The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall
Nelson Mandela

Click images for desktop size: “Supergirl” by DC Comics
It snowed last night.
Female Prisoner Scorpio
A long time ago I got a phone call from a woman I’d met a couple of times at different parties. I’d only given her my number because she was a PA at Universal and I thought it might be worth a shot to get me some work. That’s all parties were to me back then: Employment Networking.
She called me and spoke with some urgency. We met for coffee at Schwabbs. She got right to it. She wanted to borrow $55,000 from me. I was sort of flattered that anybody actually thought I had Reading A Story by Tissot
Click images for desktop size: “Reading a Story” by Tissot
$55,000 in a lump or that I could even raise it. I was also pretty astonished.
I figure she had to be pretty desperate to ask a stranger for a pretty hefty amount of cash. I listened because I thought she was going to tell me about loan sharks or bookies threatening to kill her. Her story was interesting but not that dramatic.
She lived a pretty lavish lifestyle for a PA (production assistant) which is pretty common for Hollywood. She gotten into debt and wrote a bad check. She kept two checking accounts at two different banks and she figured out this, to me, byzantine scheme. Bank A was now overdrawn by (for example) $100. She wrote a check to herself from Bank B for $125 and deposited it in Bank A. Except Bank B was now overdrawn by $100. No problem. She wrote a check on Bank A and deposited it in Bank B the next day.
And she kept paying bills and writing checks for new stuff. Her solution was to just keep increasing the amounts of the bad checks she wrote to herself. Until now she was writing checks of over fifty grand to herself every day and sweating getting to the bank. And terrified of getting caught.
I don’t know but I figured this was pretty serious bank fraud. I was surprised that she’d been running Save It by DAB
Click images for desktop size: “Save It” by DAB
this scam for nearly a year. I figured thirty thousand didn’t bother her. Not even forty thousand but fifty thousand set off the alarm system in her heart. The wonders of electronic banking.
With two major banks involved I could see her being panicky. I’d have been panicky over the hundred bucks.
She offered up a lot of justifications about expecting to take care of the overdraft with her paycheck but she let it get out of control.
I’m not to concerned with morality or judging. I’m not much good at that stuff, although I did feel a twinge about the fact that she worked in Universal’s Black Tower and still needed an extra fifty grand and still drove a Jaguar.
There was no question I wasn’t going to loan her money I didn’t have. On the wild shot I did have itZiegfeld Follies her story certainly wouldn’t have instilled any confidence in me making that sort of loan.
What I did take away from it was her sense of dread. Of having to wake up every day and rush to the bank, knowing that if her timing was off her whole world would crumble into black pea sized hunks of coal. The rush of fear she felt every time someone might call her name or make a sound that sounded like her name every time she went into the bank. How the blood must have rushed anytime the bank teller took an extra second to look at her, the check, the computer screen.
I felt for her but had no answers or help for her.
(Later I heard how some actor who’d gotten to be a regular on a sitcom loaned her the money and was ticked off that she stiffed him.)
I went to the doctor today. Before I went to the doctor I picked up the “estimate” on working on my teeth on the 31st. It was nearly $1,400 . . . There wasn’t even a minus for the 60 bucks I got charged for my “consultation” which I about 25% expected/hoped for.
Dental Reminder
Click images for desktop size: “Dental Reminder” by Unknown
The doctor wrote me my scripts but said I was looking totally stressed out. He wants me to get a Blood Pressure machine and take my BP in the morning 3 times a week and then again three times at odd times during the day. RAH!
He also wants a full on diary of my glucose count for the diabetes.
And I have to get a full panel blood working . . . Double Rah!
I probably need a blood panel. My cholesterol has always been excellent but I was having some issues keeping my good cholesterol above 4. I did it by eating lots of olive oil. I’m always concerned about what else they might find. Especially in the blood count bit.
I’m having a lot of stress. The pain. The extra pain in my mouth. Having to think about the dead. The money. It gets in the way and stops me from enjoying what I have to enjoy. I do have a lot toFriday Foster enjoy. A lot of happiness.
Right now I figure I feel as close as I ever could to the grief that woman felt while she ran her scam, except I’m not scamming anything. Not intentionally anyway and not in any way I’m aware of. I’m just being ungracious enough to keep staying alive.
I’m hoping the blood pressure will drop after I’ve had the dental work done.
Oh well.
I did manage to send out 32 resumes with a cover letter offering up my services as a volunteer football/athletics coach.
I was surprised just impressive my resume is. I’ve coached so many great kids. It feels tawdry to take any credit for the great things they did.
I sent it to every pee wee team I could find and to every high school in this part of the state. This part meaning some of them are nearly 200 miles away. I figure if they’re interested I can leverage someone local.
I love coaching. I’m good at it.
I think my players love me nearly as much as I love them.

I updated to Movable Type 4.25. No big hassles at all. The main point of the upgrade was “vital” security fixes and enabling some features I’ll play with. Mainly to see if I can do anything with them. Mainly its about “social networking”.

To a man with an empty stomach food is God

Batte Rage by Artur Sadlos
Click images for desktop size: “Battle Rage” by Artur Sadlos
The trip to the Oral Surgeon was more annoying than anything else.
My friend and I sat in the waiting room for about 15 minutes. We were five minutes early for anDon't Knock The Rock 8:45 appointment. I was then ushered into an examination room. My friend left to go to work.
I sat in the examination room for another 15 minutes. The doc came in and spent about 3 minutes with me. He pent thirty seconds looking at my folder and said we’ll have to pull all six teeth. Just use novocaine. He’d extract some bone marrow from underneath the shattered tooth for a biopsy. Since I didn’t feel any of the symptoms of leukemia he wasn’t too worried about it. Bye and see me soon.
I then had to stand in the waiting room for ten more minutes while they scheduled my appointment. The chirpy appointment maker said the soonest I could get in would be April 20th. I got a bit rankled at that. Another month. She explained how incredibly busy the doc was having 4 other offices in the corporation to cover and his vacation was coming up . . . Having no reason to have any great faith in the doc I said I’d be willing to see any of the others. (Three minutes isn’t even enough to form a snap judgment.)
She then found an appointment of March 31st and that will be $63.13 for today’s consultation . . .
I had a friend, an ex-friend, he got too overwhelmed with money to be a friend. He was a doctor in Beverly Hills, had an address on Rodeo Dr, even if it was south of Wilshire that’s still a pretty snazzy address. He had an odd practice. He had 8 examination rooms and four “nurses”. He worked like 90% with insurance claims, accident victims. I gather he had a set up with a mess of Personal Injury lawyers. They’d send each other business.
Baretta by Armes
Click images for desktop size: “Baretta” by Armes
What he did was get these people into the exam rooms and slap a hot towel on their necks. Then he’d bill the insurance company two hundred bucks for “physical therapy”. At three to five treatments a week it could get into some serious bucks.
I have no idea if he ever saw any “real” patients. If he did he never talked about them. He kept all 8 examination/treatment rooms full for 10 hours a day. He was a busy man.
I had another friend who was struggling financially getting through medical school. His wife kept him alive. A month after he got his license to practice he filed for divorce. The judge awarded his wife alimony based on the doc earning at least 3 million in his lifetime. This was based on precedent. Other judges in similar situations were awarding pretty much the same.
I can’t speculate on why he divorced his wife just then. Even if I’d known him better its impossible toThe Erotic Diary of a Lumberjack ever understand the thoughts, dreams and remorse of another. He was a plastic surgeon. He got an office in Century City. I figure the judge probably underestimated his income.
I’m just pretty stunned about a doc charging me sixty bucks to set up an appointment so he can charge me about a grand. Great racket.
Who knows how good a doctor is? How can you tell. Don’t we really go to them and hope they stop us from hurting? At least hope they Gentleman by Lorenzo Lotto
Click images for desktop size: “Gentleman” by Lorenzo Lotto
don’t screw up and kill us.
When I moved from the southwest I had to go to a private doctor to get all my meds. A nurse led me in, hooked me up to a blood pressure machine, turned it on and then forgot about me. The machine kept pulsing up and down, tightening and loosening the sleeve until it beeped. I dragged it around the room and inspected the cabinets that weren’t locked. After about a half hour the doctor came in. We talked for about 5 minutes. She wrote me my prescription. That was it.
When I got to the front desk I got a bill for nearly $400. The scripts were wrong. I was afraid I was going to get billed for her correcting them. I had to borrow the money to pay them.
When I went to fill the scripts I was astonished. The big chain, Ekards, wanted One hundred and twenty five bucks to fill one of the prescription. Walgreens wanted eighty.
There was a little drug store that had a sign in its window saying they were diabetic specialists. Purple Dragon
Click images for desktop size: “Purple Dragon” by Unknown
They filled the script for twenty five dollars . . . This still amazes me. The little drug store was for profit same as the big ones. It was the same generic drug, a drug I’ll have to take the rest of my life. I guess they could afford to be cheaper because they didn’t have the advertising budget and unsold Christmas toys and candy to pay for.
A couple of weeks later I got my appointment to get into the municipally assisted program. My doctor, who I liked immensely spent 45 minutes with me, examining me completely and compiling a solid medical history all of which he entered into the database as we talked.
This cost me twenty bucks.
I thought about this walking home. It was a lot better than thinking about loosing six teeth. LoosingDracula's Daughter them and the pain of pulling them all out in a half hour.
There’s no question that getting everyone’s medical records into a central database will improve the efficiency of medical care. Doctor’s, who seem to have denigrated to a slovenly low right next to 21st century bankers, don’t want this. They need those consultation fees.
The way things re going the AMA is going to need to be regulated. The scams doc’s pull on Medicare and Medicaid are pretty legion. Several million dollars scammed by a doctor don’t even make headlines anymore. When they get busted all they do is raise the fees to their existing patients.
Its become a medical business and we’ve become the products on the assembly line.
It sucks to be human. At least vets haven’t sunk to this . . . yet.
While I was walking home I passed the postie I’d passed before on the day I’d lost the checkbook. Bear
Click images for desktop size: “Bear” by Unknown
She walked beside me and asked if I’d found my wallet.
I corrected her and told her someone had found it and returned it to the bank intact. She seemed very glad about that and then went about her route.
Small towns.

We picked up the car yesterday. The joint did a great job, so far. They did a full brake job on both rear wheels to stop the squeaking. When they replaced the bad speaker they found a bad check strap (the final defense to keep you from falling out of the car). They found one and replaced them both!
We stopped at Taco Bell, again, on the way home. I had two bean burritos and an order of fries.
Mr friend had TEN BEAN TACOS AGAIN!!
This time she ate six while we were there relaxing in formica luxury and then ate the other four when we got home!!
I hope they made her feel better. She’s been killing herself working on a report for the Fed’s. Experiment in Terror She thought it was done but there was a glitch somewhere. She couldn’t work on it because the company’s Citrux system was down. She bought the work home and found out that the Citrux system was back up but it was generating erroneous reports! It was picking up invalid numbers and dumping some valid ones!
In London once I was looking at an electric sign at the train station. The sign kept scrolling one message: “Sign Not Working”.
This bugged me because the sign was obviously working. I mean, I could read it.
The station master walked by and I asked him about it. He answered, “Computers mate. Can’t expect them to make sense now can you.”

Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are
Kurt Cobain

Strong Bow
Click images for desktop size: “Strong Bow” by Unknown
Yesterday I got a call at 9:30. From the dentist. Telling me they’d had a cancellation. At 10:30.
I told them of course I wanted it but it was a 5 mile 90 minute walk (per google.maps). I rushedBeyond the Forest out. It was nasty cold but the sun was shining.
I made it in 40 minutes.
This wasn’t speed. It was pain driving me on. Even though they’d told me this wasn’t to relieve the pain but it was to extract only 2 teeth to send for a biopsy. Even two teeth missing would relieve some of the pain and maybe even let me chew food.
I was feeling pretty smug when I walked into the office. EARLY. Until I discovered I’d lost my friend’s checkbook . . . I dug through my Book and Oranges by Signac
Click images for desktop size: Book and Oranges” by Signac
pack and only avoided panic by being rushed into the dental chair.
The dentist took my blood pressure. I told her my normal BP was 130 over 80 but in doctor’s offices it usually ran about 160 over 90. Doctor’s make me nervous. It was 180 over 97. We waited 5 minutes and it fell to 160 over 95. Five minutes late it was 140 over 95.
She claimed that was too high to do any tooth extractions. She said I might stroke out on her.
Maybe, but I sort of doubted it. I pointed out that I’d just walked/trotted a pretty fair distance. I was in pain. The pain stressed me and kept me from sleeping well. Doctor’s make me nervous and I think I lost my checkbook. And we were checking to see if my leukemia had come back. I thought this was enough. I figured my BP was going to be high until this was sorted.
She said I’d have to take an oral sedative. It would take about an hour to work and she didn’t have the extra time today. She was starting a weeks vacation Friday (today).
They ma to set up an appointment with an oral surgeon (next door) (being next door was the only Street Cred
Click images for desktop size: “Street Cred” by Unknown
decent part). I went to the Oral surgery and had to answer the usual shaft of questions re: medical history etc.
A nurse took my BP. It was now 130 over 88. (They couldn’t wedge me in at the dentist’s next door. I checked.)
An oral surgeon came in and checked the stuff and said this was too complicated for him. I would have to wait for the Doc who’d studied my x-rays to “consult” with me. Magnanimously he wasn’t going to charge me for his 2 minutes of time spent with me.
I got an emergency appointment for Wednesday at 8:45. Then they’ll decide what to do . . .
In the little town I was in before I had signed all sorts of HIPPA doc’s so that my team of oncologists, GP’s, dentists could freely consult. They also had all of my medical records on theBasket Case central database so they could see anything they needed with a couple of mouse clicks.
This is quick, easy and far less stressful for me. I wrote to my old Team head and was surprised to discover that this wasn’t a state wide program but just a municipal program! Just a small city.
This is what Obama wants to do. While I clearly understand the point of HIPPA and I really get the idea of privacy and not wanting any jerk having access to my medical records this system works easily and well from the doctors all the way to the municipally funded pharmacy. It needs to be done. I think city by city until all the towns and villages are on the database and then bring it nationally. It will save time, money and insure better medical care.
In just this dental thing I’ve spent about 2 hours just repeating medical history and signing documents to let them show the oral surgeon my x-rays. That’s out of about 3 hours I’ve spent with Regret by LawnElf
Click images for desktop size: “Regret” by LawnElf
them in total.
My old small town doctor pointed out that all my files are marked by the fact that I’m sickly I have a huge amount of stamina, and a huge capacity to deal with pain. He also thought that my abnormal bone deterioration probably has more to do with the various chemo’s and he would consider me coming out of remission the least of the possibilities. He sees no reason to not do a biopsy on the teeth, but merely as a precaution.
He confirmed all this with my old records.
So I left the oral surgeons with nothing really accomplished. Except I’d lost the checkbook.
I walked back much slower, kicking over every leaf and piece of garbage.
No joy.
I decided that it probably never made it out of the house and that I’d find it on the floor next to myAtom Age Vampire desk.
No joy.
I had put the leashes on the pups. I was going to use their highly honed hunting instincts to find the checkbook! Or at least have a few laughs at their expense while I looked for it.
My friend called me. She was still in her meeting in the “big city”. Her bank had called her. Someone had brought the checkbook in and dropped it off at a bank branch!!
The pleasures of a small town.
I was still obligated to take the dogs for a walk. They insisted on searching for the checkbook even though it had been found. We had fun.
When we got home I started work on my friend;s new MacBook. I could not get the Migration Assistant to work.
I decided to do the one thing that all guys despise. I called Support.
After about 40 minutes the woman on the other end of the line couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working. I was doing and had done everything exactly right but it would not work. She transferred me to a guy in Cupertino (Apple’s main office). That guy was great. A lot of help. His conclusion was that the old Powerbook’s dead DVD drive was the culprit. That it was dead but did not report to the system as dead had to be the problem. We discussed lightly the best way to get the data swapped across. He actually said that it sounded like I knew what I was doing! Then he gave me his direct line to call if I had any grief.
My issues with the New Apple not withstanding the smartest thing they’ve done is not to outsource Fashion, Sex, Politic and Music by S4W
Click images for desktop size: “Fashion, Sex Politics & Music” by S4W
their customer service centers. I hung up the phone feeling that we’d made a smart purchase.
Moving all the data “by hand” was a long and tedious process but most likely a more accurate way of doing it. Proof being that after I rebooted the new MacBook not only was all the data there but the desktop looked exactly like it did on the old Powerbook. All the little menu items and gooniness that she loves so much were all there and most of them were working flawlessly. There was some very minor tweaking to be done and probably some minot tweaking still to be done but all in all it worked easily enough.
The MacBook is QUICK, lively, responsive all that you could hope. I am jealous.

My little second hand iPod nano seems to be gasping. The little music player is hyper important to me. Music is still the thing that makes some parts of my life bearable. I’m curious about the new Blind Fury shuffle. Not to own. I don’t want a crappy pair of 29 buck headphones and third party headphone rushed out with the extra little controls are going to be over priced and no guarantee of sound quality.
I still covet an iPod Touch but they are still too expensive. Time to start saving up for a new Nano I guess.

I ended the day watching another episode of “King of the Texas Rangers”. A serial I got more out of curiosity. I wanted to see Hall Of Famer “Slingin'” Sammy Baugh. Oddly its become one of my favorite serials. Its consistent and at its worst its wryly amusing. I still love bits like cowboys dressed in full regalia including six guns SKY DIVING! Duncan Renaldo is great and Sammy Baugh is fascinating in the way he moves. He looks beautiful on horseback but then looks cramped and uncomfortable while driving a car, like a machine is trying to confine and restrict his great sense of full on motion.
I only have two episodes until I’ve finished it. This makes me sad. I like the world these guys inhabit.

One clarification. Yesterday I mentioned that three girls I tormented as a kid proposed marriage to me. It should be noted that they were also about 7 years old. My repsonse to their show of affection I reciprocated. I would throw smaller stones at them. And I would never try and put dry ice down the backs of their t-shirts.
I always had a way with the babes.

If you don’t want to die don’t be born
Ryhishiki Tseumoto

Slag Heap by Clarence Carter
Click images for desktop size: “Slag Heap” by Clarence Carter
Yesterday I made a root beer float. I made it in self defense.
It bought back a lot of memories. Ancient memories.Shoot the Piano Player
In our neighborhood a root beer float was called a brown cow. A float with Coke we called a black cow. I have no idea why. That was also the extent of our names and color palette.
When I was a kid one of my best friends was Pete. Pete was trouble, great trouble. As much fun as we had was always trouble.
The kind of fun we had was in our games like “War”. We all had wrist rockets. Tom and Pete and I would climb onto our garage roofs and shoot brads and bent nails at each other. It was exciting and dangerous. We always wore protection: green plastic army helmets.
After a salvo we’d climb down to score (and gather up more ammo). We had a complicated scoring system. Getting both ends of a brad to stick was worth two points, getting one to stick in the helmet was worth a half point. Getting a nail to go through the helmet deep enough to bleed was worth a full point etc.
Tom and I had a game that always appeals to 7 year old boys; stealing girl’s dolls. We would replace the dolls heads with plastic dinosaur heads or earthworms, or pretty much anything that would make girls shriek and threaten to tell our parents on us. They never ratted us out, in fact at least three of those girls proposed marriage.
While we were involved in this Pete came up on his bike. He’d been to the beach (he was a good surfer, even had his own board). Pete was all excited. The Starlight Theater was starting Saturday matinees. Ten cartoons, three Three Stooges shorts and a cheap horror movie. Fifty cents admission!
We were stoked.
Second Story Sunlight by Edward Hopper
Click images for desktop size: “Second Story Sunlight” by Edward Hopper
The premiere show was “Teenaged Frankenstein”, a movie that was already on TV but this was a chance to see it on a big screen with a few hundred of your buddies.
During the boring cartoons and during the slow parts of the movies we all prowled the aisles. The air was thick with tossed popcorn, popcorn boxes, soda cups, the occasional nerd’s jacket. The air was so thick with thrown stuff it was often hard to see the screen. That was cool by us. Everything got dead quiet during the Curly Stooges and whenever the monster was on the screen.
Those Kid’s Matinees were the lynch pin of our weeks for a long time. No experience came close to it for exuberance and fun in the dark until we discovered underground surf films with live bands.
I always had a dollar for the matinees. After admission I had fifty cents left. My special treat was toAlien buy an Eskimo Pie from the vending machine for a quarter and then a soda from another vending machine. A soda in a paper cup.
I’d sit in my seat and meticulously pick off the chocolate coating from the Eskimo pie, i’d pick it off with my teeth, then when I had a glob of melting ice cream, free of chocolate, I’d plunge the ice cream into the cup of soda and have a fancy float. (it was important to get every bit of chocolate off the Pie. I somehow had it in my head that chocolate, ice cream and soda would be poisonous. Pretty much the same way I decided that the top level of jelly or any jelly that had been touched by peanut butter was poisonous.)
That’s what I thought about when I ate/drank my brown cow yesterday. I remembered that and remembered how great it is to be alive.
Yesterday I spoke to the dentist. I thought we were setting up an appointment to get my teeth pulled. They’re not pulling the teeth. The oral surgeon saw my x-rays and sort of freaked.
Shark Underwater
Click images for desktop size: “Underwater Shark” by Unknown
Normally people who’ve gone through chemo or who are in remission have the bone loss in a localized area, it then sort of grows from there. My bone loss is scattered throughout my mouth which is more common to people in the midst of full blown leukemia.
That kind of threw me.
What they want to do is pull one of the teeth and have it biopsyed.
It took a root beer float to ground me enough to decide that they were being over cautious. I’ve been through 4 different chemo trials. Been in remission all four times. Three times I came out of remission.
Calming down I was able to examine my body. I don’t feel anything like the three times prior. No soul crushing fatigue. No deep set agony in my skeleton. There’s just the normal pain I’m sort of used to.Alice In Wonderland
The greatest grief is from my teeth which do hurt pretty terribly. I’m tired but its because of weeks of bad sleep because of the pain in my mouth.
Last night I went to bed with a head that feels like it had been over inflated with a rusty bicycle pump. I got out of bed with the same feeling. I’ve been dealing with leukemia long enough to know that’s Still Life by Huillot
Click images for desktop size: “Still Life” by Huillot
not one of the symptoms.
Unscientifically I’ve decided that the scattered necrotic bone is more a result of the 3 chemo’s and the long term oral chemo that really does seem to have worked.
I’ve decided they’re just being overly cautious. Can’t blame anyone for that especially when its me they’re being overly cautious with!
I need to get these teeth extracted. They are hurting fiercely.

