Thursday, April 30, 2009

To drive a big red truck.

I was getting ready for work the other night and visiting with Spiff Jr. as I did so. We often do that when I am working third shift, me preparing to start my day and he winding his down. During these times I get the scoop on the latest happenings in the world of a four year old. Sometimes he surprises me.

On this particular evening he made an announcement as he put his toothbrush away and headed out the bathroom door. He knew what he was going to do when he got older. "I'm going to be a firefighter Dad, because they don't have to work night shift." He then trotted off down the hall to his room.

I smiled. Partially because he used the word "firefighter" rather than "fireman". Partially because I know that the fire-dancers do work third shift, in a manner of speaking. At least they get to sleep through their nights if no calls come in.

As I walked into my bedroom, my wife went to tuck the kiddos in. I heard Spiff Jr. repeat his new found direction in life. His mother was practical and let him know that firefighters do work nights. This perplexed him. He thought for a minute. "Well, are there any emergency vehicles that don't work night shift?" None, came the answer. "Why not?" People need help at night too. This satisfied him. He was still not as sure as to his life's calling as he had been but was able to get to sleep with the comfort of knowing that there is really a reason for night shift.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Game changer.

Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of the Columbine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado. Hard to believe is has already been ten years since that event that changed so many things. Many who are more literary than I have already paid tribute to those who died and survived there. I'll settle for a quick thought on the day.

Barely a week or two go by that I don't think about Columbine. I wasn't involved and don't know anyone who was, but it still impacted me. I remember exactly where I was when I first learned of the tragedy.

I was sitting in an Applebee's with about five or six academy classmates. We were celebrating the survival of an exam and were in good spirits. With six months experience I was perhaps the most seasoned cop in the group and that isn't saying much. As we laughed and joked someone suddenly said, "Hey, what's that?" Looking up to the TV mounted near the ceiling we saw swat officers moving cautiously behind a firetruck. The crawl across the bottom announced that the footage was live from Littleton. We embryonic coppers were transfixed by any swat team anywhere and continued to watch. The story unfolded over the course of dinner and we caught the full impact by the time we finished. Sobered, we sat there trying to absorb what this meant. One of the other members of the group summed it all up as we left, "It's now a different game than we signed up to play when we started."

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Spring has finally sprung and boy am I glad. It always seems to me that Spring doesn't really start until Easter weekend, regardless of what the calender says.

In addition to baseball, the weather is getting warmer. I sure am glad to get out of the arctic temps that we "enjoyed" this last winter. I like my job but the whole working out in the elements sure gets old sometimes.

Spiff Jr. and Sis are pretty glad as well I think. Time to play outdoors again. Picking dandelions, throwing balls for the dogs, and swinging are the current rages among the younger set. Mrs. Spiff is enjoying having the kiddos out of the house as well.