Friday, August 31, 2018

Huskies Start Football Tomorrow

The University of Washington Huskies start their 2018 football season tomorrow facing Auburn in Atlanta for the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game. It'll be on ABC at 12:30 P.M. PDT.

Last year the Huskies had problems with on-the-road games. They lost to Arizona State (and shouldn't have) and Stanford both while on the road. They lost their bowl game to Penn State on the road. But they were undefeated at home.

The pre-season AP top 25 poll has the Huskies at #6 and Auburn at #9. All the other pre-season polls I have seen have the Huskies ranked higher than Auburn. So at least the voters of the polls have faith in the Huskies. But Atlanta is about 100 miles from the Auburn campus so this is basically a home game for them. Atlanta is around 2,200 miles from Seattle. So the odds makers have Auburn slightly ahead or even.

Playing a team such as Auburn in non-conference play is an attempt to avoid the problems Huskies had in 2017 when their non-conference play was deemed too easy ("cupcakes" as ESPN put it). They played Rutgers, Montana, and Fresno State.

This year they play Auburn, North Dakota, and Brigham Young in non-conference play. North Dakota is an FCS team but Auburn is a very good team. I'm not sure how good BYU is. So it's going to be tougher to be unbeaten in non-conference play this year. And if the Huskies hope to make it to the CFP (College Football Playoffs) again this year as they did in 2016, they'll probably have to win all non-conference games.

If they win tomorrow, they will be on their way to possibly another CFP appearance. If they lose, all the naysayers will come out saying 2016 was a flash in the pan and the Huskies can't play in the big leagues.

Tomorrow's going to be a tough game for the Huskies. I'm hoping they win, of course.

Thursday, August 30, 2018


Time once again for the 52-week blogging challenge. This week's prompt is "Community."

I'm not a real community kind of guy. I'm a strong introvert and I tend to be alone more. Or just with close family and friends.

However, I have been in Toastmasters for seven years. I've held several offices in the organization and I have achieved the highest educational award: Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM). I'm sort of trying to drift away from Toastmasters. I've pretty much lost interest in it after so long. Plus it would be nice to have my Monday evenings free again.

I also was on the board of the local economic development council for six years. And for four of those years I was the secretary of the organization. I enjoyed that a lot as I knew what was happening in the local economy before most other people did. Often the companies coming would be secretive about it and not want their name out in the public. Code words would be used such as "Project Springboard." One time the Executive Director said, "AstaReal is coming to our area and that's no longer a secret" and we all said "Yay!" Then at the next meeting he said "Don't tell anyone that AstaReal is coming to our area, it's still a secret." And we all said, "Oops." Of course, it's not a secret now as they are here in town.

But I haven't been on that board for a few years now. I did some freelance writing for the organization but they stopped having me do that.

So I guess I've been more involved in the community than I originally thought.

Tomorrow I'll probably start writing about University of Washington football since their first game is Saturday. Go Dawgs!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

One Week!

Only one week until Husky Football returns. Getting excited and I can't wait! #PurpleReign #BowDown #GoDawgs

Friday, August 24, 2018

College Football Rankings and the Coming Season

It's eight days until college football starts on September 1st. If you can't tell, I'm excited for what my University of Washington Huskies might do this year. I'm hoping they win all twelve regular season games. Or at least eleven. With the players they have this year, I think it's very possible they could be undefeated in the regular season.

The football polls seem to agree they will do well this year. The AP Top 25 sports writers' poll has them at #6. The USA Today coaches' poll also has them at #6. Both of those are national polls that include all 129 FBS college teams. That puts the Huskies in the top 4% of college FBS teams.

The Huskies play in the Pac-12 conference. Of other teams in the conference, the Huskies are the
highest-ranked. Of the other Pac-12 teams, Stanford is at 13, USC is at 15, and Oregon (who we hate) is at 24 in the AP poll (the one that counts).

I'm hoping the Huskies will win the Pac-12 North and play USC in the Pac-12 championship game...and beat them. We haven't played USC in the regular season for a while (since 2016 and they won) and I'd like to put the beat down on those arrogant bastards.

But no battle plan survives contact with the enemy. Last year the Huskies lost a road game to Arizona State (and shouldn't have). Something like that might happen this year (the other regular season loss was to Stanford at Stanford). We didn't win the Pac-12 North last year (Stanford did) and we didn't go to CFP (no Pac-12 team did).

Eight days until we face Auburn in Atlanta. The odds are even at this point. So it could be anyone's game. Go Dawgs!

Thursday, August 23, 2018


Mystery Bruise
Back to the 52-week blogging challenge. This week's prompt is simply "Healing." No idea what they mean by that.

There are two types of healing, emotional and physical. I have noticed since I became type-2 diabetic about two years ago, I don't heal as fast. My son's cat will scratch me and it'll take forever to heal. Or I'll have a mystery bruise (I don't know how I got it) that will take ages to go away. This is, I understand, typical of people with diabetes.

