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December 25, 2006

Today is Christmas

Whatisfound Merry Christmas and thank you for your friendship and support. Best wishes and hopes for the new year where all dreams become real.

Nothing more to day. Nothing better to say.

Big Bud - Rock Around The Christmas Tree

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December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas Sportsfans

Click images for desktop size: "Spread Joy" by Unknown
Had a hard time sleeping so I watched “We Are Marshall”. I like football films, even bad football films but this one was pretty disappointing. A shame really as this had the potential to be a fabulous football story that could have reminded and altered people's perceptions of the game.
The director should have his butt kicked daily until he learns how to tell a story. Matthew McHonicky should never be allowed to work again. He was a dreadful performer and so all over the place it was impossible for me to figure out what he thought he was trying to accomplish. Most of the time he was merely offensive. David Straitharn as the school President was brilliant and clearly seemed to be acting in another movie. Ian McShane reminded me that he was dead good in Deadwood and a travesty outside of that over written role.
The only time the film was effective was when it simply replayed the facts, which it did seldomly. In fact the most moving part of the film was at the end when they showed a 3 second clip of Brian Leftwich; the game where he played on a badly sprained ankle. Leftwich would make a play and then two line men would scoop him up and carry him down field to the huddle.
The school, the sport, the team and the memory of what will hopefully always be the worst tragedy in American Sports history, deserved better than this.
Dfmp6 021 Horse Feathers 1932
Christmas Eve and my two puppies are trying as hard as they can to behave themselves. It means they are underfoot but not knocking me down! Charles, another foster dog, arrives today. He's only here for a week or so while his real foster parents are on vacation. I hope he survives these two and I hope he is resilient enough to survive this new home.
He's an older dog whose owners had to give him up. No details there.
He'll make our Christmas better.

Last week was a new low. I went 6-10 . . . the bright spot was Brett Favre's performance and win on the road. Other than that it was surprisingly dreary. LaDainian Tomlinson proving he is the best was breath taking and raised even higher by the lack of stellar play surrounding his game.
My picks are in bold. Minnesota at Green Bay - Already won this Thursday night game. Had to figure that the Vikings had quit on the season.

Kansas City at Oakland - Another one already won. It's no fluke when a pro team beats another team 8 times in a row! Larry Johnson and the woeful Raiders made this an easy choice.

Baltimore at Pittsburgh - A game of the week contender. Its trendy right now to pick the Steelers and how hard it is to beat them in December. Yadda yadda yadda. The Ravens need the win to cinch the division and to shake the cobwebs out of their game. the Steelers are playing for next years contracts. I figure McNair will make the difference while the Ravens linebackers will show that Rothlesberger is not back.

New England at Jacksonville - And another game of the week contender. Both teams are slipping badly at exactly the wrong time of the year. The Jaguars and Jack Del Rio could destroy and disrupt the Patriots offense. The match ups all favor them. On the other side of the ball the Patriots defense out matches the Jag's offense. Low scoring and devastating hitting are the forecast here. I'm taking Tom Brady, who should be miffed about not making the Pro Bowl, over David Garrard who has 4% of his passes picked off!
Natural Doodle By Anekdamian
Click images for desktop size: "Natural Doodle" by Anekdamian

Carolina at Atlanta - Funny. This game has cruddy potential all over it. Michael Vick is playing injured, Weinke at QB for the Panthers. Carolina has a mediocre coach and a team that has apparently quit on itself, which can make them dangerous in the second half. The Falcons have a coach who has proven he can be incredibly stupid and not control his players on the field. So this is the Who Cares match of the day.

Chicago at Detroit - Last week the lowly Buc's showed that the Bears cannot rely on their defense without its studs on the D-Line. As much as I like the Detroit roster this is still to big a hill for them to climb.

Indianapolis at Houston - Another game with great cruddy potential. Will the Colts play like they have shown they can? Or will they play down to their opponent. Either way Houston just plain stinks.

New Orleans at New York Giants - My game of the week. Michael Straithan is back for the Giants. Can Drew Brees get back his form that was so missing last week? Will reggie Bush delight the jaded New York fans? Can Eli Manning play a whole game instead of the up and down season he's had. On paper this is the Saints game to lose.
Hunchback Of Notre Dame - Lon Chaney - Wallpaper - 1024-1
Tampa Bay at Cleveland - Cruddy game of the week. Move along. Nothing to see here.

Tennessee at Buffalo - The Titans are a bad team. The Billls are not. The Titans keep proving it is better to be lucky than good. Of course you have to keep yourself in a position to be this lucky.

Washington at St Louis - The Redskins played out of their skins last week in upsetting the Saints. It looked more like a one off than the start to something new. The Rams are playing out the string. They have a new coach so should be playing for next years contract.

Arizona at San Francisco - I really think the Cardinals could win this one. The 49'ers are without their best receiver but the Cardinals still have Denny Green on the side line doing his best to shatter his players confidence.

Cincinnati at Denver - The Bronco's won the first game for Jay Cutler last week. They're at home. But the Bengals NEED this one. Repeat. They need this one! They were embarrassed by the Colts last week. They have a lot to prove. A loss could keep them out of the playoffs. Game of the week runner up.
Coloredbottles 1440X900
Click images for desktop size: "Colored Bottles"

San Diego at Seattle - Seattle is playing terrible football but still lead their division. The Chargers need a win to keep home field advantage through out the playoffs. Tomlinson gets to play against the man whose TD record he smashed. That's the most interesting part of the game. Will the Sea Hawks D try and protect the image of their own MVP?

Philadelphia at Dallas - A game of the week contender. Lost status with the Cowboys hype of, “The First Time Two Hispanic QB's Start An NFL Game”. TO will be fired up for real. Garcia has been playing as if his life depended on the win.

New York Jets at Miami - The Jets had their chance and blew it. The Dolphins had several chances and blew them all. So when two resistible objects met each other . . .

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December 23, 2006

There'll be no one to save when the world's in a grave
PF Sloan
Just Tell 'em I'm Surfing
PF Sloan

Click images for desktop size: "Dreaming On Christmas" by Unknown
Coming into work today I was sitting on the bus listening to music when I was suddenly near overwhelmed by a wave of sadness and grief.
I don't know what bought it on. I was listening to the Four Seasons “Let's Hang On” and idly wondering how come this tune was such a huge hit (number 1) when I could only get a glimmer of what the song was about when I suddenly just felt the pressure behind my eyes and the sadness come rolling in.
I just let it roll. That's what I do. It passed quickly but gave me no clue as to what bought it on.
It certainly wasn't the music - its old. I've heard it several times before. It has no significance for me.
Speculating on what could produce such a profound effect seemed counter productive so I let it pass. The moment I let it go I remembered a 12 foot wave I once caught at Rincon several years ago. It was a totally tubular ride. In my memory I could hear Maggie, one of my dogs, on the beach barking because she was mad that the surf was too big for her to swim out to me, as was her custom.
Funny thing; the mind. I wondered if this meant I was going nutsier, or was just a sign of being old and diseased or some such. Maybe I was turning into a Southern Belle out of a turn of the century dime novella.
Dfmp6 010 Gold Rush 1925 I figured I was all wrong about that stuff. I couldn't afford any of that. I have to keep working.
I missed my puppy. She and I bicker but we love each other.
I notice that she spends at least an hour a day demanding pets from me. She always needs to know where I am, sort of like a mother and child and best friend all rolled into one.
My best friend today decided that I was home sick for LA. Gave me pause but its not right. I loved being raised in LA. I loved living there until it became just another big dangerous city. The LA I loved still exists but it is buried beneath the 21st century. Where I live now isn't the best in many ways, but at least its keeping me alive.
I'm really sick right now. My puppy is curled at my feet and my foster puppy is staying as close as my puppy will allow him. I'm glad I'm alive and I'm glad its nearly Christmas.
Maybe I am homesick. I don't think much about myself except when I have to. Then I just analyze. If I am homesick its not for an old home its for an old time, a time that won't ever be again. The only constant are the ocean and the surf.
My home is with my puppy and with our friends and I still have friends all over the world. I can't ever be homesick.

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December 22, 2006

Christmas is coming

Click images for desktop size: "Christmas" by Angeloque
The big news around here is that Jack, the puppy I'm foster parenting, has had someone express interest in adopting him!
The bad news is that the potential adopter has gone through an interview process but hasn't returned my calls about coming to meet him.
We've decided to just blame the holiday and not to let it dampen our spirits in the slightest.

I'm off work today. Tonsillitis, not resignation, just ill. Its no where near as bad as that time a couple of years ago. That was deadly agony - this is just painful. Again no damper on the holidays.

I have a special visitor for the holidays, as well as another dog I'll be baby sitting. His name is Charles, the dog's name, not the special visitor. Three dogs and two people. Suddenly this house seems very tiny but in the best way that will be nothing but enjoyable.
After my paycheck there wasn't much left except for some few Christmas cards, of which its been said I forgot to sign . . . doesn't matter. What matters is that my wishes were expressed. The wishes matter not the sender. A few years ago I'd have been miffed if you didn't just assume any great unsigned card or present didn't come from me.
Another Fine Mess 1930
An LA friend sent me two movies. Screeners: “Rocky Balboa” and “We Are Marshall”.
I watched the Rocky last night to fall asleep to (especially after BYU and their 24 year old freshmen took it to Oregon). I was surprised.
I liked the John Avildsen original “Rocky”. I liked that Stallone had done something impossible. An unknown actor wrote a film to star himself, and stuck to it. There was a lot of interest in the script and Stallone held fast to get it made starring himself. That took something special. To be broke and walk away from $50,000 to hold fast to a dream is special.
The film was a monster hit in every way and Stallone became a star - he embarrassed himself constantly and in many old and new ways.
I thought “Rocky II” was pathetic, III was amusing thanks to Mr T, and disgusting in its cheap bathos and ignoring the way heavyweight fights are set-up. IV was a bad monster movie and V relentlessly worked to destroy the entire mythos and good feeling that the Rocky character might ever had engendered. Its been 16 years since Rocky V. I can't think of anything Stallone has done since Copland in '97.
As much as I liked Copland it wasn't good enough to wipe out the memories of “Cobra” or “Demolition Man” and certainly not “Judge Dredd”.
I expected more pompous manipulative bombast from “Rocky Balboa” especially after Stallone took an embarrassing turn showing up to be interviewed during the Eagles-Giants game.
I was wrong.
“Rocky Balboa” is a cool Hollywood movie. It has its share of cheap manipulations, questionable coincidences and a fair smattering of bathos. But the core of the story is kind of wonderful in a Capra-esque powerful way.
One thing it does that Hollywood still does better than anyone in the world is to take a ridiculous premise and make us believe it. A 60 year old man fighting a World Champion? Yeah, we see it and we can't help but believe it.
That fragile core is done so well by Stallone the writer that it even survives the damage done to it by Stallone the director.
I recommend the movie. Maybe becasue I'm old and want to believe I still have one more big fight in me. Maybe becasue I want to believe a man can change and change for the better, maybe because there's a dog as an important character. That's a lot of maybes', all of them valid so the sum of things is that maybe I liked this because its a good movie.
I'm hoping to watch “We Are Marshall” tonight. After Matthew McHonikey's “even worse than Stallone's” plug for it during a jaw dropping interview on Monday Night Football, maybe it will be good too.

December 17, 2006

Every thug needs a lady
Alkaline Trio

Edwardhopper Nighthawks
Click images for desktop size: "Nighthawks" by Edward Hopper
This afternoon I was waiting for the bus home from work. As is the norm I had the earbuds buried deep and the iPod at max. This older guy came up to me. I watched him walk past 6 or 7 other people to stand in front of me and gesticulate.
I pulled out one earbud and said in my usual big city tone, “What do you want?”
He said, “Nothing. I was just trying to be friendly. I'm a friendly guy.”
He said this in a harsh whisper. Their was a knife wound on his neck. Not a slash throat cut scar but a puncture wound where you could see the entrance and exit wounds. He was wearing a brown Mitchells shirt, a photo id on a chain around his neck and a beige British driving cap. He was wearing slacks that looked like they would melt before they'd burn.
They should have done plastic surgery on it and cleaned it up some.
I felt abashed that I'd reacted to him so harshly. He asked me, “How long you been waiting for the bus?”
I did a quick glance at my pocket watch and told him, “Its late. Its due at 4:12 and it's 4:17” “Yeah, the bus man is pretty terrible. But at least the lord gave us this beautiful day. It ain't much like Christmas but at least he gave us some beauty.”
I nodded my head. It was beautiful.
“I've been working over at Mitchells the past month. I think they're going to let me go soon.” I said, “They won't let you go till after Christmas.”
Spiderman 3 - 576848 “That's so, that's probably so. I just don't want to go from job to job. All hopping around. I was in prison. Lord, I hated prison but at least there I knew where I was going to be every day.” He pulled at his brown store uniform shirt and the name tag around his neck. “This is just like a prison uniform. I know it is. In prison you didn't have to worry about them telling you to go home early. At least I had that. I want to live and I feel like they won't let me. It ain't right.”
Our bus came. He sat in the front. I took my usual seat in the rear.
I wished I could have disagreed with him.

Tomorrow I have to do a show with my foster dog. Its just a parade to show him off and hope some one falls in love with him. They should. He's a good dog.

I don't like this new NFL scheduling and monopoly. I find it remarkable that when baseball tried this same stunt and waved their anti-trust exemption they still got slapped down. Republican congress gives in to the NFL and the people suffer. I know its just a game but it is still . . . I saw the movie “Invincible”. It was pretty poor especially when compared to the real life it was based on. There was one scene though where the father tells his son how Steve Van Buren's TD that one the Eagles the championship kept him sane at a job he hated, keep him alive when his wife passed away. The NFL wants to take that away from the working man.

Last week I was 11-5, not good enough for much of anything really. I remain inspired by the beautiful play of Drew Brees, Reggie Bush and the rest of the Saints. I'm saddened by the sudden dip in the Colts game. But LaDainian Tomlinson has proven he is the best football player right now and that can't help but cheer me.
My picks are in bold. Use them as a guide if you're feeling suicidal.

San Francisco at Seattle - The Thursday game. I've already lost here. Seattle will still make the playoffs, hell 6-7 teams are still in the running! They shown they're not going to get far.

Dallas at Atlanta - After being dismantled by the Saints the Cowboys need to come back hard. I don't think they can do enough to win on the road against a desperate team that seems to play better when under the microscope and under the gun.
Lespaulmodel 1440X900
Click images for desktop size: "Les Paul Model"

Cleveland at Baltimore - The Ravens continue to impress.

Detroit at Green Bay - After the stunning win last week on the road Brett Favre seems ready to close out the deal. That keeps this from being the cruddy game of the week.

Jacksonville at Tennessee - The Jaguars are too hungry to let the Titans get their 4th straight. The Titans are a bad team, the Jaguars are a very good one.

Houston at New England - Tom Brady can't have two bad games in a row. The Patriots defense should settle down and have adapted the injuries.

Miami at Buffalo - Both teams are playing for pride but both teams have started to show something special this past month. Taking Miami on a coin flip and their stunning defense.

New York Jets at Minnesota - The Jets had their chance last week to stand up and really be something and they just withered. Now its the Vikings looking for an outside shot.
Screaming Skull-1024
Pittsburgh at Carolina - Before a down was played this looked like on the games of the year. Weinke is at QB for the Panthers but the whole team is badly coached and playing ineptly. The Steelers aren't any better but . . better than the Panthers.

Tampa Bay at Chicago - The Bears D line is exploding and imploding but they still have too much for the Buc's to handle. Gruden is another bad coach who is making a career out of one fluke season.

Washington at New Orleans - Can Drew Brees keep up the pace to break Dan Marino's yardage record?

Denver at Arizona - I do so much want to take the Cardinals but Denver has too much at stake to let this one get away.

Philadelphia at New York Giants - Jeff Garcia has been outstanding but the Giants are too tuff. Add to it that the Eagles can still make the playoffs even if they lose this one and that gives the Giants the edge to make them my pick.

St Louis at Oakland - Cruddy game of the week.

Kansas City at San Diego - runner up game of the week. The Chiefs owner passed on this week. The team liked the guy and his family. They'll bring extra fire to the match. The Chargers continue to look like a juggernaut. I'm going to watch and smile - this is a plot that deserves an opera written about it.

Cincinnati at Indianapolis - Game of the week and man has it got plot. The Bengals fighting for their lives and still looking like the heir apparents. In losing the last 3 the Colts have looked less than ordinary. This is a team with Payton Manning. The Jaguars destruction of last week will make them scary but the Bengals don't have to be afraid of anyone.

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December 15, 2006

Wait in the car a minute

Click images for desktop size: "Wolf Crossing Stream" by Daniel J Cox
In karate, particularly shotokan karate, you practice a single move at last 1,000 times in succession. The theory is that you grow fatigued and in that fatigue the non-essential muscles that work the hardest in a punch or a kick will exhaust themselves to the point where your doing the move effortlessly, which is the goal. New insights also say that this metabolic style of working out also increase and trains the nerves forcing them to adapt and react more quickly.
1,000 times to the point of exhaustion and then practice a different move 1,000 times.
For most of my life people have assumed I'm an existentialist. I think they mean it in the Camus and Sartre mode, if so I am certainly not. Camus was at least a decent writer but Sartre, I always figured he was good with a certain type of woman.
I'm too stoic to be that sort of existentialist.
I'm also too enamored of humanity to be a Keirkengarden style Existentialist.
Really I think its a lot of fuss about nothing and all I really am is a decent friend.
Poster - The Witch Who Came From The Sea Running on nerves and illness this week, just preparing for the big day.
I'm also spending a lot of energy trying to help find a home for the dog who has been squatting here.
He's welcome but its painful to watch because he'd be so much happier in his own home.
Funny, in a woman or a man the overwhelming need to love some one is undesirable, and when you're the misjudged target it is annoying and often frightening. But in a dog, well, some say, not me, that it is their greatest feature - the overwhelming need to love someone.
I like dogs. I like that they don't have conditions and don't fault you for being inconsistent.
I like dogs.
I have to ride the bus to work and then home, both ways in the dark. I get to see some Christmas decorations and I like that. I like the cheap and cheesy with equal fondness for the classy and over priced.
Christmas decorations always stir up a plethora of memories, most intensely personal. One of the oddest ones is they always bring at least a flash of Elvis Presley. And the thought process always leads to the fact that Elvis earned something like $60 million in his lifetime but when he expired he only had about 200,000 in cash - no huge stock portfolio, no secret Swiss accounts or blocks of slum apartments. (It was Priscilla who masterminded the Graceland/Elvis mega empire after he died.) I like that and all that it implies about the man.

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December 10, 2006

Sometimes I forget

The Youngest Priestess By Seranatra
Click images for desktop size: "The Youngest Princess" by Serantera
A lot of people came over last night, mostly uninvited. I seldom remember that people sometimes like to hang out with me. I never understood why they do. I'm always thinking there are things that need doing.
The foster puppy is still here. He's responding well to constant play.
ANd now a mad dash run at my picks for the NFL.
This is an interesting time. So many teams are so unsettled and have never gelled. Some are finding injuries impossible to deal with, and others are watching September heroes turn into December bumpkins, Even for the casual fan there's the cool speculation about the playoffs.
Lotsa fun, I think.
My picks are in bold.
Poster - Watch Me When I Kill
Cleveland at Pittsburgh - A total snorer of a game. The press had to make a big deal about WIllie Parker breaking a team record to have anything to write about at all. How much longer will Congress allow the NFL to flout the anti-trust laws?

Atlanta at Tampa Bay - On paper this should be a close game - two teams pitting strength against strength. But the Buc's appear to have given up. They are not playing as a team or even like guys looking for next year's roster spot. The Falcons early promise of defense seems to have evaporated.

Baltimore at Kansas City - Game of the week potential here. The Ravens D is looking more evil every week, surviving injuries incredibly well. The Chiefs D matches up well against a slightly disappointing Raven's O. Larry Johnson could make a difference here. The temptation is to take the Chiefs but Trent Green looks better but not like a leader yet. Maybe this game?

Indianapolis at Jacksonville - Another game of the week contender. The Colts are flailing at exactly the wrong time of the year. The Jaguars have fire and a NEED to make the playoffs. Once again I'm taking a team I think has a better chance of losing. Here I don't think you can ever pick against Payton Manning. He'll have trouble today.

Minnesota at Detroit - I like the Detroit roster a lot, but they look like a team ready to roll over and think about next year. The Vikings have pride and a wild chance at the playoffs.

New England at Miami - My confusing game of the week. Which of these two teams will show up? Its important to both clubs but they've both shown the ability to lose the big ones and to win the ones they shouldn't. I'm going with Tom Brady.

New York Giants at Carolina - Chris Weinke is starting for the Panthers. He is one of those utterly forgettable Heismann Trophy Winners, but he did win. If the Giants don't win here their season is over.

Oakland at Cincinnati - The Bengals have to be sharpening their claws for this one. Records should be made today. Chad Johnson is still my favorite receiver. And Carson Palmer is a Trojan.
Unknown 1024
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled"

Philadelphia at Washington - Before last Monday this looked like the cruddy game of the week. Now it should just be punishment time for Joe Gibbs.

Tennessee at Houston - The Titans are playing much better but they are still not a good team. Beating Indianapolis and the Giants on freaky plays two weeks in a row does not make them contenders. But Houston is just a bad joke. Cruddy game of the week.

Green Bay at San Francisco - I can't believe the fall of Brett Favre. I almost want him to retire.

Seattle at Arizona - Its tempting to pick Matt Linhart and the Cardinals. The Denny Green factor stops me.

Denver at San Diego - Another game of the week contender! Ladainian Tomlinson.

Buffalo at New York Jets - The Jets need this to make the ployoff run. Bills need pride and self respect. This will be a good close game or a Jets blowout.

Chicago at St Louis - How long will the Bears go with a QB who was 3-16 for 34 yards and 3 interceptions?? The Bears D will throttle the Rams even without SuperStar Tommie Harris.

New Orleans at Dallas - The Cowboys are heavy favorites. If I really bet I'd take the points and the Saints. They are looking deadly. The Cowboys are looking arrogant and they haven't won anything yet.

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December 8, 2006

My, my what a mess I made

The Widow By Vhm Alex
Click images for desktop size: "The Widow" by VHM Alex
For the past three days I've been working on a pointless, witless diatribe about the sad state of pop music what it was and how it got here . . . No doubt some compulsion will force me to finish the piece. I don't know why.
The new dog has taken over another big slice of my life. I feel for the guy. He'd make some one good a great friend. At my house he's the often unwilling playmate of my puppy. She has learned how to FORCE him to play, which may be a felony in some states but should be a misdemeanor in all.
Last night we, my puppy and I, had to go to the Football Awards Banquet. It was pushed up in the schedule as 5 kids, 2 of them mine, are taking an early graduation so they can get to College sooner. This way they have a semester to acclimate themselves to college life and then a session of spring ball to learn their new system with a cleaner shot of starting as freshmen.
And maybe they'll have an extra impetus to graduate.
Poster - War Of The Worlds (5) The banquet was what these things always are. This one had the extra fillip of our forfeited season. It still wasn't enough spice to make it anymore tolerable.
I like seeing the kids get recognized in front of the team and the parents but I don't and have never cared for the arm chair coaches who collar me and explain in excruciating detail what I could have done better. What I could have done better nominally revolves around giving their son more playing time . . .
I don't blame them for that and empathize and admire the concern. Too many years of listening to it, I guess. At least this time no one called me an idiot for not playing their child.
There was one bit that pleasantly surprised me. I'm quoting from memory so I might have some parts of it wrong but the gist will be right. The speaker was one of my kids.
“Coach says we're not allowed to thank him. He says he's only doing what he likes and he says you can't thank a guy for that. It seems unfair to us. Coach David has taught us a lot. We all feel we know the game better and that we play it better. We also got an idea of where the game fit into our life and where we fit into the world. He made us see how beautiful our sport is and let us see that we were an important part not only of our sport but of the community and the world as well.”
“He said we're not allowed to thank him for that. Coach David says he just teaches us how to play the game and that its the game that teaches us the lessons we'll carry away with us.”
“He ran the hardest practice sessions any of us had ever been through. Sometimes we thought we were going to drop dead but he encouraged us and helped us get through them. When we played in a game we realized we were always better than we were the week before. That made it worth doing.” “We did have a coach who was also with us each step of the way. She ran our drills with us and taught us that the game is fun. As players we forget sometimes that this is a fun game to play. Coach Shelby always remembered it was fun. Since we can't thank Coach David we'd like to thank Coach Shelby for everything she bought to us and our games.”
I should have made them run more laps.

The doctors yesterday. I've got an ulcer. Not that big a deal. Just have to rearrange my daily schedule some and take another pill.
I have to start physical therapy for my back and sciatica. Also not that big a deal.
I don't like it because its just another sign of how much I'm falling apart.

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December 3, 2006


Click images for desktop size: "ego War" by 1
A bit depressed about the loss but it was still a magnificent season for the Men Of Troy. They'll be back next year and likely be the pre-season number 1.

This weeks NFL picks. The grand prize this week is $100. I could use that. I have this extra dog, see? He's a good dog and only an idiot who didn't really want a dog would ever have given him up.

My picks are in bold.

Baltimore at Cincinnati - Yes, I did pick them. This would have been my game of the week but the years of Repuiblican asses in congress have permitted the NFL to violate Anti-Trust laws, monopolies etc and show the game only on their NFL Network, which is ONLY $300 a year. Better protest now or soon ALL the games will be pay for view.
The Bengals were an easy pick, lose this one and the division race is over, This game matched strength against strength and weakness against weakness. Too sweet even if only judging from the highlights.Poster - Monster On The Campus
Arizona at St Louis - this will seem a daft pick . . . Linhart threw for over 400 yards last week. He has the tools within and without to better that against the Rams. The Cardinal defense can handle Bolger and Holt. The only issue with them getting a win is the Denny Green factor. Why he hasn't been fired is a testament to the avarice of Bidwell (Cardinals Owner).

Atlanta at Washington - This seems such an obvious choice I'm probably wrong. After last weeks stupidity the Falcons have a lot to prove. Joe Gibbs has proven pretty well that the game has passed him by. The redskins have pride but not much else.

Kansas City at Cleveland - This should be a close one. Trent Greene coming back from his nasty concussion will make mistakes but Larry Johnson will make up for them. The Browns are improving but have too many weaknesses for Herm Edwards to exploit.

Minnesota at Chicago - Was Rex Grossman really trash talking? A QB trash talking? COOL! After the poor showing against the Patriots the Bears D will play convinced that they are the only chance of victory, they have the talent to make it happen. Can Grossman play a complete game? Its time for him to start putting it together or the Bears won't get very deep in the playoffs.

New York Jets at Green Bay - Common sense (my worst enemy) says take the Jets. I actually expect the Packers and Brett Favre to upset them. Everything is in place for them to blow up the Jets game plan.

San Diego at Buffalo - The weather is the feircest foe the Bills put on the field today. Mother Nature made Tomlinson and won't take anything away from the guy who is proving himself the greatest player of his generation every time he steps on the field. Shawn Merrimann's return from suspension is not good news for the Bills either.

San Francisco at New Orleans - Drew Brees is throwing up video game numbers for the Saints who have tarnished but not eliminated their right to be this years team of destiny. The 49ers are playing better than I expected but not enough for this week.

Detroit at New England - Those poor Lions. Without Seau teaming up with Bruschi the Patriots are a touch more vulnerable and the Lions should score a couple of times but Brady will score several times.

Indianapolis at Tennessee - After last weeks miracle comeback against the Giants the Titans will be brimming with confidence. The Colts have a very business like way of destroying confidence and leaving teams quavering in disbelief. Payton Manning even now continues to amaze.
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Jacksonville at Miami - Del Rio will keep the Jaguars pumped but the loss of Leftwich for the season has to hurt. Garrard has looked capable but now that defenses are prepped for him his productivity has dropped. Joey Harrington is showing the talent he never got to flash for Detroit and the Dolphins always had defense. This will be a close exciting game. My pick comes down to home field advantage.

Houston at Oakland - Cruddy game of the YEAR!! Brooks has the Raiders O looking about 10% less cruddy . . . yup, that's my logic in picking the ultimate who cares. Greg Landry is not proving to be David Carr's salvation. Landry still has some time but right now he's looking like a prime example of the Peter Principal. ESPN must be thankful this one didn't somehow get on Monday night.

Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh - Cruddy game of the week contender. The Bucs are playing better ball than the Steelers. Most interesting thing is seeing whether Cowher takes the job at NC State if the Steelers lose this one.
Invisible Ghost Bela Lugosi -1024
Dallas at Giants - The default game of the week. Can the Giants overcome their self inflicted madness? Can the Giants stop beating each other up long enough to beat up the Cowboys? Is Tony Romo for real? How will Parcells feel remembering when he had a good team? Its a soap opera and good for some laughs and drama!

Carolina at Philadelphia - And another cruddy game of the week contender. Both teams are playing far below ability. At least the Eagles have an excuse with McNabb out for the season.

Seattle at Denver - Finally, a decent game on ESPN. Shawn Alexander is back and playing well. Hassleback has had a chance to settle in. But the games in Denver and the Broncos defense is looking like a true thing of beauty again. Jay Cutler will be interesting and rev up the offense which really won't be expecting much from him. Should be some fun!

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December 2, 2006

Sand in my shoe

Click images for desktop size: "Loup"
Another dog is living with us.
Its a rescue dog and only here until they find it a new home. Means can't get too attached.
This little guys has had a life already - dog pound for two months then two weeks with someone who was going to cherish him forever.
Two weeks ain't a whole lot of cherishing.
Back in the '30's there was a criminal named “Farmer John” Mecurio. I only remember him now because he was the real one, the real guy who started a whole cliche.
Farmer John took down banks and payrolls, most of the time single handed. Now a days its hard to imagine what that meant.
His work was going into heavily guarded places and facing up to a half dozen or so armed men and walking out with the money and his skin. That he was big and tough enough to do this over and over again says something. He was 6'5“ and 265 according the the San Quentin records. You wouldn't forget that even today, back then when the average height was 5'7” he must have seemed a giant.
Poster - Mad LoveWhen they busted him they charged him with 52 banks jobs, 34 payroll jobs and sundry other crimes.
They liked to pile it on back then.
They called the guy Farmer. It was a popular nickname back then, for reasons I can't begin to understand. Farmer John was a dandy, dressed in the finest silks and shoes - man his size had to have all his clothes custom made or else wear overalls. He had one major weakness. It lead to his capture.
He'd robbed a payroll in Long Beach. To escape with the money he had to ram the shipping yard guard house barricade. He got through it but his car was riddled with sub machine gun fire. Even though John had some home rigged armour on the car a bullet got in and nicked his dog, a large German Shepherd.
With the traditional “Calling all cars” APB on the air they surrounded Farmer John's vehicle at an animal hospital about 3 blocks from the robbery.
Farmer John was there getting his German Shepherd treated. To the cops surprise he surrendered peacefully saying only, “Don't hurt my dog.”
One cop made a playful menacing gesture towards the dog and found out John was sincere. The handcuffed criminal jerked the cop off his feet and broke two of the cops ribs and his jaw before the other cops could pull him him free.
Nasa Insaturnsshadow
Click images for desktop size: "In Saturn's Shadow" by NASA
The vet, a Dr Cary Leeson, told the papers that John had pulled in and said his dog had been shot in a hunting accident. The only thing that caused the vet any concern's was that John was not dressed for hunting. John was deeply and seriously worried for the dog's well being.
When the cops called for him to surrender John pulled out a big revolver and said, “I should take you hostage Doc. That wouldn't be right. My boy going to be okay?”
When the dog was treated and well was when John surrendered.
The newspaper boys played the story up big. Since then there have been hundreds of stories and movies about the hardened sociopathic hoodlum who still had a spark of love and decency in him, at least enough love to care for a dog.
Even Raymond Chandler wrote a short story about him, but in Chandler's story the crook gets gunned down but the dog survived.
I liked that.
Doa Wallpaper - Film Noir - 1024 It seems John had always had dogs. He had his big Shepherd with him because it was his plan to head straight to Mexico for a little R&R. He didn't take a floosie. He took his puppy.
I liked that too.
That a man big enough, tough enough to take the world and shake it by the scruff of its neck, a man who inspired a myth, even if he was not mythological, that he existed is enough for me.
I couldn't hang out with the guy. What would we do? Play fetch with our dogs and smile. And if complained that I was having a hard time coming up with the rent he'd offer to take me along on a $50,000 bank job at the 3rd National? something easy to break me in . . .

So I'm glad I'm a foster parent to a dog.

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