Super Catch up

Sunday: sort of a lame 3 mile walk after a very so-so deadlift sesssion:

10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 261 (4 inch); lame, 4 x 280 8 inch (bailed), 10 x 260 8 inch.

Monday: PT, (as usual), push ups were 30-30-30-20, pull ups were sets of 5 singles/5 reps.

Bench: 10 x 134, 4 x 160, 4 x 160, 3 x 160 (fail), 1 in 145, 5 x 145
curls 3 sets of 10, Swiss bar high incline 3 sets of 10 x 94

Walk: 2 miles plus 1 mile commuter.

Today: great day; PT, 4 miles with Lynnor, 1.6 with Olivia.

Day for the ages

Well done to Sorensen

Mr. Sorensen won a tough fight in the IL-17 district to keep the district in the Democratic column: this was a Trump +1 district that Cheri Bustos had to fight for. He was very strong in the Quad Cities area.

We still don’t know if the Democrats will keep the Senate; it appears likely..somewhat likely. The tight spots: Nevada and the upcoming runoff in Georgia; I think Warnock is favored..slightly. So…wonder where the uncounted votes in Nevada are from?

House: good fight, but a lost cause; we lost a few seats.

Workout notes: shook off the sleepies to do PT, my usual 50 reps of pull ups (3 sets of 10 singles, 4 sets of 5), push ups (4 sets of 25: time to step it up), and PT

deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 228 low handle

presses: 3 sets of 10 x 94 Swiss bar, 2 sets of 10 curls.

Two mile walk, then two mile commuter walk; walk felt faster than recorded.

Aging: friends and loved ones

Axiom: the longer your life, the more friends and loved ones will suffer from ailments of various kinds, and yes, die.
I’ve lost 3 good running friends from 2008-2015 or so (all I ran with, all who could beat me) and now another one has lung cancer.
I don’t know the stage (discovered by biopsy) but even best case is 70 percent survival rate in 5 years; worst is 5 percent.


My bestie also had cancer, but hers is “the best cancer to have if you must have cancer.” I took her to her biopsy.

My wife is recovering from hand/wrist surgery (should restore functionality of her hand) but, well, only 11 days out and yes, there is still pain.

My back issues: not functional; I can manage my chronic conditions (knee, shoulder , back) by not being stupid.

But, well, here is a vow to make time for friends and to enjoy them while we still have each other.

Political Thoughts

I haven’t talked politics in a while. And I’ve become *very* disinterested in policy, at least at the federal level.

Here is why: at the present moment, what matters is what party controls Congress and the White House, and any policy that gets passed has to be approved by the party national level; in some sense it doesn’t really matter what policy nuances my US Rep may or may not support.

And right now, the Republicans are so awful that the important thing is to elect a Democrat.

Demonstrators attempt to enter the U.S. Capitol building during a protest in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. The U.S. Capitol was placed under lockdown and Vice President Mike Pence left the floor of Congress as hundreds of Demonstrators swarmed past barricades surrounding the building where lawmakers were debating Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College. Photographer: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Until the Republicans can agree to accept the election results, I want absolutely nothing to do with them.

So, IL-17 is a tight race between Eric Sorenson (a Quad Cities weatherman) and Esther Joy King, the Republican who ran in 2020 and held Cheri Bustos to 52 percent (though Trump was on the ballot..that helped her a bit). Obama won the district by 17 points in 2012, Trump won by 0.7 points in 2016 and 1.6 points in 2020. It is sort of Iowa like, with a couple of urban areas (Peoria, Rockford) added to give a boost to the Democrats.

In 2020, Peoria gave Bustos her margin of victory.

Joy-King is running a Bush style campaign (right wing issues, social issues), but as of right now, distancing herself from Trump; she is not running as a MAGA. That is one of her biggest challenges. And she has a ton of money and so do the Republican PACs.

Sorensen is a political rookie, and I think it shows. It appeared that he fell for the age old Republican trick: some campaign surrogate (or PAC) makes a bigoted cultural attack (Sorensen is gay and open about it). The Democrat responds with a cultural counter..instead of focusing on the fact that the Republicans, as a party, want to reduce taxes on the wealthiest, deregulate business and cut services, Social Security, Medicare, etc.

Such cuts are deeply unpopular with the public, so the focus is on cultural stuff .

Note the images of Biden and Pelosi.

Here is a fact check by a Democratic PAC ad:

Ok, one of the PAC’s claims was false.

So, how will it go? The race is viewed as being very close. (via Fivethirtyeight.com)

The big problem, as I see it.

I’ve posted this several times. It still applies.

It is frustrating.

I think one of the divides is by education.

On a college campus, anything that smacks of xxx-ism or bigotry is immediately and loudly denounced; deans and administrators leap into action.

It doesn’t work that way off campus.

Here are a couple of incidents:
In one of the games, there was a very questionable “roughing the passer” call:

Troy Aikman responded on the air with a suggestion that the NFL competition committee “take off the dresses” on the quarterback.

