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December 31, 2004

Bandwidth Exceeded

Don't Panic They shut down my blog and wiki because I exceeded my 1 gig per month bandwidth allotment, but it's back now. I'm pretty stunned by that and will have to figure out how I screwed things up.
On Monday I start as the evening IT manager at this large law firm. They're part of the big suit against that major Department Store that I'm not allowed to name because I signed this agreement thing. The silliness of it all.
Tomorrow I'll be picking up the trash after the Bowl Game - 2 days of 40 people picking up the garbage from 60 thousand plus. Wonder if any of us will find something interesting in others trash? Maybe we'll get TV coverage. I'll get like $40 a day for this, which is important to get me through to my first paycheck and it's important as I have to take care of the little brown dog now.4 Flies On Grey Velvet (2)
I went to visit her and the lady at the shelter was all excited because the pup was all excited to see me. She said Ethel (yes, that's her name - the dog's I mean) did nothing but mope in the kennel until I showed up. She was listless. While I figure she was sad because the first 14 weeks of her life were spent doing pretty much what ever she felt like. A kennel must seem like a prison to such a dog. It is still flattering to be considered the inspiration for all the insane dog jumping around.
The vet said she was healthy. She agreed that I was probably right in my assumptions about the dog's past. So toting a 40 lb bag of Science Diet (not my favorite dog food but better than most) Ethel and I walked the 6 miles back to our home. She's a good dog.

Pooch Cafe 2004-12-31
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

December 29, 2004

On my way to work

James Bond Christmas 1974 JpegI got a job. One of the agencies called me. It's a temp to hire job; an IT position in data processing for a Law Firm. I have to take some sort of test then I start work, assuming I pass the test. I am less than worried about that. This is not what I want but it will do for now. I wanted something with - well something less where I could just sit out life quiet, unambitious and unobserved.

Shocking I got a letter from the host server saying I was near exceeding my bandwidth allocation!!
I miss the little dog.

December 28, 2004

George Bailey Syndrome

!Howard Schatz-Mod-01Not even half finished but it's been a day. I went to work this AM and found that there was no way the dog would stay quiet so I took her with me. I did have a really negative image of me sitting on a curb, searching for a shopping cart while I decided which of my possessions I had to have and this little brown dog on a strand of twine guarding us all while I slept in some doorway. At work the little dog wouldn't let anyone else pet her. I managed to screen her, with help from my fellow work seekers, from the guy who passes out the jobs. I got no work today except a job on New Years Day. While leaving the job place my mobile started to ring. Western Union had a wire for me. When I got there it was for twice what I asked for. I felt really uncomfortable about that. It was also from one of the 3 I wrote to.Blind Swordsman ZatoichiI ambled with my dog to the Pit Bull Rescue place. it was a bad walk for me. Too many miles with no food I think, although, even with money I wasn't hungry. I dropped the dog off and was told they'd care for her shots and evident medical care and then asked me if I'd adopt her. When I explained that I had no available money to care for a good dog right now the woman who runs the place offered to let me adopt free and she'd help. I was pretty shocked by that, and also shocked when the dog became agitated when I walked away. How could we bond in one night? The woman said the dog liked me. I like her too, so I have to think. I paid my rent. This gives me some breathing room for sure. I also received two emails offering me a home, one in NYC and one in Berne Switzerland. This is appreciated but not what I want. I don't know what to say to this kindness.

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The water's turned to blood

4D Man (3)I didn't get work yesterday. I did end up with a dog and advice.
At the work joint two guys loaned me a dollar each. Surprised me no end. I found out that they all assumed I was just out of prison! I have no idea why as my spanish isn't that good. It sounded like because I was a relaxed man . . .
So when no work was available I went to Unemployment to file my appeal. It was a 6 mile walk and heading there a puppy started following me. It was a brown mix thing. I know and love dogs but I was careful not to encourage her and I was relieved when she'd run off to talk to someone else. I didn't talk to her or pet her but she followed me all the way to the office. I was in there about an hour and the dog waited for me. She followed me the rest of the way home so I snuk her in and gave her a bath. I'd say she was about 3 months old and judging from the filth and wear on her paws and teeth I'd guess she's been on the street for most of it.
I spent my 2 dollars on dog food. Dogs and babies don't understand what hunger is. She ate and has been asleep for the past 9 hours. I poked her once to make sure she was alive. She woke looked at me and went back to sleep.
And Now The Screaming StartsShe's got enough pit bull in her to take her to the Pit Bull Rescue. They'll give her shots and medical attention she needs. I hope she doesn't go crazy being alone when I go to the work joint tomorrow.
An old friend tried to loan me money. I refused it. She did talk me into asking some people some others for a loan. She pointed out that maybe they would like the chance to pay me back for everything I've done for them. She's close enough to right that I sent out 4 emails. No response so far. It was humiliating.

December 27, 2004

If I

If I don't get work today that will just about finish things. My milk went bad. It was supposed to be my breakfast. How many signs do I need? The job on the 3rd has gotten vague. The fellow I was going to replace may not leave. If I get work today I might be able to make it.

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December 26, 2004

Reggie White

JumpingjackkempI was pretty shocked to hear Reggie White died today. He was a great Down lineman and was the player who ushered in the current free agent system. (The then Philly owner was claiming to be nearing bankruptcy and when White forced him to open his books the owners claims were verified except that the owner was taking a salary package worth $135 million per year not including the taxes paid by the team.
This deceptive bookkeeping enabled White to be the first free agent)
Weird thing is that in thinking about White my thoughts drifted to another set of more personal deaths and the guilt it entails. Each death in this life lessens us all. All deaths leave someone longing and in pain. Just because I know that there is no real blame involved it doesn't mean that guilt doesn't come up and bite you now and then. (For those who don't know my wife and son were killed in a studio parking lot. They were visiting me at work to get some more cash for Christmas shopping. They were shot by children with shot guns who took the cash and my wife's Cartier watch to buy crack) I have a hard time not feeling guilty. Even now the thoughts come up, "Why didn't I walk her to the car?" Why didn't I say, "wait a few hours and I'll go with you"? And on and on and on.
The all comes back up because a great football player who was a great man (He helped get one of my British players placed in a school over here) died today at 43. Life is dumb.
All of this overshadows the fact the landlord gave me until tomorrow to come up with the rent . . .

What I did on Christmas

SantasplatAt about 1 AM I decided to take my Christmas Eve night walk. It's something I've done for years. I ended up visiting Julio at my old job. He's the one who replaced me. He was all jazzed to tell me he'd started an affair with one of the maids - she's married and 37, 14 years older than him, she has two kids.
I know her and wonder why she decided to do something so stupid, especially with someone like Julio who can only be described as violent and stupid. People always have so many self destructive impulses it seems.
When Julio first started babbling about having a crush on her weeks ago I tried to discourage him even knowing it was senseless to try. It seemed inevitable to him but I held out hope that she would show some common sense.Templeofbones
For reason I've never understood he described their sex to me pretty graphically. I find that annoying when women do it to me and even more so coming from a man. As it was Christmas eve I didn't think it nice to tell him that affairs with married women normally ended in a lot of grief, or that having sex in a closet on Christmas Eve seemed pretty tawdry. I just told him to be happy and that whatever good or bad was going to come would be way off in the future.
The rest of my walk was dull, except for the rather pretty sight of Yucca Plants and Cactus draped in snow. There were no miracles and no revelations. Not even a sense of calm.Not even a stranger to talk to.
10045767I went to a church and lit candles for the people I love who have died. I always figure those of us still alive can make or destroy our own lives. I came home and had a frozen Turkey dinner and lit a candle to burn through Christmas day. No one called and I was happy doing little and spent most of the day not thinking. When I got hungry I ate the last of my rice.
On TV i got to see "The Addams Family" Christmas Show. I'd never seen it before so I was excited. Aside from getting to ogle the beautiful Carolyn Jones (like Brigette Bardot she aged so badly for one so beautiful) it was pretty safe and uninspiring.
I like Christmas and even if this was not a great one it wasn't bad and it was a good distance away from the worst Christmases I've ever had (Those involved hospitals and death or dying)

Pooch Cafe 2004-12-25

December 25, 2004

2nd Holiest Day

If you're up, consumed by nerves, or just a touch sad and lonely on this night you might like this. In the 80's there was a band called Timbuk3. They were a alternative folk/punk group, or some other poly-tag. They had a fluke massive hit with a tune called "The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades". To their disgrace or to their credit this duo never capitalized on this success the way most smart bands would have. The guy in the band instead wrote and released a Christmas track called "All I Want For Christmas Is World Peace."
This is not his version, that wouldn't be personable enough on this day. This version was recorded as a duet 18 years ago at my Christmas Party.

All I Want For Christmas Is World Peace

You might like it. Sadly a 20 year old "protest" song might be dated but it's still relevant.

December 24, 2004

Christmas Eve & It's Snowing Here

So if a Christian is touched only once a year, the touching is still worth it, and maybe on some given Christmas, some quiet morning, the touch will take.
-- Harry Reasoner, American broadcast journalist (1923-1991).
Pooch Cafe 2004-12-24 Ballard Street 2004-12-23
In 1814, the War of 1812 officially ended as the United States and Britain signed the Treaty of Ghent. .

In 1865, several veterans of the Confederate Army formed a private social club in Pulaski, Tenn., called the Ku Klux Klan . . .

In 1951, Gian Carlo Menotti's "Amahl and the Night Visitors," the first opera written specifically for television, was first broadcast by NBC TV. . .

So, I sat there nursing a bourbon I bought for myself from the office bottle. I was thinking about nothing. It was funny it was snowing outside at midnight. It never snows here. Not even now when everybody wants it to snow.
I heard something in the hall. I pulled my gun out and put it within easy reach. I heard the office door open and then a small old face pushed into the door that kept my private sanctum safe from the riff raff who come to me with a big amount of trouble and a small amount of money.
I eyed the old man. He looked up at me with runny nose and damp eyes. He mumbled, "Merry Christmas", softly closed the door. I heard the outer door open and close.
"And a Merry Christmas to you old man," I said to the empty air. I held out the bourbon in salute. I threw back what was left of my drink and suddenly felt sore. It's the little things that get to you. I wished the old man would have hung around some and maybe had a Christmas drink with me. Why would he want to hang with me? I have friends, but not close ones. Just guys who might miss me if I'm not around for a month or two. People only come to me with their problems, big problems, small problems - small to me but big to them. "Trouble is my business."
I didn't feel like sleeping in the office chair so I got up to walk the 3 blocks to my apartment. I hoped the wind and snow and cold would make me feel something a little like human. Like a kid I hoped maybe Santa had come by and left me a little something.

December 23, 2004

. . .

Blogxmasw This morning I went into the Labor Agency. I waited 5 hours but they had no work. They're closed until Monday so there's no hope at all of work until then and very little promise of work until the 8th. I'm baffled and have no idea what to do. I've given it thought to the point of stress and there are no realistic alternatives, only drama. I have $4 left and no prospects until Jan 5th where I have a tentative promise of a job. My rents due tomorrow.
As I was walking back from the Agency for some reason I remembered a Christmas that seems so long ago. We drove north east from LA to someplace where they grew Christmas trees under the High Power lines. It was like $75 for any tree there. You had to take a handsaw and cut it down yourself. We got a 20 foot + tree. I had to wash it and trim it some at home to get it into the house. I just now remembered the way it dwarfed the car when it was tied to the roof, it was almost funny except I had to drive it on the freeway. It was enormous and touched the ceiling. It was beautiful and held 5000 lights with no problems or complaints.
That night we had a small party and with the lights and the children, my wife and my son, the laughing and the talking it all seemed too idyllic. Hard to believe it was real. It was. The colors mixed with the faces and moving hands were the most pleasant memory I still have of being with people. A year later the world changed.
Pooch Cafe 2004-12-23

December 22, 2004

And then the sadness starts

Yuletide1Interesting day already. Went at 5:30 to one of those work and pay in cash agencies. It was interesting. I had to take a one hour test that focused primarily on me stealing or being a drug addict. Would anyone ever answer some of those questions yes? Like "I often show up to work high on heroin." Then I waited with the other guys, waiting for work, waiting to survive. For the most part they were what you'd expect in terms of desperation. I didn't get work. Maybe tomorrow. The only odd thing was that they all seemed to follow me around. Guess because I'm tall.
It's funny that I'm desperate to earn an amount of money that is actually less than what I used to drop on a business lunch. Maybe not that funny.

This song is pretty typical of it's time. Imagine some 20 something dressed all in cat clothes and his hair vaselined back real cool. He scrapes a couple hundred dollars together, writes a song, goes into the studio and hires some girl/kid/group to sing it. He does a Christmas record because even since the days of piano rolls Christmas music always sells.
Most of the time the songs are so pre-fab you can't stand it. Sometimes they burn majestically but most of the time they are forgotten. This little tune has been forgotten. I like it for one reason only. I love Cathy Sharpe's phrasing when she sings, "The other little deer poor dear can't rock no more" not much to recommend a song but think of the fun you'll have playing it really loud and annoying people listening to the usual Xmas stuff. Cathy Sharpe - North Pole Rock.

December 21, 2004

With A Ho Ho Ho

ColdnightIf you're not familiar with the teen genius that was The Trashmen this cut may elude you. Nah, it's still cool. The original surf band from Minneapolis . . . So The Trashmen - Dancin' With Santa will amaze and amuse in equal terms. If you don't know how to dance the Watusi, I feel for you.

Someone wrote and asked me what the hell I was doing. I know and don't expect anyone else to relate or understand. Santa Claus Conquers The Martians I don't want anything anymore except to live quietly and do the things that please me, like coaching, writing, reading. I'm So Cal so I grew up surfing but it was when I was rock climbing with my friends Bev and Dave that I learned something important. We were on the Salathe Wall (El Capitain), doing some sections free when I got stuck, I mean really stuck, hanging by one arm and unable to go up or down. See, then's when you have to decide, do I want to live or do I care? This is the same.

December 20, 2004

Hello greenbird

RudolphA totally non-day. Nothing positive happened so that makes it a bad day. I wanted desperation in my life and now I'm staring at it.
Saw"The Naked Spur" on TV just now. What a remarkable film. Jimmy Stewart as a true (as opposed to movie style) psychotic bounty hunter delivers a great line impeccably "I loved a woman. . . Once."
Robert Ryan is wonderful as the sociopathic villain. The end still generates that overwhelming power that Anthony Mann knows how to build. Watching Stewart shred himself of humanity and dignity, as he attempts to embrace the evil he feels while the ingenue Janet Leigh says "Alright, I still love you, I will do whatever you want to do" is exquisite torment. When Stewart breaks realizing he is indeed human and that no action he is capable of can shake his humanity, nor is there anything he can do to shed the love of this young gamin makes a tiny part of you reciprocally break and break deeply. The reclamation of his humanity is not as effective and that only makes the happy ending sadder. Odd to accept that I have somehow built my life on the moral infrastructure of characters like this.

December 19, 2004

Some Christmas Gelt

If it works and anyone wants them I'll try and put up more mp3's of extinct but incredibly cool Xmas tunes. This is 3 Jokers And An Ace doing the hip swinging floor scuffer Sleigh Bell Rock.
Pooch-Cafe-2004-12-19

It was shortly after nine

Its A Wonderfull Life(Lc)8Xks I'm a bit surprised in the way they originally chose to market "It's A Wonderful Life". They no doubt considered it an oddity. This lobby card is a good example. It's suitable for a nice desktop/wallpaper.
Was entertained by the Falcon's/Carolina game and then decided to extend my distraction by watching Keoma - an old Spaghetti Western. It's very very good. Most people talk about the music by the DeAndresi Brothers, while still commenting that its a good movie. For the soundtrack I enjoy the final shootout which is scored by the dying screams of a woman in labor, no gunshots or curses just the screams. I also like the way everyone looks in the movie.
Its A Wonderfull Life1XsI was in and out of sleep today. Curious. I was awakened by someone tapping loudly on my window.
I've only the one now. I still don't know what they wanted but being awake I watched a couple of the Superman serial episodes from the 40's. Yow. Women really knew how to wear hats back then!

December 18, 2004

I feel beaten up

Vladstudio Noel 1600X1200I was up until 5 trying to get this place livable - wires all over the place and the realization that my meager possessions are too much for this tiny hovel!

There was a minute of panic when I woke up and realized I had no possibility of eating or paying the rent but I calmed down with several remembrances that I had some small possibilities.' What amazes me is that I still look like I look. Too many women neighbors being too friendly. Maybe I'm just being paranoid about that. My body is sore from all the lugging. My hands hurt the most, too much clutching things I guess. I'm going to try and figure out if I can put some Xmas mp3's up here for download.

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And yet, another restart

Theride1600On Dec. 18, 1944, in a pair of rulings, the Supreme Court upheld the wartime relocation of Japanese-Americans.

On this date: In 1865, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery, was declared in effect.
In 1892, Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker Suite" publicly premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia.
In 1969, Britain's Parliament abolished the death penalty for murder.
In 1972, the United States began its heaviest bombing of North Vietnam at that time during the Vietnam War. (The bombardment ended 12 days later.)
Five years ago: After living atop an ancient redwood in Humboldt County, Calif., for two years, environmental activist Julia "Butterfly" Hill came down to Earth, ending her anti-logging protest.
French film director Robert Bresson died in Paris at age 98.
One year ago: Two federal appeals courts ruled the U.S. military could not indefinitely hold prisoners without access to lawyers or American courts.
A jury in Chesapeake, Va., convicted teenager Lee Boyd Malvo of capital murder in the Washington-area sniper case.
A judge in Seattle sentenced confessed Green River Killer Gary Ridgway to 48 consecutive life terms.
Michael Jackson was formally charged with molesting a cancer-stricken boy at his Neverland Ranch; Jackson has maintained his innocence.
SnowflakeRock singer-musician Keith Richards is 61.
Movie director Steven Spielberg is 58.
Actor Ray Liotta is 49.
Actor Brad Pitt is 41.
Rapper DMX is 34.
DJ Lethal (Limp Bizkit) is 32.
Actress Katie Holmes is 26.
Singer Christina Aguilera is 24.

"Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life." -- Anais Nin, American author (1903-1977).
I got moved, have broadband. Gone from an unendurable situation to a difficult one. I'm happy.

December 17, 2004

Clap your hands and stomp your feet, it's time for that Yuletide beat

Snowball1600Made 3 trips so far, I figured I could do it alone on foot because it's only a mile . . . uphill . . . Interesting, the place is a hovel but they hung a Christmas wreath on the door. As the darkness fell I could see that all the places were lit up, some amazingly so. No cliche, the poorer the structure the brighter the lights. When the church bell rang it was peaceful. I remember about 15 years ago I was driving from San Francisco to Chicago and I'd just passed through Oklahoma City. The Phone Company had an enormous bright Santa and his sleigh covering about 500 square yards of blank brick wall and then I went over a rise and saw an entire town/suburb and every house, street, driveway was outlined in bright blue fairy lights, except one. And I wondered if the kid who lived there, if the other kids teased him, or if they were going to help him trim his house too.

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Getting Ready To Move

SantaspidermanI'm nearly packed. My cash reserves are incredibly low. It's frightening. I feel alive though. Even if I am over qualified for life (or so it feels) I can continue to sludge on. I've probably done something stupid. I'm trying to move my broadband connection so it will be up either tonight or tomorrow. Considering the money for it was to be a bit more than my food budget it is easy to wonder what I'm thinking, or have I discovered a vein of self destruction hitherto unknown. One step at a time I suppose. If I'm silent for a while I might have come to my senses. In any event there is a public library that offers free broadband access (1 hour max) that I might start frequenting. I do realize that I use the internet far more than I watch TV. If all fails: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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December 16, 2004

It's why I pause when I'm talking about Santa Claus

Santa Napping Had an interesting conversation at a music store today. I go to shops when I'm depressed to play around with the instruments. There I talked with the shop manager about working bands always having to have certain songs in their repertoire: The current Number 1, Auld Lang Syne, and 3 Xmas tunes - 2 rocking and 1 mawkish. The mawkish one is very important if they serve beer in bottles and the stage is less than 10 feet from the seating area (tiny dance floor syndrome).
Following this simple syllogism has produced some classic Xmas tunes - mind bubbling slabs o' wax like The Trashmen's "Dancing With Santa" or 3 Jokers and An Ace's "Doing the Sleigh Bell Rock", Episodes - "Santa's Got A Coupe De Ville". Even the mawkish tune turned into something unreal when Huey Smith & The Clowns put a be bop gospel twirl to "Silent Night".
Most modern Xmas tunes aren't geared for quieting the pain in a person's heart at Christmas, it's just to make the moola, and that's why the tunes don't explode and take you home and put you to bed.
Waimeabay12-152004I'm all set to move, sort of. Still packing and wondering how it is I always seem to acquire stuff. My idiot boss gave me some mail he'd been holding - it included a half dozen Xmas cards, all from people I met while working here but don't know. If there's no surprises in my final check tomorrow I will be done with him and out of here, otherwise things will be very ugly indeed. Picture is of Waimea Bay yesterday. I'm not a big wave guy - that's something of a specialty, coping with 30 foot crunchers is something you need to practice for.
Oh yeah. I apologize for the gooney little advert that suddenly appeared on the page. Price you pay for free hosts. I was very happy with this host until today. they never gave any indication this advert thing was going to happen it just suddenly appeared. It seems harmless enough, so far, but I've no idea what there imposed code might do.
Pooch Cafe 2004-12-16

December 14, 2004

Press * for the internet

Yuletide1As per the recorded instructions I called a specified number at 8:00 AM. There the unemployment office said I should go and apply for unemployment at their website! I was thinking how cool and happily filled in all the required info pressed save and was told that I had to re-contact the first telephone number.

So I called and waded through the press this and that for this and that recordings until I finally got a person on the line.
He was very nice and far more patient with me than I would have been with him. I asked why I had to repeat all the info I'd given to the web site and he explained that I was in UNIONS so I had to be handled "in person". (I didn't ask how the phone got to be "in person")
Nearing completion he told me I had to call another number to request an unemployment benefit check. Then I had to go to another website and register for work.
Wonderland5It was this next website I found fascinating. I completed all the forms. The next step was to match my skills with positions available. i did and waited the answer. There were no jobs available. I thought this odd.
The end result is that to get any matches I had to reduce my qualifications and then reduce my qualifications. After an hour I managed to reduce my qualifications to the point of getting three hits! They paid from $7 an hour to $2,500 per month. I clicked to apply for each of them to find out to apply for the jobs I had to go to the office that I originally had planned to go to today . . .
Still it made the whole procedure quite a bit of fun.

Call Northside 777 (1948)For my last day of work my boss decided to growl at me, literally. As he's a good 8 inches shorter than me and not very fit I guess this was as much of a "f**k you" that he could muster. I still think I should break his legs but, for now, I've got more important things to do, like survive.

Spoke to my lawyer today. She kept pushing me to accept one of the jobs she knows I was offered. It annoyed me and I felt like telling her it was none of her business, but that wouldn't have been fair of me. So I tried to explain concisely why I was no longer interested in doing what all my education and training and experience was geared for.
Sarah Michelle GellarOnly other news of note was having an exasperating conversation with a customer last night. She wanted to discuss the Scott Pedersen thing. All I could say was that I hoped any verdict would be over turned on appeal and that it was just stupid to assume that by reading the papers or watching TV that you had a clue what was going on in the courtroom. I do think it is appalling that of the 3 jurors who opened themselves up for interviews only one of them discussed any evidence that formed his opinion, and that evidence was shockingly circumstantial at best. The rest thought, as you know, he just "looked guilty". Since when has sitting quietly while your life is being decided considered sure sign of guilt?
This is discriminatory at best.

December 13, 2004

A Day Of Quiet

He KnowsMan Evicted From Hut Under Chicago Bridge
At least I've decided on what apartment to take.

W Santa LpThe Santa Suit - In 1931 the Coca-Cola Company hired American artist Haddon Sundblom to redesign Santa Claus. Sundblom chose the official colors of Coca-Cola, red and white. Thus was said, the beginning of the Santa suit as we know it.

Tonight's the last night of work. Cool. Tomorrow I get to sit in the unemployment line, also should be interesting. I haven't ever been on unemployment so I expect a lot of trouble.

On my football picks I was 681 for the week and moved up to 804 overall. That on 66000 out of 100000 possible, so 680 people did better?

Pooch Cafe 2004-12-11

Homemade iPod Mini Ad

Homemade iPod Mini Ad This is interesting and nifty because it is creating waves in the way advertising is being conceived and promoted.
From the Wired article:
Though his ad looks like it was done by a pro, Masters is a 36-year-old high school teacher from Orange County, California. He created the spot in his spare time. Working a couple of hours at a time, the ad took five months to make.
The iPod ad is part homage to Apple and the iPod, part portfolio piece, but mostly just practice, Masters said.
"I did it for fun,
he said. "I love motion graphics. I like creating visuals."
Masters said he was inspired to make the ad while listening to the Darling Buds' song. The title reminded him of the iPod and '80s pop video reruns on VH1 that inspired the ad's style.
He posted the ad, he said, for feedback. And if anyone wants to hire him, he'll consider all offers.
"I'm pretty much working in a vacuum here," he said. "You think, 'Is this good?' That's why I put this stuff out there, to get some feedback."

December 12, 2004

A Heisman Kind Of Day

AnimexmasI think looking for a new apartment/flat is as nerve wracking as looking for a job. Doing both is ridiculous.

Today the best place I saw I can't take. It's obvious that part of my rent would be becoming the landlord's best friend. He's one of those people who just talks at you - no response required. He talked at me for a solid 45 minutes, not once discussing the apartment. He was going on and on about Raquel Welch for some reason. I started to interject because I had a mildly interesting Raquel Welch story myself. I never got to tell it. So now YOU, poor soul, have to hear it. It was back in the day when people wanted me. Welch was going to do a stage show and they wanted me. Being the Diva I had to meet Welch for her personal approval. I went to her bungalow on one of the lots. She looked good. She was wearing a hot pink silk robe that she had to know made her look desirable. I figured this was her way of controlling a situation. She went to change and said I should make myself at home and get whatever I wanted to drink from the fridge.Three Musketeers So I did. It was one of those enormous side by side things that the studios usually keep fully over stocked. I know more than a few stars who measured their careers by the quality of the deli in their fridge. I was surprised when I opened it and the only thing in there was an open can of Pepsi and a lot of bright clean air. This really confused me. When Welch came back in wearing jeans and a cute silk top I couldn't concentrate on anything she said. I kept thinking about her offering me a half empty can of Pepsi. Was this a show of solidarity? Were we going to hunch down and share it like Indians sharing a pipe? Was I being insulted? The mystery got deeper when she went to the kitchenette and came back drinking that can of Pepsi, this time not offering me any at all. I didn't take the job.

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December 11, 2004

A Christmas Miracle-Or Miracles are What You Make of Them

Dj White Boot Tangle(Xmas)Apartment hunting was depressing. What I can afford is no better than what I have now - but cheaper. It was nice being out in the cool sunlight. I liked looking at all the Christmas Festivities and being the recipient of smiles I probably didn't deserve.
For some reason it reminded me of my Brother In Law. He was a true sociopath, a notorious gangster, thief, and if you believe the FBI (which is seldom a good idea-they are very amoral), killer responsible for either committing or ordering over 100 deaths.
Like all sociopaths he was charming as hell and I actually liked him quite a bit. I was visiting him in the MCC (Metropolitan Correctional Center) one Christmas eve and he began to wax nostalgic. He told how he was released from prison in Terre Haute Indiana on December 23rd. He was worried about getting home and having no Christmas gifts for his wife, who waited 8 years for him, or for his father. He told me how the "G" was very big on moving you all around the country but not to paticular about how you got home.
NicolewpHe was cold hungry and depressed on Christmas eve. He was afraid to re-enter his families life as a broke ex-con, then this miracle happened. As the snow flakes grew flat and fluffy and swirled from moonlight to streetlight he saw her. A tall, distinguished woman, she was weighed down in packages. He looked at her and suddenly realized he was moving towards her. He pulled his scarf tight across his face and robbed her. When he opened her purse he realized there was a God who looked after him because inside there was nearly $10,000 in cash. He let his victim keep her packages. At first he felt that would be stupid but then he decided it would be a Christmassy thing to do and a decent offering to God.
He told the story with no sense of sarcasm or irony.
For him it was a Christmas miracle. He rushed home and had the best Christmas ever.

Matt Leinhart Wins Heisman Trophy

From cross eyed nerd to stud of the year. GO USC! Go MATT!

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There's always a sun in the sky

May I Work last night was interesting. Drunks and lechers abound I suppose but nothing extraordinary. I had to sleep and am about to go out and do apartment hunting, on a modicum of cash I have low hopes but I don't need much.
With no college football to fret over I might get something done today.

Someone asked me about the pictures. They're wallpapers/desktops. Click on the picture and a new window will open where you can drag or right click to save it. I like pictures, even the sappy ones with big eyed puppies.
Got two Christmas cards in the mail. One I knew would be coming, the other is a Mystery. I don't know who it was who sent it.
Anyway. More after the great cheap apartment hunt.

082804

December 10, 2004

Ennui went to the movies-OR-There is no crime worse than a pun

Bluexmas1600Managed to force myself to get some sleep and went on the "Job Hunt". This is still pretty new stuff for me and I wonder if I'm doing it all wrong. I didn't wear a suit today just a shirt and tie with a tan leather outdoor jacket. Going for the casual but I really want this job bit. Got depressed when three retail stores just said no. Looked at all the other retail shops, none of which had a help wanted sign up so I went to see Blade Trinity. Of course it was stupid, but of course it was diverting. I liked the way the vampires died in a glory of pyrotechnics. I thought the Vampire Hunter Girl was cute.
Being at the mall made the bite of Christmas a touch more acute. I'm still making plans. Still figuring my future. Makes me hate this jerk boss all the more - All I wanted was to exist quietly until the end. Blade Trinity 4
So I took a quiz:
You have a Preoccupied relationship attachment style.
You tend to worry about being abandoned in your romantic relationships. You have a strong desire for closeness, but may feel that others seem unwilling to get as close as you would like. It's likely that your openness to relationships is one of the first things potential partners notice about you.
Attachment style begins in infancy with the interactions we have with our parents or primary caregivers. Through these early relationships we begin to understand the dynamics and patterns of close relationships and we carry this perspective into our adult relationships.
39% of those who have taken our test share this style of attachment.
When you choose a romantic partner you tend to gravitate towards those who have what psychologists call a secure attachment style. These are people who are warm, open and trusting. People who have a secure attachment style are typically comfortable with themselves and show a high regard for others.
Your answers on our test show that when it comes to relationships you have grown beyond your earliest attachment issues. While you may not have every issue resolved, you're making substantial progress at establishing healthy relationship patterns.

December 9, 2004

You can't pull the sheep over my eyes!

Globetrotting Santa ClausWorked last night and couldn't keep my head up so slept all day. I did manage to get down to the Labor Commission where I picked up my settlement check for $74. The investigator gave me the good news that they had fired my bos $10,000.00 for retaliation. I looked at my check reduced from $1,080 in unpaid wages to $74 and the Investigator wondered why I wasn't thrilled with the news. I get abuse, racist comments, retaliation, physical threats and $74. The US Gov gets $10,000 because I survived to take even more abuse. There's something wrong here. I re-read Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."
When a book has been filmed by everybody from Mickey Mouse to the "Fonz" (The American Christmas Carol - I'm NOT making this up) it's sometimes shattering to go back to the source material. The various scenes have been so implanted in our minds that's seeing the original inspiration is daunting. Like I had the thought once. Hurry it up, I don't NEED all these adjectives. Which I suppose is not the best way to approach a classic.
Ballard Street 2004-12-09I thought about what Dickens would have thought about all the adaptations and decided he'd have been totally stoked. Dickens wrote for the money and with the current laws he'd be filthy rich and probably directing sexy pot boiler TV shows.
I had a friend, Tom Tyron, who started out as a pretty boy actor and then at the peak of his career became a best selling novelist because it was easier and he could make more money.
No luck on the job hunting today, how could there have been. I'm going out tomorrow to retail stores, which should mighty interesting.

December 8, 2004

We really need to hang on to our coattails to ride the waves of change

StarWent to employments agencies today, the temporary kind. It was a waste of time. They all had the same story - thanks; maybe after the New Year.

To emphasize things my lawyer called and told me that everything was going along. Then she told me what I didn't know. I thought my situation was difficult but she let me know it was desperate. I thought I had a few weeks to sort things out when what I have are a few days. Oh well.
Spent time thinking about a kid in hospital in LA getting some GI work and hoping he's okay. Started to think about the 10 best books I've read this year. I like lists. You've been warned.

Of course my biggest concern is: Why has no one ever described me as impish
?

Which member of the JLA are you?

Green Lantern
With the Green Lantern corps destroyed the last Oa power ring made it's way to Earth to the unsupecting artist Kyle Rayner. Able to create anything his mind imagines the ring lacks the weakness to the color yellow and the 24 hour time limit which makes Kyle the one true Green Lantern.

December 7, 2004

I'm thinking in my brain

Surfing SantaBelow are my picks for this Sundays NFL games. I'm not doing great but it's still fun. I started in Week 4, and 4 weeks is a lot to give up). I was in position 23,4743 and am now at position 946, which is a lot of climbing (although I attribute that to attrition more than to my skillful analysis.)

Had to see my lawyer today. My boss finally sent the Settlement order, after I'd come into her office and filled and notarized the appellate documents. His settlement was incredible in that it was so one sided the mind boggled. My lawyer noticed it, as well as the two clauses that made no sense. (I thought I just couldn't understand the law) She made the edits and then proceeded to file the appeal anyway. After faxing the revisions and getting them to agree to them the "other side" suddenly couldn't get it together to sign the revised settlement today. (Today would have been the last day I could file an appeal - can not say for certain that this was a ploy on there part or just inanity.) Now, it's just waiting some more.

Hallelujah1XsI went to two places today and filled in job applications. I have to stop taking my resume. They just stare at it blankly and hand me the Standard Job Application anyway.
I applied for a job as a night janitor even though they told me on the phone they had no positions available (then why continue to advertise?) When I asked they said they'd no openings in the past 3 weeks!
Then I went a applied for a job with a Security Guard Agency. It was just as silly in it's own way, while in no way being amusing.

Tomorrow I'm going to a couple of Temporary Agencies. I think I'll get to take typing tests!

December 6, 2004

I remember when re-neg was a word for a misdeal in canasta

Cool Hand LukeApplying for work at WalMart is an eerie thing. I spoke to the Customer Service Manager who pointed me to a machine, like a computer game next to the wall. I had to wait for 2 kids to finish playing Spiderman on it. Then I saw it - a battered touch screen which was how I was expected to apply for work.

There was a physical keyboard but it was so loaded with something sticky it was beyond hope. The touchscreen alignment was off but I soon got used to being about 12 pixels high and 20 pixels to the right to make it work. I filled in the application. There was no place in any of the job history for me to tell them that much of my work has been in Europe. They only wanted street addresses and Zip Codes. I felt unique and unemployable. So where i had 25 characters to explain why I left the position I typed US CITIZEN LIVING IN ENGLAND which will hopefully clarify things.

What was freaky was that after completing the particulars I had to take a quiz. It tested no skills but asked me to answer in 10 degrees of "Strongly agree" to"Strongly Disagree".
86 questions on my morality and drug use! I resisted temptation. Questions like "Stealing just a little money is Okay" and "Being high on the job is alright if you get the work done" demand sardonic responses. But I just gave the company man answers. See, desperation does kill your sense of humor and rightness.Looney Tunes Xmas

As to my ex-job the idiot boss is playing silly buggers with the settlement agreement. What a fool. I'm to be fired for being an exemplary employee who wouldn't be cheated. Which means I now have to go sign some notarized papers and file an appeal. Which means I'll make money if, and it's likely we will, we win. The stress won't stop but I'll be more right. Oh well.

One upset is that I was so entranced with Walmart versions of products that cost 50% of the real things price that I forgot to go look at Walmart Christmas cards and the Walmart book selection. I was looking forward to that. The shop was PACKED with poor people buying things that they would then attempt to struggle with on the bus ride home. (A 20 inch TV for $69 kind of thing) I walked the 6 miles home and regretted it only twice when the clear skys gave forth hail and high winds.

December 5, 2004

It's Official!

AerialactSouthern Cal gets to play for the National Championship. Cool. I wish we were playing Auburn - it would be a much easier match up for the Trojans. OU matches up too well against the defense. Offensively, NO ONE can touch the SC Offense. too many weapons and opponents are still only allowed to put 11 men against us.

It is still weird not going to the Rose Bowl, but I'll survive that. Too many Rose Bowl memories anyway, they all get kind of jumbled up together. One oddity I've noticed is that USC takes a half million dollar payday cut by playing for the National Championship!?!? The Rose Bowl pay out is larger. How odd. Today was just lazy. Spent most of my time NOT sleeping so I can sleep tonight and get a good start on the day - Lawyers, Labor Board, Job Applications are the future if I can only fall asleep by 3 or 4.

Feeling very nostalgic about Christmas. I can think of interesting positives about every Christmas. Even the very very bad ones spent waiting in hospitals or visiting friends in jail. The smaller things simply take on more magnificence. That's a good thing I think. Odd that I never miss the things I used to have, just the people.

NFL GOONINESS If Pittsburgh wins I get 46,000 points in the football pool. Hard to pick against Jack Del Rio as I loved him as a linbacker and catcher at SC. I picked Cincinnati over Baltimore but only bet 1,000 on it (Carson Palmer). Eli Manning - Worth $50 million? I think we're done hearing about his potential. Chad Hutchinson? Shows me that the Vikings have not proved anything. Dante Culpepper is one of the most courageous athletes in the world. He needs team mates with his character. (You know he was born in prison?) Conquest.

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Christmas In The Rain

Jolly Saint NickSouthern Cal played their worst game of the season and still won. I guess I used up all of my Christmas wishes. I wanted to go to the small town town square Tree lighting but the rain put me off of that. I'm afraid of catching a cold. When I did my about face I was accosted by a moderately attractive woman who started to walk with me and chat. I thought she was just sharing my umbrella until she began to talk about missions and sleeping arrangements. Has the world gotten so cold that women will offer sex for a chance to get out of the rain? I gave her $5 I couldn't afford. It made me sadder that I actually considered sex for a place to sleep. WalMart had no one in who could give me an application. I've to go back on Monday. Make a virtual paperless snowflake. It's a calm way to spend 10 minutes and it's one of those things you'll always succeed in doing well.

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December 4, 2004

Sometimes you get so organized there's nothing left to do

Dopey-Merry Christmas Snow White Today I'm going to WalMart. I hate the idea of WalMart so I'm applying for a Christmas job there. At least there'll be a lot of people to talk to. It was in 1991 that I was doing a Blue Highways through the south when I first heard of WalMart. It seemed that every tiny town or hamlet in Mississippi or Alabama judged their worth and pride on having a WalMart close by. I never went inside one then. They were just these huge sleepy warehouses on the outskirts of tiny sleepy towns. At this stage of my life I want jobs. Jobs. Jobs that require only that I show up on time. No thinking. No planning. No inspiration. WalMart sounds perfect. If they're no go then I'll try Toys R Us. I want graveyard shifts.

I'm putting up the last chapter of Her Summer Fling so there's the beginning and the ending. I fill in the middle later on.

And FUCLA! Go Men Of Troy!

Seasonal Silliness

A Singular Christmas

New/Old Xmas Tunes from MIT

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December 3, 2004

Can't Sleep, Restless? TAKE A TEST!

You get to see about 10 ink blots, then you have to answer multiple choice questions (about 50) and from that you get THIS!

Your subconscious mind is driven most by Reserve

Reserve SYou approach the world with reserve because unconsciously, and perhaps consciously, you like to be in control. You keep your emotions to yourself and you may seem mysterious or enigmatic to others.You're often very cautious about truly expressing yourself. Even people who have known you for some time may find it hard to get close to you. People who have unconscious minds driven by resistance sometimes appear secretive or standoffish to those who don't know them well because resistant types tend to keep to themselves.

If you like this kind of stuff the url is Tickle Inkblot Test You have to sign up but all they do is send you an email once a month telling you about new tests. And try to sell you more complete reports. They have a super IQ test which was kind of fun.

December 2, 2004

Days like this should be banned

AmazedWith everything that happened today I was really irritated to discover that the Monsters Blog had been really heavily spammed! Fortunately it's Movable Type and they have a plugin that blocks spam and removes most of it. It did a pretty good job of removal there are only 2 left on each entry, where there were SIX! Hopefully we'll never see another one. This is still the oddest spam, though it's filled with references to different "Free Online Casinos" the body is a mildly interesting quote from Bartletts. I find that strange but maybe that's the way spam is nowadays.

As to court it went badly but okay. The saddest part was to have a judge say that my boss was the most unethical despicable man who had ever appeared before him. He then encouraged me to appeal the decision as he had no say in matters of ethics on the letter of the restrictive law. As much as it displeased him to do so he had to find for my boss while pointing out that in with the wider latitude of the Appellate Court he was certain and hoped his decision would be overturned. He then gave my boss a lecture, which I'm sure made the judge feel better but does nothing for anyone else.
To compound matters I was fired on the way out of the court! What a joke. The world is a great and beautiful place but there's always an asshole.

December 1, 2004

Prolific is the byproduct of stress?

A Dark MoodTomorrow is the hearing. Things look guardedly good but with a judge who knows. I often think that judges already have their minds made up about things then look for the evidence that reinforces their opinions. There probably are judges out there who are cpable of keeping a totally open mind. I doubt if they're sitting in on tiny civil suits. Today I managed to get Best Westerns- My favorite 10 up and posted on a co-op blog. One thing I like about the end of the year is the avalanche of Top 10 lists. The papers will be full of them and I'll read them with enjyment and, usually, some disagreement. I've also been playing with a Newsreader called Shrook. I'll probably buy it. Not only does it get the news feeds from ESPN etc but it's very simple to get it to read the blog news feeds! So I can, depending on the blog, get a nice little summary or read the entry. Very cool, and instead of sorting through my melange of bookmarks it's all right there. I'm lucky, I like people, I like stories about them. Lawyer just called. It bothers me that she is working at this hour on such a small case. (Big to me and depending on how it goes it could lead to bigger things). Odd, the picture wouldn't upload - gave me I can't access error! Trying now without the pic. Hmm, a cgi-permissions eror at system level!! Holy Disc Bits! Tis call for trying again later!

To sleep perchance

WouldyouAfter working all night like a fool I came in and fell asleep so that the entire day was shot and now, here I am wide awake with the next 2 days being plenty busy and stressful.
I did work quite a bit on my piece on "The Public Enemy". It was a great film but it's hard to get a new angle on a film that 73 years old and an acknowledged classic. I feel justified because there are a lot of things about this film that I think most critics have missed or ignored.
For one thing the general take is that this is a view of Jimmy Cagney's character rising to the top of the mob. There's no evidence of this at all. In fact he's a stooge for a top gun, and it's made very clear that he is barely out of his teens. It's hard to imagine what I could add that would extend people's comprehension of the film and their comprehension of people. Which is why the net and blogs are so cool.
Isn't that more interesting than how stressed I am? Well, maybe if you were a film student.
I like this picture someone e-mailed me. It made me smile. This just makes you flinch:

BILLIONS AT DISC RISK Opposing studios say no way to Sony's Blu-ray format The biz is bracing for Betamax -- the sequel. In a decision reminiscent of the tech conflict that changed the industry forever, three studios -- Warner, Universal and Paramount -- have taken sides in a battle for the next-generation DVD market by endorsing a format, HD DVD, that will compete with one backed by Sony.