Thursday, December 26, 2019


(Hey, it's Boxing Day.)

I had myself convinced for years I wasn't a "pet person." Didn't have a dog nor a cat. Tried goldfish once. They died. Almost immediately.

Then my son brought home Lily about two years ago from the animal shelter. She was just a kitten. The story was she was found in a tree by a woman who named her "Lily" and took her to the animal shelter.

And now I'm a cat person. I might be a dog person if I we had a dog, too.

Lily is a stubborn kitty. She likes to go behind the TV and scratch at the carpet. So we blocked her way back there. Last night she tried to jump over a stereo speaker to get back there. It didn't work. But she was close.

One thing I really enjoy about Lily but haven't been able to do lately, is hold her while she sleeps. I have to let her fall asleep somewhere, then gently pick her up, shushing and scratching her neck to keep her calm, then sit down and keep shushing and scratching her neck until she falls back asleep. But lately she doesn't fall back asleep. She has stayed in my arms letting me pet her, but only for a bit.

But it's funny (to me) how I went from "I don't want pets" to "I love Lily." She is my son's cat so if he moves out, he'll take her with him. I don't know if I'll get a cat after that.

Lily loves Nerf darts. We'll throw them and she'll chase them (if she's in the mood, otherwise she just watches). She really isn't very interested in the laser. She likes to sleep. In the summer she'll sleep in sunbeams. In the winter she'll sleep on heat vents. I wonder how much that costs me to heat up the cat and not the house.

Yes, we love Lily.

Do you have a pet you love? Let me know about them in the comments.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Huskies Finish the Year 8-5

This will probably be my last college football blog post for about 258 days. (Stop cheering there in the back.)

Last night the University of Washington played #19 Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl. And it was almost a blow out. With interceptions and just great defensive plays, the Huskies held the Broncos to 7 points, while scoring 31 themselves. At first the Broncos were marching down the field and I thought it would be a tough game. But then an interception stopped that drive. And the Broncos didn't finally score until the third quarter.

Of the 37,197 people there (which is pretty good for a minor bowl game), most of them seemed to be BSU fans (lots of flannel in the stands). But it didn't help.

Washington quarterback Jacob Eason had a few miscues, occasionally throwing the ball too hard for his receiver to catch it. I seriously think he should spend another year in college to work out his kinks. 

Running back Richard Newton had a good night with 69 net yards, even beating Salvon Ahmed's 20 yards. Newton made one touchdown and Ahmed made two.

This was, of course, Husky Coach Chris Petersen's last game. Next year Defensive Coordinator Jimmy Lake takes over.

Before this game, BSU was #18 and the AP poll (#19 in the CFP). I wonder if in the final AP poll, Washington will move back until the top 25. If I remember I'll check that.

So next year, 258 days away, we'll see how Jimmy Lake does.

Back when the Huskies sucked, I made a list of a "good" season. It was:

  • Win 8 games (they did that)
  • Beat WSU (they did that)
  • Beat Oregon (they didn't)
  • Go to a bowl and win it (they did that).

So not a bad season. Just not as good as we've come to expect from the Huskies.

See you next year.

Friday, December 20, 2019

The Huskies' Bowl Game

Tomorrow the University of Washington Huskies play in the Las Vegas Bowl which, I assume, is in Las Vegas.

Ironically, for Coach Chris Petersen's last game, we are playing Boise State, were Petersen first came to national attention. The BSU Broncos are ranked at #19 in the CFP rankings and, of course, Washington isn't ranked at all. So BSU is likely the favorite going in.

The game is at 4:30 PST on ABC.

I'm not making any predictions about this game. But Chris Petersen has, during his tenure at UW, only won one bowl game, and that was his first year (the Heart of Dallas bowl). But I think it should be a fun game, either way.

Then next year we start the Jimmy Lake era at the University of Washington. Hoping for a repeat of 2016. We'll have to see.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Get Tweetdeck

I have a twitter account that I use to attempt to promote my novels.

Because I follow a bunch of people, I see what others do with their Twitter accounts. And one thing that really annoys me is when someone tweets 20 tweets (or more) all in a row, seconds or minutes apart.

I think the reason they do this is because they have busy lives but have twenty tweets they feel they need to get out. So they shoot them all out at once. This is very annoying and I doubt very effective.

Now I tweet about 15 times per day unless I decide to tweet something funny or cute in addition. But I don't shoot them all out at once. I tweet about every two hours. How do I do that? I use Tweetdeck.

Tweetdeck is a Twitter app that works inside your browser.

Why use Tweetdeck? Because you can schedule tweets. I sit down every day and schedule my tweets for the next day. I have yet to hit a limit on the number of tweets I can schedule, nor on how far out you can schedule them (I've done them a week out).

That way, you don't have to shoot out 20 tweets all in a row in 20 minutes.

Also, you're more likely to get retweeted if you don't shoot out all your tweets at once.

You can also have more than one account on Tweetdeck. I suspect up to four, but I don't know; I only have one account.

It appears what you do is your type into your browser and then sign in with your Twitter account. Tweetdeck used to be a stand-alone app but as far as I can tell, now it only runs in a browser.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

They've Gone Plaid!

Tesla Model S
When the Tesla Model S introduced a "Ludicrous Speed" mode, I wondered if that term was inspired by the Mel Brooks movie, Space Balls. But nothing I read about the Model S mentioned Space Balls. I thought maybe it was just a coincidence. In Ludicrous Speed mode, the Model S (a four-door sedan) could go from 0-60 mph in 2.3 seconds. That's faster than many supercars. The advantage the Model S has is, being electric, 100% of its torque is available at zero RPM like all electric cars. This is unlike a gasoline engine where the torque usually maximizes around 1,000 or so RPM (depends on the engine design). This is why in drag racing the drivers will have the engine running fast ("rev the engine") when they take off to maximize the torque available.

So, I went for a few years wondering if Ludicrous Speed had anything to do with Space Balls.

But now Tesla has a faster mode that involves cars having three motors instead of the two required for Ludicrous Speed. And guess what they call it. "Plaid mode." That has to be a reference to Space Balls. If you don't know why, watch this clip from the movie (Warning: NSFW language).

So anyone who has seen Space Balls is in on the joke. And Elon Musk or someone at Tesla has a great sense of humor.

Of course, spending $100,000 or more on a car that can't go to Seattle and back without a long charging session still doesn't make sense to me.

Thursday, December 5, 2019


I have what some might say is eclectic taste in music.

I like (some) opera.

I love a lot of classical music.


And so much more.

I like (some) country

And, of course, I love classic rock (at my age, you kind of have to)


And so much more. But nothing since about 1994.

I don't like rap/hiphop. I don't like modern country. And I loath what's come out since the year 2000.

What do you like? Do you have any songs I should consider liking. Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The Huskies are 7-5 to End the Regular Season

Note: I was going to finish this on Sunday after the rest of the Pac-12 played, but got distracted. Then had a minor family emergency which required me to drive to Seattle and back on Monday. So I'm finishing it and posting it today (Tuesday).

The University of Washington Huskies won their seventh straight Apple Cup game against cross-state rival Washington State University Cougars on Friday. Both teams went into the game with identical records: 3-5 in conference, 6-5 overall. So many WSU fans hoped this was their year. It wasn't.

On their first possession, after receiving the opening kickoff, the Cougars marched down the field and scored a touchdown. At this point, I was worried that the Cougars might win. Then the Huskies got the ball and did the same thing, tying the score are 7-7. At that point it looked like a high-scoring game might happen. But the Husky defense came alive and stopped the Cougars on their next series, holding them to a field goal. The score was 10-7 in favor of the Cougs.

As first the Huskies couldn't move the ball on the ground against the WSU defense. But by halftime, the offense figured that out and were able to run with the ball.

Then Washington answered with two touchdowns. Also, the UW defense made turnovers. The Huskies racked up points while the Cougars didn't. The final score was 31-13 for UW.

Some WSU fans complained about the officiating saying there were pass interference calls made when they shouldn't have been. I agree with one of those (not the four the WSU fans were claiming). But that's football. Until we have robot officials, there's going to be mistakes.

This is Coach Chris Petersen's sixth Apple Cup win. Cougar coach Mike Leach has lost seven and won one in his tenure at WSU.

Elsewhere in the Pac-12

The Apple Cup was on Friday. But the other Pac-12 games were on Saturday.

There were no surprises in the last games of the regular season. Oregon beat Oregon State, Arizona State beat Arizona, Utah beat Colorado, Nortre Dame beat Sanford in a non-conference game, and Cal beat UCLA. If Utah has lost to Colorado (it could happen), USC would be playing in that game, instead.

That means Oregon and Utah will play in the Pac-12 Championship game on Friday (5:00 PM PST on ABC). I'm rooting for Utah (but I always root against the Nike Ducks).

Washington is tied with Cal for second in the Pac-12 North.

Now we wait to see who wins the Pac-12 Championship and what bowl game the Pac-12 teams that are bowl eligible go to. That's seven out of twelve teams.

Big News

Yesterday (Monday) it was announced that Husky coach Chris Petersen is stepping down as head coach after six seasons. Defensive Coordinator Jimmy Lake will take over coaching duties (for now). Petersen will not even coach the Huskies through their bowl game.

This makes me sad. Word is that Petersen will stay at UW in a "Senior Athletic Advisory" position. I don't know, maybe he feels discouraged after this mediocre season. It's just sad, to me.