Roger’s retirement music list

theremin

Beach BoysBefore I retired in 2019, my colleges Josee and Darrin put together Roger’s Retirement music list on Spotify. Most of it made a whole lot of sense to me. It’s not just a roster of tunes that I like. That would be near infinite. But many of them have very specific recollections in my aural history.

So, I’m now going to guess why THEY put these songs on the list.

Our Prayer – the Beach Boys. One of my top five BB songs. A near-religious experience.
Good Vibrations – the Beach Boys: on one hand, it was a bit overplayed. It was on every other 1960s music compilation. On the other, it’s been called a pocket symphony, probably the most expensive single up to that point. Plus it utilizes a theremin.
Get Ready – the Temptations: I saw the Temptations twice. Once on the Reunion tour at the Colonie Coliseum in the early 1980s and a couple years later, with the Four Tops, at Heritage Park in Colonie, near Albany.
Making Flippy Floppy – Talking Heads: I saw the group at SPAC when they were on the Stop Making Sense tour in the early 1980s. And I love saying “flippy floppy.”
Ain’t That Peculiar – Marvin Gaye. His performance, which I saw a video of in the past couple of years, was the essence of cool.

Fiyo

Face the Face – Pete Townshend. I love to play it LOUD. “Watch the flick!”
Sweet Honey Dripper – the Neville Brothers. From an album I bought from a DJ from WQBK-FM. LOVE that song, and in fact the first three songs from Fiyo On the Bayou. Saw them at a Live at Five concert in downtown ALB.
Give Me One Reason – Tracy Chapman. A favorite song of a friend of mine.
Loves Me Like A Rock – Paul Simon. Probably my favorite solo Simon song. And it features the tremendous Dixie Hummingbirds, who I once saw back in the 1970s. Saw Paul Simon, too, in 1991, at the Knick in downtown ALB.
Slow Turning – John Hiatt. For some reason, LOVE the reference to Charlie Watts. My wife and I saw him at the Troy Music Hall, perhaps in the early 2000s.

Macca

Rock Steady – Aretha Franklin. Lives on the bottom. Feel like I’m in church. Part of that second wave of Aretha hits, from the early 1970s.
I’ve Been Everywhere – Johnny Cash. From the second American album, which featured Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I thought that album would be a pop hit; it got to #170 but won a Grammy.
Free Man in Paris – Joni Mitchell. From a breakup album. I saw her twice, in 1974 at SPAC and in 1981 in Philadelphia.
Mull of Kintyre – Wings. I didn’t even hear this song until I bought Wings’ Greatest Hits. Massive UK #1, but did nothing in the States, and I rather like that somehow. Saw Macca at the Knick in 2014.
Takin’ It To the Streets – the Doobie Brothers. Michael McDonald taking the group to another place. On one of those Warner Brothers Loss Leaders dedicated to soul, it was one of the only songs by a predominantly white group.

There’s more.

Sherwin-Williams emails

Viva retirement?!

sherwin-williams.explore colorTime to start answering Ask Roger Anything questions. Judy, who I’ve only known since 1977, asked:
Isn’t it great not having to adapt to a different work environment? Viva retirement!

Well, you’d think so. But what’s different is that my wife and my daughter are home. And they are actually working too. My wife’s a teacher. She had to go into work on Monday and Tuesday last week, which I thought was crazy. Subsequently she’s been checking email, responding to requests. My daughter still has homework, which was due Monday, Wednesday and Friday last week.

So it’s a negotiation of using the two computers for the three people. My job is to wade through the influx of new emails. An article from eMarketing last week spoke to this:

Email overload

Social media users [are] marveling that every brand they had ever done business with was writing them to talk about COVID-19 and what those brands were doing to help. Email marketers do seem to have sent these messages to every address they have permission to use…

So, if you roll your eyes at that next email, try to remember that it’s probably important to someone else who’s wondering whether a product or service they regularly use is going to be available—or potentially endangering workers and consumers.

I may not have cared about each of the 100-odd marketer emails I received about the pandemic over the past week or so, but there were some I was waiting for anxiously… I didn’t need to hear from Sherwin-Williams that my neighborhood store would be offering curbside pickup for safety—but I know there are workers in my community who did need that message.

Look at it this way: There is an influx of brand emails being sent, but at least you have plenty of time at home to clean out your inbox.

My “Sherwin-Williams” emails

Medicare has temporarily expanded its coverage of telehealth services. My primary doctor’s office has a COVID hotline.
The CDTA buses are operating on a modified weekday schedule resembling the Saturday service. But they’ll add several routes that do not normally operate on Saturday that serve medical facilities, grocery stores or other locations to which essential trips need to be made.
Are my bank and credit union changing their hours? Somewhat.
The videos I took out from the Albany Public Library aren’t due until the library reopens. Indeed, the return slots will be closed.
Early (6-7 a.m.) hours at the Price Chopper/Market 32 supermarkets for senior citizens. Like me, whippersnappers!

My Congressman Paul Tonko’s phone lines for the DC office at (202) 225-5076 and Albany office at (518) 465-0700 remain available for constituents to contact staff.
Tax day has moved from April 15 to July 15. That’s good because we’re about a month behind in preparing, in large part because of my FIL’s illness.
Free Pandora for three months. A lot of things that were behind paywalls are not, for now.
The SBA is providing low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters.
Smithsonian Open Access is where you can download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images—right now, without asking.

First kiss; still retired; Fan-Taco

Things get settled eventually

First KissSome Ask Roger Anything questions, all from people I met in the 1970s or 1980s IRL, as it turns out. All were asked on Facebook.

Kevin, who I’ve known since college, asks: How old were you when you had your first kiss?

