September 27, 2005

Just watch for the Random Chef

The unambiguously gay He-Man sings 4-Non Blondes. You'll never hear this song the same way again. You'll never want to.

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

September 26, 2005

Frinklin Football Wrap-up Vol. 2

Frinklin Football Wrap-up

Huh… two weeks in a row.


-The Huskies pretty much encapsulated “good news, bad news” against Notre Dame on Saturday. The good news is that Notre Dame was never really able to stop Washington’s offense. The bad news is they didn’t have too, as UW made a succession of mistakes at crucial times. In the first quarter, if Chambers doesn’t fumble on the 1-yard line, and Stanback doesn’t throw an interception the end zone, this is a completely different game. Now the Huskies start a brutal stretch with road games against UCLA, Oregon, Arizona State and home against UCS. Washington could improve in every game and still start November 1-7.

-It was a pretty slow week in college football. USC looked lethargic for the first half against Oregon, until Reggie Bush took over. The Trojans will not get away with that playing Texas or Virginia Tech. The Hokies looked awesome against a good Georgia Tech team. Louisville, everybody’s BCS lock, looked awful in losing to South Florida.


-Had I been paying attention and realized that Chuck Knox was being inducted into the Seahawks’ Ring of Honor this weekend; I would have made up a giant sign reading “Football Players Make Football Plays” which, for my money, was Ground Chuck’s best football cliché. He was a master of coachspeak. He was also an excellent coach who, as mentioned ad naseum in the Seattle papers this week, was 113-0 after leading by 12 or more in the fourth quarter. Unlike the current Hawks, who seem to fall apart if somebody breathes on ‘em wrong in the fourth.

It went much better this Sunday against an apparently overrated Cardinal team. Tell me again why Arizona was a trendy sleeper pick? They looked awful in just about every phase of the game. They Cardinals have excellent wideouts, a mediocre quarterback and nothing on the offensive line. The running game is non-existent too. The Seahawks looked good, but they should against Arizona.

-Now, you’re an NFL coach. You have the consensus best running back in football. You’d run him until his legs fell off, wouldn’t you? Well, Marty Schottenheimer and San Diego finally shook off the hangover of last year’s awful playoff game and took it to the Giants last night. The Charger defense was a little shaky at times, but the offense was brilliant. When LT and Antonio Gates are working, the Bolts are hard to beat.

-What is with the Panthers? Lose to New Orleans in a very emotional game, beat up on New England, and then lose to the tough-but-talentless Dolphins? This is a Super Bowl team?

-Speaking of the Patriots, Peter King makes the point that –however tedious they might seem- we are seeing true greatness in the Pats, and Sunday’s win in Pittsburgh, despite losing two starters to injury just proves it.

-Okay, this thing where Indianapolis’ defense is better than its offense? It’s getting old. Start throwing touchdowns, Payton.

-Eli Manning is going to be pretty damned good. Carson Palmer is already pretty great.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 24, 2005

If you thought "Page 2" was bad

I'm sorry, but's "A-List" -currently featuring the most blatant stab at pop-culture relevancy I've ever seen, a comparison of Laguna Beach and various athletes- is just the stupidest thing ever.

I don't know why, but this just really bothers me for some reason.

Posted by Frinklin at 01:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I totally didn't know Pascual Perez was in DeBarge

Joe Sportsfan's hilarious baseball card collection.

Via the Hit and Run Friday Fun Link

I wonder if this was at all inspired by The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book, a mostly-forgotten goofy treasure I happily own.

Posted by Frinklin at 01:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 23, 2005

The Three New Shows You Need to Watch

I’ve always liked the various network premier weeks. Starting the season in late September is really a random thing, one that, like the school year, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense anymore. Still, it’s one of the few times I pay any attention to the big three. After watching many -but not all- of the new shows, these are the three worth keeping.

Everybody Hates Chris

Chris Rock co-created and narrates this show based on his experiences growing up poor and black in Bed-Sty in the eighties. Unlike most current family comedies -good ones anyway- this is not about a dysfunctional family. There is real warmth here, but never enough to seem cloying. Of course, it has to deliver the goods, and the pilot was very funny. What the hell is this show doing on UPN, anyway?

My Name Is Earl

Jason Lee leads a quality cast in an oddball comedy that, like network mates Scrubs and The Office, eschews the usual laugh-track predictability of most sit-coms. It comes with a dynamite-but-dangerous premise: Petty thug Earl wins the lottery, loses it , then after discovering karma (from Carson Daly, a nice touch), decides to try undo his many bad deeds. It’s brilliant because it can get into detail about the awful things this guy has done (the list is here), dangerous because this could end up in schmaltz way to easily. Unless the creators are willing to let Earl screw some things up, this show is guaranteed a happy ending every episode, and that doesn’t fit the rather edgy feel this show needs.

Obviously, I have higher hopes for this show than CBS does, as they’ve put in the dead zone of Friday night. That, coupled with a lead-in of the spectacularly awful Jennifer Love Hewitt vehicle Ghost Whisperer means Threshold starts out with two strikes against it. This show deserves better. While its not perfect, I think it the best of the various Lost -inspired “mystery” shows. Carla Gugino leads a rather stock group of characters (Good-Hearted Bureaucrat, Burnout, Naïve Youngster, Anonymous Government Agent, etc) , in an ad-hoc team tying to understand a possible alien invasion. The pilot was dark and creepy, featuring at least a couple “Whoa” moments. While the characters need work, the cast is first-rate, led by Gugino, The Next Generation alumnus Brent Spiner and the brilliant Peter Dinklage. They also bring in William Mapother to out-creep his Ethan character from Lost.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 21, 2005

Vote For Kinky

In February I mentioned that Kinky Friedman is running in the Texas gubernatorial race in 2006 as an independent. I mentioned then I would move to Texas just to vote for him. And this, his first commercial -animated no less- is part of the reason why.

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

Stuff like this keeps me up at night

I take the train to and from work each day, from Freighthouse Square in Tacoma to King Street Station in Seattle and back again. Each day I see the same thing, and each day I wonder “what the hell is with this?” Unlike King Street, which is a place for trains and not much else, Freighthouse Square fancies itself as a bit of a destination. Really, it’s a somewhat sad attempt at replicating Pike Place Market, only missing the permanent farmer’s market, most of the charm and most…well, all of the people. It’s a nice try, and the art gallery upstairs and a couple of the restaurants deserve better. Anyway, the train arrives outside of the square and you have to pass through the building to get to the parking garage. As you enter the building there is a small sign that says “Caution: Watch for Trucks”.

Let me repeat that, as you enter the building it warns you to look out for trucks. As you exit the building on the other side, there are no warnings. Nothing about cars, buses, light rail, airplane, dirigibles, horse-drawn carriages… nothing. Nor is there any warning as you go back out to the train platform, which strikes me as odd. I would think that trains on a train platform would be a more immediate danger than trucks inside a building.

I have been wrong before.

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

September 19, 2005

Frinklin Football Wrap-up

This will hopefully –I’ve said this before- be a weekly look at the weekend’s football. No promises though…

NCAA Version:

-The Cougars played sloppy, but it didn’t really matter against an obviously overmatched Grambling State team. A 3-0 start is nice, but who the hell knows how good they are? They looked excellent crushing Nevada last week; mediocre the week before against Idaho. The Cougs take a week off, then open Pac-10 play against a reeling Oregon State team.

-The Huskies won their first game in just under a year, and they looked at least moderately impressive doing it. Look, this was a big win no matter who the opponent. Is Idaho any good? Probably not, though they are better than the last few years. The point is this Husky team, unlike the ugly, desultory effort in last year’s only win, looked like they belonged on the field. Next week is Notre Dame. The Huskies have just enough talent to throw a scare into the Irish, and you know they will be motivated.

-Arkansas is a mid-level SEC team. Not good enough to contend for the SEC championship, but probably good enough to snag a lower tier bowl. They come to USC and just get obliterated, 70-17. When is the last time something like that happened? Houston Nutt’s team looked like they had been hit by a train. Oh, and Matt Leinart should keep the beard. Reminds me of the glory days of Dan Fouts.

-About halfway through the first quarter of the Tennessee-Florida game it was pretty obvious Tennessee wasn’t gonna get it done, wasn’t it? And that was before Vol freshman punter Britton Colquitt audibled to a fake on his own 34. Who lets punters audible anyway? Even with the win, I’m not sold on the Gators. That fabled spread option offense didn’t get much of anything done.

-Karl Dorrell has built something in LA’s other school. Admittedly Oklahoma is struggling, but the Bruins dominated them. They looked bigger, stronger and a helluva lot more motivated.

-Michigan State should only schedule power teams. Give them Temple’s schedule and they’ll go undefeated. According to Stewart Mandel of, the Spartans are 9-1 in their last 10 games against Top 10 opponents, yet under .500 against everyone else. The Spartans beat Notre Dame…again.

NFL Version:

-Am I alone in thinking that the Seahawks victory doesn’t mean much? The Hawks were terrific in the first half, but they just collapsed (AGAIN!) in the second. Does anybody for a minute think that if Vick were healthy the Falcons don’t win? Really, yesterday’s game was a microcosm of the Seahawks the last few years. At times they were brilliant, and everything ran like clockwork. At other times it seems Seattle isn’t even sure what sport they play. This is still an 8-8 team. Of course, that may win the division at this rate.

-Speaking of the awful NFC West, Zygote took me to task for my prediction of two division teams making the playoffs. He’s right. If there were any justice, no team from the NFC West would make the playoffs at this point. The Seahawks are still the same team until proven otherwise. So are the Rams. The Cardinals –let’s be chartiable here- are loosing bandwagoneers with some rapidity. And the Niners, while tough and sometimes inspired, still suck.

-The Vikings suck too. I actually considered this team a Super Bowl contender. That was before 12 turnovers in 24 posessions. Yes, a NFL team that turns the ball over half the time. Yechh… What’s really amazing is that the Vikes might not be the worst team in the NFC Central. The Packers have looked pathetic in losses to Detroit and Cleveland. The Bears and Lions battling (as it were) for the division title? |

-Congrats to Trent Dilfer, one of the class guys in the league, out-dueling Brett Favre in Lambeau. Dilfer led the Browns to Romeo Crennell’s first victory as a head coach, and played brilliantly doing it.

The Panthers bounced back well, though I wonder about Jake Delhomme and the offense. Delhomme was up-and-down all game, and Stephen Davis was held to 3.1 yards per carry. That won’t get it done most days, even with a monster defense. I also wonder about the Patriots. That was the sloppiest game I’ve seen them play.

-The Chargers starting 0-2 is very ugly, especially since the Chiefs are 2-0 and look good doing it. The Broncos tried really, really hard to loose that game, but Drew Brees didn’t let them. Sadly, Brees plays for the Chiefs

Posted by Frinklin at 09:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 18, 2005

The Other White Meat

Truth Laid Bear is asking the blogosphere's help finding pork for Tom DeLay and crew to cut. Go and help out, won't you?

Posted by Frinklin at 11:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum....

September 19th is Talk Like A Pirate Day. Confuse the uninitiated.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:07 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 14, 2005

M's and Angels

The Mariners, still in a valiant effort to avoid last place -they're only umm...6.5 games behind Texas- just swept the fighting-for-their-playoff-lives LA Angels.

Richard must be dying...

Posted by Frinklin at 07:53 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Tom DeLay and the Moment of Truth

I should be angrier with DeLay than I am. I should be fuming at the betrayal of Republican principles, at the unmitigated gall of a man who calls the most pork-laden budget in our history as one with “no fat left to cut”. A budget that leaves us with a deficit of a mere $331 billion, a budget that earmarks money for bridges to nowhere: No fat left to cut indeed.

But I’m not. It’s not like this hasn’t been the mindset of the current administration and the party leadership since the start. Wasn’t it Cheney who said, “Deficits don’t matter?” If anything I think that DeLay should be commended for proving the obvious: neither party gives a damn about fiscal sanity anymore.

Huh... the Heritage Foundation found some fat. Why not take some of this out?

Posted by Frinklin at 07:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Adventures in Customer "Service", Part 357

The scene: The McDonald's nearest my office. Your humble narrator set out in search of a Quarter Pounder (without cheese) value meal with a Coke. At the drive-through speaker, I took pains to enunciate my order clearly. The details of this apparently simple order were discussed at some length. I even took the time to confirm that the "order screen" displayed what I had requested.

When the cashier shorted me a quarter on my change, I said nothing. Anyone can make mistakes, and besides, it seems petty to quibble over a quarter.

When I discovered that the fiends had given me a Diet Coke, however, I took action. I pulled a U-turn on a narrow side street, returned to the scene and demanded justice. (I was forced to demand justice because, unlike almost every other McDonald's I have experienced in the last decade, this place does not have a self-serve soda machine.) The counter-lady cheerfully and apologetically made the swap, and I walked away and drove back to the office, feeling good that, at long last, justice had been served.

So now I have returned to my office and opened my bag, and I find myself going eye-to-eye with a Big Mac.

With cheese on it.

I think I'm going to cry.

Posted by Mediocre Fred at 09:32 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 13, 2005

On the way to the train home

Naval historians should be aware that legendary Imperial German Admiral Alfred Von Tirpitz is alive and well and living in Seattle.

Or it could have been that the creepy guy I sat next to on the bus just looked freakishly like him, forked beard and all.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Household Appliance that Ate My Weekend

I installed a dishwasher on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Yes, that is exactly what I mean. It took me that long. Look, I’m not terribly handy. I never have been. Up until I moved into our new house my tool collection consisted of a half-dozen mismatched screwdrivers and a pipe wrench that to this day I have no idea how I got. Hell, I got a C in wood shop back in 7th grade, and I’m pretty sure the teacher gave me that out of pity.

I’ve gotten marginally better through the years. My father-in-law is supernaturally handy and taught me some things. I’ve helped him install ceiling fans and change car brakes and such. I was very much the assistant in such endeavors, but I’ve gone from completely incapable to marginally talented. After arriving in the new house, said father-in-law took me on a tool-shopping spree, helped me install a new fence (that was FUN) and left me to my own devices.

Now, it must be said that my own father is somewhat handy. Not totally handy though, unlike father-in-law, my Dad is of the “just shove it until it works” school. He also has far too many memories of me screwing something up, or setting myself on fire –a gross exaggeration, I merely burned myself with a soldering iron. But, Dad and I decided to tackle the dishwasher. The new house came with a lousy old dishwasher that didn’t work. Ensie and I –well, mostly Ensie- picked out a new fancy model. We listened to my father insist that he and I could install it, and decided to forgo the installation charges.

This was a mistake. On Saturday –mind you we initially thought this would be a 2- hour job- we managed to get the old dishwasher out of the house and onto the deck. It’s still there. We weren’t lucky enough to find flexible pipe from the old dishwasher, the old dishwasher had been connected with copper pipe and the cabinets set on top of it. We didn’t have the right length of flexiable pipe, so I had to get an extension. We didn’t have the right connections…. It was a mess.

By the time Ensie came home on Saturday, the dishwasher was in place, but the not totally hooked up and we had sprung a leak. Don’t ask me how…

By the time Ensie came home on Sunday we had the dishwasher running. Everything worked. We thought. No, my lovely wife had the temerity to ask me why our fancy new dishwasher refused to drain. I had no idea, but she managed to find on the Internet something about a “knock-out plug”. It wasn’t even part of the dishwasher. It was on the garbage disposal. Our brand new disposal that the former owner of our house just installed in his freakishly sloppy way. So, I ended up taking the garbage disposal apart -that was FUN too- and well, knocking out the knock-out plug.

So now we have a fully functioning dishwasher. I also have the satisfaction of doing a job myself. Plus I have the knowledge that it’s just easier to spend the 70 bucks.

My wife’s version of the story in two parts, here and here.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 09, 2005

"Jesus, I didn't know we came down here to try to quit smoking."

It's usually pretty easy to ignore the "E-Ticket", which for the uninformed is's latest gadget. Like the overhyped ESPNMotion, it doesn't really add anything.

Except for this week's edition. Several sports figures, including legendary writers Dan Jenkins and Roy Blount Jr on why they love New Orleans. It's well worth a read.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 08, 2005

Let’s Play Some Football 2005! NFC Edition

NFC East

1. Philadelphia Eagles

How bad is your off-season when a guy getting shot (Jerome McDougal) is not the big story? Between Westbrook’s holdout, Burkhalter getting injured again, and the T.O. soap opera, it’s not been a fun summer for Andy Reid. The Eagles still don’t have an every-down tailback, and their linebackers are mediocre at best. Terrell Owens must be dealt with as well, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure on at least 3-6 blow-ups.

Philly plays in a lousy division though, so you can still figure on 10 wins.

2. Dallas Cowboys

Let me go on record as a huge Drew Bledsoe fan. He’s the best player ever to wear the Scarlet and Gray, and he’s been a class act his entire career, despite difficult situations in both New England and Buffalo. I think the fortunes of the Seahawks would be markedly different had he fallen to the #2 draft selection instead of Rick Mirer. That said: there ain’t a whole lot left in the tank, and pairing him up with Bill Parcells and Terry Glenn smacks of desperation. The talent is there around him though, and tailback Julius Jones should explode this year.

3. New York Giants

Is Eli the real deal or what? Will we even figure that out this season? Probably not, I think 2006 is the do-or-die year for the younger Manning. The Giants have improved the talent around him a bit this year, especially at running back, where Tiki Barber returns after a career year. He and rookie Brandon Jacobs could form a dynamite Thunder and Lightning tandem. Provided Michael Strahan is healthy, the defense should be okay.

4. Washington Redskins

You have to think Joe Gibbs is rethinking this whole “un-retiring” thing by now, don’t you? Since coming back Gibbs has traded for a veteran QB (Mark Brunell) that just about everybody knew was toast, despite having a young QB in Patrick Ramsay, traded for star tailback Clinton Portis, a shifty, open-field runner that Gibbs proceeded to treat as if he was John Riggins, traded one overrated loudmouth receiver (Lav-whateverhisnameis Coles) for another, smaller and speedier loudmouth in Santana Moss. Plus his star safety Sean Taylor got himself arrested and could face trial this season. Gibbs also drafted another quarterback in Auburn’s Jason Campbell, giving up a third-round choice in 2005 and a first- and fourth-round pick in 2006.

This is just a bad team. They went 6-10 last season, and may not be that good this season.

NFC East Champion: Philadelphia Eagles
Wild Card: None

NFC South

1. Atlanta Falcons

For all the hype surrounding Ron Mex- er, Mike Vick, the strength of this team is the defense. The Falcons added Ed Hartwell, the best available free agent to be middle linebacker, solidifying a fast and aggressive unit. The line is good too, led by longtime Falcons Patrick Kerney and Brady Smith. The offense will again be a West Coast scheme, which seems an odd combination with Vick’s talents. This team is a Super Bowl contender, but only if Vick improves his passing.

2. Carolina Panthers

For a team that went 9-7 last year, this team is sure generating buzz. They may well deserve it. Julius Peppers leads an excellent defensive line, and the pickup of ex-Seahawk Ken Lucas to join Rickey Manning and Chris Gamble, gives the Panthers a three cornerback rotation among the best in the NFL. Jake Delhomme returns to lead John Fox’s grind-it-out offense. Look for rookie RB Eric Shelton to be the main focus before the end of the season.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If Cadillac Williams can be a gamebreaker for a team that desperately needs one, the Bucs will improve. Brian Griese has a firm hold on the QB position, and Michael Clayton is as superstar in the making. The line was dreadful in 2004 though, giving up 44 sacks. That will have to get better if the Bucs want to. The defense is as good as it’s been since the Super Bowl. If Chris Hovan returns to his former self, he’ll give Tampa a dominant tackle they’ve lacked since the salad days of Warren Sapp.

4. New Orleans Saints

I’ll root for the Saints this season. You will too. New Orleans, no matter where they play, will be on the road all season. It would be nearly impossible, even for a more cohesive and focused unit than the notoriously flakey Saints, to deal with what they’re going through now and what will happen throughout the year and not suffer for it on the field. This is a talented team that was going in the right direction before Katrina. Hopefully they give New Orleanians something to cheer about, no matter where they are.

NFC South Champion: Atlanta Falcons
Wild Card: Carolina Panthers

NFC North

1. Minnesota Vikings

This is my Super Bowl team. Or at least it was until I noticed that Mike Tice is still the coach. Now, I like Mike Tice. He was a longtime Seahawk and one of the legitimate good guys of the game. It’s just he’s far more effective at running a deli than he is running a team. The offense, even without Randy Moss, is explosive and wideout Nate Burleson is about to blowup huge. The defense, after years of being mediocre, looks good. The Vikes have the best DT in the game in Kevin Williams, and two shut-down corners in Fred Smoot and Antoine Winfield. Still, count on the Vikes to lose at least 1-2 games they should win.

2. Detroit Lions

I can’t believe I’m gonna go out on a limb with Joey Harrington. As much as I dislike the Oregon Ducks, I was certain that Harrington would be a star by now. If it doesn’t happen now, it won’t ever happen. The Lions have surrounded Harrington with talent like RB Kevin Jones and a wideout trio that –if it plays up to potential- could boggle the mind. The offensive line is okay, the defense is getting better, except for a suspect secondary. Detroit should be fun to watch. They even have Eddie Drummond back, the best return man in football.

3. Green Bay Packers

I dunno about this team. The feeling that the Pack could implode has reached the same level as last year’s Dolphins. The Packers have a couple things that Miami didn’t last season: Brett Farve and a contract-year Ahman Green. The defense is mediocre at best, and utterly awful in the secondary other than Al Harris. Last year’s top picks Ahman Carroll and Joey Thomas were routinely torched. They’ll have to improve. This team has its third defensive coordinator in as many years. There is no reason why Jim Bates would succeed when Ed Donatell and Bob Slowik failed.

4. Chicago Bears

Huh… a team with a young and injury-prone quarterback doesn’t plan ahead and get an experienced backup. Well, that ain’t very bright. You do have to give Chicago credit; they saw that Chad Hutchison wasn’t getting it done, and that Kyle Orton would be the best bet. The thing is, in the long run this could really work out. Orton was a top-10 pick before a lousy senior year, and has been really impressive in camp. There is a lot to like about this Chicago team. Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson at tailback, a couple good young receivers in Justin Gage and Bernard Berrian behind veteran Mushin Muhammed. The defense could be good too. If Orton can play okay, this team could surprise.
NFC North Champion: Minnesota Vikings
Wild Card: None

NFC West

1. St. Louis Rams

If Mike Martz was a smart as he thinks he is, he would tone down the “Greatest Show on Turf” crap and give the ball to Stephen Jackson 35 times a game. Then watch Jackson run for 1,700 yards and beat the hell out of a lot of defensive backs and linebackers. Of course, Martz isn’t that smart, so we’ll see Jackson get the ball 20 times a game, and Marc Bulger will have streaks of 25 passes in a row. It is difficult to fault Martz too much when you consider he still has Marshall Faulk, Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce and an emerging star in TE Brandon Manumaleuna. The defense has been infused with more linebacker talent with the pickups of Dexter Coakley and Chris Claiborne.

2. Seattle Seahawks

There is more forthcoming about the Hometown Eleven, but the plain truth of the matter is this: they STILL aren’t good enough.

And until proven otherwise, they are totally and completely St. Louis’ bitch.

3. Arizona Cardinals

Everybody’s favorite sleeper team is suddenly Arizona. They have some good stuff going here: quality coach in Dennis Green, nice young receivers in Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, young, fast and nasty defense... It’s tempting. But the big problem with the Cardinals is still quarterback. If Kurt Warner can get his old form back –say 85% even- then Arizona may jet past both the ‘Hawks and Rams. Until that happens though, they aren’t as good as either.

4. San Francisco 49ers

The best news out of Candlestick (or whatever they call it these days) is that the Niners might have hired the right guy. Mike Nolan is young, smart and seems to get it. He’s also classy enough to petition the league to wear a suit on the field instead of the NFL’s typical hideous coach-wear. The No Fun League denied it of course, but he gets points for trying. Everything else is in shambles. Alex Smith is not close to starting, Kevan Barlow –after years of bitching about not being The Man- proved himself incapable of carrying a team, and the offensive line is suspect at best. Nolan is installing a 3-4 look on defense, which plays to the Niners strength at linebacker. The secondary isn’t bad either, though it will be interesting to see how Mike Rumph, a terrible corner, converts to safety.

NFC West Champion: St. Louis Rams
Wild Card: Seattle Seahawks

NFC Champion: Atlanta Falcons
Super Bowl XL Champion: New England Patriots

Posted by Frinklin at 07:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 07, 2005

Fred Tackles the High-School Song Meme

I first saw this meme over at The Funny Farm, and while I originally thought of it as a silly waste-of-time meme (aren't they all, though?), eventually I succumbed and looked up my grad year. It was a diverting way to pass a slow afternoon. And once Frinklin posted his list up here, I felt honor-bound to put mine up, even though it largely goes to show that either (a) my grad year was one of the worst years for popular music in modern history, or (b) I'm a crotchety out-of-touch old fogey in a young person's body. (In fact, I believe both are true.)

For variety's sake, I decided to alter my notation system slightly from Frinklin's.

Bold=good song
Plain=tolerable song
Strikethru= terrible song
Italics=Who ARE these people?
Bold and Underlined=Best Song on this Particular List

On with the list:

1. Candle In The Wind 1997, Elton John
2. Foolish Games / You Were Meant For Me, Jewel
3. I'll Be Missing You, Puff Daddy and Faith Evans
4. Un-Break My Heart, Toni Braxton
5. Can't Nobody Hold Me Down, Puff Daddy
6. I Believe I Can Fly, R. Kelly
7. Don't Let Go (Love), En Vogue

8. Return Of The Mack, Mark Morrison
9. How Do I Live, LeAnn Rimes
10. Wannabe, Spice Girls
11. Quit Playing Games (With My Heart), Backstreet Boys
12. MMMBop, Hanson
13. For You I Will, Monica
14. You Make Me Wanna..., Usher
15. Bitch, Meredith Brooks
16. Nobody Keith Sweat

17. Semi-Charmed Life, Third Eye Blind
18. Barely Breathing, Duncan Sheik
19. Hard To Say I'm Sorry, Az Yet Featuring Peter Cetera
20. Mo Money Mo Problems, Notorious B.I.G.

21. The Freshmen, Verve Pipe
22. I Want You, Savage Garden
23. No Diggity, BLACKstreet Featuring Dr. Dre
24. I Belong To You (Every Time I See Your Face), Rome
25. Hypnotize, Notorious B.I.G.
26. Every Time I Close My Eyes, Babyface

27. In My Bed, Dru Hill
28. Say You'll Be There, Spice Girls
29. Do You Know (What It Takes), Robyn
30. 4 Seasons Of Loneliness, Boyz II Men
31. G.H.E.T.T.O.U.T., Changing Faces
32. Honey, Mariah Carey
33. I Believe In You And Me, Whitney Houston
34. Da' Dip, Freaknasty
35. 2 Become 1, Spice Girls

36. All For You, Sister Hazel
37. Cupid, 112

38. Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?, Paula Cole
39. Sunny Came Home, Shawn Colvin
40. It's Your Love, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill

41. Ooh Aah... Just A Little Bit, Gina G
42. Mouth, Merril Bainbridge
43. All Cried Out, Allure Featuring 112

44. I'm Still In Love With You, New Edition
45. Invisible Man, 98 Degrees
46. Not Tonight, Lil' Kim
47. Look Into My Eyes, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
48. Get It Together, 702
49. All By Myself, Celine Dion
50. It's All Coming Back To Me Now, Celine Dion
51. My Love Is The Shhh!, Somethin' For The People
52. Where Do You Go, No Mercy
53. I Finally Found Someon, Barbra Streisand and Bryan Adams
54. I'll Be, Foxy Brown Featuring Jay-Z

55. If It Makes You Happy , Sheryl Crow
56. Never Make A Promise, Dru Hill
57. When You Love A Woman, Journey
58. Up Jumps Da Boogie, Magoo And Timbaland
59. I Don't Want To / I Love Me Some Him, Toni Braxton

60. Everyday Is A Winding Road, Sheryl Crow
61. Cold Rock A Party, Mc Lyte
62. Pony, Ginuwine

63. Building A Mystery, Sarah McLachlan
64. I Love You Always Forever, Donna Lewis
65. Your Woman, White Town
66. C U When U Get There, Coolio
67. Change The World, Eric Clapton
68. My Baby Daddy, B-Rock and The Bizz
69. Tubthumping, Chumbawamba
70. Gotham City, R. Kelly
71. Last Night, Az Yet

72. ESPN Presents The Jock Jam, Various Artists
73. Big Daddy, Heavy D
74. What About Us, Total

75. Smile, Scarface
76. What's On Tonight, Montell Jordan
77. Secret Garden, Bruce Springsteen
78. The One I Gave My Heart, w Aaliyah
79. Fly Like An Eagle, Seal
80. No Time, Lil' Kim
81. Naked Eye, Luscious Jackson
82. Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix), Los Del Rio

83. On and On, Erykah Badu
84. Don't Wanna Be A Player, Joe
85. I Shot The Sheriff, Warren G
86. You Should Be Mine (Don't Waste Your Time), Brian McKnight Featuring Mase

87. Don't Cry For Me Argentina, Madonna
88. Someone, SWV
89. Go The Distance, Michael Bolton
90. One More Time, Real McCoy

91. Butta Love, Next
92. Coco Jamboo, Mr. President

93. Twisted, Keith Sweat
94. Barbie Girl, Aqua
95. When You're Gone / Free To Decide, Cranberries
96. Let Me Clear My Throat, DJ Kool

97. I Like It, Blackout Allstars
98. You're Makin' Me High / Let It Flow, Toni Braxton
99. You Must Love Me, Madonna
100. Let It Go, Ray J

There you have it. Of the Top 100 songs of 1997, only 14 even rank as "tolerable." (And some of those are real borderline cases.) There's only six songs that I actually like. "No Diggity," which I've designated as my favorite, is a pretty good song, but if I never heard it again I can't say I'd miss it. (And we're not even going to discuss Celine Dion.) What a dismal year for music.

After re-reading Tom's list, which inspired me to follow the meme, I noticed some similarities between 1997 and 1978, the year he graduated. In each case, there was a silly music fad (disco in his case, boy bands in mine), and a big-deal musical that landed several songs on the list (Grease for him, Evita for me). And in both years, there was very little in the way of lasting, quality hits among the Top 100 (mostly forgettable novelty bands and big-name artists in down periods). Ironically, though, I liked the music of 1978 a lot better in general.

An optional addendum to the meme is to list the songs that came out that year that you were really listening to, so that you can prove how cool you were, unlike all the Top-100 sheep. I would do this, except that I wasn't listening to other new music then, either. I was listening to stuff from the '60s and '70s, primarily. Other than They Might Be Giants (who put out the "Factory Showroom" album the year before), I wasn't listening to any current music. Which serves to reinforce the old-fogey point above. Oh, well.

Posted by Mediocre Fred at 11:18 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 06, 2005

The Music Meme (Or The Post I Forgot to Title)

This meme has been a lot of places. I think the first place I saw it was ASV about a week ago. It's very simple: you head on over to Music Outfitters and in the search box type in the year you graduated. This will pull up the Top 100 singles of that year. Paste 'em on your blog and go to town.
Bold=good, or at least tolerable song
Strikethru= terrible song
Italics=Who ARE these people?
Bold and Underlined=Best Song on this Particular List

1. I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston
2. Whoomp! (There It Is), Tag Team

3. Can't Help Falling In Love, UB40
4. That's The Way Love Goes, Janet Jackson

5. Freak, Silk
6. Weak, SWV
7. If I Ever Fall In Love, Shai
8. Dreamlover, Mariah Carey
9. Rump Shaker, Wreckx-N-Effect
10. Informer, Snow

11. Nuthin' But A "G" Thang, Dr. Dre
12. In The Still Of The Nite, Boyz II Men

13. Don't Walk Away, Jade
14. Knockin' Da Boots, H-Town
15. Lately, Jodeci

16. Dazzey Duks, Duice
17. Show Me Love, Robin S.

18. A Whole New World, Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle
19. If, Janet Jackson
20. I'm So Into You, SWV
21. Love Is, Vanessa Willlams and Brian Mcknight

22. Runaway Train, Soul Asylum
23. I'll Never Get Over You (Getting Over Me), Expose
24. Ditty, Paperboy
25. Rhythm Is A Dancer, Snap
26. The River Of Dreams, Billy Joel
27. I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), Proclaimers
28. Two Princes, Spin Doctors

29. Right Here (Human Nature)-Downtown, SWV
30. I Have Nothing, Whitney Houston
31. Mr. Wendal, Arrested Development
32. Have I Told You Lately, Rod Stewart

33. Saving Forever For You, Shanice
34. Ordinary World, Duran Duran
35. If I Had No Loot, Tony! Toni! Tone!
36. I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That), Meat Loaf
37. Slam, Onyx
38. Looking Through Patient Eyes, P.M. Dawn

39. I'm Every Woman, Whitney Houston
40. Baby I'm Yours, Shai
41. Come Undone, Duran Duran
42. I Don't Wanna Fight, Tina Turner
43. I'd Die Without You, P.M. Dawn

44. Whoot, There It Is, 95 South
45. Hip Hop Hooray, Naughty By Nature
46. Another Sad Love Song, Toni Braxton
47. Will You Be There, Michael Jackson

48. Comforter, Shil
49. Good Enough, Bobby Brown
50. What's Up, 4 Non Blondes
51. All That She Wants, Ace Of Base
52. 7, Prince and The New Power Generation
53. Dre Day, Dr. Dre
54. One Last Cry, Brian McKnight

55. Just Kickin' It, Xscape
56. I Get Around, 2Pac
57. Bed Of Roses, Bon Jovi
58. Real Love, Mary J. Blige
59. Here We Go Again!, Portrait
60. Cryin', Aerosmith
61. Cats In The Cradle, Ugly Kid Joe
62. What About Your Friends, TLC
63. I Got A Man, Positive K
64. Hey Mr. D.J., Zhane

65. Insane In The Brain, Cypress Hill
66. Deeper And Deeper, Madonna
67. Rain, Madonna

68. The Right Kind Of Love, Jeremy Jordan
69. Bad Boys, Inner Circle
70. That's What Love Can Do, Boy Krazy
71. Do You Believe In Us, Jon Secada

72. Angel, Jon Secada
73. Forever In Love, Kenny G

74. Again, Janet Jackson
75. Boom! Shake The Room, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince

76. When She Cries, Restless Heart
77. Sweat (A La La La La Long), Inner Circle

78. It Was A Good Day, Ice Cube
79. More And More, Captain Hollywood Project
80. How Do You Talk To An Angel, Heights
81. Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat), Digable Planets
82. What Is Love, Haddaway

83. To Love Somebody, Michael Bolton
84. Give It Up, Turn It Loose, En Vogue
85. Alright, Kris Kross
86. Check Yo Self, Ice Cube
87. Fields Of Gold, Sting

88. Ooh Child, Dino 89. Faithful w/ Go West
90. Reason To Believe, Rod Stewart
91. Break It Down Again, Tears For Fears

92. Nothin' My Love Can't Fix, Joey Lawrence
93. Three Little Pigs, Green Jelly
94. Livin' On The Edge, Aerosmith
95. Hey Jealousy, Gin Blossoms
96. If I Ever Lose My Faith In You, Sting
97. Anniversary, Tony! Toni! Tone!

98. One Woman, Jade
99. Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Taylor Dayne
100. Two Steps Behind, Def Leppard

Not bad, 51/100 can be considered good songs. 1993 was a huge year in hip-hop as Dr. Dre, 2Pac, Cypress Hill and Ice Cube (It Was a Good Day was an epic track) showing the way for future gangsta domination, plus lighter tracks from Arrested Development and the jazz-influenced Digable Planets.

Of course, we also get both Whoomp, There It Is! and Whoot, There It Is!, which is a crime against nature. Any year with tracks from both The Heights and Joey Lawrence can't be good, but that is counteracted by some of the best alt-pop of the last 20 years like Hey Jealousy and Runaway Train

The less said about Whitney Houston and her soundtrack the better.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Let’s Play Some Football 2005: AFC Edition

I have to truncate these some. They won’t be very detailed, but since I often get details wrong, nobody misses much.

1. New England Patriots

The only question with the Patriots is how far they go. They’re unquestionably the class of the division, and probably of the AFC. There are a couple holes though: How will Chad Brown and Monty Beisel replace Ted Johnson and Teddy Bruschi? How will the team click without longtime coordinators Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis?

2. New York Jets

The J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS have quetly built a very nice team. Chad Pennington gets to throw to Laveranues Coles again as well as last year’s big free agent signing Justin McCariens. Even better is the return of suddenly ageless and indestructible Curtis Martin. Does anybody else remember that when Martin came out of college he was considered injury-prone? The big question with New York: Has Herm Edwards figured out to play with his gut instead of over-thinking.

3. Buffalo Bills

Buffalo has a hellacious defense and a potentially dominant running back. They also have a rickety offensive line and an untested quarterback. Tell me again how this was Drew Bledsoe’s fault. JP Losman, the new QB, has a bad reputation as me-first guy. That won’t do in Buffalo, as his #1 priority is feeding tailback Willis McGahee. Losman will have to learn quickly too, the offensive line can only hope to be mediocre.

4. Miami Dolphins

Are things so bad in Miami that they need to start Gus Frerotte? When the only other options are AJ Feely and the immortal Sage Rosenfelds… yeah, they are that bad. New Coach Nick Saban will try to retool the offense around Ronnie Brown and the returning Ricky Williams. The Dolphins’ defense isn’t bad, but this team will struggle to score points.

Division Winner: New England Patriots
Wild Card: New York Jets

AFC South

1. Indianapolis Colts

Payton Manning and his teams can beat anybody but the Patriots. That doesn’t figure to change as the Colts haven’t changed much. They still have awe-inspiring offense featuring Manning, RB Edgerrin James, plus a loaded wideout corps led by Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison. They’re also still undersized on defense, with Dwight Freeney, David Thorton and not much else.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars

Has anybody been paying attention to how good Jacksonville’s defense is? Certainly not Jaguar fans, who have yet to sell-out the season opener against Seattle. The Jag defense is strongest up the middle, starting with tackles Marcus Stroud and John Henderson, middle linebacker Mike Peterson and safety Donovan Darius. With improved cornerback play, this could be the best defense in the AFC. They’ll need it too, as the offense is still pretty rickety. Byron Leftwich still struggles with inconsistency, and second-year man Reggie Williams needs to step up.

3. Houston Texans

David Carr deserves combat pay for playing behind this line. Another year, another 49 sacks for Carr, who has been sacked an unbelievable 140 times in three seasons. The line isn’t any better this year, as the only change on the line is the insertion of the ageing Victor Riley at left tackle. Carr does have a nice tailback –if healthy- in Domanick Davis and a superstar receiver in Andre Johnson. The defense is fine, assuming (and this is a big one) that Phillip Buchanon can solidify the corner across from Dunta Robinson.

4. Tennesee Titans

Hey, haven’t you been cut yet? This is the most common greeting between Titans, as a cap-abetted bloodletting has occurred. In the past 24 months the Titans have lost Eddie George, Derrick Mason, Justin McCairens, Kevin Carter, Robaire Smith, Jevon Kearse and Samari Rolle. In their place is ex-Bill Travis Henry and a ton of youth. It might be a long year for Coach Jeff Fisher and new offensive coordinator Norm Chow. Despite the presence of Steve McNair and Henry, Chow may have had more talent on offense with the USC Trojans. The defense is almost ludicrously young, but it is talented.

Division Winner: Indianapolis Colts
Wild Card: None

AFC North

1. Baltimore Ravens

The defense is set, led by Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, in addition to dynamic talents like Terrell Suggs and Chris McAlister. The offense is close too, with stud tailback Jamal Lewis (though he may be slowed by off-season prison time) and receivers like Desmond Mason and rookie Mark Clayton. The line is excellent, led by perennial All-Pro Jonathon Odgen and tight end Todd Heap. Wait… something’s missing. Kyle Boller has to step up and become at least an adequate quarterback. Everything else is in place.

2. Cincinnati Bengals

Yeah, it’s probably too high for the Bengals. Yeah, they’re probably a year away. Yeah, I know the Steelers won like, 27 games last season. I just look at this team and think: Damn…Carson Palmer is right on schedule at quarterback. Rudi Johnson is workhorse running back. Chad Johnson and TJ Houshmanzedah are dynamic wideouts. The line is tremendously underrated and one of the best in football. The defense has been retooled with young, scary-fast types like Odell Thurman and Madieu Williams. They might be a year away…but they might be right on time.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethisberger won his first 15 starts in the NFL, which is just remarkable. He wasn’t particularly flashy, but in the Steelers’ offense he isn’t supposed to be. This is the definitive grind-it-out team, and they did just that behind Jerome Bettis and Duce Staley running for a combined 1700 yard plus. Big Ben has very nice targets to throw to like Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle El, who will be a starter with the departure of Plaxico Burress to New York. The defense was a monster last year, and could be again. The linebackers, with Joey Porter, Larry Foote, James Farrior and Clark Haggans, might be the best in the NFL. The corners are weak though, and old too.

4. Cleveland Browns

The reborn Browns have not been pretty, under either Chris Palmer or Butch Davis, save for a single trip to the playoffs under Davis. After collapsing last season, Cleveland seems to get it at this point, hiring GM Phil Savage from Baltimore and Romeo Crennel from New England. Crennel and Savage first improved the team’s professionalism, cutting a swath of unproductive high draft picks like Courtney Brown and Gerard Warren, and picking up vets like QB Trent Dilfer and lineman Joe Andruzzi. Savage also drafted gamebreaking wideout Braylon Edwards, who will provide Dilfer an inviting target for bombs. The Browns aren’t the most talented team – in fact they’re probably the least talented team in the NFL- but they will be no fun to play.

Division Winner: Baltimore Ravens
Wild Card: Cincinnati Bengals

AFC West

1. San Diego Chargers

Marty Schottenheimer might be the best regular-season coach in the NFL. Unfortunately for Charger fans, he’s certainly not the best playoff coach around. San Diego just blew it against the Jets last season, a bitter end to a storybook year. The Chargers return their important parts: LaDanian Tomlinson is the best back in football, Drew Brees is another year more experienced, and their no-name defense is tough and fast.

2. Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs tried keeping the same players and upgrading their coaching on defense in 2004. It didn’t work. Now, they’ve wised up and given coordinator Gunther Cunningham toys to play with like cornerback Patrick Surtain, and linebackers Derrick Johnson and Kendrell Bell. The defense still has a way to go, but if it can improve to average, KC can win. The offense, behind Priest Holmes and Trent Green, is still potent. The Chiefs are still lacking at wideout, despite the presence of Tony Gonzalez. A team with Eddie Kennison, Samie Parker and Freddie Mitchell doesn’t scare anyone.

3. Denver Broncos

When a team finishes with the fourth-best defense in the NFL, they usually don’t go and pick up guys from a 4-12 team. Yet that is what the Broncos did, signing or trading for Cleveland’s defensive line of Courtney Brown, Gerard Warren, Mike Myers, and Ebenezer Ekuban. Ekuban and Myers are pluggers and Warren and Brown are high draft picks that haven’t done a damned thing over their careers. Picking them up should show how desperate Mike Shanahan is at this point. His offense hummed in 2004 behind his handpicked QB Jake Plummer, yet the team never seemed to click. It won’t this year either.

4. Oakland Raiders

Well, the Raiders will certainly be more interesting this season. They picked up this Moss guy from Minnesota, he could fit in well. Or the team could implode again. On paper this is a much-improved offense with Moss, Jerry Porter and running back pickup LaMont Jordan. The line should be better as well, as second-year man Robert Gallery needs to start living up to his potential. On defense the Raiders were awful in 2004, and might not be much better. Nnamdi Asomuigh and Fabien Washington replace Phillip Buchanan at corner. Washington is a blazingly fast kid who made about three plays his entire career.

Division Champion: San Diego Chargers
Wild Card: None

AFC Champion: New England Patriots

Posted by Frinklin at 09:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 03, 2005

As if there wasn't enough going on in America

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court William Rehnquist dead at age 80.

It isn't like this wasn't seen coming.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 02, 2005

A slight update

Well, since the college football season started this week, I had hoped to finish my previews. I haven't though, mostly since it just doesn't seem all that important this week. The degeneration into anarchy of a great American city has both horrified and enthralled me. Hopefully I’ll be able to take some time over the long weekend to finish up.

I did take the time to watch the Cougars yesterday evening take on Idaho. If the Cougs expect to be a surprise team in the Pac-10 this season -and I expect them to be- they will have to improve, and improve quickly. Brink was a marginal factor the first quarter, awful in the second and great in the second half. He wasn’t helped by Jason Hill either. Two touchdowns just about make up for the drops and interference penalties, but he’ll have to get his head in the game.

My father’s birthday present from Ensie and I this year was tickets to the Huskies-Air Force game tomorrow at Qwest Field (Plenty of good seats still available). I’ll update and maybe have pictures this weekend.

Enjoy Labor Day everyone, and keep the Gulf Coast in your prayers.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack