I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it
Thomas Jefferson

Look Deep

Click images for desktop size: “Look Deep” by Unknown
My puppy and I are really back to normal; CONSTANT BICKERING.
Wouldn’t have it any other way.Dracula AD 1972
She is still too protective of me but she’s settled in nicely.

My housemate has decided to get a new dog. His passed away about 6 months ago. She was a good girl.
I went to the pound with him a couple of times. I thought almost all the dogs were pretty special for one reason or another. He picked two, went and spent time with each of them in these little visitor “cells”. Then we took the big step of taking my puppy to meet his final choice, a male rottweiler mix, somewhere between 6 months and 9 months old. He’s a handful.
My puppy didn’t like him. She wouldn’t, especially when I’m around. It will be fine. She’s been around fosters and other dogs most of her life. She’ll bully him and then decide he’s worth playing with. The point of the meeting, in my mind, was to make sure he didn’t try and savage her. My puppy thinks she’s a great fighter but . . .
I managed to talk the person showing us the dog to let us take them both on a walk around the property. It went well, I thought. We even managed to have a chance encounter with the other dog my housemate had picked out. It made for a pleasant day.
Today he went and filled out the adoption papers, paid the fee. The new dog should be moving in sometime between Wednesday and Friday. Coolness.

I still have a cold. It’s the reason I’m not supposed to catch colds. The cough is irritating but not debilitating.

The coolness is that I got a second hand iPod Touch. I like it a lot. Cost me $75, so far works fine. I Neat and Tidy

Click image: “Neat and Tidy” by Major League Baseball
got a raise at work so this was my treat . . . actually I just wanted one. I like being connected on the WIFI but its pretty obvious that having an iPhone and 3GS connections would be incredible and incredibly expensive. I’ll stick with this and just hope for miraculous hot spots. Since I have WIFI at work it means I can answer emails and stuff at will instead of hoping the owners fix the rickety lap top we have at our disposal.

The WIMAX from ClearWire is pretty paradoxical. It went out, the modem wouldn’t connect. I called and was told that it was because I would have to move to their Clear service which is 5 meg down and 50K up. (50 k up is painfully slow, 5 meg down is okay). I had to wait 3 days to get the new modem. When I got it they hooked up fine but there was a weird charge on my card. I called again and got an apology and a credit, 3 days later, for the $25. Curious.
I was reservedly happy with the Clear service, even though I thought this was a lot of grief for a service that wasn’t a month old yet. Until I got an email telling me I was using the service too much House of Wax and they were going to cut me off or charge me more . . . So I’m not allowed to use the bandwidth they give me? YOW!
This isn’t going to work out for sure. Hammering my debit card with two incorrect charges for some unknown reason, cutting me off for 3 days, then say that I’m using the service more than anticipated is kind of nutso. They claim the service agreement covers excessive use but that seems crazed to me. I’m paying for a service that I can’t use? Great googa mooga. What a great idea for a business, selling you stuff you’re not allowed to use.
WIMAX is a totally cool idea but Clear or ClearWire are jerks and not a trustworthy company from my experience.
Back to looking for a dry loop dsl provider.

I still don’t have a TV but thanks to friends I got to see an mkv fie of the USC-Cal game. Very interesting. I’m impressed and dumbfounded by turns. The greatest disappointment for me was the O-Line. I expected them to be monsters and they’ve looked merely competent. Too much talent to Art and Beauty by Robert Crumb

Click images for desktop size: “Art and Beauty” by Robert Crumb
not overwhelm.
Matt Barkley doesn’t look as good as the hype. I know his shoulder must still be sore but he lacks the confidence at weird times. Maybe with Ronald Johnson coming back for Notre Dame the deep threat will let him open up his game.
I’m incredibly unimpressed with Jeremy Bates as a play caller. Way too much NFL fear play calling. College ball is about being loaded on faith and hope and looking to a player to step up and perform a miracle. It’s not about making the “safe” call and prevent defenses.
Still this is a very good exciting team I feel proud of.

I went and saw the worst football game of my life on Friday night. Very poor. It made me sad as the kids were pretty typical and totally willing to lay it all out there.
I got to talk to the HC and they’re interested in having me as an assistant. He said all the right The Hunchback of Notre Dame things but when I watched the game I realized I could never work for him.
The team is 0-8 for a reason, and it’s not the talent of the kids. The HC had implemented a no huddle offense. You could see hesitation at the line as the kids attempted to remember over complicated assignments. The no huddle is a very cool thing if you’ve got the personnel. It was obvious that this isn’t the case. It was just an ego thing playing to the HC’s fantasy and ignoring the talents and weaknesses of the kids.
Frank Sinatra

Click images for desktop size: “Frank Sinatra”
You have to lead kids and the only way to do it successfully is to be their servant.

And to prove my deep understanding of the game of football; last week I was an impressive 9-5 in my NFL picks. I can bask in that for a moment. 9-5.
I forget what my friend got. I think I was 11-3 or something trivial. I have discovered how she cheats. She reads my picks and the ones I get wrong she chooses the other teams! How low and nearly contemptible. I don’t think her score is official so even if she unofficially has 45 correct picks for the season my 42 exactly correct picks are assuredly official and hence count for far more. As usual my picks are in bold.

Cincinnati at Baltimore – The Game of the Week1 Carson Palmer is playing like the elite QB he is while the Bengal defense is playing way over their heads. They are looking like a play off team. This week they meet the team I still think has a chance to get to the SuperBowl. The Ravens are playing meticulous football. Their game against the Patriots showed they are in the oxygen thin stratosphere, a brilliant team playing at the level of their talent, executing with precision and playing with heart. The Bengals are playing with intensity and beauty as well, but theirs has the feel of street football, which is exciting and pretty in The Outsiders

Click images for desktop size: “The Outsiders” by Marvel Comics
its own way. I’d love to see the Bengals win this one but the Ravens don’t look like a team ready to lose two in a row.

Cleveland at Buffalo – This is an up year rating wise for the NFL. The good games are great but pretty few. This season offers up more stinkers every week than you can imagine. Like this cruddy game of the week contender. Buffalo has talent and Terrell Owens making waves. Cleveland has . . . Derek Anderson, who I still like and then . . .

Washington at Carolina – This stinker has the winless Panthers coming off a bye week. Did they use the time trying to pull the team together or did they grouse about their contracts? The Redskins are a mess but less of a mess than the Panthers. This one could end up 6-3 or 49-47. Either way it will stink.

Pittsburgh at Detroit – I watched Ben Roethlisberger on RAW this week. I was surprised at how I Married a MOnster from Outer Space much I liked him. He took it to the Chargers last week and the Lions don’t have much to compare to the Chargers or to anyone except the Panthers and Buccaneers. This is almost a sure win.

Dallas at Kansas City – The rest of the world is finally twigging to the fact that Tony Romo is not a very good QB. The Cowboys look good as a power running team though and have enough good backs to keep inserting them, at least for now. The Chiefs . . . I feel sorry for them. They have some players and those players are surrounded by a bunch of practice squad stiffs who seem to have given up on the season already. The Cowboys are ripe for picking off but I’ve no confidence in the team rising to the occasion.

Oakland at New York Giants – Another slaughter. It doesn’t matter whether or not Eli Manning plays. The Giant Defense will score enough points to beat the hapless Raiders.

Tampa Bay at Philadelphia – My Survivor pick of the week. McNabb looks on schedule to come back this week. Doesn’t really matter as Kolb has the team looking pretty good. I just hope they keep Vick off the field. The Buccaneers have Cadillac Williams and then a prayer.

Minnesota at St Louis – The 4-0 team vs the 0-4 team . . . so much for parity. The most interesting thing about this game will be seeing if Adrian Petersen runs wild after being contained pretty well last week.

Atlanta at San Francisco – Game of the Week contender. The 49er’s are playing beautiful football, A Family

Click images for desktop size: “The Family” by Unknown
the team rising above the individual players talent to being a cohesive force. The Falcons are a good team coming off a bye week. It will be an exciting match. I’m going with home field advantage to make my pick but I suspect it will come down to the final two minutes one way or the other.

Houston at Arizona – This is one of those white noise games. It will happen but no one really knows why. The most interesting thing to me is wondering when the Cardinals will let Matt Linehart into the game.

Jacksonville at Seattle – This cruddy game has some small interest in that I think the Seahawks can actually win. I’m a Jack Del Rio fan but his Jaguars, this season, are an incredibly inconsistent bunch. This is a long haul road trip to an unfriendly place. The Seahawks, what little I’ve seen of them have not looked like a bad football team. Matt Hasslebeck should return this game. They have a chance.

New England at Denver – I have no idea how the Broncos got to 4-0. Its like last season, somehowThe Incredible Two Headed Transplant they get all the flukey breaks in the first half of the season before it all come crashing down. The Patriots don’t really believe in flukes or luck. I watched the Raven game and this is a scrappy team. I like that. This could be a good game.

New York Jets at Miami – Mark Sanchez and the Jets ran into a buzz saw called New Orleans last week. They didn’t look that bad. They have a chance to look good against a confused and confusing Dolphin squad. Sanchez tweeted right after the game something like “I made a lot of mistakes and cost us the game. I have to study and learn from them and not let them happen again.” We’ll get to see here. I’m counting on the cocky kid.

Indianapolis at Tennessee – At the start of the season this looked like it be a cool matchup, a changing of the guard as the Titans stepped up over the Colts. Instead it’s a flash back to ten years ago with the colts being 4-0 and the Titans being 0-4. The Colts keep improving each week while the Titans keep blowing up and looking worse and worse. I can’t see prime time making any changes in any of this.

These brilliant picks are for your amusement only. You might want to print them out and use them to light your fireplaces.

Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it
Irving Berlin

House On A Hill
Click images for desktop size: “House On A Hill” by Unknown
I didn’t go to work tonight. My cold got worse. It’s not devastating, just annoying. It impacts me enough that it would be suffering needlessly to go in and endure the rudeness of the low rentHarvey gambler.
I lost a lot of sleep today as well. Had to see the opthamologist. It was a pretty cruddy experience, one of the worst I’ve had in a lot of years.
I was a bit early for my appointment and I fell asleep in the waiting room. I fell asleep for 45 minutes and awoke with a start. I was with mixed feelings that I found out I hadn’t been called yet. I waited another 45 minutes and still wasn’t called.
I figured I might as well leave. Sitting in a clinic waiting room, trying not to cough and feeling my nose starting to drip is not my way of spending an afternoon. I snagged a nurse who went and checked with someone. She came back and told me I was the next to be called.
I waited another 45 minutes. I was leaving when I heard someone call my name. With little trust I turned around and meekly followed the nurse to the examination room. Twenty minutes later an optometrist came in and put me in the chair. As I sat there she did a quick verification of my medical history. Then she did the eye exam.
Some slight interest there: My right eye has, with glasses always had 40:20 vision – meaning I can see at 40 yards what a clear sighted person can see at 20. My left eye was even better, with glasses.
Now my right eye was still not changed but my left eye is horrid. With glasses I’m looking at no better than 20:40. That’s as good as it could get and that’s still not very clear.
The optometrist also noted I’m extremely light sensitive. I was blinded by the lowest light they can use to examine my eye.
She wrote up a new script for glasses. Put in all the chemicals with dilating chemicals and stuff and My World by John Buscema
Click images for desktop size: “My World” by John Buscema
she sent me to sit in the waiting room. After 15 minutes of sitting I fell asleep again. I woke up fifteen minutes later and about 10 minutes later I was led into another examination room. I was too groggy and tired to even spend the next 20 minutes going through the cabinets.
Finally the doctor came in. He was early 30’s, slight and going to pudgy. He was accompanied by a tall Asian girl, about 5′ 10″. She wore a skirt just an inch longer than her Doctor’s jacket. She wore flats, nifty looking suede loafers with a trippy silver buckle. She aggravated me. We weren’t even cursorily intro’d but she was up there gawking at the naked insides of my eyeball at every opportunity. If she didn’t jump at the chance the doc invited her in for a peek. I figure the doc was working up to her warming up to him.
The eye exam was painful. I’d never had a painful eye exam before. It was novel but not novel enough to appreciate.
He kept shining bright lights in my eyes and remarking as to how sensitive to light my eyes are, then he’d increase the intensity to see whatever it was that amused him and his protegee so. HeThe Hitch-Hiker jabbed me in the eye a couple of times trying to force it open while he yelled at me to keep both eyes open wider.
The end result was that by the time I left I was almost completely blind. My vision was dominated by after burn images of purple and green pillars. It made my eyes hurt dramatically.
The decent news was that I still had cataracts in both eyes but they had not yet moved or crown enough to cloud my vision. There’s no Honeycomb
Click images for desktop size: “Honey Vomb”
sense of damage to the retinal damage from the diabetes. He put the sudden loss of vision in my left eye to strain and eye dryness and told me to get some instant tears and use them often.
I still have to wear dark glasses.
Not really worth the 5 hours spent. I do have a new prescription for what that’s worth. And I’m off doctors for the rest of the week and that’s a good thing.
When I finally got home and stumbled around my puppy was very solicitous. She took me for a walk.
I slept for a few hours and woke up with my vision still impaired. My eyes still hurt and things till have a halo around them. Interesting.
Tomorrow/today I have to call about getting my insulin for the next three months. Scoring it on the cheap. Then work on affordable glasses. I could handle getting those creepy welfare glasses. For sure they look dorky but I’ll still make them look good. I’m not that far gone yet.
Then work tomorrow. Can’t dig that. Too many welfare mothers and desperate people.

USC 30 California 3

Go Forward by Ryohei Hase
Click images for desktop size: “Go FOrward” by Ryohei Hase
I have a cold. More of a cough really. I can visualize the customer who gave it to me. It could have been another one but not likely. The others coughing and sneezing didn’t cough in my face. I need aGodzilla vs Megalon sneeze guard at the cash register?
My puppy is doctoring me. Funny how her prescriptions all seem to involve a whole lot of rubbing her tummy.

Last week I was a near brilliant 13-3. My friend was a tepid 12-4. Pretty sad really but that what happens when you cheat. I am sure she is cheating as she still somehow leads in the season 34 to 33!! This game needs stronger enforcement of the rules is what I’m thinking.
My picks are in bold.

Detroit at Chicago – The Lions finally won their game last week. After 21 months of emptiness we can finally stop hearing about it. The Bears are suddenly playing buzz saw football. Odd, adding Jay Cutler fires up the Offense and losing Brian Urlacher fires up the Defense. Curious, but understandable. The Bears are looking like Division title contenders right now. They won’t let this one get away from them.

Cincinnati at Cleveland – Carson Palmer is back! He’s going downfield and hitting everything open. Playing elite and tough. The Bengals look real. Rey Maleluga is as advertised (Go Men of Troy!) The Browns are . . . playing at home. That’s the brightest thing about this game for them, the short commute to work. This is my survivor game of the week.

Seattle at Indianapolis – The Seahawks managed to lose to the Bears last week. Make no mistake they more lost the game than the Bears won the game. The Colts are playing survivor football, they won’t overlook these guys. It should be destructive.

Tennessee at Jacksonville – Who would have thought that these two teams would be starring in a Good Morning
Click images for desktop size: “Good Morning” by Unknown
cruddy game of the week contender? The Jaguars got it fired up nicely last week for their first win, while the Titans look strong but keep managing to make the fatal mistake to lose all their games. They’re too good a team to keep this level of ineptness up. This will be an interesting match only because the Titans are desperate.

New York Giants at Kansas City – I have to remind myself this is the pros, otherwise I’d be feeling really sorry for the Chiefs. I mean they aren’t inept but they sure are missing . . . talent? A concept of how to win? I don’t know. The Giants are far from spectacular and they do miss Plaxico Burress, (The only man to get two years in jail for shooting HIMSELF) even if they are 3-0.

Baltimore at New England – Finally a decent game on the schedule and it’s a Game of the Week contender! This one should be awesome. This is one of those games where I I have no idea who might win. Groovy. The Ravens are playing like SuperBowl winners and actually look like they mightThe Glass Key just keep getting better. The defection of Rex Ryan to the Jets hasn’t slowed their D a step. The Patriots look like they’re in a rebuilding year but are still a machine. I think the Pats will hammer with Maroni and Taylor and then squirt Faulk through some cracks for good yardage. Welker should be back, but in what shape? The Ravens will make anyone who touches the ball pay a heavy price. When they have the ball Joe Flacco shows there is no such thing as Uma Thurman
Click images for desktop size: “Uma Thurman”
a sophomore jinx. He’s looking like a crafty vet! Billichik will still set up some fronts that will confuse him and he’ll make mistakes but I think the power running game will off set his errors and give them the win. But who cares, This should be a game that shows what the NFL is supposed to be like!

Tampa Bay at Washington – And then back to the crud. This one just eases into the vaunted Cruddy Game of the Week slot. Tampa Bay hasn’t even looked like they want to win a game and the Redskins managed to lose to arguably the worst team in the history of football. This one will stink the joint out.

Buffalo at Miami – The Bills at least look like they’re willing to play the Dolphins have disintegrated and with Chad Pennington out there’s no one around to pull the mess together. A year ago this would have been an interesting match up but now its just another cruddy game of the week contender.

Mark Sanchez & The New York Jets at New Orleans – The Game of the Week. Can Mark Sanchez Hand to Hand Combat
Click images for desktop size: “Hand to Hand Combat” by NFL Films
continue to make history and win his first four starts for the Jets? It would be sweet. But Drew Brees, the TD machine. Brees is angry because last week the Bills held him to only 27 points! Can Rex Ryan figure out how to stop the TD machine that is the Saints? Can they contain Reggie Bush on punt returns and when he’s on the line? Too many weapons, the most in the NFL right now. The Saints can’t stop the Jets O much, they can only slow it down but that should be enough to see the Saints take it on a couple of long TD’s. Sanchez looked like a rookie against the Patriots but still did enough to win. He’ll gain some confidence here but will also be awed some by the SuperDome and the Drew Brees Machine. It will be great which ever way it goes.

Dallas at Denver – A good game. You have to figure there’s not much chance of the Broncos containing the newly discovered Cowboy running game. Taking the ball out of Romo’s hands is aGun Crazy Re-release good strategy. He looks like a superstar when the games not on the line. That the Cowboys picked up Chauncey Washington to fill in their busted up RB team only helps the cause. The Bronco’s are 3-0, RAH! Go figure. They sure don’t look like an undefeated team but there you go. The Cowboys can’t afford to let this one get away from them. The Bronco elysium field should slip away this week.

St Louis at San Francisco – Break up the Rams – PLEASE! The only interesting thing here is seeing how well Singletary brings his team back after that devastating last second loss to Brett Favre. Its hard being the spear carriers and watching a legend destroy you. Having the Rams at home will make his job a lot easier.

Green Bay at Minnesota – This is a game that won’t live up to the hype. Brett Favre’s first game against the team that dissed him two years ago. Favre is way too professional to let that impact him, at least until the end if the Vikings are winning. The Packers will have enough to do trying to Picture Hanger by Peter Druben
Click images for desktop size: “Picture Hanger” by Peter Druben
stop Adrian Petersen. They can slow him down but no one has figured out how to stop him yet. The Viking D won’t overwhelm Aaron Rogers but they’ll make him uncomfortable, that should be enough for them to win at home.

San Diego 24 at Pittsburgh 20 – A decent game for Sunday prime time. That makes 4 out of 16 this week. Pretty shabby. This one will prove interesting. The Chargers are gaining momentum and the Steelers a=have lost two in a row. The Steelers worries go far beyond losing super stud Troy Polamanu to injury. Even if he tries to comeback this week the D will still be inconsistent. The big woes are the Steeler O which is blah. No Willie Parker this week but capable back ups. The Chargers and Philip Rivers are ignited. The D should harass Roethlisberger and make him questionable to appear on the WWF’s RAW Monday night. They’ve got answers for most of what the Steelers can try. It will be a good game but I think the Chargers have the most to prove.

As usual these picks are for those with a sense of humour or deep self destructive tendencies, for amusement only.

You’re only has good as your last haircut
Fran Lebowitz

3D

Click images for desktop size: “3D” by Unknown
Been tired. It’s the job mainly and my normal not sleeping well thing. It just leaves me perpetually exhausted. Like last night was my first day off of the weekend I slept about 4 hours during the dayFriday Foster and then nearly 6 hours through the night. None of this helps me re0tune my body clock. It does show that my body is screaming for rest.
Today I also think I’m coming down with a cold.
Mainly I’m not doing much of anything except dealing with doctors and going to work. I don’t think that’s good, but almost anything else I do becomes an arduous labor that leaves me wasted and with no energy.
Not updating this site means I’m not thinking about myself and my puppy enough. I’m just reacting and living off of instinct. That’s fine for a while. Its one of the reasons I live by a rigid code and set of rules I don’t deviate from even if, most of the time, I don’t remember why I made up the rules in the first place.
Physical therapy and all these doctors are starting to wear thin on me. On Monday I have to see the opthamologist. I’m close to blind in my left eye. Its useless for looking at anything but it doesn’t look freakish and it does help me with depth perception. I drop enough stuff and stumble around enough that the idea of me thrashing about in a 2D world is amusing or daunting depending on the time of day.
I don’t think the eye thing is that serious but it has to be dealt with. I’ve long known that I’d rather go blind then deaf. Not that I’d prefer it. I still want to barter though, like, “I’ll give up my eye sight but I demand that I be able to play the guitar again, at least as well as I did 3 years ago!”
I like to pretend that there’s justice in this life.
I saw the orthopedist this week. I like the guy. Turns out he put himself through school playing baseball. Was a shortstop! There’s no Fraternal Order of Shortstops but there should be. At least it Abstract Affinity by XGA

Click images for desktop size: “Abstract Affinity” by XGA
made me feel a sense of commonality.
My right hand has been partially numb for a few months now. Now that the shoulder has been relatively tamed (about 30% of the motion returned, pain is common but not constant) the theory was that some of the numbness should have vanished. It hasn’t.
The shoulder pain was so bad that I’ve distorted a lot of my body in trying to deal with it. That’s made for some horrible pain as those muscles start to relax and unconstrict. It appears one of the things I’ve done is to compress my ulnar nerve.
Now I have to see a neurologist to have an EMT (?) to see where the compression is occurring. If its anywhere but my shoulder the only solution is surgery to move it and uncompress the nerve . . . If its him my shoulder surgery is a probable option but I might be able to decompress it with physical therapy.
I ended up talking about this with the doc. I expressed my concerns, mainly that I’d have to balance out surgery with my life expectancy. Like why put myself through this if I’ve got only 3 years to go.The Ghost of Zorro
I told him that the best prognosis I’d gotten was living through till last year. I tried to sit patiently while he reviewed my medical history and he agreed that looking at that thing its pretty hard to believe that I am still alive, harder to believe that I’m so robust and looking like I do. He told me his nurse wanted to check my ID because she thought I was stealing someone’s identity. I couldn’t possibly be as old as I claimed.
The final decision was that it was impossible to guess how long I Bo Jangles and Shirley Temple

Click image: “Bo Jangles and Shirley Temple”
could reasonably expect to hang on. He noticed that in February I’m scheduled for the big cardio stress test. He said that will give the clearest factual basis to determine how long I could fairly expect. With a grin he said, “And I’d say it close to impossible for anything else to happen to you!”
We agreed that I should get the EMT (?) so we’d have a handle on the problem and then there’d be little risk in waiting until after the cardio stress test to make a decision on the surgery. I need to get it fixed. It will just degrade to the point of paralysis, but that stage would be years down the line.
Physical therapy is going fine. They want me to do the underwater exercises 5 times a week. Another tedious wearying chore. I’ll do it.

A few people have noticed I’ve updated the Jukebox. ANother 20 tunes from my hit list.
It might be the last time I can. I see where the music publishers have started to take umbrage against the internet.
Unlike the RIAA who are just a bunch of twerps who, to protect their useless job, have extended Pieces of a Dream by Titusboy

Click images for desktop size: “Pieces of a Dream” by Titusboy
their authority because there’s no one to tell them to shut up, the music publishers are scary guys. They’ve controlled music in the world since at least the Civil War.
I mean they were a force back since young educated orphan ladies could make a living looking cute and playing and singing the latest cool hits at an upright piano in department stores, hawking the latest hit sheet music, making other girls dream of seducing the cute boys by emulating her playing skill.
The music publishers used to count the number of plays a record would get on a juke box to make sure they got their cut! They have the army, the interest and the money. I mean, the record labels owe the publishers MILLIONS! And they’re past due. The publishers have lived through wars, external and internal, mob wars and discord. They’re a force.
I’ve been debating about whether I should update the music libraries. I have a couple hundred new titles but I only have a couple hundred of the titles here. I’m considering the argument that mostForce Of Evil people just like to browse the library to see the posters and read about the movies. They also usually complain because I didn’t write any of the reviews . . .

The most interesting movie I’ve seen has been “Written By,” a Chinese movie. Ka-Fai Wai wrote and co-directed, with Johnny To, the shattering “Running on Karma”. On his own he’s been a quixotic and impressive director.
“Written By” is a sort of ghost story. I hate ghost stories. They never fail to bore me. But Ka-Fai Wai has made something unique here.
There’s a car accident with the entire family, a Mom, Dad, sister and brother in the car. Dad is killed, Sister is blinded. The other two are relatively unscathed. Ten years on Mom still has not accepted her husband’s death. Blind sister decides to write a novel, using her braille typewriter. The novel will tell Dad’s story in a make believe world where everything is reversed. Dad is now blind and the only survivor of the accident.
The film criss crosses the stories, and, due to the plastic power of movies, both stories seem genuinely real to us. For the first half of the movie it feels like Ka-Fai Wai is going to explode the Cleopatra by Maxfield Parrish

Click images for desktop size: “Cleopatra” by Maxfield Parrish
ghost story genre and make it impossible for anyone else to ever make another one. Its powerful and deeply moving stuff. Writing the novel is therapeutic for the family. It also become obsessive and soon the Dad in the novel is handling the problems of the real world in a fashion that is more direct and sensible than the real family.
Oddly the films power begins to dissipate when the two world begin to collide. The end is almost just silly, but at least it’s entertaining.
A great film that couldn’t deliver on the genius of its original concept. Not a loss because at least it got made.
Ching Wan Lau, the actor who plays Dad, is incredible. Considering the stunning job he recently turned in for “The Mad Detective” I’d say that this guy has entered the Marlon Brando-Robert DiNero class of actors. He locks into the difficult part and never variates. His charters are complete rounded people that we can feel in our hearts and in out guts. He’s brilliant in ways that would make an Anglo actor a legend.The Giant Claw

My puppy claims she’s never been happier. We went to her therapy dog evaluation. She failed. But it seems she still wants to do this. Selfishly I’ve decided that I need to finish physica therapy before we start in on her refresher classes. They want her, she wants to do it. It will work out.

Finally Stafon Johnson, the awesome power tailback for the USC Trojans had a horrifying accident this week. He dropped a 275 pound free weight on his neck! Seven hours of surgery later and it looks like he’ll survive . His loss will hurt the team this season but that’s a small thing compared to how much the world would have suffered if he hadn’t survived. He’s doing okay. I’m glad for that.

Washington State 6 USC 27

kb by Richard Mohler
Click images for desktop size: “kb” by Richard Mohler
The Men of Troys victory last night was one of the most depressing games ever. After running up an easy 20 points in the first quarter they just stunk. This was a game that they should have and thatFear of Clowns they needed to score 60 or 70 points while shutting out the Huskies. Instead it was just an undisciplined mess. Depressing. They might not even be the 12th best team in the country.
Next week they face Cal, who got destroyed by Oregon yesterday. They need to win to have a ghost of a chance to win the Pac 10. With as strong as Oregon, Arizona and Arizona State are looking the record setting Championship might be beyond them.
The young men played hard but would ultimately disintegrate. It’s only because Washington State is such a poor team that they managed to survive and win this one.
Oh, and Pete Carroll is still one of the greatest coaches of all time. He’s struggling hard with a team that is getting wracked with injuries and playing well below expectations.

Lots of rain yesterday. The clinic I go to ran out of Flu vaccine! There’s a bit of a run on it as they’re insisting you have this vaccine before you get the Swine Flu vaccine in a few weeks. I managed to get the shot at a drug store. Cost me twenty bucks. I can’t afford that but since they pound it into me that the flu might prove fatal to me I guess its worth the price.
After getting the shot I went to this outlet store and managed to get bedding. I’d been sleeping on a borrowed set of sheets. I got burgundy sheets, pillow cases and a comforter for twenty-five bucks! My puppy adores the more comfy bedding . . . I haven’t gotten to try it yet. I keep falling asleep in the chair. In fact I spent most of the day doing just that, falling asleep, being groggy, accomplishing little then falling asleep again.
Pekinese and Girl by Archie Dickens
Click images for desktop size: “Pekinese and Girl” by Archie Dickens
It took me most of the day to compose a letter to the Canadian Provincial government about my heart attack bill. My eyes are so unfocused I haven’t even been able to re-read it, let alone concentrate well enough to make sure I got all the facts into it.

Last week I was 10-6 in my football picks. Pretty impressive I thought. It showed some gritty determination and a willingness to take some chances.
My friend was had a laughable week. Her system of taking the team who uniforms clashed the least with their opponents led her to a miserable week where she finished 10-6. I would feel sorry for her but she still leads in the season totals 22 points to my 20 points. I’m sure she has this lead because she cheated. There will probably be an investigation.

My picks are in bold.

Cleveland at Baltimore – This is my Survivor Game this week. The must win! I’d like to have savedExperiment in Terror the Ravens for another time but there are too many questionable match ups this week. The Ravens keep looking incredibly strong. It’s early but it still wouldn’t surprise me to see them win the division and go very deep into the playoffs. While the Browns are looking . . . like a 2nd season expansion team.

Tennessee at New York Jets – The Titans are a good football team Doris Day
Click images for desktop size: “Doris Day”
but opening the season 0-2 has them thrown. They start hearing all that stuff about “No team has gone 0-2 and made it to the Superbowl”. It’s daunting. Their defense seems messed up now, not bad but out of sync. The Jets are proving difficult to figure. Rex Ryan bought in his defense and they’re executing it well. He’s either got them playing over their heads or at least up to their potential. The shock is that one year ago Mark Sanchez was losing and looking bad losing to Oregon State! He’s 2-0 and the Rookie of the Week the first two weeks of the season! The Titans are due to rise up and start dominating teams but the Jets are believing in themselves and playing with zeal.

New York Giants at Tampa Bay – Cruddy game of the week contender. The Giants are 2-0 but have not looked great doing it. The Buc’s just reek. There’s not much else to say. Its far more interesting that Plaxico Buress got 2 years for shooting himself in the leg while a cop in Toronto got two years less a day for using his position as a cop to molest children.

Green Bay at St Louis – I think the Rams will win 3 maybe 4 games this season, I just have no idea against whom. The Packers still look like an unreliable first tier team. The NFL has too many cruddy The Creation by Michael Parkes
Click images for desktop size: “The Creation” by Michael Parkes
teams this year and the Rams are one of them. Hard to stir up much interest.

Kansas City at Philadelphia – It really looked like the Chiefs were on the way to recovering some respectability this season. It hasn’t shown up yet for sure. McNabb is still out for the Eagles and the big news is that the Eagles are going to play Vick this week . . . Principal almost makes me pick the Chiefs. It’s not often that an entire organization lies to you. Vick has done nothing in the community and nothing as he promised to help animals. The owner of the Eagles swore that he would. I hope they lose.

Atlanta at New England – Game of the Week. Finally a game to get interested in. The Falcons are playing angry. Matt Ryan is throwing the ball well and making sweet calm decisions. Their defense is playing very well. While the Patriots are going to be missing Super Studs Wes Welker and RandyThe Exorcist Moss! That almost puts the teams dead even. The Pats new defense is starting to settle in and play like a Billichek team so this could be a whole lot of fire and ice. I’m sticking with the Patriots for one reason: Brady.

San Francisco at Minnesota – Game of the Week Runner Up. Two teams on the rise. Brett Favre facing a Mike Singletary defense. This is sweet. The Vikings have the huge advantage in personnel and they’re playing at home. Everyone the 49er’s play has a huge advantage in personnel but going back to last year they just keep winning and playing some deadly serious ball. Would love to see them go to 3-0 but that could be a little bit too much dreaming.

Jacksonville at Houston – I just don’t like the football that the Texans play. I like them to lose. But the Jaguars . . . when you hold the ball 45 minutes and lose you have to be so snake bit it could be a month before you get over those shakes.

Washington at Detroit – Cruddy game of the week. The Redskins are playing inept ball. The defense looks sound but gets tired too quickly, especially with the non-offense they sport. The Lions are still looking for the elusive butterfly of a first win. I don’t want to keep track of how many weeks its been.

New Orleans at Buffalo – Can Drew Brees throw up 45 points three weeks in a row? WHY NOT! He’s becoming a legend and deserves a win every time he steps on the field. The Bills seem to be The Strangers
Click images for desktop size: “The Strangers” by Marvel Comics
flopping around trying to fins an identity. They’re not a bad team but they sure seem to play like one. Terrell Owens has not had much impact but he could catch fire in this one. The Saints D still leaves a lot to desire. But no one can win in a shoot out against Brees.

Chicago at Seattle – The Bears put together an incredible effort against the Steelers. They deserved the win. Thing is in professional sports those sort of efforts can become habit. The Seahawks are going to be without Hasselbeck. Seneca has a cool first name , a snippy arm and terrible decision making processes. It won’t be a blow out but I’d expect the Bears to suck it up again. They have more to prove than any other team in the NFL.

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati – My cockeyed pick of the week. I like the Bengals way of playing football. I only wish they did it better. The Bears beat up the Steelers. I still think the Bear secondary won the game. The Bengals shouldn’t be able to stay on the field with the Steelers but Carson Palmer and Flesh Feast Chad Ochocinco create some beautiful moments of the most magnificent poetry. So I’m choosing beauty over ruthless efficiency and delighted hope against angry Champions coming off a bad loss.

Denver at Oakland – Its very tempting to want to pick the Raiders here. They’re such a bad team they can’t even lose consistently. They have some good players but they are just a bad team. The Broncos don’t have much in the way of players to match up with the Raiders but they’re playing good ball the past two weeks and putting themselves in position to win. Have to go with the team.

Miami at San Diego – The Dolphins looked so good coming into the season then they fell apart in the opener. They seemed to be on track last week, but against the Chargers they really need to be playing their A game. I don’t think they’re there yet. The Chargers are looking strong on D. Even without Tomlinson Rivers has the O moving. They play hard edge ball in the season. They might blow the Dolphins out. It will depend on how the Dolphins handle giving up the first score. The Pencil and Paint
Click images for desktop size: “Pencil and Paint” by Unknown
Dolphins also have to overcome the Year 3 curse of Parcells.

Carolina at Dallas – The Panthers are really poor. They look aged and broken, even their stars look haggard. The Cowboys are riding a string of hype. Typical for the team. Even without the hype the present Panthers team doesn’t have much of a chance.

