First Class Eve

Ok, time to get to bed as classes start tomorrow.

I’ve had some interesting political discussion today and…ok, watched a lot of short videos about some of the “100 greatest NFL players” and focused on the linemen, especially the offensive linemen.

Workout notes: 5.1 mile Corntalk course; jogged to the start of the dogpark hill, and then ran the uphills hard; walked, then jogged to the next uphill. I did that workout on December 31’st. Felt good.

Time to get it..lots of admin stuff to do.

January 18, 2017 Posted by | Personal Issues, running | Leave a comment

Tired and cranky…

I sometimes get snippy when I am lost in thought (even not-so-profound thoughts) and today I got snippy. I also felt tired, so today was “weights only”:

rotator cuff
pullups, 4 sets of 10 then one more set of 10 after bench presses. So-so.
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 190, 8 x 175 (left shoulder convinced me to stop)
inline press: 10 x 150
military: 10 x 50 dumbbell standing, 10 x 210 (machine), 10 x 85 standing barbell (left forearm/elbow soreness)
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 on the Hammer machine.
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunches, 10 yoga leg lifts
headstand (better than I thought it would go)

It was enough.

Politics If you enjoy watching liberals eating their own, witness the attacks on Sen. Booker over his not voting for a largely symbolic amendment to the Senate reconciliation bill. And that is life as a liberal (or at least to the left of the center of US politics).

When I think about it, I am really a “closet Republican” who:

1. Thinks that education is a good thing
2. Accepts science, *even* when it conflicts with my intuition (that is, the findings of science that are considered “established” by the scientific community)
3. Is an atheist
4. Accepts civil rights, gay rights, reproductive rights
5. Believes that some groups (e. g. African Americans) have an uneven playing field and thinks that society should help address that
6. Accepts that Keynesian economics works better than “supply side” economics
7. Believes that good safety nets are not only compassionate, but also stimulate the economy at the bottom. Yes, this will end up helping a small percentage of slackers, moochers and morons.
8. Thinks that we, as a country, ought to make an effort to get along with the rest of the world.
9. Believes that regulation can be a good thing (so long as it isn’t overdone).
10. Believes in public investment.

January 16, 2017 Posted by | political/social, politics, social/political | Leave a comment

Great Playoff Games! (for a change)

You can tell that the games are good when I get nervous watching them…and none of the games involve *my* teams (*)

Packers vs. Cowboys: a classic; 3 50+ yard field goals in the final 1:38. The Packers were leading 21-3 in the first half, but the Cowboys rallied to tie it.

Here is a close up of the catch from the NFL’s Instagram feed:


Steelers vs. Chiefs: also a good one. The Steelers moved the ball up and down the field but had to settle for 6 field goals. The Chiefs got the only 2 touchdowns but still lost.

A key play came late in the game when it appeared that the Chiefs had tied the game on a 2 point conversion. The left tackle was flagged for holding which forced the Chiefs to try the 2 point attempt from further out:



Sorry, but that was totally holding; he had his arm wrapped around the front of the body from shoulder to shoulder, THOUGH I’ve seen linemen get away with worse.

(yea, in HS, I’ve gotten a few of these calls…due to my slow feet)

(*) currently, “my” teams are the Bears )3-13) and the Colts (8-8); basically *my* teams are the ones I get to watch in person.

How they have gone:

early, up until 1975: Packers (dad liked Vince Lombardi)
1975-mid 1990’s: Cowboys. Lived in Texas for much of that time; and while in the Navy, Austin, Texas was my “home”.
1983-1984: Patriots were also my team, as I got a chance to watch a few of their games live in old Sullivan Stadium
1990’s-2009 none, really, “sort of” Bears
2009-2015: Rams; my wife took me to a Rams game and I saw a few games every year
2016-now: switched to the Colts and Bears as those are the teams I get to see.

Side note: I did catch one Tampa game when I lived in Florida, one Rams game back in 1984 and I was on leave near Los Angeles, and one Colts game in 1983 when I was on vacation in Baltimore.

January 16, 2017 Posted by | football, NFL | Leave a comment

Grim weekend for Bradley Basketball

I saw two women’s games in person, and watched part of the men’s game at Indiana State.

Men Fell behind 44-22; rallied in the second half but lost 81-71. If you are 22 points down at the half, you will lose..the vast majority of the time anyway. League leading Illinois State is up (they creamed a good Wichita State team 76-62…saw that one on TV) and I am scheduled to take an Illinois State graduate to that game. Oh boy.

Women Played the league leaders: Drake on Friday night and University of Northern Iowa on Sunday. Both opponents are strong teams who have lost mostly to big-time teams…and it showed.

Drake 93, Bradley 60: in this one, Bradley was never in it.

UNI 71, Bradley 52: in this one, Bradley fell behind 21-10 in the first quarter; hung in for the next quarter and a half, and then got worn down.

The women are trying, but these teams simply had better players; currently there is a talent gap.

Nevertheless, I enjoy the games:

Drake Game



This next photo: shows a math department member (foreground) and some athletic teams that were on hand to cheer the team on.


Third quarter: reality.


UNI Game


In the stands (top row), you can see some of the men’s basketball team on hand to cheer on the women.


Halftime burpee challenge for kids. The Sunday afternoon games are very “kid friendly”.


UNI is tied for the lead in the MVC for a reason.


January 15, 2017 Posted by | basketball | | Leave a comment

Sluggish 10 mile walk

Today’s 10.1 mile walk took 8 minutes longer than a walk on the same course back on December 29, but it did come after leg work and some intervals two days ago. And this was certainly “comfort, not speed” today. It was just under freezing and there wasn’t much wind. Footing was excellent; almost no ice was left on the sidewalks.

Below is a couple of photos of the “sort-of” frozen Illinois River. In the second one, there is a barge in the distance and some geese (hard to see). This is less frozen than it often is at this time of year (mid January).

Of interest:

1) There are some “labrador black” squirrels in the grass next to MLK just as I was turning onto Moss. They’ve spread; I did not see them 20 years ago; about 5-6 years ago I saw a few in Bradley Park.

2) No runners or walkers on the bike path..with one big exception. As I passed by some flocks of geese, I noticed that they were very, very agitated; much more so than when it was just me. It turns out that the Bradley University Men’s track/XC team was out training (perhaps 5:45-6 minute per mile pace) as a group; I moved over for them and many greeted me. I could lie and say something about age, but when I was their age, my “cruise training” pace was 7:30 mpm-ish…considerably slower than they were going.

Still, there was a “cycle of life” aspect to this encounter though.



January 15, 2017 Posted by | Peoria, Peoria/local, running, walking | Leave a comment

Weather aches, hypocrisy and football

Paul Krugman noted that economic conditions are different (no longer zero interest rates..and companies are interested in borrowing and employment is up) and so we should look at deficits differently. Yes, public investment should be done, but not upper end tax breaks. OF COURSE, the right wing is calling him a hypocrite. And OF COURSE, they are wrong.

The idea that the best thing to do often depends on the situation is not a subtle concept. Why do conservatives have so much trouble with it?

Think of it this way: ask ANY football fan “what is the best play for a team to run” and they will tell you: “it depends on: down, distance, field conditions, time in the game, the score, the defense, the strengths and weaknesses of the respective teams, etc. Obviously, 3’rd and goal from the 1 with 1 minute to go in the game is different from 2’nd and 15 from your own 20 in the middle of the second quarter.

Of course, there are different philosophies; some teams are option teams, some are running teams, others are passing teams, and the play call also depends on the philosophy of the team (pass on 3’rd and 1 vs. run on 3’rd and 1). But the call is very situational. No one disputes that.

So why is this hard when it comes to economic policy?

Speaking of hypocrisy, why is hypocrisy bad? After all, if a coach has a good reputation for developing an athlete, I won’t call the coach a hypocrite for being a bad athlete and a workout slacker himself.

The article I linked to offers the following answer: those who say one thing and do another often use their moralizing to bring credit to themselves; a kind of PR. So when they don’t live up to their preaching, we get angry for them for putting up a false front. In the “out of shape coach” case, the coach is NOT billing himself as a good athlete when he coaches you. The moral scold who is themselves immoral IS billing themselves as a moral person, and that is where the resentment comes in.

Weather Yes, at one time, I bought into this “knee aches with weather changes” stuff. But more studies have been done…and I’ve come to understand I’ve run reasonably well during some very rainy days. It turns out there is no solid evidence that weather changes causes joint pain.

January 14, 2017 Posted by | economics, economy, science, social/political, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

What’s the deal with the ACA Repeal?

The House followed the Senate and set it up so that most of the ACA could be repealed via “reconciliation rules”, which require only a majority vote in the Senate.

This is really just step 1 of the repeal process. Now a bill has to be written up (negotiated, etc.) and then signed into law. And the “replace” part IS subject to filibuster rules. Here is a handy guide as to the steps which must be taken.

Not everything is going away via a “repeal law” passed by reconciliation; here is a discussion as to what might be one and what might be kept.

I feel terrible for those who didn’t vote Trump who will be hurting because of this. But to those who voted for Trump and are now worried? I have no sympathy at all. But many who voted for Clinton will be terribly hurt and this is why I am going to lobby my members of Congress to fight.

We never learn, do we? You vote to spite others (as many Trump voters did), you get bitten by your choice.

January 14, 2017 Posted by | health care, politics, politics/social, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Glowing shoulders

Yes, my shoulders have that glow. I slept in and decided to do a weight workout followed by a recovery walk on the treadmill; I don’t know what conditions will be like tomorrow morning (icy roads?)

I did weigh at 197 afterward (no shoes, no shorts) and was 201.5 with shoes and shorts beforehand (thank you chili).

The workout: 3 sets of 10 pull ups (wanted to use the bench), rotator cuff
incline press: 10 x 135, 6 x 160, 10 x 150 (the younger guy getting 6 x 315 on the regular bench didn’t hurt my feelings at all)
2 sets of 10 pull ups
military: 2 sets of 10 x 50 standing, 2 sets of 10 x 180 machine
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 54 (each arm) machine
legs: sets of 6 goblet: 25, 30, 40, 50, 50, 6 x 45 Smith Machine, 7 x 180 free weight leg press. Heavier on the Smith machine hurt my knees.

Treadmill: Froggy, 3.9 and up every 3 minutes to 4.8, then 1,2,3,4 to 42 minutes; 41:48 5K; 40:30 at mile 3.

Abs: 2 sets of 10: yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunches, exercise ball back stretch
Headstand (easier..harder surface)

I felt good.

I went at a time when more people were starting to show up. My goodness, one exercise class was jam packed. There was a real mix; male powerhouses, bespandexed women, old people, casual people, etc., along with a few people I knew.

I complemented the powerhouse who got 6 x 315 and he said “you can do it”. I laughed and told him that 30 years ago, I got ONE rep with 310 and it about killed me. You should have seen his eyes widen when I said “30 years ago”; he probably had not been born then.

January 14, 2017 Posted by | walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Trump: being deliberately divisive in an unprecedented way

I’ve never seen anything like it from ANY President Elect from either party in my lifetime:

And these are only the ones from New Year’s Eve onward!!! I am not talking about his “private citizen” tweets.

This is NOT how to show that you want to be President of *all* of America. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Don’t expect much from the Republicans in Congress…their hypocrisy knows no bounds:

I’m sorry, but uniting the country starts at the top…and President Elect Trump and the Republicans in Congress are failing…Bigly.

And please spare me all of this “President Obama was divisive” bullshit. Neither he nor President Bush acted anything like this.

Americans must agree:


This is from the Gallup Presidential Approval Center.

January 13, 2017 Posted by | barback obama, political/social, politics, republicans, republicans political/social | , | Leave a comment


I am finally getting back on track, in terms of sports. Good thing too, as classes start up again next week.

Defined goal: sub 26 5K. I barely made that a year ago.

Priorities: running, walking, lifting, add some swimming (say 20 minute swims)

Today: 21:50 2 mile, which included 2:15 of 6.7 mph running
track: 8 x 200 with 200 walk recovery (25:37): 58, 57, next 4 were 55, then 54, 53. These were efforts; I tried to keep a “less glacial” cadence and to lift my knees a bit. Left hamstring is just a tiny bit tender.
treadmill: 24:50 to do 2.25 miles (walk .25, jog 2).

Just a bit of stretching afterward.

I felt better. Not great, but better. It is humbling to think that I averaged 54 seconds per 200 during my half marathon PR in 1999 and again in 2000, but that is how it goes, isn’t it? But baby steps. Baby steps.

January 13, 2017 Posted by | running | Leave a comment