Firearms Safety Certificate - Part Deux (or part 3 of 5)

FirearmSafetyThis year (like last year) I had a child attain the ripe ol' age of 12.  Age 12 is when young'ens are able to (legally) obtain their Firearms Safety Certificate from the State of Minnesota.

Unlike last year when #2 of 5 received his Firearms Safety Certificate (link) and the instructor asked why I did not take the class with him (since I sat in the class each night), this year I took his suggestion, and got myself enrolled in class with #3 of 5!

At first, I was not sure either of us would be able to take the class.  From previous experience, I knew the class filled fast - so when the "Community Education" book came home (listing the Firearms Safety class) I set it aside to take to work with me and Fax in our enrollment. 

That was Thursday. 

I (of course) forgot to take it to work with me on Thursday, so I planned on taking  it on Friday. 

...then...

I (of course) forgot to take it to work with me on Friday, so I planned on taking  it on Saturday.

...and...

I (of course) forgot to take it to work with me on Saturday (seeing the pattern here??), so I gave up trying to take it to work with me, and decided on calling the community Ed office on Monday, and enrolling over the phone.

Monday rolled on by...

Tuesday - the Mother of Five took it upon herself to make the call to Community Ed.  Three (business days) after the book came out - and we were given the news that the class was already full.

FULL??  After three days??  What was I going to tell #3 of 5?  He would not be able to hunt this year without the certificate and Duck opener was only three weeks away... 

On the upside - we were told that they are creating a "waiting list", and #3 of 5 was only the second student on the list.  We were told to wait, and if there were any openings, they would be calling us the Friday before classes started.  Sure enough - the call came that advised us we were welcome to join the class!

The class itself was very similar to last year.  The instructors not only covered the things they HAD TO cover, but went above and beyond, and shared their wisdom, knowledge, and experience in MANY aspects of gun safety, hunting, and competitive shooting sports.

Correction... There was one thing different in the class this year.  There was a group of unruly, and disruptive students, that even got the instructors frustrated.  Not only did they make a bad name for themselves, but they also left a bad name for the Firearms Safety Class by ransacking a bathroom one evening.  It is my sincere hope that the instructors have the ability to (and will) fail these students.  They certainly demonstrated that they have NO business handling the responsibility that comes with the use and ownership of a firearm.

After two weeks of classes, a final exam (I tied for the highest score in class), and a practical exam that included a gun handling hike, and a "life fire" exam - our commitment to the program in both #3 of 5 and I receiving our Firearms Safety Certificates

Since I was born prior to 1979 - I am not "required" to have the certificate - but what better way to teach my children than to "walk the walk and talk the talk".  I urge every parent who is taking their kid to Firearms Safety Class, to sit in with your child.  I can not think of a better way to spend some quality time with your child!

Like last year's post - I would be negligent by not thanking a few people and organizations for the commitment they put into this program.  

1. The Volunteers. I do not have all their names, but there were some great volunteers that had a ton to offer the kids. John Breimhorst who is now on his 43rd year of teaching this class (and who taught many of the other instructors, and a couple of the parents who dropped their kids off)... and the Will brothers from W.W. Will and Sons Distributions and Sportsman Brand Meats... Jeff Will and Tim Will who are both extremely talented sportsman, for sharing a lot of practical wisdom and knowledge with the kids, and were very generous with the time they put into teaching the class. Truly a bunch of stand up fellas! 

2. The Fish Lake Sportsman Club - who sponsor the class, and donate some wonderful items for the kids... (Gunlocks, Books and Training materials, protective eye wear, hearing protectors, a survival rag, and a silicone impregnated gun sock).

3. The SCALE Facility - The Scott County Association for Leadership and Efficiency (A Regional Public Safety Training Facility... I.E. Police and Fire training Facility) for providing an outstanding environment (both the classroom and the shooting ranges...)

ONE HUNDRED!

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I did it!!

I finally logged my 100th GeoCaching find!!

