The Brightest Timeline

I have a few lottery tickets stuffed in my jacket. I haven’t checked them yet but I’m pretty sure I didn’t win; that’s about as easy to predict as last week’s insurrection at the capitol. But if I did win, besides purchasing a cabin in British Columbia far from the insanity of what’s going on in America, there are a few places I’d like to travel and do.

1. Take a road trip through Montana, the Dakotas, and Wyoming.
2. Spend a couple of weeks exploring San Fransisco.
3. Fly to Hawaii (and visit the smaller islands).
4. Explore Paris and Normandy.
5. Road trip through Scotland.
6. Visit Victoria British Columbia for a week.
7. Spend a month visiting friends and family in Australia.
8. Hong Kong.
9. Tokyo.
10. Rome.

Okay, now that I think on it I have so many places to visit and for so many reasons. Some I’d like to visit to figure out if I’d want to live there. Others because of the culture. Others for the history. Mostly, I feel like I’d need to spend at least a year traveling if I were filthy rich because my immediate gut reaction–given I’m extremely introverted by nature–is to find that cabin far away from the rat race. If I were to be rich I’d want to be someone who sees it as a responsibilty, not just a chance to hide away and do my own thing. Since I am by far nowhere near perfect and often grow most by doing what I’m most uncomfortable with, i.e. being in unfamiliar places ultimately around strangers, traveling would be an excellent way to broaden my perspective.

I should note I would want, whenever possible, to make my travel environmentally friendly. Whenever possible I’d be traveling by train or electric vehicle or boat (sailing ideally). I’d support businesses (restaurants, hotels, etc.) that are or moving towards sustainability. I’d do a lot of walking (which reminds me, two weeks in San Fransisco is not enough–a month there would really help me get into excellent shape without doing much more than exploring the city by foot!).

RE: my previous note about getting out of my “safe” space, I’d plan on blogging and vlogging my entire experience. The first would be easy for me. On my two week trip to Disneyland and back many years back I spent every evening winding down after dinner by blogging the experiences of the day as well as my reflections on them. Vlogging, or Video Blogging, would push me to share in a manner that makes me cringe thinking about: face and voice. To put simply, I’ve never liked my looks. I mean, I guess I look okay, but mostly I’ve always think I look like an awkward dork–and to be blunt after a year in lock down I’ve started to look like Santa Claus. Then there’s my voice. Nobody else agrees with me, but when I hear it on tape I sound like Kermit the Frog; I don’t sound anything like I sound to me. Sure, I could force myself to grow in this manner right now, but I’d first need to purchase video equipment and second it is emotionally draining and I simply don’t have the spoons to jump in with both feet if I’m at the same time working a full time job.

Oh, last but not least, I’d like to travel with certain friends and colleauges. For instance, I have a good friend and old coworker from India–what better person to show me the sites and culture? Australia? I’d love to take my nephew and niece. And so on and so forth. I may be an introvert, but when it comes to travel I do like having a couple of people on board with me even if I spend much of the time in the car, on the boat, on the plane, reading a book. Traveling alone is something I left behind with my motorcycling days. And that, as they say, is that.

I think in my next post I’m going to ramble about about the insanity of how the last four years have culminated in the last week.

Cheers

Changes

Assuming I win Powerball and the my dream house is still available, I plan to only make two changes to the inside.

First—and while I love the cinema room the way it is—I’d have it completely overhauled to look like the bridge of the Enterprise-D. Assuming the room is large enough I’d have two rows of seating. The first row would be comprised of two chairs designed almost identically to those of the conn and ops positions but the console would be redesigned as desks so they can be used for using computers via the main screen. The back row would be leather theater seating for watching films. And if there’s still room left over the back wall would be identical and contain real computers folks could use. In other words, it will be a working bridge and in the uber scenario a Star Trek simulation could be designed to allow a group of people to explore the universe.

The other thing I’d do, and this is a big if, is invite Banksy over. There’s a beautiful room with a bar and a brick wall but that wall needs an overhaul. Who would I love more than to do something with it than him. And what would I ask him to do? Something progressive. Something to remind me and visitors of our responsibility towards the rest of humanity. A daily reminder that with great privilege comes great responsibility.

Feeding the homeless

We do a lot of things to feed the homeless. Most notably, seems like every Thanksgiving and Christmas everyone comes out to help. The rest of the year. Not so much. And I keep wondering what we can do to feed those without throughout the year.

Here’s what I’d do as a rich mojo:

  1. Every month I’d work with one restaurant. I’d ask them to close to regular customers for a day and cook as many meals as possible and I’d work with services like DoorDash and GrubHub to deliver them to those in need. I’d of course pay for each meal and delivery charges.
  2. I’d publicly challenge other millionaires in the area to do the same. There has to be at least 29 more that are capable of footing such a bill on a monthly basis and it would be pocket change to them. Plus it’s tax deductible!

The result?

Hundreds of meals every day of the year for those in need.

Even better: Guaranteed income for restaurants, especially those currently struggling with COVID restrictions.

It’s a win-win-win!

Buy My Old Houses/Apartments for Charity

I’ve always had a deep connection with the places I’ve lived. Whether they’ve been a farmhouse in Central Oregon or a dump falling apart and musty in Eugene, the walls and ceilings that surround me touch my heart and become part of me.

If I were to, say, win the current Powerball, which is upwards of 200 million, one of the things I would do is purchase each of these properties.

Next, I would fix them up.

While they are being worked on I would spend time thinking about each. What did they mean to me? What memories do I have of them? What were the good times? What were the bad? What did I learn about life, the universe, and everything?

For example, the first house I moved to in Eugene…well, it’s not a short tail. I was suicidally depressed when I “ran away” from home at a more than ripe age of 17 or 18 and had gone there with little but a pack of cigarettes and the clothes on my back to be with my recent high school sweetheart. I didn’t know where else to go. My time there was often fraught with emotional struggle, questioning, personal exploration, and the rare and usually uninspired suicide attempt. I was lost and fears of homelessness plagued me. Indeed, given my constant mental and emotional strain combined with an inability to sleep, I spent many nights simply wandering Eugene, meeting people of all stripes on the streets, striking up conversation, or simply sitting in a park staring at the moon. Eventually, after decades (probably less than a year, but it felt like an eternity) I started attending college again and slowly, ever so slowly, though still battling severe depression, to earn my Associate of the Arts degree in Psychology. I wanted to help people going through struggles like I was. And I met the person, who later moved in with us, who would become the woman I’d spend the next ten years viewing as the love of my life, my soul mate, my first wife.

That is, admittedly, a gutted summary of my time in what I refer to as The Fairy House. But it does give me an idea of who I’d like to gift it to. While this a short list of bullets, one’s that would be massaged and amended if I were to purchase, fix, and regift the property, this is who I’d want to give it to:

  • A couple or young family
  • Who were homeless or were struggling with homelessness
  • At least one attending college to work in psychology, social services, or some type of social justice work.

The only ask is that they’d complete their degree.

So that’s pretty much the essence of it. I’d do this for the ten or so residences I lived in. Some are apartment complexes so that would be interesting, but hey, why not, with that must $$$, purchase them, leave them rent free for struggling students, families, and the like? Why not turn another into a homeless shelter or a mid-way house? And why not use each of these be an example to others who are blessed by having too much money to know what to do with as to what they can do with it?