September 30, 2004

Get Your Debate On

The first Presidential Debate of 2004 is tonight, and boy does it promise to be a barnburner. In the blue corner, we find the junior Senator from Massachusetts, reported flip-flopper extraordinaire John Kerry. In the red corner, we have President George W. Bush, whom one pundit described four years ago as the “most unqualified man ever to be nominated by a major party”.

Lincoln-Douglas it ain’t. For starters, that was a real debate. This isn’t. This is something a bit more than a joint press conference, but not much more than that. The candidates cannot question each other directly, cannot go over strict time limits, and cannot move out from behind the podium. Even without excitement, I will be watching anyway. I’m not entirely sure why. Obligation perhaps or maybe I am waiting for an impossible moment where I go from having to vote for one of these guys to wanting to vote. I don’t really see that happening though.

The key for Kerry is to eschew his natural predilection for using 50 words when 10 will do, and 4 points-of-view when one is necessary. The stakes for him are unbelievably high here. On the last day in September, less than six weeks away from the election, most people still don’t know much about him. Much of this is his own damned fault, as his spent his convention, his moment in the sun, discussing the most pressing issue of 1971. Much of that reputation has been demolished, either fairly or unfairly depending on your persuasion, by the Swift Boat Vets. Beyond that, the voters know mostly what the Bush campaign wants them to know: his flip-flopping, his overly nuanced positions, his slightly unhinged wife. Tonight, he needs to stop all that. It will take a lot. He needs to give sharp, concise and most importantly, short answers to the questions.

For Bush the challenge will be to string multiple words together without saying anything embarrassing. No “spreading their love” here please. This is much easier than Kerry’s task. Since everyone knows that debates are not his strong suit, the expectations a low. All he has to do is not make any real gaffes, stick to the message, and make Kerry beat him.

Posted by Frinklin at 05:32 PM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2004

Down the stretch...

I still don't think the Well-Liked Padres will make the playoffs, but damn if they aren't making it interesting.

Oh, and if this keeps up Richard is gonna owe me one.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:26 PM | Comments (0)

The Washington Expos? Senators Redux? Maybe the Beltways or Bureaucrats?

Well, it is a done deal. After 35 years, the Montreal Expos are no more, heading to the Fedroplex; will they be the Senators again? Probably not, as Tom Hicks and the Rangers still own the rights to that name. How do I feel about this? I haven’t quite figured out yet.

I do know I feel bad for the baseball fans in Montreal. Do not listen to what Selig and his stooges tell you, there are actual fans in Montreal. Granted, most of them have been chased away due to nearly criminal mismanagement over the last 10 years, but they certainly exist. Still, listen to the other owners, they will tell you how bad Montreal was for baseball. It is too cold. They are too obsessed with hockey. French Canadians are just too, well… French. Most importantly, the city never got around to building a ludicrously overpriced palace for whatever hapless owner happened to be in control. Swap out hockey for football, and rainy for cold and you… you get Seattle, Washington circa 1976-1995. Baseball hated being in Seattle more than they hate being in Montreal. Too much to do in Seattle, people don’t need baseball. Funny thing, ironic really, is that the Mariners came within an eyelash (and a taxpayer supplied stadium) from becoming the Northern Virginia Fury back in ’95.

The Expos were never the glamour team in the NL, but up until 1994, they were a solid major league baseball franchise. They had a lousy stadium, but so did half the teams in baseball. They had a lousy owner, but again, so did half the teams in baseball. What they did have was the best team in baseball at the time of the strike, but when the game returned in 1995, they had barely a shell. During the strike, owner Claude Brochau, a thoroughly unlikable man, stripped his team bare, shedding talents like Marquis Grissom, Larry Walker, and Moises Alou. The Expos had little chance to recover.

Of course, it got worse from there. Despite great young players like Pedro Martinez and Vladimir Guerrero, the Expos floundered. They went from a horrid owner, to a rather stupid and evil one named Jeffrey Loria. His first exceptionally bright idea was to get in a giant snit with his local broadcasters and take the Expos off TV and Radio. From there it gets comical, with Loria and Bud Selig conspiring to get Loria a different troubled franchise, the Marlins, and the Marlins owner in Boston. Montreal becomes a ward of the state, with the other MLB teams sharing ownership. With this appalling state of affairs, the situation spirals into absurdity. The Expos play some home games in San Juan, Puerto Rico, while the baseball establishment spends the entire 2003 season promising a new home by 2004. Of course, that does not happen. We spend all of 2004 doing what should have been settled the year before. Only now, the Expos are just that, the Expos. The world Montreal has been removed. Where will they end up? Where will the roulette wheel land? Who knows? Possibly Washington, or Portland, or Charlotte, maybe even Vegas. Wouldn’t that be cool? Selig seems excited by Monterrey or Mexico City, but that never goes anywhere. This escapade brings back memories of the ABA.

Now it is over, and the Expos are head to Washington. Will it work? Maybe, this is baseball. You still get three strikes. Of course, DC is at 0-2. An original member of the AL, the first Senator team moved to Minnesota. The expansion Senators headed out for Arlington, Texas at the first opportunity. And we do have a few questions for this team. Things like who is going to own it or run it or even the damned name. I still vote for the Grays, but that’s waaaay to classy for baseball to do. There are also lawsuits to deal with, from those screwed by Loria when he moved to Florida.

I guess what really bothers me is that someday, some little kid in Montreal is going to ask his dad what happened to the Expos, and that father is going to get that slightly sad, far-away look that my dad did when I asked him who the Pilots were.

I usually don’t like Jim Caple much, but this article pretty much wraps up how I feel about what happened to the Expos. He raises a good point: Considering all the money baseball has spent running the team, and the guaranteed revenues promised to Orioles owner Peter Angelos, wouldn’t it have made more sense to use that money to build a stadium in Montreal?

Posted by Frinklin at 05:50 PM | Comments (0)

Every once in a while, there is Justice

I was on my commute home this afternoon, about halfway home on the freeway. Traffic was moving well, just about the speed limit. I saw a fancy black car come swooping down behind me. I changed lanes, unfortunately at about the same time, and into the same lane as it. The driver, a young woman, a teenager really, jammed on her brakes. She zipped out next to me in the right hand lane, and then turned to me. She flipped me off, screamed at me a couple times, and then floored it.

She got about 50 yards before the CHP she cut off lit her up.

And yes, I did point and laugh when I drove past her again.

Posted by Frinklin at 05:47 PM | Comments (1)

September 28, 2004

Amateur Movie Review: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Make that Sky Captain and the Retro-World of Tomorrow, thank you. We went and saw this movie over the weekend. I liked it, she didn’t. Sky Captain is at heart a very goofy movie, a mix of old Republic Serials, with a generous helping of the animated Superman movies. The plot is very basic: giant mysterious robots wreak havoc on the major cities of the world, and only our dashing, square-jawed hero, Sky Captain Joe (Jude Law) Sullivan can save the day. His compatriots are his ex-girlfriend Polly (Gwyneth Paltrow) Perkins, a beautiful and plucky girl reporter who is so obviously based on Lois Lane it should end up part of the Simon and Siegel lawsuit. Sky Captain also has the requisite brilliant but slightly addled sidekick; his name is Dex, played by Giovanni Ribisi. Equally important is the Other Woman, in this case the mysterious Francesca Cook. As with the old serials, Frankie, played by Angelina Jolie, is sexier, more interesting, and a lot more helpful than her rival is. This movie isn’t subtle either; everything Polly wears is earth toned and demure. Frankie has an eyepatch and skintight, dominatrix-like black leather.

We have a villain too, though not much of one. Our villain is a mysterious German scientist, missing since the closing days of WWI, named Totenkopf. He is very mysterious, not even showing up until the very end, and even that is a surprise that just about everyone over 10 will figure out. Everything about this movie is easy to figure out for that matter. The plot is very thin, and the dialogue is wooden at times, but good at others. The casting is fine, though Law and Paltrow sometimes show a hesitancy that can probably be attributed to the fact that neither has done any previous blue-screen work. The supporting players fare much better. Ribisi has already shown himself the best character actor of his generation and Angelina Jolie is so much better when she forgets to be a movie star and stops pretending to be Ashley Judd.

So, after all this, what did I think of the movie? I loved it. Look, it takes a serious amount of suspension of disbelief to enjoy Sky Captain, but if you can, its great fun. The action is well choreographed, and the overall look of the film is flawless, an impressive update of a long forgotten genre.

Posted by Frinklin at 05:32 PM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2004

The Vacation is Over

Yep, I had to go back to work today. I wasn’t out long enough to totally forget what I was doing, but I was out long enough for everything to be just a touch fuzzy. Hey, does anyone out there want to know how to screw someone completely? Try this: Agree to take over high-priority deadline accounts while a co-worker is on vacation, then quit the very next day. Yes, this is what happened to me. Of the voicemails left for me, about half were people demanding to know why I’d gave the phone number I gave for priority stuff wasn’t being answered. That was pleasant. Still, I wasn’t as far behind as I’d feared, only way, waaay behind instead of so far behind I couldn’t even see where on-time was.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:15 PM | Comments (1)

The Sims? Me?

I mentioned previously that we bought the Missus a The Sims 2 over the vacation. She has played it a bunch, though not as obsessively as I would have thought. I even tried it. I played some last night, creating a Sim and well, killing him in less than an hour. It was not pretty. For all the odd pseudo-speech they make they scream rather realistically when on fire. Will I try this again? Yeah, I probably will. I seem to be the only man who actually plays this game, from what I’ve read, but I’m just hooked enough to give it another try. The odd thing about this turn of events? I started this. I bought the original game about a month after it came out. I played it twice, got bored or frustrated (I can’t remember which), threw it in a box, and forgot about it. The game somehow came up in conversation with the then-future Mrs. Frinklin. She borrowed it, and I didn’t see her for about a week. The expansion packs, and the PS2 version followed.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:14 PM | Comments (0)

Football Advice? Don’t look at me

Well, I just had a sterling weekend now didn’t I? I gave my utterly uniformed impressions about 4 games, and whiffed on three. Let’s recap:

-Frinklin Sez Washington has a good chance of shocking Notre Dame. Ummm, no, ND blows out the Huskies 38-3.

-Frinklin Sez Washington State will suffer a letdown and lose at Arizona. The Cougs tried really hard to do so, but eventually won 20-19. By the way, the Wildcats are worth watching just for new coach Mike Stoops, who seems to think he’s a WWE wrestler. I’ve never seen a coach come unhinged quicker or more often in my life. He needs to be careful or he’ll have a stroke before the years out.

-Frinklin Sez that the Seahawks will beat the 49ers, but it will be closer than the 10.5-point line. The Hawks are good, but not great, and the Niners are better than people think. Yeah, this one was really off, as the Seahawks just torched San Francisco 34-0, ending San Francisco’s remarkable streak of not being shut out in 27 years. Yeah the Niners suck, but this was impressive.

