Thursday, September 30, 2021

Bullets Go as Far as They Want


I was watching The Fifth Element on television the other day for the nth time. I came in toward the end. And Gary Oldman's character, Zorg, is shooting upward with an automatic weapon into the ceiling of the hotel room at Leeloo who is hiding in the duct work. And I thought, for the first time, anyone in the room above them is going to have bullets coming up through their floor. But, of course, this isn't shown because the filmmakers likely didn't think of it. While there were bullet holes in the bottom of the duct work, there were none put in the top.

In the real world, bullets go where they want to go and as far as they want to go. One of the four rules* for safe gun handling is "Know your target, what's in front of it and what's behind it." That's because it might miss your target and hit something (someone) behind it, or your bullet might pass through the target and hit something (someone) behind it. In Hollywood movies and television productions, this rarely happens. Hollywood has trained us to think bullets only go as far as we want them to. Which just isn't true. A bullet will travel (sometimes miles for rifles) until it hits something that stops it.

Oh, and guns don't make a cocking sound when you draw them. I'll never get tired of pointing that out.

*The four rules of safe gun handling are:

  1. Always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
  2. Always treat every gun as if it were loaded.
  3. Know your target, what's in front of it and what's behind it.
  4. Always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
Hollywood does an awful job on number four, too.

Does Hollywood gun handling drive you nuts, too. Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Huskies are 2-2

The University of Washington Huskies went 2-2 last night by beating the University of California Berkley Golden Bears (hereafter "Bears" or "Cal" or "Cal Bears" or "California"). 

Despite a slow start (three and out on their first series), the Huskies played strong through the first half of the game, scoring 21 points to California's 10. California had a muffed field goal attempt which would come back to haunt them.

But in the second half, the Cal defense came alive and their offense managed to score 14 points while the Huskies only got one field goal. At the end of regulation, the score was 24-24. If Cal hadn't muffed that field goal, they would have won the game there. 

In college overtime, each team gets a chance to score starting on the 25-yard line. The Huskies got a touch down making the score 24-31. Then Cal tried to score, but a fumble at the goal line that was recovered by the Huskies ended their try and the game. 

Dylan Morris, Washington's quarterback, is getting better every game. But in the second half of the contest, he had no time to find a receiver. Cal's defenders were coming at him all the time. On the other hand, the Bear's quarterback seemed to have all the time in the world, and if he couldn't find a receiver, he'd just run for a first down himself. He was California's number one rusher in the game.

One issue Washington had was that Cal Otten was out for "COVID protocol." He's one of Morris's best receivers. Let's hope he's available next week when the Huskies travel to play Oregon State, who pounded USC yesterday, 45-27. 

Washington is tied for first place in the Pac-12 conference with Oregon and Oregon State at 1-0 in conference. But Oregon is 4-0 and Oregon State is 3-1 while the Huskies are 2-2. So, I guess we're actually in third place. 

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Interstate 90 Autobahn

I always used to scoff that those "Slower Traffic Keep Right" signs because I was rarely slower traffic. I did keep right except when passing because it's Washington State law that you have to keep right except while passing.

But that's all changing and I don't know why.

A few weeks ago I drove to Seattle and back to see the Huskies lose to Montana. Now I usually set the cruise control 5 mph above the speed limit. That keeps the cops off my back. And that used to make me one of the faster cars on the interstate. But lately, it's not. Lately I'm the slower traffic. (I've touched on this before.) On both the way there and the way back on the Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend, I was being passed constantly by cars exceeding the speed limit by at least 10 mph, probably more. I learned to check my mirrors before pulling out to pass to make sure there wasn't a car coming up fast in the left lane. It was almost like I hear driving on the German autobahn is like. 

For example, There were three lanes and I was in the middle lane passing someone. I was doing 80 mph to get around that person and free up that lane. And someone passed me on the left going much faster then I was. I estimated they were doing at least 90 mph. The speed limit is 70. 

I don't know why this is happening. I wonder if it's Google Maps/Waze showing where people have reported cops. I don't trust it enough to risk going faster than 76 mph (I added a mile per hour because so many cars were going so much faster). If I started driving 80+ mph, I'd get a big nasty ticket pretty soon. At least, that's my experience. 

I didn't experience this when I drove to Walla Walla for the Chicago concert. But that was mostly two-lane road and I did a bunch of passing of slower vehicles.

So now I am the slower traffic and, yes, I keep right.

Do you have an idea why people drive so fast lately. Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Huskies are 1-2

 (Yes, it's Monday; I'm a day late.)

The University of Washington Huskies are 1-2 after actually winning a game and winning it handily. On Saturday, the Huskies played Arkansas State at home in Husky Stadium. There were only about 53,000 fans there compared with the Montana game that had approximately 61,000. The rain may have had something to do with that, but I'm thinking fans didn't want to go to another losing game.

Quarterback Dylan Morris missed his first four throws and I thought "here we go again."  But then he started connecting with his receivers. And threw a few long bombs for big plays. He did throw two interceptions, so that's something he needs to work on.

The Huskies had 200 yards rushing with Richard Newton leading the way with 52 yards.

Toward the end of the game, Coach Jimmy Lake pulled his started, including the quarterback, and played backups. Even then the Huskies scored on a fumble recovery and run in for a touchdown. The final score was 52-3.

One thing I didn't like to see was the Arkansas State coach grabbed a player by the collar and appeared to be screaming at him. There's no place for that in college football.

If the Huskies had played this way against Montana, they would have won. If they played this way against Michigan, they might have won.

Now we go into Pac-12 play. We play California at home next Saturday. They are also 1-2. I'm hoping the Washington team that showed up Saturday shows up next week. The game is at 6:30pm on Pac-12 Network. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021


A national political commentator whose opinions I usually agree with said the show Evil was "the best thing on Paramount+." So I'm watching it. And its may not be the best thing on Paramount+, but it is damn good.

The show involves a former Catholic (now atheist) female psychologist who is hired by the Catholic Church to investigate possessions and other supernatural events. She works with a Catholic priest in training (played by Mike Coulter of Luke Cage fame and an actor I really like) and a technical guy who is Muslim. An interesting group.

The genius of the show is they never tell you that the supernatural things shown are real or not. And with the three perspectives of the characters, you never know what to believe. But toward the end of the first season, they start to strongly hint that all the supernatural things are real. 

The show wraps Catholicism into its plots often. 

Now I say I don't do horror because I don't. But Evil is horror-lite. The psychologist has four young daughters and the only time I really get scared is when the story line involves them. There's another psychologist who is the bad guy named Leland Townsend. He's shown doing evil things and the plot thickens when he starts dating the female psychologist's mother.

I recommend Evil if you can handle the...  evil. It is very well done and just scary enough to make it interesting. I'm about to start on season two.

The above photo is being used under Section 107 of the Copyright Act: fair usage.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Huskies are 0-2; Not a Great Start

I was worried about this game before last week's debacle. The University of Washington Huskies have a tendency to not do well on big, nationally broadcast, away, non-conference games. After last week's loss to FCS team Montana, I went into this game pretty sure they would lose. My only hope was that the game wasn't too lopsided.

If the team that showed up in Michigan in front of 108,345 screaming fans (Michigan has the biggest football stadium in the NCAA) had played Montana, they would have probably won. The defense did a good job, and at one point, held Michigan to a field goal. 

The offense was better. Quarterback Dylan Morris showed more confidence and hit his receivers more often.  He was never intercepted (there were no turnovers in the game at all). But he was sacked four times, showing our offensive line needs work. One issue is our lack of wide receivers (their ranks thinned by injury). Because of that, Michigan could gang up on the Husky front line and stop any runs. And Coach Jimmy Lake kept running up the middle for one or two yards. 

The final score was 31-10 Michigan. Which is not as bad as I thought it could be. You can thank the Husky defense for that. 

Next week we play at home again against Arkansas State. They are 1-1 on the season and I have no idea how good of a team they are. They are an FBS team so they should be better then Montana. The game starts at 1:15PM on Pac-12 Networks. (I have a feeling the Huskies will be on the Pac-12 Network a lot this season).

I am worried about bowl eligibility. Because if we can't beat Montana, who can we beat? We need six wins to be bowl eligible. So far we  have... zero.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Chicago Concert

 A week ago Wednesday, the first day of the month, I went to Walla Walla, Washington to see the band Chicago. It was definitely worth the drive.

I've liked Chicago since I was a teenager. I had almost all of their albums up to Chicago VII. After that album they went all pop in the '80s. (The albums I didn't have were Chicago Transit Authority, which was their first, a live album call Chicago at Carnegie Hall, and Chicago III.)(I never  heard any good things about Chicago III and the live album.)(Don't really like live albums anyway.)

The concert was at the rodeo arena at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds. I had floor tickets nine rows back from the stage. The only bad part was we were on the dirt of the rodeo arena. And the chairs were small and close together. I bought the tickets early in March of 2020, but we all know what happened and the show was delayed until this year.

But the concert was great. A bit loud but great (the speakers were about two-stories tall). They concentrated on their earlier stuff but did a little from

Photo by S. Evan Townsend
the 1980s. There was a drum duet which actually was pretty good. I'm not sure how many original members of the band are still in it. Their website doesn't list the members, just the ones who have left the band. Most of the playing was spot on and great. But some was a bit off (especially the flute player). The crowd was really into it (as was I) and that of course, feeds the band's enthusiasm. It was a very good time.

They hinted they'd be back next year. So maybe I'll have to go again.

I told my wife going in that they were either going to start or end with "25 or 6 to 4" (about a song writer lucubrating) They ended with it. All in all, a great show.

(I would have done this blog post a week ago, but I didn't have time between the concert ending and the blog post going live at 6am my time.)

Monday, September 6, 2021

I'm Sad

The University of Washington Huskies football team is 0-1. They lost to the Montana Grizzlies on Saturday. I was at the game almost on the 50-yard line, seven rows up from the field (see picture). 

This is a humiliating loss because Montana is a FCS team (that means the school is smaller and unable to recruit the best players) and Washington was a ranked team. I'm sure when the AP top 25 football rankings come out tomorrow, the Huskies will no longer be ranked.

The Husky quarterback Dylan Morris had 27 completions out of 46 attempts and was intercepted three times. And late in the fourth quarter, he missed critical down plays, including a 4th down that turned the ball over to Montana and pretty much ended the game. Morris was also sacked three times. There were no explosive plays and almost no long throws. Maybe Morris is the best QB the Huskies have. If so, we're in big trouble.

It looked like the Huskies were the FCS team, not a ranked FBS team. 

Going into this game, one sports pundit called it a "glorified scrimmage." But you don't lose those. 

Next week the Huskies travel to take on Michigan in front of  approximately 100,000 screaming fans. If the team does not improve greatly in the time before then, they are going to get their asses handed to them. That game is on ABC at 5pm PDT. 

Friday, September 3, 2021

College Football Starts!

College football is starting and after last year's awful COVID-shortened season, I'm ready. College football actually started last weekend with a few games being played. But it starts in earnest tomorrow. 

The AP Top 25 poll puts the University of Washington Huskies at number 20. (Annoyingly, it puts the Oregon Nike Ducks at number 11.) USC is number 15 and Utah is number 24. Arizona State is number 25. 

Of course, Alabama is number one. Of course.

I'll be at the Huskies' game tomorrow in Seattle. They are playing Montana in what will likely be a warm up game before they travel to Michigan on September 11th. The Huskies have a bad habit of losing big away games against non-conference teams. I hope that isn't the case on the 11th. 

The Montana game is at 5pm and will be broadcast only on Pac-12 Network which is available on Dish Network and Xfinity (it's basically why I have Dish). There's other places, too, listed here.

We'll have to see how new coach Jimmy Lake does. Last year, his first year, he went 3-1, losing to Stanford. But how will he handle a full season? We'll have to see.

I'll probably post on Sunday about the game on Saturday. Or maybe Monday. Right now all I can say is "Go Dawgs!"

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Fun Words

Did you know that this blog is hebdomadal. It is, it really is. Well, usually. Except during college football season.

I enjoy interesting, fun words. Occasionally I'll sneak on in one of my novels. 

Here's an interesting word: Brobdingnagian. It comes from Gulliver's Travels and means "big, really really big."

Another fun word is crepuscular. which means "of, relating to, or resembling twilight. Also dim." But if you add "rays" to it (as in crepuscular rays), it means the rays of light that come out of the sky from clouds.  Also called "God's rays."

Phosphenes are the lights you see when you close your eyes. The lights that get more active when you rub your eyes in the dark.

And pareidolia means seeing shapes (such as faces) in random stimulus. Such as phosphenes. Or seeing shapes in clouds.

Oh, and  hebdomadal? That means occurring once a week. 

Do you know any more interesting words. I'd love to learn them. Let me know in the comments below.