Indianapolis 16 at Arizona 18 – This is an interesting game. The Colts miss Tony Dungy more than I could ever have imagined.The offense has looked woeful but the defense has played strong, strong enough for legend to be Payton Manning to pull off miracles and win the games they shouldn’t have. The Cardinals in two games have looked dreadful and then like NFC Champions. Hard to figure out which team will show up today. I’m taking the Cardinals because, well, how many miracles can a team expect?

These tired picks are for your vast amusement only. Or to ponder the depths at which a football coach might sink as he ponders life wrapped up in a game.

Natural born enemies: You protect what is while I envision what can be

5 cm by Kabegami
Click images for desktop size: “5 cm” by Kabegami
My puppy has finally recovered from her diarrhea. His distress was caused by some stupid government regulation that was supposed to protect somebody or other. Certainly it wasn’t intendedDiary of a Madman to protect her or to protect me.
That’s the problem with governments; they always start off planning to fulfill some dream, some hopes but they always just turn into governments.
I wish I knew of something that could replace governments. I can’t. I just know that what they all evolve into is something evil and wrong.
But we need them. We can’t live without governments. We can’t trust ourselves.
The rich are going to rip off the poor and the poor are going to steal from the middle class while the middle class kill each other. So we need laws to slow down the process, except for the rich of course.
We need roads, we need dams. Maybe not in the excess that some governments build them, but we need them. And governments naturally begin to feel important. Graft sets in. The cops become uniformed thugs. Laws aren’t passed to protect the people but to protect the government.
Governments can tolerate enemies, but they seldom do. There are too many ways to kill. It’s too easy to not simply kill.
When you’re a government its easy to ignore the law, merely pretend it doesn’t exist, selectively apply a law, or just rip through your enemies with impunity.
Governments, after a certain time, have no other function than to protect themselves. They will protect themselves to the point of war, sometimes gaining, sometimes losing but always winning by using the carnage of war to thin the crop of people who might be difficult and potentially pose a threat to the government.
It is not above a government to declare war against the people it was intended to govern.
The City by Edward Hopper
Click images for desktop size: “The City” by Edward Hopper
I don’t like governments. I just don’t have a viable alternative. Government is by nature corrupt and cruel. Its inevitable that it forget its original purpose and ignore its mandate All governments end up hurting more people than they protect, kill more than they aid. They perpetuate senseless appearing acts, but far from being nonsensical these acts are nothing more than carefully constructed props to insure the governments survival. It is a monolith comprised of desperately lazy people who thrive off the hard work of the people they govern.
There’s little to like about a government. And little to choose between them. I was indoctrinated, like most of us, that democracy was cool and its flip was despotic tyranny, which was evil.
I was in Uganda during the reign of Idi Amin. The border guards were threatening and intimidating, brandishing automatic weapons. They forced us to change our money into Ugandan script and charged us a usurious rate.
In Uganda the people were genial. They seemed happy in our limited view.Dragnet
When I returned home I was greeted by armed customs officers who charged me an insane duty on worthless knick knacks and souvenirs.
I’m sure there’s a difference but its beyond me to see.
A few years ago, In London, I meet a Ugandan. He was a nice guy. He told me a story about Idid Amin. He didn’t know the man. He Elvis
Click images for desktop size: “Elvis”
agreed he’d gone insane but he still thought of him with an intense pride. He told me a story about Amin entering some sort of auto race. He was proud that his ruler was willing to go out and compete with his people. He was proud that his leader was willing to have fun with the “common” people. He thought that Amin was a man to be proud of.
In Canada I was recently held on demonstrably perjured evidence by a racist cop. I was illegally detained, my freedom quashed, treaties broken, I was tortured, nearly killed.
The Canadian government doesn’t dispute any of this. They genuinely don’t care or feel anything about this is extraordinary. So it seems safe to assume that this is all pretty natural to them, that “of course our cops lie and cheat, steal and kill. How else would you expect them to get anything done?”
Governments must all look the same when you’re within them.
Governments do a lot of things. In 300 years America allowed slavery, abolished slavery then said we could no longer treat the slave’s descendants as slaves but as human beings.
Petra Neimann
Click images for desktop size: “Petra Neimann” by Unknown
Even setting aside the issue about how the hell we ever allowed slavery in the first place I have to think that 300 years to fix the stupid injustice is a bit out of line.
So. Governments are clunky, self serving, efficient only in the modes of harming their governed. And I’ve got no answers or alternatives.
People used to call me an anarchist because of the way I think. That’s lazy thinking. I’m not into anarchy. Not into massive violence. Revolution only brings in a new government and starts the same old processes over and over again.
If anything I’m just a mean old cranky stoic existentialist, not the French kind of existentialist, the born in America kind. For politics I’d fall closest to the far right because I believe in freedom but I also believe most in community and that every person in the community has an obligation to each other. I just don’t believe we need a government to enforce that obligation, which makes the label that fits closest: Humanistic Populist. That takes me out of the far right camp and makes me seemDouble Indemnity like a liberal, who are so ashamed of being liberal that they changed their name to progressive.
So I’m old, mean, crabby and easy to label. Not much but its me. I never promised to be deep.
Today I got to read my cardiologists report. No question I had a second heart attack. A doctor I don’t know read the data and decided it appeared the second heart attack was induced by “criminal negligence at best but there are several indications that it was intentionally induced”. That’s when the Canadian government threw me into a Maximum Security prison for no reason other than they could. When they found out they made a mistake they decided they had to kill me. It went on to say that my surviving the second heart attack was beyond their medical expertise to explain. I know why though: stubbornness and meanness.
Logical thinking for the Mafia, the Nazi’s and other despotic governments. They tried a few different ways to kill me. I don’t think I fought back very hard. How could I?
Now a reasonable man would say that the Canadian government would be one to avoid at all costs. They struggle by with their rep and live their little racist government lives, destroying people, Painting'
Click images for desktop size: “Unknown” by Unknown
humans for corporate greed and off kilter ideology.
Stay out of Canada boy. I don’t have a private army or any large bore weapons so it would seem like good advice.
There wasn’t much I liked in Canada. And a whole lot I didn’t. Like their recent decision to allow two giants to control all communication in the country. Rah! Pretty 3rd world stuff. Idi Amin and Hitler both did similar and communicating with people was a lot more difficult back then so it was easier to control.
Normally I’d have no desire to ever see that white hell hole again. I’ve got enough to do just staying alive. I’ve fought countries before. You can win but its pretty costly and winning is counted as just slightly more than you lose.
As usual there’s something that counters good sense and primal survival instincts. Give it a fancy name: Elevated survival instincts?
There are three reasons that trump common sense. Two of them are fuzzy; not in conception but in texture.
I saw my doctor Thursday. She was pretty horrified reading the cardiologists report. She said Dracula's Dog something that irritates me. “When I read your medical history I think that I should be talking to a shriveled up broken man but you still look so strong. You don’t even look your age.” I know how much I’ve aged and I think I look 30 years older than I looked 10 years ago.
She gave me the number of a lawyer while she explained that she couldn’t begin to guess how much longer I’d live. I told her that according to the last actuarial table I saw I out lived my expectancy last year. She laughed and said, “you might live till your 90! No one can know. You’re doing remarkably well. But with your medical history I don’t see how anyone can promise you anything.”
No promises.
So I don’t feel it would be fair to ask my friends to move from hell hole Canada to the chaos of my my America. Not when I could keel over in a year or two or five or ten.
Maybe that’s not my decision to make. At least on my own. That’s a late night thought.
Governments and their borders. How can’t you hate them.

Physical therapy is going slowly but it is going. Its been dark and rainy here and that’s making my shoulder ache . . . Yeah, I’m now one them old galoots. “By crakey my shoulders aching. We be in for a big storm and a long winter!”
The physical therapist put the interact on my shoulder again. It registered a reading of 80. It should be 10. He said its not the worst he’s ever seen. After the treatment it was down to 54. The numbers measure the rigidity and hardness of the muscles and ligaments.
On Friday I did swimming pool therapy. Underwater exercise reduces the pain of stretching and rotating busted up joints.
On a swing
Click images for desktop size: “Dace On a Swing” by Unknown
I felt pretty lame doing the incredibly simple exercises. I mean, the most difficult one was clapping! I had to do it underwater so that probably increases the difficulty by .05%
The pool is designed for therapy. Lots of ramps and stairways into it and it goes from 4’6″ to 5’6″ deep. It’s a rough trapezoidal shape about 35 feet on a square.
As soon as I touched the water I had to try and swim. Nearly killed me. The arm squeerched up at the first stroke.
The new physical therapist yelled on me, “This is a therapy pool! No swimming!”
It felt good to be in water and I tried to fake it by just porposing to my destination. Porposing is swimming just using your legs.
The exercises were all ludicrously easy. But my shoulder was incredibly sore an hour afterwards. My range of motion has increased a good 9 inches forward, about 3 inches reaching up and about 1 inch reaching back. The rotation of the joint has hardly improved at all. Bot physical therapists say IEatien Alive have to extend the first two a bit more before we can start working on the rotation. For some reason I understand that.
On Monday I see the physical therapist and then my orthopedist.
I’m starting to get fed up with all the doctor appointments. Its starting to feel like when I had leukemia and doctors overwhelmed my life. That was trying to stay alive. This is just trying to live easy.
Between the doctors and my constant tiredness, caused by lack of sleep and my cruddy job, I feel that I have no life.
Last evening my puppy and I went to watch a high school football game. To ease her into it we went and watched from a hill overlooking the stadium. Aside from the end zone view of it they’re excellent seats.
My puppy used to be an excellent football coach. Three years ago she got an award for being the team coach of the year. We’ve watched other games from this hillside. She was always very interested before. This time she showed no interest at all, except in some bushes and some perhaps edible garbage nearby.
I guess she’s got no interest in coaching anymore. Maybe her award was the pinnacle of her career. How will she ever best that. I note that without sadness and only a twinge of nostalgia. She was tons of fun to have on the practice field but I wouldn’t force it on her.
I bought her back home. My plan was to drop her off and then return to the stadium proper to meet the new head coach and to discuss whether there was anything I could do for the team this season.
What actually happened was we made the five minute walk home. I sat down in my chair to check e-mails and then woke up at 3:30 AM . . .
I gotta get a new job.

USC 13 Washington 16

The Hall

Click images for desktop size: “The Hall” by Unknown
USC embarrassed themselves in Seattle. It wasn’t completely unexpected but the horrid level of play was shocking.Detour
What was worse though were the USC forum and message boards. When an Ohio State fan calls Matt Barkley “A Newport Beach Douche” you can write it off as ignorance and anger. I find this treating of kids playing college ball in the same vein as professional adult athletes disconcerting, sad and pathetic.
But when USC fans are cheering and vocalizing about hoping to see a Grace Kelly

Click images for desktop size: “Grace Kelly”
player get hurt and that the player is a Trojan is despicable.
Its clear to me that these people are just fans, and not very good ones. Some of them might even have attended USC but there’s no doubt that they never stepped onto the field and played the game.
I used to love attending USC games. I went to almost every home game for nearly 15 years. I had eight seats, 4 by the press box at the 50 and 4 at the 50 about 12 rows up.
I used to love the games. I remember one family with 3 daughters aged 5 through 9. The little girls came to every game decked out in full USC cheerleader kit.
I remember one very bad loss at the Coliseum on Homecoming. Arizona beat us on Homecoming and we looked pathetic. After the game the player’s still took time to talk to the little kids. The fans yelled encouragement and gave them pats on the back.
Even when we were getting beat by Notre Dame (there was a long streak we still haven’t made up for) none of the ND fans or USC fans yelled to kill or injure any player on either side. There was a lot of bickering and yelling between Trojan fans and Golden Domers, but it was all good natured. Chances were we’d see these guys in our offices on Monday morning.
That Trojan fans were yelling and cheering for injury to any player I would find abhorrent. That they Life in Technicolor by Khashiguana

Click images for desktop size: “Life in Technicolor” by Khashiguana
were cheering against Trojans is depressing. I see it as a fall that is intolerable. It’s not quite enough to turn me off of the sport. The game is too beautiful for that. But sadder than the rather slovenly loss is the sickening behavior of Trojan fans. That has put me into a somber mood. Even my puppy is considering going back to her roots and supporting the Buckeyes.

Last week I was a hard fought 10 and 6 in my picks. Took some gambles that didn’t pay off but still threw up some sterling numbers there. A couple of the games that I lost actually cheered me! I was glad Mark Sanchez got his rookie win. I was happy to see Mike Singletary lead the 49er’s to a win.
I’m rather embarrassed by my friends picks. Using her system, which I think consists of picking the team with the coolest logo, she finished the weekend a rather lackluster 12-4. A record like that implies sheer guess work and does not reflect a serious analytical study of the game and its coachesThe Crow and players.
If she doesn’t improve this week I might have to take my ball and go home!
This weeks picks. My choices are in bold.

Carolina at Atlanta – The Panthers’ Jake DelHomme looked like he was at the end of his career last week. The Falcons looked confident and very real. Not much to consider here.

Minnesota at Detroit – Its become a chi chi thing to pick the first opponent the Lions will knock off. They haven’t won a game in close to two years! The Vikings are a popular choice to become their victim this week, based on the odd theory that last season the Vikings beat the Lions by less than usual . . . Adrian Peterson is the best back in football now. The Lions don’t have an answer for him. I hope the Lions play better. Calvin Johnson is an exciting player. He deserves to finally win one but I don’t think it will be this week.

Cincinnati at Green Bay – Last week the Bengals lost to the woeful Broncos on a weird deflected pass. Kismet I guess. The Packers looked very strong against a disorganized Bears team. I keep cheering for Carson Palmer, for Ochocinco but they keep losing. Add the touchiness the Packers feel about their lost season last year and the lack of organization in the Bengals locker room and this could be a blowout.

Arizona at Jacksonville – Last week the Jaguars defense looked tough against Indianapolis. The Offense looked peeked but . . . In the loss to the 49er’s the Cardinals looked ragged and Normandy 1944

Click images for desktop size: “Normandy 1944” by Unknown
disorganized. Add to that that last season the Cardinals never won in the eastern time zone and the pick seems clear. I’m waiting for Kurt Warner to give way to Matt Linehart!

Oakland at Kansas City – Cruddy game of the week, maybe the season! Matt Cassall MAY be coming back for the Chiefs, but he’ll be rusty. Russell is looking like a huge Number 1 pick bust. The Raiders defense still looks better than okay but the offense is decrepit.

New England at New York Jets – Game of the week! Mark Sanchez throws for the third most yards as a rookie in NFL history. Rex Ryan proves he can take any defense and turn them into studs. But the Patriots have Tom Brady and Bill Billichek. This almost looks like a rebuilding year for the Patriots but Brady won’t buy that. He’ll be fired up to outplay young gun Sanchez by at least 3 to one. This is going to be exciting. If Sanchez can beat Brady I expect him to go insane! But I don’t think that the Jets’ Jones can rush for another 100 yards against the Patriots so more pressure is going to be on Sanchez. Its hard for Payton Manning to be consistent against the Patriots, so it mightDay of the Triffids be impossible for a rookie to figure them out.

New Orleans at Philadelphia – Drew Brees or Dru Brees, it doesn’t matter how you spell it, the man is a football touchdown machine. The only QB to marvel at not named Brady or Favre. He’s exciting. The defense looks a little bit better too! For the Eagles McNabb is either out or planning to play with a cracked rib, either way the Eagles’ O is going to suffer mightily. The Eagles D will create some plays but I can’t see them matching up well with all the crazy weapons the Saints will bring. Game of the Week Runner Up

Houston at Tennessee – The Titans should have beaten the Steelers. They didn’t but they came out angry about it. The Texans should have known that the season has started. They didn’t.

St Louis at Washington – St Louis is one of the cruddiest teams in the league. The Redskins are an unknown quantity, older but they don’t look much better, just older. Still, last year they played Flying Eagle

Click images for desktop size: “Flying Eagle” by NFL Films
pretty well, certainly well enough to handle the Rams.

Tampa Bay at Buffalo – The Buccaneers are another team in disarray. They really have nothing to hope for and no real part of the team can be relied on. The Bills have Owens and Lynch and a defense that goes from excellent to HUH? in a twinkling. The Bills are a rough team to pick right now except against somebody like the Bucs.

Seattle at San Francisco – A west coast game of the week! At least for the NFC West.The NFC and the AFC West pretty much stink, but this game will still go a long way to determining the eventualNFC West division Champ. Since it normally takes 8 or 9 wins to take the division all divisional games are important and even though it’s only week 2 having undefeated teams compete in the West is pretty rare. Mike Singletary has the 49ers playing consistent focused defense. Frank Gore is showing he’s still capable of tearing up the league and Shaun Hill is getting the most out of minimal talent. The Seahawks looked impressive at home. They almost always do. Matt Hasslebeck is looking healthy and he is a Superbowl ready QB. I’m going Damnation Alley with the home-r in what might actually be an exciting match up.

Pittsburgh at Chicago – Brian Urlacher is out for the season. Troy Polamanu is Questionable. Guess who can afford to lose their Superstars the most. Jay Cutler (who I root for as a diabetic showing you can deal with all that fatigue and play in the NFL) stank the joint out last week. The Steelers secondary is not a place to get healthy. Even with Urlacher out there’s still some interesting match ups for the Bears D. I think they’ll push Rothlesberger around some, Heinz Ward won’t have an easy time pushing around the Bear corners, but he’ll still get in some hits. TE Heath Miller will work hard but the Sam back will bottle him up most of the time. But the Bears will need to play a near perfect game. They’re capable of that but you have to lean towards the Steelers punching at them until the wall cracks.

Cleveland at Denver – This is my “Survivor Game”. In the Survivor Game you have to pick one sure winner each week with the caveat that you can only pick a team once each season. So picking the Lions opponents last season would work but picking the Patriots two years ago wouldn’t. I figure I should save the good teams as long as I can so I’ve picked a cruddy team to beat up on an even cruddier team at home. Denver won at Cincy on a classic fluke play. At least they had to play hard for the fluke play to mean anything. The Browns just plain reek. They’ve got some players but this is a season for Magnini to rebuild the team. I don’t expect much from them and they still fail to deliver.

Baltimore at San Diego – This should have been the Monday Night game. This will be prime time Light Bulb

Click images for desktop size: “Light Bulb” by Unknown
stuff. The Ravens are playing angry. A working class team from the east going up against favored glamour boys in the west. Rah. Joe Flacco is looking like last season was no fluke. The Raven’s D is still vicious and can run the most complicated schemes in the game. San Diego is no real slouch either. I’m taking the Beast from the East to win a close one.

Indianapolis at Miami – Only week 2 and the Dolphins are disappointing. Last week they looked insanely disorganized on both sides of the ball. This should have been a statement game. The Colts are poised to fall from the elite class but not this week.

New York Giants 24 at Dallas 23 – The tie breaker game. I’m pretty bored with the Giants Cowboys rivalry. If they hadn’t over hyped Tony Romo so much I could get into the working class QB versus elite superstar Eli Manning. As it is I’m picking the Giants based on their front 7. They’ll handle the Cowboys running attack well enough and keep pressure on Romo. Neither team has much in terms of receivers. It will come down pretty much to the kicking game and we know how exciting that is.

This picks are for amusement only, and smirking is allowed.

Being powerful is like being a lady; if you have to tell people you are, you aren’t
Margaret Thatcher

Enforced Modesty
Click images for desktop size: “Enforced Modesty” by Unknown
Eventful week, so far.
I guess the biggest impact was that on Wednesday I quit my job. The Security Guard who extortedCollege Capers 20 bucks from me and then broke 4 promises to repay me came into the office for a confrontation. It was strange.
He started it with, “I tell you everybody loves me!”
The only response is, “If everybody loves you why did you have to borrow money from me and tell me you’d have to hurt your dog if you didn’t get it?”
He ignored that and went on to get nastier and more insane. He did the traditional jerk thing, exaggerated facts, made up others to fit his world view, ignored my facts and versions with insane justifications. It was wearisome.
I finally got to the point where I couldn’t take it so I called my boss, at 1:00 AM and told him I was giving two weeks notice. The Security Guard grabbed the phone from me and said, “This is Sergeant Kayhlee.” I stopped listening to him but I wondered why a security guard would insist on introducing himself by a make believe rank. I still don’t have a real insight to that.
After that I put it out of my mind and finished off the night. Then at 7:00 AM my boss came in and asked me to reconsider. Since I spent the night feeling partially relieved and partially worried about having no job, figuring how long my final paycheck would last me, I said sure and retracted my resignation.
I hope I don’t regret that too soon.

While staying with my housemate I’ve been cadging off of his Road Runner service. I really hate Time Warner and Road Runner. When it works it’s barely adequate but then it doesn’t often work, at least out here.
House Plans
Click images for desktop size: “House Plans” by Unknown
The service here is supposed to be 5 MB. They charge for it. I usually was able to connect at about 240 KB. But then the line would drop several times a day. Of course Time Warner insisted everything was running fine.
When I originally lived in this area I had fits with Time Warner. During one 6 month stretch I had 12 service calls and horrid service. Finally they sent a supervisor out. His response was to yell at me for stupidly having the wrong modem . . . the wrong cable modem as provided by Time Warner.
He replaced the modem two weeks later and things went fine enough, unless it rained or was too windy, but I accepted that.
What I didn’t accept was that no credit appeared on my bill. It took about 16 phone calls and two months for Time Warner to give me 1 months credit for the six months of non-service created by their installing the wrong modem.
Now, the service here now was as bad as the service then.
Rather then war with an uncaring government supported monopoly I decided to try WiMax. I’m moreConvict 13 interested in the LTE network but ClearWire is the only one with towers around here. Even though they are 4G they claim they can update to LTE with no problem.
For those who don’t know WiMax is sort of like having a cellphone. It catches the internet from out of the air. All you need is a modem or a card and you have the internet anywhere you’re within range of a tower.
So the only wires are a power cord and the ethernet cable going to your router or computer.
The only serious drawback to ClearWire in this area is the top speed of 1.5 Mbps. Crazily enough that is only slightly slower than the 5 Mbps Road Runner. And the ClearWire has yet to show a hint of going down.
I’ve been promised that within 3 months and probably sooner I’ll be free upgraded to a 5Mbps modem and service with no increase in price.
A lot of the reviews talk about how happy they were with ClearWire at the start but then claimed that the service degenerated. The slightly slower speed and that worry keep me from completely enjoying or endorsing ClearWire.
Little Big Horn
Click images for desktop size: “The Little Big Horn” by Unknown
If I get a MacBook Pro, as I plan for my next computer, the idea of go anywhere unlimited internet for 30 bucks a month is very exciting cool.

My puppy has completely readjusted. We are back as an inseparable unit where she knows and trusts me and I her.
It didn’t take long.
We have serious talks. She tells me jokes, pulls her tricks on me and does nothing that doesn’t reinforce our love. There are so many things she does that I figure everyone but me would find sort of boring, like when she does her imitation of me.
I’ve managed to create an explanation for our first few horrifying minutes together. I don’t think it anthropomorphizes my puppy.
If I were 3 or 4 again and saw the world through those eyes; and if I loved someone and one day I saw my loved one dragged away, strapped to a stretcher and loaded with IV’s and wires I wouldn’t be able to understand it but I would no it was not good. And then days went by and I didn’t see him.
And my life would be a little empty and sad.Creature From the Black Lagoon
One day I got trundled off and sent to live with people I knew, one of them my brother. And I’d think about my loved one being carted away and I’d remember those scary nights I spent sitting with him in hospital and I would decide I would never see him again. I would decide this was my new life.
As I’d been taught I’d work being happy in my new life, with new people and new things to see and do. And like would be good (because if a human being is allowed to forget everything wouldn’t a Doris Day
Click images for desktop size: “Doris Day”
dog have enough sense to do the same?)
Then on another day, after just enough time to think this was going to be my life forever, I get trundled off again and taken back to a neighborhood that I used to know, to a house I sort of recall and when the car pulls up to the house there’s a man I knew and loved. And I know that it can’t be. I know that man is gone because if he weren’t gone he never would have left me for so long.
That’s the way my puppy responded. She looked at me when the car pulled in the driveway. Her eyes widened and she then ran to the other side of the car, trying to get as far away from the ghost as possible. She snapped at me when I go close and stayed afraid until she realized I wasn’t a ghost. Then she was angry. Angry that I’d left her, left her alone.
Then finally she was glad to see me.
It took about a half hour. Then she was afraid I’d gone away forever again. She knows that we’re together now. She gets nervous if I’m late coming home from work. She looks out the window and paces. She still greets me with a smile.
We had to go to the bank this morning. We walked past her pet dinosaur. Someone had cut the head off and the head had recently been replaced. She ran to her dinosaur and was irked that they’d put up a new fece. You can see the repair to the fiberglass but you have to be looking for it. They did Fatal Blonde by Ricky Carralero
Click images for desktop size: “Fatal Blonde” by Ricky Carralero
the repair well.
The repair between my puppy and I was done better. We’re both flesh and blood and want to be with each other.

The physical therapy is going great. I’ve added about 7 inches to some of the rotation, and two or three inches of movement to the worst parts. There’s pain, sometimes big slabs of pain, but at its worst it’s not as bad as the continual pain I had prior to the steroids shot.
I had a treatment with an intraxtor device. It’s a more modern version of the TENS machine. It allows heavier doses of electricity to enter the muscle mass but doesn’t create the muscle contractions of the TENS machines.
It is all helping a lot.
On Friday I have to go to the swimming pool. There’s a whole series of exercises designed for underwater and to help stretch the shoulder while approaching the atrophied muscles.
Spent two days breaking up the adhesions that have developed on the right shoulder blade. It hurt a lot but immediately increased the range of the arm.
It makes me feel more human even if between PT, doc’s and work it feels like I’m getting nothing important to me done, I still feel more human.

Bones of Friends

Eye in the Sky by Richard Mohler
Click images for desktop size: “Eye in the Sky” by Richard Mohler
The street I walk down back and forth from my cruddy job to my temporary home is the same one I walked down a couple of years ago. It’s a big street; four lanes not counting the turn lane in theChained Heat middle. It’s a new street too. No potholes, no crazy quilt patches yet, and when the sun shines in the summer the asphalt gets tacky enough to pull the shoes off your feet.
It looks like a nice street, walking down it or seeing it in Google’s Street View, it has some moments of impressive prettiness. For some reason this street attracts animals, wild animals mostly. Their carcasses line the curbs and the shoulder of the street. A sign of fall coming?
I walk past them everyday. I remark on them. This year it started with a raccoon. The next day he was joined by a fat brown snake. As the days have dragged by there’s been two rabbits, a ground hog, then a turtle and tonight something that curiously resembled a hedgehog, but I’m not sure exactly what he is. It seems important to know. I think I’m the only thing out there to mourn them, to mourn the road kill collected on the city street.
A few years ago someone hit an 8 point buck deer. They hit the guy hard enough to throw him into the bushes about 5 yards from the road. I passed him every day. I watched him decompose. It was odd. He didn’t so much rot away as he melted into the ground. Passing him was melancholy until the day we passed his spot. I was walking my puppy and she was committed to rolling in his residue. She was petulant for two blocks about my not letting her cover herself in his perfume.
The street is on a long steep hill going from about a half mile 40% grade ending in about a quarter mile 60% grade. I’d like to think it’s the cars just running too fast down the hill to accepting that the drivers just don’t care.
I know you like to say that I like animals more than I like people. That’s not true. I like some Eye by Mike Peck
Click images for desktop size: “Eye” by Mike Peck
animals more than I like some people.Maybe even; I like most animals more than I like most people. Whatever the truth of it that seeing anything or anyone dead bothers me.
I don’t like metaphor and I hate similes. As I walk to work and pick my path through the little dead critters there’s no hidden meaning there; no symbolism. Its just an impromptu graveyard of small lives made even smaller by human beings in a hurry to get someplace, someplace where they’re searching for love or money and to fulfill their lives. We all deserve to live and we all deserve the most we can get out of life but so did the little guys on the street.
So it’s not a metaphor its just a sorry sad way to start a work day.

My puppy has a new joke. When I have a hot cup of coffee in my hand she has discovered that City That Never Sleeps flipping my arm makes me jump up and do a fascinating dance. My puppy even enjoys all the yelling that a lap of hot coffee makes me do. She did it three times. She tried it a fourth time but by then the coffee was too low to splash me . . .
My puppy’s grandmother called us, just to see how we were doing, and told me that it runs in my puppy’s family. Which I guess makes me an old family joke.
I don’t much mind.

Cruddy job is blowing u again. It’s ugly. I loaned the security guard 20 bucks because he claimed he was going to have to throw this 14 week old puppy “on the highway” because he couldn’t afford food. He promised me I’d get it back on Friday. Its now Tuesday and I haven’t been repaid. I asked him for it and he went to my boss talking trash, trying to get me fired.
Eight bucks an hour isn’t worth this kind of grief. I’d rather just find another job. There was nothing on craigslist today and no word on any decent jobs but survival instincts are ringing to get out of this gambling den and trust I can find another cruddy job that’s not so demanding physically and mentally.
Maybe the street is a metaphor after all.

USC 18 Ohio State 15

Eastern Western Eyes
Click images for desktop size: “Eastern Western Eyes” by Unknown
After looking horrible the entire game Joe McKnight managed to win it for the Trojans. Matt Barkley looked over his head. Maybe this was enough experience to send him through the brutal Pac 10Crypt of the Living Dead schedule to come.
With Lou Holtz and Notre Dame crashed to reality the schedule makes it look like a National Championship run is possible, but we’re still away to Cal . . . and the UCLA defense looked decent against Tennessee. Looks like a great season ahead. Now if I only had a TV . . .
I got my puppy her rabies shot, which duplicated her rabies shot from 4 months ago, her three year rabies shot from four months ago . . . stupid governments.
Our vet, Dr K, was shocked to see us. My puppy is looking gorgeous and I’m not dead.
Everyone seems to think I don’t look bad enough. My puppy’s gramma, who is a nurse, made comments to that effect. My physical therapist, who is a great guy but I still hate anyone who hurts me as much as he does, had to read the medical records because he didn’t believe I’d had two heart attacks in the last 90 days.
I guess its good to look better than expected. I don’t see that its gotten me anything.
After the vet we went for a walk in the woods. My puppy loved it. She even dived into the river to get herself a drink. She is still too protective of me and still a bit too co-dependent but she’s for sure my dog and is happy, even if she did get a shot.

First week of the NFL. Here are my picks. Laughter is not mandatory, nor will I back up my choices with money!
My picks are in bold.

Tennessee at Pittsburgh – I made the right choice but for the wrong reasons. I got to see an avi of the game and was impressed with the Titans. Very impressed. They’ve improved when I’d figured Untitled
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Unknown
they’d gone downhill. For the Steelers they still have Troy on Defense and Heinz Ward on O. Ward plays wide receiver like you dream your receivers might one day play.

Miami at Atlanta – My screwball pick of the week. The Dolphins looked good in pre-season. Really! THe Falcons looked okay. The Dolphins have something to prove to the world and too themselves while the Falcons are already seeing themselves in the play offs. I’m going with the hungry team with no dreams in their hearts, just a gritty need to win.

Kansas City at Baltimore – The Ravens are beasts. The Chiefs are not. Matt Cassell gives them a chance but he’s coming off a short pre-season and an injury. These are not the guys you want to practice against. I don’t see how the Chiefs can stop anything the Ravens can do on offense. I alsoThe Creature Walks AMong Us would be terribly impressed if they scored.

Philadelphia at Carolina – I’m one of those guys who thinks that VIck served his time in prison and deserves a second chance. I dislike the cynicism that the NFL showed in reinstating him so quickly. I also hate the harsh business sense that led the Eagles to taking him; to push McNabb and to play VIck enough to win and then use him for serious trade bait. That they lied about their intended involvement in pro-animal rights and that Vick has barely paid lip service to his promise to repay dogs for the sick cruelty he perpetuated against the species makes me want to never pick this team again. The Panthers are an enigma. They still have a lot of talent but they never seem to put it together for a season, sometimes not even for a game. They’ll have the Vick haters to inspire them and a home crowd. It should be close.

Denver at Cincinnati – The Bronco’s trade away their best player and get nothing much in return . . .Helmet
Click images for desktop size: “Helmet”
Carson Palmer showed he can be a stud but since that one glorious year he’s been incredibly brittle. If they are going to roll this season they have to put it together here. Cruddy game of the week.

Minnesota at Cleveland – Brett Favre? He’s still a legend. The Browns might improve this year, maybe even enough to not stink. Brady Quinn does not look good to me. The Vikings till have Adrian Petersen and who ever plays QB knows all he has to do is hand it off.

New York Jets at Houston – I don’t much like the Texans and I love Mark Sanchez. But Sanchez has merely looked good in the pre-season when the intensity level gets turned to 11 I’m not sure he’ll be able to match it in his first sight of it. Even with Rex Ryan (Rex?) the Jets D is pretty sickly. It will be a good game but the crappy Texans should win.

Jacksonville at Indianapolis – The Colts start without Tony Dungy. That’s a huge loss. The JaguarsDay the World Ended though have disintegrated into something unrecognizable. Payton Manning and crew will prove that life goes on without Dungy.

Detroit at New Orleans – My Sure Win of the week. Dru Brees. Reggie Bush. Matt Stafford has looked pretty bad most of the time. Woman at Yellow Wells
Click images for desktop size: “Woman at Yellow Wells”
The lions have had to improve. Inertia wouldn’t let them stay as bad as they were last year but going against a committed to winning the championship Saints team is no medicine.

Dallas at Tampa Bay – I don’t like the Cowboys but the Buccaneers are a terrible mess. The Cowboys would have to struggle hard to lose this one. Who cares game of the week.

San Francisco at Arizona – It’s killing me. I want to pick the 49ers. I really do.Common sense kills my football picks. I expect this to be a chilling exciting game but the Cardinals just looked so sharp last year. I say Warner is a year older, players are grumbling about their contracts and getting lazy landing easy endorsement packages. They should fall.

Washington at New York Giants – All I know about the Redskins is that they didn’t get any of the free agents high on their shopping list. And they’re still going with Jason Campbell at QB. The Giants The Chosen One by Titusboy
Click images for desktop size: “Chosen One” by Titusboy
didn’t replace Plaxico Buress. What’s usually a marquee match up looks pretty dreary this season. Taking the Giants out of habit.

St Louis at Seattle – A cruddy game of the week contender. If you don’t live in either city why would you even care. Seattle’s at home. they loaded up with agin ex-Patriots. I guess that’s enough to beat a Rams team that still looks tattered.

Buffalo at New England – Game of the week. Tom Brady. And he’s expecting a child. They could go 18-0.

San Diego at Oakland – The Chargers look geled. Tomlinson is old and past his prime but still a weapon. Phillip Rivers looks ready to be dominant and Shawn Merriman is back and back in trouble.Death Race 2000 Oakland needs to be disabnded. They are expansion team bad.

Chicago 34 at Green Bay 27 – Tie Breaker Game. The Packers were heading downhill last season. Not Aaron Rogers fault. The Bears pick up of Jay Cutler should energize the O to scary levels even without a legitimate wide receiver or running back. And a decent offense will spark up a ragged defense. This should be a good match that I’d like to have seen later in the season.

There you have it. My picks are for entertainment only or a good piece to pass over to your enemies who might think they want to learn more about the game.