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!

Don’t let the fear of striking out hold you back
Babe Ruth

Football Pin up by Al Moore

Click images for desktop size: “Football Pin Up” by Al Moore
The giant dog is feeling better. Much better.
In fact I don’t think he recalls a second of how ill he was. This was reinforced after he woke me at The Day the Earth Stood Still 4:30 to go outside. His urgency wasn’t related to anything internal. The rain had started and the sound of rain on the ice made him think the house was being stalked by thousands of dangerous kittens.
It was raining so hard the cat that lives here decided to come inside with the dogs.
So he’s fine. I will probably collapse sometime today from lack of sleep. Can’t afford to do that. Too much to do today.
Spent yesterday watching some pretty poor excuses for football Christmas Tree

Click image: “Christmas Tree” by Unknown
games, seeing Pete Carroll on “Sixty Minutes” (I was impressed with him. Very impressed.) And falling downstairs.
I’d been searching for two movies – the Japanese “Dog Star” DVD, which is very cool movie about a dog who dies. Because he led such a great dog life he’s allowed a request. He returns to earth as a human being shape so he can be close again to his female mistress, so he can tell her how much he loved being her dog.
The other movie was “Bobby of Greyfriar”, a Disney flic. I don’t much care for Disney movies. Not sure why. Perhaps its the consistent stable of directors and cinematographers. For whatever reason I find Disney flics as appealing as McDonalds.
Finally sorted through the stacks and found them. Actually I didn’t, my friend did. What I managed to find were some live Stevie Ray Vaughn DVD’s which I’d semi-forgotten about.
After sorting through the disks I decided to move them downstairs, to make room under my desk. Since I’m converting everything to H264 they’ve become more of a back up than a watching media.
I was carrying about 200 of them down the stairs when I slipped on the steps. I was falling and Brocal by Remohi

Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Brocal Remohi
trying to catch the movies as I slid down the stairs.
I wasn’t hurt much. The disks didn’t do well. About 4 of them just split or cracked. Lucky for me these were all movies I had good back up of already. I’m nervous about the others. The basement is not a clean room and concrete skidding plastic is pretty short lived.
There was nothing “vital” in the disks, no last copy extant of the missing footage from “It’s A Wonderful Life” where George Bailey throttles Uncle Billy and then sends Zazu out to sell matches on the street corner. But stuff I enjoyed having.
Maybe its all fine. I remember when CD’s first game out. One of the approved selling methods was to throw a disk on the floor and then watch the salesman tread on it, pick it up and have it play Destroy All Monsters perfectly. Why did I believe that?
The only other noteworthy event was that the couple that adopted one of my puppy’s foster dogs, and whom I’m fond of, STILL HAVE NOT HAD THEIR BABY!
One of my puppy’s litter mates is scheduled to have her first litter at almost the exact same time. This is more strain on me than is fair!
My friend wants to start new Christmas traditions. Private traditions . . . Barring a last minute invite from her parents we’re going to go to the Chinese buffet for Christmas dinner. I like that for far too many reasons.
The unambiguous ones are that they’ll have turkey! With Chinese stuffing? And dog bacon! And neither my friend or I have ever gotten sick there! Has me stoked. I’m working on a better way to line the plastic in my inner jacket pockets to load up on serious dog treats.
The other tradition we should start is to get a dehydrator. While shopping she saw a bag of sweet potato dog treats for $16.00! The plan is to dehydrate a mess of sweet potatoes and then to leave them Christmas eve at the door steps of all of our neighborhood dog friends!
I like that tradition a lot!
The final new tradition is that she should change her birthdate to whenever I arbitrarily decide it should be. I never remember things like that especially when your birthday is after Christmas and Not for Sale

Click images for desktop size: “Christmas is Not for Sale” by Unknown
before the New Years. This year I’ve decided her birthday is on Boxing Day. Since she won’t, or can’t, contradict me. It stays and is official.

Doo wop is maybe the purest urban music. Four or five guys hanging around a street corner singing some of the hits off of the radio, learning how to apply church modal harmonies with gospel emotion to a pop ethos.
Doo wop was the streets. There were black bands, white bands and Hispanic doo wop groups, just people raising their voices in song from New York to LA they thrived and made some sounds that are now pure standards. In the pre civil rights days its remarkable that there were several integrated doo wop groups. The odd part is that they recorded and toured with no big fan fare or any particular notice being taken.Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde
One of the most successful doo wop groups were the Temptations. They got so big that they stopped being thought of a a doo wop vocal band and were seen as the vanguard of the MoTown sound. They recorded what is possibly the definitive doo wop Christmas record with their stellar version of “Silent Night”. The only complaint is that it might be too slick and over produced and lack the spontaneous bite that makes vocal music great.
The song builds from the doo wop sound pioneered by that ultra slick and smiling cool of the Platters. The Platters were definitely alright even if they were more geared towards night clubs than flat bed truck stages. Their version of “Silent Night, Holy Night” is worth a listen and carries its own chilly warmth to it.
The Orioles “(It’s Gonna Be A) Lonely Christmas” is closer to the roots and has a rough primitive feel that suits the holidays well. While The Cadillacs “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” is nicely ebullient and totally secular reminder of Christmas being fun.
southern group with the awesome moniker The Harmony Grits do a cool version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” that threatens to, but never quite explodes in your face.
The Four Seasons were a 60’s hit machine, with pretty good reason. They did a pretty forgettable Christmas album that had a few decent moments, on of them was their pure urban version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”.Vaughn Bode

Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Vaughn Bode
While the Harmony grits version reeks of the delta and road side diners the Four Season’s version smell of Philadelphia and Gimbels Christmas Parades. Good stuff.
One of the great innovators in doo wop was Dion of The Belmonts. Dion DiMucci reinvented himself nearly as often as Madonna. But he followed a musical line not simply fashion. Presently the “King of the New York Streets” is playing acoustic country blues! Its listenable stuff. When Dion was with the Belmonts they never really did any Christmas stuff. I don’t think you can talk doo wop without talking about Dion, so here’s one his his later tracks, doing that cool Phil Spectre song The Evil Dead “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”. Its more rock than doo wop but it still sounds nice Christmas week.
Doo wop still hasn’t died. It continues in a lot of styles and samples. One of the strangest are the large 80’s looking acapella groups. Rockapella got famous by doing the title song for some PBS kids show, “Where In the World is Carmen San Diego” . . . they also did a pretty lamentable Christmas album. The track, “Silver Bells” is inoffensive and lilts as nicely as any song ever taken from a Bob Hope movie . . .

USC 28 UCLA 7

Royal Dream It snowed all day yesterday. Nearly four inches of soft powder.
Not soft enough. It covered up the slabs of ice very nicely so that when crazy dogs tried to get me to play with them they succeeded in knocking me down. I wasn’t hurt bad but I’d figure 4 inches ofNight and the City snow should be softer than that.
USC won another Pac 10 Championship. Somehow it feels hollow. One bad quarter and USC is out of the National Title game. I can stand that except I can’t quite cope with the over hyped Big 12 and SEC getting the shot over more deserving teams.
Penn State will be a good game and a worthy opponent. I saw Joe Paterno at his first visit to the Coliseum. I sat behind his bench. It was great. I got to see USC win against a legend and I got to see and hear the legend. Very classy guy he was too. The mental image is of him wearing his Penn State blue tie, a gray business suit and clunky white sneakers, standing next to a giant O-Line man who missed a block. Paterno explained to him with grave patience the Grunge Christmas right way to try and handle Tim Ryan on obvious passing downs. It was memorable and educational.
Still, I wish Oregon State had won out and that USC was playing Texas . . .
The USC season seems to be embodied in Mark Sanchez. I adore the kid and think he’s a stellar QB. But no one gives him any respect and there are a lot of calls to bench him. The kid threw 30 TD passes. Only Matt Leinhart and Carson Palmer have ever thrown for more. The odd thing is that Mark throws some beautiful balls and then manages to throw some of the dumbest passes imaginable, like there another QB inside him that doesn’t want to be great.
He’ll be back next year. I think he’ll become a killer. I hope so. His support for and in the Hispanic community is endearing. His support of a kid who died of cancer was heartening. He comes across like a young man you would like to have a a son. Someone to be Spiderman proud of.

Years ago we were sitting in a Thai restaurant we frequented. We were seated next to a table with two guys and a girl. I recognized one of the guys as Andy Robinson. Robinson gave one of the greatest performances in movie history when he got to play Scorpio, the evil villain in Don Seigal’s “Ditty Harry”. Robinson was so effective in the role that he found it close to impossible to get work. Casting agents and producers assumed that that type of deep malicious madness couldn’t be acted. It had to be real.
Robinson’s classic performance was too good, especially in a debut role. Seigal tried to help him out by giving him a different sort of part in the excellent “Charlie Varrick” but Robinson was too subdued to make any real impact. I’d guess he was afraid to unleash the monster within ever again.The Molesters
During a lull in the conversation at our table I suddenly heard Robinson say, “I’m an actor. I did one of those Clint Eastwood movies. You probably never saw it. It was . . . well, just a movie.”
Before I knew what I’d done I heard myself saying something like, “You don’t need to apologize. That’s a classic movie and you were fantastic in it. You were inspirational. If they don’t know who you are they don’t deserve to be sitting with you.”
I got a look from him that I’m sure is the same kind of look that scared the bejeebers out of casting agents. But he said, “Thank you. Its easy to forget that people watch those things. Thanks.”
We ended up talking and he gave us tickets to a show he was doing at the Amudsen Theater. I don’t like theater but I liked him. I liked how Robinson looked bone chilling and deranged even when he Fashion Sex Politics and Music by S4W was just talking trash.
That came to mind last night when I watched the semi-remarkable “JVCD”. My friend didn’t want to watch it because its a Jean Claude Van Damme flic.
I like Van Damme movies. He tries. He insists on directors and brings in talent like John Woo and Ringo Lamm to work with. He tries to be more than just a stony hero.
In “JCVD” Van Damme plays himself. The movie is almost painfully autobiographical. Van Damme produced the movie.
The movie opens with a single take six minute action sequence. Pretty tour de force stuff as Van Damme goes through about 60 guys, fighting and shooting through a clearly stage bound war set. Its impressive stuff and frightening to think of the logistics to get all those stunts in one continuous fluid take with only one camera. Lots of fights, bullet hits and explosions. Very cool.Paleface
When the take ends Van Damme talks to the director, a Chinese kid who is throwing darts at a photo of the Hollywood sign and not watching the take. Van Damme claims he is too old to keep doing these long single takes. The Chinese director thinks Van Damme is a worthless hunk of meat.
JCVD is also involved in a bitter divorce and a custody battle for his daughter. He is forced to sit in a classroom and hear his daughter say she doesn’t want to live with him because every time her father is on TV the other kids all make fun of her.
Van Damme wants to make decent movies but his image and his agent won’t let him. HE decided to return home to Belgium to try and escape from his pain from the divorce and from losing his child. While there he goes to bank to get some cash. The bank is being robbed and the cops decide that its Van Damme doing the robbery!
There’s so many great and telling bits here about celebrity and illusion, myth and reality. But what holds the core is the remarkable self deprecating performance by Van Damme.
Cagily, we keep waiting for Van Damme to explode and take out the robbers and exonerate himself. What actually happens is that JCVD gives a monologue. If it were anyone else but Van Damme it would be considered an Oscar clincher.
Its one of those speeches you hear from a stranger in trouble. Van Damme explains his entire life in one long static take. The revelations are so jumbled and personal you know you’re eavesdropping on Studies by Benvenuto Cellini someone’s thoughts. When its a stranger you can occasionally look away. And what moves you the most is that the stranger has trusted you enough to share with you the fact that he’s another human being.
Charlize Therzon got an Oscar for “monster” a horribly hackneyed film and an atrocious performance that impressed people because Therzon didn’t wear make up and had her hair done badly. People love beautiful women making themselves look ugly. I’m not sure why.
Van Damme doesn’t use any device that cheap. He strips away the celebrity and exposes his humanity and the hopes and dreams and thrills of being human. Its a magnificent moment.
This is a film to see. Its entertaining and after “The Man Who Was Superman” the best film I’ve seen Please Don't Eat My Mother in 2008. Oh, its in French mostly which surprised me.
Week fourteen of the NFL. The week where the rookies hit a wall. The space like the 13th round in the old World Championship boxing matches. Its a place they’ve never been before and its impossible to know how they’ll react.
Last week I was a dismal 7-9 . . . it shows the predicament of trying to gauge injuries and the traumas of the long season. My friend was 7-9 as well because she clearly does not understand the sport!
My picks are in bold.   
Oakland at San Diego – It was nice of the NFL to keep the cruddy game of the week on the NFL Network, thus sparing most of us. I watched about 5 minutes before I became bored.

Minnesota at Detroit – Another cruddy game. The only interest is in seeing if Adrien Petersen can break 300 yards. If he doesn’t it will be an off game for him. Can anyone believe that the Vikings are going to win the division? Its easier to figure the Lions will go 0-16.

Houston at Green Bay – The cruddiness continues. The Texans are proving to merely stink and not be the total disaster that I imagined. The Packers are a train wreck with hopes. There are some decent games this week.

Jacksonville at Chicago – And this isn’t one of them. The Jaguars are just bad this year. The Bears are my pick for most inconsistent team of the year. I can’t think of any reason to care about any of the above games. I hope they’re not on TV here.

Thirty Feet Tall by persona Cincinnati at Indianapolis – Some place in this country they’re playing a game someone cares about . . .

Philadelphia at New York Giants – This is a little better, but not much. McNabb kept the Eagles from embarrassing themselves last week. It doesn’t figure he’ll do the same this week, even with a healthy Brian Westbrook. The Giants have already survived the Plaxico Buress debacle and should proceed to win a a nice hum drum fashion.

Atlanta at New Orleans – The Falcons are hot. They look real and they look very good. The Saints are the beneficiaries of justice and get back 3 valuable players that the NFL tried to unfairly ban. Return of the Fly Reggie Bush should be in for some play and Dru Brees is still looking like the QB of the year, even more so than Kurt Warner. I’m going with my hearts for the Saints to over step themselves at home.

Miami at Buffalo – The Bills have battled their way back to .500 but they haven’t beaten anyone who mattered to do so. The Dolphins are not over achieving and struggled pathetically last week. In the bad weather I think Pennington will look good but the defense will have some issues. Marshawn Lynch is the heart of the Bills team and he should carry them past the superior Dolphins. I changed this pick at the last minute. I didn’t realize that this game was to be played at a neutral field in Canada, more to the point that it would be an indoor game! The Bills have given up a win for a few bucks.
Scarlet Cascade by Frank Frazetta
Kansas City at Denver – This is my insane pick of the week. But it makes sense to me. Larry Johnson is back in shape. He should slash the Bronco’s D for about 150 yards. Thigpen is looking better. The Broncos have Jay Cutler who is looking awfully impressive. This should be a cruddy game that gets pretty competitive in a crazy shootout way.

New York Jets at San Francisco – And you thought picking the Chiefs was crazy . . . The Jets have looked good and then they’ve looked execrable. Singletary has got far less talent on the 49er’s, but they keep improving each week. They are playing like a team while the Jets are playing like talented units who sometimes play together but often don’t. The Jets should win this one but Singletary’s under talented bunch keep comingReturn of the Vampire together. This could be the upset of the week.

New England at Seattle – The Seahawks still look dreadful to me, even at home and even with Hassleback returned and in shape. The Patriots are pulling together but a 39 year old our for a year Junior Seau makes them pretty vulnerable to the run and the short passing game. I’d still don’t see the Seahawks being able to win.

St Louis at Arizona – The only thing to see here is whether Kurt Warner can get close to 500 yards against the bumbling Rams.

Dallas at Pittsburgh – Game of the week. I’ve gone back and forth on this one. Its fun to think about. The Steelers have that D. The Cowboys D is pretty good too. Both teams need the win to stay in the play off chase, the Cowboys need it more. Troy Polamonu should light up Terrell Owens. The final comes down to the Steelers have no Running game at all. Willie Parker is running scared and without abandon. The Cowboys running games is hampered but in better shape. This is going to be good.

Cleveland at Tennessee – Back to the crud. 11-1 Titans against the Browns 3rd string QB. This will be ugly.

Tampa Bay at Carolina – I don’t believe in the Panthers even at home. The Buccaneers are playing for it all and look better poised to do it. Jeff Garcia loves Monday night games.

Washington at Baltimore – Runner up game of the week and its the Sunday night game so I’ll for sure get to see this one. The Ravens are believing in themselves while the Redskins confidence is cracking. Every match up favors the Ravens.

So 4 decent games out of 16 . . . Doesn’t speak well for the NFL. A judge has stopped them from unfairly suspending 5 players. The NFL’s repsonse is ugly. They are falling back on an interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement and claiming that thier anti-trust exemption places them above the law.
Much the ame way my picks place me outside the realm of football knowledge . . .

Life is a succession of moments, to live each one is to succeed
Corita Kent

Petrouchka by Micahel A Parkes I’ve yet to understand how it can be bright and sunny yet there are still snowflakes swirling in the air.Inner Sanctum
Its cold. 18. Everyone else seems to think this is nothing. I think I’m destined to remain an alien. This cold is endurable but it is never something that I think I can accept on any level as being the natural course of life.
One of the interesting things is that the cold has turned everything into ice. The snow that survived the warm (39!) and the rain is now just a solid 3 or 4 inch slab of ice.
This makes it easier to walk the dogs. I just need to avoid anything white or that sparkles in the sunlight. My puppy, as alien to this ice Peace On Earth planet as I am seems to slip a lot, especially when she trots around her appointed yards in the yard. I’m worried about her hurting herself. She’s very intent on getting wherever it is she needs to go as quickly as possible. She seems to enjoy it though.
I bought wood in to make a fire. I did succeed in a small way in making a fire. It didn’t blaze but it did burn and make flames. It didn’t seem to warm anything. The hardest part about bringing in wood was breaking it free of the ice.
Today I’ll try again.
The NFL is frightening me. This is probably the worst season in years. Too much erratic play. Team seems to be playing with no consistency. Only the Tennessee Titans and the New York Giants appear to be able to keep to a level and then build on it. (As a Ingrid Bergman team, some units, like the Pittsburgh Steelers Defense, are playing at a high level throughout.)
I don’t put this off to “parity” or even injuries. It seems to be a by product of Roger Goodell’s inept use of his power as Commissioner.
Goodell cynically appears to be using the sad death of Gene Upshaw, long time president of the Players’ Union, as an excuse to gut the players. He supports the corporate greed over the needs of his product.
The owners and referees are not what people pay to see. From Goodell’s insane support of the pure horror of inept officiating to his jaw dropping reinstatement of foolish gangsta wannabee Adam “Pacman” Jones he’s proven that he’sMark of the Vampire only concerned with image and placating greedy owners and not preserving the brilliant play of his stars and his product.
The inanity of fining players five to fifteen times the amount for exuberant displays and celebrations as he does for illegal season and career ending hits and excusing and praising officials who don’t call these flagrant muggings make his concerns clear.
This week Goodell has suspended 6 players for having in their system a diuretic that can, supposedly, be used to mask a certain type of steroid. The drug is in the list that all the players have. I agree that if its in the contract it should be adhered to.
But it seems that in five of these cases the diuretic was an ingredient of a food supplement. An ingredient that was NOT listed in the chemical ingredients. There was no way for anyone to know the supplement included this diuretic without having it examined by a lab and by having the lab look for it specifically.
Athletes need to stay committed to keeping themselves in peak condition. With all the steroid issues right now they all take extra care about anything they ingest from cough medicine to food. Its a tedious task but part of a price for fame.Jesse James Rides Again
The NFL is not a legal system and uses their anti-trust exemption to avoid due process. They’ve suspended these five players for having a chemical in their system that might be used to mask a type of steroid. They do not have to prove that the athletes were intentionally ingesting the diuretic to mask steroids. If they find a masking agent they bounce you. It doesn’t matter that there is certifiable evidence that the athletes were victimized by the company that produced the food supplement. Its not fair but they got busted, no matter how unfairly.
Except in this case the Star Group who produced the supplement told the NFL the supplement contained this diuretic. The NFL knew the secret BEFORE they caught these players. The NFL felt no need to tell their star players that they should avoid Star. They simply knew it and waited for a chance to prey on their athletes.
They knew full well that they could lie by with holding this information. And that by with holding this vital info they could catch someone. Then they could trumpet Goodell’s zero tolerance policy and get more anti-trust exemptions and curry more favor with the Government by whittling down the power of their employees. Terrifying the workers.
Plaixco Buress shoots himself in the leg with an illegal weapon. The O’Mara’s have a lot of power in the NFL. They suspend Buress for four whole games . . . the NFL is silent.
Its pathetic. It also sets a nice employer-employee precedent that scum corporations like WalMart The Knave Watching Lady Victoria Depart by Maxfield Parrish watch with a wise eye.
Things are creepy even at my alma mater.
Steve Sarkasian has been the Offensive Coordinator at USC for 2 years. I have been vastly disappointed in certain facets of his performance, while being very happy with his physical training methods and his ability to relate to the young men on his team.
He interviewed for the Job as HC at Washington University. Nothing wrong with that except he interviewed while the USC season was still going. I figure he got permission. Except he never talked to his team about it.
The kids got to hear about him getting a job offer from ESPN. That’s kind of like finding your wife is leaving you by watching Entertainment tonight.
Mark Sanchez, the great kid but inconsistent QB for the Trojans took it pretty much that way.Kiss of the Vampire
This is a pretty serious glitch in Sarkasian’s career. If USC looses to UCLA on Saturday I place the blame at Sarkasian’s door. A man should progress his career but to ignore the real needs of the players who performed so well as to get him considered for this job is deplorable.

My friend had to take off work today. Last night I made a chocolate oatmeal cookie, sugar free and gluten free and low fat! They didn’t come out too well. I was afraid they’d made her sick.
I’m mildly glad they didn’t, not so glad she’s suffering. She has to sleep with a mouthguard to alleviate the pain in her jaw.
Not a happy household. I miss taking antibiotics. I feel the pain increasing when the antibiotic times Queen of Dorks by Claire Beneton come round. I’ve had to make a small up tick in the amount of pain killers. That does the trick.
So no one happy around here. Except the dogs. They’re always happy and can’t understand any pain that can’t be removed by rubbing on their heads or rubbing their tummies.
At least everyone will be amused watching me try and start a fire. I’ve never understood why watching me hurt myself always makes everybody laugh . . .
Never seems to fail though so it must be some sort of special talent.
I used to like being special.

California 3 USC 17

Plotting by Lawn Elf

Click images for desktop size: “Plotting” by Lawn Elf
I hope that anyone who saw the Alabama – LSU game will give up the myth that the SEC is the best conference in the country.
That was one inept stinker of a game. It was terrible in every facet, That Alabama is number one is The Good The Bad and The Ugly heinous. That LSU is in the top 20 is a poor joke.
USC’s win was lackluster. They’ll be penalized and they should be. (Although the entire world of football officials should be penalized. In the NFL and in college ball the officiating has degraded to an abominable level.) After watching Texas Tech dismantle Oklahoma State is there any one who can doubt who is actually number one? (And not just because my kid Akacia Gin Ichi

Click images for desktop size: “Akacia Gin Ichi” by Unknown
scored the first TD! The announcers actually knew his name this time!) Texas Tech plays superb offense and are the only team in the Big 12 who know that defense is important too.
Then there’s Penn State. I really wanted to see Texas Tech and Penn State at 1 and 2. Iowa squashed that dream. It was a brilliant game for Iowa. It seemed that on every play at least one player of the field reached deep and did something that should have been beyond them. It what I love about college ball, the emotions laid out on the field.
And USC rally didn’t look so bad. The coaching, of all things, is looking worse each week! Mark Sanchez looked solid but not spectacular. The coaches still are asking too much of a young O-Line.
But the Trojan D is looking unbelievable. After last night they are giving up a whopping 6.7 yards a Out of the Airlock by Blurberger

Click images for desktop size: “Out of the Airlock” by Blurberger
game! Against one of the top running attacks in the country they gave up a total of 27 yards. Purely incredible. The defense is National Champion caliber.

I made myself sick yesterday. Sicker than I’ve been in a long time. The pain’s been bad but the fatigue has not been. The fatigue or lethargy worries me more than pain or discomfort.
It was my own fault. Having fun and not paying attention. My friend threw the dogs and me out of the house while she re-did the office to facilitate her working at home more. Cool.
I decided to work on blowing the leaves. One thing about all the trees is they sure generate a lot of leaves. That must seem obvious but it still surprises me.
I was having fun blowing the leaves, stopping when the dogs wandered within 10 yards, playing with The Curse of Frankenstein the dogs. I started to get hungry and ignored it. My blood sugar dropped too low.
I think its funny and some sort of joke that I could get to be diabetic and get my blood sugar too low. There was no sugar in the house and soon I started to feel hat grinding in my blood and bones. I guess its the body trying to find some procaine to help with the pain and stressing itself out when there’s not much in there to find and no sugar to process it with when it does find some.
That’s not the tech specs but as close as I can get.
For some reason I didn’t want my friend to know how terrible I felt. Pride? Embarrassment? Stupidity . . . I don’t know. I tried to conceal it. My brain kept flashing white. Not white noise but like a glossy 8×10 photo of a white poster board white.
Pride of the Piegan

Click images for desktop size: “Pride of the Poegan” by Unknown
I’ve been through it before so it doesn’t scare me anymore. I just don’t like it.
I ate something. Sort of collapsed for a couple of hours and came out of it well enough just to feel sick.
I have to be more careful. Past history says the effects of this will linger for a few days so the best option is to avoid me . . . or only talk about how wonderful my dogs are. Your choice.

Last week I was 9-5 in my NFL picks. I tied with my friend . . . again . . . this is getting obnoxious. This is just proof that dames have no business in football! WOMEN! They just don’t get it! If she can’t do better than that she has no business watching the game. You can see how stressing about how she is doing is affecting my own infallible methodology of picking winners!
The things I put up with!
As usual my well thought out picks are in bold.
MASH
Denver at Cleveland – Normally I would never pick this terrible Bronco defense on the road. But because the Browns opted to start Brady Quinn instead of Derek Anderson (noted dog lover) it made this a clearer choice. Quinn did much better than I thought, not great but not totally terrible either. Jay Cutler, the Bronco’s diabetic QB played incredibly well! Except I discovered that in rushing to pick this Thursday night game I accidentally clicked the wrong button and took the Browns . . . I’ve done this before, sometimes its even worked out for me . . . I hate Thursday games . . . except on Thanksgiving . . .

New Orleans at Atlanta – I love the Saints and coming off their bye week and that stunning win in London two weeks ago you’d think I’d stick with them. But they just are so banged up. The Falcons are looking unreal with rookie Matt Ryan. He’s pretty much got a lock on Rookie of the Year. The Saints D is just too thrashed out to pressure him and keep hi on track. This could be the game of the week but common sense says the Falcons are in better shape. I hate common sense too.

Tennessee at Chicago – I don’t think the Titans will go undefeated but I don’t see this Bears team as being able to beat them. The Bears will hamper the Titans running game a little bit but they won’t be able to rattle Jerry Collins. If Grossman starts he has a lot to prove and could make a difference, underline could. If a gimpy Orton starts the Titans D should smother him.
Purple People Eaters

Click images for desktop size: “Purple People Eaters” by NFL Films

Jacksonville at Detroit – Could this be the week that the Lions finally win one? Nah. The Jaguars are stinking the joint out right now but the Lions are planning to starts a QB who’s been out of the game for over a year and who’s been with the team for 5 whole days . . . ewwwww. At least the Jag’s won’t have any recent film of him to study. Cruddy game of the week.

Baltimore at Houston – I’m actually shocked that the Texans have won 3 games! The Ravens keep looking meaner and meaner and Flacco is continuing to deliver and improve. Flacco is the other starting rookie QB and would be the Rookie if the Year if not for Matt Ryan of the Falcons. Biggest thing today is to see the the Ravens can pitch the shut out.
The Fourth Man
Seattle at Miami – You’d think that after just one win last year the Dolphins would be stoked to be at 4-4 already! .500!! They’re not. They want more and are seeing themselves as contenders in the AFC East! The Seahawks Seneca Williams has looked better at QB than I expected. He still stinks but not as badly as I thought he would. The Dolphins should eat this one up.

Green Bay at Minnesota – Who would have thought that this game would have meaning. Who would have thought that it was because both teams are 4-4 . . . The Packers should score frequently against the Vikings but its a hard call as to whether they can stop juggernaught Adrien Petersen. I think they slow down the one dimensional attack enough to win this one going away. If Petersen gets over 150 yards it could be more interesting than the Packers would like.

Buffalo at New England – A couple of weeks ago this had game of the week written all over it and then the Bills decided to disintegrate. They’ve looked terrible in 3 losses, 2 of them consecutive. The Brady-less, Harrison-less Patriots have looked better than anyone could imagine. Maybe Billichek really is a genius. Cassel should continue to have success against the flustered Bills D and the inspiration Patriots D should handle a suddenly desperate Bills team that will be trying to hard.

St Louis at New York Jets – Dr Jekyll and Mr Favre. Old age seems to have cost Favre some of his Bringing Up Baby consistent brilliance. He’s still incredibly entertaining but, well, last week he did set a new record for the most interceptions ever. The Jets D has looked woeful, even against the pathetic Raiders! Still you have to pick them over one of the worst teams in the NFL. This will probably be more interesting than it has any right to be.

Carolina at Oakland – Al David cuts CUTS one of the premier DB’s in the game . . . the man has clearly lost it. DeAngelo Hall i the kind of guy you build a secondary around. The Redskins must be stunned they were able to pick him up for NOTHING! If this doesn’t make the Raiders more nervous and trepidatious than they already were nothing else will. A tight bad team against a mediocre team. The Panthers are mediocre but should spring enough “lick” plays and dominate the tight Raiders Offense.

Indianapolis at Pittsburgh – Co-Game of the week. The Steelers Defense is looking nearly as good Virtual Girl

Click images for desktop size: “Virtual Girl” by Unknown
as USC’s! In Dungy’s final year his Colts are sort of -eh. All but mathematically eliminated from the play-offs Peyton Manning will bring some heat, enough to inspire some spectacular plays from the Steelers. Whether Rothlisberger or Leftwich play is no big deal They’ll still dink around enough and have good enough field position to stay close.

Kansas City at San Diego – This is a for sure cruddy game of the week contender. Was saves it is the way the Chiefs hung tough before they figured out a way to lose it last week. The Chargers looked to have the AFC sewed up but let two badly officiated games wreck their entire season. Clearly no one has enough of a voice in the locker room to get these guys to straighten out. This will be dismal.

San Francisco at Arizona – RAH! The Cardinals as overwhelming favorites? The Cardinals in first Coffy place!?! Even if it is the woeful west the Card’s look potent enough to blow the crazed 49ers out of the park. I loved Mike Singletary as a player. I thought he was doing a decent job as an assistant coach but, man, he went berserker in his debut as an HC. I can’t see the lackluster Niners responding to his intensity. Not even his defense.

New York Giants 31 at Philadelphia 28 – Co-Game of the Week. The Giants are starting to look indomitable. But the Eagles are desperate to make the play offs, an honor they think they deserve. The Eagles will leave the game with their hearts bleeding in their hands. The Giants will play that same dull football that with its machine like boredom should prevail in the last two minutes. I’d love to see the Eagles get crazy and win this but it seems a bit beyond them. Even with Westbrooke healthy and re-tuned Desean Jackson is too leery to be totally dependable in a game when he needs to be firing.

After you finish admiring the keen logic and sheer brilliance of this magnificent picks I’d point out that a woman, a mere girl, a neophyte who’s been following the game for almost 3 years has matched me consistently even though I’ve been playing and coaching the game most of my life . . . so these are clearly for amusement only – meaning its okay to laugh at me. Just not too loud.
I still have a very tough puppy.

A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave
Mohandas Gandhi

Lookout

Click images for desktop size: “Lookout” by Unknown
I tried an experiment last night. It didn’t work out to well.
Its been a long time since I tried sleeping without noise. Lately I’ve been going to bed wearing the iPod. I made a playlist that lasts 90 minutes or so. Generally I’ll fall asleep by the first 10 or so Riff-Raff tunes. Then I’ll wake up and listen to the last 4 or 5. I’ll take off the earbuds then fall back to a pretty normal, for me, sleep.
Sleeping with no music, or TV set to sleep didn’t work very well at all.
First thing I did was notice all the pains in my body. Somehow I’ve developed a new pain. It feels like a knitting needle has been pounded into my nose with a rubber mallet, pounded Th Enchanted Prince by Maxfield Parrish

“The Enchanted Prince” by Maxfield Parrish
until its gone though my brain and come out the back of my skull. Its a pretty straight line of hurt.
I’ve never had anything like it before. I have no idea what it might mean, if anything.
I noticed every little tic of discomfort. I managed to shut them down one by one. Then my mind drifted to football. I was appalled that USC fell two places in the BSC rankings. Very stupid.
Not so much USC’s poor play but due to the rather idiotic love affair of over hyping the SEC in particular and the Big 12 flavor of the month.
I understand over hyping the SEC. CBS payed a small fortune to get an exclusive broadcast deal on the conference. Its in their benefit to keep the myth alive that this is the best conference in College football. The SEC has three fine teams and then a mess. All those “superb” defenses getting ripped for 40 and 50 plus points every week, and Alabama scheduling cupcakes.
The Big 12 doesn’t believe in Defense. One player on Texas Tech, Whitlock, played out of his skull and destroyed Texas. Its why I love college ball, one player gets amped and suddenly becomes a leader who smashes everything. Texas Tech deserves to be number one and Penn State number two, in my opinion. The rest doesn’t make a lot of sense.
How does Florida getting beaten by Mississippi mean less than USC playing a bad half against Oregon State? Its senseless.
Allegories Of Love by Terry Rogers

Click images for desktop size: “Allegories Of Love” by Terry Rogers
Then I noticed my hands were cramping up. I massaged them and thought about music.
I had that momentary desire bred of a deep seated insanity that makes me want to be in a band.
There’s nothing like the fun of standing on a stage and playing guitar. Carrying on and still getting to the mike in time to do my background vocals. I have a pretty thin voice that sounds thin and bland singing lead but somehow sounds fabulous (that’s right – fabulous) when doing harmony.
When its working right you can hear the crowd actually gasp when you hit the mike and the chords just so.
I then laid out my schedule for today. I worked it out fine and ended up by saying to myself that will work out great so long as it doesn’t rain or something stupid. (Of course this morning I got up Superstooges VS The Wonderwomen and it was raining.)
I thought about my bills and how annoying it frustrating it was that only one company had posted my money orders.
My puppy came in and put her nose in my face. I petted her for a moment and realized that nearly 5 months after his death I still terribly miss my little blind dog. As wonderful as the three dogs who live with me now are and as much as I love my puppy there’s still and empty hole inside me that only he fit in.
I then fell back on my exercise to promote sleep. This about 3:00 am. I took my name, squared the number of letters in each of them, added them together and then found the square root of the total.
I decided this would be my lucky number!
I got up to 6 decimal places before I finally fell asleep.
Dark Art

Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by F Fiedler
I don’t know where a 6 decimal number will help me if I suddenly decide to play the lottery, so I guess that experiment was a failure too.
I still got up at 6:30 which is cool.
I like staying on schedule.

This morning I’m bored with the election. Although I’m sad the nasty campaigning is coming to an end.
I liked Obama’s little movie. I thought McCain was pretty funny on Saturday Night Live, right up there with Nixon saying “Sock it to me?” on the old Laugh In show.
This reinforces an old theory of mine that the evil at least think they have the most fun in the world. And that’s nearly the same thing.
I’ll also miss seeing the insanity that is Sarah Palin. She’s been a total hoot, I can’t accept thatSeven Samurai anyone takes this ogre seriously. I mean no one in the world could be so stupid or lost in the ether of hatred and bigotry or insanity to not see that this is nothing but a colossal joke. If its not a joke than its an insult.
An even bigger insult than Dan Quayle and Spiro Agnew. Although she does remind me of both of them. Some beauty queen brain damaged abomination of the two of them. Quayle couldn’t spell potato and Agnew was convicted for bribes and abuse of power . . .
Maybe she’s not a joke . . .
But she is so funny!
Doing laundry now.
I still like doing laundry in some way.
Bad sleep experiment aside still had an excellent weekend. On Halloween we saw monsters and a unicorn and we had pizza! We also got some Greek food that made me sick but was great enough to be worth feeling poor.
Had a Greek feta salad, a fancy meatless and eggless breakfast and I made Tom Yum Gum soup on Sunday. Got ingredients at the Thai market. I really like it there. Cheap and other worldy enough to feel like fun. I wish it were closer.
And I got to be with my friend.

Arizona State University 0 USC 28
I started searching for a better way but I couldn’t see the light
Climax Blues Band

Koln Dome Bridge

Click images for desktop size: “Koln Dome Bridge” – WWII Photo Post Bombing Run
During the pre-season yesterdays USC matchup with ASU was being hyped as being nearly as big a deal as LSU and Florida, Texas and Oklahoma, with the whole Pac 10 race dependent on its outcome . . . I remember that clearly. Born To Kill
But the way both teams played yesterday that seems like a nasty joke. Let me rephrase that – the way 3/4 of the teams played yesterday. The USC defense started out playing in a mediocre fashion letting the country’s worst running attack lash them up cruelly, but as the USC offense played with more and more heartbreaking ineptness the defense rose like one and became an impregnable inspiring wall that refused to lose.
Dracula

Click images: “Dracula” by Universal Pictures
Five turnovers in the game most within 20 yards of the USC goal line and no touch downs allowed. ASU has last years Groza Award winner, the finest kicker in the country, one peculated to be a first round draft pick. Fili Moala blocked two of his field goal attempts to preserve the shutout.
Pete Carroll will , no doubt, take full responsibility for the offensive debacle. I put the blame on Steve Sarkasian, the Offensive Coordinator. Each week I’m pretty mystified, when I’m not horrified, by his play calling. He gives up on things or runs the same stupid play into the ground. He takes too many home run shots and doesn’t give his young O-Line a chance to settle in and play to its level of talent.
Mark Sanchez has talent. He’s a good kid. His talent and confidence are being undermined by this horrific refusal to play to his strengths, to protect him from his weaknesses and to protect him from the teams weaknesses.
Ultraviolet by Superville Design

Click images for desktop size: “Ultra Violet” by Superville Design
Look at how Texas has protected Colt McCoy. They never give up on the run, even when its failing. They wait for the home run to come to them. They manufacture the opportunities for McCoy instead of forcing him to make them himself. Same with Chase Daniels at Missouri.
I think Sanchez might have more talent than either of them but he’ not being given a fair chance to show if he does or not.

The political scene is now horrifying. Even McCain is horrified at the rage and nastiness he has purposefully incited. The rampant racism his wife, his running mate and his commercials are setting off. He’s trying to turn the name “Obama” into a synonym for “uppity ni**er”. Its working.
Beyond The Door A man showed up at an McCain rally with a stuffed monkey with a hangman’s noose around its neck and an Obama sticker on its forehead.
Some businesses are refusing to serve people with Obama bumper stickers on their cars.
“Georgia congressman and Civil Rights leader John Lewis, reacting to the increasingly incendiary atmosphere at McCain-Palin campaign rallies, condemned the GOP for using tactics that are creating a mood not unlike the one created by George Wallace, the former segregationist governor and presidential candidate. Lewis accused the Republicans of “sowing the seeds of hatred and division,” and warned the McCain campaign that they are “playing with fire:”
“As one who was a victim of violence and hate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign,” Lewis said in a statement. “Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.”
The veteran Democrat even invoked one of the most divisive figures in recent U.S. history. “During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate. George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a Jeff Beck's Fender Esquire

Click images for desktop size: “Jeff Beck’s Fender Esquire”
church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama,” said Lewis.
He warned, “As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all. They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better.”
The McCain campaign responded by saying “that’s not what we’re doing!”
Of course they also said this about the release of the Branchflower report on Troopergate. Palin’s response: “If you read the report, you will see that there was nothing unlawful or unethical about replacing a cabinet member,” Palin said as boarded her campaign bus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “You got to read the report.”
The first line of the report quotes the law and says thatCat People Palin violated state ethics law by trying to get her former brother-in-law fired from the state police, a state investigator’s report for the bipartisan Legislative Council concluded Friday.
Palin says there was nothing unlawful or unethical, just read the report. And the report says? It was unlawful and unethical.
The McCain camp’s claim of some pretty petty and horrifying abuses of power is that since the report makes no recommendation that criminal charges be leveled, it’s therefore a case of “no harm, no foul.”

Last weeks NFL picks provided some justification of my system as opposed to my friends.
Using her daffy system of team colors, nicknames and helmet design she was an absurdly ludicrous 7-7 in her picks. It is hard not to laugh at her flailing futility.
I, using my method of careful analysis, study of previous games, tendencies and my encyclopedic knowledge of the game burnished by years of Blaze Starr Goes Nudist coaching and playing finished the week a gloriously scrappy 7-7 . . .
My picks are in bold.

St Louis at Washington – After firing the head coach teams have a solid history of rebounding and winning the next game in which they’re given no chance. That’s the scenario for the Rams this week, after firing coach Mike Linehan . . . that’s about the only hope the Rams have. Their offense guided by Steve Jackson and with Mark Bulger under center can be productive but the defense is a bad joke. I have no confidence in the Redskins except their helmets are red even though they are not as nifty as the Rams curly horned blue and gold affair. Still, the Redskins keep winning. I can’t for the minute understand how, except they keep scoring more points than the other guys. This is my Survivor game pick of the week. I’m still alive in the contest which only has 1,225 still competing out of 100,000 plus!

Carolina at Tampa Bay – The Panthers are a surprisingly strong favorite here. This surprises me as the Buc’s defense has looked incredibly stout and the Panthers have looked remarkably lucky. Sometimes luck is far better than skill or talent. This comes down to the Buc’s wearing black and dark red while the Panthers wear baby blue! But for logo’s the Panther is far cooler than the unchic pirate the Bucs are cursed with. This is almost a pic em!Cat Women On The Moon

Cincinnati at New York Jets – After the incredible performance two weeks ago destroying the Cardinals the Jets got a week off to heal up! The Bengals are busted up and in total disarray. Carson Palmer isn’t starting with a weak commitment that he might get some playing time. The Bengals haven’t won with Palmer and its impossible to win without him. The Bengal D has shown some resolution in the past few weeks but Brett Favre is excited about playing in New York now. Even though the Bengals have the coolest helmet in the NFL and the Jets have the creepiest I don’t think that will be enough.

Oakland at New Orleans – The Saints are as unlucky as the Panthers have been lucky. The NFL aggravated the situation by their fines this week and by Goodell assuring the refs that they were doing a great job and not to worry about it . . . In their last game against the Vikings, 3 Vikings were fined for dirty play! BUT the largest fine was for the DB who ran back the blocked field goal Return of the Warriors by Charles Marion Russell

Click images for desktop size: “Return of the Warriors” by Charles Marion Russelll
for excessive celebration! The nasty and potentially fatal face mask tackle of Reggie Bush (which led to the game wrenching fumble) was only fined $7,500 . . . why to protect the players. The Players Union needs to replace Gene Upshaw quickly before Roger Goodell decimates the league! The Raiders have fired wunderkind Lane Kiffen, not too smart really. See the bounce back theory under the Rams game. Jamarcus Russell gets to come home to the SuperDome. The Saints are super busted up. Finally the Raiders kit is the di reguer classic standard for gang bangers and wannabees everywhere while the Saints kit is the highest in “eh- factor. A fleur ds lis? Still, despite all these facts I figure the Saints will blow them out. They need to.
Cool Hand Luke
Detroit at Minnesota – Poor poor Lions. I think they might win one or two games this year given they are overloaded with talent, even disgruntled talent. When they do win it will be a shock, whomever they beat. The Vikings are a joke to me. A dirty team who have very little to offer, especially considering the mountains of money they’ve spent on talent. But they do have purple kit (Someone in this household who is not me’s favorite color) and there is no denying that viking horned helmet is very cool.

Baltimore at Indianapolis – This is a rough pick. The Colts have only won twice and they’ve looked insanely unimpressive in both wins. Even Peyton Manning has looked nearly human. The Ravens (who dress in black but have chosen a CROW for their logo) have looked impressive in all their games, extremely impressive. With the brand new stadium the Colts really are missing a big part of their home field advantage. In another situation I’d take them and Surf

Click images for desktop size: “Surf” by Unknown
the 3 points . . . I just changed my mind. The old fashioned horse shoe on the Colts logo has swayed me to go with my heart and the Ravens Joe Flacco tearing up a Bob Sanders-less Colt’s D. This is my game of the week.

Chicago at Atlanta – The Bears appear to be this years schizo team, winning some games they shouldn’t and inexplicably losing the easy ones. This should be one of the easy ones. I don’t think the Falcon’s Matt Ryan is quite ready yet to face a pass rush like the Bears can muster even without suspended tackles. (I do think that Smith did the right thing in suspending the tackle. Teams respond to discipline and resent favoritism and teammates getting away with stuff. The suspension should fire up the rest of the squad.) Coming off a career game Orton won’t be quite as good but he won’t need to be. Even though the Falcon’s kit is eons cooler than the old school Bears gear I’m still taking the Bears!

Lily

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Miami at Houston – Its been nearly 3 years since I picked the Dolphins to win one! Now I figure they’ll let me down . . . if its because they wear teal and white as opposed to the Texans red and black I’ll do something drastic! Chad Pennington is the leader the offense has needed since forever. Their defense is not as punishing as in previous years but it is pretty efficient. Houston looks good in struggling . . . They hung their future away when they passed over Reggie Bush and hired Craig Morton. In its history no one has ever managed to full on beat the Wing T formation. Its an offense designed not so much to win games as to keep them close enough to maybe win. The Dolphins have adapted it and are making it work in the high powered NFL.
Corruption
Jacksonville at Denver – The Bronco’s keep winning even when they get exposed. I think Jay Cutler is a very good QB and his handling of his diabetes is inspiring. He makes a good role model. I don’t think anything about any of the rest of the entire team. What they have going for them is Cutler and Mile High Stadium. Th Jaguars are more problematic. They have talent, they have fire, they have coaching and they’re 2-3 . . . They need to win and to string together some big wins or the wide open AFC will have them sitting at home watching the playoffs on TV. As the Jaguars wear teal and have the snazzy snarling cat on their lids I’m picking them.

Green Bay at Seattle – The Packers are a team in transition. That’s obvious as they’ve already lost as many games this season than they did all of last year. The Seahawks are just a bad team in a bad division. Aaron Rogers has shown he’s a good NFL QB, but he’s not shown he can play hurt. Lat week he was good but couldn’t get his wracked body to its former level of excellence. Rogers may have damaged himself even more by playing last week in a game the Packers lost anyway. If he’s spent the time healing I’d have them as the easy pick here. The Seattle Kingdome is a nasty place for visiting teams, especially teams who don’t play there every year. I think that the Seahawks should pull the upset victory today. Beside a seagull, an albatross for gosh sakes, maybe the dorkiest logo Crescent Moons

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in the NFL but its still more inspiring than a letter G!

Philadelphia at San Francisco – Brian Westbrook, the heart of the Eagles attack, is out with broken ribs. But they still have Donavan McNabb who is the heart and brains of the team. The 49ers have exceeded everyones limited expectations but face a team that is desperate for a win. And the Eagles kit is that lovely shade of metallic green. The eagle is a cool enough logo while the 49ers logo, unless its on Jerry Rice or Joe Montana, is just dumb.

Dallas at Arizona – After their strong comeback after the embarrassing defeat the Cardinals look like a force. The Cowboys dismal performance against the Redskins should have them fired up. They can’t afford back to back losses if they expect a shot at making the playoffs. The paychecks should be enough to inspire the Cowboys to beat the Cardinals. NowCrimson Kimono I know the Cowboy C is a stupid logo, heck they don’t even play in Dallas! But I’ve been to Arizona plenty of times and I have never seen a Cardinal in the whole state! So on that front the additional edge goes to the Cowboys.

New York Giants at Cleveland – Cruddy game of the week. The Browns are without their premiere player, Kellen Winslow. The Giants are healthy and must be chomping at the bit to play this depleted team. The Giants should win easily and it will be nothing but dull.

New England 24 at San Diego 20 – This is the Sunday night game and its a good one. The Brady-less Patriots are still an enigma. Their aging Defense still suspect. At times it shows its age but then suddenly rallies itself. The Chargers are also an enigmatic team. Has Ladainian Tomlinson taken too many hits. He’s shown little of his brilliance of years past. Little and exciting Sproles has been more productive in pivotal situations. Now the Pat’s logo, the colonial in a football crouch is an historically bad logo. The Charger lightning bolt is tres cool. If the Chargers were still wearing their powder blue kit of ages past they’d be an easy pick here. But its still hard for me to go against the Patriots until they’ve shown they’ve forgotten how to won.

As usual these picks are for you to use when picking on me and have no other value unless you enjoy throwing money away.

USC 21 Oregon State 27

Moths by Lotsa Trees
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Its was a bad game for the Trojans and a great one for the Beavers.
The Trojans were outplayed and out coached. Almost nothing they did was right.
I just hope that the kids don’t get too down on themselves. There’s Gun Crazy Re-Issue a long season ahead. And now that they’ve dropped down to looking like a middle of the pack squad USC will have to do a lot to move themselves back into Bowl game contention.
They can still win the Pac-10. After the way they played last night that would be a great accomplishment.
The coaching staff will have to do a lot of soul searching and come up with a lot of answers. I’m glad that’s not my job.
Jack Pierce
Click images for desktop size: “Make-up by Jack Pierce”
I need to consider why a team with so much talent was so thoroughly destroyed. I might not be coaching this year but I plan to coach again.
The most readily apparent problem was the scheduling. A game -a bye -a game – a bye left everyone out there looking rusty.
The trip to Corvallis Oregon is dreadful. I had to make it twice. Flight to Portland and then a two hour bus ride. That gets pretty thin and can easily let your team lose focus. Techno
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Its hard to get your mind back on the game.
Clearly the coaching staff did too little, if anything, in prepping the defense to cope with a 5’6″ runner. The kid played tough and played extraordinarily well. There was at least one missed tackle on every play.
On offense the O-Line had their worst game ever. They were not prepared for what OSU was going to do and there seemed to be no adjustments.
The play calling was atrocious.
The Beavers are breaking in a new front seven. Three games is enough time to gel. But instead of going in with the hammer backs and busting them up and shattering House their confidence we got cute and ran gadget plays . . . We built up their confidence and they played out of their heads, as well they should have.
Add that up and its a game that USC deserved to lose.
Onr thing I did like was Mark Sanchez accepting total responsibility for the defeat. He said, he was the Captain. He should have been leading. He wears the name of a child Hispanic cancer victim on his face on game day. He’s a good kid.
One thing that bothered me is my emotional reaction to the game.
Yeah, I’m a fan. Its my alma mater. I’ve bled on those fields in victory and defeat. For 18 years I never missed a home game and went to one or two away games a year, sometimes on the team plane.
That doesn’t explain why at half time, when it was obvious USC had no right to win, that I felt personally defeated. Alone and beaten.
Its not been a good week.
The economy, both the country’s and my own economy. With the bank and state pilfering my money Identity Lost by Psychopulse
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that it now appears they may have done improperly, its left me in bit of a dilemma. Nothing dead ugly serious but bad enough.
I understand. If they can do it to 100,000 people that a 30 million dollar tax free loan. That’s a lot of money even for a state. The actual number seems closer to 300,000 people. The state retroactively rescinded a xredit they’d granted to subsidize health care.
My friend being sick worries me. That’s natural. I don’t like that I worry about myself being ill. That’s part of my own problem, often not giving myself enough value. A dozen little things that lead me to despair, schools I Love Trouble not returning my calls and other minor things. (I don’t take that personally – to me its just a sign that they need someone like me but there are probably either lack of interest or a political money thing happening. It happened before. A talented volunteer is considered dangerous in some ways. I understand and know how to fight it.) It all just adds up and I guess I was looking forward to some reinforcement that I didn’t get.
I’ll pull out of it. I always do. Its just that I feel it weighing heavily on me now. I know that more bad is coming from governments and my rebellious body. I need to hope I can survive it all instead of just waiting for “the people in gray” to take me away.
I’ve already come up with an idea about coaching for next season. It involves starting now. I’ll do that.
For the other things. Its sort of not in my control. I’m cool with that. I don’t have a need to be in charge, except of my puppies. They need that.