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Space Game

In the late seventies (yes, the 1970s) I was enrolled in an Electronics Engineering Technology program.  There was some minor programming involved.  I had to write my first program on ticker tape but I loved it right away.  I could write some code and then watch the machines do what I asked them to do.  It was just awesome. 
The school had some minor games on the central computer.  One of them was a space game.  No one had personal computers at the time so this was brand new to me.  Just picture yourself at 23 years old being able to play your first computer game.  It was mesmerizing.
We did not have terminals, just teletype machines, so each move we made in the game had to be printed out.  It took a lot of paper.  And now we see the problem.  The school shut down the computer games because of all the paper use.  It was a sad, dark time indeed.
We were all quite upset so in programming class I inquired about the space game only to be told that it was not coming back.  Then I asked “What…
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Picture This Nanaimo

If you want to see some of our local history and the pictures I took just follow the  link to Nanaimo Historical Monuments
and / or
link to Ladysmith Historical Monuments.
A couple of weeks ago I was looking up some information on Wikipedia.  I have always wanted to contribute something to Wikipedia but have not gotten around to it yet.  Well... this time when I went to Wikipedia I noticed that they were having a Historical Monument picture taking contest.  Being an amateur photographer, with way more equipment than I can ever use, I thought to myself this is right up my alley.  Really it was.  I had to go up many back alleys to get some of the pictures.

I was very excited and immediately created a Wikipedia account.  I checked out Nanaimo (the place where I live) and found that there were well over a hundred Historical Monuments.  The vast majority of the Monuments did not have pictures yet.  I set out with my camera and started to take pictures.

It was great fun and I learned so mu…

Saving Money - Made Easy

Kirk McDougall's Rules of Saving Money Make It Easy
Let the company you work for save money for you.  Many companies have savings programs, bond purchase programs, stock purchase programs, or something similar.  If your company does not have such a program you can try a bank.  Many banks have similar programs.  Just remember that the people in the bank are sales people no matter what they call themselves.  I am not saying that you should not trust the people at the banks but it is good to know that they are sales people and also how they get paid.

It is great to know the 3 Rules of Income but how does that help you unless you can save?  Well... read along and I will show you one thing I have done.

Here is my story.

   Saving money... How boring.  I could never save money, yet I was semi retired at 38, fully retired at 53, and spent over 3 full years vacationing.  So how did I do it?  Well... I made it easy.  I got someone else to do it for me.  The company I was working for had a s…

Quit While You are Ahead

Quit While You are Ahead / Skiers' Denial
I like to try many different things.  I guess one of my biggest fears in life is that there may be something somewhere that I have not experienced.  So in keeping with that thought I once took up skiing.  Now this story is really not about me or even that much about skiing so feel free to skip to the next paragraph.  When I did learn to ski I took lessons and practiced on small hills in the city.  It was 15 minutes up the hill and 30 seconds down.  It took a long time to get little practice.  After a while I was ready for the mountains and what I found was that it was half an hour up and half an hour down.  I learned more about skiing on my first trip down the hill in the mountains than my entire practice time in the city.  Who knew?  Well... I guess every skier except for me and the people who told me to learn how to ski in the city.

Many skiers I talked to told me stories and one of the common threads was the one where they had a skiing a…

Plane, Trains, and Automobiles

Exactly one month after I started to date Angelle, my wife and the love of my life, I asked her "If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?".  After some kidding around Angelle answered that she would like to go to the Orkney Islands in Scotland.  Well, my name being Kirk McDougall means that I have a wee bit of Scottish heritage so I said "You make the arrangements and we will use my Air Canada frequent flyer points".

Angelle immediately went to her Mother and asked "What do I do?  I just met this guy and he wants to take me to Europe".
Her Mother gave Angelle some sage advice that she will always remember.  "If you don't go, I will".

With that idea in her head Angelle decided to come to Europe with me.  We only had 10 days until we left so all that was available for Angelle to book was a trip to Munich.  We also had no choice but to go first class as those were the only seats left.  It was tough but we soldiered through.…

Kirk McDougall's 3 Rules of Income

These are my 3 Rules of Income.

1 - You are spending more money than you are making.  You will eventually go bankrupt if this continues.

2 - You are spending as much money as you are making.  You will be doing the same thing forever if this continues.

3 - You are spending less money than you are making.  You will eventually be wealthy if this continues.

The third rule has helped me incredibly.  The first two... not so much.




Useful Links Saving Money Make It Easy

Accidentally Sneaking into the Hockey Hall of Fame

We had just arrived in Toronto that day and, as usual, Angelle had booked an awesome hotel.  We were staying at the Hotel Victoria which is about the best location we could want in Toronto.  After supper at a local restaurant about a block away I suggested that we take a look at the Hockey Hall of Fame.  I did not think that it would be open but I just wanted to see the building and get an idea of where we would go when we visited it the next day.  To our surprise the front door was open so we went in.  Angelle pointed at the champagne glasses but I thought they must just be complimentary water because how could they afford to give out champagne to all the visitors.  There was no one at the door so I thought it must be free to enter.
We walked around a bit and noticed a photographer by the Stanley Cup.  He said that he was just packing up but he would be happy to use our camera to take a picture of us standing by the Stanley Cup.  How could we say no to that?  We got our picture and …