Archive for January, 2009

Just Enjoy The Perks, Ladies

Believe it or not, at one time this mellow mama may have been considered an almost militant feminist.  A lot of you may not even remember Ms. Magazine, but I was a subscriber when it advocated equal rights for all women, and not just lesbians.  I read it before it became mostly ads, like most magazines.

If someone  said or did something blatantly sexist, I would tell them off.  Women that would actually choose to stay home and be happy taking care of their families seemed pathetic to me.  Hey, I didn’t even wear a bra.  (Of course, I really didn’t need to).

As I got older, I’ve gotten wiser in some ways.  If someone is offensively sexist, I just avoid them.  You really can’t change someone like that, and I really don’t care to try anymore.  They probably don’t have the gray matter to comprehend that no one is intrinsically better than someone else based merely on their race, gender, etc.  I still cringe at those wedding ceremonies where the poor clueless bride promises to “obey” and “submit” to her man, but then I transport my mind to a tropical island while thanking my lucky stars that I  know enough to realize that no one has the right or power to control or dominate my life, and the only thing I plan to obey is my conscience.  I’ve also learned firsthand that it is a pleasure being able to take care of one’s family.  Well, sometimes it’s a pain in the ass.  But it’s definitely not pathetic at all.

While the United States, in theory, advocates equal rights for all, we know this is not exactly the way things are in actuality.  Women still earn about a quarter less an hour for the same job.  A woman has run for the highest office in the land, but still lost out to a less qualified man.  But fighting for our rights doesn’t mean giving up the perks.  Actually, we will do better fighting this war as women, not as wanna-be men.

Earlier feminists thought the way to win respect in a man’s world was to give up their femininity.  They tried to act and dress more like men.  They were throwing away their best assets.  They tried to do it all, and wore themselves out.  Even though they still earned less than the men, they insisted on paying their own way.

I, instead, choose to accept the good with the bad.  I appreciate when my husband opens the door for me or holds my coat.  He knows I can do this myself.  It’s just a nice gesture of appreciation.  If I was single, I wouldn’t fight my date if he wanted to pay the check.  And if we women choose to work outside the home part-time or not at all, there is less negative stigma attached to this than there is for the men in our lives.

Sometimes Big Daddy suggests that I go back to work full-time so that maybe he can stay home.  Yeah, right.  Now that staying home is actually fun and I can do the things I want to do, instead of changing poopy diapers and arranging carpools, I’m going to give that up?  I’d really like to help him out.  But I’m going to keep enjoying one of the perks we women have and continue to work my part-time job.

Eating Testicles Made Them Sick

In a little “World In Brief” news article in my local paper was this tidbit from Japan:  “Blowfish testicles make 7 diners sick”.  For folks who like to live on the edge, blowfish is a culinary delicacy.  It is extremely poisonous and must be carefully prepared by licensed chefs.  One time when Oldest Son and I were dining at the local sushi place (this is about as daring as I get), he was explaining to me that the poison in the blowfish produces some kind of tingly feeling that thrill-seekers consider pleasurable enough to risk their lives for.

This does not seem particularly newsworthy to me.  Eating testicles of any kind would make me throw up.  In fact, I can’t really even think about it anymore.

Excuse me while I go heave.

A Beauty Queen In Boots

Sky's New Boots

Sky's New Boots

Even though they’re not cheap, we broke down and bought someone else’s brilliant invention, little Velcro dog boots.  Our gorgeous little girl has an uncanny talent for getting as much mud and gunk jammed between her toenails as possible.  She’s even mastered the art of finding every poo pile we haven’t picked up and stepping in it.  Obviously, it’s easier to wipe this crap off these smooth little boots than to stand out in the cold and scrub four little paws.  I just have to show off my little beauty queen in her new booties.  A mom’s gotta brag!

Sky's New Boots

Sky's New Boots

I'm One Hot Pup

I'm One Hot Pup

You Can Quit Staring Now

You Can Quit Staring Now


On Comcast: How Do I Hate Thee…

Hmm, let me count the ways.

Right now, I’m kind of feeling like Mona “The Hammer” Shaw, the senior citizen who was driven to the brink of violence a year and a half ago by the monopolistic arrogance of cable TV, Internet, and now phone service provider Comcast.  Instead of taking a hammer to one of their office keyboards, however, I am simply going to vent.  We have no other choice around here.

There is no other cable TV service available to us in this area.  So, of course, they keep raising their rates.  In addition to raising their rates, they have been systematically eliminating the most favored channels from their more basic packages, forcing people to upgrade to more expensive cable packages or to do without channels and programs people have grown to love.  My mom told me just this week that she was switching over to the Dish.  On her fixed income, she couldn’t really afford the next rate increase, and they have already taken away several of her favorite stations.

We are locked into Comcast until about August of this year because of the Triple Play promotion I signed up for last year.  The Triple Play promotions are actually not a bad deal.  They give you a break on the usual rates if you newly sign up to have all three (cable, internet, and phone) services through Comcast.  They even throw in a few freebies, like premium channels, free HD, and DVR.  They don’t do this to be nice.  They’re just trying to knock out the little competition they have (eg. Verizon phone) and at the same time get you hooked on their services so that when the contract is up, you’ll keep these services at their very expensive regular rates.

A few things always ticked me off about le Comcast.  First of all, they charge you for the month ahead, but if you happen to pay late, they charge you a “late” fee.  I could never figure out how you could be late paying for services you have not yet received.

This month, during the AFC Championship game between the Pittsburgh Steelers (our team in these parts) and the Ravens, Comcast’s digital TV service went out during one of the most exciting quarters of the game.  Many people were not happy about this, especially the ones in local sports bars.  Good move, Comcast.

This Thursday, I lost a good half-hour of my life with Comcast tech support to try to figure out why I could not access any of my e-mail accounts.  I had no problem with the technician.  He was very patient and helpful.  But I have a BIG problem with the new Comcast “Smartzone” mail service they now have.  It is not smart at all.  It is more like Dumbzone.  Or Suckzone.  They think by calling it smart and telling us how great it is and how much capacity it has, that they can trick us into liking it.  Wrong, Comcast.

I even asked the technician, “Why did they change it?  I hate it.  It’s all squished together and you have to double click everything now in order to read it.”  And…the reason I was having problems was that he had to reset something.  And I use the Mozilla Firefox browser instead of Internet Explorer.  I was informed that if I now wanted to be able to read my Comcast e-mail, I had to open it with Internet Explorer, which I hate and which is infinitely inferior to Firefox.  They’re supposedly working on the incompabilty.  Yeah, I believe ya, Comcast.

I know the reason why they changed their e-mail, and why it looks all squished.  It was not to make things better.  It was to rake in even more money.  If you have Comcast mail, you will see all the ads now that were not there before.  So they’ve actually downsized the reading area of our mail so they can collect more ad revenue.  But don’t think they’re going to downsize your bill.  Like all good monopolies, their rates will go up while their service declines.

This Is A PG Rated Site

One thing that’s kind of cool about WordPress:  it allows you to see which Search Engine searches may have led readers to your blog.  Since I’m not trying to sell anything, this is of no commercial value to me, but since I happen to be very curious about life and the creatures in it, it’s fun to see what interests folks.

I’m kind of baffled right now about the sudden surge in “Scrabble” seekers.  I wrote a post some time ago about a certain Scrabble match between my “turncoat” youngest son, his friend Shayna, and me.  At the time, it got a few hits from my few regular readers.  Lately though, it’s getting dozens of hits, all through people searching the word “Scrabble.”  Is there some important Scrabble tournament going on that I don’t know about?  Is there a new meaning for the word?  Inquiring minds (like mine) want to know.

I’m also rather disturbed about some of the other searches going on.  I know it’s a big wide world out there with many diverse characters, but I really hope none of these people live anywhere near me.  I have had more than a few people trying to find “boys in boxers”, “boy in boxers,” and “little boys in boxers.”  Hopefully this is just a grandma trying to decide what kind of undies to buy the grandkids, but sadly, I don’t think so.  Scarier still are the searches I’m seeing about “mom screws son” and “son screws mom.”  I can tell you pervs right now, this mama doesn’t do much screwing.  Even with screws.  And definitely never with blood relatives.

Sorry if this post grosses anyone out.  It’s the world we live in.  This mama has sons, and a boxer dog.  Sometimes she screws up.  But if you’re looking for some X-rated titillation, you’re looking in the wrong place!

Yes, You Can Reboil An Egg

I had an inkling of how my day would be yesterday right after I decided to eat my breakfast.  Being uncharacteristically organized the day before, I had boiled a pot of eggs thinking it would be a good low-calorie alternative to my usual breakfast of cold pizza or leftovers.  I poured a nice glass of orange juice, selected one of the eggs, tapped the shell on the kitchen counter to gently crack it open, and was promptly surprised by gooey egg snot dripping onto my hand.

Totally grossed out, I examined the egg quickly and saw that although it was not raw, it hadn’t cooked very well.  I tossed the dripping egg into the trash and decided to do a google search to see if you could reboil eggs that hadn’t cooked all the way through the first time.  I really hate to waste anything, and I usually cook about eight eggs at a time when I hard-boil them.  I couldn’t figure out why this particular pot of eggs didn’t cook so well when I made them the exact same way I always do.  I usually use large eggs (which these were), I bring them to a boil, put a lid on them and cook over low heat for about 25 minutes.  This produces perfectly hard-boiled eggs–except for yesterday’s batch.

Several forums said that yes, indeed, you can reboil an egg.  So I put the seven little survivors in a pan, covered them with water, and started cooking.  About a half-hour later, my curiosity made me peel and try one.

The verdict — yes, you can reboil an egg.  It will emerge with a hard yellow center.  Just don’t expect to enjoy it.  It had a very rubbery consistency.  If  I hadn’t eaten that sucker, I’ll bet I could have bounced it like a super ball.

I’m still not giving up.  I’m going to chop up the remaining eggs into small rubbery pieces, and hope that I can make an acceptable egg salad.

Sanity Prevails Again ~ GW’s Goodbye Gift

Just last week, I posted about this travesty of justice, the plight of Border Patrol guards Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean who were imprisoned and sentenced for about 10 years just for doing their job and apprehending a drug smuggler.  In line with the way our back assward country has become, what with crooks and bums being rewarded and bailed out while the people that work hard, study, and save are forced to handover what they’ve earned to the irresponsible takers of the world, the drug smuggler was granted immunity while the guys doing their job were punished.  George Bush has not been as generous as his predecessors at handing out presidential pardons (maybe he’s not friends with as many thugs?), so even though to most fair-minded Americans this was a no-brainer, most people following the story thought there was a good chance these guys would be languishing in prison for many years.

Although he didn’t grant them an outright pardon, President Bush has commuted the sentences of these men.  These days, when the stories in the paper become more ludicrous and unbelievable than the ones you read the day before, it just gives one a glimmer of hope that maybe the earth will not spin off its axis tomorrow.  Maybe with these baby steps into the realm of common sense, we might be around a few more years.

I’m wishing the best for these guys and their families.

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January 2009
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