Because from here on out, I get to work on my Bucket List because I've got the Monkey off my back!


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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Coast to coast by Train:

In updating my Bucket List I noticed that one of my original 5 Bucket list items was: Travel coast to coast by train.

In retrospect I have completed that item in its most basic form if not in its ideological form.

Ideally the plan was to make the trip from coast to coast only with interruptions for stops and detours along the way as part of the journey. For example depart from the train, spend the night in that town or travel to a nearby location, such as the Grand Canyon or Mount Rushmore, and then return to the train for the next leg. Completing the journey without departing from the trip entirely.

With that as the ideal journey I am not giving up on doing it that way, but economics and other events may not make that possible.

So for now I am going to keep a long range goal for this one , but count the original goal as completed.

Traveling from Coast to coast by Train:

Round Trip to Philly from Indy:image

In August of 2006 I departed Indianapolis, by Amtrak, for Philadelphia to attend my Unions 2006 National Convention. The train traveled east, OH, WV, VA, to Washington DC, then turned north and traveled to Philly. While in Philly some Union brothers and I drove further north to Atlanta City, New Jersey. Visit “Kelly & Glenn’s Excellent Adventures” for information and pictures from Philly.

The trip to Philly was beautiful as we followed river beds and mountain ridges through West Virginia and Ohio. Unfortunately, the pictures along the ride did not turn out as well as expected and the trip back took us through the most picturesque portions at night. The trip one-way took 24 hours.

Round Trip to LA from Indy: image

In August of 2012 I departed Indianapolis, by Amtrak, for Los Angeles, CA. to attend my Unions 2012 National Convention. The train traveled from Indianapolis to Chicago where I had to transfer to the Southwest Chief. It traveled south and west through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arizona, and arrived in California. It was a three day trip, I didn’t get a sleeping car, which was complicated by my back erupting into constant pain for the next two years. Though the agony I managed to enjoy the trip, and the week long visit in Los Angeles. Visit “Kelly & Glenn’s Excellent Adventures” for information and pictures from the trip.

This was my second time to visit LA for a convention. The first visit was by plain (4 hours). Even with the back pain I would still recommend the train. I have learned to hate air travel even though at one time I loved it.

I can’t say I’m fond of LA either. The downtown is as dead as Naptown in the 70s. If you like beggars dressed better than you every half-block and $8 hamburgers you might like it. Visit “Kelly & Glenn’s Excellent Adventures” for sightseeing pictures from LA..

Effectively Coast to Coast, both ways.

Monday, June 18, 2012

“I’ve Stood All I Can Stands and I can’t Stands No More!” …Popeye


Been offline since the beginning of the month, occasionally have been able to get online at McDonald’s, but only to check email and share some post (on FaceBook) to keep anyone from starting rumors of my passing. If anyone posted to my wall/time-line anything important please re-post it. I look at everything that shows up on my FaceBook, even though I may not always ‘re-post’, ‘like’ or ‘share’, but under the circumstances there’s no way I’m going to be able to go through two weeks of post. Image


When I started having heart problems 7 years ago it started a vicious cycle of working to pay the doctor bills, the work made doing the things I had to do to get better impossible, which led to more doctor bills, etc., etc. The things I need to do to make the heart problem a moot problem are simple; eat right, exercise and sleep right, three things that I love to do but are nearly impossible for Postal Workers.

Been busting my but with overtime and a personal ‘austerity’ budget the last two years to be able to take early retirement this last January with the hopes of breaking the cycle, but with the possibility of a retirement incentive being offered I’ve been holding off until that possibility was either confirmed or denied.

I’ve seen too many Postal Workers killing themselves to try to reach full retirement and when they do their bodies are so wracked and mangled they are in too much pain to enjoy retirement and more often than not they are dead within months. For me full retirement would mean I would be working at the Postal Service into my early 70s and would only draw 45% of my paycheck. With the heart problem, carpal tunnel, arthritis showing up in my hip, bad knees, chronic shoulder pain, two vertebra fused with arthritis, sleep apnea and two bad disk I saw no future in remaining with the Postal Service. My hope was to get out while I had some health and the possibility of turning some health problems around.


While I was worried that I wouldn’t get out before one of the above ailments went bad it turned out that the problem would be a whole new ailment.

On that Friday I checked into the emergency room with chest pains and on Monday checked out with Type II Diabetes. This all happened while I was in the middle of moving out of one apartment into another so along with having to deal with some frantic moments of high and low blood sugar over the last 2 weeks my back is acting up from the moving and my internet access has been in limbo.


I’ll beat the sugar thing, the cure is the same for the heart problem; eat right, exercise and sleep right. I’ll beat them because I’m waiting no longer for the retirement incentive. It would have been nice to get and would have made a precarious move to retirement easier, but unless the offer comes before I turn my paperwork in I’ll move on without it. June 30th, that’s my target date. My bucket list has been filling up for months and my ‘get the monkey off my back list’ (things I’ll never have to do again) has been growing also. Good Health and freedom on a fixed income, beats the alternative.