I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it Thomas Jefferson

Look Deep

Click images for desktop size: “Look Deep” by Unknown
My puppy and I are really back to normal; CONSTANT BICKERING.
Wouldn’t have it any other way.Dracula AD 1972
She is still too protective of me but she’s settled in nicely.

My housemate has decided to get a new dog. His passed away about 6 months ago. She was a good girl.
I went to the pound with him a couple of times. I thought almost all the dogs were pretty special for one reason or another. He picked two, went and spent time with each of them in these little visitor “cells”. Then we took the big step of taking my puppy to meet his final choice, a male rottweiler mix, somewhere between 6 months and 9 months old. He’s a handful.
My puppy didn’t like him. She wouldn’t, especially when I’m around. It will be fine. She’s been around fosters and other dogs most of her life. She’ll bully him and then decide he’s worth playing with. The point of the meeting, in my mind, was to make sure he didn’t try and savage her. My puppy thinks she’s a great fighter but . . .
I managed to talk the person showing us the dog to let us take them both on a walk around the property. It went well, I thought. We even managed to have a chance encounter with the other dog my housemate had picked out. It made for a pleasant day.
Today he went and filled out the adoption papers, paid the fee. The new dog should be moving in sometime between Wednesday and Friday. Coolness.

I still have a cold. It’s the reason I’m not supposed to catch colds. The cough is irritating but not debilitating.

The coolness is that I got a second hand iPod Touch. I like it a lot. Cost me $75, so far works fine. I Neat and Tidy

Click image: “Neat and Tidy” by Major League Baseball
got a raise at work so this was my treat . . . actually I just wanted one. I like being connected on the WIFI but its pretty obvious that having an iPhone and 3GS connections would be incredible and incredibly expensive. I’ll stick with this and just hope for miraculous hot spots. Since I have WIFI at work it means I can answer emails and stuff at will instead of hoping the owners fix the rickety lap top we have at our disposal.

The WIMAX from ClearWire is pretty paradoxical. It went out, the modem wouldn’t connect. I called and was told that it was because I would have to move to their Clear service which is 5 meg down and 50K up. (50 k up is painfully slow, 5 meg down is okay). I had to wait 3 days to get the new modem. When I got it they hooked up fine but there was a weird charge on my card. I called again and got an apology and a credit, 3 days later, for the $25. Curious.
I was reservedly happy with the Clear service, even though I thought this was a lot of grief for a service that wasn’t a month old yet. Until I got an email telling me I was using the service too much House of Wax and they were going to cut me off or charge me more . . . So I’m not allowed to use the bandwidth they give me? YOW!
This isn’t going to work out for sure. Hammering my debit card with two incorrect charges for some unknown reason, cutting me off for 3 days, then say that I’m using the service more than anticipated is kind of nutso. They claim the service agreement covers excessive use but that seems crazed to me. I’m paying for a service that I can’t use? Great googa mooga. What a great idea for a business, selling you stuff you’re not allowed to use.
WIMAX is a totally cool idea but Clear or ClearWire are jerks and not a trustworthy company from my experience.
Back to looking for a dry loop dsl provider.

I still don’t have a TV but thanks to friends I got to see an mkv fie of the USC-Cal game. Very interesting. I’m impressed and dumbfounded by turns. The greatest disappointment for me was the O-Line. I expected them to be monsters and they’ve looked merely competent. Too much talent to Art and Beauty by Robert Crumb

Click images for desktop size: “Art and Beauty” by Robert Crumb
not overwhelm.
Matt Barkley doesn’t look as good as the hype. I know his shoulder must still be sore but he lacks the confidence at weird times. Maybe with Ronald Johnson coming back for Notre Dame the deep threat will let him open up his game.
I’m incredibly unimpressed with Jeremy Bates as a play caller. Way too much NFL fear play calling. College ball is about being loaded on faith and hope and looking to a player to step up and perform a miracle. It’s not about making the “safe” call and prevent defenses.
Still this is a very good exciting team I feel proud of.

I went and saw the worst football game of my life on Friday night. Very poor. It made me sad as the kids were pretty typical and totally willing to lay it all out there.
I got to talk to the HC and they’re interested in having me as an assistant. He said all the right The Hunchback of Notre Dame things but when I watched the game I realized I could never work for him.
The team is 0-8 for a reason, and it’s not the talent of the kids. The HC had implemented a no huddle offense. You could see hesitation at the line as the kids attempted to remember over complicated assignments. The no huddle is a very cool thing if you’ve got the personnel. It was obvious that this isn’t the case. It was just an ego thing playing to the HC’s fantasy and ignoring the talents and weaknesses of the kids.
Frank Sinatra

Click images for desktop size: “Frank Sinatra”
You have to lead kids and the only way to do it successfully is to be their servant.

And to prove my deep understanding of the game of football; last week I was an impressive 9-5 in my NFL picks. I can bask in that for a moment. 9-5.
I forget what my friend got. I think I was 11-3 or something trivial. I have discovered how she cheats. She reads my picks and the ones I get wrong she chooses the other teams! How low and nearly contemptible. I don’t think her score is official so even if she unofficially has 45 correct picks for the season my 42 exactly correct picks are assuredly official and hence count for far more. As usual my picks are in bold.

Cincinnati at Baltimore – The Game of the Week1 Carson Palmer is playing like the elite QB he is while the Bengal defense is playing way over their heads. They are looking like a play off team. This week they meet the team I still think has a chance to get to the SuperBowl. The Ravens are playing meticulous football. Their game against the Patriots showed they are in the oxygen thin stratosphere, a brilliant team playing at the level of their talent, executing with precision and playing with heart. The Bengals are playing with intensity and beauty as well, but theirs has the feel of street football, which is exciting and pretty in The Outsiders

Click images for desktop size: “The Outsiders” by Marvel Comics
its own way. I’d love to see the Bengals win this one but the Ravens don’t look like a team ready to lose two in a row.

Cleveland at Buffalo – This is an up year rating wise for the NFL. The good games are great but pretty few. This season offers up more stinkers every week than you can imagine. Like this cruddy game of the week contender. Buffalo has talent and Terrell Owens making waves. Cleveland has . . . Derek Anderson, who I still like and then . . .

Washington at Carolina – This stinker has the winless Panthers coming off a bye week. Did they use the time trying to pull the team together or did they grouse about their contracts? The Redskins are a mess but less of a mess than the Panthers. This one could end up 6-3 or 49-47. Either way it will stink.

Pittsburgh at Detroit – I watched Ben Roethlisberger on RAW this week. I was surprised at how I Married a MOnster from Outer Space much I liked him. He took it to the Chargers last week and the Lions don’t have much to compare to the Chargers or to anyone except the Panthers and Buccaneers. This is almost a sure win.

Dallas at Kansas City – The rest of the world is finally twigging to the fact that Tony Romo is not a very good QB. The Cowboys look good as a power running team though and have enough good backs to keep inserting them, at least for now. The Chiefs . . . I feel sorry for them. They have some players and those players are surrounded by a bunch of practice squad stiffs who seem to have given up on the season already. The Cowboys are ripe for picking off but I’ve no confidence in the team rising to the occasion.

Oakland at New York Giants – Another slaughter. It doesn’t matter whether or not Eli Manning plays. The Giant Defense will score enough points to beat the hapless Raiders.

Tampa Bay at Philadelphia – My Survivor pick of the week. McNabb looks on schedule to come back this week. Doesn’t really matter as Kolb has the team looking pretty good. I just hope they keep Vick off the field. The Buccaneers have Cadillac Williams and then a prayer.

Minnesota at St Louis – The 4-0 team vs the 0-4 team . . . so much for parity. The most interesting thing about this game will be seeing if Adrian Petersen runs wild after being contained pretty well last week.

Atlanta at San Francisco – Game of the Week contender. The 49er’s are playing beautiful football, A Family

Click images for desktop size: “The Family” by Unknown
the team rising above the individual players talent to being a cohesive force. The Falcons are a good team coming off a bye week. It will be an exciting match. I’m going with home field advantage to make my pick but I suspect it will come down to the final two minutes one way or the other.

Houston at Arizona – This is one of those white noise games. It will happen but no one really knows why. The most interesting thing to me is wondering when the Cardinals will let Matt Linehart into the game.

Jacksonville at Seattle – This cruddy game has some small interest in that I think the Seahawks can actually win. I’m a Jack Del Rio fan but his Jaguars, this season, are an incredibly inconsistent bunch. This is a long haul road trip to an unfriendly place. The Seahawks, what little I’ve seen of them have not looked like a bad football team. Matt Hasslebeck should return this game. They have a chance.

New England at Denver – I have no idea how the Broncos got to 4-0. Its like last season, somehowThe Incredible Two Headed Transplant they get all the flukey breaks in the first half of the season before it all come crashing down. The Patriots don’t really believe in flukes or luck. I watched the Raven game and this is a scrappy team. I like that. This could be a good game.

New York Jets at Miami – Mark Sanchez and the Jets ran into a buzz saw called New Orleans last week. They didn’t look that bad. They have a chance to look good against a confused and confusing Dolphin squad. Sanchez tweeted right after the game something like “I made a lot of mistakes and cost us the game. I have to study and learn from them and not let them happen again.” We’ll get to see here. I’m counting on the cocky kid.

Indianapolis at Tennessee – At the start of the season this looked like it be a cool matchup, a changing of the guard as the Titans stepped up over the Colts. Instead it’s a flash back to ten years ago with the colts being 4-0 and the Titans being 0-4. The Colts keep improving each week while the Titans keep blowing up and looking worse and worse. I can’t see prime time making any changes in any of this.

These brilliant picks are for your amusement only. You might want to print them out and use them to light your fireplaces.

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

3D

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Washington State 6 USC 27

kb by Richard Mohler
Click images for desktop size: “kb” by Richard Mohler
The Men of Troys victory last night was one of the most depressing games ever. After running up an easy 20 points in the first quarter they just stunk. This was a game that they should have and thatFear of Clowns they needed to score 60 or 70 points while shutting out the Huskies. Instead it was just an undisciplined mess. Depressing. They might not even be the 12th best team in the country.
Next week they face Cal, who got destroyed by Oregon yesterday. They need to win to have a ghost of a chance to win the Pac 10. With as strong as Oregon, Arizona and Arizona State are looking the record setting Championship might be beyond them.
The young men played hard but would ultimately disintegrate. It’s only because Washington State is such a poor team that they managed to survive and win this one.
Oh, and Pete Carroll is still one of the greatest coaches of all time. He’s struggling hard with a team that is getting wracked with injuries and playing well below expectations.

Lots of rain yesterday. The clinic I go to ran out of Flu vaccine! There’s a bit of a run on it as they’re insisting you have this vaccine before you get the Swine Flu vaccine in a few weeks. I managed to get the shot at a drug store. Cost me twenty bucks. I can’t afford that but since they pound it into me that the flu might prove fatal to me I guess its worth the price.
After getting the shot I went to this outlet store and managed to get bedding. I’d been sleeping on a borrowed set of sheets. I got burgundy sheets, pillow cases and a comforter for twenty-five bucks! My puppy adores the more comfy bedding . . . I haven’t gotten to try it yet. I keep falling asleep in the chair. In fact I spent most of the day doing just that, falling asleep, being groggy, accomplishing little then falling asleep again.
Pekinese and Girl by Archie Dickens
Click images for desktop size: “Pekinese and Girl” by Archie Dickens
It took me most of the day to compose a letter to the Canadian Provincial government about my heart attack bill. My eyes are so unfocused I haven’t even been able to re-read it, let alone concentrate well enough to make sure I got all the facts into it.

Last week I was 10-6 in my football picks. Pretty impressive I thought. It showed some gritty determination and a willingness to take some chances.
My friend was had a laughable week. Her system of taking the team who uniforms clashed the least with their opponents led her to a miserable week where she finished 10-6. I would feel sorry for her but she still leads in the season totals 22 points to my 20 points. I’m sure she has this lead because she cheated. There will probably be an investigation.

My picks are in bold.

Cleveland at Baltimore – This is my Survivor Game this week. The must win! I’d like to have savedExperiment in Terror the Ravens for another time but there are too many questionable match ups this week. The Ravens keep looking incredibly strong. It’s early but it still wouldn’t surprise me to see them win the division and go very deep into the playoffs. While the Browns are looking . . . like a 2nd season expansion team.

Tennessee at New York Jets – The Titans are a good football team Doris Day
Click images for desktop size: “Doris Day”
but opening the season 0-2 has them thrown. They start hearing all that stuff about “No team has gone 0-2 and made it to the Superbowl”. It’s daunting. Their defense seems messed up now, not bad but out of sync. The Jets are proving difficult to figure. Rex Ryan bought in his defense and they’re executing it well. He’s either got them playing over their heads or at least up to their potential. The shock is that one year ago Mark Sanchez was losing and looking bad losing to Oregon State! He’s 2-0 and the Rookie of the Week the first two weeks of the season! The Titans are due to rise up and start dominating teams but the Jets are believing in themselves and playing with zeal.

New York Giants at Tampa Bay – Cruddy game of the week contender. The Giants are 2-0 but have not looked great doing it. The Buc’s just reek. There’s not much else to say. Its far more interesting that Plaxico Buress got 2 years for shooting himself in the leg while a cop in Toronto got two years less a day for using his position as a cop to molest children.

Green Bay at St Louis – I think the Rams will win 3 maybe 4 games this season, I just have no idea against whom. The Packers still look like an unreliable first tier team. The NFL has too many cruddy The Creation by Michael Parkes
Click images for desktop size: “The Creation” by Michael Parkes
teams this year and the Rams are one of them. Hard to stir up much interest.

Kansas City at Philadelphia – It really looked like the Chiefs were on the way to recovering some respectability this season. It hasn’t shown up yet for sure. McNabb is still out for the Eagles and the big news is that the Eagles are going to play Vick this week . . . Principal almost makes me pick the Chiefs. It’s not often that an entire organization lies to you. Vick has done nothing in the community and nothing as he promised to help animals. The owner of the Eagles swore that he would. I hope they lose.

Atlanta at New England – Game of the Week. Finally a game to get interested in. The Falcons are playing angry. Matt Ryan is throwing the ball well and making sweet calm decisions. Their defense is playing very well. While the Patriots are going to be missing Super Studs Wes Welker and RandyThe Exorcist Moss! That almost puts the teams dead even. The Pats new defense is starting to settle in and play like a Billichek team so this could be a whole lot of fire and ice. I’m sticking with the Patriots for one reason: Brady.

San Francisco at Minnesota – Game of the Week Runner Up. Two teams on the rise. Brett Favre facing a Mike Singletary defense. This is sweet. The Vikings have the huge advantage in personnel and they’re playing at home. Everyone the 49er’s play has a huge advantage in personnel but going back to last year they just keep winning and playing some deadly serious ball. Would love to see them go to 3-0 but that could be a little bit too much dreaming.

Jacksonville at Houston – I just don’t like the football that the Texans play. I like them to lose. But the Jaguars . . . when you hold the ball 45 minutes and lose you have to be so snake bit it could be a month before you get over those shakes.

Washington at Detroit – Cruddy game of the week. The Redskins are playing inept ball. The defense looks sound but gets tired too quickly, especially with the non-offense they sport. The Lions are still looking for the elusive butterfly of a first win. I don’t want to keep track of how many weeks its been.

New Orleans at Buffalo – Can Drew Brees throw up 45 points three weeks in a row? WHY NOT! He’s becoming a legend and deserves a win every time he steps on the field. The Bills seem to be The Strangers
Click images for desktop size: “The Strangers” by Marvel Comics
flopping around trying to fins an identity. They’re not a bad team but they sure seem to play like one. Terrell Owens has not had much impact but he could catch fire in this one. The Saints D still leaves a lot to desire. But no one can win in a shoot out against Brees.

Chicago at Seattle – The Bears put together an incredible effort against the Steelers. They deserved the win. Thing is in professional sports those sort of efforts can become habit. The Seahawks are going to be without Hasselbeck. Seneca has a cool first name , a snippy arm and terrible decision making processes. It won’t be a blow out but I’d expect the Bears to suck it up again. They have more to prove than any other team in the NFL.

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati – My cockeyed pick of the week. I like the Bengals way of playing football. I only wish they did it better. The Bears beat up the Steelers. I still think the Bear secondary won the game. The Bengals shouldn’t be able to stay on the field with the Steelers but Carson Palmer and Flesh Feast Chad Ochocinco create some beautiful moments of the most magnificent poetry. So I’m choosing beauty over ruthless efficiency and delighted hope against angry Champions coming off a bad loss.

Denver at Oakland – Its very tempting to want to pick the Raiders here. They’re such a bad team they can’t even lose consistently. They have some good players but they are just a bad team. The Broncos don’t have much in the way of players to match up with the Raiders but they’re playing good ball the past two weeks and putting themselves in position to win. Have to go with the team.

Miami at San Diego – The Dolphins looked so good coming into the season then they fell apart in the opener. They seemed to be on track last week, but against the Chargers they really need to be playing their A game. I don’t think they’re there yet. The Chargers are looking strong on D. Even without Tomlinson Rivers has the O moving. They play hard edge ball in the season. They might blow the Dolphins out. It will depend on how the Dolphins handle giving up the first score. The Pencil and Paint
Click images for desktop size: “Pencil and Paint” by Unknown
Dolphins also have to overcome the Year 3 curse of Parcells.

Carolina at Dallas – The Panthers are really poor. They look aged and broken, even their stars look haggard. The Cowboys are riding a string of hype. Typical for the team. Even without the hype the present Panthers team doesn’t have much of a chance.

Indianapolis 16 at Arizona 18 – This is an interesting game. The Colts miss Tony Dungy more than I could ever have imagined.The offense has looked woeful but the defense has played strong, strong enough for legend to be Payton Manning to pull off miracles and win the games they shouldn’t have. The Cardinals in two games have looked dreadful and then like NFC Champions. Hard to figure out which team will show up today. I’m taking the Cardinals because, well, how many miracles can a team expect?

These tired picks are for your vast amusement only. Or to ponder the depths at which a football coach might sink as he ponders life wrapped up in a game.

USC 13 Washington 16

The Hall

Click images for desktop size: “The Hall” by Unknown
USC embarrassed themselves in Seattle. It wasn’t completely unexpected but the horrid level of play was shocking.Detour
What was worse though were the USC forum and message boards. When an Ohio State fan calls Matt Barkley “A Newport Beach Douche” you can write it off as ignorance and anger. I find this treating of kids playing college ball in the same vein as professional adult athletes disconcerting, sad and pathetic.
But when USC fans are cheering and vocalizing about hoping to see a Grace Kelly

Click images for desktop size: “Grace Kelly”
player get hurt and that the player is a Trojan is despicable.
Its clear to me that these people are just fans, and not very good ones. Some of them might even have attended USC but there’s no doubt that they never stepped onto the field and played the game.
I used to love attending USC games. I went to almost every home game for nearly 15 years. I had eight seats, 4 by the press box at the 50 and 4 at the 50 about 12 rows up.
I used to love the games. I remember one family with 3 daughters aged 5 through 9. The little girls came to every game decked out in full USC cheerleader kit.
I remember one very bad loss at the Coliseum on Homecoming. Arizona beat us on Homecoming and we looked pathetic. After the game the player’s still took time to talk to the little kids. The fans yelled encouragement and gave them pats on the back.
Even when we were getting beat by Notre Dame (there was a long streak we still haven’t made up for) none of the ND fans or USC fans yelled to kill or injure any player on either side. There was a lot of bickering and yelling between Trojan fans and Golden Domers, but it was all good natured. Chances were we’d see these guys in our offices on Monday morning.
That Trojan fans were yelling and cheering for injury to any player I would find abhorrent. That they Life in Technicolor by Khashiguana

Click images for desktop size: “Life in Technicolor” by Khashiguana
were cheering against Trojans is depressing. I see it as a fall that is intolerable. It’s not quite enough to turn me off of the sport. The game is too beautiful for that. But sadder than the rather slovenly loss is the sickening behavior of Trojan fans. That has put me into a somber mood. Even my puppy is considering going back to her roots and supporting the Buckeyes.

Last week I was a hard fought 10 and 6 in my picks. Took some gambles that didn’t pay off but still threw up some sterling numbers there. A couple of the games that I lost actually cheered me! I was glad Mark Sanchez got his rookie win. I was happy to see Mike Singletary lead the 49er’s to a win.
I’m rather embarrassed by my friends picks. Using her system, which I think consists of picking the team with the coolest logo, she finished the weekend a rather lackluster 12-4. A record like that implies sheer guess work and does not reflect a serious analytical study of the game and its coachesThe Crow and players.
If she doesn’t improve this week I might have to take my ball and go home!
This weeks picks. My choices are in bold.

Carolina at Atlanta – The Panthers’ Jake DelHomme looked like he was at the end of his career last week. The Falcons looked confident and very real. Not much to consider here.

Minnesota at Detroit – Its become a chi chi thing to pick the first opponent the Lions will knock off. They haven’t won a game in close to two years! The Vikings are a popular choice to become their victim this week, based on the odd theory that last season the Vikings beat the Lions by less than usual . . . Adrian Peterson is the best back in football now. The Lions don’t have an answer for him. I hope the Lions play better. Calvin Johnson is an exciting player. He deserves to finally win one but I don’t think it will be this week.

Cincinnati at Green Bay – Last week the Bengals lost to the woeful Broncos on a weird deflected pass. Kismet I guess. The Packers looked very strong against a disorganized Bears team. I keep cheering for Carson Palmer, for Ochocinco but they keep losing. Add the touchiness the Packers feel about their lost season last year and the lack of organization in the Bengals locker room and this could be a blowout.

Arizona at Jacksonville – Last week the Jaguars defense looked tough against Indianapolis. The Offense looked peeked but . . . In the loss to the 49er’s the Cardinals looked ragged and Normandy 1944

Click images for desktop size: “Normandy 1944” by Unknown
disorganized. Add to that that last season the Cardinals never won in the eastern time zone and the pick seems clear. I’m waiting for Kurt Warner to give way to Matt Linehart!

Oakland at Kansas City – Cruddy game of the week, maybe the season! Matt Cassall MAY be coming back for the Chiefs, but he’ll be rusty. Russell is looking like a huge Number 1 pick bust. The Raiders defense still looks better than okay but the offense is decrepit.

New England at New York Jets – Game of the week! Mark Sanchez throws for the third most yards as a rookie in NFL history. Rex Ryan proves he can take any defense and turn them into studs. But the Patriots have Tom Brady and Bill Billichek. This almost looks like a rebuilding year for the Patriots but Brady won’t buy that. He’ll be fired up to outplay young gun Sanchez by at least 3 to one. This is going to be exciting. If Sanchez can beat Brady I expect him to go insane! But I don’t think that the Jets’ Jones can rush for another 100 yards against the Patriots so more pressure is going to be on Sanchez. Its hard for Payton Manning to be consistent against the Patriots, so it mightDay of the Triffids be impossible for a rookie to figure them out.

New Orleans at Philadelphia – Drew Brees or Dru Brees, it doesn’t matter how you spell it, the man is a football touchdown machine. The only QB to marvel at not named Brady or Favre. He’s exciting. The defense looks a little bit better too! For the Eagles McNabb is either out or planning to play with a cracked rib, either way the Eagles’ O is going to suffer mightily. The Eagles D will create some plays but I can’t see them matching up well with all the crazy weapons the Saints will bring. Game of the Week Runner Up

Houston at Tennessee – The Titans should have beaten the Steelers. They didn’t but they came out angry about it. The Texans should have known that the season has started. They didn’t.

St Louis at Washington – St Louis is one of the cruddiest teams in the league. The Redskins are an unknown quantity, older but they don’t look much better, just older. Still, last year they played Flying Eagle

Click images for desktop size: “Flying Eagle” by NFL Films
pretty well, certainly well enough to handle the Rams.

Tampa Bay at Buffalo – The Buccaneers are another team in disarray. They really have nothing to hope for and no real part of the team can be relied on. The Bills have Owens and Lynch and a defense that goes from excellent to HUH? in a twinkling. The Bills are a rough team to pick right now except against somebody like the Bucs.

Seattle at San Francisco – A west coast game of the week! At least for the NFC West.The NFC and the AFC West pretty much stink, but this game will still go a long way to determining the eventualNFC West division Champ. Since it normally takes 8 or 9 wins to take the division all divisional games are important and even though it’s only week 2 having undefeated teams compete in the West is pretty rare. Mike Singletary has the 49ers playing consistent focused defense. Frank Gore is showing he’s still capable of tearing up the league and Shaun Hill is getting the most out of minimal talent. The Seahawks looked impressive at home. They almost always do. Matt Hasslebeck is looking healthy and he is a Superbowl ready QB. I’m going Damnation Alley with the home-r in what might actually be an exciting match up.

Pittsburgh at Chicago – Brian Urlacher is out for the season. Troy Polamanu is Questionable. Guess who can afford to lose their Superstars the most. Jay Cutler (who I root for as a diabetic showing you can deal with all that fatigue and play in the NFL) stank the joint out last week. The Steelers secondary is not a place to get healthy. Even with Urlacher out there’s still some interesting match ups for the Bears D. I think they’ll push Rothlesberger around some, Heinz Ward won’t have an easy time pushing around the Bear corners, but he’ll still get in some hits. TE Heath Miller will work hard but the Sam back will bottle him up most of the time. But the Bears will need to play a near perfect game. They’re capable of that but you have to lean towards the Steelers punching at them until the wall cracks.

Cleveland at Denver – This is my “Survivor Game”. In the Survivor Game you have to pick one sure winner each week with the caveat that you can only pick a team once each season. So picking the Lions opponents last season would work but picking the Patriots two years ago wouldn’t. I figure I should save the good teams as long as I can so I’ve picked a cruddy team to beat up on an even cruddier team at home. Denver won at Cincy on a classic fluke play. At least they had to play hard for the fluke play to mean anything. The Browns just plain reek. They’ve got some players but this is a season for Magnini to rebuild the team. I don’t expect much from them and they still fail to deliver.

Baltimore at San Diego – This should have been the Monday Night game. This will be prime time Light Bulb

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stuff. The Ravens are playing angry. A working class team from the east going up against favored glamour boys in the west. Rah. Joe Flacco is looking like last season was no fluke. The Raven’s D is still vicious and can run the most complicated schemes in the game. San Diego is no real slouch either. I’m taking the Beast from the East to win a close one.

Indianapolis at Miami – Only week 2 and the Dolphins are disappointing. Last week they looked insanely disorganized on both sides of the ball. This should have been a statement game. The Colts are poised to fall from the elite class but not this week.

New York Giants 24 at Dallas 23 – The tie breaker game. I’m pretty bored with the Giants Cowboys rivalry. If they hadn’t over hyped Tony Romo so much I could get into the working class QB versus elite superstar Eli Manning. As it is I’m picking the Giants based on their front 7. They’ll handle the Cowboys running attack well enough and keep pressure on Romo. Neither team has much in terms of receivers. It will come down pretty much to the kicking game and we know how exciting that is.

This picks are for amusement only, and smirking is allowed.

San Jose State 3 USC 56

Tiger Dream World
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In about 24 hours or so my puppy will be coming back to me.
Matt Barkley’s debut with the Trojans was a qualified success. The whole team looked terrible in theBullit first quarter. Our vaunted secondary looked feeble and our line looked like they were looking for a leader. On the O-Line two false starts were costly. Fumbling was endemic. It was a disaster.
Of course the way it ended was as it was expected. Over 600 yards total offense to San Jose’s 100 plus. I have more confidence with Aaron Corp at QB. The offense seems stilted with Barkley. He’s an awesomely talented kid but all near risk plays were off the table as they had him manage the game.
All in all the Trojans played half a game and looked incredible in the half they played. If they can play a whole game they will be frightening indeed.
Next up is the highly anticipated clash with Ohio State. They looked horrifyingly bad barely beating Navy. It took some heroics after the final Navy TD to keep the game safe. Navy was going for the two point conversion. The pass was intercepter and run back the other way for the two points to keep the victory. Before that play OSU was fading fast while Navy was accelerating.
Both lines for Ohio State looked bad. The linebackers for Ohio State looked weak and were easily blocked. Terrell Pyror played well but not brilliantly.
If they don’t step it up the game next week could be a boring repeat of last years. The Trojan D looks solid enough, better than Navy’s. I’d love to see a competitive game but it appears OSU might be over rated. I hope not.

In about 24 hours my puppy will be back with me. I hope she’ll be glad to see me.

The NFL starts this week. I’m giving serious thought to using my next paycheck to buy a TV and then Tree by Girish Chaudry
Click images for desktop size: “Tree” by Girish Chaudry
to get satellite. It is cheaper than cable and DISH Network was a package that has all I want for 30 bucks a month. Thing is I only want it for football season. Trying to sort it all out in my head and my pocketbook.
With the NFL season comes my usual NFL picks. More people, old friends, new friends and strangers write to me about the NFL stuff than any other topic . . . I guess it’s amusing to see a coach with 20 years experience be so stupid about the pros. Either that or people can say “My picks were better than his! Why, I could probably coach better than him too!”
I don’t know why people want to see me make a fool of myself. I won’t disappoint.
My friend has signed up too. The contest I’m in has lousy prizes this year. Kind of grim. It’s not about the prizes. Its about winning, no, it’s about having fun.

My puppy is coming back to me in about 24 hours. I hoe she remembers me. I hope she’s glad to see me.Casino Royale

I don’t get Labor Day off. The real sign of a cruddy job.
The co-worker I liked has given notice. The job wears you down hard and fast. The customers tend to be rude and self absorbed. They quickly forget that were human too and they don’t understand we get a miserable wage with no coffee breaks and no lunch break. In fact they make unreasonable demands. They also manage to make my co-workers feel unsafe. I understand it even if I don’t share their fear.
I plan to keep the job either as long as I can or until I get a good job. I keep sending off resumes and scanning the ads. The pickings are scant though.

FredAstaire-RitaHayworth.jpg
Click images for desktop size: “Fred Astaire & Rita Hayworth”

My puppy is coming back to me. Less than 24 hours. I hope we’re as happy together as we usually are. I worry that she missed me as much as I missed her. It took me months to ease her dependence on me. Now I’m a touch sad and proud that I was succesful. Proud of her, I mean. My puppy works hard to please me. She worked hard in her therapy dog training. She learned there how to be around people. She even learned to like some people and to tolerate those she didn’t like.
My puppy’s life has been pretty easy. The only harshness she’s had to deal with are baths, being seperated from me, and her eternal diet. She’s a fatty. I never see that. I only see my puppy and whatever it is she is inside and outside is the dog I love.
I figure she’ll forgive me for being stupid enough to not have my dog with me and then she’ll spend a few days making me pay . . . and whatever she does I’ll find it adorable.

Someone got excited; they had to call the state militia John Fogerty

Carp It was a pretty unexciting Sunday. But pleasant. I’d forgotten that time can sometimes just be a pleasant thing to just see pass.The Exorcist There aren’t ever enough of these moments. I often forget to treasure them. Times where life is just content. It will be short lived and can’t be sensibly ignored or taken for granted.
After the bad storms the clouds passed and the sun came out. We drove to the Indian Reservation, did some more light grocery shopping and went to Taco Bell. My friend loves their hard shell vegetarian tacos. I got a bean burrito and a “Beefy Cheesy Melt”. Since everything else was vegetarian someone took it upon themselves to make my Melt Beefy-less. It was fine, They made up for the lack of meat by using extra rice. Rice was what I was craving anyway.
When we got back home it was nice enough to sit outside with the dogs. The dogs love me but my friend is “The Mom”. Her being outside set them into joyous doggie paroxysms. Like me dogs seldom express joy by sitting still in quiet contentment.
My puppy played with her Kong and pressed it against my friends leg. My friend didn’t understand that this meant you were supposed to try and steal it from my puppy. The giant dog bought out one of his squeaky toys and just drove us nuts with that. The gentle dog was the happiest and most active of the bunch. His way of expressing his joy is to bite me. Not painfully, he likes to grab hold of my wrist and just hang on. For whatever canine reason this puts him into a state approaching nirvana.
Clearly no side effects to Saturday’s vet visit.
That evening we watched the Doris Day, Clark Gable movie “Teacher’s Pet”. I discovered that my Midnight Worries friend is a budding Doris Day fan. She even knows facts about her! I’d never seen more than bits and pieces of the movie before and was surprised at just how good it was. Plenty of surprises and plenty of laughs with just a tinge of bathos, just enough to make you think you were seeing something more worthwhile than an entertainment.
Good movie.
We watched an episode of “Kung Fu”. We’d fallen off the ritual. I hold that it was because the last few had been so dire. This one was good. For one thing it had the genius that is Keye Luke in it for even the briefest spell. Even a small amount of Keye Luke is enough to make anything taste better. The episode was “The Arrogant Dragon”. Carradine was very effective even though his fighting skill still stinks, his acting ability was clicking at a high level. High enough to hide some bad plot holes and some uncomfortable sexual tension. And my old buddy Jimmy Hong got to play a rat!
What I liked most was the careful acknowledgment of Chinese history. It was surprising and welcome even if scant. Basically they acknowledged the birth of the Tongs as being a result of theThe Hunted Manchu’s burning of the Shaolin Temple.
Today I’ve got my doctor’s appointment. I called this morning and they’ve got my blood test results. I’m out of excuses. I have to get my home test results diary into a readable-by-others shape. This morning my blood pressure was 140 over 90. About ten points higher than is considered safe and about 20 points higher than sis safe for first thing in the morning.
I’m hoping that this can be addressed just through diet. I don’t want Stevie Wonder to take any more pills. I want no more pills worse than I want to be able to stop restricting my diet any further. My fat intake is already restricted to 45 grams per day, no sugar, no pork etc. I guess coffee and salt are next on the list.
My blood sugars have been running on the high side of acceptable. Within the parameters. There’s a chance I might have to deal with that. I get amazed that my diet has to be so restrictive. I know an older diabetic here, on insulin injections, and I had breakfast with him. He had bacon and eggs! BACON! Sometimes its hard to remember that my diet is restricted as much by the chemo’s and their after effects as they are by the diabetes. As much as I don’t want more pills I want injections even less. So it goes, Diet, More Pills, Injections in my order of preferences. And I really want none of them.
Next Saturday I have to spend 8 hours kitting out kids. I roped my friend in for 4 hours of registering the kids. Paperwork . . . I’m still pleased she’ll be there for part of the day.
Hot Air Balloons Then on Sunday will be the spring dog walk!!
There is little on the appointment calendar that is as much fun as the dog walk, for me and the dogs. This will be the packs third one!

Even though the door is open to the pretty day my puppy has chosen to spend this time inside wrapped around my feet.
I love my puppy. Its nice that its reciprocated. Nicer to know she’s not mad about the diet. I’ve cut all her food in half. She seems no hungrier than usual and she’s always hungry.

Congrats to the Men of Troy. Eleven players taken in the NFL draft and 3 of them in the first round! Then Tony Dungy saying that a kid would be crazy not to attend USC becasue SOuthern California is the school that gives you the best chance to succeed!!

Only the mediocre are always at their best Jean Giraudoux

Death Rattle Comics I feel like an aged tiger today. A leery tiger waiting for the hunter he hears in the grass.
You know how in bad slasher movies there’s that moment when there will be that shocking noiseThe Boogie Man Will Get You and it turns out to be a cat and you know its coming but you jump anyway? Even when you know that just as the victim realizes the slasher will appear behind them and get them anyway and you still laugh as the victim dies.
The Book Lover by Kupka Its just a feeling that’s hanging around me. Its funny though, of all the terrible things that have happened to me none of them were ever presaged. They always leveled me hard and unexpected.
Like an the anti-universe Roman Generals I used to mark the entire month with a black stone. I’d throw away the clothes I was wearing that day under the theory that they were cursed.
It doesn’t take to long, with that method, to find every month marked with a black stone.
I don’t know what I’m worried about, but I am. Maybe its the old if I imagine everything terrible then none of that terrible stuff will ever happen. Maybe.
Or maybe its been so long that I don’t know how to handle happiness.

I’m not doing well with this antibiotic. Its making me queasy and gassy. I notice a slight reduction of the swelling today. Only slight but I did notice.
Desert Girl My blood pressure has been getting slightly lower since I’m not fighting the pain. 140 over 90 today, which is still too high but not as worrisome. My blood sugars are doing better as well.
I still have the brain shuddering pain in my left elbow and in my right shoulder. Lots of grunting and going “OW!” when I move. After the tooth extractions I got out of the habit of doing the exercises. I can get back into doing them for the right shoulder but I have no idea what to do for the elbow.

For some reason I found myself thinking a lot about North Korea. The people are starving. The people are escaping to China just to find food. People are dying from third world diseases that are associated with malnutrition but the government is testing billion dollar missile systems.
Children are dying and Kim Jong-Il is making weapons of war. Generals don’t know how to feed aThe Female Butcher child let alone how to feed a people. Generals know how to make war. War is always their first solution.
I was jaw dropped by Sarah Palin making the statement that she was going to ensure that Alaska would use all of her power to protect America from the impending North Korean threat. Which sounds a lot like if Schwarzeneger decided that California was going to declare war on North Korea.
I thought it was illegal for local politicians to dictate a separate foreign policy. I mean what would a state do against a country?
Palin let her own people, she let Alaskan’s starve and freeze to death but she’s some how going to gather the resources to build a state wide security net? And she seemed to ignore that everything and everyone says the missile launch was pretty much a disaster, from the North Korean standpoint anyway.
She seems more like Kim Jong-Il than a viable Presidential candidate.

I’ve been following the USC spring camp pretty closely. Partially to ignore baseball’s opening day. I’d really like to see Mitch Mustain take the starting job at QB. There’s something I like about the kid. Aaron Corp seems to be the leader right now but I think Mustain will be the guy to lead the team back to the National Championship.
I don’t have too many worries about the defense. It won’t be as stifling as last years but It will still be top 10. Guys are improving, the secondary will be a monster. The linebackers are all experienced and deadly. I can’t wait until August.

Dogs I’ve finally gotten some new stuff to listen to. Nashville Pussy, a band with a femme lead guitarist and a femme bass player. The new album is “From Hell to Texas”. They’re pretty good. They fall just south of great. There’s something missing to propel them. I can’t figure out exactly what.
I’m considering adding to this site. Just a little jukebox to share music. Its a little app called KavaTunes. It prepares a pretty spiffy looking set of php pages that mimic the look and feel of the iTunes music store OR an iPod. It then allows you to stream the music from my server or download it.
I was thinking I’d start out with my Top Ten Most Played songs and then add and adjust the next 10 monthly, so it would become like a Top 10, then a top 30 etc.
It might be fun for me, provide some cool non RIAA controlled music and prove beyond doubt that my listening habits are totally bizarre.
I forgot to mention that I updated the movie and genre listings. They’re up to 3,400 movies. I keepThe Day the Sky Exploded having to explain on both lists you just have to click on the little buttons or titles to get more information and bigger artwork.
My friend got me a new chair for the computer! She had a gift certificate that was about to expire. I was touched that she’d use it for something for me.
Its a cool black leather thing. It’s only fault is that the casters roll too freely. Since I normally have at least one dog wrapped around me it means I have to be a bit more cautious about scooting it around.
Its time to take our long walk. The sun is shining. There was MORE snow last night but its all supposed to melt today and then freeze up tonight. Makes all that snow shoveling yesterday seem like a bit of a waste but it provided some fun for three members of the household.

I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being Jackie Robinson

Soa Lee
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Soa Lee
It was not a great recruiting class for USC this year. It was a good class but it held some potential for greatness.
Some of the kids who chose other schools I think made a mistake, a few of the kids I’m glad didn’tAn Evening with Karloff come to USC.
There’s the five star linebacker that chose Arizona State primarily because their academic standards are so much lower. ASU also has an excellent tutoring program set up because they take in so many marginal scholastic athletes. I’m all for that. The most important Blonde in Green
Click image: “Blonde in Green” by Unknown
thing is for these kids to get an education.
But I do think that the demands of football and school are too much for a lot of these kids.
One of my great delights in the 80’s was when unranked Stanford was routinely dismantling Lou Holtz’s top ranked Notre Dame teams. Keith Jackson pointed out a few times that Notre Dame didn’t have a single player on their squad who could have qualified academically for Stanford.
Education is still the thing. The one complaint I have with Pete Carroll is that I would like to see the percentage of athletes getting their degrees get up to 100%.
I was dismayed about the number of kids USC lost to UCLA. I feel sorry for those kids. Seriously. Woman's Figure
Click images for desktop size: “Woman’s Figure” by Unknown
Rick Neiuhisal has a pretty horrid reputation as an academic coach.
The kids who chose Notre Dame. It depends on their reasons for attending the school. If its to get playing time and falling for the glitter of the program and ignoring the horrendous job Charlie Weiss has done then they made a mistake. If it was for the traditions in the program and a great education its impossible to fault them.
As much as I like the intrigue of Signing Day I wish it weren’t such a media event today. These are kids and this is insane pressure. 80% of these kids are never going to get to the NFL. I want them to have the dream. I had it. But I wish the dream were more in line with USC’s old wide receiver John Jefferson, to get the best education he can get and to have some fun playing a greatAsphalt Jungle game in a wonderful spotlight. Playing in the NFL would be great for money and fame but its not the end all. What’s important is to have the foundation of a great life.
I worry about guys who leave school early and then get 1 or 2 years in the NFL and then have no real future. I worry about guys like Rickey Ervins. A great little college back who played 2 years for the Washington Redskins and then nothing. I worry every time I read the news and see how some former NFL player was arrested for drugs, Art and Beauty by Robert Crumb
Click image: “Art and Beauty” by Robert Crumb
robbing a liquor store. You know the drill.
Its a shame that guys like Pete Carroll and Joe Paterno are the exceptions among college coaches. They want to win, sure, but they also have an investment in the young men’s future.
I hope all the kids do well and that they attain the dreams and remember the people who love them and the ones who cheer for them.

I spoke to the bank yesterday. It appears we may be on the path to something that could result in my friend getting her car. I’m not happy with the whole package but it appears to be the only way forward. The alternatives are far worse.
So far I’m still very pleased with this used car lot. So far they’ve been holding the car with no issues at all. I have to talk to them today to see if they’ll go along with this new deal: The loan could take a week to 10 days to process and while it looks better than 90% that it will happen there’s always Spider's Ice Cream by J3 Concepts
Click images for desktop size: “Spider’s Ice Cream” by J3 Concepts
that doubt. While the loan should go through and might happen much quicker can’t be promised.
I wouldn’t blame them for not wanting to hold the car for my friend. If they couldn’t I would still go back to them to look for its replacement.
I never thought that I’d trust a used car salesman. It feels like trusting Nixon or Bush!

My friend is due back from her business trip tonight. We’re looking forward to it. I think she’ll be exhausted. I also hope she doesn’t have a 12 hour day and get get out of there early enough to get home at a reasonable hour.

Yesterday I shoveled the entire driveway and the yard. My back is sore this morning but not really hurting except for those stupid moves I tend to make. Slept on the floor again. The dogs seem toBeyond the Time Barrier love that or else they might be trying to crowd me off the floor.
I developed a new technique for flicking the snow away. I can’t fling it as far, maybe only 4-6 feet instead of the usual 10 to 12 feet. The technique involves using my left arm as the fulcrum and then just using the right as the weight to toss the snow. It worked well enough.
While I was shoveling the driveway the next door neighbor spoke to me. Not the guy but the woman. She asked about us giving them the old snowblower. I agreed for reason of wanting it out of our yard. I tried to talk about some other things, some just social but no real progress there.
She did tell me one thing. One of our neighbors I like. I thought her husband was still in hospital. The neighbor insisted her husband had died two years ago! I don’t know if she’s right and I’ve just blocked out someone having to deal with another dead spouse or . . .

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.

USC 38 Penn State 24

Unknown It was a quiet New Year for us. The nicest part was there were no fireworks, no one shooting guns into the air hence no scared puppies.Fantastic Voyage
I held up pretty well through out the holidays. Only sick a few times. Sort of sick right now and sort of depressed that the holidays are over. Even though we have three more days it feels close to an end. Time to go back to being leery.

The Rose Bowl was pretty classic football. It was certainly the classiest game this season. Mark Sanchez had his first flawless Fashion and Sex by S4W game of the season. There was no dirty play from either side just hard edged aggression and positive play. It was a game that was positive entertainment and an advertisement for the sport being played as a way to develop youngsters into men.
It had a beauty. At first I was a touch irked by USC’s apparent collapse in the 4th quarter. Now its apparent that it was Penn State playing the football they’re capable of. Daryl Clark is an amazing QB. I’ve seldom seen a player make so many right decisions. His mistakes were rare and created by the USC devastating defense.
Its made for a happier end to the season.

I’ve been feeding the skanky cat. Its a stray. Not feral but not friendly, which is fine by me.
The dogs have been stealing its food. Even telling them eating cat food will turn them into cats doesn’t deter them. I cleared some snow off the dog house roof, which is where it seems to like Eclipse by Peekaboo living and put its food up there. It eats the dogs look at it angrily so all is well.
The dogs were all negative attention seekers for New Years. My puppy vomited 3 times, once on the bed – nothing like two AM sheet changing. The giant dog somehow got a tiny sliver of metal in his front paw, no blood and my friend dug it out pretty easily. The gentle dog got up for our nightly “security walk” and was limping dramatically. No swelling or tenderness in his legs or feet but the limping persisted until we got outside. Then he started to bound around, bit me a few times (which still seems to be his greatest fun) and had to run like a maniac to chase my puppy down the hill to yell at our neighbor dogs. No limping since.
On new years my friend and I had a bottle of “Ice Cider”. Some sort of aperitif. It was expensive. Forbidden Planet Like 30 bucks for 12 ounces! I don’t drink but I really disliked it. I thought maybe it was because we were slugging it out of wine glasses. It wasn’t until after that I read the label that I saw it was an aperitif, meant for them little tiny port glasses. Since that was about all I drank anyway I’ll stand by hating it. It certainly was no inducement to get me to drink.
(I’ll never understand why it bothers people that I don’t drink. It does. Makes some people angry and some nervous. Too used to Southern California where most people wrongly assume I was just a drunk and that I’m working on my AA chip.)
Still feeling sad and sick enough to want to get back to feeling bad.
NFL Football picks have to be done by tomorrow. I have to practice being wrong. Its so rare for me to be wrong. With practice I’ll get it right!