Cough syrup hangover

Drove to O’Hare to pick up the spouse, came back…started to cough when I lay down and so took some syrup. I need to take that stuff 10 hours prior to wanting to be fully sober.

So I didn’t make it to the pool or weight room; walked 4.2 miles outside instead. It was so pretty and I think that I cleared my head.

I am a very cheap drunk.

February 29, 2016 Posted by | walking | | Leave a comment

Now about MY Vacation

Workout notes: 10.1 mile walk (House to Marina dam, with one Goose Loop lap) in 2:25:22 (roughly 14:25 mpm); sunny, somewhat breezy. Mild coughing at times, especially early. I am at about 90-95 percent recovered.

Main post

On February 3, I woke up early to get Barbara on the 6 am bus from Peoria to Chicago O”Hare. Later today (after lunch), I will leave Peoria to pick her up at Chicago O’Hare (4:25 arrival). This will save her having to wait a looong time for the bus and getting home around midnight.

She frequently takes long trips like this (she has one more this year, plus a 2 week version in August) so I am quite used to it. Those who know me well know that, so if they say anything at all to me, it is “wow, she looks like she is having fun”, “love her photos” or “how is she doing?” (ans: GREAT!).

But there are those who are just getting to know me or who don’t know me that well…
“how is bachelor life” (ans: “good!”…surprised grin) or “I’ll bet you miss her” (yes, someone asked this) “uh…..” (there is no graceful way to say “no” so I’ll say “things are different”)

What is going on: while she is living it up, well, I am too, albeit at colder, less “exotic” location. Oh yeah, there is the “still working full time” thing too.
This year was a bit different. I hoped to catch up on some research but there was just a confluence of things at this time this year. What happened is that there was great weather (hence longer outdoor runs and walks), the Super Bowl (hence a home party for 2), a Presidential campaign (hence one debate watch party), the usual President’s Day Dinner and a home-loaded Bradley Basketball schedule. Couple that with one friend being in town (she is a bit like a sailor with a “girl in every port”, and I am one of her “Peoria girls”), one friend taking a reduced academic load and another having just enough time on the weekends during this time.

So, aside from my usual work and workout schedule (and a bit of a delay for my usual winter virus/cold/flu), This was my social schedule while my wife was gone: (s): solo, (d): one on one, (g) group, (*) FMI

1. (s) Friday 5 Feb: BU women b-ball by myself.
2. (d) Saturday 6 Feb: Lunch at Ruchi Indian Buffet (with A)
3. (s) Saturday 6 Feb: BU men b-ball by myself
4. (d) Sunday 7 Feb: BU women b-ball, Super Bowl watch party, dinner with T (Jerusalem takeout)
5. (s) Wednesday 10 Feb: BU men b-ball by myself
6. (d) Thursday 11 Feb: Democratic Debate Watch Party with P. at Sports Bar (Sanders event)
7. (g) Fri. 12 Feb: dinner at Asian Grill with P and A
8. (d) Sat. 13 Feb. lunch at Ruchi with A
9. (d) Sun. 14 Feb. dinner at Los Jimadores with T
10. (*s)Mon. 15 Feb. Peoria Democrats President Day Dinner by myself (*)
11. (s) Fri. 19 Feb. women BU b-ball by myself
12. (d) Sat 20: lunch at Ruchi with A
13. (d) Sat 20: dinner at Haddad’s and BU men B-ball with LD
14. (s) Sun 21 Feb: BU women b-ball by myself
15. (d) Sun 21 dinner at Los Jimadores with T
16. (d) Tue 23 dinner at Thanh Linh and BU men b-ball with LD
17. (g) Thu 25 dinner at Chili’s with P and N
18. (d) Fri 26: dinner at Hokkaido with A

Note: I, and a few others understand the (*). Also, I was supposed to have a “dinner date” last night; however T became ill with the flu and very dehydrated. So instead I took her to two medical appointments (25’th and 26’th); I am NOT counting those as social outings. 🙂 Hey, I am not THAT old..yet. 🙂

So, she will have been gone for 25 days. During that time I had 5 “by myself” outings, 6 if you count the (*), 2 group outings (groups of 3, including me) and 10 “friendship dates”. That is 18 outings for 25 days, but because I had some “doubles” that is only 15 out of 25 days in which I had a social outing of one kind or another (60 percent of the days), and 11 of 25 days (44 percent) in which I had a social activity with at least one other human being.

So I had a social vacation…time to catch up with old friends in a way that I couldn’t had my spouse been in town. It was just an unusually good month for me to socialize.

But…you say…if you are married….what about that “cold bed”? Well, to be honest, it takes about 2-2.5 weeks for THAT to start to bother me, and, well, at close to that time I caught a minor cold. TMI to follow: That cold didn’t make me feel THAT bad, but a mix of coughing and some truly disgusting night sweats (we are talking wet shirt, wet sheets, wet everything) made me grateful to be sleeping alone for a while. I like my wife too much to subject her to that. 🙂

February 28, 2016 Posted by | Friends, social/political, walking | , , , | 4 Comments

Conservatives and Liberals not getting Trump

Ah, Donald Trump. He is probably the polarizing figure in this election, though Paul Krugman, says this:

I still predict that once Trump locks up the nomination, judicious, chin-stroking Republican moderates will declare, after much cogitation, that given Hillary Clinton’s, um, something or other, Trump is the more responsible choice.

