Being Retired

So, it's been a year-plus a month or so since I retired, and I'm preparing my taxes for 2006. It's an interesting situation, compiling three sources, my annuity, my Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) buyout, and my annual leave reimbursment. I'll know when I get the last W-2 from the TSP program for the buyout, but the numbers are about right for taxes paid and a rebate, partly because I over paid during the year.

Aside from that the whole finanial planning thing went about as expected, only underestimating the cost for the photography equipment, and I have my own personal experience blogs on this, but suffice it to say I wouldn't change anything. The money is well spent to last me well into my retirement, minus film of course, but as long as the refrigerator drawer is full, I'm still in practice.

So, what have I learned and where am I in the overall scheme of my life in the universe? Wow, relatively speakng, of course? For one, my Website is up and runnnig, and minus a few hiatuses, it's going along fine, only the image galleries way behind and getting father with three camera systems and a backlog of slides dating to 1969. And now with a digital DSLR and a 4x5 camera, whew, lots more images to come. And I love the DSLR for the ease of just taking lots of photos, and the 4x5 for the slow pace of seeing and thinking.

And the Website? Well, it expanded far beyond what I originally planned but I kept tinkering with the design to make it manageable and easy to update. It's what I learned in the USGS managing the real-time data Website for Washington State Office, with over 300 sites for data from 1895 to current, along with all the information pages for each station. It was a great learning tool for working with larger Websites and the various systems.

And life? Well, that's a blog too, sorta'. I'm on a road to somewhere, where gps isn't available, nor maps to guide you. You just walk, wander the roads, viewing the scenery, stopping occasionally to take in a moment or two. It's an exploration into being, using instinct and intuition to wander over the soul, spirit, heart and mind of living. Really fuzzy, huh? Well, so is the trip, but it's all worth the adventure.

And 2007? Well, that's open for now. The photography goal is to learn 4x5 photography, and relearn film processing as all the local labs for black and white and color E-6 (slide) film stopped processing recently. The other photography goal is to use the DSLR to take lots of images, and hopefully good ones too. And take lots of them hiking Mt. Rainier NP to work on the photography guide to the NP, but then some professionals kinda' beat me to it with a great little foldout guide and map.

And such is life. It's all we have and only time to use it up. So, I'm off in that direction.

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