Liberal outrage, antics, etc.

Mississippi is having a run off between a Democrat and the Republican incumbent. And something has been made of one of her statements:

In a video posted on Twitter over the weekend, Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi is seen complimenting a supporter by saying, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”

Ok. Now, of course, a racial angle is being made of it but yes, for much of human history, public executions were a popular event, and still are in some parts of the world.

Now had Hyde-Smith been a high ranking official of a public business, she would probably get fired; collectively liberals have money to spend and the threat of economic boycotts carries some punch.
But this is an election in a southern Republican state and liberal outrage could well backfire; after all, much of current Republican appeal, at least to the non-well off, is “sticking it to the libs”.

I really think that much of our power for social issues rests with spending power; this is why many companies are more progressive than the law requires them to be.

Now about those elections: results are still trickling in and the Democrats DID so well. In terms of popular vote, this was an impressive result. In terms of number of seats gained, this isn’t what the Republicans had in their waves, but much of that was because the Democrats in Congress didn’t lose seats they way the Republicans did in 2006, 2008, 1992, etc. So there were fewer pick ups to be had.

And yes, we lost the “star elections”. But I was fully prepared for that and said so.

And yes, we have our kooks. And many liberals love our kooks.

November 14, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

College football: midweek:

Ok, here is what I said last week:

College football:

Illinois at Nebraska: Huskers favored by 17 (down from 18). ESPN: Neb. 80.1 percent chance of winning. Both teams blew out MN by similar scores; Illini have a better record but an easier schedule. Neb. is improving but should they be 17 point favorites? Nebraska won by 22 last year in Champaign.

Neb. to win, Illini to cover (no confidence in this pick though)

Navy 24.5 point underdogs to UCF (95.7). This one could get ugly; Navy is punch drunk from playing some good teams (lost to ND by 22, 42-0 to Cincinnati). UCF to win and cover; they will be looking for style points.

ND 16.5 point favorites over Florida State. (90.9 percent favorites). ND wants style points but FSU, while not playing well at all this season,still has first rate talent. Time and time again, talented but underachieving teams have pulled off “back against the wall” upsets by playing really well, for one game. Trap game for ND. I pick ND to pull it out, but FSU to cover and play well.

Texas: 1.5 point favorites at Texas Tech; ESPN actually favors Tech 60.5 percent. UT really isn’t that good (nice win over Oklahoma aside). Red Raiders to win..hope I am wrong.

Win: Nebraska, UCF, ND, Texas Tech.
Cover: Illinois, UCF, FSU, Texas Tech.

How did I go: Navy played UCF tough, ND blew away Florida State, Nebraska ran all over Illinois (who turned the ball over 5 times, gave up a blocked punt and 606 total yards), and Texas beat Tech with 22 seconds to play.

So I went 3-1 straight up, 0-4 vs the spread,

Season record: 29-10 straight up, 14-23-1 vs. the spread.

I’ll say more about the upcoming games later, but as far as Illinois vs. Iowa (Iowa 16 point favorite at Illinois): Illinois has a decent ground game, but Iowa is no. 6 in the nation vs. the run. Purdue was the previous “best” running defense we faced and they skunked us. I see more of the same this weekend; Iowa wins something like 35-7.

Navy has a shot at a win vs. Tulsa, ND is favored by 9 over Syracuse in Yankee Stadium (who knows?) and Iowa State visits Texas in which should be the best game of the bunch. We shall see..more later.

Workout notes: 5 mile run in lane 2; 10:15 first mile then a bunch of 9:45 type miles (49:12 for 5) when I tired out; walked 1 more mile on the treadmill (at an incline). Weight: 190.3 before. Not that bad…things are looking up.

November 14, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, running | Leave a comment

Yadda, yadda, yadda

Personal and trivial I’ve been out of sorts the last few weeks; my guess is that the gloomy weather (darkness) and cold weather (snow, again…albeit light snow) has me down a bit. Oh yes, the spouse has been gone, and her return is an adjustment. But there ARE things to look forward to: football this weekend, basketball tomorrow night and I do have some NFL games this December.

The roads are a bit slick outside.

Workout: weights; usual PT stuff with plank at the end, pull ups (15-15-10-10), bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, incline: 7 x 145, decline: 8 x 165, military 9 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 45 standing, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine. Weight: 189.6 before. getting there, even though I am not training.

November 13, 2018 Posted by | Personal Issues, weight training | Leave a comment


First the workouts: Saturday, run on the treadmill, walk on the riverplex track (18 F, single digit windchills): 53:03 for the 5 mile run (22:20 then 30:43 for the final 3 miles), 16 minute walk on the track. Today: it was in the 20’s and sunny so I walked my West Peoria to Cornstalk 8.3 and added a 0.7 hilly loop and then an out and back along Bradley (16 minutes) to get to 10 miles.

Weight: Riverplex scale 188.9; I have lost most of the old extra. Now to remove the “old man” blubber as I now longer have the muscle mass I once hand.

Late night tomorrow night as she comes in. I’ve accepted it.

Weekend: dinner tonight (Mexican) with Tracy.
Yesterday: I got to watch Bradley win a couple of basketball games, both against Southeast Missouri State.

Both games were competitive for most of the way; the men used their defense to pull away 68-57; BU shot 38.8 percent but limited them to 31.6 percent. The lead reached 19 with 3:30 to go; it was only 5 early in the second half.
The women was a bit more back and forth for much of it. It was only a 1 point game going into the 4’th but BU won 85-79.

November 12, 2018 Posted by | basketball, Friends, running, walking | , | Leave a comment

Some thoughts on the midterms

Of course, not all of the elections have been settled. There are mail-in ballots to be counted in some states, some races that have gone into recount, etc. And right now we are looking at probably 37 pick ups in the House, and a loss of 2-3 sets (at most) in the Senate (brutal map for us).

Of course, there as been some “well, the Democrats would have done better had they been more…well, like me” remarks out there. And of course, said remarks are mostly nonsense. ๐Ÿ™‚

Some progressives won in some places, and lost in others. In some districts, the successful Democrat ran AWAY from the national others, they ran toward it. Much of it depended on what the district is like, the skill of the candidate, the skill of the opponent, etc. And frankly, the type of region had more to do with it than anything else.

And please, enough of this “women are going to do this or that”. Women are not monolithic. In some cases, white women voted MORE conservatively than white men!

Now, I don’t care for all of the bullshit SJW terms in the article that I linked to, but I think the author’s point is a good one. I’d add that there is a disconnect between what a highly educated woman sees as important (say, a lawyer who got passed over for a partnership) and what an uneducated one sees as important. This The Nation article is from 2016 but I think makes a good point.

And I think that there are other factors as well. For example, Stacy Abrams appears (as of the time of my writing this) to have lost a super close election for the governor’s office in Georgia. And frankly, I thought her visuals were terrible; had she looked like say, my US Rep (an African American version) or like, say, Michelle Obama…she might have gotten that extra 1 percent to have won. That is very superficial but so many things can matter in such a close race. And there is some evidence behind the conjecture that the physical appearance of the candidates matters, even for male candidates. Yes, it SHOULDN’T matter. But in a razor tight race…every minor edge or handicap matters.

November 10, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

Catch up on personal stuff

Interesting evenings. Wednesday: Bradley basketball vs. D-2 Wisconsin Parkside. BU raced out to a 12-0 lead; it took Parkside 5:20 to score. Eventually, they came back to make it a 2 point game at 28-26, but BU took better care of the ball to lead 40-28 at the half. In the second, the lead built to 69-42 with 5 minutes to go before BU cruised in to a 74-58 win. The defense looked sharp at first, but BU did have some trouble with turnovers and did give them some open looks at the 3.

I love all of the colors when the teams are out there warming up.

Early action.

Yesterday, I figured that I’d have a lazy evening. But in the morning, Ms. Vickie called and said she had an extra ticket for Chicago. So I went…and wow…they put on a show.

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Theresa and Jim at the Chicago concert.

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Above: Ms. V and me; below: Mama T and Jim.

The first half was mostly Chicago II; the second half had many of their hits. Most of the band is intact, but not all. I saw them when they played at the Naval Academy in the late 1970’s.

Workout notes: Thursday: 5.1 mile Cornstalk Hill walk in 1:12:28; I was 35:40 half way and took 36:48 for the return leg (14:08 finish for the final 1.03 let; 13:50 out). But of course, the return leg is net uphill so I’d expect the return to be slightly slower.

Today: weights only (late night) rotator cuff, plank, head stand, 15-15-10-5-5 pull ups, bench: 10 x 135, 1 x 190, 2 x 185, 7 x 170 bench (slightly sore left shoulder), military: 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45, 10 x 40, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell. I moved through the sequence quickly.

Note: I am now at 189.3 (before the workout); the lightest I’ve been in a while. And I haven’t started long training yet.

November 9, 2018 Posted by | basketball, Friends, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

2018 midterms and letdowns…

I wrote this on October 30. It aged well.

Yes, Beto’s Texas campaign paid dividends for some in House races, and yes, the Democrats did pull off some upsets in House races and flipped some statehouses. Not every result is in, but we have at least 220 House seats and will realistically pick up 7-10 more.

But some have mentioned that there is sadness, and it isn’t about the “genuine political stars” going down in flames.

Gin and Tacos wrote a post “I know why you’re sad.” And no, that isn’t it for me.

For me, almost every election, I end up voting for people that, well, I’ve worked for much of my life to AVOID being like them. Some of it is serious (e. g. the corrupt Senator from New Jersey), some absurd ( the unqualified but mega-rich governor elect of Illinois) and some of it petty (obese and in debt) Yes, I voted for one of these (though not in the primary) and would have voted for the others, had I lived in those respective states.

I suppose the dirty secret is that I really don’t like many that I’ve made political alliances with. At times, it appears that some who vote the same way that I do celebrate underachievement. Many can be just as sanctimonious as any religious nutter.

But, ultimately..I’ll let a Brit describe how I felt:

Note: I do not pretend it is any better on the other side. And yes, when I complain how the Senate gives way too much power to small states (small in population), I have no desire to listen to someone with a business degree from Bo Diddly Tech “splain” to me that “We are a Republic, not a Democracy”.

Workout notes: glorious but slow 10K run through Bradley park; leaves, hills, morning sunshine.

November 7, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics/social, running, social/political | | Leave a comment

College football: so far ..not doing great.

This is what I said last week:

ND at NW: if I didn’t have season tickets for Illinois, I’d be going to this game. ND is favored by 9.5 and has a 71.9 percent chance of winning this one, per ESPN power index. NW has been hot and cold, losing to Duke and Akron and barely beating a dreadful Rutgers team, but still whipping Michigan State, Wisconsin and giving Michigan all they could handle until the end (3 point loss).

Which NW team shows up? Which ND team shows up? I haven’t a clue. Note: NW has won the last two meetings (really).

Pick ND to win but NW to cover.

Navy at Cincinnati: Cincinnati favored by 13.5, ESPN gives them an 88.4 percent chance. Tough season for the Mids. Bearcat defense stops the run well and that is what Navy does. But does Navy’s ball control keep the score down a bit? They did hang with ND for a while.

Cincinnati to win, Navy covers.

West Virginia at Texas: Texas favored by 2; ESPN power index has this as a toss up UT 50.9 probability of winning).

Both teams have losses (UT Ok ST., MD, WVa: at Iowa State). I am honestly convinced that UT is overrated; Oklahoma was great win, but USC and TCU just aren’t that good. And West Virginia can pass the ball. Mountaineers to win.

Minnesota at Illinois: MN favored by 9.5; ESPN gives MN a 70.2 percent chance:

Illinois has perhaps the worst defense in the power 5 and one of the worst in FBS, period. Previous game: Illinois gave up 712 yards and 63 points to a so-so Maryland offense. It appears as if the coaching staff has no idea on how to teach and motivate college kids. MN coach DOES know how and that gives the Gophers the edge.

I am perhaps one of the half -dozen “non relative of the players/coaches” that actually cares about this game.

MN rows the boat past the floundering Illini and covers. It will be like last week where they had a 31-9 lead on Indiana, but this time the opponent doesn’t come back.

Win: ND, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Minnesota.
Cover: NW, Navy, West Virginia, Minnesota

I don’t feel too badly about missing the Navy vs. Cincinnati spread (it ended 42-0 UC) or even the ND at NW spread (31-21 ND..right on) and I was delighted to be right about Minnesota. I should have noticed that they got torched by Nebraska and Maryland in the same way…both on the road.

So for the season: 26-9 straight up, 14-19-1 vs. the spread.

Games this weekend: Illinois at Nebraska, Florida State at Notre Dame (kind of a mismatch this year), Texas at Texas Tech (should be excellent), Navy at Central Florida (ouch! will be ugly)

I’ll make picks later in the week. Also of interest: Illinois State visits Indiana State; ISU has dropped 3 in a row and is now 5-4, including 2-4 in conference play. I was thinking about “home playoff game” but …probably not. Northwestern visits Iowa and that sounds like a good one; I wish I could be there but will opt out and go to a Bradley basketball game instead.

Workout notes: 10K walk; wet pavement; gloomy skies but..well, still nice. And for the first time in well over a year, I am under 190! (189.5).

November 6, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, walking | Leave a comment

Not the club I had intended to join…

Ok…I remember this old song

It was popular when I was a sophomore in high school…and I remember football tryouts. The coach listed the guys who made the VARSITY team…and I was one of two sophomores that made the varsity that year. I saw my name..was elated…and when I walked away, this song went through my head.

THE VARSITY. Big “V”. And I went on to start every game at offensive tackle for a team that went 8-0 and won our league and our playoff game.

And I was IN THE CLUB. So I thought. And that is how I thought that life worked; you worked hard toward a goal so you could join the next club! Oh, there were other “clubs”; e. g. those who took calculus as a senior in high school, etc.

And I carried that basic idea with me …in the military you earned promotions to higher ranks; in academia you got the Ph. D. and published your work to become a mathematician. I figured that if only I were successful enough, I could escape the world of chronic underachievement, etc.

How wrong I was.

I figured that the family of a Ph. D. would consist of Ph. D. people, each kid improving upon what the parents did. And the relatives would all be reasonably well off and professionally successful; no stupid decisions, etc.

How wrong I was.

And no, not every family of a Nobel Laureate consists of future Nobel Laureate; “regression to the mean” is real.

But I did join clubs of sorts. One such was the “club” of first generation educated people; neither of my parents even made it out of junior high (depression era; their youth was a tough time…but as adults they did extremely well for themselves though). Another “club” was those who grew up as military brats (had a parent in the military and therefore moved around a lot.

Yes, I do have some math/academic friends, but these are down to earth friendships, And there are yoga class people, bloggers, and runners/walkers/swimmers.
Now I find that I’ve been embraced by older runners including those who are far faster and more successful than I’ll ever be. There is something to be said about hanging in there even when it is more difficult.

The “clubs” I actually belong to are those of common experiences or common purposes. It really isn’t about “varsity vs. JV”.

November 6, 2018 Posted by | Friends, social/political | Leave a comment

No, I don’t like everyone I vote for

This is about two things:

1. Yes, I can understand people voting for Trump despite not liking many things about him.
2. Yes, I voted for candidates that I didn’t care for…even this time around.

This time around, I voted for a candidate who shoplifted and whose campaign misrepresented her educational background (they claim it was an unintentional mistake). I also voted for an unqualified rich guy. And I voted for an intellectually vapid spewer of boring boilerplate cliches; someone who was the handpicked choice of the party machine.

They were the best available in their respective races, period. I didn’t love them.

I suppose my point is that voting often requires that one take a healthy does of pink bismuth first.

Workout notes: weights only this morning; rotator cuff, 5 sets of 10 pull ups (ok), 10 x 135 4 x 185 bench, 10 x 140 incline, 8 x 165 decline, 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 180 machine military, 3 sets of 10 x 110 rows, plank, headstand. Later: yoga with Ms. Vickie.

November 6, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, weight training | Leave a comment