A non-Trump post..

Yes, I am aware of the recent developments. I am not sure as to what it means, though I would expect this when you have an unqualified amateur as POTUS. I am still disgusted that so many thought him qualified.

But for now, I’ll discuss working out and talking to beginners about it.

Yesterday’s walk: I kind of ran low on energy about 90 minutes into it, but knew enough to adjust the effort, relax and get 3 more hours of walking. But I’d never advise a beginner to do that; I’ve been doing things for so long I have an idea of when I *really* need to call it a day.

Today’s weights: I felt tired at the start but it went well: pull ups (5 sets of 10) went well; bench press: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, 10 x 170, went well…inclines: 10 x 135, standing military (10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 45), rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110. Then goblet squats: 10 x 50, 10 x 60 (to the sill), leg presses (10 x 210).

So, I had more than I thought.

If there is a moral: fatigue is sometimes mental, and if one waits until things are optimal, one will never train.

October 30, 2017 Posted by | political/social, politics, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Wisconsin Freezes Illinois 24-10

First things first: I did get in a 4 mile run before the game, and a 16 mile walk this morning; did 4.3 first, then 11.5 plus a bit more. I did throw a mini tantrum when I thought that I had lost my glove (first bathroom stop); my course was the Cornstalk 4.3 followed by to the Heights Tower and back. Sunny and chilly; my pace was uninspiring.

The game:

Ok, yes, Wisconsin has a solid team. But Illinois played them by stacking 7-8 men near the line of scrimmage and dared them to throw..and they couldn’ least not consistently. But they do have better players, and, as usual, Illinois made key mistakes (12 man on the field on 4’th down kept a Wisconsin TD drive alive, and two rather bad interceptions) and ended up losing 24-10. Illinois did have a touchdown in the final minute to make the score closer than the game really was.

Neither team did much early, though the Illinois defense stopped the Badgers after they got an interception. But the aforementioned penalty kept a 92 yard Wisconsin drive alive for a 7-0 lead; eventually it was pushed to a 14-0 lead. Illinois got a field goal near the end of the half, but Wisconsin got a good drive with less than a minute to go and kicked a 52 yard field goal as time expired in the half. Illinois tried to “ice” the kicker with 3 time outs, but as cold as it was, it did not work.

The last Wisconsin drive featured a nifty 3x yard run by the backup running back (see it at 45 seconds into the Wisconsin highlight video from Wisconsin) and ended with a trick play: a backwards pass to a tackle for a 4 yard touchdown.

Big Ten highlights

Illinois did have some highlight plays and the backup quarterback did some good running. But the quarterbacks were sacked too many times.

Full game:


Yes, there were some snow showers/drizzle.

I must be nuts.

Few fans lasted the whole way.

42K was the official attendance. Guesses: maybe 1/2 to 2/3 of that.

October 30, 2017 Posted by | college football, football, running, walking | | Leave a comment

Confusing the individual with the aggregate

One of the things that fascinated me was radioactive decay. If you were given a certain amount of a radioactive isotope, you can deduce how much will be left (not decayed) after a certain amount of time. In fact, you can do this so accurately that you can base a precision clock on it.

However, it is impossible to determine WHICH atom will decay, no matter how much information you have about it. I don’t mean that it is practically impossible but rather that it is literally impossible. And the individual atoms will decay at different times.

In short, you have information about the aggregate but not about the individual. Of course, in this example, we are in the range of quantum phenomena.

But this principle, (aggregate vs. the individual) applies when one attempts to make inferences about what will happen with a population in which there is a high level of variance within the said population, and people often get confused.

Example: suppose you have two groups of students who are, say, starting a program of study in engineering. One group is the group of students whose math ACT scores are 22, and the other group has math ACT scores of 30. The harsh reality is that the group of students with a score of 22 will have very little success; there may well be a few individuals who make it, but the vast majority won’t. And yes, the group with a score of 30 will have some failures, but they will have many more successes.

So, the ACT score matters and has predictive value. But if you bring this up, someone will remember the person with a 30 who flunked out, and someone with a 22 who made it and claim that means that the “ACT is meaningless”. Psst: that isn’t true.

So yes, there are smokers who live a long time, there are those who drive while texting who don’t get into accidents, etc. But smoking does harm longevity and driving while texting increases one’s risk of having an accident.

Application to Illinois Football Illinois football is starting MANY true freshmen and, well, the record so far is grim (2 wins over weaker non-conference opposition, followed by 5 straight losses against “power 5” caliber opposition (USF isn’t “power 5” but they are an undefeated, ranked team). And prospects for another win this season are grim, with 2 Top 10 teams (Wisconsin, Ohio State) and 3 improved teams (Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern) left to play.

So the PR department is playing this “the future is bright” angle:

And yes, the team is playing a lot of freshmen.

But: how good is that class? I went on ESPN and looked at how the Big Ten 2017 recruiting classes were ranked:

Top 10: Ohio State, Michigan
10-25: Penn State, Maryland, Nebraska
26-39: Michigan State
40-49: Wisconsin, Iowa, Northwestern
50-59: Rutgers, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Purdue.

So, based on talent, we *might* be able to hang with Rutgers, Indiana, Minnesota and Purdue, youth or no youth.

Now yes, measuring recruiting is tough to do, and there is always that individual “lightly regarded” recruit who blossoms into an NFL player. It does happen..individually. But a team composed of lightly regarded recruits is rarely, if ever, successful.

Workout notes: yesterday, wet 10K walk (untimed). today: weights. Pull ups were a struggle, so I did a couple of 5-5 sets then 2 sets of 10, one of 7-3 (50 total). (switched grip), usual PT, incline presses: 10 x 135, 4 x 160, 6 x 150, military (dumbbell: 10 x 50, 10 x 45) 10 x 180 machine (90 each arm), rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110. Then a chilly 5K walk outside.

October 25, 2017 Posted by | college football, education, football, science, statistics, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

How “honorable” are these Republicans anyway?

Ok, we’ve seen open pushback from Sen. Flake and Sen. Corker.

But, but…we are talking about tax cuts for the wealthy here. Principle? Pshaw. These reptiles are about getting reelected, period.

Sorry, but I remain cynical, though I suppose your ordinary “supply side economics” crank Republicans are at least more stable than what we have as a President.

The economy can recover from another Bush disaster better than it could recover from a nuclear war.

But this leads me to the following point: we are at a point where any information that is unfavorable to Trump will be seen as “fake news” and, like it or not, these people vote in Republican primaries. Not getting on board can be a political death sentence, from the right.

And yes, to their credit, they show up for the general elections (and midterms) too.

So we have to take advantage. And for the love of Democracy, I hope that the liberal purity trolls give it a rest in races in conservative states. Any Democrat who can win in Tennessee, Alabama or Arizona will not be someone that I would vote for in Illinois. I get that. I wish every liberal did.

Workout notes: today, damp, chilly 10K walk. Yesterday: weights: usual pt, pull ups (5 sets of 10, a real struggle), bench: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 10 x 170 (good), 10 x 135 incline, military (standing) 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 45 (dumbbells), rows: 2 sets of 10 x 60 dumbbell, 10 x 110 machine row. Goblet squats: 5 x 25, 5 x 45, 5 x 45, 5 x 45, 10 x 50, 10 x 50 (sill). Yoga in the evening.

October 24, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans, social/political, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Football National Anthem protests and Mohammed cartoon protests

Remember the Muslim riots over cartoons? Now, in the United States, we have had nothing quite this egregious. But the uproar over some football players not standing during the National Anthem strikes me as similar in a way: the players not standing for the National Anthem is not hurting anyone; it is not denying anyone medical treatment, taking money from anyone, physically harming anyone, etc. It is a symbolic action.

And cartoons don’t hurt anyone either. Of course, I am NOT comparing the reactions; no one has rioted over a player not standing.

Still..the reaction is CONFORM, DAMN YOU!

Yes, you see similar pressures in the left wing to conform to certain orthodoxies, though these tend to not be centered around symbols like a flag.

October 23, 2017 Posted by | free speech, politics, politics/social, social/political | , | Leave a comment

A couple of walks

Yesterday: 19.78 miles in 5:10; this course started out as my “House to Boredom”; upper Glenn Oak, down to lower Glenn Oak, through Springdale and staying on the trail until Glenn Ave. then back to Peoria Heights. then I retraced my steps back to Springdale (lots of cars due to a barrier being down), then back on the River Trail to home (19.1x, then a Cooper/Main/Maplewood/Bradley loop to make it close to 20. (15:40)

Moderate termperature.

Today: 10.76: my House to Boredom to Forrest Hill but this time, taking it down Abington to the trail and back: 2:43. (15:08) It rained (drizzle like rain) the entire time.

October 22, 2017 Posted by | walking | Leave a comment

One of our divides: when research fails to convince even when it is accepted

What is good public policy? There are times when I think that there are major philosophic differences in the United States which lead to wide divisions. In my opinion, one of the differences is: “what should be the outcome of a public policy?” Is it: “best outcome for the individual involved” or is it more of a “level playing field” type goal?

Now I do come down on the “level playing field” side of things in some areas. For example, in my math classes, I try to give a class that would enable the reasonably talented student with a reasonable work ethic to master the material. To me, a grade in, say, a differential equations class means that the student has learned the material at a certain level. If the student doesn’t work hard enough, or if the student simply isn’t talented enough to be able to learn the material they do not earn the credit/grade. Now, there are some academics who have a problem with my philosophy in this area, but I won’t digress too much.

But what about things like health care?

The UK has genuine socialized medicine; they have a national health service. And it turns out that they have a new policy towards their citizens who are obese or who smoke. The article starts with discussing some of the objections to the ACA in the US:

Conservatives’ theory went something like this: If government is responsible for health care and thus dependent on tax revenue to provide health care services, then government has an incentive to cut services. Further, if government is in charge of health care, then it could theoretically use its power to force people to behave in a certain way if those people want to continue receiving government services.

and now we are seeing that in the UK:

According to a report published Tuesday in The Telegraph (U.K.), “The NHS [United Kingdom’s National Health Service] will ban patients from surgery indefinitely unless they lose weight or quit smoking,” a policy change Royal College of Surgeons Senior Vice President Ian Eardley said could be just the “tip of the iceberg.”

