There’s just a little less of me

Wild Horse

Click images for desktop size: “Wild Horse” by Abogado
My puppy graduated from Level Two Obedience class.
I was surprised. She never did First Level Obedience. She never showed much interest in Obedience at all. Jut the sort of obedience that keeps us both happy, not the fancy heel exactly this way style of obedience for sure!
Date Bait I honestly didn’t fully expect her to even pass. So when she was made “class valedictorian I was stunned to the point of having nothing to do but feel conceited.
I am always surprised at what my little dog will do to please me.
This follows on the heels of good news/bad news from my puppy;s family.
Her litter mate went to a big dog show cross country. That alone would have been infinitely cool, but the big shock was she won best of breed (Opposite sex . . . somehow that just seems wrong, why not best female?) and Best Bred By Exhibitor.
For some reason this flushes with me with pride. I don’t know why but it does.
The bad news is that, like in people, cancer in dogs seems to be genetic. Hank, one of the coolest dogs I’ve ever known, died this year from cancer.
To me it was tragic.
Now it seems one of his offspring has the same disease.
I hate that.
Dogs are natural born battlers and can handle the disease better than most people. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt or that the battle is any easier.
The bright spot is that she appears to be taking the chemo well and responding. Maybe she’ll go into remission.
The dog is taking an oral chemo, similar to the one I had to take. I know how it made my body feel.
I feel sorry for her and am glad she wouldn’t know what to do with pity. She’d probably prefer it if I rubbed her tummy or tried to take this stick away from her.

Autumn Rice by Vargas

Click images for desktop size: “Autumn Rice” by Vargas
On football this week I was a mediocre 11-5. Oddly for a while I was in first place! But some one went 16-0!I can’t imagine anyone getting all those bizarre last week games right, but they did.
I gave up on my theory that the fix was in . . .
The NFC Playoffs wild card week appears to be a big thudding dud . . .

On my health front . . . I’ve been passing out.
I hate that. Its just like falling into a black hole. I get no rest and feel even more fatigued when I come to.
I’m not sure what to do about it. I can’t will myself conscious until sleep. I just sit and pass out.
Irksome.
Dinosaurus I’m responding as expected to the drugs. My levels are all slowly balancing out.
I’ll survive much more than this.
As usual my Blood pressure and cholesterol levels are all aces and I have at least gone through the added discomfort of the flu shot.
And the flu shot discomfort is a lot less painful than the flu!
There wasn’t much more time left in the day.
I filled it by messing with the code on the site.
I decided that there aren’t that many people who use the rss feeds. Its been a major amount of work coding everything to look good in the feeds – floating pictures etc. So i’ve gone to just using css classes to do some of the layout work.
I hope this doesn’t distress anyone. It makes me feel a bit lazy.
I’ve also added in a Tag feature, where you can search for all other entries with the same tag at the bottom of the post.
It won’t make much sense until there are tons of tagged posts, and I can’t imagine why anyone would want to do such a thing, but it was fun trying to make it work.

Could I Just Take A Break Here?

Rabbits

Click images for desktop size: “Rabbits” by Unknown
Feeling awfully sick.
Finally got my meds. I was too long without them. Blood sugars over 24, which is close to diabetic coma.
I hate being reminded how sick I am.
Taking the meds and now. My body is readapting to them. Its harsh. Magnifies a lot of the other pain.
The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari I have to remind myself that all of that is compounded further because I had a flu shot.
But dogs and friends kept most of that away.
Its only now, when I’m alone at dark night, that I feel how utterly horrid I feel.
The good thing is I got three months supply.

The college bowl season has been dreary enough to make the bright spots gleam even brighter.
Nothing could beat seeing Tom Brady, Randy Moss and the New England Patriots make history tonight. If there’s any justice they’ll continue on to the Super Bowl.
I was impressed with Brady’s after game speech. I was more impressed that when he completed the TD pass to Moss to set a personal record of 52 TD’s in a year, he was signaling not 52 but 22, which is the record number of TD catches Randy Moss made on the same pass.
That the ref’s threw a flag for “Group Celebration” which led to the Giants TD is asinine and indicative of what’s wrong with the NFL.

I’ve changed some of my picks and might change them up until the cut off time, as info creeps through about who’ll be playing and who’ll be sitting down for some of the meaningless games and the not so meaningless ones.
Crazy season.
Crazy sport.
Red Rain

Click images for desktop size: “Red Rain” by Lyle Krannechfield
Its my friends birthday tomorrow; today really. And its my puppy’s level 2 Obedience Graduation.
I hope I feel better for both their sakes!
I don’t know how my puppy will do. Don’t really care except for old competitive urges and pride.

I put up a movie on my puppy’s site today.
It was hard getting it to stream from my site but I idi it.
I’m proud of that. I wanted it to look good for the kids. My initial design was minorly flawed so it had to be very HQ to read the scrawly writing. And YouTube made i so you could barely see any of the faces.
I like faces, my friend’s faces and my dogs’ faces.
I’m off to sleep now. I hope I can instead of just passing out. No rest in passing out.

They’re up here because they believe Vince Lombardi

A Christmas Carol - 2004

Click images for desktop size: “A Christmas Carol – Christmas Card 2004”
We went for a walk today.
Strike that.
We started out for a walk today when the largest dog managed to escape out the gate.
He refused to come when called so I had to chase him, except I still had my puppy and the little blind dog with me. All 3 of us ran after the big dog. We were game but the little one wore out. I had to scoop him up and carry him.
Bambi 1942 We had a bout a 10 minute chase with a couple of close calls but no damage done except to my temper. Until we got home and I realized that making the little blind boy run, even for only 50 yards was too tough on his cardio. He recovered but it was nerve racking for a while there. None of which improved my temper with the big guy. I got even though. I gave the big guy 5 grams less ice cream then everyone else got tonight!
We all have our own forms of discipline.

One of the purposes for the walk, other than health . . . was to ponder this weeks NFL games in the weekend of the “Silent Night”. Most of the games are, well, dogs! It makes them harder to pick as fewer teams have any reason to try. Its the holidays for them too and no matter how professional an athlete is its unique for a man to go out and want to destroy his brother in this time of peace when there is nothing to be gained for it but some weak pride.
I think they’ll all play to their abilities, for the most part, but there’ll be a fine edge that’s lacking which makes thing unpredictable. Then there’ll be some rookies getting some major game time and they’ll either collapse or explode with heart and enthusiasm. I think that this week is mainly guesswork and tossing a two headed coin.
As usual my picks are in bold.

Pittsburgh at St Louis – This ones already played. The Steelers won. I picked them but it was with no heart. The Steelers are not very good and I’d expect them not to go deep in the playoffs.

Dallas at Carolina – This is good medicine for the Cowboys who are not looking all that dominant at the moment. The Panthers are feeling a bit confident after their upset win last week but they don’t match up well enough against Dallas to have much of a chance. The score is Cowboys up 17-10 as I write this. This says more about the Cowboys in the playoffs then anything else.
Silver Bell 2006

Click images for desktop size: “Silver Bell – Christmas Card 2006”
Cleveland at Cincinnati – My heart ays pick the Bengals. My heart starves a lot. I’d like to see them get it together and stick it to the Browns but its the equation. The Browns are chasing the Steelers for the Division Championship. They’re not used to winning. The Bengals have nothing to win or lose except pride. A lot of their players have enough pride and talent to carry them but the attitude is hard to guess. Remember a few years ago when Chad Johnson scored a TD in week 16? He scored and ran to a pylon where he had a giant Christmas Stocking stashed, he opened it and started throwing gifts to the fans. I liked that a lot. They got to the play offs that year too . . .

Green Bay at Chicago – Last week the Bears were almost as embarrassing as the Vikings. They looked terrible, the Vikings only slightly less terrible. Bret Favre is still Bret Favre and want the home field advantage. He’s been there before and looks like a team of destiny. The Bears look like a team trying to remember how to play the game.
Batman
Houston at Indianapolis – This is one of those games where, if your a home town fan you might care. There’s almost nothing of real interest here except wondering how the Colts will handle Mario Williams.

Kansas City at Detroit – There’s a tremendous sadness in this game. Two teams who back in August looked at the world with bright eyes and expectant determination. The Lions looked ready to exorcise their demons. The Chiefs looked like well, they wee hopeful. This is one of the least important games of the weekend and its sad that it should be so.

New York Giants at Buffalo – The Giants look like a team willing to stumble into the playoffs expending minimal effort. The Bills aren’t quite out of it but are playing for something, like a dying city and a teammate who most thought, a few months ago, might be better off dead. The Giants are a slight favorite! Go Bills.

Oakland at Jacksonville – The only question I see here is whether the Jaguars can keep the score down. They have fire in their eyes and are not foolish enough to let that fire get away from them. The Raiders still have those snazzy uniforms.

Pattern Of Presents

Click images for desktop size: “Pattern Of Present ” by Unknown
Philadelphia at New Orleans – This is actually the game of the week. Sort of by default. As in most of the other games are sort of cruddy. Both teams have a little to play for. The Saints aren’t eliminated form the play offs . . . yet. The Eagles want to put together back to back strong games for contract time. I’m taking the Saints because of Dru Brees and home field.

Tampa Bay at San Francisco – At first blush a cruddy game of the week contender. But Frank Gore looked good for the 49ers last week. And, like it or not, the Buc’s are division champions. I don’t think Gore can repeat his performance against this defense, without him the 49er’s don’t have much.

Atlanta at Arizona – Here is the cruddy game of the week . . . well, both teams will show up and they both have well tailored uniforms . . . the Falcons’ gear is a bit prettier in my opinion. The Cardinals stuff seems to actually wrinkle and bunch up a lot . . .
Beatles Come To Town
Baltimore at Seattle – The Ravens beautiful performance against the Patriots was sure a one off. Seattle are trying to figure out how to win with less of a running game than even the Packers! And Hasslebeck is no Bret Favre! Still at home the Seahawks should win.

New York Jets at Tennessee – The Titans are struggling for a play off shot. They deserve it even with some bone head coaching they’ve shown fire and grit. The Jets have shown they are core losers. I’m only glad Eric Maginini doesn’t own Wilson (so he can’t take the ball and run home.)

Miami at New England – Now that the Dolphins actually won a game the glitter is off of this one. The weather will be poor but not so bad that Tom Brady can’t get back to throwing a few TD’s. I don’t see anyone on the Dolphins who can stop him so they must be praying for a freak blizzard.

Denver at San Diego – So the Chargers managed to stick one last week. They have already won my award for most disappointing team this season, even more disappointing than the Bears! (I mean who really thought the Bears would repeat this year with all their off season insane arrogant moves). he Broncos are in a tail spin but might find the weather nice enough to put forth a little effort.

Washington at Minnesota – My runner up game of the week. Two teams who (to the NFC’s embarrassment) are in the wild card chase. The Redskins looked bad last week. The Vikings looked abominable except for Adrian Peterson. I’ll go with a guy who can turn a busted play into a TD any time.

As usual my picks are for entertainment purposes only. Although if you die laughing I will not be held responsible.

And if you hadn’t noticed: Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, Happy Kwanzaa. And Peace on Earth, please.

If you can hear this

Merry Christmas If you’re reading this it means that you’re at the new hosting site and your name servers have migrated!
I was looking at the old traffic meter I kept and it’s apparent that the old host had been dying for months and months.
Here everything just feels zippy!
I’m glad you found us again . . .
Comic Cavalcade Today was just a day of waiting. Me: I waited for the old Registrar to release the domain name. My friend had a bit more difficult time. She was waiting for her dream job to call.
No real reason to expect them to, except that each of her references would call her after they spoke to her dream job and they indicated they would probably make a job offer today.
No phone call.
She (and I for that matter) would be disappointed but would accept not hearing from them. I still stir up a lot of anger towards her jerk ex-employers. I have nothing but bad feelings towards them and it codifies all the bad I had felt about them previously only in a more grotesque gargantuan form.
There’s still tomorrow.

