End of the Year Trifecta!


We celebrated at home this year and it was very enjoyable. A couple days after Thanksgiving we decided to put the rest of our rain gutters back on the house. We took them all down when we had the house painted. We were working in the front of the house (me, Roxie and our son Aaron). I went to the back yard to get up on the roof to get some leaves off the roof. I setup the ladder and started up to the roof. When I reached the top rung the ladder slipped out from under me. Down I came, hard!

Roxie heard a crash and me moaning and rushed to the back yard. I was on top of the ladder and writhing in pain. I was checking arms and legs for any major injuries and wanted to stand up. She didn’t want me to but I was able to. We knew the next stop was the ER.

After about 3 hours in the ER I was found to have 2 displaced broken ribs (not fracture but completely broken), a very sore tailbone, two gashes in my elbow (even though I had a coat on) requiring 10 stitches. The rib pain was manageable but I developed a cough shortly after which was pretty painful.

Here is the ladder that I landed on:

A couple of days later I realized that we had a surveillance camera right where it happened. Here is the video:



This is the first Christmas with Atlas. We knew we wanted to celebrate with him, Hannah and Lukas. However, we are not the only set of Grandparents. He has Lukas’ side that lives in Auburn. Luckily we were able to spend Christmas with the Prassinos family.

This turned out as an opportunity to tow the trailer on the truck’s maiden tow. It did very well and I had a heck of a spot to get the trailer in there. It was down their driveway and a hard 90° into their spot. It was pouring rain and there were people watch so it was a double hex. I was able to get it on the third try and just chewed up a small portion of their ‘lawn’.

It was really cold and we had both of Aaron’s dogs in the trailer but we did just fine. There were 10 people and 7 dogs to make a grand old time! We were able to spend Christmas with both of our kids and both of our grandkids. Win!


I started working at the Tulare County Office of Education on August 26, 1985, as a Programmer Analyst programming on the HP3000 minicomputer in COBOL. 4 positions and 31 years later, it was time to retire. I was planning on going a year earlier at 55 but we were in the throes of building a new building and were given a 4.5% COLA. That was enough to push it back. It worked out well. It gave me a chance to prepare for the afterlife a bit more.

It was a bit surreal to retire at 56 but you never know how much time you have. It also felt like the right time to do it.

As I write this entry it has been over 1 month of retirement and I don’t regret it at all. I have achieved a milestone of sorts, I don’t really remember what day of the week it is now.

Retirement allows us now to move off to our travel plans, but we have to finish our shower in the house first. <sigh>

Retirement update

The retirement countdown to the left has changed! I am sure about zero people noticed this so I am going to give you an update on our retirement plans. Retirement is still on but with a modification.

My previous retirement was to be 10/24/15. I would have just turned 55 and reached 30 years at my office. The 30 years is important because that would give me fully covered health insurance, no cost to us, for at least 10 year. But the 2015 date was axed for a couple of reasons. Primarily due to the fact that we received a 4.25% COLA for the FY2015, this made a difference in retirement pay! We were also in the middle of building a new building and I am in charge of the technology for that. Also we really still needed a year to start getting rid of things and paying down some bills. It made sense to wait another year.

OK. We add one more year. 10/24/16. No big deal. After all I am still getting paid while I am working. Since setting that date, however, things have got more interesting.

We were always wondering what to do with our house. We are going to start our journeys for at least a 6 month stint but it might be longer. I will never buy, or live, in California again. The state itself is great but with all the taxes, political crap, etc, it is not for us anymore. We will be selling the house in Visalia but as to when?

Normally we would not want our house to sit empty for a long time. We could sell, and will eventually, or have a property maintenance company to take care of it. But we are doing something different.

Our son is going to rent the house from us. He will move in with his fianceé and up to 3 kids every other weekend. That way we can take off when we want. We can also come back to visit as it really won’t be our home anymore, our trailer will be our home. When we come back to visit we still have the trailer parking:

2013-02-05 15.59.37

One thing that has made the move-in a bit more exciting is that they are going to move in next weekend! This means we have spent the last 2+ weeks cleaning out 3 bedrooms in the house (we will be in the master bedroom until we leave) and having a HUGE yard sale.

But how does all this fit in with my retirement date? That has changed a bit also. I have ran the retirement numbers for each month from 6/30/16 to 12/31/16. It turns out that the new date is going to be 12/31/16. There are numerous factors for that. The difference in retirement salary over those 6 months is not insignificant. Check. Roxie also mentioned that she would like to wait until after the holidays for us to start our escapade. Check. More time to get rid of things and get the rig ready. Check. Easier to end my salaried life and start my retired life on a year end/start. Check.

Everything is just falling into place to make this our current plan. So we hope to start our retirement travels on New Years 2017! I have updated my countdown clock on the website and at work:


Hard to wait even that long!