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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sometimes I amaze myself

My wife recently told me I needed to start running outside instead of on the treadmill at the gym.  Her reasoning was that first, the treadmill does not give you proper resistance as actual running does.  Next, she said I needed to be acclimating myself to being outside even with the extreme heat.  So I took her advice and for the past month I have been hitting the pavement in my neighborhood.  On the treadmill I could watch baseball games for hours on end and my cellphone rested on the machine.  Now that I am outdoors in the weather I have to take precautions for my diabetes and my electronics (I sweat like there is no tomorrow). 
I hold my cellphone in my hand while I jog the streets.  All you apple people should take a look at how awesome the Zune player is and how the Windows phones work.  When it comes to music I am a complete flake and the Zune player is a subscription service so you can download every song your heart desires and it only costs you 10 bucks a month.  Now with all these songs on my phone I scroll through the songs constantly looking for that right song for the right time.  Say today is Debbie Gibson's 41st birthday.  Well you have to listen to "Lost in your eyes" to celebrate the day right?  With Zune you just pull it up and put it on you phone and that is it.
OK, back to how I amaze myself.  With all my sweat in my hands and holding my cellphone I am woried about getting any moisture inside.  So, in the past I have told you about the Aldi Wonder Shammy which sells for 2.99 for two.  I took one shammy and measured my cellphone and cut a piece so that I can wrap it around my cellphone.  The shammy is held in place by a rubber band and I still have the ability to operate the RunKeeper program and play my zune at the same time.  Both of these things can perform and I can still scroll through my songs all while keeping my cellphone intact.  Now most of you are saying: Dave why don't you just get an otterbox and be done with it.  Well I have an HTC Surround phone and there are no otterboxes for them at this time.  Also my fix costs less and makes me feel good that I can do things on my own.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Preparedness




While I was watching CNN this past weekend, getting my Hurricane Irene updates.  I could not stop thinking about how the announcers were talking about being prepared, getting supplies to hold families over, and to get out of the direct path of the hurricane.  Now here in Texas we could use any drop of water the east cost does not want.  Could there be a national waterway?  Kind of like the national highway but instead we pumped unwanted water from on location to another location that needed it.  The above pictures are of our back yard and yes that is a 4" wide crack in our lawn and yes it is 3' deep.

Being a diabetic I have to plan on having backup medicines while traveling or away from home and being prepared for low BG's, and also mechanical issues with meters and pumps.  As an Eagle Scout I also live by the motto: Be Prepared.  Last as a responsible camper I have survival, and emergency kits. 

Now anyone can just go out and buy a bunch of stuff and pack it away as an emergency kit.  Remember Y2K?  They say something like 100 billion dollars was spent on people stocking up for that day alone.  Those of us that enjoy the challenge of gathering these needed supplies at the lowest cost possible are always on the lookout for ways to gather needed supplies without spending much cash.

Remember me telling you about my OCD friend Ken?  He is gathering supplies for our upcoming backpacking trip in NOVEMBER.  Talk about an early preparation (J/K I like to tease him).  The good thing with backpacking foods and supplies is that they double as emergency supplies as well.  What do you think backpacking is, It is being on the lamb with everything you need on your back (more kidding).  Now from the picture above you are thinking Ken has either made powdered insulin, crack cocaine, meth, or single serving sizes of gatorade.  If you guessed single serving sized packages of gatorade you are correct.

Ken found a machine at his work that seals these small packages.  He asked around and found out it was not used and put it to use for himself.  Now he can buy gatorade in bulk or any other koolaide or drink mix, Measure what out single servings and seal them away forever.  You could keep these packs in your car, backpack, diabetes bags, or even your pocket.



Wow, look at that picture of a beautiful Maserati Gran Turismo.  I snagged this picture at lunch last friday.  Now this is a 10!  You can make out everything from the name to the tailpipe.  No question on the car.


Back to single serve Gatorade.  I looked on the internet for generic prices of single serve gatorade packeges.  I came across packets averaging about .77 cents per package.  Then I looked for gatorade in bulk and came across a 76.5oz can that makes 9 gallons of juice for 12.36.  That would be 16 servings in each gallon making each serving only .09 cents.  You do have to figure gatorade usually works the 20oz so you are still around .25 cents per serving.  Ken is always finding ways to amaze me.  Maybe he will invent powdered insulin.


Monday, August 29, 2011

True Bar

I received some products from Bakery on Main to review about a month ago.  Bakery on Main has the slogan of "Nothing to hide."  Which means they don't add any artificial flavors, dies, or sugar to their foods.  They also are big on gluten free granola that tastes good as well.  Bakery on Main made it very clear that these are not sugar free but they are no sugar added products and they do contain sugar which on the label like all of us Type 1 diabetics know is listed as carbohydrates.  The reason it has taken me so long to review any of these snacks is that the serious camping season starts after labor day and I really wanted to try these producst on the trail.  Not just eating them at the house while watching TV. 

This weekend was an eagle court of honor for two boys in our scout troop.  The ceremony started at 4pm on Saturday and I had eaten lunch at noon and was planning on having hot dogs at the reception for the newly winged eagles around 6pm.  There is alot of stress that goes along with these ceremonies and I felt that my sugars would not hold up without having a snack.  In my brief case I keep lots of glucose tablets, gels, and drinks but, for a situation like this I keep granola snacks.  Where I need a snack to fill me over till my next meal and not something to get me up from a low BG.  The bar I had was a Raspberry Chocolate Almond "Truebar" leftover from the sailing weekend when I had planned on eating it but did not do enough activities for it.
The packaging of the Truebar is not exactly pleasant to look at.  They have it in clear see-through plastic that in the advertisement above looks great.  Just that the product looks nothing like the advertisment.  There is a generous amount of brown rice syrup to keep all the nuts and seeds together.  Just that syrup makes the product look less appetizing.  Think of how a cliff bar looks like a brownie gone wrong and how the packaging is of some person doing amazing climbs and does not have a clear window to see the browning gone wrong part of the product.  Bakery on Main could learn from other organic companies on how to market their product in a more appealing light. 
Once I ate the bar it amazed me how good this thing was and the raspberry flavor really sings with all the other ingredients but does not overpower them.  To describe what the bar really is, I would say it is a good version of what we used to eat on backpacking trips in the 80's and 90's called a "Wha Garu Chew."  Now a Whagaruchew on day one of a hike kinda tastes ok but goes downhill fast from there.  All of us guys that new about the Whagaru affect would trade ours with the new kids on day one for things like raisins or crackers.  Then by day three or so the new guys understood the whagaru affect and learned their lesson for the next hike.  Now, a Truebar is like the Whagaruchew in the nutty,granola, and caramel (the brown rice syrup is a good replacement for the caramel)style of the bar.  Just the Truebar is good.  Now on my syringe scale, I would rate the Truebar a 4 out of 5 syringes.  The reason it did not get a "5" are to do with the messy syrup and packaging look.  I would recomend these bars for anybody that has alergies to gluten and also diabetics that need something to tie them over between meals.


Friday, August 26, 2011

A coke and a smile

I am a forgetful person.  That is why I use the method of everything goes in its own place.  Now in my truck I am a paranoid person (aka: diabetic) that thinks anything that will ever happen will happen when I am in my truck.  So to ward off any terrorist, low blood sugars, flat tire, brake down in the woods for a month, and hunger I keep just about one of everything in my truck.
Lately I have had a thirst for Cherry Coke Zero.  I keep an open 12 pack in the bed of my truck for any random moment I need to get my fix in.  In Texas we have had 100 plus degree days so long that I kind of forgot that it gets to about 125 in my truck.  You can see what happens when you leave an unopened soda in your truck in such heat.  The preasure pushes the top up.
The above picture is of one of the sodas I had in my truck bed.  I only realized the sodas in the truck were doing so bad when driving down the road I see something spraying out of the bed of my truck.  When I got home and parked my truck, the remaining soda from the coke fountain can came rushing out the back of the bed.
My son wanted to throw these on the ground to see what would happen.  They look like any moment the top will shoot off.

Ah, the random friday picture.  The above picture is of the "Scentsy" frog my wife bought me.  She says my truck smells like stale farts all the time.  So Scentsy the frog keeps the truck smelling good all the time.  I need to go online and register Scentsy the frog.  My son gets so mad at me because I make him sit on the other side that Scentsy the frog is on.  When we have multiple people in the back seat I make them move Scentsy the frog to the middle and buckle him in.  If three people are in the back, one person has to hold Scentsy the frog like a baby.
Here is a picture of the "one that got away."  Wow, look how that top just popped right off.  How amazing is that.  I just keep thinking how nature can do this to an unopened soda being left outside.  Should there be a warning?  Like, if you live in Texas do not store outdoors contents may explode.
I thought about drinking one of these guys but have decided against it for now.  maybe in the near future I will drink one to see if the flavor changes in the heat.  I have a good 8 of these sodas ready to be drunk or thrown on the ground as entertainment.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I am a Winner!



Graphic,
but less graphic
diabetic pictures
than last weeks
Graphic Diabetic
pictures
(dies that make sense?)

I must be the best diabetic on this planet.  I nearly break my toe last week and as you can see from the picture above (that is not a horse hoof it is my foot) I am 95% healed.  Yes I know my toenails are disgusting and my toes are gross but, I healed in less than a week.  My A1C's are not the best and I don't weigh everything or anything I eat.  My carb calculations are off sometimes but, what diabetic could heal this fast from a severe toe jam.
Tuesday I decided the toe was looking good enough to go out and run.  I did a nice 6.5 mile run (I am stressing about this 15k in October) and all felt well.  Initially I was planning on a month long healing process but right away the black and blue was going away.  After not being able to see a Podiatrist until the end of this week I thought just resting and antibiotic ointment would keep the toe attached.  This is a gross post but, come on what diabetic would not brag about this amazing feat?  Get it feat! Wow, bad joke.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shade tree mechanics'

I bought my son the classic truck you see in the above picture.  This is an 87 Dodge D-150 with the very fast (just kidding) 225 single barrel slant six engine.  The truck drove ok and some work has been done to it before i bought it.  This is more of a hands on teaching vehicle for my son and he also is into the "country" look and feel of life and wanted a truck to accent this life style.  The engine runs decent but there are issues with the power steering drive belt and also the valve cover leaks oil like a sponge.
Here is how the engine looked the day I brought it home.  looks clean from far away but everyone knows the joys of a leaky valve cover gasket and all the sludge under the top view.  We have been spending quality father and son time working on this project.  He turns 16 in December, so not a  real hurry to get it daily driving.  We are taking our time and doing alot of learning.

Here is a picture of the valve cover after we spent an hour or so just getting the main parts of caked on oil off of it.  As a young man, my father and I rebuilt the engine and transmission on my 82 Mazda B-2000 truck.  I have been diabetic since the ripe age of 13.  When we rebuilt the engine on the B-2000 I don't remember having any issues with oil, dirt, and grime on my hands.  I had been diabetic for only 5 years at that time so I but the "honeymoon" phase, and being a young man I did not notice if my hands were covered in grease or not.  The Mazda was my graduation gift from high school at the ripe age of 18.  So this project with my son is only 19 years after my last engine rebuild.
My only issue so far with my diabetes is how to get my hands clean after we work on the engine.  I of course bought some GOJO hand cleaner.  The GOJO works Ok but it does not get the oil out of my dead skin where I prick my fingers nor does it get all the grime from under my finger nails.  I am woried now about false test readings if the leftover oil gets the blood contaminated.  The grungy hand look also does not bode well for an accountant.
Wow, look at that engine bay now.  My son is so proud of the work he has done and I see him working hard to get this truck to being a daily driver for him.  Now only if I can get him to do all the dirty work and I won't have to stress about dirty hands.  Maybe those mechanics gloves might help.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How much light is too much light?

When it comes to camping gear people have all sorts of opinions and reasons why they like certain items.  The latest opinion war that has bubbled to the surface is how bright a flashlight should be.  Now I have had 2 cataract surgeries related to a car accident.  My thought about flash lights is I want as much light at night out in the woods as possible.  My friend Ken wants it to be as dark as possible at night so his natural "night eyes" are as bright as possible.  Another friend Dustin is a big fisherman and likes to use the green lights or red lights to keep from scarring any critters.  Now my next friend Paul likes to have his lantern on as a beacon of light and occasionally uses a clip light.

During our campout a couple of weeks ago my friend Ken let me know he picked up a head lamp with a CREE bulb from Target.  He purchased the head lamp on sale for something like 3 dollars but did not like how bright it was and that also it did not have a dimmer switch.  He let me know I could have it because I always want more light.  He also was tired of seeing me try to fix my current headlamp that died on me.  The above picture is of the lamp he gave me and I must say this thing is the ultimate headlamp.  Ken told me it was a 3 watt light but online I can only find review about a 6 watt light.


Now, I will admit the biggest downside to this headlamp is the heat it creates.  The heat will be great in the winter but could also leave a decent burn on my noggin.  Besides that it is the greatest thing since well I bought my 2 watt CREE handheld flashlight.  I give this sucker 4 syringes out of 5 for its great light, wide band, over the head mohawk band, and the size of the light beam. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

I have created a monster!

My friend Ken went on his first backpacking trip with our boy scout troop last May.  We did about 13 miles in 2 days at lake Texhoma.  The final 3 miles or so was  a bit of a death march for alot of the boys.  So my friend Ken is now obsessed with lightening up his pack.  These people that go to all these extremes to have the lightest pack on earth but still cary everything needed to survive are called Ultra light backpackers.  Ken has not made it to that part but he loves reading about things to make to take less.

The above double cap looking device is something he read on another blog about how to make a waterproof container for those items like toothpaste, salt and pepper, shampoo, soap, or foot powder.  When you buy the product from the store they give you enough for weeks or even years.  Now with this handy double bottle cap you can take enough just for a week or weekend without the extra weight.  Like how sunscreen comes in large containers you can dab a little in this container and lighten the load.

Since I am a diabetic there are all sorts of containers I get that fill most of these needs.  Test strip containers are universal for almost everything.  I just like how my friend took a little time, some trash, and a hot glue gun and now has a conversation piece.  This also fuels his want to hit the trail and also gets me pumped to be out backpacking.

Ken is going to make the individual sized single use antibiotic packs soon.  Now that is something that will save any diabetic money.  How many of us buy a huge container of antibiotic ointment and just leave it at the house because it is messy, to big to cary in our testing purses, and costs alot for the individual sizes which are more like 5 single uses in one pack.  The individual packs also cost a fortune.    I will post this when Ken makes them and we test them out by making huge gashes in our arms or something while we are miles from nowhere (J/K).

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ouch my toe!

Warning Graphic
Diabetic
Photos
Below

I get along with diabetes pretty well.  I love making jokes about eating sugar, or how god hates me because everyone makes fun of diabetics, and how I have to stay home in war time with the women if there were a draft, or hell yeah I will be an organ donor oh wait I can't.  Everyone at works wants me to put my pod on my head to see if it works there.  They also want me to pass out again so they can do the pulp fiction needle in chest act with my glucagon kit.  Just a bunch of fun jokes to go along with this disease that everyone tells me just don't eat sugar and it will be ok.  I have accepted that.

The three things I hate about diabetes are dental, eyes, and of course feet.  These photos just show you how a simple thing turns into what looks like I just got done climbing mount everest and I only have to lose a couple of toes to frost bite.  I was walking up the stairs last night to go to our bedroom and the cat was waiting for me at the top to  pull her tail and rough her up a bit.  She does not like it much but she accepts that I am a boy and she has a tail for me to pull.  I finished playing with her and go up the final two steps and turn the corner but I cut it too short and caught my toe on the corner.  At the time I pretty much knew that it was at least going to bruise but not this bad.

Since I did this on a thursday night and there is not a podiatrist on this planet that accepts new patients on a friday or much less works after lunch on a friday if they even work fridays at all.  I am going to do some soaking and keep it elevated and try my luck on Monday if it does not look better by then.  I had a good run before this and now I might have to rest my feet to heal faster.  Oh the day in the life of a diabetic.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sailing the day away!

Getting outdoors is so rewarding and doing it as a scout leader is just that much more rewarding.  To see the boys doing something for the first time or something they normally would never do and then afterwards they talk about how much fun it is and how they want to plan another trip to do it again.  I have been posting about camping at the DCYC lately and how nice they were to let our boys use their sun fish sailboats.  They left their bathrooms and showers open for us to use.  We had the run of their campgrounds and also the basketball court which was also a big hit.  You have never experienced campout basketball until you see a bunch of kids play it with flat balls and bad shooting but that didn't slow them down one bit.

At the end of the day the club arranged for a gaggle of us adults to go out on a J105 sailboat.  This brought me back to my high school days were I was in a sailing post for about 8 months and we had a leader that let us sail his J105.  We got out from the bay and of course I had the "OMG" moment realizing all of my testing equipment is on land and I am now in a sailboat 2 hours before dinner.  I had my pod on so that made it just  that much more fun not being able to stop it or slow it down or even give myself an adjustment if I were high.  You can never let your guard down with diabetes.
In the end it all  the diabetes worked out great and the most priceless time was when the boat owner Jay Hoppenstein made my wife steer the boat and I got to be a deck hand running sheets.  My wife had come out for the day because she was interested in watching the boys sail and spending some time with her husband before she starts the school year teaching and coaching.  Jay was an awesome teacher and really made me want a sailboat.  He also teaches the adult sailing class at the club and I am putting those dates on my calendar.

The end of the 2 hour voyage and my wife was a pro with that wheel.  We did all sorts of reach, jibing, and  tacking.  Yes, we did leave adults in charge of the boys while we were out on the high seas of Lake Lewisville.  The wind was low but whenever we had the oportunity my friend Gary and I would sit on the heeling side of the boat just like the pros do.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pork Butt


Ok my carb ratio is 15:1 so for every 15 carbs taken in I bolus one unit of insulin.  The 1 unit of insulin is Humalog given to me by my pump.  For dinner on Saturday night out at DCYC one of the guys smoked a "Pork Butt" for 10 hours.  With this butt we also had baked beans, rolls, and baked potatoes. 
I was teaching knots all day to the boys for their small boat sailing merit badge.  It was 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening and the heat was running a good 95 degrees with a rising humidity level.  As any diabetic knows you read the health label on everything but, with all these factors you run your insulin a little lower.  This is a great reason to be outdoors with all the sun and activities you get a real simmilar "diabetes holiday" with this type of environment.  I get to eat candy, have seconds, and even drink sugar sodas.  All this is done just to keep my numbers above 90.

Back to dinner, the hardest part is the glutinous feast we prepare.  There is nothing healthy about this dinner that is prepared.  Trying to carb count is like herding cats.  I think all diabetics will be in this situation on time or another trying to do algebraic equations for your bolus and figuring out how long on the delay and how much.  This pork butt was so good.  After the feast another leader had made pineapple upside down cake that was to die for.  We have another leader that makes a mean pineapple upside down cake with a yellow cake that rocks my world as well, just this one had a pound cake texture to it.  You can't beat a great dutch oven dessert after a feast. 

In the end I tested 3.5 hours after eating to see if I needed an adjustment bolus after 8 oz of pork but, 4 oz of stubbs BBQ sauce (I had the honey pecan and could have drank it out of the container), a good 4 oz of baked beans, 3 rolls, baked potato with cheese and 1 oz of butter, and 2 servings of cake.  The result was a 107!  I was so excited to be that perfect, I then looked around and no one could care less.  So I high fived myself for how well I did all weekend.  This was a win-win weekend.  I ruled my numbers all weekend and also ate like a king.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Sweating to the oldies

This weekend was a great campout with the Boy Scouts at the DCYC facilities on Lake Dallas.  I was so looking forward to this campout and getting to be around the sail boats.  The only downside was the lack of wind and heat.

Here is my two night palace.  I took my Big Agnes SL2 tent instead of my REI half dome I had written about in another post.  They call this a 3 season tent but, I would say closer to a 2 and a half season tent.  The walls are all mesh and the fly and bottom is this super thin nylon that is ripstop and polyurethane coating for waterproofing.  This tent will never assist in keeping you warm in any degree of fall or winter.  you need a quality sleeping bag to get the third season out of this tent.  To rate this tent I would say the negatives are the front entrance instead of the side entrance is a hassle, the zippers are all done in odd "D" shapes so you need both hands to operate pulling them around the bends.  The front vestibule is about half use full and the end is so far away from the door of the tent that you have to get out and zip it down before getting into the tent.  The positives are that it is ultra light for backpacking which also heat to escape which I needed for this weekend.  The temperatures were still quite warmer than usual for a Texas August.  The last is the quality of the materials are real good and I feel secure in this tent.  Overall rating would be 3 syringes out of 5.  I bet the Lynx Pass models have what I am missing out of the SL models.

Here is a look at The Diabetic Campers tent insides.  Wow am I messy.  Let me start at the top and work my way down.  The plaid is my camping  pillow.  On top of my low profile cot, and you see my orange shammies (I was sweating so bad I used them as a blanket to keep the beads of sweat from waking me up).  I did not bring a backpack since I only needed 2 pairs of shorts, 2 shirts, socks, and underwear besides the usual camping equipment.  I have my personal cooler with insulin and medical equipment being kept cool.  My flashlight and alarm clock (I usually have to pee in the middle of the night and I sleep like a bear).  Then you see my blue sheet, no sleeping bag was needed in 85 degree nights.  Then my universal satchel that keeps my glasses, test equipment, and all sorts of glucose tablets and backup supplies at the base of my cot.  This weekend about 75% of what I brought was precaution for the heat, rain, and excersize for the weekend.  Diabetes is so much fun in extreme weather but it really gets you ready for the real world by testing your limits of preparedness in isolation by limiting your factors.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Random Friday

I am a 37 year old kid.  Recently I posted about my obsession with a game I created called: "Car Fishing."  This car fishing is me getting pictures of odd or even super cars.  Dallas has alot of money in it so this game is alot easier than when I was a kid growing up in Oklahoma and just played the pre-cell phone camera game called: "Car Spotting."  Not alot of cool cars in Oklahoma.  Yesterday I saw this orange Lotus Exige on my way home and had to try and get it. 

Traffic worked out to my benefit and look at the great side picture I got.  I would call this an 8 out of 10 on the car fishing game.  If I could have taken a better side picture and a front picture then it would be higher.

How does this deal with diabetes, camping or anything?  It doesn't directly deal with them.  This is just one of those small things to do during the day that just makes each day worth it.  I would put this in the catagory of "Planking."  Planking is dumb but when people show me funny pictures of where they have planked it makes me chuckle and just adds to the positve of each day.

Yesterday I was thinking about all sorts of stuff.  It was my brothers 40th birthday and that means 3 more years till I get old.  Dallas lost the consecutive 100+ day streak at 40 when the record was 42 and I was sad about that and glad because 96 does feel alot better than 100+.  So when I see this beautiful Lotus, it just turns my frown upside down and makes my day great.

My wife and son now text me pictures of their catches and it cracks me up that maybe Car Fishing will catch on someday.  It just might be the next planking or owling.