blueollie

Eating alone with an opposite sex person who isn’t related: ok or not?

Note: I am using a simple “male/female” model here, and assuming that the woman and man are not related, not married to each other, and that at least one of them has a spouse and that their marriage is NOT open (e. g. sexual and romantic fidelity is expected).

This poll is motivated by the recent revelation that Vice President Pence “does not dine alone with a female that isn’t his wife”.

Feel free to add comments.

Disclaimer: I often share meals, workouts, sporing events, with opposite sex friends. But certain caveats apply; spouse has to know and approve (nothing kept secret) and, in general, these friends are my spouse’s friends as ell. And common sense applies: a hike, run, lunch buffet or a basketball game is very different than a candlelight dinner.

March 31, 2017 Posted by | Friends, social/political | Leave a comment

One reason why talking to Trump supporters is a waste of time

Check out this video: it is about 7 minutes:

Upshot: Trump is a winner with them because he says things that they want to hear, he confirms their current world view. The want someone who, at least in public, speaks like they do:

Yale psychologist Paul Bloom has written that, “When it comes to policy decisions … we are better off putting aside empathy and employing a combination of rational deliberation and a more distanced compassion.” I asked him what this means for political communication. He said that empathy, effectively, is a zero-sum game. Anyone who has to speak to multiple audiences at once faces a trade-off: A politician might tell you he cares about you — but if he also tells you that he cares about someone else, you no longer trust him. We demand of our leaders an unfair and impossible monogamy.

Trump implicitly understands this — which is why his us-versus-them rhetoric, while so appalling to much of the country, appeals to the small group of people he has identified as “us.” They’re not interested in hearing that he also cares about others. They want him all to themselves.

And the sad truth is, it works. For all the noise about his low approval ratings, he’s actually doing fine among Republicans, including those who once balked at his ascendance. They now sheepishly applaud as he translates that us-versus-them rhetoric into the policy equivalent: Rather than call Mexicans drug dealers and rapists, for instance, he calmly weaponizes the bureaucracy and announces a new office to prosecute crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, an almost nonexistent problem. His supporters are satisfied with his plan. His opponents are impressed with his “restraint.” Thus does a con artist slither over the lowest of bars.

Of course, the true Trump supporters are a relatively narrow slice of the country, hence the “below 40 percent” approval ratings at such an early stage of his administration.

Disclaimer: yes, one of the reasons I liked President Obama is that he tended to speak carefully and deliberately; he appeared to think things through. Those are qualities that I’d like to think that I have (though, in my case, that might be too much wishful thinking).

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

Empathy and Filibusters

New York Magazine has a couple of interesting articles.

The first one was about empathy in politics and how it really isn’t a winning message. Trump continues to play to his base; most every other president in my memory at least made a pretense of representing everyone.

Basically, the United States is not a liberal arts college; coming out for the rights of class X really, in and of itself, is not a winning message. And claiming to see many sides of an issue doesn’t work either; note how the right wing acted toward President Obama who FREQUENTLY praised law enforcement. Saying “well, you know, group Y might have a valid point” is a good way to get those not in group Y to be against you.

It is a sad state of affairs. But I do think that this state of affairs should be acknowledged and dealt with.

Think about it: much of the Clinton campaign was about attacking Trump’s attacks and deportment. That did NOT close the deal.

My guess: the Democrats can win again..but rather than say “oh, Trump and the Republicans are terrible because they did this boorish thing”, they will have to point out that Trump really pulled a big con; he made promises that he either had no chance of delivering on or no intention on delivering on.

Gorsuch nomination The Democrats got rolled on Garland. If they don’t retaliate, we’ll get rolled again. Right now it appears that we have 34 willing to filibuster; we need 7 more. Oh, Gorsuch will then be approved by a simple majority vote. But make no mistake about it if we don’t filibuster now, they will filibuster our next nominee. It is better to let the filibuster be nuked.

Pence and dining with a woman alone: This is comical. Ok, IF this is only a social policy and he is willing to have a working meal with a female professional, that’s fine. I think it is silly (disclaimer: I do stuff with female friends). I find it amusing that we have a “I won’t even eat with a female alone” person teamed up with Mr. “Grab them by the pussy.” Is this two sides of the same coin?

I couldn’t resist making a Carmen meme about this:

Workout notes

weights plus 2 miles on the treadmill, then leg weights.
Treadmill run: 2-2-2-2-2 (5.2-5.6), then 2-2-2-2-2 (6.7-7.1; 8:41 average). 2.05 miles in 20 minutes.
leg weights: goblet squats: 6 sets of 5: 5 with 50, last with 65. 100 meter walk on half the track between sets.
upper body weights:

rotator cuff, 5 sets of 10 pull ups: incline bench: 10 x 135, 5 x 150, 7 x 140 (strict), dumbbell military (standing): 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine.

March 31, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics/social, running, social/political, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Well, that was interesting…

The Republicans are trying to play things as if climate change is either a hoax, or that there is some question as to the human contribution. So, they are arranging to have a Congressional hearing which will feature the small percentage of scientists that disagree with the current consensus and try to play this as a “one scientist says, the other scientist says” type of thing, which it is not. So how should the mainstream scientists respond? Would boycotting be a better strategy?

Trump’s approval: is approaching where Nixon’s was when impeachment talk became more prominent.

Note: Nixon was at 38 percent disapproval among Republicans at the time.

Yes, I know, disapproval is not grounds for impeachment, and yes, no matter who is president, there are *always” voices that clamor for impeachment (and yes, I thought the idea of impeaching President Bush was ridiculous). So I’ll leave it to others who know more to tell me what high crime or misdemeanor President Trump committed (illegally benefiting from his office?) but let’s just say that I remain highly, highly skeptical. Now that he might say “the heck with it” and leave…who knows.

Workout notes:
Morning: 10K run in 1:04:30; hit 6 miles in 1:01:49. How it went: 10 minute warm up (every 2 minutes) then 8 x 2:30 at 6.7, 2:30 at 5.3 then 5 at various slow paces before I gave in and walked a bit. At least I got 8 repetitions as opposed to 6 last week.

Evening: exercise class; the steps were interesting.

March 30, 2017 Posted by | climate change, political/social, running, social/political | | Leave a comment

ugh…

Oh, it isn’t that bad. I am still feeling oh so slightly out of sorts..probably due to lack of sleep. Play wise, I am trying to decide between doing a 5K on April 8 and getting a chance to watch quite a bit of baseball (2 Bradley games, 2 Chiefs games..probably watch 2 BU games) or a chance to do a rugged trail 30 miler at night that I am in no way prepared for. I am leaning toward the 5k and baseball.

Personal: my students did reasonably well on their midterms. That pleases me.

Workout notes: new shoes…wear them tomorrow? 4 mile walk (Cornstalk classic) after weights:

rotator cuff, 5 sets of 10 pull ups
bench press: 10 x 135, 6 x 185 (people in the gym), 10 x 170
standing dumbbell military: 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 45
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110
Hammer Machine incline: 3 sets of 10 x 140 (45 + 25)
goblet squats (used as rests): sets of 5: 45-45-50-55-60-65
leg presses: 10 x 250, 10 x 270
abs: 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunch, 10 moving yoga half-bridges
headstand: since I tried it, I had to follow through and the second attempt went easy…still have confidence issues.

March 29, 2017 Posted by | Personal Issues, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

weird bug?

For some of last week, I felt “out of sorts”; weak, watery eyes, athletically slightly degraded. I felt good prior to the weekend 5K though. Today’s run: aside from an extremely rare case of lower GI (cut run short to 3.3 miles, then walked 1.8 after the pit stop), I felt ok.

Now my wife is under the weather. The difference: she is normal.

Me: if I feel sub optimal, I try to workout anyway, albeit at reduced intensity, duration or both.

March 28, 2017 Posted by | illness, running, walking | Leave a comment

Harsh, blunt but to the point

I’ve referred to this article “6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person”. It starts this way:

Feel free to stop reading this if your career is going great, you’re thrilled with your life, and you’re happy with your relationships. Enjoy the rest of your day, friend, this article is not for you. You’re doing a great job, we’re all proud of you. So you don’t feel like you wasted your click, here’s a picture of Lenny Kravitz wearing a gigantic scarf.

For the rest of you, I want you to try something: Name five impressive things about yourself. Write them down or just shout them out loud to the room. But here’s the catch — you’re not allowed to list anything you are (i.e., I’m a nice guy, I’m honest), but instead can only list things that you do (i.e., I just won a national chess tournament, I make the best chili in Massachusetts). If you found that difficult, well, this is for you, and you are going to fucking hate hearing it. My only defense is that this is what I wish somebody had said to me around 1995 or so.

Now…I am not going to do that….not that I haven’t done so. And clearly this article applies to the workplace; really, you are paid your salary to do your job well. And yes, it applies to what WE like: we cheer for champions, we seek the best value for our money; we spend our money on things that work well, we like pilots that can fly well, lawyers that win our case or settlement, doctors and physical therapists that heal us, etc.

But for today, I’ll focus on friendships. And yes, this is very true for me.

I have a variety of friends, both on social media and in person. What makes a person desirable to have as a friend and to keep as a friend?

Well, as the article says, we seek to fill our needs. I do not do this consciously, but I find myself drawn to certain people. I’ve tried to figure out why those people.

I’ll use an example of someone what was on my Facebook friends list for some time until we became much closer friends as of perhaps 13 months ago or so. I’ll just call her Diana.

She is one of those half-dozen people whose posts I always look for first; if I haven’t seen them on my timeline I go to their wall to check them out. I notice whether or not she likes or comments on what I’ve posted. Why?

The reason, of course, is that I feel better after my interactions with her, but why is that so?

I’ve thought about it: I think that she is informed, but others are more so. But she is witty and funny; she frequently makes me laugh. That is something of value.
She has “friendship skills” (subtle ways of making someone feel special); that is something of value.
But there is something more. I’ve found out that she, along with her husband, are raising kids that really aren’t theirs because the kids parents cannot (or will not) properly care for them. That is a life changing decision.
Now that has nothing directly to do with me. BUT, I respect that and it challenges me to do better. I sometimes find myself struggling to show patience with some family members…and Diana’s example leads me to challenge myself: “if she can do THAT, I can be civil for an hour or two…”

This sort of thing carries over to other things. Example: Mamma T (and many others) have hung in there to finish marathons and ultramarathons. No, that has no intrinsic value to me. But since it is my goal to finish such things..I sometimes draw on their example when I am deep in the race, hurting, slightly sick and disgusted with my own performance. I find myself thinking “T, David, Mat, Damon, Donna, Jennifer, Mary, Steve, Robert, Cassie, Frederick (etc. too many to name them all) wouldn’t quit just because it was hard…so do you deserve their company or not?” And it motivates me to stay with it. Their success, while hardly professional level, still has value to me and I think that is part of what makes them desirable friends to have. The blunt truth if that they were quitters, I wouldn’t be as interested in their friendship. That isn’t a conscious decision, it just “is”.

So to me, you aren’t necessarily your job, you, to me, ARE what you do. And yes, there are some who I do identify with their jobs (example: Rory the physicist, Linda the lawyer, Ann the businesswoman, Lynn the accountant) but…part of what attracts me to them is that they are good at those jobs and have tangible proof of it. Again, this isn’t a conscious decision on my part.

Baseball
We had a nice Bradley vs. Eureka baseball game: Bradley raced to a 9-1 lead after 6 innings and withstood a scary 4 run “top of the 9’th” rally to win 9-7. Eureka started and closed their scoring with home runs by their burly first baseman; a solo shot early and then a 3 run blast in the 9’th. He went 4-5 with a double in addition to the 2 home runs.

It was entertaining (though a bit too entertaining in the 9’th) and it was BU’s 3’rd win for this weekend.

Here is early action:

And the cool drizzle, plus a couple of other athletic events on campus kept attendance down a bit.

Workout notes

2 mile walk
weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10, went well)
bench pres: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 5 x 185 (empty gym…did not push for 6 reps)
incline press: 10 x 135 (strict)
dumbbell military press: 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 45 (standing)
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110
abs: 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunches, 10 yoga bridges (half)
headstand
in between the upper body stuff I did 8 x 5 goblet squats: 0, 35, 45, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65 and, ironically, the best set was the one with 65. I also got 10 x 250 leg press…almost gave myself a headache.

Then I did a 4 mile walk to finish it off.

March 27, 2017 Posted by | Friends, social/political, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Interplanetary 5K and Bradley Baseball

Ok, given that the Bradley 5K course was just a tad bit long (3.16-3.2 miles) and I did it in 28:03, my 27:18 time for the Interplanetary 5K was right on.

I had felt a bit heavy legged the day before but felt fine on race morning, where it was in the low 50’s and drizzly….while I warmed up.

In a nutshell I may have taken it a bit too hard at the start (8:38) and while my second mile was fine (8:47), I slowed (9:51 for the final 1.1) even though I had a light tailwind.

I had a hard time gauging early pace. At first I followed the lady in orange and black:

But she started to open a lead on me about half way and then blew me away at the end (see the red arrow)

I was about 90 seconds slower than last year, but a bit faster than I was last Thanksgiving. Too heavy? Well, I was also running more last year (2-2:30 training runs for strength plus 8 milers midweek) and I think that I need to do more of the 1:30 duration runs.

Still, socially, it was good to see old friends including the lovely Mamma T and her new-ish friend.

Later, it was time for some Bradley Baseball, where the Braves overpowered NAIA Robert Morris-Springfield 15-0 in 7 innings.

It drizzled for part of the game, which drove most of the fans to the concourse for part of the game. We moved back to the top row under the overhang.

If the weather cooperates, I’ll try to catch the Eureka game tomorrow afternoon.

March 26, 2017 Posted by | baseball, running | , , | Leave a comment

Health care: I can live with some inequality

Ok, we know that the House attempt to kill Obamacare went down in flames; you had the “Freedom Caucus” who did not want any sort of government involvement at versus some moderates who didn’t want to see so many kicked off of insurance.

So, were do we go from here? Some populists are actually ok with some sort of universal coverage (think: “Medicaid for all”). I do not think that the populists are really free market types who are opposed to a single payer type solution. It is more tribal than that:

I think that perhaps too many of them see others from their tribe as being unworthy slackers and losers. But will enough of them move past that? We shall see.

I wonder if there is a way to play to President Trump’s ego and need for adulation…let HIM be the one that “finally got it done” and got us something like universal health care.

So what would such a plan might look like?

I could see some sort of “basic health care for all” with the option of people either getting some extras on their own. I could live with that, provided the “extras” really were extra.

Example: you get cancer, you get good treatment; the full works.

But if you’ve reached the point where you are semi-conscious, have no realistic chance of pulling out of it, but you want to spend the last month of your life in a semi-conscious state, hooked up to machines …well…that you can have a private policy to pay for. If you want to spend your insurance premium money so you can die on silk sheets, go for it.

Workout notes 4 mile walk on dead legs.

March 24, 2017 Posted by | health care, politics/social, social/political, walking | | Leave a comment

Allergies, colds and enforced humility

For the past couple of days, my eyes have watered, nose runny (TMI) and I have felt ..sort of yucky. But my workouts have been ok. Last night’s exercise class was fine (decent challenge actually) and today I did weights then my usual “short, sweet” 2 mile treadmill run where I run the first mile in about 11 minutes; second one in about 8:45 or so (my current 5K pace). I usually finish feeling refreshed and today was no exception.

So I thought: ok…not bad…then I remembered October, 2000:

OLLIE NANYES (M41) 3:38:12 91 85 / 18 M40-44 PEORIA, IL, USA (91 of 400)

That’s an 8:19 pace.

Yep, I was happy, though I was well aware that 90 people were faster, and that the winner was done BEFORE I got to mile 20. Since there was an “out and back” segment, I got to see some of the faster runners on their way back.

Nevertheless: I’d be delighted if I could average 8:19 for a 5K this year; I did that a couple of times last year. My last sub 25 was in 2014. That might well have been my final one, ever.

Well, F*CK ME DEAD. Ok, no…I still can run, workout, chase cute spandex (though cute, SLOW spandex..can’t catch the faster spandex anymore).

Workout notes: weights plus the aforementioned 2 mile run:

weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10).
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 190 (good)
incline press: 10 x 135
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine
dumbbell military (standing) 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 45
incline (Hammer Machine) 2 sets of 10 x 140 (70 each arm)
headstand (went ok)

Run: 10 minutes (2 at 5.2, up .1 mph every 2 minutes), 2:30: (6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 7 for 1:30, 7.1 for final minute) 19:41 for 2 miles, 2.03 total.

Now to dig myself out under a whole pile of grading.

March 23, 2017 Posted by | marathons, running, weight training | | Leave a comment