My friend survived her long excursion for her business meeting. She claims she was so tired she has little idea if the meeting was any good or worthwhile at all. She has a sense it was okay but can’t recall any details!
But her new MacBook arrived! I had to call UPS and roast them a little to get it delivered. They New Hampshire Hills by Maxfield Parrish
Click images for desktop size: “New Hampshire Hills” by Maxfield Parrish
expedited it so that it wouldn’t have to sit 10 miles away.
Its a beautiful machine. The glossy screen seems like it might be a hassle in some instances but to look at it is gloriously pleasant.
I was able to partition the drive, to set it up for dual booting into Windows with no problem at all. The machine is super quick.
I’m having a lot more grief trying to use the “Migration Assistant” to move all of her data from the PowerBook to the MacBook. It sees every computer but then just grinds away doing nothing!
I plan to have it done today, one way or another. The “Migration Assistant” would be the easiest way to move over keychains, apps and preference files but I can do it manually if I have to.
I remember when all Apple products just worked . . .

Life is hard; after all, it kills you
Katharine Hepburn

Click images for desktop size: “Nurse” by Unknown
Went to the dentist yesterday. It didn’t go exactly as I expected.
Almost two hundred bucks for 10 x-rays and a referral to an oral surgeon. Seems like there’s moreWay Of The Dragon than just the 3 teeth that are bugging me. I have to have six extractions.
I wasn’t overly impressed with the dentist. But I think, in retrospect, that she was pretty good. She made a good guess at one of the chemo’s I’ve had. She could tell by the odd mode of my jaw bones disintegrating that I had had leukemia.
My bones are still dying. It looks like it shows up first in the teeth and the jaw. One of the teeth that bugs me without actively hurting has no bone beneath it at all. The big sign of leukemia is that the bone beneath it is dead but the bone to the teeth all around it appears to be okay.
The two teeth that really bug me and hurt to the point of numbing both sides of my face have dying bone. The teeth around them show signs that the bone is dying. The “hope” is that removing the teeth over the dying bone will cause the bone on either side to regenerate.
Two of the teeth are infected. I don’t know why but they don’t hurt me now, or maybe that’s yet. The infection will start killing the bone, which isn’t dead yet. (I prefer the word dead to the word necrotic – necrotic sounds so foreign, like its happening somewhere over there instead of happening to me.)
The last tooth to be removed is the broken tooth that got crowned. The crown shattered the tooth underneath it to the gum line. I guess the good news is that it doesn’t look like too difficult of an extraction. They shouldn’t have to cut the gum to pry it out or anything like that.
I asked before about just pulling them all. For some reason that’s a little beyond me this is a bad idea. Because of my bad immune system because of chemo and leukemia and the bad healing due Laurel and Hardy
Click images for desktop size: “Laurel & Hardy” by Unknown
to the diabetes it could spur further infections and cause worse health issues. It has to be addressed in this piece meal fashion. As I sit in the chair I kept thinking this might be another way to extort extra bucks out of me. But I remembered my twenty five buck dentist told me something similar.
The good news is no cavities! I’ve never had a cavity or a filling.
She did ask me if this wasn’t causing me any pain. She thought I seemed rather calm. At first this irked me. I wondered if she wanted me to show up looking like Curly, from the Three Stooges, with the handkerchief tied up around my head around the jaw and making little rabbit ears on top of my head, then I should have walked in clutching my jaw and moaning as loudly as possible.
Of course if I did that I’d have been obligated to try and pull my teeth before coming to the dentist. You know by tying a string to one of them and then tying the other end of the string to a doorknobVillage of the Damned and then waiting for someone to open the door. Plans that fail even for the Stooges are usually a pretty bad idea.
The dentist asked if I need to be knocked out for the extractions. I said no. Then she asked if I’d want nitrous oxide. You know, laughing gas. Again I thought of the Stooges and their adventures with laughing gas. It was tempting but I said no to that as well.
Just stick me with long needles full of Novocain. I’m a maniac. I can take it.
They were supposed to call me with an appointment at the oral surgeons. No one did. I fell asleep and didn’t wake up until it was too late to call.
I guess part of it was psychosomatic and part of it was disappointment but my teeth seemed to hurt about four times a s much as they did before. I had a difficult time closing my mouth on that plastic thing for my x-rays. I still can’t chew. But have gotten good at swallowing my food whole.
Purple Hoops
Click images for desktop size: “Purple Hoops” by Unknown
Loosing six teeth scares me, not because of the pain but because I figure I’m going to look like a jack-o-lantern. My friend wants to take off work so she can drive me home from the tooth pulling episode. I think that’s sweet but its not a bad walk. The puppies and I go further than that almost every day. She points out I’ll be novacained and dopey from pain and a new mouth.
I just think I’m going to be too embarrassed to let anyone see me, at least for a while.

My friend has a rather frivolous meeting today. She has to go to the national office which about13 Ghosts ninety minutes away. The meeting might accomplish something but I think the main point of it is office political and a chance to show the acting VP’s control.
Thing is my fried ended up volunteering to take five other people with her! The new car can handle it but it also meant she had to get up at 6:30, which should have been six. She’s a gal who needs her sleep! My puppy has empathy.
Saturday we have to take the car in for some light work. We get a loaner!

Life is a comedy for those who think and a tragedy for those who feel
Horace Walpole

Pin Up Art by JW McGinnis Just like in books movies have scenes, moments mainly, that stay fresh and alive in our minds forever. Since the genius of the scenes in books are always open to our personal interpretation, (I Spook Warfare always imagine the hero as looking like me . . . sort of thing) and the moments in movies are plastic concrete, universal and indisputable, I prefer movies.
No surprise there.
The dogs woke me at 1:30 this morning. I still have no idea why, although I expect it has something to do with two new dogs who moved into the area, even though they’re about 200 yards away at the closest point to our yard, our dogs take great umbrage to their presence.
I woke up in pain. After letting the dogs out I took some ibuprofen and meditated about some of the great moments in movies. It helped get me to sleep in a nice way.
Somehow think about movies almost always starts with John Wayne. I don’t know why, it just does. I guess I’m still surprised that he was a lineman at USC.
Wayne had a few great moments; indelible scenes that stay with you forever. Whenever things get hopeless I always have a flash of Wayne as Ringo in “Stagecoach”, falling forward into the dust as he takes on three bad guys with only a winchester and 3 bullets. And that moment in “True Grit” when Wayne confronts Robert Duvall and Duvall’s gang in the natural arena. After Duvall points out the obvious truth that Wayne is old, fat, one eyed and tired Wayne shouts, “Fill your hands you sonsabitches!” Put his horse’s reins in his mouth and rides at the gang firing wildly.
A lot of movies have moments like that, moments that help us survive what our own imaginations Kitchen might not let us survive. That’s one of the reasons for art.
I wasn’t thinking about those moments I was thinking about the moments that codify a movie so well that it burns and illuminates not only our lives but the lives of others, enabling to let us see things we perhaps never even sensed.
Like for me the greatest moment for Wayne came in “The Searchers”. Its a movie loaded with great moments, like the crazy teenaged girls who’ve escaped the Apaches, or the moment when Wayne scoops up Natalie Wood as though she were no more significant than a doll, a wisp an image. But moment that fits my definition is when Wayne returns Natalie Woods to her family. He stands in the doorway a hero, but a hero ignored, Jeff Chandler pushes past him and we know that because of Wayne’s efforts all will be better for the world, the people in that house whose life he has touched and Slaughter High improved will leave a version of happily ever after. But Wayne just stands in the doorway, gripping his own right arm with his left hand, while the Sons of the Pioneers acting like some bumpkin Greek chorus exhort him to ride away, ride way.
The house looks so dark, cool and inviting. We know it is filled with celebration and happiness, while the world beyond the doorway is bright, harsh and unrelenting. (The technology required to get that shot are remarkable considering 1957 film stock and lenses.) And Wayne turns away and does that John Wayne walk to his horse while invisible hands slam the door shut, locking him forever outside.
What makes this great is that in 45 seconds without being lectured or told we understand so many things; the nature of heroes, the way some men are meant to only be alone, how single decisions can unhinge and change the trajectory of a life, decisions fueled not with logic but with emotion.
The Monkees I’m glad they never made a sequel to “The Searchers”. It would have destroyed that perfect moment.
Who doesn’t remember Steve McQueen in “The Great Escape”? When he’s sitting on his motorcycle looking at the miles long barbed wired fence that is the only impediment to his freedom. The German army closing in on him, surrounding him. And that moment when he revs the bike up, spins it around and makes that unforgettable leap. A fails.
What propels the scene from cool to the frisson I’m talking about is that while McQueen lies tangled in the wire that this is not a failure, its just a set back. He’ll escape and if needed he’ll escape again. Freedom is our nature and it doesn’t take greatness or even great determination for all of us to be seeking freedom until we finally succeed.
There is a difference between totally cool and the frisson that impacts and makes fact of the swirl of thoughts and emotions that circulate around us everyday. Clint Eastwood’s “The Unforgiven” offersSex Kittens Go To College up the best example of this. Everyone remembers the final scene in the bar where Eastwood blows everything apart and there’s that great confrontation between Eastwood and Gene Hackman where Eastwood hisses out the line, “I’ve killed women and children, just about everything that’s lived or crawled and now I’m going to kill you.”
That scene is just cool entertainment but the scene proceeding, the New Ponies bit that sets all this up is the powerful one that cuts to the quick of our humanity.
The whole film has shown Eastwood to be extremely strong, strong enough to change his life for a woman he loves and after she passes away his strength carries him through to continue for the sake of his two children. The biggest change has been for him to avoid liquor at all costs. Eastwood listens to the girl who brings them their money. He listens to the atrocities Little Bill has perpetuated against Eastwood’s only friend.
Against a silver streaked black and gray sky he listens and in his shock and pain he gets week. He takes a bottle of whiskey and in between his horrified questions he pours the whiskey down his throat. The camera takes a low angle as if to frame him heroically against dramatic sky. Eastwood’s aged face and cracking voice destroy any illusion of heroism, it simply denies us the ease of assuming he’s transforming into a mere beast.
And its in that moment that so much is revealed about ourselves. The little kid cheerleader who sees the whiskey as Eastwood’s spinach. We know as he drinks he’s turing into an indomitable killer. Life Is A Stage by WallColl Then there’s the profound sadness. We see a man so overcome with grief at losing his friend that he destroys himself the only way he knows will work. Eastwood gives up the sobriety and humanity he has struggled to maintain for nearly a many years as he was a mad outlaw. He gives up what he has fought to become out of rage, loneliness and a love for another that is greater than the love he has for himself.
“A Man Who Was Superman” is a movie I hold in high regard. I seem to be pretty much alone in this. Its okay. I can always wait for the rest of the world to catch up.
“A Man Who Was Superman” has a lot of those cool moments. But it also has an explosive scene that plays so simply and elegantly that it speaks not only of talent but fortuitous happenstance.
The movie is about this guy who is stark raving bonkers. He dresses in bright Hawaiian shirts andTeenage Caveman chinos. This is his “Superman” outfit. Most of the time he is deliriously happy. He spends his days helping people, saving kids, catching purse snatchers, doing what he can to save the planet. He always smiles, remembers people and adores his life.
He has bad moments. He can’t always fly because Lex Luthor has exposed him to kryptonite. And he has psychotic breaks. He lives in a condemned building. One morning the wreckers show up. He sees the bulldozers as carnivorous monsters. He fights them.
This fight lands him back in the mental hospital. They treat him. He’s heals. The medicate him to at least hold his level of healing. Everyone is certain they are doing the best for him.
“Superman” becomes Mon Suk. Mon Suk shuffles through life. Not happy. Not sad, He simply is. He remembers the trauma that drove him to madness but it is a distant memory that he cannot touch. The drugs see to that.
In his madness Mon Suk was tracking down a beast that lived in the sewers. It turns out the beast was actually a patch of explosive methane gas. It blows.
Mon Suk is a witness to the explosion. Many people are hurt, house and cars catch a fire. The fire engines rushing to the scene get caught up in the explosion. There is no more help coming.
For every person injured there are ten spectators who watch.
Mon Suk watches too and sees that a little five year old girl who was “Superman’s” friend is trapped in the fire, trapped on the third floor. And the drugs that keep him calm, that keep him in twilight Monkey by WallColl allow him to simply watch.
Helpless he turns and walks away, doing that drug induced shuffle, holding his briefcase to his chest. He walks away.
A friend goes to look for him and she finds Mon Suk at a garden hose. He’s dousing his head and his clothes. At first she thinks he’s gone mad again but then she realizes that he’s planning to go into the fire and rescue the girl. I guess you can’t kill Superman.
In that moment you realize that sanity does not always mean happiness and that sometimes it takes insanity to save the world. It rushes at you and forces you to identify with Mon Suk. It makes you realize we can all be something more than the rest of the world thinks we can be. Its beautiful and its frightening.

Meditating on movies always brings something out of me. Something I feel is good. Even bad movies can sometimes have that fleeting movement where happenstance has more art than theThe Amazing Collasal Man guys behind or in front of the camera. Moments that encapsulate life and meaning.
I love the movies.

Its been raining for 18 hours now. Hard rain. All the snow has melted and the ground feels like primordial ooze. The dogs all had groomer baths . . . gentle dog and giant dog also got haircuts. My puppy got her nails trimmed. They seem to enjoy ruining the clean look playing in the muck. They make me laugh and it will all wash off eventually.
I’m pretty much over the cold. One odd side effect. I seem to have expended so much energy fighting the cold that I’m irretrievably fatigued. It takes a huge amount of energy just to move.
It’s nowhere near the fatigue from leukemia. I just don’t like it. I don’t like the feeling of wanting to just curl up in a ball and forget the world. The rain and mud makes me not want to take a walk with the dogs. I may have to anyway. Cold rain and mud are better than this feeling.
My friend’s cold is still lingering! This worries me more than I’m worried about myself.
She basically had two days off. She had to drive an hour to a meeting (GO GO LITTLE NEW CAR!) and then we had a lot of errands to run but I would have hoped that it would have been a gentle enough time for her to recover more fully.
We picked up our new glasses. Just lenses, used old frames. They help me a lot. Even through the cataract. I have to wear them a couple of weeks to see if my eyes are stable enough to invest in the tinted bifocals I’m supposed to wear outside.

If two wrongs don’t make a right, try three
Laurence J. Peter

4 CM a Second by Kabegami Walked to the bakery with the dogs yesterday. They sell bread, fresh bread, for twenty cents less a loaf then the supermarkets. That’s twenty cents less than the ultra cheap tasteless gummy generic5 Biker Classics supermarkets sell.
When we got there I realized I didn’t have any money. At least I made the discovery before I went in, so its a good thing I spared myself that bit of humbleness.
At first I had a bit of panic that I’d lost the cash. But it was on my desk at home, all happy to see me.
My friend has to be gluten free. She gets painfully ill if she makes a mistake. I never ate much bread before. Once in a while, maybe. Now bread has become a luxury thing for me. Toast is my new filet mignon. Plain bread m steak tatar.
Amazing what we miss when its denied. I never missed drugs or alcohol when I stopped them. I sometimes miss sugar, but not often. I don’t mind artificial sweeteners. I do sort of miss fat and meat in a funny compulsive way. Fat is far worse for me than sugar. Its interesting that so many American foods are too high in fat.
One thing I discovered, early on in the regime, is that the super cheap non-brand foods are generally lower in fat than the high priced brand name lo-fat equivalents. Some of those cheap foods are even edible. A few taste just fine.

