A Money Coach in Canada

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Since being once-and-for-all put off the Mass Meat Industry after seeing Food Inc summer ’09, I’ve made an effort to mend my meat-eating ways.

I’ve ordered 1/4 pig and 10 chickens from a free-range organic farm in Alberta. And I committed to learning to fish..
I haven’t made much progress on this. To date: I went fishing with some friends and a guide last summer and literally prayed I woudn’t catch a damn fish and thank God I didn’t although every other person did and at least the guide was very quick at bonking the flopping living things swiftly so they then became very dead but still it was hard to eat the meat even though it had been deliciously panfried over an open fire and everyone else was pretty much having a fish-eating orgy but I wasn’t.

And that’s as far as it went.

So for 2010, when the opportunity arose to learn how to fillet a fish (bring your own knife; dead fish provided) I thought I should take it to the next level.

I learned a few things.

1. It’s easier to eat a fish that looks like this:

Mouth of a jackfish / northern pike

This friends, is what is derisively term a Jackfish, but we prefer to call it Northern Pike. It abounds up here. They are tough-spirited fish, and check out that set of teeth.

2. The steps to filleting a fish are:
a. Cut just behind the gills
b. Cut along the spine, from neck to tail
c. I forget how to get the side of the fish completely off next (I looked away)
d. To skin it, place your knife flat between the skin and the flesh. Keep your knife relatively motionless, but tug the skin towards you. You can cut a hole in the skin to put your thumb through (extra tugging power).

Learning to fillet fish

3. The stomach is apparently a delicacy. (I think I threw up in my mouth a bit) (probably politically incorrect)
Fish (northern pike) stomach

So here’s what money’s done to me: it’s so disconnected me from the primal life-and-death biology of FOOD that even something as basic as fishing and filleting (we’re not talking pretty goldfish here, much less gentle cattle or smart pigs) has me all disoriented. Pathetic!

In contrast, our instructor was completely at ease.

Learning to fillet fish

Do I have any readers who fish?

If so: I wanna know – how did you get past all the squeemish stuff?

Give me a fish and I’ll eat a meal. Teach me to fish and I’ll save a lot of money, eat more healthfully, and live more sustainably. If I can keep it down.

Canadians wanting to donate to help efforts in Haiti –

super easy via your cel phone.

Text 45678

Type: HAITI

$5 will be added to your cel phone bill, and all proceeds go through Salvation Army to relief efforts in Haiti.

I just did it and it was as easy as that.

Remember that delicious movie, The Devil Wears Prada?  My favourite scene was the one where Miranda scorningly points out that while it may be politically correct amongst intelligentsia to dismiss fashion, at the end of the day, the colours we all select from our re-used, recycled clothing were determined months and months before by the fashionistas.   We think they don’t impact us.  But they do.  Except we end up wearing just the yucky shades of the colours they’d promoted.  I’ve had a lot more respect for the fashion industry since watching that scene!

Now that I work for government, I’m increasingly aware that government has a similar effect.  Behind the scenes (or sometimes not!) it sets policies that ultimately determine things that matter in our every day life.  Things like if tuition is affordable, if we have generous access to the internet, if more green energy options will be available, if we can book an appointment with a physician:  Or Not.

Who is in power affects us more than is readily apparent.  But it matters.  Most people will know by now about the prorogation issue. Those of us who are part of the facebook group have been challenged:  Are you just willing to click a group link?  Or will you do more?   I’ve done, and will do, more, and today, I challenge you to do the same.   Join me in putting your money where your political mouth is.

Believe minimal government is the best?  And that the government should primarily concern itself with ensuring Canada has a free market?  Give some money to the Conservatives to help them stay in power.

Believe, like me, that business is awesome, but the only good business is one that benefits people and the planet as well as makes profit? (or at bare minimum, genuinely and completely mitigates any negative impact it has on people and the planet)?  Support the Green Party.

Believe that gov’t should be more than bare bones, but rather, a coming together of middle-of-the-road Canadians, to help shape how we want to Be, as a society?  Donate to the Liberals.

Believe that the people who truly make this country work are those who day in, day out, perform the sometimes mundane tasks that create the economy in the first place?  And that we all benefit by helping people who can’t/don’t help themselves?  Donate to the NDP.

I just did.  It wasn’t anything my bank account can’t handle. But I did.  I put my money where my political mouth is.

And when you’ve done that, come back for a revisit of the fabulous Meryl Streep:

We’re nearly at parity again: $100USD will cost you only $103Cdn.

I plan to stock up on etsy purchases. I’m not quite ready to use borderlinx yet – that will happen if our dollar become 10% or so higher than the USD, but we’re not taking the hit we did even a few months back on our exchange rate. I’ll also be looking to buy some stocks in the US.

(Cdn) READERS – are you planning any US purchases? What is your criteria for when to purchase or not re: exchange rate? And do you physically cross-border shop, or use online or …?

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