Thursday, September 30, 2010

Retirement Accounting

Well midnight tonight I will have completed eleven years of retirement from Uncle Sam's Executive Branch including two years, ten months, four days, and seven hours of military service. I feel very very lucky. Many civil servants die in the traces as did my father on April 26. 1967. Many die shortly after retirement.

Some may ask how I developed the idea for the blog and what I do besides restoring a house and grounds abandoned for 20 years here in the Northern Neck of Virginia.

Well the first two years retired I spent winters in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware in an area called the PINES where my family had rented many summers for a week or two in the 50's. Also my DAD loved the beach and ocean and we often went to Rehoboth just for a few days and even put up in a house that dormed many male lifeguards. No females at that time as guards or allowed in the house.

I loved Rehoboth then and do now. The gays and lesbians that came in to town after 1970 revived the winter and summer economy but it really is not a family resort anymore. Much better restaurants and other things however. Those two winters encompassed the 2000 Presidential election and an old friend MIKE and I watched the six weeks of decisions daily and hourly with fascination. The SCOTUS intervention to be was the last thing that should have happened but not without historical precedent in US elections. Federal standards for voters and voting machinery long overdue.

I received phone calls that first fall and summer from my friend Keith Bea a long serving staffer in the CRS {Congressional Research Service] inviting me to brief him and other CRS staff on FEMA issues. Ray Decker formerly of GAO did the same. Those briefings resulted in a number of follow up phone calls and meetings. The objective of all of this effort was just to lay out the facts and hopefully to improve CRS and GAO analysis of the then independent FEMA.

The next significant thing was a long feared diagnosis of prostate cancer in May 2001. Completing 9 years this year since that diagnosis apparently I am one of the lucky ones. I lost a number of good friends to that disease who died after retiring from FEMA, including Alan Clive and John Crawford. Both very good citizens and wonderful people.

Only gradually did I evolve an interest in the computer world and blogosphere as I am certainly anything but an early adopter.

At any rate trying to help a little at least I hope that some of the hard lessons learned during my years of federal service as a civilian and soldier will help others to understand the past and hopefully prepare better for an uncertain future.

Will be away several day meeting up with two fine men, both married, who also happen to be my sons.

Also as always love to Leighton wherever she might be.