Thursday, November 29, 2018

Old and New

Back to the 52-week blogging challenge. Today's prompt is "Old + New." I don't know if that's supposed to be "Old plus New" or "Old and New." In any case...

I like old stuff sometimes. I like old cars (except having to repair and maintain them). But then again, I just like cars.

I like old music. In fact, any music released past about 1992 I'm really not interested in. Seems the music has gone downhill since then.

But I like new. I used to be an "early adopter." I've had a computer of some kind since 1982. I got my first cell phone in 1993 (and it only made phone calls). Back then cell phone usage was around $1.00 per minute plus long distance (if any). Quite the contrast with today with unlimited minutes and no long distance charges. And there was this thing called "roaming" were if you left your home area (If I remember right, that was your area code) the costs went up even more.

I'm not a fan of antiques, but I do like the classical look when it comes to furniture.

Of course, "old" music is pre-1990. Old cars are pre-1970. Old cell phones are pre-2015. So what's old depends on what you're talking about.

So do you prefer old or new stuff? Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Huskies are #11 in CFP

Yesterday the College Football Playoff (CFP) committee rankings came out. I expected the University of Washington Huskies to move up after defeating Washington State in the snowy Apple Cup. I was hoping that, like the AP poll, they would move into the top ten. But they are #11, now, in the CFP. But, the good news is that the top twelve teams go to the big six college football bowls normally held on New Years Eve/New Years Day (three will be played on Saturday December 30th this year so as not to conflict with NFL games on Sunday the 31st).

The Washington State Cougars fell from #8 to #13, just missing the big six bowls.

Now Washington has to beat Utah in the Pac-12 Championship game. That game is Friday at 5:00 PM PST (8:00 PM EST) on Fox. We already beat Utah early in the regular season but the Utes have a different quarterback and teams tend to improve during the season. So I expect this to be a tough, hard fought game.

Assuming the Huskies win the Pac-12 Championship, they will probably play in the Rose Bowl. If the Utes win, they will likely play in the Rose Bowl.

The final CFP rankings come out at noon Pacific Time Sunday. So we'll know more then.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Huskies are #10!

Today at 2:00 PM EST, 11:00 AM PST, the AP Top 25 college football poll came out. And the University of Washington Huskies are #10 after their defeat of Washington State in the Apple Cup on Friday.

This puts the Huskies back in the top ten of the AP poll, where they haven't been since week 7 of the season (this is week 14). We were even unranked week 10.

The WSU Cougars dropped to #12 from #7.

The College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings will come out Tuesday. Can only hope that they, too, move the Huskies up into the top ten. We probably have no chance of making the CFP top four (that go to the playoffs) with so many undefeated teams: Alabama, Clemson, and Notre Dame, especially with the Huskies having three losses. But it's nice to get national recognition by being ranked high in the polls and CFP rankings.

The Huskies play next in the Pac-12 Championship game against #17 Utah. That game will be at 5:00 PM PST (8:00 PM EST) on Fox.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Huskies are 9-3 and the Pac-12 North Champions.

The University of Washington Huskies beat the Washington State University Cougars last night in the Apple Cup. The final score was 28-15. It was an interesting game. But first, a little history...

The Snow Bowl

In 1992, at the end of the season, the Huskies were #5 in the AP Top 25 poll (the CFP didn't exist then). They were, the year before, the national champions. So they went into the Apple Cup pretty confident to beat the unranked Cougars.

But it was snowing. Snowing hard. And the wind chill was -18F (-28C). The Cougars managed to pull off a win by a score of 42-23. The game was forever dubbed the "Snow Bowl" by both Husky and Cougar fans. And it's one of the reason why we say "anything can happen at the Apple Cup."

Snow Bowl 2

Going into the game, the Cougars were favored with their 10-1 overall record (the Huskies were 8-3 overall). The only team they lost to was USC. However, USC is not very good this year and have a 5-6 overall record as of this morning. They play undefeated Notre Dame later today.

Last night it started snowing just before the game. And the wind was blowing. It snowed through out the game, depositing perhaps two inches of the white stuff. I dubbed it "Snow Bowl 2."

As the game when on (and the field got more covered in snow), the players moved slower and slower to compensate for the bad grip they had on the field. But the Huskies scored first and never looked back. They led the whole game. There were a lot of turnovers probably due to a wet football and cold hands. But also some interceptions. Running back Myles Gaskin ran a lot and scored a lot. Salvon Ahmed, the younger running back, also ran for a lot of yards.

The Cougars' one surprise play was a blocked point after attempt that went right into the hands of a Cougar who ran it in for a 2-point conversion.

The Cougars' much-vaunted quarterback is from Mississippi and I wondered if he'd ever seen snow before. He had trouble throwing the ball probably due to the low visibility. Husky quarterback Jake Browning didn't throw much either, but hit his target more often.

Going into last night's game, the Cougars were ranked #8 in the College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings. The Huskies were #16. In the AP poll, the Cougars were #6 and the Huskies were #16, also.

So the Huskies are 7-2 in conference and 9-3 overall. The Cougars are also 7-2 in conference and 10-2 overall. With a tied in-conference record, and the Huskies beating the Cougars, the Huskies are the Pac-12 North Champions. Next week they play Utah for the Pac-12 championship. If they win, they will likely play in the Rose Bowl.

The Polls

The AP poll doesn't come out until Sunday morning Pacific Time. The CFP rankings will come out Tuesday. You can bet the Cougars will move down and the Huskies will move up in each poll.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Black Friday Deal: Treasure of the Black Hole

Today and through the weekend, Treasure of the Black Hole Kindle edition is on a Black Friday sale for just 99 cents. This is the book that started the "Treasures of Space" series. Get it now while you can! Just go here.

The Stuff that Dreams are Made Of . . .

When private detective Rick Bailey is hired by the exotically beautiful and outrageously wealthy Princess Nora, he thinks it'll be easy money. Escaping from her rebellion-torn kingdom, the princess has lost her handmaiden, Lores: the only person who knows how to find the hidden royal jewels.

But when his search for the equally lovely Lores turns deadly, Bailey realizes that there is more to this case than it first seemed. When someone tries to kill him, he discovers that the roots of evil run deep.

With his own set of values and sense of honor, Bailey must keep one step ahead of murderous mobsters, secret government operatives, and a genetically enhanced Lores as he races across the galaxy in search of the truth. The only things he knows he can trust are his eight-foot-tall ladybug-like girl Friday and a powerful weapon that responds to his thoughts.

Will Bailey find the treasure of the black hole in time and will he survive long enough to discover why it is something worth killing for?

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

If you're in America, Happy Thanksgiving.

And be tolerant of your uncle. He hasn't had this much fun since Joe McCarthy was chasing Commies out of the State Department. Well, less fun since the election, but still.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Huskies are 8-3

Yesterday the University of Washington Huskies played the Oregon State Beavers. The final score was 23-42. This was not a surprise as Oregon State was 2-8 going into yesterday's game, and in last place in the Pac-12 North. The Huskies jumped out to a lead so fast that the score was 28-3 at the end of the first quarter. It was 35-16 at the half. About the middle of the third quarter, Husky coach Chris Petersen started rotating out his starters and putting back-up players.

This makes the Huskies 6-2 in conference and 8-3 overall. More on that later.

Elsewhere in the Pac-12

Also last night, the Washington State University Cougars destroyed the Arizona Wildcats 28-69. At
halftime the Cougars had scored 55 points to Arizona's 14. I stopped watching at that time. It was getting late, I wanted to go to bed. This brings the Cougars to 7-1 in conference and 10-1 overall. That this was such a blowout was surprising because Arizona is in second place in the Pac-12 South with a 4-4 in conference record and a 5-6 overall. But the Pac-12 South is full of teams with bad records.

Speaking of the Pac-12 South. Utah beat Colorado 30-7 yesterday in the "Rumble in the Rockies." That brings Utah to 6-3 in conference and 8-3 overall. Utah plays BYU in a non-conference game next week, so it pretty much has the Pac-12 South Championship wrapped up.

And, this just in (in about 30 minutes ago on the @AP_Top25 twitter), Colorado fired their coach today, before the end of the season! Colorado plays California next week. An interim coach will be appointed. They had better not go after Chris Petersen!

Also in the Pac-12 South, UCLA beat USC. That makes USC 4-5 in conference and 5-6 overall. Next week USC plays undefeated Nortre Dame. So it's likely USC won't even be bowl eligible this year. I am betting they fire their coach at the end of the season. They'd better not go after Chris Petersen!

The Apple Cup

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, Washington plays Washington State in the "Apple Cup" cross-state rivalry game. This will be for the Pac-12 North Championship. Whichever team wins, wins the championship. I'm not quite sure how that works with the Cougars having a better over-all record, but I'm not complaining. If the Huskies win the Apple Cup, they will be 7-2 in conference and the Cougars will be 7-2 in conference.

