What’s in a Name?


Thank you to the always thought-provoking T.V. Raj for posting this video. I am a firm believer in saying thank you and sending thank you notes. To me it is especially important to thank people who are often overlooked, like the person bagging my groceries. If people say thank you at all, they often say it to the cashier and not the bagger. This clip shows how meaningful it can be when you thank someone by name as well.

Originally posted on Impressions:

Myself By T.V. Antony Raj




Every day we come across people who serve us and make us feel happy with their service.

Unfortunately, none of us seems to know their names. Have you ever thought of knowing their name? Have you ever thought of thanking them using their name instead of just saying, “Thank you boss“, “Thank you sis“, “Thank you bro“, and so on?

A Coca-Cola ad released in the Philippines addresses this issue. This ad serves to remind us to thank those who serve us every day by using their real name. Their name on your lips will encourage them to serve us better.

Why not we put into practice this advice from Coca-Cola from now on and see the happiness on their face?



View original

Raise the Roof!

One of Sarvey's many junior clients. Daniel Houghton/The Seattle Times.

One of Sarvey’s many junior clients. Daniel Houghton/The Seattle Times.

The Sarvey Wildlife Center in Arlington, Washington desperately needs new roofs on some of their buildings. Their September newsletter said:

Raftors for Raptors
(or Raccoons, Rabbits, Rock Doves, Robins…. Take your pick)

Many of you already generously give monthly or annually to help with the medical or supportive needs of our patients. In order to keep up that unique work in a safe and secure setting, we now must replaces the roofs on 2 of our 5 structures. Over the past 3 decades, we have grown to occupy a 5-acre site with several buildings. We are lucky enough to own our land and structures, but this does mean we are responsible for our own maintenance.

Our foundation is strong and we have decades of service to both the community and our wildlife patients. Your special donation to help fund this construction project will insure we have a roof over our heads – literally – to continue the mission we strive to fulfill.

This is one of the old roofs we must replace. Inside damage to ceilings from the leaking roof.

OUR GOAL IS $20,000 in 20 DAYS.

Please help us make this project possible.


Twenty days might have passed since that was published, but according to their director, they will continue raising funds until they get the new roofs. Sarvey is privately funded, yet they constantly take in birds and animals from both the government sector as well as private citizens.

During my many years as a government employee, I’ve felt that Sarvey is treated like a public agency, as if they’re wildlife animal control, but not funded like one. In contrast, taxpayer-funded agencies exist to provide services for domestic animals.

The Sarvey Wildlife Center has been struggling in recent years and could use your financial support or volunteer time regardless of the condition of their roofs. Being at the Center is an amazing experience– the first time I brought an injured bird there, a volunteer met me with a baby raccoon in her arms who was hungrily guzzling from a bottle.

Sarvey has birds, bears, deer, raptors, squirrels– the sheer range of creatures they rehabilitate and release is astounding. No patient is too little or too big or too insignificant. They helped nearly 3000 wildlife patients in 2013 and patients will continue to pour in.

Don’t forget that Sarvey can accept fresh deer meat (roadkill) to feed their flocks with as well. Feel free to donate to Sarvey today. Help make a different for our furry and feathered neighbors who are so important to our ecosystem and increasingly endangered by our bad habits and sprawl.


A squirrel leaping from bough to bough, and making the wood but one wide tree for his pleasure, fills the eye not less than a lion– is beautiful, self-sufficing, and stands then and there for nature. -Ralph Waldo Emerson


©2014 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.


Check out this fantastic idea from the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) blog. Kids with celiac disease and food allergies often have to forego Halloween treats– here’s a way to spread cheer and get kids away from candy overload in general.

FARE Teal Pumpkin

Originally posted on FARE Blog:

This Halloween, FARE is encouraging food allergy families to start a new tradition: painting a pumpkin teal and placing it on your porch as a sign to other families managing food allergies that you have non-food treats available at your home. Your teal pumpkin is also a way to raise awareness in your neighborhood about food allergies!

