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Retirement

There was a short list.

Cook his own rice. Study French in Paris. Every year learn how to cook one new dish that is good enough to serve to other people (he loves his own cooking, but it stops there). Study Spanish in a Spanish speaking country. Read books instead of magazines. Hike the Appalachian Trail barefoot, start to finish. Keep an apartment in a Spanish speaking country. Travel to one new country every year. Have a great time with his children and grandchildren.

Done. Except he put his shoes on after the first 235 miles of the AT.

Row/kayak the Mississippi River top to bottom. Ride his mountain bike around the Mediterranean Sea. Buy an apartment in Paris. Circumnavigate Australia on a Harley.

Not yet done.

And there was new stuff that came up along the way. Work for an NGO in Guatemala that drags tourists up the volcanoes and back down again, takes their money and uses it to give a private school education to 150 Guatemalan children. Similar thing in Bolivia. Buy a dirt bike and ride it around and break three ribs. Re-take the entire calculus/differential equations sequence. Build a website that allows anyone who wants to get elected to public office to do so for less than $5,000. Study Chinese in Beijing. Visit every remaining Communist country (Cuba, Laos, Vietnam, China, North Korea). Get Gary Johnson into the presidential debates. Study Global Economics with an IMF honcho.

All done, except that debating one. In 2012 Rick was energized to help former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson get into the presidential debates. Turns out that's the raison d'etre of the Commission on Presidential Debates – prevent Gary Johnson from getting into the presidential debates. They won Rick lost.

But – he took a big chunk out of their castle wall. Three of the ten 'national sponsors' pulled out before the first debate. First time in the history of the debates. Rick used his accounting skills to read 200 pages of CPD tax forms and discover what he sensed was true – those 'national sponsors' don't sponsor anything. Not one thin dime. One of them even claimed to be a 'national sponsor' simply because he did the income taxes for the CPD. Wrong – Rick read those tax returns, remember? Ralph Nader wrote a book about the CPD, but he still doesn't know what Rick knows about them. Neither does Gary Johnson, which is too bad.

And there is a certain woman in Washington DC, with a fancy title but a dispiriting career, who shall remain unnamed, going to bed every night hoping she will never see nor hear from Rick again. Sweet dreams – but you will. Right now he's busy doing something else, but he hasn't forgotten how fundamentally un-American your organization is. Don't let your guard down … because he's there, in the dark, chuckling to himself.

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