Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Donate Wisely

Before I start this post I just want to tell those who do not know me that I have many years experience in the Insurance Industry, as a claims adjuster for a Travel Insurance company and for ICBC, which is our provincial Automobile Insurer.  I know how to read Insurance Policies and I know what coverage is provided.  In our province you have the right to sue another party if they cause injury to you or your property, but in most cases the insurance company can settle this without the need to go to court.

Ok so my advice today is "Be Careful who you donate money to".  This comes to mind because of stories in the media that are so commonly asking you to donate to a family that has had a recent tragedy.  Before you send money you should know what kind of Insurance they have.

  • There was the death of Sarah Burke, (very sad) donations pour in to help cover her medical costs, first estimated to be $500,000.  Then the costs were lowered to $200,000, as that amount was reached in donations, the media then tells us that Sarah's sponsor was going to cover all the costs anyway. The sponsor was talking to the family offering support, choosing not to go through the media.  So where does that $200,000 in donations go?  Hopefully to a scholarship or something good, but is that where you wanted your donation to go?
  • Now there is Sheila Nabb's family doing fundraisers (again very sad), but we know she had Travel Medical Insurance.  The air ambulance to get her home would have been paid by the Travel Insurance company to mitigate their loss.  So donations are probably going to help the young couple support themselves while they are not working, I assume?  Just check before you donate.
  • Last weekend a limo driver was killed in a car accident on the sea to sky highway.  The next day the media announces the place to send donations to.   This one really makes we wonder why?  The Driver will be covered by ICBC (mandatory in BC),  and we should ask, did he have life insurance?  ICBC will provide death benefits to the family, they have the right to sue the other driver, so ICBC will pay for the loss of life based on what a court would order to be paid.  So ask where is the donation going before you make one.
These are just a few examples, It is just getting so common now I don't want you to be taken.  Donate wisely!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Best Wishes to Sheila Nabb

OK I am going to stop thinking or writing about crime in Mexico cause it is just senseless in so many ways!  Do you really believe that confession in the Sheila Nabb beating?  This is just my opinion but I think something is fishy!
I wish Sheila Nabb a speedy recovery.

So how is that wheat free diet going you ask?

Well, I managed to avoid wheat while I was in Mexico, (except beer of course, cause I am only human) no bread except this awful rice bread I bought from the grocery store, that really was not worth eating.  I managed not to gain any weight on this vacation which is a first for me, so that makes me happy!   We still ate the most amazing seafood dinners, had very long extended happy hours, every day (yes not something one should continue at home), and got some exercise every day,(beach walks are so easy to do when it's 25C, not so much now that we are home and it's 6C and pouring rain)

 I did have a few days with tummy troubles, and relayed these to my Naturopath on Monday.  Apparently the allergy tests I had done before christmas, show that I am allergic to eggs, bananas, sesame seeds and sensitive to garlic.  No sensitivities to wheat or dairy.  I do feel better without wheat in my diet but I know that something else is contributing to my digestive problems.

I did eat eggs for breakfast on vacation more than I would at home, and the one day I had eggs and then a banana for lunch, made for a bad afternoon of tummy cramps and trips to the bathroom.   This leads me to believe the Naturopath may know what she is talking about.   She also suggested that hormone changes can lead to an overgrowth of yeast in your body, which can cause digestive problems like mine.

So I am taking her advice, and doing a 3 week yeast cleanse.
This involves, taking more of her pills, grapefruit extract and some other stuff.....I hate taking pills, she has me on a probiotic once a day, a digestive vegetable thing 2X a day, and this escalating yeast cleanse stuff, starting at 2 a day to 6 a day and back down to 2 day over the 3 weeks.  I also have to avoid eggs, bananas, gluten, yeast and refined sugar for the 3 weeks.

So far, I know I feel better because I am not drinking alcohol (on weekdays), not because of the grapefruit pills, they upset my stomach sometimes (she says I will get used to them).  I have 2 more weeks so we'll see.

I plan on having a really great cinnamon bun on Valentines Day when this cleanse is all done.  (Dam, can I get an egg free cinnamon bun?)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Mexico, to go or not to go?

Wow, it has been along time since I wrote anything on here.  I have excuses.......there was Christmas, and then I went to Mexico for 3 weeks, too relaxed to think about writing, and not sure I should write about being away while I am away, as I have advised people not to do that on facebook.

I have been home for a whole week, and I am ready to go back to the sunshine now.  But then we hear of another beating of a Canadian tourist in Mexico.  My first thought is always "so what, that happens here all the time," but if that was me in Mexico......it would be scarier than if it happened here.

While we were in Neuvo Vallarta, we felt very safe, but we did hear of a person who had been robbed at knife point getting off a bus in Puerto Vallarta, in broad daylight, (but we still took the bus and didn't get robbed) and another person who was car jacked in a little town of La cruz. (he had a really nice truck that is a target) We also heard about the shooting in Melaque (which could happen to anyone who stands up to a robber with a gun) and the UBC student who was found buried in Huatulco (sounds drug related to me).
We also heard of at least 3 shootings at home, on Christmas day, New Years eve, and continuing gang violence all though this past few weeks of 2012.  So is it really safer at home?

There are many people quoting the statistics of crime per capita in Canada versus Mexico, but my concern lies more with the investigation and punishment for crime in Mexico.  We rarely hear that the Mexican police have found the people responsible for the beatings or the murders of Canadians.  I am thinking back to the couple who were murdered at the Barcelo Maya Resort in July 2006, was that ever solved?  Apparently from the google search I just did, a security guard was charged with these murders in 2009, clearing the names of the 2 Canadians who were the first suspects.
Funny I don't remember that being a big headline?  I did find a CTV news report from 2009, but do you remember hearing about that?

I also found this really informative site, it is a long read, but is very good information.


  • First don't believe everything you read in an online forum, or through word of mouth, facts get distorted, look for facts.
  • don't walk around the streets, looking rich, lots of jewelry and money makes you at target anywhere.   Not just at 2AM on the street in Mexico after you have been drinking for many hours.
  • there is a list of many places to find facts, if you read to the bottom of the article.  (Tripadvisor forum is not one of them, yet I read that alot)
I really feel bad for the girl who was beaten in Mazatlan, just as I felt really bad for the man who was biten by a shark in Hawaii a few years ago, but I think I will still travel to both places, until someone changes the weather here.