October 30, 2006

Almost out of the top 50

My still fairly new hometown ranked 48th on the list of Most Dangerous Cities Survey. At this point I'm enough of a Tacoman (Tacomanite? Tacomainian? I honestly don't know) to understand it could have been much worse. Not Flint worse, but worse nonetheless.

On a related note, via Exit 133 comes the Neighborhood Crime homepage. This handy county website allows one to track the crime stats in any area of Pierce County. According to this my area is more about kidnapping than murder. Meth sales are also down, which makes sense, as the creepy people in the apartment behind me finally moved away.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 27, 2006

83 Wins and a world championship


Congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals, your World Series Champions. I'm sure the series would have been more interesting if:

-I paid any attention
-Any Tigers not named Kenny Rodgers had bothered to show up.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 23, 2006

Quote of the Day

"A friend of mine has a trophy wife, but apparently it wasn't first place."
- Steven Wright

Posted by Mediocre Fred at 11:03 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 20, 2006

Are there no decent marketers in the Northwest?

Back in March the Washington state tourism board, after spending somewhere in the neighborhood of a half-million dollars, unveiled the slogan "Say WA!".

As you might imagine, this was roundly mocked and the slogan was killed before the summer was over. Now, after spending about $200K, the city of Seattle has come up with a new tourism theme: Metronatural. This nonsensical term is supposed to evoke the city center surrounded by nature. While not quite as goofy as the "Say WA!" campaign, it makes up for it by sheer pretension. Expect Metronatural to be killed sometime around Christmas.

Well done city and state governments. Way to make us proud.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Playoff Pick-'Em Update

Here we go again.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present your National League Champions... the St. Louis Cardinals. And I further present the only person outside of the St. Louis metropolitan area who predicted this would happen... my mother. Yes, Mom called it. You can look it up.

Loyal reader PG writes admiringly:

Wow, she really is good, isn't she? And I don't think she should be penalized for thinking the A's would beat the Tigers -- when a friend who grew up in Michigan heard that the Tigers were going to the World Series, he started keeping an eye out for the Four Horsemen.

I had no choice but to call Mom again this morning to discuss it:

MF: Congratulations, Mom. Once again, you were right. The Cardinals are in the World Series.
MOM: Is this that baseball thing again?
MF: Yes. The baseball thing again.
MOM: Well, how about that!
MF: As far as I know, you're the only person who thought the Cardinals would make the World Series. How does it feel to be right? I wouldn't know.
MOM: Red is a power color. Didn't you ever hear that?
MF: Silly me. I thought the results of the baseball playoffs might have something to do with which team was better at baseball.
MOM: Now, now, no need to get snippy.
MF: I'm not getting snippy.
MOM: Yes, you are. I can hear it in your voice.
MF: Okay, maybe I'm getting a little snippy.
MOM: I knew it. You think you can fool your own mother?
MF: Unfortunately, you picked the other series wrong. The Tigers wound up beating the A's.
MOM: You know, I almost picked them.
MF: Liar.
MOM: It's true!
MF: Then why didn't you? If you had, you'd be hailed as the Nostradamus of our time.
MOM: Because the other team had green uniforms, and green is your favorite color.
MF: (silence)
MOM: Are you okay, dear?
MF: Yes, I'm fine. I just ran out of words, that's all.
MOM: This is fun! We should do this every year.
MF: Oh, you bet.
MOM: I'm just happy that your father has stopped whining about the Yankees.
MF: That's good.
MOM: Yes. Now he whines about the Redskins instead.
MF: That's much better.
MOM: It's a change, at least.
MF: Well, before I go, do you have any stock tips you'd like to share?
MOM: Don't be silly. How could I pick stocks? They don't wear uniforms.
MF: Ah. Well, I'd better get back to work, Mom, so-
MOM: Wait a minute. Back when you were making fun of me for picking the Cardinals to win the whole thing, didn't you promise me something if they did?
MF: Well, I don't know about-
MOM: Wait, I wrote it down somewhere.
MF: Mom, I really should get back to-
MOM: Oh, here it is. You said that if the Cardinals won, you'd clean my basement.
MF: Oh. Well, ha ha-
MOM: I hope your sweeping muscles are ready.
MF: But I was just-
MOM: Make sure you get the cobwebs in the corner of the laundry room. They're a real pain.
MF: The Cardinals haven't won the Series yet.
MOM: Yet.
MF: Okay, Mom. Bye.
MOM: Make sure you clean the utility sink too!

That is all. For now. Go Tigers.

Posted by Mediocre Fred at 12:31 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 19, 2006


An interesting little bit found at Tainted Bill's place.

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

My wife is even rarer:

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Posted by Frinklin at 10:40 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

October 16, 2006

The Worst loss I've ever seen? Maybe

It hasn't been easy being a fan of Seattle sports teams. Between the self-destructing Super Bowl team to the 116-wins-and-no-championship Mariners to the multiple threats of moving frome every team, being a fan in Seattle isn't always easy. This is a city with no major pro championships since 1979, you know.

Having said that, I thank God I do not follow the Arizona Cardinals. To those who didn't watch it, the Cards tonight pulled off one of the most painful losses I've ever seen. In fact, there isn't much that could make it worse. To recap: Arizona takes a commanding 20-3 lead into the third quarter against the Bears, recently acclaimed as the best team in football. The Bears then manage 2 defensive touchdowns and a backbreaking punt return for touchdown to take a 24-23 lead. Matt Leinart leads the Cards back down the field for a last second field goal attempt.

Which Neil Rackers promptly misses. God, fandom can suck sometimes.


Posted by Frinklin at 10:23 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

October 09, 2006

Playoff Pick-'Em Update

Just to make sure I am properly humiliated:

The first round of the MLB playoffs is over, and what a shocker it was! Three of four presumed underdogs moved on to the next round. "Experts" everywhere are gnashing their teeth, wondering how they could have been so wrong. Well, except for one expert. The one who picked all three surprise winners correctly. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...

My mother.

That's right, Mom correctly picked the Tigers, A's, and Cardinals to advance. She missed only on the Dodgers-Mets series. For those of you who don't read this blog regularly, you may be wondering what deep baseball knowledge, what complex statistical formulas, she employed to pick the winners. Are you ready for this? She picked the teams whose uniforms she liked better.

That's right, a woman who knows nothing about baseball, who never reads the sports pages, went three-for-four. Meanwhile I, baseball obsessive, went one-for-four. And the one I got right (A's) was only because Mom talked me into it. If I hadn't talked to her, I'd have whiffed on all four picks.

I called her this morning to see how it felt to be right.

MF: Congratulations, Mom, you picked three of the four first-round winners right.
MOM: Is that your baseball thing?
MF: Yes, Mom. You picked the Tigers, A's, and Cards to advance, and they all did.
MOM: I did? How about that! How did you do?
MF: (mumbling) One for four.
MOM: What's that?
MF: One. I got one right.
MOM: I'm sorry to hear that. Maybe now you'll learn what I tried to teach you when you were a kid.
MF: Which was?
MOM: Your mother is always right.
MF: Yeah, yeah.
MOM: I'm just glad the Yankees lost. Now, though, I have to listen to your father whine and moan about them losing. "The Yankees stink! Fire Torre! Fire Cashman! Deport A-Rod back to his home country!"
MF: But A-Rod was born in Miami. (Editor's note: Actually, he was born in New York, and moved to Miami when he was 7. I just learned that.)
MOM: Your father said something about throwing him in prison at Guantanamo Bay.
MF: Sounds like he's taking it pretty hard.
MOM: Yeah. And after that Redskins game yesterday-
MF: Let's not go there. So, care to share the secret of your success?
MOM: Well, I guess I learned more about baseball than I thought, with all those Yankee games your father makes me watch.
MF: Oh, come on. Why don't you just admit it was all a fluke, and you got lucky?
MOM: Now, now, no need to be rude. I'm sure you'll catch up next time.
MF: (pause) I don't think so.
MOM: Why not?
MF: Because the teams I picked to make the World Series already lost.
MOM: Oh. What about the teams I picked?
MF: Still alive. The A's and the (snarl) Cardinals.
MOM: Well, isn't that nice!
MF: (grumbling)
MOM: You don't sound so good, dear. Do you want me to make you some chicken soup?

I hate it when she gloats.

Posted by Mediocre Fred at 05:52 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

October 05, 2006

The Missus didn't care nearly this much before she met me.

About football, that is. Last Sunday, as we watched her Chargers fiddle away a win against Baltimore and my Seahawks just get killed in Chicago, Ensie mentioned that she enjoyed football before meeting me, but she really didn't care about it. Now she cares. A little too much if you ask her. She screams at the television just as much as I do.

Now, would she go as far as create a website like this? No, but I bet she'd support it.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:25 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

October 03, 2006

Fred's Playoff Preview Version 4.0: Mother Knows Best

Once again, it's time to dust off that Mediocre Fred tradition, the Gala Playoff Preview. (For easy ridicule, check out my picks from 2003, 2004, and 2005. Usually in this space, I take a couple paragraphs to hype my clairvoyance, moan and whine about the fact that my favorite team(s) missed the playoffs yet again, and lay out in excruciating detail the reasons that, no matter who I pick, I will offend and alienate someone I care about.

Not this year, though. This year, I'm doing something different.

For the last couple years, I let my mom pick one series, which she did using the highly professional and sophisticated method of deciding which team's uniform she liked better. Naturally, she has never been wrong. I, of course, have. Last year, after my mom's pick, I wrote (rather snidely): "Mom has spoken. Next year, I think I'm going to let her make all the picks." A couple readers, noting Mom's unbroken accuracy streak, suggested I actually follow through with this plan.

Well, this year, I'm going to do just that. I'm letting Mom run the show.

What follows is a transcript of my discussions with my mother, in which I showed her pictures of each team's home and road unis, and asked for her pick. She only picks winners, and not series lengths. ("The shorter, the better, as far as I'm concerned. Your father spends too much time in front of the television as it is.")

For comparison purposes, I'm inserting my picks in parentheses after hers. If we disagree, bear in mind that I am almost certainly wrong. (At least that's what Mom says.)


Mediocre Fred's (and Mom's) Exclusive Guide to the Playoffs 2006


St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Diego Padres

Mom picked this very series last year. I showed her the transcript:

MF: So, Mom, who do you pick?
MOM: Definitely the ones in red. The dark blue ones are too subdued. Red is a power color.
MF: All right, thanks.
MOM: (pointing at picture of Padres' road unis) Something's wrong with your printer, honey. The gray on this one looks weird.
MF: That's not gray, mom. That's the actual color.
MOM: You mean they look that way on purpose?
MF: Yes, Mom. They call it "sand."
MOM: Looks to me like the forgot to wash them for a couple weeks. Put me down for the red ones, definitely.
MF: Okay, we're going with the Cardinals.
MOM: Speaking of cardinals, they've been hogging the bird feeder again. They're so obnoxious, always crowding out the other birds.
MF: Well, gee, look at the time! Thanks, Mom, but I have to-
MOM: They're almost as bad as the starlings. I hate starlings! They look like little flying oil slicks. They're ugly, and they always-

I asked if she agreed with her previous pick.

MOM: Oh, yes, definitely still the Cardinals.
MF: Okay.
MOM: I still think something's wrong with your printer, though. I don't believe the Padres' uniforms are really that color.
MF: They are.
MOM: Really?
MF: Really.
MOM: Who okayed that? It looks terrible.
MF: I don't know. But are you sure you want to pick the Cardinals? I mean, they backed into the playoffs with-
MOM: (rolling eyes) I don't care about that. All I know is, when the Padres have to come out in those ugly uniforms, they'll probably give up out of embarrassment.
MF: I don't think they-
MOM: By the way, the starlings are bothering the bird feeder again.
MF: Really?
MOM: You know who's worse, though? The blue jays. They come in and chirp their little heads off and chase off all the other birds. They're so annoying. There aren't any teams called the Blue Jays in the playoffs, are there?
MF: No, they didn't make it.
MOM: Good. Because if they did, I'd definitely pick them to lose big time.
MF: I'm sure you would.

MOM'S PICK: Cardinals (Fred's pick: Padres in 4)

New York Mets vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

MF: Okay. Mets vs. Dodgers. Here you go.
MOM: Oooooh, I like the blue ones. They're very handsome.
MF: They're both blue.
MOM: I meant the ones over here. (pointing at Dodgers uniforms) The other ones aren't blue, they're black.
MF: Well, they have blue on them too.
MOM: They're black and blue? That's dumb.
MF: I agree. So you're picking the Dodgers.
MOM: Yeah. Hey, didn't you play for the Dodgers in Little League?
MF: Yes.
MOM: Oh, then definitely the Dodgers. You looked so cute in your little uniform.
MF: Okay, Mom-
MOM: I think I have some pictures of it around here somewhere.
MF: I was hoping we could move on.
MOM: It won't take me a minute. It's probably in one of the books on this shelf.
MF: Oh, brother.
MOM: Don't talk back to me, now. I'm still your mother.
MF: Yes, ma'am.

MOM'S PICK: Dodgers (Fred's pick: Dodgers in 5)


Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees

MOM: Oh, no, not the Yankees. Definitely the other team.
MF: But you didn't even look at-
MOM: I don't care. The Yankees have to lose. Otherwise, your father will spend the entire month in front of the stupid television, watching his Yankees.
MF: But the Tigers are-
MOM: I don't care. The Yankees must be stopped. He won't shut up when they're on.
MF: But Detroit's pitching staff is-
MOM: He even talks to me about it, as if I have any idea what he's talking about.
MF: But the Tigers don't have-
MOM: He's always whining. "Ohhh, A-Rod's a choke artist. Ohhh, the players are so old. Ohhh, the team is terrible." If they're so terrible, why are they in the playoffs all the time?
MF: Well, good point.
MOM: Enough is enough. Definitely not the Yankees.
MF: You're making that pick with your heart, not your head.
MOM: Who cares? It's my decision. I'll pick whoever I want.
MF: But you didn't even look at the uniforms! That's how you always make your picks.
MOM: (sigh) All right. (looks at uniforms) Well, the Yankee uniforms do look a little better.
MF: So, does that mean you're picking the Yankees?
MOM: No.
MF: But-
MOM: Hey, I'm the one who has to live with your father.
MF: Point taken.

MOM'S PICK: Tigers (Fred's pick: Yankees in 3)

Minnesota Twins vs. Oakland A's

MF: Okay, Twins vs. A's. What's your pick?
MOM: Oooohhh, the Twins! Kirby Puckett played for them! (Editor's name: Kirby Puckett is Mom's all-time favorite player, solely because she likes his name.)
MF: So, are you taking the Twins?
MOM: Well, I don't know. Their uniforms are kind of ugly. I like the green and gold ones.
MF: The A's. But the A's haven't won any playoff series in years, you know.
MOM: Then they're due.
MF: Okay. You know, almost every expert is picking the Twins.
MOM: Oh? How many of them have a perfect picking record?
MF: Touche.

MOM'S PICK: A's (Fred's pick: A's in 5. What the hell. Mom convinced me.)


St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (or Padres vs. Dodgers)

MF: Cardinals vs. Dodgers. Your pick.
MOM: It's got to be the Cardinals. That red is really attractive.
MF: Wait. You're picking the... Cardinals... to go to the World Series?
MOM: Sure. Why not?
MF: Mom, they made the playoffs by the skin of their teeth. How can you pick them?
MOM: Muscular men look good in red.
MF: Ohhh-kayyy... If you're right this time, I will worship you as a god.
MOM: Goddess.
MF: Yes, goddess.
MOM: Well, you should worship me anyway. I am your mother.
MF: Yes, ma'am.

MOM'S PICK: Cardinals (Fred's pick: Dodgers in 6)


Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland A's (or Yankees vs. A's)

MF: All right, Tigers vs. A's.
MOM: Hmmm. It's close. They both have nice-looking uniforms. I think I'll pick the A's. That green is very attractive.
MF: So you're picking a Cardinals-A's World Series.
MOM: I suppose I am.
MF: I'm certain that you are the only person in the country making that pick.
MOM: Well, I'm one of a kind.
MF: Boy, are you ever.
MOM: What's that?
MF: Nothing.
MOM: As long as it's not the Yankees. Your father and those Yankees games. I swear-
MF: Yes, Mom, I get it. He gets a little crazy.
MOM: A little?
MF: Point taken.

MOM'S PICK: A's (Fred's pick: Yankees in 5)


St. Louis Cardinals vs. Oakland A's (or Dodgers vs. Yankees)

MF: Okay, here we go. (snicker) Cardinals vs. (giggle) A's.
MOM: Enough of your mockery. Have I picked wrong? Ever?
MF: Well, not yet. Technically.
MOM: That's what I thought.
MF: So, what's your pick, O Wise One?
MOM: Cardinals. I love that red!
MF: (laughing)
MOM: You wait and see. We'll see if you're still chuckling when the Cardinals win the World Series.
MF: That will be the day?
MOM: Do you doubt your mother?
MF: Honestly? Yes. Yes, I do.
MOM: The mother who fed you and dressed you throughout your childhood?
MF: That's the one.
MOM: The one who changed your diapers?
MF: I don't think that-
MOM: Those diapers weren't going to change themselves, you know.
MF: Mom-
MOM: And, boy, could you load them up, too.
MF: Mom!
MOM: Sorry.
MF: Okay, Cardinals it is. I'll tell you, if they win this thing, I'll clean your basement.
MOM: I'm going to hold you to that.
MF: (chuckling) Okay.
MOM: Don't forget the cobwebs in the corner of the laundry room.
MF: Yes, ma'am.
MOM: Oh, by the way, do you remember Jill Carliotti?
MF: From elementary school? Sure.
MOM: I ran into her mother the other day. Did you know she lives in Minnesota now? She's got a Ph.D. in child development.
MF: That's interesting.
MOM: She was a nice girl. You should have married her.
MF: Mom! We haven't seen each other since the sixth grade.
MOM: But she was nice. And she's got a nice steady career going.
MF: Sixth grade, mother.
MOM: When are you going to get married, anyhow? I'm sure you've met plenty of nice girls. You should find a good wife.
MF: Wow, look at the time! Bye, Mom.
MOM: Go Cardinals!

MOM'S PICK: Cardinals (Fred's Pick: Dodgers in 7)

So, there you haven't. Mom's really gone out on a limb this time. She couldn't possibly be right. Um, could she?

Posted by Mediocre Fred at 12:51 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 01, 2006

Not quite as ugly as Oregon

As a WSU alum, I'd just like to apologize for this. No, not the game. The Cougs played hard and well and showed they are a bowl team, if not quite ready to knock off the Trojans yet.

No, I'm apologizing for these.


How goddamn hard is it to get the uniforms right? WAZZU has an excellent color scheme and the best logo in the history of sports, and THIS is what they come up with? They look like goddamn clowns.

Posted by Frinklin at 01:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack