All posts by Jack

Wright again

Jim Wright continues to write thoughtful monographs. This one is on the quest to find Judeo-Christian values, so often the subject of political demagoguery.

Schwartz defines ten basic human values based on the criteria above:

  • Self-Direction: independent thought and action–choosing, creating, exploring.
  • Stimulation: excitement, novelty, and challenge in life.
  • Hedonism: pleasure or sensuous gratification for oneself.
  • Achievement: personal success through demonstrating competence according to social standards.
  • Power: social status and prestige, control or dominance over people and resources.
  • Security: safety, harmony, and stability of society, of relationships, and of self.
  • Conformity: restraint of actions, inclinations, and impulses likely to upset or harm others and violate social expectations or norms.
  • Tradition: respect, commitment, and acceptance of the customs and ideas that one’s culture or religion provides.
  • Benevolence: preserving and enhancing the welfare of those with whom one is in frequent personal contact (the ‘in-group’).
  • Universalism: understanding, appreciation, tolerance, and protection for the welfare of all people and for nature.


From Wikipedia:

Hanlon’s razor is an aphorism expressed in various ways including “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”

I am familiar with Clarke’s Law

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

I heard this corollary today:

Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

Which is attributed to several people, but the most common seems to be Grey’s Law.


One goal reached

I weighed myself this morning at 199.2 pounds, thereby reaching my primary goal of 200 lbs. I started right after Labor Day 2016 so it has been about 200 days to drop 40 pounds.

I’m feeling pretty good, and, after some blood work I had done last month, all the blood numbers are in the good range. (I am no longer pre-diabetic.)

After seeing how my daily weight fluctuates through the day with my diet, I decided to  lose a few more pounds. I would like to end up about 195 pounds so my daily fluctuations don’t take me over 200 (keeping it under 90 kg).

A few  things I have learned over the past half-year:

  1. I am using lunch plates, 8″ across, instead of dinner plates, 10″ across. Don’t need as much food to fill the plate. 6″ bread plates are a little too small, my omelette flops over the edges.
  2. Using the online food diary really does help me keep focused on the total calorie and nutrient intakes each day.
  3. It is a lot easier for me to lose weight on a low/no carb (ketogenic) diet rather than a balanced carb diet with the same calorie total. I think I can maintain with a higher carb diet but I don’t seem to lose with it.
  4. Until I start getting out and getting more exercise, just less than 2000 calories a day seems to be a good number for me.
  5. There are a lot of good low-carb foods out there. I have found riced cauliflower or spiraled zucchini to be an excellent base for dishes. And I have learned a new appreciation for cabbage, in many forms.
  6. The biggest long-term concern is the amount of sodium I am taking in from processed meats. Once I go back to the regular carb diet, I expect the sodium intake will drop as well.

Off to the future.

Getting to the root of it.

Yesterday was a strange one. I headed into my dentist to get a cracked crown replaced. So they put me in the chair and started prepping me, giving me a ‘cold’ test to see if the tooth was feeling cold. I didn’t feel the cold on the tooth in question but they went ahead and numbed me up and took some x-rays. It is really amazing what those digital x-rays can capture . I had a lot of x-rays that day.

The dentist decided that the lack of cold response warranted another look and they took x-rays below the tooth only to find – an abscess. Since I was already numbed, their office found an endodontist that could provide me a root canal that day. I scurried on down to the endodontist and then went through a root canal procedure . Getting the numbing shots at that point was a piece of cake since I was already comfortably numb.

So they drilled out the roots, breached the abscess, and began to drain it, but I will need to wait 4 weeks for everything to heal up so they can finish. And then I can get my crown replaced.

It was good that the dentist recognized that something might be wrong when I didn’t respond to the cold test. I had not been feeling a tooth ache or swelling, so I have no idea how long the abscess had been there. Putting a crown on top of an abscessed tooth  would really be a waste of money since it would all have to come right off.

I do wish dental work was included in our overall health insurance plan but I guess that will have to wait for another administration.

Nutrients in tea

I am trying to find out more on the nutrients in tea, since I drink quite a lot of it, and I am running into a confusing issue. My tea bags weigh in at ~2.2 g per bag.  From one source, I am seeing that would be about 22 mg of potassium per gram of tea.  So, 2.2 g per bag would be ~50 mg of potassium per bag.  I have always thought it was supposed to be 1 bag per cup. My tea bag box says 1 serving makes 8 fluid ounces per bag.  I stretch it a bit and use one bag for ~ 14 ounces of boiling water in my travel mug. But, I figure that I will get all 50 mg in my cup.

Then I come to a site like this that presents the nutrition information for tea in fluid measures. Here they are saying 100 ml of brewed tea has 88 mg of potassium. Does that mean they used 2 tea bags to brew 100 ml of tea? 1 cup of brewed tea is 240 ml and it has 211 mg of K. (K is the atomic abbreviation for Potassium). Did they use 4 teabags to brew a cup of tea?

So, if the tea bag has a finite amount of K and water shouldn’t be adding anything to the mix, why does a cup of tea have so much more K than the bag.

And it isn’t just this site. Most of the sites I have seen seem to have a lot more K  per cup than in the bag.  No, actually, they seem to be all over the place.

Fire Weather Zones

I had not realized that there are Fire Weather Zones to help isolate the areas that may be affected in weather alerts.

From a County Commission Ordinance I have this description for our local zones.

“Fire Weather Zone”: Any one of three fire zones within El Paso County that have been determined by the National Weather Service based upon elevation and weather patterns associated with the fuels and terrain located within these elevation ranges. These include: Fire Weather Zone 221, western El Paso County consisting of the Rampart Range and the mountainous region west of Colorado Springs and Highway 115; Fire Weather Zone 226, northern El Paso county east of the Rampart Range and generally north of Highway 94; and Fire Weather Zone 227, southern El Paso County generally east of Highway 115 and south of Highway 94.

Looking at a map of the zones I can’t tell if I am in Zone 221 or 226, since I am at the base of the Rampart Range. Either way, if fire is an issue in either of these zones I will endeavor to mind the flames.


Looks like things are progressing in Colorado Springs. From Gary, a friend-

Events for Progressives in Colorado Springs

Tuesday Feb. 7 10:30 at Senator Cory Gardner’s Co. Springs office

Tuesday Feb 7, 5:30 Together Colorado Springs meeting, Stargazer Theatre

Friday, February 10 Colorado Springs Feminists 7:00 PM
“Are Human Rights Women’s Rights”

Saturday, Feb 11, 2:00 PM First Strike Theatre at Seeds Cafe.


Tuesday Feb 7 10:30 AM- 12pm
102 N. Tejon Ste. 930, Colorado Springs, CO

Join us in visiting Senator Gardner’s office to resist Trump! We’ll arrange to speak with a staffer about what ever topic has your blood boiling that day. Last week we had almost 100 people gathered on the sidewalk, and cycling through the office in groups of 10.
While waiting for our turn, we’ll keep the street active with sign waving and Chanting. Bring a drum, a whistle, a small flag to wave, a list of great chants you have been hearing.

Tuesday, Feb 7 5:30 PM, Stargazer Theatre 10 S. Parkside Drive, Colorado Springs, near Pikes Peak Street.

Announcement meeting for new non-partisan Political Action group, “Together Colorado Springs” (TCOS). Founded by CS Independent creator, John Weiss and several liberal community leaders, the group planned to have a paid staff helping to get progressive and liberal causes toward the top of local agendas.
There will be music, powerful speeches and other entertainment. They are asking $30 per person admission, but also promising that no one will be turned away if they can’t pay that amount.

Friday, CS Feminists “Are Human Rights Women’s Rights”.

Hosted by the Colorado Springs Feminists 7:00 PM
Private Residence 2727 N. Tejon , Colorado Springs,

Why do we fight for “women’s rights” if they’re encompassed by broader “human rights”? We’ll kick off the second installment of our Discussion Series with this question, and peel back the layers of these terms and their implications. No need to have attended the first installment to attend this one! Optional readings to inform the discussion are below.

Optional readings:
“Women’s Rights are Human Rights” Hillary Clinton, 1995, at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.

“Are Women’s Rights Human Rights?” by Rosie Walters, 2013, available at


Saturday, February 11, 2017 2:00 PM Seeds Community Cafe

109 E Pikes Peak Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO (edit map)

Co. Springs’ own “First Strike Theatre” will present a lively and funny show feature local actors,
and custom written songs to fit our current political mess. They will do 2 shows, 2:15 and 3:15 . The event is Free. They might ask for donations??
The event is to “Celebrate” the birth day of “Raw Toos”, a non-profit that encourages turning guns into useful items that don’t kill people. There will be two performances, at 2:15 and 3:15 on Saturday, Feb 11 at Seeds Community Cafe at 109 E. Pikes Peaks. Its a small place, so place to arrive early.
If the drumbeat of bad news has been getting you down, come to this show and spend some time laughing about Mary Springer-Forse’s unique way of writing, and singing, about our current mess.