They don’t even try to hide it

Yes, the vote on the toxic Senate version of “Trumpcare” has been delayed. Of course, this bill fixes NONE of the problems with the ACA but instead cuts taxes on the wealthy. I am not sure how cutting Medicaid (on a percapita basis) and giving the wealthy a tax cut on investment income is supposed to be good for anyone except those who need it the least.

And yes, Big Money is pissed; they don’t even try to hide their contempt for the rest of us. But have the Republicans become so terrible that even they have to take a step back?

I honestly don’t know.

Right now, the Republicans say (with varying degrees of exaggeration) that the ACA needs improving. I agree with that. But their solution: kick people off of Medicaid and give tax cuts to the rich? Oh my goodness…

Can’t Mitch McConnell, for once in his life, say “no” to Big Money?

Workout notes: weights plus an easy 2 mile walk.

weights: rotator cuff, hip hikes, toe raises, pull ups (5 sets of 10, went well), incline: 10 x 135, 5 x 160, 7 x 150, military: 15 x 55 seated, supported (dumbbells), 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 90 (each arm) machine, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 55 each arm, 10 x 110 machine.

Of note: when I was doing my 15 x 55 while seated, I noticed the pressure I put on my seat. I had 110 extra pounds..and that is more or less how it used to feel to sit when I was at my fattest.

June 28, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

A baseball “staycation”

No Texas trip this summer; no major trips period (though I do have a couple of Chicago trips planned for July; a math conference and a 1/2 marathon).

But I did have a vacation of a sort last night/today. Last night: Barbara was a trooper and put up with 11 innings of Peoria Chiefs baseball. She had to work the next morning, so we left when it was 2-2. But the Chiefs fell in the 12’th 3-2. Yes, this is June in Illinois; temperatures fell into the 50’s.

Toward the end, the crowd really thinned; one fan even yelled “come on Chiefs, we want to go home!” as the Chiefs stranded yet another runner. Overall, the pitching on both sides was stellar; the Chiefs did get one home run though.

So the next day, I got up, worked out:

Workout notes: early, 2 mile outside walk, then 32 laps of the Bradley Markin track: 2 laps “fast” on the inside line, 1 lap “medium” in the outside lane and kept that up for 4 miles:

12:45, 12:45, 12:36, 12:04. I really focused on posture, posture, posture and decided to put some “umpf” into my “faster” laps in the final mile. 50:12 for 4 miles of walking, or about 10K total.

Then I showered, and then walked to Dozer park for another Chiefs game.

This was a kids matinee special; I sat in the first row, by the Chiefs bullpen.

The game was just the opposite of the night before; lots of fireworks. The Chiefs got extra base hits, home runs, and raced out to a 6-0 inning after 5, with 3 different 2 run innings.

Then came the 6’th inning. The Chiefs brought in a relief pitcher (starter gave up 1 hit) and then came a couple of walks, a hit, an error and at least a couple of mistakes that didn’t get counted as errors. was now 6-6.

The game steadied a bit then came the top of the 8’th. The Snappers got 2 more runs; hits, miscues (one chief infielder lost a routine pop fly in the sun..and yes, it was brutal to try to see at that angle). But there was a key play: a long fly ball went into center field and I thought for sure it would be an extra base hit. But the center fielder made a great “over the shoulder” catch which limited the play to only 1 run and robbed the Beloit player of an extra base hit. Limiting the damage proved to be crucial.

And so it was 8-6 Snappers going into the bottom of the 8’th. Nevertheless, the Chiefs rallied; a single home run cut the lead to 8-7. Then came a double..and a misplay on a single scored the tying run.

Good relief pitching stopped the Snappers in the the top of the 9’th. Then a single..and BOOM…2 run home run completed the walk off win.

Now that was some excitement. You can catch a glimpse of me standing and clapping as the runner rounds third base (I was on the first base side)


I usually sit in the back row of section 108. Sitting so close really humanized the players and umpires. For one, the bullpen players really interacted with the kids well; they threw water balloons, used a squirt gun, threw out gum, sunflower seed packages..gave a few baseballs, even said a word or two. They seemed to like it. They even gave some of the young women indirect compliments (tastefully; one of the kids said “no. x wants to marry you”) (the young women were supervising the kids; they were the age peers of the players.

The first base umpire was very buff; he looks as if he could bench press 3 wheels plus easily. (315 plus pounds…perhaps much more). He chewed gum and snacked on sunflower seeds during the game.

The Chiefs have a tradition of “Norm and Al” coming out from behind the center field fence and dancing after a Chiefs run:

The center fielder gave them a “WTF” look at first…but today they appeared to be young women in shorts..and he gave them …oh, longer looks as they danced later in the game. And in a 10-8 game, they would dance a lot.

June 27, 2017 Posted by | baseball, social/political | | Leave a comment


I am getting those tingles I last had when I walked a lot.

Back to the hip hikes..and more back exercises.

Workout notes: weights, 2 mile run (11:02/8:38), goblet squats (50, 53, 53, 62, 62, sets of 6)
rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 190, 8 x 170, incline: 10 x 135, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 55 dumbbell, 10 x 110 machine, military: 15 x 55 seated, supported, 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 90 (each arm) machine. Headstand (easy?) lots of McKenzie. Teased Barbara; got a photo of her doing leg curls.

June 26, 2017 Posted by | running, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Back to reality

Cool, sunny, just perfect weather. Ok, I was a bit heavy legged from yesterday’s 18.3 so today’s 11.3 was done at a much slower pace (2:56:09, 15:36 mpm), last 3.2 in 47:30 (14:50..but on much flatter ground). I focused on posture, posture, posture.

The weird: as I was coming up the big hill from lower Bradley to upper Bradley, I saw an animal scurrying away. I saw a hole…and sticking out of the hole was the ringed brown/black ringed tail of a raccoon.

Yesterday, I saw a bird fly right into a window and fall dead.

Bottom line: my cruising pace is slower than it once was. My faster pace is slower than it once was. But that was a 29 mile weekend.

But I am 18 miles; maybe 20 next week? I should have several 20’s prior to my marathon attempt.

June 25, 2017 Posted by | marathons, walking | Leave a comment

Go ahead and pass the AHCA/BHCA…..

Ok, I’ll come clean. I am 7 years away from qualifying for Medicare, have great employer insurance (which was good even before the ACA), have some money in the bank, a job that is about as secure as they come, and expenses are about to drop quite a bit (daughter out of college, which is completely paid for).

I am pretty much on my own as far as genetic relatives (young adult daughter and wife..that’s about it).

So go right ahead, cut Medicaid by 800 billion dollars to fund a tax cut on investment income for those making 200K (250k for families) a year…that’s right, a tax on INVESTMENT INCOME. Go right ahead.

Now some of you might not ever need Medicaid. But guess what. Many (most?) have that indigent family member, sometimes a moocher, who depends on Medicaid..and maybe needs a Medicaid nursing home.

Guess where that relative moves to? That’s right: he/she moves in with YOU. Job that requires lots of time? Uh, not anymore. Retirement savings? Bye bye! Vacation or recreational spending? ROTFLMAO!!!!

Oh, business owner: you need customers. Now more people at the bottom end won’t have money to patronize your business. Sure, maybe they’ll sell a few more yachts, but remember tax cuts at the bottom stimulate the economy much more than tax cuts at the top.

So go right ahead and cheer Trump and the Republicans as they do this.

Hey, if it pisses off liberals and sticks it to the “lazy, entitled, shiftless” poor, there must be something good about it, right?

June 25, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | , , , | Leave a comment

Did Trump outsmart Obama?

I read this article about how the Obama administration handled the Russian meddling in our election issue. Here is the Washington Post article on the subject.

The upshot: Obama found out, told the Russians to “cut it out”, they didn’t and the Obama administration responded weakly. Reason: remember Trump babbling about the “election being rigged” and the threats that he might not accept the results if he lost?

That put Obama between a rock and a hard place. If he went public, the Republicans would accuse him of “rigging the election” for Hillary; remember that one of the things that the Russians did was to spread false stories. But if he responded weakly…well, you see what happened.

So, he figured that Clinton would win anyway..and she didn’t (sort of).

Now Trump is crowing.

Now, in public, Trump denied that Russia was behind the hacking. But what if he knew that Russia was behind it (or even actively colluded, though we don’t have solid evidence of that as yet) and he judged that Obama’s sense of fairness (not wanting to appear to tip the election toward Clinton, which could have backfired) would make Obama respond weakly?

It could be that we got played.

June 25, 2017 Posted by | 2016, politics, republicans | , , | Leave a comment

Better things ahead for my walking?

Ok, this was solo. No Lynnor. 😦 And no, it wasn’t fast; I was just over 15 minutes for the fist mile; I walked through the construction at Sheridan/McClure and decided to risk getting divebombed on the river (red winged black birds); that didn’t happen. I was 1:23 at the Peoria Heights Tower (as opposed to 1:20 during my best walk of the year), 1:57 at mile 8, where I picked up the bike path at Bishop Hill.

There was some crowding near the River Market and with a group of charity walkers going out. And yes, a guy on crutches said something to me: “I want to be out doing that”; he had the look of being injured and champing at the bit to get well…very fit. I reminded him that it wouldn’t take him long to get back.

But overall, the walk, while deliberate (14:43), was…easy. The distance is starting to become less intimidating.

I had a few tingles in the left leg; nothing serious. And I kept reminding myself “posture”.

1:57:02 at mile 8 (where the bike path meets Bishop Hill)
3:51:39 at 15.7 (at my door)
3:57:26 at 16.1 (after the extra Laura/Rebecca loop)
4:28:53 at 18.27 (after the Main, University, Moss, Cooper, campus, Laura loop)

Upshot: this was not an especially long walk, nor was it a fast one. But, the distance is getting easier again; this one was actually pleasant. I am getting into the “looking forward to the long walks” mode, as opposed to sort-of dreading them but doing them to get ready. That is a big positive.

June 24, 2017 Posted by | marathons, walking | Leave a comment

The Turtlecare bill (aka BCRA)

Yes, it is a dreadful bill; it hurts those with preexisting conditions and savages Medicaid, especially if the economy goes south. And all if it for a tax cut for the wealthiest among us.

What chance does it have? I COULD pass the Senate, though that is uncertain. I can recommend Nate Silver’s analysis. And there is a CHANCE that the Senate bill might fail in the House.

Yes, the bill is deeply unpopular. But will they get away with it?

My guess: “maybe”. And this is one huge issue in our country. Any bill that helps the poor more than anyone else is going to cause division since there is a perception that “the poor” consists mostly of people “not like us”; lazy, entitled, …ok, I’ll say it…people of a different race.

We need to realize that we are all in this together, and yes, while some of the poor ARE stupid, entitled and lazy, most who get help use it in a reasonably responsible manner. And that includes people who do not look “like us”.

And, well, think of it this way: if you own a business, wouldn’t it be nice if more people had money so they could patronize your business? Yes, a good health care plan will end up putting money in the pockets of the less well-to-do, and that will benefit businesses.

June 23, 2017 Posted by | health care, politics/social, social/political | , | Leave a comment

sciatica day 2

Last night: no trouble sleeping, though I did my McKenzie exercises before going to bed. I slept very well.

Weights; (some modification) rotator cuff, hip hikes, calf raises, pullups (5 sets of 10), bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185 (careful with the back), incline: 7 x 150, 10 x 135, dumbbell military: 7 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 40 (all standing), rows: Hammer: 3 sets of 10 x 200.

treadmill run: 2.1 miles in 20 minutes: 10:36/8:34 (2-2-2-2 5.2-5.5, then 6.7-7.2, last min. at 7.3), then goblet squats: 50, 50, 53 (kettlebell), 60, 63, 60

Lots of McKenzie exercises.


June 23, 2017 Posted by | running, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Democrats: offer a “yea” vote on AHCA if they remove the tax cuts

Let’s be blunt: the AHCA (aka “Turtlecare”, “Cheetocare”) is nothing more than a repeal of the high end tax hikes on the well-to-do. Period. The rest is to make reconciliation work.

So, let the Democrats in the Senate offer to back the Senate version if The Turtle takes out those tax cuts.

Play chicken with ’em.

Note: I hate The Turtle (aka Sen. McConnell) but he is a sharp politician; evidently he set it up so that wavering Republican Senators can get political cover by suggesting small (but inconsequential) amendments.

June 22, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics | , , | Leave a comment