So so walk and the Chiefs split a pair of pitching duels with the Bees

Baseball: I got to see two long games. Last night, the game was tied 2-2 at the end of 9; the Chiefs lost 4-2 when the Bees got a couple of runs in the top of the 12’th.

The Chiefs were hurt when they twice loaded the bases but got no runners in. The Bees made 4 errors (very rare) including some puzzling errors on ground balls. But the Chiefs could not capitalize.

The Chiefs took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 7’th and a closer took over in the 8’th..and so it was 1-0 going into the top of the 9’th. But some walks and a couple of RBI singles off of the first relief pitcher gave the Bees a 2-1 lead; the Chiefs tied it in the bottom; had some base runners but couldn’t bring them in.

Today: this time it was 1-1 at the end of 9 before a walk and a double in the bottom of the 11’th won the game 2-1. In this game, the bullpen looked sharp.

And we have a fighting chance for some playoff baseball!!!! The Chiefs are one of 3 teams fighting for 2 wild card spots.

One of Barbara’s sons and family

Saturday night: Chiefs lead 1-0 at this point and had the bases loaded..but failed to score. This cost them the game, I think.

The “Jump on It” part of the 7’th inning stretch.

Barbara arranged a group outing for the Saturday Night game. Great time.

Walking: I was a bit tired after yesterday’s 20.5 mile training walk and opted for a slow 10 (16 minute pace) today. I forgot that I had to build up to doing doubles, and I did a double last weekend (half on Saturday, 15 slow on Sunday).

August 14, 2017 Posted by | baseball, walking | | Leave a comment

Addicted to baseball….

So, finally a day…but the Chiefs played a noon game and it is still summertime.

Ok, there weren’t many here to see it, but I had a first row seat and watched the chiefs win 4-3. Most of the damage was done on 2 home runs, one of which went across the street and drove in a second run. That gave them a 3-0 lead on Timber Rattlers in the second, which they held..though they tied it in the 6’th with a 2 run home run of their own. The Chiefs retook the lead with a solo home run and held it the rest of the way.

That made up for last night.

Part of my daily exercise was to walk to and from the game (about 1.5 miles each way; roughly 30 minutes of street walking each way).

I did lift earlier (after sleeping in):
rotator cuff, hip hikes, toe raises
goblet squats: 10 x 25, 10 x 50, 10 x 60, 5 x 70 (bench)
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (good)
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 8 x 170 (empty gym..didn’t push it)
incline press: 10 x 135
military press: 15 x 55 seated, supported (dumbbells), 10 x 45 standing, 20 x 40 standing
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 55, 10 x 60
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts
head stand (not quite that steady but got it done)

overall, I am feeling ok, though it has been too long since I’ve done a long walk (18 plus miles): 18, 14 (RR half), 10, another half this weekend)

August 1, 2017 Posted by | baseball, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

low energy all around but life is good

I was sort of low energy today. I slept in..that felt good but I still had time for 10 miles:

My time: 2:33…15-15:10 mpm. Not much energy but I got it in.

Then I had lunch with Tracy and assembled a chest of draws for her; I am just terribly incompetent.

By the time I was done…I was tired and resolved to go home and rest..I had given up on making the Chiefs game; it was 5:45 and the Chiefs game started at 6:30. But I said…”what the hell” and left the house at just before 6.

I had time to get a ticket, get a cheeseburger and watch the game (3-1 Timber Rattlers winning; 2 run home run and then an insurance run in the top of the 9’th).

Contrast the above to the 7 dollar ticket that I got for Friday night’s White Sox vs. Cleveland game:

It was a full, if unproductive, day.

I have much to write about, re: my Chicago trip, but this trip, my nights were taken up by 2 White Sox games (one with a buddy) and travel. I also had a very pleasant lunch with a friend.

With Pat at the Cubs vs. White Sox game (Cubs won 6-3; good game though)

Our view (better than the other one)

Michelle agreed to go to lunch; I had not seen her since 1974 (in Yokota High School, Yokota Air Force Base, Japan). I played football with her brother Johnny.

I walked a bit; I did two Lakeshore path courses. This is from Northerly Island. You can see some of the skyline and Soldier Field.

