Monday, August 29, 2011

Cell Phone Insurance? Are you joking?

Never own anything portable that you can't afford to lose.

Here in Canada, my 10-cents-a-minute GoPhone plan works only intermittently (Rodgers Wireless recognizes it, Bell Canada and Telus do not).

I went to the local cell phone store to inquire about a throw-away SIM card for my phone.  It turns out not to be feasible, unless I unlock my decade-old battered Motorola.  And in the four weeks we've been gone, I've received exactly two phone calls - both from people advising me they were sending an e-mail. So much for needing a phone!  Besides, unlike the USA, Canada actually has pay phones, and my ATT long distance card works just fine here.

While I was in the shop, two Canadians came in and asked about getting cell phone insurance on their new smart phones.   It seems they were so paranoid about scratching, denting, losing, or destroying their new smart phones that they were willing to shell out even more money for an "insurance" plan on the phone.

Bad idea.  A better idea is just to not own anything you can't afford to lose.  Period.

$5000 watches are fine and all, if you are very wealthy and think $5000 is a pitiful amount of money.  If you are rich and your expensive watch falls off your arm while out Yachting, well, no big deal.  But wanna-be middle-class folks who shell out that kind of dough to impress people - they are a different animal.  They cannot afford to lose a watch that cost more than their car.  They really shouldn't own something that expensive.

Fancy cell phones are a similar deal.   If you live in fear of losing your new smart phone, maybe owning something so small, expensive, and fragile (and easily stolen) is not a good idea in the first place.  It is just another cosmic burden on your brain, basically.

While in many cases these phones can be inexpensive - if purchased as part of a contract plan - if they are lost, damaged, or stolen, they are very expensive to replace.  The first phone is subsidized by the monthly fees of the plan.  The subsequent phone, well, you have to pay full price for that.

And like any other insurance policy, the people writing the policy are the one's that make out.  You pay them $40 or whatever, and they bank on the fact that you won't likely lose your phone, or if you do, you won't qualify for a free replacement under some "Catch-22" part of the plan.

Or if they do replace it, they will give you a used one (yes, some cell companies do that, providing a "comparable" phone which is actually a used one from another customer who is upgrading).  Be sure to look into this, if you are foolish enough to buy an expensive cell phone and even more foolish to insure it.

The customers who were asking about the plan were chagrined to discover that it could not be obtained more than 45 days after purchase, and moreover, if the phone was scratched or dented at all, it could not be insured.  Both customers, I think, had scratched theirs, and hoped to "pull a fast one" on the phone company and get a free phone out of the deal.  More faux financial acumen at work, I'm afraid - people thinking they can come out ahead in dealing with a major corporation that does more transactions in an hour than you would do in a lifetime.  Yea, they might give you a free phone - they are, after all, stupid, which is how they became huge international conglomerates.

But overall, I was struck by how these folks were paranoid about losing what should be, after all, a minor asset in their lives.  Again, people obsess with insuring the shiny objects in their driveway (or their electronic gizmos) and forget about things like funding retirement or insuring against catastrophic liabilities.

For me, a far better approach is to walk away from expensive toys, particularly ones with expensive monthly fees and contracts attached to them.  You don't need a smart phone.   And if you are worried about it being lost or stolen all the time, chances are, you really can't afford it, in real terms of your life.
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Time versus Money

For some folks, this is a once-a-year dream vacation.   For me, this is just life.  If you want a lot of things in your life, you have to give up your time.   If you can live with less, you can have more time.  Your choice.

The other day, we were driving in Newfoundland and saw a trail by the side of the road.  We walked up it a kilometer and came to the end of the trail - the Appalachian Trail, as it turns out.  The view was spectacular and it was a very unexpected treat.  Now I can say I have walked the Appalachian Trail, or at least the last kilometer of it.

On the way back, we met two young Canadian lads on vacation and told them about the trail, and they were very enthusiastic to walk it.   We were comparing notes about our vacations.   We were spending two and a half months exploring Newfoundland, Labrador, the Gaspesie Peninsula, as well as Maine, and the Blue Ridge Parkway (and Mistletoe State Park, shown above, in Georgia).

They were flabbergasted.  "What sort of job do you have where you can take over two months off from work?"  They had to be back in Ontario in a week's time to get back  to their high-paying and important jobs.  But of course, they had nice clothes, expensive watches, the latest cell plans, a nice apartment in a trendy neighborhood, brand new cars, etc.  And they could afford to fly out to Newfoundland and rent a car - as they had limited time. 

We drove a 10-year-old car and a 15-year-old camper.  We are doing without income for a month or so (although I managed to file a Patent on the road and make a thousand bucks).  It is a matter of choices - a half-million dollar motor coach and no time to drive it, or a battered old BMW and all the time in the world.

And yet, most people chose the former.  And yes, it  is a choice.  We all delude ourselves into thinking that we "need to work" to "pay all the bills" - and then anesthetize ourselves to the drudgery of our lives by buying new cars and electronic toys to distract us from the fact that our lives are slipping away, weekend at a time, while we work, work, work, to have things we largely don't need.

Tonight, I met a fellow who is about my age.   He worked in a gold mine in Canada, and at age 55 quit his job.  By the way, he confirmed that their cost of production at the mine is about $450 an ounce.  Why are people paying $1700 or more?  Bubble, period.

He decided to quit his job and spend a year in his RV.  Why not?  He has a basic 18-foot model he tows with a Toyota.  He parks it in gravel pits and on "Crown Land" which is free and permitted here in Newfoundland.  It doesn't cost much, and when he is done, there is always another mine to work in.  As he put it, why wait until age 65 or 75 when you are too old to actually DO anything?  Too old to Kayak, or hike, or even walk, in some cases?  Take time to enjoy life now, and get off the things bandwagon.

Doing things is better than owning things.   And as I tear through the remaining 1/3 of my life, this message is being driven home more and more.  I may regret many things in life, but I will never regret going out and doing things.  I will regret the times when I stayed home, convincing myself that it was more important to work to make money to make payments on things and services, than to go out and do what I really wanted to do in life.

It is a choice, even if we don't perceive it to be one...

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Port Fortune House Design Modern Efficient Compact Plant

This beautiful house Polhemus Savery DaSilva designed by is a large house with modern styles of luxury. Home Design This idea is designed to be compact in both decor and Massing. In the compact house designs gallery below, you will see some interesting interior and exterior decoration. An efficient floor plan with an almost square footprint and a mild form that is wrapped by shingles and topped with hipped roofs, leading to a shape of the object-like. A house of this size were allowed in the zoning only because it replaced an old house with land cover itself. When you are in this house, you can feel the natural breathtaking views. Windows extra large house with mountains thick facilitates its people to hit that many of them as probable. These oversized windows with shutters, columns, stout and large overhangs and brackets front porch give a touch of tongue in cheek fun.

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H-shaped House Is Reinforced With Steel Grids Restoration Series


 This building, the building itself is very modern architecture, while the existing house was built to become the prototype for future housing in the mid-sixties. Fitzgerald Architects to restore the original light and the status of mussels and update the modern lifestyle choices. This house is built on a series of braced steel trusses supported by eight columns, and the pair of walls is made of logs. Glass walls provide an open architecture. White and wood colors give a calm and relaxing interior. Interior steel columns to give a unique feeling. Centre in the state of wings bedroom and living area offers a pleasant texture to the layout. Designed by Lee Fitzgerald Architects, the original house, Peter Foggo and David Thomas.

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Modern House Design Plan


modern house is a modern house that is still on its environment by using environmentally friendly materials and finishes with low energy consumption. If you design a green home? This house is a sampling of favorite eco-House Gallery 333 of Wilton. 333 Wilton was designed by Davis Studio A + D, a nationally renowned Los Angeles-based architecture and design. Focus on modern design, the mission Davis Studio A + D is to create an inspired architecture that combines sustainable design, green technology and environmentally friendly materials while taking into account the specific environment of each site to improve the quality of life for each client.

 Just take a look at your interior design and floor plans to reduce space, this house uses two levels of design that maximizes the ground. Each floors are connected by a staircase, a living space that opens and deconstructed as a classic loft, yet refined and sophisticated like a home. The loft of each element of unity is manifested in the open floor plans and very high ceilings - ranging from 16 to 20 feet high - while the contemporary, but shows the hot side in their final detailed, innovative materials and modern accessories. Wilton 333 also has an option to live + work, each unit has a loft that can be used as a home office, work space, study, recreation area, or an additional bedroom. This building was also made to the system from within the chip design of a living room with kitchen.

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Marmol Radziner And Permanence New Series Debut Skyline More Prefabricated: Marmol Radziner And Stay Debut In New Skyline Series Of Prefabricated | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save The World

Marmol Radziner Prefab Inhabitat favorites and dwell gathered in a common effort to bring "good design for all" with their new Skyline series of prefabricated started! Unveiled last Friday, just dwell on Design Conference, Skyline Series consists of four floor plans available in six interchangeable modern configurations that use a lot of recycled materials, high efficiency insulation, and offer the optional installation of panels solar. Available in sizes 1 story (1755 square feet) in two floors (3180 square feet), the series has been designed for installation in public space and provides the intimacy of a residential retreat, while providing the outside through a series of windows and patio rooms.

Marmol Radziner Prefab As expected, the green aspects of the Skyline Collection includes the equivalent of Woods and materials made from recycled materials, low VOC paints, energy efficient appliances, insulating glass, and the option to install solar panels connected network . Through the building ready to host a series of cutting-edge modern design and high-speed, on-site without the expense of custom design. Skyline Collection Price starts at about $ 500,000.

Leo Marmol said: "We are pleased to Marmol Radziner prefab houses more accessible than ever, thanks to our unique partnership with Dwell magazine Our durable, standardized, prefabricated modern (i) Dwell Homes Collection is significant launches. critical period in the housing market.

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Modern House Inspired Cardboard Folded

 Gaffering inspiring role of this house was built in the rural area with 215 square meters on the southern border of the city of Linz. X Architekten designed with the unique property comprising a house, a garden and an old stock of trees in a gentle slope. Urban House is a nice contrast between the thick line of the deck and in the lightness of the glass, and works well with the house of origin to be a hybrid that looks like him. Beautiful house and easy access to rural areas. See the floor plan for more details about internal organization.

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Analysis Stage House Renovation Ideas

This house is renovated into a modern lifestyle is structured layout to maximize the relationship between exterior and interior, additional fenestration around the court more energy efficient and to update the interior and the Building Systems. Details, and restoration of the external field to unify elements of the existing mid-century home. Previous iconic building designer, William Wurster used materials such as siding and horizontal panels, windows and wooden doors, and a palette of neutral colors. Glass reinforced in the courtyard of a living room and dining room with a movable wall, reflects a modern classic elements of myself as a strong and create a comfortable environment. Walker Warner Architects, interior Douglas Durkin.

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A Minimalist Open Floor House Plan Designs Withstand A Hurricane Of Todos Santos

 It's a minimalist design house best photos of the sample design of open houses that could withstand a hurricane. This innovative modern home design with minimal maintenance, it can be a perfect choice to withstand hurricane seasons. The design of Todos Santos, the plan of the house is a project that contains two open at home in nature. On the right, they are safe, because in use as holiday homes. Some murals home is covered by Talavera, we strive to obtain a view of traditional and contemporary architecture in Mexico. The floor plan is very simple and comfortable because of the linear construction of the house. The simplicity of the equity of the simplicity of the design of the house from the outside to create the ideal place to enjoy the surroundings of nature.

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