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

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

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

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

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

Bones of Friends

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

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

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

USC 18 Ohio State 15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is no way to treat a superstar

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

San Jose State 3 USC 56

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

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

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

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

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

Click images for desktop size: “Fred Astaire & Rita Hayworth”

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

Everybody’s talking about Working Annie

Click images for desktop size: “Modesty” by Unknown
I like professional rasslin’.
When I was nearly 5 I saw an apparition on my mom’s 14 inch b&w TV. The apparition was “Dick the Black Samurai Bruiser”. He was wearing those tiny black speedo’s that pass for wrestling trunks, and a striped tank top-muscle shirt. He had on wrap a round shades.
Under each arm he had a keg of beer. There was a big Havana type cigar clamped in his teeth. Even on B&W TV you could tell his crew cut skull was a healthy pink.
With his enormous barrel chest and clutching those beer kegs in his massive wildly gesticulating arms he delivers a lecture in a voice that sounded like wind blowing over grinding boulders. He told us kids it was bad to drink beer and bad to smoke. He set one beer keg on a table, tapped it one handed then hoisted it to his mouth like a giant stein.
He poured the keg down his throat, spilling very little of it. He dropped the keg and said, “See boys and girls all that beer is bad for you.”
He puffed the cigar that had never left his mouth, “Smoking is bad for you too. Don’t do it.. Cause if you do you will make me mad!”
Up until that moment I had two heroes; Sandy Koufax and Ernie Banks. All Koufax and Banks offered was athleticism and other worldly grace combined with an attitude that belied perfection.
Dick the Bruiser offered something else, something big that miles and years beyond my comprehension. All I knew was I suddenly had another hero.
Wrestling was on TV Saturdays right before baseball and after Bug Bunny. A perfect Saturday morning.
I watched, marveled, cheered. I learned all the wrestler’s names. I was appalled at the sheer evil of M3 by Jason C
Click images for desktop size: “M3” by Jason C
the bad guys. They personified bad clearer than anything I’d ever imagined before.
The Bruiser’s TV matches were all “squash” matches. He’d go into the ring and just pummel and maul whatever lamb had been thrown to him. If another wrestler did that to an opponent I’d have thought him an evil bad guy. But when Dick the Bruiser throttled them it was poetic, brutal and beautiful.
I was 5 and about to enter kindergarten when my mother took me to the Olympic Auditorium to see a real wrestling match. The opening matches were okay. I don’t remember a thing about them. It wasn’t until the Main Event, a world championship tag team match. Dick the Bruiser and the Crusher vs Yukon Apple Jack and Moose Cholak..Two out of three falls to determine the winner.
When I watched Dick the Bruiser walk down the aisle, the only music being the coarse cheers of a rough adult crowd, I remember thinking that it was impossible for a kid like me to be so lucky.
The match was all I could have dreamed. Yukon and Moose were huge ugly men who reminded me of my friend’s fathers, the father’s who yelled they were going to kill us if we didn’t hold it down.Blonde Venus
The Crusher and the Bruiser just beat them down to win the first fall. They were beating them down in the second fall but the stupid ref missed the Crusher pinning the Moose and then didn’t see Yukon Jack smash the Crusher in the face with a chair!
I think that wrestling ref’s have influenced my opinion of sports Lauren Bacall
Click images for desktop size: “Lauren Bacall”
officials ever since.
The Bruiser and the Crusher easily won the third wall to win the World Championship. Apple Jack and Moose, being the sore losers bad guys can’t help being, used all sorts of foreign objects to beat the Crusher senseless even though it would change nothing! The Bruiser went berserk and mopped up on the two cheaters.
As Dick the Bruiser walked down the aisle I was cheering. He looked at me and gave me a rough salute. In that moment I was a peace and filled with a happiness I was unfamiliar with. The Bruiser offered a view of the world I could never before understand, a view that 5 year olds cherish.
Dick the Bruiser was proof that it was possible to beat up everyone in the world. When you’re small, weak and alone seeing that certainly expressed in physical terms, not just in imagination but in bleeding flesh, that is a knowledge that gives more than mere hope.
I remembered that on Tuesday; Tuesday was a very good day.
I went to my orthopedic appointment. The medical complex is by the largest shopping mall in the area. The mall is obscene, a corpulent dripping monster of excess.
Rob Harrell
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Rob Harrell
They have an Apple Store. I got my keyboard. Third keyboard in 4 years. I think that’s excessive.
This is the new Apple keyboard, ultra thin, ultra light. At first I thought it would be as nasty to use as the Logitech. It’s actually pretty pleasant, like typing on a laptop keyboard but with more stability. It makes it almost feel like I;m using a new computer.
Then I managed to get a battery put into my pocket watch. I love this watch. It means more to me than the trophies I’ve received. It was a gift from my players. They noticed I was always shattering wrist watches during practice and, as a team, they came up with the pocket watch solution. I felt a lot of emotion when I paid the $7.95 for the new battery. Now I can pull it out and look at it and know that I can always see exactly what time it is.
Then it was time for my doctor’s appointment.
The facility was huge, an enormous building that could almost be called a campus. When I entered Borderline everything moved quickly. Thanks to the computer shared database I didn’t have to fill out any tedious forms or present any documents. I was just whisked along.
In less than 5 minutes I was talking to the doctor. He was younger than I anticipated. The first question I recall asking him was, “How long have you been practicing?”
He said, “Five years.” I figure he must have been an ace student. I liked him. He was this side of 30, about 5′ 11″ and 170 pounds. Brown hair and glasses. He was dressed all in Polo, Ralph Lauren Polo. I used to dress that way, a long time ago and it made me feel a kinship with him.
He checked out my shoulder. It was definitely frozen. He checked out the nerves and said I had no permanent damage yet. He said the damage was due more to me trying to avoid the pain the frozen shoulder brings, compensating and holding my arm in weird positions that was compressing the nerves and veins.
He said at its worst I was loosing about 80% mobility, at its best about 20%. Rah! Kind of rah.
I told him the Canadian doctor’s prognosis – 18 years of pain. He was perplexed. He said that the Malicious Resplendence by Robert Williams
Click images for desktop size: “Malicious Resplendence” by Robert Williams
story of the frozen shoulder was right so far as that went but it was sort of heartless to not treat the pain. Treatment was really rather easy: Surgery – but that weird surgery where they knocked me out and then just bent the arm around to get past the lesions and things, or steroid treatment and physical therapy.
He’s a sports doctor and you could see his training lent him towards not recommending any course of action except to lay out the risks, benefits and possible consequences. I asked for recommendations.
He said surgery was pretty extreme. It could work but would be painful and still require physical therapy afterwards. My right arm is badly atrophied and surgery would not help that.
The steroid shot would reduce the pain to manageable levels and permit me to do the physical therapy required to increase the arms mobility and work the atrophied muscles.
We decided to do the steroid shot.
This was interesting. We went to another room with a fluoroscope. He got out a long needle andThe Brides of Dracula using the fluoroscope set up the path of the needle so that it would avoid the arm bones and enable him to inject right into the dried up capsule. (The shoulder capsule is where all my problems lie). He used a numbing agent with the simple theory that he got the steroids into the right place if the pain reduced.
The shot hurt but not as badly as when they take bone marrow samples from your hip (leukemia diagnosis). And then it was miraculous. For the first time in I’m not sure how long I was pain free.
It was liberating. It felt joyous. No pain.
The doc explained that the total pain relief was temporary and would wear off when the numbing agent wore off. It would take 6 days for the steroids to completely kick in but I should experience the same sort of pain relief then.
All I could think about at the moment was the happiness of not hurting. Although the thought kept gliding through my mind that the Canadian doctor was willing to let me suffer for 18 months. A five minute procedure freed me from a tyrannous amount of agony and they would have deprived me of it.
I went home and even when I felt the numbing agent wear off the pain was reduced. I slept for 6 hours straight. Its been almost a year since I’d done that.
As time progresses I’m using the arm almost normally, except for the fact that it is pretty fiercely locked up. I’ve hurt myself some from not being aware of it and over extending my arm. But the pain is negligible.
Worse are the neck and shoulder cramps. They were expected, still, even though I don’t like the stiff Shiny Sky by Maxine Perron Caissy
Click images for desktop size: “Shiny Sky” by Maxine Perron Caissy
neck and the stabbing shafts of hurt it’s a fair tradeoff.
Steroids have another side effect: My blood sugar levels have skyrocketed. It was predicted. I still have to slog and try and keep them down. Again, this is a fair tradeoff.
I start physical therapy on the 9th. Twice a week for 2 months. I get another steroid shot on the 28th.
Its odd feeling human.
I went to work with a light mind. My puppy is coming back to me this Sunday. It feels like life is coming back to me.
I truly hate my job. A few times it has based past the level of being endurable. I’m still looking for a good job. I’ll hold on to this one for as long as I can. They might have to move or I might not be able to take any more of the wearisome abuse of the place. The people aren’t bad but they forget that I’m a person too. They see only their needs and wants and forget about the rest of the world and that’s just creepy.
But nothing can overwhelm that my puppy is coming back. I’m out of pain.
The world seems wonderful.

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

High Life
Click images for desktop size: “High Life” by Unknown
It was my birthday up until a few minutes ago.
It didn’t seem to mean much. Thanks to the people who remembered.48 hours1xs.jpg
My sole celebration was to go to the Chinese Buffet. It was better in my memory than in reality. Probably its just the world of memory. And not having a puppy to filch tidbits for.
I still rather enjoyed it but in a softer way than I usually enjoy these things.
I was tired. Had to run around a bit and get my shoulder x-rays. I finally got an appointment with an orthopedist. For Monday. It’s a bit Doris Day
Click images for desktop size: “Doris Day”
dull that I have to hand carry my x-rays in. I got to look at them at least. I can’t tell a thing, other than it’s my shoulder for sure.
Other cause for birthday celebrations was I got my first pay check. It was at least 8 hours short, 8 hours that should have been overtime. I didn’t want to talk to the boss about it until I’d studied and confirmed the figures. It will have to wait until the next paycheck anyway.
I got my new debit card but I have to go make the long trek to the bank to activate it. Probably do that tomorrow/today. I can’t really touch the money until then. Even though it’s a short check there’s still enough to make a dent in my debts. That’s important.
My friend has waived enough of the debt payment so I can get a new Apple keyboard. I hate having to buy it but the Logitech board is horrid to use. I hate the key feel but the monstrosity is that the keys are just small enough to force a ridiculous amount of typos. And whenever I type an A or hit tab, I also hit the Cap Lock . . . So it’s frustrating.
The thing I did mostly on my birthday was play with Snow Leopard. the newest update to Mac OS X.
Back in the day an update to OS X was a sort of geeky thrill. Now that Apple has gotten so big and Life by Cole Phillips
Click images for desktop size: “Life Cover” by Cole Phillips
Microsoft continues to crumble its lacks the joy of participation.
There are a couple of things I like about Snow Leopard. Its faster and feels snappier. Too many of my standard daily apps don’t work. A couple required upgrades but a couple are just dead. It also seems to have a problem burning to my external DVD Burner. Which is a stone drag.
But what I like the least is that way too many icons now look distorted and fuzzy! Like hell really. I can’t figure out why. Some of the 128 px icons look fine, but others are a real mess, including some of the 256 px ones. Since OS X now permits 512 px icons this is annoying. Even stranger is that several of the pre-installed icons look terrible too. Disc Utility looks amazingly bad. It also crashed several times while trying to repair permissions. Creepy in a way I associate more with Windows than with Apple, which just goes to show how the two have grown closer in feel and philosophy.
Apple was better when it was a decided underdog, trying to appeal to the hardcore. iPods and Doomsday Special iPhones have pushed them into great wealth and success and then into tyranny and sloppiness.
The rest of the day was spent sleeping and dreaming of my puppy coming home to me. Hopefully next week. I’m on edge enough about this to need constant reassurance.
I miss my puppy. She’s okay but chances are she misses me too.
My days have been filled with working nights while only managing to sleep 3 or 4 hours a day. I’m in a bit of a constant daze. Its endurable. I don’t like the job at all and am sort of glad that they’ll be moving at the end of September. Probably moving to a location that will be inaccessible to me.
I get asked questions.
About the girl who used a high speed grinder to make sparks fly from her body. No. I did not find that sexy. I did find it terribly cool.
It would have been the same if had been a guy up there 90% naked and touching tender body parts with power tools. I wouldn’t have stared as hard at a naked guy but watching people potentially do great harm to themselves in the realm of entertainment is a rush that guys seem to enjoy.
Like I had a gay friend who got drunk and decided he wanted to get a tattoo on his rear end. He wanted a bunch of blue birds, hearts and flowers flying out of his rectum.
Whatever you think of that pales beside his decision to go to the Pike in Long Beach to do this. There are plenty of tattoo parlors on the Pike. If you don’t know the Pike is a beat to death amusement park out on a pier. The area is filled with bikers, dock workers and hard drinkers. The tattoo parlors are not cute and cool artistic studios. They are old school and cater to the man who Still Life by Jan Lievens
Click images for desktop size: “Still Life” by Jan Lievens
wants his girl friends name tattooed on his chest or a naked mermaid tattooed on his bicep.
This was not the place that you would figure an effeminate set designer should be going. Of course I went along because I knew there would be trouble and none of the trouble would be my responsibility.
We got to the Pike and the set designer was sobering up. We stopped in a bar. Behind the bar was a low stage with a band where I knew the guitarist. it was a surprise meeting.
I told him what the set designer was planning to do as an explanation as to why I was in a sea front bar known for broken teeth and smashed skulls. He was there for $100 bucks a night, as the band was cheaper than replacing the juke box that invariably got busted during the nightly bar fight.
The guitarist tried to talk the set designer out of his plan. He explained it was dangerous and that none of the tattoo artists on the Pike would welcome his custom.
The set designer stood on his rights as a human being, which are true and accurate in a civilizedA Dog's Life society but this area really didn’t respect individuals too well. People in the bar were already giving the set designer, who was sharply dressed, all 5′ 6″ of him and muttering some pretty nasty comments.
The guitarist implored the set designer to reconsider. This just made the set designer more trenchant and determined. So having done his best the guitarist joined us. he felt he deserved to see the fun after he’d worked so hard to do the right thing.
We started the search of tattoo parlors. As soon as the set designer described what he wanted to the bare chested men we were thrown out of their joints, usually with threats of violence.
I was impressed with the little guy. No matter how much the much larger, dangerous looking tattoo artists threatened and berated him he stood firm and talked about the stupidity of discrimination and his refusal to give up his right to have pretty birds, flowers and hearts tattooed around his rectum. I was also surprised that with all the yelling and swearing no one tried to punch us out.
Only one guy offered to do the job and I pulled the set designer out of there as it was obvious the guy was going to get him into a compromising position and then just hurt him.
Pin Up by JW McGinnis
Click images for desktop size: “Pin Up” by JW McGinnis
The set designer wouldn’t give up. His insistence on walking into places that clearly wanted to hurt him was a lot of fun. Much better than TV.
The only negative was he finally did find a female artist willing to do the job. Since her work displayed was mainly of burning skulls and various devils I thought she might not be the one to render the set designers artistic vision. She spent a few hours doing the work. I went and listened to my friends band while I waited for him. (I drove so I had to.)
The negative was that the set designer made me inspect the finished product. The woman had seriously done her best but the work was crude. It wasn’t artistic. The hearts looked like they should have been bleeding or had daggers shoved through them. The flowers were blobs and the blue birds looked like hawks. That and the fact that staring at guys naked butts is not a fave past time of mine was depressing.
The set designer went to one of the trendy tattoo artists on the strip. I can’t remember his name butAdventures of Captain Marvel he was famous for doing Cher’s tattoos. He cleaned the work up quite a bit. My punishment for my violence tinged voyeurism was having to inspect the new work as well.
So watching the sparking woman was a lot like that. Seeing her dance and striking the grinding wheel on the tiny strips of metal to generate the sparks, and knowing that she could hurt herself severely with a simple wrong move of a half inch or so was what fascinated me. And she was fit . . .
The other question I’ve been asked a lot here rather surprises me: How much longer do they give you to live?
Since I have nothing of huge value to leave anybody other than a huge movie collection and a beautiful puppy this is rather startling.
Since other doc’s had given me erroneous time lines I figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask. I called the doctor who was happy to discuss this morbidity with me. I knew it was going to go well when the conversation started off with something like, “Frankly, I can’t quite accept the fact that you’re alive right now!”
The leukemia put my body through a serious beating, the diabetes is a progressive disease that just wears you down. The techniques used in Canada are different then the preferred method in America but I have to live with it. They have no idea how I managed to survive the second heart attack, the one intentionally induced by the Canadian Government which they refused to treat. They said the damage caused by that heart attack was more severe than the first one.
But I am alive and the damage to my heart, while serious is nowhere near as bad as it should be or as bad as the scarring indicates it should be, I guess.
There’s no real answer to how long I can live. If I stay on my diets pretty well and keep swallowing Head Hunter
Click images for desktop size: “Head Hunter” by NFL Films
the handfuls of pills they believe I can return my heart to about 98% (Before the second heart attack it was believed I could get it back to 100%)
In other words I stand a good chance to make it into my 60’s . . . maybe.
All I can guarantee is that I will live at least one more day than my puppy. After this episode I will not ever let us be separated again.

Even with the job and my constant exhausted (but not fatigued) state I can still follow football. I’m surprised and concerned that Pete Carroll has named Matt Barkley the starter. Matt has the chance to be one of the greatest QB’s of all time but his senior season in Orange County was solid but far from spectacular. In practice he’s looked brilliant and incredibly young by turns.
I’d just feel more comfortable with the equally talented Aaron Corp playing QB against Ohio State. The Asphalt Jungle Next week San Jose State is just a tune up game. A game I’m irked USC is playing. San Jose State has a talented Div 1A defense. Its quick enough to give Barkley a look and some problems. I hope Corp gets some time in because I still think Corp is the key to a successful season.
These 12 games a year – 12 days that these kids have spent a life time getting ready to play are too important for experiments.

I’ve got another year to start. I think I get to say when that year starts. It didn’t start today. Today was as disappointing as Obama’s plan for health care reform. It is certainly not going to start until I can start to use my right arm again, I’ve got my puppy beside me telling me doggish jokes, and I can get up in the middle of the night and talk to my friend. Interestingly I’ve compensated for the arm so well that I have either deceived everyone that my arm is fine or else everyone around me is too self obsessed to notice . . . I don’t know how to compensate for the lack of puppy or lack of friend.

Battles Without Honor or Humanity
Kinji Fukasaku

Click images for desktop size: “Predator” by Unknown
One of the last memorable gigs as a band was at a benefit party. The party was being thrown by some slick, over priced arty magazine. Curse of Frankenstein-Horror of Dracula
It was one of those functions guaranteed to attract a lot of A & R people, heavy weights, stars etc. Plus the magazine was certain to give itself serious coverage. A cover story. What was amazing was that nobody in the band objected to any of the details or even the pay. It was the bands usual tact to find some highly objectionable reason to not doing these career boosting gigs . . . We had all been in too many bands and the music excited us but the business was something that just seemed to be in the way.
It was sort of miraculous that with our lack of promotion and ambition that the party promoters had even found us. Like we once got it together to mail out ONE CD of demo’s to a magazine. They picked it as the CD of the month. Wrote quite a bit about it. We all read the article, tired to take it with professional maturity and then basically did nothing. We rehearsed more and got together when we felt like it.
But we got this gig and agreed to it. I don’t know who set it up. The venue was huge, very nice. Had a full pub as sort of an attachment, It had two separate stages and an outdoor amphitheater that could hold a few hundred. We were scheduled to play in the amphitheater, the fourth act. I was irked we weren’t the closers but the band that was closing had a single in the charts and had a brief appearance on “Top of the Pops”. They were a techno-dance band and fought for closing.
I was standing at the bar, not drinking quietly, when this fellow started talking to me. I’m used to that. For some reason a guy not drinking at a free bar attracts more attention that a rowdy drunk.
This fellow was as tall as me, fair haired going to baldness. He wore khaki shorts, broken aviator Scarlet Cascade
Click images for desktop size: “Scarlet Cascade” by Unknown
sunglasses, a too large hawaiian shirt, white socks and Doc Martin boots. He was drinking tonic water and bitters.
He was excited about an act in one of the smaller stages. The act was some girl who shot sparks out of her body . . . he was so excited about it that it was contagious. I had no idea why it sounded exciting but he made it seem that way. We made a date to go see the woman’s act. Then our attention got diverted by the cute little hostesses who wanted us to stop our not drinking and do our sound checks. The guy in the hawaiian shirt was in a band too.
The little hostess who was assigned to take me to the staging area explained that he was the guitarist for “Siouxie and the Banshees”. She made it clear she wished she’d had him to baby sit instead of me as she explained he’d also played on some of the “Little Furry Creature” tracks. My only thoughts were that he sure didn’t come off like the original Goth guitarist, he was too likable for that.
We did our sound check and then did whatever we could to stave off boredom. The Hawaiian shirtDark Passage Goth guitarist came and found me. The acts were starting on the inside stages and the spark girl was starting soon.
Spark girl was the opening act. Big mistake. The woman walked on stage to some nondescript acid trance music. She wasn’t very pretty but she was fit. She knew how to appeal to guys. She was mostly The Wizard of Oz
Click image: “Wizard of Oz-Bewtween Takes”
nude. To keep it legal she had strips of black clunky metal pasted to strategic places on her body. On her head was some sort of clunky Grace Jones geometric thing. What was interesting was a high speed/power grinder in her hands.
She did some mildly salacious poses on a chair while she revved the grinder in time to the music. Suddenly she touched the grinder to her body which let off a huge shower of red and white fiery sparks. She then danced around some touching the grinder to the black strips and shooting sparks all over the place. It was great!
She ended the act by lying back on the floor and touching the grinder between her legs shooting a twenty foot shower of sparks over the audiences head.
I was pretty slack jawed. I was also starting to write songs that required an electric grinder accompaniment . . .
My time for being put in my creative place wasn’t over. The Hawaiian Shirted Goth guitarist was opening the show. He had a trio he’d put together just for this gig. They were a little raw but very competent.
The Goth guitarist took the stage in exactly what he’d been wearing. He played a pink Fender. It looked customized and had a lot more sustain than you usually get from a strat.
There were about 300 people there and he treated the audience like they were guests in his living Fractal Axes
Click images for desktop size: “Fractal Axes” by Unknown
room. He was the most relaxed entertainer I’d ever seen and he was totally chilled and, of course, great!
My memory of his set was just of it always being casual, friendly and driving. But his finale was shattering. He soloed on electric guitar doing a mind blasting cover of the Beastie Boys’ “(You Gotta) Fight To Party”. It is now one of my primal memories defining rock & roll.
Relaxed, self assured and able to get a few hundred people dancing to just your guitar. I was humbled, jealous and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
The only negative was thinking we have to follow that!
Out of the two bands that were supposed to play, one refused to follow him and the other had a late running drummer so suddenly we had to follow that!
We did okay. Had to work is all. Made for a great show. Everything was well received.
After the set we got approached by a few managers and A & people. Signed with a manager too but at the moment Goth Guitarist and I were anxious to get to the smaller stage. There was going to beDestroy All Monsters a female fire eater! We hoped for something similar to spark girl.
The fire eater was just okay. She wore a black bikini, was covered in interesting tattoos and did an interesting fire eating routine but she didn’t shoot a tower a flame 20 feet over the audience’s head from her vagina and after that precedent we couldn’t help but be disappointed.
Oh, yeah. The magazine came out. The article was big. Opened with a double page spread of the spark girl. I think she deserved the coverage. They ran three pix of the band and wrote about a page and a half about us. I thought it weird that they only gave Goth Guitarist two columns.
The new manager got us a couple of gigs and got us into a recording studio, We laid down about a half dozen tracks and had some fun but the drummer got married, the lead singer got a job and discovered that he enjoyed not sweating the rent and eating regular. The bass player and I got this game for the Playstation and it seemed life or death to us that we get it finished . . . So another rock and roll fantasy laid to rest there.

Working the graveyard shift is killing me. Not the jobs fault. I think I’d be having the same problem working any hours. I can’t sleep. The pain in my right arm just won’t allow it. The latest wrinkle is that I wake up and my right hand is vibrating wildly. Vibrating faster than I can consciously will it to. I’ve tried to convince myself that this is a good thing, that it means the muscles are loosening up or something.
The arm was miserable the first two nights of work. Hurt constantly. The two numb fingers felt like they were filling up with blood and were fixing to explode. They don’t look swollen or anything so Bulls On Parade by Olli Pekka Jauhiainen
Click images for desktop size: “Bulls on Parade” by Olli Pekka Jauhiainen
I’m lost as to what they might mean with all the hurting.
I’ve worked 10 straight days. This is the first day off. In that time I learned to fulfill my work duties and keep my arm protected enough that its only a distracting issue with the occasional burst of screaming agony.
The walking and being on my feet is tiresome. I have a 3.2 mile walk to and from work, which is probably a good thing for me. Except the final mile and a half coming home I discover that I’m almost crawling up the hills. I find that annoying.
Not walking on my day off I can feel my legs having a chance to recover and heal.
The job itself is inconsequential. I have little contact with my co-workers. I only deal with them at shift change. One is fine and the other is a nightmare, but I only have to see her for 15 minutes a day so it doesn’t wear too thin.
One thing that bugs me is the ever present cameras. I don’t like being looked at quite that much.The Deadly Mantis
As to the job. Its just that a job. I have no feelings about it at all really. Maybe just too tired to know what I might feel.
The only drag part is after the shooting incident of my first day the landlords have evicted them! They plan to move the place but everywhere they’ve talked about moving would be impossible for me to get to. So its now a temporary job. Rather annoying.
So I’ll get about 6 weeks in. I’ve restarted my job hunt, lightly right now but will step it up this week.

My puppy is now scheduled to be with me on Labor Day weekend. It think about that a lot. I want her with me. I keep seeing things that would interest her. I think about how how much faster my walk to work would be if she were there to help me along.
One interesting thing is that no one at my job has recognized me as her companion. Its about the only place I’ve been in this town where that’s happened. Too tired to make anything of that.
After she’s settled in and feeling comfortable I’m going to bring in a foster dog.

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

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

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

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

The real significance of crime is in its being a breach of faith with the community of mankind
Joseph Conrad

Dream Stream by Matthew Turner
Click images for desktop size: “Dream Stream” by Matthew Turner
Yesterday I saw the cardiologist. I was surprised at the high level of care.
It started with me meeting a nurse who verified the data already in the computer and added someThe Blob things specific to the cardiologist.
I then met the doctor’s assistant. She did the vitals, examined my drug and pill bottles. She noticed the awkward placement of my arm and the exhausted cast to my face. She asked about the arm and then asked if I’d had Bells Palsy in the past.
I was impressed that she noticed. We went through that history. Everything was checking out fine. My blood was well oxygenated. My pulse was reasonable and my blood pressure was within the allowed parameters.
Then I met the oncologist. This also surprised me. It was a thoroughness I wasn’t used to. He drew the blood himself. He even asked reasonable questions like if I still felt the leukemia was in remission. I liked that he had enough sense to know that I was a veteran of 4 trials and chemo’s. I do know what the onset feels like.
Next was the doctor in charge of the rehab of my heart. He ordered an EKG and then was thinking about whether or not a sonogram would be needed. A sonogram of the heart is cool. Its exactly like the sonogram they do of expectant mothers only its of your heart.
He asked me why I hadn’t seen any cardiac specialists. I felt obliged to tell him about how Canadian Immigration had falsely arrested me and thrown me into a Maximum Security Prison. I told him that they insisted at my hearing that I was receiving excellent care.
He said rubbish. Throwing me in prison was illegal. I should sue them.
I told him that my only real concern right now was finding a job and getting healthy again.
His response was, “You’re a lot calmer about this than I would be or anyone else for that matter. I guess, in the circumstances, that’s a good thing.” He was one of those guys who talked with Eric Claptons Les Paul
Click images for desktop size: “Eric Clapton’s Les Paul”
They wheeled in the EKG machine. The nurse wired me up and ran the test. When it was over she let me look at the tape. I noticed it didn’t look much like my memory of the last EKG I’d had. There was an extra abrasive line. In my last EKG tape there was the oily discordant line that signifies a healthy life on top and the same jangly bit on the bottom save for one out of place tight squiggle. The squiggle was the heart attack. This new tape looked the same on top but there was a second hard pressed squiggle in the bottom row. I put it off on a different machine and that they’d hooked up at least four more wires to me than they had on the last EKG.
Next I met the lead doctor, still not the guy whose name was on my appointment. This was the guy I’d be dealing with on a day to day basis.
I liked him. He was friendly and professional. He looked at the EKG and then asked me about this story about Canadian Immigration. He also said I should sue them. In the USA Immigration cops pullThe Black Alley Cats that stuff all the time and now face criminal charges for it. He got very angry, in a scary muted way, about the way I was treated. It overcame him for a minute. I wanted to ask him if he’d lost someone to with held care but thought I didn’t know him well enough to get into his personal life.
He pulled himself together. He asked me about the leukemia and about the diabetes. He agreed that the insulin was most likely a Glenn Miller
Click images for desktop size: “Glenn Miller”
catalyst. He said the psychology of what was happening to me was pretty much being ignored, the stress just being ignored while they dealt with the symptoms. He said I should expect or demand a higher level of care from his team. They depended on me to be honest and to try and ignore my normal denial and calm acceptance of the hand I’ve been dealt. He dais his team’s objective was to see me live as long as I deserved and in a good happy way.
He then asked me about my right arm. I explained the frozen shoulder. He said, “You sure do seem to get the full rift of side effects. I don’t know how you stay so calm.”
He then asked me if I had any numbness in my hand. I told him my pinkie and ring finger had started to go numb, sometimes they were painful. He nodded and then touched a spot on my elbow; “Do you get like an electric jolt right around here at times?”
I was surprised, “Yeah!”
“You have to see an orthopedist as soon as possible. You’re running the risk of some irreparable nerve damage. Its your ulnar nerve that’s damaged.”
I felt awkward describing the plan I was seeing him on, mainly because I barely understand it other Deadly Angel
Click images for desktop size: “Deadly Angel” by Unknown
than its free. I was able to get out that I was told it would be about a month before I could see an orthopedist. He said, “I can get you in to see an orthopedist tomorrow. This should have been dealt with weeks ago. I guess if they ignored a heart attack its too much to expect them to notice nerve damage.”
I promised I’d call the program director first thing tomorrow (today.)
He gave me his card and said I was to call him first thing about anything related to my heart. If i had to take a nitro pill or go to emergency I was to call him. We made an appointment to meet again in 30 days. He shook my hand and nearly tore my arm with. He grimaced an apology at me and said he was going to meet the doctor who I’d be seeing shortly.
It was a while so I went through all the cabinets. I figured they must have heard about me. There was nothing left lying about that would have been worth playing with. While doing my searching I overheard some conversation in the hallway and realized that they were talking about me. I heardBrain of Blood the words, leukemia, diabetic from chemo and now heart attack. I stopped listening when I heard the word prison. I decided to look harder for toys. When none were forthcoming I played with the 3D raised plastic poster of a heart attack.
Then the “Great Man” came in. He was older but not yet elderly. He looked distinguished, smart and concerned. He shook my hand and then said, “Hey! Your the man with the dog!”
I knew what he meant. He went on, “My wife’s a volunteer at the hospital. I’ve seen you and your dog on the cardiology floor. She’s remarkable! The doctor was filling me in on your story. You should write a book!” We then spent ten minutes discussing world medicine and his opinion of the Health Care Reform which, funnily, did not contradict my own feelings in any major way. He agreed that health care cost too much. We also agree that the European systems were fine for primary care but horrid for complications. He’s on a few research committees in Canada and Europe and has a similar (from a different perspective) hands on experience of the systems. He also Dials by Eric Freitas
Click images for desktop size: “Dials” by Eric Freitas
told me that none of the other doctors or nurses knew I was a “free” patient at the cardiology clinic. If I didn’t tell them they’d never know. This was his own idea and he felt no need to confide in them or seek their approval or disapproval.
As I think that any doctor who seeks to fight death face to face needs more than a touch of arrogance I liked his attitude.
While we were conversing I sneezed. This hit my shoulder unbelievingly hard. I did manage to avoid my usual string of unending profanity and just go, “Oh, oh, oh.”
He did a quick examination of my arm. He said I needed to see an orthopedist immediately. He asked if the pain hit around 9 or 10. I told him, “yeah.”
That bought our rather enjoyable conversation to an end. He studied my EKG and decided we had to have and echo, a sonogram. He said my EKG showed damage to another part of my heart. He said, “Probably from those bastard Canadian prison doctors withholding your plavix. We’ll do the echo,The Body Stealers then you go home. I’ll have one of my staff call you if there’s anything that requires attention.”
He then laid out a rehab program and gave me the nutritionists report. He said that since I was already on a low fat diet because of the chemo I’d have little problem with it. He detailed a low sodium diet and said it was important but less directly managed than fat. It had more to do with how I felt and how I was reacting to things.
As we parted he praised my calmness. He thought I’d have to miss this season but he could see me coaching again next year.
I liked the guy a lot more than I was expecting to.
Then I got the sonogram. It was great. I got to see my heart beating and to see the valves opening and closing, looking like greedy sea anemones grabbing for food. The tech said there was definite scaring that shouldn’t be there. She brought the Great Man in and he confirmed that I’d had a serious heart attack in prison. He said it was pretty surprising I survived it at all, “Clearly you’re not a man to get into a fight with. At least your heart won’t ever give up. We’ll look at this.” Then they drew some blood to run some enzyme tests. then I saw a glorious thing. The tech did a 3D sonogram of my heart! IN COLOR! Although not the natural colors it was still cool, all green, blacks, whites and pastels. I was having a good time looking at it so the tech showed off her skill and rotated it and let me play with it for a minute.
I liked looking at my heart. I asked the tech if she got bored doing this and she said, “No. Every heart is different. Every heart teaches me something new.”
As I walked home I was tired from all the blood drawn and all the time thinking and listening. Still I felt pretty good about it all, like I had a chance. I also thought that the level of care I’d recieved was very high, as good as I got at the free clinic at least.
Amazingly the best care I’ve gotten was either for the poor or for the rich. I feel for the people in the middle and it does just point out the need for health care reform.