blueollie

One thing to be grateful for…

No, I’ll never run 19 minutes for the 5K again, nor will I ever break 4 hours for the marathon run..or 5 for the marathon walk. Heck, even 6 hours for a marathon walk would be good for me.

I can’t do what I once did.

But I can still walk/run 15 miles (more or less) at a good pace with someone who can go much, much further than that and still enjoy it thoroughly.

4 hours on the road..2 more in the coffee shop. Note: today’s photo albums are smart phones. 🙂

I have much to be grateful for.

I do not know what the rest of Thanksgiving break will bring, but I’ve already had a wonderful break! (ok, that also included a lovely lunch the day before).

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November 22, 2017 Posted by | Friends, walking | Leave a comment

More about sexual harassment, accusations and all that.

White Nationalism That is a harsh charge, but some careful parsing of election data showed that Trump’s support really didn’t come from those with economic anxiety but rather from those who missed “the way things were”. The conclusion:

Nevertheless, a majority of white voters backed a candidate who assured them that they will never have to share this country with people of color as equals. That is the reality that all Americans will have to deal with, and one that most of the country has yet to confront.

Yet at its core, white nationalism has and always will be a hustle, a con, a fraud that cannot deliver the broad-based prosperity it promises, not even to most white people. Perhaps the most persuasive argument against Trumpist nationalism is not one its opponents can make in a way that his supporters will believe. But the failure of Trump’s promises to white America may yet show that both the fruit and the tree are poison.

Now I hasten to point out that a society does need some shared “values” to get along (e. g. loud music in a neighborhood at night…I don’t like it be it country and western, rap, rock, or even classical) But just think about the people blowing a gasket because some NFL players kneel during the National Anthem? Who are those players hurting?

Tax Plan Orin Hatch doesn’t take kindly to being questioned. But his tax plan DOES harm..well, people who started where he did and favors the wealthy. How would he have done had his law scholarship been considered taxable income? There are times when I think that being comfortable with hypocrisy is a prerequisite for being a conservative.

Sexual Harassment: Sexism is a part of that, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar wrote another nice column about a male “jock” subculture. It is very thoughtful, IMHO. It concludes:

HBO’s True Detective got to the heart of the problem when Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams) is asked why she carries so many knives and she explains, “Could you do this job if everyone you encounter could physically overpower you? … The fundamental difference between the sexes is that one of them can kill the other with their bare hands.” Nature may have created a physical imbalance, but society’s job is to not allow those with advantages — physical, financial or political — to exploit others.

Craziness: there is a poll about how Republicans and Democrats react to “accusations” of sexual harassment:

Yes, I am with the Republicans here. Accusations are one thing; credible evidence is something else altogether. And there are degrees: say, a drunken butt slap vs. an adult preying on 14 year olds. So, yes, if my candidate had been accused, I would still CONSIDER voting for them (that is how the question is phrased). Of course, when I mentioned that, some SJW “dumbsplained” me. They rarely disappoint.

But, there ARE voices of reason out there, I am happy to say.

Workout notes: yesterday, standard weights (PT, pull ups (5 sets of 10, went well), bench: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, 10 x 170 (good), incline: 10 x 135, military: 10 x 50 standing (thick dumbbells), 2 sets of 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine. Today: “quicker” 10K walk outside. Went ok.

November 22, 2017 Posted by | political/social, social/political, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

A bizarre Illinois State vs. North Dakota State game

When I saw that North Dakota State (seeded 2 in the FCS playoffs) was coming to play Illinois State, I wanted to go. NDSU had won 5 of the 6 past FCS National Championships and Illinois State has been a playoff team for several years in a row, making it to the finals in 2015. But this year, they were 6-5 going into this game and needed a win to make the play offs.

They didn’t get it; they lost 20-7 in a game that saw them have some chances. Oh, NDSU is better but..for this game, ISU made it interesting but made some key mistakes that cost them dearly.

But what I will remember is the weather: first it was a cold, driving rain (Mat and I were ready for it). Then..and I was unaware (ISU was prepared) came the sleet then came blowing, driving snow..all in the first half! It snowed for half of the second half and then the weather got a bit better.

But back to the game: NDSU drove the ball well (mostly on running but, when they got close to the red zone, got sacked. NDSU punted from the 32 (or so). Remember, it was raining hard; field position would be a factor. They got another drive but the same thing happened; they got close, got sacked, had to punt. So that was the first quarter (NDSU ran and ate up clock). Total yards were about 80-20, but it was 0-0.

Then the defenses more or less took over in the second quarter (as the sleet, then snow came) and the mercifully quick first half ended 0-0.

The second half: Illinois State stalled and had to punt into a stiff wind on a snowy field. The defense got a stop..but a roughing the punter penalty gave NDSU new life and they scored off of running.

Next possession; ISU gets intercepted and the defender made a highlight worthy run back to set up the NDSU offense. They punch it in but miss the point; 13-0. I figure it is over.

Not much happens on the snow covered field until the it stops snowing. Finally, with the wind, the ISU offense mixes up some running (had some minor success) with passing and drives for a touchdown. It is 13-7 and ISU starts to use time outs to get the ball back. But two quarter back keeps; the second one works up the middle..the qb was caught from behind, fumbled but NDSU recovers at the 1. They punch it in..and ISU’s game attempt to get back in runs out of steam with just over 1 minute to go in NDSU territory.

Still, it was an interesting ball game between an elite FCS team and a good FCS team.

Mat and I were ready.

Early action.

Then came the snow during the second quarter. They did open up Redbird arena for fans who wanted to watch on TV.

Half time was eerie.

NDSU played better in the 3’rd quarter and built their game winning lead.

Offenses traded touchdown drives in the 4’th quarter, but NDSU had their lead.

Professional photos: (more here)

Jabril Cox of North Dakota State intercepts an Illinois State pass during their football game Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Normal, Ill.
Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Nick DeLuca of North Dakota State waits for play to resume against Illinois State during their football game Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Normal, Ill.
Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

November 20, 2017 Posted by | college football, football | , | Leave a comment

There are days like that

Before Saturday’s football game (post to come), I went for a 5 mile run in heavy rain…(chilly too; high 30’s to low 40’s). Ok, it wasn’t that bad but I was soaked.

This morning, I tried walk moderately long and was just plain sluggish after 5 miles. I went to the Bradley gym and tried to pick up the pace; treadmill (15:03), track (16 minutes?) and just quit..I did not feel good at all. 7 total. On the treadmill I got weird lower abdominal gas like pains.

I think that I need more sleep and that my body is tired.

But after lunch and after watching the Bears vs. Lions game, I went for 4 miles outside and it was delightful.

This was just about 1 minute away from my house, on the Bradley campus.

November 20, 2017 Posted by | running, walking | Leave a comment

Explaining Trump’s childish outburst…(which one?)

This really surprised me, but shouldn’t have:

Yes, I took a screen shot so it won’t disappear if he deletes it. But wow: I cannot imagine either President Obama or President Bush writing such a thing.
(and for the record: shoplifting was idiotic and immoral; I have zero sympathy for the basketball players)

He was complaining, in public, for not receiving his due of gratitude?

Now, I admit he could be playing some 3-d chess..trying to distract from other, more important matters as well as playing to his very emotional, non-intellectual base. But I really believe that isn’t the case; he really does get his feelings hurt easily.

It reminded me of this old Krugman article from 2014: it explains, in part why President Obama lost support from the very wealthy:

The example many are buzzing about right now is the billionaire investor Tom Perkins, a founding member of the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In a letter to the editor of The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Perkins lamented public criticism of the “one percent” — and compared such criticism to Nazi attacks on the Jews, suggesting that we are on the road to another Kristallnacht.

You may say that this is just one crazy guy and wonder why The Journal would publish such a thing. But Mr. Perkins isn’t that much of an outlier. He isn’t even the first finance titan to compare advocates of progressive taxation to Nazis. Back in 2010 Stephen Schwarzman, the chairman and chief executive of the Blackstone Group, declared that proposals to eliminate tax loopholes for hedge fund and private-equity managers were “like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.” […]

Krugman point out that Obama really did tax the rich. But there is more:

The example many are buzzing about right now is the billionaire investor Tom Perkins, a founding member of the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In a letter to the editor of The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Perkins lamented public criticism of the “one percent” — and compared such criticism to Nazi attacks on the Jews, suggesting that we are on the road to another Kristallnacht.

You may say that this is just one crazy guy and wonder why The Journal would publish such a thing. But Mr. Perkins isn’t that much of an outlier. He isn’t even the first finance titan to compare advocates of progressive taxation to Nazis. Back in 2010 Stephen Schwarzman, the chairman and chief executive of the Blackstone Group, declared that proposals to eliminate tax loopholes for hedge fund and private-equity managers were “like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.”

And hey, money has bought them everything else…but it can’t buy them adulation and that makes some of them furious. I think that Trump is an excellent example of that. He can’t make us love him, and he refuses to act and govern in a way that makes him lovable (though, I admit, his walk back of the reversal of the elephant products ban does sound promising…he called it a “horror show” and, OMG…I am inclined to agree.

November 20, 2017 Posted by | Barack Obama, political/social, politics/social, republicans, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Sexual Harassment allegations, training and effectiveness…

Yes, sexual harassment has been in the news (sometimes to the exclusion of the truly dreadful GOP tax bills that the Republicans are trying to push through)

Of course, I was dismayed to see the allegation against Al Franken. But then came another of a different type:

On the heels of Tweeden’s disturbing allegations, however, another woman came forward claiming that she too had been “stalked and harassed” by Franken. Melanie Morgan teased her accusation with a Tweet, and then directed curious readers to her website. On her website, she described how Franken called her more than once because he disagreed with how she was discussing a policy issue on the radio.

Even giving Morgan the extremely generous benefit of the doubt, it’s hard to pretend what she alleges Franken did is the same thing as what Tweeden’s picture shows Franken actually doing. Nor is what Tweeden’s picture shows, horrible as it is, the same as what somebody like Roger Ailes or Bill Clinton did.

Which gets to a problem. Right now, the court of public opinion is faced with the awkward task of assigning degrees of severity to sexual misconduct, because, while they all cause harm, they don’t all cause the same amount of harm and thus don’t merit the same punishment. Furthermore, punishment varies by the power the offender wields. A senator, for example, should have a much higher moral threshold than, say, a comedian. Writing in The New Yorker this week, Masha Gessen treads lightly in making this point, warning that the #MeToo moment could devolve into “sex panic” if we’re not careful. “The distinctions between rape and coercion are meaningful, in the way it is meaningful to distinguish between, say, murder and battery,” Gessen writes.

One’s political ideology or past advocacy doesn’t mean it’s impossible for a person to be victimized by somebody with opposing ideology. But if what she’s written is all she’s got, Morgan’s account reeks of naked political opportunism, of weaponizing victimhood in a way that is so morally bankrupt that it threatens to derail the entire #MeToo conversation for selfish political ends.

I’ve seen a case of this when I was at the University of Texas. The two people involved did not dispute the facts: a tenured faculty member called a non-tenured faculty member to complain about a professional matter. Sex was never brought up; the sole charge of “sexual harassment” was that the tenured person was male and the non-tenured one was female…and the call was at night.

Now, unless the tenured person made a habit of hassling female members, this was not sexual harassment; if anything, it was simple douchebaggery. Not all bad behavior between men with more power/status against females with lesser power/status is sexual harassment.

So what about things like genuine groping? (I say “genuine” because the Franken photo, while disgusting, didn’t involve actual groping. She was wearing a heavy flak vest.)

I’ve seen it a few times; one time in the Navy (woman claimed that a senior enlisted goosed her while he walked past) and one time I saw an academic tickle the butt of a female in his rock and roll band as she walked by…he was married to someone else but I didn’t know their respective status (were they friends? were they “that type” of friends?).

But I know it happens and it is wrong (if not consensual). And yes, it seems sad that we need to, as a society, condemn it to reduce it. But how?

I know that standard anti-sexual harassment training is ineffective; in fact, it might well make things WORSE. I have some guesses as to why.

But as far as why men have some urge that needs to be resisted: some of the popular ideas are, in my opinion, dumb. It isn’t anything to do with “sin” or, even worse, women being “sinful” by nature. And no, I doubt it is the result of women being “sexualized” by culture. Instead, I think the urge comes from simple evolutionary pressures to mate. Men aren’t evil for “wanting to”; it just acting on the urge that is the evil. Seriously, I think some of the pressure is taken off when we just admit this “hey, you might want to, and I don’t blame you, but you don’t get to.”. I honestly think some scientific thinking about the matter helps.

Workout notes: 10K walk yesterday. Today: weights; highlights is that pull ups were easier, 10 x 135, 5 x 185 (empty gym), 10 x 170, military: couldn’t get thick dumbbells, but still 10 x 50, 2 sets of 10 x 45, also goblet squats (2 sets of 10 x 45, 10 x 50, 10 x 60 to the sill), rows (machine), etc.

November 18, 2017 Posted by | social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Al Franken and all that…

Yes, this occurred before he ran for Senator. Yes, I do not care for the person being used as the butt of the joke (it is called “groping” but there is the matter of the flak vest..symbolic groping?)

Wrong is wrong, and if you talk the talk….

Now I am not naive. My guess is that the GOP had this waiting to use at an opportune moment. One uses their negative stuff at the “right time” (Karl Rove famously did that in Texas state election) He had the goods on the candidate but sat on them until the opportunity arose. And THIS is why you do “opposition research” on your own candidate!

But this also struck a nerve with me. Yeah, as a teenager I swatted girls on the butt; I matured and stopped doing that. So, as an adult, it has been “hands off” for me. Period. And if you view my photos, it is clear that I have many female friends who do things with me (ball games, going out to eat, walks, runs, etc.) Clearly they are comfortable being around me.

But I am not a feminist. I believe in equal opportunity for women (and favor some affirmative action programs in areas where they are underrepresented) and I believe that, in the spirit of fairness, some of the “typical male centered” workplace policies need to be adjusted to account for the statistical fact that women are more involved in child raising, etc.

But I reject all of the lingo (patriarchy, privilege, blah blah) and the whole anti-science position that the movement appears to have taken on (e. g. that humans do not have evolved instinctual traits and there is a statistical difference between female and male traits).

And there are males who openly buy into such lingo…and then you find them doing…this?

Oh, about “whatabout”…yes, I know. This post is about introspection.

November 16, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, social/political | Leave a comment

Watching what I say….

Ok, I made a couple of basketball games over the past couple of days. The Bradley men whipped Delaware 61-53 (after getting hammered by them in the previous 2 years) and the women beat a D-2 opponent (Lincoln, Missouri) 88-44 in a game where they lead by 50 points with 4 minutes to go. (yes, Bradley played everyone and made no special effort to run it up).

Attendance at both games was…sparse and I sent photos to empty seats galore (along with the obligatory “fans fed up” joke remark)

It turns out that the Woman’s Basketball Team coach saw my tweet and responded. She was polite and gracious (pointed out that Lincoln was a last minute substitute for a D-1 team Valparaiso who is now a conference member). But…that tells me that I had better watch what I say in public. What I see as light hearted fun might be painful to someone else.

Now about the game against Lincoln: this shows how important recruiting is. They were competently coached; they simply didn’t have the players we have.

And folks, this applies to other areas too: talent matters! If your response is “well, duh”, there are people in positions of authority who do not understand this.

Workout notes: weights yesterday; usual Wed. workout (incline presses: 10 x 135, 4 x 160, 10 x 150 (good), pull ups went very well (for a change); it all went well. Then a 3 mile run on the treadmill (5k in 32:40; 31:40 for 3 miles, 22:07 for 2. ) Today: 1 mile walk on the treadmill (12:15), 5.1 hill miles outside.

November 16, 2017 Posted by | basketball, running, social/political, walking | | Leave a comment

And I drag Lynn to a Bears vs. Packers game…

Ok it was dry for the walk over but rained during the game. Still, a poncho kept us dry and we were bundled up.

The game: The Packers won 23-16, though thanks to a botched snap/hold on a late field goal attempt, the Bears got the ball back with 1 minute to go and had a shot to tie it.

A key moment came in the 2’nd quarter (2:30 into the video; score was 10-3 Packers) when the Bears receiver made an excellent run after catch and dived for the end zone. He was ruled out at the 2 (first and goal at the 2) but the Bears challenged the call, claiming that he hit the pylon with the ball before going out of bounds.

Call was reviewed..and showed that he lost control of the ball just prior to hitting the pylon. Hence the ball went out of bounds in the endzone..”touchback” and the Packers ball at the 20 versus the Bears having it at the 2.

Overall, the Packers got just enough offense with their backup quaterback and a receiver running as running back. And they sacked the Bears quarterback several times.

An action shot via the Bears Instagram account:

kickoff. Yes, there were empty seats.

We were about where the arrow is: 2n’d row of the upper deck (442, row 2). GREAT seats..the best I’ve had in Soldier Field so far. This shot was retweeted by EmptySeatsGalore on Twitter. Shot by @RobDemovsky:

Some action.

More action

Some shots of the stands…it was rainy.

Yes, there were some unsold seats up in the upper corner of the upper deck:

Lynn and I in our ponchos.

Lynn and I before going in..it wasn’t raining as yet.

November 14, 2017 Posted by | football, Friends, NFL | | 1 Comment

The joy of blocking on social media and one appeal of Trump (it is nowhere near enough though)

Well, work has its challenges, and decorum (and just simply doing my job) forces me to be more polite than I’d want to be; it would be unprofessional for me to go off on someone, even if they “deserved it” (e. g., being completely in the wrong but unwilling to entertain the thought that it might be true).

And what does Trump do: he goes off on people…and once in a while, he goes off on someone I do not like.

Ah…sort of a guilty pleasure, no? But it is a poor quality in a POTUS…in addition to his utter lack of qualifications for the job.

But one way I do engage in that fantasy: on social media, “dumbsplainers” get blocked on the first, or sometime the second warning. And yes, often these are liberals, but not always.

One example: there were some empty seats for the Bears Packers game this year, and the Trumpchumps were trying to tell me that this didn’t happen in previous years; this year’s empties were due to their “boycott the NFL”.

So I found an Instagram photo from the 2016 game (during the game) and SHOWED them..yes, there were empty seats in that game. And this year, Aaron Rodgers was out. That felt good.
And if the Trumpchump can’t accept that I will block them.

(yes, the game was going on, and it was close the whole way).

Workout notes: Sunday: 2 mile “fast walk” (25:30) before a Bears vs. Packers game
Yesterday: weights; usual PT, pull ups 5 sets of 10, one set of 5-5 on the new bar, bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 8 x 170, incline: 10 x 135, military (dumbbell) 10 x 50, 10 x 50 (first with thick bar dumbbells), 20 x 40 standing, dumbbell rows (3 sets of 10)..yoga later (slept in)
today: 10K walk outside.

November 14, 2017 Posted by | NFL, social/political, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment