blueollie

The liberal way

There was a recent article about Fitbit and how its use did NOT seem to make people fitter, in general:

The trial took place at the University of Pittsburgh between 2010 and 2012, and it involved more than 470 adults between the ages of 18 and 35. All of them were put on a low-calorie diet, had group counseling sessions and were advised to increase their physical activity. Six months into the intervention, all were given telephone counseling sessions, text-message prompts and study materials online.

At that time, though, half were also given wearable tech devices that monitored their activity and connected to a website to help provide feedback. All participants were followed for 18 more months.

At the end of the two years, which is pretty long for a weight loss study, those without access to the wearable technology lost an average of 13 pounds. Those with the wearable tech lost an average of 7.7 pounds.

It’s hard for many to accept, so I’m going to state the results again: Those people who used the wearable tech for 18 months lost significantly less weight than those who didn’t.

You may rightfully point out that the primary reason to wear the devices isn’t to lose weight — it’s to be more active. But even in this respect, it didn’t work nearly as well as we might hope. In the IDEA trial, those who employed the technology were no more physically active than those who didn’t. They also weren’t more fit.

Now this is a very narrow demographic (18 to 35) and most of the people that I talk to or who use this are considerably older than 35 years old. And yes, one of the fans of the fitbit is ..my wife. Nevertheless, Paul Krugman weighed in:

Notice: instead of panning a study that gave a counterintuitive result, he looked for other reasons as to why HIS individual experience might have been different. That’s the liberal way.

Now about the other people: People have been showing up at town halls and letting their members of Congress, often Republicans, hear from them. Democracy in action, right? Uh..

no…

That’s pathetic, Mr. President.

Weather and workouts

Was it warm today, by “February in Illinois” standards. Evidently, we aren’t alone. We are having “April/May” stuff right now.

I took advantage to walk a hilly 5K at 14:27 mpm (Bradley Hill course). That was after weights:

rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10, good), bench press (dumbbell) 10 x 70, 10 x 75, incline press: 10 x 135 (hips planted), military press: 10 x 50, 45, 40 (dumbbell), machine rows (10 x 110, 3 sets).
abs: 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunches.

lots of free squats; then 5 x 45, 4 sets of 5 x 50 dumbbell goblet, 10 x 230 leg press. Butt is getting stronger.

Right shoulder: slightly sore; back; ache came back briefly while lying down.

February 22, 2017 Posted by | health care, political/social, republicans, republicans politics, social/political, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Is this storm here to stay?

1979:  The Great Red Spot, in the region of Jupiter which extends from the equator to the southern polar latitudes, as seen by the space probe Voyager 2.  (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)

1979: The Great Red Spot, in the region of Jupiter which extends from the equator to the southern polar latitudes, as seen by the space probe Voyager 2. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)

I know when there is a rainstorm, I think: “it can’t last forever”. Well, here is Jupiter’s “Red Spot”. It has been observed for 187 years and was thought to have been observed 350 years ago. Yeah, in terms of astronomical time scales, that is perhaps a nano-second. But it is a long time for a human.

And so I come to something that has been on my mind a LOT lately: our new “so-called” president.

Yes, in my bubble, Trump is an unmitigated disaster, headed for either impeachment, removal via the 25’th Amendment, or destined to resign because he wants to take his ball and go home.

Ah, I’d love that. But I really do not see that happening.

Yes, Trump’s numbers are at historic lows for someone this early into his administration. (40 percent by the Gallup). But he is at 86 percent among Republicans. And the reality is that many (most) who voted for Trump simply do not care about the things that we care about.

Now, I disagree with some of what is in this Isaac Simpson blog post, but there are some good observations here:

Here’s a fact you that might surprise you: most Trump voters do not care if he collaborated with Russia to take down Clinton. If that was what was necessary to destroy Washington, then it was worth it. Trumpians, many of whom have had their lives destroyed by Wall Street and by an establishment that, fairly or not, they connect directly to the MSM, are so angry that they’ve entered means-to-an-end mode.
To put yourself in the mind of a Trump voter, a good analog would be if a country known for meddling in American politics, let’s say Israel, had hacked the RNC on Hillary’s behalf, then exposed some corruption-containing RNC emails to the public. These emails were then used to defeat Trump. As a Hillary supporter, would you care? Would you really call for Hillary’s head?
The point is, if you think Trump supporters are going to be like Nixon supporters and lose faith in their candidate if it’s proven that he acted nefariously, think again. They won’t care. They’ll interpret a Trump impeachment as a nothing but a usurpation.

And many have lost trust in the mainstream media:

In Trump’s case, you have a paradigmatically anti-establishment candidate versus a powerful and brazenly biased media known to be as corrupt as the politicians it covers. The New York Times has admitted that it ignored Trump supporters during the election, and has essentially acknowledged its own bias. The people funneling money into politics are often the same ones who own the media companies that are doing the reporting, i.e. George Soros. It’s not a stretch to believe that MSM was so threatened by Trump that it spent tens of millions of dollars trying to find a way, any way, to take him down. By being outwardly hostile to the MSM, Trump, the ultimate outsider, baited them into this battle. If the MSM takes down Trump, it’s hard to see it as anything besides Goliath defeating David. And, no matter what the facts are, it will be Goliath defeating David in the mind of the Trump voter.

As incredulous as it sounds to me (and to most of my friends), Trumpkins view Trump as “David” rather than Goliath! (wrap your head around that one).

And Trump supporters really do think that he is doing a great job and simply do not understand what the problem is.

But less than one month into Trump’s term, many of his supporters say they once again feel under attack — perhaps even more so than before.

Those who journeyed to Trump’s Saturday evening event on Florida’s Space Coast said that since the election, they have unfriended some of their liberal relatives or friends on Facebook. They don’t understand why major media outlets don’t see the same successful administration they have been cheering on. And they’re increasingly frustrated that Democrats — and some Republicans — are too slow to approve some of the president’s nominees and too quick to protest his every utterance.

“They’re stonewalling everything that he’s doing because they’re just being babies about it,” said Patricia Melani, 56, a Jersey native who now lives here and attended her third Trump rally Saturday. “All the loudmouths? They need to let it go. Let it go. Shut their mouths and let the man do what he’s got to do. We all shut our mouths when Obama got in the second time around, okay? So that’s what really needs to be done.”

And hey, things have changed.

At last night’s Peoria Democrats Presidents Day Dinner, I hung out with a lot of like minded friends, and was shocked to learn that Trump carried MY OWN CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT (IL-17); one that Cheri Bustos won easily. Yep, it is true: Trump won 47.4-46.7 in a district that Obama carried by 17 points.

Bustos warned that Democrats appeared to be indifferent to those affected by the loss of manufacturing jobs; not showing up in areas hit by factory closings and the like. She noted that she was the only Midwestern Democrat on her committee.

Now of course, I do not approve of lying about those lost manufacturing and good paying blue collar jobs; they are NOT coming back (example). And there is a reason that liberals migrate to the coasts; I sure wish I could too! Hell, I was at a Democratic dinner, and it was opened with a highly sectarian prayer (FATHER GOD, “In Jesus Name”)…it seemed like an Onion parody of the Bible beaters.

So, that is my gripe. My solution? From what I’ve read, right wing populists in Europe have been taken down by ordinary, hum-drum politics. Oh, we won’t win that 40 percent the consistently approves of Trump. Forget about that. But by holding President Trump accountable for the outcomes of his policies, we might just pick off enough of the “mushy middle” to win it back in 2020.

Yeah, screaming about Trump’s noxious personality and his social sins might feel good to us, and while that won’t actually help Trump, it won’t win the election for us. The professional politicians have their work cut out for them.

Upshot: I’ll continue to vent with my friends, but I also realize that my venting, while being a nice stress release, is NOT part of the hard work of winning the next election. I have to ask myself: do I REALLY want to do more political walk routes in “broken sidewalk” neighborhoods? (If you are a Democrat, you will always do walk routes in the poorest neighborhoods…it would be nicer to be a Republican!) I did these from 2004-2012 and I have NOT done it since…hmmm…

Oh well, the gym and academic work calls…

February 21, 2017 Posted by | Cheri Bustos, Democrats, IL-17, political/social, politics, politics/social | , , | Leave a comment

Songs and people…

I am in a bit of a weird mood (a good mood, but weird). I wonder: do other people associate songs certain people? I do. I won’t say who I associate with what as I don’t want to embarrass anyone. Some of these songs remind me of more than one person.

February 21, 2017 Posted by | Friends | | Leave a comment

Peoria Democrats Presidents Day Dinner 2017 version

It was the usual; good food, nice company, VERY sectarian prayer (have any of these pastors ever heard of the word “ecumenical”?), Cheri Bustos was the main speaker and she filled us in as to what is going on in Washington. She alerted us to the fact that Trump won IL-17 (Obama won it easily).

Socially, it went much better for me than last year, though I did socialize a bit more with others already at the dinner.

This time, Tracy was available and Larry met us there.

peodinnerlarge

The largest crowd ever: almost 500. Open seating was in the back.

There was a lot of fried chicken there. Yeah, this photo was a bit blurry.

chickenbuffetpeoria

Maria got this one of me.

peodinnerme

Here I am with Tracy.

tracyandmepeodinner

I won the flower place setting in the raffle.

tracylarrypdemodinnerplacesetting

Here is Larry and Tracy together.

tracywithlarrypeodemdinner

Oh, I did work out in the morning: 6 miles easy and some “no weight” squats.

February 21, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, Friends, IL-17, Peoria, Peoria/local, running | | Leave a comment

Basketball: 2 out of 3 this weekend

Well, the Bradley Women lost to Wichita State 76-69; the free throw shooting did not help. They were 13-15; we were 16-24. It was 38-34 at the half; note that Bradley started out with a 10-2 lead. Wichita also shot 50 percent from 3 point range; that is way too high of a percentage. Yes, they were mostly open looks.

Bradley trailed by 10…but then rallied to cut it to 2 points…but missed a layup! (somewhat contested though). Wichita seemed to take control after that.

But I have gotten spoiled given that BU has won 4 home games in a row. They are much improved from last year and are a pleasure to watch.

buwomenactionwichita

Of interest is that they handed out stuff to make sandwiches with as you walked into the arena. Then at half time, they had you make your sandwich. I gave mine away to a younger man (higher metabolism).

buwomensandwich

buwomensandwichmaking

Workout notes: I didn’t sleep well last night; too giddy from a wonderful Saturday. The weights went ok:

rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10, strong), bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185 (slightly weak), 7 x 170 (weak), 10 x 135 incline press, rows: 3 sets of 10 with different machines. Military: 7 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 40 all standing dumbbell, 10 x 180 machine (strict) Usual abs: 2 sets of twist crunch (12), 2 sets of 10 leg lifts, head stand (reasonably good).

Then I went outside to walk (beautiful day): I did the out and back to Bass Pro (5 miles) then had to rest; I was very, very thirsty and had a slight headache. I drank, then did another 3 to get 8 miles (8.2 really).

bassproballfieldgooseloop

February 20, 2017 Posted by | basketball, Friends, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Hurting the feeeeelings of Trump supporters…

Yes, I want my professional politicians to take pains to be civil to all of their constituents, including those that did not vote for them. Yes, our current President does NOT do this; he sets the worst example I’ve seen in a senior political leader.

But not I am seeing “are liberals helping Trump” type statements and these arguments are being taken seriously by those I respect. It seems to go something like this: “well, a small percentage of those who voted for Trump are having second thoughts but the liberal meanies are keeping them in the Trump camp”.

And a small percentage it is, as 87 percent of Republicans approve of his job performance (Gallup, as of 19 February).

So, is there evidence that liberal snarkiness toward Trump supporters is hurting? I do not see it. Think of it this way: did the open white hot hatred that many conservatives displayed toward Obama and his supporters hurt them?

Now before you say “yes but”: yes, I agree that most Trump supporters are NOT evil, stupid people. I do think that many simply didn’t know any better and that some simply voted for the tax cuts, thinking all of the incompetence and corruption would not matter that much.

Some, I think, are gullible (hint: coal and big time manufacturing are NOT coming back).

In any event, my problem with Trump is his deportment, his thoughtlessly saying false stuff, and frankly his apparent incompetence for this type of job (and apparent violation of the “you can’t profit off of your office” rule in the Constitution. Policy: well, the Republicans won; my ideas lost. That happens..we should have run a better campaign.

But I am not going to tell my friends that they should act like political operatives 24/7…not that it would do any good.

Sure, writing or saying “If you voted for Trump, you are evil and I hate you” isn’t going to change any minds but, well, most of us are not politicians nor ambassadors.

February 20, 2017 Posted by | political/social, politics, social/political | | Leave a comment

Social Saturday and Bradley Basketball….

Last night: the Bradley women had a tit-for-tat slugfest with Missouri State. The Braves were outrebounded and out shot (slightly; both teams finished in the high 30’s) but made 75 percent of their free throws (24 of 32, as opposed to 10 of 18 for MSU); that was the difference. One forward had a great first quarter; the other two picked up the slack for the remaining 3. The star has 17 rebounds and 21 points. That was enough for BU to pull off an exciting 52-46 victory over the MVC’s no. 3 team.

bradleywomenmostate2017

Then this morning, Mamma T made some time to do a social 8 mile run/walk with me (she is recovering from an illness)

theresaandmefeb182017

It was so pretty, and the company was wonderful..as it always is.

Then a quick bite, followed by a Bradley men’s game. I took Mat to that one.

bradleymenevansville2017timeout

Bradley started out well and took an early 7 point lead; Evansville rallied to take a 4 point lead at the half; Bradley’s star forward had early foul trouble. He still finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds. The point guard hit several 3 point shots during his 16 point first half (22 total).

But Evansville extended the lead to 55-41 with 14 points left in the game. But this time, Bradley did not panic. They slowly chipped away to pull to within 64-61 with 7 minutes to go. They gradually took the lead and extended it to 8 with 2 minutes to go and made enough plays down the stretch to build it to 84-70; they got the last basket to make the score 84-72. Great game!

Mat joked that I should take him to more game, since the Bears won the game I took him to (vs. the 49’ers).

Then it was an errand, followed by dinner with a dear friend. We were supposed to meet at the Indian restaurant but it was closed; so we went to a new (new to me) Mexican plate. The food was good; the company was even better, but the table..was one of those tiny round tables that was too low to the ground; kind of a “ok to have a drink” tables.

Still..’twas a nice day of workouts, sporting events and friendship.

Tomorrow: another woman’s game (maybe a another Bradley sweep weekend?) and then on Monday: the Peoria Democrats Dinner (Tracy is going to that one with me this year)

peoriaddinner

February 19, 2017 Posted by | basketball, Friends, running, walking | Leave a comment

Unrequited Love

Over the past year, I’ve had an energetic back-and-forth with someone who I’ve grown fond of. A year ago, I didn’t even know what she looked like, though we were FB friends for a couple of years (I wasn’t even sure if “she” were even a “she”…that is, was this an “alternate account”?). So our FB relationship has grown and evolved; right now I play the part of a clueless, infatuated, socially awkward male who constantly gets rebuffed…but still doesn’t learn. This has generated a series of memes, and here is one of the latest ones:

myfailurewithcarmen

I admit that I like this one as I am a fan of “over the years” photos; I’ll post another one as a “PS” to this post.

But behind all of the joking is the idea of “unrequited love”, which the Main Ingredient sang about so well:

And this has been a big part of my life, albeit NOT in terms of human relationships. Oh sure, many (most?) of those I had a crush on did NOT have crush on me. But hey, that is life for most of us. I am thinking more along the lines of my life and professional aspirations.

yokotafootball

Yes, for most of my young life, I really, really, really wanted to be a professional athlete. And I did all of the “right” things: I ran wind sprints, lifted weights, practiced my football drills. And it paid off: I stared two years of JV an one year of varsity football in high school.

But, well, college competition was a different story, and, in all honesty, I didn’t have even enough ability to play Division III ball. There just isn’t a market for those who take 5.8-5.9 to run a 40 yard dash (to put this into perspective, linemen usually run 4.8-5.0, backs 4.3 to 4.5).

So now, yes, I do hear from professional sports teams….when they have ticket specials. 🙂

But this has a happy ending. You know all of that running and weight lifting I did? Well, I am still doing it, albeit at a more age appropriate level. I grew to love working out, and I still do.

So, sometimes unrequited love really does have a happy ending. In my case: no broken body (though I have a few aches and pains…that is normal for someone in their late 50’s), no concussions. No athletic performance either, but I can still run a 5K at 8:30-8:40 mpm (yeah, that used to be 6:20…but never mind) and I can still do sets of 10-15 pull ups.

February 18, 2017 Posted by | Personal Issues, relationships | | Leave a comment

Why I find President Trump so depressing….

No, it isn’t about policy. Yes, I did not like President Reagan’s policies. I didn’t like many of the first President Bush’s policies, and did not care for the second President Bush (from the Iraq war until the final 2 years of his term…when things started to fall apart, he started to act appropriately)

And if someone like VP Pence was in charge:

Suppose Mike Pence were president now. Tax-reform legislation would be hitting the floor of the House. A competent White House staff, headed by people with intact reputations for honesty, would be hammering out the compromises necessary to repeal healthcare reform. A functional National Security Council would be generating options for responding to Russia’s cheating on arms-control treaties and aggression in Ukraine. Democrats and liberals would be assailing congressional Republicans on immigration and abortion—not espionage and treason.

So, a conventional Republican as President would have me up in arms, but about the right things: policy. Yes, let’s debate that. Yes, if they win an election, the losing side (in this case, mine) has to do some sucking it up.

It is all part of being a citizen. Sometimes your ideas do not win the day.

But that isn’t what is going on now. Instead we are getting this:

So is appears that President Trump is only the president of his base..no one else. In reality: he is probably more about the ultra wealthy than anyone else; we shall see. But he is reaching out to those who voted for him, period. He attacks our public institutions and private citizens.

Never in my life have I seen a president do that. Every president of both parties have made it a point to at least try to reach out to those who didn’t vote for them. Until now.

As far as his press conference, well, just read a fact check.

I’ve never felt so alienated.

I understand where #notmypresident comes from. He really doesn’t represent me, and frankly DOES NOT CARE that he doesn’t. I’ve never seen such a thing in my lifetime.

Oh, there are many other issues that bother me too; there is that he doesn’t appear to know what he is doing for starters. There is the fact that his opponent got close to 3 million more votes; rural America has way too much power. I don’t mind a rural person’s vote counting as much as mine does; I have a big problem with it counting for so much more than mine does.

The future: I have no idea. I think that the stuff going around about Trump either quitting or getting removed from office is wishful thinking.

February 18, 2017 Posted by | politics, social/political | | Leave a comment

Great February weather…

You won’t find me whining all that much about the weather this year.

I drove Barbara to the airport and got a slightly late start on my workout. I ran (shuffled) my 4 mile course and then did some leg weights; 4 sets of 5 squats with a 45 lb. plate, 1 with a 50 lb. dumbbell, then 10 leg presses with 230.

I’ll say a bit more; I’ve been thinking a bit about this topic: free speech (e. g. Milo Yiannopoulos speaking on campus). Yes, I know, he has no First Amendment right to be given a podium on a college campus, and I also realize that if one is teaching a college course, one should not treat crackpot ideas as if they have merit (e. g. creationism). But I still have something to say anyway, and yes, it involves the free exchange of ideas, the taking on ideas and giving them a cold blooded, logical critique, etc.

So more later…

February 17, 2017 Posted by | running, social/political, weight training | Leave a comment