“Giddyup!”

My lower spine can no longer be scientifically classified as a solid.

Last night after dinner, Mini-Me was in full on psychopath mode. When he wasn’t climbing on mommy like a jungle-gym, he was rolling around on the floor speaking in tongues….not toddler babble…full on tongues.

At one point, we got all the toys cleaned up, which is no mean feat:

What the floor usually looks like. Actual image. Not a creatively staged reenactment or facsimile in any way.

Once the floor was clean, I made the mistake of laying down on it. Mini-Me immediately saw an opportunity to cripple me, and climbed onto my back and sat. Just about the time I decided to do some push-ups with the 20 pound terror on my back, The Narrator decided he wasn’t going to miss out on an opportunity to play, so he climbed up behind his brother. Collectively, 80 pounds on me. I managed a few push-ups and was getting ready to roll them off and quit.

Oh no. Not happening. The big one started a small bounce and began to cry “Go! Go! Go!” The little one took up the chant with an excited “EEEEEEEEEEEE DADDDA!!!” and added his own little bounce. In an effort to cease the bouncing, I started to crawl.

Back and forth across the living room floor with the two squealing creatures attached to my back, holding on as I moved along at a snail’s pace to make sure I didn’t kill myself, or dump them onto the floor. “FAST AND CRAZY!” became the new war cry, and I was forced to pick up the pace, lest they start bouncing again. At one point, I made a turn too quickly and dropped them both. Mini-Me bonked his nose on the floor and cried for a few seconds, then immediately climbed back on and bounced, forcing movement again.

In typical little kid fashion, there was seemingly no end to the game of “Kill daddy.” I tried to stop it once, but Mini-Me had a full on tantrum, and I felt bad. So I laid back down and let the two killers climb back aboard and I crawled forward again. Then turned around again. Then crawled back. Again. And again. And again. They both continued to howl with laughter and the pain crept into my spine and joints, and what felt like rug burn began to plague my kneecaps.

Mommy, ever helpful- sat on the couch and laughed at me. She wasn’t about to put a stop to it and become jungle-gym material again, no sir. If I wasn’t suffering the wound up fury of the boys….she would be, and she’s no fool.

Eventually, we stopped. Mini-Me was COMPLETELY hyped up by this, and five minutes before I brought him in for bed, I attempted to change his diaper, and he began laughing maniacally and rolled away on me. Naked. Have you ever watched a nude toddler flee from a diaper change? It is cripplingly hilarious. It eventually took BOTH mommy and I to hold him down and change him for bed.

Mercifully the boys were soon asleep. Mommy turned her attention to two major Etsy projects she is working on for customers, and I collapsed on the couch, feeling a little like this:

Image Source: http://www.groominghorsesupplies.com via google images.

I’ll tell you what though, the mystery of my own father’s bad back is no longer a mystery.

 

Advertisements

“Literally.”

The power cut out last night around 8:30 thanks to a major storm that rolled through the area. I was extremely thankful that I wasn’t working a night shift because as soon as the night lights and white noise machines died, both boys woke up. The Narrator was afraid, and Mini-Me knew something was amiss so it took me two hours to put him back to sleep. The battery powered radio told us that the power company expected the wide-spread outage to be resolved by 1:30am.

Somewhere before then, the wife and I decided to go to bed rather than sleep on the couches in the living room, as is the usual procedure for sleeping arrangements during a power outage. Of the six houses on the dead road on which we live, we are the only full time residents. So when we switched off the flashlights in the bedroom, without the red glow of the alarm clocks or the pale illumination of the baby monitor, it got DARK. Like- “Are my eyes open or closed?” sort of dark. By this time, we were exhausted, so we went to sleep.

At one point I woke up, and could feel in my bones that it was well past 1:30, and there was still no juice. I snuck out of the bedroom and past the boys’ rooms to find my cell phone and check the time. 4am.

Interesting.

So I burgled in reverse and left the house as silently as possible to go stand in the middle of the road where we have 3G service, and check the power company’s web site. New prospective time for power to come back was 4:45am.

Well, now I’m awake, so I lit a “Fresh Brewed Coffee” scented candle from Kittredge Candles, and started to read a book.  (I have no affiliation with Kittredge, but my wife has purchased from them a few times, and I am a massive fan.) Immediately after I settled down, Mini-Me stirred, so I went in and spent the rest of the wee hours of the morning with him, waiting for sunrise, or the power to come back- whichever came first. As I like to plan, I began to come up with contingencies for the morning in case there was no electricity when we all got up. Luckily, the juice came back on right around 5:30, and everything was okay again.

