Playing the Lottery

Once in a while, I’ll pick up a scratch off ticket from the convenience store, and a good portion of time I’ll get the little dollar or two dollar scratchers. Maybe one out of every three times I play, I will land a ticket or a dollar. Even less frequently, I’ll play the mega Millions or Powerball. Once, I won $33 on a dollar scratcher. Not too shabby! And I, too, have won the lottery on two occasions, with a grand total of $2 in prize money, so maybe I unconsciously utilized the strategies outlined in Richard Lustig’s book.

Last night, I bought a $3 scratcher at random and it raked in a cool $25. I like the times I win because it feels nice, but it is not every run. Such is the basis of gambling. You place a bet on an unknown variable in hopes that you’ll bring in more than you slapped upon the table. Your odds of winning are terribly against you with much higher payouts, and with much larger numbers of participants. The lottery is one such form of gambling, where many will enter and few will win.

Wouldn’t it be severely unlikely that someone ought to win the lottery more than once, though? Close to impossible! With a few exceptions, one notable person in modern times has managed to develop a strategy to purchasing lottery tickets, claiming that there’s a means by which to increase your odds of winning. I mean, for someone to win multiple grand prize jackpots and actually have succeeded in consciously doing so? I believe that would far more than justify claims of his success being intentional. Of course, some critics might argue something along the lines of, “Oh, sure, he has won jackpots, but he only won just over a million dollars. Why doesn’t he win the massive jackpots and really prove himself?” To which I would respond, quite simply, “How many millions have you won thus far after reading his book?” Chances are fairly high that this critic hadn’t even made a single purchase.

Of course, when it comes to success, everyone has their particular means by which to obtain the greatest possible leverage against the given odds. And some people might have been given a single stroke of awesome luck, but it still doesn’t hurt to accept that some people just happen to have developed a sense of methodically carrying out their will in this area of the world– the gamble-sphere (I know it sounds dumb, but that’s what I say). And you know what? They have the car to prove it.

I understand that a good portion of winners out there fall into bankruptcy within a few years of a substantial windfall, so maybe it isn’t all strategic luck out there. I know I’ve figured out what I would do with my winnings– investments across the board. I would even start buying websites by the dozen and figure out marketing like crazy. Wealth building. I would even make an investment into a program that automatically trades sports like the stock market with a resounding success in favor of accuracy.

Maybe some people out there have purchased Richard Lustig’s book for themselves and made their hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you have come across this blog, let me know what it felt like for your big time win!

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Spoken And Written

I posted a question on Facebook a few weeks ago noting how I had unintentionally eavesdropped into conversations during a trip to Target one day. I had passed by no fewer than ten individual conversations, one of which involved a woman speaking to another regarding something relating to grooming or cleanliness. I do not immediately recall this one, but the ten individual conversations I had run across made me ponder something. Words, both spoken and written, are just here; hundreds of years from now, these individual conversations will have never crept out into the world to be heard. The gift of communication is basically wasted on complaining about what others have said, and those words will not echo forever. Those conversations will have been forgotten by time, both by the speaker and the listener.

Writing is far different. It’s the physical embodiment of speech. Yet, when someone tears up a note they’ve written, or burn their Morning Pages, they’re destroying a permanent record of their existence.

How interesting is it that literacy has separated the great men from the common peasant, and it is only those great men will be the only ones to be remembered throughout history. The rest are lost to time, a ghost in history books except by mention of mass casualty from a world war. How depressing it must be to live and die in the blink of an eye, while the world continues its cyclic path of days, weeks, months and years without even a hitch of sadness.

Back To Ocarinas!

I’m always weaving in and out of interests, and this I may have mentioned a multitude of times–here it is again! What’s I’m thinking is simply this: if I tend to rediscover information about something, or re-enter a phase where I’m wanting to learn something new, what do I do about it?
The opportunity to obtain tools necessary to build my own pottery wheel has arrived. In a local auction, held in approximately two hours, an old stone grinding wheel can be re-purposed to act as a flywheel for a kick wheel. Given the amount of momentum I could generate with this thing, I could whip up some pots like crazy!
The thing is, I’ve never done pottery, and I switched out my conversation about ocarinas to talk about pottery wheels. You’re wondering what happened. I know. I realized it myself a few years ago when I was in this same rotation of interests, but there’s a very strong connection to ocarinas and pottery. You’re probably wondering why I’m even typing this out.
Well, as it turns out, pottery is a multiple-thousand-year-old craft which allowed rainwater and food to be stored, and within which food could be cooked. This is a similar idea to modern cookware that’s made of stainless steel, except stainless steel doesn’t crack like pots do under similar thermal shock conditions. That’s because stainless steel is more malleable than fired pottery.

You: Okay, so what about cookware? What are you talking about? Your title says, “Back To Ocarinas!
Me: Slow down! Just a minute!

Music is also multiple thousands of years old, one of the oldest instruments known to man being the didgeridoo. Ocarinas and flutes rank a close second in terms of longevity throughout written and unwritten human history. Some of the oldest flutes are more than forty thousand years old, and these were made of eagle bones and mammoth ivory (in fragments, of course, but still ancient nonetheless!). It fits, then, that some of the oldest characteristics for humans happened to be music and the arts. Besides, pottery is still offered in art classes, so one cannot convince me otherwise!

You: You’re still talking about pottery and old flutes. Bones aren’t pottery.
Me: Yes, I’m aware of this. Sit down a minute, I’m getting to the connection here soon.

Pottery does not just involve pots, although it is safe to say that pots were the primary purpose behind pottery, thus the name. But people can make a great variety of other things out of clay on a wheel, and it just so happens that, when I was first learning about ocarinas and other things of that nature, one such potter by the name of Anita Feng was a known ocarina maker, but that was the only association between pottery and music that I could think of, being that she was the only example of throwing vessel flutes on her pottery wheel. Perhaps she was unique in the ocarina awareness storm that happened in the late aughts and early teens (2006-2017) as she was the only potter (that I knew, of course, but I’ve since learned MUCH more about it) who made ocarinas on a wheel. By the bye, it was my ignorance which fueled my thirst for knowledge.
It’s been occurring to me that pottery is one of those things which consistently keeps calling back to my interests. Sure, I like collecting other things, but ocarinas are the one thing I have not yet had the heart with which to part; and in fact, when it comes to my revolving interests, I keep stumbling upon pottery as something which almost permanently holds my interest on a consistent basis, and I’ve never had proper training in making clay anythings! I did, once upon a time, make ocarinas out of clay, but my capacity to fire them was limited by the fact that the local ceramic art store stopped letting people use their kilns for personal projects due to the increased instances of exploding and damaged pieces. So it was this incapacity to fire ocarinas in the first place which kept me from really diving in to this realm of interest, and my scaredy-cat nature which prevents me from learning how to build a propane kiln out of fire bricks (I’ve watched plenty of videos and tutorials, and I still can’t bring myself to make them for some reason. I know to use ceramic blanket if I’m using an old oil drum. I know to use fire mortar and to drill out a certain number of holes for oxygen supply for a propane kiln. I know how to dig out a hole, pile wood up into a miniature mountain and suspending pieces among the branches properly for an even smoke-fired look. Maybe it’s that ONE step that’s keeping me from actually doing what I want as opposed to what I need to do.)
Lack of financial power really kept the doors closed to my interests, and even more so now due to things which I’ve pretty much brought upon myself (debts, et cetera). On the other side of the coin, I’m always changing interests, and that might be keeping me from really pursuing something of this nature. Whatever it is, I know I’m interested in it NOW, and I would like to get a wheel made or given to me, since I cannot afford to purchase one–and maybe a kiln, too. Maybe I’m being picky about what I want, or maybe option paralysis has its iron grip around my well-being. Whatever it is, I’m feeling pretty strongly in favor of using a wheel to make ocarinas, just as a means for trial and error to see if I can produce some of the nicest-sounding ocarinas I’ve ever made. I understand Menaglio ocarinas tend to sound wonderful!
Do you have an interest in pottery or ocarinas? Or perhaps music in general? Maybe you’re a Zelda fan. Whatever it is you’re into, if you liked this post, share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter! If you want, I’ll even give you a link to use so you don’t have to go through the trouble of creating your own link: http://bitigee.com/27CK

It is morning time!

You know what that means, right? No? Well, I’ll tell you! I get to go to work! Not everyone gets to say they have a secure 9-5, and those of us who do have this option typically feel better off than the next person because their fast food job never treated them with retirement benefits, health benefits, vision care, and hourly wages of that type of magnitude! I mean, who doesn’t want to make more than $10 an hour? That extra bit of money in your hand by the next paycheck is always welcomed!

But, as you grow older, you begin to realize that things change. Your perspective begins to focus its shift away from buying extravagant items, such as an expensive pair of shoes to match your fashionable jeans which were made to look used, or another CD to add to your growing collection.. You begin instead to look forward to putting some away, what little is left after your child support is removed every paycheck. You put some here for retirement, some here for gas and electric bills, some here for diapers, most here for car payment, insurance, food, replacement socks and t-shirts, internet, phones. And then, you have to prepare for dinners, your personal breakfast foods (I like eggs, but once in a while it’s nice to just eat a bowl of oatmeal in the morning).

How is there ever enough time to enjoy life with all these requirements? Well, I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I know there is no way that my life is intended to work for someone else while begging for a higher wage. At the same time, I’m glad I’m not working in fast food or part time anymore because those types of jobs were not exactly within the realm of “desirable” when it came to what began to matter most in my household. I needed something bigger for myself, and for my fiancee and her daughter. (And my dog. He’s a family member too, even if he does poo indoors BAD DOG!)

