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green rice field

My Formula for Life After Retirement

I am 74 years old and mostly retired. However I did recently start a part time job at Home Depot, a large building supply dealer. After 12 years of retirement and having my schedule totally under my control it is a bit difficult to adjust my life around the demands of a time clock. But I see it all as part of my goals to keep my retirement life varied and thus interesting and stimulating.

Having had several years of retirement life, I thought it was time to reflect on the ideal retirement strategy for achieving a fulfilling quality of life. I am talking about achieving a satisfying and fulfilled life physically and mentally. Building your financial health in preparation for retirement is a different topic and not contemplated in this post; books have been written about it by people more expert on the subject than I.

Ideally you will have internists (passions) during your working life that you would like to focus on after retirement, now that you have the free time. The saddest thing is a person who retires and is totally lost. No interests or ambitions and simply sits around feeling lost and sorry for themselves. It seems like this type of person is more likely to contract more illnesses and even possibly pass away within a few years of retirement because they have lost the will and passion to live a fulfilled life.

As well as preparing for a fulfilling retirement on your retirement “homestead” it is also important to a satisfying retirement to cultivate outside activities to get you involved with your new community and make new friends. Join a club, a service fraternity, a local church, or volunteer at a charitable organization. Find an activity that takes you outside the house and that you can be passionate about.

My leisure activities in retirement involve:

  • tinkering with computers; building them, repairing them, experimenting with various operating systems
  • maintaining my property; 14 acres of lawn, hay field, and pasture.
  • cutting, splitting and stacking firewood; I heat my house with wood, not because I need to but because I prefer to.
  • getting involved with my local church by: volunteering for various committees, designing and maintaining their web site and Facebook page, and setting up audio and video equipment as required.
Fire in the Wood Stove
A Warm Fire

During my working life I lived in urban areas to be close to my work. However, as retirement age approached, I knew I was going to move to a rural area to retire. So, while I was still working, and had disposable income, I started acquiring the trappings of rural life:

  • I bought 14 acres of land in farming country.
  • I purchased an ATV
  • I purchased a used farm tractor
  • I acquired various tools that I would need for rural life such as gardening, grass cutting, and firewood processing

So, when I retired, I was ready to sell my urban house, build a more modest house on my rural land, and start living like a person who enjoys retirement.

Creating a happy and fulfilling retirement takes planning but it is well worth the effort.

Oak Tree Down
Hurricane Damage

Ready for Firewood

Sometimes the Good Lord provides a helping hand. When it was time to cut some more firewood, along come a hurricane and knocked down this large oak tree in my back yard. He layed it down on the ground for me and all I had to do was cut it up, split it, and stack it in the wood shed for next winter.

Litigation Processes – The New Norm

The new norm. Criminal cases must be tried in the media before going to the courts.

The recent presidential election spectacle in the US has brought home one disturbing fact of the new normal in America. The press are demanding that criminal cases be tried in the media before they go to the courts. Several high profile cases in the last few years have been tried in the media long before the cases went to trial. Then, when the case went to court; and if the court ruling differed from the media ruling, there were massive public outcries and demonstrations.

In the 2020 presidential race, President Trump refused to accept the election results and vowed to take the issue of election fraud to the courts. Nobody knew at the time if his claims had any basis or not. A lot of people assumed that his claims were baseless, and they possibly were. However, as soon as he made the claims, several news media organizations stated categorically the he had no proof (they were already reporting on the outcome of litigation that had not yet begun). They said that, he had not submitted his evidence to the press, therefore there was no proof. Again, they reported this as absolute fact, not speculation. They continued to demand that he submit his legal proof to the press BEFORE he submitted the evidence to the courts. And the general public seemed to agree!

What a shocking change in the rule of law! It used to be that you presented evidence of criminal wrong doing to the courts for adjudication. Now it seems the the accepted legal process is that you present you evidence to the press and they must adjudicate it before it goes to the courts. The standard, and accepted, response to the press by lawyers and principals in a case used to be “we can not comment on pending litigation”. Seems that is no longer a valid response. And should you fail to bow to the press’s demands to disclose all your arguments before you present them to the courts, you do so at your own peril. They will punish you with relentless public attacks on you character; again all presented as absolute fact.

In this particular case, the media predictions of the legal arguments not standing up in court may come true. However that does not excuse their penchant for reporting speculation as fact. We are heading down a slippery slope of subverting the legal process by the media.

I can still remember the “old days” when there was something called “investigative journalism” but that died with the proliferation of social media which fueled the public’s demand for instant reporting of events, even before there was any facts to report.

The outhouse

Oh well. I guess I will head to the outhouse and read a newspaper and see if I can find some “real” news.

Rainbows and Unicorns

Image by maneya from Pixabay

This COVID-19 pandemic has spawned an even more dangerous set of twin pandemics of silliness.

First – a certain faction of the USA population is advocating (very vocally) that the government should cease to govern in the interests of all citizens, and instead abdicate all political decisions to the “medical professionals”. This, they claim. will make COVID-19 magically disappear (figuratively it would vanish into thin air without further intervention). Of course the economy would collapse, the newly healthy population would experience a lower standard of living that they have had in 100 years, and the democratic processes and freedoms that used to be guaranteed by the US constitution would be long gone.

Additionally – a faction of that population is advocating that the government should take over the operation of the health care system. This would, they say, make make health care free to all and the world would be filled with rainbows and unicorns. If you want to see what government run health care looks like in America, check out the VA system of health care. People dying waiting months to see a doctor, never seeing the same doctor twice, diagnostic testing severely limited.

To paraphrase an old and revered document, these truths should be self evident; doctors should not run the government, and politicians should not run the medical system.

Do Politicians Lie?

Politician speaking on podium with microphone, about liar election concept

We are in the midst of campaigning for a federal election here in the US. This means that we are being blasted with virtually nonstop TV commercials by all the candidates for federal political office. It seems to me that the word lie, and lair are being used even more this year than in past campaigns. Everyone that is campaigning is saying that every other person that is campaigning is a liar. If we are to believe all these campaign adds on TV (and surely everyone believes every word) then we must conclude that everyone running for office must be a lair, all their opponents said so, and they wouldn’t lie. Such a dilemma, should we vote for liars? Is being a liar a prerequisite for political office?

Some fun trivia on liers:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/thriving101/202002/9-truths-you-should-know-about-expert-liars

https://www.prweek.com/article/1454441/3-types-liars-spot-deal-ruin-team

If You Only Have a Hammer

On reflecting on today’s “new normal” of shutting down countries to control an infectious disease, an old adage came to mind. If your only tool is a hammer then every problem looks like a nail.

When confronted with the Covid-19 problem, politicians consulted their “infectious disease experts” for a solution. If you are an “infectious disease expert” your logical response is that the sure way to control the spread of infectious diseases is to isolate and quarantine everybody, forever. They have to say that, it is the only arrow in their quiver.

One would have thought that the leaders of the countries of the world would have considered all factors related to shutting down a country such as:

  • How will people earn a living while locked down.
  • How will businesses survive without workers or customers.
  • Once the companies have shut down, and more people are out of work than those still working, how will we finance social welfare programs for all the newly unemployed people that we forced out of the workplace.

Obviously the leaders of the various countries are more savvy on such things than me, and have this all figured out, and have considered all factors for the greater good of their populations. I am patiently awaiting the results of their secret master plans to fix all this and end up with society better off than when the pandemic started.

About This Blog

This is just a simple blog by LeRoy Rice.  Its purpose is to keep friends and family informed of my activities and as a medium to express my rambling and miscellaneous thoughts. It has no commercial purpose and you readers will not be blasted with ads.

You can email me at leroy@leroyrice.com

To access my social media accounts, go to the bottom of the About LeRoy page

Can I Go Out Now?

I am so excited, I drove around a bit yesterday and a few restaurants are opening their dining rooms! So many have been closed entirely or only doing curbside pick up of to-go meals. Outback Steakhouse in Athens was open. Donna and I went in for dinner. Things are definitely different. Only half the tables were open (every second one closed) and all the staff were wearing masks. There is nothing on the tables; no salt and pepper or other condiments, no even the cards you normally see that are advertising some special or other. The menu was a single sheet of printer paper. Not sure if this was simply because they were starting out with a reduced menu, or because it was so that they were single use and disposable. However, it was so great to have a sit down restaurant meal again.

Link to Outback https://www.outback.com/