I'm taking one room at a time to try to get my house organized. It won't stay that way but at least there will be a brief moment in time when all was squared away. I cleaned out my closets and took five big black bags of clothes, shoes and purses to Good Will, things I know I'll never wear again since I'm retired.

I got my hair cut in a retirement freedom style. I told my beautician (she'd correct me, "it's Stylist, Vic, no one is a beautician anymore!) - "no more perms, color or curling irons". I like the no color. Lo and behold, my hair is silver underneath that blondish rinse but now that it's done, I hate the cut. I've always had longer hair. This makes me feel like my head is a marble perched on top of a bowling ball.

I gave some unknown youngster a guitar for Christmas. My family decided not to exchange gifts this year. The kids spent a lot coming home for Thanksgiving and seeing them was present enough for me. And you're limited to buying them what they can carry back on a plane - which leaves gift cards. Gift cards are convenient but not very personal. A friend of mine owns a music store and works with the schools. He will sell a guitar at cost, and throw in six months of free lessons, if someone will buy it for a talented child whose family doesn't have the money to buy them one of their own. Its more heartwarming to know I fulfilled some young person's Christmas wish for music than that I bought John and Lisa yet another gift card.

I reunited with an old friend with whom I had a misunderstanding. We'd been friends for 25 years until she misinterpreted something I said. We hadn't spoken for eight years. I got a Friendship Request from her last week and she wrote on my Wall - "please forgive me for all the wasted years." She came over last night and it was as if she was only here yesterday.

I've read all my favorite authors' latest books, watched the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean, got clear to the end of Zuma, fried a whole chicken (can't remember the last time I cut a chicken up - some of my pieces were unrecognizable as breast, wing or thigh - this is because my knives are barely sharp enough to cut soft butter, much less a chicken.) But, whole chickens really do have a completely different flavor than buying them as pieces and parts. And, damn, I left the skin ON!

Okay, so far the off-season has been rather satisfying but, all in all, I'm ready to get back to racing!

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