Not quite stuck in neutral (sports)

Well, my weight has been stuck in the high 190’s for some time. The reality: last year, I did a LOT of 25-30 mile WEEKENDS (not weeks, weekends); this year I’ve averaged 35 running/walking miles per week, almost like clockwork.

No swimming, and yes, I’ve been lifting reasonably hard 3 times a week.

The result (TMI): a bit stronger my because of my goblet squats, the butt and thighs are stronger. This hasn’t helped me run faster, but my lower back feels better now that my butt is actually strong enough to contribute to my posture, just a bit anyway.

Today: typical: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10..first set of 10 was dreadful and the last set of 10 was hard),
bench press: 10 x 135, 1 x 185 (shoulders felt a bit sore), incline: 10 x 135, 5 x 150 (strict, kept the hips in place)
military: dumbbell, standing: 10 x 50 (good?) 10 x 45, 10 x 45. Machine rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110.

Then I went to the treadmill: 2-2-2-2-2 warm up (5.2 to 5.6 warm up), the 2-2-2-2-2 second 10 (6.7 to 7.1); 10:56/8:41.
then leg weights: walk 1/2 a lap and do 5 goblet squats: 3 sets with 45, 3 with 50.

Last night: exercise with Mamma T. What a character: “You’re in trouble”. Me: “why”? “Because you’re here.”

Silliness: I love it.

Walk with the group tonight.

Sometimes I feel better with a second, post work (or lunchtime) walk; my guess is all this sitting isn’t good for me (on the days when I don’t teach much).

And no…when I run with a female friend, we do not look like that. Oh hell, yeah, “cute young woman’s butt” but to be blunt, at my age, it is better to chase after the more age appropriate women. They have bigger butts (a good thing from my point of view) and, at least as of now, I have a prayer of catching at least a few of them. Ok, most of them (NOT all).


April 6, 2017 Posted by | running, spandex, weight training | Leave a comment

Sticky place for Democrats

This isn’t yet another postmortem on the stinging Democratic defeat in 2016. But this is more about “how do we go forward”?

Yes, there is a lot of protest about Trump, but where does this protest come from? My guess: not from Trump voters. 🙂

So, one goes to the rust belt to talk things over with Democrats in power there. And they say the same thing: what national Democrats appear to care about is not what the local people care about:

But worst of all, they said, the party hadn’t learned from what they saw as the biggest message from November’s election: Democrats have fallen completely out of touch with America’s blue-collar voters.

“It doesn’t matter how much we scream and holler about jobs and the economy at the local level. Our national leaders still don’t get it,” said David Betras, the county’s party chair. “While Trump is talking about trade and jobs, they’re still obsessing about which bathrooms people should be allowed to go into.”

Others around the restaurant table nodded.

Since the election, Democrats have been swallowed up in an unending cycle of outrage and issues that have little to do with the nation’s working class, they said, such as women’s marches, fighting Trump’s refugee ban and advocating for transgender bathroom rights. […]

He warned Clinton that she had lost all credibility with working-class voters by waffling on trade and offering tepid solutions. He urged in his memo that she talk about infrastructure instead.

“The workers we’re talking about don’t want to run computers, they want to run back hoes, dig ditches, sling concrete block,” he wrote. “They’re not embarrassed about the fact that they get their hands dirty. . . . They love it and they want to be respected and honored for it.”

He sent his memo to Clinton’s top campaign adviser in Ohio and other senior party officials. But Betras never heard back.

Months later, he said he thinks his party leaders still haven’t gotten the message.

Yes, we get it. Making sure that “Loretta” can use the bathroom that, well “she” wants to use is not what is on most people’s minds..nor are women in pussy hats.

But wait…don’t Democrats push for…Medicaid expansion and minimum wage hikes, stuff that helps out those at the bottom of the economic ladder? Well:

Manly dignity is a big deal for most men. So is breadwinner status: Many still measure masculinity by the size of a paycheck. White working-class men’s wages hit the skids in the 1970s and took another body blow during the Great Recession. Look, I wish manliness worked differently. But most men, like most women, seek to fulfill the ideals they’ve grown up with. For many blue-collar men, all they’re asking for is basic human dignity (male varietal). Trump promises to deliver it.

The Democrats’ solution? Last week the New York Times published an article advising men with high-school educations to take pink-collar jobs. Talk about insensitivity. Elite men, you will notice, are not flooding into traditionally feminine work. To recommend that for WWC men just fuels class anger. […]

The terminology here can be confusing. When progressives talk about the working class, typically they mean the poor. But the poor, in the bottom 30% of American families, are very different from Americans who are literally in the middle: the middle 50% of families whose median income was $64,000 in 2008. That is the true “middle class,” and they call themselves either “middle class” or “working class.”

“The thing that really gets me is that Democrats try to offer policies (paid sick leave! minimum wage!) that would help the working class,” a friend just wrote me. A few days’ paid leave ain’t gonna support a family. Neither is minimum wage. WWC men aren’t interested in working at McDonald’s for $15 per hour instead of $9.50. What they want is what my father-in-law had: steady, stable, full-time jobs that deliver a solid middle-class life to the 75% of Americans who don’t have a college degree. Trump promises that. I doubt he’ll deliver, but at least he understands what they need.

Understand Working-Class Resentment of the Poor
Remember when President Obama sold Obamacare by pointing out that it delivered health care to 20 million people? Just another program that taxed the middle class to help the poor, said the WWC, and in some cases that’s proved true: The poor got health insurance while some Americans just a notch richer saw their premiums rise.

And those who are genuinely poor: THEY DON’T WANT TO REMAIN POOR…they don’t want a minimum wage job. They want the jobs that Trump promised.

And here is the dilemma: those jobs are not coming back. Neither are those towns. Automation is not going away, and that is what is killing many jobs.

Example: now-a-days it takes a grand total of 30-35 man hours to produce a complete car:

When Harbour adds up all the man-hours it takes to build a car or truck, including stamping, assembly, engine and transmission manufacture, Hyundai was seventh of seven majors, at 35.1 hours per vehicle in North America. Ford Motor Company was sixth, at 33.88 hours, a 3.7-percent improvement over last year, Nissan was fifth, at an estimated 32.96 hours, or 8.8 percent more time than the previous year, and GM was fourth, at 32.29 hours, a 0.2-percent improvement. Honda was third, at 31.33 hours, a 2.3-percent improvement.

In 1932, it was 92 man-hours.

We simply do not need as many workers to do the same tasks.

So…what to do? The awful truth is that many of those who have lost those good blue collar jobs will either have to retrain for the jobs of today (IF they are capable of doing so) or…be poor.

Trump’s solution was to lie to them and it…just barely…worked.

What will our solution be?

April 6, 2017 Posted by | 2016, Democrats, economy, social/political | | Leave a comment

Woman in a man’s world talk

This was the speaker:

Brigadier General Tate-Nadeau is the first female general in te Illinois Army National Guard. She served a tour in Iraq as the Chief of Operations, Plans, and Public Information at Camp Lincoln and completed a three-year tour in Ramia, Istrael as liaison officer to the Israeli Home Front Command. She retired from the military in March 2017. Since active service, General Tate-Nadeau worked for FEMA and is now the executive director of the Emergency Management and Communications Office in Chicago. Sponsored by the Psychology Department, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and ICAC.

She spoke for about 45 minutes and took questions along the way. Here are some highlights..some are very interesting.

As far as the pros and cons: she regrets missing key moments with her kids and felt that, when talking to her Army peers, she had to “hide her feminine side” at times. But she was proud of her career, said that her husband and kids were very supportive.

One “pro” of the military: pay was by rank (and by job/duty); no difference between females and males.

She was sensitive to being seen as “the best female”..she wanted to compete to the best period. She also thought that, at times, senior officers took it easier on women (and other minorities) which harmed them later in their careers; they never learned how to meet the tougher expectations that would be expected of those in higher ranks. She was sensitive to the thought that she was promoted as a token, or had “slept her way to the top.”

In terms of combat positions and other jobs: she felt that females had to meet 100 percent of the qualifications, but the qualifications had to be relevant to the job.

An important observation she felt that changes to the culture had to come from within the culture itself. So she had to prove herself and conform to the current culture; that meant drawing some lines and never been seen as being ‘too female”. Once accepted, she could influence the culture. But those “on the outside” really aren’t taken seriously.

Learning to do small things such as develop a “physical posture of confidence” mattered.

In interactions with others: living apart from males meant that she sometimes missed informal or quickly called meetings, so she learned to be the one that called them. She also felt that she had to outwork her colleagues.

Regards to VP Pence’s remarks of not eating alone with a female She was aware that her reputation could be damaged by innuendo. So she never socialized “one on one” with males; she had a rule of 3 when it came to things like meals. She admitted that this sort of thing may have hurt her career; for example generals have aides who stay closely with them. In such a job, one learns much about how a senior officer operates and thinks; the logistics of quarters, not being able to be alone, etc. made it difficult to impossible for a male general to have a female aide.

As far as having it all She admitted that it was “impossible to have it all”. If you do one thing really, really well, you’ll do other things at most “average”.

It was a nice event and I am glad that I went.

April 6, 2017 Posted by | social/political, Uncategorized | , | 3 Comments