On the way down…

Finally, my body weight appears headed down. Hopefully my performances will pick up

Weights rotator cuff
pull ups 15-15-10-10
squats: 3 sets of 10 (0, 0, 45), 4 sets of 5 goblet (25, 35, 50, 50)
bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 8 x 170 (empty gym so kept it safe)
incline: 10 x 135
military (dumbbell) 7 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 standing, 10 x 40 standing
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (single arm)
2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts
headstand: so so

Then I walked the Conrstalk classic course to and from the gym; got 4.04 by Map My Walk. 15:40 pace…it was a deliberate walk.

It appears that my “base” walking pace is 15-16 mpm these-a-days as opposed to the 15 minute miles it once was.

July 25, 2016 Posted by | walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Giving up is sometimes the right thing to do…


This was absolutely ghastly running weather. I started at the Riverplex with the idea of doing a few treadmill miles toward the end. But then I changed my mind…bad mistake.
1:31 for 7.27 miles out (12:30 pace), throwing in walking every 10 minutes or so. Back: 2 hours, on the button (16:30 pace); I mostly slow walked and did a short occasional jog.

I did see a hawk and a snake.

Anyhow, I do not regret my decision to can the workout midway through.

And 14.5 miles in the heat is better than 0.

Later: we went out to Barbara’s oldest son’s house; as usual the outing was extremely pleasant.




Yes, I did sneak in that final shot.:-)

July 24, 2016 Posted by | big butts, family, running, walking | Leave a comment

Trump Speech: fantasy

Workout notes: yesterday, 2 extra walking miles (to check out my smart phone map feature) and to see what my “just walking” pace is like. It is about 17 minutes per mile. Then 5K more this morning (15-ish mpm) after lifting weights.

lifting: rotator cuff, pull ups: 5 sets of 10
squats: 2 weightless sets of 10, 10 x 45, then 4 sets of 5 goblet squats: 25, 35, 50, 50
The “tug” in my right inner leg was barely noticeable, at times.

bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 10 x 170 incline press: 10 x 135
military: dumbbells, 7 x 50 standing (sloppy), 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing.
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (dumbbell) each arm
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch 10 yoga leg lifts
headstand (so-so)

Trump’s Speech and the election.
In a nutshell, you need to be SCARED and to understand that Trump is the ONLY ONE who can fix it.

Yes, better infrastructure (which I do want), less crime, a quick win of the war against ISIS and other terrorist organization, all the while cutting taxes and building that huge wall between US and Mexico. He is going to do ALL of that, VERY QUICKLY (though it took him 73 minutes to tell us that). How? Just trust him; just believe.

Red State Update gave more or less the same speech in 2008, but in a much briefer period of time:

Oh by the way, the world is NOT falling apart, crime is actually down overall (though up in some locations); you can read the rest of the fact checks here.

As far as how the race is going: this is a great resource. Upshot has its own model, and it links to many other models and betting markets. The map hasn’t changed much from the 2012 map.

You’ll read a lot about “Hillary’s support is sinking”. The reality is that “no incumbent in the race” elections tend to be close. As I told a friend:

In my lifetime, there have been 5 “no incumbent” elections. The popular vote margins (in percent) have been:
0.17 (1960 Kennedy vs. Nixon)
0.7 (1968 Nixon vs. Humphrey)
7.72 (1988 Bush I vs. Dukakis )
-0.51 (2000 Bush II vs. Gore, Gore won the popular vote)
7.27 (2008 Obama vs. McCain)
So if there is a poll or two that shows Hillary with a double digit lead…it is probably an outlier. So don’t be surprised to read “Hillary sinking in the polls”; that usually means that there was a favorable outlier followed by a more realistic result. Expect, for statistical reasons, to see a few polls here and there that show Trump leading. A typical margin of error is 3 to 4 points and that is the MOE for the SUPPORT of a candidate, not for the difference. Example (two way example) if she really leads 52-48, Hillary’s support in a single given poll will vary between 48 to 56 percent 95 percent of the time, so one can expect to see her trailing by 4 points in some polls and winning by 12 in others.

July 22, 2016 Posted by | politics/social, poll, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Political attacks and negative campaigning: why I feel it is necessary

Workout notes: weights plus an untimed 5.1 mile walk (75 F, sticky).
rotator cuff, pull ups 15-15-10-10, incline press: 10 x 135, 7 x 150, 10 x 140 (empty gym; played it safe), military: 7 x 50 dumbbell standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, machine: 10 x 200
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell. Abs: 2 sets of: 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts. Headstand (ok).

Squats: 10 x 0, 10 x 45, 5 x 75 (ok,), 5 x 95 (slight strain, right inner thigh). 5 x 35 goblet, 5 x 25 goblet (protect the thigh)

Weight: 189 after weights (gym), 189.5 home (after walking)

Post I saw some comments about the back and forth in campaign tweets and about negative campaign ads.

Here is why I feel negative campaigning is necessary:

1. It is easy to make unrealistic promises (LOWER taxes but better roads and schools).
2. Candidates embellish their record by exaggerating their successes and omitting their failures.

They have to be called out on such things.

However, not all attacks are equal. I had one facebook friend try to say “both sides” when comparing Trump’s attacks on Warren and visa versa.

Here is a Trump attack:


That is name calling and a slur. He also intimated that Sen. Warren lied about her heritage to her advantage.

Here are attacks by Sen. Warren, which call him out on what he does (demeanor, failed businesses, scams) Note the links to articles about “Trump University”.

Those two are not the same things.

Think of it this way: if I were, say, campaigning for a research mathematician post and called myself a “great, productive mathematician”, saying:

“He is a Frito-Bandito who wouldn’t have made it to grad school without affirmative action” would be a classless attack.

Saying “ok, where are his NSF grants? Where are his elite journal articles? Where are his invited addresses and presentations? Why didn’t MSRI, IAS, or the R-1 programs want him? He plays too much on Facebook” would be perfectly acceptable attacks as they attack my record and behavior.

July 20, 2016 Posted by | politics/social, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Didn’t beat the downpour

I was thinking of cutting it short anyway and, when I saw the storm clouds roll in as I turned out of the Cemetery, I headed home. It was sprinkling but I figured I had time for…just one more mile (or 0.8 miles actually). Nope; I got drenched for about 6-7 minutes of my walk.


(This is Cassie’s photo of the rain rolling in)


5.3 in 1:21, or 15:17 mpm. It didn’t feel bad.

Last night: The Chiefs beat the Great Lakes Loons 4-3. And it was more “developmental league” stuff. The starter pitched well for the first 3 innings; “3 up, 3 down” and left with a 2-0 lead. The Loons didn’t get a hit until the 5’th and still the Peoria pitching kept them at bay. The next relief pitcher threw 4 more scoreless innings.

Then came the 8’th when the second relief pitcher comes in…all is well until the top of the 9’th. 2 outs, then a walk then a double where the Chiefs *almost* throw out the runner who scored from second.

One runner on base, 2 outs, still 4-1 and the Chiefs bring in another relief pitcher. I see who it is and say “oh no!” I remember that he didn’t do well the last time I saw him. (but his ERA is actually 3.38 and his last 10 outings weren’t bad at all….as a fan I only remember the time he didn’t do well).

Then, in succession: home run (4-3), two singles and a walk; now the bases are loaded and it is 4-3. But the pitcher strikes out the final batter.

Overall: large crowd; fun time.




July 17, 2016 Posted by | baseball, Uncategorized, walking | , | Leave a comment

Black crime and all that…

Preliminaries (yes, I started with my workout; just scroll down): Workout notes: first weights:

rotator cuff
pull ups: 15-15-10-10 (good)
squats: 10 x 0, 10 x 45, 6 x 65, 6 x 85 (with bar)
5 x 25, 5 x 50 “Goblet squats”

incline press: 10 x 135, 8 x 150, 10 x 140

military press: 7 x 50 dumbbell standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 dumbbell
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 single arm, 10 x 110 machine

headstand: 2 reps; first time I lost confidence, second was fine
abs: 2 sets of 12 x twist crunch, 10 x yoga leg lift, 24 x crunch.

Walk: 4.2 mile Cornstalk classic for head conditioning.

Post Subject

I watched this discussion on CNN; the old argument “well, if Blacks committed fewer crimes, they wouldn’t get arrested as much.
No, liberals don’t want to hear this, but there is a grain of truth in that assertion. But what conservatives don’t want to hear is nicely summed up in this article in Reason:

In this view, African Americans have only themselves to blame for the presence and behavior of cops in their neighborhoods. If they would get serious about cleaning up the problems in their own communities, police would not be arresting or killing so many black people.

There’s an element of truth to this line of argument. Violent crime rates are far higher among blacks than among whites and other groups. One reason cops have a disproportionate number of interactions with African-American males is that these men commit a disproportionate number of offenses.

Where the argument fails is in its assumption that blacks are complacent about these realities and that whites are blameless. The gist of the message is that blacks created the problem and blacks need to solve it. […]

The common impulse of whites, then and now, was to blame blacks for pathologies that whites played a central role in creating. Criminologist Charles Silberman wrote in 1978 that “it would be hard to imagine an environment better calculated to evoke violence than the one in which black Americans have lived.” Pretending black crime is a black-created problem is like pretending New Orleans never got hit by a hurricane.

The Giuliani view omits some vital facts. The epidemic of unarmed blacks being killed by police comes not when black crime is high but when it is low. Homicides committed by African Americans declined by half between 1991 and 2008.

Since the early 1990s, arrests of black juveniles have plunged by more than half. In New York City, where Eric Garner was killed by police, the rate of homicides by blacks is down by 80 percent. In Chicago, where most murders are committed by African Americans, the number last year was the lowest since 1965—and this year’s could be lower yet.

What is also easy to forget in the denunciation of black crime is that the vast majority of blacks are not criminals. In any given year, less than 5 percent of African Americans are involved in violent crime as perpetrators or victims. The fact that blacks make up a large share of the violent criminal population gives many whites the impression that violent criminals make up a large share of the black population. They don’t.

Why don’t more blacks living in bad neighborhoods learn to behave like sober middle-class suburbanites? One reason is the shortage of stable families, steady incomes, good schools and safe streets. If you grow up with those advantages, it’s relatively easy to do the right thing. If you don’t, it’s a lot harder.

People trapped in a poor and dangerous slum can’t depend on the authorities to keep them safe. They face serious threats every time they leave home. But a young black man who packs or uses a weapon to protect himself against gangs is committing a crime. Even motivated, well-intended kids can wind up in jail.

I can recommend Steven Pinker’s book Better Angels of Our Nature. Though the book is very large, it does have a section about inner city violence. Much of it stems from the citizens not trusting law enforcement seriously; hence many take matters into their own hands to solve disputes. Middle class people call the police and take others to court.

And while there is quite a bit of social pathology, there is evidence that poverty (and discrimination) drives the social pathology, and not the other way around. William Julius Wilson wrote an excellent book on that topic: When Work Disappears.

But alas, problems are complicated and solutions don’t lend themselves to bumper sticker answers or internet memes.

July 13, 2016 Posted by | racism, social/political, walking, weight training | , , | 2 Comments

back at it…backsliding

I weighed 195.5 this morning on the bathroom scale; just over 190 on the gym scale after walking 5K. Is this bloat?

Weights: bench press was very weak; everything else was ok

pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (good)
rotator cuff
squats: 2 sets of 10 weightless, sets of 6 with 45, 65, 85. The last set was work! Legs are very weak. Good depth on most.
bench press: 10 x 135, 2 x 190, 2 x 190, 7 x 170. Just not into it.
incline press: 10 x 135
military: dumbbell, 8 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported. then 10 x 200 machine.
rows: 2 sets of 10 with dumbbells (single arm) 50, 60, then 10 x 110 machine.
headstand: good this time; very easy.
abs: 2 sets of 24 crunch, 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts.

Walk: 5K (heat conditioning, getting used to the toe off)

I just don’t “feel right”.

July 11, 2016 Posted by | walking, weight training | Leave a comment

rough walk…

Weather: summer; it has been worse. 71 F, 70 percent humidity at the start, 80 F, 58 percent at the finish.


The course: to the Rivertrail, around the goose loop to the ball field (and around the wall) and back, with one extra goose loop and one “under the bridge” diversion. I included a 3 mile “out and back” spur on the trail and added a single one mile loop through Bradley campus.

Time: 3:47, or 15:40 mpm. The final mile was..15:38 so just call me “Mr. Consistent” (and “Mr. Slow”). I just had zero “pop” in my legs.

Of note:
1. The birds didn’t bother me. I didn’t get dive bombed this year.
2. I did surprise one ground hog.
3. On the trail I passed a very slow jogger..who immediately sped up to get ahead of me. He didn’t go very far.:-)
4. On the way out, along Cooper St., I saw someone who had one of those super loud leaf blowers…one of those “back pack” deals who was using it on his roofed porch, which amplified the noise. This was about 7:45 am on a Sunday morning…I am so glad I don’t live next to that person.

This wasn’t my best walk and this wasn’t my best week of running/walking. But it was still a 40 mile week, which is better than a zero mile week. And it featured a 5K race, 2.5 miles of “faster” running, and a 10 mile and a 14 mile walk. So it wasn’t “for naught”.

July 10, 2016 Posted by | running, walking | Leave a comment

Austin Hike and Bike: change..

There was some construction that added .2-.3 miles to the course. And no, the detour was not marked all that well.

But I knew more or less how to get back.


Yes, it was muggy: 79 F, 84 percent humidity at the start, 84 F, 74 percent humidity at the end.

Screen shot 2016-07-06 at 11.52.16 AM

But I completed the course in 2:24:27, walking the last 2 in 27:18, and the final 5 in about 1:09. The pace averaged about 13:50 as I had people to chase.

The west part of the course was about normal (reasonably well used); the east part was more or less empty (save one encounter on the narrow Longhorn dam sidewalk, where another walker and I converged at almost the same point).

Of course, there was construction but the completed parts (90-95 percent of it) looked very nice.


This is the final 2 miles; 1.5 miles or so are on this boardwalk.

Ironically, I saw a bunny on the course! You see them all over the place in Peoria, but this is the first time I’ve seen one on this course.

Observation: no one appeared to greet anyone on the busy west side; on the east side greetings were common. There must be some traffic density at which point people want to greet others. There were people of all kinds out there, including university runners, high school teams, competitive runners, fitness runners and walkers.

I can also say that while I was no speed demon, I was happy with the workout. And yes, give the weather, walking the course only took 15 minutes longer than it would have to “run” it…and I felt a whole lot better afterward.

July 6, 2016 Posted by | travel, walking | | Leave a comment

Pryor, Oklahoma …

Workout notes: easy 4 mile walk (Cornstalk course) prior to getting on the road.

My original plan was to catch the Cardinals vs. Brewers on the way down. But when I saw the iffy weather I knew that there would be rain delays. So I skipped the game and it was good thing; I would have left St. Louis 2 hours ago had I not skipped.

So now I am in Pryor at a Days Inn. Not bad, for the price.

I’ve driven in and out of thunderstorms most of the day; here is a shot from the McDonald’s over I-44 near Vinita, Oklahoma.


July 4, 2016 Posted by | travel, walking | Leave a comment


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