Thursday, September 24, 2015

Seattle Seahawks and Old Women: Rams Again?

The old women and one old man came to the rec room at the home to start the new season with their Seahawks. The snack table was a little more full, but not at the A level of quality and competitive preparation that surely will come as the weeks roll on.

The old women don't like the Rams. The Rams are bullies and sneaky. The Hawks don't have to play them again until December. The old women were confident when their boys played the Rams last time that they would win. That didn't happen. Sportscasters talk about the Ram's special teams tricky plays. Coach Pete Carroll, though very clever himself, seemed not to be able to keep up.

The last play of the game when he sent RB Marshawn Lynch to charge through the Ram's D- line for the 1 yard play to get a first down and keep the ball failed. Some of the old women remember that last miserable play and interception at the Superbowl and said “Oh now he sends in Marshawn”.

As they watched, the old women could see their mostly new O-line were hardly a match for the for the Rams D- line. Russell Wilson was beat up on and the new line worked to get it together, but veterans Russell Okung and JR Sweezy couldn't be everywhere at once. Russell was sacked 6 times. Each time the old women screamed “don't hurt him!” and even short of breath, they held it to see that their boy would get up off the turf OK. The old women believe that Russell has a big target on his chest and worry about him each game.

The old women missed the excitement of watching SS Kam Chancellor light up the field. Fill-in SS Dion Bailey looked like to the old women that he just needed a hug and years of experience. They knew, as only a practice squad player, he could not even come close to Kam. But so far, Coach Pete hasn't knuckled under to Kam and his agent. Failing to keep his feet under him on one the Ram's QB Nick Foles' last passes to Lance Kendrick, Dion showed he has a ways to go. The one old man in the room asked, “Did that Bailey kid just fall over his own feet?”

K Steve Haushka's botched “pooch” kick, whatever that is, just proved that the old women were not going to see a win today.

The old woman keeping track of the penalty count announced that there was a total of 13 and, of course, the Hawks had more than the Rams. They were playing at the dreary, dark Edward Jones Stadium. There were not many Ram fans there and a lot of 12s made it to St. Louis. The old women were happy to hear them nearly out scream what Ram fans were there. One old women said she could see why the Rams wanted to move to L.A

The old women gathered up the leftovers from the snack table. Nothing is wasted. It would have been more fun to beat the Rams, but at least no one got hurt and Russell is OK. They take small victories where they find them.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Seattle Seahawks and Old Women: Raider Run-In

There were only an handful of old women and one old man for the Seahawks and Raiders game. The snack food was better.

No question about who got the remote for the TV. Learning how to mute out the sound on the commercials is not complicated. Keeping the volume up above conversations is not complicated. One old woman took charge of the remote and another kept track of penalties. Hawks got the most calls. The refs were more officious than ever but reasonably fair.

The old women knew that the Raiders were at the near bottom of the pile for teams. It didn't matter. So many stars-to-be for the Hawks made the game more fun. Working for a spot on the roster kept their boys on their toes. Stand outs already were Tyler Lockett and Frank Clark. Lockett outran everybody and Clark just bullied the Raider's offensive line to get to QB Christian Ponder. BJ Daniels floored the old women when he stepped in at QB after Russell and RJ Archer. They said they did not see where a WR could go to QB. He showed he was a scrambler and could pass.

The old women are glad all the preseason stuff is over. They said now we can get down to some football. Mostly the old women were happy none of their boys got hurt too bad. Looks like backup QB Tavaris Jackson's ankle will be healed up soon.

The old women are more than irritated with SS Kam Chancellor's money game with coach Pete Carroll.

They heard that he will not play the starting game with the Rams. They cannot believe he owes over 1 million dollars in fines for not showing up for practices. By not playing on Sunday, he will be charged over 200 thousand dollars or some such amount. It is too bad. Being a jerk has cooled off one of his more vocal fan clubs (the old women in the rec room at the home) and he probably doesn't even know.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Seattle Seahawks and Old Women: Charged Up

The old women came to the rec room for the Charger game. They were a little uneasy. Their boys had lost both the pre-season games. They hoped this wasn't the outcome of all the games to come. Old women are black crepe hangers.

It was a treat to have some left over Birthday cake to eat at the game. Earlier they gave one old woman a surprise birthday party. The old women take care of their own. Nothing is wasted. They forgot to get the ice cream out of the freezer until almost all of them had gone. One old woman took the ice cream home and said she would bring it back for the Charger game.

The old women and the lone old man are forming opinions about this team of Seahawks, both vets and rookies. The love of QB Russell Wilson is tested. They do not approve of him being a shill for “healing” water. Kam Chancellor they think is acting like a spoiled brat. And they are happy their cute Coach Pete Carroll has not given into his demands.

Players are entitled to their own personalities. The old women get that the stress of fighting for a spot on the roster is hard but this preseason bickering is trying their patience. They thought the solution was a good spanking for the bad boys. That got the hands up of every old woman to volunteer for the job.

The women are old, not dead.

Two old men stayed through the whole game: one who was an expert on everything related to football and the guy with the remote. He took his time connecting the TV to cable. He wanted to just stick the cable wire out the window. One old woman had had it and she left unhappily. Reception was intermittent and annoying until he relented and attached the cable. The old women will rethink his remote duty for next game with the Raiders.

The Charger game was close. Their QB Phil Rivers was hard not to like. Tall and fast is not what the old women wanted to see in an opposing team's QB. The Hawks' front line showed improvement. Most of the cheers were for LB Bobby Wagner. Add DT Brandon Mebane and OLB KJ Wright so the Chargers faced nearly 800 lbs of rolling boulders.

K Steve Haushka showed he is not perfect but he came through when it counted for a Hawk win. 

Again the old women got to scream and cheer for WR Tyler Lockett. Watching him run all over the field and score a 67 yard TD gave the old women reason to believe this game would not be a loss. Coach Pete Carroll again screaming at the ref for what he thought was a bad call got some cheers. In a game where the other team got called for more penalties, the old women were happy for their boys and the win. 

They couldn't eat all the old BD cake. Even old women have their limits. They did remember the ice cream.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Seattle Seahawks and Old Women: One Point

Contributed by Kathe Frahm

The old women are still unclear how much these preseason games mean. They brought very little food to watch the first game but for the second they had more enthusiasm. Beating the Chiefs like a drum will be fun.

They are happy to see the defense work a little better and found a new sweetie in Jimmy Graham: cute and 6'7”. Graham and their Russell Wilson, showed a real connection for the few passes they completed.

The old women watched Graham and an old favorite, Luke Willson, at 6'5” talk on the sidelines. They laughed that they were among the few Hawks who could nearly see eye to eye. Watching handsome young men who are tall and have those great long legs again sidetracked the old women off into another conversation involving plays not found on a football field.

One old woman invited her Granddaughter to watch the game in the rec room. This prompted the old women to at least attempt to tidy up their language a bit. Though the girl was eighteen, the old women worked to show a little bad language restraint. As the game went on, however, that effort became too much and when their boys just were not going to win, epithets learned over a long life offered whole new lessons in obscenities with no apologies to the Granddaughter.

The lone old man keeps proving he has what it takes to stay in the rec room with the old women for nearly the whole game. They know he's there for the free food. Since he knew how to work the remote to mute the commercials, the old woman with the remote control duty relinquished it to him. He was reminded to keep the volume up to hear the conversations going around the room and the game plays.

The Chiefs showed a good defensive line and pressured the Seahawks' QBs Russell and Archer to scramble. The Chiefs' QB Alex Smith proved he was ready for their season to start for real.

At least this time the front line protected Russell and Archer better and no one got hurt. Watching DT Brandon Mebane do his belly roll and LB Bobby Wagner with DE Michael Bennett throwing Chiefs aside was all part of the fun. 

Being together is fun.

After the loss, the old women went back to their little apartments. Those that can will come back next Saturday to watch their boys unplug the Chargers.

This time the old women will again designate someone to keep track of Hawk penalties. They were called for 11 against the Chiefs. The ever adorable coach Pete Carroll didn't think all the calls were warranted. Hawks had 16 one game last season. They believe that if you get called on 13 but make 15 you're still ahead. Carroll did say the team had to get better. The old women say not always getting caught is better. They have learned fair play works best when you're winning.

For the Charger game the old women are sure the Hawks will win. They would like that. Maybe the snack table will have more than just a few days-old cookies.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Seattle Seahawks and Old Women: Bronco Bucked

Contributed by Kathe Frahm

The old women and one old man weren't sure what they were supposed to see in a 'preseason' Seattle Seahawks game. They came to the rec room at the home only knowing that what they wanted to see was their boys just pounding the “Manning-less” Broncos into the soggy Seattle turf. That didn't happen.

Some of the old women were not even sure who was going to play. One nerdy old woman had a roster list and was trying to mark off the names of the players as she read them off their uniform backs. Not a precise method, but a little helpful. They knew Russell Wilson got his money. So did Bobby Wagner. Marshawn Lynch was happy. But they did not understand why a favorite, Kam Chancellor, wasn't going to play. And why were other favorites on the sidelines was an often asked question. They agreed that it was a chance to let the adorable rookies get their feet wet.

It is all very confusing and the numbers mentioned for contract signing seemed unreal. These old women, living off Social Security with just enough to pay the subsidized rent and buy some groceries, had trouble imagining just what a player's millions of dollars would buy.

Their Russell did not look like the star he is supposed to be. And then QB back-up Tavaris Jackson got carted off the field with an injury and that left the new kid, third in line, RJ Archer to face the daunting Bronco front line. The Hawk defense did not do well at all. Big and mean and fast is just what the old women like. That description started another inappropriate conversation related to physical size that had little to do with football.

The old women did rediscover their Seahawk screaming and walker rattling cheering section when the rookie Tyler Lockett took off with a kick return of 103 yards in his debut game. The buzz in the room did not settle down until a little dizziness set in for some of them.

A trip to the sparse snack table helped some of the old women and the lone old man to refocus.

The old women wanted more from their boys. They wanted the Broncos to lose. Waiting 6 months for a chance to watch the Hawks win again mattered. It is a hard thing for old women to brush off the disappointment of that last few minutes of the 2015 Superbowl. They really didn't like the tampering of game balls brought in by the Patriots to use as an excuse to explain away the loss. Their boys just should have won. One more loss in lives full of them doesn't get any easier. This year will be better. The old women are good at hope.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Seattle Seahawks and Old Women: Preseason Edition

Contributed by Kathe Frahm

The old women will again come to the rec room. It won't be the same this year. They have lost some friends. When hearing of the loss of one of the old men, one old women said, "Now who's going to buy our fried chicken?" Grief is expressed in many ways.

One really loud old woman and one too talkative old woman moved away. All though no one said “good riddance”, the old women thought it was for the good.

The old women have had 8 months to shake their disappointment at losing the biggest game of the year. Their boys not winning the Super Bowl still remains an unsolvable puzzle: if Russell had only handed the ball off to Marshawn at the 1 yard line...

This new season will be for many of them even more confusing. Some old women are waiting for the final word on who actually will play for the Seattle Seahawks. Some of their favorite boys have been traded. But the old women are ready to watch Marshawn Lynch, Kam Chancellor, Steve Haushka and Richard Sherman. Finding out what the 'Hawks will pay to keep Russell Wilson past next year is of interest.

Management at the home say the whole building is to be remodeled. This was to start this January. It hasn't.

The old women at the home meeting, where this was announced, threatened to bolt the rec room door from the inside if even one construction worker interfered with a 'Hawk game. You can push around old women just so far.

A new couch would be good so the old women who need the front row for the TV wouldn't sink into the existing one up to their shoulders and need help getting out of it.

The preseason games start in Seattle in August with the Broncos and the regular games begin with the Rams in September. Someone has already put the 2015-2016 game schedule up on the cork board. Maybe some of the old women will watch preseason, maybe not. At their age, everything has to count.

A couple of old women want to start a pizza fund. It is a rare treat but all together they may be able to afford it once in a while.

Some old women say they have added new Seahawk things to wear. Large, dangly earrings seem to be the fashion statement so far.

The clothing and food comparisons and competition will begin in earnest with the Ram game.

The old women hope for a Super Bowl winning season for their 'Hawks. One commented that coach (Surfer Boy) Carroll was even more adorable than last season. That brought a few chuckles and inappropriate wishes that only experienced old women would say.

Being together again in the rec room is important and looked forward to. The old women see each other in the halls and elevator once in a while, but laughing, screaming, cheering and jeering together matters. They are looking forward to watching their Seahawks play once more... their boys.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Blah Blah Blah: Niko's Preschool Talent Show

At the end of my son's preschool year, he had a talent show. "What do you want to do?" we asked him.

He's a smart kid and good at many things, but not singing, dancing or typical talent show stuff. I suggested doing a song from one of the Czech fairy tales his mom loves. Who else is going to sing "Svítí Slunce and Hlavou" at the show?

We thought it was a great idea, but he was undecided. Then one night a week later when I was at work, he told his mom: "I want to do the Blah Blah Blah song."

"Blah Blah Blah" is a song by KRS-One and Just-Ice that I've played in the car for him and his little brother. It's fun and clean. I need those two suburban white kids to know what hip-hop is. I just never expected Niko to pick it for the talent show.

Yet I was stoked that he did. The lyrics are about the excessive amount of much blah-blah in the world. Some of it is more related to the music industry, so I decided to rewrite it to be more preschool relevant.

I gave him some pointers on how to memorize the piece. Performing spoken word has made me better at it than I ever expected. I read it aloud repeatedly and bit-by-bit stop looking at the page until I don't need to. You need to start early, keep the text in your pocket and live with the words until they stick.

I never expected him to step up without text in hand, but with a week to go he had it nailed. That's my boy.

I hoped to find an instrumental version of the song, but never did. The beat is a bit too quick anyway. He did it a cappella instead. We never planned any choreography. I'm not sure what he's doing with his knees.

I've been calling him NIK-Zero.

The audio is crappy. Here are the lyrics to help you understand. Many of the words are mine, but some are bitten directly from KRS-One's first verse.

Hey, hey, hey
Yo, what these cats saying, man?
Man, to me...

All I hear is blah-bitty-blah-blah
People always talking that blah-bitty-blah-blah
The news is blah-blah-blah
Who's the new blah-blah?
She's the new blah-blah
Hanging out with blah-blah
Now blah-blah
Read about the latest blah-blah
Some blah-blah
Just bought another blah-blah
Blah-blah-blah on 500 channels
Nothing to watch but blah-blah and wild animals
Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah is in the video
Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah is on the radio
Blah-blah all day
And blah-blah all night
Nothing but blah-blah
Means something's not right

I keep away from the blah-blah-blah
On the TV, the tablet and computah
So give me a ball, a paint brush, a pen
I'll go down the slide and I'll go down again
Give me a book and a good place to read
Fresh air and sunshine are all that I need
I'd rather sing a song or stare at the stars
Than soften my head with blah-blah-blah-blah...

N-I-K-O doesn't need blah-blah
I'd rather cheer rah-rah-rah
Or sing tra-la-la
Or dance cha-cha-cha
While my sister says gah-gah-gah
And my brother laughs hah-hah-hah
Then spend the whole summer doing blah-blah-blah
Go to school in the fall saying dah-dah-dah
Brains are muscles
They need exercise
Feed brains good things
And they'll become wise
So when school is done at LLCA
Keep using your brain or it'll go away
Or fill your head with pudding and tar

By surrounding yourself with blah-blah-blah-blah...

For the next two months you'll see me promoting our local National Drive Electric Week event with gusto. September 19 in Liberty Lake, Washington. I may be building a page dedicated to electric cars and solar power. Still in love with my Leaf.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Inland Northwest EV/PV Group Showing Off its Cars at Felts Field

Stay current. Go solar. Drive electric.

The Inland Northwest EV/PV Group, which works to bring awareness to electric vehicles (EV) and photovoltaic solar power (PV), is holding a photoshoot Wednesday, July 1. The event will be at Pemberton & Sons Aviation at Felts Field at 6:30 PM. The media and curious drivers are encouraged to attend.

The group is led by Jorgen Rasmussen, engineer for Frencken America in Liberty Lake. He knows that the best transportation for the environment is an electric car charged with solar power. Many people have misconceptions about electric vehicles. They have not yet learned EVs are powerful, easy to maintain, smooth and clean with plenty of range for most drivers. As the charging infrastructure improves, owning an EV will become even easier.

The automotive industry responds to its customers. It designs and builds vehicles it knows will sell. When the public demands cleaner vehicles, the industry will deliver the products. Automakers do not currently perceive a strong demand. The Inland Northwest EV/PV Group aims to create that desire by enlightening the public.

An electric car is only as clean as the power charging it. Electricity sourced from coal-burning plants results in a polluting electric car. An EV charged by solar or hydroelectric produces no emissions. Adding solar power to a home is not complex. Home owners can even see their meters run backwards and their bills turn into checks.

March 16, the group held a photoshoot at Avista's Upper Falls Dam on the Spokane River. With the group's help, Avista is showing the public what it's doing to make a cleaner power grid. In addition to hydroelectric power, Avista has built a solar farm in Spokane Valley with 1512 panels. The Community Solar project will allow Avista customers to lease a panel for $1400 each then receive approximately $1800 in bill credits over five years.

The EV/PV group is gearing up for National Drive Electric Week in September. On Saturday the 19th, they will host an education event at The Cork House in Liberty Lake from 9 AM to 1 PM. EVs from Tesla, BMW, Nissan, Chevy, Think Global and Spokane's own Commuter Cars will be available for test drives.

To stay on top of Inland Northwest EV/PV events, especially National Drive Electric Week, join the Facebook group and register with National Drive Electric Week.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Five Things Eighty Six Has Been Doing Instead of Blogging

Do you have an old friend you haven't talked to for a while? So many things have happened since you last spoke, you don't know where to start. Not knowing where to begin or how to explain your distance, you never get around to talking to that old friend.

That's what my blog has become. Three months since my last post. Feels like it would take a tome to summarize all the happenings.

But this is the internet. No one wants a tome. Let's do a list of five instead.

5. Buying an Electric Car

2011 Nissan Leaf, to be exact. As an academic exercise for Best Green Cars, I began to study the market for used electric and hybrid vehicles. Most of what I write about for BGC are exotic concepts, dreams of the future and expensive premium cars. What's out there for the average family person like myself?

I realized one of the cars that retained its value the worst was the original year (2011) of the Nissan Leaf. Consumers in general were wary of the technology and were waiting for it to improve. Furthermore, a small number of Leafs in Arizona suffered in the desert heat and lost a significant amount of battery range in the first year. Nissan reacted by modifying the warranty. A seller's loss is a buyer's gain, in my case.

So, a 2011 Leaf with 20,000 miles or so is selling for around $12,000. It was $35,000 new. Check to see if it's from Arizona, of course. But a four year old Leaf will still get around 80 miles of range. That's plenty for the average commuter. It will charge in your garage overnight. To be specific, from zero to full with a 110 volt plug and the supplied charging cord, it will take about 20 hours. Half that with a 220 connection and an after-market charging appliance worth a few hundred dollars.

And they're quick, too. Electric power is different from gas. Torque and horsepower are fully available at 1 RPM. It has only about 115 horses but a little over 200 pound-feet of torque. Quietly, it gets off the line in a hurry. It does not perform like an economy car.

And it has good room and visibility. It's not an econobox. I'm 6'1" and 230. I have plenty of elbow and head room. I hate blind-spots. When I look over my shoulder, I can see just fine. And two car-seats fit in the back.

So, when we're going long distance or taking all three kids, we take the minivan. When fewer than all of us are going around town, we take the Leaf. I'm not going to get heavily statistical here, but we're saving probably $80 in gas a month. We spend much less than $10 a month to charge the Leaf.

I think the #1 reason I went electric is because I'm a cheapskate. Sure, I love blue sky and fresh air, too, but my car payment is $1 less a month and my fuel costs shrank considerably.

Want some advice on finding the right green car? Just ask me. I'm full of it. I'm full of that, too.

4. Impersonating a Rock Star

The restaurant I work for has live music every Friday and Saturday night. We have a rotating selection of rock/blues bands. One of my favorites is The Nerve. One night after they were done playing, we were sipping beer. I mentioned my writing addiction and they suggested I get on stage with them sometime. I declined, knowing that they are experienced professionals and I don't belong in their spotlight.

The topic came up again later and eventually I said: "Hell with it." I did "Secrets for the Man" to the tune of "Walk on the Wild Side" by Lou Reed. It was a blast. If ever they were playing and I got off early, I'd do a bit with them.

Our bartender mentioned to another one of our bands that I'd read with The Nerve. They were interested, too. It kept spreading. Now I've performed with three of our bands and will do so while still on the clock.

What I itch for now is the chance to rehearse with somebody and have a dedicated performance with a bigger crowd. I want to have time to write songs and help make original music.

It's great fun and hugely flattering to realize a few musicians are playing along, taking cues from you.

3. Looking For More Work

I work routinely with Bright Hub and Best Green Cars, but I'm looking for more. I work at the restaurant four nights a week, rather than five, and want to work only three or two by the time my oldest gets to kindergarten. Working nights is cool when the kids are pre-school age. I get to take him to school, do field-trips and play around in the afternoon. But when my son starts getting home from school at 2:30 or 3 and I have to work at 4, it's going to suck.

So, I need more writing work. After a couple years of building my resume, I think I can look for writing jobs with the same strategy I use when hunting for restaurant jobs.

Rather than responding to Help Wanted signs, I go to places I want to work. Whether or not they think they need someone, I know they need me. I'm valuable and useful.

So I'm getting on the virtual road to spread resumes and samples. I'm focussing on what I know and like: hospitality, green cars, football, food, cigars and beverage.

But I figured if I directed someone back to my blog and it showed I hadn't written in three months, it wouldn't be flattering.

2. Being a Monkey

My family is fascinating. And time-consuming. And I adore them.

My wife and I attended a parent-teacher conference for out five year old boy. (Things that make you fee like a grown-up.) Apparently, he's an academic beast. I knew this, of course. He's bilingual, has been reading for two years, asks fantastic questions and has a great imagination. He's very sweet and helpful to his class-mates, too. Before we sent him to preschool, he was so shy he was nearly afraid of other kids. No more.

Our three year old boy is the physical one. Since he first looked up at his big brother, he's wanted to follow him. Therefore, he figured the walking thing out at nine months of age. Yet where his brother was too timid to get involved in gymnastics or any other sport, he has jumped right in. He was recommended for the 3-5 year old gymnastics class a few months before his third birthday.

Their baby sister has not beaten my son's 9 month record for learning to walk, but she's almost there. She has an appetite to be proud of. Early on, she stopped eating the bland, boiled homemade baby food. She wants just what we're having, spices and all, but in smaller pieces. If "pppbbbllllttt" is a word, she's already talking.

My wife is an angel. She still hasn't slept for over five years. Some time soon I'll re-educate her on the meaning of fun. She's getting back into painting just barely but has not realized how good she is. All I need to brighten my day is to hear her laugh.

1. Thinking of Writing

I've become a mercenary. I write for promised cash only. Sometimes this leads me to learn new stuff, which is great. I never would be driving an electric car if necessity didn't cause me to study them.

Other times this puts me on topics I care little about. No, this doesn't mean the one you paid me to write. I'm talking about the other guy.

Deep inside I still want to write my stuff, although I can't dedicate the time or energy to something history taught me won't sell. Just before I totally starved creatively, the music thing popped up and my pulse returned. I have few pieces are bouncing around my imagination:

Don't Say Blue. A blues piece where the central rule is I can't mention the blues. "When you left, you took the yellow from my green. I feel like purple without the red." It would go great with a weeping, wailing electric guitar.

I Told a Lie. This tune has been echoing in my skull since before I started working with musicians. "Once I told a lie, nothing would return me to the truth." I have a drumbeat, a bridge and a rhythm for the guitar and bass. I just need the lyrics. Time, scarce time.

You Don't Know Me if you Don't Know My Wife. A bit about how I'm defined by my family (aka Room-Mates). It was supposed to be a Valentine's Day delivery, but again, time.

Off to track down more employment. Somewhere is the right partner for me. Poets and advertising go well together. Give me a certain space, a theme and an audience and I'll give you strong, evocative language with just the right tone and rhythm.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Post Super Bowl Depression and Building Electric Cars

Photo by S. Monte Kase

It's been a long time since I've done a post and I owe you one. If it wasn't for Kathe Frahm's "Seattle Seahawks and Old Women" pieces (scroll down and read them, please) nothing new would be up here.

Kathe got right to work after the Super Bowl expressing her feelings about the loss. I could scarcely handle my emotions about it and clammed up.

But let's settle this. About the interception. Certainly running the ball with Marshawn Lynch was the highest percentage choice, but everyone new that was coming. I'm okay with attempting a pass to surprise the Patriots. On second down with one timeout, you can run or throw. If you run on second down and are stopped, you use the time out and then have to pass or risk running out of time.

I'm not okay with throwing an inside slant. Risky move. You need to throw something that either a Seahawk catches or it goes out of bounds. A fade to the corner or something high in the back of the end zone. Preferably with a run fake and a roll out so Russell Wilson has the choice to run. Too many things can go wrong with a pass in the middle of the field. Something did go wrong.

Anyway, I can't change that. Still a good team with a bright future that was a couple feet away from winning the Super Bowl.

Now about my blogging. It's not that I haven't been writing. I just haven't been writing here. I've been busy with Bright Hub and Writer Access. Through WA I connected with a person building a website about electric and hybrid cars. I've done a lot of work for that site and have become passionate about the subject.

Check out work by me and others at Best Green Cars.

I have become pleasantly surprised that the electric car future is actually getting brighter. Sure, powerful and greedy forces are still pushing gasoline like crack. Yet great green vehicles are on the horizon.

Hate to wait? Build your own. While BGC is primarily about new and future vehicles, I have been trying to shine a light on the fascinating world of EV conversions. A number of creative and ingenious people are gutting gasoline cars and installing electric power-trains.

I hunted down some interesting cars and people, primarily through, and received a strong response. Maybe too strong. I was hoping for one interview and ended up with several. Now I'm hoping to get the green light to put them all on the site, but it isn't up to me.

A couple profiles of converters are on their way to BGC already. I'm not sure exactly when, but I'll let you know. Because good people took the time to answer my questions and share their stories, I'm going to mention them here and now.

Ben Nelson's Electro Metro

Ben took a $500 Geo Metro, removed the internal combustion parts and sold them for $550. Then he installed a forklift motor and a dozen batteries. It ain't fancy, but for less than $1500 it gets him down the road with zero emissions.

Photo by Benjamin Nelson


S. Monte Kase has been disemboweling and electrifying gas-powered cars since the seventies, despite everything the government, oil companies and auto makers can do to stop him.

Photo by EV-Concepts

Randy bought a previously converted Pontiac Fiero. He has done repairs, upgrades and very technical interior work to make it better than any Fiero ever was.

Courtesy of

This Frenchman has built is own electric vehicle completely from scratch. It looks like nothing on the road. It's an amazing project.

Photo by Jean-Yves Belet

To compete in the 24 Hours of LeMons (a wacky event for cars costing $500 or less) John converted this Datsun convertible to electricity. He is one of the only EVs to ever race in this series.

Courtesy of

Dietrich has converted a Scirocco and built a very detailed blog about what he has learned. To build your own EV, you have to do a lot of learning. Start by learning German.

Courtesy of

What I've learned about EV conversions is that the resulting machine is simpler than what it was before. It takes some study and some tinkering, but you can do it. It can be street legal.

I don't have the time to do it, but I could if I wanted to. If my eldest son was older, we'd be building his first car. He's certainly smart enough to do it and I have a wrench. We'd make a great team.

More on my feelings about green cars coming soon. Until then, investigate Best Green Cars. The man behind the site is passionate, honest and deserves some support.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Seattle Seahawks and Old Women: One Last Yard

(Editor's Note: We all deal with Post-Super Bowl Depression in a different way. The wrenching, shocking finale inspired Kathe to get her feelings written down almost instantly. My reaction was to think about the game as little as possible for several days, hence the late publication of this post. Please enjoy the last "Seattle Seahawks and Old Women" until September.)

Contributed by Kathe Frahm

One old woman was not in the rec room. She did call and say she was in Maui and would forgo the waves and beach and sun to stay inside and watch the game. The old women appreciated her sacrifice for their Seahawks.

The snack table was loaded with every kind of food. None of it real expensive and most of it homemade. The Hawk blue and green cake did not get made. The old woman in charge of that had a painful attack of shingles and just couldn't bake. There was plenty to eat though. One old woman put a big 12 candle on her toffee cookies.

Everything was laid out carefully with all the spoons, forks, plates and napkins so no one had to get up to get anything during the game.

Old women watch TV. A lot of TV. They work to keep up with the predictions, point spreads and Vegas odds making, but not understanding all that leaves them unsure of just what is going on. Listening to explanations from some of the more informed old women doesn't much help. They just want the game to be on, their boys to win and the snack table fully stocked.

A highlight is always the million dollar commercials. The most giggles were for the Viagra spoof for Fiat and awwws for the Budweiser puppy and Clydesdales. 

The National anthem and fighter jet fly-over always brings cheers from the old women and the scene of our troops far away brought a few tears.

The game was everything the old women hoped it would be. Losing hurt. Their boys played so well with all they had and as was typical of the season's games, it all came down to the last few minutes. It seemed so easy for Russell to just hand off the ball at the Patriots' goal to Marshawn and win. That didn't happen.

The old women picked up the leftover snacks, put the couch back in the hall and just went to their apartments. This was one loss they all shared. They have had many other losses much worse than that of a football game. They still hope for the best.

One old woman said that the Hawks will see to it that many of their boys will get much bigger contracts for 2015. So many of the players are all still under 30 years old and have good prospects for their future football careers.

It is the nature of old women to look toward better times. Some have left the bad days behind. Others carry them around. But for a time, the rec room was a place for shared screams, laughter and really inappropriate comments on the nature of watching beautiful young men in tight pants.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Seattle Seahawks and Old Women: Sent Packing

It was quiet in the rec room during the first half of the Green Bay Packers game. The old women's "can't lose" attitude was a little shaky with their boys down 16 to 0. They all wanted to just give Russell a hug and tell him it was going to be OK 

Some old women who threw up their hands in defeat were roundly booed and told to cut it out and keep cheering their boys on. One old man who was born in Wisconsin as a Packers fan came in for a while. He had to leave though when the Hawks started getting some momentum going and the old women screamed. Two other old men stuck it out and one even helped serve food. The perfect host.

The one old woman who was counting down how long it takes to make a TD for the Hawks to catch up was getting anxious. Most said to relax and remember when Russell threw TDs in the last few seconds to win games. Knowing it wasn't over, made the old women hope for a Russell, Marshawn or Kam miracle play.

They got to overtime after the Chris Matthews got the ball on an onside kick. Marshawn took it in for a TD to tie and it just got better from there.

In overtime Russell threw 3 perfect passes to move down the field. The last one found Jermaine Kearse in the end zone and the miracle win.

Some of the old women wept right along with Russell during his post-game interview. It has been a long season for them. But they saw how fun and how much it meant to show up, scream loud and long, and share this Seahawk team.

The Packers and Aaron Rodgers with Eddy Lacy played a remarkable and fierce game.

The old women were fearful their boys would not catch up. Every Hawk offensive play was stopped short. When Russell took it in while the Packers' defense was mobbing Marshawn on the other side of the goal, the old women were hopeful this game could be turned around. The tide did seem to turn when punter Jon Ryan faked the punt and and passed it to Garry Gilliam for a complete surprise TD. The old women just shrieked and laughed and loved the show.

Plans were being made for Super Bowl Game day. The old women and the one old man who stayed sorted out who was going to bring what food and maybe some spiked Hawaiian punch. A '12' banner and a beefcake picture of Russell on the bulletin board set the tone. The old man wasn't too pleased and said if he put a scantily clad female picture up there the old women would have a fit. One woman said, "Whatever."

The old women and their Hawks need the 2 week rest until the Superbowl. They hope all that sun and warmth in Arizona won't distract their boys.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Seattle Seahawks and Old Women: Panther Kittens

Contributed by Kathe Frahm

The old women are happy. They are just waiting for their boys to drop Cam Newton, in his tracks. The last time the Hawks beat this team, Newton made a real display of arrogance the old women found excessively annoying. True, the Panthers had won 5 of their last games, but the old women couldn't wait for Russell, Chancellor, Wagner and Kearse to give them a football clinic.

One old woman bet the others Newton would challenge Richard Sherman and throw to his side of the field. They know QBs avoiding Sherman is a sign of respect and his ability to make big interceptions. Richard picked him off. The forced fumbles also made the old women scream. Kam Chancellor's 89 yard TD interception and 2 leaps OVER the Panther's line to block field goal attempts for some old women were the highlights of the whole year. They do love showmanship and they got it in this game.

Russell is confident and calculates in split seconds that his receivers are where he wants them to be. Some favorites of the old women are Luke Willson and of course their Marshawn. Luke has so much fun when he gets to into the end zone. Marshawn is the one Hawk nearly all the old women would want on their side in a fight. They marvel at his power to just keep going and his way of dragging any team's defenders with him.

So many of their boys have shown great talent and courage in this season. Last year even the most faithful of Hawk fans went into this part of the play-offs with a certain dread and fear of failure. The old-timers were promising a Hawk melt-down. Like always. Not so many naysayers this year. Watching Pete Carroll shepherd these remarkable young athletes to a winning season, has been a wonderful way to spend game day together, eating junk food and working to out scream each other.

The Green Bay Packers are not a team to take for granted. Even injured with an calf strain, their QB Aaron Rodgers is worthy of respect. RB Eddie Lacy is said to be fierce much like Marshawn, but may be limited in play due to a bad knee.

One of the old men called an old woman sick because she said all their boys have to do is aim for Rodgers' bad leg. You'd think he had learned that the blue-tinted pin curl and fluff disguises the fierce "just win" competitor inside.

Sometimes the old women ask each other why these beautiful young men, their team, are important to them. They have had heroes in the past. Famous people, men and women, moved through their lives. Now, the sheer fun of winning almost all the time fills a need to claim some ownership of accomplishment. A small thing, but important just the same.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Seattle Seahawks and Old Women: Battering Rams

Contributed by Kathe Frahm

Old women like that their Seattle Seahawks beat the St Louis Rams. They are not sure about all the wild card playoff stuff, they just know their boys won. They are also glad their Hawks get a week to rest while the other teams are fighting it out to see who will play them. Winning home field advantage is good. The 12s will make it real noisy for any of the opposing teams. The old women can scream and yell with the best of them and they do.

The Rams got a little comfortable with their 6 point lead in the first part of the game. The old women encouraged each other by saying that's not going to last. They have not forgotten the embarrassment of having the Rams beat their boys earlier in the season.

The Rams' QB for this game was an older player, another substitute, Shaun Hill. The pressure from the Seahawks' defense was just as intense and aggressive as the old women hoped it would be.

Wagner, Chancellor and Bennett led the best defense in the league, holding the Rams to a couple of field goals. They shut down any kind of running game the Rams tried, making a statement that the Hawks had come to play.

The old women could not believe the fumble by Marshawn Lynch and the rare interception thrown by Russell Wilson. Russell did recover 2 of his own fumbles which made the old women proud.

Key plays just got better and better. Bruce Irvin's interception and 49 yard TD run. Earl Thomas' strip, forcing a touchback. Big Jordan Hill's interception was a treat for the old women. They loved the look on his face: pure joy.

Hawks players all around celebrated his catch. Marshawn's 9 yard TD and the Hawks defense dropping the Ram's Receiver, Tavon
Austin for a loss fit right into the game plan.

Old women in this rec aren't given to swaggering. Not a lot in their lives are worthy of that. But the fun of making this team of talented young football players their boys gives an opportunity for a little bit of a strut.

The old women will try to figure out which teams might play the Hawks in the play off count-down to the Super Bowl February first. But for now they are ready to get together in the rec room at the home, eat unhealthy snacks and show the old men how to properly cheer for their Hawks.