30 August 2008

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?

27 August 2008

How to kill your IT Department + Kindergarten

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. I took one for the team here 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.

100_2725_small 100_2729_small


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...

24 August 2008

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.

race 019

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.

20 August 2008

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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17 August 2008

I was sitting in church the today and noticed a few empty pews here and there. Now I'm no great Catholic by any means but I have a few ideas on how to pump the numbers for attendance.

I think that one of the main things to do is to promote goal before you get to the end goal. Something more immediate than the ethereal concept of 'eternal salvation.' How about, "Shooting laser beams from your hands!" zappity BVM

Look, the BVM can do it!
This, of course, would have to be a higher level ability. Sorta like those levels that those idiots Dianetics believers subscribe to except we have proof. Look, it's in the picture. There's like a million of those pictures all over the place.

What else have we got? That's right...transubstantiation! That's not wine dammit...that's real blood. The priest just made it. Poof! Nothing up his sleeve and no symbolism. I think a adding a few after dusk masses and the addition of Father Lestat will bring in those vampire wannabes in droves.

The cannibalism aspect of the big switcheroo is hard to push on anyone. Let's just go with, "Free Cookies!" Plain or chocolate chip ma'am?

We can appeal to the ladies as well. "Come see our big organ!" This may require some retrofitting of ill equipped churches, but the draw is well worth it.

Lastly, they really need to let those priests get some wives. These guys obviously need some sort of outlet. Come on already. This rule was obviously made by some dude who couldn't get laid back when they slapped this stuff together. I bet he slipped it into 'appendix C' and by the time the editing was done on the rest of the rules, they just passed it though without even checking. I think ultimately it'll save on a few lawsuits here and there.

Yup, those are some great ideas. I'll see if I can come up with some more. I have a feeling the big guy with the funny hat will be calling any day now to seek my advice on implementing those changes.


06 August 2008

I don't mention this much because it's not really an issue for me, but our son is adopted from South Korea. I say it's not much of an issue because he's our son. Period. It doesn't matter how he got here, he's our son.

Recently though he's started bringing it up himself. I guess he's at that age so we'll get it out of the way now.

Yesterday he's eating a waffle, looks down, and says, "Am I the color of this Eggo?"

Wow, that was a little flustering. I said, "Dude, you've been outside all summer. You're the color of tan."

I thought that it was time to go over some things at this point until he said, "...because my hair is the color of this Eggo."

At this point I was considering color blindness tests since his hair is black. I knew that the whole adoption thing was sneaking up on us even though he let that drop.

This morning with his mother he said, "Mommy, how did I get here?" Now she didn't want to go into the whole, 'They wheeled you off the airplane and plopped you in our laps (it really wasn't much more auspicious than that) so she rambled. It was expert rambling, but ended up at "The Gift from Afar."

It's a story about a stork who brings adopted children, blah, blah, blah. (It's a great book: here if you're interested) and even though he knows its a fairly tale, it distracted him enough that we can start game planning.

Much of this is made worse by 3 factions. They are all plotting against us as one unified whole. Children, older people (yes, grandma P., that includes you), and assholes.

Children are the most straightforward. It's usually, "Where are you from?" when they meet him. He deftly replies with the name of the town we live in but the question still hangs there.

Next are older folks. Hey, I'm not picking or anything. It's just the way they were raised. Here's a list of gems we've heard from them:

  • "I love Koreans, they're so cute." WTF? like bunnies?
  • "He'll do really well in math." Yeah, because that's a racial feature.
  • "He must like fish." Yet another defining racial divide...
  • After we tell them he was 6 months old when we adopted him, "Did he speak any English?" Um, how good was your 6 month old with the language?
  • "He'll be really graceful." Arrgh, I could choke you, but there's laws and shit. Now my son could do one-handed cartwheels by age five, but that's because he's coordinated. It's just a fluke.

The last is the worst: assholes. I chalk it up to ignorance more than malice. There's just more dumb that goes around. There's this one dude we know. A friend of a friend of the family. Here are two of his greatest hits:

  • "Ya know, some of the kids in Japan are getting operations to make their eyes look more western."
  • Upon viewing a baby picture, "He looks like a little sumo wrestler."

My Mother-in-Law gets all jazzed with him. We tend to just steer him away from this crap. The time is upon us though where we'll have to have 'the talk.' We can't be there all the time so we'd best prep him. He's almost six. It should just sink right in.