The last time I wrote about retiring, it was about a fresh new rear tire, a Michelin Pilot Road 2. Here it is, when it was new and shiny:
Since then, I have again replaced both the front and rear tires with new Michelin Pilot Road 4's. I don't have many miles on them yet -- just over the first few hundred miles or so to rough them up a little. With the conservative way I ride, they will last about 9000 miles and are probably more than I need, but still, there might be that time when a little extra grip would come in handy.
At the same time as that previous tire change, I replaced all of the original brake pads with EBC type HH.
They have a nice, predictable grip, and seem a little better on stopping power than the originals. They also do not appear to be causing excessive rotor wear or warping -- a good thing.
This posting, however, I am not going to write about that kind of retiring, but rather about the real thing.
Retiring from the job.
Yep. I have reached the age where I can retire. That is somewhere between the ages of 55 and 95 for most of us these days. I am not quite to 95, but I am well past 55 for sure.
Not ready to identify with this picture by a long shot, however.
Anyway, I looked into my bank account and my crystal ball, both, did some calculations, and decided to call it quits from the work-a-day world. The salt mines are behind me now.
Anyway, they put on quite a feast. They invited many of my current work associates and several retirees to join us. We ate, and talked about old times, and things we have done together, and difficulties and accomplishments along the way.
The people I work with have been able to successfully make parts that are amongst the most challenging I have ever been involved with. We did this by keeping our noses to the grindstone, plain and simple. When an approach to a problem didn't work out, we went on and figured out what the next step should be. We have made many incremental improvements that, when taken together, amount to real progress that has made our company a leader in the industry.
I will genuinely miss working with my colleagues.
At the party, the food and the fellowship lasted into the early afternoon.
The thoughtful folks at work also brought in a cake that was quite special.
As you know, I ride a motorcycle, an endeavor I took up late in life. (If I didn't ride, I wouldn't be writing about it so often in these pages, I don't suppose.)
And, some of you also know that I play the piano, which I started at an early age.
The clever people at work along with a creative baker came up with a cake that does justice to both. It was the visual focal point of the whole feast.
Take a look:
Can you believe it? There is a little sportbike on top and a spiral "road" with piano-key pavement leading down around the body of the cake, and icing sentiment, "Let the Good Times Roll."
The little motorcycle is, indeed, a Kawasaki, the same moniker as my Ninja 650R, but it is ZX-14, a model with about twice the displacement of mine. A real performer, that one.
They also put together a slide show of various pictures taken in the plant over the last decade or so. Many of my associates, past and present, were pictured. It will be a good reminder of my years with them.
I was touched and honored.
Retirement is said by many to be a bittersweet time. Not having to go to work with its stresses every day is the sweet part. But, after having done that for many decades, it will be an abrupt change to NOT do that every day, and I will miss the banter and interaction with people. That is the bitter part.
[So, what are you going to do now, Bucky?]
Well, I plan to get out on the bike more. Weekday riding is almost unknown to me. I will certainly have to watch for all of you who are still working, what with your frantic rushing back and forth to work. Maybe I can take some longer rides than my usual half days on Saturday. Possibly an overnight trip as well.
I will have to find some people who can ride at the same time as me -- either old fogies like me or someone working 2nd or 3rd shift. Come to think if it, I am the oldest guy I ride with. Everybody else is younger than I am. Hmmmm. I wonder what that means. That I am in my second childhood? That I am not as old [acting] as my birth certificate might indicate?
I hope it is more the latter.
I also hope my wife and I can travel a bit more. We have that old 1967 tent trailer and my wife is quite the trooper when it comes to camping like that. She is a great cook and manages to rustle up some mighty fine grub when we are out.
We probably won't do any exotic trips, but there are many places in the good old U.S.A. that we have yet to see. We went to Niagara Falls just this fall -- places like that.
|View from Canada.|
|View from U.S.A.|
I think that I can ramp up the volunteer work as well. I play the piano for old folks at nursing and assisted living homes. They seem to enjoy it and I am fulfilled by doing it for them. I have already made contact with a couple homes a little further from where I live.
And, I've got lots of chores and fix-ups around the house and cars, too, so I don't think I'll run out of things to do.
Let me know what you think about what to do with my time. Any tips from you who have preceded me in retirement?
And are you nearby and available to ride during the week? If you are, post a comment to the blog with your phone and/or e-mail address, and I will get back to you. (I moderate all comments, so your contact information will not appear online.)