Peoria is one city people are fleeing from

Peoria is no. 18 on this list. Rockford is no. 11 and Chicago (area) is no. 1.

Why? People will talk about high taxes. But, at least in my area, while property taxes might be high in terms of rate, property VALUES are low so what comes out of your pocket is less than what it is in other cities.

We do have an income tax but are regarded as a middle income tax state, but “high tax” when one considers both income and sales tax.

BUT…in terms of services…well, our State Police are always at the ready to give you a speeding ticket…is that a service? ๐Ÿ™‚

And our highways are dreadful. Oh, they’ll say we are right in the middle but don’t believe them.

High overall taxes, and mediocre state services and complete state government dysfunction. But I’d say mostly it is the decline of economic opportunities which leads to less money to invest in the public good, worse schools, etc. and all that leads to a talent drain.

The weather doesn’t help; over the past few years we’ve had the dreaded “polar vortex” giving us a traditional winter, and climate change leading to Texas caliber summers. I can’t complain today though..last night a rainstorm dumped 2.25 inches in 2 hours…and knocked down the temperature about 10 degrees F.

It isn’t all bad though: I can afford a house where I can walk to work, I have two gyms and a park just a walk or medium run away, and close by sports action (minor and college baseball, college basketball); football requires just a bit of a drive (45 to 2:30 of driving, depending on whether I want I-AA, Big Ten or NFL).

Workout notes yesterday, warm 5 mile walk, followed by some very warm yard work.

Today: weights; usual PT, 5 sets of 10 pull ups (good), bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 8 x 170, decline 8 x 170, incline 10 x 170, military: dumbbell 10 x 50, 10 x 45, machine 10 x 180, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110. Usual abs, plank.

Bodyweight 199.

July 6, 2018 Posted by | Illinois, Peoria, walking, weight training | Leave a comment


Workout: weights and 10 miles of cycling (34:30; stationary)

usual pt, pull ups (5 sets of 10)
bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 8 x 170
decline: 8 x 165
incline: 10 x 135
military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 45 standing
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 single arm, 10 x 110 machine
abs: twist crunch (50, 24), moving bridge (3 sets of 10), yoga leg lifts, (2 sets of 10), headstand
plank: side, 2:15 front
then the bike. Later: yoga with Ms. Vickie

I do have a tug in my right lower hamstring that I feel in triangle pose.

Other stuff: I admit that I am having trouble keeping up with Trump’s antics. That is really too bad.

I have no clue as to how tomorrow’s primary elections will go in Illinois; the suspense might be in the Democratic governor’s and attorney general races.

March 20, 2018 Posted by | bicycling, Illinois, weight training | Leave a comment

back in Peoria from Pryor


Left: 9 am, sharp. Arrived: 5:20 pm, sharp. That included gas stops and a quick meal while moving.

Whew. I had decent luck with traffic, the only “sort of snag” being the I-44 to I-55 interchange in St. Louis. The ramp is single lane, with a speed limit of 20 mph (very sharp turn), so this is always backed up. This is very, very antiquated. And of course, the I-74, I-155 construction in Morton is STILL going on; it started in the Spring of 2013. I just LOVE our state. (eyeroll).

But the drive was over with and I ended up sharing a lovely dinner with a dear friend.

Now tomorrow: do I embarrass myself with a 5K (20 miles away) or a mile race (downtown); the mile race is more expensive but involves running on Main Street.

July 9, 2016 Posted by | Illinois, travel | | Leave a comment

I needed that!

I am heading to the gym in just a bit and then, back to work.

Democrats Hillary Clinton won big in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio. She also squeaked by a tough challenge in Illinois and…no call in Missouri as yet, though she has a narrow lead with 99 percent in:

Clinton: 310,602 votes, 49.6%
Sanders: 309,071 votes, 49.4%

Now THAT is close. There are some provisional ballots to count, among other things, and the Sanders campaign has the right for a recount, given how close it is.

The New York Times has the pledged delegate count at: 1094-774 for Clinton. That is all but insurmountable given that the Democrats award delegates by proportionality. Sanders can win some small caucus states, but will have to blow her away in some large states to eat at that lead, and probably the best he can do is to have a couple of “Michigan” type upsets along the way.

