29 June 2016: this and that..uneasiness

Workout notes: weights then a lovely 4 mile walk (Cornstalk classic)
weights: rotator cuff
squats: 6 sets of 6: 2 sets weightless, 2 sets 45, 2 sets 65. Yes, I am weak but for now, I am trying to work on getting down here. This is almost “assisted stretching” right now.

pull ups: 15-15-10-10
incline press: 10 x 135, 6 x 155, 10 x 145
military press: 8 x 50 dumbbell standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 7 x 95 standing (barbell)
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 60 each arm, 1 set of 10 x 110.

Personal stuff: errands; thought about a math idea. It is weird, but sometimes I don’t want to write the idea down because, well, I want to hold on to the (probable) illusion that I have a valid new idea. But whatever I have, whether it solves that big problem or not, can be a fun construction and it will give me something to play with.

I admit to being a bit antsy.

Election: Nate Silver has come out with his first analysis.


It looks a lot like my map, and looks a lot like the 2008 map, with Arizona swapped with Indiana. But it is so early. And yes, Dukakis was ahead by about this amount in 1988 (at about this time), though Bush (the first one) was the betting favorite. Right now, Clinton is the favorite in the markets as well.


Can you guess which presidential candidate these people support? (answer)

It wasn’t hard, was it? What got me to thinking about this: I was looking at some “Brexit” photos and I could more or less tell who was on what side, even though all of the photos that I saw were of white British people. In general, those who “looked like” Democrats were the “remain” and those who “looked like” Republicans were the “exit”. It is weird, isn’t it?

June 29, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political, Uncategorized, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Two more Steamboat photos that tell a story


Maybe I have just a bit too much tension in my right arm?


Being left behind…lamenting how slow I’ve become. 🙂 She was to beat me by about 1 minute, though we were together with 2.2 miles to go.

June 28, 2016 Posted by | running | | Leave a comment

Emotions and political decisions

Ah, the appeals to nostalgia….you are seeing a lot of this from the Trump campaign. Evidently such appeals worked in the Brexit campaign; too many of us pine for “good old days” that, well, never actually existed. Oh sure, I liked the way that my body worked when I was in my 20’s, but there is so much more that is good in this day and age. And I won’t even get into the other things, such as our country electing a black president and probably getting ready to elect a woman too. And my gay friends and neighbors now enjoy far more rights, including the right to marriage. Things ARE better now, though it is easy to cherry pick the good from the days gone by.

And I think that expectations are higher now. I wonder how many eyebrows would have been raised by this official Red Cross “Pool Safety” poster?

Of course, appeals to emotion still work and these will be heavily used by the Trump campaign.

It sure as heck worked for the Sanders campaign (at least to a degree); some of my Hillary supporting friends saw the need to “go underground”. I joined such a group too, though I was a bit more noisy in my intolerance of nonsense coming from Sanders supporters.


You are hearing garbage about “Sanders is about to flip California” when, in fact, he still trails by about 420,000 votes with just under 600,000 total votes (including Republican votes) to be counted. It is about to the point where Sanders would have to win close to ALL of the remaining votes to catch up all of the way…in fact, we may well be past that point.

But try getting the third degree Bern Victims to understand that.

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

Those of us with small butts…

Workout notes: 15K run in 1:37:55. (4.05 mile segments: 42:26, 42:37 for 1:25:03 for 8.1; 1.23 segment was 12:52) That is 4 minutes faster than I did at Steamboat on a similar course, and 3 minutes faster than last week.


But today was just a bit cooler and less humid, and I took advantage. And I kept telling myself to “bend my knees” as I ran.


So what is the title of this blog post about? I got the idea as I started to run this morning. I had to stop a few seconds into the run because my running shorts started to slide down. This tends to happen if it has been a while since I tightened the drawstring; this happens to me when I run, do pull ups or swim. If I am not careful, I end up “mooning” those around me.

In addition to the occasional personal embarrassment, my undeveloped gluteal muscles hurt my running. So, I’ve attempted to start squatting again (yes, my “top” weight is….65 pounds!). It is a long process. But I figure if I can get my glutes to work, I’ll have fewer lower back injuries and I might be able to actually run a bit rather than do the “stiff legged shuffle”. It should also help my walking too.

And that explains why I was so bad at football. I didn’t have the lower body strength to get my butt and thighs into my block; I leaned forward way too much, as you can see here (I am no. 70 in the light colored uniform)

football yokota

I got away with it against slower, weaker players. But when I stepped up in competition and went against players my own size who were good at football, I got whipped. Any coach could look at me and tell at glace that I wasn’t going to be good.

Of course, we see articles that lament the problems facing those who have big butts (no names mentioned) (here and here)

These range from transparency of clothing: (clock to see the larger photo)


Becoming the center of attention if one has clothing designed to fit at the waist


And one’s spouse is present when one is getting dressed, one might hear giggles and cat-calls of “going, going, GONE” when one pulls up the undergarments or sports wear.


(See the above as a fun gif here)

But something tells me that an article lamenting the woes of those with small butts wouldn’t be as popular.

June 28, 2016 Posted by | football, running | , , , | Leave a comment

Leaving, Staying and photos

Workout notesMarkin scale weight: 189 after the workout. I concluded the workout with an easy 2 mile walk.
Weights: rotator cuff
squats: 2 sets of 10 weightless, 4 sets of 5-6 with weights (45 and 65…I am not kidding) (*)
pull ups: 15-15-10-10
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 190, 4 x 185, 9 x 170 (no spotter anywhere near so I didn’t risk extra reps)
military press: 2 sets of 7 x 95 standing, 2 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine
head stand, 2 sets of (24 crunch, 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts)

Posts I frequently hear: if X gets elected, I am leaving the country. Well, that is probably not going to happen. But I wonder: why would any other country want you? I think that if someone wants to find somewhere else to go, one has to actually have things that the new host country would want.

Brexit This was very emotional for many:



More photos here. Scroll down and click on the photo gallery.

Some cartoons:

Pearls Before Swine

Pearls Before Swine


June 27, 2016 Posted by | political humor, politics, politics/social, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Death of Expertise (really not that new)

This is an interesting article:

How conversation became exhausting
Critics might dismiss all this by saying that everyone has a right to participate in the public sphere. That’s true. But every discussion must take place within limits and above a certain baseline of competence. And competence is sorely lacking in the public arena. People with strong views on going to war in other countries can barely find their own nation on a map; people who want to punish Congress for this or that law can’t name their own member of the House.

None of this ignorance stops people from arguing as though they are research scientists. Tackle a complex policy issue with a layman today, and you will get snippy and sophistic demands to show ever increasing amounts of “proof” or “evidence” for your case, even though the ordinary interlocutor in such debates isn’t really equipped to decide what constitutes “evidence” or to know it when it’s presented. The use of evidence is a specialized form of knowledge that takes a long time to learn, which is why articles and books are subjected to “peer review” and not to “everyone review,” but don’t tell that to someone hectoring you about the how things really work in Moscow or Beijing or Washington.

This subverts any real hope of a conversation, because it is simply exhausting — at least speaking from my perspective as the policy expert in most of these discussions — to have to start from the very beginning of every argument and establish the merest baseline of knowledge, and then constantly to have to negotiate the rules of logical argument.

I see this all of the time on social media. No, I am NOT talking about “only conservatives” but also fellow liberals. Take any issue: sexual violence statistics, safety of GMO foods vs “organic” foods, who is ahead in a primary election (really), creationism, vaccinations, you name it.

Ok, yes, you might accurately point out that *I* am not an expert in these fields. But I know that I am not and so I DO turn to the experts. Yes, sometimes there is genuine debate within the expert community (degree of certain problems in climate change, the mechanisms of evolution, supply side vs. demand side economics, etc.) and all I can do is say “this makes sense to me”.

As far as math: I make it a point to not discuss mathematics “in public” (though I do have a blog aimed at other college teachers). It is simply too exhausting to do.

And yes, some students have gotten caught up in this too:

Universities, without doubt, have to own some of this mess. The idea of telling students that professors run the show and know better than they do strikes many students as something like uppity lip from the help, and so many profs don’t do it. (One of the greatest teachers I ever had, James Schall, once wrote many years ago that “students have obligations to teachers,” including “trust, docility, effort, and thinking,” an assertion that would produce howls of outrage from the entitled generations roaming campuses today.) As a result, many academic departments are boutiques, in which the professors are expected to be something like intellectual valets. This produces nothing but a delusion of intellectual adequacy in children who should be instructed, not catered to.

Sorry, but regardless of what some educators will tell you, the students aren’t going to “discover calculus on their own” (calculus was developed by some exceptionally intelligent people). And no, your undergraduates (or the vast, vast, vast majority of them anyway) will NOT be doing “cutting edge research” while undergraduates. Fact: at a typical 9-12 hour teaching load institution, your FACULTY won’t be doing such research either. Being a genuine “cutting edge” researcher is a 24/7 job.

And what might be worse: some who have never become experts at anything don’t know what expert knowledge is. And those who are: well, some think that being really good at, say, law, means that their opinions on, say, biology, ought to be taken as seriously as those of a professional biologist.

The confidence of the dumb
There’s also that immutable problem known as “human nature.” It has a name now: it’s called the Dunning-Kruger effect, which says, in sum, that the dumber you are, the more confident you are that you’re not actually dumb. And when you get invested in being aggressively dumb…well, the last thing you want to encounter are experts who disagree with you, and so you dismiss them in order to maintain your unreasonably high opinion of yourself. (There’s a lot of that loose on social media, especially.)

But remember: EVERYONE ELSE is dumb; you are smart. 🙂

Oh well…

But here is my quibble: this sort of dismissing expertise is not that new. Think: creationism. Think: the church’s reluctance to even admit that heliocentric astronomy was completely wrong.

Religious people have been dismissing expert opinion for a long, long time.

June 26, 2016 Posted by | religion, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Another warm walk…

I started later than I should have. And yes, it was warm. It took me 3:55 to do, well, about what it took me 3:35 to do yesterday. Except: yesterday I “ran” the first 8.3 miles or so; today it was all walking.
So my “running” the first 8 gave me 30 minutes or so.



It was a bit muggy, as you can see, and yes, I drank from my bottle AND from the Bradley Park fountain.

One weird thing: I saw a pick up truck with police (red and blue) emergency lights on the front, and guys in green t-shirts in the back. One was holding a small antenna (like the old UHF antennas). I don’t know for sure what they were doing (they looked as if they were trying to find a signal) but my guess it was this: they were practicing Operation Lifesaver. I know that it was on the Peoria Police plan to implement this from 2013-2016. The idea: if someone has, say, Alzheimer’s, you can put a transmitter on their watch that sends a signal that the police can locate with one of these antennas.

June 26, 2016 Posted by | walking | , | Leave a comment

When I see the appeal of Trump, I know that I am upset with someone


I know that a candidate is toxic when I find myself finding him appealing when I get upset or angry with someone or with a group of people (Bern Victims, Social Justice Warriors, scolds, etc).

But no…he isn’t qualified, he doesn’t know what he is doing and would be bad for all of us. So no worries. 🙂

June 26, 2016 Posted by | politics/social, social/political | , | Leave a comment

warm…better than nothing

When I saw the forecast I knew it would be a tough one:


My plan had been to run 15. I decided to break it off at 8.27 (I had altered my return course due to a missed turn)
8.27 miles, 1:35:36, or 11:33 mpm.
Then I walked 7.15 (5.1 mile course, 1.3 upper “classic” loop, short loop by the ball park); 1:59 for that (16:38 mpm!)

total: 3:34:34 for 15.42 miles, or about 34 minutes slower than had I run this on a cool day.

Hey, it is better than nothing. This Tuesday’s forecast is more favorable so maybe I’ll try 15 miles then.

June 25, 2016 Posted by | running, walking | Leave a comment

My takeways from the Brexit vote

1. The polls predicted a close outcome. But as of a few days ago, “stay” was a 3-1 to 4-1 favorite in the sports books. Bottom line: pay attention to BOTH. Note: Clinton is doing well in both; Trump: not so much.

2. Yes, the “young people” wanted to stay, but…didn’t show up when it came time to vote. It is useless to rely on them.


June 24, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | | 1 Comment