flightless hag

A chronicle of the adventures of birdwoman: a lonely, talentless freak who wanders the internet in search of entertainment.

My Photo
Location: Philly

I'm a 40-something married white female, survivor of weight watchers, avid reader of pulp. Dogs (not cats), extreme right (handed, not politics), ENTJ, alto, wanna-be knitter.

December 31, 2004

Brothah, Can You Spare a Dime?

A few years ago, the US Treasury started issuing a new type of quarter. Limited release, "state" quarters, these little gems are being released 4 a year until they're out of states.

I'm not much of a collecter of anything, except maybe dust, but I decided to collect these for any potential kids I might have. When Delaware came out, I saved 4 of them. Likewise for all the ones since.

Except lately, they don't seem to be releasing the new ones out here. Now, goddarn it, they make the stupid things in Philly. You'd THINK I'd be able to get my grubby paws on 4 of each. Not so, kimosabe.

I have 1 of Idaho... or was it Iowa... oh, the "I" state one they released this year, and 3 of Wisconsin.

Anyone have any idea where I can get my hot hands on these things reliably? My bank is a big loser for them, and so is my kids' bank. I rely on you, gentle reader (all 2 of you?), to help me out here...

(oh, and we won't even go into the denver mint thing. I can't get ANY of those. Just P stamped ones.)


December 29, 2004

A Bittersweet Parting

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

That means any old comments I had are gone.

So anyway, now, any Blog Explosion people who feel like commenting will be able to. Not that I'm a comment ho or anything. But, you know. I am lonely. Says so in my description (above).


December 28, 2004

Eleven Children

Dear Mother of God.

I have two children. I cannot imagine what it would be like to lose either of them.
"Where are my children?" wept Absah, 41, as she searched for her 11 missing children in Banda Aceh, the Indonesian city closest to Sunday's epicenter. "Where are they? Why did this happen to me? I've lost everything."
Not something I’ll say often, but I pray for her, and for the thousands like her.

I think Timmy’s crying won’t bother me as much tonight.


December 27, 2004

Crystal Clear

Very Rarely do I see a post which talks about the true reason my kids shouldn't be learning about "I have two daddies" and other such social nonsense - it's a waste of school time.

Crystal of Crystal Clear recently addressed the fact that there was an all day symposium at a school concerning Gay/Bi-sexual/Lesbian/etc/etc and their challenges in society. She was sympathetic to the cause, but had little tolerance for the fact that an entire day of school was used to address the cause.

Needless to say, she got some flak. Name calling, etc. But she critiques her detractors better than I ever could...

"Each lady demonstrates by her own comments why school time is not
appropriate for ToBGLAD events. (snip) A cursory glance at both Caroline's and Meredith's observations supports my belief classroom time would have been more appropriately and wisely invested in helping students improve their spelling, grammar and most importantly... critical thinking skills"

What a cut down!! In the words of the Professor, go read the whole thing.

HOORAY! I’m Not The World’s Worst Driver!!

I’m a pretty bad driver, but, hey, what’s a flightless hag to do? Not having much choice, I put thousands at risk every day and commute to work.

I live in Pennsylvania. It snows here. This fact of life seems to be something a few of the residents of this state seem to somehow forget every freaking year.

We had about 1 inch of snow last night, and it’s drifting horribly today. They didn’t clean the one main drag that I drive on very well. As I merged onto the road, I saw there had been very recently an accident at the merge (the cop had passed me to get to the scene).

There was another accident being cleared about 500 feet up from that.

I took that as a sign the roads were slick, especially on the outer lanes, put it in fourth gear, and trudged along.

I saw 2 other accidents being cleaned up. And I saw two more occur. On a 7 mile stretch of road.

Are these jackholes blind? That many fender-benders should make you drive a little more carefully. But Nooooo… Must Pass. Must drive Fast. Ugg.

I take little comfort in the fact that there are worse drivers out there than me.


December 23, 2004

A Great Christmas Story

OK, so do you sometimes feel a little guilty leading your kids down the garden path about Santa? Do you find yourself trying to explain why you're buying toys for tots etc, when that's Santa's job?

I've tried explaining to my son that everybody helps Santa and the Elves out by giving him presents to give to good little boys and girls. But
this story tops that...

Got this via
a little joy (blog explosion!)

(*)< Merry Christmas Everybody!!

December 22, 2004

Bumper Sticker Theology

My husband hates preachy bumper stickers. They're either too simplistic ("Thank God Your Mother Didn't Believe In Abortion!") or too long to read ("If the Air Force had to have a bake sale like every other school does then it probably wouldn't buy that many airplanes and then..." BAM I just hit your car trying to read your stupid-ass bumper sticker...)

I saw a bumper sticker the other day, "we're all part of one big HUMAN FAMILY". To this deep, sympathtic thinker:
1) You may be from Arkansas; I am not.
2) Every family has members the others regret. You've made my list, hippie!

December 21, 2004

Telemarketers to target Cell Phone Users

I got one of those warning mails today - starting January 1, telemarketers can access a cell-411 list, which will open cell phones to them. Snopes-ed it (and checked with our mobile goddess at work) for confirmation.

God, it's been a long time since I had to deal with telemarketers. We've been on the "do not call list" for PA since the day it was opened.

I hated those calls.

But there were a few times when I had great fun at the telemarketers' expense. It didn't happen often, because I had to be in the right mood, and I had to have the right scheme at hand...

Once, I told the incredibly pushy salesman that, yes, I supposed I would allow his company to provide electricity to me. I knew for those kind of calls, they had to get a supervisor to confirm. After fourty-five minutes of his valuable time, he passed me to his supervisor for confirmation. I got my husband on the phone with the supervisor, as I "wasn't authorized to pay the house bills" and he proceeded to pretend to get all kinds of mad. I think that got the salesman into some hot water with his super... poor jackass.

Then, there was the dance academy that wanted me to sign up for lessons. They were located above the Harrison's in Ardmore. I said I would love to join, and did they have elevators? She answered no (I figured they wouldn't). I said that was a problem, as I was wheelchair-bound. Was there anything she could do? I had always wanted to dance... Poor girl was practically in tears as she apologized and hung up.

But my favorite, favorite tele-trap was for AT&T. They wanted me to buy a voice-recognition service, so I could say "Mom", and it would instantly dial my mother. Like I, the village idiot, couldn't push speed-dial-2 (John's work is speed-dial-1). But if I were the village idiot, would I be able to program the voice recognition? Hmmm...

Anyhow, I answered: "Dat would be gweat. But, I have a question. Doeth it wuhk wiff a thpeech impediment?" (I used to have a terrible lisp, so I can mock one up that'll put hair on your chest.)
When the sap answered, "No, I don't think it would work..." I interrupted angrily.

"Why not? Do you think there'th a pwoblem wiff people who got a thpeech impediment? Huh?"

He didn't answer. He just hung up with a quick, "sorry. "

Good thing. The jig would have been up, as I was laughing hard enough to practically wet my pants.


December 20, 2004

Please, Please Santa!!

Could Book 6 - aka Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - be around the corner? Well, if you think that's weak, the same site has an even better headline today: if you open the secret door on JK Rowling's site, she announces that the book is FINISHED and the pub date will be announced within 24 hours.

Happy Christmas, Everyone!!


UPDATE: 16 July 2005! Whee Doggie!

December 19, 2004

I’ve Been A Bad, Bad Girl

So, last night I went out with my movie buddy. We don’t get to go out often: I do have 2 kids and she has a night job. But the stars were aligned, and away we went.

Couldn’t decide on Blade III or House of Flying Daggers. You have to understand, I love martial arts films (such a chick trait, right?), but I love vampire films, too. What a quandary!

So, we went to both!

House of Flying Daggers (****) was cinematically beautiful, tragic, and everything you’ve come to expect from the Hero/Couch Tiger genre. It lost a star from me because it got a bit too soap-opera-y for me. But I enjoyed the plot and the pacing and the pretty fight scenes and the pretty actors.

When it was done, we confirmed that Blade III had a showing in 30 minutes. We stayed and went to that one, too. (First time I’ve done that on purpose. The last time was Bourne Supremacy, and that’s another story. To make up for this theft, I bought a large soda and a bag of M&M’s, thus giving the theater $7 I wouldn’t otherwise have.)

Blade: Trinity ( *** ) was not as good as its predecessors, had plot holes and satanus-ex-machina that one only expects to see from Anne Rice. Mr. Morrissette had some great one-liners (better comic relief than Kristofferson); maybe, in fact, too many. And the head vamp-bitch was really bad with her Something About Mary hair. But it was a really fun ride. Especially after the Romeus et Julio tragedy of the previous movie.

All in all, a ***** night. Now, we take you back to your regularly-scheduled Sunday afternoon.


December 16, 2004

Ho Ho Freakin' Ho

Because I don't believe in spamming my comrades, here's a funny that got sent to me in the mail. You can read or not, but at least I didn't clutter your mailbox!

deer santa:
I wud like a kool toy space ranjur fer Xmas. Iv ben a gud boy all yeer.
Yer Frend,

Dear Billy,
Nice spelling. You're on your way to a career in lawn care. How about I send you a frigging book so you can learn to read and write? I'm giving your older brother the space ranger. At least HE can spell!

Dear Santa,
I have been a good girl all year, and the only thing I ask for is peace and joy in the world for everybody!

Dear Sarah,
Your parents smoked pot when they had you, didn't they?

Dear Santa,
I don't know if you can do this, but for Christmas, I'd like for my mommy and daddy to get back together. Please see what you can do.

Dear Teddy,
Look, your dad's banging the babysitter like a screen door in a hurricane. Do you think he's gonna give that up to come back to your frigid, fat mom, who rides his ass constantly? It's time to give up that dream. Let me get you some nice Legos instead. Maybe you can build yourself a family with those?

