I must be crazy

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I could blame it on the heat but it has been pretty cool lately. Yesterday was the start of summer and the weather has been very mild. We had a couple of thunderstorms but they did not deliver much rain. So why did I decide to cut off all my hair? I have not had a haircut since I retired April 3rd so I was long overdue. The barber has not been able to do much with my hair for years now as I have less of it each year. So today I just decided to get rid of it all. I asked Teresa to break out our electric shears and she went at me like a sheep in Australia. When she was done I was actually quite pleased with the results. The last time I had hair this short was boot camp in the U.S. Army in 1968. But this is going to be my look from now on, there is no going back. I expect to get a few comments when I go to church tomorrow but that is OK. There are several benefits from having hair this short. It requires very little combing or brushing and I will no longer have that just got out of bed hair look. And what with being retired and on a reduced income I will save a couple hundred dollars a year. Maybe I will grow a mustache back to compensate, just kidding.
I have been busy the last few days moving my Wordpress blog, my photo galleries and my MovableType blogs to a new hosting service. The last straw with my old hosting service, Bluedomino, came when they again failed to fix a problem that they had caused on their servers. As usual their support staff was completely useless. All they know how to do is tell you that it is your problem when in fact every service call I ever placed with them was something wrong with their servers. So I bought a new domain with GoDaddy.com. The new domain name is 'TheMindofTefft' and I will be using it from now on. It is also a .com domain instead of the .org of my old domain. I have been able to successfully move everything to my new hosting service with far less problems than I had anticipated. There are still a few details left before I can call Bluedomino and tell them to cancel my service. I just hope GoDaddy will be a better hosting service than Bluedomino was. So far things look pretty good for GoDaddy and to make it a sweeter deal GoDaddy is three times cheaper than Bluedomino. I should have dumped them a long time ago.
Today the high was 97 degrees with a heat index of 114 degrees. I managed to plant grass seed in the far back of the yard that we just had graded. I will have to water the seed for the next 21 days and pray that it grows. Right now it is a dust bowl back there. I managed to mow part of the back yard before the heat and humidity became too much. The rest of the weekend and first part of next week are going to be much the same. Isn't Summer still a couple of weeks away? Since I have been forced inside I have been doing a lot of reading and listening to podcasts. I finished 'A Canticle for Leibowitz' and have started started a collection of short stories titled 'Beyond Armageddon.' I am still looking for a gym or health center to join so that I can start losing some weight and get back into shape. I want to be in good condition when we go hiking in Yellowstone later this year. I also have decided that I am going to travel to Florida in October and see the next Shuttle take off from Cape Canaveral. The space program has been a part of my life since childhood and I really want to see a launch before I die. So come hell or high water I will be in Florida this October to watch STS-125 take off. It will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of my life. 

Long overdue update

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It has been a while since my last entry so let me see if I can remember what has been happening.  I have spend a lot of my day at the computer, mostly with my Wordpress blog. When not thinking about what to write on my blog I have been reading, watching lectures on "The Great Ideas of Philosophy" , watching TV, or working in the yard. One of the highlights of this past Memorial Day weekend was the successful landing of NASA's Phoenix Mars lander. It is a pity that I was not watching the landing of men on Mars, but that is another story. I hope I am around long enough to see men finally land on Mars, no matter how long overdue. I went out to the airport in Windsor where the Tidewater Soaring Society operates its gliders. I talked to a couple of the members about Teresa, Dana, and me taking a ride on one of their gliders. They said it should not be a problem to get one of the members to take us up for a ride. So I am looking forward to doing that next week. I still plan on my son Jason and myself taking a trip to Yellowstone National Park sometime this year. It has been a while since I have had a vacation and I have never taken Jason on a vacation anywhere, so I am looking forward to that. I have also driven my Mother to the doctors for appointments a couple of times. Considering that she is 89 years old she is in remarkably good health. May she live forever.
In the last week we have had some very bad weather. A week ago an F3 tornado touched down in Suffolk and destroyed or damaged over 140 houses. Three buildings in Driver were destroyed and many buildings in a community in Suffolk. I spent Saturday morning with 1500 volunteers cleaning up some of the damage in the community in Suffolk. We worked in one cul-d-sac where 4 of the 6 houses were destroyed. Two of the houses were razed to the foundation and the other two condemned. The amount of destruction I saw in that one neighborhood was like nothing I have ever seen. Today the weather is very poor with high winds and temperatures in the 40's. I have been staying busy with reading, building and launching model rockets, and working in the yard. I just wish there were more sunny days for doing things. I think since I retired in April there have only been a handful of sunny days. It is becoming somewhat depressing.

The construction around our house is also quite irritating. I will be glad when both projects are finally completed, although I think the pyramids of Egypt were built in less time. I saw some of my old work mates from TRADOC this weekend when I attended a party that Eugene Thacker (my old, now retired, boss) threw for his wife Jean's 50th birthday. Mike Burns, Steve Swartwood, Anastasia, Don Moses, Mark McGowan and Sam Tanguy were in attendance. It was good to see them all again. Now if the weather would just improve and the construction around here ended I could enjoy my retirement more. Oh, I forgot about the rising price of gas and food. Just when I retire the economy falls apart. So much for trying to get by on a fixed income. Guess I will play some Second Life, read my book, and work on my blog today, while praying for better weather. Enough for now.

Retirement Update

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I have been retired for 2 weeks now and so far so good. I still don't think I have fully realized that I do not have to get up and go to work any more. I expect it will sink in soon but for now I am in the twilight zone. I do know that I am having trouble remembering what day of the week it is, that must be a good sign. I have been filling up the days by reading, watching my Teaching Company lectures, and going places. This weekend I visited the War Memorial Museum in Hampton, which I have not visited for years. Teresa and I had lunch at the restaurant where Dana is now working. The last two mornings I went over to my Pastors house to help him setup his wireless network. And I have been doing a lot of yard work although the weather has not been cooperating much. Today is a perfect example of lousy weather keeping me from working in the yard. So I will read, surf the net, work on my blog and maybe go out somewhere. The only concern I have about retirement is how far my money will go with the price of everything going up. I just hope the Alpo beef chunk dinners scenario does not become a reality.

It's Official

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I have been retired for three days now. Last Thursday, April 3rd, was my last day of work. I had a very nice retirement ceremony, complete with three plaques, a commemorative photo signed by everyone in my office, a commanders award for civil service from the Army, an American flag, and a retirement pin. Not bad for 28 years of service. We then had a nice luncheon at a local Chinese restaurant and I was on my way home to see what all this retirement stuff is about. To be honest being retired has not sunk in yet. It may take some time before it finally does. I do know that I will be staying busy as the three days since I have been retired have not been boring. So I am off to a good start and I hope I can make my retirement as exciting and rewarding as possible. I don't plan on wasting a minute of it, unless that is what I want to do. To the Golden Years !!!!!

Almost there

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Tomorrow will be my last day as a civil service employee. After a retirement service and luncheon I will be heading home to enjoy the rest of my life as a retired person. Everything is go and I am really excited. There is still a little apprehension about things but that will go away after a month or two and I realize that I can get by on my pension and the other savings I have. My mother had her 89th birthday recently and the entire family gathered at my brother Jeff and his wife Donna's house. It was Mexican night and the food was great and spending time with my family was even better. I hope that being retired will allow me to spend more time with my family and do some of the other things that I have been wanting to do for so long. So many plans, I just hope I will have the time to realize them. 

The end is in sight.

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I am still in countdown mode for retirement. After today I will have one more full week of work and then 4 days until I am unemployed. I am really looking forward to being retired. Any fears I might have had are gone. It is time for me to jump off the hamster cage I have been running in for all these years. If everything goes according to plan we will be moving within a year or two to our final home where I hope to spend the rest of my days. Momentous times are ahead and I look forward to them. Last night our church performed our annual Last Supper performance. Once again I played the part of John the Younger. The performance went off well but I wish we had more people attend. The major objective of our New Beginnings program and transition team is to find ways to attract new members and keep our church vital and growing in the coming years. I only regret that I will probably not be here to see the fruits of our labors but I plan on keeping in touch with the members of the church after we move.
I finished all the paperwork for retirement last week and wrote the check for my military buyback. I am now just waiting for April 3rd to roll around. My retirement luncheon is going to be at the Szechuan Inn in Hampton. I will have to make a retirement speech so I have to think of something fitting to say. Just got back from a spaghetti dinner at church which was followed by a Keith Maddrey concert. Keith's band is a local Chesapeake band and they play great contemporary Christian music. I hope this last month of work before retirement doesn't seem like an eternity. I have lots of plans for retirement and cannot wait to put them into motion. I expect that a significant part of my retirement will be spent in expanded duties at church, which I am looking forward to doing. I also want to whip our yard into shape this summer and fix up my upstairs room where I expect to spend a lot of time.