Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me?

Posted in Retirement, University of Alberta Libraries on June 28th 2017 by Randy Reichardt

.: It was 01h05 on 28 June 1953 that I made my first appearance on Planet Earth. Today I turn 64, a number at this point in time in my life I find difficult to process. I don’t know what it means to be 64. It just is, I suppose.

But this particular birthday falls two days before I retire, and falls on the same day as my retirement party – a double whammy, as it were. Later today over 130 friends, family, and colleagues will help me celebrate my (almost) 34 years of service to the University of Alberta Libraries (UAL). Predictably, I am anxious and nervous about the event, at which a number of friends and colleagues will speak, ending with a few words from me.

I haven’t prepared a speech, one from which I would read on paper. Instead, I’ve made a few notes to remind myself what to actually say at that moment. It will end with a few quick selfies of me and the very eclectic crowd of supporters who will be there. Then on Friday, the Faculty of Engineering is hosting a coffee party for me as well. I am very grateful to my colleagues in the Science & Technology Library and the Faculty of Engineering.

I think the hardest part this week will be on Friday afternoon when I turn in my keys, take the nameplate off my door, and say a final goodbye to my colleagues. I won’t be disappearing, however, as I plan to return when the new librarian replacing me starts her position. I want to introduce her to as many Engineering faculty members as possible, show her where my instructional materials are housed online, discuss the little quirks of the job, identify important contacts in the industry, and so on.

I don’t know how I’m going to feel after I leave. Those who have left before me describe the first few weeks as feeling like you are on holidays. Eventually it will sink in, that I am never going back to my old job again. Suddenly all this free time will be upon me. But I leave my life as an engineering librarian grateful for a number of things: a great boss and colleagues in the Science & Technology Library and the UAL as a whole, a love of what I do – helping and instructing students and faculty on how to find resources needed for their research, and how welcoming and accepting the Faculty of Engineering professors and students and staff have been to me over the past few decades. I am a lucky man.

Time To Go

Posted in Miscellaneous on April 20th 2017 by Randy Reichardt

.: In late Fall 2016, after much thought and consideration, I decided to retire from the University of Alberta Libraries on 30 June 2017, two days after my 64th birthday. I did not have a moment of clarity or a revelatory instant. It just seemed to evolve naturally. June 30th is the end of the University of Alberta’s calendar year, which makes it easy to ensure that my holidays are used up by that time. It’s two days after my birthday, and it’s a Friday before a long weekend in Canada – a perfect setup for ending my career and walking out the door (but not necessarily for the last time.) When I leave, I will have worked at the U of A for 33 years and 9.5 months, approximately. A decent run, if you ask me.

My position was advertised recently, with a closing date of 28 April 2017. That a position is being advertised while the departing staff member is still working here is unprecedented in our system. To date I know of at least one person who will be applying for the job.

I gave my notice at the beginning of January 2017, and yesterday, the shit got real: I received my Universities Academic Pension Plan documents, which need to be completed for me to start receiving a pension in July 2017. There’s no turning back now. 🙂

I have no major plans for my post-retirement life just yet. I am confident that activities and new passions will evolve in due time. I have consulted with friends and colleagues, and have received much good advice and guidance.

I will leave my job, my career, at the highest level: I love my job, my supervisor and colleagues, and my many contacts in the Faculty of Engineering, including countless professors and students, both undergrad and grad. I have been blessed to have had this position for such a long time. I am a lucky man.

Before I go, I’ll be in NYC next week for my final meeting with the Knovel Engineering Academic Solutions Library Advisory Board, and two weeks before I leave I will be in Phoenix for my final SLA conference. I am looking forward to sleeping in, reading, catching up on movies and television, mucking about in my flower beds, and decompressing.

Favorite Movies of the Aughts

Posted in Film on December 30th 2016 by Randy Reichardt

.: This is a copy-and-paste of a post from Facebook in September 2013:

I (finally) reviewed the lists of 677 (or so) films I saw from 2000-2009, and after careful consideration, here are my ten favorites, in alphabetical order. These are the movies that moved me the most, had the greatest impact on me in any number of ways, and that brought me the most joy and satisfaction from going to the movies:

  • Children of Men
  • Downfall
  • Good Night and Good Luck
  • In The Loop
  • Minority Report
  • Rabbit-Proof Fence
  • Syriana
  • Team America: World Police
  • Traffic
  • United 93

Honorable Mentions go to:

  • A.I. Artificial Intelligence
  • The Aristocrats
  • Babel
  • The Departed
  • District 9
  • Good Bye Lenin!
  • Heist
  • In America
  • In Bruges
  • In The Bedroom
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
  • Little Children
  • The Lookout
  • Man on Wire
  • A Mighty Wind
  • Mulholland Drive
  • No Country For Old Men
  • Ponette
  • Primer
  • Ripley’s Game
  • Series 7: The Contenders
  • Tigerland
  • Whale Rider

63

Posted in Miscellaneous on June 28th 2016 by Randy Reichardt

.: So it’s time for what amounts to my annual blog post. I started blogging in 2002, way before social media took off, and since the emergence of Facebook, Twitter, etc., my interest in maintaining a separate blog has certainly waned.

That said, today is Birthday 63 for me. At this point it’s just a number, really, yet at the same time, it’s a number that’s difficult to process. When I was young, 40, never mind 63, seemed like an ancient age to me. Now I’m close to qualifying for numerous senior discounts, but in no way, shape, or form do I ever *wish* to acknowledge that I’m almost a senior citizen. Sheesh. At the same time, reaching 63 years is an accomplishment, isn’t it?

I remain ever grateful for many things: the country, province, and city in which I live, my family, my great friends, relatives, and colleagues, and going to bed each night safe, sheltered, and not hungry.  I take none of these things for granted and feel extremely fortunate to be in my position in this life.

I have health issues: Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure,  hypothyroidism, osteoarthritis in various locations, general anxiety disorder, occasional arrhythmia, etc. Sucks to get old, to have your body start to unravel. Fortunately I live in Canada, where universal health care reigns, and I receive the best health care available.

An example of such health care was experience by my family recently. While visiting Calgary, my Mother fell down a short flight of stairs and cracked her skull. She required neurosurgery twice to evacuate blood and relieve pressure on her brain, which had shift 1.5 cm to the left. She had had a subdural and then epidural hematomas. Three days ago, she was flown from Calgary to Winnipeg in a private jet, with three EMTs on board, in addition to the pilot. My father followed the next day on a commercial flight. Cost for all of this so far: $0.00. I can’t fathom what this would have cost if we lived in the USA and had no insurance.

I’ve worked at the University of Alberta’s Science & Technology Library since Sept 1983, and could retire at any time. I’m still not sure when I will do that. Perhaps in 2017, I don’t know just yet. I’m very grateful for my career as an academic engineering librarian.

When I was 18, I imagined myself married by the time I was 26 (same age my Dad was when he married), living in Winnipeg somewhere, with a couple kids, a house, white picket fence, etc. It never materialized, for various reasons. I often lament having never married or having children, but there is no turning back the clock. Now in my 60s, I find myself sifting through memories of the 60s and 70s all too often, as if that period was an age of innocence. Funny that those memories seem more nostalgic to me than Edmonton memories, given that I lived in Winnipeg for 25 years and in Edmonton for almost 37 years.

Regrets? I’ve had a few.

I am extremely fortunate to have had amazing parents who are still rockin’ in the free world. Mom is 83.5 and Dad will be 90 in September.

Forgive my meanderings and musings. It’s a good day to be alive.

62.

Posted in Buffalo Tom on June 27th 2015 by Randy Reichardt

.: Another year, another birthday. I cannot process, let alone fathom, that I am 62 today. The number is virtually meaningless. That said, I can feel my body aching just a bit more than it usually does as time slowly takes its toll.

I am celebrating my birthday in Cambridge MA. Just returned from a second brilliant Buffalo Tom concert in two nights at The Sinclair, followed by Chinese cuisine with Dave Roe and Mike Haverty afterward. Thanks to both of you for the company, drinks, and very late dinner, guys.

They say as you get older, time seems to move faster. It’s the truth, my friends. I am grateful to have made it this far in life, grateful that my parents are still with us, as well as my brothers and their families. I blessed to be working at the University of Alberta Libraries, now for over 31.5 years, in the great city of Edmonton AB, in the amazing country of Canada.

Thank you to my family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances for being an important part of my life to date.

Happy Birthday. To me.

You Can’t Take It With You

Posted in Miscellaneous on October 29th 2014 by Randy Reichardt

.: I am in the midst of my 27th trip to NYC. Ostensibly, the reason I came this time was to attend a Knovel Library Advisory Board meeting, which happened on Monday and Tuesday this week. Now it’s Wednesday morning, and I’m preparing to check out of the hotel and move to the Upper East Side (East 91st Street) for the next four days.

Last night I saw this play, and really enjoyed it. I especially loved Annaleigh Ashford‘s performance. Annaleigh plays Betty on Masters of Sex. She plays Rose Byrne’s sister, and her character dreams of being a dancer, so most of her moves on stage are that of a ballerina. Clearly she had taken ballet lessons, because she moved easily and fluidly back and forth, to extremes that had the audience roaring with laughter.

I’ve also seen two movies: Gone Girl and Birdman (Or: The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance.) One of the fascinating aspects of Birdman is that the movie is made to appear as one continuous shot.

Tonight it’s dinner at Strip House with my friend, Barbara.

Upcoming on Friday, I’ll be spending most of the day with my friend, Nisa. We will go to Roosevelt Island, have dinner, watch the Village Halloween Parade, and then we’re going on the Haunted Halloween Walk, which is probably one of these. Saturday night it’s the Justin Hayward concert, then home on Sunday morning.

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