Unproductive when sick…

Yeah, my cold is peaking. Minor body aches, minor fatigue (as if I ran a hard half marathon yesterday) and a general feeling of “minor” yuck.

Yes, if I had classes to teach today, I would have, though this would have been a “teach the class and go home” sort of day.

Yes, I know; when one HAS to, one can do stuff; I am reminded of Michael Jordan’s “flu game”, (NBA finals) where he played at a high level despite feeling a whole lot worse than I feel right now:

Jordan and Pippen celebrate

And yes, parents do this all the time with their kids; a parent being sick doesn’t mean that they can avoid parent duties.

Nevertheless, what I am finding out is this: every time I get a cold that makes me feel too bad to work out, I think “ok, I can write those notes, grade those papers, etc.”

And I often end up doing NONE of it. I have a tough time making myself do “stuff you could do right now but could get away with putting off until later” stuff. I can read nothing that takes concentration.

So mostly I read fluff and watch sports on TV and make stupid blog posts such as this.

As I type this I am feeling chills. The cold is peaking and I should feel better by tomorrow and be back to light working out by Tuesday or Wednesday.

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

Live blogging Northern Iowa vs. Bradley in men’s basketball

Northern Iowa: ranked no. 11 in the nation, overall record is 25-2, 14-1 in the Missouri Valley, and ranked no. 23 in the Sagarin ratings with a power rating of 85.65.

Bradley: not doing as well. 🙂 3-12 in the conference, 8-20 overall, ranked 260 in the Sagarin ratings with a power rating of 67.2.

The Sagarin model gives 4 points to the home team so this suggests a 22 point UNI win; the point spread opened at 18 and has dropped to 16.

The teams met previously this season: UNI went out to a 22 point lead though Bradley rallied to cut it to 6 prior to losing by 11.

The Bradley fan boards have all but ignored this game.

Opening possession; one missed 3 by UNI, then 1 made 3. 3-0 Panthers. At least BU is being more aggressive; freshman guard/forward Thomas drew contact and hit two free throws.

Barns gets a rebound and gets fouled. More energy from the Braves today.

Oh oh, turnover, layup attempt, but a block by Thomas. Great defense by BU early; lots of hustle. Wells (7 foot center) hits a hook; BU leads 4-3! Tuttle responds for UNI as the shot clock wound down; 5-4 UNI.

Sutherland drives inside; 6-5 BU; right now UNI is 1-5 from 3. First time out.

BU is making UNI take shots from the perimeter. They are open shots but they aren’t falling.

Close up of the UNI fans; they look annoyed.

Barns nails a 3. 9-5 Bradley. BU looking more confident.

Exchange of possessions; jumper by UNI from just past the free throw line. 9-7.

Bad shot by BU but a rebound and put back by Cunningham; 11-7 BU.

BU runs a triangle; no score but some rebounds. But UNI nails a 3; 11-10.

Wells misses a 3 (he can hit that shot); UNI runs and draws contact.

This is a quick game. Almost half of the first half is gone, as is BU’s lead; 12-11 UNI.

Missed 3 by BU, but BU got the tie up on the rebound. Bradley is rebounding very well right now.


But I can say this right now: the Braves are competing.

Buss another 2; 14-11 UNI.

Barns answers with a nice jumper. 14-13. Sutherland with a steal but misses a contested lay-up; bodies all over the floor after the ball.

Good energy from the Braves.

Bell gives BU the lead back. Bradley shooting better too.

UNI a 3 and now it is 17-15.

Penetration and a put back; all tied at 17.

BU with another rebound.

17-17 with 7 minutes to go in the half. This is looking a bit like the Wichita State road game where BU actually lead with 13 minutes to go in the game, only to go on to lose by 20.

6:40; UNI hits a 3 after a rebound; Braves threw it away. 20-17.

Bradley now in a straight zone; Wells forces a travel by Tuttle.

Taylor a strong move; shot in the paint. 20-19. UNI putback. 22-19 UNI.

Steal and lay-up now 24-19. BU can’t rush and panic right now. But UNI misses a 3 and BU rebound again. Bad possession; BU is not a good 3-point shooting team.

Right now, BU is using guards to front Tuttle to deny they ball. Jones with 2; 24-21. Ugh..turnover.

Turnover UNI. BU playing well and flustering UNI.

3 for UNI, 27-21 with 40 seconds to go.

Lob pass to Cunningham; 27-23. UNI comes up empty.

That is how the half ends! Bradley fans have to be happy.

Right now: BU out shooting UNI 43-42 percent and have one more rebound.

Second half
Braves with a zone, fronting Tuttle. Missed 3; another BU rebound. Another UNI turn-over.

Wells with the jumper; nice assist. 27-25 UNI. Another BU rebound on a missed shot. 3 from UNI. 30-25. Wells misses three; UNI running; lay up and a foul. BU can’t afford to rush. 33-25 UNI.

Wow; steal, missed uncontested lay-up and Thomas buries a 3. 33-28. Oh now; lay up 35-28.

This is a critical juncture in the game. In the past, BU has panicked during runs by the other team.

BU misses a 3; UNI makes one 38-28. BU is NOT a 3-point shooting team.


14:08 to go. BU has to stay composed and survive this run.

Wells for 2; 38-30; nice assist. Wells misses a 3 point shot, but Barns draws a foul by getting good position for the rebound.

Still not looking too bad.

Dang it; stolen inbounds pass leads to a foul on a lay up attempt; now it is 40-30 UNI.

Another turn over; BU has to keep their composure. 41-30. Another 3 UNI 44-30.

Another turn over; 46-30 with 8:40 to go. It is getting away.

Oh my another UNI 3; it is 49-30 now it is going the way I feared. UNI has the shooters that Bradley lacks.

Sutherland finally hits a tough 3; 49-33.

Wells forces Tuttle to travel. Still with just over 6 minutes to go and down by 16…too little, too late?

Wells with the steal. But BU has only made 4 field goals in the second half; not enough offense. Another brick.

Now UNI is draining the clock. Steal and a dunk. 51-33. Another turn over. This one is over.

Barns fouled Tuttle hard; frustration is setting in. Lay up. 53-33.

Right now: the only suspense is for those who bet on the game as the final spread was 16. Bell with 2 free throws after an aggressive move to the basket; 53-35.

55-35; UNI substituting. Nice lay up by Cunningham via an assist. UNI clearing the bench as 1:24 is left in the game.

56-39; BU has 16 second half; that won’t get it done. That is how it ends. 29-16 UNI in the second half.

Reality: BU shot 6-23 in the second half (26.1 percent); that just isn’t going to get it done. No Brave was in double digits; 3 players had 6, 3 had 5.

February 21, 2015 Posted by | basketball | | 1 Comment

I’m liberal for a reason, but conservatives are not all crazy…

Yes, genetically, I am a liberal. I couldn’t make myself be conservative if I tried. One of the reasons is that I am simply not tribal enough; the very idea that my country, people, etc. are the “best ever” and chosen by some deity/force of history to lead the rest of the world sounds ridiculous to me.

But, I fall afoul of other liberals in many areas too.

Here is one way: though I reject the idea that we should dictate to the rest of the world, I also reject the idea that we are especially evil either. As Steven Pinker points out in Better Angels , our moral track record isn’t that bad, when you compare us to other Leviathans.

I also think it is bad form when foreign students come to our universities and put us down (and yes, that happens, a LOT). If you don’t like “ugly American” behavior when we visit your countries, why do you act that way in ours?

I also reject some liberal attitudes toward poverty. Before you jump on me, I am FOR programs that, say, feed poor kids. There is some data that SNAP type programs reduce the probability that those who grow up poor will need public aid benefits in the future. And spending money on foot programs can help poor kids learn in school; it is tough to concentrate on ANYTHING when you are genuinely hungry.

So, I support such programs.

What I reject: I reject the claim that kids being hungry is anyone else’s fault but the parents!


So while I approve of the program, I rebel at labeling it as the failure of anyone but the parents. Is saying “don’t have kids you can’t afford” so controversial? I suppose that it is in some circles.

And just get a load of this headline: “what if everything you knew about poverty was wrong?” Uh, it isn’t:

Edin sees in these obstacles to full-time fatherhood a partial explanation for what’s known as “multiple-partner fertility.” Among low-income, unwed parents, having children with more than one partner is now the norm. One long-running study found that in nearly 60 percent of the unwed couples who had a baby, at least one parent already had a child with another partner.

Uh, that is EXACTLY what many of us think.

Seriously, at times, it feels as if holding human beings to a higher standard than we hold rabbits is considered immoral in some liberal circles.

February 21, 2015 Posted by | economy, education, poverty, social/political | | Leave a comment

I don’t need them anymore but I can’t bear to part with them…

I was digging though my backpack to find something and I came across the keys to my mom’s house. I should probably mail them back, but emotionally, I don’t want to part with them.

February 21, 2015 Posted by | Personal Issues | , | 1 Comment

Slip sliding in the snow and ice…

Yeah, I am indeed sick (ill). That “scratchy throat” was what I feared it was. I have some mild body aches, fatigue and a minor cough.

But I feel better when I move and so I went out for a short, gentle walk (about 4 miles, or 6.4 km); I walked to Bradley Park via the university and Parkside. Yes, the gated off pavement is mostly coated with packed snow and ice, some of which was very slippery. I almost went down once but did not.

Still, it was ok to walk and I felt better about getting outside.

Though the snow missed us (this time) it is still cold, even by “Illinois in February” standards. But my mood has not gone south as it has in past years, even though I’ve stayed on the treadmill, indoor track, weight room and pool.

Part of the reason, I think, is that my wife is vacationing in Vietnam and Cambodia. Hence I can curse winter all I want (along with the ice, the tons of laundry, the time spent bundling up, peeling off layers, etc.). Part of is that I am spared the “blended family drama/BS”. And part of the reason is that I can just make the little decisions as to what to do without compensating for someone else’s limitations (e. g. parking .35 miles away from the basketball arena on a night when it was 4 F; I can walk fast enough to not be bothered by the cold.)

But, on the other hand, I am a little bit “out of sorts” as well; there is no denying that.

Yes, I know: I served in the military and deployed for months at a time, and I came from a military family. My dad did two 1 year long isolated tours: one in Korea and one in Vietnam (during the war). I get it.

Nevertheless, I am sputtering oh-so-slightly, the way that an engine that needs oil does.

February 21, 2015 Posted by | Illinois, illness, Personal Issues | | Leave a comment

Women’s BBall: Bradley 66, Loyola 57; Braves complete season sweep.

It was smiles all around AFTER the game.

There were anxious moments early when the Braves started with 6 turnovers in the first 6 minutes; they trailed 14-5. But the offense settled down and the two woman wrecking crew took over and had their way inside: (6′ 1″ sophomore forward; 14 points, 10 rebounds, 6′ 2″ freshman forward, 16 points, 9 rebounds). Bradley lead 31-29 at the break.

The lead extended to 13 before Loyola, coached by 3 time Olympic gold medalist and multiple time WNBA MVP Sheryl Swoopes, rallied to cut the lead to 4 points 51-47. But Bradley’s senior guard provided leadership down the stretch (and 13 points) and Bradley got enough stops to salt the game away. They held Loyola to 35 percent shooting.

It was fun. 🙂

Bradley improves to 4-10 in conference action. No, that isn’t a great record…ok, it is a bad one, but BU is now 4-4 over the last 8 games. The team is growing.

February 21, 2015 Posted by | basketball | | Leave a comment

Scratchy throat part II

Last night, I had a weird pain in my back…not enough stretching?

Swimming: 1000 yards of warm up, 500 in 9:00 (dang it!), 100 drill (fins), 100 fist/free, 100 drill (fins), 100 fist/free, 100 drill (fins)
100 in 1:36 (hard), 100 back.

The back feels better after stretching; I’ve been slacking a bit. Throat: scratchy. Am I coming down with something?

February 20, 2015 Posted by | illness, injury, swimming | Leave a comment

Submarines: cost effective?

Big data is making is possible for navies to approach anti-submarine warfare differently; will it soon become non-cost-effective to use submarines, or should they be used differently? Here is an interesting article on this subject:

In a piece for TNI, the report’s author, Bryan Clark, lays out the problem in more layman’s terms:

Since the Cold War submarines, particularly quiet American ones, have been considered largely immune to adversary A2/AD capabilities. But the ability of submarines to hide through quieting alone will decrease as each successive decibel of noise reduction becomes more expensive and as new detection methods mature that rely on phenomena other than sounds emanating from a submarine. These techniques include lower frequency active sonar and non-acoustic methods that detect submarine wakes or (at short ranges) bounce laser or light-emitting diode (LED) light off a submarine hull. The physics behind most of these alternative techniques has been known for decades, but was not exploited because computer processors were too slow to run the detailed models needed to see small changes in the environment caused by a quiet submarine. Today, “big data” processing enables advanced navies to run sophisticated oceanographic models in real time to exploit these detection techniques. As they become more prevalent, they could make some coastal areas too hazardous for manned submarines.

Could modern attack subs soon face the same problem as surface combatants around the world, where some areas are simply too dangerous to enter, thanks to pressing A2/AD challenges?

One possible future use of submarines is interesting: use them as underwater drone carriers!

February 20, 2015 Posted by | science, technology | | Leave a comment

dry air..scratchy throat but???

I have an oh-so-slight tickle in the throat, but this COULD be due to very dry air. I hope.

Workout notes: I was up way too late last night due to the basketball game…more on “too late” later.
But I went in with the idea of getting a reduced workout and I almost got all of it.

Weights: 4 sets of 10 pull-ups, with 2 sets of 5 in between other exercises. Rotator cuff recoveries.
3 sets of 10: machine rows, machine lat pull downs (110 rows, 130 pull downs, wide grip)

rotator cuff (dumbbells) and two rapid sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell military presses, 2 sets of 10 x 135 incline bench presses
shoulders got fatigued due to little rest between sets.
10 x 90 machine military (90 each arm), 10 x 65 dumbbell bench presses.

Then running: 21:05 2 mile treadmill warm up.
5K on the track (25 laps, middle lane) 8:54, 8:52, 8:37 (26:25) 1:05 for 27:30.

Yes, not much sleep, and yes, after lifting. But this was work….though not race effort. Am I coming down with something? Damn throat tickle…but it is cold and dry.

Speaking of last night Yes, I talked about it here.

Let’s just say that we are getting a mixture of sympathy and scorn from Illinois State fans:


The rivalry has really taken a hit with the poor play of Bradley. I kind of feel bad for them in a way. It wasn’t long ago that I would make the trek over to Peoria for an ISU-Bradley game and you could just feel the buzz in downtown Peoria hours before the game started. That was the event of the week. The show.

Last night’s abysmal attendance for ISU-Bradley matchup in Peoria shows just how bad it is in River City.

It wasn’t long ago when these games were extremely intense hard-fought, in the spotlight, and mattered. Here’s hoping for a return of the intensity and anxiety that always was present when we played our rivals from up the road.


My general thoughts as a spectator at the game:
• 8PM games on a weeknight does not bring out the geriatric crowd – finishes past bedtime
• Carver was dead. I am wondering if a few of the Bradley alums/fans “passed away” last game at the arena and Bradley just left them in the seats to look better for the TV game
• This was the worst game atmosphere of the 10 years I have been going.
• I sat by the Bradley student sports casters, I could hear court sneaker squeaks way up there. I have not heard that since the world vision tourney at RA
• Bradley MBB is in dire shape.
• Bradley did not play with any competitive emotion or any competitive fire. This team is downtrodden and beaten. I would say the coach is definitely gone.
• Kaboom was not worth the money spent. He has boats tied to his ankles so that limits his movement. His head looks like a card board box with some carpeting on it…..just terrible.
• I liked QuickChange.


What I did not like from the game:

• The entire Bradley environment did not show up for this, the fans/team/students/AD
• In the end, this game was a huge let down. This was not a rivalry game, it was just a clubbing. BU is a shitbag team, the environment was shitbag, the weather was shitbag, it was a shitbag game, the smell otw to Carver from Bartonville was shitbag, and now I need to change my shitbag because it is full of BU.


February 20, 2015 Posted by | basketball, illness, running, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Bradley shooting as cold as the weather: Illinois State 60 Bradley 47

It is 4 F right now (temperature) as the jet stream is south of us:


So, perhaps Bradley’s shooting would be better? This was THE rivalry game. The fans weren’t fooled: paid attendance was 7349 (thanks to some Illinois State fans who showed up and made minor amounts of noise.




(lower two photos: upper is via the Bradley twitter feed, lower via Kirk Wessler’s). Arrow points to me.

The local steak house usually has a “2 for 1″ deal if Bradley scores 64. For this game, they lowered it to 54 as, well, Bradley hasn’t scored many points as of late.

No dice.

The numbers: after a ugly first half which saw multiple turn overs and missed shots on both sides, Illinois State lead 28-22. Bradley was lead by their 7 foot center (who didn’t play much in the early part of the season) who had 6 points. He did ok, so long as BU stayed in zone defense. Man to man: ISU has a mobile 6′ 10” center who was too much.

But it was only a 6 point game at the half.

Then it took Bradley over SIX MINUTES to score in the second half; by then it was 35-23 (one free throw). BU cut it to 40-34 with 6:30 to go in the game and 42-36 with 5:49 to go, but could get no closer the rest of the way. BU managed 23 points in the second half operating mostly against a 2-3 zone defense.

Whereas Illinois State turned it over 10 times and shot 23-52 (5-15 from 3), Bradley was only 16-54 (29.6 percent!) and 4-17 from 3 point range and turned it over 13 times. Bradley got 3 blocked shots (two were spectacular) but Illinois State got 8; their big center had 5 of these (to go with 12 points and 6 rebounds.

This drops BU to 3-12 in conference and 8-20 overall; ISU red is 8-7 in conference, 16-11 overall. I think that ISU has to win out the regular season and win a MVC tournament game to get an NIT bid.

February 19, 2015 Posted by | basketball | , | 1 Comment