You’re only has good as your last haircut
Fran Lebowitz

3D

Click images for desktop size: “3D” by Unknown
Been tired. It’s the job mainly and my normal not sleeping well thing. It just leaves me perpetually exhausted. Like last night was my first day off of the weekend I slept about 4 hours during the dayFriday Foster and then nearly 6 hours through the night. None of this helps me re0tune my body clock. It does show that my body is screaming for rest.
Today I also think I’m coming down with a cold.
Mainly I’m not doing much of anything except dealing with doctors and going to work. I don’t think that’s good, but almost anything else I do becomes an arduous labor that leaves me wasted and with no energy.
Not updating this site means I’m not thinking about myself and my puppy enough. I’m just reacting and living off of instinct. That’s fine for a while. Its one of the reasons I live by a rigid code and set of rules I don’t deviate from even if, most of the time, I don’t remember why I made up the rules in the first place.
Physical therapy and all these doctors are starting to wear thin on me. On Monday I have to see the opthamologist. I’m close to blind in my left eye. Its useless for looking at anything but it doesn’t look freakish and it does help me with depth perception. I drop enough stuff and stumble around enough that the idea of me thrashing about in a 2D world is amusing or daunting depending on the time of day.
I don’t think the eye thing is that serious but it has to be dealt with. I’ve long known that I’d rather go blind then deaf. Not that I’d prefer it. I still want to barter though, like, “I’ll give up my eye sight but I demand that I be able to play the guitar again, at least as well as I did 3 years ago!”
I like to pretend that there’s justice in this life.
I saw the orthopedist this week. I like the guy. Turns out he put himself through school playing baseball. Was a shortstop! There’s no Fraternal Order of Shortstops but there should be. At least it Abstract Affinity by XGA

Click images for desktop size: “Abstract Affinity” by XGA
made me feel a sense of commonality.
My right hand has been partially numb for a few months now. Now that the shoulder has been relatively tamed (about 30% of the motion returned, pain is common but not constant) the theory was that some of the numbness should have vanished. It hasn’t.
The shoulder pain was so bad that I’ve distorted a lot of my body in trying to deal with it. That’s made for some horrible pain as those muscles start to relax and unconstrict. It appears one of the things I’ve done is to compress my ulnar nerve.
Now I have to see a neurologist to have an EMT (?) to see where the compression is occurring. If its anywhere but my shoulder the only solution is surgery to move it and uncompress the nerve . . . If its him my shoulder surgery is a probable option but I might be able to decompress it with physical therapy.
I ended up talking about this with the doc. I expressed my concerns, mainly that I’d have to balance out surgery with my life expectancy. Like why put myself through this if I’ve got only 3 years to go.The Ghost of Zorro
I told him that the best prognosis I’d gotten was living through till last year. I tried to sit patiently while he reviewed my medical history and he agreed that looking at that thing its pretty hard to believe that I am still alive, harder to believe that I’m so robust and looking like I do. He told me his nurse wanted to check my ID because she thought I was stealing someone’s identity. I couldn’t possibly be as old as I claimed.
The final decision was that it was impossible to guess how long I Bo Jangles and Shirley Temple

Click image: “Bo Jangles and Shirley Temple”
could reasonably expect to hang on. He noticed that in February I’m scheduled for the big cardio stress test. He said that will give the clearest factual basis to determine how long I could fairly expect. With a grin he said, “And I’d say it close to impossible for anything else to happen to you!”
We agreed that I should get the EMT (?) so we’d have a handle on the problem and then there’d be little risk in waiting until after the cardio stress test to make a decision on the surgery. I need to get it fixed. It will just degrade to the point of paralysis, but that stage would be years down the line.
Physical therapy is going fine. They want me to do the underwater exercises 5 times a week. Another tedious wearying chore. I’ll do it.

A few people have noticed I’ve updated the Jukebox. ANother 20 tunes from my hit list.
It might be the last time I can. I see where the music publishers have started to take umbrage against the internet.
Unlike the RIAA who are just a bunch of twerps who, to protect their useless job, have extended Pieces of a Dream by Titusboy

Click images for desktop size: “Pieces of a Dream” by Titusboy
their authority because there’s no one to tell them to shut up, the music publishers are scary guys. They’ve controlled music in the world since at least the Civil War.
I mean they were a force back since young educated orphan ladies could make a living looking cute and playing and singing the latest cool hits at an upright piano in department stores, hawking the latest hit sheet music, making other girls dream of seducing the cute boys by emulating her playing skill.
The music publishers used to count the number of plays a record would get on a juke box to make sure they got their cut! They have the army, the interest and the money. I mean, the record labels owe the publishers MILLIONS! And they’re past due. The publishers have lived through wars, external and internal, mob wars and discord. They’re a force.
I’ve been debating about whether I should update the music libraries. I have a couple hundred new titles but I only have a couple hundred of the titles here. I’m considering the argument that mostForce Of Evil people just like to browse the library to see the posters and read about the movies. They also usually complain because I didn’t write any of the reviews . . .

The most interesting movie I’ve seen has been “Written By,” a Chinese movie. Ka-Fai Wai wrote and co-directed, with Johnny To, the shattering “Running on Karma”. On his own he’s been a quixotic and impressive director.
“Written By” is a sort of ghost story. I hate ghost stories. They never fail to bore me. But Ka-Fai Wai has made something unique here.
There’s a car accident with the entire family, a Mom, Dad, sister and brother in the car. Dad is killed, Sister is blinded. The other two are relatively unscathed. Ten years on Mom still has not accepted her husband’s death. Blind sister decides to write a novel, using her braille typewriter. The novel will tell Dad’s story in a make believe world where everything is reversed. Dad is now blind and the only survivor of the accident.
The film criss crosses the stories, and, due to the plastic power of movies, both stories seem genuinely real to us. For the first half of the movie it feels like Ka-Fai Wai is going to explode the Cleopatra by Maxfield Parrish

Click images for desktop size: “Cleopatra” by Maxfield Parrish
ghost story genre and make it impossible for anyone else to ever make another one. Its powerful and deeply moving stuff. Writing the novel is therapeutic for the family. It also become obsessive and soon the Dad in the novel is handling the problems of the real world in a fashion that is more direct and sensible than the real family.
Oddly the films power begins to dissipate when the two world begin to collide. The end is almost just silly, but at least it’s entertaining.
A great film that couldn’t deliver on the genius of its original concept. Not a loss because at least it got made.
Ching Wan Lau, the actor who plays Dad, is incredible. Considering the stunning job he recently turned in for “The Mad Detective” I’d say that this guy has entered the Marlon Brando-Robert DiNero class of actors. He locks into the difficult part and never variates. His charters are complete rounded people that we can feel in our hearts and in out guts. He’s brilliant in ways that would make an Anglo actor a legend.The Giant Claw

My puppy claims she’s never been happier. We went to her therapy dog evaluation. She failed. But it seems she still wants to do this. Selfishly I’ve decided that I need to finish physica therapy before we start in on her refresher classes. They want her, she wants to do it. It will work out.

Finally Stafon Johnson, the awesome power tailback for the USC Trojans had a horrifying accident this week. He dropped a 275 pound free weight on his neck! Seven hours of surgery later and it looks like he’ll survive . His loss will hurt the team this season but that’s a small thing compared to how much the world would have suffered if he hadn’t survived. He’s doing okay. I’m glad for that.

When I found out what made the world go round and it wasn’t love; that’s when I went bad
William Rose

Californian Farm Sunset by 0videoman I don’t think its a good sign that I’m waking up feeling worse than when I went to sleep. It all feels so contrarian. Like a nap should cure a head ache or an upset stomach. Shouldn’t it.The Quartermass Experiment
I’m feeling rotten. Worse than I’ve felt in years. No where near as bad as the first chemo but remarkably bad all the same. Hands all cramped up, stomach twirling, eyes struggling to focus through the head ache and my skin feels hot and clammy at the same time.
What a mess I’ve become.
Most of this was predicted as side effects to starting insulin. They’re supposed to go away. I’m up to 25 units a day now with no stabilization in the offing. It bothers me that I was getting similar blood sugar numbers with just the pills and vigorous exercise. To have the expense and the discomfort as well as the psychological numbness from having to do the injections and not see any radical bim bam improvement is disheartening. This wretched feeling only adds to the malaise.
I’ve been using hot moist heat on my shoulders and elbow. It doesn’t do anything to relieve the neuropathic pain but it does loosen up the other muscles that were clenched tight. It provides minimal relieve but minimal seems like a lot right now.
I looked it up and 25 units of insulin is equal to about one third of a milligram. I’m clearly astonished that I carry around a big old gland like a pancreas and all it does for all the care I give it is to produce about one third of a milligram of insulin a day. Its even more distressing to accept that I’m so vulnerable that a drug about the size and weight of a snow flake or half the size of a mosquito should have this devastating effect on me.
My friend is home from her conference. I opened the gate for her to drive into the yard and she ran over this big rock we keep by the gate for propping the gate open. The rock is about 10 inches in diameter. It didn’t hurt the car but it did bounce the rock into my foot. My big toe is all blackened. It Silent Passage shows how bad off I am that I barely notice the pain from a traumatic injury.
I was glad to see my friend. I struggled hard not to pass out. By the time I’d sorted through that she’d fallen asleep! She slept for nearly 14 hours. Poor thing, she must have needed the rest.
She went into work today because she’s the only management person who’ll be accessible today. She took the giant dog and the gentle dog with her! That will be interesting for her and for her co-workers!
I’m going to miss them but I’m glad they’re getting a break.
There was an upsetting incident with the foster dog yesterday. We took about an hour walk and been home about 15 minutes when I heard a bad bit of snarling and whining.
The foster dog had pressed the gentle dog into a corner and was snarling and biting at his neck. Gentle dog was not resisting but was clearly suffering. I pulled the foster dog off. He made no act or aggressive motion towards me.
The gentle dog was rattled but not physically harmed. He was upset but the one who was the mostReptilicus upset was the giant dog. He was trembling and stuck close to me for the next few hours. He was far more upset than the gentle dog.
The foster dog is subject to aggressive play. He initiates every play period and will not relent until the dogs play with him. After the attack they refused to deal with him for a couple of hours, all except my puppy who will only play with him if he plays her games.
Most of this is just a dog trying to figure out his place in the pack. Clearly he is not going to challenge me as the alpha dog and he’s not interested in challenging my female puppy but he’s using the Count Basie aggressive play to attempt to dominate the two males.
The only solution I have is to watch them carefully and when the foster begins to play and the playing is not reciprocated and continues to press he’ll have to go to a time out.
The aggressive play indicates a lot of things. Breaking him of that bad habit may open him up to concentrating more clearly and being less stressed.
Its a saga.
One thing I might have known but didn’t realize is that gentle dog was neutered late in life. This is odd to me because he is so gentle and happy, not in the way I associate with late neutered males. He was actually being used as a stud in the puppy mill he was rescued from which makes his gentleness and lack of aggression even more moving.
He still likes to bite me though . . .

For some reason I found myself thinking about Irvin Kershner. He’s a film director there’s no reason Call of the Wild by Cole Phillips for anyone to know about except that for some incomprehensible reason he was picked to direct the “Star Wars” sequel, “The Empire Strikes Back”. As I consider that to be the only watchable episode of “Star Wars” I find it interesting Lucas picked Kershner, a man whose career, up till then, had been defined by good but not remarkable gentle movies about people. There was never any hard edged cataclysms in Kershner;s movies. In “A Fine Madness” the hero, Sean Connery, is a poet who gets a lobotomy as a by product to trying to avoid jail for late alimony payments. in “The Flim Flam Man”, George C Scott plays a con man who prowls the rural south. Scott is old, self aware, charming and sad without any bitterness.
Kershner’s movies tended to be enjoyable, reasonably successful. How this translated out to working on a cash cow and making that cash cow the most interesting of the series is something worthRobin Hood contemplating.
Today figures to be much like tomorrow, with me trying to hold on. Friday is my friends “TV night”. I’ve got the roomba running in the living room. I like to get everything nice so she can just veg out and enjoy the only show she watches.
I’ve learned how to move so as not to create any enormous pain for myself. I sort of had to. The sun has finally come out after 4 days! So it might be a better day.

They’d live in New York and the stars would be their own; she’ll be Debbie Harry and he’ll be Joey Ramone
Helen Love

Nature by Celso Junior Good news. Last night my blood sugars were 8.0 which is just a bit bad. This morning my blood sugars were 5.4 which is pretty good.Fantastic Voyage
I had a breakfast of eggs, frijoles, kiwi and potatoes. Two hours later my blood sugars were . . . (testing) 12.3 . . . That’s not too good. Should have been between 7 and 10.
I’m up to 16 units of Lantus (insulin) so it will be 17 units tonight.
At least there’s some sort of reaction.

