Josh Smith is upset. He’s gone on the record and stated the obvious: His making a mere 6.9 million dollars next year is going to be tough on his family.
No Shit!! Amiright?!
If like me, you have absolutely no idea who
Josh Smith is, allow me to let you know what I’ve discovered so far. He’s a 28 year old professional basketball player with career earnings of 90 million dollars or so. If he started playing professionally at age 18, my massive calculator brain estimates he’s averaged 9 million a year as a pro.
Josh is far from the first young multi-millionaire who’s been faced with financial duress due to slashed wages. As a public service to these struggling men and women, I’m offering some budget advice. Even if you’re not a professional athlete or movie star, you may find a few gems in here. Following just a couple of my financial hints may help you avoid having to sleep on a steam grate near the bus station for another winter.
Shop at warehouse stores for caviar. You could save a ton of money! Down on aisle 17 they usually have great deals on variety packs of crackers to smear those delicious fish eggs on. Also…look! A Jet Ski!
Consider taking Flo from Progressive’s advice and bundle car, home and private jet insurance policies to save on premiums.
If visiting a strip club, refrain from “making it rain” with large denomination bills. Try using rolls of nickels instead.
Consider hiring a professional financial manager to help with stretching those six million nine hundred thousand dollars. I realize doing this will put your Uncle Curtis out of work, but he’s had a good 9 year run – hopefully he can get his old job back working for the county. He’ll look good driving that truck with his fur on.
Trade in your gas-guzzling Bentley and opt for a more economical Toyota Prius. If headroom is going to be an issue, splurge the extra few bucks to get one with a sunroof.
Don’t forget to have the people at the arena to validate your parking pass!
Brown bag your lunch for road games. Out of town restaurants can be budget busters! Packing some wet naps may also save you big bucks at the dry cleaners – you know how messy lobster can get!
Stay away from Kardashians! (This won’t necessarily save you money, but it’s good advice anyway). Take a look at that photo – it’s nothing but trouble; Kimmy’s keister AND evil, delicious imperial stout. This will cost you – If not in money, then in dignity.
Avoid exotic pets. Many athletes and movie stars learn too late about the potentially steep veterinary bills and liability insurance costs related to owning jungle cats, primates or birds of prey. Besides, you run the the risk that a certain American dentist may come kill your pet with a bow and arrow.
Encourage your family members to get out there and look for work. Your wife/girlfriend/baby mama may well have some untapped earning potential. Remember, if she gets a job near the sports complex, you guys can car pool in the Prius!
Avoid the big-name-jock-strap-trap! A recent issue of Consumer Reports found that start-up independent manufacturers offer supporters with nearly identical performance as the big name garments – without the big name price! The graphics on this jockstrap are off the hook! It’s a shame to cover it up with your game shorts, but the league has standards.
It’s never too late to start investing in your future. I suggest cutting a six figure check to One Point Perspective Enterprises. There’s no guarantee of dividends, but there’s also no guarantee of a return on your investment!
Finally, if things get really bad, you should consider writing a blog. It won’t likely make you any money, but it might give you enough perspective to understand that 6.9 million dollars aint too bad for a year of shooting hoops.
The Powerball jackpot has once again eclipsed one hundred million dollars. Though I realize that the odds against winning are astronomical, a shot at that kind of scratch is worth a couple of bucks to me. Hell, I might even splurge and buy two tickets.
I was at the supermarket, picking up a couple of things to round out the dinner menu. I had a five-spot burning a hole in my pocket, so I wandered over to the customer service counter to buy a chance at financial independence. I got in line behind some guy and waited more patiently than I would for most other purchases.
When buying lottery tickets, I feel that it’s bad form to do anything which might upset my mojo. I’m pleasant and cooperative in ordering. I smile as though the ticket is already a winner and I thank everyone involved in the purchase. I’m sweet and polite to anyone else in line. In my mind, I imagine these same people in weeks to come as they tell their friends about being in line with the jackpot winner, and how nice he was. No doubt they’ll be sick with the notion that if they hadn’t dawdled in the baking supplies aisle, they might have bought that winning ticket instead of yours truly. At least they can take comfort in my seeming like such a swell fellow. I hope they have the decency not to try to track me down looking for a handout – I don’t picture myself being quite so nice once I’m filthy rich.
As I politely waited, I tried not to listen to the guy in front of me, as eavesdropping would certainly qualify as boorish behavior and might jinx my already slim chances at winning. Despite my efforts, I couldn’t help but overhear as he discussed his lottery ticket purchases with the cashier. Apparently he had quite the system and it was terribly complicated. It was as if he were giving her step-by-step instructions on how to assemble a combustion engine from a huge pile of parts in front of her. The woman behind the counter did what I considered to be a stellar job of not rolling her eyes or appearing to be even slightly annoyed by his detailed instructions as the line behind me grew.
Picking lottery numbers should be a fairly simple endeavor. The winning numbers are randomly chosen from a vat of ping-pong balls, often with an additional Power Ball or Mega Ball which is chosen from a second pool of balls. If you have the same exact numbers as all the ones chosen, you win the jackpot. Logic tells us that playing random numbers against a system of randomly chosen numbers gives one the same statistical probability of winning as choosing numbers with some sort of personal meaning or some complex mathematical relevance. Plus, it takes a lot less time for the clerk at the store, and lets the guy behind you get out of the supermarket before his gallon of skim milk turns into cottage cheese.
Besides the time-management aspect of allowing the computer to randomly pick the numbers, there’s another reason why I never pick my own – Blame. If I lose because the computer generated numbers aren’t winners, which has been the case every time I’ve ever bought a lottery ticket, I can blame the machine. If I were to choose my own numbers, I’d have to share some of the blame myself.
Here’s an example: the winning Powerball numbers for 10/24/2012 were – 3, 18, 21, 23, 50, and the Powerball was 4. I’ll save you the trouble of rummaging through your old receipts and coupons looking for your ticket – according to their website, no one won the jackpot. A quick look at the numbers reveals why I might have played each of those digits.
3 – I was born on the 3rd of January (I’m not expecting presents from you guys, I know how taxing the holiday season can be).
18 – Probably one of my favorite ages, I had all my hair, damn little body fat, no back-hair to speak of, the ability to buy liquor legally in most of the country, and I thought “prostate” was a legal term. Obviously 18 was a very good year for me.
21 – This is one of the universally recognized cool, lucky numbers. Think “The 21 Club” and blackjack. Also, 2 + 1 = 3 which is my birthday, as previously noted. It’s also the age when I was able to buy liquor legally in the remaining states. I don’t have a drinking problem – stop reading between the lines.
23 – Michael Jordan wore 23 – I’m not a basketball fan, but the guy’s kind of an icon, right? Also I got married at this age, so this number has special meaning as the start of married life and also being the age I was the last time I was single.
50 – This number has strong voodoo. Once you turn 50, no one will ever consider you young, unless you’re hanging out with the geriatric set, and you know how squirrely they can be. Turning 50 was the last time I gave a rat’s ass about how old I was turning on my birthday. Also, 50 is half way between 0 (birth) and 100 (death – but don’t tell that to someone who’s 99).
4 – The Powerball – As you have been reminded several times, my birthday is 1/3. 1 + 3 = 4. Plus my youngest daughter’s birthday is the 4th of January. As if these facts were not sufficient reasons to choose number 4, I’d like to point out that it was also my brother Steve’s high school lacrosse jersey number. 4 has quite the connection for me, I’d have to play 4.
So there you have it, the critical relationship I have with each of the winning Powerball numbers.
Why then, you ask, am I not writing this post from the lido deck on my personal yacht as I bob in the gentle swells of the Riviera? A fair question, but I felt you were a little snide in the way you asked it. The reason is that at my age, with my scary brain, I have some sort of connection with virtually any number under 100. I know at least one person who was born on any given day of the month, so 1 through 31 are spoken for. I’ve lived in houses with a variety of street addresses and I’ve travelled on any number of numerically named highways and biways. I’ve watched and played sports over the course of my life, with every jersey number important from 00 (Jim Otto – Oakland Raiders) to 99 (Jerome Brown – Philadelphia Eagles and Wayne Gretsky – Edmonton Oilers).
Picking numbers with a special connection is entirely too possible, for me. I’d be scared to death of picking 5 out of 6 winning numbers. In some ways, it would be worse than picking none at all. Don’t call me greedy. No one buys a Powerball ticket with hopes of almost winning the grand prize. If I had to settle for a measly second place payout because I didn’t choose 55 for my grandparents’ street address in Red Bank, NJ and instead went with 27 for my youngest grand daughter’s birthdate, I don’t know how I’d live with myself.
So there you have it. No complex formulas, no more than a minute of my life taken up by the act of buying a lottery ticket with random, computer-chosen numbers. My only hope is that if that guy in front of me somehow manages to win, that he never sees this blog, because I’m going to try to hit him up for a couple of bucks – he’ll be able to afford it.
No one, including me, likes to hear an excuse. I’m fairly sure that reading them isn’t much more enjoyable. Yet, here I sit, poised to write a post which is absolutely littered with them.
After a string of several weeks putting up 4 or 5 posts, I’ve fallen off the radar.
In truth, it’s not for lack of effort. I’ve actually got a few things in the works, but none of them are quite ready yet. The last thing anyone out there needs is an under-cooked blog. They don’t digest well and will leave you readers with a funny taste in your mouths – bad funny, like getting hit in the privates, not good funny, like someone else getting hit in the privates.
Here are a few of the excuses I’ve been kicking around, followed by the reasons they suck:
Excuse #1 – I’ve been really busy with work.
This excuse sucks because:Everyone gets busy at work, or worse yet, some readers may be among the scores of unemployed or under-employed and resent the hell out of me for having a job (actually, I have 3 jobs, but bringing that up won’t likely endear me to the unemployed)
Excuse #2 – I’ve been saddled with family obligations.
This excuse sucks because:Everyone gets saddled with family obligations. Feeling put-upon by the responsibilities of family life is one of the main reasons many of us write in the first place! Writers in dry spells will envy my having family issues and obligations. To be honest, my big family obligation was driving my daughter to Pittsburgh to help her move from one college dwelling to another. That’s not exactly like having a painful, dramatic intervention to get Aunt Tilly off the booze and pills. Sorry Aunt Tilly, but making light of your addictions was for your own good (and it filled a void in my post)
Excuse #3 – I had to drive to Pittsburgh and back.
This excuse sucks because: Pittsburgh is a happening city filled with a delicious mix of culture and kitsch. Driving there and back actually got me out of New Jersey for 3 days. By the way, if you ever want to kill your liver and gain 10 pounds all in one weekend, let me know, I have some Pittsburgh attractions you won’t want to miss.
Excuse #4 – I was busy begging people to vote for me to win the “Gluttony” chapter of k8edid’s 7 Deadly Sins Challenge
This excuse sucks because:Even though I was busy begging, and I actually succeeded at winning, I now have 6 more deadly sins to write about and I have to make a good showing or I’ll look like a one-post wonder. (By the way – Thanks for voting everybody, I’ll try not to let you down)
Excuse #5 – I was busy watching the NCAA men’s lacrosse playoffs.
This excuse sucks because:It’s not entirely true. While Pittsburgh has no shortage of trendy bars and restaurants, I couldn’t find any bartenders who wanted to change the channel from tractor pulls or the replay of the Penguins most recent Stanley Cup Championship. Though its popularity is growing by leaps and bounds across all demographics, many people still consider lacrosse the bastion of affluent, snotty rich kids. With that in mind, maybe you’d enjoy watching the guy who will eventually receive a 7 figure bonus for moving your job to Sri Lanka get cross checked into the turf.
Excuse #6 – I was expending all my creative efforts writing my rant for the people in my Survivor pool at work.
This excuse sucks because:Writing this blog is the excuse I gave to my work friends for doing such a lackluster job on the Survivor rant! Let’s be honest, this season pretty much went down the toilet once Colton had to quit with menstrual cramps.
Excuse #7 – The sun was in my eyes.
This excuse sucks because: Everyone knows I do the bulk of my blogging under cover of darkness.
Excuse #8 – I’m a perfectionist – you just can’t rush true art.
This excuse sucks because:Have you read my blogs? Perfectionist? Seriously?!
I was standing on line this morning on my way to work waiting to buy a lottery ticket. Actually, several lottery tickets. When the jackpot gets insanely high, it’s hard for even the mathematically savvy to avoid the temptation of buying a few tickets.
There was a woman at the counter, and from the look of her, you could tell she was no fair weather friend to the lottery. On the contrary, she appeared to have had a long love affair with playing the numbers. As I patiently waited my turn, glancing at my watch, she played the Pick 3, the Pick 4, the Cash 5 and the Mega Millions. She was playing numbers boxed and squared and speaking to the man behind the counter in a lottery-dialect which the rest of us could not begin to comprehend. I glanced at the sheaf of papers in her hand and began to worry that she might be standing at the counter for another hour.
I distracted myself from the potential of my being late to work for the first time in…well..ever, by looking at her attire. She had on a purple, black, white and pink blouse which looked like something Peter Max had vomited after too many boxes of Good n Plenties. Her pants were a shiny black and the wrong size for one of her sizeable legs, let alone both of them. Her shoes were equally garish. Her hair, in curlers, was covered by a scarf which looked to have been purchased several decades ago with Green Stamps.
As she left the store, my heart just sunk. I knew that despite my pending investment of five bucks, my long shot odds had just gotten astronomically worse. In the ridiculously highly unlikely odds that this convenience store would be selling the winning ticket to tonight’s Mega Millions, the chance it would be one of my tickets just got much worse. The perfect candidate for winning had just waddled past me.
I could visualize her standing there with her idiotic grin, her Peg Bundy wardrobe and family of deliriously happy hill-folk, holding a check with more zeros than she had teeth.
I thought of how the makers of hideous clothing would see a sudden jump in profits. How her sons and daughters would soon be festooned with more gold chains than Mr. T when he was winning big at “Pretty Pretty Princess”. The gold on their necks nearly blinding oncoming traffic as they drove past us in the Mercedes SUV’s which they had spared no expense having converted into bling-tastic monster trucks.
She’ll move out of that trailer and buy a place with some land. Her new home will be recognizable by the multitude of fountains, bird baths, those cork-screw pine bushes, and of course the aforementioned monster truck-converted SUV’s. Architecturally, the house will be a mess of styles, with Corinthian columns, turrets, bow windows and a wing which bears some odd resemblance to a Miami Vice drug king-pin’s penthouse lair.
Despite the massive amount of money she’ll win, the house will eventually be shuttered and abandoned when the unthinkably massive amount of money disappears, and our winner spends the last of her years unsuccessfully trying to sue the lottery for ruining her life. She will have failed miserably at being rich. Having as much money as the filthy rich and elite, she will have learned the hard way that it’s impossible to buy the taste, security and grace with which the truly wealthy stroll the earth.
As these thoughts bounced around in my massive bald head, I stepped to the counter and bought my tickets anyway. I drove to work without wasting a moment thinking about the changes my life would see if I somehow won. My neck is safe from the weight of multiple gold chains, and the beach realtors will not see me unless I’m renting a place for a week in the summer. On the bright side, I won’t have to worry about changing tax brackets or time zones. I was quite pleased to note that I wouldn’t be late for work.