Illinois 17 USC 49

Light Of The Harem By Leighton
Click images for desktop size: “Light Of The Harem” by Leighton
I woke up to a beautiful day. It was the kind of morning that should have been for Christmas.
I’ll take it for New Years.
Its a cliche. Snow hanging from tree branches, everything looking frosted with intent instead of just being natural.
It was pretty and unique to me. It would have made a good postcard . . .
Hunchback Of Notre Dame I’m most pleased with my puppy’s willingness to adapt.
When she first saw deep snow she was trepedacious, timid and frightened. Now, she’s the dog of the tundra. She rolls in the stuff, eats it burrows in it to find her toy.
I like her to be happy.

Something odd on the sight today. It looks like there’s been close to 4,000 visitors since midnight. What makes it odd is that about 75% of them seem to be from yahoo and google for the picture of Captain America that I posted in 2006.
The last time that things went that crazy it was because Marvel announced they were killing off the character.
I have no idea what’s spurred this sudden flurry of interest from all over the world.
Creepily, only 7 people figured out how to use the search box. They found the post with no issue at all. (This is judging from the log reports which are still new enough to me to be interesting.)
Here’s the link to the picture of Captain America. I suspect they’ll never find it here.
Maybe I should take this surge personally . . .
On a similar vein I discovered that 79,000 or so people hot linked to images here. Almost all of them as backgrounds for myspace profile pages.
That doesn’t bother me much, other than the huge amount of band width they consumed . . . and none of them ever bothered to tell me they were doing this . . . minor stuff.
Just A Girl by Bello
Click images for desktop size: “Just A Girl” by Bello
What isn’t minor were the guys who hot linked to images to promote things of which I do not approve and do not even want to give tacit approval. It horrified me. I was surprised at the number of porn sites but not greatly bothered, it was the political pages that angered me.
I’m hoping they discover that I’ve had to block the hot linking and take me off their sites so I can undo this hot linking stuff. It bothers me but not as much as people thinking I approve of racism etc.

Its been a good bowl season so far. Despite the best efforts of the BCS.
I’m stoked by the USC victory, of course. I think the score shows that Illinois was a bit out of their depth.
It would have been so much more exciting to see a higher ranked team against the Trojans. You can only play who they put in front of you.
Night Of The Demon When the BCS started I assumed, stupidly that it would be 1 vs 2, 3 vs 4 etc. This structure has produced some memoprable moments but its also produced a lot of duds and a lot of bad football.
One thing I hav noticed is that soem of the announcers have started to get more into the technical side of the game. Nothing too outre but it was cool to have an announcer explain a trap play and show how a guard executed it to perfection. That sort of thing is pleasant and does show that the game is more than just a QB throwing the ball around.
I even heard one guy start to explain a reveolving umbrella zone off of the two cover!
They cut him off but at least he knew what he was seeing. Too many of the announcers I wonder about.

I hope your New Year starts as nicely as mine.
Conquest!

Happy New Year

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

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

There’s just a little less of me

Wild Horse

Click images for desktop size: “Wild Horse” by Abogado
My puppy graduated from Level Two Obedience class.
I was surprised. She never did First Level Obedience. She never showed much interest in Obedience at all. Jut the sort of obedience that keeps us both happy, not the fancy heel exactly this way style of obedience for sure!
Date Bait I honestly didn’t fully expect her to even pass. So when she was made “class valedictorian I was stunned to the point of having nothing to do but feel conceited.
I am always surprised at what my little dog will do to please me.
This follows on the heels of good news/bad news from my puppy;s family.
Her litter mate went to a big dog show cross country. That alone would have been infinitely cool, but the big shock was she won best of breed (Opposite sex . . . somehow that just seems wrong, why not best female?) and Best Bred By Exhibitor.
For some reason this flushes with me with pride. I don’t know why but it does.
The bad news is that, like in people, cancer in dogs seems to be genetic. Hank, one of the coolest dogs I’ve ever known, died this year from cancer.
To me it was tragic.
Now it seems one of his offspring has the same disease.
I hate that.
Dogs are natural born battlers and can handle the disease better than most people. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt or that the battle is any easier.
The bright spot is that she appears to be taking the chemo well and responding. Maybe she’ll go into remission.
The dog is taking an oral chemo, similar to the one I had to take. I know how it made my body feel.
I feel sorry for her and am glad she wouldn’t know what to do with pity. She’d probably prefer it if I rubbed her tummy or tried to take this stick away from her.

Autumn Rice by Vargas

Click images for desktop size: “Autumn Rice” by Vargas
On football this week I was a mediocre 11-5. Oddly for a while I was in first place! But some one went 16-0!I can’t imagine anyone getting all those bizarre last week games right, but they did.
I gave up on my theory that the fix was in . . .
The NFC Playoffs wild card week appears to be a big thudding dud . . .

On my health front . . . I’ve been passing out.
I hate that. Its just like falling into a black hole. I get no rest and feel even more fatigued when I come to.
I’m not sure what to do about it. I can’t will myself conscious until sleep. I just sit and pass out.
Irksome.
Dinosaurus I’m responding as expected to the drugs. My levels are all slowly balancing out.
I’ll survive much more than this.
As usual my Blood pressure and cholesterol levels are all aces and I have at least gone through the added discomfort of the flu shot.
And the flu shot discomfort is a lot less painful than the flu!
There wasn’t much more time left in the day.
I filled it by messing with the code on the site.
I decided that there aren’t that many people who use the rss feeds. Its been a major amount of work coding everything to look good in the feeds – floating pictures etc. So i’ve gone to just using css classes to do some of the layout work.
I hope this doesn’t distress anyone. It makes me feel a bit lazy.
I’ve also added in a Tag feature, where you can search for all other entries with the same tag at the bottom of the post.
It won’t make much sense until there are tons of tagged posts, and I can’t imagine why anyone would want to do such a thing, but it was fun trying to make it work.

Could I Just Take A Break Here?

Rabbits

Click images for desktop size: “Rabbits” by Unknown
Feeling awfully sick.
Finally got my meds. I was too long without them. Blood sugars over 24, which is close to diabetic coma.
I hate being reminded how sick I am.
Taking the meds and now. My body is readapting to them. Its harsh. Magnifies a lot of the other pain.
The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari I have to remind myself that all of that is compounded further because I had a flu shot.
But dogs and friends kept most of that away.
Its only now, when I’m alone at dark night, that I feel how utterly horrid I feel.
The good thing is I got three months supply.

The college bowl season has been dreary enough to make the bright spots gleam even brighter.
Nothing could beat seeing Tom Brady, Randy Moss and the New England Patriots make history tonight. If there’s any justice they’ll continue on to the Super Bowl.
I was impressed with Brady’s after game speech. I was more impressed that when he completed the TD pass to Moss to set a personal record of 52 TD’s in a year, he was signaling not 52 but 22, which is the record number of TD catches Randy Moss made on the same pass.
That the ref’s threw a flag for “Group Celebration” which led to the Giants TD is asinine and indicative of what’s wrong with the NFL.

I’ve changed some of my picks and might change them up until the cut off time, as info creeps through about who’ll be playing and who’ll be sitting down for some of the meaningless games and the not so meaningless ones.
Crazy season.
Crazy sport.
Red Rain

Click images for desktop size: “Red Rain” by Lyle Krannechfield
Its my friends birthday tomorrow; today really. And its my puppy’s level 2 Obedience Graduation.
I hope I feel better for both their sakes!
I don’t know how my puppy will do. Don’t really care except for old competitive urges and pride.

I put up a movie on my puppy’s site today.
It was hard getting it to stream from my site but I idi it.
I’m proud of that. I wanted it to look good for the kids. My initial design was minorly flawed so it had to be very HQ to read the scrawly writing. And YouTube made i so you could barely see any of the faces.
I like faces, my friend’s faces and my dogs’ faces.
I’m off to sleep now. I hope I can instead of just passing out. No rest in passing out.

The Northern girls with the way they kiss they keep their boyfriends warm at night Brian Wilson

Kabegami

Click images for desktop size: “Kabegami” by cos2l

I’m a shallow guy
I always have been. I think that people judge me mostly on my appearance. As I get older, gnarled and weather beaten, that’s a bit hard for me to take.
People have always said to me, “You don’t judge other people that way, why keep holding yourself to a different standard?”
Because I’m me, I guess.
Attack Of The Jungle Women It also impacts the way I keep this web site. I tend to be fastidious and work to get it the way I want it to look and work. Subtle color variations, scripting and stuff.
I’ve gotten pretty good at html and css trying to get it to look right. At least write to me. I’ve even had to learn perl, for no other reason than to keep this looking nice and to keep my puppy’s website easy for kids to use.
I had to work hard to get the search page to work. Its still not what I want. What I want is to click on search and have a translucent window open up where you type in your stuff and then it takes you to the result page and simply vanishes.
I have to learn AJAX for that . . .
I spent a couple of hours, last night, getting the whole site xhtml compliant. That means it should look the same in all browsers. Even though Microsoft continues to disdain all standards and demands that anything they do should become the de facto standard, it should get it close even in Internet Explorer.
I guess I did some of that to avoid thinking about the damage I’ve done to my body lately. It’s all the grief with the drugs and prescriptions.
his shouldn’t be that big a deal, but it is.
The problem is with the simple minded diabetic meds. Nothing fancy there, no trials or even a chance at narcotics. Just laws and customs designed to benefit . . . well, not me or many other patients for sure. Planning to sort it out today.
All of which comes back to this site. As in why did I decide to keep a journal in the first place and why continue it for so long? Why keep it public?
Marbles

Click images for desktop size: “Marbles”
Most of this I’ve thought about, written about before. Reviewing the days keeps me focused on what I am and what I want to be. Keeping it public is, ostensibly, to let all those people I know and care about but have lost, have a place to find me. To share pretty pictures.
I’m a public person. Shallow and public . . . When we moved here the most exciting thing was prepping an act for my friends Christmas party . . . in my mind I was even thinking of tunes where I could do an alternate tuning on the guitar so I could get around the fret board and hide how worthless my hands and fingers had become.
Part of it is I like the attention. Okay?
Not to the point of using DIGG or wanting to smash the look of the site with a sidebar advertising and begging for attention, but to the point of doing a Thalberg, “If its any good they’ll know who made it.”
Carnival Of Souls There’s more to it than that but for now, that’s enough.

This is a great time of the year: The Bowl Season is in full swing.
I was glad to see Purdue and Central Michigan play so well in a “minor” bowl.
I was embarrassed to see Arizona State let down the Pac 10 and play so poorly against Texas last night.
That’s okay, they tried, which is more than can be said for all the NFL teams this weekend.
The final week of the regular season is historically a mess. There are flashes of interest but mainly Play Off Bound teams rest their regulars. Teams knocked out of it play lackluster ball or play over their heads to be a spoiler. Some teams choke.
Last week I was 9-7. Pretty mediocre. I should have been 10-6 but I ticked the wrong box at the website! Second time this season.
That leaves me 15 points out of first place . . . and yet I slog on.
My picks are in bold.

New England at New York Giants – The most interesting thing here is whether the Giants will concede the Patriots their perfect season or if they’ll put up any resistance at all. The excuse is resting starters for the Play Offs. Coolest thing is that the NFL backed off of their pay per view scheme under threat of losing their anti-trust exemptions. Game of the week because this will be historic whatever happens.

Buffalo at Philadelphia – This is an oddity. The Eagles are playing better ball since their season is meaningless. Buffalo is choking, which is sad. I have to pick the Eagles but my heart is with the Bills.
Movies

Click images for desktop size: “Movies”

Carolina at Tampa Bay – The Buc’s embarrassed themselves last week. They may rest people. The Panther’s have Steve Smith . . . This could be a real snoozer with names you never heard of in key positions. The Panthers are finishing the string.

Cincinnati at Miami – The Bengals upset Cleveland last week with Defense?? The Dolphins are now under the tutelage of the most over rated coach in history – Bill Parcells. They’ll lose one for the kipper.

Detroit at Green Bay – After last weeks debacle Brett Favre is worried. He should be. He’s also a great one at redeeming himself. Look for the Lions, depressed but game, to pay the price. I’m pretty sure the Packers will come out blazing to set the tone for the Play Offs.

Jacksonville at Houston – Its pathetic that the Jaguars enter the play offs as a wild card team. They are potent and dangerous. Look for them to make a statement in this one. Also they’ll experiment and force some issues to test their personnel. Houston, you did better than I thought.
Confessions Of A Vice Baron
New Orleans at Chicago – I like the Saints but this is not to be. The Bears have gotten mean, now that it doesn’t mean anything. They’re good as spoilers. They seem to like it more than being Champs! The game means more to them then it does to the disappointed, dispirited Saints.

Pittsburgh at Baltimore – Here’s a mash up of a game. The Steelers are coasting and playing lousy football. They’ll have no offense that can be imagined. The Ravens have looked great and then distasteful, often in the same series! I’m taking the Ravens because the Steelers have noting to win. The Ravens will take pride in beating a play off team.

Seattle at Atlanta – This is my cruddy game of the week. Worse it will be on TV tomorrow . . . The Seahawks are the second weakest team in the play offs. They’re still trying to fine tune a rickety offense. Atlanta is just glad the season is over. The Falcons may get motivated but I wouldn’t count on it.

San Francisco at Cleveland – Now that the Browns have lost their chance to be Division Champs this game should prove easy for them. The 49ers have more to play for but the Browns don’t want to go into the play offs on a, not with their team history.

Tennessee at Indianapolis – The hardest game to call. This could be the most fun. Neither team can actually win much here so it could be just a good joyous game or one coach or the other could decide to start resting players. I’m going with the Colts but if there were more on the line for the Titans I’d take them.

Minnesota at Denver – This would be a snoozer except Adrian Peterson needs a confidence booster to head in to the Wild Card Round. Nobody is better prepared to give it to him then the Broncos. If the Vikings don’t spring Peterson for big yards this will say a lot about what to expect next week.

My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose

Click images for desktop size: “My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose – R Browning”
San Diego at Oakland – I pity the Raiders, and they’re sending out a very green rookie to start his first game against a team that needs a confidence boost. Rah.

St Louis at Arizona – This would be the cruddy game of the week except both teams have spark enough to make something happen. I hope that the Cardinals defense gets a handle on Steve Jackson otherwise it will go the other way.

Dallas at Washington – The Cowboys will be resting EVERYBODY who matters. The starters will treat it like a scrimmage most likely. The Redskins are playing for their jobs next year in front of an angry home town crowd. Which is why I’m picking them for the upset.

Kansas City at New York Jets – This is a real stink pot of a game to end the regular season . . . I’m taking the Jets because the coin came up tails.

These picks are for your great amusement only. They are not to be taken as even knuckle headed advice!

They’re up here because they believe Vince Lombardi

A Christmas Carol - 2004

Click images for desktop size: “A Christmas Carol – Christmas Card 2004”
We went for a walk today.
Strike that.
We started out for a walk today when the largest dog managed to escape out the gate.
He refused to come when called so I had to chase him, except I still had my puppy and the little blind dog with me. All 3 of us ran after the big dog. We were game but the little one wore out. I had to scoop him up and carry him.
Bambi 1942 We had a bout a 10 minute chase with a couple of close calls but no damage done except to my temper. Until we got home and I realized that making the little blind boy run, even for only 50 yards was too tough on his cardio. He recovered but it was nerve racking for a while there. None of which improved my temper with the big guy. I got even though. I gave the big guy 5 grams less ice cream then everyone else got tonight!
We all have our own forms of discipline.

One of the purposes for the walk, other than health . . . was to ponder this weeks NFL games in the weekend of the “Silent Night”. Most of the games are, well, dogs! It makes them harder to pick as fewer teams have any reason to try. Its the holidays for them too and no matter how professional an athlete is its unique for a man to go out and want to destroy his brother in this time of peace when there is nothing to be gained for it but some weak pride.
I think they’ll all play to their abilities, for the most part, but there’ll be a fine edge that’s lacking which makes thing unpredictable. Then there’ll be some rookies getting some major game time and they’ll either collapse or explode with heart and enthusiasm. I think that this week is mainly guesswork and tossing a two headed coin.
As usual my picks are in bold.

Pittsburgh at St Louis – This ones already played. The Steelers won. I picked them but it was with no heart. The Steelers are not very good and I’d expect them not to go deep in the playoffs.

Dallas at Carolina – This is good medicine for the Cowboys who are not looking all that dominant at the moment. The Panthers are feeling a bit confident after their upset win last week but they don’t match up well enough against Dallas to have much of a chance. The score is Cowboys up 17-10 as I write this. This says more about the Cowboys in the playoffs then anything else.
Silver Bell 2006

Click images for desktop size: “Silver Bell – Christmas Card 2006”
Cleveland at Cincinnati – My heart ays pick the Bengals. My heart starves a lot. I’d like to see them get it together and stick it to the Browns but its the equation. The Browns are chasing the Steelers for the Division Championship. They’re not used to winning. The Bengals have nothing to win or lose except pride. A lot of their players have enough pride and talent to carry them but the attitude is hard to guess. Remember a few years ago when Chad Johnson scored a TD in week 16? He scored and ran to a pylon where he had a giant Christmas Stocking stashed, he opened it and started throwing gifts to the fans. I liked that a lot. They got to the play offs that year too . . .

Green Bay at Chicago – Last week the Bears were almost as embarrassing as the Vikings. They looked terrible, the Vikings only slightly less terrible. Bret Favre is still Bret Favre and want the home field advantage. He’s been there before and looks like a team of destiny. The Bears look like a team trying to remember how to play the game.
Batman
Houston at Indianapolis – This is one of those games where, if your a home town fan you might care. There’s almost nothing of real interest here except wondering how the Colts will handle Mario Williams.

Kansas City at Detroit – There’s a tremendous sadness in this game. Two teams who back in August looked at the world with bright eyes and expectant determination. The Lions looked ready to exorcise their demons. The Chiefs looked like well, they wee hopeful. This is one of the least important games of the weekend and its sad that it should be so.

New York Giants at Buffalo – The Giants look like a team willing to stumble into the playoffs expending minimal effort. The Bills aren’t quite out of it but are playing for something, like a dying city and a teammate who most thought, a few months ago, might be better off dead. The Giants are a slight favorite! Go Bills.

Oakland at Jacksonville – The only question I see here is whether the Jaguars can keep the score down. They have fire in their eyes and are not foolish enough to let that fire get away from them. The Raiders still have those snazzy uniforms.

Pattern Of Presents

Click images for desktop size: “Pattern Of Present ” by Unknown
Philadelphia at New Orleans – This is actually the game of the week. Sort of by default. As in most of the other games are sort of cruddy. Both teams have a little to play for. The Saints aren’t eliminated form the play offs . . . yet. The Eagles want to put together back to back strong games for contract time. I’m taking the Saints because of Dru Brees and home field.

Tampa Bay at San Francisco – At first blush a cruddy game of the week contender. But Frank Gore looked good for the 49ers last week. And, like it or not, the Buc’s are division champions. I don’t think Gore can repeat his performance against this defense, without him the 49er’s don’t have much.

Atlanta at Arizona – Here is the cruddy game of the week . . . well, both teams will show up and they both have well tailored uniforms . . . the Falcons’ gear is a bit prettier in my opinion. The Cardinals stuff seems to actually wrinkle and bunch up a lot . . .
Beatles Come To Town
Baltimore at Seattle – The Ravens beautiful performance against the Patriots was sure a one off. Seattle are trying to figure out how to win with less of a running game than even the Packers! And Hasslebeck is no Bret Favre! Still at home the Seahawks should win.

New York Jets at Tennessee – The Titans are struggling for a play off shot. They deserve it even with some bone head coaching they’ve shown fire and grit. The Jets have shown they are core losers. I’m only glad Eric Maginini doesn’t own Wilson (so he can’t take the ball and run home.)

Miami at New England – Now that the Dolphins actually won a game the glitter is off of this one. The weather will be poor but not so bad that Tom Brady can’t get back to throwing a few TD’s. I don’t see anyone on the Dolphins who can stop him so they must be praying for a freak blizzard.

Denver at San Diego – So the Chargers managed to stick one last week. They have already won my award for most disappointing team this season, even more disappointing than the Bears! (I mean who really thought the Bears would repeat this year with all their off season insane arrogant moves). he Broncos are in a tail spin but might find the weather nice enough to put forth a little effort.

Washington at Minnesota – My runner up game of the week. Two teams who (to the NFC’s embarrassment) are in the wild card chase. The Redskins looked bad last week. The Vikings looked abominable except for Adrian Peterson. I’ll go with a guy who can turn a busted play into a TD any time.

As usual my picks are for entertainment purposes only. Although if you die laughing I will not be held responsible.

And if you hadn’t noticed: Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, Happy Kwanzaa. And Peace on Earth, please.

Could you hand me the left handed monkey wrench?

Christmas Advert 1972
Click images for desktop size: “Christmas Advert 1972” by Coca Cola
Just got the new water heater. Two hours (approx) to a hot shower!
No headaches from washing my hair in cold water. I think that’s a pretty good thing.
Bugs Bunny Christmas Yesterday, aside from watching some modestly enjoyable football, I worked on updating the site, prepping for the move to Movable Type.
The hosting service is becoming totally aggravating. I’ve been using them for 2 and a half years. I picked them because Dot5 Hosting was and still is the cheapest hosting service out there. Domain registration and service is about seventy bucks a year!
At first they were adequate. They had fits and outages, but they remained barely adequate.
This year I debated about moving to another service but they were talking about getting new servers in and updating things. Mainly its just such a chore backing up the data bases, reinstalling, downloading the whole site, then reinstalling it, then figuring out why it doesn’t work etc etc.
In the last 7 months the service has been horrendous! Coming from a background of free servers, well it was worse than that. Customer service got moved to India . . . so where I used to be able to call or do an online chat and ask the guy to reboot the server now I have someone giving me answers out of a book until they don’t understand what I’m talking about.
They pass me off to a Senior Tech . . . which means I get an email a couple days later and nothing changes or gets fixed.
I was trying to live with the service. I spent a lot of time converting everything to Movable Type.
Movable Type works by using perl to create an html page. Html pages load faster than php. It puts less strain on the server.
Movable Type normally generates the pages in about .015 seconds per page. I had about 500 pages to generate. On free servers it could take about 10 minutes! On my wonky service it took about 32 hours. And it had to be monitored becasue it would suddenly fail.
Santas Treats - Christmas Card 2005
Click images for desktop size: “Santa’s Treats – Christmas Card 2006”
I’ve decided to change hosting services . . .
This wouldn’t be so bad if I were getting paid for it . . .
I guess you’re worth it.
Sure you are.
The page your looking at is Movable Type. I hope you noticed that it loaded really really fast!
There’s still some glitches and cosmetic things I have to sort out. I’m putting in the links one at a time . . . I know that’s important to a lot of people. I’ll try and get to them . . .
It was my original plan to make the move around Christmas, maybe even on to a new server! But the database for WordPress got corrupted. I had a back up!!! Which is close to miraculous . . . for me anyway.
Hopefully all of this will be invisible to you. It won’t affect my puppy’s blog at all.
Flash Gordon 1938 Her blog is important. A lot of kids sem to love her. They at least write to her.
That’s important to me.

Onto to football. The games were poor but the scores were exciting. I loved seeing Philadelphia rise up angry, and seeing the Redskins make a strong stand behind the old discarded veteran is engaging theater. I went 10-5 and managed to rise up to 1,793. 14 points out of first place with two weeks to go . . . and I’m optimistic . . .

There was an amazing amount of snow yesterday and last night. I am becoming an expert snow shovellor . . . No, really!
I even hurt myself badly today. Just my back killing me. I had to clear the driveway so the hot water heater guys could come in. I was having fun until I hurt myself. I was singing Christmas songs and I’m sure I was being a neighborhood nuisance. Why people don’t want to hear an acapella doo wop version of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer with exertion grunts in rhythm escapes me.
No one complained, if they had I would try and teach them the harmony parts or let them sing lead while I did the harmony.
No one does harmony anymore. Maybe they’ve heard me sing . . .
All else is well.
I think there’s enough hot water for me to take a shower.
Some of you might say I even need one.
That would be unkind.

Sometimes I just don’t get it. And then I do.

Christmas Card 2005
Click images for desktop size: “Christmas Card 2005” by Unknown
It’s colder than I’m used to. I can only think of a few times when I’ve ever been colder.
THose times I was places where it was foolish to expect it to be anything but freezing.
Maybe that’s the way it is here too.
New Adventures Of Batman And Robin A while ago I came back from Europe and went to Texas. Too complicated to explain why Texas. It was he place I thought I had to be.
One of the reasons I was glad to be returning to America was that I had seen the rights of people, of workers and children stomped on. It was a disgrace.
I never figured that the European Employers had either decided to follow the American lead or if the US Government had decided that people were no longer as important as corporations. Workers not as necessary as stock holders . . .
By trusting in people and trusting in the law I got myself into the worst hell of my life.
Where do you go when they tell you that you’re right but no money comes in the window while the landlord pounds on the door?
Its sad because my friend is in the same situation. A wrongful termination by a failing company. They owe her money but they’re not going to pay so that they can save themselves her “golden parachute”, which wasn’t all that golden.
And the strength of it is that they are going to make her go the whole ten yards and sue them. The logic is simple: They’ll either settle before judgement or they’ll be out of business.
Nice guys. Businessmen.
There’s no escaping them.
Bastards.
Merry Xmas.
Tomorrow my puppy goes for her level 2 Obedience certificate. She needs 6 points from her Down Stay.
She doesn’t like to lie down. I realized that she never has and I got her to do it for her Therapy dog training by making it a game. Its compounded now because she views the down command as another word for PLAYTIME!
Its my fault . . . the children always pay for the sins of the father.
Christmas Card 2006
Click images for desktop size: “Christmas Card 2006” by Unknown
Its not terribly important that she pass or get a certificate. Its only important for her self esteem . . . ??? Okay, I’d be proud if she got the Certificate because it comes with a red ribbon she can beat up!

And now . . . THE NFL!
No matter how many water heaters or appliances die around me that no one can afford to replace I always keep my priorities straight.

Last week I was 14-2, which sounds pretty good but actually dumped me all the way down to 2,393rd place! With 3 weeks to go it is daunting, but I’ll have fun anyway. Strangely I’m not mathematically eliminated . . .
As usual my picks are in Bold.

Le Samourai Denver at Houston – I picked Houston as there defense has been coming on stronger and stronger while their running game has reached its peak, which os good – not great. The Bears proved last year that a good defense and good running game can take you places. Denver is falling apart. They should win one or maybe two games but they’re done this year.

Cincinnati at San Francisco – The Bengals are a much better team than their record shows. If they had a line backer survive the first month of the season or anything resembling a defense they’d be contenders. The 49er’s remain suspect. But, as I write this they trail the Bengals by 3, 10-7! So who knows. Nah. They’ll lose. Frank Gore is not good enough to carry this team.

Arizona at New Orleans – Two teams playing out the string when all they really want to do is go home and dream of next year. I give the nod to the Saints because Drew Brees is playing for more than a contract. He’s got a chip on his shoulder and the talent to make doubters pay.

Atlanta at Tampa Bay – What else bad could happen to the Falcons. I feel for them and know what they’re going through. Not enough to pick them but . . . other teams have had sudden coaching teams and come out and played inspired football . . . just not often against a decent team that is trying to lock down a play off spot. It would be beautiful if it happened though. Just beautiful.
Christmas Card 2004
Click images for desktop size: “Christmas Card 2004” by Unknown

Baltimore at Miami – I’m telling you the Dolphins are the most feared team in football right now. No one wants to be the guys they beat. The Dolphins are even bringing in the 35th Anniversary team – the perfect team – to help rally them. Still, the Ravens have been snake bit the last two weeks. They should get better here. And if the Dolphins lose and the Patriots win (they should) history will be made next week when a 14-0 team meets an 0-14 team. The universe needs that sort of balance.

Buffalo at Cleveland – The Game Of The Week by far! I’m taking The Browns because of home field advantage, mostly. But its a game on the cusp, I think. And I’ll get it on TV . . . which is something good.

Green Bay at St Louis – The Rams aren’t as bad as their record but the Packers and Favre have the look of a team wanting to make history. I want them to make history!

Osmosis Jones Jacksonville at Pittsburgh – I’m surprised the Steelers are so heavily favored here. I guess the logic is home field advantage and their recent 1-3 spat will send them on the field angry. My instincts are that the Jaguars could make this a rout but will get dizzy and let the Steelers keep it close. My runner-up game of the week. I won’t get this on TV . . .

New York Jets at New England – I see football as sport and art. There’s not much difference to me between ballet and a wide receiver, between a boxer and a down line man, between a back and an opera star. Except nobody belittles you if you say you don’t like football. The Patriots are looking like magic. Billichik has the whole Spy-Gate fiasco to fire up his team. Pity the Jets.

Seattle at Carolina – The Seahawks are working hard to make people believe they belong in the play offs. The Panthers don’t have enough talent to convince them other wise.

Tennessee at Kansas City – I almost feel sorry for the Chiefs. If Vince Young would stop worrying about stats and just play his game this could be a rout. Their defense is better with Haynesworth even at 50% and their running game is a wonderful thing. The Chiefs are just looking to avoid the off season cull,

Indianapolis at Oakland – Since the Raiders have already conceded the game when they guaranteed time for rookie Jackson at QB how could anyone pick them. Peyton Manning has a rep as a great guy but do you notice the blood in his eye at game time?

Detroit at San Diego – I feel sorry for the Lions. They worked so hard all season and especially last week. I hope they all get a chance to return as a team and try again next year, avoiding the pot holes. The Chargers are a disappointment, especially Philip Rivers and even Tomlinson has not looked good. Without Shawn Merriman as creaky defense got worse but they should still have enough to squeak by the disappointed Lions.

Philadelphia at Dallas – Boring game of the week. There’s no magic left in the Eagles. They may get crazy and shock the Cowboys but not in Dallas.

Nell McAndrew
Click images for desktop size: “Nell McAndrew”
Chicago at Minnesota – The Bears are going with Kyle Orton . . . Adrian Peterson is healthy. I’m looking forward to the Vikings making the playoffs. Aside from the Cowboys and Packers the pool is so weak they could get deep into it.

Washington at New York Giants – This is my cruddy game of the week. Both teams confuse and confound me but not in any pleasant way. Neither of them are playing good football. I’m taking the Giants because they always seem to play just well enough to save Tom Coughlin’s job.

As usual using these picks for any reason than to admire my insanity is just plain silly!

Badges? Badges. BADGES! I got to show you no stinking badges! Alphonso Bedoya

Christmas Lighthouse By Phillips '57
Click images for desktop size: “Christmas Lighthouse” by Phillips ’57
I’ve never coached in the NFL.
Really don’t want to coach pro athletes. I can’t see the fun or the sense of accomplishment in that, really.
That doesn’t mean that I can’t be outraged by the actions of Bobby Petrino. Not as a sports fan but as a coach and a member of at least one of the associations he belongs to.
Inframan I don’t want to go on about him. He’s not worth it as a coach. I’m more stunned that he could get a job.
If you don’t know, Bobby Petrino walked out on his contract with the Atlanta Falcons. He lasted 13 games. The day he walked out he took another job. Coaching the Arkansas Razorbacks.
If I were an alumnus I’d be raising hell with the athletic director. I don’t believe Arkansas are so obsessed with winning that they’d throw pride out the door. That they’d trust the young men of their institution to a man who would apparently desert them at the slightest whim.
Thing is that Petrino immediately mad me think of another coach who was some what under the gun this year: Joe Paterno.
I never played for Paterno. I enjoyed watching him coach twice. Once when he hammered USC in some bowl and once when we hammered him at the Colosseum.
He’s got class. In victory and defeat. He spoke kindly, forcefully, and without evocation both times. He was polite and smelled like you wished your dad smelt on Christmas morning.
As a coach he’s survived the 3 yards and a cloud of dust to move into the aerial circus years and now into the indomitable defense years. He’s done so without a blemish. No NCAA infractions, most of his students got their degrees. More than a few became Hall Of Famers in the NFL.
If you ever visit State College one of the things you notice is that there are a lot of buildings named Paterno. Not as a tribute to him but because he donated the money to build them – libraries, not Athletic Centers, class rooms, not gymnasiums.
Heavenly Angel
Click images for desktop size: “Heavenly Angel” by Anonymous
He said he wanted to give something back to the institution that had given him so much.
Sometime ago an NFL team, I forget which one, offered Paterno 3 million dollars a year to coach for them.
His response was something like, “If your not saving lives there’s nothing a man can do that’s worth a million bucks a year,” and he turned it down flat.
If you get to the practice field you’ll be surprised to see an awful lot of High School coaches. They’re always welcome. Sometimes he puts them to work, sometimes he or his staff teach them.
He loves this game and delights in what he learns from it.
I think that he and Eddie Robinson are the two greatest men to ever teach this game.
I’m cynical enough to be intrigued. Someone bought a big court case to force Penn State to reveal Paterno’s salary.
Invasion Of The Saucermen 1957 Now a days I’m always ready to have my drams crushed, and maybe the idol had clay feet after all.
After a lot of vourt room tantrums they finally gave up the number.
Joe Paterno makes $500,000 a year.
Its a handsome salary but doesn’t much compare to the millions Lou Saban is pulling down at Alabama, or the millions Bobby Petrino is getting from Arkansas.
He’s donated millions of dollars back to the people who pay him. He’s raised his family and raised young men to go out into the world with the same firm but gentle hand and eye.
There’s an argument for yin and yang.

I’m doing fine. Getting excited about Christmas. Why not. I don’t need presents galore to enjoy the day.
I regret not being able to give presents, but that a minor quibble that might have more to do with my pride than with altruism.
I wish my puppy and I were going to see kids this year. We’ll be fine.
My friend had her dream job interview today. It must have gone well as she had some very scant reasons why she wasn’t a shoo-in.
She should be a shoo-in.
Put up more decorations that only my puppy and I noticed. Lit the tree so my puppy could lie there in the dark and admire it. Although she does seem concerned that its not surrounded with good smelling packages. She’s being so good. She remembers Santa Claus Is Watchin’ You by Ray Stevens so she wouldn’t be bad.
Things are good enough here now to not mind the pains I’ve had. I went three days, almost, with no pain pills, before I caved in.

What good are Saturdays without football

Unknown Lovers By Korn
Click images for desktop size: “Unknown Lovers” by Korn

When I was a kid one of my favorite bands was The Who. I soon realized that the reason I liked them was that after just one hearing I could play almost all of their songs better than they can! That was The Who’s real genius. Songs like “Call Me Lightning” come to mind. Its not Christmas music like Speedball Junior’s “Rudolph’s Secret” its just a smug thought I had out walking.
My NFL picks last week were a disaster!
I went 7-9! Fell from 60th to 2300!!
In this contest they throw out your worst 4 weeks. I’m stockpiling those worst weeks up. I still have fun. Football is always something I enjoy thinking about.
The Omen Even when I discovered that the cable company is grossly overcharging for the privilege of seeing the games . . . and with Bowl Season coming up fast I’m not keen on telling them to . . . you know.
We’ll see. Wait for push to go to shove.
The Drug Company sent me my money back for the drugs I never received. Maybe that’s a good sign of better things ahead.
My friend got a call for her dream job. Definitely signs of better things ahead.
The NFL week starts on Thursday now. As usual my picks are in bold.
Chicago at Washington – I picked the Bears. I thought they were better poised to reclaim some dignity and I figured the Redskins would be shattered from from funeral and the lack of practice. It was a terrible game but you have to admire the Redskins Back Up QB taking charge. First loss of the week!!
Carolina at Jacksonville – This is one of those “go long: games. The Jaguars played themselves out of first place last week, against the Colts. The Panthers are just good enough to take their frustrations out on.
Dallas at Detroit – A few weeks ago I was looking forward to this one. Now it seems that the Lions are a haunted team committed to burning out in flames. Roy williams being injured does not help their cause. The Cowboys are steam rolling and believe they are going to the Super Bowl. There’s no real threat in the NFC, that’s for sure.
Christmas Magic
Click images for desktop size: “Christmas Magic” by Unknown
Miami at Buffalo – Definite contender for cruddy game of the week. The Bills are an interesting team, better when the kid from Stanford plays at his level.
New York Giants at Philadelphia – This is a game that promises to be ugly bit interesting. Both teams are playing poorly at exactly the wrong time of the season. The Eagles have a nice revenge factor going after the way the Giants beat them down in New York. Creepily the Giants are the leading Wild Card team!
Oakland at Green Bay – I have confidence Favre will start and play until they have a lead. After the Disaster in Dallas they have a lot to prove to themselves. The Raiders new found running game will give them enough incentive to play hard.
People Who Own The DarkSan Diego at Tennessee – I’m taking The Chargers – the flops of 2007. The Titans are playing shaky football, particularly on defense. I don’t trust the Chargers to perform at all and if I keep thinking about it I’ll change my pick . . . Chris Brown is looking good . . .
St Louis at Cincinnati – I keep picking the Bengals . . . I can’t help it. I like that offense and their coaches! This week it should be a good pick. Bulger is doubtful for the Rams and Steve Jackson can’t win a shoot out!
Tampa Bay at Houston – I’ve never thought much of Gruden as a coach. If the Buc’s don’t obliterate the Texans I’m putting all the blame on him! I hate not naming the starting QB and making it sound like a strategy when all it is is indecision.
Arizona at Seattle – This is a cruddy game. Neither team is playing inspired football but the Cardinals are snake bit. The Cardinals should be able to handle the SeaHawks all passing game pretty well. The Arizona O is . . . well, a time bomb.
Minnesota at San Francisco – Very quietly the Vikings have played themselves into contention for a Wild Card slot. If they can’t destroy the 49ers then they’re just pretenders, not contenders. Most interesting thing will be seeing if Petersen comes back and if he does how much they’ll play him.
Cleveland at New York Jets – The Browns have been hiccuping as of late. The Jets just look cruddy. If the Browns can solidify they can go deep in the playoffs. As to the Jets, I’m trying to figure if they really want Lee Dorsey or just want to make sure the Dolphins don’t get him. (Bad reference to the NFL draft)
Wink
Click images for desktop size: “Wink”
Kansas City at Denver – Another game with cruddy written all over it. The Bronco’s seem to be playing for something I can’t figure out while the Chiefs are just looking shell shocked, as well they might. If Johnson were back or Homes hadn’t had to retire it might be different. But . . .
Pittsburgh at New England – Game of the week! The Patriots now look like God and the refs are on their side. The Steelers are predicting their own victory? They’ll run the ball but you have to think that the Patriots will have enough defense to stop them when it matters. This one could be awesome.

New Orleans at Atlanta – Here’s the cruddy game of the week. It pains me to think that but its true. Reggie Bush is probably gone for the season. The Falcons have gone beyond just being terrible. I can’t think of any reason to watch this. Brees might do something heroic. A game like this shouldn’t need heroics.
Planet Of The ApesIndianapolis at Baltimore – Rah. Can the Ravens play as tough against the Colts as they did the Patriots? Can they keep that ferocity up for two weeks in a row? Can the Raven’s coaching staff not screw them up? It would be great if that could only be. Or will Manning regain his composure and just flatten them. I think the answer is some where in between but the Colts are still too good.

As usual these picks are just for my friends to point at me and laugh.
After my picks last week I think using this worthless advice or taking it at all seriously would be evidence in a competency hearing!