I’ve been searching for solutions to my particular set of financial problems and this blog is helping just a little bit. It gets my mind off of life for the little bit of time I’m able to come to write or make updates. At this time, I must begin to prepare for work, but if anything changes for financial betterment, then I should let you know here. I know I need to start a website, but that’s a first-of-the-month thing (which approaches rapidly).

If you have something you would like to suggest, I’m an open book! Speaking of which, please check out my book here.

If you just want to say you enjoyed it, that’s cool too. I like feedback, and critique. See you all later!

Do You Like Money? Me Too!

You know, being a coin collector is one thing. Hoarding nickels and pre-1982 Lincoln cents is basically the kind of coin collector I am. And by “hoarding,” I mean, I live paycheck to paycheck, and storing nickels for future use is my version of an emergency fund. Being that I am new to the “making money online through affiliate marketing” area of the internet, this seems to be coming off as a slow start. And you must know that I’m REALLY trying to make money online to the best of my ability through Twitter and linking here.

But, there are some success stories out there regarding an extravagant network of new marketers working part time for a relatively short period of time generating enough money, working simply part time, to quit their full-time day jobs. I would like to eventually reach that point.

Some of these programs require an up-front purchase of the entire program, and their promises to earn you several hundred dollars sound SO CONVINCING, but because $30 or $40 is actually a cut out of our budget, that seems like a large expense to me. We could use that for food, and whatnot.

Besides, how nice would that actually be? They give you the entire training program, plus a team of helpers who are skilled enough in this marketing to help you reach a point where you begin to fly on your own wings until you’ve made a full contribution towards sustaining your financial freedom and become that success story. That sounds FREAKING AWESOME.

And the other thing is, I’m a little bit insecure in making such a leap, but I’m toward a point now where I’m nearly too broke to live now (tax people say I owe some $1,200 from last year. What?!).

You know that times are bad in today’s world when someone who works as a lower-level employee in their local government is still struggling to get by. So I’m either working too hard and sacrificing my health for too little pay by working for someone else, or I’m too lazy and tired after working an eight-hour manual labor day to keep lifting a finger to do more for myself. I have noticed that I have some energy on the weekends, during which I take care of some household chores. If I had a few tools I could use, and a budget-friendly means of starting up a more realistic side income, and learned how to generate online sales and other affiliate-related things, I would be more on top of the world than I already am.

But then again, there’s a phrase or two that goes towards people like myself: “Easy come, easy go,” and, “A fool and his money are soon parted.” I wonder if those quotes have withstood the test of time for a reason, heh.

Well, I do have to go because the background noise in my apartment has quadrupled and I can no longer concentrate on writing at this moment.

A Day in the Life of a Valley Resident

Here in California’s Central Valley, we don’t have the liberty of accepting fall as a separate entity from the other seasons. Right now, there is a thunderstorm going on to the east, and it’s humid even inside the apartment. Here’s the truth: It’s either really hot and muggy, or it’s slightly cool and wet in the winter with chances of morning dew. No such thing as snow in this area.

In fact, I just walked across the street to break a larger bill into a smaller one (I’m not entirely out of shape, as my job requires that I stay on my feet and move around a LOT)– only to find that by the time I got back, I’d already been breaking out in beads of humidity-related perspiration. So what to my wondering brain should appear, than to sit down and write this and report it right here. Last night I was awoken by a rare thunderstorm, complete with brilliant lightning, and a sizable downpour of rain. This does not happen often. This month of October alone, we’ve seen some rain for now the third time. It’s the middle of the month, and the grass is still yellow from being so dry around here.

When living out here in the central valley, it’s important to note that this is not the same climate you would find in the same horizontal (Latitude? Longitude? I’m not a navigator)… Um… If the distance from the equator to here were the same as another region or time zone of the United States, the climate would be vastly different. I mean, even Arizona gets some powerful rains and even snow more often than this bowl of stagnant weather phenomena receives. December here means you can walk outside without a shirt, if you so chose. That’s how warm it stays. In January and February, it cools down enough to give us– and don’t panic– frost. Yes, frost. That’s all we have to deal with for about two weeks at the beginning of any year. And that includes using a plastic ice scraper. No snow shovels or anything else can be seen for miles around here.

Whew, I’m still sweating. That heavy rain was definitely worth it. The dry, dead yellow grass is now wet, dead yellow grass. That’s not to say it doesn’t get like that when we water it, but we water we can’t just let water flow. They have all these corrupt laws against people using water which don’t apply to corporations. Again, that’s another subject for another time.

Well, this certainly wasn’t all that long, now was it? Time for me to get out of here and drink some coffee and cool off a bit. Ugh, shower time. Until the next time I appear here,

Banana peels!