Colts vs. Buccaneers: Colts 25-21

Workout notes: yesterday, 2 mile “fast walk” on the treadmill, early. Then up and down to and from row 20 in section 624 in the Lucas Oil Stadium I’m telling you, that section is STEEP. It was painful to watch the elderly and the obese attempting to navigate those stairs, but the sight lines were pretty good.


The stadium IS a jewel. But, given that I’ve watched many NFL games from bleacher seats when I was a young man, well, the new stadiums feel like overkill to me.

(from last year’s playoff game)



This concluded our Thanksgiving weekend. Barbara took her nephew back to Indianapolis. So I figured I’d spring for some inexpensive nosebleed tickets (38 dollars each, WITH fees) and catch the game while we were in town.

I simply love being at the game.

The game itself: the first half found the Bucs leading 12-6; there was only one punt. It was half of long drives, ending with field goals.

The Buccaneers used a strong inside running game to move; the Colts used a controlled short passing game.

Finally, in the second quarter, we saw the game’s first touchdown on a medium pass. But the extra point was missed! It was the first of two missed extra points we saw (the others was by the Colts), which is a rarity.

In the second half the Colts defense made adjustments to take away the run and force the rookie quarterback to pass. He is good (the former controversial Florida State quarterback) but he is a rookie. All the Bucs could generate in the second half was a long, missed field goal attempt.


The Colts got a field goal to cut it to 12-9 and later, finally, a touchdown to lead 16-12.

Another field goal move it to 19-12. Then with just over 5 minutes to play, the Colts moved it to set up another field goal, which was good. But a “jumping” (and running into the holder) penalty extended the drive so the Colts took points off of the board. That *almost* cost them when there was an “would have gone with the call on the field” “not fumble” on the 2. The Colts threw a TD but missed the point; that sealed the win.

Afterward As much as I’d love another NFL game this weekend, I won’t go, UNLESS I get ahead of my work a bit. We have tickets for the Rams vs. Lions in December (the Rams stink) and then later the Colts vs. Texans.

November 30, 2015 Posted by | football, NFL, walking | Leave a comment

End of a football weekend

Workout notes I have a scratchy throat and am feeling a bit less than 100 percent. So I didn’t run the race today but instead walked a gentle 8 miles.

Illinois Football: the big news is that they are retaining their interim coach for 2 more years. We shall see; remember that he was fired from Western Michigan after the 2012 season; that year his team lost to Illinois 24-7, one of 2 wins for the Illini that year.

Illinois promptly went on to lose to Northwestern 24-14 in Chicago, playing a “home game” in Soldier Field.


Now you see why Illinois was offering half price tickets over the past 2 weeks.

Yes, the last NW game in Champaign was played in a sparsely populated stadium but not quite this bad:

Of course the team was 4-7 going into the 2013 game and 5-6 into this year’s game.

So, I am not sure that anything was gained by moving the game. This year, the Illini finish 5-7 overall and 2-6 in Big Ten play.

Illinois had a touchdown in the first quarter and a pick-6 in the 4’th quarter.

Bradley Basketball

The men played hard against Mississippi but lost 67-54; the Braves came out with high energy but eventually the inexperience showed.
The women came out flat and were barely ahead of Division III Eureka 38-34 at the half. I don’t know what the coach told the team at the half, but it ended 87-47.

Update I just watched Stanford rally from 36-35 down with 30 seconds to go to beat Notre Dame 38-36 with a last second field goal. That was one heck of a good game. ND finishes 10-2 with 2 very narrow losses to excellent teams.

So the score for me (football): 0-4 (my teams)

Texas Tech 48 Texas 45 (got it right, win and spread)
Houston 52 Navy 31 (missed this pick)
Northwestern 24 Illinois 14 (got it right, win and spread)
Stanford 38 Notre Dame 36 (got it right, Stanford won but ND covered)

November 29, 2015 Posted by | basketball, college football, illness, walking | , | Leave a comment

What’s the difference?

Workout notes: still low energy. I wonder if I have a low grade bug or something. I lifted and walked.

Walk: 4 miles outside (Cornstalk classic course in heavy sweats); they now have the hills closed off for the winter, but the footing was good.
Lifting: (leisurely pace)
rotator cuff
pull ups: 4 sets of 10, then one more set of 10 after bench/incline
bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 7 x 170 (strong, but didn’t really push because of no spotter; I did have safety catches)
incline press: 10 x 135
military press: 3 sets of 12 x 50 (seated, supported).
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 single arm dumbbell, 10 x 110 machine
abs and McKenzie exercises.

Post: What is the difference between a “butt shot” and a mere “photo from behind”? I had a (former) FBF complain about what she thought was spandex shots of women..though many (most) were posed shots. That made me think: “what is the difference between these two race photos”, other than one appeals to me and the other one doesn’t?


Both of these photos were shot at races and put up on websites (I know the one on the left was without the permission of the subject in the photo..and no, he did not care at all)

November 25, 2015 Posted by | butt, Uncategorized, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Big Dreams but no motivation (marathons)

I was thinking “maybe I should do this marathon (or ultra) or that marathon.

But today came up icy (11 F, snow yesterday) and I decided to go to the Riverplex to walk. I get there: no motivation. At all. I say “why not 10 miles?”

I go to the track and walk..13:25, 13:23…and tell myself: “get to 4-5 and make a decision”. 12:55, 12:36…getting warmed up and 12:41 (1:05:02). Ok, that is better.
Then it goes more or less smoothly after that 12:46, 12:46, 12:38, 12:37, 12:44, (2:08:35 for 10).

Note: this track is 7 7/8 laps is one mile so 8 miles is 63 laps, not 64. So I went slightly more than 10.

So, while this was not a workout “for the ages”, 10 miles is better than zero miles. But I had wondered: “is this time to build on previously built up fitness, or time to rebuild once again?” It is the latter; I’ve got a long way to go to get ready for my next marathon.

As far as who was on the track: a few geriatric couples, a few walkers, a few runners; two local tri/gym types, one former Steamboat 15K women’s overall winner and one young woman who would run 1/2 a lap and stop and walk and text. I was out there long enough to have seen several people come and go.

One thing I’ve noticed: when people tell a story, THEY are always the hero/heroine …the only one “doing it right” and either bad luck or someone else is to blame if things didn’t go the way that they wanted.

I suppose that I am the only one who makes mistakes frequently? :-) But I do.

November 22, 2015 Posted by | social/political, walking | | Leave a comment

Talking to your conservative friends about Syrian refugees…

Workout notes: swimming, then walking. The weather is supposed to turn bad tomorrow, so I pushed my lifting until tomorrow morning so I could enjoy the chilly, but pretty day.
Swim: 500 easy, then 5 x (100 free, 100 pull, 100 fins), 2 x 100 IM. This was a “fun” type workout for variety.

Walk: 5K hill course to Bradley Park and back. Not timed.


I am disappointed with the way my IL-17 US Representative (Cheri Bustos, Democrat) voted on the Syrian refugee bill. Yes, refugees should be vetted, but they ARE…extensively. See the reproduced post (from someone who practices immigration law) at the end of this post.

I do get at least some of the fears. It is true that an uncomfortably large percentage of Muslims in other countries hold values that are completely antithetical to American values of freedom of religion and freedom of speech (here and here)

So, of course, ANY immigrant (or settled refugee) has to conform to our values here. Then again, I’d imagine that most who want to come here understand that.

And, no process is foolproof; it is almost statistically certain that a tiny percentage of miscreants will be in the mix.

And yes, the Gulf States should step up and do their part.

I’d also add this: refugees coming to the US and doing well is a real slap in the face to groups like ISIL; they’ll learn that, yes, our culture is better than the one that ISIL wants to impose. And what a better example of “American Exceptionalism” is there than that? Aren’t we supposed to be the beacon of liberty for the rest of the world? I’d say that there is a great conservative case to be made for accepting refugees, and I am sorry that my blue dog Representative didn’t do that.

This is written by an immigration law attorney named Scott Hicks and posted on Facebook

Scott Hicks
Yesterday at 8:54am · Edited ·
Most of my friends know I practice Immigration law. As such, I have worked with the refugee community for over two decades. This post is long, but if you want actual information about the process, keep reading.

I can not tell you how frustrating it is to see the misinformation and outright lies that are being perpetuated about the refugee process and the Syrian refugees. So, here is a bit of information from the real world of someone who actually works and deals with this issue.

The refugee screening process is multi-layered and is very difficult to get through. Most people languish in temporary camps for months to years while their story is evaluated and checked.

First, you do not get to choose what country you might be resettled into. If you already have family (legal) in a country, that makes it more likely that you will go there to be with family, but other than that it is random. So, you can not simply walk into a refugee camp, show a document, and say, I want to go to America. Instead, the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees) works with the local authorities to try to take care of basic needs. Once the person/family is registered to receive basic necessities, they can be processed for resettlement. Many people are not interested in resettlement as they hope to return to their country and are hoping that the turmoil they fled will be resolved soon. In fact, most refugees in refugee events never resettle to a third country. Those that do want to resettle have to go through an extensive process.

Resettlement in the U.S. is a long process and takes many steps. The Refugee Admissions Program is jointly administered by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) in the Department of State, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and offices within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within DHS conducts refugee interviews and determines individual eligibility for refugee status in the United States.

We evaluate refugees on a tiered system with three levels of priority.

First Priority are people who have suffered compelling persecution or for whom no other durable solution exists. These individuals are referred to the United States by UNHCR, or they are identified by the U.S. embassy or a non-governmental organization (NGO).

Second priority are groups of “special concern” to the United States. The Department of State determines these groups, with input from USCIS, UNHCR, and designated NGOs. At present, we prioritize certain persons from the former Soviet Union, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Iran, Burma, and Bhutan.

Third priority are relatives of refugees (parents, spouses, and unmarried children under 21) who are already settled in the United States may be admitted as refugees. The U.S.-based relative must file an Affidavit of Relationship (AOR) and must be processed by DHS.

Before being allowed to come to the United States, each refugee must undergo an extensive interviewing, screening, and security clearance process conducted by Regional Refugee Coordinators and overseas Resettlement Support Centers (RSCs). Individuals generally must not already be firmly resettled (a legal term of art that would be a separate article). Just because one falls into the three priorities above does not guarantee admission to the United States.

The Immigration laws require that the individuals prove that they have a “well-founded fear,” (another legal term which would be a book.) This fear must be proved regardless of the person’s country, circumstance, or classification in a priority category. There are multiple interviews and people are challenged on discrepancies. I had a client who was not telling the truth on her age and the agency challenged her on it. Refugees are not simply admitted because they have a well founded fear. They still must show that they are not subject to exclusion under Section 212(a) of the INA. These grounds include serious health matters, moral or criminal matters, as well as security issues. In addition, they can be excluded for such things as polygamy, misrepresentation of facts on visa applications, smuggling, or previous deportations. Under some circumstances, the person may be eligible to have the ground waived.

At this point, a refugee can be conditionally accepted for resettlement. Then, the RSC sends a request for assurance of placement to the United States, and the Refugee Processing Center (RPC) works with private voluntary agencies (VOLAG) to determine where the refugee will live. If the refugee does have family in the U.S., efforts will be made to resettle close to that family.

Every person accepted as a refugee for planned admission to the United States is conditional upon passing a medical examination and passing all security checks. Frankly, there is more screening of refugees than ever happens to get on an airplane. Of course, yes, no system can be 100% foolproof. But if that is your standard, then you better shut down the entire airline industry, close the borders, and stop all international commerce and shipping. Every one of those has been the source of entry of people and are much easier ways to gain access to the U.S. Only upon passing all of these checks (which involve basically every agency of the government involved in terrorist identification) can the person actually be approved to travel.

Before departing, refugees sign a promissory note to repay the United States for their travel costs. This travel loan is an interest-free loan that refugees begin to pay back six months after arriving in the country.

Once the VOLAG is notified of the travel plans, it must arrange for the reception of refugees at the airport and transportation to their housing at their final destination.
This process from start to finish averages 18 to 24 months, but I have seen it take years.

The reality is that about half of the refugees are children, another quarter are elderly. Almost all of the adults are either moms or couples coming with children. Each year the President, in consultation with Congress, determines the numerical ceiling for refugee admissions. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, the proposed ceiling is 85,000. We have been averaging about 70,000 a year for the last number of years. (Source: Refugee Processing Center)

Over one-third of all refugee arrivals (35.1 percent, or 24,579) in FY 2015 came from the Near East/South Asia—a region that includes Iraq, Iran, Bhutan, and Afghanistan.
Another third of all refugee arrivals (32.1 percent, or 22,472) in FY 2015 came from Africa.
Over a quarter of all refugee arrivals (26.4 percent, or 18,469) in FY 2015 came from East Asia — a region that includes China, Vietnam, and Indonesia. (Source: Refugee Processing Center)

Finally, the process in Europe is different. I would be much more concerned that terrorists are infiltrating the European system because they are not nearly so extensive and thorough in their process.

November 20, 2015 Posted by | Cheri Bustos, IL-17, social/political, Spineless Democrats, swimming, walking | | Leave a comment

Bears Rout Rams 37-13; bad game, great social outing

Workout notes; 2 mile walk in 26:00 on the treadmill. Just enough to sweat a bit and get lose.

The game


It started promising; the Rams opened with a quick touchdown drive which featured a nifty “run after catch” play in which the running back hurdled a defender.

But the next series saw the Bears hit an 87 yard touchdown pass when a tight end caught a short throw, broke 3 tackles and outran everyone else. It is rare that one sees that kind of speed from a tight end.

In a later series the Bears fumbled a punt inside their own 20 but the Rams only netted a field goal. Later the Rams fumbled it away and the Bears came up with 3. So it was 10-10 at the end of the first.

The second quarter saw the Bears take over.


The Rams did nothing on offense except miss open receivers. The Bears were able to line up with 7-8 men near the line of scrimmage because the Ram passing game was so inept. On the other hand the Bears ran very well; the Bears offensive line opened up bit holes for running between the tackles. So they had one long touchdown drive and on a later series, scored an 83 yard touchdown off of a screen pass. So it was 24-10 at the half.

The third quarter the Rams did have a drive (and a 37 yard pass) but had to settle for 3. That was their chance to get back into it.

The Bears had a 4’th quarter drive for a field goal. Then they blew up a poorly executed fake punt and kicked another field goal to put it 30-13; by this time the Bears were running a “vanilla” type offense to burn clock.

The Rams failed on a 4’th down attempt in their own territory and the Bears punched in another running touchdown to ice the game.

It was a complete butt kicking.

Socially: I went to the game with two friends: Linda and Jason (who we picked up in Springfield. Yes, they are Bears fans. :-)

Here: LInda caught my despair:


Here are some photos of the view we had:




The stadium was more filled than this one of the shots is pregame; it wasn’t a sell-out but there were probably 50-52 thousand there, many were Bears fans.

The three of us:


Linda took this before the game and posted it: she called this photo “my bitches”.


Jason had to get this “hey, my eyes are up here” photo.


November 16, 2015 Posted by | Friends, NFL, walking | | Leave a comment

Facebook parents, parents in general and Yik Yak…

Workout notes: it was 38 F (just above freezing) and I decided to skip swimming and walk instead: about 10K at a steady pace. I chose a hilly Bradley Park course; note that the Cornstalk bathrooms are boarded up for the winter and that the park hasn’t closed the gates to the hill as yet. There is still one port-o-potty at the softball field.

I wore three shirts and leggings underneath shorts (long underwear, really).

Weight: 187.5 after the walk (I didn’t sweat that much, but my kidneys were very active).


About that “humble bragging” by parents (via NPR) or just plain “Facebook Parents”: You are pretty average and so are your kids, as am I and as is my kid.


But I am not really worried about people having a “better life” than I have; I am mostly interested in current events, politics, basketball and football, running and walking, cute goat photos and female spandex butt shots anyway. I just scroll through the “my kids (or my life is) are AWESOME” stuff anyway.

Now a word about our lives: I am friends with many runners and racewalkers, who are at a variety of levels. Some of my fellow runners struggle to break 40 minutes for the 5K run. Others have racewalked a 40 minute 10K (not a misprint); these people include Centurians (100 mile walk in under 24 hours at a sanctioned, judged race), former track team members, and people who are even slower than I am (they do exist!).

Many times, people post a photo of their finisher’s medals and these photos get tons of “likes”. And when my unathletic wife posts that she walked 2 miles, she gets tons of positive comments, likes, etc.

But I posted this photo and got very few likes:


Marathon and beyond finisher’s medals

In this photo: all are finisher’s awards for a marathon or beyond; this includes 4 100 mile finisher’s awards, 2 50 mile finisher’s awards, 24 hour race awards (distances range from 47 to 101 miles), 50K, 30 mile (48 km), etc.

Yet I got few likes. Why? My guess: I posted this in response to my feeling bad about a bad race performance (but still a 30 mile finish); it was to remind myself that I had a LOT of long distance finishes, and even if these are coming to an end (no: I am NOT going to quit trying), well, I had some good times.

But people being honest about disappointment isn’t going to attract much in the way of attention on a site like Facebook. It is just human nature.

Colleges and Yik-yak: yes it is a bad idea for a college to ban a site. Hey, when it comes to the internet, people will be mean and rude, ok? If there is a serious threat made, that is illegal and we can let law enforcement handle it. And yes, I’d be against a college banning Stormfront or VNN (no, I won’t link to those sites).

November 13, 2015 Posted by | marathons, social/political, walking | Leave a comment

College Football Weekend

Workout notes: weights, 3 mile run, 2 mile hill walk (treadmill)

weights: rotator cuff, 5 sets of 10 pull ups,
incline press: 10 x 135, 7 x 150, 10 x 140
military: seated, supported: 2 sets of 12 x 50, then 10 x 40 standing (dumbbells)
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell (each arm), 10 x 110 (machine)

run: treadmill, 5K in 31:30 (5.2 mph, up by .1 every 2 minutes)
walk: treadmill: 2 miles in 29:40: hill (1-8 in 20, then 1-4 in 10)

Pretty basic.

College football:
Ohio State favored by 16-17 at Illinois: part of me thinks that this will look a lot like the Wisconsin game. Then again, Ohio State is fighting for a playoff spot and style points will count. Call it 35-17 and OSU covers. I’ll be at this one.

Navy favored by 20 over SMU SMU is a bad team and Navy is strong. But Navy has to have a bad game sometime; they pasted Memphis on the road and still face Tulsa, Houston on the road and Army..and possibly a game in the AAC championship game. Pick Navy to win, but SMU might well keep it..well, not “close” but 30-14’ish. Navy to win, SMU covers?

West Virginia favored by 8 over Texas Texas has actually performed comparably against the teams that West Virginia lost to; in fact, slightly better. But Texas has been a horrible, absolutely horrible road team: 38-3, 50-10, 24-0 losses; the latter to a not-so-good Iowa State team. Texas lays another egg: 27-3?

Wake Forrest at Notre Dame: ND favored by 27 Sounds about right; ND is rolling and Wake isn’t very good. 38-0 Irish.

Summary: Straight up: Ohio State, Navy, West Virginia, Notre Dame.
Spread: Ohio State, SMU, West Virginia, Notre Dame.

NFL note: Got tickets for the Bears vs. Rams. Rams are favored by 7. That sounds about right; neither team is a ball of fire so I’ll go with the home team. Call it 24-17 Rams, though it wouldn’t be a monumental upset if the Bears won.

I think that this is my first “College/Pro” football double weekend since I caught Texas-Oklahoma and Dallas-San Francisco in 1989.

Personal Football note: I played offensive tackle in high school. Yeah, I got a holding call or two (or three); I didn’t use my feet well. But I don’t think that I ever did this…(and this was NOT called)


November 12, 2015 Posted by | college football, NFL, running, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Holding myself accountable and warm fuzzies…

Warm fuzzy workout: easy 2 mile walk on my Cooper to Moss course followed by light yoga. I slept in and did not swim.

Why “warm fuzzy”: when I tried to restart running in 1993-1994, I started jogging this course. At first it took me 26 minutes to jog this 2.1 mile course; eventually I got faster as I lost weight. Fortunately, I am still faster than that…if only by a little.

My point: no matter how bad things go this weekend, I can remember where I came from.

Holding myself accountable: I signed up for the Mc-not-Again 30 mile trail event. Last year, I was close to being 2 hours behind the second to last place finisher. This year: the race director has allowed me to start early so I don’t hold things up.

My fear: is that I’ll quit over disgust at how slowly I am going. Yes, the early start gives me more daylight and I am planning to run a bit. And yes, I am in better “long distance” shape than I was last year.

But still, a LOT of the field will catch me. I KNOW that. I just need to keep going, even if I don’t like that I am going so slowly.

Being ashamed of my pace is not a good enough reason to quit.

November 6, 2015 Posted by | ultra, walking | | Leave a comment

Science, Republican debaters and “good guys with guns”

Workout notes: swim: 4 x 250 on 5 (barely made these at first), 5 x (25 fly, 25 free, 25 back, 25 free) on 10-15 seconds rest, 5 x (25 side, 25 free, 25 side, 25 free), 200 in 3:22.

Then I had a pleasant 2 mile walk outside followed by light yoga; “wheel: a brief pain in the right shoulder; better stretch it prior to trying that pose again.


THIS is one major problem with the dumb “good guy with a gun” idea: they often shoot innocent people, or EVEN THE VICTIM of the crime.

Politics: No Republicans, the Democrats didn’t get easier questions than you did. Just watch.

And yes, Donald Trump is coming to Springfield, IL. Yes, I have a ticket. Actually, I have two, but my wife doesn’t want to go, for some reason. :-)

Science: yes, it works. check out these interesting videos:

What happens when a truck going 60 mph shoots a cannonball going 60 mph in the opposite direction?

What happens when a spring is dropped?

Here you go:

November 4, 2015 Posted by | 2016, physics, science, swimming, walking | , | Leave a comment


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