| home | archives | links | dog blog | movies | by genre | jukebox | search |

« November 2010 | Main | January 2011 »

December 19, 2010

If men were angels, no government would be necessary
James Madison

Shaggy Door Knob by S4W
Click images for desktop size: "Shaggy Door Knob" by S4W
I had a vivid dream Friday night. I was moving into a new home, just my puppy and I. We were invited to a wedding. I decided to go since we'd score free food and since they'd had the good sense1926 Christmas by Norman Rockwell to invite a dog one could tell these were quality people.
When we got to the wedding I discovered that the family consisted of all my ex-girlfriends! Hundreds of them. I forgot I'd been so . . . prolific (?) They all looked exactly as they did when I was dating them, all except the bride who was a stranger to me, a rather horsey blonde with fat arms. She knew me and my puppy though and kept introducing me to her sisters, all who were ex-girlfriends.
Everyone was glad to see me. And there were hundreds of sisters. They all spoke with me and asked me questions without offering advice. Everyone was interested in what I was saying.
My puppy ran through the enormous building stopping to get petted by a lucky few. She always stayed pretty close.
There was music. The bands were all bands I used to be in or were favorites that I'd been on the same bill with.
A woman I didn't know, who was my actual current wife, tried to help me find my old Mesa Boogie .45 calibre amp. I had to explain to her that it was just a combo amp and not one of the big suckers we kept looking through. She found it right after that. She was very proud of herself. We decided to stay in the storage room with my puppy and just talk.
It felt ideal and wonderful. No wonder I kept the dream close to me and tried to not let the feelings escape.
Sleeping
Click images for desktop size: "Sleeping" by Unknown

My wife is driving to see me. She'll be here for 3 weeks. This is ideal.
She doesn't want to drive. I try and understand that. I like traveling and I used to like driving. No matter how long the drive I seldom got tired or bored with the trip, but she's not like that.
Sitting and waiting is harsh.
I took a week off. No vacation pay, the bastards, doesn't much matter to me. I know I need the money but having to work two of the weeks my wife is visiting seems far worse than being broke.
Giant dog and gentle dog are coming with her. We even have plans for them! Christmas is going to be memorable.

But what always continues is football. I've been sadly missing coaching every day. I still never have Junior Partners 5 anything much impinge on my delight in the game. Last week I was 13-3, which still keeps me in long shot contention for a big prize for the season! This weeks games are much more interesting which means I'll probably knock myself out of contention . . .

My picks are in bold.

San Francisco at San Diego - And I actually picked the 49ers to make it to the playoffs . . .

Cleveland at Cincinnati - The Bengals woes cannot continue!! And the Browns are not that good. Cruddy game of the week contender.

Washington at Dallas - The Redskins are benching McNabb??

Houston at Tennessee - Long shot of the week. The Texans are falling apart. The Titans have already fallen. They have too much talent to not start to rebuild.

Jacksonville at Indianapolis - The Jaguars already thumped the Colts so its time for Manning to get angry and show some pride.

Kansas City at St Louis - The knock against the Chiefs is uninspiring Charlie Weiss running an O without Matt Cassell. The Rams might win this one.

Buffalo at Miami - What is a cruddy game of the week contender becomes interesting. The Dolphins are road warriors and the Bills have mastered the come back defeat.
Christmas Night by WallCell
Click images for desktop size: "Christmas Night" by WallCell

Detroit at Tampa Bay - The Lions can't win on the road.

Arizona at Carolina - Cruddy Game of the Week! The only amusement here is watching Jimmy Clausen pretend to be an NFL QB. Football at it's most pathetic.

New Orleans at Baltimore - Game of the week! Taking the Saints as they seem to be ready for a playoff run while the Ravens are sputtering. Still a ball hawking D and Gunslinger Brees spells excitement and close games to me!

Philadelphia at New York Giants - I hate the Eagles and I hate the Giants style of football. Eli Manning is throwing in the towel.

Atlanta at Seattle - Possibly the lop sided game of the day. Seahawks home field advantage is theChristmas 1934 by Norman Rockwell second biggest in the league and can't be forgotten.

New York Jets at Pittsburgh - My upset of the week. The Steelers peaked way to soon. Rothlisberger has been tough but vulnerable. The Jets must win. Sanchez can respond. He should have spent one more year in college ball.

Denver at Oakland - I hope they let Tebow play. It would be hysterical.

Chicago at Minnesota - Another game that must have looked killer at the start of the season, now, no Brett Favre. At least it will be outside!

