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Encore Careers

Today a friend told me about this new concept: the encore career. This is the career you launch into after your main, money-earning, tuition-supporting, mortgage-servicing career is complete. Ideally it would involve something you really care about. Helping others and whatnot.

I'm thinking this would be a particularly good concept for middle-aged workers to embrace if and when the pink slip comes. Don't call it a lay-off, call it an opportunity to transition to the encore career. You can even imagine you hear your fans shouting "Encore! Encore!" as you are escorted out of the building by the security guard.

You'll know you're going to have a bad day when you walk into work and everyone is staring at you and holding up a match.

[And someone shouts, "Play Freebird!]

Here's the problem, though: Even non-profit organizations have to look at encore-career-aged persons as potentially costly additions to the payroll. The problem is not the salary, but rather the health care. Everyone over 55 is a time bomb. Even if you're healthy, the insurance companies are going to put the squeeze on the new employer.

As the country debates the future of health care, those of us who want to have an encore career may want to think hard about the need for universal, transportable medical insurance. Because I don't want health care costs to prevent me from becoming a cowboy.

By Joel Achenbach  |  June 9, 2009; 4:38 PM ET
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I agree. Medicare Cowboys are exactly what this country really needs.

Not only are you being productive and contributing to the GNP, they save on scooter costs because you're on a four-legged mount all day.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 9, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

This is what I'm hoping for as a result of my involuntary career transition. I'm very lucky in that I will have health care (except for dental) from my previous servitude at a very large corporation...although I would like to see health care reform happen. Just in case the aforementioned corporation goes belly up. And for all the folks not so fortunate.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 9, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I was thoroughly indoctrinated at the jobhunting seminar last week. I am no longer "unemployed." Now I'm "a professional in career transition." My new job is sales and marketing and my product is "ME."

Sales was never my strong suit. But I'm definitely in the market for that encore career. Bring it on.

I'm thinking, maybe pre-school teacher...I did that once, back in my 20s and it was a blast, hanging out with three-year-olds all day.

Posted by: kbertocci | June 9, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Encore career, huh. I think it is a great idea if it includes health care. Most of the folks I know in encore careers gave up health care, other benefits, etc. If it is a real career, though - with benefits - then I'm in.

I don't want to be a cowboy. I want to run one of those BIG tractor mowers for the highway mowing crews. Now that's mowing. Maybe one of those brushhogs attached to a crane off a backhoe. I've actually longed for this since high school but my dad wouldn't approve of it as a summer job.

Yoki, from last Kit - that wasn't you whispering in my ear?

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 9, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to hang out with plants all day...the good ones, not weeds. But I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up, and which someone would pay me to do.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 9, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Only a very very chaste and straight way...

Posted by: Yoki | June 9, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

OMG my life is on kit - I am starting my encore career -except still have that pesky mortgage, tuition etc. Since I am employing myself health coverage is not an issue - although I may have to write myself up for goofing off today :-)

Posted by: dmd2 | June 9, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

The reason I was able to retire at 53 was that my former employer extends health insurance to retirees, albeit at a higher rate compared to active employees. The first year I was retired, my monthly premium was $72, the second year it was $94, this year it's $117. We have been notified that the premium will increase 8.5 percent in 2010.

The budget just adopted by my former employer also specifies that no health insurance for retirees will be extended to employees hired after July 1, 2009.

I realize how fortunate I am to be able to afford the premiums, even with the steep rate of increases. I am fairly healthy and work hard to stay that way. However, I worry about the impact of a catastrophic illness. Well more than half the bankruptcies in the US are caused by medical bills:

The trick, of course, is to keep the good parts of the system in place while containing cost (and greed). It's urgent that we do so. My brother the Republican rails against the idea of rationing health care, but surely that's what we're doing right now. The rationing is done not by need but by ability to pay.

Posted by: slyness | June 9, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I hate to be a cantakerous person, often but not necessarily older, who finds fault in any statement (there, how was that for avoiding the trademarked handle), but doesn't "encore" imply more of the same? There are few things that annoy me more than when the band comes back on and plays something way off in left field, or not even their own song. I was at a David Usher concert (think maybe Jack Johnson) and for the encore he sings "Crazy Train". WTH?

Same goes for encore careers. Unless you're directly applying your previous skill set, you're doing a new act.

There are lots of words for "encore career", but unfortunately most have been ruined by overuse in NewBusinessSpeak. Repurposed career, anyone?

Posted by: engelmann | June 9, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

My whole life has been encore careers.
For Joel:

Also, speaking of TV they have re-made The Prisoner. I don't much care for remakes. I did like The Prisoner.

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 9, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I am very very wary of the remake of The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3. Ain't broke, and the times have changed on the NY subway.

Posted by: Yoki | June 9, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Returning to material from the last Boodle about B5, that I missed commenting upon because I was elsewhere:

Andreas Katsulas was great, as G'Kar or as anything else. He also was in Max Headroom as a recurring character of obscure morality. His IMDB filmography is quite long. A very good character actor.

Boxleitner at least had the chance to show that he was a lot better than most of the material in which he'd been cast previously. Which isn't saying much.

Walter Koenig was good. He dispelled the ghost of Chekov. And I loved the character -- there was another dimension of geek-appreciation provided by naming the top psi-cop Bester, and eventually revealing his first name to be Alfred. I liked the fact that he was evil, but usually did not consider himself to be evil. But, sometimes, he does -- and he likes it that way. Everything about the Psi Corps was clearly an intentional hommage to the science fiction writer Alfred Bester.

At the beginning of season 4, I think it was (after the war that changes everything), there is an episode that concentrates on two custodian characters in the background of events that primarily concern the foreground characters. One of the custodians is played by Harlan Ellison, who was a story editor and story consultant for the show.

And then, of course, there was the episode with Scott Adams, expressing concern that he thinks his dog is planning to take over the world.

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 9, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

"They" ... re-made ... The Prisoner?


Posted by: ScienceTim | June 9, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Ooh, ooh, my praying mantises are hatching! I moved a few to some other rose bushes in the hope that they'll find aphids to eat...otherwise, they eat each other...

Posted by: seasea1 | June 9, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

And so you are breeding praying mantiss seasea? That's an OK encore career. What species of fish are they used for?
I thought leeches were a better investment. I see myself in the future, master of of vast array of tanks full of gloriously undulating leeches...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 9, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

This is something I would love to see, seasea.

Posted by: Yoki | June 9, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm still working, for a small company. I'm older than some of the posters. The company's premium for me (and I paid 50%) was over $900 a month. I turned 65 last year, continued working, but went on Medicare and off the company policy. The company is reimbursing me the same 50% of what I pay for my Medicare and Supplemental private insurance, but out of pocket for both is less than 1/4 of what was being paid before. We NEED a better system. And Medicare has worked like a charm for me, no problems whatsoever.

Posted by: novelera | June 9, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

$900 a month!!!!

Posted by: dmd2 | June 9, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, novelera, for teaching me something about what 'premiums' really means. And I am very glad that Medicare is more than adequate. As a Canadian, it is hard to understand what you all deal with every day. I'm glad you posted.

$900 a *month*?! That would eliminate groceries and any fun, for me. I'd just about be able to cover rent and transportation to work.

Posted by: Yoki | June 9, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

pssst....! dmd is Canadian too! Obviously.

Posted by: Yoki | June 9, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I generally like Joel's columns, but this one suggests that all of his friends are successful college-educated former yuppies. He has absolutely no clu--none whatsoever-of what life is like for the average American. One suspects that he has no friends from those "lower" demographics that he regularly entertains for dinner.

Posted by: wgmadden | June 9, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I second that wow Novelera. I also work for a small company and my health care costs me about $200/month (pretax) and the coverage is far from the best. I’m not 65 yet, but getting there. I truly hope we have some sort of national healthcare implemented this year. The stories of bankruptcy are scary. Even those who are fortunate and can afford the premiums are being soaked. My friend who has cancer hit the medicare bubble thing and paid $4000 for a month’s worth of her medications. This is just insane.

If/when I ever get to have a career I’d want to have, I think it would be a split between volunteer work and something creative. I love working with shells, making wreaths and mirrors and things. Not a money maker, but fun.

Posted by: badsneakers | June 9, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Spot on about the Pelham remake, Yoki. It really looks like they've taken all the fun(ny) out of the original.

I mean, I can't really see Denzel casually insulting visitors of obvious ethnicity and unknown English skills for several minutes before having his head politely handed to him by the visitors as they leave.

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 9, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

We kept our federal health insurance plan through COBRA when Dr G left his gummint job last year. We like the plan much better than the ones offered by his current employer, but we're paying about $1050 a month for it.

Good thing we can only do this until Open Season comes around in November.

Posted by: TBG- | June 9, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Wow, wgmadden. Congratulations. I think you just may hold the all-time most-wrong-headed-notion-about-Joel comment ever posted in the four or five years of this blog. Breath-takingly wrong-headed.

dmd, you are right about ash baseball bats. It's just that I haven't seen a wood bat in who knows how long--all the ones used during my umpiring career were, alas, aluminum. And lately the pros have been trying out (o the horror!) maple bats, which tend to shatter. But overall, yes, a great loss to baseball. Perhaps comparable to astroturf, I dunno. Hard to measure.

Yes, wicked storm in DC and parts south. Took 95 nminutes to get home. It took 20 minutes just to get across the Anacostia, which is only about a mile. Big foot-diameter tree down in the Obamas' front yard, and a major big branch down in front of a house a few doors down from me, too.

So I'm a time bomb, huh? I got news for ya: I've been a time bomb since the day I was born.

I'm willing to give Pelham 1-2-3 the benefit of the doubt until I see it. I like and respect Denzel enough to think he's earned some B-of-D from me and everyone else. And Travolta has been a reasonably good villain from time to time, and as much as I like Robert Shaw, I suspect Travolta can go head-to-head with him. Shaw was pretty undemonstrative in the original; it was Matthau's flick all the way. And Martin Balsam.

I would be remiss if I didn't do a shout-out to CP. Hugs, chicken soup, and a slide on a banana peel all headed her way.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 9, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Do polls close at 7 or at 8 in Virginia, TBG? Has Creigh Deeds won yet? Given the turnout (9 votes, total), it should take long to count them. Lemme know when you hear something.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 9, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Ooops, never mind, TBG. With 43% counted Deeds has 52% versus about 24% for McAuliffe and Moran. Looks like it's all over to me.

The Supremes OK the Chrysler sale to Fiat.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 9, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

They close at 7p, Mudge.

I'm waiting impatiently for the results. I was the only person at my polling station today at 12:43 and there weren't any storms at that time. Pitiful.

On the bright side, I did see one of my neighbors drive up and I had no idea he was a Democrat. We had a nice chat even though we were voting for different candidates.

Posted by: Kim1 | June 9, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Encore careers are careers you MUST take because you can't afford to retire, really.

My uncle, after working at GM and getting a pension still had to do an "encore" career delivering medicine to nursing homes. (He still had kids to launch.)

Portable health insurance is nice-- if it was affordable.

Employer-paid health insurance used to be a perk, now it's become the only way to decently afford health insurance (and even then, not really).

I'm considering being self-employed, but the health insurance issue looms large, since I'm single and NOBODY else can claim me on their coverage.

I feel the drive towards gay marriage is sadly, putting a bandaid on some much larger problems in our legal and economic systems. Gay partners deserve health coverage.

So do foster children-- and it was only a decade or so ago that Congress passed a law to cover foster kids by medicare up to age 21.

And so do the unemployed. We have an artifical system in which it's not the dollar alone, but the social or economic network you have, that counts towards obtaining affordable health insurance access.

That is not a free market system.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 9, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Howdy, wgmadden. Consider this column just as accurate a representation of Joel's friends as previous columns. Probably not all his friends are astronauts, or physicists, or pointy-headed scientists, or believe in aliens, or gardeners, or storm chasers, or on college tours, or politicos. In other words, I encourage you to also take this one with a grain or two of salt, despite its surface plausibility. Surface plausibility is often, as far as I can tell, the Achenbach stock-in-trade.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 9, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I hesitate to correct you, but with deepest humility and appreciation for your writing skillz, didn't you mean to say those bats were "aluminium"?

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 9, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Yea! I was really torn between Deeds and Moran. I think Deeds has got a rough road ahead of him but I am hopeful that he's got a good shot. Republicans in this area are very fired up, that's for sure. A friend of mine's daughter is volunteering for McDonnell in this area and she's apparently disturbed because his office is very disorganized. Yea again!

Posted by: Kim1 | June 9, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Yea! I was really torn between Deeds and Moran. I think Deeds has got a rough road ahead of him but I am hopeful that he's got a good shot. Republicans in this area are very fired up, that's for sure. A friend of mine's daughter is volunteering for McDonnell in this area and she's apparently disturbed because his office is very disorganized. Yea again!

Posted by: Kim1 | June 9, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

So, Joel, have you learned how to properly sit a horse yet? Yanno, preparing for y'r'n encore career 'n' all. Rodeo's right around the bend.

Posted by: laloomis | June 9, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Kim1 | June 9, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

If you can't tell I decided to break my posts up. Advantage: (1) more intelligible (please don't burst my bubble) and (2) more hits for Joel.

Engelmann makes an excellent point about the word "encore". It does indeed mean more of the same, and thus appears to be a misnomer. The tasty treat once again offers words of wisdom. I suggest we consider possible other names.

The slightly disguised avatar for rich but affordable pastry has suggested "repurposed". "Alternative" seems stale, even trite. As the idea is that one moves from one's career or job to the thing one desires to do, really cares about, "helping others and whatnot", how about:

Rapturous Career (not to be confused with Raptorous Career, reserved for those leaving the financial and military-industrial sectors)
Serendipitous Career
Joyful Journey
Victorious Voyage
Uncompensated Occupation

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 9, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, man... Deeds indeed kicked butt in the primary. Let's hope he can win this time in the fall.

I'm just glad we don't have to face four months of listening to Mayor Quimby.

Posted by: TBG- | June 9, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

This is my encore career. I mean, I endured over 20 years as a thankless contractor fulfilling the capricious demands of my government clients. Now I am the client. Of course, the most capricious thing I demand is a plate of cookies.

And that I found this final career at 42 was completely unexpected. No way I could have predicted this 10 years ago. I just ended up in the right place at the right time, and then they made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

Although I should have asked for a clarification about the coffee.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 9, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Although I must admit my dream career would be to have a little studio somewhere like the Torpedo Factory where I would make little wooden boxes all day as onlookers gasp.

Whether this would be in amazement or horror is a matter of opinion.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 9, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

The entire sky is pink right now. Beautiful.

