Eaglie's Aviary

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Horsemen Recap of the Last Five Years

At the end of this American era and the beginning of that new one, we must look for the guidance of our leaders, the men ushering in flames and wearing their finest silk dunce caps--Twenty Horsemen in total, plus a lame anti-Horseman. And thus, we present the Aviary’s first "Where Are They Now?" post and clip show rolled together for your viewing pleasure.

Why the Horsemen? Why do we care about them anymore, as the Apocalypse leaves us poor bastards behind to eat wasps and float in fecal matter? What bone-headedness did these Horsemen reap upon us in the past, since we will surely top it?

    My Horsemen of 2003
  • Somehow, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (War) is still governor. However, his controversial Proposition 8, an anti-gay marriage amendment to the California constitution, has led to a sharp increase in poignant musicals. Here's one.

  • Simon Cowell (Strife--later renamed Death) is still on that goddamned show with those goddamned singers and goddamned other judges, which is still goddamned successful, which is still turning out one goddamned new rehab patient a year.

  • Michael Jackson (Famine) is faring marginally better than O.J. Simpson.

  • The Rev. Al Sharpton (Pestilence) appeared recently with Caroline Kennedy, supporting her bid to take over Sec. of State-elect Hillary Clinton's senate seat, thereby continuing the tradition of New Yorkers not representing themselves in the Senate. Rev. Sharpton also appeared in a public service message with the Rev. Pat Robertson, a collaboration which did not lead to the titanic battle sending forth plagues and brimstone against each other like I had put money on.

  • My Horsemen of 2004 (This was the year I left each individual horseman's title unnamed. This was an unpopular move, but I was young. I apologize.)
  • Martha Stewart is long out of prison. According to Cute Overload, she has a new chow chow puppy, a cross between a Koosh ball and a young Marlon Brando.

  • Curt Schilling and the Red Sox, having won two division titles, two World Series, and spanked the Yankees a lot, are now pompous assholes, except Curt Schilling, who's more of a pompous dweeb.

  • Ralph Nader did not ruin the Democrats and split the vote in the most recent election, which was expected. This has not given him back any of his 1970s popularity, and he is still not very well liked, often described as "an ornery troll with a weird lip thing."

  • Ohio is still a state.

  • My Horsemen of 2005
  • Ozzie Guillen (War) has almost been fired from the Sox a few times for "inflammatory" comments of an "asshole" nature.

  • Avian Flu (Pestilence) is mutating and biding its time.

  • I thought FEMA Director Michael Brown (Famine) was shamed out of office and FEMA was disbanded, but apparently the organization still exists. As for Brown, I was wrong. He is still quite alive, and I quote his Personal Life section on Wikipedia (as of December 27, 2008): "Brown is married and has two children."

  • Mother Nature (Death) is angrily melting. She also shared a Nobel Peace Prize with former vice president Al Gore.

  • My Horsemen of 2006
  • Outgoing Vice President Dick Cheney (War) has calmed down with age and the fact that doctors flipped his heart back to low power. He still squeals from time to time though.

  • It's unclear what former congressman Mark Foley (R - Famine) is up to, but I am pretty sure it has to do with Facebook.

  • The infamous TIME Magazine (Pestilence) named Vladimir Putin its follow-up to YOU. Putin declined the award but kept the cover as a puppet minister. This year, they chose for that position President-elect Barack Obama, and I was shocked, shocked to find that out!

  • YOU! (Death) are reading.

  • My Horsemen of 2007
  • Barry Bonds (War) was fired from baseball. Owners conspired to never work any town again, and the Players' Union has filed suit. The New York Yankees still have not picked him up for a ridiculous sum of money, but they better hurry or else the Dallas Cowboys might take him first.

  • Sen. Larry Craig (Famine) is gone, and then is back, then gone, and back again. He really needed some Immodium.

  • After going through the most difficult of years with personal finance failing and her little sister becoming the joke of the entire media, Britney Spears (Pestilence) went into hiding, until recently when her boobs made a comeback CD.

  • Bob Barker's (Death) Caribbean military junta was unsuccessful. He is now hosting "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" in Spanish--just kidding. He retired after the junta.

  • The 2007 Special Award winner (what in the world was I thinking when I gave this out?) former vice president Al Gore is still fat and not president.

Throughout all this chaos, I have noticed one thing: why did Pres. George W. Bush never make my list? Seems inappropriate, after all these fine years.


Appointing a "Curveball"

In all his truthful wisdom, Mr. Blagojevich appointed a senator today. Maybe Roland "Plaxico" Burris deserves the position. Maybe he doesn't. I don't think he was on the Candidates #1-5 List before. I had to look him up to know who he was, as did most of CNN.

The reaction to this "curveball": Ill. Secretary of State Jesse White, a former tumbler, has refused to sign papers that allow this senator to go to Washington. Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn called the appointment an insult to the state. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) smiled and gave a proverbial thumbs up as Burris accepted his appointment. Something about this tells me we're going to have more fun/chaos than even I expected.

Kudos to Blago for exacerbating the situation and adding to the pain of Illinoisians! I knew you could, even when you said you couldn't--and wouldn't--do it!


Monday, December 29, 2008

Even with the Crushing Unofficial Recession

At least one famous online retailer is racking up great numbers! Yes, even as retailers are reporting their worst numbers in years, Amazon sold a LOT of books--

Whoa, they sell stuff OTHER than books now? Like VHS tapes?

They apparently are leading the charge into the online-only marketplace we're heading toward, with HTML strike-outs and red font for every tag! Someday, we won't even need five-story parking garages. We'll just need five-story mailboxes.

It might be a sad reflection on society's changes in the digital age. The economy crumbling just seems to be sending us deeper into those changes. I, for one, will miss my Stretch-A-Dollar Market. It felt so freeing to drive there, browse stuff, break it, and drop it back onto those stainless-steel basket-shelves.

I always did all my Christmas browsing, breaking, and dropping back there.

(Link spotted on The Escapist.)


Still Harping on That Governor

I was forwarded this recently:

EDIT - Forgot to credit Andy's mom for forwarding that one.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Flood Cometh

It's 62 degrees outside here in Chicago, some kind of record. The snow is melting, and a thunderstorm came through in the early morning (my squawking woke Andy up). And it's all the local channels can talk about.

Oh, and the streets and the basement are flooded. More on this at the sixes.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

I'm Getting the Meaning of This Whole "Winter" Thing

The forecast for the Midwest: cold, freezing rain, snow, more rain, more cold, and a warm-up threatening flash flood warnings. Ho, ho, ho!

Also, still off visiting with family and friends, but I'm REALLY looking forward to the lake-effect snow adding to the flooding. I love Christmastime!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Legitimate Vacation Day

I'm on the road all tomorrow, so I will not be near a computer, even if presents seem to necessitate one. I promise to be back with a vengeance in two days, and I hope to continue raining vengeance down upon all of you with laughs and lack of indifference of the season.

In my stead, I leave you with a great old newspaper clipping. I think you know it, too. Merry Christmas, Aviarians!


A Christmas Gift You Could Get Me, for Making You Laugh

This would be the bestest present a man could ever have if he had a region-free PS3 and an interest in crashing simulated trains into Chicago high-rises.


We're All Rust Belted Anyway

New York insulted Cleveland, singling out Clevelanders as horrible tourists (I wasn't aware they had the money left to be horrible tourists). This did not fly.

The New York Times is reporting that the war is over and Broadway is making peace by offering tickets to Clevelanders' favorite play, Chicago. Which is a great choice of play.

(From Gawker.)


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holidays with Hefner Must Be Intense

God, I need to spend the holidays at that mansion. Anyone got Hugh's number?


Monday, December 22, 2008

The Trib Isn't Broke Enough to Not Name the Scandal

Mr. Zorn, whatever happened to Roddergate?

Note: your newspaper also printed this. The gBay scandal is definitely giving the satirical world a cotton candy-and-ferris wheel atmosphere.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Oh, and Speaking of Geeks and Roasting on an Open Fire

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sexy Geek Contest! Wait, Really?

So we open with extremely respectable entries like Zooey Deschanel, Felicia Day, John Hodgeman, and David Tennant. Then it degrades to random pictures from webcams, ComicCons, and Steve Jobs.

So I'd stay in the first three pages or so, Soledad O'Brien on page 8 notwithstanding.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Blagojevich's Burden

A man who quotes Rudyard Kipling* can't be all bad, can he?

Rod-man (bad pun, Chicago sports fan, amiright?) defended himself against all those nasty almost-treasonous charges by sounding the clarion call to truth. He thanked people for supporting him, which I assume he did not mean me, as I did not vote for him. Nor did I presume him innocent before guilty. I, in fact, assumed he was guilty and poured myself a celebratory drink the morning I woke up and heard the news. I called that scotch a "morning-cap."

But Gov. Blagojevich is a noble one, who cuts out all the crap and fat. Let me tell you what the governor wants to tell all the citizens of Illinois and the United States of America: "Let me tell you what I'm not going to do: I'm not going to do what my accusers and political enemies have been doing and that is, talk about this case in thirty second soundbites on Meet the Press or on the TV news."

Time yourself reading that aloud. Was that thirty seconds?

Something else to note: Blago has a lot of lawyers working for him. For these defense lawyers, context is a huge thing, probably the center of their criminal justice training. All those tapes of Blago bleeping cussing and "discussing" senate seats were very out of context. And they are bullshit because our governor is totally innocent because he uses every breath fighting specifically for health care. Sick children and senior citizens' meds. Always with the damned enfeebled, Roddie! Always!

Of course, now he'll be using all that breath fighting these criminal charges. No time for the enfeebled now.

* - Good poem.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Seven Eves 'Til Christmas

Snow hit Chicago in a big way a few days ago, and it's just gonna keep coming, so I hear from the Chicagoist and my boy Skilling.

So here I am, ruffling my feathers in front of a Pentium IV for warmth, debating various horsemen (and women) of the year as well as what to put on my Christmas cards (macaroni or rigatoni?). Andy's off doing Andy stuff--probably eating Frito's Honey Barbecue Twists. Corporations are throwing contracts in roaring fireplaces, and the courts are keeping themselves warm by keeping themselves busy protecting our current favorite Illinois governor.

But I have my computer and Sinatra and Cash Christmas CDs playing. I have warm coffee (not civet puke), and I have Christmas shopping and cards to do... which I sincerely enjoy doing. Something about writing by hand still thrills me. And Andy gave me the bottom half of the chips bag, so it does feel like the holidays--even if there's plenty of badness in the world as of late. Now, to watch the Muppets.


The Best Part Is the Headline "Cyanide Millipede"

Would these be cheaper to hang outside as lights, or would there be too many liabilities?

(From a link of a link from Dave Barry.)


Staying Warm, Wide Awake, and Highly Alert for the Holidays

At least it doesn't come out the other end, like that one in South America.

(From rdtj23.)


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

FAIL News--and Sports News

The Crimson Tide (a team that has an elephant mascot) has named its opposing teams' locker room the Fail Room. I hope this was intended by the man with such a name--but whether it's ironic or not, FAIL Blog cannot post on this quickly enough.

(From ESPN. Roll, Tide, roll... to second place!)


Also, Letterman Smells Funny

New York governors during scandals might "have a little fun on the way," but most people agree: no one will be able to touch this glittering Hindenburg of an Illinoisan scandal without at least 40 million acres of rainforest, the Declaration of Independence, and a whole lot of glue.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Illinois Has It Bad

Stewart. Colbert. SNL. CNN. All of them are getting in their digs at Mr. Blago, who still plans to fight on. And here we Illinoisans stand with a president-elect and a winning football team on the brink of the playoffs. We should be celebrating! But that's exactly it: we're having SUCCESS! We're the ones with the president and the empty golden senate seat! We're the ones with the clout and the valuables! And the booming liquor industry in the midst of an economic collapse (no surprise there)! And no one likes the Heartland to have success, especially special prosecutors.

I mean, when you have a good thing in bad times, even if it's an illegal and immoral thing, can you blame a person or institution for abuse of power? Really?

Also, dimming the lights for a moment: I'm watching the Illinois Supreme Court proceedings for you, baby.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

"Eshoe-ing" My Commentary for a Video

He's a wily one.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Merry Wall Street Journal!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Iamb What Iamb... Sorry, Bad English Major Joke

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Yesterday Was Exhausting!

But it was exhilarating! Such fun! Such craziness! Such epic political drama, Romantic and Cesarean in scope! (Bet you never expected to hear those words used that way.)

Of course, justice is not yet served. The governor plans to fight the corruption charges: he says he's done nothing wrong, and he's still not fired or run over by a hired truck. Can't have it all.

Except another glorious day as a political satirist.


Sleep, and Hope Two FBI Agents Don't Come to YOUR Door at 6 AM

To wrap coverage for the day, I present you with a more manageable version of that "complaint."

And someone noticing what I've known all along.

Plus this. Sleep well, America, the bad guys are out on bail.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

In a Tiny Break from the Illinoisian Circus

They need their own world. They are certainly not welcome in World of Warcraft, let alone City of Heroes.


Also, for News Teams Everywhere

It's pronounced: bluh-GOY-ah-vich!

Or maybe: blaw-GOY-yah-vich!

Or, wait: blah-GOO-gah-vich!

Oh hell, just call him Rod. Anyway you put it, I hope no one put Blago or Eliot Spitzer on their fantasy politics roster this year.

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And the Arrested Ninny Continues to Dominate Us All

I can't sum up the fallout any better, without use of a major explosions effects budget.


Continuing Coverage of Senate Seat-gate

Blago, G-Rod, Yet-Another-Corrupt-Illinois-Governor, yes, you are restoring my faith in the politically corrupt process. People are ringing in and telling me my state is corrupt. People from places that have had mayors arrested. But that's bleeping peanuts in the Land of Lincoln and Capone. We now have the greatest political criminal of all time. It's like Abe and Al had a baby!

Two years ago I said, instead of bleeping re-electing Blago (along with electing Judy Barr Topinka), we might as well bleeping re-elect George Ryan (who still has a few bleeping years left in prison). But anyone expect a bleeping valuable U.S. Senate seat to be for sale? And for Blago himself to withhold funds from Children's Memorial to get more campaign contributions? Bleeping bleep, let's re-elect THAT guy!

And a blogger/commenter at Eric Zorn's "Change of Subject" blog has come up with a bleeping name for this all: Roddergate.

And, finally, if you really want it, here it is. All wrapped up for you.

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Senate Seat-gate? Campaign Contribution-gate?

This morning, a date that will live in infamy--if it wasn't for the other three governors of Illinois that have been in jail--Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D - Ill.) was arrested in Chicago. (Up to the minute updates here from those bankruptcy-protected guys!)

And you thought the new edition of the O.J. Simpson trial was going to be biased. The man had a 13 percent approval rating--apparently, this was low enough to get him handcuffed at 5:30 in the morning, when FBI agents are most cranky.

The laundry list of complaints includes oh-so-many bribery and conspiracy charges and plenty of references to a codeword, "campaign contributions." In one move that shocked even the most cynical of Americans (me), Gov. Blagojevich allegedly tried to sell President-elect Obama's Senate seat. While being accused of a hundred other crimes. While being wiretapped. While most of the state and Legislature hated him. There are very few ways to jog away from this, Governor.

The news conference with U.S. Attorney Pat Fitzgerald and the FBI director of Chicago is full of hyperbole about Lincoln "rolling over in his grave" and "Illinois being the most corrupt state--or a hell of a competitor." Maybe "hyperbole" isn't the right word: there ARE a lot of furrowed brows on TV in Chicago today.

And if you wanted to actually read the criminal "complaint" (I stopped counting counts), here. At the Tribune again. Look fast! It's going away very soon!

Well, maybe not for Mr. Blagojevich.

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Those Toilets Flush Whisper-Soft--and Clean, Too!

An airplane was too QUIET?! I was going to call them whiners, but I understand completely. Since when could anyone sleep without the slow rumble of jetliners, trucks, and public transportation? I need a stray cat to yowl me a lullaby just to get a nap.


Monday, December 08, 2008

SHIVER for America, YAWN for Late Night

In a sigh of relief for everyone everywhere, Jay Leno is still going to be making jokes about NBC at NBC.

In other news, the Tribune "filed for bankruptcy protection," rather than simply bankruptcy. Too bad I don't know how finances work. Or is this just the media avoiding saying they "filed for bankruptcy"? I smell semantics.

Little known fact: semantics smell like Canadian bacon. What's the difference with the smell of regular bacon? Eh.

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

I Post of the Awesome Power of Wikipedia #8... 9 ... 10? I Forget

This thing scares me, but at least it's lit up like the tree in the front room.

SPECIAL NOTE: Several non-Western cultures eat these things, as they tend to do.


Objectionable Equation

No one ever said I didn't treat my male engineering and mathematics readers well. But can you answer how the paparazzi are measuring the surface area, please?

(Poached from Dave Barry's blog. And do the British still spelling "plungeing" THAT way?)


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Cheers for Repeal Day!

How often do you get a bevy of cabaret girls opening your TMBG concert? And how often do you get a birthday toast? Plenty, now that Prohibition's gone, it seems! The concert we went to last night celebrated Repeal Day with free Dewar's Scotch drink tickets and a 1920's speakeasy ukelele player. Oh, and jazzy strippers.

In 1933, 75 years ago yesterday, FDR repealed Prohibition with the help of Congress. We have been a better nation for it. A nation freer to sin and screw up, but also to enjoy and forget about the economic depression we were in.

Andy and his mom talked after the concert. She said to him (with me in the room), "You know, your grandfather celebrated in Chicago that day, even if he never observed Prohibition."

He WAS Irish, we said.

Andy's mom noted that was very true. "He was on the North Side, driving a horse and cart around and rooting for the Sox."

Definitely was rooting for baseball on December 5th.

After a pause, she said, "You know, in 1933, that day they celebrated, he would've been 22." Same as Andy.

That's probably important to him.


If You Are My Friend

I want this pop culture quiz of a T-shirt, worn by John Flansburgh of THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS

Andy, I'm looking at you and your bank account, I don't CARE if the economy is down and you're laid off. ROBOTS!

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Friday, December 05, 2008

No One Can Hear "Istanbul" Without Replying "Constantinople" Anymore

Also, for my birthday, Andy's taking me with friends tonight to see THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS, as heard in this video:

Plucky Duck is an early hero of mine.

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Happy Birthday Dear Meeeeee

You know, this year is my gilded septennial. Quite a vocabulary for such a young age. I have changed a lot in these years, from simply a video game persona to a video game-affiliated blog persona and finally to whatever the hell I am now. A blog persona, a Facebook persona, and a GMail messaging persona? Not to forget, an actual eagle to boot.

So, as always, thanks for reading, oft-reading Avians. There will be plenty for you in the afterlife.


Thursday, December 04, 2008

That Old BIG Band Sound

If they didn't have a video for this headline, I was going stop reading immediately. Then there was a video, and I didn't read the article anyway.

He really does look like an old jazz man, doesn't he?


Why Can't Three Kings Day Be Now? C'mon.

I'm in a festive mood. First I go with Andy and buy a ton of sorrow beer/whiskey to cheer us up in this horrendous world of ours (even comedians and editors need to vent a bit). Then we tear up a little watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Elf (tears--a first at a Will Ferrell movie?). Then we have a little and a LOT more Christmas spirit(s), and I wake up with a visit from three wisemen.

(From IRL Friend-of-the-Blog Miramontron.)


Monday, December 01, 2008

Apocalyptic Birds Are My Specialty

Work has just begun on you-know-what. Tremble, the end is nigh, Chicken Thigh!

(Get it? "Chicken Thigh"?! Because "Chicken Thigh" is similar to "Chicken Butt," and it rhymes with "nigh." Find another word for "butt" that rhymes with "nigh," I dare ya.)


IRL RickRoll Update

I'm sure everyone has seen this already:




But I still just RickRoll'd you.

(From everyone in the Western digital world.)


Easter in December!

I can't beat my own title, really. Just gonna link it. There. Easter in December!

Not to mention April 1st in December.

(From Lifehacker. Damn you all for sending me links enough to addict me!)


Don't Marry Any Ice Queen Bitches, That's for Sure

It's officially December, and it's snowing for the first time. Or, the second time, but this time, it's PAYBACK and it STAYS DOWN!!!

So, honestly, I can only suggest finding a book, sitting by the glow of your iPhone "Fire" app, and using the phone to light your readings because the lights got shut off when you couldn't pay the electric.

But don't look glum. Keep warm with your sweetheart. And don't forget...

(Link from Blog Friend confuzdluckyboy/roflcopter/maeembers. I considered it fair game.)