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October 13, 2013

Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart

The Lone Lizard by Vaughn Bode It's time to end this blog.
The last post is below. It's a longish half finished tract about how dogs and dolphins deserve to be treated as equals and that we severely underestimate them and demean ourselves in the way we treat them.
Five Fingers Of Death With the NSA, MPAA and the RAIA destroying the internet and trying to turn it into something old and as worthless as TV and nationwide radio; it's time to let go.
Over a decade ago blogs and RSS feeds were the new thing. They were exciting. People talking about their days and worries, thoughts, dreams and despair.
Then it got monetized and publishers tried to do books of the mommy blogs. When that didn't make serious money and others realized you couldn't just shout SHAZAM to get rich a huge wave of sadness engulfed blogs and most of them began to vanish.
Then that rather creepy Zuckerburg fellow worked with a few other rather loathsome types and created Facebook. Facebook took away all privacy and viewed people as crude commodities to get rich off of. And we ate it up. People believed that it was real life and not a controlled environment in total control of a zealot who believed only in money and his own hidden agenda. So in place of a wild frontier we got nicely paved streets lined with barbed wire and almost everyone was happy.
Now blogs are just a place for the deluded right and left find a way to reinforce their delusions. My blog was becoming too much like that and a place to mourn my poor puppy. A grief that still follows me everyday.
The music blogs still exist and they are still great.
I'm going to keep the site up as long as I can. My puppy's blog still gets 30 to 50 visitors a day. A lot of them from google searches like "the doctor dog who makes me laugh" and "the black dog who talks funny".
I'll be using this blog to post the podcast info. For whatever reason google doesn't want to index the podcast page. How strange.
There's a lot to say in goodbyes, most of it unsaid and most of it forgotten. This isn't any kind of real goodbye or any sort of passing.

Cool And Crazy 18
Mystery Action - Get Action
Swingin' Neckbreakers - No Costume, No Candy
Lolas - They're Coming For You Barbara
Zane Brothers - Dracula
Zacherele - Halloween Hootenanny
Mike Fern - The Headhunters
Dan Miraldi - Vampire Girl
Untamed - Tears In dead Eyes
Screaming Jay Hawkins - Feast Of the Mau Mau
The Mad Daddy - Stubbly McGongster
Rod Willis - The Cat
Ding And Bat - Hearse On Safari
Deadbolt - Billy's Dead
Milton DeLugg And The Band With A Slug - The Munster's Theme
Jumpin' Gene Simmons - Haunted House
Frankie & The Newports - Monster Mash
Allen Sherman - My Son, The Vampire
Billy Taylor - Wombie Zombie
Ghastly Ones - Surfin' Spooks
Hollywood Flames - Frankenstein's Den
Legendary Invisible Men - Spook's Night Out
Ben Colder - Shudders And Screams
Fiends - Theme From The Addams Family
Dave Edmunds - Black Lagoon
Glenn Danzig - Spook City USA
Iggy Pop - Funtime
Jackie Morningstar - Rockin' In The Graveyard
Crimson Ghosts - Halloween
Chimps - Dracula's Daughter
Billy Lee Riley - Nightmare Mash
Bob Ridgley - Way Out Mummy
Bobby Please - The Monster
Kac-Ties - Mr Werewolf
Frankie & The Fashions - Witch Doctor
Fabulous Five - Janie Made A Monster
Bert Convy - The Gorilla
Four Flips - Trick Or Treat
Deadly Ones - Rebel Rouser
Bill Buchanan - Beware
Billy DeMarco & Count Dracula - Drac's Back
Nightmares - Headless Ghost
Three Suns - Danny's Inferno
Zacharele - Happy Halloween

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 . . .
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 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

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


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.

August 19, 2012

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

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

August 7, 2011

I'm not finished yet

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

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

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.

August 7, 2010

The future has a way of arriving unannounced
George Will

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 26, 2010

Fate loves the fearless
James Russell Lowell

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

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

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

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

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
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.

October 3, 2009

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

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.

August 9, 2009

We cannot live only for ourselves; a thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men
Herman Melville

Fractal Fury by Lawn Elf
Click images for desktop size: "Fractal Fury" by Lawn Elf
I saw a humming bird the other day. It surprised me. I hadn't seen one outside of California before.
This hummingbird was bigger than the ones I grew up with. Its colors weren't as vibrant andBucket of Blood startling. It was more a mottled black with some green iridescence about its wings and sides.
It hovered about three feet in front of me. It was inspecting me.
I don't know if my nose was so sunburned that it wasn't certain that my nose wasn't some giant red flower. (Humming birds like red flowers.) Then I thought that maybe I was looking sort of mealy. Humming birds eat meal worms.
Once after a big santa ana winds I was out walking my dogs when I found a baby humming bird on the street. I assumed that the winds had blown it out of its nest. That happened a lot in my neighborhood. My rate on saving these birds was less than 50% but I'm not good at walking away from something in trouble.
I never tried to save a hummingbird before but . . . I tried my usual method: dry baby food mixed with milk and sugar. It wouldn't eat it. I ended up buying instant nectar, the stuff people put in humming bird feeders. That worked pretty well.
Pretty soon we had a tiny little red and blue humming bird flittering around the house. He annoyed my little female finch, another rescue bird who had refused to go back to the wild. The finch had decided that its natural habitat was a shirt pocket.
At three weeks the humming bird was about the size of two joints of my pinky. That seemed small. I took it to our vet, who had gotten used to the various exotic animals we bought into him. I then found out that the little bird probably had not been blown out of its nest. Its mother had probably dumped it. She had a birth defect. I didn't know that her legs weren't supposed to look like they did. I mean, who has ever seen a humming bird's feet?
Hajime Sorayama
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Hajime Sorayama
I also found out I had to grind up meal worms to mix with her nectar. Protein. And pretty disgusting protein. Fortunately we had a disgusting mixer we used for other disgusting pet remedies so it was okay.
The little girl did fine. She even got to the point of teasing the dogs, an obvious rite of passage in my house. Any animal who lived with us eventually had to devise a way to torment the dogs, who were the dominant species in the house.
The cockatiel rejoiced in bathing in the dogs drinking water. The rabbits liked to pounce on the dogs when they were napping and then hide under the bed just out of the reach of tooth and claw. Even the finch enjoyed landing on their backs and steal wisps of fur so it could build its nest in my shirt pocket. The dogs, of course, bought all their complaints to me, so annoying the pups had the added benefit of making more work for me.
The humming bird just enjoyed buzzing around their heads until the dogs just had to snap at it, of course the humming bird had moved three inches to the left before they got there.Captain Blood
For the record, and records are very important to dogs, the dogs never hurt any of the animals in the house. They bore them easily and took the others intrusions as validation of their native superiority.
At about 6 weeks the humming bird was looking pretty fit. I took her into the vet and he operated on its feet. Its feet were very malformed so it couldn't grasp a perch or a stick. With some surgery we had hopes.
The little girl survived the operation. And after a week could sit on a Lena Horne And Dean Martin
Click images for desktop size: "Lena Horne & Dean Martin"
perch, although she still preferred sitting on top of my head the most. After another week I decided she could go back to the wild.
I took her out to Bronson Canyon and released her. She took a huge 50 yard arc, darting back and forth like a dragon fly on crystal meth. Then she made a screaming dive bomb and landed on my head wrapping her claws so tightly around my hair I couldn't pry her lose. She didn't loosen her grip until we got back in the car.
I thought maybe if I released her in the back yard she'd live outside happily, still close to the friends she'd grown up with. She wasn't having that either.
She only lived for about 18 months after that. She was too little and too messed up. I never really minded grinding up the meal worms. I did mind the meal worms though.

My puppy is an orphan now. Her mother passed away. Cancer. I only met her mother the one time but I liked her. She liked me too mainly because I'm very free with treats around dogs.
Green Forever by Cyreuss
Click images for desktop size: "Green Forever" by Cyreuss
It was from her mother that my puppy inherited her equipoise, her grace and her willingness to address her fears. She also got her stubbornness and determination from her. And beauty. You can't talk about this family without noticing their incredible beauty.
I met my puppy's mother in the company of one of the greatest dogs I've ever met, Uncle Hank. He was great because he was so happy being a dog. Even in his overwhelming happy company you had to notice the mom. All the dogs went to an abandoned dog park. My puppy, so tiny, jumped into a little pool there and was having a wonderful time keeping everyone else out of it!
After the adult dogs got bored pretending to be intimidated by my little puppy they went about their own games. My puppy bolted the pool and headed straight towards her mother. The mom turned on her and snapped at her fiercely, really yelled on my puppy. My puppy ran over and sat at my feet looking to her mom for approval.
The world is emptier for Reina's passing. I know its okay to grieve for the loss of a dog. I will beChamber of Horros grieving for her and for my newly orphaned puppy.

Aside from watching the birds that are watching me my job hunt continues unabated. I thought I'd be working much sooner than this. Its still possible.
The doc's called. I did have a major heart attack caused by the Canadian jerks refusing to give me the proper meds. I survived it. The doc's still aren't certain why or how. Their was significant additional damage to my heart but not to the point of changing any of my meds or diet restrictions. I still don't like it but I've learned to cover my flinch reflex when they say its pretty miraculous that I'm still alive. I guess that's the only way people can congratulate you on surviving life. Doesn't seem like much of an accomplishment to me. All I did was not die. I didn't even realize that was an option.
The only real negative is that before it was possible I could heal my heart back to 100%. That doesn't appear to be an option anymore. But I'll wait on that call till they've done all the research.
The shoulder is still bad. I'm maybe being to gentle with it now. I got scared by the idea of by GBR
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by GBR
"irreparable nerve damage."
They're trying to find me an orthopedist who'll see me in the program. I believe they're working hard at it.
I've been taking some criticism for not updating this site everyday. Its because I'm locked into an obsessive mode and hate being repetitive.
there's also the odd thing. It used to be that this site averaged 100 to 200 unique visitor a day. Cool by me. Since the prison story I've been averaging 50,000 a day. With 600 coming through the front door. On days with a new post it goes up to 80,000 and 1,000. This is just weird to me.
A part of it is the new fangled competition between google and bing I think. A lot more people squawking about graphics and stuff. But that only accounts for about 20% of the traffic.
I don't mind, I actually like people coming to look at the pictures but I don't really care about their critical comments which to me seem to be about nothing. Like I'm somehow obligated. Like they're paying me. They're not.
I don't understand the sudden continuing surge in traffic at all.

May 28, 2009

With a firm and steadfast mind one should hold under all conditions, that everywhere the earth is below and the sky above, and to the energetic man, every region is his fatherland
Tycho Brahe

Business Lady
Click images for desktop size: "Business Lady" by Unknown
One odd thing that bothers me; when I dance and prance around to the music playing either in my head or on the iPod I used to feel liquid and elegant, now I feel stiff, jerky and unbalanced. Of Planet of the Dinosaurs course, that's just the way I feel. Maybe someone watching me sees me as smooth and swirling as I used to be (and yeah, I practiced my dancing in front of mirrors). Maybe everyone else always saw me as stiff, jerky and unbalanced. Everyone has their right to an opinion on my dancing. Naturally if you feel that way I'll have to fight you and my puppy would help me.

I'm not doing well.
I'm even gladder that the diabetic nurse called me. For some reason its better feeling miserable knowing that this is just normal adjustment of my body to the insulin than a new stage of misery unfolding before my life. Pain is not an enjoyable view of the future.
Yesterday was a loss. After the blood letting at the lab I got home loaded with ambition. They day turned out to me passing out for 45 minutes at a stretch then recovering then struggling to stay awake for more than a few hours.
When I went to bed for certain I woke up every 45 minutes, awakened by the pain. I'd keep trying to go back to sleep but at 3:30 I just gave up.
Now, three hours later, after all my meds and two cups of coffee I've managed to get past the nausea, my hands still feel cramped and my concept of arthritic. I've managed to hold my arms so that they and my shoulder are quiescent. The pain is just an easy endurable 2 on the chart, no worse than a bad headache.
I know I'm feeling better. My puppy has stopped her vigil, watching over me, and gone to sleep on the bed. I'm glad that she nor any of the dogs, don't see me as a god like master, but as another member of the pack that they love. My puppy loves me dearly. Sometimes I'm astonished at just Dark Tower
Click images for desktop size: "Dark Tower" by Marvel Comics
how much she loves me. The same way I'm astonished at how much the gentle dog and the giant dog love my friend.
The foster dog isn't sure who he loves he just knows he desperately wants to love someone.
As much as I miss my friend I'm glad she's not here to see me like this. Its easier to suffer and throw myself around when there's no witnesses. I wonder what it is inside me that makes me refuse to show this much weakness even to people I trust.
Last night they kept my friend at her conference until stupid late. She had to rush to get to the concert she's had tickets for for nearly two months. They got to hear six songs . . . I like numbers so I figure that between the two of them they spent 15 bucks a tune! She doesn't mention whether they were good songs.

I'm going to try and accomplish something today. I need to for my own sanity and self respect. Its still a grim looking day. I'm going to take the dogs out for a walk. Maybe we'll meet some newPanic in the Streets people and new dogs. Then some household chores. I'll try and avoid the nap fever.
I keep thinking that at the doc's on Wednesday they'll give me some pill that will like instantly knock out the terrible pain. I was even looking for the terrible mood elevator pills that they don't ever give as a mood elevator because it stinks at the job it was designed for. They use it for neuropathic pain almost exclusively. I hate the pill because it makes me feel like I'm hung over for a few days after taking just one.
I'm already feeling badly hungover so . . . the pills were expired for Janis Joplin
Click images for desktop size: "Janis Joplin"
two years. I feel better about that. I still have a knee jerk reaction to depending on pills. To relying on something outside of myself.

I'm up to 23 units of insulin. I discovered that the SoloStar, the "pen" I use to inject the insulin, locks down at the amount of insulin it still contains. The last dose in it was 14 units, which meant that I had to inject myself twice. Not too surprisingly the second injection was much more painful and annoying. I resisted the temptation to re-use the same needle to boot. I used a fresh one but it still hurt.
It was annoying having to use a fresh needle. they're relatively precious. I'm relying on the free samples the diabetic nurse gave me. It seems that since the doctor didn't prescribe them I have to pay a serious price for them. He has to write a script for needles then they're a lot cheaper. I'm asking him for one when he gives me the script for the pain pill they decide on.
My blood sugars are still all over the place. Its annoying. My diet is good. Last night before the Buffalo Hunt by Charles Russell
Click images for desktop size: "Buffalo Hunt" by Charles Russell
injections they were acceptable 8.1. Six hours of fasting later they are at 10.8! I still have to take all the pills I had to take before, the metformin and the glyburide (metformin makes my body more sensitive to insulin while glyburide squeezes what ever insulin there can still be left in my pancreas) the blood sugars are at 11.6! They should be in the 4 to 5 range.
I don't know what to make of it. I'll just keep doing the routine and see what comes off.

I was curious to see if anyone had been listening to the RIAA free music on the jukebox. I was a bit lost as it looks like no one has even taken a look at it. Maybe the feeling is that if the RIAA isn't willing to sue you for listening to it the music isn't very good. I disagree with that. There's some stuff there that I think is better than Hammer Double Bill most of what's out there. I guess you have to like guitar music.

My puppy just came in to check on me. She's laid down beside me and is checking me intently. I'm going to feed her now and then we'll take off for our walk, she, I and the other three. I always feel lucky when I look at them all. I wonder what good things I ever did in life to deserve such affection, trust and friendship. I wonder that always. Funny, I never wonder what I'd done to deserve all the hell.
My puppy just got up and stopped the foster dog from coming in to jump on me (bad habit we're still working on). My puppy, my nurse and care giver.
To the day. To this day and to all the other days to come.

May 18, 2009

Death is the same for everyone; life is not

Hot Robot by Lavakillu
Click images for desktop size: "Hot Robot" by Lavakillu
When I went to bed my blood sugars were 6.8. Acceptable. When I woke up this morning they were 11.6! It used to be the reverse of that. 11.6 is not good.Dracula Has Risen From the Grave
I'm up to 15 units of insulin. I have no idea how long before everything stabilizes.
Early Saturday morning I woke up with the worst headache of my life and I'm a guy who fractured his skull and had 3 concussions. It felt like a cheap description of a migraine. They warned me that headaches might be an early side effect to the insulin. I never imagined it would be like that.

We started the vacation project. Scrapped the entire porch and got the front porch 80% primered. It already looks better.
I tried wrapping my shoulder in an elastic bandage. It help considerably. I had a few twinges but only one drop me to my knees killer hurt. I worked through it. As everyone knows I'm stupid that way. It gentled up to an ache after a half hour.
I got whacked with overwhelming fatigue twice. There's no doubt that the fatigue from the insulin is a lot easier to push through than the leukemia fatigue. I'm pretty happy with how much work I got done. I expected to get more done than I did but, well, who wouldn't.
First coat today then will primer the back porch, there should be time to do that. Then have to bring everything back onto the porches. It is supposed to rain late tonight. I think the rain will come late enough to not mess up the paint.
If it rains all day tomorrow then we'll get to go to the Chinese Buffet!!
That will please the dogs no end. They deserve pleasing. They were very good through all the activity. Foster dog has settled in just in time to get adopted! There's been an application to adopt him and it has all checked out. They'll do the home visit this week. The potential adopters might Korean Girl
Click images for desktop size: "Korean Girl" by Unknown
come today to meet the foster and to be harshly judged by my friend and me.
Harshly judged in that we want what's best for the dog and for them. The important thing is everyone be happy. I'm always predisposed to anyone who wants to have a good dog in their life. The foster is a pretty good dog. Not as great as my dogs but pretty great for all that.
One thing about all the painting is got to spend a lot of time with the iPod. Anything would have been better than the sound of paint scrappers on wood.
I like the new Green Day album "21st Century Breakdown". There's nothing as grabbing as "American Idiot", "Basket Case", or even "Geek Stink Breath" but its alright. I'm pretty disappointed with the new Queensryche, "American Soldier". I've been disappointed with Queensryche since "Empire", but one always has hope.
I'm surprised that my favorite album so far this year has been Offspring's "Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace". Weird. Since I only knew them from "Pretty Fly for a White Guy" it is shocking to discoverEraserhead that a novelty band could com out with a nice crunchy set of pop anthems. I particularly like "Stuff is Messed Up".
I've been trying to get my RIAA-Free jukebox up on the site. Its a complicated affair. One of those things I thought would be dead easy but is turning into a chore. It has mostly to do with permissions (unix file permissions) and folder structure than anything else. I'll keep on it. It will be a cool way to display music that needs hearing.
I wish I liked Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead more than I do. They're two bands who get it. They understand the world has changed and refuse to stick with the stupidity that is epitomized by the RIAA and the MPAA.
Got to be brief. Life is catching up to me and I don't want to miss any of the show.

April 8, 2009

Only the mediocre are always at their best
Jean Giraudoux

Death Rattle Comics
Click images for desktop size: "Death Rattle Comics 4" by Unknown
I feel like an aged tiger today. A leery tiger waiting for the hunter he hears in the grass.
You know how in bad slasher movies there's that moment when there will be that shocking noiseThe Boogie Man Will Get You and it turns out to be a cat and you know its coming but you jump anyway? Even when you know that just as the victim realizes the slasher will appear behind them and get them anyway and you still laugh as the victim dies.
The Book Lover by Kupka
Click images for desktop size: "The Book Lover" by Kupka
Its just a feeling that's hanging around me. Its funny though, of all the terrible things that have happened to me none of them were ever presaged. They always leveled me hard and unexpected.
Like an the anti-universe Roman Generals I used to mark the entire month with a black stone. I'd throw away the clothes I was wearing that day under the theory that they were cursed.
It doesn't take to long, with that method, to find every month marked with a black stone.
I don't know what I'm worried about, but I am. Maybe its the old if I imagine everything terrible then none of that terrible stuff will ever happen. Maybe.
Or maybe its been so long that I don't know how to handle happiness.

I'm not doing well with this antibiotic. Its making me queasy and gassy. I notice a slight reduction of the swelling today. Only slight but I did notice.
Desert Girl
Click images for desktop size: "Desert Girl" by Dennis
My blood pressure has been getting slightly lower since I'm not fighting the pain. 140 over 90 today, which is still too high but not as worrisome. My blood sugars are doing better as well.
I still have the brain shuddering pain in my left elbow and in my right shoulder. Lots of grunting and going "OW!" when I move. After the tooth extractions I got out of the habit of doing the exercises. I can get back into doing them for the right shoulder but I have no idea what to do for the elbow.

For some reason I found myself thinking a lot about North Korea. The people are starving. The people are escaping to China just to find food. People are dying from third world diseases that are associated with malnutrition but the government is testing billion dollar missile systems.
Children are dying and Kim Jong-Il is making weapons of war. Generals don't know how to feed aThe Female Butcher child let alone how to feed a people. Generals know how to make war. War is always their first solution.
I was jaw dropped by Sarah Palin making the statement that she was going to ensure that Alaska would use all of her power to protect America from the impending North Korean threat. Which sounds a lot like if Schwarzeneger decided that California was going to declare war on North Korea.
I thought it was illegal for local politicians to dictate a separate foreign policy. I mean what would a state do against a country?
Palin let her own people, she let Alaskan's starve and freeze to death but she's some how going to gather the resources to build a state wide security net? And she seemed to ignore that everything and everyone says the missile launch was pretty much a disaster, from the North Korean standpoint anyway.
She seems more like Kim Jong-Il than a viable Presidential candidate.

I've been following the USC spring camp pretty closely. Partially to ignore baseball's opening day. I'd really like to see Mitch Mustain take the starting job at QB. There's something I like about the kid. Aaron Corp seems to be the leader right now but I think Mustain will be the guy to lead the team back to the National Championship.
I don't have too many worries about the defense. It won't be as stifling as last years but It will still be top 10. Guys are improving, the secondary will be a monster. The linebackers are all experienced and deadly. I can't wait until August.

Click images for desktop size: "Dog" by S4W
I've finally gotten some new stuff to listen to. Nashville Pussy, a band with a femme lead guitarist and a femme bass player. The new album is "From Hell to Texas". They're pretty good. They fall just south of great. There's something missing to propel them. I can't figure out exactly what.
I'm considering adding to this site. Just a little jukebox to share music. Its a little app called KavaTunes. It prepares a pretty spiffy looking set of php pages that mimic the look and feel of the iTunes music store OR an iPod. It then allows you to stream the music from my server or download it.
I was thinking I'd start out with my Top Ten Most Played songs and then add and adjust the next 10 monthly, so it would become like a Top 10, then a top 30 etc.
It might be fun for me, provide some cool non RIAA controlled music and prove beyond doubt that my listening habits are totally bizarre.
I forgot to mention that I updated the movie and genre listings. They're up to 3,400 movies. I keepThe Day the Sky Exploded having to explain on both lists you just have to click on the little buttons or titles to get more information and bigger artwork.
My friend got me a new chair for the computer! She had a gift certificate that was about to expire. I was touched that she'd use it for something for me.
Its a cool black leather thing. It's only fault is that the casters roll too freely. Since I normally have at least one dog wrapped around me it means I have to be a bit more cautious about scooting it around.
Its time to take our long walk. The sun is shining. There was MORE snow last night but its all supposed to melt today and then freeze up tonight. Makes all that snow shoveling yesterday seem like a bit of a waste but it provided some fun for three members of the household.

March 25, 2009

Revenge of the Volkites
Tracey Knight

Pin Up Art by JW McGinnis
Click images for desktop size: "Pin Up Art" by JW McGinnis
I used to be one of those balanced people. I mean that I hated as many things as I loved and with pretty equal intensity.I Walked with a Zombie
Maybe its just age and fatigue. I still love things with the same intensity, passion but I hate fewer and fewer things. And with less a feeling of rage, more like a feeling of contemptuous realization that these things will always be there: child molesters, rapists, the greedy oppressors who use democracy as a tool to repress and subjugate. No one is going to care enough to destroy them, eradicate them. I know that these vile types are manufactured and survive only because of our ignorance and they thrive because we all have a hard time looking past ourselves.
A scant few get busted and we feel smug for glancing at the headlines and the rest give thanks to the unlucky busted one because it means they can get about their evil for a little while longer, probably forever.
I don't have the rage anymore. Its a lot easier to love than to hate. Hate gets you killed, hate gets your friends killed and your allies killed. Doesn't matter if its killed for the right reasons or the Mary Magdalene by di Cosimo
Click images for desktop size: "Mary Magdalene" by di Cosmio
wrong. Dead is dead.
I'm bored and tired with death. Tired of fighting the hateful.
I'm just tired.

I fell asleep at 9:30 last night. Too exhausted to move.
Maybe it was the extra long walk. The dogs and I just meandered about the neighborhood. My puppy and the giant dog are leery of new things. Our byzantine path only slightly expanded their known world so they were happy about it.
My puppy will suck it up and continue forward in her belligerent straight ahead way but the giant dog will refuse like an open horse refusing a water jump. He trusts me so eventually he'll continue ahead.
Only the gentle dog is too wrapped up in new smells to care where we are or where we're going.
When we got home I gave the gentle dog a bath. He's the easiest of them. He stands quiet even though he insists that his head stay as far out side the tub as possible. He'll allow me to push hisHouse of Frankenstein head over the tub and the water for shampooing and rinsing but immediately stretches his neck as far over the edge as possible.
I spent the rest of the day doing exercises. My right shoulder neuropathic pain is back. It bunches the muscles up and the pain gets electric. I'm glad it responds to the old exercises. Just stretches and flexes. They hurt but not as bad as reaching up reflexively for the dog shampoo.
My hands aren't responding. That's annoying. The weakness in the thumbs frustrates me. When I struggle to hold the pan under the faucet, filling it with water for lunch it feels like a melancholy piano Alice 19th Secret by Panga
Click images for desktop size: "Alice 19th Secret" by Panga
sonata should be playing on my personal soundtrack. Its survivable. Doesn't make me happy. And yet I remain happy. Go figure.
Its a good thing I went to sleep so early. Normally I take the dogs out for the last time each night at 10:30. I go out with them. We patrol the yard in the dark. It involves a lot of running, jumping and attacking me. We have to check certain trees for cats and squirrels,
They didn't want to go out with my friend. The only negative is that at 4:30 they came to me in bed. The giant dog woofed at me. My puppy whined at me. They had to go out badly.
I did the math in my head and decided to stay awake. They're all sleeping in their normal night time spots. They'll be up soon. Breakfast time.

My blood pressure is still high. Not dangerous going to die high but higher than it should be. Warning high.
Grand Central Station by Ian Foster
Click images for desktop size: "Grand Central Station" by Ian Foster
Same with the blood sugars. Funny. I still think the huge amount of ibuprofen I'm taking might be contributing to both things. I've no proof but since when did we need proof to believe things.

I've been getting comments and emails from people about how much they enjoy the art work and the whacky movie posters.
I'm glad that people like them and enjoy them. I still don't find them whacky. For me the words just frame the pictures and the posters and pic's are all the story. I always think that they more perfectly illustrate exactly how I feel.
I look at them and can always see what it is I'm feeling, what I felt.
I've got a few thousand desktop pictures (wallpapers for the Windows crowd) and I have them rotate Hit Man on my desktop every fifteen minutes. I g through them and pick out the one that fits my mood. Sometimes its spot on and sometimes its just an allusion.
I've got over 10,000 movie posters. I do the same with them. I think movie posters are high art. People work hard on them. They want them to sell the movie but that's someone else's job. The guys who made them only wanted to make something beautiful with movie stars. Sometimes they totally succeed.
I'm not above sometimes making the references sort of obscure. Maybe to protect myself and probably sometimes just out of laziness.
When I duplicate a poster its generally because I've gotten a higher quality image. Or I just screwed up. Always one or the other.

I forgot to mention that one of the reasons I'm enjoying "Daredevils of the Red Circle" is that the team has a great dog; an Australian Shepherd called Tuffie. He even gets screen credit!
Tuffie doesn't really do anything heroic. He's the most doggish dog I've yet seen in a movie. He just does dog things and they always turn out to be incredibly heroic! And that, to me, is the way dogs really are.

Its time to feed the dogs. They're good dogs. And they claim to be very heroic too.

January 28, 2009

If we were meant to understand life we'd be born dead

Click images for desktop size: "Legs" by Unknown
Its snowing. The drought is over.
Looking forward to shoveling and scooping and having dogs in my way while I do it.
The Bloodstained Butterly
My friend is going to work at home for the rest of the week. She found out yesterday that she has to go out of town for three days next week. The good part is that the company (a not for profit) will pay for the rental car.
Yesterday I made tuna melts on gluten free rye bread for her lunch, (plain ol' tuna salad for me) and then shrimp taco's with chipolite The Waterhole
Click images for desktop size: "The Waterhole" by Unknown
peppers for dinner. They were too hot but I liked them.
Today I have no idea for meals . . . The extent of my menu's usually runs only to days. My normal lunch is stuff she can't or won't eat; popcorn, cereal, macaroni and cheese . . . Now I'll have to think. Not my strongest suit.
Last night we saw the best American dog movie I've seen in a while: "Hotel for Dogs". There's a lot wrong with it. Mainly the script is pure Sid Fields.
Sid fields was a not very successful screenplay writer who needed money so he wrote a book on how to write a screenplay. I don't remember the exact title. The main part of the book that is still dogging the industry was his breakdown of pages - it's like, 1-2 grabber, 3-4 introduction of characters and plot, 80 low point, 85 resolution etc.
Lenbach by Franz Von Hirtenknabe
Click images for desktop size: "Lenbach" by Franz Von Hirtenknabe
An alarming number of producers in the 80's and 90's kept a copy of that breakdown in their desk or pocket. They'd run through a screenplay and order changes based on Field's breakdown. Their logic was movies A, B and C were the top three grossers that year and they all followed the Field's breakdown slavishly ergo if their movie did the same it would also have a shot.
A lot of people unfairly trash Hollywood movies. Field's breakdown actually gives them some footing for their arguments. When computers eventually begin to write the outlines for movies it will probably be Field's breakdown that forms the infrastructure and then they really will all look the same.
Anyway, "Hotel for Dogs" is a kids movie. A brother and sister are orphans living with Kevin Dillon. They're inept foster parents #10, funny and cruel without meaning to be.
The younger brother is something of a Rube Goldberg genius. They have a dog, "Friday" (as usual IThe Beach Girls and the Monster can't remember any of the characters names, just the dogs' names). He creates an elevator so the dog, who they're hiding from the foster parents, can get out of their 3rd floor apartment and back into it on its own volition. Its a crazy cool device using a power drill and a paw activated button. You can tell the props department had a lot of fun building this and the other gadgets.
Through a series of misadventures the kids end up with 6 stray dogs. Fortunately they have also discovered an abandoned hotel. They stash the dogs there. Eventually they have to figure out how to feed and care for the dogs while they are at school. The kid starts to build some incredible devices that automatically feed, bathe, exercise and amuse the dogs. All the devices are doggie activated and they are cooler than the gizmo's Tim Burton dreamt up for "Pee Wee's Big Adventure". Most of the joy of the movie is in seeing these marvelous constructions work. Its tempting to say, "You gotta see the . . . " I won't. If I did there's not much left towards the joy of discovery.
The brother and sister are next joined by the empathetic cute boy, the pudgy girl and the smart alec fat kid who decide to work together and save every stray dog in the city from the villainous dog catchers. (You need a villain but the dog catchers aren't very upsetting, more or less just city employees doing a job they don't much care about, which is chillingly accurate).
The kids end up with about 60 dogs and the devices get even more astounding. Eventually they are discovered. The dogs are all taken to the pound and the bother and sister are sent to different orphanages. (The low point)
Fashion Sex and Food
Click images for desktop size: "Fashion Sex & Food" by Unknown
On the eve of their execution (odd Chidiock Tichbone reference) Friday escaped from the pound. Using that good common sense that only movie dogs are blessed with he reunites the cute boy and the sister, they rescue the younger brother and get pudgy girl and fat smart alec kid together and form a rather credible plan to rescue the dogs! (resolution).
Its pretty amusing stuff actually.
The conclusion of the film could have been, should have been trite. Don Cheadle plays the Social WOrker who saves the day.
If you've seen "Taken" you know that its just a pretty mediocre action/thriller except they have Liam Neeson as the lead. Neeson takes the part seriously and gives the silly tale a weight that most action stars bring through physicality. As in he can't bring the joy or believability of seeing Donnie Yen fly through a glass liquor cabinet but he can make the grim faced father stalking the killers real. While Clint Eastwood made his avengers compelling blankness that tunneled through to faded memories of hard earned happinessThe Chamber Neeson makes his avenging father a deeply etched creature of despair finding solace in duty.
In a similar vein Cheadle brings gravitas to his final resolution. He gives his enunciation a touching genuiness as real as his scenes in "Hotel Rawanda". It works and end the film on a proud note.
The dogs are all pretty wonderful and, for the most part, act like genuine dogs. They're delightful to watch and joyous in their approach to their new lives.
An odd film for me to warmly recommend.
Morning Enough by Blurburger
Click images for desktop size: "Morning Enough" by Blurburger
After the movie my friend made a comment that she didn't think my puppy much liked her. My puppy's breed characteristics tend towards aloofness mixed with goofiness, a strange reserve. They tend to show love and loyalty to one person and to care fervently for their pack, or their herd or their family.
My puppy loves my friend. She doesn't like many people. She loves kids but even then she has to size them up first.
When she was working as a therapy dog part of her rounds were to go from room to room and see if the occupant could benefit from petting a dog. Some people she simply would ignore. On her own property she dislikes strangers until she decides they are alright. She won't be trifled with.
I watched her viscously get in the face of a handyman on the property because he moved to fast The Fly towards me. She didn't bite but she made it clear she would if he got any closer. And this fellow liked dogs!
Unless you have a treat for her. She'll take treats from anyone.
The glucosamine seems to have had a rather rapid effect on the dogs. Gentle dogs limp is hardly apparent. I have to stare at him intently to notice any hint of it. The giant dog is running like a maniac when he's outside, clearly feeling good all over. I'm amazed that this happened so quickly. My hope is that the injury to gentle dog was so minor it didn't take much to correct.
My puppy shows no effect whatsoever . . . she just keeps on being she.
Oh, I've had to clamp down on the images again due to hot linking. Now they'll only appear directly on this site. Somebody linked to a full sized one not even just a thumbnail, on some bulletin board. It used to allow you to put the url to the image in your browser to see it. They used that technique to get around the normal policy. Band width is flying through the roof. I've had to stop that until the bulleting board page moves on.

December 8, 2008

For as strong as death is love
Andrei Kravchuk

Sheridan Theatre by Edward Hopper
Click images for desktop size: "Sheridan Theatre" by Edward Hopper
Feeling a touch down today, down tinged with a bit of depression. No reason for it.
I don't think it bio-rhythms or anything like that. (Back when est and bio-rhythms were the thingslightly scarlet-1.jpg someone gave me a full package of the success fad stuff, horoscope, bio-rhythm chart and a visit to a genuine down south psychic - none of it correlated to reality, nothing matched up in the charts for my past and it sure didn't predict my future. But it was fun pretending that it might.)
Everything is fine. As fine as it might be, really. Dogs are healthy. My friend had a down weekend, pain in her jaw and a badly upset weekend but none of it fatal or devastating. I'm so used to feeling uncomfortable that I worry I'll become inured to others feeling uncomfortable.
Click image: "Snowy Christmas" by Unknown
The car is acting odd. Its ten years old. It has the right. Worried about it but it seems to be holding together. Tough little car.
I don't know what's got me down, really. I just am. Not the date or the time of year. I just am.
Its snowing right now. It wasn't supposed to snow. None of the weather reports predicted it. That throws my schedule off. I had planned to shovel off the old snow, clean the fireplace (I am now a total expert of making fireplace fires. Its a lot of work poking at it and using the bellows on it. The hard part is going out into the cold and gathering the wood. I take a hammer with me now to break the wood out of the ice. See, a total expert) laundry and then sort through the Christmas decorations and decorate the yard with lights.
With the snow we've decided, the dogs and I. to go for a longish walk. They promise to try and kill me only a little. I've started to put Christmas music on the iPod. My style of Christmas music. In a couple days I'm going to start posting the non-RIAA stuff. Theword for this Christmas is cool, hot and wild.
I made a slight change on the site. On the archives page I've Split Horn Ermine Tail Bonnet
Click images for desktop size: "Split Horn Ermine Tail Bonnet" by Unknown
put up a little animated tag cloud. I think it looks funny. I'm not too surprised to see that the biggest tag is "dogs" followed by "football". I am so limited in what I appreciate.
I'm still tweaking things. Since its going to be here a year I want to alter things a little bit. I've never been able to get the SQLite databases to parse properly and AJAX and Ruby on Rails have both been derailed, mainly because of my ignorance and the pressing onward of time.
I've wanted to sharpen up my puppy's site for a long while. Its hard as some of the kids are still using 800x600 displays. I'll figure it out, I guess.
So much to say and so little energy to try and say anything.
Things will get better. They usually do.

December 4, 2008

We all just need a minute

Earth Moon by Xviews
Click images for desktop size: "Earth Moon" by Xview
The weather was just as lousy as predicted. Its cold now. Not frigid but a nasty damp cold that permeates my body even inside.
Even though I did finally successfully get a non-raging fire going in the fireplace the wood is too wetHigh Terrace now for me to take a stab at it again today.
It looks like its going to stay wet through the day until the temps drop own into the 20's and the snow starts.
I feel like sighing.
Yesterday the dogs were so stoked when we went out for our daily walk that I'm going to take them out again today at the first lull in the weather. They were disappointed they couldn't knock me down.
Couldn't sleep well last night. Some of its just my mundane candy_cane.jpg
Click image: "Candy Cane" by Unknown
worries. Part of it is that my friend is in pain now from some of her old ailments. I'm a small expert in pain and it bothers me when someone I care about hurts.
A couple of days ago she went on about how happy she was at work. She was stoked that she was making corn brea and that another guy at the office was making vegetarian chili. She was happy about working. I was glad.
Then she got the word that her level 2 boss was resigning effective January. That sort of ruptured her little happy bubble. She knows it will be okay but for now she's properly saddened. She liked her boss.
Yesterday was more of a set up day to get things done than real accomplishments. I have to bring in the concrete statue that sits on the little blind dog's place. It seemed heavier than I'd remembered and while I was cursing my body for growing weak I finally got the thing to move and discovered it had frozen to the ground and that there was a good four inches of frozen mud clinging to the base, I guess that's a positive to the rain. The mud melted off of the statue.
Nineteen and 57
Click images for desktop size: "Nineteen and 57" by Unknown
I'm not looking forward to bringing the statue in. I liked it outside. It gave me something peaceful to look at. But my friend tells me that the coming cold could crack and shatter the thing! Rah! I really didn't know the cold was capable of that much destruction.
I set up the web site to be renewed for another year. This was partially by accident. I thought I was just insuring I had the option to renew. I do as I can cancel the renewal up until December 18th but they charged me for it yesterday.
I guess I'm good with that.
Two software script things with the site. I've updated to Movable Type 4.23. This was called a MANDATORY security upgrade for an "unexploited security hole". Ever since the WordPress part of The Green Archer the site was hacked I take those warnings more seriously than I used to.
The upgrade went pretty easily. Tedious as usual but easy enough. I remembered not to just dump things in this time so I didn't lose configurations and plug-ins like I've managed to do almost always in the past.
The new Movable Type actually already had the cgi scripts ready made as executables. That was a relief. It spared me that annoying glitch of finding everything not working and then having to go in and switch attributes and permissions around.
It seems a tiny bit faster and still rock solid. I'm a bit curious as to what the security hole was. On WordPress the hacker was able to use its hole to inject a virus that could have infected the hosting services entire server!
ecto, the software I like and use to do the preliminary layout of my posts was sold to a big company . . . I'm worried about that. It used to be kind of nice to be able to squawk directly to the developer about glitches and problems. I've no idea what will happen when a "team" is maintaining it.
The first thing they've seem to have done is end the interminable string of beta's. I think they were up to beta 46 or thereabouts. This is now ecto 3.0. Which seems to mean almost nothing. Maybe there were some fixes but nothing I could notice.
I still use MarsEdit for the final proofing of code and stuff. ecto rules for layout (yes, I really do like Ready For Christmas by SW4
Click images for desktop size: "Ready for Christmas" by SW4
it looking this cramped and messy) but MarsEdit is still the easiest for straight code.
And after living with the AppleTV update I noticed it doesn't do much for me. The new "features" are pretty blah (playlists with audio and video? I mean, like does anybody care about that?). The only visible thing I've seen is that now, in the file listing, it shows a little HD badge next to HD encoded movies . . . I happen to like little badge things but it hardly seemed worth the effort.
BUT, I haven't fully tested this out yet but 2.3 does seem to have addressed a creepy bug introduced in 2.2. Before a Chinese, Japanese or Korean movie would not play! You had to go into Quicktime and change the properties to English for the soundtracks and video tracks then save the m4a or mp4 file to a .mov file. Pretty stupid and tedious extra work.
I haven't got the media files yet to do a full test but tracks coded as Korean, Japanese and Chinese I Bury the Living sound tracks and English video tracks play fine. I don't have any Traditional Chinese tracks or foreign language video tracks to test readily to hand.
For someone like me who watches a lot of foreign movies this is a big deal. Also understand that changing the properties in Quicktime does not change the language! It only trips some flags someplace that tell the AppleTV what to do.
I did realize last night, when we were watching the end of the uber cool "Legendary Weapons of China" that since the AppleTV came into the house I have not even turned on a DVD player! I still like the machine especially with Boxee installed.
One small distressing thing. This is the week of USC UCLA. A week to take the USC license plate frame off the car. (How come so many cops are UCLA fans?) A week to hate UCLA! But a Trojan fan site went a bit too far. They showed a picture of a giant teddy bear, a "Golden Bruin" hanging from a noose from a tree on campus. Which is okay in and of itself, I guess. But there's a little girl about 9 in the picture, wearing a USC cheerleader outfit, holding on to the bear's foot. After the sickening similar sights during Obama's campaign I thought this was in even worse taste than normal. It smacks of UCLA garbage and denigrates our team and tradition.

December 3, 2008

Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten
BF Skinner

Path To Paradise by Adit
Click images for desktop size: "Path to Paradise" by Adit
Its going to be 39 today.
Unless my elementary physics is all wrong (which is possible if not probable) that means that all the First Men in The Moon snow and slush is going to melt and become mud. Mud.
To make sure there will be plenty of mud there's a 90% chance of rain tonight . . . with temperatures falling to about 29 and a 70% chance of snow on Friday.
What that means is ice. Concealed ice. Ice concealed under a blanket of deceptive snow which means I'll be falling down a lot . . . an awful lot. Some people, especially dogs think me flailing around and windmilling my arms to unsuccessfully try and not fall down is really funny. I don't mind being amusing but all that falling hurts!
My White Christmas
Click image: "My White Christmas" by Unknown
I want crampons for Christmas.
I'm still having an internal debate about the web site. The biggest reason for keeping it is my puppy. As seems to be the norm around Christmas she gets a serious up tick in traffic. She also gets an amazing increase in her email. No one has time to read all that she receives. Yesterday I was changing her auto-responder message to reflect the holidays and saw that she has received over 1,200 emails since Thanksgiving. I scanned a few. They offer her advice on being good and admonish her to not try and fool Santa.
I like the ones that tell her to be nicer to me. My puppy, of course, thinks that all of those are forgeries.
I'm fully prepared for which ever way I eventually turn. Yes. Prepared!
The other pro is hearing from people who otherwise would be totally lost.
Back a long long time ago I had a good friend. He was an actor. A political actor. Those are pretty Jeans World Map by Vlad Gerasimov
Click images for desktop size: "Jeans' World Map" by Vlad Gerasimov
hard to find in Hollywood. The only famous one I can think of off the top of my head is Will Greer, who turned his place in Topanga Canyon into a refuge for artists.
My friend was a part of a "Theater Collective". He claimed that was a fancy word for a bunch of "hippie, commie fags." Back in the day that was about the worst thing a guy could be called. My friend wore it like a badge of honor.
Frank was a tall guy, Ichabod Crane tall. He had straw colored hair and dark blue eyes, dark blue like a baby's. He was attractive in a school teacher kind of way. He was deeply committed to certain things. I met him at an Amanda Foundation function. The Amanda Foundation is a good sized group in LA that rescues dogs from the LA Animal Shelters. They have a few acres of kennels and they keep all of the dogs until they find them a home. Frank was there volunteering as Dracula vs Frankenstein a bartender and as a guy who'd help clean up the joint after the fund raising was over.
Being an actor in a "Theater Collective" doesn't pay much, if it ever pays. He believes in things and believes that you have to fight for the things you believe in. When you don't have money you do what you have to do to see things succeed. That he had a lot of causes he fought for I was moved that he cared about dogs enough to give them of his time. He taught me that money is important in the world, important to win that battles and the wars but there are plenty of things people with no money can do, things that make a difference. He also taught me that it is impossible to demean yourself when you are fighting for something that is right and good.
He was a good friend.
I went to his shows in LA. The group toured a lot. The one I remember the most is when the troupe did a tour of Federal Prisons! There were a dozen actors who doubled up as stage managers, costume designers etc. There was one producer who took care of fund raising and bookings.
I never got the plays. I have no idea if they were good or bad. Shows that involve wearing 12 foot tall paper mache statues and dancing around like that while two guys play congas while another guy plays a guitar while the girls sing Woody Guthrie songs backwards kind of miss me. I mean, I have no idea what its about. But I enjoyed supporting my friend in a small way and I always enjoy sound and motion.The Fountainhead
Frank lived in the ghetto. He had a tiny two room apartment in the barrio. It was all he could afford. He'd always invite us over for his Christmas party. I liked the parties. They were filled with deeply motivated people, a lot of who were stark raving mad. I enjoyed the mad ones. He would have his little two foot tree set up and about 100 people would drift around his tiny ghetto apartment and have conversations with the neighbors. It was fun. I felt badly that he had to live in squalor but his parties were still great festive affairs with a lot of fun with no trimmings.
After about 15 years the theater group broke up. Too many maturing people. Too many members tired of living well below the poverty level. It was hard on them. 15 years is a long time to share each others lives, living in a communal atmosphere, traveling across the country , around Mother V by Blood
Click images for desktop size: "Mother V" by Blood
the world together. Learning to live together, to be tolerant of each other, to love each other. And it just stopped.
Frank decided to keep acting. I saw him do a 90 minute one man show in an artist loft downtown. About 80 people there. It was great. Because of the nature of the other shows I had no idea he had talent. The show was funny, sad and moving. All original and all tight as heck.
It was so well received that we found him an equity waiver house by Gower and Melrose where he could do the show. I helped out by doing lights and sound. That was fun.
The show ran for 3 months. Because he was who he was the tickets had the most bizarre pricing imaginable. From free to the poor, to a a contribution for the food bank to 20 bucks for the rich with about 6 stops in between. I got to meet Lily Tomlin there and a lot of very cool more socially awareThe Giant Leeches Hollywood types. Which led to me doing a lot more free work which led to some good paying jobs.
Frank moved on to TV and a few movies. He still works a lot and I get a rush whenever I discover him in something.
But he's not the one I heard from. The guy I heard from was the producer!
I remember him only because he was one of those instrumental in breaking up the group. He managed to finagle his way into producing a movie. A sci-fi thing that was modestly successful, successful enough for him to start a new career as a Hollywood movie producer! Now he's been doing a string of successful teenage horror flics!
But what I remember about him is that in his first two movies he didn't give work to any of the guys he'd worked with all those years.
You can't say that its because he was new to the movie business and didn't want to screw up. He Evil Dead The Musical give his brother and sister big parts. He gave one of his non-acting buddies a speaking part. Just no one that he'd lived with all those years was good enough for even a day player bit, a 300 buck paycheck . . .
Hey. He didn't even give me any work! And at the time our struggling foley studio was still considered the most talented and best in the business!
About five films into his career guilt made him use all of them. None in a speaking part. Got it all over with in one fell swoop. They never worked for him again.
Considering that I've gotten work because people remembered me being at a party I may or may not have been at, or because they saw me talking to somebody somewhere about they have no idea what. Not giving your friends a job when you finally got the chance is sort of mean. Its the basis for about 80% of the work in the industry.
I would say that the producer and I weren't friends, just people who knew each other and had friends in common.
He's not someone I'd ever expect to hear from.
The email says he'd been thinking about me, tracked me down via google. It was a nice note about remembering the past and how the past impacted our future. He claims he took some inspiration from me and valued the way I perceived the world.
Mystic Wolf
Click images for desktop size: "Mystic Wolf" by Unknown
He doesn't ask me for anything.
I guess he was thinking about those Christmas parties when we were young and poor and happy.
I guess it goes to show that you never know how your impacting people. You can only live and stay true to your own course while trying to love the people you love and not hurting other unnecessarily.
Oh, there's no mention of or any offers of work . . .
My puppies and I have a mission today.
We have to mail a letter!
With proper preparation we can turn anything into an adventure!
Just the least of the reason to love them and to love being alive.

December 1, 2008

Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever
Napoleon Bonaparte

Its All Tears by Flisky
Click images for desktop size: "Its All Tears" by Flisky
I really enjoyed this Thanksgiving. More than I have in years and years.
It was everything Thanksgiving is supposed to be, food, football and family.
The Big Clock I'd be wistful about it except that Christmas is coming.
I still get giddy at Christmas. No sensible reason why. Still no money. I've already gotten all my gifts. The only presents I can buy are things for the dogs.
I get to put up our tree. That makes me remember. Remembering is always a good thing. Remembering the good Christmases and the bad ones. Love and hate but always with strangers struggling to recall goodwill and stuff like that. Even now I remember my second grade teacher explaining to the class what "Peace on Earth" meant while we made up the big class bulletin board for Christmas. It seemed big at Christmas Time
Click image: "Christmas Time" by Unknown
the time anyway and with nothing but white paste, rounded scissors and construction paper for tools and seven year olds for workers and designers it was big enough.
Its a safe bet this Christmas will bring enough memories to add to the cornucopia. Why shouldn't it.
The only downside to the whole weekend was the NFL. I think this was one of the worst weekends this year. Almost all the games were dire. The games were almost blow outs and when they weren't the play was so sloppy it was hard to care. Instant replay is making games tedious and the officiating just keeps getting worse. Far more aggravating is the total lack of consistency of the calls. Not just from officiating crew to crew but even within the game itself.
While I appreciate Roger Goodell's concern about off field behavior (the Plaxico Buress incident this weekend smacks of Leon Spinks inanity. The bigger concern, I think, is that Buress is dragging his La Belle Ferroniere by Da Vinci
Click images for desktop size: "La Belle Ferroniere" by Da Vinci
teammates into his self serving party world) the quality of the game is deteriorating.
Its going downhill because of the creepy actions from the commissioners office. Fining a second level linebacker who's making a million a season $5,000 for a flagrant cheap shot on a star player is not going to prevent that sort of nonsense from going on, especially when stars are fined $75,000 for "excessive celebration" for making a game winning play.
Personally I get a kick out of the celebrations. They're entertaining. (I don't think they should be allowed in college or high school but in the pros its just entertainment.)
The idea that not projecting the "image" of the NFL is 15 times more important than protecting the players who we pay to see play at the top of their game is disturbing and seems an inept way to Captain America protect the "product".
Maiming the stars that people are willing to pay to see so they can sell another video of "big hits" . . . I like big NFL style hits too, but I like it when both players pop back up and continue the game. There's enough injuries with clean hits.
The college game is being destroyed by the BCS. The BCS responds too much to politicking and to hype. I think that almost all of the voters see only two or three of the games they're voting on. Its always been that way. But at least then the arguments were entertaining.
The computer systems are an horrific joke. One hundred million stats could not compile the heart of a player let alone the heart of a game. Computers don't spit out objectivity by looking at mere numbers, they merely reflect the prejudices of the guys deciding which numbers are important. All statisticians know how to make the numbers be real and how to make them lie.
I'm pretty ambivalent about a play off system in college football. It works well in Div 1AA, Div II and Div III. It works astonishingly well in College basketball.
The 8 team playoff seems too long to me. Another month of abusing young bodies for entertainment is more than a little creepy. I think that only guys who never played 1A football could embrace that, and of course some schools who could see this adding about 150 million more bucks to the coffers.
A four team playoff seems more doable and more sensible. Two more games is a lot, would Lucy Liu
Click images for desktop size: "Lucy Liu"
generate a lot of money and would keep things on a keel to decide who is the best. It also should not interfere too much with education. Remember that even on a National Championship team only about 10% of the players are going to have a career in professional football, so education should always be the primary goal.
A two game play off would also partially obviate the hot team squeaking into the Championship. College ball has always been about the season, the whole package, not about a wild card team starting to click at just the right time to sweep in.
I could enjoy a two game play off without too much guilt.

I still haven't made up my mind about the hosting site. I've checked around and Blue hosting The Brain that Wouldn't Die remains one of the cheaper services out there. It also has been pretty reliable. The problems I've had with it have all been short lived. I have no complaints with them at all.
The pricing bugs me some. Its like 10 bucks a month for one year, 8 bucks a month for 2 years and 6 bucks a month for 3 years . . . so the deal would be 3 years but who can come up with that much cash? Coming up with one year would be rough enough. Maybe its just being broke that bugs me. And the fact that while I'm in a good mood I still don't know whether I'll be around in 3 years. I'm not a business or a corporation.
There's a big part of me that likes the idea that once I'm gone the site vanishes. No moping around.
I'm inclined to keep the hosting service. My only real reason is my puppy's site, the only reason that seems worth the money anyway. So I'm not sure that keeping it going isn't just laziness and a Europa by Soa Lee
Click images for desktop size: "Europa" by Soa Lee
spoiled luxury.
Free hosts have pretty steadily declined. Mainly because of spammers and scammers, I guess. And now they all seem to be weighted down with obligatory advertising. Huge banners and pop ups that they automatically place on every site each time they serve a page, so that seems out.
Someone suggested a .mac (now .mobileme). Its slightly cheaper and comes with beau coup fringe benefits. As a hosting service .mac doesn't have near enough bandwidth or storage space for even just my puppy's site.
I'm downloading the whole thing now. Just my puppies site is over 10 gig! Lots of pictures and movies!
All toll the whole site is over 22 gig . . .
I am downloading the whole thing and changing the stuff to be prepared for whatever I decide. I'm Blacula nervous waiting for my decision . . .
I'll give it a lot of thought while I'm doing laundry and shoveling snow today.

The antibiotics seem to have done all they can. I still have pain but its not a totally absorbing pain. The worst is from what, I assume, are two abscesses. One in my tooth and one in my hip. They still get electric at times but I can smile now, something I couldn't do for a couple of weeks.
I also note that I am no longer aware of the antibiotics wearing off. Before they gave me about four hours of relief. A drag when you're on a 12 hour rotation.
My ibuprofen intake is down to about 2400 milligrams a day and I'm close enough to comfortable to not argue the point.
In fact I can even spend time considering the career of Johnny Burnette.
Thinking about Johnny Burnette and Christmas, friends and dogs is indeed a sweet life. No time to even consider mortality!
I like it when I can savour being alive and can look forward to this day and the next day.
It seems like a sweet dream.

November 26, 2008

If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner
Tallulah Bankhead

Forest Grove OR Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival
Click images for desktop size: "Forest Grove, OR Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival" by Anonymous
In a week I have to decide wether or not to keep this web site up.
It's a decision.
The Iguana With A Tongue of Fire Part of its about money. I'd have to borrow to pay for it for a year, including the domain registration. If I don't pay for it the whole site will just vanish. There'll be no trace left of it at all.
I've got to admit I like that. Vanished without trace. Gone with just the memory of blackness broken up by scattered colored lights, like a good pop tune.
Not too bad a metaphor for me.Mena Suvari
Click images for desktop size: "Mina Suvari"

They tell me that this site has cash value. That's a surprise. The domain name is worth about twelve hundred bucks, or I guess it would have that value if anybody had ever made an offer to buy it from me. They base this silly figure on the fact that some of those sites that track this stuff say I could make about $300 a month if I used "proper advertising".
That's not going to happen, not paid ads, not adsense in particular, not reviews written for cash with plenty of links back to the product that pays me to review it. I don't disapprove of advertising but its not what I want.
I also note that a few people have pointed out that the name warchild13 sounds more like a biker domain that a place for rambley memories from an ex-almost-everything.
During its busy times this site gets a whopping 200 "unique visitors" a day. My puppy's little site gets about 1,500 a day.
I have robot.txt set up that stops most of the site indexing tools from searching her site. Her hits come from our own mini-network a friend helped me set up. Its mainly hospitals, schools and special needs schools. I don't promote it via other "dog blogs" or even offer up links to some of them, many of which I actively peruse and enjoy. The site is for kids. And my puppy wouldn't much The Orphans by he Fozz
Click images for desktop size: "The Orphans" by The Fozz
like acknowledging that there are any other dogs in the world, especially if she can't play fight with them. She gets about 50 emails a day from the kids. She's not endorsing any products except "no littering" and don't be mean, being mean is her job.
About 10 hits a day come via search engines, my all time fave search is still for "shelby the dog who doesn't speak good english", followed by "shelby the happy great dog." This site gets about 30% of its hits from search engines, about 90% of that 30% are searching for images by artists I like. I feel good that there's a place where people can find some of this stuff.
Out of the 140 visitors left I figure I don't know about half of them, never met them, never heard from them. About 10 times a year I hear from someone who just wanted to know that I'm okay, that Thief Of Bagdad I still exist. I'm glad to hear from them too for the same reasons. Four or five times I've heard from someone whom I'd nearly forgotten. They had one important thing to say to me and were pleased to find a chance to say it. I value that too.
Then there are my friends who care enough about me, whom I amuse who come by once in a while to see how I'm doing, like a letter from a dear friend that you can chose to receive at their leisure. That's pretty cool too.
And my friends who come by every day to see what trouble I've gotten myself into. There's always plenty of that!
There are some people who come by everyday whom I don't know. Someone once wrote to me that I was creating a "work of art" here! That was never my intention, nor my talent.
Sometimes those people Dreaming by Haxxy
Click images for desktop size: "Dreaming" by Haxxy
become friends, at least once a special friend, more often than not I can't be what they want me to be and all I can do is disappoint them. There's some small value in that too, I guess, for both of us.
There's been grief too.
I've been doing this since WordPress 1.2 and Moveable Type 2.1. Lot of versions ago. Rah. You'd think I'd know about the vagaries of the net and that I'm old enough and know enough about people to understand their vindictiveness, their anger, their rage. Usually I'm just surprised as to why we all can't relax a bit more.
It fits in with my lack of intelligence. I'm still the guy who thinks that most of the violence in the world could be stopped if we all just played a little ball, if we all got to hear some really good music The Magic Voyage of Sinbad and see a great movie.
Actually, no one's proved me wrong on that score yet. Maybe its because its too ridiculous a plan to ever further implement. Of course one of my best friends. A guy who's as terse as I'd liked to be and he's rich too believed in my stupid plans. It worked too.
He's one of those guys who comes by here when he has time to think about me and he'd get mad if he ever got a compliment so I'll stop.
The other nasty negative is the spam. For a while bestiality porno ads on my puppy's site where causing me a lot of grief. It took me a long time and a lot of work to figure out how to end them.
And while so many have a hard time figuring out my site server email address the spammers seem to find them easily enough, even though they appear nowhere on the sites.
So the spammers and the people who probably have a good reason to hate me or at least be angry with me have forced me to not be as open as I'd like. Those who know me well know I either say what's on my mind or else I stay silent. The less kind, but possibly more accurate might describe my silence of sulky or surly silences.
Speaking my mind has made me enemies, some pretty powerful enemies. Enemies with political power, money and time to invest in their rage. And the calm vindictiveness to wait to see their rage deployed. So I've had to censor myself. I don't like that at all. Even when I can see the sense and the correctness of it I don't like it.this_island_earth_(1955)_v4.jpg
It damages me.
What's good though is that since starting out on free servers and all that I've gotten into a habit, its a good habit of cataloging my days, of looking backwards at the past day and seeing how it impacts today and the future.
That's a good thing. Its a self analysis that I need in my life. Self examination. Yeah.
Of course I could get the same thing from a paper journal or a scrapbook. Or I could just keep this site on my own computer and update it so only I could see it. I might be too public and egotistical to do that with the same persistence that I do now.
With my puppy's site my original intent was just to have a place to record my wonderful little dogs life so that I would never forget it, never lose a moment of our precious time together. That people involved in her life could see it too was also a huge part of the intent. That it became something In Light
Click images for desktop size: "In Light" by Unknown
more than I imagined is good and pleases me. She's done well by me in her arrogant puppy dog way.
That those 1,500 kids a day like to look at her and her bad jokes, well, I have a right to stop it, don't I? Of course I don't, but hasn't America become the place where we ignore our responsibilities for our own selfish wants? Why should I hold myself to a higher standard? As soon as I start justification stuff I know I'm defending being wrong.
I could just buy the domain name and then use my computer as a server. I've done that before and it was a drag on everything. Slows down the computer and hogs major bandwidth. Also you get to examine the mechanizations of the little trolls who try and hack the server. Amazingly 80% of them can't think beyond windows, 20% know its linux but no oneThe Unholy Wife ever tried to crack the Mac server functions. How short sighted and what a limited way to get into mischief.
I'd miss the warchild email addresses. Using that dynamic dns thing I've been able to get email servers running on the Mac in the past. It was a monster chore and I can't recollect how I did it, but I know I did so I should be able to do it again.
The site has generated a few decent movie trades, not many but a few. And having the catalog readily available is a real time saver when someone is offering something I want badly (like Season 3 of the TV series Kung Fu, yes I finally got it) but that could be worked around too.
Seems like an awful lot of workarounds.
So I've got to make the decision within a week or it gets made for me. Cool enough, I guess. I plan to download the entire site just in case. If I decide to keep the site it will at least provide an annual Frnk Brunner
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Frank Brunner

Looking forward to the four day weekend with my friend. For dinner its confirmed we're going to the Chinese Buffet! I hope they don't do a turkey thing. I hope they have bacon for the pups! I've figured out my outfit. I plan to look modestly stylish. My friend and I can't afford to go out much and we have pretty much everything we want here anyway.
So this time I'm going to look good except for the fleece with the two huge inner pockets. I've lined the pockets with plastic bags or easy depositing of things I won't eat but that puppies adore.
Its promising to be a great holiday.
The pain has modestly subsided. The antibiotics work for about 4 hours knocking the pain down from trouble_with_harry_(1955).jpg a 9 to a 5 (on the smiley pain chart). They bring it down to a level where ibuprofen can bring the pain down to tolerable levels. The healing is wearing me out and leaving me tired.
I'm hoping that by tomorrow the pain will be totally manageable.
My friend doesn't understand how I can feel the antibiotics wearing off. All I'm glad is that she's never had enough pain to understand. Its like a really bad toothache but you feel it in your bones, an electric red throbbing pain that stays constant until it suddenly decides to shock you into its own dimension of a silent scream. I only have that on my left side. Leukemia legacy stuff.
I slept for almost 5 hours last night, only waking up because of pain twice and I still managed to stay in bed and go back to sleep in pretty short order.
That's getting better, that is!

September 16, 2008

I believe we stand as much as we can and then we die when we can
William Kennedy

Dave Nestler
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Dave Nestler
I watched the Monday Night game. What a whacky mess.
DeSean Jackson made the most bone head play of the century! He caught a sure touchdown pass, an elegant play, but as he ran towards the end zone he began to celebrate and threw the ball away . . . compounding it was that none of the Cowboys figured it out so they never picked the ball up.
Satan's Slave I didn't like DeSean as a player when he played for Cal when he would always bum rap USC. I'm not above maliciously enjoying his faux paux in the NFL.
Watching the game I was, as usual, impressed with Brian Westbrook. It bewilders me why Sean Payton (HC of the New Orleans Saints) doesn't use Reggie Bush in the same way. Maybe with Deuce McAllister back in the line up he'll start to exploit Bush's talents. Maybe not when you consider that horrific score against the bad Redskins team.

There's going to be another dog walk at the big mansion estate. When we look at the pictures of the lat big dog walk there its pretty apparent that our guys had the time of their lives.
My puppy was a bit more reserved. She takes her self anointed jobs too seriously to ever just let go when there are strangers about but even she had fun running up ahead and then running back to make sure I was okay.
I'll miss the little blind dog being with us. His trying to bully the great danes was pretty heart warming. Even he had a great time on that day.
I'm pleased. The Dog Walk will be the Sunday of the weekend we're going to see Alkaline Trio. It should be a splendid weekend.
Some of you have noticed the funny goings on with the footer of this page . . . This worries me; that anyone is looking, I mean.
I have a free traffic counter from Sitemeter. It only counts the unique visitor who come to look at the front page. I like that. If you come to the movie library or something else it lets you be. Then it Back By the Full Moon
Click images for desktop size: "Back By the Full Moon" by Unknown
sends me an email once a week telling me a lot of useless stuff but loaded with groovy numbers!
Like this page gets about 100 hits a day. Which to me seems like a lot. In the internet its something less than insignificant.
The official unique visitor count is closer to 800 a day but that includes spammers, robots etc. Which means the number is just goony and has nothing to do with anything.
I like the data. Seventy Five percent from bookmarks, eighteen percent from search engines. That kind of junk.
Its all pretty meaningless. I never intend to "monetize" the site. I don't want to become a "professional blogger". I'm not ever putting up ads and I'm not writing "reviews" for anything I don't care about. So all the numbers are nothing except for my personal amusement.
I also like the way the numbers look down there. They balance the look of the footer which does it job of saying this is the end of the page very nicely.
She Devil Anyway Sitemeter ended up doing a revamp that bought it more in line with Google Analytics. That was another service I tried and didn't care about.
That end of stuff didn't bother me very much except they also changed things enough to change the look of the entire counter. I disliked it so I removed it.
I spent about 15 minutes experimenting with other counter, including one provided by the hosting service. I didn't like any of them and decided that the footer looked just fine with no counter in it.
Then Sitemeter sent out a bulk email. I guess I wasn't the only one with complaints, although I suspect they other complaints were more serious than my fashion worries.
So for now the counter is back there . . . for now.

I have to wait for the third day for Sears to come and pick the old washing machines - between 7 a.m. City Of The Gods
Click images for desktop size: "City of the Gods" by Unknown
and 5 p.m. . . . and we had to pay for the right to wait . . .
I amusing myself trying to figure out what logic the oil companies used to jack up prizes when the price of oil has fallen. Something about future oil production maybe less so we have to pay more now because we will have to pay even more later . . . seriously, why aren't these geeks regulated?
As the stock market continues to crash I note that this is the worst hit the economy has taken since 9/11. I find it fascinating that it took Bush 7 years to equal the terrorists body count of Americans. The terrorists killed one of my best friends. Bush has killed two of my friends, not trying to track down my best friends killer but in a war for his own ego. Its taken Bush 7 years to cripple the country in the same way the terrorists did in 30 horrifying minutes.
And my fellow Americans are going to elect Palin and McCain so that the terrorism and the carnage can continue.

August 25, 2008

This morning my bad dream is awake and walking the streets of New York City
Steve Van Zandt

Ferris Wheel
Click images for desktop size: "Ferris Wheel" by Unknown
I'm getting worried about healing.
I've got two wounds. A scratch from the cat that is just about healed. It's five weeks old. A gouge in my shin that's over three weeks old that is barely healed.
Farenhehit  451 I used to heal fast. It was one of my greatest talents. I never used to get sick. When I got the measles as a kid I had two spots, chicken pox gave me one lump. And wounds would be gone in two or three days.
Maybe it was that over abundance of healing white blood cells that led to my getting leukemia. Who knows. Everything has a price in the USA, so who knows.
The brand of leukemia I have/had has at least four names. The only one I remember is lympho ballistic. When you depend on medicine being precise it bugs me that my brand has four names.
My friend says its just that I'm getting older. That's scarcely consoling.
I'm feeling as okay as usual. Its just something to worry over.

A few people have noticed that I've shut down comments on a few entries. Now it worries me that people have even noticed.
No great mystery or rewriting my history here. The only deception is against the comment spammers.
This blog and my puppy's blog were getting nearly five hundred spam comments a day. Movable Type's Typepad Spam locker and Askimet kept them from appearing on the sites but it was wearisome cleaning them out. Annoying as I'd get bored quickly and just delete all the comments en mass. That was hardly fair to the few people who took the time to write something to me, to you.
The way spammers work, it seems, is they send Freaks out robots that look for Movable Type or WordPress blogs. When they get a hit it launches a script that automatically searches for entries allowing track backs and comments. They like to look for older entries that they assume will be overlooked by the site manager.
Then they inundate it. The idea being that google's robot will scan the site and note all those links. The end result is that the spammer's client will raise up higher in their google page ranking. Stupid google.
Getting to the top ten on a google search is worth serious money. I guess google has to have some criteria for automatically deciding where to put a site so we can find the most useful info.
I'd be more impressed if google and yahoo could at least manage and update their databases correctly. After a year on Movable Type they both still index and show links to the old WordPress php based urls. That's just stupid. Especially since the yahoo and google robots eat up over a gigabyte of bandwidth a month scanning the this site.
Eiffell Tower by Albo
Click images for desktop size: "Eiffel Tower" by Albo
Anyway, the spammer's are generally lazy. Figures, right? They like to saturate the same post over and over again. Two of my puppy's posts received about 300 spam comments a day.
The easiest solution is just to turn off comments for that post. Crazily that works. The spammer's scripts don't seem to react to the fact that they are doing nothing. I expected better.
I don't very often do more than that. Reporting the spammers is a waste of time. Since our government tacitly approves of spammers there's not a lot going to happen. Everyone knows this. I have reported about 4 spammers. Only because I get angry about bestiality and porn sites spamming my puppy's blog. It infuriates me that their is even a chance that some kid, and my puppy's site is mainly visited by children, might have to deal with something as designed nasty as a bestiality site makes me quietly enraged.
Friday Foster I search the ip (well recorded by Movable Type) through arin's whois service. All the ip's have an email address registered with arin for dealing specifically with abuse. One abuse is perpetuating child porn or pandering porn to children. I've never received any sort of response from any ip. Twice I got auto-responses. They don't care. Why should they? There's no penalty, no redress against them or their clients. They probably just whack the spammers with a surcharge for excessive bandwidth usage and then make a donation to the RAIA.
Evil. So evil. But its business and business isn't about the future and children. Its about money now.
There are some spammer's who are a bit more persistent. When their robot advises that a post has been shut down they search for other posts where comments are allowed and begin to spam them.
The only solution there is to completely block the ip address. This only works if you pay a hosting service for hosting.
I don't much like blocking an ip. Most spammer's use dynamic ip's. (Means they change periodically). It bothers me that some kid who likes to laugh at silly dogs might get a blocked ip and not be able to see a picture of the puppies.
But blocking the persistent ones seems to work. So far I've had no spam for the past 3 days.
I don't know if that is worth worrying about some kid my puppy and I don't know yet.
Have to wait and see.

Juan Gimenez
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Juan Gimenez
This weekend was pretty good. Too hot for me. People labor under this idea that LA is hot. It isn't. Like we get 10 days of rain a year we get about 14 days of hot weather. Most of the time it is monotonously the same: Comfortable.
I do much worse with heat and humidity than I do with cold. Odd that.
We didn't do anything exiting, but it was nice just having my friend and the dogs together for a while. I got pancakes and fried potatoes. I like that. We went and got dog treats . . . made some home made organic flea spray which seems to work about as well as the store bought stuff . . . I think it costs more to make though.
Watched a couple of interesting movies but I have a lot to do today. Mostly including fixing my bike, mowing some lawn and cleaning stuff as well as seeing what minor injuries I can inflict on myself today.

August 15, 2008

The worst troubles I ever had came about because I tried to justify things spiritually instead of just seeing things as they are. It's the world we've made.
Julien Blythe

My Home Planet by Macwindows
Click images for desktop size: "My Home Planet" by Macwindows
I managed to upgrade to Movable Type 4.2.
It was the easiest Movable Type upgrade I've ever done. The only things it broke were a couple of plug-ins. That was my fault. I always upgrade to a new directory and save the old one for the expected emergencies.
Broken The main joy in the upgrade is the increased speed in generating the html pages. It took it 4 seconds to regenerate all the indexes on this and my puppy's site. It used to take a few minutes.
Other than that I was sort of disappointed in the fact that the interface didn't go through any changes at all. I don't much like the colors, so I was semi-hoping. (Not big time. I don't want to wear out my hoping muscles or use up any luck on the mundane.)
The only other thing to note is an odd tic. Now when the search engines crawl the site it generates an entry in the activity log for every tag as it crawls. Very peculiar.
Its more than a touch aggravating as I note that Yahoo and Google both still heavily reference the old WordPress php url's. Which, of course, now sends people nowhere. The only reason I notice is that, and I'm embarrassed about this, Microsoft's clunky search engine is the only one that's become accurate.
My feeling is that if Microsoft can do it, it must not be that difficult.
The dozens of activity log entries are mildly annoying. I'd expect it to be fixed soon. It could just be the way I've set up my tags.
One of the biggest positives is that Comment Spam has become almost non-existent. It still happens but from 500 to 600 a day to two or three a day is pretty exhilarating. It also means I won't be so aggravated as to accidentally delete the real comments when trying to weed through the enormous list.
I don't use the web interface to post so I can't speak to it.
Nothing else seems to have much changed.
Click images for desktop size: "Death" by Unknown
Maybe it was thinking about all my kids competing at NFL camps around the country and the handful of kids in China, but installing the upgrade sent me into a nostalgic mode about an old web app called Coranto.
Coranto was a perl based "news" writer. I installed it on the kids web site (since down, the host that donated the free lifetime service went bankrupt. A sad time for a kind man). The beauty of Coranto was that in the days of CSS 1 I could give the kids a password and they could go in and write a news story, upload a picture with the story and "wham" have it appear on the web page all neat and prettily laid out with their byline! And they could do it all from their browser and never had to learn any html code or layout! A lot of big time news agencies used Coranto for their web sites too so we looked like we were competing.
It seemed pretty miraculous at the time . . .
Of course Coranto and all the other news writers rapidly evolved into blogs, Captive City which rapidly evolved into CMS and, now, social networking sites. (Another feature of Movable Type I'm not interested in so I can't say how well it works.)
I liked those old days of excitement. The excitement of seeing something you typed actually show up and for some one else to actually read it! A couple of my kids had the moxie and chutzpah to use their little stories on the web site to promote themselves jobs in the press.
I'm as proud of them as I am of my kids who are struggling with the NFL camps right now.
I've been up since before four. Couldn't sleep. My friend worked another 14 hour day. I hope she's coming to the end of the project, at least that the project ends before her health does.
The dogs have all come in, one at a time to see what's up with me. My puppy came in first, then she left to let the others come in and now she's wrapped around my feet. She doesn't look worried. She just looks happy.

August 14, 2008

Empty cartridges and blood fill the gutters in the street
Marshall Tucker

Knotted By Joel Faber
Click images for desktop size: "Knotted" by Joel Faber
Not feeling well. Better is the Brit-Speak: I'm feeling unwell.
Nothing I haven't felt before. It has just become more annoying as it goes on.
I keep thinking that I'm near the end of the road. Its been a great trip. More dips and valleys then a sane person could accept as normal, but its been good.
Body And Soul Not ready for it to end.
I can still laugh and I can still enjoy my puppy fighting to get close to me. I still like the sound of the guitars making like a mini-symphony with more grind.
Just tired and unwell. No big deal. Just the unwelcome thoughts going through my mind.
I always worry some. It keeps me cool and unpanicked, I think.
Alkaline Trio are on tour. I think about seeing them. I figure I'll be disappointed but what a nice way to be disappointed.
There's a lot more movies I need to see. There's a mystery that needs solving and the key might be locked inside of one of those frames.
Battle Of The Amazons There are stories I haven't heard yet. People, real and fictional I haven't met yet.
When my mother got depressed. (I always remember her smiling and giving me something to eat . . . she couldn't cook, at all, but I remember her handing me food). A divorced mom, barely out of her teens with a rambunctious son had plenty of reasons to be depressed back then. The only solution for an uneducated woman was her own cottage business or to marry well, or at least better.
Anyway, when she'd get depressed she'd tell me the story of somebody, I think it was one of the Eastman's. This fellow woke up one morning. Photography had been his life, not taking pictures but creating the cameras, the tools and the film. That morning he awoke and realized that his art form had progressed as far as it possibly could. There was nothing left to create or to perfect. No one would ever take a better photograph than Stiglitz or Cameron or Weston.
Thinking there was nothing new and exciting in the world, that his art was perfected and that his work was done he calmly shot himself in the head.
Later that day they announced the Polaroid Land Camera. Instant photography . . .
As a kid I never understood why my mother gathered strength thinking about Polaroid cameras. It still baffles me.
It bothers me still that she allowed herself to get so depressed that she had to think about some rich guy blowing his brains out.
I guess what matters is that she gained strength, strength from a story. Strength to carry on from a story.
For me, that's the important part.
Start-Trafalgar Square
Click images for desktop size: "Start-Trafalgar Square" by Unknown
And like my buddy Jim used to say, (Jim was the guy who I did that radio show with) "It doesn't matter what we play. There's always somebody out there who will like it."
Morbid thoughts.
My birthday is coming up soon. Too many birthdays for me to care.
I used to use my birthdays to gauge what I'd accomplished, what I'd gained in the past year. I used to spend the day deeply analyzing this.
Since my goal for the past few years have been mainly to stay alive there's not much need for introspection there. Its a pretty binary question: Yes or no.
But I am alive.
I'm pretty happy, happier than I'd thought I'd be in a long time.
I want to stay alive. That also seems pretty binary but, unfortunately it isn't.
I need my own story.
The Bride Of Frankenstein I think I have one. I write it every day.
That sounds trite. It is. I need reminding sometimes.

To distract me I'm updating the website to Movable Type 4.2 Pro today. It will probably break stuff. The updates usually do.
Since Movable Type has spun off a side bar Open Source Project and since 4.2 has been in open beta testing for about 90 days, I have a bit more confidence in this update than I usually do.
The best part about Movable Type is that it generates those stationary html files so even if I break anything you probably won't notice!
Which means I get all the sweaty nerve wracking fun trying to figure out permissions and perl code. Hotcha cha . . .

July 6, 2008

Things they do look awful cold
Pete Townshend

JSA - DC Comics
Click images for desktop size: "Justice Society Of America" by DC Comics
We had fresh spring rolls and sugar free home made coffee cake for dinner last night.
Its hard to feel miserable when your broke when you can still whip up things like that just by burrowing through the fridge.
Being broke doesn't scare me. Being poor isn't that Man With The Golden Gun much of a worry either. Being homeless with my puppy - that terrifies me. Governments terrifies me. Corrupt government officials and daffy corrupt incompetent judges terrify me. Being broke, Being poor is just a state to ease through. I don't like it but its not as important as, well, so many other things the list boggles.
I was up late last night.
I got an email from my hosting service. It was pointing out a huge upswing in bandwidth. Nothing to worry about, just an advisory sort of thing.
I went and checked the server logs and was at first shocked, then freaked and finally just annoyed. It seems that there are a couple of shyster sites out there hot linking to the mp3's I post here. Some people don't even know I post them here. I dislike the way links tend to look on a web page. You have to hover over the link to have it appear here.
Anyway there are a lot of unidentified robots crawling the site. It must have come from there. I don't like hot linking. I have to pay for the bandwidth. When I went to look at the sites doing the linking I was really peeved.
They disguise themselves as mp3 search engines or as music repositories. They are heavy with advertising, malware, spyware, pop ups, pop unders etc. They're making a lot of money. One of the sites sells the music for 99 cents. Only problem for me is that they don't sell the song from their server. They link to mine. There's a well designed perl script that disguises the url but you pay them or look at their adverts to download the song and the song downloads directly from my server.
I resent commercialism as much as I resent the out dated copyright laws that the bigger thieves in the RAIA and MPAA hide behind.
Its the world of the internet, I guess.
The reasons behind my site tend to be complex and personal. Gothic Spirit
Click images for desktop size: "Gothic Spirit" by Unknown
It started out as just an easy to access diary and journal, a place I would always b able to find. Then I discovered the social networking aspect of it. I dabbled in that for a tiny while before I quickly got bored with it and discovered that all I was really doing was making myself available to all sorts of hucksters.
Then, quite pleasingly, it became a way to quickly inform all of the people I know and care for about how I was doing. Share jokes and anecdotes.
Then it became something uglier, but even the ugly parts passed. (I can understand people being angry with me, or even hating me. But it soon passes the point of justification and becomes just boring vandalism.)
Like my puppy's site is a better example.
It was started so I would always have a place to remember her for each day of her life. I wanted to keep all of her pictures close to hand so I could look at them. Then I could also tell my friends the url so they could go look at the magnificence that was my puppy.
Because my puppy was timid I ended up Johnny O'Clock deciding to try training her as a therapy dog. She ate up the training. She loved working with kids and was comforting to them and to many other people in hospital.
So her site became a way to extend the relationship with the children she saw every week. The kids, mainly 5 to 11 loved having a place to read about her. I had plans to design games and stuff to entertain. I was just incompetent at Flash and lacked the talent to make some of my dreams real.
Still the kids loved reading about her. They knew her and had a relationship with her that I wasn't ken to. It didn't bother me.
What did bother me was the spam that suddenly started to proliferate her site. Sick stuff. Bestiality sites, porn. No child porn, fortunately but stuff that these ill children didn't really need to know existed.
I had to shut down comments. I set up an email account for my puppy. The kids loved writing to her and liked it when she'd answer them.
Then, as is the way, her email account started to get deluged with spam. Dating sites, credit card phishing schemes, viagra, porn. Background by Lawn Elf
Click images for desktop size: "Background" by Lawn Elf
Even messages that she'd gotten messages on her Friendster account . . . My kids were always inviting me to join their MySpace, Friendster what have you, so when I received the porn spam from those sites I took it as a matter of course. My puppy does not have a membership to any of them.
Its just the way of it, I guess. People need to make money. It makes me glad being poor doesn't bother me. Being broke bothers me but not in any way that shows.
I've made some temporary fixes to stop the music hot linking. I'll need to come up with a more permanent solution. I'm trying to figure out how to write the robot.txt file so that the rip off sites can't crawl this site. It won't work. The aggro robots just ignore the txt file.
All I wanted was for my friends to know about songs I was liking and listening to. It worked. It should work. Who knew that someone would have the money to figure out how to make more money from it.

May 18, 2008

Just stand right about there

Electrogoth by Envy
Click images for desktop size: "Electrogoth" by Envy
Since I've had access to the AppleTV i haven't even turned on a DVD player . . . odd that.
It makes me realize the importance of senses and the anthropological psychology of our senses.
Like we've all allowed to have rather lousy memories for sounds. We've all had a friend who we thought had died because we kept hearing the same song pour out of his bed room window, over and over again.
Night Of Bloody Horror When you finally break in you find out there was nothing wrong. He just dug the tune. Couldn't get enough of it.
Or we've gotten into a car with a friend who played the same track over and over again, all the way to wherever you two were going and you were probably glad it wasn't any further.
If we'd evolved with auditory memory that matched our visual memory we wouldn't be able to do that.
Its like you can listen to a live concert of your fave band a few times without even blinking, but you'd be hard pressed to watch a video of the same show more than once or twice. You'd get bored and relate to editing gaffes instead of watching. Most often you'd end up reading and listening, or looking at anything except the image.
Its part of the power of paintings and photographs I guess, the ability to take you someplace, someplace new or the same familiar place, each time you gaze at a painting even though you know every pixel of the painting by heart. There's more than a certain genius to that, or else we'd all live in bare walled holes.
Our sense of smell is pretty terrible and we only seem to recall smells that are bad or great - a cess pool or your mom's cooking. Even though scents have a way of bringing up a bigger and wider range of emotional responses from us that come closer to re-experiencing the reality of a moment, of all moments connected to a scent.
And touch? Unless its connected to pleasure or pain who remembers a touch. Its why we can do all those cool nasty tricks with peeled grapes and things at Halloween.
All of that is why I don't get to stressed about my little blind dog sitting happily two inches from a wall, apparently staring at it happily.
Untitled by Frank Frazetta
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Frank Frazetta
With as much effort as we put into communicating with aliens from outer space we don't put much time into communicating with the aliens we share the planet with. John Lilly, a cool enough guy, is the only one I know of who's tried to talk to dolphins.
Dolphins need talking to. There are legends about dolphins rescuing drowning people at sea. Every surfer has a story about some dolphin harassing or playing with them.
(Mine involved the dolphin with a nasty sense of humor. I was on dawn patrol when I saw a gray fin break the water line and come rushing at me. I pulled my feet up on the board and was getting ready to punch the shark in the nose . . . I read in a comic book or saw on TV about how sharks had real sensitive noses and you could not them out with the right punch! The fin submerged. I looked around fearfully and waited for panic when my board was suddenly capsized from underneath. I thought I was fish meat. When I broke the surface the dolphin was up there laughing at me. Laughing at me . . . he spent the day catching Night Of The Lepus every wave I caught and being a real pain in the neck. He seemed to love it best when he could cut me off and create a wipe out . . .)
There an animal with intelligence, at least as much intelligence as the gorillas who've communicate pretty effectively with sign language.
We don't pay much attention to this except as freak show stuff, like the tic tac toe playing chicken. I think it makes us uncomfortable. We're not a very secure species, still clinging to the worries of survival and junk like it. We relate to animals best when we feel comfortably superior and can easily humanize them, at least to our conscious minds.
It seems easy to love something we are in total control of and can give ambiguous human traits to. Its a bit harder to love something that is alien to us. Like a dog.
When my little blind dog stares at the wall with a happy grin on his snuffling face he might not see the wall but I imagine he's got a world of other things to get so lost in. Smells that I can't guess at but that tell him stories and sing him songs. I'm sure he can hear noises that ell him absorbing dog stories, or else why is he so easy to startle when I call to him.
He likes to stay close to me because the other dogs don't tread on him. I'm the for sure alpha dog around this house anyway.
He knows I'm the source for food and pets. And in some canine way he loves me. That doesn't mean the blind little guy doesn't try and escape at every given opportunity. Not to run away but to go find new smells and to hear new things.
This is all the junk you think about on a rainy Sunday morning. Nasty cold day so that even the dogs don't want to go outside.
I need to heal. I think I've been tearing my body up pretty badly with all the yard work. My hamstrings are singing off key Feeling My Age
Click images for desktop size: "Feeling My Age" by Anonymous
arias to my calves and my hands are clenching and cramping begging to rest.
So it might be just time to watch a lot of movies. Consider finances.
I going to move the house internet connection from the monster monopoly phone company to an independent ISP . . . I'm nervous about this. The internet is the way I communicate, get information and survive and function, I think. Since were doing that we're also going to dump the land line and go to VOIP. I had Vonage before. The service was a tick better than acceptable. It would have been fine except the customer service department were the biggest jerks ever. Sales people should not be called customer service. It bothers me when I understand a tech better than the paid employees who are supposed to trouble shoot the problem, and keep wanting me to buy more services when I struggling with the existing services, The People That Time Forgot but maybe this time it will be okay.
I have to figure out finances. Its a logistical issue with my credit cards and cash availalbe. Th savings become significant if I pay for a year in advance. I mean like over a grand for the year significant. But its hard to come up with the front money. Got to figure it out. Which isn't that big a deal. I just hope the service works well enough.
Other than that I plan to watch movies and sleep during most of the boring bits. I still haven't ordered or rented a movie through the AppleTV. It looks easy enough and maybe its time to try. The 99 cent movie special this week is "The Usual Suspects", which is entertaining enough and my eyes are bad enough to not remember enough of it so its a thought. Of course when I've got about 100 movies I haven't seen yet renting one just to check out the tech is a bit frivolous, even if it is only a buck . . .

April 19, 2008

You come into my house with a gun in your hand!

New York City By Paulo Barcellos Jr
Click images for desktop size: "New York City" by Paulo Barcellos Jr
Been a bit of zombie today. Everything acting up. Figure it due to lack of sleep.
My little blind dog had a terribly bad night. I tried to sleep on the floor with him. Me being there gave him some comfort but he still pushed around and kept me awake.
Rear Window Don't really mind. Its easy to remember that no matter how bugged or tired I get its a lot worse for him.
The day was shot because my puppy becomes my canine nurse. She knows I don't sleep during the day so if I passed out she'd lick my face.
She was never more than 6 inches away from me all day. Again, it would drive me crazy except she felt so assured because she was doing her job.
But I need sleep.

I did get one hobby chore completed. I updated the Movie catalogs.
There are now 3,000 movies there. The number sort of staggers me. Three thousand stories rattling around in my head.
There's a whole lot of gunfights at the OK corral, a whole lot of Chinese students avenging the deaths of their teachers, young men and women falling desperately in love being torn apart and then bought back together again. So many wars and so many times a man had to do what a man had to do. The good guys always wear white and the really bad guys laughed insanely at the pain and torment they caused.
Of course I've seen a heck of a lot more movies than that but 3,000 is a number I can now prove. When you add in all the people I know and all of their stories its small wonder I walk around always a tiny bit confused. (It feels like only a tiny bit to me. I can't control your perceptions!)
Movies mean a lot to me. They have a power. The Nazi's and other governments figured this out. Propaganda films are usually pretty dull, even great directors made dull propaganda. When governments Sworn To Fun Loyal To None By Robert Williams
Click images for desktop size: "Sworn To Fun" by Robert Williams
figured that out they just started banning or censoring anything that they couldn't find an argument against.
Before movies the ultimate art was considered Opera. Opera combined theater, drama, music, acting and song. A pretty potent stew. And it gave all this art the transient air of heaven because after that one performance the scenes would play over and over again in your mind, the beauty of it constantly re-exploding. There was never anything to contradict you memory.
You could study the score, dissect the libretto but you could never overtake the memory.
That's a power movies didn't have. Whatever you remembered could always be confirmed, alway re-remembered for you. Remembered in plastic which compliments, if not replaces, the spontaneity of a live performance.
Movies influenced me a lot. The movies I liked the most are the same as the stories I like most in people. I like movies where people change. Riot In Cell Block 11 When there's an epiphany or a moment of frisson that says look back at all you've done and realize it bought you to this point so that you can now go here, is for me the best of times
Movies taught me a lot. Like an old friend I hadn't heard from in years wrote to me recently and told me his divorce was just about finalized.
I was around for the romance that led to his marriage. I saw all the drama the two of them went through, all the grief, all the pain and the passions.
I've never been divorced. I've never ended a relationship where there was that much commitment, love and passion. At least not since high school, and that's not the same thing.
When books write about these things prose gets too analytical, it takes the heart out. Poetry gets too ephemeral. The translation of the music of words to the heart gives me a prosaic self knowledge that doesn't seem to extend to the comprehension of others. But movies, ah, movies.
Even dullard films like "Kramer vs Kramer" or "An Unmarried Woman" give a light that exposes and comprehends. Its like one man's vision shattered through a prism of the hundreds of others, the writers, the actors, the crew. All those beams of colored lights shining through celluloid create an image of humanness and gives us the power to understand our fellows.
See, as much as I like seeing fantastic planets, fantastic worlds, crawling terrors, vampires and werewolves, dusty streets where two men face each other over hand guns and a spit of tobacco, as much as I love to see new and old worlds The Androids Workshop By Pleasures
Click images for desktop size: "The Androids Workshop" by Pleasures
what I love best about movies is when they show us ourselves in a way we can understand and love. They do that all the time and they don't preach, they entertain. For me, like most of us, I learn the most when I'm enjoying what I'm learning. When I don't even know what I've learned until the time I need it. ("Wax on, wax off.)
I like movies in theaters with giant screens where faces are as big as the wing span of an angel. Theaters have changed now. The way we watch movies has changed.
It used to be that once they got your money and got you into the seat they could tell you the story at their pace. They could lead you along into their dream.
Now DVD's, cable etc make up most of the money most films are ever going to see, so they have to work fast, they have to grab you and hold you there so you don't flip the channel, don't change the disc.
Some producers don't care if that's what you do, so long as they got the money, but almost all the filmmakers do care. They want you to hear the story they have to tell. Robot Monster They're people too and we all want you to listen to the stories we're telling each other.
New technologies, new times, new ways of telling the story.
I don't have a preference for the old or the new. As long as there's a story to tell and so long as most of the time the good guys win.
So 3,000 movies. I now some like to look through the lists and have that kind of nostalgia, that reverse deja vu where a title or a poster takes you back to a place you'd forgotten for a while. Some people remember being kids and wearing their pajamas while they watched some movie on TV alone or with their family and the warmth and feelings they had there and then. Lots of power from just a movie's name, I think and I think it gladly.
Some people look at the lists with a collector's eye, looking to fill in a gap in their collection. ("I need ALL the Shaw Brothers titles!")
Some look for ideas of what to watch tonight or what to put in their NetFlix queue. Its all fun. Its all good.
I want to print up some stats about the movies. I'll do it later.
I have to say that none of these movies are for sale. For trade foe sure.
In the lists click on stuff, it will pop things around and open up pictures and details.
I have to go. I have stuff I want to watch and the puppies want to see a kung fu fighting movie so they can steal some ideas for their next big dog fight.

March 5, 2008

That's awful specific for destiny!
Steve Pierre

Water Lilies - Claude Monet
Click images for desktop size: "Water Lilies" by Claude Monet
Don't much feel like saying anything today.
Good things are I couldn't feel much worse and still be alive. I'm still alive.
My little blind dog is still alive too. He kept me up all night. Or maybe I kept him up. I slept when he did. We're both okay.
We both agree that sometimes it doesn't feel right to be so miserable and so happy at the same time. We've decided to deal with that issue by stay restlessly crabby.
A Clockwork Orange - French His ailing gave me an excuse to ignore mine.
Even more snow today.
I've been in snow before. But it was usually snow at someplace where I could leave it when I wanted to.
In Europe I was staggered when they had a blizzard. They called it a blizzard anyway. It snowed almost 3 inches . . . then it all melted before nightfall.
Those are my kind of snow storms.
These 5 inches overnight things are the stuff of science fiction novels. People could not survive in this. Yet, here we are.
I walked to the store yesterday. My friend was home sick and I had a little cash. It seemed like a good idea.
By the time I managed to slog back home it felt like I'd accomplished something major.
I got frijoles and chips and some stuff for pad thai . . . health food, comfort food.
Good stuff.
Spent the rest of the time finishing up my monthly back-ups. Yeah, I've lost enough stuff over the years that I know computers can't be trusted anymore.
I also contemplated all the site stats.
We used 140 gigs of bandwidth! Mainly because of all my puppies movies.
I'm happier than ever with the new host. No one complained about not being able to get on. I had just over 4,000 "unique" visitors. I like unique. Its a cool adjective. I don't know what it really means when used in this way.
82.4% of the visitors came here via bookmarks or direct. 12% came via search engines. Probably looking for Captain America . . . and the rest via referrals from links I guess.
I thought those were pretty smug inducing numbers.
Double Monitor - by Azarakis
Click images for desktop size: "Double Monitor" by Azarakis
My puppy's site had 27,341 "unique" visitors. For her site the term unique makes sense.
91% were bookmarks or direct. 8% were via search engine. Her search terms are cute: big black dog who don't speak good, is my fave this month. I think she prefers Shelby the greatest dog in the world. She also thinks rich people should pay her.
I'm also startled that "The Long Goodbye" still gets over 2,000 hits a month. It hasn't been updated in nearly 2 years.
Its the product of wanting to write something good and "unique" Crashout - Money Is Like Love about things and people I love in movies, art, you know all that pretentious stuff I try to pretend isn't inside of me.
I was thinking of EXPANDING that wordy stuff I wrote about Argento and putting it up there.
That might just be another of my projects that never quite comes to pass. But it may and it will please me.
I'm also working on a little surprise that I hope turns out well. Mainly I hope it doesn't come off as merely selfish. We can only try and see. Its hard to be too surprising when you have no money to speak of, but we try.
And that's enough about nothing.
I have snow to shovel and inches to go before I sleep.
My little blind dog is sleeping in the chair next to me, while my puppy rests her head in my lap and suddenly it feels like everything really will be alright.

February 27, 2008

A lot of fellows nowadays have a B.A., M.D., or Ph.D. Unfortunately, they don't have a J.O.B
Fats Domino

Steam Insect By Conte
Click images for desktop size: "Steam Insect" by Conte
I am often overwhelmed with a desire to make stuff. Unfortunately my handiwork invariably looks like . . . pretty bad.
I'm good with electronics. I can solder and wire fine, sometimes better than fine. Most of my electronics, even today, I've messed with and "improved".
When we sold the recording studio we were able to pay off all our debts Creature From The Black Lagoon - 1954 by selling my customized Neve analog board. The board was superb. I'd spent a few years customizing it . . . actually repairing it. The only way we could afford a Neve back then was to buy a pretty trashed out one from the Record Plant and gut it.
The buyer was stoked until he opened it up and realized that the board had nothing but Hi Q components but we had reconfigured it and added in my own fillips that his tech couldn't grasp what we had done. Fortunately for me he hired a new tech who loved the board. (Including the fact that I'd built my pirate radio station from Army Surplus walkie talkies and stashed it inside the board so I could be in the car and listen to what was happening in the studio . . . or play the outboard CD changer. Back then I knew about shielding for RF interference . . . )
I got away with it on the Neve because I already had that beautiful Neve case. All my other projects; my homemade cases and boxes looked like . . . pretty poor.
I once built an Signal tracker and stuffed it into a tomato paste can . . . That was the best of my cases . . .
I once made some bookcases for my home office. They looked . . . acceptable. They held up for almost a year! Which is far better than some of my old home built recorders, amps and PA's. I'd be pleased if those cases lasted through 2 gigs. But the tone! Ah, the tone . . . while watching a speaker cabinet disintegrate while ripping through a power chord gallup can be used as entertainment, its daunting to have to put the whole thing back together again.
My eyes are bad now. So bad I can't pour over circuits and copper wrappings with my old sense of elegance and hot solder burning style. I can't even be sure now if they'll work until I plug them in.
Celtic Princess
Click images for desktop size: "Celtic Princess" by Unknown
I can't even get my busted iRobot to work again.
I remain fascinated with Steam punk. Mainly because the cases are what make them punk. And the cases are so graceful and bordering on the right side of campy tacky.
I feel confident that if I even attempted one it would somehow melt into a glob of foil and brass in a month. But what a glorious month it would be!
So when I get these creative urges, these handicraft flings I work on this site.
I spent an inordinate amount of time making a movie of some pictures of my puppy. They were pictures I had thought I had lost in the great hard drive crash of '06, they move me a lot so it was time well spent in my opinion.
I also have been grappling with my movie catalog. A lot of collectors have been griping that a straight alphabetical listing is too difficult to search. I also don't have a search engine easily attached to the movie listing.
I'm working on it.
The Blob 1958 As a stop gap I've added another link to the little bar up top. This will take you to the catalog broken down by genre.
Its not as pretty as the straight alphabetical listing but it is serviceable.
Clicking on a title will open up the listing to give you pertinent details and, in most cases, a picture/poster from the movie.
People click through so fast I need to explain this. Since no one is probably going to read these detailed instructions I'll probably have to explain them again and then again.
Macintosh now seems to natively support SQLite databases. I'm working on setting up the queries in my movie database so it will spit things out in a more friendly fashion. The idea of transferring the database to the server is appealing . . . and difficult. I'm still working on that too.
Right now the genres are arranged pretty creepily. Like the "A"s list as _ Adult Animation etc. And the pages like "D" are stupid long and take a bit of time to download (D for Drama, see?"
But now you can go to "K" and see all the Kung Fu movies or "Z" to see all the Zombie flics.
Feel free to send me corrections.

On the other front there was a big police stand off about 50 yards from my home! It was on the local news and made to sound terribly dramatic.
A two hour car chase, armed man, SWAT teams YOW!
I found out about it when I took out the garbage and was wondering why the cops were blocking the street. My puppy barked at the cops. I told her good girl. I still don't trust any cop until I can see they are worth it.
Butterflies and love
Click images for desktop size: "Butterflies And Love" by Anonymous
The standoff seems to have gone on for hours and in the end NO ONE WAS HURT!
LAPD would have blown the place up with too many tear gas shells that would eventually burned the place down (see how the handled the SLA back in the 70's, that's still their approach).
There's something to be said for small town living. No one was hurt. No one was shot. No one was a hero and no one was a villain.
I like that.

In my quest for World Champion Snow fighter; I seem to have been beaten.
I feel generally unwell. My body is sore and feels like I've been in a fight or an overtime game.
Its the kind of unwell where I'd seriously consider taking off work for the day. So you know its semi-serious!
I'll be fine. I have a new doctor now! I hope I like him.

My little blind puppy is hanging on. He's still eating and when he's not feeling miserable he perky and ready for fun!
I pray I'm reading him right and that he's enjoying life and not suffering. I would despise myself if I was letting him suffer.

February 22, 2008

I like the sounds of destruction

Rust And Dirt
Click images for desktop size: "Rust & Dirt"
I walked myself to the hospital yesterday. Emergency room.
About a 3.5 mile walk. Funny thing, I felt better the more I was moving. Would have been great if I'd had a dog with me.
Dirty Mary And Crazy Larry I was bleeding and it was embarrassing bleeding. Not blood gushing stuff.
It was from eating a jalapeno pepper for dinner the night before. I remember thinking how odd that I hadn't eaten a pepper in such a long time . . . It wasn't until I was sitting in emergency that I remembered.
I got scoped out. I re-opened my ulcer, which was caused by too many pills that I have to take to stay alive.
Sometimes this life is tedious.
They looked at other stuff. I strained my shoulder. It still hurts. Seems it was a mild separation. I can accept that. I remember having to pop it back into place but I'm surprised that it still causes me pain. I used to heal so well.
And I strained my right hip flexor. That was from shoveling snow and slipping on ice.
I am working on Zen Master status on snow shoveling. I need to hurry that up. Its snowing now.
That was a joke . . . hurrying up Zen . . . they're seldom as funny when you have to explain them . . . especially when they're not that funny to start with.

I've gotten a couple of emails chastising me for my opinions about Tobe Hooper. No one defending him but trying to convince me that Wes Craven was then the new Romero.
Well, I thought "Last House On The Left" had a great ad campaign, "Keep repeating to yourself its only a movie! Its only a movie!" but I thought it was only mildly interesting. Better was the speculation about all the different versions in there that had even better gore and splatter.
Anime by Mota
Click images for desktop size: "Anime Wallpaper" by Mota
I saw it first in downtown LA. One of the other films on the triple bill was, "They Call Her One Eye" (originally "Thriller-A Grim Film"). "One Eye" was definitely more disturbing.
It wasn't until Craven did "The Hills Have Eyes" that I thought he might be a serious talent. But he sold out to Hollywood too quickly for me.
"The Hills Have Eyes" was staggering. While "Last House" was just a more explicit retelling of Bergman's "The Virgin Spring" "Hills" was an Adlerian exploration of a Freudian psychic nightmare. And it had dogs!
But then came the dreck. The Freddie Krueger movies and that almost entertaining piece of B tripe, "Swamp Thing". Craven was never a prophet. He worked for the money until he became bankrupt. (as in bereft of talent and ideas, not short of cash.)
When you start making art for the money instead of wanting to tell a story you become something that I can respect but I can never love.
George Romero has been quirky but he never sold out. He went to Dario Argento for financing and turned his back on Hollywood cash and what he perceived as the compromises he'd be unwilling to make.
The Edge Of Hell Its sad that even Jim Jarmusch finally gave in to Hollywood bucks, so only George, standing out there in Pennsylvania, all alone is the only guy with nothing to be ashamed of in his career. He always stayed true to his vision, even when we didn't know what the heck he was talking about.

My friend sent me a link showing that this web site is slanted towards males . . . I can't figure out what that means.
This site also points out that I have no advertisement. I appreciate that. Further my domain name is worth between 800 and 1200 bucks!
The basis for this seems sketchy to me. I figure the domain name is worth the 10 bucks a year it costs to keep it.
But I have been toying with the idea of trying to do some web site design, maybe to earn a few bucks.
I don't know if that infringes on my no-ad policy. I have to think about that.
Its just that through stubbornness and without any desire to learn anything I've gotten pretty good with media and the basics of web design. I don't know. It sounds desperate to me but maybe I am desperate.
You might not know about this, unless you have kids or work for an uptight company, but there is an entire industry built around filtering the internet. For schools I think this is a decent idea.
I remember when you could do a search for lemon pie and get 2 recipes and 45 porn sites.
My puppies site still gets heavy spam for bestiality sites.
But the nice thing is that more and school systems are opening up their filters so that the kids can see her page and photos and little movies. Becasue her site is powered by Movable Type it is automatically blacklisted as a "BLOG". I wonder why they restrict blogs out of hand. Laziness? Or do they all have "ADULT CONTENT" like this one?
Rhino Bliss By Lawn Elf
Click images for desktop size: "Rhino Bliss" by Lawn Elf
That pleases me. I always like it when a hospital or school lets the kids see my puppy. Its pretty humbling and scary.
A ten year old girl wrote me a while ago and explained to me how she had found a way to circumvent her schools filters! It was very detailed and made a great tutorial. Even I could follow it!
Ten years old! That's why I don't worry too much about the future. Although I did vaguely worry about what other sites she was checking out. I liked that she didn't write to me but that she wrote to my puppy.
Although I still have not changed my policy of ever eating an unwrapped, unsealed food given to me by a child, no matter how much love is in their heart.

February 20, 2008

When You coming back Red Ryder?
Mark Medoff

New York City Madness by Tim Melideo
Click images for desktop size: "New York City Madness" by Tim Melideo
I think the main reason I hate grocery shopping isn't just the money. Its the enforced reminder that I'm no longer perfect.

Brute Force Finished watching "Valley Of Elah". I still tend to watch movies in chapters, putting them down to resume later. Only the really great movies can hold my attention for a full 90 minutes. They have to be unworldly to keep me interested for two whole hours. Longer than that and I figure the filmmakers don't know how to go about telling their story. (Their are a few exceptions, just a few).
"Valley Of Elah": It was a pretty turgid mess. Obvious, pretentious and meandering.
Susan Sarandon gave one of the most vapid empty performances I've ever seen. It was staggering in the way she conveyed nothing and gave no depth to any part of her character. It wasn't so much that like all these characters were made of card board but hers she played like it was a stiff pice of saran wrap.
They were giving Charlize Therzon plenty of face time and all she could do was be boring, obvious and a anti-illustration of of everything the heavy handed direction was preaching about (as regards women). It was an unrestrained performance that paid no dividends.
In spite of all this, or maybe because of it, Tommy Lee Jones gave one of the most memorable performances in movie history. He was brilliant. The only talent Paul Haggis (director/writer - "Crash") showed was in not getting in his way.
Jones has always been good, sometimes remarkable, but he's never had a showcase where he could keep such a high level going. The character, as written, was pretty much a stupid mess with no foundation or real sense. Jones forgot about it and gave the character an inner monologue that never falters. He doesn't burn or smolder he simply exists and lives.
The genius of his performance is in keeping himself shuttered but still letting us, the audience, know that the thoughts dreams and anguish burn inside of him. The character lies to his friends, but with no tools other than his face and voice he lies convincingly and lets us know exactly why he is lying. It is always human and always true to the person he is.
Anime by Mota
Click images for desktop size: "Anime" by Mota
Jones takes a hunk of creepy cardboard and creates a human being out of it. I've seen the other performances nominated. I expect Jones won't win the Oscar which would be a shame, but not a sin.
At least he'll get more work.

For some reason Jones performance got me to drifting thoughts about great movies that had no acting ability, where the filmmakers had told there story so well and convincingly that lesser talented actors contributed instead of distracting from the story.
Probably the best horror film ever made was "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". It had everything. Bright sunlight and dripping oozing cadavers. It shocked and it horrified and still does today. Every minus became a plus. Bad acting somehow made the characters seem more real. It made them not laughable but identifiable.
Even Marilyn Burns high pitched screaming throughout (normally an aggravating feature of grind house horror) seemed to be a keening note in a drum and bass line of depravity.
Chafed Elbows And Scorpio Rising The cheap Fuji stock and daedo lighting kit that were so unimpressive in other grind house flics added the surreal quality of a home movie to the story. It was such an impressive connotation of reality that it became a cliche, an effect strived for less effectively in "The Blair Witch Project" and "Cloverfield".
In Texas Chainsaw the blazing sunshine and the unexpected dances in light and darkness made the arcane rooms of savage sculpture and cannibal art seem too close and easy to touch. Like you'd accepted an invitation to that creepy kids house because he had some cool comics to trade and you walked into the ultimate joke and were more stunned that he didn't mind the sense of savage filth than you were by the filth itself.
In that one movie Tobe Hooper took over from George Romero as the new clear eyed sober voice of unspeakable nightmares. Or so it seemed.
And then what happened
The only people still working are Director Tobe Hooper and cinematographer Daniel Pearl.
Kim Henkel, the writer, has his name attached to things, but its only as an attachment. Like he keeps taking co-producer credit and money for all those Chainsaw remakes and sequels.
Marilyn Burns who seemed ready to rear her bloody laughing head into the same B Movie status as Lianna Quigley does cameos.
Ed Neal, the wine stained hitchhiker with a straight razor has gotten work doing Japanese TV shows and other sorts of day player bits.
Purple Rain
Click images for desktop size: "Purple Rain"
Daniel Pearl found Chainsaw was nothing more than an intro to Hollywood. A note from your mom to a successful producer she dated in High School.
He worked hard. I met him when he was DP on a Pia Zadora music video. He wouldn't even talk about Chainsaw except with heavy anger. He shot "Alien vs Predator 2: Requiem".
Hooper followed up Chainsaw with a Hollywood movie, "Eaten Alive".
It proved that Neville Brand could act as creepy as he looked. It also managed to forever my long standing crush and desire for the once beautiful Carolyn Jones (Morticia, come back to me!!).
It looked like almost any other cheapo horror film, but it could also be read as a talent looking to learn the Hollywood system, the crews, and the actors. If you had a kind heart and great hopes.
Next up for Hooper was "Poltergeist". Big money, big cast, Steven Speilberg producing. It could have been something and then it wasn't. It was just another ghost story with glitzy production values and the start of CGI.
Dillinger Plenty of sequels and then the TV series. People made a lot of money but the audience looking for something more were jilted.
After that Hooper spent his time making the worst kind of slumming fodder, "Funhouse", a remake of Abel Ferrara's "The Toolbox Murders", all weak and watery stuff that wouldn't wake up a patron in any grind house theater.
Its sad and only proves that sometimes inspiration and madness only strike once.

When I first decided to keep a personal web site it was to force me to spend some time each day to reconsider and think about what I was doing and where I'd gone and why.
It was intended to force me to become human again.
There were the other perks I've mentioned previously. It still serves that purpose. It makes me reflect instead of hurtling head on. (Hurtling is what I think I'm best at.)
For a guy who finds it hard to read emails longer than 4 mails and is a master of writing one line responses all these words perplex. I like it broken up with the pictures. I spend more time choosing, editing the pictures than the words.
Aladdin - Maxfield Parrish
Click images for desktop size: "Aladdin" by Maxfield Parrish
ecto, the tool I use for laying out and posting to this site, is up to Beta 33! This one has seemed a huge step backwards. Its addressing some of those crazy things for other people but forgetting about guys like me.
It does odd things with images. So that I have to re-upload them via ftp. Which is just annoying and not that big a deal.
What is a big deal is that its not being true WYSIWYG at present. MarsEdit, a competitor, has taken the clue from some of the innovations in ecto and now does some of the tasks better! Regrettably it doesn't do everything that ecto does and does somethings important to me far worse.

My friend has gone on a job interview today. I'm pleased. Its a lot easier to suffer and complain at a job that stresses you than endure the grief of being judged by someone you might dislike.
People can get used to anything. Its hard to ignore inertia and get moving. I'm proud that she's trying.

February 10, 2008

Five dollars for this shirt and I only got two years wearing of it
Dario Argento

Sans Titre - Love 1008
Click images for desktop size: "Sans Titre" by Love 1008
I used to have a friend named Chris. Chris published a fanzine. It wasn't like most of the fanzines I read or played around with, his was angry. It took itself seriously but had enough of a sense of humor to get away with being angry and serious.
The Set Up What drew m to Chris and his magazine was his interest in the "Cinema Of Transgression". Nick Zedd used the little zine to promote a lot of his more political rhetoric and personal hype and propaganda. Zedd and Chris parted acrimoniously. It was more than sort of inevitable.
Chris was sincere and not blind to his idol's clay feet.
My interest, at that time, was more in a fringe member of the "Transgression" clique, Richard Kern.
I liked Kern's movies. I liked the politics of them. I liked the politics of his shooting style and his use of film and his excitement over film as opposed to video.
I liked how the punk movement tied into his own vision and how he melded his own edgy world view with the nihilistic values and charged sexuality and promoted celibacy of the punk thing.
I wasn't blind to the fetish element in some of his work but it wasn't what interested me. I was surprised that Kern is now making more off of heavy coffee table books of his fetish photography than he ever made from his movies.
While it was Zedd who was getting Time Square openings with Scorsesee and glitterati attention Kern kept making films that got shown on a sheet at the punk clubs in New York while the next band set up. It was cool and sometimes Kern's little movies even got billing over the bands. (At least on the fly sheet hand outs.)
Kern was involved with East Coast Punk Diva Lydia Lunch, who ended up involved with Black Flag frontman, Henry Rollins. They did poetry readings together . . . actually Lydia would yell at people in the crowd. If any of them yelled back Henry would jump off stage and beat them up.
In a time when the Kipper Kids, two grown men, would appear at clubs naked, wearing bathing caps and throw paint and blood on the audience I guess that yelling at people and then beating them up qualifies as a poetry reading.
One of the Kipper Kids married Bette Midler. Henry Rollins is now doing direct to video horror films and MC'ing some whack reality game show.
Click images for desktop size: "Shy" by Any Mouse
Time does ruin everything.
Anyway, back to Chris.
Eventually Chris moved to LA and got some other crazy to finance his little zine as a semi-serious, nasty and cynical FILM MAGAZINE! With full color covers and national distribution. Rah!
Now the main thing that reminded me of Chris this week is that he LOVED to get abusive phone calls and letters. He loved hate mail to the point that he would not pay bills so that he'd get collection letters and phone calls.
He enjoyed fighting with people. He liked the little battles.
Maybe it kept him in shape for the big wars ahead, I don't know. It was the overwhelming thing I remember of him.
Even though I remember him fondly and warmly, I don't share his enjoyment of hate mail. Notes and letters from people I don't know or barely know, especially notes that I think are intended to hurt me don't faze me at all. I hope I don't anger anyone by saying Killer Bait Formerly Too Late For Tears I look at them with detached id sometimes wry amusement. I'd like to get a clever one.
People whom I know and like on the other hand, their displeasure doesn't stress me but I don't disregard it.
Well except for the one berating me for not posting my brilliant analysis of the Pro Bowl . . . Have they played that yet? Does anyone know the score? Does anyone remember who won last years Pro Bowl?
Most of the, I guess, justifiable flack comes from the "Comments" thing.
I recently turned on comments here, more as an experiment to see how well they are working so I could consider turning them on for my puppy's blog.
Movable Type now uses a thing called Askimet to filter out spam comments. For my puppy's site it works well enough and mixing it with other tools lets me selectively allow certain ips and identifiers comments through with no problem.
Here I get about 50 spam comments an hour. To prohibit them going through to either being published or moderated I've had to set the security so high that it seems ALL comments get reported as spam . . .
Moratality 2 - Akjareshe
Click images for desktop size: "Mortality 2" by Akjareshe
This really doesn't bother me that much.
I've been trying to scan through the comments and glean out any real things. Like casinos and sex sites are pretty easy to discern. Some of them are more clever, at least clever enough for me to have to look at them more closely and find them annoying.
I did pull a couple of comments out of the spam, all from strangers as I recall. One I actually wasn't sure was genuine . . . it might have been spam, I just wasn't sure and on that day I decided to let it through.
On most days I find myself looking at a about half, getting bored and annoyed and just dumping them all. Recently I'm down to looking at the first page of 50 and then just dumping them all . . .
So if you're mad a t me because your carefully worded retort isn't published I'm sorry, blame me for being lazy but not for being uncaring.
Better yet blame the spammers. Or "Blame Canada".
Better yet email me and ask me to publish your comment. I do like reading what you have to say.
I always have.

February 7, 2008

You don't know what those pink peggers mean to me
Eddie Cochran

Vertigo - Isil Metriel
Click images for desktop size: "Vertigo" by Isil Metriel
I like fashion.
I like trying to make your outside look like what's going on inside.
I like that fashion always changes. The new pushing out the old until we realize some of the old was pretty cool and then we bring it back.
The Guilty Its not considered uber-hip to like clothes. It implies that you judge a person by what he or she looks like . . .
Is there any one who doesn't do that? Maybe not judge, judge carries a harsh connotation, but you certainly form an opinion about someone based on the way they present themselves, the way they look.
I've only known one instance where that's time proven untrue. I know a lot of people and I've only met one guy who didn't just see a surface. He did at the start but he was able to look beyond that. Not lip service see beyond that but with a full and open heart see beyond that. Another guy named David was super good looking. He ran track and when he was out in the field the women's hearts were all fluttering. I heard more women make licentious remarks about David then I ever heard guys make, even in a locker room.
David was married. When he first introduced me to his wife I was taken back. She was most likely the homeliest woman I had ever seen.
When I got to know her I discovered she was also one of the most intelligent, aware, kind people I'd ever known. Blindly loyal, discerningly loving. She was a total package of all you could ever dream of in a person, on the inside . . . when you were around her it was easy to forget what she looked like.
David and she have three kids. They are deeply and fiercely in love with each other. They are good for each other.
Everyone else I've known or met doesn't have enough in them to look past the surface. It takes a lot of prodding, a lot of heart searching to see inside and ignore the outside. I'd say its rare.
For the rest of us we're attracted by what we see first. When you see someone in clothes, those clothes make a statement. Seeing someone out of their clothes makes a different statement, for sure. Between those two states of dress the first one is the way you're dressed.
Its not rules. Its not even common sense. Its just appreciating that people view you with either the same, wider or narrower perspective than you view others. Some mad geniuses can pull it off, not caring about their appearances. How many mad geniuses do you know? I know a couple. After they've had their talents acknowledged they still dressed the same way except on big nights, gallery openings or the like.
Yosemite - Matt Mosher
Click images for desktop size: "Yosemite" by Matt Mosher
Most often they dress to the max and develop an affectation. Tuxedo's with electric spinning bow ties come to mind. (seriously)
I always put a lot of thought into how I looked.
I don't much anymore. Mirrors aren't the friends they used to be.
I went through stages along with the rest of the youth of SoCal. I never went in for disco, but I did own a sparkly jacket from Fiorrucci's . . . it was on sale . . .
For punk I wore a denim jacket safety pinned with symmetrical patterns. If I was on stage I wore a cowboy tuxedo with a lot of pins and a Boris Badenov T-Shirt (from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Store).
The Killing Then it degraded to leather jeans and manga T-Shirts. Then in an up life jeans with black polished cotton shirts and burgundy chamois dangling from my wrists (which, contrary to opinion weren't a fashion statement. I sweat a lot and I kept getting shocks from mikes and guitar pick ups. They hurt. The chamois stopped most of them.)
And now I wear what I got. Supplemented by 10 minute raids to the department stores.
I still look and think about how this will make me look and then I don't think about it much anymore.

I've run all the experiments with Light Box. It is nifty and does almost everything I want.
It has some drawbacks. Its a javascript. Almost ll the people who still follow Microsoft turn off javascript . . . While Light Box does a totally cool job of displaying the full size pictures you can't just drag them off to your desk top. It takes a "right click and save link" to do that. And you have to leave the nifty Light Box interface to do that.
I have to give them some thought. I do like that its pretty simple to make the Light Box interface look how I want it and even beyond. Maybe I can change some of of the script.

February 3, 2008

Most USC bowl games are more interesting than the Super Bowl

HK Pepnx II
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by H.R. Pepnx II
I really believe that, except the Super Bowl is the last game. Last game of the season.
There's still the Pro Bowl. I seldom watch it. They actually broadcast it in Europe! Didn't watch it then either.
They started the hype pretty late for this game. Sports Illustrated is saying that if the Patriots don't win they'll go down in history as the greatest disappointment ever . . . which seems more than a little bit harsh.
The only real stories are about Plaxico Buress running his mouth about Mark Of The Vampirean easy Giants victory then not practicing except for a 50 minute walk through. Maybe he thinks that way he'll be rested and his new found "chemistry" with Eli Manning will take over and win it for them.
There's been a little bit of sniping, not much, about Tom Brady's ankle. I wouldn't put too much into that. The only thing it will do is that every time Brady goes down or walks with a limp the announcers will get to talk about "the boot" and wonder if Brady will be able to continue.
Pete Carroll, USC head coach and former Patriot HC, said he can't see much of a chance for the Patriots to lose. "The Giants will have to hit him often and hard to have a chance." He predicts a two touchdown victory for New England.
Personally, I can see a rout, but not by the Giants.
Assuming that the Giants front four can step their game up and reek havoc on Brady there's still a decent running game.
The Giants line backers are going to have to account for Wes Welker out of the slot, Maroney and Faulk on the screens and the scary thought of Moss on the end around. They'll offer little support except on blitzes and blitzing Brady is a dangerous proposition. He picks up the blitz well and does a quick check down.
It will have to be line backer blitzes and they had best work because bringing a safety or CB on a blitz will mean that Stallworth, Gaffney and Moss will be virtually uncovered. They're studs and they can read the blitz too and will know to cut off their routes and give Brady a target.
Going the other way, the biggest joker is Buress. Its really hard to say how well he can play. Not practicing for nearly 2 weeks is not comforting. If Buress can go he can create some points for the Giants. Biomechanical Arm - Chris Conte
Click images for desktop size: "Biomechanical Arm" by Chris Conte
If he's not fit I'd expect some close calls and near catches and an occasional brilliant play, but the game will then go to screens and the TE.
The short passing game and the running game will chew up the clock and eat up chunks of yardage. Having seen this team before, and given Billichek's history on facing opponents with two weeks prep, I wouldn't expect that sort of offense to rack up a whole lot of points.
The Patriots will bring a lot of pressure. They think they can still rattle Manning. Maybe, but I think not. The biggest threat will still be the running game.
Casting aside the fact that I want to see history made. I want to see the winning team that still looks like outsiders make history. I want to see a 19-o team with this group of stars, misfits and cast offs do the impossible.
Putting that aside this could be the biggest rout in Super Bowl history with the Patriots leaving the field ready to do it all over again next year. Nightmare AlleyAnd remembering the last time an AFC came in heavily favored against an NFC team with nothing but a stout defense and a ball control offense I still feel the same way. (That was Buc's v Raiders where the Buc's blew them out.)
Patriots 49 Giants 27

I've gotten the link page semi-organized. It looks better (but is far from complete) and should be more useful.
At least you should be able to find things a bit easier.
There are still things to add especially for tools. I want to try and use more cross platform tools but find that most of the ones that will work on Macintosh and Windows to be rather poor.
Of course I'm thinking about some of the colors (getting the look unified, but distinct, easy to read but sooting) and getting my AJAX code re-written to do the nifty little previews. I still feel I need to apologize for the advertising. At least Snap let me choose non-profti adverts that benefit Save A Child.

January 31, 2008

Never disappointed

The Promise - Michael Parkes
Click images for desktop size: "The Promise" by Michael Parkes
Sometimes there's a lot of beauty to be found in the bland.
Most of the time its the way this small creation is handled that moves a movie from mediocre to at least good. I watched a thing called "The Great World Of Sound".
Its a bout this scam. The scam relies on exploiting peoples dreams. Not much original there. In the 30'2 WC Fields explained, "You can't cheat an honest man, so never smarten up a sucker or wise up a chump."
King Kong This scam is a bit nastier than most. These two guys, a white one who is as exciting as mayonnaise and a chunky black guy who is desperate for money and has a natural enthusiasm for everything he sees.
They get jobs as record producers. But the real job is to go into medium sized cities and listen to people play their music and then, no matter what their opinion, to sign them to a record contract, a contract that tests their commitment to their music by demanding that they contribute financially.
Their big selling point is that they're asking the musicians for only 30% of the total expenses. They use a cruel line, I'm asking you, in dollars in cents, how much you believe in yourself. How much do you want that dream."
They salesmen justify signing worthless talent to themselves with some scattered logic, "Not everyone who graduates from college is going to win the Noble Prize, but you need to build classrooms and hire professors so the kids who aren't going to do anything with their lives, they're paying all that money so that the kid who can go out and strike gold gets his fair chance."
The film is set in North Carolina and the south, so I thought that there'd be some great scenes of unknown local talent sounding good mixed in with some clunkers for humorous effect. All the music is pretty poor. Including the music written for the soundtrack.
The acting is all pretty good and for a while the movie bounces from boring to amusing. The biggest thing is that I kept hoping to hear something decent instead of sound bites of mediocrity. No performer ever knocked me out or even impressed me. They were all strictly amateurs.
The black guy had a lot of energy and carried it along and it was semi-educational watching him rope in the chumps and get them to hand over their hard earned cash. That wasn't enough to make this seem like a horrendous time waster. I went and fed the dogs and played with them while this was on and knew I hadn't missed anything.
Then it came to a moment.
It was awesome. I Just Hate To get My Feet Wet
Click images for desktop size: "I Hate To Get My Feet Wet" by S4W
The set up was predictable. The two guys are both getting sick of being scammers. They're not crooks and they feel their being used. The black guy figures that's just life. He wants the money to feed his kids. The white guy has an artistic girlfriend but no real commitment to her.
They audition a girl, rather plain but with a bit of talent. Not great but better than anything else we've heard in the movie.
The white guy refuses to sign the girl. His partner is shocked and keeps trying to get her money. They start to fall out.
Later that evening they find out that they have no money and no tickets back home. When they call their boss they get some weird scammy flim flam excuse so the result is that they are stranded 900 miles from home, no money, no hope.
They split up.
Konga Unable to reach anyone, the white guy gets desperate. He goes to contact the girl singer he turned away. She works in a bar. They have a few drinks get to talking and she ends up taking him to her home.
There's a rather boring failed seduction attempt, interestingly by her, not him - he's remaining true to his girlfriend.
Then next comes a magic moment. The scene jumps to the girl at an ATM. She's taking out all her money to buy the record contract.
The devastating effect is watching this guy who seemed to be fighting to take a stand, to believe in something, something human inside people, and he sells all of that because he's afraid to sleep in the cold and walk or hitch hike home.
He takes this nice girls money and becomes the thing he was fighting against. That's powerful stuff, watching a man become his definition of evil. It was powerful enough to accept the preceding 90 minutes of doldrums as a set up for this moment.
One of the greatest parts of this moment is that you can imagine (its not explicitly or implicitly stated) that the girl knew it was a scam and was giving him the money almost out of embarrassment for her failed seduction.
If the movie had moved from that one point instead of taking it as the real conclusion of the film there could have been something magical.
As it is the movie dwindles on a bit more and seems to have the message that all people including you and me are just crap.
Alber Einstein - Hebus
Click images for desktop size: "Albert Einstein" by Hebus
I reject the message but I loved that little 30 seconds that was lost in the dreary "Great World Of Sound".
It was like that one moment in a bad pop tune, a tune you hate but that one moment gets locked in your head and reappears at just the tight moment.

I've finally updated the Movie Catalog. Its a bit over 2750 movies deep now. Usual disclaimer, I'm not selling any of them. I'm always open to trades.
I love stats. Most people do. I can say that because if people didn't love stats there'd be no baseball fans which means no baseball. What a dreary world it would be then.

The top five genres are (in order of quantity, not preference) Man From Planet X
  • Drama - 315 titles
  • Comedy - 303 (this surprised me)
  • Crime - 265
  • Science Fiction - 248
  • Kung Fu - 221

The Directors list really astonished me.
  • Chang Cheh - 28
  • Roger Corman - 20
  • Takashi Miike - 19
  • Clint Eastwood - 15 (!)
  • Johnny To - 13
  • Don Siegal - 12 (There are a number of Seigal films I'm still looking for)
  • Chia-Liang Liu - 12 (I'm pretty complete here)
  • Anthony Mann - 10
  • Hark Tsiu - 10
  • Sammo Hung - 10

The Stars are very strange
  • Clint Eastwood - 28 (I never knew I was such a fan)
  • Jet Li - 18
  • Robert De Niro - 17
  • James Stewart - 17
  • Jackie Chan - 16 (a lot of disappointing films here)
  • John Wayne - 15
  • Lung Ti - 15 (an actual fave actor of mine)
  • Bela Lugosi - 15
  • Sammo Hung - 15

I like to look at lists . . . The numbers must say something. But I can't figure out what. Maybe that some of my favorite actors and directors haven't made enough films . . .
Its still my plan to, eventually, do the whole catalog up as a web app. As it is some people can't figure out that pressing the little buttons on the right of each listing will increase the size of the poster and/or reveal all the film details.
Super Bowl Weekend is nearly here. The undeclared National Holiday.
This is still the quietest Super Bowl ever. There seems to be more ink about Roger Clemens and steroids than the big game. (Roger, I feel like that Ring Lardner kid - "Say it ain't so Joe." I still presume innocence. I'm like that. I truly hope he is innocent. He's one of my fave ball players. He enriched the game and made it special. I hope he did it with talent alone.)

January 30, 2008

I'm all out of threats

The Day We Met For Coffee - J3 Concepts
Click images for desktop size: "The Day We Met For Coffee" by J3 Concepts
Sometimes there's just an empty space. It doesn't want filling.
I don't know exactly what that means, but I know how it feels.
Sometimes I miss being innocent.
It Came From Outer Space
My blood levels are getting better. Much better, normal really, but there are these odd spikes. So I talked to my old doctor.
No more coffee . . . or I can have decaf coffee. I've no big problem with that but its just another small pleasure, another enjoyable vice taken away. He also thinks its dangerous for me to be a vegetarian. No red meat but I should be eating chicken, turkey, that kind of stuff.
I don't like my body dictating this much to me.
Except for this I've been stud healthy most of my life. No allergies, no chronic this or that. Never ever even had an earache. Nothing hurt me badly at all. Except other people, but that would be the case for most of us I'd figure.
So I really don't have any experience dealing with this. I don't know how to gracefully accept a limitation imposed on me by my body. My body was always my friend. Now it feels like its not.
The way I've been dealing with it is the same bull headed way I deal with everything: Get my head down and bull through it. Ignoring everything, every stitch every bloody cut and patching up what can't be ignored until . . . I almost wrote "until its too late" instead of typing the thought in my head which was "until I have time".
I should just whine better. Learn to be graceful in the face of this. I realize I don't have a clue as to what that graceful attitude would be. If it even exists.
Praying Mantis - WallpaperManiac
Click images for desktop size: "Preying Mantis" by WallPaper Maniac
There was someone I was dating along time ago. It didn't last long. She wasn't dating me, she was dating some image of me that may or may not have ever existed. She didn't like me being morose and said to me, "You never heard about Jackie Kennedy being all morose when her husband got shot!"
Now I wonder what she wanted to convey, other then making me look at her as if she were a slime encrusted gastropod alien. And the thought "Where do I meet people like this . . . oh yeah, Hollywood.
But I don't know how to behave as gracefully as Jackie Kennedy. Somebody probably wrote a book about it. A book I'd most likely never read.

I've figured out the AJAX code to get the little pop-up windows of the web sites on my links page. It works great Jail Baiton the local server but choked when I went live. Which is how I discovered what every first year Computer Student already knows, for security reasons you can't make an XMLGetRequest to another server or another domain via the browser . . . You can, however, get the server to make a proxy request to a third server.
As soon as I figure out what that means I plan to get right on it. Or kludge together a brilliant work around . . . or at least make up something that will work.

And today I'm using Beta 27 of ecto. I still like the app a lot. It finally solved one major issue for me. It now properly uploads the pictures to the server. That means I don't have to go and manually create the thumbnails then open an ftp app and upload the things. This way is much quicker and easier.
And I am so busy that I NEED the 45 or 50 seconds that normally takes.
The layout tools have shown a marked improvement as well. Now it is possible for it to use my css file and create the layout exactly as it would appear instead of me either guesstimating or firing up the local server and examining it that way.
I still use MarsEdit to add in the extra span tags and special styles. That may be force of habit. Or the fact that I have all the code snippets stored inside of MarsEdit. I guess my next big adventure will be to try and do a post solely in ecto.
I'm also getting yancy (there's a word you haven't heard since your grandfather bounced you on his knee) waiting for the next Leopard Update. It supposedly will fix my biggest issues!
I wish Mac and iPod etc hadn't gotten so successful. It used to be that Apple was mainly worried about keeping their customers happy now they're just trying to become Microsoft.

And I am still excited about the Super Bowl. I want to see the Patriots play.
But its been so dull so far. I mean, Plaxico Buress predicting that the Patriots will only score 17 points is hardly deeply interesting. Nor is the state of Tom Brady's ankle that fascinating.
There's no great hype, no deep analysis of each teams match-ups, that sort of thing.
I've been hearing more about commercials than the game. More about the money than the game.
Although I did just learn today that one of my Texas players signed with the Bengals! Which is great football news.

January 27, 2008

Sometimes its hard being me
Ka-Fai Wai

Hi Vista Diner - Stray Cat
Click images for desktop size: "Hi Vista Diner" by Stray Cat
With no football I got involved in some of the more usual activities of winter.
Like shoveling snow. Someone needs to write a book on this. I suppose if I'd been raised in snow and ice it would all be second nature to me, but coming to it as an alien I'm amazed how difficult I can make it, and how many different ways I can injure myself.
The Fly 1958 It seems simple but it's not. Honest. Or else I'm a bigger idiot then I ever imagined . . .
One thing that perplexes me is salt. It melts ice but then the cold freezes the salty ice . . . so I must be doing it wrong. And at 5 bucks for 40 pounds there has to be a more economical way of throwing it around, someway that will give me enough traction to not fall down when I call the dogs in but will still leave me enough for later in the week.
I guess I am an idiot. When I ask people around here about it they just stare at me blankly as if I had asked them how to walk or crawl.

I've been organizing the links page. I'm doing it in a way that will enable me to control the look of it easier later on. Right now its a mess. All the links still work but its no longer alphabetical . . . so you got to look if you want something.
I've added a "thing" to it I'm nervous about: "Snap". It cool. When you hover over a link it pops up a thumbnail of the site! Nifty.
I use Safari and Camino web browsers on my Mac. Both of them have pretty decent ad blockers that I use heavily. The ad blockers work well because I had no idea that Snap generated an "Adsense" style add underneath the thumbnail.
I don't get any money for those ads. I guess its fair payment for their service. I just don't like that.
But I like the thumbnails so I'm going to leave the page with the "Snap" code up until I finish this lynda.com course on AJAX. I'm, probably foolishly, convinced that I can do what snap does on my own and maybe even pretty it up some so that I'll like.
I guess I'm apologizing for the ads . . .
I also got to see a few movies!
I seem to always do that. Have time to see a movie . . .
Pale Pink - LC
Click images for desktop size: "Pale Pink" by LC
"Hitman" wasn't near as bad as I thought it would be. The guy they picked for the lead is pretty worthless. I can't figure what they thought he's bring to the cardboard character. The girl is cute but not very memorable.
I sort of suffered through Tim Burton's "Sweeny Todd". I know the guy made billions with "Batman" but whatever he had is gone. This was a dreadful thing. I barely watched it but I could HEAR it. Casting a musical with non-singers is the kind of thing even a first year film student would do. But, hey, Johnny Depp wasn't as dreadful as some of the others.
Then, finally, I got to see a film that maybe the best film I've seen in 2007: Johnny To and Ka-Fai Wai's "Mad Detective".
Its an inspired idea, which is what I'd expect from the guys who last made "Running On Karma". A police detective is an ambulatory schizophrenic. He is also a genius at solving crimes. No one quite knows why but he explains it as "I can see the different personalties inside people."
Grand Central Murder The guy playing the detective, Ching Wan Lau, is never less than excellent and at times rises to superb. In some ways this performance is the best screen acting job I've seen since Marlon Brando in "Last Tango In Paris".
The film has a murder mystery plot. It starts out as just a McGuffin (See Hitchcock). What the film is really about is looking inside ourselves and inside other people. The film is pailful to watch, almost as painful as it is exhilarating and astonishing.
What hurts the most is Ching's embodiment of the schizophrenic. The way he sees the world and how he protects himself from the world. Its soul numbing and far too easily identifiable (meaning its as easy to see ourselves in his performance).
The film works on moments of astonishment. I don't want to give anything away in case you seek this one out. It opens with a panorama of knives, killing knives. Then Ching is circling someone with a knife in his hands. It seems he is circling a dead pig. A bunch of cops are watching him. One whispers, "Detective Bun is working on a case."
Hold Me
Click images for desktop size: "Hold Me"
Suddenly Bun attacks the dead pig, savagely stabbing it. It falls to the ground and he hacks at it.
A headline informs us that their was a girl stabbed to death and her body found shoved into a suitcase.
Ching drags out a suitcase and puts himself into it ordering a cop to kick him downstairs. He does, down three flights of stairs, brutally bouncing the bag around until they get to the bottom. The cop unzips the suitcase and Ching gets out battered and dizzy. He gasps out, "The ice cream vendor did it. Arrest the ice cream vendor."
Another headline blares "Detective Bun Solves Another Impossible Case".
Then it is the Chief's retirement party, the other cops have given him a yappy, cute Pekinese. Ching stands in front of the Chief, visibly moved. Without a word he reaches up and cuts off his right ear and hands it to the Chief as a token of his esteem . . . " And all of that is before the final opening credits.
The film astonishes. Sometimes it appears that the characters are getting overwhelmed by the plot mechanisms instead of being exposed more fully by it.
I have to watch it again to decide.
It won't get nominated for an Oscar . . .

January 25, 2008

Let no man pull you low enough to hate him
Dr Martin Luthor King

Franklin Sisters By Richard Io
Click images for desktop size: "The Franklin Sister" by Richard Io
"With this new trial side effect include hair loss, kidney damage, liver damage, pancreatic damage etc which may result in cirrhosis, necrotic damage and diabetes. This trial causes remission in over 40% of the patients thus far treated."
"Its only stage 2 diabetes. It can be treated with a pill."
"Glucophage shown to increase probability of heart disease by 250% in diabetic patients."
"With the trauma cataracts (from a UCLA safety who managed to pry my goggles off and poke me in the eye) and the level of damage from chemo it would be best if you kept your glucose levels at near hypoglycemic levels to avoid going blind." How To Make A Monster "Diabetes is a systematic disease. It will only get worse."
I have to pay better attention.
I got to read the fine print.
It is easier to find a good doctor than it is to find a good cop. That's something, I guess.
Doctors are just people. Most of them mean well. Like for anyone its a job. Most of the time they want to put in a good days work and get home to their families, their cars, their boats and their own dreams.
Its a good thing that they don't want you to die.
Sometimes they'll put you through 600 hells to keep you alive, but I'm grateful they don't want you to die.
We're human. People can get used to anything.
I sure don't want to die now, and I didn't want to die then. I'm the kind of sap who always thinks there's something worth living for. A dog, a friend, a project. Even the sick have dreams that go beyond hope.
My blood sugars today were 8.5 which is still 4 points better than ideal but also the best its been in a few weeks. So I have hopes and dreams. Bigger dreams and bigger hopes than I thought I'd ever have a year ago.
I have plans.

I updated the site yesterday to Movable Type 4.1. It doesn't do much for me really. The custom fields might be interesting and It does do one thing that might be fun to play with. Girl Bathing by Frank Frazetta
Click images for desktop size: "Girl Bathing" by Frank Frazetta
It allows a user picture to be uploaded for writers and commenters!
Not much use here. Who wants to look at me! But it might be fun on my puppy's site! The idea of a lot of dog pictures is always tres cool.
The enhanced security is very good too. It stops almost all of the track back spam and it seems to catch all of the comment spam.
Well, it seems to think all comments are spam . . . Which is why, if you've posted a comment here and wondered why it hasn't or why it took so long to show up . . . I have to go in and pull them out.
I want to keep testing it here first before opening up my puppy's site to comments. Her site gets an amazing amount of porn and bestiality porn spam comments. I Vampiri I don't want to risk a kid stumbling upon any of that stuff.
ecto, the tool I use to update and do the layout (yes, there is some planning that goes into making this mess . . .) seems to be working even better in its latest incarnation. I've never seen a Windows developer take as much care and be as responsive to user requests as any Mac developer, and the fellow working on ecto goes even further than that.
I am almost happy with ecto!
This will be my first post with it and MT 4.1 but it seems to mesh with it fine. Every time Wordpress would update I would go through some horrendous times just trying to get everything to work. Wordpress has some advantages but I'm happy with the switch back to Movable Type.
One advantage Wordpress has is php. It would make it a lot easier to figure out how to do the Ajax and Ruby On Rails stuff I want to do. I could convert Movable Type to php but I have to consider that one long and hard . . . the price of cheap hosting service.

I'm starting to really love Leopard, the latest Macintosh permutation of OSX. There are some cool features that enable me to do what I call work easier and faster with less awareness that I'm actually at a computer. Of course it is beautiful and elegant. It has some bugs and I'm really anxious for the rumored update to come out any day now. Its supposed to be massive and deal with a lot of my grief.
Windows users, those who prefer playing with their computers rather than working through them (t least it looks that way to me) still criticize Mac's as being too simple minded . . . of course none of them have spent any time producing much other than unsubstantiated complaints and opinions they hold as pedantic facts.
Arthur Fiddler and the Beach Pops by S4W
Click images for desktop size: "The Beach Pops" by S4W

We're still doing well, my puppy and me. Our family is thriving. I am continuing my staunch war against fleas! I still don't comprehend how fleas can thrive in this cold and snow! I think I am winning.
My puppy thinks all these bathes and combings are an unfair nuisance but doesn't hold them against me.
She still thinks that I'm taking the first football free weekend out on her.
She may be right . . . Only Friday and I already feel the withdrawal!
I'll be scrapping at the Senior Bowl to get a mild fix, I suppose . . .
It isn't the same.
Still having grief with the cable not being canceled. This is insane. I guess they're saying wait until we have to disconnect you or pay us all we say, cancel and then maybe we'll deal with your justified dispute.
They need an Ombudsman

January 15, 2008

I've run away many times, but I always come back
Li Pai Chan

Cosmo Girl By Dim Po
Click images for desktop size: "Cosmo Girl" by Dim Po
In China there is an uproar, a minor scandal. Jet Li has announced he is moving his family to Singapore . . . not to LA, London or Paris, but to Singapore so that he can send his children to a school there.
The Chinese people are very upset with him.
Baby Love I've never been to mainland China. In the times in my life when I was traveling Americans weren't welcome there. The USA made it as difficult as they could as well.
I've always wanted to go there. I've longed to see Beijing and the Tennimen Square, the Forbidden City.
I was in Hong Kong when a recent traveller to the mainland told me that the halls of the Shaolin Temple were now carpeted in the cheapest linoleum.
I wanted to see it, to smell the Yangtze River. I wanted to meet the Chinese People and try to understand.
In my childhood the Chinese were presented as monsters, even more terrifying than the Communist Russians.
We nervously "allowed" them to enter the Olympics . . . Nixon travelled there to meet Mao and only returned alive thanks to his wiles, his cunning and grit.
China and Russia were implacable black spots on the globe - sinister environments where we couldn't breathe the air or survive exposure to their alien sun.
So I dreamed of visiting them often. I studied maps and decided China had to have some waves.
I am often intrigued by the loyalty, the fierce love than the Chinese feel for China. I mean, in LA all the British Pop and Movie Stars have homes, the French stars live there as well as they could. Everyone comes to LA, but not the Chinese. They come to work, to visit, to promote, to make money but they always return. They don't keep big houses here.
Jack By Lawn Elf
Click images for desktop size: "Jack" by Lawn Elf
There are huge areas of heavily Chinese populated areas in the US. They seem to mostly come from the era that was fleeing the communist take over, or they are indigenous from the old wild west days. They are homogenized and a valuable totally cool part of the US. They're people who've kept their own community strong while contributing to society as a whole.
When you talk to the old ones who weren't born here they will almost always get nostalgic and dream of the day they can return to China. They tell stories of the place, the land and the people, with a rough pride that is not blind to its faults that makes their love more apparent, adamant, tensile and real.
I get sad because I don't think I'll ever get to see China with my own eyes.
Made In The USA I've been to Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai. They aren't China. It would be like claiming to know Mexico because you've been to Tiajuana.
Bt and large Americans don't know enough about there neighbors. I've heard permutations too often of "I know Paris. I spent a week there once."
I hope you get to go there and get to tell me about it.

I'm doing okay.
My blood levels still aren't where they should be but they're not scary any more either. Just higher than they should be but not so high as to be fatal. I'm going to go blind, if I live long enough. I'm going to lose all my teeth, if I live long enough. I've decided that keeping my levels low will retard the process. I have a little bit of doctor's advice to back up that assertion. Enough to keep me preoccupied with it.
I really like my One Touch glucose meter. Its easier to use and less harsh on my fingertips (from the blood letting, you know.) Thank you BB KING!!
My broken toe is mending. I took my tape splint off today. It hurts but not killingly so.
I've decided to stop studying the site stats so intently. At first I was just fascinated with the inconceivable numbers and stuff. And whenever a location came up in Japan or Texas or LA or some such I'd try and figure out who it was that I knew there and having found the site if they'd write to me and re-establish contact. A brief meeting of old friends as it were.
Frank Brunner
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Frank Brunner
But then all those swirling numbers started to get me paranoid. “This person lives to close! Why are they spending so much time!?!? What are they looking for?!?! ME!?!?!
Most of the time they're either searching for Captain America pics, or Bebe Neuwirth . . . I'm not kidding about that last one. She's the woman who played Lilith on "Cheers", "Frazier" and the lawyer on the only failed "Law & Order" spin off. She generates an amazing amount of traffic here . . . I should start a fan site . . . or someone who's a fan should . . .
So with my usual deadhead skills I've decided that I'm just going to ignore all those fascinating numbers.
They are perplexing to me anyway. I get three sets. One set says I average about 900 visitors a day! The other set about 800! And the 3rd set, the one I use in the number count at the bottom about 130. I'll stick with the conservative one.
Of course the numbers on my puppy's web site make mine look inconsequential at best.
One thing I've noticed about the numbers is that a large number of people don't have wide screen displays. I do so most of the stuff I make, save or collect tends to be wide screen. But I've been trying for the past few days to include an SD desktop/wallpaper each day.

January 9, 2008

Remember just getting by is okay too

Hardcore Hentai by Anonymous
Click images for desktop size: "Hardcore Hentai" by Anonymous
Just a day.
I miss the snow. I was getting used to it. It all melted and now everything looks just normal. That doesn't do me much good.
Modesty Blaise I do seem to be able to avoid falling down quite a bit easier but thats not much off a fair exchange.
Feeling like I was walking in some new alien world everyday was worth the nicks and bruises.
My broken toe is healing. Its a nice mottled purple today. The blackness has retreated. It hurts some but I can walk. My biggest fear is not being able to walk. I guess it equates to most people's fears of their car breaking down.
As long as my puppy and I can walk I figure we can get anywhere . . . eventually.

ecto, the blogging/posting tool I like is up to beta 20!
Its improving and I almost trust it. Its amazing how many words this app has flushed down the toilet. I doubt if it was ever a loss.
Being a beta tester has a lot of pluses. I'm learning a lot of the power of this tool. Its all simple stuff, but its stuff I probably wouldn't have ever used. I still don't use most of what it offers. I don't need most of that kind of power.
I just like it to help me do the layout, and keep everything from being repetitive xhtml coding. It is doing that okay so far. That makes me happy.

I took my puppy and the big dog who broke my toe for a walk to the store today. I was limping and when you show a big dog a sign of weakness . . .
Having good traction disrupted most of his plans for me.
We met a Belgian Sheepdog mix in the neighborhood. She was being walked by an older woman and we were both excited to meet another black dog face to face! My puppy was prettier . . .
Pretense Of Innocence By Mo
Click images for desktop size: "Pretense Of Innocence" by Mo
I like meeting friendly people with friendlier dogs.
At the store I tied the dogs to a bicycle rack, which was tired to a concrete filled 3x3x4 metal box. I took 2 steps away and the big dog decided I was abandoning him. I turned in time to catch the bike rack at my chest and to kick the metal box away before it hit a parked van.
Of course I kicked it away with the foot with the broken toe.
A bystander said, "Hey, you're pretty fast! Good job!" Turns out it was his van.
I got everything put back in place while holding on to both dogs. I then found a nearby tree and tied them to that. Another bystander said, I hope jokingly, "Do you think that's strong enough to hold him?"

Other than that its just been a day like any other.
Did watch a movie. Ben Affleck's "Gone Baby Gone".
La Prisonnivre I tend not to like Ben Affleck. No reason. The main reason, I think, is that I confuse him with Ben Stiller who I have a strong dislike for.
When I get them straight in my head Affleck reminds me of this guy I know, Kevin.
Kevin worked for me, he was a big burly good looking guy. Quiet in a brutish kind of way but affable enough and not given to a lot of talking.
One day he gave me a nicely offset printed magazine. It was a poetry magazine and he edited and printed it himself.
"None of my junk's in there. Nothing good enough for this issue," was all he said when he sort of jammed it at me.
I liked it. A couple of them I still remember. I told him this and he just grunted at me and never mentioned it again. There was just always a new issue in my mail box.
Anyway Affleck's movie is pretty good. Its too complicated about Boston and child molesters and baby stealing. Dark stuff. Handled darkly.
Everything is intro'd nicely. The acting is all very good. particularly Ed HArris and, of course, Morgan Freeman. But then the plot gets so complicated and twisty that I couldn't figure out what the movie was trying to say, if anything.

January 6, 2008

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.
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.

January 1, 2008

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.

December 30, 2007

Could I Just Take A Break Here?

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.

December 28, 2007

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

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?
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.
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!

December 25, 2007

And so it was

Stranded by Richard Mohler
Click images for desktop size: "Stranded" by Richard Mohler
It was a good Christmas.
We went out just before midnight. Ben, the little blind dog, my puppy, and me. We walked for about 40 minutes in the nice cold air.
We looked at lights and met two people. Its a pretty small town.
When Worlds Collide One was a gawky teen. He wasn't dressed warmly enough, but he was dressed well. He looked like he'd just lost his girlfriend. He mumbled a reply to our Merry Christmas and Ben barked at him.
The other fellow we met was in shirt sleeves and hopping in his car. We Merry Christmased him and he looked startled and sort of waved back.
Its not that small a town.
When we got home all the dogs had their doggie style bread pudding. They wanted more.
Opening of presents was exciting for the puppies. Their eyes bugged out of their heads so far they looked more like some amphibian than dogs.
They killed all the toys post haste and clamoured for more treats.
It was good and felt like all Christmases should. Better than many a Christmas I've had.
Until my friend's mother called. Her mother told her that the person who had hurt her most in this world was coming over for Christmas.
In my usual heavy fisted way I thought the only way to handle things was through confrontation.
I don't always know what's right for others. Only what's right for me. And that's what I would have done. I wouldn't let people keep wounding me.
Until little Ben started to hack and tremble. I held him for about an hour and willed death away from him. I kept massaging him and heimliching him and just doing whatever I could.
We thought about calling the vet but knew that their solution would be to put him down. He's blind and has allergies. He looks bad but he still enjoys life. He really does.
It was a hard decision, so it seemed best to just keep ministering to him.
Tiger Or Snake
Click images for desktop size: "Tiger Or Snake" by Evegny
With far less drama he just recovered. Hopped/fell off my lap, as is his custom, and everything was, tense, but fine.
He demanded some treats and went about his live, his nerves less frayed then ours.
We watched "The Bucket List". It was okay with one superb line, "The last 3 months of his life were the best of mine." It felt awfully contrived. Two good actors couldn't quite pull off that stunt; to make it feel natural and flowing.
Then I watched "Body And Soul", the stunning John Garfield boxing movie. That might seem an off choice for Christmas but I find the movies message of hope, self reliance and love completely apropos.
Finally we watched Judy Holiday's "Born Yesterday". She makes me laugh.
Earth vs The Flying Saucers Some where in there I had my traditional Christmas dinner. A 99 cent frozen thing.
It started in Texas when I shared it with my dog Ethel. It was a belak time and that dinner, that I couldn't afford, seemed magical and wonderful.
After Ethel died it was a way to stay connected to the dog who chose me.
As my puppy and I shared it, it felt different this year.
I still haven't sorted out the feelings. It reminded me deeply of that wonderful dog, but made me more keenly aware of the dogs here who love me, near as much as I love them.
I have to think about this more.
So Christmas isn't over yet!
Its felt good and celebatory. Not raucously so. I haven't been raucously so for a long time.

One thing I did was near completion of transfering the site to Movable Type.
Its nearly completed.
A lot of the chores were difficult. Getting the search function working was the hardest thing.
The most tedious part was correcting the errors caused by the export/import process.
I had to re-read a lot of my life in a very jumbled order.
That was okay.
I saw a lot of things I didn't like. That's okay too.

December 23, 2007

Everybody deserves

Merry Christmas
Click images for desktop size: "Merry Christmas"
I know a guy.
He was the sort of guy who shaves everyday with a straight razor.
He told me that, for two years he started each day staring in the mirror, waiting for the soap to soften his beard, He ran a little mantra over and over in his head: "I hate my life and I hate my wife."
For two years . . .
He called me Christmas Eve 1986. He said he was out getting the final touches for Christmas and he couldn't face the idea of going home again.
Elvis Presley GI Blues I don't know why he called me. I listened and said what you'd be expected to say to a crying man on Christmas Eve.
He didn't go home.
I saw him again.
Boxing Day 1996, in the Cologne Valley. We were at an American Football Tournament.
He recognized me. I wouldn't have known him. He'd put on 30 pounds and had a scraggly beard.
The wife he left was a blonde with perfectly manufactured breasts and blonde hair that seemed to be made of rayon. She was 28 but to me she looked like she was 42 trying to look 22.
We get a lot like that in LA. I think its the sun and the fear and the worlds most physically attractive flocking in every day.
Anyway, he introduced me to his new wife. She was polynesian and had one of those names out of a boggle box, "Just call me Wren."
Wren was about 5'2" and weighed about 200 pounds. She looked solid as a nose tackle. She made me laugh.
This guy didn't ask me about my life. He still had a lot of the straight razor shaver in him. He told me how happy he was now.
He did look happier.
He said he'd be in touch. But I never heard from him. I didn't expect to.
We were different people.
All we had left in common between us was a Christmas from a period both if us wanted to forget.

The year before the black Christmas my friend and hair stylist played Power Golf. For the last time my little family had done Christmas morning and they'd gone back to bed. So I did a Christmas Morning Surf Trek. It was a sloppy day. Three foot and choppy, but it still felt good to hit the waves. It made for a cool Yulesville.
Christmas Card
Click images for desktop size: "Christmas Card -2006"
After that I met my buddy at the golf course. We were insane, you see.
Its kind of funny we were even friends. He used to run with the Billionaire Boys Club crowd and I, I was just a surfer. We were friends though.
We were well known for our slogan, "we wish of all of our friends success. (a beat) So they won't borrow money from us.
Its not as cynical as it first seems, the assumption should be that we'd loan you the money.
Anyway we needed to play golf for business. We liked the game but found it slow so we invented our own rules.
Basically you carried your clubs on your back and ran to the ball after each stroke. There were penalties for being the last to sink your putt.
Harvey Giels (Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas) We made quite a sight I'd guess, on a sunny Christmas day, running all over the green fairways stopping just long enough to smash the ball and then pursuing it again.
That was the day my buddy asked me to be the best man at his wedding.

I gave my puppy a bath today.
She hates baths. She's always so good but she still lets you know how she feels.
I like that and everything else about her.

This doesn't have anything to do with the holiday.
I'm very happy with the new host. For one thing everything works. I did discover something alarming.
25,000 times a day various websites (mainly myspace and hi5) were hot linking to the images here. In the 6 days we've been on the new site we've used nearly 3 gig of bandwidth with a third of that going to people hot linking to here. I had to stop it because some of the sites I found to be alarming and I really don't want anyone to think I approved.
Some of the sites were just dead.
I put up an error message, if they bother to look, so that when the image comes back as forbidden, they can see instructions on how to put the picture up on there site without forcing me to pay for extra bandwidth.
It seems petty of me but . . .

December 20, 2007

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas

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

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

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

December 19, 2007

If you can hear this

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

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

December 18, 2007

Its time we said goodbye

Wild About Christmas
Click images for desktop size: "Wild About Christmas - Christmas Card 2005"
This will be my last post on Dot5hosting.
I'm not thrilled about that but it was becoming impossible. It took three hours of holding and 9 hours of waiting for "Live Chat" to find out how to transfer my domain . . . and they lied to me the first time . . . Its sorted now.
It Happened One Night I'll be putting through the name change as soon as I finish here. They say it will take 24-48 hours to "propogate" and then, like magic, you'll be at the new host.
It should be invisible to everyone out there.
Its 9 bucks a month with the new hosting service until I decide I'm staying with it. I can't affordd it but the kids reading my puppy's site are worth more than that.
It will warm me on Christmas, for sure.

If I needed affirmation that it was time to move I got it. The server is down . . . at least it gave me the time to add on this little lobby card . . .

This is fascinating. Tucows, who I always thought of as an online software reseller, are the Registrars of my domain name. They are as bad as dot5hosting! My domain isn't being released to point to the new server. No reason, just apathy, I guess. It's not moving . . . Law says they have 7 BUSINESS days to release it . . . it is usually done on an automated system but Tucows likes to hold on to them . . . I can imagine some ugly fiscal reasons for this, but I suspect its really just not caring.

December 17, 2007

Could you hand me the left handed monkey wrench?

Christmas Advert 1972
Click images for desktop size: "Christmas Advert 1972" by Coca Cola
Just got the new water heater. Two hours (approx) to a hot shower!
No headaches from washing my hair in cold water. I think that's a pretty good thing.
Bugs Bunny Christmas Yesterday, aside from watching some modestly enjoyable football, I worked on updating the site, prepping for the move to Movable Type.
The hosting service is becoming totally aggravating. I've been using them for 2 and a half years. I picked them because Dot5 Hosting was and still is the cheapest hosting service out there. Domain registration and service is about seventy bucks a year!
At first they were adequate. They had fits and outages, but they remained barely adequate.
This year I debated about moving to another service but they were talking about getting new servers in and updating things. Mainly its just such a chore backing up the data bases, reinstalling, downloading the whole site, then reinstalling it, then figuring out why it doesn't work etc etc.
In the last 7 months the service has been horrendous! Coming from a background of free servers, well it was worse than that. Customer service got moved to India . . . so where I used to be able to call or do an online chat and ask the guy to reboot the server now I have someone giving me answers out of a book until they don't understand what I'm talking about.
They pass me off to a Senior Tech . . . which means I get an email a couple days later and nothing changes or gets fixed.
I was trying to live with the service. I spent a lot of time converting everything to Movable Type.
Movable Type works by using perl to create an html page. Html pages load faster than php. It puts less strain on the server.
Movable Type normally generates the pages in about .015 seconds per page. I had about 500 pages to generate. On free servers it could take about 10 minutes! On my wonky service it took about 32 hours. And it had to be monitored becasue it would suddenly fail.
Santas Treats - Christmas Card 2005
Click images for desktop size: "Santa's Treats - Christmas Card 2006"
I've decided to change hosting services . . .
This wouldn't be so bad if I were getting paid for it . . .
I guess you're worth it.
Sure you are.
The page your looking at is Movable Type. I hope you noticed that it loaded really really fast!
There's still some glitches and cosmetic things I have to sort out. I'm putting in the links one at a time . . . I know that's important to a lot of people. I'll try and get to them . . .
It was my original plan to make the move around Christmas, maybe even on to a new server! But the database for WordPress got corrupted. I had a back up!!! Which is close to miraculous . . . for me anyway.
Hopefully all of this will be invisible to you. It won't affect my puppy's blog at all.
Flash Gordon 1938 Her blog is important. A lot of kids sem to love her. They at least write to her.
That's important to me.

Onto to football. The games were poor but the scores were exciting. I loved seeing Philadelphia rise up angry, and seeing the Redskins make a strong stand behind the old discarded veteran is engaging theater. I went 10-5 and managed to rise up to 1,793. 14 points out of first place with two weeks to go . . . and I'm optimistic . . .

There was an amazing amount of snow yesterday and last night. I am becoming an expert snow shovellor . . . No, really!
I even hurt myself badly today. Just my back killing me. I had to clear the driveway so the hot water heater guys could come in. I was having fun until I hurt myself. I was singing Christmas songs and I'm sure I was being a neighborhood nuisance. Why people don't want to hear an acapella doo wop version of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer with exertion grunts in rhythm escapes me.
No one complained, if they had I would try and teach them the harmony parts or let them sing lead while I did the harmony.
No one does harmony anymore. Maybe they've heard me sing . . .
All else is well.
I think there's enough hot water for me to take a shower.
Some of you might say I even need one.
That would be unkind.

December 14, 2007

Hi de hoe hiddy hi hoe, I'm Hardrock, I'm Coco, I'm Joe
Remembered Christmas Cartoon

Christmas In The Park
Click images for desktop size: "Christmas In The Park" by Unknown
Feeling pretty good, got good music on my iPod.
Hearing from friends always helps on that front. And it should.
Listening to too much Christmas Music. Even enjoying stuff I normally don't like, like George Jones's Christmas tune, My Mom and Santa Claus. So you know the holiday's fast approaching.
The Man Who Returned To Life It depresses me slightly, just slightly enough to not put a damper on my good feelings, but it does bring me down a bit to be the recipient of so many good wishes when all I can do is smile in return.
I hope that's enough.
The one Christmas gift I am giving this year arrived today. It works. It made me giddy happy to give it.

The transition from Wordpress to Movable Type is going easier than anticipated. More Thanks to Movable Type than Wordpress.
I've even gotten all the links exported over. Some of them look a little bit gnarly and there's all sorts of goofy stuff off but it's shaping up.
I don't think anyone cares about the "brass tacks" of doing this. Most people are concerned about the why of it.
Both Wordpress and Movable Type are "free". This is pretty recent for Movable Type. One of the cool things is that Wordpress is open source.
That's also the problem. The code is a mess and getting more and more kludged up. No one is cleaning up the code, they seem to just keep building. Also there seems to be no one concerned about legacy.
Like the way I designed this site to only have one column, all the junk that's in the side bar is up in that little menu up top. "Links" doesn't work anymore. They changed the code, all the identifiers etc. And I can't sort through the code and find what they did! Not many comments and I follow a trail only to find its been killed far down the line.
Nutcracker Troop
Click images for desktop size: "Nutcracker Troop" by Unknown
For all I know my layout may be impossible.
They have plenty of support on the Wordpress forums but too often its of the "that's the way it is, pard'ner" variety.
I like to fiddle with it myself and I am an idiot about this stuff. Stupid enough to think playing around with it is fun!
The other drawback, for me, to Wordpress is that the xmlrpc does odd things. I can understand it. They wanted to make a kit that anyone could take out of the box and start working, always giving satisfactory results.
I admire that. Its not what I want for me.
Movable Type has its own issues. It can be extraordinarily complicated and befuddling.
I still have no idea what a module does, why they exist or why I need them.
It works in this odd piecemeal fashion (so does Wordpress but to a far lesser extent). Each part of the page is segregated out. The body, the entry, the headers, the banner. And they have their own in house names for tags.
The Meanest Man In The World Where <$php include this?> works in all php files (Wordpress is php if I hadn't mentioned it) Movable type uses something like <$MTIncludeMTNameYoudNeverThinkOf$> which has requirements of before and after tags and complicated rules on nesting.
If your stubborn enough, you can make it work exactly the way you want it to. Boy, you have to be stubborn. Its also real easy to completely trash the whole site with a single misplaced tag.
They are a charge for it company, but they still try and make everything work out of the box. Again what they offer out of the box isn't exactly what I want.
I am stubborn though and, I'm told, naturally crabby.
But the main reason for the change is my cruddy hosting service.
WIth Wordpress and php when you request a page in your browser the server builds the page for you when you ask for it!
This is a rather pretty thing to think of. Its made just for you!
That puts a lot of strain on a server, hits a lot of cpu cycles. The cruddy hosting service just watches the cpu hit 100% until it dies.
When you've got 262 customers on your server and 60 of them are doing php request (like most forums are MYSql and php based) everything dies, the server drops the connection and everyone figures I've closed down the site.
Merry Christmas - Sarah Michelle Gellar
Click images for desktop size: "Merry Christmas" by Sarah Michelle Gellar
With Movable Type the perl scripts create an html page.
HTML is the easiest thing for a server to handle. I've timed it and it takes at least one half the time for the page to load, and often 3 to 4 faster than the Wordpress page.
The hiccups come when I'm creating the page . . . but its easier for me to curse my cruddy server than to put you through it. And boy it drops a lot, usually in the middle of things . . .
I had set a deadline of New Years to get the move made. I'll make that easily. I might even make it before Christmas and just let the kittle cosmetic imperfections to dwindle as time goes by.
I'm still using ecto to post. Its improving, but not fast enough!

December 8, 2007

I've never liked a woman enough before to give her 12 sharp knives
Michael O'Donahue

The Lady Of Shalott By John Waterhouse
Click images for desktop size: "The Lady Of Shallot" by John Waterhouse
I have been developing skills I didn't realize I had.
Snow shoveling skills.
I think snow shoveling skills are pretty much taken for granted around here. There's about 4 inches of snow on top of 2 to 3 inches of ice.
No one seems to much notice or care. I nearly get killed walking to the mail box. Ordered To Love Walking my puppy becomes an experiment in terror.
Fortunately for her, and for me I suppose, I like terror.
So, I've become a snow shoveler. This was only because it became apparent that no good hearted kids were going to show up and do it for me. Not even Elves.
Anything I could say about snow shoveling would make me sound like a fool; or even worse, like a rank amateur.
The only real skill I have in it being an innate ability to hurt myself. But, and here's the real clue to success, never to hurt myself badly enough to actually stop!
I think I am perfecting it enough to make it an acknowledged art form so I can apply for federal funding.
I do a lot of dancing around grabbing various body parts, which my puppy and my dogs all take as a sign of great fun to come. I tweak my back and every joint in my body just two points past the smiley chart of discomfort, just enough to know it will really hurt later, at least by the next morning. All the while I'm extending myself just enough to be sore and tired but NOT enough to actually warm myself! That's a real skill.
Why it doesn't snow when its about 60 is a mystery only God and religous philosophers can ponder with any hope of results.
As I carve my uneven and winding dirty path I note that I have a gift for dumping the dirty snow I've just removed into a slushy pile that I will invariably step into or, even better, I've put the pile in a place that I will have to climb over it to accomplish one of my more mundane chores.
Snow Flakes
Click images for desktop size: "Snow Flakes" by Unknown
I think I was bred in California (SOUTHERN California) for a reason.
What worries me greatly is that my puppy and I are both having fun.
I get the impression we are certainly entertaining the neighbors . . .
I've also noticed that I do not have a good selection of music on my iPod that works at all for cold weather and snow. This is an odd discovery and I don't know if it has weight or not.
My impressions, surf music works - especially when we stand and watch kids sled or snow board, Rob Zombie does not. Rap doesn't, pop does. Doo wop works the best, heavily distorted guitar solo's the worst.
I may be onto a new marketing ploy here, or I may not appreciate music properly when my hands and ears are numb.

Phantom From Space I'm giving serious thought to opening up the comments section of my puppy's and my blog here.
I shut them off, or screened them heavily because of a) comment spam (beastiality ads on my puppy's site number about 500 a month) b) People - I normally like people but not all the time, not when they're being hurtful and they remain strangers c) My cheap but poor server.
a - can be handled with some Movable Type plug-ins. Kids like to talk to my puppy and I'd like them to be able to freely, and even talk to each other. My current system of giving out my puppy's e-mail address and restricting commenting by blocking all but her freinds and family's ip's works but it lacks elegance and feels chained.
b - I'm in a place now where I can cope with the vindictive out here. I have a bipolar attitude towards anonymous love and hatred. The full reality is that I don't care but it distresses people I do care about. Its my biggest consideration.
c - is all logistics. This site is based on WordPress, which is php based. I like open source projects, the idea of them anyway. WordPress code is something of a jumbled mess. They keep improving it without ever going back and cleaning up the code. It could be slimmed down. But the bigger issue is that my cheap but cruddy hosting service freaks out at processing all the php code. Php and cgi do put a lot of load on a cpu, and with a hundred or so sites on a shared server, all running php it bogs things down dramatically.
Stones By Corbis
Click images for desktop size: "Stones" by Corbis
Movable type is perl based. My hosting service freaks out at cgi scripts, but Movable Type creates an html page which even the cruddiest server can display with little grief.
In other words I'll have to deal with the grief on my end but it will be invisible to you.
Movable Type is a pro product actually meant for something much bigger than my wants. The biggest pain in the neck is setting it up. I've been working at it, dawdling at it for a couple years now. I may now have my impetus for speeding ahead.

We're going to put up Christmas decorations today . . . I'm wondering how much I can hurt myself doing that . . .
Detour I'm feeling a bit poorly, nothing bad enough to illicit sympathy, but badly enough to want to sit quietly. No one is allowed to sit quietly when they have puppies!
My puppy has an exam tomorrow, for obedience!! I hope she passes. I wanted her to start focusing so we can go to a Therapy Dog Class and get her accredited for this area.
They don't allow dogs in hospitals here!! Fear of lawsuits for spreading infection! MY PUPPY DOES NOT SPREAD INFECTION, although I might.
She'll get to go to retirement homes and maybe some kid things. We'll see.
As to my iPod, one group that works summer, spring, fall and winter are Jan & Dean. Frosty The Snowman can even become a klazzik hit in their nimble hands.

December 4, 2007

In the cool cool cool of the evening

Diamond Warrior by M Parkes
Click images for desktop size: "Diamond Warrior" by Michael Parkes
I got to see the Patriots - Ravens game last night.
Quality high drama.
It was thrilling seeing the Ravens rise up and play the game they always imagined they could play. Seeing Ravens LB, Ray Lewis, defend passes was inspirational. It felt like a magic in the air.
I Passed For White While, selfishly, I'd like to see the Patriots go undefeated its from a pure aesthetic stand point, I have no emoptional committment to any NFL team. Its enjoying art for art's sake.
So, for me, it was merely exciting seeing a mediocre team rise up and turly play like this one game was their Super Bowl.
Its part of the magic that an undefeated team brings to the stadium. By the dint of their accomplishments they make their opponents rise up and exceed their potential.
The final three minutes were a combination of the Patriots greatness and the Ravens mediocrity. They virtually willed themselves to lose.
I could have dealt with that. What was disappointing was that they didn't show the class they displayed on the field after the game. They finger pointed and blamed the refs. As I thought the Ravens played incredibly well and incredibly dirty blaming the refs seemed pathetic and undermined what they'd left out on the field.
It turned a marvelous effort into something less than a game.
What I saw on the field made me feel privileged to be able to understand the game. It was a beautiful effort from both sides.
I've never played pro ball so I don't know how pro's take these things. it was a gut wrenching loss, for sure, and a narrow escape for the Patriots. But as a college player, even a high school player some one would have come down hard for voicing that sort of silly opinion,
Like I said, I never played pro ball so I wouldn't really know.
My step-father did. He was a jerk too. So, who knows what's acceptable anyway.
Click images for desktop size: "Alpine" by Cannibalized
I'm using the new beta of ecto to post this. A few of the improvements I suggested are in it. That feels modestly cool, ya know?
Its still giving me fits.
I feel confident they'll be worked out, unless I get so frustrated with it and check it before hand.

Only other thing of note is started my meager Christmas shopping.
I don't much like crowds but I like the feeling of it all.
To understand hating crowds you need to be in Oxford Circus, London to understand how a crowd can become an ugly monster with an independent life.
I like Christmas music too much, often the wilder or sillier the better. Like Buck Owen's - Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy.
And if that's not obvious enough I don't know what else to do . . .

December 3, 2007

There's nothing to fear here

In His Fathers Footsteps Steve Paxton
Click images for desktop size: "In His Father's Footsteps" by Coffee Lover (Steve Paxton)
Yesterday was a disaster with my NFL picks.

Which was not as worrisome as the horrendous BCS schedule.

Illinois in the Rose Bowl?

Ohio State vs LSU?

Grimms Fairy Tales For Adults It feels like all the games have that ghastly pallor.

It could have been an exciting Bowl Season but this slate of games just feels like an out of conference schedule. Maybe I'll get caught up in the hype later but right now I don't think any legends will be born on this New Year's Day.

I've been called out twice for a bad habit of mine: concealing links.

I do it like this: "There's a song that I look forward to every Christmas. Its silly but I like it. The Marquees - Christmas In The Congo is an innocent seeming sly number. That you can dance to."

I don't call any attention to the link so to hear it or download it you have to get "lucky" and have your cursor hover over the link to even know its there.

I have no problem with that. In fact, I like people suddenly discovering little things. Little things that break through the conundrums of the day to show a tiny speck of straight white light, a light that seems almost private and just between too anonymous people.

I can see it could be annoying to some, maybe to many, so I'll give it some thought. But how can you be annoyed at missing something you didn't know existed?

Maybe you just worry you should go through and hover over everything?

I've not a lot to say.

I am having some kind of interesting fun playing with the new ecto as each new beta comes out. Makes me want to post stuff.

I notice that the blog thing has sort of petered out. I thought it had gotten to big, when bloggers started to get White House Press Credentials I was worried.

Click images for desktop size: "Christmas Ornament"
I liked the "reporting" blogs when they worried about their community and wrote blistering harangues against a counsellor or alderman who refused to put up a stop sign at a dangerous intersection.

I liked them when some timid person tried to share some knowledge, give some insight into something new they'd learned.

I liked it when people shared the stories they encountered everyday, the little stories that touched them, especially when they didn't know where it had touched them.

I even liked the blogs that have become supplanted by tweeterific, you know, the ones where someone posted about 30 times a day. It gave a shape to understanding someone else's life and that is a great thing.

I never liked the political blogs where people spoke down to each other and ranted about opinions as if they were facts.

I think that people used to like this blog because of the pictures. I hope that. House Of Wax I think people liked to read the words here when they were filled with despair. I've had my share of desperation. I don't know if its more or worse than any others.

Right now things are not great. I'm concerned but not worried. Its one of those times when things are disastrously wrong and all my recent decisions should be questioned.

I'm not questioning them.

I accept them as being right for then and for the future.

See, everyone is allowed to be happy, even when its at the wrong time.

If that weren't so no man would walk to the gallows with a smile on his face.

That last sentence is hyperbole, of course. Because I'm happy I think things will work out even if working out means it takes Quasimodo swinging from the Cathedral Spires, swooping in and plucking me from the executioner's fire.

You see, I have hope.

November 27, 2007

This is just a test

Eye Test
This is just a test, really.
Just a test.
Looking to replicate some errors with line breaks. Double Indemnity Nothing to see here.
The developer of ecto has responded to one of my querelous emails and asked me to provide some data so he could fix the problems I'm having.
I'm pretty happy about that, since this is a beta and its running on Leopard, a brand new OS, some problems are to be expected. Its always nice that a developer cares enough to try and get things right.
In Windows apps I seldom had this sort of response . . . except in free ware. I still have a few Macintosh apps that are going screwy with no fixes in sight, so I'm happy to try and get this fixed.
I mean, I could live without ecto and still get everything done like I want it done here, but it becomes a much more time consuming and annoying task.
Still recovering from my cold.
Still watching snow fall.
Still happy and still optimistic.
I can't think of anything else to say.
Just move along, please.
Move along.
This is just a test.
Its hard being anything but self consciously droll when trying to just fill up space.
Story of too many lives I suppose.

November 26, 2007

Nobody walks in L.A.
Terry Bozzio

I Am The Future by J Beuys
Click images for desktop size: I Am The Future" by J Beuys
I'm still messing around with ecto, my blog posting tool that has issues running under Leopard.
Mainly it messes up and I have to recreate the whole post by hand, which is time consuming and certainly robs any sense of creativity and spontaneity, as well as any sense of humor. Its not that big a deal. I just never want to be taken too seriously.
ecto (the small e is part of the name - I don't know why) is up to beta 11 here, which means its worth another shot.Lady Frankenstein
We'll have to see, I guess.
I've been told that I'm supposed to post my football guesses on Sunday morning and not earlier, so that will become the new norm.
I've also been told that many of you enjoyed the odd synchronistic story about the Krantz's and movies.
I don't know what to make about that.

One thing I've been noticing is that I'm not reading as much as usual. I think that has to do with not taking the bus into work every day.
I used to like that part of it; iPod on, book or newspaper open, dark glasses on. I figure I looked either extremely cool or delightfully freaky. (We all kid ourselves one way or another.)
There's one series of books I read: The Destroyer. There's like 150 of them now.
They're an odd thing. Ultra-violent, sickeningly brutal, sometimes profound and usually immensely funny. Far funnier, to my mind, than any of the Terry Pratchett Disc World books.
They concern absurdist 'saving the world" plots and a strange permutation of martial arts: Sinanju.
What makes them funny and makes me enjoy them is characters that have been defined over 150 books. They were pretty funny at the out set.
There is Remo Williams, the Destroyer himself. He's a confused orphan who is the student of Chuin. It seems that as Remo gains more and more skills in Sinanju his IQ drops more and more. Citrus Fruits by Apple Inc
Click images for desktop size: "Citrus Fruit" by Apple Inc
I suspect this reflects more the physical and mental state of the authors, but it makes it funny. Its a genuine dumbness, not cloddish or too heavy handed.
His teacher is a 100 year old Korean who is racist, intolerant, arrogant, narcissistic, obnoxious and lovable. He is intensely loyal to a personal creed and wondrously happy in life.
Its the interplay between them and the way the authors have to come up with new ways for them to display their super-human powers that creates the humor and keeps the books from being turgid examples of machismo yearning.
Island Of Lost Souls The book series spawned a movie, (Remo WIlliams: The Destroyer - starring an engaging Fred Ward and a confusing Joel Gray as the 100 year old Korean . . . ), at least 3 series of comic books, a TV pilot and well, this is where the story kicks in.
I discovered the Destroyer series in an odd way.
During my Black Days and Black Nights I couldn't stand to stay in the empty house. It caused me bleak depressing pain and was filled with my personal ghosts. It was sucking me into some place that people aren't supposed to go.
I rented a condo on the Wilshire Miracle Mile. It was okay, I guess. It had a gorgeous view and allowed my dog to live there.
My dog and eye wandered around and found plenty of parks. Our favorite place was the Beverly Hills Golf Club after dark. It got ruined for me when my dog caught and killed a rabbit. It shows my state of mind that I got angry with her for killing the little thing, instead of taking responsibility for letting her run loose,letting her chase things. I didn't even admire the fact that she was nearly fully recovered from the accident.
Part of it was hating living in an apartment, even an expensive one. I hated the feel of being surrounded by humanity, a humanity that, at the moment, I despised.
I hated the long dead sleepless nights where I'd hear lonesome footsteps above or below me and hear the toilet flush.
I escaped by going to do my laundry.
For some unknown reason this condo had a pool, gym and weight room on the roof. Which seemed odd to me but even odder was the fact that the laundry room was up there too. In fact the laundry room offered an unparalleled view of west LA, especially at night.
Moon Over Mandelbrot by Stag
Click images for desktop size: "Moon Over Mandlebrot" by Stag
Equally odd, to me, was that there was a free lending library. Just a large bookcase where tenants would dump whatever books they'd been reading. Sort of take one - leave one, sort of thing.
I'd look through it with the eyes of a miser. Free but I was too busy to waste my time reading duff. Too busy, sleeping fitfully 1 or 2 hours a night. Too busy hating.
In the shelf were about 20 of the Destroyer books. Along with several hundred romance novels and the bad tips from the New York times lists.
I grabbed a Destroyer. Read it in about 90 minutes. Decided it was drek, badly written drek.
I read all 20 of them in less than 2 weeks.
My biggest mistake was I kept returning them. I should have kept them.
The Burning Question 1936 I remembered them.
As all things do the black mood passed.
I survived it, scarred but survived it.
I had two friends Chuck and John. They were a couple. Chuck was a talented artist. Worked as the art director for a lot of A-List pop acts. Eventually he ended up as the personal secretary for Elizabeth Taylor.
John was about 30 years older than Check. He was old Hollywood.
If you were from LA you'd know what that meant. If you're not I don't know how I can explain it. John worked in movies and knew everybody, but the everybody he knew, well, like me - half of them are dead and the rest haven't worked in 20 years.
Chuck and John were always looking to break free, to beat the system and be rich, lying on white beaches with pina coladas perpetually filled and always within reach.
They had an idea which now seems ahead of their time. They decided to produce an audio book, but not just a straight reading, but to have a narrator and to have each of the characters in the book voiced by a distinct actor. Basically taping a play, or rather an unadapted radio play straight from the book.
I'd listened to several of their plans before. This one seemed to have more merit than most. (Crazy exercise machines, bootleg concert T-Shirts etc)
I was encouraging.
Pirates Logo
Click images for desktop size: "Pirate's Logo" by Unknown
They wanted to do a series of books, so they could slam them out one after the other.
John would direct, Check would cast and I would engineer . . .
Somehow I mentioned the Destroyer books, told them an abridged version of what I just wrote.
They actually negotiated the rights to make the thing.
One thing about the Old Hollywood guys, they could always put together a deal.
They got an old friend of theirs, Roddy McDowell, to narrate. This was a full circle thing as McDowell played Chuin in the TV pilot of the Destroyer.
The rest of the cast were all friends and people they wanted as friends.
It was great fun. It felt like the old days to me. A bunch of people with nothing in common but a magnificent enticing dream.
The Big Store We taped in an equity waiver theater where I had friends down on Gower, which meant that we got to spend breaks with the guys from Zoetrope and Paramount. It made it feel good.
As usual I have no idea what the finished product was like. I knew I was magnificent. taped it on 16 track for the reading, and 32 track for the music stings and the sound effects.
One modest experiment was to reserve two tracks for a binaural recording. Binaural is using a styrofoam head and placing the mikes at each ear. This works great when you're wearing headphones as it actually places you center stage of the whole shebang.
I don't even know if the production was a success. Probably not. Chuck is the sort of guy who would have sought me out if he owed me money. (We all worked deferred salary.)
But the whole point of it is that a crappy series of funny books saved my life.
The whole episode kept me alive and willing to move forward.
That's something, I think. And not something many books have done for anyone.

November 19, 2007

Art for art's sake

Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Odilon Redon
Sometimes I think I'm anxious to post in the blog because I've found some pictures I like and I want other people to see them.
I get asked about the pictures a lot.
Usually by someone wanting to use them for something or other. Most of the time people just "hot-link" to them. That eats up my bandwidth so I have to change the name of the pic slightly so it doesn't link here anymore.
Most of the pictures are from people I know in some form or another.
Caltiki,Theimmortalmonster X01 (1960) Some are sent to me unrequested, some are pictures I've requested from people (I get turned down an awful lot on that score, which seems odd to me) A very few I've made myself.
The movie posters are just things I love.
I've been asked if the pictures and posters have anything to do with what I'm writing about. Of course they do, but perhaps it is in such a vague way that it is only apparent to me.
It doesn't matter much. I really do think the words are just interesting framing devices for the images.
In the same way that people always think I'm smaller than i really am, (To the point where I was standing next to a guy who was really huge, about 6'4" and the comment was made that he wasn't as big as they thought he was) people seem startled that I respond to visual arts.
I find some deeply moving. I have a definite preference for modern art. Don't care much for abstract. (I still like Georgia O'Keefes' comment when she was at LACMA, that she thought Rothko's canvases would make lovely rugs. I met her when she was photographing our friend Twinks for something or other. I liked her a lot. She liked that I played guitar and surfed.)
I still admire the dadaists a disproportionate amount, find expressionism depressing, and symbolic art pretty hit or miss. And I like photographs. I enjoy looking at all pictures, especially snapshots.
I always wanted to make a piece of art that would move someone.
That's a gift so far beyond me that I'm envious of everyone who can do it, and I get disgruntled by people with the ability and often the talent but without the courage to create art.
Which is a lot of blather about how much I like the pretty pictures I put up here.
It had a point.
Oh yeah. When I first started doing this I set up one of those Creative Commons things. My understanding is you can use the content here as long as you don't alter it or use it for some money making scheme. The people who let me put the pix up do so with that understanding.
Phedre Cabanel-1
Click images for desktop size: "Phedre" by Cabanel
So stop bugging me, is what I'm saying. Do something with the stuff if you can. You don't need my permission. Its art. Only the RAIA and dead painters estates care about it, or care enough to try and get in the way of you enjoying it.
And unless they've requested otherwise I won't give out addresses, emails or phone numbers.
And that I like putting them up as wallpapers/desktops.
I like working. Mac's let my desktop images dissolve one into the other every 15 minutes. So I like working especially when I suddenly see a beautiful image. It refreshes me, excites me, and pleases me.
I'd like to share that.
Eskimo Nell X01(Quad) I still haven't gotten my drugs. I fell for a rip-off and walked into it.
"You can't cheat an honest man," so I guess I deserve it. I'm going to squawk about it and make trouble if I can.
My friend's ex-employer keeps appalling me. They're proving worse than my ex bosses. Except my ex's were uneducated people struggling to do a task that was beyond them and they screwed up. These guys are educated, and pretend to be breathing the rarified air of entrepreneurship and international finance. It hurts me most because its happening to someone I care about.
My puppy is doing fine. She's a filthy mess and loving it.
I've got the old screaming toothache in my bones thing. I'll live.
This weekend was my worst ever football guesses. Since the Titans are getting stomped right now it looks like I'll be 8-8 for the weekend!
I hope USC beats ASU. Then I can go back to feeling smug.

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November 12, 2007

Fate is a bridge of chance we build to someone we love Jae-young Kwak

New York City Madness
Click images for desktop size: "New York City Madness" by Tim Melideo

This weekend I looked at server log for this website.
I was surprised, incredibly and pleasantly.
For the first 10 days of November my little puppies web site has had nearly 250,000 visitors. Accounting for 11.1 gigabytes of bandwidth. We have 50 gigs so this is not a big issue.Wages Of Sin
What I found most pleasing was that 86% of her visitors were direct links or bookmarks. Only 1% from referrers (links on other web sites) and the rest from searches, like google and yahoo.
A surprising amount of the searches were from China, Japan and Korea.
Perhaps there's an overwhelming desire for Belgian Sheepdogs in Asia.
I hope for non-culinary reasons.
The last reason I had any cause to pay attention was over a year ago. The cause then was that I was nearing the bandwidth limit.
That time I discovered my puppy's web site had over 90,000 visitors. Then the old monthly average was around 50,000.
I'm glad my puppy interests people.
What is most pleasing about all this is that most of the traffic (I love using nerd/interent terms like I grasped the concept) is from bookmarks, and most of the bookmarks are from computer labs in grammar schools and from computers at Hospitals.
That's the reason that no matter how well intended the advice no matter how scary my finances are I can't put advertising on her pages.
The kids in schools deserve a break from their drudgery. They like my puppy's arrogance and self assuredness. They like that she never admits to being afraid.
They also seem to mainly like when my puppy is bum rapping me!
When I was a kid I was impressed with a neighborhood kid named Ron because he go away with sassing his step father. So, I do understand.
Its the kids in the hospitals who mean the most.
When I had the leukemia I was in oncology wards with too many children under 12. They were facing the same death sentence I was, except they didn't have the stoicism, cynicism or the rage I carry with me to help them deal with it. they were lost in something incomprehensible.
Click images for desktop size: "Solitude" by J Trager
I got into a bad habit I still carry with me, of acting like a silly fool.
I still don't care how ridiculous I look if it makes a child laugh, especially a child who is in tremendous undeserved pain.
How could I care?
If they laugh because my Doctor, Lawyer, Football Coach, Dog Teaching puppy thinks I'm old and stupid, my large ego can take the hit.
There's no way I could stand the money that might come from some sort of advertising. Certainly not from the indiscriminate Adsense or any other revenue source. Better to starve in Heaven or whatever.
I, selfishly, like that the kids have a web page they can look at and maybe laugh and take away nothing from it other than that.
Them On the football front I'm 8-5 for this weekend. I should be 9-4 except I clicked the wrong box on one of them!
What I find odd is that only one of my psycho picks didn't pan out. Three of the genuine losses were my caving in to the "line".
I still would have picked the Colts over San Diego. Who guessed Payton Manning would throw 6 picks and that Venetari would blow a chip shot!
The most pressing news is that I still haven't received my drugs!
I've been without them for 10 days. Actually only out of 1 of them. Its not a panic yet but it is a point of concern.
I've been nervous about it since I gave them my money, so part of this feels like I'll win if I get anything!
I've called them and they insist that they're hung up in customs. Possibly and probably. I don't really accept that as a customer that's my concern.
I keep remembering two quotes, Damon Runyon's "If a character walks up to you in a bar and bets you $5 that he can make the Jack of Hearts jump out of a deck of cards and spit lemon juice in your eye, you better get your handkerchief out."
And of course, W.C. Fields, "There's a sucker born every minute, so never give a sucker an even break or smarten up a chump."

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October 23, 2007

Stop feeling your pain and listen to me
Kim Seu Yung

Click images for desktop size: "Storm Brewing" by Scotty P89
I woke up this morning and discovered that the page has actually had 1,000,000 unique hits.
One million is a cool number. I have little feelings beyond that. (Not in general, just about the number.)
It still feels like something. My friend threw confetti on me when we discovered the change.
(It's down at the bottom of the page - I was kind of disappointed that it read all 7 digits. I was hoping it would be all zero's like an old car odometer.)
King Kong(1933)08Xs Some perspectives are that apple.com gets over 3 million hits a day. Many porn sites get well over that. So, my page is about .3% as popular as computers and porn . . . I can live with that.
To mark the occasion I've finally updated the Movie Library. In the little link above you can see the listing for about 2000 movies. I'm not selling any of them but will always entertain the idea of trading!
This list is still short about 500 titles. I'll try and get it updated soon . . .
Since numbers are the theme today I'll point out that according to the numbers my fave genre is horror! There are 327 horror titles. (Sometime I'll have to break those out into sub genres, like slasher, zombies, vampires, etc)
I was surprised. I would have picked Westerns where there are only 113 titles.
Per the numbers my favorite directors are Chang Cheh, Takashi Miike, Don Siegal, Clint Eastwood, Johnny To and Martin Scorsese. That's not too askew but I guess some of my faves just don't make enough movies.
Actors are a bit daunting - Clint Eastwood leads the pack with 23 titles! Followed by Robert De Nero and Jet Li with 16 apiece. They're followed by Jean Claude Van Damme, Lung Ti and Simon Yam. Close behind is some guy named Siu Keung Cheng with 10 titles . . . I have no idea who he is.
The only other interesting things numbers provide is an odd blip. Not surprisingly the 2000-2007 years are the most numerous but then out of nowhere the eighth most popular is 1973 followed by 1971, 1974 then 1999.
I wonder if when I enter my final dementia if this means I'll drift back to those golden 70's. Its odd is all.

I was 10-4 in my football picks this weekend. And 3-3 for getting head coaches names wrong!
No prizes for either of those. Two of the losses I was happy about. One surprised me and one (The Colts victory) made me look foolish.

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October 18, 2007

What's all this then?

Click images for desktop size: "My Freedom Begins Here" by Bycel Sojuni
In a week or so this site will have hit 1,000,000 visitors.
I hope most of them came for the pretty pictures or as a way stop to find my puppies site.
For some reason I get a kick out of that.
Maybe its because I never sold a million records or books or anything. As I recall the best selling record was like 50,000, the most popular magazine had a subscription of 200,000 so a million of anything is just semi-cool.
Beat Girl X02 And, please, no telling me I should put ads up or anything. The puppies site is for kids and needs to be a place for her to sound off and laugh with no other worries. This site is for me and friends and who wants to make money off of friends.

I've also noticed that the new WordPress blog has done some coding changes that have screwed up the links page!
I haven't deleted anyone and am working hard to get it fixed.
This could finally prompt me to hurry up with my two year old project to migrate to Movable Type!

As for me, my puppy still worries me. She's happier now but still not adapting as well as I would like.
She tries but her first two years with me have left her rigid. She wants to play her games and can't quite figure out how to play the other dogs. She wants her place next to me but is lost when she has to push her way through to it.
Worrisome but not life threatening.

My eyes are bothering me. My pain is coming in waves and then nothing . . . it takes a while after it abates to not gird myself for the next wave, I mean, to realize its done for now.
I get homesick and feel some tiny drops of melancholy but I know that's mainly because I'm not good at feeling content. I don't know how to be happy anymore. I don't know how to stop worrying. I don't know what its like to not have it be just me and my puppy.
All things that will sort out with ease.

I ordered my drugs from an internet druggest. Saves about 50% Of course now I'm paranoid about them being delivered. That's comforting, having something real to be paranoid about.
Omarmingg 1400
Click images for desktop size: "G" by Omar Ming
Ordering them got my debit card suspended . . . Had to jump though hoops and try and remember all those damn security questions while dealing with the bank. they don't like me moving around so much! Even that got sorted finally.
Then set fire to my Ramen lunch today! Terrible mess. Not used to the different stove is all. Tried to turn it into something bigger in my head but there wasn't anything there to manufacture. Just a mess to clean up. Just got off the phone with the Hospital here. Not for me, really but for my puppy. She'll feel better if she can go back to her doctoring rounds, I'm sure.
We' may have to re-certify her or something but that will give her something pleasant to do.
I guess everything is just all right. (Except for USC falling to 12th in the polls! But even that isn't to very terrible.)

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January 26, 2007

Computer fried

A power outage bounced and nullified my hard drive . . . I've had to reformat which means I've lost most of my art, my music, about 2 gigs of puppy pictures and a small part of my mental health.
My cold has worsened and all in all this has been a pretty crummy week.

Stay tuned for who knows what!

May 1, 2006

Movies movies everywhere

Click images for desktop size: "Memory Of Morning Past" by Ealeanor
There's a new link up at the top, in my version of the side bar. Its the film library thing.
This is broken down into media. Its most of the films I have.
The cast list and the sparse comments are mainly from Amazon or IMBD. The credits are almost totally from IMDB.
The little pix of the posters and things are from all over the place.
Ostensibly when you throw up a list of over 600 movies its to try and get a trade thing happening.
I'm not adverse to that. I'm not selling anything, wouldn't, couldn't, don't care to.
Trading is a mild sort of fun for me and depending on what I'm being asked for the more reasonable I am - meaning if you want one of the films I adore I'm more will to “give away the farm” then if you want something I dislike but still ended up owning.
39StepsRight now I've listed the films via media - DivX, Xvid, DVD etc. When I get to about 700 films I'll update the list and sort it via Genre.
I can't quite figure out how to set up an SQL database on all these fields so that you can sort them yourself into any way you feel. Its something I'd like to see so I'll keep working on it.
Presently these are just static HTML pages that are not too pretty to look at.
The main reason for putting it up is that, well, I like to look at other peoples collections of books, movies, music.
Examining a collection always brings you a bit closer, or pushes you a bit further away, to some one.
It gives that glimpse into a person that conversation never fully reveals. Like the collections that are made up of nothing but light pop best sellers, and the collections that focus on Sci-Fi or horror or even classics reveals the interest of the owner and understanding that leads to something.
More than a few times I've been stunned to look through a collection of books and being bored and confounded with the collection then suddenly chancing across a single out of place book that I happened to think was one of the most important ever written.
That lead to conversation and that led to understanding someone else and that is always a good thing. Sadly, I think that my collection only gives the impression that will read, watch and listen to just about anything . . . which is pretty much true.

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March 16, 2006

Don't Cry

Click images for desktop size: "OSX Wave"
One of my favorite songs is Sam Cooke's “Chain Gang.” It's been covered hundreds of times and I've yet to hear a version that approaches the original.
Interpretation. It's about working on a prison road gang under dire conditions. In Cooke's interpretation, and he wrote it, the hell is endured by a near secular vision of a woman he loved and a vision of home.
Against the steady cadence of a recreated idealized chain gang Cooke switches from observer to participant and sings the whole thing in his purest tone, without rancor without hatred but with passion.
In the hundred covers I've heard none seem to get that the passion is what matters and the dream.
Ivl101748 01 I haven't been feeling well. Say it the Brit way, I've been unwell. Sounds hokier but more accurate.
I took a walk with my puppy. It should have been a nice little 60 minute stroll with plenty of adventure. We got adventure and a 3 and a half hour slog.
Roads on the map suddenly ended and were impassable. Four miles on the map became nearly 7 miles in reality, with a lot of back tracking and map studying. We found rivers that supposedly weren't there. It was a struggle walking along roads-streets that had about 4 inches for access, and warning signs to watch out for pedestrians and bicyclists. We came across curbs that were handicap access friendly but they were completely inaccessible! But they existed.
Maybe it's where I was raised but to me it just looked like the fruit of civic corruption.
My puppy handled it gamely and I walked on and thought about struggling. Fighting against illness is stupid. You struggle on or you die. What else is there to do?
I've suffered worse but accomplished more in training for sports. While right now the struggle seems isolated and too encompassing and the struggle seems Carrollian; “You have to run as fast as you can just to stay in one place. To get anywhere you have to run twice as fast!”
Whenever I was frustrated or confused I'd do a karate kata. I've noted that for the past few months I've been seeing my favorite kata in my head, each step performed perfectly. It's in my head so why not.
Detailed performance, even imaginary performance seems to calm me and allow my thought, such as they are, to re-organize themselves into dealable chunks.
For the record it's the nunchuk kata based on Tekki Shodan. Tekki Shodan was always my favorite. The kata that has no grace but just sheer power and tight speed . . . some people are not surprised it's my favorite.
Click images for desktop size: "Buck Weaver - One Lonely Man
Bearing all that in mind . . .
Next week I begin coaching the O-Line for the local high school team. Jut spring training, a time to assess and give kids some training programs for the summer - at least in my mind.
After that I've decided to go back into karate training. I never got further than a brown belt. I tried tae kwan do but got bored and the fancier kicks were too hard on my knees. Shotokan, as taught by Tstumo Oshima, fulfilled all my desires. A not for profit group that focused on the direct meaning of the works of Guichin Funakoshi, the training was vicious and satisfying.
Mr Oshima won't be teaching here but there's a school run by a black belt who is 3 teachers removed from him.
It will be good enough. It's 40 bucks a month. Dead cheap, really.
I'll be with a group and we'll suffer through the most arduous martial training extant. It will be good to struggle with a purpose. Perfection of spirit. It will be good to struggle with a group.
It will make the day to day struggles more bearable and simpler.

The web site got it's database corrupted!
I think I've gotten it fixed. Not well but maybe well enough to repair properly.

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January 14, 2006

The joy in my heart & the sadness in my eyes

Click images for desktop size: Versace designs
I've been messing around with the look of the site.
I want to get more Ajax and stuff in it. No reason. I just need to see if I could really do it. So far I'm failing miserably. But I'm learning something.
I upgraded to WordPress 2.0.1 ALPHA. As this seems sort of contrary to my wanting to move back to Movable Type, I guess an explanation is needed.
I hate the look of side bars on blogs.
The side bar contains stuff that interests some people.
In WordPress there's the thing under the picture which serves the side bar purpose without looking totally ugly. My problem has been that I can't accomplish the same thing in Movable Type! I can get the look but I can't pull up the information. I'll keep trying though because it's something I still want to do.
There was a reason for this blather . . . yes, so if things look creepy here I'm fixing it. . . honest . . .

Hunchbackofnotredame X01 (1957) Its been a fatiguing week.
I'm happy about one thing. On Thursday I stopped taking the pain killers completely. The pain still wakes me once or so a night but it is controlled.
I prefer a bit a pain to feeling dependent on more pills. And I don't like pain at all. It still feels good, calmer to have my body, at least what's left of it back in my control. I'm hungry but almost any food seems to be making me sick. Not as sick as swallowing all those pills though.
Right now I'm as happy with my body as I've been in the past few months. We won't discuss my appearance . . .

My puppy's vet is expecting her first child on . . . MONDAY! Friday was her last day of work. . . Rah!
She invited my puppy and I to her party. I figured it was like one of those embarrassing open house things but I like her and the way she is with my dog enough to want to go. Besides, I think the invitations was to my puppy and "that guy you hang around with."
It wasn't like that. It was an office party during their lunch break. We were the only patients there!
We had a great time.
My puppy got fawned over by the other two people she trusts and she got to eat a world of vegetarian meatballs!
I got to hear a world of stories about cats and dogs (the dog stories were the only interesting ones). It felt happy.

I hope she comes back to work but I wonder. I'm happy for her, happy enough to just want her happy. My puppy likes people but she's nervous about many of them. She's fine as long as I'm around, she's actually full of personality. But when I'm not with her she frets. She wants to be alone or with me. Even people she knows, even my housemate. She won't even go outside in the yard unless I'm there.
Except for her vet and a nurse there.
I think they are in the right profession. I'll miss her until she comes back.

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August 20, 2005

Tomorrow is another chapter

Ansdell Richard Lost In The
Click images for desktop size: "Lost In The Storm" by Richard Ansdell
Tomorrow I move.
It's a nice house. I'm pretty stoked about it.
I'm tired with the fatigue that seems like an icy thing that reaches through and tries to pull you down by the bones. It makes me stagger like a homeless drunk.
A night of too much sleep and I'll be fine.
At the new house the internet won't get turned on until Sept 1, so updates for the next 11 days may be spotty.
I might be able to hit a wifi hotspot but no guarantees on that.
There's nothing to worry about. The stressful part and the hardest work part is done now.
Tomorrow might even be nothing but fun.

July 10, 2005

Today I've done nothing

Reinert Kirk-Feathe
Click images for desktop size: "Feathers" by Kirk Reinert
The new server is up.
Things are still a bit of a mess so I'll try and post everything to both of them for a while.
The new server gives me 2.5 gig of storage and 50 gig of bandwidth.
As I am nearing the break off point on bandwidth on the original site this is pretty welcome.
What all this extra storage and bandwidth means is MORE PICTURES! Maybe some music and avi's too.
In two weeks there'll be a puppy here and then there will be a definite need for all of this internet stuff. My puppy will, no doubt, be the most beautiful puppy in the history of the world. At least to me. That means lots of boring pictures of a puppy being stupid that I will find totally charming and wonderful.
I'm setting up a separate Movable Type installation for the puppy. I figure she'll want to communicate and yak about things. Puppies are like that.
Glen-Or-Glenda In between doing my laundry and fussing around with the new site and doing all that technical stuff that I barely understand I've been thinking a lot about LA.
LA is my home. I love it but I can't live there anymore. Too many tears. I used to love it when the streets were wet in the winter, when the black tar reflected neon and star light with the same tolerance.
I loved the way it changed even when I didn't love the changes. I liked the art and the nearness of the sun. I loved the mountians hidden by the smog, and the fact that places I rode my bike have become icons.
There's not an inch of LA, from the Pallisades to Altadena that I don't know, that I don't have a story about, that I don't have a memory of.
Now it just means that I start to cry.
I'm not so weak yet that crying bothers me. It only bothers me because it happens almost all the time. Then, I have to stop and compose myself so I can cry again.
I love the city.
Somebody wrote, probably Chandler, he loved LA too and saw it for what it was. Too bad he never surfed or skied, it would have changed some of the things he saw. Not much but some. At least he never would have doubted what he knew.
"A long time ago Hollywood was just a bunch of frame houses on the interurban line. Los Angeles was just a big dry sunny place with ugly homes and no style, but goodhearted and peaceful. People used to sleep on porches. Little groups who thought they were intellectual used to call it the Athens of America. It wasn't that, but it wasn't a neon lighted slum either."
"Now we got the big money, the sharp shooters, the percentage workers, the fast dollar boys. We've got the riff raff of a big hard boiled city with no more personality than a paper cup."
Babe-Ruth-Duck "Real cities have something else, some individual bony structure under the muck. Los Angeles has Hollywood - and hates it. It ought to consider itself lucky. Without Hollywood it would be just a mail order city. Everything in the catalog you can get better, someplace else."
I agree with all of that.
I still love the place. In the smog and the commerce of flesh and the prostitution of brains it's impossible not to be alive there. But it gives you too much life sometimes. When it takes that life away there's just the nothing behind you. the nothings that's the only thing left when you're just too damn stubborn to die.
I spent a half hour trying to get a contour sheet onto my bed.

May 16, 2005

I was crusin' in my Stingray late one night when an XKE pulled up on my right
Jan Berry

For A Few Dollors More(Italian)1Xs Sundays are made for day dreaming. Even with thunderstorms and lightning flashes, Sundays are made for day dreams and remembering.
I went and got the paper after a late start. I was up until 5 doing not much - mainly not fretting and mainly enjoying myself. It's been so long since I've enjoyed myself I feel guilty about it. I know that's stupid but I'm still Catholic enough to think that being guilt free would be the ultimate sin.
There's some possibilities for work in the paper, and tomorrow we'll see.
I then took good ol' dog on a four mile walk. We had fun. I'm still worried about her weight so I ran backwards for about 500 yards. She thought that was funny and kept up well. Dogs don't comprehend how I could run backwards. I ran, backwards, into a tree which made good ol' dog laugh pretty good.
We then went into a large chain grocery store. I have to eat but the doctors would seem to prefer it if I didn't. The manager came over and very politely explained that I'd have to leave good ol' dog outside. Because she doesn't have a working dog tag I couldn't make my pitch.
Of course good ol' dog took the tact of, "I told him dogs shouldn't come in here!" even though she was the one who led the way into the store! I enjoyed talking to the manager though.
Houseofd On our return trip a RABBIT jumped out on the path right next to us! Good ol' dog took off after it and we ran about 20 yards before it turned off and vanished in the underbrush. Good ol' dog blamed me for being too slow and we spent the next 5 minutes seeing if it might come back. It didn't.
I do wonder what sort of boring life a rabbit might have that it would risk canine fury for a quick adrenaline rush.
How slow and exciting is my life now? My major find was the nest of the blue birds! They have baby birds in there. Baby birds are a cool thing. I stared at them and thought that blue birds are pretty but kind of dumb. There nest is only about 6 and 1/2 feet off the ground. I like them but it took a lot of self restraint to not tip toe up and get a good look inside. I worry about the people who might be bored, stupid or with a touch less self restraint.
Got kind of sick again. It knocked me out hard. Food. I'm eating too much. Often just to be polite but more often because I have memories of hunger and the housemate is a damn fine cook.
Wp13-Bg 1280I woke up in a weird sweat. The cat, who is kind of huge, was draped over me asleep. Her litter mate was playing Doctor Cat and examining me closely, while good ol' dog jingled her collar and allowed this feline outrage to continue.
I discovered that I will probably be using WordPress for longer than I anticipated. Movable Type, the new MySQL and Perl 5.6.1 seem to be in conflict. They all work great separately but not together. It will be diverting to move and adjust everything. I'm so relaxed now that I'm paranoid about getting too chilled and forgetting my priorities.
Sometimes change just to change is not a bad thing.