flightless hag

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

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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.

November 24, 2011

Snippets Heard On the Path More Taken

I honestly thought I'd miss being home for Thanksgiving. But it's a beautiful day, and I just took a really long walk through autumn sunshine, listening to George Winston and the like. Gorgeous.

I wasn't alone on my walk. There were dozens of folks out, enjoying a pre or post turkey stroll.

Here are some of the snippets of conversation I eavesdropped in on. Can you guess which were from groups of women, and which were from groups of men?

"Oh, god, if they're not having any wine, I'll just DIE. I hope they have good magazines."

"That was a great game. Did you see the tackle?"

"You're not being mean. You're being honest. You can't move forward in life unless you have honesty."

"Son, if we walk more, we have room to eat more."

"You'll see the return when the market goes up."

Genders really are different! And who's not giving thanks for that?

Happy turkey day!


November 21, 2011

Why bother?

So, it's been a day of Why Bother? for me.

First, I remember that the Moth's diarrhea project... errr... diorama project is due tomorrow. Of course, these things are never for the kids. They're for the parents. Yes, he read the damn book. I made him. I quizzed him on it. He knows that the monkey did it, even if he was led down the garden path by the red herrings planted throughout the story.

So, as soon as I got home, I started putting together the stupid diorama. He helped. He did. I made sure he did enough of it that it really looks like he did a lot of it... if you know what I mean.

Stupid ass projects. You elementary teachers who assign this crap? I hate you. I hated you as a student when everyone else brought in these wonderful projects their parents helped them with, and I brought in the crap that I did alone because my mom and dad were too busy actually doing real work to make a diorama. I hate you as a parent because I can't let my kids go in with complete crap projects, like the ones I had, so I waste my precious time gluing stupid paper in a stupid shoe box. It's POINTLESS. Tim didn't learn ANYTHING from the shoebox he didn't already know. And if he had to do the whole thing himself? He'd have ended up in TEARS.

I have to ask myself, why bother? And on that note

I spent quite a bit of time today translating this cartoon I had made from overheads to powerpoint. It took forever, but the kids have always found it entertaining. It explains the formation of salts in a very cheesy way. In powerpoint, I even gave it a cheezy soundtrack.

I was showing it to Stinky, because it's kind of funny, when John pipes in, "sounds like you're venus fly trap!"

I replied back, "Screw you."

He's like, " I don't think you know what I'm talking about!"

I said, "yeah, I do know what you're talking about. You made fun of it for months." And he did, talking about how stupid it sounded, and how pointless. Why would anyone think those kind of analogies would teach chemistry.

"I do remember, and I repeat. Screw you." Because you just called me stupid and pointless, by association.


You know, I was in a good mood when I left school today. Grrrr.


November 18, 2011


So, I'm sitting in my homeroom, freezing my patootie off. My room doesn't have much heat, which is normally fine, because lots of sardines in a can tend to make the temp go up.

But I've been sitting here, grading and planning, since 7am. And I am cold. My toes are numb. I'm wearing winter gear, but it's to no avail.

I have a big cup of DnD coffee, and I've been sipping on it. It's still warm (thank you wonderful Styrofoam) so it should do the job.

Problem... I have to pee. Bad.

what to do what to do???

And it's Friday. Finally. This week has been eternal. Not sure why... not bad, just endless. I think it's because last week was 3 days and next week is 3 days. Alas. Workin for a livin is a good song, but not such a fun concept. Up news, though, is that I've put my Christmas music on my ipod. I have over 1000 christmas pieces, and most of them are not "santa baby" etc. Though, some of them are. Guilty pleasure? You bet. Now, it's time for homeroom to end. Bathroom, here I come!!

November 17, 2011

Corruption? Nevah!

Back in 2007, a bridge collapsed in Minnesota. 13 people were killed. This led to a lot of engineers going around the country and checking out bridges... targeting for replacement.

Shortly after that, PA decided to fix up the Schuylkill river bridges and 476 corridor surrounding them. This was dubbed "blue route improvement," and started well before I left the computer industry (December 2007).

On the way up to my mom's place, in NEPA, there's a bridge, also on 476, over the Lehigh river. It's crazy high, spans another creek with some crazy indian name, and used to give me the chills. They started replacing that one in 2009, I believe. They had to build completely new spans, blow away part of a mountain, and safely divert traffic off of the sagging spans.

The Lehigh project is just about done.

The Schuylkill project has no end in sight.

Do you think there might be some kind of something going on in the background? Job for life kind of stuff?


Meanwhile, in birdland, we are getting ready for the holidays. Mothy is totally OBSESSED with "boba fett slave ship 1" from Lego. I warned him earlier this year that if I stepped on any more LEGOs, he would never get a new set. The floor remains lego free. He keeps coming and begging "Mom, if I give up four presents, can I get the slave ship?" My answer is always something to the effect of "it's so expensive" or "I think you have enough legos already, don't you?" or, the dreaded "we'll see."  Of course, it's already under my bed. But he's given up, I think.

At least he can't put an eye out with it.

Stinky on the other hand has nothing he's asked for. Really! We are at a loss. He wants video games that are way too violent for him. He obsesses enough over war. Doesn't need new fodder for that! At least he's stopped drawing "Bob Chuck Jones:" a cartoon character Sean made up who has tattoos on his face, piercings through eyebrows, ears, lips, and nose, bucked teeth, crossed eyes, a bad haircut, and a prison jumpsuit (he's always behind barbed wire, too). Bob Chuck Jones (like all nefarious dudes, he has three names. What is Jerry Sandusky's middle name, anyhow?) has the distinction of being a complete moron whilst simultaneously being a terrorist mastermind.

OK, I just lost my vision. This is really weird. Everything is white. And I have to teach in something like tenminutes. But this shows I can type without looking, right? Or did I just type gibberish. Aah, here's some vision back. looks ok.

Time to talk about periodic trends! Joy!


November 16, 2011

More mad science

According to New Scientist, China has a "one up" on the good old USofA. "During a visit to the UK... (some chinese dude) promised that [his] country would never release as much CO2 per person as the US... on average, every Chinese person emits less than half as much as the average American."

OK, but let's do the wayback machine... a few months ago, they were touting how China was going to get running water to all of its citizens someday - something like 20% of them don't even have that now.

Add to that: china has 3x as many people as the US.

Per person who is ACTUALLY USING MODERN TECHNOLOGY, I'll bet the chinese are dumping 1.5x the amount of CO2 as the average american, simply because they use crap coal plants, almost exclusively, to produce electricity.

Whenever I read crazy people talking about "how the liberal media lies", I want to laugh. Then I read something like this.


The same issue of New Scientist had an entire article devoted to "wrongful life" lawsuits.

It seems that there are a growing number of people who SUE the baby doctors when their children are born "not perfect". An example: a California couple sued for (and won) 4.5 million because their child was born with no legs and 1 arm. They were never told this physical abnormality existed, and it should have been caught in the ultrasound.

Question for those folks: would you have aborted the baby if you knew it didn't have legs? How on earth do you think your child will feel, knowing you sued because he exists? Daggone. I guess I lose the bad mom of the week award, again.

Meanwhile, in Israel, a growing number of CHILDREN are suing doctors for wrongful life. Because of the small genetic pool in Israel, recessive genetic abnormalities are expressed more often. And so, these kids say, they shouldn't have been forced to live imperfectly...

I totally understand, monetarily, why people would do this. But emotionally? I don't get it.


November 09, 2011

Let’s Talk Uniforms

Almost every day, I see the usual suspects on the train. There’s “that poor kid” (who I believe, from my observations, is going to college, working, and taking care of a 1 year old boy), “sleeping dude” (self explanatory),  getting-ready-to-retire Indian guy, and chef girl.

How do I know she’s a chef? She wears those silly black and white checked pants.

I don’t know why chefs wear those pants, though a quick internet search would probably tell me. I’m gonna guess it’s a French thing. Though, why we would follow the French in terms of uniforms is anyone’s guess. I mean, these are the dudes that refused to change theuniform of their soldiers in WWI to camouflage simply because it was unfashionable. “Les pantaloons rouge, c’est la France!” was the rally cry – it roughly translates to “red pants, that’s France!” Completely bonkers in an era of modern weapons, and in addition, the white cross of their pack acted like a nice bulls-eye for the German snipers.

Uniforms, in general, are kind of silly in civvie life. Think of the folks who wear uniforms in the non-combatant world. There’s the entire health industry. They have to wear those crazy scrubs, and even then, they do everything they can to change it up. Come on, you know you’ve seen every kind of scrub from the plain colors to every cartoon character known to man.

There are subtle uniforms out there, too. I live near a college, and every year, it amuses me to watch the kids wear the same clothes, with just a tiny bit of difference. Kids with their own sense of style are truly few and far between.  This doesn’t change when they graduate. Watching the young and upcomers trudge to work, I see the uniform idea going strong. There’s a sense that these folks are trying to hide themselves in sensory whitewash – we’ve got the pseudo-suit, the proper accessories, and the hair, oh the hair – uniform uniform uniform. They even cover their own scent with something someone tells them to buy.

Even though they’ve all surrendered, becoming part of the corporate uniform, they do try to throw some “uniqueness” into the situation, maybe with color, maybe with bling. It kind of reminds me of an old Far Sidecomic strip.

Perhaps I’m just jealous. I have no sense of style, and there is no teacher uniform. I did ok in the computer world – fit right in with my worn out, ill-fittting clothes in mismatched colors. Now? I look around the train and see that I don’t fit any of the uniforms. I’m not sure, but I think maybe that’s a good thing.