Des Moines

But before I left, I did walk 3 plus miles and lift: rotator cuff, usual PT, pull ups 5 sets of 10, 2 of 5 (strong), incline: 10 x 135, 5 x 150, decline: 10 x 160, military: 7 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, 10 x 40 standing, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (single arm), squats: 2 sets of 6 with 25, 6 with 40, 6 with 50 (full depth), plank, headstand, wall handstand (getting used to it) knee stretching.

Weight: 189 before.

Two photos: one of the arena, one of the Iowa State capitol.

4 men’s games tomorrow (2 sessions), 2 women’s games on Friday in Iowa City.

Bradley plays Michigan State in game 2 of the first of two sessions tomorrow, and is an 18.5 point underdog. But there is a reason they play the game. Go Braves!

I am the one on the left.

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Kaboom and me.

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March 21, 2019 Posted by | basketball, travel, walking, weight training, yoga | , | Leave a comment

Impending trip: Spring Break

I do have things to say; I’ve thought about stuff.

But in terms of politics: sigh. Seriously, I see us losing the 2020 Presidential election; it is almost as if the rabid wing of our party is doubling down on what failed in 2016. Yes, Trump is a bold liar:

On its release last week, President Trump’s $4.7 trillion 2020 budget was pronounced dead on arrival, and was quickly lost in the cacophony of his presidency. The New York Times suggested it provides a “declaration of Mr. Trump’s reelection campaign priorities.” In fact, its pages include not only the president’s campaign rhetoric but also an accounting of his actual values and priorities that reveal the scope of his betrayal of the working men and women who voted him into office. This is not “A Budget for a Better America,” as its title reads. It is a budget for a bitter betrayal.

The first page of the president’s budget message promises to “protect future generations from Washington’s habitual deficit spending.” But tax cuts for the rich and corporations, not deficits, remain the president’s priority. Even with its laughably rosy economic projections, the budget projects trillion-dollar annual deficits for the next four years, while doubling down on the president’s tax-cut folly, calling for making them permanent.

Yet the deficits do provide the excuse for across-the-board cuts in domestic programs. Here, too, working people, their families, individuals with disabilities, and the most vulnerable of the elderly take the biggest hits. The president, once more, calls for ending the Affordable Care Act, reversing the expansion of Medicaid, and turning the latter into a block grant to states, capped at a level that does not keep up with rising costs. […]

And yes, Trump plans to cut Social Security and Medicare..stuff he pledged not to do.

Well…now, ok, I know, Trump’s budget is dead on arrival in Congress. But why do I think he will get away with it?

Well look at the stuff leading Democrats are running on: reparations for slavery. Now, I know, that is not the sole platform, but it sure appears that the Democratic candidates are trying to “out woke” each other (at least those polling at above 10 percent) and, well, I sure hope that the Democrat nominee does more than say “don’t you see what a racist/sexist/misogynist Trump is?” That works on liberal twitter and perhaps in college faculty lounges..but I doubt that will work anywhere else.

Yes, I know; this is Godfrey Elfwick, a satirical character. But this sure *sounds* like what I’ve seen:

So if it didn’t work last time..well. yell louder and double down.

Joe Biden looks as if he will run. That might clear out much of the field, leaving Bernie Sanders and perhaps 1-2 legitimate contenders. I sure hope this isn’t a Biden-Abrams ticket; I do not see Stacey Abrams as a fit representative of our party.

I’ve also had things to say about the Rep. Omar/criticism of AIPAC fiasco…let’s just say that it is ok to question money in politics and it is ok to question the relationship of the United States to its allies, and one should not have to walk on egg shells to do so.

The positive: It looks as if I have an interesting second half of spring break: NCAA basketball featuring Bradley vs. Michigan State (along with 3 other entertaining games: Louisville vs. Minnesota, Michigan vs. Montana and Nevada vs. Florida. Ironically, I have better tickets for the second session as those tickets aren’t as in demand as the first all of the first session teams are driving distance away. And on Friday: I have tickets for the Iowa women’s subregional: Iowa vs. Mercer, Drake vs. Missouri.

On Saturday: the first spandex chase since last November. Am I in better shape now?

Math stuff: a professor I once TA’ed for won the Abel Prize (sort of like a Nobel Prize for mathematics) and I spent time writing this up.

Workout notes: slow 10.5 mile walk (River trail, Glen Oak park hill, Forrest Hill, etc.) 3:01 (good weather, just slow
Monday: weights (planks, rotator cuff, pull ups: 5 sets of 10, 1 of 5) bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, incline: 10 x 135, decline: 8 x 165, military: 15 x 50 seated, supported (could not get standing), 10 x 45, 10 x 40 standing, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer, headstand, plank, did some other practice (wall handstand), light squats: 6 x 25, 35, 50 goblet, go all the way down, knee stretches (down to 4 lb. uncomfortable..heel sit), 3+ walk outside.

Today: yoga with Ms. V, 7 mile Glen Oak/Springdale hill run in 1:24 (freezing); 1 minute faster than a week ago, 3 minutes slower than Thursday. Felt stiff and awkward.

March 20, 2019 Posted by | basketball, Democrats, politics, politics/social, running, walking, weight training, yoga | , , | Leave a comment

My anger over the college admissions cheating scandal

I admit that I was angered by this story:

The actress Lori Loughlin surrendered to F.B.I. agents in Los Angeles on Wednesday morning, a spokeswoman for the agency said. Ms. Loughlin and her husband, the fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters accepted as recruits for the rowing team at the University of Southern California, even though neither took part in the sport. Mr. Giannulli was arrested on Tuesday and released on $1 million bail.

The idea is, of course, that they do cut some academic entrance breaks to student athletes. And:

Gordon Caplan, a co-chairman of the global law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, who is accused of paying $75,000 to have someone correct his daughter’s answers on the ACT exam, was put on leave by his firm on Wednesday. Reached by phone, Mr. Caplan declined to comment.

Out and out cheating ..and

According to court filings, in a conversation with Mr. Caplan, Mr. Singer explained that for $4,000 or $5,000, a psychologist he worked with would write a report saying Mr. Caplan’s daughter had disabilities and required special accommodations. He assured Mr. Caplan that many parents did this for their children.

If you are unfamiliar, a student can claim a “learning disability.” If it is verified by the correct type of professional, the student can be given extra time, etc.

Obviously, I don’t like the cheating, the unfairness, and people buying results for their kids. But the stain goes deeper: there are people out there who honestly believe that no one achieves more than they do without cheating…seriously. This just fuels their paranoia.

(note: this is one reason I love sports so much; if I go to a 5K I have little doubt that there are people a whole lot better at running than I am! No one can doubt that!)

This is just a stain on academia.

Just as bad are some of the “meh…rich people buy stuff all the time” reactions. Yes, opportunities are not perfectly equal, nor will they ever be. But the inequalities are, well, somewhat complicated.

And no..we don’t have a perfect meritocracy. I get that. But we have a “sort of” meritocracy.

Think of it this way: take college sports. In most sports, say football or basketball, a division I team will (usually) easily defeat a division II team. But yes, a few D-2 players make it to the professional leagues. So it is not true that every D-1 player is better than every D-2 player. But on the whole, the recruiters get it right.

Same in academia. On the average, Harvard students are better than students from most other universities, though you’ll see some from other universities out perform most Harvard graduates. An elite school cannot take most of the highly qualified applicants. But the best students DO get into a good school might not be their first choice, and they might be better than some that do get into their first choice.

But eventually, on the whole, the cream does rise. As evidence: this computer works, the computer network works, planes fly, and medicines work. That is because eventually, the highly qualified, talented individuals get credentialed in these areas and are successful.

I saw this in graduate school: I got my Ph. D. at the time the Soviet Union had broken up and super qualified Russian mathematicians were taking up the new R-1 job openings. And those colleagues of mine who got the best research job openings WERE smarter than I was, period. Ok, they still are.

So, in academia, I’d say that we have a “statistical meritocracy”, where some fall through the cracks, and some unworthy or “less worthy” rise.

Workout notes: 2 mile walk after weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10, 1 of 5), incline: 10 x 135, 5 x 150, decline: 10 x 165, military: 5 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell. Planks, headstand..and yes some before and after walk knee 20-30 seconds on the green and white 4 lb. medicine ball AFTER stretching and light squats.

Walk: 29:10; 15:10 initial, then .25 speed up with 1-4 incline. I got distracted and almost missed my 2 mile split.

March 14, 2019 Posted by | education, social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Bradley’s Missouri Valley Tournament Championship

Ok, first things first: I did see one of Bradley’s 3 MVC tournament games in person. I watched Friday’s game on TV (after my classes) and had a “pizza and watch” party with Tracy for today’s game. Yesterday, I drove to St. Louis to watch Bradley beat Loyola and then watch Northern Iowa escape a gritty, depleted Drake team. Yes, I cheered for Drake as I thought they’d be an easier “out”, given how many of the good players they are missing.

But prior to driving to St. Louis yesterday, I jogged an easy 6 miles (ok, 6.3, or just over 10K) before the rain hit; I used the Cornstalk 5.1 plus a 1.25 loop.
Today, I walked more or less the same course, using the 1.4 hill loop instead of the lower 1.25 lower loop (6 uphills on Saturday, 7 today). Weather was glorious; high 30’s and sun! My calves are a bit sore though.

Now, here is what I said a week PRIOR to the tournament. I looked at the “recent” Sagarin ratings..and noted that no team stood out..though the best two were..yes, UNI and Bradley. But we were talking about margin of error differences between the teams and thought that the top 6 teams had roughly equal chances:

The games: well, today saw Bradley trail 27-15 and then fall down by 18 points looked terrible. BU only shot 22 percent in the first half. The second half appeared to get worse; UNI lead 35-17 with 17 minutes left in the game. But..somehow…BU regained composure and rallied to cut the lead to 38-34 and it was mostly 3-6 point leads after that..BU actually took a 49-48 lead with just under 3 minutes to go. A key play: it was 50-49 when a BU small forward was fouled on a shot..and after the play was dead, he caught an elbow to the head which was ruled a “flagrant 1 foul”. So that lead to 4 free throws…ALL MADE…then possession which Bradley scored on. That put BU up 55-50 with 90 seconds to go. UNI rallied to cut the lead 55-54 but couldn’t convert; BU sealed it with 2 more free throws with 2.4 seconds left in the game. BU outscored UNI 42-27 in the second half.

Now I am hoping that BU gets in the Columbus or Des Moines sub regional…or..not hoping they are in the first 4, but if they are, those are in Dayton. If any of those happen: ROAD TRIP.

But first, BU had to get past defending champion Loyola, which they did, in style.

Ok, it was 53-51, which was the score with 1 minute to go…in this case, BU used their 3 fouls go give to slow down the Rambler attack. BU’s 6’th man lead the way with 19 points (5-8 from 3 point range). BU appeared to control the action with aggressive defense inside the paint, but Loyola got just enough outside shooting to stay in the game. It was a tough one.

In the second game, UNI and Drake went back and forth which lead to an exciting final minute. Basically UNI had a 2 point lead with 12 seconds to go, Drake tied it at 58 with 8 seconds, and UNI hit a basket with 2 seconds to win 60-58. I was limp from the Bradley game and still found myself yelling during this one…a great game where a gritty, injury depleted Drake game gave its all against a tough, hard working UNI team. Great basketball game.

Bradley had a contingent at the Loyola game:

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Bradley is well represented.

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This seat was similar to our Carver seats.

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5-4 Loyola early.

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Down to the wire:

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I am too old for this.

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I moved to the Loyola section for the second game.

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Northern Iowa vs. Drake. Winner plays Bradley.

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And I was treated to a “bonus thriller.”

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Another good game!

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March 11, 2019 Posted by | basketball, Friends, running, walking | | Leave a comment

more snow…

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It is snowing. Again.

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Can make things slick but should be gone this weekend. I was up at 3:30 and so am going to bed early after the Bradley women’s game ends. I was hoping to grade some but am too tired.

I have a few things to say but might be illogical so I’ll just keep it brief.

Yoga with Nancy today. Prior to that: walk a 13:31 mile (plus; 7 7/8 laps to the mile), then 13:32, 13:03, 12:12, 12:00, 11:37. A LOT of old people on the track today.

Knee: managed to get down to 1 yoga block on its side (very briefly); 1 block and a blanket of a 4 lb. medicine ball are doable. This will be a long process.

I can’t do it wide:

or narrow either.

March 8, 2019 Posted by | walking | , | Leave a comment

My quest to be more like Kellyanne and other topics

Workouts and basketball in this post.

Basketball: the Bradley women beat Valpo on Thursday night.

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Was it something I said?😂🤣

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The Bradley defense was not good at first; Valpo at 15 points in the first 5 minutes, and lead 47-44 at the half; they were 8 of 16 from 3 point range. But in the second half, BU switched to a press defense to wear them down and Valpo ended up 13 of 34 from 3 point range. BU ended up winning 87-76. It was a nice adjustment. BU also shot 27-31 from the free throw line; that was huge.

Now the women are at 19 wins with Loyola at home today, followed by 2 tough road games (at UNI who is no. 3 in the MVC and at league leading Drake). But BU is at 9-6 and is guaranteed to avoid the “play in” round of the MVC tournament and can finish as high as 4’th. A win puts BU at 20 wins and guarantees a winning MVC season..a big improvement over recent years.


Friday: 4.2 miles in just under 1 hour (walking)

Today: weights followed by a run and walk:

Weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10, then one ending set of 5 after other exercises
bench: 10 x 135, 2 x 185, 3 x 185, 5 x 170. Decline: 10 x 165
military: 7 x 50 standing, 10 x 45 standing 10 x 40 standing, 8 x 140 machine
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine
machine incline: 10 x 140 machine
planks, knee stretches, light squats

run: 11 minute mile on the treadmill.
16 laps lane 2 in 17:37 (9:09, 8:27)
8 laps walking in lane 1 (tired)

This was an effort. I sweated off 3.2 lbs.
weight (prior) 192.5 (usual 194 with shoes and shorts/shirt, then deduct 2.5)

No motivation. I am getting miles and lifting and doing yoga. But this is directionless working out.

President Donald Trump, right, meets with leaders of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. Also at the meeting are White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, left, and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, on the couch. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

I did a lot of knee stretching (and planks) and did 30 seconds on the medium medicine ball..20 on the small 4 lb. green and white medicine ball. THAT is progress, however pathetic.

I want to be able to kneel like Kellyanne Conway. Currently, I need a prop under my butt (2 yoga blocks, 4 books, or a medicine ball). I have made progress.

March 2, 2019 Posted by | basketball, running, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

another workout catch up

Here I go:
Tuesday: yoga, then 6 miles of running on the treadmill. 32:24 for 3 miles (5.3-5.7 froggy), slow mile (5.1-5.2 to 43:30 for 4), then 6.7-6.8 mile (8:54) for 52:24; walk jog to get to 6 in 1:08.
Wednesday: somewhat empty weight room: rotator cuff, planks, etc. pull ups: 10, 10, 10, 10, 5, 5, bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185 (ugly), 10 x 135 incline, military: 3 sets of 10 with dumbbells: 45, 45, 40, rows: machine (110 for 3 sets of 10)
walk outside (3.2 miles W. Peoria)
Thursday (today): yoga, then 3 two mile runs: 22:20 treadmill, 16 laps of lane 3 (2.13) in 19:38 (10:00, 9:37), 24:10 walk/jog on the mill.

Note: I’ve worked on my knees; I am down to sitting on either 2 yoga blocks (easy) OR the medium orange and black medicine ball (8 lb.) It is getting better but I’ve got a long way to go.

Last night: Bradley defeated Valpo 67-42. BU started “all seniors” which included a walk on and a guy who does not play much; and they played Valpo to an 11-11 tie. BU lead by 9 at the half and it was never competitive in the second half.

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Not much drama in this one.

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Now the Missouri Valley is a mess: two teams (Loyola and Drake) tied at 11-6, Missouri State at 10-7 and four teams tied at 9-8 (Bradley, Southern Illinois, Northern Iowa, Illinois State (one of those teams will “play in” on Thursday night). Of the 6 teams that don’t play on Thursday night: any of them could win..there really is no favorite. So Bradley’s chances are as good as anyone else’s.

February 28, 2019 Posted by | basketball, running, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Balancing the sour with the sweet..

I saw someone on twitter giddy because she had been *accepted* into a Ph. D. program and how she was “going to get a doctorate”, etc.
Yes, it is easier than it once was to finish the Ph.D. degree: 50 percent do.

Note: in math, there are about 3000 new graduate students each year and about 1900 degrees awarded, which is an increase from where it once was.

But the issue: over all, 50 percent will not make it, for one reason or another. I am all too aware of that.

I admit that I was a bit surprised at how much the success rate has climbed; the “drop out/failure” rate of my class was much higher; the success rate was about 1/3 or so.

Workout notes: gym was crowded…again.
rotator cuff, pull ups: 5-5-5-5, 5-5, 5-5, 10, 5-5 (yes, 60 total), military (10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 45), rows (3 sets of 10 x 110, 2 sets of 70 x 5 each arm), dumbbell bench 3 sets of 10 x 70, machine incline: 2 sets of 10 x 140. Plank, light squats (3 sets of 6 all the way down), knee stretch…I just flew through this workout. 2 mile walk outside (COLD 10 F)

Weight: 191.0

February 26, 2019 Posted by | walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Windy walk

It was chilly (20’s) but extremely windy. I passed by a house where the screen door (with one of those metal plate bottoms) blew out and crashed on top of a car in the driveway; I also saw some large downed limbs).

It took me 2:18, but mostly it was because I was sort of tired from yesterday’s run/weight session.

weights: weak; pull ups 5 sets of 10, one of 5 (to make up for the ugly final reps in some of the sets), rotator cuff, plank afterward, headstand, etc.
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 170 (weak), 7 x 155, incline: 10 x 135, decline: 7 x 155. military: 10 x 45, 10 x 45, 10 x 40 (too weak for 50), rows: 3 x 110 machine. Weight: 190.

Run: went to the track; did lane 3 again:
track: 11:32, 10:37, 10:26, 10:23, 9:48 (52:47), 1 mile cool down walk on the mill.

That went surprising well, given that I was balking at it. Knees: got down to the smaller orange and black medicine ball.

I didn’t do so well this morning.

February 25, 2019 Posted by | running, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

catching up again

Wednesday: light weights (10 x 135 incline, 9 x 165 decline, usual 4 sets of 10 pull ups, 3 sets of 5, military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 each arm, planks, etc. then 3 mile “froggy” walk on the treadmill (39:50)

Thursday: 5 mile run, 2 mile walk on treadmill after Ms. V. run was 55:24 on the track (5.3 miles; lane 3 40 laps) 11:58, 11:12, 11:08, 10:52, 10:13), then 2 mile hill walk.

Friday: 4 mile walk (lower Bradley park, some snow covered stretches..but mostly good footing)

I’ve also done my “sit on my heels” stretching. I can sit down to 2 yoga blocks or 4 large books.

Weight: 190.0

Caught a great basketball game tonight; the women completed their sweep of Illinois State 75-65. BU built a small lead in the second quarter only to see it end at 28-28 (half); shooting was terrible (26 percent) but free throws kept BU in the game. BU built up a 16 point lead in the 4’th only to see Illinois State roar back to within 7 with 4:25 to go but could get no closer.

February 23, 2019 Posted by | basketball, running, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment