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.

April 28, 2005

Tag, You're It

I got tagged by Marjo. I’m more than willing to post a meme, but I never tag anyone. Read my summary – I’m a lonely freak. I ain’t got no friends to tag. Sigh.

If anyone *wants* to be tagged, say so, in the comments.

So here's how it works. Immediately following there is a list of 18 different occupations (well, there's more now, as people have added...). You must select at least 5 of them (feel free to select more). You may add more if you like to your list before you pass it on (after you select 5 of the items as it was passed to you). Each one begins with "If I could be..." Of the 5 you selected, you are to finish each phrase with what you would do as a member of that profession.

For example, if the selected occupation was "farmer" you might take the phrase "If I could be a farmer..." and add to it "I would raise llamas and give them away to children who didn't have any pets." See how easy that is? Here's the list:

Choose your poison:

If I could be a scientist
If I could be a farmer
If I could be a musician
If I could be a doctor
If I could be a painter
If I could be a gardener
If I could be a missionary
If I could be a chef
If I could be an architect
If I could be a linguist
If I could be a psychologist
If I could be a librarian
If I could be an athlete
If I could be a lawyer
If I could be an inn-keeper
If I could be a professor
If I could be a writer
If I could be a llama-rider
If I could be a bonnie pirate
If I could be an astronaut
If I could be a world famous blogger
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world
If I could be married to any current famous political figure
(my add… If I could be a superhero)

If I could be a farmer… wait, I’d never want to be a farmer. I did everything I could to get away from farms! HOWEVER, if I could be a farmer where I am now, I’d have great big green houses and orchards so I could grow fruits and veggies and herbs all year round. I simply have a black thumb. Even mint dies in my care.

If I could be a linguist, I’d be fluent in Chinese. It’s just such a different concept than English, and I think that’d make my brain work better!

If I could be an athlete, I’d be an Excellent pro-tennis player. They get lots of dough, lots of cute clothes, and not so much attention as to ruin their lives. They also retire young.

If I could be an innkeeper, I’d have a bed and breakfast in a BIG old house with all the mod cons. I’d have this big old Victorian house somewhere in the British Isles. I’d be located near a town with plenty of history, but not much industry. And I’d NEVER NEVER serve kippers for breakfast.

If I could be a Llama-rider, I’d be a Brazilian fly. You know, that doesn’t sound like such a bad life. Maybe karma will take me there next turn of the wheel.

If I could be a superhero, I'd be Superman. He just rocks.


April 27, 2005

The New Computer Syndrome

The process of getting a new computer is such a series of ups and downs. Going through the whole process makes me feel like I'm post menopausal, or, worse, pregnant. An example of the yo-yo effect...

Down: Crap! The computer won't boot!
Up: Here's the support number and all the codes!
Down: Man! We're off warranty!
Up: Heeeeeyyyyy, I have an excuse to buy a new computer!
Down: Crap! All my family tree stuff!
Up: I made a backup!
Down: The cd burner burned some bad sectors! CORRUPT FILES!
Up: I made two copies of everything!
etc etc

The last few downs have been turned into great ups... the newest version of Family Tree Maker is great, the Microsoft picture software works better than the free Adobe stuff I had before. The network is more convenient and faster.

The only real down? My wallet is quite a bit lighter. But I'll tell you. I love having a new toy!!


I May Be Birdwoman, But It's Not My Fault!

There's some new vogue disease out there - some Avian Flu. They say it's hopped from birds to peoples, but I swear, I wasn't the vector. (What's the vector, Victor?) So, if you listened to scientists a month or so ago, they're screaming Pandemic! I'm thinking The Stand! but, of course, haven't heard a word since.

Good thing. I've got enough people yelling at me these days. I don't want to get blamed for an epidemic!


April 21, 2005

I Just Realized... I'm Not A Christian

“Science tells me God must exist. My mind tells me I will never understand God. And my heart tells me I am not meant to.”
-Dan Brown Angels and Demons

I was raised in a “moral” environment – we went to Sunday School and church every week, and participated in all the church things. We didn’t pray at meals; we didn’t pray at bedtime. Always, though, there was the understanding that we should be grateful for what we had, and not judgmental of how others lived their lives.

My parents were never overtly religious. But that doesn’t mean they weren’t faithful.

As I get older and more in-step with my mother, I’ve noticed that she has a very different faith than I do. She’s constantly questioning what she believes religion tells her – particularly the idea that everything has a purpose; “His eye is on the sparrow, so I know he watches me.”

Events like the tsunami bother her to no end. How could God let all those children die like that? What could be the purpose in that?

Very recently, tragedy has occurred in our family. Death has visited where none thought it could. Talking to my mom, all she can say is, “How could He let this happen?” And that is where our faiths differ.

I’m a Deist. I do believe there is a god. Maybe it’s God, or Yahweh, or Allah, or Buddha, or Shiva, or any or all of the gods worshipped in the world. I believe there is a god, but I don’t think that god directly intervenes in our world.

Life is life. Life is NOT fair. We’ve had such advances in society that we forget even 50 years ago, children died fairly regularly. We’ve become insulated from just how not-fair life is. But to blame god for the random acts of life is a lesson in futility.

God is. God has provided. God is strength and purity and creation and light. Will our spirits join god when we die? I don’t know. I hope so.

But, I can’t believe that his eye is on the sparrow. To believe that would be to believe that he allows innocent babies to die as part of some greater purpose.


April 16, 2005

Since When Is GAMBLING Science and Technology?

Decided to take my new ‘puter for a little surf time today. Kicked off Blog Explosion. My first hit was Ogre’s swamp – coincidence, I’m sure. Then it took me to “Reflections of a business driven life”, followed by the “online university weblog”

The last straw was the Gambling Weblog, logged under Science and Technology.


(as the Mutant Enemy monster would say, Grrr, Arrgh.)


April 15, 2005

50 Things I Love About Philly In No Order Particularly - #43

(Like the title says, this is a list of things I've loved about philly, in the 17 years I've lived in this area. Also, like the title says, they're in no particular order. It's also not an inculsive list. These were just the first fifty that popped into my head. I'm gonna dish one up fresh, weekly. Also, I've started at the "bottom" to keep you tuned in. It's part of my nefarious plan for readership. Mwa-ha-ha-haaaaa.)

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I went to see a movie called
Camille Claudel. It was in my Art Film phase (I’ve mostly gotten over the pretense of this, though I did go see Bride and Prejudice the last time I went out. Anyway.) This Camille Claudel movie was about this chick sculptor who was an apprentice to Auguste Rodin.

Now, I know things get exaggerated for art, and I know that history has a different view from our cultural perspective. But I walked out of that movie TOTALLY pissed. She was this talented sculptor, and she let her love of a stupid MAN, albeit her teacher and a brilliant artist in his own right, ruin her life.

Well, let me tell you. It almost put me off Rodin.

Then, when traveling down to the Museum of Art, I noticed a little museum off to the side. There it stood, the Rodin museum. With the Thinker daring me to come in, I did.

If you have even the slightest taste for art (and I’m no art critique, just a person who appreciates beauty), this place will absolutely floor you. And it’s small, so it’s not overwhelming, like the main museum is. It’s also CHEAP, which doesn’t hurt the cause.

Come on, it’s a beautiful spring. March on down the Avenue of the Flags, or whatever they’re calling the Parkway this year. Check out the Rodin Museum. You won’t be sorry!!


April 12, 2005

Poor Tax or Stupid Tax?

UPDATE: BLOGGER ate my BABY, well actually my post. This is put back together from the dregs of my memory. Hope Mr. Ogre comes back and reads the stunning conclusion...

This one's for The Ogre. And my husband. And all those fiscally intolerant folks out there. We know who we are.

The business section of the Inquirer yesterday had a column on how Knowledge Can Reduce the Poor Tax (their scare quotes, not mine.) (reg req)

There are examples of "Rapid Refund" offers, "loans til payday" offers, rent-a-centers where you pay twice the value of the furniture to pay in installments... Convenience taxes, all of them.

Look, anyone with half a brain and a year's life experience knows that you pay extra to have things fast or have things that you don't quite have the cash for. Compare the price of a loaf of bread at your local grocer to that at the 7-11. Take a look at how much interest you pay on a mortgage, all because you can't buy the whole thing at once. The savvy customer knows this exists, and decides when he or she thinks it's worth it to pay the convenience tax.

But, according to the Inquirer, this is keeping hoardes of the poor out of the middle class.

They go on to tell the story of a dude. Dude goes to car dealer to buy a car and gets totally rooked. He decides he's been rooked, goes to his credit union, Consumers' Reports type places, etc, etc, and armed with KNOWLEDGE, dude goes back to the dealer and gets a better deal.

The lesson of this story? That people should use their brains when spending money? No siree bob. The lesson the Inquirer draws is that "government can help people avoid overpaying in the first place, by promoting education on finances, and especially on often-baffling credit score". Like having the guvmint get involved has solved so many problems for people in the past.

On another note, can someone tell me why I'm still reading that rag?


Lonely No More

Brings a tear to a flightless hag’s eye, this story does.

Two Falcons Nest High Above Urban Wilderness (reg req)

For 52 days she waited alone, perched on her concrete aerie, wondering, perhaps,
what had become of her mate…
Then suddenly - on Valentine's Day - he appeared. A male falcon, still bearing his youthful ruffled plumage, swooped by the 15th-floor window ledge of a state office building near the Capitol…
How the young male found her in his wanderings and why she accepted him are a
The original male falcon, first spotted near the Rachel Carson State Office Building in 1996, suffered a broken wing in a collision last fall and was taken to an area wildlife rescue center, where he will spend the rest of hislife.
The current female, the second to occupy the nest, pined for her mate for almost two months…
Then the male appeared, nervously scoping out the much older female, making sure she was alone. The two now take turns sharing incubation duties.

Sharing incubation duties, a younger man and a bolder woman… who woulda thunk that falcons would be so open-minded. Warms the cockles of my heart.


April 04, 2005

I’m No Athletic Supporter

John's getting ready to watch the NC/Illinois game, and I'm getting ready to go to bed.

I’m a geek.

Sounds like I should join a 12-step program, right? Except the first step is usually admitting there’s a problem. I have no problem with being a geek. Geeks have the best toys.

My parents were both athletic when they were young – hell, my dad lost his teeth playing ice hockey after he already had something like 5 kids at home. Most of my sibs played sports of some type. I played field hockey for a year. I hated Hated HATED it. Now, I exercise, but you still wouldn’t catch me even thinking of joining any kind of team sport. You also won’t find me watching any sort of team sport.

As a geek, I like to study the behavior of my fellow geeks. I work in IT and am surrounded by geeks. Almost without exception, we were the kids in high school who the jocks picked on, or we were just the kids who avoided jocks. I’ll bet most of my co-workers didn’t go to high school or college athletic events on a regular basis. And yet, my co-workers get caught up in sports.

I’m wondering – just what is it about sport that people find so addicting? It’s not like most fans are playing the game. It’s not even like a lot of you EVER played the game. What’s so entertaining about it?


Eat Your Hearts Out!!

After months and months of Congratulations, Sucker, You Won 2 Points, today I got the mother-lode. 100 points from Blog Explosion. I feel like such a Winner! I feel justified. I feel renewed.

sad, aren't I?


April 02, 2005

Made For TV, Made For Me

I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for “made for tv” type movies. I love the bad disaster flicks (10.5 being a recent one of those. Sooooo bad, it’s almost good), or the silly Lifetime-type suspense movies (I’m a die-hard Melissa Gilbert Pulp fan.)

But there are some made-for-TV’s that are on the same level, and even surpass, their contemporaries on the big screen.

BBC is especially famous for bringing some wonderful work to the little screen. Seems like they don’t do so many television “shows”, as we Americans know them, but more series – where there are anywhere from one to twenty “episodes” to the entire series. And their stuff isn’t limited to Benny Hill, Monty Python, Doctor Who, Ab Fab, or any of those often-viewed PBS players, either.

Most people are familiar with the Colin Firth vehicle:
Pride and Prejudice. Another wonderful, star-packed, pseudo-historical that no one should miss is I, Claudius. (Jean-Luc Picard fans, beware: he’s here, he’s bad, and he’s HAIRY! Yikes!)

Some of their other short series, like Prime Suspect, Ultraviolet, Cadfael, Neverwhere, Sherlock Holmes are best in genre, whether it be mystery or sci-fi.

So if you’re sick of old Seinfeld re-runs, sick of the tripe Pay-per view and Blockbuster are throwing down your throat, find the BBC-made videos. You won’t be sorry!