Friday, January 18, 2008


Well it has been 6 months since we moved to Colorado and I thought I would give you an update.

I realize that for many of you this time of the year is extremely busy, i.e., making sure your org/company made their numbers, writing your appraisals, etc. Fortunately, I already finished my appraisal.

Once again I was rated a "1", which means I have been rated a "1" for 5 straight years, 2003-2007!!! Strangely enough those are the exact same years that I have been retired, and of course, rating myself!! Hmmm! Coincidence??!! Yep, I believe 'tis!!

IBM was also kind enough to give me a raise this year. I was awarded some additional monies in my retirement check as a result of the class action law suit regarding their pension plan. Of course, they quickly took it away.....and then cover the increase in health care coverage for 2008!!

Social Security also gave me a raise. Granted they increased the amount of Part B premiums I have to pay, but I still made money. Unlike those folks over at Big Blue.

Despite some minor things, Connie and I are adjusting to life in Colorado. Of course we have also changed our perspective on a few things, most specifically the weather.

Six days of the week Connie and I are up around 6 am and out the door around 6:30 am to run/walk. A week or so ago it was around 6 degrees when we bundled up and headed out. A couple days later it was 25. We thought it was a heat wave. And a couple days after that it was 35. We thought it was a tropical heat wave!!

We have had our fair share of snow. In Denver, a 1/2 inch is a dusting. In Dallas, papers would read "businesses and schools close as blizzard hits the metroplex!!"

Speaking of snow. We spent Christmas Eve at our daughters house so we could watch the grandkids open presents. We were supposed to get a light dusting overnight. Woke up to 4-6 inches on the ground and still snowing. Snow kept coming and we wondered about the roads and getting home. Turned out to be the biggest Christmas Day snowfall ever in Denver. Somewhere between 8-14 inches.

Left about 2:30 pm. When I got to our area the roads were quite bad because it isn't a major roadway. As I pulled into our complex it was even worse. Got to our street and as I pulled up to our driveway I thought, "ya know, there is a lot of snow here, and it is uphill into the garage. Perhaps I outta park right here and shovel the snow off the driveway and then drive into the garage." Now I have lived in Alaska, Colorado previously, and upstate New York, so I am no neophyte when it comes to driving in snow. But somehow the ghosts of Evel Knievel and Dale Earnhardt took over, and I said, "Nah"; and plowed ahead. Baaaaaad move!!! Car got 1/2 way up the driveway and just spun out. No traction. Too much snow. Started shoveling, and shoveling, and shoveling. Got the snow away from the car but the underneath was frozen and I spun into more snow. I finally got into the garage about 5 pm!! Needless to say I was not a happy camper!!!

Connie and I live in a gated retirement community with golf course, walking/running trails etc. It is very nice. When walking or running we see a lot of deer. They are so used to humans that many times they won't move off the trails until you are about 5 feet from them. In fact many of them meander through the neighborhood eating plants, grass, etc. Connie and I think it is neat. Well, at one point we did. Right now the deer are persona non grata as a result of our yard being converted into a DDDD. No, nothing to do with eating our plants and grass. Stands for Deer Doo-Doo Depository. Got poop all over the place!!! Calling all hunters!!

We have met quite a few folks here. Surprisingly almost everyone decorated their homes for Halloween. Connie asked one of the neighbors if we actually got trick or treaters here. She told Connie, no, people just like to decorate.

Back in college in California on Halloween I used to go to my fraternity brothers houses, knock on the door and say "Trick or Drink." They and their parents would invite me in and give me the alcoholic beverage of my choice. So, I thought.....I'll try that here. The first house I went to my neighbor looked a little shocked and asked me to please repeat what I said. I told her "Trick or Drink". She said hold on a second. She came back with a bottle of Maalox!! Ha Ha, very funny. Next house, I got Geritol. 3rd house was Pepto Bismol. I went home thinking, "Buncha smart ass senior citizens!! Glad I ain't one!!"

We have an excellent golf course here. I managed to play enough to learn the course and develop a consistent strategy. On each hole I take into account everything. I visualize and strategize how to play the hole. The fairway, does it slope one way or another. But especially the green. Is it guarded by sand traps; where is the pin placement, what is the contour of the green so I know where to hit the ball? This has enabled me to play par golf!! Of course, I am visualizing and strategizing from my living room because the course has been covered in snow since late November!! But hey, just wait until I get out there and put this stuff into practice!!

Connie continues to work remotely for the law firm. I haven't gone to work yet. I applied to the Colorado Dept of Education to be a substitute teacher. In Colorado you have to have a fingerprint background check. You submit your application to the Dept of Education but your fingerprints have to be sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. My application was approved almost immediately. However, it took the CBOI, 3 months to inform the Dept of Education that they could not read my fingerprints!! So, I had to have them taken again.

The person taking them said, "these may come back as unreadable, too." I said, "Why?" He showed me that my fingers have lots of cracks, dents, cuts, and scratches that makes it difficult to read. I told him I wasn't a safe cracker that tried to file them off or anything. "Heck, it musta been all them years working on a farm and trying to make a living." He said "your hands don't look like you farmed much. My guess is you're just old."!! Another wise guy!!

Apparently you don't go to the head of the line because of this kind of anomaly. You start from scratch again. As many of you know I have given American Airlines grief in the past when they didn't treat me right. However, I didn't think it would be a good idea for me to give the Colorado Bureau of Investigation any grief. Not the battle I think I could win. See, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

And finally. We went back to Texas for Thanksgiving. Had a good time. Even got to see my daughter and son in law on tv. Melissa got Vin tickets for the Cowboys-Jets game because he is a big Jets fan. So when Dallas scored early in the 3rd period the camera pans to Vin and Melissa sitting in the stands with their Jets jerseys on, and with quite the forlorn look on their faces. Priceless!!

Hope all of you are doing well.