Posted by: TBG- | June 9, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

RD, I know better than to ask an artist for his secrets, and I don't expect you to reveal any, but I picture you with cut and planed wood, using mortise-and-tenon craft to hold the things together. Perhaps glue. I don't really add in small nails, unless they have those nifty decorative heads.

Then I see the boxes set out for the rabbits to frolic among.

There has to be better grammar for that, but that's what I see.

My own rabbit is tapping its foot in a visibly and audibly irritated manner. I also hear the dogs. I'll be back after I tend to the livestock.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 9, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Tim Noah has an interesting take on employer-based health care:

My encore career, as most of you know, consists of doing as I please. In the real world that means I'm up to my neck in church politics, but I do enjoy it. That there is no monetary compensation is fine, for now.

Posted by: slyness | June 9, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Typo, Ivansmom. Everyone knows it is "aluminumumumumum."

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 9, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I've said this before, I am sure, but we need more than universal and transportable health insurance, it needs to be affordable. When my husband was working (at a small company) he was involved in the (often frustrating) yearly search for health insurance. In early 1980 the cost for family coverage was around $100 per month with a $250 deductible, 20% co-pay, and a stop-loss at $1,000 (after which insurance paid everything). By the fall 2007, family coverage cost the company between $1400 and $1500 a month per employee, the deductible was $1,500,co-pay was 30% and stop loss at least $5000. Part of the increase was because as the company workforce aged, some employees had suffered heart attacks, cancer, etc. and any year that expenses exceeded premiums paid, the next year premiums went up. Also, the increase in medical costs was a big factor.

Since our own insurance coverage was through his employment, when my husband had to stop working we lost coverage and couldn't afford to continue under Cobra. Although my husband is now covered by Medicare, I have 3 more years with no prospect of affordable insurance. After years of needing nothing more than a yearly antibiotic treatment for a sinus infection in February (after red cedar allergy season), I hoped to just hang in there until I too could go on Medicare. Not to be. I went to the doctor at the end of March feeling really bac, and got scared out of my wits when he said I might have a blood infection; the cure would be 2 weeks on IV antibiotics. Two weeks in the hospital would cost more than our net worth and we don't even have a mortgage or car loan. I suppose I should be relieved that my diagnosis is probably only 'Connective Tissue Disorder' but between the blood tests ordered by my regular doctor and the rheumatologist, I ran up about $1600 in testing expenses not counting doctor bills, medications, etc). Then I discovered that although follow up visits to the rheumatologist are only $65, he wants tests run before each visit. So I got his office to give me a list and called to see what the testing would cost; it came to almost $450. The upshot is that I postponed my next visit for 2 more months; I haven't even finished paying for the initial testing. Health care is already rationed, by ability to pay.

I could see our modest savings set aside to live on when we can no longer work, disappearing. Frankly, we are putting everything we reasonably can into assets that are exempt in bankruptcy, in case it comes to that. In the meantime, it is really depressing and stressful trying to just figure out what I can afford to have done, compared to what the physician orders. Health care costs can prevent you from more than becoming a cowboy.

Posted by: km2bar | June 9, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Between periods, watching hockey, hoping that the Red Wings will dispense with the wingless birds. I guess our monument business is our encore career. I'm hoping that our healthcare benefits that'll carry over from the State when we retire will see us through. congrats on the new wheels, TBG. The grocery no longer carries Canadian beer of any sort. Small town supply and demand. Harumph. Would somebody fax me a case of assorted NOTB brews? My inner Canadian is longing for a Fifty.

Posted by: -jack- | June 9, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Negotiate with your rheumatologist on what really is necessary, and look at Labcorp and see if they will run those tests.

You can save significant pocket costs by getting your blood drawn directly at Labcorp (who actually run the testing anyway), rather than directly out of a doctor's office because of the increased shipment costs.

Even when I had health insurance coverage, I tended to haggle because tests aren't always covered by insurance, and in my case, I was saving on time off work and travel-- my specialist was 1 1/2 hours away, and LabCorp was only 2 miles from me.

Good luck, kmbar. I got laid off right around a health care crisis and that was not fun.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 9, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

My dear wife just got the telly stuck. She told me to tune in the hockey game. I asked why, because she doesn't usually watch the games with me. She said: "You only have to watch hockey when you're dating. Once you're married, you're out of luck. Oprah and Bailey's always trumps hockey and a beer." I should have known. We've only been married for seventeen years.

Posted by: -jack- | June 9, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

km2bar, I hope you send a copy of your post to President Obama, your senator and congressperson. When I left my last job and was out of work for a time (by choice), I paid $800/month for COBRA, it still makes me crazy thinking about it.

Posted by: badsneakers | June 9, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Encore career?

No thanks -- not if I can help it.

When my Last Stand is over and I Leave the Building, I want applause and people holding lighters up (none of that sissy cell phone/hand held device imitation, either) and a standing ovation during my Polish Victory Lap.

Leave in a blaze of glory, and leave 'em wanting more, I say. No Encore Careers, no Going out of Business Sales (like a rug store that's had that sign up since the Carter Administration), no patheitc Farewell Tours; just smash the drumset and walk off stage with a smile, a deep bow and a big Jim Laing/Dating Game kiss for the crowd.

And if I play it right, I'm hopping on a Ducati 1098R (maybe with a lady) and heading for the horizon and fun in obscurity, with stories in my wake.

Speaking of wakes, y'all remember the Viking funeral in the Darth Vader outfit, the pyre, flaming arrows, and the whole flambe of me shoved out to sea that I want, right? If I meet my Demise by Misadventure sooner rather than later, that should solve the prolonged health care problem in my case.

Plus, I'll get to take another ride with Error Flynn, and I'll let him drive more next time.

I don't care to live forever, I just want to LIVE.

But that's just me.

Hey, this hockey game's pretty good.


Posted by: -bc- | June 9, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

bc, I'm with you on the whole flambe-shoved-out-to-sea pyre business. But really - you don't want to join me in the Giant Roadside/Median Tractor Mower second career venture? C'mon. Those have to be fun. Think of it not as a second career but a hobby, something to occupy you when the Ducati breaks down and the lady is off with the girls. Brushhog on a crane connected to a backhoe or pickup truck - how can you resist? I can't!

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 9, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

My new career will be breeding and selling dragonflies. The kind that eat mosquitoes. In bulk.

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 9, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

jack, I can supply much better than *50* Unless you like it (in which case I am looking at you funny). I can fax a Grasshopper (accent implied) or a Sleemans.

Posted by: Yoki | June 9, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Spent the early evening cutting the neighbor's privet hedge, removing assorted palm leaves, knifing badly-located heliconia shoots, and otherwise building a huge pile of greenery for tomorrow's trash pickup.

Would be nice if the car could be made to run on the stuff.

A Post story a while back made Deeds seem a bit like our late governor, Lawton Chiles.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 9, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, the giant lawnmower thing sounds really fun on cool days. When it is hot, maybe you can ride the floor-cleaner-zamboni thing we have at my school.

I get to see it go past my office if I don't leave by 4:30. Jake the custodian always has his iPod and a smile.

I think I'll ask if he'll let me take it for a spin on Friday as a last-day-of-school treat.

Posted by: abeac1 | June 9, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Haven't ever had a Sleemans. All of the kids are off until the weekend, so make mine a double.

Posted by: -jack- | June 9, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey, y'all! Back again after a loooong hiatus. The law firm job (my encore career?) has me busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kickin' contest. And I love it. Absolutely no web-surfin' at this place. Not beause it's verbotten, but because I have no time. 12-hour days, the whole she-bang. Life is good.

I'm with you, Ivansmom. I want my encore career to involve mowing. Sitting on my rickety, oft-repaired lawn tractor and mowing my pastures is one of my favorite things. It's sick, really ... I actually have feelings of affection for my dang tractor.

Second-best encore career: Zamboni driver. Same concept, different medium.

Hello, hello and happy thoughts for everyone!

Posted by: KBoom | June 9, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

...a pair of Creamies, if they are in season, please.

Posted by: -jack- | June 9, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, that *does* sound like fun.
And I am reasonably handy with equipment.

And thanks for the "aluminium" chuckle in the last Boodle. I was thinking of Alain de Cadenet describing the hand-formed body of Jag XK 120 SS by pronouncing it in that veddy proper accent; "AL-loo-min-ee-um"


Posted by: -bc- | June 9, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Hi, KBoom, nice to hear your job is going well.

I saw a dragonfly yesterday, and possibly a young one today. It was smaller and a different color - sort of orangey - from what I'm used to seeing. Four transparent wings. I don't know much about dragonflys. Or dragonflies.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 9, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

And how about those Penguins, not going easily into the good night?


Posted by: -bc- | June 9, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

With apologies to FTB, my husband referred to tonights game as the best game he has watched all year (NHL).

Posted by: dmd2 | June 9, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, well.

IMHO, I think the Penguins were more motivated not to repeat last year's win by someone else on *their* ice than the Wings were to actually get it over with. There didn't seem to be as much snap with my team tonight. But, thanks, jack -- even though we finished off your team, it's nice to have your support.

So, Game 7, Friday nite, in Deeeeetroit! Everyone (save dmd, unless she wishes to join us and with absolutely *no* hard feelings if she doesn't) BE THERE OR BE SQUARE.

And now, I'm going to bed. Huge day tomorrow and through the end of the week. Pays the mortgage, yanno.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 9, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey, KBoom! Congrats on that law-talking guy stuff (courtesy of Simpsons, of course). I too have fondness for our lawn tractor. I got an unexpected great deal last year on a barely-used kick-@ss Cub Cadet (never thought we'd have one of those) which can do a whole acre in what seems like minutes. Ivansdad can do the whole place in a couple of hours. I could too, if he'd let me near the tractor.

I'd love to try the Zamboni. We have a Zamboni-type thing that cleans the Capitol marble floors. I watch it if I'm there after hours. Very cool.

Time to pry the Boy into bed. This is always difficult in summertime, but I have to get up even if he doesn't. We're plowing our way through Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. He favors Darcy over Wickham - shows me he's paying attention.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 9, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

No Cub Cadet ... mine's an ancient Craftsman. The kind with all steel parts.

Can't do anything in minutes here, except maybe break an axel. Freakin' pocket gophers are hell on pasture.

If I ever win the lottery, the first thing I'll buy is a *real* tractor. One of those little Kubotas ... with a front-end loader, a brush hog, and a tiller. It's my dearest dream.

Hm. Wonder what those road-side mowers make. And do they have a good health plan?

Posted by: KBoom | June 9, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

#1 and #2 will be in DC tomorrow, and the youth choir will perform at the FBC, 712 Randolph St., NW. Thursday they will be sightseeing in DC. The girls would be thrilled to cross paths with any boodlers that might be free.

Posted by: -jack- | June 9, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

my dad very happily and successfully is in an encore career, which he did not really need financially, although it helps. he took early retirement from his engineering job and became a professor at a small college, something he always wanted to do.

Posted by: LALurker | June 9, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Morning and evening, friends. Encore implies redoing something, and if it's a job one isn't crazy about, why do that? I like the machinery gig, Ivansmom. Some years back, I used to cut grass with a push mower, but I'll bet those big riding thingies are fun. The push mower was good exercise.

Slyness, been watching the Con-agra developments on a station out of Raleigh. There was a report about some persons missing. I hope they find everyone. It reminds me of Imperial.

I didn't sleep last night, so went to sleep earlier today, now up for another night. And, JA, I don't know about that horse riding thing, that can get dicey. You might want to rethink that.

Mudge, Martooni, Yoki, Scotty, and all the gang, do have a great day, and stay cool.*waving*

Today is the last day of school here. I know the kids are glad, probably feel like they're getting out of prison. We're getting ready to take our kids out for pizza. We hope to do that on my birthday, which is Friday, hint, hint.(smile)And happy belated birthday for any I've missed here. I'm getting so old, and what's so much worse, is that I'm beginning to feel that way. As a child I felt old, so it's not a new experience, except now it's very true. Yet some days it's all good. If I could just get around swallowing those pills.

Lots of love to all, and blessings for all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | June 10, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Yo, jack!

Posted by: Yoki | June 10, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

So God, Allah and, well, I forget His name walk into a bowling alley and rent some shoes and select some balls and proceed to play a game.

Yeah I know that this is what makes the sound of thunder during a storm, but bear with me here.

So each time they are up to bowl they rub the belly of the score keeper for good luck.

But they always seem to get gutter balls.

If they manage to hit the head pin they seem to almost always get a 7-10 split.

Not once do they a strike or a spare.

Finally God says you know you and your fat unlucky belly are going to hell.

Allah says something I do not understand at all.

The one who's name I forget say though our people do not believe in an after life, and we certainly don't believe in reincarnation, I fervently wish for you do come back as a cockroach so I can step on you.

After an hour of bowling the game is over and the three bowlers ask who won. What is the final score?

Buddha says 126.

What? say the three.

Yes: 126

They all look at the score sheet and see that they all scored exactly 42 points each.

They say to Buddha: is this supposed to be funny?

Buddha says Moo.

The three start to laugh and Buddha turns into a cow and walks away.

omni: I',m going to hell for this

Posted by: omnigood | June 10, 2009 2:05 AM | Report abuse

a little ditty for your enjoyment

Wilbrod, if you search on 'Little Green Apples' the Dean Martin version has captioning.

Posted by: omnigood | June 10, 2009 2:37 AM | Report abuse

a little ditty for your enjoyment

Wilbrod, if you search on 'Little Green Apples' the Dean Martin version has captioning.

Posted by: omnigood | June 10, 2009 2:37 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. The Monsoons seemed to have stopped, finally. There actually appears to be some sunlight out there.

Today in Nautical and Aviation History

June 10, 1967: The Arab-Israeli Six-Day War ends in a stunning Israeli victory. In a pre-emptive strike, the first wave of 150 Israeli aircraft win air supremacy in only three hours; in 24 hours 416 Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian aircraft have been destroyed, most of them on the ground.

For the first time in about 10 days, the aircraft are all lined up on the flightline, there's coffee in the Ready Room, and a mission planned for this morning, with briefing right after breakfast. Make sure to dry out your brakes, pilots.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | June 10, 2009 6:14 AM | Report abuse

slyness - "health care RATIONING?!" You used that talking point. We won't talk about the form of health care rationing that we use today... those who need care the most can't afford it or don't qualify. We, as a nation, pay the old fashioned way ... through the nose.

There are about 40 million American adults or more who have had their health care rationed. They are allowed to get their coverage when they get older but they are too young right now.

All the private insurance companies are doing is delaying the care payments to the national system in Medicare. By the time the impact of bad health maintenance takes affect, we all pay. Even if the damage of the bad care hits before Medicare kicks in. Then, the nation "swallows the pill" by having to support the hospitals for un-insured care.

Please, at least anywhere I can see, don't call that "rationed health care." It is a lame concept or just a talking point. It is meaningless.

Posted by: russianthistle | June 10, 2009 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, all this talk about encore careers and now, if you watch this

Rachel breaks the story about what our Fed. Govt is up to with the 17 Uighurs that we are holding.

I think the Boodle should team up and take in a few Uighurs!!!! Our friendly neighborhood government is negotiating with Palau to take them and are up to over 11.7 million dollars per Uighur. I agree with the premise of the video and think we should put a proposal together to take 5.

At that rate, we can get our own M+S franchise on top of a good life for the Boodle and the Uighurs that we take.

Posted by: russianthistle | June 10, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

I certainly won't argue with you, Weed. The point is that the current "system" is dysfunctional and unnecessarily expensive.

Morning, everyone. Glad to know you DC-based folks are okay. I looked at the storm you had last night on radar, and it was a doozy. Hope the rain does good things for you.

Cassandra, very sad about that explosion in Garner. And people badly burned, that's scary. I hope the firefighters and EMS personnel had all the resources they needed.

It's the last day of school here also. I hope the kids have a fun day.

Posted by: slyness | June 10, 2009 7:25 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. The highschools are out too here. Exams time!
I'm heading east to bother some people in the Montreal area. My first stop has a yard that backs into the grounds of the provincial institute for the criminally insane (Pinel). They do have a great double fence, for free.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 10, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

slyness... check out the video, if you can!

Sorry, I have a really hard time with that phrase. It takes such a large amount of gall to even use that phrase when rationing is, in affect, what we have today.

Also, for those folks who have insurance coverage now, the vast majority hate their insurance company. Most docs hate the insurance system today.

Rationing. Yeah, right. (again, not targeted at the most wonderful slyness)...

I don't know if that talking point came out of Grover Norquist or Frank Luntz or both, but it is, in my book criminal to cause suffering to humans and deny care (as a nation) to those who's quality of life is hurt by it ... even if all you do is come up with a pathetic phrase like "care rationing."

Right now, like millions of Americans, I have to wait for certain health care services just like they do in Canada, but my wait is based on my age.

Posted by: russianthistle | June 10, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra!! *HUGS*

Darn holding pattern... Silly flightline folks couldn't get the lights lit. *SIGH*

Sneaks, might we dare to think Papi's getting his swing back? And Beckett's sure getting his pitch on...

*Happy-Hump-Day-despite-a-full-agenda Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 10, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

The problem with encore careers is that the assumption is that you have enough residual income from the first one to subsidize the second one. My dream encore career would be used bookstore owner, but I don't think they will be around by the time I get the chance (add them to the endangered species list).

After 25+ years as a fighter pilot, my dad used his GI Bill benefits to become multi-engine instructor certified and moonlighted island hopping in Hawaii for commercial hours so he could become an airline pilot. He did his encore career for ten years while drawing a military pension. Now that he is fully retired, one of his hobbies is glider tow pilot.

Notice a trend?

Posted by: yellojkt | June 10, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle!

Encore? Schmankore!
Everyone should run away and join the circus for a bit waaay before encoring.

Brag :-)

Posted by: Braguine | June 10, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Good morning, Cassandra!

Just time for a quick fly-by in the Thunderbolt this morning (yes, Mudge, I'm checking the brakes) and then off to do battle with spreadsheets, project plans, and file server reports.

But I noticed this on the front page: "Newt Gingrich trys to outflank Palin and Huckabee on evangelical right."

Is it me? [bc shaking his head as if to clear it.]


Posted by: -bc- | June 10, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom – I really enjoyed that nice imagery yesterday about my little wooden boxes. These are “art boxes” about the size of an open palm. What they lack in technical expertise they make up for in eccentric charm. (Yeah, that's it... eccentric charm...) At least, that’s my story.

Anyway, as these boxes are quite small, I am able to get away with simple joinery. But no nails, because, well, that would be wrong.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 10, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

*furiously trying to dry the brakes with a towel and hair dryer*

Posted by: -jack- | June 10, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

*faxin' jack some Sorbitol 'cuz I'm hepful like that* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 10, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

bc, I wonder if those Republicans are over there looking for all those missing Republican voters?

As Bush 2 once said on his funny video about WMD... "No, not under there!"

Posted by: russianthistle | June 10, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Texas news:
San Antonio's former AT&T jefe Whitacre to head GM once it emerges from bankruptcy. "Reach out and touch someone" will morph to "Reach out and drive something *please*."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry broke his collarbone while mountain biking near his home in the hills west of Austin.

Posted by: laloomis | June 10, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Of course, that's Perry's temporary, rented home, since the burned-up Governor's Mansion in downtwon Austin is still under reconstruction.

Posted by: laloomis | June 10, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

For a minute I got Palau mixed up with Nauru.

The horror. Bought a $115 lawnmower. The old one in shop. I don't even like lawns. I swear I should have bought a goat. Well, here we go. At least hostas have adventitious roots. In about 20 years I won't be mowing near there.

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 10, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Keith Olbermann was quite devastating last night on Gingrich's complete ignorance (or hypocrisy) in attacking Obama's "citizen of the world" remark. Here's the clip. (Hint: Guess who else claimed to be a citizen of the world?)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 10, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Discussion of Paulau actually makes me a bit nervous. During WWII my father and his ship were in Palau and he often talked about Paula because the shape of the islands was so weird (no beaches, per se, but rather strange rock formations eaten away at the base). He said those islands were the strangest he'd seen anywhere in the South Pacific (and he was all over the SP). He had a number of photos he and his shipmates had taken of some native Palauans in one of their villages -- the basic "National Geographic" kinda photos, if you know what I mean. And I always wondered if, yanno, there wasn't some Palauan child running around somewhere who looked a little like ...well... me. Yes, a Palauan Curmudgeon.

Who knows? I just might have a half-brother who has just become fabulously wealthy.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 10, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Nauru is one of my favorite obscure nations. Gotta love that guano-based economy.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 10, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Palau! I've been there. If they get paid to the take the Uighurs, it will be a big boost to a tiny economy.

Posted by: Yoki | June 10, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Yoki... 11.5 mil per?!

We take 'um.

Posted by: russianthistle | June 10, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse


for 5, Uighurs, we get almost 60 Million, American. For Five Million, we get and setup a compound (vacation site) somewhere. That leaves 55 Million to invest and we can pretty much count on 6% on that.

(not with your basic investment services)

Average return, rain or shine will be 10%.

Operate the compound (vacation site)... on about 3 Million per year. Use 1.5 Million on Boodle expenses (back and forth). AND, then we pocket about 500K to 2 Million per year profit.

Let's not mess up the standard lifestyle of those Palauans when we can mess up our own.

Posted by: russianthistle | June 10, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Weed is quite right. We owe it to the Palauans not to mess up their simple native lifestyles with all the trappings and overblown and out-of-control materialism of the U.S. Much, much better to prevert the Boodle with that money. I'm thinking the bunker could be expanded with some more underground catacombs for Uighar housing, including an all-weather swimming pool, basketball court, soccer pitch, curling...[what the hell do they call the place where curlers curl? A rink? A pitch? An iron? A curley queue?]...thing, a snack bar, a hydroponic gardening facility, covered parking, 40-inch HDTV, big walk-in refrig/freezer, climate-controlled wine cellar, etc.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 10, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Oh, omni, you still out there, man? This is for you. The Airborne Toxic Event (aka T.A.T.E) back up by a string quartet, performing "Sometime Around Nightnight" on the Jimmy Kimmel Show.

I know how you are about string sections (Vanessa Mae, etc.).

Great song, great lyrics, BTW.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 10, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

LOL, Weed. I'm with you. Just think of the riotous BPHs and all the friends we could fly in!

Posted by: Yoki | June 10, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, we will need a place to chill our vodka and keep our lettuce crisp ... don't forget the fresh fruit... what better than a nice ice rink near the ocean, somewhere.

I remember that beverage maintenance and science go hand in hand. We used our raised floor at the computer "facility" to chill the beer for staff needs at an institution of higher learning for which I labored.

Labor... found time to make something that remains in the short list of The Flying Karamozov Brothers "can't juggle" lore.

Posted by: russianthistle | June 10, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

A vodka chiller? Consider it done. Scotty, hand me a requisition form, willya?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 10, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Here's a potential BPH venue -- just vicarious for me but you DC area boodlers could have fun: Andy Borowitz and his wife, at Politics and Prose, July 9 at 7:00 p.m. I would personally guarantee that you would laugh and have a good time. Andy is even funnier in person than in print.

I got disconnected from the Borowitz Report emails for a while, somehow. This one made me smile this morning:

"Obama ‘Cautiously Optimistic' About Date Night"

(Actually that's just the link to the main page, so it will show whatever is the most recent story.)

Posted by: kbertocci | June 10, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: Raysmom | June 10, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

That is one cold data center if you can use the underfloor to chill beer. The air temperatures down there are often only 50-60 degrees.

Far more common was using the underground ice storage tanks for beer cooling. It's an HVAC plant tour trope to pull the lid off the tank and fish up a six pack that is chilled to 32.2F.

Vodka you can keep in your freezer since 80 proof Gray Goose has a freezing temp of -15F. Not recommended for Mikes Hard Lemonade. Trust me on this.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 10, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Problem is... non-profits don't have extra funds on hand to make new hires of any sort - insured or not. We're giving pink slips to our own staff - and they've decided these jobs ARE their moneymakers.
-Nonprofit professional

Posted by: WorldCup | June 10, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Just what I needed for a little laugh. :-)

I will make it with a little help from my friends.

Posted by: Windy3 | June 11, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse

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