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Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Filling Up An Ipod With Musical Goodies

Recently, I attempted to fill up a 4 gig Ipod with mp3s for a friend. While I have close to 2000 songs on my computer, I found it are hard to get 1000 great tunes for my buddy.

While my main musical interest resides in the 50s and 60s, I put all kinds of music in the MP3 player.

I managed to download quality songs from the 1940s to the 21st century. The genres included oldies, 40s jazz, ballads of any kind, classic country, modern country, hard rock, pop and R & B.

It's great that the internet exists and the vastness of popular music is only a link and a mouse click away.

Below are six of the tunes that made it to my "Top 1000 Songs Of All Time". Please enjoy:


Posted by qualteam at 10:25 PM EDT
Saturday, 9 August 2008
Goodbye Beavers
Mood:  sad

Frank and Gordon were the spokesbeavers for Bell Canada over the last three years. During that time, they were in every commerical for Bell from high speed internet services to cell phones products.

While they were stupid looking and the commericals very repetitive, they've endeared themselves to many Canadians  including myself.

I have a special place in my heart for beavers. Here's a website where you can see real beavers in action.

Other famous beavers that entertained me in in the past were "Little Beaver", the wrestler and  The Beave from the TV series, "Leave It To Beaver".

The Famous Molson Beaver Commerical


Posted by qualteam at 12:08 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 22 September 2008 11:06 AM EDT
Monday, 4 August 2008
Becoming A Better Investor And Money Manager

I follow the TSX and the Dow regularly. Here are my insights into the wonderful world of investing and money management.

  1. Be patient and have a long term view on your investments.
  2. Don't compulsively waste money on gambling and things you don't really need.
  3. Save heavily if you can, contribute religiously to retirement accounts and pay extra on your mortgage.
  4. Learn to compare stocks and sectors against the index using relative trend analysis.
  5. Invest in "Green Technology", the next big thing.
  6. Always buy at a time of gloom and doom. Always sale when sheep investors think that the gravy train will never end.
  7. Pay off credit card debt first and put long-term debt in a lower interest rate "line of credit" account.
  8. Owning and improving a house should be part of anyone's financial planning. I have many blog entries on that subject.
  9. Bull markets are usually 36 months long while bear markets only last about 12 months. The present bear market is coming to an end, prepare to buy safe high dividend stocks through mutual funds, ETFs, or a discount broker.


Posted by qualteam at 11:33 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 5 August 2008 2:41 PM EDT
Saturday, 2 August 2008
Becoming A Better Poker Player
Mood:  lucky

Over the last few months, I've managed to accumulate $57,000 in play money from I played in the free "Sit 'N Go" tournaments because I wasn't good enough to play for real money. I read up and improved my game to a point where I was kicking the butt of every "Hold 'Em" greenhorn around, but I wasn't improving my poker playing.

I was still making the same mistakes over and over again, I was more lucky than skilled. Then last week, I won $40 dollars at a friend's place and a week earlier, I won $30. I liked playing poker for real money with live people in front of me. This atmosphere brought out the best poker player that I could be.

Online for a week, I've been playing poker for green stuff. I haven't won anything, but I haven't lost anything lost either, so I guess I'm doing just fine.

"Somewhere in the darkness, the gambler broke even and found an ace that he could keep."


Posted by qualteam at 3:11 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 2 August 2008 3:22 PM EDT
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Movie Review 122: Hell Boy 2
Ron Perlman is terrific as Hell Boy and it's hard not to like this movie.
Basically, this film is just a comic book brought to life for the big screen. There's more fights, more action and more interesting characters than you can shake a stick at.
The movie suffers from an inferior bad guy that looks like he came out of a Bruce Lee movie. He fights well, but he's humourless and bland.
Hell Boy continues to develop into a loving family man and that's good, but his fish buddy should spend more time in the tank rather than on land.
The movie was well received by the critics at Rottentomatoes, but I'd have a tough time watching it twice and I'm a fan. Two and half stars.

Posted by qualteam at 9:48 PM EDT
Sunday, 27 July 2008
Changing The World With One Micro Loan After Another

Kiva  (a charity) was launched in the fall of 2005 by Matt and Jessica Flannery of San Francisco, after Jessica heard about Dr. Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank.

Kiva has made more than $35 million in loans from about 311,000 lenders to more than 50,000 entrepreneurs in 43 countries. It has a 98.13 per cent repayment rate. All the donations to Kiva go directly to the entrepreneurs. The lenders can select the small business owners themselves and follow their progress. 

For instance, loans to women in Guatemala helped them to buy sewing machines to make clothes to sell in their community.

There are many different organizations and charities that support Kiva. You could start a group at your job or school and organize potluck dinners, bikerides and other events to help them.

This is a hand up and not a handout.


Posted by qualteam at 11:59 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 27 July 2008 12:25 PM EDT
Thursday, 24 July 2008
Top Ten Ways For Kids To Have Fun And Learn On The Internet
  1. Get connected to other kids and groups on Facebook. This is a great interactive website that allows teens and preteems of common interests to meet in cyberspace.
  2. Find all kinds of fun stuff at Safe chat rooms, lots of games, lots of new friends.
  3. Discover the different types of games that you can play on the internet.
  4. Believe it or not, casino games (like Poker) can be played with play money and you don't have to download them to your computer.
  5. Start a blog of your favourite videos and songs on "YouTube". This website has just about every video and song ever made.
  6. If you want to find out more about any subject or person, do a "Google Alert" with your e-mail address. The search engine Google does all the work and you get the results in your inbox.
  7. Start building a blog (Weblog and Diary) on Facebook or some other website. You can upload your pictures to it and even create a slideshow through a free service at
  8. By using search engines like google or MSN, you can find out more about advances in science like "Green Technology" and "Electric Cars".
  9. When you google something like "Classic Dolls", you not only find websites that write about classic dolls, but you can find pictures of classic dolls by clicking on "images" above the Google Search Box.
  10. Always use the internet to learn more about human/plant/mineral/animal life and always use the internet to find material that makes people laugh like the Ray Steven's video below: "Santa Claus Is Watching You". 

I'd like to thank Melanie Sparkes (my niece) for helping me think about great stuff for kids on the internet. Hopefully, this blog entry will help any teen or preteen who's starting out on "The World Wide Web".

Posted by qualteam at 6:02 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 24 July 2008 6:45 PM EDT
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Top Ten T-Shirt Sayings

Throughout the years, people have communicated with funny stuff on T shirts. Here are some of my favourites.

  1. I Got a Rock in my Head and Roll in my Mouth. Oh Ya.....Rock and Roll.
  2. Moe (Picture of Three Stooges' Moe) Knows Hockey.
  3. When God Created Man, She Was Only Kidding.
  4. FU: Flamingo University
  5. 69 The Breakfast of Champions
  6. I Killed a Six Pack Just to See It Die
  7. Filthy Stinking Rich... Well, Two Out of Three Ain't Bad
  8. I Used Up All My Sick Days... So I Called In Dead
  9. Be Nice to Your Children... They'll Pick Your Nursing Home
  10. I Am the Person Your Parents Warned You About

If you want to find more interesting T-shirt sayings, check out this page.

The person who sings the song below created some of TV's most popular game shows.


Posted by qualteam at 11:45 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 23 July 2008 12:10 PM EDT
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

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