It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers
James Thurber

Hollywood
Click images for desktop size: “Hollywood” by Unknown
Rain and snow here. They’re not used to it. It locks the whole town into a deep panic. Strange. Two plow trucks with salt spreaders would make the whole thing pretty much a non-issue in a few hours.Blood Cult They do nothing despite dozens of accidents and fatalities. They do nothing and people keep driving. Except me. I keep walking.
The nasty weather makes being ordered to stay at home a bit easier to take. I saw the doc on Wednesday and got ordered to take it easy, to take off two days of work, to let my body heal.
My blood pressure is still high 144 over 80. Doc says it’s because of all the fluid in my chest. She was going to give me a lecture about walking out of the hospital but stopped when I said it was mainly because of the money. the hospital said I left because I wanted to go home and feed my puppy . . . that’s true but not all that’s true.
She also said, “The emergency doctor doesn’t understand how tough you are. Your previous doctor made notes all over the place but its hard to believe. I’ve been seeing you for six months and I barely believe it myself.”
There’s not much there for me so I let it lie. I don’t much like people thinking I’m so tough I can endure all the pain.
She sent me off to get more x-rays. I’m probably going to have to go to a Pulmonary doc. The Lyrica damaged my lungs some but there seems to be some calcification already present. The doc was under the impression I’d tested positive for TB!! I told her I thought I’d remember if I had.
I was worried, In London I had to get tested for TB every six months. I worked with a group called Blue Cross. I’d go out at night with a veterinarian to the homeless enclaves and we’d treat the dogs many of the homeless men and women kept for protection and companionship. Tuberculosis runs rampant in the homeless communities of Europe so I had to get the little skin pop test and chest x-rays far too often.
It was noted in my file that I had tested positive in one of those skin pop tests. The doc checked the computer records pretty quickly and found the positive for TB notation. A few years ago I needed a chest x-ray for Canadian immigration. It seems that the radiologist couldn’t think of any other reason that I would need an x-ray other than having tuberculosis so she checked a box on some Ferrari
Click images for desktop size: “Ferrari”
form or other.
I don’t have TB. I’m pretty glad about that but resentful about spending time having to think about it.
I got my chest x-ray and picked up my prescription drug refills. I’m going to hold off on any more neuropathic medicines and just deal with the pain with ibuprofen.
I’m supposed to see the neurologist on the 19th of this month. I decided I could survive the hurt until then. I don’t care for my neurologist much but he’s got a pretty fantastic world class rep. He’ll have to deal with the sudden breaking down of my bodies electrical system.
I have to say though, that other than taking one longish walk to the bank I’ve been pretty docile and being docile has gotten my leg under control. I haven’t taken any ibuprofen today at all.
I’ve gotten to listen to a lot of music. I like that. There’s four pretty special albums I’ve liked. All new but two are brand new and two are new collections of old stuff.
Alkaline Trios “This Addiction” is fine. So good it almost makes me forget how they are the worst The Bird With Crystal Plumage group I’ve ever had to endure live. Nearly forget but not quite. Every song is tinged with the memory of that horrific performance.
I’m also surprised by the Rob Zombie “Hellbilly Deluxe II”. Parts of it are savage and totally deluxe, like “The Devil’s Rejects” and “Halloween” were brutal savage celluloid dreams of evil. The other parts are like . . . Well, there’s a track, “The Cyd Charisse
Click image for desktop size: “Cyd Charisse”
Man Who Laughs” which starts out great then suddenly devolves into a totally inept 5 minute drum solo! Still, what’s great is very cool and what sucks can be ignored. Think “Halloween II” enacted on disc and you’d be pretty close to what the album is.
The release of The Blasters “Testament” is a surprise. Their complete Slash recordings. Slash was a music mag in LA that evolved into a record label pushing out 45’s and the occasional LP. I had a lot of contact with Phil and Dave Alvin for some reason or other. I thought the Blasters were a great band and that Dave was more into Buck Owens (which was are main point of camaraderie) than Little Richard. It was Dave who wrote the songs and Phil who promoted the band.
Getting bands to work is a miserable job. It can turn you into a miserable person. But Phil could sing and front a band for sure. And there’s plenty of evidence in these two CD’s that The Blasters should have been the saviours of music. Maybe they were.
Finally there’s the six CD collection from Buddy Holly. “Not Fade Away-The Complete Studio Recordings”. Someone pointed out that Holly’s “From the Original Master Tapes” was the first CD that showed what CD’s were sonically capable of. Prior to that disk most CD’s stuck to that insulting Japanese Art
Click images for desktop size: “Ancient Japanese Art” by Unknown
format of just using the old RIAA eq’ed for phono cartridge or cassette master tapes. They were pretty offensive sounding. Holly has never offended my ears.
The complete recordings has all the hits, some weird little tid bits, like Holly recording different versions of “That’ll Be The Day” inserting a different DJ’s name. I’d heard them before but never in what I guess you’d call a prestige collection. All the hits are there and they all rock like we’re all going to be young forever. There’s a lot of weird country stuff, complete with Texas fiddle stylings that are only of interest because Holly’s playing guitar.
My enforced vacation ends on Super Sunday. Coolness.
I’ve lost the picking games contest to my friend. Even if she picks the evil mechanized Colts I can’tAbsurd overtake her. Small victory for her which only proves she’s a cheater.
I’m picking the Saints for no other reason than the beauty of it. Little Dru Brees vs the evil Payton Manning. Hey, don’t believe those sweet and funny commercials. Payton Manning is evil. Would a nice guy ruthlessly carve up a defense like he has?
The Colts are boring and will probably win. That’s a shame. I like the wild uncontrollable offense the Brees directs. I like the flying by the seat off their pants defense the Saints throw out there. All the Colts offer is perfection. Perfection is boring.
Who dat think they gonna beat them Saints! I’ll be saying it and watching the game and hoping.
The Who for a halftime show?? Maybe 20 years ago . . .

