Day 2 of the DNC convention, etc.

Yes, my workout first. Just scroll past.
rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), squats: 3 sets of 10 (2 weightless, 1 with 45), goblet squats: 5 with 35, 3 sets of 5 with 50
incline press: 10 x 135, 10 x 150, 10 x 140
military press (dumbbell) 8 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 200 machine
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 single arm dumbbell, 1 set of 10 x 200 machine
abs (2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts), headstand (so-so; I’ve done better, I’ve done worse)
easy 2 mile walk to loosen up.

The DNC day II
The highlight was Bill Clinton’s “spouse speech”

He kept the focus off of himself but instead made it all about Hillary. He focused on the many “behind the scenes” things you might have known about.

There were other minor talks. One was the “Mothers of the Movement” which are black mothers who have had a kid killed by violence (some at the hands of law enforcement, one was suicide, some were killed by criminals)

And yes, they were introduced by the Pittsburgh Police Chief, who made some good remarks:

Of course, some conservatives bellowed on about “mothers of criminals”; in fact, one person’s encounter with the police was started by an improper lane change (and yes, she didn’t behave well when stopped; she appeared to have some mental/emotional illness), one was shot by a murderer for playing his music too loud, and one was just a kid walking home, minding his own business when he was stopped and hassled by a thug. Yes, Michael Brown’s mom was there too…that made me cringe a bit.

You can read some of the fact-checks here and here. I see some spin to be sure, but nothing egregious.

The state of the race Hillary Clinton remains a modest favorite at about 2-1.

But yes, Trump has a bonafide shot of winning the election, as President Obama acknowledges. But he has to have a lot of things go his way…and sweep almost all of the toss-ups.

THAT will be a tall order…though possible.

July 27, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Warm run, bounces and day one of the DNC

Run: 1:47:05 for my 15K course. It was 76 F, 79 percent humidity at the start, 82 F, 62 percent at the end. I was 46:13/46:42 for my 2 “halves”; 14:10 for the 1.25 lower loop. Every time I was in the shade, I felt fine; I got hot out of the shade though.

Afterward, I did some more yard work, and my goodness do I stink. (TMI) I know that my online persona is that of a goat, but I’ve gone too far.:-)

Presidential Race
This is what a “convention bounce” looks like; note that after Hillary Clinton’s numbers fell over the winter/spring (e-mail stuff) she maintained a steady level of support and Trump was down. But his numbers have trended up, very sharply.


Still, the long term forecasts mostly favor her, albeit narrowly.

Her betting odds are just over 1/2 (lower odds means a stronger favorite)

I watched the major speeches (Michelle Obama’s, Warren’s and Sanders’) and they were pretty good. You can find the highlights AND the full speeches here. If you only want to watch one, watch Michelle Obama’s.

Cory Booker’s speech was pretty good too:

Now there are some hard core “Bernie of Bust” people out there. Yes, they were called out:

But there are some Sanders supporters who will never vote for Hillary Clinton. Ed of Gin and Tacos fame explains what he thinks is going on (and I agree with him):

The more I listen to them, the more it’s clear that the fundamental disconnect between Sanders supporters who will vote for Hillary and Sanders supporters who will not vote for Hillary is not an ideological one. It is a difference in worldview. And while not all of the “No Hillary” Sanders supporters are young, they seem to share in common a worldview that is often stereotypically ascribed to “millennials” (if that term even means anything anymore). There have been moments in my career dealing with college students in which I’ve been left speechless – you can appreciate how rarely I’m unable to fill the air around me with words – by their worldview. It’s not a liberal-conservative thing, it is the apparent expectation that the world somehow has to make itself appealing to them. For example, I’ve had exasperating conversations with students who refuse to accept their only job offer because it either doesn’t pay them what they have decided they’re worth or it isn’t “fun” enough for them. And I ask them sincerely, “So do you expect to just wait until the job market gives you what you’d like it to give you?” And you’ll have to take my word on this: Some of them say yes. Some of them really do move back in with mom and dad and not work at all for years – years – waiting for something they think is worthy of them to come along. And of course it never does.

Of course, you can always posture and tall others how much more insightful and principled you are than everyone else. But oddly enough, that never shows up in their actual lives.:-)

July 26, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, running, social/political | , , , | Leave a comment

Reality and Trump….

Have you ever seen those movies where there is a situation or problem that is too tough for the “established experts or specialists” to solve…and then comes the hero/heroine who just “throws away the book, operates by his/her gut” and “gets ‘er done” all the while the incompetent, “book smart” experts look stupid and helpless?

You’ve seen plenty of these: Dirty Harry, Rambo, etc. That is a common theme.

And THAT is one of the allures of Donald Trump. He doesn’t need the messiness of expert advice; the inherent messiness of an actually functioning democracy won’t affect him at all.

He’ll just ride into town and “get ‘er done”!!! And facts? They are whatever “agrees with your gut”.


My guess is that Trump is getting some of those old Perot voters (those still living anyway)

And yes, while I don’t know if this is an “election bounce”, the numbers have tightened a bit. Nate Silver’s “now cast” has Trump being a slight favorite to win the election if it were to be held NOW (though she is favored in his long term forecasts) and some of the betting lines have Hillary’s odds being above 1/2. Yes, she is still the favorite.



Is this a “convention bounce”? Maybe, but many said that there wouldn’t be one. We shall see what happens after the Democratic Convention.

And yes, the Debbie Wasserman Schultz stuff is a mess. She addressed the Florida delegation at a pre-convention meeting and got booed. So at least she is not “gaveling in” the convention and won’t be speaking.

Bernie Sanders got booed as well by HIS supporters as he urged them to vote for Hillary Clinton.

What a mess.

July 25, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social | , , | Leave a comment

Trump and DNC e-mails..


This was taken from the Official Trump Campaign.

Basically, if you find this image positive, you probably support Trump. To me, this is a great metaphor for “Trump over our country” and I’ve always thought that no one person is bigger than the country, as a whole. I thought the same way about our university, the teams that I follow, etc.

There is another article that explains some of the attraction that Trump may have. I am not sold on the article’s hypothesis, but I see it as one worthy of consideration. And no, this is NOT one of those “Trump supporters are stupid and evil” sort of things.

DNC e-mails Imagine a basketball game where one team leads 100-70 with 5 minutes to go. But the trailing team’s coach keeps calling timeouts and keeps fouling to get the ball back. Then there is microphone slipped near the referees and one says “OMG, why is that coach continuing to extend the game? Can we just find a reason to throw him out of the game so we can get this over with?”

But then they call the game as they should.

THAT is how I view the leaked DNC e-mails. It didn’t change anything but it shows unprofessional conduct and it gives the tin-foil hat crowd something to yell about. And yes, given that Hillary Clinton will take over the DNC for the election anyway, it is probably time to change the DNC chair.

July 24, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics | , , , | Leave a comment

RNC convention thoughts, real Americans and all that…

I watched some of the Republican Convention last night. It was a circus. And I died of laughter watching Ted Cruz get booed.

No, the election odds haven’t changed much; Hillary Clinton is still between a 1/3 to 5/11 favorite in the betting lines.

What I found interesting was this statement by Michael Moore:

I don’t see much evidence of that in the polls:


Yes, Mr. Moore is right that what we are hearing in the RNC convention IS “music to the ears” of a certain type of American which some call a “real American”. But “real Americans” are an increasingly small percentage of those who vote; estimates this to be around 20 percent of the electorate. Trump is getting absolutely blistered in other demographic groups and is even trailing about white college educated voters (Romney won this group).

An interesting aside: I was a bit surprised to learn that about 70 percent of Americans over 25 do not have a bachelors degree. That surprised me. But that is MY being in a bubble; most of my “in real life” friends have advanced degrees or advanced professional credentials.

Aside about “political correctness”: when I hear political correctness, I think of “denying facts or data because they make you uncomfortable”; e. g., denying science because it conflicts with your religion, denying the health risks of obesity because of some concern about “fat-phobia”; denying that there are IQ differences (on the average) between demographic groups (e. g. Asians, on the average, score higher than those of Mexican decent).

I agree that PC-ness should be pushed back against. But that in no way justifies bombarding someone with racial slurs and the like, as happened here.

July 21, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Melania Trump’s speech and false college record claims: what it means…

No, the country, on the whole, really doesn’t care about Melania Trump’s speech writing abilities or whether she graduate college or not.

But it does speak to how unprofessional the Trump campaign is.

Remember: Trump is running as a “successful businessman” who will “get things done”.

And his campaign, which HE is responsible for, appears to be an unprofessional train wreck. And THAT is relevant.

July 19, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social | , | Leave a comment

Day one of the RNC and my Facebook wall gets snippy…

And I mean snippy. My wall is set so that the public can see and comment and, well, a client of someone saw a comment on my wall and threatened to take their business elsewhere.

My thoughts: I’ve had heated discussions with people..only to do yoga with them and go cycling with them too.

It is politics. And my friends include professors (from very different fields), mathematicians, scientists, engineers of various kinds, lawyers, medical doctors, truck drivers, airline pilots, homeless, blue collar workers, corporate executives, homemakers, athletes (real ones, not like me). They come from traditional families, broken families, military families (with lots of moving). They’ve experienced diseases, family violence, strife, family rifts, and good marriages as well. They included religious people, outspoken atheists and those who don’t care one way or the other. They include people who have made the Olympic trials, won boxing matches (and fought for the world title), 100 mile foot races, some even slower than I am (really!) and others who don’t like to play any sort of sport or even work out.

And yes, I have Democrats, Republicans, liberals who are disgusted by the Democrats, and conservatives who are disgusted by the Republicans. And yes, we have the “know-it-alls” who just know that THEY have the insights that the main stream media won’t tell you, but THEY have figured out…

I have people I’ve known for 40 years or more, some I’ve never met in person, some who I know “in person” and keep up with on the internet, and others who I met on the internet and attempted to have a IRL friendship with, with varying results (some good, some not-so-good).

Upshot: lots of passion, lots of different backgrounds, lots of opposing viewpoints AND different “base assumptions”. And while I welcome opposing points of view when they are well presented and backed up with demonstrable facts, well, that isn’t what I always get.:-)

And it pains me when I see two people that I like fighting each other.

Now about the news Frankly I don’t care about the “Pat Buchanan” type politics that I am seeing; that has been standard Republican stuff for some time now. But I was amused by this:

This lead to some funny memes:



And it turns out that the Trump campaign lied (or got it wrong) about Melania Trump graduating from college.

Let’s see: the Republicans are applauding someone who is a college dropout, a nude model and whose English, while pretty good for a second language, is imperfect…and who plagiarizes the speech of someone that they absolutely hate?

Well, perhaps it is unfair to compare her to an American born, Princeton educated attorney.:-)

But hey, I pledge to be as gracious to her as conservatives were to Michelle Obama!

Yes, I know, this is an Eastwood yells at an empty chair distraction, but it doesn’t speak well of the Trump campaign.

As far as where the election sits, it is estimated that Clinton has between a 61.3 percent ( and a 76 percent chance(New York Times Upshot) of winning. The bookies have it between 7/20 and 5/11 (British bookies)

According to Benchmark Politics, the two “within reason” extremes are these:



My opinion (based on, well, not much) is that the 2016 map will look a LOT like the 2012 map with perhaps a couple of states changed (maybe Arizona to Clinton, Ohio to Trump?) But Trump will have to win almost all of the toss ups to have any chance, and that is a bad position to be in.

July 19, 2016 Posted by | 2016, politics, politics/social, social/political | , , | 2 Comments

29 June 2016: this and that..uneasiness

Workout notes: weights then a lovely 4 mile walk (Cornstalk classic)
weights: rotator cuff
squats: 6 sets of 6: 2 sets weightless, 2 sets 45, 2 sets 65. Yes, I am weak but for now, I am trying to work on getting down here. This is almost “assisted stretching” right now.

pull ups: 15-15-10-10
incline press: 10 x 135, 6 x 155, 10 x 145
military press: 8 x 50 dumbbell standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 7 x 95 standing (barbell)
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 60 each arm, 1 set of 10 x 110.

Personal stuff: errands; thought about a math idea. It is weird, but sometimes I don’t want to write the idea down because, well, I want to hold on to the (probable) illusion that I have a valid new idea. But whatever I have, whether it solves that big problem or not, can be a fun construction and it will give me something to play with.

I admit to being a bit antsy.

Election: Nate Silver has come out with his first analysis.


It looks a lot like my map, and looks a lot like the 2008 map, with Arizona swapped with Indiana. But it is so early. And yes, Dukakis was ahead by about this amount in 1988 (at about this time), though Bush (the first one) was the betting favorite. Right now, Clinton is the favorite in the markets as well.


Can you guess which presidential candidate these people support? (answer)

It wasn’t hard, was it? What got me to thinking about this: I was looking at some “Brexit” photos and I could more or less tell who was on what side, even though all of the photos that I saw were of white British people. In general, those who “looked like” Democrats were the “remain” and those who “looked like” Republicans were the “exit”. It is weird, isn’t it?

June 29, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political, Uncategorized, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Emotions and political decisions

Ah, the appeals to nostalgia….you are seeing a lot of this from the Trump campaign. Evidently such appeals worked in the Brexit campaign; too many of us pine for “good old days” that, well, never actually existed. Oh sure, I liked the way that my body worked when I was in my 20’s, but there is so much more that is good in this day and age. And I won’t even get into the other things, such as our country electing a black president and probably getting ready to elect a woman too. And my gay friends and neighbors now enjoy far more rights, including the right to marriage. Things ARE better now, though it is easy to cherry pick the good from the days gone by.

And I think that expectations are higher now. I wonder how many eyebrows would have been raised by this official Red Cross “Pool Safety” poster?

Of course, appeals to emotion still work and these will be heavily used by the Trump campaign.

It sure as heck worked for the Sanders campaign (at least to a degree); some of my Hillary supporting friends saw the need to “go underground”. I joined such a group too, though I was a bit more noisy in my intolerance of nonsense coming from Sanders supporters.


You are hearing garbage about “Sanders is about to flip California” when, in fact, he still trails by about 420,000 votes with just under 600,000 total votes (including Republican votes) to be counted. It is about to the point where Sanders would have to win close to ALL of the remaining votes to catch up all of the way…in fact, we may well be past that point.

But try getting the third degree Bern Victims to understand that.

June 28, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

Leaving, Staying and photos

Workout notesMarkin scale weight: 189 after the workout. I concluded the workout with an easy 2 mile walk.
Weights: rotator cuff
squats: 2 sets of 10 weightless, 4 sets of 5-6 with weights (45 and 65…I am not kidding) (*)
pull ups: 15-15-10-10
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 190, 4 x 185, 9 x 170 (no spotter anywhere near so I didn’t risk extra reps)
military press: 2 sets of 7 x 95 standing, 2 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine
head stand, 2 sets of (24 crunch, 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts)

Posts I frequently hear: if X gets elected, I am leaving the country. Well, that is probably not going to happen. But I wonder: why would any other country want you? I think that if someone wants to find somewhere else to go, one has to actually have things that the new host country would want.

Brexit This was very emotional for many:



More photos here. Scroll down and click on the photo gallery.

Some cartoons:

Pearls Before Swine

Pearls Before Swine


June 27, 2016 Posted by | political humor, politics, politics/social, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment


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