DNC wrap up…Democrats snatch “American Dream” paradigm from Republicans

Ok, the Democratic National Convention is over. I admit that I enjoyed it. The upshot: it appears that the Democrats have rallied around “Love of Country” and “The American Dream” whereas the Republicans have become something of a personality cult. Trump didn’t handle it well; he spoke of wanting to “hit” some DNC speakers. He has shown himself to be unsuitable to be President.

As far as the day itself: well, Chelsea’s introduction was, well, in my opinion, forgettable. Ivanka’s introduction of her father was much better. But Hillary Clinton’s speech, while not as good as Bill’s or either Obama speech, was good enough at, at least, watchable. She carried the day. Many were moved, especially many middle aged to old women.

For me, the most moving part was Khizr Khan’s speech concerning his son, who died in battle. He just nailed it; he called out Trump pointing out “you’ve sacrificed nothing” and invited him to read our Constitution (re: freedom or religion).

Will this change the course of the election? I don’t know; it appears that the betting lines have moved slightly in Hillary Clinton’s favor (most lines being lower than 1/2) but we’ll have to wait a week or so to see if there is any “bounce” in the polls.

On a lighter note, I loved Katy Perry’s tight dress…got to love frontal VPLs.

July 29, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Marathon reality

Ok, it is sinking in. I had dreams of “running” a sub 5 hour marathon this fall. But I’ve never been able to get my long “run” past 15 miles or so, at least without walking.
Then it dawned on me: “in the day”, my long runs were never longer than 3 hours or so and my marathon “runs” were never longer than right about 4 hours.

What makes me think that, as an older man, I can run for a longer duration than that?

So the reality is that while I can finish those marathons, I am going to have to walk a bit so I may as well “run/walk” my long training sessions also…and mix in walking from the very start. We’ll see how that goes tomorrow.

Workout notes: weights only
rotator cuff
pull ups 15-15-10-10
squats: 2 x 10 weightless, 2 x 10 with 45, 2 x 5 with 65, 2 x 5 goblet with 50 This was enough for me to feel that I’ve done something. I’ve got such a long, long ways to go.
bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 10 x 170 (good)…had to keep it reasonable due to no spotter (have safety catches)
incline press: 10 x 135
military press: 2 sets of 8 x 50 standing, 10 x 40 standing (better)
roes: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (single arm)
head stand (shaky entrance)
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch 10 yoga leg lifts

July 29, 2016 Posted by | marathons, weight training | Leave a comment

Democrats: becoming the American Values party…


For the record, my favorite speeches have been:
Elizabeth Warren (fire up the troops, unity)
Corey Booker (values)
Bernie Sanders (unity)
Bill Clinton (Hillary’s unsung work and competence)
Joe Biden (HRC’s competence, DT’s lack thereof)
Michelle Obama (optimistic full campaign)
Michael Bloomberg (for HRC’s skeptics)
Barack Obama (HRC’s readiness, momentum, DT’s unAmerican values)

Now what happened last night
People laid out the case for Hillary Clinton in terms of her competence, her record and how her values are more in line with American values than Donald Trump’s. And yes, Donald Trump was attacked for his lack of knowledge (and interest) in the details, his deportment and for his un-American values.

Oh yes Tim Kaine gave his speech too…frankly I found it boring.

Tim Kaine

Barack Obama Notes that what we saw in Cleveland wasn’t especially Republican nor conservative. He painted Donald Trump as being opposed to traditional American values.

Joe Biden Talks about Hillary Clinton’s competence and how Donald Trump doesn’t know that much.

Michael Bloomberg Attacks Trump’s business record; points out that one doesn’t have to be a liberal to see that Hillary Clinton is the better choice.

Reminder This is the graph of poll average of Romney vs. Obama in 2012. Yes, Romney got a bounce and overtook Obama for a short while.


July 28, 2016 Posted by | politics, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Why Guys (and conservatives) should give Hillary Clinton serious consideration.

Yes, I get it. I am a liberal and you probably aren’t.

And yes, liberals can be infuriating at times…just so self righteous and sanctimonious. If you complain about this, you’ll be called a “hater”, a “racist” or both. If you deign to fact check stuff like “women make only 7x cents on the dollar that a man makes” and try to bring some context into it, you’ll be called a “sexist” by some.

Some of this politically correct finger wagging can get tiresome.

And, of course, you might just plain disagree with me about how harmful public debt is, the effects of cutting spending during a recession, or on other matters.

But no one is going to agree with one candidate on all of the issues. And there is the issue of deportment and who is better suited to hold the office.

Does Donald Trump’s emotional instability worry you? What about his deportment? Can you imagine George Bush, John McCain or Mitt Romney saying the things that he does about women, or can you imagine them calling for a ban on people of a particular religion?

Yes, I know: Hillary Clinton is basically liberal (I wish all Sanders supporters understood this). And I am not going to try to convince you to become a liberal. I wouldn’t be able to, even if I tried. But in terms of deportment, knowledge and belief that one SHOULD make an effort to understand the world prior to taking long term action she probably has more in common with you than Donald Trump does.

Hey, voting for her in 2016 doesn’t mean that you can’t back someone else in 2020. But Donald Trump is unsuitable to be president and I think that you know it.

Take 12 minutes to listen to Mayor Bloomberg, a moderately conservative billionaire:

July 28, 2016 Posted by | politics | , , | Leave a comment

Using the treadmill

Even when the weather is good, I sometimes use the treadmill to save my legs (and do a cool down walk outside to take in the weather)

Today: 10 minutes (5.2/5.3) warm up..

Then 10 minutes at 6.7, 1 mile at 6.8, .5 in 6.9, .5 in 7.0. splits: 8:57, 8:48, 8:36 (26:23), 27:17 for 5K, or 37:36 for 4 miles.

Outside: 2 miles of walking, including .5 with Barbara.

I was ok with it, though the last .5 miles of the faster segment was work. Then I realized that I averaged 8:19 mpm for a full marathon in 2000. Sigh…

But I was 41 years old then…56 now.

July 28, 2016 Posted by | running | Leave a comment

Day 2 of the DNC convention, etc.

Yes, my workout first. Just scroll past.
rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), squats: 3 sets of 10 (2 weightless, 1 with 45), goblet squats: 5 with 35, 3 sets of 5 with 50
incline press: 10 x 135, 10 x 150, 10 x 140
military press (dumbbell) 8 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 200 machine
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 single arm dumbbell, 1 set of 10 x 200 machine
abs (2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts), headstand (so-so; I’ve done better, I’ve done worse)
easy 2 mile walk to loosen up.

The DNC day II
The highlight was Bill Clinton’s “spouse speech”

He kept the focus off of himself but instead made it all about Hillary. He focused on the many “behind the scenes” things you might have known about.

There were other minor talks. One was the “Mothers of the Movement” which are black mothers who have had a kid killed by violence (some at the hands of law enforcement, one was suicide, some were killed by criminals)

And yes, they were introduced by the Pittsburgh Police Chief, who made some good remarks:

Of course, some conservatives bellowed on about “mothers of criminals”; in fact, one person’s encounter with the police was started by an improper lane change (and yes, she didn’t behave well when stopped; she appeared to have some mental/emotional illness), one was shot by a murderer for playing his music too loud, and one was just a kid walking home, minding his own business when he was stopped and hassled by a thug. Yes, Michael Brown’s mom was there too…that made me cringe a bit.

You can read some of the fact-checks here and here. I see some spin to be sure, but nothing egregious.

The state of the race Hillary Clinton remains a modest favorite at about 2-1.

But yes, Trump has a bonafide shot of winning the election, as President Obama acknowledges. But he has to have a lot of things go his way…and sweep almost all of the toss-ups.

THAT will be a tall order…though possible.

July 27, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Warm run, bounces and day one of the DNC

Run: 1:47:05 for my 15K course. It was 76 F, 79 percent humidity at the start, 82 F, 62 percent at the end. I was 46:13/46:42 for my 2 “halves”; 14:10 for the 1.25 lower loop. Every time I was in the shade, I felt fine; I got hot out of the shade though.

Afterward, I did some more yard work, and my goodness do I stink. (TMI) I know that my online persona is that of a goat, but I’ve gone too far.:-)

Presidential Race
This is what a “convention bounce” looks like; note that after Hillary Clinton’s numbers fell over the winter/spring (e-mail stuff) she maintained a steady level of support and Trump was down. But his numbers have trended up, very sharply.


Still, the long term forecasts mostly favor her, albeit narrowly.

Her betting odds are just over 1/2 (lower odds means a stronger favorite)

I watched the major speeches (Michelle Obama’s, Warren’s and Sanders’) and they were pretty good. You can find the highlights AND the full speeches here. If you only want to watch one, watch Michelle Obama’s.

Cory Booker’s speech was pretty good too:

Now there are some hard core “Bernie of Bust” people out there. Yes, they were called out:

But there are some Sanders supporters who will never vote for Hillary Clinton. Ed of Gin and Tacos fame explains what he thinks is going on (and I agree with him):

The more I listen to them, the more it’s clear that the fundamental disconnect between Sanders supporters who will vote for Hillary and Sanders supporters who will not vote for Hillary is not an ideological one. It is a difference in worldview. And while not all of the “No Hillary” Sanders supporters are young, they seem to share in common a worldview that is often stereotypically ascribed to “millennials” (if that term even means anything anymore). There have been moments in my career dealing with college students in which I’ve been left speechless – you can appreciate how rarely I’m unable to fill the air around me with words – by their worldview. It’s not a liberal-conservative thing, it is the apparent expectation that the world somehow has to make itself appealing to them. For example, I’ve had exasperating conversations with students who refuse to accept their only job offer because it either doesn’t pay them what they have decided they’re worth or it isn’t “fun” enough for them. And I ask them sincerely, “So do you expect to just wait until the job market gives you what you’d like it to give you?” And you’ll have to take my word on this: Some of them say yes. Some of them really do move back in with mom and dad and not work at all for years – years – waiting for something they think is worthy of them to come along. And of course it never does.

Of course, you can always posture and tall others how much more insightful and principled you are than everyone else. But oddly enough, that never shows up in their actual lives.:-)

July 26, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, running, social/political | , , , | Leave a comment

Reality and Trump….

Have you ever seen those movies where there is a situation or problem that is too tough for the “established experts or specialists” to solve…and then comes the hero/heroine who just “throws away the book, operates by his/her gut” and “gets ‘er done” all the while the incompetent, “book smart” experts look stupid and helpless?

You’ve seen plenty of these: Dirty Harry, Rambo, etc. That is a common theme.

And THAT is one of the allures of Donald Trump. He doesn’t need the messiness of expert advice; the inherent messiness of an actually functioning democracy won’t affect him at all.

He’ll just ride into town and “get ‘er done”!!! And facts? They are whatever “agrees with your gut”.


My guess is that Trump is getting some of those old Perot voters (those still living anyway)

And yes, while I don’t know if this is an “election bounce”, the numbers have tightened a bit. Nate Silver’s “now cast” has Trump being a slight favorite to win the election if it were to be held NOW (though she is favored in his long term forecasts) and some of the betting lines have Hillary’s odds being above 1/2. Yes, she is still the favorite.



Is this a “convention bounce”? Maybe, but many said that there wouldn’t be one. We shall see what happens after the Democratic Convention.

And yes, the Debbie Wasserman Schultz stuff is a mess. She addressed the Florida delegation at a pre-convention meeting and got booed. So at least she is not “gaveling in” the convention and won’t be speaking.

Bernie Sanders got booed as well by HIS supporters as he urged them to vote for Hillary Clinton.

What a mess.

July 25, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social | , , | Leave a comment

On the way down…

Finally, my body weight appears headed down. Hopefully my performances will pick up

Weights rotator cuff
pull ups 15-15-10-10
squats: 3 sets of 10 (0, 0, 45), 4 sets of 5 goblet (25, 35, 50, 50)
bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 8 x 170 (empty gym so kept it safe)
incline: 10 x 135
military (dumbbell) 7 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 standing, 10 x 40 standing
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (single arm)
2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts
headstand: so so

Then I walked the Conrstalk classic course to and from the gym; got 4.04 by Map My Walk. 15:40 pace…it was a deliberate walk.

It appears that my “base” walking pace is 15-16 mpm these-a-days as opposed to the 15 minute miles it once was.

July 25, 2016 Posted by | walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Trump and DNC e-mails..


This was taken from the Official Trump Campaign.

Basically, if you find this image positive, you probably support Trump. To me, this is a great metaphor for “Trump over our country” and I’ve always thought that no one person is bigger than the country, as a whole. I thought the same way about our university, the teams that I follow, etc.

There is another article that explains some of the attraction that Trump may have. I am not sold on the article’s hypothesis, but I see it as one worthy of consideration. And no, this is NOT one of those “Trump supporters are stupid and evil” sort of things.

DNC e-mails Imagine a basketball game where one team leads 100-70 with 5 minutes to go. But the trailing team’s coach keeps calling timeouts and keeps fouling to get the ball back. Then there is microphone slipped near the referees and one says “OMG, why is that coach continuing to extend the game? Can we just find a reason to throw him out of the game so we can get this over with?”

But then they call the game as they should.

THAT is how I view the leaked DNC e-mails. It didn’t change anything but it shows unprofessional conduct and it gives the tin-foil hat crowd something to yell about. And yes, given that Hillary Clinton will take over the DNC for the election anyway, it is probably time to change the DNC chair.

July 24, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics | , , , | Leave a comment


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