January 30, 2007

Jemele Hill Update

She's talking to herself again. Or at least she claims to be, even though there's no device, such as italics, to separate her "voices." Unfortunately, neither of her voices is funny or pleasant to read. Still.

This week's Jemelism: "I love Prince, but his nickname should be Charmin."

Posted by Mediocre Fred at 01:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Winter has finally arrived in the Fedroplex, and with a vengeance. Temperatures have hovered in the 20s and 30s for the last couple weeks, and we got some actual snow, if only a couple inches.

On Saturday, though, we had one fugitive day of unseasonable warmth, which allowed me to be treated to the following sight as I was driving west on Route 7, windows down, enjoying the sunshine: A black late-model Cadillac convertible, Florida tags, with two well-tanned blond women inside, the warm breeze making their hair flutter behind them.

As I watched them pass by, I thought to myself that this sight - two women in a Cadillac convertible with the top down - is a timeless classic. Whether 1957, 1977, or 2007, no matter how much has changed or will change in this country, that experience will always be essentially the same. As long as there is an America, there will always be Cadillac convertibles, and there will be pretty blond Florida women driving them, worshipping the sun and making the world a better place for it.

And that makes me feel good about our country.

Posted by Mediocre Fred at 11:15 AM | Comments (47) | TrackBack

January 25, 2007

Dear John

Oh Thank God.

Now please, just stop talking.

Posted by Frinklin at 12:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 23, 2007

SOTU: Why do I even bother?

I suffered through the State of the Union address tonight, and I have little idea why. Like just about every SOTU, this was stultifying boring, a laundry list of problem-solution-applause break.

62 applause breaks. Probably the best workout most Congresspersons get all year.

I will say that Jim Webb's rebuttal for the Dems was just about the best I've seen. The freshman Senator was forceful and plainspoken and his populism and military background might go a long way in killing the technocrat/effete liberal image the party has.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 21, 2007

A quick upgrade for the Hawks

According to Mike Sando's Seahawks Insider blog, Jim Mora Jr may be joining the coaching staff, probably as an Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Backs capacity. Mora is an excellent defensive mind, would instantly upgrade the staff and set up as the in-house choice to replace Mike Holmgren if he leaves after the 2008 season as expected.

Update: And Viola, the Seahawks have a new secondary/assistant head coach! Nice start to the off-season.

Posted by Frinklin at 12:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 20, 2007

Frinklin Football Forecaster: Championship Sunday

I've done just about everything possible to ignore these games. I can't stay away though. Hell, I'll watch the Colts versus the Pats and hope for a earthquake or something.

New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears

Why the Saints will win: The Bears great strength is defense, but a decimated Seahawk team managed to up up 24 against them. A healthy Saints offense is scary, and Deuce McAllister took over the Eagles game. If the Saints rush against Chicago like they did last week, the Bears have no shot.

Why the Bears will win: This is Rex Grossman's game. The Saints have a pretty good defensive line, a solid linebacking corps,and one of the oldest sets of corners you'll ever see. Mike McKenzie is 32 and Fred Thomas is 34. Thomas was toasted by Donte Stallworth last week and will require safety help against Bernard Berrian or Rashied Davis.

Who will win? If this game were in New Orleans, one gets the feeling that the Saints would be the prohibitive favorite. The Saints are peaking at the right time, and Chicago seems a little stale.

Saints 24, Bears 20

New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts

Why the Patriots will win: It might have something to do with Tom Brady being 12-1 in the playoffs for his career. Assuming he wins this game and yet another Super Bowl, is it set in stone at that point that Brady's the best big-game QB in NFL history? When does Joe Montana start getting called the “Tom Brady of the 80's”?

Why the Colts will win Because Manning hasn't played particularly well and Indy has won anyway. Because he and Tony Dungy are just due. Because the universe can't handle another Patriot Super Bowl.

Who will win? The past couple times Indianapolis and New England have played in the regular season the Colts have just killed them. That kinda sums up the rivalry here, doesn't it?

Patriots 17, Colts 14

Posted by Frinklin at 11:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 15, 2007

Perhaps this should be the Dumbass and Fred Show

I'd missed work the last couple days (okay, three) of work last week, so I was determined to go today. It's still icy outside (more snow expected tonight!), but passable. I got to the train station early enough to get an earlier train. I was at my office 45 minutes before I was scheduled. I was On Top of Things.

Only my keycard wouldn't open the door. Huh... that was odd. And I noticed nobody milling around in the lobby. I knocked on the door, but nobody answered. I called the office... went straight to the voicemail.

Oh, you have GOT to be kidding me.

I went down to the main lobby and asked the security guard if he'd seen anybody from my company.


I could have sworn I didn't have MLK Day off.

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

January 14, 2007

A Big Black Day




Damn again...

Posted by Frinklin at 03:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 13, 2007

Frinklin Football Playoff Preview: Sunday

Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears

Why Seattle will win: Because they died last week, but came back to play again anyway. There are two ways of looking at this team. The optimist says that they are in the second round of the playoffs despite a truckload of injuries, despite the fact that nobody on the team other than Josh Brown seems to be in a rhythm, despite the entire city of Seattle knowing they haven't played a single all-around good game since the Giants. The optimist continues to believe that this will be the week that the last year's team shows up and kills the pretenders in an even weaker NFC than last year. The pessimist knows better.

Why Chicago will win: The defense, even without Tommie Harris, is still downright scary. Because Devin Hester scares the hell out of every team he plays. Because Rex Grossman can't possibly be as bad as he was against Green Bay.

Who will win? Everybody, and I do mean everybody is picking the Bears in this one. And with good reason. The Seahawks still aren't that damned good, and Chicago can be. The operative phrase is “can be”. The Bears can also be a misfiring disaster, with Sex Cannon leading the way. It just isn't quite enough to go out on a limb with.

Bears 24, Seahawks 17

New England Patriots at San Diego Chargers

Why New England will win: Because that's what Brady and his hobo-coach do in January. Tom Brady is Joe Montana, Jr. and Foxboro is the home to dynasty of the 21st Century. Christ, I hate this team. Hate, hate, HATE this damn team. I hate Brady and his smug shit-eating grin. I hate their fans. I hate the fact they can take losers like Jabar Gaffney and Tully Banta-Cain and still win games. And I hate the Hobo. Oh, how I hate the hobo.

They are -however- pretty damned good. This isn't the back-to-back champs, but New England is close.

Why San Diego will win: The Bolts will win because they have more talent, more than any team in football. San Diego will win because Qualcomm will be a madhouse. Because Merriman and Phillips will bring ungodly pressure against Brady. Philip Rivers gets his first playoff start against the best game-planner in football, but he's good enough to deal with it. Because if they don't win, Marty will almost certainly be fired.

The Chargers will win because they have too. Because life in my house will suck all winter if they don't.
Chargers 31, Patriots 27

Posted by Frinklin at 01:30 AM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

Frinklin Football Playoff Preview: Saturday

Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens
Why Indianapolis will win: The Colts are more relaxed than last year, as they face life as something other than a huge Super Bowl favorite. While Payton Manning didn't have his best game against Kansas City, tailback Joseph Addai carried the load. The Colts' defense had it's best game last week, stuffing Larry Johnson and forcing Trent Green into playing catch-up. If Payton is on, and Addai can survive against Ray Lewis and company, the Colts can score enough to win. The Raven's offense, while better with Steve McNair, still doesn't scare anybody.

Why Baltimore will win: The Ravens defense isn't quite as good as the Super Bowl winner from a few years ago, but this is a talented collection of scary, scary men. The offense is markedly better with McNair starting over Kyle Boller. The Ravens will play to win with defense, running the ball and throwing underneath to Pro Bowl TE Todd Heap. The Ravens have the home field, and noted asshat Brian Billick is a vastly superior game day coach than Tony Dungy.

Who will win? This is strength-versus-strength which means the game will come down to the weaker units. Despite last week, the Colts still don't have enough of a defense to stop a Raven team that seems to be really clicking at the right time.
Ravens 24, Colts 20

Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints

Why Philadelphia will win: The loss of Donovan McNabb and the switch to Marty Mornhinweg has finally brought the Eagles some semblance of a balanced offense. The rejuvenated Jeff Garcia does nearly twice as much handing off to Brian Westbrook than McNabb did, and the team is better for it. The Eagles are strong on both lines, and are playing with supreme confidence. While the Saints are everybody's second-favorite team, they have never won a playoff game, while the Eagles are only a year removed from the Super Bowl.

Why New Orleans will win: Pardon the reference, but the Saints have a hurricane of an offense. Drew Brees topped 4,000 yards throwing to Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, the ageless Joe Horn (who might not play) and Reggie Bush. Bush will line up everywhere on the field, and when he's not in at tailback, the Saints turn to Deuce McAllister, merely one of the best half-dozen runners in football. The Saints have a massive and talented offensive line led by Pro Bowler Jammal Brown.

Who will win? Really, are the Saints going to lose in what promises to be a madhouse Superdome? Well, they might, for as good as their offense is, the defense isn't that strong. I'm tempted to pick the upset, but I think the Saints take this one.

Saints 27, Eagles 21

Posted by Frinklin at 01:04 AM | Comments (23) | TrackBack

January 12, 2007


Is it odd that I've owned three NFL jerseys in my lifetime, and two I've picked up in the last week? My father-in-law, ostensibly to rub my nose in the Chargers win over Seattle a couple weeks ago, presented me with a Philip Rivers throwback. Now I'm not sure if he realizes that I like the Chargers, nor do I think he knows that I find this look the best uniform in sports. Anyway, it's gorgeous, and the Missus Frinklin will be wearing it on Sunday. I'll be sporting my brand-new Deion Branch jersey. It only took me a year-and-a-half to pick out a Hawk Jersey.


The other NFL jersey? That would be my Dave Krieg I had as a kid.


I also realize I need to update my uni ranking, don't I?

Posted by Frinklin at 11:48 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

January 11, 2007

Not to Quibble, But...

Brian's Adventures in Cowtown is back! I'm always glad to see new output from a funny blogger, which he is. And I got chortles aplenty from his attempt to lay down some rules for posting videos on YouTube. As I have never actually watched anything on YouTube (except for the video on Brian's site), I will defer to his knowledge. As as economics nerd, though, I did want to take issue with one thing he said:

It's like there's no incentive to put out quality work. You'd think that the incredible accessibility of a site that allows anybody, anywhere to share videos that they created with hard work and talent would encourage amateur filmmakers to put out solid productions, constantly one-upping each other until the line between amateur video and professional video is practically non-existent.

I don't see why that would be true. In the information marketplace, the existence of sites like YouTube reduces the barriers to entry, which only creates a wider range of options, not necessarily a better one.

I've written about this in the past, but a quick refresher for the non-econ types about "barriers to entry": In the pre-Web world, if you wanted to become a media star, you had to become employed by some sort of media concern: a newspaper, a TV or radio station, a record company, a movie studio, etc. Since there are always many, many more people who want to be in TV, radio, music, and the movies than there are slots available, the barriers to entry were high: you had to impress an editor, programming director, producer, studio exec, etc., or finance your own media outlet. Since the decision-makers were allowed to cherry-pick from such a wide pool, this meant (at least theoretically) that only the best writers, performers, directors, actors, singers, etc. were chosen.

Now, thanks to YouTube and other such sites, pretty much every American high schooler with a summer job is able to buy or borrow the equipment necessary to post his or her videos for worldwide consumption. Talent (or the ability to attract a media decision-maker's eye, at least) is no longer a requirement. This is the price we pay for the information revolution: there's no longer a mechanism for keeping substandard products out of the market. The "one-upsmanship" theory that Brian posits only works if everyone in the market cares about being the best. As he's discovered, that's not true, and if people are primarily interested in getting themselves worldwide exposure, there's no real incentive for them to care about quality.

In the end, the value to the consumer is what matters. In Brian's case, he's a big fan of DCLugi's videos. In a world without YouTube, I suspect that DCLugi's work might never have seen the light of day. So in this sense, YouTube is a net positive for Brian. The downside is that he has to wade through a thousand videos of high-schoolers lip-syncing to "Sexy Back" and dancing on the hood of their parents' SUVs, or whatever.

For true believers in the information revolution, this isn't a problem. The more information out there, they say, the better. Maybe there's one guy in Finland who really wants to see that "Sexy Back" hood-dance video, and thanks to YouTube, he will no longer be deprived of that pleasure. And given that Brian keeps visiting YouTube despite the avalanche of crappy videos he has to put up with, the site must be doing something right. Eventually, there may come a point where the bad material floods the system and prevents people from finding the good stuff. At that point, users would stop visiting YouTube, and presumably, it would cease to operate.

Short of a massive consumer migration away from YouTube and similar sites, though, the only thing to limit the number of poor-quality videos out there is the desire of people to keep making them. Fortunately, though, the trend is likely to burn itself out eventually. Blogs are a perfect example of this. After the thrill of "Hey, I'm on the Internet!" wears off, many people get bored and quit eventually. I read about a study suggesting that the number of blogs is starting to level off, and the same thing will happen with videos, too.

In the meantime, though, I strongly urge all those would-be auteurs out there to follow Brian's guidelines. Even if he's wrong in an economic sense, he's right in an aesthetic one. Trust me. Your future self will thank you. Particularly when future children and potential employers do a Google search for you.

(NOTE: I have closed the comments for this post, due to a particularly obnoxious comment spammer. If you wish to comment on this post, please e-mail me.)

Posted by Mediocre Fred at 12:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 10, 2007

Somewhere there is a car under that

jan 2007 029.jpg

I awoke this morning to snow. I called off work and watched the damned stuff melt before noon. The more dedicated man would have gone in afterwards. I'm not that man. I tagged along with Ensie as she visited the Bob's Hogs store up in Lynnwood, about 50 miles north of Tacoma. We left for home just after 4, about 40 minutes after it had started snowing there. We sped southward, passing the edge of the storm before we hit Seattle. The news types on the radio hit two themes: 1-the storm would stop just south of Seattle and 2-Snow on the roads! Everybody start PANICKING NOW!

We missed the predictable mess on the roads (Seriously, people in the midwest and back east would fall down laughing at how Seattlites handle snow), arriving in Tacoma just after 5:30, sadly confident that we would see no more snow. It started about 15 minutes after we got home. That was six hours ago. According to my ultra-scientific measurement in the backyard we have seven inches now.

Update: Erik has some great -if slightly grainy, they are from his phone- pictures of his walk up 7th tonight in the snow. Tacoma is now expected to get just under a foot.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:56 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

January 09, 2007

Speed-Reading Jemele Hill

I'm having a busy week, and don't really have time to give Jemele Hill's latest "efforts" the pummeling they deserve, but for your convenience I will sum up her last four columns in one sentence each, since I know you're all just dying to know what fresh, deep insights Jemele is bringing to the world these days.

"Much Adu about nothing": "Hey, look, Freddy Adu has a little brother who's normal!"

"A disturbing, violent trend": "Maybe black athletes wouldn't get shot so often if black culture didn't glorify violence."

"A tale of two quarterbacks": "Troy Smith is a better quarterback than Chris Leak because he doesn't sound like a droid and he likes strippers and partying more than practicing and studying plays." (After last night's BCS Championship, it looks as though Smith just might benefit from a little less partying and a little more studying plays, hm? By the way, Hill's studying-is-for-nerds theme, continued from the Wie column, is really getting on my nerves.)

"Some sleaze is inevitable": "Most college coaches are sleazy, selfish bastards."

You're welcome.

Posted by Mediocre Fred at 10:43 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 08, 2007

Question For My Blogpartner

Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks for advancing to the next round of the NFL playoffs. Now, here's what I want to know: Why, immediately following the victory, did Seattle's sound man choose to play "Bittersweet Symphony" by the Verve? While I like it, hearing it usually makes me want to go find a nice quiet place where I can slit my wrists. It has never struck me as a victory song.

Is there something about Seattle that makes a downbeat victory song appropriate? Is it all the rain? Are you just trying to be different? Is there some piece of local legislation, presumably passed during the grunge era, requiring that all songs played at public events in Seattle be depressing? If the Seahawks win the Super Bowl, can we expect to hear, say, "Life is Shit" by the Dead Milkmen at the victory parade?

You do realize that you won, right?

FRINKLIN REPLIES: Uhhh... I haven't the foggiest actually. The first time I heard the song used for the team was during the Super Bowl intro last year, and considering that fiasco you'd think they would have dropped it. Nope, they play "Bittersweet Symphony" every home game, before and after. I think the team's higher-ups appreciate the grandeur of the song, and it works better than you might think live.

Posted by Mediocre Fred at 07:52 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 07, 2007

More than Just Romo


Hell, I'd forgotten about this post. I had hoped to analyze this game, the twists, the inexplicable ending....

But nevermind. The point of all this is that the Seahawks are two games away from Miami and they still haven't played a good game.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 04, 2007

More Curmudgeoning

Via Half the Sins of Mankind, apparently it's now fashionable in the fancy parts of New York to wear bedroom slippers in public. Unsurprisingly, this trend was started by boarding-schoolers, yet another reason why all boarding schools should be shut down and their inhabitants quarantined.

Attempted justification of said fad, from the New York Times:

Like flip-flops in January, slippers on the sidewalk flout logic. They blur lines. They catch the eye and jolt one into the subtle realization that boundaries between public space and private are permeable. The gesture is small but it reminds one that fashion is a monumental system built on coded details.

This paragraph only further cements in my mind the idea that fashion is created exclusively by habitual users of illicit drugs and/or people with way, way too much time on their hands.

Personally, I think that the boundaries between private and public are much too blurry as it is, and I would prefer not to see that go any further. On the other hand, if rampant public slipper-wearing means we're subjected to fewer flip-flop-clad feet, then I'd have to favor it.

(More of "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney" after this commercial message.)

Posted by Mediocre Fred at 02:05 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 01, 2007

Happy New Year 2007


And yes, one of my New Years Resolution is to post more often and better.

That won't be difficult.

Posted by Frinklin at 02:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack