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September 27, 2009

Washington State 6 USC 27

kb by Richard Mohler
Click images for desktop size: "kb" by Richard Mohler
The Men of Troys victory last night was one of the most depressing games ever. After running up an easy 20 points in the first quarter they just stunk. This was a game that they should have and thatFear of Clowns they needed to score 60 or 70 points while shutting out the Huskies. Instead it was just an undisciplined mess. Depressing. They might not even be the 12th best team in the country.
Next week they face Cal, who got destroyed by Oregon yesterday. They need to win to have a ghost of a chance to win the Pac 10. With as strong as Oregon, Arizona and Arizona State are looking the record setting Championship might be beyond them.
The young men played hard but would ultimately disintegrate. It's only because Washington State is such a poor team that they managed to survive and win this one.
Oh, and Pete Carroll is still one of the greatest coaches of all time. He's struggling hard with a team that is getting wracked with injuries and playing well below expectations.

Lots of rain yesterday. The clinic I go to ran out of Flu vaccine! There's a bit of a run on it as they're insisting you have this vaccine before you get the Swine Flu vaccine in a few weeks. I managed to get the shot at a drug store. Cost me twenty bucks. I can't afford that but since they pound it into me that the flu might prove fatal to me I guess its worth the price.
After getting the shot I went to this outlet store and managed to get bedding. I'd been sleeping on a borrowed set of sheets. I got burgundy sheets, pillow cases and a comforter for twenty-five bucks! My puppy adores the more comfy bedding . . . I haven't gotten to try it yet. I keep falling asleep in the chair. In fact I spent most of the day doing just that, falling asleep, being groggy, accomplishing little then falling asleep again.
Pekinese and Girl by Archie Dickens
Click images for desktop size: "Pekinese and Girl" by Archie Dickens
It took me most of the day to compose a letter to the Canadian Provincial government about my heart attack bill. My eyes are so unfocused I haven't even been able to re-read it, let alone concentrate well enough to make sure I got all the facts into it.

Last week I was 10-6 in my football picks. Pretty impressive I thought. It showed some gritty determination and a willingness to take some chances.
My friend was had a laughable week. Her system of taking the team who uniforms clashed the least with their opponents led her to a miserable week where she finished 10-6. I would feel sorry for her but she still leads in the season totals 22 points to my 20 points. I'm sure she has this lead because she cheated. There will probably be an investigation.

My picks are in bold.

Cleveland at Baltimore - This is my Survivor Game this week. The must win! I'd like to have savedExperiment in Terror the Ravens for another time but there are too many questionable match ups this week. The Ravens keep looking incredibly strong. It's early but it still wouldn't surprise me to see them win the division and go very deep into the playoffs. While the Browns are looking . . . like a 2nd season expansion team.

Tennessee at New York Jets - The Titans are a good football team Doris Day
Click images for desktop size: "Doris Day"
but opening the season 0-2 has them thrown. They start hearing all that stuff about "No team has gone 0-2 and made it to the Superbowl". It's daunting. Their defense seems messed up now, not bad but out of sync. The Jets are proving difficult to figure. Rex Ryan bought in his defense and they're executing it well. He's either got them playing over their heads or at least up to their potential. The shock is that one year ago Mark Sanchez was losing and looking bad losing to Oregon State! He's 2-0 and the Rookie of the Week the first two weeks of the season! The Titans are due to rise up and start dominating teams but the Jets are believing in themselves and playing with zeal.

New York Giants at Tampa Bay - Cruddy game of the week contender. The Giants are 2-0 but have not looked great doing it. The Buc's just reek. There's not much else to say. Its far more interesting that Plaxico Buress got 2 years for shooting himself in the leg while a cop in Toronto got two years less a day for using his position as a cop to molest children.

Green Bay at St Louis - I think the Rams will win 3 maybe 4 games this season, I just have no idea against whom. The Packers still look like an unreliable first tier team. The NFL has too many cruddy The Creation by Michael Parkes
Click images for desktop size: "The Creation" by Michael Parkes
teams this year and the Rams are one of them. Hard to stir up much interest.

Kansas City at Philadelphia - It really looked like the Chiefs were on the way to recovering some respectability this season. It hasn't shown up yet for sure. McNabb is still out for the Eagles and the big news is that the Eagles are going to play Vick this week . . . Principal almost makes me pick the Chiefs. It's not often that an entire organization lies to you. Vick has done nothing in the community and nothing as he promised to help animals. The owner of the Eagles swore that he would. I hope they lose.

Atlanta at New England - Game of the Week. Finally a game to get interested in. The Falcons are playing angry. Matt Ryan is throwing the ball well and making sweet calm decisions. Their defense is playing very well. While the Patriots are going to be missing Super Studs Wes Welker and RandyThe Exorcist Moss! That almost puts the teams dead even. The Pats new defense is starting to settle in and play like a Billichek team so this could be a whole lot of fire and ice. I'm sticking with the Patriots for one reason: Brady.

San Francisco at Minnesota - Game of the Week Runner Up. Two teams on the rise. Brett Favre facing a Mike Singletary defense. This is sweet. The Vikings have the huge advantage in personnel and they're playing at home. Everyone the 49er's play has a huge advantage in personnel but going back to last year they just keep winning and playing some deadly serious ball. Would love to see them go to 3-0 but that could be a little bit too much dreaming.

Jacksonville at Houston - I just don't like the football that the Texans play. I like them to lose. But the Jaguars . . . when you hold the ball 45 minutes and lose you have to be so snake bit it could be a month before you get over those shakes.

Washington at Detroit - Cruddy game of the week. The Redskins are playing inept ball. The defense looks sound but gets tired too quickly, especially with the non-offense they sport. The Lions are still looking for the elusive butterfly of a first win. I don't want to keep track of how many weeks its been.

New Orleans at Buffalo - Can Drew Brees throw up 45 points three weeks in a row? WHY NOT! He's becoming a legend and deserves a win every time he steps on the field. The Bills seem to be The Strangers
Click images for desktop size: "The Strangers" by Marvel Comics
flopping around trying to fins an identity. They're not a bad team but they sure seem to play like one. Terrell Owens has not had much impact but he could catch fire in this one. The Saints D still leaves a lot to desire. But no one can win in a shoot out against Brees.

Chicago at Seattle - The Bears put together an incredible effort against the Steelers. They deserved the win. Thing is in professional sports those sort of efforts can become habit. The Seahawks are going to be without Hasselbeck. Seneca has a cool first name , a snippy arm and terrible decision making processes. It won't be a blow out but I'd expect the Bears to suck it up again. They have more to prove than any other team in the NFL.

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati - My cockeyed pick of the week. I like the Bengals way of playing football. I only wish they did it better. The Bears beat up the Steelers. I still think the Bear secondary won the game. The Bengals shouldn't be able to stay on the field with the Steelers but Carson Palmer and Flesh Feast Chad Ochocinco create some beautiful moments of the most magnificent poetry. So I'm choosing beauty over ruthless efficiency and delighted hope against angry Champions coming off a bad loss.

Denver at Oakland - Its very tempting to want to pick the Raiders here. They're such a bad team they can't even lose consistently. They have some good players but they are just a bad team. The Broncos don't have much in the way of players to match up with the Raiders but they're playing good ball the past two weeks and putting themselves in position to win. Have to go with the team.

Miami at San Diego - The Dolphins looked so good coming into the season then they fell apart in the opener. They seemed to be on track last week, but against the Chargers they really need to be playing their A game. I don't think they're there yet. The Chargers are looking strong on D. Even without Tomlinson Rivers has the O moving. They play hard edge ball in the season. They might blow the Dolphins out. It will depend on how the Dolphins handle giving up the first score. The Pencil and Paint
Click images for desktop size: "Pencil and Paint" by Unknown
Dolphins also have to overcome the Year 3 curse of Parcells.

Carolina at Dallas - The Panthers are really poor. They look aged and broken, even their stars look haggard. The Cowboys are riding a string of hype. Typical for the team. Even without the hype the present Panthers team doesn't have much of a chance.

