More things than heaven allows

Spiral Nebula

Click images for desktop size: “Spiral Nebula” by NASA
To bring all the pages into xhtml compliance I’ve had to go through and edit most of the old posts. I had to correct a lot of mistakes.
Some of the errors were caused by the import. Most of them were caused because I didn’t know what I was doing.
I’m a slow learner.
Los Olivados Going back through them, of course I had to re-read bits and pieces.
Boy, it makes my life seem miserable.
It makes it sound like my only bright spot is my puppy.
My little puppy is the bright spot in my life but my life is not all that grim. I’m fairly certain it hasn’t been.
There’s been my share of tragedy, personal hardship and squalor. The squalor sticks in my mind deeper than most traumas.
There have been bright spots. Many.
I recall them as moments of sunshine glistening off of lawns, off of fields of snow, off of little fur.
I remember hearing from people who have touched my life, telling me how I touched them.
I sure remember laughing a lot more than I read about.
I didn’t write enough, or remember at the time the people who’ve been a small part of my life. The people who’ve come into my life with the greatest gifts, conversation and understanding and the stories of how they make it from day to day.
As I fixed the errors in the code I made certain not to change anything. Not to delete anything. Not to rewrite the past to fit the present or make for a safer future.
I wanted to at times. I wanted to correct my amazing amount of typos so I would look quite so not dumb maybe. I just neatened up the code.
I wanted to put in big sections like “Life was horrid.” BUT A LITTLE GIRL OFFERED ME A BITE OF HER SANDWICH. Or “Man, this stinks.” BUT THAT AFTERNOON A TOOTHLESS WOMAN SMILED AT ME AND TOLD ME A JOKE IN SPANISH.
The Bandits Theme By J3 Concepts

Click images for desktop size: “The Bandit’s Theme” by J3 Concepts
I’m glad I’m keeping a journal. It makes it easier to remember not only what’s been written but to remember what I’ve nearly forgotten. Things that shouldn’t be forgotten because those things are always about people.
It reminds me to do things now that I should have done even then. Not big things, but all the little things we always forget. Because our lives are too important to ourselves and we think we have to protect ourselves in the clinches. I write too much about puppies. Then I think I should have written more.
I don’t write enough about my friend. I know the reason why and I don’t care for it but I know its out of my control. The crazies and the vengeful.
The Man Who Turned To Stone I’m glad this thing is public. It helps keeps me ruthless in examining myself. Knowing there’s always someone out there willing to correct a lapse in memory.
I’m glad its public because it’s like, well, I used to explain to guys that sometimes when an old friend, ex-friend calls you in the middle of the night its not to re-kindle some smoldering romance. Its because, when two people get close and expose each others soul to the other its a closeness people can’t ever escape or regret. Sometimes there’s a concern, sometimes the concern is born of a nightmare or a song on the radio.
All they want to know is that your not dead and that part of each other that burned for a while is truly immortal, that part the two of you shared.
This does that for me. Quietly and invisibly. Transparently.

The other things I read was all about football, and I realized I sure don’t know much about making NFL picks!
When I read some of the things I said about teams in the past . . . it was embarrassing.
I would never make a good psychic.
Like I only got 3 picks right out of 4 this weekend. Which fits my 80% average okay. Its just that my reasoning is sometimes . . . stupid.
I’ll keep making those stupid assertions though because one day I’ll be right. Odds say I have to be.

Sometimes I feel like Mars Bonfire

Abandoned Mansion - Raven 88

Click images for desktop size: “Abandonded Mansion” by Raven 88
He Wrote “Born To Be Wild” for John Kay and Steppenwolf and created the phrase, “Heavy Metal”. He had a really mediocre solo album and now he’s forgotten.
I think of what it must be like to meet him at a party. Does he walk up to you and introduce himself as the man who created heavy metal? I would. It would be cool to watch people shuffle their feet while trying not to look at you.
German Dr Jeckyl And Mr Hyde 1931Since he copyrighted the song does he get a tiny piece of money every time anyone uses his words?
If he doesn’t, is he warped and bitter about it? Does he support the RAIA?
Has he found happiness now? Does he look out of his window and consider that a billion bikers and wannabe bikers are standing in their showers, their fantasies and their lives played out to his soundtrack?
Does his wife think he’s a genius? Does she tell all her friends that he is?
Sometimes I feel like Mars Bonfire . . .

I didn’t realize how wrecked I was yesterday until I read what I wrote.
All I wrote were intro’s and then I left out the story . . .
I don’t even know if the stories were any good. Maybe that’s why I omitted them.
That doesn’t mean anyone should be spared.
Like the whole fixation on bowels was in memory of a nurse. I’d just started my first chemo, the really nasty one where my hair fell out and I was considering that death was better than this.
There was this plump cheeked blonde blue eyed nurse, who shimmered in self contained pleasure.
We all hated her.
We hated her even more than we hated the missionary nurse who found time to testify to us individually at least twice during our stay. “Have you been washed in the blood,” was the sardonic greeting the adults used in sardonic detestment of her.
A Silhouette Of War By Scooch

Click images for desktop size: “A Silhouette Of War” by Scooch
We hated the blonde all the more because on first sight you could see her with a pleasant carnal interest. She was young, pretty and had a face that knew no deeper tragedy than Bergdorf Goodman not increasing her credit limit at Christmas.
She wore a starched white nurses outfit. She was the only one who did. She wore it tight to accent her curves. And every morning she’d walk in and say in a clear bright chipper voice that was singed by the harshest most nasal twangy Sydney accent you ever heard and say, “How are we this morning? Did we have a good BM?”
And every evening before she went home and did whatever she did she’d stop in and say in that same voice that grated and jangled our exposed electric nerves, “Have a good night. I hope you have a good bowel movement!”
We hated her just short of plotting her death.
Someone once speculated that maybe she thought we were in there for chronic constipation.
Flesh Is Weak Double Feature Usually when you go into remission, or at least finish the course you look back at your caregivers with a trace of fondness or at least vague gratitude. Not her.
I’ve met some of my former comrades and we’d even been able to look at the Evangelical nurse with a trace of wry humor. The sexy blonde Aussie with the clear eye and smooth skin and the grating voice we’ll all hate forever.
Is that justice or even close to fair?
Of course not, but none of us care.

And after that wonderful scatological reverie I was going to move on to my toe nail clipping and how that reminded me that I have the ugliest feet in the world.
I do. It has been attested to.
There are probably a lot of similes to be drawn between my feet and my soul. I do not attest to these.
I think most of my problem with my feet stems from the fact that I use them . . . I mean I’ve had countless turf toes, stepped on plenty of spiny urchins and a few jelly fish.
Once I played a pick up game of football in Regents Park wearing a pair of boots. But I blame most of the damage on rock climbing.
I always had extreme climbers for partners and extreme climbers demand extreme footwear. I was always the dumb one but smart enough to do as I was told.
The popular shoes back then were RD’s and PA’s (or maybe some inversion of those initials, its been a long time since I checked out climbing shoes).
Cartoon Girls

Click images for desktop size: “Cartoon Girl” by Unknown
Both shoes had their adherents. What they had in common was lightness. They felt like ballet slippers in your hand.
They had a very light special construction type rubber that extended up the heel slightly and far over the toes.
The rubber was to give sure grip on rock. The extensions up the toe were to give a solid fit when jamming your foot into cracks, or balancing on tiny little knobs (which is one of my more vivid rock climbing memories.)
But the problem is that the shoe sort of funneled your foot (meaning your toes mainly) into a nice tiny point. Not unlike the ancient cruel art of foot binding in Japan. Of course this isn’t cruel. We did it to ourselves.
My problems were the two or three mile hikes to the climbs wearing these shoes . . .
My point is that my freakishly ugly feet are the direct response to honorable wounds, if you will, and should not be scoffed at nor jeered at.
I wear shoes almost all the time anyway . . .

I have a new Blue Tooth Mighty Mouse I got for Christmas from my friend.
I Love A Mystery 1945 I’m still marveling at it. I think it works okay so far.
My friend returns from her first weekend away at training tonight. It will be good.

The play offs start this weekend. Wildcard Weekend, according to the hype.
The bowl games were so mixed this year that these games might actually be entertaining.
These games count in the on-line contest I’m in so you have to endure my picks.
I’m in 2,123 position after my less than scintillating 11-5 last weekend. I am still only 13 points out of first with no idea how I fare on any tie breakers . . .
My picks are in bold.

Washington at Seattle – Its tempting to take the Redskins for a few reasons. Journeyman QB replacing erratic Jason Campbell for one thing. That the Seahawks have looked like mushes in their last few games is another. While I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Redskins win here, their history is against them. The Seahawks are more desperate. So the Redskins could win a tight one or the Seahawks could get Hasslebeck fired up and blow them out.

Jacksonville at Pittsburgh – This is pathetic. That the Jaguars have to travel to Pittsburgh as the wildcard team when they have a better record and have already thrashed the Steelers. Nothing has changed since their last meeting, except the Jags are more confident and the Steelers have looked even shakier.

Chimp's Face

Click images for desktop size: “Chimps’ Face” by Faan
New York Giants at Tampa Bay – This is the cruddy game of the week! Even if it is the playoffs. Eli Manning showed he can play when the game is meaningless against the Patriots last week. The Buc’s have been stumbling around in a weak conference. This is a coin toss really. Both these teams have no business and are only fodder for next week. Taking the Bucs for home field advantage and Jeff Garcia.

Tennessee at San Diego – I don’t think this game will be a blow out. The Titans D is looking way too sharp since Haynesworth’s return. But the Titan’s offense is kind of sporadic at best. I like Kerry Collins. He’s a nice guy, but he doesn’t replace Vince Young. If the Titans win behind Collins he should get a life time pass to the Grand Ol’ Oprey from his home town. He’s got a big hill to climb here. Too big I think.

These picks are not jokes even if they are intended for amusement only.
Who knows what I forgot to say today that I’ll remember tomorrow . . .

Do you think there’s a chance?

Hermon Adams
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Hermon Adams
It was a manly day.
I managed to do three loads of laundry . . .
With the way my back felt going up and down those stairs took character. A lot more character than I thought I had.
Then to prove how manly I am I trimmed my toe nails.
Convict's Women That took more courage than I thought I had.
I almost gave up but they don’t call me bulldog for nothing.
I keep wondering what age is it where you find grooming and laundry interesting subjects . . .
More to the point does that mean that the next hurdle to crawl under is the one where my fixations will be all about my bowels . . .

On the very plus side I’m responding to the meds. Right now my levels are only 15% off. Which isn’t great but a week ago they were nearly 200% off, so I’m not happy to settle for mediocrity . . .

I got a Christmas card from my old boss yesterday. I’m still not sure how I feel about that. Or if I feel anything about it at all.
It was a nice card. Nice enough anyway, but sent late. I’d be happy if it were just an afterthought. One of those, “Oh, I’ve got two cards left. Who else is in my address book . . .” sort of thing.
If its an attempt to reach out or something more . . . Best I just throw it in the pile, I guess.

The rest of the day was spent being amused by puppies and watching a Yu Wang flic.
Yu Wang is an odd character in movies. For some unfathomable reason they call him Jimmy Yu Wang in some American Press kits. He was a staple, a huge star in Asia before Bruce Lee hit the scene and shook things up.
Yu Wang worked in most of the big Hong Kong films of the time, made them hits – “The One Armed Swordsman”, “The Golden Swallow” and the like. Movies that redefined the Chinese image, and the Chinese role model.
Irish Lass by George Petty
Click images for desktop size: “Irish Lass” by George Petty
Unlike the vast majority of Chinese Actors Yu broke wanted more. He wrote and he directed and starred in some major films. Major in that they made money.
Like anyone with a large body of work there are some great semiotics at work here.
His movies hold their crudeness as a virtue. Yu was not a very good fighter or an above average athlete. He was a movie star. So his fight scenes take the guise of crude brutal affairs with lots of blood and lots of energy.
In his most notorious in America flic, “Master Of The Flying Guillotine”, a blind zen monk, proudly wearing golden swastikas, goes around killing anyone with one arm in pursuit of Yu. He also kills anyone who might accidentally be between him and anyone with one arm. He does his killing with a whacky contraption: A sot of hat that h flips over the victims head and then he rips their heads off . . .
The Devil's Hand The film features a lot of peculiar fight scenes: A yogi who somehow causes his arms to grow to extraordinary lengths and a thai kick boxer with enormous callouses on his shins . . .
It also features one of the most peculiar to Western eyes fight theories ever. “Run away and hide”/
Which really makes sense if you saw the weird carnival of fighters pursuing Yu.
Yu wins the final fight by being more vicious and cynically sadistic than the beheading monk!
What’s oddest to me is the nods to Leone. But instead of making things big, operatic or even portentous, Yu uses the techniques to keep everything down at a carnival like level.
Instead of mythic he tends to create the feeling of venality and coarse survival for its own sake.
In his “masterpiece” “Beach Of The War Gods” Yu’s savage depiction of the Japanese is heralded with techniques and shots lifted straight from Buster Keaton’s the general.
The effect is that of a man with no sense of humor trying to tell us a joke, getting angry when flubs the punch line and then beating the crap out of you.
I like Yu’s cheap non-epics in a fond not quite condescending way. They’re fun and entertaining and there’s not much wrong with that. It just seems off that this intelligent filmmaker seems set and determined to make non-art.
His movies are worth checking out.

Its hard to find from here

Applicants by Luke Fildes
Click images for desktop size: “Applicants For Admission To Casual Ward” by Luke Fildes
Went out with the dogs today.
Bitter cold. Plenty of snow to cover the ice.
I fell while carrying the little blind dog over a section of salty slush that was hurting his feet. I twisted to make sure i didn’t crush him. That was the only image I kept while I was falling. I managed to avoid doing that so I torqued my back.
All Quiet On The Western Front The little guy didn’t think anything of the fall. I guess when you’re small and blind getting whooshed around must seem like a normal state of affairs.
My puppy was very solicitous. She tried to lick me and actually walked with me for a few hundred yards. Normally she likes to ride point and bark at any dangerous leaves or squirrels.
We finished the walk and our few chores just tromping through the snow and telling each other dog jokes.
When I got home my back started to hurt pretty badly. The kind where the pain is vomit inducing, a bilious green pain.
I did my exercises. I’ll sleep on the floor tonight and hope it will be better in the morning.
The good news is that my blood levels are responding as expected to finally having my drugs. This is good because it delays the inevitable of having to go on insulin or worse.

I’m watching the Fiesta Bowl.
West Virginia is winning my heart with the way they’re playing. After being so nastily rejected by their coach they could have just rolled over. Instead they’re playing like spurned lovers or step children getting back at their parents.
Its the oddest thing, emotions for an athlete. You want your D-line psyched and crazy. Screaming for blood. You need your secondary psyched but right on the edge so that they not only react reflexively but also have no haze so they can read and decipher their opponents movements.
Dashboard
Click images for desktop size: “Dashboard”
Line backers and offense have to be cool, intelligent. Time has to move slowly for them. Adrenalin has to be used in a different way – shut down and recalled when needed.
Its a hard balance for a coach to keep in his team. Its hard to recognize it in a player sometimes. Harder to teach.
Right now I’d say that this interim coach has done a superb job in all facets of the game.

We’re alone now.
My puppies and me.
We’re fine. My friend is off on her dream job. And that’s comforting.
I often feel alone but I can’t think of a time when I’ve ever felt lonely.
I wonder if that’s a character defect.

Captain Midnight The insane hit count searching for the Captain America picture continues. Its interesting how many of the searches are from government offices, federal, state and local; even quite a few military. I’ve no idea what sparked this level of interest in the character. I thought it was the announcement of the movie but that doesn’t seem to justify that much activity.
The ultra positive is how well the new hosting service is handling the load.
They’re a relatively big host and I had concerns about them being so big and the level of service. this is winning me over pretty completely.
Also pleased with the way Movable Type is handling the references from the old WordPress script. If people would look a touch harder they’d find what they’re looking for.

Back to the game for all of us.

Illinois 17 USC 49

Light Of The Harem By Leighton
Click images for desktop size: “Light Of The Harem” by Leighton
I woke up to a beautiful day. It was the kind of morning that should have been for Christmas.
I’ll take it for New Years.
Its a cliche. Snow hanging from tree branches, everything looking frosted with intent instead of just being natural.
It was pretty and unique to me. It would have made a good postcard . . .
Hunchback Of Notre Dame I’m most pleased with my puppy’s willingness to adapt.
When she first saw deep snow she was trepedacious, timid and frightened. Now, she’s the dog of the tundra. She rolls in the stuff, eats it burrows in it to find her toy.
I like her to be happy.

Something odd on the sight today. It looks like there’s been close to 4,000 visitors since midnight. What makes it odd is that about 75% of them seem to be from yahoo and google for the picture of Captain America that I posted in 2006.
The last time that things went that crazy it was because Marvel announced they were killing off the character.
I have no idea what’s spurred this sudden flurry of interest from all over the world.
Creepily, only 7 people figured out how to use the search box. They found the post with no issue at all. (This is judging from the log reports which are still new enough to me to be interesting.)
Here’s the link to the picture of Captain America. I suspect they’ll never find it here.
Maybe I should take this surge personally . . .
On a similar vein I discovered that 79,000 or so people hot linked to images here. Almost all of them as backgrounds for myspace profile pages.
That doesn’t bother me much, other than the huge amount of band width they consumed . . . and none of them ever bothered to tell me they were doing this . . . minor stuff.
Just A Girl by Bello
Click images for desktop size: “Just A Girl” by Bello
What isn’t minor were the guys who hot linked to images to promote things of which I do not approve and do not even want to give tacit approval. It horrified me. I was surprised at the number of porn sites but not greatly bothered, it was the political pages that angered me.
I’m hoping they discover that I’ve had to block the hot linking and take me off their sites so I can undo this hot linking stuff. It bothers me but not as much as people thinking I approve of racism etc.

Its been a good bowl season so far. Despite the best efforts of the BCS.
I’m stoked by the USC victory, of course. I think the score shows that Illinois was a bit out of their depth.
It would have been so much more exciting to see a higher ranked team against the Trojans. You can only play who they put in front of you.
Night Of The Demon When the BCS started I assumed, stupidly that it would be 1 vs 2, 3 vs 4 etc. This structure has produced some memoprable moments but its also produced a lot of duds and a lot of bad football.
One thing I hav noticed is that soem of the announcers have started to get more into the technical side of the game. Nothing too outre but it was cool to have an announcer explain a trap play and show how a guard executed it to perfection. That sort of thing is pleasant and does show that the game is more than just a QB throwing the ball around.
I even heard one guy start to explain a reveolving umbrella zone off of the two cover!
They cut him off but at least he knew what he was seeing. Too many of the announcers I wonder about.

I hope your New Year starts as nicely as mine.
Conquest!

Happy New Year

Girl
Click images for desktop size: “Girl” by Unknown
Once upon a time a friend called me. He coached at an American Military Base and he wanted a game against my kids. He wanted more than a scrimmage. He wanted the roughest team I could put together.
They had a QB being recruited by Brigham Young. He thought he had a chance at the European Military Championship.
Gator Bait I had a mixed team that year, one that would benefit from the experience.
Problem was we had a regular season game scheduled for the Sunday, the day after he wanted us to play.
Talked it over with the coaches and the kids. There was a big enough squad to cover it, so I accepted.
It was a good game. We got everybody into it.
We lost by less than a touchdown when their big QB pitched a 50 yard TD pass with 2 of my guys hanging from him.
It was impressive and regretful that he developed an attitude problem. He had the chance to be all world.
The next day I waited for the coach I rented to take us for our league game. Like the day before I’d rented a 60 seater.
Eleven kids showed up.
I was the only coach who showed up.
We went to the match, expecting to forfeit, but at least offering a scrimmage or some such.
They insisted we play. The ref’s backed them up and showed me the rule that a squad of eleven made us legal.
Worse my kids wanted to play.
I was in a quandary. I’d have been cool with just getting on the bus and going home.
We played.
I caved in.
I coached like a son of a gun. Calling time outs, doing anything to get my kids through the game intact.
It was goofy iron man football. We played hard against the team that won the National Championship that year.
A lot of times I pulled kids off and went with only 9 or 10 players on the field.
Not surprisingly we lost by 2 points.
Green Lantern And Flash
Click images for desktop size: “Green Lantern And Flash” by DC Comics
What we won was a trust in ourselves and in each other.
My safety I discovered was a class running back and kicker. He went on to a DIv III school in the states and became a fireman.
My WR I learned was a shut down corner. He went on to become a Bio-Chemist.
And on and on. They have all become and remained life long friends.
For that the game was worth it.

I thought about that while I watched the Florida State – Kentucky game tonight. (FSU had 36 players suspended from the game in a cheating scandal).
Girls In Prison I found myself hoping that those FSU players would take something like we experienced that long ago day, that what they did out there wasn’t just a game but an experience that they would carry with them, that would let them grow and mature into even finer young men.
It doesn’t seem right some how but its seems true: the greatest things we humans learn is always stoked in the fires of adversity. Its only there that we learn who we are and what we are capable of. Who we can trust and who we can love.
My puppy and I have had our share here recently.
I’d like to think we came through it safe and secure in ourselves and in our relationships.
The New Year is bringing another very mild set of stresses that will end up making life better.
I can cope with that.
I’ve played and coached enough to know that adversity does not mean being alone.

There’s just a little less of me

Wild Horse

Click images for desktop size: “Wild Horse” by Abogado
My puppy graduated from Level Two Obedience class.
I was surprised. She never did First Level Obedience. She never showed much interest in Obedience at all. Jut the sort of obedience that keeps us both happy, not the fancy heel exactly this way style of obedience for sure!
Date Bait I honestly didn’t fully expect her to even pass. So when she was made “class valedictorian I was stunned to the point of having nothing to do but feel conceited.
I am always surprised at what my little dog will do to please me.
This follows on the heels of good news/bad news from my puppy;s family.
Her litter mate went to a big dog show cross country. That alone would have been infinitely cool, but the big shock was she won best of breed (Opposite sex . . . somehow that just seems wrong, why not best female?) and Best Bred By Exhibitor.
For some reason this flushes with me with pride. I don’t know why but it does.
The bad news is that, like in people, cancer in dogs seems to be genetic. Hank, one of the coolest dogs I’ve ever known, died this year from cancer.
To me it was tragic.
Now it seems one of his offspring has the same disease.
I hate that.
Dogs are natural born battlers and can handle the disease better than most people. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt or that the battle is any easier.
The bright spot is that she appears to be taking the chemo well and responding. Maybe she’ll go into remission.
The dog is taking an oral chemo, similar to the one I had to take. I know how it made my body feel.
I feel sorry for her and am glad she wouldn’t know what to do with pity. She’d probably prefer it if I rubbed her tummy or tried to take this stick away from her.

Autumn Rice by Vargas

Click images for desktop size: “Autumn Rice” by Vargas
On football this week I was a mediocre 11-5. Oddly for a while I was in first place! But some one went 16-0!I can’t imagine anyone getting all those bizarre last week games right, but they did.
I gave up on my theory that the fix was in . . .
The NFC Playoffs wild card week appears to be a big thudding dud . . .

On my health front . . . I’ve been passing out.
I hate that. Its just like falling into a black hole. I get no rest and feel even more fatigued when I come to.
I’m not sure what to do about it. I can’t will myself conscious until sleep. I just sit and pass out.
Irksome.
Dinosaurus I’m responding as expected to the drugs. My levels are all slowly balancing out.
I’ll survive much more than this.
As usual my Blood pressure and cholesterol levels are all aces and I have at least gone through the added discomfort of the flu shot.
And the flu shot discomfort is a lot less painful than the flu!
There wasn’t much more time left in the day.
I filled it by messing with the code on the site.
I decided that there aren’t that many people who use the rss feeds. Its been a major amount of work coding everything to look good in the feeds – floating pictures etc. So i’ve gone to just using css classes to do some of the layout work.
I hope this doesn’t distress anyone. It makes me feel a bit lazy.
I’ve also added in a Tag feature, where you can search for all other entries with the same tag at the bottom of the post.
It won’t make much sense until there are tons of tagged posts, and I can’t imagine why anyone would want to do such a thing, but it was fun trying to make it work.

Could I Just Take A Break Here?

Rabbits

Click images for desktop size: “Rabbits” by Unknown
Feeling awfully sick.
Finally got my meds. I was too long without them. Blood sugars over 24, which is close to diabetic coma.
I hate being reminded how sick I am.
Taking the meds and now. My body is readapting to them. Its harsh. Magnifies a lot of the other pain.
The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari I have to remind myself that all of that is compounded further because I had a flu shot.
But dogs and friends kept most of that away.
Its only now, when I’m alone at dark night, that I feel how utterly horrid I feel.
The good thing is I got three months supply.

The college bowl season has been dreary enough to make the bright spots gleam even brighter.
Nothing could beat seeing Tom Brady, Randy Moss and the New England Patriots make history tonight. If there’s any justice they’ll continue on to the Super Bowl.
I was impressed with Brady’s after game speech. I was more impressed that when he completed the TD pass to Moss to set a personal record of 52 TD’s in a year, he was signaling not 52 but 22, which is the record number of TD catches Randy Moss made on the same pass.
That the ref’s threw a flag for “Group Celebration” which led to the Giants TD is asinine and indicative of what’s wrong with the NFL.

I’ve changed some of my picks and might change them up until the cut off time, as info creeps through about who’ll be playing and who’ll be sitting down for some of the meaningless games and the not so meaningless ones.
Crazy season.
Crazy sport.
Red Rain

Click images for desktop size: “Red Rain” by Lyle Krannechfield
Its my friends birthday tomorrow; today really. And its my puppy’s level 2 Obedience Graduation.
I hope I feel better for both their sakes!
I don’t know how my puppy will do. Don’t really care except for old competitive urges and pride.

I put up a movie on my puppy’s site today.
It was hard getting it to stream from my site but I idi it.
I’m proud of that. I wanted it to look good for the kids. My initial design was minorly flawed so it had to be very HQ to read the scrawly writing. And YouTube made i so you could barely see any of the faces.
I like faces, my friend’s faces and my dogs’ faces.
I’m off to sleep now. I hope I can instead of just passing out. No rest in passing out.

The Northern girls with the way they kiss they keep their boyfriends warm at night Brian Wilson

Kabegami

Click images for desktop size: “Kabegami” by cos2l

I’m a shallow guy
I always have been. I think that people judge me mostly on my appearance. As I get older, gnarled and weather beaten, that’s a bit hard for me to take.
People have always said to me, “You don’t judge other people that way, why keep holding yourself to a different standard?”
Because I’m me, I guess.
Attack Of The Jungle Women It also impacts the way I keep this web site. I tend to be fastidious and work to get it the way I want it to look and work. Subtle color variations, scripting and stuff.
I’ve gotten pretty good at html and css trying to get it to look right. At least write to me. I’ve even had to learn perl, for no other reason than to keep this looking nice and to keep my puppy’s website easy for kids to use.
I had to work hard to get the search page to work. Its still not what I want. What I want is to click on search and have a translucent window open up where you type in your stuff and then it takes you to the result page and simply vanishes.
I have to learn AJAX for that . . .
I spent a couple of hours, last night, getting the whole site xhtml compliant. That means it should look the same in all browsers. Even though Microsoft continues to disdain all standards and demands that anything they do should become the de facto standard, it should get it close even in Internet Explorer.
I guess I did some of that to avoid thinking about the damage I’ve done to my body lately. It’s all the grief with the drugs and prescriptions.
his shouldn’t be that big a deal, but it is.
The problem is with the simple minded diabetic meds. Nothing fancy there, no trials or even a chance at narcotics. Just laws and customs designed to benefit . . . well, not me or many other patients for sure. Planning to sort it out today.
All of which comes back to this site. As in why did I decide to keep a journal in the first place and why continue it for so long? Why keep it public?
Marbles

Click images for desktop size: “Marbles”
Most of this I’ve thought about, written about before. Reviewing the days keeps me focused on what I am and what I want to be. Keeping it public is, ostensibly, to let all those people I know and care about but have lost, have a place to find me. To share pretty pictures.
I’m a public person. Shallow and public . . . When we moved here the most exciting thing was prepping an act for my friends Christmas party . . . in my mind I was even thinking of tunes where I could do an alternate tuning on the guitar so I could get around the fret board and hide how worthless my hands and fingers had become.
Part of it is I like the attention. Okay?
Not to the point of using DIGG or wanting to smash the look of the site with a sidebar advertising and begging for attention, but to the point of doing a Thalberg, “If its any good they’ll know who made it.”
Carnival Of Souls There’s more to it than that but for now, that’s enough.

This is a great time of the year: The Bowl Season is in full swing.
I was glad to see Purdue and Central Michigan play so well in a “minor” bowl.
I was embarrassed to see Arizona State let down the Pac 10 and play so poorly against Texas last night.
That’s okay, they tried, which is more than can be said for all the NFL teams this weekend.
The final week of the regular season is historically a mess. There are flashes of interest but mainly Play Off Bound teams rest their regulars. Teams knocked out of it play lackluster ball or play over their heads to be a spoiler. Some teams choke.
Last week I was 9-7. Pretty mediocre. I should have been 10-6 but I ticked the wrong box at the website! Second time this season.
That leaves me 15 points out of first place . . . and yet I slog on.
My picks are in bold.

New England at New York Giants – The most interesting thing here is whether the Giants will concede the Patriots their perfect season or if they’ll put up any resistance at all. The excuse is resting starters for the Play Offs. Coolest thing is that the NFL backed off of their pay per view scheme under threat of losing their anti-trust exemptions. Game of the week because this will be historic whatever happens.

Buffalo at Philadelphia – This is an oddity. The Eagles are playing better ball since their season is meaningless. Buffalo is choking, which is sad. I have to pick the Eagles but my heart is with the Bills.
Movies

Click images for desktop size: “Movies”

Carolina at Tampa Bay – The Buc’s embarrassed themselves last week. They may rest people. The Panther’s have Steve Smith . . . This could be a real snoozer with names you never heard of in key positions. The Panthers are finishing the string.

Cincinnati at Miami – The Bengals upset Cleveland last week with Defense?? The Dolphins are now under the tutelage of the most over rated coach in history – Bill Parcells. They’ll lose one for the kipper.

Detroit at Green Bay – After last weeks debacle Brett Favre is worried. He should be. He’s also a great one at redeeming himself. Look for the Lions, depressed but game, to pay the price. I’m pretty sure the Packers will come out blazing to set the tone for the Play Offs.

Jacksonville at Houston – Its pathetic that the Jaguars enter the play offs as a wild card team. They are potent and dangerous. Look for them to make a statement in this one. Also they’ll experiment and force some issues to test their personnel. Houston, you did better than I thought.
Confessions Of A Vice Baron
New Orleans at Chicago – I like the Saints but this is not to be. The Bears have gotten mean, now that it doesn’t mean anything. They’re good as spoilers. They seem to like it more than being Champs! The game means more to them then it does to the disappointed, dispirited Saints.

Pittsburgh at Baltimore – Here’s a mash up of a game. The Steelers are coasting and playing lousy football. They’ll have no offense that can be imagined. The Ravens have looked great and then distasteful, often in the same series! I’m taking the Ravens because the Steelers have noting to win. The Ravens will take pride in beating a play off team.

Seattle at Atlanta – This is my cruddy game of the week. Worse it will be on TV tomorrow . . . The Seahawks are the second weakest team in the play offs. They’re still trying to fine tune a rickety offense. Atlanta is just glad the season is over. The Falcons may get motivated but I wouldn’t count on it.

San Francisco at Cleveland – Now that the Browns have lost their chance to be Division Champs this game should prove easy for them. The 49ers have more to play for but the Browns don’t want to go into the play offs on a, not with their team history.

Tennessee at Indianapolis – The hardest game to call. This could be the most fun. Neither team can actually win much here so it could be just a good joyous game or one coach or the other could decide to start resting players. I’m going with the Colts but if there were more on the line for the Titans I’d take them.

Minnesota at Denver – This would be a snoozer except Adrian Peterson needs a confidence booster to head in to the Wild Card Round. Nobody is better prepared to give it to him then the Broncos. If the Vikings don’t spring Peterson for big yards this will say a lot about what to expect next week.

My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose

Click images for desktop size: “My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose – R Browning”
San Diego at Oakland – I pity the Raiders, and they’re sending out a very green rookie to start his first game against a team that needs a confidence boost. Rah.

St Louis at Arizona – This would be the cruddy game of the week except both teams have spark enough to make something happen. I hope that the Cardinals defense gets a handle on Steve Jackson otherwise it will go the other way.

Dallas at Washington – The Cowboys will be resting EVERYBODY who matters. The starters will treat it like a scrimmage most likely. The Redskins are playing for their jobs next year in front of an angry home town crowd. Which is why I’m picking them for the upset.

Kansas City at New York Jets – This is a real stink pot of a game to end the regular season . . . I’m taking the Jets because the coin came up tails.

These picks are for your great amusement only. They are not to be taken as even knuckle headed advice!

Boxing Day

Desert By Alex Chaquitas
Click images for desktop size: “Desert – New Mexico” by Alex Chaquitas
In England, every year there was a newspaper debate about the name Boxing Day.
The Sun would say that is was named because it was the day that all the gifts and decorations were boxed up.
The Times would refute it with their own not very interesting genesis of the name.
Vice Raid 1959 I think the only important thing is that its an extra day off of work.
I only wish that the irritating pain would take a holiday.

I got a very cool Christmas Present.
Best Friends are a Charity rescuing abused or just lost animals. You can adopt an animal online. They have dogs, cockatiels, horses . . . even cats . . . Its a touching gift. I worry about animals. Mainly dogs and rabbits. But I worry and having one less to worry about pleases me.
There’s a film that I don’t much like, because it is not very good. It is either invidious, naive or inept.
“Year Of The Dog” stars one of those new age Saturday Night Live women. She looks very haggard.
The story is that she has a wonderful little dog who dies suddenly. And her whole world collapses. Then she collapses in a very bitter way.
She’s abandoned by family and friends because she starts a new heartfelt love for animals. The only friend she makes out of all this is a namby pamby self serving intensely sincere hypocrite. Then she starts to steal from her company to fund Animal Rescue Centers, like Best Friends. She adopts an aggressive dog she can’t control and then, through a tragic turn, about 20 other dogs.
When she finds out that her beloved dog died because he had entered her neighbors garage and eaten snail poison she flips out and, unfairly blames her neighbor. She even attempts to kill him.
Eagle's Daughter
Click images for desktop size: “Eagle’s Daughter – Sculpture” by Unknown
This extreme act gains her the pity of her co-workers, family and friends. She turns her back on them to crusade for animal rights.
Now my biggest problem with the film is that it depicts almost anyone who loves animals as having some serious sociopathic issues. Like only someone who can’t connect with human beings could give a damn about an animal.
In fact it goes out of its way to depict a hunter, who gives an long ineloquent soliloquy about hunting, as the most rational person in the movie.
As the leads compassion grows instead of presenting her commitment to another species as humorous and courageous it shows it as the cause and effect of a deranged mind.
That’s kind of stupid if you ask me.
You can only quote Steve McQueen, “You never had a dog, mister.”

Alien So recovering from Christmas is not as much fun as preparing for Christmas.
I’m tired. I ate too much. I laughed too much.
I loved my dogs not enough.
Now getting prepared for my friend to take a big trip. SHe has to do a months training in a town about two hours from here.
They pick up the tab. Still, even with all my fuzzy friends it will be lonely.
Strange. I’m alone most of my adult life but it will be lonely. Not in a bad way but only becasue I’m “wise and mature”.
Of course she says, “He lives in the past, tolerates the present and forgives a future he deson’t believe exists.”
That doesn’t really contradict much that other people have said about me . . .