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August 19, 2012

Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.
John Madden

Chrysalis by JW McGinnis
Click images for desktop size: "Chrysalis" by JW McGinnis
My days are spent dealing with under educated products of the Bush era "No child left behind" junta. Coffee skinned young men who's main experience in life comes from TV.Confessions of a Window Cleaner
Like the fellow who the cops came and took away the other day. He was in his early twenties. He was working hard to look urban and hard, he ware the tiny jeans and the sway and swagger, a yellow shirt and a blue baseball cap perched at a ridiculous angle on his braids.
His success in life was paralleled by his success in growing a beard. His beard and mustache were indistinct smears that make his face look smeared and blurry instead of masculine.
He had a tattoo but it wasn't cool. It was more a fifties sailor tattoo than an urban statement. The kind of tattoo they invented laser removal for.
In line behind him was a guy running up to sixty and sixty didn't want him. He has ebon black skin and a better mustache and deep wrinkles instead of the blurry beard. He and the kid are dressed in the same wannabee urban style. On the kid it looks just sad and silly. On an older man it looks desperate and frightenly illogical.
Both man and kid work to project that hard edge urban toughness. They haven't had the experience. They've never been to the city let alone lived in the asphalt and steel. So their interpretation of the attitude comes across as weak meanness smothered in rudeness.
This doesn't mean they don't have guns and needs. It doesn't make them less dangerous. Maybe it makes them more dangerous as they're incapable of understanding the world and their reactions to it.
I'm the manager of of an internet cafe except the main purpose is internet sweepstakes, which plays out like bogus video slots. I manage the most popular "casino" "slots parlor" in the town. I ride herd on the obese women who spend their tip money and paychecks trying to win $500 for a quarter or $1,000 for fifty cents all the way up to $13k for $6.50. Even when they win and discover that $500 The Shadow by Frank Hamilton
Click images for desktop size: "The Shadow" by Frank Hamilton
or even $13,000 is never going to change their lives or improve their worlds they still keep coming back. Most of them every day.
They sit at cheap e-machine computers and click a mouse that spins jpgs of fruit and symbols for hours and sometimes days chasing a whisper of hope.
The job debilitates me. It wears me down to the last layer of skin before the muscle and skin break through and bleed. It fatigues me to groin level depths of weakness.
My wife is finally down here. The dogs are finally all together. We're stepping all over each other while we search for something livable. It should be a happy time and it is.
I'm watching movies and listening to music and petting the puppies and laughing at them. In this little space the world is good if flawed. The flaws aren't fatal and will vanish soon enough.
I haven't had the energy to update this thing. I've paid a price for it. Now that I've typed out these thoughts about my customers I've banished them from my memory. I have no more need to keep them in my thoughts. I can focus more clearly on what's important to me and the life of my little family. Convicted Woman
I'm a brooder. I think and rethink things holding on to them until I reach a conclusion. Writing them down makes things fait accompli. Over and done.
Silly but sillier still to defy truth. I'm not a 21st Century Republican.
I'm going to try and update more often. Right now I'm in dire straits physically. I've got the frozen shoulder again. This time in my right shoulder. It messes with my body badly. Yesterday I woke up and my legs were swollen about 3 inches larger all the way around. I slept on the floor with my feet up and got my legs down to merely swollen this morning. I took the dogs out in the pouring rain and my feet didn't hurt.
My shoulder keeps me from sleeping well. The pain is still the worst I've ever had to deal with. Worse than a heart attack.
' How happy am I to have my family with me can be measured by the fact I haven't lost my sense of happiness.

August 7, 2011

I'm not finished yet

Untitled By Wally Wood
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Wally Wood
I'm fatigued, nearly as bad as leukemia fatigue but not as all encompassing as that.
It's the heat. The walking to work everyday and drenched in sweat. 3.1 miles and 3 miles of it How To Make A Monster wiping the sweat from my eyes. Then I stand on my feet for 8 hours, I don't get a break or a lunch hour. Right to work state means the employer can abuse us all he wants. No holidays, no days off and no vacation, just drudgery and abuse.
My glutes are sore, my hamstrings tight, my calfs throb and my feet swell up to almost twice their normal size. They have me on diuretics for the swollen feet. And my legs are fit. It never seems right that you can be fit and in fatigue pain at the same time. There should be a rule.
I'm tired and it takes almost all by brain just to keep pushing me to take that next step, get through the next hour, next 15 minutes.
It takes my sparse energy to deal with my loving puppy and my loving wife. After that I've little left for much else. I go hungry some nights because I didn't have the energy to tote home groceries or if I did I don't have the energy to prepare anything. I take my pills. Do my shot of insulin. Collapse and sleep a sweat filled jittery kind of sleep with a few hours of death in there but mainly I'm just trying to fall asleep.
To push me to sleep I listen to podcasts. I really only listen to two types: Dogs and old time radio. My current fascination is with "Our Miss Brooks" which is so dated and cruel towards woman I listen in fascination.
I saw the doctor for my annual check up. With all my negatives I'm fine. Tough, tight skinned (I've no idea what that means but they keep mentioning it). I still look healthy. I remind myself that doctor's spend most of their time looking at sick people so I can't put a lot of value to their well meaning assessment. I guess it means that I'm a mess but I sure don't look it. SoCal style, "Its better to look good than to feel good."
I have to add another insulin. Three more shots a day. Toughness is sometimes the ability just to go through each day and not remember.Beezelbub by Unknown
Click images for desktop size: "Beezlebub" by Unknown
We're moving closer to getting my wife a green card. I try not to look forward past this. I'm ignoring the future as best I can: The move, trying to find her a job, trying to find a house the usual rubbishthat can come up and become dramatic. The immigration process is aggravating enough and every small bight spot seems like a celestial explosion of giddy lights and slashing comets.
I've mixed feelings about the NFL lockout ending. The same way I think that Congress needs to be severely punished for the cruel government they've been imposing on us I think the NFL owners need to be punished for the stupidity of the lockout and the absolute disregard they've shown for the fans and spectators. How do you punish billionaires who treat us with the contempt they feel we deserve?
The prejudiced incomprehensible actions of the NCAA have tainted the joy of USC's upcoming season, but as practice has started this week I still find myself excited and looking forward to Troy destroying everything put in its way.Hot Times My job still sucks. I dislike being manager and realize I was right to avoid it for as long as I did.Surprisingly I've gradually increased revenues by 30%/. Rah.
Of course I can't get through my little idea of small bonuses to the staff to thank them for the extra effort and extra work. When a staff of 6 are generating $15k plus a week net profit it seems more than churlish to not give a $50 or even $20 bonus for a job well done. Instead of threats, which is all we get, they think praise is wasted and that everyone is just trying to rip them off. Self fullfilling prophecy that. Hungry people gotta eat. And the unappreciated have no cause for loyalty. There's no reason to be grateful when you do your best and receive nothing but threats for uncommitted crimes.
The only good part of the managerial bit is that I get to fight for common sense and decency. The little extra money helps too. Its not much but even $20 a week can make a difference especially when your self worth demands you be honest.

I still have to figure out what to do with the site. I want it, need it. But, clearly, I can't keep it going the way I want it. I average around 200 visitors a day, for whatever that's worth. I have a vision of how I want it to be. Some of it's just not possible: A combination of my technical limitations and my lack of energy.
I'm making moves to be able to change some of the things I want to change. It's more a matter of content and rapid shorter posts. I think it can work.
Untitled by MacGeek
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by MacGeek
I'm still getting bombarded with spam. That ticks me off. There are about 150 spam comments an hour. I like the comments. There's a fellow who keeps correcting my errors in artist's name. It's important to me but it's too tedious to go through emails and track down the offending caption. A comment would link me straight to it. And of course I worry about who might be trying to reach me and I worry that its important to them. Still need a solution to that.

July 17, 2011

Indecision may or may not be my problem
Jimmy Buffett

Ambrosia Studies by Olivia
Click images for desktop size: "Ambrosia Studies" by Olivia
It's been an eventful week. Mostly depressing but with a bright spot that hints at glories to come.
The Man WHo Murdered Himself
My job just keeps getting worse. I piled up over 13 hours of overtime and, even with taxes, got a check that will ensure I'll be able to pay the immigration lawyer on time. No small thing.
I hate being the manager. Responsibilities for people who I would not choose to hire but with the wages being offered it is probably the best I can hope for.It doesn't help that my regard for the owners is low so I can't work up any concern for my co-workers ineptness even if they do make my life difficult and ungainly.
Yesterday I got a panic call because the toilet was out of order. Three hours later, and thinking why am I in here, sweating and doing plumbing repairs? That stint pushed me over 40 hours for the week and I took off 8 hours to go to the doctor!
They call me constantly. I keep telling them that they should be able to figure out most of this stuff themselves but, clearly, they figure for the pittance they receive (especially in comparison to the income they generate) thinking is an additional skill that isn't being paid for.
That was exacerbated by passing out an "employee manual" that lists 4 pages of reasons to fire us and two pages explaining that they don't do business over state lines so we are not protected by Federal labor laws (a strongly debatable point, actually a bold lying interpretation of the business) As a right to work state we have no right to paid holidays, sick days, vacation days, coffee breaks or even lunch breaks. Real inspiring stuff. Great laws too.

The doctor was depressing even though it was basically pretty good news. Nothing much has really Running Buffalo by Charles Russell
Click images for desktop size: "Running Buffalo" by Charles Russell
changed. I still need to take a diuretic or else my feet swell up and the skin gets so taut it hurts! This is because of the lyrica, a drug they've decided I'm allergic to. As this is one of the known side effects I'm disgruntled that claiming it's an allergy that did me permanent damage is somehow my fault. A weakness and not some drug company pushing out a dangerous product and advertising it on TV.
The depressing bit was that I now have to be on two types of insulin for the diabetes (which was a known side effect to the first chemo I had - I like to tell people I'm allergic to sugar). The Lantus is the long term insulin, one shot is supposed to last 24 hours. The new one, also ungodly Hercules Against the Moon Men expensive, is short term and I have to shoot myself up every time I eat . . . It is hard to get excited about sticking needles into your stomach four times a day. For me the hardest part will be keeping the little vial straight and not over or under injecting myself with the wrong stuff.
The doc said I look good, still no indication I'm as sick as I am. Which is good. The people I work around have a propensity for attacking the weak. I still tacitly terrify most of them.

The bright spot is that my wife finally spoke to the immigration lawyer. She thought he sounded sexy. I still have no feminine side so I couldn't think of how to confirm or deny whether he is sexy!
I was surprised to discover she was afraid of talking to him. They spent a jaunty twenty minutes deciding if she was a secret commie war criminal trying to enter the USA to avoid prosecution for genocide and other war crimes . . . I feel secure that Homeland Security and Obama are wasting our money protecting us from these guys.
The end result is the lawyer sees her having no problems with the interview and he submitted the applications and now this week we'll get the date for our interviews. They have to be separate so we can't get together and practice our answers or write crib notes or something else that the USA needs protecting from . . . The lawyer nearly promised (as lawyers are wont to do) that my wife and I would be together before Christmas and he seems determined to make it happen.

July 10, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

Woman Wailing for her Demon Lover by Hannes Bok
Click images for desktop size: "Woman Wailing For Her Demon Lover" by Hannes Bok
So, I've been manager for two weeks and it sucks . . . What makes it worse is that the customers like me so business is up about 7% and about 20% on my shift, which means I'm even busier in a job I hate which really sucks.
Hentai It didn't help that I put in 50 hours last week and no day off. I was told I was going to get a "write up" for working too much overtime. That makes so little sense to me I don't want anyone to explain it to me.
Maybe things will be better when I get the next paycheck, but I doubt it sincerely.

Some fundamentalist Christian stranger went to a bit of trouble to get my e-mail address to chastise me for criticizing St Thomas Aquinas. I thought only Catholics recognized Saints. Shows a lack of knowledge of other religions on my part I guess.
So the church made him a saint. They took away St Christopher's sainthood but I still have his medal. The church says the Pope is infallible but they took away St Christopher's sainthood. I'll stand by my opinion.
My memory is that Aquinas was the first guy ever canonized with no miracles to his claim or credit. And I also remember that he wasn't canonized for his inane opinions about animals having the soul of a table, he was sainted for teaching and setting up the seminary process to churn out more and better priests. And the Catholic Church is reaping the benefits of that today.
There's also no mention of how Aquinas survived with his contemporary who proceeded him into sainthood, St Francis. Francis proclaimed not only did animals have souls but that all creatures were his brothers and sisters in God and Christ. He preached to birds, wolves and dogs so that they might Untitled by John R Neil
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by John R Neil
also have redemption and enter heaven.
So when it comes to saints I'll still to the fallen Christopher and St Francis and look at Aquinas as a political creation.
Once I lived with 4 dogs, 2 rabbits, a cockatoo, finches, a rescued sparrow and hummingbird (they'd fallen from their nests and refused to be released to the wild). When I'd come home they all had to come to me and meet me at the door, primarily to complain about the others in the house.
The sparrow liked to climb into my shirt pocket and have me tote him around. The dogs were always the most upset. The birds loved to take baths in their water dishes which drove the dogs insane and the rabbits. Well, I was convinced that the rabbits have more intelligence then most think or have the courage to accept. The rabbits would wait for the dogs to fall asleep and then they would stalk them on tip toe (!). Then when they were close enough they'd spring in the air and land right on the dog's stomach!Grizzly
In the ensuing commotion the rabbit would run for all he was worth with the dog in hot barking pursuit. The rabbit always went for the bed. He 'd go under it. When I looked under the bed what I'd see was the dog desperately trying to get at the bunny. For his part the bunny was munching calmly and contentedly on a piece of alfalfa he'd previously placed there; munching about 2 inches from the dog's grasping jaws.
I have no idea why the rabbits thought this was a great joke and I also know that the dogs held no grudges as they would often sleep with the rabbits sleeping tightly against the dog's stomachs.
Now I still think that the dog's ability to forgive both the birds for using their water bowls as bath tubs and the rabbits for their violent practical jokes show that they have souls. If forgiveness and loving other creatures aren't the foundations of having a soul then what good is a soul at all?

My puppy remains happy. She wants things that I don't always understand. I'm lucky she can be patient with me, in an impatient way of course. She hasn't made up her mind about how she feels about my new schedule. She likes me being home at night but misses me being there during the day. Another consideration of our future I guess.

And I've been having a wonderful time hacking my nook. I've added an email client to it. I tried it as a full fledged Android tablet and was not impressed. I prefer the Nook but with added features! Right now I've been rereading "Lone Wolf and Cub" I'm on volume 10 of 28!

June 27, 2011

To kill the Bhudda you must be a Bhudda
Kazuo Koike

Eerie 1967 by Frank Frazetta
Click images for desktop size: "Eerie 1967" by Frank Frazetta
I was watching "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and there was this really ancient guy who they're debating whether he was killed or suicided. The solution was that he couldn't have suicided! He tookChristine Keeler Affair 14 pills a day! That was the only fact they needed.
I take 14 pills a day.

My puppy got a bath on Friday. She spent all of Friday hating me and blaming me. Of course she waited until I had rescued her from the sadistic groomer! Then its safe to hate me.
Can't blame her for that.
She looks great. She's been blowing coat in this maddening heat. They got her all brushed out, nails trimmed. She's just as beautiful as I imagine her.
I can never get over how easily she forgives me for the wrongs, and the perceived wrongs, I've done her. My puppy cares about me, rejoices in me.
It's reciprocal.

I suppose the biggest deal this week though is my job.
They fired the supervisor for theft. I was surprised and disappointed by that. And then shocked by the depth and amount of the theft, as well as the duration.
I've successfully avoided any sort of supervisor/management responsibilities at this job but this time, as much as I tried to avoid it, I'm stuck.
At first I thought I was going to get out of it easily. Thier initial offer of a promotion would have entailed a fifty cent an hour DECREASE in my current salary. Somehow they were unaware that I already earned more than the mamgers and supervisors.
Flux by MX Steel
Click images for desktop size: "Flux" by MX Steel
They fixed the offer and made a few other concessions so now I'm it.
The major thing for me is going back to working during the day. I start at 8:00 AM now instead of midnight. I'm hoping this does something to fix my constant fatigue. Maybe not but who knows.
It will be an adjustment I figure. No longer moving quietly through the dark nights and no longer dealing with crack heads and drunks with a violent attitude. Or at least not dealing with them when they're in full roar to their addictions.
I figure the little bit of extra money will go to the immigration lawyers.

April 24, 2011

You think cause I work for a living that I'm a jerk?
I Kuan

Kabegami by Kumo
Click images for desktop size: "Kuomo 31" by Kabegami
I got robbed this week. No big drama and no excitement. I suppose, considering, that is a good thing.
Work normally quiets down after 6. I was sitting on the stool staring when a guy wearing a hockey Amazons Against Superman mask came through the door. He was kind of fat so he didn't move very quickly.
He came to the window and stuck his arms through the slot. He had a gun I guessed as a .25 automatic, real cheapo nickel plated saturday night special kind of gun, exactly the type that I think should be illegal to purchase or own. In his other hand he had a black gym bag. He said, "Put the money in the bag or you're dead!"
There's video of the whole thing and after he said that I take a long pause. The cops watching it said to me, "Thinking about taking him out, huh?"
That wasn't totally accurate, but close enough for small town cops. What I was thinking was, "I can't believe Antonio is robbing me and waving a gun in my face. Jerk. And shoving his arms through the window. That's insulting. I could stab him with this pen and he'd drop the gun quickly enough. Ah, hell. It's not my money and there's not that much of it anyway. We've had employees steal more than he's going to get and there are other people here and my wife would kill me if I get shot and my puppy needs to go for a walk. I'll just give him the money. I better not ask why he's doing this. He'd shoot me for recognizing him probably or shoot somebody else. That would be worse. Not really but it would feel like it was worse."
So I gave him the money and he left. Idiot strew money from the window all the way to his car.
Problem for him is that even with the hockey mask I recognized him pretty plainly and then there's video of him putting on the mask. Turns out he served 8 years for armed robbery already and he's got a court appearance in May on a drug charge. And he's not yet 30 years old.
Kill My Illusions by ClasixArt
Click images for desktop size: "Kill My Illusions" by ClasixArt
Problem for me is that he's a regular customer. That night he hung out in the store for 4 hours, probably waiting. He wasn't a friend. I'm not friends with any of the customers. But we were friendly. I'm annoyed that someone who I know and who knows me would rob me and threaten me. It shakes what little faith I have in mankind even more.
Of course I still had to deal with the concerns that I was hardly devastated or panicked over the robbery. I have to remember to say things but, for me, other than the way I took it personally, it had little impact on me.
If I'd gotten shot I'd think about it differently I suppose but no one was hurt, the warrants are issued to pick the guy up. What more is there to it?

It looks like I'm going to do a study which is not a trial. I've done trials. Trials are only good when the alternative is sure death.Another Man's Poison
This is a study. A trial is where they think this will work but they're not quite certain of how or what the side effects will be. A study is when the drug has been approved and is on sale. The study is to insure something that's important to the drug company.
This study is for a diabetes drug called Juvenita or something close to that. It's a drug that the doc's wanted to give me but it is too expensive!
The purpose of the study is to avoid getting sued in case the drug causes heart attacks.
It's a five year study, which I take as proof positive that I'll live at least another 5 years. That's scientific logic that is. Unless I get shot, that is.
I get sixty bucks a quarter and a free supply of the drug, unless I hit the study group in which case I get the placebo. Fifty-fifty shot on that. Of course I want the drug. It's supposedly very good and will drive down my daily insulin dosage etc.
Human Frieght Train by NFL FIlms
Click images for desktop size: "Human Freight Train" by NFl Films
I go this Friday for the blood tests. Cool.

I'm going to start to experiment and turn comments on. The spammers might hit it too hard but then, they may have all gone away! Yeah. Like that'll happen. I still average about 150 spam hits an hour but they seem to have different objectives. The spiders that don't obey, or respect, htaccess files worry me. But I miss comments. Like some fellow went through a lot of grief to reach me to tell me that I'd misspelled an artists name. And it was a major misspelling too, like I touch typed with my fingers on the wrong keys sort of thing.

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.

August 7, 2010

The future has a way of arriving unannounced
George Will

Click images for desktop size: "Catronics" by Unknown
So much time has passed and so much life has filled and so much has run out.
I don't want any of it to be lost.The Grapes of Wrath
Nothing earth shattering perhaps. All of it precious. The only way to try and retain it is to start from now and work back.
My wife left yesterday. It was 4 months since we last saw each other. The hellish attitudes of imaginary lines drawn in the sand. Only someone who has never travelled could not question the stupidity that are borders and immigrants. I understand about the stupidity when it benefits a few of the wealthy. For the most part borders help only a few and hurt the rest of us.
It was good her being here. It felt like my life had been in suspension. WIth her being here it seemed like life resumed. It was easy, natural and profound and permanent.
We didn't accomplish much. She brought my two dogs with me. Gentle dog bit me and continued his 4 year quest of trying to kill me.
The giant dog was a bit of a creep. He attacked, not viciously but still, a smaller dog and frightened a child. Giant dog does a lot of things that normally I find unforgivable, but he always seduces me back by being dumb and guileless.
My wife's trip was planned around getting things done. We sort of did that, just not very well. We looked at houses.
The previous favorite was a noxious looking home farmhouse looking thing that was on 2.24 acres. As falling apart and ratty as the house was all the land made it beautiful. I could see fencing off an acre for the trio and then using the final acre to build a kennel and dog runs for all the strays and lost puppies that would find their way to out welcoming door.
The second place was a tiny little thing. I'd discounted it before as thieves were stealing the aluminum siding off of houses in the neighborhood, stealing the siding while people still lived there. Edge of Heaven by TitusBoy
Click images for desktop size: "Edge of Heaven" by TitusBoy
This house already had the central conditioning unit stolen with plenty of beer cans scattered about so you'd have no doubt about the neighborhood's attractions..
The house looked cute, 10 foot ceilings, interesting floor plan but it was an unmitigated disaster created by the cynical greed only a "developer" could create in their lust. The guy bought the house for 28k and jacked up the fallen floors, ignored the termites, slapped on some paint and before he was finished put it on the market for 130k, expecting the old 1000% return on a little bit of work and investment.
Then the crash happened. When we got into the house the first thing I found was the notice from the sheriff about unpaid property taxes. Then noticed that the floor had bowed, badly. It seems the floor sagged. Instead of repairing it properly the developer just jacked up the sag. Settling in less than a year caused the floor to warp crazy house style.
The killer was the roof. A month ago the roof looked okay. Now it was warped badly too. Badly Hamlet enough to need not just replacing, but rebuilding, from the struts and joists up. In other words in a year the house would need about 70k in repairs. So that some right wing bastard could realize a 500% return on his investment and stick some dreamy eyed couple with a disaster that would leave them homeless.
We did find a house though. A big house with a big yard. One acre yard. We'll know if we can get a mortgage tomorrow; August 2.
Jim McMahon
Click images for desktop size: "Jim McMahon"
I saw a lawyer about bringing my wife down here from that great foreign estate up north. Borders are the stupidest thing man ever created. Property lines to create jobs and unrest. Homeland Security now handles immigration so it is, of course a total mess. But it has to be gone through. We're no longer a free country. We're held waiting for the pogrom by all the cowards and fearful whiners who want to go back to the Monroe Doctrine and rewrite history to suit their fantasy.
I'm getting redundant redundant.

My wife reads. Sometimes literature, most often cook books and more often than that gory thrillers. I worry about her feeding her insatiable appetite for books then there was a deal on woot.com for a Kindle 2 . . . . I got it. It arrived DOA. I was pretty disappointed. Then shocked that Amazon made the thing good sending me a replacement on overnight delivery! And trusting me to return the dead one! It almost made up for the 3 hours on the phone with various tech support people.
I was still pretty skeptical but the end result is that rather rapidly I fell in love with the Kindle. I remembered when things were bad it was communicating with books that kept me sane®. I Untitled
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Unknown
remember bad times when I'd pick up a book and let it take me away. The Kindle is not a replacement for books (like the iPod is replacement for a CD payer) but its an enjoyable way to read. In short order I read 4 books. One of my Destroyer series, a Johnny Bogg's western; "Northfield", Chandler's "The Big Sleep" and something I've forgotten.
Point is that it was transparent. It didn't feel like an electronic device. It felt like reading and all that reading entails. I was loathe to give it up when my wife arrived. She got stuck in it right away too reading and finishing that Dacre Stoker sequel to Dracula.
She likes it and that's what's important.
It's lighter than a book, easy to carry around (still buy all the cases like with an iPod) and it carries a library with it. Whispernet is simply cool.
Me, I'm waiting on another special to get either a Nook or a Kindle for myself. I'm leaning towardsA Hard Day's Night the new Kindle 3 but with lawyers and immigration fees its quite a ways off for now.

One of the reasons everything has to wait is that I've been legislated out of a job . . . Its not that bad a thing. My job is horrid and abusive in every way. I'm surrounded by gambling addicts. Personally I don't believe in making laws to protect people from themselves. The legislators used faulty data from the State Police who have just been busted for massive ethics violations to claim these places cause an increase in crime.
The voted, the governor signed the bill. December 1 I'm unemployed. Not that massive a deal. What is the creepiest is that my bosses who were NETTING upwards of 300K per week couldn't comprehend me, grossing about 72 a day didn't share their rabid hatred and concern . . . I kept pointing out that when they were making 300k a week I constantly suggested making $500 donations to youth clubs and local charities, high school sports etc not just because it was the right thing to do but because it would entrench the business in the community and give our neighbors a positive reason to see us survive and succeed.
A Woman
Click images for desktop size: "A Woman" by Unknown
They thought I was nuts. So when the fist came down they fought it but not in any kind of meaningful way. They got meetings with the Governor expecting her to veto the bill, not because they offered bribes or campaign contributions but because it was what they wanted.
Ah, the neaveau riche!
There final desperate ploy is filing a suit in fed court against the State claiming the law is discriminatory . . . They cling to this in there hope to keep extracting money from the poor.

Saw an immigration lawyer. It was worth the $250. We were going about it, not all wrong but with our energies misplaced. The lawyer should speed things up and save us money. He also clarified a lot of stuff that was not explicit in the instructions . . . not explicit means not even mentioned.
It seems we send in the printed forms along with proof we're eligible to be married, two passport pictures, the marriage license and the check for $355. And that's it.
Then you wait for that to be approved. When its approved - in like 90 days or so, they send you anHammer appointment for a personal interview - not together. It was a bit shocking to discover the interview would be standing at a window or a counter. The interview would last less than 15 minutes and maybe as little as 5 minutes . . . The other shocking thing was that my wife's interview would be in Montreal, which is oh guessing 500 miles away from her in Ontario . . . And of course the $500 fee was shocking too. The additional fees. Rah.
Nobody said coming to America would be easy.
I forgot to ask where my interview would be.
After that interview, which you figure would be no problem, she'd get a two year conditional permanent residency. Only a government can make something permanent conditional.
Then that's it. You can relax and be happy.

I've had to keep comments turned off. The spam is unreal. Some one even used my email address to spam!! When I complained this is the response i got from my hosting service:
Unfortunately, that is something spammers and hackers are doing more frequently. They do not need to hack into your account to do this. They do not even need to know your password or username to do this. All they need to do is send out spam email where they change the FROM email address to your email address. There is nothing we can do to stop them from doing this. You can either raise up your Spam protection to attempt to block their evil efforts, or you can stop using your email address that they are spoofing altogether. Those are the only two options that you have to combat the spammers.
This is one of the reasons I've turned my back on Obama. He recently had several websites shut down. These sites linked to unauthorized places to watch TV shows. I have views about that. But Drama Queen by Hoschie
Click images for desktop size: "Drama Queen" by Hoschie
now the point is that they spent thousands of man hours and millions of dollars protecting CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC etc, companies that have billions of their own dollars to pursue this sort of inanity and then these same FBI agents do nothing absolutely nothing to protect people from spammers. I guess because it's been shown that the RIAA and MPPA (the real bad guys) retain the services of several of the larger spammers for nefarious reasons they refuse to discuss.
The spammers hitting this site have figured out how to bypass the fact that I have turned comments off. I still get dozens of spam comments weekly. They don't get posted but they keep coming. What this does for the spammers I don't know. I guess they can show their client that they posted their adverts on 2 million sites even if they never appear. Incredibly annoying, harassing and unfair. The terrorists win with an able assist from our increasingly frustrating and misguided government. Far more unfair then kids Ground Hog Day watching TV shows on-line.

My puppy is a slim trim 67 pounds!! This has barely increased her already arrogant, if dignified pose.

And suddenly time has passed. We did not get the house. Partially our fault in trusting people. Partly ineptness on the part of people you're supposed to trust.
I got a nook off of craigslist for 25 bucks. The whole world is getting stoked over the kindle 3 so nooks are dwindling in value (with the announced sale of Barnes & Noble). I prefer the Kindle 2 to the nook but its okay. I can read on it and that's all that matters to me. In the brief time I've had it I read Paretsky's last VI Warshawski novel; "Hardball". It was okay and had some good scenes. Unfortunately the plot mechanisms are still creaky and woefully repetitive.
I'm almost finished with Larry Niven's sequel to "Inferno" which was his updating of Dante's Inferno. The sequel, "Escape From Hell" makes you glad Dante didn't feel compelled to write "Inferno II: The Devil Busts Loose".

Football season is starting. USC will look different/ Maybe better.
Looks like my puppy and I will need this season.

June 26, 2010

Fate loves the fearless
James Russell Lowell

Love Memories by Alicia De Frietas
Click images for desktop size: "Love Memories" by Alicia De Fritas
My job has been legislated away!
This has never happened to me before. Its kind of interesting in a Chinese way. (The worst ChineseGrand Illusion curse is, "May you have an interesting life.")
I guess the biggest surprise is that this bill to wipe out about 3,000 jobs is being driven by the Democrats. For quite a while it looked like the Republicans were going to stand around and let the Dem's pass the bill and then when the spike hit unemployment rates they'd comfortably sit back and accuse the Democrats of neglecting their constituents and general bad policy. It makes sense that the Republicans would allow the country and the people to die a lingering death so long as the Republicans got what they wanted.
But that sniveling strategy got trashed when my boss, amongst others, got organized. They started to proclaim to anyone who'd listen that this was unfair and that banning "Internet Sweepstakes" would cost the state 30,000 jobs (!?!) and at least 1 billion in need tax revenue (!?!).
They also organized a poorly conceived e-mail campaign that was transparent only in that it was bought and paid for. They tried to get me involved . . . not smart, but nothing about these guys is. My stand is simple: This is a lousy job, but the only one I can find. I make about 60 bucks a day while you net about 200,000 a week. I understand your concern but you have to understand my apathy.
So they paid me to send some e-mails. I did. They paid me to help our customers to send out their boilerplate e-mails. I did that too. I never knew I was such a mercenary.
I pointed out that it would make better sense to create a form where all the customers would have to do is fill in their name and email addresses and then push a submit button. It would be easier and Red Bee by Lou Fine
Click images for desktop size: "Red Bee" by Lou Fine
permit personalization. I said I'd charge them $250 to design it and it would take about 4 hours to have up and working. That was too expensive for them.
So in the face of all this "outrage" the senate passed the bill 47-1. Pretty much a slam dunk.
The one nay vote wanted them shut down but to preserve jobs and tax revenue her plan was to have the State Lottery take over operation of the "casinos".
The general consensus was that the operators were scum whose goal was to suck all the money out of the poorer communities while giving nothing back. The owners response was that if they made them legal they'd have a rack of Gambler's Anonymous pamphlets . . .
The other contention was that the jobs they offered were not jobs that benefited the state. The owners violated all the labor laws, offered no protection, benefits, lunch breaks, rest breaks or safe working conditions.
All of this is true. So the owners response was to call the senate corrupt without offering up a clueGirl Boss Revenge as to who would benefit from bribing the entire legislature to close them down.
Now the bill goes to the house. The owners then decided to rent buses and force all the employees to trek along. I refused to attend this one. It was a disaster. No customers attended. Oddly the media wrote it up as a massive protest while the legislators saw it for what it was. How nouveau riche are the employers that they rebelled at the idea of making campaign contributions to the legislators who, while not supporting them, balked at the idea of losing jobs in the Fergie
Click images for desktop size: "Fergie"
present economy. So instead of talking to them intelligently the owners bragged about how they set those idiots right. So instead of building up allies in a fight they managed to reaffirm the incredibly negative image they seem hell bent of justifying.
Their only hope, as I see it, is that the House decides not to debate the Senate bill until after the election. Then the owners have to throw their support and considerable extra cash behind any candidate who might support their cause.
They won't do that. They are as bad as the legislators depict them. There's no misunderstanding there. These guys whole goal is to suck up every nickel the customers have period. They have no social conscious and are not bright enough to see how faking one will benefit them. They can't even figure out to be deferential and listen and rebutting instead of dictating. I've seen it before just not as so base a level.
For me I've got a job and I'm searching for another one a little bit harder. My job sucks, dealing with sore losers, drunks, drug dealers, hookers and other creatures of the night. But even a crappy job is better than looking for work.

Click images for desktop size: "Mix" by Unknown
My spare time now is spent on getting my wife into this country. It's arduous and confusing. Too many forms, too many arcane racist laws. Immigration. I want her and my two other dogs with me.

I've had to keep comments switched off. It's creepy. The spammers have made 12 attempts to hijack the site in order to post comment spam? How utterly worthless. I give Movable Type props for catching the attempted exploits. I've add to remove some of the little things I like to prevent the access at all.

My puppy is losing weight! She has her little waspish waist back! She loves me and I love her. She even tolerates the tiny bit of food she receives, I just have to pet her more.

April 8, 2010

They say the worst bad habit we have is memory

Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Unknown
I'm getting a lot of mail and questions. Some from strangers, some from people that I love. "You dead?" to "Did you give up blogging?"The Dunwich Horror
I'm just tired. Hard tired.
Everyday thoughts go through my head; since I can't write them down, get them from there to here, they stay in my head.
In my skull thoughts get crowded. They swirl around until they form a primordial mélange. Working nights leaves me constantly sleepy. After work, in the morning, I care for my puppy; dose myself with my drugs; stick myself in the belly with insulin needles; answer as many emails as I can (more for my puppy than myself - it's more important that the kids know she, my puppy, is fine and swaggering); look for another job; deal with things I have to deal with and then fall into disturbed and anxious sleep.
I toss and jumble myself while trying to rest. And the thoughts settle into their confused sparking mélange and the past stays merged with the present.
The job in the Quasi-Casino has disrupted the undemanding plan for my life. Survival; traded my life plan for survival. We have to do that too much.

There are things I can't forget that need remembering.

I was walking with my puppy in the dark, before work, on a warm and windless night, when we heard a strange noise. Can't describe it. It wasn't noise it was just a sound, a vibration in the ground. Then by street lamp and moonlight we watched a 35 foot tree snap off the trunk 8 feet off the ground and crash to earth.
My puppy and I were enchanted. The owner of the tree's backyard came running out. Ruined a bit of Betty Page by William George
Click images for desktop size: "Betty Page" by William George
the atmosphere. All I remember about our conversation is that he said "wow" a lot.

It was time for my puppy's annual physical. She was fine. The vet gives you a little sheet detailing all the various tests and things. At the bottom Dr K wrote, "She IS great!" with "is" double underlined.
My puppy is always so happy. She makes me happy even when she repeats her same old jokes a dozen times a day.
There was a fairly recent report revisiting the intelligence of dogs. They now figure dogs can remember over 250 words and have a general intellect comparable to a human 3 year old.
That's easy to accept. A combination of better testing techniques, evolution and better breeding practices.
The AKC used to start their description of Belgian Shepherds with the unequivacable statement, "the Experiment in Terror most intelligent breed."
Politics costs Belgians that statement, but politics can't take away their dark chimp like eyes and unyielding affections.
My puppy loves her kong. That's a hard rubber toy. Two years ago my puppy lost her kong in a snow drift. My puppy loves her kong; not any kong only her kong.
There was a snowstorm recently. At the height of the storm my Lucille Ball
Click images for desktop size: "Lucille Ball"
puppy got frantic. She insisted on going out. She ran to a pile of snow, dug for a minute and came out of the hole with her kong in her mouth. She trotted inside, giving me the eye as she brought her outside toy to the inside. It had to be inside, she had to know it was safe.
What impresses me is that she pulled an event from 2 years ago; saw it as a problem and came up with a solution.

Went to the doctor. Part of my heart is dead. Not the part that hates or the part that loves.
Got the bill for my emergency room visit: 20 minutes - $4,780. Yeah.
We don't need health care reform. Hospitals are as trustworthy as Wall Street Banks.

I saw one of the best pro "rasslin'" matches ever recently. On this alternative show, "Ring of Honor."
The show is cool. Kind of gritty, kind of cheap and highly entertaining. It's not as comic book-y or stupid as the generic WWE bizzaro world.
ROH does less talking and more yelling. They play the little dramas faster and with more intensity.
In the last WWE show they talked for 30 minutes before the first match started.
Jack Kirby
Click images for desktop size: "The Mighty Thor" by Jack Kirby
The ROH match that blew me away was The American Wolves vs The Young Bucks.
it was great. In its best moments it was as exhilarating as Chan Cheh Venoms movie with bodies flying through the air at breathtaking speed and landing and launching from impossible angles. It wasn't the sophomoric soap opera slowed down treacle sports entertainment, it was four guys pretending to beat each other up really really well. It was sweat infused art.

Some where around here I got married. It was actually March 17. The date had no significance to me before. All I did was agree to it.
There was no big decision for me. The only thoughtful part was being certain I wasn't marrying to have someone put roses on my grave.
The ceremony was okay. There were good dogs in attendance. My wife got all the dogs sparkly Dracula Sucks green bow ties. All the dogs kept them on, even my puppy. Gentle Dog started to lead a cheer during the vows and my puppy who was circling the altar had to go tell him to shut up until it was time and then we all had to whistle and stomp our feet. I liked their participation plenty.
The food was good if a bit too vegetarian for my puppy and me. But it was good. Good music. Good friends etc.
My new "mother-in-law" said something that made me bristle. She's always been obnoxious and rude to me. I don't care much about that. I tend to just ignore her, but she said one of the nastiest things I've ever heard at a wedding to my wife. I still feel like snarling every time I think of it. Her attitude explains a lot.
We got lost returning from the wedding. It bodes well that we got out of it with no big hassle and that dogs kept sleeping quiet in the back.
We did a second wedding the next day. It was out in the woods by a rushing stream. The first "legal: wedding was done by an okay Methodist minister who kept to his own wedding agenda. In this one we got to spout off a lot more. My wife said a lot of pretty words. I kept watching Giant Dog start to amble down the stream. When it was my turn I said my words from memory until Giant Dog got himself into trouble, so then had to stop everything and resuce him until he decided that was good fun and proceeded on a faster clip to get himself into trouble again . . .
I still liked the second wedding better.
It was sad when they left. Even my puppy was sad.

December 20, 2009

The more you can dream, the more you can do
Michael Korda

The Star My puppy and I took a two hour stroll. It was supposed to be an historic ice storm.
We weren't very impressed. I only slipped 4 times, 1 near fall and 0 falls. It's early in the season Calvin and Hobbes but I'd say I'm on track to winning winter.
One the near fall I had to wind mill my arms. The frozen shoulder barely hurt. It didn't rotate around as much as I'd want but it worked. A few months ago I'd have just let the fall happen instead of enduring the pain of moving my arm. So I'm winning everywhere . . . except work. I hate my job. It's the kind of job you have to hate. They don't give you much choice.
I still think like a worker, a laborer, and that its us against them. Sadly, not many of my co-workers agree with me. I ignore them.
One of my coworkers was accused of stealing $1,200. Stupidly the accusation took place right in front of me, which is as stupid and as disorienting as it sounds. After a few moments of pretending I was unaware of what was going on my coworker began, in near tears to beg not to be fired. Management seemed, to me, to be taunting him, saying how this sort of thing usually meant instant termination.
I thought the scene crossed too many lines of decency and humanity. Its pretty bad to have to beg for a cruddy job, in this economy you often feel that sort of trembling fear and anxiety. I understand it too well. It's the only reason I'm still working there.
I felt frozen, I didn't want my coworker to see I'd seen his anguish. I tried talking to management directly and offered up a bit of defense and pointed out I shouldn't be here for this sort of conversation, that it was demeaning for all 3 of us. I tried to offer up a stronger defense but I kept thinking of the new laptop with 4G dongle he'd shown me the day before, and how he was encouraging me to join him in spending a couple hundred bucks for gifts for the other workers.
Xmas I always believe that people are innocent and if they're not then there are things and personalities that I can't understand. The only ones I assume are guilty are governments, management and the powerful who view society as an impediment to their success.
My doubts must have been pretty strong because I couldn't mount a more vigorous defense. I managed to finish up and leave offering up my support. It distracted me all the way home, thinking about the situation. I sent out 3 more resumes when I got home.
The next day I was stunned by an entire wall of edicts all demanding to be signed by me. I fumed and felt like walking out. They were mainly to prevent theft. I'm never to pleased to be accused of being a thief. I have a lot of things I can be called out on but not for being a petty thief. (I always work of the old edict about stealing from your employer: If you're not stealing a minimum of 3 times your annual salary don't do it. That includes taking pens or paperclips. I mean, you are going to get caught.)
It turns out the coworker offered to make up the shortage at $20 per month . . . that's five years by Holiday Comics my calculator . . . great job security or I'm the fool for being honest. I mean, a five year zero interest loan . . .
That didn't bug me near as much as the 18 new rules and procedures I had to stomach on Christmas week.
I didn't walk out. Not more mature and level headed, just older and more fearful.

I'm enjoying having the TV. Still have mixed feelings about the WDTV Live. Odd thing is my feelings are very strong on loving and hating the device. My friend is coming to visit (with both the crazy dogs - which means my Christmas will be frenetic and most likely happy - just the way I like it!) and she's bringing the AppleTV with her. It's acting up in a way that's affecting a couple thousand people and the New Apple, is of course, ignoring the problem. It's a port problem that seems to have been launched with the new AppleTV 3.01 firmware.
I'll get to compare the two, side by side and I'll try to get it to work.
I did get to watch two of the best films I've seen this year. One's even American made!
"Moon" was a well hyped low budget flic. I liked it. Found it amusing and liked the return of science fiction, as opposed to Sci-Fi, to movies. Its been pretty well hyped so not much need to go over it. I found it a nice reaffirmation of freedom and humanity. Something most American movies seem to ignore in the 21st century.
The other film was denser and more surprising. Since "Running on Karma" I've always figured Johnny To and Ka-Fai Wa as two monster talents waiting to explode. They've done some brilliant work separately and done some light collaborations. this is the first film since "Karma" where've Xmas they've worked together as a team.
The movie is different. Firstly it's a FRENCH production! And stars French icon Johnny Hallyday! It starts off as a pretty standard though superbly made thriller, a move titled "Vengeance" makes it pretty obvious what we're going to see. I figured there'd be some sort of culture conflict, Europe vs Asia sort of thing.
To and Wa are too smart for that, in fact the film proudly touts the humanity of us all, even amidst society's killers. There are plenty of cool scenes and plenty of mayhem. The movie starts to turn at a picnic ground where the prey meets their families for dinner. The hunters stand by refusing to engage while the children are present.
Everyone gets shot up pretty badly. While the hunters administer to their wounds it turns out that Hallyday has a bullet in his skull that will cause him to become a total amnesiac with no long and a very spotty short term memory. An idea lifted in cloth from the cool "Memoir". To is smart enough Action Comics to use that movie as a shorthand stop to dispense with boring exposition.
To uses the device effectively to get to his and Wa's central theme, the nature, purity and need for revenge. When Hallyday's memory finally goes he doesn't remember pictures of his murdered daughter and grand children. He doesn't even remember the meaning of the word revenge.
Anthony Wong gives a solid performance as the hired killer with values and morals as well as brains. Simon Yam plays the villain with over the top glee. Its important he be so despicable to prove the thesis of the movie.
Wong delivers Hallyday over to his pregnant wife and 8 children. He knows he and his crew are going off to die. Since Hallyday offered him everything he had for his revenge Wong leads him to the only safe place he knows.
There in the family Hallyday laughs and spends his days playing with the children. He's happy perhaps for the only time in his life.
The children and mother are upset when the news of their father's death makes the local news. Hallyday only has a polaroid of Wong to tell him that he even knows the man. But he feels the upset around him and feels some how responsible.
Confused and befuddled he falls to his knees at the edge of the ocean and he begins to pray. He has no memory of his religion but for To and Wa faith and belief are instinctual things. And in praying to nothing Hallyday is coming into the zen of his situation. Hallyday sits at the ocean locked in his meditations even as the tide rises and threatens to drown him, even after it recedes he stays locked in his position, until the ghosts of his memory seem to rise from the ocean. The people he has loved Santa and the people he has grown to trust and see as friends rise up and give him release with a kiss.
And Hallyday the blank man from another world rises from the beach and goes off to kill, to seek vengeance. And he's aided cleverly and safely, by the children and the pregnant mother who need their own vengeance.
The idea of vengeance so elegantly woven into a high octane action movie is hard to conceive. It works for me and the film is enough of a hit to say To and Wa pulled it off.
I have a hard time accepting the organic necessity of revenge but that doesn't stop this from being one powerful film that would rank as one of the years best in any year.

I mentioned before that my friend is driving down from Canada to see me for the holidays. I'm touched and pleased and worried. I hope the weather is calmed down enough for her trip to be uninteresting. She'll have the two dogs with her. I don't know if they'll make the trek easier or more Santa Claus Funnies difficult. I'm looking forward to seeing them as well.
I'm poised to have a broke but excellent Christmas. What could be better.

I sort of lost interest in the NFL when the Saints lost tonight. The idea of two undefeated teams meeting in the SuperBowl was staggering and blissful. The Saints with Reggie Bush as the sun, Coulston as the wind and Drew Brees as the tired warrior bringing self esteem to a city and making that his primary goal despite the horrors that his own life have instilled filled me with a pride in the human race. I loved Brees leading the Saints in that pre-game high school rocking cheer. Seeing pros get as up and excited as kids is unique. The Saints may not have own them all but they won my heart. And sometimes a loss like this brings them down hard enough to reality to see them through to win the rest.
Pure crap such an important game was stuck on that dreary contentious NFL network. It should be banned by an act of congress and the NFL's anti-trust exemption revoked.

My picks are in bold.

Indianapolis at Jacksonville - The Colts did their part and the Jaguars made it more than interesting.

Dallas at New Orleans - Curse this shabby Cowboys team.

Christmas Toys Chicago at Baltimore - The Ravens have disappointed this season but still have a shot a playoff spot. The Bears only interest is in drafting some wide receivers.

New England at Buffalo - When will be certain that Tom Brady is really back?

Arizona at Detroit - Two teams coming off embarassing losses. The Lions are used to that.

Cleveland at Kansas City - Cruddy game of the week. The Browns beat the Steelers?

Atlanta at New York Jets - Mark Sanchez should be back and Ryan has the Jets paying some D. The Falcons need more than an 80% Matt Ryan to compete.

Houston at St Louis - A game of no interest whatsoever!

Miami at Tennessee - Two teams whose play off dreams are fading fast, this could still be one of the better games this Sunday. Taking the Vince Young Titans because he's playing inspired football Junior Partners 5.jpg and is pretty fun to watch.

Oakland at Denver - This game should stop the Broncos from achiving an 8-8 record after an 8-0 start!

Cincinnati at San Diego - Game of the Week. Chad Ocho Cinco invites his twitter followers out for breakfast the day before a game and then walks with them to Starbucks for coffee. Plans to wear his dead teammates jersey knowing he'll be fined massively. A teammate dies and it will either inspire or deaden a team. I hope it inspires. This is my second fave team this year. The Chargers will probably when going away but where's the beauty in that?

Tampa Bay at Seattle - Another who cares game.

San Francisco at Philadelphia - I like the 49ers. I don't like the Eagles this year. They took Vick and lied to defend it. They have also played erratic football.

Green Bay at Pittsburgh - The Steelers lost to Cleveland . . . They should just cancel the rest of their season. Maybe they already have.

New York Giants at Washington - Big rivalry game or snooze fest?

Minnesota 41 at Carolina 14 - At sometime they most have thought this would be a relevant game. What records will Favre and Petersen break is the only thing of possible interest.

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Peace on Earth!

December 12, 2009

He was the greatest coach who ever lived; he could take his'n and beat yourn and then he'd take yourn and beat his'n
Bum Phillips

Korean Girl
Click images for desktop size: "Korean Girl" by Unknown
Tired. Just tired.
Need a break. I'm not going to get one. Just have to keep soldering on.JSA
Big fight at work. I had to work Thanksgiving Day. To my chagrin the place was packed. I'd hoped it would be empty so that the bosses would think it'd be worthless being open Christmas. But it was packed.
When the paychecks came was when there was the hassle. All my co workers worked 4 hours shifts and got paid for 12 hours. I worked an 8 hours shift and got paid for . . . 12 hours. To the bosses this was fair. They claim I got paid the same as everybody else. I don't see how anybody but a boss could make that math work.
I took the day off to prevent me from freaking out and quitting. I bought a TV.
It's a decent enough TV. I'd have liked bigger and better but I could afford this one. I got a 42" Panasonic plasma for about $400. Lots of searching and coupons. I wanted plasma for the brighter picture and the wider viewing angle. Looking for now and into the future. After the LCD price fixing came to light today it also made sense.
For content I got a Western Digital TV Live. It lists for 120 but I got it for 50 from ebay. It's okay. Adding on an external hard drive makes it compare okay to the AppleTV.
It's a dense path to compare them. The AppleTV is simpler, has a more elegant interface and greater accessibility to internet content, mainly via hacks with Boxee and XBMC. The AppleTV is notoriously underpowered and greatly compromised as to formats it can play. Just another way that Apple has decided to compromise the product to appease content makers to the detriment of consumers. This is the new media age, the old refusing to acknowledge the future. Just fighting to gouge money from us while providing inferior product.
THE WDTV Live has a clunky interface, that's fit more for nerds than for ease. With a USB WIFI card Leto by Artemus Rosakis
Click images for desktop size: "Leto" by Artemus Rosakis
it connects to everything on my little network and streams everything less than 1080p without a stutter. Xvid and DivX look cruddy. They're dead end codecs and show it. MKV files look sparkling and breathtaking. The AppleTV used to stutter on 720p mkv files loaded on the hard drive! There's not stutter at all on the WD.
Some content inexplicably gets out of sync on the WD. It makes no sense as I encode everything the same way. I can't figure it out yet. Still with 1080p playback compared to AppleTV's 1080i the WD has a distinct edge.
Of course there's no iTunes integration in the WD. The WD also has a pretty poor access to the internet. It does YouTube, but without the AppleTV elegance. The WD has a nasty Flickr interface and no account sign on ability. One of the niftiest AppleTV features is the Flickr screensaver. The WD offers nothing but a flashing logo screensaver that is brutally ugly, something only a Windows user could tolerate.
I'll write more when I use it. On the flash I'd prefer an AppleTV with 1080p and the versatility of the Souperman WD Live.
I've suffered through work coping with crack addicts in the parking lot (I thought smoking crack was so 90's) attempted robberies and trying hard not to quit. I need to work. I need money, even small amounts.
On Wednesday I had my EMG test. I really wasn't prepared for it. I got 5 separate calls urging me to show up, constantly reconfirming. I guess that should have been a clue as to what to expect. When I arrived at the clinic 3 people recognized me. One as the fellow with the black dog and 2 saw me as the man from "the casino".
The test was pretty arduous. It lasted 3 and a half hours . . . The first part was attaching electrodes to various body parts and then shocking the hell out of me. On the computer this produced a pattern that looked like pink noise in an aiff editor. Just a block of jagged lines.
The next part was sticking needles into the nerves and then recording the electric pulse. This all hurt.
There was apparently three levels of damage to my nerves that had to be worked through. The first was from the neurotoxin laden chemo therapy from years ago. This was an abrupt sort of one time damage. The second is the nerve degeneration caused by diabetes. This is chronic but slow. The final one was limited to my right frozen shoulder, here the damage is from my "guarding" the arm so much as to have compressed and damaged the ulnar nerve. There is also traumatic damage. I was hurting to much to explain this was from the torture inflicted on me by the Canadian authorities.
The neurologist will examine the results and decide if there's a fix. I'll see him this Friday.
Lara Croft by Adam Hughes
Click images for desktop size: "Lara Croft" by Adam Hughes
All in all its been a rough couple of weeks. The only saving grace has been my puppy who never tires of delighting and caring for me. She's a good girl who tolerates my shortcomings and endures my oafishness.
My puppy and thinking about football.
I'm concerned about USC. I think Pete Carroll is a brilliant football coach. I have no desire to see him leave the program. I want him to prosper again and I feel confident in him. Which doesn't lessen the sting of this incredibly dire season. I think Carroll's meltdown about Mark Sanchez leaving early is explained pretty much by the poor play of freshman Matt Barkley. The kid has talent but this year he showed nothing that would let me think he could take USC to the National Championship in 2010, 11 or 12. I now have higher hopes for stud QB Jessie Scroggins. I think he'll press Barkley more than Corp or Mustain.
As the season progressed I saw no improvement in Barkley's, footwork, his reads or his forcing of passes. He still locks onto his primary receiver and recognizes the outlet pass too late. As opponents got more film of him he was easy to adjust to.Star Wars in Concert
USC was victimized with far too many crippling injuries, starting with the devastating near fatal loss of Stefon Johnson. With the bizarre nature of Stefon's injury coupled with the way the O and D line were pushed around its apparent to me that Carroll needs a new, invigorated Strength and Conditioning coach.
We also need a better O Coordinator. If Charlie Weiss hadn't been an ass and made his scandalous actionable comments about Pete Carroll I fantasized about him being the O-Coordinator. He'd actually have been a good fit and would have aggravated Carroll as much as Norm Chow had, and that partnership produced Championships. But with his criminally cruel lies I honestly think the man should be banned from football for life.
Jeremy Bates did nothing to develop Barkley and his play calling was far too NFL and completely dull and unimaginative.
The Emerald Bowl is too soon to see if there will be any chance for this group to rebound next year.
A to the NFL it's getting shocking in its mediocrity. Two weeks ago I was a very good 14-2 in my picks. Last week a not so stellar 10-6. I also got myself bounced out of the Survivor game by picking New England over Miami!

This week I've dreamed about the games and pondered them as I've walked and stalked the neighborhood with my puppy.
My picks are in bold.

Pittsburgh at Cleveland - Talk about a dire season. From SuperBowl Champs to getting hammered Little Men
Click images for desktop size: "Little Men" by Unknown
by the Browns. The Steelers are missing only one player, former Trojan Troy Polomanu. Without him it seems they are less than ordinary.

New Orleans at Atlanta - I've idolized Drew Brees since his days at Purdue and now he's proved its all worthwhile. Undefeated and looking indestructible, the little guy still finds time to be one of the major charitable rebuilders of the still devastated New Orleans. He's a great player who easily wears the demigod symbolism overcoming the suicide of his mother with his commitment to his community and his teammates. He is becoming legend and I want him to propel himself into history. The Falcons season is destructing with the injuries to Matt Ryan and Michael Turner. Ryan might come back this week but there's no word on Turner. The Falcons need the duo to compete.

New York Jets at Tampa Bay - Mark Sanchez is squawking? He's just a game manager right now Strange Invaders who needs to make a couple of plays a game. He's a good kid who listens and learns. The Buccaneers are showing life and getting competitive but now there's enough film for Ryan to adapt and fire up his under talented D.

Carolina at New England - The Patriots could be the biggest disappointment of 2009, except the Steelers seem to want that honor. They're at home and Brady is a new father. That should be Natalie Wood
Click images for desktop size: "Natalie Wood"
enough for some inspired play. Carolina is . . . 52 men strong or something.

Cincinnati at Minnesota - Game of the Week. The Vikings need to rebound. They were totally dismantled by Arizona last week. The Bengals need to win to keep their confidence up as they continue to over achieve. The Vikings have to prove that last week was a blip. They may have lost home field advantage in the playoffs but they still need to win the division. I'm taking the Bengals because of Carson Palmer and my love for Chad Ocho Cinco. I wish I could force the NFL to let Chad celebrate his scores. His antics and tough play are the highlight of any given NFL week. This one will be a burner.

Buffalo at Kansas City - Cruddy game of the week. I don't care that both teams are coming off of huge upset wins they stink.

Detroit at Baltimore - The Lions have decided to spare Matt Stafford a beating and sit him sown for this one. The Ravens will just be happy to get back onto a winning track I can't see the Lions Lonesome Cowboy
Click images for desktop size: "Lonesome Cowboy" by NFL Films
stopping them from doing anything they want to do.

Green Bay at Chicago - The Packer D is real and solid. I wonder if the Bears have anyone checking Jay Cutler's blood sugars. He is not as bad a player as he has looked. (I'm serious about the blood sugars)

Seattle at Houston - The Ho Hum game of the week. Two teams with nothing to play for. Why are we subjected to this?

Denver at Indianapolis - This could be interesting but probably not. The Colts are turning into monsters and the Broncos are working to stumble to finish the season at 500.

Miami at Jacksonville - This is a game that fails to fire the imagination. The Dolphins will be high off their stunning win over the Pats and the Jaguars will be desperate to save their jobs. It could prove interesting but won't produce much good football.
Swamp Thing
Washington at Oakland - Cruddy game of the Week II. The Redskins couldn't beat the Saints even though New Orleans was missing 4 starters. The Raiders beat somebody. We were all amazed.

St Louis at Tennessee - The Vince Young Titans hit the reality wall but the fantasy should start rolling again against the hapless Rams. Has Steve Jackson demanded a trade yet?

San Diego at Dallas - The Chargers are playing some decent football while the Cowboys are still pretending the NFC East is the toughest division in football . . . Philip Rivers or Tony Romo? Does Romo really think holding for field goals is going to spark the team? The HC agreed??

Arizona at San Francisco - The Cardinals look like they're ready for another run deep in the playoffs while the 49er's keep playing good football but just have too little talent to make it all work.

Philadelphia 27 at New York Giants 24 - The Giants look like a train wreck. The Eagles less so. I resent them allowing Michael Vick to contribute while not forcing him to honestly fulfill his promises to the community.

November 16, 2009

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight
Kahlil Gibran

The Blue Marble
Click images for desktop size: "The Blue Marble" by Unknown
I don't know if this will work.
Typing with one finger on my iPod while I wait to be disturbed. Q
Might be interesting or maybe just a mess.
I surely hate my job. For the first time I can see that gambling is an addiction and maybe the worst of the non-substance abuse ones. If the gamblers weren't, for the most part, so rude and self obsessed it would be easy to pity them.
Pity is all I could muster. I try to but I can't come close to understanding their compulsion.
Like, I can comprehend the crack whore peddling sex to fund her addiction but I draw a blank in empathy and comprehension when I watch the female gamblers offer their bodies up the same way.
Sometimes it bugs me. Like the women on ADC (Aid to Dependent Children) spending their month's worth of money and then trying to sell the kid's food stamps. It bugs me as if it were me stealing the food and the clothes from their babies. When I run through the stuff to get to where I can live with it the only thing I have is pity. Pity is a pretty nasty emotion when it's people or dogs you're thinking or feeling about.
I remind myself it's just a job. I mop and sweep; take out the trash; take their money and put it in the till. Sometimes They win and I pay them. I watch them gamble the rent money to win the money for the light bill.
It feels pretty tawdry if you think about it. I try not to think at all.
I'm always so tired and needing sleep, that helps a lot for not thinking.
The people here think of me as the guy who cleans. Mop and bucket. Not souls or conscious.

November 1, 2009

USC 20 Oregon 47

Happy Halloween by Julia Nikolaeva
Click images for desktop size: "Happy Halloween" by Julia Nikolaeva
I'm not feeling too great. Mostly in my head and heart. My body feels mostly like it always does.
It was a pretty good day. Got things done that pleased me. But then the letter A stopped working on Maniac my keyboard and that started the slide.
I couldn't avert the slide, even when I discovered the keyboard is still under warranty. Now I just have to get it there to exchange it. Another task. Just means that's the keyboard wasn't the root of the issue, just the last straw sort of thing.
My job is pretty horrible. The hours make it worse. Not only am I always exhausted but I deal with the degenerate gambler types. They're not very nice or polite. After the first week they're not interesting. Their differences are all overwhelmed by their identical compulsion. This is pretty low rent legal gambling so I guess I shouldn't have been distressed to discover the compulsion is something for nothing. Most of my "customers" don't have jobs. They describe sitting in a chair and clicking a mouse to make the electronic slot wheels to spin as hard work. Maybe it is. I tried it and found it boring.
There's not even a rush. For this to be legal, and right now it is legal, this is a sweepstakes. The winnings are determined as soon as you sit down and log in. The slot machine aspect is simply a reader to hook you in. What they spend hours doing could be accomplished in about 10 seconds. But then they wouldn't keep spending money.
People do win, the biggest winner was $9,000. It doesn't really matter to me. These people don't tip. They run me ragged but it never dawns on them to tip. Their attitude is that it's my job and they feel no need to show gratitude or pay a gratuity. So I clean up their messes, protect them from the predators because it's my job and I'm paid plenty . . . I've heard them say often, "Don't pick up the garbage. It's his job, let him do it."
The women are almost all enormously fat. They don't want to sit on the toilet seat so they crouch Death
Click images for desktop size: "Death" by Unknown
sort of over it but they are so big they mainly urinate all over the floor and then complain about how the bathroom stinks. I clean it up.
I bought three bags of Halloween candy. I figured it was too much for any trick or treaters. We got one here. So I was giving it away to some of the people. It made me feel human. One person said thanks. Mainly they wanted to exchange it for something better. Most came up and demanded their free candy. Nearly all complained about the selection . . .
It wears you down. When they lose they get nasty. And I'm the only one around who they're pretty sure won't slug or shoot them for being nasty.
And I need a job. I make enough to be broke. I'm still far enough down the poverty scale to still be eligible for food stamps and free medical. Without a job I'd be even more lost.
Then there's my continuing war with governments. I wonder why I suddenly became so important that they need to fight so viciously. There's nothing bureaucratic or professional about it. Its just cruelty. Ridiculously I understand it. People want me to fight. I want to fight for justice, just like in MAgnum Force the comic books but I am so weary.
I miss my things. I never thought that I'd be one of those people that's defined by his possessions. I like my music. I like being able to watch football. I like my clothes. Maybe the broken keyboard reminded me that the only thing I have left is this computer. It keeps my music. It stores my movies. I watch them here now. It's not satisfying. Its hard to get lost in a story on a computer screen. At least it is for me. I keep checking emails.
Betty Hutton
Click images for desktop size: "Betty Hutton"
I just feel beaten up. It will pass. Depression doesn't scare me. I'm not suicidal really. Never have been. But sometimes I get in these moods. Fortunately I have a good dog who loves me nearly as much as she loves her Kong, her ice cream, her treats, her food . . . I'm sure I'm in there somewhere.
The first time my puppy and I met she bit me! After being separated by the heart attack episode she snapped at me. We have that kind of relationship. She knows I'm depressed so she acts the clown. That's hard for her. She's a pretty beautiful dignified thing most of the time.
I can't be depressed too long. If a cure consists of more than a kiss and scratching her butt or chasing her for the Kong she gets confused. She needs to know that what she does works. She needs to know that I am okay. Its those traits in her that make her a great therapy dog and why the children love her.
Right now I smile because I think of how incredibly tickled she gets when she makes me chase her for the Kong. She is so overjoyed she looks like she could explode with joyousness. If she were human she'd have to sit down and laugh for 10 minutes while wiping away tears. Right now she's awakened and looks at me just long enough to make sure I'm okay. If I weren't she'd come over and doctor me, whether I wanted doctoring or not.
Dracula's Daughter
Click images for desktop size: "Dracula's Daughter" by Universal Pictures
When I'm not here she spends most of her time waiting for me. That saddens me.
Halloween was fine. My favorite pet store is going out of business. I went to their last day sale and got some good bargains.
The crazy people on the corner, the ones who over decorate their house. (Spiders crawling up the wall, a graveyard with animated figures, giant cats and purple spiders, billowing smoke , music and sound effects - it almost sounds slick. It isn't. Its WalMart cheesiness run rampant) The husband dressed up as Leatherface and was chasing the trick or treaters with a toy chainsaw. It was enough of a show that the street was blocked with parked cars and kids waiting their turn to ask for candy and get chased.
They did this for themselves, not for charity or for profit but for the fun. Somethings are nice in small towns.
I went to the Chinese restaurant and spent my last 6 bucks on some Mu Shu chicken. When ever I get mu shu I always wonder why those pancakes are so valuable, I mean they give you a pint of muThe Midnight Story shu and four pancakes!
I watched the USC-Oregon game on-line. It was pathetic but I'm still a Trojan. Always will be. It's okay to gloat over our worse loss in 8 years, cause its been 8 years and seven consecutive championships. We'll probably still go to a bowl game. It was a bad loss but that's all it was.

I don't feel much like going into great detail on my NFL picks this week. But so many people like to ridicule me over them it feels like it would be selfish to not make them public.
Last week I was 8-6. As usual I was pretty happy about losing half the games and flummoxed by the other 3. My friend somehow stumbled to identical record. Her cheating ways have stopped paying off! She remains five points ahead for the season. But you can sense that I'm about to make my move!

As always my picks are in bold.

Denver at Baltimore - Denver is not as good as their 6-0 record . . . which is probably one of the Fashion Plate
Click images for desktop size: "Fashion Plate" by NFL Films
ridiculous things my friends like to hear me say. The thing is that the Broncos think they are a perfect tam and that kind of belief very often works. The Ravens are a lot better than 3-3 and they know it. Attitude and home-field advantage make me pick the Ravens.

