five for fightin’, another followup

ted | junk | Monday, March 19th, 2007

From the Desk of Hazen H. Hammel, Esq.

1. For the benefit of everyone who hasn’t heard this already, or to get it all in one place, what are you going to do with your Mega Millions?

Well, when I win my Mega Millons tomorrow night, I’ve got a pretty simple plan for dealing with my newfound wealth:

– Take care of all my debts, public and private. Pretty simple. What little credit card balance we have, cars, house, Nikki’s student loans, all gone. Probably also do the same for close family members and very close friends.

– Feather my nest. I honestly think this will necessitate a secondary residence as I’ve got some lofty goals. I like living in Chicago and I like my house but I’d like it a lot better if it was done the way I want it. Ultra insulated, solar cells on the roof, wind turbine on the garage, Lister 6/1 genset, batteries, grid-tie inverter, geothermal heating/cooling, make it as green as I can. Throw in the usual smattering of new computers, appliances & other furnishings.

– Start up my own company. Illinois Talkshow Nightmare Liquor Corporation? I dunno. Buy an old building, turn it into my personal shop. Furnish it with good tools that are made in the USA. Metal working, wood working, automotive, bicycle, motorcycle, whatever. Do preventative maintenence on friends’ vehicles for the cost of parts plus $1/hour shop rate (tax reasons). Have a biodiesel processor in the corner as well as a nice brewery setup. Throw LOTS of parties.

– Spread the wealth (small version). This is where the fun begins. I’d start out by taking a good look at my list of friends and acquaintences and their various skills. Then whenever I needed some help with anything they were good at, they’d get paid. If I required legal advice I might fly Mr. Hammel and his family up for a paid week in Chicago (in February XA XA XA). If I needed computer help, it might be Chris in Nashua or Jared in Crooklyn or my brother in the ATL. Video needs? I’m calling up the boys in Asstoria. All expenses paid help, cash. No need for this to rile up the revenuers.

– Spread the wealth (big version). Start a Southside Chicago development agency. Donate some big chunks to the Red Cross, NPR/NPB, ACLU, EFF, Doctors Without Borders, anybody that fights the good fight and isn’t a dick about it or skims off the top too much (COUGHCOUGHUNITEDWAYCOUGH).

Other than that? Sock enough in the bank to live off the interest, travel around to my heart’s content, order up a couple drums of Illinois Soybean Biodiesel to power the cars with and cold kick it live.

2. Assuming cost is not a factor, if you could buy a vacation home, lakeside cabin, or some such frippery anywhere within a 150 mile radius of your current estate, where and why and what would you do there?

It would be a small cabin out in the middle of nowhere in NW Illinois, preferably something built myself – maybe bale hay/mud or ram earth construction. Basically a getaway cabin sandwiched between soybean fields where there’s no computer, no grid power, no cell phone reception indoors (fine metal mesh in walls, clever). PV cells on the roof and a small wind turbine collecting free power, inverter & battery bank keeping enough around to give a little light to cook or read by, human powered water pump to fill a cistern and solar water heaters. Big fucking stacks of books and blank paper. Couple bicycles to tool around on. Yes, I am turning into Ted Kaczynski.

3. With the scene set from your answer to the last question, now I flip the Grateful Dead question right back atcha. Five songs.

This is a tough one and could change on a whim. But as of right now, here goes.

Althea, Jack Straw, St. Stephen, Dire Wolf, Turn on Your Lovelight.

4. Which is more of a threat to our precious American way of life: big agribusiness or big energy corps?

At this point there’s virtually no difference between the two. I would like to say big energy by a hair since we got that Texas oilman in the White House is doing us notorious wrong, but it’s hard not to see where big agriculture isn’t doing similar things.

5. I for one welcome our new Chinese overlords. You?

Having been there, they need to learn how to drive worth a damn before I’m too concerned with them taking us over. Then again, I say the same thing when I’m in California. Eventually I see a stage where manufacturing jobs start coming back to Ohio and Pennsylvania and Michigan instead of being continually exported. Maybe if what they’re doing now makes us a little leaner on the corporate side of things, it might be good. All in all I have little beef with them artificially depressing their currency’s value by roughly tying it to the almighty dollar and making their goods so much cheaper here. I think other countries need to get wise and start fighting fire with fire, though. China is simply playing by the rules it has been given. If it’s not fair, then the rules need to change. And I salute those Coke-taining Chinamen for doing so. Strange thing is they make such bloody good watches.

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