Powerball Hangover

Open your eyes slowly and try to sit up.

You had a little too much Lottery Vodka last night. I saw you tipping back one set of numbers after the next, increasingly convinced with each new sequence that a bunch of ping pong balls in an air popper were going to line up in exactly the right order to permanently and profoundly change your life.

I made a half-hearted attempt to get you to slow down, but you were already too far gone into 320 million dollar fantasy land – promising to use your fortune to buy a new clarinet for every impoverished 4th grader in Minneapolis, because “… music is so beautiful, every poor kid deserves a chance to be the next Artie Shaw.”

Nice sentiment. Sorry it didn’t work out the way you imagined.

But then again, Shaw’s life didn’t turn out so happy after all. It might have been a waste of money in any case. It’s hard to spend a fortune wisely, and we never know what strange turn fate will take.

We’ve already seen that big lottery winners are especially adept at financial smash-ups. I only buy one ticket at a time, based on a private theory I have that a single ticket is really just “a license to imagine”.

According to this smug rationale, getting two tickets is proof you don’t know anything about mathematics or probability, and buying three tickets certifies that you didn’t deserve to have six dollars in the first place.

But if I’m so smart, why couldn’t I have simply IMAGINED buying a ticket instead of throwing away two dollars?

That’s the problem with exercising your inventiveness on something like this. I did picture all my numbers coming up during the drawing last night, but when I fantasized about going into the kitchen to retrieve the stub, I also imagined that my dog had inexplicably eaten the ticket.

Dang! I was going to buy a Personalized Whack-A-Mole game for every member of the baboon tribe! With moulded mole heads shaped to look like members of your family!

But put it out of your mind. We should have known our numbers were never going to come up.

What’s your lucky number?

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109 thoughts on “Powerball Hangover”

  1. Great photo, Dale!! Personally, I’d hate to win the lottery. Seriously. I value living in the simplicity of the 10% tax bracket. Sudden wealth would be so stressful – all those people feeling resentful if I don’t give some of it to them; all those decisions; all that unboundaried freedom. No thanks! I have to admit, however, that the day my reverse mortgage was established, it felt like I’d won the lottery. My “lucky number” was 62 when I became eligible for this and early Social Security. 65′s a cool number, too, since Medicare erased all medical anxiety in my life.

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    1. CB – I feel the same way about the lottery. It’s also the same way I feel about celebrity – just not that interested in trading in my personal freedom for what comes with tons of cash and fame. However, I could always use a little more cash; my fantasy is that some wealthy person takes note of my life, admires my choices and then anonymously leaves me $500 every month in an unmarked envelope!

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  2. Morning all. I hadn’t really considered whether I had a lucky number or not. I tend to waffle in life between believing in a lot of luck or in a lot of destiny. But I suppose since I was 39 when I traveled to China to become a parent and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done (being a parent), then maybe 39 is my lucky number!

    I’m off again for the last camping trip of the summer today… see you all on the trail next week!

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  3. i did not know artie shaw or his story very well. thats a good story about him in the link. i am not much of a lottery guy. i have bought numbers , i have not won. my lucky numbers are 777 or 888 my unlucky number is 666. when i was a kid i wore number 13 on my baseball jersies to temp fate i am looking forward to seeing where this topic goes today.

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    1. It won’t let me vote! I voted yesterday and I just tried again, but it told me I can vote again in 24 hours. :(

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      1. I had trouble too and contacted the folks at the site. They can’t duplicate it and now I can vote on a different computer. Thanks for trying!

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    2. Beth-Ann — trying to get to the Kemps site via Facebook and getting a message for the last hour that says “We couldn’t find what you’re looking for. We’re currently investigating what went wrong here. We’ll be back shortly.” In case you want to rattle somebody’s cage!

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      1. 24 hours means 24 not 23 and 59 minutes and they cleaned up being able to multiple vote. hopefully they cant count the multiple vote folks. i have a feeling i know a few.

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  4. Well, I’m having great trouble with the notion of a personalized Whack-a-Mole game. If pressed, I could probably identify five people who have caused me great pain. But they were (and are) people who were generally miserable and dysfunctional, and they did terrible things to many more folks than me. It seems foolish to waste time hating such screwed up people. The only person I hold accountable for the greatest pain in my life is the little guy in my Gravatar photo, and he was never evil . . . just immature, misled and weak. Friends have sometimes accused me of “beating up on myself,” but even I could never get excited about a game where I would thump five little Steves as they randomly pop up.

    I don’t waste time wishing ill on the folks who betrayed or disappointed me so badly in life. If I did think much of them, and if I really was in a nasty mood, I might pray that they suffer the agonies of winning the lottery. But even in my ugliest moments, I’m not that mean.

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    1. i think whack a mole therapy sounds wonderful.my mom was an art therapist and i got introduced to lots of 70′s therapy stuff that was interesting. we have somewhere large padded sword/baseball bat things that are meant to allow you to have an all out battle with someone and swing with all you might to hit them with a weapony looking bag of marshmellows. the intent is to let you get your angst out and the result is realizing how little a whack does to fix anything. after a minute of exerting lots of energy it breaks down into laughter and if you are lucky enough to be hitting the real focus of your angst it turns into an impossible scenerio to continue without getting past the moment. came in handy for brothers sisters parents but business associates hardly ever sit still for getting whacked. dales answer is the logical next step. take that guy who had me get the business in his pocket then fired me, take that guy who lide and stole form me and likely many others to meet his own goals… take that ex wife… bad mechanic….bill kling….

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      1. “The intent is to let you get your angst out . . . .” Yes, but the intent of a great many things is to accomplish some psychological end that might not follow from the action. Many people defend high school football by saying this is a way of letting kids work out their aggression in a safe setting. Does it really work that way. Do kids actually get rid of their aggression that way? Or does that team spirit thing often lead kids to enjoy aggression against “enemy” teams? It is so easy to defend some activity as offering a chance to get rid of tensions or ill will . . . but people aren’t careful about doing the assessment later on to discover whether expressing an emotion actually gets it “out” of one’s self. Just one man’s opinion . . . and I’m often wrong. :)

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        1. i think the truth is the guys on the football team are the ones you wnt to crank up to get out there and sell sell sell the insurance the medtronic medical devices the old red white and blue, and the ability to crank it up a notch is vital. who wants a thoughtful slow paced introspective poet as their team leader (i have had my challanges)
          what the heck does turn out the way you intend. look what dr spock did to the generation he ushered in. they are all screwed up and he was such a nice guy, cmon steve whack a mole

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        2. I refuse to have a Bobo doll in my play room (the inflatable guy who pops up when you hit him) because the last thing I want is for aggressive children to start wacking something. It does nothing to rid children of anger. It just increases their anger. Anger needs to be mediated in a socially acceptable way, preferably with the use of appropriate words.

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      2. We just hosted another Supersoaker Party for Husband’s family that seems to work that way, tim (for the ones who are at this point invited). Hot day, everyone armed with a big squirt gun, running around blasting each other and getting soaked. First time we had it more of the “loose cannon” siblings were present, the problematic ones, and ALL those siblings who were barely speaking to each other were laughing, squirting, running, laughing… The comaraderie didn’t last forever, but it was a great afternoon and everyone requested another party the next summer.

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      3. One of my rules of thumb is that if I think I “hate” somebody, I probably don’t know that person at all. Over the years I’ve often been critical of decisions Bill Kling has made, but I wonder what I’d think of him if I knew him well. He did, after all, create the finest public radio service in the country (maybe the world). He irked Garrison Keillor, but many nice people have done so, and Kling did work VERY hard to get Garrison back when it looked like that couldn’t happen. I can’t be furious with him for some decisions without giving him credit for doing many good things, and so I try to suspend judgment in cases like this.

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        1. They always say that MPR is the best public radio service, but I think public radio should be small locally based stations that don’t get a lot of corporate money. They are big, but they are almost like Clear Channel Radio where the local outlets have almost no staff and no local programing.

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        2. My neighbor, a woman I’ve known for 15 years, followed every daily Caring Bridge entry I posted for the first treacherous year following my cancer diagnosis. I poured my heart and my immediate needs for human help into these 385 pages. This neighbor wouldn’t even respond to a request to check on my cats who were housebound while I was hospitalized for most of four months. My journals begged for food, too; “Please bring me a quarter of a cup of leftover dinner”. Nothing – not even a phone call to ask how I was doing -came from next door the entire year.

          Last week, I learned that this neighbor was just diagnosed with esophageal cancer. I’ll admit that my initial “inside” response was not compassion, but a few thoughts of the wonders of karma. That didn’t feel very good, but within hours I’d called to help her in any way I could, including driving her to daily radiation. It’s such a rare cancer (18,000 a year), so the odds that two neighbors would get it are strikingly low.

          I’ve long held the belief that people who treat others miserably are even more miserable with themselves and that “what goes around, comes around” more often than not. Still, this has to be the most literal form of karma I’ve ever observed in my life.

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        3. Cb, I’m so glad you resisted the temptation to repay your neighbor in kind. You would not be human had the thought not crossed your mind, but glad you chose to act differently.

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  5. Good morning. 37 is not my lucky number, but it is sort of a special number. According to some people I know 37 is a number that turns up more often than it should. For example it is found in cartoons including a Peanuts cartoon where Charlie Brown’s ball team allows 37 unearned runs. Nixon was the 37th President and his 37th presidential speech was his resignation speech. 37 is the only number that can be doubled, than have 1 subtracted from that number to give you a number that is the reverse of the one you start with (37 x 2 = 74, 74 – 1 = 73, turn around 73 to get 37).

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        1. and the 73rd day is march 14th and i have two kids who have that asa birthday they share with albert einstien
          and if you subtract 21 days (3×7) you have feb 23 which is my birthday.
          cmon now eveyone plug 37 into your life and see what jims magic number does!!!

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    1. Jim, your post reminds me of Sheldon’s monologue on why 73 is the best number on “The Big Bang Theory.” Unfortunately, my workplace has not updated either their Flash or their browser, so I can’t go find the clip on YouTube for you all. Trust me, it was funny–for a specific value of geek, anyway.

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  6. I never play the lottery, and wouldn’t know how to go about doing it, but I certainly have lovely day dreams about disposing of lots of money-put just enough away for family, then give the rest to charity or build affordable housing in town so that the greedy landlords here have to reduce their rents. Just imagine sitting down with MPR executives and saying “I have a bazillion dollars to give to public radio, but there are a few simple conditions you have to meet regarding staffing and programming at Radio Heartland” and watch them fall all over themselves to accommodate us.

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    1. If I get a bazillion dollars, Renee, I will request that you go with me to MPR and ask them to do what you suggested.

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  7. Morning–

    There’s an old joke about the farmer who won a million dollars in the lottery. When asked what he was going to do with all his money he replies “I’m going to keep farming until it’s gone!”

    I don’t have a favorite number either… but I’m kinda partial to 7′s.

    3 + 7 = 10 and that’s my birthday. There was 7 in my family with 3 sisters. And 3 boys if you count Dad.
    I turned 3 once. And then 7 and eventually 37 and hopefully 73.

    cool and windy here today.

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      1. It isn’t quite as funny if you know a farmer that actually would do this! (I feel that I do.)

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        1. Vicky, no, I don’t see it as hilarious funny—definitely for a target audience. My father, who had to sell his farm, would have recognized the poignancy within.

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        2. I’ve heard that joke, that Ben told, before back during the farm crisis which hasn’t really completely ended. It wouldn’t have been a good joke to tell to some farmers at that time.
          I think there were other farmers who told that joke to let people know about the sad situation they were in and to have a laugh about it.

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    1. that was either boone or erickson on wcco back when the lottery was first intorduced. they were fantasizing about winnign the lottery. he said oh if i won… i buy a farm and farm until it was all gone. i can still hear that far away sound in his voice. he wasnt kidding either,.

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    2. Yes, Jim, you’re right. But sometimes you have to laugh or you’ll cry.
      I would be one of them farming until it was gone.
      I’m lucky my wife will stash some of it away and not let me ‘play’ with it.

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  8. 7 seems to be a good number for me. I think because it is my birthday and one of the first numbers I recognized that meant something to me.

