Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hiking the White Tanks

- The Bag is goin' back tomorrow and this time I won't be wrestlin' with a @#$*!! cactus


I barely rode outside all winter
I rode twice?
maybe twice
maybe more I don't remember
but fer-sure not much at all
this winter was damned cold
and everyone knows cold is supposed to be for skiing
until it got
cold again, but not just cold...it was cold
damned cold
snot-rockets-freeze-on-the-way-out cold
toes-only-good-for-a-half-hour cold
I-need-pogies-and-don't-have-them-because-it-doesn't-get-that-cold-here cold
but then
then it got farging warm
but not springlike warm, just melt-some-snow warm
and I was ticked because I don't want to be riding in the winter anyway
because winter is for skiing
except the skiing
because it was cold, warm, cold, warm, coldwarmcoldwarmcold
but if skiing is lousy then I'm happy to ride
except when it's below 10
or 10 below
and I cried uncle
I guess
and so maybe I’ll take up
I don't know,
like crosswords or something
because now I'm all
waitingforwarmtemps then I'll ride
because last weekend we rode
thirty some miles in 60 sunny degrees
and I could smell
I could smell it
and now I can't
but I could
and this week it's cold

- OB off pouting somewhere

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Options and Future(s)

I've been fretting for months at the state of my retirement finances. During the last few downturns I was blissfully ignorant of all the racket -- heck, time was always on on my side. Markets always turned around. I've been up close and personal with dollar-cost-averaging combined with years. It works.

Now that I'm close enough to see the umbrella drinks on the horizon, however, I've become a bit more concerned. Retirement isn't somewhere off in the blurry distance, anymore. I want the flexibility to get out in 12 years when I'm 60. I want to be young enough to enjoy what comes later.

More importantly I need to know I'll have choices when I'm on the verge of becoming a cranky old bag occupying a classroom.

In my early years teaching I watched money run out at the end of each month while friends got ahead quickly in other fields. I've played the school district game of furthering my education time and time again so I could make some advances in pay. I've kept close tabs on all my in-n-out $$ for years, and have lived within my means. I can give you a run down of my expected expenses from now until infinity.

All I want is to be comfortable in the small house with the small yard...garden...dog...cats..... and to be able to jump on cheap travel deals.

Over the past couple of months I've tried hard to accept that I'll have to be working at 65 and that I won't have enough green to live the way I'd hoped. It's been eating away at my outlook.

So, yesterday I finally faced down all my accounts. I pulled up a variety of retirement calculators and couldn't get the numbers to play nice -- until I found a couple that dealt with a pension: that antiquated, noone-has-one-anymore, wonderful, glorious, I-love-teaching pension that may finally show me some financial payback for spending 40 years in a classroom.

Things aren't as bleak as I had thought.

-The Old I appreciate my job even more Bag

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


- OB! 60 and sunny didn't last for long, but the rasperry custard shake will be with me forever....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Woodland Trails

I wouldn't have even considered heading out to ski. Temps had been pretty sloppy, and when the back yard is a swamp, it's tough to imagine there are decent ski trails anywhere. If not for a buddy who is relentless in her quest for snow, I'd have missed this: snow as thick and well-set as a January trail.

March skiing is always a paradox...with temps in the 30s skis have great glide, but in the late season my fitness is always on the downslide. So, I kick back in my upright stance and yet find myself moving forward effortlessly. We stop. We chat. We remark on the day. We talk about the remembers: Oh god, do you remember two years ago when we skied here then headed off to that state park with the crazy scary classic trails? AND THE BREAD BAKERY down the steep concrete steps below old Main St? with the fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies?!

It's the skiing equivalent of the lazy slob who rides the expensive road bicycle.

Wasted potential.

But performance is the furthest thing from a March skier's mind. Training is done, racing is overwith, and one more day on the boards is everything hoped for.

-OB one more!