Illinois and Peoria (via CNN)


some county results:

Peoria (where I live):

Clinton 52% 11341
Sanders 47% 10345

Chicago: 54-45 Clinton (362K to 307K), Cook county (Chicago suburbs) 54-46 Clinton (245K to 210K)

Champaign (University of Illinois) Sanders 66-34 (20.6 K to 10.5 K)

On the Republican side:

Chicago Trump 39%, Kasich 25%, Cruz 21%
Cook County: Trump 42%, Kasich 24%, Cruz 23%

Peoria: Cruz 41% (10K votes), Trump 30% (7.6K votes), Kasich: 20% 5K votes

On the Republican side: wow. Trump rolled winning big in Florida, handily in Illinois, narrowly in North Carolina and is barely ahead of Cruz in Missouri (still too close to call?) Kasich won Ohio, but Kasich staying in the race might help Trump in some of the “winner take all” states?

Who knows. By the way, I am NOT in the “Stop Trump” at all costs camp; though he is a con-man, his social positions are really no more noxious than standard Republican positions (he just doesn’t state them with a smile) and his economic positions are somewhat better. I’d rather have him than Ted Cruz.

Yes, I know that Robert Reich supports Bernie Sanders and that his political predictions (in terms of who is going to win) are hilariously bad (Scott Walker, Bernie wasn’t finished). But he knows policy and economics and well, I’d take heed:

March 16, 2016 Posted by | IL-17, Illinois, politics, politics/social | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Post Blood Donation workout..and Illinois

I am mentioning it as I like to record how long it takes me to get “back to normal” after a whole blood donation. As far as the process itself: the Red Cross Blood donation site is in shambles (wants a password, then didn’t mail the “forgotten password”) so I called to make the appointment. And they were 20-30 minutes late though I was 15 minutes early.

The Peoria site is not well run, at least from the donor point of view. And I’ll get repeated telephone calls again; they are so much of a pest that I have their number set on “do not ring”. But I do it twice a year anyway as I don’t want to be outdone by social conservatives, who donate at a higher rate (though there may be “eligibility reasons” for this.

Workout notes

This isn’t my photo, but the predawn sky looked a bit like this. I love that. Of course, I was walking to the Riverplex where I swam 3300 yards (3000 meters). 1000 free, then 4 x (5 x 50 drill/swim, 250 free), 3 x 100 IM (ugly IM). I was a little bit off. Drills: 3g for the first set, fist for the second, front kick for the third, catch up for the fourth.

Then I walked 4 miles (plus) outside; basically the length of the “Hooters to ball field” section. Though the river has receded from parts of the path, those sections are now iced over. And the goose loop is still largely underwater. Pace was 14:40’ish.

Commentary: where I live Ok, this winter is actually not bad at all.
But…it is still Illinois and..I think of the times where I’ve been on a road trip and just cross the state line…just to see the highway turn to crap and see an Illinois State Police car ready to pounce on those entering the state.

If Illinois were a single woman on the make, sheโ€™d scare away every decent guy out there.
Maybe that sounds like a weird comparison. But these days, states have to look good if they expect to get any attention. In times of yore, people spent their entire lives in the same place. Nowadays in the information age, people can study and compare states just like singles use dating sites. Which would-be suitors might make you toes curl? Or gut hurl?
In relationships, sometimes you hit the road, and sometimes you get dumped. The latter is what often happens to Illinois, according to United Van Lines. Its study released this week shows Illinois ranked third last year among states that were most moved from. In other words, a lot of people want to get the heck away from here, pronto. [..]

Read the rest..there is more.

And yes, I’d love to leave, were I able to get a comparable job elsewhere…one where I could walk to work every day.

January 6, 2016 Posted by | Illinois, swimming, walking | Leave a comment

In Columbus…I-74 is a joke

Well, I made it out of Peoria ok; but…

1. Between Peoria and the Indiana state line, traffic was shunted to a single lane on 5 different segments. Ok, one was some sort of accident just past Morton…though there was a disabled vehicle on the left side of the road, and about .25 miles further up, on the right side.

2. Between the Indiana State line and Indianapolis, single lane traffic on 2 different occasions.

3. Then on I-70: orange barrels and concrete walls galore, but no single lane stuff.

The irritating thing about I-74 is that the stuff around Morton has been going on since fall of 2013.

4. Going through Dayton; there was a jam going the other way and I counted 100+ semi rigs in the space of well less than 1 mile. It was as if there was a factory outlet nearby.

But I made it to Columbus and hope to make it in to Berea, OH by 11 am or so.

October 10, 2015 Posted by | Illinois, travel | , | Leave a comment

Stuck in neutral (walking/running)


The above was for yesterday’s course.

Today: late start; weight 186 after breakfast.

Weights then running:

5 sets of 10, 1 set of 5 pull ups (hip hikes and rotator cuff) varied the grip
incline press: 10 x 135, 7 x 145, 9 x 140 (pushed myself a bit)
military press: 7 x 45, 8 x 45, 10 x 40 (standing dumbbells)
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110
pull down: 3 sets of 10 x 150 (double pulley machine)

Note: I did a super set with the military, rows, pull downs.

Then 1 mile in 11 minutes on the treadmill:
5K (25 laps, middle lane): 28:40. 9:04, 8:42 (17:47), 9:45 (27:33); I walked a few steps two different times on the last mile. I just didn’t have it; the last mile was feeling a bit like a race and I didn’t want that.

I had a good walk yesterday and the weights took a little out of me. Afterward: I cut the grass in the front yard.

By the way, we’ve gotten creamed by rain in June. This was the wettest June on record, and the second wettest month on record (September 1926 was 0.09 inches wetter).

illinoisweather (snapshot from the Illinois Climatology blog run by James Angel. )

I did a poor job of outlining Peoria County (where I live) but you can see that while we were not the wettest region in the state, we were above the state average. We’ve gotten water in the basement almost non-stop (on the order of perhaps 8-12 gallons a night, as measured by buckets and our new Shop-Vac wet vacuum).

And the yard is absurd; the weed trees grow back almost as fast as you chop them down. When you cut the grass, when you finished, the part of the yard you started with already needs to be cut again. (ok, that is an exaggeration… ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Rain, plus ample periods of sun plus very fertile soil = lots of growth. And the rabbits are having a field day; on Monday I counted 5 in the yard at one time! I wish I could have trapped them and brought them to our yard.

July 1, 2015 Posted by | Illinois, Peoria, Peoria/local, running, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Slip sliding in the snow and ice…

Yeah, I am indeed sick (ill). That “scratchy throat” was what I feared it was. I have some mild body aches, fatigue and a minor cough.

But I feel better when I move and so I went out for a short, gentle walk (about 4 miles, or 6.4 km); I walked to Bradley Park via the university and Parkside. Yes, the gated off pavement is mostly coated with packed snow and ice, some of which was very slippery. I almost went down once but did not.

Still, it was ok to walk and I felt better about getting outside.

Though the snow missed us (this time) it is still cold, even by “Illinois in February” standards. But my mood has not gone south as it has in past years, even though I’ve stayed on the treadmill, indoor track, weight room and pool.

Part of the reason, I think, is that my wife is vacationing in Vietnam and Cambodia. Hence I can curse winter all I want (along with the ice, the tons of laundry, the time spent bundling up, peeling off layers, etc.). Part of is that I am spared the “blended family drama/BS”. And part of the reason is that I can just make the little decisions as to what to do without compensating for someone else’s limitations (e. g. parking .35 miles away from the basketball arena on a night when it was 4 F; I can walk fast enough to not be bothered by the cold.)

But, on the other hand, I am a little bit “out of sorts” as well; there is no denying that.

Yes, I know: I served in the military and deployed for months at a time, and I came from a military family. My dad did two 1 year long isolated tours: one in Korea and one in Vietnam (during the war). I get it.

Nevertheless, I am sputtering oh-so-slightly, the way that an engine that needs oil does.

February 21, 2015 Posted by | Illinois, illness, Personal Issues | | Leave a comment

Yucky snow….:-P

Today: right around freezing…rain which changed to heavy snow. It isn’t that cold right now but the roads are very sloppy.

So, I’ll blog for a while then walk to the university gym (if it is open) at 9 am; lift and use the treadmill.

Right now, I am listening to an old Fleetwood Mac album Mirage.

Science and the public
Yes, scientists and “the public” at large disagree on many key issues. Of course, the scientists are right, except for one issue. The scientists seem to think that better science education will narrow the divide. But I disagree for two reasons.

1. Religion is still a huge factor in determining what people think.

2. Science is hard and frankly many (most?) people simply don’t have the ability to master it or at least obtain an “educated layperson’s knowledge” of it. Accepting something that sounds counter-intuitive seems like going against “common sense” and it takes some intellectual ability to distinguish between what is nonsense and what is…well…true.

I know that I have that trouble with regards to things like “learning disabilities”: what is quackery and what is solid? Of course this area will be difficult for a while as it isn’t as if we can open up people’s brains and examine them.

What isn’t difficult to accept is that vaccines work. Sure, the uninitiated might read a list of ingredients and say “yuck”, but the fact is that some preventible diseases are coming back and some are fighting back. It has gotten to the point that some doctors won’t see “anti-vaccine” patients:

With California gripped by a measles outbreak, Dr. Charles Goodman posted a clear notice in his waiting room and on Facebook: His practice will no longer see children whose parents won’t get them vaccinated.

“Parents who choose not to give measles shots, they’re not just putting their kids at risk, but they’re also putting other kids at risk โ€” especially kids in my waiting room,” the Los Angeles pediatrician said.

It’s a sentiment echoed by a small number of doctors who in recent years have “fired” patients who continue to believe debunked research linking vaccines to autism. They hope the strategy will lead parents to change their minds; if that fails, they hope it will at least reduce the risk to other children in the office.

The tough-love approach โ€” which comes amid the nation’s second-biggest measles outbreak in at least 15 years, with at least 98 cases reported since last month โ€” raises questions about doctors’ ethical responsibilities. Most of the measles cases have been traced directly or indirectly to Disneyland in Southern California.

I haven’t thought this through, though part of me wants to cheer this.

I admit that I am disgusted by this “hey, I am a MOM therefore I know best” attitude that I sometimes hear. Hey, aren’t there moms in 3’rd world countries which have high child mortality rates? Weren’t there moms 100 years ago when the childhood mortality rate was roughly 50 percent?

In *some* quarters, there is quite a bit of anger over the basketball team’s demise:

Losing to last-place Drake, at home, is yet another colossal disaster for the Bradley menโ€™s basketball team.

Last week, I was tempted to write a letter alluding to the fact that I, and many of my friends and acquaintances, no longer even care about Bradley basketball. But, after this latest debacle, I, and others, now have attitudes much closer to furious than to apathy.

The utter ineptitude of the people responsible for this once proud program is staggering; President Joanne Glasser, athletic director Michael Cross, and head coach Geno Ford have all had a hand in ravaging the Bradley menโ€™s basketball program. Together, they have wrought destruction upon Bradley basketball, embarrassed the city of Peoria and made Bradley athletics a laughingstock within the Missouri Valley Conference and throughout the region. Plus, they haveshamelessly increased ticket prices, alienated countless fans and driven away loyal supporters in droves. […]

Click on the link to read the rest, if you are interested. Note: the team, minus three suspended players, lost to Indiana State on the road yesterday. But they played very hard, which was good to see. And the women won two road games in a row, albeit against the two last place teams. Each time, they came up with key defensive stops down the stretch.

Now you might ask “what does it matter?” And, well, what can I say? I enjoy following the teams but that is really it. I show up whether they are 5-25 or 25-5; in some sense I am the worst possible kind of fan. I go “awww” if they lose and “yay!” if they win. I admit that I get a type of entertainment watching the drama on the fan boards.

Some BU fans are upset that the previous coach (who was a top BU player and lead BU to one Sweet 16) was fired. His current team (California-Davis) is doing well.

Screen shot 2015-02-01 at 7.59.34 AM

They drew 5317 fans for their 81-78 win over Cal-Poly. They are 16-4.

In all honesty, I reluctantly agree with the university’s decision on this coach.

Now about that Super Bowl
Screen shot 2015-02-01 at 7.11.24 AM

Yeah, I’ll watch the game BECAUSE I AM A FOOTBALL FAN and these really are the best two teams in the NFL, as far as I am concerned. I watched the Patriots a bit back when I lived in Connecticut in 1983-1984. They played in Foxboro Stadium (sometimes called Sullivan Stadium) which was very plain; not at all like the new jewels.

February 1, 2015 Posted by | basketball, Illinois, NFL, politics, politics/social, science, social/political | , , , | Leave a comment

Snow shovel porn


Yeah, we got 5.9 inches of snow.

One of my women friends (a runner) mentioned that she was going to shovel. Now THAT, to me, is porn…nothing sexier than a woman who shovels snow. I HATE that stuff.



A woman shovels snow in Minneapolis



January 6, 2015 Posted by | Illinois, Peoria | , , | Leave a comment