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.

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.

Battles Without Honor or Humanity
Kinji Fukasaku

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

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

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

We already have “death panels”, although my insurance company refers to it as “pre-existing conditions”

Lenbach by Franz Von Hirtenknabe
Click images for desktop size: “Lenbach” by Franz Von Hirtenknabe
I got a job.
It pays more than the minimum wage. Not much more but its a small point of pride for me.City Limits
It’s honest work.
Its a 40 minute walk from my house!
I work the graveyard shift. Midnight till 8 AM. As the cashier/manager of an internet cafe. copy shop, FAX service thing. With a key difference. There’s a court order posted prominently on the wall. It basically says that on-line gambling at an internet cafe is legal and the fact that part of my duties are “redeeming” credits is fine so long as I do not cash out customers accounts . . . which is the same weird pedantic measuring of words that make poker parlors legal in Gardenia.
It means that 60% of the customers sit and play slot machines, poker and other gambling games (I haven’t paid much attention) for from 25 cents a game to 6.50 a game.
Last night was my first night. The patrons seem to be primarily over 35, mostly female. They’ll sit for hours on a twenty buck, or less, investment.
The top prize seems to be $10,000 although here the biggest winners are in the $2,000 range and they’ve had quite a few of those.
Last night I had nothing like that. I gave two people $50. One woman on a $20 investment, the other on a $3 stake. They were pretty happy.
What made it interesting was when I walked to work I saw that the animal hospital that’s in the same strip mall had all of its windows broken out! I assumed some junkie had busted in looking for Linda Darnell by Vargas
Click images for desktop size: “Linda Darnell” by Vargas
drugs . . .
I got stopped by the cops, frozen in a spotlight. I understood. A guy, late at night, wearing dark glasses and an iPod saunters into the scene. Appears from nowhere into the dim light.
I was right about drugs but it wasn’t a break in. It was a gang war! Or maybe a drive by shooting. Its odd to me that small town cops will discuss this stuff with you. I’m used to cops telling you its none of my business and “move a long”.
They didn’t have a clue as to the whys of what happened but there were over a hundred bullets sprayed all over the area. Four shops had their windows shot out, six cars got shot up too.
Being who I am my first worry was that no dogs had been hurt inside the hospital. The cop must have loved animals too because he knew right away that no animals had been hurt. Just two drug dealer types. No innocent bystanders had been shot either, just their cars.
I walked past the glassy carnage from the shops. I couldn’t help but notice that there was no blood on the ground, no pools of black crimson being hosed away by the fire department. Big city instincts The Creature Walks Among Us and too much experience say that should accompany over a hundred bullets.
I got into work just a few minutes late. My boss barely noticed. He was upset about the shooting. No one had been injured in the shop but a bullet had gone through the wall! It went through a straight line, three walls before being stopped by a microwave. The cops picked up the spent lead.
He told me the two guys who had been shot had both run into the shop, being the only one open. Again I thought it was surprising that Bing Crosby
Click images for desktop size: “Bing Crosby”
the two victims were not only ambulatory but that there was no blood trail leading to the shop and no blood inside of it. Its a clean place too. I figure small town “gangstas” must be pretty terrible shots.
My new boss rabbited on about it all night. I can understand being upset. I was surprised I wasn’t. Angry about events like this, dumbfounded and pleased at the amateurishness of it but not upset. I guess I’ve evolved and my emotions go in different places.
The job seems fine, so far. Its been there a couple years and this is the only bad event. And my new boss was giving serious consideration to ways to make sure nothing similar ever happened again, like hiring a security service or some what. That pleased me.
I only got three twinges from the bad shoulder. None so bad that I started cursing or rolling around in pain. I do hope that no one notices how much I have to favor my right arm.
The day didn’t start out that promising.
I didn’t get the money credited to my food stamps card! (Food stamps now work on an electronic card, like a debit card). I called and sweated out an answer. The computer system had been down Korean
Click images for desktop size: “Korean Girl” by Unknown
for two days! And there was no recovery in sight. I might not get the money until Monday or Tuesday.
I was out of food.
My friend had mailed me a money order, as a loan. The mail came and no dice.
My friend was kind enough to wire me fifty bucks, which was a life saver. I went to get it at the grocery store but their computer was down . . . so I had to walk another mile and a half to the next Western Union but I did get the money!
I ate Quorn dogs salt free oven baked french fries. It was a good thing I did or I don’t think I would have gotten through the first night at all.
Now, if I get my puppy back I’ll have nearly half of a life.

Only for you would I let my life stay the same, only for you
Bobby Fuller

Twisted Mind Show by Titusboy

Click images for desktop size: “Twisted Mind Show” by Titusboy
I have a pretty strong ego. The Canadian prison is designed to quickly and ruthlessly proclaim you to be a worthless piece of flotsam unfit for society and beneath contempt. That goes for the innocentWitchcraft 70 and the guilty alike.
That doesn’t work on me. I can’t ever absorb as anything other than its a lie that anyone is better than me. I also encourage everyone else to feel that no one in the world is any better than they are. Instead it makes me think that the bastards in government who created and perpetuated this system are pretty pathetic individuals on a level with pedophiles and the cops and guards they hire as beneath contempt as any eunuch with a truncheon should be. (There are female eunuchs too . . . I think I dated a few.)
There are things that humble me, that make me feel small and insignificant. Walking without my puppy does that. Its a constant reminder of vulnerability. It feels like there’s nothing in this life that can slake justified rage.
Today I walked to the store. I was slogging back with my bundles. My backpack on, crushing my shoulder badly. I was certain that the pain would be worse if I tried to move it or readjust it. The iPod was playing The Ronettes “Walking in the Rain”. I paid attention to my heart. The heat feels unbearable to me. And then it started to rain. But the rain was hot. Not just warm but hot water, hot as a shower.
Steam roiled on the asphalt and made choking hot chemical clouds that the rush of cars pushed into my face. This was a pretty significant indictment even I couldn’t ignore. It took me thirty minutes to walk home, less than two miles. the thermometer said it was already pushing 90. It wasn’t 9 AM yet.
I consoled myself by putting my things away and thinking there’s a chance my puppy and I will be sludge by Peter Lovacs

Click images for desktop size: “Sludge” by Peter Lovacs
together in a couple of weeks. I don’t want to get my hopes up too high. There’s only so much dashing I have in me and only so much dashing of hopes I can absorb. Still a lot of planning to do.

On Wednesday I completed all the interviews to get into the Access program. They sent me down to cardiology on the spot. Just drew some blood. They wanted to inject some die into my blood but saw that I was on metformin for the diabetes and went another way.
I spoke to the cardiologist on the phone. He started to get on me because I hadn’t seen a cardiologist since the heart attack. I told him I was in in a Canadian prison for two weeks and the doctors there didn’t think it was necessary.
He got angry and said that the “worst hack who ever got a medical degree wouldn’t do that. That’s scandalous. Were they trying to kill you?”
I shrugged at the phone but couldn’t think of anything to add to that. I don’t know if he understood my silence but he changed his schedule around to see me ASAP. ASAP meant in only one week. HeWerewolf left me with the orders: If I have any heart pain or discomfort I’m to go to emergency immediately and have them beep him.
I liked his anger and intensity.
I kept trying to explain to anyone who seemed to be in charge of anything that I was more worried about seeing an orthopedist than a cardiologist. My shoulder hurts worse than my heart (at least my beating heart).
Morgan Freeman

Click images for desktop size: “Morgan Freeman”
Someone finally told me they’d send me a letter with an appointment. I only got the cardiologist so quickly because I’d been neglecting things . . .
Thursday I saw my GP. Things look better. My blood work sort of confirmed some things. My overall cholesterol is 76. The bad cholesterol that I was supposed to work on getting down below 50 (which I thought was impossible) is at 40. The good cholesterol is still too low at 28 but its not too much of an issue since my overall cholesterol is so low.
I asked about the physical stresses of coaching and if I’d be able to go back to it. She then asked if I was the coach with the black therapy dog. It turns out my doctor’s husband is a wrestling coach at one of the conference high schools and my puppy being on the side lines during the big game against us was the thrill of that season. Then she told me about how all the nurses, who I was convinced hated me and my puppy, were in deep mourning when we left.
I figure we had to go away for them to realize that the two of us weren’t so bad.
She told me some of the stories about my puppy and I. I was surprised that they were pretty much The Road from New Jersey by G Studio

Click images for desktop size: “Road from New Jersey” G Studios
true and didn’t have the need to get defensive about any of them.
One positive is that she’ll talk to her husband about me coaching at his school . . . for pay. I have mixed feeling about that. I don’t like the idea of taking money for working with kids but I need a job.
There’s also the worry about whether I can physically withstand a season. Like I can see me running down the sidelines throwing my hands up over my head signaling a touch down jerking up in agony as my shoulder decided to rebel and the pain and embarrassment giving me a heart attack . . .
She thought that there were still things I could do with kids. She said that kids all loved me and talk about me and my puppy. (She didn’t say in which order they talked about us which I thought was pretty diplomatic.)
Then the friend who’s letting me stay at my house went on vacation. So I’m now house sitting for two4D Man weeks. Not really but it sounds better than leeching.
He’s another one who’s excited about the possibility of my puppy coming to me. He’ll be instrumental in getting her back her if my complex plan unfolds . . . I don’t have a plan. I just like to think I do.

I’m down to retail stores for job apps. I was going to even apply to Pizza Hut!! They require all employees have a driver’s lisence and “Reliable Transportation (Not Public)”. They claim its because you might have to make a bank deposit or an emergency delivery . . . but I figure the reality is they don’t want anyone late claiming the bus broke down.
For every job I apply for I seem to get 5 spam emails and 3 scam phone calls, all offering me employment. One phone call said I could make thousands a month just by blogging . . .

Going to turn it on, wind it up, blow it out little GTO
Gary Usher

A Day in the Park by George Serault It’s been a pretty eventual set of days. Shape shifting days. All for the good, I think.
The biopsy came back. It was negative.Alone in the Dark
That’s pretty good. Pretty good. That puts my remission at just shy of 21 months. That’s the longest remission I’ve ever had. I guess that makes me a record holder.
After the trek to the oral surgeon and that bit of news my friend dropped me at the blood lab. I was feeling light headed from the fast and absolute lack of coffee. They took 6 little tubes and one big one. Then the creepy urine sample.
I was talking to the blood taker. She was slick and professional but Buck Owens seemed a touch preoccupied. She’s being tested for Hodgkins Disease.
Not a pleasant future, Hodgkins Disease. I said a few consoling words but cut myself short when I flashed at how I felt about “comforting words”.
She made a point of saying goodbye to me so I guess its alright.
After giving up the blood I broke the fast with a cup of coffee. Made me feel better, at least I felt that I could make the walk home.
On the walk I ran into a guy. About my first day in town I ran into him before. He was out walking his dog and slipped. Busted his head open pretty good. That day I would have walked past because he was already surrounded with sympathetic types at least one who appeared to know what he was doing, or at least he was doing pretty much what I would have done.
I only got involved because he had this little dog, a beagle mix, maybe a pure bred. My friend and I Aquatic Beauty by Titusboy hashed out his address and took the scared little thing home.
The guy had no real memory of me but he remembered that day. We walked and chatted about dogs a bit before he turned to go home. The dog jumped on my leg for a pet then waddled away.
On Saturday I went to the “Equipment Fitting Seminar”. It was as dull as I expected. The people attending were interesting. There were even a few players who were there to act as mannequins. I liked the people I met.
There was one thing I’d never seen before. A new helmet strapping configuration for little kids.
Its not more simple, its actually a pretty complicated system. I can’t see how it would protect the kids any better but then I can’t understand the different types of plastic they use in little kid helmets either.
After the equipment fitting we went to the animal shelter. We walked in fine but when I asked to see Captain Marvel a dog they said that we were too early! It was after 10.
So we went to a restaurant for breakfast. The place was an old favorites of my friend, even though it had been years since she’d been there she glowed in hungry anticipation.
Her food was excellent. We watched it as they accidentally sent it on a tour of all three floors of the restaurant. Even then it was still warmer than mine.
Hers was excellent. I managed to pry a couple of mouthfuls from her. Mine was horrible. Cold yet somehow over cooked in some places and undercooked in others. Even her fruit salad was better! She got all sorts of different fruit while I got one piece of papaya and 3 hunks of flavorless melon!
I figure they remembered her ad disliked me for keeping her away for so long . . .
Finally we got to see a dog. We took a big Burmese cross out for a walk. The dog was fascinating. As overjoyed as she was to be outside of the kennel she was still constantly aware of us. It appeared that she was merely ignoring us but when my friend walked to a garbage can the dog froze and watched and did not move until my friend returned.
Surf I tried an experiment. I went and walked around a full pine tree so I’d be out of sight. Sure enough the dog froze. She sat right in front of my friend and stared at her as if to say, “Now’s our chance! We can escape from him!” It was that sort of day for me.
Sunday was brighter, although not so warm and furry.
The coordinator from the Rescue Group came for our interview. Our dogs were incredibly well behaved. I was proud of them. She stayed for well over two hours. We’ll have out first foster next Saturday or Sunday.
I couldn’t be happier.
Or so I thought.
Just after the coordinator left I got the call from the football team. I’m the new Head Coach for the 12 year old squad.
I really didn’t want to be an HC but it will make some things easier while adding a lot more Body Snatcherswork. On Wednesday is the coaches meeting where they’ll lay out the schedule. I’ll find out about equipment and if I can get a couple of bodies to run stop watches and to be eyes.
My friend has volunteered to be my clip board. Some of you know how I like to walk around and bark down observations. Its better to bark them out then to squiggle them on a pad. Mainly because 10 minutes after practice my notes are suddenly indecipherable.
I’ve already started mapping out the first practice so I can make a definitive list of equipment I can ask about.
I plan to tell them about “STAR” (Strength, Tenacity, Agility, Remembering) while they’re running.
My goals for the team in the first season will be: 1) To have fun 2) To learn more about football 3) To learn what it means to be part of a team 4) Win the Championship and in that order. If we do the first three well the fourth will automatically happen.

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

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

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking
George S. Patton

Igniting Colours by KGRZ
Click images for desktop size: “Igniting Colours” by KGRZ
The skanky cat came back.
It’s snowing.
I’m sick with a cold.Maple Leaves at Mt. Takao, Kyoto, Komai Ki (Genki), 1747-1797
My friend is sick with her cold. She shared it with me.
And that brings it all up to date.
Pretty much.
The day is snowing and the snow looks like glitter gently raining down. Its still snow. Its still cold.
The Oscars were Sunday. Pretty horrible affair. The winners anyway.
I refuse to acknowledge any award that doesn’t go to Marisa Tomei this year. Although even if I don’t think much of Penelope Cruz there is something infinitely cool imagining the party afterwards. Her ex, Tom Cruise, covets an Oscar as much as his Faces
Click images for desktop size: “Faces” by Unknown
“Theatan” brain can crave anything and while he’s trying to rebuild a career his wackiness threatens to take from him him having to congratulate Cruz at one of the Post-Oscar parties would have been astonishing.
I’ve tried to watch “Slumdog Millionaire” twice. Fallen asleep once and found cutting my fingernails more interesting the second time. Now I feel obligated to try again . . . nothing like movies as home work assignments.
Its pretty much the same with “Milk”. Keep trying to watch it and keep getting distracted. Watching it has become another chore.
Heath Ledger got the Oscar . . . Peter Finch got one after he died for his role in “Network”. Finch was at least good. Ledger’s take on Joker, that nothing has to make sense in his entire performance He Was My Friend by Hebus
Click images for desktop size: “He Was a Friend of Mine” by Hebus
and consistency from day to day is a trivial thing when you’re playing a madmen isn’t anything I could appreciate.
I liked the tech awards though . . .
I finally did watch Truffaut’s “La Nuit Americane”. It won a best foreign film Oscar, back in the day. Back then they used to put the foreign winner as an automatic candidate for Best Picture the following year. None of them ever won so they dropped the idea.
A lot of my fears were justified. When I first saw the movie I went to the theater everyday for a week to see it. It solidified my ambitions. I was going to be an NFL running back who used his fame to promote his band and then when I retired from the NFL I was going to use my fabulous wealth to make movies. This little movie made me certain that’s what I wanted and was going to do.Goldilocks and the Three Bares
The movie is great, up there with “Sullivan’s Travels” as one of the best movies ever about making movies. Back then it was a film that inspired me and made me want to be something more than I was. Now, its just a great “film”.
Watching it reminded me of something. Bernie Grant was a black member of Parliament. The first black member if I recall. I liked him and was seriously grieved when he passed away.
One of the crazier dreams he had that he let me be a small part of was to start an Arts and Entertainment Academy. Fancy as heck. Not to be just a school but an open place where kids could come and use the creative urges they were overwhelmed with. Dance, theatre, music, TV, film, whatever. A place to learn and a place to create.
Bernie even had a location picked. Cheap land behind the sewer processing plant up by Edmonton. My light involvement was in the recording studio and the theatre. The construction and equipment end.
He had the dream, the location and the people lined up to make it a reality.
Then the focus for his plan got shifted, at least by the money people, to the London Olympic Committee. I was involved in that too, until I quit. I thought it was, is and will be a lousy idea. The London Olympics seemed to be an ego and money thing. There wasn’t going to be any lasting legacy for the kids. The all white, all upper class steering members wanted the ego and the money. The benefits to kids that they insisted were there were all Iron Snowflakes
Click images for desktop size: “Iron Snowflakes” by Unknown
a sham that only rich white guys who never talked to poor, minority, or working class kids could ever take seriously.
And then Bernie died. His widow tried to keep his idea alive but she lacked the charisma and drive. The new blood who took over Bernie’s seat had different ambitions. Not that his desires and drives weren’t okay but they didn’t focus on the kids.
So the dream died. Vanished as if it never existed. I think the world would have shifted some if it had happened. There’s be fewer criminals, because they’d have had a chance to be something else. There’d have been a rise in self esteem. There’d have been hope, not just for the kids in Haringay but all the kids around the country and then the world. To go to the Academy all you had to do was want to.
That was what I felt now watching “La Nuit Americane”. It was watching dreams die. It was seeingHide and Creep the few things in my grandiose plans seem small and ridiculous. I know they weren’t. I know a lot of people would kill to have some of the chances I had, the chances I missed and the chances I seized on and the ones I made for myself.
It might seem silly to most but I realize that the only accomplishments that I truly think were important were the things I helped others accomplish. The kids who got into school, the ones who played sports pro and the few who got to the Olympics. Even the bad movies and plays that my work helped get finished. The puppies I’ve found who became friends and family.
I guess that’s why I was a good tech and never really wanted to be a director.

There’s a drag about being sick. My friend’s cold has hung on for well over a week. Mine was terrible yesterday but only bad today. I figure tomorrow I’ll be close to well and by Thursday I’ll, hopefully, be fine.
Alice 19th by H02B
Click images for desktop size: “Alice 19th” by H02B
One drag is that the dentist called. They had a cancellation and could see me then. But the stupid cold caboshed that.
I figure the dentist will add to but ultimately reduce my discomfort by at least 40%, at least for now. Maybe someone else will cancel next week.
I did get the Medical History form to complete. I hate that, reliving the past. Somethings I remember far too clearly. I remember it through my eyes, my feet, my hands and my heart. I don’t much like recalling the past. It hurts.
I know I write a lot about the past but those are thoughts that come unbidden. I don’t dredge through “back then” except when I need it to understand “now”.
At least this medical history form seems cognizant of chemo and its effects on the body, teeth etc.
The final drag is that the sold is slowing my friend down at work. She missed a couple of 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse inconsequential deadlines. She takes that sort of thing seriously. It distresses her. Then she had her first major conflict at the job.
Her boss retired last month. The job is now held by a woman wearing two hats, as a National VP and as a Regional VP. Its temporary but for right now . . . Her normal position is National VP. She seems to be trying to use the new regional position to entrench her position Nationally while subordinating the regional objectives to her other objectives.
By all accounts he can be pretty rude too.
It will pass but its silly which makes it a drag.
The final drag is skanky cat. I put food out for her. She eats it. Problem is I’m not dead cert its a female. I don’t know if she vanished because she found better food and warmth elsewhere or if she vanished to have a litter. If she’s around at spring I’ll have to catch it/her and probably have to have it neutered. Stupid cats.