Barbecues are one of the better bargains of our time. If you assume the cost is about 1000.00 and they last about 10 years, it works our to about 2.00 per week. Not bad economics. I’ve had mine about 10 years now (and the cost per week is less than half the 2.00)  and it is ready to retire. I’ve been pondering my next barbecue purchase for a bit and have always wanted a Weber. The ratings are excellent and apparently the quality tops everyone’s list even if the price seems a bit steep. Over the past couple of months I have been checking and comparing models based on our needs and also hoping for a sale. My standard approach to making a purchase, research, comparisons, shopping and asking questions has been proceeding as usual until this week…

Now, I should admit that I have often suffered from U.S. envy. When I was a young lad, I thought that I wanted to move to California to attend college – I may have had that mixed up with Beach Boy songs about surf, sun and girls but nevertheless – California dreamin’ I did. As I got older I spent time researching the possibility of living in Hawaii and doing some more dreaming. I have many relatives who seem perfectly happy living in the States and I have traveled to many parts, east, west, north and south, for both business and pleasure. However, in my dotage, and as I ponder the recent events originating south of our border, I am frankly getting pissed off.

Yes, it’s a very small thing and will have absolutely no impact on any of Trump’s foreign and trade policy announcements, but I no longer want a “built in the USA” barbecue, any more than I want a built in China barbecue either. So, I have now narrowed my search to Canadian manufacturers and seem to be looking mostly at Broil King made in good old Kitchener. Regardless of ratings and everything else, I am supporting our own manufacturers as much as possible until this “dark night of the orange narcissist” passes.


 I don’t know if this happens to you but some songs bring on instant memories for me that are very vivid and detailed. I heard Dream Weaver by Gary Wright three times this past week and it meant that I had to share it today and also allowed me to relive my first few months living in Winnipeg. I moved to Winnipeg from British Columbia and was offered some help from a friend of a friend in locating some living accommodations. Unfortunately, I took his advice and moved into a penthouse in North Winnipeg, on Adsum Drive if you must know. I say unfortunately because I was single and fancy free and living in the heart of the suburbs is NOT where I should have been. I corrected that mistake later but in the meantime I had this brand new apartment complete with fireplace and white shag carpet, swimming pool and covered deck. One weekend afternoon, Dream Weaver, a top ten hit at the time, comes on the station I was listening to, and as I often do when alone, I cranked the volume up to ear-bleed. I stepped out on to the deck and left the doors open as I enjoyed the music. Now this is absolutely true; it was summer time and most people had their doors open and instead of complaints about the loud music coming from the top floor, I heard stereo after stereo being tuned to the same station and everyone else turning up their volume too. It was a great 3 minute party in the middle of the burbs. Oh, and to the girl in the chartreuse bikini by the pool with whom I shared a rhythmic moment or two, “Hi.”

I’m just as smooth as I ever was.

Tax season is coming to a close and I have booked a couple of weeks off starting next weekend. I was just looking at the “To Do” list and I have a feeling that I will be glad to return to work for a rest.


Last week we covered book publishing and compared self publishing to finding a traditional publisher. To find a publisher that will take your book to market and make you a New York Times bestselling author is a daunting task without some very unique elements. As we have noted, traditional publishers are only concerned with how many thousands of copies YOU can sell. In addition, if you land a publishing deal, you will sign over all the rights to your book and this is where the real value lies in having a book on the market. The publisher will decide on your cover, title, distribution avenues, foreign rights distribution, and any movie rights, etc. Sure, they will give you a percentage of compensation (small though it may be) but they OWN your book. If you don’t believe me, read a contract before you sign it. Any offers you receive from a publisher will be totally skewed in their favor. Don’t let your ego make the decision – use your intelligence to do what’s right for you.

Last week, and in my book about how to write a book, we covered the basics of self publishing and informed you about some of the resources available for making that happen. In essence, after writing your book and having it professionally edited, you would need to have a cover created, and learn how to create the layout, upload it, and most importantly, how to market your book. There is a steep learning curve for the first time author and you may be saying, “but I wrote the book, I don’t want to become some sort of business guru, I just want to write my next book.” There is an incredible alternative now available with some very real benefits that stay with you as an author – full ownership of all the book rights while having a professional, successful publishing organization behind you looking after the essential elements of creating a bestseller. I am going to introduce you to supported self publishing right after this week’s


With a string of hits in the 1950’s, Chuck Berry’s distinctive guitar solos and duck walk transformed rock and roll to the point that he was one the first honorees in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Many of his songs have been covered by other performers including “Roll Over Beethoven” by The Beetles. He had a number of legal troubles through his life but without any doubt whatsoever, his influence on rock music changed music for generations. It was not him alone but he was a very powerful influence on the crossover of so-called, “black music” to mainstream.

Chuck Berry

Oct 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017


Kim Staflund is the publisher at Polished Publishing Group and has created this compelling presentation that you need to read – A Strong Case for Supported Self-Publishing] What Traditional Trade Publishers Don’t Want You to Know

Her company will take the work that you rely on a traditional publisher to do for you and let you retain all of the rights. She has done this for a number of bestselling authors and you will find loads of tips, ideas and examples on her website here. She and her team have the resources to take your book out of the bottom drawer of your desk and turn it into a bestselling book in both print and electronic format. If Hollywood comes calling, you retain all the rights and can negotiate on your own behalf instead of giving away those rights to the big publishing house. Lets face it, the reality of publishing is that no matter what you decide to do, YOU are responsible for book sales so why not get paid appropriately for your hard work. Just to let you know, I have not asked for and do not expect any compensation for recommending Polished Publishing Group. I simply think that first time authors should know their options when it comes to getting published and this is a good one.


How many times have you answered the question, “what do you do?” or how many times have you asked the same question and fallen asleep with the answer? Yesterday, I caught a snippet of a presentation that got me thinking. Oh oh you say, we are in trouble now. When someone asks you, “what do you do?” it is usually a conversation filler and answering “what” can be a conversation stopper instead of the opening to an interesting possibility for both for a living

Instead of answering “what,” try answering “why.” Answering WHY you do something reveals an important fact about yourself giving the questioner an opportunity to explore your passion. Passion would be a great way to start your answer, as in, “I am passionate about finding family homes for people that will significantly increase in value in a short period of time.” Instead of, “I’m a realtor for Remax.”

“I get huge satisfaction from growing heirloom roses and entering them in flower competitions.” “I love watching people, who never thought they could do it, write their first book.” “I get a real kick out of seeing companies increase their bottom line profits by making a small change in their operating procedure.” ” I get a real sense of joy by explaining complex tax matters to people that helps them save money.”

I’m sure you can do better with your answer after a little bit of thought and some trial and error. We have all heard how it is a good idea to have a 30 second elevator pitch ready to answer the question of WHAT you do, but try answering and creating that 30 seconds based on WHY you do what you do. See if it starts a conversation rather than closing it.

So, here’s something I’m really excited about. I will start a new series of blogs next week that will run through the next couple of months that will make a difference, not only in your life, but the lives of your children and grandchildren. Intrigued? If you have ever read the “About” section of this website, you will know that I like learning something that sounds complex and making it understandable for other people. Yep, shoulda been a teacher. I will put together a series of presentations that will allow you to create a legacy that is unique, valuable, wanted, and easy through a step-by-step process that will take only a few minutes each week. And at the end of the series, there will be a free gift for any followers of this website. Sign up now to receive the contents via email and get something for nothing. Great pitch huh?

OK, I will give you all the WHY’S and WHAT’S next week and in the meantime, try answering this week’s question a little differently and let us know what happens.