Ricki T Thues Retired

Episode #797

May 11, 2024

My plan in high school is to retire at age 40. Looking forward to such an age seems reasonably distant to my teenage mind.



It is 1993 and I am 40 years old. The European Union is created this year. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is appointed to the Supreme Court, the first humans are cloned, Frank Zappa dies and I am at the height of my trade show exhibit career. I am not motivated to retire. Life is pretty good.

In 2001 GFB, the company I have worked at for nearly 20 years, folds. My finances are not quite in place to retire, so I reinvent myself as the Apple Consultant, iMentor.

At age 65 I discuss retiring with my financial advisor. The breakeven age for taking Social Security at my age is 85. Our portfolio score is high through age 95. We have just bought our dream house in Aguanga, a rural area of Riverside County. It is a no brainer for Paula and I. We retire.

My favorite time of day is sunset. We sit on our west facing second story deck. We sip our adult beverages watching the sky light up in magnificent paint strokes from deepest purple through bright yellow to fiery reds. Pastel and fluorescent watercolors are spread across the sky.

The wind is a constant which blows up from the valley across our ridge or in from the coast with a wet, bitter bite. Our house sits at 3600 feet MSL on the alluvial plain of a semi-dormant volcano. The ground growls 3-4 thousand times a year as a magma pool sloshes underneath. Summers are hot and dry. Fall brings colors and springlike weather. Winter sees occasional snow fall which hangs around for a day or so, just enough time to make a snowman or have a snowball fight. Spring is wet, fodder for our water well. The decomposed granite roads turn to mush in the rain, but our community maintenance crew is on the repairs the next day. We are in mountain chaparral, rich with Manzanita, Red Shank, yearlong wildflowers and magnificent boulders. Immense granite rocks were flung from the volcano’s south face eons ago. Our view to the north is of the inside of a long quiet Mount Cahuilla.

There is much to do around our four-acre property. I keep my farmer’s physique repairing the buildings, planting the yard, grading the 1000-foot drive, harvesting and cutting deadwood for the living room stove. Paula has her greenhouse where she raises succulents and plants them in interesting containers. I have my garage shop where I practice minimalism in whatever I build. We have plans for the place. They will happen in their own time.

As always, I continue to write. In college I wrote a book of poems called “Getting Linear.” It is a collection of teenage angst and future dreams. One poem, “I: expanded,” spoke to my entire life to come:

I:  expanded

I am orange sunshine in twilight
burned and laced with star fire
I rush toward the universe.

I am star patterns in skyways
streaked and in-rushing outward
I rush toward the universe.

I am the universe as well
all and void with all am nothing
as I rush through myself.

–R Thomas Thues


Since 2007 I have written the “iMentor Hints and Rants” blog at www.theimentor.com. It began as hints, tips and tricks about Apple products and the Internet. Now it is more about my take on the human condition. Its musings are my life’s weB LOG.

Joining Wanon (Writers anonymous), a writers’ circle, has led to finally publishing my creative prose. It was co-founded by an old high school friend from the Servite Movie club and my high school English teacher. We meet via Zoom to discuss our writing plans and to consult with each other on how to advance our goals. We have published an anthology of short stories called, “Matters of Life and Death, Stories on the Brink.” I have four stories in the anthology. All the tales are interesting and provocative. Wanon also encouraged me to publish my own books. Together we learned the ins and outs of self-publishing on Amazon.

In 2022 I realized that my blog had taken a philosophical turn. I compiled about 80 of my blog episodes into chapters dealing with various aspects of the human condition as seen through the eyes of a technical consultant. The result is “Technically Human,” available on Amazon. Even my regular blog readers have enjoyed this compilation.

Rick and Paula’s 35 years of skydiving have generated hundreds of stories about their “adventure of a lifetime.” I have grouped 30 short stories into categories such as Adventure, Awe, Danger, Achievement, Fear and Fun. More than that, “Skydivers Know Why Birds Sing, because they can fly,” is the story of three decades of a couple’s marriage, relationship and life. Writing this book was decades in the making, but finally possible because of my retirement.

There is so much more to be written in my life. Paula and I are camping in Texas for the total eclipse this spring. We will travel to Hawaii to skydive in our 50th state in September. Everything in-between is filled with activities and adventure.

I have a clear focus in these latter times. My mind considers. My arms open. I see you as you see yourself. As I ride off into the sunset, I love.

you take a moment
and see nothing happening
except everything


Anyone interested in a complete copy of my autobiography, email me for a free PDF.


“Skydivers Know Why Birds Sing” by Ricki T Thues is now available on Amazon.
It is a Love story of Rick and Paula Thues and their 35 years of Skydiving.

Click HERE to buy the paperback or Kindle ebook at Amazon.

Follow Ricki T Thues on Amazon HERE.

“Technically Human” by Ricki T Thues, the iMentor, is available on Amazon.
It is a compilation of selected episodes from this bLog which tell the story of Humanity through the eyes of the iMentor.

Click HERE to buy the paperback or Kindle ebook at Amazon.
The ebook version of “Technically Human” is also available on Kobo. Click HERE.
For you Barnes and Noble Nook readers it is available for Nook. Click HERE.
The “Technically Human” ebook is also available on Apple Books . Click HERE.




  1. Bill Welch May 10, 2024
  2. Claire F Ratfield May 11, 2024

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