Ok, it’s time to go to the Boneyard to get rid of excessive thoughts that clog my mind and prevent me from working efficiently. First, I just discovered that the YMCA closes at 3 p.m. today for the holiday and that means I’m not going to be able to work out, and I don’t know if that is good or bad. Probably bad because I really need it, but good in that I’m having a lazy, hazy day.

Just so you know, I’m as disappointed in the lack of space and early deadlines (7 p.m.) that the paper I still work for, and have since 1970, has had dictated to it by its parent company (Gannett). They are doing the best with what they got, but I miss the Saturday morning read of high school football results.

Football games traditionally start at 7 p.m., which is right on deadline so it’s impossible to get those results in the paper, and because I have always been one to keep track of how individual players are doing through statistics and game-day results, it’s cut off a flow of information that I would normally obtain. And, yes, I know, some of the results are online, but it’s not as detailed as I would like.

At a time in our history that freedom of the press is under attack – much of it from our president – it’s terrible that news printed on paper are losing the battle for relevance with on-line. I read somewhere that a fifth of all journalists have been lost since 2009, and papers have been shuttered (including the Seattle P-I) or have had serious declines in circulation and revenue.

I wrote a long time ago that news printed on paper will disappear at some point as the informational age continues on its digital march where news can be accessed immediately as it happens on the smallest of devices.

The problem as I see it is now everybody is a journalist, or can be, and stories can be published and easily read by anybody in the world, but what you don’t know is whether the stories are true or false (see the 2016 election).

There is also the disturbing and quite real possibility that some demented souls could gain almost total control of the news content and brainwash their way to a dictatorship. Don’t laugh, it’s already underway in some quarters of our society with alt-right benefactors pouring millions into an effort to persuade our population of their ideology.

Enough of that. It’s depressing. The whole political scene is for me. So I’m moving on to something that moves me toward the light. I was thinking the other day that the Mariners have been like the a child that is just learning how to swim and as you watch your emotions soar high and dip low as the child battles the water and makes good progress and then suddenly starts to struggle and you become frantic and get ready to dive in for a rescue.

Injuries, especially to the starting pitching staff, have caused a huge problem. I think the Mariners have used a league high 40 pitchers this year as the team has tried to stay in a wild, wild, wild card race.

I was telling my 22-year-old son, Michael, the other day that the Mariners have stayed in the race despite having a roster that is more 4A or triple A than major league. It’s really been a heroic effort. It’s almost like somebody up there is teasing them, and every time they start to go on a run another injury happens and another 4A or triple A player is introduced to the lineup and there is some slippage in the standings. Whoever is doing this to them should be thrown in prison for excessive cruelty.

Which reminds me that Yankee rookie Aaron Judge leads baseball this season with 181 strikeouts.  He would need to whiff 42 more times to tie the record of 223 set by Mark Reynolds in 2009 when he was playing for Arizona (he’s now with the Rockies and has just 151 this season).

Oh yeah, Judge has 38 home runs, a rookie record for the Yankees (he beat Joe DiMaggio’s record). If he hits 11 more he will tie Mark McGwire’s major league rookie record of 49 he blasted in 1987 while with Oakland. Of course, we now suspect McGwire had some chemical help that season.

Pitchers are striking out Judge with pitches down and away. That is not hard to imagine because a lot of batters have problems laying off that pitch. A batter just has a fraction of a second to decide to swing or not and often that pitch looks good and then it dives to the ground and the batter looks stupid swinging at it.

Many moons ago when I was covering the Mariners for the old Bremerton Sun (now Kitsap Sun), I was in spring training in Arizona with the club and one day I walked to a back field at the then training camp in Tempe with third baseman Jim Presley. He wanted to go back there where the minor leaguers trained to work on his swing. He told me that he had trouble laying off that down and away pitch. I don’t think he ever figured it out.

You know, instead of complaining about wide receiver Kasen Williams not making the final 53-man Seahawks’ roster, you ought to be happy that Pete Carroll and John Schneider had such a talented group of players that they reluctantly had to let some of them go. In other words, trust Carroll and Schneider to know what they are doing and if Williams was expendable, so be it.

Don’t feel sorry for Williams, either, he got claimed off waivers by Cleveland and what I hear is he will be the Browns’ top receiver. So Williams will get paid, and probably a lot more than you, and certainly a lot more than me.

I just finished reading “Gunslinger”, the story of Brett Favre written by Jeff  Pearlman, and I now understand why my son-in-law didn’t like it as much as the book he read about the Manning brothers. Favre was a train wreck as a person for a lot of years. He  has been off alcohol and drugs for years, but wow was he something else before he finally got it.

The book describes in some detail the character of Aaron Rodgers, the guy who replaced Favre at Green Bay, and he comes off as a egomaniac. I kind of knew that. It’s what makes him so great, that plus an arm and an uncanny sense to make the right play out of chicken(bleep). He will be a tough guy to handle when the Seahawks open the 2017 season on Sunday (1:25 p.m. on Fox) in Green Bay, so it will be an interesting side-note for me when they clash on whether the Seahawks can distract Rodgers enough to rattle him.

It was interesting to me to see Central Kitsap put up 40 first-half points on Olympic in the Battle of Bucklin Hill last Friday night. Is CK that good? Or is Olympic that bad?

We’ll see, I guess, in the coming weeks.

We just purchased season tickets to the Village Theater in Issaquah. Mary and I love live theater and the Village is good. We saw the Village’s “Dreamgirls” for our 50th anniversary in Everett at the Everett Performing Arts Center and all I can say is “Wow!!”. It was really good. So we are excited to see the first performance of the season in Issaquah, which will be “Into the Woods”, a Stephan Sondheim music production that was made into a 2014 movie starring Meryl Steep.

Now I just have to survive Donald Trump long enough to see the production. That may take some doing. By the way, I don’t believe for one second that we are headed for war with North Korea. Won’t happen. So relax.

There is nobody stupid or mad enough to start a nuclear war. And I understand there are two madmen involved here: Trump and Kim Jong-Un – but neither are mad enough to push the nuclear button.

Trump is a bombastic bully who has no business being in the White House. He is devoid of a lot of things, including ideology. He is what I call an “Ed Sullivan.” He is a front man, a voice, but there is nothing behind the veneer. He will do what the last person has told him or he will go on his instinct, which he insists (big surprise) is the best of all. And his instinct is not to kill himself if he dared start a war that could bring China into it along with others.

So just relax. Go to live theater. It’s good for the soul.

By the way, I couldn’t believe UCLA came back from a 44-20 deficit to beat Texas A&M 45-40 with a last minute touchdown. The Aggies fell apart after quarterback Nick Starkel suffered a foot  injury and had to leave the game in the third quarter with the Aggies in front 38-10.

Give UCLA a little credit. They changed their defense to start the second half and stuffed an Aggie running game that built a big lead. And then when Starkel left, the Aggies couldn’t move the ball via the pass and it was all downhill from there as nationally featured UCLA QB Josh Rosen picked the Aggies part. Rosen looked bad the first half, but he looked like a No. 1 NFL draft pick for 2018 in the second half.

Rosen completed 19 of 26 passes for 294 yards and four touchdowns in the final 15 minutes, including the game-winner, a 10-yard pass with 48 seconds left.

A quick assessment of the opening day of the college football season is that Alabama is really, really good. The Tide’s defense is suffocating. I’m not impressed with the offense, but it’s good enough.

As for the Washington Huskies, they may be a little overrated. They deserve to be ranked in top 20, probably around 12. They were pushed around on offense and defense by Rutgers and managed to win with big mistakes by Rutgers and big plays by the Huskies. But that combination won’t cut it in future battles within the Pac-12 if they don’t toughen up on both sides of the ball.

I was really, really, really impressed with redshirt freshman defensive back Bryon Murphy. He was incredible in this game.

Sophomore DB Myles Brant was also impressive and senior wide receiver Dante Pettis lived up to his billing, taking a punt back for a touchdown that finally got the Huskies started toward their hard-earned victory, 30-14.

I’m still not sold totally on Jake Browning. I don’t think he’s mobile enough to be a good NFL QB. He just doesn’t seem to me to have the “it” factor. He showed his toughness, however, when he got back up after taking a brutal blind-side hit.

The good thing about my analysis is that the Huskies have an excellent coach in Chris Petersen and if anybody can toughen up these guys, it’s him.

What I don’t like is that the Huskies have a cream-puff non-conference schedule and go the next two weeks against Montana (this Saturday, 5 p.m.) and Fresno State at home before going to Colorado for what could be a very tough conference game if they don’t toughen up.

Ok, I’m running out of gas. Until we meet again …

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.