    I have never played the lottery so I figure I have a little more money than those that do. I have a hard time betting on things in general. I did feel as if I had won the lottery the day I turned 65 and MetroTransit let me ride the bus for 75 cents!! For some reason, that continues to be a joy. Now I realize that it may be related to JiCG’s 37. 37+37+1=75

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  9. When asked to choose a number, I often choose 17 – but I’m not convinced it’s actually a “lucky” number. I just like it. May 17 is Norwegian Constitution Day – a lovely holiday with hot dogs and children’s parades and memories of my grandfather’s Norwegian men’s choir (Nordkap) singing with bravado. May 17 was also Daughter’s due date, though being a strong willed child even in the womb, she had other plans and came on the 25th instead…still, it’s a prime number and prime numbers are cool (see Sheldon’s clip above).

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  10. Cute dog, Dale! I don’t have a lucky number that I’m aware of, but will think more about this.

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  11. I don’t know if I have a lucky number. It might be 8 or 13, but I’m not sure. I did win $500 in the lottery once, long ago, but it was a scratch-off ticket and I don’t remember what it was that matched up.

    I wouldn’t want to win millions of dollars, but I wouldn’t mind winning enough to pay off my newly refinanced mortgage and to help the guy who used to live next door to me. The story is evolving every day, but the guy who used to live next door to me is a recovering alcoholic and is somewhat delusional (he once told me he works for NASA). He’s been piling more and more junk into the property since spring. Two pallets of vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens, air conditioners, air filters and fans, blue plastic barrels, several bikes, an old metal desk, an old red barber chair, many cat litter containers, and lots of other undefinable junk. He never was a neat guy, but it was getting out of hand. One day the police and sheriff came and notices were taped to the front door. He stood in the street and waved his arms and yelled, but they were firm. Now he’s homeless.

    I’ve been pretty upset about this. I did call the county social services but they didn’t even return my call.

    The house is owned by his sister. I don’t understand a sister who would evict her own brother. Yesterday, I saw his brother-in-law return and take possession of the house. He mowed part of the lawn and moved the desk and the barber chair out to the curb. I said hello to him and asked him if they’re planning to move back. He said no, they are planning to clean up the mess and then rent the house out. I wished him luck and went home. His brother-in-law is mentally ill and homeless. So, I wish I could win the lottery and get him into a half-way house where he could get some help.

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    1. Oh, Krista, sorry. So painful to watch. Our mental health has large holes in its safety net. Thankfully, there are those fighting for the cause, although, at the moment, a losing battle. *Rant Alert* I do not understand how those, who have won the lottery by birth and/or election, can vote to create an unfair advantage for corporations and individuals who are already beyond wealthy while ignoring those who suffer mental or physical health issues, homelessness or the daily grind of poverty.

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  12. OMG!! I just checked the local weather and it’s supposed to get to 73 today. Right now it’s 64. Isn’t that ironic??

    Home for a quick lunch then back to school for Apple TV training. Anybody know what that is? I’m about to find out…

    My magic number at the moment is 21 because that’s how many first graders are on my list so far. A bee-you-tee-ful number indeed!

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    1. Donna, I think 21 is good and much better than the 30 or so they have in some of the grade school classes in our school district.

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    2. 21 is magic. apple tv is the best thing since sliced bread. makes oyu want to own mac, ipad and i phone just so you can play. runs movies on the tv computer on the tv tv on the computer. cool cool cool
      hope you stay at 21 or so, what a teachable number.

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  13. Because my checkbook has been feeling so punky this summer, I haven’t mentioned a cabin gathering for baboon friends. Summer is rapidly getting away from us now. There are several weekends left when the weather Up North is delightful. I’d love to host a gathering if there are a few of you interested. The cabin is for sale and might not be available to any of us next year.

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    1. Sadly, I don’t think I can come…unless it coincides with one of my visits to duluth, then i could maybe play hooky for a day from throwing out empty boxes from my mom’s and swing over to wisconsin for a short visit. i’m sorry to hear that it is for sale, Steve – I know you will miss the place.

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  14. Because my birthday is on the 13th, I’ve always been fond of that number (and I was 13 on Friday the 13th – and it was a good one). 13 = 3 + 7 + another 3. I’d never heard any of this 37 stuff before.
    I wonder if next year will be some version of a Golden Birthday because it will be 13/13. I’d never heard of a Golden Birthday when I turned 13 so I missed that minor milestone.

