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December 31, 2016

Let us go forth with fear and courage and rage to save the world
Grace Paley

Year Of The Fire Rooster

Click images for desktop size: "Year of the Fire Rooster" by Unknown
Nothing to be that afraid of. We've been through this before. Even when they think that they've gotten smarter, they haven't. They've just gotten nastier and more terrified of folks like us. We have what we need even against their buddies the Russians and the feeble minded. The rich never win except with money.
I wish they'd stop calling themselves populist. That's as big an insult as calling them human beings.
Happy New Year to us.

December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas Will Do

201612251741.jpg
"Merry Christmas" by Poppy
Best of the Holidays and looking forward to a hopeful New Year.

December 11, 2016

Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other
John Steinbeck

Merry Christmas!
Click images for desktop size: "Merry Christmas" by Unknown

This years podcast for Christmas: Well, it's big. Took a while to prune down to this size; nearly two and a half hours! And I think it's pretty fine.
Lydecker Santa and Boy I let it get big because it's been a cruddy year and we may be facing the end of the country. I mean, Donald Trump is the worst president since Nixon. Trump is going in declaring he's a racist bigot crook and claims it doesn't matter. We knew what he was when you elected him. Elected him with all the crime and corruption and hatred you knew he'd bring.
Yeah, the year was a mess so it's all the reason to celebrate because it may be the last time. There'll be times coming when the celebration means more but the last time we can rejoice in freedom is always memorable.
Too many of my friends died this year. All tragically because all dyings are tragic. More reason to wonder why I'm still hanging around. I dropped a 150 pound hunk of steel on my head this fall. It didn't kill me. Then O tried to face plant myself while driving my shoulder into a brick wall. It hurt but I wiped the blood out of my eyes and finished walking the dogs. I'm still here. Maybe as punishment? I doubt that. I can still sing.
We had some fun this year, at least in this house. Had three foster dogs, two of them are in a better place already. One, Big Samson the Gentle is going to be ready for a forever home sooner than we'd think. He's really a loving kind.
We moved. It was hell and torturously expensive. Still deep in debt over it.
It's one of the small reasons this might be the last Christmas PodCast. BlueHost, who I've been pretty happy Getting The Tree
Click images for desktop size: "Getting The Perfect Tree" by Unknown
with have announced a jacked up rate increase, about 70%! I don't think I can afford that. I've made a point of ignoring all entreaties to monetize the site. Sometimes that gets me taken advantage of. It's a small thing and doesn't mean much. The site will vanish is all. But maybe I can find a cheaper acceptable alternative. I'll look.
The site has had over two million unique visitors just to the main page, about seven million other people just looking for some music or to look at the pictures. I think that's fine and gratifying. The pictures are worth seeing and the music worth hearing. HEY! Check out Material Issues great Christmas track "Merry Christmas Will Do" And Chris Von Sneidern's track Holiday Special "Santa Claus," for me they're the new Christmas Anthems. But all the tracks are memorable, Remember, I still think the best Christmas music is in a bar with a live combo on Christmas Eve. So that's saying something. I think. I will always enjoy how spell correct tried to change Vibeke Saugestad into Vitamin Suggested. The podcast has already had about four thousand downloads and that's just from the way I slop things around with all my non-announcements.
I do think you'll like the music and I think it will make your spirits gladder and take you away from this place and to the place where dreams seem like yesterdays and hopes happen every tomorrow. It's Christmas time and that means something. It's the time you can believe Old Man Potter got arrested for stealing Uncle Billy's money. A time when kindness is repaid with love and mercy. It's that time when WWI troops stopped killing each other and sang carols to themselves and to their enemies and didn't start shooting each other until December 26th. It's a time when people are bigger than nations and we can take a minute and see the other person hiding there too afraid to speak. It's Christmas.
As long as you can reach out and find a hand or a fuzzy head to hold and pet nothing is as bad as we think and all we are doing is what we need to do. And we believe that somewhere we are all trying to do the right thing.
Merry Christmas. Happy Chanukah. Feliz Navidad. To a brighter New Year.



CandC 39
Aloha Christmas - Dukes Of Surf
Ski Party - Wondermints
Are You Ready For Christmas - BBBs
Merry Christmas Will Do - Material Issue
Even Santa Gets The Blues - Eugene Ruffolo
It's Xmas (And Everyone Is Miserable) - Dirty Sidewalks
Help Me Forget - Solicitors
A Christmas Carol (For The Losers In Love) - Vibeke Saugestad
Christmas Eve Can Kill You - Everly Brothers
Christmas At Ground Zero - Weird Al Yankovic
A Surfer's Christmas List - Surfaris
I Want An Alien For Christmas - Fountains Of Wayne
I Want Elvis For Christmas - Holly Twins (with Eddie Cochran)
(I Want) A Beatle For Christmas - Patty Surbey And The Canadian V.I.P.s
Santa Got Lost In Texas - Little Joe (Michael Landon)
Santa Got A DWI - Sherman Linton
Christmas For Cowboys - Jars of Clay
Come All Ye Faithful Surfer Girls - Chevelles
Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer - Tommy Roe
Jingle Bell Laugh - St. Nicklas
Jingle Bells Slide - Jack Scott
Hey There, St. Nicholas! (Plain White T's vs Smokey Robinson) - Voicedude
Little Drummer Boy - Miracle Legion
Santa's Got an Airplane (Version 2) - Beach Boys
Santa Claus - Chris Von Sneidern
Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree - Ronnie Spector And Darlene Love
Under The Christmas Tree - Swingin' Neckbreakers
2000 Miles - Grip Weeds
Christmas Must Be Tonight - The Band
Merry Twist-Mas - Marcels
Come On Christmas - Barely Pink
It's Always Christmas At My House - Huntingtons
Let It Snow - Me, You And Her
Look Around You (It's Christmas Time) - Bobby Goldsboro
4th Of July / Christmas Rag - Peter Case
A Round About Christmas - Kingston Trio
Shchedryk (Ukranian Bell Carol) - Pink Martini
Jingle Jangle Christmas - Vibeke Saugestad
Christmas Would Not Be Christmas - Carpet Frogs
X-Mas - Epicycle
Everyday Is Christmas - SWAG
The Dawn Of Correction - Spokesmen
Twas The Night Before Xmas - Huey Piano Smith
White Christmas - Platters
The Bells Of St. Mary - Bob B Soxx And The Blue Jeans
Amazing Grace - Jeff Beck
Gloria in Excelsis Deo - London Symphony Orchestra
New Year's Revolution (demo) - Graham Parker
The Christmas Song (Unreleased Alternate Take) - Nat King Cole
Silent Night - Everly Brothers And The Boys Town Choir
O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles) - Mormon Tabernacle Choir


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November 16, 2016

Lies written in ink cannot disguise facts written in blood
Lu Xun

Indian Rug
Click images for desktop size: "Indian Rug" by Unknown

Maybe I'm wrong but I think we all need a break from Donald Trump and autocracy and the hell we've visited upon ourselves.
Time to go home and see the family, especially those of us who've had our families torn away from us for the simple Thanksgiving crime of getting old. Cause the world sucks right now. The politicians who are foolish enough to call themselves our government are thinking about nothing more than getting rich. They keep forgetting us. They forget Matewan, Hoffa, Gutherie, Steinbeck and the right hand of the God which isn't them but is us, the people who live and work and die. Who really don't want to get rich, who don't worry about position, who just want to see some reasons to smile.
Yeah they forget about us and what history has shown we will always do when with all their greed and their scheming and brilliant plans and their art of selfishness.
So I hope you get to be with your family whatever, whoever they might be and how many of them might be left. I hope you get to drive cause flying is sure a pain now, a terrible pain. Easiest way to control us is making it miserable to travel. It's all right, they've never been able to close off our blue highways.
They'll rely on the stolen freedoms to keep us occupied while they use their positions to steal and exploit. As usual they'll forget that we're here.

This podcast is made for DAP's, for earbuds. If you can play it in your car that's groovy, maybe even better. It will get you home and get you through rants from your uncle and Mom's disapproving glances. It will get you home and then back. I promise.
Happy Thanksgiving.

I'm working on the Christmas Podcast!?!? Rah. It ought to be pretty good and some fun!

Cool And Crazy 38
The Times They Are A-Changin' - Flogging Molly
The Impression That I Get - Mighty Mighty BossTones
God Only Knows - Nylons
Nancy Jean - Richard Barone
It's A Hard Life - Roger Daltrey
Hallelujah! - Clique
Spam Song. - Monty Python
I Should Have Known Better - Sand Rubies
My Wife Thinks You're Dead - Junior Brown
How Fine Can One Guy Be - Jelly Beans
I'm Gonna Steal Your Girlfriend - Teen Machine
Southern Love - Montesas
Gigantor - Dickies
Afterglow (acoustic) - Quiet Riot
Carol - Marauders
Malaguena - Ritchie Valens
Farmhouse - Phish
I Need Your Love - Boyfriends
Mercury Blues - David Lindley
Shut Down - Ramouns
Help You Dream - Blasters
C'Mon Everybody (alt) - Eddie Cochran
Dearest - Buddy Holly
Shanty Tramp - Betty Dickerson
Horn Of Plenty - Ribeye Brothers
Since I Lost Your Lovin' - Lori Burton
Stop Your Sobbing (stereo) - Kinks
I Still Want You - Paul Collins' Beat
Dark Side (live) - Shadows Of Knight
I Need You - Lolas
Juvenile Delinquent - Rubinoos
Lover Boy - Robert Gordon
Die Everyday - Martinets
Any Time At All - Magic Christian
In Time - Tearaways
Diane - Therapy?
Gee - Beach Boys
I'm A Believer - Rocking JoJo and His Red Hot Angels
Shake Your Tail Feather - Five Du-Tones


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October 27, 2016

When it was dark, you always carried the sun in your hand for me
Sean O'Casey

Revrend B Smoke by HR Giger
Click images for desktop size: "Reverend B Smoke" by H.R.Giger

It's Halloween, the gateway to the holiday season. So of course it means terror and laffs.
In LA it was the time for all the drag queens to come out full on. And the crowds and the infinite terror of Hell Night.
Never see kids trick or treating anymore.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre This Halloween podcast starting out looking pretty bleak. No one has done much of a Halloween release in the past few years, at least none that I've been able to find. But in picking through the dregs of the season I think it turned out pretty well. Nothing as awesome as Gene Simmons "Haunted House" or the Boss Martins "Have You ever Seen?" but pretty good stuff nonetheless.
Ah, as for personal stuff. We fostered a very abused young man. He got adopted in one day! I mean after a month of rehab and getting to love him, he got adopted for a $250.00 adoption fee!! Anyone willing to pay $250 for a 1 and 1/2 year old mixed breed pup with torn up ears and as much scar tissue as skin has to be looking into that pups eyes and seeing the wonderfulness that he is. Good job to the wife on rescuing him and helping to save him. (He did most of the work himself, given a chance, with the sweet gentleness that makes up most of him.)
No one around here cares much but I'm pretty impressed with myself. After going through all that nuclear medicine and sonograms and stuff it seems that all those past years of surf and football paid off. It's not supposed to but my hear has gotten better! My heart is, right now, as good as anyone else's.
I still plan to live forever.
Go Trojans. Go me.
And if I can figure out the logistics and money I plan to coach as a volunteer at the reservation school in the area.

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Rabian The Fiendage Idol - Bobby Boris Pickett
Jack The Ripper - Galaxy Trio
Psycho - Bobby Hendricks
Graveyard Hop (Studio Rehearsal) - Love
Already Dead - Electric Frankenstein
Werewolf - Gary Warren
The Gila Monster - Joe Johnson
Rockin' Zombie - Crewnecks
Leopard Man - Joe Wallace
Screamin' Ball - Duponts
The Gypsy - James Hunter Six
Stalkin' - Duane Eddy
Devil's Carnival - Davie Allan And The Arrows
Graveyard Rock - Tarantula Ghoul And Her Gravediggers
Roadside Cross - Cobrajets
A Fistful of Terror - Bomboras
Twistin' In The Jungle - Buddy Bow
Go Go The Cannibal - Ronnie Self
Sinister Purpose - Southern Culture On The Skids
Ghost Satellite - Bob And Jerry
The Monster Hop - Bert Convy
Til the Following Night - Screaming Lord Sutch
Livin' In The Fridge - Weird Al Yankovic
You Came From Outer Space - Kirby Stone Four
Martian Hop - Ran Dells
Popeye (The Gravedigger) - John Zacherley
Be True To Your Ghoul - Ghouls
Spooky Girl - Ghastly Ones
Happy Halloween - Fuzztones
Rockin' In The Graveyard - Roy Loney
Haunted Hipster - Fleshtones
The Spooky Surfer - Sidewinders
Hearse With a Curse - Mr Gasser And The Weirdos
Undying Love - Stems
I Was A Teenage Monster - Keytones
In The Hall Of The Mountain King - Coffin Daggers
Son Of Frankenstein - Boris Karloff
Little Death Coupe - Surf Trio
Boogie Man Bash - Six Feet Under
Munsters/Hawaii Five-O - Spy-Fi
Haunted House - Teenage Bottlerocket
It - Regal-Aires
Peace In The Valley - Eddie Spaghetti



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August 19, 2016

Listen, and you will realize that we are made not from cells or from atoms. We are made from stories

Mia Couto

Molotov Cocktease
Click images for desktop size: "Molotov Cocktease" by Unknown
Its been a long hard time so far. Too much of it has been about doctors, my doctors and yours. Making the move I have to meet a whole corps of new doctors. The usual suspects.
I realize I now have decades of experience dealing with the medical industry, sort of annoyed it never appears on job applications nor can I figure out how to put it in my CV.
So it really bugs me when friends get ill or come close to some other catastrophe. Then all my experience suddenly gets pretty worthless. It comes down to the hackneyed phrases, "Yeah, I had that"; "They gave me that pill". Stuff that offers real consolation but what else can you say?
The only thing going through my head and heart is, "Hey! Don't die. Don't. Because as much as you might be suffering that doesn't feel like as much as I'll suffer if you die. So, don't die.""
So I put together a mess of songs about doctors. That's it. Too numb thinking about this and wondering if having radioactive blood gives me any special powers. I've been pointing my finger at things and making sound effects with my mouth but nothing's happened. Nothing blew up, or grew to giant size or even levitated. I feel gypped.

Cool And The Crazy 36

Feelin' So Good (S.K.O.O.B.Y. D.O.O.) - Sunshine On Mars
D'Ya Feel Lucky - Happiness Dragon
Doctor Doctor - Who
Witch Doctor - David Seville
I Don't Need No Doctor - Sonics
Witchdoctor - Sidewinders
Doctor Rhythm - Dave Clark Five
No Expectations - Soulsavers
Doctor Doctor - Shimmys
Doctor Boogie (Live) - Flamin' Groovies
Doctor My Eyes - Jackson Browne
Oh, Doctor - Phil Alvin
On & Off - Wellingtons
Good Lovin' - Rascals
Woman Love (take 12) - Gene Vincent
Slow Death - Roy Loney
Help Me Rhonda - Ramouns
Dr. Apache - Lolas
A Beginning From An End - Jan & Dean
Dr. Goldfoot & The Bikini Machine - Beas
Dr. Kitch - Bosshoss
Dr. Love - Tom Jones
Dr. Stone - Leaves
Dr. Gullotine - Coffin Daggers
Turn Your Back - Billy Talent
Goodbye Eddie Goodbye - Juicy Fruits
Rock Therapy - Johnny Burnette Trio
Dr. Feelgood - Lords
Every Moment - Chevelles
Poison Ivy - Vulcanes
Rock' N' Roll Suicide - Tony Hadley
Feelin' So Good (S.K.O.O.B.Y. D.O.O.) - Lolas
Spirit In The Sky - Doctor & The Medics
The Hallelujah Chorus - Roches


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May 7, 2016

We're moving along

Natural Man by Evegeny
Click images for desktop size: "Natural Man" by Evgeny


We're moving. New Mexico. Still east of I-5.
Still managed to get the last podcast in, the summer and surf-y one. Everyone wants music to drive to the beach on July BIKINI CARWASH.jpg 4th, the official start of summer. Of course, the surfers never really left the beach so this podcast is for sitting in your car and looking at all the people cluttering up your beach, and for consoling yourself that there aren't any good waves out there anyway.
I'm just up here having heart attacks, signing papers I have to struggle to understand and trusting in Huey that the papers mean what I think they do. Then have to fuss about and worry my wife being happy there and how the five dogs are going to function and survive in an alien world. The sun blasted high desert vs the oppressive heat and humidity of the American south. No contest, in my mind, but that's only in my mind.
So we're moving to New Mexico, home of Billy the Kid and the Atom Bomb, land of white sands and Buddy Holly.
I don't know what that legacy has to do with being happy today. I'd take small town happy: A little job, keeping the house in repair, eating comfortable food and laughing. I like laughing and think it's worth quite a bit. There's not much laughter left in a Donald Trump world.
SO this is supposed to be about the music, about a bunch of songs to drive to the beach or to drive from the south to the south west.
Here they are.

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Aloha Oe - Blue Wahini Serenaders
Good Morning, Good Morning - Lolas
Summer's Here - Rob Smith
Summer's Here - Shades
Midnight At Pinks - Hal Blaine
We'll Be Back In A Minute (Take 12) - Monkees
Summertime Radio - Surfin' Lungs
Pipeline - Dick Dale
RPM - Sonic Surf City
Summerscool - Montana
Surfin' Kansas City - Lawrence Lange
Twist And Shout - Eliminators
The La La La Song - Astronauts
Girl All The Bad Guys Want - Bowling For Soup
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - Susan And The SurfTones
Aloha Steve And Danno - Radio Birdman
Hot Rod USA - Rip Chords
Summertime Blues - Alan Jackson
Oh Pretty Woman - Roy Loney
For A Few Dollars More - Los Plantronics
Tribute To The Beach Boys - Tokens
Attention! Accident (Sur L'autoroute De L'ouest) - Les Gams
Little Honda (alt) - Beach Boys
Drums A Go-Go (Edit) - Hollywood Persuaders
SS 396 - Paul Revere And The Raiders
My Love Ain't Free - Boss Martians
Be With Me - Yum Yums
Let's Go To The Beach - Slow Slushy Boys
Surfin' USA - Chris White
Let Her Dance - Surf Trio
Banzai Washout - Bitch Boys
Look Whose Laughing Now - Bruce And Terry
You've Got To Hide Your Love Away - Jan And Dean
On A Summer Night - Crash Kelly
Summer's Almost Gone - Doors
The Last Time - Mr Encrypto
End Of The Summer - Lolas
Time Will Tell - Flash Cadillac And The Continental Kids
Chicago 60616 - Kenny And The Kasuals
I Don't Want To Say Goodbye - Scheme


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March 13, 2016

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ
Ghandi

Panther
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Unknown

I don’t like singer/songwriters much at all. I really dislike that singer/songwriter is now a genre. The trademark of the genre is scratchy thin sounding acoustic guitar and a forlorn vocalist who feels that the world has let them down.
Slightly Dangerous Still I like Jesse Malin and Ryan Adams when they do something that isn’t forlorn at least. I’ve never liked the songs that want somebody to save them, someone to come and take control of their life. I prefer the songs where you dance your way out of danger, songs where you rail against the storm and come out planning to win.
Thing is I like the power of acoustic guitars. I love the Everly Brothers in “Bye Bye Love and “Poor Jenny”. Everyone knows that Elvis started with the Martin Dreadnaught.
Mel Bay man, be the life of the party. Ten Days to entertaining your friends and family. Acoustic guitars; Harmony guitars with 2 inch action.
Girls would ask, after hearing you jam it up on an electric guitar, if you could play acoustic guitar. Like they were two different instruments. They’d tell you how dreamy some singer/songwriter was when he played his acoustic guitar . . . Those girls were all pretty cute too . . . maybe I better rethink this singer/songwriter antipathy thing . . .

The Welcome Summer podcast might be a little late. We're moving; wife, five dogs and a pile of stuff are all moving to the SouthWest, back to the SouthWest.




Cool And Crazy 34
Perfect Day (Acoustic Demo) - Lou Reed
Desert Pete - Kingston Trio
Happy Jack (Acoustic) - Who
Tough, Tough, Tough - Andy Anderson
Make You Mine - Chump Change
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away (Party! sessions mix, take 2, session #3) - Beach Boys
Twelve-Thirty - Autoliner
Peggy Sue Got Married - Buddy Holly
Go Your Own Way - Acoustic Hits
Johnny B. Goode - Dion
Don't Worry Baby - Derrick Harris
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood - Cat Stevens
Only When I Dream (mono) - Bobby Fuller
The Torch - Dropkick Murphys
After Midnight - Acoustic Burgoo
Two Perfectly Ordinary People - Or - (!!!!) - Nelson Riddle
Black Mountain Side - Dread Zeppelin
Spanish Kiss - Dick Dale
Missfortune - Bram Tchaikovsky
Under The Bridge - Flying Pickets
That's How It Will Be - Troggs
Chupacabra - Black Label Society
Talent Show - Replacements
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly - California Guitar Trio
Feelin' Low - Ernie Chaffin
Dragon Lady - Fantastic Baggys
Monterey Jack - Dr Hook And The Medicine Show
Be My Lover - Mojo Nixon
Ain't That Good News - Sam Cooke
Pipeline - Michael Chapdelaine
Paint It Black - Michael Fix
Hotel California - Kings Of Acoustica
Stay the Night (Acoustic) - Green Day
Sunrise - Willie Wisely
I've Waited As Long As I Can - Tony Rice
Gabriella - Tony Joe White
Red River Stomp - Bluefields
'39 - Ingram Hill
We Can Work It Out - Paul McCartney
Rockin' In The Free World (live) - Neil Young


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December 12, 2015

It's Christmas time again!

Christmas-1920x1200-052.jpg
Click images for desktop size: "Season's Greetings" by Unknown
When I was a kid I read in a Dennis The Menace Christmas Special about Christmas around the world, how some countries celebrate Christmas differently.
I was five years old, so to me differently meant strange. I was a lid, so strange didn't bother me. I liked that some countries celebrated Christmas on the fifth, the twelfth, the fifteenth. Some even had 12385_4_0218.jpg twelve days of Christmas which was even a better deal than Chanukah. I think it was Italy that even had their Christmas delivered by a witch!
It was different. It interested me, amazed me and confused me. It didn't scare me.
Even as a kid who learned to not be afraid of waves, rocks, high places, scared dogs, even as a kid with so many fears to overcome, things that were merely different didn't scare me.
It annoys me that as an adult I'm expected to tolerate hate and fear, stupidity actually, stupidity as great as the dumbness that fueled McArthyism. It's a corporate world now, and we have to accept the role of being only consumers. America has stripped away almost all of our rights in the name of fear and greed.
At this time of year it makes me cringe with pent up rage that guys think that making money makes you smart enough to espouse hatred as a response to fear. Orson Wells and Joseph Mankiewicz knew, "There's no secret to making money if all you want to do is make money. You don't even have to be smart."
I've always loved Christmas so I resent people yelling at me about how I have to hate others to protect myself. I was raised in a world that believed that being different was normal. That being a jew or a gentile wasn't that big a thing, nowhere near as big a deal as it was being a Trojan or a Bruin, and that big deal only lasted a week.
While I know that I'll never have that huge rush of waking up and seeing all, I mean ALL the Mad Magazine paperbacks spread under the tree, I know that kind of rush is gone for me and anyone else over seven years old but I can't believe that this crew of tin despots want to ruin those cold silent nights, those Christmas eves where a boy and his dog wandered the slushy streets and said Merry santa's helpers.jpg
Click images for desktop size: "Christmas Eve" by Unknown
Christmas to strangers, said Merry Christmas and often enough got a reply that warmed a boys heart.
This seems like it might be a pointless rant lost against a rising crescendo of pointless rants, but when people are out there shooting each other and the governments solution is to get more guns out there . . . more guns? They say because a good guy with a gun beats a bad guy with a gun.
But in all this bloodshed where is this good guy? Why hasn't one of these good guys stood up and stopped the carnage?
When you look at this group you see many corpulent old men, their hands shaky from alcohol, their eyes dulled by too much TV. If one of these "good guys" were ever actually at a shooting they'd be so scared and confused that if they did start firing it would be it would be innocent bystanders wounded and dead.
This "good guy" crew say no because, I guess they saw a movie. They go to target ranges. They got a permit. They probably believe that they can do easily and mystically what police and soldiers, men trained to defend themselves and others can seldom accomplish.
It's sad enough to make me wish more for Christmas and to wish everyone a Happy Christmas, A Happy New Year and Peace On Earth.

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Lots of chipper Power Pop this Christmas mix. I still get a rush thinking of bands on stage playing this Christmas stuff, really celebrating the holiday. Enjoy it with someone, at least that' my hope. For me, the big rush is getting the Everly Brothers with the Vienna Boys Choir - that's not a misprint. It's awesome.

St. Luke 2:6-9 - Tennessee Ernie Ford
The First Noel - Everly Brothers And The Boys Town Choir
Merry X-Mas Everybody - Refreshments
Father Christmas - OK Go
Shake Up Christmas - Train
We Wish You A Merry Christmas - Folk Angel
Christmas Lights - Montgomery Cliffs
Christmas Night Of Zombies - MXPX
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - SugarCult
Christmas Every Day - Jeremy
We Three Kings - Thee Swank Bastards
Jingle Bells - Ricky Nelson
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Dion
Christmas Time Again - CONNECTION
Please Leave Me Home For Xmas - Imperial Drag
Christmas In Jail - Youngsters
Baby It's Cold Outside - Little Hurricane
I Must Have Been So Good - Vibeke Saugestad
Sweet Christmas - Shonen Knife
Hippy Christmas - Cosmo Topper
Join Us For Christmas - AlternativA
The Christmas Song - Raveonettes
Winter Wonderland - Partridge Family
Mr Christmas - Van Walker
You Trashed My Christmas - Primitives
The Night Santa Went Crazy - Weird Al Yankovic
Department Store Santa Claus (Before Xmas) - Howard Morris
Canadian Christmas - Fleshtones
Dancin' With Santa - Trashmen
Jingle Bells - Glen Glenn
Little Drummer Boy - Lolas
Little Drummer Boy - Pentatonix
Angels We Have Heard On High - Davie Allan & The Arrows
Shake Hands With Santa Claus - Louis Prima
Little Saint Nick - Beach Boys
Silent Night - Temptations
We Wish You A Merry Christmas - Everly Brothers And The Boys Town Choir


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October 25, 2015

A Blue Halloween

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The Last Vampire - Hollywood Vampires
Laffin Beatnik - Johnny Beeman
Little Old Lady From Transylvania - Ghouls
I'm In The Ground For Good - Newports
Boogie Woogie Man Gonna Getcha - Jackie Lee Cochran
Surfer Ghoul - Mr Gasser & The Weirdos
Dead - Poets
Alligator Wine - Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Sodomy - Me First & The Gimme Gimmes
Haunted House - Teenage Bottlerocket
Peek-A-Boo - Cadillacs
Dracula's Deuce - Ghouls
Monster Mash Party - Bobby Boris Pickett
She's Fallen In Love With A Monster Mash - Revillos
Coolest Little Monster - John Zacherley
Zombie Walk - Magics
Ghosts From Boot Hill - Hellbenders
I Became Somebody Else - Lolas
Werewolf - Carl Bonafede
Don't Meet Mr. Frankenstein - Carlos Casal Jr.
Lon Chaney Junior's Daughter - Stems
There's A Pale Moon - Hank Ray & Thee Exectioneers
Date With A Vampyre - Screaming Tribesmen
Hot Rod Hearse - 3-D Invisibles
Zombie Dumb - Reverend Horton Heat
Halloween (She Get So Mean) - Rob Zombie
Cha Cha With The Zombies - Upperclassmen
El Monster Surfin' Time - Los Pelegrinos Negros
'til The Following Night - Screaming Lord Sutch
Ghoul's Night Out - Misfits
Do The Zombie - Symbols
Legend Of Sleepy Hollow - Monotones
Que Monstruos Son - Southern Culture On The Skids
Postcard From The Grave - Untamed
Dead Man's Stroll - Revels
Jekyll And Hyde - Jim Burgett
Frankensteins's Party - Swingin' Phillies
Surfing On Mars - Surf Sluts
You Can Get Him Frankenstein - Castle Kings
Hot Rod Hades - Charlie Ryan
Nightmare - Scotty Stuart
Shockmonster Stomp - Ghastly Ones


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August 24, 2015

I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that's why.
John Steinbeck

1946 Esquire by Vargas
Click images for desktop size: "1946 Esquire" by Vargas
Back in the day movie music used to be not much but Miklos Roza and Ben Hur kind of things. Then "Blackboard Jungle" with "Rock Around the Clock" and Elvis changed all of that; for the better I think.
50,000 B.C. (BEFORE CLOTHING) I think it was Frank Zappa who pointed out that the best thing about "Blackboard Jungle" and Elvis in the movies was that there weren't any parents yelling to turn it down! No wonder some theaters reported riots and switch blade vandalism.
So this collection is nothing but a mess of music from TV shows and movies. I hope some of it is surprising and all of it fun in a Big Beat way. Odd to me is that pop music has pretty much taken over the media. I mean, you can take almost any reasonable song and find out some show or movie has used it. Alan Arkush took this to its peak or its nadir with "Crossing Jordan", and then David Chase and T Bone Burnett turned the quirky pop song soundtrack into its own growing genre. It also makes some embarrassing moments such as a review of the newer Fantastic Four movie where this person said the most exciting moment of the movie was recognizing a fave tune in Invisible Girl's ear buds!
This stuff isn't like that. Like I said, it's intended to be fun and you can dance to it. I can't think of any reason you wouldn't want to do that.
I've tended to use cover versions, just because they tend to be less mawkish than the originals and a bit more fun. One exception is "Love Is All Around" which Wet Wet Wet turned into a massive hit for "Notting Hill" by adding strings and aspartame to the max, then singing it in a smooth smooth tenor. I prefer the original which is sung by a dazed punk who just a few months before just wanted to do the "Wild Thing" with, probably, the same girl.



My Life In Motion Pictures
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly - Los Plantronics
Sing, Sing, Sing - Flat Duo Jets
Batusi A-Go! Go! - Or - (I Shouldn't Wish To Attract Attention) - Nelson Riddle
Ben - Me First And The Gimme Gimmes
Stand - REM
Cry Me A River - Jeff Beck
The Lonely Bull - Duo Tones
One Eyed Jack - Jailbirds
Battleship Chains - Georgia Satellites
Soul Man (stereo) - Sam And Dave
Runaway ('Crime Story' version) - Del Shannon
Poison Ivy - Vulcanes
Hang 'Em High - Sandblasters
Little Green Bag - George Baker Selection
Travelin' Man - Ricky Nelson
(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding - Matthew Sweet And Susanna Hoffs
The Ballad Of Paladin - Johnny Western
Action - Freddy Cannon
High School Confidential - Blasters
Misirlou - Emotionals
Duke Of Earl - Gene Chandler
Goldfinger - Man or Astro-Man?
With a Girl Like You - Rutles
Do Anything You Wanna Do - Flashcubes
For A Few Dollars More - Death Valley
Goo Goo Muck - Frank Popp Ensemble
(Theme From) The Monkees (Previously Unissued Early Version) - Monkees
Five O'Clock World - Vogues
Eve Of Destruction - Dickies
Oh, Pretty Woman - Rockapella
Dead Flowers - Barney Bentall And The Legendary Hearts
Love Is All Around - Troggs
North To Alaska - Dwight Yoakam
You're So Vain - Tony Randall And Jack Klugman
Inner-Manipulations - Barry McGuire
The Riddler - Riddler
I'm Blue (The Gong-Gong Song) - Ikettes
Bits and Pieces (stereo/vinyl) - Dave Clark Five
Couldn't Get It Right - Climax Blues Band


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June 29, 2015

Gene And Eddie

Cool And The Crazy 30
The greatest singer ever is Gene Vincent. There’s no discussion of this, no proof required. It’s a pure and simple fact, a syllogism. Gene Vincent was the greatest, the best singer there ever was or ever will be. Buddy Holly waited in a hotel lobby just to get Gene’s autograph. Every night Gene looked to the skies and sang to the angels, he entertained the angels and calmed the devils. Gene Vincent.
I saw him perform only once. He was fat and out of shape. The club was sold out. The band maybe knew Gene’s songs. It was the greatest show I’d ever seen or ever would see. It didn’t set a yardstick for other shows. It was a unique and once and never again experience.
Gene Vincent.
I’ve collected anecdotes about him throughout my life. Some are bizarre, some eerie and most wrong. The stories fascinated and titillated me. Most of the storytellers became close friends. We had Gene Vincent in common and that was enough to support love down through decades.
There are plenty of books about him. There need to be. There are plenty of reissues of his music. They’re all essential. Gene died in his thirties. He was a sopped up alky. He was a bloated figure who looked like he’d been living for 60 years at least. I was reminded of the corpse of Charlie Parker.
It’s not true but it should have been that his last words were, “She took everything, mama. Even my record player.”

Eddie Cochran was Gene’s best friend. Eddie died before Gene but was still with Gene.
Eddie was a session player in Hollywood at fifteen. He was a mean guitarist and a talented songwriter. He was a teenager and knew exactly what that meant. Every musical generation has featured an Eddie Cochran cover as part of their canon of viva la diference.
He sweated talent. His work with Gene was superb but not his finest. He died too soon, but who doesn’t. His passing left a hole in the world and in our lives.

What’s here is their music. It could have gone on for 3 days and then started all over again. I’d not have complained.
There’s a lot missing in this little sampler.

Git It Gene Vincent - The Gene Vincent Box Set
Be Bop A Lula Unknown - Rebel Heart Vol. 7
Bop Street Gene Vincent - The Gene Vincent Box Set
Let’s Get Together Eddie Cochran - The Eddie Cochran Box Set - Summertime Blues
Gene And Eddie Stray Cats - Runaway Boys
Jelly Bean Eddie Cochran - The Eddie Cochran Story - Three Steps To Heaven
The Day The World Turned Blue Gene Vincent - The Day The World Turned Blue
Sweet Gene Vincent Ian Dury - Sweet Gene Vincent
Born To Be A Rolling Stone (Alternate Take) Gene Vincent - Rebel Heart Vol. 7
Rollin’ Danny Gene Vincent - The Gene Vincent Box Set
Drive-In Show Eddie Cochran - The Ballads Of Eddie Cochran
Weekend (Stereo) Eddie Cochran - The Eddie Cochran Box Set - Somethin’ Else
Pink Peg Slacks (Alt) Eddie Cochran - All The Best
Just Like Eddie Heinz - 25 Rock N Roll Hits
Mean When I’m Mad Eddie Cochran - The Best Of Eddie Cochran
Lonely Street (Undubbed Version) Gene Vincent - Rebel Heart Vol. 7
Cut Across Shorty Eddie Cochran - The Best Of Eddie Cochran
Spoken Message Gene Vincent - Rebel Heart Vol 1
Over The Rainbow Gene Vincent - The Gene Vincent Box Set
Unchained Melody Gene Vincent - The Gene Vincent Box Set
Summertime Blues Beach Boys - Surfin’ Safari
Water Baby Blues (short riff) Eddie Cochran - Rockin’ It Country Style
My Love To Remember Eddie Cochran - The Eddie Cochran Box Set - I’m Ready
My Way Who - Odds And Sods
North Carolina Line Gene Vincent - The Day The World Turned Blue
Cherished Memories Eddie Cochran - The Best Of Eddie Cochran
I Got A Baby Gene Vincent - The Gene Vincent Box Set
Three Steps To Heaven Eddie Cochran - The Eddie Cochran Box Set - Somethin’ Else
Blue Jean Bop Gene Vincent - Rockabilly’s Gravest Hits
C’Mon Everybody Sex Pistols - The Great Rock And Roll Swindle
Rip It Up (out take) Gene Vincent - The Gene Vincent Box Set
Red Blue Jeans and a Pony Tail Jeff Beck - Crazy Legs
Vincent’s Blues Gene Vincent - The Gene Vincent Box Set
Hurtin For You Baby Gene Vincent - Born To Be A Rolling Stone
Don’t Bye, Bye Baby Me Eddie Cochran - The Eddie Cochran Story
Am I That Easy To Forget Gene Vincent - Born To Be A Rolling Stone
Boll Weevil Song Eddie Cochran - The Best Of Eddie Cochran
Somethin’ Else-Pistol Packin’ Mama Flamin’ Groovies - Supersnazz
Cotton Picker Eddie Cochran - The Eddie Cochran Box Set - I’m Ready
Baby Blue Gene Vincent - The Gene Vincent Box Set
Dance In The Street Gene Vincent - The Gene Vincent Box Set
Lucky Star Gene Vincent - The Gene Vincent Box Set
Hallelujah I Love Her So-C’mon Everybody-Somethin’Else-Twenty Flight Rock Eddie Cochran - The Eddie Cochran Story
The Story Of The Rockers Gene Vincent - Rebel Heart Vol 2
Race With The Devil Gene Vincent - Rockabilly’s Gravest Hits

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May 10, 2015

I knew when I met you an adventure was going to happen
A.A. Milne


Gas by Edward Hopper
Click images for desktop size: "Gas" by Edward Hopper

I thought my last podcast was pretty terrible. The songs were all great, impeccably so. The weakness lie in me.
The podcast is available on the podcast page (see the menu up top there.) but only because of my compulsiveness. It's not good although I like the self deprecating cover art.
My big Blue dog passed over. Whenever I worked on a podcast he'd nudge me in the shoulder from behind while I faced the computer screen.
That's my other excuse for the huge delay here. But it's his memory and two, yes two requests for more music that generate this latest missive.
This is the annual welcome to summer podcast. It is okay. I somehow lost the list of songs and performers . . . so take it as it is!

Cool And Crazy 29

If I don't feel too abysmal (unlikely) the next podcast will be dedicated to Gene And Eddie! Impossible to mess that one up.

Podcast.net seems to have gone belly up. A shame really. Leaves only iTunes.
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December 7, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Christmas Stocking
The Christmas podcast is finally here. Mainly new stuff with a bit of the old favorites. It is Christmas and part of Christmas is traditions which bring back memories and nostalgia or old stuff.
Comic Cavalcade 25It's great.
Around here the time keeps flowing faster as we figure out who to gift and who to snub. Sadly most of the snubs are for financial reasons and not for looking to hurt. And the few people whom might feel lost without a present from the pack are on the list!
I'm pushing for Christmas decorations this year. A $35 wreath was nixed ($35 for a wreath?!?!?) I think twinkling lights on the front porch would be tasteful and noticed by absolutely no one but me. Twinkle lights would be $9, so if I can find a power point I'm good to go!
So you can see Christmas is just the same as it is for everyone else. That's a good thing I guess, reconnecting with old friends and people I love. Appreciating the people and dogs I love. Trying to figure out what to do with the dog who lives in my kitchen, the normal concerns of Christmas and the attendant joy and memories.
I wish the same for you.


Cool And Crazy 27


This mess of Christmas tunes is heavy on the power pop. What is power pop but smashing heavy guitars with a lot of la la la's tossed in. I like most of them quite a bit and it makes me keep looking for more.

You Can't Stop Christmas From Coming - Corey Leland
Its Christmas Time - Boss Martians
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Joey Ramone
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - X
Going Up To Bethlehem - Bob Rivers
Little Beatbox Boy - Street Corner Symphony
Hazy Shade Of Winter - Bangles
God! Surf Ye Merry Gentlemen - Vern Jules & The Aquanauts
Surfin Santa - Sonic Surf City
Little Saint Nick - Beach Boys
Little Drummer Boy - Los Straitjackets
Chanukah Guy - Goldbergs
In Tempo Per Natale - Smodati
This Christmas - UNDECIDED By Default
Frosty The Snowman - FroSTed
Mistletoe Kissing - Vibeke Saugestad
Sleigh Ride - Ronettes
The Man In The Santa Suit - Fountains Of Wayne
I Saw Mommy Biting Santa Claus (A Zombie Christmas Carol) - Dollyrots
Mr. Santa Claus - Fleshtones
There Ain't No Santa Claus - Risk
You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch - Rockapella
Mary's Boy Child - Rubber Band
Blues For Christmas - Wanda Jackson
Christmas In Jail - Youngsters
Christmas Is Knockin At Your Door - Rockabilly Boogie Band
Po' Folks Christmas - Bill Anderson
Underneath The Christmas Tree - Bill Lloyd
Super Sunny Christmas - Redd Kross
Winter Wonderland - Peggy Lee
Rain, Sleet, Snow - Paul Revere And The Raiders
California Christmas - Sketch Middle
Christmas Is The Only Time - Wes Lachot
Yulesville - Edd Byrnes
Christmas In The Congo - Marquees
The Little Drummer Boy - Elvin Bishop
Wonderful Christmastime - Shins
Happy Xmas (War is Over) - Sleeping At Last
We Wish You A Merry Christmas - Kingston Trio
God Bless Us All - Doug Powell
My Christmas Card To You - Partridge Family
Silent Night - Frankie Lymon
I Don't Want To Say Goodbye - Scheme
Auld Lange Syne - Lonesome Travelers

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October 27, 2014

Happy Halloween 2014

Frazetta 1970s 100drawings cv
"Untitled" by Frank Frazetta

I managed to get the Halloween podcast done and out BEFORE Halloween.
I'm proud of that. I like this edition too. It's cool andMummy s shroud french 1967 funny music with some moments to slip into. So enjoy it, please have fun and then get off of my lawn!

There's a lot of things to say, about life, people I;ve met, monsters I've met. No time now.
the worst thing is that ecto, my decades old blogging tool got purchased by some company or other a while ago. It stopped working on OS X 10.10 Yosemite. How stupid. How inconvenient with no one trying to fix it!
I'm trying to trace the code so I can replicate some of its effects. Using MarsEdit now, which is okay but not as dazzle dazzle. It works though and it well maintained by the company. It has the capacity to use the old ecto codes that I was fond of.


CC26 500
Gore-Gons - Ghoul Bash
Screamin' Jay Hawkins - I Put A Spell On You
Lolas - I Become Somebody Else
B.U.G. - Strangler In The Night
The Big Bopper - The Purple People Eater Meets The Witchdoctor
Ghastly Ones - Draculon
Zacherley - Gravy (With Some Cyanide)
Nervous Norvus - The Fang
Jack And Jim - Midnight Monster Hop
Archie King - The Vampires
Bleed - The Goon
Bo Diddley - Bo Meets The Monster
Gene Moss & The Monsters - I Want To Bite Your Hand
Bobby Boris Pickett - Grave Yard Shift
Boots Walker - They're Here
Coye Wilcox - Zippy Hippy Dippy
Daylighters - Mad House Jump
Gary "Spider" Webb - The Cave (Part 1)
Freddy Fortune & The Four-Gone Conclusions - Dracula's Deuce
Los Straitjackets - Rockula
Morgus & The Ghouls - Morgus The Magnificent
Roy Clark - Spooky Movies
Shonen Knife - Devil House
Southern Culture On The Skids - Goo Goo Muck
Kilroy - Lake Orangatanga
Jan Amber - The Little Martian
Lord Sutch - Black And Hairy
Kip Tyler - She's My Witch
Monotones - Zombie
Mr Gasser & The Weirdos - Hearse With A Curse
Naturals - The Mummy
Sir Finks - Weird Beard
Sonny Richard's Panics - The Voo Doo Walk
Tarantula Goul - Graveyard Rock
Terry Teen - The Hearse
Lambretta Suede & The Motel 6 - Gravediggers Rock
Woggles - Dracula's Daughter
Zanies - The Mad Scientist
Art Roberts - Ivan The Terrible
Doggers - Boogie Man
Madeira - Theme From Young Frankenstein


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August 24, 2014

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society
Mark Twain

Fairy Tales By Clarke
Click images for desktop size: "Fairy Tale" by Clarke
Back then, back in the 80's the cardboard cities began springing up. Horrifying edifices to an outsider but homes to the working poor. Refrigerator boxes taped to washing machine and TV boxes, making little complexes to house the working parents and the children who were always dressed to go off to school.
The Most Dangerous Game The funny result was that the really homeless began keeping dogs. Guard dogs for the heaped up recyclables on their shopping carts and guard dogs for when they slept at night.
Soon it seemed every homeless person had a dog. They were strays only alike in that they were all hungry and underfed. In LA the issue was noticed. People shook their heads and made tsk tsk noises with their teeth clenched and then kept driving.
In London (The UK one) the Blue Cross (an animal charity, not a GNP gobbling insurance company) opened up clinics around Victoria and other hot spots so that the homeless could bring their dogs in for injections and health inspections. When it seemed that only the really insane were still out there the Blue Cross sent out rescue workers to walk the Strand at midnight to plow through the underpasses and look out for dogs in need of free health care.
My crew started out as 3 people, a tiny little vet student from Acton. She was about 4' 11", gold blonde hair she wore in messy ringlets, a round face set off by large studious glasses. I called her Little Doc because I can never remember anyone's name.
Her over protective boyfriend wasn't officially part of our crew. He might have made 5' with boots on. He was friendly enough, but out of his element with us. I could understand him wanting protect Little Doc. She was special enough and probably more than he thought he'd ever deserve.
I guess I was the "muscle". After a few weeks the boyfriend got bored, or frightened. I don't know which really, Little Doc told me I wasn't just protection. I was the only volunteer who wasn't afraid of the various dogs, and the only one the dogs weren't afraid of either. Maybe. Elf
Click images for desktop size: "Elf" by Unknown
Even after she told me that I found it hard to work up the concern to think about it. All I knew was that once a week from midnight until 7 AM we'd start with the Strand. We'd start at the food truck that passed out expired Marks & Sparks sandwiches (the shrimp ones were pretty good)and wend our way through London's underworld. I'd talk to the dog owners while Little Doc gave them shots and certificates.
Most of the people didn't trust us, even though we had plastic laminated badges and all that. The vast majority were still anxious to get their dogs looked after. They questioned Little Doc's qualifications more than anything. I noticed that some of the people had bags of high quality dog food in their squats.
We had not trouble or incidents other than some who were fearful we were there to take their little dogs away. It wasn't an adventure; it was work. Some nights there were some adventuresome things that happened but all events just turned into work. But work with dogs hardly seems like work at all most times.
mr-magoo-radio.jpg There was a reason I'd gotten involved in all this trekking through the hidden life in London. Back in LA in the 80's I was working at Zoetrope (nee' Hollywood General, nee' Desilu Studios and who knows what in between) I was planning to go down to SIR. Someone told me they were selling off some of their rentals.
I was walking by Gower Gulch. Across the street, under a smog choked tree, there was a homeless guy. When I got closer I saw he had a coiled up rope in his hand and was whipping a dog. I went over and grabbed the guys arm. I wasn't very gentle. I looked at the dog. He was shaking and cowering, covering his head with his paws. He was about 50 pounds and as ugly a gray dog as you could imagine. He had a bad under bite that gave his face a punched in humanoid look. I didn't notice at the time but he was thin but not terribly under-fed.
I looked at the guy I was holding. He was squirming but, back then, I was a lot stronger than he was. He was ashen gray under that peculiar plastic sunburn living in the LA sun non-stop can bring. His face and forehead were covered in old peeling scabs. He was dirty.
I told him to knock it off. He told me to f... off surfer boy. I thought that was a weird insult but an insult is an insult so I hoisted him off the ground by his throat and was ready to punch him out when something miraculous happened.
The ugly little dog I was protecting attacked me. He didn't draw blood but the khakis I was wearing were pretty torn up. He didn't care about my motives, he didn't care that I was trying to save him from pain, this sad, ugly beaten wonderful dog only knew I was hurting the only thing that was precious to him.

So this podcast is for all the wonderful dogs I've known. I think there's too much country western in it but they're good tracks.

Cool ANd The Crazy 24
Where Has My Little Dog Gone Hoosier Hot Shots
Plenty Of Dogs Lolas
I'm Walking The Dog Del McCoury Band
The Puppy Song Nilsson
Wild Dogs Of Kentucky Nervous Norvus
Barking Up The Wrong Tree Heartbeats
Little Woman Big Dog Frankie & The Pool Boys
Old King Neil Young
Get Down Marykate O'Neil
Hunger Strike Temple of The Dog
Every Dog Robin Zander
Werewolf Frantics
Spanish Flea Herb Alpert
Dad Gave My Dog Away T. Texas Tyler
Doggone Fine Roy Loney
Gonna Buy Me A Dog Boise And Moss With A Side Of Hamm
Loving Leash Meyerman
Hound Dog Link Wray
Hound Dog Man Fabian
How Come My Bulldog Don't Bark Howard Tate
Dog My Cats Wildfire Willie & The Ramblers
Old Blue Louisiana Honeydrippers
Man With Money Fabulous Poodles
The Poodle Dog Song Jimmie Davis
Tiki Dog Razorblades
It's A Dog's Life Plasticland
Dog Tired Tash Mints
Fox Chase Earl Taylor & The Stony Mountain Boys
Fox On The Run Sirens
Tennessee Hound Dog Osborne Brothers
Jackson Dog Larry Brinkley
Hot Dog Ohio Express
Dog Eddie Adcock Band
Bull Dog Down In Sunny Tennessee Dock Walsh with The Carolina Tar Heels
Dog Leg Hipbone Slim & The Knee Tremblers
Old Rattler Grandpa Jones
I Found My Best Friend In The Dog Pound Burl Ives

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June 22, 2014

Life is not so idiotically mathematical that only the big eat the small; it is just as common for a bee to kill a lion or at least to drive it mad
August Strindberg

Supermatism
Click images for desktop size: "Supermatism" by Unknown
Cliches, cliches and cliches. Cliches give meaning to life, don’t they? The good ones do anyway.
It’s summer finally. Summer is always the time when boys and girls forget about dreams and aspirations and just live in The Mole People the bright sun, walking with your favorite girlfriend down a sticky tar road to the beach. (In summer it is always girls and boys. Men and women are for harsher, less vivid, times)
That leaves us with all the corny images; warm suns, rolling humps of waves, bongos and acoustic guitars on the dawning beach with miles of bikinis dotting the shore break and cases of Mickey’s Big Mouth lager that somehow always stay cold. Corny and comforting, like the scent of coconut oil being blown away by the smell of night blooming jasmine and gasoline fumes.
I surfed. I was a surfer so the summer was just the time that strangers came to my beach. The waves don’t have a lot of juice in the summer so the girls were a welcome diversion.
Summer always meant long nights and longer days, sharing and learning 17 year old’s wisdom. Staring at girls sunbathing topless, right there on our beach, while trying to pretend we were too cool to bother staring, like breasts were something we saw so many of that they were almost boring.
There’s something about the mixture of summer sun and sea water that burnishes the soul then cools and tempers it in the reflecting moonlight. It makes you feel alone and like you are the only one of your kind in the universe. It’s a sad and lonely feeling even as your skin warms and peels; burnished souls bought out to the surface. And it is in seeing each others souls proudly or shyly touted that we learn who we are and that glimpse of anthers soul is what we decipher as love and friendship. We always needed music to hear what we were feeling laid out there so we knew that as unique as we were there were hundreds and thousands similar enough to be us.
Surf music was a different thing to surfers. Surf music was the mix tape you made that you played on the short drive to the beach. Your buddy with the best sound system would back up as close to the water as he could and he’d crank it and play your mix tape or the radio.
The Barber Shop by Edward Hopper
Click images for desktop size: "The Barber Shop" by Edward Hopper
Surfing doesn’t really need an external soundtrack, what goes on in your head is usually enough. I think a lot of people would be disappointed at what surf music was to us. Still I made this podcast with the old mix tape days in mind; where the dinginess of winter and the fervent hope of spring didn’t really exist anymore. Summer was for living and laughing and hanging with your friends. This is music for that.


I waited a long time to put this up here. As you may know, I’m not very comfortable with the high volume of downloads. I don’t know that many people! I was just trying to segregate out where everything was coming from. Mostly it’s from iTunes. So now I know.

CC23.jpg

1. Offspring-Cruisin' California (Bumpin' In My Trunk)
2. Teen Machine-School's Over
3. Jamies-Summertime, Summertime
4. Doug Powell-I Woke Up In Love This Morning
5. Surfin' Lungs-Oh Oh I love Her So
6. Jan And Dean-I Found A Girl
7. Treasures-Minor Chaos
8. Decibels-Please Please Me
9. Magic Christian-Anytime At All
10. Five Americans-I See The Light
11. Lolas-Yummy Yummy Yummy
12. Dick Dale-Surfin' And Swingin'
13. Bobby Fuller Four-Wine Wine Wine
14. Larry And The Loafers-Let's Go To The Beach
15. Fountains Of Wayne-A Dip In The Ocean
16. Surf Punks-The Surfmen
17. Surf Coasters-Summertime Blues
18. Johnny Rivers-Mountain Of Love
19. Paul Revere And The Raiders-Steppin' Out
20. Tina And The Total Babes-Toungue Tied
21. Yum Yums-Bird Dance Beat
22. Donna Loren-It Only Hurts When I Cry
23. Susan Lynne-Don't Drag No More
24. Ramouns-I Get Around
25. Beach Boys-Wendy
26. Pyewacket-You Were On My Mind
27. City Surfers-Beach Ball
28. Sparkle Jets UK-Summertime Dreamin'
29. Kaos Killers-Get Smart
30. Surfaris-Hound Dog
31. Del Shannon-Action
32. Ricky Nelson-Summertime
33. Dropkick-Waking Up In Sunshine
34. Travoltas-California Girls
35. Willie And The Wheels-Skateboard Craze
36. Jeff Larson-Summer Fades
37. Whites-Sunny Side
38. Mary Weiss-You Can Stay With Me
39. Travoltas-I Want To Believe
40. Ventures-Walk Don't Run '64
41. Ataris-Boys Of Summer

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November 17, 2013

For each of us comes a time when we must be more than what we are
Lloyd Alexander


Well, my situation is desperate but not serious. Healthy enough but still looking for work. Worrisome.

This is the promised Buddy Holly podcast. When I get work I'll buy a decent microphone and talk some, probably just monotonous telling you what you've already heard.
This podcast tries to pick up some of the greater covers of Buddy Holly tunes, followed by a couple of tribute songs including the sizzling and powerful "Day In The Life" by Big Daddy, the bothos laden "Theee Stars" by Eddie Cochran and the bouncy and totally fun track, "Buddy's Song" by Bobby Vee, where all the lyrics are from Buddy Holly tunes!
It ends with a lot of popular and some rarer tracks, a lot featuring Buddy on acoustic guitar where he proves that a man armed with a guitar can rock the joint. I guess it also proves that guitar lessons can make you popular at parties. The six strings that made a man out of . . . me, I guess.
Next up the dreaded Christmas podcast!

CC19-Buddy-500.jpg
Bobby Fuller Four - Peggy Sue-Pamela-Love's Made A Fool Of You
Pat Monahan - Maybe Baby
Mud - Oh Boy
JD Southern - Everyday
Shoes - Words Of Love
Sonny Curtis - Talk About My Baby
Troggs - Peggy Sue
Roky Erickson - Peggy Sue Got Married
Rolling Stones - Not Fade Away
Detrit Cobras - Heartbeat
Marty Stuart - Crying, Waiting, Hoping
Nick Lowe - Changing All Those Changes
Everly Brothers - That'll Be The Day
Ricky Nelson - Rave On
Frank Bacon - Shiela
Imelda May - I'm Looking For Someone To Love
Albert Lee - Learning The Game
Chris Bailey - It Doesn't Matter Anymore
Jackson Browne - True Love Ways
Cee Lo Green - (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Case
Country Rockers - Rock Around With Ollie Vee
Big Daddy - A Day In The Life
Chuck Travis - Gone Too Soon
Eddie Cochran - Three Stars
Bobby Vee - Buddy's Song
Tremelos - Peggy Sue
Steeleye Span - Rave On
Buddy Holly

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October 13, 2013

And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, They danced by the light of the moon
Edward Lear

Meow by SingPat
Click images for desktop size: "Meow" by SingExpat
Recently I read an article; they now claim that dogs can understand up to 255 words. When I was a kid they thought dogs could understand only 25 words, when I was an adolescent they upped it to 50 words.She Gods Of Shark Reef
Either dogs are getting smarter or we are.
Then there was the "shocking" discovery that dolphins have names and that they use these names to refer to each other. And a few days later they discovered that wolves also have names and that they use those names to refer to each other.
Then the latest discovery is that dolphins can remember things that they learned 20 years ago. No reinforcement during the years, they simply remembered some non essential trivia they were taught 20 years ago.
Humanity has always been an insecure race with low self esteem. We're the center of the universe, we're made in god's image ergo we are small gods! That sort of stuff. Why else could we possibly believe that inferior beings just like us were fit to rule us.
Thomas Aquinas had to be deified because he proved that animals have no souls and were placed on this planet for us to dominate. He made doctrine that animals had no feelings, that everything they did was the merest instinct. He justified our cruelty and deceit so that we might live peacefully within our own heads.
Throughout history there are countless stories of dolphins rescuing drawing swimmers, people being attacked by sharks, guiding lost ships to a safe harbor. Somehow we always accept those swamp gas official explanations; that the dolphin was just following instinct, looking for food, trawling the garbage blah blah blah.
It's crazy to me. If a 9 year old kid suffers the tragedy of uncomprehendingly watching his little sister drown in the swimming pool we assign no guilt. The kid had no way of knowing that his sister was even in trouble. But when an animal, a dolphin looks at an alien being, a person, drowning in the ocean and the dolphin logics out that the person is in trouble and then devises a solution to end that person's trouble we don't show a similar amount of empathy and readjust our thinking and consider theDragoneye by JW McGinnis
Click images for desktop size: "Dragoneye" by JW McGinnis
intelligence required to make that complicated decision and solution.
I mean if we saw a dolphin splashing around in a puddle we'd most likely walk on by. Because we are people we know that we're far more important than any animal in trouble and an animal isn't going to pay us for saving it, is it?
I hate that ancient superstitious nonsense that hobbles us and makes it so hard to see the wonder around us. It prevents us from approaching and appreciating the others we share the planet and our lives with.
When I got my first job, cutting negatives at Universal, I started every day with a dawn patrol at Manhattan Beach Pier. I liked the Pier more than Laguna because the pilot seals in Laguna were too playful and in the way. The Pier was usually empty at the dawn except for a time when this dolphin showed up every morning.Suspiria
First time I met the dolphin he pulled a trick on me. It scared me to death by pretending to be a shark. When there's a gray fin cutting through the ocean at 6:00 AM it's not very applicable to run through the differences between a shark and a dolphin fin.
After the dolphin scared me to death he surfaced and laughed at me. Then, four the next hour he surfed with me. It was a pin in the neck mainly as the sol;phkn had enough speed to catch all the waves and was a total wave hog knocking me off the board more than a few times.
That started my winter of the dolphin. He was there every morning. We'd bicker and we'd surf.
One night the santanas never let up and there was a 5 foot swell with occasional 6 footers. My solitary dawn patrol was crowded. The dolphin was there too.
There were about a dozen of us, fortunately the swell was perfect the waves were perfect peelers and looking out to sea all you could see were rushing humps. Good thing as the dolphin was a total wave hog. With his tail and body he could pull of late take offs we could only dream of. Guys were shouting at him, "off my wave dolphin dude!" Off my wave!"
Melted
Click images for desktop size: "Melted" by Unknown
Didn't work. The dolphin hung all all session and started to chatter back at us. Maybe they were the equivalent of dolphin whoops. He just hung out in the line up with the rest of us bobbing around. It was a great day. I was late for work.
I never dug zoos, except sometimes the one in Santa Barbara, and only because Santa Barbara had this lemur who could open cages so you'd see this lemur and maybe his companion wandering around. They'd not be terrorizing anybody.
Santa Barbara Zoo also let you get too close to the elephants who were beyond infinitely cool. But aside from that I don't like zoos. A few dozen field trips to the Griffith Park Zoo couldn't change this. I don't like that Wild Animal safari junk either. I'd liked Africa and the animal preserves, but they've gotten too popular so it's not the Snuff same anymore.
Anyway, I'd never been to Sea World, which I always thought was just like some sort of floating zoo. I was wrong, it was like a floating circus. I had to go for work for some reason. It was terrible. I watched the dolphin show. I was impressed. I made a mistake. I used my studio pass to hang around and look at the dolphins.
I saw the saddest thing I had seen since I was 6 years old. That was when my mother took me "backstage" at the Barnum and Bailey Circus. I saw the elephants begging to walk but chained and I saw the clowns the clowns drinking out of pint bottles and smoking unfiltered cigarettes. I don't remember if the clowns said anything. All I heard was the clinking of the elephants chains.
The dolphins were lying there in their lagoon. Lying on their sides and staring at me. They were almost motionless, just a tiny few inches of lolly gagging twisting to vent their blowholes. They stared up at me with one eye apiece. The eyes moved to watch me even though they did not move. They were eyes without hope or passion. Concentration camp eyes like I'd seen in that archival footage and in those old black and white photos. Eyes that had seen nothing but despair for so long that they'd given up and were only waiting until they would be allowed to die.

July 26, 2013

But a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much more
Hans Christian Andersen

Zebra Rider by Benda
Click images for desktop size: "Zebra Rider" by Benda
I don't sleep well. A lot of reasons; dreams, anxiety, pain. I find that listening to something distractting at least shuts down some of the issues. For a while the distraction has been old time radio podcasts. Dog Day Afternoon
Right now my favorite are the 1940/50's Bud Collier "Superman". Superman was always so rigid and cool despite that. He was something solid that never shifted his perspective.
One thing that the radio series reminds me of, very often vividly, is that Superman was not only for truth, justice and the American way, but that he defined the American way as good sportsmanship and tolerance and on the constant vigil against evil. Evil was corrupt politicians, hateful business men who tried to turn honest working men and women into slaves to further their own selfish ambitions. These evil men stirred up hatred and bigotry in order to control the workers they were intended to nurture and protect.
Superman fought this stuff in the 40's but it still exists today, it doesn't bother to conceal itself anymore, this apocalyptic evil, it has used super villain powers to twist and distort laws, placed evil men in power who believe that innocent men belong in prison and that justice is only for the wealthy.
You could join the Superman Crusader club and get a, probably, bit chin silver like adjustable ring for only a box top and a dime (in cash-no stamps). You did have to agree to be tolerant, a good sport and to always help others; debts owed to you are meaningless while debts you owe are paramount (not talking about money debts - the Kinney Corp tried to turn Superman into a shill - it couldn't take) Pretty trivial stuff unless you mean it.
Most people think I'm pretty far right wing or they figure I'm a liberal. It's because I believe in Greenshoes by Vargas
Click images for desktop size: "Green Shoes" by Vargas
people and I think that dogs and most other animals have as many rights as people.
I'd say I'm pretty right wing. For my little trite reason; I think that justice is ephemeral and what matters most is freedom.
I discard the present day right as fanatics and nuts, if only for this insane belief that corporations are people. Corporations have spents billions on creating the most corrupt Supreme Court in US history to get them to lie and claim that corporations are people. They're not. They were never intended to be. It's one of the reasons that people are allowed to hide behind the corporate veil. The corporate veil allows them to be inhuman and evil, androids with no emotions committed to profit at any human cost. It lets them hide and get tax benefits for their "smarts".Satanic Rites Of Dracula
Recently BP was convicted for manslaughter for the people they killed in the Gulf Oil Spill. Dick Cheney's corporation, Haliburton, was also convicted. There were different charges, I don't remember them exactly. They were heinous.
Who is in prison for these offenses? No one because corporations aren't people.
I'm just upset. Two weeks ago it looked like my wife and my remaining puppies might find a little bit of peace and some small ease. My wife's step-father left her a small inheritance. It was his final hope that she have some of that small hope and peace.
I think part of the problem that ensued are partially my fault. He asked me about Mare being the executor. He was worried about his daughter being upset by this. My step father talked in ellipses and spirals. What I heard was that his daughter was always angry and had always been angry, even Grey_spider's_web_1440x900.jpg
Click images for desktop size: "Spider's Web" by Grey
when she was a child. He loved her and was afraid of her feeling left out of his will. I thought there would be no problem with her being co-executor with my wife.
I was wrong. I'm sure her step-sister does not see herself as evil. She just spreads the lie that she is protecting herself. To herself she is probably just getting some revenge against my wife for marrying into her family and against her slacker brother because he dared to be born.
She refused to sign the papers disbursing the small estate. It cost my wife a couple hundred hours of work and it cost us a few thousand dollars and it cost us the house where we could live together.
I fear her father would be disappointed that she has gone against his explicit wishes. ( hope he came to his decision without considering my hasty advice.
Of course the [evil] stepsister waited until it was certain we lost our deposit etc. My wife defends her. That's just one reason I married my wife.
I'm glad I don't have any family anymore.
I still miss my puppy everyday. Some days more than others.

March 1, 2013

Just because the biggest fool in the world says the sun will rise tomorrow don't expect the sun to malinger to spite the fool

The Blue Beetle
Click images for desktop size: "The Blue Beetle" by Unknown
Before I was a teen I wrote an article about The Flash for a fanzine called Rocket Blast Comic Collector. At 11 I didn't see much difference between fanzines and magazines or between high 7 Brothers Meet Dracula school athletes and major league players.
There was no pay for the article. It never occurred to me that people would pay you for writing words. I was disappointed, not by the lack of money but by the response of the publisher. I thought I'd written the greatest love song to The Flash imaginable. All I got was an index card that said, "Good article." It wasn't even signed!
I was irked.
I found out a few years later that the fellow who published the Rocket Blast was 19. He had cystic fibrosis. He was in a wheel chair and he did all of his typing by holding the pencil in his teeth and punching the keys on an IBM Selectric one at a time with the pencil.
Inside I discovered what the word churlish meant and wondered how you could apologize for unspoken irkedness.

That fanzine is a funny thing to have pop into my mind. Tomorrow the team I assisting coaching with are playing for the league championship.
I wouldn't expect anyone to be surprised at this except this is a basketball team . . .
Rah!
They've tried to throw our team out of the league. They tried to throw the head coach I'm mentoring out of the league. The HC is 23 years old and this is the first time he's ever coached. He made mistakes but they were all forgivable ones. I came down on him harder than they did.
They tried to throw one of our players out of the league. He's a warrior, so you know I like him. He plays basketball and he also plays baseball for his high school team. So I double like him.
Medusa by Boris Vallejo
Click images for desktop size: "Medusa" by Boris Vallejo
If we win the championship they want me to accept the trophy and make a speech. I'm pretty sure they expect me to rail against the league and the shabby way we feel we've been treated by them. What I'll probably say is something like championships are a rare thing to play for, and rarer to win. How many people ever get the chance to say I did my best and my best was enough.
The greatest man I ever met was the late Coach Eddie Robinson. He was the football coach at Grambling who for a while had more victories than any coach in NCAA history.
Coach Robinson told me how he used to have to mark out the field and place the line markersCasablanca before games. While he was doing this he realized how much he loved coaching. He said to love coaching you had to love the athletes you taught. In later years he realized that to merely be a decent coach you had to love your players.
I turned this into my own bromide I constantly preach, "No coach ever won a game and no player ever lost a game."
To me that means the joy a coach receives is consummate to the way his players perform and behave. That is a game is lost because a guy loses his temper and gets ejected it is up to the coach to teach the player to keep his temper, to find out what burns inside of him to the point of bad behavior. If a game is lost it's because the coach hasn't taught the player how to make the play. He hasn't given the player the tools to succeed.
It's the coaches job to instill the desire to improve and to learn and study enough of the game to know what to teach the players and how to teach them.
Film Fun by Bolles
Click images for desktop size: "Film Fun" by Bolles
When the team wins it is the players who strived, who pushed themselves to places that they had never imagined they could enter, accomplish dreams that they never knew they were capable of. All the coach can do is be proud that he is associated with them.
That's why winning is only important in that it gives us the chance to see what we can accomplish.
Each of the players, the ones on our team and the ones we competed against has improved this season. I've seen it from all of you and I was proud of all of you, proud to play against you and to play with you.
Or something like that. Hopefully better than that.

The gentle dog had his surgery to remove a nasty tumor. The word today is that he is, for now, cancer free. There's still some small worries ahead but he's still feeling fine enough to bite me every chance he gets.
Zotz! The deaf dog is doing fine after her second heart worm treatment. She absolutely refuses to lie quiet and calm for a month . . .
Giant dog still wants to kill deaf dog and is incredibly jealous of all the attention gentle dog is receiving after his surgery.
Criminal dog is still laughing at us all.
And my puppy is still grumpy and still in love with me.

The last podcast is still available up ion the title bar menu. It seems sort of redundant to keep reposting the thing here.
I'll have the 10th one ready this week. I'm surprised that they're popular. Very perplexing to me. I figured a half dozen people would care and didn't worry about it. It looks like about 500 downloads each so far. I'm surprised is all.
Of course the only questions I receive about them are on the order of what kind of gear do I listen to this music through. Mostly homemade stuff, or hand built if you want to sound fancy . . .

I've disabled comments again. Too much spam, like in the tens of thousands a day. Jerks.

January 27, 2013

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet
Jack London

Beacon By Darcy
Click images for desktop size: "Beacon" by Darcy
There's been a lot going on. Too much really, and all that sort of stuff that to understand this story I have to tell you this other story first and then this other story third.
There's the old sufi story, "When sewn into a bag of oats one can panic or one can be like the mouse and slowly eat your way out." Or one can think about other great stories and the state of the world. Hickey And Boggs Hence, here's my list of the five greatest American novels.
  • The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler - To me, this is still the greatest American novel. It doesn't explain the world just the fabric and soul of a nation as encapsulated within Los Angeles. As everyone knows, as Hollywood goes so goes the world. In this story about friendship and devotions all the people are portrayed as human, faces loved by someone. Everyone has dreams, desires and a trace of nobility if one is open enough to see it. Even the evil and contemptible offer something glorious to the world and if you can't see it then it is because of the evil in you. There's plenty of politics here, all of the self serving and corrupt type. Politics makes even men of vision and hope finally succumb to the weariness of this world till they become as callous and embittered as the evil they seek to destroy.
    Robert Altman made of movie of this. It was terrible beyond believe.

  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck - Sadly, almost ridiculously this book is more pertinent today then it was to its contemporaries. The only thing is that the "bosses" have gotten more corrupt, more clever, and more ruthless and more heartless. This story holds up to the light the evil we have accepted and come to envy. How we have forgotten the Populism and drive that led us to love our fellow man is made clear in the way minor characters in the story are now harbingers of a grim future as apocalyptic as any cheesy sci-fi novel's worst dreamings.
    It's a story of people. The Joads are easy to identify with, in their simplicity, dumbness and urge to survive. That life is a black top highway is common knowledge to all of us from the Beauty Admiring A Warbler In A Plum Tree by Tsuki Settei
    Click images for desktop size: "Beauty Admiring a Warbler in a Plum Tree" by Tsuki Setti
    Far West.
    This book is so full of story and people that just skimming the film from the top of it like the skin from a hot cocoa gives enough material to make a great movie. And that happens so seldom except with those heavy Russian novels that are portentous and no fun at all.
    This book entertains, horrifies and educates. Looking at the past we can see our present and foretell the future. Politics, yeah we got it by the bucketful, and it's the politics we wish didn't exist.

  • The Journal of Albion Moonlight by Kenneth Patchen - America wasn't a superpower yet. Believing in her was betting on the underdog, the mongrel. It's easy now to be a jingoist xenophobia. We won and now we're fading out to join those other great empires of the past.Hammett
    Patchen's novel takes the same journey as the Joads took in Grapes of Wrath, but it is a different highway through a different country side. One where Adolph Hitler and Jesus Christ are hitchhikers riding in the same back seat of the same old Buick. And Hitler and Christ are only incidental characters we note almost in passing.
    It's a violent uncompromising vision of America. Accurate too. Right up to the final disintegration.

  • The Naked Lunch by William Burroughs - We need great books that make us laugh out loud. I first read this is high school. I passed it along to my friends and before long the entire team was yelling quotes at each other in the hallways and classrooms. We gave certain teachers and coaches nick names based on characters in the novel. Now I wonder what the school thought about their best, handsomest champions shouting out things like :I am the great Slashtubitch. You cannot fake the orgasm on me. I can tell if you come by the wiggle of your big toe."
    They made a weirds movie of this book, by David Cronenberg. The movie wasn't great at all. The novel is and will take you to an America ruled by caricatures who give into their basest desires and then put off the evil and monstrosities as being for our own good.

  • Ironweed by William Kennedy - The story of a second baseman.
    They made a movie of this book. When they announced it I said to people that it could be a great movie so long as they didn't cast Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep in it. So of course it starred Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep and of course it sucked.
    This is an amazing book.

This is the latest podcast. I'm still surprised that there are as many downloads of these as there are. Who knows why.
I'm proud of this one. It's what I wanted my wife's birthday podcast to sound like.

The Cool and The Crazy 8
Schooldays: LA

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Travoltas - Endless Summer
Plimsouls - Good Times
Dorktones - Everlasting Love
Ramones - She's A Sensation
Third Bardo -Five Years Ahead Of My Time
Florian Munday & The Mundos - Rip It Up
Mink Jaguar - Red Queen
Boss Martians = Hey Hey Yeah Yeah
Bill Loyd - Trampoline (alt)
Wet Willie - Shout Bamalama
Exciters - Tell Him (unedited)
Red Cross - Yesterday Once More
Chesterfield Kings - Somewhere Nowhere
Jello Biafra - Convoy In The Sky
Teen Machine - Bitchin' Camaro
Crimson Ghost - Attitude
Trashmen - My Woodie
Astronauts - Our Car Club
DiMaggio Brothers - Every Breath You Take
Bob Dylan - You Belong To Me
Eddie Cochran - My Way
Big Daddy - Eye Of The Tiger
Everly Brothers - Gone, Gone, Gone
Blasters - Samson And Delilah
Outsiders - Time Won't Let Me
Brogues - I Ain't No Miracle Worker
Plan 9 - I'm Not There
King - Come As You Are
Herb - The Work Song
Yep - Waterloo Sunset
Come Ons - Strangelove
Toxic Audio - Lean On Me


January 12, 2013

She was ready to deny the existence of space and time rather than admit that love might not be eternal
Simone de Beauvoir

Admral Skull by Frank Hamilton
Click images for desktop size: "Admiral Skull" by Frank Hamilton
I'm going to have to remove all the mp3's from the site.
I've spent a lot of energy in not monetizing this site. And I get approached a lot. I find it strange. I The Great Escape mean I track the 100 or so visitors that come here a day. I don't track them but I like the little counter at the bottom of the page. It counts the number of people who come here to the front page and that manages to exclude the number of google image searches and the ilk. I like to think of people enjoying the pretty pictures but i don't feel the need to count them. Some people do though. I guess if you count the people I don't know the site has about 47,000 visits a day. Which is still not that many.
That also doesn't count robots. Little apps that crawl the whole structure of the site. I have most robots turned off in robot.txt but , of course, complying with robot.txt is voluntary.
About a half dozen of these robots are looking for mp3's. Which is no big deal except these robots generate html links to sites that sell the mp3's for money. Which I think is creepy and wrong. But what bugs me is that they never asked me or even told me what they were doing and a few of their rather lazy customers assume that I get a cut or get pay from these sites!!
I think there are enough places in this world who view the world as a walking wallet and enough people conniving how best to extract money from you. I wanted to make sure that this thing of mine was a haven from that. It's the point, among a myriad million other diffuse points, of this thing.
So I guess the best thing is just to delete the mp3's.
The podcasts stay though. No one has figured out to extract money from them yet!

It's been a bad week for me. I hope for no one else. I had to go back to work. Bad news. I live in a "Right to Work" state. That means workers have no rights. I mean none. Not even the right to a A Letter by Vargas
Click images for desktop size: "A Letter" by Vargas
coffee break or a lunch 15 minutes. No rights whatsoever. And plenty of employers who contrive to exploit that.
Our new little white puppy had to go in for heart worm treatment. I once had another little girl who died of heart worm so I'm a bit obsessive about it. They inject the dog with arsenic to kill the heart worm. They use long needles in the lumbar region. Then it's important, as in life or death important, that the little girl stay as quiet and as unexcited as possible for two months!
The first night the little girl cried woefully and it agony all night. The next day she had to be rushed to the vet. It seemed she was having a bad reaction to the pain killer she gets for the heart worm treatment.Guys And Dolls
That night the giant (100 lb. plus) dog broke through the baby gate and attacked the little girl. She had to rush to the emergency vet. Three hundred bucks and a lousy patch up job later and she was still alive and all right and probably regretting ever being "rescued".
She's such a sweet and gentle thing she bears no grudge or anger. She tore me up pretty badly but that was always just her panic and pain. The pain she did to my body was minor to the pain and guilt I felt for letting her down and being remiss in protecting her.
She smiled at me today and that makes it better.
I'm still angry with giant dog.

This is a failed podcast. I wanted to tell an emotional story to celebrate my wife's birthday. Somehow it comes off as just a bit of an uptempo mess that's pretty much subject to incorrect interpretation. But there's some great tunes here and you can dance to it. And, get right down to it all these podcasts are for my wife anyway.

The Cool and The Crazy 7
Lady, That's My Skull

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Gene Pitney & George Jones - I've Got $5 And It's Saturday Night
Shonen Knife - Bitzkrieg Bop
Ricky Nelson - There's Good Rockin' Tonight
Bob Luman - Let's Think About Living
Strangeloves - I Want Candy
Elvis Brothers - Motormouth
Wanda Jackson - Riot In Cell Block Number 9
Beat Farmers - Hollywood Hills
Preston Epps - Bongo Rock
Buckinghams - I Call Your Name
Phantom Rocker & Slick - My Mistake
Adam Schmitt - Can't Get You On My Mind
Spirit Of Troy - Hang On Sloopy
Boss Hoss - Go! Go! Go!
Travoltas - Barbra Ann
Me First & The Gimmee Gimmees - Sloop John B
Los Planatronics - Shape Of Things To Come
Del Shannon= Reason To Believe
Starry Eyed & Laughing - Chimes Of Freedom
Byrds - 5D
Dl Byron - Listen To The Heartbeat
Downbeat 5 - Dum Dum Ditty
Roy Orbison - You Got It
Trashmen - New Generation
Weird Al Yankovic - Canadian Idiot
Boss Martians - She Moves Me
Equals - Police On My Back
Bomboras - David's Mood
Jigsaw Seen - The Daily Planet
Gene Pitney - It's Over


Podfeed.net
iTunes

December 15, 2012

My experience of life is that it is not divided up into genres; it’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you're lucky
Alan Moore

Bettie Page by David Stevens
Click images for desktop size: "Bettie Page" by Dave Stevens
There was a Christmas I remember. It was years ago, back when the world was larger and death and destruction were out there but we were having too much fun to care.Knightriders
I had my first car, a '49 Pontiac with an amber Indian;s head on the hood. That Indian Head added at least 5 hp at least. It was 6 AM Christmas morning. I was old enough to have a car but young enough to get up at ^ AM Christmas morning. I threw my board in the car (a 6' 2" twin fin) in the back and headed to Malibu because it was Christmas and it was Malibu.
It was warm enough to need just a vest. There were no suntans blowing but it was still 4 foot and glassy. There were about 6 guys out so after an hour I decided to head up to Mummies which is a nice peeling left that ends in a back crushing shore break. I had a great time having the beach to myself. It was getting about noon and I was hungry for food and company so I headed up the coast and County Line.
County Line is the border between Los Angeles and Ventura County so you unfortunates who don't surf can follow and not feel left out.
County Line is a cruddy beach but real accessible by car. It's just a beach break but just across Highway 101 is Neptune's Net. Neptune's Net is a landmark, a place where the surfers mingle with the surfers and the dazed tourists who don't understand but want to.
You can get anything you want at Neptune's Net, so long as its beer or can be fried or steamed. Bob Dylan built a mansion up at Point Dume, he came in there. So did Roger McGuinn. Neil Young hung around Zuma and he'd be there sometimes. Lots of stars and celebrities, surfers and bikers. It was the where Messiahs went when they needed to relax.
It was Christmas so Neptune's Net was closed. There were still about 20 people there hanging in the parking lot and using the picnic tables: Malibu Max and Malibu Mike (who weren't related) a few kids like me, a couple of unaffiliated bikers and more girls and women then men and boys. There were a couple of CHP Interceptors and the cops in uniform were lost in the good times. People were Untitled by Unknown
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Unknown
playing dominos, drinking beer and having a pretty good time.
Someone had a key (I told you it was that kind of place) and soon we were eating oysters on the half shell. The steamer was going so we were eating prawns as long as your hand. The guitars were out and it was a fine old Christmas party.
When suddenly a flock of birds flew overhead. It was a big flock and they were flying low. A flock of Blue And Gold Macaws. About 30 of these massive birds flew over our heads. Thirty of the largest flying birds, as big as eagles.
LA is warm enough to surf on Christmas but it's not tropical and parrots are not natives. And County Line is not very rural and it's not the jungle. Malibu Max explained to me that they were exotic pets that had escaped from their homes. The owners had let their clipped wings grow back in so the birds just took off and then they had found each other.The Last Mile
They looked magnificent with their vibrant colors blocked against the verdant sky. Years later I'd see the flock in LA, dive bombing the towers in Century City or cruising the dome in Griffith Park.
The flock seemed to be eternal, sometimes large and sometimes small. It doesn't pay to think about the birds too much. Like I said, LA isn't tropical, it doesn't have the food those big birds need. There's avocado trees, some figs and some citrus. At night they have to sleep in the palm trees and fight with the tree rats to get some rest. They're not bright and shiny except when they're high up in the sky. They don't return him either. They stay in their flock and survive, survive for about 5% of their 80 to 100 year natural life span.
They'd rather live like vagabonds in an alien place then live on perches or caves. That's LA for you, I guess.
I didn't know any of that stuff then. I only knew I;d seldom seen anything so pretty as that flock of birds on Christmas Day. It was even cooler seeing them than being a teenager drinking beer with cops and adults.
Abstract by Apple
Click images for desktop size: "Abstract" by Apple Inc
The flock flew out over the ocean. They glinted in the sun when they turned. I don't know why they flew out over the water. Maybe looking for a home? Then got discouraged when they saw no land? They flew out and turned around and the party restarted.
That's it. Not much of a story but it's not often you get to see something so beautiful, so forlorn, joyous and tragic all in a minute.

I'm still in physical therapy for my shoulder. It's a mess. The physical therapist is from Santa Cruz. How he left Hollywood by the Sea for here is something that needs asking. I see the opthamologist on Friday. My job has been legislated out of existence effective January 4th. I'm much more happy than concerned about that.
My wife has been sick, It didn't stop her from going to her class today. She's in training to be a volunteer to care for the shelter dogs. I'm jealous she gets to do that.
She's also still an assistant basketball coach, with me. Basketball? Yeah, I know.
We're busy and looking forward to Christmas.
The only bad news is that iTunes 11.01 is still totally terrible and totally six.
The puppies are all good. Had some fits getting a vibration collar for the deaf dog, but Radio Tech has been super helpful.

The new Christmas podcast isn't too exciting either. Still it's gotten a lot of downloads via iTunes and podcast.net. A lot to me, not a lot to the internet. There;s some great songs in there and some sentiment.

The Cool and The Crazy 6 - True Yule

True Yule

A House - Here Comes The Good Times
Grip Weeds - Hark The Herald Angels Sing
Brian Setzer - Getting In The Mood (For Christmas)
Beetles - Jingle Bell Rock
Big People - Piece For Christmas
Deadbeat Poets - Christmastime In Painesville
Buck Owens - Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy
Ray Stevens - Santa Claus Is Watching You
Holly Twins (With Eddie Cochran) - I Want Elvis For Christmas
Ziggens - Instant Christmas
Lolas - Little Drummer Boy
Jon Auer - Let It Snow
Elvis Presley - Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me
Hank Snow - Reindeer Boogie
Jack Scott - There's Trouble Brewin'
Cathy Sharpe - North Pole Rock
Andersons - A Million Dollars For Christmas
Black Haloes - Homeless For Christmas
Everley Brothers - Christmas Eve Can Kill You
George Jones - Lonely Christmas Call
Weezer - We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Jim Backus - Why Don't You Go Home For Christmas
Del-Vets - I Want A Boy For Christmas
Adam Faith - Lonely Pup In A Christmas Shop
Johnny Preston - I Want A Rock And Roll Guitar
Surfers - Here Comes Santa In A Red Canoe
CONNECTION - Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)
Platters - Here Comes Santa Claus
Lord Douglas Byron - Surfin' Santa
Edd 'Kookie" Byrnes - Yulesville
Straight No Chaser - Carol Of The Bells
Three Aces And A Joker - Sleigh Bell Rock
Media Whores - All I Want For Christmas
Sheb Wooley - The Purple People Eater Meets Santa
Frankie Lymon - It's Christmas Once Again
Reno Bo - There's A Light
Shonen Knife - Space Christmas
Dickies - Silent Night

November 18, 2012

There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance
Socrates

Nude By Harvey Dunn
Click images for desktop size: "Nude" by Harvey Dunn
My wife is back.
The only remotely sad thing about that she stayed so busy these last 6 weeks that she gave her self The Naked Cage no time to mourn the passing of her father. Her business was mostly dealing with her father's small but large enough estate. The estate and meeting up with family members from which family craziness meant she was estranged. Families are always crazy to outsiders. It's the reason to just observe and not to interfere.
She also got the Canadian house ready to sell. She drove back from Canada in a 17 foot truck loaded with the possessions that couldn't be donated or comfortably thrown away. Behind the truck she hauled a trailer with her Jeep on the trailer! She survived it well enough except when she hit town she discovered the jerks at U-Hau had loaded her Jeep onto the trailer but then had not bothered to chain it down, use any chains or safety precautions or even bothered to hook up the brake lights and the turn signsls. They just plopped it on there and told her she was ready to go.
On this end the U-Haul guy was horrified and said we should file a complaint with the corporate office . . .
All the puppies and I are very glad she's back home.

We have a new puppy. Her name is Portia, which is a dumb name for a dog. She's a white bull terrier mix, she's got lots of black freckles on her with interesting patterns on her ears. She also has a fascinating roscharch pattern on her butt. I spend a lot of time staring at dog's butts when I walk them. I think I might be an expert on them. Portia is stone deaf which makes a lot of intriguing situations. She pulled the leash out of my hands already and run like a maniac down the street. I have so idea what stopped her but she skidded to a halt and turned around to run like a maniac at me so she could jump into my stomach. Portia weighs a compact 54 pounds but the hurt of her jump was washed away with the Skeletor Victorious by DSFSD
Click images for desktop size: "Skeletor Victorious" by DSFSD
relief of not losing the new dog on the second day.
She's sweet. Not only is she deaf but she's heart worm positive. They had her on death row at the shelter. That didn't affect out decision to adopt her just increased the urgency.
My wife is volunteering at the shelter and that eased the way to let the little girl live.

I'm coaching basketball. I know. Me. Basketball.
I'm only an assistant which means I'm backing up a fine young man who's caught in the small town miasma here which works well at stifling potential. I'll have fun bossing young people around and guiding my HC to a better understanding of his life and his ways to win games and in life.
Nekromantic
They fixed my encapsulated shoulder on Friday. The treatment didn't take as well in my right shoulder as it did 3 years ago in the left. I say better doctoring back then. I'm facing physical therapy again. I have a lot of pain but I think the shoulder has stopped aching. The pain is from the muscles I screwed up compensating for the frozen shoulder. As in my shoulder feeling separated because I was forcing it to come into use about 6 inches sooner than it should so I could reach forward and to the side.
Still, it's better.

And the election is over. The zombies didn't win. I dislike the conservative extremists as much as I dislike the hippies on the left. They all just want to take away my freedoms, one in the lie of protecting the freedom of corporations the other in the name of protecting justice for corporations and 'some" people.
But ti's time to relax while the right pours out it's drivel and corrupt cowardice, while the left brags about a mandate.
I just want to live and to dance and to party. Which brings me to our next podcast!
It's just fun for the most part. Any messages are heavy handed enough to be obvious. My wife came back. It's just time to have some fun. There's even a couple of secret requests in there,

The Cool and The Crazy 5 - The Party That Matters

The Party That Matters

Kinks - Shepherds Of The Nation
Dropkick Murphys - Cadence To Arms
Lolas - Feelin' So Good (S.K.O.O.B.Y.D.O.O.)
Step - Love Letter
Wanders - Please Don't Touch
Dave Clark 5 - Bits And Pieces
Del Shannon - Hats Off To Larry (live)
Mighty Gordinis - Heavy X Soul Explosion
Teen Machine - Yummy Yummy Yummy
Sandy Nelson - Let There Be Drums
Joe Hall & The Corvettes - Bongo Beating Beatnik
Johnny Rivers - Help Me Rhonda
Collins Kids - Hoy Hoy
Equals - Baby Come Back
Wet Willie - Keep On Smilin'
Eddie And The Showmen - Mr Rebel
Madd - Would I Still Be Her Big Man
Bobby Fuller - Love's Made A Fool Of You
Little Boy Blues - The Great Train Robbery
Ed James - You And Whose Army?
Prodigy - Stand Up
Beach Boys - Drive-In
Tip Toppers - Little Bit O' Soul
Ronnie Self - Bop A Lena
Ran Dells - Martian Hop
Untamed Youth - Hey Elly Mae
Deke Dickerson & The Eccofonics - Run Boy Run
Jon And The Nightriders - Be My Baby\Don't Worry Baby
Gene Vincent - Bring It On Home
Black Watch - Amazing Grace

October 28, 2012

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
Mahatma Gandhi

Creepy 1965 by Frank Frazetta
Click images for desktop size: "Creepy-October 1965" by Frank Frazetta
The dream is over. USC lost our second game of the season last night. They lost in dismal fashion. The great thing about football is that it is just a season. Each season is one lifetime but each lifetime always features a reincarnation of a new lifetime.
The season is not completed. There is still plenty to play for beyond pride.

My wife is still in Canada. My right arm is getting worse. The dogs are happy with just me but they fight to get my attention. For some reason me petting them is important.
My job? It is still there and the pay check has not bounced.

I finished my Halloween podcast. It's already available via podfeed.net and iTunes

The Cool and The Crazy - Halloween 2012

Zacherely For President
Zacherely - Halloween Hootenanny
Mink Jaguar - Poison In Your Heart
Billy Taylor - Wombie Zombie
Ghoultown - Banditio Sunrise
Ronnie Dawson - Rockin' Bones (demo)
Rockin' Gene Simmons - Haunted House
Zacherely - Let's Twist Again Mummy Time Is Here
Rob Willis - The Cat
Frankie & The Fashions - Witch Doctor
Swingin; Neckbreakers - No Costume No Candy
Ben Colder - Shudders And Screams
Sheb Wooley - Purple People Eater
Gore-Gons - Ghosttown Gunfight
Rob Zombie -Dragula
Zacherely - Dinner WIth Drac
Deadbolt - Billy's Dead
Big Bopper - The Purple People Eater Meets The Witch Doctor
Misfits - Ghoul's Night Out
Johnny Cash - The Man Comes Around
Newports - I'm In The Ground For Good
Reverend Horton Heat - The Halloween Dance
Untamed - Tears In Dead Eyes
Bobby Boris Picket - The Monster Swim
Revels - Dead Man's Stroll
Satan's Pilgrims - Frankenstomp
Three Suns - Danny's Inferno
Zane Brothers - Dracula
3-D Invisibles - Hot Rod Hearse
Bert Convey - The Monster Hop
Deadly Ones - Mad Drummer Pt 2
Cub Koda dba Brownsville Station - The Martian Boogie
Dream Syndicate - Loving The Sinner, Hating The Sin
Zacherely - Happy Halloween


And it is close to election time again. I'e been incredibly disappointed in Obama, from his weak not life saving Murder My Sweet health care plan to his broken promise to close Gitmo. He is also the first President since Bush to actively seek to deprive us of our civil rights and liberties. I was further astonished by his not seeing lobbyists in his office but to take them into the Justice Department and other branches of government. He has not been a good or successful President. He has the look of the bullied kid who keeps trying to make friends with the weaker bullies.
I was going to vote for Jill Stein of the Green Party, but Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are the vilest, most contemptible politicians in history. McLain at least believed what he said and Palin was just insane and not responsible for her idiocy. These guys think that money means your smart. They lie about everything, including their running times!
Romeny-Ryan would destroy this country and make it safe only for the wealthy fiefdoms where they could watch over their fascist slaves.
Only because these fascist lying scum are his opponents do I find myself having to vote for Obama.

October 13, 2012

And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed
John Steinbeck

Claro De Luna By Titusboy
Click images for desktop size: "Claro De Luna" by TitusBoy
My wife has had to return to Canada. Her step-father died: pancreatic cancer. It was sudden and without much, if any, preparation.The Mummy's Hand
She is holding up to it well enough, better than could be expected.
I'm alone with the four dogs, soon to be a fifth. We're happily making each other crazy.
I have to go back to walking to work again. It's healthy, I suppose, if it is fatiguing. Carrying all my groceries again and all the rest of it. The physical effort makes loneliness a bit more apparent.
And it makes it more obvious that I am glad I am past that moment of grief in my life. One thing that should bind us all together is that we all have or will have to bury our parents. Our parents are the most important people in our lives. Love them or hate them they made us what we are. Their passing always marks a void and delineates the mortality we only possess without owning.
My sadness for my wife is no little binding.

This is my 3rd podcast. The first one had 376 downloads, the second also had 376. I uploaded the 3rd to iTunes and to podcast.net and it's received 247 downloads so far.
I'll take the requests into consideration.

The Cool And The Crazy 3:
Love And Mayhem In 90 Minutes

Teenage Riot
Zeke - Hello There Ladies And Gentlemen
Sand Rubies - Memories Are Made Of This
The Phantom - Love Me (alternate take)
Mink Jaguar - Leave us All Behind
Freddie And The Hitchikers - Sinners
Richard Cheese - People Equal Shit
Sonny Burgess - Ain't Got A Thing
Grip Weeds - Rock & Roll Love Letter
Jan & Dean - I Gotta Drive
Ronnie Spector - Don't Worry Baby
Mary Weiss - Nobody Knows (But I Do)
Chymes - He's Not There Anymore
Human Beinz - Nobody But Me
Flares - Footstomping Part 1
Mystery Action - Shake
Ritchie Valens - La Bamba
Jackie Wilson - Reet Petite (The Finest Girl You Ever Want To Meet)
Sparkles - Hipsville 29 BC
Cliffhangers - What A Girl Can't Do
Travoltas - That Thing You
Insiders - The Price Of Love
Electric Light Orchestra - Do Ya
The Crest - Trouble In Paradise
Dorktones - Man WIth Money
Del Shannon - Stand Up
Jan & Dean - A Beginning From An End
Del Shannon - Lost In A Memory
Plan 9 - I Like Girls
Lolas - The Only People In The World
Dream Syndicate - Let It Rain
Alan Price - O Lucky Man!
Nylons - Drift Away
Dion - Drip Drop
Buddy Holly - Love Is Strange (demo)


I'll be making a podcast for Halloween, then, by a request that cannot be ignored, a podcast for the doggies.
When my wife gets back we're bringing in another puppy. A deaf bull terrier - female. She;s white with black spotted ears.
One thing that has impressed me with my wife is that even though she is near over come with grief she was able to get an amazing amount done: taking care of others, dealing with the paperwork and legalese that accompanies a modern death, getting the house ready to be sold . . . so much more than that. She could have allowed herself to be overwhelmed but she did it all and mostly by herself.

September 23, 2012

Cal-Berkley 9 USC 27


The Cool and The Crazy 2: Zipguns and Switchblades


For A Few Guitars More
Dave Wronski - For A Fistful Of Dollars
My Chemical Romance - Teenagers
Supersuckers - Pretty F*cked Up
Tip Toppers - Outsider
Arthur Lee - 7 And 7 Is
Lolas - Something You Oughta Know
Nomads - She Pays The Rent
Rubinoos - Peek A Boo
Don & Dewey - Jungle Hop
Classie Freddie Blassie - Pencil Neck Geek
Boss Martians - Have You Ever Seen
Chesterfield Kings - Richard Speck
Los Lobos - I Wan'na Be Like You
Dick Dale - The Wedge
Randy and the Rainbows - Denise
Monkees - You Just May Be The One
Jackie DeShannon - Trouble
Albert Lee - Learning The Game
Mel Smith & The Nightriders - Pretty Plaid Skirt (And Long Black Sox)
Esquerita - Hole In My Heart
Johnny Cash - The Devil's Right Hand
Ramones - Out Of Time
DiMaggio Brothers - Every Breath You Take
Little Steven & Southside Johnny - It's Been A Long Time
Fire Apes - Only You Could Make Me Happy
Cliff Hillis - Dizzy
Steeleye Span - Rave On
Rooks - Folk Hero
Link David - Slippin' And Slidin'
Gene Vincent - The Day The World Turned Blue
Plimsouls - Zero Hour
Tammy And The Lords Of Misrule - Wig Wam Bam
Johnny Kannis - King Of The Surf
Davie Allen and the Arrows - Bongo Party
Link Wray - Home Is Where The Heart Is
Kooks - Victoria
Flatt & Scruggs - Foggy Mountain Breakdown


You can subscribe to the podcast at PodFeed.net or at iTunes. You can subscribe to it via AppleTV which I think is cool. Or you can just click on the graphic above. Right click to save. It's "enhanced" which means it's got album covers and stuff.
I'll probably make more.

Shoulder is still bugging me. Went to the doctor. My wife spent all the time in the exam room with me. She's scared.
Her father's still in hospital and I don't look as indestructible as I used to, I guess. I'm doing great for someone who should be in bed! But I need sleep. A lot of grief from the shoulder keeps me from sleeping. Survivable, is what I think.
My wife is going back to Canada this week to see her father and to get the house ready to sell so we can have a real place to live down here.
I'll miss her.

September 16, 2012

A trap is only a trap if you don't know about it. If you know about it, it's a challenge.
China Miéville
USC 14 Stanford 21

1950 by Chiriaka
Click images for desktop size: "1950" by Chiriaka
I've been thinking about odd old times. Breakfasts, meeting people, great and not so great people; old housemates and just stuff.
I think it's just my brain trying to convince me of my own mortality.Steam Heat
We all know how it goes: Even though we're sane enough to know we're going to die someday we still act and think like we're immortal. It's normal and the way of it. It's why many of us need religion.
Of course I just keep hurtling on. Unstoppable. Irresistible. Tall.
My wife lost her mother, not a year ago. Now her step-father entered the hospital last night. No handle on what the problem is. Might just be gall stones. They hurt but don't kill.
My wife is going to have to leave me soon; to see him and to get her house on the market. I'll miss her.
She said something to me that was surprising. She's afraid to get a new dog (not because four dogs is too much) but because after my sojourn to the hospital she's afraid I'll die and leave her all alone with no job and incapable of taking care of the puppies we already have.
I've never died before so I have no real idea of what it might feel like. I only know I'm not finished yet. I made a promise and demanded that I live at least 1 day more than my dogs. Life is cruel but not so cruel as to repay my puppies joy with that much lost harshness.
And now it's a promise I have to keep.
My wife has been through too much this last year. I hope she can find enough strength and love to hold on. The pups can give her all the love any person could ever need. I used to have the strength and stubbornness to loan it out without worrying about getting it back, I probably still do.

My first "podcast" seems to have been accepted well. I making another. It's fun.
You can find it now at the podfeed.net and on the iTunes store. You can even get it on all the iPodcast apps and even on AppleTV. I think that's cool.

August 26, 2012

Only the educated are free
Eleanor Roosevelt

The Collousus Of New York
Click images for desktop size: "The Collousus Of New York"
I was in the hospital for 3 days.
I didn't like it.

I went to the hospital because my feet were so swollen and I was having this freaky chest pain, like The Psychic a heartening dizzy spell. The pain on my chest was heavy then it would vanish with a light fluttering that left me spaced and approaching euphoria. I wasn't too sure that this wan't the way that death would signal its approach.
The heavily swollen feet and legs indicated congestive heart failure but all the tests, and there were plenty of tests, showed that I did not have another heart attack. There were four blood tests to back this up.
They took a lot of effort to explain to me each time that they were only taking about half a cup of blood so I needn't worry. About then they realized that my present EKG looked better than my EKG from about 2 years ago. My heart has been healing but still showed about 17% of it was dead, or in medical euphemisms wasn't beating as efficiently as the rest.
They had me all wired up to do a stress test for a sonogram of my heart when they abruptly decided to switch over to nuclear medicine for a more exact picture of my heart.
In nuclear medicine they inject you intravenously with some radioactive isotopes that cling to your heart so they can do a catscan like picture of the thing. They were going to do it twice; once with my heart rested and then another trip to the treadmill to stress test it and me.
But then came the rub. They took me to the bench to do the layered x-rays. When they strapped me in the trouble started. No one but orthopedists take a frozen shoulder veery seriously. They don't relate or even glimmeringly comprehend the intense pain it brings.
My right shoulder feels as if it's dislocated while the shoulder blade feels exactly like a bad separation. I've done them both often enough to be able to dissect the pain. Because of all the Deadly Theory by Hans Bok
Click images for desktop size: "Deadly Theory" by Han Bok
inflammation in the shoulder important nerves and veins and arteries get squished and shut off so it feel alternately as if the arm is going to explode from too much blood coagulating in the hand and arm, to tingling numbness as it falls asleep starving for blood. The muscles in the hand and arm knot of ferociously trying to protect themselves. They do quite a job at that. When I had the frozen shoulder on my left side it was 3 times a week physical therapy for 7 months to get 80% of the use of my left arm back.
The Nuclear Medicine bench os about 1 foot wide. They strapped me to it with 2 1/2" black nylon straps, which is fine enough but they wanted my left hand strapped over my head with my right arm strapped flat against my right side.
It didn't work.
My body convulsed from the pain like those movies of mental patients getting electroshock therapy. It was beyond my control.Psycho
They conferred and gave me some intravenous tylenol. Sitting there relaxed it took away the pain in the shoulder immediately! When they went to strap me up again the pain bounced back unbearably. So they decided to do morphine. The pain ate through the double dose of morphine like it didn't exist. So after more conferring and me suggesting they just knock me out we had to wait for a special doctor to come down and inject me with about 150 units of demerol.
It was expected that this would knock me out and Nuclear Medicine could get back on schedule. The demerol knocked me for a loop. My shoulder felt like it was non-existent. My wife showed up about then. I remember wishing she'd brought along one of the dogs. Demerol is synthetic heroin. Eichmann of the Nazi's was addicted to it. Five to ten times more powerful then heroin is the hype. It's the crack of the downer world. I don't much like narcotics. The high lasts too long for my tastes and the side effects are creepy. And in my case they didn't work.
Angel by Unknown
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Unknown
they expected me to lie dead still for 15 minutes, even with the demerol I could only lie still for about 45 seconds at best, and that 45 seconds was filled with terrifying agony.
After more conferring they decided to try it with me lying on my stomach with both hands over my head. The demerol made this endurable but it still hurt like hell.
But the vengeance was still to come. It was decided since I had enough narcotics in me to knock me out I couldn't so the stress test on the treadmill. I told them I was fine but they ignored me as an idiot. As it is only my body that I know pretty well. They told me I was going to do a chemical stress test. An injection that would fool my body into thinking I had just spent 30 minutes running uphill. I could have done without the reassurance that if the injection caused a heart attack that I was in the best place to have that heart attack.Problem Girls
The chemical stress test was the worst experience of my adult life. The only thing that compares was the time when I was 10 and I got cast in a riptide at Zuma Beach and nearly drowned trying to get back to shore.
Suddenly I could not breathe, all the strength flooded from my arms and legs. My torso felt on fire and burned hollow, the only thing there were my lungs fighting desperately for a tiny wisp of air.
The doctors were satisfied. I could go get the next Nuclear catscan. It was worse than the first one. They screwed it up the first time so I had to do it twice.
My wife spent her time with me. I was grateful. I worried about her as I knew the last time she'd been in a hospital it was to do a death watch on her mother. It was too recent not to be in the front of her thoughts. We managed to find her favorite show ("What Not To Wear") on TV. I wonder if she's serious about going to the hospital every Friday night to see the seasons reruns.
After a couple of sonograms on my legs and liver they released me. I went to work the next day as if I don't work I don't get paid. Work was terrible. The after effect of the narcotics was too reminiscent of the aftereffects of chemotherapy. I was seriously nauseous, my shoulder screaming at me and I was still having the spells that signal the pale rider.
We got through it.
The dogs were thrilled to see me again. My little girls keeps staring at me adoringly which is a bit disconcerting. I'm used to her bullying me.

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.

January 29, 2012

It probably won't work but it's a good dream

Plan
Anon

December 10, 2011

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams
Epictetus

Sorcerer's Transformation
Click images for desktop size: "Sorcerer's Transformation" by Unknown
When I was seven years old movie theaters were just starting to decay. Movie Palaces they liked to be called.The Raven
On Saturday's my mother would drop me off at the Starlight Theater. The Starlight had a Kids Matinee. They showed 10 cartoon, 3 Three stooges shorts, and some incredibly cheap Monster film. It was great. About 200 to 200 hyped up kids with only a teenaged usher for supervision!
My mother gave me a dollar. A dollar was a lot of money. It was 8 comic books, a league baseball. It was calculable wealth but it was still wealth. So, often I'd find out when the movie let out so I could meet my mother in front of the theater and then bug out of the movies to have more refined dollar flaunting fun.
The Starlight tried to live up to its name by having black ceilings that were studded with whispering galaxies made from those little white Christmas lights. In a more cynical time it was probably nothing but cheesy but in the age, the time and the fact that I was 7, it was a wondrous thing that took everything to the level of celestial purity that made the surf and the ball field seem somehow smaller than dreams.
My mother would give me a dollar to go to the kiddie matinee. I always carried the dollar rolled up in a ball, clenched tight in my fist. I carried so many gooney things in my pockets it was the only way to keep the dollar safe. I paid my admission, 25 cents, and got my 3 quarters in change. Immediately I went to the candy counter and got either a popcorn or a box of Boston Baked Beans. They were both a quarter so the choice depended on external factors. The popcorn came in a box that could be dismantled and turned into a wicked paper airplane. The plane could be launched at the screen at the appropriate moment for big laughs or for frantic boos if the plane fell short or missed some cool target, like a naughty human body part.
King Features Xams Card
Click images for desktop size: "King Features Christmas Card"
The Boston Baked Beans were more introspective, they could make a pretty nasty sounding kazoo but that was a one note joke and lacked nuance. It was in the eating that they shined. I could nibble off the candy and then save up a handful of the "beans" for dual snack age fun. I also got to debate whether they were some strange bean I should coerce my mother into buying or if they were, in dull reality, stale peanuts. And if you'd ever had my mother's Sunday bean dinner you also would prefer stale peanuts flavored beans.
We all loved the cartoons, especially Bugs Bunny and Road Runner cartoons. The theater would get quiet when they were on then get raucous again when they put on a Deputy Dawg or a Heckle and Jekyll. For me it was incredible seeing the cartoons on a big screen, an enormous screen.
I've never been blown away by IMAX movies. If you asked me how big the screen was at the Starlight, the Old Egyptian, or even the old Cinerama Dome, I'd have said it was as tall as an angel 12 Monkeys and as wide as an angel's wingspan. I always thought the IMAX screen was as tall as an angel and as wide as an angel's wingspan and a bit more.
In London there used to be a Cartoon Theater in Piccadilly Circus. It was only a pound so I went hoping to recapture some of the scents of the Starlight on a Saturday. It was disappointing. The screen was small and high above the crowd. They showed some Warner Brothers stuff but it was all the made for TV stuff. It kept cartoons far too life sized.
The Cartoon Theater is gone. I think there's a McDonald's there now or a Wendy's or some other American bastion of domination. It really doesn't matter much which one it is now. At least not as much as what it once was.
The Boston Baked Beans would last me through the cartoons and get me to the Three Stooges shorts. My next course of action was predicated on what 3 Stooges they showed. For a "Curley" I would not move. It was too much fun then. We all laughed if not at the movie itself than at all the great Curly impressions that would go on around us. For a "Curley Joe Rita" there would be pandemonium. We all hated him as an impostor, a ne'er do well who encroached on our sense of order in the universe. The sight of 7 to 10 year olds in near riot agitation must have terrified the theater manager enough that anything other than Curley or Shemp was a rare occurrence.
There are many Shemp fans out there. Some who consider Shemp a more mature flavor of Stooge. They point out that Shemp was actually in "real" movies. that Shemp stood up to Moe and tried to hold on to his place and individuality in life.
I'm not one of those. Without Curley the Stooges were a mere nostalgic craze, a dim memory of what greatness once was and what greatness would seldom be again.
If a Shemp Stooges came on screen I would go out to the lobby to construct the greatest concoction Astronomer by Gerrit Dou
Click images for desktop size: "Astronomerd" by Gerrit Dou
ever devised by the 7 year old mind.
I would go to the soda machine and get a cup of coca-cola without ice. Then I would go to the ice cream machine and get an ice cream bar. On the east coast I've heard them call an ice cream bar an Eskimo Pie and other heathen slurs. it doesn't matter as this was my invention and as such I claimed the right to name the ingredients appropriately and correctly.
Each ingredient was a quarter. Fifty cents was a fortune to me but is still cheap for the joy and pleasure it would soon construct. I mean, for fifty cents I could buy a pint of strawberry ice cream and two comic books from the drug store on Sunset Blvd and then go to the beach and stare at the waves while I waited for some gremmie surfer to lose his board so I could run out grab the lost stick and ride some shore break before the gremmie could yell at me. And yet, I insist my invention was better even than that!
The first time I had the stroke of inspired genius that led me to this creation was when the movie was "The Astounding She Monster!" was showing. It is appropriate that this piece of neglected cinema should have inspired other acts of genius. It was also a day we'd managed to smuggle my 4D Man dog, Alex, into the movies. The pandemonium was such that after we got him into the theater, past the teenaged ticket taker we were totally safe to enjoy ourselves.
"The Astounding She Monster" was about a blonde alien woman who wore silver skin tight spandex (or whatever it was they used in the pre spandex days), with over plucked eyebrows and dark lipstick. She glowed and glittered!
Aside from the over plucked eyebrows she was as perfect a woman as had ever been imagined. Except she had one serious problem: Everything she touched on earth died.
A dog barked at her and she went to pet it and the poor thing died from the terrible radiation that coursed through her.
Everything of beauty, everything she might love was doomed to die at her touch. The tragic denouement had the "heroes" tracking the wracked creature by rolling her footprints, footprints that burned themselves into the grass.
This is pretty profound stuff for a kid. And you wrap profound messages up in a glowing glittering blonde and wrap it in sparkly spandex and you've opened up a path, a neural road to forever.
It's too bad "The Astounding She Monster" wasn't a better movie. Instead it's just a semiotic film that allows access to the better past and dreams of children who dream of making themselves better than their parents, the establishment and the world.
But it was during this movie that I learned to love story telling and it was during this movie that I learned my great kid secret and made my great kid invention. The first thing I had to do was eat the chocolate coating from the ice cream bar. This is very important as if any chocolate touches the other ingredients the chocolate becomes poison.
Trying to neatly nibble the icing off an ice cream bar in the dark while intently watching a monster movie while surrounded by 400 rowdy shouting running kids is no easy task. But, like many mundane chores, it has to be done. At least in this chore there's a payoff.
When the ice cream bar is denuded it has to be inspected and not dropped. This is especially important when your dog is with you. Dogs love ice cream. At least all my dogs love it. International Wings by Boris Vallejo
Click images for desktop size: "Wings" by Boris Vallejo
is clear that anything that falls on the floor is automatically the dog's.
By now the ice cream was pretty drippy, which made my hands sticky, the dog excited and those gray shadows of despair were allowed to creep in. Everyone else was having fun and I was involved in experiments as deranged as the mad scientists on the screen. Great moments should always be thus.
The next step is not scientific, that means it must be art. In my world there is only science, art and faith.
You had to study the coke and study the ice cream - by now you have probably figured out what the invention is, if not its only because it is so mind snapping that you can't believe the simple genius invested here - and you must not account not only for the volume of the ice cream and the displacement of the coke but the variable that creates art - the foam! The foam that makes what happens next the pinnacle of greatness and not just another kid screwing around and making a mess.4 Flies on Grey Velvet
When things were just right you plunged the ice cream into your paper cup of coke and there, as inconceivable as it might seem you were in possession of a portable black, the elusive coca cola float!
And after you had stirred the mix you still had the ice cream bar stick which your dog would enjoy eating until it was time to leave the movie.
I've told all of this because my wife has just gotten her visa. She can come and live and work here in the IS of A. So can giant dog and gentle dog and the new addition, aggro dog, can all come and live here and we can be a family once again. We've always been a family but now we get to live as one.
After nearly 2 and a half years it's over.
Al the money, all the paperwork and fretting and worrying and cursing and doubting is over. All the begging for letters of reference and being held prisoner to some whacko government standards of life are done. We're free.
And on hearing that my wife had gotten her visa the only emotion that compares is that time when I was 7 and I invented the portable black cow.
As I sat in the dark and watched my monster movie, my dog at my side while I sipped the aphrodisiacal sweet and foaming creamy concoction that I had made with my own two hands is about how I felt when I heard my wife and my family were going to be together with me again until the end.
Not that I would consider my wife an "Astounding She Monster" except maybe sometimes to keep things interesting. Although I do think she'd look great all glittery and glowing. But she probably wouldn't do that. She's like that.

September 4, 2011

Money won't create success, the freedom to make it will
Nelson Mandela

La by Boris Vallejo
Click images for desktop size: "La" by Boris Vallejo
I think Obama has let us all down. There's no change and no hope. Somehow he turned into a Republican.Labyrinth
There's no defense for his retracting the EPA rule that would have save the lives of about 1.5 million kids and saved suffering for millions more. It's unpardonable as is his excuse for doing this is a pure Republican fabrication: It would be too expensive for cash heavy corporations to stop killing children ergo children have gotta go.
And the word is that his job program is to ape Georgia. He's going to implement the Republican ideal and force people on Unemployment to work for free.
Georgia has 19 people enrolled in the program and 16 have gotten jobs from the program. Sounds like the perfect solution if you're determined to be incredibly ineffective.
So far the only people Obama has pleased are the RIAA and the MPAA, He's not fought a single battle and won. I don't think he's won a fight at all.
He's allowed the rise of scum like Rick Perry and morons like Palin and Bachman.
He's the worst leader since Bush.
What a disappointment. I voting for the Green Party.

I'm joining the Lane Kiffin Must Go movement too. Even though USC beat Minnesota is was a shameful exhibition. Five bonehead plays that would have gotten a high school coach called on the carpet are inexcusable in an elite program.
Going for 2 point conversions twice and failing? Going from the shotgun on 4th and 6? A non-existent running attack. Linebackers in disarray and a soft Tampa 2 that delights opposing OC's? It was clear Frost by Ankhammentu
Click images for desktop size: "Frost" by Ankhammentu
he was giving an inferior team every chance to win the game. He was playing inane NFL football in college football. It has never worked and it's embarrassing to see it being shoved down these loyal hardworking kids throats. The kids are winners the coaches are not.

I got my puppy's blood taken today to do a full blood panel. I worry over her. Gentle dog is having a bad allergic reaction. I think it is due to this hot weather. Things are blooming that are not supposed to and producing things that negatively effect us all.
He'll be fine but the medication hit him pretty hard. Poor guy.

September 1, 2011

Yesterday's Hero

Doc Savage by Baum
Click images for desktop size: "Doc Savage-Man Of Bronze" by Baum
I bought a Switch on Woot. Cost two bucks. I got it because I needed extra Ethernet connections. Wireless N does't always cut it for streaming movies. Hard wired connections always seem to work.Kiss Me Quick So right now I've got seven connections.
It's worse with my USB. I've got a powered hub with 10 ports and they're all filled. So is my FireWire port.
I need a new computer.
I want to go post-PC, surviving with my iPod and my hacked nook but there are still a few jobs I need a desktop for.
I wanted to get it next paycheck but I want my puppy to get some bloodwork done.
My puppy and my trophy wife are more important than a computer.


August 27, 2011

You can lead a man to knowledge but you can't make him think
"Return of the Ex-Girlfriend" by Loveless

Hedi Klum
Click images for desktop size: "Heidi Klum"
Happy birthday to me.
I spent the eve of my birthday playing with amps, capacitors and resistors. It was fun. Plan to doKill Bill 1 the same tomorrow.
Mailed a surprise present to my wife. Mostly handmade electronical present. I'm certain that when she opens it she'll appreciate the artistry, the thought and the hard work and she'll have no idea what it is or what it does. Isn't that great!?!
The hurricane was a bust. The earthquake was cooler and it was pretty dismal in its way. My puppy and I were out with out pennants too.
USC meets Minnesota in the opener in one week!
Football is nearly here.
AND
Shonen Knife - Osaka Ramones Get it. Play it. Love it.


August 20, 2011

Prosperity is full of friends
Euripides

Decoration by WH Robinson
Click images for desktop size: "Decoration" by WH Robinson
My bank has named by checking account "Lifetime Free Checking". It's important to know this or else the rest seems pretty normal.IT! The Terror From Beyond Space
I got a letter and then an email this week. They both said the same thing: On November 1st your "Lifetime Free Checking Account" will be moved to "Everyday Checking". "Everyday Checking" will cost you only $7.00 per month.
My first thought, before I got angry, was that banks and I have different definitions for either Lifetime or Free or perhaps we see both words differently. I was slightly mollified by reading that because I had direct deposit on my account the fee would be waived. That was short lived as the next line stated that I would be charged $5 per month for my Debit/Checking card!
I'd been reading about the banks plans to pull this stunt some months ago. I thought it had been disallowed as common sense but also as unfair, disruptive and exploitive. I mean, hundreds of millions spent advertising free checking cards forcing people to rely on and use them while earning billions in extortionate fees from merchants and now the banks need to extort more money from us.
I was foolish. I believed that Congress and the President would protect us from the greed of the banks. The greed that has brought our country to its knees.
I was an idiot to rely on government to do the right thing.
I have to decide, unfortunately about whether to change banks and get stuck eventually for the same fees and deal with the present where a new bank would end up costing me more than $5 a month is usurious ATM fees.
These are not decisions that a citizen in the USA should have to make. I blame the government for ignoring the people and helping the banks violate basic human decency.

August 17, 2011

Hope for the best but expect less

Superman DC Comics
Click images for desktop size: "Superman" by Dc Comics
I made the final payment on my wife yesterday.
Actually I made the final payment of the immigration lawyers fee. I just like to say that stuff about
It Conquered The World
owning her free and clear because there's nobody around to cuff me on the back of my head.
My wife should have her interview in Oct/Nov, then if everything rumbles along as it should, she should be here before Christmas.
My puppy is very happy about this as she thinks it is too much work keeping me in line all on her own.
Me; I'm just looking forward to a whole other set of anxieties: Job, buying a home etc. Real world stuff. Who needs real world stuff when happiness is so near?

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.
Cool.

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.

June 18, 2011

You must die! I alone am best!
Yor Chun "Wutan Swordsman"

Minnesota Valley Canning Company by Andrew Wyeth
Click images for desktop size: "Minnesota Canning Company" by Andrew Wyeth
Life has been a chore lately. Debilitating heat and sweat mixed with hopeless rage and mercurial hopes.The Champ
Its like not much to walk 6 miles in a day but, nowadays, ending and starting your outside world day with that long walk and for it to be that way for 2 years is a feat, a testament to toughness and a gateway to helplessness. Independence comes at that cost most of the time.
My days have become tossing and turning in baed for 10 hours trying to get 4 hours of sleep. Then I walk around near zombie-ish for the rest of the day while I head into trying nights at work. It's a living.
So, I've been spending my idle thought cycles contemplating dogs. My puppy in particular and the species in general.
It's not that complicated. I'm not really capable of that complicated a thought process, pretty much like dogs. I'm reading this book about the emotional life of dogs: "For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend" by Patricia B. McConnell, PhD. -whew- that's a mouthful and so is the book.
It gets pretty laboured at times especially when it tries to justify things that we intuit are right and good but really have no apt words to describe. The greatest pleasures in the book are when they codify, justify and give weight to things we already knew about dogs but were generally met with derision or at least sceptism by people who don't have it in them to be able to love another species.
I've never been able to grasp why not being able to love another species is considered cool, especially in the Judeo Christian ultra religious circle. Maybe loving an abstract that depends on faith wears out all their brain pan so they the synapses are too fatigued to love something that is standing at their side watching them with loving eyes. (I blame Thomas Aquinas a lot for this and Unknown
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Unknown
the endless tripe this ancient bastard spewed out that became accepted as dogma. His whack job insistence that dogs had no more soul than a chair leg is so mean spirited and cause for so much cruelty that one can only hope he's wandering the same circle of hell as child rapists.)
I guess the best part of the book are those chunks that make you go, "HAH! I knew it!" I, for one, always enjoy being able to toss around a book with actual words that defend and protect my position on abstract and obscure matters.
I don't think that the book will convince the animal haters or move the stupider or shake the faith of those who condemn dogs to the same role as furniture and fashion accessories. It might convince doggie agnostics but just might. One thing that's annoying is that McConnell works most often with working dogs and justifies the working dog as the pinnacle of doggie achievement. My puppy is a working breed and I still feel that is hog wash. Dogs are dogs and selective breeding (further proof of evolution?) might have certain purebreds crazier than others, and selective breeding may have Burglar distilled certain traits, in my experience dogs are dogs. While I might find acclimating to a Belgium shepherd easier as I know what to expect from specific breed traits there is no doubt that each of the Belgiums who've I've met and have lived with have been as different as human beings are different.
Environment, expectations and education have a greater impact than fur or skin color.
I also think McConnell comes close to but shows the timidity of all Yul Brenner And Deborah Kerr
Click images for desktop size: "Brenner & Kerr"
over academic thinkers. She comes close to but shies away from the logical conclusion that dogs have a certain amount of reasoning and rough intelligence. I think that all emotions and their grade and intensity are predicated on intelligence anyway.
Sadly the idea that an animal has the ability to reason, that they have an ability to discern the difference between right and wrong is earth shattering and controversial. Rah! It isn't. I mean that mutant weasel who shot Congresswoman Gifford was found unfit to stand trial as he couldn't tell the difference between right and wrong (although he was sane enough to buy and own powerful hand guns??). I think my puppies are all capable of that sort of numbskull decision. The fact that they don't bite and crush our hands when they don't get the treats they want is proof of that.
Animal behaviorists like to ascribe that complicated thought process to simple learned behavior. Which is scardey cat twaddle or it can be put down that all humans are simple behavior machines. I reject that theory out of hand, except in the case of mutant weasels.
Like the giant dog has a joke. He likes to go to the door and act like he needs to go outside to go to the bathroom but as soon as you get to the door he spins around and jumps up on the couch and Unknown
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Unknown
laughs and laughs.
It his joke. It's not a great joke at all but it's nearly as good as the jokes 4 and 5 year old humans have inflicted on me.
It also knocks the behaviorists theory for a loop. The only thing giant dog gets out of his joke is that he gets to laugh at you for getting up out of the chair. He gets satisfaction from convincing us he had to go to the bathroom. He gets no food, no treats, no physical satisfaction at all except the ability to laugh at us.
As to thought he had to imagine the result. He had to desire that result and logic out a way to arrive at that result. This is a creative complicated thought process with the payoff being laughter and amusement.
I wish the joke were better but he's just a dog.Canadian Mounties VS The Aliens

I've also added a new guitarist to my pantheon. Evan Foster of Boss Martians, Mystery Action and a stunning solo Surf album.
The Boss Martians are his main band but he's bursting with so many riffs that he starts as many side projects as Jack White! But Evan is cleaner and edgier than White. At first its not obvious how stunning Evan's guitar skills are. He believes, like me, that the song is the main thing, so his riffs are designed to make your jaw drop, they're designed to serve the song and let the tune rip your heart out. Avoid him at your peril.
His twisted cover of Link Wray's, "Fire And Brimstone" shows he has chops to better anybody, while his album "Instrumentals" is a maniacal take on reverb drenched excess.

One bright dot on the landscape is that I'm broke. Broke because I gave all my money to an immigration lawyer who seems very confident that my wife will be an American green card holder before Christmas.
That still makes me feel buoyant and happy.
Now it just has to happen and I will be happy.

May 25, 2011

Words mean exactly what I want them to mean
Humpty Dumpty via Lewis Carrol

Route 163 by Kuba Klewaniec
Click images for desktop size: "Route 163" by Kuba Klewaniec
Just finished re-reading Steinbeck's, "The Grapes of Wrath". Great book, great story.
What's crazy is that a rare masterpiece of a book was actually made into a masterpiece of a movie.The Blue Dahlia
I'm used to a masterpiece being decided as much by the medium as the content. I can think of great books making good movies and great movies being made from decent books, But almost no great movies coming from great books.
I think its a testament to John Ford that the hardest thing about reading the book is shaking the near indelible images from the film. And its a testament to John Steinbeck that it doesn't take long for Tom Joad to be talking in his own voice instead of Henry Fonda's, and for the Preacher to become something big and real instead of a creation of John Carradine's.
They're both great works and they stand independently without complimenting each other. They remain unique and special each unto themselves. I think this is mainly due to the brilliance of the story. Stories about people finding their own way in a terrible land full of promise, promise withheld from the people, are always the stuff that fires up my imagination, It's the sort of story that creates values and gives a vivid purpose to morals.
The book is what's in front of me now. We know the story, the dust storms and the banks that created the depression. The rich bastards that perpetuated the depression for their own self serving purposes.
In the book the enemy is spelled out plain: "when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the oppressed. The great owners ignored the three cries of history. The land fell into fewer hands, the number of the dispossessed increased, and every effort of the great The Stranger DC Comics
Click images for desktop size: "The Stranger" by DC Comics
owners was directed at repression."
One of the things that sets literature apart from fiction is the ability of the writer to touch a stone and to see that stone from the gravel pit and into a future that exceeds his own generation's lifetime.
Steinbeck in telling the simple tragedy of the Joads driving a clunker 2,000 miles has set the stage for myth and metaphor. The simple plight of one family is amplified through it's present into ours so that people become symbols and names fail the reality and the names become us.
Explicit in "Grapes of Wrath" is the rise of the Populist movement in America. Populism terrified the big owners. They had to brand it with false names calling the adherents commies and reds. They were no such thing.
Populism believed in keeping people alive. It believed in self government , in supporting yourself and each other. It believed in feeding the children and in giving a man the dignity befitting a humanBorn To Be Bad being. Not very lofty ambitions.
The billionaires called the populists, reds, thugs, they called them an evil that would destroy America and they refused to let them alone and worked their hardest to destroy them. Steinbeck summed it up, "And the great owners, who had become through their holdings both more and less than men, ran to their destruction, and used every means that in the long run would destroy them. Every little means, every violence, every raid on a Hooverville, every deputy swaggering through a ragged camp put off the day a little and cemented the inevitability of the day."
See, the Koch Brothers haven't done anything new. They learned a few things. They appropriated the populist moniker and replaced swaggering deputies with racist young people and soft frightened old people. They used fear to motivate the people who don't have enough to arm them against the people who don't have anything. Then they went after the unions, the workers, while they acquire and force out the small businessman while telling the small businessman it is all the fault of those other guys. The Koch Russ Tamblyn-West Side Story
Click images for desktop size: "Russ Tamblyn"
Brothers and their allies scream: It's the Chinese or the Koreans or the Japanese and its your next door neighbor. It is everyone but me. And all we do we do to protect you until you become one of them.
Populism was bought with blood and gunfire and some of the blood was that of starved to death babies and all of it was from people who just wanted to work and have a home and enough to eat to stay alive. What we have today are the jack booted owners appropriating a name in an effort to side step the real suffering they are causing.
A better example of Tea Party faux populism is seen clearly in the film, "Meet John Doe" which is related to Steinbeck in its populist views and its view of the many by exploring the plight of the few. In "Meet john Doe" a genuine populist movement is financed then used and abused for personal gain by Eddy Arnold. Of course, in the movie as in real life, the populist characters survive the horrid abuse and exploitation because the faith in fellow man is greater than the faith in governments and establishments.Bride of the Gorilla
The book "Grapes of Wrath" is bleak because a world controlled by people who have forgotten their humanity in favor of acquisition is a terrible and bleak thing. The world of Ayn Rand jerks is a desolate and an unrich place not fit for habitation even by her adherents. Deeper and of great beauty is the life of those poor who struggle along and learn to live together with each other who see life as a small chance at pleasure and happiness.
"Grapes of Wrath" is a great book, meaning it's entertaining, lively with a story to tell about people.When you tell a great story about people you manage to become pretty all encompassing, not sodden or turgid but inspirational even in despair.

May 23, 2011

Have mercy on me
Cannonball Adderley

The Earth by Milad
Click images for desktop size: "The Earth" by Milad
I was in hospital last weekend.
Tight chest pain, dizziness and weird pain through out the left side of my body. It felt like the side of The Big Bird Cage my face that got paralyzed was turning into melting wax.
I started to work and decided I couldn't make it. So I took the doc's advice and turned left instead of right. Ended up at the emergency room.
The good news is that I wasn't having a stroke or a heart attack. The bad news is that I wasn't having a stroke or a heart attack but I'm now on the hook for all the tests that told them whether I was having a stroke or a heart attack.
They kept me over night. I'm not fond of hospitals. Not fond of many doctors either. If you remember the War in Grenada. Reagan's "Little" War. They sent in the marines to rescue some medical students . . . Rich kids who were too stupid to get into a real school. I mean they were so stupid that their rich parents couldn't even pull strings to get them into a real school, so they paid huge fees to go to this butcher shop in Grenada so they could pull strings to get their dumb kids a license to practice medicine and become self supporting.
I mean these kids were so dumb that their parents could get a war declared but they couldn't get them into a real medical school in America.
Every time I get a real stupid doctor, and they out number the good ones, I always ask them if they studied medicine in Grenada. I haven't met any yet but I have met two went to med schools in the Caribbean. I asked to see other doctors.
So after wasting a night and a day in hospital where I was pretty much ignored I went home. My puppy was glad to see me. Odd thing was that she hadn't defecated since I'd been gone and she had refused to play with her Kong. I thought she loved her Kong. I guess she only loves to tease me with the Kong. Maybe my puppy thinks I love the Kong.
Untitled by Tomas Brechler
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Thomas Brechler
I sleep in a single bed. I don't usually move around much so I'm comfortable in one. My puppy is comfortable in one too except she doesn't share and will seldom spend any time on the bed with me. When I lie down when I got home she jumped up and rested her head on my stomach and refused to move. She woke me once howling in her sleep but went right back to rest easy. I hope she wasn't dreaming about me.
I went back to work that week. It was hard. I still feel badly.
On Friday they sent me to see more doctors. More EKG's, more blood drawn, more tests, more physicals.
Theblood takers bugged me. The primary one commented on how young and tight my skin was then called over two others to see and touch me. It was embarrassing as well as making me feel put upon. I The Black Cointhink they might have been trying to be complimentary but that is possibly just a hope. They also sent me to an endocrinologist. I don't recall ever seeing one of those before. He was interesting, cautious but open with his instincts. They're doing all sorts of tests and will let me know the results in a letter or a phone call and then set up a follow up appointment. They said I need more protein. They also said I'm still in remission. They also pulled me from the drug trial for some pretty obvious reasons. I asked if this meant they were revoking their six year life expectancy guarantee. He said something that made me laugh. "I see at least three times they've given up on you. It seems there's no good reason you survived your second heart attack and with no treatment. I don't think anyone would ever bet against you."
They gave me another pill to take. I know take 11 in the morning and three at night. Lots of chemicals.
My puppy doesn't care so long as she gets fed. I approve of her attitude.

May 8, 2011

For the quality of owning freezes you forever into "I", and cuts you off forever from the "we"
John Steinbeck

Untitled by Marta Dahlig
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Marta Dahlig
I did my blood work on Friday. They take too much blood. That night the fasting and the blood loss made me wake up with the shakes and the night sweats. Since it was in the mid 50's being drenched At The Circus with sweat was disconcerting. My puppy, who know matter what anyone says is a good girl and very crazy, took care of me and watched over me.
The blood work was as annoying as usual. They always have to stick me too many times to find a vein. The person drawing the blood kept talking about how tight my skin was. I asked what she meant by that. No one had ever called me a tight skinned anything before. It was a good thing, a compliment I guess. I might have taken it better if the nurse in charge hadn't put me through the usual tom foolery about how I don't look as sick as I am.
Won't get the results for a while. Have to get them online. Internet age. A curious thing, I think sometimes.

My wife has a new foster dog. An all white shepherd looking girl. The white girl dog was rescued from some well meaning but neglectful S4w-FashionSexPoliticsAndMusic-294.jpg
Click images for desktop size: "Unknown Goth"
abusive owners who thought they were doing the right thing . . .
The white girl is doing okay. She has issues. How could she not. She doesn't get along with the giant dog, which is understandable but she also has issues with the gentle dog. That is not understandable.
Still, experience dictates things will calm down and mellow. Dogs are too much like people sometimes. You take a small scared person and drop them into an established family and you know what happens.
Everybody reacts differently and yet we all react the same. Most, but not all, abused creatures including people are scared. When they come into a new situation from an abusive one they spend an amazing amount of energy either succumbing to the further abuse they anticipate or, the healthier ones, doing whatever they can to try and stop the abuse from ever happening again.
Purple Angel By Artemis Rosakis
Click images for desktop size: "Purple Angel" by Artemis Rosakis
Both types of people will usually respond to some calm and some laughs. They just need the space to be jerks and in a short time, shorter for dogs, when they don't get the terror they expect in response they give up the act. Some are too terribly abused and it takes more to get through to them, but they can be gotten through to if the goal is to let them be happy and not to control them.
I think the white girl will fit in well enough until she finds her forever home and that's all I ever ask.

One surprising effect of the great movie :I Saw The Devil" (which my wife thought was bleh) is the typical Asian rip offs of it. A sub genre exploring the tenets and roots of evil and fighting evil when just being good is nowhere near enough?
Jeong-beom Lee's "The Man From Nowhere" could never have existed with "I Saw The Devil". That Bad Girl doesn't stop it from being great. It actually benefits from the association and uses some shorthand to amplify its effects. Iy also uses a similar shorthand referring to Bresson's "Leon" to good effect.
Lee leaves most of the weighty stuff behind but gets plenty of good enough actors to give the timbre in the scenes.
Bin Won plays a former secret agent who left the service when his wife, pregnant with a girl, is killed in retaliation for one of his assignments. Won responds by becoming a ghost. He runs a pawn shop. He lives in the back of the shop and touches no one.
His clientele are junkies and thieves. One drug addict hooker has a little girl. Won has a safe affection for the little girl but keeps her at arms length. He barks at her and bullies her. She fills his iPod with music, for a fee and pawns her mothers things for drug money.
One day the mother gets involved in a drug heist. She is way over her head as the owners of the drugs want them back. She sticks the drugs in a camera case and has her daughter pawn the case to keep them safe.
After the gangsters show up to get the drugs this becomes a rip roaring action tale and its awesome, never letting the message get in the way of some terrific and terrifying fights. The message is pretty simple: The world is a terrible place and it is up to all of us to look after each other, especially for the strong to protect the weak.
The other rip=off movie that rates highly with me is Ching-Po Wong's :Revenge: A Love Story". Not surprisingly the title also describes the plot.
The movie starts with Juno Mak murdering women, pregnant women in the vilest most inhumane fashion possible. He slashes the women open and rips the near term fetuses from their bodies. He Pirate Pattern by Pirate Boy
Click images for desktop size: "Pirate Pattern" by Pirate Boy
then throws the fetuses into the river.
The murders are brutal and excruciating. We soon discover that the dead women's husbands are all cops, not only cops but cops on the same team. And just when we're about to settle in for a good ol' serial killer type film there's a shift. The cops catch Mak and after brutally torturing him we see, in flashback, the reason for these heinous crimes.
What we see is unexpected, terrifying and tear inducing. There's no way to prepare for the reality of the situation presented here other than it's more than just tragic. Its presented in a totally believable way and is guaranteed to score the soul.
A few American reviewers have trashed the movie as being pretentious, a B action movie with A movie aspirations. I say, so what?
It separates itself into sections introduced by Bhuddist koans. I think this makes some uncomfortable and needing to write the whole thing off.
It explores evil at his most common denominator. And it does so with a grim purpose to force us to have an understanding of humanity and with all understanding comes a dark price: Forgiveness.

May 1, 2011

I looked over the battlefield that used to be my home town and I saw God and the Devil shaking hands

Martian Landscape with Geezistines by Hannes Bok
Click images for desktop size: "Martian Landscape with Geezlesteins" by Hannes Bok
They caught the guy who robbed me.
Caught is probably too strong a word. He heard there was a warrant out for him so he went and turned himself in. He came in with a lawyer and claimed he wasn't there and that the crime was Antibodies committed by his evil twin brother . . . I'm not making that up.
His alibi almost made me feel sorry for him.
The cop who came to tell me this seemed awfully expansive for 2 AM so I let him talk. I asked how the guy even knew there was a warrant out for him. It seemed like an odd knowledge to possess. Crime is such a labyrinth but I couldn't figure out how you could know there was a warrant out on you since that usually isn't in the newspaper or such. It seemed like it would have to be a guilty conscious.
Nothing like that. It seems the security guard who works with me has a deep police fantasy and he went to the internet and got his picture and then posted it around to the different places his company works. Kind of seems unfair and sort of illegal and invasive. Anyway the robber's aunt saw the flyer and told the robber about it. Which makes it seem that the cops did even less than I originally imagined.
They're holding the robber for $300,000 bail, which means, I think, that you have to come up with a bondsman and $30,000! It seems high. The cop said the judge set it high because the guy did 8 years for a previous armed robbery with a shooting and because the charge of an ex-felon possessing a firearm was more serious than the robbery! There's also the feeling that since he's been busted twice for armed robbery he has probably done several they can't pin on him.
The cop went on about how "these guys" can't be trusted and ex-felons never changed. He was deep WW II
Click images for desktop size: "WWII" by Unknown
into his list of nasty derogatory comments with the security guard in obnoxious idol worshipping agreement when I finally had to interrupt.
I said, "I disagree with that. People can change. If they can't then what's the sense . . . "
The cop said, "Some can change, but not many, not enough." Before he could get involved in explaining and before I ended up in an argument about responsibility and fair mindedness and cop ineptness I had enough sense to disengage and get back to work.
I've never liked cops.
They turn into the things they hate.

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.

April 17, 2011

Since you've been gone my guitar won't stay in tune
The Lolas

Airplane by unknown
Click images for desktop size: "Airplane" by Unknown
The world is in bad trouble. In the USA we've got a President who promised change but then turned in to George H Bush. In the mid-west we've got loonies hiding under the name of reverend going House of Whipcord around burning books that results in people getting killed and nobody condemns him or threatens to shoot him because he's against women having a choice, I guess that makes him alright.
Its dark and getting darker for the world: Climate change, the price of oil, the destruction of innovation by the lying politicians and their cold eyed assassins.
There's no way out so long as the poor, the middle class, the children and the puppies are the only ones getting hurt.
The National Visa Center sent me a letter today telling me that we'd been approved to proceed with our application. The sort of statement that makes sense only to government workers and bureaucrats of the 7th circle. The main point of it all seemed to be that I had to send them more money.
My puppy's annual physical is on Saturday. She should be fine. I plan to take photos. Since the separation from my wife (due to governments not personalities) I haven't been taking pictures like I'm used to. I keep trying to get enthused about it again but it's a hard go.
I remembered taking pictures when my puppy and I watched a fight between a crow and a squirrel. It was very interesting. And then about 1o minutes later we saw an opossum cross a busy street in front of us. It went hhhhhhh at us and didn't even attempt to fool us into thinking it was dead. We chaperoned it across the street but it was as ungrateful as it was ugly.
Yes, I wanted to take pictures of an animal fight and of something ugly. I think people would have liked them.
In the face of all this cataclysm and personality the only safe thing to do is think about and over analyze the trivial.

AppleTV vs WDTV Live



The first thing you have to understand is that the DVD is dead tech. The BluRay disk will be following it soon.
The future and now are media files: H264 mp4's and mkv's. They do to movies what mp3's, aac and Hawaiian Girls by Chris Sanders
Click images for desktop size: "Hawaiian Girl's Progress" by Chris Sanders
flac have done to music. And it's all a good thing no matter what the old fogies at the MPAA and the RAIA have convinced Obama and any other cash hungry government man.
With the means of production and now distribution falling into the hands of the creators there's a nice little well spring of music and books starting to flood over us, most poor but many good and a few great. All pretty much distinguished by the fact that without the new method of distribution we'd never have heard of them or been given a chance to decide what we love or hate.
Of course the people who are used to telling us what we like hate that. Choice sucks when you're intent on propagating mediocrity.
Mp3's were getting huge but it was the iPod, the hardware that pushed them to the top. And now there are plenty of cheap media players for video, all that scream to take me from the computer screen to the big screen, the screen in the living room. The first one I became aware of was the AppleTV 1. It was a sleek small silver box with a smallish hard drive. It was also totally cool evenAbducted Bride with its heavy heavy limitations and shortcomings.
I got a Western Digital WDTV Live because I liked their drives, the WDTV can read multiple HD formats and not just the usual Windows litany and I got it on sale for about $80. It addresses a lot of the AppleTV's shortcomings quite nicely. I can attach an external hard drive for unlimited storage and it can play almost anything, whereas the AppleTV only plays mp4 and then it has to be in iTunes.
The WDTV gui is ugly. It can be fixed and fiddled and be made to be more attractive but that doesn't change it's basic homeliness. It works alright though and that means something. The AppleTV gui is beautiful and well thought out. It is graceful and simple minded to comprehend.
I got an AppleTV 2 for my wife. It is even simpler than the 1 and smaller, lighter and fool proof to Sarah Walks by Marvel Comics
Click images for desktop size: "Sarah Walks" by Marvel Comics
install and run. More than it just works, it is just there.
The AppleTV is fun. The interface has enough things to do that you always feel you're onto some secret discoveries. With the addition of the, to me worthless, MLB and NBA channels and the potent addition of Netflix it really has become a full on entertainment center.
Netflix needs a digression. With it's new commitment to streaming only Netflix has become the first preview of all our entertainment in the cloud. The selection is pretty much like what you'd find in a popular video store just before closing on a Saturday night. It's all old movies and stuff you'd normally avoid. To me that's okay. I like that stuff.
If you want something more current there is, just two clicks away, the iTunes store with pricier rentals.
With the inclusion of podcasts, your own video libraries and music libraries you can fill up months of time and with a $99 MSRP what could any one complain about?
One caveat: The sound on the music is not as deep or full as the sound from most iPod docks. Most receivers have some sort of Compressed Music sound enhancement. Apple has long eschewed that. Big Foot It can be adjusted with some receiver based EQ but why?
The WDTV is not as much fun. In recent firmware upgrades it has added Flingo and Mediafly as a source of online media. It also has Facebook integration, although I've never gotten that to work so I can't comment. Facebook is not something I care about anyway.
Where the WDTV beats the AppleTV is all tech stuff. It will output 1080p as opposed to the 720p limitation put on by Apple. The WDTV will play anything. I've yet to find something it couldn't play, including camera mts files. AppleTV 2 will play only mp4's with H264 or X264 video encoding. It will finally handle High Profile encoding and CABAC encoded files but that is it.
The WDTV plays MKV files flawlessly and does a good job of steaming DTS sound. For me the DTS soundtrack is more important than the 1080p playback.
The WDTV also handles attached drives, so if you save your movies and music on an external drive it is nothing to attach the drives to your WDTV and have instant access to 2 TB of media. (And the WDTV is the only media player out there that can access any format on the drive - most demand the archaic Windows solutions for morons - a few European ones will allow Linus formats but that's about it.)
Apple still demands that you can only access movies stored on your computer and within iTunes. This keeps things simple but it is seriously limiting. (Even if its financial and designed to slow down piracy or reassure Apple's content providers it is a cheat to the consumer.)
The WDTV plays music well but it does not play the whacky Apple Lossless codec, while it handles FLAC just fine. Conversely the AppleTV plays Apple Lossless just fine but just ignores FLAC. FLAC is Virtual Girl by unknown
Click images for desktop size: "Virtual Girl" by Unknown
by far the superior codec.
I have 110 gigs of music so I actually like iTunes integration for various mundane and personal reasons. Hence I don't use the WDTV for music listening, preferring to use my receiver's iPod dock.
I like that I have access to my WDTV and my wife's AppleTV 2. If I had to choose I would have no problem saying goodbye to the AppleTV. The WDTV tries to be user friendly but it isn't. Still it makes more important things available to me. That no one else can easily access these things doesn't bother me much.
The AppleTV is fun and easy to use like an expert with nil effort. I could live with it easily if there was nothing else available.

I miss comments. I like hearing from people. Spam is still an ugly problem but in the near future I'm going to open them up again. Movable Type has improved their security again and I have hopes that it will sort the mess out. I still have over 300 malicious (spammer, hacker) hits an hour.

March 17, 2011

Whiskeyman's my friend, he's with me nearly all the time
John Entwistle

skulls.jpg
Click images for desktop size: "Skulls" by Unknown
I've been re-reading Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451". I may have to "revaluate Bradbury. I always remembered him as a high school type writer. The kind of guy who appealed to nerdy pimply kids Though Shalt Not Kill Except and their lost host fantasies.
"451" is a lot deeper than I recalled from when I read it in high school.
There's a longish speech from the Fire Captain, who represents, pretty much, the mores of the future society, that pretty neatly encapsulates the present state of the United States. The captain lays out and nearly justifies the epic rantings of the tea party ilk. He praises stupidity as the great leveler, as the ultimate path to total equality.
That seems to be where the Republicans are leading us, to a world of the mediocre, where the rich make the rules and force us to see the exceptional as dangerous and malformed.
I remember a conversation I had with a teammate back in college after, what to us was, a devastating loss. In football a loss produces a strange mixture of feelings. You're physically depleted from the game, nerves are twitching, muscle fibers are screaming for nourishment and craving adrenaline and there's nothing.
Self recrimination sets in for some; what could I have done? Most get flooded with those buried traumatic memories, those glimpses of the past we'd buried, the casual cruelties our loved ones inflicted on us without thinking.
Some, the less well balanced would blame someone else. And a select few just didn't care but had enough sense to keep quiet about it.
So, that was the mood that I was in slumped on the bench in front of my locker when the guy next to me, still in pads and jersey starting talking to me. He talked about life. He talked about success and succeeding. And he said the one thing I'll never forget. I can still see him, his brown hair spiked from helmet hair and sweat, his dirty face streaked with tears and sweat, three pimples on his chin, "If you want to win you have to be like them. You can't stand out; be too smart or too pretty you have to kiss ass and be like them."
I probably said something back like, "Yer nuts," and went back to the shelter of my own misery.
I thought he was nuts and succumbing to fatigue toxins but now/ Look, I've got nothing, except a Untitled by Reginald Birch
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Reginald Birch
loving wife, a great dog and a fistful of gadgets. Last I heard he was rich with property and kids. Maybe he was right and the wolves have been driven to ground by the lambs. Being fat and drug addled is future and the path to power.
I think the main reason I trivialized Bradbury's book was that he got away from the point; he got obsessed with his McGuffin and ended up seeing the symbol as the reality. Books aren't important it's ideas and communication that important. It's the ability to dream dreams that aren't dolloped out to us by those who've decided they are our betters and must know what's best for us.
Bradbury got lost in his symbol, and the symbol is actually pretty trivial compared to what it represents in particular. Francois Truffaut made a banal and bizarre movie out of the book. It fails for too many reasons but the biggest failure is that it latches hardest onto Bradbury's tunnel vision, and that tunnel vision is that books are somehow the most important conveyor of ideas.A Gem of a Jam
One of the most terrifying concepts I could ever dream of is the conclusion of book and movie. What a terrible fate and how more horrifying that this horrifying fate is presented as somehow heroic, or uplifting. Truffaut would try and convince us that foregoing humanity to become literally become a Victorian novel is somehow an image of hope instead of the grim ugly doom of mankind.
People walking in bright shining snowflakes not talking, not conversing, not sharing but instead reciting the thin useless things that they have become is a nightmare. Why we're supposed to view this as bright hope of a revolution won will forever escape me.
And while I can appreciate the focus of the book on a single middle class working family it beggars the issue of the governing class, the rulers, the TV program directors. While Bradbury acknowledges that no armed force was needed to stop people from reading (thinking) he sidesteps the issue of who led mankind, or at least Americans to this step.
Like, I went to Buffalo a couple weeks ago. Fist time I've flown since the TSA became.
When I was in Europe I used to think that the Brits were incredible wimps. They thrived on that perverse Chandlerian logic, "A drunk driver hits a child and kills the child ergo we ban cars." It's a cowardly and stupid thought process and I felt a twinge of pride that Americans were that craven.
I was wrong. Some twerp of a wannabe terrorist puts some explosives on his shoes AND IT DOES NOT WORK but now the rest of America is forced to take their shoes off for special inspection.
A bigger moron boards a plane with explosives in his underwear AND IT DOES NOT WORK so now the entire country has to have their genitals fondled by government employees, and they're not 7th Street by Mike Campeau
Click images for desktop size: "7th Street" by Mike Campeau
fondling for our benefit or even their own.
(By the way, seeing my wife was great and even in a seedy motel we enjoyed ourselves and for 3 days were able to forget that such a world exists.)
While waiting in line to be fondled I speculated as to whether this was a government plot a Bush doctrine supported by Obama to reduce us to the serf level that they want but it seems to be not so deep. We are already serfs. This indignity is foisted on us so that the elite, the CEO's who earn more than their entire workforce combined, can feel safe and not have to clutter their purified minds with needless worry about what we might do.
So the terrorist won. The revolution is over and we, the people, lost.
That's part of what is missing from Bradbury's book. The allusions are all there but there's never a peek into the present he's depicted, never a hint as to who maintains and designs this dead formed A Lady Without a Passport life. Obviously people who's comfort is more important to them than yours.
It's a shame the Bradbury avoids the confrontation. It's one of the several gaps in populism in his books. In fact Preston Sturges evinces more humanism in one scene (In "Christmas in July" when a lower level manager stands up to the owner of the company and says in simplistic but direct terms, "You should care. These are your employees, your family. Everything that happens to them happens to you. To not be concerned is inhuman!" Being a movie the owner takes this harsh criticism.)
So while it was pretty unfair of me to trivialize Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 as adolescent pap it falls far short of being literature. But it's good enough that this shortcoming saddens instead or angers me.

February 27, 2011

Baby, please don't reincarnate me. I just want to live on in your loving memory
Jet City

Childhoos Poems by Maxfield Parrish
Click images for desktop size: "Children's Poems" by Maxfield Parrish
Life has evolved into wake up, shit, shower, shampoo, shave and feed the dog. And I am not unhappy.The Man With X-Ray Eyes
Lot of that has to do with things like, next weekend I'm going to upstate New York. Going to have a weekend with my wife.
That is already nice just thinking about it so I have normal expectations.
The bad part is I have to fly in. It already feels worse than entering Russia. I mean, it is true: the terrorists won. The lying and the cowardice of the USA have done more damage to the American way of life than the despicable jihadists who flew the planes into buildings and killed my friend.
Who'd have thought it. Bin Laden has been on his rampage longer than Dillinger and we can't catch him because we're weak sissies who join Tea Parties instead of being proud and brave.
Some moron, one moron, sticks some explosive in his underwear so now all America has to be fondled by guys who struggled to finish high school and couldn't score well enough on the SAT to get into Community College.
In the rest of the world everyone always knew I was an American and in a good way. I was laconic, got things done, walked proudly like I owned the planet but still cared enough to be polite and courteous. As opposed to the kind of Americans we've become: Loud, bellicose scared little bullies, too weak to care about anything except our own own corn syrup filled butts.
Despite that I'm going to have a great weekend. I'll comply with the TSA's perverted regulations so I can get to see someone I care about.

The Republicans are still trying to foment a civil war. They're disgusting. There's that Jackass from the south who laughed at the pin head who asked, "Who's job is it to shoot Obama?" Instead of Summer Girl by TitusBoy
Click images for desktop size: "Summer Girl" by TitusBoy
having the pin head arrested and cavity searched he laughed and agreed with him. And I blame Obama for not having the Republican arrested and charged with sedition and then executed for treason.
It used to be that the Republicans and the Democrats actually respected each other and respected the office. He may be a jerk but he is still the President and demands the respect we must give to him and his office.
James Watt, Raygun's Secretary of Interior, was fired for making a public racist joke. Now that racism is applauded in terms of taking our country back. Back to about 1920 with 7 day work weeks and children working in sweat shops for 16 hours a day.
Why isn't Obama standing up to the Koch Brothers and Roger Ailes? Why does he let them have the country and simper in the White House. I voted for him. I wish I'd voted for Clinton. She'd never have stood for the sort of abuse the Republicans are handing out to my country.Zomies of the Stratosphere
Obama has disappointed me.
Why hasn't he called out the National Guard to protect the demonstrators in Wisconsin. The police are standing with the demonstrators. The people are with them. Against them are the Republicans, corrupt Supreme Court Justices who have violated their terms of office and billionaires who think they deserve even more money.
Why isn't he in the lines with the people.
Instead of protecting the RAIA why isn't Obama protecting the people. I thought he believed more in people then he did in corporations. Apparently not.
Why hasn't he challenged Rush Limbaugh's drug addled corpulent self to a One on One match to demand he stop insulting Michelle Obama and his children? Why does Limbaugh get to lie and say he's an American when all he does is try and destroy this great country. Limbaugh is in the pay of the Emirate and the Corporations. He needs to be brought into the light.
When the revolution comes I thought it would be led by the people but instead it's apparent it will be led by billionaires against the people.
It's just me. I've never trusted anybody who remotely believes in The Rapture. How can you trust anyone who wants everybody except a couple of their friends and a few of the family dead.
I don't want anybody dead. The Dead leave vacuums. Even Saddam Hussein dying left a vacuum. I'm pretty certain he didn't see himself as evil, but the vacuum he created means some innocent child will have to grow into it. The same way that the collapse of the USSR meant that America had to reinvent itself as Stalinist Russia.

First time I ever heard of the Dorktones was when someone sent me a cover they'd done of one of my songs. It was pretty good. But better than that was the cover the Dorktones did of Balloon Farm's "A Question of Temperature".
I found out the band comes from Rotterdam! Rotterdam, for those who don't know Rotterdam is like a rougher tougher version of Amsterdam but without the tourists.
Pop Go The Dorktones I like the Netherlands. It's a wild, crazy cool country as afflicted with issues and blight as any place is but the Dutch just seem to handle it better.
They have a tradition of working hard and playing harder, of respecting each other and not being too concerned with what you might be doing. If I could make a living there it would be my second favorite place to live.
And if there are bands as good as the Dorktones it would be a wise choice.
If you visit their website you can download most of their stuff. You can get their latest "Pop Go The Dorktones" here.
It's worth the trouble. This isn't their best. That would probably be "The Sound of Music" but it's very good. Percussive guitar, good harmonies and all covers of great songs, and the song is always the thing, I think.

February 13, 2011

No more football

Kabegami
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Kabegami
The SuperBowl's over.
It was a fitting conclusion to one of the sloppiest, worst seasons in NFL history. The game, with all it's dropped passes unforced turnovers and inept officiating was the perfect microcosm of this NFL Wold Woman season that saw a 7-9 team actually advance in the play offs.
The only good thing out of the SuperBowl is the emergence of Clay Matthews as a bonafide superstar! He's earned it.
It was a rough year for me in football. No coaching and Reggie Bush and his family cast an ugly cloud over USC's season. Made worse by Cam Newton doing similar but getting a totally clean pass from the NCAA.
The best thing about the NFL is that there's always next year. Well, maybe not for the NFL. In an age when athletes are under the same spot light as TV actors few are presenting themselves in the right light for a protracted labor fight. The NFL owners are pretty much super rich scum who could care less about the game and most about a bottom line and projected growth. It's a business. You have to live with that.
It still makes me sad.

With everything going on in the world, most of it disgraceful, at least on the American side (Republicans should be ashamed) one thing that's been ignored is that Obama has installed another RIAA lawyer in a key position in the Justice Department. As even other lawyers consider the RIAA lawyers as bottom feeders this is disturbing and startling.
No appeal takedowns of websites are happening all over the world. Internet censorship with no due process. With the proposed Internet Identiy cards it presents too viable a reality to the insane government take over proposed by the Homeland Security Tea Party types.
In a time when various artists, including Francis Coppolla, are coming out and questioning the right of artist's to become mega rich just for telling stories and singing songs Obama's trenchant and vile plans for our future on the internet seem callous and cruel.
The nice thing is that there are still bands out there, probably with dreams of being mega rich as Ballerina Breakout by The Lolas well but happily churning out some great music.
One band I'm totally fascinated with is The Lolas. It's hard to find out about them. Their website is on Angel Fire and hasn't been updated since 2006!
All I can figure out is that they're from Alabama, a trio and . . . yeah, that's it. I hope they're still in business. They make light but thick jarring sound. It takes some getting used to but when it does click in the memory is that this is an important band. Important in the sense that when they're songs come round the rotation the world seems a better place for 3 minutes or so.
I fisrt heard the band on the "Right To Chews: Bubblegum Classics Revisited" album. That disc is so great the Lolas really didn't break through there.
This is the link to "Ballerina Breakout" on Mediafire. It's a sensational disk. All killer and no filler. Sixteen tracks that all rate 4 stars and better.
The odd Christmas track, "Little Drummer Boy" delights as much as it perplexes. The cover of the Kink's "Till The End Of The Day" shows they've got chops.
The rest of the tracks are exuberant pop-ish numbers filled with hooks, great 3 part harmonies and grinding jamgling guitars. Ignore it at your peril and relate that this disc has nothing in common with the RIAA brand of music and that's a good thing.
This album and the other 4 I know of are all available as MP3 downloads through various music services. The discs are near impossible to find so if yu come across one snatch it up. You'll be nothing but happier for it.

February 5, 2011

When we question his existence we acknowledge his presence
Bhuddist Koan

Hammet Cover by Gerald Gregg
Click images for desktop size: "Hammett 1945 Cover" by Gerald Gregg
One thing, personal about the SuperBowl is that I always end up hearing from some of my former players, my kids.The Wages of Sin
As the big game approaches it's a time for the mind to wander back to their own playing days. I was a part of it and probably the only person who wouldn't be offended or embarrassed for their mawkish commiserations. Some people think it funny or disturbing for a 6' 5" 320 pound man to get misty remembering paying fields and friendships forged in combat, especially when they aren't the most articulate guys going and they express themselves in rough cliches and clumsily structured greeting card style sentiment. I don't and only partially because I'm not that far removed from the same state of mind.
I think I was lucky being raised in California, in a place and a time when surfing and guitars ruled our young consciousness. Racism and xenophobia weren't accepted or even acknowledged. It was more important how much air you could get on a reentry and the spray of a lip smack.
Competitive sports existed for us almost a just a way to assert our natural superiority over the rest of mankind. That sounds as xenophobic as a Sarah Palin fund raiser but it isn't. To join up you can believe and be anything, all you have to be is crazy enough to grab a board and try.
The beaches led us to the playing fields. Back then, and today, coaches couldn't really understand or cope with the surfer mentality. Some learned to adapt because the surfers swam 4 to 6 hours a day. We were the fittest athletes in school. And in strength and agility the only ones who could compare were a few world class gymnasts. They had to adapt or watch potential championships drift back to the beaches.
So we loitered on the sun drenched playing fields. We ran and drilled and found the rest of the world acknowledging us as something more than they had just the day before. And we excelled and won Horror by Unknown
Click images for desktop size: "Horror Wallpaper" by Unknown
and our friendships grew deeper and our understanding of others increased and we stayed in a place that matured but was always young and sunny.
And that was always the heart of my coaching. Not militaristic jingoism and slogans, not tin despotic win at all cost idiocy but remember the fun, the friendships and the sun.
Coaching in Europe in the cold and the wind and the rain was different. Not just the weather but the attitude. They only know the game via the NFL and TV. Sports other than soccer are pretty much ridiculed and viewed as sissified American projects.
The NFL presence in Europe didn't help much. The coaches they sent over were the dregs of the NFL. Even then the profession yielded a few guys willing to teach but just a few.
The NFL is for profit so I can't blame them for not caring about sportsmanship or raising young people up to respect themselves and others. They hired people who knew how to get the kids to buy product, jerseys, sweat shirts etc. That was their job.White Heat
Even though my kids threw up an astonishing 105-7 record the NFL never cared. They never filtered anything our way. They never helped. My kids were from the wrong side of town for the most part. So my kids never knew what they were missing. We traded helmets when the D went on the field and kept having fun while the rest of the world ignored us.
Well, not the rest of the world. We played American high school teams, won a couple too even though we usually got thrashed. We played European champions and did okay too and my kids learned to meet different people and to discover that we weren't that different from each other after all.
I love my kids and they never failed to make me proud of them. They never quit on themselves or each other and they never forgot that the most important part was the fun.

So as to the Superbowl . . . I really don't have a favorite. The Steelers have Troy Polamanu, one of my favorite former Trojans. But the Packers have Clay Matthews, the Trojan walk on. I wish the In The Deep by Unknown
Click images for desktop size: "In The Deep" by Unknown
media would make a bigger deal about the fact that Clay wasn't a 5 star recruit. He enrolled at USC and then went to an open try out to try and make the team.
But the Packers also have Aaron Rogers, the last Cal QB to actually beat USC, took him double overtime to do it, but he did it.
I don't much like the Steelers at all after Troy although I expected them to be much heavier favorites even with a cruddy O-line. So I guess I'm picking the Packers . . . even though I wanted it to be Bears-New England . . .

My wife is still suffering from the loss of her mother. Too be expected. Its times like this that a long distance marriage is really stupid. We're still waiting for the DHS to schedule the appointment for the interviews to get her a green card. Since Obama has proven to be a bad joke as a president and kept most of the Bush people in charge I'm pretty pessimistic about the interviews and any attempt at fairness. It will work though, I'm sure of that.

January 29, 2011

I was just a boy giving it all away
Adam Faith

Deep Sea Hunting by Photoneu
Click images for desktop size: "Deep Sea Hunting" by Photoneu
I saw a picture of my puppy. I was slightly stunned to see how mature, elegant and regal she looked.
When I look at her I still see her as a little puppy, the little girl who played "Alligator: with me, The Van where she'd hide under the bed and try and pull me into her "swamp".
The serious little girl who stayed with me in the hospital growling at the nurses when they came in and constantly looking up and checking on me. The puppy who went to therapy dog school and played tricks on me but still tried her hardest to please me. And the young lady who won a second level discipline obedience class while never having attended any obedience classes.
I look at her and I see all those puppies and dogs and they shrink down into one who waits for me.
She's my dog. We belong to each other.
I miss my other two dogs plenty. The gentle dog misses me too. The giant dog . . . who knows what thoughts go through his brain.

I set my alarm clock to wake me with radio, then I set the station to a top 40 pop station. Nothing gets me out of bed faster than turning off a top 40 tune blaring from a cheap radio.
A few days ago I was startled to hear a Jason Mraz tune. I'm not a fan, but I'd been working on a tune for the past few weeks. I'm always working on a tune the past few weeks, at least in my head. This one I was stumbling around with the lyrics, trying to clarify and enunciate some feelings. The harder I worked on it the more obscure things became, until I heard this Jason Mraz track, "Lucky".
The chorus pretty well summed up everything I was struggling to say in verse after verse: "We feel lucky to be in love with our best friend".
And that was it. That was all I was trying to say.
I'm never too sure how I feel about having my lofty emotions perfectly encapsulated in a pop song . . . but there you go.
Intitled by Solano Lopez
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Solamo Lopez
I guess the lesson is to always say things as simply as possible and to avoid the glitter and too much deep thought. Hey, maybe Jason Mraz is a genius! I still work off the standard that anyone who can do something that I can't must be a genius. I still got ego.

I have been hearing some interesting music lately. I guess everyone is psyched by the Jack White/Wand Jackson collaboration. Watching the numerous videos is a two edged sword. Seeing Wanda, my adolescent throbbing need, be real 50 years later is too much for me to comprehend or accept. ut that's offset by Jack White. He's pulled together one of the best rock bands I've ever heard and with him DANCIN' around the stage in his cat clothes and playing band leader is as thrilling as being at the birth of rock itself.
The record's not bad either.Voyage of the Rock Aliens
The other band is strange. they took their name from a Sonics' cut and even cover a Sonic's tune. And somehow they've become a country band??
I first heard "Boss Hoss" when someone sent me a demo of them covering the Rolling Stones' "Mother's Little Helper". I thought they were strange but great. I just assumed they were another garage revival band with enough talent and attitude to take things to their own level.
Their latest album is "Low Voltage" and its insane. The band looks like a 21st century Tex-Mex Salsa outfit. Too many guys in cowboy hats. The album is filled with brass, strings and fiddles, bass saxaphones and harmonicas and, of course, guitars filled with truck driver 8 part harmoney and it sounds about as country as the White Stripes meet the Beat Farmers. A distinctive and welcome sound.

That's it. Still working. Still suffering. Still trying to get my wife into this country (legally). And looking to survive the newer ages.

January 22, 2011

There are three constants in life: change, choice and principles
Stephen Covey

Dreaming Sighs
Click images for desktop size: "Dreaming Sighs" by Unknown
My mother-in-law was cremated at 1:00 PM on Friday.
I couldn't be there. Canada.
My wife is as devastated as you'd expect. She'll survive. She's tough enough for that even when she Tobor the Great doesn't believe she is.

Now I hate being an adult and being mature. Things like this make me regret it. I want to go back to those days of complicated decisions like whether or not I should iron my underwear.
It doesn't seem right that from life to the grave should take just a week.
Not fair at all. Just unvarying and inevitable. It's the pragmatic, existentialist attitude I have that takes affront at all this. It's the way it is and the way it has always been and people never expect it or learn from it or anticipate the sadness and madness we all carry within us. It sickens me that selfishness overwhelms compassion for many of us. But that is unvarying and inevitable too.
Ibsen said something like, "The majority is always wrong." Steve McQueen liked to quote it. We are the majority.
But we're also the white knights and the only hope each other has.
If we weren't that there'd be nothing left but despair.
My top ten flics for 2010 list is only 3 movies long.

1) Kick-Ass - This is a movie that slips past the mindlessness on first viewing. It starts out a simpleminded teen comedy thing but then erupts into something I've never seen before. It's a smart movie, with a hip sound track. It also includes one great performance and one great character. In one word "Hitgirl".
There's a scene in the movie that actually gets me misty eyed. Shocker. It's where the bad guys are beating Kick-Ass and Nick Cage to death on a web cast. All seems lost until an 11 year old girl's Grand Ages of Rome
Click images for desktop size: "Grand Ages of Rome" by Unknown
love for her father draws her into the heel bent world he created for her and leaves as her only legacy. She comes and systematically and believably kills off the bad guys with knife and gun. Cage has been set on fire but even while burning alive he yells out commands to Hitgirl, commands she understands even though Cage's voice is a shriek of pain, love and concern.
It's an unbelievable scene that they nearly but not quite ruin with the bathetic conclusion.

2) I Saw The Devil - I've already written about this devastating Korean serial killer movie.

3) Ong Bak 3 - Must see even though it fails as often as it succeeds. Tony Jaa will never, it appears, exceed his brilliant "Tom Yum Gum", but here he attempts so much more.

January 16, 2011

Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it
Lou Holtz

Design 1 by Media Milan
Click images for desktop size: "Design 1" by Media Milan
Been thinking a lot about form and content. Even had a conversation with my wife yesterday about the decline of the Technicolor monopoly and how this impacted indy filmmaking while resulting in less lush images.
Santo VS The Vampire Woman
CMy Christmas was great. My wife came down and spent 3 weeks with us and she brought Gentle Dog and Giant Dog.
Gentle Dog was ecstatic to see me and had a wonderful time. Giant Dog had his old problem of being dominant mainly due to size and having to adapt to not being alpha anymore. He likes being boss but he gets himself into trouble that way. He's happier being just one of the pack, a special one. He has to work his head around all that stuff using instinct instead of logic and its hard for him. He still had fun.
My wife and I had fun even though I got ill from just a cold. Then, she was planning to visit friends but she got sick, sicker than me! But that didn't diminish anything.
I got my roomba back. Even now I sit in the midst of clean. And I got some sweatshirts. One I like and two I don't.
My wife got a pedicure (she'd never had one before!!), a TomTom GPS and some personal things for her birthday. Grado headphones, a Kandle for her Kindle, and purple suede fleece lined slippers for Christmas.
The dogs got stuff, Lots and lots of stuff. Lots!
They all gave kisses and allowed themselves to be petted!
For Christmas Eve we went to a fondue restaurant. Now, I'm used to fondue meaning you had to dip forks of bread into cheese or, for really fancy hippie dinners, strawberries into hot melted chocolate. Those were on the menu but it was much more than that and it was interesting and exciting!
It helped as well that it was Christmas Eve. They took our picture and presented it to us gratis and let us take an ornament from their Christmas tree. A memorable evening for sure.
Solitude by TitusBoy
Click images for desktop size: "Solitude" by TitusBoy

Unfortunately when my wife braved a blizzard and finally got her and the two dogs back home she fell even iller, culminating with the devastating news of her mother having a heart attack.
This wasn't like my heart attack where I was running around calling people and complaining, this was serious.
They had to induce a coma as they "lost" her for 15 minutes and they have little idea of the extent of any possible brain damage.
The only good thing about this is that it is in Canada so there's no additional devastation caused by rip off insurance companies and greedy profiteering doctors and hospitals like we endure in America.
It now appears they give her only five days to live.

December 19, 2010

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

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

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

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

My picks are in bold.

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

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

Washington at Dallas - The Redskins are benching McNabb??

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Merry Christmas and the best of the holidays!

December 12, 2010

Eighty percent of success is showing up
Woody Allen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 5, 2010

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

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

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

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

My picks are in bold.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 28, 2010

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible
Dalai Lama

Space Travel by Virgil Finlay
Click images for desktop size: "Space Travel" by Virgil Finlay
Thanksgiving was pretty much a non-event. I had to work from Midnight till 8 AM that morning then had to be back at work at 10:30 that evening. Not much holiday for me.One Way Ticket to Hell
I had dinner. I got some frozen TV Turkey dinners. Between involuntary naps I watched the football, watched "Broadway Danny Rose" (for the Thanksgiving dinner) and listened to "Alice's Restaurant" the big song about Thanksgiving.
My puppy and I watched and listened and ate our "frozen turkeys", and all was well.
Except of course I still have the worst job I've ever had in my life. That I've had it a year and a half speaks more to the economy than to my sense of duty or endurance.
The job ends Tuesday. Yay!
A Superior Court Judge found for my employer. He agrees that the law violates the First Amendment!! But only in spirit, not in intent. He did not give an injunction to stop the law going into effect, he refined the law to not violate the First Amendment but to still take the addictive circumspect edges of my employer's product. The product is gambling but it really isn't, it's just a wonderful virtual sort of gambling that is as addictive as the real thing. Talk to any of my less than well educated customers and you'll easily discover that the illusion is so well done that they refuse to believe they are not gambling, despite signs, forms they have to sign and verbal admonitions that they are not gambling, they still think they are.
It ends Tuesday. The owners think they won but have at least enough sense to realize that without the gambling illusion and the possible prohibition of 24 hour business days they're not sitting on the clandestine gold mine they were.
Me. I could care less. I'm more pleased to be out of work. It scares me but it does not alarm me as much as this job continuing.
I've never been anyplace for so long where I made no friends and met no one to provide some Joan Crawford
Click images for desktop size: "Joan Crawford"
pleasant memories of the place no matter how bad the situation or environment was.

I've managed to stop the spam on this web site. The was I did it was to change the permissions on the script that activated comments. The spammers never visited the site. They used a script to execute my script and post their spam quickly and more efficiently.
By disabling the script I'm get massive error messages from the server, but nothing serious. I'm hoping that shortly the error messages will fade out and that the spammers will just go away. When that happens, or at least slows, I can then reactivate the script and permit comments. I hope so. I miss them.


But for the NFL my weekends would be , well, just fine actually but I love football so lets get into it.
I was 3-0 for the Thanksgiving Day games. So was my wife. I taught her well. Except for the Notorious cheating. She taught herself that!
Through today we are both at 103 correct picks for the season.
My picks are in bold.

Green Bay at Atlanta - Game of the Day. And the most meaningful game of the weekend. The Falcons are studly at home so I'm picking the Packers in my upset of the week! They have more pressure on them to need this game.

Pittsburgh at Buffalo - The Steelers season is in danger. They won't let up on the Bills.
Dream Days by Maxfield Parrish
Click images for desktop size: "Dream Days" by M Parrish

Philadelphia at Chicago - The bruisingest game of the day! The Eagles match up to well with the Bears. This could be a blow out.

Carolina at Cleveland - Cruddy game of the week.

Jacksonville at New York Giants - I'd pick the Jaguars at a neutral site but have to take the Giants at home. Still I have expect Jack Del Rio and the Jags to stomp the Giants.

Minnesota at Washington - I can't ignore the stat that interim coaches win 66% of their first games. But the Vikings are so busted up and the Redskins are still in playoff contention. It's hard to not take the Redskins.

Tampa Bay at Baltimore - The Ravens are still a tight shot for the Super Bowl. Tampa Bay is just moving in the right direction. Should be a good game.

Tennessee at Houston - The Titans are a mess. They're grateful the Vikings fired their head coach to take some of the media attention off of their screwed up situation. I don't think much of the Where the Wild Roses Grow by TitusBoy
Click images for desktop size: "Where the Wild Roses Grow" by TitusBoy
Texans but they should be able to take advantage of the situation.

Kansas City at Seattle - My second upset pick. The SeaHawks look strong at home and the Chiefs are just a team moving in the right direction. They could win but they'll have to play better football to do it.

Miami at Oakland - The Dolphins are still too busted up to put together a game while the Raiders are working hard.

St Louis at Denver - Sam Bradford has made the Rams legitimate but Mile High Stadium is the biggest home field advantage in sports. I don't think the rams have improved enough to win a shoot out here.The Passionate Plumber

San Francisco at Arizona - The 49ers season has crumbled to dust. The Cardinals destroyed themselves. So two teams, one with shattered hopes and pride, the other full of egos and arrogance. Eh.

San Diego 34 at Indianapolis 30 - Picking against the Colts in a nationally broadcast game when they're at home is silly but the Chargers look stronger and are healthier. I'll probably regret picking them.

November 21, 2010

People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it's simply necessary to love
Daniel J. Boorstin

Untitled by William Wagner
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by William Wagner
Yesterday my puppy and I went to get her picture taken with Santa Claus. We both had an uproarious time. Dozens of dogs and dozens of free cookies!Night Runner
It was the sort of madness that restores sanity. I talked to a few people and talked to all of the dogs. My puppy was hands down the prettiest. Gilda, the sparkly red basset hound ballerina was the most stylish. An irish setter wore a striped Christmas sweater and the little 3 year old girl escorting him wore a matching outfit.
There was only one cat. That would have been a good thing except this one was so fat it should have counted as 3!
It felt hopeful and it felt like the holidays.
The best news is that we finally got a receipt number from Homeland Security for my wife's immigration application. The receipt number is important for all the other stuff to proceed. Like, with the receipt number I could impose on a senator to show an interest in the matter and maybe get this thing sped up a little bit.
No matter what I feel about the entire process it has to be done.
And my job . . . The law is still in place for my job to cease to be in 8 days! The owners last gasp hope rests in a lawsuit. They've used whatever influence high priced law firms have to get the matter heard before a judge they think will be friendly to their point of view, meaning, they expect him to grant an injunction letting them stay in business.
I'm of two minds about this. I want a job. I need a paycheck but these places have no sane or reasonable reason to exist. You can make more of an argument for how bad they are than any posit that they need to exist (except for greedy owners.)
So I'm up and down about the whole thing and just want it to end so we can move along one way or the other.

This is one of the cruddiest most bizarre seasons ever in the NFL. The lack of consistency from any Untitled by Jim Steranko
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Jim Steranko
team and the on the fly rule changes make it hard to follow and impossible to predict. I was just watching the CBS pre game show and was surprised to discover that I've had more correct picks than any of the coaches and players on the panel!! For that matter so does my wife!!

My picks are in bold.

Chicago at Miami - The Dolphins are too depleted to stage any sort of threat to the Bears.

Buffalo at Cincinnati - The Bengals season just leaves me feeling sad. The Bills finally won one but you have to figure the Bengals have some pride left.

Detroit at Dallas - Cruddy game of the week. The Lions need a healthy Matt Stafford to compete. The Cowboys won big and look incredibly boring doing it.
Night and the City
Oakland at Pittsburgh - The Raiders on't have the talent to expose the Steelers weaknesses but I still think this will be a closer game than most figure.

Houston at the New York Jets - The Jets are one of the few teams playing to their potential. All games are must win for them as they're fighting to be Superbowl contenders. They have the tools to shut down the Texans.

Gene Kelly & Cyd Charisse
Click images for desktop size: "Gene Kelly & Cyd Charisse"
Baltimore at Carolina - The Panthers are starting an 8 year vet who's played in 5 games in those 8 years . . . Destruction and mayhem are in the cards.

Cleveland at Jacksonville - The Jaguars are playing good football. The Browns only beat elite teams.

Washington at Tennessee - The Titans Chris Johnson must be dreaming of setting records today.

Arizona at Kansas City - The Cardinals are the classic example of a coach thinking he's more important than a team.

Green Bay at Minnesota - My upset of the week. Brett Favre is near the end of the string. He'll want to remember this game.

The Beggar by Unknown
Click images for desktop size: "The Beggar" by Unknown
Atlanta at St Louis - Many are picking the Rams at home. Not crazy at all but Matt Ryan and the Falcons have risen to every challenge thus far.

Seattle at New Orleans - The only way the Saints lose is if the Reggie Bush-Pete Carroll connection overwhelms the sense of team.

Tampa Bay at San Francisco - This is a game of the week contender! Go figure.

Indianapolis at New England - Game of the week but only because of the history of Brady vs Manning, Billichek vs the Colts etc.

Denver at San Diego - Kyle Orton is playing better than Jay Cutler and the rest of the Broncos like to sit back and watch him . . . Same for the Chargers and Phil Rivers.

New York Giants 24 at Philadelphia 28 - I hate the Eagles but they are fast and the Giants are not.

November 7, 2010

You ever have those times where all you do is laugh?

Cool Cat by Roads Media
Click images for desktop size: "Cool Cat" by Roads Media
I saw a murder of crows attacking a hawk.
Moriarty
I had the heart catheter. It was sort of nothing and sort of painful.
The hospital is new, modern and designed for assembly line medicine. I was given a cubicle, bigger than a prison cell but smaller than a monk's cell. The cubicle was too brightly lit. There was a bed, a wall mounted computer and enough space for a thin nurse to enter data.
It started with the nurse setting my IV. She couldn't raise a vein and stuck the needle into my wrist. She hit a nerve. It was thumping leg kicking burning pain. Felt like my arm was on fire. Amazingly I never moved my arm or the wrist so she left it in there. It hurt for 6 hours. Still hurts even now. The doc's claim it will heal.
I took the "procedure" without "something to relax me. It hurt like hell but it was endurable. I got to see the fluoroscope of the camera poking around in my heart. It switched and twitched around looking like a fishing line caught in a current. It bobbed around so much I idly wondered if these guys knew what they were doing.
I was in there for about 4 hours. If not for the screaming pain in the IV I'd have been bored.
the doc came in while they were wheeling me out; "I don't get to say this too often but your heart looks fine." He came to the recovery cubicle and amplified his comments: The stent in my heart was clear, there's no plaque in any of the veins or arteries. Everything looks fine and clear.
After that it 's just a matter of protecting the femoral artery, avoiding hemorrhages I stayed off my feet for 4 days, just sort of stumbling outside with my puppy when she needed it. My puppy was, as usual, great and understanding. She watched over me, never got demanding, Never left my side.
I went back to work after the 4 days. Had to. Cruddy job doesn't pay for sick days, or holidays or Pinup by Robert e McGinnis
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Robert E McGinnis
vacations. Go Tea Party Republicans . . . I'm back to walking the 3.2 miles to work. It's fine.
The law that shuts down my job is still going forward. There's a lot of rumors about it being rescinded injuncted etc but they seem to be just rumors and dreams. The owners see it as positive reinforcement of their wish fulfillment. Of course my fellow workers (who, for the most part, are as scummy as the rest of the operation) and I are at a loss to plot our future in a bad economy. We're adrift. Adrift for the holidays.
Can't find a job and hate this job.

I've been listening to a lot of music. Most of it pretty poor.
About the worst one is the new Linkin Park album, "A Thousand Suns". I mean, who new that Linkin Park's main goal was to become Styx?
I didn't know the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers had broken up until I heard a pretty poor Surf Mondo Nudo record from the Heartbreakers. I don't blame anyone for making a bad Surf record: Many are called but few can shred. But this new album "Mojo" is really off. I mean it's a bad blues album?!? It's not execrable but there's nothing on the disc to brighten your day.
Neil Young did an album with Daniel Lanois. I still think of Lanois as the black guy with the cotton white mohawk in Wendy O William's Plasmatics. That's not a knock, that's praise. But Le Noise is all about the gimmick not the music. It's this tripped out grungy acoustic guitar with lots of studio effects. Now Neil Young solo would be interesting, this is mainly grating. So grating it's a hard call as to whether any of the songs are any good or not.
The best of the new stuff seems to come from Weezer except their album is named "Hurley" and features the fat guy from "Lost on the cover. I have no idea why and find myself unable to care. But the songs are okay. Not great but okay and nowadays that seems to count for too much.
Untitled by Agata Nowicka
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Agata Nowicka
There's one bright spot though. Over 25 years ago the Osaka Ramones changed their names and became Shonen Knife. To commemorate they released 2 albums, "Fun Fun Fun" and "Free Time". The albums are interchangeable and, while not essential they can only be listened to with fondness. The musicianship has improved but Shonen Knife still sing songs with power about their fave foods and the gentle beauty they ignored just some shirt time ago. these gals are what music is supposed to be about.

I've been remiss on posting my NFl picks. You can tell what a crazy season its been as I'm only 69 out of 81! My wife has been trying her totally bogus guessing/cheating system and its come back to bite her as she's a laggardly 73 of 81. Please don't laugh at her, she's not in it to win just to have some fun.

My picks are in bold.Murder My Sweet

Tampa Bay at Atlanta - Right now the Falcons are probably the best team in the NFC. The Buc's have played better football this season and benefited from the last place schedule. This might be a good Audrey Hepburn
Click images for desktop size: "Audrey Hepburn"
game!

Chicago at Buffalo - Cruddy game of the week.

New England at Cleveland - How do the Patriots keep winning?

New York Jets at Detroit - The Lions are playing well at home but the Jets will come in with a huge chip on their shoulders and have the talent to dominate the upstarts.

New Orleans at Carolina - Dru Brees only plays with a bright fire but he'll have blood in his eyes and forestall a let down after their stunning thrashing of the Steelers. The Panthers will wear blue.

Miami at Baltimore - The Dolphins have been playing like a playoff team but the Ravens are playing like a Superbowl team.

San Diego at Houston - The Chargers are counting on a second half surge. They have nothing on the roster to base this dependency on.

Arizona at Minnesota - Brad Childress is destroying the Vikings! The Cardinals just suck. Cruddy Without You by TitusBoy
Click images for desktop size: "Without You" by TitusBoy
game of the week contender. How crippled will Brett Favre be in this one?

New York Giants at Seattle - My upset of the week. The Giants are not that good and the SeaHawks are playing at home.

Indianapolis at Philadelphia - I hate the Eagles but they've never lost a game after a bye week and the Colts are decimated.

Kansas City at Oakland - Who would have thought that these two teams would be the game of the week! Taking the Raiders because they're at home.

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati - I look at the Bengals and I want to cry. They should be a contender but they stink. So much talent and nothing delivered.

Dallas 10 at Green Bay 14 - Back in August this looked like a for sure game of the week. Now it's a "please get this over with" match up.

October 13, 2010

There are many holy things in this world; very few of them are holy men
Korean Proverb

Old Paint
Click images for desktop size: "Old Paint" by Anonymous
I don't have much belief in hell. Mainly because I believe in humanity and, as we all know, nothing can create as much suffering or pain as humans.The Million Eyes od Su Maru
Probably the greatest display of evil in the view of the world was the Nazi German attempted genocide of the Jews and the gypsies. The evil that followed it are the products only humans could devise. To sometimes devise to deny that the atrocity even occured and then to minimize it even further they compare anyone to its massiveness so that through time and or ability to forget it seems not so serious at all. And that's the ultimate in evil to make it banal and trivial.
It always seem that bad is always greater than good.
An evil company kills 30,000 in India is not offset by a woman saving hundreds. An oil company destroying an ocean is not offset by a man saving a pack of wolves.
Evil always seems to be victorious, and even in its ultimate failure it leaves the world a crippled worse place than before.
Philip K Dick wrote a book, called "The Devine Invasion". It's about the second coming of the Messiah. The real conceit is that the Messiah was born in outer space as God had been banished from earth. All the churches and governments were formed at the behest of the Devil and earth is hell. It's not a book to recommend but its that idea that earth works hardest to destroy good and cloacks itself in brutality and fear and hatred.

I'm going into hospital tomorrow. No big deal, really. I'm not happy about it.
Last week they gave me an EKG and an echogram - sonar imaging of the heart. Then added it to a stress test: 30 minutes on a treadmill at 4.5 mph and a 40 degree incline. Had to get my heart rate The Pilgramage by HP Pepnix
Click images for desktop size: "The Pilgramage" by HP Pepnix
up to 131 bpm. Lots harder than I'd have thought. I was exhausted after the run. Disgusted with myself at being so thrashed when I'd only run slightly over 2.5 miles.
It took 3 minutes for my pulse rate to come down, 5 minutes for my blood pressure to get back to normal and they let me go at 6 minutes even though my respiration hadn't climbed completely down. Decent but not great recovery. I walked home from the clinic and showed no other ill effect.
the echo gram and all the rest didn't show anything wrong but they know there has to be something wrong hence tomorrow I get a heart catheterization.

September 26, 2010

USC 50 Washington State 16

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

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

My picks are in bold.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 19, 2010

USC 32 Minnesota 21

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

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

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

My picks are in bold.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 12, 2010

University of Virginia 14 USC 17

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

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

My picks are in bold.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 5, 2010

USC 49 Hawaii 36

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

August 22, 2010

A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on
John F. Kennedy

Autumnal by Christine Theis
Click images for desktop size: "Autumnal" by Christine Theiss
I saw "Ong Bak 3" the latest and possibly last Tony Jaa movie.
I saw it in Thai, without subtitles. Since I've only been to Thailand twice, make that once, the otherHeadless Ghost time I only went to Bangkok. Bangkok isn't Thailand any more than Tijuana and Juarez are Mexico. So I've really only been to Thailand once and that time with a native translator so there was never any need or urge to learn any Thai at all.
But I watched "Ong Bak 3" and I may not have gotten some subtle nuances but I sure followed the story, followed it well enough to gasp and holler at all the right spots too.
You might remember I was vaguely dissatisfied with Ong Bak 2. Number 3 makes it apparent why. These are not two films but one epic film. A three hour story that got chopped in half, chopped into mouth sized bits. Taken together its a film that just falls short of magnificent. They don't jell as two separate stories but as one tale of a man's transformation from prince, to slave to pirate to saint it's ambitious beyond the talent of Jaa as director. Don't mistake that I do not think that Jaa is seriously talented as a director. He made a comprehensible, enthralling story in a language that might have been gibberish for all I knew. The story he tells is big and has thwarted numerous directors and writers before him. The closest to his theme is, shockingly, Alejandro Jodowrosky's obnoxious "El Topo".
"Ong Bak" attempts much and delivers much. It's a solid noble film that is easy to believe in. It should be seen. This isn't some tired little story about a guy and girl who do something that doesn't mean a damn thing while it tries to be funny. This is a movie. It entertains and tries to lead us someplace different in our lives and tries to show us a new corner of the world our time and confusion has forced us to ignore. Its a big plan.

I;m a Jim Thompson fan. Only problem is that Thompson, due to money mostly, seldom put The Black Phantom by Syd
Click images for desktop size: "The Black Phantom" by Syd
together great books. There are great starts, great sections and sometimes great endings but it wasn't often he put together a masterpiece. His most solid book was probably "The Getaway" and his masterpiece is probably, "The Killer Inside Me".
"The Killer Inside Me" is about Lou, an affable, good looking, innocuous appearing dummy. Except Lou is nothing like the adaptive persona he's adopted. He's a sociopath, bright, cunning and evil. He's still likable and part of the books tension comes from wanting Lou to succeed in all the vicious things he does.
Lou probably would have lived out his life rejoicing in his small cruelties, concealing his insanity but a hooker moves to town. Lou discovers she's a submissive and loves to play sex scenes with his dom reality.
They concoct a scheme to escape the small town and to be able to go someplace where they can go live together and be happy. Except the girl forgets Lou is happy and he allows her to plan and works Hondo her plan into his plan of violent revenge and homicidal ecstasy.
Lou becomes a calm and calculating serial killer. He delights in watching others attempt to discover his evil. He enjoys planning around it and succeeding. He appears he deserves to keep murdering people.
Now there's a new movie based on the book. It;s really poor. The problems start with the casting. Casey Affleck is just the wrong type. It needed someone bright and buoyant. Even Ashton Krutcher Lara Croft
Click images for desktop size: "Lara Croft"
would have been a better choice. Affleck does fine with the broody stuff but is worthless at the good ol' boy end of things. The result is a thin performance devoid of any emotional patois.
But Affleck seems like a genius compared to the befuddled performance of Jessica Alba. How can I say this - playing the little sub whore Alba generates absolutely no heat. I remember having to see a high school play of "Death of a Salesman" where the kid stuck playing Willie Loman thought the way to show weariness was to read his lines as fast and monotonously as possible. Alba is horrible. She's playing a hooker, a fetishist. She has at least 3 sex scenes and she is just nothing but dull and boring.
The rest of the cast is good but with the two leads so abysmal and wrong headed they have no Love
Click images for desktop size: "Love" by Unknown
current to swim with or against.
The movie follows the book near exactly but it has, seemingly, no comprehension of what the book was about. They are just bits and skits. There's no emotion, no heat, no stink of the dust of West Texas. It's like a Disney version of the Kama Sutra or something. What a failure and these jerks will probably blame Jim Thompson's source material instead of their own bumbling incompetence.

I still love my nook. The Kindle is lighter, easier to hold and navigate. The nook touchscreen looks moderately cool but is a pain in the neck to work and a monstrous drain on the battery. Also the Kindle whispersync works while syncing the nook is a chore. But I love it. It lets me read.
With the Kindle 3 promised and B&N's future looking well, unpredictable, you can get nooks on ebay, brand new, for under $50!
The advantages of e-readers are pretty obvious. Still my favorite is carrying around the 3 books I'm High Sierra currently reading and changing the fonts and font sizes when appropriate.
Presently the most interesting thing I'm reading is "Through a Dog's Eyes" by Jennifer Arnold.
Arnold has cred because she founded and trains service dogs for Canine Assistance. Doesn't make her a good writer though. This book is a mess but no more so than 90% of the books I read about dogs.
She tries to be thorough but it comes across like a high school student trying to compose a Doctoral thesis. But the facts are interesting and her observations are valuable enough to make the slog worthwhile. I have to agree that my training and basis for my love of dogs is her old fashioned method that has been burnished and altered by my respect and general fondness for dogs. She has valid points that I discover I'm already incorporating in my doggie relationships.

With as much love as I have for lists I'm surprised to discover I've never written up a list of my top ten fave books!
  1. The Journal of Albion Moonlight by Kenneth Patchen - Sort of figures that this is one book that would not translate to an ebook reader as it uses typography to delineate some of its more astonishing images both on the page and in your head.
  2. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler - This was a rough call as Chandler's "Farewell My Lovely" could fit here just as well. Moose Malloy and Phillip Marlowe are two of the greatest characters in fiction in a great story. "Goodbye" is the better more ambitious book though. Terry Lennox is no slouch as a character either.
  3. Hector Berlioz Autobiography - A life of music. Skillful and full of rhythms. Its a madman's descent into crushed dreams and genius.
  4. The Whole Earth Catalog edited by Stewart Brand - A catalog of tools, most of them books. A lot of toys and implements to take us into the future. And there was this grotty little novel onin the corner of each page. The future it was trying to build never happened. Shame really.
  5. The Complete Works of William Blake - You need the edition with plates and artwork. I even like to muddle through the prophetic poems and try and separate the poetry from the Swedenborganiasm.
  6. Alice in Wonderland - By Lewis Carroll - Another book that doesn't really work on an ereader. Its still brilliant.
  7. Ironweed by William Kennedy - Baseball, bums and music. A heart stopping examination of death and the thinness of life.
  8. Deus Irae by Philip K Dick and Roger Zelzaney - Perhaps the bleakest view of life after the apocalypse. It has no joy except the small joys that we find when we're not prepared to let despondency rule the day.
  9. Happy Birthday of Death by Gregory Corso - He used to read his poems to bongo music and thus created, single handed, a stereotype and a cliche. His stuff is solid.
  10. Naked Lunch by William Burroughs - Read this first in high school. For a while the entire football team and baseball team were doing impromptu skits quoting pages of the book. Crazy and cool.
A Desperate Stand by Charles Russell
Click images for desktop size: "A Desperate Stand" by Charles Russell

For me; I've been sick. Don't understand it. Wild stabbing pains, my joints all feel sprained, lots of chest pain. Don't get it. Cardiologist on Wednesday.

August 7, 2010

The future has a way of arriving unannounced
George Will

Catronics
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.
YOW!!
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.

Mix
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.

June 5, 2010

When you blame others, you give up your power to change
Robert Anthony

Total Eclipse
Click images for desktop size: "Total Eclipse" by Unknown
When I was on the different chemo's one thing I noticed is that I never got bothered by bugs or mosquitos. Something in the chemo put something in my blood that scared the bugs away. It's theForce Five only good thing about some of the more virulent chemo's.
There's a woman who comes into where I work. She's mean. Just a bitch. As the night goes on she gets meaner and meaner. She comes in with her daughter and they manage to harmonize their meanness till you can't stand either of them.
They're short. Each of them is about 150 pounds overweight. I'm probably being kind there. They tended to the rude and hateful. Not that much different from any of the other customers but they were noticeable for being a couple and for staying 12 to 14 hours at a stretch.
She didn't come in for a couple of weeks, just the daughter. Finally I asked where her mother was. "Oh, she's getting chemo." Then she waddled away, back to playing the game.
The mother and daughter came in again, about two weeks later. The mother was wearing a wig. I couldn't tell if she'd lost weight or not. Reflexively I went to talk to her, she had the deep fear of death on her face and the gray crust of nightmares collected in the skin around her eyes and jowls.
She told me she had leukemia. It was a different kind them mine. My leukemia is the one kids get, (got leukemia 14 years old looked like 65 when she died~Jim Carroll). The mother had the kind old people get. She wasn't that old but her body showed enough abuse for it to think it was that old.
I told her about my experience and that I was still alive. Being alive is all that matters. She held my hand and cried a bit then she went back to playing the game.
They keep coming in, almost nightly. If they're not where I work they're probably at one of the other joints. I find myself being inordinately kind to her, even as much as I dislike her. I don't think about The nerve by Psychopulse
Click images for desktop size: "The nerve" by Psychopulse
why. It's probably because I hate the disease and I hate for people to be afraid, even people I hate shouldn't ever have to be afraid, certainly not that kind of fear.
Of course she senses the kindness and is taking full advantage of it, more so as she's feeling better and better.
She can't help that. The sort of people who gamble always think that kindness is just a sign of weakness. They have no courage or strength themselves so they can't see it any other way.

Today I read that Tony Jaa has entered a monastery. He's decided to become a monk.
He's, without question, the biggest star in Thailand, probably the most famous Thai in the world.
When I told my wife she said it was inevitable. I can see that. I mean the man who takes time from an interview to state that the elephants who live on his land are not pets, that they are his family,Ghost of Frankenstein ranks close to saint hood in my eyes already. That Jaa can fight like he does, has perfected his body to such a mad extreme I guess there is no place left for him to go.
I re-watched "Ong Bak 2" and "Tom Yum Gum" recently. Ong Bak 2 is good when Jaa is moving even when the film is not totally satisfying. "Tom Yum Gum" is a masterpiece and each viewing Gene Kelly
Click images for desktop size: "Gene Kelly"
raises it in my opinion. Right now I can make arguments that its one of the 5 greatest films ever made. Because its a martial arts movie the people who care so much about their top ten lists would be appalled with the assertion.
I've railed about the movie before but it bears repeating. The first 15 minutes of a 90 minute movie is a love poem to elephants. The bad guys kill Jaa's father but it is the theft of the elephants that rings as the greatest tragedy.
The first shot we get of Jaa in action is of him flying through the air, crushing a man's chest and yammering, "Where are my elephants?!"
When Jaa goes to Sydney to search for them he tells everyone he is looking for his brothers.
Technically and stylistically the movie is a tour de force. There is one breathtaking sequence, a 10 minute single take of Jaa climbing to the top of the restaurant searching for his elephants. If it had been made by Antonionio it would have been hailed as a classic shot in cinema history. As it is it is all that and it is exhilarating, beautiful and violent. A more complicated set of logistics I can't Unknown
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Unknown
imagine.
The director makes it function but its the performance and sheer physicality of Tony Jaa that makes it work.
"Where's my elephant."
Giving a gift like that to the world makes it easy to see and comprehend Jaa's decision. Whether he'll make movies again or if he's even thinking about making movies his religion is important to him and my wife is right, he wouldn't be the dynamic person he is if he were not above all true to himself and his family.
I'll miss him.

I'm updating the film catalogs over the next couple of days. I've upgraded to the newest Movable Type too, but haven't had time/energy to rebuild the site to show it. I took a day off of work to go fight with people about my drugs and to write affidavits to bring my wife down here. And to just have time with my super slim down to 71 pounds puppy.Friday the 13th
My little girl is so happy to have me around. She's my dog and wants to be with me. I'm her boy and love being with her. She's still on a diet though.
Now if we can sort out USA immigration and get my wife and my other two dogs down here we'll have some glimmers of happiness again.
Its a lot of work and produces a lot of tension. There's no one to talk to, no one to fight with or to beg. There's only us. I'm not small but I worry if I'm big enough still. I'm not wuitting and I haven't sold out any of my principals so it will be alright whatever we discover together.

May 30, 2010

Be obscure clearly
E. B. White

Attack by Lavakillu
Click images for desktop size: "Attack!" by Lavakillu
I've had to turn off comments on the site.
I was getting about 3,000 spam comments a day. I don't have time and energy to write. Burning offFanny Hill Meets Dr Erotico some of that to deal with deleting huge globs of nonsense was exasperating and exhausting.
It appears to be coming from one BotNet coming from a furniture store in Nebraska. Blocking that just bounced around to other Windows networks mainly small retail joints in the midwest.
Love that all these Windows guys have gotten their broadband hijacked. Great OS.
My wife complained about me having comments turned off on our fifth anniversary. (Anniversary of meeting, not of marriage.) I turned comments back on for an hour or so and got hit with 65 spam comments. She didn't post her comment. She was mad at me about something. Probably me not remembering the anniversary but maybe for something else.

Everything else has gone as well as can be expected. Feeling pressured to deal with the US Immigration to get my wife down here.Coping with that as best as I can.Did the big annual dog walk with my puppy. She hates her diet but she's starting to look magnificent. She attracted her share of stares and coos.That's something because there were we'll over 500 dogs on the walk, everything from Italian Greyhounds to Chinese Crested. They all seemed like good dogs to me.
Before the walk and even after my puppy has been extremely happy. I'm not sure why or if the why matters. She's just laughing about everything and enjoying being with me and tormenting me as much as possible. Although I think she feels like I'm tormenting her.

Always With Honor
Click images for desktop size: "Always With Honor" by Unknown
They've jacked the price of my drugs 325%!!
I wasn't alone on that. At the clinic pharmacy there's been a lot of violent disturbance because of the price increase. A sense of entitlement I guess. Some of it probably just fear. I felt fear, trying to figure out how I could pay for it all. I take 12 pills a day plus the insulin.
I managed to save some money by going to different pharmacies. The $4 generic works for one of the drugs, and another is normally $44 but I found one doing it for $10.
The scary prices are on the Plavix (the most profitable drug in the world at over $200 a month) and the insulin (Lantus) which goes for about $200 a month.
Health care reform - who needs it right?

I'm incensed that our government has gotten so corrupt that they're letting Comcast, Time Warner et al own the internet. Comcast already blocks sites that disagree with their illegal tactics. Obama is Fists of Vengeance so busy trying to criminalize children for downloading music that he's forgotten one of his main campaign promises, an open and free internet.
Instead he is abiding by the wishes of the corrupt Republican Senators and the corrupt dog Democrats in the house (all whom have received MASSIVE chunks of cash from Comcast and Time Warner.
Tony Bennett
Click images for desktop size: "Tony Bennett"
They wrote a "bi-partisan" (hey, corruption and greed know no party lines) letter demanding the FCC ignore their mandate and care for the money grubbers. Obama clearly agrees with them and is letting it happen.
This seems small compared to the fact that Republican policies are leading to the end of the world down in the Gulf of Mexico, but as the internet gets shut down there's a chance, a real good chance, that we'd never even have known about the oil spill and BP's ignoring of it.
Again Obama, instead of declaring it a disaster and sending in the troops to blow the hell of the leak and stop it, he lets BP dilly about and make money.
There's a sadness in the world.

Hit with overwhelming tiredness. Want to talk about the new music I've been listening too.
Later.

April 8, 2010

They say the worst bad habit we have is memory

Untitled
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
No.
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.

February 22, 2010

I'll be sorry but I don't care

Haiko On Hanami by April Joy E Jasmin
Click images for desktop size: "Haiku On Hanami" by April Joy E Jasmin
My mother used to be terrified that she, being only fifteen years older than me and divorced, was going to deprive me and traumatize me. The only book, the only resource for new mothers then was Delinquent Schoolgirls Doctor Spock. She couldn't go to her mother for advice. My grandmother hadn't talked to her since my mother's divorce. So my mother fumbled around and did the best she could figure out.
Sometimes this entailed taking me to work with her. When she was working at the concession counter at the drive-in movie theater going with her was very cool. I would sit at a picnic table on a concrete slab by the projection booth, right next to a blaring metal loud speaker and float into the movies while my mom's teen co-workers inundated me with sugar-y soda, popcorn and ice cream.
It was in that state that I first saw "Godzilla". A warm California night, the sea breeze and eucalyptus scenting the air and sixty feet of city munching reptile destroying everything adults hold dear. Perhaps my still holding love affair with Japanese jidai-geki movies has more to do with remembering a mother's love than it does my fondness for giant lizards and men in rubber suits. I wouldn't know. I'm more Adlerian than Freudian.
I liked monster movies. So did my mother but she worried so her next big plan to keep me from being deprived was a subscription to The Children's Book Club.
This was some weird thing, probably from an ad in "Teen Mom's Weekly". For fifty nine cents a copy your child, meaning me, got a hard cover classic of children's literature.
They were cheaply printed things. Thing I remember most were the super ragged edges of the pages. But I liked the books. I liked the stories in them. Classics is a pretty broad term. There were Hardy Boys stories, strange science fiction and "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland". I really liked that book at age 7. I liked the pictures and I liked the horrible things that happened to the little girl.
Purple Vectors
Click images for desktop size: "Purple Vectors" by Unknown
At that stage of my life torturing little girls was a major part of my entertainment. Not real torture but stuff like dropping snails down their backs, stealing the heads from their dolls. Typical stuff. The one girl who thought it was cool and fought back instead of shrieking and threatening to tell on me became a life long friend.
So I liked that all the animals yelled at Alice, picked on her and tormented her. It kept my interest up.
I read that book and re-read it then got on with surfing, torturing little girls etc. In high school someone gave me a copy of Martin Gardener's "The Annotated Alice". I don't remember who. It took me a long time before I started reading it. When I did start to get into it I was enthralled. It started my trek into Lewis Carroll fandom.
I recently got a copy of Jenny Woolf's new book, "The Mystery of Lewis Carroll". It's a bit dry but it attempts to debunk some of the more bizarre suppositions about Charles Dodgson like that he wasThe Deadly Mantis actually Jack the Ripper. It also attempts to tackle the issue of his being a pedophile. That has always driven me crazy. I've read some persuasive arguments for it being so and I've tried to accept that he was a pedophile who never actually improperly touched or harmed a child.
That goes against my knowledge of pedophiles. When I took my training to help abused kids part of it was attending group therapy sessions and listening to child abusers. I think the plan was to get us trainees to have some compassion and empathy for the offensive Audrey Hepburn
Click images for desktop size: "Audrey Hepburn"
offenders.
It didn't have any such effect. I have been alone with thrill killers, reputed Mafia hitmen, drug addicts, prostitutes and movie stars. At some level I've always felt a bond of humanity. Sometimes it was tenuous and difficult but it was always still there.
Prior to my meeting the child abusers the group I felt most distant from were the hard core crack addicts. They were so lizard brained that any cloudy memory they had of being human was only called on to try and manipulate.
Child abusers, the ultimate victimizers, didn't have even that. To me they were an alien insect race that would be best served with a claw hammer and a room draped in plastic.
They have no control over their actions. They must abuse. So sordid and ingrained is their delusion that they speak often and in agreement that children are sexual seducers who lure them into the abusers horrific attacks and fantasies.
The thing is that they were all like this, all out of control. Even chemical and physical castration has not deterred child molesters from attacking children.
No matter how convincing the arguments it was hard, nearly impossible for me to put Dodgson in Rise on an Angel by Titusboy
Click images for desktop size: "Rise on an Angel" by Titusboy
this category, this misshapen lump. I could not even accept that he was a pedophile who had somehow managed to NOT harm children.
Ms Woolf's book tries to address this issue while presenting an image of Carroll full and deep. She uses a few newly discovered letters, gets some interesting interpretations of available data from MD's and such and uses a unique and solid bit of hard evidence.
She uses forensic accounting. Recently discovered are the complete bank records for Dodgson. From the first penny he spent till the decimation of his estate at his death. Financial records.
It seems odd. But so did bringing down Al Capone's empire based on his financial records. It paints a picture of Carroll and Dodgson that I am much more in agreement with that any other previous. Meaning it jibes most closely to my own perceptions of a major part of my pantheontology.
Woolf's writing style is a bit dry and prosaic but her observations are keen, her conclusions are onlyDevil Girl From Mars pedantic when strongly supported by evidence. It makes a good read and provides at least for the fans, which I am, a nice amount of dream time considering Dodgson/Carroll. My only complaint is that a bit too many words are spent rejecting some of the more inane conclusions about Dodgson.

I went for my stress tests on Wednesday. Interesting stuff. They made the mistake of leaving me alone in a room too long. I found a remarkable plastic model of a heart. It was dumped behind some boxes in a cupboard. I coveted it and considered stealing it. I didn't. Not because of any high handed moral arguments or out of fear but because it occurred to me that it might only appear to be discarded and might be of service to some other poor slob stuck in my kind of hell.
The stress tests themselves were not all that difficult. The first one was on a treadmill. I was out fitted with all the ekg terminals and an x-ray machine was pointed at my chest.
Wally Wood
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Wally Wood
It was hard getting my pulse over 100. Not that I'm that fit but because the treadmill didn't offer up enough resistance and I was ordered to not bend over too much to accelerate so that the x-rays would hit the right spot.
After that we went to the stair masters. Due to my chemotherapy history they eschewed x-rays. Didn't want to blast me with too much radiation in case I turned into a super hero I bet. So this time I climbed the unending staircase and was monitored by electrodes and sound waves. I could see the sonogram as I worked out. It was so incredibly cool looking at my heart beat. In motion I was trying to control it and make it do interesting things. That got me yelled at.
Don't have all the results yet but what there is is good. My heart has healed. There are abnormalities but they have to be looked for rather than appearing as distorted lines and squibbles.
My vitals are all good. they doubled my blood pressure meds. Rah. My BP was 120 over 60, but they decided they want it even lower! Part of this is due to the congestive heart failure I had with theDouble Indemnity Lyrica. Then my BP was hovering around 190 over 80 due to all the fluid in my chest compressing everything. Getting my standard BP even lower will enable me to endure a real congestive heart attack (that's what killed my grandmother when she was 98 . . .) They said I was on an extremely minmal dosage anyway and this would still have me below average.
Now I just wait for the rest of the results and the fitness and fury.
Just wanted to mention my puppy. She's continued to be wonderful. She's crazy and calm by turns. When I'm feeling more under the weather than usual she's protective. When I'm feeling better she's bossy and obnoxious, demanding her way. She's my friend.
She's been on a diet. She hates it. But we went to the pet store yesterday and she has lost nearly TWO POUNDS! Bringing her weight down to 71! Only six more pounds to go till she is her ideal weight!
She could care less about ideal weight. She'd rather have ice cream at all of her meals.

February 21, 2010

I've seen the future; it looks like yesterday

Fairytale Land by Monica Corduneau
Click images for desktop size: "Fairy Tale Land" by Monica Corduneau
"I've never said this to a white man before. I love you."
I don't get nervous about things being said to me like that. It was a customer as I counted out herAlien vs Predator $3,200 winnings. She didn't give me a tip.
Nowadays most people don't understand the use or the power of words. Crack, meth, liquor and TV have minimized the impact of everything but mostly words have come to mean less and less.
The sounds of words get used to mesmerize and manipulate. The clarity and evocative power of words and sentences has been lost to soundbites, which tend to be meaningless emotion grabbers without depth.
Sarah Palin, who used to faqscinate me until she quit the job she insisted she craved so that she'd be free to be greedy. She uses soundbites. She doesn't even bother with words. She makes up sounds that sound like they have portent. It seems like the grunting of a caveman in a 10 thousand dollar suit.
Frank Capra made a movie. It was called "Meet John Doe". It was one of those great populist dramas. Gary Cooper was "John Doe" a baseball pitcher who blew his arm out. In the middle of the great depression that meant he was now a hobo, riding the rails, looking for a days work. Barbara Stanwyck is a newspaper columnist who just got fired. In an act of spite Stanwyck publishes a shaggy dog story about how John Doe was mad about the state of the world. John Doe is so mad that he plans to commit a Zen Bhuddist protest and throw himself off of City Hall on Christmas Eve.
Gary Cooper gives radio speeches that barbara Stanwyck writes for him. They're populist speeches that hold a pure clean vision for America. Mainly the populist themes of the times: employment, self esteem, distrust of the decadent rich, distrust of elected politicians who forget their constituency.
Hal 9000 by Maurico Fernandez Rosino
Click images for desktop size: "HAL 9000" by Maurico Fernandez Rosino
Gary Cooper's character becomes a national hero. Clubs, form up: "The John Doe Society". They agree with Cooper and the clubs form to collect signatures begging Cooper to not commit suicide.
The John Doe Clubs keep springing up all over America. Then Eddy Arnold comes forward. He's a rich guy and begins to bank roll The John Doe Society. He turns a grass roots organization into a powerful political third party. He spends depression millions creating the clubs, controlling the people. He plans to ride them into the White House, making himself a ruler. A ruler not with populist ideals but with fascist Stalinist principals that insure the success of white upper crust Americans while grinding the poor and the middle class into a bloody stew to grease the corporate wheels of his personal progress.
Eddy Arnold rests by building his own private army and by installing the movie world's best ever Christmas tree.
There's a lot more plot to the movie. Cooper finds out about Arnold's plans and plans to expose him. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Arnold, rather than be exposed, destroys Cooper and the John Doe Society. If he can't use it. He writes it off as a loss.
It all reminds me too much of Sarah Palin and Roger Ailes. Except there's no Gary Cooper around to save us from them. And, like they say, there's a sucker born every minute.
Palin has no mystery. She's just a greed machine who couldn't even finish out her sworn term of office because she was too greedy and feared her flame flickering out before she struck true gold. She's the Marylin Monroe and Jane Russell
Click image: "Marlyn Monroe & Jane Russell"
Paris Hilton of politics.

Next night at work was the night of the crack heads. There's an armed security guard who works with me. Most of the time he just sits and plays the games, he gambles almost 8 hours straight. I don't know if he was absorbed in gambling or intimidated by the crack heads. Either's possible. There were 14 of them in 3 cars: an Escalade and two Cadillac coupes. They were the sort of scum who couldn't afford Caddies but sold enough crack to make a big enough down payment.
It didn't mean anything to me. I kept them in line. They'd get aggro but aggro and bragging don't impress me. I know tough. Been around plenty of scary people in my life. These jerks were just loud and used to scaring little old ladies. After each confrontation they'd come up to me and wanting to make friends. Like I'd want a coward for a friend.
No head cracking ensued. Mainly because taking even one of them out probably would have killed me. And mainly because I'd look at them and just feel pity. I hate the drugs. I hate the lizard brained monsters crack turns people into but I feel saddened that crack was all they have and turning them into lizard brains was the best choice for them, as they see it. Because creeps like Sarah Palin want to take away any dream of a future and leave all but their select few as despairing multitudes begging for just a little more.
Marek Okon
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Marek Okon
The next night was worse, worse than crack heads. There seems to be a type of woman who hangs around these places. Usually they seem pretty harmless to me. They beg for gambling money.
They scam and hustle but its pretty harmless stuff to my mind. Its more their gambling addiction than purer forms of poverty. Usually they "borrow" a couple bucks in exchange for bringing the fatties money to me. As in, "Eighteen bucks on Miss Ambrose's account and two on mine," while they hand me a crumpled twenty. For many of these women the effort of standing up and walking 6 feet is worth 2 bucks. Or "loan me five and we'll be partners and split anything I win."
I don't like that stuff but it's better than robbery. I've talked to a few women about it but it doesn't seem to have any impact. It annoys most of my co-workers, these people. I don't see why. They only bug me when they get rude but most of the time they are only obnoxious to me.
There's one of this group who fairly attractive i.e. not fat. She's pretty low life. One of the securityApocalypse Now guards was hitting on her as was one of my co--workers. In the introductory conversation she always swings it around to her time in prison and how proud she is of her mother who is like Queen of the Yard.
Depressing stuff.
The girl talks but she comes off as just a tease. She's just playing things out for the money and the attention.
So Thursday she's working this dude, Ronnell. He's a tall guy, a wanna be pimp sort. Wears tiny braids and a derby hat! In 2010 a derby hat looks pretty stupid to my eyes.
So the girl hustled him for a whole five bucks. It made me nervous because I dislike this guy Ronnell and get the idea that he thinks he's suave and dangerous, in a way a guy who's never set foot out of a small town can think he's suave and dangerous. Too many movies, too much TV and very little life other than street corners.
Ronnell decided to collect on his "investment". Fortunately caught him when he led the girl outside and slammed her against a wall and pressed hard against her. Fortunately stopped him before it My House
Click images for desktop size: "My Home" by Unknown
went any further than that. Sexual assault is slightly less disgusting than rape.
I asked the girl about calling the cops. She was startled. She was upset but nowhere near as upset as I'd expect. She hung around a couple of more hours.
The next morning my boss didn't fight me about banning the guy permanently.

I was supposed to see the neurologist on Friday. I got an email canceling the appointment and rescheduling it for April 21!!
I think I'd rather have a slightly worse doctor who was a little it more available.
I called the office and found out the guy was sick. Occupational hazard style sickness.
This Wednesday I get to see the cardiologist. I have some high hopes here. It's the stress test. I'm hoping to find out that the heat attacks have healed. I'm also hoping that the damage done by the Lyrica was only transitory.
So the weekend is nearly over and all I've done is recover physically enough to go into work tomorrow night.
It's going to be a short week. I'm taking off the night of the stress test and then the next night as well. I want to pass the stress test and be deemed healthy.

February 6, 2010

It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers
James Thurber

Hollywood
Click images for desktop size: "Hollywood" by Unknown
Rain and snow here. They're not used to it. It locks the whole town into a deep panic. Strange. Two plow trucks with salt spreaders would make the whole thing pretty much a non-issue in a few hours.Blood Cult They do nothing despite dozens of accidents and fatalities. They do nothing and people keep driving. Except me. I keep walking.
The nasty weather makes being ordered to stay at home a bit easier to take. I saw the doc on Wednesday and got ordered to take it easy, to take off two days of work, to let my body heal.
My blood pressure is still high 144 over 80. Doc says it's because of all the fluid in my chest. She was going to give me a lecture about walking out of the hospital but stopped when I said it was mainly because of the money. the hospital said I left because I wanted to go home and feed my puppy . . . that's true but not all that's true.
She also said, "The emergency doctor doesn't understand how tough you are. Your previous doctor made notes all over the place but its hard to believe. I've been seeing you for six months and I barely believe it myself."
There's not much there for me so I let it lie. I don't much like people thinking I'm so tough I can endure all the pain.
She sent me off to get more x-rays. I'm probably going to have to go to a Pulmonary doc. The Lyrica damaged my lungs some but there seems to be some calcification already present. The doc was under the impression I'd tested positive for TB!! I told her I thought I'd remember if I had.
I was worried, In London I had to get tested for TB every six months. I worked with a group called Blue Cross. I'd go out at night with a veterinarian to the homeless enclaves and we'd treat the dogs many of the homeless men and women kept for protection and companionship. Tuberculosis runs rampant in the homeless communities of Europe so I had to get the little skin pop test and chest x-rays far too often.
It was noted in my file that I had tested positive in one of those skin pop tests. The doc checked the computer records pretty quickly and found the positive for TB notation. A few years ago I needed a chest x-ray for Canadian immigration. It seems that the radiologist couldn't think of any other reason that I would need an x-ray other than having tuberculosis so she checked a box on some Ferrari
Click images for desktop size: "Ferrari"
form or other.
I don't have TB. I'm pretty glad about that but resentful about spending time having to think about it.
I got my chest x-ray and picked up my prescription drug refills. I'm going to hold off on any more neuropathic medicines and just deal with the pain with ibuprofen.
I'm supposed to see the neurologist on the 19th of this month. I decided I could survive the hurt until then. I don't care for my neurologist much but he's got a pretty fantastic world class rep. He'll have to deal with the sudden breaking down of my bodies electrical system.
I have to say though, that other than taking one longish walk to the bank I've been pretty docile and being docile has gotten my leg under control. I haven't taken any ibuprofen today at all.
I've gotten to listen to a lot of music. I like that. There's four pretty special albums I've liked. All new but two are brand new and two are new collections of old stuff.
Alkaline Trios "This Addiction" is fine. So good it almost makes me forget how they are the worst The Bird With Crystal Plumage group I've ever had to endure live. Nearly forget but not quite. Every song is tinged with the memory of that horrific performance.
I'm also surprised by the Rob Zombie "Hellbilly Deluxe II". Parts of it are savage and totally deluxe, like "The Devil's Rejects" and "Halloween" were brutal savage celluloid dreams of evil. The other parts are like . . . Well, there's a track, "The Cyd Charisse
Click image for desktop size: "Cyd Charisse"
Man Who Laughs" which starts out great then suddenly devolves into a totally inept 5 minute drum solo! Still, what's great is very cool and what sucks can be ignored. Think "Halloween II" enacted on disc and you'd be pretty close to what the album is.
The release of The Blasters "Testament" is a surprise. Their complete Slash recordings. Slash was a music mag in LA that evolved into a record label pushing out 45's and the occasional LP. I had a lot of contact with Phil and Dave Alvin for some reason or other. I thought the Blasters were a great band and that Dave was more into Buck Owens (which was are main point of camaraderie) than Little Richard. It was Dave who wrote the songs and Phil who promoted the band.
Getting bands to work is a miserable job. It can turn you into a miserable person. But Phil could sing and front a band for sure. And there's plenty of evidence in these two CD's that The Blasters should have been the saviours of music. Maybe they were.
Finally there's the six CD collection from Buddy Holly. "Not Fade Away-The Complete Studio Recordings". Someone pointed out that Holly's "From the Original Master Tapes" was the first CD that showed what CD's were sonically capable of. Prior to that disk most CD's stuck to that insulting Japanese Art
Click images for desktop size: "Ancient Japanese Art" by Unknown
format of just using the old RIAA eq'ed for phono cartridge or cassette master tapes. They were pretty offensive sounding. Holly has never offended my ears.
The complete recordings has all the hits, some weird little tid bits, like Holly recording different versions of "That'll Be The Day" inserting a different DJ's name. I'd heard them before but never in what I guess you'd call a prestige collection. All the hits are there and they all rock like we're all going to be young forever. There's a lot of weird country stuff, complete with Texas fiddle stylings that are only of interest because Holly's playing guitar.
My enforced vacation ends on Super Sunday. Coolness.
I've lost the picking games contest to my friend. Even if she picks the evil mechanized Colts I can'tAbsurd overtake her. Small victory for her which only proves she's a cheater.
I'm picking the Saints for no other reason than the beauty of it. Little Dru Brees vs the evil Payton Manning. Hey, don't believe those sweet and funny commercials. Payton Manning is evil. Would a nice guy ruthlessly carve up a defense like he has?
The Colts are boring and will probably win. That's a shame. I like the wild uncontrollable offense the Brees directs. I like the flying by the seat off their pants defense the Saints throw out there. All the Colts offer is perfection. Perfection is boring.
Who dat think they gonna beat them Saints! I'll be saying it and watching the game and hoping.
The Who for a halftime show?? Maybe 20 years ago . . .

January 31, 2010

That's the whole trouble. You can't ever find a place that's nice and peaceful, because there isn't any. You may think there is, but once you get there, when you're not looking, somebody'll sneak up and write "F*** you" right under your nose.
Fieroanimals
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J.D. Salinger is dead and I'm not.
I think he'd appreciate that. I know I do.Zurich Film Festival
I keep trying to piece together the history of all this grief.
It was winter of 1999 when they told me I had lympho ballistic leukemia. The doc's were worried because I took the news too calmly. Like there's a choice.
The put me on the chemo's that didn't quite work. I mean, they did their thing. I went bald, it burned out my pancreas so I got the predicted diabetes. I dropped about 30 pounds of muscle mass. They just didn't stop the leukemia.
They didn't tell me, or maybe they did, that the second chemo, Lanvil or something close enough to that name, was laced with neuortoxins. I didn't know until they told me a couple of months ago. Same time they told me that another of the chronic symptoms of diabetes was nerve degeneration. Diabetes was one of the contributing factors to the first heart attack.
Okay.
So a couple of weeks ago I got a fire in my thigh. Started at the middle of my back and ran all the way down to above my knee. Hurt pretty bad. I took massive doses of ibuprofen and that settled it down. The doc gave me this pill Lyrica. At first I liked it. It stopped the painful burning. The pain and ache it dealt with by making the whole thigh feel numb, but not in a bad explosive way. Just sort of dead flesh numb. I could handle it even if I couldn't enjoy it.
I followed the directions carefully. One pill a day for a week then on day 7 double them up, one in the morning and one at night.
Fifty Five Drops
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I started the doubling up on Friday. On Sunday I noticed my feet and ankles were swollen to about twice their normal size. Real John Merrick style freaky ugly stuff.
I'd been noticing a pain in my chest when I was walking to work. Nothing over powering, but still there. I stopped taking the pill. Didn't take my Sunday night pill before hoofing it in to work. There's a severe hill at the start of the walk. When I got to the top the pain in my chest was pretty bad. It dropped me to one knee and I vomited up about two cups of liquid. Embarrassing stuff.
I called the doc first thing Monday. She was out so I talked to the Medical Student with the same last name as mine. She told me to stop taking the pills. Told her I already had. She said check back in two days.
It was a rough two days. The pain in the thigh came back, at least the burning was pretty subdued. Work was miserable. Its hard suffering in front of people who don't care. I get no sick days. I had to work to get paid.Invasion of the Bee Girls
I walked back and forth to work. It was hard. I still got there.
I took comfort in the fact that my puppy didn't seem too concerned. I was having a harder time breathing though and she slowed down when I started to gasp too hard. She still fought me for the bed. I considered it a win if I got a third of Fred and Ginger
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it, about a foot.
I called the doc on Wednesday. My doc was in. She told me for me to be in that much distress it was important that I go to the emergency room. I told her I couldn't afford that, which is true.
I went to work as usual. I was getting used to vomiting at the top of the hill. I kept trying to tell myself it was getting better. I put a wedge in the bed so my feet would be higher than my heart. I did all I could.
On Friday I walked home, took care of my puppy and walked over to the Emergency Room. Something of a mistake I think.
Having chest pain rushed me to the front of the queue. Which was cool VIP stuff. They did my EKG, chest X-Ray and BP. I was freaked out. I hate hospitals now. My BP was 194 over 94. I'd never seen it that high. At home, on Thursday, my BP was 112 over 65. At the hospital it never went lower than 155 over 75.
The EMG doc came in and said that my EKG looked fine. I studied the tape with him and asked him about my two heart attacks. The last EKG I had the heart attacks were real easy to see. He looked Regresa A Mi by Titusboy
Click images for desktop size: "Regresa A Mo" by Titusboy
harder and said, "I guess this could be them."
That was when my BP dropped. I felt pretty good. My heart was healing. Even though conventional wisdom said it wouldn't, it was. My program of acerbic self flagellation and puppy playing was working.
The next thing he was saying was that he still wanted me to stay in hospital overnight for observation. That shot my BP up again. I asked a simple question; "How much would that be?"
No body knew. It took 10 minutes to find somebody to tell me the base rate would be $3,200. I told them no thanks.
I had to sign a Discharged Against Medical Advice Form. Then they were in a big rush to get rid of me. I made the doc examine my feet and ankles. He said that he couldn't see any swelling. I'm confident that I wasn't hallucinating so I decided the EMG doc was a bigger idiot than he appeared. (And trust me, most doctors are idiots. A degree confers no wisdom.)Three Stooges
The blood tests came back and my enzymes showed I'd had an "incident" some days ago. They told me stay off my feet and to relax . . .
I had to stumble around to find my way out. I walked home. My puppy was distressed. She even let me lie down unmolested.
I figured that the pain would gradually fade away and that eventually I'd pass the disaster that was Lyrica out of my life.
I got a phone call Saturday morning. The X-Ray doctor was calling. She was alarmed that I wasn't in hospital. She wanted to know if I was mobile. The X-rays showed a large amount of fluid in my chest cavity. I told her I was uncomfortable but not dying. She asked me to monitor things and to return to the hospital if pain got too bad or I were to pass out or collapse. (I avoided asking how I was going to get to the hospital if I was unconscious.) She agreed to fax or messenger my x-rays to my doctor asap.
This phone call really made me angry. I couldn't believe the doc had rushed me out before they even looked at the x-ray. I told you doctors can be idiots.
And all I've gotten out of this is DO NOT EVER TAKE A DRUG THE BASTARDS ADVERTISE ON TV. Especially Lyrica. Congestive heart failure is one of their known possible side effects . . . And I love my puppy. Late at night I only have to whisper her name and she comes running happily to me. And I love my friend who puts up with me.
When I was young I thought I was twice as much man as anyone else. It sounded arrogant even to me. But I think I was right nonetheless. Because now I feel like about half a man but the funny thing is I'm still alive even if J.D. Salinger isn't.

January 24, 2010

Freedom means the opportunity to be what we never thought we would be
Claude Monet

Fairy Tale by Titusboy
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It's been a finite week. Beginning and an end. Lots of discoveries about my body. Things I probably didn't need to know but . . . Village of the Damned
Like, my cruddy job leaves me to tired to have anything more than scrambled thoughts. I have moments but then the fatigue toxins hit. I need to organize my thoughts each day to keep the days separate. Otherwise, like now, they all run together into a gray block that goes from paycheck to paycheck with little in between.
I've even found it hard to focus in on a movie. I either fall asleep or find myself getting impatient.
My puppy grounds me. She's still the same but she's more important to me each day. Together we have our little adventures. Together we're going to save this big old pit bull down the street. She takes care of herself and she takes care of me.
Today we walked to the pet store and weighed her. She's lost one-fifth of a pound. I was pleased.
My big fear is that I'm going to drop one of my pills and she'll pick it up, thinking its some kind of groovy treat or something. And I take a lot of pills. Too many pills.
The Lyrica hit me hard. I was waking up and walking across the room and it felt very clearly like I was walking up a steep hill. The capsule makes my chest feel heavy. I'm waking up with low blood sugars so it's not a pretty combination. It feels like theres a little slot car motor in my chest and the axle is spinning and sputtering deep inside of me rotating my organs around some mad dance.
They seem to be doing their job though. The fire bright burning from my hip to my knee has died down and gradually the pain has gotten tolerable.
Lyrica is one of those drugs you have to introduce to your body gradually. On Friday I got up to the Sea Shore
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full dosage. It controlled the pain by making my thigh almost completely numb. Numb doesn't hurt much and I can deal with it. I'm still walking to work everyday and walking back after. It's a matter of will and I don't have much choice.
Work is work. It doesn't mean much. Just once I'd like to have a conversation with one of the customers that doesn't end with them trying to involve me in some scam. There's nothing there except a scant paycheck. Nothing at all.
I work, stumble in, feed my puppy, try and walk her. She has a new favorite stick that she keeps assiduous track of. She can find it under leaves in the middle of a thousand other sticks. She tries to get me to chase her for it. When I feebly try she giggles.
Then I just collapse. This week I'd wake up in pain after the pills ran out. I'd deal with that by taking more ibuprofen and then playing on the WDTV Live. I've hacked it up to where I'm almost happy Werewolf Of London with it.
In all my hacking around I did make one decision. I used to save all the movies to DVD's. Now I realize that I can do better by storing them on external hard drives. I figure I can get 400 DVD's on a 1.5 TB drive that I can get for about 80 bucks. Four hundred DVDs would cost me more than that. And the External HD has a much longer shelf life.
It goes along with my idea of keeping most of my music in lossless format instead of aac. (I haven't used MP3 for years) In blind tests I can tell an MP3 from the original better than 805 of the time. With Yul Brenner
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aac it was about 30% of the time. aac sounds more open to me, less compressed and many fewer artifacts. Lossless makes the whole process moot. And on the iPod it starts to sound a whole lot like life when I'm walking around out there.
The only issue is that the iPod only plays Apple Lossless files. This is a weird codec which seems based on flac but is totally proprietary. I hate proprietary codecs. But its lossless so it's no issue at all to dump them back and forth to and from flac if the need arises.
The lossless files have the airy openness and purity of joy. Of course my music collection has swollen to over 75 gigs and I can't quite fit 300 songs on the iPod, but really, how often do I need more than four hours of music at a time.

I just woke up. Fell asleep in my chair . . . again.

One of the reasons for my confusion is that my bedrock is fading. There's only three games left in the season. Three NFL games and then its over until August when we get to start it up all over Maria Magdalena
Click images for desktop size: "Maria Magdalena" by Unknown
again. With any luck in February the cardiologist will clear me and starting in August I'll get to start coaching again.
But now the emptiness gets to settle in.
It doesn't help that my friend has managed to jam up the computers so badly that she is beating me by NINE points for the season. My sense of justice hopes she get caught for the serious server hacking she must have been doing to change it so she was perfect last week! Of course I'm fond of her and the idea of her getting any more hassles upsets me slightly. But I'm not sure if that upsets me as much as being cheated of my natural superiority . . .

My picks in the two games are in bold.

New York Jets at Indianapolis - Yeah. I know that a Colts vs Saints SuperBowl has been in the cards since week 8 but the Jets shouldn't be even be here. They may turn out to be like John McCay's and Doug Williams' Tampa Bay team that miraculously got to the Championship game onlyWorst Case Scenario to get easily throttled. But I'd rather believe in the dream than the reality. Payton Manning is a machine. If Tom Brady didn't exist there's no denying he'd be the greatest QB of this generation. But Rex Ryan's defense is the type that can give him fits. And Ryan is creative enough to figure out a way to take Dallas Clark away from him. Reavis will shut out Reggie Wayne and that leaves him some talented receivers but the issue is whether that front seven will even give him a chance to check down and find them. The Colts can't run the ball against the Jets, they've barely needed to run at all this season but today they need to be effective enough to use the play action. The Jets don't have to sack Manning, they just need to knock him down a few times and be in his face, they can do that. On the other side of the Ball it's the Jets solid running game and the wide eyed cockiness of Mark Sanchez, the Super Rookie who should have been taking the Trojans to the National Championship this season. Instead he decided to go to Untitled by Peter Tapang
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the Superbowl. I think there's a good chance he can do it again or else Sanchez could end up being the new generation's Doug Williams. Besides that, if the Colts ride Manning to victory it will be boring and predictable. If the Jets win it's a beautiful drama filled with laughter and tears. Always go with the dream even if it's doomed.

Minneapolis at New Orleans - The Game of the Year! This has everything you could want. The lowly Saints flying high riding a video game offense commanded by little Dru Brees. Brees makes my heart ache. He's got the swagger and the toughness wrapped up with enthusiasm and the excitement of the game. He makes his good receivers great. Reggie Bush, who has added hard nosed toughness to his ballet like runs. Jeremy SHockey playing on one leg but still blocking and still catching touch downs. The Saints line will control the Vikings pass rush and might even hold the Saints to under 40 points. Maybe. But then the Vikings; Brett Favre. Brett Favre. The ultimate Witchfinder General gunslinger. Every time he takes his helmet off I'm shocked to see that patch of gray hair on his head. He's a force and the greatest playmaker ever in the NFL. He specializes in making the impossible routine. But he also has the record for most INT's in history. Sharper, Saints safety has a broken hand. That will save Brett at least one pick but two picks could turn this game around. Then there's the beast, Adrien Petersen. He's slowed down some, the beating of 17 games seems to have taken a toll. With a healthy Sedrick Ellis at tackle (TROJAN) the Saints nimble linebackers will find the gaps easy to shut down. Brett will find some pressure too enough for the Saints to win a shoot out. And if any team ever needed and deserved a Champion its New Orleans. Whichever team wins this game it will be exciting and fraught will the elegance and beauty of the game.

January 16, 2010

To be is to do
Immanuel Kant

ctrlaltsup by Couac
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The holidays were pretty good, but they already seem like a vivid dream.
My friend came down from Canada and bought the giant dog and the gentle dog with her. The giantTruck Stop Women dog was pretty much, "Oh, there you are. I want a cookie." While the gentle dog was very glad to see me and showed it.
My puppy was her usual reserved self and just wanted to play fight everybody. The rescue dog wouldn't stand for that and insisted on being the center of attention, which sort of ruined things but only a little.
We did the usual poor people Christmas stuff. And on her birthday I took my friend to a Korean Tofu Soup restaurant. I proposed and tried to make it not sound like a business deal. She said yes.
Services will be in March.
But my health keeps deteriorating. The latest is nerve damage in my leg. It hurts like a prairie fire at harvest time. It burns from just above my right hip all the way down to my right knee, the burning causes a lot of muscle cramping.
I keep examining the leg expecting to see swelling or blood but it just looks normal. I noticed my thighs are getting skinny but my calves look great!
Pain so bad went to the doctor. It was a hobbling trek. The doc pointed out that one of the first chemo's I had was full of neurotoxins, that and the diabetes meant I could look forward to a lot of neuropathic pain and damage. She prescribed this drug Lyrica, 75 mgs. I found out it's a controlled drug. First time taking it made me dopey, right now it makes me feel hungover and thick skinned. I don't know if its helping the leg pain more than ibuprofen.
The doc gave me the usual lectures. I made her laugh a lot. I went straight from work and was cotton headed from lack of sleep. For some reason I'm always acerbic and funny when I'm struggling to stay awake.
The Giant Orion
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They changed a few of my other drugs, mild changes.

One cool thing about my friend visiting was she bought along her AppleTV. The idea was that I'd either getting it working on her MacNook or I'd swap it for my WDTVLive. I got it working pretty quickly.
But I was able to compare the two. For beauty and ease of usage the AppleTV makes the WDTVLive look pretty stupid. It just works and requires nothing but intuition and curiosity.
In terms of playing media though the WDTVLive was like so much better. It really would come down to what you want to do with it. I'm running the WDTVlx Live hacked firmware from b-rad. That let me get the WDTV at least looking, not good, but not so horribly ugly. Like all Windows based machines the interface and networking are pig ugly and near hopeless. The hacked firmware improves some of that. It should be pointed out that the WDTV is one of the only media players that recognizes HTFS drives (Mac hard disks) so it gets plenty of points for that.Touch of Evil
I like the WDTV but only after a lot of work. I'd never be comfortable with my friend or kids using it. It's fragile in its network connections, but robust in playing anything. It includes a file manager to let you delete, move or copy files right from the WDTV. Pretty stupid feature if you had kids. No way to restrict that that I can see either.

Last weeks playoffs I got perfectly. I was 0-4 . . . My friend was 3 of 4. I'm calling for a congressional investigation into game fixing.
My picks for this week are in bold.

Arizona at New Orleans - Last week against the Packers Kurt Warner looked incredible, pure Hall of Fame type play. A lot of people are saying he's ready to blow it all open again this year and carry the Cardinals to the SuperBowl. The Saint's have lost there last 3 games and are well rested. I think they'll be plenty sharp especially Dru Brees, Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush. Sedrick Ellis should also be healed up. With him on the line the Saints line backers don't have to fight off as many blocks and become an efficient unit. I want the Saints to win. I think they can slow down the Cardinal O enough to win a shoot out.

Baltimore at Indianapolis - Its tempting to go with the Ravens. They're one of my favorite teams. I don't much like the Colts but for the reasons I don't like them (boring game plans, flawless execution, no fun or drama) is the reason they'll probably win this going away. So I'm picking the Sandalwood by Pepper Vu
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Colts but cheering for the Ravens.

Dallas at Minnesota - Suddenly everyone is calling for the Cowboys to get to the SuperBowl. The Cowboys stink. Their impressive wins come against the NFC East and a Saints team that had already clinched the first seed in the play offs. Brett Farve and Adrien Petersen are going to give the Cowboys more than they can handle while the front seven will destroy Tony Romo's confidence.

New York Jets 17 at San Diego 31 - We NEED to see the Chargers against the Colts in the AFC Championship game. The Jets are playing strong inelegant football. The Chargers are just flying low and winning. I'm stoked fro this one.

January 9, 2010

There's no justice there's just us
Terry Pratchett

Untitled by 3D
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The holidays are over.
Sad. Bittersweet life.Tammy and the T-Rex
I'm one of those guys who sees the holidays as continuing until the SuperBowl, a bit more subdued maybe but blocking and tackling and guys trying to catch balls while other guys try and stop them always fills me with a sense of wonder and peace.
Now that the Bowl season is over its time to get into the NFL playoffs. The finest athletes in the world, blocking and tackling and trying to catch a ball.
The playoffs cap off what was a pretty dire NFL season. The quality of the football was pretty high but the scheduling made it so that there were a huge amount of meaningless poorly played games. I was talking to some guys who thought the Cleveland v Lions game was the best game of the year. That's the one where the Lion's Matt Stafford won the game with a touchdown pass with no time remaining.
What I saw was a pretty poorly played game with erratic execution. That doesn't change what it means to the players and the players are always what makes any game fascinating.
As bad as the season was there were some bright glowing spots. There has to be.
The New Orleans Saints with Dru Brees cheerleading them and gut checking them to a 13-0 start was incredible. And The Cincinnati Bengals sweeping the AFC North was something that I couldn't ignore and appreciate.
As it stands that's my dream SuperBowl. Right now it's not my prediction it's just the SuperBowl I would like to see.
There's a lot of things I like about the Bengals. There's a strong USC connection, which I always like. Carson Palmer, the QB, coming back and playing like the elite QB he is. Keith Rivers and Rey Robert Crumb
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Robert Crumb
Maleluga giving the Bengals a real playmaking defense and a dangerous front seven. And then they picked up Larry Johnson.
I knew Larry Johnson from State College High School. He was a phenomenal athlete then. I met his father and mother and his little brother Tony (who may be a better athlete but lacks Larry's hard competitive edge). I know the kid and I know he's not like the way the press has depicted him.
There are things about being an elite athlete that non-athletes never seem to get. They can't imagine what its like to prepare your body to stretch it past the possible, the mindset that's entailed in always believing you're being better than your opponent. The stresses of tuning your body and your mind create a tension. Pop stars and classical musicians are permitted to have their affectations and tantrum demands. Its expected and respected. An athlete is only "permitted" to be either sullen or at least keep his mouth shut.
There's been a lot of talk about Tom Brady being the NFL player of the decade. It would be really hard to make any arguments against that. The rings, the record and the duress and he definitelyTerminator falls into the "keep your mouth shut" category in his public life. But as awe inspiring as Brady is there's a player on the Bengals who falls into a different category, The Player I Most Wished I'd Coached of the Decade. And that player would be Chad Ocho Cinco nee Johnson.
Ocho Cinco created one of the most wondrous moments in sports history. It was a week before Christmas and then Ocho Cinco scored a TD. I don't remember the score or the situation or even who the opponent was. What I remember was Ocho Cinco scoring the TD and then running to a side line marker. He tilted the marker up and pulled out a giant Christmas stocking stuffed with loot. He then ran up and down the sidelines tossing Christmas presents to the fans.
It was glorious, it was ebullient and the greatest TD celebration that ever was or will be. The NFL fined him and banned all such actions so they'd never be again. They've completely erased the moment from their history. They took something fun and made it illegal because it detracted from the seriousness of the game.
I've been coaching for 20 years. Most of it working with the social inclusion of youth. Football is a Phish Food by tpgPhotography
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hard vicious game that I still contend is the best and ultimate way to show young people how to work to improve themselves to be the best that they can be so that they can fit into a plan and be part of a team so that the team can go forward and accomplish unbelievable things. And all of those kids took the lessons that our game had to teach them and used those lessons to succeed in a community and society that had previously written them off as wasted youth.
And that worked because our game is fun. The hours of gym work, the hours of practice for the scant minutes of game time were all just fun.
The NFL doesn't much care about fun.
I worked with NFL Europe or the World Football League or whatever gooney name they were giving it for a while. It soon seemed to me that this league had only two purposes: For the owners to be able to take lavish European vacations that could be written off as business expense and to sell Through the Back Door more NFL merchandise. I met about half of the NFL owners of the time and a good chunk of Paul Taglibue's staff.
It was only after Vince McMahon founded the X-Football League that anyone started to care about what they were putting on the field. Starting to use the League as a "minor" developmental league was Gene Kelly
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the solution but that was still secondary to expensive vacations and selling merchandise. Neither goal held any interest for me so I didn't last long in the NFL Europe offices or fields.
But those are the kind of guys who never played the game who could look at Chad Ocho Cinco, an elite receiver who rejoiced in and loved our game and instead of catching the infectious fever that Ocho Cinco brings to the field they only saw something that needed to be eliminated.
Whatever these guys do for a good time I doubt it could ever interest me.
This year Ocho Cinco, in the midst of the best season the Bengals have ever had, after a blown pass interference that wasn't called, Ocho Cinco tried to bribe the official with a dollar. It was humorous, it was fun and funny. It bought an NFL game up to a level of beauty and entertainment that I never thought it could recall.
Ocho Cinco was fined $50,000. He paid the fine and then matched the fine and made an equal donation to children's charities. To understand NFL priorities remember that a cheap shot merits as little as a $3,000 fine. That's like getting 30 days for assault and 15 years for dancing after midnight.
The Pull of Maybe by Blurburger
Click images for desktop size: "The Pull of Maybe" by Blurburger
Chad Henry, the other Bengals elite receiver died tragically this season in a shocking way. Ocho Cinco wanted to wear his jersey the weekend of Henry's death. The NFL said no tributes to the dead unless they're straight ahead white guys I figure. Ocho CInco stood his ground and the NFL promised him the heaviest fine it could levy. The Player's Union actually stepped forward and said it would pay the fine on Ocho Cinco's behalf. The NFL refused. Their intent was to punish Ocho Cinco if he dared to pay a tribute to his friend and teammate, a touching tribute that would have touched my heart and the heart's of millions to see.
They took the joy and beauty out of the moment and Ocho Cinco sadly, if prudently, denied himself the simple Eulogy to his friend.
There's a long list of things Ocho Cinco has done that appeal to me. When he had no receptions against Reavis in the season finale he gave Reavis credit for being great and never blamed his injured knee. He had one season where he went public with his despair at playing for loosing teamsThese Are the Damned and then came back and apologized for it and on and on.
Chad Ocho Cinco is a player that I think can be held up as an example to other young men. He works incredibly hard. He's super fit. He runs excellent routes, helps his QB, is a good blocker. His game is constantly improving. And he has fun playing this sport at its highest level. He laughs and enjoys his status as a rich celebrity. HE cares for the children of his community in ways great and small. He's turned the iPhone and the smart phone community into his own special place to reach out to fans and other players.
Chad Ocho Cinco is what I dreamed each of my players, my kids, might become. And I think he's special and I hope to see him play in the SuperBowl catching a TD pass somersaulting out of the back of the end zone with the ball still in his hands.

At the end of the regular season I am leading my friend by one point. This is a testament to the genius and clear headed thinking I gave all my picks as well as a testament to the depths of feminine cheating and lucky guessing . . . Well, it is.
Due to some insightful scheduling 3 of this weeks 4 games are rematches from last week . . . That sure spells excitement not to mention a weird sense of deja vu.
My picks are in bold.

New York Jets at Cincinnati - The Jets won last week in a game that meant everything to them and nothing to the Bengals. The only thing that makes me nervous about this game is that the Bengals still won't have Ray Maleluga. Their D needs his high rev motor back there. He's a disruptive force who fits in well to the Bengals team. I also think Ocho Cinco will burn Reavis for one long TD.

Philadelphia at Dallas - Its hard for me to pick a team with Michael Vick. He has not held to his Midstream Encounter
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promises as far as I'm concerned. I was a supporter but he's done minimal work with kids or on behalf of animals. Carson Palmer appears at his local animal shelter on Pet Adoption day for nothing but the joy of it. Where was Vick on that day? I think that was the condition for his release and for his reinstatement. It's the NFL and only tickets and merchandise sales really matter.But I like the Cowboys D well enough but think their O is wreckless and erratic. The Eagles are even more erratic, remember they got bombed by the Raiders not that long ago. McNabb is too good a QB and too intense a leader to permit a replay of last weeks dismal performance.

Baltimore at New England - Game of the Week if only because it's not a replay like the others. I like the Ravens and think they match up well with the Patriots. Brady has a broken finger to match his three broken ribs so it should be close.

Green Bay 28 at Arizona 21 - The packers blew the Cardinals out last week in a game that meant nothing to the Cards. The Packers should keep the swagger and Clay Matthews should delight in chasing down immobile Kurt Warner.

December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas baby, you sure do treat me right
Otis Redding

Merry Christmas Christmas eve.
Work started out hellacious but ended up being only creepy.Action Comics
Waiting for my friend to arrive. Thousand mile drive. She's bringing 2 dogs. Big adventure for them. They've never been anywhere before.
Big adventure for her too. She hasn't been as many places as she could have been.
I loaded up the iPod with a clashing mix of Christmas music (my kind of Christmas music) old stuff and new. When I walked to work the melange suddenly worked and I remembered those days when the car radio was my friend. The warped mixture of CHristmas music, garage and rock made sense and made me nostalgic for those times when cruising Tommy's Hamburgers and talking about the Christmas surf made sense and all while the radio played our changing soundtrack.
The wonder of Christmas was long passed but there were still dreams of a new surf board, speakers for the car stereo, surprises galore, and maybe there was still some wonder. I remember sitting silent in the car with my buddies while we listened to the Bobs, The Trashmen, Chuck Berry and the Beach Boys all singing Christmas tunes mixed in with the latest top 40. I remembered that it felt good because the music and the guys were all friends that made the time of year something more.
Christmas eve.
I'm actually off Christmas Day, not with pay of course. My Christmas bonus was twenty bucks and a scratch off lottery ticket . . . couldn't give you Christmas Day off with pay. "A poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every December the twenty fifth!"
Shows you how much I'm worth to the company. This isn't based on actual dollars or actual worth Santa Claus just their perception which there's plenty of evidence is devious, convoluted and untrustworthy.
So I'm waiting for my friend to finish her big adventure drive with two big dogs who are bewildered at best. And, while I was walking home from work, I was thinking about Christmas and the Jesus thing.
I know some people like to think I'm very spiritual and full of faith. Which seems odd to me because they're basing that on the fact that I believe in very little. I believe more in people than anything else. I was raised Catholic and one thing that is still true, once you're a catholic you are always a catholic. I've heard guys described as Catholic Bhuddists and even Catholic atheists. But being Catholic it is always what defines you. It's a pleasurable guilt thing.
So I guess my religious beliefs would be a bit of Catholic Pantheist Tao Swedenborgainism sort of thing. Which is a lot of words that don't add up to much and that is pretty much about how I feel about most religions.
This doesn't mean that I think anyone should be constricted in their beliefs. Even those whacky Captain Marvel scientology guys have that right. If they find peace in a hack failed sci-fi writers double talk that's cool by me.
My big problem with those guys is their deceptive practices and the nasty co-opting of the rapture. I don't think anyone has the right to do twisted things to other people because the world is going to end soon and because I've said the right words or read the right book all these bastards are going to die while I get spirited away by either angels or space ships.
I don't like the rapture being used to justify being a jerk, or to excuse deceiving people for their own good. Other than that what you believe is always cool by me. Just don't mess with the waves and the rocks, the reefs and the forests.
Charles Dodgson once wrote a letter to a friend who had turned agnostic and was starting to consider himself an atheist. Dodgson said some cool things about how his friends beliefs would not condemn him to hell or anything that retaliatory. But he wanted to convince him of the divinity of Jesus Christ because Dodgson seriously believed that believing in Christ would make his friend's life more pleasant and enjoyable.
These were a couple of Oxford Don's exchanging letters so a big part of the discourse was based around a whole lot of scholarly religioso stuff that escapes my interest. But there was one argument in Dodgson's letters that I found compelling and simple.
Dodgson proposed that for over 1800 years various groups and governments had attempted to emphatically disprove the existence of Christ as the Messiah and they had failed.
The Three Kings I liked that. I don't care much for anyone asking me to have blind faith, or compelling you to have faith because you needed it to believe. Too cyclical an argument for me.
The idea that the Romans of the time had the opportunity and the motive to disprove that Christ had risen from the grave and could not does resonate some. That the Christians bedeviled and eventually usurped the Roman empire despite brutal Roman oppression and constant attempts to malign and discredit Christ but they couldn't is a pretty decent argument all the way around.
I mean why couldn't they produce a couple of guys to say, "Hey, we saw Joe and Lou open up Christ's grave and carry the body out!"
It would have benefited the Romans greatly and put a cabosh on the whole thing. When those guys Mark and Matthew were writing the gospels and stuff why didn't the Romans pull out a guy to say,Donald Duck "He didn't walk on water! There's a sandbar on that sea. Anybody could have walked across it."
And on and on. It Christmas so my thoughts drift towards Christ but I think the same argument applies to Bhudda and Mohammed and Moses and most divinities.
I like that there are people out there that we consider divine. And all those divinities started out as people. People who believed in something and wanted to help others.
Its kind of cool. The kind of cool I like.

So it will be hours until my friend arrives all safe and loud and raucous, I hope. The dogs will have to reacquaint themselves and they'll be plenty of tussling and fighting, which spells a pretty exciting and Merry Christmas for me.
I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas. I'm certain its allowed. My thoughts are with you. Even if it feels like I'm ignoring you, I'm not. I just can't do as much as I used to do.
Merry Christmas.

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 29, 2009

UCLA 7 USC 28

Carlos Pacheco
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Carlos Pacheco
I've lived outside of the US too many years for Thanksgiving to be that special to me. That doesn't mean I don't have memories and expectations.Sacrifice
One memory is of my kids (as in my team) in the UK deciding I needed an old fashioned American Thanksgiving feast.
They did their best using their frame of reference. They took over my kitchen and made a typical Brit Christmas dinner with a turkey instead of goose and roast parsnips and turnips instead of corn. It was edible. The food wasn't important. It was that a bunch of young men and women managed to plan and execute and then function as a unit to accomplish a goal.
That the goal was to please me is only important in that they accomplished it for reasons other than they intended.
I had to work this Thanksgiving. It was rough. Most of the regulars were there but the others were dopers and drunks looking for any place that was open. It's been a while since I've felt that I was in danger that I might not be able to handle. I felt vulnerable. Every other joint in town has been robbed. We haven't yet. Thanksgiving morning that felt pretty tenuous. But nothing happened.
My relief came in. The owner decided that everyone but me would work a four shift, his concession to stealing the holiday. My relief was crabby, she usually is. I don't blame her but I was irked that she'd tell me about it.
There's a dispute going on. The guys who worked four hours are getting paid triple time for it while, for some unknown reason they want to pay me only double time!!
That does seem like a rip and an insult and I will quit a job that tries to steal 60 bucks from me. We'll see how it plays out. Fairness says I win. But who knows.
I was planning on using the overtime money to buy a TV so I can watch the playoffs, the bowl Clarence Carter
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Clarence Carter
games and see my movies. If I get shorted I'll hold on to the money while I do a job search. I'm already pretty heavily taken advantage of there because I'm desperate but even desperation has its limit.
I went home and fell asleep in the chair again. Woke up about 1 or 2. Took my puppy for a walk. We played some. She likes to look fierce and attack me. It makes me laugh. Her too.
I'd decided to be alone this Thanksgiving. Share a hundred or so emails with my friend and my other friends and then go to this big buffet place everyone here talks about. They had take out so I had to decide on taking my puppy and getting two meals to go or going alone and bringing her meal home to her.
I followed good advice I wish I'd ignored and went alone.
The streets were pleasantly deserted. Few cars and no other people. The walk takes me past the cardiac clinic which is part of a huge complex. I liked seeing it completely vacant.
As I passed it I saw a bird across the street. I wished my puppy was with me. She loves to watchScandal Inc the birds.
At first I thought it was some sort of exciting omen. I thought it was a wild Turkey on Thanksgiving Day! That got me all excited but I wasn't very disappointed when I got up beside it and saw it was one of the ugliest birds I'd ever seen: an East Coast Vulture pecking at the ground. I guess he was looking for roadkill.
West Coast Vultures are pretty ugly too but I'd grown up with them and somehow thought of them as grotesque rulers of the desert. They The Beatles
Click images for desktop size: "The Beatles"
had a certain majesty and fear to them that this guy lacked.
I was about 10 feet away from him when he acknowledged me. He flew away. I was amazed that he had a wing span of well over five feet. He flew about 15 feet away and perched on a 6 foot fence. He looked impressive there as he watched me walk by. His beak and claws looked pretty vicious but I find it impossible to be afraid of animals and I figured East Coast vultures are pretty much like the guys on the West Coast and don't have a lot of interest in something living.
Thinking of it buoyed me the rest of the way.
The restaurant was crowded. It was a pretty dowdy crowd. I'd dressed nicely (thanks to my friend shipping me some more of my clothes and coats) so I stood out.
Funny place. You have to pay as you enter! You couldn't go in with a friend and just have coffee. You had to pay.
It was twelve bucks for all you could eat, which seemed cool. I was pretty hungry. I also saw that the meals to go were $4.95 a pound! I figured I could score plenty of goodies for my puppy at that price.
I got a glass of unsweetened ice tea and put it on the cafeteria tray. That was two bucks! I didn't Cassandra
Click images for desktop size: "Casandra" by Unknown
understand why the drinks were before the pay station. Now I got the point.
There were several people eating alone but no tables for less than four. I found an empty easily enough.
There were stations with plastic plates. The plates were small, like salad plates really.
I had a salad. The salad bar wasn't much but I was in good spirits and pretty happy with the concoction I whipped up. Then I went for the feast. They had a guy carving roasted turkey breast. One slice at a time. I took it, got some corn bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn and brown onion gravy.
It was okay. Not great but okay.
I went got and got another slice of turkey and some rice, shrimp and some unknown seafood dish mixed with jalapeno peppers.
For dessert I had a huge plate of melon topped with canned peaches and maraschino cherries. I then went and asked about getting a box to go for my puppy and was seriously disappointed to discoverShe Mob my little fantasy didn't play. I figured I'd get a little styrofoam box that I'd take around and fill up, they'd weigh it, I'd pay, happy puppy!
Doesn't work that way. They had food to go but it was all from this case. They had no turkey in the case. So I got a plate and another slice of turkey, wrapped it in a napkin and took it home so my puppy would have a memorable Thanksgiving.
As I walked home I started to get sick. I've been having some pretty bad chest pain this week. Not bad enough to think about taking any nitro pills but annoying. The chest pain started in badly and then full on symptoms of food poisoning.
I doubt I'll be going back to this joint.
My puppy was kind. She loved her turkey and she lie on the bed with me pretending to attack me before falling asleep on me.
My puppy made it a good Thanksgiving for sure. As good as those long ago ones when people brought me happiness instead of sadness. Back when I thought Sartre was a jerk.
Work was bad. I was seriously disappointed to go in and find the place was packed. Somehow it didn't seem right to be away from your home and gambling. It was a repeat of the previous night without any criminal types. I guess even the bad guys stay at home on the holiday.
The next day was better. My puppy and I went on our long walk. She was stoked. Everything looked new to her. She enjoyed the cold weather a lot. I liked the cool crisp day and I liked the light. I was surprised to realize that the light reminded me of the light in Florence Italy. Very peculiar but pleasant to see. Vivid colors covered with a muted patina. I'd never seen it look like that here before, and I notice those sort of things.
We went to a frozen yogurt place that has a great sugar free vanilla. They sweeten with aspartame C and H by Deskto
Click images for desktop size: "C & H" by Deskto
and not malitol. My puppy and I shared a cup of it. She thought I ate more than my share. I had a cherry lime rickey that reminded me of when I was a kid and we'd go to Delores Drive In.
It seemed a shame for our walk to end but I was still shaky. I did buy a new soda pop I quite like. Diet Mountain Dew Ultra Violet. I've only found it one place and only in those pricey buck and half bottles. I also heard that this is a temporary limited offer drink. So I guess my little bottle is precious.
Today we went for a long walk and got tacos and ceviche. Time spent with my puppy is always rewarding.

Last week my friend and I tied at 10-6 . . . I've yet to figure out how she's cheating. It is not inconceivable that she is fixing the games! This could turn into an enormous scandal! Nearly as big a scandal as her bating me nearly every week!
For the season she leads 109 to 105. Not enough to discourage me yet.The Set Up

My picks are in bold.

Green Bay at Detroit - This was my survivor game of the week. I'm still in and I have a good shot at finishing the season and maybe even winning. I'm in the final 4%!! I picked the Packers because they were playing the Lions . . .

Oakland at Dallas - Another Thursday winner! I fell like I have a shot this week! I picked the Cowboys because they played the Raiders . . .

New York Giants at Denver - The Giants suck . . .

Tampa Bay at Atlanta - The Buccaneers couldn't follow up on their only win but they are showing signs of life. Too bad because now there's no way they can sneak up on the Falcons who are desperately trying to make some semblance of a play off run. I look for Matt Ryan to have a stat crazy day.

Miami at Buffalo - When the players are more concerned about who their next head coach will be CGB94
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by CGB94
instead of their next opponent it's a pretty good sign they've given up on the season. Miami still has a chance to make the play offs and have played hard all season long. Ricky WIlliams is insane but what's wrong with that. He has a shot for 200 yards against the porous Bills defense.

Arizona at Tennessee - Vince Young is playing real football again and has the Titans looking positive. Kurt Warner is questionable for the Cardinals and as much as I'd love to see Matt Linehart come off the bench and throw for 400 yards and 5 TD's it seems unlikely. I like him a lot but this rematch of National Championship QB's shouldn't be that close.

Seattle at St Louis - Cruddy game of the week. I considered picking Seattle as my survivor team but jeez they stink. So do the Rams but Steve Jackson isn't banged up and could actually swing theSlither upset.

Washington at Philadelphia - They sold the tickets so I guess they have to play the game. The Redskins are beyond bad but still managed to win 3 games this season. The Eagles lost to the Raiders and are still in the playoff picture. This is my who cares game of the week.

Carolina at New York Jets - Mark Sanchez has been looking shell shocked recently. There's enough film on him now for opposing D's to get a handle on him and play him hard. The Panthers are a real mess though and without Steve Smith they might have a rough time mustering any O. It seems pathetic to have to think about the consequences of two 4-6 teams but I like Sanchez too much to make this a Cruddy game of the week contender.

Indianapolis at Houston - A lot of the experts are picking the Texans to snap the Colts perfect season. I can't see it. Payton Manning is still Manning and Matt Schoub isn't. It still should be competitive but whatever happens it will be anticlimactic.

Chicago at Minnesota - I'm still waiting for Adrian Petersen to break 400 yards! This could be the game. The Bears are looking disheveled and its hard to believe even Lovee Smith can get them up for this one. You wonder what records Brett Favre will break this week.

Kansas City at San Diego - Last week the Chiefs beat the Steelers. I figure they over celebrated to be easy pickings for a team that was already poised to destroy them.

Jacksonville at San Francisco - The Jaguars are 6-4 and surging and the 49ers are 4-6. The 49ers T Hecker
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by T Hecker
have been playing solid football, playing past their talent levels. They've had bad moments but no bad games this season. Frank Gore will give the Jaguars fits even if Alex Smith won't.

New England at New Orleans - GAME OF THE WEEK!! And the only one to get excited about at all. The Patriots are coming in with a chip on their shoulder after the devastating loss to the Colts last week. The Saints are looking to prove that they are as real as 10-0 can make you. Tom Brady in a shootout with Dru Brees is something to dream on for days. If Reggie Bush and Sedrick Ellis are back and healthy that will make this a game to remember. I don't really care who wins but I'm taking the Saints because well, because this is the year its safe to love them.

Pittsburgh 12 at Baltimore 18 - The Steelers can't win without Troy and now they don't have Rothliesberger and have to turn to Dennis Dixon, 3rd string. RAH! Dixon has talent but he's far from ready to start in the NFL. The Ravens will blitz him until he cries. Flacco will get enough of the job done and might even make this a rout.

November 22, 2009

To be or not to be; that's not really a question
Jean-Luc Godard

7th Vision
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by 7th Vision
Tuesday
Another day at work. Spent my waking time arranging my transportation for physical therapy, optician and neurology appointments. It seemed a dreary and depressing chore.Robin and Marian  
Took my puppy for her walk and, as usual, marveled at how much she enjoys just being with me; how keen she is for adventure. We saw a rabbit. It was disappointing that the bunny wouldn't sit still to be smelled.
We met a new dog in the neighborhood . A boy.
It made for a good morning.
I fell asleep at the computer reading emails, went to bed at 11 AM. Begrudgingly my puppy agreed to share our single bed. Slept fitfully until my phone rang; robot calls, two in a row, confirming the physical therapy and the neurology appointments.

Wednesday
Pouring rain; makes me feel even sicker.
Went to Physical therapy. It was good. He explained to me why drops in barometric pressure cause my shoulder to hurt and why the corresponding effect is a two inch loss of mobility.
The explanation was filled with tech terms and medical jargon. The ones I got were the easy ones like orbital and viscous fluid. Even when I didn't understand it all it gave me comfort to have it explained out loud.
Stretched out the three ligaments in the shoulder. Hurt but felt I was getting some good out of it. Then worked on the shoulder with some machines and tools. I made a special effort to remember the names of the tools. Can't recall any of them. Don't know if that's due to the fever or lack of sleep.
Next time I'll write it all down. Taking notes on my life.

Thursday
The war with Canada escalates. I received a two page letter from them. It makes no sense. It Untitled by 3D
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by 3D
clearly was rushed and not even proofread.It is so insane and bewildering that I wish I had a good attorney I could afford to interpret it. It is as full of lies as a government letter normally is but ends with a whack phrase "I find you not to be inadmissible so I refuse you entry to Canada . . . "
To which I can only say, "Huh?"
Its what I expected but I expected a little more care to be taken and for their to be some precision and not so filled with wild conclusions and down right lies, demonstrably false lies to boot.

Friday
After a painful day at work I fell asleep in front of the computer but woke up in time for Physical Therapy and to go the neurologist.
I had to sit for over an hour in the waiting room. It was the kind of waiting room I've come to hate; large and over bearing with noise, not helped much by the two flat screen TV's blaring different commercials for medical services from opposing corners.
Met the Doctor. He was in his late 20's. Seemed like he was sort of brilliant. As we talked I foundRancho Notorious out he was one of the lead's on the NFL concussion and neurological research team.
Watching him rip through the medical database (which is still a thing of beauty) was cool. An impressive feat was that he'd gone and dug up data that wasn't in the database. Early medical treatments from before the database existed and before I lived here. A lot of research for a new patient. I started to think about how much the wunderkind Stalin
Click images for desktop size: "Josef Stalin"
must charge.
One unsettling fact was that one of the first chemo's I had, a pretty nasty one - the constant sickness and hair falling out in clumps that makes good dramatic movie fodder but is still no fun to live through, it started with a Vin or some such, well this Vin chemo contained a neurotoxin as one of its ingredients . . . it would sort of be impossible for me not to have some nerve damage. This was also the chemo that gave me diabetes. Nasty stuff. It didn't work either.
He explained that diabetes also caused a certain amount of inevitable nerve damage. Then he said the only cringe inducing thing of the day, "you know you're a pretty fascinating guy. When I was doing your medical history I was expecting someone well, no one like you. You don't even look your age let alone like someone who's been through all this," as he waved his hand at the computer screen and its load of open documents.
I replied with something weak like, "A guy is always more than just a bunch of words and pictures," with a shrug. He started to say something back and ended with, "Well, I should get on with the examination."
And that's what we did.
I have definite damage in the ulnar nerve. This was possibly caused by the cop twisting my arm. Shaped by 3D
Click images for desktop size: "Shaped" by 3D
Also my left foot surprisingly has some dead spots. I can feel a jab but I can't feel the buzz of a tuning fork.
Oddest was that I have mag something or other in my left eye. When I look to the left my left eye bounces around independently and crazily. I was totally unaware of this. The wunderkind was annoyed that the opthamologist hadn't noticed this. I didn't think much of the opthamologist so I wan't surprised by him missing it but I still have no idea what it means, other than another series of tests EMG's on December 4th.
I received an odd phone call. I'm being recruited to coach a semi-pro team. A couple of my former players are pushing hard for it.
I don't see much value to semi-pro football; at least not the values that I think I can teach. These are men and I still think I can teach young men and women best. I'll listen but I remain skeptical.

Saturday
For Thanksgiving I gave myself a present. I took my puppy to see Santa Claus. I laughed a lot.Red Sonja
' We saw a lot of great dogs and ran into two of the people who were in our first therapy dog class. The dogs and the people who fed them remembered my puppy and me. I didn't remember the people but I remembered the dogs. Maybe it was the other way around for my puppy.
Their male dog just finished two years of being cancer free after being operated for melanoma. He worked as a therapy dog at the VA hospital even through his chemo. He demanded that I pet him and was begging for a cookie. My puppy let him have my attention, which is not common with her.

Which means that I'm looking forward to this week of football. A chance to get lost in the reality and beauty of a game that reflects and magnifies life.
In the contest my friend leads with a 97-94, but as you can see justice is beginning to prevail and I am inching closer to total victory!!
Last week I was a magnificent 10 of 15 while my friend was a laughable 9 of 15. A lesser man would gloat and laugh at her ineptitude. A slightly better man would feel sorry for someone so clearly out of her depth but me, well, I stick to downright mean gloating.

My picks are in bold.

Miami at Carolina - I picked the Dolphins. I think their record is poor but they've been playing better football. They were hard hit when Chad Pennington went down but have adapted well. Carolina is a great inconsistent mess of a team, talented but unreliable.

Indianapolis at Baltimore - Manning pulled off another miracle to remain undefeated. The Ravens Winter's Hunt
Click images for desktop size: "Winter's Hunt" by Unknown
won't be impressed. Their season is on the line. Oddly the defense has been incredibly inconsistent. They miss Rex Ryan as DC more than they thought. But their offense has been strong. The Colts freakish win over the Patriots is the sort that can give a team swagger through the rest of the season but it can also cause the wrong people to relax and just count on the miracle. With a new HC I'm figuring that will be the result and the hungrier, desperate Ravens pull one out at home. This is my Game of the Week but only because the schedule is pretty rotten.

Washington at Dallas - There's no heat for this game. The lack of heat actually favors the Redskins. The Cowboys record is adequate but loaded with wins against doormat teams. The Redskins are a doormat this season. This is a magnificent example of who cares.

Cleveland at Detroit - Cruddy Game of the Week. My Survivor Game. There are 839 "Survivors" left in the pool. Since you can only pick a team one time during the season you end up with a pretty Star Wars decrepit looking selection of teams at this stage. I'm picking the lions because I don't think they have a chance to win any more games this season. The Browns truly stink. Brady Quinn as starting QB is a joke. The Browns D is off looking for condo's in Florida. Matt Stafford gives the lions O some life. If I can get past this week I actually have a chance at winning the Survivor game.

San Francisco at Green Bay - The 49er's are a team playing better ball then their record shows. The Packers have been incredibly inconsistent but their 5-4 record is better than they are. If Singletary can keep his team together and away from being discouraged they should smash the Packers.

Buffalo at Jacksonville - The Bills make me nervous here, not that they are any good but they're the first team this season to fire its head coach. Historically cruddy teams have won like 70% of their first games after the HC has been dumped. Otherwise Jacksonville and fiery Jack Del Rio should take it to them in a rout.

Pittsburgh at Kansas City - This is going to be an ugly game. And pretty uninteresting too.
Ten-My target by TCYC
Click images for desktop size: "Ten: My Target" by TCYC

Seattle at Minnesota - Adrien Petersen, Brett Favre.

Atlanta at New York Giants - The Giants are favored in this one? Old prejudices die hard. Matt Ryan is flying high. The Falcon ground game is potent while the Giants have been bumbling. Steve Smith is looking great as a possession receiver but they mix Plaxico Burress more than they want to admit.

New Orleans at Tampa Bay - The Saints are without Reggie Bush and Sedrick Ellis. That hurts. Dru Brees' mother committed suicide. The Saints might be ready to fall. The Buccaneers have been looking eerily potent. This game is their SuperBowl. I'm sticking with the Saints out of faith.

Arizona at St Louis - This should be a rout. If it isn't there should be an investigation.

San Diego at Denver - The Chargers are starting to peak, too early for the playoffs of course, while Running Wild the Broncos are falling hard back to earth. They remind me of an old Chicago team (Remember Bobby Douglas - for your sake I hope not) that started the season 7-0 and finished 7-7 . . .

New York Jets at New England - This would not be the week I'd want to play the Patriots. Angry after the last second loss to the Colts (And I think Billichik's decision to got for it on 4th down was right. Even a great punt would not have changed the out come. The only question I have is not putting the ball in the hands of Randy Moss or Wes Welker). Tom Brady is going to turn buzz saw and looking to put his foot on someones neck. The shambolic Jets defense are going to be the poor guys out there.

Cincinnati at Oakland - The brilliant play of Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco on offense and Keith Rivers and Rey Maluga on D will keep this one entertaining. A new QB for the Raiders isn't going to be anywhere near enough.

Tennessee at Houston - I wouldn't have thought it possible but Vince Young is pulling the Titans together. The Texans are trying and get Steve Slaton back this weekend. This one has the potential to be entertaining especially watching Brian Cushing chase Vince Young down.

Philadelphia 34 at Chicago 35 - The Eagles shouldn't miss Brian Westbrook much, they've got plenty of weapons. I'm picking the Bears at home because Jay Cutler seems to follow up horrific performances (5 picks last week) with stellar jobs on his next outing.

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 15, 2009

Stanford 55 USC 21

Steve Argyle
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Steve Argyle
I have been H1N1ified.
Cost me $10. The clinic where they are giving the shots for free had 13 doses. They expected it toOctopus be gone within the hour of my calling. The pharmacy in the grocery store had 20 doses. The vaccine was free but they charged ten bucks for administering it or something. Since the government is administering the program I figured it had to be approved for them to do this. When I asked the pharmacist they assured me it was all kosher, so I went for convenience.
I'm still a bit perplexed that my health puts me on the list of the "at risk ". I don't know if that makes me "lucky". I mean I'm up there in front of pregnant women and children 4 and up. I'm preferred because of the diabetes, the chemo and the heart disease.
I'm still uncomfortable about the words "heart disease," at least when applied to myself. Makes me feel decrepit instead of vaguely dangerous.
I mean Ron Santo and Jay Cutler had/have diabetes, so that stays within my view as tough enough, Kareem Abdul Jabbar has gone public with his leukemia so that doesn't feel so much like I'm an outsider but heart disease conjures up some pretty unwelcome images. Images unsavory enough to not dwell upon, I don't think I was intended to ever get to be this kind of old.
My friend's secretary is in hospital now with H1N1 and pneumonia. So I have genuine concern. I have little enough immune system. Stupid cold bothered me for three weeks and I still have remnants of it, so I'm pretty glad to have the vaccination.
When I tell people I've gotten the vaccine it's amazing how almost everyone has a stupid story to tell me about why they don't need to be immunized. Fear is at least an honest answer. But most of the stories are about how they never get the flu, although sometimes they get colds that are so bad Piercing Stare by Fastner and Larson
Click images for desktop size: "Piercing Stare" by Fastener & Larson
they have vomiting and diarrhea . . .
Which, in my byzantine mind, leads me to bracket that logic with the sort of torsion you get from governments. The fight with the Canadian government shows no progress. There's some revealing tells.
Firstly it seems whenever you find there's something inherently wrong with the world it always seems to end with a battle with the government.
Stupidly I'm kind of experienced at it.
The first time was because of some law. In California it used to be that if a woman was getting beaten by her husband it was okay for her to run away but it was illegal for her to take her children with her . . . I mean you'd have to be some pot bellied, stogie chomping knucklehead to have come up with that one. A woman gets beaten, and if you ever saw any of these women these are beatings that drop your jaw, and when one of those poor victims finally gets the courage to save her life and she selflessly looks to protect the lives of her children the stupid cops could arrest her and then either throw her in jail or force her to return to the guy who was trying to beat her to Out of the Past death. Without busting the guy kicking the hell out of the woman . . . Yow.
The madness of law. We won that one but only because I got allies who took over and knew the right way to go. Considering my way involved a baseball bat with nails sticking out of it, that was a good thing. The law got changed. People, politicians fought against it. They Judy Garland
Click images for desktop size: "Judy Garland"
argued that any woman who would desert her home clearly wasn't in any place to care for children and that she belonged in the house with her husband. If her husband slapped her around, well, she married him didn't she. Yow.
Winning gave me confidence. I got involved in a lot I didn't win but usually I partially won and learned to ungracefully compromise. Like in England the abuse of children is horrifyingly rampant. Like the shelter for children in Islington where the care takers were turning the children into prostitutes and sending them out to turn tricks on the street. That only went on for 30 years. I think two guys went to prison for 3 or 4 years . . .
Or the British passion for writing children off as worthless and unredemable. Thirteen year old kids lost forever because one adult couldn't be bothered.
You win a few you lose a few. But you learn that the corruption of a government is beyond a persons ability to conceive. That they will exceed your nightmares with evil and nonchalance.
But they have tells. The Canadian government didn't send a form letter to my abridged list of complaints. They blithely ignored them except for demanding I resubmit forms I'd submitted 3 times before.
Right now they're trying to find my unnamed witnesses. If they were confident that they could be Orbs And Lines
Click images for desktop size: "Orbs & Lines" by Unknown
bought or discredited they would have blithely denied all the bad deeds, or justified them as standard procedure. Ignoring them with a bland promise to have a third party perhaps review them in the future is a weak chain link fence that they flee too.
It doesn't mean that the guy reviewing it won't fall back on denial and other outrageous claims. They have a difficulty there in that too many of the witnesses aren't Canadian. And that I'm not totally crippled and from Jamaica (Jamaicans suffer even worse abuse) or African or from some country too far away and too poor to support a proper battle causes some concern.
Have to see what happens. It's a long war where they rely on time to win just by wearing you out.
I am worn out. My job continues. It sucks. Often its pretty easy to despise humanity.
I get corrected. I probably am not getting depressed. Depression has become to clinical term and carries a lot of weight and implications. The actual word should be despondent, which is far morePhase IV temporary and doesn't respond well to drugs. You can be despondent and not feel enough rage to consider suicide or homicide. It's an emotion not a treatable disease.
My puppy . . . took her to a pet store and used their scale. She's lost exactly 1 pound in 3 months . . . dang. I feel like I'm starving her and, trust me, she's convinced I'm starving her.
We went for a long walk today to get tacos. I'm impressed with how much of her therapy dog training she still recalls and applies to life. Like the rescue dog drives her crazy and plays violently, nearly viciously. She wants to retaliate but does what she was trained to do with kids and that's to disengage and to come to me. A couple of times I thought she was going to retaliate against the rescue dog but instead she followed her training.
Today when a bunch of little girls swooped down on her to pet her she did what she was trained to do and that was to sit close by my side so that the little girls were forced to approach her one at a time. She still loves the attention.
I figure in a month my physical therapy will be over. Then I can start back at her therapy dog refresher. I hope she still is interested in being a therapy dog. She's very very good at it. I'm not going to force her to do it. She and I know each other well enough for her to know I'd like her to do this and I know her well enough to know when she's just trying to please me and not enjoying it. I like it when she is happy being a doctor dog, when she takes her rounds seriously and playfully. It's up to her what she wants to do here.
After a week off I'm back full force on the doctors this week. Physical Therapy on Wednesday and Friday. I get a free pair of glasses on Wednesday too. I pick them out anyway. Bifocals with a line, Polar Bear
Click images for desktop size: "Polar Bear" by Unknown
no tint and no frame selection. Those will be my indoor glasses. I'll have to buy my tinted all the time glasses. The opthamologist says I still have to wear them predominantly or risk blindness. My eyes are too sensitive to light. I priced the lenses out and the cheapest estimate for lenses is $250. I was thinking of buying a pair of cool RayBans and having prescription lenses fitted to them. Should bring the price up to about $400 . . . On Friday I have to see the GP doc, about drugs and the fact that my left foot has turned purple! As if deeply bruised. I got my new LL Bean slippers! The bruise seems to be receding as I wear them! It's probably just the stupid job where I have to stand and walk on a linoleum floor for 8 hours straight. Then I have to meet the Neurologist to end my Friday. That's to set up the test to see where the nerve damage is in my right arm. It makes the pinky and ring finger part of my hand numb. They say there's a compression of my ulnar nerve. It will probably require surgery to correct but maybe not. Its from when the cops where twisting my arm.
I also have to find a source for Plavix. It's the one drug I need to actually stay alive. The cheapPeeping Tom clinic is not going to carry it cause its too expensive . . . So far I got one price and that freaked me so badly I haven't checked else where. They wanted $540 a script . . . But Joe Lieberman is going to filibuster the health care bill.

Sounds like a good time to think about football.
Last week I was 9-4. Not good enough for a prize but pretty good. My friend was a truly pathetic 8-5. I tried not to laugh at her but it was hard.
For the season I have a surging 84 points while she still lingers around with a pathetic 88.

My picks are in bold.

Chicago at San Francisco - This was the Thursday night game. I picked the 49er's mainly because the Bears haven't won in San Francisco since they were Super Bowl champs! And you had to figure Piglet
Click images for desktop size: "Piglet" by Unknown
Singletary would have would be fired up facing his old team. I was worried about Jay Cutler doing so poorly. The Bronco's kept a coach who's whole job was checking Cutler's blood sugars and keeping him properly leveled. I wonder if the Bears are showing the same care. It could account for 5 interceptions. Seriously.

Atlanta at Carolina - The Falcons are a team better than their record. They're a playoff team. The Panthers are in disarray. They have some talent but it's obviously occupied in something other than football.

Tampa Bay at Miami - This one could be ugly. The Bucs showed some spark last week but the Dolphins have had a week to study the film of the rookies. The Bucs have nothing that can stop the Dolphins running attack. This might be the blow out that gets the Dolphins fired up to make a decent play off run.

Detroit at Minnesota - My Survivor Game of the Week. This is the closest thing to a lock as you can Playgirls and the Vampire find in sports. The Lions haven't won a road game in 3 years! And prior to that they set the NFL record for consecutive road losses. The Vikings are fired up and playing gritty football behind Brett Favre and Adrian Petersen. This is another ugly one.

Jacksonville at New York Jets - This should be a decent game. The Jaguars are on the rise while the Jets are still struggling to find an identity. Mark Sanchez keeps improving and manages the game well enough and responds when he needs to step it up. I'm taking the Jets because I like Sanchez and he's at home.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh - Game of the Week. The Bengals stunned everybody when the thumped the Steelers earlier in the season. Now the Steelers are looking for revenge, which normally would make me lean towards Pitt but I adore Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco. The man got fined 20k for his awesome joke of trying to bribe an official with a dollar bill. His response was to pay the fine and then pledge an equal amount to a program to feed hungry kids. He's a maniac but p[lays so beautifully. And I think they should have given him a 40k bonus for bringing some lightness and joy to what has been a pretty dreary season for the NFL. No Fun League.

New Orleans at St Louis - The Saints in the Super Bowl? Why not? The Rams for the number 1 draft pick? Probably.

Buffalo at Tennessee - Vince Young for comeback player of the year? He's revitalized the Titans offense and that's for sure. The Bills season seems lost, once again, so he might continue his Secret Smile by LawnElf
Click images for desktop size: "Secret Smile" by Lawn Elf
surprising level of play. The only surprise for the Bill is that TO hasn't had his typical melt down . . . yet.

Denver at Washington - This is going to be a stinker but it will keep the Bronco's record gaudy. The Redskins should be the most moribund team in the NFL but shockingly there are worse!

Kansas City at Oakland - And here are two of them. The Cruddy Game of the Week. Taking Oakland not because they stink less than the Chiefs but because the Raisers have a much better soap opera going on. A Head Coach in need of counseling? RAH!

Seattle at Arizona - A game that should not be competitive. If it is it will take a pretty strong effort by the Cardinals to give it away. Mike Holmgrem left the Sea Hawks in time!

Prisoner of the Cannibal God Dallas at Green Bay - Last week the Packers gave Tampa Bay their only win of the season! The common thought is that the Cowboys have started to get their act together. I'm taking the Packer underdogs at home because I think the Packers are going to respond to being embarrassed but mainly because Tony Romo has never looked that good to me.
Philadelphia at San Diego - A game that's interesting for all the wrong reasons. Last time on the West coast the Eagles got thumped by a pigeon and the Raiders! Will the forces of nature rage against them again? Can the Chargers come up a new creative way to use all that massive talent to lose another one? The Eagles risked universal scorn by signing Michael Vick - so far he's accounted for a massive 37 yards . . .

Anime by Hanbai
Click images for desktop size: "Anime" by Hanbai
Baltimore at Cleveland - Does anyone really think that Brady Quinn is the answer to the Browns woes? I just hope he gives the ravens enough of a game that they can work on and restore their defense.

New England 30 Indianapolis 28 - Game of the Week Runner Up. Rah. For a long time I was really bored with the constant Colts-Patriots match ups. This year is a little different. I'm surprised the Colts are undefeated! I'm stoked that Tom Brady has gotten his groove back. This could be a burner. I'm taking the Patriots not just because of Brady but because the Patriots have the tools to consistently deprive Manning of Dallas Clark (his favorite target)and that should be all the edge they need.

November 8, 2009

USC 14 Arizona State University 9

Orangeness by LawnElf
Click images for desktop size: "Orangeness" by LawnElf
Its been another exhausting week. Being sleepy is my natural state.
I work and go to physical therapy. That's about it. All I can handle. Oh, and fight with the CanadianMountain of the Cannibal God government.
Physical therapy has entered that stage of really doing me some good, but that means a whole lot of pain.
I do get excited about the improvements. Its hard to tell anyone about it because they're so small but important. I can reach in my front pocket without squealing. I can put my wallet in my back pocket and not have to do a 5 minute twirling dance to get it out. I can brush my hair with my right hand.
My shoulder blade has finally separated from the rib cage. That was hard. Now there's a dull burning pain surrounding my shoulder blade that intensifies when I do the 3 exercises to keep lifting it back to normal.
For the rotation which was the most damaged because of what the cops did to me, I have to stand with my hand braced waist high on a door jamb. Then I simply turn. I hurt myself pretty badly doing this.
I like my physical therapist, we talk about martial arts films and various techniques for strengthening thigh muscles in kids. He takes me seriously and often starts our visits by telling me the results of his research into one of my more difficult observatory drills. But he doesn't remember what kind of maniac I am. Like most of us when we like someone we assume they're sane and more like ourselves than anyone could actually be.
Assuming I'm sane is risky and foolish.
When I was doing the rotation drills I'd put all my weight into it. More strength means faster recovery, right? I did them until the pain was nearly causing me to black out, pushed right through all the pain and when the soreness didn't leave I continued with the next set on schedule and just Cole Phillips
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by C Coles Phillips
kept pushing through the soreness and pain.
Turns out that's pretty stupid.
I'm supposed to do the twists with light pressure and only to the point of where the pain starts. The pain is supposed to stop as soon as I release the pressure. He was incredulous that I was doing them my way. I was incredulous that he didn't tell me not to hurt myself . . .
The soreness went away pretty quickly doing them his way but i don't think I'm seeing as rapid a result as I was with my methods.
Today I raked up the leaves in the yard and now my shoulder feels only tired without a trace of soreness. Two months ago it would have been an impossible chore.
One bright spot of the week was that the Apple Store exchanged my retro keyboard for a brand new one with no hassle or skullduggery. As distasteful as I find a lot of Apple's new business techniques and their shoddier manufacturing they keep winning me back with the superb customer service.
Like I still love my 2nd hand iPod Touch (what a clumsy name). I like the little casual games, I love Never Trust a Gambler finding wifi hotspots and checking my email anywhere. I like reading news feeds and while I'm on the bus or waiting for the transportation to pick me up from the doc's I like watching movies on it. "Riot in Cell Block 11" was totally cool. And it plays music. Its become an indispensable part of my life. I can see wanting an iPhone but not while its tied to At&T or, rumored, Verizon and their exorbitant fees and slip shod service.
The other delight is and will always be my puppy. She's dealing okay with the rescue dog. He's too aggressive with her and resists learning Brigette Bardot
Click images for desktop size: "Brigette Bardot"
how to play "properly".
One of the neighbors commented that my puppy was the most elegant lady like dogs she'd ever seen. She said my puppy always acted with grace . . . which I sort of doubt but I don't mind that being the public perception of her.
One of the traits of her breed is their sensitivity and their memory. I've never struck, swatted, kicked or struck her. It sickens me and enrages me when I see someone strike a dog, almost as much as it does if it were a child. But my puppy reacts to harsh words like they were knives cutting her flesh.
I fell asleep and forgot where this was supposed to be heading . . .
Anyway, while we were out for our walk today we stopped into a drugstore. I lashed my puppy to a garbage can so I could see her through the door and make sure no one messed with her. While I walked past the counter a dark voice barked at me, "COACH!"
It was one of the kids I coached when he was in high school. As I think he was voted the student most likely to get 10 to 20 years I was pleased to see that he was working. At first I thought it was a cruddy job he had but then decided it was at least a better job than the one I had . . .
Indian Camp by Charles Russell
Click images for desktop size: "Indian Camp" by Charles Russell
He came form behind the counter and asked me, not how I was doing or some such but, "Hey, where's Coach Puppy?"
I told him that she was outside. He said, "Yeah, I wouldn't mind but the manager probably get upset if she came inside, but heck, she's the Coach!"
We went out together and bought her inside. She seemed to remember the kid and probably asked if he'd been scoring any TD's. He scratched her butt which pleased her. They talked while I got the few things I went in there for.
While we walked he told me how he still lived with his grand mother. He also told me something I didn't know. His grand mother had been in the hospital with a heart attack. She'd been one of my puppy's patients. He said she still tells people about the black dog who'd come and peek around her door to see if she needed any doctoring.
He said that he can always make her laugh by telling her some of the stories about the doctor dog being his football coach.My Gun is Quick
I'm always proud of my prim little puppy but sometimes it is nice to be reminded of why.

Last week I was a stunning 8-5 in my NFL picks . . . my friend was a mediocre 9-4. I think she has hacked the server and manages to change her picks, not enough to attract any attention from the guys running the game, just enough to beat me!
Despite her ability to cheat I still feel confident that this week I will over take her and prove my innate superiority in all things football!

My picks are in bold.

Washington at Atlanta - This is my Survivor pick this week. There are only 14,000 still left in this contest! The Redskins are a manic depressive mess. The Falcons are facing being eliminated from the play offs if they don't win. Easy choice.

Arizona at Chicago - The Cardinals are schizo's. Their stunning win over the Giants was a fluke or a Orion Nebula by NASA
Click images for desktop size: "Orion Nebula" by NASA
pure revenge game. They're bewildering. The Bears are a good enough football team that are still working out how to play together, the defense without super stud Urlacher has joined up to play fierce football while the offense still has not adapted to its new super stud diabetic Jay Cutler. They seem to take a step forward then get flustered. They'll need a complete game to handle the Cardinals. There's no reason to think they won't pull it together.

Baltimore at Cincinnati - Game of the Week. And it should be a burner. The Ravens brutally exposed the Denver Broncos last week while the Bengals have discovered defense and inspired play from Carson Palmer. While Chad Ochocinco has been spending the week bragging on what he plans to do to the vaunted Raven's D while NOT giving them any bulletin board material! This is pretty much a must win for both teams and both teams are capable of mashing the other. That certainly excites me! I'm picking the Bengals for no real good reason. I just love the way Palmer and Ochocinco play.Night of the Living Dead

Houston at Indianapolis - The Colts' defense is an injured shambles and as much as I dislike the Texans and their football I can't ignore they've been throwing up a lot of points lately. The Colts have Manning and there's nothing in the Texan scheme that makes me think they can stop him. This is a game of the week contender, a contender because I don't much care for games that are evened out due to injury.

Kansas City at Jacksonville - Cruddy Game of the week contender. No Larry Johnson, who I met as a high school footballer and thought the world of, for the Chiefs so an underpowered O gets weaker. Their D is incapable of getting any worse. The Jaguars are under achieving and totally exposed. Jack Del Rio won't let them lose to a vastly inferior opponent.

Miami at New England - I think the Dolphins' running game will gouge the Patriots D for plenty. Ted Ginn has finally shown he has some talent but I can't see him getting any TD's against the Pat's special teams. The Dolphins can hang with the Patriots now but they don't have much to answer Brady, Welker and Moss.

Green Bay at Tampa Bay - This is one of those boring games that is killing the NFL. The Packers are a team and the Buccaneers are a discombobulation wearing jerseys. If the Buc's do win I'd demand a congressional investigation. Too many of those guys seem to think sports are more important than things like health care anyway.

Carolina at New Orleans - The Saints are undefeated! The Saints. The Panthers are playing far Dracula's Daughter
Click images for desktop size: "Dracula's Daughter" by Universal
below their talent. They'll step up their game against the Saints but I hope it's not enough.

Detroit at Seattle - Cruddy Game of the Week. The Lions haven't won a road game since the Great Depression. They don't deserve it but the Seahawks should win this one, probably on a last second field goal.

San Diego at New York Giants - Two of the seasons great under achievers. I wouldn't be surprised to see the two teams trying to lose this one. Might be entertaining.

Tennessee at San Francisco - the 49er's will make the Titans rethink starting Vince Young. Mike Singletary has them playing inspired football far above the talent level to that point where the high level IS the talent level. I wouldn't be surprised to see Kerry Collins reappear.

Pittsburgh at Denver - One of those solid games that used to make up the bigger part of the NFLNo Way Out schedule. The Steelers' strength on offense is pretty well nullified by the Bronco D, but the Bronco's O will be negative oxygen reserve against the Steelers' D. It should get pretty smash mouth and close. I have to trust Rothliesberger in the close ones. This one and Dallas and Green Bay are the only away teams I picked this week!

Dallas 22 at Philadelphia 21 - The Eagles Dismantling the Giants last week doesn't make any where near as strong an impression as them getting manhandled by the Raiders. Dallas is a mediocre football team that was designed to beat the Eagles. I'm willing to let that play out.

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
one.

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.

Smokers
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?

October 11, 2009

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it
Thomas Jefferson

Look Deep
Click images for desktop size: "Look Deep" by Unknown
My puppy and I are really back to normal; CONSTANT BICKERING.
Wouldn't have it any other way.Dracula AD 1972
She is still too protective of me but she's settled in nicely.

My housemate has decided to get a new dog. His passed away about 6 months ago. She was a good girl.
I went to the pound with him a couple of times. I thought almost all the dogs were pretty special for one reason or another. He picked two, went and spent time with each of them in these little visitor "cells". Then we took the big step of taking my puppy to meet his final choice, a male rottweiler mix, somewhere between 6 months and 9 months old. He's a handful.
My puppy didn't like him. She wouldn't, especially when I'm around. It will be fine. She's been around fosters and other dogs most of her life. She'll bully him and then decide he's worth playing with. The point of the meeting, in my mind, was to make sure he didn't try and savage her. My puppy thinks she's a great fighter but . . .
I managed to talk the person showing us the dog to let us take them both on a walk around the property. It went well, I thought. We even managed to have a chance encounter with the other dog my housemate had picked out. It made for a pleasant day.
Today he went and filled out the adoption papers, paid the fee. The new dog should be moving in sometime between Wednesday and Friday. Coolness.

I still have a cold. It's the reason I'm not supposed to catch colds. The cough is irritating but not debilitating.

The coolness is that I got a second hand iPod Touch. I like it a lot. Cost me $75, so far works fine. I Neat and Tidy
Click image: "Neat and Tidy" by Major League Baseball
got a raise at work so this was my treat . . . actually I just wanted one. I like being connected on the WIFI but its pretty obvious that having an iPhone and 3GS connections would be incredible and incredibly expensive. I'll stick with this and just hope for miraculous hot spots. Since I have WIFI at work it means I can answer emails and stuff at will instead of hoping the owners fix the rickety lap top we have at our disposal.

The WIMAX from ClearWire is pretty paradoxical. It went out, the modem wouldn't connect. I called and was told that it was because I would have to move to their Clear service which is 5 meg down and 50K up. (50 k up is painfully slow, 5 meg down is okay). I had to wait 3 days to get the new modem. When I got it they hooked up fine but there was a weird charge on my card. I called again and got an apology and a credit, 3 days later, for the $25. Curious.
I was reservedly happy with the Clear service, even though I thought this was a lot of grief for a service that wasn't a month old yet. Until I got an email telling me I was using the service too much House of Wax and they were going to cut me off or charge me more . . . So I'm not allowed to use the bandwidth they give me? YOW!
This isn't going to work out for sure. Hammering my debit card with two incorrect charges for some unknown reason, cutting me off for 3 days, then say that I'm using the service more than anticipated is kind of nutso. They claim the service agreement covers excessive use but that seems crazed to me. I'm paying for a service that I can't use? Great googa mooga. What a great idea for a business, selling you stuff you're not allowed to use.
WIMAX is a totally cool idea but Clear or ClearWire are jerks and not a trustworthy company from my experience.
Back to looking for a dry loop dsl provider.

I still don't have a TV but thanks to friends I got to see an mkv fie of the USC-Cal game. Very interesting. I'm impressed and dumbfounded by turns. The greatest disappointment for me was the O-Line. I expected them to be monsters and they've looked merely competent. Too much talent to Art and Beauty by Robert Crumb
Click images for desktop size: "Art and Beauty" by Robert Crumb
not overwhelm.
Matt Barkley doesn't look as good as the hype. I know his shoulder must still be sore but he lacks the confidence at weird times. Maybe with Ronald Johnson coming back for Notre Dame the deep threat will let him open up his game.
I'm incredibly unimpressed with Jeremy Bates as a play caller. Way too much NFL fear play calling. College ball is about being loaded on faith and hope and looking to a player to step up and perform a miracle. It's not about making the "safe" call and prevent defenses.
Still this is a very good exciting team I feel proud of.

I went and saw the worst football game of my life on Friday night. Very poor. It made me sad as the kids were pretty typical and totally willing to lay it all out there.
I got to talk to the HC and they're interested in having me as an assistant. He said all the right The Hunchback of Notre Dame things but when I watched the game I realized I could never work for him.
The team is 0-8 for a reason, and it's not the talent of the kids. The HC had implemented a no huddle offense. You could see hesitation at the line as the kids attempted to remember over complicated assignments. The no huddle is a very cool thing if you've got the personnel. It was obvious that this isn't the case. It was just an ego thing playing to the HC's fantasy and ignoring the talents and weaknesses of the kids.
Frank Sinatra
Click images for desktop size: "Frank Sinatra"
You have to lead kids and the only way to do it successfully is to be their servant.

And to prove my deep understanding of the game of football; last week I was an impressive 9-5 in my NFL picks. I can bask in that for a moment. 9-5.
I forget what my friend got. I think I was 11-3 or something trivial. I have discovered how she cheats. She reads my picks and the ones I get wrong she chooses the other teams! How low and nearly contemptible. I don't think her score is official so even if she unofficially has 45 correct picks for the season my 42 exactly correct picks are assuredly official and hence count for far more. As usual my picks are in bold.

Cincinnati at Baltimore - The Game of the Week1 Carson Palmer is playing like the elite QB he is while the Bengal defense is playing way over their heads. They are looking like a play off team. This week they meet the team I still think has a chance to get to the SuperBowl. The Ravens are playing meticulous football. Their game against the Patriots showed they are in the oxygen thin stratosphere, a brilliant team playing at the level of their talent, executing with precision and playing with heart. The Bengals are playing with intensity and beauty as well, but theirs has the feel of street football, which is exciting and pretty in The Outsiders
Click images for desktop size: "The Outsiders" by Marvel Comics
its own way. I'd love to see the Bengals win this one but the Ravens don't look like a team ready to lose two in a row.

Cleveland at Buffalo - This is an up year rating wise for the NFL. The good games are great but pretty few. This season offers up more stinkers every week than you can imagine. Like this cruddy game of the week contender. Buffalo has talent and Terrell Owens making waves. Cleveland has . . . Derek Anderson, who I still like and then . . .

Washington at Carolina - This stinker has the winless Panthers coming off a bye week. Did they use the time trying to pull the team together or did they grouse about their contracts? The Redskins are a mess but less of a mess than the Panthers. This one could end up 6-3 or 49-47. Either way it will stink.

Pittsburgh at Detroit - I watched Ben Roethlisberger on RAW this week. I was surprised at how I Married a MOnster from Outer Space much I liked him. He took it to the Chargers last week and the Lions don't have much to compare to the Chargers or to anyone except the Panthers and Buccaneers. This is almost a sure win.

Dallas at Kansas City - The rest of the world is finally twigging to the fact that Tony Romo is not a very good QB. The Cowboys look good as a power running team though and have enough good backs to keep inserting them, at least for now. The Chiefs . . . I feel sorry for them. They have some players and those players are surrounded by a bunch of practice squad stiffs who seem to have given up on the season already. The Cowboys are ripe for picking off but I've no confidence in the team rising to the occasion.

Oakland at New York Giants - Another slaughter. It doesn't matter whether or not Eli Manning plays. The Giant Defense will score enough points to beat the hapless Raiders.

Tampa Bay at Philadelphia - My Survivor pick of the week. McNabb looks on schedule to come back this week. Doesn't really matter as Kolb has the team looking pretty good. I just hope they keep Vick off the field. The Buccaneers have Cadillac Williams and then a prayer.

Minnesota at St Louis - The 4-0 team vs the 0-4 team . . . so much for parity. The most interesting thing about this game will be seeing if Adrian Petersen runs wild after being contained pretty well last week.

Atlanta at San Francisco - Game of the Week contender. The 49er's are playing beautiful football, A Family
Click images for desktop size: "The Family" by Unknown
the team rising above the individual players talent to being a cohesive force. The Falcons are a good team coming off a bye week. It will be an exciting match. I'm going with home field advantage to make my pick but I suspect it will come down to the final two minutes one way or the other.

Houston at Arizona - This is one of those white noise games. It will happen but no one really knows why. The most interesting thing to me is wondering when the Cardinals will let Matt Linehart into the game.

Jacksonville at Seattle - This cruddy game has some small interest in that I think the Seahawks can actually win. I'm a Jack Del Rio fan but his Jaguars, this season, are an incredibly inconsistent bunch. This is a long haul road trip to an unfriendly place. The Seahawks, what little I've seen of them have not looked like a bad football team. Matt Hasslebeck should return this game. They have a chance.

New England at Denver - I have no idea how the Broncos got to 4-0. Its like last season, somehowThe Incredible Two Headed Transplant they get all the flukey breaks in the first half of the season before it all come crashing down. The Patriots don't really believe in flukes or luck. I watched the Raven game and this is a scrappy team. I like that. This could be a good game.

New York Jets at Miami - Mark Sanchez and the Jets ran into a buzz saw called New Orleans last week. They didn't look that bad. They have a chance to look good against a confused and confusing Dolphin squad. Sanchez tweeted right after the game something like "I made a lot of mistakes and cost us the game. I have to study and learn from them and not let them happen again." We'll get to see here. I'm counting on the cocky kid.

Indianapolis at Tennessee - At the start of the season this looked like it be a cool matchup, a changing of the guard as the Titans stepped up over the Colts. Instead it's a flash back to ten years ago with the colts being 4-0 and the Titans being 0-4. The Colts keep improving each week while the Titans keep blowing up and looking worse and worse. I can't see prime time making any changes in any of this.

These brilliant picks are for your amusement only. You might want to print them out and use them to light your fireplaces.

October 6, 2009

Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it
Irving Berlin

House On A Hill
Click images for desktop size: "House On A Hill" by Unknown
I didn't go to work tonight. My cold got worse. It's not devastating, just annoying. It impacts me enough that it would be suffering needlessly to go in and endure the rudeness of the low rentHarvey gambler.
I lost a lot of sleep today as well. Had to see the opthamologist. It was a pretty cruddy experience, one of the worst I've had in a lot of years.
I was a bit early for my appointment and I fell asleep in the waiting room. I fell asleep for 45 minutes and awoke with a start. I was with mixed feelings that I found out I hadn't been called yet. I waited another 45 minutes and still wasn't called.
I figured I might as well leave. Sitting in a clinic waiting room, trying not to cough and feeling my nose starting to drip is not my way of spending an afternoon. I snagged a nurse who went and checked with someone. She came back and told me I was the next to be called.
I waited another 45 minutes. I was leaving when I heard someone call my name. With little trust I turned around and meekly followed the nurse to the examination room. Twenty minutes later an optometrist came in and put me in the chair. As I sat there she did a quick verification of my medical history. Then she did the eye exam.
Some slight interest there: My right eye has, with glasses always had 40:20 vision - meaning I can see at 40 yards what a clear sighted person can see at 20. My left eye was even better, with glasses.
Now my right eye was still not changed but my left eye is horrid. With glasses I'm looking at no better than 20:40. That's as good as it could get and that's still not very clear.
The optometrist also noted I'm extremely light sensitive. I was blinded by the lowest light they can use to examine my eye.
She wrote up a new script for glasses. Put in all the chemicals with dilating chemicals and stuff and My World by John Buscema
Click images for desktop size: "My World" by John Buscema
she sent me to sit in the waiting room. After 15 minutes of sitting I fell asleep again. I woke up fifteen minutes later and about 10 minutes later I was led into another examination room. I was too groggy and tired to even spend the next 20 minutes going through the cabinets.
Finally the doctor came in. He was early 30's, slight and going to pudgy. He was accompanied by a tall Asian girl, about 5' 10". She wore a skirt just an inch longer than her Doctor's jacket. She wore flats, nifty looking suede loafers with a trippy silver buckle. She aggravated me. We weren't even cursorily intro'd but she was up there gawking at the naked insides of my eyeball at every opportunity. If she didn't jump at the chance the doc invited her in for a peek. I figure the doc was working up to her warming up to him.
The eye exam was painful. I'd never had a painful eye exam before. It was novel but not novel enough to appreciate.
He kept shining bright lights in my eyes and remarking as to how sensitive to light my eyes are, then he'd increase the intensity to see whatever it was that amused him and his protegee so. HeThe Hitch-Hiker jabbed me in the eye a couple of times trying to force it open while he yelled at me to keep both eyes open wider.
The end result was that by the time I left I was almost completely blind. My vision was dominated by after burn images of purple and green pillars. It made my eyes hurt dramatically.
The decent news was that I still had cataracts in both eyes but they had not yet moved or crown enough to cloud my vision. There's no Honeycomb
Click images for desktop size: "Honey Vomb"
sense of damage to the retinal damage from the diabetes. He put the sudden loss of vision in my left eye to strain and eye dryness and told me to get some instant tears and use them often.
I still have to wear dark glasses.
Not really worth the 5 hours spent. I do have a new prescription for what that's worth. And I'm off doctors for the rest of the week and that's a good thing.
When I finally got home and stumbled around my puppy was very solicitous. She took me for a walk.
I slept for a few hours and woke up with my vision still impaired. My eyes still hurt and things till have a halo around them. Interesting.
Tomorrow/today I have to call about getting my insulin for the next three months. Scoring it on the cheap. Then work on affordable glasses. I could handle getting those creepy welfare glasses. For sure they look dorky but I'll still make them look good. I'm not that far gone yet.
Then work tomorrow. Can't dig that. Too many welfare mothers and desperate people.

October 4, 2009

USC 30 California 3

Go Forward by Ryohei Hase
Click images for desktop size: "Go FOrward" by Ryohei Hase
I have a cold. More of a cough really. I can visualize the customer who gave it to me. It could have been another one but not likely. The others coughing and sneezing didn't cough in my face. I need aGodzilla vs Megalon sneeze guard at the cash register?
My puppy is doctoring me. Funny how her prescriptions all seem to involve a whole lot of rubbing her tummy.

Last week I was a near brilliant 13-3. My friend was a tepid 12-4. Pretty sad really but that what happens when you cheat. I am sure she is cheating as she still somehow leads in the season 34 to 33!! This game needs stronger enforcement of the rules is what I'm thinking.
My picks are in bold.

Detroit at Chicago - The Lions finally won their game last week. After 21 months of emptiness we can finally stop hearing about it. The Bears are suddenly playing buzz saw football. Odd, adding Jay Cutler fires up the Offense and losing Brian Urlacher fires up the Defense. Curious, but understandable. The Bears are looking like Division title contenders right now. They won't let this one get away from them.

Cincinnati at Cleveland - Carson Palmer is back! He's going downfield and hitting everything open. Playing elite and tough. The Bengals look real. Rey Maleluga is as advertised (Go Men of Troy!) The Browns are . . . playing at home. That's the brightest thing about this game for them, the short commute to work. This is my survivor game of the week.

Seattle at Indianapolis - The Seahawks managed to lose to the Bears last week. Make no mistake they more lost the game than the Bears won the game. The Colts are playing survivor football, they won't overlook these guys. It should be destructive.

Tennessee at Jacksonville - Who would have thought that these two teams would be starring in a Good Morning
Click images for desktop size: "Good Morning" by Unknown
cruddy game of the week contender? The Jaguars got it fired up nicely last week for their first win, while the Titans look strong but keep managing to make the fatal mistake to lose all their games. They're too good a team to keep this level of ineptness up. This will be an interesting match only because the Titans are desperate.

New York Giants at Kansas City - I have to remind myself this is the pros, otherwise I'd be feeling really sorry for the Chiefs. I mean they aren't inept but they sure are missing . . . talent? A concept of how to win? I don't know. The Giants are far from spectacular and they do miss Plaxico Burress, (The only man to get two years in jail for shooting HIMSELF) even if they are 3-0.

Baltimore at New England - Finally a decent game on the schedule and it's a Game of the Week contender! This one should be awesome. This is one of those games where I I have no idea who might win. Groovy. The Ravens are playing like SuperBowl winners and actually look like they mightThe Glass Key just keep getting better. The defection of Rex Ryan to the Jets hasn't slowed their D a step. The Patriots look like they're in a rebuilding year but are still a machine. I think the Pats will hammer with Maroni and Taylor and then squirt Faulk through some cracks for good yardage. Welker should be back, but in what shape? The Ravens will make anyone who touches the ball pay a heavy price. When they have the ball Joe Flacco shows there is no such thing as Uma Thurman
Click images for desktop size: "Uma Thurman"
a sophomore jinx. He's looking like a crafty vet! Billichik will still set up some fronts that will confuse him and he'll make mistakes but I think the power running game will off set his errors and give them the win. But who cares, This should be a game that shows what the NFL is supposed to be like!

Tampa Bay at Washington - And then back to the crud. This one just eases into the vaunted Cruddy Game of the Week slot. Tampa Bay hasn't even looked like they want to win a game and the Redskins managed to lose to arguably the worst team in the history of football. This one will stink the joint out.

Buffalo at Miami - The Bills at least look like they're willing to play the Dolphins have disintegrated and with Chad Pennington out there's no one around to pull the mess together. A year ago this would have been an interesting match up but now its just another cruddy game of the week contender.

Mark Sanchez & The New York Jets at New Orleans - The Game of the Week. Can Mark Sanchez Hand to Hand Combat
Click images for desktop size: "Hand to Hand Combat" by NFL Films
continue to make history and win his first four starts for the Jets? It would be sweet. But Drew Brees, the TD machine. Brees is angry because last week the Bills held him to only 27 points! Can Rex Ryan figure out how to stop the TD machine that is the Saints? Can they contain Reggie Bush on punt returns and when he's on the line? Too many weapons, the most in the NFL right now. The Saints can't stop the Jets O much, they can only slow it down but that should be enough to see the Saints take it on a couple of long TD's. Sanchez looked like a rookie against the Patriots but still did enough to win. He'll gain some confidence here but will also be awed some by the SuperDome and the Drew Brees Machine. It will be great which ever way it goes.

Dallas at Denver - A good game. You have to figure there's not much chance of the Broncos containing the newly discovered Cowboy running game. Taking the ball out of Romo's hands is aGun Crazy Re-release good strategy. He looks like a superstar when the games not on the line. That the Cowboys picked up Chauncey Washington to fill in their busted up RB team only helps the cause. The Bronco's are 3-0, RAH! Go figure. They sure don't look like an undefeated team but there you go. The Cowboys can't afford to let this one get away from them. The Bronco elysium field should slip away this week.

St Louis at San Francisco - Break up the Rams - PLEASE! The only interesting thing here is seeing how well Singletary brings his team back after that devastating last second loss to Brett Favre. Its hard being the spear carriers and watching a legend destroy you. Having the Rams at home will make his job a lot easier.

Green Bay at Minnesota - This is a game that won't live up to the hype. Brett Favre's first game against the team that dissed him two years ago. Favre is way too professional to let that impact him, at least until the end if the Vikings are winning. The Packers will have enough to do trying to Picture Hanger by Peter Druben
Click images for desktop size: "Picture Hanger" by Peter Druben
stop Adrian Petersen. They can slow him down but no one has figured out how to stop him yet. The Viking D won't overwhelm Aaron Rogers but they'll make him uncomfortable, that should be enough for them to win at home.

San Diego 24 at Pittsburgh 20 - A decent game for Sunday prime time. That makes 4 out of 16 this week. Pretty shabby. This one will prove interesting. The Chargers are gaining momentum and the Steelers a=have lost two in a row. The Steelers worries go far beyond losing super stud Troy Polamanu to injury. Even if he tries to comeback this week the D will still be inconsistent. The big woes are the Steeler O which is blah. No Willie Parker this week but capable back ups. The Chargers and Philip Rivers are ignited. The D should harass Roethlisberger and make him questionable to appear on the WWF's RAW Monday night. They've got answers for most of what the Steelers can try. It will be a good game but I think the Chargers have the most to prove.

As usual these picks are for those with a sense of humour or deep self destructive tendencies, for amusement only.

October 3, 2009

You're only has good as your last haircut
Fran Lebowitz

3D
Click images for desktop size: "3D" by Unknown
Been tired. It's the job mainly and my normal not sleeping well thing. It just leaves me perpetually exhausted. Like last night was my first day off of the weekend I slept about 4 hours during the dayFriday Foster and then nearly 6 hours through the night. None of this helps me re0tune my body clock. It does show that my body is screaming for rest.
Today I also think I'm coming down with a cold.
Mainly I'm not doing much of anything except dealing with doctors and going to work. I don't think that's good, but almost anything else I do becomes an arduous labor that leaves me wasted and with no energy.
Not updating this site means I'm not thinking about myself and my puppy enough. I'm just reacting and living off of instinct. That's fine for a while. Its one of the reasons I live by a rigid code and set of rules I don't deviate from even if, most of the time, I don't remember why I made up the rules in the first place.
Physical therapy and all these doctors are starting to wear thin on me. On Monday I have to see the opthamologist. I'm close to blind in my left eye. Its useless for looking at anything but it doesn't look freakish and it does help me with depth perception. I drop enough stuff and stumble around enough that the idea of me thrashing about in a 2D world is amusing or daunting depending on the time of day.
I don't think the eye thing is that serious but it has to be dealt with. I've long known that I'd rather go blind then deaf. Not that I'd prefer it. I still want to barter though, like, "I'll give up my eye sight but I demand that I be able to play the guitar again, at least as well as I did 3 years ago!"
I like to pretend that there's justice in this life.
I saw the orthopedist this week. I like the guy. Turns out he put himself through school playing baseball. Was a shortstop! There's no Fraternal Order of Shortstops but there should be. At least it Abstract Affinity by XGA
Click images for desktop size: "Abstract Affinity" by XGA
made me feel a sense of commonality.
My right hand has been partially numb for a few months now. Now that the shoulder has been relatively tamed (about 30% of the motion returned, pain is common but not constant) the theory was that some of the numbness should have vanished. It hasn't.
The shoulder pain was so bad that I've distorted a lot of my body in trying to deal with it. That's made for some horrible pain as those muscles start to relax and unconstrict. It appears one of the things I've done is to compress my ulnar nerve.
Now I have to see a neurologist to have an EMT (?) to see where the compression is occurring. If its anywhere but my shoulder the only solution is surgery to move it and uncompress the nerve . . . If its him my shoulder surgery is a probable option but I might be able to decompress it with physical therapy.
I ended up talking about this with the doc. I expressed my concerns, mainly that I'd have to balance out surgery with my life expectancy. Like why put myself through this if I've got only 3 years to go.The Ghost of Zorro
I told him that the best prognosis I'd gotten was living through till last year. I tried to sit patiently while he reviewed my medical history and he agreed that looking at that thing its pretty hard to believe that I am still alive, harder to believe that I'm so robust and looking like I do. He told me his nurse wanted to check my ID because she thought I was stealing someone's identity. I couldn't possibly be as old as I claimed.
The final decision was that it was impossible to guess how long I Bo Jangles and Shirley Temple
Click image: "Bo Jangles and Shirley Temple"
could reasonably expect to hang on. He noticed that in February I'm scheduled for the big cardio stress test. He said that will give the clearest factual basis to determine how long I could fairly expect. With a grin he said, "And I'd say it close to impossible for anything else to happen to you!"
We agreed that I should get the EMT (?) so we'd have a handle on the problem and then there'd be little risk in waiting until after the cardio stress test to make a decision on the surgery. I need to get it fixed. It will just degrade to the point of paralysis, but that stage would be years down the line.
Physical therapy is going fine. They want me to do the underwater exercises 5 times a week. Another tedious wearying chore. I'll do it.

A few people have noticed I've updated the Jukebox. ANother 20 tunes from my hit list.
It might be the last time I can. I see where the music publishers have started to take umbrage against the internet.
Unlike the RIAA who are just a bunch of twerps who, to protect their useless job, have extended Pieces of a Dream by Titusboy
Click images for desktop size: "Pieces of a Dream" by Titusboy
their authority because there's no one to tell them to shut up, the music publishers are scary guys. They've controlled music in the world since at least the Civil War.
I mean they were a force back since young educated orphan ladies could make a living looking cute and playing and singing the latest cool hits at an upright piano in department stores, hawking the latest hit sheet music, making other girls dream of seducing the cute boys by emulating her playing skill.
The music publishers used to count the number of plays a record would get on a juke box to make sure they got their cut! They have the army, the interest and the money. I mean, the record labels owe the publishers MILLIONS! And they're past due. The publishers have lived through wars, external and internal, mob wars and discord. They're a force.
I've been debating about whether I should update the music libraries. I have a couple hundred new titles but I only have a couple hundred of the titles here. I'm considering the argument that mostForce Of Evil people just like to browse the library to see the posters and read about the movies. They also usually complain because I didn't write any of the reviews . . .

The most interesting movie I've seen has been "Written By," a Chinese movie. Ka-Fai Wai wrote and co-directed, with Johnny To, the shattering "Running on Karma". On his own he's been a quixotic and impressive director.
"Written By" is a sort of ghost story. I hate ghost stories. They never fail to bore me. But Ka-Fai Wai has made something unique here.
There's a car accident with the entire family, a Mom, Dad, sister and brother in the car. Dad is killed, Sister is blinded. The other two are relatively unscathed. Ten years on Mom still has not accepted her husband's death. Blind sister decides to write a novel, using her braille typewriter. The novel will tell Dad's story in a make believe world where everything is reversed. Dad is now blind and the only survivor of the accident.
The film criss crosses the stories, and, due to the plastic power of movies, both stories seem genuinely real to us. For the first half of the movie it feels like Ka-Fai Wai is going to explode the Cleopatra by Maxfield Parrish
Click images for desktop size: "Cleopatra" by Maxfield Parrish
ghost story genre and make it impossible for anyone else to ever make another one. Its powerful and deeply moving stuff. Writing the novel is therapeutic for the family. It also become obsessive and soon the Dad in the novel is handling the problems of the real world in a fashion that is more direct and sensible than the real family.
Oddly the films power begins to dissipate when the two world begin to collide. The end is almost just silly, but at least it's entertaining.
A great film that couldn't deliver on the genius of its original concept. Not a loss because at least it got made.
Ching Wan Lau, the actor who plays Dad, is incredible. Considering the stunning job he recently turned in for "The Mad Detective" I'd say that this guy has entered the Marlon Brando-Robert DiNero class of actors. He locks into the difficult part and never variates. His charters are complete rounded people that we can feel in our hearts and in out guts. He's brilliant in ways that would make an Anglo actor a legend.The Giant Claw

My puppy claims she's never been happier. We went to her therapy dog evaluation. She failed. But it seems she still wants to do this. Selfishly I've decided that I need to finish physica therapy before we start in on her refresher classes. They want her, she wants to do it. It will work out.

Finally Stafon Johnson, the awesome power tailback for the USC Trojans had a horrifying accident this week. He dropped a 275 pound free weight on his neck! Seven hours of surgery later and it looks like he'll survive . His loss will hurt the team this season but that's a small thing compared to how much the world would have suffered if he hadn't survived. He's doing okay. I'm glad for that.

September 27, 2009

Washington State 6 USC 27

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

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

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

My picks are in bold.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 23, 2009

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

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

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

September 20, 2009

USC 13 Washington 16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 19, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

September 15, 2009

Bones of Friends

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

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

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

September 13, 2009

USC 18 Ohio State 15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 9, 2009

This is no way to treat a superstar

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

September 6, 2009

San Jose State 3 USC 56

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 2, 2009

Everybody's talking about Working Annie

Modesty
Click images for desktop size: "Modesty" by Unknown
I like professional rasslin'.
When I was nearly 5 I saw an apparition on my mom's 14 inch b&w TV. The apparition was "Dick the Black Samurai Bruiser". He was wearing those tiny black speedo's that pass for wrestling trunks, and a striped tank top-muscle shirt. He had on wrap a round shades.
Under each arm he had a keg of beer. There was a big Havana type cigar clamped in his teeth. Even on B&W TV you could tell his crew cut skull was a healthy pink.
With his enormous barrel chest and clutching those beer kegs in his massive wildly gesticulating arms he delivers a lecture in a voice that sounded like wind blowing over grinding boulders. He told us kids it was bad to drink beer and bad to smoke. He set one beer keg on a table, tapped it one handed then hoisted it to his mouth like a giant stein.
He poured the keg down his throat, spilling very little of it. He dropped the keg and said, "See boys and girls all that beer is bad for you."
He puffed the cigar that had never left his mouth, "Smoking is bad for you too. Don't do it.. Cause if you do you will make me mad!"
Up until that moment I had two heroes; Sandy Koufax and Ernie Banks. All Koufax and Banks offered was athleticism and other worldly grace combined with an attitude that belied perfection.
Dick the Bruiser offered something else, something big that miles and years beyond my comprehension. All I knew was I suddenly had another hero.
Wrestling was on TV Saturdays right before baseball and after Bug Bunny. A perfect Saturday morning.
I watched, marveled, cheered. I learned all the wrestler's names. I was appalled at the sheer evil of M3 by Jason C
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 30, 2009

When foolish men stand at the top the people under them suffer needlessly
Shinoro Honrio

Chain by KRM Photos
Click images for desktop size: "Chain" by KRM Photo
I saw the space station in the sky tonight. It was cool. The humidity has cast a haze of the stars and The Avenging Conscience made them feel soft and distant but the light from the space station cut through the haze and seemed to burn pure and white.
Because I look all white sometimes people say the most outlandish things to me; hateful bigoted things. The things they say are so inflammatory and stupid and they prove the stupidity because they say them to me thinking that because I look white I probably agree with them. I don't.
It bears repeating. I've been around the world. There aren't many places I haven't spent some time. I know instinctively and in my heart that no person is better than me and I know that I'm no better than anyone else. Same way I know that all governments are inept, cruel and corrupt. The governments started with the softest and best intentions usually end up being the most vile.
My personal politics is closest to the Great Depression inspired Humanitarian Populism. Which in simplistic terms believes in the general absence of government with deep misgivings about the essential governmental services. There's also the belief in communal living with all members of society contributing to each other in a genial barter system inspired not by amassing wealth but in group survival. I'm not anti-wealth but it makes more sense for the guy who provides the best products and services to amass the most of others stuff. A middle man, a reseller is a predator, and a government that steals from its people's stuff to enrich itself is best avoided.
I think its just reasonable. Taxes are needed. People are what they are so you need cops. We have to educate our children and they need to have decent paths to school and home. It has to be paid Queen of Her Home
Click images for desktop size: "Queen of Her Home" by Unknown
for. But the people entrusted with seeing these things done should look to the community to aid in the building, not to pay to profit people outside the community. And I;m foolish enough to believe we don't need massive armies and billion dollar planes because I don't think you can ever conquer a free people.
So because I believe in freedom right wingers think I believe in what they believe in. Because I believe that we are all part of a single community liberals think I believe what they do. Sometimes I do.
Right now I am severely disappointed in Obama. He has done nothing of what he promised. He has been weak. He has kept in place the draconian crap laws that steal our freedom and lead to revolution. The only progress Obama has made on any issue is to criminalize our children should they download the wrong song. He's protected and further enriched the most scabrous contemptible non-essential greedy industry in the history of the world. I figure the next move would be to The Battle of the Sexes criminalize not paying pimps their fair share. It makes as much sense as helping loan sharks collect the interest on their street money.
He has acted in a cowardly fashion in being afraid to stand up to the right wing lunatics who attack him with impunity.
There was the idiot walking around with a loaded semi-automatic rifle at an Obama rally. First off why was there no hero going up and tackling this dangerous lunatic, this Presidential assassin, tackling him, disarming him and then kicking his face in until the cops could arrest him. There are laws Models in Space
Click image: "Models in Space" by Unknown
about bringing weapons around the president. We don't need anymore of them shot. Bush killed off our heroes. Sent them thousands of miles away to die unseen. Obama is keeping them there.
It feels like if this maniac had bought his gun to a Bush or Cheney rally he'd have been shot dead before he got within a hundred yards of the event. And even I would not have been able to raise to strong an objection.
Obama, afraid to ruffle feathers did nothing.
I don't understand why nothing is being done about the people on TV, radio and in the churches who are trying to foment violence. Who preach death and attempt to incite riot. There are laws that should cause a sweep of these dangerous domestic terrorists.
See, I didn't vote for Obama so that he could appease the Republicans and the right. They are a tiny minority who are using classless unethical tactics to steal my voice and to obliterate the people's will. And the President keeps trying to appease them instead of telling them that the trains coming and they had better get on it or get crushed under the rolling steel wheels of the people.
Obama has screwed up the health care reform. It's not going to happen. This is going to please a handful of multi-millionaires and leave the rest of us in a sick quandary. Suddenly Lyndon Johnson Korean
Click images for desktop size: "Korean" by Unknown
has become a genius.
When Johnson rammed through the Civil Rights bill, probably the most important and far seeing piece of American legislation since the Bill of Rights, no one wanted it. Johnson twisted arms. He threatened. If they were a democrat and threatened to vote against the bill Johnson let them know he would destroy their political careers, he'd see they never got another nickel of Democratic money. He bullied them to do what was right for this country.
He did worse to the Republican dissenters but he got it through, a law that said that all Americans were simply that, human beings locked in a struggle to live happy productive lives and we all had a right to that struggle.
Health Care, the right to live period is vital to us all and Obama has blown it because he can't get down there and kick the Democrats in the ass because he won't get in the Republicans face behind closed doors and show them the FBI pix of the Senator with his mistress and tell him vote right.The Big Sleep
Instead he lets them add hundreds of amendments to gut the most important legislation of the century, and then they go on TV and laugh about how they're still not voting for it.
Obama hasn't undone Bush and Cheney's commie Stalinesque laws. He hasn't repealed the idiocy of the Patriots Act, he hasn't returned the country to the people, He's kept American rights and freedoms for the rich, for the corporate and for the politicians.
I feel harsh. I'm tired of a tiny group of people preaching at me in the media. I'm tired of them encouraging the scant minority of dangerous bigots I have to deal with. I'm annoyed that the President hasn't done anything to make us proud.
I miss my puppy. I miss USC having Mark Sanchez at QB. I miss having a body that does all I imagine it could do and a body without pain. I'm tired of my country not working together not cooperating to make this place better for us all.
I probably just need a nap.

August 29, 2009

One thing I never will forget is the beauty of a friendship that's not ended yet
Roger McGuinn

High Life
Click images for desktop size: "High Life" by Unknown
It was my birthday up until a few minutes ago.
It didn't seem to mean much. Thanks to the people who remembered.