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Wednesday, 13 January 2016


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Funny thing is, as the imaginary Power Ball winner, $20million is about the amount I'd like to "keep" for exactly those purposes ... around $10m to secure a secure and modestly wealthy future for my family, and another $10m to benefit friends, family, and local charity. All the rest (of the theoretical Power Ball prize) could go to one or more big organizations (like the Gates Foundation, though I've never had reason to research which ones I'd like to give it to).

The great thing about Power Ball is that the odds of winning are SO small that I feel I have the same chance as everyone else despite the fact that I haven't bought a ticket !

"One of the things I'll spend my imaginary ten million on is a wonderful imaginary assistant!)"

Train the dogs!

For most people, the amount of money they earn isn't as important as what they do. The most miserable people I've met aren't actually street people, but people who are in grinding jobs that they hate -- no matter how much they make -- because they feel some kind of obligation to work those jobs. I once had a part-time job at the post office, and I found a very large percentage of postal workers fall in that category. I think we all know people who go through life making fairly little, but seem to have pretty happy lives -- artists, artisans, musicians, other people who have jobs that are useful and social and provide congenial human contact, and who at the same time have "other" lives they find fulfilling. I think a very large number of people would say, "Sure, I'd enjoy having a private jet and taking Paris vacations," but wouldn't be willing to do what they'd have to do to get that. Not unable to do it, just not willing to. There'll always be status seekers who want to have the plane, the yacht, the bigger house or the fanciest car, but they're generally pretty unhappy, in my experience, when they're seeking money only for the status -- because status is one thing you can never have too much of, if you really need it. You'll never be satisfied. Maybe the most satisfied people I've had actual personal experience with are surgeons -- they're smart, they feel that they're doing something of great value, they get strong social approval, AND they get money. Not Fortune 400 CEO money, but certainly enough. I really think the key to a happy life is doing something you really like, and that throws off enough money to be comfortable. Not rich, just comfortable.

Mike: Your last line in the PS got me thinking (solely on your behalf). If you have the room, privacy-waiver, and inclination, why not have a volunteer assistant on a part-time basis? Maybe two weeks at a time. Assistant would have to be willing to do the odd set of tasks in return for access to your storehouse... of knowledge. Worth thinking about.

[I had dreamed of hiring my old e-friend Ailsa McWhinnie, but her needed fee was steep and I don't have enough cash. Now, there is a local college with an internship program nearby, but I haven't had time to go through all the setup steps. I need an assistant so s/he can hire the assistant! --Mike]

A few years ago, I did some documentary work re: orphanages in La Mission region of Mexico.
Most of the children (who seemed very happy) were from families who left them because they simply could not take care of them and it broke my heart.
When I think I have it bad, I reflect back on these photographs and the experience to remind myself of how good most of us really have it.
Just my dos pesos.

As many philanthropic experts know, if you have $20 million, you can easily leverage it into much more to get have a greater impact.

I would focus on providing a good quality online college program at almost no cost - This fits in with the teaching someone how to fish vs. just giving him a fish. This would come with expert advisers and life coaches to help people develop a plan and encourage them to move their lives ahead.

I would also do something to (re) kick-start a Peace Corps program connecting people from around the world.

Once I receive your check I can provide more details.

Thanks - Chris

Two of my uncles won the football pools in about 1971. (The pools seem to be about predicting which of the week's football games will result in score draws; I've never done them)

They won quite a lot, and the pools company persuaded them to have their names to be used for publicity purposes. They appeared in at least one national paper. The result was that they got a huge amount of letters. Some were begging letters, others were just nasty.

If I were to win a huge amount, I would not allow my name to be made public. I would admit to people I knew that I had won enough to buy a house with a few grand left over for a new car and a holiday. Then I'd keep my head down for a while.

Many years ago I would walk past the Chapel at Pratt Institute on Sunday mornings. They post a homily each week. The one that sticks with me all these years later:

"If you are not happy with what you have what makes you think you would be happier with more"?

(Yes, I would like to live up to that aspiration, I am weak :).

And, in addition to lack of food and medical care for many of our citizens, the City of Flint Michigan does not have access to clean drinking water because an appointed idiot thought obtaining drinking water from the local river (cheaper and heavily polluted) than paying for treated water from Detroit, was a good idea!

Sometimes you do have to aspire to having what you do not currently have. Requiring all politicians to have a sense of humanity, decency and morality would be high on my list.

I don't know what they want from me
It's like the more money we come across
The more problems we see

Mo Money Mo Problems.

The Notorious B.I.G.
Life After Death
October 18, 2005

pen won't write, I guess I can sharpen that " i will not make any more boring art" john baldessari pencil.

a piece of paper, got it

twenty million dollars, looks under couch cushions, $1.78 , perhaps under the seat in the car?

Okay, I started part I, and it already is very instructive. Can't wait to see where this goes. You are quite the provocateur, Mr. Johnston.

And, if a few spare millions comes my way, or yours, here is something to start the gear lust flowing:

(Their so-called "reference" system is priced at around $40,000)

Does giving 10 M$ to one's own children count as giving away?

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