When the hell did oil changes become so damned expensive?

I took my car in yesterday (thanks for the two reminders and two confirmations I made my appointment, btw) and it cost me nearly $90. This is for what, 15 minutes worth of work? They also checked the brakes and tires and whatnot, but my car only has 35,000km on it. None of this stuff is even remotely close to worn out.

I also asked them to top up the tires. They have fancy nitrogen in them for some reason so I figured I’d just let them do it. And those rat bastards wanted to charge me extra! It’s literally a minute of extra work. They have a machine that makes it much easier than when I have to guesstimate while kneeling on the cold hard ground.

At least I was able to drop it off and then pick it up an hour later after I had lunch. My old shop used to double book themselves all the time and keep my car all afternoon. When I called them out on it the response was “well that’s just the way it is.”

That was during Alberta’s boom time. Now that place is dead. Let that be a lesson to you, kids. NEVER SCREW WITH NELSON.

(Does throat slash motion)

Links I liked

1. Jeff Bezos’s divorce was a big headline grabber this week. It sounds as if Jeff was screwing around on Mackenzie, which means if it’s true he deserves some of our scorn. It also lead me to the best Jeff Bezos story ever about how he used to eat a whole can of Pilsbury biscuits for breakfast every morning.

2. Here’s an interesting piece by Mr. Free by 33 on fake entrepreneurs in his new home of Chiang Mai, Thailand. Specifically he laments the lack of real world success from these folks, saying they’re all a bunch of wannabes who aren’t willing to put in the time or effort to be successful.

He’s right about one thing: success is a grind. Overnight successes are years in the making. You just don’t notice the first few years.

3. Paul from Asset-Based Life published the results of his 2018 stock picking contest. Click through to see how I did. Spoiler alert: at least I beat the dog!

4. Speaking of stock picking contests, here’s what Money Maaster chose for his entries into 2019’s contest. He’s off to a pretty good start so maybe y’all might want to pay attention.

I’ll also publish my picks for the contest sometime next week. So you’ll want to stay tuned for that.

5. Here’s a hedge fund letter that I guarantee you’ll find more entertaining than the rest. It’s by Hillbilly Hamlet Capital Management, a totally real investment firm with billions — no trillions — under management.

6. Early Retirement Dude has a pretty entertaining story about that a recent trip to Florida that had him (and the missus) visiting a sleazy strip club (is there any other kind, really?). It’s also got all the details on how another neighborhood strip club rips off their customers, which is where the real entertainment starts. Hot damn are horny guys stupid.

7. Here’s a look at my top pick for 2019. I recently bought more of this stock to make it one of my biggest positions. It’s a fantastic company that owns great assets, all selling for a bargain price. To borrow a baseball analogy it’s a fastball right down the middle. All I need to do is take a swing.

8. I also wrote about how our collective smartphone addiction problem is very good for one particular Canadian stock.

9. Over on Seeking Alpha, Ian Bezek is a big fan of Jack Daniels’ parent company Brown-Forman, and not just because of the dividend growth history, either. Perhaps he even enjoys the product sometimes GASP DON’T TELL THE CHILDREN.

10. And finally, another article from Seeking Alpha. This one is by Sure Dividend, pointing out the reasons to be bullish on Altria today. Come for the 6% dividend, stay for the inevitable lung cancer.

Next week’s articles will include how to read (almost) anything for free, my picks for the 2019 version of the stock picking contest, and much more.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Tell everyone, yo!