that would accomplish would setup a confrontation with whoever was doing it. This is not an issue I see a need to confront anyone on, I just don’t want my batteries drained by some jerk.

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Happily Broke!

Payday has come and gone and I spent almost all of it yesterday. The important thing to remember is that I budgeted it out beforehand, as I always do these days. 

Furthermore, I will be pay the only automatic payment which is due to come out and still stay out of the overdraft. Something that I am proud to say has been the norm for months, quite a change from the past where lived in the overdraft for years at a stretch.

So not only did I get everything done that I had planned to do, there was also an added bonus. I budget $150.00 per payday for fuel, as that is the maximum that the gas pump will let me preauthorize for. That and that is the most that I feel like spending per payday. Usually I am somewhere between $60.00 and $100.00. 

With this trip to Golden and back taking up almost a whole tank, I was worried. By the time I got back I even had the truck nagging me to fill up. I had figured that it would be more than my budgeted $150.00. I had already decided that I would fill the tank up to the max of $150.00 and then just fill up more next payday. I was happily surprised when it “only” came out to $136.56, leaving a bit of cash in my pocket.

Since it was payday and that means a trip to my bank and Costco gas (seriously the cheapest gas in the city) I ended up in my Western Home. I got settled and had a fine evening, even doing a bit of grocery shopping. 

When I got up this morning I found something which has happened before and is quite irksome (not to mention wasteful). I found that the light that is attached to my hitch foot stand was on. 

There is a post attached to the front of Wanda which I can lower down a foot to support the weight of the hitch for hitching and unhitching the trailer. Well there is a light to help you see the hitch at night. What it actually does is spotlight the license plate on my truck perfectly. 

I figured that it was on and was most likely on all night, as my batteries were drained but not dangerously low. I have looked and it looks like it is an LED and I can’t quite figure out how to disable it. If it were a regular fixture I could just pull the bulb out.  I will look again tonight to prevent this. After all, I have flashlights if I need to see the hitch at night.

I have had security types do this to me when they are doing their rounds. It is one thing to write down my license plate if I am on you property, it is another to needlessly drain my battery. I will find a way to prevent this from happening and not give in to the impulse to bash the head in of whoever did this. I don’t need the trouble nor wish to stand before a judge and explain myself.

So . . . I am back to my usual routine, and writing away, starting to make progress on Book Two. I pretty much finished off a chapter in two days, all I need to do is to add a scene at the end of it and this one is done. It is another funny one which was easy to write, I hope the rest of the book goes this easy. 

The break did me good and I aim to have this book finished before starting on the book about my journey to paydown these debts, which will most likely be my next book.

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Momentous Payday and The Snowball Theory!

Okay, so I am excited, as today is payday, but not just any payday, this payday is special. Today is the first payday that I actually put that full end of month payment on the dreaded and dastardly (that which cannot be named) Card #3!

I loathe this card not only because it had the largest balance but because it symbolizes the whole of my struggle against credit card debt. This thing has been turned off, (just because I missed a payment and moved) since 2011 but they have been charging me like it was turned on ever since, and even sneaking in a few extra charges along the way. Trust me I will dance when it is finally paid off and I never have to deal with that organization again! . . . But I digress (into a rant . . . sorry).

So you can at least understand my joy, when today I will take the first large bite out of this card. Not only that but this makes September the first month that all of my credit card budget goes to one card! This is big and plays into my “Snowball Theory” of debt elimination.

What is the Snowball Theory of debt elimination? Well, when you look at your debts, don’t bother to look at the interest rate, just accept that you’re getting screwed and move on.  The only exception would be that if the current balance on two or more cards/debts are the same, then chose the one with the highest interest rate, then the next highest and so on down the line. 

So, first pay off the smallest debt, then move on to the next highest debt, and keep going until you are out of debt. This way the money that you were spending on the “minimum payments” on the smaller debts can be added in to paying down the higher debts. This way your momentum increases as your resources snowballs and grows bigger (as does your confidence) as you go.

It is because of this that the balance on Card #3 will fall quickly and take just shy of two more months to pay off. Okay it will take two more months to pay off but that last payment will be much less than the full credit card payment budget. 

Then that money, that entire budget will be mine, mine to do with as I please. Then, I will finally have control over my own paycheque and life. Truck and trailer payments are one thing, for there is a fixed amount and an end date, credit card debt is a never ending debt that keeps on taking. 

The only thing worse than credit card debt is payday loans. Trust me, stay away from them and if you are on that cycle do whatever (legally and ethically) you have to in order to get break that cycle and get away from them.

As for me, I will focus on the happy thought that the final stage of my credit card paydown quest has begun in earnest. 

Monday 21 September 2015

Let There Be Light!

Okay, one of the things that I did while I was on vacation was to replace all of my incandescent bulbs with LED’s. 

I didn’t report this because I wasn’t sure exactly how the LED’s stacked up against the incandescent bulbs. Were they in fact better at saving me energy or just looked niftier? 

That is until I got into work this morning.  We have some special testing gear here to help us determine these things, so, I put them to test in a head on comparison.

For reference, here is the incandescent bulbs (the incumbent).

Here is the LED’ replacement package, designed to go where the bulb went. 

In essence all I had to do was change the bulbs in my existing fixture. That was key for me as I didn’t want to run flex strip or change out my lighting fixtures, and with these I didn’t have to.

I did a few basic tests on these two 

1) What is the power consumption?

The bulbs consumed 16.7 Watts of power while the LED’s consumed 1.22 Watts of power. For me, that is one heck of power savings which is vital for me, since I am on batteries.

2) How much light to they give and what is the quality of that light?

The bulbs gave out 3150 Lumens of light at a colour temperature of 2629 Kelvin with a CRI rating of 99 (Which is about as high of a CRI that you can get). FYI The sun is 100.

The LED’s gave out 1174 Lumens of light at a colour temperature of 3325 Kelvin with a CRI rating of 69 (Which is about as okay, not great but not bad).

So sure these LED’s give out a third of the amount of light that the bulbs do, but they use a fraction of the power. For me, that is a trade-off that I am willing to make. I can still see fine and most importantly not be afraid to run my main lights.

I paid twenty bucks plus shipping so about 25 bucks for a pack of twenty LED bulbs. The one thing to remember is that sure bulbs will work either way you stuff them in the socket but LED’s won’t. So, if you insert an LED bulb in and it doesn’t light up, turn it over and try again.

To get these I did a search online for the LED replacement for X (the bulb type). It is also good to look for Warm White in colour as that is closer to the Light Bulb in colour and what we are used to in a home setting. Of course if you are looking for a more pure white or daylight white (cooler white) you can get those too.

I am just happy that I won’t be sitting in the dark this winter, though it might be cold, I won’t be without light.

Sunday 20 September 2015

Last Full Day in Golden

Okay, I did go for my bike ride (first of the season) and I did also get the rest of the painting and protecting of the hitch done. For me, as a result of my time in Golden, this shot will be what I take away, what I will remember.

I had heard of talk of an all wood covered bridge near downtown and decided to bike down to check it out. 

As I neared downtown I was inspired to take these shots of what is a classic small town relief and to me shows the history of this small mountain town.

I did get to the bridge and I was impressed with what I found. It is elegant and functional, blending beauty and utility. I will let the bridge speak for itself.

Near downtown I found a small market of some kind going on. 

In reality this was the finish line of a race through the mountain trails. I gathered that it stretched over three days and that this was the inaugural running of it. If I am not mistaken it is called the “Golden Ultra.”

What you can take away from this is that there are quite a few hiking trails in the area . . . see. 

Just a thought for all of you adventurous and outdoorsy types out there looking for a challenge in a beautiful place.

As for me, I had a great cup of coffee at a small stand ran by a lady who packs up and moves around to various communities and events selling her coffee as she goes. 

She has a generator and small trailer with a winch to help get this coffee stand up on it (smart lady) . . . great coffee too.

As I sat there and sipped my coffee I took in some scenery.

I did spray that spray on bed liner on the hitch of the trailer and I used the whole can. I put layer after layer on, waiting an hour or so between coats. I then started to put a clear coat of “rock guard” overtop of it. I will continue to do this when I get back. I hope that this will prevent damage to the front of the trailer again. 

I head back to Calgary today, I will wait until it is light, at least ten before I start to pack up. I will be going back and I have all day to get there so I will not have to rush. That in itself will be a treat. 

I am not sure if I am rested enough to go back or if I have been here too long. Perhaps that means that it is time to move on and get back to the usual grind.

Saturday 19 September 2015

How I Made Coffee This Morning

Soooo . . . this is how I made coffee this morning . . . 

Why? I’ll get to that in a bit. 

First of all I did replace the roof vent over the bathroom. 

Here is the old one removed (to prove that I did it).

Here is the new vent installed.

Because the tint of this vent was much lighter than the old one, this is what it looks like in the bathroom now (with no lights on).

This gives me more light in the bathroom, but I am not sure I want that much light in the bedroom. I am sure that once I get my ‘S’ (The Urban Nomad(s)) that she will demand the darker skylight in the bathroom (for privacy). 

For me, I really doubt that anyone will be looking down on me in my bathroom, so I will accept the better light. That and I tried to look down in there and the mesh does not let you see anything. 

I am sure that if it was dark outside and the light was on inside then you might be able to see something. I just think that would be a lot of work to see naked people, so why bother.

I won’t tell you how I replaced the vent as there are plenty of videos on the net, telling you how to do that.

Okay, now on to why I didn’t make my coffee (and breakfast) in my kitchen.

I had planned on painting the hitch this week but it had been raining on and off all week. Finally, yesterday was good enough to paint the hitch so I did so. I did my laundry first and then decided to paint the hitch in the afternoon. 

Why? I wanted to paint the pain that the propane tanks sit on and that meant disconnecting and removing my propane tanks. I didn’t want to leave them unguarded and unsupervised for that long of a period of time. 

Here is what the trailer hitch looked like when I started.

Okay, I got excited and started going and painted the passenger side of the hitch before taking the photo, here is a close-up of the other side and what both sides looked like before.

Why this is happening is because I didn’t have mud-flaps on my truck (the tow vehicle). Why this is important is because as I drive small rocks and other debris will be shot out from under the tire and hit the front end of the trailer. I have recently installed mud-flaps on Treabilla to reduce this damage.

I plan to first paint the hitch area . . . okay done.

Then I will spray on the spray on truck bed liner to add a tough surface to the front of the hitch . . . first coat is done.

I will add a few more coats throughout the day. I hope to make it as tough as the coat that is in Trea’s truck bed. 

I also hope to go for a few bike rides today, as this is my last day here. I head back to Calgary tomorrow morning. The nice thing is that I don’t have to leave first thing in the morning. I can leave during the daylight, and odd experience for me to pack up in the morning, during daylight. 

Well, I had best get up and at it.

Friday 18 September 2015

Horseshoes, Hand-Grenades and Bookkeeping

I am not going to spend days trying to chase that penny . . . seriously, not me, not going to do it. In my world, “Close” counts in: horseshoes, hand-grenades and bookkeeping. 

In the end, I got it done and my books are up to date, yet I had to nudge the numbers a bit. As in I had to put in a few “Adjustment” entries to make the balance up to date. 

The thing to keep in mind is that my books are not for a business or for tax purposes. As well, my numbers were not far off and I am doing this to keep an eye on my spending and see where my cash flows.

Here is what I did it, in case any of you are interested. (if not, sorry, here is a video of Cats vs. Zombies for you to watch instead).

First of all I picked up each pile of a month’s worth of receipts and plopped them beside me. I pulled the file of that month and put it beside me as well, open. On the table beside my laptop I put my sorting board. (It is a bit pricy, but worth it, trust me.)

I then picked up a random receipt and placed it in the sorting board in accordance to its day date. Repeat until done. 

Then you start at the beginning of the month and compare the receipt to the entry in the accounting system. The main reason for doing this is to categorize each receipt into the appropriate income or expense category. This is vital to determine where your money is going. Let’s face it, this is why we do these books.

You can also split a receipt into various categories. I do this for my paycheques. This way I can track how much of each tax or other deduction that I pay. 

After looking at a receipt I put it in the file. If it is a large receipt then I put it on one side of the file. If it is a small receipt I put it on top of the envelope. 

Then I stuff the small receipts into the envelope and put them on top of the pile of the larger receipts and the file is done. The reason that I have the envelope is so that all of those little receipts don’t balloon out and fall out of the file. They are organized and still readily accessible.

This process took all day and was frustrating. The fact that I tried to enter so much information from such a large period of time is what contributed to the errors in my data. Once again, this is yet another reason why it is important to keep my books up to date on a regular basis. 

For that reason I plan (insert laughter here) to force myself to sit down and update my bookkeeping once a week (Sunday night). The concept is that if I keep doing this once a week, it will never get to be such a large job nor will my books get so out of whack.

To help that I have put up this little pouch above my fridge. I pinned the inside of the pouch to the bottom edge of the bulletin board. 

First of all this is a basic pencil case. I buy a bunch of these for a dollar each, every time the new school year starts, as they are so handy. I use them mainly to keep charger and cords in for each device. For example: my phone charger and accessories are in one and my Bluetooth speaker with its charging base, charger and cord are in another. Once again very handy and cheap.

I will use this one to stuff any of the receipts that I get as soon as I get back home. This way the pouch itself is not only a handy place for receipts but also will serve as a reminder to do my books. 

I plan to do some basic repairs today, such as painting my hitch and add a truck bed spray in liner to the front of the trailer and hitch area. This is to protect it against rocks and what have you. I have already installed mudflaps on Trea, but this will help. Yes, I will also replace that damaged dome vent. Well, I had best get at it.

Thursday 17 September 2015

I Slept On My Own Couch

Don’t believe me? Here.

Why? Well, things didn’t go according to plan with regards to the sorting out of the receipts and updating of the accounting software. 

First of all, this is what I started with . . . here is my briefcase, full of those receipts all in one jumbled pile.

The first thing that I needed to do was sort out the various receipts into piles for each month. Since I knew that I had the better part of nine months to sort through, a nice grid on the bed made sense. I knew that the piles would be sizable and need to be kept from merging with the next one.

Then comes what I like to call “Archaeological Bookkeeping.” In essence this is where you simply pull out one receipt and try to determine what month it is from and put it in that pile. Repeat until done. 

The added fun is that since there is no hard and fast standard when representing dates as numbers on receipts, this means that you are guessing half of the time. I mean if the day that you bought something happens in the days 13 through the end of the month, it is obvious which number is the ‘day’ and which is the ‘month’. If you bought stuff in the first twelve days, you’re screwed. (Yet another reason to keep your accounting up to date.)

Eventually I got it done, so here is the full bed.

Next came trying to download the data from my bank and credit card companies and put them into the system. 

The bank I deal with always has the last eighteen months of data available to me, so that was easy. Download and import them one month at a time. The important thing to do at the end is to make sure that the balance at the end is current.

The sticky wicket came with the credit card companies. First of all Card #3 has long since stopped talking to me (unless I miss a payment). So I have no data on it and they refuse to allow me to download it because the card has been “Estated.” Sure they send me paper invoices but that’s it, they will not allow me access to the online data.

So with this card I will just keep updating the payments and just make an adjustment at the beginning to ensure that the balance matches when it is finally paid off. If I was really bored and reeeeeaaally retentive I could manually input all of the interest and other charges into the system. I don’t see the point for a dead card that has been so since 2011.

Card #2 only lets you download data from the last 180 days, so with this there was a hole in my data from the early part of this year. With this one I just downloaded what I could and then did that balance adjustment for early January so that the balance matches up to today.

Once again this is yet another reason to keep your accounting system up to date as that data will not always be available for download. The challenge of downloading, importing and then trying to make sure that it all balanced out took up the rest of the day. 

I looked over at my bed and just decided that I was not going to start digging through receipts and do so all evening. I would save the other half of my cursing and swearing until tomorrow (today). So here I am about to dig into those receipts and get them done. I will save a few photos of that part for tomorrow.

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Relaxed Yesterday, Work Today

Okay, I’ll admit it, I didn’t do a thing yesterday. I sat around, rested, played some video games, and generally was a sloth. Sure I went for a few walks but I was wholly unproductive. 

Today I have decided to finally force myself to sit down and do my books. This is bad because I haven’t touched them since early January. Sure I finished off doing December 2014’s but that’s where my work started. I just didn’t change over my files from 2014 to 2015. 

No big deal, I just have to sort through nine months worth of receipts and enter them into the accounting system. Rather make sure the expenses are put into the right categories. I have them organized into one large pile nicely compressed and stuffed into my briefcase . . . this is right up there with the “shoebox” filing method.

Needless to say this will be a challenge when staring a receipt from months ago and wonder “What did I buy and for what purpose?” Ah well, I know that I need to get this done, as I want to keep my books up to date, so I can see how I did this year compared to last.

I know that I just need to keep up with this. I need to sit myself down every payday and just enter everything into my accounting system. Keeping up to date is important. 

I just let it get behind because I used the excuse that I would need power for too long. I then just groaned at the amount of work to do and just shoved it off because of that. I have rested enough that I can spend a day doing this. 

Yes, I will show you pictures of the disaster made right tomorrow. Well, no more delaying, I must get at it.

Tuesday 15 September 2015

Hazy History

I went to the local museum here in Golden, B.C. with the hope to learn the history of the town and area. To make a long story short, I was disappointed.

Sure, the museum looked nice, there were lots of displays and old items. Most, if all, of them had little cards telling you what you were looking at. 

The one exception to this was the fact that largest and most noticeable picture in the place there, didn’t tell you exactly what it was or when it was taken. I guessed that it was a shot of the downtown, very early in development. Again that was my guess, and guessing in a museum is not what you are supposed to do.

This was an annoyance but not my real problem with the museum. What is my real problem with the museum? There was no central narrative. 

What I mean is that there was no clear starting point or path to go through to learn about the history. I saw a timeline poster at the door which told you what happened and when but it was in point form. This was a good start, but the rest of the museum let me down and didn’t support this. 

I had hoped to learn who the original peoples were who populated this area. When and why did the first non-aboriginals come into the area. Who, when and why was a town started in this area? What was its first non-horse connection to the outside world? (Seamboats as it happens.)

Telling me exactly what valley I am in would have helped when reading the summery of the life history of David Thompson. For that matter, letting me know why he was important to this area, would be a good start. 

From what I could gather while there was some sort of town in the area it really got its start during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. This was a major staging area for the construction of the railway heading from Vancouver going east. This stretch of the railway was the hardest to build which is why the last spike is in the rocky mountains somewhere. 

The town grew again when the CPR moved the regional head office away from Douglas (the next town over) to ???. People and businesses moved here to Golden. 

The major economic driver of the town has always been the local sawmill. The lumber industry has always been vital to this town. So the fortunes of the lumber industry goes, so too goes the fortunes of Golden. 

In recent years with the development of the Kicking Horse Ski Area and a number of other adventure/guiding businesses, tourism has increased in importance to Golden.

I did also get a chance to go downtown to see what it looked like. It is a nice and picturesque downtown and a good example of a small town. Here are a few pictures.

Monday 14 September 2015

Peace and Progress

I was able to get that chapter done that I had hoped to get done . . . on Sunday. Saturday was my plop day, and other than blogging, I got very little done. 

I did manage to get out and do a bit of walking and hiking, so here are some shots of where I am. 

An interesting thing to note is that the railroad runs along the other side of the river. What this means is that they actually shaved the mountain off so that they could run the railroad through unhindered. 

Today I will go and check out the local museum and investigate the history of this area that I am vacationing in. I then hope to take a wandering tour of the downtown area. I am able to relax and take it easy, and that is the whole point of this trip.

It has been wet and raining on and off, so I have not done any of the mild repairs that I had wanted to do. We shall see how things go in the coming days.