Monday, March 11, 2019


Today is R + 70, also known as 70th day as an officially retired old fart (OROF, Sarge?).  I've got this to say about it..

It's "different".

Sunday evening  I still get that feeling, I g0t every Sunday when I was working as I g0t ready for bed. You know the one:


However, the time period between me getting that feeling and it being replaced by...

No, it's not...
Source getting shorter.

The genetic makeup of a working stiff may never allow me to not dread Sunday evenings, but one has high hopes.

The circadian rhythm has changed significantly also.  While working it was bed around 9-9:30, wakeup at 3 wondering/worrying/remembering about the things I had to do that day.  getting back to sleep about 5 to wake up at 5:45.

I suspect many of you are familiar with that cycle.

Fortunately...It is changing.  The first month, it was bed at 9 or so, sleep immediately. (Bigelow Sweet Dreams Tea helps) wakeup at 3 wondering/worrying/remembering about retirement, back to sleep about 5 to wake up at 8 or so.

Oh, and Naps.  Most Days at least an hour.

Yeah, I was exhausted.

Lately, It's bed at about 10-1030, sleep through the night, wake between 7 and 8.

Naps are still nice, but not an absolute necessity.  Usually Sunday afternoon.

So....That's an improvement.

One other thing I've noted....

Without a set schedule, it's harder to remember things.  For instance, days of the week.  They don't really matter except for Sunday (church) and Saturday (because the gummint offices are closed, holidays fall into this category also).

It's also hard to remember things such as appointments.  For some reason, people get uppity if you forget an appointment with them.  

"Sheesh, Sorry!  I had a killer game of Bloon's boing."

So, to minimize the problem, I got a pocket notepad and write down the shopping list adding to it as needed.  Just to have in case I decide to go to the store.  I also write down my "Plan Ahead" things.  Next week, Monday Doctor visit etc.

Heck, it keeps me sane.  

On the homefront...Mrs J has decided we're going through stuff and getting rid of most of it.  We've got a 40'x10'x10' storage closet on the back of our carport.  It's stuffed with things we had when stationed at the Pentagon (20 years ago).  Haven't even looked at it since.

I think it's safe to say we can haul it off.

So,  we've been working to that end.

Mrs J also mentioned she wanted a raised planter to grow vegetables.  

You know that Yul Brynner is approaching....right?
Completed that project this past Saturday.  Got the idea here, in case anyone is interested.

We repurposed the plexiglass from MBD's wedding in July

The covers lift off and are stored on a rack underneath. Next phase is to build screen covers for the warmer weather to minimize bugs.

The PVC pipe in the lower left is a fill tube for the 25' drainage pipe folded in the bottom and used to store water.
Mrs J thinks it turned out well and well....that's all that matters.

On the health front, I'm down below 250 for the first time in close to 20 years and the BP is significantly lower, so I've got that going for me.

Financial factors, never having not worked, were a big concern.  February was the first month without the full paycheck.  Our budget worked quite well.  Not buying lunch every day has helped (probably with the weight also).  Assuaging the financial concern has contributed to the more uninterrupted sleep as well.

I do have one recommendation for those of you who have been working at the same job for quite a while, start backing up your work email now.  Especially if, like me, you used that for important personal email.  

My personal email is spammed to hell.  Finding actual email is nigh on to impossible.  When I was settling my Father's estate, I couldn't afford to miss anything, ergo...I used my work email.  It was up on my computer monitor all the time.  I could see it come in immediately and take action.

However, when you move on.....

Fortunately, I still have friends in the IT department who have access to the backup files. 

Beans, I got a call from my replacement (who had worked with me before I left) with a request to explain the workings of the budget system.  I spent about 45 minutes in the office with him to do so.  I also got a call to provide a sales rep's name.  Das es alles!

As I was working up to the retirement decision, someone commented that the leap looks like the Grand Canyon from the working side and a crack in the sidewalk from the Retired side.  Lotta truth in that.

There IS hope!

P.S, Sarge...This is what a Fighter Pilot's watch looks like.


  1. Good to see the adjustment period is moving smoothly along juvat. It took me about three years after retirement before I lost track of the DATE, knew the day but what's that number on the calendar.......? Oh, and the grocery store is always busier on the weekends too, there's a tip-off also. Planter looks quite nice.

    1. Thanks, Nylon. Grocery Store population could come in handy some day in some emergency situation. (Much like moss on the trunk of a tree.)

    2. "(Much like moss on the trunk of a tree.)" You do know on which side of a tree moss grows, don't you?


    3. My survival instructor told me it grows on the North Side of the tree (generally). However, my Australian Army friend told me in his neck of the woods it grows on the South Side. But that was back in the day, when there was only two genders, and capitalism was good, communism bad. Nowadays, who knows?

    4. Well, as I remember it, moss usually grows on the shady side of a tree. Thus, in the northern hemisphere, generally on the northern side and in the southern hemisphere on the southern side. However, a well shaded tree can have moss growing on any side or all around the trunk of the tree. Therefore, caution should be used in this method of direction finding.


    5. Important Safety tip. That compass I have in the truck is still useful then, eh?

  2. Turns out that retirement is the three day cycle of Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow.

    We have been using Google calendar for a while now, and have found it effective for appointments, the back up paper calendar doesn't get used as much.

    Good job on the planter, anything that cuts down on the bending over thing is a great idea.
    We've been growing our strawberries in a vertical system called, oddly enough, Vertigro, for a number of years and our knees and lower backs are a lot happier.

    I'll tell my wife the Grand Canyon and crack analogy, now that she has joined me in retirement I think she will totally agree.

    Re: Fighter pilot watch. Well yes, of course.

    Good post.

    1. I'm picking up on that cycle, slowly. I do use my phone for appointments, but the A$$4073 robocallers have made the phone all but unusable. I've got it set on "Do Not Disturb" all day, so it only rings for people in my contact list, but haven't figured out other notifications yet. Paper is still very much in use for me.

  3. You need a knee board for your notes. You'll feel right at home with that system....

    I have the same weight yoyo when I take two weeks off for our anniversary. Not eating out, and quitting liquid sugar (cokes) chops weight off witout much effort.

    And the raised planter is too cool. I hope to have raised beds this year, too. Time will tell. I'll post this, but don't wake up to answer unless you want too!!

    1. I do have my knee board still, with the mission data card for my last mission on it. I pull it out every once in a while when I feel nostalgic.

      I hope the weight loss isn't a yoyo, the graph has been trending down for a while now, but I've been suckered in before, so....

      The article had ground based beds, but much like John said above, bending over or, worse, kneeling, is best to be minimized. I had Mrs J standing by every table/dresser/counter and reaching across each to find the best dimensions for her. Pictures show it with 3 cubic feet of dirt. Got to go and get more dirt today.

  4. I guess I need to add OROF to the dictionary.

    Uh, dude, font size? What's up with that? (This is me, being a jerk, because I can.)

    I'll show you my fighter pilot watch, probably tomorrow. Hint, it isn't made of rubber. :) (It's also, technically, a Naval Aviator watch.)

    Nice planter by the way, very nicely done.

    1. TOT was plus or minus 2 seconds. I didn't want to have to interpret how much time I had left. Hence the digital watch. I don't think there were many guys in any of my squadrons that still had dials for their working warches. Bar Watches was a different story.


      Re:Font I emailed you more information.

    2. Cool, I replied to your email.

      So I guess what I have is a Bar Watch. :)

    3. Font fixed? (Meaning, Hey, I can read it now. Hahahahaha!)

  5. Retirement is great...I do miss occasionally calling in sick when the weather is nice.

    1. Joe,
      You've established your "cranky" disposition. Go ahead and call in anyway, you'll feel better.

  6. After ‘year 3’ I concluded that it was easier if I did away with identifying individual days and just concentrated on what month it was. I get it right! (most days😉)

    1. Oh, man, that's dangerous. There's birthdays, anniversaries, mother's days in there. All ticking time bombs waiting for a forgetful male to forget. I may get to that state, but there will be scars along the way.

    2. Juvat, I solved that. My wife gets a birthday gift on the 22nd of every month😇

  7. Having been retired for MANY YEARS, my next career change is a meet-up with the LORD. There, time and calendar will truly be a thing of the past and OJT tensions will have disappeared. Seems like a good thing somehow. PTL.

    1. Well, Dave, I agree. Hopefully, not anytime soon. Still trying to encourage the progeny to try "Grandkids". Would like to experience that beforehand.

  8. After I retired I found the the only day I had to regularly remember was the day before the garbage truck showed up at 0600. The Gmail spam filter does a pretty good job and my phone's "block call' function works for almost everything.
    There was a 'restricted" call that started showing up, I found an app that takes care of those....


    1. Living in the country, the Garbage Truck is me. Oskar and I have a every other day run to the Dempsey Dumpster that services the 4 houses within a mile of me.
      Now that I've got time, I can play with the Gmail Spam filter. Never had the time nor patience before, so it didn't appear to block anything.
      The Do Not Disturb function set to run from 7:00 AM to 6:59 AM and block everybody not in my contact list works quite well. The caller gets asked to leave a message. If the number looks familiar or local, I can listen to the message and if they haven't given me proof of "intelligent" life in the first few seconds, it goes onto the blocked number list. (BTW a live spammer is not "intelligent")

  9. I have found that one of those 7-day pill minder thingamajobs really helps me tell, first thing in the morning, what day of the week it is. Still need to establish the date, but day of week is a first off thingy.

    Wife has one of those annoying smart-phones that she's got our lives programmed into, and she keeps wanting me to get one. My response is usually "Uh-huh..." and if I am feeling loquacious, "So you want me to risk a $150.00 (or more) phone on my random klutziness? Nu-huh..." So far I'm winning.

    As to the financials, it is amazing how much your salary is tied into the daily trip there, trudge through the day and the trip back. Since not working, I can go over two months without filling the van. And when I do, I usually have one of Publix's special $40 for a $50 gas card, so even if I'm not filling up at Sam's, I am still saving beaucoup dinero. And since I've learned to make gluten-free (Mrs. Andrew has celiac's, so gluten is bad) deep dish pizza dough, the only meal I can't make is Sonny's coleslaw and since they keep dicking around with the recipe, well, I'll roll my own for July 4th. So... uh... the point is, the job requires too much of the job's money to sustain, which rolls back into the retiree financials if you're willing to cook most everything.

    As to the watch, do you find that the two planes and the pilot interfere with stuff when you're walking around or driving? You do know they make glasses with head-up displays for time, temp, heading, gps location and such, right? Or is that too modern for you?

    Watches, I've broken more watches due to my extreme klutziness, so I just use time on the microwave, or in the car, or on the phone, or on the computer or on the tv or on the saw, or on the jug of milk or the bottle of soda or on the toilet paper roll... wait, no, no time on the toilet paper roll, may have been exaggerating on some other things (though I hear there are internet-of-things appliances that have, well, internet so everything has the time, weather, NSA spy app running 24/7 (or 23/1 or 25/1 depending on the DST date...)

    As to the sleep cycle, just wait until you start having nightmares about being back at work. Especially the last day. "Just one more thing..."

    Naps, naps are good. Was raised by a cat. Naps are very important to a cat. Current dog (need to blog about that adventure) gets grumpy if we haven't gotten quiet by 4pm and allowed him to nap between us. Downright grumpy, actually.

    As to extra phone calls, per Rob above, I have found that the NRA beggars are some of the worst for calling, only surpassed by the people obsessed with my car's extended warranty. Which weirds them out when I tell them I don't have a car (hint, it's a van....)

  10. I have one of those 7 day Pill boxes (two actually, the second is for extended trips). They are great as long as something doesn't disrupt your morning routine and you forget a day. At that point, the entire universe spirals out of control and may or may not be able to be reset. Picture showing up for Church on pillbox Sunday and seeing "your" pew filled with uniformed school children. Not that that's ever happened to me....Nope. Never!

    Speaking of heads-up glasses. I think that would be information overload. I did see an ad online that showed a HUD for your phone. You put it on top of the dash of your vehicle, put the phone on the base, and the phone data appears displayed on the translucent screen. Ostensibly, you can see both the data and whatever's actually in front of the vehicle. Did not see an opportunity to read reviews however, so don't know how well it works. Besides, if it doesn't have a gun reticle, what good is it. "Turn left in 500'" works just fine for me. Besides, there's lots of places very close to me, where cell signal

  11. Lessee, it’s been a little more than nineteen years since I was gainfully employed.
    I don’t remember when I decided it was retirement.
    I have several watches, but can’t and don’t want to find them... stopped wearing one even before the work thing ended.
    It’s only been the past two years, or less, that sleeping late became a consideration... doing that on a Monday is truly satisfying.
    Remembering what day it is hasn’t been an issue, probably because of the Internet and its insidious insertion into the daily life.

    1. Skip,
      I hope I have a post "gainfully employed" career as long and storied as yours. Sleeping in on Monday IS satisfying isn't it.

  12. A very fine post, up to the usual high juvat standards.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

  13. The most important thing I learned about retirement - The fat newspaper comes on Sunday.

    Good Luck

    1. Unfortunately, in my little town, it only comes on Tuesday and isn't delivered. I purchase it at the grocery store, so when I get the paper, it's either Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. I suppose I could subscribe to The Austin or San Antonio papers, but....who wants to read the NYT albeit with a Texas Twang?

  14. Only until you shoot it off your wrist! Welcome to the dark side. Our time is our own (except for the honey-do lists and whatever SWMBO says)!


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