Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Huskies are 6-3

Maybe this is Wazzu's year.

And the Huskies will be lucky to still be ranked.

This was supposed to be the year that Jake Browning and Myles Gaskin got us back into the College Football Playoffs (CFP). We'll be lucky now to end up in a good bowl game.

Yesterday the University of Washington Huskies played the California Golden Bears. This was a game I was not worried about. I was worried about next week when we play Stanford.

I should have worried.

Myles Gaskin was still out with a shoulder injury. That probably didn't help. Salvon Ahmed and the other running backs did their best but it obviously wasn't enough. Jake Browning was having problems. In fact, late in the third quarter, Coach Chris Petersen pulled Browning and put in the back up quarterback Jake Heaner. This proved to be a mistake because Heaner threw an interception that turned into a touchdown for the Bears. He put Browning back in after that. I'm sure a lot of Monday-morning quarterbacks will be questioning that decision.

The Huskies got an early touchdown but never reached the end zone again, having to be satisfied with field goals. At least they all hit. But it wasn't enough. We lost 12-10. Okay, a close game, but a lose is still a loss. That brings us to 4-2 in conference and 6-3 over all. And also puts Washington State (who beat Stanford yesterday) on top of the Pac-12 North.

Oregon also lost to Arizona knocking them out of contention for the Pac-12 North.

If the Huskies win the rest of their three games, including Stanford next week (6:00 PM on the Pac-12 Network) and the Apple Cup against WSU in Pullman, then we might still be Pac-12 North Champions. But I doubt it. Washington State is 4-1 in conference, 7-1 overall, the best record in the Pac-12.

The Polls:

The CFP committee comes out with their rankings Tuesday at 7:00 PM EDT on ESPN. Probably a moot point for the Huskies.

And in the AP top 25 poll, WSU is #10. Utah moved up to #16. And that's it for the Pac-12. UW is out of the top 25 for the first time in about three years.

Like I said, might be Wazzu's year.

Friday, October 26, 2018

College Football Preview for this Weekend

Right now the Pac-12 North standings look like this:

Washington: 4-1 in conference (6-2 overall)
Washington State: 3-1 (6-1)
Stanford: 3-1 (5-2)
Oregon: 2-2 (5-2)
California: 1-3 (4-3)
Oregon State: 0-4 (1-6)

Washington is on top only because they have the most in-conference wins (because they haven't had a bye week, yet). Washington State has the best overall record at 6-1.

Now last week I was hoping for Washington State to beat Oregon. And they did, badly. That pretty much eliminates the evil Ducks from the Pac-12 North championship with the record noted above.

So the Pac-12 Championship comes down to Washington, Washington State, and Stanford (all teams with one in-conference loss).

This weekend the Washington Huskies play California in Berkeley. They had better win that game.

But the big game is Washington State playing Stanford in Palo Alto. The best outcome there (for the
Huskies) is that one of those teams loses. So pretty much, it's a win-win for Washington. It's slightly better if WSU wins, because that'll really push Stanford out of the running for the Pac-12 North Championship. But it's okay if Stanford wins.

But it'll all be moot if Washington doesn't beat Stanford on November 3rd and then beat Washington State in the Apple Cup, in Pullman, on November 23rd (5:30 PM on Fox). To have a shot at the Pac-12 North Championship, the Huskies have to win every game they have left. Two of those should be pretty easy (California and Oregon State), but Stanford and WSU will be tough. At least the Dawgs play Stanford at home.

So, as usual, Go Dawgs!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Stretch Yourself

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

A lot of people might think that means physically stretch yourself. Run farther, lift more, or other such physical achievements. But I stretch myself in writing.

I try to stretch myself in everything I write. I suppose I could just "phone it in," write the same ol' same ol'. But even if I'm writing in the same genres I usually do (science fiction and fantasy) I try to push myself to do things I haven't done before. For an anthology on libraries I wrote a literary story about an illiterate boy wanting to learn about stars. When I first changed careers, I tried to write a (so far unpublished) literary novel. I once tried to write a romance (it, too, is unpublished).

And my freelance work often causes me to stretch myself. The easiest stories to write are when I interview someone and then write about them. But sometimes I have to interview several people with different points of view. That's a challenge.

How do you stretch yourself. Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Huskies are 6-2

The University of Washington Huskies are now 6-2 (and bowl eligible!) after defeating Colorado yesterday at Husky Stadium.

The Colorado Buffaloes were 5-1 going into this game and 2-1 in conference after a tough loss to USC last week. The Huskies were 5-2 overall and 3-1 in conference after losing to the Oregon Ducks last week.

At first the game looked as if it might be competitive. More so because Husky star running back Myles Gaskin was out with a shoulder injury.

Colorado scored first with a touchdown. The Huskies then got a touchdown. But Colorado intercepted Husky quarterback Jake Browning but only got a field goal off of it. The Huskies then made a field goal. Going into the halftime, the score was 13-14 with Washington head.

But in the second half, the Buffaloes didn't bother to show up. They never scored and allowed Washington to score 13 more points. The final score was 13-27.

Winning this game slightly keeps Washington's hopes of being the Pac-12 champs alive (more on that later). We are 6-2 over all but 4-1 in conference.

Next week, Washington travels to Berkeley to take on the California Bears. The Bears are 4-3 overall but just 1-3 in conference. The game will be at 3:30 PM on FS1.

Elsewhere in the Pac-12

The hated Oregon Ducks traveled to Pullman to play the Washington State University Cougars. And
they lost 20-34. This makes the Ducks 5-2 over all and 2-2 in conference, pretty much eliminating them from the Pac-12 North Championship, The reason why we care is that if the Huskies win the rest of their games (including the Apple Cup against the Cougars), they have a shot at being the Pac-12 North champions. The Cougars are now 6-1 over all and 3-1 in conference. That's the best record in the Pac-12 North. So we have to beat the Cougars on Black Friday.

The other team to worry about is Stanford. They are 5-2 over all and 3-1 in conference. We play Stanford on November 3rd at home. Another must-win game (as are all the Huskies' games from here on out).

Of all the teams in the Pac-12 (well, 12 of them), only the Huskies and the Cougars are now bowl eligible.

The AP Poll

Last week there were three Pac-12 teams in the AP poll: Washington, Oregon, and WSU.

This week there are five. Unfortunately, WSU is now #14 which the Huskies stay at #15. That means Cougar fans are going to be insufferable.

Also ranked are Oregon at #19, Utah at #23 (first time in the poll this year after demolishing USC yesterday), and Stanford is back in the poll at 24.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Ducks versus Cougars

This weekend the University of Oregon Ducks travel to Pullman to take on the Washington State University Cougars. Sunday I said "Go Cougs" about that game. Then I looked at the standings.  In the Pac-12 North the standings are:

Washington: 3-1 in conference (5-2 overall)
Oregon: 2-1 in conference (5-1 overall)
Stanford: 2-1 in conference (4-2 overall)
WSU: 2-1 in conference (5-1 overall)

With Washington and Stanford both with two losses, the Pac-12 North could come down to Oregon or WSU. Depends on who wins the game this Saturday.

So I've decided to stick by my "Go Cougs" original thought. Here's why:

1) If Oregon wins, they will likely be the Pac-12 North champion.
2) if WSU wins, we still have a chance to beat them in the Apple Cup on Black Friday. We've already lost to Oregon.
3) If Washington doesn't lose any more games, and Oregon loses to WSU, Washington still has a chance to be the Pac-12 North champion. A chance.

So, Go Cougs!

The Oregon-WSU game will be Saturday at 4:30 PM PDT on Fox.

And Washington plays Colorado at home at 12:30 PM PDT also on Fox.

Thursday, October 18, 2018


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

That could cover a lot of things, including a video game I once played regularly.

I don't do horror. I don't like horror movies or television shows or books. I call it the Lassie Effect. In the show Lassie, you always knew something bad was going to happen. And the anticipation of that just drives me nuts, especially the more they foreshadow it (which horror loves to do). Some people like that and that's fine. It's just not for me.

I also have no use for torture porn such as the Saw movies.

What am I afraid of? Big spiders, venomous snakes (and spiders), and EMPs.

EMP? Electromagnetic pulse. A rouge nation launches a nuclear weapon, but instead of exploding it a few thousand feet over Washington D.C., they explode it high in the atmosphere over middle America. This causes an electromagnetic pulse that burns out anything electronic, including the power grid. We'd be back in the stone age in a millisecond. And since my health problems require technology to keep me alive, I'd probably be one of the first to die. And if I managed to stay alive, the anarchy that follows such an event where people would be literally killing each other for food would probably kill me pretty quickly, too.

So what do you fear? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Huskies are 5-2

There goes any hope of being in a College Football Playoff (CFP) spot. And there likely goes any hope of being Pac-12 Champions.

The University of Washington Huskies lost, in overtime, to the reviled University of Oregon Ducks. That makes the Huskies 5-2 over all and 3-1 in Conference. The Ducks are 5-1 overall and 2-1 in conference which pretty much ties them with Washington. But since the beat Washington, they would be the champs.

It was a tight, hard-fought game from the beginning. The score was tied most of the game. The Ducks would pull ahead, then the Dawgs would tie it. The Dawgs would pull ahead, then the Ducks would tie it. It all came down to a field goal with the score tied 24-24 with three seconds left. Husky kicker Payton Henry tried to win the game for the Dawgs, but missed (on his third kick because the Ducks kept "icing" the kicker by calling time out). So the game went into overtime. The Dawgs got a field goal but the Ducks got a touchdown, winning the game 30-27.

The thing is, Coach Chris Petersen had a choice at the end. Trust Jake Browning to get the ball into the end zone of a 4th and goal, or trust his not-very-reliable kicker. He should have trusted Browning.

The Ducks had every advantage. They were coming off a bye week and were playing at home. The Dawgs played a lot of the game without star running back Myles Gaskin due to injury. When rising start Salvon Ahmed went out, too, our running game was in trouble.

Even if the Huskies win the rest of their games, unless the Duck lose again, the Ducks will be Pac-12 North Champions. So we have to root for whoever the Ducks are playing. Next week they play WSU in Pullman. Go Cougs!

Next week we face the Colorado Buffaloes at home. Colorado was undefeated until last night when USC defeated them. That's Homecoming, too, for the Dawgs.

UCLA got their first win of the season defeating Cal yesterday.

A lot of Pac-12 teams had byes this week (I think four teams), including WSU.

Elsewhere in College Football

Number-two ranked Georgia was defeated this weekend by #13 LSU. And #6 West Virginia lost to an unranked team. That'll move all of them down some. That would have been good news if Washington had won. Might have moved them up in the rankings.

And #8 Penn State lost to unranked Michigan State. That will ding them in the polls.

The AP Poll

Washington was at #7 and Oregon was at #17 before this game. Colorado was at #19 before they lost to unranked USC.

Now Washington is #15 (not as bad a drop as I thought it would be) and Oregon is #12. Colorado is no longer ranked. But look who, on a bye week, is suddenly in the top 25: Washington State at #25.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Huskies versus Ducks

Tomorrow at 12:30 PM PDT, the University of Washington Huskies take on the University of Oregon Ducks. This is one of the biggest games of the year because the Huskies hate the Ducks, and the Ducks loath the Huskies. It's either going to be on ABC or ESPN2 or ESPNU. Check your local listings (I hope they make up their minds before game time). You'd think a top-10 team playing a ranked opponent could get on ABC or ESPN.

This is one of the biggest football rivalries in the Pac-12.

The Huskies are ranked #7 in the AP top 25 college football poll. The Ducks are #17.

It's going to be a hard-fought game. The Ducks are coming off a bye weeks so should be well-rested and ready to play. The Huskies played UCLA last week and won, but it wasn't the blow-out I was hoping for with the 5-0 Bruins. And we play in Eugene in front of 54,000 angry Duck fans. Angry, because last time we played in Autzen Stadium, we won 70-21.

And, to have a shot at the College Football Playoffs (CFP), the Huskies have to win every game left in the season, especially this one against a ranked team. To win the Pac-12 North we can lose one game as long as we beat Stanford later in the year.

UPDATE: I didn't think of this until a sportscaster said it, but the winner of this came could likely be the Pac-12 North Champion with Stanford out of the running. So now it's even a more important game.

Should be a good game. Go Dawgs!

Thursday, October 11, 2018


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

I'm not a very healthy person. Some of that is my fault (overweight leading to type-2 diabetes) and some isn't (COPD from industrial exposure leading to pulmonary hypertension and edema). My health problems are such that I'm not sure I'll be alive in ten years.

I'm trying to lose weight (which I am about 50% of the time) but there's nothing I can do about the COPD and its accompanying problems. Because of the edema, I'm on diuretics and that limits my ability to travel because I have to urinate every 20 minutes. Either that or I don't take the diuretics and the edema gets a lot worse. So far it's mostly in my legs, but some in my arms and hands.

Because of my COPD, I'm on nighttime oxygen. I'm wondering how long until I'm on 24-hour oxygen.

I'd love to do more travelling but my health prevents it.

It I could lose weight, it would help a lot, but we all know how hard it is to lose weight.

How healthy are you? Are you happy with your health? Let me know in the comments.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Huskies are 5-1, On Top of the Pac-12 North

After beating UCLA yesterday (who are now 0-5), the University of Washington Huskies are now 5-1 over all and 3-0 in conference. This puts them alone at the top of the Pac-12 North (more on that later).

Going into last night's game, I was hoping for a blow-out. Something like a 48-3 victory. But UCLA wasn't having it and it was a hard-fought battle that ended with a score of 31-24. The Huskies led all of the game and had some brilliant plays. But the Bruins played better than their 0-5 record indicates. I was a bit worried the Huskies went in over-confident. And that may have happened. That and UCLA is improving, apparently. Next week UCLA plays Cal and that should be a close game.

It was a fast game because UCLA didn't throw the ball much so the game clock kept running. It was also kind of a boring game because UCLA didn't throw the ball much. UW quarterback Jake Browning played well and Myles Gaskin did his usually 100+ yards performance. Salvon Ahmed, a sophomore, also played well. Next year he's going to have to take over the starting running back position from Gaskin.

Next week we travel to Oregon to take on the Ducks. The Nike Quackers are coming off a bye so they will be well-rested. And we're playing on their territory in Eugene. That should be a tough game. It's at 12:30 PM PDT on ABC or ESPN 2. Check  your local listings.

Elsewhere in the Pac-12

There was one upset yesterday in the Pac-12. Unranked Utah beat #14 Stanford soundly with a score of 40-21.
In Palo Alto! That's why the Huskies are now on top of the Pac-12 North. Stanford has a record of 4-2 overall and 2-1 in conference. That is the Utah Ute's first in-conference win.

So, again, that puts the Huskies firmly on top of the Pac-12 North. Gives us some breathing room if we want to be Pac-12 Champions. But not if we want to go to the College Football Playoffs (CFP). To do that we'll have to win every game from here on out.

The only other 5-1 overall team is the Washington State Cougars who are 2-1 in conference so they are not a threat to Washington unless Washington loses an in-conference game.

We are now six weeks through college football's 13-week regular season. Things are starting to firm up in the Pac-12.

In the Pac-12 South, Colorado is still undefeated at 5-0 overall and 2-0 in conference. It's looking more and more as if the Pac-12 Championship game will be Washington and Colorado like it was in 2016. The Huskies also play Colorado in the regular season on October 20th. That should be a good game.

Elsewhere in College Football.

There were three big upsets in the AP top 10. #5 LSU lost to #22 Florida. And #7 Oklahoma lost to #19 Texas. Finally, #8 Auburn lost to unranked Mississippi State. The only reason we care is because if LSU, Oklahoma, and Auburn drop out of the top ten, this could move #10 Washington up.

The AP Top 25 Football Poll

The AP poll comes out at 2:00 PM each Sunday (except Labor Day weekend when it comes out on Tuesday. That's 11:00 AM PDT (my time zone). So I'm always waiting for it in order to finish this post.

Washington moved up to #7 making them the highest ranked team with a loss (all the rest are 5-0 or 6-0). Stanford is no longer ranked (that surprises me). The Ducks moved up to #17. And the undefeated Colorado Buffaloes are up two to #19.

Thursday, October 4, 2018


(Wow, October already!)

Back to the 52-week blogging challenge. Today's prompt is "Honor" (although they spell it "honour").

What is honor? That's something I haven't thought a lot about. So I looked it up in the dictionary. And found it has a lot of meanings, including "the center point of the upper half of an armorial escutcheon."

You "honor" someone by speaking well of them, or giving them recognition. Or an "honor" could be a privilege ("I have the honor of memorializing the deceased").

Back when I was in the Army they talked of "Duty, Honor, Country." I think the use of "honor" they meant was "a keen sense of ethical conduct, integrity."

Someone once said that integrity is doing the right thing when no one is looking. I always think back to my days working in customer service, doing lab tests until ten at night or later (once until three in the morning). It would have been  easy to dry lab (make up and fill in the numbers) the tests. But I wanted to maintain my honor, so I did all the tests, even if I were there past midnight. And I usually got there between 7:00 and 8:00 A.M. So that made for a 16-hour day.

So I keep my honor as well as I can. What do you do to be honorable? Let me know in the comments.