Boulder’s Sustainable Future is at Stake in November’s Election

Let’s consider Boulder’s city council candidates and how they feel about growth. The candidate’s positions fall on a spectrum of wanting intelligent growth, not wanting growth and some who would like to shrink Boulder, eliminate jobs, and preserve the town for the privileged elites who’ve made it here. Anti-density politicians who claim to care about the environment are the most hypocritical drivers of city policy.

In the decade I’ve lived in Boulder, my small business has grown to twenty people. Not all of us can afford to live where we work. There are some who consider my business to be part of the problem. But being lucky enough to live in Boulder has transformed my preferences, from tolerating being stuck in my car for hours a day, to finding the benefits of choosing to ride my bike rather than drive. Many of my currently commuting co-workers would like to be able to live like this.

Continue reading Boulder’s Sustainable Future is at Stake in November’s Election

Boulder YIMBY vs NIMBY: finding common ground

There is some common ground between Boulder YIMBY and NIMBY: the dislike of vehicular congestion. The division arises from their principle areas of concern (highways vs streets) and what the optimal solution is (density vs exclusion).

Now that I live in the city limits, there is one more young-ish YIMBY who will be voting for smart re-zoning, inclusive housing policies which will increase density and enable more folks across the front range to live close to where they bike or walk to work.

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Rosanna’s Keto Chia Chocolate Pudding

Here is another delicious and healthy recipe created by Rosanna Koren:

4 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon potassium chloride
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 full droppers of stevia
1 tablespoon peanut butter

Topping:
1 tablespoon roasted sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon shredded coconut

Put dry ingredients into a bowl, add almond milk, stevia, vanilla and peanut butter then mix.

Pour into a jar and refrigerate overnight, add toppings before serving.

Makes two servings of 270 calories and 3.5g carbs each.

My battle against spinal stenosis

I’ve had back problems for the last decade. Sometimes I would wake up to horrible muscle spasms in my upper back. Doctors initially tried to addressed this with anti-inflammatories & muscle relaxers. They barely masked the symptoms and did nothing to address the root cause.

Moderate scoliosis (curvature of the spine) was suspected as the source of the problem. Physical therapy offered some relief, but the problems always seemed to come back a few months later.

A couple years ago it got worse: I started having numbness and tingling in two fingers on my right hand. Reaching down to pick things up from the floor or sleeping in the wrong position could lead to my entire right arm and shoulder going numb. In 2016 I underwent a battery of diagnostic tests: MRIs of hand, shoulder, neck. EMG nerve test, finally neck X-rays revealed the source of the problem. My diagnosis: severe stenosis of the spine, a disease that involves degeneration of the disks that separate the vertebrae, compression of the nerves going between the bones.  I was told that I have: “a spine that looks like somebody 20 years older” than me.

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My Supplement Regimen

Compared to your average person, I take an inordinate number of supplements: around two dozen pills a day. I’m not trying to extend my longevity. My main goal is the cognitive enhancement of my brain: to give my most valuable organ an abundance of the components that it needs to manufacture all the neurotransmitters that it needs to work its best. My stack of nootropics is quite modest compared to that of Ray Kurzweil who takes over 100 pills a day.

Many of these supplements may have no benefit, but some of them might be beneficial. I can only hope that none of them are harmful.  I started taking a smaller version of this regimen over 5 years ago. While I’ve always been interested in exploring and expanding my cognition and consciousness, the book: “The Edge Effect” was the material that most directly influenced me to begin this habit. Watching my Grandfather die a horrible death of Alzheimer’s disease was another major motivating factor.

I am not a doctor, and this is not medical advice. I’ll give a brief synopsis of why I’m motivated to take each supplement, but I won’t do a full analysis of the potential benefits and risks. I’m just sharing my routine.

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How Did Trump Get Elected?

November 8th, 2016—  a day that will live in infamy— when a dark campaign of xenophobia, racism and sexism lead to the election of Donald Trump: an unqualified con-artist demagogue, as the next President of the United States.

I fixated on this election for a great deal of time. When thoughtful people I relied on for insight were proven wrong one after another, my amusement gave way to concern. Satire stopped being funny. When the outcome became clear, my first reaction was to curl into the fetal position and weep at the thought of the damage this choice could lead to. Then came the rapid cycling through the phases of grief, with the only solace being that I’m not part of one of the unprivileged groups that our next president so viciously attacked during his campaign.

Trump’s message of change built a coalition of voters dissatisfied with the status quo: the economically insecure, the party loyalists, the evangelicals, the white nationalists. Some facet of his message was enthralling enough that Trump’s voters were willing to overlook or tolerate what so many of us perceived as disqualifying.

Like the victims of Trump University, these desperate Americans made a poor choice about who might lead them to a better future. Obama couldn’t help them flourish, why would they choose more of the same? Their plight was difficult for me to comprehend from inside my liberal elite bubble where I’ve been blinded by good fortune.

Democrats like me could have made a wiser strategic choice. I chose Hillary because I thought she would be a considerate leader who could moderate the partisan divide. I also thought she could beat Trump. But the people who determined this election were in no mood for levelheaded continuity.

I didn’t understand the resentment and animosity that people had towards Hillary and the establishment she represented. I didn’t understand the apathy and disaffection that so many have with the system. I didn’t foresee the confluence of ignorance, gullibility, hyper-partisanism, bad information security and nefarious foreign interloping.

This is the first of a four-part series of blogs. Next, I’ll write about what Trump could do, who let Trump happen, and how Trump can be resisted. These are difficult to write, I won’t have all the answers, but I hope that these words achieve more than my own personal catharsis.

[featured photo by Gage Skidmore]