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May 30, 2009

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it
Clarence Darrow

Division by Robert Randtoul
Click images for desktop size: "Division" by Robert Randtoul
I was feeling somewhat better. Up at 4:00. Just over 3 hours of sleep but no where as bad as I've been feeling until . . . Satan's Sadists
I set my pills out. One of them started to roll off the table. Without thinking I caught it. Wish I hadn't. The quick move made me see black. Vision back in just a few seconds but the pain doubled me up for nearly 15 minutes. Still feel it 40 minutes later.
The deep nausea is much better this morning. Maybe I'm getting used to the insulin. Its not doing me much good as far as I can see. The injections still hurt. It makes me feel edgy right afterwards. I went to sleep with a good blood sugar count of 7.0 and woke up with a 12.4! Stupid body. Stupid pain.

Were getting a new foster dog today. An emergency placement. The dog was surrendered by the owner with another dog. It was one of those things, "Surrender the dogs or face jail time". So you can tell the guy has had a nice three years so far. He was going to be put down. Clearly fair. His abusive owner avoids jail time but the dog gets the death penalty. That's justice. Clearly being victimized was the dogs fault.
His front teeth have been knocked out. He's not housebroken. He's not crate trained. He has bad separation anxiety. I don't see much there that justifies the death penalty. Five dogs in a tiny house bothers me just a little. My flailing health and dealing with two fosters bothers me just a little bit more.
Looking ahead next weekend we'll be gone most of the day. My football teams "evaluation". I hope that a week with us will get the new foster enough time to know he's safe here and that we can be gone without him panicking.

Elegance by Richard Mohler
Click images for desktop size: "Elegance" by Richard Mohler
I am totally bugged by Obama. With all of the rhetoric he's going totally 19th century when it comes to consumer rights. And he's showing a deep hatred for the handicapped. I thought he was avoiding the sickening presence of lobbyists? It was one of his big promises, wasn't it?
There's the International Copyright Treaty convention going on. The Obama administration has presented an opposition to the treaty. He opposes books for the blind and for the handicapped. You know, people with no arms, people paralyzed from the neck down. Obama is sickened that these slackers have been getting a free ride at the expense of poor down trodden publishers. You know those poor publisher guys who need to park their Escalades in the Handicapped parking spaces at the grocery store.
The RIAA, MPAA and the publishing lobbyists are recorded as having open access to Obama. TheyShield For Murder decided that the Handicapped have had it their own way too long. No more free books in braille, no more handmade books on tape. The handicapped, according to Obama, have got to start pulling their own weight around here. I guess he figures they're handicapped, what right do the handicapped have to be informed or educated. They should just stay inside in the dark and out of sight.
This is the most repellant thing imaginable. The only reason for their opposition, at least the argument they presented to the conference was the verbatim page from the copyright lobbyists website, so you know Obama is watching out for us and not being unduly influenced.
More revolting is that come election day no one will remember this gross cruelty. No one cares much now. Its only the lost, the powerless, the disenfranchised. And that we will allow them to be exploited and forced into the shadows, deprived of basic human rights is revolting. It's not a country I can be proud of.

May 29, 2009

When I found out what made the world go round and that it wasn't love; that's when I went bad
William Rose

Californian Farm Sunset by 0videoman
Click images for desktop size: "Californian Farm Sunset" by 0videoman
I don't think its a good sign that I'm waking up feeling worse than when I went to sleep. It all feels so contrarian. Like a nap should cure a head ache or an upset stomach. Shouldn't it.The Quartermass Experiment
I'm feeling rotten. Worse than I've felt in years. No where near as bad as the first chemo but remarkably bad all the same. Hands all cramped up, stomach twirling, eyes struggling to focus through the head ache and my skin feels hot and clammy at the same time.
What a mess I've become.
Most of this was predicted as side effects to starting insulin. They're supposed to go away. I'm up to 25 units a day now with no stabilization in the offing. It bothers me that I was getting similar blood sugar numbers with just the pills and vigorous exercise. To have the expense and the discomfort as well as the psychological numbness from having to do the injections and not see any radical bim bam improvement is disheartening. This wretched feeling only adds to the malaise.
I've been using hot moist heat on my shoulders and elbow. It doesn't do anything to relieve the neuropathic pain but it does loosen up the other muscles that were clenched tight. It provides minimal relieve but minimal seems like a lot right now.
I looked it up and 25 units of insulin is equal to about one third of a milligram. I'm clearly astonished that I carry around a big old gland like a pancreas and all it does for all the care I give it is to produce about one third of a milligram of insulin a day. Its even more distressing to accept that I'm so vulnerable that a drug about the size and weight of a snow flake or half the size of a mosquito should have this devastating effect on me.
My friend is home from her conference. I opened the gate for her to drive into the yard and she ran over this big rock we keep by the gate for propping the gate open. The rock is about 10 inches in diameter. It didn't hurt the car but it did bounce the rock into my foot. My big toe is all blackened. It Silent Passage
Click images for desktop size: "Silent Passage" by Unknown
shows how bad off I am that I barely notice the pain from a traumatic injury.
I was glad to see my friend. I struggled hard not to pass out. By the time I'd sorted through that she'd fallen asleep! She slept for nearly 14 hours. Poor thing, she must have needed the rest.
She went into work today because she's the only management person who'll be accessible today. She took the giant dog and the gentle dog with her! That will be interesting for her and for her co-workers!
I'm going to miss them but I'm glad they're getting a break.
There was an upsetting incident with the foster dog yesterday. We took about an hour walk and been home about 15 minutes when I heard a bad bit of snarling and whining.
The foster dog had pressed the gentle dog into a corner and was snarling and biting at his neck. Gentle dog was not resisting but was clearly suffering. I pulled the foster dog off. He made no act or aggressive motion towards me.
The gentle dog was rattled but not physically harmed. He was upset but the one who was the mostReptilicus upset was the giant dog. He was trembling and stuck close to me for the next few hours. He was far more upset than the gentle dog.
The foster dog is subject to aggressive play. He initiates every play period and will not relent until the dogs play with him. After the attack they refused to deal with him for a couple of hours, all except my puppy who will only play with him if he plays her games.
Most of this is just a dog trying to figure out his place in the pack. Clearly he is not going to challenge me as the alpha dog and he's not interested in challenging my female puppy but he's using the Count Basie
Click images for desktop size: "Count Basie"
aggressive play to attempt to dominate the two males.
The only solution I have is to watch them carefully and when the foster begins to play and the playing is not reciprocated and continues to press he'll have to go to a time out.
The aggressive play indicates a lot of things. Breaking him of that bad habit may open him up to concentrating more clearly and being less stressed.
Its a saga.
One thing I might have known but didn't realize is that gentle dog was neutered late in life. This is odd to me because he is so gentle and happy, not in the way I associate with late neutered males. He was actually being used as a stud in the puppy mill he was rescued from which makes his gentleness and lack of aggression even more moving.
He still likes to bite me though . . .

For some reason I found myself thinking about Irvin Kershner. He's a film director there's no reason Call of the Wild by Cole Phillips
Click images for desktop size: "The Call of the Wild" by Cole Phillips
for anyone to know about except that for some incomprehensible reason he was picked to direct the "Star Wars" sequel, "The Empire Strikes Back". As I consider that to be the only watchable episode of "Star Wars" I find it interesting Lucas picked Kershner, a man whose career, up till then, had been defined by good but not remarkable gentle movies about people. There was never any hard edged cataclysms in Kershner;s movies. In "A Fine Madness" the hero, Sean Connery, is a poet who gets a lobotomy as a by product to trying to avoid jail for late alimony payments. in "The Flim Flam Man", George C Scott plays a con man who prowls the rural south. Scott is old, self aware, charming and sad without any bitterness.
Kershner's movies tended to be enjoyable, reasonably successful. How this translated out to working on a cash cow and making that cash cow the most interesting of the series is something worthRobin Hood contemplating.
Today figures to be much like tomorrow, with me trying to hold on. Friday is my friends "TV night". I've got the roomba running in the living room. I like to get everything nice so she can just veg out and enjoy the only show she watches. I'm still a believer in the Spartan aesthetic, and part of the asthetic is cleanliness. Even if she doesn't notice it makes me feel good getting it together for her.
I've learned how to move so as not to create any enormous pain for myself. I sort of had to. The sun has finally come out after 4 days! So it might be a better day.
There's no reason it shouldn't be. No reason it couldn't be.

May 28, 2009

With a firm and steadfast mind one should hold under all conditions, that everywhere the earth is below and the sky above, and to the energetic man, every region is his fatherland
Tycho Brahe

Business Lady
Click images for desktop size: "Business Lady" by Unknown
One odd thing that bothers me; when I dance and prance around to the music playing either in my head or on the iPod I used to feel liquid and elegant, now I feel stiff, jerky and unbalanced. Of Planet of the Dinosaurs course, that's just the way I feel. Maybe someone watching me sees me as smooth and swirling as I used to be (and yeah, I practiced my dancing in front of mirrors). Maybe everyone else always saw me as stiff, jerky and unbalanced. Everyone has their right to an opinion on my dancing. Naturally if you feel that way I'll have to fight you and my puppy would help me.

I'm not doing well.
I'm even gladder that the diabetic nurse called me. For some reason its better feeling miserable knowing that this is just normal adjustment of my body to the insulin than a new stage of misery unfolding before my life. Pain is not an enjoyable view of the future.
Yesterday was a loss. After the blood letting at the lab I got home loaded with ambition. They day turned out to me passing out for 45 minutes at a stretch then recovering then struggling to stay awake for more than a few hours.
When I went to bed for certain I woke up every 45 minutes, awakened by the pain. I'd keep trying to go back to sleep but at 3:30 I just gave up.
Now, three hours later, after all my meds and two cups of coffee I've managed to get past the nausea, my hands still feel cramped and my concept of arthritic. I've managed to hold my arms so that they and my shoulder are quiescent. The pain is just an easy endurable 2 on the chart, no worse than a bad headache.
I know I'm feeling better. My puppy has stopped her vigil, watching over me, and gone to sleep on the bed. I'm glad that she nor any of the dogs, don't see me as a god like master, but as another member of the pack that they love. My puppy loves me dearly. Sometimes I'm astonished at just Dark Tower
Click images for desktop size: "Dark Tower" by Marvel Comics
how much she loves me. The same way I'm astonished at how much the gentle dog and the giant dog love my friend.
The foster dog isn't sure who he loves he just knows he desperately wants to love someone.
As much as I miss my friend I'm glad she's not here to see me like this. Its easier to suffer and throw myself around when there's no witnesses. I wonder what it is inside me that makes me refuse to show this much weakness even to people I trust.
Last night they kept my friend at her conference until stupid late. She had to rush to get to the concert she's had tickets for for nearly two months. They got to hear six songs . . . I like numbers so I figure that between the two of them they spent 15 bucks a tune! She doesn't mention whether they were good songs.

I'm going to try and accomplish something today. I need to for my own sanity and self respect. Its still a grim looking day. I'm going to take the dogs out for a walk. Maybe we'll meet some newPanic in the Streets people and new dogs. Then some household chores. I'll try and avoid the nap fever.
I keep thinking that at the doc's on Wednesday they'll give me some pill that will like instantly knock out the terrible pain. I was even looking for the terrible mood elevator pills that they don't ever give as a mood elevator because it stinks at the job it was designed for. They use it for neuropathic pain almost exclusively. I hate the pill because it makes me feel like I'm hung over for a few days after taking just one.
I'm already feeling badly hungover so . . . the pills were expired for Janis Joplin
Click images for desktop size: "Janis Joplin"
two years. I feel better about that. I still have a knee jerk reaction to depending on pills. To relying on something outside of myself.

I'm up to 23 units of insulin. I discovered that the SoloStar, the "pen" I use to inject the insulin, locks down at the amount of insulin it still contains. The last dose in it was 14 units, which meant that I had to inject myself twice. Not too surprisingly the second injection was much more painful and annoying. I resisted the temptation to re-use the same needle to boot. I used a fresh one but it still hurt.
It was annoying having to use a fresh needle. they're relatively precious. I'm relying on the free samples the diabetic nurse gave me. It seems that since the doctor didn't prescribe them I have to pay a serious price for them. He has to write a script for needles then they're a lot cheaper. I'm asking him for one when he gives me the script for the pain pill they decide on.
My blood sugars are still all over the place. Its annoying. My diet is good. Last night before the Buffalo Hunt by Charles Russell
Click images for desktop size: "Buffalo Hunt" by Charles Russell
injections they were acceptable 8.1. Six hours of fasting later they are at 10.8! I still have to take all the pills I had to take before, the metformin and the glyburide (metformin makes my body more sensitive to insulin while glyburide squeezes what ever insulin there can still be left in my pancreas) the blood sugars are at 11.6! They should be in the 4 to 5 range.
I don't know what to make of it. I'll just keep doing the routine and see what comes off.

I was curious to see if anyone had been listening to the RIAA free music on the jukebox. I was a bit lost as it looks like no one has even taken a look at it. Maybe the feeling is that if the RIAA isn't willing to sue you for listening to it the music isn't very good. I disagree with that. There's some stuff there that I think is better than Hammer Double Bill most of what's out there. I guess you have to like guitar music.

My puppy just came in to check on me. She's laid down beside me and is checking me intently. I'm going to feed her now and then we'll take off for our walk, she, I and the other three. I always feel lucky when I look at them all. I wonder what good things I ever did in life to deserve such affection, trust and friendship. I wonder that always. Funny, I never wonder what I'd done to deserve all the hell.
My puppy just got up and stopped the foster dog from coming in to jump on me (bad habit we're still working on). My puppy, my nurse and care giver.
To the day. To this day and to all the other days to come.

