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Archive for January, 2011

Twenty of us met at Milda’s Cafe in Minneapolis NE. My night team stumbled in, hungry as usual, joined by friends from past work groups. CWA 7200 union friends were there as well. The wait staff was superb, slinging hash as only they can.

I was surprised to have what seemed like an endless parade of presents to open – in public! From magnifying lens, compasses, to Depends – come on!?! Anything age related was on view, and photographed by my “I want to get even” son, Brad. I managed to visit with most of my tormentors as they wished me well. It was a sweet moment for me, being with these friends who comprised my “family” for eight hours a day, or should I say night. I will miss them all.

I will add more as this moment of friendship and fraternity sinks in. for now, some (edited) pictures will have to suffice…

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One down, two to go. My birthday passed with relative ease. Most of my friends and most of my family (NY Jets were busy licking their wounds I guess…) either called, e-mailed, Facebook-ed or dropped by. The birthday cards were clever, cat-centric,  and sent with the best of intentions, I’m sure. Dinner at Bill & Regina’s, with Linda and Nancy, was nutritious and conversational. So, one down: the Birthday.

Next stop? Thursday, January 27th, 2011, 8:00 a.m.. This will be my last day on the job. Thirty years in telecommunications, P T & T, Pacific Telephone, Pac Bell, US West, Qwest. Over four years of working nights, midnight to eight, weekends included. From tip & ring, to fiber, PBX to VOIP. Quite a ride. I feel immense gratitude to these corporations for allowing me to raise my family. The income that provided the wherewithal to feed, clothe, house, and insure medical, dental and vision care in the process. I only wish the same “benefits” for my sons, and others who comprise the unsung American heroes of tomorrow. I’ll be off the books January 31st, and that’s that.

My retirement breakfast is on Friday, January 28th, at Milda’s in Minneapolis NE. Pictures and remarks to follow.

On Saturday, February 5, I’ll having an open house of sorts. People can drop by, get a bite to eat, chit chat with friends, and go about their way. February 8 I leave the state of Minnesota for a visit of indeterminate length…stay tuned!

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“I’ll have some of that”

If I can see it, I can eat it!

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A Silence Within, a silence without...

And then there’s the “wild Wisconsin Wildlife” such as it is:

My mother made me wear it!

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Lasts & Firsts

I worked my last weekend for the phone company.

Fourteen more workdays and I’m outta there!

It’s -6F out there.

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This & That

January 31 is rushing ever closer, and I mean rushing! I keep turning over in my mind all the preparations and planning that I’ve done, and now it’s time to go all in. Yesterday I sent off my retirement package to Human Resources. They found one omission, which I easily corrected, and then went to my financial institution for a signature. Finally, the post office certified and registered the envelope and here we are – signed, sealed, delivered. Between Social Security and my pension I should be able to pay the mortgage and get cat food – just kidding. I am in a constant state of gratitude. Scared stiff for all the unknowns, but grateful.

The last two days I’m experiencing a bit of a winter cold. I knew something was up when I started moaning and groaning for no apparent reason. Then, kapow, down for the count. A real Catch-22, with all the symptoms complimenting one another and disrupting my sleep, appetite, and fuzzy thinking. The last is brought about by taking the recommended dosages of Nyquil. An OTC remedy that should be by prescription only in my opinion. But I soldier on, drinking lots of water, and stretching my limbs on the elliptical/strider.

Lastly, planning for my retirement breakfast (my work group gets off our shift at 8:00 a.m. you know) and retirement/going away party. The breakfast will be held at Milda’s Diner in North Minneapolis. Brad is coming with me too, which is cool. I talked with Milda and she can accommodate however many show up. I expect ten to 16 people, but we’ll see what happens. That will be Friday, January 28, A week from Saturday (February 5) my good friend Linda B is organizing a mash-up at a community center. In either case, plenty of photographs and videos to follow.

Now, where is that little plastic cup? The green elixir awaits…

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One, One, OneOne

Well, well, well, what have we here? A New Year, that’s what. This is the year I blog. Sigh. The commitment and discipline needed to write something every now and then I have not adhered to in the past. Then again, the “past” is so twenty-ten. And I’ll remind myself that this is a New Year – perfect timing I’d say. I might as well start putting words to paper…or its equivalent…and see what happens.
I brought in the New Year watching “Nikita” – in French. Mon Dieu! When I bought the DVD, it sure didn’t scream “In French with subtitles!” It had Nikita on the cover. That explains my Secret Shopper methods I suppose. Then there’s the release date of 1990 – twenty years ago? I let the film roll, and it was pretty good, well above average in fact. And it had Jean Reno of “The Professional” (Victor) and doggone, if they didn’t use him in the same role. When I watch a film with subtitles, I spend an inordinate amount of my focus on trying to match the French to English. This morning, hangover free, I can state without reservation, that “zero” in French is in fact “zero” in English.
I going to let this submission rest for now. I need to familiarize myself with more WordPress functionalities and that will take time. I do not want this to turn into a FaceBook entry on steroids. A little context here and there, and then let’s see if I can share some of myself. We’ll see as time goes by. For now…
Happy New Year One & All!

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