Sunday, December 31, 2017

Huskies are 10-3 to End the Season

Yesterday the University of Washington Huskies played Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl. They lost. At first it was looking like a blow out as Penn State scored 14 unanswered points. But during the second half the Husky offense finally was able to move the ball and brought the score to a seven-point deficit. But they were never able to overcome that. The final score was 28-35. This will bring the Huskies down in the final AP to 25 football poll.

In bowl games, the Pac-12 was only 1-8, with Utah beating West Virginia. This has me wondering if the Pac-12 is a weak conference because anytime lately our good teams play outside the conference, including conference winner USC, we lose (USC was demolished by Ohio State).

Next year the Huskies open their season playing Auburn in Atlanta. Auburn is no Rutgers. Auburn is ranked #7 in the CFP rankings and #7 in the AP top 25 college football poll. They are playing in the Peach Bowl on New Years Day against UCF (University of Central Florida). To win that game the Dawgs will have to be as good as they can be in their first game. To say I'm worried is an understatement.

Back to this year. I've mentioned a few times the criteria I came up with for a "good" Husky season back when they sucked. Those are:

  • Had at least an 8-4 record (went 10-2 in the regular season)
  • Beat Oregon (yes)
  • Beat WSU (yes)
  • Went to a good bowl and won it. (yes, but lost)

Well, they did all but the last one. They went to a good bowl, but they didn't win it. So overall they did pretty good and I should be happy. And I am happy. This is so much better than the days of barely making a 6-6 season and going to a bowl. This is so much better than 2008 when we went 0-12 (the only Pac-10/12 team to do so).

So now the lucky hat and the Husky flag get put away until Sept 1, 2018 when we play the Auburn Tigers.

Oh, and the Seattle Seahawk's last regular season game is today. If they lose they won't make the playoffs for the first time in a long time. If they win and Atlanta loses to North Carolina, they will make a wild card slot. Is it bad I kind of hope they lose so I don't have to watch anymore Seahawks football?

Friday, December 29, 2017

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

Today on a Speculative Fiction Cantina replay 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, December 28, 2017


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

The next prompt is: "Your definition of love."

Well, the best definition of love I've ever come across is Robert Heinlein's:
Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.
Love is an interesting thing. The Greeks had names for four types of love:

Éros which is sexual love (probably the root of the word "erotica").

Philia which is brotherly love (like Philadelphia is the city of Brotherly Love). Or the love between two friends.

Storge is the least mentioned of these, and is the love of parents for their children.

And finally, agápe love which is unconditional love.

I think for an "love" relationship, there has to be a bit of each of those (except storge). Especially agápe. You needs to be friends with your lover, you need sexual attraction (at least until you're, oh, 80), and you need unconditional love.

What is your definition of love? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Teresita "Angela" Terga and Clay Gilbert

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome writers Teresita "Angela" Terga and Clay Gilbert.

Teresita "Angela" Terga
Teresita "Angela" Terga

Teresita “Angela” Terga was born in Manzanillo, Cuba.  She came to America with her family as a child of 9, during the Cuban freedom flights and later relocated for a brief time to Venezuela. Upon her return to the US, she has taught at K-12 schools and colleges throughout South Florida.  In 2012, she founded TAT Productions LLC at htttp:// and regularly blogs on her Wordpress site, A Woman in film,, her goal is to produce “Hybrid”  TV series based on Utopia.  You may watch the trailer here:

Hybrid is a neo Eve who becomes the hero for the underdog in the cities of the modern world before the ecotomb.  Taharai and her friends, a prostitute, a heroin addict, and an international thief, are the League of the World, who will battle eco destruction and the abuse of power in any form.  In the pilot, we learn about Taharai and meet her friends through a future storyteller after the modern world has ended. In this futuristic neosociety, survivors of the ecotomb follow the principles of Shambhala in which there is no religion, no god, no authority, no rules, just compassion and love. That’s why they call themselves the Shambhalans.

Angela's Books:



Angela's Links:


Clay Gilbert
Clay Gilbert

Clay Gilbert has been hearing the voices of aliens, vampires, and people from the future since about the age of four.  It wasn't long before he started to think taking notes on what they said might be a good idea.  This has led him many places—through the halls and classrooms of many schools, where he's been both in front of the teacher's desk and behind it, himself—to presenter's podiums at conventions, and, most often, to the comfortable chair behind his writing desk at home, where he uses his Dell computer as both a beacon and a translator for the voices that still find their way through from countless worlds and planes of existence. Mr. Gilbert’s work in various genres has been in print since his first short science fiction story, “The Computer Conspiracy,” was published in Scholastic magazine when he was just thirteen. He holds an M.A. in English literature from Auburn University, and an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing from the University of Souh Carolina. Clay is the author of the science fiction series "Children of Evohe," which currently comprises three volumes: Annah, Annah and the Exiles, and Annah and the Gates of Grace.  He has also published a young-adult science fiction novel, Eternity, as well as a vampire novel, Dark Road to Paradise.  His current projects include Cassie’s Song, a sequel to Dark Road to Paradise, and a stand-alone urban fantasy novel called The Kind.  He has also served as the Chief Editor for PDMI Publishing, and has been a member of the volunteer staff for DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia for the past decade, where he has frequently appeared on panels with Dark Moon Press founder and CEO Eric Vernor.  Mr. Gilbert’s works are currently published by Dark Moon Press. Mr. Gilbert lives and works in Knoxville, TN.  His author blog can be found at, and the official website for his "Children of Evohe" novels resides at

Clay's Books:

Annah and the Exiles

Annah and the Gates of Grace


Clays' Links:

Website (Children of Evohe)

From Today's Program: Oldest Spiral Galaxy Spotted.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Internet Friends

Back to the 30-day blogging challenge. The next prompt is "Your favorite book." Well, I discussed that at length here.

So the next prompt is: "How do you feel about making friends over the internet?"

Well. I have no problem with it and have done it more than once. In fact, one of my best friends I met on the internet a little over ten years ago. For an "internet friendship," that's forever.

Another friend I have is another author at my publisher. He and I are both college football fans so we talk about that on Facebook. He lives somewhere in Texas.

That's one thing about the internet. You can make friends all over the world. You never meet them irl (in real life) but they are still friends, nevertheless. Through the internet I have met people on every continent except for Antarctica.

How do you feel about making friends on the internet? Do you have friends you've never met irl? Let me know in the comments.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Nike Ducks Lose

Not much happening in college football yesterday, at least that I'm interested in. The Nike Ducks (some call them the "Oregon Ducks") played Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl. And the Ducks lost by a score of 28-38. I'm always happy when the Ducks lose. Even more than when the WSU Cougars lose. Because while the Cougars are cross-state rivals, we love to hate the Ducks.

It's thirteen days until the University of Washington Huskies take on Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl (excuse me, the "Playstation Fiesta Bowl") on December 30th.

Go Dawgs!

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Dana Pratola and P. H. Solomon .

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome writers Dana Pratola and P. H. Solomon.

Dana Pratola
Dana Pratola

God has blessed me with a wonderful husband and three dynamic children, all of whom are destined to make wide, colorful splashes in this world. We share our New Jersey home with three dogs. I have no hobbies to speak of, unless you include writing. I don’t.

Dana's Books:




Dana's Links:


P.H. Solomon
P. H. Solomon

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. His first novel, The Bow of Destiny was named 2016 Book of the Year by Fantasia Reviews and is the first book of The Bow of Hart Saga. The sequel novel, An Arrow Against the Wind, was released in April of 2017. The third book of the series, The White Arrow, was released in October 2017. P. H. Solomon also authored the award winning short story, "The Black Bag," which won best published short story at SCWC 2012. P. H. is also a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

P.H.'s Books:

The Bow of Destiny

An Arrow Against the Wind 

The White Arrow

P.H.'s Links:


From Today's Program: Bizarre Supernova Defies Understanding.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Letter to My Childhood

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

The next prompt is: "Your feelings on religion."

That would get political. I try to avoid politics on this blog. I think Heinlein said it best (Google it if you want).

So this has been a quick entry. See you next week. . .

All right, I'll do the next one: "Write a letter to your childhood." I assume that means write a letter to yourself as a child.

Dear Evan,

There's a few things you need to know.

One: it gets better. The teasing, the bullying, they eventually stop. But the one thing you need to know about that is, you're better than those kids. You're smarter and you're a better person because you don't bully or tease others.

Two: Don't settle. Don't say "it's good enough" or "I don't feel like doing more work." Yes, it's easy (especially for you because you're smart) to get by doing just enough. But don't. Always do more, always push for more. Don't settle in any aspect of your life. You're regret it.

Three: Go into computers in college. I know the math intimidates you. But you're smart enough. You've just have bad math teachers. I know this. I did the math (well, most of it). You won't believe how big computer become in the future. And it all started to take off about 1985, so your timing is perfect.

Four: Have fun. And start reading. Now. Don't wait until you're in your late teens to read for fun. Start with Larry Niven.

Five: Buy the following stocks as soon as they become available: Starbucks, Microsoft, and Apple.


57-year-old Evan

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Television Review: The Punisher

Yesterday I finished watching all thirteen episodes of The Punisher on Netflix.

The Punisher is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that is shown on Netflix as a series. This same character was in Daredevil season 2 and Karen Page, also from Daredevil, was in this series as well. Unlike other Netflix MCU shows, there were no references to other shows nor "the incident" (what happened in the first Avengers movie in New York City).

Frank Castle, who is the Punisher, has no supernatural talents except maybe the ability to recover unrealistically quick from wounds that would kill lesser men. He's good with guns and with his fists, and that's it.

Castle is seeking revenge for this murdered family (and I swear, the wife, shown is flashbacks, is different from the wife, shown in flashbacks, than was in Daredevil season two). In Daredevil, he blames mobsters and starts killing a lot of them. In The Punisher he finds out it wasn't mobsters, but rouge elements in U.S. Intelligence.

I had to push myself to watch this, even more so than Iron Fist. The violence was often gratuitously gory, especially in the last two episodes. It almost verges on torture porn (movies such as Saw), and I don't watch that. One episode will have action, and the next one would be boring. Often times the action is reminiscent of a first person shooter video game, it's so violent and there are so many targets. And as I mentioned, his ability to heal or survive damage stretches credibility to the breaking point. Maybe that is his superpower.

Since this doesn't add anything to the Netflix/Marvel canon, one could easily skip it.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

In College Football It's a Waiting Game

Not much happened this weekend in college football. At least on the FBS side. (I guess the FCS is having their playoffs. Why can't FBS have an actual playoff, I don't know.)

The Army-Navy game was played yesterday in snowy conditions. Army won that game 14-13.

The final CFP rankings came out last week.

The Week 15 AP Top 25 poll came out last week, too. The final poll will be after the January 8th CFP championship game.

So now we wait for our favorite team's bowl game. For the University of Washington Huskies it's the Fiesta Bowl at 1:00 PM PST December 30th on ESPN. Which is 20 days from now.

So we wait.

Interesting fact: Division I FBS College Football is the only sport in the NCAA not to have playoffs involving more than four teams to determine the champion. I still would love to see the bowl games turned into a playoff system for FBS football.

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Jim Cronin and Tony LaRocca

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome writers Jim Cronin and Tony LaRocca.

Jim Cronin
Jim Cronin

I worked for thirty-five years as a middle school science teacher, but am now semi-retired, working part-time as an educator/performer at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. I have been married for thirty-eight years to the love of my life. Together, we raised two incredible sons, and now have three incredible grandchildren to spoil rotten.

I was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in Arlington, Virginia before moving to Denver where I attended High School and eventually college at Colorado State University, graduating with a degree in Zoology and a teacher certification. My wife and I currently live near Denver in the small town of Parker.

My science fiction series, "The Brin Archives" is an epic adventure encompassing an entire galaxy on the verge of destruction. This trilogy, to my amazement and delight, has won critical acclaim and numerous awards. Who would have ever guessed this old, retired science teacher would become a successfully published author? I hope you enjoy my stories.

Jim's Books:




Jim's Links:


Tony LaRocca
Tony LaRocca

Tony LaRocca is a carbon-based life form, animator, occasional actor, U.S. Army veteran, blogger, karaoke crooner, electrician, and chronic doodler from Basking Ridge, New Jersey. He currently resides with his family in Queens, New York.

Tony's Books:

Debris of Shadows Book I: The Lies of the Sage

Debris of Shadows Book II: The Forgotten Cathedral

False Idols and Other Short Stories

Tony's Links:


From Today's Program: Ion Drive Could Take Us to Mars.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Hard Times

Black Back as a kitten
Back to the 30-day blogging challenge.

Today's prompt is: "What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced."

Boy, that's a tough one (no pun intended).

My grandmother dying was hard (my mother's mother). We were pretty close. Probably the hardest thing I've every gone through is very personal and I'm not going to talk about that.

The man who said, "Keep the cat outdoors."
The hardest thing recently was when my son's cat, Black Back, died back in September. My son was in the Seattle area helping his older brother move into an apartment and his cat was missing all that day (we saw her the day before). She was an outdoor cat (at my insistence because I'm allergic to cats; but not as allergic as I used to be before allergy shots). In the evening, the neighbors found her dead in their yard and came over and told me (I was the only one home at the time). So I had to call my son and tell him his cat, that'd he'd had for two months, was dead. Because he was friends with Black Back's mother's owners, he'd known her since she was a very small kitten. And even so, everyone in the family loved that kitty. But telling him his cat was dead was that hardest thing I've had to do recently. And she was such a pretty kitty. She was all black. And she had a very mellow personality. She loved to be held. I miss her.

Basic training in the Army was one of the hardest things I've ever done. And that lasted 8 weeks (actually, longer, because you waste at least a week processing in, and then they kept us there after we graduated for two weeks because the next training assignment wasn't ready for us).

One of the harder things was watching my mother-in-law die. I won't go into detail. As Forrest Gump says: "That's all I have to say about that."

And this is the 76th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the U.S. into World War II. And I am sure people who fought in that conflict had much harder experiences than I will ever have.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

College Football Bowl Games

The University of Washington Huskies didn't play a football game this weekend. This was "championship weekend" in college football. In the Pac-12, USC beat Stanford by a score of 31-28 last Friday. Now USC is the Pac-12 champion (Washington was last year).

After winning the Apple Cup last week, the Huskies spent this weekend waiting to find out which bowl they will be in.

In the College Football Playoff (CFP) bowl selections, #1 Clemson and #4 Alabama will play in the Sugar Bowl and #2 Georgia and #3 Oklahoma will play in the Rose Bowl. Both games are on New Years Day and the winners will play for the national championship on January 8th in Atlanta in the brand new, $1.6 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Some people are saying Ohio State was robbed (they are #5 today so just missed the playoffs) because they beat #4 Wisconsin yesterday. Today Wisconsin is #6 in the CFP.

Also in the CFP rankings, USC is #8. They will play #5 Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl (the "Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic" officially). That's December 29th at 5:30 PM on ESPN. The Ohio State people will still probably be pissed off.

Washington is #11 in the CFP and will be playing #9 Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix at 1:00 PM PST December 30th on ESPN.

Stanford is #13 in the CFP and will play #15 TCU in the Alamo Bowl at 6:00 PM PST on December 28th on ESPN.

Washington State is #18 and and will take on #15 Michigan State in the Holiday Bowl. That's also on December 28th at 6:00 PM and on a Fox network (Fox Broadcasting, FS1 or FS2, probably FS1).

By my count there are (not including the championship game) 40 bowl games. That's 80 teams needed. Which is why having a 6-6 record makes a team "bowl eligible." Some years there haven't been 80 teams bowl eligible so they had to go to 5-7 teams. There are, in my opinion, way too many bowl games. I guess they make money because none have gone away as far as I know. I mean the "Famous Potatoes Idaho Bowl"? Do we really need a bowl game in Boise, Idaho? Or the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl in St. Petersburg, Florida. Some of these bowls are just silly. And if you watch, at a lot of them you'll see the stands are half-full at best.

I still say a true playoff system with all the conference champions would be better than the current bowl system and the CFP committee choosing the top four teams that go into the playoffs.

The AP Poll

In the AP top 25 Poll (which was voted on before the CFP rankings came out and published after the CFP top four rankings were announced), USC moved from #11 to #8, making them the top-ranked Pac-12 team. The Huskies were second at #12 having moved up from #13. Stanford dropped from #14 to #15. And Washington State stayed the same at #21. There is one more AP poll to come after all the bowl games have been played, so probably after January 8th.

UPDATE: There are 39 bowl games not counting the championship game. So that's 78 teams needed. This year 81 teams were bowl eligible so three teams got left out (how they picked which ones I don't know). Also other Pac-12 teams will play bowl games other then the ones listed above. If you're interested, all bowl games and the teams playing in them are listed here.

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Stephanie Osborn and McKenna Dean

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome writers Stephanie Osborn and McKenna Dean.

Stephanie Osborn
Stephanie Osborn

Stephanie Osborn, award-winning Interstellar Woman of Mystery, is a twenty-plus-year space program veteran, with multiple STEM degrees. Author, co-author, or contributor to thirty-plus books, including Burnout: The mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281 and the Cresperian Saga, she writes critically-acclaimed Displaced Detective, Silver-Falchion winner Gentleman Aegis, and the new "Division One" series, her take on the urban legend of mysterious people who make UFO evidence...disappear. She "pays it forward" through numerous media, and SIGMA, the science-fiction think tank.

Stephanie's Latest Books:

Division One book 4, Tour de Force

Division One book 3, A Very UnCONventional Christmas

Division One book 2, A Small Medium At Large

Stephanie Links:


McKenna Dean

McKenna Dean has been an actress, a vet tech, a singer, a teacher, a biologist, and a dog trainer. Finally she realized all these jobs were just a preparation for what she really wanted to be: a writer.

She lives on a small farm in North Carolina with her family, dogs, cats, and various livestock.

She likes putting her characters in hot water to see how strong they are. Like tea bags, only sexier.

McKenna's Book:

McKenna's Links:

Thursday, November 30, 2017


Back to the 30-day blogging challenge.

Today's prompt is: "How [did] you come across blogspot, and how has your life changed since joining?"

I don't know how I came across blogspot (which is actually Blogger, now, since Google bought it). If I type in into my browser, it comes to

 I do remember years ago I was reading a blog (that has since gone private) that was on blogspot. That may have been my introduction.

How has my life changed? None, really, except I have to come up with blog posts. Which is why I do these 30-day blogging challenges and spread them out. Because coming up with things to blog about is tough for me (maybe I should have put that on my "things I suck at" post). I do like to post about college football. But other than that, I usually have no idea what to post about.

Do you blog? Do you enjoy it? How do you find things to blog about? Comment below!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Television Review: Stranger Things 2

After how great the first season of Stranger Things on Netflix was, I went into Stranger Things 2 with a bit a trepidation. Would the Duffer Brothers (creators, producers and often writers and directors) be able to match the amazing achievement they had with the first season.

The answer, is short, is yes. And perhaps surpass it. All your favorite characters are there and few new ones. Winona Ryder again plays the aggrieved mother of Will and while she is understandably upset, you never lose sympathy for her. The four young men are back, a bit older and have moved on from playing Dungeons and Dragons to video games. Set in 1984, the show catches the essence of the times and with more than a Reagan/Bush yard sign and the kids wearing Ghostbusters costumes for Halloween. It oozes 1980s small town life. (I grew up in a small town in the 70s and life didn't have the swiftness of change it does now.)

Every performance is pitch perfect. You love some characters and you hate some. But none of them are wasted, even in the smallest parts.

Probably the best compliment I can give Stranger Things is that I hate horror. But I love Stranger Things.

My biggest complaint is that there were only nine episodes. But they were packed and fast-paced. I wanted more. There were only eight in the first season so I should be happy, I guess. Also, according to the Internet Movie Database, there's going to be at least two more seasons. It's going to be fun to watch those kids become teenagers.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Huskies Win the Apple Cup

Last night was the annual cross-state rivalry football game between the University of Washington Huskies and the Washington State University Cougars.

Going into the game, the Cougars were at #13 in the College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings. Washington was #17. In the AP Top 25 poll of sports writers, UW was at 15, WSU at 14.

But what happened showed that those rankings were reversed. Washington received the ball at the kickoff and easily marched down the field through the Cougar's vaunted defense to make a touchdown. And it got worse from there. Even though star wide receiver Dante Pettis went out early with a ankle sprain, the Dawgs dominated. Our wide recieving corps have been decimated by injury this season. So quarterback Jake Browning was throwing to players whose name I'd never heard before.

While the Huskies never turned over the ball, the Cougars had at least three interceptions and one
fumble. The star was running back Miles Gaskin, who ran for 192 yards and had four rushing touchdowns. Even Viscano, the kicker, did well, going 2-2 on field goals and getting every extra point after touchdowns. The Cougars didn't score until the fourth quarter, managing two touchdowns, but it was too little too late. And I suspect Coach Petersen had pulled some starters out of the defense by then, as he tends to do in blow out games.

The final score was 41-14. This is the fifth time in a row UW has won the Apple Cup. The Huskies are 10-2 on the season (7-2 in conference).

This is the first time this year the Huskies have played a ranked team, and they won handily.

The next game for the Huskies will be a bowl game, and we'll find out in a week which one. That is because Stanford won the Pac-12 North and will play USC in the Pac-12 Championship game on Friday.  Stanford is also 7-2 in conference but since they beat the Huskies, they are the North winners, even though the Huskies have a better over-all record (Stanford is 9-3 overall after beating Notre Dame last night).

More Deep Thoughts:

Last week I gave my criteria for a "good" Husky season. I came up with these years ago when the Huskies were not able to do these things:

  • Have at least an 8-4 record
  • Beat Oregon
  • Beat WSU
  • Go to a good bowl and win it

  • Well, they've done three of those, the first three, this year. I assume with a 10-2 record they will go to one of the better bowls.  And they'd better win it.


    The CFP rankings will come Tuesday, as always. I assume Washington will move up and Washington State will move down. But neither move will change either team's prospects at getting into the playoffs. Unlikely any Pac-12 team will be in the four teams that make it to the playoffs.

    In the AP Top 25 College Football poll that came out this morning (Pacific Time), Three Pac-12 teams have been ranked every week so far this year: UW, WSU, and USC. And this week they are still ranked. USC is unchanged at #11 (they didn't play this week), UW moves up to #13 (from 15), WSU fell to 21 from 14, and Stanford went from 20 to 14.

    Next Year:

    Washington has been criticized for playing creme puff (or in one case, cupcake) non-conference opponents. That's not happening next year. Washington plays Auburn (who beat Alabama yesterday and moved to #4 in AP poll) in their season opener. Then play BYU in their third game. They do play FCS North Dakota in their second game. I think the Auburn game is at home (which will help because that's going to be a tough game).

    Friday, November 24, 2017

    A Speculative Fiction Cantina Replay with Tracy Lawson and Natalie Wright

    Today on a Speculative Fiction Cantina replay 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, November 23, 2017

    Happy Thanksgiving

    Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. This is the day we get together with family to stuff ourselves full of turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. Some folks also eat yams or sweet potatoes, but I think those are gross (they are almost squash, and I detest squash).

    There's usually a football game today. I think traditionally the Detroit Lions lose to the Dallas Cowboys. Although I remember watching a Seahawks game on Thanksgiving, once.

    Erma Bombeck once said (and I paraphrase) that Thanksgiving dinner takes six hours to prepare and 12 minutes to eat. And the half time of a football game lasts 12 minutes. This is not a coincidence.

    Of course the cliched joke about Thanksgiving is arguing politics with Uncle Bill.

    So I hope today Uncle Bill is quiet about how he feels about Trump. Or Hillary. Or whatever he wants to complain about.

    Have a happy Thanksgiving if you're in the U.S. And if you're not, have a great day anyway.

    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.