Archive for July, 2008

Obama, the comic book

As reported on the LA Times blog, Hero Complex, both presidential candidates are getting their own comic books. I am digging the cheesy super hero pose on the front cover. I wonder what bad guys they will have to fight. I’m guessing Obama will have to face off against his enemy Smear, while McCain has to fight off old age in order to gain the attention of his love interest Ms. Media. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait till October 8th to find out. Drat!

(photo from Beth Rankin)

Over the Line

Three Cubs fans beat up a Sox fan so badly he lost an eye. Now this is just embarrassing. It’s the kind of thing that gives European soccer fans a bad name. It’s bad enough that a sixteen-block radius around Wrigley Field smells like urine and beer for six months of the year. Cubs fans really don’t need anything else to make them look bad. I’ve been known to jump up and yell at my television to the point where my cats get freaked out, and I’ve had a heated argument or two about the merits of players on our various local sports teams, but damn. Unacceptable.

"The internet is a series of tubes" guy gets indicted

This is not a Chicago thing, but it is an internet thing (of which we are a part, except for that creepy guy in the back…he needs to leave).

Alaska Senator Ted Stevens has been indicted for failing to report income. All of us on teh internets know and love Senator Stevens for his depiction of the internet back in 2006:

Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got… an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday, I got it yesterday [Tuesday]. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially.

[…] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It’s not a big truck. It’s a series of tubes. And if you don’t understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it’s going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material

We all know that the internet is not a series of tubes, but, rather, a series of funny cat pictures with misspelled text. And the internet might not be a dump truck, but the Steven’s house sure is:

Prosecutors say Mr. Stevens, who referred to his home as “the chalet,” accepted goods and services worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, ranging from an outdoor grill to extensive home remodeling and architectural advice. Not only did Mr. Stevens fail to report the items on his Senate financial disclosure form, as required, but he took active steps to conceal the receipt of the goods and services, the indictment says.

I’m guessing that Senator Stevens then hid the receipts in a series of tubes in his back yard.

ZING! I’ll take my net neutrality with a side of schadenfreude please.

Introducing The Hub


If Metblogs is a city, hub.metblogs is the playground. We kept hearing from people that one of their favorite parts of Metblogs was meeting and interacting with readers and writers from other parts of the world, as well as getting requests for more ways that readers could be involved besides just posting comments. We thought about this for a while and decided that with a network like this, a giant community area where folks from all over the world could hang out, post photos and videos, talk with each other, form groups, play games, send messages, and do about a million other things was probably a pretty fun idea. The Hub is that.

If you have any tech ideas or suggestions join this group and speak up. See you on hub.metblogs!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I have been neglecting my duties to the Metblog community, and for that I humbly apologize. My every waking moment for the last month or so was occupied by the critically acclaimed Bloody Bess: A Tale of Piracy and Revenge, which has now closed — and not a moment too soon. Why? Because it is almost that time of the year again. What time, you ask?

Football time.

Now before I get all gushy about the Bears, did you guys know we have a women’s tackle football team here? And did you know that they are awesome? The Chicago Force play the Dallas Diamonds for the Independent Women’s Football League Championship tomorrow night at the Holmgren Athletic Complex at North Park University. Tickets are only fifteen bucks, but as it is the championship game, they will sell out fast.

And of course, the Bears are back in training camp, and the preseason is but a few scant weeks away. The drama this year (like every year) centers on the quarterback position, with Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton competing for the top spot. In this fan’s opinion, you’ve got six in one, half dozen in the other. With Rex you get flashes of brilliance marred by periods of extreme crappitude, while in Kyle you get a fairly consistent meh. Grossman claims to have had the most productive off-season of his career, but time will tell if it pays off. For my money I would stick with Rex as the starter simply for that chance that something amazing might happen. But realistically, it is time for the Bears to look elsewhere.

The other excitement of training camp is always Who Is Holding Out for a Better Contract? This year Brian Urlacher played it classy by showing up for all the scheduled workouts even while his contract was still being negotiated. First-round pick Chris Williams came to terms just in time for training camp, which is always good news. The only hold-out was kick-return genius and mediocre wide receiver Devin Hester, who thinks that his eleven returns for touchdowns in the last two years warrant a raise of some kind (hint: It does). Some have suggested that Hester may be more valuable on the trading block, but I’d hate to lose a guy who, behind Urlacher, has practically become the face of the Bears over the past two seasons. His poor performance at wide receiver is due mostly to his lack of experience (Hester played defense in college), and if he can achieve even a fraction of the magic he’s shown on special teams he will be a force to be reckoned with on offense.

