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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Clean out the closets!

Watched Andy Rooney on '60 Minutes,' a bit ago, with a box of old clothes out of his closet at home, that he just can't seem to throw away. I can give away/throw away a lot of things, but, have noticed a few items still are hanging/sitting in my closet that I haven't worn in, what, 12-15 years?? There is an Iowa State jacket, my first college alma mater, that I may, actually, have never worn - it certainly doesn't fit anymore - but it is really hard to get rid of it. I must get over this, in coming months, thank you very much!

I won't even mention the half dozen new pants that "I'll wear when I lose some weight!" Or, the twenty five or thirty neck ties, hanging on a neat revolving hanger - I have worn a tie no more than three or times a year, the last ten years!!

Time to get to work on this...

It has been a very nice day!

Dr. Bill ;-)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

All my STUFF....

Among my favorite George Carlin routines was when he would take off on "my stuff..." I could always identify with that, because I, too, have a lot of "my stuff!" In my case, it is mostly books and papers...

A colleague who is retiring this month, not next year, was in the office a couple of days ago, lamenting his challenge to get "all his stuff" out of his office... and where to put it. His garage is already full, because his wife retired earlier this spring, and all of "her stuff" is there - plus, they recently moved her mother from her apartment to a care facility, and all "her stuff" is there, as well...

Two or so years ago, when I was hot on the E-Bay "latest thing" - I sold nearly 300 of my books on E-Bay. Hardly made a dent, but it was a start. That market has dried up some, so I have been carrying boxes of books to the local library with donations to be sold at "Friends of the Library" fund-raisers. I will continue to do that. The books in my old office here on campus are all too old for either... sometimes wonder if there aren't developing countries, or flood victims, or someone who would benefit from them, if only I could identify them.

Then there are the boxes and boxes of genealogy materials.... but that is another story.

As I get ready to feed the spreader some more paper, it is another good day!

Dr. Bill ;-)

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin remembered

He is hardly of the same world as Tim Russert, or even Jim McKay, but I do mourn the passing of George Carlin, at age 71. I really appreciated much of what he stood for. He had the smarts and the courage to stand up for what he believed. His tactics were sometimes a bit skewed, but you always knew "where he was coming from!" As he aged, he became more overtly cerebral - which I, for one, appreciated. It helped me understand some of his weirdness as bit better.

I hope he'll be there to keep things straight, and entertain us, if there is a next world to enjoy!

Not withstanding his passage, it is another good day!

Dr. Bill ;-)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bits and Pieces, etc.

Approaching retirement, especially involving a physical move, requires a lot of sifting and sorting and deciding on pieces of paper and memorabilia ... is this worth keeping, is it disposed of? Do I keep it through one more move, or is this the time to let it go? Will I want it, use it, need it, in the next five to ten years - or not?

I just came across a notebook Nancy and I started, it appears, about 20 years ago. We had started to accumulate some "sayings" or "aphorisms" - they were popular at the time. This list seems to have been from two sources. One was a little set of booklets called "Bits & Pieces" - don't know if it is still published, or not - and the other was "Leaves of Gold" - if I remember correctly.

I'll share one quote from each:
"Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists of not exceeding the limit." Elbert Hubbard. B&P

"Far away there is the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up & see their beauty, believe in them, & try to follow where they lead." Louisa May Alcott, Lof G, p. 41.

It was another good day! ;-)

Dr. Bill ;-)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tim Russert

Wow! 58 years old - at his prime of life. So sad. But we see it everyday, is seems.

Really liked Tim - a great journalist! Will be greatly missed on the political reporting beat!!

Regardless of the tragedy of losing Tim, it was another good day!

Dr. Bill ;-)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Minor Ailments

Approaching age 69 in a few weeks, I've noticed that minor ailments seem to occur more often. I'm not complaining, of course... my general health is excellent; especially for the poor shape I'm in.

Since the weekend, my eyes have been irritated... strange, as I do not have allergies, hardly ever. We have determined that I became dehydrated. It was a warm weekend. I went out and mowed the yard about noon on Saturday. Great exercise! It was hot and windy. I didn't drink a full bottle of water after I came in. On Sunday, I went for a 35 minute walk, with lots of hills and valleys, relatively speaking. Hot again. Again, didn't drink the water I should have. Had some Diet Coke in the afternoon (that makes the problem worse, of course - but, I didn't yet know I had a problem!). By mid-day Monday, I was wondering what the problem was (very yellow urine - sorry, but it is the tell-tale symptom, every time.) Monday night I loaded up on water, and some fluids with electrolites. Again on Tuesday, added apple juice. Getting better.

Not a problem, really, but... I just hate to be less than "perfect" - enough problems in life without "not feeling well!" Again, I know I am lucky... but, it is one of those little things I wanted to share.

Get to drive 10 hours to Austin, tomorrow! Need to be feeling well. Looking forward to seeing Alex, 4, and Kaylee, 7 months on the 8th. Have to share a photo (ok, it is a couple months old!)

Anyway, it was another good day!

Dr. Bill ;-)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Four Dollar Gasoline

Over the weekend, the official national average price of regular unleaded gasoline hit $4 - on Saturday, we were at $3.71, down from $3.89 the week before.

Looking forward to a fixed income in a year, these kinds of indications of inflation in basic costs - especially planning to do some traveling - are a concern, of course. What can we do? What steps should we take?

These are things we now think about daily!

Still, it is another good day!

Dr. Bill ;-)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sportscaster Jim McKay

Jim McKay died yesterday, at age 86, at his farm in Maryland.

I know him best from the ABC Wild World of Sports, of course, but it was good to be reminded of his other achievements, especially his interests in horseracing in Maryland. My Kinnick and Brighwell ancestors lived in Maryland, so that is meaningful to me, as well. I also did not realize that Sean McManus, director of CBS Sports, was the son of Jim McKay - McManus was his birth name, McKay his professional name. They are currently running a CBS review of his life, after I started writing this, on the CBS golf coverage I had on the TV when I started writing. Curious how these things happen.

This is the way we "retirement age" folks think about these things. How does it compare to us? He was 17 years older. Johnny Carson always said that an "old person" is someone at least 15 years older than you are. Jim McKay was an "old person"... just barely!

It is those folks in the home town, or current town, that you see dying that are in their 50s and early 60s - these make you stop and think: What am I doing to hopefully not be like them? We never know, of course. But, you do stop and think. More on this as we go along, of course!

It it another good day!

Dr. Bill ;-)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The First Day of the Rest of My Life

With twelve months of work life left before retirement, it seems appropriate to begin some observations and record the activities that accompany this important passage of time.

The day was highlighted by Big Brown NOT winning the Triple Crown in racing and Hillary Clinton suspending her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination and endorsing Barack Obama.

Nancy and I recently finalized our decision for me to retire at the end of my new contract, just signed, that is June 13, 2009. Shortly thereafter, I will celebrate my 70th birthday and the following month we will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Seems like appropriate timing. This contract will finish the 15 years here at Emporia State University that I planned to complete on arrival.

It was a good day!

Dr. Bill ;-)