Sunday, August 21, 2016

Huskies are Ranked in AP Poll

The Associated Press (AP) poll of college football teams (I believe they poll sports writers where the USA Today Poll is coaches, I think) came out today. The AP poll is the older are more prestigious of the polls. It's also the one used to determine which teams go to the BCS playoffs.

And in the AP poll, the University of Washington Huskies are ranked #14. They are the second highest Pac-12 team ranked, after Stanford (8). They are ranked higher than UCLA (16), USC (20), and Huskies' rival in the Pac-12 North, the Oregon (Nike) Ducks (24).

The Washington State Cougars aren't ranked in the top 25. They did receive enough votes to be #29 if the poll went that far. Also Utah would be #28.

So obviously Stanford is the team to beat this year.

The season starts September 3rd with a home game against Rutgers. I'm really looking forward to the start of college football.

It's been along slog since the early 2000s when the Huskies were dominate and won a national championship. We've gone through horrible coaches and the Pac-12's only 0-12 season. But now, with Coach Chris Petersen in his third year, it's coming together. We might even beat the hated Ducks, which we haven't since 2004.

Go Dawgs!

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Isabeau Vollhardt and John Vespasian

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome writers Isabeau Vollhardt and John Vespasian.

Isabeau Vollhardt
Isabeau Vollhardt

Isabeau Vollhardt received her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and English Composition from the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, in 1980, where she studied Novel Writing with Charles Johnson, and the Philosophy of Science Fiction with Michelle Beer. A longtime reader of Victorian era authors such as Arthur Conan Doyle, she was writing The Casebook of Elisha Grey in part as an homage to Doyle and in part as a result of her readings of esoteric works on Atlantis, when she began studies at Samra University of Oriental Medicine in 1991. Graduating with a Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine and receiving licensure to practice acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, she then went on to receive training in Reiki, reaching level IV (Seichem) Reiki training. Energy work and intuitive work in a variety of realms have been part of her personal and professional life since 1985 and encompasses study of Kuang Ping style taijiquan, shuilong qi gong, feng shui, clairvoyancy, Western Astrology, Native American journeywork, and Iai-Batto-Ho. She currently lives in Ashland, Oregon, where she has been in private practice since 1997, and continues to write. She has had several articles published in print and on line regarding feng shui and acupuncture, and her short story "Farewell at a Graveside" was published by Innisfree Magazine, a literary journal, in 1990.

Isabeau's Books:

The Casebook of Elisha Grey

The Casebook of Elisha Grey II

The Casebook of Elisha Grey III

Isabeau's Links:


John Vespasian

John Vespasian
JOHN VESPASIAN is the author of seven books about rational living, including "When Everything Fails, Try This" (2009), "Rationality Is the Way to Happiness" (2009), "The Philosophy of Builders: How to Build a Great Future with the Pieces from Your Past" (2010), "The 10 Principles of Rational Living" (2012), "Rational Living, Rational Working: How to Make Winning Moves When Things Are Falling Apart" (2013), "Consistency: The Key to Permanent Stress Relief" (2014), and "On Becoming Unbreakable: How Normal People Become Extraordinarily Self-Confident" (2015).

John's Books:

When Everything Fails, Try This

On Becoming Unbreakable: How Normal People Become Extraordinarily Self-Confident (non-fiction)

Consistency: The Key to Permanent Stress Relief (non-fiction)

John's Links:


From Today's Show: Black Holes Warp Spacetime.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Five Things I Fear

Back to the 30-day blogging challenge (that I'm doing in 30 or so weeks). Today's topic is "Five Things that I Fear."

Well, other than venomous spiders and snakes, there are things I fear. I wrote the following on my old blog in 2009 and it just happens to have five things that I still fear:

1) Government: One only has to look at hell holes like Zimbabwe or North Korea to see how government can make humanity miserable.  And the more power we give to government, the more power it will have to make our lives nasty, brutish, and likely short (socialized medicine).  I believe this is the most likely threat to mankind as too many people see government as benevolent and wish to give it more and more power.  Probability: High

2) World-wide Caliphate: Since the West is showing less and less resolve in standing up to radical Islam, we could find ourselves living under Sharia law (as is happening more and more in Britain).  Even most Muslims don't want what the radical Taliban/Bin Ladin arm of Islam wants.  But fewer and fewer have the courage to stand up to it. Probability: Medium

3) Disease: Some nasty, fatal, easily spreadable version of, oh, Ebola for example, develops from random mutations and spreads quickly across the globe killing most if not all human.  And you need a certain critical mass to maintain our civilization so any survivors will be thrown back into the stone age.  Probability: Low

4) Cosmic event: Asteroid or comet hits the Earth, wiping out most if not all humans. Or a nearby gamma ray burster fries the planet wiping out all life.  Probability: Very Low

5) Geological event: The supervolcano at Yellowstone erupts plunging the planet into volcanic winter and dumping many feet of ash over most of North America.  Or some other geological (probably volcanic) event.   Probability: Very Low

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Harry Heckel and Dina Rae

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome writers Harry Heckel and Dina Rae.

Harry Heckel
Harry Heckel

Harry Heckel started by writing pen and paper roleplaying games before moving into novels. He’s co-authored two Space Wolf novels set in the Warhammer 40K universe as Lee Lightner, and currently is the co-author of The Charming Tales series from Harper Voyager under the name Jack Heckel. He has a few independent novels under his own name and still does freelance work for roleplaying, board game and miniature wargame companies. He lives in central Virginia with his wife, daughter and two crazy cats, Nebula and Quasar.

Harry's Books:

A Fairy-Tale Ending

The Pitchfork of Destiny 

HeroNet Files Vol. 1 – Hidden Strengths

Harry's Links:

Website 2
Blog 2

Dina Rae
Dina Rae

Dina Rae brings an academic element to her novels. Halo of the Nephilim, Halo of the Damned, The Last Degree, and Bad Juju weave research and suspense throughout the plots. Her short story, "Be Paranoid Be Prepared," is a prequel to The Last Degree, focusing on the James Martin character. Big Pharma, Big Agri, Big Conspiracy is Dina's first nonfiction work.

Dina lives with her husband, two daughters, and one dog outside of Dallas. She is a Christian, an avid tennis player, movie buff, teacher, and self-proclaimed expert on several conspiracy theories. She has been interviewed numerous times in e-zines, websites, blogs, newspapers, and radio programs. When she is not writing she is reading novels from her favorite authors Dan Brown, Stephen King, Brad Thor, George R.R. Martin, and Preston & Childs. She also enjoys reading about religion, UFOs, New World Order, government conspiracies, political intrigue, and other cultures. Her newest novel, The Best Seller, is released by Solstice Publishing.

Dina's Books:

The Best Seller

Big Agri, Big Pharma, Big Conspiracy 

Halo of the Nephilim

Dina's Links:


From Today's Show: How our Brains Learn Physics

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Huskies are Ranked!

The USA Today preseason college football poll came out a while back. While not as prestigious as the AP college ranking (and not used for BCS playoffs), it can give an indication of where teams will be approximately in the AP poll.

And the University of Washington Huskies are ranked! They are even ranked higher than the University of Nike Ducks. The Huskies are #18 and the Ducks are #22. (You may remember that I loath the Ducks.)

The Huskies are the third team in the Pac-12 ranked, with the Stanford Cardinal (it's a color) at #7 and USC Trojans (not condoms) at #17 (right above the Huskies).

The buzz is pretty good surrounding the Huskies going into their third year with Coach Chris Petersen.

Oh, and have I mentioned how happy I was that Steve Sarkisian's drinking problem came to a head at USC, not when he coached the Huskies? All in all, I'd say trading Sarkisian for Petersen was a great move.

When the AP poll comes out, if Washington is ranked (and they probably will be), I'll post again. College football starts September 3rd. I can hardly wait.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

My Morning Routine

And back to the 30-day blogging challenge (that I'm doing in approximately 30 weeks).

Today's prompt is "Your Morning Routine."

Well, since I don't have a day job, my mornings are rarely routine. I can wake up anywhere from 3:00 AM to 9:00 AM (although it's rare to sleep that late).

First thing I do is fire up the computer to do some promotional work for my publisher. Then I set up tweets for Twitter for the day. I use TweetDeck which allows you to schedule tweets.

Then I go take a shower and wake up my wife if she's still asleep (she usually is). Unless it's before 8:00 AM, otherwise I let her sleep. Unless we need to be someplace, then I'll wake her up earlier.

If I get up early enough, I'll watch something on Netflix streaming.

When my wife gets up, she makes breakfast and then she goes and showers. Then we go to Starbucks. Yes, every day. Yes, I know what that costs. But it's fun to people watch and frankly, I need to get out of the house or I go stir crazy.

After Starbucks, we come home and then I head for my office to write, promote, or whatever needs to be done that day.

And that's it. Not too interesting, I know.

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Dan O'Brien and Birgitte Rasine

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome writers Dan O'Brien and Birgitte Rasine.

Dan O'Brien

Dan O’Brien has written over 50 books––including the bestselling Bitten, which was featured on Conversations Book Club’s Top 100 novels of 2012. Before starting Amalgam, he was the senior editor and marketing director for an international magazine. In addition, he has spent over a decade in the publishing industry as a freelance editor. You can learn more about his literary and publishing consulting business by visiting his website at:

Dan's Books:

Sixth Prime 

Little Artisan

Mobsters, Monsters & Nazis

Dan's Links:


Birgitte Rasine

Birgitte Rasine
Birgitte Rasine is an award-winning author, journalist, producer, and entrepreneur whose work marries sustainability with storytelling, mobile apps with print books, and art with technology. She is the author of numerous literary works and articles, and has spoken on topics ranging from media to sustainability on three continents. Birgitte’s books and mobile apps have been recognized by design and publishing awards and honors from organizations such as the Eric Hoffer Award, International Academy of Visual Arts in Los Angeles, Press 53, and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

A former journalist and screenwriter for the Hollywood film industry, Birgitte holds a BA in Film Aesthetics from Stanford University, studied cinematography in Los Angeles, and completed a international relations program in Spanish in Madrid, Spain.  A member of various literary and professional organizations including the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), and the California Health Medical Reserve Corps (CH-MRC), among others, she lives in Northern California with her family. Her web site is

Birgitte's Books:

The Jaguar and the Cacao Tree 

Tsunami: Images of Resilience (Photography)

The Visionary

Birgitte's Links:


From today's show: Dark Matter is Still Dark.