But for now, the establishment Republicans are howling. Why, Trump is RUDE (and yes, he is). Why doesn’t this turn off the Republican primary voters? Why, Trump is not a TRUE CONSERVATIVE. Other Republicans (downballot) will distance themselves from him if he wins! (says Sen. Mitch McConnell, no less). Mitt Romney has attacked him. But those attacks seem to be failing and failing badly.

A few are applauding some ridicule type attacks: look, he can’t even…SPELL!!!!

Hint: Dan Quayle? Tea Party Signs)

Well, here is what the Republican establishment doesn’t seem to get: the less affluent really don’t care about some big CEO or a hedge fund manager getting yet ANOTHER tax cut. They really don’t want us to go to war again. They ARE hurting and seeing a candidate who is NOT talking about cutting Social Security and Medicare…one who wants to repair our laughing-stock bad highways and bring jobs back here….those are matters that affect their lives. Other candidates who need Koch Brother type contributions to be able to run aren’t free to focus on this. But Mr. Trump doesn’t need their money; we have a classic right-wing populist vs. “money conservative” type battle here, as pointed out by Paul Krugman here:

As pundits are discovering to their horror, there’s probably more to the Trump phenomenon than mere celebrity. The fact is that the central planks of modern conservatism — slashing taxes on the rich and benefits for the public at large — are deeply unpopular. Republicans have won elections only by wrapping these policies in other stuff; it’s about cutting benefits for welfare queens and “strapping young bucks” (that’s a Reaganism, in case you’re wondering) buying T-bone steaks with food stamps. And this in turn means that there is a sort of empty box in U.S. politics waiting to be filled.

The matrix here shows the possible positions. A welfare state available to all is the Democratic position, which is pretty much what other Western countries call the social democratic position. The dominant role in the modern GOP is played by a faction that links de facto disdain for Those People with a desire to slash social insurance. Libertarians are, in principle, small-government without the undertones; they are also basically absent from the actually existing electorate.

And then there’s the empty box. Once upon a time that box was filled by southern Democrats, who preserved Jim Crow while supporting the New Deal. But they’ve all moved over to the GOP now, and in the process become anti-social-insurance. But there are plenty of voters who want Social Security and Medicare for people who look like them, but not those other people. And at some level Trump is catering to that unserved population.

It is clear that this is who Trump is targeting. Note his style of “position ad”:

And there are few Republicans that see this coming and actually believe that Trump being unconventional gives him a better shot at Hillary Clinton than an establishment Republican.

But, many liberals have trouble figuring out his appeal too. All they see is the racist/xenophobic part of his rhetoric and they think THAT is where his appeal comes from! Hey, David Duke endorsed him!

So, when I say that I like it that Trump attacked the claim that “President Bush kept us safe” and pointed out that there were no WMD in Iraq

And I like it when a Republican says that hedge fund managers ought to pay more tax and that Social Security and Medicare ought to be strengthened, not cut back. I like it when the lies of the Republican establishment get called out by someone who has money.

Then then I get criticized by other liberals for not focusing on Trump’s galaxy of xx-isms…”how can you say anything good about Trump?”. Psst: yes, I have condemned some of what Trump said, and did so in our local newspaper.

But that is how self-appointed SFB “activists” roll…they can’t see that I am looking at various aspects of a complicated issue and seeing an opportunity.

I think that Howard Dean was onto this in 2004 when he said:

The Democrat front-runner opened ye unholy can of worms recently when he told an Iowa newspaper that he wanted “to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks.” Dean made the remark by way of explaining his opposition to some gun-control legislation and as part of his Southern strategy of inclusiveness.

As in: “We can’t beat George Bush unless we appeal to a broad cross section of Democrats,” he explained to the Des Moines Register.

And, “White folks in the South who drive pickups with Confederate flag decals on the back ought to be voting with us and not them because their kids don’t have health insurance, and their kids need better schools, too,” he said at a Democratic National Committee meeting in February.

In the wake of Dean’s most recent remarks, a veritable maelstrom of Bubba-ness has ensued. You’d have thought Dean had invoked Satan by the reaction of the other Democratic candidates, who began jockeying for Most Virtuous and made literal the politics of bumper-sticker slogans.

Emphasis mine.

But some can’t see past their “social justice warrior” mindset; for them that mode is always on, front and center, 100 percent of the time.

Let me be clear: I am voting for the Democrat. I am just saying that there is an opportunity to snag at least a few of the Trump voters, if the Democratic nominee is smart, as I think that she will be.

my letter on trump

February 28, 2016 Posted by | politics, racism | , , | Leave a comment

No Surprise: Clinton rolls in South Carolina with 70+ percent of the vote

It was NOT expected to be close. And it wasn’t. But there were a few interesting tidbits:

1. Sanders won the white vote by 58-42. That isn’t going to win him the primary at a national level.
2. Black support for Clinton was HIGHER than it was for Obama in 2008 (in this primary), though, of course, it was a tough 3-way slog between Obama, Clinton and Edwards at that time.
3. In this state, most Democrats want an continuation of Obama’s policies (as do I, with updates, adjustments, etc.)
4. If this trend (non-black/white split) holds, Clinton will have a commanding lead after Super Tuesday. 7 of the 12 Super Tuesday states have majority black Democratic primary voters.

But we shall see; the Clinton campaign is taking nothing for granted, and she WAS expected to win this one handily.

February 28, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics | , , | Leave a comment

I lied. THIS is the last “Barbara’s Central America Vacation” photo set in this series

Another day in Nicaragua; this set includes some small shop shots and a volcano/lake shot series.


Near the town of Catarina

Lake Apoyo

lake apoyo

Mombacho Volcano: they rode part of the way and hiked a little of the way. You can see it in the distance.

mombacho volcano

Mountain road.

mountain road

Some of the route to the top



The view from the top

view from the top

In a nearby small town: at a ceramics place

ceramics place

Small statues

small statues

Gourds for maracas

gourds for maracas

Putting on the finishing touches

carving maracas

Completed maracas

completed maracas

The two travel companions:

barbara and linda

February 28, 2016 Posted by | travel | | Leave a comment

Day 3 back…

Ok….run: 4.2 Cornstalk classic in 47:08 (11:15); 10:40 pace on the flat first and final miles; slower on the park portion (which is hilly). It was too pretty to stay inside, though I admit that I coughed every other step or so during the first mile. Coughing is reduced but still there.

Breakfast, call on Tracy to see if she is drinking, then to the gym about 1 hour later:

pull ups: 4 sets of 10 then a 5’th after presses.
rotator cuff: full set
bench: 10 x 135, 6 x 170 (weak)
incline: 10 x 135 (weak…had to work and started sweating)
military: standing, 3 sets of 10 x 40 dubbell
rows: Hammer Machine: 3 sets of 10 x 200
back stretches.

No abs, no headstand today.
I was a bit surprised; I did a full workout though my endurance was down. I ran out of gas easily.

Now to catch up on work; I’ll like to try a medium length hike tomorrow morning.

February 27, 2016 Posted by | running, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Barbara’s Final Set of Central America Photos (on here anyway)

I’ll go for a short run and a leisurely weight lifting session in just a bit; it is sunny and I can’t wait to get out. I am not 100 percent though. And yes, I’ve got to catch up on work as I am not ready for the Monday classes.


Two shorts from the Granada Ciudad Colonial

courtyard hotel

granada ciudad colonial

Barbara: with a former BU student who is doing work in Nicaragua, at the cigar making shop and getting off of a boat after a tour and then at a piñata making shop.



off of the boat


A brothel and a brothel worker



Cashew roasting oven

Some local geology on display; there are active volcanoes in the region.

geology erruption

Water shot

lake nicaragua

Las Piedras Cagadas in Nicaragua

las piedras cagadas nicaragua

Moneychanger at a market


Shoemaker; they make stuff by hand there.


February 27, 2016 Posted by | travel | | Leave a comment

I do have something to say…maybe later (politics)

I’d like to talk about the Trump campaign, but that might wait for tonight or tomorrow.

Today: felt even better; cough is infrequent.
Workout: 4.2 mile Cornstalk classic route (hilly): 55:57 (13:20 mpm pace; about 1:30 mpm faster than yesterday). This time I put a little “umpf” into it. Felt good; I might run this course tomorrow and follow it with a leisurely weight workout.

My friend: got a flu or flu like virus. She was way dehydrated…needs to drink more. And. She. Is. Getting. A. Flu. Shot. next year. No “ifs”, “ands” or “buts”.

February 26, 2016 Posted by | health, walking | , , | 1 Comment

I got this!

Yeah, I know, colds are no big deal. But it feels good to finally shake one off. Today I walked my 4.2 mile Cornstalk course in 1:02 (14:50 mpm) in far less effort that it took me to walk 4 miles on Sunday. I AM feeling better though I still coughed a bit while walking. I am not 100 percent, so I need to ease back into it, a little at a time.

February 25, 2016 Posted by | walking | | Leave a comment

Barbara in Nicaragua


This shows Granada, where many of the photos were taken (but not all)

la gordita

palacio national

Palacio National

passion enactment

Passion reenactment for Lent




The protesters. No, Barbara isn’t in jail. 🙂


A protest shanty (abuse of farm workers by the local farming industry.)

ruins of Samosa

Ruins of Somosa’s house (the old dictator who was deposed)


The Rebel leader Sandino, which is where “Sandinista” came from. Yes, that is old Reagan era stuff.

February 25, 2016 Posted by | travel | | Leave a comment