Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Vacation in Retirement?

I’m on vacation, in the car, Rita’s driving. We’re on our way to Edisto Beach near Charleston, SC from Chattanooga, TN where we were visiting with Rita’s nephew, Todd and his family (two boys: 3rd and 4th grade).

I have no “report” to make on my 2 Day Diet—this is the first time since I started in the beginning of November that I haven’t done a weekly weigh in, but though I suppose I could have weighed myself at Todd and Jamie’s house, it might not have been the same as our scale at home, and besides, I’m on vacation. We’ll find out if I’m capable of going 10 days on the road and in a beach area doing more eating out than usual (we’ll probably do a fair amount of cooking—the condo we’re renting has a small kitchen). If you’re new to my blog, suffice to say that I’ve lost about 30 pounds by eating low carb 2 days/week, and Meditteranean Diet the rest of the week: more green veges, fewer carbs and proteins, more fish than red meats, moderate amount of low-fat dairy. In so doing, my appetite has greatly receded, allowing me to do without snacks between meals if I choose and generally to feel more in control. You can go back in this blog and read plenty about what that felt like for me from week to week.

I’m looking forward to walks on the beach, bike rides, a little touring in the other Charleston, reading, playing music with Rita, and somewhat warmer weather than we’ve enjoyed in this long winter and cool spring, an anomaly one supposes in this era of climate change (cue Fox News: “Another colder than average day in the Eastern U.S.—so much for Global Warming….”).

Speaking of climate change, I’ve become somewhat involved in helping with the start up of a West Virginia chapter of Citizen’s Climate Lobby, a national effort to get a “revenue neutral carbon fee” passed. Google it to read the details, but it’s basically a carbon tax that the promotor’s believe is passable because it doesn’t increase revenues, so if Republicans Congressional representatives ever feel safe enough to publically acknowledge the fact that carbon based fuels are causing climate change they will choose this as the best way to cut down their usage because it’s a “market based strategy” that proposes not to let the government “keep” the fees, instead returning them to taxpayers.

Somewhat involved. But as I mentioned last week, highly involved in AWARE: Artists Working in Alliance to Restore the Environment. Basically, it seems I’ve created a full time job for myself. I’m now a non-profit entrepreneur. You see, I’m founder and CEO (high falutin’ term for the only person working, and as a volunteer to boot—got to get something in return, and titles are cheap) of what is basically an effort to raise funds for environmental organizations, starting with those in WV. I don’t know why I don’t just limit it to West Virginia—it’s just that, who knows, if the model I’m creating, and it is, as far as I know a unique model, is successful, maybe it will expand to the region or spin off other groups. Who knows? For now, though I was not looking for the famed late life career you hear so much about these days, it seems that’s what I’ve taken on.

This Tuesday, April 22, is Earth Day, and that’s when I’m going to officially launch the web site and an Indiegogo crowd sourced fundraiser. I’ve been working feverishly for weeks on the website, preparing the fundraising campaign, writing pitches to enviro groups asking for support, and on and on—basically starting a business from scratch, which in this day an age is, one can’t say exactly easy, but probably ten times easier than it was before the Internet. So, for my dozens of loyal blog readers, if you haven’t gotten my Facebook event invitation to “attend” the launch on Earth Day (I created that this morning), here’s your invitation: On Tuesday (or, if your busy sometime later), visit the AWARE website at, read about what I’m trying to do, think about how you might help by either endorsing (saying—yes I agree it’s a great idea, but can’t help in any other way right now), supporting (getting involved in some way), or contributing (giving money). There’s a brief questionnaire you’ll be able to link to let me know which, if any, it will be, and you have the option of letting me use your name or not.

As I’ve been signing my e-mails about AWARE recently,
With Awareness

P.S. – We’re having an awesome time in our one bedroom condo on this picturesque island biking, cooking fresh seafood, reading, relaxing, and yes, Launching AWARE. Seems I was too busy to post this (or too laid back) until now (after midnight, Tuesday), so I’ll report that we got 94 Facebook likes, 5 environmental orgs endorsing, and 4 contributions totaling $140. Not a bad start, but there’s a lot of work to do!

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