Eight out of ten people are good; the other two are just unwise
Tsui Shan Lee

Smoke By Felipe
Click images for desktop size: “Smoke” by Felipe
I’ve had a couple of bad days in a row here.
Tuesday the news of a child’s death started things poorly then there was nothing tragic but all little things that kept piling on; pictures falling and glass breaking sort of things, legal letters and grief. World Without End Just a cumulative effect that increased my weariness.
It carried over to Wednesday. Plenty of snowfall. It was the kind of snow that in London would have been called a blizzard, in L.A. it would have been seen as either a miracle or the first sign of the Apocalypse. Here it was Wednesday.
I was out shoveling snow and noticed that the front tire on the car was low. That’s been a problem lately. With all of our scrabbling and cutting expenses we’re just seeing a dim light ahead. Cars have a way of knowing when you’re about to get even.
I have an electric tire pump that plugs into the cigarette lighter. I Cocktail Party - Virtual Girl
Click image: “Party Girl” by Virtual Girl
filled the tire and while I was putting it away I decided to start the car. It wouldn’t start. No jumper cables. Weird clicking that sounded like but not quite like a solenoid clicking.
Some stress there. My friend was working at home. After a few hours of stressing she went out to see the car herself. It started right up . . . which was good in the long term, of course, but left my ego slightly dinged.
I spent a few hours making dog treats, drying sweet potatoes and apples. The dogs didn’t seem to like them, except for my puppy who’ll gladly eat anything.
My response to all this was to attempt to do something positive. Backing up the computer hard drive seemed like a good idea. Except I didn’t have enough space on the back up drive . . . no issues. I clone the drive and make it bootable. When faced with crunching space I normally wait for the app to back up the media files and then delete them from the back up drive. I don’t need them The Behemoth
Click images for desktop size: “The Behemoth” by Unknown
there in the face of a disastrous crash. Except this time I mistakingly deleted them from the main drive – 14 movies, about 56 gigs. All replaceable just tedious work copying them to the HD except I can’t remember what four of them were. I have to take that as a sign that they weren’t very important after all.
The skanky cat seems to have taken up residence in the dog house. She/he has found the food I put on top of the dog house (to keep it out of dog’s reach). It has also learned not to run from the dogs. The snuffling at it is preferable to being chased and trampled. I fear skanky cat may have found a home. I do see its footprints going over the fence so maybe it has a few different homes. I hope so.
We went to the Wushu show last night. It wasn’t Wushu. I like those shows. I saw a great one inWhere Danger Lives London at the Royal Opera House. Monks flashing swords and triple irons, smacking each other around. It was tres’ cool.
This was pure dance. Chinese traditional dancing is pretty cool. A lot of the Olympic gymnastics routines had their origins in Chinese dance. It was cool seeing dancers flash around, tumbling at flying and twisting in mid air. A few moves were excellent.
They had one number with 16 female drummers. Awesome stuff. Dancing and hitting the drums in a nifty syncopated beat. Then there was a number called The Dragon Drummers. 14 guys playing Chinese tambourines and flinging themselves around the stage. Finally, for me, there was a killer number with 16 chicks playing “Mongolian Chopsticks”. A bunch a reeds tied together that they played by banging the sticks against different body parts. Great sound and scary shaky rhythm.
My friend liked a Tibetan dance number. There was a lot of stomping around and nifty jumps. I slept through a big part of it or else I might have felt more positive about it.
The show did something else I found interesting. Instead of back drops they used a projector, a front projector. I thought that odd only because I’d have figured a rear projector would work better for them. Its a solid idea for a bus and truck show Transformers
Click images for desktop size: “Transformers” by Matell
and it let them do all these nifty SFX of saints descending from heaven and the like.
I was also stunned by all the costume changes. Conservative estimate there had to be at least 500 costume changes. All I could think about was doing the laundry. I figured the costumers had to be up all night washing and ironing. The costumes were nifty and impressive.
There were a couple of things I didn’t care for. They had two narrators who were kind of blah. They took turns speaking in Chinese while the other translated into English. Made some pretty superfluous info go twice as long and get twice as tedious.
I didn’t care for the heavy Westernization of the Chinese music. Personal preference. It was all original music that sounded like typical dance music with an Asian flair.7th Voyage Of Sinbad
Then to effect all the costume changes they had these “musical interludes” where individuals came out and did these heavy religious songs opera style. It was where I first started napping.
There was a woman who did a lovely number on the “ehru”. The ehru is that crazed two string Chinese violin. Her piece was interesting. I wondered where else she could find work as a virtuoso on such an obscure (by Western standards) instrument. Hers was the only endurable number.
All in all it was a pleasant enough evening with a couple of revelatory moments. I would have done the sound a LOT better. The soundman was in the same aisle as us and the same row. His work was poor. He amplified the orchestra pit so that a 20 piece band ended up sounding like a ghetto blaster. Very surprising. I still don’t understand the over mikeing. The light design was decent Pepper Project by Imaginary Friends Studio
Click images for desktop size: “Pepper Project” by Imaginary Friends Studio
especially when having to deal with the movie sized front projection system. That’s a problem I wouldn’t have wanted to deal with.
During the show intermission I got interviewed about the show by some local TV station. Why they picked out a guy in a leather coat, over a black pin stripe suit and a purple and white abstract art tie who was wearing sunglasses indoors is beyond me. I was excellent, as to be expected, and gave them plenty of footage. After 5 minutes I was getting uncomfortable. The light was cutting through my sunglasses and starting to hurt my eyes. I still don’t know why they went for me.
The evening was nice enough that neither us was too fussed about the parking ticket we found on the car at the end of the evening.
The snow was still blooming and the roads were a tedious exercise all the way home. We weren’tJules And Jim prepared to get home and discover that the next door neighbors had cleared the driveway by piling all the snow in front of our gate . . . about 4 and a half feet in front of the man gate and nearly 3 feet in front of the car gate.
I had to shovel. I was surprised when about halfway through the neighbor came out and helped me! I was glad. He said “Hey” and that’s all. That’s still more than he’s said to me in the time he’s been there.
We decided we really miss her old neighbor. I miss her two dogs and often wonder if they’re okay. One had a bad hip dysplasia but such a happy attitude I hope he survives.
The dogs were glad to see us. I missed them even if it was only about 5 hours.

I’ve been asked about my snow obsession. Part of it is because its so really new to me. The other is kind of a weird Archibald McLeish-Theodore Roethke sort of thing. Its my friend, see. I have this odd thing that I never want to skin of her shoes to ever have to touch snow or ice. Only sunlight.

Doctor said I just need a pocketful of nickels and a juke box to cure all my ills
Carl Perkins

Psychopulse by 4AM One thing I hate about objective opinions is they’re hard to ignore or argue against.
I thought I was holding it together but I guess I’ve been a bit of a jerk these past few days.
Overcompensating. I keep feeling bad, plugging away at the pain pills but I’m still being a jerk.Robot Monster
When that’s the case its always a good idea to find something to pin the blame on.
I chose the cats: The stupid cat that lives with us and the skanky cat who I have to feed who resides in the dog house.
See how easy that is?
I like that cats exist now. I think cats are probably responsible for the recession, Cheny’s ability to torture people and Bush’s ability to Melinda Clarke illegally detain American citizens. And me being crabby. Its all part of a package.
Cats!
The skanky cat has now moved permanently into the dog house. The dogs don’t even care about it anymore. It has enough sense to not antagonize them and now that I’m putting its food out of the dogs reach they couldn’t care about it at all. Unlike the stupid cat the skanky cat doesn’t try and attack them and then run away thinking its faster than they are.
Cats. Grumble.
I forgot to mention that I’ve updated the film libraries. A bit over 3,300 movies now. Its slower updating thanks to the AppleTV. Where before I had to keep every movie I saw now I can just delete them. I wish I could delete them from my memory as easily. I still have shudders about “Semi-Pro” but I am pleased that I have absolutely no recall of “Eagle Eye” other than the trailer, I can’t remember a thing about it, which is probably a good thing.
I also cleaned a few things up, made corrections that sort of thing. I have to say it: I’m not selling movies or boot legging them. They’re for trade only.
Robert Crumb There’s no copy of “The Dark Knight”, which I thought was a turgid boringly long mess. Heath Ledger will probably get the Oscar. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences loves to give the Oscar to dead actors. I figure because the producers always vote them in. Any footage they have of Ledger become more valuable and dead actors can’t suddenly come back and demand 100 to 1,000 times more money and a percentage of the front end.
I still thought Ledger’s the Joker was a sloppy construction. Thew whole film was sloppy and sprawling in a bad way, like your fat uncle sprawling on the sofa watching baseball on a hot summer day way.
I still also don’t have a copy of “Gladiator”. I didn’t like that one either, even though one of my Seven Samurai better friends chides me over its exclusion. He thinks its the greatest movie ever made. He won’t trade me his copy. He and his girlfriend have just moved and taken on some new teaching positions so his plan to get a 50 inch plasma, and a Blu Ray player just he can watch “gladiator” over and over again have, thankfully, had to be put on hold.
You will find more Asian films, more action and monster movies. Some wannabee surfer thinks my By Kankei taste in movies is elitist. I think its cool that loving Godzilla and Chambara flics is now elitist.
Oh and click on the buttons and things in the movie pages. It will display the posters and descriptions.
After me picking Gene Vincent’s re-release of “The Day the World Turned Blue” and “A Million Shades of Blue” as my album of the year a friend sent me another 2008 re-release. Gene Vincent’s “Born To Be A Rolling Stone”. He’s right that “Rolling Stone” is a better over all album. The music is tighter, there are catchier tunes. “Rolling Stone” has been available for ever in one version or another. I have at least 3 CD’s of it. This new one is the best though. Remastered sweet and clean. They’ve bought up the lovely acoustic guitars and at times Parfume by Roebuck Gene’s voice shimmers. I’ll stick with the “Blue” albums though. Two first time on CD releases on a single disk. That’s very cool.
The album I’d love to see (hear) on CD is the odd one that Gene made in England with the Puppets. They were his band when he played the Blackpool Pier. Every day two shows a day. I think that was a happy year for Gene. The album is joyous, tight and exuberant as the days with the Blue Caps. Its almost all other versions of his hits but they are very very good. Having it remastered in the same way as these two disks would be very welcome indeed. The same with almost any of the Rebel Heart disks. (Reference for dedicated Gene fans – Rebel Heart has about 20 LPs featuring every scrap of Gene’s recordings, including stuff fans recorded in hotel rooms and the like – great stuff.)Secret Beyond the Door

The bowl season is looking interesting. Right now it appears that my opinion of the SEC and Big 12 are more accurate than the presses’. The Sec has decent defenses going against mediocre offenses and the Big 12 has good offenses going up against the worst defenses in the country.
Even Sports journalism has been caught up in the fall of journalism in this country. There won’t ever be another, “All the President’s Men”. They’ll just report the press releases as fact and go along with the hype.
Utah destroying “Number 1” Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and Misissippi dismantling Texas Tech yesterday sort of proves all of that. WHile the Pac 10 going 5-0 in the bowls while being called the worst BCS conference in the nation makes everything look kind of silly.
But nothing touches silliness as much as the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend.
Planning the Attack by Charles Russell I’m not a fan of the wild card games. Runner ups get a chance to go to the Super Bowl? It sells tickets though and I’ll, no doubt, watch all four games so, there you go.
I’m pretty much way out of the season prize but I’ll pick the games anyway.
In the final week of the regular season I picked an astonishing 9 games correctly. My friend, in her abysmal ignorance managed to get SIX games wrong. Pathetic. That she thinks her 10-6 record is superior to my 9-7 picks shows her woeful insight into this beautiful sport.
My picks are in bold.

Atlanta at Arizona – One of the more interesting games. The Cardinals only lost to the New York Giants at home. I’m still picking Atlanta and stunning rookie Matt Ryan. Although I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cardinals jump out to an early lead and then just build on it this game smellsSpice World more like a shoot out. The Falcons have a better defense and the Cardinals have a better offense. It should be the most fun game. I’m still picking the Falcons because its fun to imagine Matt Ryan marching the Falcons down the field in the final minute on the winning drive.

Indianapolis at San Diego – The Colts are pretty heavy favorites here. Good reason. What is more embarrassing for the NFL, having the 8-8 Chargers when the AFC west or having an 8-8 team in the play offs at all! The Colts have managed to win on sheer will this season. They’re healthy and experienced. Tomlinson and Gates, the two best players the Chargers have sat out of practice this week. Normally that would bother me but the two of them are serious talents and probably benefited from the bye week. Philip Rivers is looking sharp and I can see them winning the shoot out. It took a great drive by Manning to beat them in the regular season. They should have learned something from that game.

Baltimore at Miami – The Dolphins are stoked by going from 1-15 to the play offs! Chad Pennington is stoked because they eliminated his old team from the play offs. The Ravens are angry. Angry because Matt Ryan got rookie of the year over their super rookie Joe Flacco. Angry that no one Beauty Contest Loser gives them a chance to advance to the Super Bowl. In the NFL angry always seems to trump happy.

Philadelphia 30 at Minnesota 27 – I don’t like the Eagles or the Vikings much. The Eagles have the D-Line to contain but not stop Adrien Petersen. They will make a joke of the lousy QB Jackson. The VIkings can pressure McNabb and contain Brian Westbrook but not all day. It should be close but only because the Eagles will let the Vikings dig out of a hole.

With my gaudy 60% accuracy rate at NFL picks only a total wastrel who wants to throw away his money would pay any attention to these picks . . . for amusement of my enemies only. You know who you are!

It’s a recession when your neighbour loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose yours
Harry S. Truman