Cleveland at Chicago - I'm sleeping through this one, if the Bears can stay awake they should throttle the dispirited Browns.

Seattle at Dallas - The Cowboys win last week was one of the games that bugged me. I don't like this team much at all. The SeaHawks are the new trademark of the NFL completely erratic.

St Louis at Detroit - Cruddy game of the year, perhaps the decade! I have no memory of what prompted me to pick the Lions. Who cares who wins. Maybe they can figure out how to tie.

Houston at Buffalo - The Texans have become the flavor of the month recently. They won two games they had no business winning and did it convincingly, I still think they stink. Their wins arMondo Cane e more a product of the diluted NFL product than talent or skill. The Bills have looked surprisingly better, like they whipped the schoolyard bully and are now going after all comers. It should be interesting.

San Francisco at Indianapolis - I really like the 49ers and where they're going. They're playing good football and have a definite future except they lack a lot of talent. The Colts don't lack much of anything.

Miami at the New York Jets - The Dolphins played the game of their lives and instead of a win they ran into the Dru Brees, Reggie Bush thrasher. Incredible game, good enough to keep faith in the NFL. Can the JEts stop Ricky Williams? Probably not but I don't think the Dolphins can stop Mark Sanchez and the hot dog!!

Oakland at San Diego - My Survivor Pick of the week. Not chosen cause the Chargers are so good but because the Raiders are so bad.

Jacksonville at Tennessee - The Jaguars are starting to play good football while the Titans are 0-6 and bringing head case and USC destroyer Vince Young back as starting QB. So I'm picking the team in disarray because it just feels like them winning would be the better story.

Carolina at Arizona - After their great win at New York last week it's a sure bet they won't be ready
Click images for desktop size: "Face" by MK20Face by MK20 to lie down against the enigma team that is the Carolina Panthers.

Minnesota at Green Bay - For some reason the big story if Brett Favre returning to Green Bay and Lambeau Field. I think the big story is that they're coming off a loss and Adrian Petersen ain't happy.

Atlanta at New Orleans - Game of the Week. The Saints are undefeated . . . The Falcons are rising rapidly but the Saints are undefeated . . . A good one on Monday Night!

New York Giants 30 at Philadelphia 28 - Now we no longer have to hear about how the NFC East is the best division in football. They stink like the rest of them.

October 25, 2009

Oregon State 36 USC 42

Bleed by Janet Angus
Click images for desktop size: "Bleed" by Janet Angus
Once again my week has consisted primarily of recovering from work and falling asleep in the wrong places.The Last Man on Earth
My job gets no better. At least it is a job. I work Midnight till 8 AM and I get at least 5 people a night wanting job apps. Since two thirds of those are gamblers I do wonder what money they are using to play with, but thats a different point.
The big point is at least it's a job. I get paid. I dislike it with an edged bitterness which I start each shift willing myself to forget. Gamblers appear to be rude, obnoxious schemers. I extend myself to be courteous to the point of unctuousness. About 1 in 20 respond with even a curt acknowledgment. When I pay them their winnings I get perhaps one thank you in 50.
The same way I'm often pleased that I don't drink or get high I'm pleased that I don't have any impulses that demand I gamble. Just lucky I guess.
I realized this week that I had some long stretches where my shoulder did not hurt! I'd get the stabs if I used to much or twisted it around behind me but just sitting or walking I had no pain. It was a unique experience. I also noted I have much more use of the arm, I'd guess and my physical therapist agrees, that I have about 60% use of my right arm!
I was feeling so good I made the mistake of telling my physical therapist about it. I forgot an absence of pain is merely an excuse for him to hurt me even more. I've gotten4 more exercises to do each day. They're simple enough and hurt like hell but getting my arm back is so worth it.
The orthopedist came into my Friday session and checked me out. I have a knot in my trapezius about the size of a baseball. When I'm lying down it hurts like a son of a gun when I move my head. The doc just pointed out that its one of the worst of the "defensive" damages I've done to myself trying to cope with the pain of my shoulder. The main focus in my physical therapy now is trying to Candles
Click images for desktop size: "Candles" by Unknown
loosen up the shoulder tendons so I can get full mobility back one day, bringing the atrophied muscles back and eliminating the damage done by the cop torture and my trying to cope with the agony of the shoulder for 8 months.
The general feeling from the two doc's and the physical therapist that another 6 months of me trying to survive (like the Canadian doc insisted I do) would have resulted in the loss of the arm. I still have to see a neurologist to assess how much damage I've done to my ulnar nerve. They thinks its possible if not probable that I've damaged it in more than one place. A third of my right hand is still numb. I've gotten used to that.
The other big event was getting my monthly supply of drugs. A pain. There's one that isn't covered under any of the plans I'm on. Means I have to buy it from the drugstore at full price. Careful shopping has me getting it at $32 for a month's supply. It's not covered because it's a medicine for heart attack victims that is pretty well restricted to leukemia victims. This confuses me. It feels like The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue I'm being penalized for being too sick or something. It becomes a niggling complaint when two of the drugs I seriously need to survive, Plavix for my heart and Lantus for the diabetes (a 24 hour insulin) might become unavailable. The program that got these for me has run out of funding. I might be stuck.
I have about 3 weeks of Plavix left and about 3 months of inulin in hand.
I got to speak to a curt nurse who is in charge of the program. She wasn't too helpful other than they were trying. I'll have to shop around. I know they're expensive. This month the drugs cost me $180 which is a lot but still a great deal. I can almost afford it.
While I was picking up my drugs you can't help but notice that the economy (unemployment and low wages) combined with inept health care has packed out the clinic I depend on for survival. As in it normally takes me about 10 minutes to go in, pay for and pick up my drugs. This Friday it took over two hours. Of course I fell asleep and missed them calling me by about 3 minutes. I got aggro and pushed to the head of a line and got it sorted right away. The workers all thought it was funny I had Blackfeet Burning Crow Buffalo Range by Charles Marion
Click image for desktop size: "Blackfeet Burning Crow Bufallo Range" by Charles Marion
fallen asleep because I'd been standing.
My housemate took his new dog into the vet. He went to see my puppy's Dr K, which I felt was fairly cool. The new guy checked out fine. Dr K tried to talk my housemate into taking him to an obedience class. Don't think it took.
The new guy checked out fine except he had whip worm which is fairly contagious. I took my puppy's stool sample to this vet's office up by my work. I'd never take her there except in a psycho type emergency but to look at feces under a microscope I think they're fine.
They told me that she didn't have worms. I was glad for that. When I got home I was petting her head. She had this lump on her head I had been putting off to her tussling with the new guy. It wasn't a lump, it was a tick!
Since she uses Pfizer's Revolution (at about $45 a pop) she's not supposed to get ticks. I used alcohol to try and loosen it. I'm still worried that I got the entire thing out of her skull. I'm now The Legend of Hillbilly John terrified of her getting some nasty infection. For every inch of terror I have an equal amount of anger of Pfizer's product not working. Since Revolution is also supposed to prevent heart worm I'm agitated that it might have failed there too. I hate that I was duped into trusting a mega corporation, a company that blithely pollutes the water table and various other crimes against humanity. Why I would think that a company like that would do their best to protect my puppy makes me angry with myself.

Last week was a rough time in the NFL. I valiantly managed to Angelina Jolie
Click images for desktop size: "Angelia Jolie"
struggle to a manly 8-6 record with my picks. My friend using arcane arts, blind luck and clearly some cheating went 11-3. I should point out 11-3 is not good enough to get a prize.
For the season she leads 63 to 58. For some reason she now thinks she can give me tips on football! She's even taken to sending me her picks so I can have a chance to change mine!
I might have to become a soccer fan . . .

As usual my picks are in bold.

Green Bay at Cleveland - The Brown's season continues to sink into the quagmire. They tried to look stout against the Bengals last week but it was still a defeat. Their season can be summed up by Brady Quinn, the former Notre Dame, has been squawking that his being benched for ineffective play will cost him millions in potential incentives . . . The Packers have not been very reliable this season but against the Browns all they really need to do is show up.

San Francisco at Houston - The Texans were surprisingly strong last week upsetting the Bengals. Pin Up Art by JW McGinnis
Click images for desktop size: "Pin Up Art" by JW McGinnis
Schaub threw 4 TD passes. I can't see him duplicating anything like that against Mike Singletary's 49ers, especially with them coming off a bye week. The idea of the 49ers being in first in the woeful West is the only thing I find interesting about this game.

San Diego at Kansas City - The Chargers looked pathetic in their must win game against Denver last week. They managed to all but eliminate themselves for the division championship. The Chiefs managed to win their first gamer of the season against the hapless Redskins which gives us the Cruddy Game of the Week. Week 6 is too early for a meaningless game in the NFL but here it is.

Minnesota at Pittsburgh - Game of the Week! Brett Favre, Adrian Petersen and a stout D have the Vikings undefeated. The Steelers can answer them on all fronts except they have nothing in the running game to compare to Petersen, who does? Troy Polamanu is back and looking full strength.The Lost Boys The Steelers need him, without Troy I'd almost make this a lock for the Vikings. You have to figure the Vikings front four will knock Rothlisberger around some, not enough to stop him , but enough to keep it interesting, Hines Ward will destroy the Vike's secondary but Favre will return the favor. Dick LeBeau will scheme to stop Petersen but no one has yet. This has the potential to be a classic game. I can hardly wait. It feels like whoever has the ball last will win this one.

Indianapolis at St Louis - This is my must win Survivor game. A certain female football know it all isn't in the Survivor game any more . . . I'd feel sorry for the Rams. This has to be a low spot in their season, having to face an undefeated Colts squad that actually appears to be getting sharper and more confident with each week of play.

New England at Tampa Bay - If I didn't have friends in England I'd be opposed to the NFL tax deductible trip to the UK, but I'm pleased the kids get to see Tom Brady. This game is so unfair to the Bucs. The Patriots throw up 59 points. To have to face these guys at home is daunting enough but to give up even that little edge when you're a pretty inept team seems cruel.

Buffalo at Carolina - The Bills are banged up beyond belief, their stirring win over the Jets came at a high price. It could give them some sort of karmic edge, a lot of guys are going to get their chance to make an impact sort of thing . . . nah. The Panthers are healthy and should roll on this Afterglow by Maxfield Parrish
Click images for desktop size: "Afterglow" by Maxfield Parrish

New York Jets at Oakland - I loved it when the pigeon decided to play special teams for the Raiders. Watching it fly downfield and keeps it lane was awesome. When the very forces of nature are with you, when the animal kingdom is rising up angry against the Eagles and Michael Vick it's a glorious thing. Sadly for the Raiders the Jets don't have that sort of nasty baggage, they just have a clear eyed rookie QB who's coming off his worst game as a pro. Sanchez needs a stellar game to keep his confidence up. The Jets defense will get a much needed boost of confidence facing a bumbling offense.

Atlanta at Dallas - This is a hard game to read. Could the Cowboys be as bad as they've looked this season? The Falcons are playing well enough to clearly expose them. The Cowboys running game will find it rough going against the Falcons front 7 which will put the game in Romo's hands. Only Falcon fans want to see that happen. Matt Ryan will continue to impress.

New Orleans at Miami - The Dolphins must be praying for a hurricane. That's the only thing they LSD Flesh of Devil can do to slow down the Drew Brees Machine. The Saints defense matches up too well against the Dolphins O. I expect the Ricky WIlliams Wildcat will put up some points but there's no way it keeps up with the Saints' scoring.

Chicago at Cincinnati - One of the most interesting games of the week. Jay Cutler managed to lose the game to the Falcons almost single handedly. He's too good to do that two weeks in a row. The Bengals were either exposed or just had a bad day against a buzz saw in their loss to the Texans. So two talented teams with chips on their shoulders, both teams in bad need of a win to have a chance at the post season. Sounds like a game! I adore Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco. With Cedric Benson looking revitalized he's in a great position to make the Bears regret their less than stellar treatment of him. Revenge is a great way to win football games. This should be interesting and is only a Game of the Week contender instead of the Game of the Week because both teams are coming off of losses.

Philadelphia at Washington - What a stinker. And another game that is already close to meaningless. The most interesting thing will be seeing if a tornado hits the stadium and snatches Vick away to Oz. What a cruddy Monday night game.

Arizona 14 at New York Giants 27 - The Cardinals have yet to win on the East coast. With the Giants feeling exposed and brutal after having almost half a century hung on them by the Saints it's a bad time to be searching for an identity. Not my choice for a prime time game but its better than most of the schedule. Warner will keep it mildly interesting.

October 18, 2009

USC 34 Notre Dame 27

Untitled by Steve Argyle
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Stephen Youll
Its been a long week. They all are, or at least seem to be. Lonely most of the time.A lot of things that seemed important became trivial or forgotten.
I'm just now shaking the cold. Two weeks. I felt congestion building up in my lungs. When I walkedJuvenile Jungle up the big hill at night it felt like pneumonia was going to win out for sure. Massive doses of Vitamin C seemed to do the trick there. I do not like the feeling of drowning on dry land.
The graveyard shift hours continue to weigh heavily on me. I remain just constantly exhausted, constantly in need of sleep. I keep dozing off like a narcoleptic. At least I don't drive. It would be scary if I did. My puppy has taken it upon herself to lead me places. She knows better than I do when I'm walking in my sleep.
My days off are spent exhausted while I try and give my body some time to heal so I can survive the coming week. Pretty creepy cycle.
Work is the same. It's a terrible job. I got another raise. That just seems odd to me. Money doesn't make me hate the job any less. Two more people have quit. Couldn't take the abuse from our customers.
I guess gamblers are abusive. It comes with being obsessed and unable to comprehend the rest of the world. I've snapped at a couple of them. They either apologize or else they get huffy and tell me how to do my job. Even old and crippled I can intimidate the latter group.
Also for reasons I can't comprehend all my fellow employees hate each other. They probably hate me too but like to talk to me and tell me how much they hate the others. Since we only see each other about 15 minutes day this just seems stupid to me and a huge waste of vehement energy. The main complaint is that the other emplyees won't do what they're told and the only reaction is nasty gossip. Stupid. See?
My physical therapist came back from his conference this week. I went in. Even though the sessions are doing me a lot of good the traveling there just wears me out even more. At this session I got two more daily exercises. I've gotten the two tendons in my shoulder loose enough to start working on the third tendon.
My shoulder blade has also gotten locked in and I have to loosen it. The new exercises are so Supermom
Click images for desktop size: "Supermom" by Unknown
nothing looking but they are excruciating for me.
For the shoulder blades I have to put my hands against the wall and lock my elbows. I then have to raise my head and chest to the ceiling and then lower them while trying to raise the shoulder blades from the rib cage. When I do it right its electric. I seem to do them wrong most of the time.
The other requires a stick. I put one end in the palm of my hand and push it with the other hand as far back as I can stand, which is not very far.
My other personal high lights: I got a new pair of shoes, on sale; 90 bucks gotten for 40. I got a haircut - bad haircut. Amazon.com was for some unknown reason giving away the entire Mojo Nixon catalog! I like Mojo Nixon just enough to download his stuff for free. Further mystery: the stuff was only free in the US.
I got a couple of people asking me how I came to my conclusion of not wanting to work with the high school football team, especially since the coach said all the right things.Jeopardy
It might be difficult to explain even though it shines with crystal clarity in my mind. Every coach has certain things they want to do, would love to do with their teams on the field. They have a vision. In the NFL you get to draft players to fulfill that vision, you get to sign free agents to make it complete. It's the same way a conductor goes about hiring musicians for his orchestra.
In college ball the coaches and staff get to recruit players who they feel can help them realize their vision.Its only in high school football and below that the coach has little say in who is going to play for him. For me this is one of the challenges and the great beauties of Mike Tyson
Click images for desktop size: "Mike Tyson"
this level of football when seen only as a game; that the coaches have to adapt and change their philosophies and hence grow alongside their players as they envision and dream of ways to win together. It's a different relationship to the players and to the game.
I like a wide open game. Wide splits from my O-Line, a punishing FB and a zippy RB with a QB who can rifle the ball 30 yards down field on every play. Except you seldom get the players who fit the mold.
Some coaches stick to their diagram and they can teach well enough to win and every five or six years they produce a champion. But they still have to adapt if only begrudgingly.
I've had a 5'2 135 pound full back. I've had O-Lines where the heaviest player was my 180 pound tackle. I've had QB's who had no accuracy further than 20 yards down field. But we all worked together and figured out ways to win.
The Wing T formation, of which the present day Wildcat formation is a variation, was invented by a coach who had small players and no defense. He came up with it as a way to control the ball and the clock, forcing a low scoring game and giving his kids a chance to win. The spread and the veer Swan King by Michael Parkes
Click images for desktop size: "Swan King" by Michael Parkes
were invented for the similar reasons.
Now the coach I was talking to liked to run a no huddle offense. That can be a very pretty thing to see and to execute. It requires experienced players who know the game well enough to react and play almost on pure reflex. Payton Manning and Tom Brady showed you can play an entire game that way. It increases your time with the ball and wears a defense down. But if you don't have experienced players the nu huddle is a brutal thing to see, ugly and sad. You have QB;a making wrong reads, and WR's running wrong routes and worst of all you have O-Linemen hesitating instead of attacking.
In football one-tenth of a second is the difference between a TD and a tackle for a loss. That's why speed is so important. As are reflexes. A football player who has to stop and think even for a tenth of a second is a guy who is still standing there thinking while the play is over.
That is exactly the play I saw that night. The Head Coach was locked into running a no huddle It The Terror From Beyond Space offense even though he had no personnel that were equipped or ready to run it. That means that the coach cared more about his dreams and ambitions than he did about the players on the field. The team is 0-8. That kind of record breeds weird things in young men's minds. Some forget about winning and just try and enjoy being on the team. Most begin to doubt themselves and their worth as players and as human beings as they see themselves failing miserably at executing their coach's orders. I think that the coach is giving orders that shouldn't have ever been given.
That he wasn't willing to scrape the no huddle and work instead on executing his plays, in teaching how to figure the assignments and how to attack the assignments tells me the truth behind the words.
I could never work with a coach who places his tiny dreams over the hearts and ambitions of his players.
That's all there is to it really.
My puppy remains. She's doing well on her diet. She looks beautiful. To me she never stopped Conan by John Buscema
Click images for desktop size: "Conan and Red Sonja" by John Buscema
looking beautiful.
Her life has taken some upset again, not in a bad way, but upset is upset. My housemate got a new puppy from the shelter. He moved in on Tuesday I think.
He's a rottweiller mix. He's pretty goofy and lovable. My puppy hates him. He's taken to "marking" everything she has, my bed, her bed etc. He gets too rambunctious and when my puppy tries to get him to back off he gets vicious with her. He wants to play but he's too young, too wild and too big!
He's bitten me a few times, play bites but they hurt. He doesn't back down when you yelp like most dogs. He needs training but for right now he needs to realize he's no longer in the shelter. He was there for 6 weeks and before that . . . He was a surrender but his owners couldn't even be bothered to bring him into the shelter, they called the dog catcher and told him to pick it up or they'd kill it.
When he calms down he's pretty nifty. My puppy still hates him but she's willing to try playing with him and just turning her back on him when he doesn't act "right".Invasion of the Space Preachers
He'll be fine. I just hope that the two of them can learn to play together. They both need rough and tumble playmates.

Last week I was an uninspiring 8-6 in my NFL picks. Well, uninspiring to someone with my lofty standards perhaps but to someone who was, oh, shall we say 7-7 a record of 8-6 must look very lofty and impressive indeed.
My friend was 7-7 last week. Her cheating finally caught up with her! She still leads for the season 52 to 50 . . . I believe she hacked the website but it would be beneath me to say that until I get the evidence. I make no accusations but I point out that she is leading and keeps beating me week in and week out. I only ask how is this possible?
I read a lot of columnists agreed with me that last weeks NFL schedule was the dreariest ever. This weeks is no better really.
The biggest news is that the NFL actually decided to not let an avowed racist own an NFL team. Rush Limbaugh, who describes the NFL as watching the Bloods vs the Crips, wanted to buy the St Louis Rams. A few players said that they would refuse to play for a boss who hated them because of their skin color. Fair deal.
As badly as Goodell has responded to the lack of parity in the league and his bumbling handling of Michael Vick at least he was quick to respond and refuse Limbaugh to purchase an NFL team.
Limbaugh, of course, blames the blacks and the liberals. He never apologized for being a racist. He never explained it or claimed it was said merely to pump up his ratings. He was appalled that he didn't have a right to buy a team and make it all white, I guess.

My picks are in bold.

Sea Creature by Evegeny
Click images for desktop size: "Sea Creature" by Evegeny
Houston at Cincinnati- Last week Carson Palmer's win against the Ravens was a thing of incredible beauty. They played a classy well ordered game against a what appeared to be a stronger team. The only way the woeful Texans win is if the Bengals fall asleep and relax against a mediocre opponent.

Detroit at Green Bay - This is saved from being a cruddy game of the week contender by Aaron Rodgers spirited play and that the Packer defense hasn't curled up and died. Like all .500 teams the Packer's main problem has been consistency. They should be able to put together a pretty complete game against the Lions. The Lions have improved a lot since last year but not enough to pose anything other than an upset threat. The win against Washington has sharpened the NFL, no one will over look them again.

St Louis at Jacksonville - Cruddy game of the week contender. As the team at the center of the The Killers Rush Limbaugh fiasco, well, a major distraction is what this woeful team needs. Anything would be better than thinking about the quality of football they're playing. The Jaguars are one of those joker teams playing the elite teams well while messing up with everyone else. It would take an amazing amount of screw ups to lose to this Rams team.

Baltimore at Minnesota - Game of the Week Contender. The Ravens two losses were beautiful things, games that bought out the best in their opponents. They played sterling football and got beat via legendary efforts. This is still a great team but they've yet to rise to the level that lets them produce those super human efforts themselves. Meanwhile the Vikings are making the Bret Favre acquisition appear to be a genius move. Adrian Petersen is still the most fearsome back in the league and Favre is just the guy who can make a defense pay when it tries to misalign to contain the running threat. The Viking D is playing up to expectations which is just good enough. In Baltimore I'd pick the Ravens but in the Vikings DomeI have to go with Favre and Petersen.
Untitled by Al Moor
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Al Moore

New York Giants at New Orleans - Game of the Week. Two undefeated teams. Both with attitude. The Giants are blue bloods, a team expected to win and the Saints, a team that got famous for having it fans show up wearing bags over their heads. Drew Brees is an elite QB and flanked with Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush and a vengeful minded ex Giant in Jeremy Shockey, they produce one of the most potent and pretty offenses in NFL history. And the Saints Defense is suddenly looking fierce and serious. John Vilma has finally become the LB he was expected to be. The Giants O has been solid, good running game, Eli Manning has been consistent and his passing attack has barely noticed the lack of high quality receivers. Their D is slightly off looking but hasn't really been challenged yet. They'll be challenged today for sure. This should be business as usual for the Giants while the Saints are looking to be taken seriously. Normally I'd pick the business like team but this time I want the Saints to win so badly I scarcely care. This is a pick for my heart.Kiss And Kill

Cleveland at Pittsburgh - This is my survivor pick of the week. Only 2,993 people still in the Survivor contest. I wonder if the teams will wear those horrible throwback uniforms this week. Do they serve Rolling Rock in Three Rivers? I always think of that as Pittsburgh's beer. Its probably some corporate NFL approved beer. I think my shoelace is untied. And that's the more interesting things that cross my mind when thinking about this game.

Carolina at Tampa Bay - Cruddy Game of the Week contender. Maybe the Panthers are getting it together, I mean they finally won one . . . Their defense is a gawdawful mess which matches up well with the gawdawful Buccaneer offense. I expect a lot of Cadillac Williams up the middle . . . I have no idea what the major talent on the Panthers' O will do. Not much from past experience. Which is okay because there's not much the Buc's can do to stop much of anything.

Kansas City at Washington - Cruddy Game of the Week. I'm picking the Chiefs because the Redskins are just too appalling to believe. How did they win 2 games? The Chiefs can't be as bad as their record insists they are. Can they?

Philadelphia at Oakland - There's talk of arresting the Raiders HC for punching one of his assistants . . . which is more hitting then the Raiders are doing on the field. If the Eagles lose this one they should force Vick to go apologize to the dogs he refused to visit (jerk) while the rest of the team should seek anominity by opening up a record store across the bridge in Berkeley.

Click images for desktop size: "Smokers" by Unknown
Arizona at Seattle - In the papers, on Monday morning this game might look more interesting then it will be to watch. Hasslebeck has the Seahawks looking respectable while the Cardinals are committed to making last years Superbowl run look like a pure fluke.

Tennessee at New England - Here are two underperforming teams. At least the Patriots have looked solid. The Titans looked good in their season opening day loss and then have proceeded to totally disintegrate. Tom Brady's getting more and more on stride and his supporting cast is getting healthier. The Patriots O-Line is looking cracked and suspect but that won't be much of a problem against the Titans. I'd look for the Patriots to fatten up here and get completely well and confident.

Buffalo at New York Jets - After a record setting 3 wins reality hit Mark Sanchez hard with one loss where he looked terrible and another loss where the Jet defense was inept. Sanchez sent out a Kung Fu Mama tweet last night asking opinions on what movie he should watch. (Hangover, Angels and Demons, Terminator, Funny People, Public Enemies or Star Trek) Nothing fills me with confidence more than a relaxed QB, At home against a sketchy Bills defense Sanchez should completely on track. Trent Edwards and Terrell Owens have not looked very good. Marshall Lynch may have hit a wall in his career. They shouldn't pose many threats for the Jet D.

Denver at San Diego - This is a good intriguing game. The Bronco's have a jaw dropping looking record put together with fluke plays and the leagues strongest home field advantage. Are they real? This is a solid test in their division. The Chargers are 2-2 even while Philip Rivers is looking pure elite and near flawless. This is do or die for both teams and the best Monday Night game in ages. I'm looking for the Bronco's to possibly getting exposed on national TV while the Chargers look to shine on the big stage.

Chicago 21 at Atlanta 20 - This is a good mid level game, like the type that should fill the NFL schedule (instead of all the cruddy games dominating the schedule now). I've flip flopped on this one a lot. It's a good game to think about with Jay Cutler and Matt Ryan and two solid defenses. Neither team has much of a sustained running attack so it's going to be an aerial fantasy. I think Cutler has a slight edge with his less than stellar receivers which includes the enigmatic but incredibly explosive Devin Hester. And this is one game where special teams could be a huge factor in which case the Bears have it all over the Falcons.

These picks are for amusement and ridiculing only any other use is just kind of foolish don't you think?

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 2, 2009

Everybody's talking about Working Annie

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
Click images for desktop size: "M3" by Jason C
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
Click images for desktop size: "Shiny Sky" by Maxine Perron Caissy
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.

August 13, 2009

We already have “death panels”, although my insurance company refers to it as “pre-existing conditions"

Lenbach by Franz Von Hirtenknabe
Click images for desktop size: "Lenbach" by Franz Von Hirtenknabe
I got a job.
It pays more than the minimum wage. Not much more but its a small point of pride for me.City Limits
It's honest work.
Its a 40 minute walk from my house!
I work the graveyard shift. Midnight till 8 AM. As the cashier/manager of an internet cafe. copy shop, FAX service thing. With a key difference. There's a court order posted prominently on the wall. It basically says that on-line gambling at an internet cafe is legal and the fact that part of my duties are "redeeming" credits is fine so long as I do not cash out customers accounts . . . which is the same weird pedantic measuring of words that make poker parlors legal in Gardenia.
It means that 60% of the customers sit and play slot machines, poker and other gambling games (I haven't paid much attention) for from 25 cents a game to 6.50 a game.
Last night was my first night. The patrons seem to be primarily over 35, mostly female. They'll sit for hours on a twenty buck, or less, investment.
The top prize seems to be $10,000 although here the biggest winners are in the $2,000 range and they've had quite a few of those.
Last night I had nothing like that. I gave two people $50. One woman on a $20 investment, the other on a $3 stake. They were pretty happy.
What made it interesting was when I walked to work I saw that the animal hospital that's in the same strip mall had all of its windows broken out! I assumed some junkie had busted in looking for Linda Darnell by Vargas
Click images for desktop size: "Linda Darnell" by Vargas
drugs . . .
I got stopped by the cops, frozen in a spotlight. I understood. A guy, late at night, wearing dark glasses and an iPod saunters into the scene. Appears from nowhere into the dim light.
I was right about drugs but it wasn't a break in. It was a gang war! Or maybe a drive by shooting. Its odd to me that small town cops will discuss this stuff with you. I'm used to cops telling you its none of my business and "move a long".
They didn't have a clue as to the whys of what happened but there were over a hundred bullets sprayed all over the area. Four shops had their windows shot out, six cars got shot up too.
Being who I am my first worry was that no dogs had been hurt inside the hospital. The cop must have loved animals too because he knew right away that no animals had been hurt. Just two drug dealer types. No innocent bystanders had been shot either, just their cars.
I walked past the glassy carnage from the shops. I couldn't help but notice that there was no blood on the ground, no pools of black crimson being hosed away by the fire department. Big city instincts The Creature Walks Among Us and too much experience say that should accompany over a hundred bullets.
I got into work just a few minutes late. My boss barely noticed. He was upset about the shooting. No one had been injured in the shop but a bullet had gone through the wall! It went through a straight line, three walls before being stopped by a microwave. The cops picked up the spent lead.
He told me the two guys who had been shot had both run into the shop, being the only one open. Again I thought it was surprising that Bing Crosby
Click images for desktop size: "Bing Crosby"
the two victims were not only ambulatory but that there was no blood trail leading to the shop and no blood inside of it. Its a clean place too. I figure small town "gangstas" must be pretty terrible shots.
My new boss rabbited on about it all night. I can understand being upset. I was surprised I wasn't. Angry about events like this, dumbfounded and pleased at the amateurishness of it but not upset. I guess I've evolved and my emotions go in different places.
The job seems fine, so far. Its been there a couple years and this is the only bad event. And my new boss was giving serious consideration to ways to make sure nothing similar ever happened again, like hiring a security service or some what. That pleased me.
I only got three twinges from the bad shoulder. None so bad that I started cursing or rolling around in pain. I do hope that no one notices how much I have to favor my right arm.
The day didn't start out that promising.
I didn't get the money credited to my food stamps card! (Food stamps now work on an electronic card, like a debit card). I called and sweated out an answer. The computer system had been down Korean
Click images for desktop size: "Korean Girl" by Unknown
for two days! And there was no recovery in sight. I might not get the money until Monday or Tuesday.
I was out of food.
My friend had mailed me a money order, as a loan. The mail came and no dice.
My friend was kind enough to wire me fifty bucks, which was a life saver. I went to get it at the grocery store but their computer was down . . . so I had to walk another mile and a half to the next Western Union but I did get the money!
I ate Quorn dogs salt free oven baked french fries. It was a good thing I did or I don't think I would have gotten through the first night at all.
Now, if I get my puppy back I'll have nearly half of a life.

August 3, 2009

It is not who is right, but what is right, that is of importance
Thomas Huxley

There Was a Time
Click images for desktop size: "There Was a Time" by Unknown
The battery in my watch died.
The watch and my back pack were presents from my kids. Poor kids. I value them to the point of Adult Version of Jekyll and Hyde treasuring them. I had the battery replaced once before. It cost $5.00, now I have to find that guy again and hope he hasn't gone out of business or jacked his prices.
This morning I went on two job interviews.
I got the Sunday paper and found 3 jobs to go to and 2 to call. I still like that more than applying for jobs on the internet.
Too many spam and scams running on the internet. Scams are all geared towards the desperate and the greedy. Who's more desperate than the guy looking for work?
I did a google search on three of the suspected scammers today. I was relieved to discover they were con artists. I was worried I'd tossed away an opportunity.
But I like walking into a place and handing someone a resume. It feels better. Emailing is cool. Filling out those tedious on-line job apps is not. They eat up an hour of your time and then you get an auto response and then silence.
What I hate most is the "psych" test they all seem to enjoy: "When is it alright to steal from your employer? a) Anytime you need money b) Sometimes c) Never".
Tough multiple choices and not a little insulting. But I'm desperate. I can't call their corporate office and tell them what I think of their time wasting corporate snobbishness. Maybe when I find a job I will. Most likely I'll just forget all about it. I don't think anyone who needs to ask those kind of questions is going to hire me anyway.
The pain in my right shoulder keeps getting worse. I feel like I've developed some sort of strange tic. I am constantly on my right shoulder and neck with my left hand. The muscles are atrophying and I can feel the adhesions building. I keep breaking them up and trying to stretch the thing. The repayment is always pain, a burning pain sometimes the old knee dropping electric pain at others. Leon Frollo
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Leon Frollo
Its spreading other my whole right side. Even the pinkie and ring finger of my right hand are now stiff and numb. Just a reaction to the frozen shoulder.
I ran out of insulin last night. The place that gives me the cheap drugs won't carry Lantus. Too expensive. I have to be tight with my diet. That is okay. If the blood sugars get to high I can get cheap 70/30 insulin.
That's the old school type. Requires testing your blood six or so times a day and injecting yourself six or seven times a day. Rah. With a tiny bit of luck my drugs will come in on Thursday. My routine has devolved into going to bed at 11:00 PM, tossing about until about midnight, then waking up in pain. I can generally groggily calm the pain down but get awakened about 1:30 then sleep until about 3.
Last night I tried not getting out of bed until I could see the sunrise. It didn't really work but it was no worse than when I'm up and puttering about trying to calm down the aches. All the aches.
That's my day now. Wake up. Have coffee. Check the internet ads. Fill out any apps. Take a showerAn American Werewolf in London .
Its so hot I've taken two showers, one at night and one in the morning. The morning one is the important one to me.
For one thing hot water pounding on my right shoulder loosens it up enough to stretch it as much as I can. I wash my hair. Soap up my face with my fancy prescribed soap and then I shave in the shower.
I don't have much of a beard but it is tough and cuts easier in a steamy shower. Now a days every time I go to shave I have a flash of rage. I pick up the razor and I think of those thieves at Maplehurst Prison in guard uniforms and what they stole from me and what they tried to steal from me.
I still can't fathom stealing a man's razor. That is so low its beneath even tent city dwellers. I got the exact same razor that they stole. The second I touch it I feel the rage. I use that as a barometer. A warrior is useless fighting from rage. Berserkers inflict some damage but berserkers always loose.
There's going to be a fight. I don't believe that any system that purports to be civilized should be Cleo Jones by Lavakillu
Click images for desktop size: "Cleo Jones" by Lavakillu
allowed to do what they did: Steal a man's freedom in direct contrariness to their own laws. Lock someone up illegally. Treat the guilty and the innocent as if they were caged animals with no human rights or self respect. Breaking down a person's self respect. Teaching that theft and violence are the only currency of value.
No government has a right to destroy men and women. No one has that right. But governments can make laws and then allow them to be broken or circumvented. That's why almost all governments are inherently evil. It takes a good man to serve people. Their aren't many good men who'll seek the job, and when they do they seldom get elected.
I've fought governments before. I won. I learned a lot in those wars. Mainly that you have to be cold, thick skinned and to never underestimate the ruthlessness of a government.
The wars I fought? Letting abused women leave home with their children, instead of forcing the kids to stay with an abusive violent man. You'd be surprised how hard that was.Assault on Preceinct 13
Protecting children from sexual predators was the hardest. You would think it would be obvious, that one. It was 9 years of fighting. I won a lot but not enough, I think. I was part of stopping the ridiculous law that would lower the age of sexual consent to 12. Yeah, the government nearly passed that one.
I've fought for street lights, and stop signs and recycling. I win those because its the right thing to do but mainly because I stay Stevie Wonder
Click image: "Stevie Wonder" by Unknown
calm. I'm calm enough to see the opposition coming. Placid enough to let it wash over me and let the places to strike present themselves to me. Like when I fought for a program for the social inclusion of youth via sports through a self supporting plan of volunteers. I was never prepared for them to say good idea but lets hire someone and get a budget to do it and delay the whole process by three years. But I didn't get angry I just fought quietly until the thing was implemented and running 30 months before scheduled.
When you're angry and start these fights you get hurt and that just makes you angrier. The people you're fighting are seldom angry. They don't care really. They just want to protect something, usually something as base as graft or their own indiscretions.
When I get them angry I know I'm closing in on winning. And that is what matters.
I think about that every day while I shave. I'm doing pretty well shaving left handed now. It makes me go slower so I think about it longer. I think about shaving and I think of the war to come.
The Bride of Frankenstein
Click images for desktop size: "The Bride of Frankenstein" by Jack Pierce
After the shower I take my pills. I think about my puppy and the way she always gives a shape to my day. With my puppy its always an adventure waiting to happen and neither she or I ever know what it will be.
After the pills I check for emails. I look to see who has to be called today. I check the help wanted. And then I wait.

Last night I got a funny call from my vet. It was a conference call with this fellow who makes premium dog food. He works in small batches. The food uses superior ingredients and sells for about 50% of what a comparable pet food store would cost. AND HE DELIVERS!
They'd been discussing the imminent return of my puppy and had decided pretty much on what her new diet should be. Somehow they figured I should be in on this . . .
After the very cool pet food chef got off I spoke to my vet about her kids and her life. It was allBeyond a Reasonable Doubt going well for her. I'm glad. She also assured me that if my puppy needed anything that I wasn't to worry, that we'd work something out. She always remembers that my puppy was only the third person to see her first child in hospital. We got there in front of her parents and her in-laws. She still remembers my puppy smelling the baby and smelling her and trying to put it together. She still thinks my puppy's reaction was, well, you can't eat it and its too stupid to play.
I said it's been over two months since I've seen my puppy. I was worried. She said something important to me, she said that she'd been a vet for over 15 years now and that she was jealous of my puppy and my relationship. She said she's never seen a dog and a person who loved each other so much. She also said she's never seen two people bicker as much as I and my puppy do . . .

July 31, 2009

Only for you would I let my life stay the same, only for you
Bobby Fuller

Twisted Mind Show by Titusboy
Click images for desktop size: "Twisted Mind Show" by Titusboy
I have a pretty strong ego. The Canadian prison is designed to quickly and ruthlessly proclaim you to be a worthless piece of flotsam unfit for society and beneath contempt. That goes for the innocentWitchcraft 70 and the guilty alike.
That doesn't work on me. I can't ever absorb as anything other than its a lie that anyone is better than me. I also encourage everyone else to feel that no one in the world is any better than they are. Instead it makes me think that the bastards in government who created and perpetuated this system are pretty pathetic individuals on a level with pedophiles and the cops and guards they hire as beneath contempt as any eunuch with a truncheon should be. (There are female eunuchs too . . . I think I dated a few.)
There are things that humble me, that make me feel small and insignificant. Walking without my puppy does that. Its a constant reminder of vulnerability. It feels like there's nothing in this life that can slake justified rage.
Today I walked to the store. I was slogging back with my bundles. My backpack on, crushing my shoulder badly. I was certain that the pain would be worse if I tried to move it or readjust it. The iPod was playing The Ronettes "Walking in the Rain". I paid attention to my heart. The heat feels unbearable to me. And then it started to rain. But the rain was hot. Not just warm but hot water, hot as a shower.
Steam roiled on the asphalt and made choking hot chemical clouds that the rush of cars pushed into my face. This was a pretty significant indictment even I couldn't ignore. It took me thirty minutes to walk home, less than two miles. the thermometer said it was already pushing 90. It wasn't 9 AM yet.
I consoled myself by putting my things away and thinking there's a chance my puppy and I will be sludge by Peter Lovacs
Click images for desktop size: "Sludge" by Peter Lovacs
together in a couple of weeks. I don't want to get my hopes up too high. There's only so much dashing I have in me and only so much dashing of hopes I can absorb. Still a lot of planning to do.

On Wednesday I completed all the interviews to get into the Access program. They sent me down to cardiology on the spot. Just drew some blood. They wanted to inject some die into my blood but saw that I was on metformin for the diabetes and went another way.
I spoke to the cardiologist on the phone. He started to get on me because I hadn't seen a cardiologist since the heart attack. I told him I was in in a Canadian prison for two weeks and the doctors there didn't think it was necessary.
He got angry and said that the "worst hack who ever got a medical degree wouldn't do that. That's scandalous. Were they trying to kill you?"
I shrugged at the phone but couldn't think of anything to add to that. I don't know if he understood my silence but he changed his schedule around to see me ASAP. ASAP meant in only one week. HeWerewolf left me with the orders: If I have any heart pain or discomfort I'm to go to emergency immediately and have them beep him.
I liked his anger and intensity.
I kept trying to explain to anyone who seemed to be in charge of anything that I was more worried about seeing an orthopedist than a cardiologist. My shoulder hurts worse than my heart (at least my beating heart).
Morgan Freeman
Click images for desktop size: "Morgan Freeman"
Someone finally told me they'd send me a letter with an appointment. I only got the cardiologist so quickly because I'd been neglecting things . . .
Thursday I saw my GP. Things look better. My blood work sort of confirmed some things. My overall cholesterol is 76. The bad cholesterol that I was supposed to work on getting down below 50 (which I thought was impossible) is at 40. The good cholesterol is still too low at 28 but its not too much of an issue since my overall cholesterol is so low.
I asked about the physical stresses of coaching and if I'd be able to go back to it. She then asked if I was the coach with the black therapy dog. It turns out my doctor's husband is a wrestling coach at one of the conference high schools and my puppy being on the side lines during the big game against us was the thrill of that season. Then she told me about how all the nurses, who I was convinced hated me and my puppy, were in deep mourning when we left.
I figure we had to go away for them to realize that the two of us weren't so bad.
She told me some of the stories about my puppy and I. I was surprised that they were pretty much The Road from New Jersey by G Studio
Click images for desktop size: "Road from New Jersey" G Studios
true and didn't have the need to get defensive about any of them.
One positive is that she'll talk to her husband about me coaching at his school . . . for pay. I have mixed feeling about that. I don't like the idea of taking money for working with kids but I need a job.
There's also the worry about whether I can physically withstand a season. Like I can see me running down the sidelines throwing my hands up over my head signaling a touch down jerking up in agony as my shoulder decided to rebel and the pain and embarrassment giving me a heart attack . . .
She thought that there were still things I could do with kids. She said that kids all loved me and talk about me and my puppy. (She didn't say in which order they talked about us which I thought was pretty diplomatic.)
Then the friend who's letting me stay at my house went on vacation. So I'm now house sitting for two4D Man weeks. Not really but it sounds better than leeching.
He's another one who's excited about the possibility of my puppy coming to me. He'll be instrumental in getting her back her if my complex plan unfolds . . . I don't have a plan. I just like to think I do.

I'm down to retail stores for job apps. I was going to even apply to Pizza Hut!! They require all employees have a driver's lisence and "Reliable Transportation (Not Public)". They claim its because you might have to make a bank deposit or an emergency delivery . . . but I figure the reality is they don't want anyone late claiming the bus broke down.
For every job I apply for I seem to get 5 spam emails and 3 scam phone calls, all offering me employment. One phone call said I could make thousands a month just by blogging . . .

July 23, 2009

Did you really think love was worth dying for; its just trouble
John Entwistle

Irises by Sakai Doitsu
Click images for desktop size: "Irises" by Sakai Doitsu
Its amazing how still the air is. Not a hint of breeze. Smoke from the cigarettes goes straight up, tendrils without a wisp of character. The trees are silent, nothing moves. It feels like death might Spellbound feel.
I haven't written anything the past few days. Nothing has happened that I need to remember.
I miss my puppy terribly. That's not going to change. It feels like she's been stolen from me, which isn't actually the case but it feels that way. It feels like a lot of what I am has been stolen from me. Its only my sadness that makes me feel this way.
When I run into someone I know they're fist question is, "How's your puppy?" That proves they actually know me. Several people I don't know have come up to me and asked after her. Some have tried to identify me as my puppy's "father". Then they ask where she is and how she is.
The adults will often tell me a story about how my puppy helped their child through a traumatic illness. Some tell me how my puppy helped them through their child's illness. They always tell me how beautiful and smart and devoted my puppy is.
They've built a dinosaur trail here. Its just an established path in the forest and they've hidden something like 20 fiberglass dinosaurs on the path for kids to discover and play on. It opens tomorrow. I got a formal invitation to take the inaugural walk with my puppy and some kids from the hospital. It would be fun for all.
Its possibly just as well we can't do it. My puppy would have enjoyed the walk but the kid have an image of her sometimes . . . especially around the dinosaurs. I fear they would have been disappointed in how she reacted to the big adventure, but possibly not.
I continue to be desperate for a job. Nearly broke. I going as intense as I can. Just churning away.
I had two interviews yesterday. One was a waste. It was a group interview . . . there were five of us. Three were high school girls. The job was weekend cashier at a chain drug store.
Howard Schatz
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Howard Schatz
On the second I at least got a nice free lunch. I had wild mushroom ravioli. It was okay. This was a meeting with my old boss. It was nice enough and a pleasant couple of hours. Except on the work front they hired two people within the last two months.
Its not too nice having to hope for some one else's failure to have a chance at success. Way too Hollywood.
There's one unexpected result of using the internet for my job search. Not only d I get some pretty virulent spam offering me all sorts of scam type jobs I also get phone calls.
On Tuesday I applied on-line to a chain book store where I used to know some people. The on-line job app is their preference, I did all the tedious work.
I haven't heard from them but I got three phone calls. I'm on a pay-as-you-go mobile. The first few minutes of each conversation is with me trying to figure out who these people are. What job I applied for that they're calling me about. It takes a while to figure out that they saw my resume andStraitjacket want to offer me a fantastic opportunity . . .
One call was from a company that needed to verify my employment history. I asked which employer they were working for. They couldn't/wouldn't tell me. I decided not to cooperate with them. I said I'd gotten too many spams and scams to risk giving out my personal details to a stranger.
I hope that wasn't a mistake. The concern is just a reflection of how stressed I am.
I had to talk to this foundation after. They're the ones who will provide access to a volunteer cardiologist and orthopedist. It was an interesting phone interview. Te gist of it was to figure out if I was actually wealthy and scamming to get free health care. I did discover that all the jobs I'm applying for, well, the wages would still keep me below the national poverty level and keep me eligible for the program. Pretty solid mixed feelings about that.
Click images for desktop size: "Hiding Turtle" by Unknown
I haven't had any real issues with my heart. Even with the sadness and the worry. No pain. I seem to just be aware of it.
The arm and shoulder on the other hand are a terrible nuisance. The pain stays at intolerable levels.
Yesterday I was in the bathroom when I heard the phone ring. I scrambled to answer it and rammed the bad shoulder into the door jam. I was mewling . . . it was electric fire blinding.
I didn't get to the phone in time. It took twenty minutes to recover. The arm was weak and useless. A new wrinkle has been the numbness of the pinky and ring fingers.
I was able to see who called and call back. Good thing. It was a job I'm seriously interested in. Interview Tuesday.
I'm sleeping better. I've discovered that I can build a sort of cast made of pillows around the arm and shoulder and that with some adjusting I can sleep almost pain free. This has served me the last two night so I'm sleeping nearly 5 hours a night!

July 19, 2009

Now all I've got is sorrow and pain
Joey Ramone

Emily by Jugeminias
Click images for desktop size: "Emily" by Jugeminias
Missing my puppy badly.
I slept better last night. Discovered a plan that semi-worked. Involved a lot of propping with pillowsRabid and proper splaying. I slept for 3 hours straight through.
But dreamt of my puppy. On nights like this she'd tell me puppy jokes, watch over me and recommend a good snack. Being a doctor dog she'd know when to nuzzle me, when to play with me, take me outside, when to have me pet her.
I miss my puppy. Trying hard to not let my desperation for her turn into obsession.
Obsession almost always means you miss the obvious solutions in life.
I'm hoping that tomorrow starts to yield some results to my mad flurry of resume rending job searching. Its time for interviews and time for hoping.
I went to this store, Ross. They have plenty f cheap slacks. They sell Dockers for like eight bucks. I figure dockers are okay for some interviews. I begrudge spending the eight bucks.
I bought some used books yesterday. The trip was to drop off job apps. I got four books for nine dollars. Three of them will be interesting but hardly vital, the find was David Drake's "Killer".
"Killer," is a book I was thinking about months ago. Its a science fiction tale about a vicious killing machine monster that gets loose on earth. What makes this story compelling is that the earth its gone to war with is ancient Rome! And the monsters hunter is a former gladiator!
I'm into the first one hundred pages. The story drags a bit more than I remembered but its still fascinating. There's some effort made to show the life of free Romans. The history lesson is integrated well into the plot so it hardly feels like you're learning anything at all! Good stuff.

July 5, 2009

We woke the next morning with heavy growing hearts. A border, an imaginary line meant we had to Enhanced Canadian Wilderness By James Davidson
Click images for desktop size: "Enhanced Canadian Wilderness" by James Davidson
go our own ways.
The Days Inn provided a free breakfast. We decided to save some money and eat it. The breakfast was poor but could fill you up.
The worst part was a tray full of eggs cooked someway that they're all perfectly round. They are also nearly indestructible. Even though heaped on the plate none of their yolks showed any hint of breaking. I was afraid of them. They did not seem like food but more like the Japanese plastic sculptures of food the restaurants display.
To while away the time until checkout we walked and talked. We thought of strategies, of hopes and of plans. All bright optimistic stuff to avoid thinking of my departure time.
When we checked out we went looking for a bookstore, so I could get something to read on the long bus ride.
We went to Borders. My friend found a couple of cook books and a gluten free magazine she'd never before seen. I couldn't find anything. The prices for he titles were too high for my remote interest inThe Return of the Vampire them.
We then found a spectacular looking used book store but it was closed on the Sunday. We looked through the windows and regretted the day.
It seemed a nice place to sit and talk and attempt to say goodbye.
Divine Right
Click images for desktop size: "Divine Right" by Marvel
We had lunch at this Irish style pub. I had a quesadilla . . . it was not good but better than I feared.
Following a last second "I need another bungi cord" panic we went to the bus station. We sat and waited. Talked.
There were two US Immigrations cop hanging around. Border Patrol this far from a border? My bus pulled in but we weren't allowed to board. The Border Patrol had to go in and harass the passengers. They pulled an Indian guy off the bus and were huge jerks. They made him get his luggage and they inspected everything in an incredibly arrogant fashion.
I got on the bus. My friend was in tears. I flashed all the ASL I knew at her. I don't know if she knew what I was saying. I kept flashing ASL even as the bus pulled out. When we got to the other side of the bus station my friend was out there. She waved. I waved back and watched her walk to her car. I wanted to tell her there's no sense in crying. No one was dead yet.
So two days out of prison, nearly 4 weeks from a heart attack and here I was on the dreaded Frank Melech
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Frank Mellech
Greyhound. No chance to recover. No chance to breathe.
I had 16 hours to think about things.
I started thinking about the racist cop who started this ugly turn. I don't like cops. Its their insanity and their presumption I don't like. After they've been at it long enough they start to think that everyone is guilty and its only a matter of time till they have you under the lights burying their saps in your kidneys.
This Scott McVicar wasn't even unique. I'd noticed that the area cops were almost all of a freaky breed. They remind me of nothing more than the cops in "A Clockwork Orange". "Just jobs for two who are of job working age!"
They're thugs too cowardly to run with the gangs and the worst of them who find the gangs to tame for the sadistic hatred they carry in their souls.
The sick part is that they no longer make the cops wear uniforms, not consistent uniforms. They let them fuss and futz with their uniforms to the point that there is no longer any relief when you see aSan Quentin cop. McVicar wore no name tag - ever. He even obscured his badge. He fitted and tugged his uniform and wore so much extra unofficial gear he looked more like a manga character than a cop. He wasn't alone. The end result is they look like a manga inspired gang that gets to carry guns and openly hate.
I've never seen any police force in the world that allowed its cops to customize their uniforms to such an extent that the officers couldn't be readily identified. Not even in Africa around the equator. They want the police to be readily identified in an effort to stop trouble except in Canada where the by-word is to let the thugs keep the thugs in their place and who cares what they look like.
Suddenly squad car cops are allowed to do investigations. And a cop so stupid and ignorant he thinks everything he sees on the internet is true. And based on that I was thrown in prison. I was never fingerprinted, photographed nor DNA tested. They have no idea if I was even the guy in the story. But on the whim of a racist cop who thinks in sci-fi fantasy cop terms I was arrested and thrown in prison by K.W. (Ken) McMurtrie, an immigration cop who tried to glamorize his role by Frankenstein
Click images for desktop size: "Frankenstein" by Universal
pretending that I was a dangerous arch fiend so he could justify his budget. Then when his speculative case fell apart he lied and tied to justify his heinous acts. He doesn't care about people. Just about his superiors reaming him about going over budget.
In my friends neighborhood there was a mini scandal. Some 25 year old kid walked up to an old man and punched the old man until he was dead. No one could understand it.
Now I do know what happened. He'd just been released from Maplehurst.
You can't take a young violent man, throw him in a ell, abuse and debase him through a constant, clearly administratively approved series of verbal, physical and psychological abuse. Reduce his self esteem to less than zero and then give him nothing but time. No encouragement, no chance to improve himself, just encourage his violence, set him up to commit institutionally approved violence against other inmates.
Are the people who set up this system illiterate? Haven't they bothered to read or even be aware of Shiver of the Vampire the last 60 years of penal work and reform.
MAXSEX (Maximum Security) is harsh. I've visited prisoners in MAXSEC in Europe and the USA. I was treated with respect. So were the prisoners. The sort of behavior exhibited by the guards at Maplehurst would not have been tolerated at any of those prisons if only because the type of prisoners in MAXSEC would think nothing of killing a guard ho was insulting and belittling and threatening, but also because everyone knows very few MAXSEC prisoners get life sentences. Most of them will be out on the street. In a true MAXSEC prisoners case every effort is made to attempt to rehabilitate him to avoid just spitting killers back onto the street. They succeed quite often. More than 70%.
The prisoners at Maplehurst are NOT MAXSEC! Shoplifters are not MAXSEC. They do not promote a danger to others around them. Guys on two year sentences for being drunk and disorderly are not MAXSEC.
Maplehurst makes no attempt at education or rehabilitation. They punish. The punish the innocent and the guilty equally. But what else they are doing is training killers. You could even produce an argument proving it is intentional.
It was in the 1930's that it was shown that the treatment of prisoners especially in modes such as practiced at Maplehurst increased a prisoners propensity to violence and that propensity stayed with the prisoner long after his incarceration had ended. Repeat offenders increased and the repeat offenses were noted for their escalating physical violence.
Click images for desktop size: "Forest" by Unknown
The punishment administered at hell holes like Maplehurst punishes society far more than it punishes the prisoner.
We got nearer my stop. The bus was over crowded and it was making my shoulder crazy.
I knew instead of thinking of the injustice of the recent past I needed to start thinking about the future or I'd be in trouble.
All I could think about was my puppy.
But she's not here.
Maybe she never will be again.
I refuse to accept that I deserve anymore punishment. I rebel.

March 6, 2009

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

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

February 5, 2009

I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me... All I ask is that you respect me as a human being
Jackie Robinson

Soa Lee
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Soa Lee
It was not a great recruiting class for USC this year. It was a good class but it held some potential for greatness.
Some of the kids who chose other schools I think made a mistake, a few of the kids I'm glad didn'tAn Evening with Karloff come to USC.
There's the five star linebacker that chose Arizona State primarily because their academic standards are so much lower. ASU also has an excellent tutoring program set up because they take in so many marginal scholastic athletes. I'm all for that. The most important Blonde in Green
Click image: "Blonde in Green" by Unknown
thing is for these kids to get an education.
But I do think that the demands of football and school are too much for a lot of these kids.
One of my great delights in the 80's was when unranked Stanford was routinely dismantling Lou Holtz's top ranked Notre Dame teams. Keith Jackson pointed out a few times that Notre Dame didn't have a single player on their squad who could have qualified academically for Stanford.
Education is still the thing. The one complaint I have with Pete Carroll is that I would like to see the percentage of athletes getting their degrees get up to 100%.
I was dismayed about the number of kids USC lost to UCLA. I feel sorry for those kids. Seriously. Woman's Figure
Click images for desktop size: "Woman's Figure" by Unknown
Rick Neiuhisal has a pretty horrid reputation as an academic coach.
The kids who chose Notre Dame. It depends on their reasons for attending the school. If its to get playing time and falling for the glitter of the program and ignoring the horrendous job Charlie Weiss has done then they made a mistake. If it was for the traditions in the program and a great education its impossible to fault them.
As much as I like the intrigue of Signing Day I wish it weren't such a media event today. These are kids and this is insane pressure. 80% of these kids are never going to get to the NFL. I want them to have the dream. I had it. But I wish the dream were more in line with USC's old wide receiver John Jefferson, to get the best education he can get and to have some fun playing a greatAsphalt Jungle game in a wonderful spotlight. Playing in the NFL would be great for money and fame but its not the end all. What's important is to have the foundation of a great life.
I worry about guys who leave school early and then get 1 or 2 years in the NFL and then have no real future. I worry about guys like Rickey Ervins. A great little college back who played 2 years for the Washington Redskins and then nothing. I worry every time I read the news and see how some former NFL player was arrested for drugs, Art and Beauty by Robert Crumb
Click image: "Art and Beauty" by Robert Crumb
robbing a liquor store. You know the drill.
Its a shame that guys like Pete Carroll and Joe Paterno are the exceptions among college coaches. They want to win, sure, but they also have an investment in the young men's future.
I hope all the kids do well and that they attain the dreams and remember the people who love them and the ones who cheer for them.

I spoke to the bank yesterday. It appears we may be on the path to something that could result in my friend getting her car. I'm not happy with the whole package but it appears to be the only way forward. The alternatives are far worse.
So far I'm still very pleased with this used car lot. So far they've been holding the car with no issues at all. I have to talk to them today to see if they'll go along with this new deal: The loan could take a week to 10 days to process and while it looks better than 90% that it will happen there's always Spider's Ice Cream by J3 Concepts
Click images for desktop size: "Spider's Ice Cream" by J3 Concepts
that doubt. While the loan should go through and might happen much quicker can't be promised.
I wouldn't blame them for not wanting to hold the car for my friend. If they couldn't I would still go back to them to look for its replacement.
I never thought that I'd trust a used car salesman. It feels like trusting Nixon or Bush!

My friend is due back from her business trip tonight. We're looking forward to it. I think she'll be exhausted. I also hope she doesn't have a 12 hour day and get get out of there early enough to get home at a reasonable hour.

Yesterday I shoveled the entire driveway and the yard. My back is sore this morning but not really hurting except for those stupid moves I tend to make. Slept on the floor again. The dogs seem toBeyond the Time Barrier love that or else they might be trying to crowd me off the floor.
I developed a new technique for flicking the snow away. I can't fling it as far, maybe only 4-6 feet instead of the usual 10 to 12 feet. The technique involves using my left arm as the fulcrum and then just using the right as the weight to toss the snow. It worked well enough.
While I was shoveling the driveway the next door neighbor spoke to me. Not the guy but the woman. She asked about us giving them the old snowblower. I agreed for reason of wanting it out of our yard. I tried to talk about some other things, some just social but no real progress there.
She did tell me one thing. One of our neighbors I like. I thought her husband was still in hospital. The neighbor insisted her husband had died two years ago! I don't know if she's right and I've just blocked out someone having to deal with another dead spouse or . . .

January 10, 2009

When you have a dream, you've got to grab it and never let go
Carol Burnett

Wave Outline
Click images for desktop size: "Wave Outline" by Unknown
Still feeling thin. My friend isn't doing much better. Only two dogs at the dog party. They had a weeks worth of fun looking at the pictures.
She had a bad day. Creepy co-worker who reports to her. My friend went ballistic and gave herselfA Quiet Place to Kill a 26 hour (and counting) headache.
We took the dogs out for a late night walk. It was fun. Everyone felt a little bit better for it. What was nicest that the park near us was completely empty except for two guys who had somehow stomped out a 10 yard square ice skating rink. The dogs had never skating before and they were enthralled to the point of not even barking at Surf
Click images for desktop size: "Surf" by Unknown
the strangers.
It was cold. My friend asked me, "Can you feel your face and fingers?" I said, "Of course!"
But then thinking about it I realized that I couldn't. Not at all. I didn't realize it.
I'm also worried about a dear friend who works at Starbucks. What that corporation is doing is pure evil.
Recently they closed down nearly 700 shops, throwing an estimated 2,800 people out of work. The company disputed all unemployment claims stating that they could have transfered to another store . . .
Their new ploy to force attrition, is to demand that all employees makes themselves available for work for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. Not being available is cause for termination. They make no guarantee that any employee will receive the hours for which they may have been hired. Meaning that you could wait for work for 84 hours and only get 4 hours Welcome to Hell by Jakob P
Click images for desktop size: "Welcome to Hell" by Jakob P
of work.
I've been in that situation. Watching the rent clock tick and scrabbling for money to pay the phone bill so you can call in and be told there's nothing now, check back in a few hours or tomorrow. You can't even look for another job because you relied on your paycheck that barely met your minimum survival needs. Can't take a part time gig because you have to be available. So you sink into depression clinging to hope and a lifeline that doesn't ever materialize.
This is a pretty cynical move by Starbucks. I'm sure the exec's are still drawing full pay. They have to take care of their families. They are too cowardly to think about yours.
I'm also sure that this has led to a sweet amount of corruption for those low level store managers. Fifty to a hundred bucks a week to get you 30 hours a week. Small bribe when it lets you avoidAlmost Human starving.
The move has given the Union movement a bit of a kick, but its too late now.
When Ronald Reagan destroyed the unions he knew full well that he was destroying the American dream. Even superstar athletes need a union.
I remember Walter Payton had to go through hell to get paid 700,000 a year after leading the NFL in rushing for 4 years. He never got it. Had to settle for 600,000.
It was Reggie White, then a Philadelphia Eagle, who showed the way. He was making 225,000 and wanted a raise to 350,000. The oner of the team said it was impossible. The Eagles were losing money and they couldn't afford to pay him a fraction of what he was worth as a player and a box office draw.
White went to court. HE got the Eagles to open their books. What they found was surprising. The Eagles were losing money. The largest expenditure was a 25 million dollar a year salary paid to the owner. The second largest was the 15 million that went to pay for the owner and his families homes, the fourth largest was for cars, boats and personal vehicles.
Dark Tower
Click images for desktop size: "Dark Tower" by Marvel Comics
Its the same at Starbucks. Its the same for those employees as it was for Reggie White. Dedicated good employees cast aside and their needs ignored.
I'll never drink a cup of franchise coffee again.

At least this is the best week of NFL football this season. All four games have a burgeoning promise that ascends to the imagination as a falling star in the desert beckons to the cave men.
Last week I was 3-1 one in my picks. I missed on Arizona. I was glad to lose it. The Cardinals were brilliant.
My friend was 2-2 in her picks. I guess I just can't teach her anything!
My picks are in bold.

Arizona at Carolina - I don't think the Panther defense can stop the Cardinals. They can slow themA Nymphoid Barbarian In Dinosaur Hell down especially since Boudin, my pick for courageous player of the year, may not be able to play. Still I can't see them stopping Larry Fitzgerald or the quick strike. Meanwhile the Panthers rely on Steve Smith and Deangelo Williams. I think the Cardinals can stop Deangelo and slow down Smith but not at the same time. There'll be a lot of junk passes that will set up a few pass interference calls when Delahome goes deep to Smith. It could be a Panthers blowout but more likely will be a shootout. The Panthers barely won a shootout against the Saints a few weeks ago. That was on the road. I think they'll win a shootout today in the final moments.

Baltimore at Tennessee - If the Titans could have avoided Baltimore I think they had a sure path to the Superbowl. Last week Joe Flacco made history by being the first rookie QB to win a playoff game. He has shown he has no regard for that kind of history. That's a good thing. Every step he has taken has been something new for him and the league. The Titans have enough D to make him nervous but not to stop him completely. Meanwhile the Ravens defense is looking better than anyone since the Ravens won the Superbowl. They match up against the Titans strength for strength. This will be a smash mouth encounter. I pick a surly swarming defense against a great running game. And then there's the Ray Williams fire. The Jake Reed hunger. I can't wait.

Eagles at New York Giants - The games both won at the others house this season. This is the tie Chinese Dancer
Click images for desktop size: "Chinese Dancer" by Unknown
breaker. The game will have almost a college feel. Two rivals who hate each other playing down in the cold and the dirt, true NFL style. There's too much intensity here. The Giants have played cruddy ball since the Plaxico Buress incident while the Eagles have played their best ball in the last four weeks, mainly thanks to studly play by Brian Westbrook. But the Giants have had the bye week to heal. They're completely healthy. The Eagles are in good shape but had a physical game last week. That and the fact the Giants have more talent makes me give them the pick. If all the games weren't so good this would be the game of the week.

San Diego at Pittsburgh - A few weeks ago they played in Pittsburgh. The Steelers won 11-10. ThisArena week the Chargers won't have super stud Ladainian Tomlinson. But the Steelers QB, Rothlisberger is coming off a severe concussion, the kind where you think you're someplace else dreamy. Rothlisberger will get battered. Holmes will pick up some of the slack. If Tomlinson were in the game I'd take the Chargers. Derrick Sproles (who grew 2 inches just by joining the NFL) is a nifty little back. He can't survive the battering from the Steelers and Polamanou. Last week against the Colts they were saying how Philip Rivers was willing the Chargers to the wind. What I saw was Rivers throwing a lot of iffy passes into too tight of a window. I think the Steelers won't let him get away with that. I can see the Steelers winning on a defensive score.

As usual these picks are for my contest and for laughs. I wouldn't pay any attention to them unless your idea of laughs is losing money to bookies . . .

September 23, 2008

Only lawyers guns and money can get me out of this
Warren Zevon

Pin Up JW McGinnis
Click images for desktop size: "Pin Up Art" by JW McGinnis
Still upset about the banks dumping my accounts and giving it to the state.
I still don't think I'm a fault here. It maybe legal but I feel like a victim.Godfather II I'm stunned that the bank nor the state ever made any effort to contact me. They just took the money. Out of the blue.
I'm looking for someone to blame.
I'd like to blame the bank. Part of it. The charge to loot my account for 40 bucks was $100.00. Now, under the best of circumstances that seems a touch excessive. I'm sure the exorbitant fee is somewhere in one of those small print pamphlets they hand you.
If the state gives them the go ahead I guess they have to hand over the cash . . .
The state wanted their money. When I asked why someone hadn't contacted me they said they didn't have to. It was in the papers I signed for my medical stuff.
It probably was. I might even have read it.
Click images for desktop size: "Grass" by Unknown
I keep wondering how a whole state got so desperate for money that they'd go to such extravagant lengths, potentially wrecking lives. I mean, this hurts me but its survivable. What if that were my rent money or the money for a kids operation. I can dispute the charge and get the money back. I give the woman I spoke to credit. She worked hard not to sound smug when she told me the process would take about two years . . .
I keep wondering why my 300 buck maybe debt for subsidized drugs was worth these steps and I keep coming back to Bush and all his tax cuts for the rich. Trickle down doesn't work. The state going to get its money and they're going to get it from the vulnerable, the poor.
The Wild Bunch Bush is going to give the rich $700 billion bucks because they used all the money he's already given them and blew it. I read somewhere that that's $1,600 for every person in the US. Rah! Could we maybe give three hundred bucks of that to the state so I can get my drugs?
I resent the fact that this money will be used by the investment banks to get themselves richer. There'll be nothing for the people, just for the rich minority.
I have to stop thinking about this. It just depresses me in so many ways. Personally and for my world view.
Getting depressed doesn't do much for anybody except for the rich who like poor people to be too depressed to do much about anything.
I called a couple of high schools and left my number inquiring about being a volunteer coach. I'm not pursuing the first school. Impressions, you see. I have value. If they can't see it then they never will, even if I canoodle them into taking me on staff I'll be the clip board carrier, the xerox boy, or the film indexer.
Those are all important jobs. I have talent greater than that.
Green Tea by Michael Puckaz
Click images for desktop size: "Green Tea" by Michael Puckaz
I'm going to keep looking. There's a lot I can do and want to do. I can't drive anymore so that limits me. With my ebike I've got a 10 mile radius I can cover. I look hard enough I'll find something that will work. Every other place I've volunteered in the last 5 years has been able to work around my inability to drive. No one ever indicated it was a big hassle. I wouldn't expect it to be here either.
Looking for work for money and looking for something to do where I can give what I do best for no money. I should be busier.
One bright thing. Its minor but it brings me small pleasure. When my hard drive died I lost my Shonen Knife music collection. I've managed to get some of it back.
2001 A Space Odyssey A lot of people don't know about Shonen Knife. A lot of people voted for Bush . . . Shonen Knife was one of Kurt Cobain's favorite bands. He requested them and got them to open up for Nirvana on two tours! Red Kross and Sonic Youth have both recorded songs as tributes to them!
More astonishing, to me anyway, is that Shonen Knife, the band, is over 25 years old! They started out as "The Osaka Ramones"!
The got better. At their best they combine that J-Pop bubble gum vitality with a driving pink guitar sound. Naoko Yamano, the guitarist, has the best right hand I've heard in years. She plays with a speed that rivals Johnny Ramone's.
Interestingly she plays often with a pure clean tube sound, where the normal thing today is to take the speed and distort it to give it crunch and drive. Atsuko, Naoko's sister, is the drummer. She keeps the beat. Surf
Click images for desktop size: "Surf" by Unknown
She's not as maniacal as I usually like drummers but she keeps a thudding pound going and does nicely on the light frill work.
Their cover of the Monkee's "Daydream Believer" is a nice intro into their poppier sound. It has exuberance and I still like the goofy phonetic english.
In their more "mature" stuff like "Tower Of The Sun" they show a graceful move into more serious modes. I think I prefer the total trash of their classic ode to gooniness "Banana Chips". Long live SHONEN KNIFE!
I'm taking my bike out today to check out dog foods. I need our dogs to have the best possible nourishment. I also need to save money. When the little blind dog was alive we had to be ultra-cautious about foods allowed in the house. He had so many allergies. Now the remaining trio only know they like food! Candide was killer expensive and we Asphalt Jungle finally managed to find a replacement that was about 20% cheaper but still offered all the nutrients and was hypoallergenic! Now, my quest, is to find the nutrients only and save money. I really do miss the company that custom made my dog food in my old state. They even delivered!
Oh, some people will be pleased that my puppy's site has been updated. I'm used to the kids dunning us about it. Some of them want it updated 3 times a day . . . but this time even ADULTS were bugging me!
It had to be done. Its more difficult lately. I didn't even take the pictures. Its not that I'm uninspired but, well, I just miss the little blind dog a lot. Its harder to have reportable adventures without him around.

September 19, 2008

You're my brother. You should have looked after me
Bud Schulberg

Falling Star by Emperaa
Click images for desktop size: "Falling Star" by Emperaa
There's a writer, Stanley Elkin. He likes to be identified as a Chicago writer. A pretty select group, I guess.
I can only think of Elkin, Saul Bellow and Sara Paretsky and that fellow who wrote "Man With the Golden Arm", Nelson Algren.
I always think of ALgren as New York based because of all his early TV work. The Legend Of Hillbilly John Thing is I always think writers who locate themselves in a particular area are pretty interesting. I mean, Faulkner had his mythic south, Kennedy has Albany New York, Joyce had Dublin and Chandler had L.A.
It always seems that the more specific a good writer gets the more universal his story becomes. I've got no proof of this. Its just the way things feel to me.
Stanley Elkin had multiple sclerosis. It killed him. He was probably thinking about how it was going to kill him when he wrote "The Living End".
"The Living End" is a funny story about this jewish guy who dies. The fellow goes to Heaven. He's disappointed because Heaven really doesn't come up to his expectations. He thinks it looks a lot like Disneyland, but he guesses its better than the alternative.
Suddenly he is confronted by the voice of God. God begins to berate our hero. He condemns him to hell because he once ate a piece of bacon, he wore pants with zippers instead of buttons, he worked on the sabbath. God casts this guy into the darkest pits of hell shouting out his final transgression; "and you thought Heaven looked like an amusement park!"
Fernando Vicente
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Fernando Viecente
For this sins the hero is doomed to suffer eternal torment alongside murderers, rapists, child abusers, lawyers . . . That his seemingly minor sins were seen, by God, to be as serious as genocide. A commandment is a commandment. A sin is a sin. Its a funny little book. Too hard to find, I think, but worth picking up.
There's always something about divine justice that horrifies and interests me. I think its pretty normal to at some part of your life to think that you've been hard done by. What's important, I think, is not to let it bug you to the point of being morose or silly or cruel.
I've taken it too far, often. I have an adolescent concept of correctness. My greatest fault has been in not allowing people who love me to be a part of me. Sometimes in idiotically minor ways. To let a player help me set up the field, help me carry stuff when my arms are full. The Canyon by Maxfield Parrish
Click images for desktop size: "The Canyon" by Maxfield Parrish
Little meaningless things that might have let them know that I valued them and trusted them to be a part of me.
Its an old true cliche that the easiest way to get someone to feel indebted to you is not to do them a favor but to allow them to do you a favor.
Somehow I turned that into a code. I didn't want to have people feel indebted to me. I feel indebted to so many and sometimes it weighs heavy. I wanted everyone I loved to feel unencumbered, free to pursue their dreams and to help others they met to pursue their dreams.
I have to remind myself that this tic of mine when added to my natural aloofness can make me seem heartless and unfeeling. That's not very important in itself, others perceptions of me. It is important when it makes people think that I think less of them. I don't grasp sometimes that how I feel about people is sometimes important to them. Probably a lot more The Hills Have Eyes important to them than how they feel about me.
Its just something I have to remember.
My friend sent me one of those test things that was supposed to tell you how much of an animal lover you are. I had a problem with it. The basic premise was skewed. It relied on a faulty concept that you could only love animals if you hated people . . . there was no lee way in thinking that animals and people are pretty equal in my eyes.
Its that same sort of thinking, not realizing there are alternatives that exist outside of ourselves that plagues me. I have to stay always aware of it or I become nothing except some sort of monstrous saint.

I've been calling the school twice a day trying to reach the HC. I left a message today. If he doesn't call me back I'll move along. There's a limit to how much stalking I'll do to get an unpaying gig.
My friends interview went well. They pointed out she's pretty well over qualified for the position. From what she says her potential immediate superior was the most concerned about this.
She liked the people and the job seemed interesting enough, at this stage, to keep her interested. They were seeing 9 applicants and will start their short list call backs on Tuesday.

Last night watched the last of this summers comic book flics. "The Incredible Hulk fits in nicely between "Iron Man" and "The Dark Knight."
I didn't think it was that good. The acting was fine and for the first time I appreciated Liv Tyler. Fat Frac by NBD
Click images for desktop size: "Fat Frac" by NBD
I had a hard time thinking of skinny Tim Roth as a quasi killer super soldier . . .
What I liked about the Hulk movie was that he wore purple pants, the Lou Ferrigno and whack Bill Bixby cameos, and that he says, "HULK SMASH!"
I also got excited because the story played out almost like the comic book "Abomination" I remember reading when I was a kid.
I was pretty disappointed in the action. I guess Corey Yuen was a lot more responsible for "The Transporter" than given credit for.
Of course all misgivings were forgotten at the end when Robert Downey Jr enters the bar and gives a hint that there'll be an Avengers movie next summer!
I know it wasn't promised but in these kind of things a hint is more binding than a promise.

September 18, 2008

I get what I want when I want it
The Hives

Electric Honey Hornet Mitten by J3 Designs
Click images for desktop size: "Electric Honey Hornet Mitten" by J3 Designs
They finally came and got the old washer and dryer out of here yesterday. Took them all of 7 minutes from entry to exit.
At least it's done. Now I have to write a letter to Sears complaining to get some more compensation. A week of inconvenience and extra work caused their sub-contractor should be compensated,
Teenage Doll Right now my friend is off on a job interview. The main attraction in this job is that it is less than a mile from the house!
Oddly her job title will be a reduction in status, from Controller to some sort of accounting manager. But the money will be close to the same . . . I put it down to the vagaries of working for not for profits.
Here present job is a national wilderness preservation group. Well thought of I guess. The job interview is in the same field but only state wide.
There's a small part of me that would like to see her stay at her present job. She's just getting to know the people and likes a few of them well.
Clarence Holbrook Carter
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Clarence H Carter
But the idea of being able to take the dogs over to meet up for lunch and whatever is more than a little cool.
Plus with the coming depression and the oil company gouging being able to walk to work and/or only having to drive a mile to work means a savings of about $500.00 a month!
And the time factor. Now her job is about 45 minutes a way. This is a 12 minute walk . . .
Its nice going on a job interview when there's no real pressure to get the job. It would just be nicer. Its all cool.
If she has fun on the interview maybe she'll get past being angry with me for not wanting to drive 100 miles to see the Mudhoneys . . .
She say's they're one of the original grunge bands. I think them as a tired punk metal act. I'll probably end up going and then if I hate the show I can use it as leverage to get something I want . . .
I've always had reservations about bands that name themselves after Russ Meyer's flics.

We finally watched "The Dark Knight". Evening Wind by Edward Hopper
Click images for desktop size: "Evening Wind" by Edward Hopper
I was pretty disappointed, especially as I'm a big fan of "Batman Begins".
"Iron Man" was definitely more fun. "The Dark Knight" had some decent moments but it was too thin to be such a long long movie. The acting was fine but not very exceptional. I thought Heath Ledger's Joker was more hammy (hammier?) than even Jack Nicholson's Joker.
Ledger had some decent scenes but they ended up being too mannered for my tastes.
Aside from Morgan Freeman's line about, "You think that one of the wealthiest most powerful men in the world is a vigilante who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands and you want to blackmail him?" there wasn't much to enjoy here.
The special effects and gismos were okay. The thing I spent The Beyond most of the time wondering about was how this movie got to be the monster hit that it is.
One thing I found fascinating was that the themes that it hit on most effectively were explored much more touchingly in "A Man Who Was Superman".
"A Man Who Was Superman" has been rising higher and higher in my estimation. It was such a light colored film that explored such dark insidious themes, but it did it with a smile on its face and a far more mature perspective on the world.
"The Dark Knight," at times seemed to be going for the dark for no real purpose than it was the easier thematic way out of things.
I like dark. I like unremitting darkness in movies too, but here they were going for too many other things and it got to be a bit of a mess.
The only thing I actively disliked though was the final battle between Batman and the Joker. The conflict between Gordon and Batman when we know that Bats is always right about this sort of thing, especially in view of the fact that Gordon kept being wrong throughout the movie added nothing but grate for me.
The comics have prepared me for the Joker getting that one lucky punch in that decks Batman but I couldn't quite accept that just whacking Batman with a pipe would get him down. Then for Bats to escape only because of a rather dull gizmo was annoyingly anticlimactic.
The Garment Jungle I watched WALL-E by myself last night. I didn't get it. I liked WALL-E and the insane cleaning robot but that was it. I didn't get the point of showing people as basically good but as fat non-moving unattractive non-capable creatures.
It made the ending bewildering for me.
There was a time when I would have gotten a kick out of the omnipresent Apple images - the iPod video, the robots re-booting with the Mac chimes, now it just comes across as commercial propaganda aimed at kids.
That's a bit too cynical for me.
Today I'm going to take the ebike to the store to get some dog food. Its about a two hour walk and about 15 minutes on the bike!
I love being mobile.

September 10, 2008

The New Poets Rebel

Wedding by Clarence Holbrook Carter
Click images for desktop size: "Wedding" by Clarence Holbrook Carter
There's an apochraphylic story from the sixties.
Lyndon Johnson was running for Senator. He told his campaign manager to start spreading a rumour that his opponent had carnal knowledge of sows.
The campaign manager was aghast. He sputtered, Hand of Death "Mr Johnson, we can't say he's a pig f***er! Its not true!"
In the joke Johnson replied, "I know that. The point is to make him deny it!"
The Republican Party never got the joke.
There latest commercial libeling Obama is a dangerous disgrace.
Implying that Obama is a pedophile goes too far. It harkens back to the evil Nixon "Dirty Tricks" campaign.
It also presents an ugly innuendo about the Republicans. The statement that they are using in their sly innuendo was a plea to teach kindergarten students the difference between good and bad touching from an adult.
Its not unreasonable to purpose that the Republicans don't want children to know the difference. Since they've created the ad its fair to surmise that they are advocating keeping children ignorant and even less able to protect themselves. Any right thinking man could decide that they wanted children ignorant so that they can prey upon them.
One of the few things I whole heartedly agree with Obama about and its twisted like this.
I've worked with young people for a whole lot of years. Its always been important to me that no kid, male or female, ever feel uncomfortable around me. I spend a lot of time in locker rooms with the kids. I've always made it a hard unbreakable rule that no coach, including myself, ever be alone with a kid in those sort of situations. There must always be at least one other coach and one other player. Its not much but its all I could come up. Kids are already woefully ignorant. They are Withus Flying Dog by Flying Wombat 007
Click images for desktop size: "Flying Withus Dog" by Flying Wombat 007
vulnerable. They need approval and they need affection. Even 6' 5" 280 pound line backers.
They have to be protected. They need to be better informed. They need cool headed education from day one.
Not according to the Republicans.
I'm not a bible student. Maybe there's nothing in the bible about protecting the welfare of children.
Sarah Palin is a nightmare.
One of her decisions as mayor was to have the police charge rape victims for their rape kit examination . . . . She's strongly, vigorously on record demanding that rape victims who might sadly become pregnant be forced to carry the child to term . . . Clearly sexual predators are not inhuman monsters in her eyes.
People are actually still claiming that the "liberal media" are being unfair to her and McCain. What liberal media?
McCain lies all over the place and it should be ignored? Gun Crazy And not ignoring it means you're a liberal?
McCain's incessant lying and rewriting of history being accepted as fact scares me. Its that old childish thing, "tell a lie three times and people will think its true." Its been proven effective for the Republicans since Nixon. Why change?
It does bother me that at his age McCain might not be able to tell what is the truth anymore. It would explain his stream of contradictory answers to things. Each moment he may be living in a different truth, like most of us.
Not being ageist just trying to understand how a man who purports himself to be a good man can be so many things that I typify as being a bad man.
Sarah Palin though: she's a pure monster. An ugly vile contemptible monster. Forgetting her bounty on wolves ($150 a leg . . .) Her vindictiveness and her Nazi like attempt to ban books, BOOKS! What is most vile is her attempt to suppress religious freedom.
Horrifique 2
Click images for desktop size: "Horrifique 2" by Unknown
I do consider attempts to "cure" homosexuals and Jews as vile and an attempt to suppress religious freedom.
Its not that I find her religion so bizarre. All religions look bizarre to outsiders. The Catholic church with its ritualistic cannibalism would terrify an alien. It preaches against graven images but fills its churches with statues and graven images . . .
I'm sure that my own personal religion formed from years of Catholic catechism, zen learned from TV, movies, comic books and rock & roll seem freaky and other worldly to anybody outside of myself but that's cool. Its what I believe and I have a right to it.
It works for me and it doesn't interfere with you believing whatever you believe in.
When a religion preaches that you have to give them money or you're not allowed to believe or that it preaches intolerance of another's beliefs it stops being a religion to me. It becomes something ugly that is only an excuse to hate.
Palin, when she's not slurring dogs is slurring people Halloween and slurring those people's rights to believe what they chose to believe. She has argued that her faith is the true faith and that others are wrong! She argues so fervently that it seems clear that she will not allow me to believe what I chose, nor will she allow you to have your own personal religion.
She calls herself a "hockey mom". Which, I guess, is some bastardization of soccer mom. I always thought of soccer mom as a pretty pejorative term. It implies a woman who has no interest in sports but doesn't mind schlepping her kids around because she gets to socialize with other pampered upper middle class and upper class women where they can sit around and kvetch about their husband's career. It also implies a woman who's world of experience is so shut down that they can't envision another world.
I never viewed it as a compliment. I don't know of any women who embrace the term, until now. In fact I know many woman who resent being called soccer moms. They think its degrading.
It looks like the Republicans are going to steal Gorgo the country from us and win the election. The rest of the world is amused or terrified. Unfortunately its our enemies who are amused and are friends and the neutral nations that are terrified.

Yesterday Apple released iTunes 8.
This is the worst piece of software Apple has ever released. It is draconian in the same way Microsoft is draconian. It is evil.
I'm not even talking about the way it begs for my complicity in sharing all my personal tastes and personality with them.
About 5 or 6 years ago, back in the days when OSX was called Jaguar, I think, Apple released an update that killed your internet connection! Not just mine but everyone who updated! I had to go to the public library and get the fix.
As ugly as that was most Apple users viewed it with wry amusement. We believed that Apple and its users were a team. This was just a mistake. We forgave and understood.
Then the iPod took off.
iTunes 8 is a cynical marketing ploy. Its contemptible.
One of the things I like about OSX is that its attractive, easy on the eyes, easy to work and concentrate without being overwhelmed with brutally ugly widgets and canvases.
iTunes 8 has decided that trying to trick me into impulse purchases is more important than me having my computer look the way I want it to look.
They've disabled some pretty basic functions. Some for no reason I can think of, some to turn iTunes into an advertising piece of spam.
Cabinet Of Dr Caligari
Click images for desktop size: "The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari"
Its unacceptable. By hacking around in the app I could get it looking presentable but then discovered that it renames all of my files and there is NO WAY to stop it. It does this for its convenience, not for mine. No way to keep my files named the way I want them named . . . how draconian. How Microsoft.
When this computer dies I will most likely get a much cheaper than Mac pc and run Ubuntu.
Apple is bending towards WalMart's ways and running the computers to the benefit of money and the iPhone. I bought the computer to work for me, not for them.
Oh, and there is no easy way to uninstall iTunes 8 and go back to iTunes 7. I know how to do it but I wonder if its worth the effort.
Nothing works better in iTunes 8. The only reason for the update was the Genius (!?!) bar and to add all the spam stuff.

Girls Girls Girls With all my carping you might not believe it but I had a good day yesterday.
I took my ebike to my appointment with the High School head coach. That was pleasant and fun.
The interview was less so. Nothing wrong with it but I have some questions that I never got the clear cut concise answers I wanted.
I'm being understanding. As usual I'm trying to be careful and not be too understanding. I'm trying not to let my eagerness cloud my judgement.
My phone just buzzed to tell me that I had to recharge the battery. In that moment I was totally rushed thinking it was "the call".
African Desert
Click images for desktop size: "African Desert" by Unknown
The main problem is that the school can't afford to hire pure football coaches. They have teachers who've volunteered for unpaid overtime . . . I've been there before.
Teachers have a different perspective on the kids then a coach does. They should. They have different responsibilities and, while they do share some common goals they also have different goals. My concern is that the overwhelming goal be to the benefit of the kids.
Now I just get to wait for my phone to recharge then I'm biking to the store to get a couple can's of dog food!
Life is good and interesting even if the outside world isn't.

July 29, 2008

Every doubt has an answer

Flying Lemons
Click images for desktop size: "Flying Lemons" by Unknown
I was sick yesterday. Not bad sick, just excess body fluid expunging sick. Some kind of flu I'd guess.
My friend put in a 14 hour day at work. She didn't get home until after 1 a.m. That might be a good thing. There was no one for me to take out my crabbiness on. Especially since she was near as sick as me.
Raw Deal The cat is surviving my haphazard health care. She bit me again while I was "treating" her. She's healing well, clearly. We are starting to settle back into our casual calm antipathy.
I did manage to watch a modestly interesting film, "Prey For Rock & Roll".
It started out interesting, at least. Its about a mid 30's woman who's been playing in bands for the last 20 years. Clinging to the dream of being a rock star.
This bit of the story was told with a voice over narrative. She talked a lot about things that bothered all of us who were still standing in front of a drunk crowd while we were considering whether it was worth it to buy medical insurance.
The movie had some good lines, "In twenty years I'd had more bands than I'd had lovers"; "It was a good gig. We made thirteen fifty apiece. That's not enough to support my eyeliner habit."
The fact that 3/4 of the femme band is gay was okay. It made it interesting to hear some of the same fears all gigging bands have come from the heart of a woman.
I liked the band stuff: The leader supporting Gothic Wallpaper by DE
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by de
herself with a tattoo parlour, the lead guitarist giving guitar lessons to thrashing chicks. That was good stuff that was to easy to relate to. The friction between boyfriends and girlfriends, the friction and joy within the band was all presented well and it was scary identifiable real. I liked the meetings in coffee shops with promoters.
I didn't even mind the stuff about dealing with the families. I even liked the older woman trying to cope with her lesbian heavily tattooed daughter who was nothing like the dream she had when she gave birth to the little girl. She wanted a housekeeper not a rock goddess.
But then it got stupid. It introduced too many melodramatic moments and just frittered away the story of the band. I mean the jerk off boyfriend (of the one straight member in the band) turning into a sexual predator with serious hang ups was hard to take for the wrong reasons. (The actor being really poor didn't help that bad idea much either) But then they added in this extraneous character and sub plot about incest and murder, the movie just got stupid. I watched a lot of it in fast forward Reform School Girls while my interest disintegrated.
I liked the idea of a band in LA. One thing that's true is Hollywood sucks in the young beauty contest winners and now it sucks in the people with rock star dreams. There seems to be enough to hold a movie together. For the first 40 minutes it was making a pretty cool feature but the filmmakers either got scared or they ran out of ideas and turning it into a movie about vulnerable women was boring stuff and wasted a great start.
Like most people I get the most disappointed when you promise me greatness then deliver me to drivel.

Today I'm going to work on a flier for the dog walking thing.
I liked meeting the new little dog. I figure a flier with a phone number would feel more real to people and maybe assuage some of the worries that I'm a house breaker or some such.
I also need to find out the local laws about posting fliers on lamp posts and things. I'd like to hit like every light post, at least one every fifty yards or so. But I don't want to get fined or something.
I'll also hit all the animal hospitals and pet stores (thanks for the suggestions)>
And I'll take the dogs for a longish walk. I still feel a bit ill. On the upswing but still thick around the middle sort of thing.
It doesn't sound busy but it will be.

I'm getting a lot of requests, again, abut where do I get this or that picture.
I've answered this before. Some people send them to me. They make them. I trade sometimes and sometimes I just stumble across them. A very very few I make myself. A lot are art scans I turn Wolverine
Click images for desktop size: "Wolverine" by Marvel Comics
into desktops (wallpapers for you Windows guys).
I used to not use stuff that had no artist info but I soon found out a lot of that info was wrong anyway. But I seldom remember where I got anything that has a generic name or an unknown attached to it. If it says anonymous that means the person who sent it to me doesn't want their name floating around. I respect that.
I got some interesting "new" music this weekend. I hope I get to hear some of it today.

July 11, 2008

Went for a walk to see what we could see
Freddie Cannon

Click images for desktop size: "Vienna" by Unknown
Got to work yesterday.
Made fifteen bucks by hauling 15 refrigerators up 2 and 3 flights of stairs in a renovated apartment building.
There was another guy helping. The boss paid us in advance!
My immediate thought was to look over at my partner to see if he'd skip out on me and leave me with all the hauling. He didn't but I think he was considering it. I think that if I'd said I'd go along with it he'd have rabbited.
New Adventures Of Batman and Robin It was pretty easy work. Took us about 3 hours. It really should have taken about 90 minutes tops. I thought about some guys in Texas I'd worked with. They'd have finished the job in about 30 minutes and then we'd have been off looking for another job.
Nice not to be quite that desperate.
A neighbor woman, older than me, if you can believe such an ancient person exists - older than me indeed, was out mowing her lawn. My instinct was to offer to do the job for a few bucks. She's nice to the dogs so I offered to help her for free. I admit I was glad she turned me down. All the walking and hauling had left me pretty shattered. My ham strings are unbelievably tight.
The rain is pouring down here. No chance to amble and look today. Then there's a weekend so its staying in and suffering the modern way, with beau coup movies and music to divert and amuse.
I'm out of pills, out of sugar free sweetener. I still can't drink coffee without sweetener. I'm a wimp like that.
I still miss my little blind dog.
The rain bought him fresh to the fore front of my mind. The thunder terrified him. When it thundered he'd get as close to me as possible. During bad thunder rolls he'd dig his head into my arm pit if I was lying down, or jump into my lap if I was sitting.
Seems creepy missing somebody like this. Missing them being terrified, I mean. It seems cruel.

I still don't want an iPhone. I'm mildly interested in an iPod touch, which is just an iPhone without the phone. The only impact the iPhone has on me is that Apple updated the AppleTV firm ware to work with the iPhone. The update included some nicer looking icons.

July 8, 2008

The eyes have it

Love With A Gun
Click images for desktop size: "Love With A Gun" by Unknown
Went out and found some work today.
Not much. Looked for about 3 hours. Worked for about 2 and a half hours. Made twelve bucks.
There were times when twelve bucks looked tiny. Other times when twelve bucks looked even bigger than this. Phantom Of The Opera These dollars look only slightly larger than human sized.
I got 7 bucks for one job helping an older guy clear stuff out of his yard and stack it by the curb. Found it in the first 1 hour. Worked for about 45 minutes. He paid me with all the change he had in his pocket - seven dollars. I thought it was fair.
Then I walked around for a bit, let the sweat dry on my body. Finally got on at an apartment complex with the landscaping crew. Worked for about 2 hours, raking, blowing (with one of those heavy gas powered things strapped to my back) and picking up the garbage.
I didn't mind the work. It was tedious so I let my mind go other places.
I came crashing back to reality when the Foreman gave me five bucks . . . I told him I thought he made a mistake, that I'd been working for over 2 hours. He then told me where'd they'd be tomorrow if I wanted to show up . . . Then he just turned his back on me and walked away.
My options were to either look ridiculous, chase after him and slug him. This probably would not have gone well. He had about 2 inches and 40 pounds on me, even if 30 of those pounds were fat.
Or I could get my pack, sling it over my shoulder and walk away, cursing him under my breath and vowing he'd never steal another Tuesday from me. Which is sort of what I did.
With the economy going the way it is there might be a day coming too soon when that five bucks looks bigger than it is.
Walking home I thought about how America has been destroyed by the guys who scream loudly that they're trying to save our country. Someone once said never to trust a man who wear his patriotism like a flag.
All that group appears to have done is fatten Crow Dancer
Click images for desktop size: "Crow Dancer" by Unknown
themselves on our backs and create a country that has seen the rich get richer and evolve into a tighter and smaller group. Right now they say that 10% of the people in this country have 90% of the wealth.
I remember when these stats were used to explain banana republics and to explain and criticize the poverty and turmoil of a starving peoples.
RoboCop was the first film where it was calmly stated and accepted that Corporations are evil and that they're going to stay that way.
Recently I was stunned to discover that Roger Ailes is the head of the incendiary news department of Fox TV.
Now ignoring the fact that FOX is owned by a Briton who got an astonishingly fast American citizenship so he could own American TV networks and newspapers . . . and send the money out of the country. . . A citizenship that might have gone to someone who actually wanted to live here and be American, who might contribute to society instead of taking from it.
I met Roger Ailes a few times decades ago. Back then he was personal management for some actors I knew.
The last time I met him was at a Hollywood party. Jaws 3D The discussion there was how he was quitting show biz. Not really, he was media consulting for Republican Party candidates.
As he espoused their values we couldn't help noticing that all of his new political candidates were extreme right wing and all pretty well established losers. A couple of his former clients noted that he espoused his new clients credentials and suitability for the job in the same tones of fervor he used when pitching one of his clients for a Cheeto's commercial.
I noticed weeks later that all of his clients lost their elections. Ailes must have been good though. Next time I read about him he was handling Presidential campaigns.
Now he's heading a TV news department. He's managed to combine show biz and politics. Pretty nifty. I have no concept or clue as to his sincerity. I mean selling Cheeto's and selling the way we're going to live our lives isn't that big a difference in my mind.
And he's even richer and I'm begging for dollar bills.
By the standards of America 21st Century that means Ailes has been right and I've been wrong.
I miss the days when the bad guys played the same way they do now. With evil, no scruples and a sick joy in the pain and damage they inflict as they ignore the rules and plot endlessly for their own selfish goals. I liked that because a good guy would come along and kick their butts. He wasn't handcuffed by the rules, he relished them and believed that "Right made Might!"
Now there's no more heroes. We all play by the same lack of rules and I don't like it.
Click images for desktop size: "Mahouse Comics" by MC Publications
I don't like it near as much as when the lines actually existed and good and bad weren't dependent on the wind of the day.

I got the mp3 leeching problem sorted, I think. Please let me know if anyone has problems.

My friend went to the doctor yesterday. Nothing happened. New doctor who did nothing but talk - not tests or . . . so she has to go back.
No one likes going to the doctor, especially for a second visit that has to accomplish the same thing that the first was intended to.
I know about that.
The important thing is that I was measured at 5' 11 and 1/2 inches. She was 5' 4 and 1/2 inches.
This means I win the all important height war by a handy margin. Even though I wonder where I lost that 1/2 inch I always used to have with me . . .

February 19, 2008

Just roll me on down the aisle

JW McGinnis
Click images for desktop size: "Book Cover" by JW McGinnis
One of those days where all I feel is the waiting.
Life in stasis.
Of course the waiting is for money.
I know a whole lot of guys who'll insist the only things worth waiting for are women and money, and generally in that order.
Th Big Bird Cage From that the general supposition is that you need money for the women . . . or vice versa. Not sure. I am sure that time and education has taught us that's not really true.
Waiting for my tax refund. Got it in my head that the tiny pice of money will solve some issues, relieve some stress.
I have a friend who has a retirement plan. He buys a lottery ticket every week. Always picks the same set of numbers and one quick pick. I never thought much of his plan but at least it was a plan.
I have noticed that people are different with money. I think its might even be a genetic thing. Maybe there's a capitalistic gene.
You give some people five hundred bucks and in a month they'll turn that into a thousand, in two months four thousand. Then there are guys who'll get five hundred and pay off some bills and save a third. Then there are guys who get themselves a new toy. We all have friends who'll use the money to pay off some bills and then feel so good about that they'll go off and buy a gift for the girl friend or wife and get themselves a new toy and end up a g-ball in the hole.
Not required to be the root of all evil but sure as the full moon doesn't give a damn about your broken heart when you look at most of the superficial problems we all have it always seems the root is money.
School lunches and designer shoes. Money.

Edmund Dulac
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Edmund DuLac
My friends who jobs I was stressing about yesterday seem to have had better times of it.
I'm all for that. I'm all for people having a better time with their stress than I have.
For my friend with the job bad review one of her superiors stepped forward and told the bigger boss that the comments attributed to her were false.
In a court of law that one statement would be enough to get the whole kaboodle tossed out. When the crux of one statement is found to be made of whole cloth lies the courts will bounce the whole package as unreliable. Or maybe that's the old days way of handling it. Justice has always been transitory. Look, the Senate just made it justice for the FBI and ATT&T to spy on you, listen to your phone calls and read your email. Six years ago that would have been injustice.
Don't know much about how corporations handle things like this. I'd guess they'll do whatever till save them money and keep the unions out of their shops.
Bride Of Frankenstein At least the fear of unions, the fear of having to treat your family of employees fairly and equitably is enough for that at least. (Corporations get like snippy men - They claim they want to treat people fairly they just don't want to be forced into it . . . that's why they use threats and intimidations and lies to keep unions out of their shops . . . )
At least it looks like she'll be as alright as you can be working in a corporation. They still haven't fixed the health insurance issue.
My other friend ended up working completely left alone yesterday. She worked about twelve hours and discovered she likes her job. The hell comes from other people. No surprise there. Even Sartre realized that correctly.
Sartre just left out the part about money.

December 20, 2007

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Santa's Workshop
Click images for desktop size: "Santa's Workshop - Christmas Card 2005"
And suddenly everything is beginning to look alright.
Its not quite "Twas The Night Before Christmas" but its getting there and it feels enough like it to not matter.
Woody Woodpecker And isn't that a part, a small part, of Christmas? That the grief and hatred and rage of the world can be overwhelmed?
My friend got her dream job.
Her pay cut will be more than I grossed last year . . . but its still her dream job. Doing something you believe in, using your skills to achieve a dream you've had, a dream that's just not in her world but in all of ours.
Its the sort of dream that I wanted my kids to strive for. And she got it.

The new host is turning out to be pretty impressive. I'm not sure if that's because the old host was disintegrating so badly that I've lost perspective or if Blue Host is really that good.
At dot5 the mysql server was dying so every time you did something that touched it the database would just corrupt all the more. Trust me; a busted database is something you just do not want.
They helped me fix it. I never expected that.
I still can't run Movable Type 4.1 beta. And you know how it gnaws at me to not be running all the alpha and beta software that I can . . .
It will get fixed and I'll have it sorted out soon enough. Yup.
Its that kind of day.
Everything seems possible.
Its coming up Christmas.
Napping By The Fire - 2004
Click images for desktop size: "Napping By The Fire - Christmas Card 2004"
There are parts of myself I don't like.
I am conceited so that might surprise you.
Parts of me I don't like!
But its so.
During this mini-crisis I was afraid of it.
I'd figure some of you have seen it.
I'm not every in touch with my human side (lets not even waster time talking about feminine side!).
It manifests itself when things get bad. I start to lock down and prepare to do nothing else except endure.
I disconnect from physical and emotional sensations. I go off of pure intellect and rage.
Its my survival mode.
It doesn't make it pleasant to be around me.
Wizard Of OzI'm into the mode so it doesn't impact me much at all except for hating the lack of feelings, while thinking this is the only way to make it through.
Through all of this recent spate I've noticed that I didn't fall into that mode automatically. For me that's a big step; not just waking up and being in that monstrous mode.
And then I never really fell into it. Yeah, I had to fight it some, but not enough to want a cashiers check for.
I think its my puppy. She has demands and some needs. She keeps me sane.
I think its my friends. They need caring for to struggle on too.
Its probably a combination of all of these things and a lot of things I don't even know exist.

The Pittsburgh - St Louis game is on TV. I picked the Steelers although I wouldn't be surprised to see the Rams beat them.

December 19, 2007

If you can hear this

Merry Christmas If you're reading this it means that you're at the new hosting site and your name servers have migrated!
I was looking at the old traffic meter I kept and it's apparent that the old host had been dying for months and months.
Here everything just feels zippy!
I'm glad you found us again . . .
Comic Cavalcade Today was just a day of waiting. Me: I waited for the old Registrar to release the domain name. My friend had a bit more difficult time. She was waiting for her dream job to call.
No real reason to expect them to, except that each of her references would call her after they spoke to her dream job and they indicated they would probably make a job offer today.
No phone call.
She (and I for that matter) would be disappointed but would accept not hearing from them. I still stir up a lot of anger towards her jerk ex-employers. I have nothing but bad feelings towards them and it codifies all the bad I had felt about them previously only in a more grotesque gargantuan form.
There's still tomorrow.

It was warmer today, which was justification to not finish all the snow shovelling . . . it justified it to me anyway.
My back is feeling about 90% right now but my right shoulder is cramping up.
We went for a walk, the blind puppy, my puppy and I. They rejoiced in the warmer weather and the sight of kids having snow ball fights and sliding around in the slush.
It felt like Christmas was really almost here.

December 16, 2007

Sometimes I just don't get it. And then I do.

Christmas Card 2005
Click images for desktop size: "Christmas Card 2005" by Unknown
It's colder than I'm used to. I can only think of a few times when I've ever been colder.
THose times I was places where it was foolish to expect it to be anything but freezing.
Maybe that's the way it is here too.
New Adventures Of Batman And Robin A while ago I came back from Europe and went to Texas. Too complicated to explain why Texas. It was he place I thought I had to be.
One of the reasons I was glad to be returning to America was that I had seen the rights of people, of workers and children stomped on. It was a disgrace.
I never figured that the European Employers had either decided to follow the American lead or if the US Government had decided that people were no longer as important as corporations. Workers not as necessary as stock holders . . .
By trusting in people and trusting in the law I got myself into the worst hell of my life.
Where do you go when they tell you that you're right but no money comes in the window while the landlord pounds on the door?
Its sad because my friend is in the same situation. A wrongful termination by a failing company. They owe her money but they're not going to pay so that they can save themselves her "golden parachute", which wasn't all that golden.
And the strength of it is that they are going to make her go the whole ten yards and sue them. The logic is simple: They'll either settle before judgement or they'll be out of business.
Nice guys. Businessmen.
There's no escaping them.
Merry Xmas.
Tomorrow my puppy goes for her level 2 Obedience certificate. She needs 6 points from her Down Stay.
She doesn't like to lie down. I realized that she never has and I got her to do it for her Therapy dog training by making it a game. Its compounded now because she views the down command as another word for PLAYTIME!
Its my fault . . . the children always pay for the sins of the father.
Christmas Card 2006
Click images for desktop size: "Christmas Card 2006" by Unknown
Its not terribly important that she pass or get a certificate. Its only important for her self esteem . . . ??? Okay, I'd be proud if she got the Certificate because it comes with a red ribbon she can beat up!

And now . . . THE NFL!
No matter how many water heaters or appliances die around me that no one can afford to replace I always keep my priorities straight.

Last week I was 14-2, which sounds pretty good but actually dumped me all the way down to 2,393rd place! With 3 weeks to go it is daunting, but I'll have fun anyway. Strangely I'm not mathematically eliminated . . .
As usual my picks are in Bold.

Le Samourai Denver at Houston - I picked Houston as there defense has been coming on stronger and stronger while their running game has reached its peak, which os good - not great. The Bears proved last year that a good defense and good running game can take you places. Denver is falling apart. They should win one or maybe two games but they're done this year.

Cincinnati at San Francisco - The Bengals are a much better team than their record shows. If they had a line backer survive the first month of the season or anything resembling a defense they'd be contenders. The 49er's remain suspect. But, as I write this they trail the Bengals by 3, 10-7! So who knows. Nah. They'll lose. Frank Gore is not good enough to carry this team.

Arizona at New Orleans - Two teams playing out the string when all they really want to do is go home and dream of next year. I give the nod to the Saints because Drew Brees is playing for more than a contract. He's got a chip on his shoulder and the talent to make doubters pay.

Atlanta at Tampa Bay - What else bad could happen to the Falcons. I feel for them and know what they're going through. Not enough to pick them but . . . other teams have had sudden coaching teams and come out and played inspired football . . . just not often against a decent team that is trying to lock down a play off spot. It would be beautiful if it happened though. Just beautiful.
Christmas Card 2004
Click images for desktop size: "Christmas Card 2004" by Unknown

Baltimore at Miami - I'm telling you the Dolphins are the most feared team in football right now. No one wants to be the guys they beat. The Dolphins are even bringing in the 35th Anniversary team - the perfect team - to help rally them. Still, the Ravens have been snake bit the last two weeks. They should get better here. And if the Dolphins lose and the Patriots win (they should) history will be made next week when a 14-0 team meets an 0-14 team. The universe needs that sort of balance.

Buffalo at Cleveland - The Game Of The Week by far! I'm taking The Browns because of home field advantage, mostly. But its a game on the cusp, I think. And I'll get it on TV . . . which is something good.

Green Bay at St Louis - The Rams aren't as bad as their record but the Packers and Favre have the look of a team wanting to make history. I want them to make history!

Osmosis Jones Jacksonville at Pittsburgh - I'm surprised the Steelers are so heavily favored here. I guess the logic is home field advantage and their recent 1-3 spat will send them on the field angry. My instincts are that the Jaguars could make this a rout but will get dizzy and let the Steelers keep it close. My runner-up game of the week. I won't get this on TV . . .

New York Jets at New England - I see football as sport and art. There's not much difference to me between ballet and a wide receiver, between a boxer and a down line man, between a back and an opera star. Except nobody belittles you if you say you don't like football. The Patriots are looking like magic. Billichik has the whole Spy-Gate fiasco to fire up his team. Pity the Jets.

Seattle at Carolina - The Seahawks are working hard to make people believe they belong in the play offs. The Panthers don't have enough talent to convince them other wise.

Tennessee at Kansas City - I almost feel sorry for the Chiefs. If Vince Young would stop worrying about stats and just play his game this could be a rout. Their defense is better with Haynesworth even at 50% and their running game is a wonderful thing. The Chiefs are just looking to avoid the off season cull,

Indianapolis at Oakland - Since the Raiders have already conceded the game when they guaranteed time for rookie Jackson at QB how could anyone pick them. Peyton Manning has a rep as a great guy but do you notice the blood in his eye at game time?

Detroit at San Diego - I feel sorry for the Lions. They worked so hard all season and especially last week. I hope they all get a chance to return as a team and try again next year, avoiding the pot holes. The Chargers are a disappointment, especially Philip Rivers and even Tomlinson has not looked good. Without Shawn Merriman as creaky defense got worse but they should still have enough to squeak by the disappointed Lions.

Philadelphia at Dallas - Boring game of the week. There's no magic left in the Eagles. They may get crazy and shock the Cowboys but not in Dallas.

Nell McAndrew
Click images for desktop size: "Nell McAndrew"
Chicago at Minnesota - The Bears are going with Kyle Orton . . . Adrian Peterson is healthy. I'm looking forward to the Vikings making the playoffs. Aside from the Cowboys and Packers the pool is so weak they could get deep into it.

Washington at New York Giants - This is my cruddy game of the week. Both teams confuse and confound me but not in any pleasant way. Neither of them are playing good football. I'm taking the Giants because they always seem to play just well enough to save Tom Coughlin's job.

As usual using these picks for any reason than to admire my insanity is just plain silly!

July 25, 2007

I wanted to love you even when you made it impossible
Anais Nin

Click images for desktop size: "Eternity Comics"
a common theme lately seems to be hectoring me about not keeping this log regularly updated.
I'm not sure why.
I'd hope its to see the pretty pictures.
For some I guess it's to be able to check in and see that I'm okay, maybe to see what sort of whacky adventures my puppy and I have gotten into today.
Other than that I'm at a loss.

I have been busy. Very busy this whole week.
Busy always seems to result in me being dead tired.
Last Wednesday I had to go to the State Legislature and talk about dogs. Sadly to talk about humane ways of killing dogs. As if there is any humane way for anything to die.
It went over well but not in my eyes or ears. No one was converted, I'm fairly sure. Rhetoric that doesn't effect change is sinful to me.
State employees want to round dogs up and execute them quick and easy. They use the machine invented by the Nazi's for Auschwitz and Triblenka. I can understand without empathizing with their situation. They want their job to be easy. It doesn't matter to them whether dogs and cats expire with dignity or wrapped in fear, confusion and fighting each other as well as death.1936 - Assassin Of Youth
Thinking about that made me think that I hope Michael Vick is guilty of the things he's been indicted for. If he isn't guilty its a real crime the way he's been pilloried.
I'm not religious but I think that all creatures deserve respect, to live a life of their choosing. To grow and live free.
I don't think Vick, the State or dog pound employees have a right to choose harsh brutal methods of killing living things.
If I hear the phrase, "They only kill the ones who aren't adoptable," again, I might have to decide the speaker is un-adoptable. I figure if they have the right to decide life and death then they give me the same right.

I've been mad trying to get all the paperwork and logistics ready for my move.
Its a pleasant if arduous chore.
Its time. There are people I'll miss, of course, but a brighter future lies ahead.
I'm worried how my puppy will cope with it. She adores me and I hope that is enough for her to endure all she'll have to go through.
I know she'll try.
Today she passed her final exam. She's now certified to work with mentally retarded patients. It takes a load more forbearance, tolerance and empathy as well as old fashioned patience.
I figure living with me for 2 years has taught her that. She always understands and trusts me. Even now when she's on a diet, she stays an overweight ball of love.

Too many of the people I work with are getting dogs. I keep wondering what hole they're trying to fill in their lives. Most seem to want a dog to entertain them. They don't share their lives they just expect the dog to be a perfect house guest and not a loved member of the home.
Out of four dogs 3 have been returned to the shelter . . . one because, in four hours, it was claimed the dog did nothing but attack him. Smart dog.
Of course this idiot got another dog right away.
Frank Frazetta-No Title
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Frank Frazetta
I'm not just being harsh. This fellow is an absolute idiot. He frightens me because he's the sort of guy who I think is truly un-adoptable.
I met him at lunch. He weighs 325. I know as that's how he introduced himself and as, "I'm Brian Junior and that stands for BJ and that stands for Blow job and I loves 'em. I weigh 325. My ex-wife is a maniac (sic) depressive who used to beat the hell out of me. I left school after the 7th grade. Look at me! Who says you need an education."
Hell of a way to meet someone. Since this was in a crowded restaurant and he felt the need to shout at the top of his voice so that all heads turned towards him I spent the rest of the hour trying to make sure he didn't breathe on me because I was already certain that if he touched me I'd have to slug him.
He spent the rest of the time telling everyone how much smarter he was than all of us. We work hourly paid jobs so I'm confused as to what he considers success.
He's back with his wife who actually outweighs him. His wife moving in with him is what prompted the decision to get a dog.
Poor dog.
1956 - The She-Creature I saw two films of note.
One Japanese, "Memories Of Matsuka". Its the story of a an obese bag lady who is murdered in a park. A young guitarist in a punk band is visited by his father who orders him to clean out the hovel she's been living in. The kid is surprised to learn he had an aunt.
While cleaning out the refuse and squalor he begins to get glimpses of what his aunt was. Se was a child jealous of her father's attention to her terminally ill sister.
Matsuka goes off and become a teacher, then a modern geisha, a topless dancer, a yakuza's moll, a singer, a prostitute and finally a murder victim. Her life is told in bright super saturated colors. The story amazes and delights, confuses and confounds. Its remarkable and all the more so in that Matsuka isn't all that extraordinary. The people she met were all just people. The glamour she knew is that a cell mate from her time in prison turns out to be a wildly successful porn star. In other words Matsuka's life isn't any much different than any of ours.

The other was South Korean, "Miracle On First Street". Its about the mad rush in Korea to industrialize, to compete with Japan and the USA. To do this a lot of nasty things are done to rather nice people. A gangster is sent in to terrorize the people of a slum to move out so that his boss can build a fancy high rise.
Click images for desktop size: "Butterfly" by OCLE
The gangster isn't too good at this. He meets the kids and is inadvertently turned into their protector. He meets a girl who aspires to be a championship boxer, like her brain damaged father. And with just that the film progresses easily into being a great comedic, tragic miracle. Their are three miracles. The first is supernatural and just a red herring to set you up for the true miracle of First street. And like all miracles it is merely human.
The third miracle is this little movie.
Only other thing of passing interest is the people who come to see me at work. The priest who tells me of his fears about his marriage and his first son, and the psychiatrist who I first new as a resident talking with me about his concerns in his life before him.
Students talking about trips and plans, men and woman talking to me about the ashes in thier arts and how badly they've handled a bad relationship.
I have no idea why they talk to me about it. I used to think they just talked to anyone who would listen, but now I'm not so sure.

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April 26, 2007

Sitting In la la waiting for my ya ya uh huh Lee Dorsey

Scarey Nightmare By Donnalorelei
Click images for desktop size: "Scarey Nightmare" by Donna Lorelei
I felt pretty good yesterday.
It was my day off. Hence no work and none of that insipid drama.
At the doctor's I realized that the pain had abated.
Not gone but just calmed down to the point where I hadn't even thought of taking pain killers for the past 3 days!
It's still there, like a sprained ankle that you can walk on but you're always aware of. That's okay, even if i does flow through my whole body.
That thought buoyed me through the rest of the exam. Everything is holding steady. And that's good.
I took the rest of the news in better cheer. They want me to stop working - which is great except they don't offer to pay my bills or feed the puppies.
Its not so much that they object to me working, they don't want me to have contact with people. People are germy things, I guess. Maybe that's why I find them so attractive. They want me to go into a plastic bubble sort of environment..
That's not worth considering. Its not so much that people will kill me. Not mere contact anyway, so much as people will always make me sick like this. I can't fight off infection, its not like HIV, its that all infections will step up my white cell count and decrease the red cell count, which means pain, fatigue and general creepy feelingness.
That's not so bad. People are worth that . . . most people anyway.
1940 - Girls Under 21 I just have to tell those guys who like to come around me and spit constantly to knock it off. I find it disgusting anyway. Not so much the spitting but it seems there are some guys, usually the ones who like to tell me jokes from the "Blue Collar Show" who think that clearing their throats and spitting every 90 seconds (yeah, I've timed it) is cool.
If you have the flu or a cold I get to bop you one!
It can be dealt with.
Then my puppy has started to feel better. She apparently had an irritated colon. They're not sure what caused it but the speculation is that she was stressing because I've been so unwell. Who built empathy into the canine mind?!?
Our vet gave me FREE advice. I was thinking we'd done something to offend her and she didn't want us to come into the office . . . yeah, I've been sick . . . she was just saving us money.
Her free cure is working!
the dumb puppy never acted sick, she was always happy and telling me jokes but she was panting heavily, drooling and had diarrhea for 6 days. Poor thing, and she still kept telling me jokes and bringing me coffee . . . she does tell me jokes anyway . . . dog jokes . . . they are not very subtle . . .
Finally I got to go to the Animal Shelter and visit the puppy we "rescued".
It angers me that her life before was so bad that this is the first time I have seen her unafraid and very happy. She was so much better I couldn't hold on to any anger on her behalf.

I was feeling so good I agreed to be a special consulting coach for the pee-wee football team.
I think that means I get all of the fun and none of the stress. One thing about pee-wee football is that too many parents and adults don't understand that I've got nil interest in winning those games. I'm more thrilled having the kids tell me how a play worked. I seldom can understand exactly what they're saying - usually they forget to take out their mouth pieces when they're talking to me. But I certainly understand the joy in their faces and the thrill of succeeding.
That's the biggest victory you can have.

Works getting worse. I don't even like thinking about it. Too much nonsense. For an unsupervised job where I get paid by the hour they demand too much, they take too much and they give too little.

April 4, 2007

Kid, what's it worth to you?

Click images for desktop size: "Safe" Major League Baseball
I've been a bit . . . unwell.
Saw the doctors today on an emergency visit. Its a good news/bad news thing.
The good news is that I don't have to take that horrible oral chemo till they sort it all out.
The bad news is that my white blood cell count is too high and red cells too low - which explains a lot about how I've been feeling.
The worst part is just the general malaise and fatigue. There's freaky pain but its just pain and nowhere near as bad as the pain of losing a friend.

I lost a friend today.
Eddie Robinson passed away. He was 88. He coached football.
He wasn't like what most people would consider a friend. I met him once when he spoke at a conference for coaches.
I was coaching in England then. Had just started. I loved the kids but there were odd things - just as an example. I was the HC but before every game I had to mark out the field, set up the end zone and all the field markers. Then after the games I had to break all down and put it all away.
1956 - The Creature Walks Among Us Nothing wrong with doing that but it felt weird.
I cornered Coach Robinson and talked about it. He told me about when he started at Grambling he had to do the same thing.
He got to the point where he looked forward to it and when Grambling Football got big enough to support a full time grounds crew he sometimes even missed it.
I remembered that. I always remember it too the first time some players showed up early just so they could help me get the field ready for game day. My team were considered socially excluded, which is fancy talk for being bums and hoodlums. It meant a lot on that day - I remember thinking that the sun cut through the early morning haze a bit quicker that day.
I never saw them that way but the rest of the UK did. The hardest part was making sure they didn't see themselves that way.
I talked to Coach Robinson a few times about it. I've talked to a lot of football coaches in my time and one thing he and I never discussed were X's and O's.
We never discussed the mechanics of playing the game on the field. He always talked about getting the players prepared to step on that field and more importantly about the time when they would step off the field forever.
Coach Robinson won a lot of football games. He's still number 1, 2 or 3 all time. (I'm not sure where Bobby Bowden or Coach Paterno fit in on the list). He sent a heck of a lot of players to the NFL. He was proud of them but I think he was prouder of the players who left the game and opened their own businesses and raised families.
The few times we talked it was always about how to use this sport of ours to get these young men ready to win in the important game out there in the world.
That's what I'll miss the most, that there is one less man on this planet who thinks that more important than dollars, more important than fame, is the importance of being proud of yourself, of loving your community, of loving your family. That more important was how much love you could give, not how much you could take.
The coaches most important job was to instill those qualities in the players who came to you and to teach them that those qualities won on and off the field.
Eddie Robinson was a great coach and a great man.
Blatte Satinends 1440X900
Click images for desktop size: "Satin Ends" by Blatte
There's a lot more that's been going on.
My little foster puppy Noelle is on her 1 week trial for her new forever home. I hope it works out. I was surprised to discover that some people think that they are getting to try out the puppy for a week, and some think the puppy gets to try out the new parents. I think its just enough time to see if they fit and can become a family.
I have a new puppy to share the place with my puppy. She's older and a bit scared right now. She just came an hour ago.
She'll be fine.

I got a raise at work! Fifteen months after my last raise. I got 3% which would be okay if I were making 60K plus.
I get paid by the hour so the raise is less than $500 per year . . . or about less than half the going rate of inflation.
I merited this raise because I increased net profits by 18%.
What is shocking is that they'll be shocked when I quit.

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March 16, 2007

I'm not the kind of snob who can accept Literature Of Entertainment in the past but only Literature of Enlightenment in the present
Raymond Chandler

Chris Achilleos29
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Chris Achilleos
A lot going on but all of that minor stuff that just says we're alive.
One thing I'm pretty good about is not dwelling on things that are out of my control.
I'm not much for fretting. Or for thinking things through, in some opinions.

Its been a slightly hectic time again.
Took my puppy to the dog park. It was a rather large group I'd thrown together. There was an equally large group of people already there.
My puppy is becoming a dog. She fretted. She didn't play, not even with the dogs she knew.
She didn't like me being around other people. She ignored all the dogs but fully checked out every person of the human type who was there. After she'd sniffed them all she stayed stuck to my side. If anyone walked too near me she interposed herself between them and I.
She wasn't aggressive but she was having no fun. Her whole mission in life was to not let anyone get to near to me. I don't know what she thought would happen.
The only time she relaxed was when we went far off by ourselves. Then she'd take a treat and try and tell me a bad dog joke or two.
I have no idea where she got the idea that I had to be protected. Might be just a part of the breed.
Problem is, my problem, is I want her just to have fun.
Robocop(1987)-01 When I was able to take her into work with me everyday she got past the fear of me being around other people. She was attentive but she quickly got over the stress. Now being at home most days she worries.
Silly girl.

I saw the 300 on TV. I think the story of the Spartans' Battle of Thermopylae is the most stirring in history. I think of it often in times of crisis and always remember that it took only one man to believe in himself to change the entire course of history.
Oddly the Rudolph Mate' 60's version, "The 300 Spartans" was more accurate historically . . . 300 keeps a nice feel to the battles and keep the fighting more in line with the Spartan style. The biggest problem with 300 is that the guys all looked like fighters but it was pretty obvious they couldn't fight!
The clocked down swooshy photography became monotonous for me. It did a good job of hiding the lack of skill but the end result let me wishing Liu Li Chian was directing this.
I felt some bursts of anger at someone retelling a story I love - the adultery scene was baffling and added nothing. With all the the fol der rol they never attempted to lay any background to the Spartan culture - "they beat people up a lot" clearly sufficed. (As the directors previous film was the "Dawn Of The Dead" re-make he's proving again he has no respect for the average film goer.)

My coworker had another heart attack. She's in the hospital where my puppy is a therapy dog.
Sadly she is blaming the heart attack on the boss that I also find stressful. I feel they are blowing it by making wild proclamations.
She;s had two attacks in as many weeks. But she is over weight, has high blood pressure and a cholesterol count around 300!
I just think by making wild assertions it makes the very legitimate complaints they have easy to ignore. At best it confuses the issue, making it difficult to sort out and address.
While even I can admire the melodrama of, "Her management technique nearly killed me!" that doesn't root out the deeper problems in a micro-manager, or dealing with being the victim of a micro-manager.
I also admire we came up with the term of micro-management in lieu of saying inept.
Christensen,Jc Fishinatoucanmask-1280X800
Click images for desktop size: "Fish In A Toucan Mask" by JC Christensenl

The foster puppy is doing better. Little Noelle is nearly ready to be seen by the world! On Sunday we'll take her to an adoption event so she can make her debut. I expect her to be nervous around people especially the way people will all try and rush up and pet her head.
I'm tempted to take my puppy along but she's the sort who'd try and charge people for petting her . . .

There was a lost dog. Found him.

Lots of conversations with customers about the inane hypocrisy of our government when it comes t the war in Iraq. I mean all the bumper "magnets" supporting our troops but demanding tax cuts to the point that the young men who return with shattered bodies and minds have to share their sick beds with rats and filth.

January 29, 2007

The coroner's report's unclear

Derek Prospero Fastburn
Click images for desktop size: "Fast Burn" by Derek Prospero
Still discovering losses from the computer crash. Oh well. Its data and that's all it ever was. Some of them hurt but this is nothing like losing a dog or a friend. Re-gathering data has its own sense of pleasure. Tedium can be a pleasant thing if you keep the mindset right. Recreating templates is tiresome, when you know it worked before. Its just something that needs to be done. Some grim realizations today. What if the job I dislike so is the best one for me? Aside from this cold that lingers but hasn't shown signs of pneumonia, I've been pretty healthy there. It doesn't pay enough though and I'm constantly insulted. It hasn't lowered my self esteem though. I have to keep thinking on it. If I could drive it might be easier all the way around. On the bus today there were two enormous women in wheelchairs. I ended up having to help the driver maneuver the chairs into place. He wanted to tell me know but each of these women had to weigh over 300 pounds. I talked to them while we moved and strapped them. I was amazed at how their bodies bulged and overflowed the chairs. Adventures Of Captain Africa, Ep#09 (1955) (Col) Blasted By Captain Africa! One of them said that she'd been in the wheelchair for two years, ever since she weighed 270. They were both in the chairs because their disability was weight. When we got them into place their chairs left a decently wide aisle to pass through but the overflow of flesh (?) touched and pressed against each other so hard they blocked the aisle. The bus has only two places for wheelchairs. They take up the front 8 spots. The driver had to let people enter through the back door. As I was in the front I had no convenient way to escape. I had to listen to them. They talked to me about the food they'd eaten this morning and the food they planned to eat this evening. The dark haired one talked about her boyfriend. She kept emphasizing to me that he was thinner than I am. I had to listen to them for a half hour. I don't think I learned anything. My puppy is glad I'm feeling better. She's started to bug me again. Tentatively. She wants me to play but she doesn't like me when I cough and gasp for breath. I still love her more every day. One of the guys I work with got a "free" puppy. I felt cross about that. Partially because of back yard breeders not taking care of their animals and then putting the dogs in a box by the road with a FREE DOGS sign. Partly because he was getting the dog to cure depression. I have to think about that some more but I don't feel like that is a valid reason to have a puppy. If it were a child anyone would think it was an insane reason, but because its "just" a dog, some how it's ok. It is a cute little thing though. I have this sick fear I'm going to end up with it in a few months. My boss called me today and wanted me to scheme with her to make sure my co-worker took good care of the new 12 week old thing. My puppy played with her. She thinks the kid is all right. And I'm still always interested in swaps and trades in my video collection. I've lost my database but I still have the films. It just takes me a touch longer to figure out if I already have what you're offering!

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September 1, 2006

I'm an easy going guy but I always got to have my way
Eddie Cochran

Click images for desktop size: "Etcher" by Anonymous
Its been a harsh week.
I took the week off to look for work. That didn't go well. At least I left myself the opening to go back to the old job.
It makes me feel like a prisoner, but I'll get around that.
For some reason it brings to mind an event in Texas. I was working at this job I didn't mind but most of the time we'd show up for work and get sent home - no work no pay sort of thing.
I was walking home when these 2 crazy girls from work picked me up - crazy as in crazy and girls as in both under 25 and living with the parents. They wanted to come over to my place. They were pretty explicit.
I said no. I didn't want them in my space, learning that much about me.
I turned them down. Really. I did.
The same way having two girls intrude into my dog's and my life made me feel its that same sense of intrusion, of lack of freedom and choice that my job presses in on us.
Possession If I had to chose between them I'd take the two crazy girls . . .

Football has been going very well, for me and my kids anyway. The other coaches are panicking. I try and remember that their jobs might hinge on this. They take the loss in ways that don't affect me.
My goals always stay the same. To work out problems I've seen in the film and to endure that my kids play better than they did the week before.
I still see their deficiencies as a failure on my part. Not on theirs. I can't drill sergeant and blame them for not listening or not trying hard enough.
My other big fear is that we'll win tonight and the staff will see that as justification for this weeks methods. I expect to win tonight. I always expect to win. I take losses very personally.
Again I remember Eddie Robinson - “No coach ever won a game and no player ever lost one.”
My kids have given me everything I've wanted for them. They walk with pride and now they need to swagger.

It was my birthday this week. I got cool stuff. My friend sent me flowers. I noted that they were her favorites - color and type. I liked being remembered. I like them.
I also got ELEVEN DVD's!
A box set of eight Shaolin Temple films! Including five by Liu Chia Liang! And that subset includes The 36th Chamber films.
They're from a Chinese Company called Celestial which has lavished as much attention on them as Criterion does on it's classics. They are very beautifully restored and fully merit the extra attention. I also got a beautifully restored DVD of Django! Its most noticeable feature (aside from the Italian sound track) was a tiny 2“ DVD of a 10 minute film called ”The Last Pistolero“. It wasn't very good but it starred an aged Franco Nero. His presence gave the little movie weight and power.
Flames   Blue Metal Wide By Jbensch
Click images for desktop size: "Flames - Blue Metal" by J Bensch
A mildly interesting new film called ”Warriors Of Heaven And Earth“ and a remarkable film, ”A Man Called Blade“.
”A Man Called Blade“ is a slightly above average spaghetti western. What makes it memorable is the soundtrack by the Anti-Morricone's - The DeAngilis Brothers. There idea of what makes a music score is so avant garde it would be stunning in experimental cinema. That they carved out a career in main stream exploitation films is heady stuff.
Their music isn't outre, or pretentious. In fact its primitive and relies more on voices and pitch than anything else. Its cool and funny. Not much fun outside of the movie, but in a film it is revelatory stuff.
And finally someone sent me two books! Charles Dodgson's ”Symbolic Logic“ and ”Lewis Carroll Puzzles“. The puzzle book is dull and not even Lewis Carrol puzzles. Just stock stuff that they've illustrated with some pix from the Alice Books and ”Hunting Of the Snark“. It is so dull they even credit the Snark pix to Tenniel.
Poster - Rope Of FleshThe book on logic is satisfying. I had a first and lost it so this is a very welcome thing.
The only sad part is that they were sent from Amazon and Amazon CUT OFF THE NAME OF THE SENDER!
So what I'm hoping for is that in the next few days I get an email or letter calling me an insensitive oaf for not responding with a proper thank you!

No one sent me a birthday present for my dog. She is pretty huffy bout this.

This week I had two doctors appointments. One was for my eyes. No glaucoma and no loose retinal nerves or anything. My vision is getting worse though.
I always imagined going blind as the same as walking around with my eyes clothes - nice inky blackness sort of thing. I didn't think it would be a matter of blurriness and grays.
They dilated my pupils for the picture taking. It took 3 days for the drops to stop screwing up my eyes.
I have to go back in October.
I had a physical. My cholesterol is excellent. My good cholesterol has even looked positive, much improved. I credit that to the flavorless but better than nothing Olive Oil margarine I've started eating lately.
My blood pressure is 120 over 70. That's good but they want me to lower EVERYTHING!
They are even considering putting me on blood pressure medicine!!!
They are trying to stretch me out to the max on that 10 years they promised me, I guess. One interesting thing is that for some unknown reason I developed this odd rash on the back of my left hand. It is all little, smaller than a pinhead, white dots. It hasn't spread and the 50 or so on my left hand are matched with about 4 on the back of my right.
No pain, no itching. They make my skin feel like snake skin!
Maybe people will use it as an excuse to start calling me snake!
I've always wanted a nick name like Snake!

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August 25, 2006

A world without passion

Look Look By Ilona
Click images for desktop size: "Look Look" by Ilona
It has been a wearisome week.
That is not a bad thing, not bad at all. The only negative is pointing out to me how shallow my reserves of energy have become. Its always good to know your limitations, if only so you have a bar to realize when you've exceeded them - your limitations, I mean.
The week was devoted to football practice. We have our first game tonight.
The games are important to me and to the players. To me it is the only gauge to how well I've been teaching. Its attitude and physically grooming young men to exceed their self imposed limitations.
One thing I learned this week is that one of my British players has actually made an NFL squad. No one can really grasp the tremendous amount of work, the enormous hurdles that a Brit has to overcome to even get an invite to a training camp, that such a player would overcome so much and still be named to the practice squad, to be told he has value in the hard core world where nothing matters except victory, is pretty amazing and speaks legions about the young mans attitude, commitment and the path of his success.Poster - Evil Dead 2 (2)
The games are important to the players. I've been accused by opposing coaches of “molly coddling” and “mothering” my players. The truth is that I demand more of them physically than the vast majority of coaches. And to top it all off I demand from them mentally, emotionally. I demand they commit to their community and to society.
These kids came and picked up garbage along the side of the road because the city wouldn't do it.
Winning spells out to these kids that I may be right, not only in the vicious and violent things I ask of their bodies, but in the way I've demanded their humility, their patience and their understanding of the game and of life.
I teach them how to play the game to the best of their and my abilities. The game teaches all the rest.
Victory means to them that all of this has purpose, meaning. They stop wondering why they had to run twice as far as their teammates, they stop questioning why they have to step outside themselves and volunteer for the crappy jobs I present to them. They understand the drills that they “never had to do before.”
In the flush of victory they can see why it is important to beat their opponent into submission but to give him and hand up when he is down, to value him in defeat and to see him as equal to themselves.
When they leave the field they can see that all men are equal to them and that they are as big and as great as anyone else out there.
Otherwise I love the game so much I wish they could play without keeping score.
My idol has always been Eddie Robinson. Coach Robinson had a poster in his office. It was a black and white photo of an 8 or 9 year old in full kit running down the sidelines with a look of steely determination, at least as steely as an 8 year old can look. On the sidelines a man with a clip board smiles hugely, pleased for the kids success.
On it the words were - “He's not your father. He's not your brother. He's as important as that but he's your coach.”
I remember that always.
We lost. My kids played well but its a team sport. There's a lot to learn there too.

Click images for desktop size: "Dale" by Thailand
On Thursday I had to speak in front of the City Council. For those of you who knew me when I used to make extempore speeches in Parliament and such, back when, “in a room full of potentates, kings and rulers, he blew in like a strong wind and made them all look and feel shabby.” I'm not like that anymore, as if anyone ever actually was.
The Council meeting was only 7 guys, one of them the mayor. And the major issue I was there to talk to them about was child safety. Which is what I'm always talking about I guess but in this section it was only about traffic and children.
After my breif speech and question and answer bit I thought it was a waste of my time.
Today walking to the bus stop I saw a crew putting up a stop light where I wanted a stop sign. On the bus to work I saw another crew putting up a stop sign where i wanted one.
I guess it wasn't such a waste of time after all.

Next week I'm taking a vacation. For one thing, its my birthday. My puppy and I will celebrate by taking a walk, I think.
I'm using the time off to look for work and to make sure I get paid for some of the vacation time I've accrued.
My puppy I'm taking the time off becasue I don't get to spend enough time with her.
She has a point.
Tomorrow my friend Patrick debuts his new band at some club or other. I'm going to go see him.
Life feels good. I'm getting a chance to live it.

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August 6, 2006

You wait for some clown on stage to explain all of life's mysteries
Chris Bailey

Moonrise By Daunity
Click images for desktop size: "Moonrise" by Daunity
On Thursday the “big boss” came in and spent 5 hours with me. She was trying to talk me into rescinding my resignation.
I intend to quit. I have no other job lined up and little faith in temp agencies, so I agreed to extend.
On Friday I found out that while we were talking around my quitting Arthur Lee died in LA.
He had leukemia. Different strain of the same disease I'm coping with.
Some people might not know who Arthur Lee was, not some, most people not from LA in the late 60's don't know who he is.
Lee founded a band called Love.
Love was best known for their logo - the O in Love was replaced with a merged male and female symbol. They had it on their first 45, (those slabs of vinyl that only held two songs). Then that seemed like anarchy and was nothing less than cool.
Miamivice(2006)-06Their first single was a garage punk version a Burt Bacharach - Hal David song; “My Little Red Book” all tambourines, beat and chunky power chords. It was great. It was so great that Bacharach had to make statements deploring what these new bands were doing to his mellow music.
“My Little Red Book” became a garage staple. It got covered everywhere and by everybody. Bacharach reversed his stance and Love was on their way to being the Number 1 band in LA.
They had the surfers, the hair boys, the car boys, the rich kids and the barrio strollers.
The apochraphyl story is about Jim Morrison of “The Doors” telling Crawdaddy Magazine that his ambition was to be as popular as Love.
I was just a kid but you could always see them walking the Strip, the same way you'd see Motley Crue and then Guns N Roses strolling the Strip and the Boulevard in their stage clothes. But I never saw anybody light up the street and remake the world like Arthur Lee when he walked down those sun stricken streets.
They had a house up in the hills. Once we rode up there on our bikes and listened to the band rehearse. It was kind of wonderful being young kids stretched in the ivy on the dirt peeking over the hills and listening to guitars and chords we couldn't name.
The odd thing that no one paid much notice too was that Lee was black. Love was a white group with a black frontman who wrote and produced all of the songs. Like Hendrix race was secondary, he was just a great songwriter, a good guitarist and a better than average singer. Nothing else mattered.
But Lee hated to tour. Who wants to leave LA during that golden time anyway? They didn't become world famous. They were just the most famous band in a town where the rest of the world comes to get famous.
The album that got them “respected” was “Forever Changes”. It had strings, acoustic guitars and lyrics. It moved with different rhythms and moving beats and chord changes.
Detour Wallpaper - Film Noir - 1024Neil Young wanted to be a part of Love. Jimi Hendrix wanted to be a part of Love. . . We all did.
I read a comment someone wrote about Lee's passing. They wrote, “Love died today”.
I understand that.

My puppy is making steps to being my dog.
She doesn't like not being with me around the clock but she keeps being a good girl. She's always excited to see me and thinks their is no greater joy than teasing me or forcing me to pet her.
Other people tell me stories about their dogs and the problems they've had and all I can think is that my puppy doesn't do anything like that.
I've had some bad breaks in my life, some worse than most, and I don't understand enough about the world to really grasp why I've been so lucky in other ways.

July 28, 2006

Sweet sixteen turned 31
Bob Seger

Just Not Right Wallpaper By Wingless One-1
Click images for desktop size: "Just Not Right" by Wingless One
I had a dream last night. I haven't been able to shake it all day. In the dream I was making a low budget movie. Shooting it on DVR. I had a check for financing in my wallet, a check from a friend for $11,200. The check was old and I was debating whether I should call him and tell him I was depositing it.
I decided not to bother him. I knew the check would be good.
I went to another producers office and I saw the rugs. I liked the rugs. Nice without being ostentatious.

I woke up in a sweat.
The dream upset me while it seemed so innocuous. Part of it was that their were so many actors in my film, actors who were friends from the past. Friends who are dead now. They seemed as alive as they ever were.
Some of the people were friends I've lost. Not because of a fight or a disagreement but just because sometimes friends drift apart. Some of them you can see again years later and only events separate you, the friendship is still real. And some friends you just never see again.
Waistdeep(2006)-01And the rest were old friends who I still have contact with, even if I don't see them. I don't really see anyone anymore.
Everyone acted like they always did. We worked on making our movie.

Part of the reason it upset me was something that happened at work. A kid I'd never seen before had been looking for me. He had a hard cast on his right forearm and thumb.
He introduced himself. He was nervous. He explained that he was a freshman at the Div IA school here. An RB. He wanted to work with me and my High School kids for a couple of weeks before school starts.
He's a pure Class 1 athlete, it was obvious. When we talked I thought and told him what I thought. I could take a tenth off his 40. He'd help drive my kids. He had speed and talent. (His stats in High School were 2000 yards and 30 TD's!) He could drive my kids and let them see what commitment and talent could bring to them.

What bothered me was the tingle of pride I felt. I wasn't proud that I could help him and he could help my kids. I was proud that this young man had spent time to search me out and humbled himself to ask for help. I didn't like that in myself.
Didn't like that at all. Its not something from my past or anything I'd felt before.
I don't want that kind of feeling to be my future.
All my life I believed that I was no better than anyone else. I also believed that none was better than me. All those people who for whatever nonsensical reason have to believe that they are superior because of race, speed, arbitrary interpretations of IQ soon find that reality comes with straight edge razors and no pity.
We;re all here. We're all on one team. Its a privilege to hold out a hand to help. Its a privilege to be able to accept help.
Most of my friends, at least my close friends, know this too.
Hell Town Aka Born To The West  - John Wayne - Wallpaper - 1024
The job hunt continues. Nothing positive yet. I think it is harder finding a nothing brain dead job than it is to find something I'm qualified for. A job I might be qualified for but that would shorten my life.
I'm not worried yet.
They've asked me to reconsider my resignation, but offered no real inducements other than letting things continue.
The possibility doesn't please me. It sounds like an excuse to be lazy and not try to move to a slightly better life for my puppy and myself.

My puppy had her annual check up. She's better than good. She behaved impeccably even with all the getting poked and stabbed. She never lost her sense of humor or her sense of decorum.
I love her a lot.
I like that everyone else does to.

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July 24, 2006

The fine line

Click images for desktop size: "Che" 60's Poster
Yesterday was the anniversary of my puppy coming to live with me.
I managed to miss a drug dosage so I was a bit messed up but I think we had a lot of fun doing some extra stuff, stuff that's only extra special to us.
One of the reasons for leaving my present job is that they banned my puppy from coming to work with me. Four people chose to take their custom elsewhere because they thought that was wrong headed.
I don't see it as support.
Today one of the kids who play with Shelby at the hospital came into my job to see her and share his news. He had just come back from playing in the Regionals of the Little League World Series. They got to the second round. He pitched and one their first round game.
He'd come in to show Shelby his trophy and was very adamant that I deliver his message:
Isolation(2006)-01 “Tell Doctor Shelby that her advice really helped!”
I was a bit chagrined.
I can understand being disappointed at seeing me instead of my puppy but I can't believe that she is giving baseball tips!
It is still nice to see that my timid little dog can affect people.

At my job they've changed the rules again. Originally I was supposed to move to another location and stay there till August 17th. That suited me to a point, as I had more time to find work and still have an income. Today they've decided I'm not moving (which is actually not a bad thing at all) but I'm hazy as to when I am leaving.
A part of me wants it to be ASAP, but the reasonable fearful person who is terrified of starving wants it to last as long as endurable. While the human being is resentful of being jerked around like this.
It just symptomatic and consistent with the attitude they have. They forget the employees are as human as they are.

Thursday my puppy is coming to work with me. Its time for her annual shots and check up.
I'm looking forward to it even if she might not be.
She is more afraid of being groomed. She likes Doctor K and the nurses but she hates baths!

My friend from Texas who own Fat Yellow Dog and Chow has mailed me pictures of them. She claims they have lost weight! I'm excited about seeing them, if only in a photograph. She makes clothes for them. I hope she hasn't ”dressed“ them for the pictures.

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July 20, 2006

Don't panic just because things are out of control

Fear Yourself By Spitblinker
Click images for desktop size: "Fear Yourself" by Spitblinker
I gave two weeks notice today.
That seems to have turned into 3, maybe 4 weeks notice.
I was surprised at the emotional response and at my own stubbornness in refusing to go into my reasons why.
I think that the reason my bosses got so emotional had more to do with me being the 5 resignation is as many weeks, or 1/3rd of the staff in the region. A part of it was that they really didn't expect me to quit. They kept saying that I seemed so calm, at ease, and that everyone loved me so much . . .
Those kind of statements can send me off on a whole tangent of thoughts, none of which had much to with the subject matter at hand.
For them the subject seemed to be how could someone who they thought had been whipped into his place could want to leave. For me the subject was the survival of my puppy and me.
Fearless[03] But all that matters really is that its done and I feel lighter and better for it.
I'll let myself feel that way through the weekend. On Monday I'll start to worry about what I'll do next, what job I'll get next.

I'm still having problems physically - annoying things like pain and my hands cramping up and locking into odd positions. Its rough when they both lock up at the same time. I can't unbend either of them! Makes me think that I must look like a Jerry Lewis or a Danny Kaye sketch.
My right eye keeps blurring and getting harder and harder to see out of.
And there's the heat. Ugly heat that leaves me slick as a toad and then feeling all crusty and nasty. Nasty with no memory of recent pleasure to stave off feeling of creepiness.

But my puppy remains a treasure. An island of joy in a world bent on destroying itself through ignorance and foolishness.
She's a therapy dog and truly enjoys going to see her patients. She looks at them google eyed and smiling. She plays until she has to take a quick nap.
Her games are so repetitive and dull but she, the children and even I never seem to stop playing them and laughing.
People say they can't believe how happy and calm she always seems.
Some have commented on being jealous because the two of us love each other so much.
We remake each other everyday, my puppy and me. That's what we do.

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July 16, 2006

You'd be better off trusting more and loving a little less

Click images for desktop size: "Flight Plan" by Scot Chitwood
I haven't been able to write much.
I'm still thinking but its those globule type thinking while doing the mundane. Its not productive and leaves too many things that would be clear under even casual analysis seem like big sneak up on you discoveries. The time spent organizing my thoughts to write this things avoids mere introspection and lets me see things clearly.
Like my job. It was always a bad job but at first glimpse it seemed to fill the bill - mindless and just show up. The wages reflected that. Then more and more responsibilities and duties started to crop up. Most of these because the owners are pretty unscrupulous and duplicitous, perhaps larcenous - there are indications but that's not my problem.
1932 Tarzan The Ape Man PosterWhat causes grief is that dishonest people always assume everyone else is dishonest too. Add that to a love of money that surpasses a basic understanding of humanity and you get the picture that caused Matewan and the Ford and GM riots.
That can't be my problem either. I've got more than enough to handle with my sweet little puppy.
Besides my coworkers are the lost and dissolute clinging on to a life thinner than my own, willing to sacrifice their own humanity. Who is anyone to criticize them for that. The only reason to note it is that you can't fight a one man revolution. I've tried before and a handful of supporters aren't going to bring anything down.
People knowing what's right and wrong but being afraid to stand up just keep everything the same, corporate America's dream.
So on Thursday or Friday I'll be giving notice. Tonight I have to pull together my resume. I have to make it more apropos for the type of job I'm looking for. I'd rather have a job lined up but I can't control the world.

On the plus side had a weird but ultimately good day yesterday. I ended up having to spend 35 bucks for a cab because the bus never showed up. I used the cab to bring my puppy to work.
She was happy and that makes me happy. It made me so happy I forgot the worthless aggravation of standing on an empty corner at a bus stop for an hour.
Then my friend Patrick picked me up after work and we worked with some new musicians. A much better drummer who can sing and a female keyboardist who is okay for a keyboardist.
Playing the guitar has totally wrecked my hands and, for some reason, my feet. Just cramps and that weird locking up they do. It was nearly worth all that. Pain for fun is a good trade for me.
Patrick has rehearsal and recording space in this old barn in the middle of a field. Lots of people, which I like, and another dog. My puppy liked that. The two dogs spent the time hunting dangerous bugs and lizards. Had to call them in to make sure they drank water in all this blistering heat.
Some people cooked some food. They tried hard to cook to fit my whacko diet. They didn't succeed but the effort always touches me.
On the other side my puppy loves spaghetti. She enjoys eating it and making everyone laugh at here as she slurps up the long noodles dripping sauce on her chest hairs.
It was fun being around people with dreams. People with aspirations. I always like and approve of that, mainly because my approval is not needed.

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July 11, 2006

A dog is the only thing on this planet that loves us more than we love ourselves
Josh Billings

Click images for desktop size: "Eddie Ciccotti - The Shine Ball King" by Unknown
I have the All Star game on.
Everybody seems to say it so I might as well. I don't care for the “This Time It Means Something!” campaign.
I have always liked the All Star game. Baseball is the sport most suited for this. Its a pure pick up game and it should be nothing but fun.
That's all the meaning I've ever wanted or needed.

The job hunt is a tedious thing. When mixed in with the house hunting and the growing distaste for my present job life seems filled with noxious tedium.
Its better than starving, let me tell you.
It is still hard to ignore the feeling of being overwhelmed by the mundane. Harder still to resist doing something life and me affirming. I can't surf anymore and I haven't been sky diving in years. I've got the need for that sort of adrenaline rush.
I almost bought an HDTV on credit. Yeah, I can get credit again.
As much as I'd like a big HDTV for big time movie watching the real reason I considered it seriously was to lash out and somehow prove that I'm not being controlled by all these petty things.
Elvgren 02I've been missing my puppy at work. I think I'm getting even less done. Part is the lethargy and silly pressure and abuse they want to extend, the other part is that she and I always had fun. We do always have fun. She makes me laugh. Even when she is taking her “job” seriously I find her good and pleasant company, perhaps the best company.
I've been riding my eBike to work. It may have been a slight mistake. he terrain here is way too hilly and I'm just not fit enough. It's great for trips of 5 miles or so but harsh on the 15 mile plus treks.
I didn't want a push and go scooter or moped. I need exercise, don't we all. But the biggest problem is I like my dog with me.
She's even sadder about not being with me than I am.

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July 2, 2006

So here you are, forgiving me
The Paupers

Click images for desktop size: "Violin" by Spumante
I got an eBike - an electric bicycle. I think the e might really stand for evil.
I'm in a lot of pain!
Not really the eBikes problem. Its a bike, not a scooter. The electric motor is just to assist on climbing hills and that dreaded dead start at the stop light in traffic.
I'm happy with it but I over did it big time.
I took it to work - about 15 or 16 miles each way and hilly terrain. I need to break into gradually.
I need to realize I'm no longer the stud who can do anything, anytime, anywhere and never have to pay a price.
I've put together a break in scheme for myself that should see me doing 30 miles a day inside 6 weeks and using the electric motor only for convenience in 3 months.
I like the bike plenty even if I am in bad pain right now. Just heavy legs, lower back, coccyx, and bad tension in the traps from bad bike posture.
Blue ChipsI did do the 15 miles in an hour. That's 30 minutes faster than the bus.

I'll need the bike for job interviews.
My job is soon going to be history. Its become abusive. I'm clinging to it out of fear.
Yeah, I'm afraid. Not of going hungry but of seeing my puppy unhappy, of not having treats and toys.
I'm clinging to it as long as I can until the silent explosion happens or until I find another job.
The abuse is in the form of that boiler room tactic that the type of company (that's a limited partnership that prefers to call it self a corporation). Its a tactic of theirs to ignore humanity and get lower management to beat the hell out of, no not the hell, but the money out of tired, underpaid and underpaid staff.
I'm sure we've all been through it. If you have a job where your weekly check is signed by anybody but you, you've heard the song and dance, always from guys with 6 car garages.
You can never tell for some people what is enough. For me its an eBike, for somebody else it is a Bentley, a Rolls, a Ferrari and a Diablo Contach, all next to each other with the pink slips on the wind shield.
I understand that and whether I approve or disapprove its not going to change. Governments have toppled trying to change that part of human nature.
What they're doing is skirting on the edge of legality. I don't much care about that.
I care when they think the solution is to squash people's spirit. They keep the staff down with threats and fears. I've seen it all the time in Nueve America. Pay people enough to keep them poor and never secure.
Keep survival and glimpses of happiness as the ultimate carrot.
Its worked for wife beaters, child abusers and and dictators for eternity. Keep people smaller than they really are and then beat them some more.
Pimps understand the art.
I work for pimps and its about time or it to end.
Despite fear.
Getting old I don't have it in me to fight for everyone else anymore. That's been coming for a while.
Its new, this fighting for myself.

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June 25, 2006

The world is a changing place; only beauty is constant

Vl Mirita Classic
Click images for desktop size: "Mirita Classic" by VL
Its finally down to time to change jobs. This has never been remotely like a good job. I kept it too long, mainly because I could take my puppy with me. Mainly out of habit and fear.
I look at my puppy and I feel a sense of responsibility, of family. She loves me and trusts me - she sort of only trusts me.
The only good thing about this job was that the check never bounced.
I've had other jobs in the recent past where just getting paid as promised was no guarantee. Other than that its an abusive position where corporate heads hide from employees they make no secret of despising and mistrusting. But the checks always cleared and I could bring my puppy with me.
I realize I'm old. Change kind of scares me. Even knowing it is inevitable and required, change kind of scares me.
Law Of The Wild Ep#12 (1934)I've sent out a few resumes and have started to get serious about it. I'm hoping I can endure it long enough to have another job lined up before I give notice. I'm striving towards that.
Change kind of scares me.
Responsibility scares me too but I've always faced it, welcomed it. I used to love change too, new lands, new people, new lives, new friends.
So I've redesigned my resume. Always start a new venture fresh. Resumes, CV's, forcing a past that you can't change, that I wouldn't want to change. Looking at dates, remembering, remembering what I was. Eventually remembering will force me to look to the future. Not yet, but it will happen; looking forward and, of course, the future.

I'll get my new Electric Bike tomorrow. It looks George Jetson futuristic. I like that. Jet Black and electric. Transportation that will let me look for a new job easier. Help me find a new place to live for my puppy and I.
I'm excited about it. If work weren't such hell it would delight me.
I'll assemble it tomorrow and then charge it overnight, so Tuesday I'll be mobile electric.
There aren't enough bike paths around here so I've mapped out several routes in my head to avoid sure death trap intersections, of which its easy to identify plenty! Its not a car but I'm as excited as I was at 15 when I bought my first car, an ancient Pontiac, for $50.
The idea of freedom and independence rings the same.

I've broken down about baseball and I've been following the College World Series. I love it. I think these are the two best teams there in years. The game tonight should be a beautiful thing.

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May 26, 2006

Master Of Divinity

Click images for desktop size: "Lisa Boyle"
Where I work there are a group of nice but overly enthusiastic people who twice a week to feed the homeless. Like I said their nice. I talk to nice people pretty freely.
One of them is a woman. She came to see me at work. She wanted to show me something. Her dog's collar.
She'd just gotten her Masters degree and was now a minister in the Methodist Church.
I told her this surprised me because I didn't know that Methodists were into street missionary work. She told me that they're not and that she's in real conflict with them over her and her husband's work.
We talked some about fund raising. I used to be good at that, not for a church or anything religious. I figured having that behind you would make it easier. So I gave her some ideas that I figured were long term but sure pay offs and some short term ideas that might work.
It was a pleasant talk.
I didn't ask her why she wanted to show me her priests collar. I didn't ask her why she wanted to be a priest.
I don't know why she told me.
I never know why people tell me anything.
A lot going on at work. A lot going on with where I'll be living when the lease expires. It properly concerns me but nothing in the slightest to fret over.

I have decided to buy a moped . . . I figure its a semi-hip mobility scooter. Just something for running errands that is cheap and cheap to run. I had considered an electric scooter! Super cheap but the range and a bad review stopped me. 21 mph top end!
So I've decided to investigate and look for a 300 buck gas powered one. I can save up 300 bucks and have some movement and avoid some of the drudgery of buses and walking.

I'm back to being sick. Any food is making me ill.
It will pass.
My puppy has valiantly volunteered to eat all my food till I get better . . . so it won't go to waste . . .
That what she claims.

March 20, 2006

Like a storm that has no place to rain
The Paupers

Zebra And Zebra By Ilona
Click images for desktop size: "Zebra And Zebra" by Ilona
A funny thing happened a couple of days ago.
I was at work and talking to my puppy when I saw a car pull into the parking lot. The car was rapidly pursued by a late model black Mercedes. I saw the driver get out enraged, about 6' 1“ and a fat 280 or more. the customer is one of those ”tuff“ guys with pipe cleaner arms and a rat tail . . .
The first car was a customer. The two of them were screeching into their mobiles and starting to circle each other.
I had to keep my puppy quiet because it was obvious I was going to have to be the cooler here before things got nastier.
From there it went as expected, both men wanted to tell me their story and side with them. They really couldn't grasp that all I cared about was peace and quiet and to go back to work and my puppy.
I got them into my office. It chilled some although I think it had more to do with them being terribly out of shape then any calming influence I might have had.
Plan9.Poster I got up and was going to walk the big fat guy to his Mercedes. I stepped out of the office, my puppy in front of me and, well, I forgot about the two of them screaming into their cell phones. There were 6 cops hunkered behind their cars their guns all aimed at me.
Without thinking I called out, ”Nothing to worry about. Its all fine now.“
And this is the goofy part, as one they all stood up and holstered their pistols . . .
None of them knew me. I knew none of them.
The pipe cleaner armed guy said, ”Hell, if you'd had a gun you could have taken them all out.“ It made me think of the time I went with my friend to have lunch at Parliament, in London. My friend is super rich and looks the part. I was wearing jeans and dark glasses. I just strolled in, talking to him when I suddenly realized that he wasn't beside me anymore. I turned around and Security had stopped him and were searching him . . .
I went back and smiled and they let him follow me.
I remembered this day, at my cruddy job, that I used to be the whirlwind, the man who owned every place he stepped foot into.
Im not that anymore.

Today and everyday I'm near overwhelmed by my puppy. We love each other and I've no rationilization for why she should love me.
My arm stopped hurting. Not completely but the biting constant screaming ache of the past two months has miraculously left. Its still all tingly and numb. I still can't throw a baseball but the pain has stopped.
I have this totally unscientific theory about it.
I believe that the electromagnetic charge recieved from stroking a puppies nobby skull has somehow translated into a bio-electromagnetic charge that has soothed the throbbing nerves.
Either that or the pain receptors have finally worn out . . .

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March 4, 2006

The Night Is So Lonely ~Gene Vincent

Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Michael Parkes
Yesterday was payday.

My housemate is always astonished that I buy things. Useless things, like new sheets and duvet (comforter) and a new rug.
This is the second rug in a month. The first one was fine but it wasn't machine washable. My puppy thinks the rug is a great place to eat the messiest of her treats and stained it.
I don't mind that, she's already shown a preference like that for the new rug; it is machine washable. The old one is now in front of her bed (which she won't sleep in). I'm happy with the arrangement.
My housemate doesn't comprehend that my puppy is part of my family and she can do what she wants (within reason). She's family to me.
I also got a microwave. My housemate had one he was proud of as it was at least 25 years old. It was also leaking RF and microwaves like a sieve.
He was unconcerned until it actually knocked out his internet connection! he said he unplugged it and I had to explain about capacitance tubes.
Nevertheless I got a nice shiny new one. I like it. Its clean and modern looking. Sleek.
I like light airy modern and sleek things around me.

Monkey Business

My puppy and I were rejoicing in payday and just having a good time. We fell asleep content.
The only negative was that I really re-wrecked my shoulder lugging the microwave for a mile and a half. No one to blame for that.

Then I got a phone call from an old friend. My brother-in-law (ex?).
Years ago, when my wife was alive, her father showed us the hours of home movies he'd taken. they were pretty fascinating. They were on 8-mm, a medium I still love.
For an anniversary gift I took the films got them cleaned and edited them down. Nothing fancy, these were memories not a movie. Cut out all the vertiginous stuff and the long shots of grass and floor stuff, did some simple A-B rolling for dissolves and stuff. Easy stuff.
I then magstripped the reels and got Howard Anderson to transfer them to Beta 1. Took that to the studio and got the guys to foley in some some stuff, added some sound effects and a light, innocuous music score.
I then transferred them to Laser Disk and to VHS tape.
He called me late at night. Now I'm tough, but this guy is hard. If you know him you know what I mean.
He's my friend, close to I'd say, but he's probably a sociopath. So was my best friend. I don't seem to have issues with that.
He had the Laser Disks transferred to DVD when his father passed away and he'd been watching it last night.
I guess, for him, it was watching his history, his past, his life up till now.
He told me some great stories, a few I'd heard before, about this relative and that. About the crazed uncle who ran a casino in his basement and who ran the cops off with a machine gun when they came to ask for more protection money; that was one that was new.
And the story about his grandfather who looked so delicate and refined in the movies but who, when he found rats in his house went and caught one, cooked it and ate it in the basement so that the surviving rats would know that he was not a man to be trifled with.
Family legend says he never had another problem with rats.
He called me to tell me those stories and something else he couldn't or wouldn't articulate.
That's okay.
One of the perks of friendship is you don't always have to be explaining yourself to someone you love.

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January 21, 2006

Whatever they say I am is what I'm not

Gbd Enki-Bilal And-2Euxmill
Click images for desktop size: "Bilal and 2euxmill" by Enki Bilal

Was a time when work was a way of identifying who you were in the world. I never thought that was a good thing. The glory of a man does not reside in the work he has to do to survive.
I've been gone from the US for a long time and coming back here and not being able to physically do the work that gave me pleasure and actually generated money was a harshness I dealt with. I was still able to coach football and work with kids in a diminished capacity. It wore me out and gave me pleasure.
What didn't give me pleasure was the employers. I had to find a stress free job and found myself at the lower end of the pay scale. Not doing stuff I enjoyed but trying to find work I didn't mind. In economic and sociopolitical terms I found myself in the land of the weak and frightened.
Invasionofthesaucer-Men X01 (1957)In a country that used to stand up for the weak and pass laws to prevent the rampant exploitation of the weak I found out that the US has gone another way, more of that Tri-Lateral nonsense that the Bushs have been propagating; producing a single world economy where the rich can gouge the poor and increase their holdings while the poor become the Oliver Twists needing to beg for more.
We've all seen friends become jerks because they suddenly get a job that pays too much and watched them step all over the others they should be protecting. (its an individual right to decide how much support to give when the overpaid friend finds their attitude and arrogance brings them crashing down) Even people not in that position give enough thought is given to the people who live every day on the edge. Honest people, hard working people, good people.
LA used to have the cardboard city: 5,000 families who worked every day, sent their kids to school but couldn't raise the cash to get an apartment. The families lived in refrigerator boxes, cooked on camp stoves and entertained themselves by making music and telling stories. Their employers are usually flabbergasted that their workers had to live in such conditions, meaning it never reflected in the quality of their work. And we still haven't raised the minimum wage in, what? A decade?
A friend of mine lost their job. No reason except the new company owner wanted to do some unethical things to try and pull as much cash from a business he'd led to ruination. We all know the type of jerk; lives off the with holding taxes until the audit come crashing down, sort of animal. He wanted an ally and appears to be nonplussed that my friend wouldn't aid and abet. It sounds odd but that's the climate in the US. Not helping your employer defraud his employees and the government is considered not doing your job and grounds for termination. Even when the government auditor confirms the employees assertions the employer can still dump them.
P-Wolves Bay Street Cal2001
Click images for desktop size: "Wolves" by Bay Street Photography
Now, not all employers are like that. I have a friend who has 15,000 employees world wide. He fights with the Unions, he meets with employee reps and every night he worries that he will make an error in judgement that would cost one of his employees the money to send their kid to college. He's rare, too rare, nowadays; some would say he's outmoded.
Preston Sturges, a man raised in wealth and art (his mother was Isadora Duncan's “companion”) once rain a business, cosmetics. What he gained from that is revealed in the telling scene in “Christmas In July” where a first level manager takes the employer to task for not sharing the happiness of his employees with words on the order of, “These people are your family. They feed you and you feed them. They are not children but they are <em>your</em> children and if you can't see that you'll never be a success in this or anything!”
And the employer is, as far as his character will allow him to be, <strong>grateful</strong> for the remonstrance. Franklin Pangborn, playing an idiot who inherited the business sees that the manager's words are true and accurate.
They still are. Even in an economy that rewards looting from the investors, raping the employees, the sentiment is true.

It Came From Outer Space X01 (1953) And in my imbecilic way that leads me to think about the fact that I haven't found a new band since The White Stripes and Alkaline Trio, nor heard a great new album since Green Day's American Idiot. It bothers me that there's not a lot of new music that gets me excited or makes me want to dance.
Its been years since I walked into a club and was blown away by the band (Last time was LA Central and the band was George Thorogood and The Destroyers - forget what he became, its what he was then, in a club that seated less than a hundred - his name in magic marker on a shirt cardboard while he played that Chet Atkins all sweaty and hard, doing Chuck Berry's It wasn't me. To come off a city street into that sonic explosion was tres cool.)
Not enough bands are out in front of real audiences learning what works, learning what is mere self indulgence and learning what is just masturbation.
You need an audience. A real audience, not just your pals and mates but people who don't care about you and just want to shake out the grayness and forget about their jobs, their old ladies, their cheating men. They don't want to remember paychecks and they don't want to have to get roaring drunk, they just want you to take them on home.
I always thought it was an obligation to do that the second you strapped on a guitar or picked up a drum stick.
Maybe its the lack of new music that makes the world what it is today . . .

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January 11, 2006

Weeping continues continuously

Click images for desktop size: "Flowers" by A to B Graphics
No major issues with the doctors today. I got yelled at becasue I explained that Wednesday was my only day off and the only day I could come in.
They seemed to be unaware of the fact that I was still working and, for some reason, it distressed them.
I regret I found that amusing.
I'm surviving the pain well.
The infection is of a type that should be succumbing to the tetracylin. Even without pain killers it is endurable, in fact, today in the sun and the rain it gave me an edge that felt like life. It made my senses smart and it enabled my body to move pretty naturally.
The big warning was to not try to be more than human, whatever that means.
Hideous Sun Demon X01 (1959) My puppy and I managed to get to the hospital where she has her job as a therapy dog.
I love my puppy dearly. She makes me smile constantly. She looks after me and she is always laughing and planning something. I'm pretty sure she has no idea what she is planning but she is planning tricks and jokes.
Today two of the kids had looked my puppy's breed up on the internet. As she was playing and chasing them they would take turns coming over and reporting to me that my puppy was herding them. They then explained to me 3 or 4 times that was because that was her nature.
I liked the kids reading some poetry into my puppy's rampant goony insanity.
When we went to visit the kids in wheelchairs she was very much gentler and calmer. She confined all of her tricks to me.
I was proud of her, even in the rain it felt good to be with her.
For the football picks I have to back off this week. I have a rooted interest. One of my customers at work has offered to give me his tickets if one of the teams makes it to the championship game. It would take a near miracle but it is possible so despite intelligence I'm pulling for all the upsets for the purely selfish reason that I'll have a corporate box on the 40 yeard line!
Sportsmanship dies in the face of greed, I guess.

I'm worried about a friend who has a lot to lose. She was terminated without cause from her job. New owner who hasn't paid the Feds the with holding etc to an astronomical amount.
I don't care much about that.
I do care about my friend, who is tough enough and resilient enough to be safe to worry about.

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December 30, 2005

We came across a miracle, there was beer in the soda machine
Joey Ramone

Click images for desktop size: "The Eyes Have It" by NFL Best Shots-Mike Singletary
Feeling rough today.
Not able to sleep well.
Its not of any consequence but it reminds me of things.
One of the things is this chart that seems to be ubiquitous now. It's the pain chart. Always yellow and always describing pain in that numeric fashion that they've been training us guys not to use: 1 to 10.
Because the leukemia I have usually strikes children the charts always have a graphical representation of the pain. I dislike that. I dislike being reminded that children are going through this.
They decided to use smiley faces to depict the pain stages with 1 being a pretty typical smiley face like you'd see on those old "Have a nice day" buttons. The expression changes up to 10 wear the eyes have been replaced with X's and the smile is a jagged line. To me it had always reminded me the most of something dead.
Films By John AndYoko-01(1980) 10 is described something like: "The pain is debilitating and constant. It is impossible to sleep or to have any other thoughts."
It's not right that a kid should have to be able to identify something like that.
My distress is not 10 for sure. It's about 7 and manageable. I forgot my pain pills (Motrin) at work. The motrin keeps it at about 5 and that is easy to manage. Everyone has different levels of pain tolerance. I'm lucky that years of football and baseball have taught me that pain is something you can shut out for long stretches. Just lucky.
My arm has healed up well enough that I could play throw the stick with the puppy. She enjoyed that. She actually let me catch the stick twice! Her favorite game is to tease me with the stick and never let me catch it. I think the cunning little dear was afraid I'd get frustrated and stop playing with her.
She's a comfort. I have to take meds three times a day. She keeps a better schedule than I do. When I forget, and I usually do, she'll stop and stare at the pill bottles. I think she resents that I don't share them with her.

No one ever gets my jokes.
Grunge3 1024-1
Click images for desktop size: "Grunge Girl"
I've been enjoying the Football Bowl season immensely. Some of the games have had moments of poetry that are the delight of dreams. I'm anticipating the Rose Bowl and always feel chagrined that everyone is starting to pick Texas to demolish USC!
Lou Holtz, who should have been banned from coaching for life for his disgraceful antics at Notre Dame, makes no secret of his loathing for the Trojans. Holtz won like 4 games in the NFL and 1 National Championship, but only one. His teams had the lowest graduation rate in Div I. When Stanford was whomping them one year someone pointed out that no players on the Notre Dame squad could qualify for admission to Stanford. He's no Joe Paterno.
And this is the final week of the NFL. The playoffs should be a delight.
I can't wait to see The Patriots and Colts rematch, and hope that Teddy Bruschi is able to play.
In the NFC the game I'm hoping for is Chicago and Seattle in the Championship game. That should be wonderful and fascinating.

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December 28, 2005

Iron and Magnets

Hell Is Round The Corner 10 The pain came thundering back today. It hit 10 a few times and wouldn't stamp down to the drugs. Only to trying to ignore it.
I could still laugh and talk to people but it was always around there like young Alex's cop peeking around the corner.

It was my normal day off. It was suggested that I give it up as I had Monday off for Christmas . . . suggested but no one was foolish enough to ask directly.
Day The Earth Stood Still It was a beautiful day here. Near 64 (17c) and cold sun breaking through every window.
I got to talk to the heat pump repair man. That was fun as I learned a lot . . . but not enough to attempt my own heat pump repairs . . . unless an opportunity arose . . .
I played with my puppy. We worked on heel today.
I talked to my neighbor about his job and his dogs. I talked to my landlord, whom I like, about heat pumps and dogs.
The rain started and the temperature dropped. It wasn't welcome even though it more closely reflected my mood.
My mood: Alone in the cellulose cool blue reality, where reaching out requires effort and voices are always muffled if you don't listen.
The New Year is coming. My only resolution is to refuse to die.
And to finish my stories.
And to make a list of the ten best books and movies I've seen and read this year.
I like lists.
I like the way they compartmentalize hopes and dreams.
I like the way people react and identify or look at with deep mystification.
I like lists.
I like reading others and I like making them.
You've been warned.

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December 14, 2005

I'm a cool rockin' daddy in the USA
Bruce Springsteen

Santa Napping
Click images for desktop size: "Santa Napping" by Unknown
Yesterday I got a haircut.
On impulse I canceled my hair dresser appointment and went to an old fashioned Red & White stripped barber shop.
It was cool, $7 bucks and it's a terrible haircut but it was a great macho guy experience.
The barber chair made me sit in a way that was really causing my arm to hurt and go numb. The barber suggested a two buck massage with one of those wild plug in the wall strap it on your hand old time things. It made the pain recede.
It made me feel so good I treated myself to a three buck shave - hot lather and a straight razor.
Colossusofnewyork,The X01 (1958)Nothing makes you feel cleaner than a hot lather straight razor shave. It's one of the reasons men, as a generality, have better skin then women - exfoliation.
I might not look great but I felt great.
Which set me up for today.
Today was not as bad as the monster hanging out in the back of my brain.
I had radiation treatment.
I got in trouble there, at the hospital. I always feel like a jerk wearing those paper backless robes they give you. And you're lying there on a sheet of white butcher paper stretched over a foam and naugahyde couch with a million bucks worth of electronics staring into your face. And the doctors and nurse are either real patronizing or tend to treat you like an object and who can blame them when they're experience with you is going to consist of their causing you intense pain and then maybe you dying on them so who want to get friendly right, I mean who wants to look at some goof in a paper backless robe like he was a human being, right?
But part of the side effect of this is that they also don't ever pay much attention to you while they're getting ready.
The getting ready part is tripped out too. I mean, I'm laying there with enough paper robe to keep a mere shred of dignity UNDERNEATH the machine and they're putting on these heavy yellow lead vests! And standing behind 5 inches of lead glass!
So I got off the couch and went behind the glass and watched them get ready.
problem was none of the three noticed I had moved until they were ready to fire off the radiation guns . . . so I got lecture. It was worth it and I got to see all the buttons.
I thought it should have looked more complicated; at least as busy as a 24 track studio . . .
Then I had to suck it up and take my puppy to her Therapy Dog indoctrination.
Han Wang-Elizabeth-El
Click images for desktop size: "Elizabeth" by Han Wan
She was kind of terrible. She had to say hello to everyone  . . . often . . . and at inappropriate moments . . . and often by shoving her pointy nose in there butts . . . and I was proud of her . . .
We'll go to the children's ward each Wednesday and we'll be at the Christmas Party on Christmas Day.
I'm pleased about that. this is a County Hospital and the kids don't seem to have family to come visit them. They have some gifts for them but a crazy joke telling puppy will probably be the highlight of their day . . . mine too.
I have to go to work tomorrow and I'm drained. I'll make it though and probably stay in good humor.

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December 12, 2005


ChillI bought a Christmas Wreath today. I can't afford a tree and the trimmings but I wanted something to put up for people to see so they'd know that I cared; that I was grateful; that I was happy.
I think my puppy would like a tree to look at, to fret over and, eventually to destroy. Vet bills and doctor bills stop that. It saddens me but not very much. My puppy makes me laugh too hard to be sad about things like that.
I approach Christmas pretty much the same way all adults do, with lowered expectations and higher hopes. I have always wondered where peace is.
Last year I spent Christmas alone in the desert. I had a 79 cent Banquet turkey dinner for a Christmas feast.. I was stressed but I was not unhappy.
A few days later a dog would find me.
Its A Wonderfull Life(Lc)7XksWhere I work now, I work alone. That means i can bring my puppy to work with me most days. The two of us like that. I got a little Santa Claus Ornament (bisque, made in China) to hang on the door. When I showed it to my puppy she wanted to eat it. It made me wish I could figure out a way for us to get a small tree. We'll see, but it seems like a foolish excess, but maybe on Christmas Eve we can be out wandering and find a miracle.
I'm recovering from the cold. I'm not looking forward to the doctors on Wednesday, but I am looking forward to my puppy continuing to be a therapy dog in the children's ward of the county hospital. It makes us both feel pretty good but for completely different reasons. My puppy gets to run around and be an absolute maniac. I get to see her grow more comfortable in herself and I get to see a few kids not feel lonely. I think that's an "we all win" situation.

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December 11, 2005

Reggie Bush Wins the Heismann
Richard Pryor Dead at 65

Dj White Boot Tangle(Xmas) Yesterday was goony. But my puppy was consistently great!
My job is terrible. I have to keep remembering that my wages always show up and as agreed. For Christmas I get no christmas bonus and only the legal minimum of days off. And I'm sure the email asking why is employee moral so low . . .

I'm saddened that Richard Pryor died. I never worked with or even for him but I was a kid and always thought he was funny. Later I liked him in the clubs, then I liked his movies. People who can make you laugh are rare.

As the college season is nearing an end my love of football wanes. I like what Grambling is doing in IAA. Even Div III has more than potent interest with two of my kids advancing as coaches. As a spectator I like the daily IA games and look forward to some great bowl games.
Brain Eaters, The X01 (1958)The NFL is business as usual. Lots of interest but none of the passion and emotion.
This is not just an excuse for why my NFL picks are so poor! Actually they were pretty good last week but I still finished 154th!! This has dragged me down 8 spots to 143.
This is this weeks picks. Home team listed first and my pick in bold.

Pittsburgh v Chicago My game of the week. Two smash mouth teams playing nothing but defense! Going with the Bears to stop the run and further dismantle Big Ben.

Cincinnati v Cleveland Carson and Chad. All those overweight guys who never played the game can knock Chad Johnson all they want. He takes the heat for the team, he distracts opponents with his antics and he works harder than any wide receiver since Jerry Rice.

Tennessee v Houston Cruddy game of the week.

Jacksonville v Indianapolis Del Rio's D will knock Payton silly but he doesn't have the tools to score against the Colt D. Never bet against an undefeated in December!

Buffalo v New England As great as it is to see new teams rise up and play proud it saddens me to see the old boys who played with their hearts fall to age and injury.

New York Jets v Oakland Raiders start a project (a failing project) at QB. The Jets deserve to win this.

Minnesota v St Louis I can't believe I'm picking the Vikes. Martz has been destructive off the field and Brad Johnson makes you wonder what's wrong in the NFL that he was unsigned.
Dc House Ad Huntress Carolina v Tampa Bay I'm taking the panthers but not by much.

Philadelphia v New York Giants I don't like the Giants on the road but the arrogant move by the front office regarding TO has left this team a total shambles.

Seattle v San Francisco The Niners made their last game closer than it should have been. Bad move as the sea Hawks will be out to totally dominant.

Arizona v Washington Somehow this game feels like a cruddy game of the week contender.

Denver v Baltimore With no Ray Lewis this game feels like a desperate reach for the ravens. This could be a scary blow out.

Dallas v Kansas City With something on the line I'll take Vermeil over Parcells almost always. And I love watching my kid run for the Chiefs!

San Diego v Miami Tomlinson could break even more records today.

Green Bay v Detroit Cruddy game contender. It's doesn't win because Brett Favre is still playing like he can win these games on his own.

Its A Wonderfull Life(Lc)3Xks

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November 15, 2005

The snot has caked against my pants
It has turned into crystal
Arthur Lee

Ancient Relics William Blake
Click images for desktop size: "Ancient Relics" by William Blake
A lot of stuff going on, none of it bad; all of it time consuming.
I've been ill. Very non specific sort of illness. A deep and penetrating kind of fatigue and general unwellness. It's harder and harder to just move.
Fortunately I have a puppy who doesn't allow for lethargy. She demands I move and play.
That's a good thing.
A friends mother saw pictures of my puppy and thought she looked at least 3 years old instead of just shy of 6 months! I put that off to living with me. I've aged her prematurely I guess.
She's happy. Even after being run over and spayed she's happy and full of life, except when she has to take her pain pills and medication. I've had to give up hiding her pills in treats. She's too smart for that and will refuse the treats unless she sees me eating them first. She watches carefully too.
Cosmic Monsters X01 (1958)I'm not unhappy.
I've been devoting myself to gadgets. Gadgets are a nice harmless way of avoiding life and pain.
I've a new, decent digital camera. I use it to take pictures of my puppy. I've no interest in photographing anything else. What do I want to freeze in time to remember?
I'm also deeply fascinated with my standalone DivX player. It's a DVD player that plays the avi files you download from the internet. It's fascinating to me and has so many annoying and pleasing quirks that I don't watch much of the movies I simply see what each codec does or doesn't do, whether the subtitles display on my Asian films, whether I can scan this one or only let it play straight through.
It was only 40 dollars. They even sell them at WalMart! The exclusivity of my predilections has clearly faded.
The job is a job. It stinks. I don't make enough money but I get to take my dog there. I can survive on the money and having my puppy with me is like always having a best friend with you.
The most irritating thing about the job and the thing that will make me leave it quickly is discovering that 3 of the women who work for the company, two of them bosses, have crushes on me.
I dislike that. I have no interest in them other than they are nice people. Their infatuation causes them to “drop by” far too often. (I work by myself - just my puppy and me.) I don't understand their fascination with me at all. I'm old and falling apart and have no interests I'm willing to share with them. Our tedious conversations usually require me to merely grunt (most of the time my mind has drifted so I have no idea what they're talking about, especially on the interminable phone calls.)
Dream 1024
Click images for desktop size: "Dream" by Zipangu
I like them as people but there aren't that many people, anymore, who I want to spend that much time with. I've been spending a serious amount of energy trying to figure out a way to get my puppy and I up north.
There are people there (and dogs) I do want to spend time with. Through a series of threats and whinging and comprimise I've managed to get the entire Thanksgiving weekend off. That's a big deal where I work. I'm already the only person there who doesn't work 6 days a week, although I still don't get 2 days off in a row.
I want to go away. I want to walk down new streets and high ways with my dog looking up at me and snuffling in things I don't want her snuffling at.
This is not a big dream, I think, so it should be easier than this, I'd think.
Again, as usual in the USA, it's a shortage of money.
I need to remember the only real function I have is to just survive.

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July 12, 2005

There's always a tear in the air

Click images for desktop size: "Dreamspace"
I'm watching/listening to the All Star Game.
I used to love the All Star game, all those teams of the best and the greatest playing a game just for fun. It had a poetry to me.
It's still a great game but this weird fillip of trying to make the game "meaningful", tries to take away the intense sand-lot element that I loved.
The way baseball is the All Star game and the World Series are about the only games EVERYBODY watches, everyone . . . and the chance to see the best just out there with no other purpose than to have fun or to "enhance their legend" always struck me as what the game was really about.
The best against the best in a pick up game.
Did you see Bruelhe? Did you see Tejada?
Girl In The Bikini X01 Good Ol' Dog came to work with me today. She was a terrible employee. All she wanted to do was play and she wanted to drive the golf cart and got mulish about it.
People are starting to come to work just to speak to me. I like that.
It started with a guy coming in and talking to me about the Boy Scout Jamboree in Virginia. They built a coal mine out of shipping containers from his truck line. I liked the sound of it. He invited me to fly up with his wife and him but it wouldn't be until after the 25th and I'll have a puppy then.
Good Ol's Dog and I went and threw the ball some. She doesn't like baseballs. She still chases them but is consistently shocked that they aren't tennis balls and squishable.
I still can't get the speed up. At 90 feet I can consistently hit the fence pole but I've got no zip on the ball. When I hit it right I can get it to fly straight back to me. But I'm all over the place in the vertical plane.
For lunch Good Ol' Dog and I went to Pet Supermarket and Good Ol' Dog stole a pigs ear! Crunched it! I had to buy it but they gave her a nice treat. While we were walking back, and I guess it was hot, 95 doesn't bother me much.
A girl, kind of pretty in a silver Toyota passed us and then stopped and waited for us to catch up. I was listening to Toxic Shock's version of "Lean On Me" in the iPod and thought it was kind of great watching her talk to me, even though I couldn't hear a word she said. Her smiling serious eyes and bangs that bounced while she spoke were very lovely when set to music.
1960 Corvette I finally took off the headphones and listened to her. I figured she was going to ask me directions. She seemed to know my name but I haven't a clue as to who she might be. The conversation was innocuous. I'm used to talking to people I have no recollection of who seem to know all about me.
Dr J called and we chatted for about 30 minutes about the All Star game. She's working tonight and I thought going to a hospital and watching the game while she flitted in and out sounded kind of horrible. So did she but it was a sweet offer.
I painted some poles just to have something to do. good Ol' Dog kept all the lizards and chipmunks away so I could work undisturbed . . .
While I painted I thought about a dragonfly that could be seen from the moon.

June 7, 2005

Good evening, you know I love you. I do.

High School Hellcats (1958) Today was an odd but then decidedly a good day.
The mysterious illness seems to have fled. I called the Doctor and told him about it and complained bitterly too I suppose. Sometimes you have to complain loudly to doctors or else they tend not to hear you. There might be good logical reasons for this but when you're ill and feeling threatened you don't have time for good logical reasons. (Although always talking to people who feel ill and threatened might be one reason for Doctoral Deafness Syndrome. I guess it would be hard to tell the serious cry from the weak but harder for the patient to know which is which too.)
This doc is cool though and he did have another doc, an oncologist, call me and lay down the law.
One thing I wish they'd stop noticing: They all look at my history and keep being amazed that I'm still walking around, that I'm not a debilitated dried up husk. This oncology doc made me feel like I needed to apologize for it.
"Geez, doc, I'm sorry I survived. I'll try and collapse more in the future. Can't have a weird geezer screwing up the FDA averages. Sorry I tried to stay healthy and all that."
WallaceandgromitthecurseofthewererabbitBut my freaky illness, as he reminded me, was something I had long ago. I don't have enough red blood cells, pernicious stuff. I like to call it, "Bad bad blood. Bad to the bone." And yeah, when he reminded me I did remember, but it was a memory that makes you glad you have a butterfly memory like mine.
So all in all it was just a jolt of warning.
Still it felt good having some answers.
Better than that was getting to talk to my next door neighbor. My femme housemate has been having a bit of a war with them. She thinks they're rude. I can see why but I'm a bull and don't care much about hurt feelings. I tend to be confrontational and, besides, with next door neighbors you have to at least be friendly enough so that if they see your house burning down they'll call the fire department and not just gloat or waste time having a battle of consciousness.
So I talked to the next door neighbor lady for nearly a half hour. The main excuse for talking to her was that she's a runner. She's a good strong runner but has a lot of ineptness to her style: bad arm motion, splayed feet, bad strike angle etc.
I found a woman who wanted to be friendly but had terrible social skills brought on by incredible shyness and, probably, low self esteem.
She told me she'd run a marathon once in San Francisco and that she'd raised $7,000 for leukemia research by finishing it. Her sister had died from leukemia, the same kind I have.
That answered a lot of questions. We talked about running and about kids. I think I terrified her but she didn't run away.
That counts for a lot with me. Wanting to run and then not.
After out chat I checked the mail and I got a check. Not huge but enough for me to make a tiny dent in my debt and enough to get an iPod shuffle for myself as a waste of money treat!
I like the iPod shuffle. I don't think I can break it. It's cute and the sound is . . . a bit thin but adequate.
Turtle-Power 1024 Then my housemate and I chatted. She's worried about my health. I tried to tell her not to worry but I know you can't tell people what to think or feel and I've got no reassurances. None.
What we could talk about is her top hot pop job is becoming incredible. We're both starting jobs in a week. My job sucks her is unreal . . . but we both have to deal with the fact that life is no longer just for living.
That kind of sucks even if the rest of it is all good. I like working and so does she.
So all kinds of animals today but none of them remarkable.
Good Ol' Dog still thinks I throw the ball with incredible stupidity and has taken to hiding them from me to prevent her embarrassment.


April 6, 2005

I'm a traveling man , made a lot of stops

Emergingflowers Click images for desktop size: "Emerging Flowers" I didn't get work today. Even on that daily labor trip, if I get 3 days a week I can squeak by. Now I have to get work real rapid fire.

I came home by myself (that means without Ethel, my dog) and found two ads in the on-line classifieds. The first one I went to they wanted someone bilingual. I hear that a lot.
The second job was for a night auditor at a hotel. The address confused me as it's only a mile and half from where I live.
It took a while to find this place - The Cliffs. It is up in the hills but there aren't any cliffs around. I walked through a blasted lunar landscape. Scrub desert until I hit a medium sized complex. I don't know what they used to be but now it was about 30 abandoned huts. Dead silent except for the raging winds here (50 mph last night!).
Tarmac I kept checking the addresses and I was where I supposed to be, but I couldn't imagine a hotel being here. I free wandered just looking at the desolation and wondering what disaster happened here. It looked like areas of Beiruit, but there weren't any people here at all.
Around one corner I saw a building that, while not freshly painted, it was clean. I wandered around it until I came to the sign. It was the Cliffs. It was well scrubbed but I kept wondering how anyone could know they were here!
When I went inside it was cool and dark after the sunshine, and blissfully quiet. Mozarts's Jupiter Symphony was playing through the muzak. The walls were all painted to look like an old English library. Keeping with the tone of anonoymity I couldn't see anyone! I went outsdie to check to see if there was another entrance.
I went back in and wandered down the immaculate halls. The music changed to Vivaldi's Four Seasons, trite but nice. About 40 yards away from the front door and through a labyrinth of twisty halls I came upon a huge well kept room. Two men were sitting at marble topped tables talking in quiet tones. (Guests?) The carpets was dark brown and complimented the sand colored walls. The ceiling was at least 25 feet high and capped in an exposed dome.
Off to the side was the front desk. A skinny kid, who looked unkempt in these tidy surroundings, greeted me professionaly. I noted he didn't sound disappointed that I was here to apply for the night auditor position.
Whirlwindhawk I handed him my resume and he handed me a form Job Application torn from a pad.
I sat in a comfortable chair at another marble topped table and filled it in.
It was quiet and pecaeful there and felt nothing like the world outside. I felt nothing and no one around me. I was non plussed and couldn't figure out how they stayed in business. I'd never heard of the place, it was difficult to get to; in a scary neighborhood, hard to find. It made no sense but it existed here. I had no idea why or how.
I handed in the job app and talked to the kid for a bit. I was afraid to ask the questions that were in my head and just made sure that the job was still open and that I was, so far, the only applicant.
When I left I felt I'd walked out of a dream. I didn't even look back just plodded home.
I picked up Ethel. She was glad to see me. We walked together some but I still had to carry her home.

April 5, 2005

You won't be sad anymore

Yellowcoyoteapache Click images for desktop size: "Apache; Painter Unknown" I went job hunting today. It was not a pleasant or enlightening experience.

The first job I could have done well, but they insisted on someone bilingual The second was a “Grapes Of Wrath” scheme to lure employees from out of state, in particular illegal aliens who can be shipped out if they get to stroppy about being paid. I'd be their manager and “keep them in line.” I didn't slug him much to my discredit. The third was a bank. It was a long interview and they really liked me. I think they'll make me an offer except they don't need me to start until May . . . which makes surviving April a bit difficult. Then I walked to a help wanted sign I'd noticed before. It was a new internet cafe. Unfortunately they weren't looking for computer geeks they wanted wait staff and counter coffee guys. I left an application anyway. Playgirl After Dark (1959) I walked about 6 miles today. The temperature was 86 and there were 35 mph winds. I think I ruined my suit . . . it feels pretty sodden. My face, which I washed before each interview, was gritty. While I was walking I thought about music and the best concerts or shows I'd ever seen. This is what happens when you don't have your portable music. I like music and realized that I've been to a mammoth amount of concerts and the like. I remember in one week I saw Springsteen at the Roxy (Somebody tell this guy to shut up and play already!!) and then saw David Del Tredici's World Premiere of his “Final Alice”. The symphony was the better of the two, in fact it's no contest. I think that the best show ever was Tab Benoit at the Rock And Bowl in New Orleans. Tab and I were buddies. We met when he came to LA to do a session at the Guitar Institute (teaching). The Rock and Bowl is a Bowling Alley, Restaurant, Bar, and Dance Hall all in one unsectioned off building. While Tab was playing the blues; women with mile high bee hives were bowling an Lady's League Night. There were no partitions at all. Since I wasn't drinking anymore (in life) I was inundated with bowls of Gumbo. Tab was joined on stage by a lot of the hot Creole musicians in New Orleans, while the owner and the little girls were teaching me to do the Cajun Boogie. Tab played a Fender Shop Vintage Tele replica through a Peavey amp. He got nothing but liquid tone. The crashing of the pins just seemed like cool percussion. It was great. All Shows should be held in Bowling Allies. The next time I saw Tab play was in London, where he shared a stage with BB King. He was better in Louisiana where he taught me the right way to say Bon ton roulet baby. Unholy 1024 Ethel, my dog. seems to be happier even if I can only see the slightest physical improvement. Today she did walk almost 400 yards, slowly but she walked it and explored some. She found a burning cigar! She doesn't have to wear her big Elizabethan collar anymore and I think that's a good thing. We went out for her final trip and a gust of wind knocked her over! I scooped her up and ran her inside. She seemed to think the whole thing was just pretty funny. I found a space with some grass so we could empty her. So no jobs. I'm going into the daily labor place tomorrow morning. I resent having to look so hard for work but it's the resentment of failure.


April 4, 2005

A day not marked at all

Hara Kiri Wall1 1600 Click images for desktop size: "Hara Kiri" Today I felt nothing but sore. A combination of staring at Ethel, my little dog, and physical fatigue and pain kept me from sleeping. I went through this Sunday in a fog.

I got a news paper for the want ads. I spent time comparing them to the on-line edition. There were 4 jobs on-line that weren't in the paper and 3 jobs in the paper that weren't on-line. Very perplexing. I have two interviews tomorrow so I need to sleep tonight. I hope I can. Starting to feel tension creep up and that worries me. I deal with it by ignoring it. At least the rent is paid and I have all of Ethel's meds and supplies in. I can't believe that getting a job interview makes me worry about not being able to go in to the daily labor joint.


March 5, 2005

No matter what in the world you do

Mueng Jin Today was definitely the last day at this job. And, hopefully, the last time I'll have to think about Wal-Mart. To climax the last day we only got 5 hours instead of the full shift.
My leaving didn't go unnoticed. I'm quiet and really thought that my leaving would please the people that it did please and then be ignored by all the rest.
Instead I got a rather large amount of support. One woman gave me a full pack of cigarettes (I don't smoke), another pressed 5 bus tokens upon me. Two mentioned seeing me wander the streets with my dog packs. Two guys said I was quitting in support of all of them.
I don't even know their real names, only my nick names for them.
I still have a dog who seems to adore me. I've got two interviews Monday, rent's paid and I've got 3 dollars for my food, and a pack of cigarettes and 5 bus tokens. You have to accept gifts from people who have less than you. You have to be fair to their hearts.

March 2, 2005

Sleeping perchance

Gettingsleepy 1024 Yesterday was longer than I thought.

I went out early to a job interview. Walked quite a bit. Came home and took care of Ethel, my dog. Then went to work.

I was expecting a quiet somber work place. I was wrong. I forgot that even in the lower depths there are people who aspire to be the king of the ant hill, princess of the dung heap.

While 2 people have announced that they're quitting, 4 others seem involved in a power struggle to be  . . . I can't imagine what they think they are about, but they plan to be something, I guess.

I discovered that the “Cutest most boring woman in the world" has a lot of anger towards me because I don't like her. She was trying to enlist me to her cause but she is so dull that I thought she was finished and turned and left. She wasn't finished.

Colorsquare 1024 Of much greater concern is that the players all met me after work to tell me about how the first day of spring ball went. They were proud, deservedly so, that the core 14 all were the finalists in the endurance stuff. A few got compliments on looking improved. They want me to come and watch all the practices. I won't.

I got home and passed out. I was just overwhelmed with fatigue. Slept for 5 hours fully dressed! Now, I'm just catching up on email and things.

Today. More passive job hunting. I have an offer but it is only for 3-4 weeks, which makes it a gap stop and I'm not sure I want that.

I have to take Ethel to the vet today. I like dogs to be spayed before their first heat. It reduces the threat of ovarian cancer dramatically, and it makes it easier on her.

I want out of life, I think.

February 25, 2005

If I were a master thief I would rob them~Bob Dylan

Weaving After going into the office earlier and asking if there was going to be work tonight; being assured that there would be I re-took the 2 mile walk in the cold and the rain (34 degrees is COLD! especially when it's wet). When I got to the office all my coworkers were milling about. Some guy I never saw before told me not to clock in. I did anyway. Then he said there was going to be a meeting. I sat down to wait but then he decided and announced that the meeting would be on Monday.
I shouted out, &ldquo;I have a question, two questions.&rdquo;
He said, &ldquo;Yes?&rdquo;
&ldquo;Who are you?&rdquo;
Unfortunately my coworkers laughed. They had no idea who he was either. Because they laughed he got sheepish and all I heard was that he was Bob something or other and was the something else or other.
&ldquo;What is the meeting about - layoffs?&rdquo;
He just said we'll talk about it Monday and started to leave. I followed him and asked my question again. I know I made him afraid. I didn't care.
Unfortuanately a half dozen of my football players came down the hall to see me.
Le-Psychedelic SplashEven I could see that this could give the appearance of, well, real intimidation. Especially as my aggression was obvious and the football players picked up on it right away. Like all team players they were on my side no matter what. Like all athletes in training they were primed for action, any action. I didn't interfere and I let Bob to his own devices as to how to get through the wall of flesh.
I'm still assuming the meeting will be about layoffs and firings etc, otherwise, why not simply say.
The guys came to see me because they are nervous about next week when they start spring ball. It's a Div 1A school and they have dreams that they want to see through and maybe make real. I admire people who dream so I clocked out and we stood in the lobby and talked for a while about what they needed to do to be ready. to get their chance.
When I got home Ethel, my dog, was overjoyed to see me and made me rub her tummy. We went out but first thing she did was jump in the puddles. Not the first thing - first she was greeted by two strangers who knew who she was even if I had no idea of who they were. To add to this mini-mystery the warmth of their greeting to Ethel was undercoated by their absolute indifference to me. How does Ethel know people I don't?
Celtic1 Then spent the rest of the evening giving Ethel a bath and a pig's ear while chatting to my Southern friend on Skype. (Yay Skype - OSX - No Spyware). I'm going to work tomorrow because I need the money. I half expect to hear that the meeting has been canceled.
Dana came out to see us - in the rain. We talked about my job. She offered to loan me some money. Normally that would offend me but because she lived in the same impoverished state that Ethel and I share I stopped my knee jerk flash of anger and decided it was meant kindly. Ethel took 3 more mud puddle dives before we came in. She got another bath. She didn't care. Puddle diving in ice cold muddy water must be worth it.
I fell asleep for 2 hours and awoke to find Ethel inspecting my computer. She must wonder how I can sit there at it for so long.