Mini-Retirement vs. Semi-Retirement

A few folks have emailed me and congratulated me on my semi-retirement. I'm very grateful for the remarks and support, but I do feel the need to make a clarification. Technically I view myself in a mini-retirement right now. What's the difference? Both of them are constrained in a dimension: mini-retirement is constrained in duration (meaning that it will end at some point), while a semi-retirement is constrained in money or hours worked per week or weeks per year. So during my mini-retirement, I'm not working at all. But it must stop at some point. Now, if I could only find a job or role that would then allow me to be semi-retired, then I would be set.

Remember that post I made on debt-free living? I understand that the math of paying off a mortgage may not always make sense, but the psychology of it sure feels pretty good right now.

What might be next for me? Figuring that out is one of the goals I have for the next 2-3 months. I'm talking to a lot of different people and the spectrum of choices is huge right now. Here's a short list of some of the ideas popping around:

  • Find another CTO-like job at a local software company
  • Be a consultant to start-ups or potential investors in start-ups
  • Start my own software or software-as-a-service company
  • Become a high school computer science teacher
  • Become a professional photographer. I realize you don't just suddenly "become" one of these, but I'm working along a path to at least have this as a part-time vocation.
  • Be a trainer on software development process, presentation skills, etc.
  • Be a freelance Ruby on Rails developer
  • Be a college instructor or professor

Clearly I have some work to do. Comments or emails to scare me away from any of these options are encouraged.

Big Foot

So Gabby, our new kitten, is supposed to have larger than normal (for a cat) paws. This morning Julie noticed that one paw was larger than the other, took her to the vet, and discovered that she had likely been stung by a bee or wasp.

Gabby Big Foot.jpg

No, that isn't a perspective trick. Notice the enlarged right paw. She's on some meds now and is recovering nicely.

Fun at Keuka Lake

I'm sitting here at a coffee shop in downtown Hammondsport, NY uploading some photographs for an online photography course I'm taking over at We're having a blast as usual on Keuka Lake. Waterskiing, tubing, just hanging out. Jacob caught a lunker 21 inch lake trout early Monday morning that we ate for lunch. We may go out again Friday morning to get enough for a fish fry Friday night.

Boys Tubing

This really is a special place for us and we regret not making it last summer. We are trying to work out a plan for next summer that would allow us to spend 6 weeks here next summer - this would involve a significant change in baseball plans. The goal is to teach the boys some stewardship for the cottages and get deep into the area, including attending the local Boy Scout summer camp nearby on a neighboring lake.

18FL with Jacob

I recently borrowed 18FL from Eric Landes to try another easier 2-player 18xx game with Jacob. We played a couple of weekends ago, again with good results, but it is clearly time to move onto some multiplayer 18xx. Playing with two players (especially as nice as we play) does drag a bit towards the end-game - we felt as if we were on autopilot and stopped a turn short with the bank nearly out of money but not quite.

18FL with Jacob

Jacob played the southern tier primarily, building the line to Cuba knowing it would get wiped out, then building it again in the final phase. When I say we played nice, I mean real nice - nobody tokened out Ft. Lauderdale or Miami, allowing the northern lines to run freely to Cuba.

18FL Board

Final scores: Chris $9,747, Jacob $7,995. Time to reach out to Eric to schedule a 3 or 4 player game, perhaps we try out 1850 again and play along the Mississippi.