Last night while my friend is still trying to catch up to her deadlines, (she’s feeling about 50% better. So am I.) I watched an old TV show with one of my wife’s old flames as the featured actor. I Mooz supplanted him in her life. I thought the show was really funny. It wasn’t meant to be. It put me in a good move to think that when people compared us, and he was a notorious pretty boy actor, they used to say we were equally good looking but that I was taller and fitter.
Curse me for having mirrors in the house! The tyranny of mirrors is in their truth. I remember hearing that he went bald . . . I’m not there yet.
The I watched the first episode of a 1941 serial, “King of the Rangers”. It’s an English-Whitney Republic serial and it was pretty good. Its pretty silly, even in the first episode. Its a western but set in that mystical place where guys still wear six shooters and Nashville cowboy duds while driving those great monster 1930’s cars. The cars look like they weigh about 6 tons! Cars are used for speed but horses are the preferred transportation.2001
The plot is the Texas Rangers versus the Nazis!! For some reason, maybe war hadn’t been declared or something, they aren’t called Bogart Nazis and there aren’t any swastikas, but even a 6 year old would know. They give the Nazi salute and say “Hail!” instead of “Heil!” sort of thing.
The coolest bit so far was the meeting between the spies and the Overlords. The Overlords fly around in a giant Zeppelin! I guess no one ever looks up in this part of Texas . . . and when they meet with the spies, the spies fly to the zeppelin in a monoplane which has a big hook on the top. They hook onto the zeppelin then climb a rope ladder up to the ballon cockpit!
They didn’t show how they get the plane off of the hook. I’m looking forward to that. I imagine the plane plummeting to the ground while the motor kicks in somehow. Planes can’t do a reverse so I think the only way off the zeppelin has to be dropped!
The thing that drew me to the serial was the cast. It stars Hall of Fame QB “Slingin'” Sammy Baugh. That’s even how they billed him. He was in the middle of his NFL career. He looks great especially Polar Light by Mr Zer0 when he takes out bad guys with a flying tackle. He says his lines clearly, which is the most you can say about his acting.
The Washington Redskins must have been cringing every time their Superstar QB did a stunt. Back then they paid him nearly as much as a shop foreman. He was getting nearly $500 a week to be in movies!
The other big draw is his side kick is the cool Duncan Rinaldo (who’s biggest fame was as the “Cisco Kid” in old time TV). Rinaldo really looks great as the Mexican lawman who’s helping out the Rangers. Snake thin, very quick, dangerous AND friendly looking! Very cool. Sadly his job as the Mexican sidekick is to lose fights and get rescued. His appearance doesn’t make that seem possible. He’s the hero, or at least he should be.
Oh, basic plot. Tom King (Sammy Baugh) is a superstar college football player. While the Texas All2019-After the Fall of New York Stars are playing the Alabama Unnameds Tom’s father is driving to Austin to deliver a list of spies and saboteurs while he listens to his son’s game.
The spies shoot him. Why he was driving a convertible and why he made no copies of the list is not addressed. He’s shot skids off the road and dies while Tom scores the winning touchdown.
There’s no real great old time football footage here.
After the game Tom is changing when he gets a telegram telling him his father has been murdered. He quits school and joins the Texas Rangers to avenge his father. They make him a captain!!
The adventures thereafter are a bit contrived, even by serial standards. But they are done with great gusto and astonishing special effects. Great fires, huge explosions.
What I liked as well was that they cross the border between Mexico and Texas with no impediment at all! It’s noticed that at one time or another Baugh and Rinaldo are out of their jurisdiction but its handled with a simple, “Don’t worry. You’re with me,” lazzies faire. I think that even in 1941 there was at least a little more border protection but where would the excitement be in that.
I have to admit I’m looking forward to more of this.

The look of a country changes to the looks of the people it admires
Larry McMurtry

Evolution by Luis Royo

Click images for desktop size: “Evolution” by Luis Royo
I went to make our appointments at the hair dressers yesterday. They’re closed. As in out of business.
Just goes to show you can’t make a living giving a good seven dollar haircut even if you chargeAn Ache in Every Stake fifteen bucks for it.
Going to try one of those shopping center joints now. Get to pay too much but you also have to do bit less praying that they don’t make you look freakish.
I had the dogs with me. Maybe they just went out of business when they saw us in the driveway . . . The dogs get groomed on Thursday. They are not overjoyed.
I have to go to the dentist.
Beau coup pain there too. Remember how I used to have a beautiful smile? Now I look almost like I’m British.
It makes me irritated that I spent so much time brushing twice a day and all those miles of floss. I still don’t have any cavities! Still, I figure to lose at least 3 teeth this trip. Only one in the front. At least its the lower front. Can’t even afford to get dentures yet. Its just a matter of time till other fall out.
The good thing is that I won’t be in that much pain. The teeth are dead for the most part. The jaw bone is receding and the teeth are just hanging on by those little claws they have. I’m too prone to infections that creates most of the pain and pushes the teeth even further away from the jaw. Side effects truly suck.
Because the teeth are mostly dead pulling them hurts some put not as much as it normally would and the pain after is also remarkably less.
I’m stuck choosing a dentist based on how nice their office looked. I’m terrified of the cost. I liked my old City sponsored dental plan: Fist come, first served, twenty five bucks flat fee. Getting to the Fernando Vicente

Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Fernando Vicente
health clinic by 6 to get in line and waiting till 9 for them to open was a drag, but I was never first in line.
The dentists were all volunteers. They gave up their private practice to give one day a week to the people. Because of my health history I always had to see the same dentist. That worked fine for me. She was good and after the second visit she managed to drop her hardened veneer of working in a charity clinic.
One thing that was good at the health clinic was it pre-Obama health data base. While people can roam around and sweat HIPPA violations having all the various doctors I had to see be able to pull up my medical records from a data base made things go a lot faster and easier. It saved me some grief and it spared me having to remember what drugs I was taking and what ones I had to avoid. It was all there and highlighted. If there were contraindicationsThe Big Parade they got redlined and beeped. Made me feel more secure.
I’m sure we’ve all had friends who ended up sicker or near death because they forgot to tell a dentist or a specialist about some drug they had to take or avoid.
My free dentist was good. She even responded to my vanity.

Click images for desktop size: “Galactacus” by Marvel Comics
Lets hope that a small town pricey dentist is as good. At least I’ll be hoping.

There’s a music blog, TruStar Vibrations, that I follow via RSS. Recently they repeated a cool rant from Steve Van Zandt. (Little Steven, Miami Steve, Original guitarist for Bruce Springsteen, The Asbury Jukes, The Disciples of Soul, and the best guy on “The Sopranos”. He was the guy in the good wig who did a great Al Pacino “Godfather III” impersonation)
Van Zandt’s rant against the record companies, RIAA and music publishers is the best one since Courtney Love’s article, (back before Love decided she was more of a celebrity than a musician, pre-collagen injections etc).
You can read it here: Steve Van Zandt’s Rant. Its cool.
He points out that the music business is a pretty artificial concept. It used to be, up until Edison, that musicians survived by playing clubs and on the street unless they were lucky enough to get a Ice Queen by Inspired Pixels

Click images for desktop size: “Ice Queen” by Inspired Pixel
king or a duke to support them. Most of the really great musicians just played where ever they could, sometimes for a bottle and a meal.
Edison changed that when he invented the recording cylinder. Edison gets thought of as a genius. Maybe he was. All I know for sure is that he forced people to pay. He tied up electricity so we have to pay for nature. He created Hollywood. His DRM was so strict and severe that people who wanted to make movies had to run away from him, had to get so far away from him that it was too big a pain for him to sue you.
He soaked every nickel out of every person he could. He was so good at it that others decided that his gouging of people was a right and not just a clever scam.
In the 40’s things started, but it was in the 50’s that music exploded. Music wasn’t something youVivra Sa Vie listened to, it was something you had to have. Records were cool. They gave you something to touch that was as close to most of the teen idols as you were going to get.
You know the record companies were upset because kids could swap records, trade them. Their solace was they made them so poorly that they’d wear out and you’d have to buy another copy.
When Sony transformed their El-Cassette into BetaMax and Phillips launched the cassette is when things got sticky.
Suddenly you could tape your albums and give them to your friends. A lot of corrupt public officials were working with the record companies to try and get a whopping 5 buck tax on every blank cassette sold. The five bucks to go to the record companies because you MIGHT use that tape to tape some of their music. They owned sound.
Van Zandt has to be listened to. He’s rich and one of the guys who stands to benefit from the jerk Electrogoth by HR Giger

Click images for desktop size: “Electrogoth” by HR Giger
tactics of the RIAA. I like when one of their own stands strong (unlike Metallica) and remembers the fans. The rant is on Van Zandt’s site. I find his site is a mess, over designed by somebody, too hard to get around. I know its there but I couldn’t find it again.
Fortunately there’s still plenty of music that hasn’t been tainted.
Some of the stuff I’ve been listening to lately continues to be the same stuff I’ve always listened to.
The Rooks are still one of my fave 80’s bands that nobody has ever heard of. A shame. Their “Glitter Best” isn’t even their best song but its sweet. Cool guitars and nice harmonies.
Most people know the tune, “Gimme Some Loving”. Steve Winwood and The Spencer Davis Group had a massive hit with it. It can almost always be found someplace on the radio dial, classic rock . . . they usually play it after “Stairway to Heaven”. Its a good tune. I’ve recently discovered that The Kingsmen’s version of “Gimme Some Lovin” is my favorite. First off its live, it pounds, they play that cool organ riff on a Hammond B3Soylent Green and the Kingsmen never ever played jazz or fusion.
I still listen to surf. It rules. Just check out Sandy Nelson’s “Let There Be Drums” and try and tell me it don’t.
There’s plenty of newer surf out there too. Like Speedball Jr tearing through “Scalped”. A band that takes the thrash of speed metal and turns it into gorgeous dawn patrol stuff.
And of course there’s always Canada’s greatest surf band . . . even if there was tons of competition these guys would still be great, Huevos Ranchero’s “What A Way To Run A Railroad” show that punk, thrash and surf are the sweetest sound.
Tribute albums are still a great way for bands to get stuff out there. One I didn’t much care for was the Kinks tribute “Kinks Size”. It had some weak stuff but then out of nowhere it had a couple great covers. One I really liked was Tim O’Brien’s pure country take on “Muswell Hillbilly”. Its cool, touching and funny all at the same time.
John Frusciante is great with The Red Hot Chili Peppers. So great I checked out his solo album. I hated it. Totally pretentious, over blown and near as bloated as any Steve Vai solo album. I was stunned and disappointed, especially since I’d heard Frusciante’s terrific take on the Ramone’s “Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World”. Love with a howl instead of a scream and a strut. Very nice. I was hoping for more like this.
Designing the Sphinx by Michael Parkes

Click image for desktop size: “Designing the Sphinx” by Michael Parkes
And I guess I’ll end with a band that some people love, The Milkshakes. I think they’re just okay. I do think their cover of “Hippy Hippy Shake” is a lot more than okay.

While writing this I managed to get the hair appointments and a dental appointment . . . I got an emergency appointment on MARCH THE TENTH!! YOW! Glad I’m not like really really in pain . . . All the benefits of a central database became apparent. They’re mailing me a medical history to fill out and I have to bring all my drug vials with me . . .

Dreams are necessary to life
Anais Nin

Eclipse of Saturn
Click images for desktop size: “Eclipse of Saturn” by Unknown
We were going to get the dogs groomed this weekend but changed plans; we’ve decided to groom ourselves.A Journey to Mars
I’ve re-evaluated my stand on the five dollar haircut. I’ve decided to go as high as SEVEN DOLLARS! You can’t put a price on good grooming. Well, I guess you can and that price is seven bucks.
Women’s haircuts cost more. I reckon its because they have so much more hair. But I realize its probably not sold by weight or volume. They must charge more because women are notoriously fussy about their looks. I figure my friend’s haircut will probably go ten maybe even twelve dollars.
I just hope there’s no riot of hair dressers clamouring for our custom when they find out the excessive amount we’re willing to spend.
We both went to the eye doctor yesterday. It could have been worse.
The doctor was pretty good. Just looking at the photo’s and without reading any medical history could see the effects of chemo and diabetes.
My vision has not degraded as much in the past year as I feared. There’s some degradation but not as much as my ailments would normally cause, so I’m doing okay on that score.
There were two hemorrhaged blood vessels in the right eye and four in the left. None of them were major veins or killing hemorrhages.
The cataract in my right eye, the one from a football trauma, is still just there. No real problem. The cataract in my left eye, the one caused and common to chemo is growing. Its gotten so bad thatEl Capitan by Matt Mosher
Click images for desktop size: “El Capitan” by Matt Mosher
the photo of my eye was close to worthless. It blurred the image as badly going in as it did coming out.
I had to get my eyes dilated anyway but now I had to use something “extra” so the doc could get a clear view in my eye for a closer inspection.
Right now the cataract is growing but not yet to the point of surgery. The doc said that these sort of cataracts can change rapidly. I have to keep “an eye” on it . . . Doctors have dog like senses of humour.
She said that I might not ever need the cataract surgery. The implication being that I might not live long enough to need it. The doc got a touch nervous while she tried to rephrase the statement. Explained she’s not an oncologist and asked permission to send the info to my regular doctor.The Informer
I appreciate sensitivity, especially when its directed towards me . . . or anyone really.
The only real negative of the whole experience was that my friend had her eye exam first. This gave me the chance to try on every frame they had in the little adjunct optometrist shop.
In those mirrors I was startled at how bad I looked. Homeless, scruffy. I looked haggard, tired but still Fashion And Politics by S4W
Click images: “Fashion And Politics” by S4W
remarkably sexy. It was the main reason I decided to raise my offer for a haircut.
The mirror used to be my best friend.

My friends new car is working out well. She looks cute in it. She looks cute anyway but the new car enhances it better than cosmetic surgery, I think.
Two problems with it. When we got it home from the car lot there was smoke billowing from the left rear wheel! It smelled like terrible. I assumed it was a brake pad burning up, or worse, a wheel bearing. Its hasn’t happened since but there’s now a bad squeaking coming from the same axle.
The second issue is that the car was advertised as having cruise control. According to the manual cruise control is standard equipment. But there’s no cruise control.
I called the car lot. We’ve got 7 months of warranty. Once again they startled me in a positive way.
I was all armed with my meg adult voice. The one constantly tinged with a hint of disapproval and just three tics left of anger. I meet nothing but pleasantness. They said we could bring it in and they’d even give us a loaner!!
Emily Dolphin
Click images for desktop size: “Emily Dolphin” by Unknown
Since my friends assistant has a 3 month old brand new Hundayi that had a strange freezing issue and they didn’t offer a loaner, this was a big surprise. To take it even further they said we could take it to our own mechanic and if it were a smaller repair he could do it and they’d pay for it!
We took it to our mechanic to pick up the cash from junking the old car. That was sad. My friend had the car from the day it was born and had had i for ten years. He went and looked at the new car, tested it and said it was safe enough for now but to pay attention. (Boy, we sure have a lot of stuff to pay attention to.)

The dogs are fine. They don’t even seem upset about not getting baths this weekend . . . They alsoIt Conquered The World approve of the new car. More room for lying down they say. Only my puppy is unsure, but she always hates anything new.
My friend had to go the “The Big City” about 100 miles away for a retirement dinner/business meeting. (The car did fine, even coped well with her getting lost and driving the wrong way down a one way street) While I was outside opening the gate for her the dogs started a terrible racket, with my puppy putting up a terrible heart wrenching howl.
When I went in (I was invited to the free food fest!) she clung close to me while the other two ran outside to inspect the gate, certain my friend would realize that my friend had forgotten to take a dog with her. My puppy wouldn’t go out with them.
I fell asleep sitting up on the sofa and woke up twenty minutes later with my puppy pressed hard against me, her head resting on my stomach while the giant dog was on the other side with his head on my shoulder. There was no more room on the sofa so gentle dog was wrapped around my feet.
I have no idea why they decided I might abandon them.

They’re all looking at me like I’m a fool but down inside they know I’m the coolest they’ve ever seen
The Capitals

Welcome by Walter Girotto
Click images for desktop size: “Welcome” by Walter Girotto
Feeling despondent.
Need to clarify. I’m not the sort who feels empty and suicidal. There’s too much pain in this world to Casablanca ever give harm to intentionally bring harm to yourself. There’s too much rage on the street to ever cause that sort of hurt to loved ones and even unloved ones.
I’m more the sort who wanders deep in thought on onto a freeway ramp and then oblivious wanders into on coming traffic suddenly coming to and wondering why there are all these car accidents and collisions and thinking, “People just won’t ever learn to drive.”
Green Lantern by DC Comics
Click image desktop size: “Green Lantern” by DC Comics
I know that makes me pretty normal. At least normal for the kind of guy I am.
A lot of this is this damn pain.
This is not how I imagined getting old. I thought I’d be up on that isolated hill with a view of my thousand acres. One road so that trespassers would be easy to spot. I sit in my rocking chair with my dozens of dogs and watch while music blared out of my shack. A shack is all I’d need.
I never figured on the pain. I get weary of it. I get tired of not being the person I used to be. When I was younger I got tired of not quickly becoming the person I dreamed of being. That was just prep work.
So many things I loved doing that I just can’t do anymore. And then there’s all the predictions of what’s going to happen to me. They keep coming true. I’ve been indestructible too long to believe that my being indestructibility is just a lie.
It is not comforting knowing what’s coming for me. What’s coming is pain. When they gave me the last chemo, the one that really worked they warned me I’d probably lose my teeth within 6 or 7 years. I signed off on it. Somewhere hidden in my mind was the decision that it probably wouldn’t happen. It had only happened in 70% of the trials. I liked the odds. I’d signFlying Dog
Click images for desktop size: “Flying Dog” by Unknown
off on it again.
I mean feeling hollow, fatigued and in a slow burning achey stench that ends only in death. A chemo that won’t make you real sick and has an 80% chance of stopping that and keeping you alive vs a slightly worse than 50/50 chance of losing some teeth and those other side effects don’t sound too bad just so long as I keep looking good.
Yeah. I’d sign off on it again.
And all except the first chemo were trials. My kind of leukemia is the kind most often found in kids and very old men. Trials lead to cures. No downside, right? I mean I’m not scrapping and pleading for my own life I’m offering myself up as a guinea pig to save some kids. I never actually thought that until now but it was probably somewhere in my head. I always insisted on having 48 hours before I made any of these decisions, then I spent that 48 hours barely thinking about it. Always need to make a calmChump at Oxford decision.
The only chemo I regret was that first one. It made me sick, bald and made me regret being alive. The only decent part of it were the “survivor” meetings. I didn’t participate but I remember watching and listening to others. I can still recall some of those scenes and encounters with a comforting clarity.
Most of the memories aren’t of the words but of gestures, of a woman being down and broken looking, baldness poorly concealed by a cheap wig, her chest concave from the mastectomy and for a flashing moment recapturing her former grace and power. People fumbling with cigarettes. Hands moving in an attempt to describe something so big that there just aren’t any words and the vision is so intently personal that eventually communication fails and the failure doesn’t bring despair but a sense of backlit reality and cool blue spaces between stars and people, spaces that are terrifying and comforting by turns.
I planned to live the rest of my life totally alone. This didn’t mean to forget people. Even now I still like people, most people. One thing you can’t turn off is love. You can ignore hate and contain anger but love is pervasive and refuses to die no matter how hard everyone tries to kill it. I always care for people.
But I planned to live alone with my puppy and our foster dogs. Dogs don’t think anything of it when you you groan with every moment. Grunting and groaning in front of people distresses me. It makes me feel less than human.
One thing I remember from those “survivor” meetings is phrases, slogans. I like slogans. Most pop The Wolfman by Jack Pierce
Click images for desktop size: “The Wolfman” by Jack Pierce
songs are just cool sounding slogans strung together.
“Stop ignoring the elephant in the living room.”
“Don’t judge yourself more harshly than you’d judge others.”
Stuff like that.
I still don’t think anyone else can be expected to endure my constant sickness, my grunts and groans. The dead starings and irritability while I try to quell my rebellious body.
My back is still hurting. Its better. Last time I hurt it badly it was far worse. Far worse. Yet I still managed to walk a mile and a half to the bus stop and then back home. Never missed a day of work and I pretty much hated that job. I did it to prove to myself I was still a man. To prove that hiring somebody sick wasn’t a mistake.
I did it by being alone and thinking about nothing else but enduring the pain. Didn’t make me a very good employee but nothing fell behind.Confessions of a Sexy Supervixen
I can’t help the way I feel. Being sick makes me feel like less than human. I can’t help it the same way some people can’t help being afraid of earthquakes or an ocean filled with 20 foot waves.
It embarrasses me and I can’t bring myself to think that anyone could want to be around someone like “that”. The pills, the blood, the constant agony. Its a thing best done alone I think. Right or wrong, its what I think. I don’t need much proof to reinforce the belief either.

The weather is hideous. Hovering around 50 then lightly freezing at night. Plenty of slickness and ice. Nearly fell this morning but managed to stay erect without flailing my arms or wrenching my back some more. Easy enough when you have no idea how you did it.
The sky is flat dead gray. No feature to it. Like a bad backdrop at an equity waiver show.
Click images for desktop size: “Orangutan” by Wallpaper Collection
I’m taking the dogs for a walk now. They always make me feel better. My puppy straight ahead, always on a mission to get there, where there might be. The gentle pup flying around excited and happy. The giant dog just happy and then afraid of anything new we might encounter. Its a show that never gets old to me.
The rain is coming. The dogs will keep me from wandering on any freeway ramps. They’re smarter than me about things like that.
I’ll be back.
Its inevitable.
If I get the time I think another day of moist heat, exercise and floor sleep will give me back my back by tomorrow. It feels loose, painful but not like my lumbar spine is a high tension elecrical wire bouncing and sparking in a storm. It should keep getting better. Just guessing but it feels that way.
Then there will probably be real trouble!