From below the Shedd Aquarium

There was some great mathematics too. There were a couple of talks I wish that I had prior to teaching certain courses, and one that I wish that I had early in graduate school.

This is Dusa McDuff. She was the main speaker and gave three great talks. She is a professor at Columbia and..a member of the National Academy of Science (a very elite list, very elite; most Ivy league faculty do not make it). And yet..she rode the L to get to the airport. Someone of her accomplishment in, say, economics, would have been given a personal limo.

July 31, 2017 Posted by | baseball, Friends, mathematics, travel, walking | , , | 1 Comment

Chiefs matinee: beat TinCaps 2-1 in 12

If you like pitchers duels, this was your game. The starters controlled things; both went 7 innings and allowed 2 hits and 1 run each; the TinCaps starter struck out 8. He fired 95 mile and hour fastballs, but the Chiefs left fielder got a homerun. The TinCaps run came on a bizarre play; they got an extra base hit with a man on base who tripped coming around 3’rd. But the runner kept going and so you had 2 runners on 3’rd..the Chiefs tried to get one or both runners in a run down but got neither.

Bot teams stranded 2 base runners in the extra innings; it took 12.

opening pitch

12’th inning: most of the remaining fans were in the shade.

Winning: tell me the pros don’t care about winning.

Workout notes: I walked to and from the game (just over 3 miles total) and lifted weights:

hip hikes, rotator cuff, calf raises.
goblet squats: sets of 5: 25, 45, 50, 50, 60, 70 (good depth)
pull ups: 5 sets of 10
bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 8 x 170 (low energy)
incline press: 10 x 135
military: 20 x 50 dumbbell seated, supported, 20 x 40 standing, 10 x 90 machine
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50, 10 x 110 machine
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 leg lifts, legs up the wall, moving bridge, head stand (on a harder surface)
Whole weight routine was “low energy”.

July 18, 2017 Posted by | baseball, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

They hate us. They really hate us.

I have no doubt that the elite Republicans are driven more by “upper end tax cuts” than anything else. But what about the other Republicans? Why are they so “meh” about the Trump campaign colluding with Russia (as indeed it did; there is no longer any doubt; what is debatable is the degree, how high up the collusion went, and the effect).

Paul Krugman has some thoughts that I think are worth pondering:

The important thing to notice is that almost the entire conservative movement has bought into one or both of these arguments. After all the flag-waving, all the attacks on Democrats’ patriotism, essentially the whole GOP turns out to be OK with the moral equivalent of treason if it benefits their side in domestic politics. Which raises the question: what happened to these people?

One answer might be that right-wing ideology, the commitment to tax cuts for the rich and pain for the poor, has such a grip on conservative minds that nothing else matters. But while this is true for some apparatchiks, my guess is that it’s not nearly as true for many – certainly not for the Republican base in the general public. So why has partisanship become so extreme that it trumps patriotism?

Well, I have a thought inspired by something my CUNY colleague Branko Milanovic wrote recently about civil wars. Branko – who knows something about Yugoslavia! – argues against the view that civil wars are caused by deep divisions between populations who don’t know each other. The causation, he argues, goes the other way: when a civil war begins for whatever reason, that’s when the lines between the groups are drawn, and what may have been minor, fairly benign differences become irreconcilable gulfs.

The Republicans need this rift to exist; they would not win on a “small government, low taxes on the rich” platform alone.

So they come up with something like Fox News and they push things. One was religion (the opponents are HEATHENS). Another: well, the LIBERALS are just awful. And yes, if you look hard enough, you can find leftists behaving badly (example)

(By the way: I am a college professor; I’ve worked (lived?) on college campuses for 31 years. Yes, there might be some SJW silliness here and there, and it should be challenged and opposed. Yes, there ARE SJW professors who are buffoons; a much, much higher percentage are reasonable human beings. But you are talking about a tiny, tiny, tiny part of what happens on a university. Most students have much more mundane concerns (money, social life, assignments, yes, even studying) and some are far more interested in parties than protests. Even most SJWs are reasonable human beings; only a small percentage are wacko, and those are the ones you see in the news. So the right wing focuses on perhaps 1-2 percent of what happens on a college campus..)

So right now: the push is “the liberals are horrible people and must be wrong about everything” so, if the liberals hate Russian collusion, then it must have been ok.
Krugman concludes:

And political figures either adapted or were pushed out. There once were Republicans who would have reacted with horror to Trump’s embrace of Putin, but they’ve left the scene, or are no longer considered Republicans.

This has troubling implications for both the short and the long run. In the short run, it probably means that no matter how bad the Trump revelations get, most Republicans, both in the base and in Congress, will stick with him – because taking him down would be a victory for liberals, who are worse than anything.

In the long run, it makes you wonder whether and how we can get the country we used to be back. As Branko says, there was a time when Serbs and Croats seemed to get along fairly well, indeed intermarrying at a high rate. But could anyone now put Yugoslavia back together? At this rate, we’ll soon be asking the same question about America

Oh well. Bottom line: we have to win those 2018 and 2020 elections.

Baseball notes Yes, I note the irony that I go to baseball games with a lot of people who probably voted for Trump. 🙂 If they knew how I voted… lol..

The Chiefs won 4-1 last night; due to a commitment I missed the first inning and the first Chiefs run. But I did catch 3 home runs early in the game (one by the Captains, two by the Chiefs) and saw the Chiefs add an insurance run to salt the game away.

Workout notes
Yes, I know, not much: 2 mile walk after easy weights:

PT Stuff (hip hikes, toe raises, rotator cuff), pull ups (5 sets of 10, ok), bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 190, 5 x 185,
military press: barbell: 6 x 95, 10 x 85, dumbbell: 20 x 40 standing dumbbell, machine incline: 10 reps with 140, rows: dumbbell: 3 sets of 10 x 65
abs: 3 sets of 10 moving bridge, 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, headstand (ok, this time).

July 14, 2017 Posted by | baseball, social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Going on and one when you don’t know..

Ok, yes, at baseball games, and football games, I sometimes wonder “why did the coach do that?” But I admit that I don’t understand the reasoning; not only am I not around the team that often, I also have only a “fan who played a bit in high school” knowledge of the game..and that was the game back in the 1970’s. So I’d never tell a coach how to run his/her team, even if I do offer some advice from the stands.

I did that last night during the Chiefs 10-3 win over the Lake County Captains.

There were stories aplenty. The Chiefs got 3 home runs, 2 hit by the guy who had his mother at the game. The Chiefs had a nice (but hardly insurmountable) 6-3 lead, after a 3 run 7’th inning which featured 2 home runs.

Then in the 8’th, the Captains got themselves in trouble after retiring 2 of the first 3 Peoria batters (one walk). Another walk brought on a new pitcher and an infield hit loads the bases. Then the pitcher walked 3 batters in a row! Another infield hit brought in another run before a strike out.

It was kind of nice to see the other team’s bullpen self destruct, though the Captains made one infield error and some of the “infield hits” appeared to be misplays to me.

It was very warm; that plus the long game (3:17) took a toll on the fans (and pitchers)

Now back to the original headline we see that higher education is under fire from the rank and file Republicans.

Why? My guess (from attempting to talk to some of them…OMG that was painful) is that they see some very real, very bad things and conclude that colleges and universities are basically students go there to learn how to become sensitive, get offended and to demand “safe spaces”.

And so many who have rarely, IF EVER, actually set foot on a college campus TELL ME what is happening on college campuses.

Yes, the stories one hears are real and troubling, and yes, we can (and should) do better. But these stories constitute only a tiny fraction of what goes on; evidently such critics have no idea at the amount of important learning and research goes on (engineering, science, languages, history, culture, etc.).

They KNOW what they read and see, and they see fit to tell me what …well, happens in my own workplace?

At times, it appears that those who know the least have the strongest opinions.

Workout notes 2 mile run in 22:50 (second mile was “run 200, run/walk 200”..just wasn’t into it) and goblet squats: 10 x 44, 50, 53, 5 x 70 (touch the bench).

I know; it is this Sunday that counts.

July 13, 2017 Posted by | baseball, running, social/political | | Leave a comment

Not being efficient (baseball)

Yeah, I know; I need to work on my paper. Why I need to be under the gun is beyond me.

Last night, I got an unexpected chance to catch the Chiefs play the Beloit Snappers; the Chiefs won 4-0.

There were a few more people at this game than in Wednesday’s game (5 dollar tickets?). At first I was bummed as I was surrounded by old men (I was probably the youngest one in my section), but they were actually decent company; they talked about the game.

It was mostly a pitcher’s duel again, though there was quite a bit of action. Beloit managed 9 hits but stranded way too many runners: once they had 2’nd and 3’rd with 1 out, once they had bases loaded with 1 out (hit into a double play) and once they had 2’nd and 3’rd with 2 outs..and nothing to show for it. The Chiefs were more efficient with their 10 hits.

Workout notes Very tired this morning. Weights and some stretching afterward:

pull ups and goblet squats: used the new pull up bar…good bar but too low. 5 sets of 10: goblet: 5 x 44, 5 x 50, 10 x 50, 7 x 62, 7 x 62, 5 x 70
rotator cuff, bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 190, 8 x 170, dumbbell military (all standing) 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 20 x 40, rows (machine: 3 sets of 10 x 110)
abs (2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts, 3 sets of moving bridge, headstand, plank: 2:30 (not that bad), some yoga, legs up the wall.

July 7, 2017 Posted by | baseball, weight training | | Leave a comment

Post Independence Day

West Peoria had its annual 4’th of July Parade which featured an interesting float:

Its reception? I’d say, mixed. It was “respect for the holiday” vs. “Trump sucks”.

Yesterday, I saw a ball game. The Chiefs won a pitcher’s duel 1-0; the starter went 6 innings and struck out 9. The Chiefs lone run came on a home run.

There were fewer people than on the 4’th of July game:

Workout notes: tested my new shoes. 2 miles outside, 5K “Deek” workout (walking), 1 mile cool down: 12:03, 12:11, 11:58, 1:20. (36:13, 37:34). Basically, 10:45 ish for the 400 on, 14:45 for the 200 off. Focused on posture.

July 6, 2017 Posted by | baseball, Peoria/local, political humor, political/social, walking | | Leave a comment

My ‘Merica Post…

Yeah, yesterday was 4’th of July, which is Independence Day.

I wondered: what makes the United States different? Yes, I know, most countries (all?) have some sort of identity; what is ours?

Two things come to mind.

When I was in the Navy, we made port calls. And before we visited a port in a foreign country, we got a briefing on the customs and on the culture of where we were visiting.

When we visited Italy, we were told this: when you visit a small shop, if the owner is having a conversation, they aren’t going to stop it to wait on you. Remember that the shop was probably the family shop, and that is all they are ever going to be; they aren’t worried about expanding, moving up, defeating the competition, etc. So just be patient.

And that goes to the lesson many Americans grow up with: The American Dream to “make it big” (I was going to be a professional athlete, you see).

One other: when I visited the Anne Frank House, they had a theater where they would show some situation and ask “what is more important, Factor X or Factor Y (e. g. they would show a newspaper article about a recent controversy). The Americans were all over FREEDOM OF SPEECH ahead of the other factors (say, protection from discrimination)…as was I.

Of course, at this time in our history, we are pretty divided, as this Horsey cartoon shows:

So, where does this divide come from? Well, for one, our history is complicated. Our past citizens DID take risks..they had guts. But they also did terrible things too:

So, what do we focus on?

And as far as the American Dream, well, where some do make it big, our social/economic mobility isn’t what we would like to think it is. And I think this is where the division comes from.

Some liberals push for a higher minimum wage (and too high of a minimum wage can cause problems) and for health care for the poor. That is great, but…newsflash: people do not want to be poor, and no one dreams of being stuck in poverty, even though..for many, that IS where they are going to be.

So measures that favor the poor…while they are effective, really aren’t that popular (until they are actually implemented and have been in place for a while)

So what wins out: dreaming (you are going to be rich one day), or practical reality (that you won’t be)?

What I did on the 4’th of July:

In the morning, I took Tracy to Galva to run a 5K (and did poorly: 30:05) and in the evening, baseball!

The Chiefs beat the Snappers and won 5-1 behind some good pitching, spectacular fielding (they robbed the Snappers of at least 3 hits) and 2 home runs.

I sat behind the 3’rd base dugout (visitor’s dugout at Chiefs games; home dugout at Bradley games)

there was a brief rain delay.

But it turned out to be a fun day:

And a decent crowd.

Other 4’th of July images

From a local parade (I did not see it)

And what is more “Merican” than yoga pants?

Workout notes
weights and a 5K walk (42:45, from intervals)

rotator cuff, hip hikes toe raises, pull ups (2 sets of 5-5-5, 2 sets of 10), goblet squats 50-75 (up very 5, sets of 5), incline: 10 x 135, 5 x 160, 7 x 150 (good hips on last set, so so on second set), military: 15 x 55 dumbbell, seated, supported, 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 90 lifemachine, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 55 (each arm), 10 x 110 machine, 2 sets of moving bridge, 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts, headstand (good).

July 5, 2017 Posted by | baseball, Friends, politics, politics/social, social/political, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

A baseball “staycation”

No Texas trip this summer; no major trips period (though I do have a couple of Chicago trips planned for July; a math conference and a 1/2 marathon).

But I did have a vacation of a sort last night/today. Last night: Barbara was a trooper and put up with 11 innings of Peoria Chiefs baseball. She had to work the next morning, so we left when it was 2-2. But the Chiefs fell in the 12’th 3-2. Yes, this is June in Illinois; temperatures fell into the 50’s.

Toward the end, the crowd really thinned; one fan even yelled “come on Chiefs, we want to go home!” as the Chiefs stranded yet another runner. Overall, the pitching on both sides was stellar; the Chiefs did get one home run though.

So the next day, I got up, worked out:

Workout notes: early, 2 mile outside walk, then 32 laps of the Bradley Markin track: 2 laps “fast” on the inside line, 1 lap “medium” in the outside lane and kept that up for 4 miles:

12:45, 12:45, 12:36, 12:04. I really focused on posture, posture, posture and decided to put some “umpf” into my “faster” laps in the final mile. 50:12 for 4 miles of walking, or about 10K total.

Then I showered, and then walked to Dozer park for another Chiefs game.

This was a kids matinee special; I sat in the first row, by the Chiefs bullpen.

The game was just the opposite of the night before; lots of fireworks. The Chiefs got extra base hits, home runs, and raced out to a 6-0 inning after 5, with 3 different 2 run innings.

Then came the 6’th inning. The Chiefs brought in a relief pitcher (starter gave up 1 hit) and then came a couple of walks, a hit, an error and at least a couple of mistakes that didn’t get counted as errors. was now 6-6.

The game steadied a bit then came the top of the 8’th. The Snappers got 2 more runs; hits, miscues (one chief infielder lost a routine pop fly in the sun..and yes, it was brutal to try to see at that angle). But there was a key play: a long fly ball went into center field and I thought for sure it would be an extra base hit. But the center fielder made a great “over the shoulder” catch which limited the play to only 1 run and robbed the Beloit player of an extra base hit. Limiting the damage proved to be crucial.

And so it was 8-6 Snappers going into the bottom of the 8’th. Nevertheless, the Chiefs rallied; a single home run cut the lead to 8-7. Then came a double..and a misplay on a single scored the tying run.

Good relief pitching stopped the Snappers in the the top of the 9’th. Then a single..and BOOM…2 run home run completed the walk off win.

Now that was some excitement. You can catch a glimpse of me standing and clapping as the runner rounds third base (I was on the first base side)


I usually sit in the back row of section 108. Sitting so close really humanized the players and umpires. For one, the bullpen players really interacted with the kids well; they threw water balloons, used a squirt gun, threw out gum, sunflower seed packages..gave a few baseballs, even said a word or two. They seemed to like it. They even gave some of the young women indirect compliments (tastefully; one of the kids said “no. x wants to marry you”) (the young women were supervising the kids; they were the age peers of the players.

The first base umpire was very buff; he looks as if he could bench press 3 wheels plus easily. (315 plus pounds…perhaps much more). He chewed gum and snacked on sunflower seeds during the game.

The Chiefs have a tradition of “Norm and Al” coming out from behind the center field fence and dancing after a Chiefs run:

The center fielder gave them a “WTF” look at first…but today they appeared to be young women in shorts..and he gave them …oh, longer looks as they danced later in the game. And in a 10-8 game, they would dance a lot.

June 27, 2017 Posted by | baseball, social/political | | Leave a comment