It was warmer today, which was justification to not finish all the snow shovelling . . . it justified it to me anyway.
My back is feeling about 90% right now but my right shoulder is cramping up.
We went for a walk, the blind puppy, my puppy and I. They rejoiced in the warmer weather and the sight of kids having snow ball fights and sliding around in the slush.
It felt like Christmas was really almost here.

Could you hand me the left handed monkey wrench?

Christmas Advert 1972
Click images for desktop size: “Christmas Advert 1972” by Coca Cola
Just got the new water heater. Two hours (approx) to a hot shower!
No headaches from washing my hair in cold water. I think that’s a pretty good thing.
Bugs Bunny Christmas Yesterday, aside from watching some modestly enjoyable football, I worked on updating the site, prepping for the move to Movable Type.
The hosting service is becoming totally aggravating. I’ve been using them for 2 and a half years. I picked them because Dot5 Hosting was and still is the cheapest hosting service out there. Domain registration and service is about seventy bucks a year!
At first they were adequate. They had fits and outages, but they remained barely adequate.
This year I debated about moving to another service but they were talking about getting new servers in and updating things. Mainly its just such a chore backing up the data bases, reinstalling, downloading the whole site, then reinstalling it, then figuring out why it doesn’t work etc etc.
In the last 7 months the service has been horrendous! Coming from a background of free servers, well it was worse than that. Customer service got moved to India . . . so where I used to be able to call or do an online chat and ask the guy to reboot the server now I have someone giving me answers out of a book until they don’t understand what I’m talking about.
They pass me off to a Senior Tech . . . which means I get an email a couple days later and nothing changes or gets fixed.
I was trying to live with the service. I spent a lot of time converting everything to Movable Type.
Movable Type works by using perl to create an html page. Html pages load faster than php. It puts less strain on the server.
Movable Type normally generates the pages in about .015 seconds per page. I had about 500 pages to generate. On free servers it could take about 10 minutes! On my wonky service it took about 32 hours. And it had to be monitored becasue it would suddenly fail.
Santas Treats - Christmas Card 2005
Click images for desktop size: “Santa’s Treats – Christmas Card 2006”
I’ve decided to change hosting services . . .
This wouldn’t be so bad if I were getting paid for it . . .
I guess you’re worth it.
Sure you are.
The page your looking at is Movable Type. I hope you noticed that it loaded really really fast!
There’s still some glitches and cosmetic things I have to sort out. I’m putting in the links one at a time . . . I know that’s important to a lot of people. I’ll try and get to them . . .
It was my original plan to make the move around Christmas, maybe even on to a new server! But the database for WordPress got corrupted. I had a back up!!! Which is close to miraculous . . . for me anyway.
Hopefully all of this will be invisible to you. It won’t affect my puppy’s blog at all.
Flash Gordon 1938 Her blog is important. A lot of kids sem to love her. They at least write to her.
That’s important to me.

Onto to football. The games were poor but the scores were exciting. I loved seeing Philadelphia rise up angry, and seeing the Redskins make a strong stand behind the old discarded veteran is engaging theater. I went 10-5 and managed to rise up to 1,793. 14 points out of first place with two weeks to go . . . and I’m optimistic . . .

There was an amazing amount of snow yesterday and last night. I am becoming an expert snow shovellor . . . No, really!
I even hurt myself badly today. Just my back killing me. I had to clear the driveway so the hot water heater guys could come in. I was having fun until I hurt myself. I was singing Christmas songs and I’m sure I was being a neighborhood nuisance. Why people don’t want to hear an acapella doo wop version of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer with exertion grunts in rhythm escapes me.
No one complained, if they had I would try and teach them the harmony parts or let them sing lead while I did the harmony.
No one does harmony anymore. Maybe they’ve heard me sing . . .
All else is well.
I think there’s enough hot water for me to take a shower.
Some of you might say I even need one.
That would be unkind.

Badges? Badges. BADGES! I got to show you no stinking badges! Alphonso Bedoya

Christmas Lighthouse By Phillips '57
Click images for desktop size: “Christmas Lighthouse” by Phillips ’57
I’ve never coached in the NFL.
Really don’t want to coach pro athletes. I can’t see the fun or the sense of accomplishment in that, really.
That doesn’t mean that I can’t be outraged by the actions of Bobby Petrino. Not as a sports fan but as a coach and a member of at least one of the associations he belongs to.
Inframan I don’t want to go on about him. He’s not worth it as a coach. I’m more stunned that he could get a job.
If you don’t know, Bobby Petrino walked out on his contract with the Atlanta Falcons. He lasted 13 games. The day he walked out he took another job. Coaching the Arkansas Razorbacks.
If I were an alumnus I’d be raising hell with the athletic director. I don’t believe Arkansas are so obsessed with winning that they’d throw pride out the door. That they’d trust the young men of their institution to a man who would apparently desert them at the slightest whim.
Thing is that Petrino immediately mad me think of another coach who was some what under the gun this year: Joe Paterno.
I never played for Paterno. I enjoyed watching him coach twice. Once when he hammered USC in some bowl and once when we hammered him at the Colosseum.
He’s got class. In victory and defeat. He spoke kindly, forcefully, and without evocation both times. He was polite and smelled like you wished your dad smelt on Christmas morning.
As a coach he’s survived the 3 yards and a cloud of dust to move into the aerial circus years and now into the indomitable defense years. He’s done so without a blemish. No NCAA infractions, most of his students got their degrees. More than a few became Hall Of Famers in the NFL.
If you ever visit State College one of the things you notice is that there are a lot of buildings named Paterno. Not as a tribute to him but because he donated the money to build them – libraries, not Athletic Centers, class rooms, not gymnasiums.
Heavenly Angel
Click images for desktop size: “Heavenly Angel” by Anonymous
He said he wanted to give something back to the institution that had given him so much.
Sometime ago an NFL team, I forget which one, offered Paterno 3 million dollars a year to coach for them.
His response was something like, “If your not saving lives there’s nothing a man can do that’s worth a million bucks a year,” and he turned it down flat.
If you get to the practice field you’ll be surprised to see an awful lot of High School coaches. They’re always welcome. Sometimes he puts them to work, sometimes he or his staff teach them.
He loves this game and delights in what he learns from it.
I think that he and Eddie Robinson are the two greatest men to ever teach this game.
I’m cynical enough to be intrigued. Someone bought a big court case to force Penn State to reveal Paterno’s salary.
Invasion Of The Saucermen 1957 Now a days I’m always ready to have my drams crushed, and maybe the idol had clay feet after all.
After a lot of vourt room tantrums they finally gave up the number.
Joe Paterno makes $500,000 a year.
Its a handsome salary but doesn’t much compare to the millions Lou Saban is pulling down at Alabama, or the millions Bobby Petrino is getting from Arkansas.
He’s donated millions of dollars back to the people who pay him. He’s raised his family and raised young men to go out into the world with the same firm but gentle hand and eye.
There’s an argument for yin and yang.

I’m doing fine. Getting excited about Christmas. Why not. I don’t need presents galore to enjoy the day.
I regret not being able to give presents, but that a minor quibble that might have more to do with my pride than with altruism.
I wish my puppy and I were going to see kids this year. We’ll be fine.
My friend had her dream job interview today. It must have gone well as she had some very scant reasons why she wasn’t a shoo-in.
She should be a shoo-in.
Put up more decorations that only my puppy and I noticed. Lit the tree so my puppy could lie there in the dark and admire it. Although she does seem concerned that its not surrounded with good smelling packages. She’s being so good. She remembers Santa Claus Is Watchin’ You by Ray Stevens so she wouldn’t be bad.
Things are good enough here now to not mind the pains I’ve had. I went three days, almost, with no pain pills, before I caved in.