Greetings to you all!
After a rather rough stretch, I thought I'd offer a brief explanation of my disappearance roughly ten months ago. In early August, I started with all of the preliminary work of finding a new job. My previous employer was busily shipping all of the jobs in my department to the Philippines, including sending several of my co-workers over to train our replacements. The writing was on the wall. I could have stayed and gotten a transfer to another department (as many in my department did), but I was generally sick of the management and pay. I lucked out and found a similar job with another company, netting myself a bit of an increase in pay and better benefits all around. I was slated to begin training there Oct 7th of last year.
On the night of Oct 4th, I had a stroke late in the evening, one that left me unable to communicate. I was alert, knew what was going on, walked to the car, otherwise perfectly normal. My wife, bless her heart, figured it out in about 30 seconds, and had me to the hospital in less than a half hour. I was getting prepped for cath lab and couldn't keep from coughing (just one of those weird things), making catheterization a risky prospect at best. The specialist on staff gave me the option for an injection of a clot busting medication, but the concern was it could break off a piece and, well, kill me. I assented, and my wife approved, so it was done.
Within just a short while, I was able to start communicating again, first by pointing to pictures, then slowly regaining my speech. By the next morning, I was about 90% recovered, and by the end of the weekend just about 100%. My new employer worked with me through the whole ordeal; I missed the first week of training, spent the second week working 1 on 1 with a team coach, and had rejoined my training class by the third week. We finished training in November, had the holiday season to ease into the job, and Jan 1, we started mandatory overtime that lasted until mid-May.
I spent a significant portion of the year eyeball deep in work, as well as cleaning up some of the other issues in my life. DSL Ironworks got sidelined in the process. I've continued working on the Fleet book as I'm able (and have two more nearing completion, knock on wood).
But, things are settling down (at least time-wise) and I've managed to get some drive back to work with the Ironworks stuff. Anyway, if you've asked yourself "I wonder what happened to him?", that's the short version. I've got more stuff planned as well, so I hope you'll stay tuned!