Sunday, October 31, 2021

Huskies are 4-4

Last night the University of Washington Huskies played the Stanford Cardinal (it's a color) at Stanford's home field and won. That is the first time since 2007 the Huskies have won at Stanford.

For the first half it was a defensive battle as each team only scored field goals. They would do fine once they got to the red zone, then they ran out of Gatorade or something and never make a touch down. Going into the half, the score was 9-3 Huskies. 

In the second half, both teams played better, but UW Quarterback Dylan Morris couldn't seem to hit the wide side of a receiver for most of the game. Still, the only score in the third quarter was a Husky field goal. 

In the fourth quarter, the Cardinal got a touchdown and a field goal to put them up by one point (13 to 12). The Huskies answered, though, and Morris managed to connect with Sean McGrew in the end zone in the last moments of the game for a touchdown. Then they got the two point conversion making the score 20 to 13, meaning Stanford could only tie it with a touchdown and a PAT. But that became moot with a Husky interception in the last moments of the game.

This brought the Huskies to 4-4 on the season and 3-2 in conference. And maybe upped their confidence. 

Now, in NCAA Division I FBS football you have to win six games to be "bowl eligible." They say "eligible" because it's possible you could still win six games and not get to go to a bowl game. But I've never heard that happening. Since most teams play 12 regular season games, six games means you're record is .500. Yes, it's too easy to get into a bowl game and there are too damn many bowl games.

For the Huskies to be bowl eligible they have to win two more games. Next week they play the hated Oregon Nike Ducks at Husky Stadium. But the Ducks are good so they will be very hard to beat. However, Stanford beat them this year, and the Huskies beat Stanford, so you never know. That game is at 4:30 PM on ABC. The Ducks are 7-1.

Of their remaining schedule, they play Arizona State (at Husky Stadium), The Sun Devils are 5-3 on the season.  So another tough team but still beatable.

Then they play Colorado (2-6) in Boulder, so that's a winnable game.

Then comes the Apple Cup at Husky Stadium against the 5-4 Cougars of Washington State. The Apple Cup is always a wild time and making predictions is dangerous. 

But the Huskies might make bowl eligibility this year.

And to think, in 2016, we were in the CFP at #4 in the nation.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

First Person versus Third Person Narrative.

I belong to a lot of book groups on Facebook, mostly to promote my books. In one group, someone asked what was better to write in: first person or third person. And that got me thinking. Which is better? Or are they the same?

Of my thirteen published novels, all but two are in first person. Of my three current WIPs, one is in first person and two are in third person.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

In first person, you're deep in the head of your narrator. So you (and your reader) are seeing the world and the story from his/hers/its/zers/etc. perspective. The narrator can comment on the situations and you know their reactions to things. I find writing in first person more fun than third person. The disadvantage is, you only get one person's perspective, the narrator's. If you want to know what someone else is thinking, they have to say it to your narrator. All the action of the book has to take place in front of and involving the narrator. And you can't kill your main character (unless they aren't the narrator). In my novel Book of Death, I did kill my first-person narrator. No spoilers about how I got out of that.

In third person you can write each scene in someone else's head. You can kill whomever you wish. You can have scenes wherever you wish. They could be lightyears and hundreds of years apart. You can see the world though more than one character's eyes (but not in the same scene, please). It's not as intimate as first person. But it's more versatile. You have to be careful not to "head hop" (tell the story from different points of view in one scene) or have one character know something they shouldn't that another character does know.

So which to use? Depends on what you want to write. 

How do you write? First or third person? Which do you prefer to read. Let me know in the comments below.

My first-person narrated books are:

Adept Series (urban fantasy):

Hammer of Thor

Agent of Artifice

Book of Death

Gods of Strife

The Terror of Tombstone

Treasures of Space Series (science fiction):

Treasure of the Black Hole

Treasure of the Pirate Planet

Treasure of the Rogue Moon

Chumba of the Intelligence Corps Series (science fiction):

Smugglers of Mars

The Three Species War

The Urlotian Spheres

My third person narrative books are (all science fiction):

Rock Killer


Saturday, October 23, 2021

The Huskies are 3-4

 Last night (yes, on a Friday night), the University of Washington Huskies played the University of Arizona Wildcats in Tucson Arizona. More about that in a moment.

Last week the Huskies played UCLA at home. And they looked pretty good, better then they have lately. But they still lost 17-24. I would have blogged about that last week, but I was visiting my grandson and what would you rather do, spend time with your grandchild or write a blog post.

Going into last nights game against Arizona, I thought the Huskies had a chance to win. After all, the Wildcats have lost 18 games in a row. Last time they won was in 2019. They were 0-6 entering this game.

But the Huskies looked awful through the first half of the game. Quarterback Dylan Morris couldn't connect with his receivers and our running game was going nowhere. Meanwhile, Arizona was actually scoring points. At halftime, the score was 0-13 with Arizona in the lead.

Even at the end of the third quarter, the Huskies were trailing 7-16. Then something changed. Morris was hitting his targets. The running game was making yards. And by the end of the game, the Huskies were ahead, 21-16. 

If we had played like we did against UCLA, this game would have been a blowout for the Huskies. But they really didn't start to play until the 4th quarter.

I'm just glad they won.

Going forward things aren't great. Next week we play Stanford at Palo Alto. Stanford is 3-4 and has a bye this week. That's going to be a tough game. Then we play Oregon at home but Oregon is the best team in the Pac-12 right now. Then we play Arizona State at home but ASU is on in second place in the Pac-12 South. So a tough game and then two very tough games. 

I guess this is a rebuilding year. Maybe next year will be better. Maybe.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Video Game Comes to Life

Back in the early 1990s, I played one of the first (if not the first) games in the Need for Speed franchise on my 286 PC. By today's standards, it was... awful. But, hey, it's what we had.

There were three things from that game I wished were in real life: no consequence speeding tickets and crashes, and the game had a map that showed you where police were. If you didn't slow down in time, you could still get a ticket.

Well, I realized recently, one of those things has come to real life. Google maps will display on your route where people have reported police on the road. It works fairly well. On a recent trip to Spokane (where people were passing me constantly as I went 5 mph over the speed limit), no cops were reported and I didn't see any. On a trip to Seattle, Interstate 90 was like an autobahn.

Now, I don't trust this map well enough to speed as brazenly as some others do. Just my luck, I'd be dong 80 mph and a cop would show up that isn't on the map. And I'd get a ticket. And, unlike the game, those have consequences. And in Washington State, speeding tickets are expensive.

Do you use Google Maps to find police? Has it worked for you? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

COVID Booster Shot

A week ago Wednesday, I had my third COVID shot, the so-called "booster." That was just over six months since I had my second COVID shot. I had the Pfizer shots.

I discussed with my doctor if I should have this booster shot. I'm not over 65 but I do have health issues that qualify me for the third shot. He said I should have it.

I made an appointment through my county health district website to have the shot at a Walgreens. When I got there, I discovered having an appointment meant nothing. When I told them I had an appointment at 10am, they said, "Get in the line." There were five people ahead of me who apparently didn't have appointments.  I finally got my shot about 10:30 and then had to wait 15 minutes (I waited about 13 minutes). I got in before some of the people in line in front of me because I had my paperwork all finished and ready to go. I expected to have my shot shortly after 10 and be out of there by around 10:15. I was there for 45 minutes. Thank God they had a public bathroom. 

I felt fine except for soreness at the injection site which is common with any inoculation. But almost exactly 24 hours after getting the shot, I felt nauseated and had a mild headache. I was still able to eat and never vomited. Those were the only side effects I had.

I'm just hoping in six months I don't need another "booster." Or is COVID going to be like the flu and you need an annual shot for it.

How do you feel about the booster shot? Did you or would you get one if you're eligible? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

What Could Have Been

I was channel surfing a while back when I came across the beginning of Guardians of the Galaxy. I watched it until the first commercial break. But, because I have Disney+, I decided a few days later to watch it in 4K UHD with Dolby Atmos sound and no commercials.. So I did and thoroughly enjoyed it. Because it was the second time I watched it, I understood it better. There's a lot going on in these movies and a second viewing helps.

And then I watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. II a few days later, again on Disney+.  And I enjoyed it more than the first movie. I'm thinking of watching End Game and Infinity Wars next (in the right order, I don't remember right now which came first).

And I thought, "This goes to show how good the Star Wars sequels could have been." That is if they'd been in the hands of someone such as James Gunn instead of J.J. Abrams. (I guess Gunn has been fired for "offensive" tweets. Let's hope GotG III is still just as good.) 

The GotG movies are visually intense: there's a lot going on the screen. But they are still fun and well made and just overall enjoyable. Yes, Star Wars is a different type of movie. But the sequels could have been so much better. 

It sort of breaks my heart. I hated hating the sequels.

Maybe Disney should turn the Star Wars movies over to Marvel Studios.

How do you feel about Guardians of the Galaxy? How do you feel about the Star Wars sequels. Let me know in the comments below.

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

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Huskies are 2-3

For as long as I can remember (or paid attention) the Oregon State University Beavers have been the doormat of the Pac-12 conference. They were a team you played and beat before going on to the tough teams in the conference. So when I heard that last week, OSU beat USC (one of the tough teams) in Los Angeles by a score of 45-27, I started to worry about beating the Beavers this week. 

And I was right to worry. The Beavers came into the game with the top offense is the Pac-12. 

Then the game started. The University of Washington Huskies got the ball first, and marched down the field to make a touchdown. Apparently, OSU's defense wasn't as good as its offense.

But then the game got down to a grind. The Husky defense was able to hold the Beavers to only 27 points. But the Beavers held the Huskies to 24 points. And the Huskies lost to the Beavers for the first time in eight years. 

At least it wasn't a blow out and it was a tight, exciting game that was often tied. OSU ran the ball a lot and Washington had trouble stopping their running game. The game ended on a tie-breaking field goal by the Beavers. 

And what is surprising and a bit ironic is that the former doormat of the conference is now in sole possession of the number one spot on the Pac-12 North as the only team unbeaten in conference. That's because Oregon was taken down in an upset by Stanford in overtime.

Next week the Dawgs have a bye, giving them two weeks to prepare to face UCLA. The time and channel are to be announced.

UPDATE: The UCLA game is at 6:30PM on October 16th. It'll be shown on Fox broadcast channels.