Voting: it matters.

We had primary elections yesterday; none of my major candidates won (or even came close), though the incumbent governor almost got beat in the primary by a whack-job.

So, now it is the “battle of the unqualified billionaires” for governor.

But of local interest, there was this referendum on the ballot: should Peoria County make “auditor” a professional, non-political position (one that is appointed). I voted “yes” to make the auditor to be a professional, appointed job rather than an elected one. More than 22,000 people voted and “no” won by 14 votes.

14 votes!

Workout notes:

weights (usual pt), pull ups (5-5-5, 5-5-5, 10, 10) decline press: 10 x 135, 10 x 165, incline press 4 x 155, 10 x 135, military (standing: 10 x 50, 10 x 45), seated: 15 x 50, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (single arm) with dumbbell, 10 x 110 machine.

abs: twist crunch (50, 24), yoga leg lifts (10, 10), moving bridge (3 sets of 10), headstand (tough to get into), plank 2:20, side plank

run: treadmill: 5.1-5.4 5 minute froggy, then 6.1 then 6.2-6.5 every .25 miles (31:58), 32:55 for 5k, 45:25 4 mile (walk final .9 miles).

foot: ok, iced.


March 21, 2018 Posted by | Peoria, Peoria/local, politics, politics/social, running, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Trump, Mueller, Instagram science and “The Needle”

It seems as if anything can raise offense these days…well, I suppose it was ALWAYS that way but we hear more about it now. Here, a budding female scientists expresses frustration with being stuck with the “make science attractive to the masses duties” because she is female:

A lot of good comes from the work of female scientists on Instagram. But it disturbs me that these efforts are celebrated as ways to correct for the long held and deeply structured forms of discrimination and exclusion that female scientists face. I wonder whether our efforts should instead be directed toward advocating for policy changes at institutional and governmental levels.

When I next interview for a job, I won’t have an Instagram page to show that my love of science doesn’t make me boring and unfriendly. Publicly documenting the cute outfit I wear and the sweet smile I brandish in the lab isn’t going to help me build a fulfilling career in a field where women hold less senior positions, are paid less, and are continuously underrated. Time spent on Instagram is time away from research, and this affects women in science more than men. That’s unfair. Let’s not celebrate that.

And..of course…someone was offended.

Now THIS is a reasonable response..sort of. I don’t think saying “I am not going to do this and this is why” is shaming. If you WANT to do this, fine. But the author of the article was saying that she felt pressure to do that, and she shouldn’t. Disclaimer: I love my camera and my Instagram does have some “math selfies” or at least photos of math department members doing “mathy” things. But that is ME; I enjoy doing that.

Speaking of math: “The Needle” (Upshot’s day of the election forecast needle” is explained here. And yes, it DID predict a Trump victory long before it became apparent to others; I followed it. Roughly speaking: it looks at what vote has been counted, which areas have not been, what the turnout was and historically, how the outstanding areas have gone. It is a bit like this (about 6 minutes into it)

Trump and Muller Trump cannot fire Muller directly, and firing him indirectly will be harder than it might appear at first…and even if he does, that doesn’t mean the investigation gets stopped.

But this doesn’t mean that Congress ..or the people will see the full results of the Muller probe either.

I am not sure as to what is going on or what is happening. I do know that the Russians have made fools out of us in many ways. As far as the election stuff: yeah, some of the Russian ads were…well…”shit posting” quality. But campaigns are forbidden to consult with people who are putting out ads on their behalf unless they are an official part of the campaign, and foreigners aren’t allowed to collude, period. So there is some potential violations of election law.

Workout notes
Swim, then running. Swim: I was disappointed that the lifeguard showed up and I was awful (bloated, etc.) 4 x 250 free, 100 back, 100 breast, 100 back, 200 drill, 2 x 200, 1 x 100 (3:36, 3:42, 1:52), 2 x 50 (54), 2 x 25, 50 back.

run: treadmill 5.1 and up .1 every .5 miles (33:50 for 3, 34:55 for 3.1, then walk to 47:25 for 4 miles. Foot: was starting to work so I had to talk myself out of doing more. That is a good sign.

March 20, 2018 Posted by | 2016, politics, politics/social, science, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

Back for round 2

Back in town…finished grading some exams.

The drive there and back: as easy as I have ever had. I was surprised. Now I am going to work on the book Shattered (about the Clinton campaign…so far..what I expected as far as strengths and weaknesses.

Workout: hotel treadmill again; 3 miles on the treadmill (33:50) then 1 walk: 47:45. The heel, while not well, is doing better. No NSAIDS over the past 4 days. Medium distance running appears to be ok.

March 19, 2018 Posted by | running, travel, walking | , | Leave a comment

Cleveland trip..

Workout notes: 4 miles on the treadmill in 46:40; 3 run in 32:50; 33:50 for 3.1 (breaker trip at 2.55 at 28:10; 6.1-6.2 to get to 3.1, then walked.

Later: Rocky River Park stairs (note: 2 minutes per uphill walk, steady, not fast, but deliberate).

Overall, it was a nice visit with Olivia and Barbara was great company as well.

Yesterday: Greater Cleveland Aquarium and Brunos.

Today: Rocky River Nature Preserve and lunch, and Half Price books.

We took a trolley tour of Cleveland afterward. Note the colorful blue paint on the bridge.

They had all sorts of fish.

Note the size of this could take air from the surface too.

The shark tank was interesting.

Yes, you could put your hand in the water to pet the stingrays.

Handsome toad.

At Brunos.

At Rocky River

The Nature Center has lots of rocking chairs and some animal exhibits.

The Stairs: 2 minute walk up. I did this 3 times, just for the heck of it (some ice still left). Great views from the top.

March 18, 2018 Posted by | family, hiking, running, travel, walking | , | Leave a comment

hanging on

I admit two things:

1. The fatigue of last weeks 24-30 hour bug is still with me…somewhat.
2. The foot is not 100 percent well; it was still oh-so-slightly sore from yesterday’s 7 miles.

Today’s workout was ok though sluggish: 2200 yards: 500 free, 100 back, 100 breast, 100 swim/drill, 200 in 3:36, 100 in 1:50 (fading), 100 back, 100 breast, 100 swim/drill, 7 x 100 on the 2:10 (1:50 each; one “lazy” one), 100 back.
I got through it ok with no “pop”.

Bike: 38:50 for 10 miles; I started so damned slowly it took me almost 5 minutes to go the first mile; didn’t average 15 mph until mile 7 (28:00). I was kind of dead afterward and ended up taking a nap! Had it not been spring break, I would have had do have done only one of these activities.

Politics: is sure looks as if Lamb pulled it out in PA-18. But he was the right kind of candidate for THAT district. The Republicans can spin it any way they want to, but the shift is toward the Democrats, though we should realize that the “red region” Democrats will be more conservative than I would like.

Personal Tomorrow, Barbara and I will have been married 22 years. We celebrated yesterday as we’ll be on the road. We went to one of our favorite restaurants and exchanged cards…and we got each other the same card! That is hilarious…

(the theme: seeing your spouse in a crowd coming toward you and just feel good when you spot them)

March 14, 2018 Posted by | bicycling, Personal Issues, swimming | , , | Leave a comment

Not ready for prime time

Ok, I tried a 7 mile walk; W. Peoria 5.25 plus a 2.05 Cornstalk loop. Pace was high 16’s; I was stumpy because I was automatically trying to protect my PF heel ( which hurts with a push-off). It will be a while before faster walking is comfortable. Time: 2:02 (not a misprint). Oh boy. It was sunny and I have only mild “post walk” ache without taking Naproxen. And yes, I am not quite over last Thursday’s bug; I ended up napping this afternoon.

For some reason, I was reminded of Steamboat 15K runs in the past. And you know what I really, really miss?

Well, when I finished in the 1:08 range (just under, just over), I felt good about being included in the group I was running with. I felt similarly when I slowed to 1:11-1:14. 1:21-1:23….not so much.

Walking it just under 2 hours? Well, I liked my age peers (e. g. Lynnor..some others) . But most around me were on the order of 20 years younger and, well, let’s just say that they are different than those I used to run with. I miss being with the “old group”.

Hell, I suppose I should be grateful I finished today’s walk. But man, do I lose a bunch when I have to lay off a bit.

Other news: The Trump circus continues. Trump fires Tilerson via twitter and then fires Goldstein (a top deputy).

Well, at least tonight’s Pennsylvania election is expected to be close, and this is in a highly Republican district. Trump threw a huge rally for the Republican..will it help?

Frankly, the Republican sounds desperate but I am not great at guessing.

March 13, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political, walking | , , | Leave a comment

“College” basketball?

Hmm, at the very top levels, is it really “college” basketball? Even some of the “perfectly legal” practices are really not what college athletics are supposed to be about.

Certainly, my opinion carries no weight (nor should it). But..since you are reading this, I’d like to see basketball go the way of baseball: let the NBA set up some sort of A-AA-AAA farm system with pro coaches so those who don’t care about academics but want to pursue their dream (and have enough talent to have at least a remote shot at it) can focus, and let the colleges work with student athletes, say the way that my team does. And when the NBA thinks a kid is ready, they can call him up the way MLB teams do. The college kids can still leave but at least this intentional “one and done” farce will be over.

And yes, Bradley’s season is over. I can’t say that I blame BU for turning down the “EIEIO” tournaments. Taking a look at the games: let’s just say that an ordinary MVC conference game has more appeal than those games (that wasn’t always the case). The issue: the NIT now guarantees a slot to every team that wins a regular season conference championship but doesn’t get to the NCAA tournament. So some of the stronger mid major teams in leagues where the regular season champion won their conference tournament get shut out.

This shows a list of who is going where.

Workout notes: spring break. weight: 198.7 before workout (no clothes), 201.3 with shoes. This was after breakfast and coffee. I am still weak and the heel is not 100 percent; slight “burn” during the run..but slight.

rotator cuff
pull ups (5 sets of 10)
bench press: weak. 10 x 135, 1 x 185 (empty gym), 8 x 170
decline press: 4 x 165, readjust, 4 x 165 (empty gym)
incline press: 10 x 135
military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 45
single armed rows: 10 x 50 (3 sets)
abs: 50, 24 twist crunch, moving bridge, 10 yoga leg lifts (2 sets), head stand (easy today)
plank: 2:15 (made it!), side plank

treadmill run: 22:57 for 2 miles; talked myself out of going longer. Better to be conservative now.

Not 100 percent yet, either on the heel or from last week’s illness.

March 12, 2018 Posted by | basketball, running, weight training | , , , | Leave a comment

Interesting to me: campus free speech again, Illinois river flooding, geese, etc.

I am not 100 percent recovered from my recent illness and my heel is not ready for hard training either, though 4.2 miles with Ms. Vickie (“quick hike” pace) felt good.

The Illinois river has receded but one can see clearly that the goose loop was partially underwater; note the navigation buoy washed up on the grass.

Try to blow up this photo: the white goose in this photo actually has a “Canadian” neck.

And Ms. Vickie clowning a bit.

I had to fight off temptation to do more miles on my own; that is a good sign. But I am still slightly fatigued and almost fell asleep during the play Bonnie and Clyde. Well…it was community theater with many family members in the audience. The Bonnie character wasn’t the traditional Bonnie but has a wonderful singing voice (the play is a musical).

Issues: campus free speech, AGAIN. I am interested because I am a college professor. And this tweet thread that I’ve linked to does a good job at explaining that college is not making students more resistant to free speech than other students their age, that the number of incidents has to be viewed in context (there are many colleges and universities) and that the critics of some of the reported actions aren’t themselves the best advocates for free speech.

Now that being said, I will still criticize actions that I don’t care for, even if said actions aren’t of epidemic proportions, may not be representative of students on the whole, and may not be the fault of their education.

And yeah, I suppose that one easy way to raise my hackles is to intimate that somehow, you are qualified to censor (by direct policy of shouting down) what I want to hear. You aren’t. That applies to SJWs and religious nutters alike.

March 12, 2018 Posted by | political/social, social/political, walking | , , , | Leave a comment

Feeling much better

I don’t know what I had…but I appear to be all but over it.

I was going to lift and do something else but I saw some swimming lanes were open so I swam.

600 easy (sort-of races a nice looking woman), 12 x 50 fist/free on the 1:05 (subpar; 55 each), 100 back, 100 breast, 100 drill/swim, 200 (3:36), 100 back, 200 (3:40), 100 back 100 IM (less than stellar)

Then an easy 3 mile walk; saw the aftermath of a 5K (taking down the course). heel: slightly sore at first but felt fine later.

weight: 199 before swimming, 197.8 after.

March 10, 2018 Posted by | illness, swimming, walking | , | 1 Comment

This funk is becoming normal…

I have been in just a weird mood. Some of it is related to my personal life (no worries..”First World Issues”) but some of it, I think is about our country’s social situation.

I’ve heard about polarization and yes, there were times when this country was even more polarized (think: civil rights era, Civil War). But get a load of this:

Yes, one current wrestling “villain” (aka “heel”) is the outspoken liberal!

And yes, if you listen to the comments, it is “those libs” who try to tell us “how to live our lives”…which I suppose means that they want to teach creationism in their public schools, discriminate against gays under the law (yes, there is fine line between “freedom of private association” and what a public business is permitted to do), etc.

And those who ARE of liberal mind who have the means often leave such places to go where they fit better:

We’ve talked to death the fact that America’s rural areas have been emptying out and filling up the big urban areas across the country. Within those urban areas, liberals are not well represented in the suburbs in most cases; voters there tend to be older, married, white homeowners of a distinctly reactionary bent. In other words, the author is right that there is little organized liberal presence in a lot of these places…because most of the liberals are gone.

Where, then, are these liberal ground-up organizations supposed to come from? As the second quote reveals, Democratic campaigns have a kind of “surge and recede” dynamic; they fan out across the country for election years and then pack up and return to California and the East Coast until the next election. That’s ineffective. The problem is that there’s a reason all of those people live in California, New York, Boston, and DC – they’re probably from the Muncies and Rockfords of the world and they got out the second they could. Going back simply reminds them of why they left.

Not to make the author personally responsible for solving this problem, but there must be some reason she’s at Harvard. Certainly University of Illinois would be equally happy to have her. Oh, right, I forgot: central Illinois sucks. That’s why she’s not there.

Who’s left on the liberal side of the spectrum in these unorganized places where the Democratic presence has atrophied? You’ve got younger people who are itching to get out and generally do so at the earliest opportunity. Then you have the 30-55 aged liberals who are living in a sea of red for job-related or personal reasons. Most of them are pretty tired of showing up to school board meetings in Keokuk, being outnumbered 25 to 1 and ostracized for suggesting that maybe the Bible isn’t a science textbook. If you’ve never had the experience of being in a small town and being one of a small percentage of educated liberals, you very well might believe that it’s possible to rally these people into action. But if you’ve had that experience, you’re probably not eager for more of it.

And while I find the company of *some* conservatives to be pleasant, they tend to be conservatives of a certain type. They can read a graph, know basic terminology and can rebut my argument with facts and reason (or at least attempt to 🙂 ); they “play by the same rules”.

So..enjoyable, fruitful dialogue is difficult to come by and more and more, I am keeping opinions to myself

And some on the left are downright shameful. (I say *some*)

I still believe that these are an ignorant, misguided minority. How dare THEY tell me what I am allowed to hear!

And yes, I know, not everyone is entitled to a platform, and people have the right to make the case to “not choose this speaker”. But once they have the proper invitation, those who WANT to listen to what the speaker has to say should be allowed to. And yes, this means even, say, a Bible club creationist speaker.

Anyway, the current situation depresses me.

On a positive note

The heel is continuing to heal (pun not intended). After weights, I had a treadmill walk and the pain was, well, just enough to be noticeable at times. In most times, I wouldn’t notice or think about it much.

weights: usual PT, pull ups (2 sets of 5-5-5, 2 sets of 10), decline presses (10 x 135, 10 x 165), incline presses (5 x 155, 10 x 140), military presses: 2 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 single arm, goblet squats: 10 x 50, 50, 60 (to the bench).

Abs: 50, 24 twist crunches, 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, 3 sets of 10 moving bridge, 30 seconds of boat, head stand (decent), 2:15 plank (tough final 15 seconds) side planks.

Walk: started out slowly (3.5 mph), moved pace up gradually, finished 3 miles in 44:09, 5K in 45:30. Varied incline from 0.5 to 3, 0 to 4 then 4 back down to 2, then 0.5. The heel felt the best at about 3.9 mph, and at 2.0 incline. (strange that it likes a slight incline better than flat).

This IS encouraging.

March 7, 2018 Posted by | Personal Issues, politics, politics/social, social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment