Monday, June 30, 2008


Well its Monday night, you're not in the mood to cook so you pretty much have two options. Chinese or Pizza. You might fool yourself into thinking you have more choices, but you had (insert closest fast food chain here) for lunch and every other ethnic cuisine is an extra 5 minutes in the car. God bless the lazy American lifestyle.

I, myself, usually go for Chinese in the beginning of the week because pizza has a liberating feeling to it fucking with my mind to make it think its either thursday or friday. (I don't need that kind of dissappointment on a Monday night.) My personal favorite dish is General Tso's Chicken. I've probably consistantly ordered the dish for about half of my life and I still have no idea how to pronounce it. I've tried Tiso, Sow, So, and any other combination between the three. I looked online and I've come to realize the rest of America is as clueless as I am. (However, not as cluelass as Canada...they sometimes call it General George's Chicken. Idiots.)


While on my quest for the perfect pronunciation, which by popular majority and wikipedia is "General So's Chicken", I've come to realize that General Tso was a real guy. His actual name being, Zuo Zongtang, spelled Tso Tsung-t'ang in Wade-Giles and known simply as General Tso or General Tsuo to us whiteys.

In his early life he flunked the court exams (a glorified civil service test) more times than Vinny Gambini flunked the BAR exam. But Zuo I guess had that certain je ne sais quoi, and was given command of 5,000 volunteers and helped drive the Taiping rebels out of Hunan. I'm guessing this was a good thing because he was appointed Governor-General of Fujian and Zhejiang. Other key highlights were overseeing the erection of a shipyard (hehe) and stopping another uprising. This all happened in the 1860's, while we were busy dealing with our own Civil War.

General Tso

Vincent decide

So what does he have to do with chicken? No one knows for sure. Some say his wife made him the meal after a victorious battle and he was so impressed with it that he had his wife make it for his commanding officers after every victory, but not likely. I only say this because no one in China really knows about this dish. Its pretty much an American food that may or may not have been created by Hunan cuisine chef Peng Chang-kuei in New York City in 1973. The dish was originally prepared without sugar, and subsequently altered to suit the tastes of non-Hunanese people. Can we say "sell-out." Ironically, when Peng opened a restaurant in Hunan in the 1990s introducing General Tso's chicken, the restaurant closed without success because the locals found the dish too sweet. Oops.

And after you read all of this, you are still left thinking "So What?"and I say to you good sir, "Tso What? Tso Let's Dance!!!"

Sunday, April 6, 2008


To secede or not to secede, that is the question. South Carolina tried it…twice. Sure everyone knows about the Civil War, but 30 years before that in 1833, they tried to leave while the US was under the presidency of Andrew Jackson. Jackson's reaction was pretty much "you try, you die," and needless to say South Carolina backed down, but only until James Buchanan took office. James Buchanan, our first "homosexual" president, put up little to no resistance to keep South Carolina part of the union. Sure you can look at James Buchanan as a weak president, but don't states have a right to secede?

Since secession isn't discussed in the constitution, the right to secede falls under the Tenth Amendment. Any power not delegated to the federal government by the states, and not prohibited to the states by the Constitution, remains a right of the states. This defense, along with a clause in the ratification of the Constitution that permitted states to withdraw from the Union if the government became oppressive was the justification that let James Buchanon allow the Southern states to leave in peace. With that said, I think it's about time to let Northwest Angle leave the Union and become a member of America's National Park. A little place I like to call, Canada.

Northwest Angle, Minnesota, with population maxing at 152 people, is trying to secede from the union, not because of slavery or taxes but because of fish. Fishing is Northwest Angle. That is what they do. That is who they are. Hell, kids fish there at recess. Sadly though the water surrounding ol' Angle is Canadian water. So when Ontario passed a new law saying Americans staying at Northwest Angle can no longer keep fish they catch, it meant disaster for the Angle's residents. And since the fish dilema is no slavery issue America pretty much ignores them.

