Meanwhile, at the Simple Life – 140601

I think my solar oven has arrived ☺ !!

Hot water
Assam Golden tip Tea
Where did I put that cowboy cook book? As I remember it assumed one would have all sorts of ingredients that one is unlikely to have handy barring a refrigerator. Odd. Oh, refrigerators don’t seem to take much by way of amps – not like heating water — no, the computer is more important.

But not sure because of course the notice arrived in my mailbox on Saturday and I took it out of the mailbox after the PO was closed. ☹ So will drive out tomorrow and see. I am quite eager for some real food. Maybe a tuna casserole?

Also, my vegetables have started to grow.


Even though all danger of frost has obviously not passed, this morning it was warm enough to wear my red and white fuzzy Christmas shirt from Jo Ann, but unfortunately before noon it was so hot I had to take it off.

Otherwise, now have internet access on those days there is enough electricity, so the next and final addition to this property will be a couple more solar panels, and after that it will be subtraction efforts: rats, mice and assassin beetles. Rats have been very substantially discouraged, mice are about even (tell you that story some other time, Bitsy not keeping up her end), assasin beetles are a concern. I don’t know about the bear; someone claims to have shot her. I was happy with that one once I realized she didn’t want to talk to me any more than I wanted to talk to her. Rattlesnakes substantially reduced by mowing, but keeping the battery charged is going to be improved by additional solar. And yes, I would rather deal here than live nauseous, as I did most of last winter in Bryan, because someone else wants to use my air to dump their garbage.

— And my water – check out the Wellborn Special Utilities District (that now includes OSR) report of violation of clean water rules in Brazos County. Wonder how that trihalomethane got into our water supply. I bet that’s one of the ingredients they use in the fracking fluid !! ) If you don’t have a copy I’m sure they will send you one, and if they don’t I can. —

The rug might have to go, but perhaps washing will be enough. I tried to rent a washer but it didn’t mention how many watts of power it pulls, so then I came home and researched and found that watts equal volts x amps. We know the volts is generally always 120, and I think I remember the amps was 2. If so, 240 amps seems very reasonable for a monster machine. Must be wrong. My little plug-in coil that heats only one cup of water is about 240, and this is a monster machine. If so, the generator could easily run it, but I’m not sure I could get it in and out of pickup. It is a monster machine. And I would rather not run the generator.

So I bought a spray can of something that is supposed to clean up urine stains, but the problem with ALL modern sprays that claim to have no smell is that they very likely contain a chemical that attacks your sense of smell receptors in your nose and it MAKES ME SICK (literally, nauseous) and I can’t smell it, which I consider to be the most heinous attack on my well being, to create things that make me sick and I can’t tell I am breathing them until I get sick. Which, of course, is why I am sitting here in the pristine wilderness. Perhaps the substance has a name, but actually it’s not one of what they would consider to be the “active ingredients” so they very likely will refrain from listing it.

So, I have moved back in to the trailer and will do some work on the cabin in absentia. Can’t be all bad for me, but of course it is all bad for the pristine wilderness and everyone else who needs clean air to be healthy.

Almost caught up from moving to the point where the receipts get posted and whatever is in the mailbox gets dealt with timely

Bare Bones Biology 207 – The Philosophy of Common Sense

I have been listening to an entry level university course that can be obtained from The Great Courses ( Entry level means it’s meant for college freshmen.

“The Quest for Meaning: Values, Ethics and the Modern Experience.” by award-winning U. Texas professor Robert H. Kane. He discusses one of the dilemmas that we modern humans face: “Whether there are any objective values, or whether all judgments about good and evil, right and wrong are merely subjective expressions of personal feelings or attitudes.” And then he discusses “two of the most influential intellectual movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: positivism and existentialism.”

Positivism, he says, emphasizes science as the source of all knowledge, while existentialism emphasizes personal experience as the source of all knowledge. Yet, he says, “both tend to lead, from opposing directions, to subjective views about value.” Of course, he says a lot more than that, and eventually he emerges with the concept that there are levels (he refers to them as dimensions) of values.

Well, certainly I as a basic scientist can agree that nearly everything we experience is organized in levels of complexity ( Have I not been talking about levels of biological organization for some years? Do not most of the religions talk about levels of one thing or another? The concept of levels seems to be universal, and the concept of levels of organization is embedded in nearly everything biological, especially evolution, suggesting that we all are observing the same sort of universal organization of reality from the perspective of our different contexts.

Frankly I wish someone would force philosophers to take biology courses that stress the reality that: “Evolution is the ultimate explanatory framework within which everything about human behavior and mental experience has to be accounted for.” That from Thupten Jinpa Langri, the Dalai Lama’s interpreter (, who I believe to be one of the great modern philosophers.

The fact is that we all live in the same world, and levels of organization is a reality of that world, and at the highest level we humans are all experiencing our existence within the same realities that none of us can completely understand. I think it’s past time we sit down and discuss realities and facts, rather than debate lower-level trivia. And the first discussion would be – do we have an ethical obligation, as humans, to do something in response to those realities and facts.

But before we can do that, we need to somehow point out to the Western philosophers two things:

1 – At the highest levels of biology and of human thought it can be shown that humans are not the center of much of anything. We have already learned that humiliating fact quite a few times: humans are not the center of the universe, the solar system, or even the Biosystem,

2 – But we seem unable to conceive of the idea that the needs (values) of systems other than our own, such as the Biosystem, are not necessarily extensions of our own human values/needs.

The fact is that we are part of a network of interacting processes and influences, including both the Facts of how Life stays alive, and the realities of human needs. It’s a network of levels of organization, and networks do not exist on the basis of two-sided questions and arguments, nor on the basis of central anything. Either/or, either/or, either/or; I think that is a perversion.

As far as I can see, the best guide for what is right is the most good for the greatest
number, which is also expressed within another world view as reducing the suffering of all sentient beings. And the only way to accomplish that is to stop wasting our energies trying to win debates, and instead but ourselves to the effort to arrive at a sustainable, balanced world view — within the network of Life. I know one thing for sure, it is NOT good to increase the suffering of even just human beings, and that is exactly what we are doing every time we choose our win-lose approach to anything, over win-win-win solutions to everything.

Podcast address

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy and KEOS FM Radio, 89.1, Bryan, Texas.