Decades of disaster

Boomers: Why don't you buy a house?

Answer:

[...] average income of Ontarians between the ages of 25 and 34 years has stayed nearly the same for decades, lingering at an average of roughly $50,000 a year. According to the latest data from StatsCan, the yearly income was $50,800 in 2020.

While the average house goes for $1 million.

“It takes 22 years of full-time work for the typical young person to save a 20 [per cent] down payment on an average priced home,” the report reads, which they say is 17 years longer than when “today’s aging population” were their age.

Read that again: 22 years of savings to pay for 20% of an average house. Simply unaffordable. To top it all off, the nefarious Canadian government will be importing 500,000 people every year which will continue to keep wages low and further increase real estate prices.


A train wreck

There was a psycho girl from Pakistan who lived in the US. She blogged about her crazy leftist beliefs. I would simply provide excerpts and critique her logic and reasoning abilities. Her response? She cried like a little girl and wrote that I was a "cyber bully".

That was definitely amusing.

She had to look at her blog stats, click to arrive at my site, and then read my devastatingly brutal words about herself. All she could conjure up was: U R CYBER BULLY!

It was quite surreal to witness such a combination of mental retardation and emotional weakness. Eventually, she decided to nuke her blog. Sad!


Thrilling and Spectacular

Going through high school, university and later, I watched three World Cups where Australia slaughtered their opponents. Starting from the semi-final in 1999, the Aussies went undefeated in their next two magnificent campaigns.

Now, in 2022, the Australians (who else?) were defending their World title. Given their glorious history, fighting attitude, and home advantage, somehow, they couldn't even make the semi-finals!

This World Cup started with a bang and then it got so much better.

  • West Indies eliminated; couldn't even make the main event which has 12 teams.
  • New Zealand crush Australia by 89 runs. Total humiliation! This simply doesn't happen in a global tournament!
  • A full 40-over match between India and Pakistan. What a classic. Whatever the Indians are paying Kohli is not enough.
  • Ireland beats the mighty English. The favorites lost against a small team.
  • Another 40-over match where Pakistan shockingly loses to Zimbabwe.
  • New Zealand clash with England and lose.
  • Pakistan dominates South Africa to keep their chances alive.
  • Australia huff and puff against Afghanistan. They win but it's not enough. Their atrocious net run rate costs them.
  • Did someone say choke? Netherland, for the first time in history, defeats South Africa! Pakistani and Bangladeshi fans are saying their prayers. It's a quarter-final!
  • Every single team has lost, at least, one match.

This has been one of the most incredible cricket World Cups of all time. My prediction from last month for the final four:

  1. Australia
  2. England
  3. India
  4. Pakistan

Off by one. New Zealand definitely earned their place by annihilating Australia.


Lean Genetics

I knew a guy like that in university. He ate insanely huge meals. Fries, snacks, sugary juices, desserts, sodas, more snacks. It was surreal because he looked like a tall toothpick. It was like his body didn't know how to store calories. Not an ounce of fat on him. It would definitely be interesting to see the genetic and hormonal differences that make these people so efficient.


Avoid the cheap stuff

Big Sugar is definitely using cheaper and lower-quality ingredients in their bite-sized candies. I've noticed that with M&Ms. At first, I thought that it was unsatisfactory because of the small amount but nope; it just tastes off. I avoid almost all Hershey's. You couldn't pay me to eat that American garbage.

Various Japanese (Royce), Swiss (Lindt), German (Ritter Sport), and British (Cadbury) chocolates taste so much better.


Are you a superhero?

The general is too kind:

France’s General Christian Blanchon published a tribute letter to the unvaccinated in September 2022, calling citizens who refused the COVID injections “superheroes.” The letter made waves in Europe and around the world among people critical of draconian COVID policies but was largely ignored by the mainstream press.

I've lived in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the US, and Canada. I've learned repeatedly that most people are idiots. Therefore, "peer pressure" has zero effect on my life. Of course, this Covid nonsense went a bit further. Face diapers were required for public transportation. Covid passports were mandated for gyms, restaurants, cinemas, theaters, air travel, etc. That did impact my life but it was a small inconvenience. Today, masks are optional and the passport has been removed. Society is slowly catching up to reality.


Lower standards for diversity

I wonder why the university didn't bother to address this super very bad professor for the last 40 years:

Maitland Jones Jr., a chemistry professor at New York University who also taught for four decades at Princeton, was fired in August after undergraduate students circulated a petition complaining that his course was too difficult.

The assembly line of idiots couldn't take it! I've known a few old teachers like that. Their style is brutal and their expectations are sky-high. The problem? The administration keeps accepting more and more mediocre students who can't handle the heat. Of course, most teachers get the hint and continuously dumb down their material. I personally knew a high school teacher who made her course too easy. A furious teacher from the department went to the principal and basically asked him, "Don't you think it strange that we're getting increasingly low-quality students while her class averages are going up!?" He simply dismissed the concerns.

Of course, it's much easier and convenient to blame, and then fire, the one professor who doesn't dumb down the material. Just ignore the overall lowering of standards, the inferior students, and rampant grade inflation. End result? Students who know nothing.

What matters is that the gravy train for the schools and universities doesn't stop.


Die parasites die!

Funny. Just a few days ago, I was out and felt a tiny sting on my right hand. Looked and saw one bastard on my knuckles. SMACK! Dead. I was surprised with the amount of blood that splattered.

A few minutes later, another one! SMACK! Less blood this time.

Then, moments later, one more! SMACK! No blood.

Definitely improving with practice. My right hand looked like a piece of modern art with three mangled mosquitos.


No trust

A lot of people are, obviously, writing about diversity. That's true. There's another factor: nearly zero consequences for criminals.

I remember travelling to Medina and Makkah in the 90s. These cities are filled with peoples from all over the world. Literally tens of millions visit them every year. One of the most memorable sights is the jewellery stores. They are many and they are absolutely glittering. One almost has to put on sunglasses to get a full view of all the gold.

I remember walking in front of the stores. The doors were open but nobody was present. The owners had left during the time for prayer. It was a golden opportunity for thieves! Yet, no one dared. Why? Because criminals prefer to not have their hands chopped off. Contrast that ruthlessness with the revolving door policies for criminals in the US. How absurd it is to read of another robber, rapist or killer who had been arrested 15, 16 or 17 times before his latest spree.


One Veggie To Rule Them All

Yup. Potatoes are awesome. The best is oven baked wedges with a bit of beef fat. Sprinkle salt, pepper and oregano; roasted garlic on the side with sour cream as a dipping. That can be an entire meal.


Always have options

That's the major downside of a debt-powered lifestyle. Remember reading a story about a guy who kept on buying more and bigger as his income went up. He moved his wife and children to a better house with a larger mortgage. Got a newer car; wife got her own. Eventually wife quit her job to stay home. More toys, lavish vacations. The problem? Zero savings and insane debt.

He lost his job in 2008. Sold her car. Then, his own. Couldn't pay mortgage. Moved in with the in-laws. He went from a $200,000 salary to working part-time at Walmart. He had the option of wiggle room but he wasted it.


Science!

Vox Day:

The evidence against the Covid vaccines is on the verge of becoming undeniable by the mainstream. Between the excess deaths, the declining fertility, and the hard evidence being provided by embalmers around the world, the lethal nature of the vaxx is on the verge of being conclusively proven.

I heard about a young, healthy police officer who died suddenly just one day after his third vaxx shot. Who knows how many died directly because of the vaxxes? We can get an approximate number from the excess deaths.

Let's see how many NPCs wake up and realize that they gleefully and repeatedly jabbed themselves with poison.


Lazy and incompetent

I've had similar experiences with my local banks.

  1. Scheduled a meeting to open a chequing account. Got to the bank five minutes early. Noticed a casual, happy atmosphere where the staff is chatting and merry. Time comes and I notice that one rep is rushing around to get the paperwork in order for ... me! It took her about eight minutes to get ready. This wasn't some complicated product; I was opening a basic account!
  2. Another bank, another appointment. The rep is telling me the benefits of the retirement savings plan. She tells me the amount I can take out for buying my first home. The problem is that number changed a few years earlier. I calmly and politely tell her that but she's adamant and stubborn. I double-checked at home and her info was five years out-of-date!
  3. I had investment accounts in Canadian dollars and wanted to open corresponding US$ accounts. The bank told me to come in and fill out forms. I had read that a phone call to the investment center from the bank rep. with my personal info about the CDN accounts should be sufficient. The rep. didn't know. I went to the appointment, she called the relevant number, gave them my info, and done! Filling out dumb forms was totally unnecessary.

Oh, in all three cases, women! I do my own research before dealing with banksters who're greedy, lazy, and incompetent.


Just add sugar

It's still bizarre for me to see how so many people in America and Canada consume so much sugar to start their day. I still remember being shocked when I was introduced to pancakes drenched in maple syrup for breakfast. Intensely sweet!


Setting a new record

I once witnessed pop-can-sized hail in, of all places, Saudi Arabia. It bombarded the balcony of our apartment for a few minutes. It must have done some serious damage to cars and those who were outside. To be in a car when it happens? That's dreadful:

Matt Berry was driving home after golfing Monday evening when cloudy skies quickly turned into a rare storm that dropped hail the size of softballs, caving in his windshield and leaving about 150 dents in his car. “I was getting covered in shards of glass,” the graphic designer said as he recalled the moment he pulled over on a country road to take cover while driving from Innisfail, Alta., to his home in Red Deer, Alta.

“The noise was quite loud,” he said. “It was just crazy. Scary at times, but really it was just shock and awe more than anything.”

The biggest one was nearly 300 grams. That's lethal stuff.


Taiwanese engineering

My laptop in the late 90s had data transfer speeds at around 10-15 MB/s. With the latest NVMe SSD drives, one can hit 10-15 GB/s. That level of data throughput would have sounded absolutely ludicrous back when my total hard disk size was 2 GB!

This upcoming ASUS motherboard will have space for four NVMe SSDs without the use of add-in cards. That's going to be nirvana for serious gamers, photographers, and video editors.

New CPUs, motherboards, and GPUs are coming in Q4. It should be an excellent time to upgrade for those who were discouraged by the GPU prices of the past two years.


You will own nothing

And you'll be happy:

The rectangular-shaped room is fitted with a shower, a sink, and a toilet. There is one window, and a shelving unit above the latrine. But this room isn’t just any old bathroom. It’s actually an apartment listed for rent in Hamilton’s east-end.

Just steps away from the shower, there is a kitchenette with a handful of cupboards, what appears to be a toaster oven and a mini-fridge — no full kitchen. To the back of the room, there appears to be space for a bed — as long as it is a small one. The whole apartment is 13 square metres (or 140 square feet — think of a 12 foot by 12 foot room).

[Emphasis mine.]

Prices in my neighborhood in Ontario in 2012 vs. 2022:

  • 1-bedroom apartment: $600 --> $1,500
  • 2-bedroom apartment: $800 --> $1,700
  • 3-bedroom apartment: $1,100 -->$2,200

So, a 140 square feet "apartment" for $550 is a steal!


Sadly funny theater

Prime Minister Zoolander doesn't care about grandma!

Despite heading one of the only Western governments to still mandate face masks on rail transport, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was conspicuously maskless as he shook hands during a Monday photo op aboard an Okanagan, B.C., steam train.

The prime minister was not breaking any laws; the Kettle Valley Steam Railway is a heritage railroad not bound by federal transport regulations. However, the visit led to cries of hypocrisy nonetheless as COVID presumably can spread just as easily on tourist trains as aboard VIA Rail trains.

I went to the local train station early this month and noticed two different trains with a platform in the middle. VIA Rail on one side and a GO train on the other. Both were heading towards Toronto. I was in the GO train where almost zero people bothered with a mask. Looking outside, one could easily tell that everyone on the VIA Rail was masked. SCIENCE!


Saying no to the vaxx

I couldn't travel on trains, take airplane flights, watch a movie on the big screen, eat in a restaurant or listen to a live orchestra because of Canada's vaxx mandates. It was nothing big. Though, there are people who're willing to lose a lot of money and invite reactions from monkeys when they publicly refuse the SUPER AWESOME FABULOUS vaccines.

Right on!


DSLR cameras are dead

When Nikon released the Z7, the Z7II, and finally the epic Z9, it was clear that DSLRs had been retired. They're simply too complicated and costly to produce. Mirrorless are smaller, lighter, and provide higher margins.

Japanese camera maker Nikon will withdraw from the single-lens reflex camera business and shift toward digital offerings amid intensifying competition from smartphone cameras, Nikkei has learned.

Nikon's SLR cameras have been widely used by professional photographers for more than 60 years and have come to be seen as synonymous with the Japanese company.

The D300 and the D800 were spectacular during their time.


Task Force Assemble!

My passport expired late last year. I waited and went to the post office to mail my application in February. I got the passport a month later. Too many people didn't bother in the winter and now we've got long queues.

As passport processing delays and long lineups persist at Service Canada offices, the federal government is looking to buy 801 chairs for people standing in line by the end of this week.

That precise number made me laugh. Of course, Prime Minister Zoolander is doing his very best to get to the root of this problem:

The request for the additional seating was posted just days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the formation of a special cabinet committee "task force to improve government services."

The 10 ministers on the committee have been tasked with tackling the "unacceptable" backlogs with immigration and passport applications, though with no clear timelines attached to this task.

The geezers are on it!

It's a simple supply issue. The government didn't forecast the spike in demand and so they didn't bother hiring and training sufficient numbers of workers. At least, it's still possible to apply and get a new passport in 48 hours. There are certain federal government applications where the response time is not measured in hours, days, weeks, or months! It takes years for a bureaucrat to even look at your documents. Why doesn't the government charge higher fees and employ more people to speed up that process? Can't even think of an answer.


Was it the vax?

I got an email today titled, "A Message from Air Canada's President". He apologized about the upcoming cancelation of flights in the summer months. It was initially confusing because I don't have any domestic or US flight but then I realized that he's telling all possible customers to not bother booking any North American flight in the next couple of months.

Air Canada's stock fell as much as nearly 9 per cent in early trading on Thursday, after the company said it would cut more than 15 per cent of its scheduled flights in July and August.

The Montreal-based airline said on Wednesday that it will reduce its schedule – already operating at a capacity below pre-pandemic levels – by an average of 154 flights per day in July and August. Most of the affected flights are to and from Toronto and Montreal, the airline said, on domestic and Canada-U.S. routes.

Air Canada fired thousands of workers two years ago and then implemented vaccine mandates last year. My best guess would be that 20% of their original labor force has zero interest in returning to work for them which closely aligns with the volume of cancellations. Plus, it's likely that a few of the vaxxed pilots have had totally unexpected and unrelated health issues that make them unfit to fly. Sad!


Squeezed

The price of butter tracks almost exactly with my experience: $3 to $4.29; a 43% increase. The most insane price increase I've noticed is for corn. It used to be $0.2 each, now it's going for $0.5.


Did someone say unaffordable?

The median household income in my city in Canada is roughly $75,000 (US$60,000). The median price for a detached house in the last quarter was $1.1 million (US$873,000). So, that's 14.6x!

A median apartment goes for $650,000. That "affordable" option gives us 8.6x!


Unnecessary risk

Brutal. The tiny loss of muscle and reflexes happens every day but our pride, independence, and stubbornness won't allow for the harsh truth. The results can be ugly.


The King

Deadlift is definitely the king of strength training exercises. It highlights any weakness in the chain: ankles, knees, back, forearms, and wrists. Of course, too many avoid it because a heavy deadlift is a) not easy, and b) absolutely exhausting.


Won't you feel sorry for Moderna?

It will always be amusing to know that after Canada mandated vaccine passports for government employees, restaurants, cinemas, theaters, for travel, and in some places for simply shopping at Walmart, that we got the largest wave of infection! Many people were coerced into getting the 1st shot, 2nd shot, booster, another booster while being explicitly told that they wouldn't get infected ... and then they got infected.

Not to mention the horrendous side effects from the "vaccines". The general population is no longer interested in bending over for another jab. This can be seen in the numbers as compliance is significantly lower for each additional shot.


Ontario Storm

The storm went through the most densely populated region of Canada:

A damaging derecho swept through southern Ontario and Quebec Saturday, toppling trees and power lines, overturning cars, cutting electricity and even tossing debris through windows. The storms have resulted in at least eight deaths.

Eight deaths. That number is shockingly low considering that cars were flipped, trees were uprooted, and powerlines went down.

A few minutes before it hit, the sun was completely covered, the light dimmed like it was 9 p.m. Then, all the windows started rattling. I looked outside and saw birds attempting to sit still but the wind knocked them away. The maximal level wind and rain lasted about five minutes; we, fortunately, didn't get the worst.

Looks like a coastal city getting hit by a hurricane!

When home is not safe:

A real estate "paper cut":

Fury:


Ugly but so comfy

I went to the local mall to buy shoes a few years ago. The stores didn't even have my size. Went to a different mall, visited many stores, and finally a sales guy came back with a couple of hideous black monstrosities. I had tried a lot of ill-fitting and uncomfortable shoes that day and was prepped for disappointment... It felt like I was walking on a cloud! They were New Balance black joggers. A few years later, I tried in vain to find similar shoes. Settled for a different brand.


You will own nothing!

Enjoy your pods, peasants!

The housing crisis in the San Francisco Bay Area has gotten so bad that one startup is now offering renters the chance to live in a “bunk bed pod” with 13 other people for just $800 a month.

I lived in a student house with 9 other people and we had 3 washrooms and that was sometimes a problem. The luxury apartment above is for 13 people and it has 2 washrooms! How is that going to work?


The Housing Market Insanity

Here's a photo of a simple house that's a one-hour drive away from Toronto:

Dundas house

There are 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and it's 2,100 square feet. Not too small to be cramped and not too big to be ostentatious; it's just the right size for an average family.

It's on sale. Can you guess the asking price? $1.6 million*. The 20% down payment would be $320,000. The monthly mortgage payment? $6,700. That's $80,400 a year for 25 years! A husband and wife together would need to make a minimum of $200,000 income to even think of buying such a basic house.

Only the top 2% of households in the province can afford it.

* $1.23 million in US dollars.


Potatoes are awesome!

Tasty, versatile, and incredibly inexpensive.

Baked "fries" with tallow is one of my favorites. Season with pepper, Himalayan salt, and oregano. Serve with roasted garlic. For extra decadence: dip in sour cream.


Starting death

I know that walking is good for the body but I dislike it for its own sake. If there's a reason for it, then I'll do it. A 30-minute walk around the city for nothing? Nope. A 30-minute walk to get groceries? Sure!

For most, it's part laziness and part avoidance of pain. One time, an older colleague told me about going to the gym and doing dumbbell curls. She did the motion with her arms with a sad face and said, "I didn't like it!" The weight? Five pounds. I had to resist from laughing.

Now, imagine telling her about barbell squats and deadlifts! When asked in real life, I mention the benefits of the big lifts. To my knowledge nobody has taken the hint. These are people who lose important strength every year. Climbing stairs to the second floor makes them hyperventilate. Basic strength training would immensely improve the quality of their lives but they're set in their ways.


Painful lesson

If I eat only vegetables for lunch, then the hunger pangs strike hard five hours later. However, if my meal is a salted New York steak cooked with butter, then I'm good for a solid ten hours. Dinner is usually a few glasses of water after that protein-powered lunch. Too many people hear "just eat fewer calories to keep weight in check" and they cut out the calorie dense  and relatively pricey proteins but, of course, it doesn't work.


The NIMBY morons

Yup. It's the same in Canada. Forget roads and rails that take kilometers of area; the construction of simple real estate is slow as molasses. For example, a car dealership was sitting empty in the city. The land was bought; the new owner wants an apartment building in its place. The tiny dealership was torn down five years ago. The construction for the apartments hasn't even started. Locals aren't happy about the upcoming "tall" building and the city is dragging its feet.

In that time, rent and house prices have almost doubled.


The second largest country in the world

The economists at the largest bank in Canada can see the plain reality:

Housing affordability in Canada was at its worst level in 31 years at the end of 2021, according to RBC Economics, which is warning that there’s no relief in sight for the country’s already-stretched homeowners.

Here's a shocking statistic for those who live outside of Canada:

Almost half of median pre-tax household income (49.7 per cent) would have been required to cover mortgage payments and other costs tied to owning a home, on an aggregate basis, in Canada in the fourth quarter of last year.

Note these two words: pre-tax and household. Take the median Canadian couple where both people work. Assume that their income is the same. In the current market, the entire after-tax income of one person is not enough to cover the housing costs for the average property! This means that both people must work to live in the average-priced house.

An anecdote: rent for a one-bedroom apartment in my building used to be ~$500. Now, it's $1,500. A new worker making minimum wage working 50 weeks of the year would make $25,000 after tax in Ontario. So, after rent, a low-skilled single person would have $7,000 left to spend in the entire year.

This is not going to end well.


The versatile potato

Absolutely. Potato, is without a doubt, the best food to eat if one wants to lose weight.

I've had it as my only meal of the day a few times: one pound of boiled potatoes, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and hot sauce. If you want a little protein, then add tuna with olive oil.


Ravenous hyenas

Reminds me of my younger siblings. My mom would have a few biscuits and snacks saved in the kitchen for guests. She would put them up high in the cupboards in steel containers; thinking that the little devils couldn't see them. In reality, she couldn't see that were empty till it was too late.


Three years of inflation

Sale price increases in Ontario, Canada:
January 2020 --> August 2021 --> March 2022

Eggs (12): $2 --> $2.8 --> $3
Milk (4L): $4 --> $4.7 --> $5.3
Butter (1lb): $3 --> $3.5 --> $4.3
Coke (6 x 710ml): $2 --> $2.8 --> $3.3
Potatoes (10 lbs): $2 --> $4 --> $5
TV dinner (300g): $2 --> $3 --> $3.5
Peanut butter (1kg): $3 --> $4.5 -->$5
Chicken legs (1 lb): $1.5 --> $2.5 --> $3
Lean ground beef (1 lb): $3 --> $5 --> $5.5
Prime rib roast (1 lb): $5 --> $7 --> $9

When one looks at real estate, food, and oil costs from the beginning of 2020 to the predictable end of 2022, in three years, the inflation rate will be roughly 50%.

For someone struggling with an annual income of $30,000, that's a $10,000 pay cut!


Buy it for life

I had a Black and Decker cheapo blender before. One day, it just stopped working. Did my research and got the best.

That tamper definitely helps. Vitamix is built like a tank. A lot of shops around here have the professional model with the cover. It's powerful and loud! 


So very glum

Today: 120C. A little windy but otherwise fantastic for February.

Thursday: -5 to 50C. Colossal amount of freezing rain.

Friday: -200C. The snow storm hits with full force. Ugly weekend follows.

It's like three different seasons in three days.


The truth hurts

About ten years ago, an economics class was asked about the average yearly pay of a teacher in their high school. The lowest guess was $200,000. One kid said $1 million!

Reality? Closer to $50,000.

Of course, these students don't want to work in a school when they graduate. They want a more flashy and prestigious job. They're confident that their starting salary will be far greater than what they think a teacher makes.

Most of these kids don't have a clue.


Can't sleep early

A tiny positive for teenagers in the last two years:

In a new study from Switzerland, researchers found Swiss teenagers who were home-schooled during school closures between March and June 2020 in the first wave of the pandemic ended up getting significantly more sleep than before the lockdown, which correlated with other improvements in their wellbeing.

"The students got about 75 minutes more sleep per day during the lockdown," says developmental pediatrics researcher Oskar Jenni from the University of Zurich (UZH).

It was a huge pain to wake up early for school, university, gym or work. It's something that I can't explain but my sleep schedule always reverted to 2 a.m. to 10 a.m. when I didn't have to wake up early. Even two different environments like Arabia and Canada couldn't alter that stubborn biology.

It's funny that I prefer a 10-6 sleep schedule but it is what it is.


It isn't 7%

Prices updated from what I wrote a few months ago:

Milk (4L): $4 --> $5
Butter (1 lb): $3 --> $4
Eggs (Dozen): $2 --> $3
Potatoes (10 lbs): $2 --> $4
Coke (6 x 710ml): $2 --> $3
TV dinner (300g): $2 --> $3.5
Peanut butter (1kg): $3 --> $5
Chicken legs (1 lb): $1.5 --> $3
Lean ground beef (1 lb): $3 --> $5

That's the change in my local sale prices in the last 24 months in Ontario, Canada. I doubt the US has it any better. The Federal Reserve increased the money supply by 40%. Prices are simply catching up. Imagine, if you made $20,000 a year before and prices didn't change at all but your income crashed to $14,000. That's the same reality. This is the largest tax increase on the poor since the late 70s.