Modern Princess Its been a pretty good year.
Too much moving back and forth but a good year despite all that.
My friends birthday was sort of dull for her. It was fine for me. Her only present from me she gotA Detective Story too early. She had to go with me to the post office to pick it up and when we got there, despite my admonitions she read the box label . . . so I let her have it. The gift I mean. It was a set of knives. Not My Life and Yours very romantic but the sort of thing I think she likes . . .
We watched the klazzik, to our minds anyway, Japanese movie, “Dog Star”.
Its a simple movie with an exquisite conceit. A blind man is struck by a truck. His seeing eye dog, Shiro, survives. The blind man has not done enough good deeds to get into heaven. He decides to grant his best friend, Shiro, a request, a good deed. Shiro wants to be a human so he can go see the little girl who raised him.
Shiro becomes an adult male human, but still a dog inside. They avoid most of the cheap dog stuff laffs and let Shiro be a man who is a dog inside.
He meets his old owner and is overwhelmed with his joy. One of my fave scenes is when he asks her if she is happy now. When she says yes Shiro gets up and runs full speed around the school playground.
The scene that breaks me down is when Shiro, after all of their adventures, sits with the girl on the beach and finally convinces her that he is not just the love of her life but is truly her old dog Shiro, more than anything her devoted friend.
There’s a shot from behind where we see the girl sitting next to, not the man Shiro, but the dog Shiro as they stare into the clear night sky. It kills me even thinking about it. Its echoed later in the film with a heart rending sadness and beauty that is unshakeable.
I wish all my dogs could talk to me more fully instead of their struggles to communicate with me and my thick headed too human demeanor.
Its the end of the year today.
I can’t come up with more than the three films I’ve already discussed as the best of the year. “A Man Who Was Superman,” “The Underdog Patent OfficeKnight”, and “JCVD.” I know the point is to list five at least but any other films in the list would just diminish the major accomplishments of these three. “A Man Who Was Superman” is already in the top 25 of my all time favorites. I still can recall vivid scenes that make little sense outside the film. The sense being explaining their power – Superman standing at a garden hose covering himself with water. Five teenagers struggling to lift a car all wearing tropical cheap Hawaiian shirts. Its that kind of movie. Beauty is there and makes itself beautiful by recreating our world in a vivid way that time makes us ignore.
For music . . . As doomed as I found Alkaline Trio and their putrid show the Album “Agony & Irony” was excellent. The only guy who has yet to disappoint is Jack White. The Raconteurs, “Consolers of the Lonely” was fine and contained a few songs that I want to learn so I can dazzle people.Empire of the Ants
The best album was a reissue. I’ve only had scratched up copies of Gene Vincent’s “The Day the World Turned Blue” and “A Million Shades of Blue”. The high compression and tics and pops have become a part of the music. The CD re-issue of both albums is impressive. The remastering is excellent but its Gene himself who devours my soul.
The man could sing. He knew how to sell a song. Most of the music on the disk is trivial, at time horrendous like the 8 minute hippie dirge “Tush Hog” is unlistenable to me.
Even in the trivial numbers Gene displays a compelling emotive power that almost thinks the music is good. It makes me wish he hadn’t died a fat drunk. But if he hadn’t would have have been able to compose and ding like he did. The closest I can compare him to is Charlie “Bird” Parker. If their lives weren’t paeans to self destructiveness could they have heard the sounds they heard and been driven to make us understand?
I still know a lot of guys who’ll punch you out for even hinting that Gene wasn’t the greatest thing to ever happen in this life. As much as I love him some have taken umbrage with me. I’m not that violent about it. I just think that if you can’t be carried away by the beauty of Blue that Gene carried within him its only sad for you.

Another Face For the New Year you always need some “Auld Lang Syne” for your party. Here’s three.
Guy Lambardo and the Royal Canadians version is the standard, almost the original.
Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies bring a new funny life to the old tune. It rocks okay.
Lou Rawls brings a jaw dropping version. Its a solo accapela trip. I never new Rawls was this cool.

Best wishes for all into the New Year. Especially my friend, my friends and my puppies, past present and future.

It’s a recession when your neighbour loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose yours
Harry S. Truman

Modern Princess Its been a pretty good year.
Too much moving back and forth but a good year despite all that.
My friends birthday was sort of dull for her. It was fine for me. Her only present from me she gotA Detective Story too early. She had to go with me to the post office to pick it up and when we got there, despite my admonitions she read the box label . . . so I let her have it. The gift I mean. It was a set of knives. Not My Life and Yours very romantic but the sort of thing I think she likes . . .
We watched the klazzik, to our minds anyway, Japanese movie, “Dog Star”.
Its a simple movie with an exquisite conceit. A blind man is struck by a truck. His seeing eye dog, Shiro, survives. The blind man has not done enough good deeds to get into heaven. He decides to grant his best friend, Shiro, a request, a good deed. Shiro wants to be a human so he can go see the little girl who raised him.
Shiro becomes an adult male human, but still a dog inside. They avoid most of the cheap dog stuff laffs and let Shiro be a man who is a dog inside.
He meets his old owner and is overwhelmed with his joy. One of my fave scenes is when he asks her if she is happy now. When she says yes Shiro gets up and runs full speed around the school playground.
The scene that breaks me down is when Shiro, after all of their adventures, sits with the girl on the beach and finally convinces her that he is not just the love of her life but is truly her old dog Shiro, more than anything her devoted friend.
There’s a shot from behind where we see the girl sitting next to, not the man Shiro, but the dog Shiro as they stare into the clear night sky. It kills me even thinking about it. Its echoed later in the film with a heart rending sadness and beauty that is unshakeable.
I wish all my dogs could talk to me more fully instead of their struggles to communicate with me and my thick headed too human demeanor.
Its the end of the year today.
I can’t come up with more than the three films I’ve already discussed as the best of the year. “A Man Who Was Superman,” “The Underdog Patent OfficeKnight”, and “JCVD.” I know the point is to list five at least but any other films in the list would just diminish the major accomplishments of these three. “A Man Who Was Superman” is already in the top 25 of my all time favorites. I still can recall vivid scenes that make little sense outside the film. The sense being explaining their power – Superman standing at a garden hose covering himself with water. Five teenagers struggling to lift a car all wearing tropical cheap Hawaiian shirts. Its that kind of movie. Beauty is there and makes itself beautiful by recreating our world in a vivid way that time makes us ignore.
For music . . . As doomed as I found Alkaline Trio and their putrid show the Album “Agony & Irony” was excellent. The only guy who has yet to disappoint is Jack White. The Raconteurs, “Consolers of the Lonely” was fine and contained a few songs that I want to learn so I can dazzle people.Empire of the Ants
The best album was a reissue. I’ve only had scratched up copies of Gene Vincent’s “The Day the World Turned Blue” and “A Million Shades of Blue”. The high compression and tics and pops have become a part of the music. The CD re-issue of both albums is impressive. The remastering is excellent but its Gene himself who devours my soul.
The man could sing. He knew how to sell a song. Most of the music on the disk is trivial, at time horrendous like the 8 minute hippie dirge “Tush Hog” is unlistenable to me.
Even in the trivial numbers Gene displays a compelling emotive power that almost thinks the music is good. It makes me wish he hadn’t died a fat drunk. But if he hadn’t would have have been able to compose and ding like he did. The closest I can compare him to is Charlie “Bird” Parker. If their lives weren’t paeans to self destructiveness could they have heard the sounds they heard and been driven to make us understand?
I still know a lot of guys who’ll punch you out for even hinting that Gene wasn’t the greatest thing to ever happen in this life. As much as I love him some have taken umbrage with me. I’m not that violent about it. I just think that if you can’t be carried away by the beauty of Blue that Gene carried within him its only sad for you.

Another Face For the New Year you always need some “Auld Lang Syne” for your party. Here’s three.
Guy Lambardo and the Royal Canadians version is the standard, almost the original.
Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies bring a new funny life to the old tune. It rocks okay.
Lou Rawls brings a jaw dropping version. Its a solo accapela trip. I never new Rawls was this cool.

Best wishes for all into the New Year. Especially my friend, my friends and my puppies, past present and future.

It’s a recession when your neighbour loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose yours
Harry S. Truman

Modern Princess Its been a pretty good year.
Too much moving back and forth but a good year despite all that.
My friends birthday was sort of dull for her. It was fine for me. Her only present from me she gotA Detective Story too early. She had to go with me to the post office to pick it up and when we got there, despite my admonitions she read the box label . . . so I let her have it. The gift I mean. It was a set of knives. Not My Life and Yours very romantic but the sort of thing I think she likes . . .
We watched the klazzik, to our minds anyway, Japanese movie, “Dog Star”.
Its a simple movie with an exquisite conceit. A blind man is struck by a truck. His seeing eye dog, Shiro, survives. The blind man has not done enough good deeds to get into heaven. He decides to grant his best friend, Shiro, a request, a good deed. Shiro wants to be a human so he can go see the little girl who raised him.
Shiro becomes an adult male human, but still a dog inside. They avoid most of the cheap dog stuff laffs and let Shiro be a man who is a dog inside.
He meets his old owner and is overwhelmed with his joy. One of my fave scenes is when he asks her if she is happy now. When she says yes Shiro gets up and runs full speed around the school playground.
The scene that breaks me down is when Shiro, after all of their adventures, sits with the girl on the beach and finally convinces her that he is not just the love of her life but is truly her old dog Shiro, more than anything her devoted friend.
There’s a shot from behind where we see the girl sitting next to, not the man Shiro, but the dog Shiro as they stare into the clear night sky. It kills me even thinking about it. Its echoed later in the film with a heart rending sadness and beauty that is unshakeable.
I wish all my dogs could talk to me more fully instead of their struggles to communicate with me and my thick headed too human demeanor.
Its the end of the year today.
I can’t come up with more than the three films I’ve already discussed as the best of the year. “A Man Who Was Superman,” “The Underdog Patent OfficeKnight”, and “JCVD.” I know the point is to list five at least but any other films in the list would just diminish the major accomplishments of these three. “A Man Who Was Superman” is already in the top 25 of my all time favorites. I still can recall vivid scenes that make little sense outside the film. The sense being explaining their power – Superman standing at a garden hose covering himself with water. Five teenagers struggling to lift a car all wearing tropical cheap Hawaiian shirts. Its that kind of movie. Beauty is there and makes itself beautiful by recreating our world in a vivid way that time makes us ignore.
For music . . . As doomed as I found Alkaline Trio and their putrid show the Album “Agony & Irony” was excellent. The only guy who has yet to disappoint is Jack White. The Raconteurs, “Consolers of the Lonely” was fine and contained a few songs that I want to learn so I can dazzle people.Empire of the Ants
The best album was a reissue. I’ve only had scratched up copies of Gene Vincent’s “The Day the World Turned Blue” and “A Million Shades of Blue”. The high compression and tics and pops have become a part of the music. The CD re-issue of both albums is impressive. The remastering is excellent but its Gene himself who devours my soul.
The man could sing. He knew how to sell a song. Most of the music on the disk is trivial, at time horrendous like the 8 minute hippie dirge “Tush Hog” is unlistenable to me.
Even in the trivial numbers Gene displays a compelling emotive power that almost thinks the music is good. It makes me wish he hadn’t died a fat drunk. But if he hadn’t would have have been able to compose and ding like he did. The closest I can compare him to is Charlie “Bird” Parker. If their lives weren’t paeans to self destructiveness could they have heard the sounds they heard and been driven to make us understand?
I still know a lot of guys who’ll punch you out for even hinting that Gene wasn’t the greatest thing to ever happen in this life. As much as I love him some have taken umbrage with me. I’m not that violent about it. I just think that if you can’t be carried away by the beauty of Blue that Gene carried within him its only sad for you.

Another Face For the New Year you always need some “Auld Lang Syne” for your party. Here’s three.
Guy Lambardo and the Royal Canadians version is the standard, almost the original.
Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies bring a new funny life to the old tune. It rocks okay.
Lou Rawls brings a jaw dropping version. Its a solo accapela trip. I never new Rawls was this cool.

Best wishes for all into the New Year. Especially my friend, my friends and my puppies, past present and future.

It’s a recession when your neighbour loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose yours
Harry S. Truman

Modern Princess Its been a pretty good year.
Too much moving back and forth but a good year despite all that.
My friends birthday was sort of dull for her. It was fine for me. Her only present from me she gotA Detective Story too early. She had to go with me to the post office to pick it up and when we got there, despite my admonitions she read the box label . . . so I let her have it. The gift I mean. It was a set of knives. Not My Life and Yours very romantic but the sort of thing I think she likes . . .
We watched the klazzik, to our minds anyway, Japanese movie, “Dog Star”.
Its a simple movie with an exquisite conceit. A blind man is struck by a truck. His seeing eye dog, Shiro, survives. The blind man has not done enough good deeds to get into heaven. He decides to grant his best friend, Shiro, a request, a good deed. Shiro wants to be a human so he can go see the little girl who raised him.
Shiro becomes an adult male human, but still a dog inside. They avoid most of the cheap dog stuff laffs and let Shiro be a man who is a dog inside.
He meets his old owner and is overwhelmed with his joy. One of my fave scenes is when he asks her if she is happy now. When she says yes Shiro gets up and runs full speed around the school playground.
The scene that breaks me down is when Shiro, after all of their adventures, sits with the girl on the beach and finally convinces her that he is not just the love of her life but is truly her old dog Shiro, more than anything her devoted friend.
There’s a shot from behind where we see the girl sitting next to, not the man Shiro, but the dog Shiro as they stare into the clear night sky. It kills me even thinking about it. Its echoed later in the film with a heart rending sadness and beauty that is unshakeable.
I wish all my dogs could talk to me more fully instead of their struggles to communicate with me and my thick headed too human demeanor.
Its the end of the year today.
I can’t come up with more than the three films I’ve already discussed as the best of the year. “A Man Who Was Superman,” “The Underdog Patent OfficeKnight”, and “JCVD.” I know the point is to list five at least but any other films in the list would just diminish the major accomplishments of these three. “A Man Who Was Superman” is already in the top 25 of my all time favorites. I still can recall vivid scenes that make little sense outside the film. The sense being explaining their power – Superman standing at a garden hose covering himself with water. Five teenagers struggling to lift a car all wearing tropical cheap Hawaiian shirts. Its that kind of movie. Beauty is there and makes itself beautiful by recreating our world in a vivid way that time makes us ignore.
For music . . . As doomed as I found Alkaline Trio and their putrid show the Album “Agony & Irony” was excellent. The only guy who has yet to disappoint is Jack White. The Raconteurs, “Consolers of the Lonely” was fine and contained a few songs that I want to learn so I can dazzle people.Empire of the Ants
The best album was a reissue. I’ve only had scratched up copies of Gene Vincent’s “The Day the World Turned Blue” and “A Million Shades of Blue”. The high compression and tics and pops have become a part of the music. The CD re-issue of both albums is impressive. The remastering is excellent but its Gene himself who devours my soul.
The man could sing. He knew how to sell a song. Most of the music on the disk is trivial, at time horrendous like the 8 minute hippie dirge “Tush Hog” is unlistenable to me.
Even in the trivial numbers Gene displays a compelling emotive power that almost thinks the music is good. It makes me wish he hadn’t died a fat drunk. But if he hadn’t would have have been able to compose and ding like he did. The closest I can compare him to is Charlie “Bird” Parker. If their lives weren’t paeans to self destructiveness could they have heard the sounds they heard and been driven to make us understand?
I still know a lot of guys who’ll punch you out for even hinting that Gene wasn’t the greatest thing to ever happen in this life. As much as I love him some have taken umbrage with me. I’m not that violent about it. I just think that if you can’t be carried away by the beauty of Blue that Gene carried within him its only sad for you.

Another Face For the New Year you always need some “Auld Lang Syne” for your party. Here’s three.
Guy Lambardo and the Royal Canadians version is the standard, almost the original.
Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies bring a new funny life to the old tune. It rocks okay.
Lou Rawls brings a jaw dropping version. Its a solo accapela trip. I never new Rawls was this cool.

Best wishes for all into the New Year. Especially my friend, my friends and my puppies, past present and future.

Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!
Clement Moore

Frozen Tree by Far2way Its Christmas Eve.
Jackie Wilson’s “Joy To The World” I’m exhausted. About 9 inches of snow last night. Not a blizzard according to the local standards. Its just snow.Rudolph Comics
We went and delivered our Secret Santa gifts to all the houses walking through the non-blizzard. It was wonderful fun. I liked leaving big old footprints in all the fresh snow. I liked sticking the little dried veggie Santa packs in the doors and mailboxes. I expect half of them are already waiting for the garbage pick-up. I don’t care about that.
I still had to take the garbage out. Garbage men don’t get Christmas Eve off. Doesn’t seem fair.
When we came in from Secret Santa’ing I warned my friend that the man gate wasn’t closing properly and to be careful of the dogs. Of course I ignored my own good advice and when I was Frozen Tundra by NFL Films halfway down the drive with my arms full of garbage the giant dog suddenly bounded in front of me, went into play posture and leapt away. The gentle dog run past next, slowing down only to say high before he dashed along. My puppy came up beside me and asked if I needed a hand with anything . . .
I had to go out and stop too cars who were creeping along as the two big dogs ran back and forth across the street. Miraculously my puppy actually did a sit stay. I think she was amused.
Then I got my Christmas miracle. I yelled at the dogs and they very nonchalantly trotted up the drive way and waited for me to properly open the man gate so they could go back into their yard.
I discovered a stupid stray cat has taken up residence in the dog house in the yard. I put food outGirls Bravo for it and then fought with the dogs to not eat its cat food. I figure our stupid cat invited the stray in, told it what a sucker I was.
I didn’t get the Christmas cookies made. Shoveled an amazing amount of snow.
We also got a pretty nice Christmas present from Snow Boys by Subo Sitro my friends ex-secretary. Orchestra seats for the Chinese Wushu Show. How totally cool. The theater actually delivered them. He wouldn’t come in for coffee.
The only disappointment is that the ex-secretary won’t be joining us. I would have liked that too. I’m greedy that way.
Watching it snow was pretty. Last night should have been Christmas Eve. It was near perfect in tone, setting and silence.
“It’s always Christmas in my heart,” or some such in some song.

Christmas Eve is the time for some of the old traditional songs. Cool stuff that becomes loved via familiarity and repetition.
Lou Christie does an old fashioned take on “O Holy Night”. I always thought it was a bit arch that Christie toured with his sister who sang back up on all of his cool racy hits.
For some people its not Christmas until they get some Johnny Mathis and Percy Faith, for them Santa Is Coming here’s Johnny Mathis and Faith’s klazzik, “Sleigh Ride”.
Jackie Wilson was one of the greatest performers in music. He worked hard and knew how to inject emotion into a tune that didn’t involve just yelling and groveling (which are not bad things at all) Wilson laid his soul bare. Jackie Wilson’s “Joy To The World” is a bit too respectful to the original to really soar but it has a sweetness and power of its own.
Eric Johnson brings his refined technique to the fore on his touching version of “The First Nowell”.
El Vez put on the greatest Christmas Show I’ve ever seen at the Garage in Islington. He wore a plasticky Santa Claus suit that wobbled around insanely. The Elvettes wore Red fur trimmed mini skirts and red fur trimmed halter tops and Santa hats (faux fur of course). While his back up band,Santa Claus Funnies The Memphis Mariachis, wore white shirts, string ties with enameled Christmas Wreathes and Santa hats. El Vez did stuff like this cool “Feliz Navi-Nada”. For me you need El Vez to really believe its Christmas.
Not to be outdone very hip band It Dies Today does its own grind on “Feliz Navidad”.
Christmas Card In a similar vein Haste The Day rips through “O Come Emanuel”. Very fast and cool.
Semi techno band Belle and Sebastian do their own take on the tune with “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”.
Now we’ll take a break while The Beach Boys exhort you to give some toys to the kids Keola Beamer shows that the Hawaiian slack guitar is truly an awesome style with his “Do You Hear What I Hear”.
Pollo del Mar does an unforgettable version of “Carol of the Bells”.
While a jazz guitar legend shows he has chops. Chet Baker’s take on “Silent Night” will chill you out.
Christmas Night The Rooks were a nearly great band. They only did two albums but buried in there was a heartfelt christmas tune. The Rooks “Christmas Is Here” rocks well enough to not get embarrassing.
Darlene Love proves she’s got the key to Christmas in her heart with this cool “All Alone On Christmas”. This is the best version of the track I could find.
Jeff Beck can still fly with “Amazing Grace”. Its oddly lushly arranged but Beck’s guitar always soars.
One band that’s never done a Christmas song is Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies. They should. Maybe they already have. This raw version of a Jackson 5 number touches and warms the heart the way a Christmas song should. Until you hear Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies destroy “I’ll Be There” you’re missing a big part of the holiday feeling. At least the way I feel it.
I could go on for days. I could but I can’t. I have to help my puppy write her blog post. I’ve got a foot of snow to shovel and dogs to pet.
Merry Christmas.

Christmas is coming, it will soon be here
Paul Fix

Forgotten Memories by Reece Townsend
Click images for desktop size: “Forgotten Memories” by Reece Townsend
Yesterday we go distracted.
We went out to get dog food and the feed store had a living Nativity scene. No people but plenty ofDennis the Menace sheep, a donkey and a CAMEL!!
The animals were all fat and happy. Maybe the donkey had a bit of consternation. He kept his ass (that’s a pun, son) under the heat lamp and mulishly refused to move!
Inside they had free hot cider and free candy canes! It was totally cool. No one, a couple of Santa
“Santa’s Sleigh” by Unknown
customers maybe, was agitated or cranked on anything but good will. We got food and a Christmas treat for the dogs.
My friend had spent a lot of time petting the lambs. When we got home we were disappointed that the giant dog, who is childishly jealous, didn’t seem to care or react to the sheep smells at all.
I wanted to take the dogs back to see the animals, which was probably a bad idea and vetoed by the driver.
It was still the nicest monderful Christmas thing I’d ever seen. Everyone was lost in it for a least a little while. We did some grocery shopping. Even in the middle of the day all the stores and parking lots were jammed and went home to recover.
I finished vacuum sealing the Secret Santa doggie treats. Our dogs are still bewildered by this bagging up of stuff that should belong to them.
Happy Holidays
Click images for desktop size: “Happy Holidays” by Unknown
I did some more shoveling. Then we tried to watch some movies. “Transporter 3” was a disappointment. Got up t the 2nd big fight scene then cut it off. Corey Yuen, the guy who directed the first one, knew how to film fights. This one has some dufus American so instead of watching the surprising speed and grace of Jason Stratham we get a lot of fast cuts and a mysteriously shaky camera that gets real annoying.
They’re also disemboweled the Frank Martin character, who used to be very cool, pragmatic and lacking in self doubt. They’ve added in the dreary remote bomb trip (75 feet from the car and you die) so I was quickly losing interest.
Then did get through “Fred Claus”. A not very good Christmas-y movie.Teen Beam
I wanted to see it because of the cast. Kevin Spacey as a Christmas villain is like YOW! Paul Giametti, the cool sociopath bad guy from “Shoot ‘Em Up” as Santa Claus! Rachel Weiz as the love interest then cameo’s by Frank Stallone, Steve Baldwin and Ken Clinton as other brothers who’s lives were destroyed by their famous siblings. (Oh, Fred Claus is Santa’s brother).
Weiz plays Vince Vaughn’s love interest. I’m still trying to figure out how a woman with such a thick Cruel Snowkids
“Cruel Snowkids” by Unknown
Brit accent got a job as a meter maid in Chicago. It made no sense, unless it was intended to make some sort of weird comment on U.S. immigration policies.
The film wast sort of nothing. I found myself thinking about “Deck the Halls’, last year’s Christmas flic starring MAtthew Broderick and Danny DeVito. At least that one had some glitzy lights and some unrepentant anarchy going for it. This just lay there and I found myself wondering how they got this heavy weight talent to appear in this mess.
We started to watch the old “Here Comes Mr Jordan”. I was enjoying it but my friend fell asleep. She needed the sleep. I was liking the movie too much to watch it by myself.
So I made mental plans for Christmas instead while watching the tepid Monday Night Football game.

Santa Claus
Click images for desktop size: “Santa” by Unknown
It seems Billy Idol has fans who were hacked by my saying Steve Steven’s thrashed out his talent by being Idol’s sideman. To soothe their jangled nerves at Christmas here’s Billy Idol doing his version of “Frosty The Snowman”. One of the great klazziks of Christmas music is Bob B Soxx and the Blue Jeans inspired rendition of “The Bells Of St Mary’s”. You’ll never be able to watch the old Bing Crosby movie in the same light again.
BB King is a living legend. He finally decided to record a Christmas album. Its as cool as you could want. What I’d expect from a man who offered to give his beloved guitar “Lucille” as a reward to anyone who’d return his little lost puppy. BB King’s “Christmas Celebration” proves the blues are for all year long.
John Water’s once wrote that he always wanted to write a thank you letter to his grandmother, “Thanks for the five dollars. I used it to buy crack cocaine and a porno mag”. In that light heWorld WIthout End released a Christmas album. Its not bad as proven by his choice of Big Dee Irwin and Little Eva’s “I Wish You A Merry Christmas”. Little Eva is the originator of “The Locomotion and she loco-motivates this track just fine.
Acceptance does an interesting version of “So This Is Christmas” which is just a re-titling of John Lennon’s “Happy Christmas (War id Over). The song gives no clue as to why it was re-titled.
Christmas Eve Eve is a good time to start getting traditional. The Blue Hawaiians do a pleasant take on “We Four Kings” while America contributes “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” to a weary world.

I still have cookies to make, presents to deliver and a few thousand Christmas emails for my puppy to go out. Have to deliver the presents tonight because it going to rain tomorrow . . .

I’m not a genius; I’m just a tremendous bundle of experience
R. Buckminster Fuller

Cruxificion of the Goddess
Click images for desktop size: “Crucifixion of the Goddess” by Unknown
Some torpid news yesterday.
We’d been buying special gluten free oats for oatmeal and stuff but it turns out that my friend is still having bad allergic reactions.
My only food restrictions are fat and sugar and that causes me some minor distress. My friend can’t Sex Kittens Go To College eat wheat, gluten and now oats. Kind of sucks.
My little blind dog couldn’t have wheat, beef and who knows what else. He’d go crazy if he got any. Somebody needs to make a pill. That’s the American way isn’t it?
I was also pretty dismayed to see that the USA General in Iraq is refusing to comply with Obama’s demand for troop withdrawal. Its nice to know that Bush has succeeded in turning the US into a South American puppet government. This appears to be the start of a junta. Obama is crazy if he doesn’t have the guy relieved from duty the second he takes office. I’d think that having him charged with treason, mutiny and a few other charges wouldn’t be out of line.
Yesterday we got the tree up. That’s great fun. The dogs are fascinated but then disappointed because they’re not allowed to eat the ornaments.
I still like it. I like remembering the friends who gave us the stuff. I liked the copper ornament that the little blind dog gave us. I like it Lights Of Christmas
Click image: “Lights of Christmas” by Unknown
all.
Nearly finished vacuum sealing all the doggie secret Santa gifts. The stickers look nice but don’t stick to the packages real well. We’ll figure something out.
No one came to my puppy’s Christmas party. Last time I let her handle the invitations. She didn’t care. She had fun.
There’s another 3 inches of snow on the ground this morning with more expected. I have become the master of the snow shovel.
My friend gave her spare snow blower to our new neighbors as aSanta Dog
Click images for desktop size: “Santa Dog” by Unknown
bribe really to get them to take care of the 30 yard driveway that leads to both of our houses. The neighbors still perplex me. That means I don’t think I like them but have only a few reasons not to. The guy is a rude jerk so that’s easy to explain away. He is a total jerk.
His wife is pleasant but I keep getting a nasty tang of insincerity. She’s a bartender or a bar maid at a local rather scuzzy bar. Its honest work but she shows all the signs of being a heavy drinker. Maybe that’s what I’m reacting to. My own innate prejudices.
Or there’s a good chance she’s a jerk too. But we have seen her at two of the dog walks which is normally enough to warm me to almost any person. And I do like their dog. It upsets the husband that the dog likes me. He yells at it when it comes up to say hi and never acknowledges me. He’s,Superman And Santa Claus like I said, a total jerk. I keep trying to keep things amenable. At least to the point of them calling the fire department if the house is on fire.
But now the snow blower my friend gave them is frozen to the ground!
Today I watch football and I plan to make cookies. CHRISTMAS cookies. I was going to make Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies but with my friends revelation . . . I could still make them and just keep them all for myself! Most likely I’ll make the coconut flour cookies. They’re okay too.

Last week my courageous picks resulted in me going 8-8! An impressive display of guts and risk taking on my part. My friend played all the safe picks, made all the easy choices and ended up an embarrassing 10-6.
My friend is not a Christmas music nut, but she is fond of one song: “Little Drummer Boy”.
To teach her a lesson I managed to find about 30 versions of the tune. With I’m finished with her she’ll never want to hear “rump a tum rum” ever again! That’s her penalty for trying to look like she is beating me in NFL picks!

The Harry Simone Choral did the original “Little Drummer Boy”. When I was a kid and driving around with my mother they would play it ad nauseam on the radio.
Which is why its cool that my peers have done what they could to renovate, some might call it destroy, this little ditty. Tech band Low’s version of the drummer song turns the tune into a trance Elemental by Skywalker
Click images for desktop size: “Elemental” by Skywalker
dirge. Not very tasty but appropriate somehow.
Heavy metal guitarist, Gary Hoey had a surprise hit album of Christmas music. He basically played heavy distorted guitar over jams of Christmas tunes. It was so successful he had to do a sequel! Here’s Gary Hoey’s metallic take on the drummer boy song.
Steve Vai noticed Hoey going platinum so he organized a bunch of hard rock guitarists to do the same thing. The Merry Axemas albums are interesting but not very. Guys like Steve Stevens, a fine guitarist who kind of blew his chances by taking the quick and easy path with Billy Idol kind of typifies the album. For the most part each track starts off with some delicate and fine playing before it suddenly just rips into a loud more or less formless jam. Alex Lifeson does our featured track. Not much more to say than that other than I would hope that some part of this Something Weird record went to a charity or something. No mention of it but one can hope.
One thing my search discovered is that Joan Jett is still in business. I still remember her from the Runaway days where Kim Fowley and Rodney Bingenheimer were promoting them. Fowley to continue making money and fame and Bingenheimer because he’s a lonely guy looking for love or a reasonable facsimile. Jett was the most talented musician in the band. Now it seems she even has her own record label and has produced a new sampler of the bands she’s signed! Cool. We have the lady herself Joan Jett doing “Little Drummer Boy” replete with fat barre chords!
Next up is the 60’s band who had the big hit with “Wimoweh” – the lion sleeps tonight song. The Tokens’ version of the drummer boy is kind of sweet. The soaring falsetto takes over at times and moves the tune back into a primal mode.
The Dandy Warhols, of all groups, did an interesting cover. It still sounds like the Dandy’s too. That’s fine by me.
No song is any good unless you can make it into a rollicking surf tune! Los Straitjackets prove that wrestling masks, surf guitars drums and Christmas rock.
But I’ve save the best two versions for last.
The Little Drummer Boys by Mike Watt and the Crew of the Flying Saucer was, I thought, the most insane version of this track I’d ever heard. And how could you not love a band name like that! But then I heard something better. A coolness not heard of since Hal Blaine or Sandy Nelson Dusty Watson Complex leaves no doubt that the most dangerous weapon in the world is still a simple trap kit and the willingness to take no prisoners.
Snowflakes
Click images for desktop size: “Snowflakes” by Unknown

And now to week 16 of the NFL.
My picks are in bold.

Indianapolis at Jacksonville – As the NFL plays out it string more and more of the games are the sheerest tedium. The NFL should follow baseballs lead and use these dead games to highlight new players, try some new strategy. Instead its just the same boring plays that having worked for 14 weeks but maybe they will now . . . that wasn’t the case for the Jaguars Thursday, but only because of the tremendously moving appearance by Richard Simmons in a wheelchair. They played spirited football like they should have played all season. They lost because Peyton Manning doesn’t care about opponents teammates or gutty performances. He only cares about winning and getting to the Superbowl. I wrote the Colts off 10 weeks ago. With the win they clinched the wild card. Show to Bug Bunny Christmas go, shows to go . . .

Baltimore at Dallas – The Cowboys are choking big time while the Ravens have that glint of desperation that just might carry them through into the playoffs. Superstars bickering vs aging superstars looking for a collision, looking for the hit to end it all. The choice is clear to me even though the Cowboys are pretty heavily favored. Game of the week contender.

Arizona at New England – Matt Cassel played brilliantly following the death of his father. He plans to finish the season the same was a s a tribute to his dad. That’s a powerful mojo. The only hope the Patriots have is to win out. Arizona is already in the playoffs, even has at least one home playoff game their first in like 35 years. So Larry Johnson and Arrington are going to sit out this meaningless game . . . The Cardinals haven’t won a game on the East Coast this season. Can’t expect much effort from them here.

San Diego at Tampa Bay – Coaching had probably cost the Buccaneers their shot at the playoffs. Pin it all on Jon Gruden and bizarre strategy in back to back must win games, both of which they lost. The Buc;s aren’t eliminated. The Chargers were everybody’s pick to go to the SuperBowl the minute Tom Brady went down. Now they The Sandman Maxfield Parrish
Click images for desktop size: “The Sandman” by Maxfield Parrish
are fighting to get to .500. They’ve no heart and never should have fired Marty Schottenheimer.

San Francisco at St Louis – Until Mike Singletary took over the 49er’s this was a early pick for cruddy game of the year. Right now you’d have to think the Niner’s would be idiots to not make Singletary the permanent HC. With what he has done with this team in 3 weeks is astounding. They are playing hard edged football, entertaining football. The idea of them having a few draft picks and a training camp is scary stuff. The Rams are hoping not to get relegated to a lower league.

Pittsburgh at Tennessee – After four freakish wins they’re call ing the Steelers the “Team of Destiny”. I see it as inept officiating that has only gone against the Steelers once. This is going to be a good game, especially with Haynesworth out for the Titans. These teams will probably meet againStrange Bedfellows in the playoffs. Having Haynesworth out will help the Titans in that game more than it will hurt them in this one. The Titans will not be able to run or pass the ball very consistently. Even without Haynesworth the Steelers haven’t been moving the ball well at all. Unless the ref’s decide to cheat again I think the Titans win a squeaker. Oh yeah, game of the week.

Cincinnati at Cleveland – Cruddy game of the week. Sad really. Both teams looked so promising coming out of camp. Taking the Bengals because, well, why not. Nobody has anything in this one. Slight edge to the Browns for their defense and ball hawking but the offense will cough the ball up as much as they take it away.

Miami at Kansas City – I’m taking the Dolphins because, well, its just common sense really. But the Chiefs aren’t looking good but they’ve gotten more dangerous. An upset wouldn’t surprise me here. I still expect it to be close.

New Orleans at Detroit – The Bears gamesmanship cost the Saints Reggie Bush and their season. Dru Brees is still looking like he’s going for the Hall of Fame and against the Lions that should be enough. In fact the Lions only real hope is that the Saints are so heartbroken about their Elysia by T Hecker
Click images for desktop size: “Elysia” by T Heckler
season that they forget to show up.

Houston at Oakland – Cruddy game of the week contender. The Texans are not looking better. they’ve been lucky and played teams that have given up. Like the Raiders this week.

Buffalo at Denver – Here’s a game so dull I don’t even want to think about it. Lynch should get some big yards. Trent Edwards is due back but its hard to figure how shaky he’ll be. Jay Cutler is all the Broncos have and probably all they’ll need n this one.

New York Jets at Seattle – The Seahawks stink but I’m nervous about Favre playing in a hostile environment. He could throw four picks in this one. Which still wouldn’t be enough for the Seahawks to win.The Great St Louis Bank Robbery

Philadelphia at Washington – The Redskins have rolled over and learned to play dead. The Eagles have a shot at the playoffs. That’s about all I can muster for this snorer.

Atlanta at Minnesota – The Falcons are looking tired. The Vikings aren’t looking good. If they were this would be a game of the week contender. Still Adrein Petersen and the Williams boys will keep the Vikings in it and disrupt the Falcons ground game enough for a home win.

Green Bay at Chicago – A few weeks ago the Packers spanked the Bears. That’s the last game they won/ They’ve looked terrible losing too. The Bears stink but they’re at home and eager to repay the humiliation they suffered. Oddly, the Bears Christmas at Rockefeller Center
Click images for desktop size: “Christmas at Rockefeller Center” by Unknown
have an outside shot at the playoffs.

Carolina at New York Giants – I don’t think much of the Panthers. See the Steelers comment above. Winning games is not the same as having a winning football team. The Giants have looked tired lately, stressed about Plaxico Buress and young receivers not handling the pressure. This is a game they need to right themselves to avoid an early exit from the playoffs.

Veiw these picks at your own risk. Not responsible for any physical damage due to excessive laughter and/or hysterics.

The best way to predict the future is to create it
Peter Drucker

Colorfast by Richard Mohler
Click images for desktop size: “Colorfast” by Richard Mohler
We got the stickers to label the doggie treat Christmas presents. They’re bigger than I expected. If I’d known I’d have written what the treats are on them. Out Of the Past
I have this fear that a) People will think I’m a loon (which they will anyway) and think I mean to harm their dogs or b) in these hard times that I’m giving out free samples of a product I want to sell.
I want them to just see that somebody else cares about their dogs and enjoys them as we walk around the neighborhood. I can’t control people’s perceptions.
I sealed up three bags using the vacuum sealer thing. It was cool Christmas Card
Click image: “Merry Christmas 2008” by S4W
and easy. Kind of fun too. I liked watching all the air get sucked out and the bags crinkling hard to the shapes of the dried veggies. It was aesthetically pleasing to me.
The big snow is expected today.
I hope its really big. So far this morning there’s just a light dusting on the ground.
Yesterday I shoveled the yard in preparation for the big storm. I discovered its easier to do that then to just wait and let it all pile up.
I keep the dogs out there with me while I do the shoveling. They seem to enjoy standing on the ground I just shoveled and then getting in my way as I continue. Its their game and they’re laughing.
I saw the gentle dog suddenly bolt past me. I watched him, amused at his speed and intensity while Snowshoeing by Steven Stradhee
Click images for desktop size: “Snowshoeing” by Steven Stradhee
I wondered what he was chasing. There’s an abandoned bomb shelter in the back yard! Not an A-Bomb shelter, which would be very cool, but a plywood walled bunker sort of thing. Its collapsed but still has the shape of a room about 8 feet below the caved in roof. The roof has been used for years to toss fallen branches and other yard debris. It looks pretty natural, a part of the terrain.
As I watched the gentle dog scooted over the roof of the bomb shelter and disappeared. I went back to shoveling for a bit then realized the gentle dog hadn’t reappeared and my puppy was agitated.
I went over to the shelter and was surprised that the gentle dog had followed whatever he wasNight of the Demon chasing down into the shelter and was now stuck!
It wasn’t a big problem to drop down besides him. I lifted him up and pushed him out through the hole in the roof.
In my haste to rescue him I neglected to calculate my own escape.
I thought about it for a second and tried to do an old rock climbing style “mantle”. Its where you grab the ledge above your head pull yourself up to where you can rest your forearm on the surface and then lever yourself up.
Pretty simple.
Except my hands would not grasp the wood. Since I’ve started to play the guitar again I notice that aside from the pain and the cramping finger style playing has left my right thumb feeling jammed and dislocated. My recent falling downs has also left my wrist weak.
Christmas Matrioshka
Click image: “Russian Christmas Matrioshka” by Unknown
I tried a couple more times, trying different techniques. All I managed to do was to break off some chunks of dusty ceiling.
There’s still a door on the shelter so I tried that. Most people probably would have thought of trying the door first . . . but I have pride in wanting to exit the same way I entered. Pride is often confused with stupidity. Besides it was dark down there and I really hadn’t thought of it.
The door was solidly jammed and throwing my weight against it only made the shelter vibrate in an uncomfortable way and I had a flash of me being buried alive under plywood and yard debris.
More worrisome was that my puppy and the giant dog decided that all my banging around was a sure sign that I was having a world of fun and they were threatening to come down and join me. Planet of the Apes (Czech) They kept poking their noses through the hole. Giant dog was play growling at me trying to make me let him join in the fun.
I yelled at them to sit. I was surprised that they both did.
I remembered I had my cell phone in my pocket, which is more common sensical than usual for me. I’ve often watched old movies where all the tension from a scene or a chase could have been solved if the hero just had a cell phone in his pocket.
Christmas Cheer
“Christmas Cheer” by Unknown
I thought for a bit about calling 911 but I figured they’d probably have to break down the gate to get into the yard and, that just didn’t seem worth it.
I was also wondering what the gentle dog was chasing. I hadn’t heard anything rustling down there. I sometimes smell a heavy musk in the backyard. Rather skunky but not quite the skunk smell I know. I’d decided it must be wolverines! It didn’t matter that I’d been told that there weren’t any wolverines around here, that they’re several hundred miles further north, I enjoyed thinking that there’s a semi-dangerous animal lurking in my backyard.
At this time I also figured that all my banging around would have seriously hacked off any skulking wolverines who would have gone by my jugular by now. I figured it was most likely that the gentle Dragon Lady
Click images for desktop size: “Dragon Lady” by Unknown
dog was chasing the “stupid cat”.
I also found it interesting that it seemed several degrees cooler in the bomb shelter. For some reason my lack of subterranean knowledge made me think it would be warmer, which is stupid and against all my experience but I still fondly cherish the notion that just 10 feet below the surface the earth is filled with pools of magma that house great fire resistant dinosaurs.
I finally figured out that I could hang from the roof and do a sort of chimney move against one slick wall and sort of scramble out that way. It took about 10 minutes for me to get to a position where I could grab something and try and pull myself out.Red Dust
The first time I grabbed a branch which wasn’t attached to anything and fell back into the shelter. The next time i just madly flailed at the dirt until I was able to roll myself onto solider ground. Of course the dogs all had to rush over and smell me.
I checked the gentle dog over and decided he had no bumps, contusions or abrasions. He was a bit nervous about the hole but still eager to bite me.
I finished my shoveling, went in and made us a frozen pizza I’d gotten on sale. The dogs and me love our frozen pizza, except they always want more than their share. I think they think the same thing about me.
We watched the Colts Jaguars game on TV. It was better than I anticipated. It was sadly moving seeing Richard Collier come onto the field in his wheel chair.
My friend was working late, in preparation for the two weeks off and anticipating that the big snow Luis Royo
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Luis Royo
would stop her from going into work today. So I went to bed alone.
Not quite alone. Usually my puppy lies on the bed until my presence annoys her. Tonight the gentle dog nudged her aside and lie next to me. Nose to nose. I love dogs but I don’t like doggie kisses or them licking me at all. I also don’t like doggie breath. He moved further down, turned around and pressed hard against me and stayed there until my friend got home. Then he went to greet here by stepping on my face. So everything is back to normal.

A few people have written to me complaining that the song version the downloaded wasn’t the one that I claimed it would be! I realize that when I ftp’d a song with the same name to the server I was overwriting the old version! I’ll get that fixed.
Here’s Jan and Dean doing a little “Merry Christmas promo”. I like these little messages inserted Santa Claus Conquers the Martians into my playlists.
Shonen Knife aren’t the only Japanese girl band to celebrate the holidays, this is The 5 6 7 8’s doing “Rock N’ Roll Santa”. Cute stuff with a nice cutting edge.
Soupy Sales has a son named Tony. Tony started out with a band called Tony and the Tigers. Soupy used all of his influence to promote his son’s band. Eventually Tony would marry Tyrone Powers’ daughter, Taryn, and then form Tin Machine and be David Bowie’s band for a lot of years. That’s how it goes in Hollywood. None of which has anything to do with this CHristmas track by Soupy himself. “Santa Claus Is Surfin’ To Town” has been blamed for everything from causing the cold war to increasing the percentage of American youth experimenting with drugs. The drug part is serious! It’s just a gooney Christmas record that I like fine.
It is certainly no crazier than Ray Steven’s scary “Santa Claus Is Watching You” especially in this post 9/11 anti-American tyranny.
And we’ll end with two tracks designed to ruin forever your memory of Clement Moore’s poem. Huey “Piano” Smith and the Clowns crazed version of “Twas The Night Before Christmas” rolls along in madness that seems absolute until . . .
Now we all know who Henry Rollins is. The founder of Black Flag, the the paramour of Lydia Lunch. Those shows . . .I mean, they were nothing except Lydia screeching on stage while Rollins would jump into the crowd and punch out hecklers! Iceman by Marvel
Click images for desktop size: “Iceman” by Marvel Comics
And a few hundred people would PAY to experience this! While Van Halen and Metallica where down the street PAYING the club owners to get to play Lunch and Rollins were making money doing this poetry reading thing. YOW!
Rollins was cool. I could even accept him taking parts in movies. It wasn’t until he hosted that awful TV game show that I realized the beautiful angry young man was dead and all that was left was a guy who wanted to make a living. Once again I bring up the Eskimo tradition of sending their greatest heroes out on ice floes to die lest they live on and destroy the legend. Henry Rollins doing a Christmas tune is insane, that his radical hep cat be bop reading of “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas” even exists is a Christmas miracle that is a quiet blessing. Scare the kids with this one while you just groove daddio.
Finally a band called The Priestess and the Fool have released a new Christmas album and left it up for FREE DOWNLOADING. Rah! Merry Christmas. The music is okay. They do an interesting cover of the Pogues “Fairytale of New York”. Click the bands name to get it. Classy package 192 kb mp3’s, cover art and pdf booklet. I approve.