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March 1, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 18, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

The Cool and The Crazy 5 - The Party That Matters

The Party That Matters

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

May 4, 2009

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less
Marie Curie

Sky 1 by Ausencia
Click images for desktop size: "Sky 1" by Ausencia
This weekend was as busy as I figured. My body is still in rebellion. Lots of pain from the usual suspects.Battling Butler
Sometimes I wish I got a little sympathy for the hurting. I'd probably resent that too. You can't win with me, or, as I prefer, I can't lose.

Saturday started too early. My friend and I arrived at the football equipment locker. We weren't the very first ones there.
My friend got to sit at a table and do all the paperwork, registering the new kids. A rough enough job that I was glad to avoid.
Snow Fun
Click images for desktop size: "Snow Fun" by NFL Films
I got stuck doing shoulder pads and fitting game jerseys. That devolved as some guys showed up late or not at all. Normal stuff. They got a couple of players to fit shoulder pads. I fit jerseys and double checked the shoulder pad fittings. I only had to swap out a half dozen sets of pads so the kids did alright.
Fitting game jerseys is a real pain. Game jerseys are ultra tight. Lot of reasons for this; being tight the help compress the shoulder pads increasing protection slightly and also enabling the player to hit with more impact. Tight jerseys make it easier for referee's to see holding. The jerseys are so tight that if a ref sees a player's jersey being pulled its obvious that this is far from incidental contact. It also helps protect the player from actually being held and unfairly impeded.
And tight jerseys look great.
My method of getting on a jersey is to put them on the pads first and then put the jerseys and pads on as a unit.
That's too pokey for this sort of deal. There was only one jersey of each size. The new jerseys would be ordered based on my measurements. That means I had to put the jersey on each kid and then Sinister by Yasushi Nirasawa
Click images for desktop size: "Sinister" by Yasushi Nirasawa
take it off.
The quickest way was to roll the jersey up from the bottom, have the kid slip his arms through, up to the elbow. I soon learned to tell ALL the kids to put their arms through the arm holes and not the neck hole. With the jersey on the arms the kid has to raise his head and arms to get his head through. Then I reach around behind them and pull the jersey over the pads and down.
I nearly choked out half a dozen kids . . . I'd then straighten the jersey and check it. The real grief was when I'd eye balled the wrong size and had to re-fit the kid twice (once it required 3 fittings, and one took four).
I also learned to tell the kids to stand strong when I was pulling the jersey, I still dragged about a dozen of them to their knees.
Getting the jersey off is worse. I have the kids pull one of their arms free then I pull the jersey King Of the Zombies loose from the pads then have them pull the jersey from the side over their noggins. The jersey then just falls off the other arm.
I didn't keep track but I probably fitted close to 200 kids.
I was on my feet for 8 solid hours doing this. If I was getting paid $7.50 an hour I'd have quit after the first hour and demanded my check. For twenty an hour I'd not have ever gone back and I'd have complained bitterly about no coffee breaks. For free I didn't mind it. My friend felt the same way.
I tore four of my weak nails. My hands didn't start cramping badly until 6 hours into it. I think its interesting that my hands cramp up after 15 or 20 minutes playing guitar. So logic says that guitar playing is 24 times harder than pulling kit around on kids.
I liked meeting the kids and having my brief chats with them and the parents. I felt there was a slightly higher percentage of parents who were in this for the right reasons, slightly higher than usual. Not at the cost of the parents into it for the wrong reason. There seemed to be fewer indifferent ones though. That's a nice positive.
Another nice positive was that they provided pizza for lunch. Eat on your feet thing. I asked them if they could order from this one pizza joint because they have a gluten free pizza that my friend could have. I was originally told no, they had reasons for that, acceptable reasons. Then they ordered from the same pizza joint I asked for because my request was more important to them than the reasons. EXCEPT they forgot the reason was to get a gluten Evening Chant
Click images for desktop size: "Evening Chant" by Unknown
free pizza for my friend. Amusing unless you're my friend who got no pizza!
There were 5 coaches I noted who scarfed down free pizza but never seemed to work with any kids . . . made the note to not let them near any of the kids on my team.
As soon as I'd sent the last kid out the door my friend and I hoped in the car to go pick up the foster dog.
He was being held by this really sweet couple. New dog is a big happy goof, totally bewildered by everything that's happened to him he embraces his confusion by laughing and playing until the scary parts go away.
Its pretty obvious that he lived for a while where he was loved but badly cared for. He's not neutered, his dew claws are dangerously long. He sort of knows a few commands. I think the family abandoned him. He was found wandering in the woods. Kept in a dog pound for a couple of months. Put on death's row, then thrown into a car and driven away, then another car, then a home for a few hours and finally ends up here.
He's smart, scared, confused and happy. The food they gave us for him is too rich after dog poundLaura grub - diarrhea and vomiting. Because he's not neutered giant dog hates him, my puppy has made it clear he's not to invade her personal space and gentle dog endures him because gentle dog is gentle dog.
All he wants is to play and be told its all okay.
His trip continues tonight when he has to go to the vet to get neutered, dew claws removed and all other vetting. It irks me no end that the pound couldn't do even these simple things to make his life easier. The idea of its wasted money on a dog they had slated to die doesn't cut it. Would you deprive a cancer victim of pain killers?
He's going to make someone a fine dog. He'll make them laugh. He's learning simple commands but still has a hard time concentrating. He'll be fine.
Sunday was the eagerly anticipated dog walk.
It was a bust. Highly disappointing. All the more so because there's no one to blame. I'd really have liked someone to blame.
Surf
Click images for desktop size: "Surf" by Unknown
The dog walk is normally at this gorgeous hotel grounds. Some guest must have seen that there was to be a dog walk and thrown a fit about loose dogs ruining her holiday.
This was last second. To the hotels credit they did not forbid use of their grounds. They have something like 300 acres. They just set up a different trail for the walk but THEY INSISTED ALL DOGS BE LEASHED!
In today's economy I can understand them not telling the rich guest to go to hell. The trail they set up was horrid. Dirty, hot. We had to walk through about a half mile of loose dirt and wood chips stepping in the tractor tread marks and depressions.
It would have been okay if the dogs were running loose and making friends. This was just a walk that we could have done better at any of a dozen places.
London After Midnight
The dogs still enjoyed it.
My friend's assistant from work bought her dog along. He was great. I was sad that the great adventure we had promised her had devolved into something bland.
She and her dog came home with us and new dog and assistant dog played incredibly hard and rough. It almost made the shambolic day worthwhile, for me at least.
My friend and I were both fatigued. I think she was as glad I was there as I was glad she was there.
Things seem to work out better that way.

April 14, 2009

Even inside your fist there is darkness
Kiboyashu Kurasawa

Long and the Tall
Click images for desktop size: "The Long and the Tall" by Unknown
The giant dog woke me. Simple method; barked in my face till I got up.
He was only the emissary. The other two dogs were agitated and waiting for me to get up and open They Call Her One Eye the door. There was something in the yard.
I let them out. Typical non-event. And little barking.
They're all asleep now. My friends asleep. The whole house is silent except for me.
Headphones on. Staring at LCD screens and thinking. Always thinking even when the thoughts are just about white noise and guitar strings.
My puppy stayed in the office with me for a while. I was boring. She left.
She did her job. She reminded me that no matter how dark the night I'm not alone, never alone. Free? As free as I can be I guess. Freedom in exchange for never being alone seems a fair deal. Never alone against no responsibility, no love, just me and my pills and my pain.
Maybe the deal is too much in my favour.
Some good news yesterday. Very good news.
It started when the Animal Rescue service called. We're going to get to be foster dog parents.
Very cool.
All that's left is the house visit. Which just means some house cleaning. There's little question this is a home built for dogs.
My friend wants me to find out about us getting a shelter license. Where we could have as many dogs as we saw fit (and could afford). I still have a strong distaste for dealing with governments but the pay off would be kind of astonishingly great.
Both my friend and I are experienced fosters. I love having the dogs come in. Its a positive for everyone. Our dogs get to meet and adapt to another personality, the foster gets out of the shelter. Marvel Comics
Click images for desktop size: "Marvel Comics Presents"
Even the nice shelters are pretty hellish, at least to me.
My last foster was in an area that still believed in kill shelters. There the fostering had a more poignant edge. The poor dogs had either me or death. This never stopped any of them from making my life pleasantly miserable. One foster ate a wall, I've lost countless frozen pizzas off of kitchen counters. One foster I loved had this incredible ability to dig a three foot hole in under 5 seconds!
My puppy would argue with them, play with them. My puppy used to like to lay out her stuffed toys in the sun light. She would spend an amazing amount of time laying them out and arranging them, then she would just lie down and stare at them. I guess she was feeling wealthy.
All of the fosters respected her little arrangements, until her back was turned. then they'd steal her toys and actually play with them like a dog is intended to.
Here they don't have any kill shelters. It sort of puts the lie to the myth that kill shelters provideThe Thing any sort of service. Even though the pups aren't facing unjust execution their lives are still sadly miserable.
The shelters here are nice. The shelters in LA are a disgrace. Visiting any of them is tantamount to seeing the undiscussed circle of hell. Here they're clean. Each dog has a room, not a cage, but its still prison. No dog is happy until someone stops to talk at them, and when the person leaves they sink back into their lonely misery.
One thing this agency does that is different from any past Marty Robbins
Click images for desktop size: "Marty Robbins"
experience; they let you pick which dog to foster.
I'm not sure how I feel about that. My experience is that the coordinator calls me and says that if I don't take this or that puppy they'll die tomorrow.
Its an unfair pressure I don't mind.
Here we had to go through the web site and pick one.
Considering that both my friend and I are prone to the "oh, hell, just give me all of them" syndrome and "we'll figure out how to deal with it as things come up" affliction, this is dangerous.
We picked two dogs for more info on. Both are Belgian mix breeds. In the pictures both dogs look terrified and terribly sad.
The female is a terv mix, about 18 months old. She was picked up on the street. No one ever claimed her. This makes me figure she was abandoned. Driven someplace and kicked out of the car to "wander lost and lonely like a cloud".
The male has a face too much like my puppy's. He's about 6 months. A surrender. That means that some one decided that his black fur didn't coordinate well with the new carpet, or his toes clicking on the linoleum grated on their nerves.
That's harsh. There are probably several good reasons for taking someone into your life and then cruelly dumping them. I can't think of any. At least its better than abandoning them to their own I Feel You by Jose Manchado
Click images for desktop size: "I Feel You" by Jose Manchado
devices. I don't really think so but it sounds like it should be better.
We'll know this weekend when we get the home inspection. I'll take the cowardly way out and let my friend make the final pick. I figure let both of them stay here, even though I know I could never cope with two new scared dogs, but I guess I'd figure it out.
I also love the idea of meeting the perspective adopting people. Its nothing but a warm experience.
The other nice news is that the football club apparently wants me to coach. They haven't figured out the assignments yet but they want me attend the "fitting" clinic this Saturday.
This is the clinic where they show coaches the right way to wear shoulder pads and the proper sizing and strapping for helmets.
Its been a lot of years since I had to attend something like this. I expect to be pleasantly bored.The Wolf Man
I used to keep up with this stuff by listening to the salesman. Eastman, Riddle, Air etc were always making alterations to their equipment, innovations maybe. Th salesman would demonstrate and point out any differences in how the gear should be worn.
I'll be most interested in meeting my fellow coaches. I hope there aren't any militaristic win-at-all-costs types. Most of the time you can't recognize the type until game day. They've learned to disguise it.
If that weren't enough my computer worked all day. Its still going.
My friend is learning to love her MacBook. She using Parallels along with gr to do her job and keep it all on her Mac.
The only slight negative is that yesterday was the last day of her four days off. This is the start of her Quarter End which means I probably not really see her until this weekend.
Its a bearable absence.

March 6, 2009

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

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

August 13, 2008

Only a fool wants to live forever
Fai Shi Kun

Gas By Edward Hopper
Click images for desktop size: "Gas" by Edward Hopper
I got stung by a hornet last night. They made a nest in the mailbox.
It hurt but no real after effects. I'm still pretty non-allergenic, I guess.
One of my kids got released from his NFL team yesterday. I feel badly for him.
He's one of my kids who I always had the hedging feeling that I failed. Not athletically. He did a great job there. A Study In Terror This is his first failure.
Failing doesn't mean much when you expend no effort. Its another thing to fail when you've given it everything, when you've created the dream and then done everything physically possible to attain the dream. Its when you don't add in the mental toughness that I get worried.
He's a man now. This would have been his fourth NFL season.
People always ask about what I mean when I say that turning a young person into a stud athlete isn't my job.
When I was eleven years old my friend Tom and I were great Little League ball players and we dominated Pop Warner.
Baseball was the love of my life. Our coach was the father of our pitcher. I found out years later that the coach had been in the major leagues. He never had an at bat but he tore up Triple A ball and kept getting called up but never seemed to have gotten a real shot.
He and his wife were divorced. The time he spent with his son was as our coach.
He seldom came to our practices. That was fine, we just played pick up games. He gave me one coaching tip in 3 years. It was a good one about how to shade a batter with runners on; how to read the batter to see if he's trying to hit behind the runner or hit away. It took him about 14 seconds. He was drunk. He usually was. That tip stayed with me forever. It was invaluable.
I wondered if Bill Lancaster played ball in our league. He once had a mad crush on a friend of mine. She was gay so it was pretty unrequited. I never got to ask him. Bill wrote "The Bad News Bears". Walter Matthau played a drunk little league manager.
The Alligator People During games our coach would sit in the dugout next to his cooler. He drank about a beer an inning. He was pretty ripped by the 7th. We turned in the line up cards at all the games.
During games he muttered a lot but never really talked to any of us. I don't know if he even knew what the score was.
Thing is we won our league 4 times. We advanced into the World Series sectionals twice.
As kids we didn't care much about things other than playing and winning but as an adult I always figured that people always congratulated our coach and told him he was doing a great job. Maybe he was. Maybe a bunch of poorer kids playing in a rich guys league needed that kind of coach. I can't reflect that properly.
By the time I was getting recruited by colleges I was a superb athlete. A true stud. I was also a pretty poor substitute for a human being. I was arrogant, close enough to sociopathic to at least Anime by Fleya
Click images for desktop size: "Anime" by Fleya
consider that as a job description. My only contact with any shred of humanity was via my unbridled affection for dogs.
It was my running backs coach at SC who took the time to be more concerned about me as a human being than as a stats machine. I mean he took time.
We were pretty successful then too.
But that is the kind of coach I wanted to be. It was hard, much harder for me than just learning the drills and to watch a young person and see if there was an athlete in there. Its harder to see the person inside the body.
Anybody can teach you to run faster. But it takes someone special to give you a reason to want to run faster.
Its about building self respect, self esteem and teaching the young people entrusted to you that they have a value to society and to the world and that that value carries with it responsibilities.
Somehow in my tiny brain greater talent and value carried with it even greater responsibility. Responsibility to your teammates, to your family, Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla to the neighborhood, to the kids watching you play and foremost a responsibility to yourself.
A responsibility to uphold those things that make you what you are; that make you proud of yourself on and off the field. And when things look bad because you hold to those believes you can rely on your teammates, your family and your neighborhood to trust in the kind of man you are and support you and stand with with. And, of course you can always rely on your coach.
If I had learned that simple minded stuff when I was eleven I know I would have been a better player and a happier human being.
I would have been less sociopathic. I'd probably still be as arrogant as I am today.
Comes with the territory I guess.

August 7, 2008

You can't let the fearful control your life

Zavh By R Lattrell
Click images for desktop size: "Zach" by R Latterll
The cat passed away last night at 7:25.
Earlier in the day I had her outside resting in the sun while I mowed the grass. She enjoyed it. She preened in the sunlight and stretched herself in the warmth.
The dogs were pretty peeved by this. The cat was on their favorite perch and they always get locked in when I have the lawnmower running. (My puppy watches me intently from the window, the giant dog gets up on his back feet and looks through the door window).
The Phantom Of The Paradise When I bought the cat back inside I was confused. She seemed tired but content. She purred loudly and slept comfortably.
I took her outside again for the second half of the mowing. She didn't object but didn't seem to enjoy it. She lie there pretty unresponsive. I always checked on her every few minutes. I bought her back inside when I saw that there were flies on her and she was doing nothing about it.
She took some water by hand, twitched her tail and seemed to fall asleep.
About 7 PM she lost control of her bowels. She meowed in complaint when I cleaned her up but was happy to lie back down on clean towels and cushion.
A little bit later I got a brief phone call. As I hung up the cat made a deep groan like meow. I sat on the floor beside her. She trembled for a short second and then she was gone.
I gave her some mild CPR. I waited a few minutes until I was convinced she was truly gone.
I emailed my friend to tell her. Then felt that was callous so I called her office. (She was still working on her dead line, she was until 3 AM) I told her the sad news.
Because I like almost all animals in general (except cows and bugs) I'm saddened by the cat's dying. I'm more worried about my friend.
This is the second loved one she's lost in less than two months. That's a harshness; a cruelty.
The Mummy's Hand My little blind dog's presence still hangs heavily over us. Its hard to accept that he's gone. (And though he was clearly my little dog it was my friend who raised him and tended him and loved him, even if she didn't know that she was holding him for me, she felt that the little dog was hers.)
The cat loved my little blind dog. She would always work her way to get next to him. He was never too impressed with that. He'd always wake up startled to find a cat cuddled up next to him!
My puppy always gave the little guy a hard time about that. Called him a "cat lover". He always vehemently denied it.
I buried the cat by one of the little dogs favorite trails, one he would drag me through all the time.

Yesterday was busy for me in other ways.
As I mentioned I mowed the gas. It was in bad shape. We couldn't afford gas for the lawnmower so it was overgrown badly. There's over a quarter acre of grass to cut with a push mower so it gets tiring for me. HK Pepnix
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by HK Pepnix
The dogs loved it cut and played outside most of the day. When they'd come inside to check on me their muzzles were coated with green grass mush.
I called every secondary school around here. There was no one rude to me but not much interest in an unpaid assistant. I've encountered that before. Its that goony thing where people feel someone unpaid who does a good job will dilute their standing and pay scale. Maybe they're right. I've never coached in high school for money so I don't know the politics. I'm sure they're politics. There always are.
Its a good thing the game is so beautiful.
I got an email from a good friend. He was congratulating me Vertigo for things that really have little to do with me.
Four athletes I've met are going to the Olympics. I think my coaching tips to them were of my usual class ("Run faster!" being my favorite.) And I have over a dozen kids who've played don my teams in NFL camps.
All these athletes are there because of their efforts. I'm excited and pleased that they allowed me to stand on the sidelines to watch these kids develop from boys and girls to fine men and women.
Of course I'll be watching for them. I'll be cheering for them.
Some of the kids in the NFL camps worry me. Most of them I know are of the caliber to deal with all of the nonsense, but a couple of them . . .
I'm just an old man afraid to let go, I think. They'll be fine. I just wish they all make the team.

July 16, 2008

Shakespeare with a hole in his sock doesn't write the same sonnet as Shakespeare with socks intact
Ken Patchen

Green by Brian Loper
Click images for desktop size: "Green" by Bryan Loper
I didn't go out and look for work yesterday. My friend woke up ill and stayed in. It was a good excuse to stay home and play inept nurse.
We're both losing weight. I've no idea if that's a good or a bad thing. Probably good for me and not so good for her.
Grave Of The Vampire Although it was probably a good idea that I didn't go out looking for work yesterday. I mowed the lawn here. I had to do a rather poor job in order to save gas in the mower. Even that, 2 hours of pushing a lawnmower nearly killed me.
Sweat in the eye, ginchy grabbing pains sort of killing me, not the real deal killing me.
There was a brief but violent thunderstorm this morning. I'm hoping that it might have scared off some workers and I can go hit around the few construction sites and maybe pick something up.
My head still fills like its loaded with concrete but they won't be interested in whether I can think or not.
One thing about today. I woke up wanting to be part of the community. Yesterday there was a power outage. It bounced pretty hard and screwed up the network (as usual). I went out on the street and spoke to some of the neighbors who were out. Any kind of disaster and everyone runs outside. When I was a kid I used to run out in the street during earthquakes because I was convinced dinosaurs and lava would come springing out of the newly opened crevasses.
I was always disappointed. Although I did get to see a brick chimney collapse once. Cool but not as cool as a red hot dinosaur springing out of the ground ready to commit mayhem. I was certain that the ravenous dinosaur and I would be fast friends and he and I would go reek a horrible vengeance against the adults of the world.
But I woke up today wanting to be a part of the community again. That's a good thing. I tempers my stoic cynicism. I thought about coaching football. The schools around here aren't much for the sport. When I called when I first got here Giant Panda
Click images for desktop size: "Giant Panda" by Unknown
they were more than a bit astonished that I was interested in seeing a game, let alone volunteer coach.
There's plenty of demand for Pop Warner coaches. I'm not sure if I have the physical strength and endurance to deal with the little ones. They take a lot more care and hands on demonstrations. They are amusing though.
Where my strengths in coaching lie are in turning kids into athletes. I tend to do it with mind numbing repetition. Like the stick foot move. It where you have to an abrupt change of direction to make a tackle or throw a block. Its a simple thing in theory. You stamp the ground with your foot and let momentum swerve you while you continue to run and pursue.
In practice its not so easy. The point is to do it so often that it becomes reflex. A player can't think on the field about anything but his assignment and the situation. If he has to take the micro second to consider the correct way to make a move even a guy House Of Wax with 5.0 speed will be one and a half steps past him and then further adjustments are needed. It doesn't work unless its just done automatically.
And with endless repetition the body gets so tired that it starts to do these things properly, without exaggeration or thought. It works. I've had enough players progress to higher levels to know that.
With little ones the main idea is to make sure they don't hurt themselves and that they play well enough to have fun. After that I worry about fine tuning the athlete and after that I worry about getting them to play as a unit and then, if there's time I worry about winning.
I've sort of given up on playing even softball. The arm can't take it. I've no zip on the ball and my accuracy decreases expoentially to the amount of zip I put on it. Maybe this weekend we can go watch a softball game and I can see how ept or inept the competition is.
No I have to go to work, or at least beg for it.

June 16, 2008

I've seen the best minds of my generation
Allen Ginsberg

Daft End Direkt by J3 Designs
Click images for desktop size: "Daft End Direkt" by J3 Designs
Once one of my players asked me what made me special enough to play big time college football. I said, "Speed and rage." Which sounded as glib then as it does now.
It was early in my coaching career. I got better.
Even though its a glib answer its accurate. Speed is natural. The Female Bunch But any speed result can be improved until you max it. I ran a 4.5 40. It was my consistent max. That's quick still, but in an age when DB's and WR's are clocking in 4.3's and it takes a 4.2 to make the scouts notice 4.5 doesn't seem like much.
Speed is natural but the rage . . .
My buddy Tom was a victim of rage. He got banned from the Pac 10 for being "incorrigible" at 20 years old, all because of rage.
Rage is consuming and letting it take over your life is a hardship. It hurts and clouds; destroys whatever good might be able to soak through it.
I was lucky. I was running the stadium steps. It was my normal punishment, usually for getting aggressive with a team mate during practice. My coach took the time to talk to me. He took the time to change me and remove the rage. It took about a year but I saw the game differently after that. It was no longer kill or be a target. It became fun. I became what the British call a "useful player". Good enough to belong on the field, occasionally I'd make a big play and I was enough of a concern for defenses that the stars could make the really big plays.
As a frothing hate filled maniac I was a better football player. My coach was kind enough to sacrifice that to see me become a better man. At least that's what I took from it.
I was suffering then. Fearful and dangerous in the way a perfectly fit and strong kid can be dangerous when fueled by a fear that step fathers and previous coaches had fueled.
It took my coach to see it and act on it. I was suffering. For whatever reason Americans pride themselves on suffering in silence.
Jim Bouton mentioned it inadequately that Wonder Woman - Donna Troy
Click images for desktop size: "Donna Troy - Wonder Woman" by DC Comics
the greatest compliment a guy can get is, "He wouldn't say shit if he had a mouthful."
I suffer now, physically though and not mentally. Physical suffering is easier in a lot of ways.
In all the ways I've grown since being the enraged destructive force I've never gotten past the bad habit of ignoring pain and suffering quietly. I have a huge pain threshold, I know that, but even when the pain gets pretty consuming I still find myself telling the doctors, "Its not too bad."
Even when I see the effect that it has on others. See, when I suffer I go through that complicated process starting with self pity. Is there any more despicable trait then self pity? But I touch it and wonder, "Why me? Why do I have to hurt like this? Why can't I ever feel a moment's peace?"
When I feel that I get self recriminating, another bad habit. I remind myself that "men" don't feel self pity. Boxcar Bertha "Men" just destroy the obstacles. I guess that works when your a salty kid but it seems sort of immature for an adult.
Dealing with the pain and all the rest of the baggage I've attached to the pain gets me short tempered and unforgiving. I haven't felt the black clouds of rage for a few years but I suspect that people outside of myself would have a hard time telling the difference.
As I get weaker and sicker its harder for me to accept the weakness. To say "I hurt," and to expect understanding. I've a life time of knowing that people like it when you share your feelings, so long as its the good feelings, the bad ones they'd rather you kept to yourself.
I have to stop with my double standards; holding myself to a higher standard that I would hold others.

I started throwing a softball yesterday. Yeah, I've gotten to that age where I'm thinking of playing slow pitch softball. I still have enough ego to only want to play if I can contribute.
I've got a softball. I threw it against a tree 60 feet away fifty times. I hit the tree within 2 inches of where I was aiming 96% of the time. That was with no zip on it, more than a lob but not whipping it in there. I noticed my arm was dropping down to 3/4 sidearm. Normally I'd put that down to tiredness. In this case it seemed to increase my accuracy and reduce the pain.
I'm going to continue throwing it against that tree for a while. I'll add 5 feet to it until I get to 120 feet. Dream State
Click images for desktop size: "Dream State" by Unknown
I've got enough yard for that. Then I'll got to a nearby ball field and throw against the back stop. If I can get the ball with some reasonable speed at 200 feet about 100 times I'll be able to play short or even some fill in outfield.
I'm looking for some batting cages in the area. I've always had a left eye dominance (and I'm a goofy foot). With the issues with my eyes I don't know if that will be enough. I used to be able to pick up 90 mph fastballs leaving the pitcher's hand now I'm not certain I'll be able to pick up a softball until its too late. I know I've got enough bat speed to drive the ball if it gets in my wheelhouse but I'm not sure I can pick the ball up soon enough to move it to the house.
The best part of throwing a ball against the tree is watching the dogs chase it down. Every throw then becomes a quick sprint. They like to catch the ball but then they demand to be chased for their efforts! My puppy even crawled under the car to get the ball! Then the giant dog crawled under the car, I guess just to see if he'd fit.
When my puppy got tired of me yelling at her to bring the ball back she'd jut go run after the ball and stand over it, marking its location for me like a good golf caddy.
I played a game of lob/catch with my friend. Only about 15 minutes. We stood about 15 feet apart . . . It wore me out to the point of collapsing Shaun Of The Dead the moment I sat down. I'll have to work on endurance. I can't remember if softball lasts 7 or 9 innings. So I'll train for 18 innings to be safe.

I managed not to delete all the comments! This was cool because some fellow named John Muir (I wonder if he's related to the Muir who discovered Yosemite? Yosemite is still in the top 3 of most beautiful places on the planet). His comment had a link to a comparison of Obama and McCain. He directed me to the stuff about net neutrality. Obama said all the right words. McCain's comment was inane. "They own the pipe. They're entitled to make a profit."
In his mind it would be cool for him to pay your ISP a few thousand bucks and have them block all of Obama's sites and speed up access to his site. That's free enterprise according to the sick twisted and lame.
I guess if you don't like your ISP doing that to you you can always switch services, oh wait, Everyone Dreams
Click images for desktop size: "Everyone Dreams" by Unknown
since most ISP's have monopolies you can't . . .
(Can we accept that the internet has become a necessity as much as a telephone?)
Nowhere did I ever notice McCain making a statement about the rights of people.
I was also stunned to see that McCain claims a net worth of 40 million dollars. What kind of slime has 40 million bucks but still is weasley enough to take a disability pension that clearly doesn't prevent him from working. I was equally shocked when it came out that Tipper O'Neal was taking a 700 buck Social Security payment when he was the Democratic Speaker of the House! It looks like I'll be voting for Obama. He keeps saying mostly the right things even though I strongly disagree with his take on immigration and US seclusion.

January 4, 2008

Sometimes I feel like Mars Bonfire

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

I didn't realize how wrecked I was yesterday until I read what I wrote.
All I wrote were intro's and then I left out the story . . .
I don't even know if the stories were any good. Maybe that's why I omitted them.
That doesn't mean anyone should be spared.
Like the whole fixation on bowels was in memory of a nurse. I'd just started my first chemo, the really nasty one where my hair fell out and I was considering that death was better than this.
There was this plump cheeked blonde blue eyed nurse, who shimmered in self contained pleasure.
We all hated her.
We hated her even more than we hated the missionary nurse who found time to testify to us individually at least twice during our stay. "Have you been washed in the blood," was the sardonic greeting the adults used in sardonic detestment of her.
A Silhouette Of War By Scooch
Click images for desktop size: "A Silhouette Of War" by Scooch
We hated the blonde all the more because on first sight you could see her with a pleasant carnal interest. She was young, pretty and had a face that knew no deeper tragedy than Bergdorf Goodman not increasing her credit limit at Christmas.
She wore a starched white nurses outfit. She was the only one who did. She wore it tight to accent her curves. And every morning she'd walk in and say in a clear bright chipper voice that was singed by the harshest most nasal twangy Sydney accent you ever heard and say, "How are we this morning? Did we have a good BM?"
And every evening before she went home and did whatever she did she'd stop in and say in that same voice that grated and jangled our exposed electric nerves, "Have a good night. I hope you have a good bowel movement!"
We hated her just short of plotting her death.
Someone once speculated that maybe she thought we were in there for chronic constipation.
Flesh Is Weak Double Feature Usually when you go into remission, or at least finish the course you look back at your caregivers with a trace of fondness or at least vague gratitude. Not her.
I've met some of my former comrades and we'd even been able to look at the Evangelical nurse with a trace of wry humor. The sexy blonde Aussie with the clear eye and smooth skin and the grating voice we'll all hate forever.
Is that justice or even close to fair?
Of course not, but none of us care.

And after that wonderful scatological reverie I was going to move on to my toe nail clipping and how that reminded me that I have the ugliest feet in the world.
I do. It has been attested to.
There are probably a lot of similes to be drawn between my feet and my soul. I do not attest to these.
I think most of my problem with my feet stems from the fact that I use them . . . I mean I've had countless turf toes, stepped on plenty of spiny urchins and a few jelly fish.
Once I played a pick up game of football in Regents Park wearing a pair of boots. But I blame most of the damage on rock climbing.
I always had extreme climbers for partners and extreme climbers demand extreme footwear. I was always the dumb one but smart enough to do as I was told.
The popular shoes back then were RD's and PA's (or maybe some inversion of those initials, its been a long time since I checked out climbing shoes).
Cartoon Girls
Click images for desktop size: "Cartoon Girl" by Unknown
Both shoes had their adherents. What they had in common was lightness. They felt like ballet slippers in your hand.
They had a very light special construction type rubber that extended up the heel slightly and far over the toes.
The rubber was to give sure grip on rock. The extensions up the toe were to give a solid fit when jamming your foot into cracks, or balancing on tiny little knobs (which is one of my more vivid rock climbing memories.)
But the problem is that the shoe sort of funneled your foot (meaning your toes mainly) into a nice tiny point. Not unlike the ancient cruel art of foot binding in Japan. Of course this isn't cruel. We did it to ourselves.
My problems were the two or three mile hikes to the climbs wearing these shoes . . .
My point is that my freakishly ugly feet are the direct response to honorable wounds, if you will, and should not be scoffed at nor jeered at.
I wear shoes almost all the time anyway . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

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

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

June 29, 2007

Driving 90 miles an hour down a dead end street
Hank Snow

Baltimoreturtle Louhamilton
Click images for desktop size: "Baltimore Turtle" by Lou Hamilton
I woke up Monday morning and couldn't see. My right eye looked like it was gazing through a crinkly panel of frosted glass.
Its gotten better. It got worse, then got some more drugs and it got better.
My mood was lifted when I got email from two of my kids (former players).
One of them, my Right Tackle, was nearly thrown out of school when he was 15 for being "uneducable". They wrote him off as an idiot. I knew he wasn't. He handled my insane blocking schemes with ease. I had a coach who was dyslexic. I went to the RT's school and argued. They tested him and the RT wasn't an idiot, he was dyslexic. He wrote that he, today, is starting his new job teaching computer science at a university level.
I also heard from my CB. He made himself a great player. Went to America and played Football and Baseball (which he likes more than cricket) while getting a degree in Poli-sci. He was raised in a North London Housing Estate. In the US we call them the projects. Its not a great place to start off from in life.
Dracdaughpstr When he returned home he started work for the government in army recruiting! And now he's on the Town Council. (UK politics are strange to outsiders, really odd - if you don't get it that's cool and so is the job.)
And another of my kids continues in his quest to make it to the NFL. He's signed on the practice squad of the Buffalo Bills. That's cool.
I'm arrogant enough to want credit for the good things I might have done. There is nothing I did that contributed to these kids' success. They did the work, they always did. Straight-line - anyone succeeds you can always say they did the work.
All I did was to teach them how to play a game. I believe the game taught them most of what they try and give me the credit for.
The kids have their opinions and they are entitled to them. I take some pride in that they both mention a couple of cardinal points in my philosophy. First that every kid has a right to either succeed or fail. And that we each responsible for our own actions and for the actions of our teammates.
It means a lot to me to see people I know accomplish things that they once thought were impossible. When anyone is strong enough and cares enough to take a chance on a dream, on themselves it makes me happy.
I talk a lot of platitudes and they both quote some of them. I just found it interesting that these were the two they had in common.
Now I've had an exhausting weekend. My puppy played therapy dog at a new hospital. This was a lot different then our usual rip and run sessions, replete with tea parties and plays. This was a straight hospital situation.
She was wonderful, waiting for a signal from the patient before approaching, not shying from wheel chairs and keeping her head at a level for easy petting. She talked to them all too.
Saturday was my last pee wee football practice. Their season starts soon and the deal was that I wouldn't be a coach. It was good. The best part being that they're too small, or I'm too large, for them to carry me around the field on their shoulders. (Something every football player with dreams of doing: toting their coach around the field.)
Then there was volleyball practice. I seem to have given an odd picture as to what this is about. The guy running the program is the HC at the 1A school here. The kids aren't college students. He set up the clinic in "economically challenged" areas. The kids are 7 to 14. The plan is to get them involved with sports and pass on some fundamentals in the hope that they will pursue athletics in school.
Benuk Cosmicpetals 1440X900
Click images for desktop size: "Cosmic Petals" by Benuk
The old "social inclusion via sports" gambit.
I believe in it.
It works.

Last Sunday I felt like giving up, but had to give my foster puppy a bath in order to take her to an "Adoptithon" . . . not my phrase for sure.
Wednesday more doc's and therapy dog playing with my puppy. A woman came over to meet my foster dog. The little foster dog was great but we haven't heard back so this Sunday the drag starts all over again as we go to another "adoptithon." The little girl needs a home.

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June 2, 2007

Maddie said to Hattie, "We can't take a chance. Let's not be L 7. We got to learn to dance!"
Sam The Sham

Alex Bank Electrofunklover-1600X1200
Click images for desktop size: "Electrofunk Lover" by Alex Bank
Had a white night last night.
Not certain why. The pain level was just enough to keep from falling completely asleep, I guess.
I thought of odd things. Deep memories, physical memories.
If they were of bad stuff I guess they'd be called traumas. They weren't bad. They were some of the things I don't keep in the fore front of my mind but they are high lights. I was rock climbing once and thought I was about to die. My life flashed in front of my eyes. These memories were in that flash. I recall them even last night as vivid and beautiful.
I have an IQ that tests pretty high, which just proves what a poor joke testing is. My memories are physical things, not words or dates but muscles and nerve memories.
It started with a time when I was about 12. I remember it because I had an old Zuma Jay's surfboard. A real clunker I could afford second hand from my paper route.
It was a big winter day. Malibu was packed solid even though the wave wasn't working from the third point to the pier. I pedaled down to Arroyo Secos where a nice hollow face was working.
1944 - Teen Age (1) The old clunker hung a rail and I got tumbled hard along a sandy bottom. The memory is beautiful to me. I was being held down under water, helpless, just dragged along the sea beds. I had no power and no control. Just about the time that I was starting to worry about my breathing the ocean spit me out, threw me up high enough to escape the foam and gulp in fresh air.
I thought this was proof that the ocean loved me.
That thought drifted over into thoughts about baseball. I miss playing a lot. A few days ago I picked up and ball and I was lobbing it at a chain link fence. There was no pain and I was hitting where I was throwing. I tried to make a real throw and the pain was intolerable, like electric irons had been clamped on my elbow while an electric storm ran from my shoulder to my fingertips.
I remembered one of my favorite plays. I was a junior in High School. I don't remember who we were playing but we were up 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth. They had the bases loaded with one away. The runners were off with the pitch. The batter did a bad sacrifice bunt that became a chopper up the middle. Our second baseman, Sammy scooped it up clean and tossed it to me at second. I caught it barehanded and was pivoting to throw to first when the runner barreled in on me. I let the ball go at the same time as the runners spikes caught me square on the right hip. It spun me around and knocked me down but I still looked up and saw Tommy, our 6'4 first baseman make a stretch and an easy catch for the double play.
What was cool was that I felt his spikes dig into me but I felt no pain. I concentrated on the throw the same as always.
When I got up his footprint was on my pants, and indentations where his spikes caught me but my pants weren't torn and neither was the skin.
I decided baseball loved me.
These things need to be in threes. A memory trilogy.
Snowb By Hero Xxx
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My senior year of high school. We were in the conference semi-finals. Our opponent had an All State Parade All American had middle line backer. For the first quarter he made my life miserable. He hit me hard and often and he hurt when he hit.
In the second quarter something happened. It was a belly play. I burst up the middle and I felt something run into me. I felt like a concrete block. I noticed something had hit me but it didn't stop me or even bother me. Some of you know I had to wear rubber goggles back then so my peripheral vision was just enough to identify colors and shapes. I had no idea what had run into me. I just kept going.
Back in the huddle I was getting congratulations. The MLB had hit me and then gone flying. I didn't understand it then, less now, so I paid no attention to it. What I remember is that feeling of invulnerability, that noticing that something had bounced off of me and the fact that that something had no more impact than just being something more than that. I can always feel it in my bones.
It went that way the rest of the game. He had no more tackles.
I watched the game film and saw it happen, still not understanding, just knew that the sport loved me.
1952 - Red Planet Mars Next week is going to be interesting.
I have a hectic work schedule and house guests. One of the guests being my puppies brother. Two big black dogs will be interesting and fun. Add in a manic foster dog and it would be great if I could just spectate.
Football was odd. Its been threatening rain all day. Only 8 kids showed up. Most of the kids have to be driven there by parents.
I'm not disappointed. Eight kids means I get to know them better and when you learn one segment of the team well, you can understand the whole team that much better.
At volleyball practice, where the kids are poor and generally have to make their own way there had about 140 show up, or nearly 3 times more kids than the previous week.
I'm not sure exactly what those number imply.
I will, by necessity, be even quieter next week.
The update to the latest Word Press on the 19th of May seems to have broken my RSS feed.
I'm still trying to figure out why. Until then this link should work http://warchild13.com/wp-atom.php in NewsGator or whatever RSS reader you're using, at least until I can figure out how to fix the whole thing.

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May 24, 2007

So. Look, like I was saying

Upland Studiobenben
Click images for desktop size: "Upland" by Studio BenBen
I survived one of the physically roughest days in my older life.
And it was a sort of fun.

Proctoring the test was enjoyable. I was surprised that the classrooms were so small. I thought that was a good thing. When I was in school it was usually at least 40 to a class. Here it was about 20.
Another surprise was that these tests are the ones the state uses in allocating funds, firing people, giving raises. So why didn't they fund the program to the point of at least not having to beg for volunteers? Even jury duty style money or bus fare would have enticed a lot more people to show up.
I liked the kids. The huge clothes they wear nowadays made sense in the classroom. As soon as they handed in their answer sheets they'd pull the shirts over their heads and pull their arms out of the sleeves and take a nap in a wearable cocoon. I thought it was clever.
Lady From Shanghai Especially considering the kids who finished first still had to sit in the classroom for 3 hours, waiting for everyone else to finish.
They all handled that pretty well.
They tried some things on me but they wouldn't be kids if they didn't. Nothing outrageous, in fact it was all very well modulated and the kids were very well behaved.
I'm the kind of guy who finds it amusing to watch kids try and get away with stuff I tried when I was a kid: the old dropped pencil ploy, the sneezing a note across a room. They seldom worked for me either.
One kid finished the test in 10 minutes. I was curious as to whether he was that smart or that apathetic. There was no one I could safely ask.

The doctor was a pain. There has been a study on the diabetics medicine they've been feeding me for the last 7 years. This study holds that the medicine increases the likelihood of heart attacks by 45%. I got diabetes as a side effect to one of the chemo's. This chemo they knew increased the likelihood of heart attacks by 50%. Add in all the other factors and I think I just shot into the favored position, as in it will be amazing if I don't have a heart attack! Glaxo, the drug company is defending themselves by saying their tests only indicate a 30% increase in heart attacks . . . and they claim they made it public knowledge last year . . . they've been selling it for 15 years . . .
Going in my favor is the fact that I'm reasonably calm, don't have high blood pressure and work out a reasonable amount.
Its nothing to stress over. Its just something that can't be ignored.

Then there were the volleyball camps. I like volleyball as a sport. I'm not too keen on beach volleyball. It lacks the intricate passing and the opponent confusing fakes and feigns. I do like that beach volley ball protects the athletes body when going for the dig. (The dig is where the athlete lays out in an attempt to stop the opponent from scoring. The theory is that you give up your body so that you can get enough of your hand on the ball to get the ball up for a teammate to scoop the ball up and try and set up your own score.)
14. Somelikeithot This was a pretty rough group of kids, but they were all polite, interested and motivated.
I don't know much about coaching volleyball, But I'm good with SAQ (Speed, Agility, Quickness). There are no sports that don't benefit from Speed, agility or quickness.
The coach thought I worked the kids too hard, at first. Then he saw that they were even more enthusiastic! They asked me, the way rough kids do, if I'd be back next week. I said yeah.

The hospital with Dr Puppy always goes well. She does her job so well. She played tea time with the girls. They got mad and lectured her about being impolite and eating her cookie before everyone else had been served!

Work is the same: more annoyed each time I meet a coworker. Dismayed and appalled that I should be grouped in with people with no hygiene and no manners who tell pornographic unfunny jokes to strangers. Yeah.

My friend has asked me why the universe is unraveling. Like I can point to a specific thread and say it starts there.
It's not like that. Its like the fabric of my little micro-verse has been doused with caustic acid and the whole sheaf has become something unrecognizable. She has a right to ask.
I'll try and make time to answer. I see ways to answer but not complete explanations yet.

I also realized how ingrained Southern California is in me. I heard me described as the tall guy with the Southern California accent . . . maybe that's why I like Chandler so much. The Irish have Joyce, the South has Faulkner and the lonely surfers have Chandler.

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April 21, 2007

Its like the dog, only not so low. It's like the hully gully only not so slow. Baby just come on and do the swim
Bobby Freeman

Vsal Rosewoodcanvas 1440X900
Click images for desktop size: "Rosewood Canvas" by Vsal
Fascinating that Bush appears to be as insensitive to affluent kids in Blacksburg, VA as he has been to the poor kids of New Orleans. Maybe he just hates people.
My demeanor is getting bad. This is a time I miss Southern California. When your infected with this general malaise of heart, mind and body LA really does have it all.
Depression is something you have to work hard to cling to when there are 40 foot palm trees swaying against cloudless blue skies. You can think about the sunsets being so spectacular because the pollutants are killing you also make pretty purples in the air, and you can think about the rats that infest the palm fronds, but if you need to do that there's not much hope for you anyway.
There's Taquitz Rock out by Palm Springs, Joshua Tree where you can go remind yourself that you're still alive by clinging to rocks. Where if you make a mistake you will probably die. Nothing brings the senses and concentration in focus like pain and imminent death. Never met a rock climber who suicided.
But there is mainly the surf. There's something about floating in cold salt water, straddling your board and looking out at the ocean. No matter what's behind you in front of you is vastness. Somewhere in the world there is always a storm. The storm comes to you in line after line of waves.
1959 - The Killer Shrews Some people look at surfers and call us "the monks of the sea", which to me just proved they didn't know what they were talking about.
But like all things that are 99% wrong there's the 1% that's true.
Surfing has gotten to big. There's only one ocean and just a few hundred miles of decent breaks. Like on a 6 foot northern swell there might be 300 - 400 people in the water. Half of them will drop down on one 20 foot section of wave.
And the rush from hearing the girls gasp when you pull off your wet suit off your shoulders isn't nearly as cool as the rush of having a wave to yourself.
But when I would get to the point . . . this point, what ever you call it, I'd go to a break called Zero's. It was hard to find, a left and even on ankle snapper days had a totally crunching shore break that keeps the beach goer's away.
On small days the place was deserted. Even on good days lefts are the province of the goofy footers. It was a small point and didn't often mesh up with the pounding beach breaks for tubular action. Pain was too much for the kuks so it was a place you could go and have an ocean to yourself.
The one percent that's true about "sea monks" is that you do sit out there, half your body immersed in water, some of the time your teeth are chattering and you just stare out into the ocean. Your watching the lines form figuring what ones will peak right at the point.
You're not doing any complicated math. In your head there's nothing but white noise and the moving image of the humps of water rolling in.
Sometimes there's a playful dolphin or an annoying sea lion that forces you to accept your not truly alone in the universe, because sometimes you need the reminder, but most of the time there are no distractions, no thoughts, no hammering through problems or issues, there's just the wet and the lines.
Yeah, so the same people who romanticize surfers as meditating monks have that as their soul/sole argument. The same people also tell you that if you leave anything on the beach the surfers will steal it. One a good day you turn and catch the peak with two strokes, then take that plummet as you fall down the face of a mountain of water, timing and preparing to crank a bottom turn that will propel you back up the surface, maybe for lip smack, or get some air, or just shred the face.
Wallpaper 94 Distressed 1600X1200
Click images for desktop size: "Distressed" by Titanium
Thing is you don't know. There's no enough time to plan these things. You can only react to the power of the wave. If you stop to think or plan you probably wouldn't die but you'd get tumbled along the bottom and probably look very uncool.
Its a slinging rush that defies description. Better than sky diving, better than drag racing. Just better. So fast, so pure reflexes and vision. You always walk away from a session feeling something elusive, something private. Surfers always understand this. They understand that we all experience the same thing and that our experiences are always personal and profound and private.
We can understand the rush of finding a 25 footer that peels out perfectly, we all can, but we also understand the stuff that happens in our body and mind belongs only to me or to you. There's only the acceptance that we are individuals who rely only on ourselves and that language and paintings and film can only convey so much.

Humor not helped much by my paycheck. The mammoth 3% raise didn't appear. They insist they're right. I know they're wrong. What's the problem with sending me the payroll details via email instead of waiting 5 days. I think I'll get cheated.
1959 - Return Of The Fly And the little puppy is still at the shelter. This saddens me.
I got some new food that is guaranteed healthy and not subject to recall. I can breathe easier except my lovely puppy has diarrhea. They say it seems to be prevalent this year. I have no idea what that means. It hurts me to see her suffer.

My foster dog got spayed Thursday. I'm supposed to keep her calm. I've no idea how to do that. She won't drink the brandy.

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November 5, 2006

Most of the time, its hard enough just being ourselves
USC 42 Stanford 0

Luisroyo Theneedlesofjoy
Click images for desktop size: "The Needles Of Joy" by Luis Royo
Its been a chaotic week. On Sunday I avoided getting hit by a car while on my bike and I really torqued my back.
Its been giving me a lot of pain ever since. As in 5 minutes putting on my socks bad.
The good part about that was that it made clear to me that the antibiotics I've been eating have knocked out most of the major pain I was feeling before.
I don't know if that is a fair trade off. I also never imagined how many times I bend down.
I haven't missed any work. I have been glad things have been slow.

High school football season is over. We won on Monday (the postponed game from the Friday) 52-0. It was the final home game. No band. Poor turnout but the kids learned to play for the joy of the game all over again. It was an admirable performance. All the seniors got on the field.
It was also where some more damage was done to my back. I don't blame anyone. For a football player, after the personal fantasies, a couple of their big dreams are to win a game where the fans storm the field and tear down the goal posts. ANother is to carry their coach off the field. Except usually coaches don't have bad lumbars that make it hard to keep themselves erect, nor do they have a puppy who is not so keen on seeing the coach raised out of their reach.
What's a little more damage when it helps some one make a small dream come true.
Poster - Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!(3) On Friday we played the team that won the conference. They whalloped us 31-7.
The score was secondary. They were a much better team. What was important was that the kids kept playing. They never just gave up.
That was more important to me than a story book ending. Story book endings are pleasant dreams that play through your head and bring smiles on cold nights. Playing through at maximum speed when it looks hopeless is something that sticks with you through out life.

