Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Birth of the Sandwich

John Montagu's family name rings no bells today, but his title does.

The fourth Earl of Sandwich was an impatient man who loved to gamble at cards.

He was so impatient,that when he got hungry, he refused to call time out; instead, he would order a servant to bring him two slices of bread with some meat in between them. That way he could play cards with one hand, and eat with the other.

Some scholars theorize that the sandwich, simple, tasty, and quick, helped fuel the Industrial Revolution, and the growth of the British Empire.

I wonder if he ever won his card games?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

$20 Million Dollars

I was drinking my first cup of coffee, defogging my sleep-drenched brain, when I heard the radio announcer report that some young athlete had just signed a five-year, $20-million contract.

Wow! $20 million!

I ignored the "It's ridiculous to pay someone that kind of money to chase a ball around" trope.

Instead, I thought about the number. I have a hard time visualizing $100, much less $20 million, and I thought of the absurdity of anyone needing that kind of money.

How many houses? How many cars? How many...?

No one needs that much money.

But of course, money equals power, and power can be good or bad; whole libraries are full of books about the use and misuse of power.

I took another sip of coffee, and thought about the role of money in my life. I've been broke, and I've been fairly well off, but at the peak of my earnings, I never broke six figures, much less eight.

I had an interesting career: I married, and educated two children, lived in nice surroundings, ate well, dressed fashionably, drove a good car, travelled, and enjoyed myself; all without great wealth.

Did I do something wrong?