Dear Santa,
I want a new bike, a Playstation, a train, some G.I. Joes, a dog, a drum kit, a pony and a tuba.

Dear Francis,
Who names their kid "Francis" nowadays? I bet you're gay.

Dear Santa,
I left milk and cookies for you under the tree, and I left carrots for your reindeer outside the back door.

Dear Susan,
Milk gives me the shits and carrots make the deer fart in my face when riding in the sleigh. You want to do me a favor? Two words, Jim Beam.

Dear Santa,
What do you do the other 364 days of the year? Are you busy making toys?
Your friend,

Dear Thomas,
All the toys are made by little kids like you in China. Every year I give them a slice of bread as a Christmas bonus. I have a condo in Vegas, where I spend most of my time making low-budget porno films. I unwind by drinking myself silly and squeezing the asses of cocktail waitresses while losing money at the craps table.
P.S. Tell your mom she got the part.
"Long Dong" Claus

Dear Santa,
Do you see us when we're sleeping, do you really know when we're awake, like in the song?

Dear Jessica,
Are you really that gullible? Good luck in whatever you do. I'm skipping your house.Santa

Dear Santa,
I really really want a puppy this year. Please please please PLEASE PLEASE could I have one?

That whiney begging shit may work with your folks, but that crap doesn't work with me. You're getting an ugly sweater again.

Dearest Santa,
We don't have a chimney in our house, how do you get into our home?

First, stop calling yourself "Marky", that's why you're getting your ass kicked at school. Second, you don't live in a house, you live in a low-rent, ghetto apartment complex. Third, I get inside your pad just like all the burglars do, through your bedroom window.
Sweet Dreams,

December 15, 2004

Evil does exist

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do
Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)

There was a series this week in the Philadelphia Inquirer about our Cambodian refugees. It seems that Philly has the fourth largest concentration of Cambodians in the states.

And yet, if it weren't for the movie The Killing Fields, I don't think any of us would know anything about Cambodia. What's scary is that most people still don't know anything about Cambodia.

The story of
Bunrath, a local man who decided to go back to look for his lost family members, made me cry. I cannot begin to imagine the horrors endured by these people. Horrors inflicted by their own people.

Kind of like what Saddam and his brood visited upon the people of Iraq.

I don't think it was the right war for any reason but one. Saddam was evil. His now dead sons were evil. They aren't killing anymore. No more mass graves in their name.

I'm very, very sorry that some of our own people have died ousting him. But if our soldiers are going to die for a cause, this one is worthy.


December 09, 2004

Just get me a car on blocks out front...

I feel so dirty and trashy!!

Daycare called. I'm home now. With my baby. He has... LICE!!!


And, let me tell you. Treatment is a PAIN.

December 08, 2004

The Sky Is Falling!

There's a rash of pseudoscience out there - theories by people who mangle scientific theory and abuse scientific method to pursue their own agendas. I'm not sure where it started - actually, that's not true. Since the scientific method was outlined, there have been hangers-on who try to classify their own religions as science.

There's that whole "intelligent design" or "creationism science" (an oxymoron if I ever saw one) camp - but their deliberate misunderstanding of science and how it works is justifiable. The use of a scientific tool to shore up one's ancient religious beliefs is, I believe, misguided, but understandable. (That being said, the minute one of them says "How can anyone believe that man descended from ape?", well, it's almost like a staunch atheist saying, "How can anyone believe that Moses filled up the ark with two of each kind of animal?" If you aren't going to understand the basics of my discipline, I'm going to ignore you.)

What bothers me more is pseudo-science coming from scientists.

Take "global warming".

Now, where I come from, the weathermen can't tell if a storm, due to hit the area within 24 hours, will dump no snow, 2 inches of snow, or 2 feet of snow. They can make educated guesses, but they are only dead-on about 75% of the time.

And that's a 24 hour time frame.

We're supposed to believe that these idiots can predict what's gonna happen in 100 years?! Based on "models" that have so many unknown factors that they're more opinion than fact?

I recently watched "The Day After Tomorrow" with my husband. We really enjoyed the special effects (though the script and acting left more than a tad to be desired.) It was fun - these global disaster films usually are. (And, of course, the deliberate censure of Halliburton Boy and The First Chimp were quite predictable and fun.)

But the fact that this was being billed as a true scientific warning about "global warming"? That it could "really happen"? The logical problems of the movie stood out to me, a chemist by training.

Look, I did my masters thesis in theoretical chemistry. I have worked with computer models that predict measurable factors, like how light travels through a medium, or what the actual physical structure of a molecule might be. And these models, predicting things on the micro-scale, are almost always fallible. The pharmaceutical industry employs thousands of modelers in the hopes that someday soon, these folks will help design drugs theoretically which will work practically. Hasn't really panned out, yet.

We're supposed to believe that some model that predicts global climate is actually reliable?

Michael Chichton says it much better than I do, in his speech where he exposes
environmentalism as religion. I suggest everyone reads this. Just so you don't stay up at night, worrying that the sky is falling.