I'm kinda pissed off again. For the past year or so, I have been trying to win Powerball. At my kid's school they asked us to work on numbers with him (he's just wrapping up Kindergarten as I type), so I couldn't think of a tastier number than 292,000,000:1.
OK, OK, that's a ratio, not a proper number. But it's also the odds of winning Powerball, and I want in. And it's fine if I win on one of those off drawings with a mere $40,000,000. I can make that work, and I mean really work, pretty much forever.
Let's face it, though: those are pretty staggering odds. Getting a hole-in-one on a standard par-3, by contrast, is somewhere around 8,200:1 odds. Getting struck by lightning is reportedly around 700,000:1 according to a quick Google search, which is as far as I'd like to take my research on that subject. The real value of Powerball isn't in thinking you'll actually beat such odds. It's the few luscious minutes that you spend dreaming of what you would do with all of that money.
To be fully forthright with you, I've become somewhat fascinated by the topic, having read three different books about lottery winners. Here's the net-net of what I learned. Nearly everyone blows the money. Their friends feel entitled to some of the winnings somehow or in some way. Gifts from the heart are often translated into insults (how irrational is that?), thus ruining friendships, family relationships, etc. Problems with drugs and/or alcohol seem to be the next logical step.
Don't believe me? Here's a recent story of a 55-year-old, big-time lottery winner who blew all of his cash before realizing that it was going to run out, so while hooked on heroin he decided to take his PT Cruiser to my neighborhood (and a few others) and rob banks.�He reportedly got away with $40,000 total. Then he got 80 years in prison. Perhaps he should have hired a money manager at Goldman Sachs when he first won his money?
Now, you and I would never blow all of our money like that because the rules of human nature don't apply to us, do they? But we would blow some of it on audio gear, wouldn't we? Granted, the temptation of buying a bigger house would likely get the best of me. I would like to find a location near where I live that a) has good security b) has a killer ocean view and c) has room for me to build a separate audio room (slash) office (slash) entertainment complex that I could play with all of my cool new toys and a place to do whatever project that I wanted to work on.
It's not very stereotypically audiophile to talk about room first, but your room is the most important part of your system. I would hire one of the best room/studio designers like Bob Hodas, Keith Yates, or Anthony Grimani to help me get each and every little detail right. Floated floors? Check. Ultra-quiet lights? Check. Studio doors to keep out outside sound? Check. Perhaps non-parallel walls? Bass trap products like RPG's nifty and hidden Modex panels built into the walls? Check, check, and check, please!
Room treatments that were built-into the design of the room so that it didn't look like a commercial recording studio? Gimme. Varying types of materials in the room, including cement floors, hardwood, carpets and more absorptive things? Shut up and take my money. I want a separate room for the installation of the electronics. HVAC will need to be baffled in such a way that there will be close to no sound from the fans but the air should always blow nice and cold.
Windows or glass walls will be triple-paned to possibly grant views but to keep exterior sound out (or my sound in, depending on how you look at things). The walls will be built of thick blocks and designed to keep sound out and temperatures moderate. I can't even image what the build-cost of this construction would be. Audio engineers, lighting designers, structural engineers, absurdly expensive items like studio doors and fancy room treatments... Oh, I could see this place costing $2,000 per foot just to build. That's not including any cement, steel, or structural work needed to make it earthquake-ready for here in Los Angeles. Note: I haven't even bought a theoretical audio component yet.
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