# blueollie

## Random gripes, quips and inconsequential observations

1. I ran fairly hard on the treadmill. How hard? When I walked a cool-down mile on the indoor track, I could see a trail of sweat drops from my previous laps.

2. I hate it when I see something I want a photo of…but when I get out my phone, I find that I had it turned off. By the time it switches on (searches for signals, etc.), the potential object has left. Over the past few days, I missed a genuine albino squirrel and a chance to troll my yoga teacher with a butt shot.

3. Sometimes I’ll see a selfie posted on social media and think..OMG, they look terrible..not like I remembered them. Then I realize that they are either an age peer..or someone younger than I am.

4. When discussing my change of workout cycles, I found myself saying “I am not 45 years old anymore”. Then I realized that 45 is actually old, in terms of sports.

5. I am typing this because I am avoiding work on a paper..this is the dreadful “proofing” phase.

6. It is humbling to realize that I’ll never be as good as my graduate school advisor. Then again, he got that position because, well, he is out-of-this-world good. Put another way, if you are reading this, you are probably not “major league talent” (with $p = 10^{-3}$ or so).

7. A meme asked if I’d like to “know what I now know” back when I was 10. If that meant, say, being able to foresee which stocks grew and which ones flopped, sure. But if it meant “wisdom” then…HELL NO! I’d rather that my dreams of being truly special not get crushed that early and glad that I really didn’t understand the concept of an “outlier.”

8. Success, the vast majority of the time, requires both intense hard work AND extreme luck. The luck part comes with avoiding terrible things (e. g. horrible diseases or accidents) and being in the right place at the right time. Example: consider Larry Bird. Obviously he is an excellent athlete that worked his butt off. But if he were born, say, 100 years earlier, he would have been, at best, moderately successful at something that most of us would have never heard of. He was fortunate to be born at a time when athletic ability could mean fame and fortune.

Or take Steven Hawking. 200-300 years earlier, he would have died an early death and not been remembered. Even healthy geniuses of today may well have been people of less than average value in the world of 5000-10,000 years ago. They were fortunate enough to be born at a time when their abilities could be nurtured into something special.

9. I had dreamed of being an athlete. During the summer of 1969 I tried out for baseball teams (Little League) both “major” and “minor” league. No team wanted me. BUT I received an unsolicited invitation to a summer math camp (based on teacher recommendations). Think that there was a message there?

10. I think that social media has made tribalism worse. We tend to pick a side and defend people within that side, regardless of whether they are worthy of defending or not. On the other hand, we are expected to swallow criticism of the villains from the other side, whether justified or not. This pressures those who “love the truth.”

11. Books: I like the scholarly ones that attempt to seek “what is true”. Those that are really advocating some previously held point of view irritate me. IMHO, true scholarship seeks out truth, where ever it is. Advocacy seeks to persuade, in much the same way a good lawyer seeks to persuade a jury. A scholar really has to play both..er…many sides and attempt to blow up the current hypothesis. Yes, a scholar does have to have some base assumptions, but those should be clearly understood from the start (e. g. naturalism, laws of gravity, laws of logic, “Axiom of Choice”, etc.)

12. My high tech workout shirts really do reek after I’ve sweated in them a bit.

13. In baseball, an “out is an out”, be it a strike out or a fly that is caught on the warning track (assuming there is no one on base to advance). But I always felt worse after a strike out.

14. When I am watching a baseball game and the pitcher is on, I often find myself being glad that I was not in the batter’s box!

15. My strongest memories of football: wiffing on blocks and on tackles. Gads, I sucked.

16. Whoever said “you can be anything you want to be provided you try hard enough” should be tarred and feathered.

17. Everyone should be treated fairly, including those I do not like.

Ah, time to end this silliness.

July 24, 2018

## And I am pessimistic for the country…

Take a look at this image, which I presume to be meant NON IRONICALLY (I sure hope that it is satire but doubt it..).

Realize that to 35-40 percent of the population of the United States, THIS IS A POSITIVE IMAGE.

So yes, every large country has its share of stupid, utterly ignorant people who think of themselves as “heroes for good”. But our country’s set up gives disproportionate power to the rural areas; every state (not matter how tiny) gets 2 Senators and at least one House Representative, and a combination of gerrymandering and population dispersion is often reflected in statistics like this one:

Republican candidates received 49.13% of total votes cast in 2016 and won 55.4% of U.S. House seats. Comparatively, Democratic candidates received 48.03% of votes and won 44.6% of races. Third-party and write-in candidates received 2.56% of votes.

And don’t even get me started on this:

According to vote tallies from The Associated Press, Clinton amassed 65,844,610 votes across all 50 states and Washington D.C., 48.2 percent of all votes cast. Trump received 62,979,636 votes, 46.1 percent of all votes cast.

The Associated Press announced today that all votes had officially been certified.

Clinton had 2,864,974 votes more than Trump, the largest popular vote margin of any losing presidential candidate in U.S. history, according to the AP.

The early forecast for 2018 has the Democrats picking up House seats, but not regaining power …while winning the aggregate popular vote.

Bottom line: I have no problem with a rural person’s vote counting the same as mine, and I understand that perfect equity is impossible. But what we have now is outrageous.

I think that our country is ungovernable. I believe that it is time for us to split into two countries.

But HOW? There is the rub: our divide is more “urban vs. rural” rather than state vs. state. Having an old Confederate vs. Union split might not solve anything; after all I live in Peoria, IL but have more in common with someone in Austin, TX than I do with the rural people in this state.

But I suppose if we had a Union vs. Confederate split, we could rewrite our Constitution to reflect our current reality instead of being hidebound by the way our country was in 1776.

But…I really don’t see a way to make it work….sad to say, I have gripes but no viable solutions.

My ideal solution (which would NEVER happen) would be to go to a single chamber system with more representatives…non-gerrymandered districts and the winner of that election chooses a Prime Minister. No majority = coalition government.

August 26, 2017

## My physical weakness and why I am glad that my wife isn’t fat

As I said before my wife suffered a “Jones Fracture” in her foot; she isn’t allowed to put any weight on that foot, at all (no walking boot, for now). Since she doesn’t have the strength to use crutches we need to use a wheel chair to get her around outside of the house (getting down the steps is a challenge).

Fortunately, she is NOT a heavy person; I say this because our house features a lot of steps on the front porch. Hence I have to wheel her up and down a ramp; this ramp is too steep for ordinary handicap use.

Ok, it isn’t THAT steep and a strong man (not me!) would have zero trouble. But alas, I am not exceptionally strong, so when I push her up and slowly walk her down, I have to concentrate. But, yes, at times, I ham it up and make fake grunting noises, masking my personal embarrassment that this is, well, not a hard challenge, but a “concentration needed” task for me.

I’ve got to work on my leg strength!!!!

But this mini-adventure (not a big deal in the large scheme of things) reminded me of this cartoon….which makes me grateful that I don’t have a morbidly obese wife: 🙂

December 7, 2013

## Working out: How I see myself vs. Reality

When I work out, this is how I see myself:

But there is reality:

Oh goodness……:-)

(ok, that was from 2011)

March 3, 2013