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Monday, May 9, 2005

I was put into the uncomfortable (and unfamiliar) position of having to think about the future today. My future. Shudder.

The reason I donít put a lot of thought into how Iíll be living ten years from now is that I donít really want anything to change. I want to keep living in this house in the country for as long as I last. Iíll even keep working as long as I can stay home and do it, and set my own pace and keep to my own schedule.

It might not all happen that way, though. In ten years the Boss will be 75 years old and might not want to keep the company going. The Kennel will still be going, I think, but I canít depend on it for income because I donít even have voting rights, even though Iím technically a ten percent owner. I havenít seen a dime of kennel money yet.

That could be about to change, though. Julie has a meeting with the accountant next week, and she expects him to tell her that The Kennel will have a tax liability unless some of its income is distributed. To the owners. Including my smidgen.

What she would like to do is set up some kind of retirement plan for me. Iím grateful that sheís looking out for my interests, but she asked me some questions today that I wasnít prepared to answer. Will I still want to live in Santa Rosa after I retire? Or might I be open to moving to an area where I could afford a plot of land that could be funded out of kennel distributions?

Shudder. Iím assuming my family will still be living in this area in ten years, so I wouldnít have any interest in moving away. (If Iím wrong about that, I might reconsider.) She wants me to check on lot prices and think about a mobile or modular home that could be paid for over time and ready for me to move into in ten years. I donít even know how to begin doing that, and Iím not sure I want to. As I said, I want to stay where I am. I just donít know if Iíll be able to afford it. Or if it makes sense.

This is scary stuff, and there were long silences on my end of the phone conversation. I really, truly havenít given any concrete thought to any long term financial planning. Now I guess I have to. I only wish I knew where to begin.

5 May 2005

Cloud wars.

What I really want to do when I retire is sit around reading and watching TV all day, and watching my grandnieces and grandnephews (however many of them there are by then) grow up. In other words, except for the nasty part about working for a living, pretty much exactly what I do now. Is there a way to plan for that?

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It was the shortest game in SBC Park history at one hour, 49 minutes, but Iím sure the fans in the seats felt they got their moneyís worth. (Unless they actually wanted another 11-8, four-hour mess, of course.) The Pirates were a particular thorn in the Giantsí side last season, but the Giants beat them for the fourth straight time this year, 2-1, on the strength of Brett Tomkoís complete game six-hitter. Tomko shut down the last 21 batters he faced. The team needed this kind of performance to give a little time off to their overworked bullpen. The only way to do that is not to give Felipe Alou any excuse to change pitchers, and Tomko was rock solid tonight.

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