This proved to be surprisingly difficult to answer. I thought my first kiss was when I was 13, at the home of my friends Danny and Bob, and I kissed Mary under the mistletoe. But Mary, who I’m still in touch with via FB, has no such recollection. Maybe it’s a false memory.

That would mean I was 15 or 16 when I surely kissed Martha. That would have been 1968 or 1969. Not incidentally, the Beatles white album came out in November 1968. So I sang the song Martha My Dear a LOT at the time, and played it too, Side 2, 1st track.

How was I to know that it was a paean to Paul McCartney’s English sheepdog?

Still retired

Augustus, with whom I worked at the comic book store FantaCo in the mid-1980s, wants to know: How long have you been retired?

My last day of work was Friday, June 28. I say I retired on Sunday, June 30 because that’s the day my insurance ended. I was primary on Medicare as of July 1, though, based on the denial got recently for a doctor’s service, Medicare STILL doesn’t know it. It’s not really their fault but my previous insurance company’s.

My friend Catbird wrote:
What I’ve heard about Medicare is:
Find a provider who takes it (prepare for disappointment)
Receive service
Receive bill for what was not reimbursed in 45 days
Tell provider, who resubmits
Things get settled eventually
No wonder so many providers don’t accept Medicare! It seems like the only ones that do are the big medical machines like MedStar (and maybe United Healthcare)
Other countries do healthcare a LOT better than the US.

Fan-Taco

Mark, my old roommate who also worked at FantaCo, is being funny: Did you ever work at a Restaurant called Fan-taco?

Ha. It does remind me, though, that I have NEVER worked in food service in my whole life. No cooking, waiting, dishwashing. I was not opposed to it but just did other stuff.

Post-retirement Ask Roger Anything

tabs on the front?

questionOne of the insightful things my wife said at the end of August is that we mostly didn’t drive each other crazy. Still, we both agreed that it’s good that she’s going back to work in September.

You’d think it’d be easier to write, being unemployed retired. My personal running joke: I gleefully ay I’m unemployed, a LOT. Of course, I’m NOT looking for a job.

More than one person asked if I had gotten to the point where I don’t know how I managed to squeeze working into my schedule. That has been true only since when I came back from Indiana the third week in July when I DIDN’T have to go back to work and deal with 500 work emails and a ton of reference questions.

I still have a lot of organizing of the bedroom, which will involve pulling clothes out of drawers and closets, trying on stuff, making piles, then making it liveable enough for my wife to sleep in there.

And the office. She emptied one file drawer in there, dumping all those receipts for 2007. The multiple insurance companies I’m dealing with need their own folders that I can access, not just wade through a drawer repeatedly.

BTW, she and I file very differently. She puts the tabs on the front, but I put them in the back. She keeps receipts chronologically; I have categories, such as appliances. In other words, her way seems to work for her most of the time, but I can’t find a damn thing. I need my own.

With all that context, it is time for you to Ask Roger Anything. Anything at all; hey, I’ll time to answer them, most likely with a couple of fortnights (n.b. – I still don’t have time to take up Fortnite).

As always, you can leave any of your questions and/or suggestions, in the comments section of this blog or on Facebook or Twitter; for the latter, my name is ersie. Always look for the duck.

If you prefer to remain anonymous, that’s allowable, but you need to SAY so specifically. E-mail me at rogerogreen (AT) gmail (DOT) com, or send me an IM on FB and note that you want to be unnamed; otherwise, I’ll assume you want your moniker to be noted.

“I learn something from criticism because when it comes from sources you respect, you always examine it and learn.” – Maurice Strong

Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye

They damn well BETTER replace MY position

Hey, That's No Way To Say GoodbyeEven two years ago, I was pretty sure that I was going to retire in 2019. I started conversation with the HR people back in December 2018. But I didn’t want to tell my immediate office yet.

Part of the issue was that I didn’t want to discuss it until after our statewide conference at the end of April. I was working as hard as I could, writing blog posts, doing reference questions, giving a talk about reference sources at the Chamber of Conference, devising a webinar on sales tax.

Plus there was this new competition of teams from across the network selected on their interests. Go, Team Retail! I’m sure I got picked for that team based on my experience at FantaCo. One group was getting a grant from an entrepreneur to implemented the idea.

I had to dissuade the group from making ME the chair, because I knew there would be follow-up work to be done if we had gotten the award. We did not, but it wasn’t because I was suffering from short-timer’s syndrome.

The other complicating factor, for me, was that one of the other three librarians, who I’ll call Amelia, announced in mid-February that she would be leaving on May 24. She took a librarian job in New England.

Then, in mid-April, it came out that, because of funding cuts, they may not replace Amelia’s position right away. This irritated me greatly.

For a very brief period we had six librarians, and we had five for a good chunk of time. When one librarian left in January 2015, we had no reason to think she wouldn’t be replaced. Well, until months passed and she WASN’T replaced.

The reason for not replacing her was never enunciated to us until 1 August 2016, during an evaluation of the program. The explanation: some BS newspeak that said nothing.

Now, we’re going from four to three? Well, not “we” because I’m still gone at the end of June, and they damn well BETTER replace MY position. (The slot’s approved but the interviews haven’t happened yet.)

Anyway, everybody knows I’m leaving by now. Some are likely ticked off because I didn’t tell them sooner or I didn’t tell them in person. My current state director said that if he’d known before staff training had ended, he would have announced it then, which is precisely why I hadn’t told him.

This is the first time I’ve retired, so I’m figuring out the “rules” as I go along. Apropos of not much:

Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye
Leonard Cohen
Judy Collins
Roberta Flack