Saturday, November 28, 2009

cool things i may have seen

So anyway, I saw a UFO this evening. I was walking outside at 5:17 PM local time and I look up to see a bright light (a bit brighter than a planet but that's what I assume it is) overhead. Then I realize that it is moving slowly north. My second guess is that it is a space station or something similarly high up because it is moving slowly and there is NO noise. I watch as it dims to a small light, like a space station which has caught the sun and attracted my eye and then moves to a different angle and loses that brightness. That small light continues north and there are no blinking lights anywhere on or around it. There were other airplanes visible and this looked like none of them. Pretty weird but also, underwhelming. No weird noises, no grey aliens...none of that. Disappointing. Strange to think that even otherworldly creatures let me down. And yet somehow comforting. Dare I disturb the universe? No need. It is already disturbed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Planning for the future

I guess at some point, we all like to sit back and dream...we think "what if I won the lottery?" Sometimes we even sit around and start to think about what we would do with all that money. Well, I was inspired by the Barenaked Ladies and their "If I had a million dollars" song to think it through. Actually, I was much more inspired by Bruce Cockburn's "If I had a rocket launcher" because it more accurately reflects my mood and is musically much better but whatever.

The first and most important thing in this fantasy exercise is to create a minimum I would need to win. I settled on 100 million dollars. A nice round number, and I figure I'd pay half of it in taxes, so I end up with 50 million dollars.

Next -- I tell NO ONE. Sorry family and friends...if I do this right, you have no idea that I'm flush with capital. I immediately hire a lawyer to represent me etc, and I never come forward. No reason to make myself or my kids into targets.

Next, I work out a spreadsheet...sort of like this:

2 million for each girl bank account to pull 2% per year -- $40,000 to pay for HS and college for each girl
10 million bank account to pull an annual 2% -- $200,000 as annual income
500K payment to pay off mortgage
1 million construction on the house expand 3 levels out (basement - music studio, library; first floor - den/diningroom/kitchen; upstairs - master suite)
1 million investment (high yield) lawyer/acct on retainer to manage funds, do PR and make payments - fee tied to interest
100K 3 new cars
1 million creature comforts (furnishings, electronics)
35k sefer torah
2 million payment construction of a house in israel
100k donation to shul to ensure hot kiddush every shabbat (off of interest) - sponsorships would become donations for operating
1 million donations to alma maters, schools and employer schools just because

This quick reckoning takes out about 21 million of my 50 million, leaving me with 29 million in mad cash to be charitable, risky or stupid with. The beauty is that I have set up investments to cover the rest of my life even without a job, and still put my kids through private school for years to come.

If you can think of other things I need to budget for (remember, I'm getting back 2 percent on my bank accounts, so my annual salary is 200k but I can give myself a raise by putting more into my endowment) let me know.

Now, can I borrow a dollar for a lottery ticket?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Episode IV: A new Initiative

Dan Rosen's Other Blog (DROB nyse) is proud to announce the beginning of a new intiative designed to level the internet playing field and protect those web's underclass.

In a move that will take the have nots and turn them squarely into haves, we have begun "The Status Project," a service which will provide Facebook Status updates to those who, right now, lack the intelligence, wittiness, or interesting lives necessary to post a truly original and captivating status. Qualified users will receive two statuses, daily, one as a wry comment on life and one as a factual recap of the day's events which reflects that that person's is, statisitcally, in the top 10% of "Interesting Lives" as measured by the "Like Button" scale, the accepted standard measure of how fascinating a person is.

No longer will Face Book be saddled with users who simply can't find the time or brain cells to post status updates or who post such comments as "I like puce" or "for dinner we are having food" or "the Yankees win."

For the price of a cup of coffee a day, users will be able to buy that coffee and even drink it. Caution. Contents hot.

Additionally, the Status Project will be partnering with a sister site "The Tweet Project" which will help candidates present timely and informative Tweets across Twitter. But, recognizing the unique nature of Twitter, we will be paying careful attention and helping users deal with such challenges as "Tweet tooth" (defined as posting more than 4 tweets in any 27 minute period) and "Addiction to Hash(marks)" -- a user whose Tweets rely too heavily on references to other people and threads.

More partnerships are expected as we continue to identify anti-social network tendencies and work together to combat their debilitating effects. Please be inspired to donate your unused status updates so that others can become meaningful members of the Face Book family.