Two Years of Retirement

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7/4/11 - I can't believe that as of June 30th I've been retired for 2 years already! Time has flown by! Not a single regret that I went as soon as I could...

During the past month we went to our share of picnics and outdoor gatherings with friends & neighbors. Everyone was squeezing them in before the summer heat set in. Which it has! We've been having unusually high temperatures for this time of year. Usually it doesn't stay over 110 degrees until later in July, but that heat arrived early. As you probably heard through the news, the dry conditions have led to several huge wildfires across the state. Thankfully they seem to be under control now, but we are waiting for the monsoon rains to soak the vegetation soon. In the meantime we'll stay inside during the heat of the day for the next few months.

As one of the ways to stay indoors, we went to the Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale recently. It is an extraordinary place that present musical instruments based on the regions of the world. They have it set up so you wear headphones & as you approach each exhibit your headphones pick up the WiFi transmission of music playing on video screens depicting recordings of instruments. There's even a section called the Experience Gallery which gives you a hands-on opportunity with many instruments. What a neat place - we spent hours there & only skimmed through the entire museum.

In June I wrapped up a large project I was leading for the Greater Phoenix Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. It is a small business equality index, measuring how equitably local businesses treat their gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender employees. We modeled it after the HRC Corporate Equality Index, which measures only Fortune 500 companies. Our results were disappointing, but it was a place to start & I am encouraged by the reaction of some of the business community. We just released the report & have already received calls from employers eager to know how to improve their policies so they can achieve a higher rating next year.

I'm having a great time in my Spanish class, really improving my grammar & vocabulary, and using it a lot in my volunteer work.

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