Tuesday 30 January 2018

2018: Where I am and where I’m going

Last year, I wrote the blog posting "2017: Where I am and where I’m going". Time for an update.

It's over
At the age of 65 years, 3 months, and 9 days, I retired. My last day was Friday, January 26, 2018. I signed the final agreement letter, turned in my security card, and walked out the door for the last time. I am now officially unemployed.

Side Story
I originally wrote a letter to the president in 2016 stating my intention to retire on July 14, 2017. Subsequently, the president retired and a new guy took over. In fact, in the past few years, all upper management has retired and the entire leadership of the company is new. As my retirement date got closer, I realised finding my replacement was a lower, overlooked priority. Consequently, I wrote to the new president and gave my commitment to stay to the end of the year, 2017, to give everybody enough time to find the right candidate.

After four groups of candidates and a dozen people interviewed (The joke goes that I'm irreplaceable.), the president felt he had found the right choice. That person started on December 4, 2017: hardly enough time to train them and pass on my 23 years of experience. I was asked to stay until the end of January 2018. It became a bit of a joke with the staff about my retirement: Was I staying or leaving? When other people got close to their date of retirement, I'd pass them in the hall and say, "What? Are you still here?" As I got closer to my date, I'd pass people in the hall and say, "What? Am I still here?"

In case you haven't guessed, I have a reputation for being a bit of a comedian. Before leaving on Friday, my last act was to tape a printed message on the lunchroom door that everyone would see on the following Monday morning. It read:

Elvis has left the building.

The Plan
For the past seven years, I've lived in an apartment that was a ten-minute walk from work. I would ofttimes drop home for lunch.

With retirement and the next stage of my life coming up, a business acquaintance suggested that if I'm changing my life figuratively by retiring, why not change my life literally by moving? Obviously, the need to live close to work no longer exists.

I plan on moving to another part of the city at the beginning of April 2018: a new apartment, a new neighbourhood, a new life. What can I do to facilitate this?

Downsizing: paper to electronic
I've converted all paper documents into electronic documents. I had nine bins full of papers about my entire life: tax filings, marriage and divorce papers, university diploma, print pictures, job related stuff, last will and testament, and on and on. I scanned each one, filed the resulting PDF into an organised folder system on my computer, then shredded the paper. Yes, I shredded my university diploma, representing four years of my life and tens of thousands of dollars.

This is what I started with.

This is my life now.

Being leery about losing anything (Heck, everything!), I now have five portable hard drives, two USB keys, and storage in the cloud with Google Drive. Whenever I leave my apartment, I hide my computer equipment and carry a portable drive with me. I store a portable drive in my storage locker in the basement of my apartment building, and I've just gotten a safety deposit box at the bank as another off-site back-up. When I was working, I used a drawer in my desk at the office as my off-site back-up storage. Now that I'm retired, I must do it on my own.

Moving forward, everything I'll do will be electronic. I'm switching all services (bank statements, benefits, pension, etc.) to electronic and will not keep any paper. Anything I do get on paper, I will scan, file, then shred.

These are modern times. This needs a modern lifestyle.

The above downsizing exercise was in preparation for the big move. I now have a lot less to move and store. If I can figure out how to scan and file my clothes and other personal belongings on a USB stick, I'm all set! (BTW, that last statement sounds absurd, but I've seen reports of clothes made with 3D printing. Keeping my clothes and personal belongings on a USB stick may not be so farfetched.)

The rest of the year
On September 22, 2016, I published a novel. Since then, I've published five small collections of short stories. Last November, I wrote "The End" and completed novel number two. Now for the hard part: editing it. For the first novel, unsure of what I was doing and wanting to put out something better than a piece of crap, I enlisted the help of several editors, thirty-one beta readers, two professional copy editors and a professional proofreader before clicking on the Publish button. I'm not saying it's a New York Times best seller, but I hope it's a competent book. If you read it and don't say, "I want four hours of my life back!", but that you were entertained, I succeeded.

My goal is to click on Publish by the fall of 2018.

What else? I've noted over the years that we all spend a great deal of our time working. History has portrayed our ancestors as spending all their time looking for food and shelter. Is today much different? Work takes up the biggest chunk of our lives. Remove that from the equation and how much time do we have?

Now what? Anything and everything is up for consideration.

Six months ago, a former colleague, retired for three years, dropped by the office, touring the halls and saying hello to everyone. As he shook my hand, he made note of my up-coming retirement then leaned in and whispered with a chuckle, "You're going to love it."


Wikipedia: Elvis has left the building
"Elvis has left the building" is a phrase that was often used by public address announcers at the conclusion of Elvis Presley concerts in order to disperse audiences who lingered in hopes of an encore. It has since become a catchphrase and punchline.

Amazon: William Quincy Belle


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Monday 1 January 2018

Sting: When We Dance

Published on Sep 23, 2011 by StingVEVO
YouTube: Sting - When We Dance (Blue Screen Version)

If he loved you
Like I love you
I would walk away in shame
I'd move town
I'd change my name
When he watches you
When he counts to buy your soul
On your hand his golden rings
Like he owns a bird that sings

When we dance
Angels will run and hide their wings

The priest has said my soul's salvation
Is in the balance of the angels
And underneath the wheels of passion
I keep the faith in my fashion
When we dance
Angels will run and hide their wings

I'm still in love with you
[I'm gonna find a place to live
Give you all I've got to give]
When we dance
Angels will run and hide their wings
When we dance
Angels will run and hide their wings

If I could break down these walls
And shout my name at heaven's gate
I'd take these hands
And I'd destroy the dark machineries of fate
Cathedrals are broken
Heaven's no longer above
And hellfire's a promise away
I'd still be saying
I'm still in love

He won't love you
Like I love you
He won't care for you this way
He'll mistreat you if you stay

Come and live with me
We'll have children of our own
I would love you more than life
If you'll come and be my wife
When we dance
Angels will run and hide their wings
When we dance
Angels will run and hide their wings
When we dance
Angels will run and hide their wings
When we dance
Angels will run and hide their wings

I'm gonna love you more than life
If you will only be my wife
I'm gonna love you more than life
If you will only be my wife
I'm gonna love you night and day
I'm gonna try in every way

[I had a dream last night
I dreamt you were by my side
Walking with me baby
My heart was filled with pride
I had a dream last night]


Wikipedia: Fields of Gold: The Best of Sting 1984–1994
Fields of Gold: The Best of Sting 1984–1994 is the first compilation issued by Sting. It features hit singles from his first four studio albums The Dream of the Blue Turtles, ...Nothing Like the Sun, The Soul Cages, and Ten Summoner's Tales. It was also released on LaserDisc, in which it is a music video compilation.

"When We Dance" – 5:59 - New song (1994)

Wikipedia: Sting (musician)
Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner CBE (born 2 October 1951), known on stage as Sting, is an English musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist, actor and philanthropist. He was principal songwriter, lead singer, and bassist for the new wave rock band The Police from 1977 to 1983, before launching a solo career.

With The Police, Sting became one of the world's best-selling music artists. Solo and with The Police, he sold 100 million records. In 2006, Paste ranked him 62nd of the 100 best living songwriters. He was 63rd of VH1's 100 greatest artists of rock, and 80th of Q magazine's 100 greatest musical stars of 20th century.

official web site: Sting


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