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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What Has Happened to CNN?

Perhaps I haven't been paying attention....or perhaps there is a measurable change over the past couple years....but I want to note a few things about the state of on line news websites such as CNN.

Perhaps some questions should be asked first?

Since when is a "one-liner" followed by a series of photos....considered "full news coverage"?

Since when does a "well respected" news Icon like CNN  allow trashy ads to link from their main webpage?

Since when do those who do not have a paid subscription basically be deprived of any meaty news stories?

Is the trend moving towards the only quality news articles being offered to PAID on line subscriptions?

Well, perhaps I shouldn't be surprised......money talks and often we DO get exactly what we pay for.
So I maybe should not be shocked to find that yes, I have no choice but to suck it up and pay good money for a "real" on line news source. I can't reasonably expect quality if I am not going to pay for it.

Ok, ok, cheapskate talk aside. Why would CNN allow anything that is less than stellar inhabit their website's homepage? I would never confuse CNN on tv with a trashy TMZ tabloid style of news coverage, so why are they allowing such low quality links and ads and ONE LINERS to dominate their homepage?

So real news, with in depth WRITTEN coverage doesn't sell? Facts don't sell? Good analysis, good
synopsis, is what I look for, along with a good overall coverage of the major happenings of the day/week....both nationally and worldwide.

I feel a little lost in today's news marketplace. What is worthy of my time and money when it comes to news coverage? My default stand by is still the The Globe and Mail and it has still NEVER disappointed me.

HBU? Where do you get your news? Do you pay for it? Or do you get it second hand from blogs, colleagues, or the ruffled business section lying strewn at your fave java shop?

Do tell,
Carla.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What do They Mean by QUALITY Content?

Browsing through my fave Bloggers' posts and some Youtubers who earn a full time income from their Youtube spawned income, all have one of the same themes.

That theme is that they all preach the power of "Quality Content".

So.....what's that? I used to think that "Quality Content" meant it was essentially "non-fiction"
material that had been adequately researched and provable as reliable information....complete with as many bibliographical footnotes and recommended reading sections as possible. But alas, dear Carla was wrong.

This "thing" or state of being called the "net" is not a university and does not operate according to scientific formulas. But no.....what "Quality" means in terms of the internet and it's fickle affections....is a whole 'nother beast.

If modern newscasts are any indication of the current state of affairs on the net, it seems to be that
 "Quality Content" is merely anything that gets the MOST VIEWS....in a nutshell. It may not even be true or factual....but as long as it gains popularly and may go "viral"....then as far as the Net is concerned....it is high five certified "Quality Content".

I kinda wish that folks were asking for my/our opinion on this state of affairs, but sadly, that is not the
case. There is an insatiable appetite for "pop" pieces on the net and that is what gets the most views. It's like junk food for the mind. No need to hire a "fact checker" or research team. If it sounds good.....go for it. If it sells like a tabloid newspaper....then you're on the way to the races.

Hmmmmm....does this make you as sad as it makes me to type it??

Thinkfully yours,
Carla





Tuesday, June 21, 2016

One of the Worst MISTAKES the GLUTEN FREE Movement is Making

I'm so happy to see, yet again, that BIGGER and BIGGER corporations are jumping onto the Gluten free
Bandwagon and serving consumers like myself who are trying their best to live a Gluten FREE lifestyle.


Some Mainstream big name brand name cereals like Chex are 100% gluten free.
(be sure to read the labels to confirm) Kudos! AND the Big BONUS is that they
NOT CHARGING EXTRA for the fact that they are making their products certified GLUTEN FREE.

But what disturbs me as a person, as a consumer and as a mother.....is this.
SOME companies are trying to flood the gluten free  market place with
  VERY HIGH PRICEDGOURMET gluten free items.

Eh.....err...that kinda just ticks me off! In my mind, if someone is going to "go gluten free", then they are going to have to adopt a lifestyle where  ALL their food items are certified gluten free.
 They DON'T want to just adopt ONE expensive gluten free DISH per month. 

News flash!....

