Belts and things

The local situation: December 22, December 29, January 6. Metro area: 179K, 56 percent vaccinated.

Via the New York Times:

Let that sink in: from the start of the pandemic until now, 1 out of every 345 people in our metro area have died of COVID. And deaths are ticking up.

The county, bless their hearts, are tying. They now feature daily (including weekends) walk in clinics and testing. I really comment the effort.

But as of right now we are at about 350 new cases a day and something like 2-3 deaths a day on the average. Omicron isn’t likely to lower the death toll because, while it is more mild than delta on a case by case basis, it spreads much more easily and what it lacks in morbidity and mortality it makes up for by spreading easier. So while it is safer on an individual level, given that you have covid, it is more deadly on the community level.

If you think of it as Russian roulette: yes, you get to play with more empty chambers, but far more people are playing.

Schools: I am getting sick of the SCHOOLS MUST REMAIN OPEN being touted by politicians, so-called “experts” and “blue check” pundits.

Seriously, this is better than going online for a few weeks (IF conditions warrant)?

The CDC they are screwing up..not so much on the science but with communication. Their “5 days” isolation is very misunderstood; it is if you are asymptomatic OR if your results are “resolving” AND you are fever-free. The public absolutely sucks at conditional statements.

And they have to watch what they say: pointing out that 75 percent of the COVID deaths come from those who have at least 4 comorbidity factors is being interpreted as “it is ok if the disabled die”, which it is NOT what they are trying to say. But it was a bad way to say it.

Bottom line: if we know who is most vulnerable, we can get better at protecting them.

Tension in society Yes, people knowingly go out there with COVID; that is documented. And around here, I’d say less than half of the people wear a mask. Given the sky high case rates, it is a good idea to assume that at least 1/5 of the people you see have COVID and to protect yourself.

And I’ve noticed this: we have an indoor mask mandate and when you to into the Riverplex, they remind you to put one on. But when you get upstairs, most have taken them off. So, I’m done for a while, at least until this spike is down.

Then I’ve notice that the Riverplex is doing a membership drive.
Some don’t go because they have a mask mandate. Others (like me) stopped going because it isn’t enforced in the upper areas, at all.

And I understand why: it gets tiresome to tell adults to do what they should be doing, especially when they revert the very second they aren’t being monitored.
We are a nation of toddlers. And I don’t miss their company.

Workout notes

Yesterday: pull ups (-4 F) 5-5-10-10-5-5-5-5-5-5 outside with rehab
push ups: 3 sets of 25 on the floor (touch the chest), 1 set of 5-floor, 5-step 1, 5 step 2, 5 step 1, 5 floor.

bench press: 8 x 135, 5, 5 x 150 Swiss), 5 x 150 straight bar (went fine)

curls: 3 sets of 10
rows (single arm) 3 sets of 10
shoulder presses: 10 x 93, 10 x 103, 10 x 103 (ok)


Today: 30 minutes bike AFTER:

10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224 (no belt)
3, 3, 3, 3, 5 x 260 (belt); went fine, zero pain.

Note: I added a hole to my belt; evidently I am just slightly too fat for Titan’s XL belt (34-41, though my pants are 36..should have gone with 38-45 XXL)
And by using a weight plate instead of a hammer on the screw, I cut my finger.

Do better, Peoria

Troubling COVID stat: 193 new cases in the past 24 hours, and our population (county) is 179,000. More than 1 out of every 1000 residents got COVID in a single day. That is greater that 324,000 cases in a day for the US (yes, I know, not exactly comparable but still)

In other news: our Mayoral election:

According to the Journal Star, there are about 675 mail in ballots still out…and these get counted until April 20 (if postmarked on time). If Ali wins these by 12 percent, as she did the current mail in votes, she would gain 81 votes, enough to win…by…8 votes.

Let’s just say, I have no idea.


Middle mile was under 13; I did have some tightness at the end and a mild ache, but it was less painful than Monday or Sunday.

And the pace was decent.

Pandemic walk

The athletic performance was nothing to boast about: measured 6.9 miles in 1:50 (15:57 mpm), though my social distancing moves to the parking lot, across the street, etc. probably bumped that to 7 miles

COVID test center. It was open when I was on my way back; not much of a line.

Dozer Park. No crack of the bat today.

Coffee take out; friends conversing at social distance.

I-74 bridge construction.

Closed playground.

Riuverplex: closed; just essential staff and construction workers

Social distancing rules for the bike path. I went off of the path to give a few people room; there were not many there.

Dinner tonight?

I felt fine and the temperature ranged from the mid 40’s to 50’s. Much chillier tomorrow.

A photo tour of my 10.6 mile Peoria course

Today I strolled a very easy 10.6 miles (17 km) (total time of day, including photos took 3:10 to do, strolling very easily)

This is a map of the route I took with numbers corresponding to photos (photo 48 was taken a long time ago; other photos were taken today)

1. The start of the course (my house)

2. Moss Avenue (canopy of trees and older, larger homes)

3. MacArthur bridge with a nice pedestrian bridge; just put in this year.

4. Path near Carver Center and past a water park that I used to take my daughter to.

5. Not part of the course, but there were a lot of utility trucks.

6. Dozer Park; I spend way too much time here.

7. Caterpillar building.

8. Start of the downtown area with shops, bars and restaurants.

9. One of a series of abstract sculptures (silver)

10. Bars and restaurants near the water.

11. Start of the bike path along the River; part of a much longer system stretching from Toulon, IL to Morton, IL

12. Peoria Museum

13. One of the restaurants.

14. Gateway Building

15. I 74 bridge over the Illinois River.

16. Geese everywhere. Riverplex is in the background.

17. Sculpture by the Riverplex

18. Birdhouses behind the Riverplex

19. Path..sand volleyball court to the left.

20. Old railroad rotating “bridge.”

21. Entrance to the marina (since closed)

22. Old Marina docks.

23. The gooseloop; a .37 mile loop path.

24. Baseball field.

25. Abington road..kind of rough.

26. Entrance to lower Glen Oak park.

27. The Ingersoll statue

28. Hill; start of the Steamboat 15K hill loop section.

29. Crest of the hill; upper Glen Oak Park.

30. The park lagoon.

31. Park Building.

32. Entrance to the Peoria Zoo.

33. Open space in the park.

34. Prospect Avenue.

35. Upper entrance to Springdale Cemetery (where cars can enter).

36. Forrest Hill and Central avenue: where the Boredom course meets this course.

37. Long shot (about 1 mile) on Forrest Hill.

38. St. Paul Church.Forrest Hill section is almost done.

39. Bigelow Ave., nice section.

40. Hansler and Bootz; I sometimes turn on Hansler.

41. Broadway; an old section.

42. Nebraska and Broadway and Gale; a tricky intersection. Better look 4 ways before you cross.

43. Over I-74.

44. Columbia Terrace: 1 mile to go.

45. Crossing University and into the Uplands neighborhood on Columbia Terrace.

46. Columbus statue in Bradley Park, along Parkside.

47. The Arbor District: my neighborhood ..and street too.

48. Laura and Cooper. I took this photo this fall; this shows an entrance to the Bradley University campus. My office building is the “castle top” building.


49. Home! Another 10.6 miles (17 km) deposited into the bank.

Baseline walk

Well, am I in shape to train for a walking marathon? There was only one way to find out. Yes, it was warm; 70 F just prior to starting out (87 percent humidity) and 87 F at the finish. Whew. I was 1:01 at 4, 1:16 at 5, 1:29 at the tower and 2:05 at mile 8, and 4:09 at the end of the 15.75 course (took the goose loop) and added an extra .4 past Markin to get 16.

Amusing: I saw Jehovah’s Witnesses near the Farmers Market and outdoor stuff by the River..and animal rights protesters outside the restaurant. I also saw a few from this morning’s 5K.

My mind churned through election stuff while I walked. I saw a few runners here and there. Lots of sun..and some heat conditioning.

So, am I ready to start training? Ugh…15:56 mpm..but I was averaging right at 15 before the temperatures started to climb. The good news: it really wasn’t much of an effort. And training (and weight loss) will make me faster.

I’ll attempt a couple of more longish walks than then reevaluate.

Comment: ok, these are the days where I actually like Peoria: it was a pleasant (if warm) walk; got to see different neighborhoods, good views of the Illinois River, woods, mansions, Riverfront, Dozer Park, etc.

