Have mercy on me
Cannonball Adderley

The Earth by Milad
Click images for desktop size: “The Earth” by Milad
I was in hospital last weekend.
Tight chest pain, dizziness and weird pain through out the left side of my body. It felt like the side of The Big Bird Cage my face that got paralyzed was turning into melting wax.
I started to work and decided I couldn’t make it. So I took the doc’s advice and turned left instead of right. Ended up at the emergency room.
The good news is that I wasn’t having a stroke or a heart attack. The bad news is that I wasn’t having a stroke or a heart attack but I’m now on the hook for all the tests that told them whether I was having a stroke or a heart attack.
They kept me over night. I’m not fond of hospitals. Not fond of many doctors either. If you remember the War in Grenada. Reagan’s “Little” War. They sent in the marines to rescue some medical students . . . Rich kids who were too stupid to get into a real school. I mean they were so stupid that their rich parents couldn’t even pull strings to get them into a real school, so they paid huge fees to go to this butcher shop in Grenada so they could pull strings to get their dumb kids a license to practice medicine and become self supporting.
I mean these kids were so dumb that their parents could get a war declared but they couldn’t get them into a real medical school in America.
Every time I get a real stupid doctor, and they out number the good ones, I always ask them if they studied medicine in Grenada. I haven’t met any yet but I have met two went to med schools in the Caribbean. I asked to see other doctors.
So after wasting a night and a day in hospital where I was pretty much ignored I went home. My puppy was glad to see me. Odd thing was that she hadn’t defecated since I’d been gone and she had refused to play with her Kong. I thought she loved her Kong. I guess she only loves to tease me with the Kong. Maybe my puppy thinks I love the Kong.
Untitled by Tomas Brechler
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Thomas Brechler
I sleep in a single bed. I don’t usually move around much so I’m comfortable in one. My puppy is comfortable in one too except she doesn’t share and will seldom spend any time on the bed with me. When I lie down when I got home she jumped up and rested her head on my stomach and refused to move. She woke me once howling in her sleep but went right back to rest easy. I hope she wasn’t dreaming about me.
I went back to work that week. It was hard. I still feel badly.
On Friday they sent me to see more doctors. More EKG’s, more blood drawn, more tests, more physicals.
Theblood takers bugged me. The primary one commented on how young and tight my skin was then called over two others to see and touch me. It was embarrassing as well as making me feel put upon. I The Black Cointhink they might have been trying to be complimentary but that is possibly just a hope. They also sent me to an endocrinologist. I don’t recall ever seeing one of those before. He was interesting, cautious but open with his instincts. They’re doing all sorts of tests and will let me know the results in a letter or a phone call and then set up a follow up appointment. They said I need more protein. They also said I’m still in remission. They also pulled me from the drug trial for some pretty obvious reasons. I asked if this meant they were revoking their six year life expectancy guarantee. He said something that made me laugh. “I see at least three times they’ve given up on you. It seems there’s no good reason you survived your second heart attack and with no treatment. I don’t think anyone would ever bet against you.”
They gave me another pill to take. I know take 11 in the morning and three at night. Lots of chemicals.
My puppy doesn’t care so long as she gets fed. I approve of her attitude.

For the quality of owning freezes you forever into “I”, and cuts you off forever from the “we”
John Steinbeck

Untitled by Marta Dahlig

Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Marta Dahlig
I did my blood work on Friday. They take too much blood. That night the fasting and the blood loss made me wake up with the shakes and the night sweats. Since it was in the mid 50’s being drenched At The Circus with sweat was disconcerting. My puppy, who know matter what anyone says is a good girl and very crazy, took care of me and watched over me.
The blood work was as annoying as usual. They always have to stick me too many times to find a vein. The person drawing the blood kept talking about how tight my skin was. I asked what she meant by that. No one had ever called me a tight skinned anything before. It was a good thing, a compliment I guess. I might have taken it better if the nurse in charge hadn’t put me through the usual tom foolery about how I don’t look as sick as I am.
Won’t get the results for a while. Have to get them online. Internet age. A curious thing, I think sometimes.

My wife has a new foster dog. An all white shepherd looking girl. The white girl dog was rescued from some well meaning but neglectful S4w-FashionSexPoliticsAndMusic-294.jpg

Click images for desktop size: “Unknown Goth”
abusive owners who thought they were doing the right thing . . .
The white girl is doing okay. She has issues. How could she not. She doesn’t get along with the giant dog, which is understandable but she also has issues with the gentle dog. That is not understandable.
Still, experience dictates things will calm down and mellow. Dogs are too much like people sometimes. You take a small scared person and drop them into an established family and you know what happens.
Everybody reacts differently and yet we all react the same. Most, but not all, abused creatures including people are scared. When they come into a new situation from an abusive one they spend an amazing amount of energy either succumbing to the further abuse they anticipate or, the healthier ones, doing whatever they can to try and stop the abuse from ever happening again.
Purple Angel By Artemis Rosakis

Click images for desktop size: “Purple Angel” by Artemis Rosakis
Both types of people will usually respond to some calm and some laughs. They just need the space to be jerks and in a short time, shorter for dogs, when they don’t get the terror they expect in response they give up the act. Some are too terribly abused and it takes more to get through to them, but they can be gotten through to if the goal is to let them be happy and not to control them.
I think the white girl will fit in well enough until she finds her forever home and that’s all I ever ask.

One surprising effect of the great movie :I Saw The Devil” (which my wife thought was bleh) is the typical Asian rip offs of it. A sub genre exploring the tenets and roots of evil and fighting evil when just being good is nowhere near enough?
Jeong-beom Lee’s “The Man From Nowhere” could never have existed with “I Saw The Devil”. That Bad Girl doesn’t stop it from being great. It actually benefits from the association and uses some shorthand to amplify its effects. Iy also uses a similar shorthand referring to Bresson’s “Leon” to good effect.
Lee leaves most of the weighty stuff behind but gets plenty of good enough actors to give the timbre in the scenes.
Bin Won plays a former secret agent who left the service when his wife, pregnant with a girl, is killed in retaliation for one of his assignments. Won responds by becoming a ghost. He runs a pawn shop. He lives in the back of the shop and touches no one.
His clientele are junkies and thieves. One drug addict hooker has a little girl. Won has a safe affection for the little girl but keeps her at arms length. He barks at her and bullies her. She fills his iPod with music, for a fee and pawns her mothers things for drug money.
One day the mother gets involved in a drug heist. She is way over her head as the owners of the drugs want them back. She sticks the drugs in a camera case and has her daughter pawn the case to keep them safe.
After the gangsters show up to get the drugs this becomes a rip roaring action tale and its awesome, never letting the message get in the way of some terrific and terrifying fights. The message is pretty simple: The world is a terrible place and it is up to all of us to look after each other, especially for the strong to protect the weak.
The other rip=off movie that rates highly with me is Ching-Po Wong’s :Revenge: A Love Story”. Not surprisingly the title also describes the plot.
The movie starts with Juno Mak murdering women, pregnant women in the vilest most inhumane fashion possible. He slashes the women open and rips the near term fetuses from their bodies. He Pirate Pattern by Pirate Boy

Click images for desktop size: “Pirate Pattern” by Pirate Boy
then throws the fetuses into the river.
The murders are brutal and excruciating. We soon discover that the dead women’s husbands are all cops, not only cops but cops on the same team. And just when we’re about to settle in for a good ol’ serial killer type film there’s a shift. The cops catch Mak and after brutally torturing him we see, in flashback, the reason for these heinous crimes.
What we see is unexpected, terrifying and tear inducing. There’s no way to prepare for the reality of the situation presented here other than it’s more than just tragic. Its presented in a totally believable way and is guaranteed to score the soul.
A few American reviewers have trashed the movie as being pretentious, a B action movie with A movie aspirations. I say, so what?
It separates itself into sections introduced by Bhuddist koans. I think this makes some uncomfortable and needing to write the whole thing off.
It explores evil at his most common denominator. And it does so with a grim purpose to force us to have an understanding of humanity and with all understanding comes a dark price: Forgiveness.

I looked over the battlefield that used to be my home town and I saw God and the Devil shaking hands

Martian Landscape with Geezistines by Hannes Bok
Click images for desktop size: “Martian Landscape with Geezlesteins” by Hannes Bok

They caught the guy who robbed me.
Caught is probably too strong a word. He heard there was a warrant out for him so he went and turned himself in. He came in with a lawyer and claimed he wasn’t there and that the crime was Antibodies committed by his evil twin brother . . . I’m not making that up.
His alibi almost made me feel sorry for him.
The cop who came to tell me this seemed awfully expansive for 2 AM so I let him talk. I asked how the guy even knew there was a warrant out for him. It seemed like an odd knowledge to possess. Crime is such a labyrinth but I couldn’t figure out how you could know there was a warrant out on you since that usually isn’t in the newspaper or such. It seemed like it would have to be a guilty conscious.
Nothing like that. It seems the security guard who works with me has a deep police fantasy and he went to the internet and got his picture and then posted it around to the different places his company works. Kind of seems unfair and sort of illegal and invasive. Anyway the robber’s aunt saw the flyer and told the robber about it. Which makes it seem that the cops did even less than I originally imagined.
They’re holding the robber for $300,000 bail, which means, I think, that you have to come up with a bondsman and $30,000! It seems high. The cop said the judge set it high because the guy did 8 years for a previous armed robbery with a shooting and because the charge of an ex-felon possessing a firearm was more serious than the robbery! There’s also the feeling that since he’s been busted twice for armed robbery he has probably done several they can’t pin on him.
The cop went on about how “these guys” can’t be trusted and ex-felons never changed. He was deep WW II
Click images for desktop size: “WWII” by Unknown
into his list of nasty derogatory comments with the security guard in obnoxious idol worshipping agreement when I finally had to interrupt.
I said, “I disagree with that. People can change. If they can’t then what’s the sense . . . “
The cop said, “Some can change, but not many, not enough.” Before he could get involved in explaining and before I ended up in an argument about responsibility and fair mindedness and cop ineptness I had enough sense to disengage and get back to work.
I’ve never liked cops.
They turn into the things they hate.

You think cause I work for a living that I’m a jerk?
I Kuan

Kabegami by Kumo
Click images for desktop size: “Kuomo 31” by Kabegami
I got robbed this week. No big drama and no excitement. I suppose, considering, that is a good thing.
Work normally quiets down after 6. I was sitting on the stool staring when a guy wearing a hockey Amazons Against Superman mask came through the door. He was kind of fat so he didn’t move very quickly.
He came to the window and stuck his arms through the slot. He had a gun I guessed as a .25 automatic, real cheapo nickel plated saturday night special kind of gun, exactly the type that I think should be illegal to purchase or own. In his other hand he had a black gym bag. He said, “Put the money in the bag or you’re dead!”
There’s video of the whole thing and after he said that I take a long pause. The cops watching it said to me, “Thinking about taking him out, huh?”
That wasn’t totally accurate, but close enough for small town cops. What I was thinking was, “I can’t believe Antonio is robbing me and waving a gun in my face. Jerk. And shoving his arms through the window. That’s insulting. I could stab him with this pen and he’d drop the gun quickly enough. Ah, hell. It’s not my money and there’s not that much of it anyway. We’ve had employees steal more than he’s going to get and there are other people here and my wife would kill me if I get shot and my puppy needs to go for a walk. I’ll just give him the money. I better not ask why he’s doing this. He’d shoot me for recognizing him probably or shoot somebody else. That would be worse. Not really but it would feel like it was worse.”
So I gave him the money and he left. Idiot strew money from the window all the way to his car.
Problem for him is that even with the hockey mask I recognized him pretty plainly and then there’s video of him putting on the mask. Turns out he served 8 years for armed robbery already and he’s got a court appearance in May on a drug charge. And he’s not yet 30 years old.
Kill My Illusions by ClasixArt
Click images for desktop size: “Kill My Illusions” by ClasixArt
Problem for me is that he’s a regular customer. That night he hung out in the store for 4 hours, probably waiting. He wasn’t a friend. I’m not friends with any of the customers. But we were friendly. I’m annoyed that someone who I know and who knows me would rob me and threaten me. It shakes what little faith I have in mankind even more.
Of course I still had to deal with the concerns that I was hardly devastated or panicked over the robbery. I have to remember to say things but, for me, other than the way I took it personally, it had little impact on me.
If I’d gotten shot I’d think about it differently I suppose but no one was hurt, the warrants are issued to pick the guy up. What more is there to it?

It looks like I’m going to do a study which is not a trial. I’ve done trials. Trials are only good when the alternative is sure death.Another Man's Poison
This is a study. A trial is where they think this will work but they’re not quite certain of how or what the side effects will be. A study is when the drug has been approved and is on sale. The study is to insure something that’s important to the drug company.
This study is for a diabetes drug called Juvenita or something close to that. It’s a drug that the doc’s wanted to give me but it is too expensive!
The purpose of the study is to avoid getting sued in case the drug causes heart attacks.
It’s a five year study, which I take as proof positive that I’ll live at least another 5 years. That’s scientific logic that is. Unless I get shot, that is.
I get sixty bucks a quarter and a free supply of the drug, unless I hit the study group in which case I get the placebo. Fifty-fifty shot on that. Of course I want the drug. It’s supposedly very good and will drive down my daily insulin dosage etc.
Human Frieght Train by NFL FIlms
Click images for desktop size: “Human Freight Train” by NFl Films
I go this Friday for the blood tests. Cool.

I’m going to start to experiment and turn comments on. The spammers might hit it too hard but then, they may have all gone away! Yeah. Like that’ll happen. I still average about 150 spam hits an hour but they seem to have different objectives. The spiders that don’t obey, or respect, htaccess files worry me. But I miss comments. Like some fellow went through a lot of grief to reach me to tell me that I’d misspelled an artists name. And it was a major misspelling too, like I touch typed with my fingers on the wrong keys sort of thing.

Since you’ve been gone my guitar won’t stay in tune
The Lolas

Airplane by unknown

Click images for desktop size: “Airplane” by Unknown
The world is in bad trouble. In the USA we’ve got a President who promised change but then turned in to George H Bush. In the mid-west we’ve got loonies hiding under the name of reverend going House of Whipcord around burning books that results in people getting killed and nobody condemns him or threatens to shoot him because he’s against women having a choice, I guess that makes him alright.
Its dark and getting darker for the world: Climate change, the price of oil, the destruction of innovation by the lying politicians and their cold eyed assassins.
There’s no way out so long as the poor, the middle class, the children and the puppies are the only ones getting hurt.
The National Visa Center sent me a letter today telling me that we’d been approved to proceed with our application. The sort of statement that makes sense only to government workers and bureaucrats of the 7th circle. The main point of it all seemed to be that I had to send them more money.
My puppy’s annual physical is on Saturday. She should be fine. I plan to take photos. Since the separation from my wife (due to governments not personalities) I haven’t been taking pictures like I’m used to. I keep trying to get enthused about it again but it’s a hard go.
I remembered taking pictures when my puppy and I watched a fight between a crow and a squirrel. It was very interesting. And then about 1o minutes later we saw an opossum cross a busy street in front of us. It went hhhhhhh at us and didn’t even attempt to fool us into thinking it was dead. We chaperoned it across the street but it was as ungrateful as it was ugly.
Yes, I wanted to take pictures of an animal fight and of something ugly. I think people would have liked them.
In the face of all this cataclysm and personality the only safe thing to do is think about and over analyze the trivial.


AppleTV vs WDTV Live



The first thing you have to understand is that the DVD is dead tech. The BluRay disk will be following it soon.
The future and now are media files: H264 mp4’s and mkv’s. They do to movies what mp3’s, aac and Hawaiian Girls by Chris Sanders

Click images for desktop size: “Hawaiian Girl’s Progress” by Chris Sanders
flac have done to music. And it’s all a good thing no matter what the old fogies at the MPAA and the RAIA have convinced Obama and any other cash hungry government man.
With the means of production and now distribution falling into the hands of the creators there’s a nice little well spring of music and books starting to flood over us, most poor but many good and a few great. All pretty much distinguished by the fact that without the new method of distribution we’d never have heard of them or been given a chance to decide what we love or hate.
Of course the people who are used to telling us what we like hate that. Choice sucks when you’re intent on propagating mediocrity.
Mp3’s were getting huge but it was the iPod, the hardware that pushed them to the top. And now there are plenty of cheap media players for video, all that scream to take me from the computer screen to the big screen, the screen in the living room. The first one I became aware of was the AppleTV 1. It was a sleek small silver box with a smallish hard drive. It was also totally cool evenAbducted Bride with its heavy heavy limitations and shortcomings.
I got a Western Digital WDTV Live because I liked their drives, the WDTV can read multiple HD formats and not just the usual Windows litany and I got it on sale for about $80. It addresses a lot of the AppleTV’s shortcomings quite nicely. I can attach an external hard drive for unlimited storage and it can play almost anything, whereas the AppleTV only plays mp4 and then it has to be in iTunes.
The WDTV gui is ugly. It can be fixed and fiddled and be made to be more attractive but that doesn’t change it’s basic homeliness. It works alright though and that means something. The AppleTV gui is beautiful and well thought out. It is graceful and simple minded to comprehend.
I got an AppleTV 2 for my wife. It is even simpler than the 1 and smaller, lighter and fool proof to Sarah Walks by Marvel Comics

Click images for desktop size: “Sarah Walks” by Marvel Comics
install and run. More than it just works, it is just there.
The AppleTV is fun. The interface has enough things to do that you always feel you’re onto some secret discoveries. With the addition of the, to me worthless, MLB and NBA channels and the potent addition of Netflix it really has become a full on entertainment center.
Netflix needs a digression. With it’s new commitment to streaming only Netflix has become the first preview of all our entertainment in the cloud. The selection is pretty much like what you’d find in a popular video store just before closing on a Saturday night. It’s all old movies and stuff you’d normally avoid. To me that’s okay. I like that stuff.
If you want something more current there is, just two clicks away, the iTunes store with pricier rentals.
With the inclusion of podcasts, your own video libraries and music libraries you can fill up months of time and with a $99 MSRP what could any one complain about?
One caveat: The sound on the music is not as deep or full as the sound from most iPod docks. Most receivers have some sort of Compressed Music sound enhancement. Apple has long eschewed that. Big Foot It can be adjusted with some receiver based EQ but why?
The WDTV is not as much fun. In recent firmware upgrades it has added Flingo and Mediafly as a source of online media. It also has Facebook integration, although I’ve never gotten that to work so I can’t comment. Facebook is not something I care about anyway.
Where the WDTV beats the AppleTV is all tech stuff. It will output 1080p as opposed to the 720p limitation put on by Apple. The WDTV will play anything. I’ve yet to find something it couldn’t play, including camera mts files. AppleTV 2 will play only mp4’s with H264 or X264 video encoding. It will finally handle High Profile encoding and CABAC encoded files but that is it.
The WDTV plays MKV files flawlessly and does a good job of steaming DTS sound. For me the DTS soundtrack is more important than the 1080p playback.
The WDTV also handles attached drives, so if you save your movies and music on an external drive it is nothing to attach the drives to your WDTV and have instant access to 2 TB of media. (And the WDTV is the only media player out there that can access any format on the drive – most demand the archaic Windows solutions for morons – a few European ones will allow Linus formats but that’s about it.)
Apple still demands that you can only access movies stored on your computer and within iTunes. This keeps things simple but it is seriously limiting. (Even if its financial and designed to slow down piracy or reassure Apple’s content providers it is a cheat to the consumer.)
The WDTV plays music well but it does not play the whacky Apple Lossless codec, while it handles FLAC just fine. Conversely the AppleTV plays Apple Lossless just fine but just ignores FLAC. FLAC is Virtual Girl by unknown

Click images for desktop size: “Virtual Girl” by Unknown
by far the superior codec.
I have 110 gigs of music so I actually like iTunes integration for various mundane and personal reasons. Hence I don’t use the WDTV for music listening, preferring to use my receiver’s iPod dock.
I like that I have access to my WDTV and my wife’s AppleTV 2. If I had to choose I would have no problem saying goodbye to the AppleTV. The WDTV tries to be user friendly but it isn’t. Still it makes more important things available to me. That no one else can easily access these things doesn’t bother me much.
The AppleTV is fun and easy to use like an expert with nil effort. I could live with it easily if there was nothing else available.

I miss comments. I like hearing from people. Spam is still an ugly problem but in the near future I’m going to open them up again. Movable Type has improved their security again and I have hopes that it will sort the mess out. I still have over 300 malicious (spammer, hacker) hits an hour.

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.

Baby, please don’t reincarnate me. I just want to live on in your loving memory
Jet City

Childhoos Poems by Maxfield Parrish
Click images for desktop size: “Children’s Poems” by Maxfield Parrish
Life has evolved into wake up, shit, shower, shampoo, shave and feed the dog. And I am not unhappy.The Man With X-Ray Eyes
Lot of that has to do with things like, next weekend I’m going to upstate New York. Going to have a weekend with my wife.
That is already nice just thinking about it so I have normal expectations.
The bad part is I have to fly in. It already feels worse than entering Russia. I mean, it is true: the terrorists won. The lying and the cowardice of the USA have done more damage to the American way of life than the despicable jihadists who flew the planes into buildings and killed my friend.
Who’d have thought it. Bin Laden has been on his rampage longer than Dillinger and we can’t catch him because we’re weak sissies who join Tea Parties instead of being proud and brave.
Some moron, one moron, sticks some explosive in his underwear so now all America has to be fondled by guys who struggled to finish high school and couldn’t score well enough on the SAT to get into Community College.
In the rest of the world everyone always knew I was an American and in a good way. I was laconic, got things done, walked proudly like I owned the planet but still cared enough to be polite and courteous. As opposed to the kind of Americans we’ve become: Loud, bellicose scared little bullies, too weak to care about anything except our own own corn syrup filled butts.
Despite that I’m going to have a great weekend. I’ll comply with the TSA’s perverted regulations so I can get to see someone I care about.

The Republicans are still trying to foment a civil war. They’re disgusting. There’s that Jackass from the south who laughed at the pin head who asked, “Who’s job is it to shoot Obama?” Instead of Summer Girl by TitusBoy
Click images for desktop size: “Summer Girl” by TitusBoy
having the pin head arrested and cavity searched he laughed and agreed with him. And I blame Obama for not having the Republican arrested and charged with sedition and then executed for treason.
It used to be that the Republicans and the Democrats actually respected each other and respected the office. He may be a jerk but he is still the President and demands the respect we must give to him and his office.
James Watt, Raygun’s Secretary of Interior, was fired for making a public racist joke. Now that racism is applauded in terms of taking our country back. Back to about 1920 with 7 day work weeks and children working in sweat shops for 16 hours a day.
Why isn’t Obama standing up to the Koch Brothers and Roger Ailes? Why does he let them have the country and simper in the White House. I voted for him. I wish I’d voted for Clinton. She’d never have stood for the sort of abuse the Republicans are handing out to my country.Zomies of the Stratosphere
Obama has disappointed me.
Why hasn’t he called out the National Guard to protect the demonstrators in Wisconsin. The police are standing with the demonstrators. The people are with them. Against them are the Republicans, corrupt Supreme Court Justices who have violated their terms of office and billionaires who think they deserve even more money.
Why isn’t he in the lines with the people.
Instead of protecting the RAIA why isn’t Obama protecting the people. I thought he believed more in people then he did in corporations. Apparently not.
Why hasn’t he challenged Rush Limbaugh’s drug addled corpulent self to a One on One match to demand he stop insulting Michelle Obama and his children? Why does Limbaugh get to lie and say he’s an American when all he does is try and destroy this great country. Limbaugh is in the pay of the Emirate and the Corporations. He needs to be brought into the light.
When the revolution comes I thought it would be led by the people but instead it’s apparent it will be led by billionaires against the people.
It’s just me. I’ve never trusted anybody who remotely believes in The Rapture. How can you trust anyone who wants everybody except a couple of their friends and a few of the family dead.
I don’t want anybody dead. The Dead leave vacuums. Even Saddam Hussein dying left a vacuum. I’m pretty certain he didn’t see himself as evil, but the vacuum he created means some innocent child will have to grow into it. The same way that the collapse of the USSR meant that America had to reinvent itself as Stalinist Russia.

First time I ever heard of the Dorktones was when someone sent me a cover they’d done of one of my songs. It was pretty good. But better than that was the cover the Dorktones did of Balloon Farm’s “A Question of Temperature”.
I found out the band comes from Rotterdam! Rotterdam, for those who don’t know Rotterdam is like a rougher tougher version of Amsterdam but without the tourists.
Pop Go The Dorktones I like the Netherlands. It’s a wild, crazy cool country as afflicted with issues and blight as any place is but the Dutch just seem to handle it better.
They have a tradition of working hard and playing harder, of respecting each other and not being too concerned with what you might be doing. If I could make a living there it would be my second favorite place to live.
And if there are bands as good as the Dorktones it would be a wise choice.
If you visit their website you can download most of their stuff. You can get their latest “Pop Go The Dorktones” here.
It’s worth the trouble. This isn’t their best. That would probably be “The Sound of Music” but it’s very good. Percussive guitar, good harmonies and all covers of great songs, and the song is always the thing, I think.

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.

I was just a boy giving it all away
Adam Faith

Deep Sea Hunting by Photoneu

Click images for desktop size: “Deep Sea Hunting” by Photoneu
I saw a picture of my puppy. I was slightly stunned to see how mature, elegant and regal she looked.
When I look at her I still see her as a little puppy, the little girl who played “Alligator: with me, The Van where she’d hide under the bed and try and pull me into her “swamp”.
The serious little girl who stayed with me in the hospital growling at the nurses when they came in and constantly looking up and checking on me. The puppy who went to therapy dog school and played tricks on me but still tried her hardest to please me. And the young lady who won a second level discipline obedience class while never having attended any obedience classes.
I look at her and I see all those puppies and dogs and they shrink down into one who waits for me.
She’s my dog. We belong to each other.
I miss my other two dogs plenty. The gentle dog misses me too. The giant dog . . . who knows what thoughts go through his brain.

I set my alarm clock to wake me with radio, then I set the station to a top 40 pop station. Nothing gets me out of bed faster than turning off a top 40 tune blaring from a cheap radio.
A few days ago I was startled to hear a Jason Mraz tune. I’m not a fan, but I’d been working on a tune for the past few weeks. I’m always working on a tune the past few weeks, at least in my head. This one I was stumbling around with the lyrics, trying to clarify and enunciate some feelings. The harder I worked on it the more obscure things became, until I heard this Jason Mraz track, “Lucky”.
The chorus pretty well summed up everything I was struggling to say in verse after verse: “We feel lucky to be in love with our best friend”.
And that was it. That was all I was trying to say.
I’m never too sure how I feel about having my lofty emotions perfectly encapsulated in a pop song . . . but there you go.
Intitled by Solano Lopez

Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Solamo Lopez
I guess the lesson is to always say things as simply as possible and to avoid the glitter and too much deep thought. Hey, maybe Jason Mraz is a genius! I still work off the standard that anyone who can do something that I can’t must be a genius. I still got ego.

I have been hearing some interesting music lately. I guess everyone is psyched by the Jack White/Wand Jackson collaboration. Watching the numerous videos is a two edged sword. Seeing Wanda, my adolescent throbbing need, be real 50 years later is too much for me to comprehend or accept. ut that’s offset by Jack White. He’s pulled together one of the best rock bands I’ve ever heard and with him DANCIN’ around the stage in his cat clothes and playing band leader is as thrilling as being at the birth of rock itself.
The record’s not bad either.Voyage of the Rock Aliens
The other band is strange. they took their name from a Sonics’ cut and even cover a Sonic’s tune. And somehow they’ve become a country band??
I first heard “Boss Hoss” when someone sent me a demo of them covering the Rolling Stones’ “Mother’s Little Helper”. I thought they were strange but great. I just assumed they were another garage revival band with enough talent and attitude to take things to their own level.
Their latest album is “Low Voltage” and its insane. The band looks like a 21st century Tex-Mex Salsa outfit. Too many guys in cowboy hats. The album is filled with brass, strings and fiddles, bass saxaphones and harmonicas and, of course, guitars filled with truck driver 8 part harmoney and it sounds about as country as the White Stripes meet the Beat Farmers. A distinctive and welcome sound.

That’s it. Still working. Still suffering. Still trying to get my wife into this country (legally). And looking to survive the newer ages.