Step back…

I did some deadlifts this morning, then a deliberate but modest effort walk in glorious weather:

Deadlifts: deficit: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 1 x 224 (saving it)

neutral (still low handles) 1 x 254; harder than it should have been.

High handles: 1 x 284 (didn’t seem that hard once I made myself work at it)

Miss at 294 (kind of gave up)
1 x 274 (still high handles

then low handles: neutral: 10 x 224 (pretty easy).

The walk: I did have one 15 minute mile (the end) when I lost focus just a bit. Should have pushed.

State of the race 31 October

How the Cook Political Report sees it.

Electoral Vote

Note the light colored states are “single digit leads”; Real Clear politics calls those states “toss ups” if they are for Biden but calls some of the light pink ones for Trump (Kansas, Missouri, South Carolina). Biden leads PA by 6, Michigan by 9, Minnesota and Nevada by 7, Wisconsin by 8.

This is Real Clear Politics “map with toss ups”. They give a lot of weight to priors in Republican states..perhaps based on the 2016 result.

This is Real Clear’s “no tossups” map; this might be one way to view the center of the 95 percent confidence interval. To get the upper ends, shade all of the toss ups one way or the other.

This is FiveThirtyEight’s snake diagram, which shows the states lined up as to how close they are and the line represents the 270 to win mark. They give Biden a 90 percent chance of winning the Electoral College.

This is The Upshot (New York Times) “what if the polls were off as much as they were in 2012 and in 2016” chart.

Using this criteria; the real tossups would be Iowa, Texas and Maine 2’nd. Trump gets Ohio.

So using this:

30 October

Ok, out of order, but I started outdoors with pull ups, went inside, then back outdoors again for push ups, then head stand.

Usual warm up

pull ups: singles, 2 sets of 10, 5’s and singles, enough to get to 55

bench press: 10 x 132 then the pyramid:
1 x 181, 2 x 176, 3 x 171, 4 x 165, 5 x 159 7 x 155 all with pauses.

shoulder presses: stared with 10 x 40 seated, unsupported (kind of sloppy)
barbell sets with 88: 10, 8, 8

seated shoulder with 38: 10
trap bar rows: 5 sets of 10 x 134

outdoor: push ups: 30, 20, 15

headstand (had to try twice)

Election: Biden is now at 90 percent at Fivethirtyeight, though the snake diagram has Trump favored (ok, toss up) in Ohio and Iowa. Biden lean in Georgia.

Getting nervous

I know, I know.


Yes, 13:18 was my fastest average walking pace of the year, but it *felt* slow; slower than previous Thursday walks. But it wasn’t.

Yes, I was bundled a bit…and I gave the cars a good shot at me. Glute pain: minimal; it is not healed up yet. Not totally. But not stabbing. I just have to keep at the PT stuff.

Otherwise: I am sort of antsy. I did see a good math talk about voting (via zoom) and had a decent, but not well attended couple of class sessions.

I question whether or not I am doing the right things in class. Am I grading tough enough..too easy..or too harsh? Is my feedback the right amount, or too little? Am I doing the right things in this environment?

It is almost as if I am first year all over again.

And there is the election:

I think this gets is right though I might be tempted to put Pennsylvania in the “toss up” camp; I’d call it “sort of lean Biden.” Still, to win, Trump has to come from behind in Pennsylvania AND basically sweep the toss ups.

A Trump win looks like this:

I don’t see it…but…

2004 vs 2008

he loss that gave me the most pain:

Some might say that the 2016 Trump win was the most painful. I’ll discuss that one later. But it really wasn’t the one where I felt the most anguish.

That one was the 2004 election where George Bush held off a serious challenge from John Kerry.

When Kerry finally conceded the loss in Ohio, I called Barbara up and my voice cracked..I was almost in tears. I had never felt so low over politics.

The reason: this was the first time I put my heart and soul into helping out a campaign; I just KNEW that the work I put in would help make a difference.

I learned a harsh lesson, but a lesson that served me well later.

The season: I didn’t really get that involved in the primary process; this was the “Dean Scream” primary. Kerry went on to clinch the nomination and at that time, I decided to get involved.

I also got involved in a State House election where the now disgraced Aaron Schock got his start by defeating a Democratic incumbent (in the seat that Booth-Gordon now holds.

I took some trips to campaign for Kerry in Davenport, Iowa, once with a friend. I donated. I made “Kerry calls” to supporters in swing states who had signed up to be contacted by the campaign. And I followed the election closely.

I really though that Kerry had a chance.
I drove home from Iowa on Tuesday; I had spent the day on a “lazy Democrat” sweep to get Democrats to the polls. Before that, I had one a literature “please vote” sweep in Peoria.

And I drove home…listened to the results…then got home and followed the all important vote totals in Ohio…and saw that the Bush lead was not shrinking.

I went to bed; woke up to see Ohio had NOT been declared as yet…and then heard…..devestating.

I literally ached. I was mournful, hurt and dejected.

But…eventually after time had passed:

1. I realized I had come in on the tail end of things. The time to get involved was NOW so I started to get involved in local politics and I did things..and helped someone win a city council seat.

2. I realized that the Kerry organization was a disaster. The website was poorly organized.
When I went somewhere to campaign, it was disarray; they weren’t ready for us and had to scramble to find the best place for us.

3. When I made Kerry calls, frequently, I was told that I was the FIRST person to each out to them…IN MONTHS. There were competing events within a mile or 2 of each other..etc.

4. And most of what I did was solo.

Fast forward to 2008:
1. Obama: got aboard early.
2. When I went to a meeting and volunteered to do something, I got follow up “did you do that?”
3. When I went to campaign I was encouraged to take friends; they even made suggestions (Lynn Dempsey and I went a few times, sometimes with a friend)
4. Before I took a trip, I had an assigned a call the night before asking if we had everything we needed.

It was a night and day difference.

And so, on election day 2008..I drove home from campaigning..with friends.


In 2004, on election night, I mourned alone.
in 2008, I celebrated…with friends.

That was a big lesson.

I’ll write about 2016 in a day or two.

Less than 1 week to go

Yeah, I am checking 538 way too much. What can I say?

Workout notes:

Yes, it is dark when I am out there. I need to get some “grip gloves” that will let me grip that cold pole.

Pull ups: decent quality; singles, doubles, then sets of 5..enough to get 55. Happy with the quality.

shoulder press/trap bar row: 3 sets of 10 x 40 seated, 3 sets of 10 x 134

bench press: 2 sets of 10 x 144 pause reps.

shoulder press (seated barbell) 10 x 90, 10 x 88

trap bar deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 206 (all deficit); time to step up the 206 to bit heavier.

2:30 plank, headstand.

What I am thinking:

In 2016, this is what the various models predicted:

This time, 538 says 88 percent Biden.

It is still too close for comfort though the polls are looking pretty good right now.

Dream, nightmares, masks

My walk: I finished with a moderate about of piriformis pain (not severe…it came on gradually and mostly bothered me after I had stopped)

Still, this was faster than my recent Tuesday walks, but slower than my Thursday ones.

Commentary about masks and COVID:

This morning, I was doing my usual 6 mile (10K) walk and cut through the campus of Bradley University.

When I go for walks I don’t mask up as I am outdoor, I choose sparsely tread paths and I even cross the street when I see someone on the sidewalk coming toward me.

I was about to enter the circle..I was the only person within..oh, at least 100 yards of me (totally empty) when a BU police officer told me I needed a mask to be there. I smiled and said “I’ll go off campus” and he said “no problem.”

Now, I know the science: even were I COVID positive I had zero probability of spreading it to anyone: too far away from anyone.

BUT…to beat this pandemic, we are going to need “all hands on deck” and things like mask enforcement is to set attitudes and practices.

Yes, in this regards, the critics are right; in some sense it is about control of behavior but in this setting that is exactly what is needed.

Sure, I might not go near anyone but what about the next maskless person that enters?

So, for several reasons, I support this policy wholeheartedly and shall adhere to it, religiously.

And if some MUH FREEDUMS bozo wants to call me a “sheep” (or worse), who cares?

I do care about what *selected* people think of me but they aren’t among them.


My nightmare (still possible)

And yes, a simulation came up with even a worse one..though Biden won 43 of the 50 simulations (starting with last week)

Now I have a dream map too:

I did have simulations come up this rosy but not today.
This is what I think of the race as it sits (giving a candidate a state if they are up by about 5 points or more in an average of polls)

Now Pennsylvania is 5.5 Biden in Nate Silver’s average; others have it at 6. He thinks that Biden has an 85 percent chance of carrying that state and an 89 percent chance of winning Wisconsin. If this holds up and Biden sweeps PA, MI and WI, game over, regardless of what happens elsewhere. Trump has a very narrow needle to thread.


I do feel as if I am getting a little stronger.

Pull ups: ok I did several sets of 5, broken singles, etc. ; enough to get 50. I do need to get some grip gloves.

bench press: (all reps with pauses) 10 x 132, and 3 sets of 5 with 165.
shoulder presses: 3 sets of 10 x 80 seated, no support (do I buy a support bench?) and 1 set of 10 x 88 barbell seated and 1 set of 10 x 90.
rows: 4 sets of 10 x 134 trap bar.

Trap bar squats: 10 x 134 neutral, 10 x 134 deficit, 10 x 156 deficit, 10 x 167 deficit

push ups: 30, 20, 20 outside (best in a while)


It is getting better.

High Handle Deadlifts

I started to add these as they are easier on my hamstring and I can feel the work the extra weight give me:
Deficit: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 5 x 224
High handle: 5 x 264 (hard), 5 x 274 (easier?)
Low handle: neutral: 10 x 224 (very easy)

Then a walk: I walked directly to Bradley Park and did enough miles to get over 4. Sped up slightly when I saw 3 ladies (one very shiny) and two were escorting the third who was in the later stages of a virtual marathon.
I also saw lots of Biden/Harris signs, and one minivan all dressed up for a Trump auto rally (Trump flags, large banner on the back. I put my hand on my mouth as I laughed at them.


August 5, 2019: managed a “handles up” hex dead 225 (1 rep)
August: typical sets were 4 x 175, 4 x 195 (handles up)
September: 4 x 205 head dead (handles up)
November: got 4 x 225 hex dead, handles DOWN
December: got 1 x 225 bar dead, then 4 x 225
December 20, 2019: got 1 x 230 bar deadlift
DEcember 25: got 1 x 233 bar deadlift (home)
Dec 27: got 1 x 235 dead
Dec 29: got 1 x 240 dead (bar)

Jan 11: got 245 hex dead (handles down)
Jan 25: got 255, then 260 conventional dead
Feb 1: got 255, 260 Sumo, 6 x 233 conventional
Feb 8: got 266 conventional, 5 x 238 Sumo.
April 5, 5 x 244
April 18: 5 x 244

Gap for sore back: switched to low handle trap deads

May 23: 10 x 206
June 7: 10 x 217
June 20 1 x 250 trap
July 4: 10 x 222
August 1: 4 x 250 (trap, low handle)

Gap for Virtual ultra (24 hour)

August 22: 4 x 254 (trap..low handle)
August 29 1 x 274 (trap, low handle)

September 5: switched to full stop deadlifts: sets with 244
September 12: 10 x 222 (full stop)
September 27 4 x 254 5 x 244 (full stop)
October 4deficit: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 5 x 224
regular: 2 x 259; didn’t try a 3’rd rep as I felt a tug in my right hamstring (high)high handles: 10 x 224:
October 17: High handle: 5 x 254, 5 x 264 (fairly easy)Low handle, neutral: 5 x 244
October 24: High handle: 5 x 264, 5 x 274, low handle: 10 x 224

Maybe I am not missing much

Obviously COVID 19 is a serious problem and my missing a season of live football, in the great scheme of things, is no big deal. It barely registers, at least on a personal level (though I understand those associated with spectator sports may be genuinely suffering; I don’t want to make light of that.)

But I stayed up late tonight to watch Illinois lose 45-7 to Wisconsin. Well..that certainly seems to be an expected result. …situation: the usual.

But, well, Navy is 3-0 in conference even with some very ugly non-conference losses (55-3 to BYU, 40-7 to Air Force) and Texas took it on the chin vs TCU and Oklahoma.

The Colts are 4-2 (gave the opener away) and the Bears are 5-1, with their loss being to…the Colts.

So I guess it isn’t all bad, for now.

Oh today? I kept making errors getting my key ready..but my students had no trouble with the HW.

Workout notes: weights.
pull ups: got a couple of sets of 10, a set of 15 singles a couple of 5’s and enough to get to 55 reps.

Bench: 10 x 132 then sets (with pause) of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 with 181, 176, 171, 165, 159, 154 (I have a 20kg bar, 20 kg, 10 kg, 5 kg, 2.5, 1.25 kg plates which makes for some weird poundages)

shoulder press: seated dumbbell: 3 x 10 with 40’s (no support), 9 x 88 supported barbell.

rows: 4 sets of 10 x 134 trap bar

4:30 to do 65 push ups: 30, 20, 15