Peoria Flooding, deplorables, etc.

Workout notes: weights and walk:
rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench: 10 x 135, 2 x 185, 6 x 165 (no spotter; had to be conservative), 10 x 165 decline, military: 4 x 95 barbell, 10 x 85 barbell, 10 x 45 dumbbell. rows: 10 x 180, 10 x 200, 10 x 200 Hammer machine, goblet squats: 6 x 35, 6 x 50, leg press: 10 x 210. headstand, plank (2:30 (bent arms)), side plank, knee stretches; held crow for 20 seconds (did several), walked 1.5 on the track and 1.5 outside.

Peoria flooding (credit on the photo)

Red line: part of the path that is underwater. Light blue box: Riverplex. Dark blue: part of the path that is runnable (north of the Riverplex..though the goose loop..a side flooded.) But yes, you can run from the Riverplex and follow the trail all the way to Toulon, IL. (it is quite a haul though; 33-35 miles one way?)

Personal: a local bunny has been on our porch.

It is not especially scared of people.

Deplorables Just for context, here is the actual Hillary Clinton quote:

Speaking at a fundraiser in New York City on Friday, Hillary Clinton said half of Donald Trump’s supporters belong in a “basket of deplorables” characterized by “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic” views.

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?” Clinton said. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

She said the other half of Trump’s supporters “feel that the government has let them down” and are “desperate for change.”

“Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well,” she said.

“about half”…of course, many Trump supporters eagerly claimed the “victimhood mantle” (yes, liberals do this all the time as well)

So, just who was she talking about? Perhaps these people?

A Georgia mayor is facing bipartisan calls to resign following a report that she dismissed a candidate for a top city position based on his race. Racist remarks from one of her defenders further inflamed the controversy, revealing what some say are outdated racial attitudes long pervasive in a small, predominantly white city.

The drama came to a head Monday in the Jackson County community of Hoschton, after the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Mayor Theresa Kenerly withdrew the application of Keith Henry, a finalist for city administrator, “because he is black, and the city isn’t ready for this.”

She allegedly whispered the remark to a city council member on March 4 during a closed-door session, the newspaper reported, citing interviews with city officials and documents it obtained through records requests. One of the documents, written that day by Councilwoman Hope Weeks, claimed the mayor doubled down on her comments in the parking lot after the meeting.

“She proceeded to tell me that the candidate was real good, but he was black and we don’t have a big black population and she just didn’t think Hoschton was ready,” Weeks wrote.

The mayor disputed the allegations in a statement to the AJC, denying she made any comments that “suggest prejudice.” But the story has reverberated rapidly among Hoschton’s nearly 2,000 residents and cast a negative light on the city’s leadership — a tenuous situation exacerbated by longtime city councilman Jim Cleveland, who defended the mayor.

“I understand Theresa saying that, simply because we’re not Atlanta. Things are different here than they are 50 miles down the road,” he told the AJC. “I don’t know how they would take it if we selected a black administrator. She might have been right.”

Then, he delivered an unprompted opinion on interracial marriage, which he said makes his “blood boil.”

“I’m a Christian and my Christian beliefs are you don’t do interracial marriage. That’s the way I was brought up and that’s the way I believe,” he said. “I have black friends, I hired black people. But when it comes to all this stuff you see on TV, when you see blacks and whites together, it makes my blood boil because that’s just not the way a Christian is supposed to live.”

It is a reminder that the rest of the country is NOT a college campus nor is it my personal “bubble”, with its hyper sensitive culture.

Oh, by the way: Trump’s approval ratings are UP a little bit, 44.4 at Real Clear (average of polls), and 42.8 at Fivethirtyeight.

Now these are NOT great numbers, given the current state of the economy but if he can inch into the high 40’s, that could well be enough to get him reelected. Remember that some who disapprove of Trump will disapprove of the Democratic nominee as well and might vote the “lesser of two evils”..which, for some, would be Trump.

The last President to not be reelected was George H. W. Bush. He was at 44 percent in January 1992 and at 29 percent when Bill Clinton accepted the nomination. Yes, he was sky-high before that, due to Desert Storm.