I was lucky enough to have a work conference last month in a super cool and interesting place to visit, so of course MrsSLM and the little man tagged along. It was an easy opportunity for a cheapie vacation since most of my expenses are covered by work (stuff like food, airfare, hotel), meaning they can sleep for free at the hotel and really only need to pay for airfare and some food.
Munich is an absolutely beautiful city but since I was officially working half the time we were there, I didn’t get to see as much of the city as I’d have liked. We did the usual tourist stuff, wandered around Marienplatz, took a lot of pictures, and ate some German food. Not a lot since the little man can be hard to please sometimes, which meant finding places he was happy to eat from. That generally meant Asian stir fry (he loves rice), but conflicted a bit with what mommy and daddy would have gone to check out if it had just been us. He won that battle. He always does. I still got to enjoy a few bits of German cuisine like sausages and pretzels, but didn’t get too in depth here. Next time! I think the biggest takeaway for me was that Munich is such a beautiful city and I should come back one day armed with more time to explore it properly.
Btw, for those of you wondering what it’s like taking a 9 hour flight with a 2 year old, it’s as much funs as it sounds. Which is to say, it’s a small taste of hell. Time stops. Not only does time stop, but then it sits back and mocks you as you stare desperately at that little flight status update thingy on the screens, hoping to see the little airplane icon nudge forward just a little bit.
I have a work related reason to be in London in another few months, so perhaps we’ll do this whole song and dance soon enough 🙂
I can’t really say it any better than John Oliver did, so just watch that if you haven’t already. From my perspective I did all of… nothing. Watched my stocks dip, then immediately climb back up.
Summer is upon us and MrsSLM’s and my little garden is starting to sprout it’s first veggies and fruit. Last year was our first foray into gardening, having never had a garden of our own up until that point. We went a bit nuts planting 6 tomato plants, 6 zucchini plants, and assorted chives, green onions, cucumbers, raspberries, and some Asian vegetables that I have no idea what they’re called. They’re green and delicious when stir fried about sums up my involvement with them.
Part of this is totally on me; my thinking was “Hey I love zucchini, I can eat a tonne of that, lets plant a whole bunch”. For those of you who don’t garden, can you guess how much zucchini 6 plants yields? The answer:
Way too much.
So this would be totally fine if you had planned subsist entirely on zucchini, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then by all means, plant a bunch of these things. I am just in awe of how much food each one those things yield, and you gotta harvest them quickly. See, that doesn’t work with a lazy farmer such as myself. As is often the case, I’d see one growing and looking about the right size, but not feeling like going to pick it so I’d just stroll past and mentally note I should come back. A day or 2 later, I’d come by with a knife and a bag, and that little sucker was now an arm-sized abomination :p Still tasted good, but geeze how much are we really gonna eat. We were giving them away by the bag full to neighbours, friends, family. At one point, MrsSLM’s mother practically begged us to stop bringing them over and unloading them at her place. Similar story with the 6 tomato plants, except that I could use up a tonne of them making homemade tomato sauce.
This year we’re reigning it in a bit, and opting for more variety instead. Just a couple zucchini/tomato plants with some new crops like watermelon and beans.
I’m noticing weird slowdowns sometimes when I access the site, I wonder if external visitors are experiencing the same issues? Often I visit and there may be a 5 minute period where the website is down, before finally connecting. Shared hosting has its downsides, but I’d think it’d be enough to service this little blog and its meager stream of visitors. Especially since I’ve got most of the WordPress caching options enabled. Maybe its because I’m logged in as administrator, which bypasses those optimizations? I’m curious to hear if any of you have experienced that coming to this site.
Haven’t made any progress on my AppEngine version, mostly due to things like going outside to enjoy the sun and visiting Europe! 😀 The 2nd screaming little man is due in 6-7 weeks though, at which point I’ll have a few months off and possibly try picking this project up again.
On the purchase side of things, not much activity going on as you can see. I switched over $10k worth of VAB into BMO instead (I’ll be gradually divesting my bond position since I’m over heavy on that). Picked up a few shares of RNW using some dividend income from the prior month. I also picked up 200 shares of FLO using the proceeds from my sale of some UVXY options (made a tidy 45% from trading those, I’ll write about this at a later date), which I then turned around and wrote some calls against.
Overall though, a light month on purchases mostly due to a few things. Firstly, our house account was starting to run low, so I funneled a few thousand there. Secondly, we had a trip to Munich (mostly business related), and although a significant portion of it gets covered by work, I paid for most things out of pocket and applied for reimbursement (I collect free points that way 🙂 ). I should expect that in July, I’ll get paid back through payroll, and additionally some US cheques will finally clear, leaving me a bit flush with cash and ready to do some heavy buying!
|Transalta Renewables Inc||TSE:RNW||68|
|Bank of Montreal||TSE:BEP.UN||122|
|Flower Foods Inc||NYSE:FLO||200|
|Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc||TSE:ENF||116|
On the dividends side of things, this was an insane month! I was actually expecting something similar to last month, but I had an unexpected payout from a set of bi-annual ETF’s (XEC, XEF, forgot to factor them in), which ending up smashing the previous month’s high watermark and pushing us up to $2371.92. This was totally crazy and unexpected, and absolutely will be unchallenged for quite some time. I’m expecting next month to be quite low in comparison to the average to make up for this. Still it’s incredibly satisfying to see a month well over $2000. If only they could be all like that, although in time I have no doubt that they will be 😀
|H&R Real Estate Investment Trust||TSE:HR.UN||$31.50|
|RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust||TSE:REI.UN||$39.36|
|Allied Properties Real Estate Investment||TSE:AP.UN||$21.25|
|Chartwell Retirement Residences||TSE:CSH.UN||$18.73|
|Canadian Apartment Properties REIT||TSE:CAR.UN||$19.32|
|Cominar Real Estate Investment Trust||TSE:CUF.UN||$3.43|
|iShares S&P/TSX Canadian Dividend Aristocrats ETF||TSE:CDZ||$76.13|
|iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets IMI Index ETF||TSE:XEC||$31.28|
|iShares Core MSCI EAFE IMI Index ETF||TSE:XEF||$752.89|
|Vanguard Canadian Bond ETF||TSE:VAB||$303.39|
|Canadian National Railway Company||TSE:CNR||$41.25|
|Inter Pipeline Ltd||TSE:IPL||$53.30|
|Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc||TSE:ENF||$35.14|
|iShares Core High Dividend ETF||NYSEARCA:HDV||$150.73|
|Vanguard Canadian High Dividend ETF||TSE:VDY||$353.60|
|Vanguard Global All Cap ex Canada Index ETF||TSE:VXC||$261.87|
Check out my Income page for fancy graphs of monthly dividend income.