Category Archives: General

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.

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.

Weight, Weight, Don’t tell me.

As part of my diet plan, I have been food diarying daily and tracking weight weekly. I have made it through the holiday season but gained a pound along the way… But I’m glad I let the carbs back into the diet.

I have found the food diary helps a lot to keep me focused on the quantity, and quality, of food and drink I am imbibing.

Great Sand Dunes, CO