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… :-) )

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 — 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 — which comes amid the nation’s second-biggest measles outbreak in at least 15 years, with at least 98 cases reported since last month — 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 men’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 men’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

My life as a new IL-17 Republican: toward November 4

I got a couple of mailers; one was from Bobby Schilling and one was a letter signed by several “prominent” Republicans (Aaron Schock was one) saying how bad Cheri Bustos is and how great Bobby Schilling is.

It wasn’t as bad as the stuff I got in 2012.

But it was still bad.

This also reminded me of the stuff conservatives pulled in 2004 (I cannot say that the Republican party did this):


I find it interesting that they are trying to rely on deception and suppressing the vote.

I suppose they can justify the latter by saying that “it is better if only the “worthy” vote” and the former….trying to trick not-so-informed people into thinking that your candidate is a Democrat….hmmm…not sure as how I would justify that. Why wouldn’t you brag about how super-duper conservative your Tea Party nutjob is?

I am no fan of Cheri Bustos as she is a Blue Dog in what should be a more progressive district. But Bobby Schilling is a 14’th Century regressive and a dishonest campaigner.

She remains a modest favorite to win reelection.

IL-governor: toss up. Nate Silver has Quinn up by 1 but the election well within the “toss up” range. Same for Election Projection. Though Dick Durbin is comfortably ahead in his US Senate Race, the overall balance: Republicans will probably end up with 51-53 seats, depending on how the post November 4 run-offs go.

November 1, 2014 Posted by | 2014 midterm, Cheri Bustos, IL-17, IL-18, Illinois, political/social, politics, politics/social | , | Leave a comment

Move over lowlifes! I am now a REGISTERED REPUBLICAN!!!!

Ok you slackers, moochers, evolutionists, Keynesian economists and other deadbeats: you had better watch out when you come here. I am now a REGISTERED REPUBLICAN!!!!!!

Personal Responsibility! No more welfare! (tax breaks for the filthy rich job creators are ok).

My vote: I voted for Bruce Rauner for governor. Why? Well…..bootstraps, rich people are the smartest people and all of that ….

(my guess: in the general election he won’t listen to anyone else and end up getting beat)

Now to go run…

March 18, 2014 Posted by | 2014 midterm, Illinois, political humor, politics | | Leave a comment

IL-Governor’s race (primary)

We have a primary election in 6 days; there isn’t much happening on the Democratic side so, as is allowed in Illinois, I might take a Republican ballot.

So, our Republicans have a 4 way race going on to see who will get the honor of losing to Gov. Pat Quinn in November.

Here is the state of the race as of last weekend:

The Illinois Republican governor’s race is tightening, with Bruce Rauner leading and Kirk Dillard surging as the candidates head into the final days of the campaign trying to peel away support from rivals and recruit undecided voters into their camp.

A new Tribune/WGN-TV poll shows Rauner, the wealthy first-time candidate from Winnetka at 36 percent support — down 4 percentage points from a month ago amid a blitz of labor union-backed TV ads attacking his business dealings as a venture capitalist.

But Dillard, a state senator from Hinsdale with the backing of major public employee unions, has emerged as the new chief alternative to Rauner. The poll showed Dillard at 23 percent, doubling his support since last month, especially among Downstate voters.

Dillard’s gains came as state Sen. Bill Brady and Treasurer Dan Rutherford lost support in recent weeks. Brady was at 18 percent, down from 20 percent in early February. Rutherford, who was hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit by a former employee last month, was at 9 percent — a 4-percentage-point drop from the last poll.

Note: in a previous debate, Rutherford sounded the best to me but Republican moderates usually don’t do so well with the Republican base. Brady lost a hotly contested race against Gov. Quinn in the previous election (2010).

The nature of the attacks on Rauner are interesting. One PAC (Illinois Freedom) is going after him. They are attacking his nursing home related businesses:

Via Illinois Freedom:

Hasn’t Bruce Rauner’s business done enough damage? Check the facts:

From 1981-2012, Rauner Has Served As Managing Director, Senior Principal, And Chairman Of GTCR [Bloomberg Profile]

2004: Trans HealthCare Press Release Identified TransHealthcare As “A GTCR Portfolio Company.” [Trans HealthCare Press Release, 6/2/04]
GTCR Co-Founded Trans Healthcare Inc. In 1998. [GTCR Press Release, 12/5/2002]

2013: A Florida Man Was Awarded A Verdict Of $1.2 Billion In A Suit Against Trans Health After His Mother, Arlene Townsend, Died In The Nursing Home. [Christian Post, 7/24/13]
Attorneys Presented Evidence That Townsend Suffered 18 Falls In Her 6 Years At The Home- Suffering A Broken Hip That Went Undiagnosed For A Week As Well As Severe Infections, Chronic Stomach Pains With Fecal Impaction, Skin Tears, Malnutrition And Dehydration Before Dying At The Age Of 69. [WTSP, 7/25/13]

2012: Jury Awarded $200 Million To Family Of Elvira Nunziata Who Fell Down A Flight Of Stairs In Her Wheelchair And Died At A Home Managed By Trans Health—No One Noticed Her Absence For An Hour And She Died Shortly After Paramedics Arrived. [Tampa Bay Times, 1/13/12]

2010: A Jury Awarded A $114 Million Dollar Verdict To The Family Of Juanita Jackson Who Died After Staying At A Nursing Home Managed By Trans Health Care; The Woman “Was Hurt After Falling Down And Received Other Injuries From Pressure Sores, Overmedication, Malnourishment, And Dehydration.” [The Ledger (Lakeland, FL), 7/21/10]

2010: A Widow Was Awarded A $900 Million Verdict Against Trans Health Care After Her Husband Joseph Webb “Suffered Pressure Sores And Infections That Required Surgeries, Including An Above-The-Knee Amputation Of His Right Leg.” [Gainesville Sun, 2/12/10]

They also go after him by “guilt by association” attacks:

The Dillard campaign is also attacking him….for being….too rich and not caring about the poor? (remember: this is a REPUBLICAN primary)

He is too rich to understand us? (remember: this is a REPUBLICAN primary)

This ad: probably more effective, as it links him with Democrats and influence peddling:

March 12, 2014 Posted by | Illinois, political/social, politics, republicans, republicans politics | , , | Leave a comment

If you don’t like the current weather, wait 10 minutes…


Ah, a 40 degree drop plus snow. :-P

But it is supposed to be up to the high 40’s/low 50’s by the end of the week. Go figure.

March 11, 2014 Posted by | Illinois, Peoria, Peoria/local | | Leave a comment

Not my imagination…

Yes, it is colder and more snowy than normal in Illinois this year.

February 15, 2014 Posted by | Illinois, Peoria | | Leave a comment


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