Powered by LiveJournal.com
You are viewing the most recent 10 entries
October 25th, 2013
Let's Play "Make Believe"
Let's pretend that I'm the 7th richest person in the United States. I was reading today about trying to put huge amounts of money into perspective and I want to play that game. This could get extremely long, so forgive me. I may even use a very rare lj-cut at some point.
Right now, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is the 7th richest person in the US, 13th richest in the world
with a $27 billion net worth. Let's pretend all of that is liquid for a moment and that none of it is or can be used to make even more money. I now have $27 billion just sitting there, waiting to be spent. What could I do with it?
Well, for starters my favorite vehicle is the BMW Z3
. That's about $18,000. It's not a super-luxury car that's going to cost millions of dollars but it's a fun little car that I could definitely enjoy. And hey, if I wanted to switch it out for a different one every month for the rest of my life that would only cost me about $10 million over the course of the rest of my life.
That's a different BMW Z3, purchased every month for the next 50 years for only .03% of my net worth.
Okay, so I have a car now. What about a house?
Well, I don't need much. 10,000 sq feet? A reasonable price would be $200 per square foot for some of the nicer areas of the United States, all the way down to $60 per square foot but let's go on the high end. My 10,000 sq foot "humble" home would cost me $2,000,000. If I want to build it from scratch let's up that to $4,000,000. Let's say $6,000,000 after I furnish it. Reasonable?
Now, I get bored pretty quickly so I'll probably need to build myself a new house every 2 years or so. 25 new homes, $6,000,000 each (because who wants to move the furniture from the previous homes? That's such a hassle! We'll just buy new furniture.). $150 million over the course of 50 years and in the end I have 25 10,000 sq ft houses, fully furnished.
I now have spent $160 million dollars over the course of 50 years. That is 0.6% of my net worth.
Let's get big, then. Let's go really big.
Let's buy an island. That's big, right?( This got really long.Collapse )
Here's what we end up with:
$13.5 Billion in Charitable Contributions
6 Caribbean Islands
A new home every 2 years
A new car every month for the rest of my life
A Yale education
Extremely fine dining for every meal for the rest of my life (personal chef/professional kitchen at my whim)
$1 billion left for my daughter when I die
New clothes every day for me and everyone in my family
My own private jet, probably several
Every video game ever made
Every movie on DVD
A full, high-end security detail to protect me and my family for the rest of my life
The realization that if it costs less than $10,000,000 the money doesn't even matter a little bit
- Personal trainer
- Fresh flowers delivered daily
- Fully funding any kickstarter that catches my fancy
- Lois' education
- Live-in maid service
- Buying land for every LARP I enjoy
- and way more
October 15th, 2013
A New Lease
I haven't talked about this much here or really anywhere online because it seems that every time in the past that I've talked about trying to change something in my life (especially my weight and health) I end up going back into my old habits almost immediately, making a lie out of everything I've just written. I've always posted in the past about how I'm going
to try something new and I'm going
to change my life and do all new things. I talk about what I want to do at the beginning and where it's going.
I'd like to talk about where I've been.
For almost exactly two months now I have been following a ketogenic style of eating: low-carbs, high fat, medium protein. I'm not debating the merits and I'm also not espousing it as something that everyone else should be doing. I'm just here to say that it's working for me and I'm very happy with it. I don't know that I'll ever go off of this but at the same time I'm not telling other people that they're "doing it wrong." What works for me may not work for you, or Bob. Whoever Bob is.
Since coming to Virginia I've had a problem: Back pain. I would wake up in the morning and take 10 minutes to get out of bed because every movement hurt. It felt like every joint in my back had cemented together and I had to break up that cement in order to stand. Oh, and that cement was full of nerve endings. This also, as I'm sure you can imagine, made sleeping at night difficult since I tend to toss and turn. Every movement sent shock-waves of pain through my body.
Seriously, it really was that bad. It was making me absolutely miserable and completely unhappy. I was at my wit's end and my doctor had absolutely no solutions for me. I even suggested that, maybe I hurt because I was so fat? He laughed and said he'd never heard of that. I called him dumb. Secretly. In my head.
Having had enough I decided that I needed to lose weight. I studied my options, found what would work best for me, and started eating a ketogenic diet.
Within two days the pain was gone. I would wake up stiff but not sore. No pain. Not even a little bit.
Even if I hadn't lost a pound of fat that would have been enough to keep me off carbs. Every time that I've had a "cheat day" (twice), I've felt miserable and the pain has come back. Carbs and I do not get along in even the littlest of ways.
I feel better. I'd even go so far as to say I feel good. "Keto" is for me!
Oh, and I've also lost over 40 lbs in 2 months. So that's kind of cool.
September 26th, 2013
Reviews (A Review)
One of the things I've been spending a lot of time doing, lately, is writing reviews. I'm a member of several product-review sites (like BzzAgent
, for example) and I spend a portion of almost every day writing some review of some random product or place I've recently visited. I've even started my own review blog
, which doesn't have much on it yet but will shortly.
One of the things I've noticed is that when I'm writing reviews and then go back to write something else (say, a post on Father Fails
) my writing style changes dramatically. I start adding a lot of exclamation points (as though adding excitement to draw people in), I become less personal, and I rely less on my (stunning and over-whelming) wit. I'm strangely less ME, somehow.
It made me wonder if it's just me or if this happens to other people. Would they even notice it? I don't think I would have if someone else hadn't pointed out a recent post of mine on Father Fails read like it was written by someone else. I examined it and back-tracked it to sounding like one of my reviews. The revelation was just weird
Does it come from being critical? I don't mean being mean but when I write a review I try to list the good and bad, examine every little detail of a place, and come to a conclusion. Does being more discerning on the reviews change my way of thinking about what I'm writing even when I'm not writing a review?
Does anyone else notice themselves writing certain things a certain way and that bleeding into other things they're doing? Am I just crazy and alone on this one?
August 14th, 2013
A Glitch In The Matrix
I had a dream last night.
I don't often talk about my dreams but this one was different so bear with me.
I don't remember a lot about the dream except for a few things:
- It seemed very real and realistic.
- It was a dream about the next few weeks.
- Things went badly. Quite badly indeed.
- EVERYTHING was my fault.
The last thing to happen in the dream was a car accident of some kind with something (a sword, perhaps?) sticking out of the hood of our car, having completely destroyed the engine while we were in it. We were all fine but the vehicle was 100% destroyed by whatever was piercing through it. Somehow whatever had happened was my fault even though I was in the passenger seat. Both Laura and the police blamed me.
This is the part in the dream where I started focusing very hard. "I need a second chance" I remember saying, "I can get it all right with just a second chance."
I woke up.
I was disoriented upon waking, and very confused. After a few moments I realized where I was and, more importantly, when I was. My head was absolutely pounding and my vision was slightly blurred but everything that had just gone wrong in the dream hadn't happened.
I'm convinced it was just a dream but for those few moments upon waking my mind truly believed that I've been given a second chance to get things right in the next few weeks. Which is silly and doesn't happen in real life, right?
Just in case, I'm going to go do some productive stuff and be careful not to screw up too much.
I know it was just a dream but we also once knew that the Earth was the center of the galaxy. On that note, I'm going to turn on some music and start doing things. Ciao!
June 26th, 2013
Dear Depression, An Open Letter
Do I have your attention?
For all the people whose lives have been cut short, and for their family and friends.
For the families who didn't lose someone through suicide but instead lost someone to the darkness hanging over their shoulder at every moment, making it impossible to get out of bed in the morning.
For the friends who can't understand why their friend won't come and hang out with them, and for those who do understand and know there's nothing they can really do except keep asking and keep being denied the presence of someone who used to be their best friend.
For those that suffer quietly and put a smile on the outside while inside they feel nothing.
For the parents who watch their children fall into a spiral of self-hurt, low self-esteem, and loneliness.
For those like me.
Me and everyone else
June 25th, 2013
Medication and Me
Most of you know I have low testosterone and have probably had it for my entire life. The doctors all kind of boggle when they see my numbers and I actually had a female friend recently tell me that her numbers are higher than mine, which is a little disconcerting. (She has high testosterone, for a woman.)
I'm taking Androgel, a replacement therapy gel that I put on every morning and things are going fairly well. In men, low testosterone can lead to a million different problems ranging from tiny to huge. The replacement therapy has helped with some of the larger issues like fatigue, sex drive, and mild depression.
The relatively high doses of Vitamin D, C, E, and B, plus a general multivitamin may also be helping with some of these problems. I take this all every morning before noon when I put on my gel and things seem to be going well. I'm more energetic, with more drive to actually do things during the day rather than sit around and come up with excuses why those things can't get done.
Oh, how insidious that loop can be, convincing yourself that there's no way you can go do the dishes because that would keep me from writing a blog post or watching the baby. I'm sure I can go do the dishes in an hour while the baby takes a nap; I'll just wait that hour and then do them.
Now the baby's napping and doing dishes makes a lot of noise, so it's best that I just leave them alone for now. The baby needs her sleep, after all!
Depression and fatigue don't go well together. Fatigue means that your body actually feels tired all the time and depression means that you're not going to work hard to overcome that tired feeling and actually get things done because your mind will convince you that there's no real point to it anyway. It's a one-two combo punch that leads to the uppercut of the depression then getting stronger because you're now convinced that since you didn't get any of the stuff done that you were supposed to do, you're worthless.
I've always known that I have a bad brain; the chemicals are just messed up enough to make me spend most of my life feeling worthless and then not doing anything to fix that. Living in a world of depression is living a world full of suck, allow me to attest to that.
With the medication and the regimen of vitamins, things seem to be changing, and for someone who has lived with this horrible cycle of depression leading to inaction leading to depression, it almost seems too good to be true. The change is almost miraculous and I don't think I'm even at the full extent of the change yet since I've only been doing this for a week now; I just don't feel that everything has quite 'taken hold' yet, and I may actually need a higher dose of Androgel to get me up to what medical science considers a normal level. This would, in theory, mean that my energy level and overall drive would go up even more.
The changes are surprising, really. I have an idea of something productive that I should do and instead of just saying "Yeah, that's a nice idea," followed by doing nothing, I now get up and go do that thing that needs doing. Instead of finding reasons why I can't go do this thing, I find solutions to the problems that get in my way and go get the thing I need to do, done. Once it's done I don't have to worry about it anymore and I don't have to feel like a loser because I didn't get this thing done. It's done and out of my mind.
Weird, the way the world works, sometimes. It feels like so much has opened up to me in this world; more possibilities, happiness, and amazingness ahead. I've had a life filled with all of these things. To suddenly feel like there's even more ahead? That's an amazing feeling.
Now, I just need this to keep going and not let it slip away. Any suggestions on how to do that?
May 19th, 2013
My Brain, My Enemy
I've often struggled to explain how my brain works but tonight I've pretty much hit the nail on the head.
I just put my little girl to bed and she cried for about 10 minutes, then whimpered for 2 more minutes, and then stopped. She was quiet, the exact result I was looking for. I was happy and then this conversation happened between me and my brain:Me
: Yay! She's sleeping!Brain
: Yay! That's great!Me
: Thanks for agreeing. I thought you'd be trying to get me to worry.Brain
: Worry? Why would I get you to worry? She's been sleeping peacefully without incident (except that one time you found her face down in the mattress, not moving at all, remember that time?) for 9 months!Me
: *slightly nervous laugh* Yeah. 9 months. She's fine. The plan to teach her to self-soothe is working!Brain
: That's great! And besides, every other time you've checked on her you just end up waking her up and she's been fine. So she's fine now. Probably. It's not like she's in there suffocating.Me
: Suffocation has got to be a horrible way to die.Me
: I'll be right back.
*cue sound of baby crying*Brain
: Told you she was fine. Should have let her sleep, idiot.
(Note: I don't normally crosspost from my Father Fails
blog but I felt like this one deserved to be here as well.)
May 11th, 2013
This was a long and rambling post which, when I read back to myself, just about put me to sleep. So here's the bullet points:
- My gallbladder is out.
- The doctors have never seen more gallstones than what I had in me. The younger doctor counted over 200.
- I hurt. 4 days out from the surgery I'm still in pain but it's getting better.
- I think I may already be seeing some benefits.
- 8 of the 11 staples have already been mysteriously removed from my body. The appointment for this is in 5 days.
Hopefully this is the last surgery for a while and this does everything it's supposed to do to help me be healthy.
April 20th, 2013
I just got home from being in the hospital for four days for relatively excruciating pain where my appendix used to be. Four days in a hospital is a long time. I know folks who have been there longer but considering that for my appendix surgery I wasn't even in for 48 hours, this was a very long time.
Mostly it was the waiting game. "How much pain are you in today? Okay, here's morphine while we figure this out. Oh, and no, the doctor has no clue why you're in pain. Here are our 15 best guesses so far."
"Also, now we have to stick five needles in you."
I could complain about how I wasn't allowed food or water for about 36 hours, or how then I was on a liquid-only diet, or
that when I was finally allowed on real food they put me back on a no food/water diet seconds after dinner was delivered. I could. But I won't.
Let's fast-forward to today.
I was released! The doctor, with a little help from his friends, figured out what is wrong with me and sent me home with some drugs. In the end the diagnosis is Diverticulitis
, and this third thing that causes pain but doesn't need treatment so isn't really "medically relevant."
I'm released. I'm hungry. I've had 3,000 Calories of food over the past 5 days at this point (seriously), and I. Want. To. Eat.
But let me explain the dietary restrictions I appear to be on. This research is strictly what I've found on at least 3 different websites that each appear reputable to me but should not be taken as gospel and could very well be wrong.
Dear Universe, how I hope I'm wrong.
Due to Diverticulitis I can not eat the following if I don't want to become infected and suffer a flair-up:
Anything that breaks into tiny little pieces (like croutons, for example)
And with gallstones I have to avoid these things or risk triggering a painful episode:
I am fairly certain that I have determined what I am allowed to eat. Let me make a list:
That looks about right. What do you think?