blueollie

ugh…

Oh, it isn’t that bad. I am still feeling oh so slightly out of sorts..probably due to lack of sleep. Play wise, I am trying to decide between doing a 5K on April 8 and getting a chance to watch quite a bit of baseball (2 Bradley games, 2 Chiefs games..probably watch 2 BU games) or a chance to do a rugged trail 30 miler at night that I am in no way prepared for. I am leaning toward the 5k and baseball.

Personal: my students did reasonably well on their midterms. That pleases me.

Workout notes: new shoes…wear them tomorrow? 4 mile walk (Cornstalk classic) after weights:

rotator cuff, 5 sets of 10 pull ups
bench press: 10 x 135, 6 x 185 (people in the gym), 10 x 170
standing dumbbell military: 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 45
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110
Hammer Machine incline: 3 sets of 10 x 140 (45 + 25)
goblet squats (used as rests): sets of 5: 45-45-50-55-60-65
leg presses: 10 x 250, 10 x 270
abs: 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunch, 10 moving yoga half-bridges
headstand: since I tried it, I had to follow through and the second attempt went easy…still have confidence issues.

March 29, 2017 Posted by | Personal Issues, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

weird bug?

For some of last week, I felt “out of sorts”; weak, watery eyes, athletically slightly degraded. I felt good prior to the weekend 5K though. Today’s run: aside from an extremely rare case of lower GI (cut run short to 3.3 miles, then walked 1.8 after the pit stop), I felt ok.

Now my wife is under the weather. The difference: she is normal.

Me: if I feel sub optimal, I try to workout anyway, albeit at reduced intensity, duration or both.

March 28, 2017 Posted by | illness, running, walking | Leave a comment

Harsh, blunt but to the point

I’ve referred to this article “6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person”. It starts this way:

Feel free to stop reading this if your career is going great, you’re thrilled with your life, and you’re happy with your relationships. Enjoy the rest of your day, friend, this article is not for you. You’re doing a great job, we’re all proud of you. So you don’t feel like you wasted your click, here’s a picture of Lenny Kravitz wearing a gigantic scarf.

For the rest of you, I want you to try something: Name five impressive things about yourself. Write them down or just shout them out loud to the room. But here’s the catch — you’re not allowed to list anything you are (i.e., I’m a nice guy, I’m honest), but instead can only list things that you do (i.e., I just won a national chess tournament, I make the best chili in Massachusetts). If you found that difficult, well, this is for you, and you are going to fucking hate hearing it. My only defense is that this is what I wish somebody had said to me around 1995 or so.

Now…I am not going to do that….not that I haven’t done so. And clearly this article applies to the workplace; really, you are paid your salary to do your job well. And yes, it applies to what WE like: we cheer for champions, we seek the best value for our money; we spend our money on things that work well, we like pilots that can fly well, lawyers that win our case or settlement, doctors and physical therapists that heal us, etc.

But for today, I’ll focus on friendships. And yes, this is very true for me.

I have a variety of friends, both on social media and in person. What makes a person desirable to have as a friend and to keep as a friend?

Well, as the article says, we seek to fill our needs. I do not do this consciously, but I find myself drawn to certain people. I’ve tried to figure out why those people.

I’ll use an example of someone what was on my Facebook friends list for some time until we became much closer friends as of perhaps 13 months ago or so. I’ll just call her Diana.

She is one of those half-dozen people whose posts I always look for first; if I haven’t seen them on my timeline I go to their wall to check them out. I notice whether or not she likes or comments on what I’ve posted. Why?

The reason, of course, is that I feel better after my interactions with her, but why is that so?

I’ve thought about it: I think that she is informed, but others are more so. But she is witty and funny; she frequently makes me laugh. That is something of value.
She has “friendship skills” (subtle ways of making someone feel special); that is something of value.
But there is something more. I’ve found out that she, along with her husband, are raising kids that really aren’t theirs because the kids parents cannot (or will not) properly care for them. That is a life changing decision.
Now that has nothing directly to do with me. BUT, I respect that and it challenges me to do better. I sometimes find myself struggling to show patience with some family members…and Diana’s example leads me to challenge myself: “if she can do THAT, I can be civil for an hour or two…”

This sort of thing carries over to other things. Example: Mamma T (and many others) have hung in there to finish marathons and ultramarathons. No, that has no intrinsic value to me. But since it is my goal to finish such things..I sometimes draw on their example when I am deep in the race, hurting, slightly sick and disgusted with my own performance. I find myself thinking “T, David, Mat, Damon, Donna, Jennifer, Mary, Steve, Robert, Cassie, Frederick (etc. too many to name them all) wouldn’t quit just because it was hard…so do you deserve their company or not?” And it motivates me to stay with it. Their success, while hardly professional level, still has value to me and I think that is part of what makes them desirable friends to have. The blunt truth if that they were quitters, I wouldn’t be as interested in their friendship. That isn’t a conscious decision, it just “is”.

So to me, you aren’t necessarily your job, you, to me, ARE what you do. And yes, there are some who I do identify with their jobs (example: Rory the physicist, Linda the lawyer, Ann the businesswoman, Lynn the accountant) but…part of what attracts me to them is that they are good at those jobs and have tangible proof of it. Again, this isn’t a conscious decision on my part.

Baseball
We had a nice Bradley vs. Eureka baseball game: Bradley raced to a 9-1 lead after 6 innings and withstood a scary 4 run “top of the 9’th” rally to win 9-7. Eureka started and closed their scoring with home runs by their burly first baseman; a solo shot early and then a 3 run blast in the 9’th. He went 4-5 with a double in addition to the 2 home runs.

It was entertaining (though a bit too entertaining in the 9’th) and it was BU’s 3’rd win for this weekend.

Here is early action:

And the cool drizzle, plus a couple of other athletic events on campus kept attendance down a bit.

Workout notes

2 mile walk
weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10, went well)
bench pres: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 5 x 185 (empty gym…did not push for 6 reps)
incline press: 10 x 135 (strict)
dumbbell military press: 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 45 (standing)
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110
abs: 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunches, 10 yoga bridges (half)
headstand
in between the upper body stuff I did 8 x 5 goblet squats: 0, 35, 45, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65 and, ironically, the best set was the one with 65. I also got 10 x 250 leg press…almost gave myself a headache.

Then I did a 4 mile walk to finish it off.

March 27, 2017 Posted by | Friends, social/political, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Interplanetary 5K and Bradley Baseball

Ok, given that the Bradley 5K course was just a tad bit long (3.16-3.2 miles) and I did it in 28:03, my 27:18 time for the Interplanetary 5K was right on.

I had felt a bit heavy legged the day before but felt fine on race morning, where it was in the low 50’s and drizzly….while I warmed up.

In a nutshell I may have taken it a bit too hard at the start (8:38) and while my second mile was fine (8:47), I slowed (9:51 for the final 1.1) even though I had a light tailwind.

I had a hard time gauging early pace. At first I followed the lady in orange and black:

But she started to open a lead on me about half way and then blew me away at the end (see the red arrow)

I was about 90 seconds slower than last year, but a bit faster than I was last Thanksgiving. Too heavy? Well, I was also running more last year (2-2:30 training runs for strength plus 8 milers midweek) and I think that I need to do more of the 1:30 duration runs.

Still, socially, it was good to see old friends including the lovely Mamma T and her new-ish friend.

Later, it was time for some Bradley Baseball, where the Braves overpowered NAIA Robert Morris-Springfield 15-0 in 7 innings.

It drizzled for part of the game, which drove most of the fans to the concourse for part of the game. We moved back to the top row under the overhang.

If the weather cooperates, I’ll try to catch the Eureka game tomorrow afternoon.

March 26, 2017 Posted by | baseball, running | , , | Leave a comment

Health care: I can live with some inequality

Ok, we know that the House attempt to kill Obamacare went down in flames; you had the “Freedom Caucus” who did not want any sort of government involvement at versus some moderates who didn’t want to see so many kicked off of insurance.

So, were do we go from here? Some populists are actually ok with some sort of universal coverage (think: “Medicaid for all”). I do not think that the populists are really free market types who are opposed to a single payer type solution. It is more tribal than that:

I think that perhaps too many of them see others from their tribe as being unworthy slackers and losers. But will enough of them move past that? We shall see.

I wonder if there is a way to play to President Trump’s ego and need for adulation…let HIM be the one that “finally got it done” and got us something like universal health care.

So what would such a plan might look like?

I could see some sort of “basic health care for all” with the option of people either getting some extras on their own. I could live with that, provided the “extras” really were extra.

Example: you get cancer, you get good treatment; the full works.

But if you’ve reached the point where you are semi-conscious, have no realistic chance of pulling out of it, but you want to spend the last month of your life in a semi-conscious state, hooked up to machines …well…that you can have a private policy to pay for. If you want to spend your insurance premium money so you can die on silk sheets, go for it.

Workout notes 4 mile walk on dead legs.

