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David Barron

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Sunday, 20 July 2008
Turning The U.S.Housing Market Around

For anyone buying or selling a house in the United States, "Flip This House" should be required viewing. In today's marketplace, the value of a house  doesn't appreciate naturally, it happens with blood, sweat and a fair amount of cash.

Armando Montelongo is the star of the show and he handles his clients with tough love, a tight budget and gritty determination.

The episode that I saw yesterday, really left an impression in my mind. This couple bought a crummy house for $92,000.This was $50,000 more than it was worth. It was dirty, the walls were cracked, it was rat infested, the plumbing didn't work, a room was off center, etc. etc.

Armando had to kick of the butt of the husband to get the garage cleaned up and get other work done on time.

It wasn't an easy job and Armando swore a lot which resulted in more money for the couple's renovations.

At first, the couple wanted to sell the house for the original cash value, but after two weeks of all out renovating, they developed "Pride Of Ownership" and decided to keep it.

The house was independently appraised for $125,000 which was  better than expected.

There's no easy journey to a value added product like a restored house. It requires a vision by the owners and mortgage lenders to make it happen.



Posted by qualteam at 10:58 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 20 July 2008 11:08 PM EDT
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Get Energized With Momma Mia
Mood:  caffeinated

It's been a tough year economically for the U.S. and the world, rising food, commodities and oil prices have taken their toll. Added to the above are the continuing subprime crisis/credit crunch and concerns over Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

Fortunately, the feel good movie of the year has arrived in "Momma Mia". I saw stage productions of Momma twice in Toronto and enjoyed both productions immensely. Louise Pitre as "Donna" was a standout in Toronto and New York.

From the reviews, I've read, Meryl Streep did a fine job in the lead role. Apparently, a fan letter to the New York cast in 2001 helped her to get the main part.

The Abba songs tell the stories how Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog met, fell in love, married and divorced  Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson.

All the excitement and adventure of discovering new relationships are there in the music and the story line.

"Grease" of the 20th century has now been replaced by "Greece" in the 21st century.

Posted by qualteam at 9:50 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 19 July 2008 11:15 AM EDT
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
The Fun Side Of The Credit Crunch

  1. Buy U.S. Subprime Beef. It's cheaper than you think.
  2. Try ABCP Toilet Paper. It's guaranteed by The Federal Reserve.
  3. Many U.S. mortgage officers are now in Canada working for The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Their job is to shred sensitive documents.
  4. The biggest garage sale in U.S. history is starting now in used bank stocks and foreclosed houses.
  5. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae sound like hillbilly loan officers from "The Dukes of Hazzard".  Is Boss Hogg, their manager?
  6. Zimbabwe may run out of paper to print more money, but the Fed, definitely, will not.
  7. Your home may be worth...less than you think.
  8. "When you (i.e. loan manager) reset my mortgage, I'll reset your teeth."
  9. The Canadian "Trailer Park Boys" started the subprime crisis.
  10. Be thankful that financials are less than 5% of the Dow.


Posted by qualteam at 10:12 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 19 July 2008 1:59 PM EDT
Saturday, 12 July 2008
Oprah, Fundamentalism And New Age Christianity

Christian fundamentalism has never escaped the box of the Council of Nicaea in the 4th century.

The bishops of this council were regarded like prophets of the New and Old Testament by fundamentalists. They took the inner spiritual path of Christ and dogmatized it into a man-made religious insurance policy for getting to Heaven.

The battle of the "Gospel Within" (i.e. The Gnostics) and "Gospel Without" (i.e. The Roman Church) reached a turning point at Nicaea. The emperor, Constantine, threw his support behind the Catholic Establishment. The Gnostics were branded as heretics going to Hell and the followers of the Roman bishops were blessed and going to Heaven.

Fundamentalists have always been very critical of those that don't share their literal and dogmatic views of scripture. This is seen in their condemntion of Christian sects like the Mormons or the Jehovah Witnesses.

This criticism even extended to Oprah Winfrey who discussed some of her religious views on her TV show. They mocked her and said she started her own religion, "The Church Of Oprah".

My own particular fixation with Christianity was the whereabouts and condition of the early church from 100 AD to the present/2008.

Christians have "The Mind of Christ" and we're connected to each other like a grapevine. This should give us access to the memories and experiences of millions of Christians who went before.

I have written many blogs on my visions of the Christian Brotherhood as it now exists. Please check the entries on the right panel.

I believe we've made first contact with "The Federation Of Jesus Christ". All it took was "One Moment In Time".

Posted by qualteam at 11:47 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 12 July 2008 2:27 PM EDT
Thursday, 10 July 2008
No Easy Money On The Worlds' Stock Markets These Days

But isn't it great to hear the sound of speculators losing billions of dollars on market volatility.

Has oil topped out? Have financials bottomed out? Has stagflation set in? On and on, investors ask economists and financial gurus these questions.  The experts look into their "crystal balls" and come up with the usual long or short winded explanations of what is happening and what is going to happen.

This fortunetelling makes good press releases, but it really doesn't tell anyone whether we're going to hell or making a recovery.

Whether you're bull or a bear depends on the mood you're in.

What is reported in the media are fixations over commodities, energy futures and financial incompetence.

Personally, I think we've reached the end of an age (i.e. The 20th Century Oil Based Economy). The 21st century will be based on alternate energy sources like solar power.

Some companies are getting into the new industrial age in a big way like General Electric and Toyota while some are being left behind like Ford and ExxonMobile.

If I had the money to invest in the stock market, I would definitely go green with companies like "Nanosolar", "Suntech" and others.

Stock markets always look into the future and for "the next big thing."

Speculators and investors are clinging to what they have or trying to get back what they've lost.

The old stock market game is over and the new one has begun.

Posted by qualteam at 1:54 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 10 July 2008 2:53 PM EDT
Monday, 7 July 2008
I Love Gambing But..

I'm on a limited buget these days because I'm trying to pay off the mortgage on my house.

I orginally started off playing backgammon for money many years ago. I won more than I lost but gradually my buddies moved away and my gambling interests turned to blackjack, craps and sports gambling. I won a little bit at blackjack and craps, but not sports betting.

Presently, I play "Hold "Em Poker" for free at Poker Stars. I've amassed $35000 in play money over the last month. When I was playing for real money, I made $10 to $15 dollars playing in nickle and dime tournaments.

Most of the time, I play within a designated limit like $50 in any gambling game.

I'd love to buy some good green stocks and see them double in price, but right now, my extra cash is spoken for. I'm not going to go in debt to place a bet on some trendy energy or tech stock on the TSX,  the Dow or anywhere else.

My number one investment is my house and that takes precedent over "a gambler's rush on a big bet".

Posted by qualteam at 10:54 PM EDT
Thursday, 3 July 2008
Happy 400th Birthday To Quebec City

Quebec City is called the Paris of North America. I've never been there but those who have say it has an old world charm that's quite beautiful.

Quebec was the second permanent settlement (July/03/1608) started by Europeans in the 17th century. The first was Jamestown, Virginia (May/1607) which was an English settlement.

Except for Native North Americans we're either immigrants or we came from immigrants to the New World. The natives taught the French and the English how to survive in the harsh climates of Canada.

Quebec became a trading center for the natives and the white man in the 17th century.

The French culture was never assimilated by the British, but survives very well in the province of Quebec.

Over the years, Canada has become a truly multicultural country that celebrates differences between cultures and demonstrates that people of different races, religions and cultures can live in peace with each other.


Posted by qualteam at 10:45 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 3 July 2008 10:57 PM EDT
Wednesday, 2 July 2008
Decreasing The Demand For Oil

The fastest way to decrease the demand for oil is to increase the demand for "alternate energy vehicles" nationally and internationally.

"The Progressive Automobile X Prize Race" that seeks to create the above by 2010 should be put on a fast track to obtain its goals quicker. The best way to do this is through a Hollywood reality show that lets the audience vote on the most fuel efficient cars.

The race would both entertain and educate worldwide audiences in high tech automobiles of the 21st century.

"The Progressive Automobile X Prize Race Reality Show" would do for the auto industry what "American Idol" has done for the recording industry.


Posted by qualteam at 8:28 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 2 July 2008 9:03 PM EDT
Tuesday, 1 July 2008
Canada's 141st Birthday
Mood:  celebratory

It's ironic that oil closed at $141 a barrel on Canada's 141st birthday. Somebody is thinking of us.

Of the many things that I love about Canada. comedians and "funny" actors/writers top the list. These include John Candy, Mike Myers, Jim Carrey and William Shatner

Sure Canada has some great wilderness, but what can beat Bob and Doug's "Great White North, Two-Four Anniversary". It's just so..........Canadian!!!

Posted by qualteam at 10:17 PM EDT
Saturday, 28 June 2008
Challenges To The U.S. Economy

With the Dow dropping 20% from last October, it looks like Americans are in Bear territory. I wouldn't rely on "Financial Guides or Economists" to get you out. We'll have to do that yourself.

In this blog, I have produced many entries on sane investing and the positive aspects of the U.S. economy. Those entries are found at the bottom of the links section on the right.

Politicians, business leaders, economists can't just sit around and spread doom and gloom. U.S. leaders have to be proactive in solving America's financial and economic problems. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

Here are some suggestions to work on:

  1. Political and business leaders have to get together and discuss "How oil comsumption can be decreased in every country of the world". China and India would be part of this conference.
  2. The U.S. Government should make "hedge funds" more transparent and accountable for speculative moves with oil, food and commodities.
  3. U.S. Consumers should have a greater choice of financial and banking institutions to choose from including those who weren't involved in the subprime crisis (i.e. TD Canada Trust Bank, and The Grameen Bank) Both banks have branches in the United States.
  4. A program and time line to phase in "alternate energy vehicles" should be agreed upon at the conference above.
  5. Political, business and media leaders should go on an "Invest In America Campaign" which would include bargain stocks, bonds, and houses. Full support from the financial sector would be expected. If Americans don't invest in America, foreigners will.
  6. U.S. citizens should be encouraged to be investors with long range goals rather than quick buck speculators.
  7. Barack Obama is my choice to lead Americans out of its "recession of confidence". If you send him a donation, make sure he knows what the real issues are.



Posted by qualteam at 12:20 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 28 June 2008 9:49 PM EDT

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