Deck Log Entry # 248 Overture

12138086458?profile=RESIZE_400xSome of you may have noticed that I’ve resumed making entries in my Deck Log column and are wondering what that speaks to developments in my personal life.  As you’ll recall, I’d suspended my regular Deck Log entries (other than my annual Silver-Age challenge and my holiday columns) because of work constraints.  I was putting in twelve-hour days at a job that was too lucrative to pass up.

Note the tense of that last sentence:  was.

As of the first day of 2024, I am officially retired, for the third and last time.  It wasn’t that the work was too difficult.  In fact, except for the time involved, it was a breeze.  And it wasn’t an easy decision to walk away from it.  I was inculcated by my Depression-era father, who wouldn’t have understood why I would forgo a well-paying position simply because I wanted to.  It sort of rubs me the wrong way, too.  All I can say is:  it was time.

To those of you who haven’t reached the same point in life, it’s difficult to describe.  It’s visceral.  You just know when it’s time to pull chocks, when it’s time to start enjoying the fruits of nearly a half-century of labours.  The Good Mrs. Benson was on board with my decision, and I am confident I made the right move. 

In the four months since I became a man of leisure, everything seems to bear that out.  The biggest fear for anyone who retires is income, but we’ve found no worries on that score.  More importantly, my health has improved considerably.  Part of it came from having the time undertake regular exercise, which has paid off considerably.  My weight has dropped to the point where I weigh fifteen pounds less than when I left the Navy.

More critically, I took a step I’ve been putting off for years.  You’ve heard me mention my arthritic knees.  Well, the first thing I scheduled, in the first week of this year, was a total knee replacement for the worse of my two legs.  Thanks to a good surgeon and throwing myself into physical rehab like a demon, I am now pain-free for the first time in a dozen years.  (Well, almost — the right knee is starting to make a few noises, but nothing intolerable.)  I’ve regained full range of motion and almost complete use of the surgical knee.  For a man with seven decades under his belt, I feel like I was forty, again.  (Still, I wouldn’t think of going twelve rounds with Joe Louis.)

And, of course, I now have plenty of time to do the thing I like doing most:  writing.  On the DC Comics Message Board, I regularly contribute to the DC Comics Time Capsule threads, which review DC’s publications fifty years ago from the given month.  I am now four reviews ahead of schedule, just waiting for the pertinent months to catch up.

And then, first and foremost, is my Deck Log.  I’ve already posted two, and I’ve been sitting here, working on the next one---which is what led to this overture.

You see, I was a third of the way through my current entry, when I remembered that one of my old, old entries had some information that would be useful.  So I dug through my archives until I found it, in a column I had posted back in 2008.  In re-reading it, I felt like a spinster going through her old diary; it was familiar, yet at the same time, fresh and informative.  Too informative, because I discovered that the old article came pretty close to the one I was preparing, now.  Near enough that I felt my current piece was virtually covering the same ground.

So, here’s what I’m going to do.  I’m scrapping the work I have in progress, and I’ve started to research the next on my list of column ideas.  In the meantime, because the 2008 entry is so old that you folks either haven’t read it or, if you have, don’t remember it, I’m going to run all three parts as “From the Archives” entries.  After I polish them a bit and add the art.

I know it’s a bit of a cheat, and I apologise for that, but it will keep my Deck Log alive until I finish my new article.  I think you’ll find the “re-runs” interesting enough — I certainly did, in re-reading them.

It feels good to be back at my keyboard, and I hope that you’ll continue to find my stuff worthy of your time and interest.

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  • Good to hear you are well, Commander. The wife and I are heading out of town for a few days but when we get back I plan on checking out the DC Time Capsule. It sounds like my kind of place.

    Just remember - when you are retired, everyday is Saturday!


    Thank you for the kind words, doc.  It's true, every day is Saturday now, but it took me a few months to get used to the idea.  It was hard to shake the feeling of "O.K., I've been off for a couple of days . . . I'll be going back to work to-morrow."

    As for . . . 

     . . .  I plan on checking out the DC Time Capsule. It sounds like my kind of place.

    It's a good site, started about fourteen years ago by a fellow calling himself Osgood Peabody.  I'd had message-board conversations with him on an old Silver-Age Superman site, and in 2011, he invited me to contribute reviews to his monthly Time Capsules.  I started by reviewing Justice League of America # 7, "The Cosmic Fun House", with no idea how long I'd be doing them.  It turned out to be such a popular place for fellows of our vintage that I ended up reviewing JLA # 7 through # 77, then the issues of the relevant "New" Teen Titans, and then the "Sand-Superman" arc in which Julius Schwartz and Denny O'Neil tried to give us a powered-down Man of Steel.  I'm currently working on the twelve labours of Wonder Woman to rejoin the Justice League.  So, you can see, the board has thrived for quite a while.