Green Bay at New England - The Patriots have evolved into their usual dominance while the Packers have been cleanly exposed. The only hope for the Pack is that the Pats are unfamiliar with their back up QB.

Merry Christmas and the best of the holidays!

December 12, 2010

Eighty percent of success is showing up
Woody Allen

Seasons Greeting 2010 by Ankhammentu
Click images for desktop size: "Seasons Greetings 2010" by Ankhammentu
After too long I've finally seen a good movie, in fact it might be the best film I've seen in 2010.
"I Saw the Devil" directed by Ji-woon Kim. He's the guy who made the stunning "A Bittersweet Life"Calvin and Hobbes and the Asian mega-hit, "The Good, The Bad and the Weird".
Byung-hun Lee, from "A Bittersweet Life" and GI Joe, plays a Korean secret agent. On a snowy night his fiancee calls him. Her car has broken down and she waits for a tow truck. Lee, even though on assignment, finds a place to sing her a love song, to keep her company while she waits.
While Lee sings a good samaritan knocks on his fiancee's car's window. He offers to help. Lee tells her to stay in the car and not to trust the stranger. The stranger is played by Min-sik Choi, the brilliant actor best known from "Old Boy".
Lee tells his fiancee to send him away and to just sit and wait for the tow truck. Very politely and sweetly she thanks Choi and tells him she'd prefer to wait. He seems to go away. Moments after she hangs up the phone Choi attacks her car with a hammer breaking out the windows and then dragging her into his van. In his van he bashes her skull with the hammer but he waits to kill her back in his dingy dungeon where he rapes and decapitates her. Choi brushes the gore down the basement drain.
The next day a child finds a plastic bag with the fiancee's ear in it. The fiancee was the daughter of the local cops Chief of Detectives. This engenders a full on search. With much angst and fanfare they discover her head in the shallows of a river. Clearly it was thrown from a bridge. Implicitly this brings up the old Buddhist sutra, "I would be a bridge of stone for 500 years for the chance of her crossing me."
Kim takes two weeks off from work, supposedly to recover from his grief but, and this is true of John Lennon
Click images for desktop size: "John Lennon" by Unknown
much of the film - not much is stated outright except the ignorant claims of the police and the killers - the rest of the time we're nudged into believing we know what is going on in others minds, everyone knows he is going after the serial killer.
Even though we know who the killer is we watch Kim try and locate him. The first suspect he tortures brutally and so thoroughly that the scum confesses two murders he did commit to the police!
The hunt continues and it is sickly fascinating. Until Kim finally tracks down Choi in the middle of another rape and murder.
Kim rescues the girl but stops to smash and beat Choi. When he has beaten him near senseless he whispers to CHoi, "That which is coming will be even more terrible. Then Kim breaks Choi's arm. He also shoves a GPS capsule into his mouth so he can track him.
What follows is the disintegration of Kim. The atrocities he heaps up on Choi are transfixing and brutal. Kim, ultra cool and suave and Choi filthy and perverted, we find ourselves willing for Kim toPopeye simply kill Choi.
Then, unexpectedly, Choi proves his monstrous character has a brain and enough heart to hate and to want revenge.
From here on the movie stays taut, frightening and disheartening. It's not until the blistering conclusion, a conclusion that could scarcely be improved but still falls inches short, that we see humanity resurrect itself in these two monsters. The humanity it shows is as terribly sad as the depths of its depravity were hateful.
A movie to seek out. the direction and the acting could not be improved. It's a modern movie that avoids nothing and permits no mere coincidence to mar the terror it inflicts on our souls as it struggles to force us, the viewers, to admit or frail humanity.

The law that should have shut down my job went in to effect, but it only worked for 2 days.
I was disappointed. While one judge in a different district found the law shutting them down to be solid and enforceable another judge swallowed the argument that 1 line in the law was too vague and in its vagueness violated the 1st amendment!!
So it's business as usual. I got two days off though and that's a good thing . . . without pay of course. Money buys everything.

My wife is coming next week along with gentle dog and Giant dog.
We're excited.
I sent out my Christmas cards. If you didn't get one it's because I don't have your address, so it really is all your fault.

Now that the college season is over the NFL gets that more important. Last week I was 12-4, which Skyler Steele
Click images for desktop size: "Skye Steele as Red Santa"
is pretty blah for this part of the season. I want to win a prize! Even a 20 buck certificate for beer and hot dogs would be okay1 So long as I get a prize! My wife made some picks . . .
My picks are in bold.

Indianapolis at Tennessee - I figured the Colts were slightly less messed up than the Titans.

Cleveland at Buffalo - Cruddy game of the week and also my Mini-Upset of the week. To me the Bills have looked more impressive when they're losing than the Browns have while they're losing . . .

Tampa Bay at Washington - Common sense says to take the Bucs. Sometimes I wish I could tell my common sense to shut up because I really think the Redskins should win!

Atlanta at Carolina - I really wish I could track down anyone willing to pick the putrid Panthers. Santa Calus Conquers the Martians They probably think Jimmy Clausen is a great QB . . .

Oakland at Jacksonville - At the start of the season no one could have picked this as a game of the week contender. But it is. I'm taking the Jaguars because of Jack Del Rio and that they're at home.

Green Bay at Detroit - The Packers will win but I expect the Lions to make this a lot more interesting than it should be.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh - This game is on TV here. I won't watch it. I have to pick the Steelers but I want to see the Bengals and Carson and Ochocinco tear it up!

St Louis at New Orleans - Its time for the Saints to start tearing opponents apart, at least if they want to get to the Super Bowl again.

Seattle at San Francisco - I never figured the SeaHawks would be as good as 6-6 but I sure figured the 49er's would be league killers! Now I'm picking them becasue the SeaHawks have not been too good on the road.

Miami at New York Jets - After the Jets getting beat down last week by the Patriots I'd hate to be their opponent this week.

Denver at Arizona - Cruddiest Game of the Week!
Star Leaves by Fabio Toscani
Click images for desktop size: "Star Leaves" by Fabio Toscani

Kansas City at San Diego - After the dismal showing last week the Chargers will not improve much but the Chiefs don't have Matt Cassel so . . . .
New England at Chicago - Game of the Week! The Bears have been shocking and the Patriots are riddled enough on D to make this one really really interesting!

New York Giants at Minnesota - When the big stories are the snow storm and whether Favre's streak ends tomorrow you know not to expect much from the game.

Baltimore at Houston - The Ravens need a win and the Texans are playing for next years paycheck.

Philadelphia 28 at Dallas 27 - The Over Hype Bowl. This game will be dire.

December 5, 2010

Love, I thought, is stronger than death or the fear of death
Ivan Tourgueniev

interfirst plaza, houston, texas
Click images for desktop size: "Houston Interfirst Plaza"
I was examining my body in the mirror. Inspecting my scars. Not the scars that needed stitches or emotional scars, but the marks the ravages have laid on me.DC Holiday Special
First one I notice is the droop in my left eye, the remnants of the Bells Palsy attack in El Paso. Then there's the arm that is still weak and stiff from the frozen shoulder.
And on and on. For some reason I can look at all this detritus and the final impression is that I'm still a pretty good looking guy . . . Yeah. Kidding myself or facing reality. Who can tell?
I did wonder if the frozen shoulder, a by product of diabetes, was aided by me spending one summer as a baseball pitcher.
Throwing a baseball is fun. The manager of the team asked me to pitch because I routinely threw the ball in the mid 80's making the play from short to first. I had a world of fun that season but it's an unnatural strain to place on an aging shoulder. I don't know if it caused or worsened the problem. I'll have to ask.
Now I've got the same problem in my left wrist. I'm right handed and use my left wrist about as much as a right handed person would, so I have no empirical self experience proof.
Now, I got asked to pitch because I not only throw the ball relatively hard but I have pin point accuracy, at least if by pin point you mean within a 12" square . . . I shot my arm throwing a tennis ball for the old dog. We were at a dog park and about 200 feet away I watched a dog. It's always been my standard to idly aim at something when I throw the ball for a dog so I aimed at this dog and whipped it. I felt something unravel in my elbow and a big brief hurt. I forgot the pain when I saw the tennis ball plonk the strange dog right on top of its head!
I was terribly embarrassed and worried. Clearly the dog was fine as he immediately went and chased the ball, at least as soon as he assured himself the sky wasn't falling. But I felt bad about nearly hurting him. I felt bad then and I still do. Not as bad as the time I was a teen and I hit a Xmas by WallCell
Click images for desktop size: "Xmas" by WallCell
squirrel jumping across one of the roads up in Griffith Park. I had a car load of buddies with me and they were aggravated that I stopped and went back to see if the squirrel could be saved. I still stopped and looked. The poor thing was dead. I still feel bad about that too.

Last week I was pretty hacked off that Homeland Security has blocked 80 internet sites. Supposedly this was due to the fact that these sites allegedly offered up "pirated" material. Who knows if they did? They're blocked so no one can check, at least no one in the USA. No take down notice, no chance to appeal. They just took them down claiming that these sites stole American "intellectual property".
Now, the first thing I notice is that none of the sites were accused of spamming; browser hijacks; loading trojans or viruses, just the dubious charge "intellectual property theft".
I think its noteworthy that Obama's government doesn't give a damn about sites that cause serious harm to individuals, they're only concerned about protecting the rights of the MPAA and the RIAA. Fables The rich win against the poor. Didn't I vote for him to try and slow that attitude down?
Now add to that the fact that Obama has blatantly lied about his vision of Net Neutrality and I get really irked. The plan put forward by the FCC basically gives the Telco Giants everything they want and nothing that the people need. It's an odious plan worthy of John Boehner and John McCain. Obama pledged an open and free internet. He lied and is now involved in taking away another American freedom, hell, almost a world freedom.
So, you will soon no longer be able to get to this site. Instead you internet provider will take you where he wants you to go. I'm sure I'll be offered a chance to pay them a thousand or so a month to allow people access but otherwise it will be the same restricted nonsense we now get to enjoy on Fox and CNN and the networks.
And again Obama proves he is too weak to lead by offering to "compromise" which means giving in to the sick plan of the Republicans who don't care about us, they only care about the rich.
This Republican cry that taxing anything above $250K is going to hurt small business is, to quote John Bohner and his opinion of the middle class and the poor, "chicken crap". Any small business that is showing a profit of $250K NET is not a small business.
Doesn't matter. Obama is going to give them what they want and screw the people over. He won't get on TV and say that the Republicans have said, "Screw the middle class! We refuse to give them tax relief!" Instead he'll just compromise, which in his mind means giving them everything they want so they won't pick on him, maybe they won't.
Obama has become like that little kid in the schoolyard who'll never fight back. You can go defend Christmas
Click images for desktop size: "Christmas" by Unknown
him but he'll be back in the same jam tomorrow and there's no chance for him to survive, except to transfer schools or give up the job.

This is the crunch week in the NFL. The time to clinch a play off spot and to secure your momentum and spirit for the long slog. Week 131
In the On Line NF picking game my wife and I are tied at 111 correct picks each. This just proves that she has been cheating and clearly has been just plain copying my carefully thought out picks and choices. Of course I am too big a man to point this out to anyone. I will just suffer the indignity in respectable silence!

My picks are in bold.

Houston at Philadelphia - As much as I despise Michael Vick no one can deny his pure talent.Action Comics

New Orleans at Cincinnati - Poor Carson Palmer. At the start of the year this was a game I was anticipating!

Chicago at Detroit - I guess the Bears are for real.

San Francisco at Green Bay - The 49ers and the Bengals are fighting it out to be the disappointment of the season.

Jacksonville at Tennessee - The smart money is picking the Titans' Chris Johnson to continue his habit of just gashing the Jaguars. I think they are too banged up to ride a steady diet of Johnson runs and slashes. Of course, this could be the week the Titans remeber they picked up Randy Moss . . .

Denver at Kansas City - I'm so pleased that Matt Cassel is keeping the grand tradition of USC QB's alive . . .

Cleveland at Miami - An unpredictable game that still doesn't offer much in the way of entertainment value.

Buffalo at Minnesota - Cruddy game of the week contender, spared that because of the talent on both teams. Still, a lousy game.

Washington at New York Giants - The NFC East my Aunt Trudy! Who cares game of the week.

Oakland at San Diego - The Raiders have improved tons but they run into the hottest team in the Christmas Night Lights
Click images for desktop size: "Christmas Night Lights" by Unknown
league right now. An upset would be sweet though.

Carolina at Seattle - Pete Carroll has done a decent job with the SeaHawks. Maybe he'll dump Jeremy Bates as his OC and get real successful next season. The Panthers just stink.

St Louis at Arizona - Sam Bradford doesn't keep this from being the cruddy game of the week. The NFC West should be barred from the playoffs this year.

Dallas at Indianapolis - The Under Achievers bowl1 The Colts are stinking it up a little less than the Cowboys.

Atlanta at Tampa Bay - Must win for the Falcons as they fight for home field advantage in the play offs.

Pittsburgh at Baltimore - Game of the Day! The blood will flow and the bruises will blossom. This game can be all you want in football.

New York Jets at New England - Game of the Week! The Jets won the first one and it was a fine fine win. The Patriots don't forget those things easily. Also the two cutest QB's in the league and both talented. Brady battle tested and proven, Sanchez growing with every play. Can't wait for this one.