Indianapolis 16 at Arizona 18 - This is an interesting game. The Colts miss Tony Dungy more than I could ever have imagined.The offense has looked woeful but the defense has played strong, strong enough for legend to be Payton Manning to pull off miracles and win the games they shouldn't have. The Cardinals in two games have looked dreadful and then like NFC Champions. Hard to figure out which team will show up today. I'm taking the Cardinals because, well, how many miracles can a team expect?

These tired picks are for your vast amusement only. Or to ponder the depths at which a football coach might sink as he ponders life wrapped up in a game.

September 23, 2009

Natural born enemies: You protect what is while I envision what can be

5 cm by Kabegami
Click images for desktop size: "5 cm" by Kabegami
My puppy has finally recovered from her diarrhea. His distress was caused by some stupid government regulation that was supposed to protect somebody or other. Certainly it wasn't intendedDiary of a Madman to protect her or to protect me.
That's the problem with governments; they always start off planning to fulfill some dream, some hopes but they always just turn into governments.
I wish I knew of something that could replace governments. I can't. I just know that what they all evolve into is something evil and wrong.
But we need them. We can't live without governments. We can't trust ourselves.
The rich are going to rip off the poor and the poor are going to steal from the middle class while the middle class kill each other. So we need laws to slow down the process, except for the rich of course.
We need roads, we need dams. Maybe not in the excess that some governments build them, but we need them. And governments naturally begin to feel important. Graft sets in. The cops become uniformed thugs. Laws aren't passed to protect the people but to protect the government.
Governments can tolerate enemies, but they seldom do. There are too many ways to kill. It's too easy to not simply kill.
When you're a government its easy to ignore the law, merely pretend it doesn't exist, selectively apply a law, or just rip through your enemies with impunity.
Governments, after a certain time, have no other function than to protect themselves. They will protect themselves to the point of war, sometimes gaining, sometimes losing but always winning by using the carnage of war to thin the crop of people who might be difficult and potentially pose a threat to the government.
It is not above a government to declare war against the people it was intended to govern.
The City by Edward Hopper
Click images for desktop size: "The City" by Edward Hopper
I don't like governments. I just don't have a viable alternative. Government is by nature corrupt and cruel. Its inevitable that it forget its original purpose and ignore its mandate All governments end up hurting more people than they protect, kill more than they aid. They perpetuate senseless appearing acts, but far from being nonsensical these acts are nothing more than carefully constructed props to insure the governments survival. It is a monolith comprised of desperately lazy people who thrive off the hard work of the people they govern.
There's little to like about a government. And little to choose between them. I was indoctrinated, like most of us, that democracy was cool and its flip was despotic tyranny, which was evil.
I was in Uganda during the reign of Idi Amin. The border guards were threatening and intimidating, brandishing automatic weapons. They forced us to change our money into Ugandan script and charged us a usurious rate.
In Uganda the people were genial. They seemed happy in our limited view.Dragnet
When I returned home I was greeted by armed customs officers who charged me an insane duty on worthless knick knacks and souvenirs.
I'm sure there's a difference but its beyond me to see.
A few years ago, In London, I meet a Ugandan. He was a nice guy. He told me a story about Idid Amin. He didn't know the man. He Elvis
Click images for desktop size: "Elvis"
agreed he'd gone insane but he still thought of him with an intense pride. He told me a story about Amin entering some sort of auto race. He was proud that his ruler was willing to go out and compete with his people. He was proud that his leader was willing to have fun with the "common" people. He thought that Amin was a man to be proud of.
In Canada I was recently held on demonstrably perjured evidence by a racist cop. I was illegally detained, my freedom quashed, treaties broken, I was tortured, nearly killed.
The Canadian government doesn't dispute any of this. They genuinely don't care or feel anything about this is extraordinary. So it seems safe to assume that this is all pretty natural to them, that "of course our cops lie and cheat, steal and kill. How else would you expect them to get anything done?"
Governments must all look the same when you're within them.
Governments do a lot of things. In 300 years America allowed slavery, abolished slavery then said we could no longer treat the slave's descendants as slaves but as human beings.
Petra Neimann
Click images for desktop size: "Petra Neimann" by Unknown
Even setting aside the issue about how the hell we ever allowed slavery in the first place I have to think that 300 years to fix the stupid injustice is a bit out of line.
So. Governments are clunky, self serving, efficient only in the modes of harming their governed. And I've got no answers or alternatives.
People used to call me an anarchist because of the way I think. That's lazy thinking. I'm not into anarchy. Not into massive violence. Revolution only brings in a new government and starts the same old processes over and over again.
If anything I'm just a mean old cranky stoic existentialist, not the French kind of existentialist, the born in America kind. For politics I'd fall closest to the far right because I believe in freedom but I also believe most in community and that every person in the community has an obligation to each other. I just don't believe we need a government to enforce that obligation, which makes the label that fits closest: Humanistic Populist. That takes me out of the far right camp and makes me seemDouble Indemnity like a liberal, who are so ashamed of being liberal that they changed their name to progressive.
So I'm old, mean, crabby and easy to label. Not much but its me. I never promised to be deep.
Today I got to read my cardiologists report. No question I had a second heart attack. A doctor I don't know read the data and decided it appeared the second heart attack was induced by "criminal negligence at best but there are several indications that it was intentionally induced". That's when the Canadian government threw me into a Maximum Security prison for no reason other than they could. When they found out they made a mistake they decided they had to kill me. It went on to say that my surviving the second heart attack was beyond their medical expertise to explain. I know why though: stubbornness and meanness.
Logical thinking for the Mafia, the Nazi's and other despotic governments. They tried a few different ways to kill me. I don't think I fought back very hard. How could I?
Now a reasonable man would say that the Canadian government would be one to avoid at all costs. They struggle by with their rep and live their little racist government lives, destroying people, Painting'
Click images for desktop size: "Unknown" by Unknown
humans for corporate greed and off kilter ideology.
Stay out of Canada boy. I don't have a private army or any large bore weapons so it would seem like good advice.
There wasn't much I liked in Canada. And a whole lot I didn't. Like their recent decision to allow two giants to control all communication in the country. Rah! Pretty 3rd world stuff. Idi Amin and Hitler both did similar and communicating with people was a lot more difficult back then so it was easier to control.
Normally I'd have no desire to ever see that white hell hole again. I've got enough to do just staying alive. I've fought countries before. You can win but its pretty costly and winning is counted as just slightly more than you lose.
As usual there's something that counters good sense and primal survival instincts. Give it a fancy name: Elevated survival instincts?
There are three reasons that trump common sense. Two of them are fuzzy; not in conception but in texture.
I saw my doctor Thursday. She was pretty horrified reading the cardiologists report. She said Dracula's Dog something that irritates me. "When I read your medical history I think that I should be talking to a shriveled up broken man but you still look so strong. You don't even look your age." I know how much I've aged and I think I look 30 years older than I looked 10 years ago.
She gave me the number of a lawyer while she explained that she couldn't begin to guess how much longer I'd live. I told her that according to the last actuarial table I saw I out lived my expectancy last year. She laughed and said, "you might live till your 90! No one can know. You're doing remarkably well. But with your medical history I don't see how anyone can promise you anything."
No promises.
So I don't feel it would be fair to ask my friends to move from hell hole Canada to the chaos of my my America. Not when I could keel over in a year or two or five or ten.
Maybe that's not my decision to make. At least on my own. That's a late night thought.
Governments and their borders. How can't you hate them.

Physical therapy is going slowly but it is going. Its been dark and rainy here and that's making my shoulder ache . . . Yeah, I'm now one them old galoots. "By crakey my shoulders aching. We be in for a big storm and a long winter!"
The physical therapist put the interact on my shoulder again. It registered a reading of 80. It should be 10. He said its not the worst he's ever seen. After the treatment it was down to 54. The numbers measure the rigidity and hardness of the muscles and ligaments.
On Friday I did swimming pool therapy. Underwater exercise reduces the pain of stretching and rotating busted up joints.
On a swing
Click images for desktop size: "Dace On a Swing" by Unknown
I felt pretty lame doing the incredibly simple exercises. I mean, the most difficult one was clapping! I had to do it underwater so that probably increases the difficulty by .05%
The pool is designed for therapy. Lots of ramps and stairways into it and it goes from 4'6" to 5'6" deep. It's a rough trapezoidal shape about 35 feet on a square.
As soon as I touched the water I had to try and swim. Nearly killed me. The arm squeerched up at the first stroke.
The new physical therapist yelled on me, "This is a therapy pool! No swimming!"
It felt good to be in water and I tried to fake it by just porposing to my destination. Porposing is swimming just using your legs.
The exercises were all ludicrously easy. But my shoulder was incredibly sore an hour afterwards. My range of motion has increased a good 9 inches forward, about 3 inches reaching up and about 1 inch reaching back. The rotation of the joint has hardly improved at all. Bot physical therapists say IEatien Alive have to extend the first two a bit more before we can start working on the rotation. For some reason I understand that.
On Monday I see the physical therapist and then my orthopedist.
I'm starting to get fed up with all the doctor appointments. Its starting to feel like when I had leukemia and doctors overwhelmed my life. That was trying to stay alive. This is just trying to live easy.
Between the doctors and my constant tiredness, caused by lack of sleep and my cruddy job, I feel that I have no life.
Last evening my puppy and I went to watch a high school football game. To ease her into it we went and watched from a hill overlooking the stadium. Aside from the end zone view of it they're excellent seats.
My puppy used to be an excellent football coach. Three years ago she got an award for being the team coach of the year. We've watched other games from this hillside. She was always very interested before. This time she showed no interest at all, except in some bushes and some perhaps edible garbage nearby.
I guess she's got no interest in coaching anymore. Maybe her award was the pinnacle of her career. How will she ever best that. I note that without sadness and only a twinge of nostalgia. She was tons of fun to have on the practice field but I wouldn't force it on her.
I bought her back home. My plan was to drop her off and then return to the stadium proper to meet the new head coach and to discuss whether there was anything I could do for the team this season.
What actually happened was we made the five minute walk home. I sat down in my chair to check e-mails and then woke up at 3:30 AM . . .
I gotta get a new job.

September 20, 2009

USC 13 Washington 16

The Hall
Click images for desktop size: "The Hall" by Unknown
USC embarrassed themselves in Seattle. It wasn't completely unexpected but the horrid level of play was shocking.Detour
What was worse though were the USC forum and message boards. When an Ohio State fan calls Matt Barkley "A Newport Beach Douche" you can write it off as ignorance and anger. I find this treating of kids playing college ball in the same vein as professional adult athletes disconcerting, sad and pathetic.
But when USC fans are cheering and vocalizing about hoping to see a Grace Kelly
Click images for desktop size: "Grace Kelly"
player get hurt and that the player is a Trojan is despicable.
Its clear to me that these people are just fans, and not very good ones. Some of them might even have attended USC but there's no doubt that they never stepped onto the field and played the game.
I used to love attending USC games. I went to almost every home game for nearly 15 years. I had eight seats, 4 by the press box at the 50 and 4 at the 50 about 12 rows up.
I used to love the games. I remember one family with 3 daughters aged 5 through 9. The little girls came to every game decked out in full USC cheerleader kit.
I remember one very bad loss at the Coliseum on Homecoming. Arizona beat us on Homecoming and we looked pathetic. After the game the player's still took time to talk to the little kids. The fans yelled encouragement and gave them pats on the back.
Even when we were getting beat by Notre Dame (there was a long streak we still haven't made up for) none of the ND fans or USC fans yelled to kill or injure any player on either side. There was a lot of bickering and yelling between Trojan fans and Golden Domers, but it was all good natured. Chances were we'd see these guys in our offices on Monday morning.
That Trojan fans were yelling and cheering for injury to any player I would find abhorrent. That they Life in Technicolor by Khashiguana
Click images for desktop size: "Life in Technicolor" by Khashiguana
were cheering against Trojans is depressing. I see it as a fall that is intolerable. It's not quite enough to turn me off of the sport. The game is too beautiful for that. But sadder than the rather slovenly loss is the sickening behavior of Trojan fans. That has put me into a somber mood. Even my puppy is considering going back to her roots and supporting the Buckeyes.

Last week I was a hard fought 10 and 6 in my picks. Took some gambles that didn't pay off but still threw up some sterling numbers there. A couple of the games that I lost actually cheered me! I was glad Mark Sanchez got his rookie win. I was happy to see Mike Singletary lead the 49er's to a win.
I'm rather embarrassed by my friends picks. Using her system, which I think consists of picking the team with the coolest logo, she finished the weekend a rather lackluster 12-4. A record like that implies sheer guess work and does not reflect a serious analytical study of the game and its coachesThe Crow and players.
If she doesn't improve this week I might have to take my ball and go home!
This weeks picks. My choices are in bold.

Carolina at Atlanta - The Panthers' Jake DelHomme looked like he was at the end of his career last week. The Falcons looked confident and very real. Not much to consider here.

Minnesota at Detroit - Its become a chi chi thing to pick the first opponent the Lions will knock off. They haven't won a game in close to two years! The Vikings are a popular choice to become their victim this week, based on the odd theory that last season the Vikings beat the Lions by less than usual . . . Adrian Peterson is the best back in football now. The Lions don't have an answer for him. I hope the Lions play better. Calvin Johnson is an exciting player. He deserves to finally win one but I don't think it will be this week.

Cincinnati at Green Bay - Last week the Bengals lost to the woeful Broncos on a weird deflected pass. Kismet I guess. The Packers looked very strong against a disorganized Bears team. I keep cheering for Carson Palmer, for Ochocinco but they keep losing. Add the touchiness the Packers feel about their lost season last year and the lack of organization in the Bengals locker room and this could be a blowout.

Arizona at Jacksonville - Last week the Jaguars defense looked tough against Indianapolis. The Offense looked peeked but . . . In the loss to the 49er's the Cardinals looked ragged and Normandy 1944
Click images for desktop size: "Normandy 1944" by Unknown
disorganized. Add to that that last season the Cardinals never won in the eastern time zone and the pick seems clear. I'm waiting for Kurt Warner to give way to Matt Linehart!

Oakland at Kansas City - Cruddy game of the week, maybe the season! Matt Cassall MAY be coming back for the Chiefs, but he'll be rusty. Russell is looking like a huge Number 1 pick bust. The Raiders defense still looks better than okay but the offense is decrepit.

New England at New York Jets - Game of the week! Mark Sanchez throws for the third most yards as a rookie in NFL history. Rex Ryan proves he can take any defense and turn them into studs. But the Patriots have Tom Brady and Bill Billichek. This almost looks like a rebuilding year for the Patriots but Brady won't buy that. He'll be fired up to outplay young gun Sanchez by at least 3 to one. This is going to be exciting. If Sanchez can beat Brady I expect him to go insane! But I don't think that the Jets' Jones can rush for another 100 yards against the Patriots so more pressure is going to be on Sanchez. Its hard for Payton Manning to be consistent against the Patriots, so it mightDay of the Triffids be impossible for a rookie to figure them out.

New Orleans at Philadelphia - Drew Brees or Dru Brees, it doesn't matter how you spell it, the man is a football touchdown machine. The only QB to marvel at not named Brady or Favre. He's exciting. The defense looks a little bit better too! For the Eagles McNabb is either out or planning to play with a cracked rib, either way the Eagles' O is going to suffer mightily. The Eagles D will create some plays but I can't see them matching up well with all the crazy weapons the Saints will bring. Game of the Week Runner Up

Houston at Tennessee - The Titans should have beaten the Steelers. They didn't but they came out angry about it. The Texans should have known that the season has started. They didn't.

St Louis at Washington - St Louis is one of the cruddiest teams in the league. The Redskins are an unknown quantity, older but they don't look much better, just older. Still, last year they played Flying Eagle
Click images for desktop size: "Flying Eagle" by NFL Films
pretty well, certainly well enough to handle the Rams.

Tampa Bay at Buffalo - The Buccaneers are another team in disarray. They really have nothing to hope for and no real part of the team can be relied on. The Bills have Owens and Lynch and a defense that goes from excellent to HUH? in a twinkling. The Bills are a rough team to pick right now except against somebody like the Bucs.

Seattle at San Francisco - A west coast game of the week! At least for the NFC West.The NFC and the AFC West pretty much stink, but this game will still go a long way to determining the eventualNFC West division Champ. Since it normally takes 8 or 9 wins to take the division all divisional games are important and even though it's only week 2 having undefeated teams compete in the West is pretty rare. Mike Singletary has the 49ers playing consistent focused defense. Frank Gore is showing he's still capable of tearing up the league and Shaun Hill is getting the most out of minimal talent. The Seahawks looked impressive at home. They almost always do. Matt Hasslebeck is looking healthy and he is a Superbowl ready QB. I'm going Damnation Alley with the home-r in what might actually be an exciting match up.

Pittsburgh at Chicago - Brian Urlacher is out for the season. Troy Polamanu is Questionable. Guess who can afford to lose their Superstars the most. Jay Cutler (who I root for as a diabetic showing you can deal with all that fatigue and play in the NFL) stank the joint out last week. The Steelers secondary is not a place to get healthy. Even with Urlacher out there's still some interesting match ups for the Bears D. I think they'll push Rothlesberger around some, Heinz Ward won't have an easy time pushing around the Bear corners, but he'll still get in some hits. TE Heath Miller will work hard but the Sam back will bottle him up most of the time. But the Bears will need to play a near perfect game. They're capable of that but you have to lean towards the Steelers punching at them until the wall cracks.

Cleveland at Denver - This is my "Survivor Game". In the Survivor Game you have to pick one sure winner each week with the caveat that you can only pick a team once each season. So picking the Lions opponents last season would work but picking the Patriots two years ago wouldn't. I figure I should save the good teams as long as I can so I've picked a cruddy team to beat up on an even cruddier team at home. Denver won at Cincy on a classic fluke play. At least they had to play hard for the fluke play to mean anything. The Browns just plain reek. They've got some players but this is a season for Magnini to rebuild the team. I don't expect much from them and they still fail to deliver.

Baltimore at San Diego - This should have been the Monday Night game. This will be prime time Light Bulb
Click images for desktop size: "Light Bulb" by Unknown
stuff. The Ravens are playing angry. A working class team from the east going up against favored glamour boys in the west. Rah. Joe Flacco is looking like last season was no fluke. The Raven's D is still vicious and can run the most complicated schemes in the game. San Diego is no real slouch either. I'm taking the Beast from the East to win a close one.

Indianapolis at Miami - Only week 2 and the Dolphins are disappointing. Last week they looked insanely disorganized on both sides of the ball. This should have been a statement game. The Colts are poised to fall from the elite class but not this week.

New York Giants 24 at Dallas 23 - The tie breaker game. I'm pretty bored with the Giants Cowboys rivalry. If they hadn't over hyped Tony Romo so much I could get into the working class QB versus elite superstar Eli Manning. As it is I'm picking the Giants based on their front 7. They'll handle the Cowboys running attack well enough and keep pressure on Romo. Neither team has much in terms of receivers. It will come down pretty much to the kicking game and we know how exciting that is.

This picks are for amusement only, and smirking is allowed.

September 19, 2009

Being powerful is like being a lady; if you have to tell people you are, you aren't
Margaret Thatcher

Enforced Modesty
Click images for desktop size: "Enforced Modesty" by Unknown
Eventful week, so far.
I guess the biggest impact was that on Wednesday I quit my job. The Security Guard who extortedCollege Capers 20 bucks from me and then broke 4 promises to repay me came into the office for a confrontation. It was strange.
He started it with, "I tell you everybody loves me!"
The only response is, "If everybody loves you why did you have to borrow money from me and tell me you'd have to hurt your dog if you didn't get it?"
He ignored that and went on to get nastier and more insane. He did the traditional jerk thing, exaggerated facts, made up others to fit his world view, ignored my facts and versions with insane justifications. It was wearisome.
I finally got to the point where I couldn't take it so I called my boss, at 1:00 AM and told him I was giving two weeks notice. The Security Guard grabbed the phone from me and said, "This is Sergeant Kayhlee." I stopped listening to him but I wondered why a security guard would insist on introducing himself by a make believe rank. I still don't have a real insight to that.
After that I put it out of my mind and finished off the night. Then at 7:00 AM my boss came in and asked me to reconsider. Since I spent the night feeling partially relieved and partially worried about having no job, figuring how long my final paycheck would last me, I said sure and retracted my resignation.
I hope I don't regret that too soon.

While staying with my housemate I've been cadging off of his Road Runner service. I really hate Time Warner and Road Runner. When it works it's barely adequate but then it doesn't often work, at least out here.
House Plans
Click images for desktop size: "House Plans" by Unknown
The service here is supposed to be 5 MB. They charge for it. I usually was able to connect at about 240 KB. But then the line would drop several times a day. Of course Time Warner insisted everything was running fine.
When I originally lived in this area I had fits with Time Warner. During one 6 month stretch I had 12 service calls and horrid service. Finally they sent a supervisor out. His response was to yell at me for stupidly having the wrong modem . . . the wrong cable modem as provided by Time Warner.
He replaced the modem two weeks later and things went fine enough, unless it rained or was too windy, but I accepted that.
What I didn't accept was that no credit appeared on my bill. It took about 16 phone calls and two months for Time Warner to give me 1 months credit for the six months of non-service created by their installing the wrong modem.
Now, the service here now was as bad as the service then.
Rather then war with an uncaring government supported monopoly I decided to try WiMax. I'm moreConvict 13 interested in the LTE network but ClearWire is the only one with towers around here. Even though they are 4G they claim they can update to LTE with no problem.
For those who don't know WiMax is sort of like having a cellphone. It catches the internet from out of the air. All you need is a modem or a card and you have the internet anywhere you're within range of a tower.
So the only wires are a power cord and the ethernet cable going to your router or computer.
The only serious drawback to ClearWire in this area is the top speed of 1.5 Mbps. Crazily enough that is only slightly slower than the 5 Mbps Road Runner. And the ClearWire has yet to show a hint of going down.
I've been promised that within 3 months and probably sooner I'll be free upgraded to a 5Mbps modem and service with no increase in price.
A lot of the reviews talk about how happy they were with ClearWire at the start but then claimed that the service degenerated. The slightly slower speed and that worry keep me from completely enjoying or endorsing ClearWire.
Little Big Horn
Click images for desktop size: "The Little Big Horn" by Unknown
If I get a MacBook Pro, as I plan for my next computer, the idea of go anywhere unlimited internet for 30 bucks a month is very exciting cool.

My puppy has completely readjusted. We are back as an inseparable unit where she knows and trusts me and I her.
It didn't take long.
We have serious talks. She tells me jokes, pulls her tricks on me and does nothing that doesn't reinforce our love. There are so many things she does that I figure everyone but me would find sort of boring, like when she does her imitation of me.
I've managed to create an explanation for our first few horrifying minutes together. I don't think it anthropomorphizes my puppy.
If I were 3 or 4 again and saw the world through those eyes; and if I loved someone and one day I saw my loved one dragged away, strapped to a stretcher and loaded with IV's and wires I wouldn't be able to understand it but I would no it was not good. And then days went by and I didn't see him.
And my life would be a little empty and sad.Creature From the Black Lagoon
One day I got trundled off and sent to live with people I knew, one of them my brother. And I'd think about my loved one being carted away and I'd remember those scary nights I spent sitting with him in hospital and I would decide I would never see him again. I would decide this was my new life.
As I'd been taught I'd work being happy in my new life, with new people and new things to see and do. And like would be good (because if a human being is allowed to forget everything wouldn't a Doris Day
Click images for desktop size: "Doris Day"
dog have enough sense to do the same?)
Then on another day, after just enough time to think this was going to be my life forever, I get trundled off again and taken back to a neighborhood that I used to know, to a house I sort of recall and when the car pulls up to the house there's a man I knew and loved. And I know that it can't be. I know that man is gone because if he weren't gone he never would have left me for so long.
That's the way my puppy responded. She looked at me when the car pulled in the driveway. Her eyes widened and she then ran to the other side of the car, trying to get as far away from the ghost as possible. She snapped at me when I go close and stayed afraid until she realized I wasn't a ghost. Then she was angry. Angry that I'd left her, left her alone.
Then finally she was glad to see me.
It took about a half hour. Then she was afraid I'd gone away forever again. She knows that we're together now. She gets nervous if I'm late coming home from work. She looks out the window and paces. She still greets me with a smile.
We had to go to the bank this morning. We walked past her pet dinosaur. Someone had cut the head off and the head had recently been replaced. She ran to her dinosaur and was irked that they'd put up a new fece. You can see the repair to the fiberglass but you have to be looking for it. They did Fatal Blonde by Ricky Carralero
Click images for desktop size: "Fatal Blonde" by Ricky Carralero
the repair well.
The repair between my puppy and I was done better. We're both flesh and blood and want to be with each other.

The physical therapy is going great. I've added about 7 inches to some of the rotation, and two or three inches of movement to the worst parts. There's pain, sometimes big slabs of pain, but at its worst it's not as bad as the continual pain I had prior to the steroids shot.
I had a treatment with an intraxtor device. It's a more modern version of the TENS machine. It allows heavier doses of electricity to enter the muscle mass but doesn't create the muscle contractions of the TENS machines.
It is all helping a lot.
On Friday I have to go to the swimming pool. There's a whole series of exercises designed for underwater and to help stretch the shoulder while approaching the atrophied muscles.
Spent two days breaking up the adhesions that have developed on the right shoulder blade. It hurt a lot but immediately increased the range of the arm.
It makes me feel more human even if between PT, doc's and work it feels like I'm getting nothing important to me done, I still feel more human.

September 15, 2009

Bones of Friends

Eye in the Sky by Richard Mohler
Click images for desktop size: "Eye in the Sky" by Richard Mohler
The street I walk down back and forth from my cruddy job to my temporary home is the same one I walked down a couple of years ago. It's a big street; four lanes not counting the turn lane in theChained Heat middle. It's a new street too. No potholes, no crazy quilt patches yet, and when the sun shines in the summer the asphalt gets tacky enough to pull the shoes off your feet.
It looks like a nice street, walking down it or seeing it in Google's Street View, it has some moments of impressive prettiness. For some reason this street attracts animals, wild animals mostly. Their carcasses line the curbs and the shoulder of the street. A sign of fall coming?
I walk past them everyday. I remark on them. This year it started with a raccoon. The next day he was joined by a fat brown snake. As the days have dragged by there's been two rabbits, a ground hog, then a turtle and tonight something that curiously resembled a hedgehog, but I'm not sure exactly what he is. It seems important to know. I think I'm the only thing out there to mourn them, to mourn the road kill collected on the city street.
A few years ago someone hit an 8 point buck deer. They hit the guy hard enough to throw him into the bushes about 5 yards from the road. I passed him every day. I watched him decompose. It was odd. He didn't so much rot away as he melted into the ground. Passing him was melancholy until the day we passed his spot. I was walking my puppy and she was committed to rolling in his residue. She was petulant for two blocks about my not letting her cover herself in his perfume.
The street is on a long steep hill going from about a half mile 40% grade ending in about a quarter mile 60% grade. I'd like to think it's the cars just running too fast down the hill to accepting that the drivers just don't care.
I know you like to say that I like animals more than I like people. That's not true. I like some Eye by Mike Peck
Click images for desktop size: "Eye" by Mike Peck
animals more than I like some people.Maybe even; I like most animals more than I like most people. Whatever the truth of it that seeing anything or anyone dead bothers me.
I don't like metaphor and I hate similes. As I walk to work and pick my path through the little dead critters there's no hidden meaning there; no symbolism. Its just an impromptu graveyard of small lives made even smaller by human beings in a hurry to get someplace, someplace where they're searching for love or money and to fulfill their lives. We all deserve to live and we all deserve the most we can get out of life but so did the little guys on the street.
So it's not a metaphor its just a sorry sad way to start a work day.

My puppy has a new joke. When I have a hot cup of coffee in my hand she has discovered that City That Never Sleeps flipping my arm makes me jump up and do a fascinating dance. My puppy even enjoys all the yelling that a lap of hot coffee makes me do. She did it three times. She tried it a fourth time but by then the coffee was too low to splash me . . .
My puppy's grandmother called us, just to see how we were doing, and told me that it runs in my puppy's family. Which I guess makes me an old family joke.
I don't much mind.

Cruddy job is blowing u again. It's ugly. I loaned the security guard 20 bucks because he claimed he was going to have to throw this 14 week old puppy "on the highway" because he couldn't afford food. He promised me I'd get it back on Friday. Its now Tuesday and I haven't been repaid. I asked him for it and he went to my boss talking trash, trying to get me fired.
Eight bucks an hour isn't worth this kind of grief. I'd rather just find another job. There was nothing on craigslist today and no word on any decent jobs but survival instincts are ringing to get out of this gambling den and trust I can find another cruddy job that's not so demanding physically and mentally.
Maybe the street is a metaphor after all.

September 13, 2009

USC 18 Ohio State 15

Eastern Western Eyes
Click images for desktop size: "Eastern Western Eyes" by Unknown
After looking horrible the entire game Joe McKnight managed to win it for the Trojans. Matt Barkley looked over his head. Maybe this was enough experience to send him through the brutal Pac 10Crypt of the Living Dead schedule to come.
With Lou Holtz and Notre Dame crashed to reality the schedule makes it look like a National Championship run is possible, but we're still away to Cal . . . and the UCLA defense looked decent against Tennessee. Looks like a great season ahead. Now if I only had a TV . . .
I got my puppy her rabies shot, which duplicated her rabies shot from 4 months ago, her three year rabies shot from four months ago . . . stupid governments.
Our vet, Dr K, was shocked to see us. My puppy is looking gorgeous and I'm not dead.
Everyone seems to think I don't look bad enough. My puppy's gramma, who is a nurse, made comments to that effect. My physical therapist, who is a great guy but I still hate anyone who hurts me as much as he does, had to read the medical records because he didn't believe I'd had two heart attacks in the last 90 days.
I guess its good to look better than expected. I don't see that its gotten me anything.
After the vet we went for a walk in the woods. My puppy loved it. She even dived into the river to get herself a drink. She is still too protective of me and still a bit too co-dependent but she's for sure my dog and is happy, even if she did get a shot.

First week of the NFL. Here are my picks. Laughter is not mandatory, nor will I back up my choices with money!
My picks are in bold.

Tennessee at Pittsburgh - I made the right choice but for the wrong reasons. I got to see an avi of the game and was impressed with the Titans. Very impressed. They've improved when I'd figured Untitled
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Unknown
they'd gone downhill. For the Steelers they still have Troy on Defense and Heinz Ward on O. Ward plays wide receiver like you dream your receivers might one day play.

Miami at Atlanta - My screwball pick of the week. The Dolphins looked good in pre-season. Really! THe Falcons looked okay. The Dolphins have something to prove to the world and too themselves while the Falcons are already seeing themselves in the play offs. I'm going with the hungry team with no dreams in their hearts, just a gritty need to win.

Kansas City at Baltimore - The Ravens are beasts. The Chiefs are not. Matt Cassell gives them a chance but he's coming off a short pre-season and an injury. These are not the guys you want to practice against. I don't see how the Chiefs can stop anything the Ravens can do on offense. I alsoThe Creature Walks AMong Us would be terribly impressed if they scored.

Philadelphia at Carolina - I'm one of those guys who thinks that VIck served his time in prison and deserves a second chance. I dislike the cynicism that the NFL showed in reinstating him so quickly. I also hate the harsh business sense that led the Eagles to taking him; to push McNabb and to play VIck enough to win and then use him for serious trade bait. That they lied about their intended involvement in pro-animal rights and that Vick has barely paid lip service to his promise to repay dogs for the sick cruelty he perpetuated against the species makes me want to never pick this team again. The Panthers are an enigma. They still have a lot of talent but they never seem to put it together for a season, sometimes not even for a game. They'll have the Vick haters to inspire them and a home crowd. It should be close.

Denver at Cincinnati - The Bronco's trade away their best player and get nothing much in return . . .Helmet
Click images for desktop size: "Helmet"
Carson Palmer showed he can be a stud but since that one glorious year he's been incredibly brittle. If they are going to roll this season they have to put it together here. Cruddy game of the week.

Minnesota at Cleveland - Brett Favre? He's still a legend. The Browns might improve this year, maybe even enough to not stink. Brady Quinn does not look good to me. The Vikings till have Adrian Petersen and who ever plays QB knows all he has to do is hand it off.

New York Jets at Houston - I don't much like the Texans and I love Mark Sanchez. But Sanchez has merely looked good in the pre-season when the intensity level gets turned to 11 I'm not sure he'll be able to match it in his first sight of it. Even with Rex Ryan (Rex?) the Jets D is pretty sickly. It will be a good game but the crappy Texans should win.

Jacksonville at Indianapolis - The Colts start without Tony Dungy. That's a huge loss. The JaguarsDay the World Ended though have disintegrated into something unrecognizable. Payton Manning and crew will prove that life goes on without Dungy.

Detroit at New Orleans - My Sure Win of the week. Dru Brees. Reggie Bush. Matt Stafford has looked pretty bad most of the time. Woman at Yellow Wells
Click images for desktop size: "Woman at Yellow Wells"
The lions have had to improve. Inertia wouldn't let them stay as bad as they were last year but going against a committed to winning the championship Saints team is no medicine.

Dallas at Tampa Bay - I don't like the Cowboys but the Buccaneers are a terrible mess. The Cowboys would have to struggle hard to lose this one. Who cares game of the week.

San Francisco at Arizona - It's killing me. I want to pick the 49ers. I really do.Common sense kills my football picks. I expect this to be a chilling exciting game but the Cardinals just looked so sharp last year. I say Warner is a year older, players are grumbling about their contracts and getting lazy landing easy endorsement packages. They should fall.

Washington at New York Giants - All I know about the Redskins is that they didn't get any of the free agents high on their shopping list. And they're still going with Jason Campbell at QB. The Giants The Chosen One by Titusboy
Click images for desktop size: "Chosen One" by Titusboy
didn't replace Plaxico Buress. What's usually a marquee match up looks pretty dreary this season. Taking the Giants out of habit.

St Louis at Seattle - A cruddy game of the week contender. If you don't live in either city why would you even care. Seattle's at home. they loaded up with agin ex-Patriots. I guess that's enough to beat a Rams team that still looks tattered.

Buffalo at New England - Game of the week. Tom Brady. And he's expecting a child. They could go 18-0.

San Diego at Oakland - The Chargers look geled. Tomlinson is old and past his prime but still a weapon. Phillip Rivers looks ready to be dominant and Shawn Merriman is back and back in trouble.Death Race 2000 Oakland needs to be disabnded. They are expansion team bad.

Chicago 34 at Green Bay 27 - Tie Breaker Game. The Packers were heading downhill last season. Not Aaron Rogers fault. The Bears pick up of Jay Cutler should energize the O to scary levels even without a legitimate wide receiver or running back. And a decent offense will spark up a ragged defense. This should be a good match that I'd like to have seen later in the season.

There you have it. My picks are for entertainment only or a good piece to pass over to your enemies who might think they want to learn more about the game.

September 9, 2009

This is no way to treat a superstar

Truck in Field
Click images for desktop size: "Truck in Field" by Unknown
My puppy is back with me.
The first thing she did when she saw me was to try and bite me.Cinderella 2000
She acted like she was afraid of me. For nearly 5 minutes she ran from me and tried to hide behind others.
This hurt. It hurt a lot.
She's never been afraid of me before.
She got over being fearful and she became angry. That I expected. She poked me and vocalized.
Then I war permitted to scratch her butt. After a moment of that she was suddenly glad to see me. We became inseparable again.
She slept on the bed. She was an exhausted puppy. She would sleep, then wake up and stare at me long and searching before flopping her head back down to sleep.
She was far too tired. It came time for me to go to work. I didn't want to go, but if I didn't go in, I wouldn't get paid. It's that cruddy a job.
I spent the night at work at a low level of stress. I kept worrying about my puppy. I spent hours pondering why she had acted so fearfully. It still hurts and bothers me. In all my nightmares I never imagined my puppy being afraid of me. Being bossy and angry with me are fairly normal, but she'd never been afraid of me, not even afraid to be wrong. I was the one she ran to when she was afraid. For the first time I was questioning whether my puppy and I belonged together. Whether I'd made a mistake and pulled her from someplace where she was happier and better off.
It put a light veil over the joy of our being reunited.
I rushed home. She was waiting for me at the front door. We went for a walk. She was pretty normal, the puppy I know and love. She headed for her old hangout, the corner that leads to the football stadium and the hospital. She loved coaching football. She loves being a doctor dog.
I was going to walk her past there when her grandparents, who had delivered her, drove by. They were coming for us to go to breakfast.
A Vampires Rage by Titusboy
Click images for desktop size: "A Vampire's Rage" by Titusboy
We went to the old school Southern diner. Good food. Better getting to spend some time with people who raised my puppy, it was better getting to know them better.
I got home. My puppy greeted me enthusiastically. When her grandparents went to leave she paid no attention to them, instead she stayed close to me, barely acknowledging them.
She said goodbye to them and then started to play with me.
We were playing with her Kong. My puppy gets so ecstatic and full of herself when she gets me to chase her. Suddenly the neighbor appeared. He's the wannabe drummer.
He shocked me. He told me that after I left for work my puppy howled for hours!
My puppy hadn't cried since she was about 4 months old.This distressed me. I didn't understand whether she was howling because she was alone, missing me or missing her temporary life, the life she'd just left, and the life that the two of us had to abandon.
I thanked the guy for telling me and apologized if she had disturbed him, but then he went on until IChampion realized he was squawking. When he said that her crying had disturbed his FIVE cats sleep I started to feel angry.
There was no place for the anger so I let it go. But I remember the people who worry more about their petty comfort and value that more than the obvious distress of an animal. I can be polite but if he asks me for help with his music or playing again I'm going to politely refuse.
A dogs howl is more mournful than a human's. For a dog it is the only George Chikharis
Click images for desktop size: "George Chikharis"
tool they have. Its is beautiful and profound. It contains their soul and expresses their fears, their heartbreak and their pleas. To not feel compassion for something that is so instinctively well crafted and full of nothing but sincerity is something I can't understand. To not be moved and compassionate forces me to harden my heart.
I've never met anyone who could ignore the distress of an animal who would understand much of anything else, including themselves. I'd listened to him moaning about his girlfriend leaving him. And I listened to him whinge about not being able to meet anyone. Know at least I knew why. It also explained the lack of passion in his drumming. It didn't explain why he couldn't keep the beat. Listening to him once I realized he doesn't count. (Drummer pun)
My housemate came home from the Labor Day weekend; I figured he'd be enough company for her that my puppy wouldn't cry. That didn't work.
She started to howl her wolf like cry of despair. SInce she's a good girl she stopped as soon as my housemate spoke to her. But she howled twice.
She met me at the door and was all excited. She remembers where she is. There was a dog whom The Challenge by Charles Marion
Click images for desktop size: "The Challenge" by Charles Marion
she used to play with. It passed away last Thanksgiving. When we got to the house she lunged to see her old friend.
She kept close to me all day. She slept on the bed with me, and tried hard to push me off. She woke me to feed her. That night she only cried for me once. I remember my vet talking about the howling. She said it was mixed emotions because the dog looked so beautiful when it howled but you knew that the howl meant its heart was breaking.
Wednesday was the date of my first physical therapy appointment. It was scheduled for 2, with the car (in some circles I'm considered disabled) picking me up at 1. I needed to sleep yet my puppy was so overjoyed to see me; she was full of jokes and wiggle butt merriment.
She'd howled during the night but only the once and only about half an hour after I'd left. I think she was beginning to believe that I would come home to her.
We played and got about 30 minutes of sleep. At least that's all I got, she was pleased when I got upCorruption so she could take over the bed.
We stood outside the house together and waited for the car. She loved just standing outside with me. She loved it so much there was no protesting when the car pulled up and I had to leave her in the house.
The Physical Therapist was good, very good. Which means I'm hating him.
There are three main ligaments in the shoulder. Because of my frozen shoulder they have all shortened, the biceps and triceps have atrophied. Before we can work on the shoulder I have to lengthen the ligaments. They are so short that one of them is locked solid and can't be worked until I get some motion in the other two.
The PT pointed out that I kept my right arm too well guarded. I never relaxed it, clearly for some months. When I told him it had been bad since about April he was shocked. He wondered how I can stand that much pain for so long.
He gave me four exercises I could do They hurt and are embarrassingly simple.
I was dippy from very little sleep when I went into work that evening. But I was fine when I heard my puppy had not howled all evening.
I was starting to feel better about her being with me. I had doubts. Not about how much I needed her but doubts about whether she needed me. If she wouldn't have been happier where we used to be or where she used to be.
The doubts are dissipating more and more as we walk around and are together. I've seen that she is also initially distrustful of people she has known but then she also warms up to them in exactly the old way, but there is that moment of confusion that people feel. It wasn't as intense and there's no Waiting for Spring by Elena Savitskaya
Click images for desktop size: "Waiting for Spring" by Elena Savitskaya
anger in her but she seems to feel a need to reintroduce herself.
Its like when I ask her if she wants to go outside to go to the bathroom or just to play. She works so hard to understand me and she considers her answer. And she always tells me the truth. It's a part of the trust between us. It's a part of the love we have for each other.
She loves her kong and when she gets me to chase her for it she nearly explodes with giddy joy. I watch her play with others and there is fun but there's not that sense of being tickled to near endurance breaking levels.
We still bicker. We still argue but we do so in the sense that no matter what the anger there's no chance of it impinging on our love for each other.
She is my dog and I am her boy.
I got paid today. I'm already broke. But I'll get through till next payday.
My puppy's aunt sent somethings along with her, including a bed my puppy sometimes uses andColossus of Rhodes some toys which she ignores and food which my puppy always demands. There were also some things for me. A cool Silver Surfer T-Shirt I'm wearing now.
Today was also the second visit to the physical therapist. This one was rough. 45 minutes of having my arm manipulated. I still find it near impossible to relax the arm, this is causing some nasty bad cramping in my neck and collarbone. The manipulation heightened some of that but it also relieved the numbness in my hand.
It hurt and left me very sore but I get out of doing the painful exercises, at least for the day. I also noted I can raise my arm a good two inches higher than I could three days ago. Small but important and encouraging.
Tomorrow I have to take my puppy to see the vet to get a booster rabies shot. What a waste of time and money. Her original vaccine of only 4 months ago is made by the same American company that is approved here but because it was done out of state, not out of country, they do not recognize it. I've tried to understand. Rabies is a problem here. Its found often in raccoons and in bats(!). But this just seems stupid. No one disagrees but the government . . . I have to get her licensed so we Night Man An Wolverine
Click image: "Nightman and Wolverine" by Marvel Comics
can get out permit to use the dog parks!
I continue to be disappointed in Snow Leopard, the new OS for the Mac. There are numerous benefits but they seem piddling to the issue with icons. For the most gorgeous interface imaginable for Apple to continue to ignore the loud complaint that the 512 pixel icons (why do you need such huge icons) suddenly vanish and that the older 128 pixel and 256 pixel icons look horrid, like a 1 inch jpeg blown up to bill board size, is inexcusable.
I always remember when Macs were a cult item. We accepted Apple's mistake calmly and with the knowledge they'd be addressed rapidly. Now that they are merely an iPod factory (Even though I still want an iPod Touch!) I am pretty disgusted with this. It is far too similar to the buggy junk that Microsoft foists on people who think they have no other choice.

September 6, 2009

San Jose State 3 USC 56

Tiger Dream World
Click images for desktop size: "Tiger Dream World" by Unknown
In about 24 hours or so my puppy will be coming back to me.
Matt Barkley's debut with the Trojans was a qualified success. The whole team looked terrible in theBullit first quarter. Our vaunted secondary looked feeble and our line looked like they were looking for a leader. On the O-Line two false starts were costly. Fumbling was endemic. It was a disaster.
Of course the way it ended was as it was expected. Over 600 yards total offense to San Jose's 100 plus. I have more confidence with Aaron Corp at QB. The offense seems stilted with Barkley. He's an awesomely talented kid but all near risk plays were off the table as they had him manage the game.
All in all the Trojans played half a game and looked incredible in the half they played. If they can play a whole game they will be frightening indeed.
Next up is the highly anticipated clash with Ohio State. They looked horrifyingly bad barely beating Navy. It took some heroics after the final Navy TD to keep the game safe. Navy was going for the two point conversion. The pass was intercepter and run back the other way for the two points to keep the victory. Before that play OSU was fading fast while Navy was accelerating.
Both lines for Ohio State looked bad. The linebackers for Ohio State looked weak and were easily blocked. Terrell Pyror played well but not brilliantly.
If they don't step it up the game next week could be a boring repeat of last years. The Trojan D looks solid enough, better than Navy's. I'd love to see a competitive game but it appears OSU might be over rated. I hope not.

In about 24 hours my puppy will be back with me. I hope she'll be glad to see me.

The NFL starts this week. I'm giving serious thought to using my next paycheck to buy a TV and then Tree by Girish Chaudry
Click images for desktop size: "Tree" by Girish Chaudry
to get satellite. It is cheaper than cable and DISH Network was a package that has all I want for 30 bucks a month. Thing is I only want it for football season. Trying to sort it all out in my head and my pocketbook.
With the NFL season comes my usual NFL picks. More people, old friends, new friends and strangers write to me about the NFL stuff than any other topic . . . I guess it's amusing to see a coach with 20 years experience be so stupid about the pros. Either that or people can say "My picks were better than his! Why, I could probably coach better than him too!"
I don't know why people want to see me make a fool of myself. I won't disappoint.
My friend has signed up too. The contest I'm in has lousy prizes this year. Kind of grim. It's not about the prizes. Its about winning, no, it's about having fun.

My puppy is coming back to me in about 24 hours. I hoe she remembers me. I hope she's glad to see me.Casino Royale

I don't get Labor Day off. The real sign of a cruddy job.
The co-worker I liked has given notice. The job wears you down hard and fast. The customers tend to be rude and self absorbed. They quickly forget that were human too and they don't understand we get a miserable wage with no coffee breaks and no lunch break. In fact they make unreasonable demands. They also manage to make my co-workers feel unsafe. I understand it even if I don't share their fear.
I plan to keep the job either as long as I can or until I get a good job. I keep sending off resumes and scanning the ads. The pickings are scant though.

FredAstaire-RitaHayworth.jpg
Click images for desktop size: "Fred Astaire & Rita Hayworth"
My puppy is coming back to me. Less than 24 hours. I hope we're as happy together as we usually are. I worry that she missed me as much as I missed her. It took me months to ease her dependence on me. Now I'm a touch sad and proud that I was succesful. Proud of her, I mean. My puppy works hard to please me. She worked hard in her therapy dog training. She learned there how to be around people. She even learned to like some people and to tolerate those she didn't like.
My puppy's life has been pretty easy. The only harshness she's had to deal with are baths, being seperated from me, and her eternal diet. She's a fatty. I never see that. I only see my puppy and whatever it is she is inside and outside is the dog I love.
I figure she'll forgive me for being stupid enough to not have my dog with me and then she'll spend a few days making me pay . . . and whatever she does I'll find it adorable.

September 2, 2009

Everybody's talking about Working Annie

Modesty
Click images for desktop size: "Modesty" by Unknown
I like professional rasslin'.
When I was nearly 5 I saw an apparition on my mom's 14 inch b&w TV. The apparition was "Dick the Black Samurai Bruiser". He was wearing those tiny black speedo's that pass for wrestling trunks, and a striped tank top-muscle shirt. He had on wrap a round shades.
Under each arm he had a keg of beer. There was a big Havana type cigar clamped in his teeth. Even on B&W TV you could tell his crew cut skull was a healthy pink.
With his enormous barrel chest and clutching those beer kegs in his massive wildly gesticulating arms he delivers a lecture in a voice that sounded like wind blowing over grinding boulders. He told us kids it was bad to drink beer and bad to smoke. He set one beer keg on a table, tapped it one handed then hoisted it to his mouth like a giant stein.
He poured the keg down his throat, spilling very little of it. He dropped the keg and said, "See boys and girls all that beer is bad for you."
He puffed the cigar that had never left his mouth, "Smoking is bad for you too. Don't do it.. Cause if you do you will make me mad!"
Up until that moment I had two heroes; Sandy Koufax and Ernie Banks. All Koufax and Banks offered was athleticism and other worldly grace combined with an attitude that belied perfection.
Dick the Bruiser offered something else, something big that miles and years beyond my comprehension. All I knew was I suddenly had another hero.
Wrestling was on TV Saturdays right before baseball and after Bug Bunny. A perfect Saturday morning.
I watched, marveled, cheered. I learned all the wrestler's names. I was appalled at the sheer evil of M3 by Jason C
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the bad guys. They personified bad clearer than anything I'd ever imagined before.
The Bruiser's TV matches were all "squash" matches. He'd go into the ring and just pummel and maul whatever lamb had been thrown to him. If another wrestler did that to an opponent I'd have thought him an evil bad guy. But when Dick the Bruiser throttled them it was poetic, brutal and beautiful.
I was 5 and about to enter kindergarten when my mother took me to the Olympic Auditorium to see a real wrestling match. The opening matches were okay. I don't remember a thing about them. It wasn't until the Main Event, a world championship tag team match. Dick the Bruiser and the Crusher vs Yukon Apple Jack and Moose Cholak..Two out of three falls to determine the winner.
When I watched Dick the Bruiser walk down the aisle, the only music being the coarse cheers of a rough adult crowd, I remember thinking that it was impossible for a kid like me to be so lucky.
The match was all I could have dreamed. Yukon and Moose were huge ugly men who reminded me of my friend's fathers, the father's who yelled they were going to kill us if we didn't hold it down.Blonde Venus
The Crusher and the Bruiser just beat them down to win the first fall. They were beating them down in the second fall but the stupid ref missed the Crusher pinning the Moose and then didn't see Yukon Jack smash the Crusher in the face with a chair!
I think that wrestling ref's have influenced my opinion of sports Lauren Bacall
Click images for desktop size: "Lauren Bacall"
officials ever since.
The Bruiser and the Crusher easily won the third wall to win the World Championship. Apple Jack and Moose, being the sore losers bad guys can't help being, used all sorts of foreign objects to beat the Crusher senseless even though it would change nothing! The Bruiser went berserk and mopped up on the two cheaters.
As Dick the Bruiser walked down the aisle I was cheering. He looked at me and gave me a rough salute. In that moment I was a peace and filled with a happiness I was unfamiliar with. The Bruiser offered a view of the world I could never before understand, a view that 5 year olds cherish.
Dick the Bruiser was proof that it was possible to beat up everyone in the world. When you're small, weak and alone seeing that certainly expressed in physical terms, not just in imagination but in bleeding flesh, that is a knowledge that gives more than mere hope.
I remembered that on Tuesday; Tuesday was a very good day.
I went to my orthopedic appointment. The medical complex is by the largest shopping mall in the area. The mall is obscene, a corpulent dripping monster of excess.
Rob Harrell
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Rob Harrell
They have an Apple Store. I got my keyboard. Third keyboard in 4 years. I think that's excessive.
This is the new Apple keyboard, ultra thin, ultra light. At first I thought it would be as nasty to use as the Logitech. It's actually pretty pleasant, like typing on a laptop keyboard but with more stability. It makes it almost feel like I;m using a new computer.
Then I managed to get a battery put into my pocket watch. I love this watch. It means more to me than the trophies I've received. It was a gift from my players. They noticed I was always shattering wrist watches during practice and, as a team, they came up with the pocket watch solution. I felt a lot of emotion when I paid the $7.95 for the new battery. Now I can pull it out and look at it and know that I can always see exactly what time it is.
Then it was time for my doctor's appointment.
The facility was huge, an enormous building that could almost be called a campus. When I entered Borderline everything moved quickly. Thanks to the computer shared database I didn't have to fill out any tedious forms or present any documents. I was just whisked along.
In less than 5 minutes I was talking to the doctor. He was younger than I anticipated. The first question I recall asking him was, "How long have you been practicing?"
He said, "Five years." I figure he must have been an ace student. I liked him. He was this side of 30, about 5' 11" and 170 pounds. Brown hair and glasses. He was dressed all in Polo, Ralph Lauren Polo. I used to dress that way, a long time ago and it made me feel a kinship with him.
He checked out my shoulder. It was definitely frozen. He checked out the nerves and said I had no permanent damage yet. He said the damage was due more to me trying to avoid the pain the frozen shoulder brings, compensating and holding my arm in weird positions that was compressing the nerves and veins.
He said at its worst I was loosing about 80% mobility, at its best about 20%. Rah! Kind of rah.
I told him the Canadian doctor's prognosis - 18 years of pain. He was perplexed. He said that the Malicious Resplendence by Robert Williams
Click images for desktop size: "Malicious Resplendence" by Robert Williams
story of the frozen shoulder was right so far as that went but it was sort of heartless to not treat the pain. Treatment was really rather easy: Surgery - but that weird surgery where they knocked me out and then just bent the arm around to get past the lesions and things, or steroid treatment and physical therapy.
He's a sports doctor and you could see his training lent him towards not recommending any course of action except to lay out the risks, benefits and possible consequences. I asked for recommendations.
He said surgery was pretty extreme. It could work but would be painful and still require physical therapy afterwards. My right arm is badly atrophied and surgery would not help that.
The steroid shot would reduce the pain to manageable levels and permit me to do the physical therapy required to increase the arms mobility and work the atrophied muscles.
We decided to do the steroid shot.
This was interesting. We went to another room with a fluoroscope. He got out a long needle andThe Brides of Dracula using the fluoroscope set up the path of the needle so that it would avoid the arm bones and enable him to inject right into the dried up capsule. (The shoulder capsule is where all my problems lie). He used a numbing agent with the simple theory that he got the steroids into the right place if the pain reduced.
The shot hurt but not as badly as when they take bone marrow samples from your hip (leukemia diagnosis). And then it was miraculous. For the first time in I'm not sure how long I was pain free.
It was liberating. It felt joyous. No pain.
The doc explained that the total pain relief was temporary and would wear off when the numbing agent wore off. It would take 6 days for the steroids to completely kick in but I should experience the same sort of pain relief then.
All I could think about at the moment was the happiness of not hurting. Although the thought kept gliding through my mind that the Canadian doctor was willing to let me suffer for 18 months. A five minute procedure freed me from a tyrannous amount of agony and they would have deprived me of it.
I went home and even when I felt the numbing agent wear off the pain was reduced. I slept for 6 hours straight. Its been almost a year since I'd done that.
As time progresses I'm using the arm almost normally, except for the fact that it is pretty fiercely locked up. I've hurt myself some from not being aware of it and over extending my arm. But the pain is negligible.
Worse are the neck and shoulder cramps. They were expected, still, even though I don't like the stiff Shiny Sky by Maxine Perron Caissy
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neck and the stabbing shafts of hurt it's a fair tradeoff.
Steroids have another side effect: My blood sugar levels have skyrocketed. It was predicted. I still have to slog and try and keep them down. Again, this is a fair tradeoff.
I start physical therapy on the 9th. Twice a week for 2 months. I get another steroid shot on the 28th.
Its odd feeling human.
I went to work with a light mind. My puppy is coming back to me this Sunday. It feels like life is coming back to me.
I truly hate my job. A few times it has based past the level of being endurable. I'm still looking for a good job. I'll hold on to this one for as long as I can. They might have to move or I might not be able to take any more of the wearisome abuse of the place. The people aren't bad but they forget that I'm a person too. They see only their needs and wants and forget about the rest of the world and that's just creepy.
But nothing can overwhelm that my puppy is coming back. I'm out of pain.
The world seems wonderful.