That’s always a good question when you’re reading this blog. A few times over the years I’ve just dropped off the scope and left you wondering. Usually not intentionally, things just got away from me. But this time it was intentional.
First, I needed a little breather after Thanksgiving. It was a long haul getting there, and I’d just undertaken a new audio book – and have been waiting for over 40 days for Audible to put The COVID Quarantine Cantina on sale. We passed all the quality checks within ten minutes of upload, but they have been (and here I will interpret the long string of emails I have exchanged with them) overwhelmed with really crummy audio books recorded by authors of their own work. To protect their brand they are reviewing each book with human intervention.
Normally that isn’t a big deal: that’s how they did it for years. But they had developed an Artificial Intelligence bot that did that work for them. However, it only worked when proven artists did the recording. What the bot looked for was certain technical specifications. It could not possibly deal with mumblers and morons. Sadly, many self-published authors should not be allowed to read out loud. But they mastered the sound level issues by following directions. The books, however, were of poor quality and read badly. This hurts Audible’s brand. Thus, after years of working toward automating the process, they now needed to filter out books recorded during the quarantine because people had time to try and do their own books. Thus, I wait. My last book (submitted before the lockdown was a month old) passed quality review in 10 minutes and was for sale 3 days later.
Thus, waiting every day for a new book to drop was a drag. Seven authors were counting on me to pull it off – and the system defeated me – that we’d be for sale before Thanksgiving. And other things just got loaded on the plate.
There was, however, another good reason to miss publishing a blog last week. I was out of state getting certified to teach a course to First Responders. As many of you know, my passion for helping First Responders deal with stress has been a big part of my life for a long time. I was offered a chance to help mentor this course. It will be my third actual career after I retire from my present employer.
Details? Well, soon. I have to resolve a few things before I go into depth. But I can tell you that it is an incredibly effective course. It will help people in the field deal with the day-to-day hell that they are exposed to by their jobs. I can honestly say that the average citizen, even if they are “pro-cop” doesn’t get the damage we do to our First Responders by the very nature of their jobs. This training system gives them a complete tool kit to deal with what they experience, it opens new approaches, and it can all be done over the internet.
I am proud to be a part of it. It was not just a great road-trip, but I worked with the cream of the crop and was so honored to be there. The instructors were world-class, and my fellow students were Law Enforcement leaders that you’d follow through the gates of Hell. But our goal is to avoid the Hell that many face. And that made it even better.
More will be said about the training very shortly. It is safe to say that this should be available to every cop, firefighter, EMT/Paramedic, communications/dispatch person in the nation as soon as possible. We’re working to get more instructors certified so we can do just that.
But that’s where I was last week. And I thank you for your indulgence.