Lately, it seems, people have asked me about my retirement plans.
My retirement plans are that I have no plans for doing so at the moment. I enjoy what I am doing at the Free Press and my book publishing, and I love working with a terrific group of hard-working, dedicated young people. They are family and I love them like family.
I have told them to tell me when it?s time for me to go home and stay there. So far, I am coherent most of the time and make some contributions to the operation.
Honestly, this place is perfectly capable of running without me and that feels good. I have been gone for a complete newspaper cycle a couple of times already without the wheels coming off.
I suppose a time will come when I won?t be here every day and will want to spend more time with my kids until they get tired of seeing me. too.
I?ve always thought I would spend more time with the books and printing part of what I do as my age ratchets upward since that isn?t as consuming as the paper. The newspaper operation doesn?t get any breaks or vacations like many other occupations do.
And, with modern communications, I can be plugged in from anywhere in the world that has an Internet connection or Blackberry service.
One thing that might bother me, though, is when I first miss writing a week of Nonsense, which I have done every week since August 1998. I?m pretty sure my sisters and brother read it.
We are pleased David Vogel, who for years has been writing the ?Don?t Ask Why?column, is our Tabor College intern this semester. He is doing this as part of his communications curriculum. The area of study is advertising, and he will concentrate on our website during this semester.
I am still a big fan of ?Ameri?can Idol? and I really don?t miss Simon Cowell as one of the judges. Steven Tyler is a blast and J-Lo adds a nice perspective, plus, Randy Jackson has kept it real since he began. In my view the show would be a little better if they would skip some of the really dud auditions and show more of the good ones. I suppose that?s part of the show?s appeal.
While walking one day, I began to wonder how many bricks there are in Grand Avenue from Washington to Adams. So I counted them, sort of.
The bricks are the width of a Blackberry phone so I measured that and added an eighth of an inch for the spacing, then took 300 feet as the length of a block and added 50 feet for the intersections and took that times 34 bricks across.
So, unofficially, there are about 122,400 bricks out there.
I have met many interesting people all across the country and Canada during the past 20 years or so whom I helped self-publish their stories in the form of a printed book.
The latest one was the Buhler High School football history by author Steve Miller, who spent more than 3,000 hours compiling the information that is printed in his new book.
The most interesting aspect to me is that the book was designed and typeset by an inmate who self-taught himself desktop publishing. I am told this young man made a mistake of being with the wrong people at the wrong time as a teen and truly regrets his error.