I carved a pumpkin last night. It must be said I am the worst pumpkin carver in the western world. While my wife completed her cute litte bunny-inspired pumpkin, mine looks like the work of a retarded chimp. It features lopsided triangle eyes, a tiny diamond-shape nose, and a square, yes God help me a square mouth.
I shouldn' t be allowed to play with knives.
Or giant vegtables.
Flipping through the channels today I happened upon Entertainment Tonight's look at Hollywood celebrities hitting the campaign trail. Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis and many others lined up to speak for the candidate of their choice.
Please, if Ashton Kutcher has some bearing on who you support, do us all a favor: Don't vote. Please, it's just not worth it. Keep watching television, look at the pretty shiny pictures. Don't worry, people who have some inkling of the world beyond Ashlee Simpson and The Real World will take care of this one.
Lucasarts has added the KotOR 2 homepage here, and there is some very cool new stuff to be found.
Update: Okay, I meant a truckload of cool stuff, including looks at new characters like Kriea (elderly Jedi mentor) and Atton Rand. Atton was thought to be the Carth in this game. You know, the traditional (read: boring) hero. Turns out to be mistaken, Atton is a liar, gambler and a thief. In this game, each potential Party member will have a unique skill, like Atton can't be the last in his party killed, and Kriea allows you to chain Force attacks.
Also included are a very large number of supercool new screenshots, some that hint at other new characters, like this interesting looking woman.
If you check out the AIM icons section, it reveals her name as "Visas Marr".
At this point, I’m ready for basketball. No, no I’m not. I hate the NBA. I’ll pay a little attention to the SuperSonics, but not a lot. This weekend we have the Huskies against the hated, hated Oregon Ducks, the Cougs get their turn in the barrel against USC, and the Seahawks try to regroup against the Carolina Panthers. Down south the Chargers host the hated Raiders, and the SDSU Aztecs take on the Utah Utes, for homecoming no less.
The easy ones go first. I love the Cougs, and will watch them tomorrow afternoon. I will watch them get killed. The wheels are on the verge of falling off for this season, and against USC, it’s gonna happen. Alex Brink will have no shot against the fast and aggressive Trojan defense, and if Derek Anderson and Kellen Clemens can rip apart the WSU secondary, why can’t Matt Leinart?
The Huskies head down to Autzen to take on the biggest rival they have, most likely to get killed by them too. Oregon isn’t great. Kellen Clemens is still a bit inconsistent, and the Duck defense is mediocre at best. Still, the Dawgs can’t score at all, and Oregon can. This ain’t gonna be pretty.
The Seahawks, on an awful three-game losing streak, take on the defending NFC champ Carolina Panthers. They are at home, and Carolina is terrible, as their best 25-or-so players are hurt. Still, the Panthers always play with intensity, something the ‘Hawks lacked last week. Seattle should win this, but after Arizona, anything is possible.
San Diego, after winning at Carolina, head home to take on the Hated Raiders. Oakland usually fills up about 1/3 of Qualcomm for this match-up, even with the Bolts strategy for keeping Raider fans out. Whatever scheduling genius came up with having this on Halloween must be nuts. This game is a brawl anytime, but it could get ugly this weekend. This game will be on TV locally for the first time this year. The Chargers are the better team. They’ll win.
Finally, the Aztecs, thinking they’d be a better team and this would be a huge showdown, scheduled Utah for their homecoming game. Well, this isn’t a showdown, and it could be a blowout. The Utes are a legitimate Top-10, maybe Top-5 team. SDSU is suddenly another year away. Shouldn’t be hard for Urban Meyer’s boys.
Well, the Curse of the Bambino seems to be history. The Red Sox win their first World Series in a mere 86 years. Unfortunately, this Series will go down as seriously anti-climatic. After the scintillating ALCS, the Sox just crushed the Cardinals. Seriously, was there a single game you really thought the Cards would come back and win?
Still, my congratulations to the Nation.
Did Scott Fucking Stapp just sing "God Bless America" on my TV?
Damn you St. Louis Cardinals, damn you all to hell!
Shudder to think.
Keith Olberman, whose blog has quickly become a must read for me, has more on the hell that could break lose after Election Day.
Congratulations to Edgar Martinez, the second M in as many years to win the Roberto Clemente Award.
Couldn't they have found a picture where he looks, I dunno, not completely pissed-off?
It can't be this easy right? The Red Sox win game 3 in suprisingly easy fashion, and are now poised to win the World Series for the first time since 1918.
We're only 7 days away from Election day. This means were only 7 days and an hour or two away from lawsuits and allegations of voter fraud in Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, New Hampshire and basically any state with less than 2.5% points between candidates.
Yeah... Good times ahead.
Honestly, while I do have a horse I'm pulling for (more on this in the days ahead), my most fervent hope is a clear victory by either guy. What people forget about 2000 and how ugly it got over Florida was how comparatively genteel the campaign was. This year has been vicious on both sides, and I shudder to think about a 39-day delay in this climate.
What does it say about us when the Al Qa Qaa ammo dump mess and Ashlee Simpson's lip-synching get about the same amount of press coverage?
Can someone explain to me how a team with 8 errors in 2 games be up 2-0 in this series? Really, has Boston been this stonehanded all year long and I just never noticed
The Beloved Cougars looked to get up off the mat against Oregon State.
Instead, the Beavs whacked 'em 38-19. Honestly, the game wasn't that close.
Not only did Derek Anderson pick the Cougars apart, but OSU was actually
able to run the ball too. The Cougs have now lost 3 PAC-10 games in a row,
with USC staring them down next weekend.
Its better then the Huskies though. After staying with the Trojans for a
half, the Huskies imploded. After it was over, they had lost 38-0, snapping
the longest streak of not being shut out in the nation, and guaranteeing
this year's edition of the UW it's first losing season since Year 2 of Don
James. The Huskies are now the very picture of disarray. A long year is
going to get longer, as the Dawgs don't figure to be favored in any
After those two college disasters, we reach the pride of the Northwest. Your
It's Go Time. Remember that? That was Seahawk collapse and break your heart
number 3 I think. As I alluded to yesterday, the Arizona game was a
microcosm of the last decade of being a 'Hawk fan. Every year you think they
have turned the corner. Every year they stumble and end up around .500. I
thought this year would be different. Looks like I was wrong.
For those who aren't long suffering fans of the Seattle football franchise, that stands for "Same Old Seahawks". This is a reference to the many times they seem to be turning the corner, only to run right smack into the wall.
I wish I could say I didn't see it coming, but this team's flaws have been on display since Tampa.
Just this afternoon this incarnation of Frinklin Speaks hit 8000 visitors. The 8000 was an AOL Search for Dowager's Hump.
Not very exciting, but still it's always cool to hit round numbers.
I took the Bush-Kerry Test, coincidentally at BushKerryTest.com. It's pretty detailed. I came out 25 for Bush, 24 for Kerry. Interesting...
First found at Centerfield
Boston - Tim Wakefield, Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe
St. Louis -Woody Williams, Jason Marquis, Matt Morris, Jeff Suppan
As you’d expect with two Championship Series going the full seven, both pitching staffs look rickety. For Boston the big question is the Big Two: Does Schilling have another Game 6 in him, and which Pedro will show up. With the Cards it’s a game of “just enough”. St. Louis is a serious offensive team, winning this year by getting adequate work from their starters. Williams and Suppan have been fine in the postseason, Marquis and Morris not so much. A big question for both teams will be keeping pitch counts low.
Boston - Bronson Arroyo, Alan Embree, Keith Foulke, Curtis Leskanic, Mike Myers, Mike Timlin
St. Louis - Kiki Calero, Cal Eldred, Dan Haren, Jason Isringhausen, Ray King, Al Reyes, Julian Tavarez
If the game is based on closers, this would be Boston. Foulke was dominant against the Yankees, while Izzy blew a save in the NLCS and has looked ugly in others. Ray King is a huge factor in this series. He’s the Cards left-handed specialist, and a good one. He should get to know David Ortiz very well. As for long men, and you figure they will play a part in a series where both teams are so good offensively, they’re about even. Arroyo has looked good at times, as has Tavarez. At least when he’s not breaking his hand. The Cards get the nod here, over the season their bullpen was one of the best in the majors.
Edge: St. Louis
Boston - Jason Varitek
St. Louis - Mike Matheney
Matheny is an excellent defensively, but a legendarily awful hitter, with a lifetime OPS of .629. Varitek is considered okay in the field, and is a much better hitter. Both players are considered great clubhouse leaders.
Boston- David Ortiz, Kevin Millar
St. Louis - Albert Pujols
The Red Sox have already decided that Big Papi will play the field for the games in St. Louis. It’s a risk, as Ortiz is horrific on defense, but they need his bat. Millar isn’t much better on D, hence the need for Doug Mientkiewicz. Pujols is an improving fielder, and simply the best right-handed hitter in baseball.
Edge: St. Louis
Boston- Mark Bellhorn
St. Louis – Tony Womack
Womack was a Red Sox during the spring, until trading him to the Cards in what most St. Louis fans thought was a disaster waiting to happen. He’s played well though, at .307/. 349/. 385 with 26 steals. This is about as good a Tony Womack season as you can expect. Bellhorn is the polar opposite, a slow and patient hitter with pop. Neither are great defensively
Boston – Bill Mueller
St. Louis – Scott Rolen
Nothing against Mueller, who is a fine player in his own right, but this is the biggest difference at any position. Rolen is an MVP-caliber hitter, and a dynamic fielder. Mueller is good #2 hitter, but Rolen is a difference-maker.
Edge: St. Louis
Boston – Orlando Cabrera
St. Louis – Edgar Renteria
The Red Sox season turned around when they picked up Cabrera and dumped the unhappy Nomar Garciaparra. The righthanded hitter never gets cheated, and swings at anything close to a strike. He’s the best defensive infielder the Sox have. Renteria is the best shortstop in the NL, and a former World Series MVP. He struggled with injuries this season, but has been fine in the post-season.
Edge: St. Louis
Boston – Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon, Trot Nixon
St. Louis – Reggie Sanders, Jim Edmonds, Larry Walker
If anyone can challenge Pujols’ status as the best RH hitter in baseball, it’s Manny, though he hasn’t done much in the post-season. Damon was awful until game 7 of the ALCS, and then turned into Reggie Jackson. Nixon has been injured most of the year. The Cards have three serious streak hitters in the OF. Edmonds is a player who can take over a game, or a series when hot. Sanders can be pitched too in any circumstance. Walker is a wild card. He’s not the player he was a few years ago, but has been rejuvenated since coming to St. Louis.
Boston – Doug Mirabelli-C, Doug Mientkiewicz-1B/2B, Pokey Reese-2B/SS, Kevin Youkilis-3B, Gabe Kapler-OF, Dave Roberts-OF
St. Louis – Yadier Molina-C, Marlon Anderson-INF, Hector Luna-INF, Roger Cedeno-OF, So Taguchi-OF, John Mabry-OF
After the Garciaparra trade, Boston was left with the best bench in baseball. When Mientkiewicz and Reese take over on the right side of the infield, the Sox become an excellent fielding team. They have both speed (Roberts) and power (Kapler and Millar when he doesn’t start). The Cardinals bench is simply awful, and leaves them with the choice of Mabry (ugh) or Cedeno (double-ugh) as the DH when they play in Fenway.
So, whom do you go with? The team that has dominated all year long, or the team that struggled, got hot, and then made the greatest comeback in playoff baseball history? My money is on the Red Sox here. After crushing the Yankees, they’re on cloud nine, and they get a game 7 in Fenway.
We add it up, and it comes out with 5 for Boston, 4 for St. Louis, and 1 even. Should be a great series, and the Sox win in 7.
And the world could quite possibly end at that point.
Last week was a serious downer, and the previous week was worse. Let’s see what we have this weekend.
The Huskies have an easy task this weekend, taking on #1 USC in the LA Coliseum. Why is that an easy task? Because after a couple games where they had a shot at winning, nobody on Earth with an ounce of football sense think they have a shot at this game. And they don’t. Hell, USC has third and fourth teamers that might start for the Huskies. They get killed here.
The Beloved Cougars, suddenly reeling at 3-3, go to Corvallis and take on Oregon State, a team I have no idea what to think of. Much like WSU, they’ve been good and they’ve been terrible. I’d go with the Beavs here, as they have a senior QB (instead of a freshman) and the home field. Still, it wouldn’t shock me a bit either way.
Another reeling team is the San Diego State Aztecs. This week they play at New Mexico, a team coming off a win over UNLV where they had 6 turnovers. Yep, six turnovers and a win. Please, someone explain that. SDSU starts redshirt frosh Kevin O’Donnell at quarterback. He can’t do any worse than former starter Matt Dlugolecki. If the offense can score, the Aztecs can win. Even with stud RB DonTrell Moore, the Dark Side defense should handle the Lobos and mistake-prone QB Kole McKamey.
Over on the NFL side, the Seahawks, after back-to-back heartbreakers against St. Louis and New England, take on the Arizona Cardinals in Tempe. This is a tough game for the ‘Hawks. Arizona isn’t particularly talented, but they do play hard. Seattle needs this game, but could be tight after the last two weeks. They should win, but it could get ugly.
Finally, the Chargers, after being Michael Vicked last week, head to Carolina to take on the Panthers. The Bolts will win this one, as Carolina is wracked with injuries. No Kris Jenkins, Steve Smith, Stephen Davis or DeShaun Foster. Who’s left? Drew Brees gets some nice upgrades at WR with Keenan McCardell and Bobby Shaw.
I'll make sure it's in Norway.
Thank you RP.
I ran to the the comic book shop today, like I do most Fridays. One of the issues I picked up was Uncanny X-Men #451. This is the second of a two-part story that introduces X-23, a fairly new character. Yes, someone has finally answered the question: What would it be like if Wolverine was a hot teenage girl?
I actually paid for this.
The Sci-Fi Network Battlestar Galactica miniseries from December of last
year proved so successful, the network is launching a regular series based
on the update of the 70's classic. It premieres in the US in January, but
from some inexplicable reason, the show is on the UK's Sky TV. It premiered
the other night, and Ain't It Cool has a roundup of reactions, only read if
you don't mind spoilers. . The verdict? The series is as dark, hard-edged
and cool as the miniseries was. I cannot wait.
If you do, and really, in this day and age who doesn't need a good downer,
try watching the current episode of HBO's Real Sports. Or in Spanish if you
prefer, REAL Sports. For those who do not know the program, Real Sports is
Bryant Gumbel's attempt to bring his special brand of pretentiousness to
sports journalism. Even with Gumbel, it is a show very much worth watching.
Since HBO does not have any sports properties to protect, beyond the
international joke that is pro boxing, they do not have to play cheerleader
like ESPN or Fox Sports. This month's episode is unrelentingly grim. This
month's main story is both heartbreaking and infuriating.
In it, we find out that another of our important allies in the War on Terror
is utterly horrible. This segment centers on the United Arab Emirates and
their obsession with the sport of camel racing. Unlike America and Horse
racing, where jockeys are smaller adults, in the UAE they just use whatever
spare small boys are lying around. This obviously forced jocularity masks
the utter rage I felt watching this. To put in bluntly, the Camel racing
industry relies on slaves. Small boys are either kidnapped or purchased in
poor countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh, smuggled into the UAE and used
as jockeys, some as young as three years old. These boys are housed in barns
or sheds, given minimal food at best, frequently raped and beaten, then
discarded once they grow to big or too old. The piece centers on an amazing
Bangladeshi man who, at great risk, frequently rescues the camel jockeys,
usually 15-20 at a time. It is difficult, sometimes impossible to repatriate
them though, as most are too young to know where they come from, or even
their real names.
Despite my Republican leanings, The West Wing is still one of my
favorite shows. I'm not really saying anything new when I say the show has
been struggling recently. The last couple of seasons have been mediocre at
best and lousy at times, especially when the show becomes nothing but lefty
wish fulfillment The most obvious of this was 2 seasons ago, when Martin
Sheen's President Bartlett was running for reelection against an
inexperienced and slow-witted Southern Governor, who was likable in a
frat-boyish way. Of course, after slaughtering him in the debate, Bartlett
won in a landslide. Huh, I wonder...
So the last two seasons haven't been up to par, what next? Supposedly, we
have some major changes coming up. It started last night with the premiere.
It did start with a lefty blow to the real world though, as Bartlett makes a
giant commotion out of not attacking Iran after a terrorist attack. The
Pentagon believes that Iran is tied to the guilty parties, but they have
little concrete evidence. Take THAT Mr. Real President.
Anyway, the President, while being pressured from all sides to strike back
after the attack on an American congressional delegation to Israel, goes
with his dovish instincts and attempts to hold a summit between the Israelis
and Palestinians. This reaction seems wrong to most everyone involved, from
the American public to his closest advisors. What makes this episode work is
the realistic conflict that ensues.
The acting is up to the show's high standards, especially John Spencer as
the increasingly haggard Chief of Staff Leo McGarry. Spencer affects a
visible change in the character; appearing so weary he seems almost
emaciated. I have not heard of Spencer having any real health problems, but
the change is so obvious it certainly raises questions. Other standouts
include Richard Schiff as Toby Zeigler, showing fire after an off season. He
also gets the best one liner too, describing the Palestinian courts as
"three guys with pistols and a Magic 8-Ball".
This is a nice start; hopefully they can keep the momentum up. Next week the
new characters are introduced, including Alan Alda as a Republican
Yes, you read that right. Alan Alda, paragon of conservative thought.
The finale to the Star Trek: Enterprise season premier was better
than the first half. This is faint praise of course, as the first part
stunk. The ship is still stuck back in the alternate past, with Nazi Germany
in control of the eastern US seaboard. Mayweather and Tucker have been
captured, Archer and Plucky Resistance Babe have been transported onto the
ship, and the villains of the plot are still uninteresting. Archer meets
with Vosh, head Nazlien, who suggests they work together, even returning
Trip and Travis. Archer declines the offer, and decides to work on
destroying Vosh. At this point, the episode becomes a lot more about Vosh
and Silik the Super Suliban than it does the alternate WWII. It is a
definite improvement over the opener. The pacing is better, the action is
more involving, and we even get a nice character bit between Silik and
Archer. Silik comments that the Captain has gotten darker. He agrees, and
states that it isn't a good thing. I hope they keep the new Archer. He is a
lot more interesting now, especially compared to the naïve, idealistic
blowhard from the first two seasons. The best part of this episode? The very
end, where Daniels returns from the dead, fixes the time stream and Archer
makes him swear not to involve the NX-01 in any more time shenanigans. We
should be so lucky.
Next week the Enterprise heads home, and then on to Vulcan for T'Pol's
wedding. She wasn't expecting it either. From the previews, it looks like a
thinly rewritten version of the classic Trek episode "Amok Time" but with a
lot more heaving Vulcan breasts.
It just keeps getting uglier the Huskies, doesn't it? First, the Huskies,
whom I mistakenly thought had a chance at beating Oregon State, keep it
close until self-destructing with seven turnovers. The best news is that
Isaiah Stanback was exciting. The worst is that he has little concept of
keeping a hold of the ball, committing four turnovers by himself. The
Huskies are in freefall now, and it would take a miracle to save Keith
Gilbertson's job. Considering next week they play #1 USC, it seems to get
uglier. It might just be necessary for the program to get a fresh start. It
helps that new AD Todd Turner has a nice track record of hiring, the most
recent of which was Nick Saban at LSU.
The weekend was not any kinder to the beloved Cougars either. WSU found
themselves in a hole against Stanford. They battled back, but came up short.
The Cougars are a frustrating team this season. When clicking, they can be
suffocating on defense and explosive on offense. Other times inexperience
shows and nothing seems to work. There is an increasing "wait 'til next
year" feeling around this team. Swogger is the epitome of this; looking like
Drew Bledsoe one play and Steve Birnbaum the next. Now he is hurt and out
for the season. Can Alex Brink take hold of the job? I don't think so, but
then I thought Matt Kegel would be the next great Wazzu QB and Jason Gesser
would be a fine backup. I think anyone who reads this knows to disregard any
predictions I come up with.
The beloved Seahawks lost for the second weekend in a row, this time on the
road to the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots. Watching this game, it
was easy to see the "not ready for prime time" feeling about the Hawks. They
were tentative at times, did not handle the ball particularly well, and like
the Cougs, fell behind early. Despite their now 20-game win streak, the Pats
are vulnerable, especially against a team with a high-quality running back.
The Seahawks didn't play well enough to exploit that, and now find
themselves .a clear #2 behind the resurgent Rams. Now they face life without
Grant Wistrom for 4-6 weeks, and Koren Robinson is lost to a NFL substance
abuse suspension for three games. The Seahawks will have to show a lot more
grit than previously seen to get through this stretch of the season. The
signing of Jerry Rice will help, as there are few players in the NFL with
more desire than Rice, and it is hard not to listen to the best receiver in
NFL history. I hope that Darrell Jackson and Robinson learn something.
The Chargers looked great for about 52 minutes against the Falcons, leading
20-7 with about 8 minutes to play. At that point Super-Vick took over, and
Atlanta pulled it out 21-20. While the San Diego defense didn't play
particularly well (CB Sammy Davis was torched in particular), it's difficult
to fault them that much. The team played above its head the last couple of
weeks, and there are days when Michael Vick is unstoppable. Still, the Bolts
are better then expected. They still are not a playoff team by any stretch,
but .500 is not out of reach. The acquisition of Keenan McCardell should
help, though I question giving up any future draft picks for a 34-year old
Finally, the Aztecs lost a heartbreaker to the equally struggling Colorado
State Rams. The big play was a fumble/not a fumble late by RB Michael
Franklin, but the cold truth of the matter is that SDSU lost a winnable game
against a decimated opponent at home. They are not nearly as close to
contending as I previously thought. Maybe new QB Kevin O'Connell will help.
The most amazing comeback in sports history? Maybe, maybe not, but still an astonishing turn of events. To come back from 3-0, after getting blasted in that third game, win four in a row, including the last 2 in Yankee Stadium is simply epic.
Of course the Frinklin household is pulling for the Red Sox. We're good people.
It's Mike Hargrove, former manager of both the Indians and the Oriole. In a word: ehhh.
Could they have done better? Or course. It would have taken some ingenuity and non-conformist thinking, but that's somewhat beyond this organization. More importantly, they could have done much, much worse. -
Slate’s Chris Suellentrop has a fascinating, and if you’re a Kerry supporter, depressing look at the Democratic nominee’s woes on the stump. Read what the speechwriter wrote and what he said.
No, I’m not talking about terrorism, or nuclear proliferation or ecological disaster. I’m talking about Celine Dion and Anne Geddes being allowed to collaborate. Yes, the anorexic Canadian screamer and creepy and cloying baby photographer have created Miracle: A Celebration of Life, a multimedia event. It’s a book of photographs by Geddes, most including Dion and various infants, and a CD of Dion wailing away in her own interminable style.
Taken alone, these massive selling superstars-for-no-discernable-reason are bad enough. Dion’s shrieking vocal style and cloying lyrics constitute a grievous threat to America’s psychological and physical health, and Geddes’ diabetes-inducing sweetness is enough to damage our national psyche. Together they could destroy our very way of life, causing mass insanity, rioting in the streets, and the heartbreak of erectile dysfunction.
I call on both major Presidential candidates to immediately issue statements denouncing this Satan-spawned collaboration. In addition, our current administration should take this to the UN Security Council and demand sanctions against both artists’ home countries, Canada and the United States, until all production and distribution of this abomination is halted.
One of a host of great lines from Jon Stewart on Crossfire, the video of which is now available here on Ifilms. The confrontation between he and Tucker Carlson, who is being a dick here, is priceless.
Carlson does, rather obtusely, raise an interesting point: Stewart has always held that The Daily Show is a comedy show, but it's been proven that some people, especially those in my age group, use it as a source of news. Does this give Stewart the responsibility to act as a serious newsman?
Yeah, what the hell. As I mentioned last week, I’m pulling a George Costanza and going against my instincts. I’ll probably screw up even more.
This weekend we have the Beloved Cougars, looking to rebound after a heartbreaker against Oregon, at home against Stanford. My first thought would be that, while neither team is hot, Stanford has looked better all season. So we go the other direction, and take WSU in a close one.
The Huskies, fresh off their epic win over San Jose State, is a 6.5-point underdog at home against Oregon State. The Beavs have been the favorite in this game two years running, and have gotten killed both times. OSU, after falling in OT against LSU (which is clearly not as big a deal as was once thought) has been pretty lousy too, but still better than the Huskies. Oh, what the hell, UW wins this. Why? I dunno… nicer uniforms?
At this point in the season, who would have thought the Colorado State and SDSU would have 3 wins combined? The Rams come to Qualcomm, and after two lackluster performances, the Aztec crowd will be so thin as to seem invisible. Neither team has played up to potential, but I take CSU. They’re due.
In the NFL, the Beloved Seahawks get up off the mat and travel to New England. All the have to do there is snap the Patriots 19-game win streak.
My first thought is the ‘Hawks just get clobbered here, but we go against that and, in another “what the hell” move, take Seattle. Call it the SI Jinx or a motivated Seattle team or a banged-up New England team: I’m not sure.
The Chargers, winner of two straight in, I dunno, 30 years it seems, head down to Atlanta in what is suddenly a pretty good game. Both my instincts and my brain tells me that a third straight win is just too much to ask for, especially against Michael Vick.
Someday, I’ll turn this around.
Wow, it seems the whole TV show becoming a movie phenomenon has discovered the 80’s. This is all stuff I thought I’d never see. In order, from definitely happening to big maybe:
-If you’re a straight male, age 25-35 you probably know Miami Vice is the best show ever. There really isn’t much comparison. Well, it’s jumping to the big screen soon. Jamie Foxx is already cast as Tubbs, and Colin Farrell is the leader in the clubhouse to be the Legendary Sonny Crockett. As long as this includes Ferraris, babes, and a little stubble, we’ll be fine.
- Miami Vice I can understand, but The A-Team? Seriously? Yep, they now have a screenwriter, supposedly for a serious take on the team. Uhhh… Okay.
-Far less likely to happen, but rumored would be the Moonlighting reunion movie. This is not good. For it’s merits, Moonlighting was a good show for about a season, maybe a season-and-a-half. Then it degenerated into a self-important, unwatchable mess.
All links courtesy of Shane at Near Mint Heroes, and his linkblogging extravaganza.
I’ve been staying out of the Mary Cheney controversy, though if you’re interested you can always check out my wife versus one of my first blogfriends on the subject. Mentioning the Vice-President’s daughter wouldn’t have been my first impulse when answering that question, but I don’t think there is anything intrinsically wrong with it. Kerry didn’t say anything pejorative about her; he merely stated a fact. One that does have some relevance, as Mary Cheney is both out and listed as her father’s campaign manager. Still it was probably bad taste, as it was when John Edwards went out of his way to mention her during the VP debate.
What stuns, and impresses me to be quite honest, is the political spin the Republicans are getting for this. They’ve now controlled the news cycle for another three days, and it may continue throughout the weekend. This is all the news is talking about right now, not the President’s embarrassing gaffe about not being concerned with bin Laden, or Kerry’s awful pandering answer to the question of Social Security. To be honest, I’m firm in my conviction that at least part of the Cheney’s anger over this is manufactured. Either that, or the Cheneys are ashamed of their daughter’s sexual orientation. You don’t get this mad at someone for merely stating a fact. It isn't an insult to be called gay, especially when you are, and are so publicly. I also notice that neither Cheney reacted this way when Alan Keyes called Mary Cheney a “selfish hedonist”. Nor do they get all ticked off when other Republican Senate candidates rant about the threat of "rampant lesbianism".
But now, they’re really angry and John Kerry is just a horrible, horrible person.
Because he stated the truth.
No, I mean that like I wish I could forget the Enterprise premiere. Last season was easily the best of this series. That is not saying much, but it was entertaining and interesting about ¾ of the time. That is good, especially compared to the first two seasons, which are pretty close to unwatchable. This season seems to be headed towards the bad old days.
For those who forgot, or didn’t care to begin with, at the end of last season our heroes had stopped the villainous (sorry, just misunderstood) Xindi from destroying Earth. They did seem to lose Captain Archer, which would be okay really, as Scott Bakula plays Archer and he pretty much epitomizes expendable. However, this is Star Trek and we know better. Last season ended with the Enterprise limping home to find itself missing a Starbase, and the shuttle it sent down being shot at by P-51 Mustangs. At the very end, we find a bruised and battered, but very much alive Captain Archer being examined by… Nazis. Alien Nazis no less. Yep, we got some serious time travelin’ to do!
This is where the premiere picks up. Archer escapes the Nazis, and ends up in occupied New York. While he’s gallivanting around the city, his crew is bumbling their way through things like always. One of the things I love about this series is the crew’s almost comical dependency on the captain. Can you imagine any of the Star Trek crews being this hapless without their Captain? Every other show featured at least one, sometimes as many as three people who could take over with little difficulty. Here we get an unstable drug-addled Vulcan, a chief engineer who spends most of his time getting beat up (Trek fans, were you aware of entire website, TripHammered, that chronicles the time that Tucker spends getting his head kicked in?) and the security chief Reed, the most unhappy closeted gay man currently on TV.
Anyway, Archer escapes the Nazis, and spends the episode in Stock Character Hell. We have the plucky and fearless Resistance Babe, the Italian Gangsters (turned Resistance fighters, no less), the Drunken Stoolie, all parading around a very fake New York street corner. While that’s happening, the Enterprise is trying to figure out what happened. T’Pol orders a bunch of impressive sounding tests, and Tucker meets up with a Suliban. Oh goody, we can never have too many of those. The Super Suliban beats up on Tucker, and then steals a shuttle. The shoot him down, the damned thing crashes. Tucker and Mayweather then have to go find it and blow it up. Of course, hard not to see this coming, they get captured by the Nazi aliens.
Ugh, Ugh, and double-ugh. First, the obsession with time travel has got to go. With each Trek incarnation, they seem to rely on it more and more, and quite frankly, it gets old. It’s a crutch, a blatant attempt to mask the fact that the storytelling is so lousy. How much growth have any of the characters had? Last season was a big step up, the best, and darkest Trek since Deep Space Nine was in its prime. This is a huge step back.
The conclusion is tonight. I’ll watch it, probably. Or tape it at least.
Well, the third and final debate is over. And quite frankly, I was even more bored by this than the last one. The President was much improved over the first and second debates, so I give him the win on that alone. There was much repeating of lame talking points on both sides, and both goofed a couple of times. The worst of which was Kerry's mentioning of Mary Cheney, which was even more obvious than when Edwards did it, followed closely by Bush's stammering about flu shots.
My biggest gripe? The moderator. Why they don't have Jim Lehrer do this all the time, I don't know. Bob Scheffer was awful. This might be the first time I've ever seen the questions be more meandering and pointless than the answers.
Well, this is it. Just under three weeks to go in the election, and we have come to the last Presidential Debate. This one, using the same stilted format as the one two weeks ago, is in Tempe, Arizona and covers domestic policy only.
Yeah, I know. I am all a-twitter about it too.
This is the last “event” of the campaign, and therefore the last time either candidate can try for any sort of large swing in momentum. It is funny, the conventional wisdom was that Bush has the advantage in foreign policy debates, and Kerry in domestic issue debates. The opposite has been true so far. Kerry dominated the first debate, and seemed to do better in the first half of the second, where the questions were on foreign policy. Bush, after flubbing the first debate, had his best moments the second half of the second. So who has the advantage now? Probably neither. This debate has a good chance of getting ugly quick. Bush will focus on Kerry’s Senate record, and attempt to paint him as an old tax and spend Massachusetts liberal. The Senator will counter with a lot about the current economy. Both will do there best to get shots in, regardless of whether they are true or not.
It's only been 25 years since the city of Seattle got to celebrate a major-league championship, so congratulations to the Seattle Storm, 2004 WNBA Champs.
Yep, the Frinklin family recently rented the Michael Moore opus via the wonderful people at Netflix. It was the Missus idea; we seem to be running the gauntlet of anti-Republican movies. We have just seen Outfoxed, and Unprecedented is coming up. I have reason to believe the Missus is attempting to sway me.
So, since I am a Republican, everyone should be expecting me to denounce this mix of outlandish conspiracy theories, audacious lies and maliciously twisted half-truths.
Well, I’m not.
Do not get me wrong, that is the movie. Moore’s favorite play is to put himself inside the head of George W. Bush and automatically assign the worst possible motive for everything he does. According to Fahrenheit 9/11, the President doesn’t keep reading with the children after learning the second plane has struck the WTC because he is, at heart a normal guy who’s stunned and horrified. No, he does it because he’s busy coming up with ways to blame Iraq and make sure the Saudis aren’t blamed. In Michael Moore’s world, we don’t attack Afghanistan because, I dunno, it is a terrorist haven; base to those attacked the US and killed 3,000 people. No, we do it because Unocal wants a pipeline to Caspian Sea natural gas reserves and that pesky Taliban won’t let them. The view of Iraq in the movie is that of a peaceful place, where nothing happens except for pretty summer days made for playing in the park. It goes without saying that we brutally attacked these people for no reason whatsoever. And please, don’t go looking for any American troops who support the mission or the President. American soldiers come in two flavors in Fahrenheit 9/11: those who have been brainwashed into committing acts of conscienceless violence, such as singing along to “The Roof is on Fire” when yes, the roof is on fire and people are dying; or those so embittered and cynical they can’t wait to leave and see, like Moore and his ilk, no purpose in being in Iraq.
Not everything in this movie is wrong though. For whatever the reason, seeing our President frozen like a deer in the headlights for seven minutes after the second plane (I was always under the impression this happened after the first), is disconcerting to say the least. The relationship between the Bush family and the Saudis is also disconcerting, and it’s difficult to see the reasoning behind letting the Bin Laden family leave while the US airports were closed. However, as Moore himself points out, about 7% of the US economy is under Saudi control. Were they too get angry enough to withdraw it the results would be catastrophic. Finally, whenever a nation goes to war, they should see what it really means, to both the troops and those it is at war against. Nowhere on American TV do you see that.
You know what? None of this matters. Nothing that I say, I mean. Most conservatives are going to think me as some sort of liberal dupe for watching the movie. Most liberals are going to see me as a typical conservative liar who watches the movie just so I can disagree with it. And that’s where we are; beyond merely disagreeing with something, it has to be demonized too. Is there any more or less truth in Fahrenheit 9/11 then in an Anne Coulter book? Or the Swift Boat Vets? Of course not. We’ve become so Balkanized in this country that whatever you are on the political spectrum, you have talking heads to tell you not to worry, that everything you believe is right. And those people who disagree with you? They aren’t people of good conscience who have different views, no, those people are liars and cheats and thieves, don’t you listen to anything that they say.
I’m sure that this has always been the way, that back at the turn of the last century, each political party had it’s own newspapers and only printed what they agreed with. It doesn’t make it right, and it doesn’t make this any less tragic
Slate is running a Book Blitz discussing Phillip Roth's latest, The Plot Against America . For those unawares, the novel is an alternate history. In this version of America, Charles Lindbergh captures the presidency in 1940, defeating FDR with a mixture of isolationism, and Anti-Semitism. The story follows a young Jewish boy named, coincidentally, Phillip Roth, and his family as they struggle in Lindbergh’s New Order.
I’m reading this one myself. I’m about halfway through, and I can see most critics on this are correct: the book has an excellent premise, but only adequate execution. Still, it’s worth reading, and the ease with which the country moves toward fascism is chilling.
And yes, this story is supposed to be an allegory with modern times, right down to an obsession with big signs and flight suits
I said that both the Hawk and WAZZU games would be close, but the forces of good would be triumphant. I was wrong, as both collapsed in rather epic fashion.
I said that San Diego State would beat up an improving but still overmatched Wyoming team. No, I meant an improving Wyoming team would beat up on an overmatched SDSU squad.
I said Jacksonville would dominate the Chargers, and win in a game that the score would be closer than it seemed. No, that would be wrong too, as San Diego ran roughshod over what some people see as a playoff contender, beating up the Jags 34-21.
I did get Huskies over San Jose State, but if that's the only thing I get right then I'm worse off than I thought.
I think I'm at the point, like George in Sienfeld, where I need to go the opposite of where my instincts take me.
This would be the box art for Knights of the Old Republic II. Why they choose to release an image of the PC Version when it comes out 3 months after the XBOX version, I have no idea, but there it is.
Also, another repeat planet has been announced. The game will return to Korriban, the ancient Sith homeworld. Details and a very nifty flyover video are here.
Teams that go to the Super Bowl don't do this. The really good teams, like the Patriots, the Eagles and the Colts, get a team down and kill them. The Seahawks had that chance, up by 17 with 5 minutes to play.
But they didn't. The defense slackened, the offense tightened, and once the Rams got within a field goal, it was never in doubt. The Seahawks might still win the NFC West and go to the playoffs. Hell, they might give New England a game next week. But they aren't a Super Bowl team.
Far from it.
Congratulations go to the Cadets of Army, as they beat Cincinnati 48-29 to stop the nation's longest losing streak at 19 games.
For anyone interested, one read of John Feinstein's Civil War will turn anyone with a passing intrest in college football into giant Army/Navy fans. It's brilliant.
Three games for the local (where I used to live anyway) teams this weekend, plus two for my current locals. Here we go.
The Oregon Ducks come up to Pullman to take on the beloved Cougars. This is an odd game. Neither team has played well, but WSU is 3-1 while Oregon is 1-3. Either team can win this game, it's the classic "pick-em" match, but I'll go for WSU. I think the Cougs have playmakers on defense that Oregon lacks.
Okay, if you thought that the Washington-San Jose State game would be important before the season started, you deserve a medal. Now, with the Huskies 0-4 and on the verge of imploding and the Spartans come in off an amazing 70-63 win over Rice. Will the Huskies get this one? Yeah, probably, SJSU's defense has been run over by Morgan State and SMU, and even UW should score enough points to win. Will this turn the season around? Probably not.
San Diego State, fresh off yet another loss to UCLA, opens it's MWC season at a much-improved Wyoming team. While Joe Glenn is turning the Cowboys around, SDSU is just too talented, and should be angry after a poor showing against the Bruins.
In the NFL, the San Diego Super Chargers take on another difficult task. After beating the Titans at home, now the Jaguars come a-calling. Jacksonville, which is 3-1 despite scoring like 12 points all year, are better than Tennessee. The Bolts also have serious problems playing well consecutive weeks. Jax dominates this one, but the score make it look closer.
Okay, this is the big one: the unbeaten Seahawks at home against the Hated Rams. This one is gonna be close: St. Louis comes in a bit desperate. They know if Seattle wins this, it's creates quite a gap in the NFC West. Still, the 'Hawks are playing too well to lose this one.
Well, now we reach the Town Hall Debate. As I mentioned previously, I really dislike this format. Call me an elitist if you would like, but I shudder at the sight of normal people stammering through questions, some of which make no sense. The big question here is whether the President will bounce back from a lousy performance last week that has been downgraded to disastrous by the spin-doctors. Cheney’s performance on Tuesday helped matters, but the President needs to do will tonight. The question then becomes if he’s capable of doing well. George W. Bush isn’t a great debater under any circumstances, and this is a format he doesn’t like. According to reports, his team fought to keep this format out of the debates entirely. It is odd though, the President has a real strength in his ability to connect with people. He does not however, respond well to hard questioning. It will be interesting to see how he does.
Kerry on the other hand, needs to continue the momentum. His running mate did passably well at his assignment, and Kerry dominated in the first debate. Another solid win could put him ahead in the national polls, though he still has problems on a state-by-state basis. It is funny though, considering the march of bad news from Iraq, he is still a longshot to win. Had the Dems nominated someone better, this might be in the bag for them. Then again, between Kerry, Dean, Edwards et al, who else is better.
Other than Lieberman, of course. The Lefties would never get behind someone as sensible as Joe Lieberman.
Update I hate to wimp out, but I'll call this a draw. Bush was vastly superior than last week, Kerry about the same. Nothing really exciting, nothing really memorable, but a good debate nonetheless. While my distaste for Town Halls is well documented, the questions were very good.
Even though it's a joke, let me be the first to support David Broder's idea that the new Washington baseball franchise be called the Reagans.
The Washington Reagans... I like it.
I watch Lost and I want to know. The Missus lists the questions we've been debating.
Yep, I bought it. This might get me banned from Bill's site from now on, but I couldn't help myself. And to be honest, the movies look great. They're brighter, sharper and sound better than I've ever seen them, and that includes the long-lost Laserdisc version. There are only two really, horribly annoying moments. First, in A New Hope the Mos Eisley cantina scene. It's not inside that sucks, it's outside, as Lucas as CGI-inserted about a half-dozen rontos, giant lizard riding-beasts. Some of them of course, have to do those stupid physical comedy bits that only Lucas and some 8-year olds enjoy. Even worse are the droids. Each Sandtrooper team now comes with a small, hovering droid assistant than swoops in and out of the camera shot. Even worse are the changes to ROTJ. The song in Jabba's palace is, awful. I mean, pray your eardrums burst awful. Sy Snootles is now badly CGI animated and joined with this pinkish bullfrog-looking thing. Neither of the two new voices can sing, and the song is what would happened if aliens discovered bad disco. The new Ewok celebration song is lousy too.
Even with that, every SW fan should get this set for the extras. There aren't many of them, but they're awfully good ones. The bonus disc comes with an extended version of A&E's Empire of Dreams documentary, and three shorts as well. It's in the shorts that we learn that Luke and Leia were initially going to be midget twins. We learn that Han was going to be a giant lizard creature, and that in one early version of the script, it was Leia that became the Jedi and hero of the trilogy. That would have been really interesting, but the first two ideas show that Lucas has always had a brainless streak.
We also see the original teasers and trailers, and honestly, I didn't realize how bad they were. I can see why, after the Star Wars trailer, that most movie-types thought this was going to bomb. It's a long way from "An adventure a BILLION years in the making" to "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..."
UpdateYep, it seems I'm headed for the gulag.
Wasn't John Edwards supposed to be good at this kind of thing? You really have to wonder about what happened. As far as I'm concerned, Cheney won easy. Dick Cheney was Dick Cheney: steady, reserved, mature and deft on his feet. Edwards, whom I admittedly don't like to begin with, was awful, constantly going back to the previous question, being wedded to his soundbites (sounding much like GW Bush, of all things), and being as irratating as I've seen. He also had lousy reaction shots, and he seemed stunned at some of his voting record being called out.
The line about how Cheney had never met him, despite being President of the Senate, is the best thing from a debate since Lloyd Bentson.
Now it's up to the President to pull his weight.
It should not come to a shock to anybody that the Beloved M’s fired their manager yesterday. Somebody had to take the fall for this train wreck of a season. It isn’t his fault of course. He couldn’t predict that Rich Aurillia and John Olerud would suddenly turn ancient, or that Randy Winn couldn’t play center to save his life. He couldn’t predict that Raul Ibanez would fail to hit like Barry Bonds in Safeco, or that Scott Speizio would leave his bat in Anaheim.
Bill Bavasi should be the one predicting, or at least considering all these things. He didn’t, and now Melvin, and Mariner fans everywhere are suffering for it. Now the question is: Who does he hire to replace him? I’ve heard about the in-house guys Rohn and Brundage, or Terry Collins or Joe Maddon, or (God Help Us) Larry Bowa and Don Baylor. Nothing I’ve heard thrills me at all. Nobody available right now makes me say, “Yeah, I want THAT guy managing my team.”
No Lou Pinellas…
Tonight’s debate has the possibility of being deeply weird. In the Red Corner, we have the current Vice-President, Dick Cheney. To his supporters he is the voice of reason and maturity, a calming conservative presence. To his detractors he is an evil, Gollum-like character, the puppet master behind the president, only with the shadowy world of Big Business holding his strings. In the Blue Corner, we have John Edwards, the young (and very young-looking) Senator from North Carolina. To most Democrats, Edwards is a bright shining face, a forward-thinking centrist who empathizes with the common man. To the opposition, Edwards is a smarmy, slick lawyer who babbles old-school liberalisms with an annoying twang.
The VP debate in 2000 was a school in civility. Both Cheney and Joe Lieberman are measured, dignified men, and the debate followed that course. Cheney won, I think, and to see the chances Lieberman had to hit Cheney harder than he did must drive Democrats nuts now. Still, in 2000 this was the Battle of the Grown-Ups, especially when contrasted with the top guys. Gore inexplicably thought the debates were the best time to let out his inner 12 year old, and Bush is… well, Bush.
This year it will be different. If the indications hold, expect Edwards to come out swinging. He has too, he is the challenger, and despite how well the last week has been for the Democrats, they are still losing. Edwards is a fine speaker, and has a good reputation as a debater. Do not overestimate him though. He is very weak on foreign policy, and he can come off like Eddie Haskell sometimes. Dick Cheney’s game plan is clear: let Edwards do the attacking, defend when necessary with an occasional counterpunch, and let the contrast between his maturity and Edwards’s inexperience show. You will hear a lot about Haliburton from Edwards and a lot about Trial Lawyers from Cheney. I’m not sure either will work though. Haliburton is a big deal with Democrats and other assorted lefties, but the general public has ignored it. It is much the same with the trial lawyer issue. Tort reform has been a big deal for Republicans for over a decade now, and it has not gone anywhere. It doesn’t help Cheney’s case that, as my lovely wife pointed out to me this morning, Edwards won his fame against Big Tobacco and other bad guys. If Cheney attacks that too hard, Edwards could frame it as a defense of the Tobacco industry.
It won’t be especially exciting, but it promises to be interesting.
Alright.. supposedly one of these is true, the other a bit of a joke, but I'll be damned if I can figure out which is which. Both of these bizarro-world tidbits are according to the Comic Reel from CBR.
1-John Woo's next movie? Why He-Man of course!
2-The voice of Optimus Prime in the upcoming Transformers movie? Tom Hanks!
The first is true, the second is a bit of a joke, but both are equally wierd.
Also included in the preview is a new set of screenshots, a couple with formerly unseen NPC options. I'm pretty sure this guy is a Zabrak, the same race as Darth Maul, but he also seems to be a cyborg? Cool-looking anyway.
1. New York Yankees
2. Boston Red Sox
3. Toronto Blue Jays
4. Baltimore Orioles
5. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
1. New York Yankees
2. Boston Red Sox
3. Baltimore Orioles
4. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
5. Toronto Blue Jays
Well, I was close on this one. Admittedly, it wasn’t really in any dispute how the top two would finish. Baltimore was a little bit better than expected, but still 23 games out of first. Tampa managed not to finish last, and Toronto collapsed. Not as badly the M’s or Arizona, but pretty impressive for a team many thought would challenge for the Wild Card.
1. Kansas City Royals
2. Chicago White Sox
3. Minnesota Twins
4. Cleveland Indians
5. Detroit Tigers
1. Minnesota Twins
2. Chicago White Sox
3. Cleveland Indians
4. Detroit Tigers
5. Kansas City Royals
You didn’t see this. It’s just your imagination.
1. Anaheim Angels
2. Oakland Athletics
3. Seattle Mariners
4. Texas Rangers
1. Anaheim Angels
2. Oakland Athletics
3. Texas Rangers
4. Seattle Mariners
It is nice to see my predicted World Champ still alive. Yep, I went with the Angels (over the Phillies, but nevermind that), and I feel okay about them. The AL is totally up in the air, and any of the four teams can make it. Oakland’s bullpen let them down, and Texas had a very nice turning-the-corner type year. Seattle? Uhh.. don’t ask.
This would be the NL Version. The answer to the above question would be decidedly mixed. Okay, Okay, mixed in the direction of lousy. The originals are found here.
1. Philadelphia Phillies
2. Florida Marlins
3. Atlanta Braves
4. New York Mets
5. Montreal Expos
1. Atlanta Braves
2. Philadelphia Phillies
3. Florida Marlins
4. New York Mets
5. Montreal Expos
Well, I pretty much whiffed on this one, didn’t I? Luckily I had a lot of company, as Atlanta was expected to finally stop winning the division, and Philly was supposed to supplant them as the dominant team in the division. Well, the Braves only won the division by 10 games, the Phillies never got untracked and finally got Larry Bowa fired, and the Marlins never quite played up to expectations. The last two in the division were easy marks, though I thought the Mets might be a tad better than 71-91.
1. Chicago Cubs
2. Houston Astros
3. St Louis Cardinals
4. Cincinnati Reds
5. Milwaukee Brewers
6. Pittsburgh Pirates
1. St. Louis Cardinals
2. Houston Astros
3. Chicago Cubs
4. Cincinnati Reds
5. Pittsburgh Pirates
6. Milwaukee Brewers
This one teaches me to go with my gut a little more. When writing my predictions, I seriously looked at the Cardinals, and when this was originally written they were my NL Champs. I then looked at the Astros and Cubs vaunted staffs and switched the outlook around completely. Well, I was right the first damned time, as the Cards won 105 games and cruised to the division title. Houston did get the Wild Card as I thought, but the Cubs collapsed down the stretch. Cincinnati and Milwaukee had good starts, but the Reds slipped after the break and the Brewers collapsed. The Pirates… well, they’re still awful.
1. San Francisco Giants
2. San Diego Padres
3. Arizona Diamondbacks
4. Los Angeles Dodgers
5. Colorado Rockies
Ugh… I’ll be the first to admit, LA was a heck of a lot better than I thought they’d be. The Giants were in it to the last day, but couldn’t seal the deal. The Padres were vastly improved over their 2003 team, but rather disappointing. Unlike most teams with new parks, they were better on the road (45-35) than in Petco (42-39). I hinted at the D-Backs fall, though not to the depths they ended up at. The Rockies were about where I expected.
I should have seen this coming. Of my 24 results, 8 of 'em (Seattle, Portland, Tacoma, Olympia, Bellingham, Eugene, Corvallis and Kent) are in th Pacific Northwest.
Where I grew up. And left
Oddly, the site seems to want me to move near my pal Fred. While DC didn't show up, Baltimore and 4 places in Virginia did.
Not a single place in California made it.
Okay, Okay, it's not the most interesting post, but it is to me.
The opening debate of 2004 has to go to the challenger. This was as effective as I have seen John Kerry. He certainly wasn’t scintillating, but better than he has been since his acceptance speech in Iowa. He gave appropriately succinct answers most of the time, and was fairly straightforward most of the time. The best thing for Democrats was that he looked and sounded distinguished and damn near Presidential.
This was not the President’s best showing, not by a long shot. He seemed extraordinarily uncomfortable on stage. His body language was very negative, grimacing, flaring his nostrils, and crouching over the podium. Overall, it gave the impression that he didn’t want to be there, and he was actually angry over having to face questions. His answers seemed to match that. They were usually short, he seemed to rely very much on the idea that being the President is hard, he knows what to do, and he’s going to do it. He left details out of the mix completely. According to MSNBC, he used the term “hard job” eleven times. We get it already. He also after one rebuttal, demanded time to respond, got it, and then….nothing. He stood for a solid four-second interval, which is an eternity in TV-Time. If you aren’t a Bush supporter, the analogy is clear. He rushed in, had no idea what to do when he got there, and stumbled out. Sounds like the Iraq War to some people.
As expected, most of the discussion was on Iraq. The odd thing was it centered a lot more on the past than it did the present. For the most part, both Kerry and Bush want to do much the same thing in Iraq. That was glossed over. As a side note, whenever Kerry mentions his “Four Point Plan” I can’t help but think of Nixon’s secret plan to end Vietnam. Anyway, a lot of this debate focused on what has already happened. This is where Kerry stumbles a bit. Essentially his stand boils down to this: He supported the war, but only sorta.
His administration would have expanded our alliance. How? The French wanted Saddam to stay in power, mostly because he owed them a lot of money, but also because of some kickbacks from the oil-for-food program. The Germans showed no interest whatsoever in fighting Saddam. The Russians are too busy kicking the hell out of Chechnya. So, whom exactly does Kerry think he could have convinced to join? Second, Kerry says we should have worked more through the UN. We worked with the UN for 12 years, and 16 Security Council Resolutions. Our French and Russian allies on the Security Council were more inclined to leave Saddam be. What more could have been done?
Where Kerry fared better is the conduct of the war itself. It is ludicrous that sealing the borders wasn’t the first priority, quickly followed by establishing some sense of domestic peace. Neither of those happened, and we are paying for it. One of the odder moments of the debate was where Bush mentioned that some of the Baathists escaped due to Tommy Franks speed in persecuting the offensive. What in the hell can that mean? Moreover, if it is the truth, then it was a horrible war plan to begin with.
The first debate goes to Kerry. Next up are the Veeps, the odd pairing of Dick Cheney: Evil Banker, and John Edwards: Ritchie Cunningham Clone. Then we get my least favorite debate, the “Town Hall”. This would be where ordinary Americans get to ask questions. The most famous Town Hall Debate moment is from the 1992 election, where a voter asked George H.W., “How the deficit affects him.” What most remember is Bush’s stumbling answer, which confirmed him as out of touch for many people, and Clinton’s deft response. What should also be remembered is that the woman who asked the question had no freakin’ idea of what she was talking about and that the question made no sense whatsoever. This is not a drive-time radio call in show, this the real deal, so please, can we leave it to the professionals?