catching up again

Wednesday: light weights (10 x 135 incline, 9 x 165 decline, usual 4 sets of 10 pull ups, 3 sets of 5, military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 each arm, planks, etc. then 3 mile “froggy” walk on the treadmill (39:50)

Thursday: 5 mile run, 2 mile walk on treadmill after Ms. V. run was 55:24 on the track (5.3 miles; lane 3 40 laps) 11:58, 11:12, 11:08, 10:52, 10:13), then 2 mile hill walk.

Friday: 4 mile walk (lower Bradley park, some snow covered stretches..but mostly good footing)

I’ve also done my “sit on my heels” stretching. I can sit down to 2 yoga blocks or 4 large books.

Weight: 190.0

Caught a great basketball game tonight; the women completed their sweep of Illinois State 75-65. BU built a small lead in the second quarter only to see it end at 28-28 (half); shooting was terrible (26 percent) but free throws kept BU in the game. BU built up a 16 point lead in the 4’th only to see Illinois State roar back to within 7 with 4:25 to go but could get no closer.

February 23, 2019 Posted by | basketball, running, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Peoria Democrats Dinner 2019

I started to go to these back in 2005, the year after that stinging rebuke in the 2004 election. The dinner has grown. This time: Barbara went with me..first time since 2013 as she has usually been away on a trip during this time.

Mat and Linda rounded out our crew.

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Our President's Day Peoria Democratic Dinner.

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The new governor spoke; he is well spoken though what he said was the usual boiler plate stuff.

Workout notes: Monday: weights only. rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10) bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 5 x 170, decline: 10 x 165. military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, 10 x 40 standing. rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell, 10 x 110 machine. 2 sets of light squats, knee stretches.
Tuesday: yoga, knee stretches: run on the treadmill: (5 minute froggy from 5.1 to mile 5 (52:47), walk, then 6 in 1:04:20 (11:30, 32:56) then 2 treadmill walk (hills 1-5, 5 to mile 1, then down).

February 20, 2019 Posted by | Friends, Peoria, politics | | Leave a comment

How I talk about politics has changed…

A friend told me that I had “backed off” of discussing politics on social media. And he is a way.

Another dear friend..someone that I often mention on social media and take selfies with…who voted Trump in 2016…told me that she likes it that we can discuss things..she can be honest with me and that I don’t attack her.

And yes, I do investigate and discuss topics; some of them controversial.

But I’ve grown to accept: you can’t change anyone. You cannot turn a conservative into a liberal. You can’t change a theist into an atheist (though many of us atheists do start off as theists).

I can fact check.
I can crunch the numbers and statistics.
I can even examine an argument to see what facts it assumes and if it is logical, based on said assumptions.

And I have also grown to understand that many of my preferences are not really logically derived though I will use logic to fact check.

I have changed.

Now as far as people who support Trump: yeah, some are prejudiced but, we ALL have some prejudice in one form or another. And people support candidates for a host of reasons; what is “that should be disqualifying” for one isn’t for another. And some assumptions are just false.

And, I can say that what I am attracted to is different. Posts that are of the “we are bastions of virtue and “the other” are evil” are “scroll past” for me.

Now as far who I will back: I don’t go by platform as much as I once did; anyone can have a platform that pleases me. I go by:

1. How much of what I like is this candidate likely to deliver? Can this candidate work with Congress or use the “bully pulpit”? Political skill and savvy is important to me. Example: I might agree with 90 percent of candidate A’s platform and only 60 percent of candidate B’s platform, but if I think that candidate B can deliver on half of what they promise and candidate A can’t even deliver on 10 percent, I’ll go with B.

2. Electability matters too. Image matters. Having some “show biz” (or “stage presence”) matters; a successful candidate has to win over those who don’t pay attention to policy details. Therefore, there are candidates that I’ll never support in the primary.

In case you are wondering: Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris interest me at the moment; that is my “top 3” for now. Yes, in 2007 I was already backing Obama, but he was the “local guy” (many of my local political friends…and spouse…had met him). That isn’t the case this time.

February 18, 2019 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, social/political | Leave a comment

It isn’t enough to speak logically in the hair trigger era..

I remember reading about Rep. Ilhan Omar being called out for using “anti-Semitic tropes” when discussing the influence that AIPAC has over US politics.

Fareed Zakaria noted that, while, it is a legitimate debate as to whether AIPAC has undue influence on our politics, the existence of anti-Semitism means that the discussion ought to be carried out carefully and thoughtfully..and it is especially important if the criticism is coming from Muslims:

In recent weeks, attention has focused on two freshman Democratic members of Congress, Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), both of whom are Muslim and have made critical statements about Israel and its most ardent American supporters. Their tweets and comments have been portrayed by some as not simply criticisms of Israel but rather as evidence of a rising tide of anti-Semitism on the new left.

I don’t know what is in the hearts of the two representatives. But I believe that Muslims should be particularly thoughtful when speaking about these issues because anti-Semitism has spread through the Islamic world like a cancer. (Omar and Tlaib are not responsible for this in any way, of course, but they should be aware of this poisonous climate.) […]

It should be possible to criticize Israel. As Peter Beinart has written, “establishing two legal systems in the same territory — one for Jews and one for Palestinians, as Israel does in the West Bank — is bigotry. . . . And it has lasted for more than a half-century.” It should be possible to talk about the enormous political influence of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC. I recall senators privately worrying that if they supported the Iran nuclear deal, AIPAC would target them. (Of course, this is true of other lobbies and is not the only reason senators voted against the deal.) These are legitimate issues to vigorously debate and discuss in the United States, just as in Israel.

Unfortunately, by phrasing the issue as the two new representatives sometimes have, they have squandered an opportunity to further that important debate.

OF COURSE, one might also claim that, because there is a tendency to pile on the criticism of Muslims, maybe such criticism also ought to be careful and thoughtful.

I also see that in other areas. In the area of race relations: yes, some racial groups do commit certain types of crimes at higher rates than other groups. BUT, all too often, the supposed “predisposition to criminality” of groups were used to justify bigotry and discrimination.

In the areas of sexual assault against women: sometimes organizations and offices that issue “safety tips” to minimize the risk of sexual assault are accused of victim blaming. Yes, some risks ought not to exist but they do and if one can reduce a risk (even one that ought not to exist at all), why not?

Yes, bigotry of various kinds is real. But one can speak honestly, logically and truthfully about an issue and still draw umbrage from activists and advocates if ones’ argument superficially resembles what they have heard from bigots. So, if one wants to discuss such issues in public, one had better be prepared to parse words carefully and put in appropriate disclaimers …and STILL get attacked.

And that takes energy.

So, for me, such subjects are to be thought about and perhaps discussed with a select group of friends. I’ll read long articles and, on occasion, books on such subjects (books written by experts and scholars) but on social media, posts and tweets on such issues are mostly “scroll past” for is better to not engage at all.

The time/energy suck isn’t worth it to me.

February 17, 2019 Posted by | political/social, politics, social/political | Leave a comment

Catching up

Long hiatus with my blog posts..though it isn’t as if I’ve done nothing.

Workouts: Thursday: morning yoga, then a 5 mile walk outside after taking someone’s 9-10 am class. Slow walk (W. Peoria course)
Friday: weights (rotator cuff, 5 sets of 10 pull ups, 10 x 135, 3 x 185 (ugly) bench, 10 x 135 incline, 7 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 40 military, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 rows machine, plank, etc, knee stretch, etc. I had slept in somewhat.

Saturday: 5 mile run Riverplex treadmill (54:50 had to kick it in to get 5 under 55); warm, 3 mile walk (24 laps lane 1) in 44:53, 2 mile hill walk 29:10.
Sunday: 4 mile run in 41:50, included 10 minutes from 6.7 to 7.1 mph (19:40 2 mile) 2 mile walk track.

Also: I’ve made it a point toward to trying to work to being able to sit on my heels. I am a long way from getting there. But practicing seems to be helping me with flexibility.

Personal: I had partner yoga with Ms. V. on Tuesday night. Valentines date with B. on Thursday night.

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Valentine's Day date.

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And, well, some Bradley Basketball.

Loyola visited Bradley and lead by 8 early. But toward the end of the first half, BU got some momentum and scored just before halftime to cut the lead to 26-22.
In the second half, Bradley took control pushing the lead to 11 points with just over 2 minutes to go. Loyola rallied but couldn’t closed the gap. Bradley won 61-54

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Late game drama. BU up but lot of game left.

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61-54 Bradley over Loyola!

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Saturday We took the trip to Normal to watch Bradley take on Illinois State at Redbird arena (a great place to watch a game).

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Player introductions.

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You know the drill: Illinois State came out on fire and got open looks for their 3 point shots..burying them and running out to an 11-0 and 15-4 lead.

Bradley made some adjustments and hit some 3’s of their own and cut the lead to 20-16. It was competitive for the rest of the half and just prior to halftime BU pulled even at 30..and hit a big 3 just before half time to lead 33-30.

The second half: all Bradley; BU took away the Redbird inside game and found shots. The lead reached 10 points with 7:41 and 5:50 to play. ISU cut the lead to 4 with 2:37 but BU matched every run and built the lead back to 6 with 30 seconds and 8 with 19 second to go. The final was a hard fought 65-59 win.

BU got great play from various players throughout and played excellent zone defense, which forced ISU into taking low percentage 3 point shots.

February 17, 2019 Posted by | basketball, Personal Issues, running, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Change I do NOT like: treadmills with loud beeps!

I always try to grab the older model treadmills as I find the “beeping” of the newer treadmills to be very annoying…why beep ever time you change speed or incline? And I try to choose a treadmill away from the newer “beeping” models. Who thought this was a good idea anyway? Do people actually LIKE this?

Yesterday: was a bit of a yoga fest. Yoga in the early morning, then Vickie’s 5:30 ICC class, then partner yoga. That’s all good. But I have a massive deficiency: I cannot sit on my heels. This may be my next project.

Workout notes The yoga last night, of course, and then this morning (weight: 192)

rotator cuff, pull ups 10-10-10-10-5-10 (55) went well, incline: 10 x 135, 5 x 150 (tough), military: 7 x 95 barbell (standing), 10 x 85 (standing), 10 x 45 dumbbell (standing), 10 x 40 standing, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110.

Then to the treadmill: 5.2-5.7 (every 5 minutes) for 30, then to mile 4 in 42:32 (6.1-6.5 final mile): 11:30 mile 1, 10:50 mile 2, 10:30 mile 3 9:42 mile 4. I felt better than expected..better than yesterday.

February 13, 2019 Posted by | running, weight training, yoga | | 2 Comments

Adjusting to fair changes that you don’t like

This is a metaphor that uses a university gym experience to make a point.

Way long time ago, I used to love to get to the gym as soon as it opened; the primary reason is that I got my workout in before an unexpected demand of the day could take it away. But the second reason is that it was empty and relatively quiet.

But then came the university ROTC group…

Still…noisier but for the most part, I could avoid them.

Now we have groups of young “workout bros” coming in. They are NOT rude ..they use the equipment properly, etc. But dammit my solitude is gone, and once in a while, I need to adjust my plan because a bench or piece of equipment is being used.

And yes, most of the experienced ones are…well, much stronger than I am (as they *should* be ..being that there is 38-40 year difference in age)

But..this is *fair* change that is, well, not actually inconvenient for me (I still get my full workout in) but..slightly less pleasant.

But there is NOTHING unfair about this change..NOTHING. I was never entitled to an empty gym just for me.

And yet, I feel resentful…a little bit.

I kind of wonder if similar happened when so many voted for Trump. They saw changes in society…not necessarily *unfair* changes but changes that made people’s worlds a bit less pleasant..and a bit of this resentment lead to “ok, I’ll make their heads explode by voting Trump.”

Life marches on. And yes, my strength, speed and endurance continues to decline. Entropy sucks.

Body Yes, I spent some time with a woman yesterday, and I left with a small bruise and a scratch on my back. Yes, there was physical contact..from partner yoga.

In one case, my arm got bruised from a rough grab..and the scratch came from my teacher’s toenails in “dancing dogs.” (errant foot placement). I noticed the bruise when I did pull ups.

Dancing Dogs

Assisted Bow

Workout notes: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 7 x 165, decline: 10 x 165, military: 8 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing, 3 sets of 10 x 50 rows (dumbbell), plank, headstand, then 8.3 miles on the Expresso Bike (love…took me 34 minutes (best time for others was 18…damn I am slow).

February 11, 2019 Posted by | Friends, social/political, weight training, yoga | Leave a comment

What. A. Stretch.

OMG…wonder if I can con my yoga teacher into demonstrating that one for me.

February 11, 2019 Posted by | big butts, yoga | Leave a comment

Green New Deals and all that

Yes, I back some sort of “Green New Deal” which means a massive effort to achieve energy independence, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions. Yes, right now, the Democrats have only the House and without a victor in 2020 (Senate and Executive) and either a filibuster proof majority OR without getting rid of the obstructionist dinosaurs, a GND will remain a dream.

And of course, on policy, it should be made by scientists, engineers, public planners, economists and yes, politicians who know how to cut deals at several levels. IMHO, nuclear will have to be included (new generation stuff)

What is out now is a mere outline of a plan.

As for the other stuff: no, it isn’t “intersectionality” but:

And no, this isn’t going to get passed between now and 2020. But it is something to platform on, especially in the primary.

February 11, 2019 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

Bradley Basketball Weekend Sweep

Two of the games were very similar; one was different.

Friday Night: Indiana State at Bradley (women)

Yes, when I finished up at the University of Texas (and was a big women’s basketball fan), I watched Vicki Hall…now the ISU-blue coach. Andrea Gorski was the Bradley star when I watched them my first year on campus in 1991-1992. Now they were opposing head coaches.

As far as the game: well, it started 20-20 after one quarter, 39-39 at the half and ended 81-80 Bradley. So, a close game all the way right?


In the third quarter ISU pressed and got some easy baskets off of turn overs; they lead 70-54 going into the 4’th quarter. That is 31-15, ISU. Well, BU tried to fight back but hurt itself by missing front end of 1 and 1 free shots …and with 3:45 left in the game, ISU blue lead 78-63

BU wastes a minute but a 3 cuts the lead to 12 with 2:24 to go…still…

But then….3 point shot, steal, 3 point shot, steal, basket, all within a few seconds. Now it was only a 7 point game with time left for a comeback and ISU was clearly rattled. Their coach would NOT have been..when she played. But her players are not her…yet.

ISU just fell completely apart

And yes, BU took a 1 point lead with 7 seconds to go and held on during the final possession. Mind you, BU missed several free throws down the stretch..but just played through it.

This was one of the most exciting basketball games I’ve watched in person..since, oh 1985?

Saturday Night: Indiana State at Bradley (men)

Very different game. BU ran out to an 11-0 lead and 54-27 at the half, shooting 62 percent from the field and a ridiculous 9-12 from 3 point range (75 percent). Both numbers regressed to 56 percent in the second half (still outlier good) but here is a key stat: 44-27 on the glass…that is rebounding dominance.

Crowd: not the best, but somewhat above average.

Final was 96-67, with Bradley clearing its bench over the final 6 minutes.

Sunday Afternoon: Evansville at Bradley (women)

Evansville is not a good team, though they are improved from last year…clearly so.

Still, this one was somewhat close early (21-20) but ended 55-28 at the half. It was clear dominance.

The second half saw the lead swell to 30 + before BU emptied its bench for much of the 4’th quarter and cruised to a 81-63 win. The game was not as close as the final might indicate.

Overall…when you throw in the men’s road win this Wednesday (at Northern Iowa) it was an excellent week for Bradley Basketball.

February 11, 2019 Posted by | basketball | , | Leave a comment