Monday, November 30, 2009

Carnival of Personal Finance

Thanks to A Gai Shan Life for a mention in this week's Carnival of Personal Finance.

I got listed for last week's article about setting up a Tax Free Savings Account.

Check out the Carnival!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Video birthday card for my dad

I'm notoriously late sending birthday cards to friends and family ... so I sat down and put this together for my dad's birthday, November 26th. Happy bday, dad!

Big Ass Advice 4: Fat Guy Fashion

Fat Guy Fashion is a rarely-addressed topic, even on a venue like the Interweb which is presumed to be loaded with fat men.

Google visitors wonder: are there good clothes for fat guys?

My logs show searches for, among other things: fat guys that think they're hot, chubby guy fashion, fashion for fat guys, fashion style fat guys, best stores for fat guys, best fat guy fashion, cool clothes for fat guys and chubby guys fashion styles.

So what's a large (but not tall) man to do?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Big Ass Advice 3: What does skewiff mean?

Many Big Ass readers come here looking for one thing:

Skewiff

What does "skewiff" mean?

I had an 'aha' moment in a post from a while back titled "Surprise: 'skewiff' is a real word":
I had a weird moment today when morning editor Ruth used the word "skewiff". I had only ever, ever, ever heard that word used by Amanda and her family. I thought it was one of those in-a-family funny mispronounced words that gets passed down through the generations.

But no! Ruth uses it too. The connection is their families' British ancestry, I guess.

I find "skewiff" in the Online Dictionary of Playground Slang, defined as "awry; out of alignment".
The Wordniks have a couple of contextual examples of "skewiff":
25 Feb 2009 02: 17 pm understand how badly they are being out-maneuvered and how skewiff their compass is: — The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan
Except thanks to social media we can be pretty certain that the facts were a bit skewiff ... at least one guest, Stephen Fry, wasn't there. his immense stream of Twitter updates (40 in the last 24 hours alone) will know that he's been travelling back to the UK from Madagascar where he's been doing some filming. — Technology news, comment and analysis | guardian.co.uk
And even the Urban Dictionary has a definition of skewiff:
Adjective, describing a thing, person or situation that is broken, in error, messed up, misunderstood.
One more link to a Twitter member named skewiff.

And to wrap, the most common use of "skewiff" in my life has to do with my shoes. Amandas's always telling me my shoes are all skewiff ... meaning the laces are undone or my pant cuff is caught in the tongue of my shoes or something.

There you go. You're now educated about using the word skewiff. Use it wisely.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hooked up with a TFSA

Better late than never.

I'm hooked up now with one of those fancy new Tax-Free Savings Accounts. Is it saving or savings? Lemme check.

Savings. I'm picky about that kind of stuff, since so many people say "Daylight Savings Time" (wrong) instead of "Daylight Saving Time" (right).

These RRSP alternatives were announced for the start of 2009. Here we are in late November and I'm just getting on board now. Why now?

I've been reading lots of advice lately about company stock plans. On one side, some people suggest you should have no more than 10% of your net worth (or portfolio holdings, I forget) in stock of the company you work for. On the other side, there's advice that says you should have absolutely none. The logic being, you already have a ton of financial risk working for a company -- why make it worse by having your money invested in the same place?

Hamlet for First Graders


I got my start in broadcasting at a young age.

I think it was the summer after grade 6. My parents enrolled me in a unique summer camp. It was dubbed "Let's Make a Music Video". It was hosted at Rogers Cable 10, the community station in Newmarket Ontario.

We learned the ins and outs of television production. Studio shooting, ENG, lighting, audio and so on. The lessons I learned that summer carry through to this day.

We never ended up making a music video.

Instead, we produced this comedic adaptation of Hamlet, done in the style of Dick and Jane.

Dug up from the archives, I present this to you for the first time in more than twenty years!

What ever happened to the *rest* of the kids in this production? Did any of them go on to media careers?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Big Ass Advice 1: Can I cancel my Aliant service and keep my phone number?

Welcome to the first installment of "Big Ass Advice". I'm answering questions based on keywords and searches that brought people to BigAssSuperstar.com, as found by analyzing log files. It turns out people come here based on searches that don't necessarily yield the info they were looking for. So I figured I'd give the information anyway, in the chance that they'll stick around and enjoy the place. On to the first question!

Dear Big Ass Superstar:

can i cancel my aliant service and keep my phone number?


Dear Aliant subscriber:

Yes you can, but you need to be careful.

Two funerals and a wedding

Have I reached the point in my life where I mostly see some of my loved ones at weddings, funerals and select special holidays?

We had occasion recently to see some good friends ... a man I used to work with and his wife. But it wasn't a happy occasion.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Funniest thing I've seen in weeks: Stormtroopers

What Stormtroopers Do On Their Day Off at Wildammo.com. Nerdy, yes, but absolutely hilarious!

An example:


 The other Stormtrooper stuff I've been reading in recent days is completely unfunny and completely nerdier: www.starwarshelmets.com has everything you never wanted to know about the original Star Wars prop helmets.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Welcome to the new bigasssuperstar.com

Hello friends, family, followers and strangers!

This blog has been live for four years with the same template and layout. The blogging world has advanced in technology, but the old bigasssuperstar.com had not.

Now I'm taking advantage of some of the improvements at blogger.com. I've switched hosting to Google's blogger system. The domain now points there.

The change means you'll probably find some broken links and missing images in old posts. I'll be working with the old hosting folks to sort that out over time.

On that note, a shout-out of great thanks to Vic Metcalfe at Zymurgy Systems for his years of help in hosting both www.bigasssuperstar.com and the decade-old www.cygnals.com. Vic's changed business direction and handed his hosted customers over to Aurora Ontario company The Tech Zone.

As far as content here, I'll still be talking about the usual stuff: my life, my interests, my obsessions, my adventures in Nova Scotia and around the world. Personal finance, music, technology, geekery and occasionally etymology.

I've also been reading up on how to maximize revenue from the small amount of advertising present on this site, and when I analyze the logs to see how people are coming to the page, I realize that I could probably be exploiting it a bit better. So expect to see a few articles that are outside the usual subject matter covered over the past few years. Basically, expect to see 'big ass' in the articles a bit more. I hope to make a few bucks, ya dig?

Thanks for sticking around. I'll be here!

Any major bugs, complaints, feedback, whatever -- go ahead. I'd love to hear if the new layout is an improvement from your perpective.