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October 29, 2008

Half the lies they tell about me aren't true
Yogi Berra

Starcraft 2
Click images for desktop size: "Starcraft 2" by Blizzard Entertainment
Why are they still playing baseball?
I've been avoiding baseball this year. I still have this fantasy that my arm will miraculously heal all on its own and then I'll be able to find a senior league and play. Play forever.
UFO Watching games is just a sort of negative, bitter sweet reminder that I'm no longer what I was. That's a hard thing for the heart and mind to swallow whole.
But baseball and Halloween? That just doesn't seem right. They might drag this on until November. Which is a real drag since this is, sadly, about the dullest World Series ever.
I figured it would be better. The Tampa Bay team is loaded with guys I watched at the Triple A level. What little I've seen is that they looked great in Triple A but merely adequate in the bigs. The World Series isn't supposed to be merely adequate.
Its supposed to be legendary and not on TV while I'm watching snow flakes fall on my puppy.
Its snowing here. And in my memory of baseball.

A lot of people were upset about my seeming defense of the Hells Angels. I don't think the Angels need any defense.
In Southern Cal you end up knowing a lot of people from the future and the past. Hair boys, car boys, bikers and surfers.
I never became a biker. I loved the surf too much and that gave me a freedom that I could hold in the hands and in my mind all day, every day. And when I finally got old enough to own and ride a bike I looked at Harley Sportsters. Thought they were cool but had more of a leaning towards Japanese crotch rockets.
I still do have a fondness for the memory of the bikers. Especially for their origins. They are as Forsaken Angel
Click images for desktop size: "Forsaken Angel" by Unknown
Californian as surfers and a Tommy's burger eaten in a convertible muscle car.
When the Angels started, I guess it was after World War II. They had Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome back then too, only then vets who displayed the symptoms were branded as weak and cowardly. Patton would walk around slapping all their faces if he could.
These lost souls found their homes to small, the world too oppressive. Like all Americans they looked to the west and drifted to California. Solitary figures without a home they found a release in the cheap motorcycles floating around and found it exhilarating. The drifters ended up drifting together. I'd guess the old military feeling of belonging to a group caused them to come up with a uniform: colors. A uniform that set them apart as well as setting them together.
I imagine that guy wearing the old style baggy jeans, parked with his stripped down Harley Electro Guide on one of the hills, looking out aUnder Aget the pounding surf of Malibu and the long silver ribbon of PCH, hunching his shoulders inside his army fatigue jacket, the sleeves discolored from the removed rank insignia and service badges. And what he saw in the California dawn was a place to be what he was with no war, no killing and less fear then he'd known in half a decade.
Then there was the Korean War, or "The Police Action." And there were more vets, more people ostracized from society. WWII vets were at least acknowledged as heroes. Vets from Korea were lucky that they weren't branded as traitors.
(A big part of my problem with McCain is his embracing being called a war hero for his actions in Viet Nam. McCain should be grateful for guys like William Ayres - who has NOT been found guilty of any terrorists acts - and all the underground and war protestors who humanized the soldiers. A soldier in Korea who behaved like McCain did in Viet Nam would have been court martialed. An officer, such as he was, would have been court martialed with the possibility of facing a firing squad. Korean vets who did far less than he faced far worse.)
And there was rock & roll. And there were the movies. Marlon Brando and Lee Marvin set the new Edmund Dulac
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Edmund Dulac
standard for bikers with "The Wild One". Based on an incident in northern California where a couple of biker gangs stopped for beer and a party "The Wild One" did for bikers what the Godfather movies did for the Mafia. It glorified and made it beautiful. Brando and Marvin were like the schizo image of bikers everywhere - the good and the bad so big and intense it took two stars to embody one individual biker.
The bikers grew and held steady and strong within themselves. Until the 60's when Roger Corman, Peter Fonda and Nancy Sinatra (!) made it seem wonderful again. A movie that was mainly guys riding their bikes to the glorious sound of Davie Allen and the Arrows. Heavenly Blues as played by Fonda became an instant icon and Vampire Circus aviator sunglasses the direguer fashion accessory for people who never saw a bike. Why not. Heavenly Blues who didn't even let death separate him from his buddy Bruce Dern. (The seminal scene where they steal Dern's body and prop him up and pass him the joint and the bottle still reverberates and affects today.)
And lord they made money. And a bunch of bikers had to be chagrined. Some of them got extra pay (like $50 a day) to be in the movie looking like themselves which meant they looked like nothing the world had ever seen before, and they watched as everyone else made money and more money.
Most seem to credit Sonny Barger for reacting to this and starting to register the Angels trademarks to try and pick up on the cash cow that was blossoming in front of them. Money.
I've met Angels, usually at Hollywood "too hip" parties or most often at Country Line. We'd play dominos and drink Mickey Big Mouth Malt Liquor. I never had any issues with them nor they with me. They were just guys.
Maybe the money and the toughness has led them to lives of "organized crime". I wouldn't know. I do know I don't trust lazy cops take on them. These are the same cops who are using Bush's whack anti-terrorist laws to brand black street gangs as terrorists so they can violate their civil rights and get away with it.
So whatever the Angels may have become or may not have become I'll keep my memory intact. Some of them probably are criminals, they probably were before they joined up with the Angels. The Angels might have been the only place where they could find a home. Everyone is entitled to a home.
"No one remembers the good we do. Everyone Remembers the bad."
Due to the state trashing my bank account I've had The Unholy Wife to pay my bills with Money Orders this month. Its been a mess. I sent them out 15 days ago and not one of them has been credited to my account . . .
This is frustrating and vaguely frightening. Todays task is to sort through this mess.
And to do some laundry and mop the floors while puppies with snow packed paws track all over everything.
The giant dog has suddenly gone lame. He's fine and in good spirits. He still runs and bounds like a maniac but then he'll suddenly stop and limp. For a while he'll barely be able to crawl up to his favorite perch on the sofa.
I'll be keeping an eye on him and hoping that this is as bad as it gets and its just a mild sprain from playing too hard.

October 2, 2008

Furthermore, to hell with hate
Joe South

Darkness To Light by Shifted Reality
Click images for desktop size: "From Darkness To Light" by Shifted Reality
With the Dodgers and the Cubs both in the playoff's I can't lose! At least not in the first round. I was surprised that the Dodgers showed so much power. Not so surprised that the Cubs were held in check.
Scandal I hope it goes seven games and that the winner eviscerates the Phillies and gets to the world series. The series really should be the Cubs vs the Angels, but I'll take whatever happens!

Finished off the sick day by watching two more movies, watched them curled up and too hot underneath down like comforters.
Watched "The Rocker". Pretty bad comedy about a drummer who got kicked out of his band on the eve of their legendary success. The Bride Of Frankenstein
Click for desktop size: "Bride Of Frankenstein" by Universal
drummer stages a comeback twenty bitter years later with his nephews alternative rock band. It had a surprising number of good laughs in it. The acting was on a pretty decent level. The real surprise was they cast Pete Best (the drummer the Beatles kicked out of the band on the eve of their success) playing the replacement drummer.
The plot was wonky and the music was dreadful but I laughed aloud quite a few times. Much more enjoyable than it had any right to be.
We ended the night watching "10 Things I Promised My Dog". Now, I'm a sucker for Japanese dog movies. They are virtually their own genre.
They are remarkably gentle films. Extremely life like in their tragedy and conflict but always there are redeeming people about, always there is love and always there is a beautiful dog who behaves exactly like a dog and not like a movie star.Superman-DC Comics
Click images for desktop size: "Superman" by DC Comics

There's never a bad guy in these movies. There's never any dramatic conflict of that sort. The intrusions into the little world are always the product of fate, of life and its vagaries.
It works well for me. I always get misty when the dog passes away from old age.
The genre is so popular in Japan that they made a film that was a massive hit: "Always". It was a generic dog movie WITHOUT THE DOG!
I liked "Always" fine. I preferred "10 Things I Promised My Dog" because it has the cathartic release of getting me misty when the dog passed away at the end. "10 Things" had some great acting. The guy playing the father was superb. The dog was excellent, the girl was cute and bland. There was a classical guitarist. Sunset Boulevard He was actually playing live in the film. He was impressive as a player. Its always stunning when musicians play live in movies. It got Gary Busey his oscar nomination ("The Buddy Holly Story"). Its so effective in building its own little tension that its surprising its not done more often.
I can't recommend this one to anyone but fans of the genre. The director stuck too closely to the formula and didn't seek to expand or contract his vision within the genre like Anthony Mann did with the Western, or Don Seigal did with the prison movie. I enjoyed it immensely. It did what it was supposed to do well, exactly as was expected. That was its only flaw.
It got worried and agitated at all the right sports, laughed when I needed to relief the tension, excited at learning something that was obvious but seemed like a private insight. It did all you could expect and did it extremely well it just didn't Luis Royo
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Luis Royo
add anything new. In other words I wanted to love the movie, but instead I only liked it a lot. That's the weakness of the Japanese dog movies.
Like the rest of America I'm stoked about the Vice Presidential debate tonight. Sarah Palin has become the funniest TV character in decades. This is like the ultimate reality show comedy.
Every day she seems to top herself. I really don't know how she does it, how she keeps coming up with these great lines!
Yesterday was so totally cool when she accused Kate Couric of being unethical!! And she made it even funnier by claiming she knows that "pop quizzes" and reporting what a candidate says is unethical based on her community college degree in journalism!
She's a riot!
Terminator-The Sarah Connors Chronicles She nearly blew it with her commiserating about how "Joe Six Pack" she was by then pointing out how she had lost 20k in the market melt down . . . she seemed to think that everybody in America lost at least that much . . . sort of ignoring that all the people on minimum wage don't earn 20k in a year. I got the point of the joke but I thought it fell flat. I was sort of hoping she'd try and recover by giving us a flute solo but no such luck.
I do have to question the sanity of anyone who thinks this awesome comedienne could actually be in charge of anything more than a TV production house. I mean I think its clever that she screwed over the people in Alaska by charging them for transportation from her house to her house, and brilliant to charge them a per diem for sleeping in her own house. That's the kind of creative accounting that TV producers live by. But to be in actual charge of a whole lot of people? I keep thinking about RoseAnne. Maybe Palin could show us her private tattoos tonight.
I hope Sarah doesn't ket me down tonight.
I was seriously disappointed in Obama. He gave a good speech from the Senate floor. Pointing out the greed and government ineptitude that led to the stock market going off (it still has not crashed). He decried everything that needed decrying but he voted for it anyway. We're still giving rich lying stealing bastards our money.
That's not right.

March 25, 2008

Opening Day . . . Nearly

Candy Pop by THFM
Click images for desktop size: "Candy Pop" by TFHM
The dogs woke me up too early this morning. A notorious cat had invaded the yard . . .
Couldn't fall back to sleep until late hence over slept . . .
No particular dog has stepped forward to apologize.
Out Of The Past
Some fellow in France has done a little review of this site. The link is over on the link page. I only think its fair to link and counter link. Networks . . .
Anyway, the site is in French so I'm semi-baffled as to what he's saying. I do note the names Ring Lardner and CLR James are in the paragraph. Even if he's only saying that I'm no Ring Lardner or CLR James I'm very cool with that.
Maybe it has nothing to do with me at all. My French is pretty poor.
Anyway, the mention of CLR James and Lardner reminded me that Opening Day is less than a week away.
Yeah.
I love baseball. Not so much as a MLB fan but of the game itself.
It has become a world wide sport. I saw the Boston Red Sox play at the Surrey Oval in London. I was able to play in a well organized league in London.
Baseball is the one American sport that truly has become international. They've always signed Hispanic players and now they're bringing in Asian players as well. I watched a Korean pitcher play in Triple A ball.
I resent my body for not letting em play anymore. It might be a matter of "The older I get the faster I was" but I think I was a pretty good player. Not Major League good, but good enough to love playing and good enough to enjoy having people watch me play.
I don't make predictions on baseball games. The greatest teams lose 1 out of 3. The greatest batters lose more than half the time. Its what makes baseball more than a spectacle and a game that nourishes and allows heroes today to be the goats of tomorrow.
I once missed baseball so much that I got into cricket. Ball And Glove
Click images for desktop size: "Ball And Glove"
I followed the County teams in London. I enjoyed it and marveled at some of the players skills. Cricket taught me a lot about British society. Our worlds are mirrored in the games we play.
One thing I realized about baseball is that it has never produced any great books about the game. I mean there've ben great movies about players ("The Lou Gehrig Story"), great books written about teams and seasons, great articles written about some of the games, (my favorite baseball quote - "Watching him pitch was as easy as trying to buy a friendly drink for a whore" I'm not quite sure what it means which only likes me make it more), great works of fiction ("Bang The Drum Slowly", "Ironweed"). But there's never been a great book about the beauty of the game. Nothing that can compare to CLR James devastating treatises on cricket certainly. ("He who knows only cricket knows nothing of cricket").
I can't imagine why. Maybe its because the time spent in the stands or on the field Where Danger Lives allow for enough rumination that the thoughts we have become too personal, something that we can't bear to share. Unlike cricket (where a match lasts 4 to 5 days) there isn't enough time to think it through and let those personal thoughts graft onto our own imagined coda's where we can distance ourselves to the point of being willing to share.
All I know is I love baseball, all the dreams its giving me, all the times it let me succeed and all the times it let me fail.
That kids in Singapore, in Greece, in Utah and in Chile all know what I'm talking about; that a pickup game in a sandlot is as important as a game in the play offs and that its been this way and always will be this way despite the scandals, despit the players, the game is bigger than them all.

And lest we forget this is the start of spring practice in football. USC has the Mark Sanchez (Gatorade Player of the year and my friends personal choice for Trojan of the year) vs Mitch Mustaine (8-0 for Arkansas as a freshman!!) battle to look forward to, the usual log jam of superb players at running back; the worries about the D-Line and the LB's now that some all world players have moved on; the questions at WR and CB.
This really is a beautiful time of year . . . if the snow would finally melt.

November 3, 2007

I've seen the light. It didn't care for me
Ken Boyd

Ma Parkes Beyond The Night
Click images for desktop size: "Beyond The Night" by Michael Parkes
There's not a real lot going on. There is, of course but the reality of it is that I'm stuck in a grim mire. No reason for it. No reason at all. Everything is good. I'm happier than I've been in decades. I guess there's always the future lingering on out there. And governments. Governments scare me. They really do. 1947 - Out Of The Past It seems that governments exist to create jobs, exploit fear and to struggle against itself to find justice. I think that the utopian ideal used to be to preserve freedom. I'd like to think that. I've always thought that true justice was something only an omniscient being could fathom or create or endure. Freedom though, that's a fight I can rally around. That's enough preachy dawdling around. Hard facts are the general order of thing. Facts are nice becasue they're solid, It doesn't matter if they're objective facts or subjective, they're going to be. Facts, outside of math, can only exist in the past, Lets hear it for facts! Last week I was perfect in my silly NFL predictions! This is straight up picking, not against the spread. The weekly prize is $1,000. But I lost the tie breaker and came in 4th. No prize. It was exciting though. I think I prefer it when the prizes are smaller. I was ecstatic about winning the iRobot. And I'll never forget my wife following me around and quizzing me on the games so she could enter the LA neighborhood football contest. She won it so often that she would get angry with me when she lost! The prizes were dinners or theater or movie tickets. She loved winning them with her mad skills. And my picks. I've been running Leopard on my iMac for a week now. I like it fine. I'm not to keen on the interface "improvements". Its a bit too busy for me and can become distracting and, at times, aggravating. What I like most is the "under the hood" stuff. The new media codecs and the media icon previews are excellent. The network and the terminal stuff is totally cool. Its a cool step up and I recommend it. As always it makes slipping over into using Windows seem arduous. Windows is still a bad joke to me. I continue to dislike it and I've solid reason to actively hate Microsoft. I'd say Leopard is almost very close to where BeOS would have been if Microsoft hadn't used grossly illegal tactics to kill BeOS. Shades
Click images for desktop size: "Shades" by Unknown
Of course it was Halloween. We got no trick or treaters. Kind of normal in this present. So got to have plenty of big time fun tormenting the dogs and trying to get them look happy in silly costumes. Took all the dogs out on the night. They all got good comments and laughing attention. Wouldn't have been possible but for my puppy's aunt. Best news is that the dogs didn't bite any of the kids! The World Series ended. What I saw of it made it clear that Boston is and was devastating. I had a lingering anxiety becasue I wanted to see the Colorado Rockies continue their miracle for just a bit longer and I really really don't want to ever hear about the "Red Sox Nation" ever again. Sorry to my friends in Boston and MA. Its not really your fault.1937 - Day At Races(Lc)1Xs-1 I haven't had time to watch many movies. Disconcertingly I was unpacking a bit, looking for stuff really, and discovered a couple hundred DVD+R's I haven't entered into the database. Oh well. I'm restructuring the database to sort by Genre instead of by title. I am continuing with my plan to segregate the genre's more completely - Vampire, Werewolf, Slasher instead of just horror. Chambara, Kung Fu instead of just martial arts. It will take time. And tomorrow my puppy and I enter a new training class. Just to give her something to do and to focus on. It will, hopefully, be a lot of fun for her. She likes to get praise. She likes to work. She likes just about everything except being away from me. I feel pretty much the same way.

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October 27, 2007

USC 17 Oregon 24

Nysmbw Chadvw
Click images for desktop size: "NY" by Chad VW
Southern California wasn't on TV here so we had an early Halloween movie party.
Started it with the flash "Underworld: Evolution" then the childhood flic, "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein". On to the sci-fi horror of Burgess/Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" and then ended the night with the fascinating Val Lewton "The Seventh Victim".
There was one great exchange in "The Seventh Victim". There's a poet and a psychiatrist. Their professions make them natural enemies, but they are both so civilized about it, that its disconcerting to the point of being nearly shocking. The poet suspects that the psychiatrist murdered the girl he loved about 10 years ago.
Notorious Xlg - 1946 It stopped the poet from writing and stayed with him every day, even worse when he saw the psychiatrist in their crisscrossed social circles.
Near the climax of the film, they find themselves uneasy allies, Cyrano's not emotionally involved in the drama but invested in its outcome. When the psychiatrist says out of the blue, "That girl you saw me with is in an insane asylum. She's a terrifying raving thing." He pauses and lights a cigarette. "I didn't tell you because I wanted to spare your feelings."
The poet stares at him and then says, "That means that for all these years you've actually been my friend." Its a slight little scene. It ties up a loose plot thread that most people would have forgotten anyway. It has power and I found it fetchingly beautiful.
Then today watched, "Constantine"; another roller coaster attraction type movie, engaging without meaning anything. The Hong Kong horror, "Mr Vampire 3", then the engaging and touching, "Bubba Ho Tep".
Finally ending the horror night with "Cube". Its a film that's cheap and intriguing. It has enough of those old fashioned existentialist concepts (Hell is other people) and decent enough acting to inspire someone else to make their movie. I like that a lot.
To wash the night of terror away we watched "The Boondock Saints". A violent comedy that has stunning acting and deserves a little bit more cult status, in my opinion.
All in all, except for USC's defeat, it made a good weekend for me. I love movies. I love stories. I love watching stories with loved ones who see things differently than I do. I love hearing how they find things different.
With my puppy begging for pets and treats its hard to imagine a much better time.

I've updated the movie listing. This time just the look of it. Got it prettier and fancier. It looks geeky until you push the buttons to the right of each title. Then I think its kind of fun!
Sky Is The Limit1-Askudesigns
Click images for desktop size: "The Sky Is The Limit" by Asku Designs
I've installed Leopard on my computer. I like it. Much more for the under the hood stuff. I've been dismantling most of the eye candy stuff. I like my work space to look elegant but not distracting.
There are enough enhancements to make work easier that I can recommend it. I like the new core audio functions, the improved aac codec and command line access to it especially.
There are still reasons to cringe every time I touch a machine running Windows. I sometimes think that Windows has such a silly learning curve that people have to become experts to just try and live with the machine. I prefer just working.

Last week I went 10-4 in my football picks. Some of my nutsy picks worked out and one, in retrospect, seems even more insane. I did pick the Colts to lose to the Jaguars. What was I thinking.
1969-Klein Mister Freedom Three of my losses pleased me - I mean I was glad to see the Lions, Buffalo and Denver rise up and win.
Of course that being pleased doesn't make up for me not winning a prize! My picks last week put me in the top 37% for the week and the top 22% for the season. A long way to go for prizey goodness!
Its not a very interesting week in the pros.
This seems to be a schedule designed to keep interest up for the World Series. I thought game 2 was brilliant, game 1 was too overpowering to be entertaining.
This week my picks are, as usual, in Bold.
Cleveland at St Louis - This is saved from cruddy game of the week honors because Cleveland has looked better this year. At least better than the Rams. The rams may still rise up angry and win a game or two but you can't go wrong right now picking against them.

Detroit at Chicago - The Bears look stronger each week behind Griese, who has been nothing but a journey man QB, and that fearsome Bear Defense seems almost like a distant memory. The Lions keep playing well. I like them. I don't think the revenge thing will play too well for Chicago. The Lions will be confident.

Indianapolis at Carolina - If Vinnie Testaverde can come up and knock off the Colts this week it will be sensational and the greatest upset of the year. You have to lose a million to make a thousand playing long shots. I have to pick straight up or else I would take the Panthers and the points.

NY Giants at Miami - How do you make a cruddy game of the week into the GAME OF THE WEEK? Move both teams 3,000 miles away from home and put it in London. I'm pleased that my kids other there will be able to see a real NFL game, the speed, the poetry and beauty of it. Even the cruddy Dolphins will show them more than they've ever seen before.
"Red Sunset" - 1600 X 1200 - Le-Redsunset
Click images for desktop size: "Red Sunset" by Lawn Elf
Oakland at Tennessee - Vince Young should be back and that's enough to offset the improving Raiders.

Philadelphia at Minnesota - One of the more intriguing games, which doesn't mean good. Jackson, the Vikings QB, is pretty banged up and there's not much behind him. Adrian Peterson will be at home and eager to make up for his poor performance at Dallas. But the Eagles are not a team in disarray, even if their loses make it look that way. The Eagles know that a loss here will wreck them in the city that loves to hate them.

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati - Boy, do I want to take the Bengals. I just can't bear being disappointed again. I would have taken them if the Steelers had won in Denver. Coming off a loss means they'll come in looking to punish a division rival.

Buffalo at New York Jets - I'm confidently picking the Bills! Its good to see them right themselves. They are looking good and poised to make a show of things for a community that needs them. The Jets are confused and angry and without Vilma at LB even weaker.
1935 - A Night At Opera(Lc)3Xs Houston at San Diego - I think the Charger players have woken up, the front office and coaching staff may be lost but this team has too much talent for the Texans to win.

Jacksonville at Tampa Bay - I'm picking yet another road underdog . . . I think the Jaguar defense can get after Garcia, who will be dangerous. The Buc's D seems to be getting weaker as they get deeper into the season.

New Orleans at San Francisco - Another road team but not an underdog. The 49's D is improving and starting to look tough. But Reggie Bush is stepping well into his full time role. Brees always plays his best when he's playing with a lead. And the 49er's are rushing Smith back too soon.

Green Bay at Denver - My game of the week and another road dog for my pick. Brett Favre has to decide if this is the year he goes to his last Super Bowl. Denver brutalized the Steelers and needs to keep whening to contend in the up for grabs West. What could be more fun?
Apo Spiral 140605 002
Click images for desktop size: "Spiral" by Apo
Washington at New England - They say that New England isn't all that good and the hype is just because sports writers need something to hype. They say that the Redskins D will be the first true test for Tom Brady. They say a lot of things and most of them are crap. Billicheck and Brady each play every game like they are cast off underdogs. This will be no different. The Redskins QB will be playing injured. I'm pick the Patriots 38-17.

Anyone using my picks for advice will be considered a terrible raving thing.

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June 16, 2007

I just hold the ball like this and then throw the hell out of it
Steve "Lefty" Carlton

Benny Darkday2 1440X900
Click images for desktop size: "Dark Day II" by Benny
Every pitcher I've ever known has had the same mind set as a Weakside Line Backer on a run blitz.
Justin Verlander just threw a no hitter for the Tigers a couple of weeks ago. It still resonates. That's one of the things I love about baseball. The game stays the same forever. A no hitter today conjures memories of every no hitter before it. It augments the legend and illuminates the beauty of one man and his team rising to a level of perfection. And it makes perfection real and attainable.
Verlander got his no hitter the way I like them, with 100 mile an hour fastballs.
The last no hitter I saw was in person was Nolan Ryan's, way back when he was a California Angel. Ryan threw the hundred mile an hour fastball. HE had the rep of being a "nice" guy. He also had a rep for having control problems. Control problems - One of Ryan's records is striking out the side on 9 pitches. No fouled balls, just 9 pitches in a row three batters couldn't even touch. That isn't a control problem.
1959 - Hot Money Girls I always figured that Ryan kept the control problem ruse going to give him an edge. You know a 100 mph fastball can kill you, break bones if it hits you. If you were facing a guy who had control problems you're going to have to work awfully hard to on concentrating after the first pitch slips away from him and comes at you head high and behind you.
I think the ruse was more effective than Don Drysdale's. Drysdale's wasn't a ruse though. Drysdale remembered anyone who got a game winning hit off of him and then would proceed to intimidate, head hunt and humiliate you for the rest of your career. Batters really had to decide how much they wanted to win when Drysdale was on the mound.
How much simpler and saner to have "control problems". How much more intimidating when you never know when death's retaliation will come hurtling down at you.
He was a beautiful pitcher and one of the best I've ever seen.
The first no hitter I'd ever seen was Sandy Koufax's perfect game. I was 7 or 8. My grandfather took me that day. Back then I played baseball at the parks or empty lots, always running through my batter's litany (which I ran through even at my last game). Keep the label up. Don't close you eyes when you swing. Drop the bat, don't throw it before you run down to first.
Even with that limited knowledge Koufax was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. When I caught my first 6 foot peeler a few years later Koufax was the reference point I used to describe that waves beauty, power and elegance.
When I look at art I see few that can compare and only a handful of paintings or sculptures that can stand up to the glory of Koufax in the 9th inning of that game.
I was a decent hitter. Like most batters I divide the strike zone into a base 9 sectioned rectangle (High, low, middle - inside, outside, middle) and then I quarter each section. I know where I can hit the ball in that diagram. I know where I can't hit it. The diagram shifts depending on the umpires view of the strike zone and then shifts again depending on the speed and delivery of the pitcher.
I'm All Ears
Click images for desktop size: "I'm All Ears" by Unknown
I think Koufax saw the strike zone as a series of floating dots, the size of dimes. He remembered what you did to the ball the last times you were at the plate and marked it down in his head, then he threw the ball to the dot where he knew you couldn't do anything with it.
When I was in my 20's a friend got a coaching job in San Luis Opisbo. He got a house in Half Moon Bay. His next door neighbor was Sandy Koufax. I went up there and we spent a Saturday watching Koufax practice his golf swing, mess around in his yard. It was a remarkable day.
Later my friend got friendly with Koufax and said I should come up for a BBQ or something like that and meet him. I didn't. I never wanted to talk to him. What if he didn't like me? Or, far worse, what if I didn't like him? He was a work of art, a monument. I couldn't have lived if he'd just been a man.
Delinquent Parents (Hs) X01 On Wednesday I have to go to the hospital for some tests. There was a delay to schedule me for "the machines". I'm not fond of machines where they strap me down naked underneath it while they put on lead aprons, welding masks then stand behind 6 inches of lead impregnated glass and another wall of solid lead. ZI'm not so stupid that I don't know its safer to back there with them!
The tests are for some weird numbness in my right arm. No stroke or heart attack. The easy answers gone they go to the machines. I only have to pay the same 20 bucks as for a regular doctor visit so its cool.
Worse is that one of the dogs I cared for Memorial Day weekend has "offended" his owner. He wants to dump her and sees no correlation between his treatment of her and the way she is. I threatened him. I can still draw the fire so maybe he'll listen. I doubt it but he does know I'll carry through if the puppy suddenly "runs away".
And the next door neighbors and I had a set to. Two dogs gone, one dead from being mistreated, another found running down a busy street (8 week old tiny puppy). There's a 3rd dog living there . . . as abused as the others.
I made my point with them but cowards who take their hate and neglect out on an innocent tiny puppy aren't capable of listening.
My ride just showed up for volleyball.

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April 18, 2007

Running down the backroads

Dark City-3Dfiction
Click images for desktop size: Dark City" by 3D Fiction
I'm glad they honored Jackie Robinson this weekend. It was cool with everyone wearing the same number. I wonder if score card sales dropped because of it.
I'm saddened that his playing ball was being celebrated because he was black, that it was an issue then and still is today.
I never saw him play. He was way before my time. I think how much poorer the sport would be with out Don Newcombe, Bob Gibson, JR Richardson to name just a very few.

On Saturday there was a Bazaar to raise money to rescue dogs. They called it a bazaar but it just a jumble sale. They had hoped to raise $1,500 but ended up with $2,650.
I had to go. I didn't want to. I helped them with various things getting ready for the sale and I figured that not going would hurt their feelings.
They're helping dogs. I owe a huge debt to dogs. Hurting their feelings wouldn't have been fair.
For the same reason I had to go see my friend's, Patrick, last gig with the band. They're breaking up. No reason except the usual ones. Bands are like that. Its like dating until you hit the big time. Not like divorce, like dating!
1958 - It! The Terror From Beyond Space The band sounded tight on some numbers, very tight. On others they were playing in opposite directions. It was fun in some ways, the most fun was seeing a student excel and surpass his teacher.
And we had to worry about the little puppy we - acquired - last week. Her owners never called about her. Bastards.
As old and mean as I get I still can't stomach being cruel to children or dogs. A lot of things bother me but that still makes me approach violence. About the only thing that can push my buttons to that extreme. The puppy is at the shelter. No one claimed her. She clearly had none of her shots. At least she'll get them now.
She should find a home if not we'll think of something. She had worms which has me worried about my guys.

With all the hassle about foods being recalled I found local company that makes their own high quality stuff. Its good and they seem to like it. They deliver so no more stressing about how to get the 40 pound bags home. Carrying them 2 miles is possible but not fun. Best news is not having something extra to worry about. I just want them happy.

The foster puppy gets spayed tomorrow.
I won't be there. I gotta work. She'll be picked up by volunteers and she'll be well cared for.
My annual physical today was a chore. No better or worse than anyone else's I guess. None of it was enjoyable but I really wish they'd come up with a new way of getting a bone marrow sample, a better way than just drilling into the bone while your conscious.
I got a B-12 shot. I like those. Too much energy to feel pain.
Still too tired.
Still feel like every thing's just going bad when everything should just be all right.
Doesn't matter. I have to remember that.
Things just keep rolling along.
Good or bad, loved or unloved, agonized or smiling in the blue skies, they just keep rolling along.
I like that.

Been taking a lot of pictures. The only ones that interest me are of my puppy.

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March 3, 2007

We're all scared, kid. What you want to do about it?

Vallejo-Boris Bell-Julie Tamar's-Vision
Click images for desktop size: "Tamar's Vision" by Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell
I love Wanda Jackson.
I'm not sure if she's still alive. That has nothing to do with it anyway.
I love Wanda Jackson.
Not the gold lame lounge act - country western hybrid.
I love the real Wanda Jackson.
The perky twenty something who sang rock and roll in a cowboy hat, Dale Evans fringed buckskins and gold sprayed cowboy boots.
The one who shaked wiggled and danced while she sang in a voice that's been imitated by nearly every male and female rock star since.
The cute and perky savage wild woman who could shake your chicken in the middle of the room. Who could belt out "Riot In Cell Block Number Nine", a song a bout a female prison riot, with the perfect new lyrics - "They called the state militia, them troopers looked so tall and fine all the chicks went crazy up in cell block number nine" - in a voice that burned lust in anyones loins. "Mean Mean Man", "Hot Dog, That Made Him Mad" and "Fujiyama Mama" were some more of those totally cool tunes you wished woman would sing about you. When she covered "Handsome Brown Eyed Man" it was the first time in my life I was glad to have brown eyes.
Sometimes they called her the female Elvis. I don't know why, probably just publicity. The Queen Of Rockabilly is a more accurate title for her.
Girls In Chains (1943) You can look for her picture on the net. Ignore the ones where she doesn't look like your best friend's cute little sister. I didn't. I couldn't bear to see nay if she's gotten as old as she probably is. I'd still love her but I already have her picture in my head. That's good enough.
Yesterday was bad. Very bad. It gave me a white night.
Something has to change. It needs to be my job. Not enough money and the perks are evaporating and being replaced with repression. After the tremendous storms yesterday there were numerous inquiries as to the state of their property. None regarding my well being and how and my puppy faced the storms.
Then someone forged checks - not signatures but actually printed checks with the wrong name, wrong bank, but the company's routing and account number. They cashed them at WalMart (!).
Rah! Seems like a lot of work and a dangerous amount of exposure for very few dollars. What causes me concern is that anyone would dare imagine that I'm culpable. While not accused of malfeasance I was accused of negligence. "They had to steal the deposit slips from you!"
I pointed out that every person who hands me a check gets it back with the account number and routing number stamped across the back. Also this seems a bit too sophisticated to rely on the happenstance theft of a deposit slip. Having blank checks to print and the magnetic ink cartridges to print the info and the software to do it is slightly sophisticated.
It appears there are several dozen more and better options to consider. And they should be considered before any accusations of any sort are made.
Oh well.

More importantly, my puppy is doing fine. She is recovering well from her bath! And coping well enough with the crazy foster dog!
Her only objection is she doesn't think the foster puppy should get food or treats! They spend a lot of their time stealing from each other, the time not spent playing anyway.

One of the kids I know called me today. He's pitching in college. He wanted to let me know he'd won his first two starts. Like all great kids he wanted to give me some of the credit even though he's the one who did all the work. We talked about the GYROBALL and guessed how well the $100 Million dollar man was going to do for Boston. We talked about school and how he was making sports and education mix.
I like kids even more than dogs!

The 5th Greatest Film I've ever seen will be next!

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February 26, 2007

It's like trying to tell a stranger about rock & roll
Lovin' Spoonful

Exotocroach-Angel Orchids
Click images for desktop size: "Angel Orchids" by Exotic Roach
You ever play catch?
Of course you have. Who hasn't, even if only by accident.
With a baseball and with gloves, leather baseball gloves I mean.
Its something. I like the sensual slap of the ball into leather. I look the ball into the glove and pluck it out, throw it back. I can always feel it, see it, when my teammate grabs the ball out of the air. Arrested development in motion. Then there;s the smell of the glove, soaked in neats foot oil and the winter's dust. Playing catch, part training, part timeless tradition, and a large part of a link to a communal past, redolent of spring hibiscus, night blooming jasmine and sweaty arm pits. Its a thing we all have in common, a thing we all know. Its a part of what bonds us together and forces us to be aware that we are all different and we are all the same.
My favorite play in baseball, the one I used to like to make anyway and the best way to play catch, was when I was deep in the hole and had to make a fast move to my right (I'm right handed - a right handed goofy foot), lay out for the ball and then tumble in the dirt coming up facing the first baseman, still on my knees whipping the ball with all my arm strength and getting the batter out by a single step. The coaches used to stop me from cheating towards second base because I loved to make that play, I loved watching the ball swoop into the sky and bury itself in the first baseman's Christmas Stocking of a glove. Sometimes the umpire would give the simple thumb to signify the out, but sometimes they'd be as thrilled with the throw as I was and take those three skitter hops and swing his whole arm and torso into the "yer out!"
Call Northside 777 (1948) If it were a great throw I'd take the time during the infield tosses to dust myself off and get back into position, hoping for a chance to do it all over again. Major leaguers do that play all the time. Its routine. But you can see a lot of short stops still get that schoolyard charge of watching the ball curl in and cut the runner down.
Only love and puppies are better than it. Only love and puppies.
Spring camps are open. Players are steadily trickling in. I, for one, can hardly wait to see the first Gyroball! Better yet to see the first player flail away at it and look back at it in the catcher's glove untouched and undamaged.
Of course that also mean I can't wait until the first guy drives the Gyroball over the top of the Green Monster.
Baseball.

Work is terrible. What's changed? At least the paychecks don't bounce.

My puppy's brother sent us some wonderful stuff. She got plenty, almost enough to share a little with our foster dog. I got a magnificent cup that is covered with pictures of my puppy and her brother Jimmy. Just looking at it cheers me. I was on the phone with my friend while I was opening it and even she was agog with how much pleasure I got from that cup.

The Oscars were a dreary affair. I fell asleep after Best Sound Design. I woke up just in time to hear that "The Departed" was adapted from a Japanese film. How pathetic and insulting. "Infernal Affairs" was made in Hong Kong. At least they could have said China. I felt ashamed.
The entire thing was saddening and cheap. I never had any negative thoughts about Ellen DeGeneris before . . .

I saw my friend Patrick's band perform on Saturday. I still hate bars. Even though I'm sure I've passed the stage where drunken women pinch my butt and whisper strange things to me by bellowing close to my face, I still don't like them.
It was okay other than that. I never know what to think when a "student" begins playing far better than I can . . .

I'm too tired tonight and don't feel enough inspiration to write about film 6 . . . its great though. The film, not what I plan to say about it . . .

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October 23, 2006

The changing from sunlight to moonlight

Pirates
Click images for desktop size: "Pirates"
I guess I'm getting old.
My memory of the distant past is growing sharper and more distinct. Good memories and bad. Like when I was four and my mother said I could buy a toy. (even today a reason to celebrate)
Suddenly a fellow was shouting that the store was closing in 5 minutes. Instead of being able to weigh and consider all that Woolworths had to offer I had to grab something quickly . . .
I'm getting old.
Wondering what coloration my mind has made to the past. I'm giving the past as much consideration as I usually give to the present.
I guess that's what it means to get old.

Poster - Curse Of The Mummy's TombIt looks like my search for a housemate is over. This fellow seems eager enough. I'm not thrilled about it. Not his fault at all. Its all to do with me.
My puppy and I like being to our own devices. We like getting things and putting them where we like them. Problem is can't afford the rent on our own and there is a room and a bathroom we never even think of entering. . . so, he's supposed to come by and give me money on Friday and then the rest of the money for the month on the Weds following.
Money.
Yeah, that's why I'm doing it.

Practice this morning was good. There were some lost eyes on the field but the focus stayed true. The goals are still there. Things were up tempo.
We talked about the World Series. I haven't had much interest in this series. I think the Cardinals are boring. I liked the Tigers but I have a hard time with American League teams as a rule. The DH rule. I like the Tigers young fireballers, and “Pudge” Rodriguez is one of the best catchers of all time. But last night got my interest rekindled. I loved the dirt ball fiasco.
While I don't think major league umpires can be fooled by an old fashioned mudball the mere concept of it has a poetry. Add to it the age of the pitcher and his incredible streak of 24 scoreless innings in the playoffs and series; it softens my heart and makes me yearn for beauty.

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September 18, 2006

I felt like I'd written a beautiful poem and then lost it and would never remember it again
Raymond Chandler

Stevetruett Feathers 1440X900
Click images for desktop size: "Feathers" by Steve Truett
So much going on. My housemate is finally moving out. This is good. I was paying half the rent and all the bills but living in one room with my puppy. He filled up the rest of the house with kibble and junk. (See Philip K Dick's “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep” to properly understand the properties of kibble.)
I'v been advertising for new housemates. There comments have been on the order of, “You must be pretty calm to have put up with this!”
But as much as that bothers me, its less than his never cleaning or helping with cleaning or even just watching me clean. That's trivial but merely disconcerting at times. It bothers me that when he's alone with my puppy he's created some odd behavior patterns within her. I finally figured out its his odd habit of teasing animals, not viciously mind you, but in a way that blurs his concept of others. Its something I can deal with but don't need to.
Poster - Dr.CyclopsThe other worry is that when he goes, on short notice . . . I'll be stuck for twice the rent, as its clear no one will want to rent the place while it is filled to overflowing with his kibble that means I'll be living extremely thinly for a while. But I'll be living, my puppy will be happy and that's good enough.
The pain has been really bad. The pain killers I take are prescription strength ibuprofen. I realized all they were was double the strength of the stuff you buy at Walgreens, double the strength for 8 times the price! So I just double up on the cheap stuff and save the prescription for real, “O my god, I'm out!” style emergencies. Then I realized I was up to double the prescription dosage so I figured I had better cut down! I tried taking one of the narcotic ones (No more than 2 in a 24 hour period) and they do work but the price is too high.
Mainly I deal with pain by ignoring it as best I can.
I deal with the stress like the house and money by thinking it through until I've come to a conclusion and then not thinking about it again.
Sports do a great job of keeping my mind off of these things, but the Sunday games were terrible! Some stellar performances dotted in but this was just a boring Sunday.
Now that the Dodgers have fallen out of first place (I know I'm not a big pro sports fan but I was raised in the Ocean and at Chavez Ravine {Dodger's home field}) even baseball was not fun to think about. I've already worked out my coaching strategy for the week. We have a big game this Friday night - cross town rival and the winner has the inside track on making the State playoffs - and I had to focus on where best to put our limited practice time.
So I did a LOT of house cleaning . . . odd that I can still feel so sick and so much pain while performing the required drudgery.
What I thought about was a question the kids are always asking me: What was the best championship I ever won?
They wouldn't like the answer.
Un Dia De Relax By Libros
Click images for desktop size: "Un Dia De Relax" by Libros
They look up to me because I've played big time college ball. Its the next step they want to take. I'm blind enough to think that there's no reason any player can't do what I do.
A lot of coaches think I'm foolish to believe this. Its the same coaches who think I was foolish in thinking a British kid could ever make it to the NFL.
They were wrong there too. You can never ever discount the power of a dream.
But my favorite championship?
It was not football but baseball. And not College ball but Little League. It wasn't even the first one my team won. I was 10 years old. My buddy Tom was 11. Tom was 6'2“ then and I was 5'9”. We learned early to always keep our birth certificates in our back pockets on game day.
This was just a neighborhood team, a park league, because back then they made sure there was money for park leagues. I think they used 1/2 of 1% of the money they now earmark for prisons.
We didn't even have a coach. We did, you had to have an adult, but he went to jail for alimony or something. Jail scared us too much to investigate fully. So we would round up whatever adult we could find and get him or her to present our line up card to the umpires.
White Zombie Bela Lugosi -1024 Sometimes our emergency managers would even stay and watch part of the game.
I think we were undefeated that season. I remember the championship game was a pretty lop sided victory. I mean we were all gremmies, super fit kids who loved playing the game.
The only thing I remember about it was Pete making one of his patented catches where he climbed the 5 foot chain link fence and dived off of it to steal a homer from our opponents.
Pete did that stuff all the time but this time was remarked upon because the opposing manager, a real serious guy complained about it bitterly to the umps.
So we won and all got our little trophies and one big trophy.
Pretty soon everyone else had gone and we were there looking at our trophies and not feeling much of anything at all. There were 12 of us so we chose up sides and played six on six. We would play it that odd innings right field was an automatic out - even innings left field was an automatic out. That way we were convinced we'd learn to pull the ball!
We played until it was too dark to see. While we played I realized we were the best, the 12 of us were the best team in the area. My team won that game against ourselves.
Its my favorite and most memorable championship. Still.

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September 11, 2006

I said, yes I'll be here when the morning comes
Jumpin' Gene Simmons (194?-2006)

Tomdarro Womanwhodreamedofthewhitewolf
Click images for desktop size: "Woman Who Dreamed Of The White Wolf" by Tom Darro
We all have those times when we want the phone to ring. We want somebody, anybody, to drop by. We all have times when we need to remember that we are human and we don't always feel like like . . . this. When its hard to recognize the face in the mirror.
There's the other times too. Those moments when you wrap yourself in a black cocoon and relish being not of this earth. Sometimes you think those thoughts filled with hate that come from someplace you don't recognize. Later on those thought repulse you and force you into being more the person you are and want to be.
Some people just sit around scared.
To be human you have to have light and dark inside of you so that it becomes up to you which side to show to the world. So you can be the chilled relaxed person who is comfortable in your own skin.
Then you can face the world knowing what's inside of you.
Poster - The Young, The Evil And The Savage One of the free penny papers did a story about me, my puppy, football and music and about me talking to the city council.
I just wanted to be invisible. To suffer quietly.
I don't like newspapers.
Journalists. I've had them as friends. Been fond of a couple of them so I know that they are people and feel and act just like the rest of us. But they have a job and when it comes down to their job they can't help but use everything they know about you. For a journalist the biggest loving act they can do in your behalf is keep silent. They twist the knife, not with hatred which you can deal with and expect, but con amore, only because it is their job and what feeds their kids.
I don't like even sweet puff pieces fascinated that I'm like a side show freak. I like music, football and puppies and I care that children not be harmed.
That's normal for me but worth a quarter page in a throw away paper?
I want to be invisible all over again.

The pain has been bad. I've been swallowing pain killers pretty steadily. Not the narcotic ones. I hate them and avoid them at all costs. They knock out the pain but then I feel hung over for the next 3 days. the pain is still manageable.

Going into tonight I'm 11-3 in my football picks. One of the losses was picking a major upset, picking Miami. The other was a shock. Who could have figured that John Abrahams and Grady Little could suddenly convert the Atlanta defense into championship caliber, or is it that Carolina is really a one dimensional team and without Steve Smith fall into the ordinary.
Probably both are true.
And then I picked the Giants . . . they played horridly on O and stunningly on D. It doesn't matter, who I picked. It was a highly entertaining game.
Now the two games tonight. I'm so drained I hope I can stay awake for them.
Between football and the Dodgers and the American League Central I can barely keep my mind on the hurting. This is truly a golden time that comes each year and then on Saturday Southern California against the Nebraska Cornhuskers!
I'm shallow. These are reasons to rejoice in life. Then my High School team gets to play an 0-4 team.
Hopefully we can learn sportsmanship while perfecting our performance.
Michaelwhelan Hplovecraftpanel2
Click images for desktop size: "HP Lovecraft Panel 2" by Michael Whelan
And I have a dog I love.
What else matters.

For my birthday I got a couple of really great books. They came from Amazon with a gift note but absolutely NO NAME or even clue as to who might have sent them. I took the tact that, instead of thinking about it, I'd wait until I got a nasty note or phone call.
It came today BUT it came with even more gifts! More MOVIES - King Hu's “The Fate Of Lee Kahn”. This is a Chinese disk. I hope it has subtitles. “The Fate Of Lee Kahn” was the first Chinese film to be noticed outside of the grind houses way back in the 70's. Respected critic Tony Ryans, astounded everyone by writing a pivotal piece, “Threads In The Labyrinth”. The films he wrote about most eloquently were King Hu's. I have never seen the movie so I am stoked.
If that's not enough it also included a box set of 5 spaghetti Westerns!
Hecrules And The Captive Women-1024 This proves my puppies cynical syllogism, “The ruder you are the more they like you.”

This is September 11th. Five years ago. One of my best friends was a Lt. Commander. He was at the Pentagon and died there. The real hell was that it took 3 days for the US government to even acknowledge he was there and 2 more days to find out what happened to him.
I miss him. Even so neither his wife or his mother and certainly not me believe that all Muslims should be killed on sight. We don't believe that this war in Iraq has anything to do with what happened that day.
Even though we have been touched by it we all still feel that this is a phony war designed for the most base political and monetary motives. I don't want to understand them, I want the people who killed my friend to be dead and I despise a President who seeks to justify his self serving acts with the blood of my friends and the young men and women who's lives he throws away.

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August 20, 2006

Summer Means Fun
Terry Melchoir

Simplesunset
Click images for desktop size: "Simple Sunset" by Iconoclast
There's a lot I like about this time of year.
The baseball races are locked in and the burning questions remain: Will the Cardinals fold? Will the Dodgers be able to maintain the sparkling play from the past month and get to the Series or will the suddenly hot Giants make a move?
In the American League the Red Sox and Yankees are always amusing but the real baseball is in the Central where the Tigers have shown they are not going to fade and keep staying in front of the White Sox, who are playing brilliant ball, and even the twins refuse to go quietly into that goodnight.
And then there's pre-season football . . .
Now that Mike Tice has departed there is no question that Denny Green is the worst coach in the Sport. He is always amusing in the way he manages to confound with the sheer inanity of his statements and his decisions.
Poster - Angels Hard As They ComeMatt Linhart has a whole week of practice in so announce to Billichik, still the best coach in the game, that you are going to start Matt in the 2nd quarter . . . in case Billichik decides to leave his starters in a little longer . . . Matt is cool and will probably survive it. Probably or at least possibly.
Remember when they started Rookie John Elway against the Pittsburgh Steelers? Brutality got a new name. It took Elway 2 years to properly recover from that beating.
Greene is a fool.
Warner will win them some games, the WR's in AZ can do it, but he won't win any more championships, so in a coaching snit you make a lamb of the main hope for your franchise?
At another end of the talent spectrum there are the NY Giants. The defense this year will be very scary. They should easily retake the division title and, with very few good breaks, should make it to the SuperBowl. Gibbs doesn't have a QB in Washington, Parcell's continues to be the most over rated coach in History at Dallas, Philadelphia doesn't have it anymore.
Going through the rest of the league the only other point of interest is Carolina: Scary defense but an offense that always seems to break down.
The Bears? Getting hammered by the 49er's, even in pre-season says too much about them, especially with Favre fired up in Green Bay and the Vikings looking patient. The Bears defense showed some life against new starter Philip Rivers of San Diego, but so what?
In the AFC its unrealistic to expect the Steelers to repeat. The Bengals, if they get Carson back at QB are talented. The Colts aren't dead yet but the Patriots kept them from the SuperBowl when they had the drive to win.
No team really captures the imagination in the AFC but there are interesting side trips.
Duante Culpepper is one of my favorite players. He was born in a woman's prison and managed to find the attitude and the heart to play in the NFL. If he is rehabbed he can make some exciting moments and win some games for Miami.
Dragon Lantern
Click images for desktop size: "Dragon Lantern" by Unknown
The Jets and KC will limp along and try and adjust. Larry Johnson, one of my fave people, will provide some magic in KC but Trent Green will not.
Anyway you look at it the AFC is pretty wide open.

My kid's team starts the season next Friday night. The local paper actually had a comment about our unit. A nice comment too, especially when the O-Line is so seldom noticed except when things go wrong!
Practice tomorrow and it will be serious.
My college player has been coming to my job so I can observe him. He's feeling good about it and understands the concepts. He says it is helping him at his college camp.

Yesterday the pain was pretty intense, but I was able to calm it down with just a couple of mild pain pills instead of the killer pain killers. It didn't remove it but made it tolerable and this morning the pain has diminished and no drug hang over.

They Made Me A Criminal Wallpaper - 1024I've crossed the 1,100 DVD/movie line . . . Mainly due to some early birthday gifts. Three sets of 50 movies in the horror, gangster and Western vein. Good stuff.
I also got a great set of 8 classic Kung Fu films - Liu Chi Ling films. They're in Chinese (Mandarin) but are fantastic looking so far. I've seen all the films but the DVD transfers are so bright and crisp they feel brand new and exciting.

The Mayor's office called me Weds. They want me to address the City Council about Item 25, Child Safety. I haven't decided yet. Don't know if it will do any good or not.

So everything is alright for a while. My puppy is fine and showing some small signs of weight loss. I'm fine what more could want?
Maybe a little more money but who doesn't want that.

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July 11, 2006

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

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

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

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July 4, 2006

Truths held self evident

Captain America
Click images for desktop size: "Captain America" by Vic
The heat nearly overwhelmed me today. The heat, the humidity, left me soaked with sweat from just standing.
Still sore from the over indulgent bike riding. Old rules of thumb apply here: Two days and its just the muscles learning 3 days and its an injury.
I took the bike out today to run to the store. A trip that took me nearly 2 hours walking took less than 45 minutes. I felt exhilarated accomplishing this small thing.
The pain was always there but not debilitating at all.
Tomorrow is my normal day off. I have one job interview/fill out an application things. I plan to take my bike.
3DaysofthecondorThe buses here all have front mounted bike racks. My eBike weighs about 65 pounds (30 kilos). I spent a part of today practicing hoisting the bike so the wheels were four feet off the ground, high enough to fit on the bus's bike rack.
If I can make this happen I can still get around and get myself into shape for the 15 mile treks.

I thought today about some people. I've known a lot of people who, it felt to me, needed to bring themselves as close to death as possible to remind themselves they're alive.
Some people thought I was like that with the extreme sports thing. No. I used to be an adrenaline junkie for sure.
I'm talking about the guys who gamble and are always betting more than they can ever afford to lose.
They'll tell you its because they want to win but when they do they throw it all back.
I've known cool people who became junkies. They did it to see how far it was for them to hit bottom, but they lost their way there and maybe bottom was a lot farther away than you can imagine when all you've got is a lizard brain.
I've known people who've ignored the sunshine and wrapped themselves in side a silicon cocoon, ignoring the world and spent most of their brain power wondering why the person of their dream didn't jump naked through their window on a cold lonely night.
I've watched people with every reason to be at least content, contort themselves and distort the world around them so that they could remain separate and filled with hate. A hate so profound that their vision of love is only a diluted hate.
Jesse James Women-1024 The minor league umpire strike is over. You know I won't cross a picket line.
I love thinking about baseball, all the numbers to mull over, all the stats to calculate and figure on every pitch. The way the plays replay themselves in your head reenforcing the beauty and miracle of muscles, eyes and hands combining to do an impractical wonderful thing.
As much as I miss playing this game I can't avoid it forever. Its like trying to ignore your first love when they walk by you on the beach.
Yeah, exactly like that.

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June 25, 2006

The world is a changing place; only beauty is constant

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

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

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

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April 11, 2006

Viva les Rock & Roll

Gearing
Click images for desktop size: "Gearing" by Zipangu
I've neglected a number of things lately.
I've been preparing the summer workout programs for 46 players.
Too much of it is fundamental. I have kids running with heel flicks (weak inner thighs), discombobulated coordination between hands and feet, pigeon toes, the gamut.
This is one of the few times I haven't been able to just create a half dozen programs and modify them slightly for the individual. Here I've had to prepare about 24.
It will be worth it if the kids do the 15 minute drills at least once a day during the summer. If they do it will be a noticeable improvement. Easy to say that there will be at least a .3 to 1 second improvement in their 40 times and at least .5 to .75 second improvements in their 20 times.
This isn't a testament to the efficacy of my program but to the neglect that has been heaped on their running form.
I have to get them running properly before I can work on refining and extracting the full potential from them. Superman, Ep#00-C (1948-Teaser) For the most part these are good kids. I expect them to work the programs. You can see the glimmer in them. They want to be the best.
just want them to have the tools available to be the best.
I want them to have a fair chance to win or lose.
They'll be okay.

I'm struggling some. Work, pain, health. It gets to be a tedious existence. I do exist though and that's saying something. Something positive.
My vision is concerning me the most right now. Its a side effect to the chemo. No one will tell me that its only temporary so its a fair bet that its permanent. Hopefully its acute and not chronic and pernicious.
My puppy continues to lighten my days. Her games and bad doggie jokes always amuse me.
What I don't like is when I wake up and find her staring at me, her face inches from mine. She doesn't want anything except to make sure that I am alive. When I reach out she accepts a cursory pet and then goes back to lie down and sleep.
I guess in her mind she's done her job.
I don't mind that. I don't like her stressing over me. I don't like to think of her worrying or experiencing anything that might be interpreted as pain.

I'm embarrassed to say how much I've enjoyed new socks and underwear. I couldn't afford the best so I got stuff in the middle range. They feel so much better than the cheapest stuff I was wearing. These help me to feel clothed where the cheapest stuff just kept me from being naked.
I even enjoy the 32 bucks a bar soap I have to use. Laszlo works. My skin feels less dead, more elastic. Their is no more pain in the skin. I can smile all the way to my eyes with no discomfort. Thirty two bucks is a bargain for that alone.

In music I've been more and more bored. the new Alkaline Trio album, “Crimson” is okay but nothing on it burns as bright as “Good Mourning”. I knew that “This Could Be Love” was a once in a lifetime track but nothing on “Crimson” rises to the level of “Every Thug Needs A Lady.” Its okay but I was hoping for so much more.
The new Flaming Lips album is just sort of listless. Not a total waste but nothing joyous for me in the tracks at all.
I guess I'll keep feeling like grandpa and dredging through the old stuff.

Baseball season has finally started. Go teams.

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February 14, 2006

Say it ain't so, Joe

Billy Dagwood-Autumn
Click images for desktop size: "Autumn" by Billy Dagwood
One night the disciple woke up crying.
The Master heard him and went to him, asking, "why do you cry?"
The disciple, between sobs, answered, "I had a dream."
"Was it a bad dream?" the Master asked.
The disciple said, "No," and continued to weep.
"Was it a nightmare?"
"No," and struggling the disciple said, "I had the sweetest dream imaginable. It was wonderful."
"Then why do you cry?" the Master asked confused.
"Because I know it will never come true."

~ A Bittersweet Life


I've been getting deluged with calls, emails and visits asking me to play baseball this spring. I want to play. Its been almost a year since I last played.
For me baseball has been the poetry that made life seem true.
Tyg-Poster-01 I could only play football through college, and my body wore out.
I've always surfed but surfing is a solitary sport best for self indulgence and private joy. You share it with your friends, not with the world.
But baseball. I've played it since I was 7. I've played in leagues, in sandlots. I played in two college world series in front of 50 thousand (pre-ESPN).
I've played in Korea, Japan. I was in a league in Europe playing against the Spanish, the Italians, even the French and Germans.
I played in the Dominican Republic and my teammates used gloves that were craftily constructed folded detergent boxes.
And it never mattered if I was wearing a uniform or whether the game would decide the championship, or if I was in a T-Shirt and jeans and teams just wanted to show off and impress the girls.
I played in Africa, in the desert where biota bags stood in for bases, in Thailand where the sweat poured into your eyes even if you just stood in the dugout.
If you ever played the game you'd know this: Every time you step on a baseball field you step onto all the baseball fields that ever were.
When your teammate climbs a ladder to snag a frozen rope that should have been a base hit its the same as having Don Kessinger climb that ladder.
When the pitcher glares at you its the face of Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson and Don Larsen glowering at you wanting to take the bat out of your hand.
And no matter how many people were in the stands or if there were actually stands there you would always feel the crowd as the ball came at you tight inside on a 2 and 2 count.
And somehow you're always 12 years old and dreaming about the majors and how great it must be to have to play baseball as your job. Your JOB!
On this romantic day I have to say goodbye to that. It has to be a memory.
Last August I went to a pick up game try out. I was terrible. I couldn't throw. Its only gotten worse.
Last year I played in a league in Texas. It was the first time in my life that I'd ever pitched. I had a 7-1 record and a no hitter. That's the thing about baseball, you never forget stuff like that. You can always relive it, because its always the same game.
Ivory Ocean Blueflower
Click images for desktop size: "Blue Flower" by Ivory Ocean
My life was awful then but I still played every week. practiced and took my dog to the games.
Just like always I savored every pitch, every crack of the bat, every glower, every expression. The sun was always shining bright, the bases were always loaded two away and the count was always 3 and 2.
It's always just that way. Always.
It was my last season.
I bought a ball to work with me today. Last year I painted a batters box on the fence.
I walked the 66 feet and turned and fired. My pitch was 4 feet over the top of the box and the pain in my arm was excruciating.
I tried playing some version of pepper with my puppy. I could still dip and scoop and I started to have glimmers of hope.
I whipped the ball into the fence and watched it roll in and bit back the scream as acid etched my arm from shoulder to elbow.
Everybody safe on the slow roller.
Its over.
Happy Valentine's Day Baseball. You gave me more than I could ever give you.

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January 6, 2006

On Wednesday we lost a football game. On Thursday we lost a legend.

Thegodfather
Click images for desktop size: "Marlon Brando as The Godfather
On Thursday Rod Dedeaux passed away. He was 91. He suffered a stroke on December 2nd. On Wednesday he watched the Trojans play in the National Championship. On Thursday he succumbed to complications of the stroke.
Rod Dedeaux was the Trojan baseball coach. He loved USC.
The numbers are 11 National Championships, including 5 in a row. Until 1994 he led the college baseball world in wins. He still ranks second.
Of his players, he sent 60 to the Major Leagues, 6 of them to the Baseball Hall Of Fame.
For the last 20 years the USC Baseball Field was named for him.
Coach Dedeaux recruited heavily from the USC football team. Jack Del Rio, coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, played catcher for him. Athletic Director Mike Garrett played in the outfield. Myself, I played Short Stop for him.
Highsociety(1956)-01-1 Coach Dedeaux liked football players because we were fit and intense. I can't speak for the others but I liked playing for him because he let the game be fun.
then, most of us grew up always wanting to be baseball players, major leaguers - poking a homer off of Sandy Koufax in the bottom of the ninth to win 1-0 sort of thing.
Coach Dedeaux knew this. He loved the game. He loved us. He taught us how to play better, how to play as a team. (Although he could never teach me how to hit the slider or the curve. Lord knows he tried.)
The world is emptier without him. He changed the world and the way most of America sees it all with a little game played with bats and balls. Always making sure we were having fun and having fun winning.

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November 18, 2005

What do you think I mean

Zelenayy-Feya-Wallpaper 115
Click images for desktop size: "Zelenayy" by Feya
The pain in my right arm and shoulder is becoming troublesome.
It's what kept me from playing a mini-season of baseball. Too much pain. It's worsening.
It probably indicates something worse but I've no time for it now.
If I've played my last ball game at least it was good. 7-1 and the only loss in an exhibition game to a high school team that knocked out in the first round of the Texas Championships, which shows how good the competition was.
The quality of the opponent doesn't really matter in the games I play. What matters is the level that I and my teammates play at, the effort and the knowledge that we are striving always to be better than we thought was our best.
Scanners(1980)-01Work was a drag. Petty bitching back biting politics. I can't for the life of me see what the prize is, or might be. Between the excruciating pain, the cold and my puppy being a total maniac ( I like that my puppy is a total maniac) I managed to not be involved in any of that.
They wanted me to be. The main concern was that I might be so angry I was planning to quit! Well, of course. It's that kind of job, but I'll do it in my time and there won't be any pressure from them.
My puppy is getting to be a wonder.
She thinks she's funny and part of the time she's right. Slow patience pays off. She's no longer very timid. She's settling in to being aloof and with out fear.
What have I got to not be happy about?

The days of wonder shall increase And the temples stand above the water . . . For whosoever hath knowledge of love Shall be loved; and whosoever of hate, Him shall we love before all men.

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October 23, 2005

There's nothing quite like the World Series

Womenathletesthreatormenace
Click images for desktop size: "Women Athletes: Threat or Menace?"
Game one was everything I could have wanted. Strategy, big plays, gritty defense and a refusal to quit.
All on the biggest stage in the world.
I loved the guy giving props to Venezuela!

With the World Series on it always nearly makes the NFL seem trivial. Baseball can do that.

In the contest I'm in my picks last week were good for 8-5 which put me at 428 for the week! Which is better than the 945th place I snatched last week but . . . The score dropped me from 170th down to 196th for the season.
I don't think I'm going to win the SuperBowl tickets this way . . .

Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers
With that caveat here are my picks for today. Oh, I had Kansas City as a winner already. I like Acts of God affecting sporting events. Home teams are listed first and my pick is Bold.

Cleveland vs Detroit The Lions receivers are to good, the defense playing over their heads. If Marruci sits Harrington down this is an easy win.

Minnesota vs Green Bay Favre is a man on a mission to not be embarrassed. That makes him twice as dangerous. Tice has ruined Culpepper (one of my fave QB's)

Houston vs Indianapolis This game almost seems cruel.

St Louis vs New Orleans Haslett is my pick for Coach Of The Year. That' he's kept this team competitive in the face of the Katrina disaster is incredible. Rams have no Martz and no Bulger. Personnel and destiny decide this one.

Cincinnati vs Pittsburgh My game of the week. I can't go against Palmer and Morton.

Philadelphia vs San Diego Tomlinson is rapidly proving himself to be one of the all time greats. But I have to take the Eagles. They're coming off a bye week, coming off angry after the Dallas fiasco. Chargers have the worst schedule in the league this year in terms of traveling and playing teams coming off the bye. Another interesting game.

Washington vs San Francisco Remember when these two teams were memorable? Washington needs a patsy after the past two weeks.

Lucio Parrillo Thehulk
Click images for desktop size: "The Hulk" by Lucio Parillo
Seattle vs Dallas No Jones for the Cowboys makes this a lock.

Chicago vs Baltimore Cruddy game of the week, unless you like defense. This game could end 2-0

Oakland vs Buffalo Cruddy game contender.

New York Giants vs Denver Close pick here, going with the home team. Denver could blow them out though.

Arizona vs Tennessee I love Steve McNair but Volek is starting today.

During the games I plan to take pictures of my puppy.

October 22, 2005

Its just licks off of records that I've learned
Martin Mull
USC 51 WASHINGTON 24

Dimaggio-Smoothestofthemall
Click images for desktop size: "Dimaggio-Smoothest Of Them All"
The World Series: It's the time when fact, fiction and legends all blend into one constant now. It's just the smallest beauty of baseball.
I would have loved to tell people that I took the Rocket downtown in Game 1 of the series.
This years series has all the potential to be wonderful. Great pitchers, sound fundamentals, power in reserve and smart managers trying to move their millionaire kids around the field.
I love that this series is so international.
I think it really always was.

Whateverhappenedtobabyjane(1960) Today was a day that revolved around music it seemed.
The kid, Pat, has been pestering me in the nicest way. He wants a song or two. He wants to see the magic. I keep stalling him off. I mean he doesn't know who Sam Cooke or Gene Vincent are! I think I've come up with a song for his band, something that will fit their talent and not embarrass me completely . . .
He wants me to come play with them at some college club next Saturday. That takes some serious thought, but I left it the way I feel - maybe.
After talking to him I spent the rest of the day and the bus ride home thinking about rhythm and lyrics and pounding beats. I thought about so many great songs I've heard and how even the bad ones, the stupid ones could sometimes come out of the car radio or the stereo or out the window of a house in your neighborhood and for a moment that song changed the world around you in ways that a 99 cent track shouldn't be able to. It does because that's the magic.

On the bus ride home, as I neared my house I saw something enchanting. About 60 teenaged girls, all in black short skirts with white velour trim and black and white pom poms. they stood in an impossible line and twisted and pranced as they rehearsed.
Then I saw the Stadium behind them was nearly full. It was a battle of the bands, all the high school marching bands in the area were there to strut their stuff and show off their routines!
Chargers Steelers Mnf
Click images for desktop size: "Chargers-Steelers" by CWC
I ran home and got the puppy and under cloudy skies we stood on our hill and tried to figure out if they were just marching around or if the bands were trying to make a picture or spell something.
The flag girls , the cheerleaders and the bands and my puppy who could have cared less all took me out of myself for a moment and for one of the few times I felt good and complete within myself.
You could hear the music in my back yard. They played until after dark!
We only stayed for a while as there is only so much pomp and circumstance and hundreds of drums even I can take.

The fellow came to fix the cable. I fought with the cable company and got a concession of over 60 bucks credit!
His repair work helped a bit but not completely. As soon as football season ends I intend to cancel the cable and just have the broadband internet.
I've also done something I hope I don't regret. I'm trying that Vonage broadband phone company. The price is right and I can call Europe for FREE! And Puerto Rico . . . I don't know anyone in Puerto Rico, but this is a reason to get to know someone in Puerto Rico!

October 16, 2005

USC 34 - Notre Dame 31
The crystal is cracked
There's blood splattered on the wall
Roger McGuinn

Anime Art Wall 080
Click images for desktop size: "Gundam"
The USC - Notre Dame game was good despite the hype, despite the supposition that SC would lose. Despite all of that it came down to young men playing for the honor of their schools, their own self image and for the sheer exuberant fun.
They all played with admirable skill, intensity and heart.

I still hate those green jerseys.

My high school played on Friday and won 13-10. It was also good for exactly the same reasons. It was a little better because I got to be there and got asked for advice on the sidelines. I'm not coaching yet , just getting to know the players and getting ready for spring ball.

Girls In Prison I also have a commitment to help out this kid with the band. He let me use his gear so I owe him at least that much. They just play that dinosaur “Classic” rock style that I have no feeling for.
I'll have to figure something out.

When I grow up I wanted to be Roger Clemens. I was in Boston the night Clemens threw 22 K's. He was incredible then and he remains incredible now.
I want an Astro's-White Sox World Series, then I won't care who wins. I just think that will be the most fun to watch.

And on to the NFL . . .
Last week I was 7-6 and finished 945th in the contest. This dropped me from 93rd for the season all the way down to 170th.
I don't even remember what the prizes are . . .
WIth that ringing endorsement here are my picks for this week. Home teams listed first and my picks in bold.

New Orleans - Atlanta Deuce's loss hurts the Saints more than the Loss of Vick hurts the Birds.

Detroit - Carolina The lion's receivers are too good. Carolina can pressure Herrington but they've looked poor since their win over the Pats. The game I want to see.

Tennessee - Cincinnati Carson will rule today. I expect BIG numbers from him. It's sad seeing the brilliant Steve McNair saddled with this team.

Baltimore - Cleveland The ravens looked devastated last week. They have too much pride to play that poorly 2 weeks in a row.

Pittsburgh - Jacksonville The game of the week. Maddox is a better than good back up. Leftowitz is not great yet. They could win but I expect the defense to step up with Big Ben on the side lines.

Bache Otto A Spaniel And A
Click images for desktop size: "A Spaniel And A Pug" by Otto Bache
Tampa Bay - Miami Ricky Williams returns. I expect little from him today. I knew Ditka was out of it when he gave away the Saints future to get him. This promises to be a not very entertaining match.

Chicago - Minnesota Cruddy game of the week contender, except the Bears defense is showing signs of beauty.

Dallas - Giants Manning can come of age, Bledsoe will come crashing to earth.

Kansas City - Washington Redskins defense will make this interesting.

Denver - New England Patriot pride and the greatness of Tom Brady make me pick them.

Buffalo - Jets I don't think that pro athletes can keep that beautiful emotion flowing two weeks in a row.

Oakland - San Diego Tomlinson keeps up his attack on the Hall of Fame. Brees makes Philip Rivers trade bait.

Seattle - Houston The other cruddy game of the week contender.

July 12, 2005

There's always a tear in the air

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