London Ontario Canada

June 25, 2011


Filed under: London — Tags: — thatguyinlondon @ 10:28 pm

Earlier this Saturday I had a single $10 bill to my name. I spent $5 at Price Choppers for a can of ravioli ($1), a tomato for a sandwich ($0.52), a 1.5L tub of maple walnut ice cream (only $2, bargain!) and a pack of hotdogs ($1) for my dog Sam. I also bought a 371ml thingy of Irish Cream coffee flavouring ($1.99) so I can tolerate instant coffee. I then spent the last $3 on a Lotto 649 ticket for tonight’s $11 million draw.

(cue in dream-like music) 11 million dollars….what would I do with it?

2 million would go to my existence, calculating 50K a year for 40 years, assuming I live to be 95.

2 million would go in trust for my son paying him 50k a year when he is 40. Prior to that he would still live with me and go to school and/or work.

1 million would be there just for me to blow.  I think I’d take a buddy to Vegas to see if I really could do well as a professional poker player, I’d travel a bit or maybe just buy into a golf course. I’d give a bunch away just because I could.

That leaves 6 million for a dream I have been harbouring for about 10 years. It would be called The ******* *** Foundation, named after my son. This foundation would be a benevolent organization with the sole purpose of helping those in need. Not just the poor. Say someone had the dream of starting a small business but couldn’t get the capital. My organization would give it to them. Give it, not loan. There wouldn’t be a whole lot of  red tape and delay, they’d just get it if the idea sounded like it stood a chance. All the Foundation would ask for was say 10% of net profits…forever. If the business fails we lose, if it succeeds the Foundation gets money into the kitty. I am sure money could be raised with fundraisers and stuff like that too. The Foundation would build/buy residences for the homeless and poor. Scattered in all areas of the city so as to NOT create a ghetto, with rents geared to income with a reasonable cap so if successful people wouldn’t have to move if they didn’t want to. It would offer clothes for job interviews or tools for employment. It would offer food and showers for those who needed them or whatever was leg up was needed.

To slow the influx of the needy moving to London or people lining up for assistance there would be one simple rule. Ask and you will not get. The Foundation would have a team of trusted people out and about seeking out those in need. Sure the plan is flimsy. It’s only a dream after all, but if I had the money I would “waste” it trying to make it work. If nothing else it would employ a lot of people (staff) who would be paid well, but not outrageously and all would get the same no matter what their position. By today’s standards I’d say 30K a year plus housing.

Overall I would like to create a for profit organization with a working model that would put so-called non-profit organizations to shame. A 6 mil opening donation helps, but hopefully it would be self-sufficient before that money ran out.

Jobs. I’d want to be in the job making business. I’d want to be in the helping people business. Most of all I’d want to be in the “see you assholes, this is how people with money should conduct themselves” business.

Oh sure it’s all easy to say. I haven’t won the money and odds are strong I won’t. Still, if I had a shitload of money it would stay in London and help Londoners without interference from City Hall. Maybe I’d even be able to help the whole city by just paying some tab the city incurred so they wouldn’t have to gouge it out of the citizens.

Look, it’s just about time to check the ticket.

Oh yeah, and I’d have a job for  my Twitter friends I have not yet met and anyone who posts a comment on this blog. 😛

Okay….so what would YOU do?


June 23, 2011

Stuff I Meant To Type But Didn’t and Carfree Saturday

Filed under: London — Tags: , , , , — thatguyinlondon @ 10:44 am

I got this title from another potential blog title that passed through my thoughts: Tweets I Never Twittered. I think of my best mega-favestarfest tweets when I am away from the computer, like when I am in the shower. By the time I get back to my chair the tweet is gone. The same thing goes with blog posts. I think of some brilliant topics and even write them in my head; usually when out walking. By the time I get home, like the shower tweets they are all fragmented or gone. I posted the Tweets I Never Twittered title on Twitter as a “Working blog title” tweet, so maybe it has already been published. I should Google that to see how many people thought about it before I did. Whatever, original thought is very, very rare.

Yesterday the first Tweet I read was about George Carlin. It was something about if he were alive he’d own us all on Twitter. It didn’t take a mental debate to agree with that sentiment. Yeah, he’d own. The point is my first thought was, George Carlin is dead? I praise all your respective Gods for Google. A quick glance showed he died on June 22.  That worked in my favour. I had yet to read the news (I include blogs when I say news) so how was I to know he died that morning? When I Google I am lazy. I just scan with my eyes for keywords in relation to whatever I am trying to research. In this case it was the day, not the year so I missed the 2008 bit. So,the tweet was an homage. Well played, sir. My 10 minutes of confusion was for a good cause.

Carfreefest <– Look, I added some colour. Go me!

My plans and intentions for Carfree Saturday were to go down early, help out some, then meet up with the twitter pack and hang out through the evening’s entertainment. On Twitter, the MET was giving away table space and I thought it would be cool to hang a @thatguyinlondon #freegolf sign, just to engage people in conversation. That would have worked, I think. Instead I felt I need more purpose than that so I figured the #freegolf would be what got the most attention, so I called the course and got a bunch of pamphlets, passes and trinkets. I packed up a bag and bussed my way downtown.

Let me interrupt with this. I got off the bus at Richmond and Oxford to transfer onto a bus going south on Richmond. There were two there and another pulling in as the light finally changed. I was weighted down, I couldn’t run and all three buses pulled away before I got there. I looked back up Richmond and there wasn’t another bus in sight. I still had an hour on the transfer so stuck it in the schedule sign for someone else to use and walked. That’ll teach ’em!

Back to Carfree. When I got to the MET I strolled around and started getting the idea that it was not a golf venue. It was arts and crafts, design and not sporty at all. Nothing wrong with that, bu I started getting the feeling of not fitting in. But, I said I’d be there so I hunted down a person in charge. I was shown a table at the front by the door, not far from a band performing. An electric band. It was around 1pm and they were finishing up around 3, so I went off to offer my services to the festival saying I would return.

There were two duties offered to me. One was manning the information booth, the other was to go to a side street location and keep an eye out for trouble. There was something about liability and spotters were required. That sounded helpful so I asked for more detail. There wasn’t any. I asked what would I do if there were trouble and was told to let her know. How. I asked. run a few blocks and tell you? Yes, was the reply. I opted out of that one. I didn’t want to be a mannequin for the sake of satisfying an insurance company. Besides, if there were trouble, there are plenty enough cell phones the proper services would be notified long before I schlepped 3 blocks to say call 911. I took the Information Booth gig.

This too was right beside a band. At first the band played classical and all was good. Then a solo acoustic guitar player/singer. That was good too. Then it got electrical. Though the bands were excellent and I enjoyed watching them, they made the giving of any information impossible.  That duty became more of making sure the programs and pamphlets didn’t blow off the table. Someone had tapped them down, but there must have only been the slightest breeze so they did so lightly.

The loud music didn’t start until about 4:30 (I had completely forgotten about the MET and #freegolf) and I spent my time standing and foisting programs upon people. Most shied from my offering until I said “free program”. When I first walked by the booth I just glanced down to see what it was about. There were no indications it was an Information Booth or that the stacks of weighted down papers were programs. I swear, my first glance made me think of those gas providers that go door to door selling service plans. I think it was the colour of blue mostly, but also the sense of shadiness by not being obvious of purpose.

I met a few Twitterers. That was really exciting and welcome. I must say though, that few looked liked there pictures. But to be fair, Twitter avatar pictures are quite tiny and my eyes aren’t what they used to be. I met one Twitter that I had wanted to meet for a long time. He was one of my first”local stranger”  follows. The bummer part of that was I barely remember. I didn’t even know I had met him until he tweeted that it was nice to meet me there. You can imagine how embarrassing that was. I didn’t admit it. I covered and said it was nice to meet him too. It was. I do recall the meet in a hazy fashion. We were both on our way somewhere with purpose, so it was very brief. In hindsight though, I wish I knew it was him I was meeting when I did. I would have changed my priorities and spoke more.

Around 4:00 I was joined in the booth by Gina Barber. We talked local and provincial government until the bands began to play. It was a great pleasure meeting her and talking with her.  I think if not muted by the band, we could have talked all shift. I would have liked that.

Sometime around six, after Gina had left, a couple came to relieve me of my duties. I schlepped my 50 lbs of golf literature back to the MET to find it was closed. Ooops. I hope they weren’t counting on me. Not that I can see why they would. But I did say I would be back and I was disappointed in myself for possibly disappointing someone else. I took my poundage back to the booth to stash it under the table. Armed with my camera I wandered about. I saw the water park for the first time in ages and thought it a great scene. It was a hot day, and though late, much fun was being had by a good number of people.

I eventually went back to the booth and the couple left early. They were not so keen on sitting in a booth that served little to no purpose. I stayed there until 8 or so. I liked it there because even though I wasn’t serving a purpose, I had the sense of purpose. I had a perceived reason to sit there, as opposed to wandering around aimlessly. The closure of the booth was when my day/night started to fall apart. I had intended to give away the bulk of the weight I was carrying. That never happened so whatever I was going to do I had to do with about 50lbs of weight digging into my shoulder and amplifying the force of gravity. It made me think Roy McDonald must be a very strong man.

My new intention was to pass time until 9 and go see Fusion Forge (?) in front of the Bell Building. My wandering led me to Snoop Dogg’s encampment. I was surprised by the level of security. Everyone was being physically searched. Quite thoroughly, too. The whole stage area was blacked out by fence so those without a ticket could not steal a glance. It was only a 7 or 8 foot fence, so standing on a curb and tip[ toes afforded a peak. I shot some pictures with my camera held high. I would have snapped quite a few good ones had it not been for the cursed setting sun. Of about 50 shots taken, maybe three really turned out. None of Snoop. All this lasted maybe 20 minutes. I walked up to Vic Park to see the Kid’s Expo. It was wonderfully quiet and cuss free, compared to Snoop up the street. There was a woman singing onstage with a cute little girl, maybe 5 years old, dancing about. I watched for a while and wandered on.

It was now about quarter to 9. I had yet to hook up with anyone. I was tired from carrying the weight and standing at the far northwest corner of Vic Park. To the south, a  goodly number of blocks, was the Bell Building and the musical blacksmiths I was interested in hearing. To the north, quite a few more blocks was home. I rationalized that by adding the walk back south and north again to where I stood then home, was likely farther than just walking home from there. Being without cash or bus ticket I knew I was walking. So that’s what I did. I schlepped that weight on my tired frame to Adelaide and Huron. For the rest of the night I tried to talk myself into going back after lightening my load. The tweets I read made me feel I was missing out on a lot of fun but my energy level, or inspiration level was too low to get me up and out. Regret is too strong a word for this occasion, but I do ponder that I made the wrong choice. It seemed a day full of them beginning  with thinking I needed more than just me to justify standing in the MET. Just me would have been a better fit without the golf trappings. Just me could have talked about Twitter, social media and golf just by using the #freegolf hashtag. Lesson learned. Next event I will go unencumbered with gear or preconceived plans. I’ll just go, and go with the flow.

Blogs in gerneral:

I read a lot of blogs. Most inspire a lot of thought. That is a good thing. What I find most blogs lack is a “READ” button. That read in he past tense as in I have read this blog. As far as I can tell, on most blogs, the only way to acknowledge reading it is to leave a comment. Sometimes I am not ready to comment or have nothing to say. Still, I want to let the blogger know they have been read and their efforts are not futile. All I am suggesting is a wee counter button, clickable by all, whether registered or not. This blog doesn’t have one. It has a STATS page with counters, but that counts bots as well. So if you do read this and other blogs, take the time to type at least: Thanks for sharing.

My last blog post was a train wreck of an idea. Well, not the idea itself but the presentation. I tried to be cute and creative. I guess I better stick to plain and simple. I’ll repost that concept in a separate blog later and hopefully do so without garnering emails that say simply, “Huh?”.

I have yet to read my emails or Tweets so have no idea what today holds for me. Now seems like a good time to do that. Cheers.

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