Then there's emotional healing. I have been told some emotional hurts never heal. I've only had a few of those (such as my grandmother dying). The constant ache eventually goes away. And you stop thinking about it every day. But when you do think about it, it still hurts. And probably always will. The hurt does get less over time. The cliche "Time heals all wounds" is pretty accurate, actually. Maybe not heals, but "lessens" would be more accurate.

How do your wounds heal? Let me know in the comments.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Thursday, August 16, 2018


Time once again for the 52-week blogging challenge. Today's prompt is: "Friendship."

Being an introvert, I tend to have one good friend a few other friends, but mostly just that one good friend. This was the pattern as I grew up.

When I got married, my one good friend was my wife.

Right now my one good friend is a fellow writer in Canada and we communicate mostly via text. She's a Jeopardy fiend (has tried out for the show) so we often talk about the losers on the show.

I have friends that I met in Toastmasters and friends who are in my writing group. But those aren't close friends. At least not as close as my close friend.

How many friends do you have, and how many are close. Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Friday, August 10, 2018

I Am at SpoCon in Spokane

Today I am at SpoCon in Spokane, Washington. I will be there through Sunday.

The con is at the Doubletree Hotel. Here's the address:

322 North Spokane Falls Court
Spokane, Washington

This is my first time at SpoCon as a visiting Pro. So I'm hoping to have a good time there. Follow this link for my panel and reading schedule.

I hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 9, 2018


Back to the 52-week blogging challenge. Today's prompt is simply "Connect."

I had to think about that for a while. What do they mean by "connect"?

With the internet I've connected to a lot of people I would never have met otherwise. I have Facebook friends all over the country and some in the U.K. and Canada. I was thinking about this, and I don't have any FB friends in the Southern Hemisphere (even though I've been to the Southern Hemisphere but I've never been to the U.K.). A lot of those distant friends I met through my publisher, World Castle Publishing. Others I met through writing forums, Twitter, and other social media.

My wife a long time ago somehow got involved in a ListServ (remember those) of women all over the world. At Christmas they exchange gifts. It has moved from email to Facebook, I understand.

I've connected to people through being in Toastmasters. Those are all local, Eastern Washington folks (although one moved to Mexico).

In today's world it's easy to connect with a lot of people. And I love learning about other cultures such as that of the U.K. and even Canada has a different culture than the U.S.

Who do you connect to and how? Let me know through the comments below.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Friday, August 3, 2018

Football has Changed

1990s Husky Quarterback
The other day I was watching Pac-12 Network and they were showing a University of Washington Huskies (Go Dawgs) game from the early 1990s. And I noticed something: in the past 30 or so years, football has changed.

In the 1990s the shoulder pads were huge compared to today. I don't know if that's because they can get as much protection with smaller pads today, or it was decided so much protection wasn't needed. I suspect the former. And I think the small pads have changed how the game is played. In the early 1990s, the game was more brute force. Today there seems to be more finesse as players can dodge and scramble to get out of tackles, not just barrel into each other.
Huskies' Current Quarterback

And I prefer today's football. Yes, there is still the rough and tumble part of it. But the quickness and skill of a running back able to dodge tackles and speed down the field is much more entertaining to watch. I love watching Jake Browning (the Huskies' current quarterback) run and throw and connect with his wide receivers moving with near ballet-like grace. Or see Myles Gaskin find a hole in the defensive line and scramble through it.

So the game has evolved, and I think for the better. Can't wait for the Huskies' first game on September 1st against Auburn. Just 29 days away!

Thursday, August 2, 2018


Back to the 52-week blogging challenge. This week's prompt is "Weekends." Which reminds me of an old commercial tag line: "Weekends were made for Michelob."

As a freelance writer and author, my weekends are not much different from every other day. I do try to take some time off. And if there's college football (i.e., the University of Washington Huskies) on Saturday, I definitely watch that. (College football starts September 1st, so just under a month away!) And I often watch Seahawks football, but I'm more of a fair-weather fan than the die-hard fan I am of Husky football (I was a fan even 10 years ago when the Huskies went 0-12).

But sometimes my weekends are very busy such as if I have a freelance deadline coming up and I need to get my stories done. I try to schedule my work so I do most of it Monday through Friday, but sometimes that doesn't work. People don't want to talk to you until the weekend so that's when you do the interview and write the story. Or, if I'm working on a fiction novel, sometimes I get a lot of writing done on weekends because I don't have anything else going on.

Lately I've been playing Dungeons and Dragons on the weekends with my son and some friends of his and mine. It's a good way to kill half a day.

Back when I was doing the Speculative Fiction Cantina, I would set up the next show on Sunday mornings. Now I spend Sunday mornings do what I want, unless I have work to do.

What are your weekends like? Let me know in the comment below.