Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars Dr Martin Luther King Jr

Birdie By The Lake By Swiebel
Click images for desktop size: “Birdie By The Lake” by Sweibel
It snowed today.
I discovered a new way to injure myself. It takes strong winds but its very successful. I merely fling the snow to one side and it blows back into my face, down the front and back of my coat and shirt.
Very clever.
The Bride Of Frankenstein Last night I watched Misumi Kenji’s “The Last Samurai”, nothing to do with the Tom Cruise mess.
I got a copy from someone reading here. It was a decent trade.
The films never been released in the US. What he did (Cinephage) was take a French DVD and translate those subs into English. Not content with that he scoured other sources and put together the most accurate translation he could.
It makes for a brilliant package.
Odd thing is that he doesn’t really rate Misumi, he considers him an entertainer and a “bargain basement Mizoguchi”. Rah!
I disagree. There are elements of Mizoguchi in Misumi’s work, for sure. The same way there are hints of Eisenstein, Murnau, Dzega-Vertov, and Dyer in every body’s movies. “The Last Samurai” may even be a masterpiece. I’d have to see it again. Its odd. Everyone is smiling and happy, “a nice guy” until they have to kill.
There’s a painful examination of the differences in killing: for love, for honor, for duty. Dying is given no value except towards the total cessation of existence.
It gets mature, adult even, mature in a profound sad and bemused way. So few artists get bemusement into their works. I value it highly mainly because I am almost always bemused, even when I’m crabby and bewildered.
This is a movie to treasure, no doubt. I am already certain it has changed the way I see life.

I’ve been thinking about love songs. Hotel by A Railroad - Edward Hopper
Click images for desktop size: “Hotel By A Railroad” by Edward Hopper
Like what is the greatest love song I’ve ever heard. A love song that encapsulates all those turbulent passions and rocky unsettling times that leads to the peace and serenity of love requited and returned.
The saccharine standards with swelling strings and desperate crooners are okay. Like Johnny Mathis, they set a mood but, for me, fall short of the dynamism of the act of falling in love. There’s no desperation, only longing.
In that branch of the sub-genre I’d have to pick “The Way Love Used To Be” by Ray Davies and The Kinks.
Its got your deep and wailing strings and it talks about the bittersweet longing of not taking chances, of forgetting what love could have been while foolishly trying to recreate it anew.
Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane wrote a song that eloquently describes the joy of love. Their version was lush and heavy with Procul Harum style organ, which takes away from its gentle plaintive intent. Quiet Riot’s cover of “Afterglow” hits closer to the mark. Besides it has Randy Rhodes playing a sizzling acoustic guitar.
The Devil's Bride When you think of Steve Marriott and the Small Faces (As in “There Are But Four Small Faces” one of the great album names of all time) there’s one song that always clicks. They had a modest hit with it but their live version delivers the rage and the power that propel Alkaline Trio and The White Stripes. To me their “Tin Soldier” exposes the joy and the pain that love brings. From the hesitant opening to the deep blues wail hollering in the middle to its end where the world seems to disintegrate in rimshots and girlish screams, for me this song is the background of any love affair.

Of course thinking about love songs always makes me think about other goofy songs!
For a while my fave psycho tune was Brittany Spears’ cover of Joan Jett’s, “I Love Rock n’ Roll”. It was the most vapid non-comprehending track ever! It was great with a stupidity even the Ramones would have envied!
Click images for desktop size: “Arizona”
That was replaced in my heart by Pat Boone’s being relevant (he wore a leather vest with no shirt on the album cover – YOW! Sixty year old non-six packs!) as he covered Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”. It redefined psychotronic!
But now I’ve discovered Dion’s totally mad version of Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze. Since Dion recently acquitted himself quite admirably with a solo album of country blues covers this comes as a total shock. This track will burn out your retinas and cause flashbacks, not to Viet Nam, but of that time you got sent to the principals office for eating all the kindergarten paste.
This is one track that will put a stop to “Rock on brother, rock on.”

I’m writing this on ecto 3 beta 25 . . . 25 . . . its becoming usable and I can almost rely on it not to take all my words and vanish them into the computer innards! I can actually recommend it!

Lord, if you can’t help me please don’t help that bear Jape Richardson

A Gift For A Disillusioned Man By MA Parkes
Click images for desktop size: “A Gift For A Disillusioned Man” by Michael A Parkes
I walked to see the lawyer today. The walk seemed long and cold.
Direct consequence of not having a dog with me.
On the other hand I seemed to fall down an awful lot less . . .
I Am A Groupie 1971 I must enjoy falling more than I’d admit to myself.
I think I have discovered the music that goes with cold, snow and ice: 60’s garage, early Devo, and Glenn Gould playing Bach on harpsichord.
They all work pretty well. I did notice that groups like The Outsiders (“Respectable, “Time Won’t Let Me”, “Girl In Love”), The Human Beinz (“Nobody But Me”) and The Choir (“Its Cold Outside”) all seem to fit the mood remarkably well.
They’re all from Ohio.
Devo used to be proud of being from Akron, Ohio . . .
Glenn Gould is Canadian but I’m certain he has played in OHIO!
Sometimes you have to stretch to make an impossible theorem work. The same way that my puppy is from Ohio but she doesn’t really play any instruments. She sings a lot and she thinks its beautiful but that adds nothing to the argument or the rash conclusion I’m about to jump to . . .
Ohio is the home of cold weather music!
That’s not it . . . I think it has something to do with it appears that weather might have a heavier role in art and pop than I’d first considered.
Would Alan Watts or William Faulkner have written in that same turgid style if they’d been reared in the frigid spans of North Dakota? Would James Joyce had written lighter less dense work if he’d lived most of his life in Malibu instead of Dublin?
And this just about leeches the joy out of this worthless topic. It was something to speculate on while I walked, listened and shivered.
Listen Ms DJ
Click images for desktop size: “Listen Ms DJ” by Anonymous
The meeting with the lawyer was okay. Fine really. I just can’t get past the premonition of doom. Waiting for the next calamity to strike sort of thing. I’ll get over it.
I watched “The Warlords” last night. Its the big deal holiday movie in China – stars Jet Li, Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro. Parts of it were very good.
Andy Lau was typically himself, which, to my eyes means he was great!
Jet Li was a revelation. He plays a rather complex and not very nice guy. In some ways he was a villain, no the villain. But Li managed to convey the desperate emotions of a man and a man with a vision well. He managed to bring some negative traits to the forefront and make us accept them as a part of what drives lesser men to greatness. He’s a coward and a liar and an adulterer.
Animal House He is not these things venially. We understand and empathize. We admire Lau, who is all things heroic. Whose rise to greatness is on Li’s shirt tail. Lau never wanted greatness. He only wanted his family and friends to have enough to eat.
Kaneshiro is the tragic figure here. He believes in the greatness of both men. Childishly he believes in truth.
Its worth seeing for sure.
I just got an email. Astonishingly I am not yet out of the Football Contest . . .
My editing tool, ecto, is now at beta 22!
And from MacWorld I want a MacBook Air, the wireless Router and server grade drive and AppleTV II and and and . . .

Everybody’s got an in

Seamus by Jisuk Cho

Click images for desktop size: “Seamus” by Jisuk Cho
Last night I watched Jacksonville at New England. It was one of the best NFL games I have ever seen.
The Jaguar’s David Garrard (QB) has always looked better than good. Last night he was inspired. He impressed me to the point of adding him my list of elite players.
Psychout In the Divisional Championships I have seldom seen a team play as well as the Jag’s did last night. The game plan was solid, worked well and impressively. Except they ran into one of the greatest teams of all time and a guy who is poised on being the best ever QB not in the Hall Of Fame, Tom Brady.
Brady even managed to eclipse the brilliant performance of Brett Favre earlier that day. What could have been better than Favre in a snowstorm chucking the ball as he falls to the ground? David Garrard’s first TD pass while he was being savaged, for one and Tom Brady’s emotional machine like performance for another.
Tom Brady is still my favorite player in the NFL, Brett Favre is still my favorite QB and now Garrard has moved into that pantheontology.
Jack Del Rio has proven himself a superb coach. If Pete Carroll should (shudder) leave USC for the NFL, Del Rio is still my first pick as his replacement. He looked into the maw of the cannon and came out ready to play. Better he had a team ready to crush the monster that is the Patriots.
I hope that todays games provide that level of professional play and vivid excitement. This might be a generous wish as I might not be able to see the games.
A dispute with the cable company . . . is that anything new to anyone?
Does anyone need a better illustration of the evils of a monopoly? And what ever got into the heads of the government to support and encourage this monopoly. I understand how we got to this point but I can’t believe so little is being done to correct the issue.
Emotional By Envy

Click images for desktop size: “Emotional” by Envy
Monopolies have always held to the same credo. Higher prices and increasingly worse products.
After spending a couple of hours on hold listening to bad muzak and annoying commercials for extending my cable package I was finally able to talk to a person a few days later.
It appears the cable company reduced our service as I was disputing a 20 buck charge . . . I just got a bill on Friday that was due on the 28th of January. Part of the bill was for the services they decided to reduce . . .
Confuses me too.
The end result was me passing on “discussing” the issue by being put on hold to talk to someone else and stating, “I think the best thing to do is to rip the cable box out of the wall and returning it to the cable company tomorrow.”
Pretty rash for me but the effrontery of it was amazing.
Imagine getting your car repaired. You spend 100 bucks and then say, “Hey, you charged me for a Ford part and this is a Chevy! I’m not paying you the 20 bucks for the part till this is sorted.”
Teenage Tramp Now in the middle of the night the repairman comes and swipes your four tires claiming he is holding them until you pay him the 20 bucks!”
Fortunately I don’t watch much TV, just movies and I have a big enough collection to seldom depend on TV for them. I really only watch football. As much as I hate bars I’d rather sit in a bar to watch the Super Bowl than give these guys anymore of my paltry sum of money.
It won’t make a difference to anyone but me.

On a cooler note: You know I’m a Buddy Holly fan. It seems that all the way back in 1989 this crazy French cat is also a Buddy Holly fan. Difference is that he owned an independent record label. He commissioned a mess of post punk artists to cover Buddy Holly tunes to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his passing. Rah!
Its pretty good, there’s frankly two scary acoustic tunes from the dementia praecox king, Roky Ericson, a pretty straight forward cover of “Peggy Sue” from Falco but its the 29th track that floors me.
I’m a big Saints fan. Chris Bailey is some kind of twisted dwarf monster who’s freaky deadpan monotone vocal surrounded by jangly crunch guitars and mellow blues horns thrills and pleases me.
They do a cover of Holly’s “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore”. Its the reason I got the CD.
The Back Stops HEre - NFL Films

Click images for desktop size: “The Back Stops Here” NFL Films
It isn’t often in life that you have unusually high expectations and have them exceeded. Bailey’s version is surprisingly heartfelt and emotional. Its almost sweet, except that Bailey brings in a cruel edge of reality that threatens to move the song from the pop world to the operatic stage. He doesn’t, don’t think he wanted to, but its that tension that adds to the power of the tune. Yow! Double yow! You need a cold shower after this one.

My blood sugars are responding. This morning was the first time that the levels were below my maximum. Also worth a double yow! I got a present of the new BB King endorsed One Touch Glucose Meter. It is cool and much easier on the bleeding fingers and on the jabbing myself!

Sometimes I feel like Mars Bonfire

Abandoned Mansion - Raven 88

Click images for desktop size: “Abandonded Mansion” by Raven 88
He Wrote “Born To Be Wild” for John Kay and Steppenwolf and created the phrase, “Heavy Metal”. He had a really mediocre solo album and now he’s forgotten.
I think of what it must be like to meet him at a party. Does he walk up to you and introduce himself as the man who created heavy metal? I would. It would be cool to watch people shuffle their feet while trying not to look at you.
German Dr Jeckyl And Mr Hyde 1931Since he copyrighted the song does he get a tiny piece of money every time anyone uses his words?
If he doesn’t, is he warped and bitter about it? Does he support the RAIA?
Has he found happiness now? Does he look out of his window and consider that a billion bikers and wannabe bikers are standing in their showers, their fantasies and their lives played out to his soundtrack?
Does his wife think he’s a genius? Does she tell all her friends that he is?
Sometimes I feel like Mars Bonfire . . .

I didn’t realize how wrecked I was yesterday until I read what I wrote.
All I wrote were intro’s and then I left out the story . . .
I don’t even know if the stories were any good. Maybe that’s why I omitted them.
That doesn’t mean anyone should be spared.
Like the whole fixation on bowels was in memory of a nurse. I’d just started my first chemo, the really nasty one where my hair fell out and I was considering that death was better than this.
There was this plump cheeked blonde blue eyed nurse, who shimmered in self contained pleasure.
We all hated her.
We hated her even more than we hated the missionary nurse who found time to testify to us individually at least twice during our stay. “Have you been washed in the blood,” was the sardonic greeting the adults used in sardonic detestment of her.
A Silhouette Of War By Scooch

Click images for desktop size: “A Silhouette Of War” by Scooch
We hated the blonde all the more because on first sight you could see her with a pleasant carnal interest. She was young, pretty and had a face that knew no deeper tragedy than Bergdorf Goodman not increasing her credit limit at Christmas.
She wore a starched white nurses outfit. She was the only one who did. She wore it tight to accent her curves. And every morning she’d walk in and say in a clear bright chipper voice that was singed by the harshest most nasal twangy Sydney accent you ever heard and say, “How are we this morning? Did we have a good BM?”
And every evening before she went home and did whatever she did she’d stop in and say in that same voice that grated and jangled our exposed electric nerves, “Have a good night. I hope you have a good bowel movement!”
We hated her just short of plotting her death.
Someone once speculated that maybe she thought we were in there for chronic constipation.
Flesh Is Weak Double Feature Usually when you go into remission, or at least finish the course you look back at your caregivers with a trace of fondness or at least vague gratitude. Not her.
I’ve met some of my former comrades and we’d even been able to look at the Evangelical nurse with a trace of wry humor. The sexy blonde Aussie with the clear eye and smooth skin and the grating voice we’ll all hate forever.
Is that justice or even close to fair?
Of course not, but none of us care.

And after that wonderful scatological reverie I was going to move on to my toe nail clipping and how that reminded me that I have the ugliest feet in the world.
I do. It has been attested to.
There are probably a lot of similes to be drawn between my feet and my soul. I do not attest to these.
I think most of my problem with my feet stems from the fact that I use them . . . I mean I’ve had countless turf toes, stepped on plenty of spiny urchins and a few jelly fish.
Once I played a pick up game of football in Regents Park wearing a pair of boots. But I blame most of the damage on rock climbing.
I always had extreme climbers for partners and extreme climbers demand extreme footwear. I was always the dumb one but smart enough to do as I was told.
The popular shoes back then were RD’s and PA’s (or maybe some inversion of those initials, its been a long time since I checked out climbing shoes).
Cartoon Girls

Click images for desktop size: “Cartoon Girl” by Unknown
Both shoes had their adherents. What they had in common was lightness. They felt like ballet slippers in your hand.
They had a very light special construction type rubber that extended up the heel slightly and far over the toes.
The rubber was to give sure grip on rock. The extensions up the toe were to give a solid fit when jamming your foot into cracks, or balancing on tiny little knobs (which is one of my more vivid rock climbing memories.)
But the problem is that the shoe sort of funneled your foot (meaning your toes mainly) into a nice tiny point. Not unlike the ancient cruel art of foot binding in Japan. Of course this isn’t cruel. We did it to ourselves.
My problems were the two or three mile hikes to the climbs wearing these shoes . . .
My point is that my freakishly ugly feet are the direct response to honorable wounds, if you will, and should not be scoffed at nor jeered at.
I wear shoes almost all the time anyway . . .

I have a new Blue Tooth Mighty Mouse I got for Christmas from my friend.
I Love A Mystery 1945 I’m still marveling at it. I think it works okay so far.
My friend returns from her first weekend away at training tonight. It will be good.

The play offs start this weekend. Wildcard Weekend, according to the hype.
The bowl games were so mixed this year that these games might actually be entertaining.
These games count in the on-line contest I’m in so you have to endure my picks.
I’m in 2,123 position after my less than scintillating 11-5 last weekend. I am still only 13 points out of first with no idea how I fare on any tie breakers . . .
My picks are in bold.

Washington at Seattle – Its tempting to take the Redskins for a few reasons. Journeyman QB replacing erratic Jason Campbell for one thing. That the Seahawks have looked like mushes in their last few games is another. While I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Redskins win here, their history is against them. The Seahawks are more desperate. So the Redskins could win a tight one or the Seahawks could get Hasslebeck fired up and blow them out.

Jacksonville at Pittsburgh – This is pathetic. That the Jaguars have to travel to Pittsburgh as the wildcard team when they have a better record and have already thrashed the Steelers. Nothing has changed since their last meeting, except the Jags are more confident and the Steelers have looked even shakier.

Chimp's Face

Click images for desktop size: “Chimps’ Face” by Faan
New York Giants at Tampa Bay – This is the cruddy game of the week! Even if it is the playoffs. Eli Manning showed he can play when the game is meaningless against the Patriots last week. The Buc’s have been stumbling around in a weak conference. This is a coin toss really. Both these teams have no business and are only fodder for next week. Taking the Bucs for home field advantage and Jeff Garcia.

Tennessee at San Diego – I don’t think this game will be a blow out. The Titans D is looking way too sharp since Haynesworth’s return. But the Titan’s offense is kind of sporadic at best. I like Kerry Collins. He’s a nice guy, but he doesn’t replace Vince Young. If the Titans win behind Collins he should get a life time pass to the Grand Ol’ Oprey from his home town. He’s got a big hill to climb here. Too big I think.

These picks are not jokes even if they are intended for amusement only.
Who knows what I forgot to say today that I’ll remember tomorrow . . .