In Defence of Parking

ticket defenders

By Jim Hagarty

I pulled into a very small and very crowded parking lot this afternoon to pick up a pizza.

I squeezed my car into a hairpin of a space and then got out. Confronting me was the sign shown above.

We have a company in Canada called Ticket Defenders which helps people fight tickets they receive for a variety of infractions, some of them issued because of parking violations.

My first thought was, am I going to get a ticket for parking in the Ticket Defenders’ spot? And if I do, can I walk into the Ticket Defenders’ office, situated right in front of my car, and ask them to defend me in court so I can get out of paying the ticket?

If they turn me down, is there a business anywhere called Ticket Defenders Ticket Defenders which will fight on my behalf to get the ticket issued by Ticket Defenders cancelled?

If there isn’t, I might have to open one.

First, I need to finish my pizza.

Eye for an Eye

By Jim Hagarty

I had to see the optometrist today.

Wasn’t sure I needed to, but as I drove down the main street searching for his office, I started to panic. I couldn’t find the building I have visited once a year for almost three decades.

There were cars pushing me from behind, yes, but I searched frantically for the signs to his practice. And I couldn’t see them.

“Why would they take their frickin signs down?” I asked myself aloud.

I drove right by and kept on going. Turned around in a parking lot and crept my way back, finally recognizing the old brick cottage that was converted into an eye clinic years ago. I pulled into the parking lot and walked to the front of the building, by the main street.

With the benefit of time to have a good look, I recognized three huge signs identifying the building as the eye clinic. Two of them were lighted signs, attached to the house. The other was a big static sign on a fence, close to the street.

I guess, it occurred to me, that if you can’t see three signs – the largest about six feet wide – to the eye clinic, it might be time for a check up.

The optometrist agreed.

My Wandering Mind

By Jim Hagarty

You might have noticed the subtitle for Lifetime Sentences is Tales from a Wandering Mind.

You might also have noticed, if you have been reading this blog, that I do, in fact, appear to have a wandering mind.

I’m like the guy who responded to the friend who commented on his bloodshot eyes, “You should see them from my side.”

It doesn’t bother me that my mind wanders, but sometimes it is tiring. It is like there is someone in my head with a tiny remote control, continuously changing the channels.

I would like to complete that last thought, but I am afraid my mind has already wandered away.

Pot, Kettle?

By Jim Hagarty

I read an interesting article today.

The headline said, “Spare us, Internet experts”.

The woman who wrote the article complained about all the chatter by commenters on the Internet about a current issue in the news.

The writer of the piece criticizing the Internet commenters, of course, published her insightful criticism on a news blog.

On the Internet.

I think she just might be an expert.

The Coffee Shop Smarties

By Jim Hagarty

If I could only be half as smart
As the guys in the coffee shop.
I’d probably own a yacht by now
And hang with the cream of the crop.

Cause those guys seem to know everything
And they make me feel like a dunce.
I wish I could be as smart as them,
Not all the time, only once.

And once would be all it would take, I think
For me to hit it big.
I’d put all that wisdom to perfect use
And then be dancing a jig.

I’d set out to buy that coffee shop
And put up the price of each cup.
And charge those guys a wisdom tax
When they noticed the price had gone up.

If I was as smart as the guys in the shop
But I know I will never be.
It’s a dream I have, just a foolish dream,
That I know I will never see.

So I listen instead to the smart guys talk
And wonder just how it could be,
That God gave the brainpower to those guys,
And there was none left over for me.

My New Best Friend

By Jim Hagarty

I own a bunch of shares in a company on the stock exchange.

I just checked the price. It’s down two cents.

When I first started managing my own investments using the Internet, two cents would make me shiver. Ten cents would make me shake. Twenty cents would start me howling.


Of course, sell. The only thing to do. Lose $400 or $700. I was lucky to get out so easily.

Two hours later, the stock would be up 18 cents.

Holy Crap!

I used to say Holy Crap a lot, in the beginning.

This went on for a few years. I’d make $1,000, lose $800, make $300.

Then I got so frustrated, I would quit. For a month.

Finally, I got researching quotes by Warren Buffett about investing. If you want to know how to shoot a hockey puck, forget about your brother-in-law who hasn’t been on skates in 40 years. Hang around Wayne Gretzky or Sidney Crosby for a while.

Anyone who has made $60 billion through investing must know a thing or two, I surmised.

For once, I surmised correctly.

Buffett lays it all out there for anyone and everyone to see.

He was asked one time whether or not it bothered him to give away all his secrets. Did he not feel threatened that he would have too much competition if he shared what he knew so freely?

He just laughed and said he wasn’t worried at all. Because most people wouldn’t follow his advice anyway.

Having been “buffetted” by the rise and fall of the market, I was ready for his advice and I follow it as well as I can today.

God I love that guy.