Losing a week…

My goodness, I am still trying to catch up. And yes, one exam this week, two the next.

I am not 100 percent yet, but I did an easy 4 miles on the home treadmill (43:20); terrible but 1 minute faster than yesterday with less effort. Who knows, at this rate of improvement I should be at my 1998 level in under 3 week’s time? ;-)

Yes, that is a joke, but given how bad science writing is in the media, you can’t really be sure!

Note: my wife is having a horrible time with her chronic coughing; on her previous trip sitting behind a cat in an airplane made her ill for a month; this time she got her cough reactivated by bad air in a city that they visited.

So…I will NOT let her take a trip to tour coal mines or, say, to China.

Now to head home; the weather is supposed to be downright dreadful this week (ice storm tonight; down to 2 F by midweek) but well…maybe by June the snow will finally be gone? ;-)

March 2, 2015 Posted by | illness, running | , , , | Leave a comment

Bradley Basketball: where I disagree with Coach Ford on something

Yes, this has not been a great year for Bradley Basketball; the men finished 3-15 in conference and in 10’th place, out of 10 teams. I had predicted 4-5 home conference wins and 1 road win for somewhere between 5-13 and 6-12. When I heard that we were predicted to finish in 8’th I joked “that high?” Turns out that the joke was on me.

So no one denies that this wasn’t a successful season. I figured that our getting beat in an exhibition game by a D-3 team was a clue, but hey…

So now after our 15’th conference loss, our coach is quoted as saying (we did play Wichita to a close game (after falling down by 16), and rallied to give UNI a scare prior to losing by double digits):

“We have to go with the mindset we can win the tournament,” Ford said. “To do that, we have to win four games in four days. I’m aware that nobody’s done that. And I’m aware that we have not won. But if you look at how we’ve played against the upper-tier teams, we’ve played better. We kind of play to the level of our competition and then a half step below that.

(emphasis mine).

Uh, coach, there is really a simpler, less flattering explanation: the better teams probably didn’t take us that seriously and just went through the motions against us. Northern Iowa lead us by 22 before relaxing and still winning by 11 at our place. Wichita lead by 16 (at our place) before losing interest in the game and letting the lead dwindle to 3. Those games were merely a matter of those teams PLAYING DOWN TO A LEVEL JUST ABOVE US and not the other way around. That is why the only teams not to sweep us were Evansville (beat us by 10 here, lost to us by 3 there), Missouri State (2 point win here, 3 point triple overtime loss there) and Southern Illinois (each home team blew out the visitor).

The reality is that we simply aren’t a good basketball team, period.

I am not sure as to why things didn’t work out here; at Kent State he inherited a decent program and kept it at a good level; here he inherited a wreck and…well…kept it there.

March 2, 2015 Posted by | basketball | | Leave a comment

Women: Bradley 60, Illinois State 50

Bradley started out well and built an early double digit lead; it took the Braves 6 minutes to commit the first of their 23 turnovers.

But then they came fast and furious, and a bad 4:39 finish to the half saw ISU come back to tie at 27.

Then in the second half, ISU had control early as they moved out to a 6 point lead.

But a big 3 point by BU appeared to turn the tide, and BU got plenty of stops down the stretch to stretch the lead to 55-45 and hold on to win 60-50.

A big factor was that while Bradley shot 38 percent, ISU only shot 30 percent and BU blocked 7 shots; everything was contested. ISU was intimidated into missing lay ups, even when they were uncontested.

BU’s turnovers and poor free throw shooting (66 percent, uncharacteristic of this team) kept it closer than it had to be.

But it was a win: Bradley’s 5’th conference win of the year and the 5’th win out of the previous 10 games.


March 1, 2015 Posted by | basketball | | Leave a comment

My attitude needs adjusting

Over the past few days, I’ve gone to some basketball games and observed many obese, wheezing people who struggle to climb the stairs.

Yesterday, I went to a memorial service for someone and noticed those in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s…all moving slowly, stooped over, various breathing impediments and found myself starting to react with anger and contempt (inside).

Then I realized: my trying to tell myself “I am not like them” isn’t going to make it so. In fact, though one can boost one’s odds of being healthier at an old age, there is no certainties nor are there any guarantees.

And yes: if I manage to avoid the back luck of an accident or debilitating illness: IT. WILL. HAPPEN. TO. ME. EVENTUALLY.

All I can do: take advantage of the good luck that I’ve enjoyed so far and do what I can, when I can. So today, as usual: no snow blower baby!

And I did run a slow 4 miles on my home treadmill first. It wasn’t pretty (44:20, though remember that it was all at incline and my MPM for this treadmill is slower than it is for other treadmills and tracks).

And yes, this week should see a reduced workout load; hopefully close to normal with Wednesday’s workout.
Monday: short run, treadmill
Tuesday: 1/2 weights, short run
Wednesday: swim
Thursday: full weights, short run
Friday: swim

That’s the plan anyway.

March 1, 2015 Posted by | running | , | Leave a comment

Bradley vs. Indiana State (Men’s basketball): half a game.

No, this wasn’t a snarky comment. I had planned to go to the game as usual, but it turns out that a friend of my wife’s died recently and the memorial service was that afternoon. But I had time to make the first half of the game, which saw Indiana State lead 27-20.

It ended 60-52, so I missed the 33-32 second half, though I was able to drive home while listening to the game, drive to the service, and listen to the final 2:30 when it was 52-50, ISU. Then the service started and I found out the (all too predictable) final score as we were leaving the building (yes, I waited and used my wife’s smart phone).

I was hoping that this downtrodden team would have at least one more win to finish the season, but in sports, you win when you are good enough to win, period. Shooting 33 percent, including 20 percent from 3 and 56.3 percent from the line and getting out rebounded 45-34 is not a winning formula.

What was interesting is that the teams appeared to swap long scoreless/infrequent scoring stretches.

It took Bradley almost 7 minutes (6:58) to get to 6 points.

BU then held ISU scoreless for 8:32 (13-6 to 13-16)

Then BU went scoreless for the final 5:15 of the half.

BU only scored 4 points in the final 4:35 of the game.

So it is official: the men are in dead last and will play in the 10-7 game against Drake, who is a good 3 point shooting team.

As far as the men’s tournament: I don’t know. This year, I’ve watched more of the other teams than I’ve ever have.


Game 1 — #8 Missouri State (11-19, 5-13) vs. #9 Southern Illinois (11-20, 4-14), My pick: SIU
Game 2 — #7 Drake (9-21, 6-12) vs. #10 Bradley (8-23, 3-15), My pick: Drake (bad matchup for BU)

Friday, March 6 — Session II
Game 3 — #1 Wichita State (27-3, 17-1) vs. Winner Game 1, 12:05 p.m. Wichita
Game 4 — #4 Illinois State (19-11, 11-7) vs. #5 Evansville (19-11, 9-9) Evansville (ISU swept with a blow out in the first; last one went to OT at Evansville) Best game of Friday

Friday, March 6 — Session III
Game 5 — #2 UNI (27-3, 16-2) vs. Winner of Game 2, 6:05 p.m. [MVC TV Network] UNI
Game 6 — #3 Indiana State (15-15, 11-7) #6 Loyola (18-12, 8-10), 8:35 p.m. Loyola interesting game here

Saturday, March 7 — Session IV
Game 7 — Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 1:35 p.m. [MVC TV Network] Wichita
Game 8 — Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, 4:05 p.m. [MVC TV Network] UNI

Sunday, March 8 — Session V
Championship — 1:05 p.m. [CBS Sports, Westwood One, Sirius/XM Radio] UNI

I really don’t see any big upset potential games here.

March 1, 2015 Posted by | basketball | , | Leave a comment

back on the treadmill

Later today: half of a Bradley basketball game then I’ll leave to pick up my wife and go with her to a Memorial Service for someone that, well, I never liked her but she had a tough life on many levels..and still did some impressive things.

Earlier, I decided against getting up early to go to the Riverplex to swim/run and just try a short run on the treadmill. THAT was plenty; I did 5K in 34:25 (just over 11 mpm, albeit at a good incline) and that was enough to be actual work; I was sweaty and I coughed. The first 25 minutes was very easy but I tired quickly.

Oh well…I have to remember that I am still weakened from last week’s illness.

And it did feel good to get a deep sweat on.

February 28, 2015 Posted by | running, social/political | | Leave a comment

Women’s Basketball: Southern Illinois 72 Bradley 66: turnovers and perimeter defense

Good news: I walked TWO MILES on the treadmill this morning. I didn’t die; maybe a bit more tomorrow morning.

27:54; I did enough to get warm.

Women’s basketball
Though Bradley stated out well, BU allowed SIU to hit 7 of 14 from 3 point land; two SIU guards just killed us: no. 10 with 25 points (8-15, 2/5 from 3) and no. 13 had 21 (6-13, 4/6 from 3). We also gave up 20 turn overs; rebounding (BU 33-30) kept us in it.

It was mostly back and forth with SIU not starting to get away for good until about 2 minutes were left; they stretched it to 7, though BU cut it to 3 a few times in the very long last minute.

Note: I blistered my mouth with too many cough drops; Barbara got me some ointment that really helps.

February 28, 2015 Posted by | illness, walking | , | Leave a comment

Statistical stupidity from NPR

I am no longer surprised when NPR commits a statistical howler.

Today, they aired a touching story about a black hockey player and the racism that he endured. So far, so good.

But then, they go on to say this:

Despite stars like P.K. Subban and Evander Kane, hockey remains a stubbornly white sport. Only about five percent of NHL players are black 28 years after James.

Uh, exactly why is this a problem?

1. Backs are about 12.6 percent of the US population.

2, Blacks are about 2.9 percent of the Canadian population.

3. These days, the NHL gets about 50 percent (just over) of its players from Canada, and just under 25 percent from the United States.

So making the assumption that one would expect zero black players from other than the US or Canada (think of the hockey powers of this world), IF the representation were exactly proportional, we’d expect:

(.5)(2.9) + (.25)(12.6) = 4.6 percent, which is about what they have.

So why is 5 percent a problem? My guess: they assume that blacks are grossly over represented in football and basketball, they should be in hockey as well? If so, why?

Of course, this isn’t as bad as some idiot academic administrator with a Ph. D. insisting that everyone needs to be above the department average, but …well…let’s just say that I am cranky and that NPR comes across as smug.

February 27, 2015 Posted by | media, social/political, statistics | , | Leave a comment

Feeling strong enough to complain

Ok, no 100 percent; I still have some illness “afterglow”. I’ll put this on my virus post.

But I didn’t cough much when I shoveled snow (about 3 inches of easy, fluffy stuff) in very cold (14 F) weather. I cursed the idiot plow drivers as they buried our walks instead of putting the snow on the useless median and did the walks…again.

Peoria is simply a horrible place to live; Canadian winters (last 2 anyway), incompetent city government and idiotic people.

But when I finished shoveling (AGAIN), walking to school and climbing the stairs I was soaking with sweat…and did not cough…once. I can’t tell you what a huge improvement that is. I’ll probably walk on the treadmill tomorrow.

But my wife is home, taking up space and coughing away…no rest of the wicked, I suppose.

No relief from the brutality of this winter either; yes, THIS YEAR, and LAST YEAR have made the “top 10 coldest Februaries on record:

February 2015 is on track to being one of the coldest February’s on record for Illinois. Data through February 24 puts the statewide average at 19.4° F. This is 11.5°F below average and slightly colder than last February’s 19.4°F. Before February, this was shaping up to be a mild winter with near to above-average temperatures (see graph to the left, click to enlarge).

At this point, February 2015 is ranked as the 8th coldest on record, edging out 2014 (see table below). The NWS forecasts show that temperatures for the rest of February will be 15 to 20 degrees below average. Therefore it is possible that it could move up the ranks. I will post more on this at the end of the month.

Yes, it will get colder:


And yep, we will get slammed with more snow again.

We have the worst of both worlds: Canadian winters and US conservatives in the same place.


Yes, some college administrators, even those with academic Ph. D.s really are this stupid:

When I started as an assistant professor, our Provost insisted that to be tenured, all tenure-track faculty had to have scores on their anonymous student evaluations that were above their department’s averages. I tried to explain to him that if this were sustained over time, the result would be that all tenure-track faculty would be required to have perfect scores. After that happened, no one would get tenure, since it would no longer be possible to score higher than average. He gave me a deer-in-the-headlights look.

(by department average, they mean vs. all tenure track and tenured; this is the “everyone should be above average idiocy”)

And yes, they expect you to view whatever “research” they did on a level with yours.

February 27, 2015 Posted by | education, illness, Peoria | , , , , | Leave a comment

Missouri State catches, outlasts Bradley 80-77 in triple overtime.

Grumble…crummy weather; still not well…minor exertion makes me cough and my lower abs are killing me from coughing. I do feel better though…a lot better. Tomorrow: I’ll clear the walk for my workout; it is cold, fluffy stuff and shouldn’t be too taxing though it will make me cough, and my wife is worthless when it comes to helping out.

I’m still glad she is home though. Still, it has gotten to the point whenever I am injured or sick, we have two weak people, not just one. And, she is coughing worse than I am due to the lung irritation she got while on her trip.

Screen shot 2015-02-25 at 9.51.48 PM

I wish that stupid jet stream would do its job. Gads, this is ANOTHER “winter that will never end”. Most of the planet is roasting, and we have that arctic air mass parked right over us.

Now about the basketball game:

Before the game, I posted this on the fan board:

Betting line: Missouri State favored by 3.

Sagarin ratings suggest a 5 point Mo. State win.

Jones expected to start in place of Grier.

MSU got hammered 78-43 by Drake; it was 35-14 at the half. Drake blew open an 11-11 game with 61.9 percent 3 point shooting.

Mo. State beat ISU blue in their last home game.

Prediction: Mo. State 50, BU 48

Yeah, it went 3 overtimes and I watched all of it on the TV.
Mo. State shot 50 percent from the field to take a 32-23 lead at the half; BU’s shooting percentage was abysmal (34.5 percent)

Screen shot 2015-02-25 at 7.54.16 PM

Still; Missouri State, mostly on strong put backs under the basket, did get out to a 20-6 lead and so at 32-23, BU had some momentum going into the half.

In the second half, BU challenged MSU’s guards away from the basket and forced the Bears to take some really awful shots. They weren’t going inside as they did before.

So Bradley crawled back into it and even built a 4 point lead with 5 minutes to go. MSU came back to regain the lead but never lead by more than 2, and a jump shot with 20 seconds tied the game.

So, it ended 50-50; BU had fought all the way back.

First overtime: back and forth; BU’s rebounding kept them in it (star freshman forward had 21 rebounds to go with his 15 points); neither team could lead by more than 3 and it ended tied at 58.

THEN came the second overtime. Bradley OWNED the first 2:26 of the second overtime and took a 65-58 lead; I even said “I think BU is going to win this one.”

I spoke too soon; a 3 point shot (by someone who was struggling to hit them) pull them to within 4. A stop, they get it and score 2 and now it is 65-63. Foul, one of BU’s stronger shooters split the pair to make it 66-63.

They FINALLY nail another 3 (late in the game, MSU shot better) and it is 66-66. But BU draws a foul and goes to the line: 1 of 2 again and now BU leads 67-66 with 57 seconds to go.

Then comes the final sequence of events. MSU with the ball. BRADLEY steal and a foul! BU hits both and now it is 69-66 with 18 seconds to go. Missed 3, rebound BU and a foul! Two shots!!! And….

Two misses.

Still, 14 seconds are left in the game and…they….NAIL a 3. 6 seconds are left and that is how that ends.

Third overtime:

The go out to a 3 point lead on a 3; BU gets fouled on a 3 and makes 2 of 3. So it is 72-71 Bears. Still BU claws back to take their last lead of the night with 2:28 to go on two free throws at 73-72.

it goes back and forth …and at 73-73

Then starts the turn of events; BU guard gets his pocket picked; lay up plus a foul. Now it is 76-73 with 1:53, and BU starts missing shots.

Rebounding (that Bradley freshman forward again) gets a put back and it is 76-75 with 23 seconds.

BU tries to trap; fouls their best free throw shooter who puts it to 78-75…and ANOTHER down the stretch turn over. It is now 80-75 with 15 seconds to go…a miss, rebound and now there is only 1 second left. Mo. State fouls a desperation 3 point attempt and the BU shooter hits 2 and tries to miss the third as there is no time to do anything else…but the miss doesn’t draw iron.

So it ends 80-77, the 3 point spread that the gamblers predicted.

Well, on one hand, I am proud that the team didn’t quit. On the other hand…second overtime…it was BU’s for the taking.

Oh well…that kind of winter around here…

and the white BS continues to come down from the sky.

February 26, 2015 Posted by | basketball, illness, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment


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