Stanford 55 USC 21

Steve Argyle
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Steve Argyle
I have been H1N1ified.
Cost me $10. The clinic where they are giving the shots for free had 13 doses. They expected it toOctopus be gone within the hour of my calling. The pharmacy in the grocery store had 20 doses. The vaccine was free but they charged ten bucks for administering it or something. Since the government is administering the program I figured it had to be approved for them to do this. When I asked the pharmacist they assured me it was all kosher, so I went for convenience.
I’m still a bit perplexed that my health puts me on the list of the “at risk “. I don’t know if that makes me “lucky”. I mean I’m up there in front of pregnant women and children 4 and up. I’m preferred because of the diabetes, the chemo and the heart disease.
I’m still uncomfortable about the words “heart disease,” at least when applied to myself. Makes me feel decrepit instead of vaguely dangerous.
I mean Ron Santo and Jay Cutler had/have diabetes, so that stays within my view as tough enough, Kareem Abdul Jabbar has gone public with his leukemia so that doesn’t feel so much like I’m an outsider but heart disease conjures up some pretty unwelcome images. Images unsavory enough to not dwell upon, I don’t think I was intended to ever get to be this kind of old.
My friend’s secretary is in hospital now with H1N1 and pneumonia. So I have genuine concern. I have little enough immune system. Stupid cold bothered me for three weeks and I still have remnants of it, so I’m pretty glad to have the vaccination.
When I tell people I’ve gotten the vaccine it’s amazing how almost everyone has a stupid story to tell me about why they don’t need to be immunized. Fear is at least an honest answer. But most of the stories are about how they never get the flu, although sometimes they get colds that are so bad Piercing Stare by Fastner and Larson
Click images for desktop size: “Piercing Stare” by Fastener & Larson
they have vomiting and diarrhea . . .
Which, in my byzantine mind, leads me to bracket that logic with the sort of torsion you get from governments. The fight with the Canadian government shows no progress. There’s some revealing tells.
Firstly it seems whenever you find there’s something inherently wrong with the world it always seems to end with a battle with the government.
Stupidly I’m kind of experienced at it.
The first time was because of some law. In California it used to be that if a woman was getting beaten by her husband it was okay for her to run away but it was illegal for her to take her children with her . . . I mean you’d have to be some pot bellied, stogie chomping knucklehead to have come up with that one. A woman gets beaten, and if you ever saw any of these women these are beatings that drop your jaw, and when one of those poor victims finally gets the courage to save her life and she selflessly looks to protect the lives of her children the stupid cops could arrest her and then either throw her in jail or force her to return to the guy who was trying to beat her to Out of the Past death. Without busting the guy kicking the hell out of the woman . . . Yow.
The madness of law. We won that one but only because I got allies who took over and knew the right way to go. Considering my way involved a baseball bat with nails sticking out of it, that was a good thing. The law got changed. People, politicians fought against it. They Judy Garland
Click images for desktop size: “Judy Garland”
argued that any woman who would desert her home clearly wasn’t in any place to care for children and that she belonged in the house with her husband. If her husband slapped her around, well, she married him didn’t she. Yow.
Winning gave me confidence. I got involved in a lot I didn’t win but usually I partially won and learned to ungracefully compromise. Like in England the abuse of children is horrifyingly rampant. Like the shelter for children in Islington where the care takers were turning the children into prostitutes and sending them out to turn tricks on the street. That only went on for 30 years. I think two guys went to prison for 3 or 4 years . . .
Or the British passion for writing children off as worthless and unredemable. Thirteen year old kids lost forever because one adult couldn’t be bothered.
You win a few you lose a few. But you learn that the corruption of a government is beyond a persons ability to conceive. That they will exceed your nightmares with evil and nonchalance.
But they have tells. The Canadian government didn’t send a form letter to my abridged list of complaints. They blithely ignored them except for demanding I resubmit forms I’d submitted 3 times before.
Right now they’re trying to find my unnamed witnesses. If they were confident that they could be Orbs And Lines
Click images for desktop size: “Orbs & Lines” by Unknown
bought or discredited they would have blithely denied all the bad deeds, or justified them as standard procedure. Ignoring them with a bland promise to have a third party perhaps review them in the future is a weak chain link fence that they flee too.
It doesn’t mean that the guy reviewing it won’t fall back on denial and other outrageous claims. They have a difficulty there in that too many of the witnesses aren’t Canadian. And that I’m not totally crippled and from Jamaica (Jamaicans suffer even worse abuse) or African or from some country too far away and too poor to support a proper battle causes some concern.
Have to see what happens. It’s a long war where they rely on time to win just by wearing you out.
I am worn out. My job continues. It sucks. Often its pretty easy to despise humanity.
I get corrected. I probably am not getting depressed. Depression has become to clinical term and carries a lot of weight and implications. The actual word should be despondent, which is far morePhase IV temporary and doesn’t respond well to drugs. You can be despondent and not feel enough rage to consider suicide or homicide. It’s an emotion not a treatable disease.
My puppy . . . took her to a pet store and used their scale. She’s lost exactly 1 pound in 3 months . . . dang. I feel like I’m starving her and, trust me, she’s convinced I’m starving her.
We went for a long walk today to get tacos. I’m impressed with how much of her therapy dog training she still recalls and applies to life. Like the rescue dog drives her crazy and plays violently, nearly viciously. She wants to retaliate but does what she was trained to do with kids and that’s to disengage and to come to me. A couple of times I thought she was going to retaliate against the rescue dog but instead she followed her training.
Today when a bunch of little girls swooped down on her to pet her she did what she was trained to do and that was to sit close by my side so that the little girls were forced to approach her one at a time. She still loves the attention.
I figure in a month my physical therapy will be over. Then I can start back at her therapy dog refresher. I hope she still is interested in being a therapy dog. She’s very very good at it. I’m not going to force her to do it. She and I know each other well enough for her to know I’d like her to do this and I know her well enough to know when she’s just trying to please me and not enjoying it. I like it when she is happy being a doctor dog, when she takes her rounds seriously and playfully. It’s up to her what she wants to do here.
After a week off I’m back full force on the doctors this week. Physical Therapy on Wednesday and Friday. I get a free pair of glasses on Wednesday too. I pick them out anyway. Bifocals with a line, Polar Bear
Click images for desktop size: “Polar Bear” by Unknown
no tint and no frame selection. Those will be my indoor glasses. I’ll have to buy my tinted all the time glasses. The opthamologist says I still have to wear them predominantly or risk blindness. My eyes are too sensitive to light. I priced the lenses out and the cheapest estimate for lenses is $250. I was thinking of buying a pair of cool RayBans and having prescription lenses fitted to them. Should bring the price up to about $400 . . . On Friday I have to see the GP doc, about drugs and the fact that my left foot has turned purple! As if deeply bruised. I got my new LL Bean slippers! The bruise seems to be receding as I wear them! It’s probably just the stupid job where I have to stand and walk on a linoleum floor for 8 hours straight. Then I have to meet the Neurologist to end my Friday. That’s to set up the test to see where the nerve damage is in my right arm. It makes the pinky and ring finger part of my hand numb. They say there’s a compression of my ulnar nerve. It will probably require surgery to correct but maybe not. Its from when the cops where twisting my arm.
I also have to find a source for Plavix. It’s the one drug I need to actually stay alive. The cheapPeeping Tom clinic is not going to carry it cause its too expensive . . . So far I got one price and that freaked me so badly I haven’t checked else where. They wanted $540 a script . . . But Joe Lieberman is going to filibuster the health care bill.

Sounds like a good time to think about football.
Last week I was 9-4. Not good enough for a prize but pretty good. My friend was a truly pathetic 8-5. I tried not to laugh at her but it was hard.
For the season I have a surging 84 points while she still lingers around with a pathetic 88.

My picks are in bold.

Chicago at San Francisco – This was the Thursday night game. I picked the 49er’s mainly because the Bears haven’t won in San Francisco since they were Super Bowl champs! And you had to figure Piglet
Click images for desktop size: “Piglet” by Unknown
Singletary would have would be fired up facing his old team. I was worried about Jay Cutler doing so poorly. The Bronco’s kept a coach who’s whole job was checking Cutler’s blood sugars and keeping him properly leveled. I wonder if the Bears are showing the same care. It could account for 5 interceptions. Seriously.

Atlanta at Carolina – The Falcons are a team better than their record. They’re a playoff team. The Panthers are in disarray. They have some talent but it’s obviously occupied in something other than football.

Tampa Bay at Miami – This one could be ugly. The Bucs showed some spark last week but the Dolphins have had a week to study the film of the rookies. The Bucs have nothing that can stop the Dolphins running attack. This might be the blow out that gets the Dolphins fired up to make a decent play off run.

Detroit at Minnesota – My Survivor Game of the Week. This is the closest thing to a lock as you can Playgirls and the Vampire find in sports. The Lions haven’t won a road game in 3 years! And prior to that they set the NFL record for consecutive road losses. The Vikings are fired up and playing gritty football behind Brett Favre and Adrian Petersen. This is another ugly one.

Jacksonville at New York Jets – This should be a decent game. The Jaguars are on the rise while the Jets are still struggling to find an identity. Mark Sanchez keeps improving and manages the game well enough and responds when he needs to step it up. I’m taking the Jets because I like Sanchez and he’s at home.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh – Game of the Week. The Bengals stunned everybody when the thumped the Steelers earlier in the season. Now the Steelers are looking for revenge, which normally would make me lean towards Pitt but I adore Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco. The man got fined 20k for his awesome joke of trying to bribe an official with a dollar bill. His response was to pay the fine and then pledge an equal amount to a program to feed hungry kids. He’s a maniac but p[lays so beautifully. And I think they should have given him a 40k bonus for bringing some lightness and joy to what has been a pretty dreary season for the NFL. No Fun League.

New Orleans at St Louis – The Saints in the Super Bowl? Why not? The Rams for the number 1 draft pick? Probably.

Buffalo at Tennessee – Vince Young for comeback player of the year? He’s revitalized the Titans offense and that’s for sure. The Bills season seems lost, once again, so he might continue his Secret Smile by LawnElf
Click images for desktop size: “Secret Smile” by Lawn Elf
surprising level of play. The only surprise for the Bill is that TO hasn’t had his typical melt down . . . yet.

Denver at Washington – This is going to be a stinker but it will keep the Bronco’s record gaudy. The Redskins should be the most moribund team in the NFL but shockingly there are worse!

Kansas City at Oakland – And here are two of them. The Cruddy Game of the Week. Taking Oakland not because they stink less than the Chiefs but because the Raisers have a much better soap opera going on. A Head Coach in need of counseling? RAH!

Seattle at Arizona – A game that should not be competitive. If it is it will take a pretty strong effort by the Cardinals to give it away. Mike Holmgrem left the Sea Hawks in time!

Prisoner of the Cannibal God

Dallas at Green Bay – Last week the Packers gave Tampa Bay their only win of the season! The common thought is that the Cowboys have started to get their act together. I’m taking the Packer underdogs at home because I think the Packers are going to respond to being embarrassed but mainly because Tony Romo has never looked that good to me.

Philadelphia at San Diego – A game that’s interesting for all the wrong reasons. Last time on the West coast the Eagles got thumped by a pigeon and the Raiders! Will the forces of nature rage against them again? Can the Chargers come up a new creative way to use all that massive talent to lose another one? The Eagles risked universal scorn by signing Michael Vick – so far he’s accounted for a massive 37 yards . . .

Anime by Hanbai
Click images for desktop size: “Anime” by Hanbai
Baltimore at Cleveland – Does anyone really think that Brady Quinn is the answer to the Browns woes? I just hope he gives the ravens enough of a game that they can work on and restore their defense.

New England 30 Indianapolis 28 – Game of the Week Runner Up. Rah. For a long time I was really bored with the constant Colts-Patriots match ups. This year is a little different. I’m surprised the Colts are undefeated! I’m stoked that Tom Brady has gotten his groove back. This could be a burner. I’m taking the Patriots not just because of Brady but because the Patriots have the tools to consistently deprive Manning of Dallas Clark (his favorite target)and that should be all the edge they need.

USC 20 Oregon 47

Happy Halloween by Julia Nikolaeva

Click images for desktop size: “Happy Halloween” by Julia Nikolaeva
I’m not feeling too great. Mostly in my head and heart. My body feels mostly like it always does.
It was a pretty good day. Got things done that pleased me. But then the letter A stopped working on Maniac my keyboard and that started the slide.
I couldn’t avert the slide, even when I discovered the keyboard is still under warranty. Now I just have to get it there to exchange it. Another task. Just means that’s the keyboard wasn’t the root of the issue, just the last straw sort of thing.
My job is pretty horrible. The hours make it worse. Not only am I always exhausted but I deal with the degenerate gambler types. They’re not very nice or polite. After the first week they’re not interesting. Their differences are all overwhelmed by their identical compulsion. This is pretty low rent legal gambling so I guess I shouldn’t have been distressed to discover the compulsion is something for nothing. Most of my “customers” don’t have jobs. They describe sitting in a chair and clicking a mouse to make the electronic slot wheels to spin as hard work. Maybe it is. I tried it and found it boring.
There’s not even a rush. For this to be legal, and right now it is legal, this is a sweepstakes. The winnings are determined as soon as you sit down and log in. The slot machine aspect is simply a reader to hook you in. What they spend hours doing could be accomplished in about 10 seconds. But then they wouldn’t keep spending money.
People do win, the biggest winner was $9,000. It doesn’t really matter to me. These people don’t tip. They run me ragged but it never dawns on them to tip. Their attitude is that it’s my job and they feel no need to show gratitude or pay a gratuity. So I clean up their messes, protect them from the predators because it’s my job and I’m paid plenty . . . I’ve heard them say often, “Don’t pick up the garbage. It’s his job, let him do it.”
The women are almost all enormously fat. They don’t want to sit on the toilet seat so they crouch Death

Click images for desktop size: “Death” by Unknown
sort of over it but they are so big they mainly urinate all over the floor and then complain about how the bathroom stinks. I clean it up.
I bought three bags of Halloween candy. I figured it was too much for any trick or treaters. We got one here. So I was giving it away to some of the people. It made me feel human. One person said thanks. Mainly they wanted to exchange it for something better. Most came up and demanded their free candy. Nearly all complained about the selection . . .
It wears you down. When they lose they get nasty. And I’m the only one around who they’re pretty sure won’t slug or shoot them for being nasty.
And I need a job. I make enough to be broke. I’m still far enough down the poverty scale to still be eligible for food stamps and free medical. Without a job I’d be even more lost.
Then there’s my continuing war with governments. I wonder why I suddenly became so important that they need to fight so viciously. There’s nothing bureaucratic or professional about it. Its just cruelty. Ridiculously I understand it. People want me to fight. I want to fight for justice, just like in MAgnum Force the comic books but I am so weary.
I miss my things. I never thought that I’d be one of those people that’s defined by his possessions. I like my music. I like being able to watch football. I like my clothes. Maybe the broken keyboard reminded me that the only thing I have left is this computer. It keeps my music. It stores my movies. I watch them here now. It’s not satisfying. Its hard to get lost in a story on a computer screen. At least it is for me. I keep checking emails.
Betty Hutton

Click images for desktop size: “Betty Hutton”
I just feel beaten up. It will pass. Depression doesn’t scare me. I’m not suicidal really. Never have been. But sometimes I get in these moods. Fortunately I have a good dog who loves me nearly as much as she loves her Kong, her ice cream, her treats, her food . . . I’m sure I’m in there somewhere.
The first time my puppy and I met she bit me! After being separated by the heart attack episode she snapped at me. We have that kind of relationship. She knows I’m depressed so she acts the clown. That’s hard for her. She’s a pretty beautiful dignified thing most of the time.
I can’t be depressed too long. If a cure consists of more than a kiss and scratching her butt or chasing her for the Kong she gets confused. She needs to know that what she does works. She needs to know that I am okay. Its those traits in her that make her a great therapy dog and why the children love her.
Right now I smile because I think of how incredibly tickled she gets when she makes me chase her for the Kong. She is so overjoyed she looks like she could explode with joyousness. If she were human she’d have to sit down and laugh for 10 minutes while wiping away tears. Right now she’s awakened and looks at me just long enough to make sure I’m okay. If I weren’t she’d come over and doctor me, whether I wanted doctoring or not.
Dracula's Daughter

Click images for desktop size: “Dracula’s Daughter” by Universal Pictures
When I’m not here she spends most of her time waiting for me. That saddens me.
Halloween was fine. My favorite pet store is going out of business. I went to their last day sale and got some good bargains.
The crazy people on the corner, the ones who over decorate their house. (Spiders crawling up the wall, a graveyard with animated figures, giant cats and purple spiders, billowing smoke , music and sound effects – it almost sounds slick. It isn’t. Its WalMart cheesiness run rampant) The husband dressed up as Leatherface and was chasing the trick or treaters with a toy chainsaw. It was enough of a show that the street was blocked with parked cars and kids waiting their turn to ask for candy and get chased.
They did this for themselves, not for charity or for profit but for the fun. Somethings are nice in small towns.
I went to the Chinese restaurant and spent my last 6 bucks on some Mu Shu chicken. When ever I get mu shu I always wonder why those pancakes are so valuable, I mean they give you a pint of muThe Midnight Story shu and four pancakes!
I watched the USC-Oregon game on-line. It was pathetic but I’m still a Trojan. Always will be. It’s okay to gloat over our worse loss in 8 years, cause its been 8 years and seven consecutive championships. We’ll probably still go to a bowl game. It was a bad loss but that’s all it was.

I don’t feel much like going into great detail on my NFL picks this week. But so many people like to ridicule me over them it feels like it would be selfish to not make them public.
Last week I was 8-6. As usual I was pretty happy about losing half the games and flummoxed by the other 3. My friend somehow stumbled to identical record. Her cheating ways have stopped paying off! She remains five points ahead for the season. But you can sense that I’m about to make my move!

As always my picks are in bold.

Denver at Baltimore – Denver is not as good as their 6-0 record . . . which is probably one of the Fashion Plate

Click images for desktop size: “Fashion Plate” by NFL Films
ridiculous things my friends like to hear me say. The thing is that the Broncos think they are a perfect tam and that kind of belief very often works. The Ravens are a lot better than 3-3 and they know it. Attitude and home-field advantage make me pick the Ravens.

Cleveland at Chicago – I’m sleeping through this one, if the Bears can stay awake they should throttle the dispirited Browns.

Seattle at Dallas – The Cowboys win last week was one of the games that bugged me. I don’t like this team much at all. The SeaHawks are the new trademark of the NFL completely erratic.

St Louis at Detroit – Cruddy game of the year, perhaps the decade! I have no memory of what prompted me to pick the Lions. Who cares who wins. Maybe they can figure out how to tie.

Houston at Buffalo – The Texans have become the flavor of the month recently. They won two games they had no business winning and did it convincingly, I still think they stink. Their wins arMondo Cane e more a product of the diluted NFL product than talent or skill. The Bills have looked surprisingly better, like they whipped the schoolyard bully and are now going after all comers. It should be interesting.

San Francisco at Indianapolis – I really like the 49ers and where they’re going. They’re playing good football and have a definite future except they lack a lot of talent. The Colts don’t lack much of anything.

Miami at the New York Jets – The Dolphins played the game of their lives and instead of a win they ran into the Dru Brees, Reggie Bush thrasher. Incredible game, good enough to keep faith in the NFL. Can the JEts stop Ricky Williams? Probably not but I don’t think the Dolphins can stop Mark Sanchez and the hot dog!!

Oakland at San Diego – My Survivor Pick of the week. Not chosen cause the Chargers are so good but because the Raiders are so bad.

Jacksonville at Tennessee – The Jaguars are starting to play good football while the Titans are 0-6 and bringing head case and USC destroyer Vince Young back as starting QB. So I’m picking the team in disarray because it just feels like them winning would be the better story.

Carolina at Arizona – After their great win at New York last week it’s a sure bet they won’t be ready

Click images for desktop size: “Face” by MK20Face by MK20 to lie down against the enigma team that is the Carolina Panthers.

Minnesota at Green Bay – For some reason the big story if Brett Favre returning to Green Bay and Lambeau Field. I think the big story is that they’re coming off a loss and Adrian Petersen ain’t happy.

Atlanta at New Orleans – Game of the Week. The Saints are undefeated . . . The Falcons are rising rapidly but the Saints are undefeated . . . A good one on Monday Night!

New York Giants 30 at Philadelphia 28 – Now we no longer have to hear about how the NFC East is the best division in football. They stink like the rest of them.

