Why do people lie about dumb stuff?

Yes, I can understand (but do not approve of) lying for gain and maybe even lying to not hurt someone’s feelings (in subjective matters…say, giving a sympathy “like” to someone’s …let’s just say, less than attractive selfie or “less than impressive but they appear to be proud of it” performance. No…I am not one who does this…ok, I might do this on very rare occasion but rarely with someone I consider to be a friend.

But why lie about..say, a time you ran, a weight you lifted, a team you claim to have played for, etc.? After all, someone who knows enough to be genuinely impressed will know that you are full of crap, and others..well, why seek approval from someone who doesn’t know the area?

Sometimes I wonder if it a sort of see if you’ll attempt to “one up them”, in which case, they’ll know that you are a liar. It might be a way of sizing you up.

How I handle it: with someone I don’t know, I might say “wow…I’ve never even been close to is what I’ve done…” and give them an honest accounting of what I’ve done.

It is amazing how many “400 lb. bench pressers“, “12-13 minutes per mile walkers”, former “NCAA/NFL” players there are out there. (*)

Workout notes:

Weights, rope skips, 2 mile run, goblet squats:

weights: rotator cuff, hip hikes, toe raises, pull ups (5 sets of 10, good), bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 190, 8 x 170, incline: 10 x 140, military: 15 x 55 dumbbell, (seated, supported), 10 x 45 standing, 20 x 40 standing, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 55 dumbbell (each arm), 10 x 110 machine.

2 mile treadmill run: 10:35 mile 1, 8:35 mile 2, 2.1 in 20:00
rope skips: 29, 34, 37 to get to 100. I am spastic….just awful.
goblet squats: 10 x 44 (to 24 inches), 5 x 60 (lower bench), 10 x 62 (24 inches), 5 x 60 (lower bench)

(*) And if you must know: I boxed in college PE class (made an 86 on my final), flamed out in high school sports, (football, wrestling) ran a 5:30 mile, bench pressed 310 (at 230 lbs. bodyweight; current best is 200 at 195 lbs. bodyweight, 57 years of age), 3:33 marathon (lifetime, 1980, 3:38 masters, 2000), 1:34 half marathon (1999, 40 years old), 18:57 5K (1982, 20:37 at 40), 39:50 10k (1982, masters best is 42:27 in 1999) 101 miles of walking in 24 hours (2004), 4:44 powerwalk marathon (2002, not judged), 2:17 half marathon powerwalk (monitored), judged racewalks: 8:31 1500, 18:03 3000, 30:42 5K, 2:27 20K, all between 42-43 years of age.

Swim: 1:36 5K swim (2008 Big Shoulders) , 15:36 1000 (my own), 15:59 official meet.

July 21, 2017 Posted by | running, social/political, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Resentments, public policy and politics

Kathleen Parker wrote an interesting column about the Republican attempts to repeal the ACA and to replace. Yes, I know; this is more or less a Republican plan to begin with which is built around the three pillars of “community rating, mandate, and subsidies

The community rating means that high risk people get charged the same as low risk people. So here, the strong subsidize the weak. The mandate means that everyone has to get in, not just the sick who need it right now. So the healthy subsidize the sick.

Then subsidies means the financially strong subsidize the financially weak.

And yes, this can lead to resentment. We all seem to know (or even have in our family) some worthless goof off or person who engages in risky behavior (smoking, overeating, drugging, being lazy, drinking to excess) or the irresponsible who either mooches or blows all of their money and then expects others to keep them afloat.

So there is no denying that losers will be helped by the responsible:

Many Americans simply don’t see the fairness in a system that requires them to pay high premiums for others’ poor health, some of which is, let’s face it, earned. Not deserved, but sometimes resulting from poor lifestyle choices. Why, indeed, should a single, childless 30-year-old male who runs three miles a day, eats rationally, and doesn’t drink, smoke or take drugs be saddled with insurance premiums to cover pregnancy, abortion, alcoholism, addiction, or an abundance of health consequences resulting from obesity and inertia?

For that matter, why should women have to subsidize men’s sexual- dysfunction curatives when, by the way, men don’t have to pony up for women’s corresponding, post-menopausal, medically appropriate intercessions? Here you see one of the finer-print dilemmas. We’d rather force nuns to concede tacit approval of abortion than insist that insurance subsidies be tied to healthy behaviors.

I’m sorry if this sounds heartless; the brain calls it reality. No wonder Obamacare was so difficult to craft and a replacement equally so. There are simply too many moving parts to make the sucker float — and too many reasons not to sink it.

Since McConnell’s repeal-only idea seemed doomed Tuesday afternoon after GOP Sens. Collins, Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) said they oppose immediate repeal, perhaps, finally, Republicans and Democrats can snap on their wizard hats and cobble something workable together. After all, it’s the only thing they haven’t tried yet.

On the other hand:

1. Most of us know, at least on some level, that we are just a disaster away from needing help ourselves. We have weather, accidents, bad genetics, untimely diseases, etc. I have had several responsible, physically fit friends die early due to cancer. One can really “do everything right” and get horribly unlucky.

2. The economy: taking away health insurance and/or Medicaid will lead to move poverty, more people going bankrupt and damage our economy. Businesses need customers to stay in business.

So, I think the right thing to do is to bite the bullet and live with some slackers getting help that they really don’t “deserve”; overall, all of us are better off.

Now when it comes to discussing the issues of the day, Trump is so hated that some of my friends will not even talk to a Trump supporter. My big beef with Trump is that he is a rank amateur who doesn’t know what he is doing.

Oh well…yes, I am friends with some Republicans and I even regularly socialize with one.

Workout notes: disgustingly humid outside (and rainy) so I took indoor for 6 miles: 1 warm up on the treadmill, 32 laps in lane 2 in 49:47, doing “2 laps on, 2 laps off”:
12:55, 12:37, 12:12, 12:01, then a 13:47 “1 minute froggy” cool down mile (raised either incline, or speed every minute).

July 21, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political, walking | Leave a comment

Gap in my proposed proof…

I’ve been thinking hard about a result and finally found a gap in my proposed proof….what I’ve done so far is correct, but it does not “finish the job”. I think that I can take it home though. The extra complexity means that it will be a better result, I think. But I must be careful.

Yes, I’ve been following the political circus that comes with electing an inexperienced amateur as POTUS. Goodness.

Workout notes from yesterday:

weights plus an easy 4 mile walk in the morning; Ms. Vickie’s exercise class with Jennifer in the evening.
Morning: the walk wasn’t much; just a park course.
weights: rotator cuff, hip hikes, 5 sets of 10 pull ups, incline presses: 10 x 135, 5 x 160 (slight hip movement on the final rep), 7 x 150 (good hips), military: 15 x 55 seated, supported (dumbbell), 10 x 45 standing, 20 x 40 standing, Hammer machine rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200.

I also did some rope skips: exhausting. I need to do more of these. I managed 10 with out a miss, then 20. I’d like to work up to a set of 100, but that will take time. I am totally spastic right now.

July 20, 2017 Posted by | politics, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Why Republicans can’t repeal the ACA…

Bottom line: the ACA IS A REPUBLICAN IDEA. Yes, the statement is rated as “half true” but:

Republican Sen. John Chafee of Rhode Island was the point man. The bill he introduced, Health Equity and Access Reform Today, (yes, that spells HEART) had a list of 20 co-sponsors that was a who’s who of Republican leadership. There was Minority Leader Bob Dole, R- Kan., Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and many others. There also were two Democratic co-sponsors.

Among other features, the Chafee bill included:

An individual mandate;

Creation of purchasing pools;

Standardized benefits;

Vouchers for the poor to buy insurance;

A ban on denying coverage based on a pre-existing condition.

“You would find a great deal of similarity to provisions in the Affordable Care Act,” Sheila Burke, Dole’s chief of staff in 1993, told PunditFact via email. “The guys were way ahead of the times!! Different crowd, different time, suffice it to say.”

That said, the Senate plan from 1993 was not identical to the health care law that passed in 2010. The Republican bill did not expand Medicaid as Obamacare does, and it did have medical malpractice tort reform, which the current law does not. In contrast to the current employer mandate, the Chafee bill required employers to offer insurance, but they were under no obligation to help pay for it.

So, it did have a great deal in common with the Heritage Foundation plan. And, as Paul Krugman points out, all three pillars: mandate, community ratings, subsidies, are necessary.

Workout notes: 41:55 for 4 treadmill miles: 5 minute froggy for the first 20 minutes, 2.5 minute froggy for the next 22. 11:45, 22:10, 32:25 or 30:10 for the final 3..about 1 minute slower than my last 2 5K “races”.

July 19, 2017 Posted by | health care, politics/social, running | Leave a comment

Why record keeping helps me…

I have my “marathon and beyond” list here.

Here, I am going to list my walking half marathons (and one 30K) Why? It makes a point: (note: I rarely walked this distance in the first few years of walking; I was more into the marathons and ultras, though I did do this distance frequently as a runner)

September 2003: 2:17 (Appleton Fox-Cities powerwalk division)
January 2008: Austin 30K 3:50:56 (about 2:40 for the half marathon split)
September 2008: 2:25:13 Quad Cities
September 2010: 2:39:13 Quad Cities (surgery that summer)
September 2011: 2:40:53 IVS
September 2011: 2:22 Quad Cities
January 2012: 2:34 First Light
June 2012: 2:30:18 Galesburg
September 2012: 2:24:46 IVS
April 2014: 2:25:26 Peoria Heights
May 2014: 2:19:15 Peoria
September 2014 2:35 (IVS)
September 2014 2:24:17 Quad Cities
September 2015 2:38:13 IVS
June 2017: 2:47:24 Galesburg
July 2017 2:42:19 Chicago RR

One thing to remember about my sub 2:30 half marathon powerwalks: they were almost ALL done in cooler weather. So when one takes age into account, my last two warm weather results do not look that bad.

July 18, 2017 Posted by | walking | , , | Leave a comment

Chiefs matinee: beat TinCaps 2-1 in 12

If you like pitchers duels, this was your game. The starters controlled things; both went 7 innings and allowed 2 hits and 1 run each; the TinCaps starter struck out 8. He fired 95 mile and hour fastballs, but the Chiefs left fielder got a homerun. The TinCaps run came on a bizarre play; they got an extra base hit with a man on base who tripped coming around 3’rd. But the runner kept going and so you had 2 runners on 3’rd..the Chiefs tried to get one or both runners in a run down but got neither.

Bot teams stranded 2 base runners in the extra innings; it took 12.

opening pitch

12’th inning: most of the remaining fans were in the shade.

Winning: tell me the pros don’t care about winning.

Workout notes: I walked to and from the game (just over 3 miles total) and lifted weights:

hip hikes, rotator cuff, calf raises.
goblet squats: sets of 5: 25, 45, 50, 50, 60, 70 (good depth)
pull ups: 5 sets of 10
bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 8 x 170 (low energy)
incline press: 10 x 135
military: 20 x 50 dumbbell seated, supported, 20 x 40 standing, 10 x 90 machine
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50, 10 x 110 machine
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 leg lifts, legs up the wall, moving bridge, head stand (on a harder surface)
Whole weight routine was “low energy”.

July 18, 2017 Posted by | baseball, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Chicago Rock and Roll Half: acceptance

It wasn’t hot, but it was humid.


11:00, 11:28, 11:34, 11:33, 12:16 (57:53), 12:38, 12:24, 12:40 (1:35:36), 12:53, 12:42 (2:01:12), 13:07, 13:29, 14:40 (2:42:29) (13:20 last mile).

You can see what the issue was: I started out too fast. My final 5K was pretty awful though I didn’t look that bad; I might have had more oomph toward the end with a more reasonable start. I’ll have to work on that.

In terms of age grading: this was similar to the walk I did in 2011 (Mobile, Alabama)

I started in Corral 16 which meant that my wave left about 31 minutes after the start. There was very little crowding early; that was a very good thing. Yes, eyestrain..lots of very tight, pretty spandex to chase. And perhaps I chased too much of it early. Somewhere around 4-5 miles (I was taking s-caps every 3-4 miles or so) I realized that my pace was unsustainable; after a sort of bad mile 6 (see the photo), I recovered somewhat and just walked.


1. We did have a brief stop to let an emergency vehicle through.
2. There were several signs held by spectators: one said “free motivational butt slaps” (lol); the other said “you smell great”. I bellowed: “I don’t think so” and people chuckled.
3. I liked the course; in the last 2 miles or so we went past McCormick and Soldier Field and the Museum campus.
4. At about 11.5 a racewalker passed me. She told me that I had inspired her for “13 miles”. Her form looked great..and oh, what a cute rear end in shiny spandex. But alas; I tried to go after her and could not reel her in.
5. Event was well organized; I can recommend it. The lodging is pricey but the event was fine.

I did have some longing for days past when my body worked better, but I had the health and the means to do this race, and that is something to be grateful for; something to savor.

But I do have to face reality: a good marathon pace for me would be 13-13:20 or so. I need to practice walking at that pace.


The pre race ritual…

View from my corral.

The start line is in the distance! 6 more minutes!

Ankle inflammation kept Barbara from doing the 10K. But she was a good sport and cheered me on. Here I am at mile 6; kind of rough sledding (perhaps breaking form for a water stop?)

These next 3 show me between 12 and 13; my form is MUCH better here (even legal) though I was focused on “walking as well as I could” as I knew my time was not going to be a fast one.

July 17, 2017 Posted by | travel, walking | , , , | 2 Comments

Chicago Rock and Roll Half (eve)

Aside from a construction related traffic jam on I-55 near the MLK exit, getting to the Expo was no big deal. It was large and, well, not particularly crowded; there wasn’t much that I wanted.

I put in a “seed time” of 2:35 for the half marathon (which I am planning to walk) and while it appears that we’ll have a good day for it, ok, it will be a bit humid, I might well be a few minutes slower than that. I am better rested though.

Still, it was somewhat humbling to realize that my anticipated time is over an hour slower than my masters PR (as a runner) and 18 minutes slower than my masters PR as a walker. And seeing all of those 30 to early 40-somethings and realize, well, the “midpack” is starting to advance away from me.

BUT, on the other hand, I can still play and I have the health and the financial means to participate (yeah, I splurged for a hotel near the start line; this is what I saved from not going to FANS 24 hour this year (much shorter drive too).

And I am looking forward to having some fun tomorrow. I want to try my newish walking shoes in a race (wore them for training walks) and do some “faster than anticipated marathon race pace” walking in a supported setting, and to see some of downtown Chicago!

Workout notes: easy 2 mile walk in the neighborhood.

View of downtown Chicago from a McCormick pedestrian catwalk.

Last two: Barbara trying out a massage device. 🙂

July 16, 2017 Posted by | travel, walking | , | Leave a comment

They hate us. They really hate us.

I have no doubt that the elite Republicans are driven more by “upper end tax cuts” than anything else. But what about the other Republicans? Why are they so “meh” about the Trump campaign colluding with Russia (as indeed it did; there is no longer any doubt; what is debatable is the degree, how high up the collusion went, and the effect).

Paul Krugman has some thoughts that I think are worth pondering:

The important thing to notice is that almost the entire conservative movement has bought into one or both of these arguments. After all the flag-waving, all the attacks on Democrats’ patriotism, essentially the whole GOP turns out to be OK with the moral equivalent of treason if it benefits their side in domestic politics. Which raises the question: what happened to these people?

One answer might be that right-wing ideology, the commitment to tax cuts for the rich and pain for the poor, has such a grip on conservative minds that nothing else matters. But while this is true for some apparatchiks, my guess is that it’s not nearly as true for many – certainly not for the Republican base in the general public. So why has partisanship become so extreme that it trumps patriotism?

Well, I have a thought inspired by something my CUNY colleague Branko Milanovic wrote recently about civil wars. Branko – who knows something about Yugoslavia! – argues against the view that civil wars are caused by deep divisions between populations who don’t know each other. The causation, he argues, goes the other way: when a civil war begins for whatever reason, that’s when the lines between the groups are drawn, and what may have been minor, fairly benign differences become irreconcilable gulfs.

The Republicans need this rift to exist; they would not win on a “small government, low taxes on the rich” platform alone.

So they come up with something like Fox News and they push things. One was religion (the opponents are HEATHENS). Another: well, the LIBERALS are just awful. And yes, if you look hard enough, you can find leftists behaving badly (example)

(By the way: I am a college professor; I’ve worked (lived?) on college campuses for 31 years. Yes, there might be some SJW silliness here and there, and it should be challenged and opposed. Yes, there ARE SJW professors who are buffoons; a much, much higher percentage are reasonable human beings. But you are talking about a tiny, tiny, tiny part of what happens on a university. Most students have much more mundane concerns (money, social life, assignments, yes, even studying) and some are far more interested in parties than protests. Even most SJWs are reasonable human beings; only a small percentage are wacko, and those are the ones you see in the news. So the right wing focuses on perhaps 1-2 percent of what happens on a college campus..)

So right now: the push is “the liberals are horrible people and must be wrong about everything” so, if the liberals hate Russian collusion, then it must have been ok.
Krugman concludes:

And political figures either adapted or were pushed out. There once were Republicans who would have reacted with horror to Trump’s embrace of Putin, but they’ve left the scene, or are no longer considered Republicans.

This has troubling implications for both the short and the long run. In the short run, it probably means that no matter how bad the Trump revelations get, most Republicans, both in the base and in Congress, will stick with him – because taking him down would be a victory for liberals, who are worse than anything.

In the long run, it makes you wonder whether and how we can get the country we used to be back. As Branko says, there was a time when Serbs and Croats seemed to get along fairly well, indeed intermarrying at a high rate. But could anyone now put Yugoslavia back together? At this rate, we’ll soon be asking the same question about America

Oh well. Bottom line: we have to win those 2018 and 2020 elections.

Baseball notes Yes, I note the irony that I go to baseball games with a lot of people who probably voted for Trump. 🙂 If they knew how I voted… lol..

The Chiefs won 4-1 last night; due to a commitment I missed the first inning and the first Chiefs run. But I did catch 3 home runs early in the game (one by the Captains, two by the Chiefs) and saw the Chiefs add an insurance run to salt the game away.

Workout notes
Yes, I know, not much: 2 mile walk after easy weights:

PT Stuff (hip hikes, toe raises, rotator cuff), pull ups (5 sets of 10, ok), bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 190, 5 x 185,
military press: barbell: 6 x 95, 10 x 85, dumbbell: 20 x 40 standing dumbbell, machine incline: 10 reps with 140, rows: dumbbell: 3 sets of 10 x 65
abs: 3 sets of 10 moving bridge, 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, headstand (ok, this time).

July 14, 2017 Posted by | baseball, social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Going on and one when you don’t know..

Ok, yes, at baseball games, and football games, I sometimes wonder “why did the coach do that?” But I admit that I don’t understand the reasoning; not only am I not around the team that often, I also have only a “fan who played a bit in high school” knowledge of the game..and that was the game back in the 1970’s. So I’d never tell a coach how to run his/her team, even if I do offer some advice from the stands.

I did that last night during the Chiefs 10-3 win over the Lake County Captains.

There were stories aplenty. The Chiefs got 3 home runs, 2 hit by the guy who had his mother at the game. The Chiefs had a nice (but hardly insurmountable) 6-3 lead, after a 3 run 7’th inning which featured 2 home runs.

Then in the 8’th, the Captains got themselves in trouble after retiring 2 of the first 3 Peoria batters (one walk). Another walk brought on a new pitcher and an infield hit loads the bases. Then the pitcher walked 3 batters in a row! Another infield hit brought in another run before a strike out.

It was kind of nice to see the other team’s bullpen self destruct, though the Captains made one infield error and some of the “infield hits” appeared to be misplays to me.

It was very warm; that plus the long game (3:17) took a toll on the fans (and pitchers)

Now back to the original headline we see that higher education is under fire from the rank and file Republicans.

Why? My guess (from attempting to talk to some of them…OMG that was painful) is that they see some very real, very bad things and conclude that colleges and universities are basically students go there to learn how to become sensitive, get offended and to demand “safe spaces”.

And so many who have rarely, IF EVER, actually set foot on a college campus TELL ME what is happening on college campuses.

Yes, the stories one hears are real and troubling, and yes, we can (and should) do better. But these stories constitute only a tiny fraction of what goes on; evidently such critics have no idea at the amount of important learning and research goes on (engineering, science, languages, history, culture, etc.).

They KNOW what they read and see, and they see fit to tell me what …well, happens in my own workplace?

At times, it appears that those who know the least have the strongest opinions.

Workout notes 2 mile run in 22:50 (second mile was “run 200, run/walk 200”..just wasn’t into it) and goblet squats: 10 x 44, 50, 53, 5 x 70 (touch the bench).

I know; it is this Sunday that counts.

July 13, 2017 Posted by | baseball, running, social/political | | Leave a comment