Random thoughts (all over the map)

I am nearing the end of summer break and am going over the diagrams for a paper that I’ll be submitting in 3 week’s time. This means: finishing research, starting on my next project, preparing for class, taking a look at search committee stuff, etc.

Though I have been paying attention to politics, I find much of the discussion to be depressing.

On one hand, the Republicans have gotten their people, including those conservatives that do not like Trump, to trust only conservative media sources (e. g., Fox News). So many really believe, say, that Trump is doing better than any past POTUS over the past 40 years (in terms of GDP growth) ..and this is based on, well, one strong quarter of growth being extrapolated. Of course, the growth might well have been due to businesses preparing for the trade wars and a one-time bump.

But try getting them to even read a graph, much less accept that it is a true one.

But being “sure” is not limited to “their team.” I know that issues are complicated and have many facets to them. Nevertheless, so many, including those who vote the way that I do, are just so “SURE” of things.
When one wants to “speak the truth” one has to actually KNOW “the truth” and few are experts on ANYTHING much less experts on everything.

I just find it astonishing that I have so many doubts about things that I’ve thought hard about, and so many others appear to have no doubts at all.

Sports: I still am in “baseball” mode but I just made my annual purchase of football magazines. I’ll be coming up with predictions soon and, of course, I plan to make a few games. I have season tickets for Illinois but hope to make a few Illinois State games, and perhaps a couple of Bears and 3-4 Colts games.

I did read about Texas football getting ready to make a 175 million dollar renovation to their football stadium. Yes, no tuition funds or tax payer funds will be used..and yes, the University of Texas has that kind of fund raising power. This means that, well…the kind of win/loss records we have seen over the past 5 years is unacceptable: 8-5, 6-7, 5-7, 5-7, 7-6 = 31-32. Contrast that with, say, Iowa: 8-5, 7-6, 12-2, 8-5, 8-5 = 43-23.

But doesn’t Texas have more money, a bigger stadium, bigger following and bigger drawing power than Iowa? Well, it might just be that the money might actually be counter productive at times. After all, big donors EXPECT to have some say in the program right? But said donors don’t necessarily know all that much about football. Big money can be a two edged sword.

Well, more on football later.

And there is still quite a bit of baseball to play and, who knows..perhaps some Cornbelter playoff ball too?

Workout notes: weights then 5 miles of walking.

weights: 15-15-10-10 pull ups, incline: 10 x 135, 6 x 150, decline: 6 x 170, military (standing dumbbell) 10 x 50, 10 x 45, Hammer machine: 10 x 140, rows: dumbbell: 2 sets of 10 x 50, 10 x 110 machine. Then the walk: 5K on the track 1 easy (13:36, 13:01, 12:15 (38:52), 40:41 for 25 laps.The faster miles were 1 on, 1 off, but the last 2 laps of mile 3 were done hard. Then 2 more outside.

Later: yoga, got 2:15 of plank before class. Did abs; this was one of Vickie’s harder routines.

August 9, 2018 Posted by | baseball, college football, economy, NFL, political/social, politics, social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Turning the corner?

Well, I do have some writing and search committee stuff to do…

But today I weighed in at 195.6 before lifting. Right direction! But that may have been skewed a bit by the weekend.

Workout notes; usual weight workout; pt, pull ups: 15, 15, 5-5, 10, bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, incline: 7 x 150, decline 7 x 170, military 2 sets of 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 180 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer. Usual abs, plank: 2:30 not that bad, headstand was easy, then 2 mile warm weather walk.

Last night: actually saw the Cornbelters win 5-3. The first inning wasn’t promising as the Boomers hit 2 home runs (one off of the outfielder’s glove) in the first inning to lead 3-0. But in the 3’rd the Cornbelters hit a 3 run shot of their own plus another.

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And yes, the Corn Crib has corn growing in the outfield berm.

Got to love it.

July 9, 2018 Posted by | baseball, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Hot walk, not so hot game…

As you can see, conditions were stuffy. But I carried water and aside from a cyclist or two who surprised me along the way, it was ok. 2:02 out, 1:58 back; course was the Heights Tower to the Rock Island trail and I turned around at the second crossing after the mile 1 marker (gravel road crossing…not the nice paved road crossing).

On the way back I saw a woman put her bike in the bushes and then walk; evidently she strained to stay ahead of me. I passed her eventually but then she hung behind me at least past Pioneer Parkway. I admit that I was starting to get rubbery legged on the Knoxville pedestrian bridge.

Later: after a rain delay, the Cornbelters had a home game vs. the Florence Freedom. To say that the starting pitcher had a horrible day is an understatement. He hit 3 batters, walked a couple of more, gave up 4 hits and it was 6-0 before he even got an out in the 2’nd. The reliever wasn’t that much better; it was 10-0 midway through the 2’nd. The teams settled down until the Cornbelters got 2 in the 8’th (including home run in the left field berm) so the Freedom got a 3 run shot in the 9’th.

Final: 13-2. The team rewarded the fans with “dollar beer” (rain delay plus the home team getting pounded). Note: the Cornbelters won yesterday’s game against the same team.

As a bonus, the fans got to watch Jose Canseco strike out. But he did sign autographs and have his jersey auctioned off.

July 2, 2018 Posted by | baseball, walking | | Leave a comment

Cornbelter Baseball and other topics

I think that I need a better summer plan. I waste too much time. I did go back and realize that my proof was not wasted after all; my other idea did not “survive the convergence test” (something that holds for a finite number of iterations need not hold for an infinite number of iterations)

After doing some committee work, I finally got to see a Cornbelter game (Normal).

I saw the end of a 7-4 win vs. the Southern Illinois Miners but then saw a 5-4 loss in the second game, which was delayed by a potential passing storm. There was hardly anyone there as this second game was unplanned.

The Corncrib is a decent, but very basic stadium (with a completely artificial playing surface); it isn’t as fancy as Dozer but still a good place to watch a game. The teams play in the Frontier League, which is independent professional baseball though this league is geared toward young players. With an exception made for an occasional “old star”, the teams are required to consist of “half rookies” which can mean R-1 (someone who had never played professional before, or only played under so many innings) or R-2 (one year of experience). Many of the R-1 players played college ball in 2018 (the league starts play in May, so those college players whose teams didn’t make the NCAA can join right away). The R-2’s consisted of team holdovers from the year before, or those who played on major league farm teams (rookie through A).

Half of the team can consist of “experienced” players, which can include people who have been with the team 2 years or more as well as former “minor league” players (rookie through AA players). No player, which exception of perhaps a publicity player, can be over 27.

In short, the players are pretty good: undrafted but still good college players, rookie through AA players who got released but still want to show their stuff to scouts, etc. I do think that they haven’t practiced together as much as, say, the Chiefs have and will occasionally make sloppy plays (throwing errors).

But there were some spectacular plays too; the Cornbelter shortstop made a spectacular stop on a hard ground ball and threw out the runner from his knees. There is some talent in this league.

What was also fun is that I saw some players I had seen before: the starting pitcher pitched for Illinois State and some of the Miners played for Eastern Illinois. And some of the other players played against the Chiefs when they were in A ball.

I saw home runs (one towering shot by a Miner who played for the University of Tampa in 2018) and a robbery of a home run.

The game: in the 4’th, a single then an error on the bunt put 2 on, and both are driven in with a monster homerun to left field (which cleared a sign on the berm)
But in the 5’th, Normal scores on a couple of hits and throwing errors and adds 2 more in the 6’th to take a 4-3 lead going into the 7’th and possibly final inning.

But…the substitute pitcher throws 4 balls in a row..then an error on a bunt (horrible throw) allows the runner to score and the person bunting to make it to 3’rd. But then there is a ground out, intentional walk, then double play to end the top half of the inning.

Bottom half: Cornbelters get 2 on with no outs. But then a strike out gives one out, then a sharp line drive…appears to be the game winning hit..gets caught by the short stop who makes an unassisted double play.

In the 8’th, a home run gives the Miners the lead, and then the win.

In all, there was quite a bit of drama; I really did not know who would win until the very end.

Note: the box score lists attendance at 2318. I counted 32 fans in the stands at the start of the second game..there were perhaps a dozen in boxes I could not see. My guess: they invited day camp kids to the first game and perhaps many of them were there, at first.

Amusing note: when I walked back to my car, I found a ball under my car tire (see the last photo). I walked back to see if they wanted the ball back, but they told me to keep it.


Workout notes: weights and a steady 4 mile walk in Bradley Park. usual PT, pull ups (good?) 5-5-5, 15, 10, 10, presses: decline 10 x 135, 6 x 175, incline: 3 x 155, 10 x 135, military: 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 180 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer, usual abs, (planks suck).

June 21, 2018 Posted by | baseball, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment