And the level of discussion is depressing …

Now of course, the news isn’t all bad. Senator Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) stood up and announced that he would vote against the Farr nomination. Yes, I expect a Republican to nominate a conservative, but there are plenty of principled conservatives out there.

I am going back to the border fiasco. I am still hearing that those who climbed the fence “did nothing wrong”; in fact what they did IS illegal. Yes, this was only a small portion of the “caravan”. Yes, someone in the country illegally can seek asylum. But illegal entry is, well, duh, still illegal. You wouldn’t think this is a nuanced point but ..well, if that is what you hear in your bubble..or what you hear from members of Congress:

Yes, the goal might be legal, but one might be breaking the law to get there..and THAT is what was criminal.

Now my feeling is that they did the right thing by not prosecuting; I am out of my lane here but I think that the prosecuting attorneys have some discretion on what to pursue. I’ll leave that to the pros.

But we really don’t need dishonest or misleading statements from our members of Congress. I’d rather she merely applaud the decision to NOT prosecute.

Workout notes:
Tuesday: weights plus a 4 mile run in 42:07 (bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, incline: 10 x 140, decline 8 x 165, etc. pull ups were 15-15-10-10. rest was the usual routine.
Wednesday: 4 mile walk on the treadmill in 45:45 (8 am meeting)
Thursday: 6 mile walk in 1:10:24; 10K in 1:12:35 (just under a 12 minute pace)

Basketball note: saw a wonderful Women’s game: Bradley held off a spirited challenge by Eastern Illinois 67-64, playing sterling defense in the final minute.

November 30, 2018 Posted by | basketball, politics, politics/social, running, social/political, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

And twitter and social media depresses me: Border wall fiasco

What is happening at the border wall near Tijuana was a fiasco. Roughly speaking:

Although the number of people at the border was relatively small, the unrest — with migrants attempting to climb fences and run through car lanes to reach the United States, and scenes of mothers and children choking on tear gas — represented a serious escalation of the crisis.

What began Sunday morning as a migrant protest of the slow pace of the U.S. asylum claims process devolved into a chaotic scramble in which hundreds made their way to the border hoping to cross onto U.S. soil. To block that from happening, and as some threw rocks and bottles, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers took the rare step of firing tear gas into Mexico as well as closing all legal vehicle and foot traffic to the San Ysidro border crossing, which U.S. officials say normally has about 100,000 visitors per day.


Although the majority of the group approached and gathered at the fence peacefully, Mexico’s Interior Ministry said that hundreds tried to cross the border in a “violent manner.” Mexican authorities said they would deport anyone who tried to cross illegally.

Before 9 p.m. Eastern time, CBP said the port of entry had reopened.

This lead to an explosion of “OMG, we are tear gassing babies” posts on my social media feed (liberal dominated) with some “ok, we bungled was coming so why didn’t we have a lot of people there, ready to process their asylum claims?” posts. By the way, about asylum claims: this little article quotes an expert (immigration lawyer).

Personally, I have a ton of questions about this, but most of what I see are the “OMG we are gassing babies” vs. “NO OPEN BORDERS: THE CARAVAN STORMED THE BORDER”. A few said “they did nothing wrong” (false).

But now for my own thoughts and questions:

1. I believe that, as a country, we do have some responsibility for the horrible conditions that some of these people are fleeing (e. g. our propping up right wing dictators in our “fight against communism” a long time ago). So, I have a “if you helped break it, you should help repair it” mentality.

2. But this caravan did cross through other countries to get here; if we are so awful, why come here? Yes, I know, first world vs. third world, but why did it become that way?

3. This take:

Now does this mean we have to make accommodations for all who want to come here? I think that good intentions can lead to bad outcomes. We have to be reasonable.

4. About the tear gas: yes, it was used on those trying to get over the border illegally and who threw rocks and other things. I do not know if this was a disproportionate response or not. But if you think so, what should the border patrol have done? (yes, we should not have let the situation get here to begin with but given that it did…)

5. And yes, I can totally see Trump trying to set something like this up for political gain; after all, his deploying troops when he did was a political stunt. But to be fair, this was, at least partially, the result of a long legacy of failed policy and a mess we caused.

6. Personally, I’d be in favor of our trying to make the host countries more hospitable and economically viable…but how to do that?

7. Back to the asylum: I know that Trump claims that he made a deal to keep people on the other side of the border until their claims could be processed.

8. What about Mexico and other countries: it feels weird that we (along with European countries) are held to a different standard than other countries, including other wealthy countries.

Ah, there is so much more and so much I don’t know and haven’t thought of. I’d welcome feedback but I am afraid that all I will get is “you are just like Hitler” or “you are for open borders” bullshit.
Why so many feel so sure about their positions just astonishes me. To me, there are a ton of things to balance.

November 27, 2018 Posted by | social/political, world events | Leave a comment

Bumbling out of the Thanksgiving break (still a bit whiny)

No, the break was not a total loss; I got a lovely long walk with Lynnor, a Turkey Trot, (best 3 mile/5k of the year), no weight gain,

a basketball game (vs. an overmatched opponent) and an exciting NFL game.
I also got, well, a very long drive home which was “sort of normal rainy weather) for 170 miles, sucky snowstorm for 30 miles, and dreadful for the final 10 (blizzard, white out)
I was a bit like Mr. Magoo and drove about 20 mph for stretches. I was lucky it was 11:30 pm and hardly anyone else was on the road.

Oh yes, prior to the NFL game, I got in a nice 4 mile run (42:07) on the treadmill, even though the weather was good outside. And I treated myself to a nice burger at a gourmet burger place, though it was not as good as “Smokey Burger” in Peoria.

The Basketball game:

Bradley won 86-70; aside from early moments when Chicago State hit a few three point shots, it wasn’t that competitive. BU’s lead built up to the mid 20’s (and yes, the spread was 25).

View this post on Instagram

Chicago State at Bradley. CSU up early.

A post shared by Ollie Nanyes (@ollienanyes) on

Then came a long drive to Indianapolis that I talked about in my previous post…

The next day: NFL.

Dolphins at Colts

View this post on Instagram

Colts rally from 24-14 down to tie with 4:25 to go.

A post shared by Ollie Nanyes (@ollienanyes) on

Seats: section 529; not bad seats. Not quite as good as we had for the Bills game (one level up) but this section had two entrance and exits; very little bother with people coming and going.

The game: interesting; the Dolphins opened with an excellent drive; Colts responded and it was 7-7. Then came a punt, Colts fumble, then an exchange of punts until the Colts drove for a touchdown. But 2 plays later, the Dolphin wide receiver found single coverage with no deep help; made an excellent play on the ball and ran it in. 14-14 going into the half, though the final minute saw THREE turnovers: Colts threw an interception, Dolphins fumbled, Colts another interception.

Second half: a Colt punt was partially blocked which set up a field goal. The Colts drove but then what looked like to me as a partially blocked field goal (after a sack) put the Dolphins in business again and they took advantage, scoring a touchdown to take a 24-14 lead with 13 minutes to play.

But then the Colts rallied for a field goal off of a drive, and the Dolphins went conservative and got stuffed. A punt lead to a Colt touchdown drive. But on the touchdown pass, the Dolphin defender hit the Colt receiver late (after the end zone catch was secured) and drew a key penalty. So it was 24-24 and now the Colts kicked off from the 50.

They did a “pooch” kick that pinned the Dolphins at their own 6. They played it safe (4 minutes to go) and got nowhere and had to punt. The Colts drove it, hitting a key pass and the Dolphins had only 2 time outs left. So the Colts were able to run the clock down to 3 seconds before winning the game on a short field goal on the final play of the game.

So the game WAS exciting.

The drive back…ugh…been through that though.

And so today…I did not do much; too tired and sleepy; did some shoveling and taking the hostage to the doctor for a procedure (senior citizen’s date?)

November 27, 2018 Posted by | basketball, family, football, NFL, relationships, running | , | Leave a comment

stumbling and bumbling into the end of Thanksgiving break (whiny)

First: workout notes: easy 5 mile run in the morning; no watch. I was about a 12 mpm shuffle.

These holiday breaks have almost been a “ok, you think that you’d like a break from work, so let’s ensure that you look forward to work again” type of thing and this year has been no exception.

Oh, I’ve enjoyed some things about it (the Turkey Trots and the occasional live football game) and this year:

1. I had a lovely 3 hour walk with a dear friend that I don’t see often enough..followed by coffee and photo sharing and conversation.

2. There was the Turkey Trot where I saw a ton of cute spandex and ran reasonably well (averaged under 9 mpm, which is good for me right now)

3. Basketball game yesterday.

4. Hopefully, an NFL game today…albeit with …well…never mind.

Downers: daughter couldn’t make the trip and the usual family gathering stuff…and in a blended family, there is no “shared history” to connect to.

Then, when I tried to prepare lessons…I got stuck on a problem..or so I thought. After running the problem through the spreadsheet, I think the key may be in error or there may be some unstated assumption.

And…well…let’s just say that I am in a hotel room..alone…after driving an intellectually challenged individual for 3.5 hours to his place. I made the mistake of stopping to eat at a place where you are supposed to read the menu on the wall and order and he didn’t think to tell me he couldn’t read the wall because he didn’t have his glasses on. We got it figured out..eventually.

Then I incorrectly entered a hotel address into my google maps and was directed into an apartment complex. I managed to look up the correct hotel and get there, but that was an extra 15 minutes I didn’t need when I was getting cranky.

And then the drive back tonight: snow is forecast. Oh joy..followed by a prompt 8 am meeting at work, which is being held because two Ph. D. adults cannot work things out, followed by…well, never mind.

Oh, not a single one of these things in and of itself is a big deal, and I suppose all taken together, it still isn’t a big deal. But I don’t understand why the ritual of stressing yourself out without adding any benefit.

Next year’s holiday, I may well just pack a bag and leave…alone…even if it is to a hotel room in town. And those who enjoy the socialization can do so…without Mr. Grumpy Goat. Win/win.

November 25, 2018 Posted by | Personal Issues, whining | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving past and present

LOL…just to remind myself that there is SOMETHING good about family dinners. 🙂

In all honesty: I remember that when I was a kid, I got so excited that I made myself sick BEFORE the meal and was often unable to eat.
Later..though high school the day meant football and possibly actually going to a game; in those days Texas vs. Texas A&M was the big rivalry.
While at Annapolis I went to a couple of “family” holidays; I welcomed a break in the routine. But as a senior, I stayed on campus to..yes, train for a marathon. It was fine; they had a nice meal for us.

Military: sometimes I came home, sometimes not. In San Antonio we hosted some new Airmen (from the Air Force base) and we had Turkey in our apartment and my parents came over.
Graduate school: sometimes my family; sometimes hers.

Eventually..well…as I’ve aged I started to sour on the large family gatherings. But I started to run in those “Turkey Trots” and I did the Austin one a few times; it was always a good time though my performances started to go downhill as I aged. I often entered the old “Longhorns and Aggies” division.

This time, the whole family did it.

I had older ones:

2006 (Austin)

2003: 38:51 (Austin, TX).

So, this one went and well, let’s just say that I am inflexible when it comes to being around people where there is no “common purpose” (e. g. academic, sports, events, shared history, etc.) I do much better when there is some of that.

This year:

This was my best 5k-ish (3 miles/5k) run in well over a year; 9:05, 8:53, 8:45. Yes, overcrowding slowed me down at first, but it left me with something for a negative split finish. And the fact that I am now down to 190 lbs. really, really helps.

And oh my…serious spandex induced eyestrain!

Past versions of this year’s race:

2013 24:56
2014 24:53
2016 26:54
2018 26:43

Workout notes; briefly, weights at the Riverplex yesterday (light bench: 10 x 135, incline: 10 x 135, decline: 5 x 165, 10 x 145) pull ups (5 sets of 10: went well) military: 10 x 45 standing, rows: 10 reps machine (3 sets), plank, headstand, then 4 mile walk. Wednesday: weights; similar, with a 2 mile walk.

Trivial stuff: survived the family dinner yesterday. got angry last night as I got stuck on a problem while preparing my Theory of Interest class; I might have it resolved now.

November 24, 2018 Posted by | running, Uncategorized, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Where the Republicans and Democrats did well: a surprise

Yeah, I am still following the “spat” over whether or not Pelosi should be the speaker. Yeah, she knows how to get stuff done, and it appears to me that the opposition to her is scattered in select Congressional Districts where a conservative Democrat ran, in part, against those “Washington liberals”.

I do not expect it to amount to much, though, yes, we do need to groom new leadership.

Now there are 3 uncalled House races and it appears that the Democrat pickups will be 39 to 40 seats total. Where did the Democrats do well? This surprised me:

I remember a time when the Republicans did better in the higher income districts. Things change.

Paul Krugman has some thoughts and he is not optimistic that this divide will be bridged anytime soon:

here’s a cumulative, self-reinforcing process at work that is, in effect, dividing America into two economies. And this economic division is reflected in political division.

In 2016, of course, the parts of America that are being left behind voted heavily for Donald Trump. News organizations responded with many, many, many profiles of rural Trump supporters sitting in diners.

But this was, it turns out, fighting the last war. Trumpism turned America’s lagging regions solid red, but the backlash against Trumpism has turned its growing regions solid blue. Some of the reporters interviewing guys in diners should have been talking to college-educated women in places like California’s Orange County, a former ultraconservative stronghold that, come January, will be represented in Congress entirely by Democrats.

Why have lagging regions turned right while successful regions turned left? It doesn’t seem to be about economic self-interest. True, Trump promised to bring back traditional jobs in manufacturing and coal mining — but that promise was never credible. And the orthodox Republican policy agenda of cutting taxes and shrinking social programs, which is basically what Trump is following in practice, actually hurts lagging regions, which depend a lot on things like food stamps and disability payments, much more than it hurts successful areas.

‘I Have No Idea How to Tell This Horror Story’
Furthermore, there is little if any support in voting data for the notion that “economic anxiety” drove people to vote for Trump. As documented in “Identity Crisis,” an important new book analyzing the 2016 election, what distinguished Trump voters wasn’t financial hardship but “attitudes related to race and ethnicity.”

So this might be about Trumpism and not about traditional Republicanism.

November 21, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics | | Leave a comment

Some joy too…

Despite the football disaster this Saturday and the impending doom of Thanksgiving (argh!) I had some fun too.

There was the Saturday run with Cassie (5.5 miles with her prior to the game), and today’s 11 mile walk with Lynnor.

View this post on Instagram

Lynnor and me. She is on the right. 11 miles done.

A post shared by Ollie Nanyes (@ollienanyes) on

I think it is awesome that someone this interesting and popular would spend time with me; and yes, she is easy on my eyes. 🙂

Other workout: weights yesterday; usual pre and post (rotator cuff, headstand, plank) pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench: 10 x 135, 2 x 185, 7 x 165, decline: 9 x 165, military: 10 x 50 standing, 2 sets of 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110.

Sports: some of my teams won…on Friday, Bradley Volleyball swept a strong Illinois State team 3-0; this gives ISU red a 16-2 conference record (BU is 13-5)

View this post on Instagram

Bradley Volleyball. BU up 1-0 over Illinois State!

A post shared by Ollie Nanyes (@ollienanyes) on

There was a good crowd for this one.

On Sunday, the Bradley Women defeated Rockhurst (D-2) 83-40 in a game where many women got to play quite a few minutes.

View this post on Instagram

BU controlling the action vs. D2 Rockhurst.

A post shared by Ollie Nanyes (@ollienanyes) on

The men’s basketball team lost by 1 at Illinois-Chicago but won 75-62 against SMU in a tournament.

November 21, 2018 Posted by | basketball, Friends, running, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Iowa 63 Illinois 0. A historically bad ending to a historically bad season.

This was before the last play from scrimmage of yesterday’s debacle. It says it all.

Oh, total yards, while lopsided, weren’t what you’d expect of a 63-0 disaster: they favored Iowa by 400-220. And yes, I expected Iowa to win:

Iowa at Illinois (I’ll be there, all bundled up) Iowa -16, ESPN 89.5 percent)

1. Illinois run game is their strong suit; Iowa has the no. 6 run defense. Only time Illini faced a top 40 run defense (Purdue), the run game got stuffed.

2. Common opponents: Illini did slightly better vs. Minnesota (55-31 vs.48-31), all other common match ups favor the Hawkeyes (e. g. 23-0 win vs. Maryland vs. 63-33 loss by the Illini ). The last 3 Iowa losses have been extremely close.

I think that the Illini get stomped something like 31-7.

I expected the Hawkeyes to win by something between 24-28 points. I did NOT expect 63. This game ended up like FCS vs. Alabama bad…oh wait..that game was more competitive than this one.

Seriously, I know that Iowa has a more developed program as well as better players; they are a solid, “top 30/Outback Bowl” caliber team. But Illinois should be more competitive than this. Note: I was impressed at how well Iowa tackles; they are the best team I’ve seen this year at that.

The game…played in mid to high 30’s and somewhat damp conditions, started out well enough. Second play from scrimmage: a poorly thrown pass bounced off the receiver’s hands, went straight up in the air…and was intercepted by the Illini! But the Illini promptly lost 3 yards on their first possession, thereby turning it over on downs. Iowa had a mini drive followed by a pooch punt (off of a faked “go for it on 4’th down” play) with pinned the Illini on their 2. A punt lead to a short field (Illini 39) and their first of 9 touchdowns.

Then came an exchange of punts which lead to the Hawkeyes getting the ball on their own 42. Then came the next touchdown drive. It was no 14-0 in the 2’nd …and disaster was about to strike.

Next Illinois possession: fumble on the first play…fumble returned for a touchdown. Next series: 4’th and 1: Illini punt and it gets blocked and returned to the Illini 11. 1 play to score a touchdown. It is now 28-0 with 11 minutes left in the 2’nd. Illini make one first down..have to punt and this time Iowa has to drive 83 yards for their touchdown (passing). It is 35-0 and a couple of possessions later, the half mercifully ends.

Second half: empty stadium (essentially ..not that it was at all crowded to begin with. Illini possession ends in a punt..returned for a touchdown. Next possession: interception returned to the Illini 20. Touchdown. It is now 49-0.

Eventually the quarter ends and Iowa puts in a back up offensive line and quarterback. The still get touchdown drives of 60 and 51 yards.

This game really symbolized Illinois football in the Big Ten: every single game was a blowout, though 2 went the way of the Illini. Take a look:

Penn State: 63-24 loss
Rutgers: 38-17 win
Purdue: 46-7 loss
Wisconsin: 49-20 loss
Maryland: 63-33 loss
Minnesota: 55-31 win
Nebraska 54-35 loss
Iowa: 63-0 loss.

I’ve never seen a conference season so devoid of close games. Home Big Ten games: win of 24 points; losses of 39, 39, 63 points. I wonder why the variation has been this great.

View this post on Instagram

35 minutes until kick off. Iowa at Illinois.

A post shared by Ollie Nanyes (@ollienanyes) on

View this post on Instagram

Senior day.

A post shared by Ollie Nanyes (@ollienanyes) on

View this post on Instagram

Not a huge crowd. Putrid play on offense.

A post shared by Ollie Nanyes (@ollienanyes) on

View this post on Instagram

No bueno.

A post shared by Ollie Nanyes (@ollienanyes) on

View this post on Instagram

Upper deck: empty.

A post shared by Ollie Nanyes (@ollienanyes) on

Yellow box: where I sit. Yes, I am in the above photo.

More about college football Navy won and covered (as expected), ND won (as I expected) but won more impressively than I had anticipated; maybe they are as “good as advertised” this year? Texas had an impressive win against a tough Iowa State team (ok, Iowa held them to 3 points). So this week I went 3-1 straight up, and 2-2 vs. the spread.

Workout notes I got in 7.5 miles of running, including 5.5 with the lovely Cassie. That was so much fun; I hope we do it again. I did have TMI incident midway..not sure what was going on as this rarely happens to me.

But the run and pace felt good.

5 mile walk in 1:01 this morning.

November 18, 2018 Posted by | college football, Friends, running, walking | | Leave a comment

The Democratic fight against Pelosi: political theater?

Here is a list of those opposing Nancy Pelosi (to become the new Speaker of the House)

I wonder how much of that is setting up for the reelection campaign in Congressional Districts where Pelosi isn’t popular? One can then say “Hey, I stood up to the Pelosi liberals” (or to the “Pelosi corporate establishment types”) in your campaign ads.

Oh I am sure that some really don’t want her as speaker but it isn’t as if they are offering a clear alternative.

Workout notes: weights ..very “just going through the motions” workout. rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10, ok)
bench: (weak) 10 x 135, 2 x 185, 2 x 185, 5 x 170 (just up and quit), 8 x 165 decline), military: 10 x 50, 40 x 45 (standing), 10 x 180 (machine) rows 10 x 110 machine.
head stand, 2:30 plank.

Note: I am getting some “very close to the ankle” pain at night..sort of where the Achilles pain used to bother me. I think it is that I changed my running a bit (just a tiny bit less shuffling; I did a 4 x 800 with 400 walk recoveries at just under a 9:00 pace yesterday and some 9:45 mpm running two days prior.

I also know that my morning workout affects how easily I move up the stairs.

November 16, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, weight training | | Leave a comment

Dang it…it is only mid November!

View this post on Instagram

This is only mid November, dammit!

A post shared by Ollie Nanyes (@ollienanyes) on

If this were mid January I’d be “meh”. But it is too early in the season for this. (grumble)

The good news is that I have a “date” for this years Packers at Bears game, albeit not as an attractive of a date as I had for last year’s game.

Workout notes: 2 mile jog on the treadmill (22:07) then 3 miles in lane 2/3 of the track in 34:23..but it was done “800 lane 2” reasonably hard, walk 2 laps of the outer lane (save the last 2 laps). 4:31, 4:27, 4:24, 4:25. Not super. Weight: 188.6; definitely in the right direction. 10-15 more pounds to go.

November 15, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment