So What's Up With Eddie???
aka "the Eddie Tapes"
Updated Last on 07/15/2018
People want to know what's up with me. A frequently asked question at the party. Since I probably can't talk much, here's a quick attempt to let you know...
Eddie's Portable Pig Out:
This is the fifth season I'm not operating. The Dept of Health had asked me to address issues that effectively halted me in my tracks. Change 1: Establishment of facilities (Problem: I can't wash dishes in my garage anymore). Purchase of a commercial building being the path forward. Change 2: (Problem. A Code Change disallows holding food on ice for longer than 4 hours). This forces the purchase of a pair of $60K heavy duty diesel refrigerated towing vans. All this adds up to a $600K investment, at least. Tough to justify these kind of investments at this point in my life. So I've walked away! I put the business into hibernation. I'm marching towards retirement someday soon. I'm holding on to equipment in the remote chance I start up again, but TBH, I've lost interest in it. The fat lady has probably sung. TBD.
I have to be honest, this has been and always will be a huge boulder to push up the hill. The hill is getting steeper. When I was doing commercial caterer, this was much easier since the process was "Hot". Now that I'm out of the game, each ZP is tougher and tougher to achieve. Not to mention that at age 55, with more nonworking things on my body than working, It's physically tougher to pull it off. ZP is an asskicker! As you've seen in the above paragraph, EPPO is in the death spiral. If I sell off my remaining trailers and catering equipment, ZP is history! So enjoy each and every ZP as if it's the very last one.
Now that I've decided to not pursue EPPO, it kind of simplifies a lot of decisions for me. I still dream about having a house with a much bigger garage or workshop. Or a small gentleman's farm. However, as I march towards my senior years, it becomes obvious that my current home is a blessing. It's small enough to easily maintain. I can cut my lawn, weedwhack and blow in 20 minutes flat! If I pursue bigger properties, it comes with bigger time and financial commitments. We'll see. I'm open to change though. I fucking HATE working out of a single car garage. I want to shoot myself every time I need to access something. Assuming I'll spend more "garage time" in retirement, space could be helpful.
On the HomeFront?
I haven't done anything big since the vinyl siding project 2 years ago. Next up is the deck replacement, which I kinda wished I did before ZP. I'm 100% committed to having the deck replaced. (Decision had been held up by thinking I could someday do it myself, but am beginning to lean towards calling in a Pro!) . Once done, I'd like to look at an overhaul of the backyard landscaping (multi-tiered paving stone patio, a retaining wall at the back property line to level things out, and add a cooking center befitting of somebody like me). We'll see. I'm comfortable sinking money into the deck, but the bigger landscaping project may not be the best use of resources.
Allan is doing well. He lives in Bradenton, FL (Near Sarasota) now in a gorgeous FL home on a scenic river.. And he's doing marvelously with his small business called Beach Breeze Weddings. He's now the "Go To" guy for casual beach weddings. He's a wedding coordinator, now working in conjunction with area restaurants and luxury hotels too, also offering amazing wedding decor packages. A few years ago, we moved Mom (now 80!) over to Sarasota, 10 minutes from Allan, mainly so he can keep an eye on her. She's doing pretty well in her beautiful home in a luxury senior community. Swims everyday, stays busy. Drives Allan absolutely nuts sometimes, as an aging parent can do. Of course there's much more of a story here, but I'm keeping it short.
Me: I'm all about the Mt biking these days. Riding about 3 times a week with my Picatinny Buddies. I'm in an endless battle to keep my weight down and trying to maintain some semblance of fitness, but haven't done so well recently. Usually summertime activity really knocks my weight down. But I was dealt a blow this year. In April, I tore up my knee playing Volleyball in one of the last playoff games of the season. MRI's show that I'll need surgery to correct. (same with my shoulder, which is really bothering me these days too...also needs surgury). While the knee hasn't kept me from Mt biking, jogging/hiking really aggravates it. It's just a matter of scheduling these surgeries to minimize impact...likely in the winter.
The summer has been a whole lot of fun. I've attended a bunch of music festivals, some I've volunteered at (stagehanding). As I mentioned, I'm doing a whole lot of Mt biking with the Picatinny folks. The occasional Backpack trips. Went out to Sedona AZ with Joe/Dawn for a MT Biking festival. Visited Mom/Allen back in March. Even did a Bikepacking trip with Karl. Generally staying busy. Also trying to program in a few down weekends here and there where I do boring things like cut the lawn, laundry, shopping, maintenance sessions for everything that becomes broken along the way.
I'm still at the same place. I work in a huge metal shop. Basically it's a pilot manufacturing facility, that has state of the art metal fabrication capabilities. I specifically work on armor applications for Military vehicles. I actually love my job, but I've had quite enough of the Gov't BS. Several months from now, Oct 19, 2018, my 56th Birthday, I'll have reached my "Retirement Eligibility Date"!!! This is the first date when I can consider retirement with full benefits. Although there's financial incentive to stay several more years, I could probably make it work right now! (No Kids, no college loans, no weddings, no Alimony payments, etc). So I'm marching rapidly towards a very large, life changing decision soon. This decision can be hastened by an incentive package sometimes offered by the Gov't. Generally though, I think I'll pull the trigger in the Spring of the year I select to retire (work thru the boring depressing winter, what else am I gonna do with myself?). I have mixed emotions about it. Somewhere between scared shitless and totally excited! What I do in retirement remains to be seen. Since running the catering business isn't really the plan anymore, It'll probably be a mix of the following: Extended Backpacking trips, 2-3 weeks. Lots and Lots of biking! (Mt Biking, Bikepacking, Road Biking). Some Travel. Home Improvement Projects. Possibly the purchase of a project home to flip. Probably a greater involvement in the behind-the-scenes of Music Productions. Fitness. Volunteer work (several entities interest me: JORBA (trail maintenance), Habitat for Humanity, etc). Whatever I do, I know I thrive when I'm surrounded by people. If I'm just gonna turn into a lonely old hermit, I'm better off continuing working for the Gov't. It's not lost on my how blessed I am to have such a wealth of options presented to me. I have my health. I'm financially stable. I have numerous interests and hobbies. I have a whole lot of good friends. I'm kinda of golden here! Just need to reinvent myself when the time comes.