A Sock Saved Is A Penny Earned

Generally I have never had a problem with saving money, I’m pretty well self-disciplined and don’t spend a lot of money on things I don’t need. I actually rarely ever buy myself something, most of the time my money is spent doing things instead.

Even that time as a kid when my sister and I saved up all kinds of change and money to get our hamster, we always kept it in an old coffee tin and never ever took anything out of it to spend or play with. More recently, just last summer my family set up a savings jar to be able to afford for all of us to go to the PNE at the end of summer. It only took us two months to get enough money to pay for a hotel for 4 plus entry and ride tickets at the PNE. Then just last night my sister and I started a new savings jar that we will add to all year long until next summer so we can do something crazy.

Just from last night and today, we already have $69.96 in the jar. But of course I don’t expect it to keep filling up that fast. The first $40 was a donation from our parents, I added the $10 bill I had in my wallet; then the rest is from change I found in my room, my sister found, wallet, under the seats of all the cars in the family, and from cans and bottles that we had around the house.

What really kicked off our saving though was taking the dog for a walk last night. We took him around to all the three schools in this town and decided we would pick up all the cans in the area while we were walking.

Somehow we got talking about doing a trip next summer, and I told her my plans to do some crazy stuff. The mix of picking up the bottles got us thinking that maybe we should start saving for a trip or an adventure next year. So we started and really got into it. Heck, we even looked inside the garbage cans all over the three schools, which actually gave us a pretty good amount of bottles. Following that, we decided we would take a nice drive up some of the dirt roads and pick up a few bottles along them as well. By the end of the night, we filled up a garbage bag 3/4 of way with bottles and cans, making it a pretty successful night of collection.

Today I cashed in all the non-alcoholic bottles and cans, getting us $8 to add to our jar, but I still have to bring in the alcoholic ones which will give us a lot more money. I couldn’t do that today though because the liquor stores aren’t accepting them until after the long weekend.

It’s kinda funny actually how when my sister and I make a goal or start planning something, we really get into it and make our best strives to succeed in our plans or ideas. I feel like we will be pretty successful in this endeavour. Plus! I’m going to start putting away a certain percentage of my pay cheques in the jar to help as well. It wont be much since I’m cutting my hours down to two or three days a week, but it’ll still help!

Nasty. Dirty Feet Bother Me...

Once we returned from our short bottle hunting excursion, I started to try and think of other ways that we can add to our travel money jar. I know once the winter comes, there are always a couple of older folks that pay me a few dollars to shovel their driveway during snowfalls, which I can always add to the jar. Plus, I’ll probably keep hunting everyone’s cars for loose change as well since they add up quite a bit. I mean in our travel jar right now, we already have almost $14 in loose change.

When I was talking to one of my friends about my plans with my sister, he told me to sell my used, old and dirty socks/shoes on eBay. I laughed fairly heartily too because I thought he was joking, but I kinda got intrigued when he told me that he wasn’t kidding. So I went on eBay and typed in the search bar, “Used Socks”. It’s actually quite amazing how many old and used socks are posted on there, and people are getting anywhere from $2 to $20 on one pair of their used socks.

At first I thought that maybe people were buying them for crafts or to build a tattered sock puppet or something, but after thinking a little, it didn’t make sense because you could just buy a bag of socks at Wal-Mart for cheaper than some of those single pairs of socks. After researching on the internet a little bit though, I found it was more for the people that have a foot fetish, for some reason they got off by buying other people’s old used socks. For fun I also looked up used shoes, and they were selling pretty good as well, somewhere around $30 give and take. I’m not sure if I’m up for selling my old socks and old shoes though. I don’t really care what people would do with them and it doesn’t bother me, once they are out of my possession it doesn’t matter to me anymore. It’s just the principal of it that bothers me. I’m sure I’ll manage to save enough in my other methods though so it shouldn’t be needed to do this. Although, it is very odd, quite unique and baffling that people actually make quite a fortune selling their old socks.

 

“Never put a sock in the toaster.” Eddie Izzard

 

Tyson Trepidations.

Sending Kids To Summer Camp

During my childhood and part of my teenage years, I was fortunate enough to attend a summer camp five times. Every one that I went to is infused in my brain forever and stand out as some of the most fun and memorable moments of my life. So I think if a parent gets a chance or wonders if they should send their kid to summer camp, they should most definitely research one close by (or not necessarily close) and send their kid without hesitation. The skills, memories and friends they come home with, stay with them forever. Childhood memories are something I would never want to lose or replace with anything.

The first time I went to a summer camp was when I was about 10. I went to Sunnybrae Bible Camp, located along the incredible shores of Shuswap lake and at the base of the pristine Mount Bastion. It was a beautiful camp with really expert staff, and perfectly executed activities and plans. They definitely had the experience and the resources necessary to give kids the best of time while there.

At Sunnybrae, they have tonnes of activities to choose from to make for a new experience all the time, such things ranging from archery, to swimming, to learning a little more about the bible and religion. All of their camps for kids are a week long and cost $235 + British Columbia’s HST tax. But it isn’t just limited to kids, they have teen and family packs as well. Also, even if your kid isn’t raised with a religion (much like myself), I think its still a great opportunity in their development. At Bible camp, they don’t push religion onto anyone. I just think its just a great way to introduce the Bible to kids and a little of the western religious history. It’s an important part of the worlds development and culture, so I think its a little incompetent to not be at least be a little familiar with the Bible and religion.

The other four years that I went to a summer camp, were spend at the Vernon Army Cadet Summer Training Center (VACSTC). I was in cadets for seven years, from the time I was 12 until I aged out at 19.

When I was 14, I went to VACSTC for the first time doing a Cadet Leader course that lasted six weeks, then the year after that I did a Cadet Leader Instructor summer camp course in one of the prestigious Drill and Ceremonial platoons for another six weeks. During both of those years I had an amazing time, learned tonnes of new skills and made plenty new friends that I’m still friends with today.

While attending VACSTC there are a number of different camps to attend that are specialized for different purposes like music, drill, shooting, and athletics. With those camps come a series of lessons as well, based on the different types of camp you choose to go to. Besides the lesson, there are a tonne of fun activities included in each; things like absailing, beach days, water slides, sports nights and even looking at some of the local tourist attractions in and around Vernon, British Columbia. This camp is free, paid for by the Department of National Defence. But your kid actually gets a bonus for going, not much though, just $60 per week spent at camp and you have to be in cadets to be able to attend. But the memories and bonds that you make at Cadet camp are those in which you keep forever.

Myself and Two Other Staff Serving As Flag Party

Lastly, I also spent another 2 consecutive years at VACSTC. I had such an amazing time every time I went, that I wanted to return, but this time as staff. For the first year I was the high ranked warrant officer for the Rifle Coach platoon, specializing in familiarization with several different rifles. The next year I was again a Warrant officer, but this time for a platoon in Drill and Ceremonial. As a leader and staff, I was in charge of about 30 kids with one or two other platoon warrants at my side. We were in charge of their safety, supervision, fun and we were the ones that passed on the commands to them.

Since I was staff, it was a paid position (quite generously, I might add) under a seven week contract. The first week there is spent meeting the other staff and getting a rundown of what we would be doing with the kids for the last six weeks and going over the rules.

Even to this day I still make time to go and visit some of my friends from camp, as well as visit some of the kids that I taught while staffing there. Just before my roadtrip I went and visit with one of the kids I taught that lives in Vancouver, but in August I’m also going to visit some friends I staffed with in the place where it started, Vernon, BC. I honestly can’t wait to see them and I think if any parent gets the chance, they should send their kid to summer camp. It gets them out of the way for a little so the parent can relax for a bit of the summer themselves, but it also lets their kid explore different aspects of the world, learn tonnes of new skills, and come home with a million new friends. All-in-all, summer camp is amazing.

“To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie –
True Poems flee” – Emily Dickinson

Tyson Trepidations.

Online Dating and Long Distance Relationships

Online dating and long distance relationships are two things I have had the ability to explore within my dating life already. I think online dating can be a fairly useful tool to use for a few different reasons, if done right of course. But on the other hand, I believe that long distance relationships have a limit, and its a gamble as to where the limit ends.

When it comes to online dating, I think its a great way to get to know people and potential girlfriends/boyfriends initially. In my experience, the barrier of the whole thing really allows you to explore different people and almost effortlessly gain access to each others basic information, interests, and lifestyles. It’s a very efficient way to get your questions answered in a much faster and less awkward manner (for many cases), rather than having to go through it all on the first date. It also lets you assess whether the other patron is someone you think you would be compatible with and build that first connection before exploring each other in real life.

In my opinion, I think its a very effective tool since people are generally more brave to speak their mind and openly ask questions online rather than in real life. They tend to feel more free in letting others get to know them and asking questions themselves, probably since those people they are talking to are only entities at that point.

So in the whole, when its taken seriously, in a mature and professional manner, online dating can actually have many positive qualities. Even with that said, it is still a good idea to be a little careful of the people you meet online. Since there’s no emotions or faces associated with the people you interact with, it’s a lot easier for them to lie, over exaggerate and give the wrong impression, since everything is done over cyberspace. But in my experience, it seems pretty legitimate and I think its a very useful tool.

The other thing I wanted to talk about was long distance relationships. The reason I’m putting these together on the same post is because a lot of times online dating can result in or go hand-in-hand with a long distance relationship (or even the other way around).

I have been in a couple long distance relationships, some longer than others (in more ways than one too). But what I found was that they only work for so long and eventually somebody does get hurt because their partner grew tired of waiting. I don’t think a long distance relationship is something I could do anymore due to that. In the end I was the one that ended up getting hurt. I was dating a girl for two years when somewhere along the lines it turned into a long distance relationship. After a little bit, I guess she got bored or tired of missing me and decided to find herself a new boyfriend. She was the last person I loved too…

Anyhow, there’s really a limit as to how far a relationship can go over long distance. Once you hit that limit, things tend to slow down and a lot of times relationships burn out because of that.

So if your looking to ignite a flame, then I say give online dating a true effort and see what happens. As for me, I may be single at the moment, but I met a very promising girl. I’m really excited to see where this goes.

 

“One good thing about Internet dating: you’re guaranteed to click with whomever you meet” – Unknown

 

Tyson Trepidations.