blueollie

A few political thoughts

Democrats 2020: large field at the moment (potentially large)

We shall see.

DC MAGA boy incident. This is a reasonable take. Entitled brats? Maybe ..depends on your point of view. Monsters: no. Frankly, there are better things to worry about, though the right wingers may have found their “young activist.”

Now about speech: it is so free that it is often difficult to distinguish fake news from fantasy. Social media isn’t helping. And when one goes against one’s tribe..well, there is some internal pressure to just go along.

Note: Trump’s approval ratings have dropped a little; he appears to be hurt by the shutdown and some are waking up to the fact that he conned them. But if the Democrats appear to be *too* petty in their investigations, it could backfire. This is why loose cannons scare me.

Yes, Ronald Reagan had low numbers at this point in his presidency, but he had an economy that could recover; for Trump, the economy can only go..down.

January 23, 2019 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, politics/social, social/political | Leave a comment

Caught up..and a bit of Bradley Basketball

Sunday afternoon: I caught the Bradley Women’s game; they beat Southern Illinois 58-53 in overtime.

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Bradley leading Southern Illinois early

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BU held SIU to only 4 points in the first quarter and lead for much of the game, mostly by double digits. But Southern rallied and even took a 4 point lead late in the game. BU rallied and had the ball with the score tied and just under 30 seconds to go..but ended up botching the play.

SIU took a 4 point lead early in overtime but BU rallied to finally get the lead with about 1 minute to go (getting several key rebounds) and then hit two key free throws and made yet another monster stop to ice the game.

A nice touch: the softball team and track team showed up for Sunday’s game (baseball team showed up for Friday’s game)

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Men's track team cheering on the women.

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Then I got to see the men come back to beat SIU on the road 57-54 on ESPNU.

Workout notes:

Sunday: nothing but partner yoga (tired)
Monday: weights then 2 mile run in 19:33 (last mile in 8:50, lane 2). weights: usual PT, planks, etc. pull ups 15-15-10-10, sore shoulder so incline: 10 x 135, 5 x 150, decline: 8 x 165, military: 10 x 50 stand 15 x 50 seated (supported), 10 x 45, rows: 10 x 110 machine (2 sets) 1 set of 10 x 60 dumbbell, then the run
Tuesday: yoga with Ms. V, run (44:50 treadmill, 30:43 lane 1 of the Riverplex walking)
weight: 193 Monday, 193.8 before (TMI), 189.9 after the workout.

January 23, 2019 Posted by | basketball, running, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Behind the times, scroll past phrases, etc.

Someone on Twitter posted this:

So I responded: “yes, my life HAS improved” (in many ways anyway); in my case I got a promotion, got some raises and had a reduction in expense (daughter graduated from college, debt free) and yes, my retirement account went up in value.

And I got some angry responses. I must be in denial as “only the richest benefited” (nope: here is how the tax cuts worked; we had a modest reduction)

Yes, my retirement account is stock based. And yes, it is up…from a January 2017 baseline.

(stocks were overvalued at the peak; I didn’t pay attention to that).

And some people just couldn’t accept my answer. And some thought “well, you must be a Trump supporter who doesn’t care about others.”

Uh, I can say that I didn’t vote Trump in 2016 and that, well, I’ll vote for the D nominee in 2020, even if it is a rubber chicken.

But it is a mistake to think that *everyone* but the ultra rich are suffering; it is possible to have improvements in one’s financial life that are independent of Trump policies.

And it is no longer the case that “rich vote R, poor vote D”. That was mostly true at one time..but not so much anymore. Via CNN:

By income it was pretty much “even-Steven”.

Our country and the world, on the whole, HAS changed and what was once broadly true when I was an undergraduate is no longer true.

Scroll past phrases
There are some phrases that..when I see them, I almost automatically “scroll past”. One is “toxic masculinity.”
Yes, I saw that horrible video of an elderly Native American being taunted by some very unpleasant “MAGA” hat wearing brats. But someone tried to make the case that this was an example of “toxic masculinity” in action.

Oh boy. Yes, sometimes groups of people act worse in a group than they would individually. But that can be true of women as well (think: “mean girls”).

Yes, women can act in hideous ways too, though there isn’t always symmetry. Statistically, men and women ARE different, but both are fully capable of evil.

Workout notes: getting ready to go do partner yoga.

Yesterday: shoveling (road to alley) part II; this time it was fluffy stuff (easier than the wetter, heavier, deeper stuff on Friday). But it tired me out enough to limit myself to 5 “mostly walking” miles on the treadmill (perhaps jogged 1/2 of a mile total..much of the walking was at 13:40 or so) 1:10:30 for 5 miles total (last mile at 15:30).

January 20, 2019 Posted by | economy, political/social, politics, politics/social, social/political, walking, whining | | 1 Comment

Men, valedictorians, razors, etc.

I admitted that I am starting to chuckle over the mini-uproar over the Gillette commercial.

To me, it is just silly, dreary winger wagging that we sometimes have to put up with in work training sessions. But as far as Gillete’s history:

Gee…why put the company name right on their shiny butts? For more on the history of this:

In 2011, razor company Gillette, which this week joined the social justice circus, sponsored the grid girls at Formula One’s Easter Races Zandvoort, an annual event in The Netherlands. Here are some images – strictly for research purposes – of the wonderful ladies of the grid sporting skintight Gillette advertisements.

[…]

Gillette is not suddenly under new ownership. It has been owned by corporate titan Proctor & Gamble since 2005. Rather, corporate sentiments change over time, responding to culture shifts. That is most likely the cause of Gillette’s new advertising schtick.

Yes, the site I linked to is right wing, but ..facts are facts and the stated opinion seems reasonable to me…and my guess is that their marketing told them that they’d get a greater market share this way.

And speaking of men:

Last week, however, the American Psychological Association entered the fray with the release of its long-planned “Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Boys and Men.”

The A.P.A. guidelines argue that the socialization of males to adhere to components of “traditional masculinity such as emotional stoicism, homophobia, not showing vulnerability, self-reliance and competitiveness” leads to the disproportion of males involved in “aggression and violence as a means to resolve interpersonal conflict” as well as “substance abuse, incarceration, and early mortality.”

The premise underlying the guidelines is summarized in a descriptive essay on the A.P.A.’s website: “Traditional masculinity — marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression — is, on the whole, harmful.”

But this isn’t physics…and there is some mainstream pushback against said study:

From a more academic vantage point, Steven Pinker, a professor of psychology at Harvard, replied to my inquiry with a detailed critique of the A.P.A. guidelines.

“The report is blinkered by two dogmas. One is the doctrine of the blank slate” that rejects biological and genetic factors, Pinker wrote, adding that

The word “testosterone” appears nowhere in the report, and the possibility that men and women’s personalities differ for biological reasons is unsayable and unthinkable.

The other dogma, Pinker argued,

is that repressing emotions is bad and expressing them is good — a folk theory with roots in romanticism, Freudian psychoanalysis, and Hollywood, but which is contradicted by a large literature showing that people with greater self-control, particularly those who repress anger rather than “venting,” lead healthier lives: they get better grades, have fewer eating disorders, drink less, have fewer psychosomatic aches and pains, are less depressed, anxious, phobic, and paranoid, have higher self-esteem, are more conscientious, have better relationships with their families, have more stable friendships, are less likely to have sex they regretted, are less likely to imagine themselves cheating in a monogamous relationship.

In Pinker’s view, the A.P.A. guidelines fail to recognize that

a huge and centuries-long change in Western history, starting from the Middle Ages, was a “Civilizing Process” in which the ideal of manhood changed from a macho willingness to retaliate violently to an insult to the ability to exert self-control, dignity, reserve, and duty. It’s the culture of the gentleman, the man of dignity and quiet strength, the mensch. The romantic 1960s ethic of self-expression and escape from inhibitions weakened that ethic, and the A.P.A. report seems to be trying to administer the coup de grâce.

Pinker suggested rather that

One could argue that what today’s men need is more encouragement to enhance one side of the masculine virtues — the dignity, responsibility, self-control, and self-reliance — while inhibiting others, such as machismo, violence, and drive for dominance.

There is much more there, including some who respond to Pinker. I found the discussion to be interesting and useful.

And talking about success: a recent study on valedictorians from Boston public schools found some disappointing results. In general, valedictorians, on the whole, did better than that group, though they didn’t have earth shaking success.

According to the second article, high schools tend to reward conformity and doing well in all subjects rather than being super excellent in a single subject, and life tends to really reward the latter.

And the prime movers and shakers tend to, at least eventually, non-conform (though, of course, non-conformists really are not that successful on the whole either; the ones we read about are the outliers).

And I think about it: I remember making B’s in high school geometry because I was lax with homework…why spending time doing stuff that I already knew how to do? And our “top 10” students in high school: most were not that impressive. And..it is HIGH SCHOOL. High school. Success at that level tells you..well, not that much.

Workout notes: weights (rotator cuff), pull ups: 4 sets of 10, 5-5, then 5 then 3 at the end of the workout. planks, etc. bench: 10 x 135, 2 x 185 (empty gym), 6 x 165 (didn’t care), 10 x 135 (more intense), 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45, 10 x 180 machine, 3 sets of 10 x 110 rows, planks, etc.

Treadmill: walked 2 miles in 30:18 starting at 16:10 mile .05-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 increasing speed toward the end, then 2 minutes with Jacob’s ladder. I’d like to work up to 15.

January 18, 2019 Posted by | education, social/political, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

A new politics, tone and twilight zones…

I found this article which compares Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Donald Trump to be interesting: Yes, the personalities are different, but there are similarities:

1. Ignorance. Yes, POTUS should be held to a higher standard than a Freshman representative. But at times, she seems to be unconcerned that there is a lot that she doesn’t know or simply unaware that she doesn’t know.

2. Attacking those of your own party: both seem to be most comfortable doing this; in AOC’s case, she seems more interested in pushing blue district representatives to the left than flipping red ones. The issue here is that, in order to get something through Congress, one has to compromise and for those on the left, that means voting for something more centrist than you’d rather have.

3. Rabid followers on twitter.

4. Attitude. Trump: “I alone can fix it.” AOC:

I still think that this is a nice piece though someone on my Twitter feed objected to this:

I think it’s fair to say that, like Trump, she has no interest in apologizing or co-opting or persuading. She’s here to chew bubblegum and kick ass—and she’s all out of bubblegum.

Oh well.

Now will AOC be an internet flash in the pan or is she the future..or perhaps a useful decoy while others do the heavy lifting? Who knows…certainly not I.

Razors:

I don’t watch TV (much) and really don’t pay attention to commercials. Some conservative are up in arms about it (Ann Coulter has been tweeting stuff about it too).

Personally, this commercial makes me roll my eyes. It reminds me of the stupid training that we are forced to do: yeah, bullying, and harassment are bad (duh) but constant finger wagging is tiresome. It is kind of like religious nutters beating their Bibles over and over again. But it is hardly getting worked up over; it is merely another stupid, clumsy attempt to moralize.

Oh…when I do buy razors…I’ll get whatever is on sale. 🙂

Basketball:

It was looking good early; BU hit a free throw to take a 9-7 lead with 13:36 to go in the half. Bradley didn’t score again until there was 5 minutes left in the half to make it 22-11 …and BU was to trail 33-15 at the half. 6 points in 13:36…frankly BU was lucky to be down by 18: BU shot 15 percent for the first half.

The lead was to climb to 44-20 with 15:38 to go in the game; Drake then went into the “burn the clock mode” and coast to an easy 69-52 win. BU started to make some baskets but by then, the lead was too great to overcome by doing slightly better than trading baskets.

This has to be so frustrating for the team and coaches….hope they can get some confidence back. Take nothing away from Drake; they are a fine team which appears to have adjusted to losing their best player for the season (knee injury). But BU has enough talent to be more competitive than this, especially at home. The game was NOT as close as the 17 point final spread might suggest (and 17 points isn’t hardly close).

Workout notes: Yesterday; 3 miles on the track (25 laps of lane 1 in Markin 45:46) after light weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (11 sets of 5), dumbbell bench 10 x 70, incline 10 x 140, decline: 10 x 165, military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 45, plank, etc.

This morning: yoga with Ms. V. (and it DOES help), followed by 5 miles of treadmill running: gradual progression every .25 miles: 21:20 for 2, 39:40 for 4, walk for about .4, then jog to 52:50 for 5.

Weight: 193.0 but I was full (TMI), 191.8 prior to the run which is more realistic. I appear to be 192 plus/minus 2 lb. Can I lose 12 more pounds BEFORE I start training?

January 17, 2019 Posted by | basketball, Democrats, politics, politics/social, running, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Old man yelling at a could edition

Yeah, I find myself doing that. And when I pine for the “good old days” it is mostly because I want to have my current paycheck and position with a 30 year old body. It doesn’t quite work that way. 🙂

I remember joking that now that I have enough money to comfortably travel to South Africa to do the Comrades Marathon (56 mile race) I am now too slow to meet the cut-offs. No worries though; I’ve finished other long races and had a blast.

Still, the current “show how you’ve aged” challenge amuses me.

And yes, some smart ass friend of mine sent me this:

That cracked me up. It happens, even if you are diligent. And I suppose there is some attitude as well; I know that I almost never push for that last rep as I don’t want to risk injury.

Politics/Social, etc.

I admit that I mostly use Twitter to follow a few that I know (or would like to know) and to read articles. The personal opinions: it appears to be mostly venting, ranting and sloganeering.

“The Republicans suck. They need to be voted out of office. Who is with me?” Huh? Do you live in multiple districts/states? I suppose it can make sense to donate to someone out of your district IF your own district is non-competitive.

“I like candidate X because they will rock the boat!” Yeah…our current POTUS was elected for that reason. How is it working out?

It is kind of amusing to me that some appear to think that the intensity of their feelings will somehow affect a political outcome. I sincerely believe that politicians respond to those who can actually do something for them.

It is almost paradoxical: on one hand, non-well connected individuals have very little power, on their own. The can have power in a larger group..but this means making a compromise of belief of some sort and not getting everything (or even most) of what they want.

Workout notes: Monday: weights and a 3.1 mile run on the treadmill. Run: 10:50 mile (froggy), 19:28 at mile 2 (6.7-7.1 for the second 10 minutes), then walk then jog to 30:18 for 3 miles, 31:12 for 5K.
the weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (4 sets of 10, 2 of 5), bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 6 x 170, decline: 9 x 165, military: 7 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, 10 x 45 standing, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (each arm)
plank, headstand, etc.

Today: yoga with Ms. V, 4 mile run on the Riverplex track (7.5 laps to the mile; did 32 laps or 4.267 in 42:54; walked 8 more laps. 11:46, 10:47, 10:19, 9:58. It was slippery outside. Weight: 193.4 Monday, 191.4 this morning. Still stuck in the low 190’s; need to cut back some more, I guess.

January 16, 2019 Posted by | political/social, running, social/political, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Women’s basketball, snow and men

This is how I remember them:

Andrea McAllister was a senior when I got to Bradley and a scorer; she got 33 points in one of the games I attended (vs. Missouri, I believe). Vicki Hall was a big time scorer and star on Jody Conradt’s powerhouse Texas basketball team; they habitually went to the regional finals (and won it all the first year I was there; made the final 4 the second year I was there). Good stuff. In one of Hall’s games, she played in front of 14,000 spirited fans.

Well now they are college coaches and today, McAllister’s Bradley Braves beat Hall’s Sycamores (Indiana State) 61-46, to complete a two game sweep of the Indiana trip (to move to 12-3 and 2-2 in the Missouri Valley). Bradley beat Evansville 75-68 (EU is not a good team right now).

Time flies.

I can’t wait to see ISU blue visit Bradley. Of course I’ll cheer for the Braves, as usual. But this is the first time the opposing coaches would have been players that I used to cheer for!

Oh, yes, I (and perhaps 2000 others) made the snow-affected (attendance wise) Bradley vs. Missouri State game.

Bradley lead by 2 at the half (30-28) and had a 14 point lead with 14:46 to go (48-34). I thought “ok, this is just what we need to snap out of our funk; the team had been 2-7 over the past 9 games..after a promising start. With 12:40 to go the lead had been cut to 9. And so it went..Missouri State gradually chipped away and took the lead with 43 seconds to go and BU withered. Final was 69-64, with BU being outscored 35-16 over the final 15 minutes of the game.

I did not like the team’s body language; it appeared to be one of those “here we go again” reactions.

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Snowmageddon game. Mo. St. at Bradley.

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Was it something I said?

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It WAS a 14 point Bradley lead. Now we trail by 1.

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Oh well.

Snow affected the attendance ..I was able to catch a ride from the Field House shuttle.

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Bleah.

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Ugh.

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We got 10.7 inches in a day, slightly above the 95 percent confidence interval.

Workout notes; cursing and snow shoveling yesterday and last night..and this morning…
10K walking on the treadmill (1:11:40 for 6, 1:14 for 10K with the final mile in 11:15). It was a quick but not “all out” walk. If/when I can build up to 20 in 4:15 on this treadmill (yes, I’ve done that before), I should be ready for a good walking marathon.

January 13, 2019 Posted by | basketball, Peoria, Personal Issues, walking | , | Leave a comment

Trying to get it together ..

So what will the Democrats do in 2020? Oh sure, there is still the shutdown to deal with.

But the eventual nominee will have to navigate the respective..well, “power centers” in Democratic politics. And, as of right now, I am clueless as to who to back.

Political skill will be a huge consideration; agreeing with me on positions means little if one either loses the election or wins the election and can’t get their stuff past Congress.

Workout notes: I mentioned my run yesterday. Today: I decided to skip weights and walk instead; (5.1 miles at about a 16 minute pace..too damned slow). I had dry roads; snow is supposed to arrive late tonight and stay tomorrow. I hope I can make it to the Bradley game.

January 11, 2019 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, running, walking | Leave a comment

Still just a bit off

I am not quite right…too much sleep?

Well, I’ll be teaching myself “Time Series” in the next week and and a half for an upcoming class.

Workout notes: running on the treadmill (6.25) and walking on the track (.75). 11:22, 21:52, 32:45, 53:25, walk/jog then 1:04:25 for 6, then onward to 6.25..then some cool down mileage on the track.

I was slightly sore today; stretching in yoga (after a hiatus?) or was it the pathetic set of squats?

January 10, 2019 Posted by | running | Leave a comment

workout catch up

Ok, just catching up.

Monday: weight: 191.4 Did weights: pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 5 x 170, 5 x 165 decline, military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 each arm, plank, etc.
Tuesday: weight: 189.9 run: treadmill: 11:02, 21:05, 30:50, 31:46, then 3 mile walk outside. Right knee pain, due to tight calf (stretched it..then it was ok)
Wednesday: weight: 191.8. walk: 3 outside, after weights: pull ups (5 sets of 10) incline bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 150, decline: 6 x 160, military: 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 40 standing, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine, plank, etc. after. Then yoga with Ms. V in the evening.

January 10, 2019 Posted by | running, walking, weight training | Leave a comment