Caterpillar moving its headquarters to Chicago

And that means leaving Peoria, where they started. Though many Caterpillar jobs will remain, for now…this is a shock to the Peoria community and economy.

So, how long will it be before Caterpillar is totally gone? I was reminded of this post at Gin and Tacos:

These places are dead and dying because economically there is no longer any reason for them to exist. They were established at a time when their location near resources or now-outdated transportation links made them important. Now, and no politician will ever admit it in public, there simply isn’t any reason for Altoona or Youngstown or Terre Haute to exist anymore. The jobs are never coming back. Nothing is coming back. The Democrats have not given the white Rust Belt working class an answer to their problems because there is no answer. Nothing will resurrect these places, all of which have long since crossed the point of no return in their economic and population decline. Automation, union-busting, outsourcing (much of it within the U.S., to impoverished Southern states) and race-to-the-bottom subsidy wars among state and local governments are ensuring that the situation isn’t about to improve.

And Peoria’s inherent backwardness doesn’t help matter. After all, we have a mayor who sent the police to raid someone’s house, because of a twitter account (50-55 followers!) And we have a lot of people in this town who did not realize…do not realize..what a ridiculous thing to do it was..or how this made us a nation-wide laughing stock.

Why would highly educated people even want to live here?

Oh, Peoria isn’t all bad but, but…oh, don’t get me started.

January 31, 2017 Posted by | Peoria, Peoria/local, social/political | Leave a comment

How long will the Democratic display of backbone last?

Well, we are hearing talk of filibustering the Trump Supreme Court nominee, of Democrats gumming up the works by boycotting Senate committee meetings and the like.

Well, these are not normal times, as David Frum points out in his long, long, but on point article.

And don’t expect much from the Republicans, as Trump supporters support what he is doing. And, as I recently found out, many conservatives really do not know what is going on (e. g. with the travel bans) and how it impacts universities, businesses and the like. They are just clueless.

January 31, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

Some things do not break down along party lines


Yes, that is Ivanka Trump with her husband. Though the tweet was famous for its timing...well…

January 31, 2017 Posted by | butt, social/political | Leave a comment

Workout for 31 January

Note: total January miles is 162, but this includes a long slack period. Long distance: 13 mile walk.

Today: weights followed by a 4 mile walk in Bradley Park.

Weights: rotator cuff, several sets of 5 squats, starting with 0 and working my way to 50, then 10 x 230 in the leg press.
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (better)
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 195, 7 x 175 (missed one rep)
incline press: 8 x 150 (a bit weak)
military: 10 x 50 dumbbell standing, 20 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 85 barbell
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts
headstand: got right into it.

Side plank: stacked the ankles, each side.


Maybe more of these in tomorrow’s exercise class?

January 31, 2017 Posted by | walking, weight training | Leave a comment

This keeps getting worse…and don’t expect Congress to step up anytime soon

Sally Yates was the holdover Attorney General..acting Attorney General. She was fired by President Trump for not enforcing his executive order. Yes, Trump actually used the word “betrayed” in his statement. Really.

And please spare me the “Obama did something similar”. He suspended the Bush era NSEERS program and Obama’s tweak in 2011 was not the same as what Trump is attempting to do right now.

I don’t know how long this will last, but something is going to come to a head.

I really don’t expect much from Congress either; my guess is all of this stuff really isn’t all that important to Speaker Ryan right now. He is probably champing at the bit to get his “tax cuts for the wealthy” along with his “privatize Medicare” program up and running.

January 31, 2017 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment


I managed to to a 10K run on the treadmill (1:02:10 for 6 miles, 1:04:30 for 10K) by doing a 5-minute Froggy (start at 5.2 mph and increase the speed by 0.1 mph every 5 minutes). I couldn’t do this with increases every 3 minutes. But this struck the right balance; this is where I am now.

I’ll take it though; I felt really good afterward.

January 31, 2017 Posted by | running | Leave a comment

Bradley Basketball: tale of two halves


Ok, this isn’t the crowd one would expect from a Wichita State game, but the action in the first half was intense:


WSU scored 11 points in the first 5 minutes but only 9 more for the rest of the first half.


Bradley forces the Shockers into multiple turnovers.

But then came the second half; WSU went on a 31-13 run in the first 13 minutes of the second half and then went on to win 64-49, outscoring Bradley 44-24 in the second half. Cruel reality strikes again.

Still…I still think that this team has at least 3, maybe more, wins left in conference. Bradley has had 2 games with Loyola, 2 with Wichita and 1 with Illinois State. Aside from the Illinois State game in Normal (which will be brutal), Bradley should be able to compete for a win in each of the remaining 8 conference games. I think a 3-5 to 4-4 finish is a very realistic goal.

January 30, 2017 Posted by | basketball | | Leave a comment

One good thing Trump has done: made me appreciate “Checks and Balances” in government

I was having a discussion about the so-called “Muslim ban” (actually an executive order which

bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US for a period of 90 days.

It also suspends the United States’ refugee system for a period of 120 days. Mr Trump says his “extreme vetting” system will help “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the US”.

I was distressed at this order not being widely unpopular. Yes, some very vocal people really hate it and are protesting. But close to half of all Americans are ok with it.

Of course, the courts have stepped in the case where people have a valid visa and are in the United States, and there has been some walking back for those who have green cards.

A lawyer pointed out that it didn’t really matter if the executive order was popular or not; it couldn’t be enforced if the courts found it unconstitutional. I said that I understood that..and that I know that we live in a liberal democracy (as we do). She made it a point that we live in a constitutional democracy….and I didn’t get it, at first. I thought that these were basically the same concept, as the rights of individuals couldn’t be voted away by the masses.

She pointed out the “checks and balances” part of the constitutional democracy; that is, in our case, the executive and the judicial branches are separate. President Trump can’t fire a judge that he disagrees with! He cannot declare a law to be constitutional, and so on.

Now we are seeing just how important that is!

I wonder if the early days of the Trump administration will be providing case studies for “US Government” classes for years to come.

January 30, 2017 Posted by | politics/social, social/political | , , | 2 Comments

Accepting my body…and some Bradley Basketball

For the longest time, I noticed that, on the average, I was weaker in the Riverplex weight room than I was in the Bradley weight room. I wondered if there was a difference in the bench, or weights..or something. Then over the past few months, the difference went away…only to come roaring back today.

What is going on: I tended to lift at the Riverplex on Sunday mornings…the day after a long workout. THAT, is probably the difference.

So today: weights and a 4 mile walk at about 15:30 mpm. It was below freezing; some light “flurry like” sleet.
weights; a few light squats and rotator cuff things. Pull ups: 5 sets of 10; the last couple were the strongest sets?
bench press: 10 x 135, 1 x 190, 2 x 170 (??? super weak)
incline press: 10 x 135, 6 x 150 (weak, but less so)
rows: 2 sets of 10 with the machine, 1 set of 10 x 65 dumbbells.
Military: 2 sets of 7 x 50 dumbbell, 10 x 45 dumbbell, 10 x 180 machine.

abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts.
headstand: got into it and stayed steady…good for today

Then the walk.

Afterward: I caught the Bradley Women beating the Evansville women 56-52; BU had an 8 point lead with 4 minutes to go but let it slip with a scoring drought; they made enough defensive plays to close it. This is unlike Friday, there the let the lead slip away and lost by 9 to Southern Illinois. The SIU game was on a Friday night and drew reasonably well. There were a few students in a special student section; the men’s basketball team showed up to cheer on the women, and many local people were there to cheer for an East Peoria basketball player who was playing for Southern.





January 29, 2017 Posted by | basketball, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

President Trump: the armchair president’s dream come true.

Well, the executive orders have been coming very quickly.

One of the latest was his temporary ban on visitors from 7 mostly Muslim countries, which was ruled to include those with valid visas and green cards. A federal judge lifted the ban for visa holders who are stranded in US airports.

But what in the hell is going on here; it is clear that this policy was not thought through carefully. (and yes, Trump supporters approve of such actions).

I think that we have a fundamental disconnect between those who support Trump and those who don’t, and one aspect of the disconnect is seeing complexity of a situation.

Time and time again, I’ve read fan discussion of a sports team and oh-so-many just KNOW what a coach should be doing…without having a deep knowledge of the sport, being around the team itself, having a scouting report of the opponent, etc. And that is just sports!

National and world policy decisions are much more complex and have many layers of ramifications. So, I prefer someone who looks at the situation, carefully comes up with a conjecture, and then surrounds himself (or herself) with top experts who weigh in with their own carefully thought through analysis ….and goes though “what if” many, many times.

But alas, people who do that are ridiculed in action movies…aren’t they?


And so we get rash, impulsive actions like what we are seeing.

Eventually, President Trump will get around to trying to get laws through Congress, and I hope the opposition party uses what is at their disposal, unless he proposes good, or at least, salvageable, policy.

January 29, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment