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.

    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.