Wrapping our heads around the uncommon but unpleasant reality

I am seeing quite a bit of denial on several fronts; one of course is the inability of many Trump supporters to come to grips with the fact that Biden won the Electoral College.
Yes, I saw some of that in 2016 as well, though not to the same degree, and NOT coming from political leaders. So, this isn’t a symmetric situation but I did see some of it.

And I am seeing some denial with respect to COVID and hearing some ridiculous things:

And, no, this isn’t just in the US.

Interestingly enough, this reminded me a bit of what I read in Paul Fussell’s book Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War (Review of this book here)

In the book there was a chapter about “rumors in war.” Of course, false rumors are always there, but it was a type of rumor that I especially remembered.

There was one rumor circulating among some US troops that, after they had seen some combat, they had done “their share” and would be soon heading back to the United States to train new troops. When they found out that the rumor was false..they were extremely upset.

In those days, you stayed until you either were killed, wounded, went insane or the war was won (the “tour of a set duration” for ground troops came out in later wars; it is true that aviators had a set number of missions..though survival of a full tour was no sure deal).

Another one: after a rough amphibious assault against fierce German resistance, there were rumors that somehow Germans had advance intelligence of the landing; someone had tipped them off. The idea was “well, this is our enemy; they are tough, disciplined and they will kill a hell of a lot of us, even if we win” was just too brutal of a reality to face. There HAD to be something else.

And so, I think we see some of that here. I think that, while there is some genuine ignorance, there is also probably a lot of people who don’t want to face the reality of COVID 19..that, left unchecked, it will kill a lot of us, and the infection you get will probably not kill you (though it can severely mess you up more than you want to admit) but it will spread to many others..eventually killing someone.

To a lesser extent I think this is reality in politics; voters can’t come to grips that about half (perhaps more) of the country finds the “evil” candidate you opposed to be perfectly acceptable. That can’t be the case, so they must have cheated somehow.

With that, there is the idea that your social bubble is NOT the whole country; there are a hell of a lot of people out there who think very differently than you do.

Last day prior to Thanksgiving break

I gave students asynchronous lessons due to my needing to be extra flexible today; and this semester we haven’t had any “lesson time” devoted to quizzes or exams.

And it doesn’t hurt that there is no class next week.

So I did sleep a bit and took, oh, about an extra 20 minutes for my workout (more rest between sets)

pull ups: 5-5-10-10 then finished with singles and 5’s: 55 reps total. Felt fine.

bench press (all with pauses)

10 x 134, 1 x 195 (hard), 2 x 184, 3 x 174, 3 x 174, 5 x 165, 5 x 165 (note: mixed old kg plates with new lb.plates to get the multiples of 5 poundages; bar is 44 lb.

shoulder press: barbell: 10 x 88, 10 x 90, then dumbbell: 10 x 88, 3 x 88, 10 x 88 (the set of 3 was when I screwed with my phone camera)
rows: 4 sets of 10 x 134
push ups: 30, 30, 20 (best in a while)
headstand (easy?)

Note: sore ankle: didn’t feel it, though I did get extreme lower leg cramping last night?

Photos: outside with Quad Cities marathon shirt, disgust that 195 was so difficult for me on the bench (but I got it, legally, with pause), trying to use the timer to show my shoulder presses, and the new shoulder press seated bench; love it.

Toward Thanksgiving

Today: no NSAIDS…felt the burn at the end; some tingles during. I was annoyed by the 14:20 mile but I let my mind wander…crisp but very breezy.

I was slightly overdressed.

Comment about Trump Trump’s attempt to break the rules and get himself declared the winner is downright embarrassing…and even worse is that so many Republicans are ok with it, especially Republicans in political leadership positions. I am not sure whether they actually approve OR if they just don’t want political pressure from Trump’s loony base.

But..THIS is why rule books are as thick as they are; SOMEONE will always try to game the system. It is a shame that so many in the US thought that it was a good idea to vote for someone like that.

A couple of weight workouts

I forgot to log Monday’s workout so I’ll do that now and do this morning’s as well.

Monday: pull ups (55 reps total; did a few sets of 10)

bench: 10 x 134, 2 x 184, 2 x 184, 2 x 179 (wanted 3), 5 x 166, 5 x 166 (I have 44 lb. bar and a mix of kg and lb. plates) All reps had a pause at the bottom.

shoulder: 3 sets of 10 with 40, 40, 44 dumbbell, 10 x 88 barbell

rows: 3 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, 30, 15 and headstand.

Today: windier; pull ups: did a couple of sets of 10 and some broken sets; got used to gloves (I’ll have to get used to them); 55 reps total.

bench: 10 x 134, 8 x 161 (all with pauses)

shoulder: 3 sets of 10 x 44 dumbbell, 10 x 88, 9 x 90 barbell

single arm rows: 3 sets of 10 x 60

deadlift: deficit: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 209

high handles: 10 x 234 (screwed up and put two 10’s and one 5 with my 25 and 45…senior moment.

plank: 2:30 and headstand.

So where do Democrats go from here?

Yes, Biden won the election; he currently has a 51-47.3 lead in the popular vote and a 79.15 to 73.4 million lead (massive turnout!)

But the Democrats did rather poorly in Congress; we still don’t know the carnage but we lost House seats and will be extremely fortunate to eek out a tie in the Senate (I don’t expect us to; and yes, I chipped in).

But, how will we win purple Congressional Districts and purple states?

There are some issues.

Bill Maher has some words of wisdom..well worth listening to:

And what plays well in academic and in well educated circles…just does not convince the voters:

“Advancing universalistic programs that disproportionately benefit Black and Latino people is traditionally how liberal policymakers have tried to promote racial equity (Harvard sociologist William Julius Wilson labeled it “The Hidden Agenda” in his 1987 book The Truly Disadvantaged), while conservatives do the opposite. When Rush Limbaugh called the Affordable Care Act “a civil rights bill” and “reparations” in 2010, he didn’t mean that as praise.

In a pre-election op-ed published in The New York Times, UC Berkeley professors Ellora Derenoncourt and Claire Montialoux argued for a renewed focus on the minimum wage, noting that this was a key demand of the 1963 March on Washington and that their research says fully 20 percent of the closure in the Black-white wage gap during the Civil Rights Era came from the 1966 minimum wage increase.

But Democratic elected officials did not emphasize the issue much during the 2020 race.”

Yglesias goes on to say:

My suspicion is that this is a weird tic of campus politics that has followed graduates into the professional arena where they unconsciously started deploying it in less appropriate contexts. If you’re in a dorm at a fancy college and you can convince an administrator that something is racist, the administrator will probably put a stop to it. At the same time, “this is bad for poor people” just isn’t going to get you far as a campus argument. After all, these schools more or less openly auction off a number of admissions slots to wealthy donors (while, of course, practicing affirmative action to keep things diverse) so they can hardly take a hard line on class politics.

But electoral politics in a democracy isn’t like that. And to the extent that the US political system isn’t democratic, it’s mostly tilted in favor of over-representing white people with no college degree. So if you actually want to close racial gaps by raising the minimum wage, expanding union membership, expanding Medicaid, and reducing student debt, the last thing you want to do is to sell people on the idea that this is really all about race.

So in this sense, the Bernie types are right: sell the plans in race neutral form (“this helps poor people”) and leave race out of it.

But this might anger the wokes.

We have such a tricky road to tread.

And yes, the largely white, ‘jackrabbit” and Ya’ll states have the electoral advantage and a big advantage in the Senate, and there is not much we can do about it, save breaking up the country (which I favor, but it won’t happen in my lifetime).

Personal opinion Note that Democrats have LOST ground with minorities; this is NOT limited to Cubans in Florida:

What is going on? Of course, politics is local too, but on a global scale, I’d say that Latinos broadly reject “wokeness”:

No one wants “educated” wokes coming in to “educate us” on what is appropriate for ourselves.

And, I honestly think that Democrats, at least the very liberal ones, appear to have a hostility to accomplishment and success ..they took a sensible statement by Obama “you didn’t build that..” (meaning the PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE by which people and goods get to businesses) to mean “you didn’t earn that..”; “success” is equated with “privilege.”

Who in the hell wants to aspire to being a loser or a victim?

The attitude just appears to be wrong.

17 November walk and

I might have more to say later; let’s just say that while I am glad that Trump lost the election; Congress will be a zoo.

Well, the walk itself; just under 15 minutes per mile on a perfect day. Ok..not that bad but hardly swift. No wind; lots of run; mild glute pain and some NSAIDS.

When I got back I saw some cars being towed; I wonder what the story was..could be many things. Most of them: not good.

And yes; we are back at level 3 due to increased COVID cases and yes, dummies are still planning to have family Thanksgiving get togethers…superspreader event.

Ugh…it is back, sort of

Blustery winds and chilly; and last night I had a few hamstring cramps from deadlifts..I think.

So, it was a rough one; I stretched but the glue/piriformis bothered me and I stopped at 2.4 miles to stretch and take some naproxen.

that seemed to help and I was able to get just over 8 more, albeit at a very slow pace. The wind was a factor.

During my stretch stop, I saw a squirrel with a mouth full of…leaves?

Be my guest.

14 November

Slacker walk after deadlifts

So, the walk itself was a high 15 minute per mile affair in West Peoria. I wasn’t that focused.

But the deadlfits:

Deficit: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 1 x 224

Neutral: (low handle) 1 x 254

High handle: 1 x 289 (not that bad)

1 x 294 (a hard effort)

Low handle: 10 x 224

So my current bests are 274 low handle, 294 high handle, though I think the latter will still keep going up.


August 5, 2019: managed a High Handle 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

October 31: 1 x 254, High Handle 1 x 284, 1 x 274

November 7: High Handle: 5 x 274, Low Handle: 5 x 249

November 14: Low Handle: 1 x 254, High Handle: 1 x 289, 1 x 294, Low Handle: 10 x 224

Headed into the weekend

Yeah, I still have stuff to do, and will do it.

Sinking funds…

Now, what about this morning’s workout? Weights only.

The shirt: from 2006 or 2007: FANS 24 hour. The leggings I wore under my shorts are from 1999 or 2000.

But the shiny new plates and bench/supported seat are recent.

Outdoor: I have to get used to gloves on the pull up bar; I still got at set of 10; lots of singles, 5’s, etc. ..enough to get to 50 reps.

Bench: 10 x 134, then 2 x 184, 2 x 184, 2 x 179, 3 x 174, 4 x 169, 5 x 164, all with pauses.

shoulder: barbell seated; 8 x 90, 10 x 88, 8 x 88, dumbbell seated: 10 x 40’s.
rows: 4 sets of 10 with 134 trap bar

push ups: 30, 30, 15 outside, then headstand.


This was one of my slower Thursday walks, and at the end, the glute pain was back.

But it was better than zip.

I wonder if there is a weight gain issue or if stepping up Wednesday deadlifting might be a contributing factor.
A decent (but too hard) finishing mile kept me from the shame of a 14 minute pace.

September 17 was the last time I had a slower Thursday walk.