2019-01-11 22:33

sitrep 2019-01-11

Quick blog:

  • All thought is a list, all rhetoric is a list. Lists are the most fundamental organizing principle and can serve as categorization, ordering of items, dependencies, and as the most concise form of communication. Any document is really a list of statements. A program is a list of commands. A list manager, therefore, is a fundamental tool for organizing thoughts, composition, and the persistence of knowledge. Seems like nested lists is the way to go. Good thing org-mode can handle that nicely.
  • Keto diet is going really well. I am down well over 10lbs and much further ahead of where I need to be to hit my goal weight. I haven’t “cheated” yet and am still feeling incremental improvements in mental acuity, energy, and lack of pain from inflammation. It’s pretty amazing. Sorry if I sound like a zealot but this is keeping me motivated.
  • A show I’ve been watching that I find really fascinating lately is Frontier. The idea of frontiers is fascinating. This basic proving ground of humans since the dawn of time can seem lost to us. The unexplored, lawless region on the outskirts of civilization that is there be mapped and exploited. With this great opportunity and relatively little oversight comes brutal competition and great risk. While it is exciting to view historical dramas about the fur trade in Northern Canada I do hope that when we explore our new frontiers - space, undersea, technological, genetic - we will try to treat each other better and work toward a common good instead of just trying to out-exploit our fellow humans. It’s time we put aside all the competition and got in a cooperative mindset. I am not sure what people get out of crushing their enemies but I suspect it has a lot to do with being abused as a child and never feeling safe unless you have power over others. We have to get away from that. It starts with making sure children are safe and happy. If kids grow up in a good environment they are not driven to hurt others just to keep themselves from being hurt. As a society, committing to keeping children safe may be the greatest thing we can do to ensure a peaceful, prosperous future. Perpetuating the aggression and violence of our past is not going to lead us anywhere good.

2019-01-09 06:22

Easy org-mode grocery list

So for everyone out there using org-mode, here is how I keep track of my grocery list. Yes, this is WAY more complicated than it needs to be. :)

  1. I have an IFTTT recipe using the maker hook that calls a little PHP script hosted on the VPS where I maintain my org files. It appends to an IFTTT.org file I have in my agenda list. If follows certain rules based on hints in the note and adds tags or a Scheduled time, etc. In the case of groceries, I don’t add a TODO state or Scheduled date.

  2. Next, I made a custom agenda view that shows just items tagged :groceries:

(“g” “Grocery list” tags “groceries” nil)

  1. Finally, I can use this command line to spit out that list as a CSV. My next move is to use a batch script to massage the CSV output and dump that into an .htaccess protected folder of my site in a file called “groceries.html” or something.

 emacs -batch -l ~/.emacs -eval ‘(org-batch-agenda-csv “g”)’ 2>/dev/null

I’ll update this post once that is done.

And, yes, this WILL be covered in my TED talk, if they ever work up the courage to ask me to present. Ha ha.

2019-01-08 07:38

sitrep 2019-01-08

Going on second week of keto and I feel great. Very little inflammation and my commitment to eat enough fiber is keeping the ostomy situation under control. Rapid water weight loss has stopped so I’ll need to watch my portion sizes to keep losing weight but my hunger is well controlled and I have tons of energy (and very little pain). So far, so good!

2019-01-06 11:17

Keto and an Ileostomy

So I have an ileostomy as a result of complications from Crohns Disease. This saved my life and let me feel much better in general but poses some unique challenges when getting into a Keto diet phase.

Here are some bullet point observations:

  • as your body adapts to fat as a fuel source, chances are you are eating a smaller quantity of much more nutrient dense food. This will lead to fewer trips to empty your ostomy appliance which can be both a relief and a little disconcerting since people with stymies are encouraged to view any change in output volume or frequency as a potential sign of trouble. If you are otherwise feeling OK, I would just be happy you have to empty your appliance less (NOTE: I AM NOT A DOCTOR).

  • I have noticed that if I am not watching what I eat I will get into something like a flushing cycle where, instead of urinating normally, a lot of fluid is leaving my body as very, very liquid output. This is similar to what happens when you have a partial blockage and your body is trying to flush it out. This is a feedback loop that will probably not get better on its own if you just ignore it and can very quickly dehydrate you.

In the past, I would think to myself “well, this is the keto diet not having enough starch, I better eat some starch” and so I would eat some carbs (we still prepare and serve carbs to our son so it isn’t like there are none around) and the problem would quickly fix itself. However, this means you are no longer in ketosis and it takes a while to get back there (not to mention this is a gateway to eating MORE carbs!).

So this time around, my plan is to really just eat more high fiber veggies and less fat in general. In the past I really overdid the fat and I think I have learned a valuable lesson. I believe the high fat, low fiber nature of some of my meals was leading to the flushing effect beginning. So far so good and it is been almost a week. I have been trying to eat a good amount of fiber at every meal except breakfast. I find as long as I get it in most meals I am fine and I do love bacon or sausage and eggs for breakfast. Sometimes I’ll add an avacado into the mix but I never really got into spinach omelets, etc. Just eggs and meat, please, (with some sharp cheddar) in moderation.

If you have an ileostomy and are interested in Keto, please let me know what resources you use in the comments or ask a question. I’ll do my best to answer. I haven’t found a good, online community for discussing Keto with ileostomy people like myself yet so let me know! (please, no Facebook)

2019-01-04 05:28

sitrep 2018-01-04

So this is a quick one. I am down something like 8 lbs since Monday morning. This is the “start of Keto” and is totally because yesterday I peed about 5,000 times. This rate of weight loss WILL NOT CONTINUE so there’s little point in my posting a chart with a trend line showing me going into negative weight in a couple months.

Here are some take-aways:

  • My arthritic pain is greatly reduced and centralized to a few trouble spots which will probably go away soon… This is HUGE and I need to refer back to this post when I decide it’s OK to have a burger bun on the weekend or something.

  • I am not tired, at all. I mean I was appropriately tired at bed-time. Just through the day, I feel good!

  • Tonight is my “Scott Time” (Friday night!) so I am going to write up the outline I worked on while waiting for my car to get an oil change the other day. It is a good one. It is my 100th try at an outline for a novel I’ve been trying to work out for YEARS. I am feeling good about this one. It feels complete. It is sort of The Man Who Fell To Earth meets Neuromancer. Could work.

2019-01-06 11:18

sitrep 2019-01-01

  • starting off new year with a Keto Dutch Baby and a little fruit. Small portions are the name of the game. I actually had a few beers last night and are way too much. Happy New Year!

  • 2019, year of the purge? Starting it off with a toy purge to make room for the new stuff from Christmas. It has been challenging, but we are trying it with our preschooler and hoping we are laying the foundation for a healthy relationship with “stuff” going forward.

2019-01-03 05:02

Food Addiction Recovery Rules


  • No buttering bread, it’s a gateway to mindless eating - what I mean is I have a personal history of eating buttered bread as a snack. That’s fine but it is like a drug and I build up a tolerance to the butter so I need a little more each time. Eventually, I am slathering on the butter like crazy.

  • No grazing while cleaning the kitchen, put it away or throw it away because the meal is over. I eat a ton of food “cleaning up” because I don’t like food to go to waste but I would say this is my number one Keto sabotage time.

  • Snacks are no or low carb - cheese, nuts, etc. Apple, carrots, etc are ok because they are better than bread but to try to keep it no or low carb. I have really cut back on the amount of nuts I eat at a sitting, using them almost as a seasoning for other foods (e.g. a single cashew with a bite of cheese). Lots of fruits and veg have minimal carbs if you have them as a snack. Take the humble carrot. A 3” bundle of 4 or 5 carrot sticks is NOT your problem if you are on Keto, compared to eating two sandwiches at a sitting.

  • Stop eating when full, you are done! And not even that full, just not hungry anymore. I heard an interview with Kathy Bates. She said her daughter told her that there’s a point in every meal when you stop eating for a second and sigh a little. That is when you are full. I have started listening to my body and for signs like that (in fact, that specific one is amazing and really does happen if you learn to pay attention to it). She had lost a lot of weight and claimed this was her main “secret”.

I don’t want there to be too many rules on this list but when I come up with a new one I will add it here. I would also like to add some supporting links here to further explain the importance of each of these rules. I can tell you, anecdotally, what the rule means to me but I think there is probably some solid science behind each one.

Tell me what you think in the comments!

2018-12-12 05:13


Slept on the couch a bit last night as the dog was driving me crazy.

2018-12-11 12:49

Latest tidbits

I just have a couple of minutes left on my lunch break and wanted to commit some stuff to blog in case it slips my mind. :)

  1. I have been trying out the P.A.R.A. method with my digital files: https://praxis.fortelabs.co/the-p-a-r-a-method-a-universal-system-for-organizing-digital-information-75a9da8bfb37/

I recently started to reorganize my org files into this structure and then will move on to other file bins (Google Drive, work files, etc). I don’t think I’ll do email this way since I tend to rely on search. Flags for me are process markers more than anything (e.g. “TODO”).

  1. I have a lot of things I want to do so I created a list of “HABITS” that would fulfill these goals. However, I find I am not really doing a good job at any of them. I tend to only have a very small amount of time each day to work on discretionary things (not work, chores, family life, etc). For this reason, if I am only doing a little bit on each project every couple of days my progress is almost indetectable. So I have decided to focus on my oldest and longest running project - office/storage simplification and discarding of old documents. I have many boxes of old files. They are just in piles in the basement. I need to run through them and shred everything I don’t need. I will end up keeping maybe 5% of them. I treat this like an inbox clearing process. Once box at a time I got through them one sheet or file folder (more or less) at a time and either shred, recycle, or extract the important docs and refile before destroying the rest. This has been a fun process as I am remembering old business, projects, friends, cars, etc. But it is very slow going and the boxes are cluttering my office and basement. I also have boxes of “Crap” that needs to be dealt with. Anyway, I am focusing solely on that until it is done. No writing, no trying to re-learn guitar, etc.

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