Long-arms Lecture…

So while walking to school this morning, the boy asked me, “How do we kill birds?”
Now, my son isn’t vindictive toward our fine avian friends, he just knows that we as omnivorous mammals, meat must be killed prior to ingestion. Plus, my friend and I were talking about spotting birds (I had apparently seen a crane in flight while I was driving last night), so the whole thing isn’t entirely out of context.

I started by explaining that we have farms that raise chickens and turkeys for eating. The lad said he knew (I’ve explained it before), but how to we kill birds in the sky?

Well here we go. My son, being a five year old, has already seen and pretended to use many different weapons. Most of them have been blasters or phasers from science fiction, and I’m fine with that. But still I refuse to deny him knowledge of most things that he would find out anyway and would rather he know them properly.

I started with the fact there are handguns/pistols, and there are long-arms. That’s an easy enough place to differentiate small guns from big guns. So we’re talking about hunting, and unless you’re a friend of my dad’s, you hunt with a long-arm.

In long-arms, you can then break down into groups shotguns, rifles, and assault rifles. Assault rifles are used by soldiers in battle. That’s the only place they’re needed. Easy enough to understand.

Rifles, next, are used to hunt bigger animals like deer and wild pigs. They shoot a single big bullet in one spot. That’s what you need to take down larger animals.

So with smaller animals like birds, you need a smaller bullet. That’s when you use shotguns. Shotguns don’t fire one big bullet, they fire a bunch of little bullets over an area. So that’s what you take with you when you, for example, go out into a swamp and hunt ducks.

What about moose, dad? Can you hunt moose?

Sure you can. What do you want to use to hunt a big moose? Something that shoots a big bullet or little bullets?

A rifle.

That’s right, good job. Glad it makes some sense.

We continue walking.

Dad, look at this picture I drew. That’s the sun, that’s Earth, that’s Jupiter, and, uh, what other planets are there?

Lesson learned. I have no qualms with my children knowing about life and death, particularly since they’re so intertwined. I wouldn’t mind showing him how the different weapons work next time we’re visiting Granddad and checking out his collection of vintage toys.

Addendum: Since I have an inquisitive mind, I went ahead and Googled long-arms. Nothing. Apparently I’ve been using the wrong term for years. According to Wikipedia, the terms are long guns and short guns. I probably got mixed up with the fact that my mum has used long-arm quilting machines for years. Glad I didn’t bring up that fact and confound the boy further.

Midweek Kids…

Guess who loves the leftover kitchen implements.

And guess who’s ready for summer with her new sun hat.


And, best of all, a great torch has been passed.  That’s my boy and my niece playing the greatest game ever made.



I don’t think he’s too happy that I’ve photographed him losing.

Mom Rocks…

Mom, I know what the rocks out by our garbage can are called.

Agate Moochers!


Agate Moochers!

Uh, no honey. They aren’t moochers. Agates are types of rocks.

Yeah. I, I was just kidding. They’re Agate Shields!

No… They could be agates…

No. Mom. They’re tigers’ eyes!

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Rock The Vote!

From my wife:

Hey everyone! Emily is entered into the Star Tribune’s cutest baby contest. The winner is decided by user voting and I need some help!! The voting is only open for 1 day for each of the 10 voting rounds so I need everyone I can get to vote for Emily. If you click on the link below you can register to vote. Emily’s picture is below in case you don’t go right to her page. She is on the very first page.

Thank you!!!



Addition: It appears you can vote every hour, so please do so if you’re inclined!

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of Cheese…

Damn it all, I can hardly believe I blew December already. I had it completely set to do a post a day, even on weekends this time.
For some reason, I woke up Thursday feeling sick to my stomach, but not from a migraine or anything. I got the kids up and out the door then promptly came home and fell back to sleep. I think I went to bed on time that night.

Friday morning I’m feeling fine again and went about my day. Work was good. Wrapping up a couple projects and lining up a couple more for the next week makes a smooth transition between weeks.

Evening at home was good. I concocted a seared turkey and linguine alfredo (look at me trying to sound impressive) dinner out of the remaining Thanksgiving leftovers. The lad earned an extended bedtime for good behavior. We played a little Wii until my eyes felt really strained, as they tend to do after a day of working with computers anyway.

After 8:00, he was in bed and I started reading more of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest on Thanksgiving break. I originally planned to finish it over break too, but young children take away daytime reading opportunities. After only a few minutes of being curled up on the couch with the book, my eye strain came back in force.

The book is a cheap reprinting, so the text is not physically clear to begin with, but I was a little floored by how much work it was to keep my eyes able to see what was on the page. Along with a sweeping wave of exhaustion, I decided to get up and lay down in bed. By 8:30, I was out cold and didn’t get up until the next morning.

Then I was completely fine. Yesterday was spent attacking my whole house. Almost every room is completely cleaned now. I have just some vacuuming to do. I ran errands, did some minor repairs, did numerous loads of laundry. Dad, you’d be proud: I made a list of everything I needed to do. Crossing them off as I went was very satisfying.

Why did I go nuts trying to get the house cleaned? Well, being the grinch that I am, I decided that I wasn’t going to bring out any Christmas decorations (least of all a tree) until everything else was cleared out of our living room. And damnit, I want my Christmas to start already! I’ve been wrapping presents as soon as we buy them, following the advice of a gift wrapping station that I set up in my bedroom. Those presents need to be prominently displayed and ogled by my children over the coming weeks for the sake of tradition if nothing else.

Last night M and I stayed up for a while. Sometime before midnight, the baby woke up and decided that since the evening was nice and quiet, she ought to scream it up a while. So the little lady came out to join us as we finished our show. Then the lass decided she wanted to play with the computer and I figured what the heck, could be fun.

I opened up a new little text document, and she just went to town. She was so proud of herself for smacking the keyboard and drooling on the trackpad (may sound gross, but since I eat at my computer all the time, nothing worries me anymore; Macs are really durable, I’ve found.) She would even holler at me when I pulled her back to bring up her document again after she had opened up other programs. So now I may present my daughter’s first blog post, “Untitled…

Thanks, sweet slumber, even when you give me trippy dreams.

Missed Again…

Sunday night is a bad time to try to blog. I waited and put it off all day, and now I’m headed to bed. At least I got a ton of cleaning done. Well, as much as I could before both my kids lost their minds, simultaneously I might add, this afternoon. Nothing like cracking your knees on concrete while crawling under a stairwell when the lass is screaming bloody murder and the lad is making such a mess of himself that it requires an immediate shower.
To top it off, I didn’t handle it that well. Know what’s worse than salt in a wound? Shame.

Home Sick…

I’m home with my sick boy today. His fever is finally coming down after watching Star Wars (and taking some ibuprofen). Now he’s sitting next to me with a phone book on his lap as a desk to draw maps upon.
It is always a debate as to how much I want to let him see during any movies. With Star Wars, there’s only a few bits I’m not sure a five year old is ready for. Like some burned bodies from a distance, or a severed arm (that looks rather artificial). The kid has seen some gutted birds on our doorstep courtesy of our resident felines. Severe injury is in fact a part of life.

But I guess I see that as simply the aftermath of animal nature. It’s not people deliberately hurting people. Most movies do good work ensuring it’s obviously the bad guys doing those bad things. However, in his mind, that can get blurred. That blurring can also happen between the fiction and reality. I answer a constant stream of questions about what things are ‘in this world’.

I think I may have come to the conclusion that he can see The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. I take some consolation in the fact that though he is watching, the comprehension of it isn’t totally there. Plus he probably ought to know the full story from the movie before kids finally explain to him that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father.

And don’t even get me started on trying to explain the prequels. I don’t want to have to explain that Anakin becomes Darth Vader or even that the newer movies are set in an older time, but seem to also be far more advanced technologically (though definitely not in content or plot).

Also, I really can’t wait for the Clone Wars merchandizing blitz to be over with. It clouds all of the story up since I never saw it and, given what I’ve read, I don’t really want to. I liked the original Clone Wars miniseries that was on Cartoon Network years ago. I may try to dig that up at some point.

Still Kicking…

Day Five
First day back at work without drinking soda. I made it through. I only started to crash around four o’clock after picking up the kids. My eyes closed for a few minutes while lying on the floor with the Lass and was regularly jarred awake by her rolling around and perfectly kicking me in the nose. I got up enough to make dinner and take out the garbage. Now I’m blogging while my wife watches her stories and I plan to go to bed in a few minutes here. All in all, I did really well for having gotten up at quarter to five this morning. It was nice waking up without bloodshot eyes and grogginess. I’m excited to go at it again.