Thursday, March 05, 2009

my ducks in a row

This has been a great week. I have checked off three more items on my To Do list for the move south.

1. Over a year ago, a portion of my back yard fence came down in a storm. I used the equivalent of chicken wire to fix the gap. It looked fine to me, but I think my neighbors and friends had a vague fear that I was going to introduce a flock of Rhode Island Reds to our very proper urban block.

I have mentioned my friend Bill before. He gave me the name of a fellow who does great fence work. And, on Tuesday, he completed the entire project. It looks great. At least, I no longer look like an aspiring Don Tyson.

2. I mentioned last week in
door number 2 -- or the curtain? that I needed three items to get my FM3 from the Mexican consulate in Portland. The first two were simple. I had them in hand before the sun set.

The third item was a verification from the Oregon State Police that I was not Al Capone. I thought that was going to be very easy. But I discovered on Friday that a computer check was not enough. The police needed to fingerprint me and run the prints through what I imagined Efram Zimbalast, Jr. did every Sunday night on television.

When I asked how long the process would take, the officer said: "A week or so." That concerned me because my appointment to get the FM3 is on Friday.

I had no reason to fret. The letter appeared in Tuesday's mail, looking so very official with its police letterhead, notarization, and attached fingerprints.

But I now have everything I will need to go to the consulate on Friday -- along with my $134 -- and return home with my FM3.

3. I had lunch with our CEO on Wednesday. She wanted to know what my plans were -- what I intended to do in retirement. Her questions were sincere, but she also had a business agenda. She resurrected an idea I had discussed recently in this blog (#1 -- work). She wanted to know if I would be interested in doing some work for the company on contract while I am in Mexico.

I now need to work out some details with two vice-presidents, but I am very tempted to take her up on the offer. That should not be a surprise. I came to the same conclusion when I first discussed it.

I had talked myself out of doing it, though. Most of the projects would require a good deal of face time with senior managers, and I had no interest in flying that often between Salem and Melaque.

Since then, a young man from our church has provided me with a technological solution. He is currently attending college in Seattle. To keep in contact, he has helped me set up my web cam and audio to allow us to talk through video conferencing. I had no idea the technology was that easy.

Thanks to Jordan, I may have an income stream and some interesting projects to keep me busy my first few months of retirement. It will be a test worth taking. American Mommy in Mexico and Jennifer Rose have convinced me to give it a try.

Now, I just need to get working on the rest of the list.


Babs said...

So, basically you're NOT retiring just moving somewhere else......

Miguelito said...

It´s fun to pass by the seemingly accurately named "Same Life." Sometimes it´s like attending a symposium on psychosis.

Neither Jennifer Rose nor American Mommy are retired. They are younger than you. Their situations are totally different.

I propose that the next time you dine with your boss, and she continues her relentless campaign to hold you close by the short hairs, that you simply break out into hysterical laughter, pick up the check and waltz out the door.

And don´t go back, ever.

Billie said...

Steve, Ned did some consulting with his former company for a while after we moved here but it wasn't long before the work (which was only about once a month) was interferring with fun. I'd say give it a try for a little while. If it takes up too much of your retirement, retire again.

Besides in these economic times who knows if there are enough retirement $$$ to last.

glorv1 said...

Well it's almost time for your new venture, and I think it is a good idea that you will have some kind of work to keep you mentally active. I mean all the relaxing you'll be doing by the ocean, you might get lazy. Keeping the brain going is important, you know that. So even semi-retirement is great.

Calypso said...

I'm totally with Miguelito on this one. Make a clean break of it - you DON'T need the seeds amigo. We all know this. Let it go.

Anonymous said...

i agree with miguelito-break away from work altogether. however, it seems that you've already made a commitment, so i hope you will not let it interfere with your good times in mexico. i would think your first few months there would be very busy with all the things you need to do when moving to a new place. can you take 6 months off totally and then start working on your projects? only you know what is best for you. it will be fun hearing about all your plans over dinner. just 3 1/2 weeks to go. i am thinking of staying at the red lion, they have a good military discount. if you have a better suggestion, please e-mail me.

take care,
sore in the glutes and hamstring teresa-please keep those prayers coming.

aighmeigh said...


Thanks for a glimpse into the criminal record check. I will have to do much the same thing at some point and had no clue what might be required...

I'm always a bit suspicious when I have to do such things ;)

Steve said...

Babs -- I have never met anyone in retirement (other than those in the grave) who did not have some sort of "employment." So, I guess the answer to your question is: Yes!"

Miguelito -- "Psychosis" may be my middle name. Nothing is set in stone. I suspect a quick chat with my accountant will cause all of my fantasies to disappear. I really do not want to live with the consequence of new tax increases.

Billie -- That was one of the enticements that the CEO used: I could always change my mind. Of course, she also knows that my anglo-saxon sense of duty would keep me from abandoning any of the projects until they were complete. And if I start worrying about whether there will be enough money in retirement, I know the answer will always be: "No." It is just the wrong question.

Gloria -- "Semi-retirement" has always struck me as being semi-pregnant.

Calypso -- "You don't need the seeds." On that point, you are absolutely correct. I suspect it is all an ego trip for me. And I need to get over that -- FAST!

Teresa -- I wish it was that black and white. There will never be a clean break with the past.

Aighmeigh -- As a libertarian, I am always concerned when authorities start taking fingerprints. But my prints are stored in enough computers that I would not make a very successful criminal.

Babs said...

Well the majority of SMA ex-pats are retired with "no visible means of support" - ha - certainly not employment cause work is a 4 letter word here........

Steve said...

Babs -- "No visible means of support" in SMA. Can you imagine what Richard L could do with that?

Larry Lambert, Mazatlan said...


If you're considering bringing work with you because you don't know what you're going to do with yourself; don't worry. People up north often ask, "what do you do all day?" Somehow your day gets filled up. There are no fifteen minute jaunts to the store to pick up something. Everything takes longer and goes at a slower pace. There also are social obligations when you live in a totally Mexican neighborhood.

As an example, I walked down to my favorite fruteria this morning to pick up some limes and bananas. It's only three blocks. I had to stop to chat with three different sets of neighbors, buy a fresh hotcake with butter and strawberry jam, buttonhole the guy who's going to do some work on my house next week and joke with some kids on their way to school. When I got there, the owner Nico wanted me to help him flirt with some of the ladies. No, it's not like that, his wife helped too. I finally returned home with a bag of sweet juicy limes. I totally forgot the bananas. It should have been a fifteen minute chore, but it took me almost two hours.

I have sooooo learned to enjoy the little things and not bypass the simple pleasures just because I have something to do.


Steve said...

Larry -- If I accept the offer, it will not be because I will not have enough to do. I know from my earlier visits that the simplest chore can turn into an adventure -- and I am looking forward to most of those moments. My sole reason for accepting will be that I can do something helpful. As it turns out, complications are growing quickly. Circumstances may provide the answer.