College football Thanksgiving weekend

Illinois vs. Northwestern at Soldier Field in Chicago (technically a home game for Illinois).

Northwestern is favored by 3. Fan interest: Illinois has started to offer half price tickets (seriously). Northwestern is 9-2 with victories over Stanford, Penn State and Wisconsin. Why is the spread only 3? My guess is that the Illini are going to get hammered by a NW team that wants payback for last year. NW 30-10.

Texas Tech at Texas 4-6 Texas is favored by 1 vs. 6-5 Texas Tech. I don’t see how Texas slows the Tech attack down. Go with the Red Raiders, 45-42.

Navy vs. Houston 10-1 Houston is a 1 point favorite at home against the 9-1 Midshipmen. Yes, Navy has to have a bad game sometime, but when I look at the Houston schedule and the Navy schedule, Navy has been better. I’ll call the upset here 30-24, Navy.

Stanford vs Notre Dame Stanford (8-2) is a 4 point favorite over ND (10-1). Stanford has played a tougher schedule, mostly because Texas, Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech turned out to not be very good. ND’s best wins came against Navy and Temple (both good teams this year). ND did take Clemson to the wire so ND’s loss was better than either of Stanford’s losses, and ND is better than either of the teams that beat Stanford. Then again, ND has looked less-than-stellar vs. Boston College and Wake Forest.

I’ll go with the home team but pick ND to cover..barely. Stanford 24-21. I have next to zero confidence in this pick; it really is a toss up (as is Navy vs. Houston) in my book.

Straight up: Northwestern, Tech, Navy, Stanford
Spread: NW, Tech, Navy, ND.

Confident in my picks: NW, Texas Tech. Toss ups: Navy vs. Houston, Stanford vs. ND

November 25, 2015 Posted by | college football, football | | Leave a comment

Silly memes (version ???)

At least two of these: I did NOT create.



Note: this happened to me twice two weekends ago: I was with an Ohio State fan on Saturday, and between two Bears fans on Sunday…only one of which was hot. And no, it was NOT Jason. :-)


Before you say this


Think of the song lyrics …

And to finish off: my wife and I have watched many Columbo and Murder She Wrote shows together …this is almost an evening ritual. Whereas Columbo is a homicide detective, J. B. Fletcher is a murder mystery writer who ..well…let’s just say that where ever she goes, someone gets murdered. Think that Chicago has a lot of murders? Per capita, it trails (the fictional) Cabot Cove (and where ever Ms. Fletcher travels to…)


November 25, 2015 Posted by | humor | , , | Leave a comment

What’s the difference?

Workout notes: still low energy. I wonder if I have a low grade bug or something. I lifted and walked.

Walk: 4 miles outside (Cornstalk classic course in heavy sweats); they now have the hills closed off for the winter, but the footing was good.
Lifting: (leisurely pace)
rotator cuff
pull ups: 4 sets of 10, then one more set of 10 after bench/incline
bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 7 x 170 (strong, but didn’t really push because of no spotter; I did have safety catches)
incline press: 10 x 135
military press: 3 sets of 12 x 50 (seated, supported).
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 single arm dumbbell, 10 x 110 machine
abs and McKenzie exercises.

Post: What is the difference between a “butt shot” and a mere “photo from behind”? I had a (former) FBF complain about what she thought was spandex shots of women..though many (most) were posed shots. That made me think: “what is the difference between these two race photos”, other than one appeals to me and the other one doesn’t?


Both of these photos were shot at races and put up on websites (I know the one on the left was without the permission of the subject in the photo..and no, he did not care at all)

November 25, 2015 Posted by | butt, Uncategorized, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving: I’ve been thinking about it all wrong…

In the past, Thanksgiving has meant a break from the routine. In my family (at least the one in Texas, many years ago), it meant Longhorn football.

Over time, when I had time to come home, it meant a trip to a relatively warm place and sometimes large family dinners, and sometimes a “turkey trot” race beforehand.

It was at that time I began to dislike such holidays but I continued to dutifully go to them anyway.

Now I’ve become a “Holiday Grouch”.


But: for one, I married someone who does want to open up her home to at least selected others (this year: her “special needs” nephew).

I should remember: I do get “time off” many weekends in a year and I’ve gotten a chance to do a lot. Others might not have such luxuries.

So instead of Thanksgiving being a time for me, me, me, me…I should see it as a time for someone else. That will be a tough switch to make as I am inherently selfish.

Oh, it won’t be all bad for me. There are some university basketball games (one tonight, two on Saturday) and an NFL game on Sunday, and a Turkey Trot run.

November 25, 2015 Posted by | social/political | , , | Leave a comment

Google celebrates Lucy….


Good job Google!

November 24, 2015 Posted by | evolution, science | | Leave a comment

Games, free speech, terrorism, etc.

Workout notes: 10 K “run” on the track: 9:59, 9:44, 9:33, 9:32, 9:27. 9:44 then 3:10 walk/jog inner lane 2 laps (58:03 at 6, 1:01:13 for 10K). It was mostly an empty track.
Gads. Though this was not a race effort by any means, IT WAS WORK. Sigh…

Posts: It is the start of Thanksgiving break and so I played hooky and went to a daytime game (no classes). The Bradley women got creamed 72-59 by Western Michigan; WMU lead by 16 before freely substituting.

But hey, it was a game to watch. :-)

Statistics Yes, I know the technical definition of p-value and what “it means”. But attempts to “make it intelligible” to non-experts often fail:

What I learned by asking all these very smart people to explain p-values is that I was on a fool’s errand. Try to distill the p-value down to an intuitive concept and it loses all its nuances and complexity, said science journalist Regina Nuzzo, a statistics professor at Gallaudet University. “Then people get it wrong, and this is why statisticians are upset and scientists are confused.” You can get it right, or you can make it intuitive, but it’s all but impossible to do both.

No fly zones: Turkey shot down a Russian fighter. Ugh. Last I heard, Turkey claimed that the fighter was over Russian airspace and Russia denies that.

Free speech A survey came out about whether it is a good thing to censor speech that “is offensive to minorities”. Not surprisingly, Democrats were more approving of censorship than Republicans (though NOT the majority of Democrats) and the youngest generation (millennials) were strongest in favor of censorship. The good news is that the more educated the person, the less likely that they would approve of censorship. That is good news, given some of the nonsense one hears coming from college campuses these-a-days.

Republicans and Donald Trump

Sure it is still early and most people haven’t started to pay attention to the election. Nevertheless, Donald Trump really is doing well and it should not be that surprising:

Indeed. You have a party whose domestic policy agenda consists of shouting “death panels!”, whose foreign policy agenda consists of shouting “Benghazi!”, and which now expects its base to realize that Trump isn’t serious. Or to put it a bit differently, the definition of a GOP establishment candidate these days is someone who is in on the con, and knows that his colleagues have been talking nonsense. Primary voters are expected to respect that?

And it isn’t a surprise that the terror attacks in Paris helped him:

Conventional wisdom on the politics of terror seems to be faring just as badly as conventional wisdom on the politics of everything. Donald Trump went up, not down, in the polls after Paris — Republican voters somehow didn’t decide to rally around “serious” candidates. And as Greg Sargent notes, polls suggest that the public trusts Hillary Clinton as much if not more than Republicans to fight terror.

May I suggest that these are related?

After all, where did the notion that Republicans are effective on terror come from? Mainly from a rally-around-the-flag effect after 9/11. But if you think about it, Bush became America’s champion against terror because, um, the nation suffered from a big terrorist attack on his watch. It never made much sense.

What Bush did do was talk tough, boasting that he would get Osama bin Laden dead or alive. But, you know, he didn’t. And guess who did?

So people who trust Republicans on terror — which presumably includes the GOP base — are going to be the kind of people who value big talk and bluster over actual evidence of effectiveness. Why on earth would you expect such people to turn against Trump after an attack?

Hey, Fox News and Rush Limbaugh created Donald Trump’s candidacy.

November 24, 2015 Posted by | civil liberties, politics, republicans, republicans politics, running, statistics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Am I that bad? (yes and no…)

I got tagged by this facebook post:


Well, to my knowledge, I’ve never taken photos of their butts; I did take one “full frontal” shot of them during a 5K many years ago. I DID take one butt shot during that race, but it was of a woman that richly deserved it (my wife). I HAVE clicked “like” on a couple of their “rear view” shots that they posted.

But I decided to have some fun with their jab (and change things just a tiny bit)


(note: my online persona is a goat..for different reasons)

I am reminded a bit of this.

On another note: one of my friends is a strong runner (sub 3 hour marathon PR) and does multiple marathons. His report of the Flying Monkey marathon is hilarious. Here is one (of many) of the signs on that course:


November 23, 2015 Posted by | butt, spandex | | 1 Comment

My blahs continue…

I am just not sharp in any phase…note that there is still some residual ice on the ground.

Workout notes: swim: just not into it. 500 warm up, 5 x 50 drill, 50 fins. I started 100’s on the 2:10: 1:44, 1:47 and I just couldn’t make myself care. So I did 100 pull, 100 free, 100 pull, then 4 x 100 “fake IM” (free in place of breast), 100 IM, 100 fins, 100 pull.

Weights: started out rough; pull ups were a real chore (4 sets of 10), rotator cuff..

incline presses: 10 x 135…that got me to sweating and when that happened, I was ok.
7 x 150 (strong), 10 x 140

10 pull ups (strong)
2 sets of 12 x 50 dumbbell military (seated, supported), 2 sets of 10 x 50 row (each arm)
10 x 40 dumbbell military (standing), 10 x 110 machine row.

Ab sets (twists, leg lifts, 2 sets of each)

It was weird…I felt bad until I started to sweat.

This is the kind of thing that gives liberalism (and the humanities) a bad name. In a Canadian university, “yoga class” was cultural appropriation, and according to an article at Everyday Feminism, so is eating “ethnic food”.

Hmmm, pay 20-30-40-50 K per year for your kid to learn creative ways of being offended…wow.

Now for the “genuine article”: this Trump ad is supposed to convince …someone?

I guess it might be a “rally the troops” sort of thing.

November 23, 2015 Posted by | social/political, swimming, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Donald Trump: much more politically savvy that many think.

I still remember Scott Adams (the creator of the comic strip Dilbert) writing about Donald Trump having a “clown genius”. I highly recommend reading that article.

I really think that people are underestimating Mr. Trump’s political skill too.

I am on his mailing list and I just got a “campaign update” from him. I’ve reproduced it at the end of this post.
Frankly, it was better written and more effective than most of the BS that I get from candidates that I intend to vote for! It just gives a few snapshots and a brief summary of the events of the campaign.

He has a twitter account and frequently retweets messages from supporters, thus giving the supporters a chance to play a “brief moment of fame lottery”.

Now as far as his policies? Well, let’s just say that he is usually in a “hey, I am a successful rich guy, so I’ll hire “great people” to figure it all out” mode.

Now he has said some things that outrage many people who vote the way that I do. For example, at a recent campaign event, a vocal “Black Lives Matter” protester wasn’t just taken out of the area by security (and I think that is a reasonable thing to do; no one is entitled to a captive audience), but the protester was physically roughed up. When asked about it, Mr. Trump’s campaign said that it didn’t “condone” such behavior but Mr. Trump himself said “maybe he should have been”.

But you know what? I have contempt for those who try to disrupt campaign rallies and the like: how does THIS make you feel?

No, she wasn’t roughed up and the BLM protester shouldn’t have been roughed up either. But Mr. Trump’s answer plays well with many who are exasperated by these self-righteous, noisy, obnoxious “activists”.

Mr. Trump retweeted some of the most ridiculous (satirical troll?) memes I’ve ever seen:


(for those uncomfortable with numbers: these “statistics” are gibberish and signify nothing)

Mr. Trump also told a whopper about Arab Americans in New Jersey openly celebrating the 9/11 attacks.

But who in the heck really fact-checks their own candidate? The more important thing is that the candidate makes the followers feel welcome and that the candidate appears to share the resentments that their followers share.

I really believe it is a mistake to underestimate this man; I wonder if the Republican establishment does.

Trump’s newsletter to follow:








November 23, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Big Dreams but no motivation (marathons)

I was thinking “maybe I should do this marathon (or ultra) or that marathon.

But today came up icy (11 F, snow yesterday) and I decided to go to the Riverplex to walk. I get there: no motivation. At all. I say “why not 10 miles?”

I go to the track and walk..13:25, 13:23…and tell myself: “get to 4-5 and make a decision”. 12:55, 12:36…getting warmed up and 12:41 (1:05:02). Ok, that is better.
Then it goes more or less smoothly after that 12:46, 12:46, 12:38, 12:37, 12:44, (2:08:35 for 10).

Note: this track is 7 7/8 laps is one mile so 8 miles is 63 laps, not 64. So I went slightly more than 10.

So, while this was not a workout “for the ages”, 10 miles is better than zero miles. But I had wondered: “is this time to build on previously built up fitness, or time to rebuild once again?” It is the latter; I’ve got a long way to go to get ready for my next marathon.

As far as who was on the track: a few geriatric couples, a few walkers, a few runners; two local tri/gym types, one former Steamboat 15K women’s overall winner and one young woman who would run 1/2 a lap and stop and walk and text. I was out there long enough to have seen several people come and go.

One thing I’ve noticed: when people tell a story, THEY are always the hero/heroine …the only one “doing it right” and either bad luck or someone else is to blame if things didn’t go the way that they wanted.

I suppose that I am the only one who makes mistakes frequently? :-) But I do.

November 22, 2015 Posted by | social/political, walking | | Leave a comment


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