Check out the details by FOLLOWING THIS LINK.

(Photo is a link to GeoCaching.com)

What Being A "Typical Male" Is Like

Not that long ago, but just long enough (to be slightly embarrassing) fellow blogger (and one of a handful I have really come to know on a personal level, and consider a "friend") Dobeman from Postulates and Pasttimes celebrated the birth of their third (and, at least according to him - their last) baby.

If you followed P & P, you would know how they did not know exactly what "flavor" their baby was going to be.  In the end, they did finally come home with a daughter (their first).

VERY EXCITING!! 

I told the Mother of Five that I wanted to pick up a little somethin'-somethin' for the baby - and she liked the idea - So I kicked the idea around a couple of days, and came up with a "plan".

Shortly thereafter, (and with the help of the Mother of Five) the plan became a reality, and I had a little gift sitting in my house waiting to be sent. 

I left it on our living room buffet so I would be constantly reminded that I needed to get the gift out to the P & P family.  Being in the midst of a tumultuous period at work (one that landed me working overnights again after 10 years) - getting the gift in the mail was put on the back burner.  (Sorry Dobeman...  Priorities)

Then, another "incident". 

Best Bud Ed had a significantly traumatic event occur in their house.  I had a gift for their family as well.  In this case - I handed the job over to the Mother of Five to handle.  (I had just started overnights, and was struggling with acclimating)  Sorry Best Bud Ed...

So, by this point, I had two gifts to get out.  Mother of Five handled the "Best Bud Ed" gift, and I said I would take care of the Dobeman gift. 

Almost two weeks went by.

Today (Friday) when I went to bed - I told my self... NO MORE.  These items get mailed out TODAY.  I woke with 30 minutes left before the post office closed, and so I grabbed the box Mother of Five had for Best Bud Ed, and I grabbed the gift for Dobeman, and ran off to the post office. 

I had five minutes to spare when I arrived. 

I was in need of USPS approved packaging for my gift yet, and so I asked the USPS employee for help.  She provided me a suitable package.  But the gift did not fit properly (as is) - so a slight modification was made. 

Next, I  noticed that I left the card that went with the gift at home.  ARRRGH!!  I did not have time to return home, and I wanted the gifts sent (they have waited way too long already), so the package was sealed, addressed, and sent AS-IS.

When I got home, I proudly announced to the Mother of Five that the packages were FINALLY sent!  She asked me if I had wrapped the gift to Dobeman. 

Sounds of Crickets Chirping

"Um... Wrap"?  I asked.  "Yes.  Wrap.  As in the roll of pretty pink paper that I left sitting on the table for you next to the gift. "  she replied. 

Quickly looking over at the table, I noticed the long tube of pretty pink paper that I had not previously noticed...   Bowing my head in shame, I told her that I did not wrap the gift prior to packaging it up - and that I had left the card at home too... 

That's when it started sinking in...  When the Mother of Five asked me if I really sent the package with no note, no card, and the gift inside not even wrapped...  

I guess I had not thought about it that way...  

(Blushing) - Dobeman... When that lame little package arrives, the one contains an unwrapped gift, and no card, or note, or indication who sent it...  Um.... That would be from us...  (well, actually from ME in it's current state)... It would have been from US (the FOF family) had it been wrapped in the pretty pink paper the Mother of Five had set aside, and had the nice card I had for you with it....  Please try and picture it wrapped up all nicely in baby-girl pink paper, and with a card explaining the gift (although I think you'll "get it" when you see it)..

Rest assured, I'll get the card sent too... At some point... Hopefully before your daughter turns eighteen (rolling my eyes)...

My apologies to Dobeman, and the whole P&P family...  I am usually a little more on top of these things...    You have my word...  NEXT TIME you you have a baby - I'll be sure to wrap the gift!!

Man, I can be such a "typical male" sometimes...  Sheesh. 

Back To School

One of my favorite movies is "Back to School".  This may be because of a similarity between my name and the name of the main character, or it may be the fact that Thornton Melon is the CEO of a line of clothing called "Tall and Fat" (which I am a card carrying member of each).  Regardless of the reason, this post is NOT about the movie.  I just stole the title... That's all.
Yet, like the plot of the movie, I too am going "back to school" with my son! 
Last year #2 of 5 passed his Firearms Safety Class and received his Firearms Safety Certificate.  At the end of the classes, I discovered I too COULD HAVE taken the class, and since I sat in the classes each night, I really SHOULD HAVE.  #2 and #3 of 5 are only a year apart, so I knew I would have the opportunity to take the class with my next oldest the following year.  As noted in the prior post, I promised myself I would take the class this fall.
 
When the Community Education catalog came out for the Fall sessions, I checked, and sure enough - Firearms Safety was among the choices.  I set the catalog aside, intending to take it to work and fill out the paperwork to get him enrolled.  The first night, I forgot the book at home.  The second night, I forgot the book at home.  Then, it was the weekend (Saturday and Sunday - Community Ed classes are closed).  Monday rolled on by, and on Tuesday - the Mother of Five contacted Community Ed to get him signed up. 
The class (limit 35) was FILLED. 
This is a disappointment because without the certificate, #3 of 5 can not legally hunt with me, and since #2 of 5 went last year, #3 of 5 was looking forward to joining us this year.  He was disappointed, but did a good job of containing it.  The "glimmer of hope" was that while the class was full, they were creating a "waiting list", and that #3 of 5 was the second kid on that list.
So, we waited... Patiently.
The waiting paid off!  Last week, community ed called and confirmed that there were a few cancellations, and that #3 of 5 was welcome to attend the class!  The first class was on Monday.  I took #3 of 5 to class a little early, and re-introduced myself to the lead instructor - and explained my desire to join #3 of 5 in class.  The instructor was delighted to hear that I was joining. 
 
When class started, there was one other father with their child, and one (childless) adult in class.  By the end of class there were a couple of other dad's joining in.
 
Over the next 14 days, we have seven scheduled classes to attend (3 hours each class) - a final test, and a "field trip" that consists of demonstrating safe gun handling "in the field", and a live fire exercise.
 
Even though I do not (legally) "need it", having a Firearms Safety Certificate is a good thing and reinforces the lessons in safety I have learned from "best bud Ed" and his dad throughout the years - and teaches my children important lessons - even if they never hunt again.

A Few of my Favorite Things #1 - A Shameless Plug

A while ago, I started a blog post titled "A Few of my Favorite Things"... No, don't try and search for it - it was never fully completed.  I get motivated, and start working on a blog post - but life happens, and the steam runs out of the locomotive, and the post goes into a folder in Windows Live Writer titled "Work in Progress". 

When I start running short on ideas, or I have not posted in a while, I dig through that folder and see if I find any fresh motivation for one of these little gems.  Today, I have found some for one of the "A Few of my Favorite Things" posts.

This post was originally started after #3 of 5 finished his "after school program".  The kids are offered a one hour once a week program run by parents...  It's just something to get the kids involved in other interests they may not normally do. 

#3 of 5 was in "Cribbage Challange" - and one evening last February - he and I cracked out a cribbage board (not just "a" cribbage board, we cracked out "THE" cribbage board - more to follow), and went on a mad streak of cribbage games.

One of "my favorite things" is the cribbage board I took out.  This cribbage board was a gift, given to me by "best bud Ed" eighteen years ago this Christmas.  I instantly fell in LOVE with this board (for it's unique design, the aesthetic beauty, and the sentimental value it has for me). 

I have yet to see ANYTHING like this cribbage board.  I love unique cribbage boards, and frequently shop around for them - but to be completely honest - I have never bought another one, because Ed truly spoiled me with the board he made for me.  Nothing I have seen since comes close.

The board is about a twelve inch ring cut from the stump of an oak tree.  The ring never split, and still has all the bark attached to the side.  Ed took a lot of time to lay out the cribbage board pattern, and to carefully hand drill the precise holes for the pegs.

I could continue to describe the cribbage board, but honestly, my words would not do it justice - so I am going with the "one picture is worth a thousand words" theory.

Enjoy several thousand words worth of photos!

unique cribbage 1 unique cribbage 2unique cribbage 3 unique cribbage 4

 unique cribbage 5

 

 

This cribbage board is among a few items that are so meaningful to me, that I can not imagine parting with them.  Ed and I have spent many winter nights, or nights up at the cabin playing cribbage - the memories of the HOURS we played cribbage - and the MASTER CRAFTMANSHIP that was put into making this cribbage board - makes it (for me) irreplaceable, and SECOND TO NONE. 

 

 

 

- - - - - - -

Now, the shameless plug.

Like many folks all around this country, my "best bud Ed" recently found himself out of work.  His job loss has motivated him to try making a living doing something he enjoys, and he has AMAZING skills doing. 

Woodworking!

Well, actually more than just woodworking, some of the things he demonstrates AMAZING skills at include, but are certainly not limited to general repairs, installations, light carpentry/ remodeling, flooring, trim work / painting, and drywall repair.

But it is his mastery over wood, and wood related accessories (which are SECOND TO NONE) that I (try not to) envy.  Over the past couple of years, he has been commissioned  to build some unique custom pieces of furniture. 

I am in awe of what he has done... 

So, I am going to use the FOF blog to help spread the word - I am going to combine the first "A Few of my Favorite Things" post with an "advertisement" for Ed's Woodworking business.

Folks, if you are in need of any woodworking, custom made furniture, or other QUALITY done work - please get a hold of EJHudak Woodworking....   He does AMAZING work!

For now, the phone number is (obviously) incorrect on the advertisement...  I will get that repaired, but in the mean time, check out some of his work HERE, and feel free to contact Ed  AT THIS EMAIL ADDRESS - if you have any questions, or are interested in seeing what he can do for you! 

You will be glad you did!

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First day of K, 3rd, 7th, and 8th

On this, my second day of working the dog-watch (overnight) shift - I was able to make it home just in time to see the girls off to school.

This year is the first year since we were married (16 years ago) that ALL of our kids are in school, and we have none at home during the day.  (Which, I hope helps, when it comes to working the overnight shift...  A nice quiet house!)

Today, I'm taking the easy way out - a photo essay of the first day of school for the  4 youngest of our 5.  (The oldest is livin' on his own, and started post-secondary this year - after a two-year hiatus).  Sorry folks, as much as I would LOVE to embarrass him here with photos of HIS first day of school - I do not have any.

Hey, #1 of 5... I know you read the blog.  Do you have any photos of yourself on the first day of Culinary Arts School? 

 

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Left to right... #3 of 5 (6th grade), and #2 of 5 (8th grade)

Neither of these boys wanted a "first day of school" photo, but the Mother of Five was able to snap this one and only picture.

(Maybe they forget who feeds them, clothes them, and gives them shelter.  Perhaps it's time for a "friendly reminder"!)

 

 

 

 

 

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#5 of 5 on her VERY FIRST DAY of Kindergarten.

She was not too excited!

 

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The girls... #4 and #5 of 5 - 3rd grade, and Kindergarten

 

 

  

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#4 of 5 - First day of 3rd grade.

For all you new parents out there, enjoy it. 

They grow up way to fast sometimes...

 

 

 

  

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I wonder who was holding on to this day more...  #5 of 5 (nervous about her first day of school) or Mother of Five (sending her youngest, and last little one at home off to school for the first time)

 

 

 

 

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Baton Handed over.  #4 of 5 is such a caretaker... She did a great job of watching out for her little sister.

 

 

 

 

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After school... A quick photo before heading in and hearing all about the first day of school from the girls, and DRAGGING the stories about the first day of school out of the boys.

Minnesota State Fair - 2009 - Part 2 - The Details

As promised in a previous post (Minnesota State Fair - 2009 - Part 1 - Photos), I will share a bit -o- the Minnesota State Fair with you all.

A day before we were going to the fair, the Mother of Five was on the phone with her mother, and we found out that we were both planning on going to the State Fair on the same day.  Plans were made to drive up together, and spend at least some of the day together.

We utilized a "Park-n-Ride" and rode a very nice coach bus to the fair from the parking lot.  Unfortunatly the lines were so long (as was our wait to get on the bus) that when we reached the bus, the driver told us he could take us as long as we were OK standing.  We accepted the offer - and climbed aboard.  Two very nice young teenage girls offered to give up their seats for my in-laws (an usual gesture in this day and age).

I'll be honest.  The state fair is nothing more than a food-fest for me.  99.99% of the rest of the stuff - I could take or leave - it's just filler.  People watching, and food.  Food and people watching. 

My "regular" diet of food fair consists of (not in any specific order) a Pronto Pup (corn dog), foot long hot dog (smothered in onions), a portion of Fried Cheese Curds, a "Wimpy" hamburger, alligator on a stick, and soda.

I arrived at the fair "hungry".  Hungry for a foot long.  The first booth we stopped at was the Pronto Pup stand (for the kids that did not want a foot long).  Then, we scurried down the street for a round of foot longs... (Photo on previous post)

Folks, I can eat fast (it comes with my job).  But I was AMAZED at the speed and efficiency #2 of 5 put away his foot long hot dog.  I am not exaggerating when I say it would be more accurate to measure it in seconds than in minutes...  I do not think that dog was outside his stomach for more that 59 seconds.  I was afraid to get my fingers too close for fear that they may have been pulled into that vortex.  YIKES!

Once we finished the pronto pups and foot longs, I disappeared down the street, and snagged some Mini Donuts for all to share for "desert".  I am quite certain #5 of 5 enjoyed them more than anyone!  (Photo on previous post)

Now that we all had an initial round of food in us, it was time to make our way through the rest of the fair.  Home improvement building, Creative Arts Building, Marketplace, and various other points of interest.

The crowds were HUGE (Record breaking numbers for attendance this year).  The smells, sounds, and sights of the fair were all around us.  We made our way through the crowd, and arrived at the Stihl Chainsaws & Cabela's Ironjack Lumberjack show.  We were 35 minutes early...

JUST ENOUGH TIME TO GRAB A GIANT BAG OF KETTLE KORN TO HELP KILL THE TIME!!

As we waited, we all pounded down the Kettle Korn.... Mmmm... Sweet and salty = Savory!  Trust me on that! (Photo on previous post)

The Lumberjack show was good, but the same show I have seen for YEARS now.  It's saving grace for me.... #5 of 5 had not yet seen it, so you could see some fascination in her face!  This could very well be the last year for the lumberjack show...

After the Lumberjack show it was time to say goodbye to my in-laws.  My father in law had to work that evening. 

After parting ways, the rest of us continued meandering around the fair, until we reached the next mecca of foodly pilgrimage. 

Cheese Curds!  (Photo on previous post)

The Mother of Five took our soda cups to the Pepsi stand for refills, and I took #3 of 5 with me and we hit the Cheese Curd Booth.  I picked up two containers of Cheese Curds, and snacked while we waited for the Mother of Five.  By the time she arrived, she had also made a quick detour and had a container of Deep Fried Pickles to add to our greasy bounty! 

That's two containers of curds, and one container of pickles, and a new round of sodas (for those out there counting)...  With the addition of the pickles - there was more than enough to go around ("more than enough" being the key phrase here folks).

I did finally reach that point of realization that "I should stop now", but like any good fairgoer, I ignored that little voice of wisdom, and instead listened to the voice that said "These things cost way to much to throw away... Eat up fatty, you know you can do it!"

... Sigh... 

In all reality, I most likely ate one container of curds (and a single bite of pickle - since I do not care much for pickles) by myself.  Not completely unusual - many folks eat a whole container by themselves.  But normally, I am not a big cheese eater, so by the time I was done my stomach was now saying (louder than the voices heard earlier) "What have you done to me??  Oh man, I am going to REALLY get you back!!"...

Which it did.

This my friends, is where my culinary delight ended.  1 foot long, some Kettle Korn, Cheese Curds, and a BITE of deep fried pickle.  Within a few minutes, my gut was rolling like a California Earthquake...  And folks, when you (or at least my) gut gets rolling like that, it's not long before you start feelin' down the ol' "lower G.I. tract" - if you know what I mean.

Parcopresis and Paruresis... Need I say more? 

We did more shopping in the Grandstand Vendor areas, and did even more walking - which did nothing to help churn up that delightful brew that was stewing away inside of me. 

As the end of our day approached, we started taking into consideration all the things the kids still wanted to do, see, and eat before we left, and then developed our exit strategy.  First up.  the "Haunted Mansion".

#2 of 5 is our big fan of the Haunted Mansion.  He had been hounding to go in since we arrived.  #3 of 5 had no interested in going in, and #5 of 5 is too small for such a fright.  #4 of 5 seemed hesitant, but also seemed like she wanted to go.  After much hemming and hawing, she pulled the trigger and decided to give it a try.  They (#2 and #4 of 5) tried to get  me to go in with them, but folks, I have a ethical duty to be honest with you - Given the way my... um.... how shall we say...  "thunder down under" was intensifying - I am certain the result of going in the "Haunted Mansion" would be having to close it down, while a "Bio-spill" needed to be cleaned on the floor.  So, #2 and #4 of 5 went in on their own.  The both came out with a smile (although #4 of 5's smile was mixed shock and smile) - but they said they liked it!  (Photo on previous post)

While waiting for the kids inside the "Haunted Mansion" - we found  a spot on a bench.  The Mansion was right next door to and even more frightening, even more disturbing, even more honorific venue...  The MASSIVE public restroom.  The constant reminder of it's presence was only overshadowed by the nightmarishly paralyzing idea of actually going in there... So, I sat and let it torture me. (Photo on previous post)

Next up on the "must do" list was cotton candy.  Thankfully - the cotton candy booth was right outside the bathrooms and the "Haunted Mansion".  Mother of Five bought a sack of cotton candy, and the kids (and MOF) went to town.   I stayed out of the cotton candy.  A.)  I HATE the stuff.  B.) I was still gurgling away. 

Nope, no cotton candy for me.

We then made our way through the "International Bazaar", and off to the Dairy building for a peek at the butter sculptures, and a couple of shakes.  One chocolate, One vanilla.  Shared.  Hoping the vanilla shake may help sooth my rolling digestive tract, I did manage a few spoonfuls, but I was not going to risk adding any further pressure on the "valve" where more vanilla shake would eventually end.

Final request on the way out...  Deep Fried onion blossom.  Normally - I would have GLEEFULLY partaken in such a delightful delicacy - but since the disaster with the cheese curds, I was down for the count.  In fact, we ALL were down for the count (except #3 of 5 - who wanted the onion blossom). 

After a short bout of performing the Jedi Mind Trick reasoning with him (promising a trip to a local restaurant where we could order one at another time, and a gentle reminder that deep fried fair food does not "fare" well in the refrigerator) we agreed to call it a day.

A quick coach bus ride back to the parking lot - and we were on our way home. 

Folks, I can not believe I am saying this, but by the time we got home (about a hour away) everyone was complaining how HUNGRY they were!?!?!  Mother of five wanted anything green and leafy - the kids did not care - and I wanted NOTHING to do with putting anything more in my mouth...  So a quick stop at our local McDonalds - and we were home. 

The kids were all exhausted, and went to bed without problems.  Mother of Five and I were also exhausted - and in bed sleeping shortly after the kids. 

Around 1am - unbeknownst to us - #5 of 5 had crawled into bed between us, and snuggled in (not that uncommon).  What was uncommon - was vomiting noise (and smell) as the spot between us (that currently was occupied with #5 of 5) was quickly filled with semi (mostly) digested fair food.

On the up side (at least for me) was the fact that while she was laying there, she just happened to be facing the Mother of Five - so MOF got the raw end of that deal...  Which left me with the delightful task of cleaning the bed while MOF cleaned #5 of 5 and herself. 

The vomiting continued every two hours - WELL into the next day...  We thought it was the result of the overly greasy fair food, until (just as #5 of 5 was feeling better a day later) #4 of 5 did the same thing.  Only #4 of 5 did it at her school's "open house" - christening the bathroom floor for the new school year!

I guess it was not the fair food after all...

Prayers ARE heard.

Father of Five rule of thumb...  Do not talk about work (or talk VERY LITTLE about work) on the blog.

This post?  An rare exception.

Today, as I was leaving work after sitting in a meeting all day - I entered our PSAP...

PSAP = Public Safety Answering Point - a fancy term for a 911 center
(You can see a photo of one of our workstations HERE if you are interested)

... anyway, as I entered our PSAP, it was IMMEDIATLY evident that something significant was going on. 

My partners both had blank stares on their faces, and a horrified look about them.  I quickly glanced over at the CAD screen, and from my vantage point, I could tell that there was a significant incident going on.  It was one single call on the screen, and all but a couple of officers were on it.  The screen was full of red.  Red means two things on my CAD monitor.  It means a unit's status is "on scene" for their call (vs "dispatched", "en-route", "arrived", or "code 4") and it means the call the officer is on is a Priority 1 call.   

202 It is not uncommon for a large number of officers to be working a single "Priority 1" call.  But the look in my partner's faces told me something was not right. 

I was informed that one of our officers (actually, one of our Patrol Sergeants) was involved in an accident.  This is something I hate hearing, but nothing I have not worked before...  But in this case, it was one of our Motorcycle officers, and  in this case, the accident was "significant".

I was told that our Sergeant was transported to the Hennepin County Medical Center.  HCMC (as it is called in my world) is the closest "Level 1 trauma center".   

I will not be going into any details, but the word we were receiving was... Less than reassuring. 

Even though it was my scheduled time to go home, as I started gathering up my "man bag", I could hear the emotions of the dispatchers who handled the call coming to a boiling point.  I plugged in, logged in, and sat down to help relieve some of the added stress.  A fourth dispatcher (who was on break when this happened, and rushed back) plugged back in, and together we sent the original two out of the PSAP for a much needed, and well deserved break.

I stayed long enough to allow the two working dispatchers to regain their composure, and headed home.

My commute (a 30 minute commute) was spent in heavy prayer for my Sergeant.  For his wife, and children, and parents.  I prayed that he be all right, and that if at all possible the devastation of a LODD (line of duty death) pass our department by.

The Sergeant was HEAVY on my mind.  I had made arrangements with my partners that ANY word be delivered to me by phone, cellular, or pager as it is made available.  I held the phone in my hand awaiting news.  Dinner rolled around, and I found my appetite non-existent.  I went through the motions, but hung by my phone awaiting news.

About 3/4 of the way through dinner, the phone rang.  The caller ID displayed "City of Bloomington".  I lifted the receiver to my ear - worried about what I was going to hear... 

The news was good. 

Again, without getting into a lot of details, I'll say that his condition and prognosis was much better than when I had been hearing as I left work.

Prayers ARE answered...

This Sergeant and I "came up" in the department together.  He was the second officer hired after I started - and we were both "green behind the gills" together.  He has always been respectful of our roll as dispatchers, and both as a officer and a Sergeant - would frequently stop up and shoot the breeze with us.

I look forward to several more years of working both WITH and FOR this Sergeant, and my prayers will continue to be with him, and with his family throughout his recovery.

I also wish to commend my co-workers, who worked through a SIGNIFICANTLY traumatic event, and did so professionally.  You both earned my admiration tonight!

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Links to the news coverage of the accident.

LINK 1, LINK 2, Link 3, LINK 4,

Minnesota State Fair - 2009 - Part 1 - Photos

The Minnesota State Fair 2009 experience in photos.

(photos are clickable for slightly larger versions)

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Our Shuttle bus dropped us off right in front of the CHS "Miracle of Birth" animal birthing center.  Visitors are treated with pens and pens of animals on the verge of giving birth.  If you are lucky, you MAY just get to witness a live birth... But don't fret.  If you miss a live birth, you can watch one of the many prerecorded births on the numerous "jumbo Monitors placed strategically around the center.

There is NOTHING better to witness first hand, while on your way to pig out on a bunch of greasy, over the top fried foods!  (gag....)

 

 

 

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First food stop.... (Almost a) Foot Long Hot Dog - smothered in fried onions.  I left the ketchup and mustard off until AFTER the photo!

Then...

Tom Thumb Mini Donuts!!  Enough to share will all!

 

 

 

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Mini donuts for #5 of 5 - the mini'est of the five!

Mmmm... I love sugar on my lips!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RICOLA!! 

(Don't know what Ricloa is?  Let these guys tell you!)

LINK

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It's not a Minnesota event unless there is some SPAM somewhere!!

Spam hot dogs, and a Spamburger!! 

(No, that was NOT on the menu for the day - although I have had a spamburger before!!)

 

 

 

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Next up was the lumberjack show.  But since it was not starting for a half hour, we found some good seats, and went...

Krazy with the Kettle Korn!

 

 

 

 

 

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A rare glimpse of the Father of Five... (Holding the camera at arms length while taking a photo...)

 

Kettle Korn after we were finished!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Next series of photos are from the Kiddy Farm - Where the wee little ones learn about farming, and how we get our food... They pretend to plant seeds, harvest crops, gather eggs (AtHomeDaddy - that middle photo is JUST FOR YOU!) take all your proceeds to market, and sell them for profit.  Then you take your "profit" and get to buy an item... (Small stuffed animal, individual box of cereal, can of veggies, etc....) - which shows kids how the farm cycle works!

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This photo is provided included as a result of a facebook discussion about "Texas foods served at the Minnesota State Fair"

I wonder if they serve Minnesota foods at the Texas State Fair, like Lefse?

 

 

 

 

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Deep Fried Cheese Curds...

 

Need I say more?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And if Deep Fried Cheese Curds are not enough, try the Deep fried Pickles!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After all that deep fried food, you have to wash it down with a Soda... I think that was the most soda #5 of 5 has ever drank in one setting..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#3 of 5 was quite intrigued with the stories written for each of the capes, and stuffed animals on the Minnesota DNR's "Wall of Shame".. Animals that were poached, and that a TIP'ster (Turn In Poachers)turned in - resulting in a conviction...

Good to see some early hunting ethics being instilled in my kids!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Left to Right... #5 of 5, Mother of Five, #3 of 5, #4 of 5, and #2 of 5.

Missing.... #1 of 5, and the Father of Five.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All the milk you can drink (white or chocolate) for a buck. 

 

It's a "Milk Bar"!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A annual tradition... Butter busts of all the pageant winners...

Carved out of blocks of butter...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#2 of 5 and #3 of 5 were the only ones interested in going in the "Haunted Mansion".

I have in the past, but was not interested at this point due to some "Paruresis and Parcopresis related difficulties"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After the Haunted Mansion... It was a cotton candy Free-for-all!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Right next door to the Haunted Mansion.. Was the scariest place in the whole fair... Far scarier then ANY Haunted Mansion, Haunted House, or Horror Show...

THE PUBLIC RESTROOM...

Nope, no way.  Not goin'  in there.  WAY TO SCARY!

 

 

 

 

 

Photo show complete.. I had a lot more, but it gets to be daunting (resizing and labeling the photos with the blogsite)... I have a couple of stores to share - but you will have to stay tuned for those...

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