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Saving Money at Work

CANADA - I am thinking of getting a business phone for my Toronto website design business... The thing however is that I don't like the plans being offered by Bell, Rogers and other phone companies.

What I WANT is an unlimited calling plan for both local and long distance. And I want it relatively cheap. Frankly I think that is the future of telephones, but the companies are really dragging their feet at offering it.

But there is a way... Vonage (VOIP = Voice Over Internet Protocol) gives you a local phone number, but allows you to call locally and long distance and all you pay is $39.99/month.

If you sign up with Bell for a business plan its $54.95/month... and its NOT unlimited. You pay extra for calling long distance. What a rip off.

The whole premise for a business plan for phones is that you can claim it on your income tax. Frankly I firmly believe people are getting ripped off by charging companies double what home user pay for the same service. Its a complete rip off designed to gouge companies... in theory they get it back because they can claim it as a business expense, but really its just gouging.

My argument however is that Vonage/VOIP is a logical route to go, especially if you're running a business. And who is to say you can't just register it under the business name instead of the person's name? That way you can still use if for income tax purposes.

My next issue I want to talk about saving money via is home heating (in theory you could do this for an office, but you'd need to OWN the building instead of renting it)... the idea here is Geothermal Heating Systems which is a VERY cheap way to heat your home, but your first stumbling block is the price of installing geothermal. The startup cost may seem like a lot, but what you quickly realize is the price of running a geothermal fan (about $15/month) is way cheaper than running an oil or gas furnace for 6 months or so of the year (and running an air conditioner for the other 6 months or so).

The beauty of geothermal is that it can both heat and cool your house and dramatically reduce the costs of heating the place. My sister and her husband are currently having geothermal systems installed in both their house and their cottage up north (the other benefit of geothermal is its off the grid and ideal for cottages and cabins in the middle of nowhere and the fan for cycling the air can run off a car battery).

The point I am getting here is that people and businesses can make lots of cost-cutting measures, especially during a recession.

Lets say you own a company that has a lawn out front. In theory the cheapest way would be to pave over the grass and not worry about how stark and unfriendly the company looks. A better solution I think is to install a concrete logo in the grass or flower beds and then hire a local grass cutting company to cut the grass / do flower maintenance. (I also favour the idea of using moss / ivy / ground covering plants that require zero maintenance.)

That way you're outsourcing the lawn maintenance (less worry, less cost for the lawnmower, gas, paying an employee to do it) and better yet the logo looks really good for advertising purposes.

A bit like the logos shown here beside the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto.

Another idea I've learned about is for companies looking to give their employees a dental plan, but don't want to get charged an arm and a leg.

The solution is to cut out the middle man. You find a local Toronto dentist (or wherever you live) and then negotiate with them a bulk rate for your company employees, cutting out the dental insurance company as the middle man. This may sound bizarre, but it ends up working well for both the company and the dentist...

The only disadvantage is that all your employees have to go through the same dentist... if you consider that a disadvantage. If you pick a good quality dentist that everyone ends up liking it won't be a big deal.

Next lets imagine you're trying to save money when planning a big business conference, annual office picnic, wedding, Toronto party rentals or whatever. Usually in such scenarios its best to bundle these options. Get one company to do EVERYTHING for you under a budget. If there are any extras you want not listed under the bundle get those separately. Less stress, less money, done by professionals.

Looking to Save Money? See Also:
Buying a New Computer at Work
Wind Power at Work
Cheapness at Work
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Joey Ratz at Work

RELIGION - So Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (aka "Joey Ratz", aka Pope Benedict XVI) is involved in multiple child sex scandals... you see Ratzinger was basically judge and jury of the canonical trials from 1981 to 2005 before he became the Pope. And apparently while he was prelate in that position he ignored many cases of child sex abuse by priests and ordered investigations against those priests ended.

See Pope ignored molestation of children for details.

So for 25 years "Joey Ratz" was in charge of defrocking priests involved in sex scandals. How many priests did he defrock? The Catholic Church refuses to say, but I can hazard a guess... none.

You see here's what usually happens... when a sex scandal happens the Catholic Church's first priority is to cover it up. If that fails to work the priest is eventually asked to resign, which they do so. The "defrocking" of priests is extremely rare and I have a guess as to the reason...

Its called blackmail.

Sex scandals within the Catholic Church are so commonplace its a tad ridiculous. There has literally been hundreds of Catholic priests caught molesting children in the USA during the last decade. HUNDREDS, just in the United States.

And because its so commonplace its pretty much guaranteed that all the priests know what their comrade priests are up to. Backscratching, trading child porn, helping each other with cover ups, threatening children, swearing them to secrecy.

Thus when one priest gets caught all the other priests become mum on the issue, help to cover up the issue because if they don't they're afraid the priest who got caught will rat them out. The priesthood is more than just a brotherhood of Catholicism, its a brotherhood of blackmail, lies and perversion.

And at the top of the cover ups, in charge of them in fact, was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a man who has been in charge of investigating priests alleged of sex scandals for a period of 25 years.

That means that every cardinal involved in some kind of sex abuse during the 1981 to 2005 period was beholden to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger... he knew ALL their dirty secrets. Thus when the 115 Cardinals met in 2005 to vote on a new Pope it wouldn't be a stretch to say quite a few of them could have been blackmailed by Cardinal Ratzinger into voting for him.

If you could call it much of a vote. The Financial Times in 2005 gave odds that Ratzinger was the favourite to win by a margin of 7-to-1.

Here's some odds for you... Did Joseph Ratzinger / Pope Benedict help to cover up sex scandals of priests while he was prelate? Yes. I'd give odds of a 100%. Was Ratzinger fairly elected as the Pope? Nope. Not even close.

The Catholic Church, for all its claims of heavenly influence, is nothing more than a den of liars and child sex abusers and Pope Benedict is the biggest one.

Buying a New Computer at Work

TECHNOLOGY - I haven't bought a new computer in fives years. I haven't needed to buy one because in 2005 I bought a really sweet computer in South Korea with 2.4 Ghz, 80 GB hard drive, 512 RAM, etc, etc... and Windows XP.

OPERATING SYSTEMS

There are three main operating systems out there:

Windows : Produced by Microsoft, comes in various versions including XP, Vista, Windows7. The program is bloated and huge, new versions often have tonnes of glitches that haven't been removed yet and its waaaaay overpriced to buy a copy.

Apple OS : All Apple (Macintoshes or "Macs") come with the Apple Operating System. The most recent version is OS X. Macs have their own brand of glitches, even though fans of Apple will swear up and down that they don't get glitches I know from 9 years of experience using Macs in highschool and university that they DO get glitches, lag and have just as many problems as Windows.

Linux : I've never tried Linux but would like to try it sometime. The problem with Linux is what programs it can be used with... the advantage of Linux is that its very customizable (open source) and its designed to be more basic, faster and less glitchy. Simpler is better.

I opted for Windows7 because new computers are no longer compatible with Windows XP (waaaaaah!)... Vista is too bloated, Apple OS is overpriced and I want to learn more about Linux before I think about installing it...

What I wish there was is a "Windows Lite" platform which has all the basic functions a person could possibly want, none of the glitches large bloated programming has, is super fast and only installs what you need.

Google is still designing its own operating system known as Chrome OS and will be publicly available sometime later in 2010. The idea is to create an operating system which has the primary function of accessing the internet, playing music/videos, word processing, etc... no gaming. Its being specifically designed for netbooks.

Chrome OS is essentially a version of Linux, but unfortunately will only run on hardware that supports Chrome and is being specifically designed for netbooks. The idea is to create a laptop which anybody can use anywhere which requires less memory and hard drive space because its no where near as bloated as Windows or Apple OS.

Remember the $100 Laptop project from MIT?

Well the plan is for Google to come out with its own line up netbooks that run on Chrome OS for people who like to check their email, surf, play on Facebook, YouTube, etc. while on the go... all for super cheap... like $199.99 or so. (Google has yet to give precise prices.)

But that doesn't help me because I like to play games occassionally... and I need all my extra programs for my website design business.

HARDWARE

If you know anything about computers you know RAM stands for Random Access Memory, a hard drive is where you store things and computing speed is measured in Gigahertz (Ghz). Essentially you want a computer which is fast enough to support your needs. Companies vary in quality, but generally speaking you want something with a warranty so you know you can return if something isn't working the way it should.

If you're smart and capable you could build your own computer by buying the necessary parts (which is what I plan to do with my old computer tower)... but you'd better know exactly what you are doing because not all computer parts are compatible with each other.

Thats it. Make a budget, try to stick to it, consider all your needs, shop around and compare prices and don't forget to find a way to save all your old files so they can be backed up and saved on your new computer.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN & WOMEN

Men are stereotyped to be quite cheap, but they also want speed and power... but ultimately I think it depends both on the person and their individual needs. Some men are just plain braggarts who spend thousands of $$$ per year on the latest and best hardware, software, games and gadgets. Others are much more frugal and only buy what they need. Some women might be really into violent video games (this statistic is going up faster than you might think) and want a computer with a fabulous graphics card, memory and everything they need for their favourite game. Its all about balancing practicality, budget and your expectations.

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