I’m venting.

November 10, 2016 § Leave a comment

This year has been garbage for me in so many ways. The one good thing is that I’ve reduced enough to reach a healthful weight and proportion through conscious eating and caloric restriction. This result is validated by people who saw the “before diet” me and the “one year after” me, and who are admirably following their own conscious diet plans and achieving desired results. I applaud them and cheer them on if they’re improving their health.

What I am finding are people who perhaps do not read as widely current nutrition diet studies, making arguments for eating the exact opposite way, without supporting evidence for better results (e.g.: lower hbA1c, hsCRP, weight and triglycerides; higher HDL, Vit D3 and B12 concentrations), in response to my announcement. I also find people posting contorted findings from studies they don’t read, claiming cheese is not a health food, dietary cholesterol determines blood cholesterol, cholesterol and not inflammation is the basis for cardiovascular and atherosclerotic disease. They claim science journalists design and control studies, they make claims for conclusions that aren’t the actual conclusions from those studies. They boast numbers for triglycerides level that are incompatible with human life. What they claim are easily debunked, not from opinion blogs, but from primary source perusal and evaluation.

They don’t question what they read, they don’t look for additional primary sources, they don’t employ critical thinking. Am I supposed to be convinced by people who can’t employ critical thinking and can’t define their terms? Are they covertly trying to warn me of brain damage risks from divagating from my diet by showing me an example of addled cognition? What are they getting out of their argument?

Me, I’m learning how not to argue. I’m learning about fallacious arguments, faulty premises, incorrect conclusions. I’m learning that my diet hasn’t hurt my critical thinking skills (but exercise might make them sharper). It’s as if people thought “hey, I eat food, therefore I’m an expert!” I don’t criticize people’s diets if they’re working for them and are different from mine, because I know the other person is not an immediate relative, has differing food intolerances and allergies and affinities from my own body’s. I wonder why they feel they need to challenge mine when mine’s working for me.

It’s a sensitive subject for me because I did actually have an open mind, when I saw that my eating habits were destroying my health, and looked at pros and cons for diets. I learned my sibling had lost 60 pounds on a restrictive diet, and that led me to read more about how that diet could work for me. Then he died shortly thereafter, and I lost interest. Honestly I lost interest in a lot of things. But eventually I regained interest in my health and finding a way of eating to correct health abnormalities, and I learned about proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, what they do for nutrition. I learned about vitamins, minerals and amino acids. I learned that over 95% of diets failed, because they weren’t sustained and the weight came back on as the dieter returned to the foods and habits that caused weight gain in the first plac. I didn’t want a short-term diet with effects that could be rapidly undone, nor a diet that couldn’t be followed on a budget. I learned about nutrient density. I learned about cravings for sugar and starch, and how they could be controlled and removed. Lastly I read about people’s successes in staying on their eating plans with improved health markers. I was moved to try one diet plan because a very large percentage of people ate very delicious food to satiety and reduced caloric intake, found their energy improved and their blood lipid profiles improved, most notable for me was the reversal of their metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. I tried it, I liked it, I am staying with it because it’s easy.

If you’re going to challenge me on my way of eating without reading and understanding the pros and cons, and assume I’d never think critically nor read widely nor evaluate health claims, I can only assume it’s not my continued good health and maintained ideal weight you’re concerned about. It’s that you’re convinced I’m doing something wrong, and you require me to correct your thinking, but rather than ask me questions, you choose to regurgitate diet dogma somebody fed you long, long ago, and you require that I accept your premise what is good for your body is good for mine, and what you choose not to eat is bad for my body.

Lazyarse Thought Droppings

October 25, 2016 § Leave a comment

“One thing is certain in this life. There’ll always be some bugger who doesn’t like you. Just try to make sure it’s not yourself.”

I completed Harper’s Crossword Contest “Twofers” (November 2016) and mailed my entry off. It was more challenging than usual, meaning I couldn’t use the English-language ENABLE list for pattern-matching as some entries were in Latin or Italian. I had an idea the English could do these in their sleep, after six mugs of warm beer, like they would manage a darts game or rattle off Southey, Wordsworth, Tennyson, Larkin or Shakespeare. But no English helped me this time.

I wonder, should I unmute, then unfollow the politically-minded accounts carrying the oriflamme or vexilloid for the defeated US political party? They’re muted, they don’t bother me now. I expect they have me muted as well, and I’m just a notch on their followers.

I would take it as a personal slight when people would suspend their accounts without notice, as I’d ascribe no other reason for their hiatuses than the reason I’d give for my own: more noise than signal, more noisome than nice, even an echo chamber can be bothersome if the voices are too fast, loud and urgent. What can you get across in 140 characters anyway?

I may’ve used Twitter for the wrong reasons. I used it to retweet sentiments I couldn’t express better, post URLs to useful information, and to amusing videos, songs in my head, and to chat with some good people. What would it look like if I followed 80 accounts, and eight accounts followed me? What conversations would happen if I checked in only every few months? How would I connect with others if my tweets were private? What if I chose to log in from an offshore VPN so I wouldn’t get promoted tweets, political or otherwise? What if I commonly left out vowels in hot phrases that attract bots of the attention-desperate social media marketers?

Twitter’s for bot-proliferation, hashtag abuse, copyright policing, and promoted political tweets in the face of nauseated disenfranchised folk. These are reasons why it can’t find a buyer. Good luck getting specifics on a current emergency situation tweeted by news and law enforcement agencies without some unhinged bigot/low-information dolt contaminating comments with some geographically removed bile. What is it about social media that legitimizes intolerance?

Month of Letters

February 4, 2016 § Leave a comment

What a beautiful occupation: being solitary yet feeling part of the world, connecting with someone far away knowing that only he or she, and maybe some of their lookiloo cohabitants, will be reading my thoughts.

I started early to some very far away people. Today I wound down and mailed only a Valentine card to Canada and two domestic postcards. I have some more far away people to write to but am metaphorically chewing my pencil wondering how to begin. How do you write to someone with an empty profile? Just ask them questions at large?

I’m also worried I made the interests in my bios too specific. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy reading, being fed and listening to music? Can you still enjoy reading if you’re presently drawn to classics and non-trendy literature? Can you still be counted as a fan of music if you listen to maybe seven to ten subgenres 80% of the time? If you have dairy, grain, sugar and alcohol sensitivities does that mean you don’t really like cooking and should take it off your list? I’m not really a fan of movies anymore though, I’ve noticed, although I look forward to the Coen brothers’ “Hail, Caesar!” when it comes out. I just wish Josh Brolin was not in the film. I don’t dig women beaters at all.

Upgrading to Linux 17.3 Rosa

January 9, 2016 § Leave a comment

Hay un montón de sistemas operativos en el mundo, pero ¿alguna vez has visto un Linux que es de color rosa?
Pat Harrington Jr, whom we lost on January 6, was one of the credited voices for the 1969 Pink Panther Show. If you like the original theme you can hear Doug Goodwin’s recording of his composition.

Firstly, I did this the slow and careful way. I made backups onto my WDD Passport. I even backed up my Raspberry Pi files and exported my Firefox bookmarks into an HTML file onto my USB drive. I used the Backup Tool to backup my software selection sources and my files. I used the Community tutorial, though and not the simple upgrade method here. I reformatted and overwrote my partitions as I have a dual-boot. My ntfs partition is safe.

As I type this, the terminal is running sudo apt-get upgrade. Bleachbit on the desktop works but Tor Browser does not (reinstalls Tor Browser, moves it to desktop, it works!). A few of my software packages (i2p, Atom) did not survive the installation but they’re free and non-critical.

The important thing is that I backed up successfully and showed I can read directions and find other things to do while the backup tool is doing its thing.
Firefox has retained my personal privacy settings, insure DuckDuckGo, StartPage, search.disconnect.me are among the top search engines.

I have found that my sound went away twice (solved with sudo alsa force-reload) as did my X-Windows (sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg) or (sudo apt-get install –reinstall xserver-xorg).


2016: So much promise, so little time

January 3, 2016 § Leave a comment

Twitter time and output will reduce. I believe all of six followers out of 295 accounts actually read what I write and four only occasionally, which makes me think my content is not in keeping with Twitter standards or that I don’t perpetuate my content through less-immediate channels.

No celebrities other than the occasional Brit or Canadian, not much sports, Canadian-only politics, reclaiming some self-confidence and autonomy through personal achievement and improvement: not what Twitter wants to feature. The people who have time for me in real life don’t check into this social media platform very often. The time I spent last year on Twitter could have been invested in better, different endeavours. For example, I could have written more to my friend who told me a few months ago she had stage 4 cancer. I haven’t seen her online since October. I mailed a card at Christmas time.

I don’t expect my audience to grow, but I do expect my noise intake to decrease. I’ve added the RSS feeds of some of my favourite content providers for online browsing.

Here are my largest Red Notebook topics for 2015, in alphabetical order:

#ADHD, #diet, #encryption, #exercise, #keto, #lifehacker, #linux, #lowcarb, #movies, #onion, #pgp, #privacy, #python, #raspberrypi, #recipe, #recipes, #reddit, #sigils, #todo, #tolisten, #toread,  #towatch, #tutorial

I feel excited and energized by the availability of online courses, new music, voices and ideas.

I’d like to be pleasantly surprised by people more often and less often let down by thoughtlessness or perceived malice this year, including my own. I will experiment with subduing the ego and opening perception. I’m writing more letters to people.

I will do more things that scare me and have some risk of failure. I nestled in homeostasis and was happy to let the world pass me by if it were mostly engaged in perpetuation of barbaric practices and self-destruction, until I woke up and recognized some of the people I care much for were moving ahead without me.

外国人 (foreigners) turn out for お盆 (Obon Festival)

November 18, 2015 § Leave a comment

I dreamed I was in Japan at Obon Festival. I was staying with my brother’s in-laws. It was morning and I said “ohayou gozaimasu” to the family. I retreated to a room and had a long conversation with my sister-in-law’s dead grandmother. The grandmother didn’t tell me if she was maternal or paternal grandmother. We talked a long time, and I felt she gave me a lot of wisdom and understanding. I returned to the family and told them about my conversation.

“That’s very funny. You don’t know Japanese and she didn’t know English.”
We laughed and I nodded. “The dead talk in a different language.”
My sister-in-law’s sister-in-law, who knows no English beyond “hello” and “thank you” asked me “breakfast?” and I flipped through my phrasebook trying to find the Japanese word for “breakfast” and came up with something impossible to pronounce. Then I remembered they had “morning meals”, not really breakfast, so it made sense I wouldn’t find the word.

“I like Japan, but there are some months I would rather not be here,” I said.
“What months?” my brother’s best friend asked.
“June through August!” I laughed. Obon Festivals are in July or August, depending on the region of Japan.

My brother’s best friend was in Japan for Obon too. He and I found my brother in a large paneled room, gazing at an illuminated trophy case. My brother was wearing an old-style Vancouver Canucks (black, yellow, orange with skate logo) jacket, unzipped. “Hey,” we said to him. “Whatcha you doin’?” He looked at us. “Do you want to go… home?” His friend subtly shook his head at me, in a “let’s not say anything that’s going to set him off or cause trouble” way. We were guessing at what “era” my brother’s ghost was presenting. The ghost didn’t say anything about his son, or his wife, didn’t look overweight, and the jacket badge logo suggested the early 1990s. “Aren’t you cold out here?” I asked. “Where should I be?” he asked. I was thinking his bones would be divided between our mom’s grave and wherever my sister-in-law was keeping them but didn’t want to say that.

Bonjour, Terre!

February 22, 2011 § 3 Comments

This Donors Choose project was funded a tiny little bit by one person, and a whole heap by Google.

I asked for the project to be retweeted. I sent notices to the school’s PTSA newsletter, and they were published, one a week for two weeks, until the project was funded.

I incorporated a link to this project on some local “we care about our public schools, and our public schools teachers” communities. I challenged people who used forum threads to champion one school board candidate and disparage an opponent to fund the project by $20 per winning candidate. They didn’t do that.

But only one person and Google funded this project. Mostly Google.
Seven people clicked on the link I posted on Twitter, but I know none of those people who clicked funded the project.

If every parent in the school donated $1.50 to the project it would have been funded.

If every person who donated to a Seattle School Board candidate donated $0.30 to the project it would have been funded.

If every PTSA BOARD MEMBER of the school donated as much to this project as they did to a pro-education reform, pro-charter schools candidate, this project would have been funded.

If every US-based Twitter account who BEGAN following me post project-publication retweeted to their hundreds of thousands of followers, and .1% of them gave $2, the project would have been funded.

I feel that I went to the appropriate online areas, but those appropriate areas are not populated with people richer than I, who care as much as I about this project.

I thank Google and that one other person for fully funding the project, but I am reversing my thinking on asking the US public, especially Seattle, for help. If my state legislature is not interested in funding fully public education, why do charter school operators, who want public funding but none of the accountability, think they can succeed here?

I can’t even get people in a community of “let’s support our teachers!” to contribute to a project that wouldn’t even go to DonorsChoose.org if the school district hadn’t made staffing budget cuts, if the school itself and its PTSA had amassed hundreds of thousands of dollars (I was a PTSA school treasurer, I know how large those accounts can be!) to retain staff and fund itself adequately for supplies, if the state legislature fully funded state education. I wouldn’t have posted the project if I didn’t know the teacher to be excellent, and if there were not a donation drive already run by the school PTSA.