March 24, 2017 Posted by | health care, politics/social, social/political, walking | | Leave a comment

Allergies, colds and enforced humility

For the past couple of days, my eyes have watered, nose runny (TMI) and I have felt ..sort of yucky. But my workouts have been ok. Last night’s exercise class was fine (decent challenge actually) and today I did weights then my usual “short, sweet” 2 mile treadmill run where I run the first mile in about 11 minutes; second one in about 8:45 or so (my current 5K pace). I usually finish feeling refreshed and today was no exception.

So I thought: ok…not bad…then I remembered October, 2000:

OLLIE NANYES (M41) 3:38:12 91 85 / 18 M40-44 PEORIA, IL, USA (91 of 400)

That’s an 8:19 pace.

Yep, I was happy, though I was well aware that 90 people were faster, and that the winner was done BEFORE I got to mile 20. Since there was an “out and back” segment, I got to see some of the faster runners on their way back.

Nevertheless: I’d be delighted if I could average 8:19 for a 5K this year; I did that a couple of times last year. My last sub 25 was in 2014. That might well have been my final one, ever.

Well, F*CK ME DEAD. Ok, no…I still can run, workout, chase cute spandex (though cute, SLOW spandex..can’t catch the faster spandex anymore).

Workout notes: weights plus the aforementioned 2 mile run:

weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10).
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 190 (good)
incline press: 10 x 135
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine
dumbbell military (standing) 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 45
incline (Hammer Machine) 2 sets of 10 x 140 (70 each arm)
headstand (went ok)

Run: 10 minutes (2 at 5.2, up .1 mph every 2 minutes), 2:30: (6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 7 for 1:30, 7.1 for final minute) 19:41 for 2 miles, 2.03 total.

Now to dig myself out under a whole pile of grading.

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

And the Laplace Transform offends…

This Friday, we start Laplace Transforms in differential equations. By “Laplace Transforms”, we mean the usual simplified Laplace Transform we teach to beginning differential equations students; we do not know what a Lebesgue or a Stieltjes integral is.

That reminded me of what happened in my first differential equations course, back in the fall of 1978. I was sitting next to Vince and the instructor wrote the following on the board:

That, of course, is the gamma function (think of it as a way to extend the factorial function into a continuous function on the reals, though there is a more general version). If you must know, for positive real numbers, \Gamma(x) = \int^{\infty}_0 t^{x-1} e^{-t} dt . This is a convergent improper integral for x > 0

Never mind that.

Vince said “box of x, what is box?” I replied “that is the gamma function, Vince”.

“Box…what’s box? They are just making stuff up! They are making it up as they go along!” Vince was just so offended by the gamma function!

Anyway, that is a memory that made me chuckle; and yes, Vince ended up passing the course.

Workout notes: Not sure what was wrong; my nose is runny and I had a tough time breathing in the gym as the pace got harder (heat? dehydration? allergies?) So my planned 10 minute warm up, 10 x (2:30 at 6.7, 2:30 at 5.3) workout became 10 minute warm up, 6 x (2:30 at 6.7, 2:30 at 5.3) followed by a 5 minute walk, then enough running to get me to 6.1 miles in 1:05, and 1:44 more of walking to get me to 10K in 1:06:44.

I call that a “rescue of a workout”; for me, a 10K training run at under 11 minutes per mile is a valid training run, and I did get some pace changes.

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Friends, humor, running | , | Leave a comment

Conversation Starter

This is from the Chief’s Instagram feed. Yeah, believe it or not, what I picked up on HAS started conversations (indirectly) and, in at least a case or two, lead to a friendship, one of which is still current (I think)! Weird, huh?

But this does remind me that Bradley’s home baseball schedule starts this weekend and the Chiefs aren’t that far behind.

Workout notes:

Morning: a bit later than normal. But weights went fine:
rotator cuff
pull ups (5 sets of 10, determined)
bench press: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, 10 x 170 (good)
incline press: 10 x 135 (reasonably strict)
military press: dumbbell: 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45, machine: 10 x 100 (each arm)
rows: 3 x 110 machine
goblet squats: warm up, sets of 5, 0, 25, 45, 45, 50, 60, 60, 60
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts, head stand (up more quickly than usual).

Walk: Cornstalk classic 4 miler.

March 22, 2017 Posted by | big butts, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Tough loss for Illinois State

What is a safe lead in basketball? Answer: a “win”. Illinois State stated with very hot 3 point shooting (5 of 7) and took a 33-15 lead with 4:07 to go in the first half and lead 36-23 at the half.

In the second half, Central Florida started to attack the basket more but ISU still lead 52-42 with just under 11 minutes to go.

Still, the UCF guards penetrated and their 7′ 6″ center (not a misprint) seemed to be more comfortable. So while ISU made all 8 of their free throws, UCF made 14-18 and that proved to be the key difference: more attempts from the line.

UCF took the lead for the first time with 1:41 to go (61-60) and used great defense (some good blocked shots) to hold the lead. But with 4 seconds to go, ISU drew a foul and calmly made both free throws to lead 62-61.

On the ensuing play, the UCF guard drew a foul (a force out) with 1.3 seconds to go and made both free throws (madhouse atmosphere) which sealed the win.

It was a terrific basketball game and a great atmosphere; I just wish ISU had gotten one more stop so we could have had a Wednesday game vs. Illinois (who won at home later that evening).

Socially, it was fun for us to go with Vickie and Harry.

Some game action:

Couple selfie:

Our group:

Vickie sizing up the offerings at the concession stand.

March 22, 2017 Posted by | basketball, Friends | , | Leave a comment

A very common type of Trump supporter…

I know it is common to mock Trump supporters as being very wealthy people (e. g. CEOs) interested in getting their “low tax and deregulation” wish list fulfilled or as very dumb, poor people voting against their own interests. I’ve written about those two types of supporters.

But there is another large class of Trump supporters: people who, while not unusually educated, are not poor either. One might think of a factory foreman or perhaps a senior enlisted person in the military.

They are somewhat wealthier than the average American and, realistically, a bit above average in IQ. I was reminded of this type of Trump supporter when I read a comment on a physics professor’s Facebook page:

Rory, I’m a graduate Engineer. I was an Electronic Technician for years before I became an Engineer. I encountered this academic blindness on my first day of “Theory of Electrical Design.” My University professor began the class teaching that Electricity flowed from Positive to Negative because all things must flow “downhill.” I laughed. I had learned that electrons are responsible for electricity and, being negatively charged, they always flow from Negative to Positive AND I had built and repaired many a radio, radar and computer SUCCESSFULLY using this methodology. However, my Professor could/would not accept that fact! He had only heard his theoretical approach (I call it the “hole” theory) and I had to accept his POV in order to pass his class. He had never operated on any electronic devices and did not CARE how things worked in the real world (where I earned my living). It was difficult for him to see anything except theory and he was blind to any other POV. I, on the other hand, once I saw that if I reversed all my polarity signs, I could make the Math work for the sake of a passing the exam. I have other examples of Academic blindness insisting that Reality must change for the sake of their personally proven theory.

This is where you and I are. I have outer world experience in what works. You are an academic professional. You’ve lived inside this academic ‘bubble’ so long, you think I’M mad. The others following your page who delight in slander, emotional name calling, and illogical phraseology because they do not understand me, are different than you or I. There is no hope for them. But I extend this essay in the hope you might see some possibility of value to another view of reality. You see, from where I sit, it is not my view that contradicts the way Reality works, it is yours. And what, may I point out, is one definition of “Mental Illness” but a mental attitude that shuts out reality? With hopes we can exchange some meaningful dialogue, I offer you my Best wishes, Jon

Now, the person who wrote this probably has a somewhat above average IQ, though well below that of the physics professor he was addressing (who is a national class level researcher).

Now here is what is going on: when one teaches, say, circuit analysis to those who do not have a college mathematics and physics background, one must simplify. And at least in the Navy (and perhaps in other places), they are taught an “electron current” theory of electricity. This is more intuitive for them; they can visualize (so they think) little electrons (thought of as, well, small particles) flowing from one place to another.

Because using this convention and simplification allowed for this person to do electronic work, well, that must be “real world”.

In fact, current was defined before electrons were, and the standard electrodynamic theory has current “flowing” in the other direction. That is the universal definition among scientists and engineers and, at the university level and above, that is what *should* be taught.

But oh no…this individual, while not dumb, was terribly ignorant of “what was out there” and not curious enough to learn.

And what of the basic science behind the electronic components that he was able to tinker with during his “technician” days? Did that just appear from a burning bush? Nah, to this obstinate fool, well, that is some “no common sense professor” with his nose too deeply in the book to appreciate REAL WORLD stuff.

Anyhow, there are a lot of Trump supporters like this one. The conclusions that they have reached in their respective limited spheres and limited experiences override expert opinion, especially if that expert opinion is counter-intuitive to them.

Workout notes: 58:36 for a 5 mile walk on the treadmill; it felt fine.

March 20, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political, walking | 2 Comments