November 30, 2004

The Football Gods send UW a gift

Notre Dame panicked and fired Ty Willingham this morning. If I'm the Huskies, he's being introduced at the Tyee Club this weekend. I like Jeff Tedford and Dan Hawkins and Urban Meyer, but Willingham is the best combination of coaching acumen and personality for the sinking program. His record isn't perfect, but he is 14 games over .500 and he breathed life into a dead Stanford program and was on the verge of doing the same in South Bend.

This is a no-brainer for me...

Posted by Frinklin at 06:44 PM | Comments (1)

More KotOR 2

Sometimes I can't even believe how much people will do. The same fellow who typed out parts of the X-Box UK magazine preview has now scanned it. Links are available here. It's a very interesting read. The verdict is good.

Update Even more at IGN. This is an early look at your party and another on how you affect them.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:26 PM | Comments (0)

Uncanny (but Slightly More Frequent) Comic Review

Due to Holiday schedules and sheer laziness, I give you the last two weeks combined.

X-Men #164
This is it: Chuck Austen’s final issue. Yes, the man who never found a female character he could not turn into a psycho or a whore or both, the man who never found a back-story he could not make more hopelessly convoluted, the man who gave us both “The Draco” and the inexplicably popular Josh Guthrie has finally left the building.

He leaves with a bang, if by “bang” you mean “utterly incomprehensible mess”. This is the finale to his Brotherhood of (Very Evil) Mutants. One member, Avalanche, actually admits to being a super-villain. I didn’t think anybody did that anymore. After a great big fight last issue, we have a great big fight here. The new and improved Black Tom takes control over all the plants in the area (you read that right) and bitch-slaps the X-Men around some. Don’t worry, Austen comes up with a lovely deus ex machina to take care of everything. Nocturne takes control of Black Tom by phasing into his body (what?); the Cuckoo who helped Gambit previously is strong and trained enough to wipe his mind (what??); and Xorn can open up his star-head and suck them all up into a black hole (what???).

Viola! The worst regular writer on a core X-Men title is history.

X-Force #4
I really should not even admit to buying this. I really don’t know why I do. I am not a Liefield fan. I am not an X-Men completist. Maybe I have too much money. Perhaps my shop owner is drugging me.

It could be that I am just retarded. Whatever the case, every month I leave the shop at least once with a copy of X-Force. It is terrible, utterly awful junk, and I am somewhat ashamed of it. The rational behind me buying this title in the first place was twofold: I mistakenly thought Fabian Nicieza had more to do than just script, and I wanted to see what they did with Cannonball, one of my favorite X-Men. I have stuck with it almost as a test of my endurance. Only two more issues to go: Can I make it?

Captain America #1
Finally, we hit some quality. I have never been a big Cap fan, but I find myself picking up both of his weekly books. Captain America and the Falcon is an underrated gem, especially now that Bart Sears is inflicting his artwork elsewhere, and I thought I’d give this one a try too. The creative team, writer Ed Brubaker and penciler Steve Epting, is excellent, and the book is too. The story is a bit shopworn, but taut and with enough of a twist at the end to hold my interest. I have only two minor quibbles: The difference in characterization between this book and CAF are stark. Here Captain America is still traumatized over the events in the Avengers, where in CAF he is the calm voice of reason compared with the volatile Falcon. The other quibble is easy: did we REALLY need another #1 issue for this title?

Excalibur #7
I have read all seven issues of this book, and I still don’t get what it is supposed to be about. In the first issue and this most recent one, the Professor and Magneto talk about rebuilding Genosha, but they never seem to do it. Excalibur also has the dubious honor of the weakest supporting cast in comic book history. We have the two titans of the X-Men and…. Umm… Unus the Untouchable, Calisto and her tentacles, Thunderbird 2’s ex-girlfriend turned Sentinel and half-dozen awful Claremont creations, up to and including trolls that say shit like “verily”. We get the Dark Beast this issue, but heaven help you if didn’t pay attention 10 years ago when they introduced him, cuz Chris has way too much going on to clue you in on that.


Green Lantern: Rebirth #2
I enjoy this comic despite myself. I really do not like the direction this is going in. It is obvious that Geoff Johns is setting up Hal’s rampages as Parallax as a side-effect of a previously unknown impurity in the Green Lantern power rings. I can see why he is doing this, but I cannot agree with it. One of the believable things about Hal’s collapse is that he never really considered that he was doing wrong. Everything he did, from rebuilding Coast City to slaughtering his fellow Lanterns to Zero Hour, he believed was the right thing to do.

Even if I do not really agree with it, I am still enjoying this series. Rebirth is very well written, and Ethan Van Sciver’s art is the best of his career. An unexpected pleasure is the moments the other GL’s get in the series. John Stewart is in the midst of his own breakdown, Alan Scott seems to be growing sicker as this plays on, and Kyle Rayner seems to be the only Lantern who realizes what is going on and is trying to fight it. Best of all: The return of the Only True Green Lantern-Guy Gardner. During his mid-80’s heyday, Guy was the most interesting character in the DC universe. I hope they build him back up.

Posted by Frinklin at 05:52 PM | Comments (0)

November 28, 2004

Just about a week away...

From Knights of the Old Republic II that is. The first review is out. Well, it's sort of out. It comes from the Official X-Box UK Magazine. Nice enough fellows to have a website, but nothing is actually available from it; you have to be a subscriber to the print mag. Yeah, it doesn't make any sense to me either. Anyway, one of the posters from was nice enough to transcribe some of it. Check below if you'd like to know. There are some minor spoilers. The short of it: This sequel is an Empire Strikes Back , with better stories and better characters.


KOTOR II :The Sith Lords = 9.3 (Original scored 9.5)

"Incredible. It takes all the good from KOTOR, places it in a far more oppressive place then throws you in to deal with it" Game of the Month

"...but it's the story thats the clincher. It doesn't have the spectacle or rip-roaring adventure of KOTOR, but what it lacks in dazzling planets and invention is more then compensated by the UNDENIABLY superior story"

For a sequel to such a classic title, it was almost expected for it to 'do' an Empire Strikes Back. Well it not so much 'does' an Empire Strikes Back, as 'outdoes' it.

If you want dark side fury and hopelessness for all that is good in the Galaxy, KOTOR II's got it in spades"

"For the first few hours of play (four or five without sub-quests, touching doublefigures with) there is nothing to do but run. The hunt is on and you'll find yourself making desperate, frantic dashes across many worlds to escape the Siths clutches."

"You will be worn, beaten and humiliated by the time the pursuit eases a little. You'll resent the game for making you suffer hours of relentless, seemingly hopeless fleeing, but trust us you'll appreciate it

Obsideons decision to make you defenseless for so long was a risk, but the moment you cobble together your first makeshift 'sabre it's like rediscovering what made KOTOR so great in the first place. And from then on in, you're armed almost well enough to start investigationg this most devious and delicious of stories. "I am your father" doesn't even come close"

First bounty hunter you meet who wants to give you to the Sith is.....A WOOKIE. Wookies can be so bad this time around

And apparantly the Twist in KOTOR is nothing compared to the ones in TSL

The Party

"Each has an agenda and seems to be helping you because it suits them, not because they are particularly beheld to you. This causes friction within the group, which, naturally you're left to resolve.

The implementation of potentially volitile 'side taking' within the party is just the first of many new interwoven elements of KOTOR II"

"Depending on how long you listen to someone, or how often you heed their advice, their opinion of you will rise or fall, as will their force alignment.

Others in your party who disagree with your actions (light or dark) will then cease to offer help, so there is potential for your team, the people you'll rely on to save your life, to implode from within"

"....but as Kreia, the Obi-Wan of the peice points out, simply doing the right thing is no longer adequate. Through the new force bond you can see, via Kreia's telepathy the consequences of your actions.

You may give a begger credits, but then to witness him murdered for them, makes you question and second guess everything you're asked to do"

"There are a few sub missions in KOTOR II that require you to take control of other characters. One of these is a dark side C-3P0 who pursuades his dark side companion (a dark side R2, naturally) to go on a killing spree"

"With the entire crew of the Ebon Hawk apparantly dead, it comes as a bit of a surprise when you open the cargo hold to discover the fizzing HK-47 droid from the first game. The psychotic droid seems to have been irreparibly damaged following the mysterious disappearance fo the crew

With newer HK-50 and HK-51 droids being used to hunt you by the Sith, HK-47 might hold a few clues as to why the original crew are missing. If you want to repair him this becomes one of KOTOR II'S ongoing mini-games. Every planet you visit has a part that will mend him. The question is though, will you want to hear what he has to say?"

"As the mystery of KOTOR II slowly unravels, so does the galaxy. Eventually the free roaming planet hoppin gof KOTOR comes back into play, but don;t think for one minute we're going to tell you why. Suffice to say, it's something far graver then peicing together parts of a star map"

Posted by Frinklin at 02:38 PM | Comments (0)

The Silliest Damn Thing I've Seen...

Okay, so I couldn't sleep. I spent some time hitting the online editions of Sunday newspapers. My favorite story is this one, from the Washington Post. It's about the Alabama state constitution, a (ahem) rather robust document that measures in at 40 times the length of the federal version. This past election, there were four amendments up for approval on the ballot. Three of them passed, but the fourth, a seemingly unobjectionable request to remove state-mandated school segregation, Jim Crow-style Poll Taxes and numerous references to "white and colored children”, failed by about 1800 votes. There are three schools of thought about why this is. The first two are easy: racism, and a natural mistrust of mucking around with a Constitution. That last idea doesn’t seem to wash, in light of amendments 743, 744 and 745 passing.

The real culprit, it seems is the Alabama Christian Coalition. They, along with local folk hero Roy Moore, and Alabama Supreme Court Justice Elect Tom Parker, who was nice enough to hand out Confederate flags at his campaign rallies, convinced a slight majority of state voters that the portion of the proposed amendment that "guarantees public education" would give cause to "rogue federal judges" ordering the state to raise taxes in order to pay for education improvements. Now, nobody who wasn't already involved with the Anti-Amendment Two group gave any credence to this, but it worked anyway.

Totally beside the point is that Alabama's public schools are pitiful, and Republican Governor Bob Riley supports a tax increase to improve the state's school system.

Just sad in several directions.

Posted by Frinklin at 01:48 AM | Comments (1)

November 27, 2004

Why College Basketball kills the NBA

I dare you to find an NBA game half as exciting as the UW-Alabama game for the Championship of the Great Alaska Shootout. Congrats to the Huskies, they look like a pretty damned good team.

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

Two Damaged Firstbasemen? Yay...

All Mariner fans have seen this story; Finnigan (the M's official mouthpiece) is claiming the Beloved M's will sign both Richie Sexson and Carlos Delgado.


USS Mariner says it's a negotiation strategy. I really, REALLY hope they're right. Signing an aging 1B with a bad shoulder, and an aging 1B with a bad back really doesn't seem the best play here kids.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:26 PM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2004

Amateur Movie Review: Dig!

I was lucky enough to catch a movie last night I missed during it’s eye-blink theatrical release. The documentary Dig is being shown on the Sundance Channel, and if you’re pop music fan, you might not want to miss this. Instead of being obsessed with the career trajectory of one band, this movie follows two. One ends a moderate success, the other a self-inflicted disaster. The success is the Dandy Warhols, the disaster is The Brian Jonestown Massacre. The bands are lead by prototype rock stars: skinny, pretty, egotistical genius types Courtney Taylor (the head Dandy) and Anton Newcombe (who basically IS the BJM).

The bands share a particular aesthetic; 60’s art pop revivalists who worship at the alters of Lennon/McCartney and Jagger/Richards, plus a healthy dose of Arthur Lee-style weirdness. The two bands began as friends, sitting in on each other’s shows. Their careers start going in different directions, and that is where the fun starts. Taylor whips the Dandies into a passable alt-rock group, gets signed to Capitol and sets out in the morass of corporate rock. Newcombe plays an industry showcase at the Viper Room in LA. It doesn’t go so well. Anton freaks out, and starts a brawl with his bandmates. It’s the first of many This is Spinal Tap moments from the BJM.

From there the movie tracks the career paths of both. The Dandy Warhols sign for too much money, come with a okay album with the not-quite a hit single “Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth”. Capitol goes overboard with the video, spending $500,000 on a David LaChapelle mess that the band hates. The single tanks, and from there the band spends most of the movie trying to get promotion and radio play. The feuds between the band and the label are endlessly entertaining. The Brian Jonestown Massacre sinks deeper into drugs and self-destruction. The band breaks up numerous times, and never gets off the ground. Most of this is due to Anton; he’s obsessed with “cred” and seems completely unable to deal with any of the industry side of music.

One of the odder parts of the movie is the obsession with Anton’s “genuis” . It’s always mentioned, but seldom seen. Certainly the BJM has some nice songs, but never seem quite aware of how to play them. Perhaps if Anton has the patience or focus to clean up his work , they might be great. The Dandies are the opposite; competent, polished alt-rock with a couple of nice singles. For disclosure, I bought their first album The Dandy Warhols Come Down and liked it. The movie ends with them a working class band, big in Europe, but nothing spectacular. The BJM are in shambles, and seem destined to stay that way.

If you’re interesting in Anton Newcombe’s music (and there is some good stuff) he’s posted mp3s of just about everything he’s recorded here.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:29 AM | Comments (3)

The Sonics can't possibly be this good. Can they?

The Often-Ignored SuperSonics are 11-2. They lead the NBA in wins, and have the largest division lead early in the season, 3.5 over the Jazz.

I didn't think this team would hit 11 wins until Christmas. Maybe even New Years. Yet here they are, looking like world beaters. They've managed to win with threes and without them. They just finished a sterling 5-1 roadtrip, and now are home against the awful Nets and reeling Pacers. They should win both.

This will require some watching, I think.

They Sonics are also debuting their new alternate jersey tonight. It's...well, it's very, very yellow.

Posted by Frinklin at 08:50 AM | Comments (0)

November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving everyone

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

Thank you to Michael King for the finding the text.

Posted by Frinklin at 12:07 AM | Comments (0)

November 24, 2004

The Left Wing heads… well, Lefter

The last few weeks of The West Wing have been pretty effective. While I’m not sold on the idea of a Press Secretary being promoted to Chief of Staff, the writers have played it well. What does irritate me is the new character of Matt Santos, played by Jimmy Smits. First, Congressman Santos is a Democrats wet dream: a handsome, well-spoken centrist from a red state? And one who is willing to cross party lines? Yeah, that happens often, don’t it? Just as often as America votes overwhelmingly for an erudite, obviously elitist liberal New Englander who can trace his lineage back to the Revolutionary War.

Secondly, I was reading the TV Guide this week, and in the annual “Can the West Wing be Saved” article they mention that Santos will most likely win the next election. He'll take Bartlett’s place and do so by beating Alan Alda’s character, a moderate Republican from California.

Okay, Okay, I get it! This show has always been about liberal wish-fulfillment, but c’mon… to so obviously misjudge the overall rightward shift this country, and more importantly that of the GOP is just ridiculous. There are no more “moderate” Republican candidates for President. A GOP nominee is automatically a conservative. Really, if this show were at all realistic, the VP would be in control. He's moderate, if not really loved, and has wrapped up most of the money and major endorsements.

At least Alda won’t be a thinly-disguised Dubya stand-in again. That was embarrassing.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:59 PM | Comments (0)

The Perfect Stocking Stuffer?

The Missus wants one of these. Yes, it is a bleach pen. She wants the bleach pen. And you know I will get her one. Isn’t one of the best parts of being married that the other has to deal with, and oftentimes enable our odd little quirks?

The question is what would we do with it.

We were discussing this issue today. The grouting on the tile in our kitchen was mentioned, as grouting on new houses is white for about 13 minutes, then the grime sets in and never goes away. We also thought about how I have an annoying tendency to spill.

I had a better idea.

We should use the bleach pen to make quick and easy alterations to our dogs. Would Jeffrey look better with tiger-stripes? Does Matchbox need highlights? The possibilities are endless.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:19 PM | Comments (0)

November 23, 2004

Sith Lords goes Gold

From Obsidian Entertainment...

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords has GONE GOLD and will be shipping to stores December 6th for the North American Xbox version! Reserve your copy now!

You can also pre-order KotOR 2 at the official site, and get a free t-shirt. No, really, I'm not kidding.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:14 PM | Comments (1)

Huskies 2004: Three Questions

What went right
1-many young players got their feet wet. Freshman such as Craig Chambers, Grayson Gunhiem and Jordan White-Frisbee got plenty of playing time. UW finished with 16 freshman in the two-deeps. Assuming they stick with the program, that will pay off down the road.
2-AD Todd Turner handled the dismissal of Keith Gilbertson fairly well. He pulled the trigger early, saving everyone around the program some stress. Kudos to Gilby too; he handled his “resignation” well.
3-Sweet Jesus, the team finished 1-10. By definition, not a lot went well.

What went wrong?
1-The Huskies never found a quarterback. Casey Paus, Isaiah Stanback and Carl Bonnell all got a shot, but none produced with any kind of consistency. For some reason, Paus was the default choice, even though his passing stats were awful and he lacks the running threat that Bonnell and especially Stanback bring to the position.
2-This team was wracked with injuries. Sure, when you are 1-10, it is more than that. That is true with the Huskies. However, consider that UW began the season with three legitimate All Pac10 players on offense: Charles Frederick, Khalif Barnes and Zach Tuiasosopo. Now think that all three missed most of the season.
3-This team was poorly coached. The Dream Job claimed another lifelong Husky. Like Jim Lambright before him; Gilbertson was put in an impossible situation, and then did little to save himself. He promised a looser, more option-based offense after Cody Pickett left, and then gave the QB job to Paus, who is no running threat at all. His coaching staff was an odd mix of Husky retreads like Chris Tormey and Steve Axman, and several professional vagabonds like John Pettas and Phil Snow. No single unit improved over the course of the season. That is a death-knell for a young team.

What is next?
1-It all depends on what coach Turner can lure to the Pacific Northwest. The frontrunner has to be Jeff Tedford. Tedford seems to be leaving the door open, as he was quoted in Sports Illustrated that he would have to consider it. If not the Cal coach, Dan Hawkins probably becomes the next best contender. If Turner is willing to go with a coordinator, you could see Norm Chow or Patriot offensive coodinator Charlie Weis.
2-Whomever is coach has to pick a quarterback. Stanback, despite his many rough edges, probably makes the most sense. Expect to see Craig Chambers the main wideout regardless of who is throwing the ball.
3-The new coach, and the AD, will have to prepare UW fans (not the most patient people in the best of circumstances) to deal with a rebuilding project. This team needs work.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:06 PM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2004

Seahawks struggle against the Fish

Don't think I haven't forgotten the Seahawk-Dolphin game. Yeah, I'm glad they won, but man, couldn't they have been a bit more impressive than this?

Relying on a last-minute defensive touchdown to beat a 1-9 team isn't real playoff worthy. At least the Bills crushed St. Louis.

Of course, the way both teams are playing right now, I think the Bills will smack the 'Hawks upside the head too.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:51 PM | Comments (0)

Cougars 2004: Three Questions

What went right?
1-A team that had very little returning experience from 2003 grew up a ton. Players that were young and untested like receivers Jason Hill and Michael Bumpus, running back Jerome Harrison and D-lineman Adam Braidwood, Mkristo Bruce, and Ropati Pitoitua gained valuable playing time. All six could be stars in 2005.
2-Both quarterbacks played well, at times. Josh Swogger had a fine start against New Mexico, but struggled against Colorado. He then spent the next few weeks looking over his shoulder. Alex Brink, who was exciting-if-not-effective early in the season had his best game as a Coug in the Apple Cup. Both finished with okay final numbers. Brink finished with a better percentage (50%-47.2%), but Swogger had the edge in touchdowns (13-7).
3-The team started well and finished well, with a disastrous October sandwiched in-between. Winning 2 out of the last 3 will help with recruiting and off season programs. The Cougars have a shot at starting quick out of the gate next year, with Idaho, Nevada and a Derek Anderson-less Oregon State team the first three games.

What went wrong?
1-The heralded offensive line, led by senior tackles Calvin Armstrong and Sam Lightbody never played up to expectations. Next year the line will be led by three interior returnees led by C Nick Milhauser, who never lived up to Coach Bill Doba’s preseason statement that he was “the best center in the Pac-10”.
2-The tight end spot was expected to be a bright spot, but neither Troy Bienemann or Cody Boyd ever clicked this year. Bienemann showed flashes of dominance when healthy, but Boyd seemed to regress after a strong freshman season in 2003.
3-The placekicking was a mess, as neither Loren Langley or Graham Siderius managed to hit 50% of field goal attempts. Kickoffs were routinely short as well, and the special teams were prone to stupid mistakes and bad coaching decisions.

What comes next?
1-Either Brink or Swogger has to take control of the QB position. Swogger shouldn’t lose the job due to injury, but the coaches, Doba especially, seem to have a lot more faith in Brink. Either way, somebody has to emerge as the Man.
2-Coordinator Mike Levenseller has to settle on an offensive identity for this team. While two returning quarterbacks and three quality receivers (Hill, Bumpus and Chris Jordan) might mean a traditional high-flying Wazzu team; in 2004 the Cougars did better running the ball and controlling the clock, even using a fullback and/or two tight ends.
3-Robb Akey, the Cougs defensive coordinator is rumored to be heading to Weber State to take control of his alma mater. If he leaves, Washington State loses a fine young coach and the team’s best motivator. Even worse, he could take QB Coach Timm Rosenbach to Ogden with him.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:42 PM | Comments (0)

Spicy Pepsi? Wha?

Fred weighs in on the very important issue of alternate cola flavors today. I’ll admit, I loved the new Holiday Spice Pepsi. One must remember though: I have terrible taste in such things.

Posted by Frinklin at 08:43 PM | Comments (2)

Washington Whozits No More


Say Hello to the Washington Nationals. Not the name I would have chosen, but I do like the logo.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:47 PM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2004

Apple Cup 2004


Ya just had to make it difficult, didn't you fellas?

Anyone else get the sinking feeling this would have been an entirely different game had Isaiah Stanback started?

This thing looks like a bad bowling trophy,doesn't it?

Posted by Frinklin at 09:03 PM | Comments (0)

Rivalry Saturday

The Apple Cup

The Civil War

The Iron Bowl

The Big Game

The Game

For those of you not paying attention, that would be Washington-Washington State, Oregon-Oregon State, Alabama-Auburn, Stanford-Cal and Yale-Harvard.

Yep, it’s rivalry Saturday, the best day on the sports calendar. I say that because these games bring such an intensity, something seldom seen other places. This Saturday splits cities, states and sometimes even families. I know my Dad wasn’t thrilled I ended up at WSU.

Still, it’s difficult to get into today, seeing as this year’s Apple Cup match-up is the worst in a generation. The 1-9 Huskies versus the 4-6 Cougars isn’t much to write home about. The U-Dub is a wreck; no quarterback, no offense period, and Gilby’s last stand. The Cougars are a bit better. This is a young team that just hasn’t gotten it done at times. The Cougars are a huge favorite, 12 points last time I checked. WAZZU is obviously the better team here. They have more talent, more heart and better coaching.

So why am I so damned nervous about this game? It’s simple really, the Cougars haven’t won this game in six years. They’ve won 1 in the last 9. The Evil Rick Neuhiesel jinxed the damn team, and they haven’t gotten over it yet.

But they will today. It’s gonna be cold, really cold. Martin Stadium will be packed full of drunken Coug fans. Hell, 4PM starts are just to easy.

The Huskies will finish 1-10. Hard to believe isn’t it?

Posted by Frinklin at 10:07 AM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2004

IGN plays KotOR 2

And they talk about it here. They've finished the first planet and the reviews are good.

We also get a bunch of new screenshots here.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:09 PM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2004

A Very odd Quiz

Your Lightsaber is Blue

Blue is often associated with depth and stability.
It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom,
confidence, and truth.

What Colored Lightsaber Would You Have?
brought to you by Quizilla

Via Dr. Rusty... and half the blogosphere evidently

Posted by Frinklin at 07:25 PM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2004

How in the Hell?

Have the SuperSonics won EIGHT games in a row after dropping the opener at the Clippers?

If you're a fan of the Supes (and Lord knows they need as many as they can get) check out SuperSonicsSoul. Money Quote: The Sonics are an unstoppable force of unstoppableness!

Posted by Frinklin at 10:55 PM | Comments (0)

Darth Freaky Mask guy has a name.

If you poke around Obsidian Entertainment's website enough, you find that this creepy fellow has a name. Say Hello to Darth Nihilus. How that is pronounced or what it means I haven't a clue. Obviously it's a twisting of nihilism, but not a particularly good one.

The consensus amongst teenage boys geeky enough to speculate about such things is that Darth Nihilus is actually a Darthette, and should be the first female Sith Lord anywhere in Star Wars history.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:33 PM | Comments (37)

Oh, the Humanity... or Why Baseball is still stupid.

We are less than a week into the free-agency spree in baseball, and this is what we've got so far:

1. Omar Vizquel: 3 years, $12 million
2. Cory Lidle: 2 years, $6 million
3. Cristian Guzman: 4 years, $17 million
4. Vinny Castilla: 2 years, $6 million
5. Troy Percival: 2 years, $12 million

Remember crap like this the next work stoppage. Are any of these signings remotely defensible?

Posted by Frinklin at 10:20 PM | Comments (1)

November 16, 2004

God I hate California sometimes

Today the Governator appointed a new DMV chief for California. No big deal right? Well, this time it is. The new head, Joan Borucki, longtime Caltrans official and a Democrat to boot, is a big proponent of switching from a gas-tax to a per-mile tax. State officials are worried that because California is a hotbed of hybrid vehicles, the state is losing money. Giant gas guzzlers like the H2 and Chevy Suburban are good; they go through fuel quickly and cause people to spend more at the pumps. Hybrids and other high-fuel -efficient cars are bad, because people don’t use enough gas to pay for the damage cars do to the roads. But H2s are bad, because they use up so much gas, causing air pollution and furthering our dependency on foreign oil. And hybrids are good, they wean us off a depleting natural resource and don’t nearly as much damage to California’s air quality. I always thought the high gas taxes were supposed to cause people to move to more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Don’t worry, it gets better. You might be asking yourself how a per-mile tax would work. It’s simple, the DMV would simply install a monitor in your car and periodically check where you were going and what roads you used. That’s a nice little Orwell situation isn’t it? Let’s put this in easy terms: The government (a badly-ran department, no less) would simply have access to your whereabouts and movement patterns all the time. How long before this information would be subpoenaed and used in the courts?

This is an awful idea even when you don’t consider the civil liberties issue. For the record, Caltrans is expecting you not to care. They aren’t even pretending that they do. Check this nice quote from today’s LA Times by “transportation expert” Elizabeth Deakins, “While some people are concerned about civil liberties, most people are not. One of the things we found from focus groups and surveys is that most people said if the government wanted to track you, they have other ways to do it." In other words, people think they can be tracked, so why don’t we confirm it!

Other horrible outcomes from this misbegotten idea

-Visitors (and it’s not like California is destination site, now is it) won’t pay a single dime for the damage and traffic they cause to the state’s roads. Since they don’t have to register the vehicle, and there would be no gas-tax, they don’t pay anything.

-As long as we’re on the subject of car registration, how much of an incentive is it to change your registration when you move into the state? How many people actually switch over as soon as they move? Why not fake it as long as you could?

-This idea would entail higher user fees for peak hours. Meaning if you used a busy freeway during rush hour you’d pay more than other times. This is fine, since everyone sets their own schedule for work… Wait, very few people have that luxury. In fact, the reason rush hour is so crowded is that everyone HAS to work those hours. Yay! More money for the state!

-This would effectively end any incentive for people to buy more fuel-efficient cars. A tiny gas-miser car like the Toyota Prius driven 50 miles each day would pay as much road tax as an H2 driven 50 miles a day. Look, I hate government controlled anything, but I don’t mind government influenced. Giant SUVs are bad. They use more gas, they cause more damage to the roads, they take up more space, they crush smaller cars in accidents. All of those are Bad Things. Giving a break to people who don’t do Bad Things is something the government can do. If you want to do Bad Things, you should pay more for the privilege.

-Arnie’s proposed new DMV head is lifelong government employee; she’s been at Caltrans for 24 years. As anyone who’s lived in California for more than 8 minutes can tell you, Caltrans doesn’t want to make anything any easier for those who commute by car. They want you OUT of your car. They want you in buses that take four times as long to get anywhere, they want you in trains out in the middle of nowhere, they want you in subways built for no apparent reason. That’s why is so important that the peak hours thing is so important. If you can’t afford your fees, and your boss won’t let you work from 12-8 each day, don’t worry: there is a Caltrans bus there to take your destination. Two hours early or two hours late, which would you prefer? For the record: I was car-less for a year in Orange and San Diego counties. My workdays would usually last from 4AM-8PM. Yeah, the bus is super convenient.

God, this idea is so bad it make my teeth hurt.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:02 PM | Comments (2)

November 15, 2004

Quickie #2

I’ve grown accustomed to hearing favorite songs used in commercials. Usually it is a new song or a old chestnut, but sometimes odd things come to the fore via commercials. The easy example is Nick Drake’s haunting “Pink Moon” used to sell Volkswagens. I loved the commercial, and it was wonderful to see the mini-revival of Drake’s music. I first discovered Way to Blue in college, and I had resigned myself to having to explain him whenever someone would ask me about my favorite music.

Well, it seems to be happening again. The Band, the hippie-era powerhouse led by Levon Helm and Robbie Robertson shamefully ignored since The Last Waltz, has received a serious shot in the arm with Cingular using The Weight in a cell phone commercial. While nothing as memorable as the VW ad, it’s great to hear that song again anywhere.

I pulled into Nazareth, was feeling about half-past dead

...still one of the 3-4 best opening lines to any rock song ever.

Posted by Frinklin at 09:37 PM | Comments (1)

Quickie #1

If you are in need a laugh, check out this Photoshop contest: If Pirates ruled the world. Not everything is great, but there are a couple gems.

Thanks to Laura G.

Posted by Frinklin at 09:20 PM | Comments (0)

Uncanny (and slightly more frequent) Comic Review

Three that I picked up this week:

District X #7
I’m beginning to worry about this title. After a sterling beginning, the last issue was disappointing and this isn’t much better. This issue starts the second DX story arc, another six-parter, this one called “Underworld”. It seems to center around a colony of mutants living in the back-alleys and sewers of Mutant Town. This is not a good place to start. Haven’t the X-Books been “Morlocked” to death? Wasn’t it just about 10 years ago that Scott Lobdell wrote what he called “The Last Morlock Story”? Then again, nothing is permanent in comics. Anyway, a lot of this issue seems forced, from the marital strife between Izzy and Armena to the plot-point in waiting artist who paints the future.

New Thunderbolts #1
The Thunderbolts, a team of supervillians at first pretending to be heroes who then grew into the role, began as the one good thing to come out of a disastrous Avengers storyline, the awful Heroes Reborn. Remember that? When Marvel decided to let the Image crew revamp their superhero line? It ranged from Jim Lee’s mediocre Fantastic Four to Rob Liefield’s epically bad Captain America. Well, this relaunch of the Thunderbolts could end up the best thing to come out of Avengers Dissasembled, the Brian Bendis creation that will culminate with Spider-Man and Wolverine in the Avengers. This issue, by the fine creative team of Fabian Nicieza and Tom Grummett, is a grade-A superhero comic. The most surprising thing about it is the accessibility. While it helps to have some knowledge of the previous version, it’s not necessary. Nicieza explains everything out well, and the plot proceeds quickly. Grummett’s art, always underrated in my book, is solid. His work reminds me of both George Perez and John Byrne here.

Invincible Iron Man #1
A character I don’t like in the hands of a writer I do. I gave Warren Ellis’ Iron Man revamp (the FOURTH #1 for this never-canceled title) a try. I was pleasantly surprised. Ellis is the king of deconstructed storylines, and this one unfurls at a particularly languid pace. It reminded me of the first issue of Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men: a lot of set-up, a lot of back story, and hints of what is to come. I especially like the scene between Tony Stark and documentary filmmaker John Pillinger. It tackles head-on one of the more troubling aspects of this superhero: He’s an arms dealer. There were some continuity glitches like moving Iron Man’s origin from Vietnam to Afghanistan, and forgetting that he dropped his secret identity several years ago. Still, this story hooked me, and this title will go on my must-buy list. Adi Granov may be the perfect Iron Man artist. His computer aided work is chilly, detailed and smooth. The short appearance the Iron Man armor makes is a perfect representation of this Stan Lee creation.

Posted by Frinklin at 09:17 PM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2004

The Washington Whozits

Two of my favorite blogs have run a week-long debate over possible names former Expos turn Washington Whatevers. If you haven't checked it out yet, do so. Start either at Mediocre Fred or BallWonk and play along. The debate itself was pretty even, but the results are so far aren't. Greys are crushing the Sens 66%-33%.

Of course, it seems the name will end up "Nationals" anyway.

Posted by Frinklin at 02:11 PM | Comments (0)

A team only good enough to break your heart

Damn the Seahawks. This was a game they HAD to win. Period. End of discussion. They have an easy schedule down the stretch, so maybe they'll still make the playoffs. But the Rams are better. They've proven it.

How sad is it when Mike Martz hands you your head? What? A Mike Martz team throwing the ball on every down to start the game? Whowoudathunkit? The Rams take the early lead, Seattle makes a couple moves, but just enough stupid plays to lose it down the stretch.

I'm getting tired of this. Tell me again why we fired Denny Erickson? The team was obviously talented but made stupid mistakes? Oh yeah, that doesn't happen much any more. I have another one: Why are the 'Hawks even considering not singing Shaun Alexander to an extension? Why is this an issue? Why DOES Holmgren hate that he's constructed a running team? I dunno, maybe when you have the best left side of any offensive line in football, a superstar tailback and an increasingly mistake-prone QB, a pass-first offense isn't the right fucking idea there Mikey!!

8-8? 9-7? Does it matter anymore?

Posted by Frinklin at 01:25 PM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2004

Might not be much blogging this weekend

The Missus and are busy with this:

I will say this much though: I'm not nearly as impressed as I thought it would be. The graphics are spectacular, but the story feels pretty recycled to me. When you delay a sequel so long, and promise so much, it really should be more revolutionary than Halo 2 is.

Update @9:56 That's it????? That's the ending???? All of you who work at Bungie, I hope you all get hives!


Posted by Frinklin at 10:20 AM | Comments (4)

November 12, 2004

Uncanny (and Infrequent) Comic Review

Okay, so the original idea was that I would take a look at each week’s X-books. That lasted about three weeks. I just do not have the patience or the talent that Paul O’Brien does at the X-Axis. I have meant to run some comic reviews here, but I just never seem to get around to it. Well, that stops today. Here are some books I have checked out recently. I hope that this will end up an weekly thing.

Astonishing X-Men #6
While it is easily the best X-book, and probably the best superhero book out there, this issue fell a little flat. It wraps up Gifted, the first storyline. It ends a little abruptly, as if Marvel forced Joss Whedon’s hand on this to make it fit in a trade. There are many storylines going on in this book, from Colossus’ return on down. The smaller bits are still the best, like Peter and Kitty’s reunion or Emma’s classic one-liners. The art by John Cassady is unbeatable. While his Colossus is still a little oddly shaded, his layouts and level of detail are remarkable.

District X #6
Like ASM, the finale to this first arc was disappointing. Unlike that book, where the overall quality is still excellent, the finale to “Mr. M” fell with a thud. The previous five issues had built an excellent sense of place and timing. That was lost this issue. The previous issues hanging threads were tied in a perfunctory manner, one that combined two hoary clichés: the mistaken identity and the reset button. This title has been better and should be again.

X-Men #161-163
This is the last storyline of the Chuck Austen Era. It isn’t bad, and Austen includes some nice character bits in the middle of a senseless storyline. Pretty much defines the Austen era, doesn’t it? Between the ludicrous Gambit is Blind storyline (totally ignored in his ongoing series) and the inexplicable Xorn’s brother lies some really nice work between Gambit and one of the Cuckoos and Juggernaut’s believable reaction to Sammy’s death. The biggest problem is the main storyline, as the Brotherhood decides to infiltrate the Mansion and kill… for no apparent reason. I mean other than they are bad people. Speaking of invasion, the Mansion has now been attacked in all three core X-Books. How bad is the security in this place anyway?

Green Lantern: Rebirth #1
I love the Green Lantern. Check that, I love the Idea of the Green Lantern; I just very seldom like the execution. Kyle Rayner does nothing for me. John Stewart is my favorite, but his solo tries (like the lovely but moronic GL: Mosaic) have been lousy. This series starts the rehabilitation of Hal Jordan after a decade in the wilderness. The GL: Emerald Twilight is a classic example of empty, shock-for-shock sake comic storytelling, and caused a huge (unbelievably so) rift in DC fandom. It was also necessary, as Hal has never been that involving a character. In fact, he is the most vanilla major character in comics. This new beginning, showing what seems to be a battle for Hal’s soul between the good, evil and indifferent part is a good, solid comic. Geoff Johns seems to know and relate to the characters, and Ethan Van Sciver puts in his best work to date.

JLA: Classified #1
While I acknowledge how important Grant Morrison’s run on JLA was, I never got into it much. It seemed too big, too impersonal. This new series is much the same, except this time it barely features the JLA. The focus is on the Ultramarines, a creation of Morrison’s from another book. I didn’t have a clue who they were, and certainly don’t after the rather chaotic introduction from this book. It’s an interesting premise though, the super-team hijacked by villains. The villain in this case is Gorilla Grodd, a thoroughly ridiculous villain that has been played pretty frightening recently. The only JLA member to show is Batman, and this highlights the problems of putting a street-level superhero in a cosmic group like the JLA. Batman whips out his flying saucer and his boom-tube gauntlet. He seems to have an entire closet of this stuff. Why doesn’t he that against the Joker? Afraid it would be too easy?

The Question #1
Man, did I love the Question back in the late-1980s. O’Neil and Cowan made for one of the great runs in recent comic book history. It was dark and compelling, interspersed with a few light moments to lessen the gloom. So how does this new version measure up? Not real well so far. This is a six issue limited that moves the Question to Metropolis. The featured tagline is “The Human Enigma meets the Man of Steel”. Superman and the Question aren’t exactly the most natural pairing I can think of. Rick Veitch’s script seems way to smart for it’s own good, and includes some ludicrously pretentious narration. The first lines in the book? Try this: Inner ear’s clocked to the background murmur; Overloaded with the buzz of the cluster hive. I’m inhaling the psyche of the city. And it just keeps going in this motif. There is good news though. The art by Tommy Lee Edwards is spectacular, with shades of Alex Maleev’s stellar work on Daredevil. The character bits between Lois Lane (She and Vic Sage went to school together) and Jimmy Olson are nice. I’ll give this a shot.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:33 PM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2004

Veteran's Day

It used to be Armistice Day. In the UK and Canada, it's Remembrance Day. On the 11th day of the 11th month 86 years ago today, the War To End All Wars came to a close. In America, the impact of WWI is sometimes forgotten, due to our limited involvement. It shouldn't be. The Great War began the 20th Century, shattering the world's politcal structure, culture, and setting the stage for the horror that was to come.

Posted by Frinklin at 05:47 PM | Comments (0)

November 10, 2004

Why the NBA sucks, reason #5265

Ron Artest

In case you haven't heard: Ron Artest, troubled but talented forward for the Indiana Pacers, has asked for a little time off. Preferably a month or two; he's already been suspended for 2 games. You see, he's spent his off season recording a rap album and needs to "just to get back together, maybe stay home for a little bit, rest a little bit and come back."

Yo, Ron, the season started last week. You had 4 months off. What the hell were you doing that was so damn hard on your body? Did they make you run on a hamster wheel to power the recording studio?

Anyway, this NBA head case's album hits stores November 23rd.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:23 PM | Comments (1)

Less than a month...

Gamespot has a preview of KotOR 2. They've played it. And I'm insanely jealous.

A couple things worth mentioning: graphics are refined and improved, and Obsidian has added a multitude of new faces. As anyone who has played the first one knows, there was only about 15 faces in the first one, so they were reused again and again and again...

Oh, the XBox live stuff has been junked. Just didn't work well it seems.

Update Gamespy has some new info here too.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:42 PM | Comments (0)

Frinklin on the Couch

Wednesday is my favorite night of television. The missus and I watch Lost followed by The West Wing. After that, the Missus inhales her guiltiest of pleasures Wife Swap, while I hide in the other room, usually reading blogs or playing video games. Every few minutes Ensie comes rushing in with, "Ohmigod, guess what happened next!" I think I know more about this show than about half the people who actually watch it.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:12 PM | Comments (0)

It's beginning to look a lot like...

The Holidays have begun to break out all over. I saw my first Starbucks Seasonal cup today.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:09 PM | Comments (0)

November 09, 2004

Why the NBA sucks, reason #5264

The Portland Trailblazers and New Jersey Nets combined (!?) for 124 points tonight. The Nets won 64-60.

Remember how expensive courtside seats are in every NBA arena. People paid thousands to see 64-60.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

Mariners name Don Baylor hitting coach

Ehh...No big deal.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:09 PM | Comments (0)

Good God… a football weekend that didn’t suck?

After a dreadful October, a couple of my teams got up off the deck. A pretty good weekend:

The Beloved Cougs beat UCLA in the Rose Bowl behind Jerome Harrison’s 247 yards rushing. Alex Brink didn’t screw up, the defense played okay.. And they still had to hang on in the end. You just have to make it interesting, don’t you guys? The Cougars are 4-5 with final games at Arizona State and the Apple Cup at home. If they take those two, they will squeeze into a bowl for the fourth year in a row. They have a shot, but it won’t be easy in Tempe this weekend.

The Huskies seem to have settled on 1-10 and winless in the Pac-10 this season. They just stunk against Arizona. They seem to have given up. I feel for Keith Gilbertson, who deserves better than this.

Remember the beginning of the year when SDSU had what considered a fine defense? Nevermind that. The Aztecs were torched by BYU. This is another team just mailing it in.

Amongst the big kids, the Beloved Seahawks certainly seemed to be up for losing to San Fransico, but kicked it into gear and put up 42 against a really, really awful team. I’m all for the back-to-back wins, but this sure doesn’t look like a playoff team. The defense is in disarray, and Hasselbeck still seems to make stupid decisions sometimes. This is Shaun Alexander’s team, no matter how much that pisses off Mike Holmgren. Huge game this weekend. They HAVE to beat the Rams. If they lose both games against St. Louis, they don’t make the playoffs.

Finally, how about those San Diego Chargers? The little team that might had what looked like a letdown game against the Saints. At least, it was a letdown up until the kickoff. At that point the Bolts just tore New Orleans a new one. Just to recap: The Chargers have the leagues highest scoring offense and the number 3 passer in the league. Oh, and Mr. Shockey and Mr. Gonzalez, meet the NFL’s best pass-catching tight end.

Posted by Frinklin at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2004

Is it time for 2008 already?

This has to be a joke, right?

Hat tip to Michael King
for this one.

Posted by Frinklin at 08:30 PM | Comments (0)

Amateur Movie Review: The Incredibles

Should I just say I loved this movie and leave it at that? Of course not…

The Incredibles is the best of Pixar. It’s funny, it’s touching, and unlike any of their other movies it would have worked with a live cast. It starts with a dynamite idea: a society that has become so accustomed to superheroes they begin suing them for damages. The first victim is our hero, the blonde giant Mr. Incredible, who saves a suicide victim on his way to a wedding (his own) and finds himself hit with a series of lawsuits. This starts a tidal wave, and eventually the supers head underground, usually with the help of a government run and funded Relocation Program. Fast-Forward 15 years, and we find Bob Parr, the former Mr. Incredible, as an insurance agent for a heatless firm, along with his wife (the former Elastigirl) and three super powered kids.

Just about everything works in this movie. The design of the movie is spectacular, a very stylized pastiche of early-60’s America and modern tech. This is the first Pixar movie to use humans in leading rolls, and it works. The look is both vaguely realistic and wonderfully fantastic at the same time. There are little touches throughout, such as Elastigirl always speaking out the side of her mouth. This movie has a lot of easily recognizable influences, such as the obvious Fantastic Four vibe, Dash’s Return of the Jedi like run through the jungle or the Q homage of Edna the fashion designer. Edna, voiced by writer/director Brad Bird, might be the funniest thing in the movie. Pay close attention to her quick dissertation on why capes are always a bad idea.

The best movie I’ve seen this year. The best one you'll see too.

Posted by Frinklin at 08:28 PM | Comments (0)

November 07, 2004

The new Bengal Uni


The ugliest alternate jersey in NFL history?

Posted by Frinklin at 05:47 PM | Comments (2)

Of course, THIS one isn't on TV

After weeks of watching the Cougs get their heads beat in on TV, they win one not televised anywhere. Props to WSU for beating UCLA in LA, behind unheralded Jerome Harrison's 247 yards rushing.

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

November 06, 2004

Is Fred having palpatations or has he skipped ahead to the heart attack?

The first real slip in the Baseball in DC program. A city councilwoman who previously supported the riverfront site now says it needs to go in RFK's parking lot. MLB is currently searching for a polite way to say, "Oh HELL no."

Posted by Frinklin at 12:43 PM | Comments (2)

KotOR 2 comes in Exactly 1 month

This means you can expect a ton of information coming out. First up is this IGN interview with the Devs about lightsabers. It's short, but a ton of cool info, like:

-60 different lightsaber upgrades, including some the player has to create.
-10 million different lightsaber combinations.
-New colors: orange, silver and light green
-There will be 7 different forms of lightsaber combat. The player can master 1, or learn up to 6.

Lots more there, including new screenshots.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:23 AM | Comments (0)

Football? Again?

I’ve been so wrapped up in election stuff I’ve neglected to write on my increasingly incorrect view on football. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Last week, the Beloved Cougars took their turn in the barrel against USC, losing 42-12 in a game that wasn’t really that close. WSU found themselves down 28-0 after like six minutes. Alex Brink was ineffective, the running game was non-existent, the defense was good only in spurts. Now they head down to Los Angeles to take on the resurgent UCLA. Talent wise this game is just about even, but the Bruins come in red-hot after smoking Stanford 27-0. WAZZU has to win this game, all of their games actually, if they hope to keep their bowl streak alive at 4. They don’t. They’ll lose this game.

The Huskies, coming off another blowout loss, this time to the hated Oregon Ducks, pulled the plug on Keith Gilbertson. Technically he resigned, but he wasn’t given much choice in the matter. You’d like to think that the Dawgs would rally around their now lame-duck coach and start playing better, but one has to wonder if they’re capable of that. Today they’re at home against Arizona, the best shot a Pac-10 win on the schedule. Arizona is just as awful as UW is, and if they can hold down the turnovers, a big if as they lead the nation in that sad stat, the Huskies can win this. As for Gilby’s replacement, the names have ranged from obvious (Urban Meyer and Dan Hawkins) to not-so-obvious (Gary Pinkel and Norm Chow) and really plain odd (Steve Spurrier and Mike Price). New AD Todd Turner has hinted pretty broadly he wants a big name and a current head coach, but I wouldn’t rule out a coordinator. The best hires the past few years (Tedford, Freidgen, Bob Stoops) have come from the ranks of assistant coaches.

The SDSU Aztecs continued their losing ways last week, getting torched by Utah. The Utes put up 51 against the vaunted-but-overrated Dark Side Defense. Now the Tecs have lost 5 in a row, are winless in the MWC, and have to head to Provo to take on BYU. These Cougars have been playing better, especially last week, crushing Air Force 42-24. San Diego State is in disarray now. BYU should take this one. The score might be close, but the game won’t be. The Aztecs have no offense whatsoever.

In the NFL, the Beloved Seahawks got off the mat a bit last week, beating an outmanned Carolina team 23-17. The Seahawks, as is their wont, made just enough plays not to lose this game. Shaun Alexander, proving the team plays better when he’s The Man, rushed for 195 against the Panthers. Still, it was dicey for the ‘Hawks, as Jake Delhomme led a spirited comeback bid. With the Rams idle, Seattle actually tied them for first in the NFC West. This week, Seattle gets to play their favorite whipping boys, San Francisco. This time the game is in, I kid you not, Monster Field at Candlestick Park. The 49ers are dead in the water. Isn’t that what we said about Arizona though? Uh-Oh…

Finally, the only really good team I’ve been following: The San Diego Super Chargers. Wait a minute, did I just write that? Yep, the Chargers won again last week, obliterating the Raiders 42-14. Really, the game wasn’t that close. Had the Chargers kept the dogs going past the mid-third quarter, they could have hit 50 or 60. Drew Brees, the guy the Bolts think can’t play QB, was nearly perfect, going 22-25 for 281 and 5 touchdowns. For those not paying attention to such thing, Drew Brees’ season numbers: 138-206, 1597 yards, 14 TD and 3 INT. He’s a free agent at the end of the year. Think a few teams will be lining up?

This week newly tied for first Bolts are at home against New Orleans. The week after a huge win. The week before a bye.

Could the LETDOWN GAME alarm be going off any louder?

Posted by Frinklin at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

November 05, 2004

Revenge of the Sith trailer

Is available for your viewing pleasure here. Consarn it, I don't want to be excited about this damned movie. I know parts of it will suck. I know the script will be full of cring-inducing dialogue. I know Lucas can't help but stuff this movie full of his stupid sight gags. I know Hayden Christenson is in waaaay over his head, and Natalie Portman turns into an seventh-grader in her first class play when stuck in front of a bluescreen.

So tell me why I'm excited anyway? Why is is it so damned thrilling to hear Palpatine tell Vader to rise? Why do I want see the Wookies kick ass so much? Why am I even interested in what happens to Padme?

How in God's name does Star Wars own so much of my soul?

Posted by Frinklin at 08:38 PM | Comments (1)

Mandatory reading for all Democrats

Slate's series on Why America Hates Democrats. The most enlighting post-election handwringing yet.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:25 PM | Comments (0)

November 04, 2004

Is it NBA time already?

The SuperSonics join in the fun, starting last night with the worst opening night loss in team history. Thanks for playing kids.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:58 PM | Comments (1)

Go towards the light Yasser!

Yasser Arafat is "gravely ill" and possibly brain dead.

Go toward the light Yasser, pay no attention to the fact it's red and rather warm, you'll be okay.

Actually, as awful a human being as Arafat is, this could get really scary. Nobody has any idea who'll lead the Palestinans after his death.

Posted by Frinklin at 05:57 PM | Comments (0)

Talk about taking an election hard

The Seattle band Death Cab for Cutie was in San Diego yesterday, playing a show at a local club. They were very strong Kerry supporters and appeared at Vote for Change shows across the country. So how did they react after Kerry's concession? They played a small gig at 91X, a San Diego radio station. They made it through a song-and-a-half before the lead singer became so emotional he stopped mid-song and ran crying out the door.

The DJ who was there called it the most "uncomfortable moment" of his life.

You can hear it here.

Posted by Frinklin at 05:46 PM | Comments (0)

An open question for the woman at work who sits in front of me:

Now that you have been at your new position for over six months, when do you stop apologizing for being "new at this" and start apologizing for being an idiot?

Posted by Frinklin at 05:41 PM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2004

A quick note to political consultants.

If you're ever running a campaign, a campaign that relies on "young voters" or "new voters", please just give up. From Dean in Iowa to Clean for Gene, it doesn't ever work.

They don't show up. They stay home, they get bored, they move on.

Concentrate on grown-ups. They actually vote.

Update Thanks to Fred for pointing out that I stupidly said Idaho instead of Iowa. It was a long night.

Posted by Frinklin at 09:38 PM | Comments (1)

Moral Values

I just don't get it. According to MSNBC's exit polling, the number 1 issue people voted on is Moral Values. More important than terrorism, more important than the economy. That, plus the overwhelming success of anti-gay marriage issues shows just how strong people feel on this issue.

And I don't get it, I don't get it at all. The Missus and I are newly married,and I have yet to think of a reason why our gay friends could get married. Why on God's green Earth would that damage our marriage? We are good friends with a lesbian couple, they've been together for years and have two beautiful children. If they get married, all us straights lose a little?

I just don't get it.

I understand this level of passion about abortion. I'm pro-choice, more because I don't think any government should be able to tell anyone what to do with their bodies than anything else. But I understand the arguement against it. It can be construed as taking a human life. I just don't get the passion about gay marriage.

And don't give me God. Please. Despite some people's best effort, this is still (hopefully) a secular country.

I just don't get it.

Posted by Frinklin at 09:36 PM | Comments (5)

A vote I never thought I'd make

Well, it has finally come and gone. As I post this, the polls close in California in about 2 hours. At that point, the shouting starts anew, and we try to figure out who just won this thing.
It has been a contentious election season, easily the most bitter of my brief voting past. I am a political junkie, but this year has not been much fun. The American electoral process never a beacon of enlightened debate, but this year it seems worse. The loudest of the loud are on both sides, from the Michael Moore conspiracy freaks to the Swift Vets; they have managed to drown everything else out. This campaign has been malignant from the start, two sides filled with vitriol they spewed at every chance.

Other than that, it has been fun.

I came full circle this election. My first time voting was 1992, and I proudly voted in the Democratic primary for a charisma-challenged Massachusetts liberal. Then it was Paul Tsongas. I was still in high school and ready to love participatory democracy. A lot has changed since then. I am not a Democrat anymore. I believe, rather strongly now, that the best government is the one that gets the hell out of the way. I still revere the late Senator Tsongas though. Not for his legendary lack of charisma, but for his willingness to say difficult things, to tell constituents that in order to fix things, we have to sacrifice and work hard.
Now, twelve years later, I find myself voting for another Massachusetts liberal. That is right; I am of that mighty 3% of Republicans who will not vote for George W. Bush this year. I voted for him in 2000. At first, I was far more interested and excited by John McCain than the then-governor of Texas. Still, after he won the nomination I saw a strong, principled man, needlessly mocked and easily underestimated. I voted for Bush against Al Gore win no qualms whatsoever. In the last four years, I have been disappointed.

I became a Republican for three reasons: limited government, personal freedom, and a strong national defense. This administration has failed at the first two, and show signs of failing the third. This President, while so fierce in defending and expanding freedom abroad, has given this country an Attorney General who seems obsessed with curtailing freedom at home. John Ashcroft is nearly as much of theocrat as the Islamofascists that we are a war against. It is frightening that this man has used the powers of the Patriot Act in his fight against porn, against environmentalists, against anyone who does not fit with his rather limited view of America.
I became a Republican because I believe everyone has the right to life their life as they see fit, with minimal government interference. This administration does not agree with me. They have turned over domestic matters to the evangelical movement, a movement that I despise. They believe in freedom to think and act as they do, ostracizing any others. I cannot abide by that. The crowning act of this is the so-called Freedom of Marriage Act, an amendment to the Constitution, the most sacred secular document in the world, which would curtail the personal lives of those they disagree with. I find it stunning that a man who values freedom would even consider adding the prejudice of the time to a timeless document.

I became a Republican because I believe in sound fiscal policy. That means limited taxation and limited spending. It means moderating entitlement programs. The President meets me here halfway. The tax cuts were a good idea in 2000. The budget was a surplus, and I sure as hell know how to spend my money better than you do. Spending however, has gone up. The deficit has exploded. Some of this is due to 9/11 and the need to strengthen our defenses and pay for the War on Terror. The President often speaks of himself as a War President, and I believe him. But does he? A War President would stress the need for the nation to sacrifice, not just lives, but personal treasure. Extending tax cuts during wartime is reckless and foolish. Entitlements have not been slowed during this administration, they’ve expanded with the feckless boondoggle Medicare prescription program. The baby boomers begin retiring in 3 years. We currently have 45 trillion dollars promised in Social Security payments. Now is the time to slow entitlements, not to vastly expand them.

I became a Republican because I believe in a strong national defense. This is George W. Bush's strongest point. It has been argued, forcefully and believably, that only he understands the depth of the war we face. After 9/11, I treasured the President. He was a strong and decisive leader when we needed that most. His actions in Afghanistan were the right ones. Smashing the Taliban and scattering Osama bin Laden’s terrorists was the best option, one that I question whether a President Gore would have made. I support the war in Iraq as well. Saddam was a bad, bad man, a mass-murderer, and anyone who doesn’t recognize that is foolish. Every intelligence agency in the world believed he had weapons of mass destruction. The conduct of the war and aftermath is what bothers me. The foolish ideas of Paul Wolfowitz and Dick Cheney, that we would be welcomed as liberators after bombing their country. Not sealing the borders against outside agitators, not locking down the Al Qa Qaa munitions dump, not doing everything imaginable to keep services like power and water running to Iraqi cities, my mind boggles at the missteps taken.

I became a Republican because Republicans are grown-ups. They refuse to believe the Democratic litany of victimization, and the foolish idea that government can solve everyone’s problems. Part of being a grown-up is owning up to mistakes. This administration seems so drunk on their own power, that taking responsibility is utterly lacking. No one has lost their jobs over the problems in Iraq. The President couldn’t answer a simple question about what mistakes he’s made. This shows an appalling lack of self-reflection, a self-righteous belief in his own infallibility. His cause is right, it is just, and spreading democracy in the Arab world is the best, perhaps only prescription that can stop terrorism. But the mere belief is not enough.

I don’t vote for John Kerry because I think he’ll be great President. I think he may be adequate, perhaps even mediocre. I sincerely hope the Republicans keep control of the House and Senate, perhaps this will force them to work together. The idea that the war will be over upon his election, that he will lead our capitulation is foolish and simply not true. The war will be here regardless, and George Bush, in liberating Iraq and Afghanistan has ensured that we will have to fight it.

A Kerry victory will also bring responsibility to the Democrats. For much of the last two years they have reveled in pointless MoveOn and Michael Moore fantasies. Victory tonight will make them take their part in the war on terror. It could also help my party. For the last four years this administration has catered to the evangelical right. If Kerry wins tonight, and I think he will, this means the evangelicals couldn’t deliver. It will force the party back to the center, just in time for a John McCain or Rudy Guiliani in 2008.

I will be waiting.

Regardless of what happens tonight, I will take Jeff Jarvis' pledge.

After the election results are in, I promise to:
: Support the President, even if I didn't vote for him.
: Criticize the President, even if I did vote for him.
: Uphold standards of civilized discourse in blogs and in media while pushing both to be better.
: Unite as a nation, putting country over party, even as we work together to make America better.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:02 PM | Comments (4)

November 01, 2004


The Frinklin household suffered a catastrophic computer failure yesterday. The damned thing crashed and wouldn't come back. I ended up using the Restore disk. Thank God the computer is only 6 months old. Still, I have enough junk I need to get back.

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