The perspective foster dog parents didn’t come yesterday. They’ll come to meet him on Friday or Saturday. He could care less. He’s found his place in the pack. Now he just has to face his place in the house hold.
The only thing wrong with him is that he is the world’s sloppiest drinker. He drinks savagely and leaves at least half of what he takes out dripping from his mouth. I’ve watched him gulp up a pint of water, turn his head and let it all fall out on the floor. Fortunately I don’t mind mopping a lot.
Yesterday, while cleaning up the painting for the day, the giant dog and the gentle dog found a real funny joke. I left the front door open because it was nice. The pair of them came up on the porch and whined and wiggled to get me to open the door for them so they could go into the house. They plowed in and two 20 seconds later they were back up on the porch begging to get into the house . . . I looked at them with one of my looks and let them in.
Twenty seconds later they RAN onto the porch, giant dog was wiggling and laughing so hard he could barely shine so gentle dog scratched at the door to get in.
I let them in. Five seconds later they were both stumbling onto the porch shaking with laughter and collapsing on each other going to the door. I laughed too. This was a signal to attack me and try and Peacock Phoenix lick me. I hate being licked which, to them, made this all the funnier.
I have to remember I like dogs.
While I see painting as something that needs to be done I knew my friend enjoys it. I underestimated how much she would enjoy it. She said she was having fun. She looked forward to it.
This held even though she discovered that the paint wasn’t exactly the color she had envisioned.
We got the paint at the Salvation Army! Recycled paint. It was cheaper but not a steal. Still it looks cleaner. The old paint looked like the product of a drunken hippy pipe dream. Not real hippies but like those old guys who have dreams of hooking up with a space cadet hard body chick. The chick had dreams of going to design school or being a fashionista.
She was with the old guy only because she had nothing else to do and no money to do it with. She probably needed a place to crash that night. After a couple of drinks and a joint she was probably wrinkling her nose at the state of the place and came up with this whacked design scheme. Since Freaks this was a way to get the chick to hang out the old guy readily agreed and the end result was . . . this?
She probably left as soon as it was finished, probably with the guy behind the counter at the liquor store.
Now the porch will look like the inside of a mushroom on a sunny day . . . Which is still better.
All week long there was an 80% chance of rain last night and today. So last night I spent about an hour hauling all the stuff I’d taken off the porch back onto the porch. There’s a lot. The porch is more a summer room that a porch (two chaise lounges and three tables sort of things as well as an incalculable amount of lamps. My friend had fallen asleep so I had to do it myself. Hurt myself early and often.
Today its mid sixties and there’s only a 30% chance of rain tonight . . . I couldn’t have worked anyway. Even taped my shoulders are both killing me, add in all the dings and I’m close to worthless.
Still a vacation day is a vacation day.
I did watch two movies last evening. Back in the 80’s Dolph Lundgren was the next big thing. There was this xeroxed magazine you couldn’t afford to miss by the Hollywood Kids. It was six pages of No Peeking by Peter Dribben the nastiest cattiest fawning gossip in LA.
When Lundgren was cast in “He Man and the Masters of the Universe” opposite Frank Langella as Skeltor they went ballistic to the point of sneaking into the Lundgren’s costume fitting. They reported he was more imposing and gorgeous in real life even if he did have pimples on his butt.
I figure that’s the mark of real adoring fame. Either when someone takes the time to notice the pimples on your butt or loves you despite them.
Of course then then movie came out and Lundgren wasn’t hot anymore. It was really bad. Langella survived because he got to wear a mask through the whole movie. Lundgren did a lot of junk movies after that. He became irrelevant.
He had that one interesting flash with “Big SHowdown in Little Tokyo” but everyone put that off to the burgeoning star power of Brandon Lee. Then he sort of faded to direct to video.Five Gates to Hell
I somehow got a hold of a copy of a movie called “Missionary Man” when I saw it starred Lundgren I left it on but proceeded to do chores while it played. It wasn’t great but it was good and Lundgren directed himself in a way I guess he really wanted to be. Chaste, huge, dangerous with an leaning towards finer feelings that he and his character knew he would never fully grasp.
I liked it. Made me see his next (or maybe previous) direct to DVD thing called “Diamond Dogs”. It really sucked.
But yesterday I watched the 1989 Lundgren “The Punisher”. While Ray Charles not a gruesome as the latest Punisher flic its surprisingly good. Lundgren is very effective as the deranged revenge fueled anti-hero. Marvel Comics wasn’t the power house production company it is now so this is just a cheapie (even though Stan Lee still grabbed a production credit).
It actually made me feel warmly for Dolph Lundgren, and the cheap but stylish sets and his lumbering presence made for a cool enough 90 minutes.
After that I watched a strange movie, “Method Man”. Nothing to do with the rapper/movie star. Its a seventies kung fu flic. This may be the worst movie ever made but and this is a shock the action choreography and the fighters are superb! It makes no sense. But when the fighters are mixing it up it reaches level similar to Liu Chia Lang’s glorious choreography of Philip Kwok in the Chang Cheh flics that followed it. The fighters fly around and perform astonishing purely physical feats that dazzle and delight then we get back to the dreadful story which makes little sense even by cheapie 70’s kung fu standards.
One Puff by Manogamez Today is my puppy’s aunt’s birthday. To celebrate her 50 year old cat, (CAT!) is still hanging on. Perhaps just to spite me and my puppy. I can live with that. This is one of those cats with the sense to wish she were a dog.
My puppy’s aunt other celebration was that their flat panel TV blew up! An over priced Sony. But even then there’s a birthday miracle. They got the extended warranty so they get a brand new, current model FREE!
I’ve never heard of one of those extended warranties ever working out for anyone before. Sounds like a good, no make that an excellent happy birthday to me. Well, it should be.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it
Yogi Berra

Gunslinger Girl by VM Before my injection my blood sugar was 6.8, just inside the target. This morning the count was 5.9, which is okay.Circus of Life
It bugs me that a couple of months ago I was getting better numbers just from the pills. For all the stigma and grief from the injections I was expecting something more dramatic from the insulin.
I have gotten a bit better at doing it. My stomach is sore from it. The hardest part is, well the whole thing is hard and tricky; holding the needle dead steady while it hurts is hard then pushing in the little plunger is tricky and uncomfortable but the part I got wired is holding the needle inside of me for a count of 20. It makes me cringe now, even thinking about it.
The reason is that if you pull the needle out too soon the insulin seeps out . . . Crazy.
The insulin is not improving the pain in my shoulders yet. Its still excruciating and stops me from doing things like putting on my jacket. and combing my hair.
I mowed the rest of the yard yesterday. It rained in the morning but then the sun came out and there was enough of a wind to dry out the grass. My left handed falling pull start still worked. I was able to grimace through getting the mower over and around all the hills and stumps and things.
I was concerned because I felt more exhausted than I should. Its a side effect that should level out. Quickly I hope. Getting fatigued stirs negative memories.

Today is a big day. An important day. It is my puppy’s fourth birthday.
Kurbatova by Playboy Four years old and in all that time we’ve only been apart about 15 weeks. Twelve weeks while she was being weaned from her mother. Three weeks when we moved. The three weeks were hard on both of us for exactly the same reason and with pretty much the same intensity and longing.
She may not be the perfect dog to anyone else but she and I are perfect together.
She remembers things I tell her and will do things to please me. She gets defiant and demanding. She gets angry. She gets loving and protective. She plays jokes and tricks on me. We bicker and fight. We play games that are meaningless to everyone but her and me.
Together we are a boy and a dog.
I never much liked the show “Cheers”, knowing a couple of the writers didn’t help, but I heard a part of one episode where one of the characters said he was writing a novel about a man and his dog wandering the corn fields and drinking beer. I could read a novel like that and picture my puppy asCountess Dracula the dog.
The entire world would be a scary bad place if by some cosmic mishap she and I had never met.
I feel pretty much the same way about my friend.

This is my friend’s last day of work. Vacation time.
Only a week but it will be nice for and for me. Except someone stupid, probably me, decided that the vacation should be spent painting the porch . . . how dull. I mean why ruin a vacation just because the house needs the work?
So it will improve our lives, what reason is that to ignore frivolous self gratification.
I hate painting. It will be fine. We might even laugh while we’re suffering through the arduous chore.

We managed to get tickets for the Jack White tour. The one he’s doing with that other side band of his, Dead something or other. I like Jack White and still think he’s the guitarist of the 21st Century. Punk Dog His shows don’t disappoint. He’s an entertainer. Of course on this tour he’s playing the drums . . .
I always viewed the White Stripes as pretty much a solo act. I can imagine White dragging along his ex-wife as support. You just don’t do solo acts with just an electric guitar. White showed you could.
Meg was a pretty poor drummer. She’d lose the beat a lot but White keep a more driving steady beat in his head. His work on the guitar still astounds me.
Its interesting seeing him not be the soloist with the Raconteurs, to lose a part of himself within a real band. Some of the work is excellent, none of it less than good but it felt like White was losing some part of himself, like he was being too deferential to his band mates. I would have been more interested if it had been “Jack White & The Raconteurs” instead of a true band. It would have been awesome seeing White’s manic intensity with a back up band. The Raconteurs are a collaboration.
I’ve only seen YouTube Videos of the Raconteurs live. The stage show looks like the same sort ofThe Day the Earth Stood Still democratic sharing thing until White does “Bang Bang” the crazy Nancy Sinatra number. Its worth seeking out. It shows what White could do as the frontman.
This will b interesting. Jack White as a drummer. Yow! He can keep a beat so we’ll see if it catches fire.

I saw “Zatoichi 17: Zatoichi Challenged”.
Peter Welling’s defined an auteur as a director who was able to work within established genres and stay within the strict conventions demanded while still managing to express his own voice. Zatoichi movies are almost a genre unto themselves. Formally they are Growing Love by Frida Lind Chambara (sword fighting) and jidai-geki (period piece).
Within this definition it still astonishes me that Kenjiro Misumi is not recognized as one of the greatest directors in the world.
Zatoichi’s movie’s follow a path, a path that Misumi defined. I wonder if most of his brilliant story telling innovations have been lost as they have comprised the bedrock of Japanese chambara films in the sixties and seventies.
This entry in the Zatoichi saga is fascinating on its own, touching and startling, moving with an economy and sparseness that recalls zen. It stands on its own as well as laying the groundwork for Misumi’s later works and themes.
Worth renting for sure.

The foster dog is starting to fit in to the pack better with each moment. Now we’re off to the closed down dog park to see what there might be to see on this birthday day.

Do the leaves on the maple tree bloom or blossom

Untitled by Steve Argyle
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Steve Argyle
Yesterday was filled with nothing else but dogs. Giant dog has decided that the foster dog is okay so long as he is playing with him and not with giant dog’s toys.Mad Monster Party
Foster dog would bring toys to me to throw and drop them in my lap. I would reach for them and discover that giant dog, who was sitting next to me, had deftly removed them. He was holding them angrily between his paws. Foster dog just went and got new ones. At one stage giant dog was holding three toys between his paws. He glared at me in case I had any funny ideas.
Even my puppy got slightly less disdainful. She initiated play. Of course the play was her game and could only be played by her rules.
When giant dog would play bound at foster dog gentle dog would join in by attacking giant dog! And then foster dog had to go to the vet.
If ever a dog needed a trip to the vet . . . doesn’t make it easier. He was a pain. There was an unfixed female beagle at the vet’s office. He was uncontrollable. I took him outside. This is the rescue service’s vet so we had no choice, but I soon saw that there was no exercise area. No grass at all except the little patch we were standing on, and that little patch was next to the highway. Cars went by too fast for me to be comfortable.
I wouldn’t have left my dog there.
Foster dog is going to be fixed, shot up and the have his dew claws removed. He has the ugliest dew claws I’ve ever seen on a dog. I’m amazed that he hasn’t hurt himself before this. They have to be removed. The healing process is long. Three weeks minimum. He’ll have to be crated and carried around some.
Poor guy. He’s still one of the happiest dogs I’ve ever seen. His life has been pretty miserable but he keeps playing and laughing. He keeps the world shaped in his image. I admire that. I hope he keeps his attitude after all this surgery.
The Last Supper by Da Vinci
Click images for desktop size: “The Last Supper” by Da Vinci
This surgery will make his life better but I always wonder if it will be worth it if he loses that gift of changing the world to his own joyous view.
Its one of the reason I go on so much about my health issues.
When the doctor’s tell you some bad news, you got this or that brand of cancer for example, and then detail the available cures they always seem to do it in a rush. When you ask for details they get brusque, especially about the side effects.
Something like, “You’ve got lympho ballistic leukemia. No big deal its curable.”
In my case it took over seven years to cure. I’ve been cured, or at least in remission for nearly two years. I’ve often felt like giving up, even recently. But I don’t regret still being alive. No matter how low I’ve fallen or how despair filled things have often seemed. When it comes to doctor’s and scuzzy insurance companies sucking up my money (This policy cover 100% of all costs of normal and average acceptable fees as decided by us you will be responsible for any additional charges as decided by your service provider.Mata Hari
Its been worth it to me. I have my puppy and I have my friend. I like the world well enough, I stubborn enough to enjoy things like music and songs and stories.
Its been worth it to me but it might not be worth it to someone else. When the doctor says, “I won’t lie to you,” or “I’m not going to sugar coat it,” its safe to assume that he’s going to enjoy being brutal, he won’t discuss things so you can have a clear idea of what’s in front of you, and that he’s been pretty much misleading you in things up till then.
Most people will be empathetic at first but they don’t know how to act. Most of us don’t much like confronting mortality. I sure don’t. I The Bride Of Frankenstein
Click images for desktop size: “The Bride of Frankenstein”
always planned to be immortal, spitting into microphones, running down fields while opponents tripped over their own feet trying to catch me with all the dogs who’ve ever lived with me cheering me on from the stands or the mosh pit.
When they find out your ill people shut it out of their front brain and work hard to drive it out of their back brain too. The light we see blinds us to all but itself.
They get dismissive or they avoid you. Or worse, they suck it up so every meeting becomes more a confrontation than a casual conversation. Your mind’s not working great either. You can’t ignore the moments of self pity where you won’t like yourself very much either.
I was kind of lucky and people really couldn’t notice. I’m pretty dour anyway. In almost any relationship there would come a point would someone would look at me a bit amazed and say, “I never realized it before, your really a pretty funny guy, like you tell a lot of jokes. I never knew you were joking!”
The only difference for me is that they stopped saying that.
I think, no, I know that people need to know what’s in front of them. They don’t need to know the Taoist Immortals by Fûgai Honko
Click images for desktop size: “Taoist Immortals” by Fûgai Honko
future but they have to know enough to make a decision they can live with, not live happily maybe but they have to see some joy out there at the end of it all.
Steve McQueen went through it all, even ended up in Mexico swallowing extract of peach pit (Laetrile) while two people I know killed themselves. One by driving head on into a fire truck that was enroute to a fire.
I miss them all but there’s no choice but to respect their decisions even if you regret their choices.
That’s all.

I’ve listened to the new Bob Dylan, “Together for Life” and the New Neil Young, “Fork in the Road”.
I like Neil Young. Everybody has had to sit through my Neil Young story. (Maybe that should be Neil Young Story – keep it capitalized so it enters myth). Me and my buddies hid on a hill at Point DumeThe Mole People and watched them build Bob Dylan’s house and got a rush when we saw Roger McQuinn, even ran down the hill to talk to him.
I still listen to their stuff, their old stuff.
Because I loved their old stuff so much I probably took it harder and more personally that I think this new tuff absolutely sucks. Too old, too used to a life of riches and wealth. Young at least seems to try and understand what’s going on in the world. He even has feeling for it but its not there in the music.
Dylan has lived in the legend cocoon so long that he’s forgotten what it means to be human, to be angry and sad. He writes about heartburn like it was heartbreak.
It makes me sad.
What cheered me was re-watching “Hustle and Flow” as I did the usual household chores. An old movie but still the best film ever about creating music. It works from points of extremity and hyperbole. Music does. What I keep finding touching is the fact that the people here are all dreaming and reaching for that dream and in struggling for it they regain the humanity that the world has sought to pull out of them. All the other movies that tried to tell this story forgot about the human part, they wasted my time telling me about being an inhuman legend.
Time to take the dogs for their walk.
Next week I have to meet the parents of the players of my team. I have to prepare a three minute speech about what to expect from me and what I want from them so that we can build their children into something the children can be proud of. And I have to do this while I’m laughing at the latest dog jokes. Then I have to get ready for poor foster dog to come back to his home.

Started back in sixty three with Jan & Dean, the Beach Boys and me
Roger Christian

Old Friends

Click images for desktop size: “Old Friends” by Unknown
When I was young (scary phrase that) I think I was in some sort of pain most days. Between football, baseball and surfing I was usually dinged up. (Football needs no explanation, I hope.The Informer Baseball, from always getting spiked, plowing into catchers and pulling the double play. From surfing it was mainly stepping on sea urchins, getting stung by jelly fish sort of thing.)
It never bothered me much then. It never slowed me down. Never really paid attention to it.
Maybe I was distracted or something. Now I’m growing weary of pain.
Tomorrow I have to do all the kitting of kids for the coming football season. It causes me great pain just to wash my own hair. The shoulder is killing me slowly. I’d feel near ecstatic to just have 15 minutes where I wasn’t flinching and cringing from hurt.
Today I have to do a lot of exercises to loosen the shoulder. I figure the kid’s will be anywhere from 4′ 11″ to 6′ 2″. I don’t think it would make a good impression for me to be wincing every time I reach up to adjust a jaw pad or pump air into a helmet.
Today I have to bring up the kennel from the basement to get ready for the new foster puppy. Tat would normally be a pretty pleasurable task but now I have to worry about if I’ll even be able to get it upstairs.
Yesterday wasn’t a very great day. Lots of rain. Still it didn’t start until after the dogs and I had our walk.
I haven’t heard from the doc about my injecting myself with Lantus lessons. So I called and eft a lesson with the Pharmacist who’s supposed to teach me. I got a call back a few hours later and the earliest appointment would be May 12th. I took the appointment but that didn’t please me. For one thing the pain in my shoulder is neuropathic. That means it doesn’t respond to acetomiaphin, ibuprofen or even aspirin. It only responds to this one pill. The pill was marketed as a mood Obsession by Michael Mobius

Click images for desktop size: “Obsession” by Michael Mobius
elevator but didn’t work too well but they discovered that it was great for relieving neuropathic pain.
When I looked up the pill and saw that it was a mood elevator I panicked in a small way. I thought maybe they thought I was suicidal, depressed or something and were trying to slip something past me. They doubly assured me that wasn’t the case but I didn’t really believe them until I managed to read the whole history of the drug.
It did a fair, not great job of reducing the pain but it also made me groggy and made my skin feel numb and tingly, so I stopped taking it. I went looking for it yesterday. I couldn’t find it. Its probably expired anyway.
While I was looking for the pills I got another call from the doctor’s office. They wanted to make sure I knew that teaching me how to inject myself would cost at least one hundred bucks . . . I have to wonder how hard they think will be. I Dismember Mama
I called the pharmacy I use, the cheapest one and found out that they won’t fill the script for Lantus until I’ve been taught to inject myself. I almost asked if I had to bring a certificate. Like maybe I got a diploma; Doctor of Gluteus Maximus Stickiumus. They probably just take my word for it.
Right away I got a call from my friend asking me to make an emergency appointment with the doctor. She banged her knee a few days ago. It was causing her a lot of hurt. It bruised and was making Music Lesson by Leighton

Click images for desktop size: “Music Lesson” by Leighton
her whole body cold and clammy. I’m not a doc but I ascribe cold and clammy to broken bones. That morning I gave her a sports wrap like I’d give a kid with a sore knee. It apparently didn’t help.
She got to the doctor. His word was that it wasn’t sprained or broken just a deep bruise. She could expect pain for two more weeks . . .
That was a bit of a relief, I guess, but not the best news. Especially with the weekend we’ve got coming up. Selfishly, I now realize, it never occurred to me that maybe we should cancel some of the plans for her. I guess I’ll have to rely on my friend sticking up for herself and ignoring any pressure I might unintentionally be putting on her.
I want to do the dog walk Sunday but its pretty unfair to ask someone with a bum knee to walk under cloudy skies.
The worst part of pain, for me, is that it distracts me too much. When you’ve got as little brain power as I do even small distractions create obstacles.

I did watch a couple of movies last night. I like horror movies. I watch a lot of bad ones in the faint View of the Kiyomizudera

Click images for desktop size: “View of the Kiyomizudera” by Unknown
hope of finding that golden moments: Karloff as Frankenstein trying to catch a sunbeam; Leatherface dancing in the dawn, dancing to the beat of his revving chainsaw while Marilyn Burns, sticky with red Karo syrup in the back of a pick up truck, provides a lilting melody of the hysterical laughter of freedom; the mad family feud in “The Hills Have Eyes”, a feud crystalized in the heart of the dog “Beast” who sees it as a blood feud of revenge as he avoids thinking of his female companion dog eviscerated by the mutants.
I like horror movies a lot. Some incredibly talented guys get started in horror movies. So do some jerks. Horror always sells. Guys like me will sit in dank movie theaters, rent the DVDs hoping for the one moment of splatter that manages to encapsulate all our fears and shows them to the light. Tobe Hooper, who disappointed me like no other, made the incredibly brilliant “Texas Chainsaw House of 1,000 Corpses Massacre” a film the critics all hated, at the time. So you can’t trust anyone but your own eyes and ears when it comes to horror. Nothing else is reliable.
That said I watched “Laid to Rest”. I was surprised that Bobbi Sue Luther, produced her first starring role. She’s someone you’d describe as “big tits. little talent”.
As a producer she did some great things. The gore and splatter were very good. The actors, except her and the killer, all worked really hard to make their cardboard characters seem to be made of flesh was well as obvious blood. Kevin Gage made a nothing character into someone likable. This got exploited pretty badly in a cruddy added on death scene at the end.
Cool special effects haven’t moved me since I saw Tom Savini’s glorious throat slitting scene that opened the carnage in “Friday the 13th”. This stuff is cool but also really “so what”.
The ending of the movie was stupid. It did one raise one interesting question. The star was whacked in the head which gave her amnesia. She discovers that she is/was a cheap prostitute so now she’d Kim Novak

Click images for desktop size: “Kim Novak”
almost wishes she were dead. Her rage grows from her self loathing. I thought that strange.
I then watched Enki Bilal’s “Immortal (Ad Vitam)”. I like a lot of Bilal’s artwork. The movie’s gotten a lot of buzz because of its mixing of cgi and live characters. I guess the tech was interesting. The movie was not. The monsters were semi cool but the story was stupid and seemed to have no point, dramatic purpose or consistency. I can accept that ancient Egyptian gods are real, I’m willing to meet a story teller that far. I can even accept that the ancient gods sole reason for existing past creating the universe is to breed with a special type of person to create new gods.
I think if I’m willing to work that hard that the story teller has to do more than just string together some scenes of unrelated people and events. I’d have liked it if any of the characters was slightly interesting.
The story starts with Horous, the God, trying to inhabit a human body. Because of the new fad of eugenics and transposing human body parts Horous discovers that every human he enters blows up! This brings in the cops who are searching for this new serial killer. Then they sort of forget about allJail Bait of that.
There’s a weird love story about the guy Horous finds who never had a transplant and the chick who is the miracle who can breed a new god.
Bilal (which is the same name as the crazy mutant twin in the much better “Basket Case”) throws out a whole lot of, I guess, very personal ideas about sex, love and loss. Not one of them did he explain, justify or explain. It was just a pretty boring mess that I felt was more an endurance contest than a movie.

At least the dog walk is this Sunday. I just got an email from my friend. She’s as excited about it as I am, bum knee and all!

What you are is what you have been, what you will be is what you do now
Buddha

Grand Central Station by Ian Foster
Click images for desktop size: “Grand Central Station” by Ian Foster
Yesterday was bright and sunny. It reached 80.
Today it is 57 and pouring ice cold rain.
Gammera the Invincible
I took the dogs out for a shortish walk. Every person who was walking a dog got an advert from me telling them about the wonderful dog walk on Sunday. I started the pitch with the off the wall info that this place is so beautiful that they charge a hundred grand to have a wedding there!
I wonder if anyone of them will show. Their dogs would love it.
I walked the 5 miles to the doctor’s office in 43 minutes. It would not have been as fast if I had the dogs with me but it would have been more memorable.The Jolie Family
Click images for desktop size: “The Jolie Family”

It was hot and I was sweaty. From the reaction and movement of the other waiting patients they must have figured I had swine flu. Anyway it got me into an examination room in record time.
While I waited for the doc I had time to read an entire book! It was “Diabetes for Dummies”. Interesting franchise. They seem determined to provide instruction for everything.
The doc came in in a rush. He was nervous about something. The man has no chin. Where his chin would have been was quivering. He asked a couple of unimportant although mildly pertinent questions, clearly to calm himself down. He was so nervous I tried to be relaxing.
He sucked it up and then just plunged into it. He pulled up my blood tests. He explained them so fast I couldn’t follow anything he said. When I asked for clarification he didn’t get much calmer.
The hardest part for him was that my diabetes was out of control. The pills (metformin) that sensitizes my body to insulin was still working fine but the pill that forces my pancreas to produce more insulin was not. My pancreas was producing almost no insulin. Time for me to go on the needle.
He flinched when he said it. As if he was afraid I was going to slug him. I still had the dark glasses In Like Flint by JW MCGinnis
Click images for desktop size: “In Like Flint” by JW McGinnis
on and I was certain that I had my normal blank poker face on so he must have been reacting to something deep inside himself. “I’m afraid you’re going to have to start doing injections. It’s only one a night. The needles are so thin they don’t really hurt. Honest.” He said it all in a rush then rared back in his chair pulling as far away from me as he could.
While pulled back he continued, “And there’s albumen in your urine. The chemo damage to your kidneys is degenerating. You’ll have to take some pills for that. Apropo, no, Avisio for them. To protect them more than anything.”
I pulled my chair closer so I could see his computer screen more clearly.
“Boy, my bad cholesterol is super low, isn’t it. Sixty really good isn’t it?”
“Yes, but your good cholesterol is far too low. The proportion is bad. You seem awfully calm about all this?”The Girls on the Beach
“I kind of knew this was coming. One day. Not happy about it but . . . It will it be Lantus? Is that the insulin injection?”
“Yes. Lantus. I’m putting you on 100 units a day. Increasing it by 10 units a day until the blood sugars get under control. The Lantus could cause further damage to your kidneys.”
“I got my dialysis in my future?”
He fumbled before he said, “Most people don’t need dialysis even after years of Lantus. You can’t promise anything though.”
All I could do was nod. He took my blood pressure while he went on to explain all the new procedures and things I’d have to fit into my new daily routine. And all the arcane cabalic rituals I’d have to undertake before I could fill my new prescriptions. One of them is I have to meet with the staff pharmacist. Not to fill the scripts but to have the rules explained to me and to show me how to inject myself. A pharmacist?
My blood pressure was 120 over 60. I was expecting it to be through the roof but it was the best its been in six weeks. I have not the slightest idea what that signifies. The doc ignored my question about it.
So after I start taking the injections I have to check my blood sugars 3 to 5 times a day. That means bleeding 3 to 5 times a day. Two weeks after I start I have to do another blood panel. Two weeks after that I have to go back in and see the doc.
The money for all this worries me the most.
I don’t know how I feel about all this. Not happy. Not too upset. Just the grim inevitability of it all. Not even paranoid.
2009 USC Football
Click images for desktop size: “2009 USC Football”
More pills, plus injections plus more blood work is a pretty worst case scenario but at least I ain’t dead. I figure bad news here means I’m owed some good luck over there.
I walked home. A lot slower. I passed some youngish girls walking dogs. I figured that a sweaty man wearing shades and ear buds might not come across right so I didn’t tell them about the dog walk on Sunday. I wanted to.
On the way home I stopped at the bakery to get some of the cheaper but superior bread and some Halvarti with Jalapeno cheese. The bakery was uncomfortably warm. There was an irate guy there holding a screaming baby. He was shouting at the little old ladies who work there. It seems he ordered some rolls that he was supposed to pick up on Sunday. He didn’t. They sold them to someone else. He had it in his head that once he ordered them they belonged to him and they should have held on to them. He hadn’t called and told them this. He hadn’t paid them anything.
He kept getting louder. The baby kept getting louder and the little old ladies looked warm, Gorgo uncomfortable and frightened.
I was pretty calm and suggested he go outside for a minute and let the baby cool down. He spun on me. I had about five inches on him and I wasn’t holding a baby. He took my well meaning advice.
The little old lady thanked me. I said, “For what?”
She said, “I wish Mr Giant Dog had been here! Hem must be so comforting to you.”
I explained that the dogs were at home. I never thought of Giant Dog as being comforting, at least not in the way she meant.
At home my friend and I watched another Doris Day movie, “It Happened to Jane”. It wasn’t very good. The situation was too real to be silly. Jack Lemmon had a good monologue and Kippy’s dad Ernie Kovacs, was pretty much wasted. First totally duff Doris Day movie we’ve watched together. Next up will be “A Touch of Mink” with Day and Cary Grant. Rah!
My friend was beat after her day but she still offered up a lot of sympathy and support. I don’t think she appreciated that I’d rather think about the dog walk and kitting up the kids on Saturday.
No problem is so big it can’t be ignored.

