Some differences between Trump supporters and Obama supporters….

A few days ago, I posted a snarky tweet about Trump struggling to spell “hereby” and it showed up on Facebook. It got a few likes and comments, and evidently one of those who “liked” my tweet (or retweet) has some Trump supporters on his friends list; evidently my post showed up on this Trump supporter’s wall.

The said Trump supporter thought it was ok to go to my post and chastise me; it wasn’t. 🙂 But the gist is that while the misspelling was something we were having fun with, we are angry about far more than that.

But then one of my facebook friends responded:

And there lies the rub: I expect a US president to have a lot going for him/her. I expect competence, enough humility to know what they know well and to seek out advice when they need it. I expect them to be a master of diplomacy and to set the example for civil behavior.

On the other hand, Trump supporters see President Trump as what THEY would be like were they born into money. They would live that way (I sure as hell wouldn’t) and tell people off and just run off at the mouth; expert knowledge isn’t needed…merely COMMON SENSE (what makes sense to THEM, given their limited experience and background).

They see the careful, nuanced, thoughtful approach of President Obama as a type of weakness.

And to be fair, the rest of the modern Republican party is that way: all slogans, all the time.

And that is probably my biggest beef with modern conservatives. I actually share a few of their values, but I give a high premium to the actual “execution” of the ideas. Just yelling slogans isn’t enough; in fact, it isn’t even a start.

It isn’t enough for an idea to make sense to me; it has to work on the spreadsheet as well.


March 6, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics, social/political | Leave a comment

Feeling my age: no “wife carrying” competition for me

Workout notes: 5 mile shuffle; 50 and drizzling. Really, that isn’t that bad for this time of year.

Age: The first sign that age was affecting me was back when I was getting close to 40; I tried a series of mile races and found that I actually had to work hard and train to get under 6 minutes (it was routine for me up until I turned 39 or so). I noticed that my 5K times were stuck at just under 21 minutes, though I improved to 1:34 for the half marathon.

But I switched to ultra walking; and that hid my decline a bit. The first time it really, really hit me was in 2009 after I had just turned 50. I was doing a hilly trail 30 mile walk and found myself really suffering in the final 8 miles or so; I strained, strained, strained to stay ahead of a pack of guys and wasn’t able to.

So at the “5 miles to go” aid station I lamented that I couldn’t hold the guys off…that the final set of hills was just killing me. Another ultra type (my age) said “remember that they (the guys I was trying to beat) are 30 years younger than you are.” THAT is when it hit me.

I was to get my knee repaired in 2010 (bucket handle tear in my meniscus) and when I finally got back into it, I was never quite the same. The knee does NOT hurt so I am glad that I had the surgery, but running and walking distances has gotten progressively harder since then.

Oddly enough, weights are still not that bad. I am weak (bench press: 5 reps with 185-190, 8-10 with 170; sets of 10-15 pullups until I get to 50 total) but not getting that much weaker.

And then I saw this:

And I thought: “well, if only I had a slender wife…” but in reality, that wouldn’t really help me. Back in, say, 1998-1999 I might have been able to pull this off with a smaller running friend, but no longer.

And, if the guy is strong enough (and I am not), the wife doesn’t always have to be THAT small (middle 2 photos).




02 Jul 2011, Sonkajärvi, Finland --- epa02806849 USA couple David and Lacey Castro make their way through the water hazard during The 16th Wife Carrying Championships 02 July 2011 in Sonkajaervi,Finland. They finished fifth. EPA/MARKKU OJALA FINLAND OUT --- Image by © MARKKU OJALA/epa/Corbis

02 Jul 2011, Sonkajärvi, Finland — epa02806849 USA couple David and Lacey Castro make their way through the water hazard during The 16th Wife Carrying Championships 02 July 2011 in Sonkajaervi,Finland. They finished fifth. EPA/MARKKU OJALA FINLAND OUT — Image by © MARKKU OJALA/epa/Corbis

March 6, 2017 Posted by | running | | Leave a comment

A good reason to take a calculus of variations course

What is going on here? One path is shorter but ..


March 6, 2017 Posted by | mathematics, physics | 1 Comment

Shouting down what you don’t like (college campuses)

First, I should make it clear what I am talking about. I am not talking about someone walking around and shouting..and subsequently being heckled.

And I am NOT talking about a college course; I am absolutely ok with a faculty member being fired for incompetence for teaching nonsense in their courses (e. g. a biologist teaching intelligent design or creationism as a “valid theory”). Competence in one’s subject is essential for a college professor!

What I am talking about are things like this. Hat tip to Jerry Coyne for calling attention to things like these.

Now let me make this clear: I understand that the First Amendment applies to government actions; this doesn’t guarantee someone a platform or a friendly audience. I understand that. And I also understand that those on the campus community that object can always stand outside with signs, etc.

But here is the deal: a student organization (or committee, whatever) set up a speaker that they wanted to listen to. These people (students or otherwise) effectively kept others on campus from listening.

I don’t care how self righteous you think that you are: you are not qualified to determine what I can listen to and what I shouldn’t be able to listen to. What gives you that right?

This is dangerous for other reasons as well: the neutral party might wonder “hmmm, are the ideas so dangerous that these people think that they shouldn’t be given a hearing?”

Hey, if they are really bad ideas and YOU can figure that out, well, with p less than .01, I am probably capable of coming to the same determination on my own.

Now you might think “hey, weren’t those ideas discredited many years ago?” And that might well be true; if it is, that is probably why you aren’t getting this from one of your classes or course textbooks.

But if a campus group goes through the official channels to book a speaker, then they should get to speak, whether you like it or not. And yes, that would include, say, some Bible group sponsoring a creationist speaker.

Now if that said speaker has a question and answer period, by all means, cross examine the speaker. Write rebuttals to the student paper or on social media.

But this shouting down is ridiculous.

March 6, 2017 Posted by | social/political | , , | Leave a comment