back on the treadmill

Later today: half of a Bradley basketball game then I’ll leave to pick up my wife and go with her to a Memorial Service for someone that, well, I never liked her but she had a tough life on many levels..and still did some impressive things.

Earlier, I decided against getting up early to go to the Riverplex to swim/run and just try a short run on the treadmill. THAT was plenty; I did 5K in 34:25 (just over 11 mpm, albeit at a good incline) and that was enough to be actual work; I was sweaty and I coughed. The first 25 minutes was very easy but I tired quickly.

Oh well…I have to remember that I am still weakened from last week’s illness.

And it did feel good to get a deep sweat on.

February 28, 2015 Posted by | running, social/political | | Leave a comment

Women’s Basketball: Southern Illinois 72 Bradley 66: turnovers and perimeter defense

Good news: I walked TWO MILES on the treadmill this morning. I didn’t die; maybe a bit more tomorrow morning.

27:54; I did enough to get warm.

Women’s basketball
Though Bradley stated out well, BU allowed SIU to hit 7 of 14 from 3 point land; two SIU guards just killed us: no. 10 with 25 points (8-15, 2/5 from 3) and no. 13 had 21 (6-13, 4/6 from 3). We also gave up 20 turn overs; rebounding (BU 33-30) kept us in it.

It was mostly back and forth with SIU not starting to get away for good until about 2 minutes were left; they stretched it to 7, though BU cut it to 3 a few times in the very long last minute.

Note: I blistered my mouth with too many cough drops; Barbara got me some ointment that really helps.

February 28, 2015 Posted by | illness, walking | , | Leave a comment

Statistical stupidity from NPR

I am no longer surprised when NPR commits a statistical howler.

Today, they aired a touching story about a black hockey player and the racism that he endured. So far, so good.

But then, they go on to say this:

Despite stars like P.K. Subban and Evander Kane, hockey remains a stubbornly white sport. Only about five percent of NHL players are black 28 years after James.

Uh, exactly why is this a problem?

1. Backs are about 12.6 percent of the US population.

2, Blacks are about 2.9 percent of the Canadian population.

3. These days, the NHL gets about 50 percent (just over) of its players from Canada, and just under 25 percent from the United States.

So making the assumption that one would expect zero black players from other than the US or Canada (think of the hockey powers of this world), IF the representation were exactly proportional, we’d expect:

(.5)(2.9) + (.25)(12.6) = 4.6 percent, which is about what they have.

So why is 5 percent a problem? My guess: they assume that blacks are grossly over represented in football and basketball, they should be in hockey as well? If so, why?

Of course, this isn’t as bad as some idiot academic administrator with a Ph. D. insisting that everyone needs to be above the department average, but …well…let’s just say that I am cranky and that NPR comes across as smug.

February 27, 2015 Posted by | media, social/political, statistics | , | 1 Comment

Feeling strong enough to complain

Ok, no 100 percent; I still have some illness “afterglow”. I’ll put this on my virus post.

But I didn’t cough much when I shoveled snow (about 3 inches of easy, fluffy stuff) in very cold (14 F) weather. I cursed the idiot plow drivers as they buried our walks instead of putting the snow on the useless median and did the walks…again.

Peoria is simply a horrible place to live; Canadian winters (last 2 anyway), incompetent city government and idiotic people.

But when I finished shoveling (AGAIN), walking to school and climbing the stairs I was soaking with sweat…and did not cough…once. I can’t tell you what a huge improvement that is. I’ll probably walk on the treadmill tomorrow.

But my wife is home, taking up space and coughing away…no rest of the wicked, I suppose.

No relief from the brutality of this winter either; yes, THIS YEAR, and LAST YEAR have made the “top 10 coldest Februaries on record:

February 2015 is on track to being one of the coldest February’s on record for Illinois. Data through February 24 puts the statewide average at 19.4° F. This is 11.5°F below average and slightly colder than last February’s 19.4°F. Before February, this was shaping up to be a mild winter with near to above-average temperatures (see graph to the left, click to enlarge).

At this point, February 2015 is ranked as the 8th coldest on record, edging out 2014 (see table below). The NWS forecasts show that temperatures for the rest of February will be 15 to 20 degrees below average. Therefore it is possible that it could move up the ranks. I will post more on this at the end of the month.

Yes, it will get colder:


And yep, we will get slammed with more snow again.

We have the worst of both worlds: Canadian winters and US conservatives in the same place.


Yes, some college administrators, even those with academic Ph. D.s really are this stupid:

When I started as an assistant professor, our Provost insisted that to be tenured, all tenure-track faculty had to have scores on their anonymous student evaluations that were above their department’s averages. I tried to explain to him that if this were sustained over time, the result would be that all tenure-track faculty would be required to have perfect scores. After that happened, no one would get tenure, since it would no longer be possible to score higher than average. He gave me a deer-in-the-headlights look.

(by department average, they mean vs. all tenure track and tenured; this is the “everyone should be above average idiocy”)

And yes, they expect you to view whatever “research” they did on a level with yours.

February 27, 2015 Posted by | education, illness, Peoria | , , , , | Leave a comment

Missouri State catches, outlasts Bradley 80-77 in triple overtime.

Grumble…crummy weather; still not well…minor exertion makes me cough and my lower abs are killing me from coughing. I do feel better though…a lot better. Tomorrow: I’ll clear the walk for my workout; it is cold, fluffy stuff and shouldn’t be too taxing though it will make me cough, and my wife is worthless when it comes to helping out.

I’m still glad she is home though. Still, it has gotten to the point whenever I am injured or sick, we have two weak people, not just one. And, she is coughing worse than I am due to the lung irritation she got while on her trip.

Screen shot 2015-02-25 at 9.51.48 PM

I wish that stupid jet stream would do its job. Gads, this is ANOTHER “winter that will never end”. Most of the planet is roasting, and we have that arctic air mass parked right over us.

Now about the basketball game:

Before the game, I posted this on the fan board:

Betting line: Missouri State favored by 3.

Sagarin ratings suggest a 5 point Mo. State win.

Jones expected to start in place of Grier.

MSU got hammered 78-43 by Drake; it was 35-14 at the half. Drake blew open an 11-11 game with 61.9 percent 3 point shooting.

Mo. State beat ISU blue in their last home game.

Prediction: Mo. State 50, BU 48

Yeah, it went 3 overtimes and I watched all of it on the TV.
Mo. State shot 50 percent from the field to take a 32-23 lead at the half; BU’s shooting percentage was abysmal (34.5 percent)

Screen shot 2015-02-25 at 7.54.16 PM

Still; Missouri State, mostly on strong put backs under the basket, did get out to a 20-6 lead and so at 32-23, BU had some momentum going into the half.

In the second half, BU challenged MSU’s guards away from the basket and forced the Bears to take some really awful shots. They weren’t going inside as they did before.

So Bradley crawled back into it and even built a 4 point lead with 5 minutes to go. MSU came back to regain the lead but never lead by more than 2, and a jump shot with 20 seconds tied the game.

So, it ended 50-50; BU had fought all the way back.

First overtime: back and forth; BU’s rebounding kept them in it (star freshman forward had 21 rebounds to go with his 15 points); neither team could lead by more than 3 and it ended tied at 58.

THEN came the second overtime. Bradley OWNED the first 2:26 of the second overtime and took a 65-58 lead; I even said “I think BU is going to win this one.”

I spoke too soon; a 3 point shot (by someone who was struggling to hit them) pull them to within 4. A stop, they get it and score 2 and now it is 65-63. Foul, one of BU’s stronger shooters split the pair to make it 66-63.

They FINALLY nail another 3 (late in the game, MSU shot better) and it is 66-66. But BU draws a foul and goes to the line: 1 of 2 again and now BU leads 67-66 with 57 seconds to go.

Then comes the final sequence of events. MSU with the ball. BRADLEY steal and a foul! BU hits both and now it is 69-66 with 18 seconds to go. Missed 3, rebound BU and a foul! Two shots!!! And….

Two misses.

Still, 14 seconds are left in the game and…they….NAIL a 3. 6 seconds are left and that is how that ends.

Third overtime:

The go out to a 3 point lead on a 3; BU gets fouled on a 3 and makes 2 of 3. So it is 72-71 Bears. Still BU claws back to take their last lead of the night with 2:28 to go on two free throws at 73-72.

it goes back and forth …and at 73-73

Then starts the turn of events; BU guard gets his pocket picked; lay up plus a foul. Now it is 76-73 with 1:53, and BU starts missing shots.

Rebounding (that Bradley freshman forward again) gets a put back and it is 76-75 with 23 seconds.

BU tries to trap; fouls their best free throw shooter who puts it to 78-75…and ANOTHER down the stretch turn over. It is now 80-75 with 15 seconds to go…a miss, rebound and now there is only 1 second left. Mo. State fouls a desperation 3 point attempt and the BU shooter hits 2 and tries to miss the third as there is no time to do anything else…but the miss doesn’t draw iron.

So it ends 80-77, the 3 point spread that the gamblers predicted.

Well, on one hand, I am proud that the team didn’t quit. On the other hand…second overtime…it was BU’s for the taking.

Oh well…that kind of winter around here…

and the white BS continues to come down from the sky.

February 26, 2015 Posted by | basketball, illness, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Onward and bracing for the return of my wife.

Well, I got a call from my wife; she is “tired” from flying and will probably make Chicago O’Hare tonight. She has been on the road since February 1…actually in Southeast Asia.

So…yep…she’ll be back with expectations and demands (albeit minimal ones).

But as for me: I have the doubly whammy of a very cold winter (the sinusoidal jet stream is south of us and that frigid arctic air mass is parked right on top of us) and having one of those “please shoot me now” caliber viruses. Hey, I suppose it would have been worse; I was pretty much bedridden (not quite) on Sunday and was able to stumble through class yesterday. So classes and search committee stuff will take up time and energy tomorrow, but it won’t leave much for “Oh Sweetie, let me do X, Y, Z” for you.

So, in the long run, I’ll be glad that she is back, let’s just say that the reception I give her will be as dead as Sarah Palin’s presidential chances.

Virus log: somewhat better; the bottled stuff kept the coughing way down, but I had periods of chills and getting unreasonably hot. I still feel rundown and whipped; just not quite as awful as yesterday and nowhere near as bad as on Sunday.

February 25, 2015 Posted by | illness | , | Leave a comment

People yelling at the camera

TMI: draining. No meds so far this morning. So I am going to take a brief walk outside (sunny but very cold), do my back physical therapy exercises, then get on my duties. I’ll pace myself in 3-4 hour increments.

Now, I’ve noticed something: sometimes, people who look into the camera and yell forcefully sound as if they know what they are talking about, even if they make no sense at all:

What I think is going on: it is an affinity reaction. Anyone attracted to genuine science would roll their eyes at the first video, and as far as the second: if you want to cut social services and lower taxes on the wealthy, then the guy in the second video is your man, even though his predictions have been 100 percent….WRONG.

That is the affinity for one’s tribe going on; you see this in sports.

Yes, your team is getting more fouls called on them than the other team…but it might be that the other team uses their feet better on defense. Yes, your team got holding penalties called on them (football), but it might be because the other team’s defensive line is too quick for your team.

Sure, the great players sometimes get the benefit of the doubt…but on replay, I wasn’t so sure that this was a push off; the defender actually slipped.

But sometimes the great players get more benefit of the doubt from officials than lesser players. Maybe…not sure about that.

February 24, 2015 Posted by | illness, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

Made it…

I won’t lie: I wondered how teaching would go.

It turns out that I was able to climb the 4 flights of stairs with no difficulty. So I am feeling better (cold log is here) but I do have a cough which is (TMI) very productive at the moment. I’ll have to take something for it prior to going to bed, else I won’t be able to sleep.

There were two positives to come from this cold:

1. This past weekend, I saw 4 of the 5 Missouri Valley basketball games. Of course, 3 of the 4 games I watched were blowouts; the Illinois State vs. Loyola was reasonably competitive (67-60 ISU). But Bradley lost to Northern Iowa by 17, Drake crushed Missouri State 78-43 behind 62 percent 3-point shooting (it was 35-14 at the half!) and WSU cruised past Evansville 62-43; Ironically the Bradley loss was by a lesser margin than the other games. And at least BU was still in the game at the half (down 27-23); WSU lead Evansville 30-14 at the half.

So, had I planned things better, I could have caught the SIU vs. ISU blue and had my own “Arch madness” on the TV. Still, 4 out 5 games isn’t too bad.

I wonder if TV game viewership goes up during cold/flu season.

2. I learned something about teaching from today: today I taught:

Lagrange Multipliers (brief calculus II)
Limits and evaluation of limits along different paths for functions of 2 variables (calculus III)
The separation axioms (T_1, T_2 ), closure and interior in topology.

I didn’t really use notes as I was dead to the world this weekend. But it looks as if I did a competent job even though I was part of the walking dead during the classes.

Reason: I know this stuff. THAT is the take away to teachers: if you want to be able to teach something effectively, you need to know it well beyond the level you are teaching it.

I’ll put it another way: if you need a “teacher’s edition” with the answers in it, you suck and you shouldn’t be teaching the stuff. I’m not opposed to having a solution key to give to the grader or, on occasion, to see what unwarranted assumption the book made (and yes, they sometimes make them…much to my disgust).

February 24, 2015 Posted by | basketball, education, illness | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

death warmed over…

Cold and flu: Peoria, February 2015.

This is a time line to let you know what to expect:

Wednesday afternoon/evening: slightly scratchy throat.
Thursday: slightly subpar workout, scratchy throat.
Friday: subpar workout, fatigue
Saturday: full blown; not much in the way of drainage but a cough and fatigue
Sunday: “just shoot me now” bad; napped on and off during the day. Cough worsened upon laying down.
Monday: slightly more energy than Sunday, but still feel bad; head feels swollen.

Monday evening: feel much better though I now have a mostly “productive” cough (TMI). I was strong enough to teach 3 classes and go to the drug store and get some over-the-counter stuff and take advantage on the “chicken soup” sale.

Tuesday: I had some periods of chills and warmth and I had a few coughing spells. Energy down. Stayed home. But it was a little better than Monday.
Tuesday evening: sleep started rough; lots of coughing at first. Then it got better and I got some needed rest. Hot and cold at times.

Wednesday: lots of coughing upon waking up…then isolated coughing spells lasting a few minutes. Over the counter cough relief stuff and drops are doing the trick; still feeling down and tired, though slightly more energy than Tuesday. Abs starting to cramp from coughing so forcefully. (TMI): cough is productive.

Wednesday Afternoon: even mild exertion (say, climbing stairs) induces coughing; my lower abs are getting sore from coughing so much. Still, I can tell that I am feeling better as it is far easier to concentrate on duties such as grading, writing math, etc.

Thursday: some periods of “hot and cold”; less coughing. I did make a couple of mistakes.
1) I took too many cough drops and blistered my mouth.
2) I took some nighttime cold medicine prior to going to bed and I really didn’t need it; it made me feel worse (side effects)

Activity: light snow shoveling. No problems.

Friday: managed 2 walking miles on the treadmill 27:40; ok. Light coughing at times, but I did without medicine. Wrong spices (e. g. ginger) make me cough. Mouth blisters painful while eating.

Saturday: 5K light run on the treadmill (34:25, decent incline); it was easy for 20-25 minutes and work for the last 8-10 minutes. Got very warm and sweaty…coughed for a brief time afterward. Finally, this is under control though I am “athletically weak”.

The fact that this came on gradually stamps it as a cold, but the effects are “junior varsity flu” like. Even climbing steps is a chore.

But I started to feel slightly better last night as I wrote some in my math blog and I was able to do a competent job introducing Lagrange multipliers in class today.
I do have a cough though.

Students who have had this tell me that it is bad for about 3 days or so and then gradually goes away.

February 23, 2015 Posted by | illness | , , , , | 4 Comments


Note: this joke post makes no sense unless you know that I have a tendency to overreact to small discomforts and that my “online persona” is a very stupid, very smelly, ornery, self-pitying goat. I doubt that real goats suffer from self pity; I probably just offended them. So if you are a goat or love a goat, I apologize.


I feel like complete crap at the moment (cold level crap). So I had enough; I braved the cold temperatures and walked to the slaughterhouse.

The officials sized me up, pinched their noses and sent me away…”too smelly, too rancid, too old for human consumption” they said.

They did drive me to the woods and leave me out where the local coyotes can get to me.

They came up, howled in pain (stinky) and ran away…”too smelly, too old, too rancid for predator consumption” they concluded.


The game warden came by, put me in the back of a pick up truck, tethered…and drove me home where I head butted my way back into the house and am typing this.


February 22, 2015 Posted by | illness, whining | , , , , , | Leave a comment