Saturday, January 31, 2015

Gate Fatigue

Happy Saturday!! Life's been busy and it's nice to have a day off. Hope yours is even better.

So far, my beta readers' response to the latest edit of The Curse is positive. The first third is in much better shape, making it an even better read. Of course, they found a few issues, including different looking quotation marks. One set is straight and the other is curled. That's what happens when you edit in Open Office and finish up in Microsoft Word, because both programs are on different machines. At least everything they're flagging is minor.

Now let's get to what the title means. Must every scandal under the sun end with "Gate"? We have Deflate-Gate, Bounty-Gate, Spy-Gate, This-Gate, That-Gate...ENOUGH ALREADY!!! It's not just sports either. Can we come up with something else? The Watergate scandal happened in 1972. That was 43 years ago. Enough of the "Gates"! It's past time to let it go. At least on the Mike & Mike Show, their hashtag is #shrinkage. It may be sophomoric, but it's more entertaining the Deflate-Gate.

Time to get off my soapbox. The 8-38 Minnesota Timberwolves are the NBA Kings of the Cellar right now. They're 3-7 in their last ten games and 3-22 since December 12. The 9-38 New York Knicks are a half game back. They're 4-6 in their last ten games, but they're 4-2 in their last six. Both teams would have to lose all of their remaining games to tie or break the 1973 Philadelphia 76ers' 9-73 record, so it's safe for another year. An honorable mention goes to the 16-29 Sacramento Kings. They're 1-9 in their last ten games, with an 8 game losing streak.

The 0-18 Central Arkansas Bears and the 0-20 FAMU Rattlers are the NCAA Divison 1 Kings of the Cellar. The 0-19 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos and Illinois State Redbirds are the Queens of the Cellar. Who will remain winless?

I've been searching for a website to find historical scores the way the old football scores are listed. For basketball, the search parameters on the website I use aren't the same. I can get historical scores for one year and that's it. For example, today in 1955, the Milwaukee Hawks beat the Boston Celtics 88-79. No player stats are listed, but that's alright.

In my research, what I thought was interesting, was for that game, the Celtics had a player named Skippy Whitaker. There aren't too many people named Skippy anymore. The University of Kentucky alum only played one season in the NBA, in a grand total of 3 games. For his brief career, he was 1-6 for 2 points and no free throw attempts. He played only 15 minutes of game time.

This Super Bowl is much harder to pick than last year. I picked Denver (oops) because of their offense. If I had to pick now, it would be New England, but not for the same reason I picked Denver. The Legion of Boom is not to be taken lightly, but the Patriots have a better defense than Denver did.Can Brady, Blount, and Gronk handle Seattle's defensive speed? That's why they play the game.

Have a great day!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Belated Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Yes, it's been a while since my last post, but life's been busy. I miss doing the sports trivia every day. The editing process takes too much time to write "Today In" posts and that time is needed to edit my upcoming books. It's also becoming apparent that I may have to start a second blog just to talk about the writing process and my books. Still working on that.

The split free promotions of Rickshaw, New Mexico were a success. Chances are, I may do that again, but have the promos at least a month apart. Also, I started to put in the edits to The Curse. Well, in some of the early chapters, I took a machete to them. In the later chapters, I added some things in and took others out. Hopefully the process will be done soon.

Now for some sports trivia...

Congrats to the Ohio State Buckeyes for winning the 2014 NCAA national championship. It's their first national championship since 2002 and their third with a year ending in the number 4.

The 2-14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the 2014 NFL Kings of the Cellar. Congrats Buc Nation. The beer in the cellar is yours. The Honorable Mention is also in the NFC South, going to the New Orleans Saints, who had the best offense in the NFL and couldn't make the playoffs. Their less than stellar defense couldn't get off the field on third down nor could they stop the run.

Right now, the 5-35 New York Knicks are the NBA Kings of the Cellar, though the 5-31 Minnesota Timberwolves are nipping at their heels. Both teams are past the halfway point to the total number of wins the 1973 Philadelphia 76ers had.

Today in 2005, the Dallas Mavericks scored 114 points on the visiting Houston Rockets...and lost 124-114. Houston's Tracy McGrady led all scorers with 30.

Today in 1995, the visiting Miami Heat put up 108 points on the San Antonio Spurs...and lost 113-108. The Spurs' Sean Elliott led all scorers with 32.

In 1975, the Seattle SuperSonics hosted the Chicago Bulls in a game that went to double overtime. The Bulls came out on top 127-123. Chicago's Norm Van Lier led all scorers with 42.

Thanks for reading and...

Have a great day!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

NaNoWriMo, Free Promo, and Trivia

Another NaNoWriMo has come and gone. I broke the 50,000 word mark with Return to Origin, but didn't finish. Sadly, it's not on pace to be finished anytime soon. The overhaul of The Curse is going along. There's still a lot of work to do on that book. Needless to say, 2015 will be busy. The first two goals is to finish the overhaul and publish Second Chance.

Today and tomorrow, my ebook Rickshaw, New Mexico is free for the Kindle. Click the link in the previous sentence and download your copy now. Hope you enjoy the story.

Now for some trivia!

Army and Navy are playing for the 115th time. Navy leads the series 58-49-7 and has a 12 game winning streak against the Black Knights. Army last beat the Midshipmen in 2001, 26-17. They first met in 1890 when Navy blanked Army 24-0. Their last tie was 3-3 in 1981. The last time Navy shut out Army was 34-0 in 2008. The last time Army shut out Navy was 27-0 in 1969. They never met in a bowl game.

The Pittsburgh Steelers travel to the Georgia Dome to take on the Atlanta Falcons. The Steelers lead the series 12-2-1, and is 1-1-1 against Atlanta since 2002. Their last three meetings were also their only overtime games. Their lone tie game was 34-34 in 2002. They first met in 1966, when Pittsburgh spanked the Falcons 57-33. Both of Atlanta's wins came at home and their last home win against the Steelers was 41-38 in 2006. They never met in the postseason. Neither team has ever shut out the other.

The Philadelphia Eagles host the Dallas Cowboys tomorrow night. The Cowboys lead the series 62-49 and enjoy a two game winning streak. They first met in 1960, when the Eagles won 27-25. Dallas also leads the postseason series 3-1. They last met in the playoffs in the 2009 season, when the Cowboys won 34-14. Philadelphia won their lone NFC Championship game 20-7 and went on to lose Super Bowl XV to the Oakland Raiders 27-10. The last time Dallas shut out Philadelphia was 24-0 in 2009 (2008 season). The last time Philadelphia shut out Dallas was 24-0 in 1991.

The New Orleans Saints go to the Windy City on Monday night to face the Chicago Bears. Chicago leads the series 15-13, but the Saints won the last two games. They first met in 1968 when the Bears won 23-17.  Chicago won both of their playoff meetings, the last one in the 2006 NFC Championship game. They are 1-1 in overtime, the last one a 27-24 Bears victory. The only shutout in the series was a 10-0 New Orleans win in 1982. Here's another nugget of trivia. Saints head coach Sean Payton played for the Bears in the 1987 strike shortened season. The Saints played Payton's Bears in Chicago and Payton went 3-11 for 28 yards and an interception. He is definitely a better coach than he was as a player.

Here are some historical scores for teams playing each other today, December 13,

1969  Oakland 10 - Kansas City 6
1970  Atlanta 27 - Pittsburgh 16
1970  Denver 17 - San Diego 17
1980  Washington 16 - New York Giants 13
1981  Dallas 21 - Philadelphia 10
1987  Kansas City 16 - Los Angeles Raiders 10
1987  Cleveland 38 - Cincinnati 24
1997  New York Giants 30 - Washington 10

And in college,

1930 - Army 6 - Navy 0

Finally, congrats to all those who are NaNoWriMo winners!

Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Counting the Days...

With eight days to go for NaNoWriMo, I have a good idea what story wants to be told. It lost the battle for July's Camp NaNoWriMo, but the story that wants to be told is one I started over three years ago, Return To Origin. The story is inspired by one of my favorite History Channel shows, Ancient Aliens.

I started writing this story soon after finishing the first draft of The Curse. Then I made the worst mistake involving Return To Origin. I stopped less than halfway through to begin editing The Curse. Since then, the writing process has sputtered at best. There were other issues, but they're mostly resolved now. However, that's no excuse to stop writing a novel in favor of editing another one.

In December, I have another decision to make. With four novels somewhere in the editing pipeline, should I participate in the April and July Camp NaNoWriMo? If I had to decide now, the answer would be no. However, it depends on how much time the upcoming edits and revamps take.

Speaking of, I'm currently revamping my novella, Rickshaw, New Mexico. So far, there are some minor rephrases and clarifications that were needed. The challenge will be my novel, The Curse, which is getting an overhaul. The story will remain intact. However, as my two-star reviewer said, it needed another edit. He was right and that's what's happening. After Rickshaw, The Hunted is next, followed by The Acts of 1.

Now for some sports trivia...

  • Congrats to the Kansas City Royals for winning Game 1 of the World Series. This is their first World Series game they won in 10,587 days.
  • Since we're counting days, here's another one. It has been 38,725 days since the Chicago Cubs last won the World Series (1908). The days continue.
  • There are quite a few for football. Here are the teams who never made it to the Super Bowl, with the number of days since their last championship: Detroit Lions - 20,752 days (1957) and the Cleveland Browns - 18,197 (1964). The Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars were born in the Super Bowl era, but never played in one.
  • For one of the Super Bowl contenders, it has been 19,659 days since the Philadelphia Eagles won an NFL championship (1960).
  • It's also been a long drought for three former AFL champions. The Buffalo Bills last won the AFL title 17,833 days ago (1965). It's been 18,554 days for the 1963 AFL Champion San Diego Chargers. Finally, the Houston Oilers (now Tennessee Titans) won their last AFL title 19,296 days ago (1961).
  • One of the most famous Super Bowl games, Super Bowl III, it has been 16,720 days since the New York Jets won their only championship.

Counting all these days makes one thirsty. So who's drinking the beer in the cellar in the NFL? Why that would be this week's Kings of the Cellar, the 0-6 Oakland Raiders, who are on a 12 game losing streak and haven't won one since November 17 against the Houston Texans. This week's honorable mention goes to my 2-4 New Orleans Saints. This is a talent laden team who has performed like the New Orleans Saints teams of the 1970's. By no means is the season over nor have the Saints collapsed as past teams have. Unless they get their act together, they will be mentioned here again.

Here are historic scores for teams playing each other this week, October 23,

1955  Chicago Cardinals 24 - Philadelphia 24
1983 - Denver 14 - San Diego 6
1988  Minnesota 49 - Tampa Bay 20
1994  Denver 20 - San Diego 15
2011  Atlanta 23 - Detroit 16
2011  Houston 41 - Tennessee 7

Have a great day!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Historic Scores

In a sports trivia post, if applicable, I usually put the historic scores for that day at the end. In the last post, I forgot to do that so instead of editing the last posts, there will be two posts today.

Here are the historic scores for NFL teams playing each other this week, on October 9,

1955  Chicago Cardinals 24 - Washington 10
1965  Cleveland 24 - Pittsburgh 19
1977  Philadelphia 28 - New York Giants 10
1977  Minnesota 14 - Detroit 7
1983  Washington 38 - St. Louis Cardinals 14
1983  Philadelphia 17 - New York Giants 13
1983  Los Angeles Rams 10 - San Francisco 7

Okay, there weren't as many scores as hoped. Here are some NCAA historical scores for teams playing each other this week, on October 9,

1920  Northwestern 17 - Minnesota 0
1926  Baylor 7 - TCU 7
1943  Illinois 25 - Wisconsin 7
1948  Northwestern 19 - Minnesota 16
1954  Minnesota 26 - Northwestern 7

1971  LSU 48 - Florida 7
1976  Oklahoma State 21 - Kansas 14
1982  Washington 50 - California 7
1982  Kansas 24 - Oklahoma State 24
1982  Northwestern 31 - Minnesota 21

1991  Auburn 31 - Mississippi State 17
1993  Florida 58 - LSU 3
1993  Washington 24 - California 23
1999  Arizona 31 - USC 24
1999  UCLA 34 - Oregon 29
1999  Florida 31 - LSU 10
1999  Mississippi State 18 - Auburn 16

2004  LSU 24 - Florida 21
2004  Florida State 17 - Syracuse 13
2010  LSU 33 - Florida 29

That's more like it! Until next time...

Have a great day!!!

Almost That Time of Year & A Pair of Kings

It's almost that time of year again. No, it's not Halloween, Thanksgiving, or even Christmas. In a few weeks, NaNoWriMo begins. For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, which occurs each November. Last year, I wrote Second Chance, which is in (I hope) the final editing stages. April and July are Camp NaNoWriMo months and I participated in each, writng Justice in April and Timewatch in July. Both novels are only completed first drafts.

Back in June, I struggled with what I wanted to write versus what wanted to be written. However, this time is much easier. Although I do have a couple of story ideas, such as the sequel to Justice and a story I've been mulling over for some time, there are short stories and two unfinished novels I could complete or transcribe. If I had to decide now, the choice would be to finish and transcribe handwritten stories. I have enough short stories for another book, plus a couple of others I'm thinking about writing. This was the other choice for July's Camp NaNoWriMo.

And then there's the third choice: Don't participate. As previously stated, I have two novels in first draft form that need editing. I'm also revamping or overhauling the books I already published. There's a LOT of editing to do and it may be a better idea to focus on that. There's still time to think about it and I may write one story and edit another.

Let's get to some sports.

Alas, there will be no three-peat. Congratulations to the 64-98 Arizona Diamondbacks. They are the 2014 Kings of the Cellar and all the beer goes to them. The 66-96 Colorado Rockies lost by two games. The 2012 and 2013 champion Houston Astros won enough games to end the season at 70-92.

And now for some football. The 0-5 Jacksonville Jaguars are this week's Kings of the Cellar. They are searching for their first win since December 5. The 0-4 Oakland Raiders are on Jacksonville's tail, going after their first win since November 17. Neither team is expected to win on Sunday. This week's honorable mention goes to the 1-4 Tennessee Titans, who the Jaguars play this week. This should be a fun game to watch. After winning the first game of the season, Tennessee hasn't won since.

The 3-2 Green Bay Packers travel to Miami to take on the 2-2 Dolphins. Miami leads the series 10-3. They last met in 2010, when the Dolphins won in the only overtime game in the series, 23-20. Green Bay last played in Miami in 2006, when Brett Favre led the Packers to its last victory over Joey Harrington and the Dolphins, 34-24. They first met in 1971, when the Dolphins trounced the Packers 27-6. Neither team has ever shut out the other nor have they met in the postseason.

The 2-2 Cleveland Browns, fresh off their record setting comeback win, host the 3-2 Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers lead the series 68-57 and barely survived last month's game in Pittsburgh, 30-27. The Browns last beat Pittsburgh in 2012, 20-14. They first met in 1950, when Cleveland won 30-17. They also faced each other in the playoffs twice. The Steelers won the 1995 AFC Divisional Round game 29-9 and the 2003 Wild Card round 36-33. Pittsburgh is 4-1 against the Browns in overtime. They first went to OT in 1978, when the Steelers won 15-9. Their last overtime game was in 2002, when the Steelers won 16-13. Cleveland's only OT victory was in 1986, 37-31. The last time Pittsburgh shut out Cleveland was 31-0 in 2008. The last time Cleveland shut out Pittsburgh was 51-0 in 1989.

If you haven't done so already, please visit my Facebook author page and my Amazon author page, and put a like on each. Thank you for reading my post and thank you for your support.

Until next time...have a great day!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Finishing Drafts, Doing Edits, and Enjoying Some Trivia

It's done. I finally finished the first draft of Timewatch. It took six weeks versus the thirty days of Camp NaNoWriMo, but it's done. When I finished, the tune that came to mind was I'm Free by The Who. I posted a link to the song from YouTube on my Facebook author and Google+ pages. The final first draft word count came short of 60,000, making it to 59,441.

Now that the first draft is done, Timewatch is better defined as a follow up to Rickshaw, New Mexico rather than a sequel. The writing process was a pantser's nightmare. I didn't know who the bad guy was until the story neared the end. That was good in a way, because it affected how the story unfolded. The second draft will probably be a higher word count than the first, because now I can fill in certain blanks, such as plot holes and descriptions. Now Timewatch gets to sit for a long while, because, there are three books ahead of it.

Speaking of...

I finished my review of The Curse and my ideal reader is now taking a crack at it. She finished her review of the latest draft of Second Chance and now it's in my grubby paws. When I finish editing Second Chance, hopefully the next draft will be the last one, but we all know how "last drafts" work.

And then there's Justice, the working title for my April Camp NaNoWriMo project. I haven't done anything with it since then, but when The Curse and Second Chance are done, it will be next in the editing process. As with Timewatch, Justice needs holes filled in and descriptions added. I have my work cut out for me for the next few months.

Now let's get to some sports trivia.

The 49-77 Texas Rangers are enjoying the beer in the fridge, because they are today's Kings of the Cellar. They are 4-6 in their last ten games, but on a positive note, the Rangers are 2-1 in their last three games. The 50-76 Colorado Rockies trail Texas by a game, but on a positive note (again), the Rockies are 4-2 in their last six games.

Today's honorable mention goes to the 53-74 Arizona Diamondbacks, who are 2-8 in their last ten games, losers of their last five. They are also 5-13 since August 1. With all the winning Texas and Colorado are doing, Arizona could take over the cellar and have the beer all to themselves.

Today in 1953, the St. Louis Browns and Cleveland Indians went to extra innings knotted up at 2-2. In the bottom of the 12th inning, Bill Glynn hit a double and Bobby Avila scored from first base, giving Cleveland the win, 3-2. Something you never see today, WP Dave Hoskins and LP Harry Brecheen pitched a complete game. Each pitcher only struck out two batters, but Dick Kokos of the Browns and Al Rosen of the Indians each hit a homerun.

Today in 1963, an RBI single by Bob Aspromonte was all the Houston Colt .45's needed to beat the Cincinnati Reds 1-0. WP Don Nottebart struck out nine batters, while LP Jim O'Toole struck out six.

Today in 1983, the California Angels and New York Yankees went scoreless into the top of the 9th inning, when Doug DeCinces hit in Daryl Sconiers to take the lead 1-0. In the bottom of the 9th, Ken Griffey hit a single, bringing in Bert Campaneris and Willie Randolph, to give the Yankees the win 2-1. WP Dave Righetti struck out five batters.

Today in 2003, a five run fourth inning was not enough, as the Detroit Tigers continued their losing ways, falling to the Anaheim Angels 10-7. The Angels led 7-6 in the top of the 9th and added three runs to put the game out of reach.

Until next time...Have a great day!!!