Brrrbaseball and other trivial topics

The unusually wet, cold and snowy spring has played havoc with baseball schedules and kept fans away in droves.

But ironically, I got one free game out of all that: Wisconsin played the Chiefs this past weekend, but faced heavy snow at home.

So, some calls were made, and Wisconsin stayed in Peoria and “played host” to the Kane County Cougars. I couldn’t make today’s noon game but I did make yesterdays “clear but chilly” game.

It was a wonderful game; the Timberrattlers started strong and took a 4-1 lead; they hit a couple of home runs. But the Cougar relief pitching was strong and their bats woke up; Wisconsin also made some fielding errors. Kane County took the lead in the 8’th and held on. Still, the game was fun to watch.

It was even colder for tonight’s Western Illinois at Bradley game and there was some snow showers in the last hour. Western started quickly and scored 2 runs in the first inning; BU helped their cause with a walk and an error. But with bases loaded and 1 out, BU got a double play. Then BU promptly got 3 runs (first two batters got hits) and lead 3-2 after one inning; that inning took about 38 minutes to play.
From then on Bradley’s defense dominated and though the Braves came up empty when they had the bases loaded with no outs, they scored enough in the rest of the innings to win 9-2. BU had a bit of everything: bunts, a home run, extra base hits, etc.

I was impressed that Western had some fans; many (most?) of the BU fans took advantage of the “suite” seats that had an indoor section.

And yes, at the start, the snowflakes were very well defined.

Yes, it is snowing. Those are snowflakes. #baseball #whereisspring

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Workout notes
The shoulder continues to improve.

Usual PT, pull ups: 2 sets of (5-5-5-5), 1 set of 10. Note: the 5-5-5-5 were a bit higher quality and burned in a good way.
bench: 10 x 135, 8 x 165, not much pain at all…very slow reps. 10 x 135 for the incline.
military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 45 standing, 10 x 90 (each arm) machine. Rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer. Usual abs; did the plank at first; everything else burned.

I didn’t want to run so I walked 5K outside, briskly.


April 19, 2018 Posted by | baseball, Peoria, Peoria/local, walking, weight training | , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting passed by…

Well, I have gotten a few tasks done. I did notice that I had a bit less energy than I anticipated; in the pool I could not stay with Jason, even for a short while.

swim: 250 free, 250 drill/swim (fins), 5 x 100 (25 fist, 75 free) on the 2:10 (about 1:55 each), 4 x 100 IM (with the fly this time), 6 x 100 pull, 100 free, 100 fins, 100 free with Jason.
run: 5.1-5.5 (every mile; goosed it slightly in mile 5) 56:38. I had all sorts of grand plans of (sub 10 mpm for the final 2 miles, etc.) but was grateful just to finish 5 miles; very mild discomfort in the foot in the final mile.

Commentary: I am on the Illinois Valley Striders Facebook page, and the moderators fill it with “you can do it”, “push past the fear”, “you can do more than you think you can” stuff. That really drives home how out of touch I am.

With me: it is mostly about “dialing back” expectations! It is about managing the little aches and pains, adjusting to how my body feels on a given day, and perhaps doing a bit more (within reason!) on good days, and settle for “just doing it at all” on the tougher days. I keep thinking that there will be that one workout where my body will say: “oh, just kidding, here are your 6:30 mpm miles back” but … it hasn’t happened yet.

And that means, at least for me at the moment, a decent training pace in running is 11:30 mpm, 10 mpm is “brisk” and 9 mpm is an OMG pace. Walking: 14 is moving, 15 is brisk, 16-17 is “deliberate”. That is just how it is. Of course, part of the reason is that I have to mix up activities: 2 yoga, 2 swim, 1 bike, 2-3 walking, 3 runs, 3 weight lifting sessions per week. I don’t do any one thing enough to get significantly better at it, but I am avoiding the doctor’s office too.

Oh well, back to checking to see if my exam is correctly written.

April 17, 2018 Posted by | running, swimming, whining | , | Leave a comment

Peoria Chiefs win a rain/snow double header

Workout notes: yesterday, 8 mile walk (convoluted course); sort of damp. The weather was to get worse. Time: 2:17..easy pace; no heel pain at all.

This morning: walked through some crunchy “soft ice” to get to the gym. Weights plus a 2 mile hill walk on the treadmill.

April 16?

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weights: usual pt, pull ups (5 sets of 10 done slowly), bench: 10 x 135, 7 x 160 pain free but cautious, 10 x 135 incline, military: standing dumbbell: 10 x 50, 15 x 45, 20 x 40. rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine.
Usual abs (2:30 plank; headstand: had to focus).

walk: started at 3.8 mph worked up 1.0-5.0 every 3 minutes then stayed at 5; sped up to finish 29:38 for 2 miles. Was not into the bike at all.

Yesterday: snowy baseball. It was gray..drizzled, rained then snowed toward the end of the double header. So I sat for most of the fist game; walked around for the second game.

Coffee! It took Carmen long enough to get it.

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It was snowing. Really.

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I wore: thermal underwear tops and bottom, rain pants over my regular pants, long sleeve, sweat shirt, vest, rain jacket and STILL got a little bit cold.

Oh the game: actually, an exciting double header. In the first the Chiefs took a 3-0 lead, getting back to back home runs in the 3’d. Wisconsin stormed back to tie it at 3 going into the final inning, but in the bottom of the 7’th the Chiefs scored off a bad throw on a ground ball (should have been an out, I think).

The second: the teams traded runs in the first, then the pitchers dominated. Still the Chiefs had their chances to take leads. They stranded two runners on base twice AND hit into a double play with the bases loaded and 1 out.

So it was 1-1 going into the bottom of the 7’th (and yes, it was snowing). The Timber Rattlers put in a relief pitcher who retired the first two batters, BUT both were long fly balls to center field where the center fielder made excellent plays. The third well hit ball fell for a single, then a double drove him home, ending the sweep.

They recorded attendance as 1340 in the box score, but there were maybe 40-50 people in the lower part..a few in the upper deck boxes..probably no more than 100.

But others have it worse. The Timber Rattlers are staying here and playing Kane County here on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (night game on Tuesday) and the weather should be decent. I’ll be working during the day games on Wednesday and Thursday.


April 16, 2018 Posted by | baseball, walking, weight training | , , , , | Leave a comment

Shattered: a view of the failed 2016 Clinton campaign

I just finished reading the book Shattered by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes.

Like many, I thought that Hillary Clinton would win but was aware that she was not in as strong of a position as Obama was in during the 2012 campaign.

Still, I thought that the “worst case” was 272-266 Clinton

And I misread the coalition that Trump brought aboard in key states.

So, what went wrong? Oh I know what went wrong with the models that overstated Clinton’s probability of winning; it was the statistical idea of independence and the width of the confidence intervals.

But what about with the election and campaign itself? The book Shattered examines that question. Yes, the book makes it clear that the Comey letter, Russian meddling and other forces played a factor; for example, in some key areas of key states, she did just as well as Obama did with the female vote but did much worse with the male vote. This book does NOT discount these factors.

But it does talk about how dysfunctional the campaign was (the goal was often to maintain access to HRC rather than to get her elected…loyalty was rewarded, sometimes at the expense of competence..and there was too much focus on analytics and “getting one’s people to the polls as opposed to trying to win at least a few votes over”.

Yes, I know; many times there are people that you are wasting your time with. But there is value in persuasion; sometimes losing red counties 65-35 instead of 75-25 can help you carry the state.

And, they painted a portrait of a candidate who, while knowing every white paper on the issues, just could not connect with voters outside of a narrow circle. And it wasn’t as if HRC was good with public introspection; she appeared to place little blame on herself, at least at that time. She does some of this in her own book, which came out later.

I found that the book was a good complement to Clinton’s own book What Happened.

Oh yes, if you Loooooove Hillary you’ll think that this book is a “hit job”. This book will be dismissed by Clinton cultists. If you hate her, you’ll find a lot you like in the book, though the book DOES admit that other factors played a big role; any one of these could have tipped the scales in such a close election.

But, realistically, I think that the book shows that attempted to run a 2012 style campaign against a very unconventional opponent with the country being in an unconventional mood.

And yes, while Obama was a ground breaking candidate, he was also a “purple unicorn” with extreme intelligence, charisma and political skill. Clinton had only the ‘intelligence” part; being a woman didn’t seem to help her a higher percentage of the female vote and she was hurt with the male vote. Though one might exclaim “sexism”, and I have no doubt that it was a factor, I wonder if there was a difference: Obama got to where he was under his own steam. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton got to where she was because of Bill; had she never married him, she might have well been some successful lawyer, professor or policy expert.

And while her being saddled to Bill got her into the arena, it may well have harmed her during this particular election itself.

Now of course, every campaign makes mistakes and has some dysfunction; after all, Trump did horribly during the debates and had all sorts of gaffes and missteps ..many which might have sunk him in a different election. But he had enough showmanship (“political campaign skill”) to overcome those missteps….at least during THIS election.

Other reviews: here, here and here.

April 14, 2018 Posted by | 2016, books, politics, politics/social | Leave a comment

getting there…slowly

Today: 6 mile run on the treadmill, followed by a 1 mile walk (1:21:40 total time; 1:05:50 for the 6 mile run).
Every 10 minutes to 55: 5.1-5.6, then 6.1-6.4 every .25 for the final running mile. Heel pain: extremely mild; almost not worth noting, in absence of knowing about it.

April 14, 2018 Posted by | running, walking | , | Leave a comment

No mass uprising over Mueller being fired: exhausted, underpaid Americans

I find some of the dialogue on Twitter to be, well, rather uninformed. I am reading about marches, pitchforks and even a “general strike” if Trump attempts to fire Mueller (he would have to do so indirectly)

The reality:

“Just 29 percent of Americans had a favorable impression of Mueller, while another 29 percent had an unfavorable one, and 42 percent said they’re unsure or never heard of Mueller.”

Sure, a majority say that the investigation should continue, but this is not an issue on most people’s minds.

Think about it: the average American who even listens to the news probably gets a snippet here and there on the way between, say, their job and picking up their kids. Those most interested are those with the time to digest things, and even many of these are probably pro-Trump.

People really don’t have the time or energy to seriously challenge this.

Oh sure, the teacher’s strikes may have paid dividends, but people have kids in schools; this affects their lives HERE AND isn’t some abstract “principle of democracy” for them.

I suppose underpaying Americans and keeping (most) of them overworked has its virtues.

Another topic: guns in schools. Yes, there were student protests about gun violence in Miami. But these didn’t get covered that well: the victims and the protesters are non-affluent and black. Yes, I know: this is “ordinary” gun violence as opposed to the AR-15 mass shooting but such violence kills far more kids than the “assault weapons/mass shootings” do.

April 14, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

brief respite

Nice weather for a change. Foot: better; left shoulder: oh-so-slight tweak during wide grip pullups.

usual PT and abs (2:30 plank), 5 sets of 10 pull ups (slow) bench; 10 x 135, 3 x 160 (stopped), military (dumbbell, standing) 10 x 50, 15 x 45, 20 x 40. Hammer rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200. Hammer incline: 10 x 140 (45+25 on each side).

Glorious, pain free 5K walk outside.

Tribalism and politics I sometimes find it astonishing that I agree so much with someone who cancels my vote. Part of the issue is the D vs. R classification is so coarse. But I wonder if part of it is just not liking many of the people who vote the other way.

Every time I think of considering a Republican…I look at the creationist Bible beaters and “Obama was a Kenyan Muslim” “birthers” and Trump supporters and think “nah..nothing for me over there”.

But stupidity is indeed bipartisan and perhaps I’ve learned to tune out liberal/Democratic stupidity?

April 13, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, walking, weight training | , , | 2 Comments

Not quite with it…here is what I think is going on…

I’ve felt off during my past 2 workouts.

This morning: 2200 yard swim, (2 km), 3 mile run, 2 mile walk (mostly outside). The run: 5.1, 5.2, 5.3 for each mile but didn’t enjoy 5.4 mph, so I just stopped, walked .25 miles, then 1.75 miles outside in the wonderful weather.

The swim: 500 free, 250 of drill/swim (fins), 250 of fist/free, 5 x 100 IM (free in place of fly), 200 pull, 200 fins, 200 swim, 100 swim. 200.4 before, 198.8 after the swim.

Yesterday: weights plus 4 miles of walking (3 on the track was at 15:00 mpm). I had tried to run..but didn’t like it.

Weights: usual PT, usual abs afterward, 5-5-5, 5-5-5, 10, 10 pull ups (good), military: 2 sets of 10 x 50 standing, (dumbbell), 20 x 40, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer. bench: 10 x 135, 5 x 155, 5 x 155 (careful and conservative to protect the shoulder), 2 sets of 10 x 140 Hammer incline press. The shoulder is healing.

Later: yoga; Vickie did more of a traditional class I remember.

I had told her that I thought she had “gotten soft”. 🙂

What is going on with me: for the past couple of days, I’ve felt achy..a bit tired but not extremely so. Digestion is not smooth. Old injuries hurt just a tiny bit.
I wonder if I have a mini-bug OR if Tuesday’s run was, well, tough for me. I remember doing a similar run on Thursday of last week and then struggling in Saturday’s run.

April 12, 2018 Posted by | running, swimming, walking, yoga | , , , | Leave a comment

Why I think that we are stuck with Trump for at least his first term…if not….a second

Yes, I know that Trump is at about 41 percent approval (FiveThirtyEight), (Real Clear Politics)and at 79 percent among Republicans ( have to sift a bit).

These are not wonderful numbers. But when Nixon resigned, he was in the 60 percent range among Republicans…AND Democrats controlled both chambers AND Fox News didn’t exist. So even if the D’s take both chambers in 2018 (a long shot…taking the House might be realistic) I don’t see anywhere near 2/3 of the Senate voting to remove him.

Trump will have to really, really become toxic and I don’t mean “he triggered a bunch of liberal snowflakes by saying (insert “something offensive to liberals” here)” toxic. True, some (many?) around him may well end up in jail.

Frankly, I’ll be relieved if he doesn’t get reelected in 2020 (as he may well might). Yes, he is unpopular, but he can win by being “less evil” than whoever the Democrats run..and for the life of me, I don’t have a clue.

April 10, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

Believing the worst about those you hate..

First in the news: yes, the FBI raided the office of one of Trump’s lawyers. No: you do not have attorney-client privilege if you are trying to use a lawyer to commit a crime or cover it up.

This is old news, but I saw this on a friend’s Facebook wall:

There are a couple of things wrong here. One: not all of us would consider one unkind mocking a disqualifying event “on the spot”, though, IF true, it is a bad thing. This isn’t the same level, but remember Obama apologizing for making that “Special Olympics” remark (about how bad of bowler he is)?

But, more importantly, there is quite a bit of evidence that Trump uses this mannerism to mock *everyone* he wants to mock.

So, I really believe he was just mocking a reporter.

Now if you want to say that mocking people in this manner isn’t “presidential” behavior, well, I might agree with you.

I think the lesson here is that I (and many others) really want to believe the worst about those we dislike. Therefore, I must approach all “did you see what Trump just did” stories with a bit of skepticism.

Note: I really do not believe that Trump will be removed from office; I see that as a very remote possibility. And it probably isn’t helpful for Democrats to run “on impeachment”..especially those who are running in Republican held states and Congressional Districts.

But I do think things like this MIGHT help us beat him when he runs for reelection.

Personal and workout stuff (TMI)

For the past couple of days, I have not felt “Right”; lower GI while, not bad, I ache more than normal (joints, old injuries) and last night, after yoga, my right knee was somewhat unstable (too much kneeling in class?) The stomach stuff: probably our campus tragedy …that really, really bothered me. It still does..I just felt dejected .

Yesterday: weights and bike. Weights: usual PT, 5 sets of 10 pull ups (slow), military press: 10 x 50, 10 x 50, 15 x 45 (all standing), rows: Hammer: 3 sets of 10 x 200. bench press: dumbbell: 2 sets of 10 x 40 (full motion). incline press: Hammer: 10 x 90, 10 x 140 (45 + 25). full ab set (2:30 plank). Then 34:40 for 10 miles on the bike. Evening: yoga.

Today: swim: 250 (slow, off), 250 (better), 5 x 25 fist, 25 free, 5 x 25 drill, 25 free (fins), 3 x (100 free, 100 pull), 4 x 100 modified IM (free instead of fly), 100 pull, 50 free, 50 side.
run: 10 min: 5.1, 5.2, 5 min: 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6..up to 44:50 (4 miles), then 6.1-6.4 (every .25 miles) for 54:32

Note: this morning, my heel hurt a bit..was fine on the run for the first 30-35 minutes, then “there” for “faster” (less glacial) paced running.

April 10, 2018 Posted by | bicycling, running, social/political, swimming, weight training, yoga | , , , , | Leave a comment