Sunday, January 06, 2008

Giving Evo the Bird

A few months ago, Evo was nagging me to adopt an avatar. Now that he apparently has forgotten, I’ve decided to go ahead and do it.

At the time, Evo suggested an image of an exterminator, which, no offense to him, seemed way too obvious. I mean, do I really need an illustration of my pseudonym for people who don’t know what it means? It’s the bug-spray person, f’cryinoutloud.

Next, I toyed with the idea of representing myself with a picture of John Adams. But if I were gonna use a portrait of an actual person who wasn’t me, I'd have to be crazy to choose somebody who’s not better-looking than I am in real life.

Then, I came up with the brilliant idea of using just a big red “X.” But that looked like I really wanted to be XXX, and wimped out.

Finally, though, I’ve happily picked a Great Horned Owl as an appropriate character to typify me.


I identify strongly with this guy. Here’s why:

  • He prefers to work and play during the night-time, and so do I. For me, the daylight hours are good only for banking and going to the dentist. Occasionally, I can be talked into doing something else while the sun is out, but there had better be a tasty breakfast or lunch involved.

  • We’ll both eat just about anything except French-cut canned stringbeans.

  • Owls are reputed to be wise, but, of course, he’s not. I make no comparisons here.

  • A Great Horned Owl is often successful attacking a Bald Eagle. The Bald Eagle, as we all know, is our national symbol — thanks to a suggestion by that very John Adams whom I don’t wanna look like. I strive to live up to the example set by my avian buddy. In my case, that involves attacking phony patriots who conflate Christianity with being American.

  • Unlike many owl species, he actually does say “who? who?” I’m proud to be represented by a critter who asks a lot of annoying questions.

  • Watch out, rats, reptiles, and skunks!

  • And finally, he looks really cantankerous. I just thought I’d point that out. Any conclusions you draw are your own.

Best of all, birders often hear a Great Horned Owl's call as “Who’s awake? Are you? Me, too.”

I like that as a slogan.

22 comments:

NaturalVision said...

A few years ago I was tipped off by a mutual friend about the location of a GH Owl nest that had a cute little baby owl in it. While I was there, trying not trespass yet find a good angle to photograph it between the branches, I heard a ruckus off to my left so I went to investigate. What I found was a mockingbird flying into and bouncing off the chest of one the adult owls - who seemed to want to do nothing more than get some sleep (probably had a hard night catching rats for its rapidly growing offspring).

Anyway, even though the mockingbird kept at it for a few minutes, all the owl would do is occasionally open one eye and then turn its head a little to look at the attacker. At the time it seemed to me that the owl was probably thinking "You're gonna f*ck with me one too many times and there'll be hell to pay you little shit".

It never came to that because the mockingbird finally gave up, but that old owl kept its cool under relentless pressure.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

Between you and Ebonmuse over at Daylight Atheism, you seem to have the entire 24 hours covered now. The theists won't be able to escape (the little rats).

Let me know how your first rat tastes. Raw.

the chaplain said...

Great avatar.

Sarge said...

Great avatar. It shows you're someone who gives a hoot.

PhillyChief said...

Yeah, that works.

I'd like to think I'm better looking than Paine, but comparative prettiness never factored into my avatar decision.

PhillyChief said...

Oh, so I guess I can ask now. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop? ;)

Babs said...

Dammit, Philly, you beat me to it. But I also thought of Woodsy Owl and now I have that stupid song stuck in my head.

Sorry, Ex, that really had nothing to do with your choice of an avatar. I think the owl fits, although I don't picture you looking quite that cranky.

Heather said...

Great avatar picture. Can I be the Painted Bustard?

Lynet said...

Very well done. It suits you.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

Now check with Evo to see how he gets the Blogger avatar to show up in a WordPress comment.

John Evo said...

SI - I never did... actually that's a different picture of a Homo Erectus skull. WordPress makes you keep the size really small.

Babs said although I don't picture you looking quite that cranky.

LOL!

OK, not to YOU, he's not!

I commented back at my blog that the dual-dilation of the eyes is disturbing. Other than that, It's YOU, Ex.

I really resent you making me look like such an uncreative fool in this post. I "gave up" on getting you an avatar because I accepted your reason for not wanting one. Hell, I've thought about it many times since. And the Exterminator avatar I suggested was just to get you thinking, which I obviously did, so I WIN!

The Exterminator said...

Natural:
That old owl kept its cool under relentless pressure.
Yeah, that's me, all right. Cool under relentless pressure. I'm trying to come up with some examples from my life but I can't BECAUSE THE CAT'S DRIVING ME CRAZY WITH ITS FUCKING PURRING, AND I CAN HARDLY HEAR MYSELF THINK!!!!!

Now where was I?

SI:
Let me know how your first rat tastes.
I'll bet you thought I'd say "sorta like chicken." Nope. More like Mice Krispies.

chappy:
Thanks.

Sarge:
You're pretty much of a hoot, yourself.

Philly:
Comparative Prettiness. Was that one of your classes back in art school?

As far as the Tootsie Pop goes, I stand by my original answer: three.

Babs:
I don't picture you looking quite that cranky.
Hey, if you're able to picture me with a sharp raptor's beak and yellow eyes, and not looking anything like John Adams, I'm happy.

I guess I was too old when the first Woodsy Owl song came out; I don't remember it. I do know "Owl Through the Night," "Any Time at Owl," and "That Owl Black Magic," though. And, of course, I can sing along with lots of stuff by the Who.

Heather:
You can be any bird you want, but you might want to rethink that "bustard" part. We should all be able to take a joke at our own expense, but you'd just be asking for trouble.

Lynet:
It suits you.
I hope so. Thanks.

Evo:
My reason for not wanting an avatar, just for the record, was something like: I'd rather have people read what I write without having to associate it with a specific image. And I still pretty much think that.

But when I happened onto the Great Horned's photo in the course of doing a non-blogging-related search: There I was. How could I resist?

So yup, you win. I'll be sending you your prize in the mail. I hope you like owl pellets.

John Evo said...

Chocolate? Or sugar frosted? I've always hated the plain ones.

Sarge said...

OWL-leluia! Testify, brother!

DaVinci said...

We dont have too many owls around these parts. I keep hearing doves cooing in the trees and I pretend its an owl though ;\

Lifeguard said...

That's a great avatar. But it also kind of scares the crap out of me too.

John Evo said...

Lifey, don't buy in to it! That's what he WANTS to hear.

I'm NOT scared of you, Exterminator. I think of you as Owlie to my Stan. OK, so maybe I'm a LITTLE intimidated... but that's IT!

ordinary girl said...

And finally, he looks really cantankerous. I just thought I’d point that out. Any conclusions you draw are your own.

That's the first point I thought of when I saw him.

Nice avatar, btw. (Since I'm sure you haven't heard that enough yet.)

PhillyChief said...

So when exactly did this idea come to you? Perhaps when you were out one evening?

The Exterminator said...

DaVinci:
Sometimes I hear doves, and pretend they're owls.

Lifeguard:
It ...kind of scares the crap out of me.
Just remember to wear protective clothing when you get near. Or at least put on a shirt.

Evo:
I think of you as Owlie to my Stan.
Actually, I picture us more as Abbott and Costowlo.

My real choice of comic for myself would be Gr-owl-cho. But you're on your own finding a brother that reminds you of yourself. You're not quiet enough to be Harpo, that's for sure. How about if we call you "Evo"?

OG:
That's the first point I thought of when I saw him.
You mean you didn't immediately fall in love with his unevenly dilated yellow eyes?

Philly:
Listen. If the idea had come to me where you suggest, I would have used a titmouse, not an owl.

John Evo said...

Evo:
I think of you as Owlie to my Stan.
Actually, I picture us more as Abbott and Costowlo.


Any way you cut it, we'd be funny. We should probably do a video... :)

Then again, Philly might be a better comedic partner -

Philly:
Listen. If the idea had come to me where you suggest, I would have used a titmouse, not an owl.

Urban Viking said...

Nice owl, Ex!

*goes looking for pictures of boobies*