Adjusting to fair changes that you don’t like

This is a metaphor that uses a university gym experience to make a point.

Way long time ago, I used to love to get to the gym as soon as it opened; the primary reason is that I got my workout in before an unexpected demand of the day could take it away. But the second reason is that it was empty and relatively quiet.

But then came the university ROTC group…

Still…noisier but for the most part, I could avoid them.

Now we have groups of young “workout bros” coming in. They are NOT rude ..they use the equipment properly, etc. But dammit my solitude is gone, and once in a while, I need to adjust my plan because a bench or piece of equipment is being used.

And yes, most of the experienced ones are…well, much stronger than I am (as they *should* be ..being that there is 38-40 year difference in age)

But..this is *fair* change that is, well, not actually inconvenient for me (I still get my full workout in) but..slightly less pleasant.

But there is NOTHING unfair about this change..NOTHING. I was never entitled to an empty gym just for me.

And yet, I feel resentful…a little bit.

I kind of wonder if similar happened when so many voted for Trump. They saw changes in society…not necessarily *unfair* changes but changes that made people’s worlds a bit less pleasant..and a bit of this resentment lead to “ok, I’ll make their heads explode by voting Trump.”

Life marches on. And yes, my strength, speed and endurance continues to decline. Entropy sucks.

Body Yes, I spent some time with a woman yesterday, and I left with a small bruise and a scratch on my back. Yes, there was physical contact..from partner yoga.

In one case, my arm got bruised from a rough grab..and the scratch came from my teacher’s toenails in “dancing dogs.” (errant foot placement). I noticed the bruise when I did pull ups.

Dancing Dogs

Assisted Bow

Workout notes: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 7 x 165, decline: 10 x 165, military: 8 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing, 3 sets of 10 x 50 rows (dumbbell), plank, headstand, then 8.3 miles on the Expresso Bike (love…took me 34 minutes (best time for others was 18…damn I am slow).

February 11, 2019 Posted by | Friends, social/political, weight training, yoga | Leave a comment

Weekend workouts (February 9-10, 2019)

Personal and trivial:

Saturday: started the day full of bluster…ended up…running 3 miles on the treadmill (34:10), 3 on the track (31:52) mostly lane 2-3 of Markin..last mile (+) was 9:45. It was a sorry effort; I got bored on the treadmill and on the track. Couldn’t make myself walk outside. But that was 18 miles of running for the week.

Sunday: partner yoga with Ms. Vickie. Then..because it was snowing..4 miles of walking on the treadmill prior to the Bradley basketball game vs. Evansville (women).

She did not use her hand puppet during our practice.

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Name Vickie's chameleon!

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February 11, 2019 Posted by | Friends, running, walking, yoga | Leave a comment

My 2018 in Review

Photos only; I’ve done this in 2015, 2016 and 2017. I’ve arranged these in approximate chronological order.

Note: I’ll mention today’s mundane 5 mile walk. It was done in drizzly, chilly (40’s) conditions. I would have been worse. I could have been better. but it was ok. Miles: 1803. 4.94 miles per day. Yes, I had a minor annoyance. That was typical of the year; just enough to complain about, but nothing major..good enough. 2018 was “good enough.” Not outstanding, not terrible, but good enough.













December 31, 2018 Posted by | family, Friends, running, walking | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Not quite a wet walk

High 16 mpm pace (perhaps faster at times?) through a convoluted W. Peoria course; 1:40 worth of walking …sometimes I just like to do a “purposeful” meandering walk where I walk at a deliberate pace, but am not bound by one course or another.

Today was such a day. Had a nice lunch with Tracy and that was about it.

Back to…well, not much for a few days.

December 20, 2018 Posted by | Friends, walking | Leave a comment

Some joy too…

Despite the football disaster this Saturday and the impending doom of Thanksgiving (argh!) I had some fun too.

There was the Saturday run with Cassie (5.5 miles with her prior to the game), and today’s 11 mile walk with Lynnor.

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Lynnor and me. She is on the right. 11 miles done.

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I think it is awesome that someone this interesting and popular would spend time with me; and yes, she is easy on my eyes. 🙂

Other workout: weights yesterday; usual pre and post (rotator cuff, headstand, plank) pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench: 10 x 135, 2 x 185, 7 x 165, decline: 9 x 165, military: 10 x 50 standing, 2 sets of 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110.

Sports: some of my teams won…on Friday, Bradley Volleyball swept a strong Illinois State team 3-0; this gives ISU red a 16-2 conference record (BU is 13-5)

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Bradley Volleyball. BU up 1-0 over Illinois State!

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There was a good crowd for this one.

On Sunday, the Bradley Women defeated Rockhurst (D-2) 83-40 in a game where many women got to play quite a few minutes.

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BU controlling the action vs. D2 Rockhurst.

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The men’s basketball team lost by 1 at Illinois-Chicago but won 75-62 against SMU in a tournament.

November 21, 2018 Posted by | basketball, Friends, running, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Iowa 63 Illinois 0. A historically bad ending to a historically bad season.

This was before the last play from scrimmage of yesterday’s debacle. It says it all.

Oh, total yards, while lopsided, weren’t what you’d expect of a 63-0 disaster: they favored Iowa by 400-220. And yes, I expected Iowa to win:

Iowa at Illinois (I’ll be there, all bundled up) Iowa -16, ESPN 89.5 percent)

1. Illinois run game is their strong suit; Iowa has the no. 6 run defense. Only time Illini faced a top 40 run defense (Purdue), the run game got stuffed.

2. Common opponents: Illini did slightly better vs. Minnesota (55-31 vs.48-31), all other common match ups favor the Hawkeyes (e. g. 23-0 win vs. Maryland vs. 63-33 loss by the Illini ). The last 3 Iowa losses have been extremely close.

I think that the Illini get stomped something like 31-7.

I expected the Hawkeyes to win by something between 24-28 points. I did NOT expect 63. This game ended up like FCS vs. Alabama bad…oh wait..that game was more competitive than this one.

Seriously, I know that Iowa has a more developed program as well as better players; they are a solid, “top 30/Outback Bowl” caliber team. But Illinois should be more competitive than this. Note: I was impressed at how well Iowa tackles; they are the best team I’ve seen this year at that.

The game…played in mid to high 30’s and somewhat damp conditions, started out well enough. Second play from scrimmage: a poorly thrown pass bounced off the receiver’s hands, went straight up in the air…and was intercepted by the Illini! But the Illini promptly lost 3 yards on their first possession, thereby turning it over on downs. Iowa had a mini drive followed by a pooch punt (off of a faked “go for it on 4’th down” play) with pinned the Illini on their 2. A punt lead to a short field (Illini 39) and their first of 9 touchdowns.

Then came an exchange of punts which lead to the Hawkeyes getting the ball on their own 42. Then came the next touchdown drive. It was no 14-0 in the 2’nd …and disaster was about to strike.

Next Illinois possession: fumble on the first play…fumble returned for a touchdown. Next series: 4’th and 1: Illini punt and it gets blocked and returned to the Illini 11. 1 play to score a touchdown. It is now 28-0 with 11 minutes left in the 2’nd. Illini make one first down..have to punt and this time Iowa has to drive 83 yards for their touchdown (passing). It is 35-0 and a couple of possessions later, the half mercifully ends.

Second half: empty stadium (essentially ..not that it was at all crowded to begin with. Illini possession ends in a punt..returned for a touchdown. Next possession: interception returned to the Illini 20. Touchdown. It is now 49-0.

Eventually the quarter ends and Iowa puts in a back up offensive line and quarterback. The still get touchdown drives of 60 and 51 yards.

This game really symbolized Illinois football in the Big Ten: every single game was a blowout, though 2 went the way of the Illini. Take a look:

Penn State: 63-24 loss
Rutgers: 38-17 win
Purdue: 46-7 loss
Wisconsin: 49-20 loss
Maryland: 63-33 loss
Minnesota: 55-31 win
Nebraska 54-35 loss
Iowa: 63-0 loss.

I’ve never seen a conference season so devoid of close games. Home Big Ten games: win of 24 points; losses of 39, 39, 63 points. I wonder why the variation has been this great.

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35 minutes until kick off. Iowa at Illinois.

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Senior day.

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Not a huge crowd. Putrid play on offense.

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No bueno.

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Upper deck: empty.

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Yellow box: where I sit. Yes, I am in the above photo.

More about college football Navy won and covered (as expected), ND won (as I expected) but won more impressively than I had anticipated; maybe they are as “good as advertised” this year? Texas had an impressive win against a tough Iowa State team (ok, Iowa held them to 3 points). So this week I went 3-1 straight up, and 2-2 vs. the spread.

Workout notes I got in 7.5 miles of running, including 5.5 with the lovely Cassie. That was so much fun; I hope we do it again. I did have TMI incident midway..not sure what was going on as this rarely happens to me.

But the run and pace felt good.

5 mile walk in 1:01 this morning.

November 18, 2018 Posted by | college football, Friends, running, walking | | Leave a comment


First the workouts: Saturday, run on the treadmill, walk on the riverplex track (18 F, single digit windchills): 53:03 for the 5 mile run (22:20 then 30:43 for the final 3 miles), 16 minute walk on the track. Today: it was in the 20’s and sunny so I walked my West Peoria to Cornstalk 8.3 and added a 0.7 hilly loop and then an out and back along Bradley (16 minutes) to get to 10 miles.

Weight: Riverplex scale 188.9; I have lost most of the old extra. Now to remove the “old man” blubber as I now longer have the muscle mass I once hand.

Late night tomorrow night as she comes in. I’ve accepted it.

Weekend: dinner tonight (Mexican) with Tracy.
Yesterday: I got to watch Bradley win a couple of basketball games, both against Southeast Missouri State.

Both games were competitive for most of the way; the men used their defense to pull away 68-57; BU shot 38.8 percent but limited them to 31.6 percent. The lead reached 19 with 3:30 to go; it was only 5 early in the second half.
The women was a bit more back and forth for much of it. It was only a 1 point game going into the 4’th but BU won 85-79.

November 12, 2018 Posted by | basketball, Friends, running, walking | , | Leave a comment

Catch up on personal stuff

Interesting evenings. Wednesday: Bradley basketball vs. D-2 Wisconsin Parkside. BU raced out to a 12-0 lead; it took Parkside 5:20 to score. Eventually, they came back to make it a 2 point game at 28-26, but BU took better care of the ball to lead 40-28 at the half. In the second, the lead built to 69-42 with 5 minutes to go before BU cruised in to a 74-58 win. The defense looked sharp at first, but BU did have some trouble with turnovers and did give them some open looks at the 3.

I love all of the colors when the teams are out there warming up.

Early action.

Yesterday, I figured that I’d have a lazy evening. But in the morning, Ms. Vickie called and said she had an extra ticket for Chicago. So I went…and wow…they put on a show.

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Theresa and Jim at the Chicago concert.

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Above: Ms. V and me; below: Mama T and Jim.

The first half was mostly Chicago II; the second half had many of their hits. Most of the band is intact, but not all. I saw them when they played at the Naval Academy in the late 1970’s.

Workout notes: Thursday: 5.1 mile Cornstalk Hill walk in 1:12:28; I was 35:40 half way and took 36:48 for the return leg (14:08 finish for the final 1.03 let; 13:50 out). But of course, the return leg is net uphill so I’d expect the return to be slightly slower.

Today: weights only (late night) rotator cuff, plank, head stand, 15-15-10-5-5 pull ups, bench: 10 x 135, 1 x 190, 2 x 185, 7 x 170 bench (slightly sore left shoulder), military: 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45, 10 x 40, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell. I moved through the sequence quickly.

Note: I am now at 189.3 (before the workout); the lightest I’ve been in a while. And I haven’t started long training yet.

November 9, 2018 Posted by | basketball, Friends, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Not the club I had intended to join…

Ok…I remember this old song

It was popular when I was a sophomore in high school…and I remember football tryouts. The coach listed the guys who made the VARSITY team…and I was one of two sophomores that made the varsity that year. I saw my name..was elated…and when I walked away, this song went through my head.

THE VARSITY. Big “V”. And I went on to start every game at offensive tackle for a team that went 8-0 and won our league and our playoff game.

And I was IN THE CLUB. So I thought. And that is how I thought that life worked; you worked hard toward a goal so you could join the next club! Oh, there were other “clubs”; e. g. those who took calculus as a senior in high school, etc.

And I carried that basic idea with me …in the military you earned promotions to higher ranks; in academia you got the Ph. D. and published your work to become a mathematician. I figured that if only I were successful enough, I could escape the world of chronic underachievement, etc.

How wrong I was.

I figured that the family of a Ph. D. would consist of Ph. D. people, each kid improving upon what the parents did. And the relatives would all be reasonably well off and professionally successful; no stupid decisions, etc.

How wrong I was.

And no, not every family of a Nobel Laureate consists of future Nobel Laureate; “regression to the mean” is real.

But I did join clubs of sorts. One such was the “club” of first generation educated people; neither of my parents even made it out of junior high (depression era; their youth was a tough time…but as adults they did extremely well for themselves though). Another “club” was those who grew up as military brats (had a parent in the military and therefore moved around a lot.

Yes, I do have some math/academic friends, but these are down to earth friendships, And there are yoga class people, bloggers, and runners/walkers/swimmers.
Now I find that I’ve been embraced by older runners including those who are far faster and more successful than I’ll ever be. There is something to be said about hanging in there even when it is more difficult.

The “clubs” I actually belong to are those of common experiences or common purposes. It really isn’t about “varsity vs. JV”.

November 6, 2018 Posted by | Friends, social/political | Leave a comment

Grim football day but otherwise…

First things first: yesterday I drove Barbara to the airport for her to start her “slightly longer than 2 week” trip to the Middle East. I have 3 “bachelor weekends” and will probably catch at least 2 football games in those weekends and maybe a 4 mile race. There is an outside chance that I get a 3’rd game. I also had dinner with Tracy at Jerusalem Restaurant; it was fun watching her speak Hebrew with the owner.

