Today is my annual police department Hell Week. For the next four days I will be stuck in a classroom, bored literally to death by police supervisors pretending to be teachers; for today begins annual MPO training. Thirty-two boring, boobless hours of CPR – hence the female eye candy above – first aid, legal updates, and a lecture on social media, where I thoroughly expect to be told the department frowns upon free speech.
No one, and I mean no one, schedules this training consecutively; mostly because 32 hours of sleep is more than enough for the average human. I, however, am a masochist, so I require my pain in one sitting.
For those not in the know, this is how my typical training day will play out:
1. Find a chair in the back of the room next to a wall – so only one idiot can sit next to me instead of two.
2. Check my e-mail through my phone.
3. Begin the epic battle of Earphage, where my eyelids battle the barbarian horde known as boredom.
4. Mmm. soft pretzels!
7. Fight off sleep from the heavy, beerless lunch.
8. Doodle on my handout booklet.
10. Literally knock people over running for the exit.
Repeat four times.
While at training, I won’t have access to teh innernetz, save for my phone. So don’t get a complex; it’s not you, it’s me.
UPDATE: The second class is an introduction to social media. “I hear the internet is on computers now!”. Shoot me.
So I spent the bulk of my morning shoveling the 8-10 inches of global warming which hit Philadelphia today. It was the wet, heavy snow that clogs snow-blowers and breaks the backs of 40+ year old bloggers. While I was working, my next-door neighbors were inside the house, most likely being stupid.
You see, our old neighbors were all kinds of awesome. The husband was a WWII vet and the wife was an absolute angel. The new couple is in their mid-20′s. He’s a pharmacist, she’s a teacher, and he lets his fat, lazy sister live with them. The fat, lazy sister also lets her boyfriend pretty much live with them, too, so the house has four “adults” in their mid-20′s. I place “adults” in quotes because they are nothing of the kind…
It’s been just a peach of a day. First, Kevin’s teacher called the house and said he fell asleep in class… and they couldn’t wake them up. Mrs. Earp rushed over there and took him to the hospital. Apparently, a virus hit him really hard and wiped him out. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem to serious, but when you hear “Your son isn’t waking up,” it hits a nerve.
Mrs. Earp came home from the hospital around 4pm, and at 4:40 she got a call from her mom. Mrs. Earp’s father was rushed to the hospital with a minor stroke. It looks like he’ll be okay, but it scared everyone here. The last thing we need is to lose two fathers in six months’ time.
If you’re so inclined, a prayer or ten would be appreciated. In the meantime, we’re going to try to get our collective heart rates down.
THURSDAY UPDATE: Kevin is much better today, and my father-in-law is being released from this hospital this evening. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers.
Today is my lovely wife’s 42nd birthday.
Being a good husband, I got her no presents, because being married to me is gift enough. I also expect her to have dinner ready when I get home, because I work hard for a living. And finally, I expect I will have no home to return to after she reads this post.
Obviously, I did get her a gift – I think a pretty decent one – and we’ll go out to dinner tonight if she so desires, because between me and the kids, she really does put up with a lot. Being a stay-at-home mom with an adolescent husband is a thankless job, and it needs to be rewarded appropriately… with chocolate.
Today is also the Earp Family’s Three Birthdays in Six Days event – Erik is tomorrow and Kevin is on Valentine’s Day – so we’ll be up to our necks in cake.
Happy birthday, L! I love you.
The computer shop gave me a call yesterday. The good news? I didn’t frak it up. The graphics card was seated properly, and the hookups were all correct.
The bad news? Apparently the problem is Windows 8.1
Besides the fact it blows goats, the BIOS in it rejects every hardware installation on its face. The BIOS needs to be updated, and another item (UE-something) needs to be installed for the card to take effect. The tech guru is fixing everything for me for a surprisingly low price. I should be back up and running later today or Monday at the latest. (They’re closed on Sundays.)
So, while this event has been frustrating, it’s almost over, and normal posting is only a day or so away.
UPDATE: The computer is fixed and back home. If you live in the Philadelphia area, I highly recommend Tech Monkey for all your computer needs. Terrific work, fast service, and reasonable prices. They’re now my go-to computer repair facility.
So the other day, I purchased a graphics card for my computer. World of Tanks is pretty kickass on my desktop, but the graphics card would make is joygasmic.
I talked to my coworker – our resident computer genius – and he found me a compatible card, claiming the installation would be “plug and play.” Sadly, he meant plug and play for someone who is not a dribbling moron.
A dramatic reenactment of the event is below the fold…
I’m taking some time off from the blog. Feel free to entertain yourselves for a while.
So, I woke up this morning and walked into an ice rink disguised as Philadelphia streets…
Icy conditions are being blamed for multiple accidents in the Philadelphia area Sunday morning. A multi-vehicle accident shut down parts of the eastbound Schuylkill Expressway around 7:00 a.m. The crash occurred near the Belmont exit, shutting down I-76 between City Avenue and Belmont.
Parts of Route 1 in Delaware County were closed for approximately a half hour because of icy conditions. The portion between Route 452 and Valley Brook Road reopened around 7:40 a.m.
My profession is one that doesn’t want to hear excuses. Rain, sleet, snow, and ice don’t matter; you get to work, and you get there on time. So, I hopped in the SUV and slowly made my way to work. There are three main routes to get there. The first route was closed because of the ice. The second route was closed because of a multi-vehicle accident. The third route was open, but when two cars spun in front of me – forcing me into a snowdrift at the side of the road – I said, “Screw you guys, I’m going home.”
The total trip – about six miles – took me an hour.
I called work and told them there was no way I was making it in. It’s the first time in twenty years I had to do that. A career’s worth of driving in crap has made me a pretty decent driver, but this was the worst I’ve seen in a long time.
So here I sit, missing work, and ashamed of myself and my utter driving FAIL.
F**k you, 2013.
This year has been, without a doubt, one of the worst years of my life. There has been at least one personal tragedy – or near tragedy – every month this year.
Among the worst of the worst?
My father passed away in August.
My mom had double-bypass surgery in January.
My former partner died of cancer in March.
My friend and former co-worker died of cancer in October.
My partner’s daughter died in an auto accident in January.
My wife’s uncle passed away a few days before Christmas.
We had a count in work, and among eight of us, we lost over 20 friends and immediate family members. Twenty…
Well, it’s Christmas Day +1, and the dust has finally settled around Casa de Earp. The kids woke up around 6:30am, and we kept them at bay until a little after 7am. We went downstairs to enjoy Santa’s bountiful booty, and the kids made their way to their respective piles.
Remember the opening scene in Jaws, where the woman gets torn to and fro by the shark? That’s what it looks like when my rugrats open their presents.
Pretty soon, all that was left was shredded wrapping paper and blood. (Okay, not blood, but you get my point.)
The kids got pretty much what they wanted, and I got something I didn’t want again – vertigo. We had breakfast at 10am, and by that time I couldn’t walk without holding the wall. It was so bad, I spent much of my morning holding my eyes closed and praying for some sense of balance. When my mom and sister left, I opted for a little nap. Two hours later, the vertigo was much less worse…