May 27, 2009

If God had wanted man to play soccer, he wouldn't have given us arms
Mike Ditka

All Mine
Click images for desktop size: "All Mine" by Unknown
The diabetic nurse called me yesterday. Just a check up. It made me feel much better. Not so alone.
There was no real out shoot to the call. I'm doing everything fine, other than not changing my eating Murder My Sweet habits as much as I should. Not the content of the meals; the frequency.
We discussed my type of diabetes. Its a common enough occurrence with chemo. She pointed out that it was surprising that my thyroid has no apparent damage. I was surprised that there was a side effect I'd managed to miss. I wasn't upset that there's an episode of the chemo experience that I avoided. Doesn't feel like I missed out on anything.
Sophia Loren
Click images for desktop size: "Sophia Loren"
This morning I had my blood work done, to see what the effect is of the insulin and what damage its doing to me.
The woman who took my blood last time wasn't there. When she took my blood she told me she was waiting for her test results to see if she had Hodgkin's Disease. Turns out the results were positive. Poor girl.
The blood test cost less this time around, fewer tests to run.
My friend dropped me off in a driving rain. My friend was on her way to her big work conference. She was distracted. She's afraid that she's not going to be able to get away from the conference to see her concert tonight. She was looking forward to the show.
After the blood was taken I walked home. The rain had slacked back some. I noticed that the "Burger King" had gone out of business. I always take it as a bad sign when crappy franchise fast food joints go under. I saw that the Indian grocery had folded too. There were a few others.
Failed businesses are depressing, especially on a gray day in the rain. They are the face of crushed dreams. It also means the economy isn't doing as well as the overly optimistic announcements.
I thought about places I loved that went out of business. That didn't last long. It was easier toBetty Page By Jim Silke
Click images for desktop size: "Betty Page" by Jim Silke
remember the people who succeeded. Ma Maison, when it was in the little blue and white clapboard house on Melrose, when Wolfgang Puch was in the kitchen. The food was remarkable and cheap enough. Now its that big glitz palace by the Beverly Center, as capable of storing pleasant memories as a McDonalds.
Gorkies downtown. A twenty four hour cafeteria serving Russian food and coffee. You could go in there and eat with the latest art stars, slumming celebrities and surfers and musicians. No matter how crowded it was no one ever hassled you, even if you'd been there for hours nursing just a cup of coffee.
It used to be that to play in clubs on the Strip (and adjoining areas) bands had to pay to play. It wasn't like you had to hand the club owner a wad of cash to get on stage. Well, actually that's exactly what it was, except the logic behind it was that you were buying tickets to make sure the place was full. You'd buy a block of 100 tickets and then you could resell them . . . The actuality was Once Upon A Girl that you'd give them to your girlfriends and band fags and they'd just give them away. Its how you got to meet the guys in Motley Crue and Guns and Roses. I liked that they lived in their stage clothes. They'd be out there handing out tickets trying to get you to come to the show. Working their way up.
Its why clubs like Brendan's Masque and the Park View Hotel meant so much to us. A place to just set up and play while people danced and went crazy. I liked the Masque best when it was in this basement; toilets with no doors that constantly overflowed, as many bands as would show up thrashing it out and the crowd was always into it.
The Park View Hotel was this crusty falling apart home of faded excess overlooking Macarthur Park and the crack dealers. On the weekends it was filled with about a thousand crazy people and about 10 different bands playing until they had nothing left to give. We played there a half dozen times. A few hundred people in the mosh pit while a few hundred more strolled around the enormous ball room. It was a moment in time I'm glad to be a part of.
Then there were the chinese restaurants. Madame Wong's started it. A very elegant restaurant, plenty of thick black and red enamel. They weren't drawing the dinner crowd so they did the obvious thing and became a rock/punk venue.
We played one memorable show there. Gary Myrick and the Figures opened. I never got along with Gary. No reason for it. He's a nice guy. But back then we were young enough to not get along with people and not care about they why's or wherefores of it. Gary opened and then we followed him. It was a big deal show. It was the debut of the B 52's in LA. David Bryne and Bob Dylan were in one of the booths. The room was thick with A&R clones.
Annie Cyborg
Click images for desktop size: "Little Annie Cyborg" by Unknown
We did a brilliant set. I was wearing my After Six blue velvet tuxedo jacket. Back then bands would make pins to publicize themselves, so the lapels where tastefully decorated by the pins of bands we shared the stage with. I wore my boris Badenov T-Shirt and black leather jeans.
We gave way to Peter Case and The Plimsouls. Peter is one of those pop geniuses who should have gone down in history. He's already had the monster hit "A Million Miles Away" but here he was following us.
His stage show rocked. Then Peter was put in the weird place of having to introduce the B 52's. It was clear he didn't know a thing about them, even if they were the headliners.
They had the A&R buzz though. I had their single "Rock Lobster". I thought it was okay. I can listen to "Peter Gunn" riffs all day without getting bored.
I liked their set. The girls were dressed in 50's retro Judy Jetson style mini skirts, had mile high bee hive hair do's and made some freaky cool sounds. Fred was a hard working front man. There wasNiagra nothing to not like.
After the show Gary Myrick had a hit single, "she Talks in Stereo". Peter saw serious money when "A Million Miles Away" got featured in a dozen different movies, the B 52's became legends - I mean when "The Love Shack", their rehearsal hall burned down it made international news. And I got served with a subpoena and a restraining order from my old band and the record company telling me I was violating my contract playing in front of people and using my real name . . .
It was a memorable night.

I got home to the dogs. They were, of course, overjoyed to see me.
Yesterday had some issues with the foster dog. He insists on pushing out the door and then thinks its a great game to get you to chase him. Moving after him hurt me terribly. It made me angry. I don't like being angry with dogs.
The gentle dog has taken to beating up foster dog! All three are tired of his perpetual aggressive Light Symphonia by Love1008
Click images for desktop size: "Light Symposium" by love1008
play mode and are letting him know about it. Their lessons will probably stay with the foster dog longer than my tedious lessons!
Since my friend is away for a couple of days I'll spend the time continuing foster dogs training. I also plan to answer emails. I have 71 in my in box.
I'm fine answering email if I can give a single line, a single word is better response. My usual method of handling the back log is to wait and see if someone writes me a second time, then I can delete the first one while I figure out how to answer in a sentence.
My blood sugars are still all over the place. I'm up to 22 units of insulin. I now have the problem of figuring out these little insulin pens. The hold 300 units of insulin and are re-usable. They have a cap with a pen clip! But they are too large to actually carry in your pocket. I'll need 23 units tonight but the pen only appears to have 20 left in it. I have no idea if I make do with just 20 or if I have to stick myself a second time . . .

May 26, 2009

Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery
Malcolm X

The Abyss by James Cameron
Click images for desktop size: "The Abyss" by James Cameron
The football meeting was tedious. It wasn't helped by the meeting room. No air circulation and 80 degrees. Men coming straight from work in that environment . . . The Mini-Skirt Mob
This wasn't the worst meeting of this sort I've ever been to but it was bad. At least there were no shocking displays of ignorance. I did have to explain that while I wanted 10, 20 and 40 yard times it didn't mean the kids had to run three races, you just needed 3 time keepers.
I wasn't too surprised that my fellow coaches weren't didn't know the basic football drills. Only mildly disappointed that they didn't know the names of the drills.
I wasn't even surprised when one coach made the typical bad coaching statement, "You can't tell how good a player is till you see him hitting on the field." Its probably true that he can't, anyway.
The biggest stunner was that one of their most impressive feats was that they provide us with agility ladders and hurdles. These are impressive and expensive pieces of gear. None of the coaches had a clue how to use them.
They knew you ran through them or something but they didn't seem to know any of the drills to train the kids nerves to respond and gain true speed and improve the player's reflexes.
There was one very gung ho coach. A line coach. HE said a lot of pretty intelligent things. I could even forgive that most of his training techniques are about twenty years out of date. He's not a pro and probably doesn't even have a clue where to find the info on better techniques to accomplish his goals. At least he had a plan and knew what needed to be accomplished.
I was lightly stunned to find out he worked with the 10 year olds. I'm not confident that his sort of attitude translates well to kids that age. Maybe his attitude is tempered when he's working with the kids.
After Degas
Click images for desktop size: "After Degas" by Unknown
All in all I had a lot of second thoughts about the whole endeavour, on my part not on the teams part. I know you have to work with what you have. You try and train your coaches. I'm sort of proud that 5 of the coaches I've trained have gone on to be professional coaches.
Luckily I was braced for all the second thoughts and negativity.
I think it will all work out. I need it to.

I'm up to 21 units of insulin. It still hurts when I inject it, but at least I'm sure I'm doing it correctly.
I'm confused. It seems to be working and then it suddenly isn't.
I'm feeling incredibly sick. A big part of it is from the pain in my shoulder. Its waking me several times a night. It seems that the killer stab of hurt comes about 3 hours after I've gone to bed, then I can't get back to sleep. The ache has spread across my whole upper body. I have to be very careful to stretch out slowly and try and avoid any sudden jolts of pain.
Invariably I'll pass out a couple of times during the day. Fall asleep for an hour at a time. This bugsThe Love Butcher me no end. Bothers me worse than the general feeling of nausea and feeling unwell that now seems to accompany the day.
I am so bored with my suffering.The Wizard of Oz
Click images for desktop size: "The Wizard of Oz"
We did get to go to the Chinese Buffet yesterday. This was enjoyable. My friend and I were both interested in how busy this place always seems to be now.
There was someone new there, a pudgy Chinese fellow, who seated us. He seemed to fumble around while he was attempting to act with flair and grace. I watched him after he left us. He went to a mirror and studied himself most carefully, licking his inky and smoothing his eyebrows with the wet digit.
I liked the food. My friend ate more than I did!
I took my pack and lined it with a plastic grocery bag. (Those bags are going to become rare. All the grocery stores are now selling the bags for a nickel each. No more free bags, you have to bring your own. I can't fault them for this. I might even approve until I need a plastic bag for dog related activities.) I filled my pack with bacon, sausages and steak for the pups. That always makes it a The Reader by Ada Shulz
Click images for desktop size: "The Reader" by Ada Shulz
good day.
Today I have to start on all the chores I was ignoring during my friends vacation, starting with too much laundry and unleashing the roomba.
I already miss my friend. I like having her around. Tomorrow she has to go away for a couple of days to a work conference. It shouldn't be too bad for her. She's getting put up in a pretty plush hotel. She has tickets to a show by one of those singers who I don't much care for. Her co-worker and friend is going with her.
I'll watch movies and ache.

May 25, 2009

Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable
Buckminster Fuller

Steve Argyle
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Steve Argyle
When I was five I used to trade baseball cards with the other kids in my area. I didn't have the cash to buy the packages of cards. Most of my cards came from the back of cereal boxes. For a whileLady SIngs the Blues Jello was putting baseball cards in their puddings. Trading those kind of cards put me in a lower trading class of kid.
When I was seven I discovered comics and surfing. We were kids. We didn't have much money so we'd buy the comics we could and then go to the beach and swap them. I got to read the first "Spiderman" comic trading a "Jimmy Olsen" for it.
Click images for desktop size: "Stalactites" by Unknown
We'd look askance at kids who bought "Archie Comics" or Harvey comics like "Richie Rich". We lived for super heroes punching out bad guys. We loved that Spiderman made jokes while he duked it out with the Rhino. Batman, even when stupid, was always cool. The Fantastic Four were a bit stuffy but the Thing was cool.
Sometimes, on the flat days, one of the real surfers would loan us his board so we could paddle around in the ocean and work on our moves, usually practice trying to stand on the board. He'd trade us the use of his board for a couple of comics so he could have something to read while he prayed for a set.
When I was nine we'd get together and trade records. 45's, albums were something you got for Christmas. We lived on 45's, on songs not concepts.
Tatiana Valkovskaya
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Tatiana Valkovskaya
These record swapping parties were our first interactions with girls where the main point wasn't to torment the girls to see how much they could take before they started crying.
We'd listen to the music. Dance tentatively. Swap the records for things we thought were cooler. Sometimes a trade would depend on the quality of the song on the flip side.
When VHS tapes came out movies were like 70 bucks a piece! We'd swap them with friends. Grabbing an obscure movie or TV show some guy taped off of late night TV in his hometown. Looking for westerns and monsters. Searching for cool.
Who knew that those happy days, those days of learning to interact with society, to appreciate a groups similarities and to cherish our differences would be considered criminal activities today.
You can't buy anything anymore. You can only rent.Invasion of the Bee Girls
Some rich jerks afraid of the future passed some laws. Instead of socializing for real and learning you have to sit and do as you're told. Government by the minority, the tiny minority, the "ruling class".
You can't own a record or a comic. You are only renting it and you're not allowed to trade it or let more than three other people listen to it.
It makes sense if you're rich and want to get richer and if you hate people. Albert Gonzalez lies to congress and okays torture behind their back. Nothing is going to happen to him. He gets to write columns and gets paid too much for them laughing about how he screwed us all over in the illusion of keeping us safe. Meanwhile Roger Clemens, a baseball player gets persecuted because some groupie he befriended swears he gave Clemens some shots. The full weight of the FBI and the Justice Department is committed to destroying his life.
Dick Cheney brags about using torture to lie to us and to to deceive us and Obama says we have to move on from having thousands of our kids slaughtered and murdered due to the actions of this guy. We have to forget all about that. Obama thinks that lowering our self esteem and having the rest of the world think we're sleazy scum sucking cowards is trivial. What's important is that we imprison and criminalize that kid sitting in his room who wants to make friends, who wants others to hear a song and see the same image in their heads that the song conjured in his.
It used to be that you were in a band. You made a record. You could get 45's stamped out in lots of Wading Through Despair by Resident Angel
Click images for desktop size: "Wading Through Despair" by Resident Angel
500. With a two color self-designed label they cost you 300 bucks. You'd haul a box of the 45's o your shows and get your girl friends to hawk them for a buck apiece. If you got lucky you'd sell twenty at a show.
Later you'd get CD's stamped out. With the jewel case and art they'd run about $2.50 a piece to make. You'd smile at your girl friends and get them to sell them at your shows for $5.
Now, it used to be that the RIAA sold records for you. But the recording artists didn't get paid. They got to perform shows and they got to keep the gate. The major labels loved this deal.
The record stores made about $2 a sale, the record jobber - the guy who put the records in the store got about $3.50 and the label got about $5.50. Sometimes the labels would pay the publishers, if the publishers were big enough to sue the labels.
The RIAA loved it. They fought hard to keep it that way.
Then came the internet and the world changed. For the better most of us would say.
I can see it being illegal if I downloaded a mess of songs and tried to sell them to you. I can evenJourney to the Center of the Earth see file sharing services being questionable when somebody is making money. I mean the RIAA or some webmaster raking off cash, might be wrong.
These rich guys couldn't be bothered to se the change in the world. They only saw threats to their mansions. About ten years ago Courtney Love wrote a brilliant piece telling how the RIAA screwed her and every other recording musician over. Steve Van Zandt has also come out strong about the abuse of musicians by the labels and the RIAA.
Radio Head and Nine Inch Nails are two bands who took the words to heart and were smart enough to see the world has changed and is changing.
So are a lot of other bands. They remember tape and they remember taping songs off the radio. They want their music heard. They want to touch people and to have their music move people. They want you to dance.
Up in the bar there's a new link called jukebox. It'll take you to a glitzy, funny (to me anyway) page where there are 40 songs that aren't burdened with the little RIAA bug.
Who Wants to Dance by J Heppert
Click images for desktop size: "Who Wants to Dance" by J Heppert
The tunes are all there because they need to be heard. There are some great tunes there. Mostly awesome, at least if you like the music I like . . . These aren't my favorites, not all of them at least. The criteria was what I played the most often.
These are the bands of the past and of the future.

The porch is finished enough to be used. It looks good. My friend loves it which is all that matters.
I've been stove up. The pain is pretty horrible.
I use a simple scale. See the leukemia made me take chemo. Chemo gave me diabetes. The diabetes gave me neuropathic pain. For the past couple of years the pain has been pretty unremitting.
Death would hurt more. I can live with this pain. I have to remember that when I feel like giving up.
I'm up to 20 units of insulin. I looked it up. 20 units is about the average. I still have to increase theLeon dosage. My blood sugars are still not under control. They gave me sugar pills. Big suckers they are, in case my dosage increase put me into a hypoglycemic coma. No where near any danger of that, at least not yet.
This is my friends last day of vacation. Memorial Day. She says its the best vacation she's had in years. Usually she misses work but this time she's dreading going back.
We're going to the Chinese Buffet.
The foster dog is fitting in better. The only issue he really has, aside form his incredibly sloppy water drinking, is his constant play. Constant play is not a good thing. It sounds like it should be but he gets so cranked up he gets annoying, not just to people but even to the other dogs. Foster dog gets so wound up he's nearly a threat. He's a good dog though and is trying to understand.
Tonight is a coaching meeting. After the meeting we have to pick up my coaching kit. The tackling dummies, agility gear, first aid kit etc.
They don't have a lock up at the practice field so we have to haul all this stuff around. On paper it sounds like a great kit though. That the kit includes an agility ladder and agility hurdles gives me a lot of cause for hope.
I hope my friend enjoys hr first ever coaches meeting. She'll be there as an equal.

May 21, 2009

I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed
Michael Jordan

Red Umbrella by Marta Dahlig
Click images for desktop size: "Red Umbrella" by Marta Dahlig
Modestly bad news on the health front. (My health has plenty to be modest about.)
Last night my blood sugars were at 12.7. I injected 18 units of Lantus (insulin). I was awakened atHercules in the Haunted World 4:30 by barking dogs and our guys wanting to go out and bark fight with them. I took my blood pressure and it was 150 over 80! My blood sugars were at 16.4. The blood sugars haven't been that high in years (?).
Three hours later the blood reports 10.5.
I feel frustrated.
I have to wrap my arms in elastic bandages just to move. It makes me feel like a Frankenstein monster in swaddling clothes. The bandage compression doesn't help the diabetic inspired neuropathic pain, but it suppresses the severe pain and cramping in the other muscles.
I haven't been able to stretch for months. Not even the old fashioned yawn-ey stretch in the morning thing, so that the muscles around the affected areas have started to knot up from the tension. I mean really know up. At first I thought I'd developed a series of tumors! I try and work them out with out much success.
(To understand how pain just below the shoulder point of the right arm and the elbow of the left has trashed my shoulder, neck, and clavicle I always use the story of Dizzy Dean. Dean was a hot shot Hall of Famer for the St Louis Cardinals. He broke a toe on his left foot. It annoyed him but it was just a small hurt, The Cardinals needed him. He needed the money so he figured he could easily pitch through the little pain. He pitched two games before he injured his arm and was out of baseball for good. His left foot was his pivot foot and the little pain forced an unnoticeable change in his delivery. His body compensated to avoid the pain and this produced enough torque in his elbow to tear the ligaments. They didn't have theKessel Energy Spider by Dragon Winter
Click image: "Kessel Energy Spider" by Dragon Winter
surgical techniques to repair it back then so a stubbed toe ended the career of one of the best pitchers in baseball.)
I'm starting to get angry about it.
The foster dog had a mild blow too. The perspective parents abruptly backed out. They claimed a family emergency that will necessitate them being in India for several months. I suspect if we had approved them and let them take the foster dog home they'd have called us in a couple of weeks and asked us to take him back. This is a pretty evil thing to do to a dog or a person. The timing is at least good for him.
I like to kid myself that I'm perceptive enough to have realized that these would have been the sort of people who would not see a dog as family, Any family emergency would, in my little world, have included the puppy.
Poor guy, but it could have been worse. He's a good pup. He'll find a home.
My goal with foster dogs isn't to move them out and sell them. I'm not involved in high turn over. I'm kind of known for making people jump through hoops. I want the dog and the people to all beHouse of Frankenstein happy together and to face life together. Love should not die.
The porch painting is progressing nicely. My friend is still having fun. That's the important thing. I don't care how long its taking so long as she has fun.
As the worst painter in any group I always get the cruddy job. Ceiling painting. It was hard because I had to extend my arms over head. It went alright though. The bandages got me through it.
It is finally looking like something. The color was supposed to be Judy Garland
Click images for desktop size: "Judy Garland"
sand and look like stone and gravel. Its sort of a yellowish brown in execution. Nothing wrong with the color, just not what my friend expected. (To me it still looks like the inside of a translucent mushroom.)
Painting the ceiling I managed to drip paint on everything. My hair, my iPod even the giant dog has a couple of interesting splotches on him. They add personality . . . the last thing giant dog needs is more personality. I kept throwing him off the porch but the sight of me cursing and shouting in pain while standing on a ladder is just too appealing. Even my puppy comes and peeks at me. She walks away shaking her head.
Today I start of the floor. Being a porch I get to use the hose on it. For some unknown reason I'm looking forward to that. Sweeping it down and then spraying it with the hose. I wish we had one of those high pressure "thousand pounds of pressure hoses". That would be cool and potentially destructive!
Ricordi Del Cuore by Titus Boy
Click images for desktop size: "Ricardo Del Cuore" by Titus Boy
I still love the idea of potential destruction.
I also realized that I have a coaches meeting on Monday. This meeting slightly baffles me. Its to discuss drills to be done in player evaluation.
I'm confused because this is silly stuff and doesn't fit the pretty slick image they've presented to me. There are a core of drills. Watching a kid run them, watching him step over bags, watching him run, watching him strive to compete tells me all I need to know. It shows his heart and his present ability level. It shows his attitude.
When kids get psyched and say stuff like "I need to get the pads on. When I'm out there hitting people then I can really show them what I've got!"
The kids are wrong on that. I can tell what you've got by the way you plant your foot on a post corner cut drill. I can see how well you'll mix it up by the way your eyes follow me as you do theI Walked With a Zombie step over drills. I can tell if you've got the heart to be unbeatable by the way you check others heights on the vertical jump. I can tell how hard you can hit by your distance on the broad jump. Most importantly, how you do on that tell me what I have to teach you and what we need to do together to shape your body into what you want it to be.
I always note coaches who want full contact drills. I was asked to coach an All Star team in Europe. I and the other American coaches were google eyed when we saw one of the European coaches running "nutcrackers". Nutcrackers were punishment drills, made to "toughen you up" is some jerk of a coach thought you were slacking.
You give the kid a ball and set him out to run into three defenders with no protection. The defenders are about five yards off from the kid. The kid is guaranteed to get hammered. Some jerk college coaches use nutcrackers to get kids to quit the team and give up their scholarships.
We asked the European coach what he was doing. He was seeing if the kids were tough enough and really wanted to play. Since this was an All Star trial I sort of figured that had been answered.
That coach never beat any of our teams.
I'm afraid how many of my fellow coaches in this meeting will want to run full contact drills to see the obvious stuff that they should be able to see on their own.
Their argument will be that the kids love the contact. Some of them, most of them hopefully, love the contact. I like to keep the kids hungry for it.
Picture Book by Robert Blum
Click images for desktop size: "Picture Book" by Robert F Blum
Maybe I'll be surprised and the meeting will be to discuss some new drills that some crazy scientist has devised that safely and intelligently give even more diagnostic proof. Maybe.
My friend is going to have to end her vacation by going to this meeting with me. She's going to become my statistician! I need her to follow me around and record all the trials. Most of you have seen me on my own with my little scraps of paper with dozens of numbers rapidly scrawled all over them. Some of you have even given me nice little notebooks which, in a matter of hours, I have reduced to little scraps of paper that fall out of my pockets all over the field.
I figure she might enjoy the meeting and might get an idea of the information she'll be recording. She'll enjoy that. even organizing it into spreadsheets!
Time to feed the dogs and start on todays porch project!

May 20, 2009

The works must be conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness
Joan Miró

LaGutin by Pavel
Click images for desktop size: "La Gutin" by Pavel
Last night I went to sleep with my blood sugar at 5.4. That's pretty good. I injected 17 units of Lantus (insulin) and this morning my blood sugars were 6.4 which is on the bright side ofGhost of Dragstrip Hollow  acceptable.
I'm eating lunch in a few minutes - cheap-o ramen. So in a couple of hours the verdict will be in on whether the insulin has finally kicked in and become a part of my body chemistry..
Bob Dylan
Click images for desktop size: "Bob Dylan"

People say I complain a lot, even about things I agree with and am happy about. I don't know about that. I think its a part of my constant consideration. Part of it is that I know there are too few golden chances in life. I don't want to miss one. Same part is that there are many traps, most of which we set for ourselves. I try and avoid those. Another part is that I think you have to consider all sides of a problem and an issue. I tend to do that in the front brain and sometimes it comes out aloud.
I'm also generally described as self deprecating. I had to look that one up. I don't think I ma at all. I just have a tendency to think about other things than myself first. I do have a huge ego. My only issue with self esteem is that I don't think others have enough of it.
Pin Up by Earl Moran
Click images for desktop size: "Pin Up" by Earl Moran
I also have a natural cynicism and stoicism that makes me seem crabby . . . okay, I am crabby.
This is all thinking about stuff when pain in my arms woke me up. Three times last night. Once so badly I woke everyone else.
I guess I don't know how to age gracefully. Aside from having a total jerk of a step-father my young life was gold. Southern California; I was a good, sometimes great surfer, stud athlete, played guitar in a band that made "rekkids". My teen memories are flooded with images of girls sidling up to me and whispering outrageous things into my ears.
Now I was heartened when the diabetic nurse looked at my records and said, "oh, I never would have thought you were that old!" My hamstrings are so tight I have to stoop to pick something off the ground. I can't put the dog food back in the fridge without grunting. I've got my arm wrapped in elastic bandage so I can nearly raise it over my head. I had 6 teeth pulled, which makes 9 I'mGodzilla vs Bollante missing altogether. The psychological damage of the cosmetics hurt more than the novocaine needles.
I never imagined getting older would mean being less than what I always knew I was.
Somehow through all this I still know I can coach kids and teach them to be winners. I can still make enemies and I can still make friends. I can still not care what people think about me. I can still think highly enough of myself to stay true to myself. I can still be happy.
Happy thanks to my friend and my puppies.

It never rained at all last night. It is a golden day today. Might reach 80!! Too warm. I re-cleared the stuff from the porch so that the painting can continue today.
I needed the day off. A lot of the pain has recessed. I like the way the big project is looking. I like it better that my friend is still on vacation and finally starting to relax a bit. (She had to log into her work account yesterday. I don't really understand why. She just had to.
The puppies are doing well. Foster dog got a bit crazy yesterday. The kid next door is an ass. He was teasing the dog. I don't think he started out with malicious intent, but after I asked him to stop and he continued I got irked. With kids this came out as, "Please stop aggravating my dog. Thank you!" That stopped him as best as it could.
My friend thinks maybe the kid was abused or something. I've worked with enough abused kids to think the kid is just a bored ass.

Yesterday I mentioned my puppy's aunt. I mentioned her cat which is doing well in her struggle to survive. I wrote the cat was now 50. Okay. This was a typo. The cat is 15!
I think that counts as a retraction. Okay?

May 19, 2009

They'd live in New York and the stars would be their own; she'll be Debbie Harry and he'll be Joey Ramone
Helen Love

Nature by Celso Junior
Click images for desktop size: "Nature" by Celso Junior
Good news. Last night my blood sugars were 8.0 which is just a bit bad. This morning my blood sugars were 5.4 which is pretty good.Fantastic Voyage
I had a breakfast of eggs, frijoles, kiwi and potatoes. Two hours later my blood sugars were . . . (testing) 12.3 . . . That's not too good. Should have been between 7 and 10.
I'm up to 16 units of Lantus (insulin) so it will be 17 units tonight.
At least there's some sort of reaction.

The perspective foster dog parents didn't come yesterday. They'll come to meet him on Friday or Saturday. He could care less. He's found his place in the pack. Now he just has to face his place in the house hold.
The only thing wrong with him is that he is the world's sloppiest drinker. He drinks savagely and leaves at least half of what he takes out dripping from his mouth. I've watched him gulp up a pint of water, turn his head and let it all fall out on the floor. Fortunately I don't mind mopping a lot.
Yesterday, while cleaning up the painting for the day, the giant dog and the gentle dog found a real funny joke. I left the front door open because it was nice. The pair of them came up on the porch and whined and wiggled to get me to open the door for them so they could go into the house. They plowed in and two 20 seconds later they were back up on the porch begging to get into the house . . . I looked at them with one of my looks and let them in.
Twenty seconds later they RAN onto the porch, giant dog was wiggling and laughing so hard he could barely shine so gentle dog scratched at the door to get in.
I let them in. Five seconds later they were both stumbling onto the porch shaking with laughter and collapsing on each other going to the door. I laughed too. This was a signal to attack me and try and Peacock Phoenix
Click images for desktop size: "Peacock Phoenix" by Unknown
lick me. I hate being licked which, to them, made this all the funnier.
I have to remember I like dogs.
While I see painting as something that needs to be done I knew my friend enjoys it. I underestimated how much she would enjoy it. She said she was having fun. She looked forward to it.
This held even though she discovered that the paint wasn't exactly the color she had envisioned.
We got the paint at the Salvation Army! Recycled paint. It was cheaper but not a steal. Still it looks cleaner. The old paint looked like the product of a drunken hippy pipe dream. Not real hippies but like those old guys who have dreams of hooking up with a space cadet hard body chick. The chick had dreams of going to design school or being a fashionista.
She was with the old guy only because she had nothing else to do and no money to do it with. She probably needed a place to crash that night. After a couple of drinks and a joint she was probably wrinkling her nose at the state of the place and came up with this whacked design scheme. Since Freaks this was a way to get the chick to hang out the old guy readily agreed and the end result was . . . this?
She probably left as soon as it was finished, probably with the guy behind the counter at the liquor store.
Now the porch will look like the inside of a mushroom on a sunny day . . . Which is still better.
All week long there was an 80% chance of rain last night and today. So last night I spent about an hour hauling all the stuff I'd taken off the porch back onto the porch. There's a lot. The porch is more a summer room that a porch (two chaise lounges and three tables sort of things as well as an incalculable amount of lamps. My friend had fallen asleep so I had to do it myself. Hurt myself early and often.
Today its mid sixties and there's only a 30% chance of rain tonight . . . I couldn't have worked anyway. Even taped my shoulders are both killing me, add in all the dings and I'm close to worthless.
Still a vacation day is a vacation day.
I did watch two movies last evening. Back in the 80's Dolph Lundgren was the next big thing. There was this xeroxed magazine you couldn't afford to miss by the Hollywood Kids. It was six pages of No Peeking by Peter Dribben
Click images for desktop size: "No Peeking" by Peter Dribben
the nastiest cattiest fawning gossip in LA.
When Lundgren was cast in "He Man and the Masters of the Universe" opposite Frank Langella as Skeltor they went ballistic to the point of sneaking into the Lundgren's costume fitting. They reported he was more imposing and gorgeous in real life even if he did have pimples on his butt.
I figure that's the mark of real adoring fame. Either when someone takes the time to notice the pimples on your butt or loves you despite them.
Of course then then movie came out and Lundgren wasn't hot anymore. It was really bad. Langella survived because he got to wear a mask through the whole movie. Lundgren did a lot of junk movies after that. He became irrelevant.
He had that one interesting flash with "Big SHowdown in Little Tokyo" but everyone put that off to the burgeoning star power of Brandon Lee. Then he sort of faded to direct to video.Five Gates to Hell
I somehow got a hold of a copy of a movie called "Missionary Man" when I saw it starred Lundgren I left it on but proceeded to do chores while it played. It wasn't great but it was good and Lundgren directed himself in a way I guess he really wanted to be. Chaste, huge, dangerous with an leaning towards finer feelings that he and his character knew he would never fully grasp.
I liked it. Made me see his next (or maybe previous) direct to DVD thing called "Diamond Dogs". It really sucked.
But yesterday I watched the 1989 Lundgren "The Punisher". While Ray Charles
Click images for desktop size: "Ray Charles"
not a gruesome as the latest Punisher flic its surprisingly good. Lundgren is very effective as the deranged revenge fueled anti-hero. Marvel Comics wasn't the power house production company it is now so this is just a cheapie (even though Stan Lee still grabbed a production credit).
It actually made me feel warmly for Dolph Lundgren, and the cheap but stylish sets and his lumbering presence made for a cool enough 90 minutes.
After that I watched a strange movie, "Method Man". Nothing to do with the rapper/movie star. Its a seventies kung fu flic. This may be the worst movie ever made but and this is a shock the action choreography and the fighters are superb! It makes no sense. But when the fighters are mixing it up it reaches level similar to Liu Chia Lang's glorious choreography of Philip Kwok in the Chang Cheh flics that followed it. The fighters fly around and perform astonishing purely physical feats that dazzle and delight then we get back to the dreadful story which makes little sense even by cheapie 70's kung fu standards.
One Puff by Manogamez
Click images for desktop size: "One Puff" by Monogamez
Today is my puppy's aunt's birthday. To celebrate her 50 year old cat, (CAT!) is still hanging on. Perhaps just to spite me and my puppy. I can live with that. This is one of those cats with the sense to wish she were a dog.
My puppy's aunt other celebration was that their flat panel TV blew up! An over priced Sony. But even then there's a birthday miracle. They got the extended warranty so they get a brand new, current model FREE!
I've never heard of one of those extended warranties ever working out for anyone before. Sounds like a good, no make that an excellent happy birthday to me. Well, it should be.

May 18, 2009

Death is the same for everyone; life is not

Hot Robot by Lavakillu
Click images for desktop size: "Hot Robot" by Lavakillu
When I went to bed my blood sugars were 6.8. Acceptable. When I woke up this morning they were 11.6! It used to be the reverse of that. 11.6 is not good.Dracula Has Risen From the Grave
I'm up to 15 units of insulin. I have no idea how long before everything stabilizes.
Early Saturday morning I woke up with the worst headache of my life and I'm a guy who fractured his skull and had 3 concussions. It felt like a cheap description of a migraine. They warned me that headaches might be an early side effect to the insulin. I never imagined it would be like that.

We started the vacation project. Scrapped the entire porch and got the front porch 80% primered. It already looks better.
I tried wrapping my shoulder in an elastic bandage. It help considerably. I had a few twinges but only one drop me to my knees killer hurt. I worked through it. As everyone knows I'm stupid that way. It gentled up to an ache after a half hour.
I got whacked with overwhelming fatigue twice. There's no doubt that the fatigue from the insulin is a lot easier to push through than the leukemia fatigue. I'm pretty happy with how much work I got done. I expected to get more done than I did but, well, who wouldn't.
First coat today then will primer the back porch, there should be time to do that. Then have to bring everything back onto the porches. It is supposed to rain late tonight. I think the rain will come late enough to not mess up the paint.
If it rains all day tomorrow then we'll get to go to the Chinese Buffet!!
That will please the dogs no end. They deserve pleasing. They were very good through all the activity. Foster dog has settled in just in time to get adopted! There's been an application to adopt him and it has all checked out. They'll do the home visit this week. The potential adopters might Korean Girl
Click images for desktop size: "Korean Girl" by Unknown
come today to meet the foster and to be harshly judged by my friend and me.
Harshly judged in that we want what's best for the dog and for them. The important thing is everyone be happy. I'm always predisposed to anyone who wants to have a good dog in their life. The foster is a pretty good dog. Not as great as my dogs but pretty great for all that.
One thing about all the painting is got to spend a lot of time with the iPod. Anything would have been better than the sound of paint scrappers on wood.
I like the new Green Day album "21st Century Breakdown". There's nothing as grabbing as "American Idiot", "Basket Case", or even "Geek Stink Breath" but its alright. I'm pretty disappointed with the new Queensryche, "American Soldier". I've been disappointed with Queensryche since "Empire", but one always has hope.
I'm surprised that my favorite album so far this year has been Offspring's "Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace". Weird. Since I only knew them from "Pretty Fly for a White Guy" it is shocking to discoverEraserhead that a novelty band could com out with a nice crunchy set of pop anthems. I particularly like "Stuff is Messed Up".
I've been trying to get my RIAA-Free jukebox up on the site. Its a complicated affair. One of those things I thought would be dead easy but is turning into a chore. It has mostly to do with permissions (unix file permissions) and folder structure than anything else. I'll keep on it. It will be a cool way to display music that needs hearing.
I wish I liked Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead more than I do. They're two bands who get it. They understand the world has changed and refuse to stick with the stupidity that is epitomized by the RIAA and the MPAA.
Got to be brief. Life is catching up to me and I don't want to miss any of the show.

May 15, 2009

When you come to a fork in the road, take it
Yogi Berra

Gunslinger Girl by VM
Click images for desktop size: "Gunslinger Girl" by VM
Before my injection my blood sugar was 6.8, just inside the target. This morning the count was 5.9, which is okay.Circus of Life
It bugs me that a couple of months ago I was getting better numbers just from the pills. For all the stigma and grief from the injections I was expecting something more dramatic from the insulin.
I have gotten a bit better at doing it. My stomach is sore from it. The hardest part is, well the whole thing is hard and tricky; holding the needle dead steady while it hurts is hard then pushing in the little plunger is tricky and uncomfortable but the part I got wired is holding the needle inside of me for a count of 20. It makes me cringe now, even thinking about it.
The reason is that if you pull the needle out too soon the insulin seeps out . . . Crazy.
The insulin is not improving the pain in my shoulders yet. Its still excruciating and stops me from doing things like putting on my jacket. and combing my hair.
I mowed the rest of the yard yesterday. It rained in the morning but then the sun came out and there was enough of a wind to dry out the grass. My left handed falling pull start still worked. I was able to grimace through getting the mower over and around all the hills and stumps and things.
I was concerned because I felt more exhausted than I should. Its a side effect that should level out. Quickly I hope. Getting fatigued stirs negative memories.

Today is a big day. An important day. It is my puppy's fourth birthday.
Kurbatova by Playboy
Click images for desktop size: "Kurbatova" by Playboy
Four years old and in all that time we've only been apart about 15 weeks. Twelve weeks while she was being weaned from her mother. Three weeks when we moved. The three weeks were hard on both of us for exactly the same reason and with pretty much the same intensity and longing.
She may not be the perfect dog to anyone else but she and I are perfect together.
She remembers things I tell her and will do things to please me. She gets defiant and demanding. She gets angry. She gets loving and protective. She plays jokes and tricks on me. We bicker and fight. We play games that are meaningless to everyone but her and me.
Together we are a boy and a dog.
I never much liked the show "Cheers", knowing a couple of the writers didn't help, but I heard a part of one episode where one of the characters said he was writing a novel about a man and his dog wandering the corn fields and drinking beer. I could read a novel like that and picture my puppy asCountess Dracula the dog.
The entire world would be a scary bad place if by some cosmic mishap she and I had never met.
I feel pretty much the same way about my friend.

This is my friend's last day of work. Vacation time.
Only a week but it will be nice for and for me. Except someone stupid, probably me, decided that the vacation should be spent painting the porch . . . how dull. I mean why ruin a vacation just because the house needs the work?
So it will improve our lives, what reason is that to ignore frivolous self gratification.
I hate painting. It will be fine. We might even laugh while we're suffering through the arduous chore.

We managed to get tickets for the Jack White tour. The one he's doing with that other side band of his, Dead something or other. I like Jack White and still think he's the guitarist of the 21st Century. Punk
Click images for desktop size: "Punk" by Unknownk
His shows don't disappoint. He's an entertainer. Of course on this tour he's playing the drums . . .
I always viewed the White Stripes as pretty much a solo act. I can imagine White dragging along his ex-wife as support. You just don't do solo acts with just an electric guitar. White showed you could.
Meg was a pretty poor drummer. She'd lose the beat a lot but White keep a more driving steady beat in his head. His work on the guitar still astounds me.
Its interesting seeing him not be the soloist with the Raconteurs, to lose a part of himself within a real band. Some of the work is excellent, none of it less than good but it felt like White was losing some part of himself, like he was being too deferential to his band mates. I would have been more interested if it had been "Jack White & The Raconteurs" instead of a true band. It would have been awesome seeing White's manic intensity with a back up band. The Raconteurs are a collaboration.
I've only seen YouTube Videos of the Raconteurs live. The stage show looks like the same sort ofThe Day the Earth Stood Still democratic sharing thing until White does "Bang Bang" the crazy Nancy Sinatra number. Its worth seeking out. It shows what White could do as the frontman.
This will b interesting. Jack White as a drummer. Yow! He can keep a beat so we'll see if it catches fire.

I saw "Zatoichi 17: Zatoichi Challenged".
Peter Welling's defined an auteur as a director who was able to work within established genres and stay within the strict conventions demanded while still managing to express his own voice. Zatoichi movies are almost a genre unto themselves. Formally they are Growing Love by Frida Lind
Click image: "Growing Love" by Frida Lind
Chambara (sword fighting) and jidai-geki (period piece).
Within this definition it still astonishes me that Kenjiro Misumi is not recognized as one of the greatest directors in the world.
Zatoichi's movie's follow a path, a path that Misumi defined. I wonder if most of his brilliant story telling innovations have been lost as they have comprised the bedrock of Japanese chambara films in the sixties and seventies.
This entry in the Zatoichi saga is fascinating on its own, touching and startling, moving with an economy and sparseness that recalls zen. It stands on its own as well as laying the groundwork for Misumi's later works and themes.
Worth renting for sure.

The foster dog is starting to fit in to the pack better with each moment. Now we're off to the closed down dog park to see what there might be to see on this birthday day.

May 14, 2009

Make a difference about something other than yourselves
Toni Morrison

Fun Fair
Click images for desktop size: "Fun Fair" by Unknown
Last night my blood sugar count was 12.1, a little high. The insulin injection was no less painful and still left me with an annoying sort of tingling throughout my body. I slept pretty solid for 4 hours. IFrom Russia with Love was tired from no sleep and a pretty busy day. On wakening my blood pressure was 128 over 78, within target and my blood sugars were 8.8, still too high.
This means that tonight I have to give my self 12 units. I'm The Monkees
Click images for desktop size: "The Monkees"
supposed to increase it by 1 unit a day until the readings are right. There was some confusion this morning as my friend thought it was 1 unit every other day. I called and checked and I was right! I'm not sure if that's a winning thing or not.
I also found out that I have to replace my blood meter pretty soon. That sucks. The meter is about 50 bucks, but the test strips run about a hundred. There's the little plastic strips that have to feed into the machine to collect the blood. Each strip is coded and they don't work on different machines . . . Seems that the machines start declining in accuracy after 1 year. Planned obsolescence?
I think there's something wrong with America in that you can only stay alive if you can afford it. I was lucky before. There was a town where the government thought all of its citizens were precious Four Mounted Indians by Charles Russell
Click images for desktop size: "Four Mounted Indians" by Charles Russell
and there were doctors willing to donate their time. In Texas I could only afford my medication every other month or not at all.
When I was in grad school I drove a taxi cab at night. Held the job for 6 months or so. I had to give it up. Teaching and in school all day and working all night was kind of stupid. I'd fall asleep at odd times. When I was driving around LA about 4 am and suddenly it was 4:40 and I had no idea of where I was or how I'd gotten there. I'd been driving asleep for 40 minutes. Time to quit.
Driving a cab was unique. I made a lot of money. Meet a lot of people. Drag queen, drunks, hookers wanting to trade sex for the fare, gay guys telling me how they wanted a man like me, celebrities and sometimes people I knew. I thought they were all interesting except the wannabee pimps. I didn't like them much at all.
The cops used to flag me to pull over. While I was trying to figure what I'd done to attract the cop'sCat People attention they'd open the door and start piling in women, hookers. They'd throw a ten or a twenty dollar bill at me and tell me not to let the hookers out of the car and drive them west till I crossed the County Line. In LA the city cops run everything up to Crescent Heights and then its run by the Sheriff's Department.
The girls complained about how the cops had stolen all their money. The first time I figured it was just hooker talk. The fourth time I had to believe them. The girls always piled out of the cab at the first stop light. I had no intention of even trying to stop them. That would have felt to creepy, like kidnapping. I was a grad student driving a cab, not a cop.
Once a cop pulled me over and dumped a girl in the cab. She'd been stabbed. The cop told me to drive her to Queen of Angels. He didn't want to call an ambulance and fill in papers for street trash at the end of his shift.
She was bleeding but not terribly. We got to the hospital and there were a couple of orderlies and a Panda
Click images for desktop size: "Panda"
woman. They wouldn't let the woman out of the cab. She had no insurance, a credit card or $2,000 in cash. She was bleeding worse. I had to drive her to General Hospital (famous in bad TV series). Its the only charity hospital in LA.
Once I got flagged by a couple of guys in West Hollywood. One of the guys had been shot. Cedars Sinai was only two blocks away. I drove him there in less than a minute.
They went inside. I was in the back washing the blood off the seat when they came back. The one guy was still dragging his shot friend who was looking worse. Cedars wouldn't take his friend as a patient, not enough credit on his card and no insurance. The ambulance service wanted $125 in cash to take them to UCLA Med Center. The cab ride would be about 20 bucks.
(Even the Fire Department charges for ambulance service, but not in advance. They bill you. Same for Paramedic treatment. They used to not go crazy trying to collect, at least they didn't used to.)
So I know and I've seen that if you don't have enough money to live "they" are just as happy to see you die. And they can do it without mercy or fear. Killer world.The Blonde Vampire

I mowed the lawn yesterday. It hurt. I got the mower started by grabbing that rope thing with my left hand, holding my arm stiff and then sort of falling backwards. Took three times but it ran.
I could only do about 40% of the yard. The vibrations and bucking the machine over the hills and valleys created too much pain.
Click images for desktop size: "Che"
I was able to wear the iPod. The new cable is not as efficient as the old one, the silky wires one. It tangled a couple of times but not as badly as the Entymotics would tangle. I still don't have a solid feel for whether the sonic improvements and the probability that these cable won't need replacement are worth giving up the easy functionality of the silky ones. I still love the Ultimate Ears.
The foster dog is settling in. The gentle dog is very serious in hating him. The giant dog loves playing with him but hates him when he comes close to my friend. My puppy ignores him unless he plays one of the games he likes.
Situation normal.
My friend actually enjoyed her field trip. She got to hike through some untrammeled woods. She even got a cool walking stick from a dead tree. She bought it home for my puppy! Foster dog an my puppy played with it until the newcomer broke it in half. My puppy was indignant!

May 13, 2009

It's easy to make a buck; it's a lot tougher to make a difference
Tom Brokaw

Fabrique de statues sur isle de Bali by ebajart
Click images for desktop size: "Fabrique de statues sur isle de Bali" by ebajart
Before I went to bed my blood sugars were 8.1. My target is between 4 and 7, so it was high, just not terribly high. The nurse/diabetes expert said that most diabetics who start insulin after being onBlondie pills are looking at numbers around 25! She thought it was cool I was aware enough to catch it so soon. It spoke well of me following my dietary restrictions.
I did the insulin injection. Forget the propaganda about the needle in the belly not hurting. It hurt like a son of a gun! It burned,Lena Horne and Dean Martin
Click image: "Lena Horn and Dean Martin"
was sore afterwards and left a mark like a bug bite. It could have been worse I suppose. I'll probably get used to it, like I've gotten used to pricking my fingers two or three times a day.
Even though I've got a high tolerance for pain I've never been big on self inflicted pain. Way back in high school there was a fad amongst some of the more vapid football players. Two guys would sit opposite each other and rest their forearms against each other's. Then they'd drop a burning cigarette between their forearms. The first guy to flinch was called chicken.
I thought it was cool to watch but I thought it was pretty stupid too. I noticed that it was only me and the other surfers who never got involved in it. Some guys forearms were a huge mass of burn scars, many of them running about the full length of a cigarette. I don't know if the surfers had more sense or just figured that our sports banged us up enough. Maybe we wanted to show self respect, maybe we didn't have to prove anything to anybody, maybe we were chicken. Who knows? I don't like inflicting pain on myself. Full Moon by Luis Royo
Click images for desktop size: "Full Moon" by Luis Royo
Plenty of people to do that for you, if your so inclined.
I didn't sleep well. It was predicted. Tossed and turned, tremors and head achey.
I had to take my blood readings immediately on wakening. Surprised me that I went to bed at 8.1, injected myself and woke up with an 11.8! I guess this proves that my liver is working fine at making all them sugars all night. It also means I have to increase the dosage by 1 unit this evening.
I took the kidney medicine this morning. Its side effect, which is viewed as positive is that it also lowers the blood pressure. I do note that when the tooth pain was finally gone my blood pressure dropped to well within my safety parameters. It can still afford to be lower.
I notice that the prescription bottle forbids driving. I can expect to stand up and fall down a couple of times.Battleship Potemkin
My friend had to get out of bed 2 hours earlier than usual. Her job is taking the entire region on a field trip . . . to let them see what all their efforts are accomplishing. The field trip is making them all take a bus. Reminds me of grammar school.
Not only did she have to get up two hours earlier than usual to catch the bus but the first person on the bus is her old boss whom she doesn't quite get along with. The old boss is still a VP. The VP is showing a hunting video . . . This is a conservation group. Somehow, I don't think its an anti-hunting video.
I dislike hunting. I've tried it. Shooting something alive doesn't seem like much of a sport. I've never been able to do it especially after watching guys who weren't as good a shot (on the range) as I was, maim and harm animals who didn't fall.
Also hunting is pretty boring. Hunting with a bow and arrow is just as boring to me and even lacks the thrill of worrying about your companion shooting you in the face or the back on accident.
I would find it especially distressing to watch a video of this "sport". All blood sports seem vapid to me anyway. But watching them? Watching 200 yard drives in a TV golf match would be more exciting.
The foster dog is coming along. His surgery has healed up enough to let him roam with the pack. He's still annoyingly stressed but willing o make some strides.
The Tradition
Click images for desktop size: "The Tradition" by Unknown
My friend and I disagree a bit on what his history was that bought him to this state in his life and his personality. Nothing serious. More importantly we agree on what his future will be. He's a good dog.
The giant dog loves to run and play with him outside. Inside he wants to kill the foster especially when the foster comes anywhere near my friend or me. Jealous guy. Shows the silliness of being jealous at all.
My puppy thinks that playing is great but not with the foster. She'll make light dalliances but if he doesn't respond in her prescribed fashion she ignores him. He's smart enough to ignore her right back.
But he won't ignore the gentle dog who seems to really hate him. Gentle dog is always growling at him when the foster dog breaks gentle dog's "circle of influence". (An old aikido term I really like).
This is all pretty normal. They'll shift soon enough as the foster calms down and begins to accept his place in the pack.
I worked last night with his aggressive play nature. Its not a good thing when a dog initiates playBeach Blanket Bingo constantly. I felt heartless about stopping a dog from playing but it worked. He started to calm down and then spent the final two hours of the evening wrapped around my legs as I sat in the office.
Today was going to be the first lawn mowing day of the year. I have no idea if it is but it seems to me that it should be a day worth celebrating. When I tried to start the lawnmower I nearly killed the bad arm. The right one not the bad left one . . . It dropped me to one knee.
Part of my pain chart goes like this: 2=headache, 6=slamming your hand in a car door, 8=tearing cartilage in your knee.
At rest my right arm is a constant 2, when I try to work it out with proper exercises it often reaches 6. When I forget and make a quick movement like stretching or reaching for a jar on a high shelf it goes to 8 for about 3 minutes then takes about 10 minutes to calm down and get back to 2.
The good news (?) is that its almost definitely neuropathic. There's a chance that getting the blood sugars correct will reduce the pain somewhat. Makes the pain of the injections (a 1 which equals a pin prick or a paper cut) seem worthwhile.
I'll probably need another pill for the pain when it settles.
I ant to mow the lawn today, at least a part of it. I want to listen to the iPod. I've been using the new cable for the Ultimate Ears long enough to have an opinion. I love the UE's, not least because they were a present from my friend. One of the things I loved about them was the silk like wire. They've stopped making that thin and super flexible Factory by Clarence Carter
Click images for desktop size: "Factory" by Clarence Carter
stuff. he new cables are heavier and stiffer, though not as heavy by far as the wiring on the Entymotics. The UE's are still capable of being light enough and non-obtrusive enough to sometimes make the music from the iPod seem like the music that often plays in my head on its own. I rather like that.
One advantage of the heavier gauge, other than it shouldn't need replacing like the silky ones is a noticeable increase in midrange performance. At about 2,000 hertz its more detailed, coming closer to but not exceeding or meeting the clarity of the Entymotics.
I'm on a fence whether the sonic improvement makes up for the lightness of the silky wire. I hoped the lawn mowing would make that clearer.

May 12, 2009

Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal
Arthur Schopenhauer

Edmund DuLac
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Edmund DuLac
It was a very nice day today. Very good for an ebike ride, except when I started up my ebike after it hibernation it ran fine for about 30 feet then did a weird short.Angel
I can't track the short quite yet but I will.
So it was a nice day to walk to the doc's office.
It was a nice clear sunny day, around 60. But it felt like I was walking down the same street at 3:00 A.M. Felt empty. It might have been the several house that still have their Christmas decorations Marylin Monroe
Click images for desktop size: "Marilyn Monroe
out, or it might have been that in 40 minutes I never saw another person, saw some cars but never the people driving them.
This got me to thinking about small town vs city life. Realizing there's not much different. I was interested at how busy New York streets were after midnight, but even then people at night, even groups of 2 or 3 would look uneasily at the group or the guy behind them. Probably justified.
Which tends to make you muse some about cops. I tell you this. Cops and robbers need each other. Its a game sometime laced with hatred and corruption but its the game they chose and the game they know. The innocent man is the one who has the most to fear from cops. Cops don't believe anyone is innocent. They can't believe it. Its invisible to them. The worst of them see the vile Dominic by Marco
Click images for desktop size: "Dominic" by Marco
corruption of their own soul and have the arrogance to think that no one could be purer than they are, after all they carry a badge. Who could be purer than the princes of the city.
One of my kids once got arrested for murder. It was at Carnival. If you've never been there its like a sold out rock show in a too small venue. Oxford Circus at Christmas comes to mind. You can fight the crowd but you'll wear out before the mob does so you tend to just drift with it.
At this Carnival a kid was beaten to death. They got the whole thing on closed circuit TV.
My kid was about 30 feet from the tiny gap that opened up to allow the fight. Right there on tape. You would think that would end it. Case closed. He didn't do it. See, this kid was over 6'5" 270 fit pounds. No mistaking him.
The cops went on stand and swore that he was the lookout for the kid who did the killing . . . My kidCaptain Marvel-India  and the killer both came from the same estate, the manor or more exact the housing project of over 3,000 families. They were raised there since infancy. They knew each other but they weren't friends.
The killer had been arrested about 20 times, never in the company of my kid. My kid had never been arrested.
The cop story was that the killer had gone there with the explicit purpose of killing a stranger. Their proof was that was exactly what he had done. And that my kid was there as an accomplice. He was to use his height to be the look out. On the tape he's clearly talking to a friend and moving away from the fight. It doesn't look like he or any of the people around him even are aware of it. The cop story is that is how cagey my kid was.
I got called in as a character witness and as an expert witness. I told the court the truth about what I thought of my kid. I also pointed out that he was a "killer athlete" trained to knock down 300 pound athletes and that if he wanted to cut through the crowd he had the tools to do so, but he also had the tools to show self restraint and discipline. The proof of what I said was that after all this he still managed to go to University and then to play in the pros.
My evidence got a lot of play in the papers and on TV. I must have looked good. I had powerful enemies before. This testimony of mine hardened some and made me some new enemies. I still don't care.
My kid was found not guilty of murder but the all white jury and the ancient white judge still gave him six months because it was impossible for a black kid of that size who lived on that estate to really be innocent. The exact words were something like, "given the defendants physical prowess, Fashion, Sex and Dogs
Click images for desktop size: "Sex, Fashion and Dog" by Unknown
intelligence and his up bringing there is good reason to believe he is in someway complicit. This is further indicated by the police testimony as to his character and the character of the man he was arrested with."
Justice and cops.
So I was in that frame of mind when I got to the doc's office. I was tired from the walk. I was late, lost time trying to fix the bike.
I saw the nurse/pharmacist/diabetic expert, right away. On good thing is that she was young enough to still be interested in her work, young enough for the education to be fresh in her brain but experienced enough to know how to apply the knowledge and to see through the book work's fallacies.
We did a review of the medical history. I did find out that these people sort of expect people to go loco on them when they bring out the needles. No one's ever happy to be told that they've just become an insulin addict.
She was impressed that I knew all my target numbers straight off, glucose counts, blood pressures etc. At first my thoughts were, "of course I do. I don't want to die." But I remember a diabetic A Dangerous Profession training I'd been to. There was an obese woman who had to have a foot amputated because of diabetes. She was adamant that she needed two liters of Coke a day and sugar in her coffee.
If I'd lost a foot I'd have been scared, she just wanted her rights and didn't draw any line between her rights and losing body parts. She's probably right. Its not fair.
We went over the dietary restrictions from the chemo's and how'd they'd mesh with the new dietary restrictions from having to inject insulin. The only real change is that I'm supposed to eat almost constantly. Small meals and snacks but almost all the time. She corrected me on one thing. I keep saying I can have 45 grams of fat when I mean 45 milligrams (less than in a McDonalds Big Mac). I know the difference but I keep saying the wrong word. 50 milligrams of fat makes me very ill so 45 grams would probably kill me.
I also have to carry around sugar tablets!! In case the insulin makes me hypoglycemic! I asked and El by T Hecker
Click images for desktop size: "El" by T Hecker
it is a myth that I could just grab a candy bar.
We talked about the side effects. The Avapro I'm having to take for my kidneys also lowers my blood pressure. I'll probably feel dizzy a lot.
This Lantus stuff only has to be injected once a day. In the stomach! My friend says I knew this. Maybe I did and blocked it out. I have to do it 10 minutes before I go to bed. I found it interesting that I have to do it at night because its when you're sleeping that the liver does most of the sugar production.
Sine I'm very good with my diet and at keeping my numbers at least close to where they should be even with the degenerative nature of the disease I will probably throw myself into hypoglycemic shock once or twice. I'll wake up with night sweats and bad tremors . . .
One thing she said that was heartening for others, if not myself, is that the newer types of chemo do not cause diabetes as often as the old "burn the bastards out" types did.Attack of the Puppet People
I got a lot of free samples and got to inject a napkin for practice. I liked the free samples. Only because I like free stuff.
I get to have one of those biological hazard waste baskets to throw away the needles. I kind of like that as well. It makes me unique I think.

Turns out I don't have to go to the parent's meeting tonight. Coaches aren't required until after the player evaluation. I don't know if I'll go or not. Maybe not. There's little to learn just by watching someone tell the parents what their rules are.
It feels odd not to be in total control but I like that I don't have to be dragged to every meaningless meeting. Or do I!?!

May 11, 2009

We live and we work so we can die
Sam Fuller

D'Amour by Douleur
Click images for desktop size: "D'Amour" by Douleur
I'm re-reading Raymond Chandler's and Robert Parker's "Poodle Springs". That's the book that was supposedly based on notes and pages Chandler was working on when he died. I've heard itsKing Kong anywhere from 5 pages of manuscript to 100.
Anyway, somebody hired Robert Parker to finish the book up.
When I first heard of this I rushed and got it right away. Got it in hard cover. I mean this is literature. Raymond Chandler. When you Hope and Crosby
Click images for desktop size: "Hope and Crosby"
live in pop culture land as much as I do literature that you can actually enjoy, that isn't some arduous task that will some how make you into a mythic better person, you have to jump on it. Buying it in hard cover made it mean something, made it permanent and real.
I was pretty excited and really sort of sad that it more than a little bit sucked.
Robert Parker isn't anywhere near the writer Chandler was. Chandler was about the scene, the characters, and the poetry. Parker is about the plot, about the mystery and the crime.
Because of Chandler I've read a lot of mystery stuff. Don't care for most of it.
Part of the problem is that its hard to figure which is Chandler and what is Parker imitating Chandler. Like there's a scene where Marlowe helps out a gambling cheat who's also a bigamist. He helps him avoid getting arrested for murder because he saw the guy with his first wife and thought they looked sweet together. That's not totally inconsistent with Marlowe, but it's a bit too sentimental to be taken seriously. You wonder how much did Chandler intend to keep and how much was just taking a look at it.
Conquering the World
Click images for desktop size: "Conquering the World" by Unknown
At this stage of his life Chandler did all of his writing into a tape recorder then had it all transcribed. He would then ruthlessly edit the typewritten pages.
Its easy to imagine the meticulousness that he approached his editing. When he submitted his first short story he went through and typed it by himself. Because the cheap pulp magazines used justified margins Chandler went through and typed his manuscript with the same justified margins! This wasn't mousing over a button and clicking it, he counted letters and spaces and figured it all out.
So even though he typed things out there's no guarantee that he would have left it in the final story. We all know that Marlowe could get sappy, but he never acted sappy and he never saw killers as friends no matter how much he liked them before they became killers, no matter how sympathetic he might be.
In the book Marlowe is married to the multi-millionairess Linda Loring nee' Potter from "The Long3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt Goodbye". Parker has them constantly squabbling about how Marlowe has to be his own man. Chandler never squabbled. You get the impression that Parker had so many great squabble lines that he decided he needed to use them all. Instead of condensing them all down to a bare element he scatters them throughout the story so they become tedious instead of whip smart. After the first squabble you know this marriage is doomed. Chandler would have let us see that love is always present but the people are just too wrong for each other. All the bickering just makes us dislike both of the people and feel relieved when they're apart.
I even wonder about the title. "Poodle Springs" as a nom de plume for Palm Springs is a little weird. Chandler didn't like dogs so perhaps he'd have kept it to show his contempt for the desert resort. But the same way he let Faun Lake stand in for Big Bear I don't think he'd have let his roman de clef predominate the story. It was the location, the air of the scene not the feelings for the place that overwhelmed.
Back in the life where I cared about such things I wrote an adaptation of Chandler's last original unproduced screenplay. I wrote it so I could make the movie with my friends, shoot it on 8mm stock with sound than transfer it to video for a sale to VHS. It was a good plan and I managed to strip the story down to free to use locations (borrowing from all my friends, their homes and their clubs, restaurants and offices). We even shot a few scenes before the contact I had at the video distributorship told me the cost the Chandler Estate agents wanted for my adaptation. The WGA said that my script contained about 35% of Hannabai by Kurkosawa
Click images for desktop size: "Hannabai" by Kurkosawa
Chandler's so I had to play ball. Forced me to abandon that little dream.
In rewriting his screenplay and bringing it into contemporary LA, a stripped down LA, I was inadvertently following Chandler's big advice for how to learn to write. He always preached that you had to read something you liked then sit down and rewrite it in your own words. Not copy it but try to recreate the impact of the scene or the characters.
The by product of this is that I learned more about how Chandler constructed his scenes, what appealed to me and also how different Chandler's and my view of the world actually is.
In understanding it I grew to appreciate the differences as much as the similarities. I was able to see more clearly his concepts of the world and of LA. It served me well in understanding people, and having compassion for those who are different and those who I think are just wrong.
I guess "Poodle Springs" as flawed and poor as it is still serves some purpose in that it forces me to remember the the LA that Chandler created so that I can recall more vividly the LA I lived in.2001

It rained all weekend. My friend had to work all weekend. Not the best of times. Done now.
My friend meets her new boss today, on the telephone. Conference call thing. Seems odd to me but at least they didn't ask her to make the 2 hour drive to meet him.
My arms have become ridiculous. I'm bored with the agony. Tomorrow, if I get my bike running today, I get my Doctorate in self Injectology. I'm holding out the wispy hope that insulin might go some way to relieving this grief. So bad that muscles around the pain have turned into walnuts. If I was of the paranoid bent I'd decided the knots are masticized tumors.
The foster dog is amazing. He has to live in his crate with the stupid cone head collar on but he remains joyous. Sometimes a little bit more than required. I've only ever had one foster dog who arrived calm. Charles. an old cocker> He was very much about his business and even more so about his pace. Otherwise every foster has arrived full of life, a complete ignorance of most things human, and an inbred compulsion to play with everything.
I think that's right.

May 8, 2009

A man must hide his tears and wear a forced smile
Aki Ifukoda

African Autumn by Miss Yucki
Click images for desktop size: "African Autumn" by Miss Yucki
The foster dog is doing well. A bit of extra work and I still the body that resents extra work.
He has to stay in the crate. Which is hard on him and me. I was enjoying letting him sit quiet behindWetbacks the gate to his room but he quickly discovered he could jump the gate with no trouble. He escaped out into the yard and ran around full speed play attacking everybody. After I had to catch him I checked his stitches. They were a bit fiery but not broken. The giant dog in particular was over joyed to have his play buddy back.
This morning foster dog started to worry the stitches with his mouth. I had to put the Elizabethan collar on him . . . he hates me. The other three are all impressed with the cone head looking dog. They all barked at him. I had him on lead while he did nothing but hop around excited and happy.
He's one of the least fearful happiest dogs I've ever seen. Regrettably Sigourney Weaver And Friend
Click image: "Sigourney Weaver and Friend"
this isn't the best attitude for recovering from surgery but I prefer it. Easier to calm him down than to cheer someone else up.
I'd be very surprised if we had this foster very long at all. I hope long enough to train him just a little. I think he'd like to learn stuff.

I noticed this morning that my thumbs have improved. Their pain is slight. It only took 3 months to get there.
My left elbow is responding to the exercises. This morning it hurt terribly but I was able to lift up the kettle for coffee without fear of dropping. As I work it the pain subsides.
My right shoulder is getting worse. It responds to working but not for any significant amount of time. Its peculiar too in that there seem to be too many ways to start the agony. I'm more familiar with this neuropathic pain only killing me if I do a couple of different moves or from moving too quickly and hard.
This shoulder has that but it also seems to go berserk from almost anything. The pain is so bad that After Magritte
Click images for desktop size: "After Magritte's Lovers" by Unknown
it hurts almost constantly, never really calming down. Just sitting and then shifting my position can set it off. Its waking me up several times a night.
It still responds to exercise. I use a therapy rubber band and move it under tension when I feel the first twinge of pain I hold it for a count of 20 then repeat until the twinges stop. Doing this has at least let me localize the pain to an area about 1 inch beneath the shoulder point on the arm.
I might have to see the doctor about it. I hate spending the money. I hate hurting all the time. Funny I never get used to it. I seem to be hurting all the time anyway.

This weekend will be spent getting ready for Tuesday. On Tuesday I have to get to the doc's office to get training on how to inject myself with insulin (and the doc won't look at the shoulder - requires aThe Wizard of Oz separate visit and a separate charge) , then I have to go about two miles further down the road to drop off the lantus and Avrio script. Get home and finalize my speech to the parents meeting that evening.
I'm going to spend the weekend getting the dreaded e-bike back in running order. All the walking would take about 3 hours. I figure I can e-bike it in a about an hour! Just have to spring maintenance it and be set to go terrorize.
Meeting the parents of the team members is not an odious task. I figure that all the other coaches will babel on and on. Amateur coaches seem to either talk to much or be taciturn. My experience is that 3 pointed minutes will get the points I want across and be memorable. (Its my same logic that forces me to find songs over 3 minutes tedious).
I'm going to need assistant coaches. Most of them will come from the parents. I can make a lot of my points by asking for coaches and lining out what I expect and demand from a coach: No berating the players; correct, instruct and encourage only. The Understanding that no coach ever won a game and no player ever lost one. The willingness to learn from me about turning the young people into athletes who play this sport. That's about it.
I've reached that age where my resume is impressive on its own.
Then today I'm playing burly housewife. The joint is dog heaven but a bit too messy and dirt for human habitation. And the foster dog needs to go out for a bit.

May 6, 2009

The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization
Sigmund Freud

Click images for desktop size: "Warriors" by Unknown
The only fallout from putting my mobile phone through the washer and dryer seems to be the battery life. I have to recharge it every other day now. I'm impressed with Samsung.This gun for Hire

The foster dog came home from the vet yesterday. When we picked him up he was groggy from the anesthesia. Had to lift him into the car sort of groggy.
When we got him home he urinated for about three minutes. Then defecated an astonishing amount, which pretty much confirmed my concerns about the vet's office not having a readily available exercise area.
All they did was neuter him. They didn't remove the double dew claws. It was relayed to us that the dew claws weren't particularly dangerous and removing them would cause him more grief than benefit.
I guess.
He got an odd reception from the other dogs. Giant dog who was adamant in his hostility before the vet was now seriously concerned for foster dog. Foster dog has to be segregated and kept still. Giant dog lay in an unusual position for him so he could look after foster dog through the grate.
Gentle dog, who previously had simply ignored the foster dog now expressed out right hostility. When my friend bought hi m in from a walk foster dog slipped his leash and made a bound for me, in a friendly way. Gentle dog stood up and unleashed a fierce snarl. I'd never heard gentle dog make a noise like that before.
I was pleased by his response. If he'd react that vocally to protect me, who he barely tolerates, I felt more secure about his ability to protect my friend, whom he adores, should the need ever arise.
Of course my puppy just continued to ignore him. She's consistent like that.
Foster dog is doing well.

Dog by S4W
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Apparently I need to be clearer about the details of medical care in the USA. I lived a long time in the UK and had to use the National Health Service (NHS) which provides "free" medical care. Free via a payroll deduction similar but larger than the Medicare deduction taken in the US.
In Texas i was unemployed, broke, and starting a new job in 3 days when I got tonsillitis. I guessed that's what it was. I didn't know. There was no place to go to find out.
When my temperature neared 105 and the pain had kept me awake for two days I walked two miles plus to the nearest hospital emergency room. I waited in the waiting room for a couple hours then got sent to an examination room where I sat for a few more hours. A nurse came in looked at my throat and told me, "Wait here." That was all she said to me.
A bout an hour later some guy came in told me to drop my pants. He gave me shot and left.
I sat there for about another hour when a different nurse came in asked, "What are you doing here?" I croaked I didn't know. I was waiting to be told what to do. She closed the door and came backTortilla Flats ten minutes later and told me I could go. I asked what was wrong with me. Finally she told me I had tonsillitis and the doctor had given me an antibiotic.
I left. Two days later I got a bill for about $1,800. Since I was already paying my Bells Palsy bill off from a different hospital at $25 bucks a week I was a little shook.
Now in England doctor's don't become wealthy only rich. You have to stop practicing medicine and become a consultant to get wealthy. In slow new seasons The Sun, England's biggest paper, will run an Marilyn Monroe
Click images for desktop size: "Marilyn Monroe"
expose of consultants making a million pounds a year by billing the NHS for 200 hours a week sixty one weeks a year. Everyone grumbles for a few minutes and then business continues as usual. In the UK you don't seriously mess with the wealthy.
Because of this there aren't quite enough doctors to go around. If you need one you have to register with a clinic. Your restricted to the clinics in your neighborhood and then restricted by whether the doctor has enough time to take you on as a patient. The doc's are limited by law as to how many they can take on to insure decent care.
I got stuck with a real croaker. An obscenely obese snob of a man who hated me for my accent. I hated him for hating me for my accent. It was a fine relationship.
I rarely saw him except for annual physicals. I never had to pay him anything. Then I started to feel a huge amount of fatigue and this creepy but not quite debilitating pain in my bones. It got to the point where it took a superhuman effort to get out of bed and dress. I just wanted to sit and stare. I Tribal Girl by Evgeny
Click images for desktop size: "Tibal Girl" by Evgeney
managed to never miss work. My friend (and boss) said I should see my doctor. I did. They ran some tests and the fat croaker told me I was just getting older. He gave me a script for some vitamins and told me to take paracetamol.
Filling the script cost me nothing too. I had to pay for the paracetamol because he didn't write me a script for it.
I didn't get better.
I had to take a business trip back to LA. I went and saw my old doctor. He wasn't in the same office anymore. He tagged up with one of those Medical Corporations. They ran the same tests. Word came back that I had leukemia,
We talked about treatments. They didn't tell me that it was close to a certainty that the chemo they wanted me to try would give me diabetes. He might have mentioned some damage to my kidneys. You'd have to be tougher than I am to pay real close attention to those sort of details.U Turn
When asked the only question I could think of was the same one that we all know about, "Will I lose my hair?"
He said, maybe not and that it almost always grows back. He never mentioned the fact that I'd have to look n the mirror everyday and see myself dying. It was during that time that for the first time in my life I wished I was only just getting older. I never imagined being old.
Its the stuff the doc's don't tell you that can kill you.
I guess they've stopped doing it. Chemo used to have support groups built into the treatment. Probably the insurance companies put a stop to them. Can't have people comparing notes about costs and they were expensive. I can see Blue Cross saying, We have to keep them alive. We don't have to make them happy," and canceling approval for the support groups. With the ay your going broke paying for your share of the chmo talking about it doesn't make sense to take on as an out of pocket expense.
I learned more from the other patients then I ever did from the shrink in charge of it anyway.
I've been through four chemo's. All the doctors made it a point that I had to do this NOW! The only Unforgettable Autumn
Click images for desktop size: "Unforgettable Autumn" by Unknown
way to make a decision was from what they did or didn't tell you. Like I had six teeth pulled recently. It was most likely caused by the second trial (chemo word for an experimental cutting edge treatment that looks like it might work). Its a known side effect. They might not have even known that at the exact time. Even if they had they may or may not have told me about it. The doc's like to give you a 5,000 word pamphlet and let you discover this stuff for yourself but give your consent now.
The only doctor who treated me like a person and not a patient object was the volunteer doc, my last one. He could have been off getting rich but he felt the need to give back to his community. I still think of him as a friend first and a doc second. He explained a lot of my past and presentVillage of the Damned (Belgium) situation to me. Th medical junk. He even took the time to try and get me to understand. And because he was free of charge he was a lot busier than the guys charging a hundred and fifty buck minimum for an office visit, but he still took the time.
I just think we all need a chance to understand what they're doing to us so we can see and make a better decision than we do when getting our car repaired.

Now I have to take care of my foster dog and the dynamic duo. Gentle dog got to go to work with my friend. He was ecstatic. Giant dog is so jealous. He's so put upon.

May 5, 2009

Do the leaves on the maple tree bloom or blossom

Untitled by Steve Argyle
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Steve Argyle
Yesterday was filled with nothing else but dogs. Giant dog has decided that the foster dog is okay so long as he is playing with him and not with giant dog's toys.Mad Monster Party
Foster dog would bring toys to me to throw and drop them in my lap. I would reach for them and discover that giant dog, who was sitting next to me, had deftly removed them. He was holding them angrily between his paws. Foster dog just went and got new ones. At one stage giant dog was holding three toys between his paws. He glared at me in case I had any funny ideas.
Even my puppy got slightly less disdainful. She initiated play. Of course the play was her game and could only be played by her rules.
When giant dog would play bound at foster dog gentle dog would join in by attacking giant dog! And then foster dog had to go to the vet.
If ever a dog needed a trip to the vet . . . doesn't make it easier. He was a pain. There was an unfixed female beagle at the vet's office. He was uncontrollable. I took him outside. This is the rescue service's vet so we had no choice, but I soon saw that there was no exercise area. No grass at all except the little patch we were standing on, and that little patch was next to the highway. Cars went by too fast for me to be comfortable.
I wouldn't have left my dog there.
Foster dog is going to be fixed, shot up and the have his dew claws removed. He has the ugliest dew claws I've ever seen on a dog. I'm amazed that he hasn't hurt himself before this. They have to be removed. The healing process is long. Three weeks minimum. He'll have to be crated and carried around some.
Poor guy. He's still one of the happiest dogs I've ever seen. His life has been pretty miserable but he keeps playing and laughing. He keeps the world shaped in his image. I admire that. I hope he keeps his attitude after all this surgery.
The Last Supper by Da Vinci
Click images for desktop size: "The Last Supper" by Da Vinci
This surgery will make his life better but I always wonder if it will be worth it if he loses that gift of changing the world to his own joyous view.
Its one of the reason I go on so much about my health issues.
When the doctor's tell you some bad news, you got this or that brand of cancer for example, and then detail the available cures they always seem to do it in a rush. When you ask for details they get brusque, especially about the side effects.
Something like, "You've got lympho ballistic leukemia. No big deal its curable."
In my case it took over seven years to cure. I've been cured, or at least in remission for nearly two years. I've often felt like giving up, even recently. But I don't regret still being alive. No matter how low I've fallen or how despair filled things have often seemed. When it comes to doctor's and scuzzy insurance companies sucking up my money (This policy cover 100% of all costs of normal and average acceptable fees as decided by us you will be responsible for any additional charges as decided by your service provider.Mata Hari
Its been worth it to me. I have my puppy and I have my friend. I like the world well enough, I stubborn enough to enjoy things like music and songs and stories.
Its been worth it to me but it might not be worth it to someone else. When the doctor says, "I won't lie to you," or "I'm not going to sugar coat it," its safe to assume that he's going to enjoy being brutal, he won't discuss things so you can have a clear idea of what's in front of you, and that he's been pretty much misleading you in things up till then.
Most people will be empathetic at first but they don't know how to act. Most of us don't much like confronting mortality. I sure don't. I The Bride Of Frankenstein
Click images for desktop size: "The Bride of Frankenstein"
always planned to be immortal, spitting into microphones, running down fields while opponents tripped over their own feet trying to catch me with all the dogs who've ever lived with me cheering me on from the stands or the mosh pit.
When they find out your ill people shut it out of their front brain and work hard to drive it out of their back brain too. The light we see blinds us to all but itself.
They get dismissive or they avoid you. Or worse, they suck it up so every meeting becomes more a confrontation than a casual conversation. Your mind's not working great either. You can't ignore the moments of self pity where you won't like yourself very much either.
I was kind of lucky and people really couldn't notice. I'm pretty dour anyway. In almost any relationship there would come a point would someone would look at me a bit amazed and say, "I never realized it before, your really a pretty funny guy, like you tell a lot of jokes. I never knew you were joking!"
The only difference for me is that they stopped saying that.
I think, no, I know that people need to know what's in front of them. They don't need to know the Taoist Immortals by Fûgai Honko
Click images for desktop size: "Taoist Immortals" by Fûgai Honko
future but they have to know enough to make a decision they can live with, not live happily maybe but they have to see some joy out there at the end of it all.
Steve McQueen went through it all, even ended up in Mexico swallowing extract of peach pit (Laetrile) while two people I know killed themselves. One by driving head on into a fire truck that was enroute to a fire.
I miss them all but there's no choice but to respect their decisions even if you regret their choices.
That's all.

I've listened to the new Bob Dylan, "Together for Life" and the New Neil Young, "Fork in the Road".
I like Neil Young. Everybody has had to sit through my Neil Young story. (Maybe that should be Neil Young Story - keep it capitalized so it enters myth). Me and my buddies hid on a hill at Point DumeThe Mole People and watched them build Bob Dylan's house and got a rush when we saw Roger McQuinn, even ran down the hill to talk to him.
I still listen to their stuff, their old stuff.
Because I loved their old stuff so much I probably took it harder and more personally that I think this new tuff absolutely sucks. Too old, too used to a life of riches and wealth. Young at least seems to try and understand what's going on in the world. He even has feeling for it but its not there in the music.
Dylan has lived in the legend cocoon so long that he's forgotten what it means to be human, to be angry and sad. He writes about heartburn like it was heartbreak.
It makes me sad.
What cheered me was re-watching "Hustle and Flow" as I did the usual household chores. An old movie but still the best film ever about creating music. It works from points of extremity and hyperbole. Music does. What I keep finding touching is the fact that the people here are all dreaming and reaching for that dream and in struggling for it they regain the humanity that the world has sought to pull out of them. All the other movies that tried to tell this story forgot about the human part, they wasted my time telling me about being an inhuman legend.
Time to take the dogs for their walk.
Next week I have to meet the parents of the players of my team. I have to prepare a three minute speech about what to expect from me and what I want from them so that we can build their children into something the children can be proud of. And I have to do this while I'm laughing at the latest dog jokes. Then I have to get ready for poor foster dog to come back to his home.

May 4, 2009

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less
Marie Curie

Sky 1 by Ausencia
Click images for desktop size: "Sky 1" by Ausencia
This weekend was as busy as I figured. My body is still in rebellion. Lots of pain from the usual suspects.Battling Butler
Sometimes I wish I got a little sympathy for the hurting. I'd probably resent that too. You can't win with me, or, as I prefer, I can't lose.

Saturday started too early. My friend and I arrived at the football equipment locker. We weren't the very first ones there.
My friend got to sit at a table and do all the paperwork, registering the new kids. A rough enough job that I was glad to avoid.
Snow Fun
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I got stuck doing shoulder pads and fitting game jerseys. That devolved as some guys showed up late or not at all. Normal stuff. They got a couple of players to fit shoulder pads. I fit jerseys and double checked the shoulder pad fittings. I only had to swap out a half dozen sets of pads so the kids did alright.
Fitting game jerseys is a real pain. Game jerseys are ultra tight. Lot of reasons for this; being tight the help compress the shoulder pads increasing protection slightly and also enabling the player to hit with more impact. Tight jerseys make it easier for referee's to see holding. The jerseys are so tight that if a ref sees a player's jersey being pulled its obvious that this is far from incidental contact. It also helps protect the player from actually being held and unfairly impeded.
And tight jerseys look great.
My method of getting on a jersey is to put them on the pads first and then put the jerseys and pads on as a unit.
That's too pokey for this sort of deal. There was only one jersey of each size. The new jerseys would be ordered based on my measurements. That means I had to put the jersey on each kid and then Sinister by Yasushi Nirasawa
Click images for desktop size: "Sinister" by Yasushi Nirasawa
take it off.
The quickest way was to roll the jersey up from the bottom, have the kid slip his arms through, up to the elbow. I soon learned to tell ALL the kids to put their arms through the arm holes and not the neck hole. With the jersey on the arms the kid has to raise his head and arms to get his head through. Then I reach around behind them and pull the jersey over the pads and down.
I nearly choked out half a dozen kids . . . I'd then straighten the jersey and check it. The real grief was when I'd eye balled the wrong size and had to re-fit the kid twice (once it required 3 fittings, and one took four).
I also learned to tell the kids to stand strong when I was pulling the jersey, I still dragged about a dozen of them to their knees.
Getting the jersey off is worse. I have the kids pull one of their arms free then I pull the jersey King Of the Zombies loose from the pads then have them pull the jersey from the side over their noggins. The jersey then just falls off the other arm.
I didn't keep track but I probably fitted close to 200 kids.
I was on my feet for 8 solid hours doing this. If I was getting paid $7.50 an hour I'd have quit after the first hour and demanded my check. For twenty an hour I'd not have ever gone back and I'd have complained bitterly about no coffee breaks. For free I didn't mind it. My friend felt the same way.
I tore four of my weak nails. My hands didn't start cramping badly until 6 hours into it. I think its interesting that my hands cramp up after 15 or 20 minutes playing guitar. So logic says that guitar playing is 24 times harder than pulling kit around on kids.
I liked meeting the kids and having my brief chats with them and the parents. I felt there was a slightly higher percentage of parents who were in this for the right reasons, slightly higher than usual. Not at the cost of the parents into it for the wrong reason. There seemed to be fewer indifferent ones though. That's a nice positive.
Another nice positive was that they provided pizza for lunch. Eat on your feet thing. I asked them if they could order from this one pizza joint because they have a gluten free pizza that my friend could have. I was originally told no, they had reasons for that, acceptable reasons. Then they ordered from the same pizza joint I asked for because my request was more important to them than the reasons. EXCEPT they forgot the reason was to get a gluten Evening Chant
Click images for desktop size: "Evening Chant" by Unknown
free pizza for my friend. Amusing unless you're my friend who got no pizza!
There were 5 coaches I noted who scarfed down free pizza but never seemed to work with any kids . . . made the note to not let them near any of the kids on my team.
As soon as I'd sent the last kid out the door my friend and I hoped in the car to go pick up the foster dog.
He was being held by this really sweet couple. New dog is a big happy goof, totally bewildered by everything that's happened to him he embraces his confusion by laughing and playing until the scary parts go away.
Its pretty obvious that he lived for a while where he was loved but badly cared for. He's not neutered, his dew claws are dangerously long. He sort of knows a few commands. I think the family abandoned him. He was found wandering in the woods. Kept in a dog pound for a couple of months. Put on death's row, then thrown into a car and driven away, then another car, then a home for a few hours and finally ends up here.
He's smart, scared, confused and happy. The food they gave us for him is too rich after dog poundLaura grub - diarrhea and vomiting. Because he's not neutered giant dog hates him, my puppy has made it clear he's not to invade her personal space and gentle dog endures him because gentle dog is gentle dog.
All he wants is to play and be told its all okay.
His trip continues tonight when he has to go to the vet to get neutered, dew claws removed and all other vetting. It irks me no end that the pound couldn't do even these simple things to make his life easier. The idea of its wasted money on a dog they had slated to die doesn't cut it. Would you deprive a cancer victim of pain killers?
He's going to make someone a fine dog. He'll make them laugh. He's learning simple commands but still has a hard time concentrating. He'll be fine.
Sunday was the eagerly anticipated dog walk.
It was a bust. Highly disappointing. All the more so because there's no one to blame. I'd really have liked someone to blame.
Click images for desktop size: "Surf" by Unknown
The dog walk is normally at this gorgeous hotel grounds. Some guest must have seen that there was to be a dog walk and thrown a fit about loose dogs ruining her holiday.
This was last second. To the hotels credit they did not forbid use of their grounds. They have something like 300 acres. They just set up a different trail for the walk but THEY INSISTED ALL DOGS BE LEASHED!
In today's economy I can understand them not telling the rich guest to go to hell. The trail they set up was horrid. Dirty, hot. We had to walk through about a half mile of loose dirt and wood chips stepping in the tractor tread marks and depressions.
It would have been okay if the dogs were running loose and making friends. This was just a walk that we could have done better at any of a dozen places.
London After Midnight
The dogs still enjoyed it.
My friend's assistant from work bought her dog along. He was great. I was sad that the great adventure we had promised her had devolved into something bland.
She and her dog came home with us and new dog and assistant dog played incredibly hard and rough. It almost made the shambolic day worthwhile, for me at least.
My friend and I were both fatigued. I think she was as glad I was there as I was glad she was there.
Things seem to work out better that way.

May 1, 2009

Started back in sixty three with Jan & Dean, the Beach Boys and me
Roger Christian

Old Friends
Click images for desktop size: "Old Friends" by Unknown
When I was young (scary phrase that) I think I was in some sort of pain most days. Between football, baseball and surfing I was usually dinged up. (Football needs no explanation, I hope.The Informer Baseball, from always getting spiked, plowing into catchers and pulling the double play. From surfing it was mainly stepping on sea urchins, getting stung by jelly fish sort of thing.)
It never bothered me much then. It never slowed me down. Never really paid attention to it.
Maybe I was distracted or something. Now I'm growing weary of pain.
Tomorrow I have to do all the kitting of kids for the coming football season. It causes me great pain just to wash my own hair. The shoulder is killing me slowly. I'd feel near ecstatic to just have 15 minutes where I wasn't flinching and cringing from hurt.
Today I have to do a lot of exercises to loosen the shoulder. I figure the kid's will be anywhere from 4' 11" to 6' 2". I don't think it would make a good impression for me to be wincing every time I reach up to adjust a jaw pad or pump air into a helmet.
Today I have to bring up the kennel from the basement to get ready for the new foster puppy. Tat would normally be a pretty pleasurable task but now I have to worry about if I'll even be able to get it upstairs.
Yesterday wasn't a very great day. Lots of rain. Still it didn't start until after the dogs and I had our walk.
I haven't heard from the doc about my injecting myself with Lantus lessons. So I called and eft a lesson with the Pharmacist who's supposed to teach me. I got a call back a few hours later and the earliest appointment would be May 12th. I took the appointment but that didn't please me. For one thing the pain in my shoulder is neuropathic. That means it doesn't respond to acetomiaphin, ibuprofen or even aspirin. It only responds to this one pill. The pill was marketed as a mood Obsession by Michael Mobius
Click images for desktop size: "Obsession" by Michael Mobius
elevator but didn't work too well but they discovered that it was great for relieving neuropathic pain.
When I looked up the pill and saw that it was a mood elevator I panicked in a small way. I thought maybe they thought I was suicidal, depressed or something and were trying to slip something past me. They doubly assured me that wasn't the case but I didn't really believe them until I managed to read the whole history of the drug.
It did a fair, not great job of reducing the pain but it also made me groggy and made my skin feel numb and tingly, so I stopped taking it. I went looking for it yesterday. I couldn't find it. Its probably expired anyway.
While I was looking for the pills I got another call from the doctor's office. They wanted to make sure I knew that teaching me how to inject myself would cost at least one hundred bucks . . . I have to wonder how hard they think will be. I Dismember Mama
I called the pharmacy I use, the cheapest one and found out that they won't fill the script for Lantus until I've been taught to inject myself. I almost asked if I had to bring a certificate. Like maybe I got a diploma; Doctor of Gluteus Maximus Stickiumus. They probably just take my word for it.
Right away I got a call from my friend asking me to make an emergency appointment with the doctor. She banged her knee a few days ago. It was causing her a lot of hurt. It bruised and was making Music Lesson by Leighton
Click images for desktop size: "Music Lesson" by Leighton
her whole body cold and clammy. I'm not a doc but I ascribe cold and clammy to broken bones. That morning I gave her a sports wrap like I'd give a kid with a sore knee. It apparently didn't help.
She got to the doctor. His word was that it wasn't sprained or broken just a deep bruise. She could expect pain for two more weeks . . .
That was a bit of a relief, I guess, but not the best news. Especially with the weekend we've got coming up. Selfishly, I now realize, it never occurred to me that maybe we should cancel some of the plans for her. I guess I'll have to rely on my friend sticking up for herself and ignoring any pressure I might unintentionally be putting on her.
I want to do the dog walk Sunday but its pretty unfair to ask someone with a bum knee to walk under cloudy skies.
The worst part of pain, for me, is that it distracts me too much. When you've got as little brain power as I do even small distractions create obstacles.

I did watch a couple of movies last night. I like horror movies. I watch a lot of bad ones in the faint View of the Kiyomizudera
Click images for desktop size: "View of the Kiyomizudera" by Unknown
hope of finding that golden moments: Karloff as Frankenstein trying to catch a sunbeam; Leatherface dancing in the dawn, dancing to the beat of his revving chainsaw while Marilyn Burns, sticky with red Karo syrup in the back of a pick up truck, provides a lilting melody of the hysterical laughter of freedom; the mad family feud in "The Hills Have Eyes", a feud crystalized in the heart of the dog "Beast" who sees it as a blood feud of revenge as he avoids thinking of his female companion dog eviscerated by the mutants.
I like horror movies a lot. Some incredibly talented guys get started in horror movies. So do some jerks. Horror always sells. Guys like me will sit in dank movie theaters, rent the DVDs hoping for the one moment of splatter that manages to encapsulate all our fears and shows them to the light. Tobe Hooper, who disappointed me like no other, made the incredibly brilliant "Texas Chainsaw House of 1,000 Corpses Massacre" a film the critics all hated, at the time. So you can't trust anyone but your own eyes and ears when it comes to horror. Nothing else is reliable.
That said I watched "Laid to Rest". I was surprised that Bobbi Sue Luther, produced her first starring role. She's someone you'd describe as "big tits. little talent".
As a producer she did some great things. The gore and splatter were very good. The actors, except her and the killer, all worked really hard to make their cardboard characters seem to be made of flesh was well as obvious blood. Kevin Gage made a nothing character into someone likable. This got exploited pretty badly in a cruddy added on death scene at the end.
Cool special effects haven't moved me since I saw Tom Savini's glorious throat slitting scene that opened the carnage in "Friday the 13th". This stuff is cool but also really "so what".
The ending of the movie was stupid. It did one raise one interesting question. The star was whacked in the head which gave her amnesia. She discovers that she is/was a cheap prostitute so now she'd Kim Novak
Click images for desktop size: "Kim Novak"
almost wishes she were dead. Her rage grows from her self loathing. I thought that strange.
I then watched Enki Bilal's "Immortal (Ad Vitam)". I like a lot of Bilal's artwork. The movie's gotten a lot of buzz because of its mixing of cgi and live characters. I guess the tech was interesting. The movie was not. The monsters were semi cool but the story was stupid and seemed to have no point, dramatic purpose or consistency. I can accept that ancient Egyptian gods are real, I'm willing to meet a story teller that far. I can even accept that the ancient gods sole reason for existing past creating the universe is to breed with a special type of person to create new gods.
I think if I'm willing to work that hard that the story teller has to do more than just string together some scenes of unrelated people and events. I'd have liked it if any of the characters was slightly interesting.
The story starts with Horous, the God, trying to inhabit a human body. Because of the new fad of eugenics and transposing human body parts Horous discovers that every human he enters blows up! This brings in the cops who are searching for this new serial killer. Then they sort of forget about allJail Bait of that.
There's a weird love story about the guy Horous finds who never had a transplant and the chick who is the miracle who can breed a new god.
Bilal (which is the same name as the crazy mutant twin in the much better "Basket Case") throws out a whole lot of, I guess, very personal ideas about sex, love and loss. Not one of them did he explain, justify or explain. It was just a pretty boring mess that I felt was more an endurance contest than a movie.

At least the dog walk is this Sunday. I just got an email from my friend. She's as excited about it as I am, bum knee and all!