Apologies for not being here more often, fellow noders. For somebody without a steady job or much of a freelance career to speak of, I've been remarkably busy for most of 2013, and not just because of taxes, illness or blogging. Lately, I've been working on compiling all the nodes pertaining to my abortive military career into a short book, which I'll probably self-publish on Amazon once it gets long enough for me to consider charging people for it without thinking I'm ripping them off. I'll leave the original nodes here, of course; the book version will have additional material added, some of it actually humorous.

Unsurprisingly - well, unsurprisingly to anyone who's read the afterword, I'm having a hard time pulling together a couple of coherent narratives spanning the years I spent in the 523rd ASA Company and its successor unit, A Company/147th MI Battalion (later A/134th MI Bn) of the Army Reserve while I was in Minnesota. It's funny how the parts of my career that are oldest are the easiest to remember, while the parts that are more recent are harder to pin down, and I don't rightly know why that is. Were my years as a weekend warrior so much worse than my active duty time, or is the very fact that they were so scattered -one weekend a month, two weeks every summer, and now and again extra drills- making it harder to pull things out of the dusty file cabinets in the back of my head? Did the hard times I was having between drills have something to do with it? Was I maybe just doing too many drugs between drills, during the long years when my clearance seemed to have vanished into thin air?1

Well, whatever the reason, I owe it to myself and the people who have enjoyed these nodes to dig the memories out and put them down "on paper" so the story has a middle to go with the beginning and the end that are already there. Those other nineteen thousand words aren't going to write themselves, after all.

1Which, as a matter of fact, it actually had.