Friday, July 24, 2009

Another !*&%?! Milestone

(Yours truly at age five in 1950, with my brother Alfred)

Tomorrow, I will have attained the ripe old age of sixty-four. My staff treated me to a birthday cake at lunchtime and presented me with a nice birthday card. One of them thoughtfully included this in the card:

"Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four?"

Yes, Ted, I will still need you, even when you too are an antique like me, aged sixty-four. And like you, I remember that song, recorded by the Beatles way back in the 1960s.

Do I plan on retiring next year at this time when I turn sixty-five? No. I really don't ever plan on retiring. I handed day-to-day operations of my main companies over to a management team in 1988, when I was only forty-three years old. I had originally intended to take it easier, travel, smell the roses, and all that. I don't think those notions lasted more than a few weeks. I like to be active. I like to have a place to go every day. I like what I do and I like my employees. They are a great bunch and I am lucky to have them. I now spend most of my time working on things that are fun and interesting, like the Roca Milagro project in Panama.

We live in interesting times. I believe that we are due for a time of social upheaval and financial collapse, beyond anything we have seen so far. Do I want it to happen? No. With a family history as filled with mayhem as my parents endured in their lifetimes, I don't want my immediate family or anyone I know to suffer similarly. Is there anything we can do to stop what I believe is coming. I wish there was, but I don't think so.

I am grateful that I live in Canada. My family was welcomed into Canada when we arrived from Germany on board the S. S. Scythia in 1949. I was not yet four years old. We assimilated, worked hard, prospered, and became Canadians. Canada is a great country.

I am glad that Canada has not yet followed completely the footsteps of our southern neighbours and that our goverments have not indulged in an orgy of spending and unrealistic promises that will be impossible to keep. Of course, it may still happen. We still have relative economic stability and I hope things stay that way.

I have always been an optimist at heart and believe in the strength of individual human resolve. As long as we do not completely delegate our responsibilities to various levels of government, we will survive and eventually things will get better. If we follow the path set by the American congress and president, we too will be screwed.

Dear Canada: Thank you for putting up with me for the sixty years that I have lived here. I am often quick to point out things that aren't quite what they should be, but I am also quick to acknowledge what is good and positive.

Here's looking ahead to many more years in this great country!


  1. Your posts just keep getting better...That title ROCKS!
    Who knows, Sieg: You may still have quite a few decades left in you. We have a fellow at "Firecreek" (my employer) who is about to turn the corner on 90, helps us lift furniture and manages the night maintenance crew.
    You never know what very good things can happen!

  2. best wishes fror the happiest of days

  3. Thank you both! I plan on being around a long time and it is nice to know that there are folks like you around; islands of sanity in a mostly-insane world, individuals with whom I would always happily share a birthday drink.

  4. Happy Birthday, Sieg!

    We should all carry 64 years as beautifully as you do :- )

  5. Thanks, Jean. You surely know how to massage a decrepit old man's ego; any compliment from an attractive woman just sets my heart aflutter.

  6. My son was born July 25, 1978 in Germany. Hope you had a wonderful day!!!

  7. 'decrepit old man'.. puhleeeze!

  8. Another Leo out there, luckyzmom? Happy belated birthday to him.

    Jean: stop it! My staff are already wondering why I'm grinning ear-to-ear.

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