Purchasing inexpensive non-food treats to hand out is a great way to include all children in trick-or-treating, and we hope that the Teal Pumpkin Project will be a tradition for years to come.

Examples of non-food items include: glow bracelets or necklaces, pencils, markers, boxes of crayons, erasers, bubbles, stamps, mini Slinkies, whistles or noisemakers, bouncy balls, coins, spider rings, vampire teeth, mini notepads, playing cards, bookmarks, stickers, and stencils. Oriental Trading or Amazon are websites used by many parents to order these items (visit smile.amazon.com to shop on Amazon and donate a portion…

View original 147 more words

The Truth About Wipes

King County No Flush

On September 9th, Dr. Oz featured the truth about “flushable” wipes on his program.

Dr. Oz – Wipes Part 1

Dr. Oz – Wipes Part 2

Some of you will recall my post on this topic from last year, Those Wascally Wipes, in which I discussed how most wipes don’t break apart like toilet paper does. This is why wastewater treatment agencies across the globe are telling people that only the three Ps should go down the toilet– pee, poop, and (toilet) paper.

Two days prior to Dr. Oz’s show, Bloomberg featured an excellent piece on this topic called Flush-Defying Wipes Bedevil Cities as Sewers Surrender by Henry Goldman. It begins:

The ancient Greeks used clay and stone; the Romans, sponges and salt water. Americans made do with rags, newspapers or mail-order catalogs until 1890 when the Scott brothers popularized toilet paper on a roll.

Only in the past decade have grownups seized upon moist “flushable” wipes similar to those that clean baby bottoms, a product that has become a prized asset in a flat market. Accelerating sales are demonstrated inside the world’s sewers, where tons clog equipment. From New York to London, the hygiene fad costs governments millions of dollars a year.

Since visiting a sewer treatment plant in this episode, Dr. Oz now recommends moistening toilet paper rather than using wipes to clean up after doing your business. Even so, there’s a statement and links to videos from one of the major wipes manufacturers, Kimberly-Clark, on his website. While Kimberly-Clark says that only some of their wipes are flushable, unfortunately people who’ve seen Dr. Oz’s show are trumpeting online, “don’t flush wipes– except for Kimberly-Clark’s.”

The wise thing to do is not flush any wipes at all whether or not they claim to be flushable on the package. They’re not going to break apart as well as toilet paper regardless of the brand. Many contain plastic. They might be flushable in the sense that they make it past your toilet, but then they can clog up pipes and the treatment plant. To protect our aging infrastructure and the environment, we shouldn’t flush wipes. Wipes can and have contributed to major sewer overflows– and all that unsanitary waste and garbage can go right into storm drains and then straight to ponds, streams, and lakes.

Besides the resources mentioned in my other post, JWC Environmental tracks some of the damage wipes do on their No More Wipes page. It’s worth a look.

The bottom line is that if you choose to use wipes, please make the simple decision not to flush them. They can go into the garbage just like everything else that doesn’t belong in the toilet. If we can’t stop putting things into our sewer system and septic tanks that don’t belong, we’ll soon need little WALL-E robots to follow us around and clean up after us. Then WALL-Es might evolve into Cylons and as Cylons they’ll invent Skynet… flushing wipes just doesn’t lead to a good outcome any way you look at it.

I, for one, will feel very stupid if, a thousand years from now, archaeologists find that our society perished in a catastrophic sewer overflow triggered by our swanky hygiene habits. Yeah. D’oh.


If you are in a spaceship that is traveling at the speed of light, and you turn on the headlights, does anything happen? -Steven Wright

©2014 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

Haven't seen this clip? Click on the picture. But really, it's not this difficult.

Haven’t seen this Portlandia clip? Click on the picture. But really, it’s not this difficult.

From the City of Kirkland, Washington’s Environmental Services Blog. John MacGillivray is the Solid Waste Programs Lead in the Public Works Department. He is not a known relation of the venerated Jacobite Donald MacGillivray, subject of a rousing Scottish folk song often featured by the Wicked Tinkers. (Here’s to recycling and Johnny MacGillivray!)


Is Recycling a Political Statement?

Our society has done an outstanding job creating and perpetuating stereotypes: over-simplified assumptions and widely held beliefs about how a society, group, or thing might look or behave. So as not to offend, I’ll offer myself and my Scottish heritage up as an example. Contrary to popular belief, all Scottish folk don’t drink Scotch (I prefer tequila), we don’t all own and wear kilts (although I reckon they are probably quite comfortable), and I’ve never eaten haggis (thankfully). And, by the way, I don’t have any desire to do any of the above while wandering around in the middle of nowhere in the Scottish highlands amongst the gorse, herding sheep trying to remember the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne.

In the Northwest, we’ve also done an excellent job molding an image of the stereotypical recycler. To the front and center Pemco and your “Obsessive/Compulsive Recycler” advertisement. Take 30 seconds and check it out. Pemco’s amusing commercial hits the “stereotype grand slam” by implying recyclers in the Northwest are predominantly women; that many of these women spend hours of quality time in their garages devoutly sorting their glass bottles by color as if it were their ticket to an eternal afterlife; and that many of these women suffer from Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder, compelled to scrub their soiled aluminum foil before dropping it into their recycle bin. If you look closely, you’ll also notice they even threw in for good measure a late-model Volvo 240D parked in the driveway that, at least in the Northwest, screams liberal. Oh boy. The directors of this commercial might as well as have dressed the actor in Birkenstocks, hemp underwear, a tie-died Grateful Dead t-shirt, and put a flower in her hair to top off the ensemble. Such is the danger inherent with stereotypes.

So, does this mean that by default all political conservatives are going to be lumped in with the stereotypical “right winger” that throws his aluminum pop can in the trash in defiance; thinks that there’s nothing more beautiful than a fresh clear cut on a crisp fall morning; or believes that no body of water is complete without an oil derrick? I certainly hope not, but unfortunately, I work in an industry where the prevailing stereotype has been that conservatives don’t recycle and don’t particularly care for the environment or at least give short shrift to it over other competing concerns when forming their policies and taking action. Fortunately, there’s a growing group of conservatives like myself that believe that the protection of our natural environment and resources should transcend traditional political stereotypes and play a decisive role in the development of policy.

And to put a cherry on top, I even owned and drove a Volvo 240D for many, many years.

It’s our role as professionals in the solid waste and recycling field to relentlessly break down all stereotypes and educate those that might be predisposed to make nonsensical political statements to the detriment of the environment just to be contrarian. Waste reduction and recycling is the one behavior that can and should transcend our political leanings, our religious beliefs, the color of our skin, or anything else We, as stereotypical human beings, can all play a role in reducing our waste, reusing our resources, and recycling.


Go John. Go John. You’re spot on.


©2014 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

Saeed Prayer Vigil

Tonight on TBN I heard Naghmeh Abedini, wife of imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini, speak at length about their history and present situation. I learned how they became Christians and Americans despite being born into devout Muslim families in Iran, how they met, and how many other times they’ve been arrested for their charity and faith. Naghmeh was very candid about her struggles with fear and anxiety, but demonstrated that the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7) is real.

Evidently Saeed’s faith and passion for the gospel is so vibrant that despite horrific torture he has other prisoners singing praises to God along with him! This is a man who has death staring him in the face, and yet he does not waver from the belief that God is good. How many of us can attest to faith like that? As I listened to Naghmeh I had to ask myself how many of us Americans would be willing to fight for, be imprisoned for, and even die for our beliefs. I wondered how many of us, when faced with beatings, violations, and isolation, would stick to our guns and not renounce our commitments to freedom and our faith.

The church all over the world is under attack. Whether we are brothers and sisters in the Christian faith or believers in freedom and human rights in general, September 26th is a day to unite on these issues and cry out as one. Whether you are a Christian or not, whether you believe in God or not, there are organized forces in this world that are hell bent on subjugating you and forcing you into a life of slavery. These forces are raping, pillaging, murdering, conquering, and enslaving people who are different from them. The crucifixions and beheadings of children in Iraq are a perfect example of how evil these groups are.

Take a stand for free will and the rights of others no matter what they believe, and join millions of others in shouting out that we stand as one for those who are under attack. As someone who puts my faith and hope in Someone infinitely more powerful than myself, I expect that He will reward this petition and do miracles.

Naghmeh Abedini on Twitter

Save Saeed Campaign Reaching New People in Brazil

And yes, I still wear my hot pink #SaveSaeed t-shirt proudly!

Save Saeed Shirt



Wherever there is prayer, there is the danger of His own immediate action. -C.S. Lewis


©2014 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

The Tangerine Man

One artist's depiction of the Tangerine Man. To date, no verifiable photos of him exist.

One artist’s depiction of the Tangerine Man. To date, no verifiable photos of him exist.

“EEEELLLEeeccccCCHH!! What is THAT?!!”

It started one overcast, drizzly day as we were cleaning out the fridge specifically for the use of the Records Division of the police department. Thanks to the benevolence of a coworker and her husband, who worked in the beverage industry, we had acquired a dedicated fridge on our end of the building.

Besides being more convenient than the creepy, putty-colored fridge in the designated break room we never used, we felt that our food would be more protected. We were wrong. Someone kept stealing my yogurt at night when our division was closed. Yes. In a police department. It happens more than you’d think. We knew, from surveillance tape, that the janitors had lifted an amaryllis one woman gave to another as a Christmas present, but the person/people with the midnight munchies who helped themselves to my Yoplait and also stole my Blackhawk Down documentary were never apprehended. Officer Yogurt Bandit, I have not forgotten.

Yeah– what was that? Someone had removed what very well could have been a shrunken pygmy head with Smurf-colored hair from a back corner of the second shelf. We gathered round and debated was it was… or had been. No one recalled stashing a fruit even remotely resembling that in our snazzy little cooler. We all had our names on our shelves so that one person’s food cache was not confused with another’s. But that edible has-been had worked its way off the beaten path and morphed into something quizzical and disturbing.

“It was the Tangerine Man,” one coworker stated confidently.

“Who’s the Tangerine Man?”

“He’s the mischievous guy who sneaks rotten fruit into unexpected places.”

Shazam! The light went on. At long last, after decades of wondering, our group finally had a coherent explanation for the times when mystery fruit seems to materialize out of nowhere. Our culture believes in the Tooth Fairy, doesn’t it? Elves? Leprechauns? Honest politicians? Elvis partying on without most of his internal organs? Why not a Loki-like character who specializes in produce? The Tangerine Man is likable in the sense that he gives something instead of taking away as well. He’s a pay it forward type.

A recently discovered planet? Or what you intended to have for lunch Monday?

A recently discovered planet? Or what you intended to have for lunch Monday?

Fast forward to a meal with my grandparents soon after. I began to tell them about The Legend of the Tangerine Man. My grandfather was intrigued and had a sparkle in his eye. “He struck just the other day,” Grandpa said. “Where?” I asked. He told me how he’d reached onto the top of the fridge for something (in my mind that’s the parking spot for an ever present bag of corn chips that has been faithfully replaced on a weekly basis since 1976). His hand touched something unnatural. It was an overripe banana, oozing out of its peel. “Aha!” I thought. “He is real!” Our family proceeded to discuss other recent visits by the Tangerine Man at our various residences.

And why not? Think about the last time you cleaned out your fridge. There was inevitably mystery Tupperware, the contents of which had fermented and evolved into another life form weeks ago. There was that half jug of (insert juice-ish beverage here) that the kids had forgotten about despite their insistence that you buy it because they were dying of thirst. Perhaps there was a moldy can of refried beans or a cubic inch of ancient cheese that could cut a diamond. If you dug deep enough, though, you were sure to find a shriveled little– citrus fruit? apple? maybe a nectarine?– wedged behind a wire rack. No one remembers buying it. It may be unidentifiable. If this has happened to you, you’ve probably been visited by… the Tangerine Man.

How other cultures might see the Tangerine Man

How other cultures might see the Tangerine Man.

The Tangerine Man has visited me when I’m driving. I keep my vehicle relatively clean and while I find an occasional French fry or balled up muffin wrapper that someone tried to hide in the console, there have been times when I’m startled by a hard object rolling out from under my seat and striking my accelerator foot. Perhaps I’ve just been cut off by an oblivious motorist coasting through a stop sign on a side street and have had to hit the brakes. Wham! Something shot out from under the seat and tried to tango with the pedals. “NOW?!!” I roar, hoping the Tangerine Man can hear me while he’s crawling back under the spare tire. There’s usually just a fleeting suggestion of a chuckle as I try to kick the hacky sack-sized object to the passenger side (where I have to remember to pick it up later).

He’s also targeted my purse and bags. I like to take enough of everything to work that I and possibly one or two other coworkers of my choosing will survive a nuclear war if needed. But this generally involves packaged items, and when I bring produce, it’s usually in its own bag. (For my people in Police Records reading this, I don’t carry the Family brand foreign dried mangoes from the white elephant exchange in 2004 to work, but they remain in one of my emergency kits. I knew you’d ask. If they actually do go bad– I don’t think so– the hallucinations might make nuclear war more bearable. Or even hilarious.)

You already believe in these guys...

You already believe in these guys…

Anyhow, I have a mental inventory of what goes to work every day and so when I’m cleaning out a bag and do the “whazaat” shudder when my hand touches mystery fruit, I can say with a degree of relative certainty that the Tangerine Man did it. I don’t like to waste food. I work because I like to have food. I like for my tribe to have food. Yet once or twice a year I’ll find a dehydrated alien pod-looking thing in the bottom of a bag and start debating its origins. You’d think I’d smell it if I were walking around with rotting ___?? in that bag for 39 days. But I didn’t. Here again, it’s only logical to blame the Tangerine Man.

So keep an eye out for the Tangerine Man. He can strike when and where you least expect it. Right now you might be rolling your eyes and sighing away the possibility that such a character exists. Trust me, you will come to believe. He will find you. Sooner or later you’re going to find that pinkish-peachy thing resembling a Nerf ball fried by a death ray and have a “hmm” moment. You’ll ask your husband if he remembers what it was. You’ll ask your children what it was. All will disavow knowledge of the purchase and prior knowledge of the object’s existence, and at that moment you will gasp slightly as you think back to a blog post from last National Skyscraper Day.

“The Tangerine Man… he’s real.”

He certainly is. And I assure you that Officer Yogurt Bandit is as well.

A possible associate, the Kiwi Kid.

A possible associate, the Kiwi Kid.


Each time you look at a tangerine, you can see deeply into it. You can see everything in the universe in one tangerine. When you peel it and smell it, it’s wonderful. You can take your time eating a tangerine and be very happy. -Thich Nhat Hanh


Update, 9/11/14: Further evidence of the Tangerine Man’s existence. I found this… banana peel (?) under a hedge today. Nearby my dog located yet another piece of a discarded double cheeseburger that he keeps sniffing out pieces of. The former matches the Tangerine Man’s MO. The latter was likely the work of a local hoodlum who was using the unfortunate bovine remnant as a Frisbee. Believe…

Oops. He did it again.

Oops. He did it again.


©2014 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 232 other followers

%d bloggers like this: