February 28, 2009
Here is a list of 13 things from 2008 that I didn’t write about.
1. Cancer and loneliness
At the end of 2007 my wife Tanja has been diagnosed with breast cancer. During 2008 she had two surgeries, the chemo therapy and the radio therapy. Thanks God, the latest results are now negative and she is doing well. To say that the past year was difficult — would be an understatement. Despite all of that, she was coping very well, just missing her friends and their support: they all are thousands of kilometers away (mainly in Ontario), and many times we were experiencing a bitter loneliness here in the middle of the Prairies. Nevertheless, her courage and determination to win was really admirable!
[I was reluctant to write about this, maybe because of coming from a different culture where, traditionally, you don't talk too much about personal difficulties or, maybe, because I just wasn't able to find the right words for it -- but then I discovered, almost by accident, that for example, my compatriot, the famous copywriter Michel Fortin has been through the same hardship together with his wife. Knowing that others are in a similar situation doesn't realy make it easier... but seeing how proudly one can praise a wife that battles with the cancer I felt that I have to do it.]
2. Year end in Cuba
To celebrate the finally good news about Tanja being free of cancer — we spent the New Year’s Eve (and a week around it) in Cuba, in Varadero. We booked a luxurious apartment in Paradisus Princesa del Mar and decided to get pampered a little bit… because we deserved it after all we went through during the year.
Cuba, especially our visit to Havana, was an exciting experience. I am still planning to write about it. It was one of my obsessions: to see Cuba before Castro dies. I am afraid after that it will be just a US colony… with all the hotel and fast food chains that are not there now.
3. Farewell from the WP forum (more…)
February 6, 2009
My friend Dave Offen just launched a massive Giveaway Event: ebooks, software and scripts – all around the subject of blogging and making money. Or both…
These Giveaway events are becoming more and more popular in the internet marketing circles. I predict we will see them even more often, especially, after the release of the Giveaway Riches (aff) by Jason James.
I also benefited several times of the useful informational products or scripts made available through giveaway events, so I thought it was time to “give back” something, as the usual phrase says. Nothing fancy, just packed my best tutorials in a neat little e-book and set up a page for it. For future events I might do some newer stuff, too…
November 10, 2008
I am again very pleasantly surprised how smooth the upgrade to the latest (beta!) version of WordPress was. The 2.7 version, which brings a lot of new features and a completely renewed admin panel, initially has been scheduled to be released as of tomorrow (Nov 11) but will be delayed for about two weeks. Nevertheless, the beta2 is here and fully functional. Despite the usual complaints in the Forum, the manual upgrade was as easy as ever: just follow the instructions and it should work. Of course, even with my experience and in-depth knowledge of the software I always make a backup of the database before attempting an upgrade. I have never needed to restore a WP installation to its previous version due to a faulty upgrade but that doesn’t mean you should ever skip the backup step.
The admin panel is still a bit unfamiliar (although I have seen it in its process of development always checking the latest version via SVN) but I think I am going to like it… I will write later an inventory of the new features, for now I am really enjoying the (not-so-new) automatic plugin upgrade. When I was done with upgrading WordPress, I just went to the Plugins page and clicked on the “upgrade now” links. A few minutes later all my active plugins have been updated to the latest. Many times I am against the automatic gizmos offered by different hosts (like automatic install and upgrade) but this one really, really works! And it saves a lot of time. I just love it.
Now it is time to update some links in the sidebar, add new affiliate links and activate the OIO Publisher plugin to be able to sell directly links and ad space on this site.
October 16, 2008
Just a quick note about the launch of my newest project: The Pension Report. You can get your free copy by filling out the form on the right.
You may ask why did I start this unusual project. Here is my answer:
I have been working on three continents, in several countries, where I worked a few years and moved on. Never thought about pension or retirement. Had enough money and spent it (almost) all. Later some countries just disappeared (or got divided like the cells)… Wars. Lost records. New system. Even if there are records in their economic situation a pension would be worth, maybe, an average dinner in North America, where I live now.
Then I started to work in Canada where we have a state pension (CPP). After a few years one day I got a letter from these guys that take away about half of my income (they call it tax) that if I continue to contribute to the pension plan with the pace I did till then – my pension will be $73.50/month. I was shocked and humiliated. That was the first moment I started to think about my retirement.
You see, I am coming from a place where the small shop and store of my grandfather has been nationalized by the Communists. Nationalization means it was stolen from us officially. And he died a few years later. Then came my father’s turn. In the world of the free enterprise he would have been a millionaire: he was a born entrepreneur. Over there he went to jail because he didn’t play by the communist rule. I ran away from that country, started businesses, did humanitarian aid work in war zones, had an interesting life.
Then I arrived to what is the dreamland for many people around the world: North America. Freedom, free trade, free enterprise. Paradise… until the day you receive that letter saying your pension will be $73.50.
In that moment I knew I had to do something about it. I have to take it in my own hands.
Well, I did. And now I am decided to share it with all my fellow baby boomers to help them to figure out how to survive when retired.