First the workouts: Saturday, run on the treadmill, walk on the riverplex track (18 F, single digit windchills): 53:03 for the 5 mile run (22:20 then 30:43 for the final 3 miles), 16 minute walk on the track. Today: it was in the 20’s and sunny so I walked my West Peoria to Cornstalk 8.3 and added a 0.7 hilly loop and then an out and back along Bradley (16 minutes) to get to 10 miles.

Weight: Riverplex scale 188.9; I have lost most of the old extra. Now to remove the “old man” blubber as I now longer have the muscle mass I once hand.

Late night tomorrow night as she comes in. I’ve accepted it.

Weekend: dinner tonight (Mexican) with Tracy.
Yesterday: I got to watch Bradley win a couple of basketball games, both against Southeast Missouri State.

Both games were competitive for most of the way; the men used their defense to pull away 68-57; BU shot 38.8 percent but limited them to 31.6 percent. The lead reached 19 with 3:30 to go; it was only 5 early in the second half.
The women was a bit more back and forth for much of it. It was only a 1 point game going into the 4’th but BU won 85-79.

November 12, 2018 Posted by | basketball, Friends, running, walking | , | Leave a comment

Catch up on personal stuff

Interesting evenings. Wednesday: Bradley basketball vs. D-2 Wisconsin Parkside. BU raced out to a 12-0 lead; it took Parkside 5:20 to score. Eventually, they came back to make it a 2 point game at 28-26, but BU took better care of the ball to lead 40-28 at the half. In the second, the lead built to 69-42 with 5 minutes to go before BU cruised in to a 74-58 win. The defense looked sharp at first, but BU did have some trouble with turnovers and did give them some open looks at the 3.

I love all of the colors when the teams are out there warming up.

Early action.

Yesterday, I figured that I’d have a lazy evening. But in the morning, Ms. Vickie called and said she had an extra ticket for Chicago. So I went…and wow…they put on a show.

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Theresa and Jim at the Chicago concert.

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Above: Ms. V and me; below: Mama T and Jim.

The first half was mostly Chicago II; the second half had many of their hits. Most of the band is intact, but not all. I saw them when they played at the Naval Academy in the late 1970’s.

Workout notes: Thursday: 5.1 mile Cornstalk Hill walk in 1:12:28; I was 35:40 half way and took 36:48 for the return leg (14:08 finish for the final 1.03 let; 13:50 out). But of course, the return leg is net uphill so I’d expect the return to be slightly slower.

Today: weights only (late night) rotator cuff, plank, head stand, 15-15-10-5-5 pull ups, bench: 10 x 135, 1 x 190, 2 x 185, 7 x 170 bench (slightly sore left shoulder), military: 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45, 10 x 40, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell. I moved through the sequence quickly.

Note: I am now at 189.3 (before the workout); the lightest I’ve been in a while. And I haven’t started long training yet.

November 9, 2018 Posted by | basketball, Friends, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

College football: so far ..not doing great.

This is what I said last week:

ND at NW: if I didn’t have season tickets for Illinois, I’d be going to this game. ND is favored by 9.5 and has a 71.9 percent chance of winning this one, per ESPN power index. NW has been hot and cold, losing to Duke and Akron and barely beating a dreadful Rutgers team, but still whipping Michigan State, Wisconsin and giving Michigan all they could handle until the end (3 point loss).

Which NW team shows up? Which ND team shows up? I haven’t a clue. Note: NW has won the last two meetings (really).

Pick ND to win but NW to cover.

Navy at Cincinnati: Cincinnati favored by 13.5, ESPN gives them an 88.4 percent chance. Tough season for the Mids. Bearcat defense stops the run well and that is what Navy does. But does Navy’s ball control keep the score down a bit? They did hang with ND for a while.

Cincinnati to win, Navy covers.

West Virginia at Texas: Texas favored by 2; ESPN power index has this as a toss up UT 50.9 probability of winning).

Both teams have losses (UT Ok ST., MD, WVa: at Iowa State). I am honestly convinced that UT is overrated; Oklahoma was great win, but USC and TCU just aren’t that good. And West Virginia can pass the ball. Mountaineers to win.

Minnesota at Illinois: MN favored by 9.5; ESPN gives MN a 70.2 percent chance:

Illinois has perhaps the worst defense in the power 5 and one of the worst in FBS, period. Previous game: Illinois gave up 712 yards and 63 points to a so-so Maryland offense. It appears as if the coaching staff has no idea on how to teach and motivate college kids. MN coach DOES know how and that gives the Gophers the edge.

I am perhaps one of the half -dozen “non relative of the players/coaches” that actually cares about this game.

MN rows the boat past the floundering Illini and covers. It will be like last week where they had a 31-9 lead on Indiana, but this time the opponent doesn’t come back.

Win: ND, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Minnesota.
Cover: NW, Navy, West Virginia, Minnesota

I don’t feel too badly about missing the Navy vs. Cincinnati spread (it ended 42-0 UC) or even the ND at NW spread (31-21 ND..right on) and I was delighted to be right about Minnesota. I should have noticed that they got torched by Nebraska and Maryland in the same way…both on the road.

So for the season: 26-9 straight up, 14-19-1 vs. the spread.

Games this weekend: Illinois at Nebraska, Florida State at Notre Dame (kind of a mismatch this year), Texas at Texas Tech (should be excellent), Navy at Central Florida (ouch! will be ugly)

I’ll make picks later in the week. Also of interest: Illinois State visits Indiana State; ISU has dropped 3 in a row and is now 5-4, including 2-4 in conference play. I was thinking about “home playoff game” but …probably not. Northwestern visits Iowa and that sounds like a good one; I wish I could be there but will opt out and go to a Bradley basketball game instead.

Workout notes: 10K walk; wet pavement; gloomy skies but..well, still nice. And for the first time in well over a year, I am under 190! (189.5).

November 6, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, walking | Leave a comment

Workout catch-up and some sports

Workout notes: 31 October: 6 mile (6.3 actually) walk in the morning; later yoga with Ms. V. 1 November; untimed 5.1 mile run; saw some of the women’s track team doing hill repeats. 2 November: weights; kind of off. Pull ups: ok; 5 sets of 10. bench: 10 x 135, 2 x 185, 3 x 185, incline: 6 x 150, decline: 10 x 160, military: 8 x 50 dumbbell, 10 x 45, 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110. plank, bow, head stand, etc.

I weighed 191.3 this morning..still a bit bloated.

I’ve been kind of off mentally. I drove myself crazy trying to derive Snell’s law from the “least time path” principle of light travel; had to remind myself to look at the triangle and then deduce the “sines of the angles of incidence ratio is equal to the ratio of the speeds through the medium” from that.

Sports: I saw Bradley handle Carroll University (D-3) 81-31; it was 27-5 early and never got more competitive than that. The team played smothering defense almost the whole way.

Tonight: I caught Bradley Volleyball’s 3 set loss to ranked Northern Iowa; better team won though our team fought hard.

November 3, 2018 Posted by | basketball, running, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Football and Volleyball thoughts

Last night: I saw Bradley Volleyball keep their third place position in the Missouri Valley with a 3-1 win over Missouri State.

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Bradley vs. Missouri State. Good crowd.

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They had a nice crowd and some vocal student support.

This morning: after my slow walk, I watched Illinois give up 545 total yards (357 on the ground) while being limited 300 yards to Wisconsin in 49-20 loss. There was one bright spot however:

That was 80 of the yards that the good guys had.

Of interest were two things:

1. The quarterback. The Illini have a 5’th year senior transfer who is a decent runner and does a decent job on the read option. Then they have a freshman who doesn’t run as well but is a better passer, and the Illini also have 3 credible, Big Ten caliber running backs (good ground attack in every game but the Purdue game, including 210 yards today). Should the Illini promote the freshman to the starting role? I am not saying that the freshman is a better quarterback but he might give this particular team a better chance to win right now.

2. In the 3’rd, the Illini were down 42-17 early in the 4’th and had 4’th and 3 at the Wisconsin 8. The coach elected a field goal (which was good). Some (many? most?) thought the Illini should have went for the first down. Personally, I think the offense needed to be rewarded with a confidence builder. Not that it would have mattered that much.