Oregon State 36 USC 42

Bleed by Janet Angus
Click images for desktop size: “Bleed” by Janet Angus
Once again my week has consisted primarily of recovering from work and falling asleep in the wrong places.The Last Man on Earth
My job gets no better. At least it is a job. I work Midnight till 8 AM and I get at least 5 people a night wanting job apps. Since two thirds of those are gamblers I do wonder what money they are using to play with, but thats a different point.
The big point is at least it’s a job. I get paid. I dislike it with an edged bitterness which I start each shift willing myself to forget. Gamblers appear to be rude, obnoxious schemers. I extend myself to be courteous to the point of unctuousness. About 1 in 20 respond with even a curt acknowledgment. When I pay them their winnings I get perhaps one thank you in 50.
The same way I’m often pleased that I don’t drink or get high I’m pleased that I don’t have any impulses that demand I gamble. Just lucky I guess.
I realized this week that I had some long stretches where my shoulder did not hurt! I’d get the stabs if I used to much or twisted it around behind me but just sitting or walking I had no pain. It was a unique experience. I also noted I have much more use of the arm, I’d guess and my physical therapist agrees, that I have about 60% use of my right arm!
I was feeling so good I made the mistake of telling my physical therapist about it. I forgot an absence of pain is merely an excuse for him to hurt me even more. I’ve gotten4 more exercises to do each day. They’re simple enough and hurt like hell but getting my arm back is so worth it.
The orthopedist came into my Friday session and checked me out. I have a knot in my trapezius about the size of a baseball. When I’m lying down it hurts like a son of a gun when I move my head. The doc just pointed out that its one of the worst of the “defensive” damages I’ve done to myself trying to cope with the pain of my shoulder. The main focus in my physical therapy now is trying to Candles
Click images for desktop size: “Candles” by Unknown
loosen up the shoulder tendons so I can get full mobility back one day, bringing the atrophied muscles back and eliminating the damage done by the cop torture and my trying to cope with the agony of the shoulder for 8 months.
The general feeling from the two doc’s and the physical therapist that another 6 months of me trying to survive (like the Canadian doc insisted I do) would have resulted in the loss of the arm. I still have to see a neurologist to assess how much damage I’ve done to my ulnar nerve. They thinks its possible if not probable that I’ve damaged it in more than one place. A third of my right hand is still numb. I’ve gotten used to that.
The other big event was getting my monthly supply of drugs. A pain. There’s one that isn’t covered under any of the plans I’m on. Means I have to buy it from the drugstore at full price. Careful shopping has me getting it at $32 for a month’s supply. It’s not covered because it’s a medicine for heart attack victims that is pretty well restricted to leukemia victims. This confuses me. It feels like The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue I’m being penalized for being too sick or something. It becomes a niggling complaint when two of the drugs I seriously need to survive, Plavix for my heart and Lantus for the diabetes (a 24 hour insulin) might become unavailable. The program that got these for me has run out of funding. I might be stuck.
I have about 3 weeks of Plavix left and about 3 months of inulin in hand.
I got to speak to a curt nurse who is in charge of the program. She wasn’t too helpful other than they were trying. I’ll have to shop around. I know they’re expensive. This month the drugs cost me $180 which is a lot but still a great deal. I can almost afford it.
While I was picking up my drugs you can’t help but notice that the economy (unemployment and low wages) combined with inept health care has packed out the clinic I depend on for survival. As in it normally takes me about 10 minutes to go in, pay for and pick up my drugs. This Friday it took over two hours. Of course I fell asleep and missed them calling me by about 3 minutes. I got aggro and pushed to the head of a line and got it sorted right away. The workers all thought it was funny I had Blackfeet Burning Crow Buffalo Range by Charles Marion
Click image for desktop size: “Blackfeet Burning Crow Bufallo Range” by Charles Marion
fallen asleep because I’d been standing.
My housemate took his new dog into the vet. He went to see my puppy’s Dr K, which I felt was fairly cool. The new guy checked out fine. Dr K tried to talk my housemate into taking him to an obedience class. Don’t think it took.
The new guy checked out fine except he had whip worm which is fairly contagious. I took my puppy’s stool sample to this vet’s office up by my work. I’d never take her there except in a psycho type emergency but to look at feces under a microscope I think they’re fine.
They told me that she didn’t have worms. I was glad for that. When I got home I was petting her head. She had this lump on her head I had been putting off to her tussling with the new guy. It wasn’t a lump, it was a tick!
Since she uses Pfizer’s Revolution (at about $45 a pop) she’s not supposed to get ticks. I used alcohol to try and loosen it. I’m still worried that I got the entire thing out of her skull. I’m now The Legend of Hillbilly John terrified of her getting some nasty infection. For every inch of terror I have an equal amount of anger of Pfizer’s product not working. Since Revolution is also supposed to prevent heart worm I’m agitated that it might have failed there too. I hate that I was duped into trusting a mega corporation, a company that blithely pollutes the water table and various other crimes against humanity. Why I would think that a company like that would do their best to protect my puppy makes me angry with myself.

Last week was a rough time in the NFL. I valiantly managed to Angelina Jolie
Click images for desktop size: “Angelia Jolie”
struggle to a manly 8-6 record with my picks. My friend using arcane arts, blind luck and clearly some cheating went 11-3. I should point out 11-3 is not good enough to get a prize.
For the season she leads 63 to 58. For some reason she now thinks she can give me tips on football! She’s even taken to sending me her picks so I can have a chance to change mine!
I might have to become a soccer fan . . .

As usual my picks are in bold.

Green Bay at Cleveland – The Brown’s season continues to sink into the quagmire. They tried to look stout against the Bengals last week but it was still a defeat. Their season can be summed up by Brady Quinn, the former Notre Dame, has been squawking that his being benched for ineffective play will cost him millions in potential incentives . . . The Packers have not been very reliable this season but against the Browns all they really need to do is show up.

San Francisco at Houston – The Texans were surprisingly strong last week upsetting the Bengals. Pin Up Art by JW McGinnis
Click images for desktop size: “Pin Up Art” by JW McGinnis
Schaub threw 4 TD passes. I can’t see him duplicating anything like that against Mike Singletary’s 49ers, especially with them coming off a bye week. The idea of the 49ers being in first in the woeful West is the only thing I find interesting about this game.

San Diego at Kansas City – The Chargers looked pathetic in their must win game against Denver last week. They managed to all but eliminate themselves for the division championship. The Chiefs managed to win their first gamer of the season against the hapless Redskins which gives us the Cruddy Game of the Week. Week 6 is too early for a meaningless game in the NFL but here it is.

Minnesota at Pittsburgh – Game of the Week! Brett Favre, Adrian Petersen and a stout D have the Vikings undefeated. The Steelers can answer them on all fronts except they have nothing in the running game to compare to Petersen, who does? Troy Polamanu is back and looking full strength.The Lost Boys The Steelers need him, without Troy I’d almost make this a lock for the Vikings. You have to figure the Vikings front four will knock Rothlisberger around some, not enough to stop him , but enough to keep it interesting, Hines Ward will destroy the Vike’s secondary but Favre will return the favor. Dick LeBeau will scheme to stop Petersen but no one has yet. This has the potential to be a classic game. I can hardly wait. It feels like whoever has the ball last will win this one.

Indianapolis at St Louis – This is my must win Survivor game. A certain female football know it all isn’t in the Survivor game any more . . . I’d feel sorry for the Rams. This has to be a low spot in their season, having to face an undefeated Colts squad that actually appears to be getting sharper and more confident with each week of play.

New England at Tampa Bay – If I didn’t have friends in England I’d be opposed to the NFL tax deductible trip to the UK, but I’m pleased the kids get to see Tom Brady. This game is so unfair to the Bucs. The Patriots throw up 59 points. To have to face these guys at home is daunting enough but to give up even that little edge when you’re a pretty inept team seems cruel.

Buffalo at Carolina – The Bills are banged up beyond belief, their stirring win over the Jets came at a high price. It could give them some sort of karmic edge, a lot of guys are going to get their chance to make an impact sort of thing . . . nah. The Panthers are healthy and should roll on this Afterglow by Maxfield Parrish
Click images for desktop size: “Afterglow” by Maxfield Parrish
one.

New York Jets at Oakland – I loved it when the pigeon decided to play special teams for the Raiders. Watching it fly downfield and keeps it lane was awesome. When the very forces of nature are with you, when the animal kingdom is rising up angry against the Eagles and Michael Vick it’s a glorious thing. Sadly for the Raiders the Jets don’t have that sort of nasty baggage, they just have a clear eyed rookie QB who’s coming off his worst game as a pro. Sanchez needs a stellar game to keep his confidence up. The Jets defense will get a much needed boost of confidence facing a bumbling offense.

Atlanta at Dallas – This is a hard game to read. Could the Cowboys be as bad as they’ve looked this season? The Falcons are playing well enough to clearly expose them. The Cowboys running game will find it rough going against the Falcons front 7 which will put the game in Romo’s hands. Only Falcon fans want to see that happen. Matt Ryan will continue to impress.

New Orleans at Miami – The Dolphins must be praying for a hurricane. That’s the only thing they LSD Flesh of Devil can do to slow down the Drew Brees Machine. The Saints defense matches up too well against the Dolphins O. I expect the Ricky WIlliams Wildcat will put up some points but there’s no way it keeps up with the Saints’ scoring.

Chicago at Cincinnati – One of the most interesting games of the week. Jay Cutler managed to lose the game to the Falcons almost single handedly. He’s too good to do that two weeks in a row. The Bengals were either exposed or just had a bad day against a buzz saw in their loss to the Texans. So two talented teams with chips on their shoulders, both teams in bad need of a win to have a chance at the post season. Sounds like a game! I adore Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco. With Cedric Benson looking revitalized he’s in a great position to make the Bears regret their less than stellar treatment of him. Revenge is a great way to win football games. This should be interesting and is only a Game of the Week contender instead of the Game of the Week because both teams are coming off of losses.

Philadelphia at Washington – What a stinker. And another game that is already close to meaningless. The most interesting thing will be seeing if a tornado hits the stadium and snatches Vick away to Oz. What a cruddy Monday night game.

Arizona 14 at New York Giants 27 – The Cardinals have yet to win on the East coast. With the Giants feeling exposed and brutal after having almost half a century hung on them by the Saints it’s a bad time to be searching for an identity. Not my choice for a prime time game but its better than most of the schedule. Warner will keep it mildly interesting.

USC 34 Notre Dame 27

Untitled by Steve Argyle
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Stephen Youll
Its been a long week. They all are, or at least seem to be. Lonely most of the time.A lot of things that seemed important became trivial or forgotten.
I’m just now shaking the cold. Two weeks. I felt congestion building up in my lungs. When I walkedJuvenile Jungle up the big hill at night it felt like pneumonia was going to win out for sure. Massive doses of Vitamin C seemed to do the trick there. I do not like the feeling of drowning on dry land.
The graveyard shift hours continue to weigh heavily on me. I remain just constantly exhausted, constantly in need of sleep. I keep dozing off like a narcoleptic. At least I don’t drive. It would be scary if I did. My puppy has taken it upon herself to lead me places. She knows better than I do when I’m walking in my sleep.
My days off are spent exhausted while I try and give my body some time to heal so I can survive the coming week. Pretty creepy cycle.
Work is the same. It’s a terrible job. I got another raise. That just seems odd to me. Money doesn’t make me hate the job any less. Two more people have quit. Couldn’t take the abuse from our customers.
I guess gamblers are abusive. It comes with being obsessed and unable to comprehend the rest of the world. I’ve snapped at a couple of them. They either apologize or else they get huffy and tell me how to do my job. Even old and crippled I can intimidate the latter group.
Also for reasons I can’t comprehend all my fellow employees hate each other. They probably hate me too but like to talk to me and tell me how much they hate the others. Since we only see each other about 15 minutes day this just seems stupid to me and a huge waste of vehement energy. The main complaint is that the other emplyees won’t do what they’re told and the only reaction is nasty gossip. Stupid. See?
My physical therapist came back from his conference this week. I went in. Even though the sessions are doing me a lot of good the traveling there just wears me out even more. At this session I got two more daily exercises. I’ve gotten the two tendons in my shoulder loose enough to start working on the third tendon.
My shoulder blade has also gotten locked in and I have to loosen it. The new exercises are so Supermom
Click images for desktop size: “Supermom” by Unknown
nothing looking but they are excruciating for me.
For the shoulder blades I have to put my hands against the wall and lock my elbows. I then have to raise my head and chest to the ceiling and then lower them while trying to raise the shoulder blades from the rib cage. When I do it right its electric. I seem to do them wrong most of the time.
The other requires a stick. I put one end in the palm of my hand and push it with the other hand as far back as I can stand, which is not very far.
My other personal high lights: I got a new pair of shoes, on sale; 90 bucks gotten for 40. I got a haircut – bad haircut. Amazon.com was for some unknown reason giving away the entire Mojo Nixon catalog! I like Mojo Nixon just enough to download his stuff for free. Further mystery: the stuff was only free in the US.
I got a couple of people asking me how I came to my conclusion of not wanting to work with the high school football team, especially since the coach said all the right things.Jeopardy
It might be difficult to explain even though it shines with crystal clarity in my mind. Every coach has certain things they want to do, would love to do with their teams on the field. They have a vision. In the NFL you get to draft players to fulfill that vision, you get to sign free agents to make it complete. It’s the same way a conductor goes about hiring musicians for his orchestra.
In college ball the coaches and staff get to recruit players who they feel can help them realize their vision.Its only in high school football and below that the coach has little say in who is going to play for him. For me this is one of the challenges and the great beauties of Mike Tyson
Click images for desktop size: “Mike Tyson”
this level of football when seen only as a game; that the coaches have to adapt and change their philosophies and hence grow alongside their players as they envision and dream of ways to win together. It’s a different relationship to the players and to the game.
I like a wide open game. Wide splits from my O-Line, a punishing FB and a zippy RB with a QB who can rifle the ball 30 yards down field on every play. Except you seldom get the players who fit the mold.
Some coaches stick to their diagram and they can teach well enough to win and every five or six years they produce a champion. But they still have to adapt if only begrudgingly.
I’ve had a 5’2 135 pound full back. I’ve had O-Lines where the heaviest player was my 180 pound tackle. I’ve had QB’s who had no accuracy further than 20 yards down field. But we all worked together and figured out ways to win.
The Wing T formation, of which the present day Wildcat formation is a variation, was invented by a coach who had small players and no defense. He came up with it as a way to control the ball and the clock, forcing a low scoring game and giving his kids a chance to win. The spread and the veer Swan King by Michael Parkes
Click images for desktop size: “Swan King” by Michael Parkes
were invented for the similar reasons.
Now the coach I was talking to liked to run a no huddle offense. That can be a very pretty thing to see and to execute. It requires experienced players who know the game well enough to react and play almost on pure reflex. Payton Manning and Tom Brady showed you can play an entire game that way. It increases your time with the ball and wears a defense down. But if you don’t have experienced players the nu huddle is a brutal thing to see, ugly and sad. You have QB;a making wrong reads, and WR’s running wrong routes and worst of all you have O-Linemen hesitating instead of attacking.
In football one-tenth of a second is the difference between a TD and a tackle for a loss. That’s why speed is so important. As are reflexes. A football player who has to stop and think even for a tenth of a second is a guy who is still standing there thinking while the play is over.
That is exactly the play I saw that night. The Head Coach was locked into running a no huddle It The Terror From Beyond Space offense even though he had no personnel that were equipped or ready to run it. That means that the coach cared more about his dreams and ambitions than he did about the players on the field. The team is 0-8. That kind of record breeds weird things in young men’s minds. Some forget about winning and just try and enjoy being on the team. Most begin to doubt themselves and their worth as players and as human beings as they see themselves failing miserably at executing their coach’s orders. I think that the coach is giving orders that shouldn’t have ever been given.
That he wasn’t willing to scrape the no huddle and work instead on executing his plays, in teaching how to figure the assignments and how to attack the assignments tells me the truth behind the words.
I could never work with a coach who places his tiny dreams over the hearts and ambitions of his players.
That’s all there is to it really.
My puppy remains. She’s doing well on her diet. She looks beautiful. To me she never stopped Conan by John Buscema
Click images for desktop size: “Conan and Red Sonja” by John Buscema
looking beautiful.
Her life has taken some upset again, not in a bad way, but upset is upset. My housemate got a new puppy from the shelter. He moved in on Tuesday I think.
He’s a rottweiller mix. He’s pretty goofy and lovable. My puppy hates him. He’s taken to “marking” everything she has, my bed, her bed etc. He gets too rambunctious and when my puppy tries to get him to back off he gets vicious with her. He wants to play but he’s too young, too wild and too big!
He’s bitten me a few times, play bites but they hurt. He doesn’t back down when you yelp like most dogs. He needs training but for right now he needs to realize he’s no longer in the shelter. He was there for 6 weeks and before that . . . He was a surrender but his owners couldn’t even be bothered to bring him into the shelter, they called the dog catcher and told him to pick it up or they’d kill it.
When he calms down he’s pretty nifty. My puppy still hates him but she’s willing to try playing with him and just turning her back on him when he doesn’t act “right”.Invasion of the Space Preachers
He’ll be fine. I just hope that the two of them can learn to play together. They both need rough and tumble playmates.

Last week I was an uninspiring 8-6 in my NFL picks. Well, uninspiring to someone with my lofty standards perhaps but to someone who was, oh, shall we say 7-7 a record of 8-6 must look very lofty and impressive indeed.
My friend was 7-7 last week. Her cheating finally caught up with her! She still leads for the season 52 to 50 . . . I believe she hacked the website but it would be beneath me to say that until I get the evidence. I make no accusations but I point out that she is leading and keeps beating me week in and week out. I only ask how is this possible?
I read a lot of columnists agreed with me that last weeks NFL schedule was the dreariest ever. This weeks is no better really.
The biggest news is that the NFL actually decided to not let an avowed racist own an NFL team. Rush Limbaugh, who describes the NFL as watching the Bloods vs the Crips, wanted to buy the St Louis Rams. A few players said that they would refuse to play for a boss who hated them because of their skin color. Fair deal.
As badly as Goodell has responded to the lack of parity in the league and his bumbling handling of Michael Vick at least he was quick to respond and refuse Limbaugh to purchase an NFL team.
Limbaugh, of course, blames the blacks and the liberals. He never apologized for being a racist. He never explained it or claimed it was said merely to pump up his ratings. He was appalled that he didn’t have a right to buy a team and make it all white, I guess.

My picks are in bold.

Sea Creature by Evegeny
Click images for desktop size: “Sea Creature” by Evegeny
Houston at Cincinnati– Last week Carson Palmer’s win against the Ravens was a thing of incredible beauty. They played a classy well ordered game against a what appeared to be a stronger team. The only way the woeful Texans win is if the Bengals fall asleep and relax against a mediocre opponent.

Detroit at Green Bay – This is saved from being a cruddy game of the week contender by Aaron Rodgers spirited play and that the Packer defense hasn’t curled up and died. Like all .500 teams the Packer’s main problem has been consistency. They should be able to put together a pretty complete game against the Lions. The Lions have improved a lot since last year but not enough to pose anything other than an upset threat. The win against Washington has sharpened the NFL, no one will over look them again.

St Louis at Jacksonville – Cruddy game of the week contender. As the team at the center of the The Killers Rush Limbaugh fiasco, well, a major distraction is what this woeful team needs. Anything would be better than thinking about the quality of football they’re playing. The Jaguars are one of those joker teams playing the elite teams well while messing up with everyone else. It would take an amazing amount of screw ups to lose to this Rams team.

Baltimore at Minnesota – Game of the Week Contender. The Ravens two losses were beautiful things, games that bought out the best in their opponents. They played sterling football and got beat via legendary efforts. This is still a great team but they’ve yet to rise to the level that lets them produce those super human efforts themselves. Meanwhile the Vikings are making the Bret Favre acquisition appear to be a genius move. Adrian Petersen is still the most fearsome back in the league and Favre is just the guy who can make a defense pay when it tries to misalign to contain the running threat. The Viking D is playing up to expectations which is just good enough. In Baltimore I’d pick the Ravens but in the Vikings DomeI have to go with Favre and Petersen.
Untitled by Al Moor
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Al Moore

New York Giants at New Orleans – Game of the Week. Two undefeated teams. Both with attitude. The Giants are blue bloods, a team expected to win and the Saints, a team that got famous for having it fans show up wearing bags over their heads. Drew Brees is an elite QB and flanked with Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush and a vengeful minded ex Giant in Jeremy Shockey, they produce one of the most potent and pretty offenses in NFL history. And the Saints Defense is suddenly looking fierce and serious. John Vilma has finally become the LB he was expected to be. The Giants O has been solid, good running game, Eli Manning has been consistent and his passing attack has barely noticed the lack of high quality receivers. Their D is slightly off looking but hasn’t really been challenged yet. They’ll be challenged today for sure. This should be business as usual for the Giants while the Saints are looking to be taken seriously. Normally I’d pick the business like team but this time I want the Saints to win so badly I scarcely care. This is a pick for my heart.Kiss And Kill

Cleveland at Pittsburgh – This is my survivor pick of the week. Only 2,993 people still in the Survivor contest. I wonder if the teams will wear those horrible throwback uniforms this week. Do they serve Rolling Rock in Three Rivers? I always think of that as Pittsburgh’s beer. Its probably some corporate NFL approved beer. I think my shoelace is untied. And that’s the more interesting things that cross my mind when thinking about this game.

Carolina at Tampa Bay – Cruddy Game of the Week contender. Maybe the Panthers are getting it together, I mean they finally won one . . . Their defense is a gawdawful mess which matches up well with the gawdawful Buccaneer offense. I expect a lot of Cadillac Williams up the middle . . . I have no idea what the major talent on the Panthers’ O will do. Not much from past experience. Which is okay because there’s not much the Buc’s can do to stop much of anything.

Kansas City at Washington – Cruddy Game of the Week. I’m picking the Chiefs because the Redskins are just too appalling to believe. How did they win 2 games? The Chiefs can’t be as bad as their record insists they are. Can they?

Philadelphia at Oakland – There’s talk of arresting the Raiders HC for punching one of his assistants . . . which is more hitting then the Raiders are doing on the field. If the Eagles lose this one they should force Vick to go apologize to the dogs he refused to visit (jerk) while the rest of the team should seek anominity by opening up a record store across the bridge in Berkeley.

Smokers
Click images for desktop size: “Smokers” by Unknown
Arizona at Seattle – In the papers, on Monday morning this game might look more interesting then it will be to watch. Hasslebeck has the Seahawks looking respectable while the Cardinals are committed to making last years Superbowl run look like a pure fluke.

Tennessee at New England – Here are two underperforming teams. At least the Patriots have looked solid. The Titans looked good in their season opening day loss and then have proceeded to totally disintegrate. Tom Brady’s getting more and more on stride and his supporting cast is getting healthier. The Patriots O-Line is looking cracked and suspect but that won’t be much of a problem against the Titans. I’d look for the Patriots to fatten up here and get completely well and confident.

Buffalo at New York Jets – After a record setting 3 wins reality hit Mark Sanchez hard with one loss where he looked terrible and another loss where the Jet defense was inept. Sanchez sent out a Kung Fu Mama tweet last night asking opinions on what movie he should watch. (Hangover, Angels and Demons, Terminator, Funny People, Public Enemies or Star Trek) Nothing fills me with confidence more than a relaxed QB, At home against a sketchy Bills defense Sanchez should completely on track. Trent Edwards and Terrell Owens have not looked very good. Marshall Lynch may have hit a wall in his career. They shouldn’t pose many threats for the Jet D.

Denver at San Diego – This is a good intriguing game. The Bronco’s have a jaw dropping looking record put together with fluke plays and the leagues strongest home field advantage. Are they real? This is a solid test in their division. The Chargers are 2-2 even while Philip Rivers is looking pure elite and near flawless. This is do or die for both teams and the best Monday Night game in ages. I’m looking for the Bronco’s to possibly getting exposed on national TV while the Chargers look to shine on the big stage.

Chicago 21 at Atlanta 20 – This is a good mid level game, like the type that should fill the NFL schedule (instead of all the cruddy games dominating the schedule now). I’ve flip flopped on this one a lot. It’s a good game to think about with Jay Cutler and Matt Ryan and two solid defenses. Neither team has much of a sustained running attack so it’s going to be an aerial fantasy. I think Cutler has a slight edge with his less than stellar receivers which includes the enigmatic but incredibly explosive Devin Hester. And this is one game where special teams could be a huge factor in which case the Bears have it all over the Falcons.

These picks are for amusement and ridiculing only any other use is just kind of foolish don’t you think?

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.

FredAstaire-RitaHayworth.jpg
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

Modesty
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.