Thursday, December 2, 2021

Guilty Pleasures

A while back I told a friend via text that I had watched Smokey and the Bandit. She said she didn't know what that was (she's younger than I). So I sent her a clip and she said, "No, I wouldn't be interested in that movie." And I had to laugh because I knew it wasn't her kind of movie.

But I find it hilarious and enjoy watching it. I guess you could call it a "guilty pleasure." Doesn't help that it's a fond memory from my teenage days, going to see that movie with a friend.

I have a couple other guilty pleasure movies. One is Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. It makes me laugh every time I see it. And Christine Taylor is gorgeous in it. It's just a silly, funny movie with no redeeming values. I love it.

Another guilty pleasure is Cars from Pixar. I like cars. And Cars has so many inside jokes for car people. I enjoy it a lot. It only has a 74% from Rotten Tomatoes which, I think, was the lowest Pixar Rotten Tomatoes score at the time. 

What guilty pleasure movies, television shows, or books do you have? Let me know in the comments below.


Sunday, November 28, 2021

The Huskies' Season is Over

The University of Washington Huskies' football season is over. Thankfully. 

In 2008, the Huskies went 0-12, the only team in Pac-12 history to never win a football game in one season. This season they went 4-12. They lost their last four games to Oregon Nike, Arizona State, Colorado, and Washington State. We knew this season was going to be bad when they lost to Montana in their season opener.

Their head coach was fired. Their Offensive Coordinator was fired. The Defensive Coordinator became the interim head coach and went 0-3.

Years ago (probably about 2009) I said I would be happy if the Huskies:

1) Won at least 8 games

2) Beat Oregon Nike

3) Beat Washington State

4) Won their bowl game.

They didn't do 1-3 and they won't be going to a bowl this year. 

Our only consolation is that they aren't the last-place team in the Pac-12 North. The Stanford Cardinal is.

Now a search for a new head coach is on. Hoping for a Petersen, but probably will get a Sarkisian.

I stuck with the Huskies through 2008. I'll stick with them now. I bleed purple. 


Friday, November 26, 2021

Black Friday and Podcast

It's Black Friday and I have a lot going on!

First of all, I and other authors are having a multi-genre 99 (or lower) Black Friday Sale. You can learn about it here. For me, Smugglers of Mars is on sale for 99 cents!

Also on the The Fantasy and Sci-Fi Fanatic's Podcast today. I talk about writing, my writing journey, books, and other fun things. So give it a listen. 

And I ate too much yesterday, so I'm going to go have a nap. Just kidding, I'll be watching college football. GoDawgs!

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Welcome to My Brain

Happy Thanksgiving (in the US)!

Now on with the blog.

Recently I was doing freelance work and I saw something (too complicated to explain here) that had to do with ABC Healthcare company (obviously, I've changed the name). But for some reason, I read it as "XYZ Healthcare" and kept reading it as that until my editor pointed out I was wrong. I have no idea why I did that. Just my brain being weird.

I used to be (and sometimes am) a very literal thinker. When I was a kid I'd see signs along the road that say "Do Not Pass." And I'd think "everyone is passing that sign. Why? It must not mean what I think it to mean, i.e., don't go past this sign. Then latter I'd see a sign that said "Pass With Care and I thought "Yes, you should pass this sign with care because you should always be careful when driving. Later, when I was learning to driver, I learned that the sign meant "Do not pass other cars." 

And when I was a kid, they would say to ride your bicycle on the "right side of the road." And I was confused, because I didn't know which side was right and which side was wrong. Finally, I don't remember how, I realized they meant "right" as in "right or left." 

So welcome to my brain. It misfires sometimes.

How does your brain work? Does it work like mine or can you actually figure things out? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Paper Straws are Improving... in Some Cases

Paper Straw
A while back I wrote about how much I hate paper straws. That was September, 2018. I hated how they got mushy in your mouth and felt gross and the end in the liquid would collapse if you sucked too hard and would bend if you tried to poke it through the ice. I remember as a kid (before plastic straws) that it was nearly impossible to drink something thick such as a milkshake through them.

Well, things are getting better. When I went to the Chicago concert in Walla Walla, I had dinner at a steak house. And they brought me a drink with a paper straw. And I was disappointed.

Until I used it. It never got mushy in my mouth and it didn't collapse in the drink. It had some sort of black coating that prevented these things. I could tell it was paper by the way it had spirals on the inside. I'm assuming the coating will eventually break down and allow the paper straw to be composted or disintegrated in water or in a land fill.

Then, when I went to Husky Stadium to watch the a football game, I got a straw that looked like clear plastic. The paper cover said it was made from plants and was compostable. But it worked just like a plastic straw. I was impressed.

Then recently I got a paper straw while visiting Oregon and, just like before, it sucked. Or rather didn't suck because it bent and felt yucky in my mouth. And because it's weak, you can't stab it through the ice  in the bottom to get to the liquid at the bottom of the cup. So useless.

So, innovation once again comes to the rescue with two solutions for plastic straws that don't involve giving up what we all like about plastic straws.

How do you feel about paper straws? Have you seen any innovation to make them better? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Movie Databases

Today is Veterans' Day, to honor those who have served our country.

Now on with the show:

We all know (or at least should know) about the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). I've used it since the early 1990s for learning about movies and television shows. It was bought by Amazon in 1998 (for $55 million) and has only gotten better (except for all the ads).

The IMDb is great for figuring out who actors are and learning more about movies. I'll be watching a movie and an actor will look familiar, so using the IMDb I can figure out where I've seen them before.

But there are more movie databases out there than IMDb to enhance your viewing pleasure.

For example, there's the Internet Movie Car Database (IMCDb).  I like cars (obviously) so when I see a car I don't recognize in a movie, or I'm curious about, I consult the IMCDb. It works a lot like the IMDb does for actors, except for cars. It's fun to learn about cars I don't recognize (which aren't a lot).

Then there's the Internet Movie Plane Database (IMPDb). This works more like a wiki than a database. But you can still find the movie you're looking for and the plane you're interested in. I am, of course, interested in airplanes, so I find this database useful to identify planes I don't recognize.

Finally, there's the Internet Movie Firearms Database (IMFDb). It, too, is more like a wiki than a database. I used it recently to determine what shotgun Arnold Schwarzenegger was firing in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. It was a modified Winchester 1887. It's the only lever-action shotgun I've ever seen.

There's even an Internet Movie Boat Database (IMBDb) but it's not very comprehensive and again, is more like a Wiki than a database.

These last databases someone must be pouring their heart and soul into to keep running. And I appreciate their efforts. 

Do you know of any other movie databases. Have you used any of these? Let me know in the comments below.


Sunday, November 7, 2021

Huskies are 4-5

Last week, the University or Oregon Nike Ducks beat the University of Colorado Buffaloes 52-29. That would be classified as a "Blow out."

This week, the University of Washington Huskies played the Oregon Nike Ducks in Husky Stadium in the rain. The Ducks won by 26-16. That is not a blow out.

The game started on hopeful note, as a Husky interception was ran back to about the 4 yard line and that let to a Husky touchdown. The Dawgs were in the lead against the #4 team in the nation.

Later, an amazing punt put the Ducks on the one-yard line. Their running back was tackled in the end zone, making it a safety and two more points for the Huskies. The score was 0-9. At halftime, the score was 10-9. I was cautiously optimistic.

But the Ducks got better while the Huskies got worse. A wet ball didn't help Husky quarterback Dylan Morris connect with his receivers, and he as a hard time doing that anyway. The Huskies did managed another touchdown, but the Ducks won the game. A punt snap that went over the head of the punter and out the end of the end zone, resulting in a safety, didn't help.

So the Ducks will probably still be #4 when the CFP rankings come out on Tuesday. In fact, because #2 Michigan State lost to Perdue, the Ducks might move up! I hate the Ducks.

The Huskies still need to win two more games to be bowl eligible. They have three regular season games left.

Next week, the Arizona State Sun Devils travel to Husky Stadium. ASU is 6-3 so far so they are beatable. That game is at 4pm on FS1.

The week after that, on the 20th, the Huskies play Colorado in Boulder. And then on November 25th, they play the Apple Cup cross-state rivalry game against the WSU Cougars in Husky Stadium.