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

Yin by Saioul

Click images for desktop size: “Yin” by Saioul

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

Cool And The Crazy 21

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



Because some will insist-MP3

Unexpected intrusions of beauty. This is what life is.
Saul Bellow

Situation desperate but serious.
It doesn’t mean you can’t dance while you wait for your Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanza/solstice miracle.
I’ve been doing mix tapes for Christmas for nearly 20 years. I used to use metal tape and spend days drawing cassette cover/Christmas cards. The best ones were the ones featuring the music I recorded from our previous years Christmas party. It’s just not Christmas without the music. Lots of new and old stuff here. Dig.
My deaf puppy is doing better and better. I still miss my girl. There’s always a moment every day when the emptiness hits.
And I found a microphone for talking on the podcast. Real important stuff there. I’ll get it when I find a job and pay the rent, get in some food, fill my scripts, take the dogs to the vet . . . so not real soon.

Ruin Christmas With The Cool And The Crazy!

Christmas 2 2013

Three Jokers And An Ace – Sleigh Bell Rock
Bob Rivers – Going Up to Bethlehem
Jefferey Foskett – Little Saint Nick
Sleeping At Last – Christmas Is All Around (Love Actually)
Click Five – My Girlfriend (Forgot Me This Christmas)
Letters To Cleo – (WTFAMP) The Christmas Song
Death Valley – Carol Of the Bells
5678’s – Rock N Roll Santa
Patsy Raye & The Beatniks – Beatnick’s Wish
Blink 182 – I Won’t Be Home For Christmas
Joey Ramone – Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)
Surfin’ Lungs – Surfin’ On Christmas Day
Shonen Knife – Sweet Christmas
Fab Four – Hark The Herald Angels Sing
Boss Martians – It’s Christmas Time
Mighty Mighty BossTones – This Time Of Year
Roger McGuinn – We Three Kings
Christmas Jug Band – Somebody Stole My Santa Claus Suit
Louis Armstrong – Cool Yule
Elvis Presley – LeAnne Rimes – Here Comes Santa Claus
Me, You And Her – I’ll Be Home For Christmas
Psychotic Youth – Another Christmas
Vegas With Randolph – Snow Day
Bad Religion – Little Drummer Boy
Caravan Of Thieves – I Don’t Want Anything For Christmas
dB’s – Feliz Navidad
Dollyrots – Santa Baby
Beach Boys – Santa Got An Airplane
Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene) Stuck In The Chimney
Debbie And The Darnells – Santa, Teach Me To Dance
Cliffters and Torben Lendager – Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me
Untamed Youth – Santa’s Gonna Shut ‘Em Down
Dave Brubeck – Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
Bob B Soxx And The Blue Jeans – The Bells Of St Mary’s
Darlene Love – All Alone On Christmas
Royal Guardsmen – Snoopy’s Christmas
Blue Hawaiians – Mele Kalihimala
Les Paul And Mary Ford – White Christmas
Episodes – The Christmas Tree
George Jones – My Mom And Santa Claus
Long Island Hornets – Chop Top Christmas
Kik – A Christmas Song For You
Freddy Cannon – Have A Boom Boom Christmas
Grip Weeds – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Big Boy Pete – Silent Night
Scrooge – A Christmas Carol

MP3 Version-Smaller-worse sounding

For each of us comes a time when we must be more than what we are
Lloyd Alexander

Well, my situation is desperate but not serious. Healthy enough but still looking for work. Worrisome.

This is the promised Buddy Holly podcast. When I get work I’ll buy a decent microphone and talk some, probably just monotonous telling you what you’ve already heard.
This podcast tries to pick up some of the greater covers of Buddy Holly tunes, followed by a couple of tribute songs including the sizzling and powerful “Day In The Life” by Big Daddy, the bothos laden “Theee Stars” by Eddie Cochran and the bouncy and totally fun track, “Buddy’s Song” by Bobby Vee, where all the lyrics are from Buddy Holly tunes!
It ends with a lot of popular and some rarer tracks, a lot featuring Buddy on acoustic guitar where he proves that a man armed with a guitar can rock the joint. I guess it also proves that guitar lessons can make you popular at parties. The six strings that made a man out of . . . me, I guess.
Next up the dreaded Christmas podcast!


