Thursday, September 19, 2019

Coffee

The cliché is that writers, such as myself, usually have an unhealthy relationship with coffee and specifically, with 1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6(3H,7H)-dione 3,7-dihydro-1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6-dione (also known as "caffeine"). The meme I've seen many times is that a writer's superpower is turning caffeine into words. Or a meme such as this one:


I'm not like that. I drink, usually, one triple mocha a day (in the summer, I don't even drink that because I don't like hot drinks in the heat). I remember years ago I was told I was allergic to caffeine (at the time I would consume 4-6 cans of Diet Coke a day). So I had to give it up. I was worried this would interfere with my creativity. Ten published books later, and I'm not worried any more. Except that I started drinking caffeine again, in reasonable quantities.

What is your relationship with coffee or caffeine? And do you think it helps you be creative? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Huskies are 2-1

Last night the University of Washington Huskies took on the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. The Warriors were 2-0 against Pac-12 teams. Admittedly, one of those teams was Oregon State. But the other was Arizona. So, Hawaii was no easy team to beat.

Unlike when they played California last week late at night, the Huskies won and won big. In the first quarter alone they scored 21 unanswered points. The Warriors didn't score until the second quarter, after the Huskies were already up over 30 points.

And, unlike last week, the defense showed up for this game. In the third quarter, the defense did allow the Warriors to score 13 points (they missed an extra point after a touchdown).  But in the fourth quarter, the Warriors didn't score at all and the Huskies put up another 14 points. This, despite Husky coach Chris Petersen putting in backups in with about six minutes left in the game. No one scored after that. Sometimes I wish he'd just rack up points to impress the AP voters.

The final score was 52-20.

Next Week:

Next week the Huskies travel to Provo, UT to take on BYU. This isn't going to be an easy game. BYU beat USC this week. The Huskies are going to have to play hard as this will be their toughest opponent since California.

Elsewhere in the Pac-12

Now that we're 1/4th of the way through the regular season, we can start looking at the standings. The
Pac-12 is not doing great against non-conference opponents. As I said, BYU beat USC yesterday. The good news is, WSU beat Houston Friday night (both teams called the "Cougars"). But Air Force upset Colorado, UCF beat Stanford, Oklahoma beat UCLA (who may be the worst team in the Pac-12). On the positive side, Arizona State beat Montana State, Oregon State beat Cal-Poly (an FCS team), Utah beat Idaho State (another FCS team), California beat University of North Texas, Arizona beat Texas Tech, and Oregon beat Montana.

California is on top of the Pac-12 North standings at 3-0 (1-0 in conference). Stanford and Washington are tied for last place at 0-1 in conference. Washington is 2-1 overall, Stanford is 10-2 overall.

In the Pac-12 South, the Trojans (USC) are on top at 1-0 in conference (2-1 over all). Everyone else is tied for last at 0-0 in conference. When conference play starts in earnest next week, we'll start sorting things out.

The Polls:

The Huskies came up one in the AP poll, to 22. Other Pac-12 teams in the top 25 are Arizona State, at 24 (they weren't in the top 25 last week), Washington State at 19 (up one), Oregon at 16 (down one despite winning their game), and Utah at 10, up one. USC fell off the top 25 after losing their game. They spent one week at 24.

UPDATE: I missed that California is now ranked, at #23.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Outdoors

Now that summer is over and it's getting more fall-like, I have a confession. I don't like the outdoors. My snappy comeback if someone asks why is "Outdoors is sunburn and allergies." Of course, after seven years of allergy shots, my allergies are better. But  I still get sunburned very quick and very easily.

When I was in high school and college, one of the "treats" for the class would be to hold it outside. This usually happened in the spring. Everyone else in the class was saying "Yay!" and I was saying, "Oh, no." I would, at the very least, have to find some shady spot to stay out of direct sunlight. But sometimes there wouldn't be shade. And you'd have to sit on the ground (no thanks) and squint against the bright sunshine.

So why did I join the Army, which does most of its stuff outdoors. I don't know. Maybe I was crazy. We did this one "field exercise" in the Mojave Desert in August. The uniform was supposed to be sleeves rolled up to above the elbow. I kept mine down the entire time. I didn't want to get immediately sunburned. I was shocked I didn't get in trouble with the First Sergeant who was a massive racist jerk.

So, now it's fall. Cooler weather and no snow...yet. And people don't want to go outside for random reasons. Sounds good to me.

What are your feelings about being outside. Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Huskies are 1-1

Maybe this is a rebuilding year.

Last night the University of Washington Huskies played the University of California at Berkeley Golden Bears. Going into the game, the Huskies were both favored and ranked.

But after about six minutes of play, the game was suspended for lightning in the area. The weather delay was an interminable two hours and 38 minutes. That meant that the game restarted at about 10:30 PM. It lasted until around 1:15 AM.

And the Huskies lost, 20 - 19. Not a huge lost but bad enough. The Husky defense had trouble stopping the Bears. The Husky offense had problems connecting and moving the ball. It didn't look like the same team that beat Eastern Washington last week. The defense could not make tackles.

Yes, everyone was tired. But so were the Bears. Probably the only thing that helped the Bears was that the weather delay caused is about half the fans left, meaning there wasn't as much fan noise when the Bears had the ball.

But now I'm worried about the rest of the year. If we couldn't beat California how can we beat USC, Oregon, Utah, and Washington State whom we all play at home. Never mind winning on the road.

Maybe Coach Chris Petersen will have some magic between now and next week when we play Hawaii at home (4:30 PM on Pac-12 Network). We'll see.

Because the game ran so late I got to bed at about 1:30 AM.  I slept until almost 10:30 AM. Even house-rattling thunder at about 5:00 AM from our own lightning storm couldn't keep me awake. Which really messed up my day which is why I'm posting this at almost 5:00 PM rather than this morning.

At least the Seahawks won...barely.

The Polls:

In the AP top 25 Football poll, Washington dropped nine spots to 23. This puts them barely ahead of USC at 24. Washington State is at 20, Oregon moved up one to 15, and Utah is still the highest ranked Pac-12 team at #11.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Words

I have a theory about words. And that is, the shorter they are, the more common they are. If they are one syllable, they are probably quite common. The more syllables they have, the less common they are.  This is also why swear words tend to be one syllable.

Think about it. Almost everything you touch every day is a one-syllable word. Some may be contractions of longer words or phrases (the "el" for "elevated train, for example).

Look at the car. It, in the space of about 50 years went from "horseless carriage" to "automobile" to "auto" to "car."

The telephone became "phone." the smart phone also became "phone." Applications became "apps" but I think that was more a marketing thing.

As computers become more common, they too will probably be shortened. I've already heard computers called "puter." Will in fifty years they be called "pute" or "comp"?

Can you think of something you touch everyday that was two, three, or more syllables? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

AP Top 25, Week 2

For some reason the AP is calling their poll released today "Week 2." They were calling the preseason poll "Week 1" earlier, and I thought that was a mistake. Or maybe it was supposed to be Week 1 but nothing changed (no ranked teams played).

So, after winning their game against Eastern Washington and looking great, the University of Washington Huskies...drop one rank to #14. They essentially traded places with Utah who moved up to #13. Utah beat BYU.

Stanford moved from 25 to 23 and WSU went from 23 to 22. All those teams won their games.

But then the University of Oregon Ducks lost to Auburn. This dropped them from 11 to 16. Auburn went from 16 to 10.

From now on, the AP poll comes out on Sunday morning (my time) so I won't have to make a separate post for it. I'm not sure when the CFP rankings start coming out. Usually around week 8 if I remember correctly.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Huskies Win Their First Game

Yesterday (Sunday), I forgot to write this blog post, so I'm doing it today.

Saturday the University of Washington Huskies played the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Eagles in their first game of the 2019 season. I wasn't too worried about this game because EWU is an FCS team, albeit one of the best FCS teams (they were beaten in the championship game last year by North Dakota State). That, and after four years of Jake Browning at quarterback, we were breaking in a new QB in Jacob Eason. His skills were an unknown.

I needn't worry. Eason proved to be a very capable quarterback and the receiving squad also showed its skills, especially Aaron Fuller who made two spectacular catches in the end zone for touchdowns. At one time the Huskies had the ball at the exact center of the field and Eason threw a long bomb that was caught by Andre Baccellia and ran in for a TD. It reminded me of the Jake Browning-John Ross era.

In the end, the second best team in the FCS couldn't keep up with the Huskies' offense. Toward the end of the game, as he often does when the score is lopsided, Coach Chris Petersen put in second stringers. Even then they managed to get a safety. The final score was 47-14.

Next week we play California at home in the Huskies' first conference game. Having seen Eason's abilities, I'm only slightly worried about that game, too (although maybe I should worry more; last year California beat us). The game is at 7:30 PM on FS1.

Elsewhere in the Pac-12

The big hype this year is around the  #11 Oregon Ducks (whom I hate). They played #16 Auburn in Texas and nearly won. They led most of the game but ended up losing. I know it would have been better for the Pac-12 if they won, but I can't help but be happy that they lost.

Polls

The AP poll doesn't come out until tomorrow sometime. I'll likely have a post when it does. I'm not counting on the Huskies moving much (they are at #13). But Oregon should drop a bit.