The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.
Abigail Van Buren

Yin by Saioul

Click images for desktop size: “Yin” by Saioul

Life is in one of those miserable patches for me right now. So I’m looking to the SuperBowl for a minute of relief. How bourgeoise of me, how working class.
I’m hoping for a Seahawks win. I like Russell Wilson and how can you not like Richard Sherman. I have issues with Peyton Manning going all the way back to Tennessee. (Remember he never won a National Championship, Tennessee got it the year after Manning graduated.) But mainly I think Pete Carroll is the greatest coach our sport has yet seen. He alone still thinks of the game as fun and he still admires the young men who condition themselves to be in a state to excel.
Someone who believes and trusts in others in an ultra competitive tiny world has to be acknowledged as a great man.

Cool And The Crazy 21

I remember feeling stung when Variety reported, in one of those little throw away capsule bits, that Hall And Oates had passed the Everly Brothers as the best selling pop duo of all time.
Hall and Oates. I think it was Billy Miller who commented, “There’s just a lot more people buying records now than there used to be.” Which makes sense if you don’t think about it and just makes me sad if you do think about it.
I met Don Everly. Maybe met is too strong a word. I was within 10 feet of him for 3 hours. My friend is an Animal Behaviorist. Don had a pair of Belgian Shepherds that were running his house. My friend invited me along because I loved Belgians. He didn’t know, or care, that I also loved the Everly Brothers.
A couple of other celebrities I knew shipped their “unruly” dogs to places unknown. But Don Everly was spending 3 hundred bucks an hour so he could learn how to live with his dogs. That was all he wanted. I liked him. I like the way he acted with me and I liked the way he acted with his dogs even more.
Phil had dogs too. Big dogs, pure breds and mutts. They were southern boys and boy and man they loved their dogs.
They were entertainers who loved to rock. On stage since the early fifties, they learned to sing and play in front of an audience.
With their chiming chunking Gibson B210’s and those insane harmonies that sounded like the Tibetan throat singers, like two voices coming from one throat; how could you not love the Everly Brothers. What could be so wrong with you that you’d buy “Maneater” instead of “May You Always Drive a Cadillac”.
I don’t know. I only know that Phil Everly is dead. In the last pictures before he passed he looked like how I’d wished my Grandpa looked, not how you’d expect that razor cut ferret cheeked, lazer eyed JD killer from the album covers to end up. I like that. I like it because every pop group that has ever used a harmony, from the Beach Boys to the Beatles to the Lolas owes a little something to the Everly Brothers. And when you look down that long line of faces it’s nice to end up on the content lined face of Phil Everly.
Don Everly’s only comment was, “I don’t know what to say. I always figured I’d die first.”
The Everly Brothers gave us the rhythm and the beat, the heart and the tingling sounds, the peace and the vision and all they wanted was for us to listen. And some money, but who doesn’t want that?

Podfeed.Net

iTunes

Because some will insist-MP3

Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will
Nelson Mandela

La by Boris Vallejo

Click images for desktop size: “La” by Boris Vallejo
I think Obama has let us all down. There’s no change and no hope. Somehow he turned into a Republican.Labyrinth
There’s no defense for his retracting the EPA rule that would have save the lives of about 1.5 million kids and saved suffering for millions more. It’s unpardonable as is his excuse for doing this is a pure Republican fabrication: It would be too expensive for cash heavy corporations to stop killing children ergo children have gotta go.
And the word is that his job program is to ape Georgia. He’s going to implement the Republican ideal and force people on Unemployment to work for free.
Georgia has 19 people enrolled in the program and 16 have gotten jobs from the program. Sounds like the perfect solution if you’re determined to be incredibly ineffective.
So far the only people Obama has pleased are the RIAA and the MPAA, He’s not fought a single battle and won. I don’t think he’s won a fight at all.
He’s allowed the rise of scum like Rick Perry and morons like Palin and Bachman.
He’s the worst leader since Bush.
What a disappointment. I voting for the Green Party.

I’m joining the Lane Kiffin Must Go movement too. Even though USC beat Minnesota is was a shameful exhibition. Five bonehead plays that would have gotten a high school coach called on the carpet are inexcusable in an elite program.
Going for 2 point conversions twice and failing? Going from the shotgun on 4th and 6? A non-existent running attack. Linebackers in disarray and a soft Tampa 2 that delights opposing OC’s? It was clear Frost by Ankhammentu

Click images for desktop size: “Frost” by Ankhammentu
he was giving an inferior team every chance to win the game. He was playing inane NFL football in college football. It has never worked and it’s embarrassing to see it being shoved down these loyal hardworking kids throats. The kids are winners the coaches are not.

I got my puppy’s blood taken today to do a full blood panel. I worry over her. Gentle dog is having a bad allergic reaction. I think it is due to this hot weather. Things are blooming that are not supposed to and producing things that negatively effect us all.
He’ll be fine but the medication hit him pretty hard. Poor guy.

I’m not finished yet

Untitled By Wally Wood

Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Wally Wood
I’m fatigued, nearly as bad as leukemia fatigue but not as all encompassing as that.
It’s the heat. The walking to work everyday and drenched in sweat. 3.1 miles and 3 miles of it How To Make A Monster wiping the sweat from my eyes. Then I stand on my feet for 8 hours, I don’t get a break or a lunch hour. Right to work state means the employer can abuse us all he wants. No holidays, no days off and no vacation, just drudgery and abuse.
My glutes are sore, my hamstrings tight, my calfs throb and my feet swell up to almost twice their normal size. They have me on diuretics for the swollen feet. And my legs are fit. It never seems right that you can be fit and in fatigue pain at the same time. There should be a rule.
I’m tired and it takes almost all by brain just to keep pushing me to take that next step, get through the next hour, next 15 minutes.
It takes my sparse energy to deal with my loving puppy and my loving wife. After that I’ve little left for much else. I go hungry some nights because I didn’t have the energy to tote home groceries or if I did I don’t have the energy to prepare anything. I take my pills. Do my shot of insulin. Collapse and sleep a sweat filled jittery kind of sleep with a few hours of death in there but mainly I’m just trying to fall asleep.
To push me to sleep I listen to podcasts. I really only listen to two types: Dogs and old time radio. My current fascination is with “Our Miss Brooks” which is so dated and cruel towards woman I listen in fascination.
I saw the doctor for my annual check up. With all my negatives I’m fine. Tough, tight skinned (I’ve no idea what that means but they keep mentioning it). I still look healthy. I remind myself that doctor’s spend most of their time looking at sick people so I can’t put a lot of value to their well meaning assessment. I guess it means that I’m a mess but I sure don’t look it. SoCal style, “Its better to look good than to feel good.”
I have to add another insulin. Three more shots a day. Toughness is sometimes the ability just to go through each day and not remember.Beezelbub by Unknown

Click images for desktop size: “Beezlebub” by Unknown
We’re moving closer to getting my wife a green card. I try not to look forward past this. I’m ignoring the future as best I can: The move, trying to find her a job, trying to find a house the usual rubbishthat can come up and become dramatic. The immigration process is aggravating enough and every small bight spot seems like a celestial explosion of giddy lights and slashing comets.
I’ve mixed feelings about the NFL lockout ending. The same way I think that Congress needs to be severely punished for the cruel government they’ve been imposing on us I think the NFL owners need to be punished for the stupidity of the lockout and the absolute disregard they’ve shown for the fans and spectators. How do you punish billionaires who treat us with the contempt they feel we deserve?
The prejudiced incomprehensible actions of the NCAA have tainted the joy of USC’s upcoming season, but as practice has started this week I still find myself excited and looking forward to Troy destroying everything put in its way.Hot Times My job still sucks. I dislike being manager and realize I was right to avoid it for as long as I did.Surprisingly I’ve gradually increased revenues by 30%/. Rah.
Of course I can’t get through my little idea of small bonuses to the staff to thank them for the extra effort and extra work. When a staff of 6 are generating $15k plus a week net profit it seems more than churlish to not give a $50 or even $20 bonus for a job well done. Instead of threats, which is all we get, they think praise is wasted and that everyone is just trying to rip them off. Self fullfilling prophecy that. Hungry people gotta eat. And the unappreciated have no cause for loyalty. There’s no reason to be grateful when you do your best and receive nothing but threats for uncommitted crimes.
The only good part of the managerial bit is that I get to fight for common sense and decency. The little extra money helps too. Its not much but even $20 a week can make a difference especially when your self worth demands you be honest.

I still have to figure out what to do with the site. I want it, need it. But, clearly, I can’t keep it going the way I want it. I average around 200 visitors a day, for whatever that’s worth. I have a vision of how I want it to be. Some of it’s just not possible: A combination of my technical limitations and my lack of energy.
I’m making moves to be able to change some of the things I want to change. It’s more a matter of content and rapid shorter posts. I think it can work.
Untitled by MacGeek

Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by MacGeek
I’m still getting bombarded with spam. That ticks me off. There are about 150 spam comments an hour. I like the comments. There’s a fellow who keeps correcting my errors in artist’s name. It’s important to me but it’s too tedious to go through emails and track down the offending caption. A comment would link me straight to it. And of course I worry about who might be trying to reach me and I worry that its important to them. Still need a solution to that.

Whiskeyman’s my friend, he’s with me nearly all the time
John Entwistle

skulls.jpg

Click images for desktop size: “Skulls” by Unknown
I’ve been re-reading Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”. I may have to “revaluate Bradbury. I always remembered him as a high school type writer. The kind of guy who appealed to nerdy pimply kids Though Shalt Not Kill Except and their lost host fantasies.
“451” is a lot deeper than I recalled from when I read it in high school.
There’s a longish speech from the Fire Captain, who represents, pretty much, the mores of the future society, that pretty neatly encapsulates the present state of the United States. The captain lays out and nearly justifies the epic rantings of the tea party ilk. He praises stupidity as the great leveler, as the ultimate path to total equality.
That seems to be where the Republicans are leading us, to a world of the mediocre, where the rich make the rules and force us to see the exceptional as dangerous and malformed.
I remember a conversation I had with a teammate back in college after, what to us was, a devastating loss. In football a loss produces a strange mixture of feelings. You’re physically depleted from the game, nerves are twitching, muscle fibers are screaming for nourishment and craving adrenaline and there’s nothing.
Self recrimination sets in for some; what could I have done? Most get flooded with those buried traumatic memories, those glimpses of the past we’d buried, the casual cruelties our loved ones inflicted on us without thinking.
Some, the less well balanced would blame someone else. And a select few just didn’t care but had enough sense to keep quiet about it.
So, that was the mood that I was in slumped on the bench in front of my locker when the guy next to me, still in pads and jersey starting talking to me. He talked about life. He talked about success and succeeding. And he said the one thing I’ll never forget. I can still see him, his brown hair spiked from helmet hair and sweat, his dirty face streaked with tears and sweat, three pimples on his chin, “If you want to win you have to be like them. You can’t stand out; be too smart or too pretty you have to kiss ass and be like them.”
I probably said something back like, “Yer nuts,” and went back to the shelter of my own misery.
I thought he was nuts and succumbing to fatigue toxins but now/ Look, I’ve got nothing, except a Untitled by Reginald Birch

Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Reginald Birch
loving wife, a great dog and a fistful of gadgets. Last I heard he was rich with property and kids. Maybe he was right and the wolves have been driven to ground by the lambs. Being fat and drug addled is future and the path to power.
I think the main reason I trivialized Bradbury’s book was that he got away from the point; he got obsessed with his McGuffin and ended up seeing the symbol as the reality. Books aren’t important it’s ideas and communication that important. It’s the ability to dream dreams that aren’t dolloped out to us by those who’ve decided they are our betters and must know what’s best for us.
Bradbury got lost in his symbol, and the symbol is actually pretty trivial compared to what it represents in particular. Francois Truffaut made a banal and bizarre movie out of the book. It fails for too many reasons but the biggest failure is that it latches hardest onto Bradbury’s tunnel vision, and that tunnel vision is that books are somehow the most important conveyor of ideas.A Gem of a Jam
One of the most terrifying concepts I could ever dream of is the conclusion of book and movie. What a terrible fate and how more horrifying that this horrifying fate is presented as somehow heroic, or uplifting. Truffaut would try and convince us that foregoing humanity to become literally become a Victorian novel is somehow an image of hope instead of the grim ugly doom of mankind.
People walking in bright shining snowflakes not talking, not conversing, not sharing but instead reciting the thin useless things that they have become is a nightmare. Why we’re supposed to view this as bright hope of a revolution won will forever escape me.
And while I can appreciate the focus of the book on a single middle class working family it beggars the issue of the governing class, the rulers, the TV program directors. While Bradbury acknowledges that no armed force was needed to stop people from reading (thinking) he sidesteps the issue of who led mankind, or at least Americans to this step.
Like, I went to Buffalo a couple weeks ago. Fist time I’ve flown since the TSA became.
When I was in Europe I used to think that the Brits were incredible wimps. They thrived on that perverse Chandlerian logic, “A drunk driver hits a child and kills the child ergo we ban cars.” It’s a cowardly and stupid thought process and I felt a twinge of pride that Americans were that craven.
I was wrong. Some twerp of a wannabe terrorist puts some explosives on his shoes AND IT DOES NOT WORK but now the rest of America is forced to take their shoes off for special inspection.
A bigger moron boards a plane with explosives in his underwear AND IT DOES NOT WORK so now the entire country has to have their genitals fondled by government employees, and they’re not 7th Street by Mike Campeau

Click images for desktop size: “7th Street” by Mike Campeau
fondling for our benefit or even their own.
(By the way, seeing my wife was great and even in a seedy motel we enjoyed ourselves and for 3 days were able to forget that such a world exists.)
While waiting in line to be fondled I speculated as to whether this was a government plot a Bush doctrine supported by Obama to reduce us to the serf level that they want but it seems to be not so deep. We are already serfs. This indignity is foisted on us so that the elite, the CEO’s who earn more than their entire workforce combined, can feel safe and not have to clutter their purified minds with needless worry about what we might do.
So the terrorist won. The revolution is over and we, the people, lost.
That’s part of what is missing from Bradbury’s book. The allusions are all there but there’s never a peek into the present he’s depicted, never a hint as to who maintains and designs this dead formed A Lady Without a Passport life. Obviously people who’s comfort is more important to them than yours.
It’s a shame the Bradbury avoids the confrontation. It’s one of the several gaps in populism in his books. In fact Preston Sturges evinces more humanism in one scene (In “Christmas in July” when a lower level manager stands up to the owner of the company and says in simplistic but direct terms, “You should care. These are your employees, your family. Everything that happens to them happens to you. To not be concerned is inhuman!” Being a movie the owner takes this harsh criticism.)
So while it was pretty unfair of me to trivialize Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 as adolescent pap it falls far short of being literature. But it’s good enough that this shortcoming saddens instead or angers me.

No more football

Kabegami

Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Kabegami
The SuperBowl’s over.
It was a fitting conclusion to one of the sloppiest, worst seasons in NFL history. The game, with all it’s dropped passes unforced turnovers and inept officiating was the perfect microcosm of this NFL Wold Woman season that saw a 7-9 team actually advance in the play offs.
The only good thing out of the SuperBowl is the emergence of Clay Matthews as a bonafide superstar! He’s earned it.
It was a rough year for me in football. No coaching and Reggie Bush and his family cast an ugly cloud over USC’s season. Made worse by Cam Newton doing similar but getting a totally clean pass from the NCAA.
The best thing about the NFL is that there’s always next year. Well, maybe not for the NFL. In an age when athletes are under the same spot light as TV actors few are presenting themselves in the right light for a protracted labor fight. The NFL owners are pretty much super rich scum who could care less about the game and most about a bottom line and projected growth. It’s a business. You have to live with that.
It still makes me sad.

With everything going on in the world, most of it disgraceful, at least on the American side (Republicans should be ashamed) one thing that’s been ignored is that Obama has installed another RIAA lawyer in a key position in the Justice Department. As even other lawyers consider the RIAA lawyers as bottom feeders this is disturbing and startling.
No appeal takedowns of websites are happening all over the world. Internet censorship with no due process. With the proposed Internet Identiy cards it presents too viable a reality to the insane government take over proposed by the Homeland Security Tea Party types.
In a time when various artists, including Francis Coppolla, are coming out and questioning the right of artist’s to become mega rich just for telling stories and singing songs Obama’s trenchant and vile plans for our future on the internet seem callous and cruel.
The nice thing is that there are still bands out there, probably with dreams of being mega rich as Ballerina Breakout by The Lolas well but happily churning out some great music.
One band I’m totally fascinated with is The Lolas. It’s hard to find out about them. Their website is on Angel Fire and hasn’t been updated since 2006!
All I can figure out is that they’re from Alabama, a trio and . . . yeah, that’s it. I hope they’re still in business. They make light but thick jarring sound. It takes some getting used to but when it does click in the memory is that this is an important band. Important in the sense that when they’re songs come round the rotation the world seems a better place for 3 minutes or so.
I fisrt heard the band on the “Right To Chews: Bubblegum Classics Revisited” album. That disc is so great the Lolas really didn’t break through there.
This is the link to “Ballerina Breakout” on Mediafire. It’s a sensational disk. All killer and no filler. Sixteen tracks that all rate 4 stars and better.
The odd Christmas track, “Little Drummer Boy” delights as much as it perplexes. The cover of the Kink’s “Till The End Of The Day” shows they’ve got chops.
The rest of the tracks are exuberant pop-ish numbers filled with hooks, great 3 part harmonies and grinding jamgling guitars. Ignore it at your peril and relate that this disc has nothing in common with the RIAA brand of music and that’s a good thing.
This album and the other 4 I know of are all available as MP3 downloads through various music services. The discs are near impossible to find so if yu come across one snatch it up. You’ll be nothing but happier for it.

When we question his existence we acknowledge his presence
Bhuddist Koan

Hammet Cover by Gerald Gregg

Click images for desktop size: “Hammett 1945 Cover” by Gerald Gregg
One thing, personal about the SuperBowl is that I always end up hearing from some of my former players, my kids.The Wages of Sin
As the big game approaches it’s a time for the mind to wander back to their own playing days. I was a part of it and probably the only person who wouldn’t be offended or embarrassed for their mawkish commiserations. Some people think it funny or disturbing for a 6′ 5″ 320 pound man to get misty remembering paying fields and friendships forged in combat, especially when they aren’t the most articulate guys going and they express themselves in rough cliches and clumsily structured greeting card style sentiment. I don’t and only partially because I’m not that far removed from the same state of mind.
I think I was lucky being raised in California, in a place and a time when surfing and guitars ruled our young consciousness. Racism and xenophobia weren’t accepted or even acknowledged. It was more important how much air you could get on a reentry and the spray of a lip smack.
Competitive sports existed for us almost a just a way to assert our natural superiority over the rest of mankind. That sounds as xenophobic as a Sarah Palin fund raiser but it isn’t. To join up you can believe and be anything, all you have to be is crazy enough to grab a board and try.
The beaches led us to the playing fields. Back then, and today, coaches couldn’t really understand or cope with the surfer mentality. Some learned to adapt because the surfers swam 4 to 6 hours a day. We were the fittest athletes in school. And in strength and agility the only ones who could compare were a few world class gymnasts. They had to adapt or watch potential championships drift back to the beaches.
So we loitered on the sun drenched playing fields. We ran and drilled and found the rest of the world acknowledging us as something more than they had just the day before. And we excelled and won Horror by Unknown

Click images for desktop size: “Horror Wallpaper” by Unknown
and our friendships grew deeper and our understanding of others increased and we stayed in a place that matured but was always young and sunny.
And that was always the heart of my coaching. Not militaristic jingoism and slogans, not tin despotic win at all cost idiocy but remember the fun, the friendships and the sun.
Coaching in Europe in the cold and the wind and the rain was different. Not just the weather but the attitude. They only know the game via the NFL and TV. Sports other than soccer are pretty much ridiculed and viewed as sissified American projects.
The NFL presence in Europe didn’t help much. The coaches they sent over were the dregs of the NFL. Even then the profession yielded a few guys willing to teach but just a few.
The NFL is for profit so I can’t blame them for not caring about sportsmanship or raising young people up to respect themselves and others. They hired people who knew how to get the kids to buy product, jerseys, sweat shirts etc. That was their job.White Heat
Even though my kids threw up an astonishing 105-7 record the NFL never cared. They never filtered anything our way. They never helped. My kids were from the wrong side of town for the most part. So my kids never knew what they were missing. We traded helmets when the D went on the field and kept having fun while the rest of the world ignored us.
Well, not the rest of the world. We played American high school teams, won a couple too even though we usually got thrashed. We played European champions and did okay too and my kids learned to meet different people and to discover that we weren’t that different from each other after all.
I love my kids and they never failed to make me proud of them. They never quit on themselves or each other and they never forgot that the most important part was the fun.

So as to the Superbowl . . . I really don’t have a favorite. The Steelers have Troy Polamanu, one of my favorite former Trojans. But the Packers have Clay Matthews, the Trojan walk on. I wish the In The Deep by Unknown

Click images for desktop size: “In The Deep” by Unknown
media would make a bigger deal about the fact that Clay wasn’t a 5 star recruit. He enrolled at USC and then went to an open try out to try and make the team.
But the Packers also have Aaron Rogers, the last Cal QB to actually beat USC, took him double overtime to do it, but he did it.
I don’t much like the Steelers at all after Troy although I expected them to be much heavier favorites even with a cruddy O-line. So I guess I’m picking the Packers . . . even though I wanted it to be Bears-New England . . .

My wife is still suffering from the loss of her mother. Too be expected. Its times like this that a long distance marriage is really stupid. We’re still waiting for the DHS to schedule the appointment for the interviews to get her a green card. Since Obama has proven to be a bad joke as a president and kept most of the Bush people in charge I’m pretty pessimistic about the interviews and any attempt at fairness. It will work though, I’m sure of that.

If men were angels, no government would be necessary
James Madison

Shaggy Door Knob by S4W

Click images for desktop size: “Shaggy Door Knob” by S4W
I had a vivid dream Friday night. I was moving into a new home, just my puppy and I. We were invited to a wedding. I decided to go since we’d score free food and since they’d had the good sense1926 Christmas by Norman Rockwell to invite a dog one could tell these were quality people.
When we got to the wedding I discovered that the family consisted of all my ex-girlfriends! Hundreds of them. I forgot I’d been so . . . prolific (?) They all looked exactly as they did when I was dating them, all except the bride who was a stranger to me, a rather horsey blonde with fat arms. She knew me and my puppy though and kept introducing me to her sisters, all who were ex-girlfriends.
Everyone was glad to see me. And there were hundreds of sisters. They all spoke with me and asked me questions without offering advice. Everyone was interested in what I was saying.
My puppy ran through the enormous building stopping to get petted by a lucky few. She always stayed pretty close.
There was music. The bands were all bands I used to be in or were favorites that I’d been on the same bill with.
A woman I didn’t know, who was my actual current wife, tried to help me find my old Mesa Boogie .45 calibre amp. I had to explain to her that it was just a combo amp and not one of the big suckers we kept looking through. She found it right after that. She was very proud of herself. We decided to stay in the storage room with my puppy and just talk.
It felt ideal and wonderful. No wonder I kept the dream close to me and tried to not let the feelings escape.
Sleeping

Click images for desktop size: “Sleeping” by Unknown

My wife is driving to see me. She’ll be here for 3 weeks. This is ideal.
She doesn’t want to drive. I try and understand that. I like traveling and I used to like driving. No matter how long the drive I seldom got tired or bored with the trip, but she’s not like that.
Sitting and waiting is harsh.
I took a week off. No vacation pay, the bastards, doesn’t much matter to me. I know I need the money but having to work two of the weeks my wife is visiting seems far worse than being broke.
Giant dog and gentle dog are coming with her. We even have plans for them! Christmas is going to be memorable.

But what always continues is football. I’ve been sadly missing coaching every day. I still never have Junior Partners 5 anything much impinge on my delight in the game. Last week I was 13-3, which still keeps me in long shot contention for a big prize for the season! This weeks games are much more interesting which means I’ll probably knock myself out of contention . . .

My picks are in bold.

San Francisco at San Diego – And I actually picked the 49ers to make it to the playoffs . . .

Cleveland at Cincinnati – The Bengals woes cannot continue!! And the Browns are not that good. Cruddy game of the week contender.

Washington at Dallas – The Redskins are benching McNabb??

Houston at Tennessee – Long shot of the week. The Texans are falling apart. The Titans have already fallen. They have too much talent to not start to rebuild.

Jacksonville at Indianapolis – The Jaguars already thumped the Colts so its time for Manning to get angry and show some pride.

Kansas City at St Louis – The knock against the Chiefs is uninspiring Charlie Weiss running an O without Matt Cassell. The Rams might win this one.

Buffalo at Miami – What is a cruddy game of the week contender becomes interesting. The Dolphins are road warriors and the Bills have mastered the come back defeat.
Christmas Night by WallCell

Click images for desktop size: “Christmas Night” by WallCell

Detroit at Tampa Bay – The Lions can’t win on the road.

Arizona at Carolina – Cruddy Game of the Week! The only amusement here is watching Jimmy Clausen pretend to be an NFL QB. Football at it’s most pathetic.

New Orleans at Baltimore – Game of the week! Taking the Saints as they seem to be ready for a playoff run while the Ravens are sputtering. Still a ball hawking D and Gunslinger Brees spells excitement and close games to me!

Philadelphia at New York Giants – I hate the Eagles and I hate the Giants style of football. Eli Manning is throwing in the towel.

Atlanta at Seattle – Possibly the lop sided game of the day. Seahawks home field advantage is theChristmas 1934 by Norman Rockwell second biggest in the league and can’t be forgotten.

New York Jets at Pittsburgh – My upset of the week. The Steelers peaked way to soon. Rothlisberger has been tough but vulnerable. The Jets must win. Sanchez can respond. He should have spent one more year in college ball.

Denver at Oakland – I hope they let Tebow play. It would be hysterical.

Chicago at Minnesota – Another game that must have looked killer at the start of the season, now, no Brett Favre. At least it will be outside!

Green Bay at New England – The Patriots have evolved into their usual dominance while the Packers have been cleanly exposed. The only hope for the Pack is that the Pats are unfamiliar with their back up QB.

Merry Christmas and the best of the holidays!

Eighty percent of success is showing up
Woody Allen

Seasons Greeting 2010 by Ankhammentu

Click images for desktop size: “Seasons Greetings 2010” by Ankhammentu
After too long I’ve finally seen a good movie, in fact it might be the best film I’ve seen in 2010.
“I Saw the Devil” directed by Ji-woon Kim. He’s the guy who made the stunning “A Bittersweet Life”Calvin and Hobbes and the Asian mega-hit, “The Good, The Bad and the Weird”.
Byung-hun Lee, from “A Bittersweet Life” and GI Joe, plays a Korean secret agent. On a snowy night his fiancee calls him. Her car has broken down and she waits for a tow truck. Lee, even though on assignment, finds a place to sing her a love song, to keep her company while she waits.
While Lee sings a good samaritan knocks on his fiancee’s car’s window. He offers to help. Lee tells her to stay in the car and not to trust the stranger. The stranger is played by Min-sik Choi, the brilliant actor best known from “Old Boy”.
Lee tells his fiancee to send him away and to just sit and wait for the tow truck. Very politely and sweetly she thanks Choi and tells him she’d prefer to wait. He seems to go away. Moments after she hangs up the phone Choi attacks her car with a hammer breaking out the windows and then dragging her into his van. In his van he bashes her skull with the hammer but he waits to kill her back in his dingy dungeon where he rapes and decapitates her. Choi brushes the gore down the basement drain.
The next day a child finds a plastic bag with the fiancee’s ear in it. The fiancee was the daughter of the local cops Chief of Detectives. This engenders a full on search. With much angst and fanfare they discover her head in the shallows of a river. Clearly it was thrown from a bridge. Implicitly this brings up the old Buddhist sutra, “I would be a bridge of stone for 500 years for the chance of her crossing me.”
Kim takes two weeks off from work, supposedly to recover from his grief but, and this is true of John Lennon

Click images for desktop size: “John Lennon” by Unknown
much of the film – not much is stated outright except the ignorant claims of the police and the killers – the rest of the time we’re nudged into believing we know what is going on in others minds, everyone knows he is going after the serial killer.
Even though we know who the killer is we watch Kim try and locate him. The first suspect he tortures brutally and so thoroughly that the scum confesses two murders he did commit to the police!
The hunt continues and it is sickly fascinating. Until Kim finally tracks down Choi in the middle of another rape and murder.
Kim rescues the girl but stops to smash and beat Choi. When he has beaten him near senseless he whispers to CHoi, “That which is coming will be even more terrible. Then Kim breaks Choi’s arm. He also shoves a GPS capsule into his mouth so he can track him.
What follows is the disintegration of Kim. The atrocities he heaps up on Choi are transfixing and brutal. Kim, ultra cool and suave and Choi filthy and perverted, we find ourselves willing for Kim toPopeye simply kill Choi.
Then, unexpectedly, Choi proves his monstrous character has a brain and enough heart to hate and to want revenge.
From here on the movie stays taut, frightening and disheartening. It’s not until the blistering conclusion, a conclusion that could scarcely be improved but still falls inches short, that we see humanity resurrect itself in these two monsters. The humanity it shows is as terribly sad as the depths of its depravity were hateful.
A movie to seek out. the direction and the acting could not be improved. It’s a modern movie that avoids nothing and permits no mere coincidence to mar the terror it inflicts on our souls as it struggles to force us, the viewers, to admit or frail humanity.

The law that should have shut down my job went in to effect, but it only worked for 2 days.
I was disappointed. While one judge in a different district found the law shutting them down to be solid and enforceable another judge swallowed the argument that 1 line in the law was too vague and in its vagueness violated the 1st amendment!!
So it’s business as usual. I got two days off though and that’s a good thing . . . without pay of course. Money buys everything.

My wife is coming next week along with gentle dog and Giant dog.
We’re excited.
I sent out my Christmas cards. If you didn’t get one it’s because I don’t have your address, so it really is all your fault.

Now that the college season is over the NFL gets that more important. Last week I was 12-4, which Skyler Steele

Click images for desktop size: “Skye Steele as Red Santa”
is pretty blah for this part of the season. I want to win a prize! Even a 20 buck certificate for beer and hot dogs would be okay1 So long as I get a prize! My wife made some picks . . .
My picks are in bold.

Indianapolis at Tennessee – I figured the Colts were slightly less messed up than the Titans.

Cleveland at Buffalo – Cruddy game of the week and also my Mini-Upset of the week. To me the Bills have looked more impressive when they’re losing than the Browns have while they’re losing . . .

Tampa Bay at Washington – Common sense says to take the Bucs. Sometimes I wish I could tell my common sense to shut up because I really think the Redskins should win!

Atlanta at Carolina – I really wish I could track down anyone willing to pick the putrid Panthers. Santa Calus Conquers the Martians They probably think Jimmy Clausen is a great QB . . .

Oakland at Jacksonville – At the start of the season no one could have picked this as a game of the week contender. But it is. I’m taking the Jaguars because of Jack Del Rio and that they’re at home.

Green Bay at Detroit – The Packers will win but I expect the Lions to make this a lot more interesting than it should be.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh – This game is on TV here. I won’t watch it. I have to pick the Steelers but I want to see the Bengals and Carson and Ochocinco tear it up!

St Louis at New Orleans – Its time for the Saints to start tearing opponents apart, at least if they want to get to the Super Bowl again.

Seattle at San Francisco – I never figured the SeaHawks would be as good as 6-6 but I sure figured the 49er’s would be league killers! Now I’m picking them becasue the SeaHawks have not been too good on the road.

Miami at New York Jets – After the Jets getting beat down last week by the Patriots I’d hate to be their opponent this week.

Denver at Arizona – Cruddiest Game of the Week!
Star Leaves by Fabio Toscani

Click images for desktop size: “Star Leaves” by Fabio Toscani

Kansas City at San Diego – After the dismal showing last week the Chargers will not improve much but the Chiefs don’t have Matt Cassel so . . . .
New England at Chicago – Game of the Week! The Bears have been shocking and the Patriots are riddled enough on D to make this one really really interesting!

New York Giants at Minnesota – When the big stories are the snow storm and whether Favre’s streak ends tomorrow you know not to expect much from the game.

Baltimore at Houston – The Ravens need a win and the Texans are playing for next years paycheck.

Philadelphia 28 at Dallas 27 – The Over Hype Bowl. This game will be dire.

Love, I thought, is stronger than death or the fear of death
Ivan Tourgueniev

interfirst plaza, houston, texas

Click images for desktop size: “Houston Interfirst Plaza”
I was examining my body in the mirror. Inspecting my scars. Not the scars that needed stitches or emotional scars, but the marks the ravages have laid on me.DC Holiday Special
First one I notice is the droop in my left eye, the remnants of the Bells Palsy attack in El Paso. Then there’s the arm that is still weak and stiff from the frozen shoulder.
And on and on. For some reason I can look at all this detritus and the final impression is that I’m still a pretty good looking guy . . . Yeah. Kidding myself or facing reality. Who can tell?
I did wonder if the frozen shoulder, a by product of diabetes, was aided by me spending one summer as a baseball pitcher.
Throwing a baseball is fun. The manager of the team asked me to pitch because I routinely threw the ball in the mid 80’s making the play from short to first. I had a world of fun that season but it’s an unnatural strain to place on an aging shoulder. I don’t know if it caused or worsened the problem. I’ll have to ask.
Now I’ve got the same problem in my left wrist. I’m right handed and use my left wrist about as much as a right handed person would, so I have no empirical self experience proof.
Now, I got asked to pitch because I not only throw the ball relatively hard but I have pin point accuracy, at least if by pin point you mean within a 12″ square . . . I shot my arm throwing a tennis ball for the old dog. We were at a dog park and about 200 feet away I watched a dog. It’s always been my standard to idly aim at something when I throw the ball for a dog so I aimed at this dog and whipped it. I felt something unravel in my elbow and a big brief hurt. I forgot the pain when I saw the tennis ball plonk the strange dog right on top of its head!
I was terribly embarrassed and worried. Clearly the dog was fine as he immediately went and chased the ball, at least as soon as he assured himself the sky wasn’t falling. But I felt bad about nearly hurting him. I felt bad then and I still do. Not as bad as the time I was a teen and I hit a Xmas by WallCell

Click images for desktop size: “Xmas” by WallCell
squirrel jumping across one of the roads up in Griffith Park. I had a car load of buddies with me and they were aggravated that I stopped and went back to see if the squirrel could be saved. I still stopped and looked. The poor thing was dead. I still feel bad about that too.

Last week I was pretty hacked off that Homeland Security has blocked 80 internet sites. Supposedly this was due to the fact that these sites allegedly offered up “pirated” material. Who knows if they did? They’re blocked so no one can check, at least no one in the USA. No take down notice, no chance to appeal. They just took them down claiming that these sites stole American “intellectual property”.
Now, the first thing I notice is that none of the sites were accused of spamming; browser hijacks; loading trojans or viruses, just the dubious charge “intellectual property theft”.
I think its noteworthy that Obama’s government doesn’t give a damn about sites that cause serious harm to individuals, they’re only concerned about protecting the rights of the MPAA and the RIAA. Fables The rich win against the poor. Didn’t I vote for him to try and slow that attitude down?
Now add to that the fact that Obama has blatantly lied about his vision of Net Neutrality and I get really irked. The plan put forward by the FCC basically gives the Telco Giants everything they want and nothing that the people need. It’s an odious plan worthy of John Boehner and John McCain. Obama pledged an open and free internet. He lied and is now involved in taking away another American freedom, hell, almost a world freedom.
So, you will soon no longer be able to get to this site. Instead you internet provider will take you where he wants you to go. I’m sure I’ll be offered a chance to pay them a thousand or so a month to allow people access but otherwise it will be the same restricted nonsense we now get to enjoy on Fox and CNN and the networks.
And again Obama proves he is too weak to lead by offering to “compromise” which means giving in to the sick plan of the Republicans who don’t care about us, they only care about the rich.
This Republican cry that taxing anything above $250K is going to hurt small business is, to quote John Bohner and his opinion of the middle class and the poor, “chicken crap”. Any small business that is showing a profit of $250K NET is not a small business.
Doesn’t matter. Obama is going to give them what they want and screw the people over. He won’t get on TV and say that the Republicans have said, “Screw the middle class! We refuse to give them tax relief!” Instead he’ll just compromise, which in his mind means giving them everything they want so they won’t pick on him, maybe they won’t.
Obama has become like that little kid in the schoolyard who’ll never fight back. You can go defend Christmas

Click images for desktop size: “Christmas” by Unknown
him but he’ll be back in the same jam tomorrow and there’s no chance for him to survive, except to transfer schools or give up the job.

This is the crunch week in the NFL. The time to clinch a play off spot and to secure your momentum and spirit for the long slog. Week 131
In the On Line NF picking game my wife and I are tied at 111 correct picks each. This just proves that she has been cheating and clearly has been just plain copying my carefully thought out picks and choices. Of course I am too big a man to point this out to anyone. I will just suffer the indignity in respectable silence!

My picks are in bold.

Houston at Philadelphia – As much as I despise Michael Vick no one can deny his pure talent.Action Comics

New Orleans at Cincinnati – Poor Carson Palmer. At the start of the year this was a game I was anticipating!

Chicago at Detroit – I guess the Bears are for real.

San Francisco at Green Bay – The 49ers and the Bengals are fighting it out to be the disappointment of the season.

Jacksonville at Tennessee – The smart money is picking the Titans’ Chris Johnson to continue his habit of just gashing the Jaguars. I think they are too banged up to ride a steady diet of Johnson runs and slashes. Of course, this could be the week the Titans remeber they picked up Randy Moss . . .

Denver at Kansas City – I’m so pleased that Matt Cassel is keeping the grand tradition of USC QB’s alive . . .

Cleveland at Miami – An unpredictable game that still doesn’t offer much in the way of entertainment value.

Buffalo at Minnesota – Cruddy game of the week contender, spared that because of the talent on both teams. Still, a lousy game.

Washington at New York Giants – The NFC East my Aunt Trudy! Who cares game of the week.

Oakland at San Diego – The Raiders have improved tons but they run into the hottest team in the Christmas Night Lights

Click images for desktop size: “Christmas Night Lights” by Unknown
league right now. An upset would be sweet though.

Carolina at Seattle – Pete Carroll has done a decent job with the SeaHawks. Maybe he’ll dump Jeremy Bates as his OC and get real successful next season. The Panthers just stink.

St Louis at Arizona – Sam Bradford doesn’t keep this from being the cruddy game of the week. The NFC West should be barred from the playoffs this year.

Dallas at Indianapolis – The Under Achievers bowl1 The Colts are stinking it up a little less than the Cowboys.

Atlanta at Tampa Bay – Must win for the Falcons as they fight for home field advantage in the play offs.

Pittsburgh at Baltimore – Game of the Day! The blood will flow and the bruises will blossom. This game can be all you want in football.

New York Jets at New England – Game of the Week! The Jets won the first one and it was a fine fine win. The Patriots don’t forget those things easily. Also the two cutest QB’s in the league and both talented. Brady battle tested and proven, Sanchez growing with every play. Can’t wait for this one.

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible
Dalai Lama

Space Travel by Virgil Finlay

Click images for desktop size: “Space Travel” by Virgil Finlay
Thanksgiving was pretty much a non-event. I had to work from Midnight till 8 AM that morning then had to be back at work at 10:30 that evening. Not much holiday for me.One Way Ticket to Hell
I had dinner. I got some frozen TV Turkey dinners. Between involuntary naps I watched the football, watched “Broadway Danny Rose” (for the Thanksgiving dinner) and listened to “Alice’s Restaurant” the big song about Thanksgiving.
My puppy and I watched and listened and ate our “frozen turkeys”, and all was well.
Except of course I still have the worst job I’ve ever had in my life. That I’ve had it a year and a half speaks more to the economy than to my sense of duty or endurance.
The job ends Tuesday. Yay!
A Superior Court Judge found for my employer. He agrees that the law violates the First Amendment!! But only in spirit, not in intent. He did not give an injunction to stop the law going into effect, he refined the law to not violate the First Amendment but to still take the addictive circumspect edges of my employer’s product. The product is gambling but it really isn’t, it’s just a wonderful virtual sort of gambling that is as addictive as the real thing. Talk to any of my less than well educated customers and you’ll easily discover that the illusion is so well done that they refuse to believe they are not gambling, despite signs, forms they have to sign and verbal admonitions that they are not gambling, they still think they are.
It ends Tuesday. The owners think they won but have at least enough sense to realize that without the gambling illusion and the possible prohibition of 24 hour business days they’re not sitting on the clandestine gold mine they were.
Me. I could care less. I’m more pleased to be out of work. It scares me but it does not alarm me as much as this job continuing.
I’ve never been anyplace for so long where I made no friends and met no one to provide some Joan Crawford

Click images for desktop size: “Joan Crawford”
pleasant memories of the place no matter how bad the situation or environment was.

I’ve managed to stop the spam on this web site. The was I did it was to change the permissions on the script that activated comments. The spammers never visited the site. They used a script to execute my script and post their spam quickly and more efficiently.
By disabling the script I’m get massive error messages from the server, but nothing serious. I’m hoping that shortly the error messages will fade out and that the spammers will just go away. When that happens, or at least slows, I can then reactivate the script and permit comments. I hope so. I miss them.

But for the NFL my weekends would be , well, just fine actually but I love football so lets get into it.
I was 3-0 for the Thanksgiving Day games. So was my wife. I taught her well. Except for the Notorious cheating. She taught herself that!
Through today we are both at 103 correct picks for the season.
My picks are in bold.

Green Bay at Atlanta – Game of the Day. And the most meaningful game of the weekend. The Falcons are studly at home so I’m picking the Packers in my upset of the week! They have more pressure on them to need this game.

Pittsburgh at Buffalo – The Steelers season is in danger. They won’t let up on the Bills.
Dream Days by Maxfield Parrish

Click images for desktop size: “Dream Days” by M Parrish

Philadelphia at Chicago – The bruisingest game of the day! The Eagles match up to well with the Bears. This could be a blow out.

Carolina at Cleveland – Cruddy game of the week.

Jacksonville at New York Giants – I’d pick the Jaguars at a neutral site but have to take the Giants at home. Still I have expect Jack Del Rio and the Jags to stomp the Giants.

Minnesota at Washington – I can’t ignore the stat that interim coaches win 66% of their first games. But the Vikings are so busted up and the Redskins are still in playoff contention. It’s hard to not take the Redskins.

Tampa Bay at Baltimore – The Ravens are still a tight shot for the Super Bowl. Tampa Bay is just moving in the right direction. Should be a good game.

Tennessee at Houston – The Titans are a mess. They’re grateful the Vikings fired their head coach to take some of the media attention off of their screwed up situation. I don’t think much of the Where the Wild Roses Grow by TitusBoy

Click images for desktop size: “Where the Wild Roses Grow” by TitusBoy
Texans but they should be able to take advantage of the situation.

Kansas City at Seattle – My second upset pick. The SeaHawks look strong at home and the Chiefs are just a team moving in the right direction. They could win but they’ll have to play better football to do it.

Miami at Oakland – The Dolphins are still too busted up to put together a game while the Raiders are working hard.

St Louis at Denver – Sam Bradford has made the Rams legitimate but Mile High Stadium is the biggest home field advantage in sports. I don’t think the rams have improved enough to win a shoot out here.The Passionate Plumber

San Francisco at Arizona – The 49ers season has crumbled to dust. The Cardinals destroyed themselves. So two teams, one with shattered hopes and pride, the other full of egos and arrogance. Eh.

San Diego 34 at Indianapolis 30 – Picking against the Colts in a nationally broadcast game when they’re at home is silly but the Chargers look stronger and are healthier. I’ll probably regret picking them.