blueollie

Peoria Democrats Dinner 2019

I started to go to these back in 2005, the year after that stinging rebuke in the 2004 election. The dinner has grown. This time: Barbara went with me..first time since 2013 as she has usually been away on a trip during this time.

Mat and Linda rounded out our crew.

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Our President's Day Peoria Democratic Dinner.

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The new governor spoke; he is well spoken though what he said was the usual boiler plate stuff.

Workout notes: Monday: weights only. rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10) bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 5 x 170, decline: 10 x 165. military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, 10 x 40 standing. rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell, 10 x 110 machine. 2 sets of light squats, knee stretches.
Tuesday: yoga, knee stretches: run on the treadmill: (5 minute froggy from 5.1 to mile 5 (52:47), walk, then 6 in 1:04:20 (11:30, 32:56) then 2 treadmill walk (hills 1-5, 5 to mile 1, then down).

February 20, 2019 Posted by | Friends, Peoria, politics | | Leave a comment

Aptitude and cold weather

This post will be all over the place.

Right now, journalists are being laid off and there is some sort of “twitter campaign” to tweet #learntocode at them.

Don’t get me wrong; I think that learning to code is a good thing. But to get good enough to earn a living…well…

You know..not only do you have to study and work at it, you also, well, need some aptitude as well. It is a bit like saying: “well, if you want to get rich, take up basketball and make an NBA team.” Yeah, I know; becoming an NBA player requires far more “outlier” level talent that becoming a run of the mill computer programmer, but you get my drift. Not everyone has the aptitude for it.

And that leads me to a comment I read; a well known blogger said that he is “walking away from tenure” at a university in a location that he doesn’t like ..but then had trouble finding another academic job; he remarked

despite what the job market in this profession thinks I’m actually a really fuckin’ good teacher.

Well, guess what: evidently other professors in your profession also think very highly of themselves; you are far from unique in that regard. The competition for such positions is brutal.

I remember entering the job market in 1991, right as the old Soviet Union was breaking up and first rate mathematical talent from those universities flooded the market. That knocked everyone down a few notches; the “would be R-1 tenure track” talent got knocked down to the non-R1, would be post-docs got knocked down.

So, though it was 7 F (February, 1991) when I interviewed at my current job and I knew that this university was located in a decaying rust-belt town…I took it..it was the best offer I had (other places in more pleasant locations were not as nice of a place to teach and research).

So, here I am..and once again, we are getting creamed by the weather. Yes, climate change is real. Much of the globe is burning up.

But guess where that purple splotch is? Yep…and yes, it is colder here (Peoria, IL) than it is in Anchorage Alaska, or even Fairbanks Alaska. Isn’t that something>

Yes, that sinusoidal jet stream pattern, caused by a weak polar vortex…caused by lessening polar ice…is what is allowing that still very cold arctic air to cream us. And so we will get some bitterly cold weather ..reminiscent of my winter in the Dakotas in 1969-1970.

Oh baby it is cold outside…and she is underdressed.

Workout notes: weights and a 6.3 mile bikeride on a “fun” program. Weight: 193
pull ups, rotator cuff, bench 10 x 135, 2 x 185, incline: 10 x 140, decline: 8 x 165 military: 10 x 50 stand, 15 x 50 seated, 10 x 45, rows 3 sets of 10 x 50 each arm, planks, etc.

Then the bike ride.

January 29, 2019 Posted by | Peoria, social/political, weight training | , , , , | Leave a comment

Women’s basketball, snow and men

This is how I remember them:

Andrea McAllister was a senior when I got to Bradley and a scorer; she got 33 points in one of the games I attended (vs. Missouri, I believe). Vicki Hall was a big time scorer and star on Jody Conradt’s powerhouse Texas basketball team; they habitually went to the regional finals (and won it all the first year I was there; made the final 4 the second year I was there). Good stuff. In one of Hall’s games, she played in front of 14,000 spirited fans.

Well now they are college coaches and today, McAllister’s Bradley Braves beat Hall’s Sycamores (Indiana State) 61-46, to complete a two game sweep of the Indiana trip (to move to 12-3 and 2-2 in the Missouri Valley). Bradley beat Evansville 75-68 (EU is not a good team right now).

Time flies.

I can’t wait to see ISU blue visit Bradley. Of course I’ll cheer for the Braves, as usual. But this is the first time the opposing coaches would have been players that I used to cheer for!

Oh, yes, I (and perhaps 2000 others) made the snow-affected (attendance wise) Bradley vs. Missouri State game.

Bradley lead by 2 at the half (30-28) and had a 14 point lead with 14:46 to go (48-34). I thought “ok, this is just what we need to snap out of our funk; the team had been 2-7 over the past 9 games..after a promising start. With 12:40 to go the lead had been cut to 9. And so it went..Missouri State gradually chipped away and took the lead with 43 seconds to go and BU withered. Final was 69-64, with BU being outscored 35-16 over the final 15 minutes of the game.

I did not like the team’s body language; it appeared to be one of those “here we go again” reactions.

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Snowmageddon game. Mo. St. at Bradley.

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Was it something I said?

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It WAS a 14 point Bradley lead. Now we trail by 1.

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Oh well.

Snow affected the attendance ..I was able to catch a ride from the Field House shuttle.

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Bleah.

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Ugh.

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We got 10.7 inches in a day, slightly above the 95 percent confidence interval.

Workout notes; cursing and snow shoveling yesterday and last night..and this morning…
10K walking on the treadmill (1:11:40 for 6, 1:14 for 10K with the final mile in 11:15). It was a quick but not “all out” walk. If/when I can build up to 20 in 4:15 on this treadmill (yes, I’ve done that before), I should be ready for a good walking marathon.

January 13, 2019 Posted by | basketball, Peoria, Personal Issues, walking | , | Leave a comment

Running gear store ambivalence

I started running regularly back in 1975 (to get ready for football) and have been at it, with an interruption for knee issues and, yes, morbid obesity, here and there. Yes, I ran a 5:58 mile as a 220 lb. offensive tackle and a 23:00 5K as a 230 lb. graduate student (1985) But the point is that I’ve been buying running shoes for a very long time.

I restarted running back in 1996 and because my feet are hard to fit, I mostly used running shoe stores, especially Running Central. The store used to be a small “hole in the wall” at Sheridan and Main street; it employed a few people (often very young) and had almost an off-beat, cult feel to it. People were personable and friendly; at times it appeared that the profit motive was secondary; it was about running first and foremost.

But eventually that store was sold and now it is a large, open, almost upscale “a bit of everything” store…offers not only the essentials but extras ..lifestyle extras. And they employ many more people and they are trained to SELL. And they are good at it; after my last purchase I got a nice postcard from the person who sold me the shoes. (several pair). They work with you, fit you, etc. And they have a system to ensure that you get served in a timely manner..but “the sell” is always on.

So: more items, but definitely the profit motive is first and foremost with a lot more selling pressure.

To me, the new atmosphere is almost alienating; there is no “I want to see what the guys are up to” feeling about it. But at the same time, I get what I need and they do have buyer’s club discounts. And they appear to be good “public citizens”, sponsoring races and events.

So…I really wonder if my ambivalence is about change ..and perhaps the older, cozier store might well have gone under by now? I do get the feeling that the running community is much more diverse now..not just the hard core road runners who are hell bent on PR’s, trophies, etc.

And yes, though I have a model of shoe that works for me, I’ll probably get fitted for a new pair..at the store. And I did like it that an older lady worked with me the last time.

August 9, 2018 Posted by | Peoria, running | Leave a comment

Gag…gag…

Ok, perhaps it isn’t THAT hot..for my 8.3 mile walk (W. Peoria plus Bradley hills) it was 76 F, 87 percent at the start; 80 F, 76 percent at the end, and for the walk home from Dozer, 89 F, 63 percent.

The walk (in the morning); somewhat tired legs, but still 2:03 for 8.3 miles (14:50 pace) and untimed from the park.

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Sunday action at Dozer. Hot.

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A fan got in a quick stretch:

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Stretching between innings. Peoria leads 2-1..still.

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And the Chiefs won a fine pitcher’s duel 2-1; the first runner got on base when the batter alertly swung on a wild pitch for strike 3 and got to first; a single got him to 3’rd and a sacrifice fly brought him in.

The heat caused the fans to drop like flies; this was the 7’th inning stretch and even Barbara had gone home.

Baseball commentary I’ve read that actual attendance at games is down. My guess: our part of the country had a frigid “spring” that was really an extended winter followed by a hot, humid summer. This season has not been a pleasant one to be outside (for the most part). Will this be the norm for future years?

Now the walk home: featured Peoria’s perpetually “under construction” streets.

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Welcome to my world. This is the norm.

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July 15, 2018 Posted by | baseball, Peoria, Peoria/local, walking | | Leave a comment

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

Brrrbaseball and other trivial topics

The unusually wet, cold and snowy spring has played havoc with baseball schedules and kept fans away in droves.

But ironically, I got one free game out of all that: Wisconsin played the Chiefs this past weekend, but faced heavy snow at home.

So, some calls were made, and Wisconsin stayed in Peoria and “played host” to the Kane County Cougars. I couldn’t make today’s noon game but I did make yesterdays “clear but chilly” game.

It was a wonderful game; the Timberrattlers started strong and took a 4-1 lead; they hit a couple of home runs. But the Cougar relief pitching was strong and their bats woke up; Wisconsin also made some fielding errors. Kane County took the lead in the 8’th and held on. Still, the game was fun to watch.

It was even colder for tonight’s Western Illinois at Bradley game and there was some snow showers in the last hour. Western started quickly and scored 2 runs in the first inning; BU helped their cause with a walk and an error. But with bases loaded and 1 out, BU got a double play. Then BU promptly got 3 runs (first two batters got hits) and lead 3-2 after one inning; that inning took about 38 minutes to play.
From then on Bradley’s defense dominated and though the Braves came up empty when they had the bases loaded with no outs, they scored enough in the rest of the innings to win 9-2. BU had a bit of everything: bunts, a home run, extra base hits, etc.

I was impressed that Western had some fans; many (most?) of the BU fans took advantage of the “suite” seats that had an indoor section.

And yes, at the start, the snowflakes were very well defined.

Workout notes
The shoulder continues to improve.

Usual PT, pull ups: 2 sets of (5-5-5-5), 1 set of 10. Note: the 5-5-5-5 were a bit higher quality and burned in a good way.
bench: 10 x 135, 8 x 165, not much pain at all…very slow reps. 10 x 135 for the incline.
military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 45 standing, 10 x 90 (each arm) machine. Rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer. Usual abs; did the plank at first; everything else burned.

I didn’t want to run so I walked 5K outside, briskly.

April 19, 2018 Posted by | baseball, Peoria, Peoria/local, walking, weight training | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tragedy strikes

An otherwise fine day (save a baseball game getting..yes, snowed out…due to incoming weather and the visiting team’s travel plans)…a day which featured lunch with a very dear friend and a nice (but snail slow) 11 mile walk, partly in West Peoria and partly in Bradley park…heel wasn’t even noticeable until mile 8…

was marred by the shooting death of a student and another young person.

This took place about 3-4 blocks from my house, along my usual walking route.

I do not know the circumstances but do know it was a tragic, senseless loss.

April 8, 2018 Posted by | Peoria, Peoria/local, walking | , , | Leave a comment

Voting: it matters.

We had primary elections yesterday; none of my major candidates won (or even came close), though the incumbent governor almost got beat in the primary by a whack-job.

So, now it is the “battle of the unqualified billionaires” for governor.

But of local interest, there was this referendum on the ballot: should Peoria County make “auditor” a professional, non-political position (one that is appointed). I voted “yes” to make the auditor to be a professional, appointed job rather than an elected one. More than 22,000 people voted and “no” won by 14 votes.

14 votes!

Workout notes:

weights (usual pt), pull ups (5-5-5, 5-5-5, 10, 10) decline press: 10 x 135, 10 x 165, incline press 4 x 155, 10 x 135, military (standing: 10 x 50, 10 x 45), seated: 15 x 50, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (single arm) with dumbbell, 10 x 110 machine.

abs: twist crunch (50, 24), yoga leg lifts (10, 10), moving bridge (3 sets of 10), headstand (tough to get into), plank 2:20, side plank

run: treadmill: 5.1-5.4 5 minute froggy, then 6.1 then 6.2-6.5 every .25 miles (31:58), 32:55 for 5k, 45:25 4 mile (walk final .9 miles).

foot: ok, iced.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Peoria, Peoria/local, politics, politics/social, running, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

My 2017 in review

This is my 2017 in review. I did this for 2015 and again in 2016.

Of note: my daughter graduated college (her accomplishment, not mine) and I completed my first year at a new rank. Athletically the year was a bit of a bust (no 5K under 27 minutes, only one marathon or beyond finish, best bench press was 200 lbs.) but I was active throughout and I did take some local trips. Of most note: I had a good time with friends, a “tl;dr” collage is here:

January

February

March


April

May

June


I am getting lapped by Jason (1:01:22)

July

August

September

October

November

Nick DeLuca of North Dakota State waits for play to resume against Illinois State during their football game Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Normal, Ill.
Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

December


December 31, 2017 Posted by | baseball, basketball, college football, football, Friends, NFL, Peoria, running, travel, walking, yoga | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment