Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Took you long enough...

It's about time you showed up Ed. BTW, how many shirts have you sold so far? ;)

Sorry for taking so long between posts, but I got stuck playing Half-Life 2. Game of the year so far, it's even better then Rome: Total War. There's only one game that might beat it and that's Sid Meier's Pirates!

I played the original version of that game to death on the Atari ST. I can remember every little detail like it was yesterday. The copy protection in the beginning ("What month and year does the silver train arrive in Tortuga?"), getting tossed in jail, ALWAYS using the longsword, etc, etc... Great stuff, and from what I hear the new version is supposed to be just as good. I probably won't get it until Christmas, but that's okay. I'll probably still be playing HL2 then.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Ready to go...

Well, I've got HL2 preloaded on my machine and ready to go for launch on Tuesday.

There's a big controversy going right now where retail copies are being sold early and Vivendi (the publisher) isn't letting Valve (the developer) unlock the game. A bunch of fans are getting in a twist about it and screaming bloody murder.

It all strikes me as pretty silly. They are going to be able to play the game on Tuesday no matter what, so I fail to see why waiting a couple days is a big deal. Now, I may be a bit biased simply because I won't have much time to play the game until Wednesday but still...

We've waited for this game for 6 years, what's two more days?

Friday, November 12, 2004

You lookin' at me?

Found this personals listing on Andrew Sullivan...

"Straight male seeks Bush supporter for fair, physical fight - m4m. I would like to fight a Bush supporter to vent my anger. If you are one, have a fiery streek, please contact me so we can meet and physically fight. I would like to beat the shit out of you." - a current New York listing on Craigslist.

We live in a straaaaange world.



Found this amusing shirt thanks to Wonkette.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Fightin' Words

"Final Straw" by REM - a protest song written at the commencement of the war in Iraq, it seems even more appropriate after the "latest triumph" of King George 2.


As I raise my head to broadcast my objection
As your latest triumph draws the final straw
Who died and lifted you up to perfection?
And what silenced me is written into law.

I can't believe where circumstance has thrown me
And I turn my head away
If I look I'm not sure that I could face you.
Not again. not today. not today.

If hatred makes a play on me tomorrow
And forgiveness takes a back seat to revenge
There's a hurt down deep that has not been corrected.
There's a voice in me that says you will not win.

And if I ignore the voice inside,Raise a half glass to my home.
But it's there that I am most afraid,And forgetting doesn't hold. it doesn't hold.

Now I don't believe and I never did That two wrongs make a right.
If the world were filled with the likes of you Then I'm putting up a fight.
I'm putting up a fight.Putting up a fight. make it right. make it right.

Now love cannot be called into question.
Forgiveness is the only hope I hold.
And love- love will be my strongest weapon.
I do believe that I am not alone.

For this fear will not destroy me.
And the tears that have been shed
It's knowing now where I am weakest
And the voice in my head. in my head.

Then I raise my voice up higher
And I look you in the eye
And I offer love with one condition.
With conviction, tell me why.
Tell me why.Tell me why.
Look me in the eye. Tell me why.

We'll Get 'Em Next Year - Bringing heat

Yes sir, it's time to start thinking about baseball again. After my brain went into shutdown mode after the Cubs were eliminated (though it did temporarily return during the Yankees - Red Sox series) I finally feel ready to start thinking about next season.

The Cubs were good last year, better then a lot of people give them credit for. They improved on their 2003 regular season record despite an incredible number of injuries. That said, there are some serious problems with this team.

Despite what Dusty Baker says, OBP and walks are very important. I recall a DB quote from spring training where he said something to the effect that walks "clog up the basepaths". That's ridiculous. Clog them up for what? The Cubs didn't steal very often so it couldn't be that. So what is being hurt by having more men on base? Last season the Cubs led the league in HR's by a wide margin, yet they were in the middle of the pack in runs scored. Why? Because no one was on base when they were hitting those HR's. So, getting folks on base should be priority #1.

Next, they need to get a real closer. Despite his troubles, I think Latroy Hawkins is a very good relief pitcher. But he's a setup man, not a closer. There isn't a very big FA market out there for closers so the Cubs will probably have to trade for one. Though Rob Nenn is a FA this offseason and it's possible he could come back from an injury plagued 2003 to have a good season. This should be priority #2.

They also need to find a replacement for Matt Clement. I highly doubt he'll return to the Cubs so they need to go out and get a good #3 starter. There are plenty in FA (Eric Milton, Kevin Millwood, Estaban Loaiza, Brad Radke, and a few others) or they could make Dempster a starter. Also, I really think they need to resign Glendon Rusch. He proved he's still a good pitcher last season and it's obvious he enjoys playing for the Cubs.

In addition to the big 3, there are a few other holes the Cubs to need to concentrate on. They need a new backup catcher now that Bako is finally gone. Mike Redmond is a FA, but I doubt he would agree to be a backup and we shouldn't sign anyone who would take significant playing time away from Barrett. Greg Zaun is also out there and he has decent pop and defense and might make a good backup.

Finally, we need to replace Moises Alou and Mark Grudzelainek. IMO, we have rookies who could fill the hole in LF (Dubois or Kelton) but the big name being thrown around is Carlos Beltran. He would play CF and Corry Patterson would most likely move over to RF with Sosa in LF. I'm not sure if the Cubs can outbid the Yankees, or even if they should, but that would be a huge pickup and immediately provide a great boost to the offense. As for 2B, we should resign Todd Walker. He did very well last year and would make for a good #2 or #6 hitter depending on who replaces Alou.

Oh yeah, Sosa. What in the world do we do with him? He acted like a total "Pujol" (to steal a phrase from my beautiful wife ;) ) for pretty much the entire 2003 season and I just don't see how he can become a part of this team again. BUT, and this is a big but, who in the world is going to take his contract? There were rumors flying around that the Cubs and Dodgers were thinking of swapping Shawn Green and Sosa, which would be a decent deal but that seems to be dead in the water. This is definitely something to keep an eye on and I think the Cubs would be much better of without Sammy on the team. He was a great player for quite a few years, but his time with this club should be over.

That's all for now, back with more later.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Why do video game companies hate me?

In the next two weeks both Half Life 2 and World of Warcraft will be coming out for PC.

That is just plain unfair.

I don't have a lot of free time as it is and either one of those games would easily occupy every bit I have. But with both of those, and NCAA 2005 on the Gamecube and ship building on the weekends, I'm at a loss. Now, some people would say..."Don't buy one of them". To those people I say..."You don't understand the mindset of a gamer". That's not an option. I have to buy them both. I would die if I didn't.

I just don't know what do. Life is so hard.

Talking Manhatten, can you check with Ryan to see what he's planning to do w/ regard to WoW?

Ah work...

Work is boring. Let's leave it at that for now...

I was listening to sports radio on my way back to work this afternoon and it's's just not any good. This was the "premier" sports radio station in the area and I don't think I heard but 10 minutes of actual sports talk the entire time. I was driving for about 45 minutes and at least 30 minutes were actual ads, the broadcasters reading ads, or the broadcasters discussing how good the ads were. 5 minutes were useless (and horrible sounding) music. The other 10 were taken up by a "thrilling" discussion of the girly-men on the Cowboys.

I'll stick with WBAP Talk Radio or NPR. Thanks.

Well, I'll stick with those until I get satellite radio at least. XM is now carrying every single baseball game so you might as well just sign me up now.

It's interesting, I never thought I'd listen to the radio but now that I have a 30 minute commute to work CD's just don't cut it anymore.

Though Flogging Molly still rules all.

Daily Kos :: Carville Gets It

Daily Kos :: Carville Gets It

Pulled from the Daily Kos comes this great story. As with my previous posting, it's nice to see senior Democrats thinking about how to fix the party as a whole, and for the long term, rather then just focusing on the 2006 mid-terms alone.

Friday, November 05, 2004 - Dems search for new approach - Nov 5, 2004 - Dems search for new approach - Nov 5, 2004

I have to admit it's nice to see some senior Democratics recognizing that they have a significant problem. Too often, the choose to think they did the right thing and that Bush voters simply had the wool pulled over their eyes.

This is your sister, by the way

Just a word or two about the impending death of American intellectual life...

We tried to impeach a brilliant Rhodes scholar and gave a C-average college drop-out a second term. The MAP (Moral Authority Party) has deemed that we shall regress from the innovation, creativity, learning, and progress of the 1990s to the passive consumption and reactionism of the Cold War era. We will no longer contribute anything to the world but moral reprobation and a steady market for cheap beef. We will continue to fall behind in education. We will watch as other countries reap the international glories and fiduciary rewards of stem-cell research, cloning, robotics, nanotechnology, and genetics. We will watch our standing in the world drop from Pillar of the International Community to Embarassment of the Western Hemisphere. Cuba will continue to have a higher literacy rate, lower infant mortality rate, and more comprehensive national healthcare system than we have or ever will have. We will send our own Lost Generation of leaders, artists, educators to chase windmills and die in the Middle East. We will watch as public libraries, public museums, public lands become distant memories or private corporate theme parks. Oh dear, I could go on but I'm getting too depressed.

I've got two words for you, America: buyer's remorse.

One more thing...

I kind of touched on this in my last post, but for all the "Bush = Hitler" comments the right complains about, they're just as hate-filled and vitriolic when they want to be. Especially when they're discussing things amongst themselves or out-number the Democrats in the room.

Not saying the left is a pack of saints, we certainly have our fair share of extremists, but I don't think either side holds a monopoly on hate-filled rhetoric...

Let's start with politics...

I have to admit I went into a bit of a depression on Wednesday. I just couldn't believe that Bush won a second term. It seemed like some sort of unreal nightmare. Of course, my location didn't help my mood either.

I work at a very conservative company here in Texas and it is just filled with rapid Bush fans. Everyone here refers to him as "W" which just makes me sick to my stomach. So, I come in on Wednesday in a pretty pissed off mood. Everywhere I go someone is talking about how great it is, calling Kerry "the biggest jerk in the world", and mocking Kerry during the press conference. It was just about more then I could take. Pretty soon the vitriol moved onto Clinton. Folks were going on about how Clinton was a drug traffiker, how he murdered Vince Foster, etc..., etc....

On an aside, I really don't understand the fascination the right has with Clinton. It seems like every time the word "Democrat" comes up Clinton gets insulted. Sure, he wasn't the greatest guy, but they make him out to be Satan. Wierd...

Anyway, I remained totally distracted and didn't get any work done that day. As we got closer to the end of the day I started thinking about what we, as Democrats, needed to do in order to make sure this didn't happen again. I was asked by a family member how Bush won, here's my response....

As for Bush, I know how he won. It comes down to a fundamental problem with how we, as Democrats, think. We think we're right, obviously, and that the way we see the world is the majority view and all the Bush supporters have just been snowballed by the GOP Spin Machine. Last night we found out we were wrong. Like it or not, the majority of the country does not agree with us.

What we need to do is to reframe the major issues, starting with "values". For years, the GOP has determined what that word means. In our culture right now values is equated with heterosexuality, religion, and a good handshake. With that definition, the Democrats have no hope of carrying the issue after Clinton. We need to change it. We need to equate "values" with hard work, tolerance, and self-awareness. That's how we can own that issue, which is very important, again.

Also, we need to get rid of the idea that "liberal" is a dirty word. Repubs have made it cool to be conservative. The Democrats need to do the same thing with being liberal. We need to embrace the word, make it our own. Yeah, we're liberal and goddamn proud of it! If we can do that then we take away a major attack strategy of the Republicans (ie: Kerry is the most liberal senator).

Finally, we have to stop being "poll politicians". This is where are ideals and positions vary based on the current opinion polls. This worked for Clinton, but only because he never had a strong challenger and because he's the best speaker of the modern era. It goes hand in hand with my last point. We need to stop reacting and start dictating. We need to say "This is what we're for! We're for gay rights. We're for international cooperation. We're for universal health care. We are for a balanced budget. We are for the environment. Take it or leave it." Voters may not agree with all of the party's stances, but they will respect that we have them. Look at the Repubs. Their base does not agree with the entire platform, but they know where their party stands and they support them because of it. The most identifiable quality of the Democratic Party is "We're not Republicans". That won't cut it.

So, there ya go, that's why Bush won. Now, we've got two years to get our act together. Let's get of our asses and get it done.

The more I think about it, the more I think the Democratic party is just a couple small steps from regaining momentum. We need to get away from Clinton-era politics and get back to our roots.

I'm not sure what I'll be able to do here deep in the heart of Texas, but if anyone has ideas please let me know.

I have a bunch more political thoughts, but I'll leave it at this for now...

And so it begins...

Well, welcome to my new blog. It's titled a Fistfull of Hugh's simply because it was the only thing I could think of at the time. No special meaning, other then that my online nickname is "godhugh" and I wanted to incorporate it somehow.

My goal for this blog is two-fold:

One, I just want a place where I can post random thoughts and stories. I've always felt it was important to get whatever you're thinking out and a blog is as good a place as any.

Second, with the recent presidential election I've found myself to be more motivated to involve myself in the political process. I currently live in Texas, one of the very red states, and I've noticed a lack of Democratic perspectives here (outside of Austin at least). I'd like to be able to share what it's like to be an out-spoken Democrat in a very Republican area and to hopefully provide some insight into why this area is so conservative.

Oh, and I'll probably spend some time talking about video games and computers.

So there ya go, that's why I'm doing this and what I hope to accomplish. I also want to add that my grammer and punctuation is not the best, but I try as hard as I can. Maybe it will improve, maybe it will get worse. Like the country, we can only hope for the best.

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