November 30, 2005

I missed my calling.

Scott Eyre – 3 years, $11 million

Bobby Howry – 3 years, $12 million

Kyle Farnsworth 3 years, $17 million

Billy Wagner – 4 years, $43 million

BJ Ryan – 5 years, $47 million

Had I the chance to do it all over, I would have been a relief pitcher.

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November 29, 2005

Are you sure we need a Hall of Fame for this?

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (in lovely Cleveland, Ohio) announced its class of 2006 today. Now, setting aside the argument that a Hall of Fame for a single musical style is irrelevant in the first place, lets take a look.

Okay, real quick: a “Hall of Fame” for a purely subjective medium is inherently ludicrous. You might think that Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles records are brilliant and they touch you deeply. I might think that McCartney’s work since the Fab Four is pointless hackery and a waste of talent. We would both be right. Music, like any art form, is unquantifiable. There is nothing, save for the personal reaction to it, that can point good art from bad. If the collected works of Kenny Rogers warms your heart, well then Kenny Rogers is a genius, for at least one person.

That being said, this is the class of ‘06.

Black Sabbath For all the nonsense that followed both the band and Ozzy’s solo work, it’s easy to underestimate how important Black Sabbath was. Their initial trio of albums Black Sabbath, Paranoid, and Master of Reality virtually created heavy metal. Unlike 99% of Sabbath’s followers, they had the chops too. The shrieking insanity of “Paranoid” and sludge of “Sweet Leaf” echoed down through metal, hair metal and grunge.

Blondie Blondie’s first album was released in 1976 and it seems some people still don’t realize that “Blonde is a Band”. More known for later New Wave stuff like “Call Me” and the proto-rap of “Rapture”, Debbie Harry and the boys were mainstays of the early punk scene. For me, this is a no-brainer pick, both for the work and Harry’s influence on later artists.

Miles Davis This is a stretch. not for Davis’ artistry -indeed, Miles Davis belongs on a very short list of greatest musicians of the 20th century- but for purely “Rock and Roll” terms, his most enduring legacy is jazz-rock fusion. His landmark Bitches Brew was released in 1969 and led to some truly awful copycat albums. Still, Davis belongs in every Hall of Fame for any musical style imaginable, if just for Birth of the Cool, Sketches of Spain, and Kind of Blue.

Lynryd Skynyrd Along with the more adventurous Allman Brothers Band, one of the two pillars of Southern Rock. Skynyrd shouldn’t have waited this long to be inducted. An oftentimes insane jam band, the best known lineup for this band featured three lead guitarists. They were probably penalized by rock critic pretension.

Sex Pistols It should be really interesting to see how Johnny Rotten reacts to this. One studio album, Never Mind the Bullocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols and tons of attitude, the Pistols were a giant and very necessary “Fuck You” to late-70’s rock. Not as interesting or inventive as The Clash, or any of the vastly superior American punks like Television, this band remains the most nihilistic example of early punk.

I feel the need to mention this post was written while listening to Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits

Like I said: all subjective.

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November 27, 2005

Are you Kidding Me??


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While watching the Seahawks game...

... I wonder just who the fuck Osi Umenyiora is and how is he making Walter Jones look like a Division III freshman.

...I wonder if that awful non-overturned call on Jeremy Shockey's non-catch is further proof Tags is desperate to make Eli and his Giants the frontrunner.

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I'm not alone

.Last week I mentioned the PR problem with my city. Today, the local paper concurred

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November 24, 2005


I’m thankful for (in no particular order)…

…My in-laws, without whom my wife and I would have lacked both the financial resources and the sanity to purchase our first home.

…Our new neighborhood: beautiful old houses, nice people and much more real than our pre-fab neighborhood back in California.

Swingin’ Doors (Thursday nights) and The Roadhouse (Wednesday nights) on KEXP. Don Slack and Greg Vandy run the best radio shows known to man. Swingin’ Doors is a mix of alt-country, rockabilly and traditional country; Roadhouse is American roots music. Great music and you can learn something too.

…Blogs. I never lack something to read. I check them out constantly, and I'm always rewarded. I'm also thankful for my blog-partner, should he ever reappear.

…The Seahawks. Yeah, I don’t completely trust them yet, but it is just fun to root for a winner, to have a genuine sense of expectation from the team you grew up with.

…My office in downtown Seattle. I don’t like my job. I don’t like what I do and most of the people I do it with. But I love being in Seattle every day, with the walk down 4th Avenue, the views of the water and Pike Place Market. No matter how lousy my day may be, I can always drink it all in.

…Our first house. It certainly isn’t perfect. The Missus and I have a list a mile long of things we need to fix or improve or replace. Our house wasn’t my first choice, but more and more it feels like it should have been.

…This forum. I don’t blog as much or as well as I’d hoped I would, but hopefully that will change.

The Primo Grill. Great food, great ambiance and less than a mile from the house. Our favorite place.

…Evening walks with the Jeffery. All of my pets mean the world to me. Life without Jeffery, Matchbox, Merlin, Moby, Percy and Gilbert is hard to imagine. I’ve made a point of taking Jeffery for a walk around the neighborhood as soon as I get home from work. It helps calm him down, and gives me a sense of peace too.

…My newly-remarried parents. In February I couldn’t believe they were getting back together. Now I can’t believe it took them this long.

…My father surviving his heart problems and cancer this year. It hasn’t been easy, and he isn’t done no matter how much he thinks he is, but there were times I worried about him more than I wanted to admit. Thanks for sticking around Dad.

…Most of all, I’m thankful for my lovely, brilliant wife. Very much a homebody, she was still willing to pull up stakes and move me back home. She’s made more sacrifices than I realized, she’s left every comfort zone she had, and I can’t believe how lucky I am to find someone willing to do that for me.

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November 23, 2005

Frinklin Football Wrap-up

Considering this came down to a battle for last place in the Pac-10, the Apple Cup wasn’t bad. The Cougars finally won a close game; the Huskies lost yet again, and we get a small and rather meaningless fight at the end.

Again, not bad.

Certainly not good though. Either the Husky offense is really pathetic or the Cougar defense is better than we thought. My guess it’s a combination of both, though considering the Dawgs couldn’t get any run game started after Sims went out, I’m leaning toward the former.

Neither team had a season to be proud of though.

Elsewhere on Rivalry Day

-Is Lloyd Carr on the hot seat? It sure seems he should be. Michigan finishes a very disappointing 7-4, and the last few minutes of the Ohio State game were atrocious. Next year will be huge for the Wolverines, but the team will look much like it did this season: most everything comes back on offense, but the defense will be in some trouble.

-Speaking of the hot seat: Hello Phil Fulmer! Was Tennessee really thought of as a national championship contender or was that some sort of giant hallucination? Not only did the Vols lose, they lost ugly, they got in trouble doing so, and they lose a game to Vanderbilt for the first time since the Reagan administration. Problems in Knoxville run deeper than Randy Sanders’ play calling.

-I think the Oregon Ducks are going to get screwed by the BCS, but they sure should be in the Fiesta Bowl. I can’t see how the BCS could consider 2 2-loss teams (Notre Dame and Ohio State) over Oregon.

-Every year Clemson starts slow and finishes fast. Tiger fans are getting pretty tired of this.

-If the Texas-USC Rose Bowl were played today, Texas would win. The Trojans defense is just too porous to win at this point. However, give Pete Carroll six weeks to prepare and things work out much differently. Oh, and I’m not sure Reggie Bush is human. 500 yards total offense by one guy? Jiminy Christmas…

Now, for the Sunday games:

I have one thing to say about the Seattle-San Francisco game, and that is “RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!”

Did we really see a team shooting for home-field advantage in the playoffs comes down to a botched 2-point conversion to hold on against this team? Where did all my confidence in this team go? Next week against the Giants is very, very big. Beating a good –but not great- New York team will get these guys back on track.

Oh, and can anyone explain why we didn’t re-sign Ken Lucas? He’s speeding toward the Pro Bowl with the Panthers, and his replacements, the always-hurt Andre Dyson and the always-burnt Kelly Herndon surely aren’t. Doesn’t Trufant-Lucas-Babineaux sound better than Trufant-Herndon-Dyson?

-When does Aaron Rodgers get some snaps? It’s obvious that the Packers aren’t going anywhere, so why not give the kid a shot? It sound horrible, but Brett Favre isn’t going to be with this team when they’re good again.

-Did Kurt Warner sell his soul for a good game against the Rams or did it just look that way?

-Are the Bears better than advertised or are the Panthers overrated? I think both are accurate right now. Chicago’s defense is excellent, and if Kyle Orton can continue to not screw up, the Bears are dangerous. I’ve never been completely sold on Carolina though. They have no run game to speak of and no receivers past Steve Smith.

-Please ESPN; keep the Texans on TV as much as possible.

-The San Diego Chargers seem hell-bent on being the best team in NFL history not to make the playoffs.

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November 22, 2005

What is going ON here?

Since moving to Tacoma, the Missus and I have noticed one thing: Nothing good ever happens south of Seattle. Now this may be an overstatement, but in the last week we've had a nutcase shoot up the local mall with an AK, a couple of high school kids get run over by a train, a serial rapist, and now we even get a shout-out from Bookslut regarding the very clumsy censoring of a local author (and his gay-themed book) by the University Place school district.

Now, you can find things like this in any city in America. Maybe not all at once, but you can. The funny thing is about Seattle and Tacoma is that none of the happy stuff in Tacoma is ever reported. If you're watching the local news and they mention Tacoma, bet on somebody being dead.

Rather depressing and frustrating.

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November 19, 2005

Two in a Row!


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Happy Apple Cup Day


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November 18, 2005

Frinklin Apple Cup Forecaster

Let’s see how these two titans of college football stack up, shall we?

Washington: Isaiah Stanback
Washington State: Alex Brink
Despite very different physical abilities and styles, Stanback and Brink share similar results. Both have shown flashes of being a very effective college quarterback, but both are plagued by missed opportunities. Brink is very similar to Jason Gesser, though he seems less a heady player than both Brink and his coaches seem to think he is. Stanback is a physical marvel, perhaps the fastest player on the field and possessing a magical arm. He still makes boneheaded plays though, and to make matters worse, he’s still making many of the same such plays he did early in the season.
Edge: Even

Running Back
Washington: James Sims
Washington State: Jerome Harrison
There is no contest here. If Harrison were on a better team he would be a Heisman candidate. He should be anyway, with 13 straight 100-yard games. He runs with both power and speed, and has broken off runs of over 25 yards in every game. James Sims is a fine runner who has bounced between tailback and fullback this season. He broke out with 200-plus yards against Arizona, but he is prone to fumbling.
Edge: Washington State

Wide Receiver/Tight End
Washington: Craig Chambers, Sonny Shackleford, Robert Lewis (TE)
Washington State: Jason Hill, Trandon Harvey, Cody Boyd (TE)
The Cougars are superior here too. Hill is a dynamic receiver who is contemplating the NFL after this, his junior season. He leads the team with 13 TD receptions. Michael Bumpus and Chris Jordan have been injury-prone, but Harvey has stepped up to take some of the pressure off Hill. With Troy Bienemann out with a torn ACL, Boyd will start at TE. The Huskies have talent at wideout, but not much consistency. Chambers is as aggravating a player as Husky fans can imagine. He has all the tools: hands, speed, size and moves. Unfortunately, he also takes plays off and drops easy balls. Shackleford is an effective possession guy, and Lewis is an effective safety valve. The Huskies have battled the drops all year.
Edge: Washington State

Offensive Line
Washington: Joe Toledo (LT), Stanley Daniels or Clay Walker (LG), Brad Venneman (C), Tusi Sa’au (RG), Chad Macklin or Rob Meadow (RT)
Washington State: Bobby Byrd (LT), Sean O’Conner (LG), Nick Milhauser (C), Norvell Holmes (RG), Charles Harris (RT)
Neither line has played as well as expected. UW has some continuity issues as both the left guard and right tackle position seem to change on a game-by-game basis. Toledo is the best Husky lineman, but he was hurt in the opener against Air Force and has struggled to recover. The Cougars line is led by Byrd, a talented sophomore struggling after a switch to tackle, and mammoth –if penalty prone- right side.
Edge: Washington State

Defensive Line
Washington: Donny Mateaki (E), Wilson Afoa (T), Manase Hopoi (T), Grayson Gunheim (E)
Washington State: Mkristo Bruce (E), Adam Johnson (T), Fevaea’i Ahmu or Ropati Pitoitua (T), Adam Braidwood (E)
This is not what Manase Hopoi came back for a fifth year for. Hopoi, one of the better linemen in the country in 2004, is mired in a season-long slump. Gunheim is the other name amongst the Huskies. A fine, speedy edge rusher, Gunheim can be overpowered at the line. Bruce, one of the best speed rushers in the Pac-10, leads the Cougars. While he sometimes plays out of control and will run himself out of plays. Bruce never stops moving, and with Will Derting out of the lineup, is the most valuable Coug defender. The interior of the line is a mess. Johnson is average at best, Ahmu is a true freshman and Pitoitua has struggled with injuries all year.
Edge: Washington State

Washington: Scott White (ILB), Tahj Bomar (ILB), Evan Benjamin (OLB)
Washington State: Scott Davis (OLB), Will Derting or Gary Trent (MLB), Steve Dildine (OLB)
Even without senior Joe Lobendahn, the Huskies have an active, athletic group of linebackers. Bomar has come of the bench and played well in his absence. Benjamin and White are the emotional heart of the Husky D. White is a big hitter who will make mistakes, and Benjamin is an oversized safety who specializes in big plays. Without Derting, the Cougar linebackers are in trouble. Davis and Dildine are the same player: gritty, gutty, smart but slow. Derting makes them a special group. Trent is more athletic, but is a true freshman and often plays like one.
Edge: Washington

Defensive backs
Washington: Matt Fountaine (CB), Roy Lewis (CB), CJ Wallace (S), Dashon Goldson (S)
Washington State: Wally Dada (CB), Alex Teems (CB), Husain Abdullah (S), Eric Frampton (S)
Does it count if this isn’t a strength for either team? Actually, the Huskies have improved almost to average since Lewis has gotten healthy and nickleback Durrell Moss has replaced the ineffectual Josh Okeabor. The Huskies have a quality, if injury-prone safety duo. As for the Cougars, Teems has been revealed as a mediocre Pac-10 corner with the departure of Karl Paymah to the NFL. Abdullah is as athletic a safety as there is in the conference, but he shys away from contact. Frampton is the opposite, a headhunter who will miss tackles going for the big hit.
Edge: Washington

This game doesn’t make much sense. The two best players on the field (Hill and Harrison) both are Cougars. If Derting is healthy, that makes the three best. The Cougars offense, which averages nearly 35 points a game, far outclasses the Huskies. The defenses are about even, though the Huskies have improved to fifth in the conference in total D. Still, there seems something broken about this Cougar team. They’ve lost seven in a row, six of which by six points are fewer. WSU is a half-dozen plays away from 10-1, yet here they are at 3-7. The Cougars have played the same game six times (Oregon, ASU, Cal, UCLA, Stanford and Oregon St) and have lost every time. The Huskies on the other hand, actually come in on a bit of a high. They snapped a long conference losing streak and waxed a hot Arizona team. Stanback is coming off his most efficient game as a starter, and (with only 4 quarters left in his college career) James Sims has emerged as a quality tailback. If Stanback can stay away from big plays for the Cougs –a big if- they Huskies will win this.
Edge: Washington
Prediction: Washington 24, Washington State 16

Other Rivalry Week Predictions
Oregon 34, Oregon St. 17
Stanford 24, Cal 17
Michigan 31, Ohio State 21
Auburn 16, Alabama 10
Clemson 21, South Carolina 17
Virginia Tech 24, Virginia 14
BYU 24, Utah 10
Indiana 28, Purdue 21

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November 16, 2005

Frinklin Football Wrap-up

I thought last year would be the lousiest Apple Cup I could imagine. Considering that the Huskies and Cougars are a combined 1-14 in Pac-10 play this season, it looks like I’m wrong. Give the Huskies credit though, they beat a hot Arizona team, and did so in convincing fashion. Did the Stanback-to-Chambers Hail Mary turn around the program? Maybe… There are still some serious flaws with this team, but at least they know they can beat a Pac-10 opponent.

The Cougars hold no such illusions. At this point, with a play here and a play there, WSU should be 7-3 and making plans for the holidays. Instead, this may be the most frustrating Cougar team ever, one that will finish with the teams single-season rushing champ, and an All-America caliber receiver, but no Pac-10 wins. Yes, I’m giving my Apple Cup pick a bit early (I’m doing a larger piece too) but I can’t imagine the Cougars beating anyone at this point.

Elsewhere in the College ranks:

-LSU knocks off unbeaten Alabama in yet another SEC snoozer. Yeah, it was close and went to overtime, but not much is duller than Crimson Tide football right now.

-USC and Texas have removed themselves from the pack. The BCS better pray both these teams finish unbeaten –and I think both will- because nobody wants to see one-loss USC, Texas, LSU, Miami, VT, Oregon, and Penn State left standing.

Now, the NFL:

I’ll admit it. When St. Louis cut the lead to 24-16 I was having a full-blown panic attack. Too many close losses ran through my head. Thank you Shaun Alexander: All I want for Christmas is an extension for you.

-Ummm… Hey, Cody Pickett? Nevermind.

-Is the Vikings/Giants game the most inexplicable of the season?

-Samkon Gado would make a great Star Wars name.

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November 12, 2005

The Supes worst loss in 13 years.

Fire Bob Weiss.

Before this gets any uglier.

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November 11, 2005

Saw this coming


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Don't make me regret this

I-912, which would have repealed Washington's gas tax increase, narrowly lost at the polls on Tuesday. Those who voted against the initiative -myself included- did so because canceling the gas tax would have gutted the budget for transportation infrastructure desperately needed in our fair state. Now that 912 has been defeated, you'd think pressing needs such as the SR-512 floating bridge and the Alaska Way Viaduct would take precedence. Actually, according to the Seattle Times, neither the Viaduct nor the bridge plans have been finalized, so first up is...

... a bike lane across a highway in Moses Lake. Sweet Jesus people, some priorities!

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November 10, 2005

Your Not-So-SuperSonics

Is available?

What, four games into the season is a bit too early for that? I’m not so sure. I wasn’t sold on Weiss’ hiring at all. He hadn’t been a head coach in 12 years, after very forgettable stints with the Spurs, Hawks and Clippers. In his stint the Sonics as an assistant he was most definitely the Good Cop to Nate McMillan’s hardass Bad Cop. I worried that without Nate (and Dwayne Casey), to push them, the Sonics would play lackadsical defense and play up to their soft, jump-shooting rep.

Then they lost Antonio Daniels and replaced him with Rick Brunson, which is akin to swapping Bo and Luke for Coy and Vance.

Then they played awfully in the preseason.

Then they blew a lead against the Clips.

Then they were blown out against Memphis and Cleveland.

Then Vlad spouted off about his minutes and said he would give Weiss “10-12 more games” before demanding a trade.

Suffice to say, the good vibes brought on by last year’s plucky underdogs is a bit frayed at the edges.

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November 09, 2005

Frinklin’s Off-Off-Year Election Recap

You have to take the good with the bad, right? The Washington election went about 50/50 for me. The unnecessary audit initiative, I-900, and the anti-smoking I-901 passed in huge numbers. I-900 I can live with. I don’t think it’s really necessary, but it won’t be too much of a drain on resources. The other bothers me a bit. I haven’t smoked in several years, but the draconian nature of the bill frightens me. The big news locally is the apparent failure of I-912, the repeal of the gas tax. This measure had huge support just weeks ago, and if it’s slight lead holds through the counting of absentee and vote-by-mail votes coming in, it will count as a serious upset. Also, voters were apparently confused by the competing medical malpractice initiatives, and both went down. The more onerous I-330 was crushed, the doctor-sponsored I-336 lost, but it was much closer. Finally, the good people of Seattle finally killed their own monorail plan. Eight years and $300 million dollars after the first ballot measure passed, Seattleites finally tired of the empty promises and detail-free plans to build the damned thing. Of course, the city will be paying the additional car taxes for at least two years to settle the SMP’s debts.

Nationally the Democrats are hailing this as a win of sorts, as they kept both the New Jersey and Virginia governorships. Both John Corzine and Tim Kaine hail from the moderate wing of the party, something for my Blue State friends to remember. Corzine is far less important, as Jersey is a solidly Democratic state to begin with. Virginia is something different. Kaine, with some serious help from the outgoing Democratic Governor Mark Warner, won in a state that George W. carried by 9 points in 2004. Now, while my Potomac-based blog partner may disagree, I think this election had far less to do with GWB then it did with Warner. Other than Kaine, Warner is the big winner here; this improves his standing amongst Democratic insiders and he could be a contender in 2008.

I, personally, am most disappointed by the California results. All four of the Governator’s rather ambitious initiatives failed at the polls. It’s a mixture of several months of pounding attacks by the state’s powerful public-sector unions (they were running awful anti-Arnie commercials featuring a little boy complaining about the Guv slashing his mommy’s pension over a year ago), and some hubris on Schwarzeneggers part. If you believe the polls, California voters were seriously upset about the cost of the special election (some $300 million) and the rather ham-handed way Schwarzenegger campaigned for this. It’s a shame, because the now-defeated measures really would have helped California. A state drowning in red ink and caught in ossified Assembly and Congressional districts will now virtually shut down until the next Governors election.

Finally, my former hometown of San Diego again has a mayor. Former police Chief Jerry Sanders won a special election over the rather flakey surf-shop owner Donna Frye. He has a lot of work ahead of him, with the city’s disastrous $1.4 billion pension plan on verge of collapse and the city possibly looking at bankruptcy. To make matter worse, political gadfly and current city attorney Mike Aguirre has made no secret that he feels he’s the most important person in local government. Still, Sanders is an excellent choice. Good luck with that Jerry.

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November 08, 2005

Sports Guy Fans

Fans of Bill Simmons need to be paying attention to Page 2's 5-year anniversary this week. Each day they are picking the "Best of" for each year. So far, Simmons has had 3 of 'em, including today's Unintentional Comedy Scale. Classic...

Oh, and Chuck Klosterman is joining the Page 2 staff with his Monthly "The Conservative" column. It's worth reading today just for his take on Brett Favre.

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November 07, 2005

Frinklin's Washington State Voter Guide

This is a big off-year election in the state of Washington. Between a series of big initiatives and (in my mind) misguided attempts at increasing the ease of voting, the state is expecting huge turnout, maybe as much as 60%.

Yes, I’ve railed against the dumbing-down of elections before, and I’ll stick with it. Voting should take effort. It shouldn’t be as easy as voting on-line or by mail. If you’re too damned dumb or lazy or both to figure out the issues and head to the polling place, please don’t bother.

Now, onto the issues:

Initiative 900
This initiative, the latest by Tim Eyman, would require the State Auditor to earmark .016% of the state budget for performance audits for all local, state and regional government entities. I-900, which, honestly, will pass by a large margin, is a bit of a boondoggle, a one-size-fits-all solution to a problem that really doesn’t exist.
Vote No on I-900

Initiative 901
This slightly totalitarian measure, brought to you by the “We SO know better than YOU” Brigade would ban smoking in public places including areas up to 25 feet of doorways and “ventilation openings”. Stuff like this just makes my teeth hurt. Look, there are smoke-free restaurants and bars in every city in the Pacific Northwest. If you want a smoke-free environment, go to them. This is an unnecessary, unwanted infringement on personal liberty.
Vote No on I-901

Initiative 912
This is the big one here in Washington. This measure would repeal the gas tax increase enacted by the legislature in a rather impressive act of political courage. The tax is 3 cents in 2005, 2 cents in 2006 – 2007 and 1.5 cents in 2008. This is a difficult issue in Washington, with the initiative forced caps on car registration and property taxes, money for infrastructure is lacking. You know, infrastructure, one of those things government is supposed to do. Unfortunately, transit is a big issue here, and all of the gas tax money is set for transportation projects. Opposition to the gas tax centers on four points

Gas already costs too much.
Ummm…no, no it doesn’t. Despite the recent increases, adjusted for inflation, gas was still more expensive in the early-80s. Plus, Americans pay less, usually by about $1.00 - $2.00, than any other first-world country.

The measure is too Seattle-centric.
Two giant Seattle projects do dominate all talk about I-912. First, the Alaska Way Viaduct, one of the main arteries through and out of the city is in desperate need of replacement. The Viaduct showed serious signs of stress after the 2001 Nisqaually earthquake, and its fait accompli that it would collapse in another earthquake of comparable size. The other problem is the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge across Lake Washington. This is one of two bridges connecting Seattle with its east King County suburbs. Again, this bridge could sink in another earthquake. These projects are the easiest to identify with the measure, and matters aren’t helped by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels demanding that an expensive, Big Dig-stye tunnel replace the Viaduct.

The truth of the matter is that while the Viaduct and floating bridge are the easiest to identify, there are 900 obsolete bridges in this state. Transit infrastructure is sadly lacking all over the Washington.

The increase in gas taxes does nothing to improve congestion.
This one is true. The gas tax is more to improve current roadways and replace crisis situations. To make matter worse, what congestion relief that is included in this package are HOV lanes and mass transit, despite the overwhelming evidence that isn’t what the majority of the electorate wants.

Transit money has been wasted in obscene amounts in this state
There is some truth to this as well. The Puget Sound region has been amazingly profligate at spending needless amounts of money on transit projects. To wit: the Seattle Monorail Project, up for its fifth citywide ballot measure, is currently projected to spend $10-15 billion on 12 miles of track. Now, the Monorail wouldn’t actually be connected to the LINK light rail system currently in place in Tacoma and under construction in Seattle. The SMP is city, LINK is SoundTransit. That would be the regional transportation district that encompasses CityTransit, Community Transit, Pierce Transit, Metro Transit, and Everett Transit. These fine folks built the Sounder commuter train that I take each day. It did go over budget and they have been caught several times overestimating ridership, but they did get the damned thing built. They also had to close the Seattle Metro Bus Tunnel for the next two years. That would be the tunnel built under 3rd Avenue downtown. They have to expand the tunnel to add light rail capabilities, despite that when it was built in 1989 it was guaranteed to be light rail capable. Oh yeah, they’re closing the tunnel from 2005-2007 despite the fact the LINK system won’t be in the downtown area until 2010. Don’t ask… I don’t know.

So, Washingtonians have some right to be worried. The difference is that the money spent from the gas tax will be spent by the state DOT. They have a better reputation that the SMP and SoundTransit.

That isn’t particularly difficult, though.

Overall, this isn’t the best situation to be in, but with such crying infrastructure needs, I think this gas tax is a necessary evil.
Vote No on I-912

Initiative 330 and 336
This is what I hate about the Initiative process. I-330 would cap medical malpractice claims and I-336 would “reform” the malpractice system altogether. One was written entirely by the trial-lawyers, the other by the insurance industry. Basically, these two initiatives take two of the most complex issues in America today, dumb them down so it’s virtually impossible to tell what either them do, let alone why they would be necessary, and present them to an electorate way too interested in But Can They Sing? to figure this out.

Hell, I work in the healthcare industry and I don’t get it. I do know this though: the one thing the two Initiatives agree on is that Washington is loosing doctors at an alarming rate. Except that isn’t quite true. The number of registered physicians has gone up each of the last five years. Malpractice insurance rates have kept fairly stable. So why do we need these? Oh yeah, trial lawyers and insurance companies.

Vote No on I-330 and I-336

Tacoma Proposition 1
This local proposition would add 18 cents additional property tax per $1,000 for Tacoma homeowners, of which I am one now. This would be used to fill the Housing Trust Fund, raising $15,000,000 over the next years, to be used to rehabilitate 750 housing units citywide. Tacoma is a city of renters, with a homeownership rate of 45%, far behind much of the state. Getting people to own homes is good, but I’m wary of this proposition. There seems to be little in the way of controls set up for this. I’m voting for this, but very reluctantly.
Vote Yes on Tacoma Proposition 1

Tacoma Metro Park Proposition 1
Way to name these propositions, fellas. You have to admire the cojones of the Tacoma Metro Parks Department. Last year, Tacoma voters narrowly voted down a $60 million bond to improve our park system. This year, we get a bond for $84 million. It was needed then and it is needed now. Tacomans are rightly proud of our cities parks, but some sprucing is order.
Vote Yes on Tacoma Metro Parks Proposition 1

Tacoma Mayor
This is a foregone conclusion, as incumbent Bill Baarsma is running virtually unopposed. His only opponent is Tacoma gadfly Will Baker, best known for getting himself thrown out of City Council meetings. Baarsma is a bit of a non-entity, lacking any real media attention, especially in a town with both a Mayor and City Manager. He seems a decent sort though.
Vote Bill Baarsma Tacoma Mayor

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

How can this NOT turn into a dozen porn movies.


Thank you Angela Keathley and Renee Thomas. Thank you from teenage boys everywhere. In case you've been on Mars, these two lovely Charlotte TopCats were arrested Saturday night in Tampa after a scuffle in a nightclub. Apparently the other patrons were upset that the two Panther cheerleaders were taking too long.

Of course, they were in there doin' it.

Let's see here: Two hot NFL cheeleaders having drunken lesbian sex in nightclub bathroom? How can this not involve the Minnesota Vikings in some way?

Image stolen from Deadspin. Where he got it, I dunno.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:41 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 06, 2005

Inter-Munuvian Hockey Whoopass Jamboree Loss

Damn you Mikka Kiprusoff.

Here you go Gir

And yes, I am aware my logos are the smallest of them all.

Posted by Frinklin at 12:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 05, 2005

How did I do 2005: American League

I completely forgot to run the AL-version of this. Ooops.

AL East
I said…
1.New York Yankees
2. Boston Red Sox
3. Baltimore Orioles
4. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
5. Toronto Blue Jays

Reality said…
1.New York Yankees
2. Boston Red Sox
3. Toronto Blue Jays
4. Baltimore Orioles
5. Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Well, the first two were pretty easy. Both teams won 95 games despite the overwhelming feeling that neither was as good as we thought they were. Both proved it by losing in the division series. I blew it on Toronto; turns out JP knows what he’s doing more than I thought. Baltimore went through another manager and GM. Tampa Bay finally has a shot with new ownership.

AL Central
I said…
1. Minnesota Twins
2. Cleveland Indians
3. Chicago White Sox
4. Detroit Tigers
5. Kansas City Royals

Reality said…
1. Chicago White Sox
2. Cleveland Indians
3. Minnesota Twins
4. Detroit Tigers
5. Kansas City Royals

Two quick qoutes from my White Sox preview: “This team is not going in the right direction” and “This is a team on the verge of collapse”


Honestly, if you disregard my horrible misreading of the 2005 World Champions, I still didn’t do all that well. The Twins underachieved all season. The Indians are a fine young team that isn’t quite there yet. Everybody knew that. Detroit was terrible and KC horrific. We knew that going in.

AL West
I said…
1. Los Angeles Angels
2. Texas Rangers
3. Seattle Mariners
4. Oakland Athletics

Reality said…
1.Los Angeles Angels
2. Oakland Athletics
3. Texas Rangers
4. Seattle Mariners

I whiffed pretty good here too. I seriously underestimated Oakland’s ability to grow up quick. I overestimated the Rangers (and the M’s to a lesser extant). The Angels, despite some treacherous going late in the season, were a pretty easy call.

Posted by Frinklin at 09:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 01, 2005

Frinklin Basketball Forecaster

Eastern Conference
1. New Jersey Nets
2. Philadelphia 76ers
3. New York Knicks
4. Boston Celtics
5. Toronto Raptors

The Nets have a terrific three-man team in Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter. The Sixers could have a great two-man team if Chris Webber and Allen Iverson can co-exist. The Knicks will be improved with Larry Brown and his fleet of point guards. Boston is very young and looking to trade Paul Pierce. Toronto is just plain terrible, even if Charlie Villueneva is better than expected.

1. Indiana Pacers
2. Detroit Pistons
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
4. Chicago Bulls
5. Milwaukee Bucks

Ron Artest leads a loaded Pacer team, even without Reggie Miller. The Pistons will be fine without Larry; Flip Saunders is an excellent replacement. In Larry Hughes, the Cavs have a fine wingman for LaBron James. He’ll lead them to the playoffs for the first time in his career. Chicago will slip a bit after surprising in 2004. The Bucks will be improved, but not show much for it.

1. Miami Heat
2. Washington Wizards
3. Orlando Magic
4. Charlotte Bobcats
5. Atlanta Hawks

The Heat overloaded with talent, but still need to concentrate on the Big Aristotle and Dwayne Wade. There are some serious chemistry issues on the horizons, and poor Stan Van Gundy better go 80-2 to keep Pat Riley off his job. Oh, I can’t wait until Shaq watches Walker go 4-23 without even coming near the paint. The rest of this division won’t be nearly as entertaining. The Wiz and Magic are getting better slowly. The Bobcats and Hawks just suck.

Eastern Conference Champion: Indiana Pacers

Western Conference
1. San Antonio Spurs
2. Houston Rockets
3. Dallas Mavericks
4. Memphis Grizzlies
5. New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets

The Spurs are the class of this division, conference and the NBA until proven otherwise. The Rockets are getting better, and the addition of Stromile Swift could be huge. The Mavericks aren’t collapsing, but the idea their window is closing is gaining steam. Memphis is running in place, and the Hornets were awful before their travels began.

1. Denver Nuggets
2. Seattle SuperSonics
3. Utah Jazz
4. Minnesota Timberwolves
5. Portland TrailBlazers

Can George Karl do it for a full season? Can nice-guy Bob Weiss be as successful as hard-ass Nate McMillan? Can Jerry Sloan win (or even survive) with a rookie point guard? Will KG ever be happy again in Minnesota? Will Nate go the season without killing any of his young knuckleheads?

Yes. No. No. Yes, but no this season. Probably not. Should be an entertaining division.

1. Phoenix Suns
2. Sacramento Kings
3. Golden State Warriors
4. Los Angeles Lakers
5. Los Angeles Clippers

A lot of the Suns’ fortunes rest on the return of Amare Stoudamire. If he misses ¾ of the regular season, Phoenix won’t win the division. The Kings have an excellent starting five, but not much depth. The Warriors could surprise, though with all the talk of a “surprise team” it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see them fall on their face. The Kobe and Phil show will miss the Big Fella. The Clips are running in place.


Western Division Champion: San Antonio Spurs

NBA Champion: San Antonio Spurs

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