Winning the Lottery!

Winning the Lottery!”

It never ceases to amaze me how many people, who are on controlled budgets, give buying lottery tickets every week a high priority. The rationale generally falls into two distinct groups.

There are those who feel that, regardless of prior results, they think that this week will be their turn for the big win! Then there are those who simply buy tickets because “If you don’t play, you can’t win eh”!

What they all seem to have in common is the desire to win a large sum of money, and how happy they believe it would make them. Of course the whole lottery “advertising machine” encourages such thinking when, without exception (in my experience), all advertising focuses on self indulgent spending.

I find the whole lottery scene interesting because so many people are thinking nothing of spending $20-$25 a week on tickets. However, most of them would admit to a degree of excitement if they were given $1000.00. For some reason, the rationale does not holdup when you suggest that they stop buying tickets for a year; saved the money, and then gave themselves $1000.00 at year end!

It would appear therefore that while a $1000.00 gift would be nice, it is the $multi-million prizes that are the attraction. Again, I have to question the logic because there are so many examples of people forced into bankruptcy after a big win, simply because they spend with no thought for their resulting obligations. Moving into a multi-million dollar home dictates very high taxes and utilities plus the general upkeep of such properties! A luxury yacht is not a low maintenance item! Buying everybody a Rolls Royce car may well not be appreciated at vehicle service time.

Then there are those who have won multi-millions, and have decided to take a vacation while they decide what to do with it. Very often, it is decided to treat family and friends to small (relative to the win) value items such as pay off mortgages or buy cars. I am no accountant, but it is apparently very likely that a $multi-million win could be gaining more interest over a year than is being spent! People can literally have “more money than they know what do with”. Given all the new friends that they will undoubtedly have, and all the charities that will be in constant touch with them, it is highly unlikely that this will be a carefree and happy period in their life!

It seems to me that the ideal person to win a $multi-million lottery, is someone with a good basic knowledge of accounting and investments; someone with business experience, and someone with a philanthropic perspective. As far as I can deduce, that person would have a chance of being happy as a result of a big win but then, would that person actually buy lottery tickets?

Life Circumstances

“Life Circumstances!”

Having Ray’s book* released to the world triggered many thoughts, not the least of which is how one’s life journey can change directions in ways that could never have been predicted, simply as a result of specific circumstances.

If I had not failed my pre-career medical, I would have never met the girl that I married.

If I had never married that girl, I would have never come to Canada because it was her aunt that sold us on the idea and eventually sponsored us.

Many years later, if I had never been put on a special project by my employer, I would have never met Carol.

If I had never met Carol, it would have been virtually guaranteed that I would have never contemplated letting a dog into my life.

If I had never let Ray into my life, I would have never written the book about him!

If somebody told me in 2008 that, in 5 years, I would be living with an almost 80 pounds dog who had been abandoned and carried significant emotional baggage as a result, I would have grinned and responded “Yeh……….. right!”

If that same person told me that I would do pretty much anything for that dog, I would start to wonder what they had been drinking.

If they then told me that I would write, and publish, a book* covering the trials and tribulations of his first 18 months with us, I would be convinced that they were totally delusional.

Circumstances! Aren’t they wonderful? They can just happen, and our life takes on a completely new direction.

Circumstances! Provide us with incentives to step out of our comfort zones.

Circumstances! Offer us challenges from which we can expand our horizons and generally grow.

Perhaps we should all reflect on the circumstances that brought us to our current “place” and celebrate because, regardless of the positives and negatives of the various life-changing circumstances, they did happen and they did make us who we are today. As for tomorrow? There will hopefully be more circumstances.

* “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” is available direct from the Friesen Press Bookstore

A Reality Check!

I wonder how many of you have contemplated what you would like to do, but have not actually started yet. Perhaps you have an  artistic flair you want to develop? Perhaps you want to do some volunteer work? Perhaps you want to get yourself into a fitness routine? Perhaps? Perhaps? Perhaps?

There are so many aspects of our lives that could be developed, and we have every intention of working on them one day don’t we … but here’s a reality check to which some of you will be able to easily relate.

For me, the past 10 years have been a blur of events. Ray came into our lives – I lost a couple of dear friends – COVID arrived – Ukraine is fighting for survival. Then there are the various elections; the significant localized events.  Of course we can’t forget the extreme weather patterns that are generally attributed to climate change, plus events that are a natural part of our aging planet. If you are a regular news “junkie”, then you have probably pondered the “sabre rattling” by North Korea, and also by China. Will Hong Kong maintain its status quo or will it be absorbed into mainland China’s political structure?

So much of the above is simply a sign of my age. I am at an age (75) where I can recall simpler times. Of course they weren’t really simpler times at all, but I was so much younger and more self-involved so was not impacted too much by those kinds of events …. but here’s the reality check:

I was in a thoughtful mood the other day, and generally contemplating the world (and life) in general. It crossed my mind just how fast the past 10 years had gone by. It made me wonder how our world will look in 10 years time … and then it crossed my mind that I may well not be around to see it! Given the average lifespan of men here in Canada, and looking at the male side of my family tree, there is a very strong possibility that I will not be around in 2032.

The significance of that is when I think of how fast the last 10 years went by, and concluded that the next 10 years will presumably pass equally fast. I don’t know about you, but if that perspective doesn’t make you get moving on some dreams/goals, then I don’t know what will!

Food for thought!

Politics & Religion!

The following Post showed up here in 2019, but this does seem to be an appropriate time to repeat it:

Many bloggers will steer clear of politics and religion and, given the abusive nature of isolated comments that are usually generated from those topics, it’s an understandable position. While I can acknowledge the sensitivity of those areas (together with a few other areas), I do believe that feelings/opinions should be expressed. We all view the world differently, and those differences are based on our upbringing, together with any significant emotional experiences. It is therefore quite natural that, while you and I will hopefully have some common interests and perspectives, it is highly unlikely that we will agree on everything. We must recognize the significance of that.

There were many cases of people who lived through the US great depression, who later stored their money at home. A very natural reaction given the collapse of many banks during that time period and, if you cannot trust your bank, it becomes necessary find a more secure location …. say under the bed mattress! Storing money at home is, to me, rather reckless  as I trust my bank … but I can still understand the other perspective.

Anybody raised in a “working class” environment, will have a very different perspective of the world than somebody whose family was financially very secure. It is not coincidental that door-to-door fundraising is more lucrative in working class neighbourhoods than it is in affluent neighbourhoods. The rationale explained to me a long time ago was simple – “The more you have, the more you have to lose … the more you hold on to it.”

Living in an area which is either very industrial, or rather precarious in its existence, will often result in a very giving/sharing culture. I experienced that in the industrial north of England, and many will attest to it in Canada’s East Coast communities.

As children, many of us grew up generally trusting people and, while reality dictated that there were “villains” out there, we could believe that they were not a significant factor to us. Conversely however, if we experienced abuse from somebody we trusted, the after effects could quite naturally have impacted our perspective on people for many years into the future.

So where is all this going? It is simply to spread the word that you and I do not necessarily have to be right or wrong. Neither of us needs to get upset at the other’s viewpoint. What we do need to do is to acknowledge that your perspective is created from your life experiences, and my perspective created from mine. If we can respect differing opinions, and perhaps even make an effort to understand them, then we as a society will avoid so many issues.

As for politics and religion? Go for it, and if/when you get a really abusive Comment … try and remember that their life experiences have dictated their behaviour. I moderate all my Comments in order to catch those with suggestive, vulgar or otherwise offensive phrasing, but I do that to maintain a standard of blogging. Even if I do not understand the reasons why an individual becomes abusive here, I can at least acknowledge that there certainly are reasons. Spread the word! 🙂

Temporarily Inactive

As a result of a number of challenges presenting themselves at the same time, this Blog will be inactive for the immediate future. As I will still be Following your Blogs, you will no doubt still receive Likes and a Comment or two … or three … or four! There are a number of unknowns impacting this decision, but hopefully Blogging can get back to normal in the not too distant future. Regards to all. Stay safe. Take care. Colin.


This was a tough one, with the Carpenters, Moody Blues, Gordon Lightfoot and so many others making an impact on me. However, one song from 1970 that I still play is this one. In general I was not a particular fan of Emerson, Lake & Palmer …. but this one was very creative and quickly “grew on me”!