Well, that was awful (personal and trivial)

A couple of things:
1. I am not fully recovering between workouts…the walking on off days might not be gentle enough to allow for recovery.
2. This is a busy, “stressful” (by academic standards) time of year; I have to take that into account.

So my attempt of 10 treadmill miles was a bust; I tried 5.2-5.5 going up every 5 minutes…it was strain going past 5.5 so I dropped down and tried the cycle again. I was walking at 3.8 with walking breaks I got to 5.25 miles in 1 hour, and 5.5 in 1:03:30. Then I walked to 6.0 (about 7:30-7:45 more) and I thought that I was finished.

But I went to the track, walked in lane 3 and made 4 miles (plus) in 56:01; 14:25/14:09/13:47/13:39 (all slightly longer than 1 mile); still, 10 miles is better than 0 miles. But what this means is that I am going to have to change Wednesday’s workout to a steady state 8-10 miler outside, when possible, if I am to be credible at the Steamboat 15K.

Oh well, time for dinner and perhaps a little bit of play after I pay bills. It seems as if I am getting bit by a bunch of gnats at the moment (metaphorically). Nothing serious but I have to be savvy.


April 30, 2017 Posted by | running, walking | | Leave a comment

Pet Peeves on Social Media..

First, workout notes: I had trouble kicking myself out the door. Finally at 8:30 I walked 2 miles, lifted : rotator cuff, 5 x 10 pull ups, bench: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 4 x 185, 10 x 135 incline, dumbbell military: 20 x 50 seated supported, 2 sets of 10 x 45, 3 sets of 10 x 110. Then 2 miles on the treadmill: 2-2-2-2 then 6.7 from about .7 to 1, then up .1 mph every .25 to 2, then 7.2 (10:38, 8:39, 2.09 in 20 minutes).

Tracy treated me to nachos; that was lovely..friendship lunch dates are among my favorite things…then grading. Ugh. The students did well though.

Social media I got a reminder that I don’t always “get” what someone else is doing when they post something on Twitter or Facebook. Sometimes they want to vent or express sans feedback of any kind. Someone posted an article that said a poll showed that the White House was more trusted than the political media (37 percent to 29 percent) and I replied that I’ve seen evidence of that in the “letters to the editor” section of the paper. I got a series of angry tweets in response. So..I unfollowed the person though I put no ban on them seeing my stuff.

That got me to thinking about MY pet peeves.

What others do on their walls: That is basically their own business; if I like it I read it and follow it; if I don’t, I won’t. It only becomes my business if they tag me. Some have a green light to tag me because I almost always like it when they do. Others have become a nuisance which I why I have “timeline review” for tags; I remove the ones I do not like.

The tricky stuff is knowing who wants discussion from me and who doesn’t. If I find the person doesn’t want discussion from me, I will post the link to their article on my own wall and talk about it there. That appears to be a good work around.

What others do on my wall Ok, here is what I don’t like:

1. Sanctimonious finger wagging: often this happens when a “friend of a friend” follows them onto my wall and proceeds to tell me that I am being XXXist or violating some rule that they think should be imposed on everyone. This appears to occur when a conservative friend comes onto my wall but sometimes comes from a social justice warrior. z

Now there is a short list of friends that I permit to call me out, but it is a very short list, and they have to be someone that I have deep respect for. I’d say about a 2 dozen people fall into that category and you can tell who they are because they either have a photo with me or they are frequent guest.

2. Attempting to play with me without knowing me well: my online persona is a socially hapless, very dumb billy goat. So many of my online friends insult me and I take it..I even have a meme set called “you’ve been dissed”. Sometimes someone I do not know well attempts to join in and I delete their comments. This play is for certain “special friends” that I’ve established a friendship with; they have to be people that I already like quite a bit.

3. Jumping in inappropriately into some thread that is not for them. For instance: I have many friends who like to either run or walk long distances. So I might say something to my running friends and some jackass will jump in “you wouldn’t catch me running even if…” or they might say how they don’t like football, baseball or something else. I delete those comments too and if someone becomes insufferable, I boot them off for good. Exception: I do allow a handful of selected friends…ok, make that one selected friend, some leeway here.

4. Stupid discussion. Yes, I am a liberal but am open to different points of view, so long as they are competent points of view. I don’t permit from SFB to attempt to refute a climate scientist with some jerkoff’s youtube video, or for creationists to spout their bullshit or someone to compare Obama’s “57 states” (he meant “states and territories”) slip of the tongue to the outrageous bullshit that Trump spouts almost daily. And I do not entertain Fox News/Breitbart fantasies on my wall.

If you want to quote some conservative University of Chicago economist, or some respected mainstream conservative jurist, that is ok.

But I refuse to entertain arguments that I rejected back in high school.

April 30, 2017 Posted by | Friends, running, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Olympics and useful BS (nonsense)…

Yes, I’ve watched some Olympic action (in particular, boxing, swimming, gymnastics, court volleyball). I remember watching these when I was a teenager…and watching NFL games and thinking: “wow, with some work, that COULD BE ME.” I still remember using my Exergym rope exerciser while watching NFL games on the black and white television in my bedroom.


This was on the weekend; I used my high school universal gym during the week, as well as running the steps, running the track, doing agility drills on my own, etc.


I remember when I was on the JV: our games were on Wednesday night. On Sunday evening, after the NFL game, I’d go to the track and do 2 miles, reasonably hard (13:30-14:00 was my time, as a 220 lb. offensive tackle).

No one was going to outwork me! My motto was “you can do anything if you want it badly enough and are willing to work hard enough.”

That, of course, is complete and total bullshit.

The reality is: “if you see someone on TV because they are good enough to warrant TV coverage, that will NEVER be you…unless you are one of those “1 in 1000” outliers.

I eventually found what I was best at (mathematics) and even that, I was nowhere good enough to be, say, a MIT professor. Getting the Ph. D. and getting a few new results published was about my talent level; it is a bit like the 2:25 (male) marathon runner who dreams of sneaking into the Olympic Trials, though he knows that he has essential zero chance of making the team, or the baseball player who peaks out at playing, say, A or AA ball. It is still damned good, but not “TV good”.

So, would I have been happier (and better off) had I known that early in life? It is hard to say.

On one hand, I would have been more relaxed. On the other hand:

1. I grew to love lifting weights and running because I did these things to get ready for football. I enjoy these activities to this day; my first weight room workout was in 1972!
2. I can sympathize with the student who, say, is enrolled in engineering but doesn’t have the talent for it. I can explain that there are other rewarding paths to a college degree and that humans tend to have different talents.

And yes, I am getting ready to go lift, work on my math paper, watch some more Olympics, and see yet another class A baseball game this weekend.

August 12, 2016 Posted by | Olympics, Personal Issues | , | Leave a comment

Accepting what you don’t do well

Writing this post (about my Naval Academy experience and other things) got me thinking about this topic.

I always wanted to be an athlete. But I lacked…well…athletic ability. Yes, I had some success at junior high football and some minor success during my first 3 years of high school football (JV, small school varsity, larger school JV then…not so much). I had minor success in wrestling and judo at high school and club levels.

But as far as stepping up: comparing myself to a modestly successful college athlete (any level, D-III on up) was a joke.

Yes, I did work myself up to being able to run ok, by lay person’s standards (5:30 mile, 19:00 5K, 310 lb. bench press, NOT all at the same time) and I did a few things as a masters sort-of athlete. But everything I had even a modest amount of success in involved “straight line, repetitive motions”. Example: if I was right with someone at, say, a 10K road run, they would blow me away at a 10K trail run, if the trail was at all technical.

And this is how it showed up: I flunked the Air Force Academy physical fitness test (to get in): despite my practicing, practicing, practicing, I kept doing lousy in the “shuttle run” (you run back and forth around two cones a set distance apart and you are timed for a certain number of laps).

At Annapolis, the only P. E. test I failed was the obstacle course (failed twice as a freshman; had to practice to pass as a sophomore, junior and senior). In the Navy, I flunked the Navy Air obstacle course the first time I tried it, and I had practiced it first! When I got by myself, I cried in frustration. Yes, I passed it the very next day as I only flunked by 3-4 seconds. But at this time in my life, I was in the best shape of my life (39:50 10K run). And I got perfect scores on the cross country run (really) and on the swim. But the obstacle course…just humiliated me.

See the pattern? No matter how much I practiced, anything requiring any “moving agility” was just very difficult for me. I could do pull ups, but getting over the wall and off of it…slow and clumsy.

So…when I teach I remember this. There are students who go to every class, sit up front, go to office hours, do all the work and still have a miserable time with elementary calculus. Some simply won’t make it as engineers. But I can feel their pain and remind them that we need smart people in all sorts of disciplines.

July 2, 2016 Posted by | social/political | , , | Leave a comment

It takes 3 outs to end an inning…

Great Peoria Chiefs game tonight!

Chiefs are down 2-1 with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9’th inning and no one on base; the relief pitcher got the first batter to ground out and struck out the second batter.

Then a double…and a pinch runner for the hulking first baseman who doubled.
Double! The runner scores and it is now 2-2, but still 2 outs.
Walk. Now runners on 1’st and second.
LONG SINGLE (double really) to win the game 3-2!!!

Since the Cougars were leading the Midwest league, the Chiefs go crazy; that is their second win in a row against this team.

Awkward: I was with my running buddy Tracy (with Barbara’s blessing) and we got featured on the “Kiss Cam”. So, a slight turn of the head for a respectable “peck” on the cheek saved the situation.

July 26, 2015 Posted by | baseball | , | Leave a comment

Where I got my love of sports and politics…


Some recent projects has gotten me to look backwards.

Obviously, I love sports (playing AND watching) and politics.

Well, sports conversation and competition came from my dad; he is with me here…I think it was about 1961 when I was 2. He always made time to play “catch” with me.
And politics was a frequent topic around our dinner table; my parents would discuss the issues of the day and, during election time, the various candidates. They didn’t always agree, though their disagreement centered on which Democrat to back.

I’ll do a “mom” photo later; she was more responsible for my love of mathematics than my dad was, and equally responsible for my love of politics.

Now off to the weight room. No, there is no football season to get ready for; there hasn’t been one of those (for me) since 1976. But the weight room still calls me, even if the weights are …well…smaller.

And yes, my mom bought me my first barbell set. Really. I was perhaps 9 years old.

July 23, 2015 Posted by | Personal Issues | , , , | Leave a comment

Happy walk…slacker walk..


Overcast, 50 F, breezy. I took a very lazy 10k walk in 1:35:02. I was happy:

1. I didn’t get divebombed by the dreaded red winged blackbirds
2. I didn’t get attacked by the numerous geese parents who were out waddling around with their fledglings

Of course, I did forget to take the letters to the post office; my forgetfulness is still intact.

Personal stuff
1. Work on my application.
2. Work on a teaching related paper.
3. Work on my research talk.
4. Prepare for my upcoming short trip.
5. Perhaps call a tire store; evidently there is a slow leak in one of the tires.

May 31, 2015 Posted by | Personal Issues, walking | , | Leave a comment