Come on baby and take a chance; lets dance
Chriz Montez

Crimson Dawn by Spargett With constant disk repair and running a full series of diagnostic and repair tools I’m keeping the iMac running. Running acceptably.Attack of the Crab Monsters
That’s good because I’m going to need this thing to get ready for the season. I want to start prepping a playbook and do those other “coacherly” things. I used to be impressed when I’d go to pre-season coaches meetings and I’d see a coach there with a 4 inch binder over filled with his playbook. I always figure that this was one heck of of coach, a lot better than I could ever be. Then our teams would meet in the season and we’d beat them 80-0.
I never figured it out. I have a good friend who coaches O-Line at a Bob Dylan high school. He has a 400 page playbook! But its not really a playbook. It has some O-Line plays in it but the book is mainly a preparation, a how to book on the theory of playing the Line, dietary and strength needs. The whole shebang.
Each season he says he has to throw out about 100 pages and maybe add in 50 or sixty. Now he’s a coach who’s a lot better than I’ll ever be.
See, I don’t know how to prepare a playbook until I see what kind of kids I have. This Saturday a couple of coaches were waxing rhapsodic about how much they love the pulling guard. The pulling guard is where, for example, you would get your right guard to run down to the left side of the line and turn forward and block so you have an extra surprise blocker for your running back. I agree that it is a pretty play. In all my years of coaching I’ve only had one guard who had the speed to reach his assignment.
The coaches talked some more about the difficulty in getting their tackles alert enough to know to pick up any backside pursuit. A defensive end could read the pull and follow it. Their solution to having slow guards was to give the Running Back some extra steps in the backfield so that he couldn’t get to the proposed hole until the guard got there.
I won’t ever coach against these guys which is good. I hope that this attitude is prevalent throughout Angel Fish the league. When I see a slow guard pull the call is simple. You have the Defensive end hold his position which nullifies the tackle looking for back side pursuit, the middle line backer shadows the pulling guard and the Strong Safety pursues the pulling guard on a run blitz.
In college and high school ball that should either stop the play for no gain or limit it to 3 yards. At this level it should result in a three yard loss and 40% of the time a turn over.
If I get lucky and get a running back with that much speed I’ll use cross blocking to open up seams and pound him up the A and B gaps for 4 yards a clip all day.
If I’ve got a guard who can turn and cover 4 yards in the time it takes my running back 7 yards I’ll run a couple pulling plays to set up the decoy and go opposite and use the full back to pick off the Defensive End while the TE knocks off the Sam Backer.
And if I don’t have players who can remember all that we just do straight ahead blocking and run aBeast From Haunted Cave spread like running game.
Thing is I like a wide open game. I like 50 yard passes on the corner route. But if I’ve got a QB who can only throw the ball twenty yards I sort of have to adapt and do something different.
I never saw the job of coaching as being something to please myself. I think of it as a chance to give kids their best opportunity at success. I can’t figure out what method that might be until I’ve seen what the kids can do and what they like to do.
Sure I try to get my QB to throw 50 yard lasers. I try to get my RB’s to run 4.2 forties. But if they can’t my job is to figure out what we can do with the talent they have.
The only thing I can use to justify my unconventional approach is to say that in the last 10 years of coaching my teams have led their league in scoring 9 times and in total yardage 8 times. I’ve always been incredibly lucky in the talent that’s been entrusted to me to teach so maybe if I went in with a system already planned out and fit the kids to the system the kids would have been even Brunette by Archie Dickens more successful. I don’t really know.
I’ve got my list of stuff I need for the first practice: 2 stop watches 3 whistles, a ladder, some cones and some step over blocks. And some bodies to fit in the whistles and stop watches. A Defensive Coordinator would be nice too.

My friend got home at 7:15 last night. That puts it at a 32 hour day. She survived it pretty well.
The month stays pretty rough with a new boss, budgets etc. She gets a couple weeks off in May. We’re going to pain the porch. Probably being ably assisted by nosey dogs.
We actually watched a Zatoichi movie! I’m mildly surprised she’s become a Shintaro Katsu fan. This was the eleventh Zatocihi film and there’s no denying that Katsu has definitely worked incredibly hard on developing the character. He’s made a sad, funny and never pathetic creature. His sword fighting in this one is very good. Its easy to believe that the carnage is being perpetuated by a blindApocalypse Now man. I think bathos is more enjoyable than pathos and bathos always works best when its resolved with gallons of stage blood.

I’ve checked my puppy’s email. I was amazed that she had nearly one thousand. All from kids in hospitals. They don’t get to see much spring in the hospital.
I made up a maze game for her site. I thought it would be a quick and easy thing to do. It took me six weeks and five drafts. The final thing had 28 layers! Normally I’m amazed to get 4 or 5 layers in a picture. I’m glad the kids like it. Much gladder than I am sad that they are where they are.
The main crux of their emails is that we need to have more adventures!
I also notice that a lot of the kids thank my puppy but almost none even acknowledge I exist! The few that do think I should give my puppy more ice cream . . .

My health feels better. The old complaints are not improving. They’ll bug me but not inhibit me, I think. No doubt they’ll improve just enough so I can be uncomfortable but still able to do all the porch painting . . .

In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe
Carl Sagan

Rossetti and Dunton by Dunn Not feeling well today. Whatever I think is wrong I’ve decided is wrong inside of me.
I’m to see the doctor on April 20th. Have to bring along all my numbers, my health diary.The Lost Missile
Its obvious somethings wrong. After doing the lite exercise of working out the pain in my shoulder, Stretch it to the point where the pain just is about to start, then hold it for a count of 10 – repeat; trotting around the yard my blood pressure was 195 over 108. At the oral surgeons on Tuesday it was 180 over 90. Waking up its around 155 over 90.
Wallpaper A year or so ago it never got above 130 over 70.
A year seems rapid to me. A rapid change.
I’m trying to resist self treatment. Diet is easy and obvious. Cut out sodium etc. I get twitched because I keep remembering the oncology team saying that it was important that I keep my blood pressure low, like my opthamologist was always telling me my eyes would do better if I kept my sugars at near hyperglycemic levels. Truths we hold to be self evident stuff.
My blood sugars are okay but not near the low levels I was keeping them at. Sometimes I think I’d do better if I would just get overwhelmed. Let panic take me someplace.
At least I can still laugh and think.
The giant dog has gone to work with my friend. The crazy thing jumped about four feet up in the air on his way to the car, he was so excited.
Inside my puppy let loose the saddest coyote/wolf howl I’ve ever heard from her. Its what prompted Emotion Machine my trotting around the yard with her and gentle dog. My puppy gets the Kong. I chase her. Gentle dog latches on to my wrist and tries to keep me from catching her.
It must be a great game to them. They want to play it all the time.
It will be funny walking the two sane dogs. Easier on me but the giant dog’s intent insanity sure makes every one of our expeditions a memorable adventure!
My mind may be wrapped up in morbidity but I can still think.
I’ve been watching a TV series. A Japanese TV series: The Mute Samurai. The first episode was entitled “The Man Who Lost The Ability to Sing” which is pretty RAH when you think about it.
What attracted me to it was the star, Tomisaburo Wakayama, of “Lone Wolf and Cub”. Wakayama’s brother Shintaro Katsu, Zatoichi, makes appearances. Hideo Gosha wrote the story! When I saw that a few episodes were directed by Misumi Kenji, it became must see stuff.New House on the Left
I’m watching them in order. They’re pretty standard TV fair. I’m not keen on the pacing. The plot is that Kiichi’s father was an honest judge in Nagasaki. He refused to turn a blind eye to the foreigners illegal drug smuggling so the foreigners killed him, his wife and slashed Kiichi’s throat and left him to die so he could watch the foreigner’s rape his fiancee.
Lots of reason for hopeless rage there.
Kiichi spends the show as a bounty hunter. He lives off the money but mainly is searching for criminals who can lead him to the foreigners. When the show picks up he’s been on the quest for 18 years!!
He’s become a deadly swordsman who’s only fear is that the foreigners might have left Japan before he can kill them!
The humour of the stories comes from Kiichi’s discovery that he only gets half as much money for bringing in the criminals dead. That and people making fun of the strong samurai that cannot speak. This is a tough show. In the first five minutes there’s a graphic decapitation.
Misumi directs the third episode. It fit in to the series canon but because it’s Misumi it takes an odder slant.
There are ideas that flow through all of Misumi’s films. That’s one of the requirements to be considered an “auteur”. One of the most telling is his depiction of society and its relationship to his swordsmen. Society becomes a dense but single character in his films.
In this short film (which is what most of these TV episodes come across as) his concept of society gets clearer than ever before.
John Kennedy Society and the people in it are vile, frightened contemptible things. Why shouldn’t they be. Any hint of heroism from one of its part leads it to being rejected and destroyed by the society that protects itself above all else. Self preservation rules the vast majority. It is all they have.
And due to the low cruel lives they are forced into it is the superior man’s instinctual need to love these people. To protect them and enable them to perhaps grow into something more than the miserable thing they are condemned to be.
And the superior man does this while not living amongst them, not ever letting them touch him lest they contaminate the purity of his love with their sodden reality.
Society’s only touch of humanity comes from the women who maybe just as rough as their men but they have samurai’s strength in their hearts. They are not afraid to show gratitude and realize their is pride in humility.
It would seem that this grim view of the world is essential to the power of Misumi’s imagery. ItThe House of Frankenstein forces him to construct his “fleur de mal” images of gore and beauty.
A world where the only thing worth loving is contemptible and represents dirt that you would never allow to taint your own soul is a tough place to live. That Misumi’s heroes thrive in this world without regret and that they never let their love for their common man become infused with pity presents an image unlike any I’ve encountered in classical or existentialist literature. I guess it only works if you’ve got a heavy sword and the emotional where with all to calmly slay dozens at a pitch.
I’m going to take my pair of dogs out to explore a world that’s not tinged with madness. I like walking all three of them. I always figure people see us and point while thinking to themselves, “There goes the luckiest man in the world.”

Be who you are and be that well
Saint Francis de Sales

Clothes Make The Man There are four inches of snow on the ground. The temperature is 27. Easter weekend is this weekend.
Yesterday my friend left for work. The giant puppy has strange issues. Whenever we or she leaveWee Willie Winkie he starts a pathetic crying. My puppy will often join in with a mournful howl.
Normally this all ends as soon as I step back in the house. I have to go out with my friend to open and close the gate behind her. Yesterday when I came back inside the giant dog’s tears didn’t stop.
Before I could start to comfort him the phone rang. My friend was Charmed to Meet You coming home. The snow was too bad for her to go into work.
I think the giant dog is taking credit for bringing her back to him.
As we settled in, her to work and me to annoy her and the dogs, I felt something odd. My gums had been swollen since the tooth extractions but they started to throb in a way that worried me.
I called the oral surgeon and got an emergency appointment.
The guy who pulled my teeth is on vacation. I liked his stand in far better. He said I had the start of an infection and I was healing much slower than usual.
Leukemia and chemo-patients are extremely susceptible to infection. Diabetics are slow healers.
It bugged me that this was in all my medical history. Before the extraction I even called and asked if I could pick up the script for the antibiotics before hand. I was told of course not.
I wonder if my call rankled them enough to not prescribe any antibiotics out of some sort of professional spite or in a vain attempt to not pay that much attention to my own health – let the Esther by Benouville MD’s handle it all, Just be compliant and shut up.
I figure the latter.
So the stand in doc gave me a script for Amoxicillin, a pretty non-specific anti-biotic.
I was so amazed and relieved that there was no charge for the visit that it wasn’t till some time later that I started to wonder why I wasn’t charged.
I spent the idle moments waiting around asking anyone who was foolish enough to listen what they thought about the weather. No one seemed as upset about the snow and cold as I did. Much to my chagrin they all seemed to accept it pretty much as the way things work “around these parts”.
Other than that relatively complicated ploy of mine to annoy my friend and the dogs we settled in.
It was pleasantly dull. I didn’t even have much time for my usual pondering of what is going to snatch my simple comfort away from me.
We watched a Japanese movie: “Suspect X”. It was surprisingly good and entertaining. It startedThe Story of Temple Drake with a crazy cool “Mister Wizard” style explanation and demonstration on how to make a super particle accelerator from things you can find around the house, if you happen to live in a medical tech supply factory anyway.
The film is based on a successful Japanese TV series so I wasn’t all prepared for what was to come. A murder mystery that became a struggle between a genius physicist and a super genius mathematician.
And somehow it became a tale of enduring and effective heartbreak, loneliness and profound sadness. Its smart enough in its story telling to lay out some red herrings as to the character and motives of the characters, allowing you to gleefully jump to some conclusions that will intertwine your own guilt with the guilt of the leads and the distaste for the mere cops who slave away to solve the crime.
At one point the “villain”, the mathematician, asks the physicist to not solve the crime; “It will bring no one happiness.”
The ending is searing, simple with an elegance that speak to the truth of the lost.
A warmly recommended movie. Not great but terribly cool entertainment.
I’ve already had the dogs out in the bad weather. They love it. They knocked me down once. Unintentional this time. My puppy and the gentle dog saw something and went after it while giant DC dog saw the same thing and decided to back away from it, probably to consider joining in on the attack. I was doing pretty well until giant dog decided that whatever was out there was small enough to make it safe for him to join in on the attack. He moved too fast for me so I went over. To the pups disgust I kept a hold on all three leashes.
One of my kids (former players) likes to send me the UK top 40 three or four times a year. I think I once muttered something about being afraid of loosing touch. For some reason he sends me the POP top 40. And once again I’m amazed that there are as many of those tracks that I sort of like and there are tracks I down right hate (keyboards and drum machines are often but not always the progeny of hate).