The first game of preseason is Thursday, August 7, against Kansas City. I cannot wait.

Oh, yeah . . . The Cubs and Sox are both still in first place, and I hear we have a couple of hockey teams and a soccer club around here somewhere too.

What $20 Gets You at Edgewater Produce

$20 at Edgewater Produce Gets You This

I wrote about the amazing low prices at Edgewater Produce Edgewater Produce (5509 N. Clark St., near Bryn Mawr), earlier on Chicago Metblogs.

I thought I’d offer a visual representation of what $20 can get you there:

Chocolate covered pretzels – $2.17
Chocolate covered peanuts – $3.35
Sesame sticks – $1.36
5 MacIntosh apples – $1.25
Big box of assorted cookies – $2.00
Fresh blueberries – $1.98
20 small flour tortillas – $1.69
Big hunk of jalapeno cheese – $3.89
10 Senor Freeze popsicles – $.99
Fresh bunch of spinach – $1.98
Broccoli crown – $.36

As a comparison, if you were going to spend $20 on Guinness at your average Chicago pub, you’d probably get two beers.

Photo by me, original can be seen here.

Upcoming Hurricanes, from xkcd

xkcd #453

Help a Chicago artist pay for his medical bills

As reported on this morning, talented Chicago artist Matthew Woodson is accepting commissions to help pay for his medical bills (you can check out some of his art here). What’s he recovering from? A FREAKIN’ POISONOUS SPIDER BITE! Here’s the rundown from his blog:

On Monday of last week I was bitten by a yet unknown poisonous spider on my right knee. By Tuesday I was running a high fever and unable to walk. On Friday evening I collapsed and was rushed to the ER. After a series of x-rays and a whole lot of examination, I was informed that I had a rather large abscess and cellulitis due to the spider’s bite. I was sent home early Saturday morning after having my knee surgically “drained”, and in more pain than I have ever been in. After a doctor’s appointment this Monday, another abscess was drained and I was informed that I would need to see a doctor weekly until the wound had healed, which could possibly take up to 8 months. Within these 8 months there will remain the very real threat of the infection spreading into the bone of my knee, as well as the possibility of blood poisoning.

All of this happened to Matthew between changes in insurance companies which means he’ll have to pay for all of that expensive medical care the way 47 million other Americans do which is out of pocket. I recently had to have simple outpatient surgery on a bulging disk in my neck. I have insurance and a steady job, yet still had to pay an enormous amount of money for the surgery and physical therapy. I cannot imagine how expensive this spider bite recovery is going to be. Unfortunately, I do not have the money to hire Matthew. You might though. Here’s what he laid out for those of you looking to hire him:

Any possible commission you could have for me; gifts, wedding invitations, cards, wall art, tattoos, anything. I am interested in the job. I will also definitely consider larger personal commissions, considering the work involved. I would prefer to only be working in black and white, but don’t be afraid to ask about color. I haven’t exactly figured out how pricing will go yet, but obviously pricing will be negotiable and varying, but for small to medium sized drawings I was thinking between $100 – $500 through paypal.

Don’t have $100-$500 but like Mr. Woodson’s work. Then head on over here and pick up a $20-$40 print of his work and help a Chicago artist out.

Bold new journalism

Sun-Times, 7/17/08

I really hope that the front cover of today’s Sun-Times is an example of their new style. Maybe they can just farm their covers out to Worth1000 or Something Awful. (If nothing else, I’m looking forward to Daley as Barney Fife tomorrow.)

(thanks, Erica)

Picasso for Sale

Picasso on Ebay
Local pickup only
, indeed.

You are bidding on a magnificent piece of public art. I am selling it in hopes that it will go to a deserving owner. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just taking up too much space and I am tired of getting comments from people who say it looks like a baboon or an aardvark or Larry King.

This is a statue by the artist Picasso, and is 41 years old. It comes with a certificate of authenticity, which I wrote myself.

Statue is in excellent condition despite its age. Has some minor wear and tear due to frequently being climbed on and constant use in photos by tourists. This use has only added to the item’s value and has been appreciated by many for years and would make a lovely addition to any home, garden or museum. I will not sell it to you if you tell me you are just going to sell it for scrap. You must show me a picture of where you will be keeping it, or I will not accept your bid.

Item may be viewed prior to purchase, no appointment necessary. Item must be picked up – WILL NOT SHIP! It is fifty feet high and weighs 162 tons. So you will probably need to rent a truck, and bring a few friends with you.

Due to the precious nature of this item, I cannot accept a check, money order or cashier’s check. I do accept PayPal.

(via Time Out Chicago)

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