But fishing can be dangerous:

So come on people, lets cut the umbilical cord and let them go. Technically speaking, the Angle is only a part of the union because of a mapping error made after the war of 1812, when we agreed with Great Britain that the American border would end at the 49th parallel. We accidentally took the Northwest angle, who's whopping 500 square miles of land, falls a shade north of the border. Good job David Thompson!


Tuesday, April 1, 2008


"This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three-hundred and sixty-four."-Mark Twain

I would have never realized how lame the origin of April Fool's Day was unless I read it for myself. I always pictured April Fool's to have started because of some kind of crazy act, like the British aristocracy releasing plagued rats into a peasant's house as a lark or a French King maybe inviting a peasant to dine with his royalty only to send him to the guillotine. You know, something lighthearted. But sadly my findings just brought me back to the Christian church, the calendar and that damn vernal equinox. Oh yeah...and let us not forget…the French.

Basically, Julius Caesar's calendar (the Julian Calendar) had a few flaws to it that screwed up the timing of Easter and the vernal equinox. So in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new calendar cleverly titling it, the Gregorian Calendar. This is the calendar that we know and live by today. Pope G's decree was that New Year's Day would be celebrated on Jan. 1st, not April 1st. (Technically it was March 25 but the celebration lasted from then until the beginning of April. They knew how to party back then.) In France, apparently not everyone got the memo and this led to some confusion and people celebrating New Year's on the wrong day. (insert laugh track here) The ones who made the mistake were laughed at by their peers and had dead fish sneakily placed on their backs. Seriously. The French can be so cruel!!

Friday, March 28, 2008


"I don’t know what you know and you don’t know what I know but together we have a whole lot of know," Black Cherokee.

I usually hate driving on the FDR to get into Manhattan. It is usually backed up with traffic to the point of insanity, but just when I am about to karate chop the guy in the car next to me, I see Black Cherokee's "art" installations and everything is right in the world again, or at least for the next 1/2 mile. Usually one might mistake his "crazy-ass visions" as just garbage on the side of the road but to him, and to many commuters, it is art.

Otis Houston Jr, aka Black Cherokee, has been putting together makeshift displays for at least the past ten years on the southbound side of the FDR at 125th St, underneath the entrance of the Triborough Bridge. Originally, Houston came to New York from South Carolina in the 70's and spent '76 in jail for dealing cocaine. A few years later, he was shot twice in the back. In 1984, he returned to prison for heroin, where he read books, took art classes, and became a vegetarian. And from what I have been able to piece together, he was released in 1992 and may or may not be homeless...I'm thinking he is though.

His art is really something you have to experience for yourself. Some of his work might deal with current events. After the Columbine shootings, he laid fifteen yellow tulips, one for each person killed, on a plank supported by paving stones. When New York City police officer John Kelly died while chasing a man on a motorcycle, Houston found a print of Jesus and framed it with a motorcycle tire.

Some of his work is his own social commentary like when he put up a big sign that read “Got Debt? Live Well, Eat Better, Spend Less“. And another which was a small sign that simply read "Try". Sounds like a page out of Yoko Ono's portfolio.

And then there is some of his work that is just bizarre, like four blue strollers upside down in a puddle, twenty-three bottles of juice in a row, a white stuffed carnival gorilla in a beach chair and one, that I had the privilege of seeing, a baby doll sitting in a chair with a pink suitcase to her left and palm tree to her right. But the coup de grace would have to be him standing in the middle of hundreds of books that have been stacked into a makeshift fortress. He had books strapped all over his body like a suit of armer, shaking his arms and pointing violently at the traffic that passed. No clue to what that means but whenever I see his "art" it makes me smile and wish that I could live that freely (without being homeless of course).

But you can not pigeon hole Black Cherokee to entertaining passerbys with just art. Morning commuters are regularly treated to the sight of B.C. exercising. Sometimes shadowboxing, sometimes yoga. His motto is that "People are stuck in their cars, and I like to show them that there's another way to be." "I do a lot of stretching," he said. "There's eight thousand poses in yoga, and I've invented a few extra ones myself. And there's no reason not to do them in your car."

Only in New York…right?

In a stunning turn of events, my blog was found by the outside world and was mistakenly thought of to be original. is a shock to me too. Here is a link to where I got a lot of my information on Black Cherokee...because if I don't add it soon I think I'm going to give "dancing" Tony an aneurysm. Oh and I didn't make that video...I don't put that amount of effort into anything I do, let alone blogging.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Do you recognize this?

No, its not one of those worthless Canadian coins. It is, in fact, one one of those worthless American coins, the Susan B. Anthony dollar. One of America's many failed attempts at trying to make the dollar go coin. In theory it had everything going for it…a funky hendecagon (11-sided) design, the first non-fictitious woman appearing on a U.S. coin, and the coin's obvious durability over the flimsy "paper" dollar. But in 1979 with nearly one billion printed, Susie B hit the streets and was a complete failure. Most people confused it with the quarter and spent it as such. So into the vault she went until the government figured out a way to dupe us all into using them by dispensing "Susie B" as change through transit, postal and vending machines. By 1998, the vaults were almost empty, so instead of calling it quits, like they should have done, they produced the equally hated "Sacagawea" dollar.

First of all, that is not Sacagawea. Its Randy'L He-dow Teton a Native American that posed as Sacagawea for the coin. This makes He-dow the first woman (the third person) known to appear on a US coin while still living, another being Calvin Coolidge. And second, it is not even gold, it is a cheap brass-colored coating that easily rubs off after minimal handling. Why can the Canadians get it right with their Loonie, and we can't? Good job U.S. Mint. Not surprisingly, the coin failed just like the Susie B coin had and just like the Eisenhower dollar coin had failed before that. Worst of all, He-dow still haunts me in vending machines to this very day.

However, if the government switched to the US coin dollar it would save $500 million in printing costs per year. But I say, "So what?" It doesn't make up for how annoying it is to carry around more change than absolutely necessary. And besides the dollar's obvious cocaine-junkie appeal, it does NOT fall out of your pockets like change easily does, that is of course if you keep dollars in your pockets, which you should if you wanna be a true gangsta!!!!!

If the US really wanted to put a woman on a dollar they should put her on a legitimate coin or bill, not the U.S.eless coin dollar.
Andrew Jackson, who is on the twenty dollar bill, was opposed to a National Bank, why would he be on a bill? Does Washington and Lincoln really need to be on both a coin and a bill? What did Grant do to be worth 50 Washingtons? Share the love America, share the bills.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I've tried to figure it out but you pretty much have to be an astrophysicist to be able to understand when exactly Easter is going to take place. It can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25 and may or may not have something to do with the moons. The system was set up in 325 AD by men much smarter than myself, and as long as they keep doing their job I will not have a problem figuring out when to paint my easter eggs for the easter bunny.

If you're a sane person at all you might have wondered what do easter eggs and rabbits have to do with the resurrection of Christ? Well the short answer is nothing. The long answer is that it was a great way for the Christian church to get those damn Pagans to fall into line and convert. All that Christianity had to do was to absorb some Pagan practices and symbols.

Paganism can broadly refer to any religion outside of Judaism, the big C and Islam. If you've read The DaVinci Code you know that some Pagans believed in the balance of nature, and all that earth, wind and fire jazz. They were the original hippies. And if there is one thing hippies love, it is their equinoxes, especially the Spring equinox when fertility and the birth of life is celebrated. So the Christians smoothly changed the Spring equinox party into a resurrection celebration and named it Easter.

Wait there's more.

Easter comes from the ancient pagan goddess of the spring named Eostre and according to popular folklore, Eostre once saved a bird whose wings had frozen during the winter by turning it into a rabbit. Because the rabbit had once been a bird, it could still lay eggs, and that rabbit grew up to be the Easter Bunny. The Germans added to this delusion by saying that only good children received gifts of colored eggs in the nests that they made in their caps and bonnets before Easter.

And if you couldn't swallow that pill here is another reason we have egg laying rabbits. Eggs and rabbits were important to the Pagans because they were symbols of fertility. Eggs sure, but rabbits? You know that saying "to breed like bunnies," well its there for a good reason. Female rabbits can conceive a second litter of offspring while still pregnant with the first. That's one slutty rabbit. So the Christians took those two symbols slapped some color on the eggs and made a holiday of it.

choose wisely

Friday, March 21, 2008


There are few things that Oprah and President Bush agree on but I know that they, like many Americans, can all agree when I say "Peanut Butter & Jelly is one damn good sang-wich."

I grew up having the very occasional PB&J for lunch (Skippy Peanut Butter, Cold Jam, D'Italiano Italian Bread and Ice Cold Milk) but now that I am my own man, out in the world, fending for myself, I find that it has become a staple in my everyday routine. There is probably nothing quicker, easier, tastier, economically and environmentally friendlier than your extra-ordinary PB&J. (Take a moment and go visit the link. DO IT.) Who knew that it would take close to 5000 years for all those magic ingredients to come together? (You didn't visit it, did you?)


In 3000 BC, the Egyptians baked the first leavened bread. Fast forward 1500 years and you'll find the Incas discovering peanuts. Go forward another 2500 years, to 1095 AD, and you begin to see the "spread" of jelly from the Middle East, their origin, to Europe because of the First Crusade. In 1763 the "generic" sandwich was created in London by John Montague, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, a degenerate gambler and sloppy eater. In 1890 peanut butter was invented by a physician in St. Louis. And then finally within 50 short years you get the creation of the PB&J sandwich. The greatest invention since sliced bread, which was invented in 1927…in AMERICA.

Now the exact date of the first PB&J is unknown but what is known is that both peanut butter and jelly were on the U.S. Military ration menus in WWII and some have suggested that the GIs added jelly to their peanut butter to make it more palatable. It was an instant hit and returning GIs made peanut butter and jelly sales soar in the U.S.

Now you can tell Edwin Star what war really is good for. Peanut Butter and Jelly. Say it again now.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Dentists have been around torturing patients since as early as 5500 BC. Back then though, they blamed the problems of teeth on "tooth worms," not cavities. The popular and sometimes only solution for these "worms" throughout history has been extraction and since dentistry wasn't a real profession until the 19th Century (some might say it is still not) people would go to their barber for a quick pull and then maybe a trim around the ears. But thanks to toothpaste many teeth have been saved, but on the other hand the early Romans used human urine in their toothpaste. So maybe when you're in Rome you don't have to do everything that the Romans do, cause some of it is just nasty.

I only bring this up because I went to the dentist yesterday for a cleaning. He noted that my wisdom teeth had fully grown in and surprisingly without problem. That must mean that on the evolutionary scale, I probably fall somewhere closer to the Cro-Magnon man than most my age. I guess I have that big jaw that helped Fred Flintstone eat all those Apotosaurus Burgers. (note: the Brontosaurus is fictitious but then again so is Fred Flinstone.)

While I was laying there in the dentist chair, having my routine cleaning, I realized that this must feel a lot like waterboarding. Not only am I forced into an uncomfortable chair, reclined with mouth wide open, but I have a drill-like supersonic cleaner scraping against my gums spraying water down my throat choking me. And worst of all, I have to look straight into the eyes of the mad man himself while he approaches with the SCRAPER. I'm sure dentists have grown to ignore this fearful look in their patient's eyes, but I guess they would have to when their profession has the highest suicide rate. (This is actually just a myth, all professions are equally worth killing yourself over.)

Monday, March 17, 2008


I always thought of St. Patrick as the Christian version of the Greek's Bacchus, God of wine and intoxication, but instead of laying around drinking wine all day in a toga, St. Patrick had a pint of Guinness and a shot of Jameson in hand, dressed in a green skirt looking for the next pub brawl. Well, like most visions I have of history, I usually come to find out that i'm pretty off the mark, this vision included.

In short, St. Patrick was born in Britain, captured by Irish raiders, taken as a slave to Ireland, escaped, entered the church, became a deacon, then a bishop, to only return to Ireland as a Christian missionary. Interestingly, it is believed that he used the shamrock, aka the 3-leaf clover, to explain the holy trinity. I'm not really sure how the two relate but he must have made an appealling argument because he was a CCM, Christian Converting Machine. St. Patrick was also believed to have banished all snakes from Ireland, that not being too difficult since there were never any there to begin with, but good job nonetheless.

So while you are out there wearing green, drunk, puking in alleyways, and making fun of all those men wearing skirts, just remember St. Patrick's day has nothing to do with any of that. In fact, St. Patrick's color was blue not green, and kilts are Scottish not Irish, you drunkard. FORE SHAME.



Saturday, March 15, 2008


Of all the classic literature that I was forced to read in high school I probably enjoyed Charles Dickens the most, but even with his stories I would opt to read the abridged versions. (A man that gets paid by the word usually writes one too many of them.) Shakespeare, on the other hand, I never cared for. There is something in my brain that doesn't allow me to understand a sonnet or a couplet, or even a couple of sonnets, and forget about me ever appreciating the nuances of the iambic pentameter. And if it wasn't for Shakespeare, I probably would never have developed my fear of soothsayers. Gypsies, you know, small hands, smell like cabbage.

In the age Before Christ, Julius Caesar was the leader of the Roman World, created the 365 day calendar and was luvah to Cleopatra, but was he assassinated because he suffered from diarrhea one day?

During Caesar's reign as dictator over the Roman World he was given every title imaginable, from "Father of the Fatherland" to "Dictator for Life," to even "Naughtious Maximus," (but that one usually in private with Cleo). At one particular senate meeting, Caesar was told he was going to be awarded a new honor but did not stand for the news. Some supporters of Caesar say this was due to a sudden attack of diarrhea, some historians say epilepsy, and some say it was because of his ego. Either way, he didn't stand and he didn't approve of the title and as a result the assassination plot was ago.

On March 15, 44 BC, in an attempt to return Rome to a normal Republic, the Senators got together and killed Caesar stabbing him 23 times. (Lost fans take that to mean what you will) Ironically though his death lead to a Roman civil war which ultimately led to the establishment of a permanent autocracy by Caesar's adopted heir, Gaius Octavianus. Oops. As for Brutus…well he later committed suicide.

Before all of this, Ides was just a Roman term to mark the middle of the month, nothing creepy at all about it. But because of Shakespeare's love for foreshadowing and George McFly's tragic alternate 1985 death, the Ides of March will forever be engraved in our minds as a metaphor for impending doom.

Friday, March 14, 2008


During college, I developed what I now call my "soda cans." You probably would refer to them as lovehandles, spare tires, or even beer bellies but I went with soda cans because of my six to eight can a day habit. Sure my daily intake of Mama Celeste pizzas and grilled cheese didn't help, but it was that caffeine sugary rush that kept me going. Now, even though I've kicked the habit but I have fallen victim to a bigger, scarier enemy. I deem them "devils with green dresses on." Yes, its the Girl Scouts. Damn you Shelly Long and your break dancing, song singing troop from Beverly Hills.

Juliette "Daisy" Gordon Low probably started the Girls Scouts out as a friendly organization to keep girls off the streets and away from smack in 1912. But within 5 short years they unleashed their wrath onto the good citizens of the world. The first recorded sale of cookies as a fundraiser for their cult-like activities was in 1917 in Muskogee, Oklahoma. It wasn't long until the Girl Scout magazine, The American Girl, suggested all troops should take part in this "fund raising" activity and provided recipes for cookies. This was exactly the kind of ammunition they needed. In 1933, Girl Scouts in Philadelphia organized the first official "Girl Scout Cookie" sale, selling homemade cookies in the windows of local utility companies, probably greasing the palms of any union leader they came across. And finally, in 1936, they sold what little of their soul they had left and began licensing commercial bakers to produce the cookies. Their profits then being divided among three levels in their organization, the national Girl Scouts of the USA (boss), the regional council (captains), and the local troop of girls (foot soldiers).

Sure there are several different poisons to pick from but I always go for the Tagalongs, aka Peanut Butter Patties, aka the Fattenizers. Its a delicious crispy vanilla cookie layered with peanut butter and covered with a chocolate coating. How can one resist? The worst part of all is that they don't sell them often enough. They don't even sell them online. Just like the sadistic group that they are, they let you slip into withdrawal. Let you suffer from the sweats and shakes for a little bit, until they send their mothers out to your office to give you your next fix. By then you're so desperate for them you pay top dollar for a box of 15 cookies. Well played Girl Scouts....well played.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I love a good conspiracy theory, from JFK to Roswell. Hell, I even like the Mel Gibson movie about conspiracy theories. Now I'm not sure if this blog constitutes as a conspiracy but while I was reading about our ever increasing gas prices I came to learn a few interesting nuggets. So grab your copy of The Catcher in the Rye and hop aboard Eagle's conspiracy train.

Now a lot of people think we began the war in Iraq to purely control their oil. I don't think this is entirely true. If we wanted to control their oil, why would we go for Iraq. Of all the countries we import oil from Iraq ranks number 8. The top 3 being Canada, Mexico and Venezuela. The runner up prize goes to the house of Saud. So why not go for one of them? Canada has had it coming for a long time with their silly accents, socialized medicine and their not-so-healthy obsession with syrup.

But I've often heard, if you follow the money, you'll find the reason, and here in lies my theory. It was surprising for me to learn that oil is traded between all countries in US Dollars. That means all those countries that are buying oil had to buy US currency first, in turn investing in America. This is great for our economy. Since oil is by far the most important commodity traded internationally, every country has a reserve of US dollars. In fact, the US currency accounts for approximately two thirds of all official exchange reserves, this in turn gives us a strangle hold over all oil trade.

Now, if middle eastern countries began selling their oil in euros or any other currency, countries would start selling their US dollars asap for any price they can get, and thus destroying the US dollar. And in history the only OPEC country to dare to switch and invest in the euro guessed it, Iraq in 2000. No doubt this was a nice go f*ck yourself from Saddam. But it turned out to be a great move looking at the strength of the euro now, and it only cost him his country and his life. Thumbs up!

So maybe, just maybe, Operation Iraqi Freedom is just a way to impose a more dollar friendly government in Iraq and tell the rest of the world "don't even try it." Ironically though, now with this expensive war, we are spending outside of our means, borrowing more money than we should and letting the Federal Reserve print all the money it wants, causing inflation. With the price of the dollar dropping so rapidly who is really gonna want to continue to invest in us, and I wouldn't be surprised if more countries look to stop trading oil in dollars.

Now you might say "Eagle, you're crazy, this is an isolated experience." And you and Billy Joel may be right, I may be crazy. But it might just be a lunatic you're looking for. I find it funny though that the only other country that is talking about not trading in US dollars is Iran and it looks like they are our next target. But it's just a theory right?

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Willy Willet (1856-1915)

We can blame William Willet for taking away an hour of our weekend every year. He "invented" daylight savings time in 1907. I use the term invented loosely because the concept can be dated back to ancient civilizations. Even Ben Franklin was an advocate for it in some form...his theory was that if you just wake up a little earlier, people could economize on candles. You know that "Early to bed, early to rise" nonsense, that was him. Willet's intentions behind DST was to increase opportunity for outdoor leisure time. Other advocates say that it reduces energy use, but this is debatable because recent studies have shown no change in energy use in California, Australia and Japan. Sure you might use less at night but those early birds are turning on every lamp that they can find.

It took Willet 10 years and one world war to get his idea into action. During WWI DST was promoted in England, as a way to alleviate hardships from wartime coal shortages and air raid blackouts. In the US, objections to it came to an end when we entered the World War in 1917, and by 1918 the system was implemented. Sadly that was three short years after William's death.

Farmers have been against DST since its implementation because grain harvesting is best done after dew evaporates, so when field hands arrive and leave earlier in summer their labor is less valuable. But who cares about farmers when more people are out spending MONEY!!! Some people say we should extend DST into November so it is safer on the streets for Halloween trick-or-treaters, but then there would be less time to throw eggs and toilet paper houses. It's a coin toss in my opinion.

My biggest problem with DST is the time the clocks change. We LOSE an hour of our weekend. Sure you can say we gain that hour right back in six months, but that doesn't help me now in March. And in October it changes back at 2 am, I miss out on it completely because of sleep. My proposal is to have the clocks change on Mondays at 1:30 pm. This way if it jumps forward all you're missing out on is an hour of work, not precious sleep. And for those times when the clock turns back, it just increases my lunchtime by an hour. Great news, maybe I'll go spend some money in that extra hour and stimulate this economy. It's a win/win in my opinion.

INTERESTING FACT: Arizona has not observed DST since 1967.

Friday, March 7, 2008


No, I'm not talking about Fester, Gomez, Wednesday and the rest. I'm talking about John and his son Johnny Q. That's right the original OGs, the 2nd and 6th president of the United States. Sorry to disappoint. If you haven't already seen it, HBO is doing a huge promotion for their John Adams miniseries. Everywhere I look I'm seeing Paul Giamatti's plumped-up face. Now I'm not sure if it is the Secret at work, but prior to the series announcement, I was reading all I could about the history of the US presidents. Boring right? Nevertheless, I wished there was a movie that could summarize some of the presidents and lo and behold up pops this miniseries. So thank you Rhonda Byrne.

So with the approaching miniseries in mind, I just wanted to point out that it seems history does repeat itself, in some ways. John Adams and John Quincy Adams were actually the first father and son to both be president, not George and George Dubya. Although there is a great deal of contrast between the Bush legacy and the Adams legacy, I just wanted to point out a scary similarity that I have found in my journey of knowledge.

We all know the Florida conspiracy theories, the cursed chads, and Al Gore winning the popular vote and losing the presidency but rewind that close to 200 yrs and you get the election of 1824. John Quincy Adams was actually also the first person to win the presidency after losing the popular vote, this time to Andrew Jackson. Since no candidate had a majority of electoral votes, the election was decided by the House of Representatives. Henry Clay who had the deciding vote, voted in favor of Adams. Adams in turn scratched Clays back by giving him the position of Secretary of State. It is believed that this "corrupt bargain" was decided upon prior to the election. Needless to say, John Q's presidency was plagued by this and he would become one of those lame duck presidents that just couldn't get anything done in office.

In retrospect though, I'm thinking Katherine Harris' back was a lot nicer to scratch.

For all of you true ADDAMS family fans. I don't want you to leave here disappointed, so without further interruption I bring you MC Hammer performing Addams Family Values:

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


It was probably because of the elections yesterday that made everybody want to talk politics. I've found that this is always a recipe for disaster, especially if you're at a party or at the office. The debate might start off nice but usually boils down to political party bashing. You know, good ol' fashioned American Mud Slinging. If you find yourself in the minority for that particular conversation, God help you. You better run for shelter because its gonna get messy.

At the naive age of 18, along with my draft card, I was given the choice between a tree-hugging, dope-smoking communist party or a gun-slinging, coorslight-chugging redneck party. (I bet you already know which aligns with which.) What I didn't realize, however, was that when I finally chose a party, I no longer would be judged by my own decisions and opinions as an individual, but I would be judged and criticized for the entire history of other's mistakes. Eagle no longer exists, thank you for shopping with us, please proceed to the nearest generalization. (I've found that name calling and generalizations are usually a lot easier than actually trying to find middle ground to stand on. And hell, who can resist a good zinger.) Here in lies the problem....the two party system.

Now backed into a corner just trying to save face, I find myself sometimes even defending my party on an issue that I don't even agree with. Why is it so hard to concede and say "Yes my political party is not perfect." The debate has transcended to a place as touchy to talk about as religion and race. So what to do? Declare independent and give up your right to the primaries. Nay. I say get rid of the entire party system. Create an election where you can only judge people on their personal beliefs and actions, not on their political parties. Everyone is an individual and should be judged in that way.

So when you go to vote look a little deeper than party lines, some people might surprise you. And if you don't, I'm not too worried, in reality your vote only counts as .0000008%.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I work at Reader's Digest. Reader's Digest has a bell tower. The bell tower plays chimes. Now whether those chimes are played from a recording on a PA, or by a large music box-like contraption, or by some guy with great musical timing, I don't know. But what I do know is that for the past five years of my employment here, the chimes have played the same 3 songs. I'm not complaining about this because I hardly ever hear them. In fact, no one within 3 cubicles of me in any direction can say when they actually play the songs. I think its around 6 o'clock.

Well the chimes, they are a'changin. (Slogan brought to you by the RD promotions department, I think). This morning at the Town Hall meeting (company meeting) we were told that they are replacing the old songs with some new ones. So Sinatra, McCartney and Lennon are taking a back seat to such greats as Timberlake and Armstrong. How they make SexyBack into a chime, I do not know, but I picture it going something like this:


My 10th grade public speaking teacher (name forgotten) told me a successful essay/speech always begins with a quote. I thought this one was appropriate:

"Empty your mind. Be formless shapeless like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can either flow, or it can crash! Be like water, my friend."—Bruce Lee

I've been taking Jeet Kune Do (JEET KOON DOE) for the past several months, with hopes that it would keep that winter weight off and get me ready for the P.A. JKD, for short, was developed by Bruce Lee and is a mixed martial arts fighting method. The literal translation is "Way of the Intercepting Fist"

When I first thought of taking the class I pictured it like a Seinfeld episode turned reality, where I would be fighting a group of 12 year old kids for the top spot in the class. Judging by the students that showed up on my first day I thought I wasn't too far off but I would later find out that JKD is for old people too. (The average age maybe being 3 years younger than myself)

So like water, I became formless and/or shapeless. We have been learning many different kicks, punches and a few special blocks to stop those "hate makers from left field." But last night was the coup de grace. We learned the lead palm hook, that if done correctly will shatter your opponent's ear drum. Apparently, if you cup your hand and smack your opponent in the ear, the pressure from the air in your palm will cause the ear drum to burst. Doug, acting Sifu (teacher) for the night, told us that this has happened in sparring and one should wear appropriate ear protection during class fights. I do not have to worry about sparring until level two but I have made a mental note to get said ear protection.

A simple equation for a successful Lead Palm Hook:
a strong powerline + (cupped hand x amt. of air in cupped hand) + opponent's ear = shattered ear drum

Visit my JKD class

Monday, March 3, 2008


In my mind there is pretty much two ways that time travel can go down. You can either be able to change the future and let Biff pay for Loraine's implants OR just go along for the ride because the future is already predetermined. Sure you might be able to create a few bumps along the way but Dresden will still get bombed and Skynet will still eventually destroy the earth.

I've tried to imagine being able to see in the 4th dimension but I think it would be way too hard to drive or walk anywhere without thinking that you were about to bump into the other million people that crossed that same path. Also, it would be slightly depressing because there would be a super concentrated collection of me's sitting at work or on my couch at home and not enough of them actually doing shit.

For a final thought, I do think that Stephen King's theory in the Langoliers is something to look into. There is no future and there is no past, there is only the present and if you get stuck in anything else you get eaten by pac-man.

RUN Balky!!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Welcome to the eagle's blog. Before proceeding, one should always know that the eagle will always emerge victorious against the dove and/or the turkey.

Fourth grade was a great year. Even years usually are.
I can say that with confidence now.