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March 31, 2009

It is human nature to think wisely and act in an absurd fashion
Anatole France

Summer Time by Lete
Click images for desktop size: "Summer Time" by Lete
My wires arrived today. About 5 minutes before it was time to go to the oral surgeon.
That made certain it would be a good day.Mark of the Vampire
I was up about 3:30 in the morning. Too much pain kicking in. I don't think I was worried but who knows.
My puppy feel asleep with me. She was pressed hard against me, probably trying to push me out of the bed.
When I got up she came in and stood guard around my chair. I always imagine that she's standing guard out of some sort of doggie sense of duty and that all the while she's really praying that no one shows up to bother me, fearful she might have to do something. Still, its comforting.
Unknown
Click images for desktop size: Unknown
I did little until it was time to feed the dogs. Did my vital sign stuff. It was about the same. Nothing special.
I got sleepy but now it was too late to go back to sleep.
I got my wires and hooked them up pretty easily. Its not very instinctive and very difficult to figure out the right left connection. I did it with trial and error. It requires a lot of force to connect and reconnect the things. They are so light and fragile all the force mad me nervous.
Then it was time to get the six teeth pulled.
It was pretty much a non-event. The worst part was the nine novocaine shots. They hurt like hell. Two under the tongue and two in the roof of my mouth were very memorable. My toes curled in an unpleasant way.
Then the doc came in and pulled all six in about five minutes . . . He did it pretty well, I guess, but his speed just confirmed the feeling that I had that I was product and not human. I got no meds or pain killers. They set up a two week follow-up appointment in 3 weeks.
My mouth was totally numb and stuffed full of bloody gauze and they kept asking me questions. I Strawberry
Click images for desktop size: "Strawberry" by Unknown
kept answering but they couldn't understand me.
The surprise was that the bill was less than the pre-approved amount. It was still too much but there were no complications.
As the novocaine wore off I watched Frank Miller's "The Spirit". It was pretty poor although I thought Gabriel Macht was excellent as The Spirit.
I always loved Will Eisner's comics. The Spirit was a real favorite. As bad as the movie was my heart was seriously warmed when they'd get some of the Will Eisner touches right. Except for Macht the movie lacked Eisner's humanity, what Eisner merely implied they spelled out, like the fact that The Spirit is the world's only Jewish Masked Crime Fighter. They lost the humanity, the understanding of evil and in place of Eisner's sly humour we got tacky slapstick.
The pain was pretty bad but compared to the pain of the 3 erupted teeth it seemed almost liThe Molesterske a relief. Like the torturer had moved on to adifferent set of nerves. There's an occasional bad stab but nothing that I can't handle.
I'm happy the wire for the Ultimate Ears finally arrived. The disgusting part is that it took 2 weeks for the Post Office to deliver a 2 ounce parcel less than 1 thousand miles. Very pathetic.
As much as I like the Entymotic 4's that I borrowed I'm happy to have the UE's back.
The Entymotics are more precise and much clearer in the midrange but the slightly boomy UE's are nearly as precise and have a much more soothing relaxing sound. Its very hard to pick between them. That the UE's were a gift probably gives them a slight edge.
I expect to be pretty laid up tomorrow but if I can I'll finish up telling about Ong Bak 2.

March 30, 2009

You're only late if you get here after I do

Scarf, Girl and New Friend by Leah Felicity
Click images for desktop size: "Scarf, Girl and New Friend" by Leah Felecity
It's snowing . . .

My puppy has always loved her Kong, a red hard rubber conical toy. But she's very specific about itThe Ladies Man being her Kong.
When Jack, our foster dog, got adopted I included a Kong with his going away package. I made a mistake and gave my puppies Kong to Jack and kept his. This was a bigger mistake than I thought. My puppy who spent every minute outside with the Kong in her mouth refused to touch "Jack;s" Kong. She had no interest in it. Instead she Fess Parker
Click images for desktop size: "Fess Parker"
spent a good portion of every day searching for her Kong.
After nearly a year she started to play with "Jack's" Kong. Soon she was as enamored with it as always. By enamored I mean chasing it, teasing me with it and wanting me to chase her to steal it from her.
After our move she lost the Kong in a snow drift. I'd been looking as hard as I can. She'd scuttle along beside me desperate and frustrated.
Her aunt sent her a new Kong for her birthday last year. My puppy studiously ignored it until yesterday.
She finds it vital to have her Kong and to torment me with it. I don't know why but it seems to be some sort of lifeline between us.

I spent the weekend lightly suffering. I wonder if tomorrow's oral surgery, six teeth gone, is preying that heavily on me. I also wonder if the debilitating effect of the pain in my mouth is starting to affect the rest of my health. I'm constantly weary. My right shoulder is hurting em terribly. I can't put on a jacket with out grunting in pain. The exercises seem to keep the worst of the pain away.
My left elbow has stated to throb and weaken. I have a hard time holding the coffee pot. My thumbs continue to ache and stay weak.
A Brito
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by A Brito
My left ankle feels tweaked and burning. My right knee burns and gives out when I try to stand.
My blood sugar levels have been haywire. And every day my blood pressure seems to be rising, particularly the diastolic (the littler number).
Maybe its holistic. Could the pain in my mouth be branching out and affecting the rest of my body? Or could it be a matter of will? Keeping the pain in my mouth in check has permitted the rest of my body's aches and pains to resurface.
It will be interesting to see after tomorrow afternoon when my life will be mainly saliva, blood and a numb tongue.

I did watch three movies this weekend.Sons of the Desert
The first was a surprise in that it didn't totally suck; "Marley and Me". How did this Owen guy get to be a star? Alan Arkin was in it and he was reliably funny.
For a while it seemed almost that the filmmakers had swiped a page from the Japanese. The Japanese style of dog movie making is to realize that the dogs are not merely an object to cutify but a separate character that has a value within the dramatic dynamic.
That wasn't quite so. It turned out that the film was mainly just a biography of this newspaper writer. At least the dog was in it a lot and was used, slightly, as a device to elucidate the character and miasma of the human characters.
I expected it to be terrible. It wasn't.
The Korean film, "The Divine Weapon" was something of a throwback. It was definitely made to cash in on the popularity of "Red Cliff", that monstrously huge John Woo epic detailing how China came to be.
This film details how Jaesong broke free of China to become its own tiny and proud country. Being Korean the epic part is incidental to the drama and relationships of the people.
There's been a trend, lately, in Korean films, to have these period pieces reflect modern times - rapping monks, ancient caps made to resemble backwards baseball caps. That sort of thing. I find it disconcerting and not a little bit stupid.
"The Divine Weapon" doesn't mess with that. Instead it paints a lovely picture of people in the 15th century trying to survive and make a new and better life.
by 3D
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by 3D
The odd thing that keeps this from being incredible is that the film's agenda is to push patriotism and freedom. Freedom can only be accomplished via creating weapons of mass destruction.
The movie details the Korean invention (or perfection) of the Flaming Arrow, or exploding arrows, including rockets, the first weapon capable of killing people over a mile away.
For me its hard to cheer 100 people killing 100,000 by using a weapon no one other than the inventors had even conceived.
The battles are epic and have a rough beauty but what was thrilling was the love story between the female creator of the divine weapon and the former noble, now a merchant, who helps her build the missiles. One scene in particular choked me up. It was intensely beautiful, simple and direct.
Earlier in the film the woman gives herself a pep talk; "Are you sad? No, you cannot afford to be sad! Even if I'm lonely I can't feel lonely. I can't ever admit how scared I am."
Later on she has been betrayed and ordered to be turned over to the Ming government forThe Love Wanga execution. The merchant fights and will surely die or kill his best friend but she stops him and surrenders herself. He yells after her, "Are you sad?"
"No!" she barks back.
"Are you sad?" he yells.
"No!", she exclaims as she walks to the prison cart.
"Are you lonely?"
"No!" and she turns, "I have you!"
He's speechless and watches silently as she is taken away. Its more powerful than anything but a movie could show.
Finally I got to see the long anticipated "Ong Bak 2".
I was nervous about the film ever since its was announced. I think Tony Jaa's "Tom Yum Gum" is one of the 10 greatest movies ever made. Mixing bone breaking martial arts with human feelings, love of creatures not human, gripping your heart and your adrenal gland is no small task.
"Chocolate proved that director Pikanew's talent is deadly real. But for some reason Tony Jaa decided to direct his third movie himself. The announcement made me flinch. I thought of Bruce Willis . . . (Have you seen "The Adventures of Hudson Hawke"?)
I was calmed only slightly when I saw the trailer, on line, for "Ong Bak 2". Then I read a really disparaging review. The review savaged the film. It was clear the writer had little knowledge of international cinema and no knowledge or interest in martial arts movies.
So I was excited and nervous about being disappointed.
the Salute of the Robe Trade by Charles Russell
Click images for desktop size: "The Salute of the Robe Trade" by Charles Russell
Any film with Tony Jaa is going to get 4 stars out of 5 from me. The man moves with a sensuous grace and ease that is totally unworldly. He moves how an angel or an ancient god would move as if gravity and the earth around him were mere incidentals that can't even distract him. The man has two pet elephants! Of course he is quick to correct, the elephants aren't pets. They are family. RAH!
"Ong Bak 2" starts with a simple title, "It was the Buddhist year 1974. In the Christian calendar it was 1491."
This was a surprise. Tony Jaa the ultimate 21st Century hero was doing an ancient?

I need to stop. My concentration is fragmenting. This is already long. I'll continue after my oral surgery tomorrow.
As my friend says, I find it impossible to stay quiet for too long.
How does she put up with me? Normally with good grace and humour.

March 27, 2009

Art may imitate life, but life imitates TV
Ani DiFranco

New World by Sergey Musin
Click images for desktop size: "New World" by Sergey Musin
Out of the 32 resumes I sent out I got a response. Its to coach 7-14 year olds. The club has 12 teams in their league.The Killers
Normally I prefer working with the 14 to 19 year olds. I don't have to watch my language as closely for one thing. Getting back into Pop Warner football makes me smile.
I gather my resume is more intimidating than impressive for the people around here. Rather shocking to me. Doesn't matter though, Music System
Click images for desktop size: "Music System" by Unknown
to me. I can't help what I am.
All I know is that I'm excited about the chance to coach kids again. I've already started plotting out drills. Anticipating the level of talent. It fills me with pleasant hopes.
The first problem was that the interview with the board was originally set for March 31st . . . about two hours after I'm scheduled to have 6 teeth removed. I was up for it but decided to think clearly for a change, but only because he offered a second option without me asking.
So Thursday, April 2nd will be the day. Six p.m. Rah.
I think they want me to head coach. I can do it. I'd rather just work a position or at most coordinate the offense. My preference would be O-Line. I'll take whatever they're willing to offer. And all for free.

The pain is getting stranger. My face and mouth are dead things. My right arm is an electric conduit of agony. Doesn't matter much.
My friend worked from home today. So we took a long lunch and walked the dogs at the park, most of it off lead. Gentle dog thought it was wonderfu, Giant Dog ran back and forth and my puppy was nervous about what kind of trouble I was getting her into but rand around and had at least the minimum amount of fun.
I liked seeing them stampede around. I liked walking with my friend on what still feels like a nice Dark Art
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Dark Art
autumn day.
My earphone wires didn't show up again today. I sent Earphone Solutions complaining. I got a polite and quick response looking to place blame and poining out that they were still within the maximum allowable time frame.
I'll give it to Tuesday. I need my Ultimate Ears to recover from oral surgery.
As disappointed as I was by the lack of wires there's a blast of good news. The new Tony Jaa movie "Ong Bak 2" has been released on DVD. (Was it ever in the theaters?) I am totally stoked.
I should have it tomorrow. If I don't there will be a weak carnage.

March 26, 2009

There is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do
Bill Watterson

LostinYou-Titusboy.jpg
Click images for desktop size: "Lost in You" by Titus Boy
Kind of muzzle headed. Functioning well but not really able to concentrate or think beyond immediate circumstances.Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Tired of the pain.
I managed to stay awake until almost 11:00 p.m. Filled the time watching bad kung fu movies. Dubbed Chinese kung fu movies. Nothing much enjoyable about them. Kept my mind focused away from myself.
Gentle dog went to work with my friend. My puppy and Giant dog Jimi Hendrix
Click images for desktop size: "Jimi Hendrix"
had a near two hour walk. Ran into two dogs we'd never seen before. My puppy smelled them and wanted to move on but Giant dog hid from them, behind me, and woofed until he figured he'd cowed the new dogs enough to risk coming out for a quick sniff.
I tried to watch an old Charlie Chan flic. But Keye Luke wasn't in it and I found it dull and uninspiring.
Some good news. My friend's insurance company has approved my "oral surgery", pulling all six teeth, to the tune of 90%. Nearly $1,300. Takes a huge load off my mind. It lets me eradicate some pretty horrifying post-op imagery and worries.
I gave the Giant dog his bath yesterday. He was mad at me for the rest of the day. Never forgiving Poze Horor
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Poze Horor
but I think he managed to forget the indignity during the night.
This morning it looks like he did some minor damage to his foot pad, left front. Just enough damage to leave some bloody paw prints. These scared me but it was truly nothing to fret over.
I've been trying to help my puppy do a post for her web site. I can't seem to focus well enough right now to accomplish anything. I had one about 80% finished but it just didn't work.
It worries me. As spring gets to be more real the traffic on this site falls dramatically. At the same time traffic on my puppies site explodes. I have to get through my personal junk and get to work on it and make it real.
The wire for my Ultimate ears hasn't shown up. If its not here tomorrow I'll have to fret. I didn't get the new wire from Ultimate ears. Shipping was stupid expensive. Seventy bucks to ship a 4 gram twenty buck wire. I used Audio Warehouse. At first I was impressed that they sent me an email saying it had been shipped within hours of the ordering. But now its been 10 days.
I need my wire.

March 25, 2009

Revenge of the Volkites
Tracey Knight

Pin Up Art by JW McGinnis
Click images for desktop size: "Pin Up Art" by JW McGinnis
I used to be one of those balanced people. I mean that I hated as many things as I loved and with pretty equal intensity.I Walked with a Zombie
Maybe its just age and fatigue. I still love things with the same intensity, passion but I hate fewer and fewer things. And with less a feeling of rage, more like a feeling of contemptuous realization that these things will always be there: child molesters, rapists, the greedy oppressors who use democracy as a tool to repress and subjugate. No one is going to care enough to destroy them, eradicate them. I know that these vile types are manufactured and survive only because of our ignorance and they thrive because we all have a hard time looking past ourselves.
A scant few get busted and we feel smug for glancing at the headlines and the rest give thanks to the unlucky busted one because it means they can get about their evil for a little while longer, probably forever.
I don't have the rage anymore. Its a lot easier to love than to hate. Hate gets you killed, hate gets your friends killed and your allies killed. Doesn't matter if its killed for the right reasons or the Mary Magdalene by di Cosimo
Click images for desktop size: "Mary Magdalene" by di Cosmio
wrong. Dead is dead.
I'm bored and tired with death. Tired of fighting the hateful.
I'm just tired.

I fell asleep at 9:30 last night. Too exhausted to move.
Maybe it was the extra long walk. The dogs and I just meandered about the neighborhood. My puppy and the giant dog are leery of new things. Our byzantine path only slightly expanded their known world so they were happy about it.
My puppy will suck it up and continue forward in her belligerent straight ahead way but the giant dog will refuse like an open horse refusing a water jump. He trusts me so eventually he'll continue ahead.
Only the gentle dog is too wrapped up in new smells to care where we are or where we're going.
When we got home I gave the gentle dog a bath. He's the easiest of them. He stands quiet even though he insists that his head stay as far out side the tub as possible. He'll allow me to push hisHouse of Frankenstein head over the tub and the water for shampooing and rinsing but immediately stretches his neck as far over the edge as possible.
I spent the rest of the day doing exercises. My right shoulder neuropathic pain is back. It bunches the muscles up and the pain gets electric. I'm glad it responds to the old exercises. Just stretches and flexes. They hurt but not as bad as reaching up reflexively for the dog shampoo.
My hands aren't responding. That's annoying. The weakness in the thumbs frustrates me. When I struggle to hold the pan under the faucet, filling it with water for lunch it feels like a melancholy piano Alice 19th Secret by Panga
Click images for desktop size: "Alice 19th Secret" by Panga
sonata should be playing on my personal soundtrack. Its survivable. Doesn't make me happy. And yet I remain happy. Go figure.
Its a good thing I went to sleep so early. Normally I take the dogs out for the last time each night at 10:30. I go out with them. We patrol the yard in the dark. It involves a lot of running, jumping and attacking me. We have to check certain trees for cats and squirrels,
They didn't want to go out with my friend. The only negative is that at 4:30 they came to me in bed. The giant dog woofed at me. My puppy whined at me. They had to go out badly.
I did the math in my head and decided to stay awake. They're all sleeping in their normal night time spots. They'll be up soon. Breakfast time.

My blood pressure is still high. Not dangerous going to die high but higher than it should be. Warning high.
Grand Central Station by Ian Foster
Click images for desktop size: "Grand Central Station" by Ian Foster
Same with the blood sugars. Funny. I still think the huge amount of ibuprofen I'm taking might be contributing to both things. I've no proof but since when did we need proof to believe things.

I've been getting comments and emails from people about how much they enjoy the art work and the whacky movie posters.
I'm glad that people like them and enjoy them. I still don't find them whacky. For me the words just frame the pictures and the posters and pic's are all the story. I always think that they more perfectly illustrate exactly how I feel.
I look at them and can always see what it is I'm feeling, what I felt.
I've got a few thousand desktop pictures (wallpapers for the Windows crowd) and I have them rotate Hit Man on my desktop every fifteen minutes. I g through them and pick out the one that fits my mood. Sometimes its spot on and sometimes its just an allusion.
I've got over 10,000 movie posters. I do the same with them. I think movie posters are high art. People work hard on them. They want them to sell the movie but that's someone else's job. The guys who made them only wanted to make something beautiful with movie stars. Sometimes they totally succeed.
I'm not above sometimes making the references sort of obscure. Maybe to protect myself and probably sometimes just out of laziness.
When I duplicate a poster its generally because I've gotten a higher quality image. Or I just screwed up. Always one or the other.

I forgot to mention that one of the reasons I'm enjoying "Daredevils of the Red Circle" is that the team has a great dog; an Australian Shepherd called Tuffie. He even gets screen credit!
Tuffie doesn't really do anything heroic. He's the most doggish dog I've yet seen in a movie. He just does dog things and they always turn out to be incredibly heroic! And that, to me, is the way dogs really are.

Its time to feed the dogs. They're good dogs. And they claim to be very heroic too.

March 24, 2009

Bring it to Jerome
Bo Diddley

In Bones We Trust
Click images for desktop size: "In Bones We Trust" by Unknown
When I dream, or at least remember my dreams, they are always very heavily plotted stories. They're seen like movies, complete with retakes and cutaway shoots with insets and over theHalf Human shoulder close-ups. Otherwise my dreams are just fleeting images, like wayward film frames.
Lately I've been dreaming about pain. I feel the pain in my dream. I wake up and sure enough I'm in pain. Prophesy fulfilled.
Since dreams are important, they tell me, I wonder what these strange overly constructed dreams of mine mean. Dreams are the way the subconscious mind helps us deal with the issues of the day, the reconstruction of events filed into memories, trauma and events forgotten. ( At least thats what they taught me in the classes I had to take to deal with victims of child abuse) My dreams often consist of shot after shot of a key being removed from a dresser. Different angles, different lighting, until I get the correct shot and the dream continues.
A lot has happened. Nothing earth shattering or even important to anyone but me.
Gloucester Harbour by Edward Hopper
Click images for desktop size: "Gloucester Harbor" by Edward Hopper
I went to the Doctor's on Friday, the GP. He gave me some chores. On Saturday my friend and I got the prescriptions filled. We got the Blood Pressure machine and more diabetic testing strips.
My blood pressure is high. Not scary so but high. 150 over 86 one morning! I'm putting it off to the pain and the tension about even using the blood pressure machine.
I haven't been checking my blood sugars as well as I normally should. The strips cost like eighty bucks for a months supply, so I got into the habit of only checking it when I felt weird or wanted to eat something on the "unapproved" list.
There's nothing to justify this. My blood sugars have been a bit on the high side. As the diabetes at this stage could lead to blindness or to losing a limb I'll have to go back to being paranoid checkingHard Rock Zombies them even after I finish the doc's medical stats diary.
Diabetes is a degenerative disease. It only gets worse. Its like a car, as much as you pray a knock in the car isn't going to go away until it breaks down or you get it fixed. I'll have to keep a tighter rein on everything.
Today becomes the first day of my extended walking exercise program. Its hard to figure. I can walk 2 miles in less than a half hour by myself. When I walk the dogs the same walk takes about 90 minutes. Some of that extra time is due to weird little doggie detours and stopping to smell the lamp posts of life.
I also have to figure where we're going to walk to. My puppy and the giant dog don't like going to too many new places so I need to double our walking time while staying relatively close to their comfort zone and working my body a bit.
I think that means walking around in circles.
On Saturday we too of on a mini shopping spree. The main goal was this decent second hand book store.
We also made a run for Gluten Free Ice Cream Cones for my friend. The place where she used to go for them was closed. HAd the sign up: "Under New Ownership Opening Soon".
Every time I see that I wince. The Oriental Theater on Sunset had that sign on their marquee for 4 years until it finally reopened; not as a movie house but as "The Guitar Center".
We went to 4 other health food joints on a vain quest for the elusive ice cream cone.
My friend got three vegan cookbooks she'd been coveting. Not second hand. She's been working like Favorite Poet by Alma Tadema
Click images for desktop size: "Favorite Poet" by Alma Tadema
a lost slave for the past couple months. I was pleased she'd gotten something that mad her eyes light up.
We stopped for lunch at some sea food place. Eating out was hard on me. I could barely chew. I had a "Cajun" Poor boy sandwich that I ate with a knife and fork. I never learn to not order cajun food except in Louisiana. It was okay for all that. It felt alien to be sitting in a restaurant with just my friend. I liked it. I still have this habit of always looking around for someone I might know.
We finally got to the bookstore and they had a sale on cookbooks! 35% off. RAH! My friend got 11! I found three of my Destroyer books, all three of them ghosted by my friend Will.
We drove home. The car did fine and we felt happy.
Sunday was just a lounging around day. Need those periodically. Monday my friend took the day off. We had some light plans but it turned into another lounging around day.Gone With the Wind
I'd enjoyed "King of the Texas Rangers" so much I decided to check out some more serials. I was disappointed, not in the serials themselves but in the discs. The Columbia serials (which tend to have better actors but less excitement and poorer special effects) looked like they'd been mastered from beat to death VHS tapes. There's was tearing at the bottom and occasional rolling!
The Republic serial, "Dick Tracy" looked like it was a CAM but not recorded from a screen but from an old sheet hung in a windy barn!
"Daredevils of the Red Circle" suffered from the same flaws but was, Soa Lee
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Soa Lee
so far, at least watchable. Its pretty cool. The heroes are circus daredevils! The youngest is an escape artist, the middle (Herman Brix) a strong man, and the eldest an Olympic High Diver and Rhodes Scholar, or something similar.
Its been decent so far but its still hard to understand how Brix can stop crooks from fleeing by lifting up the rear end of their car but is lousy in the fights!
I also watched "The Yakuza". An old movie I first became aware of when I was a kid. The whole town was talking it up. Paul Schrader had managed to get the studios into a major bidding contest. Martin Scorsese was begging to make the movie. Sadly Sidney Pollack, he of "Tootsie" fame got the deal. If you'd ask me who would be the least competent director to make a big budget yakuza flic Pollack would have been near the top of the list.
It was cool that they had the brains to get a still fit and exceptional Ken Takura to play the lead. Even cooler they got sleepy eyed Robert Mitchum to play the American in Japan.
It was interesting to see how Pollack destroyed a great story. Takura and Mitchum wiping out a yakuza gang should have been classic but it was just boring. The only other time I saw it was when it first came out. I thought it was boring then. Sad that my kid instincts were justified by the crusty old man reality of today.
I can't help but thinking about how cool it could have been.
Dog baths today. The world quakes.

March 20, 2009

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall
Nelson Mandela

Supergirl
Click images for desktop size: "Supergirl" by DC Comics
It snowed last night.
Female Prisoner Scorpio
A long time ago I got a phone call from a woman I'd met a couple of times at different parties. I'd only given her my number because she was a PA at Universal and I thought it might be worth a shot to get me some work. That's all parties were to me back then: Employment Networking.
She called me and spoke with some urgency. We met for coffee at Schwabbs. She got right to it. She wanted to borrow $55,000 from me. I was sort of flattered that anybody actually thought I had Reading A Story by Tissot
Click images for desktop size: "Reading a Story" by Tissot
$55,000 in a lump or that I could even raise it. I was also pretty astonished.
I figure she had to be pretty desperate to ask a stranger for a pretty hefty amount of cash. I listened because I thought she was going to tell me about loan sharks or bookies threatening to kill her. Her story was interesting but not that dramatic.
She lived a pretty lavish lifestyle for a PA (production assistant) which is pretty common for Hollywood. She gotten into debt and wrote a bad check. She kept two checking accounts at two different banks and she figured out this, to me, byzantine scheme. Bank A was now overdrawn by (for example) $100. She wrote a check to herself from Bank B for $125 and deposited it in Bank A. Except Bank B was now overdrawn by $100. No problem. She wrote a check on Bank A and deposited it in Bank B the next day.
And she kept paying bills and writing checks for new stuff. Her solution was to just keep increasing the amounts of the bad checks she wrote to herself. Until now she was writing checks of over fifty grand to herself every day and sweating getting to the bank. And terrified of getting caught.
I don't know but I figured this was pretty serious bank fraud. I was surprised that she'd been running Save It by DAB
Click images for desktop size: "Save It" by DAB
this scam for nearly a year. I figured thirty thousand didn't bother her. Not even forty thousand but fifty thousand set off the alarm system in her heart. The wonders of electronic banking.
With two major banks involved I could see her being panicky. I'd have been panicky over the hundred bucks.
She offered up a lot of justifications about expecting to take care of the overdraft with her paycheck but she let it get out of control.
I'm not to concerned with morality or judging. I'm not much good at that stuff, although I did feel a twinge about the fact that she worked in Universal's Black Tower and still needed an extra fifty grand and still drove a Jaguar.
There was no question I wasn't going to loan her money I didn't have. On the wild shot I did have itZiegfeld Follies her story certainly wouldn't have instilled any confidence in me making that sort of loan.
What I did take away from it was her sense of dread. Of having to wake up every day and rush to the bank, knowing that if her timing was off her whole world would crumble into black pea sized hunks of coal. The rush of fear she felt every time someone might call her name or make a sound that sounded like her name every time she went into the bank. How the blood must have rushed anytime the bank teller took an extra second to look at her, the check, the computer screen.
I felt for her but had no answers or help for her.
(Later I heard how some actor who'd gotten to be a regular on a sitcom loaned her the money and was ticked off that she stiffed him.)
I went to the doctor today. Before I went to the doctor I picked up the "estimate" on working on my teeth on the 31st. It was nearly $1,400 . . . There wasn't even a minus for the 60 bucks I got charged for my "consultation" which I about 25% expected/hoped for.
Dental Reminder
Click images for desktop size: "Dental Reminder" by Unknown
The doctor wrote me my scripts but said I was looking totally stressed out. He wants me to get a Blood Pressure machine and take my BP in the morning 3 times a week and then again three times at odd times during the day. RAH!
He also wants a full on diary of my glucose count for the diabetes.
And I have to get a full panel blood working . . . Double Rah!
I probably need a blood panel. My cholesterol has always been excellent but I was having some issues keeping my good cholesterol above 4. I did it by eating lots of olive oil. I'm always concerned about what else they might find. Especially in the blood count bit.
I'm having a lot of stress. The pain. The extra pain in my mouth. Having to think about the dead. The money. It gets in the way and stops me from enjoying what I have to enjoy. I do have a lot toFriday Foster enjoy. A lot of happiness.
Right now I figure I feel as close as I ever could to the grief that woman felt while she ran her scam, except I'm not scamming anything. Not intentionally anyway and not in any way I'm aware of. I'm just being ungracious enough to keep staying alive.
I'm hoping the blood pressure will drop after I've had the dental work done.
Oh well.
I did manage to send out 32 resumes with a cover letter offering up my services as a volunteer football/athletics coach.
I was surprised just impressive my resume is. I've coached so many great kids. It feels tawdry to take any credit for the great things they did.
I sent it to every pee wee team I could find and to every high school in this part of the state. This part meaning some of them are nearly 200 miles away. I figure if they're interested I can leverage someone local.
I love coaching. I'm good at it.
I think my players love me nearly as much as I love them.

I updated to Movable Type 4.25. No big hassles at all. The main point of the upgrade was "vital" security fixes and enabling some features I'll play with. Mainly to see if I can do anything with them. Mainly its about "social networking".

March 19, 2009

To a man with an empty stomach food is God
Ghandi

Batte Rage by Artur Sadlos
Click images for desktop size: "Battle Rage" by Artur Sadlos
The trip to the Oral Surgeon was more annoying than anything else.
My friend and I sat in the waiting room for about 15 minutes. We were five minutes early for anDon't Knock The Rock 8:45 appointment. I was then ushered into an examination room. My friend left to go to work.
I sat in the examination room for another 15 minutes. The doc came in and spent about 3 minutes with me. He pent thirty seconds looking at my folder and said we'll have to pull all six teeth. Just use novocaine. He'd extract some bone marrow from underneath the shattered tooth for a biopsy. Since I didn't feel any of the symptoms of leukemia he wasn't too worried about it. Bye and see me soon.
I then had to stand in the waiting room for ten more minutes while they scheduled my appointment. The chirpy appointment maker said the soonest I could get in would be April 20th. I got a bit rankled at that. Another month. She explained how incredibly busy the doc was having 4 other offices in the corporation to cover and his vacation was coming up . . . Having no reason to have any great faith in the doc I said I'd be willing to see any of the others. (Three minutes isn't even enough to form a snap judgment.)
She then found an appointment of March 31st and that will be $63.13 for today's consultation . . .
I had a friend, an ex-friend, he got too overwhelmed with money to be a friend. He was a doctor in Beverly Hills, had an address on Rodeo Dr, even if it was south of Wilshire that's still a pretty snazzy address. He had an odd practice. He had 8 examination rooms and four "nurses". He worked like 90% with insurance claims, accident victims. I gather he had a set up with a mess of Personal Injury lawyers. They'd send each other business.
Baretta by Armes
Click images for desktop size: "Baretta" by Armes
What he did was get these people into the exam rooms and slap a hot towel on their necks. Then he'd bill the insurance company two hundred bucks for "physical therapy". At three to five treatments a week it could get into some serious bucks.
I have no idea if he ever saw any "real" patients. If he did he never talked about them. He kept all 8 examination/treatment rooms full for 10 hours a day. He was a busy man.
I had another friend who was struggling financially getting through medical school. His wife kept him alive. A month after he got his license to practice he filed for divorce. The judge awarded his wife alimony based on the doc earning at least 3 million in his lifetime. This was based on precedent. Other judges in similar situations were awarding pretty much the same.
I can't speculate on why he divorced his wife just then. Even if I'd known him better its impossible toThe Erotic Diary of a Lumberjack ever understand the thoughts, dreams and remorse of another. He was a plastic surgeon. He got an office in Century City. I figure the judge probably underestimated his income.
I'm just pretty stunned about a doc charging me sixty bucks to set up an appointment so he can charge me about a grand. Great racket.
Who knows how good a doctor is? How can you tell. Don't we really go to them and hope they stop us from hurting? At least hope they Gentleman by Lorenzo Lotto
Click images for desktop size: "Gentleman" by Lorenzo Lotto
don't screw up and kill us.
When I moved from the southwest I had to go to a private doctor to get all my meds. A nurse led me in, hooked me up to a blood pressure machine, turned it on and then forgot about me. The machine kept pulsing up and down, tightening and loosening the sleeve until it beeped. I dragged it around the room and inspected the cabinets that weren't locked. After about a half hour the doctor came in. We talked for about 5 minutes. She wrote me my prescription. That was it.
When I got to the front desk I got a bill for nearly $400. The scripts were wrong. I was afraid I was going to get billed for her correcting them. I had to borrow the money to pay them.
When I went to fill the scripts I was astonished. The big chain, Ekards, wanted One hundred and twenty five bucks to fill one of the prescription. Walgreens wanted eighty.
There was a little drug store that had a sign in its window saying they were diabetic specialists. Purple Dragon
Click images for desktop size: "Purple Dragon" by Unknown
They filled the script for twenty five dollars . . . This still amazes me. The little drug store was for profit same as the big ones. It was the same generic drug, a drug I'll have to take the rest of my life. I guess they could afford to be cheaper because they didn't have the advertising budget and unsold Christmas toys and candy to pay for.
A couple of weeks later I got my appointment to get into the municipally assisted program. My doctor, who I liked immensely spent 45 minutes with me, examining me completely and compiling a solid medical history all of which he entered into the database as we talked.
This cost me twenty bucks.
I thought about this walking home. It was a lot better than thinking about loosing six teeth. LoosingDracula's Daughter them and the pain of pulling them all out in a half hour.
There's no question that getting everyone's medical records into a central database will improve the efficiency of medical care. Doctor's, who seem to have denigrated to a slovenly low right next to 21st century bankers, don't want this. They need those consultation fees.
The way things re going the AMA is going to need to be regulated. The scams doc's pull on Medicare and Medicaid are pretty legion. Several million dollars scammed by a doctor don't even make headlines anymore. When they get busted all they do is raise the fees to their existing patients.
Its become a medical business and we've become the products on the assembly line.
It sucks to be human. At least vets haven't sunk to this . . . yet.
While I was walking home I passed the postie I'd passed before on the day I'd lost the checkbook. Bear
Click images for desktop size: "Bear" by Unknown
She walked beside me and asked if I'd found my wallet.
I corrected her and told her someone had found it and returned it to the bank intact. She seemed very glad about that and then went about her route.
Small towns.

We picked up the car yesterday. The joint did a great job, so far. They did a full brake job on both rear wheels to stop the squeaking. When they replaced the bad speaker they found a bad check strap (the final defense to keep you from falling out of the car). They found one and replaced them both!
We stopped at Taco Bell, again, on the way home. I had two bean burritos and an order of fries.
Mr friend had TEN BEAN TACOS AGAIN!!
This time she ate six while we were there relaxing in formica luxury and then ate the other four when we got home!!
I hope they made her feel better. She's been killing herself working on a report for the Fed's. Experiment in Terror She thought it was done but there was a glitch somewhere. She couldn't work on it because the company's Citrux system was down. She bought the work home and found out that the Citrux system was back up but it was generating erroneous reports! It was picking up invalid numbers and dumping some valid ones!
In London once I was looking at an electric sign at the train station. The sign kept scrolling one message: "Sign Not Working".
This bugged me because the sign was obviously working. I mean, I could read it.
The station master walked by and I asked him about it. He answered, "Computers mate. Can't expect them to make sense now can you."

March 17, 2009

I love mankind; it's people I can't stand
Charles M. Schulz

Watchfinder General's Kitchen by Andy Jones
Click images for desktop size: "Witchfinder General's Kitchen" by Andy Jones"
Under threat of physical damage to myself I've been instructed to point out that my friend only ate NINE tacos on Saturday. The tenth was given to the pups. She does admit that she could have eatenConfessions of a Psycho Cat the tenth.
Further the implication that she often eats 9 or more tacos is erroneous. She struggles to keep her weight over 115. I believe that is pounds not kilograms.

Dog by S4W
Click images for desktop size: "Dog" by S4W
A while ago I broke the audio cable on my Ultimate Eat super.fi 5's. I've finally gotten around to finding that I can replace the cable for only 20 bucks. Which seems a lot for a cable but considering my disastrous attempts to rewire and splice the super thin wires it seems like a bargain.
The only issue is that there seems to be no way that I can see to remove the old cord. The only help is that the picture of the replacement cord shows two pretty little gold plugs that obviously plug into the old ear speakers. Still, I can't see anyway to remove the old cord short of cutting the wire off which makes me fearful of damaging the tiny female plugs that the picture indicates exist there.
I wrote to Ultimate Ears but haven't gotten a response yet. Frustrated I just now pulled the cord as hard as I could and I've either removed the old cord properly or damaged everything beyond repair. That's the way most of my repairs go.
Angie Dickensen
Click images for desktop size: "Angie Dickensen"
I'm going to order the replacement cable and see what happens from there.

We're still watching an episode of the old David Carradine TV show, "Kung Fu" every Sunday.
I'm a bit stunned about how the show progresses. I still have problems that becoming a star on a hit show Carradine never bothered to learn any rudiments of martial arts. His dancer kicks and repetitive moves that have no foundation in fighting get tedious and I constantly find myself thinking about how great it would have been to have had Bruce Lee in the role.
But the biggest problem is the lack of a story editor. The shows bring in forgotten plot points at random and then promptly forgets them again, not only within the show but in the series. Most of the time he's just wandering around America but for no apparent reason he is suddenly searching for The Crawling Eye his brother. He appears to wander from Louisiana to the Mojave Desert. Since this a distance of about 2,000 miles you have to figure part of his Shaolin training is teleportation.
These second season shows don't have Keye Luke very often. Luke is still one of my fave actors. He was a professional and committed to every role he played. As Charlie Chan's number one son he moved with an easy grace, easy enough to have him play an Olympic Athlete and be totally believable. As the blind Master Po in the series he lent the show a gravitas and sense of joy that they can't replicate. Without Luke the Temple sets suddenly look cheap and thrown together. Luke exuded enough sheer joyous power to steal all the focus so that all you see is him. He's always had the magic.
Oddly even with the overt input from Carradine and all the screaming flaws the show never fails to entertain. At its best it gives some serious insight and provides something more to think of than just Bedside Book by Kahle
Click images for desktop size: "Bedside Book" by Kahle
"cool!" (Which does not negate how much I like "cool!")
Its this constant battle between exhilaration and disappointment that makes me look forward to each episode. That and that I get to share the experience with my friend. As a guy who thought a great Saturday was to go to 4 different theaters and see 8 or nine movies on the day and who's greatest pleasure was when someone would go along with me on these celluloid forays that means a lot to me. Even when they hate something I enjoyed or loved something I thought was just okay it makes everything so much better.
Considering that the only book I found of interest in my friends library turned out to be one of those book vaults, where the middle of the book is cut out to hide stuff; it can't be underestimated.
I've been watching a lot of movies, as usual. Nothing great. In fact the best thing I've seen was "Alien Raiders", which says something about the movie funk I'm in. "Alien Raiders" was okay. A nice low budget movie that made the most of its situation, worked well. I liked it more than I did theDelinquent Parents preachy "The Mist", even with fewer monsters and a lot less special effects.
I've been watching the "new" Shaw Brothers films. Nothing spectacular there. So far the best of them was the previously unreleased "Martial Club" by Liu Chia Liang. The main focus of the movie was Lion Dancing!! There was an opening segment that Liu (a recognized Master of kung fu) explaining the rigid code and rules of the Lion Dance.
It was a fun breezy movie that made me laugh. Had some great fights and an incredible human pyramid of about fifty people. It walked and was part of the Lion Dance choreography.

Tomorrow I've got my appointment with the oral surgeon. Eight forty five in the morning.
I think I have a ride there but will probably have to walk home. Normally no big deal. We've had some nice enough weather lately but they're saying its going to rain tomorrow. Using child logic I've decided that if I manage to get home before it rains that signifies that everything in my life is gong to turn out well.

March 16, 2009

Television is a medium because anything well done is rare
Fred Allen

Red Flute
Click images for desktop size: "Red Flute" by Unknown
Last week was one of those lost times. Pain, worry and concern blinding me to life.
What I know is that these sort of weeks used to be prevalent. They ran to months. Times where you walk through life Body Heat and it does not touch you. It leaves no remark and accepts no input. I would feel like a hunk of meat and symptoms. I simply endured.
Even the good times, because for some reason I never stop working, even the good times were simply blurred like a 16 mm movie slipping its sprocket holes and showing the sound stripe.
Now those times are rare. Rare enough to notice.
One thing I did this weekend was install Windows on my friends new Dark Art
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Dark Art
MacBook. Ended up staying up most of the night.
The Apple side of things was no big problem, actually no problem at all. It did what it was intended to do and did it fine. But Windows . . . No wonder little geeks sit out there believe they are computer experts because they can work with that clodge of make believe.
I've never seen anything so inept and silly as Windows XP. Granted Apple has an advantage in that its OS is designed to work on a restricted set of hardware and Windows is expected to function on any piece of junk that you want to cobble together it still doesn't justify the inherent stupidity of the OS.
When installing Boot Camp, the Apple app that partitions the hard drive and preps it for Windows, it reminds you that it will be necessary to have Windows reformat the HD. It sets it up as FAT32. Windows might not be able to read to this.
After waiting for 30 minutes the Windows installer asked if I wanted to reformat the drive. It did not give me the option to reformat as FAT32, only as NTFS (another horrible clodge that emulates HTFS). I foolishly decided that it meant that it could read and write the FAT32 fine.
Waiting by Riftsurround (Fran Rivera)
Click images for desktop size: "Waiting" by RiftSurround (Fran Rivera)
It could write to it but couldn't read it . . . which probably makes sense to Windows only guys. As does the installer not realizing that it could write but bot read the partition.
I found this out because when I rebooted to finish the Windows install I got nothing but a disk read error. I futzed around and tried to fix it but the only solution was to repartition the drive and blank the old partition. Fortunately Boot Camp makes this a no brainer with no risk to the Mac data.
This time I reformatted the drive as NTFS and the install progressed nicely.
The problem with the NTFS file system is that when my friend is in Mac OSX she can read but can't write to the partition. She can't save docs to Windows. This is a secondary problem as when the partition is over 32 gig you can't write to it either (from OSX). Of course Windows is so stupid itBracula can't read any other file system or OS (even linux). If it were my computer I'd have set it up for 32 gig and used Parallel to run any Windows apps I might need. Of course I also hold to the principal that any tool should be used by the user in the way they see fit.
Now I finally had the Windows actual installer going. It said it would take anywhere from 2 hours to 39 minutes to complete the install!!
I love that sort of accuracy.
It took 50 minutes.
After doing all the password set up I finally got to the screen and was nothing but appalled at the sheer ugliness of the interface. I'd forgotten just how pig ugly it is especially with the inane way it tries to beautify itself. That wasn't all the issue. It was the way EVERYTHING stopped at all the stupid security fixations.
All the notices were growing tedious. With its huge list of supported machines and hardware it couldn't find the WIFI card, the sound drivers etc.
Installing the Apple drivers fixed that but it seems rather foolish that Windows can't find anything.
But its up, running and looking pig ugly. Only took 5 hours.

Lest you think I love Apple blindly I note that the new iPod shuffle is charging A FEE to anyone foolish enough to want to design third party headphones that will work with the thing. So unless you want to pay the Apple tax and an extra premium for premium earbuds your stuck with the cruddy Jimi Hendriz by S4W
Click images for desktop size: "Jimmy Hendrix" by S4W
$29 buck-ers they pack in. This could be Apple's biggest failure since the Newton.

We took the car in for some warranty work. Nothing at all serious but all annoying. The squeal from the brakes and the constant squeaking, the blown speaker and a funny clunk when you turn off the rear window wiper.
We got a loaner. A Ford Focus that really sucks! But, as my friend says, it's better than n car at all.
The thing that startles is how easy the whole thing was. The salesman even remembered me! (Which my friend points out is probably an indication of what a pain in the neck I can be.)
We stopped at Taco Bell. My friend had TEN vegetarian tacos. I had a burrito and a quesadilla and her french fries (that came with her Family Taco Meal). The fries were hard for me to eat. She Cinderella didn't get sick or smelly so the meal was a success.

Sunday I spent getting the yard ready for spring and summer. It was over 50 and sunny. The dogs and I had a good time. I'd clean and then they'd mess it right back up. The gentle dog got into trouble. He got tangled in some dead Virginia Crawler behind the garden gate. He had cornered the stupid cat back there. The cat was taunting him. While he was all tangled it was hissing and swatting at him.
It was a hateful thing for it to do. As I got the gentle dog untangled and the stupid cat saw he was free it took off with the gentle dog in hot pursuit.
The cat went to the defunct bomb shelter. The same one the gentle dog had gotten itself trapped in during the winter. After that escapade I blocked off any easy dog access. Good thing as there's no doubt he would have dived right in there.
He hates that cat.
I might have to rename the gentle dog. He really hates that cat.

March 13, 2009

Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are
Kurt Cobain

Strong Bow
Click images for desktop size: "Strong Bow" by Unknown
Yesterday I got a call at 9:30. From the dentist. Telling me they'd had a cancellation. At 10:30.
I told them of course I wanted it but it was a 5 mile 90 minute walk (per google.maps). I rushedBeyond the Forest out. It was nasty cold but the sun was shining.
I made it in 40 minutes.
This wasn't speed. It was pain driving me on. Even though they'd told me this wasn't to relieve the pain but it was to extract only 2 teeth to send for a biopsy. Even two teeth missing would relieve some of the pain and maybe even let me chew food.
I was feeling pretty smug when I walked into the office. EARLY. Until I discovered I'd lost my friend's checkbook . . . I dug through my Book and Oranges by Signac
Click images for desktop size: Book and Oranges" by Signac
pack and only avoided panic by being rushed into the dental chair.
The dentist took my blood pressure. I told her my normal BP was 130 over 80 but in doctor's offices it usually ran about 160 over 90. Doctor's make me nervous. It was 180 over 97. We waited 5 minutes and it fell to 160 over 95. Five minutes late it was 140 over 95.
She claimed that was too high to do any tooth extractions. She said I might stroke out on her.
Maybe, but I sort of doubted it. I pointed out that I'd just walked/trotted a pretty fair distance. I was in pain. The pain stressed me and kept me from sleeping well. Doctor's make me nervous and I think I lost my checkbook. And we were checking to see if my leukemia had come back. I thought this was enough. I figured my BP was going to be high until this was sorted.
She said I'd have to take an oral sedative. It would take about an hour to work and she didn't have the extra time today. She was starting a weeks vacation Friday (today).
They ma to set up an appointment with an oral surgeon (next door) (being next door was the only Street Cred
Click images for desktop size: "Street Cred" by Unknown
decent part). I went to the Oral surgery and had to answer the usual shaft of questions re: medical history etc.
A nurse took my BP. It was now 130 over 88. (They couldn't wedge me in at the dentist's next door. I checked.)
An oral surgeon came in and checked the stuff and said this was too complicated for him. I would have to wait for the Doc who'd studied my x-rays to "consult" with me. Magnanimously he wasn't going to charge me for his 2 minutes of time spent with me.
I got an emergency appointment for Wednesday at 8:45. Then they'll decide what to do . . .
In the little town I was in before I had signed all sorts of HIPPA doc's so that my team of oncologists, GP's, dentists could freely consult. They also had all of my medical records on theBasket Case central database so they could see anything they needed with a couple of mouse clicks.
This is quick, easy and far less stressful for me. I wrote to my old Team head and was surprised to discover that this wasn't a state wide program but just a municipal program! Just a small city.
This is what Obama wants to do. While I clearly understand the point of HIPPA and I really get the idea of privacy and not wanting any jerk having access to my medical records this system works easily and well from the doctors all the way to the municipally funded pharmacy. It needs to be done. I think city by city until all the towns and villages are on the database and then bring it nationally. It will save time, money and insure better medical care.
In just this dental thing I've spent about 2 hours just repeating medical history and signing documents to let them show the oral surgeon my x-rays. That's out of about 3 hours I've spent with Regret by LawnElf
Click images for desktop size: "Regret" by LawnElf
them in total.
My old small town doctor pointed out that all my files are marked by the fact that I'm sickly I have a huge amount of stamina, and a huge capacity to deal with pain. He also thought that my abnormal bone deterioration probably has more to do with the various chemo's and he would consider me coming out of remission the least of the possibilities. He sees no reason to not do a biopsy on the teeth, but merely as a precaution.
He confirmed all this with my old records.
So I left the oral surgeons with nothing really accomplished. Except I'd lost the checkbook.
I walked back much slower, kicking over every leaf and piece of garbage.
No joy.
I decided that it probably never made it out of the house and that I'd find it on the floor next to myAtom Age Vampire desk.
No joy.
I had put the leashes on the pups. I was going to use their highly honed hunting instincts to find the checkbook! Or at least have a few laughs at their expense while I looked for it.
My friend called me. She was still in her meeting in the "big city". Her bank had called her. Someone had brought the checkbook in and dropped it off at a bank branch!!
The pleasures of a small town.
I was still obligated to take the dogs for a walk. They insisted on searching for the checkbook even though it had been found. We had fun.
When we got home I started work on my friend;s new MacBook. I could not get the Migration Assistant to work.
I decided to do the one thing that all guys despise. I called Support.
After about 40 minutes the woman on the other end of the line couldn't figure out why it wasn't working. I was doing and had done everything exactly right but it would not work. She transferred me to a guy in Cupertino (Apple's main office). That guy was great. A lot of help. His conclusion was that the old Powerbook's dead DVD drive was the culprit. That it was dead but did not report to the system as dead had to be the problem. We discussed lightly the best way to get the data swapped across. He actually said that it sounded like I knew what I was doing! Then he gave me his direct line to call if I had any grief.
My issues with the New Apple not withstanding the smartest thing they've done is not to outsource Fashion, Sex, Politic and Music by S4W
Click images for desktop size: "Fashion, Sex Politics & Music" by S4W
their customer service centers. I hung up the phone feeling that we'd made a smart purchase.
Moving all the data "by hand" was a long and tedious process but most likely a more accurate way of doing it. Proof being that after I rebooted the new MacBook not only was all the data there but the desktop looked exactly like it did on the old Powerbook. All the little menu items and gooniness that she loves so much were all there and most of them were working flawlessly. There was some very minor tweaking to be done and probably some minot tweaking still to be done but all in all it worked easily enough.
The MacBook is QUICK, lively, responsive all that you could hope. I am jealous.

My little second hand iPod nano seems to be gasping. The little music player is hyper important to me. Music is still the thing that makes some parts of my life bearable. I'm curious about the new Blind Fury shuffle. Not to own. I don't want a crappy pair of 29 buck headphones and third party headphone rushed out with the extra little controls are going to be over priced and no guarantee of sound quality.
I still covet an iPod Touch but they are still too expensive. Time to start saving up for a new Nano I guess.

I ended the day watching another episode of "King of the Texas Rangers". A serial I got more out of curiosity. I wanted to see Hall Of Famer "Slingin'" Sammy Baugh. Oddly its become one of my favorite serials. Its consistent and at its worst its wryly amusing. I still love bits like cowboys dressed in full regalia including six guns SKY DIVING! Duncan Renaldo is great and Sammy Baugh is fascinating in the way he moves. He looks beautiful on horseback but then looks cramped and uncomfortable while driving a car, like a machine is trying to confine and restrict his great sense of full on motion.
I only have two episodes until I've finished it. This makes me sad. I like the world these guys inhabit.

One clarification. Yesterday I mentioned that three girls I tormented as a kid proposed marriage to me. It should be noted that they were also about 7 years old. My repsonse to their show of affection I reciprocated. I would throw smaller stones at them. And I would never try and put dry ice down the backs of their t-shirts.
I always had a way with the babes.

March 12, 2009

If you don't want to die don't be born
Ryhishiki Tseumoto

Slag Heap by Clarence Carter
Click images for desktop size: "Slag Heap" by Clarence Carter
Yesterday I made a root beer float. I made it in self defense.
It bought back a lot of memories. Ancient memories.Shoot the Piano Player
In our neighborhood a root beer float was called a brown cow. A float with Coke we called a black cow. I have no idea why. That was also the extent of our names and color palette.
When I was a kid one of my best friends was Pete. Pete was trouble, great trouble. As much fun as we had was always trouble.
The kind of fun we had was in our games like "War". We all had wrist rockets. Tom and Pete and I would climb onto our garage roofs and shoot brads and bent nails at each other. It was exciting and dangerous. We always wore protection: green plastic army helmets.
After a salvo we'd climb down to score (and gather up more ammo). We had a complicated scoring system. Getting both ends of a brad to stick was worth two points, getting one to stick in the helmet was worth a half point. Getting a nail to go through the helmet deep enough to bleed was worth a full point etc.
Tom and I had a game that always appeals to 7 year old boys; stealing girl's dolls. We would replace the dolls heads with plastic dinosaur heads or earthworms, or pretty much anything that would make girls shriek and threaten to tell our parents on us. They never ratted us out, in fact at least three of those girls proposed marriage.
While we were involved in this Pete came up on his bike. He'd been to the beach (he was a good surfer, even had his own board). Pete was all excited. The Starlight Theater was starting Saturday matinees. Ten cartoons, three Three Stooges shorts and a cheap horror movie. Fifty cents admission!
We were stoked.
Second Story Sunlight by Edward Hopper
Click images for desktop size: "Second Story Sunlight" by Edward Hopper
The premiere show was "Teenaged Frankenstein", a movie that was already on TV but this was a chance to see it on a big screen with a few hundred of your buddies.
During the boring cartoons and during the slow parts of the movies we all prowled the aisles. The air was thick with tossed popcorn, popcorn boxes, soda cups, the occasional nerd's jacket. The air was so thick with thrown stuff it was often hard to see the screen. That was cool by us. Everything got dead quiet during the Curly Stooges and whenever the monster was on the screen.
Those Kid's Matinees were the lynch pin of our weeks for a long time. No experience came close to it for exuberance and fun in the dark until we discovered underground surf films with live bands.
I always had a dollar for the matinees. After admission I had fifty cents left. My special treat was toAlien buy an Eskimo Pie from the vending machine for a quarter and then a soda from another vending machine. A soda in a paper cup.
I'd sit in my seat and meticulously pick off the chocolate coating from the Eskimo pie, i'd pick it off with my teeth, then when I had a glob of melting ice cream, free of chocolate, I'd plunge the ice cream into the cup of soda and have a fancy float. (it was important to get every bit of chocolate off the Pie. I somehow had it in my head that chocolate, ice cream and soda would be poisonous. Pretty much the same way I decided that the top level of jelly or any jelly that had been touched by peanut butter was poisonous.)
That's what I thought about when I ate/drank my brown cow yesterday. I remembered that and remembered how great it is to be alive.
Yesterday I spoke to the dentist. I thought we were setting up an appointment to get my teeth pulled. They're not pulling the teeth. The oral surgeon saw my x-rays and sort of freaked.
Shark Underwater
Click images for desktop size: "Underwater Shark" by Unknown
Normally people who've gone through chemo or who are in remission have the bone loss in a localized area, it then sort of grows from there. My bone loss is scattered throughout my mouth which is more common to people in the midst of full blown leukemia.
That kind of threw me.
What they want to do is pull one of the teeth and have it biopsyed.
It took a root beer float to ground me enough to decide that they were being over cautious. I've been through 4 different chemo trials. Been in remission all four times. Three times I came out of remission.
Calming down I was able to examine my body. I don't feel anything like the three times prior. No soul crushing fatigue. No deep set agony in my skeleton. There's just the normal pain I'm sort of used to.Alice In Wonderland
The greatest grief is from my teeth which do hurt pretty terribly. I'm tired but its because of weeks of bad sleep because of the pain in my mouth.
Last night I went to bed with a head that feels like it had been over inflated with a rusty bicycle pump. I got out of bed with the same feeling. I've been dealing with leukemia long enough to know that's Still Life by Huillot
Click images for desktop size: "Still Life" by Huillot
not one of the symptoms.
Unscientifically I've decided that the scattered necrotic bone is more a result of the 3 chemo's and the long term oral chemo that really does seem to have worked.
I've decided they're just being overly cautious. Can't blame anyone for that especially when its me they're being overly cautious with!
I need to get these teeth extracted. They are hurting fiercely.

