Blue Motorcycle

Blue Motorcycle

Dirty Streets
Whisper my name
Fill me with longing
To find my way home

I took this photo last week. I saw the motorcycle out of the corner of my eye and took a quick photo without really thinking about it at the time but looking at it now, I find the contrast interesting, the shiny bike propped up against the run-down garage and street.

What you can’t see in the photo is that the entire street was in a similar state; most of the houses looked slightly rundown, with paint peeling and tiles missing and overgrown gardens – but they all had expensive cars in their driveways and satellite TV. I guess having a car and staying connected is more important for many people these days than if a house needs new paint, particularly in the current economy.

I thought it seemed like an apt analogy for the world at the moment. I wonder how many other streets and houses are like this around the world… probably too many to really comprehend, sadly.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2011

10 things I’d do with 10 million dollars

Why is it that some people are luckier than others? Do they just have a knack for being in the right place at the right time? Or is being lucky something you learn, knowing when to take chances and when to hold back?

Sometimes I’m lucky but most of the time I think we make our own luck… but then there’s a story like this one, where someone won $10 million playing Oz Lotto. They live in a town of just 4,000 people and the ticket was bought from the local news agency where another ticket won $100,000 just weeks earlier. That’s some run of luck!

Of course that’s great for them, but it’s made me wonder what I’d do if that ever happened to me (I can dream). The first thing I’d do is go crazy, but $10 million is a lot of money, enough to change my life and others… this is what I’d try to do with it.

  • Buy a house
    That’s the first thing I’d do. Just a small house, maybe three bedrooms, somewhere in Sydney but away from the crowds and noise. Plus some furnishings and a new TV.
    • Investments
      Next I’d pay off family debts and make sure we all had enough savings to live off comfortably. I’d give some money to friends and invest in a property for my parents to live in as well.
      • Self-publish
        I’d also put some money aside for when I wanted to send my work away. If it was repeatedly knocked back then at least I’d have the option to self-publish.
        • Donations
          I’d give 15% to charities and look at starting a scholarship fund for disadvantaged children; the interest alone could pay for several scholarships each year.
          • Pay it forward
            For this I’d draw up a contract, then find 3 people and give them $500,000 each to start a small business. They could keep the profits, but once they’d made $1 million they’d give $500,000 to help someone else. Hopefully it would keep being paid forward to help new people.
            • Start a bookshop
              This is something I’ve always wanted to do, start a secondhand bookshop somewhere in Sydney, with a small coffee shop and weekly poetry readings… it’d be a nice business to keep in family hands. How’s New Leaf Books sound?
              • Travel
                First I’d take my family on a vacation and then put some aside to see more of the world later on. Hopefully I’d get to see Egypt and more of Europe… and Wimbledon, of course.
                • Copyrights
                  This idea I’ve liked since I heard Jimmy Wales from Wikipedia mention it. I’d look at some of the old copyrighted works which are still under licence (texts, music) and buy them out to release into the community. Realistically a few million dollars wouldn’t buy much but it might help to raise awareness for Project Gutenberg and similar projects.
                  • Music
                    Another thing I’ve always wanted to do is to learn to play the guitar and piano. I’d set up an area where someone could teach me without bothering anyone else. I’d also buy all the CDs I’ve wanted over the years.
                    • Rainforest preservation
                      Finally I’d purchase several acres of land for habitat preservation and do more to support The Rainforest Conservation Fund and the World Wildlife Fund.

                    So that’s my list. I wonder what you’d do with $10 million? 😉

                    10 things I'd do with 10 million dollars

                    Why is it that some people are luckier than others? Do they just have a knack for being in the right place at the right time? Or is being lucky something you learn, knowing when to take chances and when to hold back?

                    Sometimes I’m lucky but most of the time I think we make our own luck… but then there’s a story like this one, where someone won $10 million playing Oz Lotto. They live in a town of just 4,000 people and the ticket was bought from the local news agency where another ticket won $100,000 just weeks earlier. That’s some run of luck!

                    Of course that’s great for them, but it’s made me wonder what I’d do if that ever happened to me (I can dream). The first thing I’d do is go crazy, but $10 million is a lot of money, enough to change my life and others… this is what I’d try to do with it.

                    • Buy a house
                      That’s the first thing I’d do. Just a small house, maybe three bedrooms, somewhere in Sydney but away from the crowds and noise. Plus some furnishings and a new TV.
                      • Investments
                        Next I’d pay off family debts and make sure we all had enough savings to live off comfortably. I’d give some money to friends and invest in a property for my parents to live in as well.
                        • Self-publish
                          I’d also put some money aside for when I wanted to send my work away. If it was repeatedly knocked back then at least I’d have the option to self-publish.
                          • Donations
                            I’d give 15% to charities and look at starting a scholarship fund for disadvantaged children; the interest alone could pay for several scholarships each year.
                            • Pay it forward
                              For this I’d draw up a contract, then find 3 people and give them $500,000 each to start a small business. They could keep the profits, but once they’d made $1 million they’d give $500,000 to help someone else. Hopefully it would keep being paid forward to help new people.
                              • Start a bookshop
                                This is something I’ve always wanted to do, start a secondhand bookshop somewhere in Sydney, with a small coffee shop and weekly poetry readings… it’d be a nice business to keep in family hands. How’s New Leaf Books sound?
                                • Travel
                                  First I’d take my family on a vacation and then put some aside to see more of the world later on. Hopefully I’d get to see Egypt and more of Europe… and Wimbledon, of course.
                                  • Copyrights
                                    This idea I’ve liked since I heard Jimmy Wales from Wikipedia mention it. I’d look at some of the old copyrighted works which are still under licence (texts, music) and buy them out to release into the community. Realistically a few million dollars wouldn’t buy much but it might help to raise awareness for Project Gutenberg and similar projects.
                                    • Music
                                      Another thing I’ve always wanted to do is to learn to play the guitar and piano. I’d set up an area where someone could teach me without bothering anyone else. I’d also buy all the CDs I’ve wanted over the years.
                                      • Rainforest preservation
                                        Finally I’d purchase several acres of land for habitat preservation and do more to support The Rainforest Conservation Fund and the World Wildlife Fund.

                                      So that’s my list. I wonder what you’d do with $10 million? 😉