Species Spotlight: Omnis (Video)
For those of you who’d prefer a spoken version of my blog. Hope you like it.
School Storytime: 2-3 Storey Drop
Yes, you read the title right. Let me explain. Back in my early middle school days, I used to go to a private school. By any means, this wasn’t a rich school (Though according to my parents they were paid well enough to be). So, don’t ask if I got caviar and stuff because I didn’t. In fact, we needed to bring our own lunch. Why am I telling you this? Field trips were rare, and we didn’t possess basic facilities like a gym. You can imagine how excited we were when a local indoor rock-climbing place offered the school free use of their place for a gym course. We bounced off the walls in excitement to try our hands at it. When we first arrived, we were told exactly what we were learning… and some of us weren’t excited anymore. We were going to both climb and belay fellow classmates. For those who don’t know, belaying is the person holding the rope for the climber. It’s their job to pace and keep up with the climber so the rope doesn’t slack. Thus, preventing said person from falling, flipping over, tied up, etc. They claimed anyone could partner up with each other since the belayer is attach to the ground by a hook and harness. Meaning, someone five feet tall could belay someone a foot taller than them and weighed considerably more. Do you see the potential disaster yet?
Anyways, we pair up for the day. My partner was someone half my size/weight and I got a bad feeling. Didn’t matter though… we weren’t allowed to say no, or our grade would suffer. I took my feet off the safe padded ground and ascended the wall. The entire way I could feel the line was loose; saying this a couple times and slowing down for them to catch up. Once at the top and slapping the bar, I looked down and asked them to gently lower me down. I felt the line go slack and I fell straight down to the floor. My life flashed before my eyes… a good thing too since it reminded me how to fall without hurting myself. As the free-falling sensation tingled my skin and wind blew passed my ears, I steadied my feet to land. When I smacked the ground, my body vibrated and fell backwards. Suspended slightly off the ground for one of the adults noticed the incident. Looking over, I saw my fellow student off the ground and in the air… only stopped by the hook. I shook a bit from the shock while crowded by everyone. I don’t think anyone checked me for injury. Just asked if I was ok, I said yes, and that was that. The kicker is this happened three more times afterwards… with no punishment, retelling the rules, or redemonstrating to prevent it from happening again. Can you imagine why left this school in that year? Oh, the irresponsibility of that school (You’ll hear more about it)… Funny enough I did see the appropriate response from a teacher when this happened while in high school… something I’ll save for another day.
Work Storytime: Ice Cream Cone
So, this was my first job with taxes involved. A bit more pressure to do things correctly. My boss was a very angry man who talked with his hands. It wasn’t abnormal to hear him shouting and knocking stuff over. This came from his desire to sell the business for the past couple years; thinking about it more as a way to make money rather than a passion. Given this added stress level, it made it all the more imperative to succeed… especially for a kid in high school. However, he owned a very mixed business… a combination of a deli, convenient store, restaurant (And I use that term lightly), and ice cream stand. This gave me a lot to learn in little time. Thankfully, he was rarely there. Doubly so since I could never do one simple task… swirl an ice cream cone. No matter what I tried I couldn’t make a soft serve stay on a cone… To the point where my managers wouldn’t let me try anymore. Laughing at the fact I could do anything else, but this one easy task. Now, this was happening for months, and it was a well-known fact by all members of staff. In comes my boss on one of his rare visits. Customer orders a twist soft serve cone. My manager says he’ll be there in a minute to do it.
Overhearing this, my boss says, “KC can do it.”
Without missing a beat, he responds, “No, he really can’t make one.”
The most bewildered and angry face went on my boss’s face. Growling he commands, “Show me.”
First attempt was too small.
“Come on!” He says.
Second time, too big and uneven. Now, I’m hearing laughter.
In between I hear, “One more time.”
This time it was just plain deformed. They both were trying to catch their breath, my manager grabbing the cone for the customer.
Finally, my boss was able to squeeze out, “I guess it’s fine you can’t do one thing. Easier on my wallet too if I don’t let you try anymore.”
After they recovered from on the floor laughing, the three of us sat at one of the tables. Each of us ate one of the messed-up cones with a smile on our faces.
Work Story Time: The Umpire and the Bat
Way back when I was young, one of my first jobs was as an umpire. A great little job to ease me into the working world… sort of. Anyways, I came to one of the games as usual and met with the other two umpires. One of them was a friend of mine and the other I worked with before. Both these guys were doing this job longer than me. Remember that cause it’ll be important later. So, in most situations the most senior of the umpires is supposed to go behind home plate. However, neither of them wanted to do it. I, who wants to get the job done, volunteered for the duty.
I’d say we were halfway through the game. Dust in the air, people cheering, and a general sense of enjoyment by all. Nobody showed ill will towards anyone, but enjoyed the game as they should. Keep in mind these were little kids playing. One came stumbling over to the plate. I was minorly concerned the kid would hit himself as he tried to take practice swings! The coach came over to steady and reteach him. A nod of assurance led the batter to the plate. I readied myself to watch as the pitcher wound up. The ball came down the plate and WHAM!
My helmet vibrated and eyes went blurry for a moment. I steadied my legs as I tried not to fall forward on the catcher. An audible “Ooo” of sympathy rolled through the crowd… only broken by my word calling “Time!” The back of my head was throbbing for the batter had hit me in the back of the head. I walked off the field trying to steady myself. I stumbled a bit while groaning and growling from the pain. Rubbing the back of my head, I made sure there was no blood. A parade of people came to check on me. First was the two coaches who patted me on the back for taking the hit. The head of the umpire association (My boss) was the next to show up. Seeming a bit more worried than the rest and offered to give me free food for the rest of the week. Finally, my fellow umpires came to check on me. Knowing I was fine at this point, they were giggling to themselves. I asked them what was so funny? They responded that both of them didn’t want the home plate duty for they were worried about getting hit by the ball… but now they were afraid of bats!