The Narrator woke up as I was getting ready to go to work. I sipped my coffee quickly and listened to one of his imagination-driven stories. I don’t remember exactly what it was he said that prompted me to say “Oh little buddy. you’re some piece of work. Don’t ever change a thing.” A moment later, my wife started laughing. I looked up from what I was doing.

He had literally changed ONE THING. He switched the locations of two items on the floor, and was laughing like a loon trying to get me to guess what it was that he’d did. He of course gave me ‘hints’ which were little more than sound effects related to whatever items he had moved. I finally figured it out, and he collapsed laughing, while I marveled at how much like his mother he was when it comes to taking things to literally.

Of course- as anyone with a five year old knows, this was not the end of the activity. Once I laughed, he caught the scent of blood in the water, and now it became a full-on game. He switched two more objects, and begged me to figure out what they were again. I did, and tried desperately to gather my kit for work at the same time.

Mommy, sensing my exasperation right about the time ‘Round Nine’ of the game commenced, asked him to “Do it once more, and then we’ll move on and have breakfast.” In typical five-year-old fashion, he continued on for several rounds, up to the point where he stole one of my shoes and switched it with his little brother’s milk cup….AS I WAS PUTTING THEM ON.

The entire time, he’s laughing maniacally- which turned immediately into wailing and tears as soon as we kindly asked him once more to put the game to bed. “BUT IT WAS SOOOOOOO FUUUUUN!!!”

– Now, before you try to chastise me for not wanting to play a simple little game with my son, I’ll remind you that small children, especially little boys- have no concept of ‘enough.’ I did indulge his game for a time, but as with many activities initiated by youngsters, the continuation of it became difficult, to the point of impeding conversation between my wife and I as he constantly interjected his guffaw into our conversation with screeches of “DADDY! GUESS WHAT’S DIFFERENT!”

It became time to hit the off switch, and he was not happy about it. Eventually, I had to pin him to the floor and tickle him until he stopped being such a sad sack. That worked until I kissed him goodbye, and he melted into a puddle of “I’ll miss daddy” goo.

Such is parenting.

 

Doctor Who Summed it up Perfectly.

When I first got a smartphone and started downloading apps, it didn’t take me long to find a Doctor Who soundboard/ringtone collection. As a fan of the show, this made me quite giddy, and I started to tweak my phone to accept certain sayings or songs for alerts, identifications, and whatnot. Much to my wife’s annoyance, notifications from her are made aware to my by River Song crooning “Hello Sweetie….”

The app contains sound bytes from the original show as well, before its reboot with Eccleston. (whom I liked more than Tennant, sue me for it) In the collection I found the most absolutely perfect notification for my calendar alerts.

“No. Impossible. I’m fully booked for the next two centuries.”

When I managed to find a way to use it with the calendar, I felt like I had won everything. Sure, it gets a bit irritating to hear it six or seven times a day, but there was never a better application/process match in the entire history of smartphones.

______________________________________

Last night was a brutal one. I was on call with the ambulance again, so even when I was asleep, part of my brain was listening for the pager all night. That, and Mini-Me is up to his old tricks again of finding the most god-awful hours of the night to wake up. He’s got teeth coming in again, so in his defense, he’s not simply being a tiny little jerk- he’s as miserable as I am when he wakes up.

1:30 this morning was the wakeup. I went in with him, and for three hours, he either wiggled and kicked me as he lay on my chest, or whimpered and cried when I laid him back in his crib. Somewhere around 5am we both managed to fall asleep on the futon again for a while. I briefly thought about my work day, and figured I’d go in a little late this morning after catching up on a little bit of rest. Not a real problem at all. The client and my boss are amazingly flexible, and I could basically make my own hours as long as I provide ample coverage for the week. So, off we go, back to slumber-land.

“No, Impossible. I’m fully booked for the next two centuries.”

Glance at clock. 7:30am. Fumble around for phone on the night stand, intent on smashing the cursed thing to smithereens for its daring to interrupt my plans. Find phone. Open calendar. There’s nothing that I have to do……oh. Crap.

Two weeks ago the business office (at a school, that means the people that RUN the place) had asked me to make sure I was here to set up a State Retirement Representative with the rights and accesses they needed for their presentations. I remember waving a dismissing hand and giving them the old “That won’t be a problem, I’m here anyway, don’t worry about a thing.”

Appointment set for 8am.

“Balderdash!” Cried I, (Sort of. Actual wording edited for content) and Mini-Me looked up from my chest with sleepy eyes in an effort to find out what all the commotion was about.

I rose from the bed in such a manner as to make the guy from the ” ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” poem look like he was in a coma, and brought Mini-Me into the living room where my wife and The Narrator were snuggled on the couch in that peaceful few moments of the morning before the boys get their legs under them and all hell breaks loose. I quickly explained my predicament, handed the groggy (and possibly wet) Mini-Me to his mother, and hauled on clothes that I’m pretty sure are clean, and made it out the door and into the car within ten minutes of opening my eyes.

As soon as I hit cell service, I called the school to tell them I’d be a little bit late.

“Oh, that’s okay. The rep isn’t coming until 10:30.”

<Expletive Deleted>

So here I am, I was late for being early, but too early to be late for work. I skipped coffee, breakfast, and possibly clean pants to get out the door and end up being two whole hours ahead of where I thought I was supposed to be.

As my father used to say… “Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you.”

The bear got me this morning.

 

 

Daddy Fail: The Lawnmower vs. Sunglasses Incident

After several weeks of constantly bouncing between Security, PD, IT, Ambulance Standbys, Pre-School obligations, and everything else under the sun, Saturday finally showed up. My first day off in nearly a month. Actually, it didn’t end up being a day off, I had to work a 4 hour shift for a special event in town, but that was at night. The daylight hours were mine to waste.

Well. Not waste. You see, if you spend nearly three weeks running around like an idiot, certain things get neglected around the house. For me, that was the lawn. I had managed to squeeze in a cut on the front lawn a few days ago so the property didn’t look abandoned from the road, but the back yard was more than moderately untrimmed. In fact that by the time I did get around to cutting it in Saturday morning, it was less mowing the grass, and more ‘deforestation.’

With chagrin I noticed that our next door neighbor cuts his grass at least once a week, and has been making more and more passes onto our side of the property line, a clear message that stated “Mow your grass you deadbeat.”

So I got to it.

The Narrator loves to help me mow. He’ll sit on my lap on the tractor as we buzz the yard, wearing his sunglasses and ‘headphones’ – which are a pair of shooting earmuffs. When it comes time to rake the clippings, he’ll hop off the tractor, and hitch the wagon up all by himself. He takes off the parking break, works the throttle, and engages the deck when I need it. He does a great job, and his company makes mind-numbing work a little more bearable.

As I was raking the clippings, he decided to take a break. Since the tractor was running, he left the earmuffs on, but wanted to take off his sunglasses. I told him to put them in the cup holder on the tractor so we’d know where they were. I finished the first cut/rake cycle (yes, first. It took two) on the back yard then went to cut around the pine trees nearby. I swept as close as I could to them, the lower boughs nearly knocking me off the seat, while my son laughed at me from a safe distance. A short time later, he decided he wanted to help again, so he climbed back up on my lap and we looked for the sunglasses.

Gone.

Uh oh.

Oh, wait. I know where they are, they had probably been swept off the tractor by the pine boughs. So we went over to the thick trees to look for them.

“I see them daddy!” He said after a few moments of intense searching. “Oh. No wait, those are just some black things.”
Checking his find, I see that the ‘black things’ are the lenses of the glasses. It became rapidly apparent to me that not only had they been swept out of the cup holder, but also managed to get…..mowed. His beloved ‘favorite sunglasses’ had been mulched.

My first instinct was to not tell him what I’d realized, but as I was contemplating that, he found another piece. A long plastic arm from the doomed shades, prominently bearing a grinning Lightening McQueen.

Damn.

Needless to say, he ended up in tears with Mommy explaining how accidents happen and that we’ll gladly buy him a new pair of sunglasses (even though he has like six other pairs already) to replace his old ones.

I VERY briefly entertained the thought of taking a photo of the wrecked sunglasses for instagram/here, but I didn’t want to explain to him that I was photographing the source of his misery for the purpose of entertaining strangers on the internet.

Next time.

This isn’t the first time we’ve had a run in with the mower either. One day he’s yelling something to me over the roar of the engine, and as I struggled to hear him- I buzzed what I thought was an errant chunk of cardboard, but happened to be a box of sidewalk chalk that he had left in the lawn for some reason. The cloud of smoke that came out of the mower deck was colorful, but that wasn’t much of a consolation for him. Turns out he was trying to warn me about the chalk the whole time.

The upswing to the last few days was his Pre-School graduation, which was an amazing day from start to end. I’ll detail that some other time I think. I’ve been lacking for posting material lately, so I’ll keep that one in my back pocket for a while.

Shots! Shots! Shots! – The Five Year Old Pessimist.

Apologies for last night’s attempt at poetry. It was never my strong suit. In fact, I distinctly remember my high school English teacher’s response to a poem I tried to write for an assignment.* “Yeah, don’t do that anymore.”

Yesterday, before my boring and uneventful shift, we had a rich, full day. My wife dropped me off at work on her way to bring The Narrator to school, so I could get a few things done and make a meeting. On the way HOME from picking him up from his class, she also collected me so I could sit home with Mini-Me and put him down for a nap while she took The Narrator to the doctor for a round of booster shots. Then she’d race home so I could get back out for my shift.

Somewhere along the line she mentioned the booster shots to The Narrator, and he came unglued. No little kid likes to get shots- in fact, there are still many adults that can’t take it. Until recently, I’m not ashamed to admit- my body would openly reject getting shots, and I’d have what is called scientifically a “Vasal Vagal Reaction**” – essentially, I’d pass the eff out when I got stuck with something. I’m over it now, but it was embarrassing for a while, and hilarious for my friends to watch me try to give blood then hit the floor.

Anyway.

We tried in vain to convince The Narrator that it wasn’t going to be so bad, but it was okay to be a little scared. We promised him that if he were brave, and didn’t make too much of a fuss, he could have a smoothie on the way home from the doctor.

When we got home, as they were prepping to go back out the door, he climbed up on the couch with me and laid it all out on the table.

“Daddy, I guess I’m just not a very brave kid.”

I saw this as an opportunity to teach him a little something about bravery.

“Well”  I said, “You can be scared and still be brave. In fact, being brave means you ARE scared, but do something anyway.”

At this point he looked at me quizzically. The idea that bravery and fear go hand in hand never occurred to him.

“Really?”

“That’s right. In fact, if there’s nothing to be afraid of, then there’s no way to be brave. Imagine I send you outside to pick a flower. You go outside and pick one and bring that back in to me. There’s nothing to be afraid of in picking a flower, so there was no reason to be brave right?”

At this point, I think I’m on a roll. Parenting master lesson coming up. One of these moments he’ll remember forever and teach his kids someday. That all came to a screeching halt as I see him furrow his brow for a second, and pause, deep in thought.

“Unless there’s a bee in the flower with stingers and he chases me.”

Source: bio2andrewcampbell.blogspot.com via Google Images.

Game, set, match. It became apparent to me that no matter what sort of genius plot device I used to try to convince him otherwise, he was going to counter me with a gloom-and-doom scenario that justified his idea that if you’re scared, you’re not brave.

Eventually, he sighed and accepted his fate. I tried a few more lame attempts to convince him that he can still be brave and scared, but he counter-pointed me at every turn. Thankfully, my wife ushered him out the door, and I took Mini-Me in to nap, and managed to sneak a half hour doze myself.

A short while later, he come sauntering in the front door, gleefully slurping a smoothie, clutching the doctor’s office lollipop, and sporting a sticker from the office as well. He was as happy as could be. The reason?

Clemency.

Apparently there was a screw up in the paperwork, and the boosters have to be 28 days apart, and yesterday marked day #26, so the whole thing had to be rescheduled. He got off scott free, although I didn’t, and I’ve got a whole week to come up with some sort of plan to convince him that he is still a brave little boy, and that I’ve got the parenting chops to properly tend to a pessimistic, overly clever five year old.

_________________________________________
Notes:
*
This was not true at all. Mr. Dearing was, and continues to stand out as one of the greatest educators I ever had, and this includes all of college, as well as my academy training.

**I’m constantly screwing the name of this reaction up, so this is as close as I can remember. I’d google it, but the memories of barfing on a gym floor after a blood drive, then being held prisoner by the corrections officer of a head nurse until I could sneak out the back door of the place are just too painful.

 

Patrol Car Poetry.

Tonight’s fast and hopefully fun little update is brought to you by an extremely uneventful 3-11 on the road. 

Happy little insect, flying through the air,

Careless little insect, completely unaware,

Of danger approaching from behind. 

Poor little insect, the last thing through his mind,

Thanks to the windshield glass,

Was his own buggy little ass. 

– Inspiration taken from the clouds of mayflies that met their end by the ruthless traffic. 

 

Image

Glancing Back….

I’ve sat down a few times over the last few days and started entries, but ended up pulling the plug each time because I was only phoning it in. I could feel it. I was half-assing content just for the sake of putting something up.

This morning though, I thought I’d take a look back over the last few days, and bring you along for the journey.

I pulled a 3 day run at another music festival over the weekend. This time it was “Taste of Country” and it featured Brad Paisley and whichever Hank Williams is making music these days. There were a ton of other acts too, but I saw none of them. The shift work was tougher than it was the previous weekend, and the weather was less cooperative. Friday it rained through the first half of the shift, then the sun came out and dried us. Saturday and Sunday it was cold and windy all morning, prompting sweatshirts and jackets. Then the sun came out again and scorched my already punished skin once more.

I liked the work, although I’ll admit, the crowd was much rowdier and a bit more obnoxious than the patrons of Mountain Jam. There is an episode of How I Met Your Mother that talks about ‘Woo Girls’ – females who in a party or social situation bellow out a high-pitched “wooooooo” whenever a song comes on, or something happens that they enjoy.

Country music has its own version of the woo girl, and this is the woo guy. Except instead of “wooooooo” – the sound is a much more irritating pig call. “SooooooooEE!” The woo guy comes out after many beers are consumed, and if he happens to be a singular individual, it can be ignored.

However, my traffic post was directly in between two hugely populated camp sights, and this call of the ignoramus was heard damn near every time I turned around. It was enough to set my teeth on edge, to the point of irrational rage.

I wish to make it clear that as with the previous weekend, the majority of the people I came in contact with were awesome. Every morning, one of the patrons would drive through and hand us coffee from down in town. Some others hung around and shot the breeze with us when it was slow. There was even a group of young women behind where I stood that invited my shift partner and I back to their camp for beers when we came off shift. (invitation declined by the way.)

Anyway. In spite of the vast majority of people being awesome, there was a good portion of people who were using this event as an opportunity to get as drunk as humanly possible, and make fools of themselves. Genuine fans of the music that was being featured were as irritated by these people as I was.
Again, I had a blast though. Despite inclement weather and a smattering of goofy individuals, I had fun. And, the company I work for is extremely good at taking care of its people. When it got hot, the supervisors drive to different posts and make sure we have water. They bring us lunch, and constantly make sure everything is going right.

When you work WITH and FOR people who know what they’re doing, it makes things so much easier.

Sunday- Father’s Day- I worked until 4. I came home to a delicious Steak and Shocktop HoneyCrisp Apple beer.
My wife and boys made the most of the few hours I had before bed time. All in all, it was an excellent day.

The last two days at work have seen me not entirely productive. I’ve done what I can do accomplish my assigned tasks, but after three consecutive days on my feet, I’ve been in recovery mode. It’s largely why I haven’t had a chance to put enough effort into this blog to make a decent entry. I don’t even know if THIS one qualifies as decent. It must, because I’ve gone beyond the first 200 words without hitting “Move To Trash” for the first time in three days.

The Narrator “graduates” from pre-school on friday. I’ve taken the day off from all of my jobs to attend the pre-graduation festivities, and enjoy the day with the family, then I finally have a light weekend. Three hours of work Saturday night, then a CPR refresher on Sunday in the morning.

It’s been a long time coming, but my day of rest is finally right around the corner.

 

Well This Can’t Be Good.

I cannot walk. Or stand. 

Okay, slight exaggeration. I can do both but it is incredibly painful to do so. Today was day one of three working security for the second music festival,  and I was busier today than I was all of last weekend for the first event. 

We were so slammed that lunch break was ten minutes to eat half the sub they brought for me and my partner to share while we continued to funnel cars to their appropriate lots based on their credentials. 

Only after I wrapped my shift did I realize that I had spent the last nine hours on my feet. Literally standing the entire time, walking, running between lots, and pacing while I waited for the traffic to move along. To make matters worse, it rained. Not a drizzly, light misting either. The first half of my shift was spent in a steady, soaking downpour that flooded a few campsites. I had a hard time gathering sympathy for the people who complained about sitting in their cars for five minutes waiting for parking places while I did my best imitation of a duck. 

The rain broke, and the last half of the day drenched us in sunshine, enough that all of my clothing dried. Except my boots and socks. 

I dont know if you’ve ever worn clothes as they dry in the sun, but it isnt comfortable. 

So the feet stayed wet and under constant strain for nine hours. I came home, stripped the boots and socks, and my feet immediately lit on fire. Standing back up after sitting down seemed like a horrible idea. They felt itchy, cold, and hot all at once. After a few minutes they just felt asleep, with no abatement. 

So here I sit, still hurting badly while working an on-call shift with the ambulance, and staring two more days of this work full in the face. 

Did I mention it was a ton of fun and I cant actually wait to go back? No? Well, its true. I still love interacting with everyone, and helping where I can. So I will go back tomorrow, smiling. Crippled or not. 

Someone Tell Pandora I’m Not Speaking to it Anymore.

One of the marvels of modern technology is having the universe at our fingertips in the forms of smartphones and tablets.

This has become incredibly useful to those of us who are parents of small children. In the not-so-distant old days, parents needed to sit in rocking chairs and mindlessly go back and forth probably for hours waiting for baby to go to sleep.

Now, with wireless, Netflix, and a set of headphones, we can spend that amount of time NOT going insane.

Occasionally, when Mini-me is having a rough time of sleeping, I will lay with him on my chest on the futon in his room and let him slumber. If I’m falling asleep myself, I’ll skip a netflix movie, and move to internet radio.

At least…I did. I’m finished with that now.

I understand that free apps need to have ads, but there needs to be some sort of correlation between the advertising content and the music one might be listening to.
When I’m sleepy, I’ll tune to a classical music channel and fall asleep to the sound of Mozart, Ravel, and the like. Preludes, symphonies, and arias lull me to a peaceful slumber, where I’ll stay until Pandora decides to eff with the whole system and throw a loud-mouthed Taco Bell add in between movements.

Do you have any IDEA how miserable it is to fall asleep to Bolero, and be yanked back into the waking world by a voice screaming “I BELIEVE THE NEW TACO BELL BREAKFAST WRAP COULD LEAD TO ANARCHY!”
No? You don’t? well, you’re missing out on a lovely form of rage that if it weren’t for the slumbering baby on you, the urge to jump up and kick holes in things around you might be irrepressible.

Are there other apps out there that won’t give me this problem? Maybe. I haven’t looked yet. But someone needs to pass along the message to Pandora that I have completely given up on them because they suck terribly, because I won’t do them the honor of communicating with them personally anymore.

 

Why IT Is Like The Mob.

Once you’re in, there’s no getting out.

A very brief summary of my work history, is that I was looking for a teaching job, and hired to install some computers for a school I was working at. One thing let to another, and I was trained by a technology consultant and hired by the school to be their in-house technician. I worked there for three years, then the position was dissolved, and I was hired by the consultant who trained me. I worked for him for four years, and was laid off. By then I’d given up on the idea of teaching, and spent my unemployed months looking for work in the IT field. I was hired as technical support about the same time I said “I’m done with this” and went to the police academy.

Now, that should have been the end of it. A career change. Exactly what I wanted. No more computers. I don’t particularly like working with computers or networks, or any of that. I took on the work way back when because it was available, but ended up stuck to it.

“Freedom!” I thought when I entered the academy.

Nope.

Right back into it I was dragged, from day #2 on.

As soon as the drill instructors and directors started talking to us about functioning as a team, and working together and helping each other out, the computer problems which plagued fellow recruits on the academic front became my problem. I’d get emails and texts from them about all kinds of things, including last minute crap which cut into my own work. One of the recruits started calling me “Geek Squad” – and knowing full well that nicknames tend to stick in environments like this, I threatened to dismember him and anyone else who thought that was a clever thing to do. It stopped.

Still though, whenever an instructor had technical trouble with a presentation, I was looked to. I remember standing on a desk trying to fix a projector one day. Nothing will fill you full of terror like being caught standing on a desk in the middle of the room when a Drill Instructor wanders into the classroom. Thankfully, the instructor told the terrifying man what I was doing, and I wasn’t consumed alive.

Graduating should have been the end right? The very end? I was free. FINALLY.

Nope.

Wrong.

As soon as I graduated, I got a phone call from my old boss, the consultant asking me what my schedule looked like, they could use some help at a local client. I agreed to take on two days a week for him, because…money. Things blossomed, and I’m up to four days a week.

Not only that, but I can’t tell you how many phone calls I’ve taken from fellow officers regarding computer problems in the office. I’ve become the department computer guy. Even our OIC (Officer in Charge) called me the other day to tell me he ‘delegated’ a responsibility to me….installing a patch on the server that would update some database or other.

I’ll be on patrol and people will stop me and ask if I still do computer work on the side.

Once you’re in, you never get out.

And I want out. So very, very badly. Its the main reason I want to transfer or lateral somewhere else. If I leave this area, not only will I be free of the political nonsense which I got wrapped up into last year, but nobody will know I used to work with computers, and I can leave them be. I can finally be free.