the view through the windshield car blog

Joseph M. Sherlock
Retirement Announcement
September 30, 2011

car blog"Oh, The Days Dwindle Down ..." Fall has arrived. On the first day, it rained and the skies remained sunless and Winter gray. Yesterday was sunny but there has been a change in the light - it now has that Fall Look - waning and shadowy. The sky is a paler, anemic blue.

Yesterday, I fired up my '39 Plymouth coupe, drove to town and gassed it up, performing the annual ritual of the Adding of the Sta-Bil To The Gas Tank. Then I took a nice 11-mile drive on lightly-traveled rural roads.

I may get another ride or two in before the bad weather returns; it all depends how I'm feeling.

Regular readers of this blog know that I have been experiencing health problems for the past 18 months or so. A long-standing autoimmune disease (ulcerative colitis - I've had it for over 27 years) flared up and I could no longer keep it under control with the medications which have worked their magic for decades. (Update: My long-standing, increasingly-troublesome ulcerative colitis eventually begat colon cancer in 2014 - a different sort of medical battle.)

Recently, I changed medications. The new meds have helped in many ways (lab measurements show substantial improvements) but one of the new prescriptions is very strong and the side effects are numerous: difficulty breathing, chills, loss of appetite, nausea, bruising, headache, joint pain, abdominal pain, alcohol intolerance (no wine tastings for me these days), excessive sweating and unusual tiredness and weakness.

The side effects come and go without warning. Some have diminished in frequency/intensity over time; others stubbornly persist. My gastroenterologist told me that I will be on this medication for quite a while, so "get used to it." He didn't say it to be cruel; he was just being realistic. The good things outweigh the bad.

These problems are serious enough that I have decided not to put up my train layout at Christmas time this year. I don't have the stamina to do the many little tasks required to make it operational.

There is also a side-effect that the literature refers to as 'brain fog'. It results in a shorter attention span, difficulty in performing critical/creative thinking and a diminished desire to engage/communicate. I sometimes find myself sitting down staring off into space for extended periods ... in a fog, if you will.

As a consequence of my chronic illness and the pharmacological side-effects, I have fully retired from Sherlock Strategies, my business consulting practice. I informed my clients two weeks ago. I mean, you can't call up clients and say, "Hey, let's meet right now because I'm feeling OK today and my brain seems to be working at the moment."

As of this writing (September, 2011), I am 68 years-old and have been working in one form or another since I had my own lawn-cutting customer route when I was 12.

Operating a Ferguson tractor with front-end loader at the Brigantine Country Club in Brigantine, NJ - Summer, 1961

During high school and college, I always had summer jobs (working at a golf course, delivering appliances, installing headlamp assemblies and trim on a car assembly line) and often worked weekend gigs (working at a gas station, a car wash, tutoring, etc.) during the school year.

In 1968, my technicians and I are working in front of a NATCO 400E injection molding machine at Rohm & Haas' Plastics Engineering Laboratory in Bristol, PA.

During my post-college career, I worked for Uniroyal, Rohm & Haas, then at my own companies: Discovery Plastics, Videos In Production and, finally, Sherlock Strategies.

So, I feel no guilt about joining the retired class. Over the years, my wife and I have worked hard and saved hard and are now able to easily live off our accumulated retirement savings.

I offer sincere thanks to everyone who helped, taught and befriended me during my time in the business world. (posted 9/30/11)

Other Pages Of Interest

| blog: 'The View Through The Windshield' |
| greatest hits: index of essays & articles | blog archives | '39 Plymouth |
| model train layout | about me | about the blog
| e-mail |

copyright 2011-21 - Joseph M. Sherlock - All applicable rights reserved


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Don't be shy - try a bribe. It might help.