President of sh***y people: Head Deplorable

Ok, we are getting used to this:

When the discussion turned to African nations, the people with knowledge of the conversation added, Mr. Trump asked why he would want “all these people from shithole countries,” adding that the United States should admit more people from places like Norway.

Remember, this is in a meeting with Senators and the like.

The problem: a sizable minority of people in this country probably approves of such remarks.

Sure, some countries are wealthier than others, some immigrants are better educated than others and some are smarter than others. And yes, it makes sense to have a mix of immigrants.

But this is NOT how I want my country to be represented. The President is supposed to be speaking for all of us and not just his precious “deplorables”.

Workout notes: weird. again my warm up (on the treadmill) was challenging; 1.5 miles in 19 minutes, 1 minute run, 1 walk.
Track (lane 2) 8:50 (4:26/4:24)
walk 5 more laps
3.1 mile course plus a bit more outside. (slow)

The 8:50 mile just about killed me…I am out of shape (yes, 1 week after blood donation)

January 12, 2018 Posted by | political/social, republicans, social/political | | Leave a comment

Pushing through workouts while “down in the dumps”

I’ll make this clear: I do NOT have clinical depression. BUT my mood often goes south during extended periods where the weather is cold, grey and snowy. You might call it “down in the dumps”.

During such periods, I sometimes struggle a bit when I have free time; I do better when class is session and I have a set routine: “workout from x to y, eat, office hours and class prep at z, classes here, meetings there, more classes here, office hours/class prep/research/committee work class/meeting now..rinse, later and repeat with an occasional basketball game thrown in.”

And yes, I’ve got some classes to get ready for, and I’ll do some this afternoon.

And kicking myself into getting going: it is mentally tough to do.

Yesterday: I finally got on the treadmill in the afternoon and had to walk right away; I ended up walking for 6 miles; 10K in 1:18:50 (1:04:32 for 5 miles, 11:48 for mile 6). For me, that isn’t that bad.

Today: usual pt; pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (better than recent performances), incline 10 x 135, 4 x 160, 10 x 140, military: 2 sets of 10 x 50 standing dumbbell, 10 x 180 (90 each arm) machine, 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer Machine.

The run was weird. I started out at 5.1 mph at 0.5 incline and had to walk at 3 minutes! But by 5 minutes I felt better and sped it up enough to hit mile 1 in 11:48 (going 10 10 mpm at 10 minutes) then did a 9:22 mile (4:25 second half), walked a bit, resumed running to get to mile 3 in 33:36, and 3.11 (5 km) in 34:45. Overall, it was a routine “easy pace” 5K “run” (jog?) but here I really varied the pace.

I think that when I am in these moods, I don’t handle discomfort well and therefore need a gentler warm up. Part of it might be last week’s blood donation.

Weight (shoes, short, shirt: 207.0..unchanged from July).

So, in 2018, I AM working out..just not training. I’ll have to set a spring goal and focus on that.

January 10, 2018 Posted by | running, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Trump: why is this acceptable?

Imagine your favorite football team was coached by someone who didn’t bother to watch film of his upcoming opponent but instead just “winged it” at gametime.

Imagine your business being run by a boss that didn’t plan ahead, didn’t put in the hours but instead just made decisions “by feel”.

Imagine a general who didn’t plan ahead, look at maps, reports, but instead just attacked by his gut instincts.

Yes, all of the above works great in action movies..but in real life?

That is what we have as President: an incompetent, lazy jackass whose work ethic wouldn’t be tolerated at the businesses of many who voted for him!

But our country is so tribal…people can’t see past “he is on my team”.

Workout notes: treadmill; started out 10 minutes at 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, then 5.4 to mile 4 (46:20) then 6.0-6.1-6.2-6.3 down to 6.1 (56:05). Then 16:33 cool down walk.

At first I was like “ok, this isn’t that bad…then I remembered that I used to WALK marathons at a faster pace than this. Oh well…but this was 2 days after blood donation.

January 6, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, running, social/political | | 3 Comments

More head scratching….

This is just nuts: Clinton’s lead in the popular vote is now about 2.5 million, and her percentage lead is 1.9 percent? And yes, the Democrat has won the popular vote in 6 of the previous 7 elections, though the Republican won the Electoral College thrice.

Nevertheless, our elections, for now, are decided by the Electoral College. Somehow, it makes sense to spend attention to a few “swing states” as opposed to where more people live? That no longer makes sense to me.

But Trump won. Oh, there will be consequences; for example many will lose their health insurance.

So, where do we go from here? I completely agree with this:

As Democrats contemplate their losses in November’s election, most have settled on a solution. They believe that the party needs more economically populist policies. But this misses an essential reality: Most people don’t vote on the basis of policies.

There is excellent research by political scientists and psychologists on why people vote. The conclusion is clear. As Gabriel Lenz writes in his landmark 2012 book, “Follow the Leader?”, “Voters don’t choose between politicians based on policy stances; rather, voters appear to adopt the policies that their favorite politicians prefer.”

And how do voters pick their favorite politicians? It is a gut decision that is more emotional than rational. Mostly it hinges on whether they identify with a politician in the social and psychological senses.

In an important recent book, “Democracy for Realists,” Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels show that “group attachments” and “social identities” are key to understanding voting behavior. Psychologist Jonathan Haidt reinforces this view with mountains of research showing that people choose their political views based on their tribal attachments.

I agree with this. However these sorts of solutions are problematic:

Barack Obama is a singularly charismatic politician. But he might have made Democrats forget that the three Democrats elected to the White House before his election came from the rural South. They knew that world; they were of it.

With these insights in mind, on the campaign trail, perhaps Clinton and the Democrats should have rallied not with Beyonce and Jay Z but rather with George Strait. And if you don’t know who he is, that’s part of the problem.

I agree that Barack Obama is so good of a politician that he may have masked problems that Democrats have. But as far as Beyonce and Jay Z: remember that a Democrat cannot not win without the base. True, they can’t win with ONLY their base, as we found out; we do need at least a few votes beyond our base. But you can’t disrespect your base either.

It is a tricky line to walk.

Workout notes: yesterday, weights only (day after whole blood donation): pull ups (5 sets of 10), rotator cuff, incline bench: 10 x 135, 5 x 160, 10 x 150, military: 10 x 50 dumbbell standing, 20 x 50 dumbbell seated, supported, 10 x 200 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 single armed rows, headstand, 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunches.

today: run only; 5.1 mile shuffle on my hilly course; hills were a chore.

December 2, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, running, social/political, Uncategorized, weight training | , , , | Leave a comment

Which of the following is true? (running: personal and trivial)

Today I ran the first 4 miles in 37:52 and did the final 2 in 17:19.(*) What happened?

1. I had planned to run the last 2 miles harder.

2. At mile 4 I was tempted to continue in this comfortable, cocoon type pace. But I thought: “you aren’t going to get in good enough shape to be checked out by the hot grannies at the races if you don’t go harder than this.”

3. Some college student thought that she could pass the old professor and I wanted to teach her a lesson (and yes, she couldn’t keep up).

(*) yes, I know that this is way slow by good runner standards. But I’m not a good runner. 🙂

February 2, 2016 Posted by | running | , , | Leave a comment

Day 2 post blood donation

I am keeping track because human performance interests me. It appears that blood donation hurts summer running worse than winter running; it is probably because during the summer, the blood demand for cooling is higher.

Weights: rotator cuff
pull ups: 10-15-10-10-10 (last set: tired)
bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185 (strong), 9 x 170 (strong)
incline press: 10 x 140 (strong)
military (dumbbells): 2 sets of 12 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell rows, 10 x 110 machine
abs (2 sets of 12 crunches, 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, headstand)

Running: went to the track and: 10:15, 10:01, 9:47, 9:40, 9:22, 9:17 (58:24), 1:00:35 (10K) Lane 2 for the first 6 miles, lane 1 for the final 2 laps to get to 10K.
I was sweating heavily 1.5 miles into it but none of the miles were “bad”. But the average pace: 9:44, was right on the edge of the effort level when blood donation takes its toll.

Physically: I am feeling good. What is wrong? 🙂

January 7, 2016 Posted by | running, weight training | | Leave a comment

Blood donation time again…

My running season is officially over; I donated blood to the Red Cross. Yes, this was whole blood and NOT double red cells! I can expect a 3-4 point drop in my VO2-max due to the donation, and a slow down due to the heat. I’ll probably be back to normal within a month. (note: double red cells would have wiped me out until at least September; after one of these, even a warm up jog gets me out of breath).

This time, I have a plan.

1. One run a week, I’ll do short intervals to get some turnover and follow it with a modest run on the treadmill.
2. I’ll race often. I have 5K races scheduled for 4 July, 12 July and 26 July. These will probably be performance disasters (due to heat and blood donation effects) but they will be “push myself” type workouts.
3. The main focus will be the Wednesday and Sunday walks; the goal remains a powerwalk marathon on 28 September. The blood donation won’t affect this training very much.

The biggest effect blood donation has is on the warm weather, “anything faster than an easy pace” run. Oxygen simply doesn’t get to the muscles very well and it is doubly bad when it is hot outside.

I still remember the day when I learned this lesson. It was 2001; I was running the Quad Cities Half marathon. I took it out at my usual 7:30 mpm pace (normal for me in those days; my best that year was 1:37) and I found myself fading during the SECOND MILE! Oddly enough, my hands began to get cold too.

During this period another runner came up beside me and said that he liked what I said on television. Then I remembered; I gave blood after the Fall Steamboat 15K and gave a statement to the press; it was 9/11 related.
So, I smiled, cut back on my pace and struggled (but no walking!) in with 1:49…of course I’d love to run that time now-a-days. But in those days, that was a slow time for me.

Speaking of sports: this 15 minute TED talk about athletics and the progression of world records is very interesting.

1. Better equipment (high tech swim suits, rubber tracks, wave minimizing gutters in pools).
2. Better training.
3. Athletes drawn from a wider pool.
4. Selection pressures: shot putters are bigger, smaller distance runners…and people who have the ideal body type finding their sports. Example Hicham El Guerrouj held the mile run world record and is only 5′ 9″. Michael Phelps won numerous gold medals in swimming and is 6′ 4″. Yet: both of these athletes wear the same pants length! Short legs are good for swimming; longer legs are good for distance running.

The video is excellent.

Workout notes
Weights plus swimming. I was 180.0 prior to lifting.

Pull ups: 5 sets of 10 with hip hikes and Achilles exercises as rest.
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 100, 6 x 170.
incline press: 7 x 140. rotator cuff rest.
military press: 2 sets of 10 x 85 standing (barbell), 10 x 40 dumbbell (standing)
pull downs: one set of 7 x 160 traditional, 7 x 100 low. Then 2 sets of 10 x 160 traditional, 10 x 90 machine low.
rows: 2 sets of alternating arms with the Hammer Machine: 105 each arm, then 10 x 200 both at once.

1000 easy
500 of 25 side, 25 free
4 x 100 hard (on 2; 1:42-44)
2 x 50 hard
200 of 25 fly, 25 back (fins). 2200 yards (2000 meters) total.

Note: I did a few reps where I chased the faster swimmers; they didn’t seem to mind. I even talked to one afterward. Basically, when I catch them, they realize that they are dogging it and pick it up.
That makes it fun.

June 30, 2014 Posted by | sports, swimming, weight training | , | Leave a comment