Don’t Spend It All In One Place

The Powerball lottery rolled over last night. The new estimated jackpot is currently at 1.3 billion dollars. Yes, billion with a B. When you write it out it looks like this: $1,300,000,000.00

billionOf course you wouldn’t get quite that much. Let’s say you take the lump sum payout and get half; that’s a check for $650,000,000.00 before the tax man takes his pound of flesh. For funsies we’ll say that it’s cut in half again, so now you pop down to the bank and deposit $325,000,000.00 and because you have the financial acumen of Bernie Sanders it’s in an account that generates no interest. What will you do with all that scratch?

I’m sure that you think it would be easy to spend those riches, but let’s examine what you would have to do. If you like round numbers and decided to spend $10,000.00 a day you would run out of money in 32,500 days or just over 89 years! Now, since I just turned 60 and the odds against me living to be 150 are pretty slim, spending ten grand a day isn’t going to cut it. If I live to be 100 I’d have to spend $22,260.27 a day for the rest of my life in order to leave nothing behind. That means I’ll have to save up for almost two weeks to buy a quarter million dollar home.

If you don’t want the pressure of having to spend all that money and you’re totally civic minded? No problem. You can pay down the interest on the national debt. For one day. Less than a day actually. Your $325,000,000.00 would pay for less than 23 hours of the 2015 interest on that debt. Now that’s staggering.

Come on. You’ve all imagined winning. What would you do with the money?

In With The New

new-years-eve-1004535_1280Well 2015 is now in the rear view mirror. Welcome to 2016! My hope is that you all made it safely through the craziness of the New Year’s Eve celebrations, however you chose to celebrate. Party animal that I am, I dozed off sometime before midnight watching the Mythbusters Marathon. My 11 year old woke me up at 12:01 to say he had just watched the ball drop in Time Square. Party On!

First and foremost this means that at noon today there will be 385 days until Obama is out of office. That countdown can’t progress quickly enough. Until then we have debates, caucuses (cauci?), primaries, conventions, ads, and desperate emails from desperate candidates to look forward to. In January we have two Republican debates (on the 14th and 28th) and a Democrat debate on Sunday the 17th – sure to cut in to the viewership numbers for the NFL Divisional Playoffs. Then in February things kick in to high gear, starting with the Iowa Caucuses on February 1st. That will be followed by three more Republican debates, another Democrat debate, the New Hampshire primary, Nevada Caucuses, and South Carolina primaries. By the time I get to vote in the Florida primary on March 15th the GOP field should be somewhat thinner.

But enough about politics, this is supposed to be a happy day of celebration.

I’ve never been big on making New Year’s Resolutions, and when I have my record on keeping them has been pretty dismal. Instead, I try to renew my commitment to living by a philosophy I’ve mentioned several times in the past – Always be content, never be satisfied. Too often I observe others (and myself) living the opposite. To explain, being content means that I am happy and peaceful no matter what circumstances I find myself in. Being content in those circumstances does not mean that I have to be satisfied by them. Being satisfied means (as I define it here) not striving for more, not improving, not moving forward.

The difference is subtle to be sure, and the balance is difficult to achieve, but it has been and continues to be my goal.

My hope for you is that 2016 is a great year. So, full speed ahead. Make it so.

Out With The Old

I have always been fascinated by New Year’s Eve and the beginning of a new year. A new year cynic might say that going from December 31st to January 1st is no different than going from (in this case) from any Thursday to Friday. But I’ve always thought of it as so much more.

The ending of one year is always an invitation to look back. Without a doubt there have been things happen this year that I wish had never happened. There are even more things that didn’t occur that I hoped would – for instance that life changing windfall the Nigerian prince promised me.

In the balance this has been a pretty good year. While I spent a few months this year (again) being unemployed, I am back working for a company that I really like doing a job I enjoy with more potential than I’ve known for a long time. The possibilities and promise on the job front are an exciting part of looking back at 2015.

It was also a year of getting a few old debts paid off. It’s hard not to get excited about that. My take is that paying off old obligations is like giving yourself a raise.

It’s also good to be writing again. I’m never going to be the most consistent blogger. I’m easily easily distracted and chronically lazy, not a great combination for a blogger. That’s OK. I enjoy the…what was I saying?

As I write this New Zealand has already rung in the New Year. When this posts the US east coast will have 12 more hours until 2016. I hope that as you look back on the year ending that you’ll be able to see more good than bad and more hope for a great new year. I’ll add my thoughts about looking ahead tonight.

Man Misunderstands “Show Us Your Weapon” Command

The perp was unclothed, but he wasn’t unarmed.

LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) – A man is in critical condition after he was shot by a Lakeland police officer Monday night.

The incident started around 8:45 p.m. Monday when the man’s girlfriend called police to request officers watch over her as she retrieved some personal items from her boyfriend’s home on Turtle Rock Drive. She wanted officers to stand-by to avoid a confrontation with the man, identified as Wesley Cook, who turned 44-years old on Tuesday.

Two officers responded to the home and knocked on the door, as they wanted to speak with him regarding obtaining the female’s personal property, including her cell phone, which police say Cook had taken during an earlier dispute.

That is when police say Cook answered the door naked, carrying a black handgun.

Cook continued out the door with his weapon drawn. He also had his gun out.

I Should Be Good

Coffee CupIf I have one very consistent habit it is making a pot of coffee as the second thing I do after I wake up. And, like anyone, I am happy to find out that the things I already do are good for me.

In a 10-year U.S. study, people who drank coffee regularly were less likely to die of many causes, including heart disease and diabetes, than those who didn’t drink coffee at all.

The more coffee study participants consumed, the lower their risk of dying, and decaf drinkers showed a similar pattern.

[…]

People who consumed two to three cups of coffee per day had approximately an 18 percent lower risk death during follow-up compared to those who reported drinking no coffee, she said. Drinking up to five cups per day, or 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, is not associated with any long-term health risks, Loftfield added.

Not mentioned in the study is the mortality rate for those who try to interact with coffee drinkers before their first cup.

Sweet Meat

MeatTake that, you holier-than-thou veggie nazis!

Women’s Health recently looked into some of the research and cautions people to be well aware of how going meatless can impact your mental health.

The article cites an Australian study from last year which found that vegetarians reported that they were less optimistic about their future more often than people who kept meat in their diets. That same study found that vegetarians were 18 percent more likely to report having depression and 28 percent more likely to experience panic attacks and anxiety.

Of course they’re depressed. They want a burger or steak but they won’t admit it. Hey, more for me.

That’s One Old Turkey

armynavy1955Yes, I am one old turkey. My parents always told this story about my birth: I was born on a Saturday. It was also the day of the Army-Navy Football game. That game has always been a big deal in the Delaware Valley. The doctor came into my mom’s room and reportedly asked her, “Who do you want to win?” Her reply was, “I don’t care, just get this baby out of me!” FYI Army beat Navy that year – 14 to 6.

There’s another interesting fact about my birthday. Every few years, like this year, it coincides with Thanksgiving day. It’s happened nine times in my life counting today. Like many families we had a tradition where you got to pick out the meal on your birthday. When I was young I didn’t like turkey. At all. My favorite meal (still one of my favorites) was meatloaf. When I was nine my birthday fell on Thanksgiving day and I let mom know that I wanted meatloaf for my birthday meal. Mom cooked a traditional Thanksgiving meal for everyone else and a meatloaf shaped into the form of a turkey, complete with hamburger “drumsticks” on the sides. Fifty-one years later I still remember that day. It reminds me of my mother’s love and caring.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and that the bird on your table isn’t a old and tough as this old turkey.

Just Because

I haven’t written anything in weeks, maybe months. I don’t really have anything to say, I just felt like writing something. I don’t know why.

So, while I’ve been gone – I started back at Merlin Entertainments customer service center. I love working there, and I am very excited about our upcoming move to a new call center. I’ve seen the new space and I think we’re all going to really enjoy working there. More room, more openness, a bigger, better break room, and a shorter commute (for me at least) means there’s a lot to like. I can see plenty of new opportunities on the horizon here as well, and that really has me excited. I don’t think I could have picked a better time to return.

I was really stoked about the Philadelphia Eagles going into the season, but their 0-2 start has me a bit concerned. I think they have the potential to be a great team this season, but they sure aren’t showing any signs of greatness at this point. I like Chip Kelly and what he’s trying to do, so, uh, do it.

I want a cheese steak. Wit’.

The more I hear from Rubio, Fiorina, and Carson, the more I like them. The more I hear from Trump, well, I really don’t get a strong sense of why he really is in the race. I know it’s just a perception on my part, but I don’t get any feeling of desire to serve from him, more a desire to rule. We’ve already got that, and it’s not turning out well.

Here is my ranking, not based one who I support the most, but on my perception of their genuineness.

  • Carson
  • Rubio
  • Fiorina
  • Cruz
  • Huckabee
  • Santorum
  • Jindal
  • Bush
  • Kasich
  • Paul
  • Christie
  • Trump

Thoughts?

Well, I’ve written something.