-Frinklin Sez that San Diego has no chance whatsoever against Denver in Mile High. Well, at 23-13 this one looks a lot more impressive than it was. Denver was in real danger, but a couple of bonehead Chargers killed whatever momentum San Diego had. That and a 39-yard TD pass to Ashley Lelie on a 4th and 9 play. Denver’s running game disappeared against the Bolts, as Quinton Griffin looks lost and increasingly fumble-prone, and Garrison Hearst is about 700 in football years.

Tonight Frinklin Sez that the Redskins should take it. That should make Zygote very happy and Fred very afraid.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:13 PM | Comments (3)

September 26, 2004

WSU wins a ugly yet thrilling game. UW not so much


Wow, how much did the Cougs want to lose this game? How about 11 penalties and 4 lost fumbles worth? WSU was sloppy, undisciplined and at times just plain stupid. And they still won. The shouldn't have, but they got lucky. The Cougs get a unbelievably timely turnover, hit on a great pass from Swogger to Hill, and there you go, Arizona loses it's second heartbreaker in a row. Still, the Cougars can't expect this to happen every week. They will need to play better than this in order to beat just about anybody else in the Pac-10. Well, except for the suddenly hapless Huskies.

Oh, yeah, them. On Friday night I said the Huskies weren't as bad as everyone thought and had a shot at shocking Notre Dame. And I was right too, the Huskies were in the game up until about 2 minutes in. Then everything, and I mean EVERYTHING went to hell. They can't tackle, can't cover, can't pass, and get behind so quick that Kenny James, their most legitimate offensive weapon becomes useless. Neither Paus or Bonnell was effective, though if you listen to Pat Haden, he seems to think that Bonnell is the second coming of Marques Tuiasosopo. It's really too bad Matt Tuiasosopo is so good at baseball. Is there any question he would be starting by now?

Posted by Frinklin at 12:31 AM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2004

Rock the Vote? Not me

RP, of the fine blog Random Pensees (no, I’m not bright enough to figure out what it means either. In fact, due to an unfortunate mispronunciation in the Frinklin house, his fine blog is known as Random Penis) has an interesting post concerning a Drew University professor making it mandatory to head to the voting booth in order to pass her class. Now, once at the polling place, you don’t have to actually vote, and non-citizens are exempt. How this is going to be monitored is beyond me, but stuff like this really ticks me off. This is America; if they don’t want to exercise the most sacred duty known to secular man, screw ‘em.

Not only do I have a problem with coerced voting, I have serious issues with almost all Get Out the Vote campaigns. Really, if you have to decide whether or not to vote, just don’t bother. For Americans, this is really the only duty required of you, in payment for all the blessings that come with living in the freest society known to the history of man. You have the duty to learn about candidates and issues, and act accordingly. If you need some stupid celebrity to remind you to vote, to force you to stop paying attention to CSI: Wichita or Models Eating Bugs for Money for almost a full Goddamn day, to sit down and decide who leads the entire free fucking world, then you aren’t worth the trouble. Go away, sit down, and shut up.

Posted by Frinklin at 12:27 AM | Comments (4)

Crap, you want on-the-field football stuff?

The Beloved Cougars travel to Arizona to take on Mike Stoops suddenly feisty Wildcats. This is a serious “gotcha” game for the Cougs, playing against a team that will never give up, despite being out-talented. Add to that WSU’s traditional bad luck and bad performances against UA, and the Wildcats take this one in a squeaker.

The Tolerated Huskies take on Notre Dame in the shadow of Touchdown Jesus. Now this is what I love about college football, people so damned pretentious they think God roots for them. The Huskies aren’t as bad as people think. They have, in Kenny James, an actual, honest-to-God stud running back, and Paus was adequate at QB last week. If the defense can tighten up against the run, admittedly a big if, U-Dub can win this. The Irish aren’t all that good, despite wins over the Michigan teams.

The Seahawks will beat San Francisco this weekend, but they won’t cover a ludicrous 10.5-point spread. The Hawks haven’t played all that well, and the Niners aren’t as bad as people seem to assume. Seattle wins, but don’t give anybody that many points.

The Marty Schottenheimer Death Watch stumbles on this weekend, as the Chargers head on the Denver to face the Broncos. Denver always beats San Diego, usually by huge margins. This week isn’t any different, especially with Marty’s brilliantly confused handling of the QB situation. Put this team, and this man, out of his misery, please.

Posted by Frinklin at 12:05 AM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2004

Simmons and the NFL

Speaking of the NFL, The Sports Guy has a couple of nice observations on the league, both of which deserve comment. This one first….

By the way, I think I speak for everyone here: We don't care about Deion's comeback. Really, we don't. We don't care. We just don't. We really don't care. Please leave us alone. We don't care. We don't care. We just don't care. Seriously, we couldn't care less. Nobody cares. I don't care, you don't care, we don't care, nobody cares. None of us care. Stop writing about him. Stop interviewing him. Stop arguing about him. Stop running features about him. Nobody cares. NOBODY cares.

Yep, I’d say Simmons does speak for all of us. Deion Sanders is a total non-story, an unnecessary comeback from a guy who couldn’t tackle on the off chance he wanted too. Let him play out his season with Baltimore, then head on over to the next season of The Surreal Life , where he most certainly belongs.

Now this….

Here's the point: In the NFL, you get a 15-yard penalty for taking your helmet off after a touchdown, but you can keep playing even when you're facing a federal drug trafficking trial, or a trial for a second drunken-driving offense after the first offense killed somebody's Mom. Nice league. Instead of taking off his helmet last week, Deion would have been better off selling five pounds of coke to the line judge.

Now there’s something you won’t hear on NFL Countdown, will ya? You should of course, it’s ludicrous that Leonard Little and Jamal Lewis are playing through these situations. Even worse is the outcry in St. Louis and Baltimore if they were forced to sit. That’s our No Fun League: If your towel is a half-inch too long, you’re in trouble, but run over and kill someone while drunk, that ain’t no big deal.

And please, don’t give me anything about innocent until proven guilty or that it’s unrelated to their job performance. You, me and every Average Joe knows that if we came to our bosses and said, “Yeah, I’ll need a few days off this year to defend myself against allegations that I was part of a huge drug cartel. You have no problems with that, right?” We would be fired or suspended until exonerated. Lewis and Little should be too.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:54 PM | Comments (0)

Uhh, Yeah... I signed for $2.5 Million, but give me more money anyway.

Keenan McCardell is such an idiot. One of my favorite things in sports is the demand for a renegotiation that goes wrong like this. Basically, McCardell signed a deal that pays him $2.5 million a year through 2005. He had a good year last year, so he thinks he should be paid $4.4 million.

Even though he signed a contract. In any other industry, this moron would be laughed out of his bosses office. In sports, this is a Big Deal. A star holding out. Of course, Keenan McCardell isn't a star, he never has been. He's a solid, albeit aging wideout coming off a good year. If there were justice in the NFL, he'd spend all year holding out, wasting his money, and little children would point and laugh at him on the street. However, this is the NFL. Either Tampa Bay will relent and trade him to the Chiefs, or some other team who mistakenly believe Keenan McCardell is the answer to all their problems, or he'll be released, and sign a big free-agent deal.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:42 PM | Comments (0)

God I hate ESPN sometimes

Now, wherever you may stand on ESPN branching out into "Original Entertainment" like The Junction Boys and Playmakers, you might find this irritating. The Worldwide Leader's most recent opus, Hu$tle is premiering on Saturday night.

A Saturday night... in September. During the first month of the college football season, and the height of MLB Pennant races, ESPN is showing... a docudrama.

There just isn't anything better to show, I imagine. No actual, real sports to televise on a Saturday night in September.


Posted by Frinklin at 12:25 AM | Comments (1)

Fred and the meaning of words

My friend Fred raises some interesting points about the meaning of the word hero in his post today. It's regarding 9/11 and whether is correct to label everyone who died that day a hero. Fred's point, and I tend to agree, while it's awful that those who reported to work at the Pentagon or the WTC were killed, they aren't really heroic, as they were simply ordinary people doing ordinary things. The first responders, firefighters, police and the like, those truly are heroes, as they had the choice not to go to the disaster.

Fred does, however, commit something that just irritates the living hell out of me. It's the misuse of a word, one that has become so bastardized the true meaning is known only by a few dozen drama majors and grumpy cretins such as myself. That word is "tragedy". A tragedy, for those who don't know, is a literary work, involving the ruination of a main character, who's ill-fortunes stem from an internal flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with a difficult situation. Nowadays though, "tragedy" is slapped onto every single bad event in modern life, from as big as 9/11 to everyday occurrences like kidnappings and murders. These things are horrific events, but they aren't tragedies. A tragedy would be me ruining my family's fortunes due to my rapturous lust for the delicious snack food Poppycock.

The word, obviously has had it's meaning replaced. I think I know why. We, as a people need a big word to describe such things. Calling 9/11 a horrible event doesn't get to the reality of it. So we've grabbed tragedy. And only grumps and drama majors don't like it.

Posted by Frinklin at 12:03 AM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2004

Amateur Movie Review-Wimbeldon

We went and saw Wimbledon while on our quick vacation. And No, before you even ask, I didn't pick it out. I got to choose where we ate dinner that night (we voyaged into the dark world of the ESPN Sportszone), she picked the movie.

It was actually quite enjoyable, and far better than I expected. It's a somewhat formulaic British romantic comedy. Suffice to say if you liked Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, or well, the list is pretty endless, you'll enjoy this. Anyway, this movie features a star turn by Paul Bettany, who is terrific as the lead, an aging, about-to-retire English tennis pro named Peter Colt. He's playing in one last tournament before retiring to what looks to be a perfectly ghastly life as a private country club instructor. Co-star Kirsten Dunst plays Lizzie Bradbury, a young and tempestuous American phenom. They meet cute, run around London, and eventually fall in love. Really, I don't think I'm spoiling anything for you.

In addition, Wimbledon shows glimmers of being a pretty fair sports movie, though the sport in question is Tennis, and that really doesn't count. The acting is excellent, especially Bettany, who should be a star by now, and hopefully will be due to this. Lord of the Rings alumni Bernard Hill is funny as his father, and Sam Niell is criminally underused as Lizzy's controlling father. This movie is cute, fun, and a pretty nice way to spend an afternoon.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:46 PM | Comments (0)

Mediocre Quiz Alert!

ex v
You're a Vampire. Vampires were the creatures of
the night that were believed to live off of
human blood. Count Dracula, being the most
famous vampire, set the stereotype. They had
dark hair and pale skin from being away from
the sunlight. If they actually existed, it's
very possible they had the skin disease that
made you allergic to the sun so whenever the
sunlight would hit it, it would hurt like
crazy. They were usually snobbish and control
freaks and kept werewolves as pets.

What Mystical Creature Are You? (Pictures)
brought to you by Quizilla

Ya know, if this were Underworld, The Missus and I would be locked in a centuries-old genocidal war between supernatural species. We'd also wear tight black leather clothing a bit more often.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:29 PM | Comments (0)

Well, we’re back.

The break was lovely, and I really wish it wasn’t over. To Recap, the Frinklins:

-Finally had the long awaited wedding reception, just 2 days shy of six months after getting married. It went very well As requested by the bride, it was very low-key, very casual and fun.

-Following the long-awaited reception, we took a small honeymoon. We went to Disneyland. Cheesy, I know, but at the heart of the matter, the Missus and I are very cheesy people. We stayed at the Grand Californian Hotel, inside Disney’s California Adventure. It was a very nice hotel, if ungodly expensive. We hit both parks for 3 days, and I’m not sure if I can go back to non-hotel Disneyland visits. It was perfect, run around like 12-year olds, back to the hotel for naps or nookie or both, then back out acting like a kid. How can I possibly go back to just drive up-drive back like I used too?

-We hit the Angel-Mariner game on Monday. It was my first trip to the former Edison Field since I moved away from Orange County a couple years ago. I really like Angel Stadium. It always feels a little strange, being really in the middle of nowhere, but it’s a great place to watch a game. I have yet to find a lousy sightline in the place. It’s funny, since I lived in Orange County during one of most baseball-intensive times, I’ve probably seen more games there than any other place, including the Kingdome and Safeco Field. This was also the first time I’ve ever rooted against the Angels there. Everyone was fairly nice; there was a sizable Mariner contingent, surprising since the team is so awful now. There were a few tense moments when Ryan Franklin plunked Vladimir Guerrrero, but they passed. Quick observations:
-The Ibanez-Boone-Lopez-Cabrera infield is just awful on defense. I don’t think Cabrera handled a smooth chance the entire game, and everything Lopez does looks rushed.
-Someday I will tell my children I saw Dallas McPherson’s first major league hit. He’s a bit rough around the edges, but he sure looks like the real deal.
-Thankfully for the M’s, so does Jeremy Reed. He has a very pretty swing; you can see how patient he is at the plate. It did suck that Melvin had him sacrifice a man over at one point. It may or may not have been the right move, but I came to see the kid swing.

-So now we’re back home. We picked up both dogs from the in-laws, whom we thank immeasurably for taking care of the kids for us. As I mentioned previously, the Missus has her Sims 2 game now, so blogging will probably be light for both of us.

It will just depend on how often I can distract her from the computer.

Posted by Frinklin at 12:43 AM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2004

The Frinklins are back in town...

and there was much rejoicing.

Actual posts to follow, once the Mrs. Frinklin tires of this:

Posted by Frinklin at 01:37 PM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2004

Why the Light Blogging Schedule Mr. Frinklin?

Well, this is it. The weekend is finally here. Just a tick under six months after actually getting married, the Missus and I are having a reception. I took Friday off work, to do a couple things, the most important of which was to pick up my grandmother at the airport. We had to fly her into John Wayne up in Orange County, which meant a nice long trip for me. Still, I'm awfully glad she's here. Due to my father's recent heart attack, he and his wife can't make it, so Grams and my mother are the only family from my side coming.

After the reception is over on Saturday, we're on to Disneyland for a short honeymoon, with the added bonus of a surprise Beloved Mariner game in Anaheim. Yes, the only time I see the M's this year comes in Richard's backyard.

Blogging should pick up after we get back next week.

Posted by Frinklin at 12:41 PM | Comments (1)

Dream Job.... WHAT?

I don't actually watch ESPN Dream Job. For my taste the current SC anchors are amateurish enough as it is. So I was stunned to find that Stephen A. Smith, incomprehensible screamer, is one of the judges.

So, I'm assuming he downgrades people for being listenable, coherent and intelligent? Anyone who has ever seen Stephen A. Smith rant on Sportcenter, or any of ESPN's completely unwatchable NBA shows knows that Mr. Smith is none of those things, instead content to rant on and on, throwing in the latest slang terms, never making a damn bit of sense.

After this and Sportscenter Old School, it just reminds me how bad ESPN is nowadays.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2004

This is a strike?

Players from the Japanese Pacific League have voted to go on strike, in an attempt to halt the merging of two teams, the Kintetsu Buffaloes and Orix BlueWave. Read the article, compare and contrast the differences between American strikes and Japanese strikes, and then return. A few quick ones: The strike only effects weekend games, weekday games will still be played, the Commissioner has resigned due to his inability to settle the issue, and both sides have apologized to the fans.

Goodness, the Japanese have a lot to learn about sports labor unrest, now don't they? Haven’t they read Bud Selig and Donald Fehr’s script on these issues?

-Nuke the season
-Blame, Blame, Blame
-Act really, really, REALLY self-righteous
-Get really pissy with fans that don't welcome you back with open arms
-Make sure the strike/lockout doesn't actually solve any of the core issues
-Repeat as Necessary, until your opponent realizes his mistakes and bows down to you, or the sport collapses and you return to your natural place on the pecking order. Perhaps you were born to take orders at Wendy’s

Now Mr. Apologizing Japanese Baseball Establishment, that is how you have a strike.

Thank You to the Rocketman

Posted by Frinklin at 11:12 PM | Comments (0)

An Actual, Honest to God Baseball Post!

It concerns the Well-Liked Padres and their playoff chances, you know, the ones that are slowly slipping away. As of right this minute, after a 4-1 loss against the Giants (where Barry Bonds joins the 700 homer club. Congrats to Barry, but you're still a jackass), the Pads stand four games back of the Giants. Worse, they're behind 3 different teams. Add to that the recent struggles of Jake Peavy, the injuries to Sean Burroughs and Khalil Greene, and their stunning lack of sucess at home, and San Diego is pretty much toast.

Thinking about that last, I have to wonder if the injury to Burroughs is any big deal. The thirdbaseman still hasn't had anything close to a breakout year. His numbers? A paltry .298-.348-.365, with two homers and five steals. Sean Burroughs is 24 years old now, in his third major league season. Is it time to give up on him? Greene is a different story, after a slow start at the plate, his injury-ended line will be .273-.349-.448 with 15 homers. That's impressive, and should win him rookie of the year in the NL.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)

This weekend's football

Since I don't have much time for blogging this weekend, I'll hit the locals for this weekend.

-The Beloved Cougars are on the road in Martin Stadium, as the Idaho Vandals are the official home team. First, UI really needs to get over this obsession with matching Boise State. The Vandals, as they currently stand, have no business being a D1 football team, and this "home games at WSU" are just ludicrous. On the field, the Cougs have an overwhelming advantage in speed and talent, and should paste Idaho pretty good. The questions will be at QB: Will either Josh Swogger or Alex Brink use this opportunity against an overmatched team to take control of the job? I certainly hope so. To make life worse for the Vandals, it's an even-money bet that WSU's defense will score more than Idaho's offense.

-The Tolerated Huskies open the PAC-10 season against another slumbering former powerhouse, the UCLA Bruins. While the Huskies had last weekend off due to an absurdly early bye week, UCLA recovered from their opening weekend debacle against a good-but-not-great Oklahoma State by going on the road and crushing a terrible Illinois team. I think the Huskies have a shot at this one. UCLA hasn't shown any ability to stop the run, giving up 634 yards on the ground against the Cowboys and Illini. I think this could be a breakout game for Kenny James, provided that Casey Paus can stop making stupid turnovers. It's Paus' game this week, as Isaiah Stanback might be shelved with a bum ankle.

-On the NFL front, the Beloved Seahawks are on the road in the Deep South again this Sunday, this time at Tampa Bay. Everyone in the Seahawk office would be happy with a 1-1 split in their first two games, but this one is very winnable. The Bucs looked old and slow, and particularly so on offense last week against Washington, while Seattle looked young and fast on defense against New Orleans. Seattle should be able to harass Brad Johnson at will, as the Buc O-Line looks terrible, and their slow, slower and slowest receiver corps should be shut down by the Seahawks talented young secondary.

In an unrelated note, the fact that Giant coach Tom Coughlin had the audacity to fine four of his players for not being early to a team meeting just stuns me. Like Len Pasquerelli says in his column on the subject, if you want guys to be in the office by 8:25, make the damned meeting start at 8:25. The NFL has to overturn this stuff. You also have to wonder why Coughlin hopes to prove here? Is he worried that his Giants won't hate him as much as the Jags did? Don't worry Tom, they will.

Posted by Frinklin at 09:24 PM | Comments (0)

September 16, 2004

If there really is a God, this will not happen.

Paris Hilton as Daisy Buchanan? Produced by Lance Bass?!? Some guy from The OC???

Dear Lord, this can't be happening, can it? Look God, I will give you Jack Black as Green Lantern, and I'll stop bitching about George Lucas screwing up his own movies, if you can somehow stop this from happening. Look, The Great Gatsby is my favorite book ever, and my choice as the best American Novel ever written. The 1974 movie is great, there is no single reason on God's green earth that that it would ever need to be remade.

Especially not with these people...

This jolt to my blood pressure and already shaky sanity is courtesy of the redhead.

Update According to the rather active comments over at Red's original post, the proposed title is... God Help Me.... Jay G


Posted by Frinklin at 01:00 PM | Comments (3)

September 15, 2004

Say goodbye to the NHL

Fred explains it all.

I'll quickly say I agree with just about everything he says, and I find it really sad that a great sport with great fans might just end up dying because of this.

And hell, what will happen to the Inter-Munuvian Hockey Whoopass Jamboree?

Posted by Frinklin at 07:00 PM | Comments (0)

Thank You Bill McCabe...

The Tainted One counts down the worst of George Lucas and his unending tinkering of the Star Wars Movies.

He continues here, with an explanation of why the new Vader-Palpatine dialogue is a crime against humanity.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:53 PM | Comments (0)

Cougs-Buffs Part 2

What begins as an additional post about the WSU-CU game and quickly degenerates into why I hate Gary Barnett.

What really made the game galling for me was the opponent. I really, really hate Colorado. I didn’t like them before this mess started, but now I feel as they represent everything that’s wrong with college sports. Let’s recap shall we? Gary Barnett leads Northwestern to the Rose Bowl; accomplishing what many thought was impossible. He sticks with the Wildcats for a couple years beyond that, then jumps to Colorado (his dream job) after Rick Neuheisel heads to Washington. He doesn’t bother to tell his players, but does try to steer a couple of NW recruits to Boulder. Once ensconced on the CU campus, he proceeds to berate Neuheisel for doing… exactly what he did, leaving without tell his players and trying to re-recruit players to UW. Class fellow this Gary Barnett is. Inexplicably, he gets away with this shameless hypocrisy, mostly because Colorado was sick of Neuheisel and his perceived shadiness. Moreover, Barnett represented a tie to Bill McCartney, former CU coach, founder of the Promise Keepers and fellow shamelessly self-righteous asshat.

Anyway, Our Boy Gary has a couple lousy years, after a foolish promise to return CU to glory. He then catches lightning a bottle and leads the Buffs to a Big 12 championship, an epic destruction of arch-rival Nebraska, and yet another New Years Day Bowl loss. Last year though, it all starts to come apart. Nasty allegations of alcohol and drug filled parties for possible recruits. Then more ugly allegations of free hookers for some recruits, presumably only the good ones get those. Then we get the topper. Former Buffalo kicker Katie Hnida, one of only three women to suit up for a NCAA Division 1 football game, alleges that she was repeatedly harassed, abused and eventually raped by a fellow CU football player. To make matters worse, Hnida claims that Barnett was aware of this, that she had repeatedly brought it to his attention, and that he did nothing to stop it, but everything possible to cover it up. When Our Boy Gary is asked about the allegations, he has three real options as I see it. He can:

-Have a mea culpa moment, confess to what happened, apologize, then resign and try to work on restoring his dignity and reputations.

-Deny that he knew about what happened, promise a vigorous investigation and to punish all players involved.

-Deny all allegations made by Katie Hnida, tell everyone she was a liar or possibly insane, and stand by the character and conduct of his players.

Any of these three is okay, maybe the last is distasteful, but the important thing is this: somewhere there is the truth. Instead, Our Boy Gary gives a rambling explanation that begins with the classic phrase, “Well, Katie wasn’t a very good kicker.”

So Gary, what you are saying here is that her being a lousy player is what lead to her being harassed and raped? And also implying that she deserved it? I can’t possibly see any other way to read that statement, can you?

After this stunning look inside the head of Gary Barnett, you’d think that the school would have fired him. But they didn’t, instead the AD and President put him on paid administrative leave, but reinstated him just in time for the season. So he gets away with running a clearly outlaw program. Is it the worst in college football? No, I’m well aware that drugs, alcohol and sexual misconduct are not rare in this sport. What does drive me crazy is that Barnett was so blatantly unrepentant and for so long had been so self-righteous for so long. So he got away with it. The last two weeks, every commentator under the sun has been saying inanities like “Nobody is happier to see the start of the season than Gary Barnett.”

Like he’s just been picked on all summer. Poor Gary.

Then Saturday comes around, and Gary leads Colorado into Qwest Field and they beat my alma mater. I get to, damnit all to hell, see Our Boy Gary celebrate a victory, his fake plastered smile almost looked real on his self-righteous, smug jackal face.

But only for a moment.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:48 PM | Comments (0)

Just COUG it... depressing old-school version

Okay, so maybe Wednesday is not the best day to choose for a football weekend wrap-up. Gimmee a break, it has been a difficult week. Here are my various and random and probably incorrect thoughts…

It’s been about four days now, and I still can’t believe how bad the Beloved Cougar-Hated Buffalo game was on Saturday. Both defenses played pretty well. It’s difficult not to be impressed with how much the Cougs improved against the run after the first week. This defense, while probably not PAC-10 championship caliber yet, has shown enough. They can win with this version of the Palouse Posse. The offense is another story entirely. For all the wrath focused on the quarterback quandary, it’s easy to forget that nothing else worked either. The Cougars can’t run, they can’t catch, and the offensive line has looked hopeless against speed rushers and blitz packages. Of course, it’s the QB mess that everyone is focusing on, and I can’t blame them for that. Swogger started well, but his passes kept being dropped. At that point, he lost whatever confidence he had and started firing passes in every direction. Brink was not any better at first, but he did move the team a little. He also made a couple crushing rookie mistakes. If it were up to me, I’d stick with Swogger, mostly because I think he’ll be the better QB in the long run. I hope Levenseller and Doba don’t play the 2-QB game. Choose one of them and let them get needed experience.

Other, Non-Cougar bits from college football…
-The Pacific Northwest looks like it could be in for a rough year. Oregon loses at home to Indiana, and Boise State waxes Oregon State.

-Speaking of rough, how about the mighty Big-12? Missouri loses to Troy (Troy??), KFresno State doubles up K-States, and Nebraska loses to Southern Miss at home. What in the name of Tom Osborne is going on here?

-Florida State loses a heartbreaker to Miami… again. Not much to say about that debacle, except to mention that Chris Rix should finish his career as a four-year starter, and hasn’t gotten any better at all. Blame Rix all you want, but that is a failure in coaching. Bobby’s youngest son isn’t a good coach, and Rix is proof.

-Well, I’m about to jump off the Rutgers bandwagon. After looking great beating Michigan State, they lose to New Hampshire? By double-digits? What??

Posted by Frinklin at 06:46 PM | Comments (2)

September 14, 2004

An Open Letter I wish the Candidates would read..

It's succint, it's smart, and it's at Rox Populi.

Beside the point, but isn't Rox Populi just about the best name for a blog ever?

First seen at Ilyka's place.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:28 PM | Comments (0)

KotOR II Cornocopia

Now that the Dad situation is stabilized, back to some regularly scheduled blog stuff. Like the mess of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic stuff that came out today.

-A nifty little look at some new Force powers at IGN, including new screenshots.

-An Aussie XBOX site has a new movie up. It's download only, either direct or via BitTorrent.

Alright, maybe this doesn't qualify as a "Cornocopia" but it's more than we've got in weeks.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:06 PM | Comments (1)

Update on Dad

We got some very good news yesterday. Dad's heart attack was mild, and he should be out of the hospital soon. He'll need some time to recover, but he should be at 100% again in no time. He will, however, miss the reception this weekend. It's really unfortunate, this will be twice he's missed out on a chance to meet the in-laws. We'll have to work something out to fix that.

I'd like to thank everyone who left messages of support. They were greatly appreciated.

Posted by Frinklin at 05:46 PM | Comments (1)

September 12, 2004

Life Kind of turned upside down tonight.

It was an ordinary Sunday night. The Missus and I had settled down to watch the History Channel special on the War of 1812. We had just reached the Battle for Fort McHenry, when the phone rang. It wasn't very late, just after 10:00, but the Missus and I are officially old people now, and old people don't get calls that late unless somthing's up.

It was. My wife answered the phone. It was my stepmother calling. My father is in the hospital, and he's had a heart attack. They didn't think it was very serious as heart attacks go, but still....

At that point my mind sort of snapped. There isn't anything I can do really, he's up in Seattle, I'm down here in San Diego. I let my mother know what was going on, she lives down here too. She was already asleep, and never quite grasped the situation. I'm almost certain that she'll call me sometime tomorrow morning, wondering if I did really call her or not. Beyond that, I sort of sat and wondered what to do. I called my boss, told her I wouldn' t be in tomorrow. The missus did the same. We just wait now, my stepmother is meeting the doctor later on tonight. She promised to call back with more information.

The sad thing is, Dad and Step-mom were coming down this week. See, the wife and I are having our long-delayed wedding reception this weekend. They were driving down, my grandmother is flying in on Friday. We're going on a short honeymoon next week. Now all that seems up in the air. Should we cancel? Can we? I don't know.

I got up to write this, just to do somthing. I got the first line out, then just sort of sat here. I wandered around my blogroll. I think I even commented once or twice, but I can't remember.

Update The step-mom called back. Dad had what is considered a mild heart attack. He'll be okay, but he does have some lifestyle changes to make. I think the reception will go ahead, but it won't be the same. The wife and I are planning to vist, maybe right after the honeymoon.

I still don't know if I'll sleep tonight.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:45 PM | Comments (4)

Frinklin's NFL Forecaster

AFC East, AFC South, AFC North, AFC West, NFC East, NFC South, NFC North, NFC West, Playoff Picks, AFC Fashion Show, NFC Fashion Show

Whew.. just in time for the real start of the season.

Posted by Frinklin at 03:54 AM | Comments (0)

September 11, 2004

Let's play some Football! NFL Playoffs

Wild Card Round
Indianapolis D. Cincinnati
Baltimore D. Kansas City

Division Round
New England D. Baltimore
Denver D. Indianapolis

AFC Champoinship
New England D. Denver

Wild Card Round
Philadelphia D. St. Louis
Minnesota D. New Orleans

Division Round
Green Bay D. Philadelphia
Seattle D. Minnesota

NFC Championship
Green Bay D. Seattle

Super Bowl
New England D. Green Bay

Posted by Frinklin at 11:47 PM | Comments (0)

Let's play some Football! NFC West

1-Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have one of the more explosive offenses in the NFL, provided a few things continue to go right. First of all, receivers Koren Robinson and Darrell Jackson need to stop their untimely dropping of passes. Considering how well Jackson played in the playoff loss to Green Bay, this shouldn’t be a problem. Second, Matt Hasselbeck has to forget what happened in Green Bay. If he struggles, and starts reliving his mistake throw to Al Harris, the ‘Hawks are in trouble. Finally, tackle Walter Jones has to not show any ill effects from missing training camp. Considering he always skips camp, it shouldn’t be a problem. Those three things go okay, and Seattle will score on anyone.

This is more of a problem area, though it did show improvement late in the year. The line is fine at end, worrisome at tackle. Free-agent Grant Wistrom, whom the Seahawks overpaid to take away from the Rams, mans one side, with Chike Okeafor on the other. On the inside, the Seahawks have a grab bag of young players, including first rounder Marcus Tubbs and second-year player Rashad Moore. The tackles need to come through. The loss of Chad Brown to injury for at least part of the season is difficult, as the Hawks are very thin at backer to begin with. The secondary is great at the corners, with youngsters Ken Lucas and Marcus Trufant joined by free agent Bobby Taylor, but very, very young at the safeties. Between Ken Hamlin, Terreal Bierra, and Michael Boulware, there is only about a half-seasons worth of starts. Boulware didn’t even play the position in college.

Look, I’d love to join in with the frenzy of Seahawk Super Bowl predictions, but I can’t. I’ve been a Hawk fan too long, and I’ve seen this franchise not meet expectations way to many times. We also must remember this is a team that went 2-6 on the road, and only made the playoffs on a fluke play by the Cardinals last year. Seattle is good enough to edge out St. Louis for the division crown, and probably win a game in the playoffs. I think the middle of the defense needs to grow up fast for anything beyond that.

2-St. Louis Rams
Well, this is Marc Bulger’s team now, for better or worse. Bulger isn’t nearly the quarterback Kurt Warner was when Warner was at his best, but the switch is a good move at this point in Warner’s career. Mike Martz seems to be finally learning, drafting power back Steven Jackson to serve as Marshall Faulk’s caddy and eventual replacement. Faulk is slowing, but is still an upper-tier back when healthy. At receiver, the Rams still go three deep: Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce and Dane Looker are as good a threesome as there is in the league. The line is hurting though, the loss of tackle Kyle Turley is a huge loss, exposing just how thin the Rams are on the line. This isn’t the Greatest Show on Turf anymore, but they will still score points.

The loss of Lovie Smith, who left to become head coach in Chicago, will hurt. Martz hired longtime assistant Larry Marmie to replace him. The scheme will be tweaked, but St. Louis will continue to run a Cover-2 scheme. They are thin on the line, with a bevy of under performing high draft picks at tackle, and one great end in Leonard Little, provided he can stay out of trouble. The linebackers are young, fast and terrific. Between Tommy Polley, Robert Thomas, Pino Tinoisamo, and rookie Brandon Chillar, the Rams have plenty of talent here. The secondary is the exact opposite of Seattle’s. They have good experienced safeties, Adam Archuleta and Aeneas Wiliams, but suspect corners.

The Rams are still good, but no longer the annual Super Bowl threat they were a few years ago. The offense is slipping, though Jackson should give them a power run threat they haven’t had under Martz. The defense, if any of the young DT ‘s come through, could be special. Figure the Rams get into the playoffs, but don’t do any damage once they’re there.

3-San Francisco 49ers
Well, the original West Coast Offense team is slowly shedding Bill Walsh’s creation. Dennis Erickson now has his own offensive coordinator, as veteran coach Ted Tollner replaces Gregg Knapp who escaped to Atlanta. Tollner has a lot less to work with than Knapp did, as QB Jeff Garcia, and WR Terrell Owens and Tai Streets all left, replaced by Tim Rattay, Brandon Lloyd and rookie Rashaun Woods. Not exactly household names, but probably not as much of drop-off as expected. Rattay and Lloyd played very well at the end of last year, and now Kevan Barlow becomes the number one tailback. The problem is the line, a patchwork of fading veterans like Scott Gragg, and unproven talents like Kwame Harris.

The 49ers, and new coordinator Willy Robinson, desperately want to build the team around star OLB Julian Peterson, but Peterson might not let them. They will have to pay to keep him, but San Francisco is in cost-cutting mode. Elsewhere, the Niners are okay, but not great. Aging tackle Bryant Young is the focal point of the line, and Petersen leads a good group of linebackers, but the secondary could be problematic, as corner Mike Rumph takes over a starting job, despite being regularly burnt to a crisp by the divisions plethora of talented receivers.

I may be in the minority here, but I don’t think the Niners are as bad as some think. Obviously everything focuses on Rattay, though the coaching staff also seems to love Ken Dorsey, the second coming of Steve Walsh, and could go to him at any time. The defense will be adequate, and San Fran should flirt with .500 most of the season.

4-Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals biggest pick-up is new coach Dennis Green. Green, despite being a bit of a paranoiac, is a helluva good football coach. He has a lot to work on. At QB, Green is sticking with the young Josh McCown. Considering Green won in Minnesota with everyone he used, he must see something in McCown. The receivers are young, but talented, and once Larry Fitzgerald learns the pro game, he and Anquan Boldin will be a dangerous pair. Emmett Smith and Troy Hambrick are the running backs; surprisingly Dave Campo is not the coach here. The line, full of high-priced talent and high draft picks, has never played up to potential. Green up and cut Pete Kendall as a motivational ploy. We’ll see how it works.

Now this is just a mess. The line is okay, with former Bronco Bertrand Berry joining the team as a free agent. Berry had a terrific year with Denver, but he’s The Guy here, and he wouldn’t be the first player to suffer under that situation. The rest of the line is adequate with former Cowboy Peppi Zellner and the disappointing Calvin Pace at end, and youngster Darnell Dockett and Russell Davis at tackle. Dockett could be a keeper, after slipping to the third round in the draft. The linebackers are okay, led by undersized Randall McKinnon. Last year’s big free agent signing Duane Starks, who missed all of last season, leads the secondary. He’ll be joined by the talented but dumb Adrian Wilson, former Colt David Macklin and whomever they can find to play free safety.

The Cardinals fortunes are looking up for the first time in years, but it will take some time to get there. Green is the real deal; he’s won everywhere he’s ever coached. This season won’t be pretty though. The defense won’t stop many people, and the offense could go through stretches where nothing works.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:40 PM | Comments (0)

Never Forget


Posted by Frinklin at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2004

Star Wars on TV-It's a go

Well, this is intriguing and just a tad frightening. You wonder what more Lucas could do to tarnish his reputation and that of his creation, and here we go: Star Wars the TV series. It's coming in 2006, and this tiny snippet confirms it. What the series will be is still undisclosed, but the best idea I've heard would be a series based on Boba Fett taking place between Episode III and Episode IV. Considering the crap that I and II have been, all bets are off.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:26 PM | Comments (0)

Well I know what platform I'll be getting KotOR 2 on... first anyway

LucasArts confirmed a December 2004 release date for Knights of the Old Republic 2 for the XBOX. The PC version and international release will remain February 2005. This is a reversal of earlier statements that KotOR 2 would be released on all platforms at the same time.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:28 PM | Comments (0)

Let's play some Football! NFC North

1-Green Bay Packers
Hard to believe, but this team belongs to Ahman Green now. Brett Farve is still a force; in fact, he led the NFL in touchdown passes with 32. He also threw 21 interceptions, so his decision-making has regressed under Mike Sherman. Still, this team has more of a power-running identity than a West Coast Offense ID to it nowadays, with Green and backup Najeh Davenport providing both tough yards and breakaway runs. Farve will need his young wideouts to continue improving; both Javon Walker and Robert Ferguson are making strides. The line, led by tackle Chad Clifton is good, but struggles when defenses stack the box to stop the run.

This young and talented defense has a new coordinator this year, as Ed Donatell took the fall for Pack’s collapse against the Eagles in last years playoffs. He is replaced by Bob Slowik, who will keep the same scheme, but up the pressure on the QB, especially in third and long situations. He has some nice parts to deal with, led by star second-year linebacker Nick Barnett. Barnett plays the middle between Hannibal Navies and Na’il Diggs. Both are physical specimens who don’t always play to their potential. Up front the key is DT Grady Jackson, who came over after being cut by New Orleans at mid-season. He was rejuvenated after signing, and he’ll have to continue playing like that in order to anchor a talented but thin line that includes Kabeer Gbaja-Biamilla and tackle Cleditus Hunt. In the secondary, Green Bay will need to find a way to get the Mike McKenzie situation taken care off. If they can keep him, he would top a nice set of talented young cornerbacks, including Ahmad “Batman” Carroll and Joey Thomas, their first and second round draftees.

This is the best team nobody is talking about. For all the discussion of Philadelphia and Seattle, it’s forgotten that Green Bay beat Seattle and had the Eagles on the ropes. Brett Farve is nearing the end of his magnificent career, but he has one more run in him. This is the year he does it.

2-Minnesota Vikings
The Vikes will score points, probably in bunches this year. Quarterback Duante Culpepper, WR Randy Moss and tailback Michael Bennett are the names everyone knows, but backup TB Ontarrio Smith and wideouts Kelly Campbell and Nate Burleson are coming on quickly. The passing game is especially scary, with FA pickup Marcus Robinson and Campbell going deep, Burleson working the short and intermediate routes and Moss doing whatever he wants too. The line is good too, led by left tackle Bryant McKinnie, who is knocking on the door of the truly elite tackles like Orlando Pace, Walter Jones and Jonathon Ogden. This is a team, when clicking that will scare many teams.

New coordinator Ted Cottrell, dumped at the end of the year by Herman Edwards and the Jets, gets to work with some nice pieces. The middle of the line could be special, led by second-year tackle Kevin Williams, who had a terrific rookie season, and veteran Chris Hovan. The linebackers are young, speedy and talented, led by EJ Henderson and rookie Dontarrious Thomas. Veteran Chris Claiborne, who should give them lessens on not ending up like him, joins them: a heralded prospect that never amounted to much. The secondary is strengthened by the free-agent acquisition of CB Antoine Winfield, signed away from Buffalo. Beyond Winfield, the strength of the DBs is at safety, where Corey Chavous made a slick transition from mediocre corner to Pro Bowl safety.

Well, it all depends on how they deal with last year’s collapse and heartbreaking loss to Arizona. If they can get over that, and play as they did early in the season, Minnesota is a team that can contend for the Super Bowl. If not…

3-Detroit Lions
Joey Harrington doesn’t have a whole lot of excuses now, does he? The Lions have surrounded him with impressive, if unproven talent. This year’s haul includes WR Roy Williams and RB Kevin Jones, along with free-agent lineman Damien Woody. Williams will join last years first-rounder Charles Rogers in a dynamic young WR tandem. Rogers is coming off injury, and Williams has looked lost at times during the pre-season, but the two should work out in time. Young receivers usually struggle. Jones is the most exciting back the Lions have had since Barry Sanders, and should compete for Rookie of the Year honors. The problem? Harrington himself; neither Lions fans nor his coaches have decided he is the real deal or not, and he seems in perpetual jeopardy of losing his job to Mike McMahon, a raw but exciting talent.

New coordinator Dick Jauron has his hands full here. The ex-Bear head coach has some talent along the line, assuming Kalimba Edwards can recover from an injury plagued year, his three-tackle rotation of Shaun Rogers, Dan Wilkinson and Kelvin Pritchitt play like they did last year, and either of his two young ends, Jared DeVries or Cory Redding can provide something. At linebacker, the Lions looked to be in good shape before the season started, but the season ending injury to Boss Bailey is devastating. With Bailey, who showed flashes of All-Pro talent last year, the Lions had a young and talented linebacking corps. Now they are just young. Dre Bly anchors the secondary, a year after joining the team as a free agent from St. Louis. Bly had a career last year. He won’t repeat it, but should be solid nonetheless. The other corner should be ex-Jag Fernando Bryant. The safeties are anyone’s guess.

The Lions are getting better. The key, of course is Joey Harrington. I think he will start to blossom this year, and by season’s end should have the Lions clicking pretty well. The defense is another story, as the offense heavy drafts are taking their toll. Bottom line: Detroit will improve this year, enough to keep Matt Millen’s job safe.

4-Chicago Bears
New coach Lovie Smith and coordinator Terry Shea bring a version of the offense that St. Louis and Kansas City run so effectively. As you might expect, transitioning from a power-running game to a “Greatest Show on Turf” style of offense will not be easy. Shea has already sent away leading receiver Marty Booker, and brought in new tailback Thomas Jones. Jones, a former Cardinal first rounder, has all the physical tools to excel in this offense. He replaces Anthony “A-Train” Thomas, a power back with limited moves and bad hands. Second year QB Rex Grossman goes into the year the undisputed starter. It won’t be easy though, Shea’s offense is complicated. He will be throwing to a nice bunch of young receivers, including Justin Gage, Bernard Berrian and Bobby Wade. The offensive line is just alright, with free-agents Rueben Brown and John Tait joining holdover Olin Kruetz. Tait was a good signing, Brown was not: He’s always been overrated and has seriously slowed.

Smith also brings the Tampa cover-2 scheme to the Windy City. He has good talent to work with, especially after picking up Adewale Ogunleye from Miami in the Booker deal. Ogunleye, who had 15 sacks, will anchor a talented line with Alex Brown and rookies Tommie Harris and Tank Johnson at the tackles. It will be interesting to see how Harris does in the NFL. He has always been talented but never particularly productive. In addition, how Johnson goes from ineffective malcontent at Washington to the “Tank” is beyond me. Brian Urlacher has something to prove at middle linebacker, as he was criticized last year for a lack of production. He could come back strong this year. He’ll be flanked by youth, probably Lance Briggs and Joe Odom. Both are fast but inexperienced. The secondary is a strength. Charles Tillman takes a starting job after a terrific rookie season as the nickleback, leaving RW McQuarters and Jerry Azumah battling for the second and nickel spots. Both are fantastic kick returners also. The safeties, Mike Green and Mike Brown, are steady.

It will be a shock for some Bears, going from the laid-back Dick Jauron to the fiery Smith. This will be a transition year for Chicago, but the future looks good.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:10 PM | Comments (0)

September 09, 2004

Already better than AfterMASH and Joanie Loves Chachi

Joey premiered tonight on NBC. It was okay, not nearly as bad as some spin-offs, but not entirely good either. The stuff with Jennifer Coolidge as his agent never worked, which suprised me, because you can usually count on her being funny, or at least scary, and sometimes both. Anyone else see her humm on Mighty Wind? The cute blonde married woman, who's obviously planned on being the romantic foil for Joey? No chemistry whatsoever. The best part of the show is Drea De Matteo, playing his very funny older sister.

Not a horrible show, but not great either.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:13 PM | Comments (0)

The Video Game revolution

Did you check out the Video Game Revolution special on PBS last night? It wasn’t anything earth shattering, but it was an interesting look at an industry that has become a huge force in our culture in an astonishing short period of time. The Pong madness of the late 70’s, to the Atari craze of the early 80’s to the Nintendo-led resurrection of the late-80’, all leading up to today, where video games are nearly on par with movies and television as cultural touchstones. And far more economical too, one developer in the series mentions how the movie Goldeneye cost just under $100 million to make and grossed just over $200 million worldwide. The video game version cost $10 million to make, and grossed over $250 million.


If you missed it, I’m sure it will be on again. Check out the section on too. It will take long time gamers down memory lane. Remember how bad ET was? It was also nice, as an ex-pat Seattleite, to see Greg Palmer on my TV screen. It did make me feel old though, I realized that when I first saw his actually interesting human-interest stuff on Seattle TV, I was a child. He was the same age I am now.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:07 PM | Comments (0)

No Singer, No Problem... well, maybe

With the defection of Bryan Singer to the Superman movie project, it's been reported that Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator and current Astonishing X-Men writer Joss Whedon has been signed to direct the upcoming X-Men 3.

I can live with this. It will be interesting to see what changes we'll see. It's well known that Whedon is a huge Kitty Pryde fan.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:05 PM | Comments (2)

Election Woes

Well, the 1972 Election rolls right along. I am going to persist in calling it that as long as we’re so damned focused on Vietnam. Now that the Swift Boat Vets controversy has settled down a little, we get 60 Minutes “expose” on Bush’s National Guard service or lack thereof. Now look… no matter what your views on the election is, whether you think Kerry is a craven appeaser who will turn over the keys to the country to the French the moment he’s elected, or you think Bush is a fascist figurehead using the terrorist threat to drive the country into a corporate oligarchy, one set of facts are indisputable: Kerry went to Vietnam, Bush didn’t. Did Kerry deserve all his medals? Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. Did Bush go AWOL from the Alabama and/or Texas National Guards? Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. The problem with all of this sound and fury is that it obscures the basic questions of this election. Call me crazy, but I am more interested in what Kerry would do about Osama Bin Laden than his plans for Ho Chi Mihn. Likewise, how Bush is going to deal with Muqtada Al-Sadr interests me more than what happens to Vo Nguyen Giap. Can we please switch the debate to things that are more important?

Speaking of the debate, it sure seems that the Kerry campaign has decided that the best way to attack the President is over his handling of Iraq. This makes sense, because Kerry has put out such a clear and concise vision on the subject. He’s for it, he’s against it, he’s nuanced… Yeah, this is the best course of action there John. Bill Clinton, the premier political mind of his generation recently advised the Kerry campaign to focus on hitting Bush on the economy and health care, and to minimize the differences on the war on terror.

And John does the opposite.

Posted by Frinklin at 05:55 PM | Comments (0)

September 08, 2004

A Tough Day at the Frinklin House

I should have written my NFC North preview today, but I didn’t. I know, try to keep calm. It has been a rough day here, as the younger dog, Jeffrey the Adorably Insane, has been sick. He woke up this morning at around 4 AM; making the telltale half-growl, half-heave that all dog owners knows: the doggy vomit noise. The Missus and I are well prepared for this; we both have had dogs our entire lives. We know how to react to possible dog puke. Jump out of bed, lift the dog off the bed, and hustle him as close to OUTSIDE as possible. The first time, he made the horrible horking noise a couple times, and then stopped. False alarm, we all go back to sleep. About a half-hour later, we hear it again. I throw back the covers, lift Jeffrey off the bed, and hustle him toward the sliding glass door. I didn’t make it. Our screen door does not open or close anymore, Jeffery the Adorably Insane has a bad habit of not waiting for BOTH doors to open before running outside. He has bent the screen so much it is barely recognizable. We know we need to replace it, but the Missus and I work hard, and dammit, we have earned our laziness.

Anyway, Jeffrey puked on the floor. No big deal, we cleaned it up. While I was in the shower, Jeffrey threw up twice more, both outside this time. What made us a little more concerned is he kept stiffening his entire body, and cocking his head at odd angles. He’d keep the pose for a few seconds, and then relax. Both of us had the horrifying thought that he was having seizures. The Missus stayed home from work today, and called the vet. Our vet had good news: It was probably just a dog version of the dry-heaves. Keep a watch on him and if it continues, bring him in. Oh, and no food for 12 hours at least. He hasn’t thrown up again, but it shows just how much stuff like this can throw off your day. The Missus missed work, and I’ve been barely concentrating, calling to check up on him every hour or so.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:08 PM | Comments (0)

Do I deserve Work Comp for this?

I work in cubical hell. I’m willing to bet many of you do too. One of my primary duties involves calling health insurance companies, usually to check up on claims we’ve filed. As anyone who has ever called an insurance company knows, they aren’t real quick when it comes to answering the phone. I spend a lot of time on hold, and I’ve listed to more bad hold music than really should be allowed by law. It breaks down into three major categories:

The best possible choice, this is relaxing and usually enjoyable. Also the rarest.

Lite “Jazz”
This is not even close to real jazz; it is just stupid instrumental noodling that makes Kenny G look like Coltrane. Oftentimes a bizarre hybrid with New Age. Seriously annoying, enough to make me want to break my head open against my desk.

Muzak Versions of Soft Rock Hits
But nothing, and I mean NOTHING is as annoying as this stuff is. This is what we all know and loathe. I am stunned and how much I have to listen too. I have been logging it lately. Amongst the recognizable tunes I’ve dealt with the last two days are: Kiss is on My List by Hall and Oates, Private Eyes , also by Hall and Oates, I’ll Do Anything for Love (…but I Won’t Do That) by Meatloaf, Lady by Styx, Another Sad Love Song by Toni Braxton, Sara by Starship, and God Help Me, Time, Love and Tenderness by Michael Bolton. You really have not suffered until you’ve sat through that last song done entirely by Brass instruments.

So my question remains: Should I file for Work Comp? Cuz I’m sure this isn’t do anything good for sanity or overall health.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:04 PM | Comments (2)

September 07, 2004

Let's play some Football! NFC South

1-New Orleans Saints
Led by quarterback Aaron Brooks, tailback Deuce McAlister and WR Joe Horn, the Saints are at times the most explosive team in football. Those are the times where everything is working and everyone’s head is in the game. Then there are times when Brooks presses, McAlister is hurt, and Horn is so lost in his own ego he doesn’t know what day it is. On those days, the Saints misfire like an obsessive-compulsive with Tourette’s syndrome. In other words, it is not pretty. The line is steady though, led by elite center LaCharles Bentley.

Stop me if you have heard this before: The Saints are talented on defense, but not always productive and wildly erratic. This begins up front, as dependable end Darren Howard is joined by former first round draft picks Charles Grant and Jonathon Sullivan. Both are talented, neither has lived up to expectations. At linebacker, the Saints have a lot to choose from, but do not have any real standouts. Someone from the grab bag of Orlando Huff, Cie Grant, Sedrick Hodge, James Alllen and Derrick Rodgers will have to step up. The secondary is the Saints most consistent spot, led by free safety Jay Bellamy and corner Fred Thomas, both ex-Seahawks. Strong Safety Tebucky Jones was a huge disappointment last year, living up to his reputation as a physical talent with little feel for the game.

This is hard team to get a bead on. Each of the last three years, they have played like champions at times, and like a high school jayvee teams others. Coach Jim Haslett knows he’s firmly on the hot seat now. This team needs to win to save his job, and I think they will, holding off Carolina and Atlanta to win the division, and probably grab the only playoff spot coming out of the South.

2-Carolina Panthers
Jake Delhomme? Seriously? We came within an eyelash of Jake Delhomme, Super Bowl Champion QB? Laugh if you will, but Delhomme has consistently improved. He may not be the most physically gifted quarterback in the NFL, but his intangibles are off the charts, and he works well with star receiver Steve Smith. The Panthers offense isn’t very exciting, but with Delhomme-to-Smith complementing tailbacks Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster, it is effective. The line is a bit of a mess though, with star rookie Jordan Gross flipping to LT and ex-Colt Adam Meadows signed to play RT.

Everything John Fox’s defense does is predicated on the Panthers awesome defensive line. Led by Kris Jenkins, simply the best DT in the game right now and All-Pro end Mike Rucker, Carolina has, barring injury, the best line in the NFL. The back seven is unsettled, relying on Mark Fields to come back from cancer and the talented but injury-prone Dan Morgan at linebacker. The secondary is equally in flux, as corner Rickey Manning Jr. returns after a fine rookie season that ended badly in the Super Bowl. This year’s model could be first-rounder Chris Gamble, but he is still raw after playing receiver at Ohio State.

Last year was magical for Carolina, and the follow-ups to magic years usually don’t end so well. There is talent here, more than was given credit for last year, but not enough to handle the almost-inevitable fork in the road. One thing is certain though: John Fox is a quality NFL coach.

3-Atlanta Falcons
Well, the team went 3-1 with Mike Vick, and 2-10 without him. That should give everyone an idea about how important Vick is to this team. Last year’s disaster cost Coach Dan Reeves his job, and former 49er defensive coordinator Jim Mora Jr. takes his place. With Mora comes offensive coordinator Gregg Knapp, who is installing the West Coast Offense. It will force Vick to quicken his reads and receiver progression. There is a history of success for scrambling lefthanders in this offense; it is the same that Steve Young ran as a 49er. The rest of the offensive sets up well, with TJ Duckett and Warrick Dunn sharing the tailback duties, and Peerless Price trying to live up to expectations at wideout. The biggest addition to the Falcon offense is legendary line coach Alex Gibbs, known for his amazing work with the Denver Broncos.

After a year’s worth of flailing at the 3-4 defense, the Falcons will switch back to the 4-3 under Mora and new coordinator Ed Donatell, formerly of the Green Bay Packers. This should fit the Falcons personnel much better, allowing DE Patrick Kerney to play DE in the 4-3 instead of switching between DE and OLB in the 3-4. All-Pro LB Keith Brooking moves back to the outside, and Chris Draft will man the middle. The third linebacker will be Jamie Duncan, a free-agent fresh off two terrible seasons in St. Louis. The secondary will be talented but inexperienced, as first rounder DeAngelo Hall from Virginia Tech will be at one corner, ex-49er Jason Webster the other. Second-year SS Bryan Scott is rapidly improving, but FS is a weak point.

Like Tom Coughlin in New York, Mora steps into a good situation. The overall talent level is good, topped by Vick, the most exciting player in the NFL. There are some rough spots to get through, but this team should compete. Knapp’s system will be a stretch for Vick; he probably won’t be completely comfortable in it until 2005.

4-Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jon Gruden probably runs the purest version of the West Coast this side of Mike Holmgren, but he can’t be particularly pleased with this bunch. Brad Johnson seems to be slipping. He threw 13 interceptions his last 10 games of 2003. It’s common knowledge that Gruden has high hopes for Chris Simms. I would not be surprised to see him sometime this season. Whoever plays QB will throw to Joey Galloway, Keenan McCardell and Joe Jurivicius, along with first pick Michael Clayton, a big, fast receiver out of LSU. The ground game is in flux, as ex-Raider Charlie Garner was signed as a free agent, sending Michael Pittman, who cannot seem to stay out of trouble, to the bench. Garner is 32 though; an age where running back production can fall off a cliff. The offensive line was a mess last year, and is even more so this year. The Buccaneers seem to be cycling through old tackles. This time around, it is 33-year-old Todd Steussie and 34-year-old Derrick Deese.

The situation is much better here despite the loss of longtime Bucs John Lynch and Warren Sapp. The defensive line is one of the better in the NFL, even without Sapp. Anthony “Booger” McFarland will move into Sapp’s spot, with Chartric Darby taking McFarland’s spot. The ends are excellent, with Simeon Rice on one side, and Greg Spires and Dewayne White the other. The linebackers are fast and athletic, led by Derrick Brooks, who is now joined by former Bronco Ian Gold and Shelton Quarles. There is little depth though, and rookie Marquis Cooper will play a lot. The secondary is solid at corner, with Ronde Barber, Brian Kelley and newcomer Mario Edwards forming a nice trio. On the other hand, the safety positions are a mess, with Jermaine Phillips and Dwight Smith penciled in as starters. Both are talented, but both are inexperienced.

This is an old team. That isn’t any kind of shock, but what is shocking is how they became older even when they let go Lynch and Sapp. Signing Steussie, Deese and Garner send the signal that they think they can contend this season, but I don’t see it. Tampa will rely on its defense, and hope the offense stays out of its own way. Rebuilding should start this year.

Posted by Frinklin at 05:40 PM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2004

Let's play some Football! NFC East

1-Philadelphia Eagles
Andy Reid finally bit the bullet and picked up a game breaking wide receiver. Terrell Owens comes from San Francisco via Baltimore to give Donovan McNabb the first real wideout of his career. While Philly’s passing game is very much improved, the running game has been downgraded pretty seriously with the loss of Duce Staley to free agency and Correll Burkhalter to injury. The Eagles will have to make due with retread Dorsey Levens, second year man Reno Mahe and the exciting but fragile Brian Westbrook.

Jevon Kearse is a dominating defensive end, if this is 2001. The past two seasons he’s been wracked with injuries, and when he’s been available to play, he’s been a disappointment. The Freak is an awful big risk for $16 million. The interior of the line is the strength of this defense; Corey Simon and Darwin Walker are fine players, but both need more rest this season. The Eagles made major mistake letting Carlos Emmons escape to New York in the off-season. He’s replaced by Dhani Jones, known for his speed and talent, but also for his lack of production. In the secondary, the Eagles retooled their corners, going with youngsters Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown. It will be a tall order for them, as Jim Johnson’s defense relies on man-to-man coverage and blitzes from all over the field.

It’s difficult not to see the Eagles coming back to the pack this season. The pass offense should be improved, but the run game is hurting after losing both Staley and Burkhalter. On defense, Johnson will have to play around a secondary lacking in experience. The Eagles are still the favorite here, but no longer in the NFC.

2-Washington Redskins
Joe Gibbs returns, and there is a back-to-the future feel to this team. You will see the H-Back, a power running game, and vertical passing from this team, now led by veteran QB Mark Brunell and RB Clinton Portis. Were I a Redskin fan, I would be far more pleased with the latter than the former. Brunell has been injury-plagued and ineffective for a couple years now, and a new system to learn won’t help. This team would have been better served dealing with Patrick Ramsey’s learning curve than this switch. Now, the question is how much confidence will Ramsey have when he plays this season. And he will; Brunell won’t last all 16 games. Whoever plays QB will have a great lead wide receiver in Laveranues Coles and a couple youngsters who haven’t played up to expectations. Coles should thrive in this offense.

Lavar Arrington is probably the most talented linebacker in football. He isn’t the best ‘backer though, due to his propensity to play out of position and try to make a spectacular play when a solid one would do. Maybe Gibbs and defensive assistant Gregg Williams will change that. If they do, Arrington could have a huge year. The linebackers are without question the best unit on the defense, as the young and fast Marcus Washington on the outside joins Arrington, with veteran Michael Barrow in the middle. On the line, the Redskins are weak, and in the secondary Champ Bailey will be missed. Sean Taylor is already the best player in the unit, and Fred Smoot is solid at one corner, though only about 1/3 the player he thinks he is. Sean Springs replaces Bailey, but the free-agent from Seattle is a hollow player, just talented enough to aggravate fans and coaches.

Who the hell knows? Joe Gibbs is one of the great coaches in NFL history, and he automatically makes this team better, but his first two moves have been questionable at best. Brunell was acquired simply for the sake of having a veteran QB. He doesn’t have much left, and Ramsey will have to bail the team out. Portis is an excellent pick-up, but not worth Bailey, a great player at the most important defensive position in the modern NFL. That Washington had to throw in a second round pick makes the trade laughably one-sided. Still, the ‘Skins are more talented than both Dallas and New York, and should challenge for a wild-card spot.

3-Dallas Cowboys
Vinny Testeverde? Keyshawn Johnson? Eddie George? What is this, the senior tour? Bill Parcells goes even more back-to-the-future than his old rival Gibbs does with this menagerie on offense. Testeverde is of course only a placeholder for Drew Henson, who should take over in 2005. This year though, Tony Romo will be the backup, and the odds are pretty good he’ll have to play, as Vinny T is 40, and isn’t the best bet to play all 16 games. Johnson was always overrated, and has never been a great playmaker. George will be the main back this year, as draftee Julius Jones has gone directly from Notre Dame to Parcells’ doghouse. The line is questionable too; only Flozell Adams is in his prime.

Things are better here, as coordinator Mike Zimmer, one of the best defensive minds in football, is toying with multiple formations and personal changes that may even improve on last year’s #1 defense in the NFL. Parcells is to be commended here; he lets Zimmer do his thing, even though his small and fast mindset directly contradicts what Parcells has always featured. This year, Zimmer and Parcells pick up former Charger and Bill Marcellus Wiley from the scrap heap to add to a pretty good line. Roy Williams, already the best safety in the game, leads a fast and talented back seven.

Cowboy fans should be concentrating on 2005; that’s the year this team should come together. This season isn’t a total loss, as Parcells and Zimmer’s defense should keep the team around the .500 mark. If Vinny can play like he’s 34 again, they may even contend for the last wild-card.

4-New York Giants
Does Kurt Warner have anything left? After the pre-season the answer is a definite maybe. He’s certainly been better than Eli Manning, though the rookie has shown flashes of what made him the first overall pick. Whoever plays QB this season will have some nice pieces to work with. Amani Toomer and Jeremy Shockey lead a good wideout corps, and Tiki Barber is a fine NFL running back. The real shock has been the reemergence of Ron Dayne, a guy who I, honestly, thought had retired last year. Still, the Giants biggest problem is an awful offensive line, one that rivals San Diego’s as the worst in football.

If healthy, the Giants have the best corner tandem in the division. Unfortunately for New York fans, that’s a big if, as both Will Allen and Will Peterson battled injuries last season. The rest of the defense is unsettled, as star DE Michael Strahan will have to deal with three new starters along the line with him. The linebackers are equally new, as former Eagle Carlos Emmons, former Lion Barrett Green and rookie Reggie Tobor join holdover Nick Grieson.

Tom Coughlin is a pretty good situation here. The overall talent gap isn’t that far between the Giants, Redskins and Cowboys, and nobody in New York is expecting this team to be any good this year. If the defense solidifies and the offensive line improves, this team could surprise.

Posted by Frinklin at 08:45 PM | Comments (0)

September 05, 2004

College Football Wrap Up

When I left to go to the movie (see below), Washington was down 14-10 to Fresno State, and it looked like they had the momentum. Maybe that's the case, but it didn't help much, as the Bulldogs went on to crush the Huskies 35-16. Unlike many Cougs, I don't take much pleasure in seeing the UW lose. My Dad's a Husky, I was raised a Husky, and I came close to going there myself. I usually root for the U, unless it's the Apple Cup. Anyway, the Dawgs looked better than expected for the first half, showing a stouter defense and more effective running game than last year. It fell apart though, as FSU scored THREE defensive touchdowns. The pass offense needs major work, as neither Casey Paus nor Isaiah Stanback played worth a damn.

The best game this weekend? I'll go with these:
3-WSU over New Mexico- not really a great game, but a gutty win for a young and talented Cougar team.
2-LSU beating Oregon State- heartbreaker for OSU fans, a wake-up call for LSU fans, and a sign that the PAC-10 might be better than you think. Though UW and UCLA both getting pummeled at home point toward the opposite.
1-Colorado beats Colorado State- Man,this is a great rivalry, one that really needs to be played the last week of the season. The Rams make a valiant comeback, then meltdown, trying run plays twice with less than a minute left.

None of the top teams (USC, LSU, Georgia, Oklahoma) really took it to their opponents. The most impressive showings that I caught were Purdue destroying an overmatched Syracuse team, Rutgers showing they might be for real, beating Michigan State, and Cal crushing Air Force on the road. Individually the best performance has to be West Virginia's Kay-Jay Harris, running for 337 yards against ECU.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:22 PM | Comments (0)

Amateur Movie Review- Garden State

I went with the Mrs. Frinklin to see Garden State tonight. As anyone who reads the Missus’ blog knows, it’s just about her favorite movie ever. I wasn’t quite so blown away, but I liked it. While it lapses into melodrama sometimes, and the ending is a bit too pat for my taste, Garden State is funny and pleasant, certainly better than most multiplex fare. It’s written and directed by Zach Braff, star of the current Best Show on Television, Scrubs. The BSTV is basically whatever my favorite show at the time is, but that just isn’t grand enough.

Braff plays Andrew Largeman, a struggling LA actor who heads home for his mother’s funeral. He’s been estranged from his father for years, and is on so many psyche meds he’s lost in an emotionless fog. He reconnects with old friends, meets Natalie Portman’s Sam, and slowly learns how to feel again. If I made that last part sound unbearably schmaltzy, rest assured it isn’t, at least not until the ending, which seems somewhat tacked on. Braff has a nice ear for dialogue, and the performances, led by Braff and Peter Sarsgaard as Andrew’s slacker friend Mark, are uniformly excellent. Portman is damn near a revelation, proving that George Lucas hasn’t completely crushed her will to perform, giving real heart and emotional heat to what is essentially a stock role.

The movie is really worth seeing, and the soundtrack is excellent too, combining newer bands like Frou Frou and The Shins with a couple of lost folk classics, Nick Drake’s One of These Things First and Simon and Garfunkle’s Only Living Boy in New York.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:04 PM | Comments (0)

151 and done...

Congratulations to the Bellevue Wolverines, who crushed Concord De La Salle 39-20 in Seattle yesterday. It weas De La Salle's first loss in 151 games. To put this in perspective George H.W. Bush was President the last time De La Salle lost, and freshmen members of the Spartans were 2 years old when they last lost.

Posted by Frinklin at 01:15 AM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2004

LSU 22 OSU 21

Alexis Serna you are WALKING HOME!

The Beavers, a 20 point underdog, go into Death Valley, play their hearts out, have LSU on the ropes, and lose on THREE missed extra points, the last in overtime.

Just sad really....

I do hope this shows SEC fans that the PAC 10 is a helluva lot better than they think. I know USC would have beaten LSU last year, and I think they would clock them this year.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:42 PM | Comments (1)

Frinklin's College Football Forecaster

I figured I'd repost these, since this is the first weekend of real college football.

ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12 ,Non-BCS Conferences, PAC-10, SEC, College Football Fashion Show

Posted by Frinklin at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)

Cougars 21 Lobos 17

Well, it wasn't pretty, but it was exciting. The Cougs, down by 10 in the fourth, get a late drive and a blocked punt to beat the stubborn New Mexico Lobos. Some quick thoughts…

-The Cougs had damned well better find a running game pretty soon. For someone so heralded coming out of the JUCO ranks, Chris Bruhn has done nothing at WSU.

-The offensive line was no great shakes either. I know NMU has a quick and attacking defense, but five sacks? C'mon...

-The defense was as good as could be expected. This team is fast and athletic, but still very young, and prone to some dumb mistakes. The option ate them alive tonight. Hopefully they can fix that.

-Troy Bienemann is a damn fine tight end. On most occasions, he's the best player on the field.

-It's ridiculous that WSU, after 30 wins in 3 seasons, is the only 2003 Top-10 team not ranked in any poll. Yes, they lost a lot, but doesn't recent history count for anything?

-Thompson, Rypien, Rosenbach, Bledsoe, Leaf, Gesser... now this guy? 23956.jpeg Who knows, but Josh Swogger was pretty good in his first ever start, and got better as the game went on.

-The Huskies open their season on Sunday, on FSN, at home against Fresno State. They're gonna lose.

-This has nothing to do with WSU, but it's obvious that my old high school doesn't read my stuff on football uniforms. If they did, they would know that this look is just terrible. Nice win though.

Posted by Frinklin at 12:03 AM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2004

Presidential Loyalty Quiz-o-rama

First tried the George W. Bush Loyalty Quiz

Your score is 6 on a scale of 1 to 10. You're not the biggest fan of President Bush, but you think he has done a decent job as president. You may disagree with him on a lot of issues — and some facts you'd just as soon ignore — but you're leaning toward voting for him anyway.

Then the John Kerry Quiz

Your score is 4 on a scale of 1 to 10. You believe that John Kerry has some redeeming qualities, but not enough to entrust him with running the country, much less the nuclear launch codes. It's possible that you might change your mind about him, but at this point, you are leaning against him

Pretty much dead on....

Found many places, first at the Missus.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:34 PM | Comments (0)

Just COUG it!

Today I shall rush home from work and enjoy something that doesn't happen very often in the Frinklin household. The Frinklin Alma Mater, the beloved Washington State Cougars, are on ESPN. That would be 5:00 PST and 8:00 EST, as the Cougs venture into the hostile home of the New Mexico Lobos. I can't wait...


Speaking of early college football, did ya'll see Utah just obliterate Texas A&M? Damn...

Posted by Frinklin at 12:30 AM | Comments (0)

RNC Day 4

Well, the election season starts in full swing now. The President tonight gave one of his best speeches, starting off slow, but really catching fire after the laundry list of domestic programs was done. He knows it is his weak spot, and he's much better when can talk about the War on Terror. Dubya spoke with passion and sincerity about the his view of America and it’s mission to bring freedom to the world. This section was particulary evocative :

The progress we and our friends and allies seek in the broader Middle East will not come easily, or all at once. Yet Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of liberty to transform lives and nations. That power brought settlers on perilous journeys, inspired colonies to rebellion, ended the sin of slavery, and set our Nation against the tyrannies of the 20th century. We were honored to aid the rise of democracy in Germany and Japan and Nicaragua and Central Europe and the Baltics and that noble story goes on. I believe that America is called to lead the cause of freedom in a new century. I believe that millions in the Middle East plead in silence for their liberty. I believe that given the chance, they will embrace the most honorable form of government ever devised by man. I believe all these things because freedom is not America's gift to the world, it is the Almighty God's gift to every man and woman in this world.

At that point the Mrs. Frinklin asked me if I thought the President was right. The answer is simple: he has to be. The other options are too terrible to contemplate.

I did notice, that over 4 nights, I didn’t hear anyone mention Osama Bin Laden. There was a lot of terrorist in general; a lot of Saddam, but nobody mentioned OBL. There was a lot of linkage between Saddam and 9/11, which is ridiculous but more and more people fall for it. Most glaring was George Pataki and this stumbling comparison between Kerry on Iraq and 9/11. He mentioned Kerry's line that America should go to war not when it wants to go to war but when it has to go to war, and immediately switching to the firefighters and police killed at the World Trade Center. It's a classic misdirection. Kerry was speaking about invading Iraq. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Iraqis did not kill those killed on 9/11.

This stuff really drives me up the wall. I support the war. I think the world is a much better place now that Saddam is gone, and there is at least a chance that an Arab democracy may flower in the Middle East. I believe the reasons for going to war are enough; we don't need to muddle the issue by adding demonstrably false claims that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11.

There was some good news for Democrats too. At his midnight rally in Ohio, Kerry actually showed some cojones, making a very sharp point about the Vice President and his 5 student deferments disparaging his patriotism after two tours in Vietnam.

Should be an interesting race. I don’t see much chance for Kerry/Edwards, but they could make it interesting.

Oh, and when it was announced I was rather interested in the Obama/Keyes match-up. I had forgotten one point: Alan Keyes is a complete batshit loonball.

Posted by Frinklin at 12:26 AM | Comments (1)

September 02, 2004

Somewhere Lee Atwater is smiling. The RNC Day 3

Okay, for those who didn't catch on: the nice guys were on yesterday.

Wow… this was brutal. Zell Miller, who in his career has metamorphosed from Lester Maddox protégé to DLC stalwart and now on to dog-bites-man Democratic freakshow, absolutely lit into John Kerry. Tonight’s speech was as vitriolic as Pat Buchanan’s 12 years ago, but instead of being a general attack on culture, this was all pointed at one man. A man, oh by the way, that Senator Miller called an “American Hero” about 36 months ago, so his credibility is pretty low.

To me, this was a get the vote to stay home speech. I mean, they can’t expect any undecideds to get enthused about this hate-fest, can they? This speech was calculated to get the GOP base really afraid of Kerry, mostly by pushing the same junk you see on extreme right blogs, and to get moderates really sick of politics in general and sit this one out. It’s a sound strategy; most of the polls have undecided voters showing a distinct apathy towards the President, but no great love for Kerry either.

The Veep’s speech wasn’t as harsh, it couldn’t possibly be, but it was pretty partisan too. More dignified, certainly, as Dick Cheney’s permanent evil banker look and Joe Friday speaking style adds a certain gravitas to anything he says, but just as tough as Miller. It’s amazing how different the two conventions have been. The Democrats, despite being almost crazed with anger against the President, played nice at their convention. The Reps, who are always better at this game, haven't been afraid to be nasty. It has worked too, as we're 60 days away from election, and the GOP has totally defined Kerry as guy who sees four sides to every issue.

Of course, he is.

Posted by Frinklin at 12:13 AM | Comments (0)

September 01, 2004

Sometimes children are disturbingly intelligent.

My fellow MuNu RP's youngster just realized that grown-ups get paid to play baseball. Fans, just check out her reaction.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:35 PM | Comments (1)

I love this sign.

Thanks to Steve Silver for catching this.


Posted by Frinklin at 10:24 PM | Comments (2)

KotOR II Update

The official site posted this in the LucasArts game forum. It's a quick and encouraging read. The game is basically done, all that remains is fixing the bugs and making sure everything works. An official release date should be announced soon. I'm betting this thing is out before Christmas. Now I just have to figure out which platform I get it on... first.

Posted by Frinklin at 09:52 PM | Comments (0)

RNC Day 2

Last night’s obvious highlight was the Governator, who actually made me forget how goofy it was that yes, this man is my Governor. I’ve been a Californian for 6 years now, and I still can’t believe how odd this state can get. Despite that, I loved Arnold’s speech, it perfectly encapsulated why, despite the disturbing influence of the religious right, I am proud to be a Republican and will remain so.

If you believe that government should be accountable to the people, not the people to the government...then you are a Republican! If you believe a person should be treated as an individual, not as a member of an interest group... then you are a Republican! If you believe your family knows how to spend your money better than the government does... then you are a Republican! If you believe our educational system should be held accountable for the progress of our children ... then you are a Republican! If you believe this country, not the United Nations, is the best hope of democracy in the world ... then you are a Republican! And, ladies and gentlemen ...if you believe we must be fierce and relentless and terminate terrorism ... then you are a Republican!

That’s why I stay with this party, because the other can’t say that.

Elsewhere at the convention:

-Bill Frist proved completely Not Ready for Prime Time. His speech was simply awful, droning, and he displayed disturbingly robot-like head and arm gestures. He’ll have to do much better if he expects to contend in 2008.

-The daughters… God, what can I say? It’s inconceivable that Karl Rove and his team let that disaster on stage last night. The twins came off as spoiled, bitchy trust-fund babies. It was like watching Paris and Nicole up there.

-Laura Bush, which I’ll admit only watching highlights of, was Laura Bush: bland, pleasant, and dull. She isn’t nearly as interesting as Teresa Heinz Kerry, but far more valuable politically. She may be dull, but she doesn’t screw up.

We’re two days into the convention, and all we’ve had were 2 okay speeches, one great one, and a lot of dreck. And these were they guys I liked…

Hey remember how I mentioned that protesters would help the RNC cause? Well, that goes double for morons interrupting the convention itself. Thank you ACT UP!

Posted by Frinklin at 05:30 PM | Comments (0)

Canuckleheads unite!

Found this fledgling blog covering the beloved Vancouver Canucks. Check it out...

Isn't it funny that you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a half-dozen baseball blogs, but other sports, especially ones concentrating on individual teams are so damned hard to find.

And NO, I don't swing my dead cats very often.

Posted by Frinklin at 03:36 AM | Comments (0)