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September 26, 2010

USC 50 Washington State 16

Pin Up by Unknown
Click images for desktop size: "Pin Up" by Unknown
It's been a dead dull if sweaty week. Too much heat. Numbs the mind makes life seem like a distant thing.
Only bright spot is that I finally got my wife's immigration application filed. I worry about that. The way the Republicans Mad Love and the racist Teabaggers are determined to destroy America, (Why did the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch decide to swipe the name of a pretty sleazy sex act for their creation? Was it some very nasty joke played by some rich nasty jerks on some stupid nasty morons?) I fret over the idea of her coming here. If racism and hatred are going to rule and turn us to a 3rd world banana republic she'd be better off staying where she is.
Still looking for a new job. It's discouraging but necessary. My paycheck for 20 hours late this week. It's one thing to be chattel and quite another to be treated as chattel.
I got my flu shot.
And now I wait.
At least there's football.

The first two weeks of the NFL season have been horrid. It is some of the worst football I've ever seen in my life. Sloppy routes, lazy QB reads, runners missing holes and defenders ignoring their gaps. Clearly the first team needed a lot more reps!
The NFL plan to take two practice games and turn them into real games is just going to cheat the fans and reduce the quality of the game
Still I was 12-4 in my picks last week. My wife made her picks two. She game in that she refuses to Outsiders
Click images for desktop size: "Outsiders" by Marvel Comics
concede her total and irrevocable defeat!

My picks are in bold.

San Francisco at Kansas City - Who'd have figured the 49ers would be 0-2 and the Chiefs would be 2-0. Matt Cassell has shown that USC back ups are more talented than most starters. His leadership for the previous hapless Chiefs is credible. The 49ers are against the wall. This week they should play the football they're capable of.

Detroit at Minnesota - Nearly the cruddy game of the week. Favre should be catching up enough now to beat the shell shocked Lions.

Buffalo at New England - I liked that Tom Brady owed up to his poor play leading to the Patriots loss to the Jets. Bad news for the Bills, he'll prove it won't happen again.

Atlanta at New Orleans - Game of the week. Matt Ryan and Tony Gonzalez against Dru Brees. Oh Lost Horizon yeah!

Tennessee at New York Giants - The Giants are heavy favorites which amazes me. They've played horrid football no matter what their level of talent. The Titans looked terrible last week but you have to figure they're going to rebound. They match up well against the Giants too.

Cleveland at Baltimore - The Ravens should destroy a team that looks like its already upset about not getting the number 1 pick last year.

Dallas at Houston - I think the Texans are a badly coached team but I also think the Cowboys are poorly coached and have the most over rated talent in the league. The Texans are rolling and can overcome a desperate Cowboys team who will quit in the face of adversity.

Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay - Forget all my negative feelings about the Steelers - Troy Polamonu has that D playing inspired crippling clean football. The Buccaneers are beside themselves that they're 2-0. Today is reality check day.

Cincinnati at Carolina - The Panthers are starting Jimmy Clausen . . .

Philadelphia at Jacksonville - The Eagles are heavy favorites. The claim is that Michael Vick is playing the best football in the league. I dispute that slightly. He is a great player but a miserable excuse for a human being. He has not made repartitions as he promised. Meanwhile Jack Del Rio has a decent team in the Jaguars and a lot to prove.

Oppossed Fates by snyp
Click images for desktop size: "Opposed Fates" by snyp
Washington at St Louis - Cruddy game of the week contender. McNabb looks like a steal for the redskins who are still a horribly coached team but the Rams are just hapless except for Steve Jackson who can win a game single handedly even now, just not today.

Indianapolis at Denver - A real head scratcher here. The Colts have looked lackadaisical except for Manning. The Broncos have to recover from a suicide of a 22 year old WR. Hard to read the impact there. This is a real coin toss of a game for reasons, that sadly have little to do with football.

Oakland at Arizona - Cruddy game of the week. When a head coach figures he's more important than the players you can't expect much better than a .500 season. The Cardinal won't make anywhere near that record. The Raiders still stink but less than in past years.Mask of Dimitrios

San Diego at Seattle - The Chargers are heavy favorites. But Seattle is a miserable road trip and the Chargers are really missing Tomlinson's leadership skills. This just feels like a time for an upset.

Green Bay at Chicago - This should be a good game unless the Packers start running away with it. The Bears have demolished themselves in the past two years and no reason to think they've ended that spiral.

New York Jets 17 at Miami 13 - Tie Breaker Game. The Jets pulled it together and demolished the more talented Patriots last week. They'll keep playing gritty hard edged games. I like them.

September 19, 2010

USC 32 Minnesota 21

Nude
Click images for desktop size: "Nude" by Unknown
A few months ago there was a murder homicide at the cardiac clinic where I have to go. The clinic is about 2 blocks from where I live. It's on one of the busiest streets in town, a ridiculously large 6Legacy lane street that meanders from downtown to nowhere.
This fellow had just broken up with a receptionist at the clinic. He walked in and shot her twice in the chest and then he walked out.
About 4 hours later they found the killer. He'd parked his car along the other busy street the served the clinic and he was hunkering down in the bushes. Why it took 4 hours to find him when he was about 200 yards from the clinic parked on a street, half nosed into a ditch and impeding traffic, traffic that logically should have contained a few cops, I can't really figure out.
About 6 cars surrounded the guy, blocking the street. They exchanged some fire and then the killer shot himself in the head. None of the 50 shots the sheriff and cops had fired seem to have hit anything except the bushes the killer was hiding in. It's pretty easy to see why he gave up.
Funny thing is, this small town is always in the top ten of the best places to live in the USA. Imagine that. It's been number one a few times.

Interesting week at work.
The owner of the "internet cafe" is a revolting man, in appearance, actions words and probably thought. He's about 5' 7", and about 320 pounds. He breathes heavily walking about 20 feet.
His hair, and skin are greasy, as if they were oozing golden butter. He has one of those scraggly beards that 18 year old hipsters wore in the 80's. Over all the impression he gives off is cartoonish. This is reinforced by the ever present Blue tooth earpiece and the constant flourishing of his Moan in Blue by J3 Concepts
Click images for desktop size: "Moan in Blue" by J3 Concepts
Blackberry. He has to flourish it as it never seems to ring.
But looking at him and the straining pants and shirt buttons he doesn't remind me so much of a beach ball but of a grease spot on an asphalt road.
He's not particularly bright, clearly he's undereducated but he stumbled onto something and like all people he feels his genius has rewarded him with all this money because he deserves it.
Maybe one day he'll learn but not today. He says his bank account is short $60,000 and that means we stole it from him. When I asked how he knew his bank account was short I was rebuffed. Clearly he figures I couldn't understand the delicacies of a bank reconciliation, or else he didn't know what he was talking about.
They said that I was short $1,000. I thought that was stupidity/ Examining the figures it seems the made a mistake. No body apologized for calling me a thief.
Maybe in his mind he thought he did. He basically called me an idiot because I contended that LinuxKing of the Pecos was more secure than Windows. He claimed to know hackers who routinely hacked linux systems. It was so easy I guess he was implying he did it all the time too.
Even after showing him the huge gap in his logic that disproved I was short $1,000 he was still adamant that his bank account was still short 60K. I could see no way that we could short his bank account but I lack his mathematical acumen and about 150 of his Garland And Astaire
Click images for desktop size: "Garland & Astaire"
pounds.
The end result of his genius is that he's fired everyone except me and his manager. That he trusts the manager is a testimony to his genius and the fact that I'm labor and would never rat out a co-worker. In fact when they asked for me to defend myself I could think of nothing to defend so I defended my co-workers pointing out what was wrong with the job and how they'd held steady and firm. That probably wasn't brilliant of me but I was pretty angry at his assaults on everyone.
So, there's two out of 7 left. Stupid. It might be a house cleaning. I can see that little brain working that out. I'm hard to replace only because I work the midnight shift and am, however stupid, not terrified of the drug dealers, the hookers and pimps. I survive.
the manager will survive because she threw everyone under the bus. Including me. She kept screaming that I told her that about the middle of September they'd be accusing us of robbing them blind. I said it because it was obvious and to give her and everyone a gentle push to stop stealing Just a Dream by TitusBoy
Click images for desktop size: "Just a Dream" by TitusBoy
from the till. Instead of taking my warning to be cool for what it was she tried to interpret it as some semiotic placement that I knew that all this money shortage would show up now.
It's stupid. The job is cruddy and still the 2nd worst job I've ever had. It's not worth fighting for. I would have given notice but these type of people don't understand honor, probity and integrity. How can they when they evince none of their own. I figure they'd go, "AH HAH! He stole the non-existent money and now he's running away!" These kind of people think like that because they can't imagine anyone being different or having different motivations than themselves.
I'm looking for another job. I'm stressed because even a bad job is better than no job, but not unduly stressed.

Last week my football picks led me to a 9-7 record. My biggest failing was underestimating the Patriots and thinking the Colts could win forever.Kiss in Attack of the Phantoms
But at least I beat my wife. She, poor thing, had a terrible 10-6 record for the week. She also failed on the survivor game. I think this week was her best chance at winning and since she couldn't it will be a long season for her.

My picks are in bold.

Miami at Minnesota - My survivor pick. For the Vikings, Favre has had another week of practice and Adrien Petersen has had an extra 3 days of rest. The Viking D looks poised and ready. The Dolphins offense was pathetic last week, and look like they have no answers.

Arizona at Atlanta - Arizona looked as horrid as you'd figure last week while the Falcons played a solid game against an inspired Steelers defense. The Steelers got lucky and the Falcons got disgusted. Just disgusted enough to take it out on the Cardinals.

Baltimore at Cincinnati - Game of the week. After getting manhandled by the Patriots a lot of people are writing off the Bengals. The Ravens are a heavy road favorite. I can't see it. The Ravens are already old and banged up, the Bengals are now certainly aware of what they need to do to win.

Kansas City at Cleveland - The Chiefs were a team I picked against last week. They played strong inspired football. They're not quite good enough to afford a let down and the Browns, well, the only way they'll beat anyone this season is if their opponents are looking past them.

Chicago at Dallas - The Cowboys are heavy favorites and while the Bears are not a good football Night Sweats
Click images for desktop size: "Night Sweats" by Unknown
team the Cowboys looked like rubbish against the Redskins. They committed more bad and inept plays than I thought possible for even a decent high school teams. The Bears still need some wide receivers. Cruddy game of the week.

Philadelphia at Detroit - The Eagles look like a game team and that's about it. Michael Vick starting for them makes me want them to lose. The Lions lost Matt Stafford, their starting QB. WIthout him it looks like a long day.

Buffalo at Green Bay - This should be my Survivor pick this week, but you only get to pick a team once for the season and I figure I'll need the Packers later on. The Bills will show up and think its warmer in Wisconsin than in New York.

Pittsburgh at Tennessee - The Steelers got real lucky last week. The luck can't last forever. The Killer's Kiss Titans Vince Young was very very classy in the Reggie Bush debacle when he had no reason to be so. The Titans still have a solid team and could pound the Steelers and would do it in a classy way.

Tampa Bay at Carolina - Cruddy game of the year potential here. Who'll win? Who cares? Taking the home team.

Seattle at Denver - Pete Carroll pulled of a small miracle last week, thrashing the trendy 49ers! He's going to be interesting to watch all season. The Broncos find it hard to lose at home.

St Louis at Oakland - If you're wondering how Chicago -Dallas beats out these two games for cruddy honors this week its because these 4 teams are expected to be bad. Anything positive absolutely glows in relation to the cruddy level of play. Still doesn't mean I'd watch or care about them.
Untitled by Nathan Fox
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Nathan Fox

New England at New York Jets - I don't think Mark Sanchez is as bad a QB as he was last week, nor do I think the Jets are as cruddy a team as they appeared. You have to wonder if the Patriots are as good as they looked! I'm thinking they are. This game is game of the week stuff. These two teams sincerely dislike each other. It will be great!

Jacksonville at San Diego - The Chargers are heavy favorites. Hard to figure why. They looked pretty dismal getting hammered last week while the Jaguars looked strong and gutsy. Picking the home team as they do seem loaded with talent but I'm tempted to take the Jaguars.

Houston at Washington - The Texans finally managed to beat the Colts. As the Redskins looked asLifeboat poor as the Cowboys they did get the win, but they'll need to play much better and more consistent ball to beat these guys. Donavan McNabb still has the juice but his line is going to wither under the Texan pass rush. The Redskins only hope is the Texan coach is no genius.

New Orleans at San Francisco - Dru Brees! This game will probably be a lot closer than people imagine. The 49er's have a lot to prove, but the Saints are still so "Oh baby!" they make my heart song.

New York Giants at Indianapolis - Brother vs Brother. Eh, who cares. Colts are in disarray but the Giants are too. Going with the home team.

September 12, 2010

University of Virginia 14 USC 17

Just So Stories by JM Gleeson
Click images for desktop size: "Just So Stories" by JM Gleeson
It's been a long week. Interesting but not for any really good reasons.
On Tuesday I got a call from my cardiologist. They got the EKG i had on Friday and wanted me toIsland of Dr Moreau come in immediately. Like, right now! Since the call came at 8:30 I took it seriously. But then I told them my insurance had lapsed and that I had an appointment on Monday to see if I was eligible. (What I have isn't real insurance. It's an emergency plan for low income people with serious health issues. Budget constraints force them to keep changing the eligibility requirements so I have no idea if I'll still be good for it.)
When I told them I might not be insured the urgency deceased. Suddenly it became okay for me to wait till after next Monday. They gave me some numbers for free advice if the chest pain got too bad etc. I have to admit I found it sardonically amusing. "We don't want you to die but we got to get paid."
I then got a letter with some of my test results. My cholesterol was great, 60! My HDL's were a touch low 25 - need more olive oil. But my triglydes were insane. They went from 120 a year ago to 672!! 500 is considered dangerous. I don't know what 672 means. I called the doc and she explained that it was most likely the diabetes being out of control. In my case it might not be so much out of control as, for various reasons, important for me to get my glucose down to near hypoglycemic levels. Which was what they'd already decided on Friday when they did the tests. They doubled the insulin and altered the meds some.
My lists of acceptable foods has really fallen to nil.

But what's important is that football season is back!
Last season my wife narrowly beat me in the season tally. This was very sad. It's hard to accept the Iron Gate by Macindows
Click images for desktop size: "Iron Gate" by Macindows
fact that a woman you care about would resort to cheating. Sad, sad sad.
I explained to her that US Immigration was probably considering this extreme cheating as proof she should not be allowed to live here. Canadian woman picking NFL games better than a highly experienced coach. It is nothing but sad, and sadder to think she actually thought anyone could believe she didn't cheat!

My picks are in bold.

Minnesota at New Orleans - An easy pick. Even Brett Favre needs practice time.

Miami at Buffalo - I don't think the Bills are going to be as bad as people believe and the Dolphins have proven that they have some serious issues on offense. I'm taking the Dolphins to win in a close one. They're facing the pressure and how they respond today will set the tone for their season.Jail Bait

Oakland at Tennessee - My must win Survivor game. Vince Young couldn't pick a better defense to get back into the season. Young has a lot to prove. The Raiders are still a team stuck in the 1980's. They insist on playing the old Darryl Lamonica Mad Bomber style football and crafting a D to combat that. The Raiders are deep in talent and in some bad personnel choices. The Titans have Jeff Fisher and are a work in progress. Oh, and Chris Johnson is for real.

Cincinnati at New England - Game of the Week! This is the game Jackson Guitars
Click images for desktop size: "Jackson Guitars"
I'm watching on the old rabbit ears TV. I'm sticking with the Bengals even though, as I write this the Patriots are up 24-0. The Bengals haven't stopped the Pat's. Kevin Faulk has stopped the Patriots! But I still feel that Carson Palmer, Chad Ochocinco, Cedric Benson, Ray Maleluga, and Larry Johnson can match up and win this. If they do it will send some ripples through the whole team.

Carolina at New York Giants - Not that bad a game but with a back up QB for the Panthers and the mish mosh the Giants have become this is the default cruddy game of the week.

Atlanta at Pittsburgh - Atlanta will put the better team on the field but the best advantage the Steelers have is banding together in accused rapist Rothlisberger's enforced absence.

Detroit at Chicago - I almost wanted to pick Detroit here. If this was a game that allowed for the spread I'd take the Lions easily. Martz is being hailed as the second coming for the offense. His style Ice Flowers by Anca Varsandan
Click images for desktop size: "Ice Flowers" by Anca Varsandan
of football is a decade old and he sure didn't light anything up in his time with the 49'ers. Still the Bears have talent on D. They still need two WR's.

San Francisco at Seattle - Mike Singletary vs Pete Carroll? The 49'ers believe and Carroll is one of the all time great College coaches but Singletary, so far, is a much better NFL coach.

Green Bay at Philadelphia - The Packers are my early pick for the SuperBowl this year. The Eagles haven't dumped Michael Vick.

Arizona at St Louis - The Cardinals are starting Derek Anderson? He of the 41 passer rating last year? The Cardinals have been pretty shabby in their handling of players and fans through out their history but this is sort of jaw dropping. Against anyone but the Rams I'd be picking them to lose. the Rams are woeful and Sam Bradford does not impress me.Joan of Arc

Baltimore at New York Jets - One of the more interesting games today. They're both sort of unknown quantities. How will the aging Raven's D hold up? Will Sanchez continue to improve? Should be some great football here. Taking the Jets for no good reason at all.

San Diego at Kansas City - Pretty boring potential here. The best thing will be wondering how stupid the Chargers front office feels about letting Drew Brees go to the Saints.

Indianapolis at Houston - You have to take the Colts but I expect this to be scary close.

Dallas 34 at Washington 26 - The most over hyped game of the weekend. I wonder if former Eagle Donavan McNabb is healthy enough to start for the Redskins. Will Tony Romo continue to lose the big ones while everyone talks about how great he is?

September 5, 2010

USC 49 Hawaii 36

Unknown
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Unknown
I didn't have much of a birthday. Slept 18 hours out of the twenty four.
Woke up on the day with a pretty frightening ripping pain in my chest. Not heart attack pain but justThe Incredible Melting Man as intense.
Thought about going to the hospital but nixed that. Remembered my last emergency room visit: Over Five thousand for a 5 minute EKG and 15 minutes of hanging around. Made me mad at Obama and the Democrats and that weak heath care bill they passed. So I suffered Delores Fuller
Click images for desktop size: "Delores Fuller"
and I slept. The waking time spent taking care of my puppy. She was being overly solicitous so I knew the pain was serious. When I'm just uncomfortable she goes about her business (whatever that is) but when I'm in trouble she does what she can. Sadly most of what she can do is fret and worry, not a good thing for a dog brain to try and process.
So a week later the pain continues. I still do my walking to work. The exercise has no impact on the pain. Neither does work. Work makes it no better and no worse.
There are moments. Moments of light headedness and worrisome moments of extreme and sudden fatigue, so severe that I wasn't sure I can remain standing let alone walking. Deep weakness and jittery confusion that rested only on the surface.
On Friday I managed to get to the doctors. When you're going to doctors on the cuff you take what you can get. I remembered all those movies and stories where lives were always at stake and the only solution was raising some insane amount of money, like $35,000 in depression dollars, for an operation. I realized that none of these stories were ever resolved with the surgeon saying, "Hold on a minute! You mean they might die!?! Of course I'll do Bridge by Clarence Holbrook Carter
Click images for desktop size: "Bridge" by Clarence Holbrook Carter
the surgery for free or at least on credit!"
Many of those stories ended up with the sister dying and/or the brother going to prison for robbing a bank to try and pay the exorbitant medical costs. It's a cliche.
I spent about 6 hours at the clinics, not counting my travel time. My nook made it a lot easier. It was easy to read. Right now I'm reading Judith Freeman's "The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved", which is really just a detailed travelogue of LA, but a travelogue noting the constant decay of my hometown. For Freeman its going to Chandler's neighborhoods and examining the decay from the 30's until now. For me its the confirmation of the hell that LA has been enduring.
I remember when I left, or at least decided it was time to leave - in LA mind set and action are pretty much the same thing - I remember thinking my lovely, corrupt ugly home had become hell. I was standing in the Hollywood Hills and could see South LA in flames from the Rodney King RiotsDirty Harry and then to the north west the sky was a black mass reflecting the red fires of the canyon and beach adjacent homes below it.Urban ash and rural detrius caked black and gritty on my face, the leaves and the gray sidewalk. Another beloved puppy at my side swaddled in bandages from her most recent surgery to repair the damage from shotgun pellets and the whole future of LA and my place in it seemed clear and not abundant.
Freeman's book makes it clear that my vision of the future were discomfortingly accurate.
Freeman's a novelist, not an historian or a travel book writer so some of her situations are forced and some cheesy like a bad romance writer's sniffling but for the most part it's a strong book on an obscure subject. Trying to put Chandler into perspective and giving glimpses into his difficult persona via where he lived and the woman he spent his life with are brilliant endeavors. Its an enthralling book, at least for another native Angeleno.
Of course having a good book made even more convenient via the ebook format didn't stop me from rummaging through the cabinets in the examination rooms. I still figure that if they cared about the stuff they leave in there they wouldn't leave me alone with their things for so long.
I found the usual boring stuff but also a brand new rather expensive looking scalpel. My first thought was this was sharper than an exacto knife!
I put it back where I found it instead of lifting it. Not from some petty morality but because this is a free clinic, basically, and I figured that scalpel probably cost enough to force a rise in their prices.
The end result of all the testing and nonsense is that the fluids from my experience with lyrica are still present. In fact they said I'm allergic to lyrica . . . which seems to me to be tantamount to being allergic to hemlock. The shallowness of breath and the chest pain are from a toxic buildup of Untitled by Cole Phillips
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Cole Phillips
fluid around my heart and lungs.
That sucks.
My grandmother died from congestive heart failure at around 92. My mother did too but she was somewhere around my age. I thought she was a lot oder but as my wife brutally pointed out she might have even been younger than me.
The end result of this is I have to take a diuretic everyday; Hydrochlorothiazide. (I copied the name from the label).
Lots of side effects. The first tablet really wrenched me around. Bad nausea and it felt like an icy hand was rooting around in my chest looking for something that I wouldn't understand even if the hand found it and pulled it in to daylight.
The other drag is that my blood sugars have to get lower. They want them at hypoglycemic levels. So instead of keeping my blood sugars between 4-7 the new targets are 3-5 . . . rah! They doubled my daily amount of lantus (insulin). It will be interesting to see how this goes.
The lower blood sugars are supposed to help the fluid build up as well as but a stauncher grip on the neuropathy that's always dogging me.I Married a Communist
Times like this I can't help but wonder why I've survived. There are a lot of people more important to the world, better people who've died. And if the lazy French existentialists are right and this is hell then there are a lot more people worse, crueler and badder than me who've been granted release.
Lucky for me I'm not very good at keeping those thought processes going to long. There's always a puppy that needs walking or petting and people who need caring for.
Since my birthday was on a Saturday I think most people forgot about it until their PDA's and smartphones sent them the reminder on Monday. I got lots of good wishes on the Monday. I liked that.
Getting my wife into the USA continues in its own plodding pace. I want the incumbents out of political office but not to replace with moronic racist tea baggers. What ever happened to good men?