Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Huskies are 9-2, and That's Not Good Enough

Last night, in a squeaker, the University of Washington Huskies beat the Utah Utes to bring their overall record to 9-2 (6-2 in conference). But it's not good enough. More on that later.

Last night's game was a thriller that either team could win, right up to the last 58 seconds. Teams were swapping touchdowns, but Utah scored first so the best the Huskies could do was tie. A missed extra point and a missed field goal also kept Utah ahead most of the game.

The Huskies managed to make a touchdown with 58 seconds left in the game tying the score at 30-30. Then the Dawgs' defense stopped Utah. When the Utes punted, the Huskies had 28 seconds to score and were 72 yards from their end zone.

But a couple of good plays, including throws by Jake Browning, got them in field goal range. Sort of. Place kicker Vizcaino had already missed a field goal and a PAT. He was 38 yards out. And as time ran out, he made the field goal.

But, in a way, it doesn't matter. The Huskies can't be the Pac-12 North champion. That will be either Washington State or Stanford. It depends on who wins next week's Apple Cup (the cross-state rivalry game between Washington and Washington State).

Stanford is 7-2 in conference (after beating Cal last night) and plays Notre Dame next week so that in-conference score is not going to change. If Washington beats WSU, Washington will be tied at 7-2 in conference. But since we lost to Stanford last week, Stanford would be the Pac-12 North champion. If the Cougars win the Apple Cup, they will be 7-2 in conference and since they beat Stanford, they would be the Pac-12 North champion.

One would almost be tempted to root for WSU in the Apple Cup so they could be the Pac-12 North champions. But....naaaaaaw. It's the Apple Cup: the Huskies have to win it.

The Apple Cup is Saturday at 5:00 PM (PST) on Fox.

USC will be the Pac-12 South champion at 8-1 in conference play (WSU beat them).

The Polls:

As usual, the CFP rankings don't come out until Tuesday but they are often very close to the AP top
25 poll. Everyone in the Pac-12 went up one except Stanford who stayed at #20. WSU is at 14 UW is at 15, and USC is at 11. No team from the Pac-12 will be in the CFP playoffs this year.

Deep Thoughts:

Back when the Huskies weren't very good (they went 0-12 in 2008) I would say I'd be happy if they did the following:

  • Had at least an 8-4 record
  • Beat Oregon
  • Beat WSU
  • Went to a good bowl and won it.
So far this year, they've done two of those (they have a 9-2 record and they beat Oregon). All that's left this is beat WSU next week in the Apple Cup, and then go to a good bowl (which they will) and then win it.

Last year was the miracle year. The Huskies were 11-1 in the regular season (lost to USC), were the Pac-12 North champs, beat Colorado in the Pac-12 Championship Game, and were in the CFP playoffs (unfortunately losing to Alabama, which is nothing to be ashamed of). Not every year can be like that (unless you're Alabama). Last year raised the bar on fan expectations and I'm no exception. Now I bet the Huskies will lose a lot of good players to the NFL (including quarterback Jake Browning) so next year is going to be even more challenging. And the Huskies have a tougher schedule with non-conference games with Auburn and BYU (they do play North Dakota, an FCS team, in their second game). Hoping Husky coach Chris Petersen is ready to lose more of his star players and has players waiting to step into those roles.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

This Week in the Pac-12

This is the penultimate weekend in the college football regular season and so also for Pac-12 football. There are some interesting games happening today.

At 5:00 PM (Pacific Standard Time; as all times will be in this post) on ABC, UCLA and (#11 in the CFP) USC have their rivalry game. My nephew went to USC so I know how much they hate UCLA. Usually rivalry games are on the last weekend of the regular season, but USC has a bye next week (idiotic Pac-12 scheduling). USC should win that game, wrapping up the Pac-12 South Championship.

California and (#22 in the CFP) Stanford are also have their rivalry game today. That's because Stanford plays Notre Dame next week. Stanford will probably beat California but not Notre Dame. Today's game is also at 5:00 PM but on Fox.

And the game I care about: at 7:30 PM on ESPN, the (#18 in the CFP) University of Washington Huskies play Utah. Huskies need to win this game to keep their hopes of a Pac-12 North Championship alive. Then they need to beat Washington State (who has a bye this week) next week to be the North Champions. Then they would go on to meet USC in the Pac-12 Championship game on December 1st.

I just wish the game wasn't on so damn late. If Washington had beat Stanford last week, Washington would be higher ranked and might have gotten an earlier time slot on ESPN or Fox.

Other Pac-12 games this week: Arizona State at Oregon State (12 noon on Pac-12 Networks). and Arizona at Oregon (4:00 PM on Pac-12 Networks). Colorado also has a bye this week before their rivalry game against Utah next week.

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Arizona Tape and J. A. Pickett

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome writers Arizona Tape and J. A. Pickett.

Arizona Tape
Arizona Tape

Arizona Tape is quite a chaotic, young adult that shares her house with a cactus plant and has sleep dates with her bed. She makes up stories in her head all the time like a crazy person and occasionally writes them down too. But only if the mood is right.

In her spare time, she enjoys discovering new places with her friends, making all kinds of food as she waltzes through her kitchen like a tornado or likes relaxing on her couch with a movie and a cozy blanket.

Arizona's Books:

Danny's Dance 

My Own Human 


Arizona's Links;


J. A. Pickett
J. A. Pickett

With a lifetime dream of becoming an author, this is Jennifer Pickett’s second book A Distortion of Reality with 22,018 words. Her first book A Pocket Full of Stories was published in 2010 with Amazon under the name "J. A. Heathcock."

J.A.'s Books:

A Distortion of Reality

A Pocket Full of Stories (as J. A. Heathcock)

J.A.'s Links:


From Today's Program: Solar Wind Charges Mars' Moon Phobos.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Education is Important, But....

Back to the 30-day blogging challenge that I'm doing in 30 weeks or so (depending on how many I skip).

Today's prompt is: "How important you think education is."

Let me tell you a story.

George dropped out of high school. He went to apply for a janitor's job but they turned him down because it required a high school diploma.

So he walked home. As he did, he saw a man trying to repair the sidewalk in front of his house with concrete. George knew something about concrete because he'd worked with his father with it on their farm. So George offered to help the man for $20. The man happily paid. And he said since George did such a good job, he'd recommend him to his friends.

So George started doing concrete work around town for people, making decent money. He eventually bought a small mixer to do the concrete in and do bigger jobs. Since he always did a great job, he kept getting work. Eventually he bought a truck. Then two trucks. Then more, and a concrete planet on the edge of town and he became a successful businessman who employed a lot of people.

The local newspaper wanted to do a story on George and he let them interview him. The reporter asked "How much education do you have?" George said he never even finished high school. The reporter was impressed and asked, "What would you be doing if you had finished high school?"

George said, "I'd be a janitor."

Having said all that, I think education is very important. But it's not the most important thing. You can have a Ph.D from Harvard but if you don't have a work ethic, you'll accomplish very little. Now for a lot of jobs, you have to have a degree of some sort. If you want to be an engineer, you'd better have an engineering degree from an accredited university.

Education is important. But what gets you ahead in life if working hard, doing a good job, and having a good, positive attitude.

Here's a video about that (sort of).

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Huskies are 8-2

I'm going to write this post in two parts: Saturday Morning after the Friday night Husky game and Sunday Morning when all the other games have been played and the AP Top 25 Poll has come out.

Saturday Morning

The University of Washington Huskies played Stanford last night in Palo Alto, California. I knew going in this was going to be a tough game, playing Stanford on their home turf is never easy. But at first, it looked like there was no problem for the Dawgs. The Cardinal (it's a color) got the ball first but were stopped by the Huskies' amazing defense, and then the Huskies scored a touchdown, and then the defense stopped Stanford again and the Huskies scored again in the second quarter. Then the Cardinal scored. It might have been a high-scoring game except...the Huskies somehow stopped playing hard. Starting in the second quarter, Stanford kept racking up points as the hapless Huskies would go three and out on most series. At some point in the fourth quarter, the announces mentioned that the Huskies had had only one first down in the second half.

With less than five minutes to go, the Huskies came alive and tried to make up a 16 point deficit. They got a touchdown and made the two-point conversion. But it was too little, too late.

The Huskies aren't used to being behind and I wonder if the farther behind they got, the more demoralized they became. Something was off last night. The final score of the game was 22-30.

This makes the Huskies 8-2 over all and 6-2 in conference.

On Sunday morning we'll see how the rest of the Pac-12 shakes out and what happens in the AP poll. But this finishes Washington's slim hopes of being the the CFP playoffs. No Pac-12 team will make the playoffs this year.

Sunday Morning

Last Tuesday, the CFP committee put the Huskies at #9. I'm assuming they will be lower this week when the rankings come out on Tuesday. The AP poll also had them at #9.

Yesterday, Washington State University Cougars beat Utah bringing their record to 9-2 overall and 6-2 in conference. That puts them on top of the Pac-12 North. But their bye week is next week (meaning they have two weeks to prepare for the Apple Cup rivalry game with UW). Likely, the Pac-12 North championship will come down to the Apple Cup, if UW beats Utah next week at home.

Stanford is also 6-2 in conference but 7-3 over all so they're in third place. They play Nortre Dame on the last weekend of the regular season. They play California in their rivalry game next week.

In the Pac-12 South, USC beat Colorado to remain in the top position. They play UCLA next week in that cross-town rivalry game. Their bye week is the last week of the regualar season, giving them more time to prepare for the Pac-12 Championship game. The Pac-12 did a horrible job of scheduling bye weeks this year. That's probably partly to blame on ESPN and Fox, who have contracts with the Pac-12 to show the games.

It's too bad Washington lost, they could have gone up a lot in the AP poll and the CFP rankings. That's because #10 Auburn beat #1 Georgia (these rankings are CFP). And #7 Miami Florida beat #3 Notre Dame. As those teams drop, Washington could have moved up.

In the AP top 25 poll (which is a hint of what the CFP committee will do), Washington is now at #16 with no chance of getting into the playoffs (top 4). USC is the top-ranked Pac-12 team at #12. WSU is at #15 (yes, higher than Washington). And Stanford is back in the top 25 at #20.

Georgia dropped from #2 in the AP poll to #7 and Notre Dame went from #3 in the AP poll to #9.

Washington plays Utah next week at home. The game is at 7:30 PM PST on ESPN. I hate these late games.

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Catrina Taylor and Jack Hillman

Today on the Speculative fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome writers Catrina Taylor and Jack Hillman.

Catrina Taylor
Catrina Taylor

Mother, Author, and scifi enthusiast, Catrina Taylor keeps her words flowing, worlds growing, and friends in touch with what is going on. She is currently working on the release of a new universe in the first quarter of 2018.

Catrina's Books:

The Choosing: Knights of the Immortals (Book 2)

Noble Transition: Knights of the Immortals (Book 3)

Choices: Knights of the Immortals (Book 4)

Catrina's Links:


Jack Hillman
Jack Hillman

Jack Hillman is a journalist, novelist, playwright and a medical underwriter.  His published fiction has appeared in Buzzy Mag, Sorcerous Signals, Amazon Shorts, Aberrations, the Kings of The Night III anthology, and the Magistria: World Of The Sorcerer anthology.  His most recent novel, Magic Forgotten- was released September 2017, the first book of a new series.

Jack's Books:

Giants Want The Lost River

Giants Want Ragnarok

Magic Forgotten

Jack's Links:


From today's Program: Alien Visitor to the Solar System

Thursday, November 9, 2017

My Middle Name

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

Today's prompt is: "Your middle name and how you feel about it."

This is kind of funny for me. I go, professionally by my middle name: "Evan." This is why I'm "S. Evan Townsend." I like my middle name better than my first name (which starts with "S," obviously). People who know me personally call me by my first name (one calls me "S.") and as a child I only heard my middle name when I was in trouble.

My brother-in-law goes by his middle name personally and professionally. I didn't know for a long time that he had another name. It's not bad, I don't know why he doesn't like it.

My wife, on the other hand, hates her middle name. I think it's cute, but she loathes it. She wasn't happy when I gave a character that name. I won't say what her middle name is, but it's an old Norse name. And the character is in Hammer of Thor.

So, obviously, I like my middle name (better than my first name). Although I'm still getting used to people calling me "Evan."

How do you feel about your middle name? Comment below.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Star Trek: Discovery "Issues."

This post is going to reveal what a geek I am. And warning:

**Spoilers Ahead***

I have so far watched seven eight episodes of Star Trek: Discovery. And I have..."issues" with it.

It's very well made, and well written, and looks gorgeous in 4K (I'm watching it through an Amazon Fire TV with 4K). The main actors do a fine job and it seems everyone buys into the Star Trek mythos. There's not a smirk in the bunch (unlike the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies).

Star Trek: Discovery (hereafter ST:D) is set ten years before the first Star Trek series (the original series, hereafter ST:TOS) with Spock and Kirk and Bones. So it's a prequel.

I'm not going to complain about ST:D having technology that wasn't in ST:TOS such as holograms and to activate the transporter you move a slider on a screen, not a physical slider. I can live with that. After all, our technology, especially in movie/television special effects, has changed a lot since the late 1960s.

I'm not going to complain that in all the ST:TOS episodes and movies, Spock never once mentioned having a human foster sister.

I'm not even going to bitch about the science errors (how did the Beacon of Kahless, basically a very bright light, communicate over interstellar distances in a matter of minutes?)

But there are a lot of continuity issues with ST:TOS and Star Trek: The Next Generation (hereafter ST:TNG). I almost wish I'd taken notes, there are so many.

1) The Klingons have cloaking. This is about 12 years before the Klingons got cloaking. In "The Enterprise Incident" episode of ST:TOS it is explained that the Romulans traded cloaking technology to the Klingons in exchange for ships. This is when the Klingons first had the cloaking device. Now, in ST:D it's only one (or two) ships and a lot of the Klingons are surprised by it. But it's never explained how a Klingon got cloaking technology.

2) The insignia everyone wears is wrong. In ST:TOS, all the ships had their own insignia. The 
Enterprise Command Insignia
Enterprise's insignia was the triangle thing that everyone now associates with Star Trek. When the Enterprise came back from its very successful five-year mission, Starfleet made its insignia the symbol of Starfleet. That's why in the movies, in ST:TNG, and other later shows, everyone is wearing the stylized triangle of the Enterprise.  In ST:D, everyone is already wearing that Enterprise insignia. They shouldn't be. They should be wearing an insignia unique to their ship.

3) In the ST:TOS episode "Day of the Dove," Kirk does a very risky "site-to-site" transport from the transporter room to inside the ship. This was supposed to be the first time it's tried and worked. In ST:D, they do this all the time (okay, three times). They sort of needed to for the plot, but it's still an inconsistency. (By the time ST:TNG came around, site-to-site teleportation was old hat.)

4) Captain Lorca has a tribble in his ready room. If he knows about tribbles, how come they were such a shock to Kirk in the ST:TOS episode "The Trouble with Tribbles"? Lorca apparently knows not to feed it so he won't be knee-deep in tribbles. How come Dr. McCoy had to figure that out?

5) The Klingons don't look like Klingons. Okay, the art department wanted to put their own spin on them. But at least give them hair.

6) Harry Mudd's character is, in my opinion, violated. He is not a killer, he's a con man. He's too chicken to kill someone.

And 7) The Discovery doesn't look like a Starfleet ship. In fact, none of the ships really do. I know it's supposed to be ten years earlier, but the Enterprise in Star Trek: Enterprise looked more like a Starfleet ship than the Discovery does.

It's still a pretty good show. But I wish they'd honor their heritage by being a little more consistent with the Star Trek canon.

UPDATE: In last night's episode they said that Starfleet doesn't have the death penalty. But they do: going to Talos IV, as described in "The Menagerie" episode of ST:TOS.

UPDATE to the UPDATE: When it was stated in ST:D that Starfleet doesn't have a death penalty, that was very likely before the Enterprise under Captain Pike visited Talox IV. So it was before that death penalty was instated.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Huskies are 8-1

Yesterday, Ohio State, which was ranked #3 in the AP top 25 poll and #6 in the CFP rankings, lost to Iowa. Not #14 (#15 CFP) Iowa State, but Iowa. They just didn't lose to the unranked Hawkeyes, they were trounced. This means Ohio State is going to be dropping a lot in both the AP poll and the CFP rankings (which come out Tuesday).

Which is good news for every team ranked below them, including the University of Washington Huskies.

Last night the Huskies took on the Oregon Ducks in a rainy game at Husky Stadium. Oregon took the kickoff to start the game and then managed to march down the field. The Husky defense held them to a field goal, putting them on the board first at 3-0. Then the Huskies marched down the field, but got held to a field goal attempt. Place kicker Viscano tried and missed. This was the nadir of the game.

The Ducks never scored again. Dante Pettis made his 8th career runback for a touchdown from a punt, making him the NCAA all time record holder for that accomplishment. From then on out, the Huskies dominated the hapless Ducks, who often just went three and out when they had the ball. A fake reverse got the Huskies seven more points. When the score was 38 - 3 and there was about 9 minutes left in the game, Husky coach Chris Petersen, as he does, started rotating backup players into the game. Even then, the Ducks couldn't score (even though they could move the ball better). The final score was 38 - 3. The missed field goal denied us a 40+ score, something I think is needed to impress the voters of the AP poll and the CFP committee.

Also yesterday, the Washington State Cougars defeated Stanford in Pullman. This is both good and
bad for the Huskies. It's good because now the Dawgs are securely in the top spot of the Pac-12 North with an 8-1 record (5-1 in conference). The Cougars are number two at 8-2 overall, 5-2 in conference. And Stanford is at number three with a 6-3 overall and 5-2 in conference.

But it's bad because this will probably drop Stanford out of the AP and CFP top 25, meaning next week's game when the Huskies travel to Palo Alto to play the Cardinal, Stanford won't be ranked. And the Huskies will still not have played a ranked team. That will have to wait until the Apple Cup the Saturday after Thanksgiving (assuming the Cougs don't "Coug it" in their game against Utah next week. their last game before the Apple Cup).

In the Pac-12 South, after defeating the Arizona Wildcats, USC is firmly in control and will probably be the Pac-12 South winner with an 8-2 overall and 6-1 in conference record.

The Playoff Hopes:

If Washington doesn't lose any more games and beats USC in the Pac-12 championship game, they might have a chance at a playoff spot. But this year the competition is so strong, it seems unlikely. Washington's strength of schedule (or lack thereof) will hurt them with the committee. Sure, Ohio State is out, but you have powerhouses such as Alabama (who Washington lost to last year in the playoffs), Georgia, Notre Dame, and Clemson currently in the top four positions. Alabama and Georgia are undefeated. I don't see that list changing unless one of the top four has an upset loss. Washington should move up with Ohio State's loss, but I don't see them getting into the top four slots anytime this season, which is where you have to be to be in the playoffs.

The Polls:

The CFP doesn't come out until Tuesday. But the AP top 25 poll comes out at 2 PM EST (11 AM PST) today (Sunday).

Ohio State dropped from #3 to #11. Washington went from #12 to #9, putting them back in the top 10. USC went from #17 to #15, and WSU went from #25 to #19. And Stanford dropped out of the top 25. Arizona also dropped out of the top 25 after being ranked for one whole week.

It'll be interesting to see what happens Tuesday with the CFP rankings.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

We Love to Hate Oregon

Today the University of Washington Huskies play the University of Oregon Ducks. For many Husky fans, this rivalry is even more important than the cross-state rivalry between the Huskies and the Washington State University Cougars.

I talk about why, here. Let's just say that Huskies love to hate the Oregon Ducks.

Last year, after I wrote that post linked above, we destroyed Oregon 70-21 on their home turf. Think of that more as ten touchdowns to three touchdowns. Making ten touchdowns in one game is a amazing accomplishment for any team. It was a wonderful part of the Huskies'
Oregon Logo
wonderful 2016 season. Oregon fired their coach at the end of the season and brought in a new guy. Phil Knight (Nike founder and Oregon graduate) has said he'll pay up to $10 million per year for a coaching staff that can make Oregon great again.

Today's game is at Husky Stadium so we get to play at home. Oregon, rebuilding after what was an awful year for them last year, is 5-4 overall, 2-4 in conference so far on the season while the Huskies are 7-1 overall, 4-1 in conference. This should be a fairly easy win for the Huskies (of course, I thought that about Arizona State).

The game is at 7:00 PM PDT on FS1. It'll be interesting to see what awful uniform the Ducks are going to wear.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Parker J Cole and K. T. Conte

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome writers Parker J Cole and K. T. Conte.

Parker J Cole
Parker J Cole and also writing as Parker Payne

Parker J. Cole is an author, speaker, radio host and executive of PJC Media with an obsession for the Lord, Star Trek, K-dramas, anime, romance books, old movies, speculative fiction, and knitting. A former Mountain Dew and marshmallow addict, she writes to fill the void the sugar left behind. Find out any and everything about her at Or just ask.

Parker's Works:

Druid’s Spear (writing as Parker Payne)

The Cure 

"Godforsaken" (short story)

Parker's Links:


K. T. Conte
K. T. Conte

K.T. Conte is a lover of books, people and all things wild and crazy. She received her B.A. in English from Boston College and her law degree from Suffolk University Law School. While she has and continues to be a licensed attorney, her first love has always been books from the tender age of 2. Originally from Massachusetts, K.T. currently lives in New York City with the monsters in the closet, her husband Everett, a couple of building fairies and her dog, Champ.

K.T.'s Book:

Awoke: The Want Series

K.T.'s Links:


From Today's Program: An Inflatable Habitat Orbiting the Moon.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Two More Pet Peeves

Wow, November already. Christmas will be here soon.

Back to the 30-day blogging challenge. Today's prompt: "Your Top Five Pet Peeves."

Well, I did three here. So I guess I only need two more.

Number Four: People who post stupid stuff on Facebook that if they took a moment to think about it, they would know it's not accurate. For example, it seems every six months or so this thing goes around about posting something will protect your privacy on Facebook. Or something. I never read it.

This seems to have abated lately and instead there's tons of Fake News. Whenever I see something on FB that claims to be news, I check the source. If it isn't a source I trust (mostly major news organizations), I dismiss it. And it swings from far left to far right.

Number Five: I do a fair amount of book signings. And people will come up to you, pick up a book, and flip through nearly all the pages. I have no idea why. But I tell them, "Yes, there's print on every page." Because what else are they looking for? I know some folks are looking to see how big the font is, but you don't have to look at every damn page to do that.

Or kids with dirty hands will come up and I say, "Please don't touch the books" in an authoritative voice and...they touch the books.

So there's two more pet peeves in addition to the three I did earlier. What are your pet peeves?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Not Doing NaNoWriMo This Year.

This is the first day of NaNoWriMo.

Might as well get it out now: I'm not doing NaNoWriMo this year.

I've done it four years, won three of those years. The three novels I won with were the "Treasures of Space" novels (Treasure of the Black Hole, Treasure of the Pirate Planet, and Treasure of the Rogue Moon). The novel I didn't win with was Book of Death, which I did eventually finish. What stopped me from winning was I realized I needed to do a lot of research on Romania (where most of the novel is set) and I didn't have time to do that and finish the novel by the end of November.

Last year I didn't do NaNoWriMo because I had nothing to write. I was trying to write a novel, had writer's Hoover Dam (not just a block, but Hoover Dam). This year I started a short story which is now around 25,000 words. I'm not going to stop writing it to do a NaNo novel. And I don't think I'll get 50,000 more words out of it (I'm hoping for 35,000 more).

So no NaNo for me. I'll just keep plugging away at my current work in progress. It's working title is Chumba of the Intelligence Corps: The Smugglers of Mars. It's a prequel to the "Treasures of Space" novels.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Huskies are 7-1 (and the Cougars aren't)

Yesterday the University of Washington Huskies played the UCLA Bruins at home. And they won quite handily by a score of 44-23. UCLA's score would have been less but once the Huskies got over 40 points, Chris Petersen, as he does, put in back up players. This allowed the Bruins to make a defensive touchdown and an offensive touchdown, adding 14 points to their score. I hope the voters for the AP poll realize this.

The Huskies did running plays most of the game. This frustrated me because I love watching Jake Browning throw the ball. But, apparently Petersen and his staff decided running was the best way to beat UCLA. A win is a win and I'll take it.

And the Huskies looked so much better than they did two weeks ago when they lost to Arizona State. Even the kicking game worked as the UW kicker was perfect in the game. The Huskies are 7-1 over all and 4-1 in conference.

Next week the Huskies play the Oregon Ducks at home. The Ducks are rebuilding after their awful year last year with a new coach. Still they are 5-4 overall and 2-4 in conference. So, if the Huskies play up to par, they should win this game.

Elsewhere in the Pac-12

As I said yesterday, The Washington State-Arizona game had implications for both the Pac-12 North and the Pac-12 South. Since Arizona won it 58-37, that puts the WSU Cougars 7-2 overall and 4-2 in conference. Unless Stanford and UW both screw up, that puts them out of the running for the Pac-12 North championship.

Stanford (6-2 overall, 5-1 in conference) and UW are still neck and neck for the Pac-12 North championship. They play November 10th (a Friday) and the winner of that game will likely be the Pac-12 North champion now that WSU is out of the running..

In the Pac-12 South, USC is still on top at 7-2 overall and 5-1 in conference. But Arizona is now nipping at their heels at 6-2 overall, 4-1 in conference (USC has yet to have a bye). These two teams play next week so the winner will likely be the Pac-12 South champion.

The Polls:

The first College Football Playoff (CFP) poll, which is chosen by committee, comes out Tuesday. The top four teams in that poll at the end of the season go to the playoffs. The AP poll came out Sunday morning (just a bit ago).

TCU (who got beat yesterday) dropped from #4 to #10 and now Wisconsin is #4. The CFP often closely mirrors the AP poll so Wisconsin may now be in the playoffs. But it's a long ways to January.

Another upset yesterday, #2 Penn State lost to #6 Ohio State. Now Penn State is #7 and probably out of the playoffs and Ohio State is #3 and has a good chance to be in the playoffs. But it's still a long ways to January.

UW stayed at #12 (needed to keep UCLA from scoring those last two touchdowns). Still the highest-ranked Pac-12 team for the second week in a row.

USC moved up to #17 from #21. Stanford moved from #20 to #18

Arizona entered the top 25 at #23.

And WSU is on the bubble at #25, falling from #15.

When the CFP comes out, I'll probably post that (on Wednesday).

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Weekend College Football Preview

All twelve teams in the Pac-12 play this weekend (no one has a bye). Things might be a little clearer in the Pac-12 standings after this weekend.

Stanford (#20 in the AP poll) played Oregon State Thursday night (yeah, weird) but barely won 15-14. It looks like Stanford made 5 field goals and never got a touchdown (unless they missed a PAT or went for a two-point conversion and didn't get it). That brings the Cardinal (it's a color) to 6-2 overall and 5-1 in conference. Because Stanford had a bye last week, they have only played eight games so far. But that tight game with Oregon State (who have only won one game this season against Portland State, an FCS team) might knock them down in the polls come Sunday.

Washington (#12 in the AP poll) had a bye last week, too, so the Huskies will have only played eight games after this weekend. They face UCLA at home. UCLA is 2-2 in conference and 4-3 overall (meaning they lost one of their non-conference games). The Huskies (6-1 overall, 3-1 in conference), at home, should have no problem beating them. Of course, that's what I said about the Arizona State game two weeks ago.

Washington State (#15 in the AP poll) faces Arizona in a game that has implications in both the Pac-12 North and the Pac-12 South. If WSU wins, they will still be in the running for the Pac-12 North championship (along with UW and Stanford). If Arizona wins, they will still be in the running for the Pac-12 South championship. That game is a home game for Arizona, and they are tough to beat at home.

USC (#21 in the AP poll) lost to Notre Dame last week putting them at 6-2 overall (4-1 in conference). They are still on top of the Pac-12 South but Arizona (5-2 overall, 3-1 in conference) is not far behind depending on the outcome of their game with WSU. If Arizona loses, USC will probably win the Pac-12 South.

The one bad thing is about this week: UW finally has a game at a decent time today of 12:30 PM. But I'm in a meeting out of town until 2:15 PM. I'll DVR (I hope) the game and watch it when I get home. Have to avoid social media until I'm done watching the game. Go Dawgs!

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Andi O’Connor and Joseph Ganci

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome writers Andi O’Connor and Joseph Ganci.

Andi O'Conner
Andi O'Connor

Andi O'Connor is the award-winning author of three fantasy series. Her critically acclaimed novel, Silevethiel, is the 2015 Best Indie Book Award winner for Science Fiction/Fantasy, and the 2015 New Apple Official Selection for Young Adult. The Speaker is a Finalist in the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards. You can frequently find Andi as a guest panelist and exhibitor at Comic Cons throughout the country. Visit her Website for more information.

Andi's Books:

Call To War: The Dragonath Chronicles, Book 3 

The Speaker: The Vaelinel Trilogy, Book 2

Awakening: The Dragonath Chronicles, Book 2

Andi's Links:


Joseph Ganci

Joseph made his debut in Brooklyn. He is a firstborn and so, is dedicated to God by the laws of Israel. He is a Levite and a high priest but remains a passionate Italian. He is a Vietnam combat veteran and an Honor Society member. Joseph currently resides in Space City. He fathered five daughters, three of whom are still alive. The grist from this novel finds common ground through his endless rounds of scripture study and from the graciousness of an all-loving God. Lest we forget, a thousand years hence - the anthropologists will conclude that our society communed with an all-knowing Oracle named Google.

Joseph's Book:

Gideon: The Sound and The Glory

Joseph's Links:


From today's program: "Startram" Could Revolutionize Space Travel.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

I Suck (at some things)

Back to the 30-day blogging challenge that I'm doing in approximately 30 weeks (depending on how many of the prompts I ignore).

Today's prompt is "Stuff you are not good at."

Well, I don't park cars very well. I tend to be crooked and off to one side (i.e., not in the middle of the space). When I was working and travelling to customer facilities, my boss would criticize my parking skills. At one customer's facility, they required you to back in to park (who knows why?). I was really bad at that. And this was long before there were backup cameras in cars.

I suck at driving the speed limit. I'm nearly always driving faster, even when the speed limit is 80 mph.

Judging from my book sales, I suck at book marketing.

I used to suck at sleeping late in the morning. I used to wake up at 5:00 AM every morning. But now that it's darker later in the morning, I sleep longer.

(I'm doing some self-censoring on this post, too.)

I'm a poor speller. I'm not very good at knowing where to put commas. I'm a horrible proofreader (I see the word that is supposed to be there, not the word that is there). And I typo a lot (not a good combination). I guess making typos is something I'm good at.

So what skills do you need to improve? Comment below.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Bye Weekend

The University of Washington Huskies has a bye this week (that means they didn't play). So their record remains 6-1 over all, 3-1 in conference. This, ironically after yesterday, puts them in third place in the Pac-12 North behind the Washington State Cougars (7-1 overall, 4-1 in conference) after they beat Colorado last night, and Stanford (5-2 overall, 4-1 in conference as they had a bye this week).

The Pac-12 North is going to be interesting with three teams (UW, WSU, and Stanford) all vying for the top slot.

Elsewhere in the conference, USC was demolished by Notre Dame in a non-conference game by a score of 49-14. Interesting to have a non-conference game this late in the season (Notre Dame is an independent). They are still on top of the Pac-12 South, though, with a 6-2 overall, 4-1 in conference record. But Arizona (!) is not far behind at 5-2 overall and 3-1 in conference. Arizona beat Cal in overtime yesterday.

Next week the Huskies take on UCLA  (4-3 overall, 2-2 in conference) at 12:30 at Husky Stadium. It's going to be on either ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2. Check your listings. I saw an interview with Husky coach Chris Petersen in the Seattle Times and he said having a bye week after last week's loss is both good and bad. You have more time to work on issues, but you have to go two weeks with that loss hanging over your head.

The Polls

Stanford, despite having a bye week, moved up two slots to #20. UW and WSU didn't move, still at #12 and #15 respectively. After getting beat by Notre Dame, USC fell to #21 from #11. Which makes the Huskies the highest ranked Pac-12 team right now, and USC the lowest.

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Rebecca Gomez Farrell and Brian James

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are please to welcome writers Rebecca Gomez Farrell and Brian James.

Rebecca Gomez Farrell
Rebecca Gomez Farrell

Rebecca Gomez Farrell's debut epic fantasy novel, Wings Unseen, is available now from Meerkat Press. Her shorter speculative fiction can be read in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, the Future Fire, and Bull Spec among other magazines, and look for “Treasure,” in the Dark, Luminous Wings anthology in October. She blogs about food, drink, and travel at the, and yes, she has opinions about the usefulness of truffle oil. Find all her creative works at her author website:

Rebecca's Works:

Wings Unseen

"What Scattered in the Wind" (short story in an anthology)

"Garbage" (short story in an anthology)

Rebecca's Links:


Brian James
Brian James

Brian James grew up just out of bullet range of Detroit. He was raised on the work of Douglas Adams and Snorri Sturluson. Eventually he went on to college where he majored in History. While he never realized his dream to become a heavier version of Indiana Jones, he did wind up writing for a number of magazines, newspapers, websites, and Fortune 500 companies. His new book, Mjolnir, brings the Norse gods into the modern world and follows their exploits as they speed towards Ragnarok.

Brian's Book:


Brian's Links:


From Today's Program: Scientists working on ways to stop bacteria on space missions.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

My Online Life

I found another 30-day blogging challenge that seems to have different questions than the usual. At least some of them. So once a week I'll do one of the questions (if it's new and if it's not too personal).

Today's question is: "The difference between your personal and internet life."

I discussed that a little bit in this blog post from a few weeks ago.

It sort of depends on what internet life. On my personal Facebook page (sorry not going to link to it) I'm less professional and more cordial. I'll occasionally discuss politics which I don't anywhere else.  (I stopped doing politics on Facebook regularly in March of 2017.) I'll post personal stuff if it's not too personal (I don't post drama). On my Facebook author page, on Twitter, and on this blog, I try to be professional and not too personal and I never blatantly discuss politics as I used to on FB.

In my personal life, most everyone I know knows my politics (I'm not shy about it). I will talk with friends about personal things, depending on how close of friends they are.

What won't you do on the internet? Comment below.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Upset Weekend

It was a weekend of upsets. Unfortunately, the University of Washington Huskies were no exception.

It started Friday when #2 Clemson was beat by Syracuse. And #8 Washington State was demolished by California (the same team the Huskies beat last week). I was getting excited thinking that after the Huskies beat Arizona State, they might move up to #4 in the AP top 25 poll.

(There were other upsets in the AP top 25 but those were the important ones.)

Alas, it was not to be. Maybe it was the second late game in a row (starting at 7:45 PM). Maybe it was curse of Tempe (the Huskies haven't won there since the early 2000s). Maybe it was the 80 degree weather. Maybe it was the kicking game. That didn't help. Had those two FGs been made, the game would have been tied and gone into overtime and we might have still won.

The Huskies went three and out on their first drive, then the Sun Devils scored on their first drive. The Huskies. The Huskies were moving slow and Quarterback Jake Browning was having an off night (his first of this season). Going into the half the score was 13-0 with ASU in the lead.

Three big problems didn't help. A touchdown on a trick play was called back for a holding call. And the Huskies' place kicker missed two (two!) field goals. The defense finally woke up and held ASU scoreless in the second half. But the offense just couldn't connect.

The final score was 13-7. The Huskies go to 6-1 and that probably ends their hopes to return to the CFP playoffs. Maybe if they win every game from now on. But likely not.

Next week the Dawgs have a bye. Then on October 28th they play UCLA at home. That gives them two weeks to fix what went wrong last night. I'm wondering if it's too late to get a new kicker.

Elsewhere in the Pac-12:

USC had a come-from-behind win against Utah last night. That puts USC solidly in control of the Pac-12 South.

In the Pac-12 North, Stanford is technically on top because their in-conference record is 4-1 even though they are 5-2 overall. The Huskies and the Cougars are tied for second at 3-1 in conference and 6-1 overall. No one else is competitive in the North, especially after Stanford demolished Oregon last night. So it's going to come down to who beats Stanford (if anybody) and who wins the Apple Cup. (Stanford plays Notre Dame on the last weekend of the regular season. Go Fighting Irish!)

The Polls:

I suppose it could have been worse. In the AP top 25 poll, Clemson, after their loss, went from #2 to #7. Washington went from #5 to #12. WSU went from #8 to #15. USC went from #13 to #11. And Stanford went from #23 to #22.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Tracy Lawson and Natalie Wright

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome Tracy Lawson and Natalie Wright.

Tracy Lawson
Tracy Lawson

Once upon a time, Tracy Lawson was a little girl with a big imagination who loved to tell stories. Her interests in dance, theater, and other forms of make-believe led to a career in the performing arts, where “work” means she gets to tap dance, choreograph musicals, and weave stories. A mid-life career change has so far yielded Counteract, Resist, Ignite, and Revolt, the four volumes in the young adult Resistance Series, plus two nonfiction history books.

Tracy's Books:


Pride of the Valley: Sifting through the History of the Mount Healthy Mill (history, non-fiction)


Tracy's Links:


Natalie Wright
Natalie Wright

Natalie is the author of H.A.L.F., an award-winning science fiction series, and The Akasha Chronicles, a young adult fantasy trilogy. She lives in the high desert of Tucson, Arizona with her husband, teen daughter, and two cat overlords.

A nerd since before it was remotely cool, Natalie spends her non-writing time reading, gaming (ESO, Skyrim, Dragon Age), and hanging out with readers and other fans of geek and nerd culture at comic cons, Sci-Fi/Fantasy literary cons and book festivals throughout the western US. Natalie also geeks out frequently on podcasts, radio shows and guest blogs discussing writing and books. She was raised an Ohio farm girl, lives in the desert Southwest, and dreams of living near the ocean.

Natalie's Books:

H.A.L.F.: The Deep Beneath

H.A.L.F.: The Makers


Natalie's Links:


From Today's Program: Why the Universe is Accelerating.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Tomorrow is Friday the 13th in October.

Which means....absolutely nothing. Yes, I know people suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia (fear of Friday the 13th) and for some reason a Friday the 13th in October is worse (because of Halloween?).

But in reality, it's just another day.

There is no scientific basis for thinking Friday the 13th is bad luck. In fact, I used to work with a woman who thought Friday the 13th was a good omen (I think she thought of herself as a witch).

When I wrote my Adept Series of books, just for the fun of it, I decided for the adepts, thirteen was a lucky number and Friday the 13th was especially lucky. But those were fantasy books, not based on science. I gave the Huntington Hotel in San Francisco a thirteenth floor (in reality, it only has twelve) and that was where the adepts worked and lived. All of the books, except one, have thirteen chapters (Hammer of Thor has twenty-six),

It's like a full moon. Some people swear a full moon means more people end up in the emergency room or more crimes or more fires. But studies have shown this isn't true. It's a self-confirming bias. If a day with a full moon is extra busy in the ER, the nurses and the doctors remember that. If it's not, they don't remember that because it doesn't confirm their superstitions.

So tomorrow, don't worry. It's just another day with a coincidence on the calendar.

P.S.: the other books in the Adept Series. are Agent of Artifice, Book of Death, Gods of Strife, and The Terror of Tombstone.