Dear University of Washington football fans,

You people are fucking crazy. What sort of whack job holds law school money hostage over football?

My mind boggles.


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Congratulations Hillary!

Congratulations on winning New Hampshire, Mrs. Clinton. I hope you can keep your momentum all the way to the White House!

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Dear EA, from a Fan of SimCity

Dear EA,

I really wish I was writing this to Maxis, but both you and I know that Maxis is nothing more than a rapidly fading brand, with the real talent working in the Sims division now. Not that they’re doing bad work mind you, just that I notice the Maxis label disappearing. Add to that Will Wright being off in his own studio developing Spore, a title that also appears to be missing the word Maxis. My guess is that in five or ten years or so, after everyone’s completely forgotten about Maxis, you’ll probably start slapping “Maxis” all over various things that have some sort of Sim component to them and you’ll be branded as original and edgy, and it’ll be great PR. With that said, without you Maxis would probably not even exist today the way they were heading, and they would’ve been snapped up and used as a mask the same way that Infogrames did with Atari. In some ways, I think that’s a worse fate.

The reason I wish I was talking to Maxis right now though is because if it were truly Maxis, I wouldn’t be needing to write this. What I’m here to ask about is when we’re going to get a new SimCity game, the flagship Maxis product. Yes yes, I know there’s something out there you’re calling SimCity Societies which has absolutely nothing to do with the series, which is why I’m talking about a getting a REAL SimCity game in my hands again. Do you really think Maxis would let their flagship product go nearly 5 years without a new version?

I love SimCity. Much like my relationship with the Civilization series, I started playing SimCity in High School and was completely and totally hooked. I bought SimCity 2000, 3000, and 4 the day they were released. I grew up with this series, I’ve watched it evolve into something truly incredible… for 2003. Since then you’ve let it stagnate. I’ve kept waiting and waiting and waiting… you release a cutsie version for the DS based on 3000, but I’m still waiting for the real thing.

Finally, there comes an annoucement – new SimCity title! And then I learn it’s Societies and, yes, it felt a bit like a betrayal. As I said, that’s not a SimCity game and it’s not what I want. Because it’s not what I want, I’ll exercise my vote as a consumer – I’m not going to buy it. Besides, why reward your bad behavior?

Look, I know I’m a hardcore fan. But you obviously know there are lots of us out there. We’re the people who’ve continued to modify and expand the last version of the game through sites like SimTropolis and it’s STEX. Hell, at this point, I’d take SimCity 4 with a tuneup and the top addons from the STEX integrated in.

But I shouldn’t have to.

Look EA, it’s time you made another REAL SimCity game. I know that Will Wright has said that the game has become too complicated for the beggining user and that’s understandable because SimCity 4 was complicated. But your team is a master of great UI – why not create a tiered system of controls and automata? Those who are starting out will have the background stuff taken care of for them and less options on the screen, but those who already understand the underlying mechanics can tweak it to their heart’s content. Create a great tutorial system to show off the power of the game. And as we all know, directly from both SimCity and the Sims, if you build into the game a way for people to create their own addons to expand the game even further the community will do it.

Give us a new SimCity game EA. Make it good and people will buy it and you will make money. In your heart of hearts, isn’t that what really matters? What are you waiting for?

Thank you,
A SimCity Fan

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Questions We’d Like to See Posed to the GOP Candidates

(Snagged from Balloon Juice via SLOG)

1.) “Would you have sex with a man to stop a terrorist attack?”
2.) “If lowering taxes results in increased revenues then would lowering taxes to zero result in infinite revenues?”
3.) “If you had a time machine, would you travel back in time and abort Bin Laden?”
4.) “Would you torture and kill Jesus to ensure mankind’s salvation? And how does that work?”
5.) “If Russia entered Turkey from the rear would Greece help?”
6.) For Rudy specifically: “How many alimony checks does the sanctity of marriage cost?”

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Ken Hutcherson

Reading the “Notes from the Prayer Warrior” on Slog is a love/hate thing for me because Hutchy is one of those local scumbags (Tim Eyman being another) who makes me go all Mrs. White with rage.

Also – preserving the morals the country was founded on… like slavery?

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There’s nothing quite like going to Canada and feeling poorer. I was in Victoria, BC this past weekend and when I gave a moneychanger $80, she gave me $72 back. Ouch!

Imagine my “amusement” then when I read about Jay-Z flashing 500 Euro notes.

Kinda crazy what you can do the economy in 7 years isn’t it? I can only hope we get a Democrat in the White House – at least they know how to manage money.

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Transit and Roads (Prop 1/RTID)

Note: I posted this in the Slog.

Cressona gets a little hyperactive at times, but I could easily find myself in the same boat. Quite frankly, I agree with her on this issue and I applaud her for the effort she puts into it. To me, this vote is a bellweather about what direction Seattle wants to take. If it’s voted down, I plan on moving to a city that has been brave enough to make the right choice. A city like Chicago. Or maybe San Francisco. And, in the process, I’ll leave Seattle to the people like Will because I know that’s not a Seattle that I want to be in.

The reality of the situation is that both packages fail on their own separately, but they pass when combined. That’s compromise, that’s why the legislature slapped it together that way. The legislature is saying that time for the swimming lessons is over – it’s time to sink or swim.

This is our region’s best chance to work together to make something great happen for all of us. I like the idea of being able to get on a train on Capitol Hill and be able to get to Tacoma. Or be able to come back and not have to get off until I’m in the U District. Or that someone in Everett could do the same trip if they wanted without ever being on a road. The fact that these communities (and the Eastside) want to work together with Seattle for the good of the whole is quite frankly amazing. It’s forward thinking and it recognizes that shared regional community and coming together for common goals. Will’s lesser Seattle fantasy (ie, “fuck Tacoma for being founded, they deserve it”) quite frankly scares the shit outta me. The region as a whole is growing and we have a chance to set it, as a region, on a better course. Ron Sims isn’t thinking regionally, he’s thinking county locally. Will’s lesser Seattle mindset says “‘burbs having rail is sacrilege.” Have you seen the growth in Bellevue? They’re moving beyond their Kemper Freemans and are doing growth right. We joke about the snotty rich, but the Mercer Island folk are willing to give up their SOV in HOV access for light rail to work on I-90. The cities in this region are willing to do this in order for our region to grow succesfully. This package is about numerous intricate layers of compromise to reach a regional solution.

The roads package doesn’t bother me. In my opinion we’re making needed infrastructure improvements. I hate cross base highway, but I’m not a single issue voter. We’ve settled presidential elections via litigation, so I have a hunch that cross base won’t survive the onslaught it’ll have going it’s way if somebody decides to actually try to make the thing. Oh, and I’ve got nuttin’ against park and ride lots either if it encourages transit use.

All of that is why I’m voting yes. This transit package is NOW kiddies. Not tomorrow.

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