My friend survived her long excursion for her business meeting. She claims she was so tired she has little idea if the meeting was any good or worthwhile at all. She has a sense it was okay but can't recall any details!
But her new MacBook arrived! I had to call UPS and roast them a little to get it delivered. They New Hampshire Hills by Maxfield Parrish
Click images for desktop size: "New Hampshire Hills" by Maxfield Parrish
expedited it so that it wouldn't have to sit 10 miles away.
Its a beautiful machine. The glossy screen seems like it might be a hassle in some instances but to look at it is gloriously pleasant.
I was able to partition the drive, to set it up for dual booting into Windows with no problem at all. The machine is super quick.
I'm having a lot more grief trying to use the "Migration Assistant" to move all of her data from the PowerBook to the MacBook. It sees every computer but then just grinds away doing nothing!
Irksome.
I plan to have it done today, one way or another. The "Migration Assistant" would be the easiest way to move over keychains, apps and preference files but I can do it manually if I have to.
I remember when all Apple products just worked . . .

March 11, 2009

Life is hard; after all, it kills you
Katharine Hepburn

Nurse
Click images for desktop size: "Nurse" by Unknown
Went to the dentist yesterday. It didn't go exactly as I expected.
Almost two hundred bucks for 10 x-rays and a referral to an oral surgeon. Seems like there's moreWay Of The Dragon than just the 3 teeth that are bugging me. I have to have six extractions.
I wasn't overly impressed with the dentist. But I think, in retrospect, that she was pretty good. She made a good guess at one of the chemo's I've had. She could tell by the odd mode of my jaw bones disintegrating that I had had leukemia.
My bones are still dying. It looks like it shows up first in the teeth and the jaw. One of the teeth that bugs me without actively hurting has no bone beneath it at all. The big sign of leukemia is that the bone beneath it is dead but the bone to the teeth all around it appears to be okay.
The two teeth that really bug me and hurt to the point of numbing both sides of my face have dying bone. The teeth around them show signs that the bone is dying. The "hope" is that removing the teeth over the dying bone will cause the bone on either side to regenerate.
Two of the teeth are infected. I don't know why but they don't hurt me now, or maybe that's yet. The infection will start killing the bone, which isn't dead yet. (I prefer the word dead to the word necrotic - necrotic sounds so foreign, like its happening somewhere over there instead of happening to me.)
The last tooth to be removed is the broken tooth that got crowned. The crown shattered the tooth underneath it to the gum line. I guess the good news is that it doesn't look like too difficult of an extraction. They shouldn't have to cut the gum to pry it out or anything like that.
I asked before about just pulling them all. For some reason that's a little beyond me this is a bad idea. Because of my bad immune system because of chemo and leukemia and the bad healing due Laurel and Hardy
Click images for desktop size: "Laurel & Hardy" by Unknown
to the diabetes it could spur further infections and cause worse health issues. It has to be addressed in this piece meal fashion. As I sit in the chair I kept thinking this might be another way to extort extra bucks out of me. But I remembered my twenty five buck dentist told me something similar.
The good news is no cavities! I've never had a cavity or a filling.
She did ask me if this wasn't causing me any pain. She thought I seemed rather calm. At first this irked me. I wondered if she wanted me to show up looking like Curly, from the Three Stooges, with the handkerchief tied up around my head around the jaw and making little rabbit ears on top of my head, then I should have walked in clutching my jaw and moaning as loudly as possible.
Of course if I did that I'd have been obligated to try and pull my teeth before coming to the dentist. You know by tying a string to one of them and then tying the other end of the string to a doorknobVillage of the Damned and then waiting for someone to open the door. Plans that fail even for the Stooges are usually a pretty bad idea.
The dentist asked if I need to be knocked out for the extractions. I said no. Then she asked if I'd want nitrous oxide. You know, laughing gas. Again I thought of the Stooges and their adventures with laughing gas. It was tempting but I said no to that as well.
Just stick me with long needles full of Novocain. I'm a maniac. I can take it.
They were supposed to call me with an appointment at the oral surgeons. No one did. I fell asleep and didn't wake up until it was too late to call.
I guess part of it was psychosomatic and part of it was disappointment but my teeth seemed to hurt about four times a s much as they did before. I had a difficult time closing my mouth on that plastic thing for my x-rays. I still can't chew. But have gotten good at swallowing my food whole.
Purple Hoops
Click images for desktop size: "Purple Hoops" by Unknown
Loosing six teeth scares me, not because of the pain but because I figure I'm going to look like a jack-o-lantern. My friend wants to take off work so she can drive me home from the tooth pulling episode. I think that's sweet but its not a bad walk. The puppies and I go further than that almost every day. She points out I'll be novacained and dopey from pain and a new mouth.
I just think I'm going to be too embarrassed to let anyone see me, at least for a while.

My friend has a rather frivolous meeting today. She has to go to the national office which about13 Ghosts ninety minutes away. The meeting might accomplish something but I think the main point of it is office political and a chance to show the acting VP's control.
Thing is my fried ended up volunteering to take five other people with her! The new car can handle it but it also meant she had to get up at 6:30, which should have been six. She's a gal who needs her sleep! My puppy has empathy.
Saturday we have to take the car in for some light work. We get a loaner!

March 9, 2009

Pair up in threes
Joe DiMaggio

Moon Dreams by Yana Foltice
Click images for desktop size: "Moon Dreams" by Yana Foltice
My friend and I were talking this weekend. We were talking about governments and my grief at getting some documents.Theater of Death
She said, "The government is there to make my life easier. That's their job."
I find such optimism charming. Even when I strongly disagree.
I think the governments job is to get paid.
I think that's the absolute grief still left from Bush - he who believes in helping the rich, condemning the poor, who thinks freedom is not a right but a privilege for the select few; that the rich can lead the KC MO Library by gwENvision
Click image: "KC Mo Library" by gwENvision
cattle cows of the poor to the slaughterhouse and have them singing nice pop tunes in praise of the abattoir while filling them with fear of the black helicopters that seek to enslave them. You got to love the Republicans, the Conservatives and any other ruling party.
We're Americans and we do this kind of stuff better than most.
What I mean is that Bush hires guys, who hire guys, who hire guys building a pyramid, a great ponzi scheme to enrich themselves.
And the guys at the bottom, the faces of the government we actually deal with are guys with a sinecure, a job for life.
Funny thing is that government jobs, their raises, their promotions, their job prestige have twisted goals. No government employee gets a push for customer satisfaction.
Mudbugs by Carlos W
Click images for desktop size: "Mudbugs" by Carlos W
You can make a claim that elections are the ultimate expression of customer satisfaction, but elections haven't really been that for a long time. Even the recent election was more about customer dissatisfaction and fear.
Have you ever heard of a cop getting a promotion because he went out and talked to kids and managed to get them to give up gang banging and cut crime? Of course not. Those guys are out there. Normally they get transferred out. Stopping crime cuts into federal allocated funds.
Its like a traffic cop doesn't get kudos for stopping drivers and correcting bad driving habits. He gets his perks by writing tickets, and if he's below his quota maybe he sees somethings that aren't there. Because he's got that guilty conscience or if his entire moral foundation has been eroded by his jobTrouble Man he gets nasty, surly and hate filled and takes it out on you for no reason over than he can.
They don't fire this cop. They don't try and calm him down. As long as he's bringing in the money they give him promotions and praise. He gets to train others to be like him and all the other guys see that and begin to emulate him.
Or the corpulent 350 pound guy from Homeland Security. He can't get another job. He's fat, slovenly, sluggish and not very bright in the bargain but he gets to go through all of your belongings at the airport and he gets to keep whatever he sees or likes because in his limited world he can make a case for it being dangerous. Once one of these clones confiscated a nail clipper so I wouldn't clip a stewardesses jugular or something.
He's got a government job. Its impossible for him to get fired. Ever.
All the way down to the crabby lady at the DMV. She's been there for 20 years. She's mean, Hawkman and Adam Strange
Click image: "Adam Strange and Hawkman" by DC Comics
inaccurate hates her job and hates you, sees you as an inconvenience in the way of her happy life dream. She'll be there until they promote her or she decides to retire at a pension that will pay her 80% of her salary. No one cares, in government, that she's inept and slowing down a flawed system even further. She shows up.
I was in the Immigration office in London. Leave me alone too long and I explore. I saw a chart on the wall, very prominent. It was a list of all the immigration officers and it tracked how many Jamaicans, Africans and Hispanics they'd managed to deport or deny entry. Maybe it was a pool but it looked to white board official not be sanctioned.
There was no chart for how many people they'd allowed in who were leading happy productive lives, contributing to the community. Governments can't afford to expand their vision that far.
You can always remember a good experience with a government official or agency because they are The Tiger Woman rare glowing moments that shock and surprise. It takes a while to recollect all the miserable times with the government because they are the rule. Why remember the routine and ordinary.
It will take a generation to get rid of Bush's deadwood. Obama, shockingly, seems to be making attempts in that direction. I think that will fail.

We tried to watch "The Watchmen" yesterday. We were both falling asleep within fifteen minutes. What a dreary, talky mess.
I read "The Watchmen" comic. I thought it was okay. I even sought out some other Alan Moore stuff. As to thinking it was a "great novel". I'm a bit dumbfounded by that. I didn't even think it was a great comic book.
We watched the super hyped credit sequence set to Dylan's "The Times They Are A'Changing" and thought it was just messy.
We went and watched something else. Enjoyed it.

Dentist tomorrow.
I expect to have three teeth pulled. I'll be aggravated that they won't let me have the teeth. I want to save them up.
In "The Mother and the Whore" there's a character, an artist. He plans to have his left hand amputated and then place it in an ornate jar with a brass inscription that says, "The Artist's Hand 1956-1973". I don't want to got hat far I just want to have a cigar box collection of the things I used to be. Like Seth Brundle in Cronenberg's "The Fly". A display of the proof that I at least used to be human.
New Hat
Click images for desktop size: "New Hat" by Unknown
This morning the ibuprofen nearly masked the mouth pain. I was considering canceling the appointment, not seriously considering but it crossed my mind for sure. I can barely chew food now. When these 3 teeth (if it only becomes 3) are gone it will still be hard to eat, to chew. Of course I'm more worried about how I'll look.
Appointments at ten. I expect the crabbiness to last for about 30 days . . .
On the 20th I have to see the GP doctor . . . so much fun.
On Saturday we have to take the new car in for warranty work. Nothing serious. Squeaky brakes and a blown sounding front speaker.
Its been raining. Warmish and damp. A chilling damp. Plenty of mud so the dogs are very happy.
I've cut back on feeding skanky cat. Yesterday I discovered she was living in or at least keeping outThe Unearthly of the weather in the collapsed bomb shelter.
The idea of trapping a feral cat, taking her/it to the vet fatigues me. I've decided to feed it only every other day. That should keep it comfortable enough to stay alive but hungry enough to look for someplace else to hang out.
At least I hope so. I don't know much about cats. I think they started the bubonic plague and give people cancer. At least that's what I've heard.
There's so much that I think that I've forgotten. Maybe its not important but it seems important to me. At least too important to risk forgetting. Remembering used to be in my blood.

March 6, 2009

We'll love you just the way you are if you're perfect
Alanis Morissette

Gunfighter by Gerald Brom
Click images for desktop size: "Gunfighter" by Gerald Brom
The dogs were crazy yesterday. I like them crazy when they're crazy happy.
Last night my puppy was sitting in front of me and I was overwhelmed with a feeling of contentment Underworld and love.
I'm reminded everyday that I'm still capable of that sort of depth of feeling. It was just slightly surprising to feel it for my puppy.
I like what she is and what she's become.
In all of the hullaballoo of illness and all I think I forgot to report that the dogs and I are heroes. On the day the gentle dog went to work with my friend Giant dog and my puppy were walking around the park (to avoid the flooding) and a little white dog, sort of a Maltese Yorkie mix kind of thing came up and tried to play with my dogs.
It was having a world of fun bounding at them and wiggling its butt at Japanese Poems by Eisen
Click images for desktop size: "Japanese Poems" by Eisen
them. I took the leash off of my puppy and, after three attempts, managed to snag the little girl. She had a tag on her and she was lucky I knew the address or at least where to look for the address.
I was worried about walking with my puppy without a leash. She seemed to understand and walked in a perfect heel the entire way.
We found the apartment building and a passing woman recognized the dog. She gave us the apartment number as she hustled away.
We knocked. The little white dog was getting agitated. A woman in her late 70's or early 80's answered. She was scared. I forgot that tall men in shades and leather might not be the most comforting thing to see at your door. She was in a walker. I noticed, in retrospect that she had the walker jammed in such a way that I couldn't have pressed in to her home too easily.
When she saw the little white dog she let out a screech. The little dog, clearly with lots of practice Girl and Parrot
Click images for desktop size: "Girl and Parrot" by Unknown
scaled the walker and into her arms. She started to tremble and cry. I was worried she'd have a stroke or something. Between sobs she told me that the little dog had been lost for almost 3 days. He grand daughter took her for a walk on Sunday and she escaped (the dog, not the grand daughter . . . I think). She'd been calling the shelter. I saw a stack of about a hundred fliers with the little dogs picture xeroxed in it. She was going to put them up today. She complained about how her son-in-law wouldn't come help her.
She offered us a reward. I declined. I'm stupid that way. My puppy and the giant dog both pointed out that they were the real heroes and extorted a couple of milk bones from the old lady.
We walked home happy.Tobor the Great
This reminds me of how many things go in the day that I forget, that I don't record and that I'll have no place left to find those memories again.
My friend is still sick. Now she's added vomiting during the night to her cough and general achiness. Without much hassle I convinced her to go to the doctor. He wasn't much help. Gave her prescription for an antibiotic, more as a preventive against a lung infection and some sort of inhaler.
Its no miracle cure but I feel better that something might be getting done to heal her. Her spirits are better.
I wonder how much of this is due to stress and conflict with her new temporary boss. Her old boss, who retired, was a nationally recognized figure in Conservation and Wild Life preservation. The two of them got along very very well.
The new boss is a national VP who has taken on some extra duties and seems committed to rising Alice 19th by AbstractAnime
Click images for desktop size: "Alice 19th" by Abstract Anime
up the corporate ladder (at least whatever ladder there is in a not for profit). Her background is banking.
My friend reports her saying a number of "slogans" that I attribute to MBA's who are out of their depth. The new boss also has few social skills. I've dealt with so many people with poor social skills a lot of her responses are almost text book.
It frustrates me as all I can do is be supportive and try to give some insight. The insight is to never openly defy such a person, no matter how stupid their demands are. They can't handle that. Most people can't cope well with open defiance but for this type its enough to send them into a paroxysm. Stick to your guns (which I don't even need to vocalize to my friend - she's like that) and so long as the MBA isn't threatened and can see your correctness in such a way that she can take credit you'll eventually win. Its a painful process.
It slowly seems to be working. I just hope my friend can survive it.The Young Nurses
I've been all twisted up with sickness too. More of a general malaise then anything. I'm pretty certain its not "empathy" sickness. I'm not that sort of empathetic person.
That reminds me of this kid who came to play for my team. He lived about two hours away by train! He never missed a practice. He just wanted to be a great athlete. He wasn't very good but he had heart and sometimes that's enough.
As a coach your main job is to see the potential. If you can't see it its the coaches fault, not the kids. This kid wanted to be a linebacker. He didn't have the size, speed or strength to play linebacker. I tried him at strong safety, which was a better fit. We were working on his speed and footwork as well as training him in reading formations.
During practice he was off with some kids while I was working a passing tree with the RB's, slot backs, and tight ends. Suddenly I heard a horrible screech. The kid was on his knees crying, holding his left arm. I've got my Red Cross first aid certificate and a St Johns certificate and one of my coaches day job was as a paramedic so I felt confident enough to cut his pads from him. He had the worst dislocated shoulder I have ever seen!
I'm serious when I say that a dislocated shoulder is the worst pain I've ever felt. But when you pop it back in its almost like nothing that bad had ever happened. I've been seeing black from dislocated shoulders and did crazy stuff like wedging my arms between fence posts to pop it back in the socket. It hurts bad.
This kids shoulder was, no exaggeration, sticking about 5 inches above his clavicle. I'm so Japanese Art Print
Click images for desktop size: "Japanese Print" by Unknown
empathetic to the pain of others that I thought it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. Jocks have the tendency of being fascinated with the injuries of others. There was no way we were going to attempt to pop this in on our own. It took three kids to carry him to the car. Two making a cradle and one just supporting his arm.
I took him to hospital and the doctors were also horrified. They had a machine they'd never had to use that winched his arm out so they could line it up and pop it into the socket. They were excited about getting to use this piece of shiny gear . . .and my empathy reached so far as to remember to not grin or laugh about the severity of the energy. Of course I was worried andThis Island Earth concerned but underneath those layers was the, "Have you ever seen anything so cool!" I'd have ignored it if the two doctors weren't so excited about getting to use that new piece of gear.
So I don't think that my unwellness has anything to do with empathy with my friends illness. No history to justify that.
I'm just feeling beaten up. Not that big a deal. My teeth are killing me. I can barely wait for the dentist on Tuesday. The pain has gotten to the point where the right side of my face is numb. That always brings up scary memories of the bout with Bells Palsy.
I can still laugh.

March 4, 2009

Whoever is happy will make others happy too
Anne Frank

Paper Planes by Mach2Moo
Click images for desktop size: "Paper Planes" by Mach2Moo
I've been trying to, well needing to more than trying to, gather together some legal documents.
I got one that really miffed me to get. I don't think anyone, especially a government, has much right The Lost World to see what's inside me, or what led me to be where I am.
For one thing, they don't care about people. They care about votes and retirement plans, their own. No government has ever been able to care about people. Government cares about itself and only responds to people when it has no choice. It reacts only when its own life is at stake. That's governments nature like all living things its seeks only its own survival.
Like my agent always said; "Don't trust anyone until you can see what's in it for them.
So I had to get this document. Had to FAX them a notarized statement attesting to who I was and asserting my right to a copy of this document.
Fair enough. I wouldn't want any bored jerk having access to this stuff. There'd be no point to it other than some sort of scam or nasty nosiness.
Pavel Lagutin
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Pavel Lagutin
I got the doc and when I looked at it it was the wrong one . . . It was painful to look at. More so when I slowly realized it was the wrong one. It made me feel bad seeing someone else's pain and loss laid out like that. It made me want to give up.
I got reasonable. I called the government and asked them what was going on. They only paid attention because they had sent me stuff I had no right to. My issues, of course, meant nothing to them. The only issue was that they violated their own self generated laws.
I didn't expect anything more.
I got to speak to a supervisor. I got threatened because to get this doc I clearly had to say I wasn't who I said I was. When they got the notarized statement they semi admitted they'd made a mistake, only semi admitted.The Spy Who Came
The super told me something I found deeply interesting. They'd only gone on computers since 2002. They'd had the prisoners, convicts, people in jail do the actual entry.
I thought about Chino and Tehachipi prisons. These aren't the white collar prisons, or even the high profile crime prisons. These are the fundamental jails. I thought it sort of made sense to have a gang banger type learning data entry. Its an honourable, if deadly boring, job. I asked how much they were paid, like minimum wage, ten bucks an hour or like 15 cents an hour. She wouldn't tell me. Probably didn't know. Government employees always find its better to make you feel like you're treading on thin ice instead of admitting ignorance.
In any event they can't find the doc. They'll have to do a physical search. RAH!
There'll be millions and millions of scraps of paper, all stored in a warehouse. I worked in one of those document warehouse for a week. Thirty foot ceilings with those wobbly steel racks stretching from the floor to the ceiling. I used to think they had little robot arms that would descend from the ceiling. An operator would sit in the booth and type in a name then the robot arms would ratchet on over and pull out the right box and place it on some slate gray table while a guy in slate gray overalls (old records are dusty things) would, without pomp, riffle through and pull out the right document then complete the required 26 forms to show he had removed it, when, for whom and where it would be presently located.
Party Girl
Click images for desktop size: "Party Girl" by Unknown
Actually its some poor guy, not making enough money, pushing one of those library like ladders down the aisle, the amble up, worry about falling then dump the thing on a table. It sits there until they feel like going through it. If they don't find it right away it gets pushed to the back of the table to be looked at when the boss is looking at you and you need to look busy.
I despair ever seeing the document, but who knows.
They're searching today. I have to call them this afternoon.
You know if you're Irish or Italian or from almost any place that is not America, and you are over seas and you are unlucky enough to get robbed the Embassies for that government will get you a meal, find you some accommodations and try and help you get home with the least amount of stress.
The American embassies were always the worst in the world but during the Bush years they gotThe Red House even worse.
I was scuttling through Trafalgar Square one morning when I was approached by a guy I hardly knew, but I did no him. He was well dressed but looked rough as hell.
He was n London on his honeymoon. He'd been staying in a hotel in Earls Court! Not the smartest place to stay. He'd gotten robbed in his hotel, cleaned out. He was relieved only that he nor wis wife Marvel Heroes
Click images for desktop size: "Marvel Hero"
were hurt. The hotel chucked him out when he couldn't pay. (They were only there for a few days before heading on to see the Continent).
He went to the Embassy and the clerks, who are never American, asked him, "What do you expect us to do?"
After fighting for a couple hours to speak to an American he got pretty much the same response, at least this time it was said to him with a Texas accent, which I guess made him feel better.
The extent of the Embassies help to this poor slob was that he could use the Embassy's address so the credit card companies could send him new cards. They didn't give him a meal. They gave him a list of homeless shelters . . . They wouldn't even let him use the Embassy phone to call them.
Hell of a honeymoon. He was lucky, I had enough to spot him a hundred pounds or so, to at least get cleaned up and feed him and his wife.
I never did get the money back, but he did call me when he finally got to go back home, which i something.
The thing is that until Obama changes the face of the people who are the contact we have the Golden Gate Bridge
Click images for desktop size: "Golden Gate Bridge" by Tim Medelin
government things are only going to get worse. At the top the people we've elected keep getting proved to be corrupt and self serving jerks. That's the only part of trickle down that Bush allowed, even the small clerks are lazy, venal and totally unconcerned about the people paying their salaries. Why should they care? They won't lose their jobs by being rude or by doing nothing.
Doing something is the only thing that puts them at risk.

We are getting my friend a new computer. Getting it on the never never. The cheapest MacBook. I was surprised to realize that it is about three hundred bucks cheaper than my 8 year old Powerbook!
The powerbook is still functioning, but it's 512 meg of ram and 846 mhz CPU are . . . not quite up to it. I might make it into a media server or an eBook, except the battery holds no charge anymore.The Underworld Story
This was prompted by Apple's upgrades yesterday and by the fact that I did their recommended software updates yesterday and got the dreaded linked files in the B-Catalog. For Windows people that like a corrupt FAT directory.
Apple drives seem to fail faster than WIndows drives, but that might just be me and the fact that its easier to abuse a Mac drive than a Windows drive.
I wasted some time and managed to get everything back up and running without any noticeable data loss. My friend uses the Powerbook for mainly personal stuff. It doesn't make the data any less valuable. The new MacBook can run Windows (yuk) via BootCamp so it will have some appreciable value in work and maybe getting some clients who can only conceive of working in Windows . . . Since Mac can read Windows files and can also save in a Windows environment I figure Windows won't be all that much in evidence. It is still an ugly OS and I remain startled by people who still find it synonymous with computers.
I just hope it lasts as long as my relic PowerBook, a relic from when Apple cared about its products.
For me, its daily back-ups and waiting for the internal drive to fail . . . again.

I did manage to finish "The Delightful Forest" last night and stay awake! It was pretty excellent. It ended in one of those "Hero vs the army" style combats. Very cool stuff. Lung Ti is always inspiring.
The final resolution was fascinating. Lung Ti ends up becoming a blood thirsty Toasist holy man! This seems to be intended as a happy ending!
I got new clothes. Returned most of them. I like them all but I'm terrified about money.

March 3, 2009

Since a politician never believes what he says, he is quite surprised to be taken at his word
Charles de Gaulle

Oasis by Michael Parkes
Click images for desktop size: "Oasis" by Michael Parkes
The gentle dog went to work with my friend. My puppy, surprisingly misses him. I figure they had some adventure penciled into their schedule.The H-Man
It always feels odd, now, having only two dogs. I know I liked it best when I had four. Having only two is like looking at the dregs in the bottle.
I'm going to put the giant dog on the corner. With his new haircut The Beatles
Click images for desktop size: "The Beatles"
and all I'll turn him into a "working dog". Get him to approach cars and people, 10 minutes of pets for a nickel. My puppy will be his "business manager". If we can avoid the vice cops we should make a few dollars.
It works out well though. The two remaining enjoy the extra attention, the extra room. Its easier to walk two dogs than three but three requires almost no effort. Getting pulled down on ice requires no effort at all, at least from me. I can fall down with almost no assistance at all.
Bad pain day. This is still a house filled with love and germs.
My friend coughed badly all night. She was feeling better but relapsed. I'm in what should be the final bad day of the germ. Tomorrow I should be recovering and I should be fine by Thursday night.
Last night I fell asleep watching a movie. It was an interesting one too.
This Hong Kong based company has set itself a lofty goal; they're releasing every Shaw Brothers film ever made on DVD. Remastering them, cleaning up the soundtracks and trying to present them Unknown
Click images for desktop size: "Unknown"
as classics. Guys like me appreciate that. (Quentin Tarentino does to. I have to admit it irks me that he's cadged the Shaw Brothers opening logo to open his movies. It seems some how disrespectful . . . if its possible to disrespect a movie studio, a money making operation).
Shaw Brothers always had the rep for making the best, slickest looking movies in Asia. Decent film stock, wonderfully detailed sets and a host of the best directors and a stable of Asian Superstars. They reworked the old Hollywood studio system, keeping their top talent working almost non-stop.
After Shaw Brothers broke the king fu movie at Cannes in the 70's they became an international force. Golden Harvest, who vacillated between making some of the best and the worst movies going - but they had Bruce Lee - benefited greatly from the superior product coming from their rivals.The Incredible Shrinking Man
What's cool is that Celestial has finally gotten into the movies that Shaw Brothers was making before they broke the genre world wide. This is the first time that these films have been able to be seen outside of China or your local China Town movie theater.
(I've always liked the theaters in China town and Little Tokyo. The Japanese theaters were always SOA but the Chinese theaters were always grim affairs with projection bulbs that were somehow always old and close to death. Its like the mystery of how some guys always managed to have 3 days growth of beard, never four and never clean shaven. Chinese Movie Houses (at least in LA) always had a dim bulb that would finally burn out in 10 hours. And of course the snacks for sale in the lobby were . . . interesting. Dried fish, strange crackers and popcorn you'd have to be fool hardy or at least braver than me to try.)
The new/old movies Celestial is bringing out are at least interesting and sometimes exquisite. The level of kung fu in the movies is far below what we've come to expect. For some reason every genre of Shaw Brothers films seems to require at least two kung fu battles. I'm not complaining.
So far I've been able to see "The Impostor" a sort of whacky story about David Chiang being this heavy duty altruist who is also a master of disguise. He's bored, rich and nosey, so he solves crimes . . . Its very amenable.
"The Delightful Forest" (The movie I fell asleep during last night) is a part of "The Water Margin" (The classic ultimate Chinese novel about freedom and brotherhood). Its got Lung Ti, an actor who's St Catherine by Carlo Dolci
Click images for desktop size: "St Catherine" by Carlo Dolci
career has easily spanned five decades! Lung Ti is this incredibly moral guy who also happens to be a devastating fighter. He' thrown in prison, a prison he could easily escape but choses not to as that would be wrong. The Delightful Forest of the title is a town of gambling casinos and brothels . . . what I saw was entertaining.
I've got about four more to see and more promised. These movies all hold enough potential that I keep thinking that there's going to be a mind blasting movie coming up any second. Maybe not but the search and expectations are a lot of fun.
Of the four I have seen none of them were disastrous or boring and that's saying something.
I might have gotten he dishwasher fixed. I tried not to tear it apart but to just fix most of it in place. The water here must be pretty hard. Mainly I had to pick out chunks of lime and calcium! It was hampering the spray of water.
Did a full load last night. I'm afraid to look at the dishes. If they're not clean it means I have to take the whole thing apart again. I usually enjoy that sort of thing. For some reason the dishwasher fallsThe Fiend Who Walked the West outside my list of things I like to take apart.
I only have six episodes of "King of the Rangers". I really hope I can get the last six. Its very enjoyable on its own level. I admit that part of the enjoyment is watching "Slingin'" Sammy Baugh attempt to act. They give him few lines, fortunately. He recites them like a six year old trying to remember a piece for his first assembly.
The only draw back is that Duncan Renaldo is so great its a shame that he keeps being limited to being the side kick, the guy who screws up and gets slugged so the bad guys can escape. Its still a potent good time serial.
I've set a deadline of this weekend to finish up a new little movie for my puppy's blog. The kids are starting to write and bug HER to get something new posted. I wish I had simpler ideas . . .

March 2, 2009

Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing
Robert Benchley

New World Order by LawnElf
Click images for desktop size: "New World Order" by LawnElf
I'm sick again. Another cold.
While we were sleeping my friend inadvertently coughed in my face . . . The Case of the Scorpion's Tail
At least I now have someone to blame!
Blame is important. Its a lot easier to blame a person you care about than to have to blame god or nature. See, god and nature don't care how you feel about them. They don't care if its their fault.
No lectures on the "blame game" and stuff like that. This is my Morning Reading By LK Holsoe
Click image: "Morning Reading" by LK Holsoe
weakness and I'll stick with it. I just figure its all the cat's fault.
I have to notice that the flu shot this year is working pretty well. I've only had these two colds and nary a trace of flu. The first cold ran its course in the normal 4 days. I'm hoping the same for this one. My friend can't have flu shots. Allergies. I still think that she had some flu and not just a cold. Maybe a flu and cold. Her illness lasted over two weeks She's still just recovering, really.
Spent the weekend doing not much of anything. The sort of weekend where the dish washer is broken down again. I did the dishes by hand and that seemed like a major accomplishment . . .
Watched a few movies. Nothing in any way memorable.
Lost Pearls
Click images for desktop size: "Lost Pearls" by Unknown
The best of them was the "King of the Rangers" serial. I'm up to the fourth chapter. The serial has settled into its groove. Remarkable physical special effects, tons of action, gunfights, explosions and cool old boats and cars. They blew up a gorgeous Craftsman boat!
What will stay in my mind is one little bit. Ina hurry to catch the bad guys, "Slingin'" Sammy Baugh runs to the docks. There's a five foot fence there. Duncan Renaldo climbs over it. Baugh takes it on the run and leaps it in stride, like it was a three foot hurdle. He looks beautiful doing it and he's wearing his full on cowboy gear including the six guns. Its the most impressive thing I've seen since Brian Cushing, from a sit, did a 47" vertical leap while wearing a 25 pound vest . . . This are the kind of things that make me wonder who I was kiddingThe Black Klansman when I'd tell people I was or even think to myself that I was an athlete.
I updated the AppleTV to its new firmware, 2.3.1. Its not very much at all. Its main purpose appears to be wipe out 3rd party hacks.
There's one new item in the menu's. Its a goonie test of your network connection. It sends the info to Apple. It doesn't let you see it! As this is clearly just a set up to prepare for their rumoured "Stream Anywhere" plan to sell or rent more movies and as its something I don't care about and as I resent Apple using me to try and use me to promote their own services. The only benefit to me would be me being allowed to give them more money I don't have for a service of dubious worth to me.
That seems churlish. It also seems fair and right.
I noticed that the dial up internet services have had a 30% increase in business the last couple of months! Ten buck internet access at 56k.
I guess for some its the way to go. It bothers me. I had Time Warner and Road Runner. It cost me 80 a month. The minimum cable services that I had to have to get the cable in the house and get the internet.
Service was a joke. When it ran it ran well but that was only about 60% of the time. Twice it seems the service was bad because their techs installed the WRONG cable modem. When they finally got it installed correctly I had to ask them about credit for their ineptness. I got two months credit which hardly seemed sufficient but it was all they'd give me. Their solution was that if that weren't enough they could disconnect me . . .
Right now by going through a "third party provider" we have a 5 mg line for 20 a month, 8 more for Robert Mitchum
Click images for desktop size: "Robert Mitchum" by Unknown
for the "dry loop" service (no phone connected). We have Vonage for a VOIP telephone. We've also gone to pay as you go mobile phones. Its reduced our telco bill from over $150 a month to about $80.
So I understand needing to go to dial up. It sucks for the people forced to go that route. I find the telco exec's comment, "This isn't the iPod crowd" making the switch to be as nasty a turn of phrase since "let them eat cake".
Today I've spent the morning talking to a couple of guys about coaching Pee Wee football this year. I've sent them the forms and filled in the web stuff they've asked for. They insist I get another coaching certificate. They don't recognize any of the 7 I already have.
Kids are worth the work and hassle no matter how stupid I think it is. I'd rather see the kidsThe Demon Barber of Fleet St protected and the quality of their education insured than see my life made a tiny bit easier.
We'll see what happens.
I'm taking the dogs for a walk, cleaning the kitchen and doing the dishes and then probably collapsing and/or passing out.
Its very cold. There are patches of ice everywhere but its incredibly bright and sunny.
I think I can survive anything so long as there is sun on my face.
The cold makes my sinuses hurt a lot less. Might not be best in the long term. I have no idea. But I like seeing the dogs enjoying themselves. Me being able to breathe a bit easier is the clincher to the deal.
Still feel rough. Its all recoverable.