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Sunday, December 25, 2011


A Fistfull of Euros

As usual following a visit from El Gordo, a great many people are very happy, some completely out of their minds with overwhelming joy. Throughout the broadcast when the numbers were being called, the station received tweets from all around the world. The Far East, the South Pacific, Australia, South America, all across Europe, America and Canada, and all points in between. Hopes were high that El Gordo would save the day.

Here in Spain, if you were out of work you found a little money to participate in the lottery in the hope that your number would drag you up out of your misery. So many people who did win tell the same story of being at the end of their tether, and now they had a fistfull of euros, but were not able to believe it.

For me, the best story that I heard was that of an immigrant lady from Africa. A few days before El Gordo she and her family had been evicted from their modest apartment and were living at the backend of the hallway with instructions to be out of the building the day after Christmas day. She bought a d├ęcimo for El Gordo, the number came up, and now she has enough money to buy the building.

She was asked whether she intended to do that and to move back in. Her reply was no, that she hoped she would never have to ever again live in such a dump. Her husband and children were at that moment in an hotel, and her furniture had been taken away to be burnt. Wonderful!

My numbers didn't win anything significant and while I am somewhat disappointed I can wait until another day. When we hear how so many people who did win have received such magnificent help, we can only feel happy for them.

I hope your Christmas was really good for you and your family, and that 2012 will be kind to you all.

Copyright (c) 2011 Eugene Carmichael

In Spain, when you are wished a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year you might just get the means by which to make that concrete.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

El Gordo is here Again

The Great One Cometh!

If you live in Spain, you may look forward to celebrating Christmas or Hanakuh, but not as much as the coming of December 22nd, the day when the El Gordo lottery is called. If the Spanish never got anything else right, they certainly have this absolutely spot on. As lotteries go, for good reason El Gordo, The Fat One, is the biggest lottery in the world, paying out more than two and a half billion euros. The interesting thing is that it is based on the premise that nobody needs to win the jackpot for their own exclusive use. To suddenly win 200 million euros is to make terrible problems for a person who was near broke before.

The way the system works is that any one person can only buy a ten percent value of a prize. So, this year the first prize is four million euros. A ten percent share would return four hundred thousand euros. However, there is virtually no limit to the number of such chances that you can buy. If you want to buy ten tickets and the number wins, you will win ten times four hundred thousand amounting to four million euros, and so will anybody else who did the same thing. It is a little complicated to understand but El Gordo will positively impact upon the lives of so many people here in Spain, and throughout the world that it is not possible to calculate.

I would agree that this is a Socialist idea, but what a beauty. It is one in which approximately 99% of Spanish inhabitants believe in, and a whole lot of people from around the world. Let's hope for good luck for all who hold an El Gordo ticket, especially to myself and my syndicate. We hold 721 tickets. That's right, 721 ten percent shares. It's a big syndicate, but that would be a big cash prize.

You might get to know if we win. If I don't say anything it might be because we didn't win, or we did win and in that case discretion might be the better part of valor.

Happy Holiday to each and everyone, and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Copyright (c) 2011 Eugene Carmichael

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Excitement of Herman Cain

Herman Cain - Eternal Optimist

The hopeful candidate for the presidency of The United States, Herman Cain, has put his campaign on suspension. He has not cancelled it, he has placed it on suspension. Until when? we might ask. Probably until after the November elections in 2012. That would be a very good idea.

In America, before anybody takes the decision to enter into public life they had better examine their own life's history and take a very long look at all their skeletons. They should know by now that the rabid American press will find these things and they will get a full airing before the American public. The American press are very good at mercilessly tearing a person apart like so many pitbulls out of their minds. Even where you don't have anything salacious, they will invent things, or blow small things way out of proportion.

I'm not saying that this is necessarily wrong for them to expose past mistakes or outright criminal or morally wrong actions, because the leadership of a country should have clean hands. I'm simply saying that anyone intending to run for public office should disqualify themselves and save everyone else the bother if they have such embarrassing secrets.

Clearly, Herman Cain had some skeletons in his closet, and he should never have popped his head above the parapet. His fall has been an awful embarrassment, especially, I assume to black Americans. I think that his supporters had hoped to put one black man up against another, but Herman Cain is no Barack Obama, and that's for certain.

However, American politics has taken another major move forward and that is noteworthy. It was not such a long time ago when if you were black and you wanted to become a member of The Republican Party, you might have been asked to re-think your position. Now, not only is it O.K. to belong to the party, a black man is/was chairman and Herman Cain managed to be taken so seriously that he moved up to become the front runner, even if only for a short time.

That is how party politics should work. A person has the right to support any party he/she chooses, without respect to color or creed or religion. Personally, I hate the party political system, but that's something for another time. For now I have to say that I'm glad that Herman is out of the race, and I wouldn't be too distressed for President Obama to serve one term either. I am pleased with his performance so far. He undertook an impossible task and he has managed to keep the country afloat, but America is headed into very rough waters indeed and I don't want people conveniently blaming such tough times on The Black Guy.

Just as the Communist experiment has failed, so too is the Capitalist experiment in its death throes. That is not anyone's fault. It is especially not Barack Obama's fault, but if he get stuck holding the bucket he will be blamed and black forward motion will be seriously affected into the foreseeable future.

In so far as Herman Cain is concerned, the deepest cut of all must surely have been Ginger White. When your secret lover feels she should emerge into the sunshine of day and tell all your bizness, that must surely hurt. Badly!

Copyright (c) 2011 Eugene Carmichael

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I Love You

That Love Thing

It has taken me 72 years to figure this out, so if young guys don't know better, who can blame them.

When a woman tell us that she love us, we believe her. Especially if she shares her sweetness with us, and perhaps throws in a meal or two. No problema! However, when a man tells a woman he loves her that apparently sets off a whole chain reaction of doubt and suspicion within her mind and her heart.

"He is only saying that because he wants something from me." That may be the thought that goes through her head, and of course she's right. We always want that something from her, but as part of a whole love package. In a world where women will sell a man anything he wants, any way he wants it, any time he wants it without hassle, why do men still cling to a woman who can make most of his wakening hours a misery? It's because she can wrap her arms around him, give him a little sweetness, together with genuine warmth and love, things that no hooker can offer, and these things we long for and need even more so than food and water.

Women are so paranoid when it comes to men that when we try to convince them that we really do love them they go seeking proof, on a daily basis. Some of the tests that they put us through are bizarre, to say the least. I don't think a woman sits down and draws up a master plan that says if you pas a certain number of tests, then you probably do love them, but nonetheless, that is how it turns out.

So, young guys, the worst thing you can do for yourself is actually tell the woman you love that you are in love with her.Perhaps you should only go as far as admitting that you really do like her. She will still put you through the tests, but at least it won't be because of something you said.

Copyright (c) 2011 Eugene Carmichael