first static shock of the fall/winter season

I sure wish I lived somewhere warm. I hate this static shock…and now it means I’ll have this happening to me constantly for the next 7 months. :-P

October 10, 2014 Posted by | whining | , | Leave a comment

Heavy rain, treadmill and groaners….

We had some very heavy rain last night and more this morning; the streets have standing water.

So I took it to the treadmill and indoor track.

Treadmill: I started at 5.3 mph (11:19 mpm) and increased the pace by .1 mph every .25 miles; I did this until I got to mile 4 (almost 40 minutes on the button). Then I did 4-5 at 6.9 (8:41) and 5-6.5 at 7.0 (8:34); that meant I did a 3 mile segment (3.5 to 6.5) in 26 minutes. Then I slowed down to 10 mph to 7.25 then did the last .75 at: 6.1-6.2-6.1 (average about 9:45 mph) Total: 1:16:30 for 8 miles.

Then I walked 2 miles on the track (29 minutes).

It was enough to be exercise but not enough to sap me.

Screen shot 2014-04-03 at 9.59.28 AM


Screen shot 2014-04-03 at 10.00.40 AM

Though I’ve been told that I remind people of the “Rat” character, I also have a bit of “Goat” in me as well….:-)

April 3, 2014 Posted by | running, whining | , | Leave a comment

Rocks in the shoe…ok, sand grains really…

Last night: my wife had her phone in the bed room…it kept going off. I ask her to turn it off so she mutes it instead and the vibration wakes me up. Grrrr….finally she shuts the damn thing off…or leaves the bedroom; didn’t care which.

Up in the morning: see an e-mail from a student who flunked exam one; he dropped this course last year with a different instructor. Doesn’t have the prerequisite credentials but told the department chair he was “convinced” that he’d pass with a different instructor. He managed to find an empty slot in my class….

Get outside: fresh snow. :-P

Weight room; had to work through the ROTC group again. :-P

So I did almost a full workout: I only did 2 sets of pull downs and machine rows but did everything else (curls: dumbbells, bench: 10 x 135, 2 sets of 7 x 170, etc.)

Swam: 500 warm up (pushed by a young woman), 500 drill/swim (fins), 6 x 100 on the 2:10 (last two were 1:45-1:46; rest were 1:43-1:44), 100 fly practice (fins), 100 IM.
That is 1800 yards; my first time over a mile in a long, long time. :-)

So…today, no making a mountain out of a few grains of dirt. :-)

February 21, 2014 Posted by | swimming, weight training, whining | | Leave a comment

Shiver…but yet….the globe warms….

I am delaying going outside. Yes, I am only going to the indoor rec center where I hope to run and walk a bit. I’ll cook up a workout of some sort (tempo intervals?)

Today in Peoria, IL:

(-23 C).

And from my smart-ass California friends;


In fact, we are shivering because of the location of that jet stream; arctic air is cold, even if it is a degree or two warmer than it was a few years ago. So that arctic air mass is parked right over us. :-P

As much as I’d love to ship our snow to those who miss it, it doesn’t work that way.

February 11, 2014 Posted by | Peoria, Peoria/local, whining | , , | Leave a comment


Cold. -6 F this morning (-21 C)

Got to the gym; it was ROTC in the weight room day
Still: all exercises but curls; rotator cuff and abs (full sets), pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench (135 x 10, 180 x 4 (weak), 170 x 6 (weak))
military: 3 sets of 12 x 50 seated, upright rows: 3 sets of 10 with 25, bent over row: 3 sets of 10 with 65, pull downs (sets of 10 with 160).

This took me 46 minutes. Then swimming: 1500 yd.
500 w/u, 6 x (25 drill, 25 swim fins), 8 x 50 on 1:10 (50-52 each), 100 (1:43), 2 x 100 IM on 3.

Got woman was there early and had torn up the kitchen right when I was attempting to get ready ….so while I remembered to pack my lunch, I left in a huff and forgot to eat breakfast.

Last night: e-mail from a student: “I wasn’t there for your 1.3 lecture; could you give me help with the 1.3 homework assignments (due today). I didn’t answer the e-mail.

Even better: this was our SENIOR class, not a freshman remedial class. And this was an international student, not some homegrown “helicopter parent raised” snowflake.

I think that this will be a “NO PARTIAL CREDIT” type of day. :-)

February 10, 2014 Posted by | swimming, weight training, whining | Leave a comment

We should have elected Mitt Romney


He would have fired the jet stream for not doing its job.

February 10, 2014 Posted by | whining | , | Leave a comment

Republican: my GOP opponent is too rich to understand you!


Our streets: neighborhood streets are basically compressed snow/ice; the plows merely put the looser snow on the sidewalks. Sidewalks along main street are buried…I mean completely unwalkable. This has to be the least pedestrian friendly city I’ve seen. The university has its walks clear at least.

Workout notes: weights: rotator cuff (full set), hip hikes, Achilles, NO ABS (get them tomorrow)
pull ups: 10+5, 4 sets of 10
dumbbell super set: 3 sets of: 12 x 50 military (supported, seated), 10 x 25 upright row, 10 x 65 bent over row, 10 x 70 bench
superset: curls and pull downs: 10 x 160 pull down (3 sets), dumbbell curl 10 x 30 (2 sets), pulley 10 x 57.5 (one set)

Then swimming (early):
400 warm up (slow)
400 drill/swim (fins), 4 x 25 front, 25 swim, 2 x 25 side kick, 25 swim, 2 x 25 3g, 25 swim
400 in 8 x 50 on the 1:10 (53-55)
100 in 1:52
2 x 100 IM on 3 (2:30 each)

It went fine; I don’t want to hurt my rotator cuff. NO paddles, NO pulling. :-)

Illinois politics
Kirk Dillard ran this ad against Bruce Rauner (the front runner)

What do we have here? We have a REPUBLICAN calling another REPUBLICAN “too rich”????? Seriously? Why that is CLASS WARFARE!!!! (ROTFLMAO !!!!!)

February 7, 2014 Posted by | 2014 midterm, Illinois, swimming, weight training, whining | , , | Leave a comment

So cold the Chicago zoos are bringing the polar bears inside



It’s so cold, even polar bears and penguins were being kept indoors Monday.

Ok, ok, you scolds might tell me that the wild polar bears live in much colder temperatures than this. That is true; the wild polar bears eat a high fat diet (fat seals) that enable them to survive much harsher conditions than this.

And yes, we’ve routinely had worse 3-4 decades ago:

As the world warms, the United States is getting fewer bitter cold spells like the one that gripped much of the nation this week. So when a deep freeze strikes, scientists say, it seems more unprecedented than it really is. An Associated Press analysis of the daily national winter temperature shows that cold extremes have happened about once every four years since 1900.

Until recently.

When computer models estimated that the national average daily temperature for the Lower 48 states dropped to 17.9 degrees on Monday, it was the first deep freeze of that magnitude in 17 years, according to Greg Carbin, warning meteorologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

That stretch — from Jan. 13, 1997 to Monday — is by far the longest the U.S. has gone without the national average plunging below 18 degrees, according to a database of daytime winter temperatures starting in January 1900.

In the past 115 years, there have been 58 days when the national average temperature dropped below 18. Carbin said those occurrences often happen in periods that last several days so it makes more sense to talk about cold outbreaks instead of cold days. There have been 27 distinct cold snaps.

Between 1970 and 1989, a dozen such events occurred, but there were only two in the 1990s and then none until Monday.

“These types of events have actually become more infrequent than they were in the past,” said Carbin, who works at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. “This is why there was such a big buzz because people have such short memories.”

For you stats geeks: a back of the envelope calculation shows that having this long between harsh cold snaps is about a p = .09 event (Poisson events).

But then I got this from one of my Minnesota ultramarathon friends:


January 23, 2014 Posted by | Peoria, Peoria/local, whining | | Leave a comment

I survived the semester, so far…

Well, they are back. The gym was unusually crowded for 6 am (“first of the semester resolutions”) and the Army ROTC took away many of the dumbbells.
But I got it all done anyway; well, all but the plank/McKenzie exercises (which I can do tonight)

pull ups: 2 sets of 15, 2 of 10 with hip hikes, Achilles
incline bench: 2 sets of 10 x 140, 5 x 150
abs: 3 sets of 10: crunch, twist, sit back, vertical crunch
pull downs: 2 sets of 10 x 140 (different machine), 10 x 160
military press: 3 sets of 12 x 50 (dumbbells, seated, supported)
upright row: 3 sets of 10 x 20 (dumbbells)
bent over row: 3 sets of 10 x 65
dumbbell curls: 3 sets of 10 x 30
rotator cuff: ALL of them; doing them at the end of the workout might be more effective as the bigger muscles are fatigued.

The weights took 1 hour flat.
Then 3 mile walk on the treadmill: warmed up on 0.5 incline and sped up from 15 mpm to 12 mpm and got to mile 1 in 13:20
Next two miles: 24:00 (12 mpm, did .25 0, .25 at elevation: 2-3-4-5 with .25 at 0 rests): 37:20 for 3 miles; 38:55 for 5K

That got me out of the gym at 7:48; time enough to walk home (in slick ice/snow), change, quick breakfast, back to work.

Two parting shots
Paul Krugman on reporting the issues: it isn’t enough for a reporter to work hard. They must make some effort to know what they are talking about:

Here’s the problem: When you’re covering policy, the usual tools of journalism — cultivating sources, pounding the pavement, pulling out the Rolodex — just won’t cut it. You have to have people who actually understand the policy issues — people who can pound a spreadsheet, or whose Rolodex includes academic experts as well as DC flacks.

Otherwise what you get at best is he-said-she-said reporting — what I mocked many years ago as responding to claims that the earth is flat with the headline “Views differ on shape of planet.” Or, even worse, you rely on people who seem like authority figures because of their style or their official position, but are in reality just guys with an agenda, and often completely untrustworthy.

The Post — I really don’t think I’m being unfair here — has been particularly guilty of the latter sin. Colin Powell says Iraq is building WMD — well, that settles it, doesn’t it? The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says we have a fiscal crisis — well, they’re the authorities, aren’t they?

What Ezra and company brought was a combination of sophistication about policy issues and skepticism toward the Very Serious People. Ezra and Sarah Kliff really understood health policy, and knew that if you needed to know more, you called Gruber or Cutler, not Senator Bomfog. Others on the team actually understood macroeconomic policy, and knew that you shouldn’t treat the hacks at Heritage as if they were symmetrical with, say, the careful wonks at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

What Krugman notices here isn’t partisan though. Example: suppose a reporter wanted to cover a GMO issue. If they just used credible sources (scientists) they would infuriate their liberal readers who wanted to see the woo-woo point of view covered too.

Or, in the case of contamination from the Fukushima nuclear accident affecting the safety of the fish catch off of the United States: well what is true isn’t what many want to hear:

Neville has sampled more than 60 fish since Fukushima. The levels of Cesium traced to Fukushima were so low that his lab couldn’t see it at all until he concentrated the samples.

Kim Martini, an oceanographer at the University of Washington, agrees that the tuna are completely safe.

“To actually get a harmful dose of tuna you have to eat 2.5 tons of tuna a year,” Martini says. “I really love Tuna, but I don’t love it that much.”

Numerous other tests since the Fukushima disaster have found the same thing: radiation levels in Pacific fish that are vanishingly small.

And yet the fear persists, and even grows, fostered in part by supposed “evidence” passed around the web. Sites have sprung up blaming Fukushima for everything from lower sockeye salmon runs in the US to conjoined twin baby whales in Baja.

Martini points to one video in particular that’s been posted on YouTube that shows a guy named “Dave” sweeping a northern California beach with a Geiger counter that suddenly starts beeping.

“I’m over background,” Dave says on the video, “The alarm’s going off. Here I am on the beach… There you go. That’s sort of the levels we’re dealing with here…”

The video, which has more than 700,000 views, prompted California officials to test samples from the beach. They found that the radioactivity was naturally occurring.

“This is one of the problems,” Martini says. “People are going out with Geiger counters and saying this is Fukushima radiation, but the Geiger counter can measure radiation but it can’t differentiate between different kinds of radiation.”

You’ll find naturally occurring radioactive isotopes in rock, sand, even in bananas and seawater itself.

But try telling that to the SFBs.

Speaking of fish, check out this catch:


(click the smaller photo to see the full size photo at the source).

Nature can be interesting, no?

January 22, 2014 Posted by | economy, education, politics/social, science, walking, weight training, whining | | Leave a comment

Whining, weights, blood…

Today was mostly about trivial but time consuming tasks. Later: I’ve got more applications to read. The upside: we are hiring rather than letting people go. The downside: more to do…and none of this work is helping me learn more mathematics.

Ok the last claim is a bit inaccurate. One applicant’s published work is rather interesting.

For those who know some math: it deals with the subject: when is the control polygon of a closed Beizer curve embedded in a different way (ambient isotopy) than the closed Beizer curve itself? (in R^3 , of course, since closed curves are unknotted EXCEPT in dimension 3.

There is some food for thought here; this especially interests me since I’ve taught numerical analysis and I’ve published in knot theory.

The application: a Beizer curve is a type of spline curve; these are heavily used in computer graphics.

Good stuff.

Workout notes
I went to the Riverplex this morning as I had to be ready to drive my wife at 8:30. So, I got in an “almost full” weight workout: abs: did 3 sets of 10 of twists, sit backs, and weighted crunches.
rotator cuff: of course.
pull ups: 4 sets of 10, 2 of 5 (this bar really takes your upper body motion out of it; your pull ups HAVE to be higher quality)
incline bench: 2 sets of 10 x 135, 8 x 135
military dumbbell: 3 sets of 12 x 50 (seated, supported)
upright row: 3 sets of 10 x 20 dumbbells
bent over row: 3 sets of 10 x 65 dumbbells
curls: 1 set of 10 with 25 dumbbells, 2 sets of 10 with 30.

Then I got 25 minutes on the elliptical stepper (gluteal 1)

Since this was a public gym, well, there was a veritable spandex smorgasbord of varying sizes, ages, and shapes.

Afterward I took the car in; the pleasant surprise is that I’ve already had much of the work done so it only took an hour. Then I went to give blood (walk in); I figure that I should have a lot of time to recover before I attempt to run “fast” (less glacially slow).

It is snowing again (light, nuisance snow) and once again, I am reminded of why Peoria is such a crappy place to be during the winter: someone got a 100 dollar fine because some of the snow he shoveled ended up on the street:

In the annals of Peoria crime, Doug Haley probably won’t become infamous as The Mad Shoveler.
But he does stand accused of an unusual charge: essentially, reckless snow-shoveling. Sunday, a police officer wrote him a citation for violating a city ordinance by throwing snow into the street in front of his house. The pending fine: $100.
“I was pretty upset,” Haley says.

The officer replied something vague — like, the Haley driveway obviously had been cleared, and perhaps Haley had gotten a little too energetic with his snow-throwing. At that, Haley admitted that some of the snow in the street got there via his shovel. That was enough for the officer to scribble out an ordinance violation — “pushed snow onto roadway” — and hand it to Haley.
Days later, Haley still can’t believe the fine he faces. “One hundred dollars!” he yelps.
The violation pertains to Peoria Municipal Code Sec. 26-25: “No person shall sweep, shovel or pile, or cause to be swept, shoveled or piled, any snow, ice or other waste upon any of the streets, avenues, alleys, sidewalks or other public ways of the city.”

There is more to the story; the implication is that this guy is in a dispute with his neighbor and it was likely (but not proven) that his neighbor turned him into the police.

Still: remember that this is a place where the city routinely buries the sidewalks with snow from the street, thereby depriving people a safe place to walk.

January 9, 2014 Posted by | Peoria, Peoria/local, Personal Issues, weight training, whining | , | Leave a comment


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