Bobby Fuller Four – Peggy Sue-Pamela-Love’s Made A Fool Of You
Pat Monahan – Maybe Baby
Mud – Oh Boy
JD Southern – Everyday
Shoes – Words Of Love
Sonny Curtis – Talk About My Baby
Troggs – Peggy Sue
Roky Erickson – Peggy Sue Got Married
Rolling Stones – Not Fade Away
Detrit Cobras – Heartbeat
Marty Stuart – Crying, Waiting, Hoping
Nick Lowe – Changing All Those Changes
Everly Brothers – That’ll Be The Day
Ricky Nelson – Rave On
Frank Bacon – Shiela
Imelda May – I’m Looking For Someone To Love
Albert Lee – Learning The Game
Chris Bailey – It Doesn’t Matter Anymore
Jackson Browne – True Love Ways
Cee Lo Green – (You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Case
Country Rockers – Rock Around With Ollie Vee
Big Daddy – A Day In The Life
Chuck Travis – Gone Too Soon
Eddie Cochran – Three Stars
Bobby Vee – Buddy’s Song
Tremelos – Peggy Sue
Steeleye Span – Rave On
Buddy Holly

Direct Download
MP3 Because it is so much worse than the aac version

And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, They danced by the light of the moon
Edward Lear

Meow by SingPat

Click images for desktop size: “Meow” by SingExpat
Recently I read an article; they now claim that dogs can understand up to 255 words. When I was a kid they thought dogs could understand only 25 words, when I was an adolescent they upped it to 50 words.She Gods Of Shark Reef
Either dogs are getting smarter or we are.
Then there was the “shocking” discovery that dolphins have names and that they use these names to refer to each other. And a few days later they discovered that wolves also have names and that they use those names to refer to each other.
Then the latest discovery is that dolphins can remember things that they learned 20 years ago. No reinforcement during the years, they simply remembered some non essential trivia they were taught 20 years ago.
Humanity has always been an insecure race with low self esteem. We’re the center of the universe, we’re made in god’s image ergo we are small gods! That sort of stuff. Why else could we possibly believe that inferior beings just like us were fit to rule us.
Thomas Aquinas had to be deified because he proved that animals have no souls and were placed on this planet for us to dominate. He made doctrine that animals had no feelings, that everything they did was the merest instinct. He justified our cruelty and deceit so that we might live peacefully within our own heads.
Throughout history there are countless stories of dolphins rescuing drawing swimmers, people being attacked by sharks, guiding lost ships to a safe harbor. Somehow we always accept those swamp gas official explanations; that the dolphin was just following instinct, looking for food, trawling the garbage blah blah blah.
It’s crazy to me. If a 9 year old kid suffers the tragedy of uncomprehendingly watching his little sister drown in the swimming pool we assign no guilt. The kid had no way of knowing that his sister was even in trouble. But when an animal, a dolphin looks at an alien being, a person, drowning in the ocean and the dolphin logics out that the person is in trouble and then devises a solution to end that person’s trouble we don’t show a similar amount of empathy and readjust our thinking and consider theDragoneye by JW McGinnis

Click images for desktop size: “Dragoneye” by JW McGinnis
intelligence required to make that complicated decision and solution.
I mean if we saw a dolphin splashing around in a puddle we’d most likely walk on by. Because we are people we know that we’re far more important than any animal in trouble and an animal isn’t going to pay us for saving it, is it?
I hate that ancient superstitious nonsense that hobbles us and makes it so hard to see the wonder around us. It prevents us from approaching and appreciating the others we share the planet and our lives with.
When I got my first job, cutting negatives at Universal, I started every day with a dawn patrol at Manhattan Beach Pier. I liked the Pier more than Laguna because the pilot seals in Laguna were too playful and in the way. The Pier was usually empty at the dawn except for a time when this dolphin showed up every morning.Suspiria
First time I met the dolphin he pulled a trick on me. It scared me to death by pretending to be a shark. When there’s a gray fin cutting through the ocean at 6:00 AM it’s not very applicable to run through the differences between a shark and a dolphin fin.
After the dolphin scared me to death he surfaced and laughed at me. Then, four the next hour he surfed with me. It was a pin in the neck mainly as the sol;phkn had enough speed to catch all the waves and was a total wave hog knocking me off the board more than a few times.
That started my winter of the dolphin. He was there every morning. We’d bicker and we’d surf.
One night the santanas never let up and there was a 5 foot swell with occasional 6 footers. My solitary dawn patrol was crowded. The dolphin was there too.
There were about a dozen of us, fortunately the swell was perfect the waves were perfect peelers and looking out to sea all you could see were rushing humps. Good thing as the dolphin was a total wave hog. With his tail and body he could pull of late take offs we could only dream of. Guys were shouting at him, “off my wave dolphin dude!” Off my wave!”

Click images for desktop size: “Melted” by Unknown
Didn’t work. The dolphin hung all all session and started to chatter back at us. Maybe they were the equivalent of dolphin whoops. He just hung out in the line up with the rest of us bobbing around. It was a great day. I was late for work.
I never dug zoos, except sometimes the one in Santa Barbara, and only because Santa Barbara had this lemur who could open cages so you’d see this lemur and maybe his companion wandering around. They’d not be terrorizing anybody.
Santa Barbara Zoo also let you get too close to the elephants who were beyond infinitely cool. But aside from that I don’t like zoos. A few dozen field trips to the Griffith Park Zoo couldn’t change this. I don’t like that Wild Animal safari junk either. I’d liked Africa and the animal preserves, but they’ve gotten too popular so it’s not the Snuff same anymore.
Anyway, I’d never been to Sea World, which I always thought was just like some sort of floating zoo. I was wrong, it was like a floating circus. I had to go for work for some reason. It was terrible. I watched the dolphin show. I was impressed. I made a mistake. I used my studio pass to hang around and look at the dolphins.
I saw the saddest thing I had seen since I was 6 years old. That was when my mother took me “backstage” at the Barnum and Bailey Circus. I saw the elephants begging to walk but chained and I saw the clowns the clowns drinking out of pint bottles and smoking unfiltered cigarettes. I don’t remember if the clowns said anything. All I heard was the clinking of the elephants chains.
The dolphins were lying there in their lagoon. Lying on their sides and staring at me. They were almost motionless, just a tiny few inches of lolly gagging twisting to vent their blowholes. They stared up at me with one eye apiece. The eyes moved to watch me even though they did not move. They were eyes without hope or passion. Concentration camp eyes like I’d seen in that archival footage and in those old black and white photos. Eyes that had seen nothing but despair for so long that they’d given up and were only waiting until they would be allowed to die.

Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you
Chuck Klosterman

Gardenia by Vargas

Click images for desktop size: “Gardenia” by Vargas
I was supposed to have a “procedure” yesterday. It was supposed to alleviate the pain in my neck and shoulder. I fantasized it would relieve a few other inexplicable things, like my vision and pain in The Great Gamble my eyes.
My C4, C5 are arthritic, a common football playing ailment. They think I should be having problems with the C7, based on the pain and numbness but looking at the MRI it’s the C6 that is bulging extravagantly. The tunnel the nerves travel through are about 4 inches across and the C6 vertebrae is bulging about 4 inches. It’s pressing the nerves almost taut like it’s going to cut the spine off from the rest of the body.
Needs to be fixed, It hurts pretty badly and has been getting worse for over a year now. On the dreaded and dreadful 1-10 scale it floats between a 6 to an 8 with an occasional burst past 9. I have to be careful.
Because of the leukemia, the heart attacks and diabetes the doc’s get real gentle with me; basically scared I’ll drop dead and be an inconvenience.
I find it odd that instead of looking at me or even interpreting the data sheets they don’t say this is one bad stud with a babe wife. He’d been through it, can take it for sure they just look at the numbers and check the charts and the graphs, you know the charts and graphs the insurance company sends them that the modern doc’s know better than they know anatomy, and they decided to send me home to suffer. Another two weeks before they’ll finish the job.
Since I was undressed and on the “procedure” table this was pretty irksome. I told them the news might give me a heart attack. Doctors don’t have a lot of humor in them. They took my blood pressure again.
Harlow 1931

Click images for desktop size: “Harlow 1931”

We’re moving when this is all over. We’re moving to Florida. I hate Florida. I hate any place that lets wimps carry guns so they can feel like they are better. I hate guns pretty much and “Stand Your Ground” laws kind of demand you have one so you can shoot first.
My wife will be happy though, happier anyway.
I wish my puppy was here. She loved adventure. I got the new address if anybody wants it. I think my puppy would have loved the far west, I do.

I have the Kobo Aura. It’s as exciting as the first kindle. It really is a pinnacle of something.

But a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much more
Hans Christian Andersen

Zebra Rider by Benda

Click images for desktop size: “Zebra Rider” by Benda
I don’t sleep well. A lot of reasons; dreams, anxiety, pain. I find that listening to something distractting at least shuts down some of the issues. For a while the distraction has been old time radio podcasts. Dog Day Afternoon
Right now my favorite are the 1940/50’s Bud Collier “Superman”. Superman was always so rigid and cool despite that. He was something solid that never shifted his perspective.
One thing that the radio series reminds me of, very often vividly, is that Superman was not only for truth, justice and the American way, but that he defined the American way as good sportsmanship and tolerance and on the constant vigil against evil. Evil was corrupt politicians, hateful business men who tried to turn honest working men and women into slaves to further their own selfish ambitions. These evil men stirred up hatred and bigotry in order to control the workers they were intended to nurture and protect.
Superman fought this stuff in the 40’s but it still exists today, it doesn’t bother to conceal itself anymore, this apocalyptic evil, it has used super villain powers to twist and distort laws, placed evil men in power who believe that innocent men belong in prison and that justice is only for the wealthy.
You could join the Superman Crusader club and get a, probably, bit chin silver like adjustable ring for only a box top and a dime (in cash-no stamps). You did have to agree to be tolerant, a good sport and to always help others; debts owed to you are meaningless while debts you owe are paramount (not talking about money debts – the Kinney Corp tried to turn Superman into a shill – it couldn’t take) Pretty trivial stuff unless you mean it.
Most people think I’m pretty far right wing or they figure I’m a liberal. It’s because I believe in Greenshoes by Vargas

Click images for desktop size: “Green Shoes” by Vargas
people and I think that dogs and most other animals have as many rights as people.
I’d say I’m pretty right wing. For my little trite reason; I think that justice is ephemeral and what matters most is freedom.
I discard the present day right as fanatics and nuts, if only for this insane belief that corporations are people. Corporations have spents billions on creating the most corrupt Supreme Court in US history to get them to lie and claim that corporations are people. They’re not. They were never intended to be. It’s one of the reasons that people are allowed to hide behind the corporate veil. The corporate veil allows them to be inhuman and evil, androids with no emotions committed to profit at any human cost. It lets them hide and get tax benefits for their “smarts”.Satanic Rites Of Dracula
Recently BP was convicted for manslaughter for the people they killed in the Gulf Oil Spill. Dick Cheney’s corporation, Haliburton, was also convicted. There were different charges, I don’t remember them exactly. They were heinous.
Who is in prison for these offenses? No one because corporations aren’t people.
I’m just upset. Two weeks ago it looked like my wife and my remaining puppies might find a little bit of peace and some small ease. My wife’s step-father left her a small inheritance. It was his final hope that she have some of that small hope and peace.
I think part of the problem that ensued are partially my fault. He asked me about Mare being the executor. He was worried about his daughter being upset by this. My step father talked in ellipses and spirals. What I heard was that his daughter was always angry and had always been angry, even Grey_spider's_web_1440x900.jpg

Click images for desktop size: “Spider’s Web” by Grey
when she was a child. He loved her and was afraid of her feeling left out of his will. I thought there would be no problem with her being co-executor with my wife.
I was wrong. I’m sure her step-sister does not see herself as evil. She just spreads the lie that she is protecting herself. To herself she is probably just getting some revenge against my wife for marrying into her family and against her slacker brother because he dared to be born.
She refused to sign the papers disbursing the small estate. It cost my wife a couple hundred hours of work and it cost us a few thousand dollars and it cost us the house where we could live together.
I fear her father would be disappointed that she has gone against his explicit wishes. ( hope he came to his decision without considering my hasty advice.
Of course the [evil] stepsister waited until it was certain we lost our deposit etc. My wife defends her. That’s just one reason I married my wife.
I’m glad I don’t have any family anymore.
I still miss my puppy everyday. Some days more than others.

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream
Edgar Allan Poe


Patti Page-(How Much Is That) Doggy In The Window
Cat Stevens-I Love My Dog
Lolas-Plenty Of Dogs
Tampa Red-Let Me Play With Your Poodle
Ronnie Self-Ain’t I’m A Dog
Nina Simone-Mr Bojangles
Candy Butchers-Call Off The Dogs
Don Woody-Bird Dog
Doughboys-Keep Your Dog Off Me
Dogs-Dog Walk
Soledad Brothers-Walkin’ The Dog
Elvis Presley-Old Shep
Everley Brothers-Bird Dog
Delbert Barker-No Good Robin Hood
Astronauts-I’m Gonna Buy Me A Dog
John Entwhistle-Mad Dog
Junkyard Dogs-Born To Cry
Adam And The Ants-Dog Eat Dog
Chuckie Chandler and The Chandeliers-Rockin’ Moondog
Mel Price-Little Dog Blues
Big Mamma Thorton-Hound Dog
Byrds-Old Blue
Gene Vincent-Bird Doggin’
Nomads-Call Off Your Dogs
Jeff Dahl Trio-I Wanna Be Your Dog
Cliff Johnson-Go Away Houndog
Rubinos-Cats And Dogs
Russ Tolman & The Totem Polemen-Portrait Of Blue
Marques Brothers-Let Me Play With Your Larse
Beach Boys-Wouldn’t It Be Nice
Jackie Wilson-(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher
Patti Page-See That Doggie In The Shelter

Podcast Direct Download

My puppy has been gone for 23 days. I still mourn her. I still miss her because every morning I wake up expecting to see her standing there ready for another day of adventure.Road Gang
This podcast is not about her. Not that much. For nearly a year I’ve been gathering up songs about dogs. And I intentionally avoided things like the “Singing Dogs”, which are cool in doses but pretty much just tedious.
The Patti Page bookend songs are pretty self explanatory as are the rest of them. A couple of the songs aren’t so much about dogs but they are about my dogs, which makes their inclusion mandatory.
The Beach Boys and Jackie Wilson tracks are because that is how I feel about dogs. When my wife was in Canada and I was down here a neighbor asked my wife, “Where’s that crazy guy who was always out in the yard dancing with the dogs?”
The crazy guy was me and the Beach Boys and Jackie Wilson were two of the guys we’d always dance to.

There’s not been much to interest me. No great movies are startlingly great music. One thing of small interest is the resurgence of power pop. Radio 2 in Spain has even put together a string of shows featuring some of the old power pop bands! Since I either shared a stage with these guys or went to see them in the 80’s I find them interesting. I do take a perverse pleasure in the fact that most of them have aged far worse than I have . . . It also brings that long held fantasy of a come back!
Then I read about another popster dying (Scot Miller of “Game Theory” being the latest) and I remember Peter Case lying in the hospital and I miss my puppy all over again.

It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane
Philip K. Dick

Pack We took a long trip this weekend. A trip we could not begin to afford. It was to look at dogs.
We went to the Aftershock Kennels. After a long tedious drive we arrived to doggie insanity. There were 30 to 40 of the dogs. It was a loud but delicate howling madness that made me smile.Dog Soldiers
We had to take the trip. We had to look at dogs. I’ve been miserable with constant pain in my chest that was worse than adolescent heartbreak. People kept trying to be kind but it never worked.
I’ve a friend who is a dog careerist – shelters, Animal Control, dog walking services and she said to me, “I’ve known hundreds, no, thousands of dogs and in my whole life I’ve never seen a dog so tightly bonded to anyone like Shelby was bonded to you. She lived her whole life for you.”
Well, maybe.
But it misses the point that I loved her at least as much as others thought she loved me. I couldn’t make Shelby do much of anything. She did things that would please herself and that would please us. We bickered a lot. She was smart and headstrong. But people are still stopping me on the street to tell me how wonderful Shelby was, they all wanted dogs as well trained as Shelby. They don’t understand Shel and me.
For years to strangers I was the guy with “the big black dog”. To which I could only respond, “You mean my little girl?” Shelby always seemed to know many more people than I did.
I’ve always heard how hard it is too train Belgian Sheepdogs. I’ve never had that problem or any of the scary issues that people describe. I think it was because they wanted an elegant show piece of a dog, one who compliments the wardrobe. (Don’t smirk. Every breeder has a story about someone returning an adult dog because it clashed with the new decor.)
Belgians take advantage of anything – poor locks, ambivalent orders, weakness. Who really wouldn’t? But, I think, that if you approach things as equals, as two living things who are sharing a space and that each of you has differing responsibilities and responsibilities to each other, things Two Weeks seem to go fine. Just fine.
So in a car that needs 4 new tires; a car filled with 2 people and 2 dogs, all badly in search of a new home, we took off to the Aftershock Kennels. It was a mildly uneventful trip, filled mainly with my anxiety at the cost of gas and lodging and my constant barrage of thoughts about how stupid this trip was. No one and no thing could ever replace Shelby. I live with four dogs already. I have a wife who depends on me for somethings. Why did I feel the overwhelming need to fill the Belgian sized hole in my heart?
The next day we arrived at the kennel. It was rather glorious and strange.
The dogs were a fantasy. I have never seen so many gorgeous dogs all together in my life. Thy barked a great melange of warnings and welcomes.
It was a bright and sunny day. The closest I’ve seen of spring this year. The GPS sent us in the weird route over hilly dirt and gravel roads. I assumed we were hopelessly lost when we topped a hill and all you could see were fences and Belgian Terv’s.Labby
There was an electric gate. We watched it roll back as we sat in the car. We congratulated each other and the TomTom for finding the place. The first dog to come greet us was quiet and definitely not a Belgian. It was some sort of funny cross between a labrador and a corgi! It paddled up on its short legs and tried to lead the way to parking.
The lab-corgi was named Labby. She was a rescue that had been hit on the road. Labby showed no sign of the accident. It was funny seeing this squat bright black creature keeping the pack of Belgians in line! Funnier because Labby took her job so seriously. She easily climbed 5 foot gates and scampered around tending her herd of Belgian charges. The Belgians accepted her!
We spent four hours in the bright sun looking at Belgian Tervurens form 2 weeks old up to 15 years old. We were never offered a drink of water or a place to sit. It didn’t much matter.
An 8 week old mail, bigger than the litter and the only one whose ears weren’t fully erect yet, fell in love with my wife. He followed her around just like a puppy dog, through all the distractions and 8 Weeks play attacks he clung to her.
My wife claimed that it was because she was the only one of us to sit on the ground. While its true the other puppies and dogs took her low position as something to explore the big flop eared puppy was there before she sat and continued to follow her even when it came time for us to leave. He got stuck under the fence trying to get next to her. He took that good naturedly and was happy so long as he had my wife’s attention. It was clumsy love, but it was love.
There were only two dogs that seemed potential to us. Not including the puppy. One was a two year old with a silver face and black veil and red body. She was supposed to be living in Japan as a The Lover foundation dam but the owner fouled up the export/import paperwork so her she stayed. She was a very reserved girl, even for a Belgian. She was also very quiet and very tender. Her confirmation was impeccable and she had the sturdy bone structure with a fine elegance. She was loving without being pushy. A magnificent dog who wanted to be part of a pack that valued her and what she could bring. I thought she could do anything she dreamed of. Her name is Boudicca. Boudicca was a Celtic warrior queen. That appealed to my wife who doesn’t know too many warrior queens but believes herself to be Celtic.
The other girl who caught our eye was called “The Beetle”. She was beautiful and tender; mahogany red with a light black veil and deep deep eyes that carried Beetle’s message that she craved to be held as a special being. Beetle had one issue she has some sort of neurological dysfunction, maybe a brain issue so she moves rather clumsily. She lived in a paddock with the primary sire of the kennel. He cared for her but never coddled her. Clearly he thought she was fine and could make do on her own. That meant a Watch Dogs Watching lot.
We came home with no dogs except the two poodles we brought with us. I needed to think about it. I needed to assess the insanity of my plans. And I had to consider whether a Brown dog could ever fit into the space left by a black dog. And most importantly I had to consider whether I could give these two girls or that baby boy the love, attention they deserved and the finery and food and comforts they need.
My job might have finally ended! After several false stops it should be finally over. Unemployed due to the Supreme Court. Yow! Cool.

Even a man who is pure of heart and says his prayers each night
Clifford Siodamak – “The Wolfman”

Creepy 1966 by Frank Frazetta

Click images for desktop size: “Creepy 1966” by Frank Frazetta
My puppy has a heart murmur and she has anemia.
It’s bad. What makes it somehow worse is that it comes from a disease called Ehrlichia.

Ehrlichia canid infection in dogs is divided into 3 clinicopathologic stages:When The Earth Cracked Open

acute phase of disease:
fever, anorexia, lethargy
This phase begins 1-3 weeks after exposure.

Most dogs recover at this point, but others progress to the subacute and chronic phases subacute phase of disease:
hypergammaglobulinemia (polyclonal or sometimes monoclonal gammopathy), thrombocytopenia and anemia usually subclinical, but can last months to years

chronic phase:
lethargy, weight loss
Mortality can be high in dogs that progress to the chronic stage of disease.
Three hundred military dogs were lost to this “Tropical Canine Pancytopenia” form of ehrlichiosis during the Vietnam War. Progression to subacute and chronic disease is generally attributed to an ineffective immune response on the part of the dog. German Shepherd dogs appear to be predisposed to the severe, chronic form of disease.

It kind of sucks to be my puppy right now. If nothing else, I love her. I can only hope that means Transformer

Click images for desktop size: “Transformer” by Unknown
something to her. I think it does. It could just be my massive ego but she still wants to keep me in eyesight.
My puppy has even figured out new paths and methods to keep me in sight which reduce the stress on her little body. When we walk up the hill to the street for our walks she insists on coming along on all three trips. Instead of bouncing up the hill and vaulting the retaining walls like usual she’s figured out a path that she can make in her own plodding style.
When I walk the other dogs she lets me go to where she knows I’ll have to turn around. She will stand there and wait for me to come back. If I move five feet further away than normal she adjusts and waits.
So the flesh is weak but her mind is strong.Cry Of The City
Her initial blood test showed her with a 12% blood count. It should be around 36%. My own blood count once fell to 5%meds but and they were writing me off then. I know how uncomfortable a 12% can be.
We started her on a massive program of antibiotics and steroids. My puppy showed all the side effects of the meds but no real improvements. In fact she seemed to be going downhill.
I took her to work with me to monitor her. She watched me closer than I monitored her! If I left my office door open she’d very slowly follow me out and just trudge along until she found me. When she did find me she would just laugh at me.
I took my puppy back in Friday for another blood test. This time the blood count was 14% but her protein count was down from 6.7 to 6.
Those 2 points caused my heart to flutter. It could be a false hope due to the various testing methods used. But they can’t take way that she at least is not getting worse.
Ehrlichia is a tick born disease. Like lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Fever it comes from being Concerti Vivaldi by MA Parkes

Click images for desktop size: “Concerti Vivaldi” by MA Parkes
bitten by a tick.
I’m still trying to figure out what purpose ticks serve in ecology. I wonder about that a lot less then I wonder how to get revenge on a phylum.
Most of you know that my big prayer has always been for me to live one day longer than my puppy. Even though she showed that she can survive far better without me than I can without her.
I wish I’d never offered that prayer. I’m wondering now if she’s just trying to keep pace with me; as if I’d given her a command to go first.
I’ve been having a lot of warning sign, signs I’m constantly on alert for: Constantly dropping things – Count Dracula And The Vampire Brides explained away as a side effect to the frozen right shoulder and football neck injury
Thinning hair – I’m getting older aren’t I?
Odd wounds that don’t heal – I have a few in my scalp. My wife examined them and said they looked like bug bites.
Fatigue – I’ve got a burdensome loathsome job and five dogs to care for.
They did a blood work on me a couple of weeks ago. I got the call yesterday that I need to go in for some more blood tests.
Lost 25 lbs since November – My wife moved in. New living arrangement and eating habits change. And there’s been a lot of stress with her family, house and friends. It all effects me. Four pounds a month is not what anyone would call a massive weightless now, is it?
I sort of blew it off. I was feeling okay and had a good explanation for what was going on in me, but last night it was an herculean task to lift a dog bowl of food and stir it up. I wrote it off as using my bad right hand but it was just as impossible with my left.
I got it done because me and my puppy do share that. We just keep on going till we get there.
I might be coming out of remission, but then again, I might not.

If you check the podcast button at the top of the menu you’ll find the latest. I’ll have another one up this week.
After that will come the tribute to summer and then the tribute to dogs, with every dog song I could find that is cool and or crazy.

Just because the biggest fool in the world says the sun will rise tomorrow don’t expect the sun to malinger to spite the fool

The Blue Beetle

Click images for desktop size: “The Blue Beetle” by Unknown
Before I was a teen I wrote an article about The Flash for a fanzine called Rocket Blast Comic Collector. At 11 I didn’t see much difference between fanzines and magazines or between high 7 Brothers Meet Dracula school athletes and major league players.
There was no pay for the article. It never occurred to me that people would pay you for writing words. I was disappointed, not by the lack of money but by the response of the publisher. I thought I’d written the greatest love song to The Flash imaginable. All I got was an index card that said, “Good article.” It wasn’t even signed!
I was irked.
I found out a few years later that the fellow who published the Rocket Blast was 19. He had cystic fibrosis. He was in a wheel chair and he did all of his typing by holding the pencil in his teeth and punching the keys on an IBM Selectric one at a time with the pencil.
Inside I discovered what the word churlish meant and wondered how you could apologize for unspoken irkedness.

That fanzine is a funny thing to have pop into my mind. Tomorrow the team I assisting coaching with are playing for the league championship.
I wouldn’t expect anyone to be surprised at this except this is a basketball team . . .
They’ve tried to throw our team out of the league. They tried to throw the head coach I’m mentoring out of the league. The HC is 23 years old and this is the first time he’s ever coached. He made mistakes but they were all forgivable ones. I came down on him harder than they did.
They tried to throw one of our players out of the league. He’s a warrior, so you know I like him. He plays basketball and he also plays baseball for his high school team. So I double like him.
Medusa by Boris Vallejo

Click images for desktop size: “Medusa” by Boris Vallejo
If we win the championship they want me to accept the trophy and make a speech. I’m pretty sure they expect me to rail against the league and the shabby way we feel we’ve been treated by them. What I’ll probably say is something like championships are a rare thing to play for, and rarer to win. How many people ever get the chance to say I did my best and my best was enough.
The greatest man I ever met was the late Coach Eddie Robinson. He was the football coach at Grambling who for a while had more victories than any coach in NCAA history.
Coach Robinson told me how he used to have to mark out the field and place the line markersCasablanca before games. While he was doing this he realized how much he loved coaching. He said to love coaching you had to love the athletes you taught. In later years he realized that to merely be a decent coach you had to love your players.
I turned this into my own bromide I constantly preach, “No coach ever won a game and no player ever lost a game.”
To me that means the joy a coach receives is consummate to the way his players perform and behave. That is a game is lost because a guy loses his temper and gets ejected it is up to the coach to teach the player to keep his temper, to find out what burns inside of him to the point of bad behavior. If a game is lost it’s because the coach hasn’t taught the player how to make the play. He hasn’t given the player the tools to succeed.
It’s the coaches job to instill the desire to improve and to learn and study enough of the game to know what to teach the players and how to teach them.
Film Fun by Bolles

Click images for desktop size: “Film Fun” by Bolles
When the team wins it is the players who strived, who pushed themselves to places that they had never imagined they could enter, accomplish dreams that they never knew they were capable of. All the coach can do is be proud that he is associated with them.
That’s why winning is only important in that it gives us the chance to see what we can accomplish.
Each of the players, the ones on our team and the ones we competed against has improved this season. I’ve seen it from all of you and I was proud of all of you, proud to play against you and to play with you.
Or something like that. Hopefully better than that.

The gentle dog had his surgery to remove a nasty tumor. The word today is that he is, for now, cancer free. There’s still some small worries ahead but he’s still feeling fine enough to bite me every chance he gets.
Zotz! The deaf dog is doing fine after her second heart worm treatment. She absolutely refuses to lie quiet and calm for a month . . .
Giant dog still wants to kill deaf dog and is incredibly jealous of all the attention gentle dog is receiving after his surgery.
Criminal dog is still laughing at us all.
And my puppy is still grumpy and still in love with me.

The last podcast is still available up ion the title bar menu. It seems sort of redundant to keep reposting the thing here.
I’ll have the 10th one ready this week. I’m surprised that they’re popular. Very perplexing to me. I figured a half dozen people would care and didn’t worry about it. It looks like about 500 downloads each so far. I’m surprised is all.
Of course the only questions I receive about them are on the order of what kind of gear do I listen to this music through. Mostly homemade stuff, or hand built if you want to sound fancy . . .

I’ve disabled comments again. Too much spam, like in the tens of thousands a day. Jerks.