    I, too, wouldn’t want to win the Powerball. There are such horror stories of how the winners’ lives are affected (ruined?) by the windfall.

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        1. I am a week after you on the 20th (you share your day with my cousin Pat – she’s a swell kid, so a good egg to share a birthday with). September is a good month, I think. :)

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  15. There is a place on the internet where someone collects info about the use of the number 37. Apparently the people I knew hit upon a number that some other people also find interesting.

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  16. It isn’t really my lucky number, but I became fond of the number 42 back when the Hitchhiker’s Guide was first on radio. (Wikipedia said the BBC aired it in 1978 – I heard it on MPR – but really it was just a long time ago.) Then, when I became the first coach of Knowledge Bowl at our school, the kids thought I knew the answers to everything. So I told them I just knew about 42. Other “generations” of KBers have continued to be fascinated by the concept of an answer to life, the universe, and everything. So I am still fond of the number, and use it whenever I need a general-purpose number for something.
    As to 37… I don’t think that I have many connections to that particular number, but it is only 5 less than 42, so it has to be a good number!

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    1. I didn’t realize Hitchhiker’s Guide started out on radio – I should find it on dvd and listen in the car some time – I’ve never read or seen movies… (oh, the shame).

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      1. It is because of Hitchhikers Guide that I became a Morning Show fan. My mom started waking me up a little early so I could hear “this new show I thought you’d like.” Think I was in junior high, so that would put it maybe 1979 or so (maybe 78) when it was on MPR. Loved loved loved it.

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      2. I don’t think it’s a shame. The radio show was really fun, with all the British accents and everything, and I think that I remember it was just half an hour a week or something, so like many serial things (Downton Abbey perhaps?) it tended to really hook you. The books almost seemed silly after you had heard the radio show.
        I think at one point (perhaps late 80s?) there was a computer game of the Hitchhikers Guide – a text based. One day on Big Bang theory, Sheldon was playing one, where he kept typing in, “Go North” and it really took me back. Actually somebody had given me the game, and I could never get past about the first ten steps. Dumb way to wast time.

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  17. Unlike other baboons, I wouldn’t mind winning the lottery. Of course, I’m not likely to since I usually don’t buy lottery tickets, and when once in a blue moon I do, I forget to check to see if I’ve won anything.

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  18. I’m not smart enough to work with numbers, but 37 doesn’t work with my birthdate in any kind of way at all. 4+8+1+9+5+9=36. I’ve always come up short.

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  19. Wow, my brain is swirling from all this number talk…I guess I’m not much of a numbers girl. I don’t think I have a lucky number, or if I do, I haven’t discovered it yet. I wouldn’t mind winning some cash…or some prize like a new laptop. I think mine is going to die soon. In fact, I would like to win two new laptops – middle daughter spilled water on her macbook and killed it, so she could use a laptop, too. Chances are I will not win anything since I don’t buy lottery tickets and enter very few contests (I am not counting those pop-up windows on the internet that say “YOU are the 1 millionth visitor to our website and YOU have won a prize.”)…but if I knew what my lucky number was, I would enter more contests because then I would have a chance of getting lucky – although if my dog didn’t eat the winning ticket, my cat might…or, more likely, I would put it in my pocket and put it through the wash, so maybe I shouldn’t bother.

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        1. I think it was because I had wiped out all the cookies from that particular computer so it didn’t remember who I was…and I didn’t realized I had to fill in my name, so it decided I was anonymous. I do feel very special being a blue doily like Steve.

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    1. I tried one of those pop-ups that said I was a winner. I couldn’t manage to fill out all of the information and steps that seemed to be needed to get the prize. I did get a lot of phone calls from people advertising various things that they thought I might like due the information I did enter in my attempt to get the prize.

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      1. Yeah, once at a very financially low point in my life (Sure! I’d like a $1000 gift card!), I clicked on one of those and started filling out the info…then I realized what an idiot I was to do that as I filled out more and more info, so I stopped, but not before somebody somewhere got my info and now my spam box in my email gets filled up so fast that it ain’t funny. Not doing that again.

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  20. I think I like the #29, which was the day in April of ’76 when my divorce from Wasband became official, and the age I was when I moved to Minneapolis. And it’s a nice prime number, like 17 and 37…

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