Most blue collar fans wouldn’t have a problem with that statement (“gee, the NFL IS too soft”) but college educated people ..let’s say would respond immediately “that’s misogynistic“; we are trained to react that way (any hint that women are weaker and need more protection then men is just awful, etc.)

But college graduates …especially recent college graduates, are not the bulk of the voting population, and if you want to win an election, you have to know how to talk to non-college graduates and do so in a way where you aren’t “educating them out of their …” whatever.

I am not sure that Democratic politicians, on the whole, do that well.

And then you have this:

There is that Republican trick again: bait Democrats into fighting about culture, while they strip away Social Security, Medicare and other services.

Yes, the Democrats make it easy with moronic slogans like Defund the Police (and yes, some favor reparations) but no Democrat is “pro-crime.”

Of course, the people to which this “Senator” is referring to (poor urban Black people) are the victims of said crimes, and they certainly aren’t in favor of it. In fact, if you live in an urban area and pay attention, there is *always* some anti-crime program going on, often funded and supported by the churches and the people who live in the area. They are constantly pleading for help from the city to stop it.

So, the Senator’s statement is not merely “impolite”; it is false. It is a smear.

But it is also a distraction from the agenda that Sen. McConnell wants to enact and it behooves the Democrats to note that.

Will we fight back effectively? I am not optimistic.

Touring and lifting

The skinny: no in person game, but my wife treated me to a walking “ghost of Lincoln” tour, which was about 2.5 miles (to and from the hotel…plus close a mile getting our dinner), so it was a lot of standing and walking.

And the back/glute held up! Yeah, I know..no big deal normally, but in late spring, I could have NOT done this, at least without a lot of pain.

I did feel tightness and stiffness at times, but not much real pain, and it was not debilitating or even limp producing.

The tour: here are the sights. I learned a few things, including the race riot of 1908. We have so much ugly history swept under the rug.

I took some photos, including the Lincoln Home, Illinois State Capitol, and yes, a raccoon.

Getting it figured out..

First: I was somewhat sore last night and wondered how much I could walk. It turns out that I handled 2 one mile walks easily and painlessly ..nothing residual. What I didn’t do is “belt squat” afterward. More on that later.

The workout: PT, walk 1, PT, walk 2, a bit more PT and then downstairs for some trap bar deadlifts:

10 x 134, 10 x 184 (low handle), 10 x 270 8 inch…went fine, no residual glute soreness.

This was much better than yesterday (especially walk 1)

What seems to bother the glute/nerve root: Pressure when the thigh is horizontal to the ground and the shin is vertical; in particular:

Presses (bench and seated shoulder) when I don’t have my legs up.

Squatting when I go deep and keep a relatively upright torso

Cycling in a recumbent; the upright cycling is better.

Horizontal thigh + vertical shin + pressure = glute pain, either then or after the fact.

Non-horizontal thigh is ok.

Baseball: I made a baseball game; it was a very painful 6-5 loss. This game featured a bit of everything:

Early, there were two outs and the second baseman fielded an easy grounder but their throw was too high; the first basemen had to go too high and came off of the bag. Chiefs should have been out of the inning. Next batter hits a home run (ok, really smacked the ball too) and now it was 2-0.

Next: runners on second and third …pitcher balks. So now it is 3-0.

The lead increased to 4-0 before the Chiefs rallied; 2 runs via a double with runners on base to make it 4-2, and later a big home run tied the game 4-4.

Sky Carp made it 5-4, but the Chiefs tied it ..and stranded runners.

Now to the top of the 9’th; 2 outs again, and the pitcher tried a pick off at 2’nd and it sure looked as if he got the runner, but the umpire said otherwise.

Next batter hits a shallow fly to center and the outfielder made an excellent diving try at the ball…had it for a moment but the ball popped out and the runner scored. Then the umpire threw out the Chiefs’ manager, so he ran out on the field and had some more things to say.

And that is how it ended: 6-5 loss, with many, many chances to have pulled it out.

Resentment

I am going to have to make my PT routine more efficient. But the quickest I can do it is about 35 minutes..IF I am super efficient. 40-45 is more typical and frankly, I resent doing it. But..If I want to swim and walk..that is what I must do.

And yes, I know that someone with invasive cancer would gladly trade “problems” with me. It is just that I am mentally weak and prone to whining.

Today: round 1 of PT, stretching, 1 mile walk, round 2 of PT, more stretching, 1 mile walk, round 3 of PT (shoulders) Then downstairs:

deadlifts: low: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 225 (for real this time..last time it was only 220, which FELT different) 10 x 270 8 inch.

belt squats: 10 x 50, 10 x 72, 12 x 94 (depth was lacking; last time my load pin was hooked in an unusual way which kept it higher up.

I think that I can mix it up; one day do split walks, next day do it all at once. Second walk was the faster of the two.

Note: doing “bird dog” showed me that afterward, my left leg was “heavy”; I am losing nerve signal there. I need to do some open book prior to walking.

The Long Game: revenge of the Turtle.

Yes, that is the name of his book, which I reviewed.

Yes, McConnell failed in his attempt to limit President Obama to one term. Utterly. But he is riding high now.

And why do I harp on this? Well, I think this observation is spot on:

And that is how The Turtle did it. He fought dirty. He had an alliance with someone he could not stand. And he got his judges.

And there is so much here..so much that seems unfair and is totally frustrating.

The reality is that the Electoral College and the Senate is wildly skewed to the low population states. We can’t change that without an amendment to the Constitution which requires clearing a very high hurdle:

So given that isn’t going to happen, we need to win more Congressional races, especially in the Senate. And given how the states are, that means electing more red state Democrats..more Ben Nelsons and Joe Manchins.

But what do you see: cries of “primary them!.”

We hear “the Democrats need to take off the gloves.” Well…in my opinion, we are “nice” because not being nice …”offends other Democrats.”

Hell, when we even attempt to speak on an issue, the woke language police is right there to attempt to police our statements.

And the ACLU’s messaging was a complete disaster.

Really???? We can’t even say “abortion is a women’s rights issue?”

Yes, some biological females who transition to male can and do get pregnant but good lord, not everything is about the sensibilities of a tiny percentage of the population.

And of course, there is the idea that conservatives are more regular voters than liberals; liberals are prone to sitting out if they don’t get what they want (e. g. student loan forgiveness, or whatever).

So, where to go from here?

Well, we’ll get the usual “I am leaving the country” (psst: other countries won’t take you unless you have something to offer them..and IMHO most who say this are total losers)

Pussy hat marches? Yeah, that’ll teach them.
Hash tags? Sure…they are trembling.

Pack the court? How? You need the votes. We don’t have them. And remember you are the one who won’t vote for a D unless they are a Bernie or AOC.

Eliminate the filibuster! How? We don’t have the votes. Senate is 50/50 and dependent on a D from a Trump +39 state.

Oh…”they have pissed off the wrong generation.” Sure.

Today’s liberals are mostly product of higher education. Screaming, writing manifestos, occupying the college chancellor’s office might get attention..on a college campus. Off campus is very, very different.

You are MAD? No one cares..people only care to the degree that you have something to either offer or withhold from them. And too many of the loudest voices have zilch that anyone else wants.

If there is any hope at all, take a look at this:

In 2021, it was women 52-43 pro choice, men 50-45 pro life.

2022: women are now 61-33 pro choice, men 48-47 pro choice.

It appears to matter more. Silver lining, or wishful thinking on my part?

And there is economic power. Some of us have money to spend, and maybe let corporations know that we’ll favor businesses in good states over those in regressive ones? I see no other card to play.

Jan 6 hearings

I’ve been watching some of the testimony of the hearings. You can find everything here.

Much of it is damming.

But this very person:

Bottom line: this might make Trump more unpopular with those in the mushy middle, and it might hurt Trump’s chances of winning the nomination again. But..it isn’t going to flip a hard core Republican.

Yes, I am worried about President Biden. I like him but he has clearly lost a couple of steps (though he had steps to lose to begin with). But..our political bench is so bare.

Oh..maybe you disagree, but I honestly think that we have a big problem:

Our candidates come from mostly elite universities where the social justice jargon is common (“Latinx”, “BIPOC”, “cis-gender”.. lots of different new pronouns ), all made up by academic “activists” or researchers.

It is one thing to use lingo in one’s academic work or at an academic; yes, I say things like “let X be a compact 3-manifold without boundary and let Y be a topological embedding of S^1” but I’d never speak that way in public.

People who want to be good at politics need to learn how to communicate with the public! They have to say stuff and have the public WANT to listen.

And our instincts are just terrible. For one: if we see a “community” that we consider marginalized, we’ll bend over backwards, often to the point of absurdity to placate them.

And too often, our candidates appear to run on issues that poll well, instead of running on, well, attitude.

Example: yes, raising the minimum wage polls well. And you ask: “Yeah, we should.”

But a candidate that runs on the message: “we will raise the minimum wage and be more generous to poor people” isn’t going to win on that.

After all, who wants to make minimum wage? Who wants to be poor? Sure, we might want to help out, but IMHO, “help the poor” isn’t a winning slogan.

People aspire to do things. They want success. YES, WE CAN: uplifitng. Hand UP, not hand out: yes. No surprise those were the slogans from our most successful Democratic Presidential candidates.

Enjoying the math talks

Yes, this has some meaning to me; will explore further.

I also had a meeting with the surgeon. Bottom line: probably premature to consider spinal fusion right now. Reason: it would probably fix the problem but could lead to further problems in the future. First two conditions apply to me.

I have spondylolisthesis due to a pars defect.

Workout notes: I still worked out; full PT plus strength.

Pull ups 4 sets of 5, set of 10, 6 sets of 5: 2 wide, 2 mixed grip, 2 chin grip Worked to prevent “hunch-back.”

Pushups: 30 incline, 30 decline, 20 deficit, 20 regular

Swiss bar bench: 10 x 134, 10 x 145

dead: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, high: 10 x 260 (slightly sloppy on the final rep; I cannot do these when fatigued)

high incline: 3 sets of 10 x 93

rows: 3 sets of 10 each arm; super light weight

curls: 3 sets of 10