“That s**t ends today”, “we are going to do this or that”……HOW?


Here we go again. If you follow liberals on social media, you frequently find these sorts of posts. I deleted the name because it isn’t my intention to attack an individual but rather, an idea.

Here you have a white feminist saying what “women are going to do” and “going to end”.

Yeah, sure.

For one thing, educated feminists really don’t speak to many working class women. They really don’t speak to feminists of color, either. And judging from the exit polls, they don’t even speak for white women.

(via CNN)

Yes, women of color rejected Trump by large margins, but white women make up a greater percentage of the electorate than: white men or men of color, or women of color.

So, if you are going to bellow “this s**t ends yesterday”, my question is: “how, exactly”? Frankly, you are just popping off…again.

Of course, this group isn’t the only one that does that; I believe that most groups do this to one extent or another.
They know (more or less) how their friends and relatives vote, so they are SURE that they represent the majority..or at least the plurality of Americans or even people in a region.

For example: one of my high school classmates tried to tell me that my old Central Texas area was conservative, despite Travis County (where Austin, TX is) going for Clinton by 66 percent.

Now I won’t deny that there are some promising signs for the 2018 midterms, but if we gain, it will not be because of huge shift among white women; remember that they backed Moore over Jones with 63 percent of the vote.

For more on the increasing chasm (fueled, at least in part, by white men becoming more Republican and more pro-Trump), read this.

July 12, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, ranting, social/political | Leave a comment

Gerrymandering (my “lesson learned”) and the power of simply not caring what others think

I remember when I was gerrymandered into IL-17 from IL-18. At first, I was happy. I got to vote in the D-primary and was “yippee, I finally get a Democrat to represent me”.

But ..well, IL-18 became even more right wing; prior it was home to moderate Republicans like George Michael and Ray LaHood. And they actually appeared to listen.

I am not saying that Cheri Bustos doesn’t listen; she does. But my input really makes little difference as she is going to vote the way I’d like, oh, 90-95 percent of the time. And there is little danger of her losing her seat; there is really nothing for me to do, save enjoy much of her Instagram feed.

At times, it resembles the feed of a fitness model. šŸ™‚

And other races…safe seats all the way around, except for things like City Council.

Not caring If you asked me which politician I dislike the most, it would not be Trump. Trump, IMHO, is a skilled con artist and basically an outlet for the dark underside of our country. Every advanced country has people like him and shame on us, as a country, for falling for it.

The politician I dislike the most is Mitch McConnell. He is smart, skilled, and utterly amoral. That is a very deadly combination. And people’s opinion of him matters not at all.

But…well, seeing this did gladden my heart just a bit. This was very gentle, First Amendment stuff, and a politician who can’t handle this sort of gentle heckling should retire.

And yes, I say that to Democratic politicians as well, even when the hecklers are ill informed, ignorant and downright stupid (as hecklers often are).

If you can’t stomach listening to an ignorant, stupid person pontificate, don’t go into politics.

June 28, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, ranting, republicans | | Leave a comment

A few of my more unpopular ideas…

1. Beggars can’t be choosers. If someone else is supporting you, you really don’t get a say in much.
2. The less you understand about a situation, the simpler the situation appears to be.
3. Only a tiny percentage of us are really, really good at anything (e. g. national class or higher). Yes, this includes me.
4. Most people are very average (and so are their kids). Yes, this includes me.
5. We tend to grade ourselves on a curve but grade others on an absolute scale.
6. The idea is that there is some deity that concerns itself with human affairs is silly.
7. Unless you are super famous (e. g. POTUS), there are about 7.4 billion people who do not care about you at all.
8. Many of the poor are not easy to like.
9. Mostly poverty is the cause of self-destructive behavior, though *sometimes* is really is the other way around. Most of us have that one relative….
10. Much of human behavior is genetically determined.
11. Humans are NOT blank slates; aptitudes vary between individuals.
12. Saying “X follows religion A” really tells you NOTHING about the morality of that individual. Morality and religious beliefs are independent things.
13. I am not obligated to respect beliefs, be they religious or not.
14. Humans are genetically predisposed to reason inductively. That is what accounts for prejudice.
15. In human societies, members of the majority culture have a presumption of “goodness” (good until proven otherwise). That is flipped for those from minority cultures.
16. Humans are tribal. We tend to treat “the underdogs” badly. There is no “more evil” race; only “who is in power at this time in human history”.
17. You shouldn’t have more kids than you can support. Parents are responsible for raising their kids (though unforeseen bad things CAN happen…to anyone).
18. If you are doing well, there was probably quite a bit of good fortune involved, no matter how hard you worked. Success is a result of BOTH hard work and good fortune.
19. Shame can be a good thing; it helps me behave better. (“how would I like it if my friends and loved ones saw me doing that?”)

June 25, 2018 Posted by | ranting | Leave a comment

Sign of the times: efficiency at the expense of the participant/customer

Yes, the specific situation isn’t that big of a deal.

I went to pick up my packets for the Steamboat Classic races.

In the days of old, you’d find your name (and the names of those you were picking up for) on a list. You’d write down the number and walk over to the table with that number. You’d be handed a preformed packet with the race number in it, and then walk to the “shirt” table and you’d be done; in and out was usually less than 10 minutes, if you were so inclined.

Not now. Now, you stand in line to be waited on by a volunteer with a computer. They would listen to you give the name and (often unsuccessfully, at least on the first try) type in the name, at which the number would be assigned. Then you’d get your number and walk over to get your shirt. Though this might not seem like much of an extra step, it actually is…and the time from start to finish (given the lines) was tripled.

Of course, this method requires fewer volunteers and no time spent packet stuffing and the like (I used to do that). And yes, there is less waste (numbers are only assigned as they are claimed).

We can debate the merits but, without a doubt, the process has changed. I remember this computerized check in process causing problems in a couple of other races (the now defunct Screaming Pumpkin, and the first Peoria Marathon back in..2012?)

This particular type of process works ok for the smaller races though.

Workout notes reduced weights, easy but warm 2 mile walk.

Weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (3 sets of 10), bench: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, decline: 10 x 165 (not bad)
military: 10 x 50, 10 x 45 standing, 10 reps machine, machine incline: 2 sets of 10 with 140, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine.
No abs. šŸ™‚

Weight: 199 before. Still too much; I’d like to drop 10.

June 15, 2018 Posted by | ranting, social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Being sure and being exasperated

1. Most important issues are very complex, with many layers to them. And often there is no one optimal answer; often the choice is between “less evil” solutions. And there are many factors, some which are missed by some smart people who have thought long and hard about such issues.

Therefore I am surprised…(ok, disgusted) that so many, well, non-experts are so confident in their opinions on such subjects. Yes, I can see rejecting crackpot positions (creationism, anti-vaccination views) but many issues go well beyond “rejecting the crackpot”. And when the issues have any brush with politics, the zealots are the most likely to be uninformed.

2. I do have one advantage: while I tend to associate with liberals, I grew up on Air Force bases and spent some time in the Nuclear Navy. So I had the pleasure of having some brilliant, accomplished conservative friends, and I got to know at least a bit of their frame of reference, even if it is one I do not share.

3. But when I find myself getting exasperated by liberals…well, the conservatives I end up attempting to talk to online,…well, for the most part…tend to be downright awful. In their world: the political process gives slackers, deadbeats and losers too much say in things like tax policy, taxes are theft from the winners to give to the losers, white Christians are the most discriminated against group in the United States, Trump is a “man of the people” and the US is constantly being picked on by other lesser, green-with-envy countries. Black Lives Matter is just police hate and criminal coddling and statistical black underachievement in the economy is mostly the result of bad culture, sloth and bad attitude.

Oh, and science is “junk science” when you talk about climate change and evolution..but to believed when it backs up what they believe. (ok, liberals too, are pretty selective when it comes to accepting science)

And of course, we are a Christian nation, and while some other religious people (Jews) are tolerated, atheists are really heathens who are merely defiant about the One True God. Oh sure, Trump isn’t religious at all…but you know, he is the “broken vessel” in the way that King David was.

Anyhow, there is nothing for me in modern conservatism (Trumpism).

June 13, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, ranting, social/political | Leave a comment

Some random, disconnected rants …

First of all: I did a “Steamboat preparation” run..ok, 12 mpm shuffle, in nice weather: from in front of the Riverplex, NOT around the goose loop on the way out, up Abington, into lower Glen Oak Park, two small hill loops (up on the right), then back on the trail to Springdale, up the massive hill to Prospect (staying on the right hand most path up the hill), back to upper Glen Oak Park, down the hill and back up it again and back down, then to Abington, River Trail ..this time taking the goose loop, then back to the front. Total time: 1:37. Though I was a bit heavy legged toward the end, it really wasn’t much of an effort.

Weather was glorious…couldn’t have been better.

I even surprised myself a little until it dawned on me: yeah, I am older but I am not an invalid. Yeah, I’ve had some bad runs before, but I’ve had plenty of decent ones too. It seems as if I let a few bad experiences override many more good experiences. I SHOULD have been able to complete this workout.

And now we get to my first rant: over-exuberance of the mundane can lead to screwed up expectations.

I remember some time ago..I was working with “Building Steam”; a program to help new runners and walkers build up to finishing our 4 mile Steamboat course. Now finishing 4 miles: for a non-elderly, non-handicapped, non-“special needs” person, that is a “oh, nice going” thing but, let’s face it: very routine. It can be a personal milestone, I suppose, for say, an obese person, or someone coming back from a “I never thought I’d run again” injury, etc. But a personal milestone is all it is..there will never be anything “special” about it.

I really wonder if more would be successful if the attitude was more “ok, nice going that you did it, but that doesn’t surprise anyone. Now let’s try to improve some it faster, or go longer, etc.”.

And again, I am talking about an average 30-40 year old person with all limbs, not undergoing chemo, etc. and I am talking about an easy sea level road course, not some 1000 feet of climb at 8000 feet of altitude course, etc. and I am talking about “just finishing” (heard someone saying that they “cried like a baby” when they finished in 48 minutes…RUNNING); I am not talking about smoking the course in 20-24 minutes, etc.

And yes, we have GRADUATIONS …from kindergarten, 6’th grade, 8’th grade…etc. (eyeroll). You’ve got to be kidding me. I hear all sorts of bullshit justifying this; my guess it is people trying to make money off of selling graduation crap. seriously, at that age, what are they going to do? Avoid drooling??

Seriously; I have a hard time taking some college gradations seriously. I understand some of what some parents go through: some are happy their kids made it without melting down.

I remember sitting in some meeting where our administrators talked about “you have to remember, some of these kids are the first in their family to go to college…” at which point another professor and I put our hands up and reminded them that WE fit into that category too. In fact, neither of my parents made it out of junior high.

And for and the Ph. D. really weren’t that big of a deal. You showed up, did what was expected of you, and then did the next right thing, rinse, lather and repeat until you were told that you were done. That is all it was. I didn’t have an administrator telling me how difficult it was supposed to be..and I think that I benefited from that.

Political rant

No, Trump will not be removed from office.

May 19, 2018 Posted by | ranting, running, social/political | | Leave a comment

And I grow more disinterested …

I admit that most of what I do on Facebook is **itpost; aside from an article here or there, it has become a waste of time to post anything with substance.

I thought that Twitter might be different, but in some ways it is even worse. If you respond to, say, a pundit, someone who has no clue as to what they are talking about will move in and attempt to “correct” you. At least with FB, there is more of a filter (if you are, say, responding to a friend). But then you fall into groupthink and that isn’t useful to me.

Take Trump’s “they are animals” remark. He was clearly referring to members of a disgusting gang and not to all (or even most) illegal immigrants.
Sure, his early remarks have (justifiably) cost him “benefit of the doubt” but in this case, he really was NOT referring to the bulk of illegal immigrants.

And the protests in Gaza: the “good guys vs. the bad guys” rhetoric doesn’t help. Yes, Israel does share quite a bit of blame but there are some serious misconceptions and Hamas IS exploiting the dire situation for their own gain. What is clear is that the situation for those in Gaza sucks way more than it has to but ..well, it is NOT as if Israelis and just shooting random protesters, as one meme seemed to imply (they compared the deaths to what the Nazi concentration camp commander did in Schindler’s List).

How about face to face conversation? If one talks to friends, the reservedness can be both a positive and a negative. It is positive because you are starting with the assumption that you like the other person. The downside is that they might hold back from what they really feel (that has happened).

And in a group setting …you might run into the same problem when some “know it all who really knows almost nothing” tries to “splain” it to you. Online, you can just block. In person, saying “you are so dumb that talking to you is an unpleasant exercise” just sounds…well, socially unacceptable.

And they will…I can’t tell you how many times I heard some jerkoff who has had an electronics for electricians course try to “splain” the concept of electrical current to a physicist or an electrical engineer..or someone trying to “splain” to a professional scientist how “evolution is impossible”, or some moron trying to tell me that a poll with a margin of error of 4 points that showed Clinton with 1 point lead in a state and said that “Clinton would win”..and don’t even talk about any issue that requires an understanding of conditional probability (e. g. why a 10 percent “false positive” rate for a test of a very rare condition all but robs a test of its predictive power).


Let me make this clear: I am not saying that I’ve not wrong about some things; I can’t think of a period of time when I have NOT gotten one issue wrong or ended up changing my mind. But when it comes to correction: the vast majority of people who have attempted to correct me have not known what they are talking about. Almost always, it has been an expert or some smart person who directed me to a well written, well researched article.

I’ll probably return to talking about stuff here and save FB for baseball game photos and things like glitter butts.

May 17, 2018 Posted by | ranting, social/political | Leave a comment

One attitude I cannot stand….

I was discussing something with a colleague. I recounted a conversation I had with an engineer; in the past he had written a letter to the editor “correcting” a science article for, well, citing an adaptive change as an example of evolution. He was under the mistaken impression that evolution was speciation.

Yes, evolution is a change in the frequency distribution of alleles in a population over time. But did he bother to check with an expert (e. g., his biology colleagues) before writing a letter to the editor? Of course not.

I let my disgust show, and my colleague replied “hey he KNOWS that “god is on his side” no need to check.

And THAT is an example of an attitude that I have the highest amount of contempt for. Religious nutters have it. And so do the more extreme social justice warriors.

If you KNOW that you have “RIGHT on your side”, then well, who has need for experts in biology, psychology, statistics, genetics, etc.?

I think that has lead to more “blocks” by me on social media than anything else; my record is 3 blocks off of one thread on my Facebook wall. Yes, they were all liberals.

April 21, 2018 Posted by | ranting, social/political | Leave a comment

Running, lifting, weight and aging …the formula keeps shifting!

Yesterday, in addition to my usual weight workout, I did two sets, count them…TWO sets of goblet squats (do the window sill which gets me a bit past parallel)…with…wait for it…a 53 pound kettlebell (for those who are unfamiliar, that would be awesome..for say, a 90 pound 70 year old woman..but pretty pathetic for a 205 lb. 58 year old male).

And today I was sore! Seriously. Here is what I’ve found:

1. I need more “easy days” between hard workouts else I don’t recover AND
2. My “off season lay-offs” have to be shorter..I lose too damn much, too quickly.

The formulas keep changing on me.

And as far as weight: I gained about 10 lbs (noticed it in July) and haven’t lost it. Why? My guess: I am eating the way I used to when I did more mileage and was younger; now I have the double whammy of fewer miles and a slower metabolism.

But…I am stronger than I’ve been since 2010, and I can still do my 5 sets of 10 pull ups. So, what do I want to be: a lifter who walks and runs, or walker/runner who lifts? I have to choose.

Don’t get me wrong: I am not strong at all; my bench press workouts include a set of 5-7 with 185 OR 4-5 with 190, followed by 8-10 with 170, or 7-9 with 175. That isn’t exactly NFL linebacker strength.
But when I was below 190 lbs, even 2-3 reps with 185 was hard.

Yes, I know, one has to take age into account, but still…the weights don’t care how old you are. Either you can move them or you can’t.

Rumours Tribute Show We went last night; it was good.

One funny thing: the Stevie Nicks character wore a thin white dress …and appeared to have a white leotard underneath which showed up as a full brief panty line. And of course, regardless of what formed that wonderful “parabola”, I liked it. Why?

And that took me back to weightlifting. Way back in 1994, the conference was in Auburn. My buddy and I found a nearby gym and I went there to lift and I was doing multiple reps with 225 (4-5 I think, then again I weighed about 235 in those days). I miss being that strong (ok, that wasn’t that strong). But I remember catching the eye of the females in the gym; she wore some very thin, white spandex shorts with..yep..white briefs underneath.

Ah, when I was handling 300-310, other guys would look.

Now: no one cares what I lift. LOL…I admit that I miss that.

Workout notes: treadmill froggy workout (5 miles) followed by 2 miles of walking on the track in lane 1 (compensated by adding extra distance) 27:44
treadmill: (0.5 incline after .25 miles) 1 mile (4.9-5.2 every .25 miles (11:57), 6.0-6.7 (30:52), 31:49 to get to 5K, walk .1, run to 42:47 for 4 miles, walk .25 miles, run to 54:36 (picked it up last .5). Then the 2 mile walk.

Legs are still sore, but not that bad. My guess: the flat-to-shallow inclines didn’t tax my thighs.

January 20, 2018 Posted by | ranting, running | , , , , , | Leave a comment

And I grow more and more intolerant of…

The Al Franken debacle has sure helped me purge my friends list on Facebook (I’ve blocked a few and made my wall “friends only” again). Now as far as “the issue” goes, I like this take:

Zero tolerance should go hand in hand with two other things: due process and proportionality. As citizens, we need a way to make sense of accusations that does not depend only on what we read or see in the news or on social media.

Due process means a fair, full investigation, with a chance for the accused to respond. And proportionality means that while all forms of inappropriate sexual behavior should be addressed, the response should be based on the nature of the transgressions.

So I brought this up and one of my friends posted some photos that showed Leean Tweeden, one of those who made the first complaints, in some sex shots (thong butt shot, her groping a guitar player, giving sexual hugs to men etc.). He was attacked by someone who brought out the usual stuff (e. g. sexy photos is not permission for sexual abuse ..which I completely agree with but saw as irrelevant here). In the discussion, I mentioned the “staged fake groping” photo of Franken with Leeann Tweeden, (yes, the PHOTO was genuine; his hands are poised to look like he was touching her breasts, but she was wearing a flak jacket at the time) and said that “this is not abuse”.

He responded “all touching without consent is abuse” which, is factually incorrect. (online law dictionary definition here) and pointed out that I have been touched, sans consent..and this case was NOT abuse.

Well, that brought another “SJW” on who said my example was “fantasy” (it wasn’t), doubled down on saying that the first person was right and attacked my friend for “slut shaming”, etc. So I blocked him (and said some impolite things in the process) and when the first SJW person returned and doubled down, blocked him too.

And I blocked someone who “liked” one of the SJW’s statements (I was cranky).

But here is my point: my Facebook wall is my space. If someone wants to engage me with a different opinion, fine. But they have to have at least an elementary command of logic and reason.

If they make a statement “touching without consent is abuse” and I point out that there are instances where I’ve been touched without consent and it was NOT abuse, that makes the original statement logically false. If someone cannot understand that, I don’t want to talk to them about issues.

In the past, I’ve mostly blocked Bible beaters, creationists, and the like. In these times, I am mostly blocking “social justice warriors”.

Oh yes, I blocked a Moore supporter on Twitter too, but that is more SOP for me.

December 12, 2017 Posted by | politics, ranting, social/political | | Leave a comment