The Telegraph reports in some parts of the country, those who refuse to give up smoking “could wait indefinitely” for access to surgical care, and “those with a Body Mass Index of 30 or more will be set targets to reduce their weight by 10 percent over nine months, with those with a BMI over 40 will be told to cut their weight by 15 percent.”

Once a patient is identified by the government as being, quite literally, too fat to be worthy of medical attention, a “clinical panel” will be summoned to determine whether an exception should be made for an overweight or still-smoking patient.

If you’re angry, you shouldn’t be — at least according to the British health officials who made the rule. Apparently, this is all for the good of the patients and society. According to the agency making the new rule, “This policy is designed to improve patient safety and outcomes, both during and immediately after non-urgent surgery. No financial savings are expected as a result of these measures. We do however hope to improve the long-term health of our residents through the targeted stop-smoking and weight-loss support on offer to patients.”

Now, the article is arguing AGAINST government involvement in health care and seems to discount private companies doing anything they can to avoid paying out; if you think that government is cold hearted, wait until an insurance company denies coverage for life saving treatment.

But this does point out one divide in our society: should the government help those who will not help themselves (by stopping smoking or losing weight)?

You see this philosophical divide in other areas as well; for example: look at the debate on the rules to get welfare, SNAP and other things.

Now as far as this debate:

To which some might say: “well, that may well be true, but whose fault is that? I don’t want my tax dollars helping those who will not help themselves. That is THEIR CHOICE and they can suffer the consequences.

Workout notes: weights only; usual PT stuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench press: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, incline press: 7 x 150, 10 x 135, military (dumbbell) 10 x 50, 10 x 45, machine: 10 x 90, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 110, 1 set of 10 x 60 dumbbell, goblet squats: 3 sets of 10 x 50, last 2 were “to the window sill”.

October 20, 2017 Posted by | political/social, social/political, weight training | | Leave a comment

Don’t count on reasonable Republicans to save us…

I was chuckling at some being disappointed in General Kelly’s remarks today. In all honesty, most Republicans agree with where Trump wants to take the country; many just wish that he were politer or less vulgar in public. Don’t count on them to save us.

Workout notes: yesterday: weights plus a 5K walk afterward..then yoga in the evening.
Weights: pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench: 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 4 x 185 (felt off), 9 x 170, incline: 10 x 135. Dumbbell military: 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45, 10 x 45. Funny, but I can do one set of 50 lb. dumbbells but not the thick handle set.
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110.

Today: 10K walk; to and from West Peoria track with 10 laps (4.2 miles) of 4 on, 1 off (straight away section): 25:54/24:51. Ok…cool day for it.

October 20, 2017 Posted by | political/social, politics/social, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Not me. Ever.

I’ve been following the “Me too” thing and, well, I wonder exactly what that means. Of course, being pressured for sex from a boss certainly counts, or being assaulted.

I know that when I was a young teen, we sometimes slapped girls on the butt (sometimes they got us back) but that eventually ended as we matured. I don’t know if that counts.

So, as an adult I had to say “Not me.” But…
I do remember a time when a gym worker that I had made small talk with swatted my butt unexpectedly. But I didn’t see that as a big deal; I never felt threatened or even annoyed; in fact, I think we saw a movie together (at a later time). I saw that as a clumsy attempt at the romance game.

But were it a guy just smacking a woman’s ass …would that have counted as “me too”?

Note: in my case, there was NO “power difference”; I was perfectly capable of saying “don’t do that again, else I will report you..”, etc. Then again, I was physically stronger than she was; in fact, much more so. I was not afraid of her by any means.

And yes, I know that there are guys who have been abused in this manner including some physically intimidating guys (example, example) It can happen to anyone, though statistically speaking, it happens to women more often.

Workout notes: Monday, weights. Crowded; physical therapy, pull ups (5 sets of 10: good), incline press: 10 x 135, 4 x 160, 8 x 150, military press: standing: 10 x 50, 10 x 45, machine: 10 x 90 (each arm), machine rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110. then light yoga, including headstand.

Tuesday: easy 10K plus in Bradley Park; saw a couple of deer on the hill near Cornstalk. Fall weather!

October 17, 2017 Posted by | social/political, walking, weight training, yoga | | Leave a comment

Trying to get back into it…

I walked for 4:03 today; right at 15 miles. I was predictably sluggish, but after 90 minutes, I felt fine. Course: to the goose loop, around, up Abdington, to upper Glenn Oak Park (via right hand hill) to Prospect, right into Springdale Cemetery (a few cars today), took the “every left and turn” path down, then almost up the hill and round that small loop and retraced my steps.

TMI: I took NO water but still needed 3 pit stops and a 4’th when I got home. I may be slow as hell, but I am a champion at flushing my kidneys.

Note: at night, my right knee gets slightly sore.

October 16, 2017 Posted by | knee rehabilitation, walking | | Leave a comment