blueollie

“Believe the woman”: to the degree that you believe any human

I’ve been hearing about all of those allegations of sexual misconduct by celebrity men.
Now, for sure, some were made up for political gain and some (e. g. the Al Franken “sloppy hug” allegations) I find, well, questionable.

Yes, and I’ve said this before, people sometimes lie and sometimes people interpret facts differently and have divergent, but honestly believed memories:

But as far as the allegations

Hmmm, ok, the Franken “boob grope on the other side of the flak jacket” photo looks bad but come on, the other stuff is basically hugs that may have brushed a butt (yes, that has happened to me..in both directions)? That compares to a 37 year old hitting on 14 year old girl?

That being said: Yes, I have friends that have told me about their pasts. I believe them, but it is because I see them as trustworthy human beings, and not just because they are women.

Workout notes weights this morning (pull ups, 5 sets of 10, went well, incline: 10 x 135, 4 x 160, 6 x 150, fixed hips, military: 10 x 50 standing (thick handles), 10 x 50 regular handles, 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine, track run: 10:42/9:19 for 20:01, then yoga with T in the evening.

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November 30, 2017 Posted by | political/social, running, social/political, weight training | | Leave a comment

Football weekend: Illini overwhelmed by Northwestern, Colts can’t finish vs. Titans.

It was another “double” football weekend: this time I got a college game on Saturday and a NFL game on Sunday.

(Northwestern Student Newspaper)

Illinois got overwhelmed by Northwestern 42-7. But the Illini came out and played hard and were actually up 7-0. They stopped NW’s first drive, drove it for a touchdown (quarterback keep did the damage), and then got a spectacular interception to stop NW on drive 2; I thought “hey, maybe…”

But reality took over: the next 3 quarters saw NW put up 14 and the Illini 0: still it was only 14-7 at the half. A strip sack recover pushed it to 21-7 in the 3’rd and then a pretty 79 yard run (to the Illini 1) followed by a TD plunge put the last nail in the coffin. The last quarter saw more dominance and the game ended with NW inside the Illini 10 (after another interception and return); they handed the ball off to a defensive tackle for the final 2 plays of the game.

I feel bad for the players; they really are trying but our best players are young, and even most of the young ones (not all) are those who might play in, say, Conference USA. We do have a few that will probably develop into front line Big Ten players though; we need to add to those via recruiting. I’d say that we are 2 seasons away from reaching, say, 6-6.

Northwestern at Illinois highlights:

Illini good plays:

My photos:

Fall foliage as the Illini band parades by (shot from the upper deck)

Barbara and I took Jacob. It was cool before the sun went down, then it became cold.

Pregame: Illinois band.

Shot from the press box: it was kind of empty. If you look at the left hand 30 yard line and then move up to the entrance just below the upper deck overhang then move right a tiny bit: there we are!

Early action.

Pretty sunset..as the sun went down on the Illini’s chances in this game.

It was very sparse toward the end. Few stayed the entire time.

Titans at Colts

Via: ESPN

Here, early on, it was a battle of field goals; the Titans got the first two, and then the Colts. Interceptions kept the game close; the Colts got a TD to take a 13-6 lead.

Second half, the Colts got the ball and kept it for 9 minutes and kicked a field goal; it was now 16-6 and looking good.

But the momentum shifted when the Colts fumbled a bad pitchout in their own end of the field; that set up a Titan touchdown. Then a 70 plus drive by the Titans put them in the lead 20-16 and, though it was only a 4 point lead, the Colts became punchless. That is how it ended.

Titans at Colts highlights:

My photos:

This ramp leads toward the Verizon entrance at Lucas Oil Stadium. A year ago, Barbara entered this ramp (not thinking anything about it) and was allowed in. I tried to enter and was told to go around the corner (perhaps 100-200 more yards) and go up the steps. I was puzzled..and the person at the entrance said that this entrance was for club seat ticket holders and for the “elderly and handicapped!” (he let Barbara through but not me).

I almost collapsed from laughter …and every since Barbara has taken the ramp and left me to trudge to the steps.

So, this time, I gave Barbara a hard time and this is how she responded…

Jacob, his roommate Bryan and Babs read for the game.

The roof was open (first game there when it was); I was worried that I might be underdressed. But it was warmer in the stands that I thought it would be.

Yes, I bought a Colts stocking cap.

The Colts enter the field.

That is one large flag.

There were quite a few empty seats early: (not usually the case at Lucas)

It was only 20-16 with 2:50, but the Colts have not finished games all season long. The fans were gone though, in my mind, the game’s outcome was still in doubt.

November 28, 2017 Posted by | college football, football, NFL | , | Leave a comment

Workout catch up post (way late)

I’ve been busy (on the go) but I’ve made time to work out.

Saturday: 10.14 mile walk in 2:26.

It felt great.

Sunday: off

Monday: weights plus a 2 mile treadmill run (11:16/9:20) increased the pace at mile 1…out of gas.
weights: rotator cuff, pt, pull ups (5 sets of 10: good, weights: bench: 10 x 135, 6 x 185 (strong), 10 x 170, incline: 10 x 135, military: 10 x 50 standing dumbbell, 10 x 45 dumbbell, 10 x 90 (each arm) machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine. Yoga in the evening.

Today: brisk 10K walk in Cornstalk.

Overall: I haven’t been able to get below 200 lbs. I am stuck at 200-205 and my waist is now a 36. But: pull ups are getting good again (usually I struggle with pull ups when I gain..that has not been the case this time)..not sure as to what is going on.

November 28, 2017 Posted by | running, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

My Thanksgiving 2017 post..

TL;DR rambling to follow.

My feelings about Thanksgiving continue to evolve.

1. Eating: yes, I can understand why stuffing yourself might have had an appeal, back in the days of scarcity. But I live in an affluent society and I can overeat at any time. And frankly, the feeling of an overfull belly just has no appeal. I just don’t want to. Now, there are some foods that I might eat that I don’t normally (e. g. stuffing).

2. Time off of work: yes, I do like that, though I spent some of the holiday working (trying to make sense of a calculation that I was doing improperly; I enjoyed having the time to focus). And I plan on enjoying two “live” football games this weekend, though “my” teams are likely to lose.

3. Socializing: well, both of my parents are dead, and my daughter lives a healthy distance away, and she really didn’t “grow up” here, so to speak (I was the non-custodial parent). So, aside from my daughter, I really have no family (aside from a few cousins, a couple who I really, really like but don’t see much of due to distance). The local family is my wife’s. And….she invites her mentally retarded adult nephew to stay with us. So…. well, let’s just say that I got what I wanted two days ago; 6 blessed hours with great company, 4 of those while running/walking. That made the break worth it. 🙂

Side note: I think that smart phones are the old “photo albums”; we had a good old time showing each other our photos on our phones.

But whether I like someone or not has little to do with genetic distance or the genetic distance to others. So, for me, this is more or less a duty.

We ate at a Chinese restaurant (which offered turkey and stuffing) yesterday and we noticed an elderly woman (who appeared to be reasonably well off) who was eating by herself. My wife seemed to feel bad for her, but to me, I *thought* that I saw the joy of “finally, some me time” to her face (possibly caretaking someone else?) Solitude is not bad, when it is optional or a treat.
But alas, loneliness is real and a genuine health risk.

Where I am different is that my remedy for loneliness is the companionship with a small number of people (say, 1-3 others). I love “couples dates” or “1-on-1” outings.

4. Personal prejudice: yes, I have these; I really do not like underachievement. Now, of course, there are many reasons for this, not all of which are under the control of the person. And, some whose company that I now LOVE to hang out with had periods in their life where they weren’t doing so well for one reason or another (abuse, poverty, sickness, among other things). So, things change, and sometimes they change for the better. Looking down on someone while they are down never helps anything, and if I want to enhance my self esteem, I should improve myself so I can have something to feel good about.

5. Others: I do know that there is some pain during the holidays (dead family, divorces, acrimonious family splits, genuine loneliness for some). And there are those on duty (e. g., when I was in the Navy, or when my dad was in the Air Force, first responders, etc.).

Workout notes: yesterday, slow 4.2 mile run on the Cornstalk classic course. Today: weights: rotator cuff, 5 sets of 10 pull ups (first 3-4 went very well), bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185 (wanted 6, didn’t risk it in the empty gym), 2 x 170, 1 x 170 (not sure what happened here), incline: 10 x 135, military (standing dumbbell) 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 20 x 40, dumbbell rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50, 10 x 60 (single arm).

November 24, 2017 Posted by | family, Friends, social/political, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

One thing to be grateful for…

No, I’ll never run 19 minutes for the 5K again, nor will I ever break 4 hours for the marathon run..or 5 for the marathon walk. Heck, even 6 hours for a marathon walk would be good for me.

I can’t do what I once did.

But I can still walk/run 15 miles (more or less) at a good pace with someone who can go much, much further than that and still enjoy it thoroughly.

4 hours on the road..2 more in the coffee shop. Note: today’s photo albums are smart phones. 🙂

I have much to be grateful for.

I do not know what the rest of Thanksgiving break will bring, but I’ve already had a wonderful break! (ok, that also included a lovely lunch the day before).

November 22, 2017 Posted by | Friends, walking | Leave a comment

More about sexual harassment, accusations and all that.

White Nationalism That is a harsh charge, but some careful parsing of election data showed that Trump’s support really didn’t come from those with economic anxiety but rather from those who missed “the way things were”. The conclusion:

Nevertheless, a majority of white voters backed a candidate who assured them that they will never have to share this country with people of color as equals. That is the reality that all Americans will have to deal with, and one that most of the country has yet to confront.

Yet at its core, white nationalism has and always will be a hustle, a con, a fraud that cannot deliver the broad-based prosperity it promises, not even to most white people. Perhaps the most persuasive argument against Trumpist nationalism is not one its opponents can make in a way that his supporters will believe. But the failure of Trump’s promises to white America may yet show that both the fruit and the tree are poison.

Now I hasten to point out that a society does need some shared “values” to get along (e. g. loud music in a neighborhood at night…I don’t like it be it country and western, rap, rock, or even classical) But just think about the people blowing a gasket because some NFL players kneel during the National Anthem? Who are those players hurting?

Tax Plan Orin Hatch doesn’t take kindly to being questioned. But his tax plan DOES harm..well, people who started where he did and favors the wealthy. How would he have done had his law scholarship been considered taxable income? There are times when I think that being comfortable with hypocrisy is a prerequisite for being a conservative.

Sexual Harassment: Sexism is a part of that, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar wrote another nice column about a male “jock” subculture. It is very thoughtful, IMHO. It concludes:

HBO’s True Detective got to the heart of the problem when Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams) is asked why she carries so many knives and she explains, “Could you do this job if everyone you encounter could physically overpower you? … The fundamental difference between the sexes is that one of them can kill the other with their bare hands.” Nature may have created a physical imbalance, but society’s job is to not allow those with advantages — physical, financial or political — to exploit others.

Craziness: there is a poll about how Republicans and Democrats react to “accusations” of sexual harassment:

Yes, I am with the Republicans here. Accusations are one thing; credible evidence is something else altogether. And there are degrees: say, a drunken butt slap vs. an adult preying on 14 year olds. So, yes, if my candidate had been accused, I would still CONSIDER voting for them (that is how the question is phrased). Of course, when I mentioned that, some SJW “dumbsplained” me. They rarely disappoint.

But, there ARE voices of reason out there, I am happy to say.

Workout notes: yesterday, standard weights (PT, pull ups (5 sets of 10, went well), bench: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, 10 x 170 (good), incline: 10 x 135, military: 10 x 50 standing (thick dumbbells), 2 sets of 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine. Today: “quicker” 10K walk outside. Went ok.

November 22, 2017 Posted by | political/social, social/political, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

A bizarre Illinois State vs. North Dakota State game

When I saw that North Dakota State (seeded 2 in the FCS playoffs) was coming to play Illinois State, I wanted to go. NDSU had won 5 of the 6 past FCS National Championships and Illinois State has been a playoff team for several years in a row, making it to the finals in 2015. But this year, they were 6-5 going into this game and needed a win to make the play offs.

They didn’t get it; they lost 20-7 in a game that saw them have some chances. Oh, NDSU is better but..for this game, ISU made it interesting but made some key mistakes that cost them dearly.

But what I will remember is the weather: first it was a cold, driving rain (Mat and I were ready for it). Then..and I was unaware (ISU was prepared) came the sleet then came blowing, driving snow..all in the first half! It snowed for half of the second half and then the weather got a bit better.

But back to the game: NDSU drove the ball well (mostly on running but, when they got close to the red zone, got sacked. NDSU punted from the 32 (or so). Remember, it was raining hard; field position would be a factor. They got another drive but the same thing happened; they got close, got sacked, had to punt. So that was the first quarter (NDSU ran and ate up clock). Total yards were about 80-20, but it was 0-0.

Then the defenses more or less took over in the second quarter (as the sleet, then snow came) and the mercifully quick first half ended 0-0.

The second half: Illinois State stalled and had to punt into a stiff wind on a snowy field. The defense got a stop..but a roughing the punter penalty gave NDSU new life and they scored off of running.

Next possession; ISU gets intercepted and the defender made a highlight worthy run back to set up the NDSU offense. They punch it in but miss the point; 13-0. I figure it is over.

Not much happens on the snow covered field until the it stops snowing. Finally, with the wind, the ISU offense mixes up some running (had some minor success) with passing and drives for a touchdown. It is 13-7 and ISU starts to use time outs to get the ball back. But two quarter back keeps; the second one works up the middle..the qb was caught from behind, fumbled but NDSU recovers at the 1. They punch it in..and ISU’s game attempt to get back in runs out of steam with just over 1 minute to go in NDSU territory.

Still, it was an interesting ball game between an elite FCS team and a good FCS team.

Mat and I were ready.

Early action.

Then came the snow during the second quarter. They did open up Redbird arena for fans who wanted to watch on TV.

Half time was eerie.

NDSU played better in the 3’rd quarter and built their game winning lead.

Offenses traded touchdown drives in the 4’th quarter, but NDSU had their lead.

Professional photos: (more here)

Jabril Cox of North Dakota State intercepts an Illinois State pass during their football game Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Normal, Ill.
Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Nick DeLuca of North Dakota State waits for play to resume against Illinois State during their football game Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Normal, Ill.
Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

November 20, 2017 Posted by | college football, football | , | Leave a comment

There are days like that

Before Saturday’s football game (post to come), I went for a 5 mile run in heavy rain…(chilly too; high 30’s to low 40’s). Ok, it wasn’t that bad but I was soaked.

This morning, I tried walk moderately long and was just plain sluggish after 5 miles. I went to the Bradley gym and tried to pick up the pace; treadmill (15:03), track (16 minutes?) and just quit..I did not feel good at all. 7 total. On the treadmill I got weird lower abdominal gas like pains.

I think that I need more sleep and that my body is tired.

But after lunch and after watching the Bears vs. Lions game, I went for 4 miles outside and it was delightful.

This was just about 1 minute away from my house, on the Bradley campus.

November 20, 2017 Posted by | running, walking | Leave a comment

Explaining Trump’s childish outburst…(which one?)

This really surprised me, but shouldn’t have:

Yes, I took a screen shot so it won’t disappear if he deletes it. But wow: I cannot imagine either President Obama or President Bush writing such a thing.
(and for the record: shoplifting was idiotic and immoral; I have zero sympathy for the basketball players)

He was complaining, in public, for not receiving his due of gratitude?

Now, I admit he could be playing some 3-d chess..trying to distract from other, more important matters as well as playing to his very emotional, non-intellectual base. But I really believe that isn’t the case; he really does get his feelings hurt easily.

It reminded me of this old Krugman article from 2014: it explains, in part why President Obama lost support from the very wealthy:

The example many are buzzing about right now is the billionaire investor Tom Perkins, a founding member of the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In a letter to the editor of The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Perkins lamented public criticism of the “one percent” — and compared such criticism to Nazi attacks on the Jews, suggesting that we are on the road to another Kristallnacht.

You may say that this is just one crazy guy and wonder why The Journal would publish such a thing. But Mr. Perkins isn’t that much of an outlier. He isn’t even the first finance titan to compare advocates of progressive taxation to Nazis. Back in 2010 Stephen Schwarzman, the chairman and chief executive of the Blackstone Group, declared that proposals to eliminate tax loopholes for hedge fund and private-equity managers were “like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.” […]

Krugman point out that Obama really did tax the rich. But there is more:

The example many are buzzing about right now is the billionaire investor Tom Perkins, a founding member of the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In a letter to the editor of The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Perkins lamented public criticism of the “one percent” — and compared such criticism to Nazi attacks on the Jews, suggesting that we are on the road to another Kristallnacht.

You may say that this is just one crazy guy and wonder why The Journal would publish such a thing. But Mr. Perkins isn’t that much of an outlier. He isn’t even the first finance titan to compare advocates of progressive taxation to Nazis. Back in 2010 Stephen Schwarzman, the chairman and chief executive of the Blackstone Group, declared that proposals to eliminate tax loopholes for hedge fund and private-equity managers were “like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.”

And hey, money has bought them everything else…but it can’t buy them adulation and that makes some of them furious. I think that Trump is an excellent example of that. He can’t make us love him, and he refuses to act and govern in a way that makes him lovable (though, I admit, his walk back of the reversal of the elephant products ban does sound promising…he called it a “horror show” and, OMG…I am inclined to agree.

November 20, 2017 Posted by | Barack Obama, political/social, politics/social, republicans, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Sexual Harassment allegations, training and effectiveness…

Yes, sexual harassment has been in the news (sometimes to the exclusion of the truly dreadful GOP tax bills that the Republicans are trying to push through)

Of course, I was dismayed to see the allegation against Al Franken. But then came another of a different type:

On the heels of Tweeden’s disturbing allegations, however, another woman came forward claiming that she too had been “stalked and harassed” by Franken. Melanie Morgan teased her accusation with a Tweet, and then directed curious readers to her website. On her website, she described how Franken called her more than once because he disagreed with how she was discussing a policy issue on the radio.

Even giving Morgan the extremely generous benefit of the doubt, it’s hard to pretend what she alleges Franken did is the same thing as what Tweeden’s picture shows Franken actually doing. Nor is what Tweeden’s picture shows, horrible as it is, the same as what somebody like Roger Ailes or Bill Clinton did.

Which gets to a problem. Right now, the court of public opinion is faced with the awkward task of assigning degrees of severity to sexual misconduct, because, while they all cause harm, they don’t all cause the same amount of harm and thus don’t merit the same punishment. Furthermore, punishment varies by the power the offender wields. A senator, for example, should have a much higher moral threshold than, say, a comedian. Writing in The New Yorker this week, Masha Gessen treads lightly in making this point, warning that the #MeToo moment could devolve into “sex panic” if we’re not careful. “The distinctions between rape and coercion are meaningful, in the way it is meaningful to distinguish between, say, murder and battery,” Gessen writes.

One’s political ideology or past advocacy doesn’t mean it’s impossible for a person to be victimized by somebody with opposing ideology. But if what she’s written is all she’s got, Morgan’s account reeks of naked political opportunism, of weaponizing victimhood in a way that is so morally bankrupt that it threatens to derail the entire #MeToo conversation for selfish political ends.

I’ve seen a case of this when I was at the University of Texas. The two people involved did not dispute the facts: a tenured faculty member called a non-tenured faculty member to complain about a professional matter. Sex was never brought up; the sole charge of “sexual harassment” was that the tenured person was male and the non-tenured one was female…and the call was at night.

Now, unless the tenured person made a habit of hassling female members, this was not sexual harassment; if anything, it was simple douchebaggery. Not all bad behavior between men with more power/status against females with lesser power/status is sexual harassment.

So what about things like genuine groping? (I say “genuine” because the Franken photo, while disgusting, didn’t involve actual groping. She was wearing a heavy flak vest.)

I’ve seen it a few times; one time in the Navy (woman claimed that a senior enlisted goosed her while he walked past) and one time I saw an academic tickle the butt of a female in his rock and roll band as she walked by…he was married to someone else but I didn’t know their respective status (were they friends? were they “that type” of friends?).

But I know it happens and it is wrong (if not consensual). And yes, it seems sad that we need to, as a society, condemn it to reduce it. But how?

I know that standard anti-sexual harassment training is ineffective; in fact, it might well make things WORSE. I have some guesses as to why.

But as far as why men have some urge that needs to be resisted: some of the popular ideas are, in my opinion, dumb. It isn’t anything to do with “sin” or, even worse, women being “sinful” by nature. And no, I doubt it is the result of women being “sexualized” by culture. Instead, I think the urge comes from simple evolutionary pressures to mate. Men aren’t evil for “wanting to”; it just acting on the urge that is the evil. Seriously, I think some of the pressure is taken off when we just admit this “hey, you might want to, and I don’t blame you, but you don’t get to.”. I honestly think some scientific thinking about the matter helps.

Workout notes: 10K walk yesterday. Today: weights; highlights is that pull ups were easier, 10 x 135, 5 x 185 (empty gym), 10 x 170, military: couldn’t get thick dumbbells, but still 10 x 50, 2 sets of 10 x 45, also goblet squats (2 sets of 10 x 45, 10 x 50, 10 x 60 to the sill), rows (machine), etc.

November 18, 2017 Posted by | social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment