Eaglie's Aviary

Monday, December 31, 2007

Horsemen of 2007!

Of the Apocalypse, the Rev. Jerry Falwell once said... well, he said a lot of stuff about secularists, feminists, the ACLU, and homosexuals. You don't even WANT to hear what he said about Dumbledore.

Though after I wrote that, I remembered Falwell died before that whole "Dumbledore is gay" thing. Fancy that?

And what does that all mean? Yup, it is that time...

Eaglie's Fifth Annual Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse!

Really! Five years! And this year had a bumper crop, so many that it was hard to choose! But I will make those tough decisions and not try to cram in every single major act of stupidity! I promise to not talk about all of it, and only pick and choose the worst of it! And I won't even mention Alberto Gonzalez and the firing of various U.S. attorneys due to political reasons that are unconfirmed.

Everyone always looks for a message that the year's given us. Personally, I eschew this in favor of pretty pictures, but this year I'll give it a try. A tagline for the year, like it's part of a never-ending line of sequels.

Eaglie's Fifth Annual Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The Year Tony Soprano Got...

Nah, not very classy of me.

Eaglie's Fifth Annual Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: A View of The View and Rosie's Seedy Underbelly


Eaglie's Fifth Annual Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: 2007 Wasn't Heaven!

NO! God, we really do need the writers to stop striking.

Eaglie's Fifth Annual Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Tase Them All and Let God Sort Them out!


In the local Apocalypse, the Chicago Transit Authority had a "Doomsday," and then pushed it back more times than can be counted (twice). The next Doomsday is in January. Chicago City Council Illinois General Assembly Congress UN Security Council God, help us!

I'm tempted to make this year entirely about sports. For Chicagoans, there were alimony trials, Lamborghini crashes, jail sentences, fights (sometimes even with opponents and not teammates), excuses, head explosions, and a few actual playoff appearances somewhere in between. But those were oddly heartwarming compared to the rest.

There was Michael Vick, jailed for dog-fighting, and an NBA official, jailed for "point-shaving." Cyclist Floyd Landis was stripped of the Tour de France title for using enhancing substances. So did a few more people and their cousins' dogs. And tennis star Martina Hingis did some cocaine (allegedly) and retired in shame.

English soccer star David Beckham came to play in the United States and couldn’t seem to garner any more support for soccer in America. This is probably because he is a soccer player. In college ball, NCAA football was full of losers. Every time some lucky team got Number One, they got beat. This got so bad that a team named the Ducks was number one in the country at some point. Boston won a World Series and seems poised to win itself a Super Bowl (with a perfect season) and an NBA title. Oh, and in hockey, the Mighty Ducks won the Stanley Cup.

Gosh darned Ducks!

What was the biggest though? Barry Bonds was the king of the crop this year. Baseball, rocked by the steroids scandal for a dozen consecutive years, finally felt it all culminate in Bonds's rampant destruction of Hank Aaron's home run record. He was then indicted and possibly faced a decade in jail. The Mitchell Report then came out later and cleared his name on all charges. And Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad signed a peace treaty with Israel. On Mars. And Vladimir Putin stepped down from power as part of the Iranian-Israeli agreement. And he flew away on a pig.

No, the Mitchell Report named a couple hundred more players involved in the steroids scandal. And Bonds is still set for trial. One wonders if baseball will ever recover from the excitement.

To my Horseman of War, Barry Bonds, I thank you for selflessly representing the whole of the sporting world this year.

In the tradition of what Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Numbers, Job, Daniel, and my freshman year religion teacher say, we have another location to turn into a series of pillars of salt. The 110th Congress of Sodom and Gomorrahthe United States, while led for the first time in its history by a woman, is full of men tempted by the flesh. And toilet paper. Just ask Larry Craig.

For two years in a row, the Republicans have dominated the position of Horseman of Gay--I mean Famine (though that’s what it's really become). This year, Larry Craig (R - Wide Stance) receives the slot. And the poor guy never got the cop's number. Instead, he got a new number, so call Cell Block C, 70823456 for a good time.

There was one plague that just had no cure this year: her name was Britney. And the whole Spears family, really. They never left the news. First there was... you know, I can't bear to recap it. 2007 turned into a total meltdown as Britney decided she hadn't flaunted herself, her kids, and her vagina enough in the past decade.

And it all culminated in her slipping her sister fertility pills. Honestly, Britney: Paris Hilton went to jail for 23 days, but at least she had the common decency to stop singing and getting pregnant. Congratulations on making that media whore look intelligent! Er, well, maybe not that far. Lindsey Lohan is somewhere in rehab, scolding you right now. Anna Nicole Smith is rolling over in her plastic coffin! You, my little former southern belle, are my 2007 Horseman of Pestilence. Believe me, if you go away, we'll leave Britney alone.

I have to name one feel good Horseman of the Apocalypse. Usually this falls to the Boston Red Sox, Michael Jackson, or, in the case of last year, YOU, but this year I have a different one: the former host of The Price Is Right, Bob Barker the Deathless.

He became an icon to my generation and several generations before us. He became our icon by taking a few Adam Sandler golf drives to the head and crotch. Others mostly just remember that the $1 bid was key. Personally, I thought he and Fidel Castro would live forever, ruling their respective country/game show with respective iron fists. Alas...

Now Drew Carey's hosting his show (and maybe is in charge of Cuba, I'm not sure). So to the retiring 2007 Horseman of Death, I wish you well. Thanks for moving us just a bit closer to Armageddon.

So that's my Four Horsemen...

What's that? Lookie there, look at the graphic, a BONUS! This year I must give a special award, CERTAINLY not because I couldn't figure out how to pare my choices down to four, but because this man truly deserved one more darned award!

To a man who has worked feverishly to avert the Apocalypse, to one who has told us of the growing dangers of environmental catastrophe (human beings always need to be warned that catastrophes are bad), and to one who has won an Oscar, Emmy, and Nobel Peace Prize doing it, this is the Aviary's thanks: kudos to you, Al Gore! Kudos!

Thank you and good luck, Mr. Former Vice President, humanity's great new leader against the Apocalypse! (How he'll hold out against these strong Horsemen, against global warming, or against the angry, overheated Bengal tigers, I have no idea.)

So here's to another year, maybe not full of forest fires, falling bridges, and dropping iPhone prices. But life, like this job, never gets easier. Except for sometimes.

(Bonus points if you noticed I never once mentioned Iraq!)

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Sunday, December 30, 2007


I've promised myself I won't read Dave's Year in Review until I finish my Horsemen. Doesn't mean you can't. But you have to Google it, hell if I'm posting it for you, lazy readers.

Ron Paul = Lvl 70 Fury-Specced Warrior

You remember what I said about Second Life rallies and protests? Same rule applies here.

(From rdtj23.)


Here in the Waning Days before the Apocalypse...

This is the comfort we get?


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Are Coulter-isms Legal Anyway?

I just picked up Ann Coulter's book, If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans, from the library (I'm guessing picking it up from the library would probably be against her ideology). My impressions are this: who writes a book entirely made up of quotes (from other works and interviews) of him or herself? I'm impressed she knows her own body of work so well though.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Hogfather

If you get the chance, see or read Hogfather by Terry Pratchett. Confusing, it is, but it is amazing in its quotability:

"Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know, that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom." --Death

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry and Joe!

While the Internet is a beautiful thing, so are the rights of writers like Mike Royko. Have a little read (using Yahoo! Books preview) of one of the best written nativity spoofs of all time.

And Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Santa Has Been Spotted in North American Airspace

Begin global missile repositioning.

SantaTracker Begins

Norad Tracks Santa 2007 is open! And Google Earth is even in on the fun! I'm keeping myself updated, too, as my work never ceases on being an up-to-date reporter on the status of my presents.

And here's a Christmas tale that I'VE never heard, boys and girls! It's one of intrigue, Cold War spying, and a mean old general that finally learns the meaning of Christmas (and Communism).

Some Christmas Cheer

News Item: A man in a Starbucks drive-through in Marysville, Wash., buys coffee for the woman behind him in line at a coffee store.

News Item: The woman decides to buy the coffee for the person behind her.

News Item: At least the next 350 customers, one by one, decide to buy the coffee for those behind them....

Even people at Starbucks like Christmas cheer beyond buying peppermint mochas.

And the actual article this is from, Quicktakes by Sun-Times columnist Zay Smith.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


35-7, Bears upset the Packers! Merry early Christmas!



...the Blogger label system. It's kinda wonky right now.

Today Is Bears-Packers Day

Today is an important holiday in Chicago, far more important than Christmases, birthdays, New Year'ses, and Three Kings' Days combined. At least here in the upper Midwest. Today is Bears-Packers Day, which comes but twice a year.

Today, it is in Chicago, which is funny, since I'll be in Wisconsin with Packers' fans since those "other" holidays I mentioned involve Wisconsin relatives. Today, I will be with the enemy at the end of the carnage, and I will have to deal with their cars and shock troops on the 294 back to Chicago.

Where it counts is in the most storied rivalry in all the NFL and probably the most storied outside of the Yankees versus the Red Sox and the Cubs versus the White Sox/Cardinals (both of which take precedence to bonds, blood, and debt, I know).

The rivalry is said to have started in 1921 over... well, no one really KNOWS how it started, but it was some sort of injury to one player on one of the teams. It's sort of a Montague-Capulet kind of thing. The two teams have battled it out in 174 games, and they have been ruled by the greatest sports icons of America (this far north and west, that is): George Halas of the Bears and Coach Lambeau Field of the Packers.

Today, the Halas family still owns the Bears, the city of Green Bay now owns the rights to and pays taxes for the Packers, and we all still do battle as often as the NFL schedule allows. Which is a little thankfully light for us Bears fans, at least this year.

So the Bears have not been good this year... an understatement, I suppose. And the Packers have been good this year... another understatement. I'm not worried: the Packers will probably go on to lose to the Cowboys again. And the records mean nothing in a rivalry game. What matters are those two games at the end of the season, so us Chicagoans can go brag (or cry) when we visit our summer homes north of Milwaukee every year.

Two Browns fans tell me this year to just roll over. I told them to roll over to the Steelers first, and one punched me. Why should I roll over? Maybe Brett Favre will retire this year if he goes all the way, they said! Personally, I'd rather have his head on a pike or possibly have him put in formaldehyde for the Field Museum. Of course, the city of Green Bay probably owns the rights to his body.

Bear Down today, Chicago Bears!

P.S. I liked my overuse of the word "storied" in paragraph three. Didn't you?

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By the Way...

...a new project has come up, and we'll see how excited I get. Andy and I approve of it, and maybe it'll be unveiled soon. Or maybe it won't. Maybe.

Fair Use Laws...

...do not apply to Chuck Norris. Only once did fair use laws apply to Chuck Norris, and the judge died in his sleep.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Never Happened to Me

I've never been on the receiving end either.

(The Flowers made me post this.)

Stopped Being Political

I took down the WGA banners on the side. I decided to because, all of a sudden, I remembered my journalistic integrity. I lost it on my way back from Florida once, and it was just returned.

Sorry, writers. I promise not to do any heavily scripted segments or anything until the strike is done.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Contrary to Popular Belief...

...the teaser trailer I posted yesterday for Duke Nukem Forever is real. It was found at the official site for the game. Personally, I'm still hoping it was hacked onto their site.

Think they're returning to the original format? A rollicking side-scrolling shoot-'em-up?


Second, Some Terrible Ideas in Gaming

Probably on par with another failed Sherlock Holmes sci-fi thingamajig.

(Sent by Chicago Burdman.)


First, Some Coolness in Gaming

Crazy scientists blending things and making things explode in huge quantities don't just exist in the real world.

(Sent by Larke/Maeple.)


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Some Business to Attend to

With the month off, the writers' strike still going and making me not watch TV, and only a handful of books that I really want to read on hand, I'll probably be doing some fancy things here. Possibly some fiddling with the template, maybe even some graphical updates. I'm also considering a move to Wordpress, though from initial testings, the RSS Feed is much better with Blogger.

Andy unfortunately won't be of much help as he'll be doing grad school stuff and possibly working. He's calling me a slacker. I don't believe a word that bastard says though. Anyway, expect some big stuff soon from me, no matter what.

Or maybe not. I might get lazy, and then you'll have to just wait 'til next semester, when I will most certainly have one big piece on Mardi Gras in New Orleans and, God willing, something about a visit to Williamsburg, Va. And I have a few other things up my sleeves that need some cleanup and editing. Those might come sooner rather than later.

This is Eaglie, telling you to keep reading, enjoy the winter. I will.

P.S. This year is again a bumper crop of the Apocalyptic kind. Don't worry, you'll find out soon enough.

Rip Van Winkle/Duke Nukem Teaser Trailer?

Duke Nukem Forever originally began production in early 1997. It is still not out. But we now have a teaser trailer.

So we've been waiting 11 years for that?! This is a distinct case of Daikatana Syndrome, only five years more.

Oh well. At least the Wikipedia article provided some entertainment. "Genre: ...Urban Legend"?

(Info gathered from Wikipedia and from The Escapist Magazine.)


Celebrity Gossip! Yay!

My normal resistance to making fun of celebrities (less fun ones like Jessica Simpson and Angelina Jolie--Mel Gibson and Michael Richards will ALWAYS be fair game) is weakening, but only for a moment, I swear.

Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant at 16. Britney's little sister is following in some big shoes. Definitely looking forward to how they write this into her Nickelodeon show.

P.S. Is it a sad thing in this generation if the spell-check decides that "Nickelodean" isn't spelled correctly and "Nickelodeon" is?


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Doubling the Rate of Global Warming...

As if this isn't getting enough press as it is.

(Stolen from Dave Barry's Blog. Again.)


Least Christmas Cheer in an Email Award Goes to...

...this one! Look for the bold.

Urgent Holiday Research Request:

I'm conducting a quick survey for an article I'm writing and would appreciate your immediate help. I need to estimate the average number of Christmas presents given in American households. The survey is anonymous and your response is confidential. I'm trying to determine an average. There are four questions. To participate please hit the Reply button, fill in your answers, and then hit Send. That's it. Please reply by Monday, December 17th.

1. Does your family give each other Christmas presents? Yes ___ Go to #2
No ___ Thank you. That is all.

2. When your family last opened Christmas presents how many presents in total would you estimate were given in your household?

3. Were there young children in your household? Yes___ No___

4. If there were young children, how many presents in total were given to all the young children in your household?

Thanks for helping me with the article. Have a wonderful holiday break.


Friday, December 14, 2007

In Science News...

This thing looks like an Asian jackalope just waiting to happen.

(From Cute Overload.)



Guess I gotta stop just posting riff-raff and start being responsible with my link-snide comment posts! Especially when posting a link from a blog! I'm gonna start an online fight! Or worse, online political discourse!

Check out dese comments!

This is actually where it gets interesting. I'm assuming your question wasn't rhetorical, so here's an answer.

The generals are always fighting the last war, and even now the WGA is struggling based on continued lack of foresight: in 1988 nobody foresaw the drop in videotape prices, then nobody saw the emergence of the DVD, then nobody saw the emergence of downloading or streaming from the Internet. So now, the focus is still very much on today's technologies and not so much on tomorrow's.

The road to the future is paved with cheese, for sure, but the virtual worlds of today are the sets, stages, theaters and screens of tomorrow, and the rules will be much different. Technologies are being created that incorporate story into immersive shared environments. Who will write those stories? Who will be compensated? Who will control the distribution and marketing?

Picketing in a virtual world calls attention to the fact that it would be a mistake to limit the focus of this current struggle to today's issues of downloading and streaming. We've come a long way since 1988. Imagine if whatever is decided this time around, however current it is with today's technology, were still governing the industry in 2026.

Post postedly posted by Kiwini Oe : 12/12/2007 12:16 AM

I wouldn't exactly EVER disagree. A writer myself (unaccomplished, of course), I agree with probably every single political agenda you have ever pulled a lever for.

My disagreement is in the power of the Internet and MOSTLY the power of Second Life. Yes, blogs and Web 2.0 are here to stay, unbelievably powerful. But a protest in an MMOG? I will give you this: the screenshots and posts about it curb my ability to say it's all for naught. It creates a lot of great visuals to go with the political cause and it does make a point about the Internet as a new garden for creative works. I do know the power of the picture story and combining media. But the protest within something like Second Life is certainly less powerful on its own (which is where my comment was erroneously directed).


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thinking with Portals

Somethingawful.com gives us something good and potentially life-changing. Also something that lets me post and not really worry about writing something substantive at the moment. As is often the case.

WARNING: play Portal before reading this.

(From Larke.)


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Second Life Is Not Real Life, Really

Yes, I support the WGA. But aren't there better ways to get the word out? Like, by picketing in the real world?

(From United Hollywood.)


Monday, December 10, 2007

I Post of the Awesome Power of Wikipedia, Finals Edition

Whenever you're having trouble studying, hit up Wikipedia and call THAT studying.


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Spike TV Videogame Awards 2007

You know, I liked a lot of what they chose, but seriously... Rock Band and Guitar Hero get too much attention.

Games like Mass Effect, Crysis, and that stuff are much more deserving. Orange Box and Halo 3? Those don't count.

Or rather, Orange Box as a whole doesn't count. Portal on the other hand... Portal wins MY game of the year, even if I didn't "play" it. I can base my decisions off hearsay, can't I?!?!


In Football News

Does anyone else think Tom Brady looks like a serial killer in his press conferences?


At First I Felt Dirty

I felt much better about posting this when I found out they were over 21.

(From johnhenryninja.)

Game Politics and My High Horse Again

My very brief high horse: I honestly lost a bit of respect for Tom Brokaw reading this.


Friday, December 07, 2007

Harry Potter Was Dead, I Thought?!

Stealing my idea and not giving me credit (okay, so probably it's because nobody reads this blog), the SPIRIT Newspaper at St. Ignatius on Oct. 5th printed this:

10 Similarities between Hogwarts and Ignatius.

1. The towers and stone gargoyles of St. Ignatius oddly resemble those of the school where magic is regularly peformed, aka HOGWARTS!
2. We both call our cafeteria the "dining hall." We're oh-so-unique!
3. Elegant shuttle busses transport us from the train station to school just as the horseless carriages do at hogwarts.
4. The variety of shops on Taylor St. Rivals the stores in Hogsmeade.
5. Our astronomy students enjoy gazing at stars just as much as the witches and wizards of Hogwarts. Too bad Dr. Carroll can't use a wand.
6. We've got some intense Sox and Cubs fan; Hogwarts is similarly divided between Gryffindor and Slytherin.
7. Although our school's staircases do not change directions in the clink of an eye, they're equally as mind-boggling as the ones at Hogwarts.
8. We both have a pretty dtrict dress code; at least we do not have to wear robes!
9. We have our very own ghost, Father Damen, who resides in our school. (witnesses say he can be seen regularly.)
10. Mr. Chandler = Dumbledore

Silly kids.

(Source: Facebook group I've forgotten the name of.)



My sources are drying out! They're not sending me cool stuff anymore! Is this the end?

Nah. I'll just make something up, like I always do!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Injury Report for the Bears-Redskins Game:

Probable: Hunter Hillenmeyer, Fred Miller, Brian Urlacher
Doubtful: Nathan Vasher, Anthony Adams

Probable: Clinton Portis, Antwaan Randle El, Mike Sellers, Randy Thomas
Questionable: Shawn Springs
Doubtful: James Thrash, Sean Taylor

Probably need to learn to lay off those ones.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

More Writers' Strike Stuff

As you can see, I just finally got up a few bells and whistles on the sidebars.

Funny thing is, there are rumors it's ending!

Solidarity: Writers' Pets

Yes, I crossed the lines. But I still support them.

(Swiped from Cute Overload.)



Is that a crayon in your pocket, Lord?

(From the Flowers. Pic originally hosted by http://www.hog-cheese.com/)

Just Don't Forget to Turn out the Lights

Quick: build me a thousand ships so that I may sail to a destination and rescue a girl.

Sorry, momentary lapse of memory. Forgot I wasn't Greek.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Since When Does the Aviary Pay Attention to the Business Side of Things?

Huge business news--some is scary, intensely scary, HAL-9000 scary. Some is awesome, intensely awesome, SKYNET awesome.

And I still await a wild smelly plant joke.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Writing a Diary Takes up All My Time, Dunno about You

Blogging will be light. Too much work to do.

Stuff piles up when you're on strike.