WE, the GLUTEN FREE NATION, eat THREE meals a day....plus snacks. 

Therefore, we need the marketplace to provide products for ALL OUR GLUTEN FREE MEALS and SNACK TIMES.

Therefore, i believe that the "gluten free high end high priced gourmet product" promoters
are taking the wrong tack on this movement!

As a gluten intolerant person, finding gluten free stuff to eat all day and every day is a CONSTANT struggle.
Therefore, when I bump into beautiful gluten free foods that are priced out of the stratosphere, I think
"Sigh....they just don't get it."  

NOBODY wants to pay GOURMET prices for the regular foods they eat every day. We want to pay as close as possible the SAME prices that regular foods cost, but in a "gluten free certified" kinda way.

Do you hear me? Do you feel my pain?

Thank you :) Point made.

Carla

If 30% of Cars will be Electric over the next Decade

Jus' thinkin' aloud again.....such a temptation for a blogger.

Volkswagon has announced that they are developing 30 NEW MODELS of 100% electric vehicles, to be rolled out over the next decade.
 What does this mean for us? What does this mean for investors?

First of all, what would this mean for our electrical grid. If, let's play pretend, that
30% of Canadian cars are electric by 2026, that would put a HUGE sucking on our hydro grid.
Would our grid be able to hold up? Would my province stop selling electricity to the USA in order to keep our electric cars humming? Or would the humble consumer be stuck with outrageously jacked up electricity prices? Would the 30% charge their cars mostly at their homes via their home garage outlets?
Would there be localized "electric refueling stations" around every corner?

I know that Suncor is already developing their next strategy in how they serve the public in the new era of
multi-fueled vehicles. Does every typical gas retailer really WANT to start selling electricity to locals or tourists? Secondly, from the looks of it, it can take a pretty long chunk of time to re-charge a car battery for an electric vehicle. Do we really want to leave our cars for several hours at a re-fueling station? Is that feasible?
Is that affordable? Will re-fuelling electric stations charge tourists for parking fees as well as the electricity they use to "refill" their tanks?

Well, when it comes to investing, should we all start funneling our investments out of oil and gas stocks and into the electrical grid? But then again, did you know that as of 2014 data,
  8.7% of Ontario's electricity was produced by Oil and Natural Gas?

So maybe we have to step back and try to get at the big picture. Going ALL ELECTRIC is not going to eliminate our dependence on oil and gas. It just will change the process.

I definitely don't have all the answers....but we sure do need to think this through.")

Peacefully and Thinkfully yours,
Carla



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

AirBnB and A Suitcase of Sardines

Tim Ferriss has catapulted himself into a "self help" or "success guru"
by taking his personality type and standardizing it into a career path.
He has outrageous curiosity and has allowed it to lead him to experiment with all kinds of
success and performance strategies.

He then writes about his real life experiments and discoveries in his book series with the titles:

Four Hour Work Week
Four Hour Body
Four Hour Chef

Although some of Tim's exploits are outside of my personal comfort zone, I do appreciate his chutzpah and that he has carved out a multi-million dollar niche for himself simply by what......by being himself.

What can each of us do to maximize our innate leanings? Curiosity does not kill the cat. Curiosity can make for a fine fat cat.
 Are you naturally detail oriented? Love to share your discoveries with those less adventurous?
Then you may naturally be drawn into writing online, making youtube videos and publishing a plethora of items describing how we can learn from your own exploits.

That is all it really takes to mold an online presence into something valuable :)

Peaceful prosperity,
Carla


Monday, June 13, 2016

Income Sharing Agreements Instead of Student Loans?

I was reading an article from Kiplingers Personal Finance Magazine
"AN ALTERNATIVE TO STUDENT LOANS, Income-share agreements swap debt for a portion of future salary" by Kaitlin Pitsker (July 2016 issue)
 
 about how some  American students are wiggling their way out of student debt by signing
"Income Sharing Agreements".
These contracts force students to fork over a certain percentage of their future incomes to pay off any student debt. These contracts can last as long as 15 years into your career.

Without rehashing the article, I am wondering if any of the Canadian universities are considering adopting similar methods? Do you think this is  a reasonable concept? Is it in the students' best interests? Or is it just another cash grab, foisted on those young and financially vulnerable?
Does it like "Lunch bag let down" for newly educated young adults pouncing on their first great job?

Or could it be a realistic solution to preventing debt overload?

Looking forward to hear your comments as always,

Peace,
Carla

Thursday, June 9, 2016

3 Easy Steps to Chop $ FAST OFF your Household Bills

This is gonna be a REALLY short post...so pay attention.
If you implement only these 3 EASY Steps, you will IMMEDIATELY start saving money OFF your household bills:
NUMBER 1: 
 Start doing ALL your laundry in COLD water. Not cool water, not warm water...but COLD WATER.
This will immediate start saving you money on whatever your home uses to heat your hot water.
If using COLD water to do your laundry makes you uncomfortable, I would encourage you to run a personal experiment and do one full day of laundry using ONLY COLD water and see if you can notice and lowering in the quality of your laundry. I dare ya! Most most most people can not notice ANY difference at all in the quality of their laundry after switching to washing in cold water!

NUMBER 2:

 Unplug STUFF that you don't use on a daily basis. What kinda stuff you may ask?
Well, stuff like your electric blender or your DVD player. Why? Because when electrical items are plugged in, even if the power button is "off", still drain a small electric current from your outlets ....and that constant tiny drain of electrical current is called "PHANTOM" power.
PHANTOM POWER costs you MONEY! So, anything that you don't utilize personally on a daily basis can be happily unplugged RIGHT NOW and only plugged back in WHEN YOU NEED IT.
Stroll through your home and see what items are plugged into EACH electrical outlet in your home. Is there a lamp that no one uses? UNPLUG IT! 

NUMBER 3:

Start super duper shopping and stocking up on the LOCAL LOSS LEADERS. What is that you say?
LOCAL LOSS LEADERS are items that grocery chains and department stores sell "BELOW COST" in order to draw customers into their stores. They don't make money from selling those items, but they use them as a very effective method of getting more humans into their stores. The stores know that once someone is physically present in their stores, the odds of them buying ONLY the loss leader items is very low....so the know that  the customers will wind up buying at least several other items while they are in the store. The stores know that they will earn a profit from these other items, even if they lose money from the "LOSS LEADER" items.
So what, in your local stores are the LOSS LEADERS? For us, it is totally BANANAS. Literally, bananas are a very effective high volume sales item that almost EVERY large grocery store and/or department store in my city carries. The prices are literally ROCK BOTTOM and there is even a price war going on to reach the lowest of the lowest LOSS LEADER PRICES.

So, in closing, stock up on these items...whatever they may be in your city.....
( some plentiful and very low priced well stocked items) and use them to keep your pantry full. Your family will thank you for it and your wallet will too :)

Peacefully productive,
Carla.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Is Gluten Free Fast Food an Oxymoron?

It's coming...whether you are ready or not....the GLUTEN FREE apocalypse...
Ok, ok, I'm being rather dramatic....but in all seriousness, if you or someone you love is working in the food industry and has not accommodated the GLUTEN FREE market...
....then a dramatic U-TURN is required.

Gluten FREE foods are not only a legitimate food category, it is now becoming a MASSIVE GROWTH opportunity to build up market share for those who DO NOT have a MEDICAL reason for eating a gluten free diet.
Are you shocked???

You shouldn't be. More books and research has been done lately on the benefits for
"REGULAR" consumers to adopt a gluten free diet because it simply
MAKES THEM FEEL BETTER!

Why? Gluten is a complex "hard to digest" molecule that even "regular" folks have a hard time digesting.
Therefore, when  ANYONE adopts a gluten free diet, they may begin to notice changes and improvements on many levels of human functioning.

 These improvements may include:

  • less mood swings
  • more emotional stability
  • more energy
  • Less abdominal bloating, and gas 
  • more predictable digestion and elimination
  • less constipation
  • improvements in complexion of the skin


Need I go on ? But don't take my ideas as truth....just try it for yourself and see what your results  may be.....
Only YOU can discover if a GLUTEN free diet can help you live better.

Let me know how gluten free food makes you feel in the comments below


Peacefully yours,
Carla


Disclaimer: This blog is not intended as medical advice. The author and publisher of this blog does not accept any legal responsibility or liability for any of the ideas discussed in this blog post or any other post on this blog. Medical advice should always be obtained from a licensed medical practitioner.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Banana Wars

Over the past few weeks I've noticed that there has erupted a rather CUTE banana price war in my neck of the woods.

I suppose one might be able to trace it back to Walmart...who seemed to be the last one who sold their bananas at the juicy retail price of 57 cents per lb for the last several years.
But lo and behold, it seems that Zehrs... ( the high end banner of Weston stores)
has caught the "low price bug" and decided to join the the banana price war.

Zehrs has for many years been targeting the more "well heeled"  and higher end shoppers, but perhaps methinks that they are rethinking their strategy to match a more "realistic" shopping scenario for most
Ontario, Canada shoppers. So they've created a new and competitively priced genre of fresh produce products that can match---  if not BEAT-- the juicy low prices of the box stores.

So, for the humble bananas that they used to charge 99 cents a LB for, they are now charging only
57 cents a LB.

The "Real Canadian Wholesale Club" which markets to shop owners and restaurateurs is also in on the game and was last seen selling their bananas for only 56 cents per lb. I can only applaud.

Zehrs'  competitive pricing strategy includes juicy new pricing for English Cucumbers as well as
fresh Red Tomatoes.

Competition is ALWAYS a good thing, at least in this regard.
Thank you big huge grocery chains for helping big families shop smart.

Peace,
Carla.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Shop With Me

Want to browse a book store like "Chapters" with a friend who loves the same books you do?
 Now you can! Come putter through my shop with me at my Amazon Store. I've selected a few of my favorite Boot Strappers and Epic Life Hackers who never cease to make me pause and have a good "think".
Enjoy  my   Shop Till You Think Shop   .


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Why You Should Try Gluten Free...Even if You Aren't a Celiac

Ok, folks....I  just wanna write today to those of you who aren't necessarily diagnosed with any kind of gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

Why? Because it is being discovered more and more, that eating gluten free foods can help ANYONE's digestive system take a much needed rest from the standard "gluten packed" diet.

What folks need to realize is that the molecule called "gluten" is a VERY VERY hard
nut to crack when we ingest it as food. Digesting GLUTEN is very hard work even for the healthiest digestive system. Even the healthiest human being can be negatively affected by eating too much gluten.

Anything with WHEAT in it contains gluten. Gluten is hard to digest! It requires a lot of energy and effort on the part of our stomach, intestines, and colon just to process it.
Therefore even if you are perfectly healthy, you may just want to give your body an occasional
break from eating any source of gluten for a full  "day" or  "week" or a whole "month".
Remember that gluten can stay in your system for many days, so if you are going to give your body a break from gluten, you want to try to stick to a gluten free diet for a good chunk of time. Give your body a chance to cleanse itself of all the gluten it is holding onto, and see if you begin noticing any improvements.
You may, as gluten leaves your body, begin noticing a thinner waist line, a clearer complexion,
 and a more stable mood.

You never know....you  might feel completely revitalized and regain energy simply by removing
gluten from your regular diet.

It is a personal choice what we put in our mouths. Far be it from me, to tell anyone what to do... But I want to encourage you to experiment and see how eating differently may improve your life.We don't HAVE to eat anything we don't want to....and thus we can observe and sense the changes that our diets have upon our own sense of wellness, energy level and moods.

Be blessed and well,

Carla

DISCLAIMER: This blog post is not intended as medical advice. This blog post is intended for conversational purposes only. The author and publisher of this blog do not take any liability for any ideas discussed in this blog post or any other blog post on this blog.
Medical advice should always be obtained from a licensed medical practitioner.