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Escaping the Mower

The other day I was out with The Boy and we decided to mow the lawn. It’s sort of fun too. He pushes along side of me and we have a good time doing it.

We got about half of the yard done and I noticed a large moth just sort of hanging out in the grass right in the path of the mower. I stopped the mower and and he asked why.

“We should help this moth out of the way,” I say. I was thinking this is a great way to teach him how to be nice and respect nature and all that other stuff we’re supposed to impart as parents.

We raised some butterflies earlier in the year and he got a kick out of that, so he scrunches down next to me and gets a good look at the moth. He didn’t want to hurt it, so I picked it up. It was didn’t fly away instantly so The Boy got a chance to hold it gently in his palm anyway. He plopped it back into my hand and I tossed it into the air.

It fluttered away aimlessly and then a sparrow came out of nowhere and ate the damn thing. The Boy and I just sort of stared for a second and he said, “I guess we could have left him there.”

I laughed out loud and said, “Sometimes life bites you in the butt like that buddy.”

Yeah, two lessons in one shot. The first being the traditional, “Be nice and respect nature.” The second being, “Even if you escape the whirling blades of death, there can always be something just as bad just waiting for its chance.” I didn’t articulate that second lesson that grimly for The Boy, but I think the sparrow did an awesome job of doing it for me.

The lawn looks great by the way.


College Etiquette for Students

I work at a small university. The students are usually pretty nice, but I think there are perhaps a few areas they cold use some schooling in. I’ll cover a few at a time. I know they have other things that they need to study right now, so I’ll hit a few tidbits across a few posts so it can be absorbed in small chunks.

1. Since we’re speaking of chunks…If you feel the need to ‘deliver street pizza’ (AKA ralph, barf, technicolor yawn, etc.) after a long night of bingeing and there’s a choice between grass or the sidewalk, always choose the grass. I don’t need to see what you were eating last night people. A little consideration goes a long way here. and yick by the way.

2. If you feel the need to talk on the cell phone as we step into the elevator, don’t glare at me when I join in on the conversation. It’s a public area and if you’re going to be nattering away, so am I. Don’t expect me to stare politely at the doors while you annoy the living shit out of me.

3. Don’t send me copies of your spam. Yes, I know what it looks like. Hell, I even get some myself sometimes. We can’t catch it all but we try. If you keep sending me your spam after I explain all this to you, I know a guy (me) who can put the freaking kibosh to your ability to correspond with anyone.

There. That shouldn’t tax you too much for now. Go, enjoy the semester and do well.

Side note: I’ll be migrating my blog to here since I’ve figured out the three column thing in blogger. I’ll double post for a while so people like Ellie can strategically plan the bookmark change. I know it’s rough, but I understand your pain and I’m here to help.


Poor Souls

I read many blogs and many of the topics touch me. Maggie has an awesome post here that is beautifully written and really captures the human condition. I’ve also read ones that have brought tears to my eyes. I’m sure that we all have. There are stories from all over that just rock you back on your heels and make you happy for what you have.

Then we have this:


Taken out of context one might think, “How horrible that they lost someone they knew in the war,” or some other logical sentiment. This however, is a picture of two people at the democratic national convention. Say that with me. “Democratic. National. Convention.” Not a funeral or somewhere that would warrant tears. It’s a political rally. These people are blithering idiots (I used a stronger term previously but my cynicism wouldn’t carry that far. I think it was effing morons.) They are shedding tears over a politician. Don’t they have anything worth crying about? I know that some people get all weepy at various things, but politicians? I don’t trust these people to pick a president. Perhaps a nice flower arrangement, but not a president. I prefer people to use their heads in a political race. I’m not sold on anyone just yet. I want more facts.

The other day some people (media talking heads including Stephanopopolusnous or whatever his name is…I’m not looking it up for the sake of this post.) were discussing the campaign and how the Dems needed to push a single message so we, the poor public, didn’t get all confused. Um…shouldn’t there be lots of issues for us to look into before we pick? Evidently not for the twits up above. I’m not all political and crap, but these people are going to become the poster children for the DNC and it’s not a good thing. I can feel it in my bones…like the flu.

These people need to point a finger at themselves (but not at your eye…I don’t want to be responsible for impairing your vision.) and repeat this mantra, “Get a life. Use your head.” Continue until your feel the urge to compare platforms.

On a side note: My blog address is titled after my old gamer tag, “Heinous.” Modeled after the pronunciation of my last name, “Heiney.” Astoundingly witty, eh? It’s a little old and since it’s spelled in ‘leet,’ I think I might be better served by redoing the address of the blog (just the front bit since I’m too cheap to buy my own domain.) Any thoughts or suggestions from my loyal readers? I think I’m up to almost five of you now. Keep it or change it?


How to kill your IT Department plus the seperate topic of Kindergarten

Edit: I had to retitle this from How to Kill your IT Department + Kindergarten. Waaay too easy to misread. I would never condone the killing of kindergartens…IT departements, sure, but never kindergartens

A scene from the breakroom:

“Did you bring that in?”
I looked at the neatly sliced cake my colleague was pointing at and said, “Nope. What about Rich?”
He shook his head and said, “He’s not in yet. Is Jeff in?”
I shook my head, “I haven’t seen him…unless he went out on call already.”
Joel shrugged and said, “I’ll be back in a second when the coffee is done.”
A few minutes pass and Joel comes back. He looks around and says, “Did you eat a piece?”
“Dude, it was sitting there underutilized. I had to.”
“How is it?”
“Quite tasty.”

The moral: you can wipe out your whole computing department with one well-placed and well-laced pastry. Well, except for the the one person who took a whole week off from sweets. That one person will end up wishing he or she had eaten the cake as well after all the support calls start rolling in.

You will be happy to know that there were no casualties. There was also no shroomy sort of hallucinations that went on and lord knows I could have gone for that since the students were back. I took one for the team by being the official taster for the day. I’m still waiting for that medal of valor.

On the kindergarten front, my son was a smidge weepy the first day, but he did well. He didn’t want mommy to leave, so we did the whole ‘daddy runs blocker while mommy bolts for the door’ maneuver. It’s a well practiced move and has served us well over the years. I did the requisite comforting and then passed to the teacher who did an awesome job. He was fine as soon as we passed from sight.

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Day 2: I think he really could have cared less that we left. It was like he had grown up without even the big “Poof!” and puff of smoke. There was play-dough dammit. Bigger things were on the horizon…

Run for the Fallen

I had a race scheduled for the day today, so The Wife and The Boy hopped in the car with me and we all headed down. The race started in a park, so we took The Boy’s bike along to keep him occupied. When I had registered for the race, it was mainly so I could run the 5k but I took a look at the idea behind the event too. I thought it was a great idea, so it made the run that much more special. The local event had 185 flags around the war memorial in Boalsburg…one for each of the fallen soldiers from PA.

While we were milling around at the starting line, I was taking time to read some of the names around me. It was touching, but it wasn’t until I passed a flag that someone had placed a picture of their loved one that it really hit home. Here was the picture of a strong, young man who looked like he could take on the world…except it ended up the other way around.

Then someone said, “Take your marks. Go!” So I went and so did some really awesome thought that would have been great to write down somewhere–in a blog perhaps–but events swept it away.

Random thoughts during the run (because that’s all I have while running)

…wow, this is the hottest day in the past month, perhaps one of the hottest of the summer.

…how did they hid this hill around that little bend?

…that warning on the antibiotics ( the doc caught the Lyme disease early. No worries, but thanks for caring) about avoiding direct exposure to sunlight must be why it feels like I’ve been shaved all over vigorously and doused in vinegar.

…holy shit, that hill is much larger.

…lotsa dudes look really effeminate when they run. Hmmm…no, no, it must just be them.

…hill…still…going. must just put one foot in front of the other.

Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking out the door

….AAAAHHHHHH how did a “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” tune get stuck in my head!? Goddamn it! Make it go away! 

…almost done and finally a downhill…followed by a sharp uphill…and now I’m turning a corner…too a steeper hill.

Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking out the door

…Mother. Fucker. Hate this song now.

…and a mild downhill to the finish.

The Boy was at the finish and ran the last 25 yards with me. Too cool. 

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and no, he does not require that helmet for normal, everyday life. He was riding his bike before I got there.

The race was fun and I don’t really know where I placed yet, but I don’t really care. The run was worth it and the cause was more than worth it. I will wear the shirt proudly.

 race 023


Now I just have to figure out how the hell you can start and end at the same point and still run mostly uphill to get there.


Summer Flocks

School is coming up fast and although I’m nervous about my son’s foray into kindergarten, there is one thing I won’t miss: the neighborhood flock o’ kids. You know the one. A cloud that runs up and down the street that’s topped with heads at varying heights and either legs or wheels at the bottom. In the middle there’s usually an electron cloud of arms and odd sounds emanate at random intervals.

The Flock itself isn’t too bad. It keeps The Boy occupied and it’s easier to get stuff done. Just a quick peek out the window or a glance up from yard work does the trick. The first problem arises when you try to separate The Boy from The Flock. Sometime it’s easy. If you time it when he’s thirsty or hungry, you can lure him away with the promise of refreshment. Care must be exercised though since if the rest of The Flock notices, you’re out of juice boxes in the blink on an eye.

This was my first summer of flock and we’re pretty laid back. I didn’t realize though that I’d turn around and wonder how that child got in my house and where precisely did my child go? It’s like dealing with vampires too…once you invite them into the house you can’t get rid of them. Garlic doesn’t work; they’ll eat that too. A stake through the heart just pisses off the other parents in the neighborhood, so that’s out.

The second big problem is when The Flock dwindles in number due to vacations, activities, or a brief recovery from a stake through the heart. Then instead of the nice mob mentality, you see the lines being drawn. Usually it’s boys versus girls. I have a boy, that’s easy. It’s the girls who cause the trouble. (Note: this is from the experience in my neighborhood. If you have a girl who never pulls this crap, kudos to you. I also suggest to you that perhaps you’re not watching all the time.) He’ll be standing across the street and call over to the two or three girls playing and is promptly ignored. I mean totally. Not a word, not a nod. Now my boy is sweet (to others, not necessarily to his parents) and he gets a little bent at this. I’ll tell him things like, “They must be playing really hard,” or the occasional, “Sometimes people do that.” I then usually lure him off with some daddy time.

What I’d like to say: “Yeah, women are like that and it will probably get worse until high school. It should let up a bit then…if you’re lucky…and choose to run with women that don’t suck like that. You can also eventually use ‘dude revenge’ by paying attention to a girl for a while and then go run off and play with your male friends and totally ignore her thereby gaining revenge (in your head) on the whole of the female species. This initially will be a genetic flaw, but by college will most likely be a measured response which you will hopefully outgrow by the time you graduate college.”

I won’t even go into the issues I have with the one member of the estrogened side of The Flock right now. I will later because I have no shame and will pick on little girls (after softening the blow by relating her background) who dis The Boy.

Oh well, a few more days and it’ll hopefully be all homework and after school activities. Then The Flock will be no more. I’m sure I’ll have school issues to deal with, but at least they won’t be in my house eating whatever they see and drinking all the damn juice boxes.

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