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Strange Retirement Pastimes

A Whimsical Mailbox

Beam That Junk Mail Down Scottie

Being semi-retired (or, as I like to think of it, part-time retired) has its advantages. It is, however, a strange time for me and, I imagine, for most people who find themselves suddenly idle or at least not having to be somewhere every weekday. After so many years of working, not having to do anything in particular is a bit on the weird side.

To tell the truth, I have been looking for something useful to do almost since the day I left Rocketdyne, but I have taken some time to – shall we say – smell the roses. One of the things I did was to find myself driving around local neighborhoods looking for, and taking pictures of, interesting curbside mailboxes. This happened because we had a nice brick mailbox built for our house and I suddenly developed an interest in them. I never much bothered looking before.

Camera Mailbox

Smile! You're on Candid Mailbox

So I started driving around looking for exemplars of particular types, e.g. brick, wood, stone, and especially whimsical ones. I discovered it was a gold mine and before I knew it I had close to two hundred pictures of various types of mailboxes, all suburban, curbside ones. What to do with them? I considered several things. Creating a coffee table book; writing an illustrated ebook; etc., as well as using the collection to develop a useful taxonomy, thereby getting some practice at the type of organization necessary to do it right.

Then someone suggested I create a blog and share the pictures. Well, since I already had a blog (this one!) on WordPress, I thought that was a great idea and I created “Going Postal”. So, here I’m sharing a couple of pictures of my favorites, along with the link to my other blog. I’ve still got lots of pictures, I’ve been sent a half dozen by friends and even a person I don’t know, and I expect I’ll get out there again and take a few more. I’ve seen some more interesting mailboxes lately.

I am also using the blog to sort of memorialize this suburban icon, as I am fairly convinced mail as we know it will soon disappear. It just makes too much sense. If most people are like me they throw away much of what they get and we all know it’s just a huge waste of paper. Anyway, I discuss my prognostication a bit on Going Postal. You can read it there if you like.

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About Rick Ladd

Born in 1947, I am an officially retired pensioner who still has two teenage daughters and a desire to contribute. I remain intensely interested in, and fascinated by, Systems Thinking, Machine Learning, Knowledge Management, Decision Intelligence, and Business in general. I am also conversant in such concepts as innovation and ideation, collaborative tools and strategies, crowdsourcing, and the use of social media to accomplish goals ranging from improving business processes to promoting small retail businesses. Since my "retirement" I have done a little bit of freelancing as an editor/proofreader, as well as some technical writing. I've also done a fair amount of Facebook marketing as well. There's lots more where that came from. Need some help? Perhaps another set of eyes? Contact me. The first one's free! ;0) View all posts by Rick Ladd

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