You walk on hollow ground

Shut Up by Riftsurround I watched three games yesterday, flashing back and forth between two others. It was great. Not as great as college ball but the quality of the athletes is inspiring.
So inspiring its easy to see how the NFL can warp the fundamentals of sportsmanship and delude coaches as to what the joy and beauty of the game truly is.
The Fountainhead I always worked on a simple principal: Teach the players how to play the game and let the game teach them about life.
I don’t know how that can get so complicated but it seems to.
I realize, in retrospect, that my greatest failure as a coach was in not teaching my players how to deal with failure.
Like a child I always believed we would win every game. If we didn’t it was because I neglected to teach a certain skill that I hadn’t for seen as being needed. Or I didn’t inspire or motivate a player to do his best. Failure was always my responsibility. It still is.
With bland tunnel vision I forgot that there would invariably be a time when I would no longer be there. I relied to heavily on the game. The game can take a lot of weight, a lot of people leaning on it, but I still counted on it too heavily.
I don’t have a clue how to teach young people to accept the limitations that have been placed on Reclining Nude 1917 by Modigliani them. Not society’s limitations. Those are nonsense and if they do exist its important to destroy them.
I mean the limitations that the human body and brain have to accept. We can never lift 1 ton over our heads or run a 1 minute mile sort of limitations. I mean that there will always come a time when you’re not fast enough or strong enough or tough enough to prevail.
Prevail, to me, means to do more than survive.
It has to happen. I haven’t any semiotic signpost to tell me how to teach this. How to prepare for the inevitable failure that will happen in life and to teach that this inevitable failure does not lessen you, does not make you less of a player or less of a human being.
Dezi Arnaz, in his dotage, told a good anecdote. Flight To Hong Kong It was a baseball story. He would ask who you thought was the greatest hitter ever. You’d have to say Ted Williams because he was the last guy to hit .400 for the season.
Arnaz would mull this around and finally agree with you that Ted Williams was the greatest hitter of all time. Then he’d ask you if you wanted to hit .400. Of course, you’d say yes or, if you were like me you’d say, “No! I want to hit .500!”
Arnaz would praise your earnestness and then ask how you were going to cope with being wrong half of the time.
surf_03.jpg I never had an answer for that. Even now.
There are the platitudes but what could are they when your looking down the wrong end of a gun that says failure?
I know that there are ways to not get to the right answer.
On Saturday this kid that plays for Ohio State, Ray Small, had a brilliant punt return that most likely set Ohio State on the way to a win. For a while there it looked like they’d forgotten how to get there so his contribution was invaluable.
Ray was heavily recruited out of high school. He was recruited by USC. After the game Ray sort of tainted the coolness of his accomplishment when he said, “As I took my visit to USC, I’m like ‘How are they successful? They’re not even serious about the game. Before the game they’re all going crazy. Me and Rob Rowe was on the visit and I’m looking like, ‘Wow.'” “Here at Ohio State, they teach you to be a better man. There it’s just all about football.”
I’m a bit saddened that Ray’s grammar hasn’t gotten better. I’m sorry he thinks that being excited and having fun isn’t what footballs all about. Any coach Flesh Feast I’ve ever respected was pretty adamant about one thing: Have fun, be crazy until you step onto the field. The field is your office. On the field its time to get to work.
Its never, “just all about football,” ever. If it is then that coach is a failure. I quote CLR James too much, so why not again: “He who knows nothing but cricket knows nothing of cricket.”
Its never about win at all costs or closed practices. That’s NFL crap. Its about studying your opponent and having him study you. Its about the clash and the respect that the clash brings.
Its about them knowing your “secret plays” but not knowing when or if you’ll spring them. Its about leadership being born on the field and everyone walking off the field a winner no matter what the scoreboard says.
Its about loving your players not for bringing you victories but for being young people who can still aspire to greatness. Its about fun and being happy. Its about laughing and being as proud of a teammate as you are of yourself. And its about accepting your opponent as an equal to contend with who needs to be loved for having the same vision you do and for having the courage to step onto the field with you.
Its about the hours of sweat so you can be a suitable opponent.
Any less than that is a disservice to the young men who look to you.
I need to go on about this. Tomorrow I’m going to meet the HC at a local high school. They might need some help for the Junior Varsity.
I know all the drills. I know all the exercises The Conductor by Skan Srisuwan and how to improve a players physical skills. Its helping their hearts grow that’s my major concern and what I need to work on the most.
I haven’t told them about my puppy being a fine assistant coach. They’re probably not ready for that . . . yet.
I’m pleasantly surprised at how excited I am about this. The drills and practice I saw from a moving car did not look very impressive. A lot of too small kids.
I once had a running back, Dan. He was 5′ 4″ and weighed about 140 pounds. He made up for that by being on the slow side. But he had a lion’s heart. In one game he took out a 6′ 5″ middle linebacker. About 260 pounds. Dan ran right over him and hit him so hard he took the line backer out of the game.
Size is secondary, for sure. He was a great kid.
4D Man I look forward to meeting more great kids. It always happens. There are just so many great kids out there.
I just have to work hard to be sure that I can give them what they deserve.
Of course, I have to get the job first. That’s always, “Who knows.”
I don’t know the coaches. I talked to the HC on the phone and he seemed okay. I need to know that our goals are similar.
I have to not scare them into thinking I want their jobs. I only want to volunteer.
And maybe we’ll win some games together and maybe we’ll have a whole lot fun. And maybe one kid will play better than he ever imagined he could. A fat kid will suddenly start losing weight and start parading around in a T-Shirt.
I love coaching. I forget how much.

I like onery old cusses. I hope to live long enough to be one.
Paul Fix

Styling Spaceport It was a beautiful day here yesterday. More so because I go my ebike up, fixed and running. It needs tuning and oiling but its running. Its beautiful. I took it around a long block and it felt as peaceful as my first solo drive in my first car.

Die You Zombie Bastards! When I came back I played with my dogs. We had our usual fun. What was notable is that for the first time since the move my puppy mouthed me three or four times. She hadn’t done that since we moved nearly a year ago.
That pleased me and made my heart a little larger.
Then watched some football.
The most notable thing that I see is my old saw still proves true. 1A schools that insist on scheduling 1AA schools should be knocked out of consideration for BCS bowl consideration.
Ohio State has a long history of running one of the lowest regarded academic programs in the country. They train professional football players and seem to have little concern for them beyond winning on the field.
This is not a knock on the players at OSU. They are a talented group with much to be proud of. It is a knock on the coaching staff and the athletic department and the athletics department’s PR group.
That OSU goes to back to back BCS Championship Bowls and is an absolute disgrace in each of them in a damning testimony that the only thing working well in their administration is their PR department that hustles hard to impress the voters.
When they made the deal to play USC a simple check of the calendar let them know that this would be the weakest time to schedule the Trojans. The scheduling was all to their advantage. That’s the Big Ten way.
I can hear them snickering to themselves calculating how many starters they’d have returning and how many freshmen their seniors would be facing.
Then to insure success they schedule a 1AA opponent as an opening day “scrimmage”. Then they follow Dragon Lady that with a slightly more difficult opponent: a lightly regarded school from the lightly regarded MAC. You know that they had it all figured out; two in effect “exhibition games” would have them all tuned and ready to destroy the Trojans.
Except the kids from the little school rose up and put on a dazzling display. Its too bad they couldn’t keep playing over their heads well into the fourth quarter. It was an impressive display that needs applause.
To be the best you have to play the best. To improve you have to play someone better than yourself.
The Buckeyes at least got a wake up call. I figure they’ll be ready for the Trojans. I hope so.
I also note that over priced, over hyped and over weight Charlie Weiss has done a great job for the Fighting Irish. Last year he made them the worst team in the country. Edge Of Hell This year he appears to have led them to the very brink of mediocrity.
Chuck Long and San Diego State made an impressive try against them on the road. It came down to some pretty pathetic officiating (It still think the football crossed the plane on the fumble instead of a touchdown that turned the game around).
I want Notre Dame back in the elite so I can fool good about hating them!
The NFL goes full swing today. I plan to watch every game I can get here. Yesterdays college schedule was supposedly not very interesting. I thought it was great and fascinating. East Carolina looking deadly. The SEC getting beaten again when they go outside the conference. Georgia trying the OSU scheduling mode to try and win the National Championship. Stanford standing proud and testy. So many stories, so many kids playing their hearts out.
Its a wonderful time of the year.
On Monday I’m making a hard pitch to volunteer at a local high school. I’m going to flash the credentials and everything.

But I still feel them inside of me

Sacred Fire by MA Parkes A lot happened yesterday. A lot.
I’m not feeling any better. I’m not feeling any worse. I wonder if this is just the new level I’m at. Living on ibuprofen.
I got told I was getting snappish and sharp. I don’t feel snappish or sharp. Modern Times I feel slow and dull and electric.
My mood wasn’t helped when it looks like my puppy has developed a yeast infection. I take that as a personal failure, a lack of perfection. Yeah, I’m an imperfect dog god.
Those sort of things always hit me hard. For some reason this discovery yesterday near devastated me. She’ll be fine so long as I remember who I am. “Remember who I am.”
I saw a Korean film the other day: “A Man Who Was Superman”. Its a fictionalized account of a true story. There was a kid who survived a bullet to the head, a Ecstasy by Maxfield Parrish Korean army bullet during the war. He lived with the bullet still stuck in the middle of his brain. The most visible effect of this was epileptic seizures.
He’s married with a beautiful daughter. There’s a car accident. A group of bystanders stand around and watch and do nothing. He’s thrown clear of the wreck but when he tries to save his family he has a seizure and can only lie and twitch in the street. He has to watch his wife and child burn to death. Worse is that his seizure doesn’t cause him to black out. Even worse is the large crowd of people who merely watch this grim tableau like it was just another HD television broadcast.
Old Dusty VW Right from the 70's by Sweibel He has a psychotic break. He believes he’s Superman. He has lost his super powers because the “bald villain” buried a pice of kryptonite in his head.
As Superman he is incredibly mad and incredibly happy. He became a fixture in Seoul, well known because he spent his days helping others. Always helping others. From helping people across the street to lying in wait to catch a pedophile, to chasing and catching purse snatchers.
A jaded TV reporter is doing a human interest story about him. They fall in love, not sexual love, but the deep love that comes with pure friendship that is sometimes possible between a man and a woman, even if most films like to ignore or trivialize it.
The reporter asks Superman why he spends all of his time helping people. He says its important so that he can remember who he is.The Deathhead Virgin “So I can remember who I am.”
Its a pretty wonderful film. It gives rushes of excitement and nice little touches of cgi where we get to see the monsters that Superman is fighting on our behalf.
What makes the movie wonderful, compelling and fantastic is the performance of Jeong-min Hwang. He works hard and makes you fall in love with him. Its near impossible not to get sucked into his story, to feel for him the same way you’d feel for anyone else you loved.
The film has all sort of structural issues but because of Jeong-min Hwang this is the best film I’ve seen this year and maybe the best since “The King And The Clowns”.
Its a film about being human. It will have an impact on your life and your perception of life. Its an entertainment that becomes art.
I also found something out about a song I covered in at least three bands. I think everyone covered it. I think when we first learned it we got it from the Rolling Stones or something. It turns out it was from a two hit British Wonder.
Chris Farlowe’s “Out Of Time” was twice a number one hit, in the sixties and the 70’s.
Nothing else. Its just a great song. I think we did a better version of it than the original. I think I remember the Ramones doing it at the Hollywood Palladium. Its just a great song that still resonates.
I watched the Giants-Redskins game on TV. What a boring mess. I mean the score was 16-7 at the half and that’s the way it ended.
Some of the New York writers are actually calling the game a dominant showing by the Giants! I can’t figure out if these guys are morons or just hometown fans.
The Redskins offense was a huge pile of garbage. A decent 1A team could have dominated that offense. Arcadian Landscape by Huysum van Jan It was a pathetic showing. During the first half the Washington defense was almost as discombobulated as their offense yet this dominating offense could only rack up 16 points . . . and no touchdowns after the opening drive where it really looked like the Redskins weren’t too certain the game had actually started. They looked like they were only scrimmaging.
After the Redskins’ D woke up in the second half they really shut down the Giants. The Giants looked foolish and the Redskins actually had a chance to win with 3 minutes left.
If that was a dominating performance than the game is dead.
Then I tried to watch McCain’s speech. I couldn’t cope with the old man rambling or the lies, the viscous slimy lies. When he talked about his father bombing Hanoi even though he knew McCain was there making propaganda videos for the enemy Chamber Of Horrors his spin on it was that his father put country first and family second. All I could think was that he was hoping that he’d kill his son, which is an evil thing to think. It was my reflex thought. I had to stop watching.
Now I think I must vote for Obama. I hate McCain for this. Not only do I find him more and more contemptible, sick and filled with hate for people, conniving and creepy sneaky but now I have to terrified if he and his hate monger pit bull pal Palin should ever get power they will destroy the world.
I did get my ebike fixed. I just have to make a few time consuming adjustments today and then I’ll be mobile again! Of course summer’s almost done . . .

But I still feel them inside of me

Sacred Fire by MA Parkes A lot happened yesterday. A lot.
I’m not feeling any better. I’m not feeling any worse. I wonder if this is just the new level I’m at. Living on ibuprofen.
I got told I was getting snappish and sharp. I don’t feel snappish or sharp. Modern Times I feel slow and dull and electric.
My mood wasn’t helped when it looks like my puppy has developed a yeast infection. I take that as a personal failure, a lack of perfection. Yeah, I’m an imperfect dog god.
Those sort of things always hit me hard. For some reason this discovery yesterday near devastated me. She’ll be fine so long as I remember who I am. “Remember who I am.”
I saw a Korean film the other day: “A Man Who Was Superman”. Its a fictionalized account of a true story. There was a kid who survived a bullet to the head, a Ecstasy by Maxfield Parrish Korean army bullet during the war. He lived with the bullet still stuck in the middle of his brain. The most visible effect of this was epileptic seizures.
He’s married with a beautiful daughter. There’s a car accident. A group of bystanders stand around and watch and do nothing. He’s thrown clear of the wreck but when he tries to save his family he has a seizure and can only lie and twitch in the street. He has to watch his wife and child burn to death. Worse is that his seizure doesn’t cause him to black out. Even worse is the large crowd of people who merely watch this grim tableau like it was just another HD television broadcast.
Old Dusty VW Right from the 70's by Sweibel He has a psychotic break. He believes he’s Superman. He has lost his super powers because the “bald villain” buried a pice of kryptonite in his head.
As Superman he is incredibly mad and incredibly happy. He became a fixture in Seoul, well known because he spent his days helping others. Always helping others. From helping people across the street to lying in wait to catch a pedophile, to chasing and catching purse snatchers.
A jaded TV reporter is doing a human interest story about him. They fall in love, not sexual love, but the deep love that comes with pure friendship that is sometimes possible between a man and a woman, even if most films like to ignore or trivialize it.
The reporter asks Superman why he spends all of his time helping people. He says its important so that he can remember who he is.The Deathhead Virgin “So I can remember who I am.”
Its a pretty wonderful film. It gives rushes of excitement and nice little touches of cgi where we get to see the monsters that Superman is fighting on our behalf.
What makes the movie wonderful, compelling and fantastic is the performance of Jeong-min Hwang. He works hard and makes you fall in love with him. Its near impossible not to get sucked into his story, to feel for him the same way you’d feel for anyone else you loved.
The film has all sort of structural issues but because of Jeong-min Hwang this is the best film I’ve seen this year and maybe the best since “The King And The Clowns”.
Its a film about being human. It will have an impact on your life and your perception of life. Its an entertainment that becomes art.
I also found something out about a song I covered in at least three bands. I think everyone covered it. I think when we first learned it we got it from the Rolling Stones or something. It turns out it was from a two hit British Wonder.
Chris Farlowe’s “Out Of Time” was twice a number one hit, in the sixties and the 70’s.
Nothing else. Its just a great song. I think we did a better version of it than the original. I think I remember the Ramones doing it at the Hollywood Palladium. Its just a great song that still resonates.
I watched the Giants-Redskins game on TV. What a boring mess. I mean the score was 16-7 at the half and that’s the way it ended.
Some of the New York writers are actually calling the game a dominant showing by the Giants! I can’t figure out if these guys are morons or just hometown fans.
The Redskins offense was a huge pile of garbage. A decent 1A team could have dominated that offense. Arcadian Landscape by Huysum van Jan It was a pathetic showing. During the first half the Washington defense was almost as discombobulated as their offense yet this dominating offense could only rack up 16 points . . . and no touchdowns after the opening drive where it really looked like the Redskins weren’t too certain the game had actually started. They looked like they were only scrimmaging.
After the Redskins’ D woke up in the second half they really shut down the Giants. The Giants looked foolish and the Redskins actually had a chance to win with 3 minutes left.
If that was a dominating performance than the game is dead.
Then I tried to watch McCain’s speech. I couldn’t cope with the old man rambling or the lies, the viscous slimy lies. When he talked about his father bombing Hanoi even though he knew McCain was there making propaganda videos for the enemy Chamber Of Horrors his spin on it was that his father put country first and family second. All I could think was that he was hoping that he’d kill his son, which is an evil thing to think. It was my reflex thought. I had to stop watching.
Now I think I must vote for Obama. I hate McCain for this. Not only do I find him more and more contemptible, sick and filled with hate for people, conniving and creepy sneaky but now I have to terrified if he and his hate monger pit bull pal Palin should ever get power they will destroy the world.
I did get my ebike fixed. I just have to make a few time consuming adjustments today and then I’ll be mobile again! Of course summer’s almost done . . .

But I still feel them inside of me

Sacred Fire by MA Parkes A lot happened yesterday. A lot.
I’m not feeling any better. I’m not feeling any worse. I wonder if this is just the new level I’m at. Living on ibuprofen.
I got told I was getting snappish and sharp. I don’t feel snappish or sharp. Modern Times I feel slow and dull and electric.
My mood wasn’t helped when it looks like my puppy has developed a yeast infection. I take that as a personal failure, a lack of perfection. Yeah, I’m an imperfect dog god.
Those sort of things always hit me hard. For some reason this discovery yesterday near devastated me. She’ll be fine so long as I remember who I am. “Remember who I am.”
I saw a Korean film the other day: “A Man Who Was Superman”. Its a fictionalized account of a true story. There was a kid who survived a bullet to the head, a Ecstasy by Maxfield Parrish Korean army bullet during the war. He lived with the bullet still stuck in the middle of his brain. The most visible effect of this was epileptic seizures.
He’s married with a beautiful daughter. There’s a car accident. A group of bystanders stand around and watch and do nothing. He’s thrown clear of the wreck but when he tries to save his family he has a seizure and can only lie and twitch in the street. He has to watch his wife and child burn to death. Worse is that his seizure doesn’t cause him to black out. Even worse is the large crowd of people who merely watch this grim tableau like it was just another HD television broadcast.
Old Dusty VW Right from the 70's by Sweibel He has a psychotic break. He believes he’s Superman. He has lost his super powers because the “bald villain” buried a pice of kryptonite in his head.
As Superman he is incredibly mad and incredibly happy. He became a fixture in Seoul, well known because he spent his days helping others. Always helping others. From helping people across the street to lying in wait to catch a pedophile, to chasing and catching purse snatchers.
A jaded TV reporter is doing a human interest story about him. They fall in love, not sexual love, but the deep love that comes with pure friendship that is sometimes possible between a man and a woman, even if most films like to ignore or trivialize it.
The reporter asks Superman why he spends all of his time helping people. He says its important so that he can remember who he is.The Deathhead Virgin “So I can remember who I am.”
Its a pretty wonderful film. It gives rushes of excitement and nice little touches of cgi where we get to see the monsters that Superman is fighting on our behalf.
What makes the movie wonderful, compelling and fantastic is the performance of Jeong-min Hwang. He works hard and makes you fall in love with him. Its near impossible not to get sucked into his story, to feel for him the same way you’d feel for anyone else you loved.
The film has all sort of structural issues but because of Jeong-min Hwang this is the best film I’ve seen this year and maybe the best since “The King And The Clowns”.
Its a film about being human. It will have an impact on your life and your perception of life. Its an entertainment that becomes art.
I also found something out about a song I covered in at least three bands. I think everyone covered it. I think when we first learned it we got it from the Rolling Stones or something. It turns out it was from a two hit British Wonder.
Chris Farlowe’s “Out Of Time” was twice a number one hit, in the sixties and the 70’s.
Nothing else. Its just a great song. I think we did a better version of it than the original. I think I remember the Ramones doing it at the Hollywood Palladium. Its just a great song that still resonates.
I watched the Giants-Redskins game on TV. What a boring mess. I mean the score was 16-7 at the half and that’s the way it ended.
Some of the New York writers are actually calling the game a dominant showing by the Giants! I can’t figure out if these guys are morons or just hometown fans.
The Redskins offense was a huge pile of garbage. A decent 1A team could have dominated that offense. Arcadian Landscape by Huysum van Jan It was a pathetic showing. During the first half the Washington defense was almost as discombobulated as their offense yet this dominating offense could only rack up 16 points . . . and no touchdowns after the opening drive where it really looked like the Redskins weren’t too certain the game had actually started. They looked like they were only scrimmaging.
After the Redskins’ D woke up in the second half they really shut down the Giants. The Giants looked foolish and the Redskins actually had a chance to win with 3 minutes left.
If that was a dominating performance than the game is dead.
Then I tried to watch McCain’s speech. I couldn’t cope with the old man rambling or the lies, the viscous slimy lies. When he talked about his father bombing Hanoi even though he knew McCain was there making propaganda videos for the enemy Chamber Of Horrors his spin on it was that his father put country first and family second. All I could think was that he was hoping that he’d kill his son, which is an evil thing to think. It was my reflex thought. I had to stop watching.
Now I think I must vote for Obama. I hate McCain for this. Not only do I find him more and more contemptible, sick and filled with hate for people, conniving and creepy sneaky but now I have to terrified if he and his hate monger pit bull pal Palin should ever get power they will destroy the world.
I did get my ebike fixed. I just have to make a few time consuming adjustments today and then I’ll be mobile again! Of course summer’s almost done . . .

Season with a gun

Rainy Day by George Peters The NFL starts today. I love football but the NFL has always seemed somewhat oblique to me. I get it but I don’t love it.
I love seeing the finest athletes in the world hurling themselves around. Blood and Black LaceThe worst NFL team executes superbly. The lowest athlete on the practice squad has speed, size, power and technique that you seldom get to see in your, or at least my, playing career.
But it lacks passion. Its a game played for money. You can get passionate about money but that passion doesn’t compare to a few dozen young men standing in front of a crowd of 100,000 with everyone they know in the world cheering for them. Traditions hang much heavier in College and even high school ball.
You can make a valid argument that about 10% of the players in college and 1% in high school are playing for money down the line. That doesn’t really work out during practice and on game day.
The game at College and high school is like pure unrivaled, uncomplicated love. There’s no taint, no perversion here; only sweetness and lingering memories of the pressure of the first time, the first face flushing rush of the clear experience.
In the NFL its a lot like how I imagine sex with a hooker. They do it better perhaps but there’s no involvement there. No you. No “only for you”.
Poison Ivy by Evgeny Its a different experience, devoid of emotion, devoid of hope and the promises that love is supposed to bring gushing into your heart.
College and high school ball are the dream. The NFl is the harsh world, the reality where dreams are stripped away and there is only the speed and the crushing weight of a world that can’t be ignored.
I feel that and I’m still excited.
Here are the picks I’m making in the little on-line contest for the opening week of season number what ever in the NFL.

My picks are in bold.

Attack of the Puppet People Washington at New York Giants – I didn’t think much of the Giants last year and now with their two stellar D-Ends missing I think even less of them. Winning the Super Bowl makes you the champion. It doesn’t make you the best team. The only interests in this game is too see if the Redskins play as ineptly under Jim Zorn as they looked in pre-season; Whether Steve Smith can keep developing as an over looked steady receiver and just how poor the Giant’s D will be with out Strahan.

Cincinnati at Baltimore – This will be a fascinating game. I like Carson Palmer and Chad Ocho Cinco. I like that Palmer went out of his way to pump up his alma mater in an interview while knocking the program at Ohio State. Still, the Bengals are a team on the ropes. Lots of talent but no production. The Raven’s D is old, maybe too old. Now the Raven’s have no QB. Joe Flacco might be good one day but not yet. He still might make some interesting plays. This should be one of those games that will start to define each teams season.

Seattle at Buffalo – Seattle are heavy favorites here. I don’t know why. Buffalo played well last year, a young team on the rise. They developed well and made a lot of good fine tuning adjustments in the off season. The Sea Hawks’ Mike Holgrem is a great Hall of Fame coach but he’s playing in such a poor division that the team is under no real pressure to win. They have a few walking woundeds who’ll be in the game. It all adds up to a win for the Bills. Buffalo deserves some victories, the city I mean.

New Warrior Anime New York Jets at Miami – If either team had a touch more talent this would be my game of the week. Miami is the most improved team in the NFL. They’d have to be after a miserable last season. The Jets with Brett Favre and some prudent improvements on the D-Line will be better. Then there is the joker, the Jets releasing Chad Pennington and then watching him land in the Dolphins’ camp. Pennington is a decent QB and will have a whole lot to prove to his unsupportive ex-teammates as well as to his new team. It ought to be some fun and the air will be filled with flying footballs and enough gooney mistakes to keep it amusing if the excitement wanes.
Brute Force
Kansas City at New England – The Chiefs were a team in disarray last year. I can’t see where they’ve done much or anything to improve on that . . . The Patriots had the greatest and most disappointing season in the history of the sport. Brady is limping. This is almost just a scrimmage to get him back into shape. The pre-season showed that Tom Brady is the Patriots.

Detroit at Atlanta – Michael Vick’s evil legacy should not be forgotten. It sent the Falcons into a deep spin last year. Now they’ve got a nice stud at QB and a decent D. Their running game has eroded to nothing. The Lions keep looking like they’re going to turn the corner. They’re learning to win. They made some cautious but solid improvements over last years squad. They should win against a rookie QB in his first game.

Tampa Bay at New Orleans – I’m still nonplussed at how the Buc’s won this weak division last year. They’ve not improved.Green Skull The D got them by last year but not when it counted. New Orleans had some pretty nasty injuries but their stars established themselves. Then they spent the off season shoring up every major weakness. Reggie Bush should explode this year, probably not in this game but they won’t need him to. This is my must win game. The contest has a Survivor series. You have to pick a different team each week that you’re certain will win. One mistake and your out.

Jacksonville at Tennessee – This is the Jaguars year. They have it all and made some great improvements and added depth. The Titans’ Steve Young has been exciting and won them a couple of games they’d lost but only a couple. He has not shown he’s an NFL QB. A ground game can’t beat the Jaguars defense.The Black Sleep

Houston at Pittsburgh – Here’s a game in which I have nil interest. It will probably be the only game on TV this weekend . . . Pittsburgh is not improving. The Texans appear to have made their biggest strides last year. Greg Landry still hasn’t shown any chops as a head coach and neither has Mike Tomlin. Eh.

St Louis at Philadelphia – The big buzz for the Rams is that they re-signed Steve Jackson. He’s a good player. That means they have him and Mark Bolger and a bunch of guys who used to be the best but aren’t the best anymore . . . The Eagles seem to be resurgent. I’m not sure why.

Arizona at San Francisco – The Cardinal curse continues. They help that curse an awful lot. Going with Nosferatu Kurt Warner is going to accomplish what? The WR’s are super talented and miserable. The defense is solid without being spectacular. But they’re playing the 49ers who are still woeful. A cruddy game of the week contender.

Carolina at San Diego – The Panthers’ John Pepper is a mediocre coach at best. He’s destroying a superb talent in Steve Smith. Smith doesn’t help by being a total jerk to his teammates. The Chargers still have the electrifying Ladanian. Shawn Merriman may be playing for the season but I think its foolish to risk his career. A solid, legal crack back and he’s out for who knows how long. But that’s the kind of stuff that inspires teammates. The Chargers just have too much talent to not blow these mokes off the field.

Dallas at Cleveland – I like the Browns. They are going the way a team needs to go to move into the elite status. I hate the Cowboys. I hate that they are trying to doCaged Fury an “Al Davis” by picking up some nasty pieces of humanity just to win games. The Cowboys do have the horses though and this will be a little too much for the young Browns. I figure it will be a closer game than the spread but I have to pick the teams straight up.

Chicago at Indianapolis – What is wrong with the Bears? George Halas used to brag about his $300 backfield but this is the 21st Century: you can’t win games with nothing at QB and average RB’s. The defense looks strong but older. Even a crippled Peyton Manning will have some success especially since the Bears will probably give the Colts decent field position all night.

Minnesota at Green Bay – This is a rather dufus game for a Monday Night opener. The Vikings made some strong moves and will be a better team. The Packers have to show they can win without Brett Favre. I’m not sure they can.

Denver at Oakland – ESPN should be ticked. They got a Monday night double header that starts with a dufus game and then flows straight into the cruddy game of the week. Denver might be a .500 team this year but Oakland might not win 5.

As usual this is just for fun and because I like people to think I’m an idiot. (It keeps it more fair in the in-fighting). I’m still more excited about next Saturday. Of course Ohio State is still tuning up. At least they’re playing a Div 1A opponent this week, even if its not a BCS school.

Season with a gun

Rainy Day by George Peters The NFL starts today. I love football but the NFL has always seemed somewhat oblique to me. I get it but I don’t love it.
I love seeing the finest athletes in the world hurling themselves around. Blood and Black LaceThe worst NFL team executes superbly. The lowest athlete on the practice squad has speed, size, power and technique that you seldom get to see in your, or at least my, playing career.
But it lacks passion. Its a game played for money. You can get passionate about money but that passion doesn’t compare to a few dozen young men standing in front of a crowd of 100,000 with everyone they know in the world cheering for them. Traditions hang much heavier in College and even high school ball.
You can make a valid argument that about 10% of the players in college and 1% in high school are playing for money down the line. That doesn’t really work out during practice and on game day.
The game at College and high school is like pure unrivaled, uncomplicated love. There’s no taint, no perversion here; only sweetness and lingering memories of the pressure of the first time, the first face flushing rush of the clear experience.
In the NFL its a lot like how I imagine sex with a hooker. They do it better perhaps but there’s no involvement there. No you. No “only for you”.
Poison Ivy by Evgeny Its a different experience, devoid of emotion, devoid of hope and the promises that love is supposed to bring gushing into your heart.
College and high school ball are the dream. The NFl is the harsh world, the reality where dreams are stripped away and there is only the speed and the crushing weight of a world that can’t be ignored.
I feel that and I’m still excited.
Here are the picks I’m making in the little on-line contest for the opening week of season number what ever in the NFL.

My picks are in bold.

Attack of the Puppet People Washington at New York Giants – I didn’t think much of the Giants last year and now with their two stellar D-Ends missing I think even less of them. Winning the Super Bowl makes you the champion. It doesn’t make you the best team. The only interests in this game is too see if the Redskins play as ineptly under Jim Zorn as they looked in pre-season; Whether Steve Smith can keep developing as an over looked steady receiver and just how poor the Giant’s D will be with out Strahan.

Cincinnati at Baltimore – This will be a fascinating game. I like Carson Palmer and Chad Ocho Cinco. I like that Palmer went out of his way to pump up his alma mater in an interview while knocking the program at Ohio State. Still, the Bengals are a team on the ropes. Lots of talent but no production. The Raven’s D is old, maybe too old. Now the Raven’s have no QB. Joe Flacco might be good one day but not yet. He still might make some interesting plays. This should be one of those games that will start to define each teams season.

Seattle at Buffalo – Seattle are heavy favorites here. I don’t know why. Buffalo played well last year, a young team on the rise. They developed well and made a lot of good fine tuning adjustments in the off season. The Sea Hawks’ Mike Holgrem is a great Hall of Fame coach but he’s playing in such a poor division that the team is under no real pressure to win. They have a few walking woundeds who’ll be in the game. It all adds up to a win for the Bills. Buffalo deserves some victories, the city I mean.

New Warrior Anime New York Jets at Miami – If either team had a touch more talent this would be my game of the week. Miami is the most improved team in the NFL. They’d have to be after a miserable last season. The Jets with Brett Favre and some prudent improvements on the D-Line will be better. Then there is the joker, the Jets releasing Chad Pennington and then watching him land in the Dolphins’ camp. Pennington is a decent QB and will have a whole lot to prove to his unsupportive ex-teammates as well as to his new team. It ought to be some fun and the air will be filled with flying footballs and enough gooney mistakes to keep it amusing if the excitement wanes.
Brute Force
Kansas City at New England – The Chiefs were a team in disarray last year. I can’t see where they’ve done much or anything to improve on that . . . The Patriots had the greatest and most disappointing season in the history of the sport. Brady is limping. This is almost just a scrimmage to get him back into shape. The pre-season showed that Tom Brady is the Patriots.

Detroit at Atlanta – Michael Vick’s evil legacy should not be forgotten. It sent the Falcons into a deep spin last year. Now they’ve got a nice stud at QB and a decent D. Their running game has eroded to nothing. The Lions keep looking like they’re going to turn the corner. They’re learning to win. They made some cautious but solid improvements over last years squad. They should win against a rookie QB in his first game.

Tampa Bay at New Orleans – I’m still nonplussed at how the Buc’s won this weak division last year. They’ve not improved.Green Skull The D got them by last year but not when it counted. New Orleans had some pretty nasty injuries but their stars established themselves. Then they spent the off season shoring up every major weakness. Reggie Bush should explode this year, probably not in this game but they won’t need him to. This is my must win game. The contest has a Survivor series. You have to pick a different team each week that you’re certain will win. One mistake and your out.

Jacksonville at Tennessee – This is the Jaguars year. They have it all and made some great improvements and added depth. The Titans’ Steve Young has been exciting and won them a couple of games they’d lost but only a couple. He has not shown he’s an NFL QB. A ground game can’t beat the Jaguars defense.The Black Sleep

Houston at Pittsburgh – Here’s a game in which I have nil interest. It will probably be the only game on TV this weekend . . . Pittsburgh is not improving. The Texans appear to have made their biggest strides last year. Greg Landry still hasn’t shown any chops as a head coach and neither has Mike Tomlin. Eh.

St Louis at Philadelphia – The big buzz for the Rams is that they re-signed Steve Jackson. He’s a good player. That means they have him and Mark Bolger and a bunch of guys who used to be the best but aren’t the best anymore . . . The Eagles seem to be resurgent. I’m not sure why.

Arizona at San Francisco – The Cardinal curse continues. They help that curse an awful lot. Going with Nosferatu Kurt Warner is going to accomplish what? The WR’s are super talented and miserable. The defense is solid without being spectacular. But they’re playing the 49ers who are still woeful. A cruddy game of the week contender.

Carolina at San Diego – The Panthers’ John Pepper is a mediocre coach at best. He’s destroying a superb talent in Steve Smith. Smith doesn’t help by being a total jerk to his teammates. The Chargers still have the electrifying Ladanian. Shawn Merriman may be playing for the season but I think its foolish to risk his career. A solid, legal crack back and he’s out for who knows how long. But that’s the kind of stuff that inspires teammates. The Chargers just have too much talent to not blow these mokes off the field.

Dallas at Cleveland – I like the Browns. They are going the way a team needs to go to move into the elite status. I hate the Cowboys. I hate that they are trying to doCaged Fury an “Al Davis” by picking up some nasty pieces of humanity just to win games. The Cowboys do have the horses though and this will be a little too much for the young Browns. I figure it will be a closer game than the spread but I have to pick the teams straight up.

Chicago at Indianapolis – What is wrong with the Bears? George Halas used to brag about his $300 backfield but this is the 21st Century: you can’t win games with nothing at QB and average RB’s. The defense looks strong but older. Even a crippled Peyton Manning will have some success especially since the Bears will probably give the Colts decent field position all night.

Minnesota at Green Bay – This is a rather dufus game for a Monday Night opener. The Vikings made some strong moves and will be a better team. The Packers have to show they can win without Brett Favre. I’m not sure they can.

Denver at Oakland – ESPN should be ticked. They got a Monday night double header that starts with a dufus game and then flows straight into the cruddy game of the week. Denver might be a .500 team this year but Oakland might not win 5.

As usual this is just for fun and because I like people to think I’m an idiot. (It keeps it more fair in the in-fighting). I’m still more excited about next Saturday. Of course Ohio State is still tuning up. At least they’re playing a Div 1A opponent this week, even if its not a BCS school.

Why didn’t the Ramones have a horn section?
Or
Age is a degenerative disease

Old Baseball On The Grass
Click images for desktop size: “Old Baseball In The Grass” by Sandra Cunningham
I have a strange factoid: If USC were its own country (and there are plenty of people in LA, particularly on the West side, who already think we are) the Trojan athletes would have placed 13th in the medal standings at the Beijing Olympic Games and been tied for 8th in the Gold Medal standings.
I have no idea what that really signifies. It just seems cool. The past and present Trojans won 21 medals overall.
The Asphalt Jungle And I still wish USC was not ranked Number 1, at least not yet. I wanted Ohio State to come in with there uncompetitive schedule and be 7 point favorite. I want them at full strength so they couldn’t offer up any more of their lame excuses when we throttle them. I hope we do beat them. I sort of like this years Men of Troy.

My friend went back to work today. I miss her a bit. I was rotten company on her 6 day weekend. I just kept feeling sicker and sicker. Its not that bad. Its really how I feel “normally” about three quarters of the time. I just didn’t want to feel that way now.
We went and test drove cars today. She needs a new car. We can’t come close to affording one but it was fun driving new ones.
We looked primarily at Hyundai’s – The Tucson and the Santa Fe (plenty of room for dogs). And the Kia. I thought the Kia felt kind of tinny. The Nissan X-Trail was too big and kind of oppressive looking to me.
For the final dinner we grilled p two salmon steaks she marinated in some sort of glaze-y teriyaki sauce. We had them with wild rice. There was nothing to be cynical about while we ate.
Spiderman
Click images for desktop size: “Spiderman” by Marvel Comics
We watched the great dog movie, “Soldier In The Rain”. Its a cool movie that is inexplicably not available on DVD. I got a hold of a TV capture that was pretty low Q. The movie is so cool it doesn’t need a great copy to be wonderful.
Watched intermittently the documentary about Hunter Thompson “Gonzo”. Interesting stuff.
It made me sad that the country has ended up in exactly the state that a drunken, drugged out madman brilliant writer predicted. It was so easy to for see, and we let it happen anyway.
This Sarah Palin fiasco could not have been for seen. What a vile mess. And its been less than a week.
This woman wanted to BAN BOOKS!! She condemns to hell those who think differently than her. She abuses the power of her office for personal vindictive reasons and then because she wriggled through a legal loop hole she behaves like a career criminal Andy Warhol's Dracula and takes her “alleged” offenses even further. Actually, unless they were making good money most career criminals would have enough sense to walk away from a crime if they were lucky to walk away from it on a technicality. It takes a sociopath to continue on the same mad path, a sociopath with psychotic delusions of grandeur who would think that their wrong actions are excused by divine right.
McCain is an idiot but even he should know he needs to ask her to step down. The damage will clearly only increase.
Obama has behaved well throughout all this. He impressed me here. If only he believed in freedom and personal liberty I could vote for him. As it is I have to consider him as just the lesser of two evils.
I can’t believe that none of the third party candidates have stepped up and clearly made a stand about all this insane stupid folderol. That they haven’t makes them look even less attractive.
I might have to vote for Obama just to keep the country out of the mad man McCain’s hands. People elected Bush. There are enough cowards to elect McCain and his hate filled savage Alaskan.
This morning I woke up to discover my iMac was having a system crash.
A corrupt coreservicesd file someplace. I rebuilt the launch services and tried everything else I could think of. So far it seems to be holding.
Very fatiguing.
I would suspect the dogs of sabotaging the computer. They did get an extra long walk today while I let the system files install and update.
I realized that there sabotage would include more bite marks. So I have to blame the guys up in Cupertino . . .
Who is Apple supporting in the election? Why?

USC 52 University of Virginia 7

Dual eta Carinae Nebula
Click images for desktop size: “Dual Eta Carinae Nebula” by NASA
I didn’t get to see the game on TV. Here, for reasons unknown, they showed powerhouses Utah versus Michigan . . .
I did get to stare at a flash animation of the game and then catch as many highlights as possible. I’ve gotten used to following the SC season this way . . .
There are still a lot of questions.
I Spit On Your Grave Most startling was the welcome lights out performance by Mark Sanchez! To start the season with a 300 yard game is remarkable.
That he wasn’t sacked and that the O-Line opened up some gaping holes were pretty welcome sights.
I expected more from Virginia. (At least they weren’t the poxy powder puffs that the Big Ten played. Ohio State opens with a 1-AA school but insists they be considered for a National Championship? More than ever I want to best these guys in two weeks.) Virginia had such a fine season last year I find it hard to believe they are this poor. I plan to follow the rest of their season with interest.
Once again I am not very pleased with Steve Sarkasian’s play calling. We threw the ball too much. While its hard to argue when Sanchez was so stellar the team and the game would have been better served by punching the ball up the gut more.
The linemen will be facing some faster bigger opponents in two weeks. Letting them bull dog a few of these VA linemen would have been better for their advancement.
One truism in line play: The man who gets his hands on his opponent first always wins. Its why I like line men to work out on boxing speed bags. When you get the flipper or the punch up and in there first and disrupt your opponents entire body he’s reacting to you instead of to the play, In that tenth of a second where he’s recovering you can guide him and put him where you want him. The O-Line is going to need more of that against Ohio State.
The Buckeyes in their classless scheduling of an exhibition opponent to open the season didn’t show me much. Their front seven is quick and strong.Wonder Woman
Click images for desktop size: “Wonder Woman” by DC Comics
They can be handled. I don’t know if this group of 20 year olds got enough experience today to do deal with the Buckeyes LB’s. We needed to run more and give them the feeling.
I also wasn’t thrilled with the constant calling of the dink passes. Mark Sanchez has a killer arm and our receivers clock out as the fastest in the country. Sanchez can hit the bomb. (1 for 49 yards and 1 for 20). Why the short ball first instead of as a count down? Its like he’s still calling plays for John David Booty. He’s not calling the plays for the players on the field but from his playbook.
I think it will cost us down the line. Not adapting to the players and not calling a game plan to develop them are near fatal mistakes that I always relished seeing in an opponent.
The Defense could have been minutely better. The held them to under 200 yards. VA’s game plan was terrible but understandable when SC jumped to a 21 point lead.
The D will improve.

A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 I find John McCain’s choice for running mate just weird. Like Senior Bush picking Dan Quayle was weird. This Palin person seems George W Bush creepy in every way. And in her entire life she’s gotten as many votes, well nearly as many votes, as there were fans at Nebraska’s opening game.

I’m worried about New Orleans. I think most of us are. Just three years after the Republicans attempted to destroy the city to be faced with the same carnage while the same hateful Republicans are still in charge is just incredibly sad.
So many lives destroyed then and to face the same destruction and to know that the government that awarded itself huge kudos for their bumbling apathy is still in charge and still out to destroy you is truly heart wrenching.
I found Michael Moore’s inane comments about God wanting to disrupt the Republican convention as weird as McCain’s choice for VP.Liv Tyler
Click images for desktop size: “Liv Tyler” by Unknown
I guess Moore has gotten so fat and rich that he’s lost sight of people. That used to be a strength of his.

Next weekend brings on the NFL. I’ve already registered for my on-line contest.
I want to win a prize. They have money prizes but I want to win a real prize . . . like a Roomba!
Aside from the picking the winners they have an additional contest this year. You have to pick one sure winner every week, but you can’t pick the same team twice! Seems like fun.

And this company, Pet Care Choice . . . really screwed over the order for the flea stuff. Nearly a month later and nothing. I threatened to go and dispute the charge with my credit card company and actually, finally, got a response from them. They claim they’ll credit my card in the next 5 days. We’ll see.

Now that I’ve said “I love you” I’m falling more in love with you with every breath
Arisa Kaneko

Pin Ups
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by JW McGinnis
Yesterday was my birthday.
It was alright. Very alright.
We went to a Chinese Buffet. Twenty five bucks during the week but only ten bucks for lunch. And it seems that for lunch they serve bacon. I line my pockets with plastic bags so the puppies Come Dance With Me were all pretty stoked with that. I also got them a sausage each.
With that I got to be king of the dogs for the day. I suddenly became infallible. Dog king and dog pope all in one. I think it was the first time any of them had ever had bacon.
The rest of the day was quiet. I liked that. My friend, the dogs and the gentle bloated feeling from a buffet lunch.
The only damper is I seem to have picked up an infection. These are going to happen. They hurt but they hurt a lot less than living in a plastic bubble. Those are the alternatives. I’m still hardy enough that these little infections aren’t going to kill me. They just make me uncomfortable.
I thought some about all the stuff in my life. It doesn’t mean much. I’ve made my share of mistakes. I don’t regret them. If I’d turned right instead of left I wouldn’t be where I am now.
Even when I’ve been suffering it wasn’t so bad to wish the suffering onto anyone else. The suffering passed or I got used to it. That’s all there is to do.
I’m glad to be what I am and where I am. I want some things changed but that’s just my nature. It isn’t perfection I want its to constantly be striving for perfection.
Ended the evening watching a Japanese piece of fluff, “Train Man”. I liked it plenty. Its the story of a nerd (Takayuki Yamada, from Crows Zero!!) who in the only brave moment of his life meets a girl. “Train Man” is his handle on a chat site. He rushes to the site and tells his “buddies” about his meeting and about the girl.
They call the girl “Hermes” because she sends him a simple gift: a pair of Hermes tea cups, in gratitude for his little act of bravery.Chine Eye by Luis Royo
Click images for desktop size: “Cina Eye” by Luis Royo

Showing greater courage than he knew he had “Train Man” telephones Hermes. (Her number was on the delivery slip.) He manages to make a date.
The people in the chat room hold his hand and get him to get a haircut, buy decent clothes etc. The helpless nerd spends his days putting questions and conversation tips into his palm pilot as he rigorously rehearses their date.
Of course he falls helplessly in love with “Hermes”. This is a gentle film. The only conflict or dramatic moments come because “Train Man” doesn’t have enough self esteem to see that he can affect and impact others nearly as much as they affect him.
All the drama is only within him. I liked that because its pretty accurate for most of us.
I liked the movie fine. It had nothing but happy moments. The people in the chat room become inspired by “Train Man’s” success, no, they become inspiredRocky Horror Picture Show by his attempts at love. His story opens up their own worlds to the romance and beauty it already contains or can contain if we only open the door.
There are way too many cute bits in the film. They all add up to a warmly recommended from me. It was the prefect film for a birthday or any day when happiness is already in the air and you want that happiness to be remembered and treasured.
Its been raining. There are still puppies to play with.
I think today will also be a memorable day.

USC is already in Virginia. They had to fly in two planes because the Charlotte Airport couldn’t handle their Jumbo Jet.
Football season starts tomorrow at 3. My friend thinks USC is going to lose. On this front she is clearly absolutely nutz.