blueollie

And I drag Lynn to a Bears vs. Packers game…

Ok it was dry for the walk over but rained during the game. Still, a poncho kept us dry and we were bundled up.

The game: The Packers won 23-16, though thanks to a botched snap/hold on a late field goal attempt, the Bears got the ball back with 1 minute to go and had a shot to tie it.

A key moment came in the 2’nd quarter (2:30 into the video; score was 10-3 Packers) when the Bears receiver made an excellent run after catch and dived for the end zone. He was ruled out at the 2 (first and goal at the 2) but the Bears challenged the call, claiming that he hit the pylon with the ball before going out of bounds.

Call was reviewed..and showed that he lost control of the ball just prior to hitting the pylon. Hence the ball went out of bounds in the endzone..”touchback” and the Packers ball at the 20 versus the Bears having it at the 2.

Overall, the Packers got just enough offense with their backup quaterback and a receiver running as running back. And they sacked the Bears quarterback several times.

An action shot via the Bears Instagram account:

kickoff. Yes, there were empty seats.

We were about where the arrow is: 2n’d row of the upper deck (442, row 2). GREAT seats..the best I’ve had in Soldier Field so far. This shot was retweeted by EmptySeatsGalore on Twitter. Shot by @RobDemovsky:

Some action.

More action

Some shots of the stands…it was rainy.

Yes, there were some unsold seats up in the upper corner of the upper deck:

Lynn and I in our ponchos.

Lynn and I before going in..it wasn’t raining as yet.

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November 14, 2017 Posted by | football, Friends, NFL | | 1 Comment

Trip to Iowa vs. Ohio State: wow!

My friend Tracy is an Ohio State graduate (Woody Hayes days). She wanted to see Ohio State play this year and when I saw that they were going to be playing at Iowa, I got tickets.

(tip: I paid face value for end zone tickets via the school; row 31 of section 215. I could have gotten sideline seats for the same price (with fees) the week of the game via the secondary market)

I’ll post my photos below. The game: it ended 55-24, Iowa; I sure did not expect that. It was a combination of big plays (4 interceptions by the Iowa defense, including a one-handed interception at the Iowa one; see the highlights at 10:50, a big trick play (polecat) off of a field goal formation (see 7:30 of the video) and domination of the line of scrimmage. Iowa running backs had huge holes to run through for most of the game.

It started with a pick 6 on the first play of the game. But 2 minutes later, Ohio State completed an easy long drive; receivers were wide open on almost every play. So, I settled in for a shoot out at 7-7. And so it went; the teams matched drives, field goals and touchdowns until Iowa took the lead at 24-17. With 1:4x to go, Ohio State started their drive, only to throw their second interception. Iowa cashed in with a last second touchdown to take a 31-17 lead into the half; both teams had a ton of yards.

So I figured it was still a competitive game.

Second half: Ohio State kicked off; pinned Iowa inside their own 10 and kept them bottled up. But the Iowa defense stopped them and wouldn’t let OSU take advantage of their field position. Then with 6 minutes to go, Iowa mounted a drive, mixing running and passing; that made it 38-17 and OSU was in trouble.

Another stop and Iowa was driving again and scored just into the 4’th quarter to make it 45-17. Another interception set up a field goal to make it 48-17.

Then Ohio State tried to rally; an interception (one handed) ended an OSU drive at the Iowa 1. A bizarre call (fake punt with 4’th and 9 at the Iowa 12) was stopped and gave Ohio State a touchdown. But an onside kick failed, and Iowa completed the rout with another drive (running up the middle) to complete the scoring at 55-24.

Now about the trip:

Tracy and me on the Hawkeye Express train from a remote lot to the stadium (15 dollars each way; kind of fun..and yes, this was an honest train on train track)

Tracy and me at the stadium; note that Iowa fans get there early.

The “hospital wave” between the first and second quarter.

Ohio State participated in the wave.

Early action

Toward the end of the game; the empties you see in the opposite end zone were where some Ohio State fans were.

Bedlam. Fans storm the field.

Yes, I got in a 4 mile Bradley Park run prior to making the trip. I got in a 15 mile walk this morning too.

November 5, 2017 Posted by | college football, football, Friends, running, travel, walking | Leave a comment

DNF again (3 of 4)

No easy way to say it: I dnf’ed at close to mile 17, but I had to walk the “walk of shame” 1.2 miles to the start.
So, in terms of road marathons: 3 dnf’s in the last 4 attempts (2 QC marathons were heat related..mile 20); this one was my going out too fast for my abilities because of the 6 hour time limit.

Reality: I no longer have 2:25 half marathon speed (when I could walk in the 5:30-5:40 range); it now takes me 2:4x to do a half and that is not enough margin of error for a 6 hour time limit. To finish, I need to be trained AND have non-hot weather AND have a 6:30-7 hour time limit so I can take it out at a realistic 14 minute pace.

And I need to lose at least 10 lbs.; 15 would be better.

So, I don’t view this as a failure on my part as much as my taking an challenge that I am no longer up to. The writing is on the wall; my 2012 marathon: got sick; rested 1 hour; finished just under 7 hours. 2013, 2016: run/walks in the 5:40-5:50 range. 2015: walk in perfect conditions: 5:48. The trend is clear.

Splits: 1:02:55 (5), 2:08:14 (10; uphill), 2:50:20 (half marathon), 3:18:34 (15; included bathroom; crashed here) I could not longer even sustain a 17 minute pace at this point, so I told race officials that I was dropping.

Weather: warmed up quite a bit by about half way; first half was nice and cool (albeit humid)

But there was some fun too.

My plan: stay behind the 5:30/2:45 (half) pace groups for the first 8-10 miles, then see what I could sustain. I really needed to hit the half at 2:50 or so to stand a chance..and I did. But by then the legs were gone; I was about 3:03:30 at mile 14 and starting to slow badly. The half marathon had turned off and I was solo, solo, solo.

The 5:30 pace guy was going a bit faster than I wanted to; mile 1 was 12:18 (fine for a half marathon..not a marathon). So I dropped back and walked with Cindy, the 2:45 pace person who was more or less solo. We kept each other company until the hill at 7.5 miles and I let her go; we exchanged names. Chatting with her and some of the others was very pleasant.

Afterward, I waited for Mat to finish (5:07) and chatted with Jennifer and others.

Seeing others along the way was a real treat; Theresa, Barbara and Cassie took photos of me along the way.

I saw this shirt at about mile 2; it made me laugh.

Theresa took this shot of Cindy and me.

Barbara took these four photos near mile 10, near our house.

Cassie got this one of me, between mile 12 and half way; I was starting to crumble.

Mat finishing.

Jennifer and me after the race.

Workout notes: on the road; got a Riverplex workout first. rotator cuff, bench press: 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 10 x 165, incline: 10 x 135. pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (at least, maybe 6), military: dumbbell: 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45 standing, 5 x 140 new machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell. light yoga, including headstand. squats: to the bench: 10 x 35, 10 x 50, 10 x 70.

October 9, 2017 Posted by | Friends, marathons, walking, weight training | 1 Comment

It is not every day that I get owned this badly…

September 8, 2017 Posted by | Friends, humor | Leave a comment

Goat Rant Two: how to get me to ignore your article, post, etc.

Ok, I know, I know, Mat, Mike, Tom, Carmen, Lynnor, Theresa, Lynn, Jennifer and others are saying “ok, how do you get him to ignore me?” 🙂

Ok, here is how you do it.

Issues posts: when you post that article, be sure to say:

1. “shut up and listen”. Uh, no. I won’t do either. Yes, I know what you mean; there are some experiences that I am not qualified to judge (say, being a black person in the USA, being a woman in a mostly male environment; yes, I get that). But IF you want me to read your stuff, do not start with “shut up…”

2. “you have to stop doing this right now…” Uh, no. I don’t have to do anything you say. Now IF I respect your opinion to give it some thought, I’ll entertain the thought. But you are not qualified to tell me what to do. IF you want for me to change, you need to convince me. And saying “as a member of protected class X, I don’t like that” is not convincing.

3. “this is not ok”. Uh, no. Yes, maybe it isn’t ok, but I am not going to take your word for it, no more that I’ll take, say, the Bible’s word or some preacher’s word for it. If you want me to change and you have no direct power over me, you need to convince me.

Seriously, you are not entitled to my attention and you are not entitled to be taken seriously by me. And, if your message is counterintuitive, I am going to blow you off unless you’ve build up credibility with me, and that means having a record of being right much of the time. Your self assessment of your own wisdom and intelligence is NOT a credential.

Personal posts

Let me make this clear: I do think that having some trusted friends to talk things over with is a wonderful thing; I can’t value a “trusted ear that doesn’t judge you” enough. I think that there is a place to exorcise our inner demons. And there is nothing wrong with discussing your problems and challenges of the day.

But there is more…

I read a post that said something about “why do we have to justify our suffering to others..” that I wanted to respond to. I didn’t as I don’t know that individual very well. But I’ll give a generic response

1. There seems to be a “normal” response to various bad things that happen, and by “normal” I mean a “normal range” of responses that vary from person to person. So, if we see a friend or loved one who *appears* to be well outside of the “normal range” of response, they may well be a candidate for professional help…and such help may well make them feel better, which is the goal.

2. Relationships, as far as I am concerned, are a two way street. That doesn’t mean that they are symmetric; in fact they rarely are. Example: there are some friends where I am usually the one making the invitation; there are others where it might be more appropriate for them to do the inviting (or at least to solicit an invitation from me). There are some where I do most (all?) of the physical helping…etc.

But both people have to get something out of it. And if someone is always reacting to events “in crisis mode” or if they are always the one suffering and expect to receive support that they rarely, if ever, offer..well, again, in a friendship, both people have needs that should be met. This isn’t to say that some go through some very rough things (say, death of a family member, severe sickness, job loss, divorce, etc.) where they will be taking more than giving..FOR A PERIOD OF TIME. But overall, it has to be a two way street.

3. As far as two way streets go: of course one should be polite to friends. But if I find myself constantly having to walk on egg shells…forget it. That is more stress than the friendship is worth…that is a time where I say “I’ll leave their company for others to enjoy”. And if someone makes a habit of flaking out of invitations due to “social anxiety” or whatever, well, that is a “time to leave their company for others to enjoy”. An occasional broken date happens…it is unavoidable. But when I have to wonder if they will show…time to move on and spend time with those who are more reliable. Again, friendship is a two way street and if I can’t (within reason) count on them to show, they aren’t meeting MY needs.

September 3, 2017 Posted by | Friends, social/political | 1 Comment

Tale of two walks…

Yesterday, I took Mat to Mahomet to do a half marathon. Weather was reasonably cool and the course was “gently rolling”. But I was tired from the start; while Mat ran very well (2:02), I was 2:52:33 (about 7 minutes over goal).

I was mostly doing 12:20 on the down stretches and 12:40 on the uphill stretches until mile 9. That was my first 13:xx (13:10) and I thought “oh crap”; I was 1:58 at 15K at 2:07:50 at mile 10. Then I fell apart and averaged about 14:20-14:30 the rest of the way, getting passed by the 3 young guys just before the overpass and the pretty young woman on the track. I was “just done”; legs were dead and I had no energy.

But…when we went to breakfast, I perked right up. Yes, I did not eat before the race, but then again, I didn’t eat before the Galesburg half either and I did get zapped this badly.

I think it is a combination of things, INCLUDING weighing over 200 pounds. That has to change in the next month, if I am to walk a marathon in under 6 hours.

Results: 2:47, 1:56 15K (2:45 half equ.), 2:42, 2:52. All were since the first week of June. Yes, that is too many to race optimally, but I am using these to train for a marathon. I remember that when I ran my masters PR marathon (3:38, back in 2000), I had a series of slow half marathons that, while they felt discouraging, got me ready for the goal marathon.

So, while my race stunk, I enjoyed the first 10 miles of it and had fun with Mat.

Note: I’ve done this half marathon as a runner many times; I had a 1:55 (1998, 2001), 1:48 (2000) and a 1:37 (1999).

Today, I went out for 4 hours (15.5 miles; 15:30 average pace). What was good is that the final 5 miles (of the first 14.9 miles) was done in 1:12:40 (14:32 pace). That got me to 3:51. I did a 9 minute final loop to get me to 15.54.

What was interesting is that about 6 miles into it, I slowed down a few times; I was really ready to quit. I felt tired, had no energy..was discouraged. The first 5 went fine but for some reason, the next two miles really, really sucked. I was ready to turn it in but the 10-15 minutes of slower walking seemed to revive me, so I turned TOWARD Tower Park instead of home…and then I could feel my pace pick up; I felt good again.

The rest of the walk went fine; I am sure glad that I didn’t miss it. What caused that “depression” in the middle still baffles me. But I really did my best walking in the final 6 miles. And I even got greeted, several times…and got encouragement from ladies in a van.

The course: my standard trek to the River (Cooper, Moss, Union, MLK, Kumpf) though I did an out and back through the Gateway (they were breaking down the area), in front of the Riverplex, back to the trail, around the goose loop, around the ball field wall (that was 5 miles today) then the standard through the cemetery.

I took the “right hand road” path up the hill in Springdale to get to Prospect, then to Forrest Hill, then up Central to Tower Park (the standard “Boredom” way. Then I returned via Boredown (Hansler to get to Broadway). I felt awful in Springdale, started to feel good going up Central and felt GREAT from Tower Park back home.

Photos from the race:

August 6, 2017 Posted by | Friends, walking | , , | 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

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

Galva 5K 9 years later..

I powerwalked this race in 2008. This time, I finished just over 1 minute faster…running.
I went out with Tracy; I wanted a break from the downtown runs, and I wanted to spend some time with her.

Warm up: about 15-18 minutes or so; 10 minutes cool down walk (walked Tracy in)
It was 70 F, 80 percent humidity (deceptively sticky) and perhaps I started a bit too hard, given that I had 18/10 miles last weekend…and haven’t been running all that much.

I was right at 8:57 for 1 mile; a bit too fast. I could feel it..and of course, I really started to feel it during mile 2; I conked out right at 16:30 or so. I have to remember that a 5K for me now is like a 4 miler once was; I can’t start to feel quite that bad until 20 minutes or so.

I walked a few steps a couple of times 2 miles came at 18:53. I got into the “just finish without more walking mode; 10:19 for mile 3 was a bit overdoing it? So even 0:53 for the final .1 miles couldn’t bring me under 30.

8:57/9:56/10:18/0:53 = 30:05.

But the goal was to have some fun and that is what I did.

Moral: when I build up my long weekend walks, my 5K speed suffers accordingly.

Yesterday; weights, then 2 treadmill miles running (21:54), 2 walking.

weights: rotator cuff, hip hikes, toe raises, pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench press: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, 5 x 185, incline: 10 x 135, military: 15 x 55 seated dumbbell, supported, 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 200 machine, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 55 dumbbell, 1 set of 10 x 110. Then the running/walking.

July 4, 2017 Posted by | Friends, running, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Political People: why do you use social media?

I am asking: “why do you engage in political discussion on Twitter or Facebook?

Is it to vent?

Is it to try to change the mind of a political opponent?

Is it to persuade the undecided?

Is it to try to get moral support from similar people?

Is it to excite your fellow political allies (get inspired to give money, go to a protest/rally, do walk routes, etc.)

Is it to educate yourself and/or put out information?

I am curious. I know that I’ve lost friends (ok, no great loss, but still…) because I misread what they were about. And yeah, I understand that not every post is an invitation for discussion.

And yes, I understand that discussions can be non-productive, especially when the other person assumes that they know more than they do, or that they’ve thought of some aspect that you haven’t (when you have, a loooong time ago) or when they are just spouting off cliches and bumper stickers under the guise of argument.

July 3, 2017 Posted by | Friends, politics, politics/social, social/political | 1 Comment