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Showing posts from 2016

Leave Canada's oil in the ground (for now)

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Recently, the Canadian federal government approved a pipeline expansion project that adds a second pipeline along an existing route from Edmonton, AB to Burnaby, BC. Here's the map:


The pipeline has its own marketing site, touting the benefits:


Helping us "keep up with the rising global demand for oil" and "increased tax benefits for all of Canada" sounds great, right?

Except that it's misleading. While technically true that demand is rising:

Demand is increasing much slower than previously projectedSupply is increasing as fast or faster than demand And when supply increases faster than demand, prices fall.
Most projections, including this recent one from oil-price.net, predict that oil prices will stagnate or even decrease over the next few years.
It's also important to note that Alberta oil sells at a significant discount to the "regular" oil price you hear quoted in the news. For instance, when WTI crude fell to $30, Canadian oil was selling…

How to win an election in 2016

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This was the first time I've ever bet real money on an election.

And I won.

Even I'm a bit surprised. But only a bit.

In mid-October, I posted "Why Trump Could Still Win" at a time when major news outlets said that a Trump win was virtually impossible.

Good ol' Michael Moore  (yeah he's still around) made a far more eloquent prediction at "5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win".

Of course, way back in July 2015, I took note of Trump's social media campaign, and realized that this election would be won or lost on social media.

This was also true for Obama in 2008 and 2012, but one major, major thing had changed: The Facebook and Twitter demographic.

It used to be that these were filled to the brim with liberal college students.

Now there's a much more diversified crew. The rural "red" states are much better connected, and much easier to reach.

My political leanings are complicated. I don't fit nicely into either of the traditional Libera…

Why Trump Could Still Win

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My original title for this post was "Why Trump Will Win."

Since then, nearly every major media outlet in the world says that a Trump win is a statistical impossibility.


We'll see. I've toned down my prediction for the moment.

Keep in mind that these polls have changed drastically over time:


There's still another debate, and several weeks before the actual day.

As far back as July 2015, I mused on Facebook: "Wow, Trump really knows how to play the social media game. I feel like he might win based on that alone."

I think it's easy for upper-middle class, college-educated folks to dismiss the idea of a Trump win, but bear in mind: Clinton is the status quo.

A lot of people do not want the status quo. A lot of people are pissed off at the status quo.

Nearly every recent election has been won on the promise of significant change.


For better or worse, Trump promises change.

Clinton offers more of the same.

Compare their slogans:


They're both pretty we…

Realtor Review: Colin Colpitts (PREC)

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After my wife and I decided we would be buying a house in the Vancouver area, we dedicated a weekend to visiting open houses.

The market has been very tight on the supply side for years, and just finding something in our price range was extremely difficult.

The first question they asked at each open house was (as it should be), "Are you working with a realtor?"

We hadn't planned to use a realtor, but decided together that to navigate the stormy waters of the GVA market, it would be helpful to have someone with some local and professional knowledge.

After a fairly exhaustive search, I came across Colin Colpitts, who was in the local area. He had a nice, clean website, and had a reasonable number of positive reviews.

I was initially very cautious about signing an agreement, as I had heard stories of people who were essentially "locked in" with a bad agent, but Colin quickly dispersed those fears by writing in a extra clause that made it clear that either of us c…

Selling everything you own: Part 4

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Fourth time's a charm?

It was just 2.5 years ago that we sold everything we owned and moved from Victoria, BC to St. Kitts in the Caribbean.

Once again, we find ourselves selling a car, an SUV, and about 70 or so other household items as we prepare to wrap up this chapter of our life and move on to the next.

St. Kitts has its ups and downs, but we've met some really amazing people, and had some pretty awesome times.

I'm really going to miss our friends, snorkeling, catching turtles for science, playing beach volleyball, and beach weekends.

I will not miss the humidity, turtle-slow pace, and never-ending problems with water and electricity.

By mid-May, we should be relocated to the Vancouver, BC area -- one of the the warmest and most beautiful parts of Canada.

Then we get to start buying stuff again, And this time, we'll only buy the stuff we really, really need :) The grand cycle continues...