  • I love the news about your knees, Commander. Maybe I'll see you at HeroesCon this year?

  • I, too, am glad to hear the news about both retirement (mainly that money isn't a problem) and the knees. I'm going through some rotator-cuff stuff at the moment myself, and hoping surgery won't be required. Aging isn't for the weak.

    I wanted to add that I'm making older columns like the ones you mentioned more accessible. There was a time that we used to put all columns in the "blog" area of the site. I don't remember why that decision was made, but it wasn't a good one. Because you can't transfer stuff from the blog area to the discussion area (where we spend most of our time and energy) or vice versa. Since we later began posting columns in the discussion area, all columnists who were here during that period have bifurcated sections -- newer columns in the discussion area, older ones in the blog area.

    Why that is important is that the ones in the blog area are buried under the content of the area's current use, as a place for Mr. Vertigo's reviews. And I want them to be readily available. So I'm transferring those old columns to their own areas in the "groups" area. Eventually I'll have landing pages in the columns in the discussion area with a link to the group area. I plan on a link on the front page, too. 

    But this is an enormous undertaking, made longer by Ning's clumsy tools. For one thing, Ning doesn't "do" landing pages, and with 3.0, you can't even pin a column to the top of a category to fake it. So I'm going to have to find a workaround. I have an idea, but it's labor intensive. To quote Mr. Spock, "I'm endeavouring, Ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins." It will take a while. But you've already put in the work to make the content, Commander, so I feel it's my duty to make it accessible. 

  • Great to hear from you Commander, and congratulations on your retirement. I am always interested in your commentaries and observations, and I'm glad you find you have enough time to carry on with them. Delighted to hear from you on your updates and looking forward to upcoming postings, my friend!


    Thanks to all of you for the well-wishes.  And Mr. Sullivan, I'm planning on making an appearance at the Heroes' Con this year.  Last year's went right by me.  I didn't even think of it until a week after it was held.


    I, too, am glad to hear the news about both retirement (mainly that money isn't a problem) and the knees. I'm going through some rotator-cuff stuff at the moment myself, and hoping surgery won't be required. Aging isn't for the weak.

    Ain't that the truth?  My aches and pains are minor compared to the Good Mrs. Benson's.  Nothing life-threatening or putting her at risk---just life-impairing.  Of all the blessings of my . . . actually, our retirement, as the GMB is done with the work-a-day world, as well . . . the greatest is having Tricare for Life.  Between that and Medicare, we pay nothing in health-care costs.  I hope your rotator-cuff issues don't prove too serious, Cap.  Surgery is never a pleasant thing under any circumstances.  Fingers crossed for you.

    And I deeply appreciate the work you're undertaking to make my old Deck Log entries more easily available.  They have been a labour of love for me for seventeen years now, and they're one of the things I'm proudest of accomplishing.  I'm no Ernest Hemingway or Andy Rooney, far from them.  But I'll take a look at one of my old columns and, every rare once in a while, I'll come across a passage that came across well, and I'll wonder how in the world I was ever able to find the ability to write something that clever.  So, that you're taking the trouble to make them more available to read is a compliment, sir.  I hope I deserve it.




  • Glad everything is good news. When anyone my age or older mentions life changes, I start to worry.

    Most of my friends with knee replacements speak highly of them. Glad yours worked out.

    I'm happy to see your old stuff as I know there's plenty I haven't read.

  • Late here, but I want to add my satisfaction at the mostly good news.

  • Congratulations on your retirement, and on your new knee!


    Gentlenen, thank you for your warm wishes.  I take them very kindly.

    Interestingly, my right knee, which is also tinged with arthritis, was silent during most of my recuperation.  I was starting to wonder if I would need to replace that one.  But over the last month or so, while I was really pushing my rehab and regular exercise, it started to make noise.  Over the course of the day, my surgical knee gives me no problems at all and the leg works fine, but the non-surgical right knee is starting to hurt after a hard effort.  Nothing terrible, but it's apparent that, in a year or so, I'll be doing it all over again.  I'm actually kind of looking forward to it.

    I'm not a modern-age man at all.  I think most conventions of life were better fifty or sixty years ago.  But one area in which I champion the modern age is medical advancements.  Not just my knees, but a few years ago, I had cataract surgery in both eyes.  After it was done, I was able to toss away my glasses for good.  I have the same vision now that I had when I was in my twenties.  And that's nothing compared to the treatment the Good Mrs. Benson received for her cancer.  The old slash-and-burn radiation treatments that were the only option a half-century ago were replaced by computer-controlled chambers by which the cancerous tissue can be targeted by the radiation, with minimal damage to the healthy surrounding tissue.  The GMB owes her life to the modern medicine, and if I have to put up with all the other nonsense that comes with living in the twenty-first century, that's all right by me.



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