Friday, December 19, 2014

The next Step

Well, I pulled the plug today. Turned it my laptop, gave back my Company cell phone and my planning bug.
I am not officially retired yet. I am on vacation until January 22nd.
The reason is that the 21st is my 35th anniversary, and it has been my goal for a long time to make it to 35.
So  I signed out and went home at lunch. The clouds parted and the sun came out.
I have been feeling a little overwhelmed, what with applying for social security Medicare, and my pension. Way too much crap, but that's what it takes.
So I came home and took a nap. Things always look better after a nap.
The vehicle tabs had expired on my truck, so I had sent off for the tabs, but I had to get new plates as well, because the State of Washington employs convicts to make the plates. Who says there is no slavery in the good old USA.
I got the plates and a screwdriver.
WHen I got the plates out, I saw that the Registration needed to be signed, so I started looking for a pen. I have all the junk I brought home from work scattered around my chair for sorting. My leather folder was there. No pen, but when I opened it I saw a piece of paper that needed Carol's signature. I set it aside, but I saw my boring meeting doodle. This is not just any doodle. This is an elaborate scene of a Viking in full armor with a drawn sword, castle in the background., slain dragon draped over the wall, covering an entire 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper. So I had to show it to Carol, along with a couple other humorous things.
By then a half an hour has gone by and I still haven't gotten any closer to getting the new plates on the truck.
Finally found a pen and got Carol to put her ssn on the form, and signed the registration. I got plates on the truck.
It's gonna be a long retirement.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Things Move Along

I now have 11 days left before I retire.
I have already applied for Social security and Medicare.
I am most of the way through the process of getting my pension from Boeing worked out. Friday Dec 19th will be my last day of work, but then I will go on vacation before I retire.
January 22nd is the 35th anniversary of my employment at Boeing, so on the 23rd I will retire. As with any long journey, there have been many ups and downs, triumphs and failures, but for the most part it has been a satisfying trek. It is honorable, honest, challenging work.
I am getting out just in time.
The company I joined and worked for all of these years is dying. Gone is the sense of family. Gone is the atmosphere of creativity and innovation. Gone is the inspirational leadership and charisma.
The most innovative, industry leading company has been bought out by the bean counters and accountants, and it has become increasingly obvious to even the casual observer that profit above all else has become the mantra of our upper management.
Any so called new programs have been driven, not by by innovation but as a knee jerk reaction to moves by the competition.  The 787 program was a reaction to Airbus creating the super-jumbo. The business plan was concocted by a band of accountants over the objections of of the Engineers and Production people. The results of that plan, driven by greed and ignorance brought a grand company to its knees, and everything that has happened since has been the result of management refusing to back away, justifying every action in pursuit of profit.
For now, with a captive work force, the plan will succeed. Unfortunately for Boeing, a large proportion of their employees are like me, at the end of their employment cycle. An enormous asset will be leaving the company within the next few years, but mqnqgement seems to be ignorant of the dumbing down of the work force. They have repeatedly demonstrated a disdain for the work force.
The newest 737 derivative, the MAX is a direct knee jerk reaction to the Airbus NEO.
Don't expect any innovation or risk taking from Boeing. Gone are the visionaries that gave us the 707, the first really  successful commercial jet program.
Gone is the innovation that rolled out "The Queen of the Skies", the 747. Back then the company was run by risk takers, visionaries, and innovators.
RIP a once proud and inspirational company.

Friday, November 07, 2014


Noun: The state of not understanding what just happened.
A relatively normal state for me.
I really don't know what to make of the mid-term elections.
On one hand,the GOP won a lot of critical races, which sends a pretty clear signal about the political climate. Or does it?
On the other hand the Initiatives to legalize Pot were passes in three states and the District of Columbia. Now there's a mixed bag. Consumption of weed is against Federal Law on one hand, but on the other it is legal in the Nations Capitol. Now that's downright schizo.
Environmental issues did well in general, while electing a non or anti environmental Government. I have no idea how to interpret that.
The Democrats had ample economic information and statistics to build a strong platform, but it was like they were ashamed of the success. I mean unemployment is at an eight year low, the stock market is recovered, new jobs are on the rise. Pollsters said that the Economy was the number one issue in the mid-terms, and the Dems all turned away from all that. It makes me might suspicious.
So here's a theory: The GOP has been handed the torch, but they have been so hampered by internal bickering that they can't agree on anything. The Dems GAVE THE ELECTION AWAY. It was done on purpose.They knew that if they gave majority leadership to the GOP and they do nothing with it, the voting populace will be thoroughly disgusted with them by 2016, thereby clearing the way for a DEM victory in the Presidential race.
Lost the battle
won the war.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Chicken Little School of Crisis Management

There is a theory of Political Philosophy that says that the Government has to keep the populace is a constant state of panic to make them more pliable. Part of me believes this is true, not only that the government uses scare tactics to keep people under control. but will create the crisis in the first place.
Consider the logic of the current Ebola "Crisis".
First off, let's recognize that there is a very real crisis if you are in western Africa. Ebola is a very nasty bug, and highly contagious. There have been several outbreaks in the past, and there will no doubt be more in the future. The current outbreak is the worst we have ever seen, and needs to be monitored closely.
But the amount of panic and vitriol being spewed from the news sources is utterly ridiculous.
The quiz is very short.
Have you come into contact with the bodily fluids of someone who has Ebola? No? Sit down and suty up. Yes? Immediately take yourself to a treatment facility for testing. That's it.
Save the panic and doom crying for something that is of real consequence. More people will die from the yearly bout of flue in the United States than have perished from Ebola WORLD WIDE.
How many people have died from Ebola in the U.S.? ONE. More people have died from being struck by lightning. Certainly a lot more have been killed by Police.
The Center for Disease Control has been struggling to react fast enough to satisfy certain political factions. These same factions defunded the CDC. Well, maybe the Surgeon General should step up and take a leadership role in this time of crisis.
What's that? There is no Surgeon General? Why? Because those same political pundits won't approve the appointment of a Surgeon general because he considers death and injury from gunshot wounds a health issue.
So what is the answer for this crisis?
Blame it on Obama.
That is the answer for everything.
I have yet to understand the logic of that, but then the whole thing makes absolutely no sense to me.
Meanwhile I'll be in my blanket fort with my tin foil hat on to prevent aliens from beaming information into my head.

Friday, October 03, 2014

The Incident

75 days to retirement. If I stick to the plan. Being a very goal oriented person, I will stick to my plan until the end usually, sometimes even when it makes very little sense.
Even though some people think it is impossible, I find that I give less of a SH*T every day. Take the fact that I plan on retiring on Jan 23rd 2015. Why that day? Because it is the 35th anniversary of my joining the Company.
But lately there have been some things that make me question my judgement.
When you do the math, the bottom line comes down to this: If I were to retire today, the difference between what I make by working and what I will get when retired works out to $4.00 an hour. Not a lot of money for the amount of crap I put up with. So when people ask how long until I retire I tell the "One day, I just don't  know which one."
On Friday I had just signed off and was on my way out of the building. I had seen a notice that the main door would be closed off as of 3:00 Friday afternoon. I have a very strong streak of curiosity, so I cut through the Wing Line to see what they were doing.
A voice comes up behind me. "You cant go that way, they have it closed off" I already knew that, so I just kept on walking. Again, louder, more insistent "YOU CAN"T GO THAT WAY, THEY HAVE IT SHUT OFF." Running sounds behind me.
Same thing right next to me. "And you don't have safety glasses on." I was wearing my Washington State approved shatter proof plastic lens glasses, so I tapped them with my forefinger. "WELL, THEY DON'T HAVE SIDE SHIELDS. YOU HAVE TO HAVE SIDE SHIELDS." The fat little half bald dude was yelling at me.
I don't always respond in the best way I could, so I turned to him, looked him up and down and asked "Who the hell are you?"
He refused to give me a strainght answer, but made a smart all comment. Which pissed me off. He continued to yell at me, so I decided the most reasonable course of action was to walk off. He followed behind me threatening me and yapping like a little ankle biter dog.
I walked off.
When I got out of the building, and was walking towards my truck, here he comes running out of the building with a gal .
 I turn to them and she walks up to me ans says "Those are not Boeing approved safety glasses, and we can't have people dropping the "F" bomb on our managers.
I told her (looking around me with a puzzled look) "I don't seem to be in a Boeing building, so there is no requirement for me to wear safety glasses. I am not on the clock, but on my own time, and I am on my way home, Please leave me alone."
The little fat f&)k started yelling at me and threatening me. The gal was a HR rep so she knew he way outside of the rules, so she told him to calm down, but he went on, "I'm gonna get you, I'll see you in HR on Monday, Who's your Manager. I ignored him and moved off. The HR rep got him under control.
I had to work both days on the weekend, and it was pretty quiet, so I wrote an e-mail to my manager and my HR rep, explaining the incident in detail, and including the fact that I had no idea he was a manager. Nothing in his manner ot behavior suggested in any way he was management. For all I knew he was a janitor with delusions of grandeur. I also pointed out that if this matter was pursued, I would have solid grounds for filing a "Creating a hostile working environment" lawsuit.
At any rate, I had Monday off, but I never told the little fat dude or the HR gal, so they could search all day on Monday and they would never find me.
On Tuesday when I left for work I told my wife "Today may be my last day. If things don't go my way, I will retire on the spot"
When I got to work, there on my desk was a box of safety glasses with side shields. I found this highly amusing.
But that was the only indication that I had that anything ever happened.
I actually as a part of my explanation started off with the fact that I was guilty of not wearing side shields.
So now I am back to the original plan
75 days.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Yesterdays mail brought the fruition of many years of work. The deed to my house, all signed and notarized was delivered to my mailbox. The culmination of about thirty-five years of payments.
If you stay the course and keep on truckin' you can reach your goal. Of course there are those that say it is foolish to tie up all your money in a house when you can cash it in and do whatever you want.
The idea of having my own home all paid off has a greater value than anything that money can buy.
Having achieved one of life's major goals, I now set me sights on the next goal: Retirement.
I have about three months left before I walk away from work. Who knows. it may be less. The target is to make it to DEC 19th and then go on vacation, never to return, except to sign my final papers.
I have a bunch of vacation saved up, sp I will go on vacation until January 23rd which is the 35th anniversary of my employment at Boeing. It is a goal that in reality means nothing, just a date. But I am a person who is very goal oriented, so I have set that goal.
That doesn't mean I can't change my mind between now and then.
I am one bad day away from walking.
It is very empowering to know I don't have to take any crap from anyone. It also gets me in trouble. Things come out of my mouth that I never would have said before, because I basically just don't give a shit any more.

Friday, September 12, 2014


Yesterday I made my final mortgage payment. A day I didn't ever think would actually get here. I have refinanced my home three times because of a divorce, and twice to take advantage of lower interest rates.
O took out a Home Equity loan to  fix the roof, and do a bunch of other stuff. All paid off.
At the moment I owe about $350 in various bills. which will be paid in full next payday.
I will be debt free.
Retirement now becomes a real possibility rather than a remote concept.
It's kinda scary as well as exciting.
Now I need to start getting the house in shape to sell once I retire.
Sell the house and move to the country.
Buy a place with some elbow room and a proper shop.
Much excitement awaits.