The Narrator’s school nurse called us a few weeks ago, and recommended that we have his vision checked, she thought he was having some trouble with the vision being blurry in his left eye.

We set up an appointment with what turned out to be an amazing optician in the area, and last Friday I dropped my wife and the boys off for the eye exam while I did some “Easter Bunny Stuff” (Read: Buy candy)

Luckily the store was literally right next to the optician, so I was able to get back to them when my errands were done, long before they were ready to leave.

We had been a little worried about The Narrator. Not because of his vision, but because of how he would react IF he needed glasses. Again, being a highly sensitive child, things have a tendency to effect him deeply at any given time.

I walked into the doctor’s office and was met by my family, and the doctor. The doctor stood, shook my hand, and told me “You have a nearsighted son.”

There was literally no surprise there. Both my wife and I wear glasses, as does the bulk of both of our families. This was going to happen sooner or later. As I talked to the doctor, I noticed my son, happily browsing through a rack of frames.

Turns out, not only was he NOT upset about having to get glasses, but he was MORE upset that he wouldn’t be able to take them home immediately, that he’d have to wait for the lenses to be cut.

He sulked for a long while about having to wait for his glasses. But I was willing to deal with the sulking, since he had been extremely good with the doctor, the exam, and the idea that he would be wearing glasses from now on. (for distance)

Since he did such a great job, I promised him we’d take a little trip the following day to see some old steam locomotives. He liked that, and the tears dried up. The next morning, we packed the car, and took a day trip to Steamtown National Historic Site. More on that later though.

Sometime this week, our oldest son will pick up his glasses, and join the world of the visually challenged. And he seems more than ready for it.






A Soft Return

It’s been a little over two weeks since my last post. That could stand as the longest run I’ve gone without a post since the inception of this blog. For those of you that faithfully read me, you have my apologies. Most of the time I’m spending not at work, I’m asleep. We’ve been busy at work too, so I haven’t had much time to log into a work machine and do an update.

There’s so very much going on in the world around me that I had a tough time picking material for my return post. Work is going well, the boys are doing great, the world of politics is equal parts hilarious and depressing, and what teensy bit of winter we’ve had this year is going away.

Rather than touch on any of that right now though, I’m going to settle for a soft return. An apology for the lack of content, and assurance that I’m still READING your work, since the WordPress mobile app keeps you all at my fingertips at any given time- even if updating on that stupid touch-keyboard is a pain in the neck.

On a personal front, my wife and I have started to formulate a five year plan that includes buying a house. My job is paying enough that we’re keeping ourselves afloat, and her shop has grown enough in the last few months that we’re starting to build up a savings account that we can designate pretty much as the ‘down payment account.’

My commute is a little less than an hour long to work, so there’s a minor debate as to whether or not we should move closer to work where the homes are more moderately priced, or staying where we are- which will necessitate paying a lot more for a home, but would allow us to keep the boys in a school district that is not only familiar, but apparently effective. I think we’ll end up staying, but nothing is carved in stone yet.

On a brief professional front, I’ve pretty much settled into the new job by now. I’m still making mistakes, but they’re mostly minor procedural errors. It’s nice having a supervisor and experienced co-workers around me to work with rather than being left to my own devices for an entire shift like I was at the old place- which usually led to some serious monday-morning quarterbacking that never ended in my favor. The short of it is, I love it where I am. The work, the place, and the people very much make my commute worth it.

I’ve got a day trip planned with the boys on Saturday, there’s a railroad museum about three hours away that I think they’ll enjoy. We’re fresh off of coming from a model train and hobby show with my father last weekend, and the weather is getting warm, so it’s time to do something outside.

Here’s a picture from that trip, one I took from a rather extensive and impressive layout one of the presenters had on the floor- as a side note, we got new cell phones, and I LOVE the camera on the Galaxy S7 edge.

That’ll do for me for now. Feels good to be back.

Humanizing the Badge

There’s a big push being done in the law enforcement community to show that police officers are just as human as the people we serve, and not monstrous automatons who keep our brains in the same holsters as our guns.
If you’re of a mind to look for it, facebook, instagram, and other internet outlets are full of accounts that post human interest stories, heart-warming anecdotes, and all kinds of things that are designed to say “Hey. Look. Cops are people too.” 

This is a campaign I can get behind. I can think of literally no drawback from having the public recognize that I’m no different than they are.

The other day at work, I made a small, personal contribution to the “Humanize the Badge” movement, albeit completely by accident.

I was collecting some overtime, working a day shift. Once my eyes adjusted to something called ‘natural light’ and my skin ceased burning slightly, it wasn’t so bad. One of the neat things about working a day shift on campus, is that things are open. Dining halls, offices, all kinds of things. There are people to talk to, and things to do. So, in a bid to get out and walk around a little, I decided to patronize the campus coffee shop. It was a beautiful day, so I parked the patrol car, and walked into the building which houses the nursing program as well as the coffee shop. (I don’t think there’s a coincidence about the two of them being in the same building.) 

The place was crowded. Bleary eyed students, a few faculty members, the shop employees, and one cop in need of coffee created a perfect environment for me to show everyone I was perfectly human.

I bought a large coffee, and made small talk with the cashier for a moment. Then, I took my cup over to the counter behind me so I could add cream and sugar. I poured a nice bit of cream into it, and grabbed three packets of sugar. Knowing that wouldn’t be enough, I reached for three more…and immediately dumped the entire contents of the cup all over the counter, floor, and myself. Actually, ‘dumped’ is something of a misnomer. It wasn’t a dump. I don’t know how I managed it, but this was more of a ‘fling the damn cup upward and outward with frightening velocity.’ It went everywhere. I ended up getting coffee inside the cup which held the paper-wrapped straws, basically ruining them.

I began relieving the shop of all of their napkins in an attempt to clean up, and two students came to my aid. I even got the old “Don’t worry, it happens all the time.” from the cashier who came over with a mop and a roll of paper towel.


They kindly poured me a second cup of coffee which I very nearly opted to drink black so I could get the hell out of there ASAP, but I didn’t. Carefully I performed the task of fixing it up, and walked out as deliberately as I could, without running in embarrassment.

It was only after I got back into the car that I tried to put a positive spin on it.

“There damn it. I’m just like you. Just as silly, clumsy, and unlucky as you. Only a little bit more so.” 


Friends, Neighbors, Relatives- a Plea

Stop trying to sell me your latest and greatest “work from home be your own boss, make a billion dollars, get healthier and reap massive rewards” health/diet products.

Am I the only person who doesnt sell or get involved in these pyramid-type schemes to sell what could be sham health fads to other people?

Within the last year,  my old college roommate, his wife, my cousin, and a co-worker have tried to get me into several different programs where I not only buy crap from them, but I sell it to others.

I don’t care if someone wants to get healthy, or what gimmick they want to try to attain that goal….but quit trying to pitch it to me. Even my partner at work made a pass at me before I immediately shut it down. I’m 32 years old. I’ve seen these things come and go, each plan, scam, and sham having been greater and more exciting than the last.  Belly wraps, fortified shakes, drinks,  and supplements, all come and gone.

The worst part though, is that after shelling out my dollars on whatever nonsense you’re peddling,  I’d be expected to annoy my friends and neighbors in order to turn a profit. 

Sorry. Any job or plan or whatever where there’s a direct correlation between how much money I make and how big a pain in the ass I am…isn’t for me. Step back and look at the people who are supposedly making real money off these things. Odds are they haven’t been invited to any parties lately.

Apologies if I offended anyone with this, but I’ve really begun to get irritated with these health-based pyramid schemes.