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HOUSED! 8️⃣0️⃣ Yards. #ILLINI

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Workout notes: Friday: untimed 5 mile walk. Saturday: 10 mile walk..unusually slow. I walked to the ball field and then to the dam and then back; perhaps I went a bit further than I had anticipated. But it was slow.

October 20, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, walking | , | Leave a comment

We get distracted so easily

I now see why many Republicans have warmed to Trump. It goes something like this:

1. Famous woman says something negative about Trump (often accurate or deserved)
2. Liberals cheer said her “strong, tough”, etc.
3. Trump tweets insult (“fat cow”, “horseface”, “pig”, etc.)
4. Liberals’ heads explode: OMG, that Trump attacked a WOMAN…HOW DARE HIM.
5. All the while, The Turtle (aka Sen. Mitch McConnell works to dismantle Social Security, Medicare, etc, all to “pay for” the upper end tax cuts.

The Trump circus distracts and the Republicans get to achieve (or come closer to achieving) their long term goals: dismantling entitlements (promised benefits that are paid for by payroll taxes) and safety nets for the less fortunate (and yes, a small percentage of the safety net money ends up in the pockets of slackers, idiots and chronic underachievers).

What’s in it for those who won’t benefit from the upper end tax cuts? Well, Trump insults people that they don’t like!

Oh sure, sometimes Trump insults people that I don’t like, but I want a President, not a “Troll in Chief”.

Workout notes: glorious 5 mile walk to watch the sun rise.

October 18, 2018 Posted by | politics/social, social/political, walking | Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton’s “me too” comments (re: Bill). Correct, but bad politics.

Well, at least Hillary Clinton has retired from the political arena. Some are up in arms about what she said about Bill Clinton’s affair and its relation to “me too”.

Frankly: I think she is correct and …what she said would be bad politics, ..ok, is bad politics..provided she still cares about such things.

Yes, Bill Clinton did wrong; he DID have authority and was obligated to resist a sexual advance, flirtation, overtures, whatever.

Yes, he was, in my eyes, guilty of sexual misconduct.

BUT…in my opinion, if “me too” is to have any meaning at all, it has to be about people (ok, women) getting unwanted sexual advances.

If the woman (or the subordinate employee) is an adult and initiates the advance, or sends signals, etc., then while there still might be sexual misconduct, it is no longer “me too”.

I really do not think it is too much to say “if you don’t want the man to respond to you sexually, do not make a sexual overture.”

Of course, much of the “me too” crowd will reject what I said. So be it.

But Hillary Clinton’s “correct” answer wasn’t well received by the liberal base…and anyone with political savvy could easily predict that.

Workout notes:
Yesterday: weights only. rotator cuff, pull ups (15-15-10-10), bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 8 x 170, incline: 10 x 135, military: 2 sets of 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 90 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110. abs: 2:30 plank, headstand, side plank. Today: 3 mile run: 11 minutes for 1 mile (could not sustain 6.7 mph at 10 min), 22:15 for 17 laps (lane 2) of the track: 10:40/ tired, 2 mile walk outside.
Weight: 190.5 before. But I am still “in the recovery phase>”

October 17, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, running, social/political, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Still recovering

Yes, I have friends that can do a hell of a lot more running and walking than I can. But over the past few weeks:

23 September: walking marathon
29 September: 5K running race
6 October: 5K running race
7 October: half marathon walk (all out)

And that has left me a bit heavy legged. Even today, my 10 mile walk, while mostly pleasant, was work. Not hard work, but a modest amount of work and my legs got moderately heavy. That should not be after only 10 miles..hence I am still “recovering”>

College football:
My predictions:

Last week I picked ND, Texas, Purdue and Temple to win (4-0), ND, Illinois, Baylor and Temple to cover 1-2-1
So for the season: 19-7 straight up, 12-12-1 against the spread.

Now what about Illinois?

Ugh..that was embarrassing, and this post, more or less, describes what I am feeling.

Spin it any way you want. But the last 3 Big Ten home games ended: 42-7 (Northwestern), 63-24 (Penn State), 46-7 (Purdue)

This season, the defense gave up:

453 yards and 24 points to Kent State (1-6 Mac Team)
361 yards to 2-4 Western Illinois (FCS team that Illinois State beat 33-16)
626 yards to USF (ok, they are 6-0 but non power 5)
591 yards to Penn State (ok, they are good)
386 yards to Rutgers (1-6, horrible team that lost 42-13 to Buffalo and 55-14 to Kansas)
611 yards to Purdue (3-3) including 404 in the FIRST HALF.

And while the team had ran the ball well up to this game, Purdue loaded the box with 8 defenders and dared the Illini to throw. Then blitz on passing downs. Our offense has been well scouted and other teams now know what to do.

And our depth is shallow..this is a bad thing when you play in the Big Ten meat grinder. This may well get uglier.

Oh well…I am not sure if there IS an exit from this quicksand.

October 15, 2018 Posted by | college football, walking | | Leave a comment

Illini get steamrolled by Purdue 46-7

I’ll start with the positive (and yes, there is a positive). In Champaign, the Illinois AD leads a 4 mile pregame run.

Ok, I don’t live in Champaign and even if I did, a 9 minute a mile is now a “race effort” for me ..on a good day…when it is cool. But I did a nice 5.2 mile walk at an undetermined pace (15-16 minutes per mile?) on my own prior to leaving for the game.

Ok, here is the second positive: I still love watching football and I like seeing good execution. And one team executed well..though it wasn’t the team that I was cheering for.

Ok, positive number 3: I had a good lunch with my wife before I left.

Ok, positive number 4: decent crowd (by Illinois standards: almost 42K. That was the largest since last year’s Wisconsin game (which was also Homecoming). Ok, much of that came from Purdue fans and much of the Illinois crowd left at halftime, after the band performance.

Ok, positive number 5: the bands (current and alumni) were good!

Ok, ok, with that out of the way….

I’ll recall a conversation from the Penn State game a few weeks ago (which ended 63-24). Many Illini fans grasped the fact that the Illini held a lead 24-21 with 10 minutes to go in the 3’rd. Others (myself included) thought that the 42-0 finish by Penn State was more significant. I asked my wife: what is more significant about the Illinois football team: the start of the PSU game or the finish. She smiled and said “honey, the finish”.

It sure seems that she was right.

Ok, enough wit the set up.

What about the actual game? The score (46-7) and stats (total yards 611-250…Purdue had 404 yards AT THE HALF!) speak for themselves.

But…believe it or not, it started promising. The teams started by exchanging punts, then the Illini struck blood first with a very nice 77 yard touchdown drive, with most of the damage done by a 52 yard pass to a running back out of the backfield. It WAS a good throw too. 7-0 Illini, and I thought “the shoot out is on!” (I had predicted 31-24 Purdue).

It took Purdue just 5 plays to respond, almost all on passes…7-7.

Then came 2 Illinois 3 and out “drives” followed by Purdue touchdown drives (passes) and a blocked extra point: 20-7 Purdue.

Then came a “turning point” of sorts (ok, in a 46-7 game..well..)

The Illini put together their second (and final) good drive of the day, mostly due to a 30 and 24 yard pass play. First and goal at the Purdue 8 then a second goal at the Purdue 5. But then came a SIXTEEN YARD loss on a sack followed by a missed field goal attempt (38 yards; kicker has been pretty good for most of the year). That appeared to take whatever wind there was out of Illinois’ sails.

Then came a Purdue drive with a made field goal. Illinois punted..and with time running down, the Illini held Purdue on downs at the Illini 29. But Purdue had time outs and got the ball back with under a minute to go and 2 time outs. Two quick runs set up the ball at the Illini 42 and a “jump ball” in the end zone was won by the Purdue receiver. A very badly botched extra point kick attempt left the score at 29-7…and Purdue had 404 yards AT THE HALF.

Purdue got the ball at the start of the 3’rd quarter and two key penalties snuffed out any hope the Illini may have had.

An offside on a Purdue punt kept the drive alive…and another offside penalty negated an interception deep in Illini territory. No problem: PUrdue punches it in and it is now 36-7.

Purude did a lot of running in the 4’th quarter at it was good enough to set up a field goal then a final touchdown to make it 46-7.

It was this kind of day:

My shots:

Ok, not mine..but I am where the red arrow is.


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Alumni Band.

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Illini Band.

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Decent crowd but far from full:

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Purdue at Illinois early.

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Was it something I said? 😂

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Decent crowd.

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Good half time show:

Post halftime…people leaving:


October 14, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, walking | | Leave a comment

College football weekend and observations

Temple -7 at Navy (ESPN: Temple, 67.7)
Navy is having a rough season; win over Memphis and an FCS program. Temple blew out Maryland, Tulsa and East Carolina and lost 2 close games to decent teams (Buffalo, BC). I have to pick Temple to win and cover.

Baylor +14 at Texas (UT: 84.2) : sort of a rivalry, UT beat Oklahoma, who blew out Baylor. But UT has had somewhat close games with ordinary opponents. I think UT wins, but Baylor keeps it close and covers.

ND -21 vs. Pitt (ND 95.5 percent favorite). Pitt was blown out 45-14 by UCF and 51-6 by Penn State and I don’t see them doing better vs. a ND team that is rolling. ND wins and covers.

Illinois +10 hosting Purdue (Purdue 72.9 percent). Though Purdue is 2-3, 2 of the losses were close games vs. good teams (Missouri, NW) and one came with unforced errors.

The Illini have wins against 2 of the most dreadful FBS teams and a 34-14 win over an FCS team that lost 33-16 to Illinois State (I watched both games). The Illini give up huge amounts of yards (626 to USF, 59x to Penn State) and won’t be able to stop Purdue. But the running game keeps it sort of close. Purdue to win, Illinois covers.

Win: Temple, Texas, ND, Purdue
Cover: Temple, Baylor, ND, Illinois

Remarks about the teams I’ve watched:

As far as a “seasons” worth of football (save a game missed for a hospitalization here, or a job there):
I watched Texas for 9 seasons (1975-1976, 1981, 1985-1990, Navy for 4 (1977-1980), Illinois State for 2 (1993-1994), Illinois for 8: 2011-2018.

At the time, Texas was in the old Southwest Conference (just added Houston in 1976) and routinely played Arkansas, Houston, Rice, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU, SMU, Texas A&M and, of course, Oklahoma (then non-conference).
Home non conference games: North Texas, Colorado State, Utah State, Miami, Missouri, Stanford, BYU, Oregon State, New Mexico, Penn State, Colorado.

Navy: though Navy was an independent, Navy frequently played William and Mary, Connecticut, Citadel, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Army, Air Force, Boston College, Syracuse, Virginia and Georgia Tech.
Other home games: Duke, Kent, Villanova. Note: road game vs. Illinois (one) and bowl vs. Houston.

Illinois State: played a Missouri Valley schedule, which included Eastern Illinois (not a conference game), Youngstown State, Western Illinois, Southern Illinois, Missouri State

Illinois: Big Ten of course (Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana, Rutgers, Maryland (haven’t seen), Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota, Purdue, Iowa, Northwestern. Non conference home: Southern Illinois, South Dakota State, Arkansas State, Western Michigan, Texas State, Western Kentucky, Charleston, Arizona State, South Florida, Miami of Ohio, Louisiana Tech, Kent State, Western Illinois, North Carolina, Ball State, Cincinnati.

What is my point: note how little overlap there is in the respective schedules. The greatest overlap: ISU and Illinois: Western, South Dakota State, Southern Illinois, Youngstown State (Iowa, NW as ISU road games)

I did watch Houston vs. Illinois in 1991 so that was the only team common to the 3 FBS teams (played Navy in the 1980 Garden State Bowl). Penn State is common to Texas and Illinois.

But back to the overlap: I’ve watched many NFL games, (followed the Patriots (1983-1984), Rams (2009-2015) Colts and Bears (2015-2018) and you see quite a bit of overlap in NFL schedules. So I suppose it is not a surprise that I’ve seen as many Super Bowl champions play (1982 Redskins, 1989 49’ers, 2009 Saints) as I’ve seen college national champions (Texas 1969, Colorado 1990, Youngston State 1993 (I-AA, now FCS)) though I’ve watched many more college games.

Workout notes: 2 mile treadmill (21:20), 1 mile lane 2 (9:22..was work), 1 mile walk outside…GI issues this morning?

October 13, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, NFL, running, walking | 1 Comment