Monday, August 31, 2020

My Music Monday - Yesterday

The car is from yesterday, a long time ago yesterday.  I wonder if he has had it that long; or wanted it then and can now afford it; if he feels like yesterday when he drives it today.  Back in the early 1980's I went out with a women, whose husband had bought her a mid-1960's MG convertible (I know its complicated, she was a she, and yes she was married, and yes she screwed around - a lot. We were young and reckless.) She would put the top down and ask me to drive, with the music turned up, she felt like she was a teenager again.  Shirley would be about 84 today, I wonder if she still feels young.  

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Sunday Five - Kids Yesterday and Today

  1. What do you have today, that you wish you had a kid?
  2. Did you drink alcohol, before you were "of age?"  
  3. Did you have a secret hiding place as a kid?
  4. Did you have a room of your own as a child? 
  5. Where did you escape to as a kid? 
My answers: 
  1. What do you have today, that you wish you had a kid? Spell check, it would have made my life so much easier. 
  2. Did you drink alcohol, before you were "of age?"  No, I was a good kid in many ways (meaning I got away with things because, 'he'd never do that!') 
  3. Did you have a secret hiding place as a kid? Not really, my mother always seemed to know where I was.  
  4. Did you have a room of your own as a child? Not until my brothers left home, until I was 13 there were three of us sharing a bedroom. 
  5. Where did you escape to as a kid? The old barn on the farm, no one went there, it was old, quiet, and only a little spooky.  
Please share your answers in the comments.  

Saturday, August 29, 2020

I Remember When

 I built a house for a guy once (I have about a 1,000 of these stories) who was retired from a long career selling the forms that ran in these order machines.  In the early years they had carbon paper between the pages of the form, in later years a carbonless duplicating paper was used.  I left the building business in 1995, and he had retired because he was old enough and the business was going away, the company he worked for was dropping the line and moving on.  

I remember working with carbon paper, before every office had a copy machine, we used carbon paper to produce copies of contracts to build homes.  It was fussy stuff, but with a little care, and a hard press it did the job.  For simple change orders we used carbonless (NCR) forms.  

I remember buying my first copy machine in 1988.  I was working a project near the University of Central Florida.  One of my customers brought in his brother to buy a house one morning.  The brother sold copy machines for a living.  We talked, be bought a house, I bought a copy machine.  It was around $1,000, and does less than the $150 HP that I have at home today.  Within a couple of days, I had someone in, who was looking at a new design, that we didn't have flyers on.  I copied the floor plan from the blueprints, she showed them to her husband that evening, and came back the next morning to buy.  Having the machine, resulted in an extra sale that I might have otherwise missed.  That $1,000 machine, made me a lot of money.  A year or so later, the company caught on, and started buying machines for every office.  

I was surprised to see this in use, in a hardware store in a small town in northern Ohio this month.  I wonder if someone is still printing the forms, or if they stocked up on a lifetime supply.  

Friday, August 28, 2020

Friday Night and We are Not Eating Out

This sign, chalk board, was in a small restaurant in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.  The place specialized in burgers, exotic fries, and drinks.  It was mid-day and I was driving so we stuck with water.  The bacon cheese burger was good, the truffle fries were heavy (Jay's plain fries were better.). 

I miss eating out in restaurants.  We did on the trip, kind of had to we were on the road for 5 days.  It was nice to see fewer tables, and tables left intentionally empty.  In the past few years restaurants have packed the tables in so tightly you couldn't get in and out without asking the table next to you to move.  Having a little extra space is nice.  

Menus are photocopies, single use and disposable.  One place had them printed as a placemat.  The burger place had theirs online using a QR code, except I don't have a QR code reader on my phone.  

The greasy ketchup bottles are gone, as are the grimy salt and pepper shakers.  Single serve, on request has become the norm for this.  I have at times gone to wash my hands after handling the dirty condiment containers left out on restaurant tables.  This is a change that I hope will last long term. As a good french chef will tell you, if the cook seasons properly, the table should NEVER ask for salt and pepper.  

Fast food, we had lunch from Micky D's and Burger King while driving, have closed their inside dining rooms.  One had tables outside, a couple of times we ended up eating in the car.  It worked, we have gotten out of the habit of eating in the car.  The car stays cleaner. 

I have not lost hope, in time we will return to restaurants, we will return to hotels and travel.  In time.   

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Me Again

A long, long time ago, early in the morning, after a night long thunderstorm, I was born on my Grandfather's Birthday, this day.  I have somehow survived another year.  I have reached the point that Ron describes as having more yesterdays, than tomorrows, but I probably have a few good years left to go.  I thought about doing a video, as Spo often does, but I couldn't decide what to say. Like John I am surrounded by things I like, that have meaning to me, there is really not much that I want or need. If you really must, a Krogen 70 is always a thoughtful gift, if it comes with a trust fund to fill the fuel tanks. 

I am taking the day off and I will spend the morning checking in with friends. I will start off my morning living vicariously through Walt and KenAnne Marie sent me a card a few days ago. I will check in with Sharon in Phoenix, and see what the Mistress is up to today, and check in down under with Andrew and on Mitchell, SG and the cats, and on Fearsome and Blobby.  I will check the latest politics with Bob. I will check in on a few others, some of whom I wish posted often enough to check on daily.  If I missed mentioning you, sorry!  

I will be home with my love.  Hoping for a quiet day. 

Birthdays can be weird for me, my mother forgot mine several times, I was let go from a job once (reduction in force) on my birthday.  So I tend to lay low.  Five years ago we had lunch and I had one beer (just one) at the Hofbrau House in Munich, that was memorable.  

Take care, have fun, treasure each day, each week, each month, and each year.  Our time is finite, our supply of birthdays is not unlimited. Enjoy,   I will.   

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The Way We Were Wednesday - Simple Wood Boat

 This is my oldest brother, in my grandfather's boat. A classic wood boat.  The boat was gone before I came along, there were later small metal boats.  Most likely this was a small lake in Michigan.  Both of my grandfathers liked to fish.  My paternal grandfather thought boats were cumbersome and expensive, my maternal grandfather owned several small simple boats.  He wanted to get out on the water where there was no one around.  

Any early boat memories for you? 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Opportunities in the future

 When we are traveling together, I frequently take a long walk while Jay showers and dresses. It gives me 30-45 minutes to wander and think.  In Cleveland I walked past a closed theater, an out of business bank, an out of business childcare center, and a couple of closed forever restaurants.  This got me thinking. 

The experts are saying that 60% of the restaurants that closed for the pandemic, will never reopen.  The restaurant business is fickle, having one of the highest closure rates of small businesses.  But 60% in one years is a lot of closure.  As things come back, this also creates a lot of opportunities.  There will be a lot of fitted out ready for a good cleaning and coat of paint restaurant spaces available for new entrepreneurs. Every restaurant has the server who thinks, "I can deliver better service than this." The cook, who knows that can make "better food than this." And the person with a head for numbers who knows they can "deliver a better value."  The three keys to success in the restaurant business, quality, service and value.  As things settle into the new normal in the coming months there has never been a better opportunity for them to take the plunge.  

At the same time there are massive changes to the food service supply chain.  The supply chain is set up to standardize with mediocrity, for a savings of a few pennies here and there, the food supply that goes into the typical restaurant.  One of the reasons you seldom find fresh and local in a restaurant, is fresh and local does not fit into the global supply chain that aims to deliver the same product, for the lowest price, everyday of the year.  In doing so it standardizes mediocrity.  That supply chain has been brought to a halt, and is starting back in fits and starts, opening the door for fresh, seasonal and local to find its way in the back door of a restaurant near you and into the hands of the talented cook who always thought they could deliver better quality, better value (note I didn't say cheaper),  into the hands of servers who know they can deliver a better dining experience.  Now is the time for the farmers and dairies and vintners to go direct to the kitchens of the new opportunity restaurant near you. 

It may take months, or even a couple of years, but I think we will see a revolution in new restaurants, offering unique food and service.  

What kind of a restaurant would you like to have open near you?   

Monday, August 24, 2020

My Music Monday : Signs - The Five Man Electrical Band 1971

I am well on my way to being a long haired freaky person.  I have not had hair this long since the late 1970's early 1980's, it may actually be longer in the back now than it was then.  I am thinking about just letting it grow.  It is getting close to being able to pull it back into a creepy old man ponytail, below the huge bald top.  Telecommute has been extended by my office through at least the end of the calendar year, at that point  I will have been 11 months without a haircut.  It blows in the breeze so nicely when I put the top down on the little car.  

Do you have COVID hair? 

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Sunday Five - Do You Remember

 Kind of a test of how old are you, do you remember when, this weeks Sunday five. 

  1. Do you remember the first time you paid more than $1 per gallon for gas (hmm, how does that convert for those outside of the USA?  1-eruo or 1-GPB per litre?) 
  2. 8-Track tape players? 
  3. When Richard Nixon resigned as US president? 
  4. Tell us about your first visit to a public library? 
  5. The first time you saw a Heron? 
My Answers:

  1. Do you remember the first time you paid more than $1 per gallon for gas (petrol) (hmm, how does that convert for those outside of the USA?  1-eruo or 1-GPB per litre?) It would have been 1978, a Gulf oil station in Titusville, FL at the corner of US-1 and Knox McRae (there is a bank there now.) The pumps couldn't handle a price over a dollar, so they set them to the price per half-gallon. 
  2. 8-Track tape players? I had one in the early 1970's and wanted a recorder - but they went out of date before you knew it. 
  3. When Richard Nixon resigned as US president? We were visiting a flying friend of my fathers, I think I cried, while others cheered. 
  4. Tell us about your first visit to a public library? It would have been in North Branch, Michigan, probably with my grandmother, the library was above the 5 and Dime store, next to the Pioneer Bank, up a flight of wood stairs, lots of dark wood bookcases, I was probably 5 or 6. 
  5. The first time you saw a Heron? There was one that visited the wetlands on the farm when I was a child, my mother was thrilled when it landed in the corner of the yard. (Neat photo of one in flight?) 
Please share your answers in the comments. 

Saturday, August 22, 2020


 For the first 50 years of my life I avoided breakfast, it started as a child, I blame my mother, but then I hold her responsible for a lot of things.  Over the last dozen years I have grown to enjoy breakfast. I have some form of breakfast everyday.  Most often it is something simple, iced coffee and toast or bread often with a heavenly homemade cheese spread.  Once a week or so, it is scrambled eggs or an omelet.  When I travel I love going out to breakfast (missing travel in more ways than one.)  I can't say that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, that would be like asking you to say which one of your cats is your favorite.  

The photo above, first the Irish Yeast Company, yeast is such a core of baking, the bread involved in my breakfast relies on yeast.  Then look at the details and decoration in the facade.  Amazing. 

Would you join me for breakfast? 



Friday, August 21, 2020


 My grandmother was advised by her doctor in the 1930's to take up smoking, on the theory that drawing smoke in would exercise her lungs and make her lungs stronger.  She quit sometime in the 1960's, I remember her elaborate china lighter, and a bronze smoking stand with a china ashtray on the top.  She gave the smoking stand to my Aunt Edith, who smoked until the end of her life.  Edith died in her late 50's.  She had a terrible headache for a couple of days, finally went to see her doctor, who sent her to the hospital for a CAT scan. The scan revealed a huge aneurysm in her brain.  It was an emergency and far beyond the capacity of the small hospital she was in so they transferred her by helicopter.  The only helicopter ride in her life (take that helicopter ride while you can enjoy it.)  She asked the helicopter crew to pause for a couple of minutes on the roof of the hospital so she could smoke - my father was appalled.   My father started smoking when he was in the Army near the end of World War II.  He quit in the early 1950's, LIFE magazine was running full color pictures of the lungs of dead smokers, he wanted to learn to fly, he decided if he quit smoking he could use the money to learn to fly, and he did. 

I wonder, did someone quit, or simply leave this behind?     

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Questions to Ponder

I worked with a guy decades ago, who met Richard Nixon, long after he had left office.  Nixon was out for a walk in a park watching the fish in the pond, and remarked "I wonder how fish sleep?" A really deep question, so today a few deep questions to ponder. 
  • Do fish dream? 
  • Is it strange that human kinds greatest predators, are so tiny you can not see them unaided? 
  •  Are we more afraid of bears, or are bears more afraid of us?
  • If you could live forever, would you want to? 
Questions to think about, but to serious for a Sunday five. 


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The Way We Were Wednesday - Playgrounds

 I have no idea who the child in the swing is, my father took this one before I was born.  I love the shade, the color, the tone, the moment captured in time.  Those wood box swings, can you imagine the scream about safety.  

I have simple memories of playgrounds as a child.  Swings, slides, walking slowly, looking at the place and time.  

Any idea who she grew up to be? 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

I'm Back!

We returned from a little road trip, about 1,000 miles four nights in three different hotels.  Home, to Lexington, Kentucky (my Bourbon collection is restocked), onto Cleveland for a family birthday, and back home. 

It was the first time I had been more than 60 miles from home, the first time we had eaten in a restaurant since returning from Ireland March 16th.  It was a little weird, for the most part everyone seemed to be following safety protocols.  If anything the hotel rooms were cleaner than usual.  The complimentary hotel breakfast is now a brown paper bag, with a pre-packaged pastry, granola bar, and a bottle of water.  Restaurants are running at 25-50% of capacity, meaning you are not packed in like sardines - some good change.  

It felt great to be out and about.  Most of the time was spent in the car, or a hotel.  We did a tiny bit of shopping and found that to be relatively safe.  

Before we left, I scheduled a bunch of blog posts, did you notice my posts were done ahead of time?    

Monday, August 17, 2020

My Music Monday - On The Sunny Side Of The Street

When I was growing up in Michigan, the American Poet Edgar A Guest did a recorded segment on one one of the Detroit radio stations.  This was his theme music, it brings back warm memories.  He was one of my mother's favorites.  She met him once. 

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Sunday Five - Influences

We all have influences on our lives, some positive, some not, some funny, some sad, hence this weeks Sunday five. 

  1. Describe a person who has been a positive role model in your life? 
  2. Describe a person who was a naughty influence on your life? 
  3. Describe a person who was always fun? 
  4. Who was the Debbie Downer in your life? 
  5. Who are you influencing and how? 
My answers: 
  1. Describe a person who has been a positive role model in your life? My paternal grandmother, she was strong, understanding, and a positive thinker. 
  2. Describe a person who was a naughty influence on your life?  A high school friend, Robby, he was fun - until he got older and turned bitter.
  3. Describe a person who was always fun?  Uncle Richard, he was a master storyteller and always had an adventure or misadventure to talk about. 
  4. Who was the Debbie Downer in your life? My maternal grandmother, yes she had a difficult life, but they had also had some awesome adventures. 
  5. Who are you influencing and how? My dear readers, I hope I entertain you, help you find the sunny side of life.  
Please share your answers in the comments. 

Saturday, August 15, 2020


 Using the power of many, the kindness of strangers to get things done.  Here the National Park Service is enlisting the help of visitors to Dyke Marsh to help document the day to day, week to week changes of the Marsh.  The power of masses of people working together to get things done.  

Have you participated in crowdsourcing? 

Friday, August 14, 2020

Looking forward

 For a couple of years now, in my annual goals was figure out what I want to do when I grow up, actually growing up is optional, when I grow old, I have already passed by the option of dying young, and certainly past point of leaving a beautiful corpse, what am I going to do in retirement.  Here are some current thoughts: 

  • I want to write a cookbook.  Now my idea here is a book that talks about basic techniques, a whole chapter on getting sauced.  Not on drinking, but on basic sauce making and how to use that to build great cooking.  You get the idea.  It will be a labor of love, and will take time. 
  • I want to create a couple of books of photos.  I am loving my morning walks in the marsh along the Potomac River, I am collecting photos, it will take time to collect the images, identify the birds, bugs, trees, and flowers (turtles a couple of mornings recently.) Writing and editing the text will take time, and I hope to have time.  
  • I want to spend more time in England and Wales, to revisit France, and Italy.  We have never been to Spain and Portugal, or scandinavia. 
  • I need to check off the last two US states.  Maybe publish a list of my experiences in all 50 US states.  There should be an association for people who have been to all 50 states.  
  • All of that and laundry, and shopping and I will stay busy.  

What am I missing?  

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Pretty Bird

 Makes me wonder in a landscape of green, and brown, why is the cardinal red? Cardinals have a feisty reputation, they are said to be very protective of their nests.  They are so visible they would have to be.  There are a lot of cardinal in the Marsh, my morning meanderings.  There are a few near the entrance, another grouping just past the big bend.  I wonder if they know one another.  I have heard that birds maintain their balance while they sleep, amazing.  

If you could ask the cardinal one questions, what would it be? 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The Way We Were Wednesday - To The Moon

I remember the Apollo launches, the first landing on the moon, Neil Armstrong's words as he first stepped onto the moon.  I was across the river from the space center for the first shuttle launch.  I watched with great interest two months ago the SpaceX launch of astronauts from the USA for the first time since the shuttle stopped flying.  

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Why We Do - What We Do

 I was answering an email question recently, about what happens to credit card debt after someone dies with no assets (individual debts in the name of the person only,) simply put death avoids bankruptcy with the same outcome.  I had a flashback to hospice referral from 15 years ago.  A had a conversation with a hospice patient who followed my advice on debt, relaxed, took better care of herself, and was the 1 in 10,000 people that recovered from her "terminal illness."  Sometimes we do what we do, because it helps someone else live a better life, to find comfort, to find happiness.  It does not always work like that, I have had clients die before my car left the driveway, I can only hope that helping them tie up the loose ends allowed them to slip away with fewer worries on their mind. 

I do a lot of training, if what I say helps one person, help one person to live a better life, it was all worth it.  

My goal for the day, make the world a better place for at least one person.  

When was the last time you had a flashback that reminded you why you do what you do? 


Monday, August 10, 2020

My Music Mondau - Kim Carnes - Paris Without You

This one is a little long, but there are no images, so you can leave it playing in the background and open another window while it plays.  The song was written and first recorded by Don Potter.  The jazz station in Winter Park, Florida started playing it while I was in undergraduate and I fell in love with the words.  The romance of the adventure of travel.  This version has a nice softness to it.  

Sunday, August 09, 2020

The Sunday Five - In the Beginning

I recently stumbled across this while searching for a misplaced car key (I found the car key.) This was my first memory card based MP3 player.  It has a whopping 512MG memory card in it. My how fast things have changed, I can remember buying my first cassette tape player, and later my first CD player.  So technology - in the beginning will be the theme for this weeks Sunday Five. 

1: What is a PDA and did you ever own one? 
2: Did you purchased any music CDs in the last year?
3: Do you own a working cassette tape player? 
4: Do you remember "video disk players" and did you ever own one? 
5: Was your first one, Beta or VHS? 

My answers: 
1: What is a PDA and did you ever own one? Without giving away the answer I will just say it is not a public display of affection, and yes I did own one. 
2: Did you purchased any music CDs in the last year? A handful, ordered a couple of Amazon, and bought a few from artists performing in public. 
3: Do you own a working cassette tape player? No, wish I did.  
4: Do you remember "video disk players" and did you ever own one? These were the huge things that played music off of a disk the size of a 33 RPM LP, saw a few of them, never owned one (the disks were expensive.) 
5: Was your first one, Beta or VHS? Beta - the video quality was actually better. 

Please share your answers in the comments. 

Saturday, August 08, 2020

Not That Tube - You Tube

Okay, maybe it is social distancing, maybe I had a minor YouTube habit before lock down, but I have to admit, my name is David, and I can watch YouTube for hours per week.  
The latest obsession started innocently, with a documentary series on Amazon Prime Video titled "Travels by Narrowboat."  His boat has a classic low RPM diesel engine, I could listen to it's gentle thump-thump-thump for hours, and he has like hours of videos on Prime.  When I exhausted that, I did a search on YouTube, found a few more videos from Travels by Narrowboat, and discovered that there are a couple of dozen people posting videos on YouTube about narrowboat travel in England.  One of my favorites is Cruising the Cut, has a website  The channel is produced by a former television news reporter.  He knows how to tell a short story, how to shoot video, how to edit. He has been on his boat 3 or 4 years and is prolific, at the moment he has 222 videos, averaging about 15 minutes, you can watch his stuff for hours, believe me I have.  When you run out of his, there is The Narrowboat Experience (two ladies and two cats,) Foxes Afloat (two men in the process of building their second new boat) and many more. 

What are you watching this summer? 

Friday, August 07, 2020

Baa- Baa

Over the years our collection of house sheep have appeared from time to time on the blog. The fondness for sheep extends to the animate kind.  When we were taking the train from Dublin to Galway, we kept passing fields of sheep, rather than saying, oh look sheep, I simply went Baa!  I thought the lady sitting across from me was going to get up and move to another seat, or another train.  

What do you do when you pass a meadow full of sheep? 

Thursday, August 06, 2020

Birds in the Marsh

19 out of 20 days I don't see anything larger than a Yellow Bellied Sap Sucker on my morning walks, then there is this, he/she was huge. 
Right over my head and out to fish on the River. 
Updated based on the first few comments.
The side View of the head, confirms this is an Osprey, the eagle hawk does not have the dark stripe on the side of the face.  Otherwise the two are quite similar.   

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

The Way We Were Wednesday - The Future is Changed by the Past

My grandfathers had lots of brothers, this is one my father's father's brothers, a great uncle of mine.  He was born early enough to have survived two World Wars, the 1919 flu epidemic, and the great depression.  It changed him.  My father described how he would turn a tea cup around and drink out of the spot by the handle, because no one else drank from there.  Thinking about living through what he had lived through, that was not such strange behaviour, it was an attempt at self preservation in the era that he was a young man.  

The experiences of this year, will change us, 100 years from now our descendants will  talk about how strange we were, unless they understand the experiences that we have lived through.   

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Commentary on Comments

A few years ago, my office was trying to figure out Social Media, and I read a few books, I have also picked up lots of tips from other bloggers.  Comments can be difficult, but they can also be engaging and fun.  My feelings on them. 
  • Allow comments. There are a couple of blogs I look at from time to time because I enjoy what the person has to say, that don't allow comments.  I don't read them as often, I don't feel the same sense of connection to the authors that I do through an exchange of comments, though I think if we got to know one another we would enjoy it.  
  • If you want comments, comment on other people's blogs.  The more blogs I comment on, the more comments I receive. 
  • Reply to comments.  Many regular commenters check back to see if you read their comment, or what you thought of it.  Think of it as returning a hello to someone you pass on the street. 
  • Your comments don't have to be an essay, just a few words to say, hi, I was here and I read what you wrote. 
  • Be kind in your comments. Be kind in your replies to comments.
  • Spam and Trolls happen. Spam I simply delete, they usually go away after a few days.  Trolls should be ignored, not encouraged.  If the Trolls are rude, delete them.  Unfortunately I don't know how to block them. I have never turned on moderation, but I have deleted spammers and trolls. 
  • Expect that some posts, may draw disagreement in the comments.  There are topics I avoid, I recently posted something political and within an hour took it down because I knew it was going to draw a lot of negativity (even if I agree with the negative comments, I didn't want it on my blog.) I shouldn't have posted that post. 
I have met some incredibly wonderful people through blogging.  Comments are a huge part of that.  Thank you for reading, I know the readers far exceed the commenters.  I love every comment, and I always feel special when a long time reader leaves a comment.  I also appreciate the readers.  I blog for me.  It gives me a place to share photos I have taken, and to talk about my views on the adventure of life. Knowing that people visit and read what I have to show and say, reinforces that I am not talking to an empty room.  By the end of the year, I will reach half-a-million views, I have enjoyed over 15,000 comments.  

What blogs should I visit this week? 

Monday, August 03, 2020

My Music Monday - Steppenwolf - Born To Be Wild

I have a neighbor who has a BMW Z-4 convertible.  Neat older guy. I was talking with him one morning about his car.  He said, he had thought about buying a motorcycle, then someone pointed out to him the only difference between his convertible and a motorcycle was two extra wheels that keep it upright and a top that keeps the rain out, he couldn't be much more out in the wind if he tried.  Good point, it is unlikely I will ever own a motorcycle - well there was the Harley that one time, that I was hiding for a friend, who didn't want his father to know he had bought, so we put it in my name and hid it in my father's garage while they were north for the summer until the time was right to break the news.  That is until my parents showed up unexpectedly in May- I had some explaining to do. And my father, knew his father, more explaining to do.    

For now, this is about as wild as I need to get. 

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Sunday Five - The adventures of 2020

I plan a national conference, last fall I settled on a theme of Vision 2020, as a play on words from 20/20 vision for this fall.  I had no idea how far off that vision would be.  So this week, let's talk about the adventure that has been 2020.

1: Have you waited in a socially distanced line to enter a store? 
2: How many face-masks do you have? 
3: Has anyone hassled you about wearing a face mask? 
4: Have you stayed healthy? 
5: What are you most looking forward to when this is over? 

My answers: 
1: Have you waited in a socially distanced line to enter a store?  Only once, at IKEA, I didn't wait to get into Trader Joes, Jay went a couple of days later in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week, when there was no wait. 
2: How many face-masks do you have? Five cloth ones, and I bought a box of disposable paper ones.  Most of mine are boring basic black. 
3: Has anyone haseled you about wearing a face mask? I have not, Jay was questioned by a yahoo. 
4: Have you stayed healthy? Yes, fortunately. 
5: What are you most looking forward to when this is over?  Booking airline tickets for the next great adventure.  

Please share your answers in the comments.  

Saturday, August 01, 2020

I Can See The Goal

I had another entry drafted, and when I went to set it to post, I realized this is the first of August, 2020.  Three years from today, I am eligible to retire.  I can see the goal.  I have already marked the date on my office calendar and marked the months through the end of 2023 with DO NOT SCHEDULE.  

I started working and paying taxes almost 50 years ago (children can work and be paid - and owe taxes - on a family farm - they are exempt from the normal child labor laws.)  I could max out retirement benefits by working an additional five years.  And over the years, being stingy by nature, I thought about that. At one time I joked that they would find me decomposing at my desk someday.  I have crunched the numbers, we will be okay.  I am shy or maybe it is modest, and I don't want to discuss the details of our finances, but if we are reasonable we will be just fine.  Jay is four and half years older than I am.  If I worked until I was 70, he would be nearing 75 when I retired.  Age can bring challenges. There are adventures we want to experience, that require being able to go and do.  We need to do that while we can.  

I keep joking, that it is not that I am counting or anything, but I am counting.  I have been very public in my office about my intended retirement date.  I know it could interfere with promotions or project assignments, but I want them to know there is a limit on how long I intend to be there. I actually had that discussion with someone about a promotion recently and said, "if I did, it would only be for three years, we need to bring into the picture the person who would replace me when I retire so they are up to speed and ready to go."  (Not an exact quote, I named names.)

Did you plan for a target retirement date, or are you planning for one, or are you expecting that they will find you decomposing at your desk one day?