My near legendary search for a housemate rolls on.
And on.
Oh, and on.
One looks promising. 3 have been jerks. 2 have left me numb. 1 would have been pleasant but her father had problems with me being male and not Chinese.
And on.

Last week was my worst week ever in picking NFL games!! I was 5-8. This knocked me all the way down to 147th!
With that in mind my picks this week are in bold.

Atlanta at Detroit - I like the Lions. I really do. Michael Vick has been too hot. I don't think it will last all season, but who knows. The Falcons' strengths hit right at the Lions' weaknesses.

Cincinnati at Baltimore - GAME OF THE WEEK! This one has me excited. The Ravens front 7 against the patchwork Bengals' O-Line will be something to witness. And the ball hawking Bengals secondary and punishing D-Line will make some head cracking plays. I hope it all comes down to McNair and Carson Palmer. That would make this a symphony. Chad Johnson makes me laugh and is good for the game. The NFL should be rewarding and not fining him. No Fun League.
Melon
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Dallas at Washington - Okay. I was wrong about Tony Romo. I'm not wrong about Parcells and Gibbs being vastly over rated. I still see this as a who cares game with the Cowboys being slightly less awful.

Green Bay at Buffalo - Brett Favre has never been away. I think this will be a close game. The Bills still have not learned how to win, but they are a talented team.

Houston at New York Giants - Last week the Texans proved they have no business in the NFL. They sat David Carr down. No one has even bothered to report whether he will still be a back up this week, so little is the interest. The Giants have to view this as a chance to tune up and work out the kinks before the monster game next week against the Bears.

Kansas City at St Louis - There are a lot of factors in this game, both talent wise, emotionally and in coaching. Its going to be fun seeing what the two first year coaches bring today. I'm taking the Chiefs because Larry Johnson is still one of the finest young men I've ever met and Herm Edwards is a superior coach.
Shadows Of Death-1024 Miami at Chicago - Just like the Giants get a tune up before next weeks “Clash”, so do the Bears. Miami is a better team that Houston but not by much. Nick Saban is not much of a coach and Lovee Smith is getting more and more impressive. Blow Out of the week.

New Orleans at Tampa Bay - Last week the Saints, my team of destiny, got stuffed. I still liked the way they played when it looked hopeless. They played like a college team running on emotion. The Buc's have looked better, hard to look worse, but the Saints will need to win to continue to believe in themselves. That makes them the pick. I still think they are a team of destiny.

Tennessee at Jacksonville - What has happened to the Jaguars? Inconsistent is one thing but erratic is quite another! I never figured that Jack del Rio would come up with a one man team, but with Byron Leftwich as that man it is what he has. Talent-wise the Titans can't stay on the field with the Jags. But . . .

Minnesota at San Francisco - This should be an utter blow out. If it isn't then the Vikings need to rethink their play off aspirations. Goodbyesky
Click images for desktop size: "Goodbye Sky" by Adrianna
Cleveland at San Diego - Even with the Shawn Merriman fiasco the Chargers are still looking too strong and playing well. The Browns aren't ready to take it to the West Coast yet. WIthout Merriman I'd still look for Winslow to have a big day for the Browns.

Denver at Pittsburgh - Both teams got beaten last weekend, both in different but bad ways. Cowher is looking like an idiot by insisting a dinged up Rothlisberger is the man when Charlie Batch has played better and WON! The Bronco's will recover and score enough.

Indianapolis at New England - Runner up game of the week. Manning and Brady are two of the best to ever play this game. Both are on teams where the talent around them is dwindling. The game is on prime time network when both these guys have shined. I'm taking the Pats over the undefeated Colts just for that reason. The Colts keep withering when under the big spotlight.

Oakland at Seattle - The cruddy game of the week is on Monday night . . . Someone already told me that this gave him an excuse to see what has going on in “Rasslin'”.

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October 23, 2006

The changing from sunlight to moonlight

Pirates
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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
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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 3, 2006

USC 50 - Arkansas 14

Hug By Deepbluerenegade
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We won Friday night.
It was a good win. Plenty of good plays for everyone, winners and losers.
The only drawback was there was a driving rain. We weren't allowed into the locker rooms until an hour before kick off.
I hate gamesmanship.
Someone pointed out that when I used that word they thought it was a synonym for sportsmanship and couldn't understand why I used it with such disgust.
I don't know the origins of the word gamesmanship. I think of it as a word for some people who don't understand the beauty of the game and instead get confused and think the game is about winning so they create these little mind games to bewilder and put off the players from the real task in front of them.
Poster - The Leech Woman Its sort of like asking a painter to paint you a masterpiece and then hiding some of his brushes.
Sadly it was apparent in USC's opener as well, when Arkansas called 3 consecutive time outs with 5 seconds left to try and rattle the USC field goal kicker.
I don't like that. I like to see everyone bring a clear mind and a clearness of purpose. To play their best against my best.
Or else, what's the point and it might just be a street fight and there's no glory in that, just survival.

September 1, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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August 25, 2006

A world without passion

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

Dale-1998-Thailand
Click images for desktop size: "Dale" by Thailand
On Thursday I had to speak in front of the City Council. For those of you who knew me when I used to make extempore speeches in Parliament and such, back when, “in a room full of potentates, kings and rulers, he blew in like a strong wind and made them all look and feel shabby.” I'm not like that anymore, as if anyone ever actually was.
The Council meeting was only 7 guys, one of them the mayor. And the major issue I was there to talk to them about was child safety. Which is what I'm always talking about I guess but in this section it was only about traffic and children.
After my breif speech and question and answer bit I thought it was a waste of my time.
Today walking to the bus stop I saw a crew putting up a stop light where I wanted a stop sign. On the bus to work I saw another crew putting up a stop sign where i wanted one.
I guess it wasn't such a waste of time after all.

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

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August 14, 2006

No one will understand what I've got to do
Del Shannon

Ericbowman-5
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Eric Bowman
I've been busy and wrapped up in dreaming.
I had my first training session of the season. It was great.
I have a little statistician who follows me around and worries me with her Dell notebook. She has some nice facts. The first is that its obvious that most of the kids paid attention to me and used the summer well. There was an average improvement of .34 seconds in 40 yard times, since no one turned in a worse time and the largest single improvement was .52 seconds that speaks well of the whole team, of all their efforts.
The College RB showed up. He's only a couple years older than my kids but years ahead of them in his athletic ability. It humbled them in a good way and gave them a yardstick to measure themselves against. The effort he put forth was welcome, at least by me.
Poster - Curucu, Beast Of The AmazonNone of my kids were slacking but watching him and my puppy dust the kids in the sprints and speed drills let them know how far they have to go while showing them that it is attainable.
On Sunday they went off to a week of football camp. I couldn't join them. I got to work, you know.
We went to say good luck. I find it interesting that I got a lot of, “Coach,” and a head nod, my puppy got a lot of, “Hey Coach Puppy! Thanks for coming!” with a lot of pats on her head and the occasional unsuccessful grab at her stuffed football that she insisted on bringing along.
The night before I had to go to the HC's house to run over the drills I want run and the grading system. All I want now is speed and footwork drills and for my big wide bodies on the OL I want them to work out on Speed Bags, the boxer drills.
What happens in the trenches in a football game is a lot like the last 10 seconds of the final round in a boxing match, except that football players have a better opportunity to get their weight and hips involved in the initial punch.
It is my axiom that the player who gets his hands on his opponent first always wins. When you get an opponent having to react to your initial contact you control the line and his motion.
That surprised the HC. He surprised me when he asked me which of the kids were, “on the bubble”. meaning which ones I thought may not make the team.
I told him what I feel and that its my job to make sure that all of them make the team. If they aren't good enough or motivated enough the fault lies with me and not with them.
I thought that was understood.
That she stood there with her stuffed football in her mouth just completed the image.
Next time I'm carrying the football.
The job hunt continues.
I'm still waiting for my housemate to move.
Life is in flux, but not bad.

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March 25, 2006

Its time for living not for dying
Ray Davies

Fluidg4Yourami
Click images for desktop size: "Yourami" by Fluid G4
Feeling tired after a turbulent week.
Nothing negative happened, just time to set things right, to stop accommodating others and time to insure the happy survival of my puppy and myself.
It wears me out, like hose sort of stands tend to do.
Came home from work today and slept for three hours. That aggravates me. I want to fill my hours with . . . with . . . stuff! Sleep is not stuff!
Next week starts a fun but physically stressful time. I'll be at the local high school at 6 AM to lead the start of spring ball. As a volunteer. I still have issues about taking money for working with kids. I think that working with young people is a privileged duty and offers more than enough rewards. Getting anything more than a stipend I find somehow fills me with self loathing. It is at least something that I would have to address with full bluntness.
King Of The Rocket Men, Ep#00-B (1949-Teaser) I was surprised that the assumption at the school was that I was an executive at one of the banks. The banks and a couple of other large businesses in the area try to sot their consciousness and get a credible tax credit by paying their lower level exec's to “go out and be a part of the community”.
On the surface this seems like a good thing. Deeper than that and it is something I would refuse to be associated with. I've seen the effects that this sort of “good samaritism”, “enforced community service” has on the people participating.
If its not being done con amore I think it is better left undone. Or has America become so blistered that no one has the strength left to stand up and offer a gentle hand to a child without a carrot dangling in front of them.
Kids know the difference. I'm often asked about it by them. (Kids have a natural spy and gossip grapevine that would shame Washington.)
My specialty, as far as the coach can see, is speed and agility. I promote the STAR approach with my players. Meaning that their are four traits that I believe lead to greatness, on the field and in life.
Speed
Tenacity
Agility
Remembering (which should actually be memory but STAM is a pretty stupid acronym)
I can teach speed and agility. I have the drills and I've seen them succeed. The games teach tenacity, on every play and over the length of a season.
Remembering is just learning - analyzing each past situation and correcting your mistakes and exploiting the mistakes made by your opponent.
Teaching kids is an awesome joyful task. It overwhelms me.
Yesterday four of the players happened to drop in on me at work, you know, just happened to be in the neighborhood . . .
They were a bit frightened. Not by me but from the grapevine. That I coached in Texas - which over all I think still has the best athletic football programs - if not the best results for young men and their attitudes - seem to cause them the greatest concern.
They were worried I'd make them run a lot . . . but they were also worried about what kind of man I was. I respect that and admire them taking the initiative to put themselves at ease.
I know my role in this play and I didn't let them feel to at ease. I just spouted the aphorisms, that I staunchly believe, by the way: I just want to help each player be the best that he can be so he can be proud of himself, his team and the community etc etc
Wolfcub
Click images for desktop size: "Wolf Cub"
Which should let them know I won't kill them . . . right away.
I am always humbled when I step out on the field. Some of it is feeling the history of this game I teach. Some of it is seeing the youngsters trying to take that steps into the world and playing a brutal game as part of their path.
I had some of their motives myself and I've been at it long enough to understand most of the motives I don't share.
One of the most impressive men I've ever met and heard speak was Eddie Robinson, the old coach from Grambling.
He told a lot of stories about the early days that I related to: About setting up the field, marking it out with lime before games. Putting away the pylons and markers and chains after a game and how it felt when a player, unasked, would suddenly appear to help. About watching those players step onto the field and strive for a moments greatness. About watching the mediocre athlete suddenly step up and excel for a moment of glory for his team, for his school.
And I'll always remember when he said, “If you don't love your players, really love and care about them, I don't think you have a place in coaching.”

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January 23, 2006

I kill because I'm scared of being killed

Slipintosomethingalittle
Click images for desktop size: "Let Me Slip Into Something A Little" by Pixelhust Girl
The NFL Championships are over and I thought they were a disgrace. Only the Seahawks played with a nice precision, speed and accuracy.
The Steelers won. They have some nice players but the Cowher interpretation of the NFL credo leaves me vaguely uneasy. I have always disliked the, “Just win baby!” philosophy of the NFL. It cheapens what I consider the greatest sport in the world.
At it's best its 22 world class athletes in the peak condition throwing their bodies around in a stirring example of stamina, toughness and vision. At its worst its the Steelers.
When Carson Palmer of the Bengals completed a 66 yard pass to his 3rd receiver on the second play of the game does anyone really know for certain that the Steelers would have gotten out of Cincinnati?
They clearly didn't which is why Cowher sent in an expendable DE to end Palmer's career. They don't play smash mouth football, they play “take out the players who can beat us” football. That's approved in the NFL, that's why they only call it a 15 yard penalty instead of a forfeit.
I'm hoping for the Seahawks to win. I like the way they played and the fact that they did it with no one noticing that they were on anyones schedule. I like teams that have stars but that the stars are secondary to the team. Its one of the reason I enjoyed seeing the Patriots win.
Killer Shrews, The X01 (1959)Where this attitude really bothers me is that all the pee wee, Pop Warner and high school [players see this and they get it into the head that the NFL is the universal truth. We're Americans. When we see someone get millions of dollars you have to figure that the NFL way is the right way. Some come to think it is the only way.
American football is a tough sport, tough enough. I had two South Africans who were on the under 19 International Rugby Team try out for my team. They barely survived the practice played in one game and they had to quit. It was too hard on them.
When you are teaching a player how to play the game you teach them how to defend themselves, how to fall to avoid injury, how to tackle to avoid injury to yourself and your opponent, how to condition yourself to avoid injury; proper protective gear and tape etc etc.
That should be enough. More and more it isn't. When NFL players are allowed to celebrate knocking a player out of a game, when coaches no longer have their teams to cheer when an opponent moves off the field on his own power, the kill or be killed method comes to play.
This undermines far too many salient points of the game. The vast majority of football players are not going to play in the NFL. I still feel, strongly, that football is the finest sport available for young people. The game teaches many things such as perseverance, teamwork, sportsmanship, discipline, and the struggle through adversity. Things that no other sport can teach to the level where the lessons become ingrained life messages.
To me that is and shall be the beauty of the game. But when the NFL shows shoddy vandalism and brutality as the ways to go, when coaches at lower levels seek to emulate the NFL and teach these outmoded and foolish tactics they diminish the beauty of the game.

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October 30, 2005

USC 55 Washington State 13
What did you do with your extra hour

Fumee Hw I was kind of sick.

Oddly enough even though my picks last week were better than the week's before I placed worst for the week and dropped for the season!
I placed 517th for the week. This pushed me down from 196th to 217th for the season. I have now written off getting the Season tickets prize . . .
I was up most of the night. These picks are still locked in. Home team listed first with my pick in
bold.

F(1931)-03-1 Arizona v Dallas - Denny Green is and has been the worst coach in the league. I think Parcells is the most over rated coach ever. This game is so who cares.

Detroit v Chicago The Bears Defense has the potential to be all time great. Jeff Garcia has never been a winner.

Houston v Cleveland Cruddy game of the week. I pick the Browns only because I can't pick a winless team.

Cincinnati v Green Bay The Packers have been relying on Favre for too many years. Palmer is the real deal.

St Louis v Jacksonville Rams in disarray, I think they might win.

Carolina v Minnesota The Vikings are terrible. Tice is grateful that Denny Green is around as he's another guy who knows little about coaching.

Tennessee v Oakland This might be the worst week of the NFL schedule. Oakland has enough talent, even with the early return of McNair.

New York Giants v Washington These guys actually liked Mara. The defense will play so far over it's head it is frightening.

San Diego v Kansas City My personal pick for game of the day, even though the return of Ted Bruschi is high drama. Tomlinson won't be shut out two weeks in a row. Holmes and Johnson are a force. It will be great.

New Orleans v Miami The brilliant job of Hasslett and the Saints standing firm in their resolve keeps this from being a cruddy game of the week winner.

Denver v Philadelphia McNabb is a great QB but no one can be great with a sports hernia, not week in and week out. I don't much like the Broncos but have to pick them.

San Francisco v Tampa Bay Another cruddy game contender. This one has the amusement of over rated QB Chris Simms playing in a creepy system.

New England v Buffalo I debate with myself whether Bruschi should be allowed to play. The only pro argument is I love watching him play. Buffalo got arrogant when they dumped Bledsoe for the unproven rookie.

New Wonder Woman I'm rather surprised at how big a deal Halloween is. I got invited to one party that I'm not attending. I'm hoping we get lots of little kids knocking on the door. I bought a bag of White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups to pass out.
I hope the kids show up and I get pictures of them with my astonished puppy.
Before I got sick I went to the Pop Warner Championships. It was cute. So badly attended no one stopped me from watching with two dogs! The local team won the Championship. I'm considering coaching them next season but plan to look around to see if they're are kids not of Championship quality who could use a hand.

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