The Polls:

Last Tuesday, the College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings came out. Washington State was still #8. But they are up against a bunch of very good teams. This is why we need an eight-team playoff. Washington was #18, up from #25. And Utah was at #19.

In the AP Top 25 Poll that came out this morning at 11:00 AM PST (2:00 PM EST), Washington State moved up one to #7 after that demolishing of Arizona.

Washington moved up one to #16. And Utah moved up three to #18. And that's it for the Pac-12.

Thursday, November 15, 2018


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

Thanks to my health, I can't travel as much as I want. There's lots of places I'd love to go: Europe, Asia, Australia. But with my health issues, I can't. I discussed places I'd like to go in this old blog post from November, 2016. It hasn't changed since then.

I might add that I'd like to see the fjords of Norway. I once saw what would be a great trip. It was a mail boat that went from Oslo up the coast of Norway, stopping at all the towns on the way. But it was $20,000 for two people (probably more, now). My wife is half Swedish and half Norwegian and has relatives in Norway. (I probably have relatives in the UK, but I don't know anything about them).

Where would you like to travel? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Cougars Still Lead Pac-12 North

Since my beloved University of Washington Huskies didn't play yesterday, I just had to keep an eye on the rest of the Pac-12.

The good news is, the Utah Utes beat Oregon, taking the Ducks out of any contention for the Pac-12 North Championship.

The bad news is that the Washington State Cougars beat Colorado and are therefore still on top of the Pac-12 North with a 6-1 in conference and 9-1 overall record.

This may be Wazzu's year. Especially if they win the Apple Cup against Washington.

In the Pac-12 South, Utah's win over Oregon puts them back on top with a 5-3 in conference record and 7-3 overall. But Arizona is nipping at their heels with a 4-3 in-conference record and a 5-5 overall record. And Arizona State also has a 4-3 in-conference record and 6-4 overall record. So those three teams are still in the running.

In the Pac-12 North, five of the six teams are bowl eligible. Only Oregon State with a 2-8 overall record isn't.

In the Pac-12 South, only Utah and Arizona State are bowl eligible at this point with 10 games of the regular season played. Yes, USC is not, yet, bowl eligible. I'm wondering if their coach is going to get fired at the end of the season. Or sooner. They lost to rival California yesterday.

There's just two more weeks left in the regular schedule. Then we'll see how things shake out.

Next week Washington plays Oregon State and they had better win. The Cougars play Arizona in Pullman. I'll be rooting for the Wildcats.

In the Polls:

The College Football Playoff (CFP) selection committee rankings don't come out until Tuesday. Right now they have Washington State at #8 and Washington at #25.  The AP poll last week had WSU at #10 and Washington at #20.

This week, the AP poll has Washington State at #8 to agree with the CFP poll. And even though they didn't play this week, Washington moved up three to #17 in the AP poll. And Utah is back in the poll at #21.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Pac-12 Football this Weekend

The University of Washington Huskies have a bye this weekend and don't play. This will give them a chance to heal and get ready for a tough game against Washington State in two weeks (Black Friday). In the meantime they play Oregon State at home, a game they damn well better win. The OSU Beavers are 1-5 in conference, 2-7 over all. The Beavers did stun, well, everybody, by beating Colorado a couple of weeks ago.

But the team us Washington Husky fans are most concerned about is Washington State. Right now the Cougars are at 5-1 in conference and 8-1 overall. The Huskies are 5-2 in conference and 7-3 overall.  If the Huskies are going to have any hope of winning the Pac-12 North championship, two things have to happen:

1) They have to beat the Cougars in the Apple Cup on Black Friday.
2) The Cougars have to lose to someone else.

The two teams they play before the Apple Cup are Colorado this weekend and Arizona next weekend. As the Beavers showed, it's possible for any team to beat any other team. Both Colorado and Arizona are not going to be push-overs. They are better teams than their records indicate. Colorado is 2-4 in conference and 5-4 over all. Arizona is 4-3 in conference and 5-5 over all. Arizona is still in the running for the Pac-12 South championship. A win over Wazzu would help them.

So, I think I'll be watching my DVDs from this weekend.

Still might be Wazzu's year.

P.S: when the College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings came out on Tuesday, WSU was still #8 and Washington was #25. They are the only Pac-12 teams ranked in the CFP.

Thursday, November 8, 2018


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

What is success? Some people think it means having a high-paying job or owning a very profitable business. But is that success? I think I'm successful. I don't have a high-paying job and I don't own a very profitable business (last year my writing business lost money). But I am doing what I love: writing. Yes, I wish I could have a best-selling novel (as in New York Times best selling, not just briefly best selling) and maybe a movie or three based on my writing. But even without that, I feel successful, simply because I'm doing what I want to do. And I've sold over 1,500 books. Not bad.

What's your definition of success? Are you successful? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Huskies are 7-3

Last night in a kind of late game (started at 6:00 PM PDT), the University of Washington Huskies hung on to beat the Stanford Cardinal (it's a color) by a score of 23-27. This keeps the Huskies' hopes of winning the Pac-12 North alive (but it is on life support).

The game was at home in Husky Stadium and keeps the Huskies' home winning streak alive. I believe it's 19.

The Dawgs looked great in the first half, both offense and defense. Stanford never managed to score in the first half. So the score was 21-0 going into halftime. Jake Browning was hitting his marks and Myles Gaskin was back and making good runs again. The defense even manged to get two interceptions.

Then something happened at halftime. The Cardinal came out to play. They scored 23 points in the second half while the Huskies only got two field goals for 6 points. Suddenly our defense could barely hold them and our offense couldn't do much. Thankfully, kicker Payton Henry hit every field goal (unlike the Oregon game). Stanford's kicker missed a PAT so that put the Cardinal 4 points behind. Which meant a field goal wouldn't tie it. They needed a touchdown. It came down, literally, to the last second of the game when the Stanford quarterback threw a hail Mary into the endzone and it was intercepted by Husky Taylor Rapp.

The Huskies are now 5-2 in conference, 7-3 over all. They have a bye next week, then on November 17th play Oregon State (a game they had better win) at home. They time and network have yet to be announced (probably next Sunday it will be). I suspect it'll be on the Pac-12 Network unless Washington is ranked when the CFP rankings come out on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in the Pac-12

Also last night the Washington State Cougars beat the California Bears. This keeps the Cougars at 5-1
in conference, 8-1 overall. Their one loss was to USC in their first in-conference game. But that record keeps them on top of the Pac-12 North.

If the Huskies win the Apple Cup against WSU, and WSU loses to somebody else in the meantime (they play Colorado next week, then Arizona the week after that, then comes the Apple Cup), they the Huskies' Pac-12 North Championship hopes are still alive. If WSU doesn't lose to Colorado or Arizona, then the Apple Cup will only be for bragging rights and the Cougars will be the Pac-12 North Champions and probably play in the Rose Bowl.

The Utah Utes are still on top of the Pac-12 South, barely, after losing to Arizona State yesterday. They are 4-3 in conference and 6-3 overall. USC and Arizona are also 4-3 in conference but USC is 5-4 over all and Arizona is 5-5 overall. So the Pac-12 South is in contention, still.

Bowl Eligibility

To be "bowl eligible" (to go to a post-season bowl game) a team needs to win six games. This is, to me, kind of ridiculous because that's a .500 record (the regular season is usually 12 games). But there are so many bowls so they need lots of teams.

In the Pac-12 North, only Washington, Washington State, and Oregon are now bowl eligible.

But in the Pac-12 South, which is sort of like a bucket of crabs (one starts to crawl out and the others pull it back down), only Utah is bowl eligible (sorry USC). Most teams have three more games to play unless they have a bye in the next three weeks (like Washington). So there should be more bowl eligibility by the end of the season.

The Polls

When the CFP section committee announced their rankings last Tuesday, WSU was at #8 (but at #10 in the AP poll). Washington wasn't in the top 25 (same as the AP poll; they were #26, actually, in the AP poll). With this win (and #3 LSU losing to #1 Alabama), will WSU move up in the polls? We'll have to wait until Tuesday to find out about the CFP. But in the AP poll, WSU stays at #10 (LSU drops to #9).

The only other Pac-12 team in the AP top 25 is...Washington. They are #20!

Thursday, November 1, 2018


(Wow, November already!)

Time once again for the 52-week blogging challenge. Today's prompt is simply "Make." (For this blog title I turned it into a gerund).

I don't make things. I'm not handy with my hands. I don't have the patience to measure twice and cut once. Or to work with wood, metal, plastic, etc. When I was a kid, I made wonderful things out of Legos, however.

Now, as an adult, I make books. So far I've written thirteen books and published ten. You can check them out on my website. That's what I make. Well, that and freelance stories. It's not as "hands on" as making a physical object, but it takes patience and precision and spell checking.

What do you make? Let me know in the comments below.