It's been just shy of 3 years since I added anything to the nodegel. That's a mighty long time to remain relatively silent, but I find myself compelled to speak up at the moment.
A lot has happened in the last few years. I've gotten married, left Nashville and moved back to Texas, inherited 2 children (an 11-year-old son and a 15-year-old daughter), held down a job for 2 years, got evicted from our house, watched my dad fight cancer, became a grandfather and took on the mantle of "Dad", "Grand Dad" and "Husband" with as much care and patience as I could muster. Yes indeed, these last few years have been topsy-turvy like never before. And I can't even begin to account for it all in detail. A summary will simply have to do.
And it only gets more interesting from here.
Due to the loss of our house last October, I have made monumental decision: I have enlisted in the United States Army. My MOS will be 25B, Information Technologies Specialist (I refer to it as "G.I. Geek"). I chose that MOS with calculating care. To wit, I am not interested in killing or being killed. I AM interested, however, in having a career with which I can provide handsomely for my family. When I get out of the Army in six years I will have skills and training at my disposal which will pretty much guarantee me a very well-paying job. No more retail for this old boy, thank you.
I ship out for Basic Combat Training on Monday to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, where I will have my ass handed to me for the next 10 weeks. After that is 20 weeks of AIT at Fort Gordon, Georgia, which promises to be interesting and challenging. Fortunately, I'm no stranger to working with computers of all types, so I'm hoping that my MOS will be something that I'll take to like a duck to water. If nothing else, it should keep me from being on the front lines in Iraq or Afghanistan... I hope. And if it doesn't, well, that's what Basic Combat Training is for, isn't it?
In all my years prior to this I never would have imagined myself joining the military. It's not that I don't like the military or that I have a personal distaste for it. Quite the contrary, actually. I just never felt that the military had much to offer me as an individual. As a family man, though, it offers me and my family a lot of things which are hard to come by in the private sector. I and my wife have struggled for too long in Life. It's about time that some of the burden be taken off our shoulders. Insurance, housing, a definitive career... in today's economy those things are tough to achieve when you don't have a college degree. With the Army's help I can acquire those things in relatively short shrift. At least, that's the idea. We'll see how it goes six years from now. Hell, I might find it so appealing that I'll stay in for a full twenty years and retire at 55. Who knows?
Anyway... I just wanted to pound out one last node before I get out of town. I won't be able to do anything on a computer for the next 10 weeks (which is an eternity for us geeks). And once I start AIT, I will most likely be too busy to even think about checking my E2 account.
I hope that everyone here, people I've met and total strangers alike, do well in Life. If I never come back here again, I at least want to leave y'all with that- my best wishes for success and happiness. Keep noding and node well.