So, four years with the Alaska Public Defender Agency. To be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about it. Where the hell has the time gone? The only concrete difference is that I am now vested 75% in my retirement account. 364 days until 100%! To 'celebrate' I went out bird hunting on a spectacular fall day. Our September continues to be amazing. We had our first frost last night and the day felt like a true fall day. Bright blue skies and fall colors. Truly amazing. As for the job? I don't know. I have my complaints, but I am sure as hell not going to talk about them here. And they are personal to me. The Agency continues to be a great place to work. Bright lawyers, great staff and adequate resources are the norm. I am just at that place where I need a week off. I am getting sick of some parts of this job. Sometimes I just want to grab people and shake some sense into them. YOU HAVE KIDS! STOP SLAMMING METH! GET A JOB! GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER! But I don't. Instead I try and make a cogent argument why a third party is excessive bail. Or something. The chance of a week off? Zero. I have had to sell most of my vacation time to pay medical bills. And I just learned that I cooked something in my boat motor the last time I went out. My friend Steve was visiting this weekend from the Fairbanks office and I was describing how every month I pray for nothing to break. Just one month Lord! He was right: when you get enough stuff in life, it is just natural that some stuff will constantly wear out. I guess that is my biggest regret. 4 years into it and I am more broke than when I started. Yup, I have a couple of toys. But not enough to justify the constant feeling of worry over money. I have to laugh when I hear about gas prices in the lower 48. We are 68 cents higher than San Francisco, the highest place in the U.S. Or the cost of anything really. I have to smile when I remember my bright eyed enthusiasm about Alaska when I first came here. To be sure, I am still sometimes amazed at where I live. And when I think about my complaints about my job and the worries I have over our future, I try and remember the places I have been and the things I have seen in this amazing place. It is just my personality to want more. To be slightly unhappy with what I have. I can't help it. But it has been 4 years now. And I am a Public Defender in Alaska. Helping to keep one of the last free places on Earth free for my kids. And for all the frustration and expense, I am where I want to be. For all my mistakes, struggles and regrets, I am raising my children where they can still be amazed by life. I have counted up the price. And freedom don't come free. I am an Alaskan. I am a Public Defender.


God, do you remember the weeks leading up to this great adventure? Alaska still stirs that in me when I think of my time there.
Congratulations, Ben. Alaska is a better place because of you.

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