Pittsburgh Steelers 27 Arizona Cardinals 23

Ginevra de Benci by Da Vinci And wasn’t that one of the cruddiest Superbowls ever.
Definitely in the top 5. If it weren’t for the final 10 minutes it would have been number 2. TenWeekend Murders minutes isn’t a game.
The grand finale of the season was partially ruined by nightmarish bad officiating. When one team uses two challenges to get two horrific calls over turned you do have reason to question the ref’s impartiality.
Still the most jaw dropping calls were the non-ejections of two Steelers. Their dirty play was disgraceful, a bad example to kids. Virtual GirlThe worst was allowing James Harrison to remain in the game. Driving his fist into a player who was down on his knees is terrible but then to hit the guy in the throat while he’s staggering to get up deserves the most powerful punishment.
James Harrison has worked hard to play this game. He had a magnificent season. For me it will be forever tainted by his twisted and dangerous antics.
The Cardinals’ play calling was absurd. I still can’t figure out what they were thinking of. Their most successful drive was off the no huddle and exploiting the brilliant play of Larry Fitzgerald, Bolden and Breaston. Then they forgot about it.
When all they had to do was stop the Steelers for two minutes they went into a weak prevent instead of maintaining the inspired play that got them the lead. The coaching got them to the Superbowl but the coaching cost them the championship.
Rockwell Poncho by Paul Gilligan I managed to miss Bruce Springsteen . . .
Now comes that fallow part of the year. They’ll be the Football Combine in a couple of weeks. There’s enough Trojans invited to make that mildly interesting. I’ll be curious about Clay Matthews and Mark Sanchez.
I’m one of those who think that Mark made a mistake in entering the draft early. I honestly think that a senior year could have seen him as at least a Heisman finalist. It would have let him learn to control his emotions and set him up for a solid NFL career.
As it is now I think he’ll get the signing bonus he craves but will either set on the bench for two years, which would not be a bad thing, or get thrown to the lions too soon and end up shuffling around as a back up until he gets a fair chance somewhere down the line.Wicked Wicked
I still hope for the best for him. He is a fine young man.
Then there’ll be the draft in April which is always lightly amusing. I wonder if USC can beat last years record for first round picks.
There’s baseball season and there’s spring ball and then a dearth until August.
Nice cycle of life. I don’t think I would want to change it.

Today I plan to watch a movie, “Outlander”. Its about a spaceship that crashes on Earth during the Iron Age and mixes the Space Man up with some Vikings who have to work together to kill a space monster.
There’s this sci-fi writer, David Drake, who wrote a book with a near identical idea. Except in his book there was no space man, only the space monster. The monster was a baboon like creature, slightly larger than man sized and incredibly viscous.
The monster lands in ancient Rome and is hunted by Gladiators!! Drake is too prolific (I can’t even remember the title of this book) to be great but he has written a couple of great books. This one and “Redliners”.
What made this one great was the history of Ancient Rome he threw in not only for atmosphere but to advance the plot.
The gladiators aren’t horrified by the creature, but like the mice in the Sufi legends seek only the most expedient professional means of killing it. Their vengeance and anger has no place in their plans to destroy something bigger and stronger than they are. They move like Gladiators, with no fear but only the need to finish the task.
Dogs Great book, I wish I could remember the title . . .

I was hoping that we’d hear about the car loan by now. The loan officer doesn’t seem to be in. So we have to be patient.
I hate being patient sometimes. There should be no problems at all but with the economy the way it is now I trust banks even less, which is something I thought would be impossible.
My friend needs that car.
I need for her to have what she needs.
The dogs could care less.

Most USC bowl games are more interesting than the Super Bowl

HK Pepnx II

Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by H.R. Pepnx II
I really believe that, except the Super Bowl is the last game. Last game of the season.
There’s still the Pro Bowl. I seldom watch it. They actually broadcast it in Europe! Didn’t watch it then either.
They started the hype pretty late for this game. Sports Illustrated is saying that if the Patriots don’t win they’ll go down in history as the greatest disappointment ever . . . which seems more than a little bit harsh.
The only real stories are about Plaxico Buress running his mouth about Mark Of The Vampirean easy Giants victory then not practicing except for a 50 minute walk through. Maybe he thinks that way he’ll be rested and his new found “chemistry” with Eli Manning will take over and win it for them.
There’s been a little bit of sniping, not much, about Tom Brady’s ankle. I wouldn’t put too much into that. The only thing it will do is that every time Brady goes down or walks with a limp the announcers will get to talk about “the boot” and wonder if Brady will be able to continue.
Pete Carroll, USC head coach and former Patriot HC, said he can’t see much of a chance for the Patriots to lose. “The Giants will have to hit him often and hard to have a chance.” He predicts a two touchdown victory for New England.
Personally, I can see a rout, but not by the Giants.
Assuming that the Giants front four can step their game up and reek havoc on Brady there’s still a decent running game.
The Giants line backers are going to have to account for Wes Welker out of the slot, Maroney and Faulk on the screens and the scary thought of Moss on the end around. They’ll offer little support except on blitzes and blitzing Brady is a dangerous proposition. He picks up the blitz well and does a quick check down.
It will have to be line backer blitzes and they had best work because bringing a safety or CB on a blitz will mean that Stallworth, Gaffney and Moss will be virtually uncovered. They’re studs and they can read the blitz too and will know to cut off their routes and give Brady a target.
Going the other way, the biggest joker is Buress. Its really hard to say how well he can play. Not practicing for nearly 2 weeks is not comforting. If Buress can go he can create some points for the Giants. Biomechanical Arm - Chris Conte

Click images for desktop size: “Biomechanical Arm” by Chris Conte
If he’s not fit I’d expect some close calls and near catches and an occasional brilliant play, but the game will then go to screens and the TE.
The short passing game and the running game will chew up the clock and eat up chunks of yardage. Having seen this team before, and given Billichek’s history on facing opponents with two weeks prep, I wouldn’t expect that sort of offense to rack up a whole lot of points.
The Patriots will bring a lot of pressure. They think they can still rattle Manning. Maybe, but I think not. The biggest threat will still be the running game.
Casting aside the fact that I want to see history made. I want to see the winning team that still looks like outsiders make history. I want to see a 19-o team with this group of stars, misfits and cast offs do the impossible.
Putting that aside this could be the biggest rout in Super Bowl history with the Patriots leaving the field ready to do it all over again next year. Nightmare AlleyAnd remembering the last time an AFC came in heavily favored against an NFC team with nothing but a stout defense and a ball control offense I still feel the same way. (That was Buc’s v Raiders where the Buc’s blew them out.)
Patriots 49 Giants 27

I’ve gotten the link page semi-organized. It looks better (but is far from complete) and should be more useful.
At least you should be able to find things a bit easier.
There are still things to add especially for tools. I want to try and use more cross platform tools but find that most of the ones that will work on Macintosh and Windows to be rather poor.
Of course I’m thinking about some of the colors (getting the look unified, but distinct, easy to read but sooting) and getting my AJAX code re-written to do the nifty little previews. I still feel I need to apologize for the advertising. At least Snap let me choose non-profti adverts that benefit Save A Child.

Lifes most important and persistent question is: What are you doing for others? Dr Martin Luthor King

Growth Beyond Reason
Click images for desktop size: “Growth Beyond Reason” by Unknown
I was taking to my neighbor lady. She has two dogs, one who is old and has bad hip dysplasia, Duke. We talked about our dogs. She wanted reassurance, hope, that Duke was okay.
Like my little blind dog Duke is getting senile and loses control of his bladder sometimes. I think that they believe they’re outside even when they’re not.
Fantasia 1970 Even though Duke was uncomfortable he still wanted to fight my puppy. He was very happy to bark at me and was eager to see me look properly terrified.
I told her he looked happy to me. I didn’t think he needed to be put down.
We talked briefly about trying to decide what was in our best interests, our love and our hearts, and what was in the dogs best interest.
Its a hard thing to separate out. All I could tell was that, again like my little blind dog, in every way I can read a dog Duke isn’t ready to give up yet. He’s enjoying being alive.
Then I was surprised when my neighbor lady suddenly changed the subject to football! I’m always willing to talk about football.
She was pretty knowledgeable. Not technically but about the beauty of the game.
She’s a Brett Favre fan. We talked about the tragedy of his loss to the Giants last Sunday and how much we disliked the play of Eli Manning. We agreed that Manning is only looking decent because of Plaxico Buress and USC Rookie Steve Smith.
I said that Brett Favre is my favorite QB but Tom Brady is my favorite football player.
I was surprised. She thought Brady had won enough Super Bowls, enough MVP’s. He’s had his honors. She only wanted to see Brett in one last Super Bowl.
I liked the wistfulness of the thought.
I also thought about how I prefer Tom Brady to Peyton Manning. And I think that Eli is putting too much into “coming close” in a meaningless game.
Ephemeral substancE - Envy
Click images for desktop size: “Ephemeral substancE” by Envy
But Peyton Manning came out of Tennessee where he never won a Championship. Number 1 pick. First year starter, loads of money.
Brady was a 6th round pick. An afterthought. He got his first game experience when Drew Bledsoe went down before the Super Bowl. The Rams were 14 point favorites when Billichik announced that Tom Brady would be starting his first game.
The Rams went to 20 point favorites. Of course Brady won that one. Billichik started his legend of being a genius and Brady started his legend of being a winner.
Peyton Manning has the most incredible endorsement deal in history. Its amazing all the products he’s hawking. It reminds me of OJ Simpson when he had the highest Q rating of any athlete. Manning makes nothing but big big money.
Finger Man Brady hasn’t taken many endorsement deals. He’s had offers. The one he did take for some credit card company he nearly refused until the credit card agreed to let Brady be in the commercial with his entire starting O-Line.
To a down line man getting on TV is more than special. To get paid for it is unique. Because of Brady those guys each made enough to put their kids through college. That’s a big deal. No wonder each of those guys would kill you before they’d let you touch Brady. No wonder everyone on the Patriots loves him and views him as their leader.
Brady’s won 3 Super Bowls. He’s only lost one play off game in his career. I want to see him win his fourth Super Bowl. I want the Patriots to have the first 19 game perfect season in history. I want it for me.
I want it for a guy who made sure his teammates made as much money as he made. He’s taken pay cuts to keep the Patriots under the salary cap. He works like a dog and never complains. He is driven towards success. He makes the rounds of children’s hospitals. He does events for kids but not the ones were he sells his autograph.
Yeah, I like Tom Brady as a player and for the bits of himself that he’s allowed people to see.

It was nice to read about the Trojans in this years Senior Bowl. I was disappointed in John David Booty’s play. He’s a talented player. I hope he gets to go on to the NFL and do well.
It was with some chagrin that I saw he threw a pick to a DB from UTEP! One of my old employers! Good and bad on a single play. I like that. (I never coached DB’s, that would have made it too bittersweet to talk about.)
Image Of The Gods - Julie Bell
Click images for desktop size: “Image Of The Gods” by Julie Bell

I’m doing okay. My friend is back for another weekend. She brightens the day and makes the snow feel warm. Even my puppy was glad to see her and I realized I didn’t feel a stab of jealousy. I was only glad.
My blood levels are slowly reaching proper levels.
The only ugly point in life today is, of course, money. An enormous set of utility bills stopped my heart. They can be dealt with . . . what else can they be, if not dealt with.
We splurged on a Chinese Buffet . . . not much of a splurge but in the circumstances . . . as is my habit I “swiped” some chunks of meat for the dogs. They were ecstatic. They think we should go out to Chinese Buffets everyday.
They also ate the fortune cookies. Lucky dogs.