And I had a decent run in cool weather; only 4.5 miles but it included a 1.4 mile warm up and 2.5 miles as follows: 11:17/11:11 22:29 (50 seconds slower than in 2016) This was “two loops of lower Bradley Park. I’d like to get this under 21 minutes; I’ll probably need to lose more weight to reach that goal. I am now at 191-193 lbs. and while that wasn’t a bad weight for me, say, 20-30 years ago, I no longer have as much muscle mass. I really should aim for the high 170’s.

College football I had predicted wins for Maryland, Notre Dame and Texas, though I had a bad feeling about the Texas game. Perhaps I should have honored that feeling? But the ESPN computer rated the game as a toss up and, on paper, UT appeared to have the better team. It WAS close but OSU hung on so I went 2-1 straight up.

Spread: stupidly, I changed my mind and picked the Illini to cover, based on Maryland’s offensive numbers. The only thing offensive was the Illini defense…63 points and 712 total yards to a team that got shut out and had 115 yards of total offense the week before! (ok, they were playing at Iowa). I went 0-3 vs. the spread this week. Last week I went 2-0 straight up, and 1-1 vs. the spread (damned Illini).

Season: 23-8 straight up, 13-16-1 vs. the spread..many of those losses were the Illini not covering (+18 MD, +25 WI, +10 Purdue). Even the line doesn’t recognize how terrible the Illini have become. Evidently I haven’t accepted it either.

Now about yesterday’s action: I caught the Illinois State game: they hosted South Dakota State. The computer showed most of the section (where I sat) as being full, but my guess is that they saved some for same day sales. Throughout the same there were 5 people in a row that sat 20 people. Still, there WAS a good crowd for “family day” (though many were NOT football fans) and both teams were top 10 in the FCS. And the action started quickly; the Jackrabbits scored in just over a minute via a 68 yard pass off of play action (defender bit on the run). Opening play: Redbirds hit an 81 yard TD pass off of a crossing route and with just over 1:30 gone it was 7-7.

The defenses controlled things for most of the rest of the half, though SDSU reached inside the 5 only to be thwarted via a 3’d down interception (one of the few bad passes their impressive QB threw all day).

But then came the unfortunate finish to the first half: there were just 5 minutes to go and a Jackrabbit punt had pinned the Redbirds at their own 11. They tried a swing pass and the receiver tried to circle back into the backfield as it was well covered. He fumbled and the Jackrabbits recovered inside the 5. They punched it in.

Next series the Redbirds fumbled the t-formation snap (under center) and the Jackrabbits cashed in, again. It was now 21-7 and the Jackrabbits forced a punt and used their time outs. Then they nailed a long bomb touchdown pass in which the defender, in single coverage, fell down (and injured his shoulder in the process). It was now 28-7 and a last second ISU drive ended in a missed field goal (to prove large later)

In the second half, ISU switched quarterbacks which appeared to help some (and they started to run more), but not right away. ISU threw an interception, exchanged punts, then a drive off a short field put SDSU up 35-7 well into the 3’rd quarter. ISU was to outscore SDSU 21-3 the rest of the way to lose 38-28 but, to be fair, two of the final touchdowns appeared to be “garbage time” touchdowns.

ISU ended up outgaining SDSU 445-390 but could not overcome that disastrous final 5 minutes of the first half. The Jackrabbits were very impressive.

My photos:


We had an Army helicopter fly-over (NOT my photo)

Seats they claimed that mine was the only one left in my section (when I bought them). Doesn’t appear that way, does it?

Action: (here is the first ISU fumble and SDSU about to cash in)

Later: SDSU fans still there though.

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Teams trade TDs. 35-14 Jackrabbits with 11:50 to go.

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On the way home, I got to listen to Illinois getting CREAMED by Maryland; I caught most of the second half on TV prior to picking up Tracy. It was 56-19 before the Illini got a couple of garbage time touchdowns..and gave up one too. Final: 63-33 Maryland. The Illini gave up 63 points and 712 yards of offense to a team that got 0 points with 115 yards of TOTAL offense against Iowa the week before.

Sorry, though the Illini have 3 wins this year after only 2 last year, one of those wins was due to playing an absolutely dreadful Rutgers team who has regressed from last year. In Big Ten play, aside from the 38-17 win over Rutgers, the Illini have lost 63-24, 46-7, 49-20 and 63-33. Last year, aside from the finishing 42-7 loss to Northwestern, the Illini were more competitive than that. I wonder if Coach Smith knows how to reach college players. I STILL think he was a good NFL coach, but coaching up elite, mature athletes is different than coaching up 2-3 star college kids.

I think that too many Illini fans, myself included, put too much stock in a close loss to USF (which is a good but not great “group of 5” team). I was NOT one of those who was impressed that the Illini lead Penn State 24-21 with 10 minutes to go in the 3’rd..I could NOT discount Penn State’s 42-0 finish (my wife warned me that the finish better reflected reality than the start).

October 28, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, Friends, running | , | Leave a comment