Books of 2021: The Complete Sherlock Holmes

Expanding my reading to include the detective fiction genre after bingeing “Longmire” on Netflix – and heeding Susan Wise Bauer‘s enjoinment to approach a new subject or genre chronologically – I naturally began with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. After running through the four novels and five short-story collections composing the Sherlock Holmes canon, I can attest that I am not just hooked, I am downright fired-up.

In addition to a growing stack of books from Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Robert B. Parker, and Craig Johnson, I am working on an essay about Holmes. There is a lot of pulp out there, but in a genre known rather more for its pot-boiler tendencies than its literary chops, I am finding much to appreciate beyond pure diversion.

That said, next up is a little Jesse Stone, purely for diversion.

Fixed the Grill

After spending a day cleaning the range and a lump of cash having professional cleaning of the hood and can above it, and then setting off the smoke alarm ten dinners in a row, I decided that it was time to start cooking outside on the grill.

What bliss to be able to sear, brown, and burn food to my heart’s delight without fear of making the whole house smell like a barbecue joint for days afterwards.

Retirement Goodness #2

Another nice thing about retired life: stepping outside each morning at 7:55am and hearing “The Star-Spangled Banner” playing over the loudspeakers at Naval Base Ventura County in the near distance, singing along under my breath.

It sounds corny, but it is a calming and edifying way to start the day.

Driving Courtesy

My newest bumper magnet is being taken literally by a remarkable number of drivers. I am starting to count the number of people who pass me and pull back into my lane.

Current average on the 101 is about 72 per hour, but traffic has been light.

Early Morning, BSA Golf Classic

I swore my retirement would not be about golf, but here I am, not four weeks in, on a golf course at 8am Monday morning.

In my defense, I am here for a fundraiser for our local council of the Boy Scouts of America, and I am not playing, just carrying drinks and snacks to the foursomes as they work their way around the course.

I am more of a hiker than a differ, but on a day like this, with the temperature a modest 73F and a light breeze blowing off the Pacific onto the Spanish Hills, I see the appeal of the game.

Retirement Goodness #1

I’m going to make a list of all of the good things about retirement. #1 on that list has to be Never having to ever read another professional self-help article again (e.g., “How to Write More Professional Emails;” “16 Tips to Make Yourself a Better Boss;” “Data Analytics for the Ignorant but Curious;” etc.)

“Looks like Literature is back on the reading list, boys!”

A Sweet Day

Phase V does not officially begin until midnight on the 31st, but today marks the start of my terminal PTO, so yesterday was the last day in the office in my career. Slammed right up to the last minute, I hadn’t had much of a chance to reflect on or savor the moment.

Then my son came home after a day at Universal Studios with a box full of pure Portland goodness: a half dozen of Voodoo Doughnuts’ most over-the-top creations.

Pacing myself through a vegan apple fritter, I thought quietly about an amazing if somewhat unconventional career. It was a road sparsely traveled, and that did make the difference. As I stepped off that path and onto another, I paused to pray that this new road would be just as scenic.

B”H

Eight days till retirement and I’m averaging 15 work hours per day and 5.5 hours of sleep per night. Five months ago I figured at this point I would be marking time, like Warren Schmidt.

Apparently not.

Just as well. Schmidt should be nobody’s post-career role model.

Last week was a 75 hour work week. This week will be pretty close. I’m drained.

All I can think is that G-d is laying this week on me so that when I retire at the end of the month I will have absolutely no regrets.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