Being honest, speaking without a filter and “telling it like it is.”

Sometimes people praise Trump for “telling it like it is.” Really?

Fact: Trump often lies or gets things wrong.

What I think people mean: “Trump speaks without a filter” or “Trump speaks without regards to “feelings.””

Now that might be true. But is that a good thing?

I know that I often bite my tongue for many different reasons:

1. It what I am thinking really accurate? Often: it isn’t. My assumptions can either be wrong or incomplete. I might have facts wrong, and from time to time, I make logical errors (“this might not follow from that.”)

2. Is what I am saying really necessary? True, this person might be “fat” or “unintelligent” but why is it my responsibility to point it out?

3. Is my phrasing the best way to phrase something? Or, can I say it a different way to be more effective? How is the person taking what I am saying?
I know that good coaches phrase things differently to get better results: example, “don’t miss” puts the word “miss” into their player’s mind; instead they say “make this” which puts the word “make” into their mind.

On the other hand, I am not going to lie either. For example, I cannot, in good faith, tell a person with average athletic ability that they will be in the Olympics.

In Memphis

Report on the Liberty Bowl to come.
Yesterday: walked 3 miles
Today: 1.4 miles on the hotel treadmill, hit the stop by mistake, 2 miles in 17:54 (9:36, 8:18), .6 IN 7 minutes, total 4 miles in 41 minutes.

Drove to Memphis, had some good Mexican food along the way, listened to Illinois losing 35-20 to Cal; this time Illinois had more yards but got beat.

Huge hotel room

Lots of Kansas State fans in the lobby.

Toward the end of the year: saying “So Long” to 2019

Just getting caught up:

Friday: weights only, at the Riverplex. Highlights: 3 x 185 bench, 8 x 160; pull ups I had to do 4 sets of 5 to go with 3 sets of 10 then one more; I got 235 in the dead lift. Goblet: 6 x 30, 50, 70 (latter to the bench)
Saturday: very slow 10k shuffle (Cornstalk plus lower loop…lots of dog walkers)
Sunday: weight again; highlights: pull ups were very hard but got 50 total, 2 x 185 bench, 8 x 160 decline, shoulder presses were good 10 x 50, 45, 45, usual rows, deads: warm up, 1 x 230, 1 x 240, 6 x 185 Romanian, back felt fine.
3 mile walk afterward; weight 193.5 (too heavy; I like 188-189)

240 is the most I’ve gotten in the dead lift in years. I think I can keep working on it, given the new (to me), safer technique.

I caught Bradley’s 78-66 win over a tough Toledo team; BU was without an injured player, a suspended player and had kicked another off of the team. Point guard scored 29, but ultimately, getting to the line (27-32 FT) vs 11-19 was the difference. Toledo had 5 more fouls called on them.

Saying farewell to the campus in 2019.

The inability to discuss anything non-technical on twitter…

I found this thread on the Steele dossier to be useful:

The TL;DR: this was raw intelligence, which included stuff that is unlikely to be true for many reasons, and extracting information from it requires competent analysis, and by “competent” I mean “skilled in this type of intelligence”. Being smart and having “common sense” is insufficient.

OF COURSE, the author was attacked to supporting Trump, not going by Rachel Maddow’s “connect the dots” analysis because she is a woman, etc.

Now, this is technical, but RadiofreeTom was attempting to explain the situation to non-experts. Good luck with that.

Other stuff:

It is common to try for success in your dream field/profession and to come up shorter than you had hoped you would. That leaves this interesting question:

Yes, aptitude matters. I’ve seen people fail out of stem programs because they lacked the sufficient aptitude to attain the level of success that they wanted. You might even said that was true of me; after all, I am not full professor at MIT (and shouldn’t be). And I certainly failed spectacularly at sports.

Now, of course, one can get into this whole aptitude thing: are we talking about genetic aptitude (yes, it exists), or aptitude due to environmental factors (e.g. fetal alcohol syndrome people, or some sort of physically or mentally debilitating injury, or lack of development due to illness, poor early nutrition, or perhaps retarded development due to early environmental factors…) Yes, it is very complicated.

Still…interesting issue, and no, I have zero desire to discuss this with a woke.

The Big Ten and SEC teams are starting play and let the excuses and rationalizations begin:

Dead ending or Dead lifting?

Workout notes: yesterday, a routine 4 mile hike at Forest Park Nature Center. There I ran into the very lovely Lori Lindo; she was a runner from the “old school” back in the 1996-2001 era. She worked down to a 3:12 marathon, and we were reasonably well matched in the 5K (though she left me almost 30 minutes behind in the marathon).

Today: weights only. No, I did not weigh myself though I suspect I am up. I wore sweats.
Rotator cuff
pull ups: 10-10-10-5-5, (5-5), then 10 later (60 in total); sort of a challenge.
dead lifts: 6 x 135, 1 x 185, 1 x 225 (missed once too), 3 minute rest, 1 x 235 (easier than the 225), 6 x 205, then did a set of 6 x 135 going from a shallow step.
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 185 (strong), 10 x 160
military: 9 x 50 standing, 10 x 45, 10 x 45
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 100 machine
goblet squats: 6 x 30, 6 x 50, then 6 x 70 (too high of a bench for this last one)
2:30 plank, headstand

I should have gotten my hair cut prior to lifting? (LOL)

I feel better about the deadlift; a change of technique is enabling me to practice this without hurting myself. Maybe I’ll get better; I have to remember that back in 2010 even a 115 lb. incline lift was difficult as was a 30 lb. shoulder press (which is what I do instead of a true military press) Right now, my pull ups and bench press ..and even my shoulder press is far, far better (not that these are good).

Personal: we had a bat in the house. It was easy to capture with a soft laundry basket.

What Republicans understand about people..that Democrats don’t.

I was alerted to this tweet by liberal accounts attacking it:

And I remembered seeing this one: (different account):

Then I thought about: sports. Very quickly: what causes a team’s attendance and interest to grow? Which teams are the most popular teams? (Dallas Cowboys excepted)
Yep..people love winners and success. No one buys a jersey of a minor league reserve player.

People gravitate toward success (or apparent success), wealth, power, prestige. Yes ..among men the losers are lonely.


What does this have to do with politics?

I honestly believe that politicians really get support by marketing..getting you to WANT to join their team, so to speak. I feel it is emotional.

Republicans: support the wealthy; support macho men and attractive women (as the ideal); support achievement..join them and BE A WINNER…and if you haven’t “won” as yet, well, the American Dream is that you someday will. That’s what immigrants come here for!

Democrats: voting rights for felons. Fight to raise the minimum wage! (psst: people don’t want to make the minimum wage). Fight for the rights of those lampooned or rejected by society (e. g. transgender rights). Fight against “toxic masculinity” (gee, which sports personalities are most revered?) Fight for benefits for the poor (uh, who wants to be poor?)

Unless we run a candidate with a magnetic personality (Bill Clinton, Barack Obama), no one wants to join us..not for emotional reasons.

Oh sure..there is reality:

That’s right: the vast majority of us will never be elite, at anything, no matter how hard we try. Great at sports and willing to sacrifice? You MIGHT make it as a D-3 athlete ..a tiny percentage might make it to D-1, an even smaller might make it to a developmental or minor league..but that is about it.

Smarter than average and willing to sacrifice: maybe get that PE, CPA, become a non-R1 professor, maybe pass the bar or the medical examination but being elite is not in your future.

You are far more likely to need charity or public aid, or to work for minimum wage (for a while) than you are to become a multi-millionaire or to even pull down 250K a year. Statistics are clear on that, and Democratic POLICIES (yes, even those of Elizabeth Warren) are far more practical than “American Dream, bootstraps” policies.

But who in the world wants to hear that?

National elections will always be an uphill battle for us Democrats and somehow, our candidates need to create the aura of “success”. Merely being successful (e. g. Elizabeth Warren is wildly successful) isn’t enough.
Being able to convince others that they can be “winners” by aligning with you might…in some circumstances.

Clearly, we do not “get” the people of the United States.

And what I got for Christmas

Ok, I did get a couple of nice gifts; one I am eager to try out.

I did manage a 4 mile walk (Bradley Park); very slow but in line with what an “easy, off day” walk should be for me..and it was in the high 40’s and sunny!
I did a few dead lifts in our basement (I have an old 305 lb weight set); managed a few with 135, 6 reps with 187 (44, 22, 44 lb bar and 5.5 lb collars) and then 1 with 231 (220 plus the collars).

I tried this out:

I wasn’t noticeably stronger BUT my back didn’t hurt! I think it can help me work my muscles.

Then Christmas lunch with family and a friend.

Colts roll over listless Panthers 38-6

Basically, this was about punt returns, 1 very long one and two touchdown returns; that accounted for 21 of the Colts’ 38 points. And the Panthers simply didn’t show up; their rookie quarterback had a rough day. They weren’t helped by some questionable play calling (QB sneak on 4’th and 1, when you have a strong running back?)

It was 21-3 at the half and was never close. The Colts did miss some open receivers and some receivers dropped some good passes…could have been worse.

There was also an ejection due to a punch and the player flipping off fans.

The outing was nice:

We walked past the capitol.

You can see the stadium from where we parked.

The crew

Christmas Eve

Yes, I will get to some important tasks in a few minutes.
But I will record my workouts first:

yesterday: weights, followed by a 4 mile plus walk on the Riverfront.
rotator cuff
pull ups (5 sets of 10: good..given my weight is 193-194 oops!)
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 3 x 185, 10 x 160
military: 9 x 50 standing, 10 x 45, 10 x 40 (ok, “shoulder press…feet are not together)
row: 3 x 100 machine
plank: 2:30 plus head stand
dead lift: 5 x 135, 3 x 185, 1 x 225, misses, 3 x 205, 6 x 185, hips come up too fast.

Today: missed yoga class; ran about 6 miles on the river front after stretching. 194 (yikes!) still, felt ok with the run. 6.16 miles in 1:19 or so.

I still have some dead lifting form issues.

Illinois River, prior to my going into the Riverplex.

Going along to get along

No, Democrats have NOT become a personality cult the way the Republican have.

But we on the left (or “left of center”) often get embroiled in purity wars; one of the latest is over how pure one has to be in supporting transgender people (this one involves Harry Potter author J. J. Rowling).

I freely admit, I find much of the back and forth both irritating and confusing.

I agree that transgender people should not be discriminated against with respect to things like employment.

I do think that, in sporting events, the female category is for biological females and exists for statistical fairness to females. If you don’t meet the criteria (and I am happy to let sports science people set the criteria), then you compete in the open category (that is, against males (and possibly others?)).

But what gets me is all of the discussion about biology.

Yes, “biology” isn’t quite as simple as “XX” vs. “XY” or “penis” vs. “vagina.”

I am aware of that.

But so are top-notch scientists and some have written about it, in reasonable detail:

(here) and (here)

To me, this is key:

Now of course you can find some exceptions among some species. In seahorses, for instance, males can “bear offspring” because they raise the fertilized eggs in their pouch, but nevertheless they still produce sperm. But in humans it’s rarely doubtful whether an individual is a male or a female. Males have a chromosomal constitution XY, produce small gametes that fertilize the large eggs of females, and have male genitalia (penises). Females produce fewer but larger gametes, are XX in chromosomal constitution, and have female genitalia (vaginas).

Of course there are some exceptions to all of these. We have humans with chromosomal constitutions XXY and XO; we have developmental intersexes that have characteristics of both male and female, we have females and males with all the traits above but which are sterile and so can’t produce eggs or sperm, and so on.

The point is that these exceptions are rare. I don’t know the figures for males and females that fit neatly into the classes I’ve given above, but I’d guess it would be about 98% of humanity; the Intersex Society, lumping chromosomal and developmental exceptions together, gets a frequency of non-binaries of about 1-2% (Fausto-Sterling gave roughly the same figure in 2001). So yes, sex isn’t truly binary in that every individual can’t be unambiguously slotted into either male or female—but the vast majority can.

What this means is that if you do a plot of sex versus frequency in which you combine all traits that define “males” (above) at one end and those defining females at the other, and then plot the frequency on the Y-axis, you’ll get a plot with two distinct and widely-separated peaks, with a valley containing some intermediates (intersexes and the like) between them. This is what I mean by the bimodality of sex. And there’s a reason for it: having two sexes is the result of evolution in our ancestors. (I won’t go into why, nor do we fully understand the selective pressures). Let me add that I’m talking about biological sex here and not gay behavior, so that I am counting male homosexuals as males because they have the physiological and chromosomal features of males, even if they are sexually attracted to males, and the converse for lesbians.

And there is the rub: the approximation that is typically made which, while not 100 percent accurate, is good enough for mammals to reproduce and for ancient humans to have propagated the species.

I think of it this way: it is safe to say that “humans have 2 legs and 5 fingers on each hand” even though there ARE genetic exceptions to this “one size fits most” rule. And I no more deny the reality of transgenderism than I deny the reality that some are born with 6 fingers in each hand.

And saying that about sex doesn’t make you a bigot. Firing someone (or denying promotion, etc.) for being transgender DOES (IHMO).