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Monday, December 31, 2012

Reso-Dia-lutions!

So today is the eve of a new year and like alot of my fellow diabetics out there we get kind of nervous about this whole stupid "resolution" idea at this time.  Do we go all out and make some over the top, hardcore resolutions or do we just go with the easy ones like: make sure I can fog a mirror by the end of the year.  The diabetes factor is always do better with the betes but we all know if you go for some amazing diabetes resolution you have to live with it for the rest of your life because diabetes never goes away.  So if you have some sort of goal of an A1C to be like perfect the entire year, then well what about next year?  Tough stuff I know so my goals are pretty normal for me this year as all years and that is first to look good in a speedo, be able to do like 20 military style pull-ups, and run a half marathon.  OK, so eat better and work smarter is on my list but aren't those on every ones list. 

Now about 13 years ago these goals were not goals of mine but my normal everyday life I lived, then I got behind the "8 ball" and have been looking downhill ever since.  So getting back into a diabetes support group www.insulindependence.org is my biggest way to get back into things.  Support groups and friends in general are awesome to motivate you and get you to push yourself.  My friend Don is doing his second marathon tomorrow and he has motivated me by running with me with no pressure and that has got me thinking about spending some money and doing an actual organized event of the half marathon caliber.  Then we have our cycling group which has motivated me to want to be ready for riding by spring time and doing more long distance rallies.  See how groups work?  The make you forget about your goals and instead motivate you to compete with the group and to not be the weak link in the chain but to work your way to the top of the diabetes food group, with positive reinforcement.  I think those diabetics out there with amazing control and rock hard abs that show no signs of insulin pump holes in their bellies are the ones that use this method of self motivation and strict goal focus by not concentrating on what you want but to do it by mentoring, participating, and sharing with others and the end result is to be an awesome diabetic (every diabetic is awesome no matter what) through positive distractions that make you take quality care of yourself without even thinking about it.  I think that is my new phrase this year, "positive distractions" they are the ones that get you to eat right, do right, without the nagging, worrying, or fear by distracting you of diabetes and showing you life.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Stranded on the Highway!

 I have never been the the brightest light bulb around, also I am as sharp as a box of wet hair.  Christmas day I was to drive back from Moore, OK where I was visiting my family to my home in Dallas, TX.  There was a winter blast that came through the area and I was not going to miss work due to a snow storm.  While driving home through the Arbuckle mountains (they really are more like hills), I got kind of lazy on the snow and ice and started to travel in the 40mph zone which I found out was too fast for certain places.  I was hit by a wind gust and my truck started to spin and I did what I could do to save it but wound up on the wrong side of a ditch along the highway.  Usually I have pictures of my misfortunes but somehow I also lost my phone during this learning experience so I just stole a couple of pictures off the inter-web that portray how the scene looked.  The picture above is kind of like the way I was, turned the wrong direction on the backside of a hill going into a creek, just not hitting anything.  The fence line, trees, grass, and snow is about right for the scene.
The first thing I did was call my brother and let him know exactly where I was and how I was doing.  Then I called Allstate roadside assistance to send a wrecker to my location because the ditch was pretty darn deep even if I did get my truck to move.  Roadside assistance is really awesome for anyone to get, the cost is like 130 a year and you get basically a concierge person to do all the work for you once things are wrong and all you have to do is think about what kind of idiot you are.  Once roadside assistance let me know of who was coming and when I took a look around my truck to assess the damage and to my surprise there were no dents, dings, or flat tires.  So I got in the truck and started her up and realized my street tires were not going to move unless I get some assistance.  You all know how I am prepared for the zombie attack in my truck so there is always a full size axe, hatchet, and loppers in my truck with all sorts of snacks, and survival gear.  So I decided to cut down the trees along the highway and put the branches under the back tires for traction and after 30 minutes of chopping and making a limb road I was un-stuck and just needed to find a place to cross over the ditch and onto the highway.  I drove about a half mile and found the best spot to cross and with a running start I was back on the road with only my diabetes and two hands to assist me.

I was thinking about everything that happened during Christmas and thought of how my old scoutmaster told the boys once about how a storm blew through while he was driving once and that all traffic had to stop and everyone just waited in their cars for the storm to blow over for several hours except one guy who got out of his truck and went down to the shoulder of the highway and started a fire and built a shelter and just camped out until it was clear to drive again.  My scoutmaster later let me know he made up the story and that this was more of a "what would I do in this situation" and from that story to my Christmas adventure I took the same approach and if I could not have got my truck to move was planning on starting a fire with the trees I cut down because I always keep tender and matches in the truck along with food, clothes, water, coats, and a chair.  The whole time I was never mad or upset about anything and just kept cool and came up with a game plan.  Being prepared and staying calm during times like this are the best ways to survive and I was glad that first my truck was not damaged, second I was prepared for a situation like this, third how I was calm and collected and willing to accept the fact I might have to be here for a while so making camp would be a good way to relax and enjoy the side of a highway.  Once I was on the road I did suddenly realize my phone was not on me and it probably was left behind and that was when a bit of panic hit me because there was no way in diabetes hell I was going back to get it.  I consider the cell phone a price to pay for being dumb.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Survival Pod

Well Merry day after Christmas everyone and I hope everyone is doing good.  I had a great time with family and friends in Oklahoma.  My sister and her husband got me this crazy awesome thing for Christmas called the "x-stream survival pod" which looks kind of like a monkeys fist mixed with a bit of a payode weave.  Then when I looked at it closer I finally understood it is a survival cocoon of 15 items that is wrapped in 550 paracord.

Here is what is inside:

"Tackle" your survival situation!
A fisherman's favorite key fob. This Survival Pod includes 16 survival tools!
  • 1 - 4cm D Shaped Carabiner
  • 1 - 1" Sharp Eye knife and sheath
  • 1 - 1" Fire Stick Flint
  • 1 - 6" Jute Firestarter/Tinder
  • 1 - 6" Strip of Duct Tape
  • 1 - 15ft of 550 Parachute Cord
  • 1 - 1 1/4" sewing needle
  • 1 - Daredevil Lure
  • 1 - #6 Live Bait Hook
  • 1 - #8 Live Bait Hook
  • 2 - Split Shot, tin, removable fishing weights
  • 1 - 15ft of mono-filiment fishing line
  • 1 - 1 gram of reusable hot glue
  • 1 - 12" steel green snare wire
  • 1 - 1 1/2" hacksaw blade
  • All Wrapped into a Compact Take Anywhere Zipper Pull
  • Available in Black or Orange

  • Now the only thing is I have to take their word on all this stuff that is listed as inside the pod because once you unravel the paracord you will never get it back the way it came.  I am going to do some research on the YouTube to see if someone does this crazy knot and maybe I can replicate it myself.  This was a neat unexpected Christmas gift.

    Here is the website:  www.bisondesigns.com

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

    Have you ever walked around a pharmacy?

     The other day I heard on the radio they sell these home bake kit things at CVS, where you can make Twinkies at home.  They said on the radio the price was 14.95 so I was not figuring that this was going to be something left on the counter to be used all the time.  I was just interested in the novelty of it and maybe using it as a Christmas gag gift for my brother or something.  Well being a moron that I am went to Walgreen's instead but figured they pretty much sell the same crap at both stores and in the parking lot was this sweet Maserati.  I just love the hind view of a Maserati.  So onward I went with my mission.
    Pharmacies have changed alot since I was a wee squirt when they just had colostomy bags, walkers, and toilet seat donuts for your hemorrhoids or something.  As I was figuring out that Walgreen's did not sell the homemade twinkie maker thing I headed over to the "as seen on TV" section of the store and saw they had these tooth brushes.  My first thought was this was a Halloween leftover but then realized it was just packaged this way.  The Lady GaGa singing toothbrush and yes to answer your questions of did I press the button to hear it sing, I did and actually it sounded quite good for a toothbrush singing Lady GaGa.  So I was hooked on getting one of these singing toothbrushes as a different gag gift but then looked at the price tag and it cost 9.99.  That was just a ridiculous price to pay for one tooth brush and two Lady GaGa songs.  Can't you get the songs on the inter-web for like .99 and a toothbrush runs just a couple of bucks so I had to pass.  I did notice the Justin Bieber empty box of singing toothbrushes next to the Lady GaGa ones and realized that young girls are more willing to listen to music while they brush their teeth than young boys, or just that Justin Bieber sells better than some weird lady in a T-Bone steak dress.

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

    Outdoor Challenge

     A couple of weekends ago we had our "orienteering challenge" that my friend Ralph put together.  He has been working on this for at least a year now and I joined him something like 8 months ago when I accepted his invitation to be the head scoring judge since I have participated in similar "free for all" orienteering events.  Now for the 99.99% of you out there that do not know what orienteering is, understand it is a game played with a map and compass.  Not the compass you used to draw circles in class or stab people in the hands with but a liquid filled device with a needle in it that points to magnetic north.  I refer to these events as running for smart people, or walking with a purpose.  So what happens is everyone gets a map and each team gets a punch sheet 30 minutes before the start.  This gives everyone an opportunity to strategize before the start.  The the buzzer goes off and each team is on their own for 3 and a half hours when the time stops and each team has to come in to the finish line before the end buzzer with as many points as they can get or if they are late there is a penalty given for each minute late.
    What made this event different than the other ones I had been to is that Ralph had some people from our local orienteering club come out and show everyone the gear for the serious orienteering nerd.  They wear gators on their legs, polyester knickers, breathable long sleeve shirts and in their hand they carry these odd compasses.  Now I love me some map and compass but have never really been around these super gurus and when this guy pulled out his compass and showed me the difference between the one I use and his, it was like night and day of a difference.  I have seen expensive compasses on the inter-web going up to 300 bucks and the gentleman told me the one he had cost 85 dollars.  Now that is alot of dough for a needle that tells you where north is until you see this thing in action.  The red north on the needle never moves no matter how fast he moved the compass.  It looked as if the compass was just a piece of plastic and the needle was on the table.  The thing simply never moved and I pulled out mine and there was a solid three to five second lag when I moved mine.  The one he had is in the picture above, a Silva 6 Jet Spectra with a thumb thingy and a cushion as well.  I have always thought a compass is a compass weather it is five bucks for fifty bucks until now, now I know what a real compass is and trust me, it is on my list of must have items for the next year (I just have to scour the inter-web to find the lowest price).  In the end if there is one skill I would say is one of the best skills to have when being an outdoors-person that is to know how a topographical map and compass work.  This may seem like me being old man, old school but I have seen where cell phones don't work, and navigation devices go on the fritz, and a map and compass never need batteries, nor do they break (yes you can tear the map into pieces and a bear can eat it, and a compass can break but the needle always points to north).

    Monday, December 17, 2012

    What is my Deal?

     I seriously have a problem with flashlights.  Black Friday I showed you my new 525 lumins handheld "d" battery flashlight that I purchased at Home Depot.  While I was at Home Depot I saw a headlamp with 145 lumins and a red light.  Headlamps drive me crazy so why am I buying another one?  I have one already that is bright enough so I guess this one was needed because it had the cool Mohawk strap down the top and also the batteries were in the back.  My other headlamp doesn't have that and it isn't 145 lumins.  Then I still find myself looking on the inter-web at 800 and 900 lumin lights.  This is getting to be a problem.
    There are a few times in my day or I guess night to be more accurate when I do enjoy the convenience of a headlamp.  Setting up my tent and putting together my cot, those are the only times a headlamp is useful to me.  OK, let me correct that, I do like to use a headlamp when working on a vehicle even during the daylight hours.  My work had our Christmas party last Friday and we do one of those white elephant exchanges where you bring a gift that is something in the neighborhood of 25 bucks and put it in the pile and we draw numbers to set the order and we put a two steals per gift.  One of the gifts someone opened up was a headlamp and I was seriously looking into getting it, even after I just bought the headlamp in the pictures above.  The headlamp was almost identical to mine except it didn't have the red light and it was a 172 lumins light.  In the end I walked away with a much better gift and went back to my desk to look at 800 lumin flashlights.  I think in the end all campers have some sort of issue like this.  Some of my friends have like seven tents and some have four backpacks, while others collect sleeping bags or stoves.  Camping gear is just something that brings that one weird need out of us to collect multiple items of the same nature.  Diabetes is alot like that, I have seen people who keep all the meters they have ever had in their lifetime and are obsessed about what features the next version will have.

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

    Thats the pitts.

     I know you are all saying it in your heads "where is the diabetic camper?"  Sorry everyone I had a bad case of watery farting diarrhea come Sunday though Monday night and just now feel 80%.  It is just amazing how that stuff just comes out of nowhere.  One minute I was getting ready to go out on a 10 mile run and the next minute I am comptemplating going to the hospital for how my stomach felt.

    Back to the grind and giving you all that daily ramblings of the diabetic camper.  Last week at work someone had out a tin of mixed nuts on a table for anyone to take as you please.  Not sure if this was something our building management left or what but I cracked it open and noticed it was filled with lots of high quality diabetes friendly (no obvious holiday high snacks) nuts and stuff.  I guess this was more of a nutty trail mix because it also had random dried fruits.  What makes a good nut mix or high protein trail mix to me is the ability to grab any or most handfuls and it tastes great either by the piece or the whole handful.  Then I check out the amount of pecans and this one was loaded.  Not sure why pecans are so expensive to add to trail mix but that is usually the tale, tale sign of the quality of your mix.
    Driving home I started snacking on this in the truck and was amazingly surprised how awesome it was, fresh, fun, and some other "f" words I can't think of right now but then it hit me.  I suddenly received an unexpected bitter bite of something.  It took me some digging around and figured out it was these weird cherries that are now being added to nuts and trail mixes.  Cherries are good in small pieces or in a mix that is supposed to have a cherry twang to it but I can never get over these things when I come across them.  They just don't agree with the rest of the mix, I can see coconut shreds agreeing, raisins agreeing, those craisin things agreeing, but not the huge tart cherries.  In the end all this proves is that I am just a mixed nut/trail mix snob but, at least I know this and knowing helps me pick mixes without them.  My favorite is probably that moose munch stuff by Harry and David, but what isn't awesome from that place.  They even have a moose munch coffee that is to die for as well.

    Friday, December 7, 2012

    Cool Ride

    I see this truck sometimes on my way to work, sometimes near my house, and all over town.  This to me is what makes one cool truck, it has the look and feel of an old work truck but with alot of mods that make it modern and updated.  I argue with my son all the time about the right stance for a truck, he thinks they should always be high and in the sky, and I tell him that the right drop is where they should be.  His reasoning is how you can go anywhere and look tough, and my reasoning is you can control the truck better at the right stance and still be able to go anywhere.  All of this is just us sharing our personal opinion about what we as individuals like.  Opinions and preferences have almost never been considered in the world of diabetes until a short time ago.  We used to only have a few types of insulin to take, a few choices for testing our BG's and of course we had zero options for what we ate.  I remember my first diet I was put on and it was like eat the exact same thing everyday at the same time everyday.  I lasted on that diet for like two months and said to hell with this and tried my best.  Then the carb counting diet came into my life with the fancy new "fast-acting" insulin's and all of a sudden every wall was torn down (just if we could get this through non-diabetics heads we can eat anything as long as we count the carbs).  Then we had multiple companies with all sorts of products to shoot insulin, pump insulin and to test BG's.  Diabetes today seems like this time old argument I have with my son, we both agree that trucks are the best, we just disagree on how we like our trucks.  This is alot like today's modern diabetic, we all have the same disease but have personal ways we prefer to caring for it.  Now don't get me wrong and think I am saying there is one diabetic that is better than another, that is furthest from the truth because I feel as long as you can fog a mirror you are doing a great job with your diabetes.  I am just saying we have all sorts of cool ways to control our diabetes.

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

    Black Friday

     So the happiest day of the year for me is black Friday.  I am not one to go out and buy hundreds of DVDs just because they are .88 cents or some fancy new TV because it is 88 dollars.  First, I just love the excitement of so many deals all at once.  OK, yes I am a cheap skate and black Friday was made for people like me.  Now this is not when I go out and get others gifts, this is when I go out and either stock up on household items or get gifts for me.  I usually don't go above the hundred dollar mark for the day and wind up passed out on a couch around noon.
     This year I did not have any real needs that matched what was on sale, lots of tablets and blue-rays but there are always random places with solid camping items, household goods, and of course cheap gifts for me.  I am getting pretty darn good at staggering my stores and open times and this year I started at Home Depot because they had some nice looking flashlights on sale.  The one you see in the pictures is a 3 c cell light that has a claimed 525 lumen's for the low price of 19.99.  Did I need to be at Home Depot to get this deal at 5am, of course not and I was the only one that bought the deal at that time.  I probably could have shown up around noon and still got one, I just love the feeling of black Friday at 4:45am in the morning watching all the other people getting those Christmas trees for 49.99 bucks.
    When I was purchasing the light I did have a quandary to solve, because I love CREE bulbs and this light did not have one.  So was I to get one just to try out and expect it to be broke in a year or so, or should I get one for the rest of the family and find out these are crap and have wasted my money.  I went with the one and will see how it goes.  In the end black Friday is a great day to dream of sales, pick up random items, but when you are out there it feels so great knowing you got a sale that only comes once a year.  Now I want a flashlight with 1,000 lumens, maybe next year there will be one on sale!

    Monday, December 3, 2012

    Wrong Way!

     Over the weekend I had plans to go camping with my son and maybe help him clean a deer he would shoot.  When I got home Friday night he let me know that he was under the weather and did not feel like going.  So I then panicked and did almost nothing the entire weekend.  Sometimes a weekend off from doing things is good but for me, staying busy keeps me sane.  Saturday I decided to go for a run and in Dallas we had some awesome like 20 mph winds with 80 degree temperature and I wanted to try out this three mile stretch of trail near my house to see how it was and came across the "wrong way" sign you see above.  I thought for a moment how appropriate this was because I was going into the wind at this point and how it seems like this is the life of a diabetic.  No matter how good you do or try, it always leads you down a great road that everyone else tells you is wrong.  You work out alot so to keep the BG's up you have to eat (fuel the fire), then everyone yells at you for your diet, or get a simple cut or bruise from being active and everyone tells you that you need to take it careful.  The freakin life of diabetes.
    So to keep on this theme of "Wrong Way" today when I got to work (OK, after I stopped at McD's for 2 sausage biscuits) my nose was feelin a little bit runny and the sausage biscuits were to make me feel better.  The I felt the two drops of what I thought was snot leaving my nose and hitting my shirt.  Then when I looked down I got the great surprise of it being a nose bleed instead of just snot.  So for the rest of the day I went around my office with good old bloody snot shirt  (the good thing is I bolused and had my basil rate perfect for the biscuits).  A co-worker told me about the hydrogen peroxide thing to get it off but from the picture above you can tell it still looked like blood and snot from my nose.  Then another co-worker thought this had to be some sort of bio hazard issue.  If they only knew the freakin bloody mess my diabetes bag was.  In the end the moral of the story or the blog post is to always be willing to accept change or to push through something embarrassing.  I made a game of the day by seeing how many people would say something about my shirt.  Trust me it was less people than those that would let me know my fly was down.

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

    Tradition and Diabetes

    I don't know about all you other diabetics out there on the inter-web world but this diabetic has a weird love/hate relationship with the giving of thanks holiday.  Our family doesn't have any traditions or must do's, so each year we just wind up were we wind up and do what everyone else is doing.  This year my brother, his wife and son drove my mother down to Bastrop, Texas and I met them down there so we could share the giving of thanks holiday with my grandmother (dads side of the family).  My grandmother recently turned 96 and just a couple of days before her birthday she fell and broke her wrist and hip so she is tied up in one of those assisted living places for three months while she heals up.  My grandmother is one amazing woman for never driving a day in her life and has been living alone for something like 20 years since my grandfather passed away.  With granny in the medical retirement place and not able to leave we had to decide on what our giving of thanks meal would be.  The tradition is of course turkey but my brother dislikes turkey unless it is like the sliced stuff you get at Subway on your hoagie and I could care less what we eat just as long as it is good.  Since we were all staying at my grandmothers house and did not want to take all the time cooking this elaborate meal but instead wanted to spend as much time as possible with grandma and also my uncle was having a traditional giving of thanks meal on Saturday.  So we did what all good people do when every business is closed for a holiday and that is scour the landscape for one place that was brave enough to be open, and that was "Texas Grill."  So we had fried catfish, chicken fried steak, and chicken friend chicken for our meal and it was great.  The people at the restaurant were extremely nice and were not put off at all because they had to work the holiday, they even asked us how we knew they were open and we told them that they were the only business with cars out front (a couple of fast food places were open but we wanted to at least have our feast brought out to us).  So in the end the giving of thanks is what you make of it and if you make it good than no matter where, or what it is, or who it is with it will be tradition.

    Final thought for the day, today (November 29th) is Chuck Mangione's birthday and I have a co-worker that did not know the greatness of "Feels so Good" so I thought to post one of those tubes of you videos of him playing that great song on here, just in case one of you might not know his greatness.  I used to have this song on one of my running play lists and would listen to it over and over.  Not sure how good it made me run but it just sounds good.

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

    Curazene

    One of the parents in our scout troop has this message on his cell phone when you call him.  The message talks about staph infections and bad things that can happen to you if wounds are left untreated, some really scary stuff so I asked him what this info-mobile phone-advertisement was all about.  He let me know about the company he works for that has this product Curaxene and how it treats bacterias and open wounds.  He then let me know that it works on mosquito bites as well and that when he got the chance he would give me a sample to try.  Now I figured this would be interesting to try but was not for certain he would remember and give me some samples to try.  Well about a month ago his son came to me with a few of these little bottles that looked like eye drop thingies and told me they were from his dad for me to try out the next time I had a cut, wound, or bug bite.

    Now, I am not one to wear mosquito repellent very often.  My use of mosquito repellent is basically restricted to camping and I never wear it while mowing the lawn or doing simple things around the house like when we are supposed to be wearing bug spray.  The Dallas area has had a few cases of this West Nile disease and for some reason we had a few late breakouts of large amounts of mosquito's this fall.  The other day I was out at the land with the chainsaw doing my thing to keep mother nature from overtaking everything and at the end of the day once I was back in the cabin I realized I had been bit quite a few times and these bites were very much itchy.  With this late realization that I should have put the bug spray on I remembered the free samples of Curazene and put just a little drop on all the bites and let me tell you this diabetic friends of the inter-web, this stuff was amazing.  I don't know what it is made of, something like unicorn tears and ground up rainbows but the instant I put it on each bite the itch and sting went away.  I was a little nervous to post about this amazing product, not sure if this stuff is on the market or anything so I did a little research and easily found their website with the actual information about the product and all the other things I could have been using it for and also noticed they have an offer for free samples.  This made me instantly want to post my findings to you all great inter-web diabetics so you too can now not suffer from west Nile mosquito bites.  I give this product 5 syringes out of 5 syringes because it is an absolute miracle drug and I have barely scratched the surface for all it is for (get it, scratch the surface).  This stuff is even for zits and pimples, kind of like the arm and hammer baking soda for your body.  Go to the website and get your free sample today.  The website is: http://www.curazene.com/products.htm 
    and the free sample page is: http://www.curazene.com/sample.htm

    Disclaimer: I get nothing for this but the satisfaction that you will not suffer from mosquito bites or zit pains.  No money came my way nor did they even ask me to write about this I just like to help you out and this product was so good you have to get the free sample and let me know all about it.

    Monday, November 26, 2012

    "WWTDCD"

     I have had the question come up a few times about "What would the Diabetic Camper do in a super storm like sandy?"  This is the age old question of, can you be prepared for anything.  We all have seen the ads for the Discovery show "Doomsday Preppers" and lots of people are left over conspiracy theorists with bunkers, and some even have stock left over from Y2K.  There are even companies that will sell you a backpack with everything they think you need to survive a 72hour emergency.  Then those of us with diseases like diabetes and the such have to be prepared for any emergency every time we leave the house.
    My answer to the question of "WWTDCD" (what would the diabetic camper do) is a simple one in any situation like Sandy.  First, I would get all the information about the storm as soon as possible then when the government says it is going to be bad, or I felt it was going to be a bad storm,  I would load up my car and head out of town.  I know you are all disappointed that I wouldn't stay and ride it out or have some sort of diabetes mega plan, but the fact is why stand in the way of anything bad that is headed right toward you?  Personally once they told me to leave I would pack the car and head to a nice and warm resort town that is not in the way and have a vacation.  I would watch the news to see the damage, go have some fun, and not freakin worry about it.  Someone once told me that we should never stress out about the things we cannot change and a storm hitting my house is nothing I can change so having fun is my change.  Then once the storm passed over and my anxious neighbors headed back to see the damage I would call them and ask how they are and what my property looked like.  If the news was bad it would seem a great time to extend the vacation I was on, if the news was good and the electricity was back on, I would end the vacation and head back home.

    When I was in grade school, we had this teacher that taught us about the science of nature and that how nature was always 10 times stronger than any human ever could be or anything we could create.  We watched videos on how they would put the seed of a vine in concrete and with one of those slow motion videos they showed how the seed would sprout and destroy the concrete.  It seems these days we teach the opposite that humans are 10 times stronger than nature which is completely wrong and warps our sense of nature and we think that hiding under our covers in our warm houses will save us.  The thing is that we all forget is nature will do anything to survive and if we are in her way or try to stop her, we will lose.  I am not saying that nature is bad nor am I saying to not care about mother nature, I am saying she doesn't have feelings or care about your property.  She takes the path of least resistance and does her will.  Now take that theory where ever you go and you will wind up with me in a nice warm resort town having fun while your used test strips and dirty underwear are on the 5 o clock news.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    City wildlife

     My friend Don has this game he plays while we run.  He tallies points for animals he sees during the run.  We mainly see squirrels so for he and I it is 50 points per squirrel, but there is no real point to the game.  I tell Don that the point of the game is to be able to know if we saw more or less wildlife on our runs so a day we get 500 points, then another day we get 300 points we know there was less wildlife the later date.  Still no point to the game and I guess running makes you crazy and come up with squirrel games like this.
    The last run we were on coming down the home stretch I yelled at Don to stop, and he came to me wonder what was wrong.  Maybe low bg's, tore my medulla oblengada, or just needed a walk brake but he came back to me real quick to see what was up.  I then pointed out the baby nutria in the creek and wanted him to see them.  We both took out our phones and snapped up some pictures and I asked him how many points nutria should be.  Don said 40 points so for that day it was a 580 score.  Not too bad.

    I always tell people that getting outdoors doesn't have to be a 1,000 mile drive to nowhere with a 50 mile hike and a week off of work to be an adventure.  You can have an outdoor wildlife adventure in any city at any time, you just have to be there to see it.  With diabetes the best way to prepare for anything is to do sample tests like getting your gear together and going out on a city trail with buddies and testing your meter, snacks, diabetes bag, or whatever to see how it holds up.  Then when you get back home make the adjustments and try it again.  So the next time you are flying, driving across the country or playing the squirrel game with your running buddy you can feel comfortable that you and your gear will make it through to see the baby nutria at the end of the creek.

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    Not the best caramel, but still good

     I told you all about finding this diabetes low blood sugar gel's at Walmart a while back and last weekend after the ADA 5k they had about a gazillion of these things they were giving away for free.  So you know what I did, I loaded up my bag with a good amount of these suckers and had them on stand by for any low BG.
     There were no low BG's for me to test this new flavor over the past week so I took some for our www.insulindependence.org dawn phenom event.  Where we currently are running a solid 8 miles and I like to have something to keep the bg's in a good place during the run.  Last time I had the mandarin orange flavor which was to die for but at the ADA 5k all they were giving out were caramel flavor.  The funny thing with anything caramel flavored is it can be too sweet or to chemically tasting.  This was a little bit on the chemical after taste.  Not that the flavor was horrible but I would rather have something more natural tasting if I were to be picky with my low bg supplements.  Since these were used as a running additive I would say they are probably a 3 out of 5 syringes on my patented diabetes camper scale.  The consistency is great for running, unlike the brand "GU" which is way to thick and alot of other gels have odd flavors and still are a bit thicker than this stuff is.  I still liked having these along rather than a normal person's gel but still like the mandarin orange flavor the best.
    The free packets came with this "raise low blood sugar fast" booklet which I totally was expecting a coupon in the back.  Once I looked through the book I found no coupon for me to save some money on my next batch of mandarin oranges.  I was talking to my friend Jeff, who is a type 1 cyclist and he was telling me how he only likes the "quick sticks" for working out and low bg's.  I pondered this and found out that I personally like different treatments for different sports and types of lows.  The level life gels are great for running which the quick sticks would be difficult if you had little to no water on the run, but they are great for riding.  Now backpacking I usually do alot of chewy things to keep my mouth moist and ears a popping so gummy worms and starburst are great for the trail and I like to stick a glucose tablet in my cheek (like a diabetic dip) to slowly absorb the sweetness along the trail.

    Friday, November 16, 2012

    Why do small things make me sad?

     Last week I was packing up all my gear to head off for work and the last thing I did was close the zipper on my diabetes test kit bag.  Then it happened, my hand pulled away with the zipper pull still in it and I was devastated.  This just ruined my day, and I know you are all out there reading this saying: "He is the biggest wuss, and dork" because the zipper pull on my bag broke.  I would completely agree with you and others have told me that I get attached to inanimate objects.  Just something inside me (maybe the little diabetic baby in me) gets sad when my gear wears out.
     I have had this bag for something like three years and it is the right size, shape, and has been through alot with me and probably what gets me down is the fact I have to go out and find a new bag to replace this one.  This bag came to me courteous of my endocrinologist who helps me not just with my diabetes but my weird way of living life.  She knows that when it is time to give me a new meter she gives me two because I always brake one or something happens to one.  She knows that the bag the meters come with will be tossed in the trash so she keeps a stock of random bags from vendors to help me out.  This was an Eli Lilly bag made to carry like needles and insulin bottles but has been great as my meter bag.  The bag still works just I need to start looking for another one.
    I stole this picture off another blog I love to read: http://dixiecritter.blogspot.com/ so stop by his blog and tell him the diabetic camper sent you.  This is just the funniest welcome home picture I have ever seen.  Not sure if this is staged or real but either way I give it two facebook thumbs up, a hash tag, and one of those disturbing sideways smiley faces.  I think all soldiers should have to report to "Booty" at some time in their lives.

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    Happy international/world diabetes day!

     I hope everyone is having a great world diabetes type 1 (the bad kind) international day!  My co-worker is a type 1 as well so when I wished him a happy international diabetes day he asked me if diabetes was international (he was just kidding).  That is when we came up with the witty joke of something like, "I have type 1 diabetes and in Europe it is type .91440m" kind of funny yards to meters diabetes joke right?  So with that I thought about just blowing your mind with my random pictures.  Above is a picture of the sticker that was on the billy goat mower I rented a few weeks ago.  They should make like a dodge truck called "The Billy Goat" and have this as their logo.
     How many of us take pictures of our 100 bg's ?  Yes, all of us do and so here is my latest 100!  The stupid things that make us so happy because normal people yell at us for eating sugar.  The simple things are what keeps us sane.
     Here is a picture of my sons latest FFA project "Little Miss Wright" named for the world famous Wright Brand Bacon she will become.  Which is the best bacon on planet earth.  This little pig lives at the Ag barn behind his high school and will probably be the death of me.  He has to feed her twice a day, every day, until she is bacon.  Once in the morning and once a 7pm.  The last time I took him there I stepped in pig doo and let me tell you this.  Once you step in pig doo you can just throw those shoes away because they smell like hell forever.  It is fun to go to the barn and hang out with the pigs, goats, cows, and sheep (I am not supposed to touch them but don't tell anyone) and have fun with all the livestock.
    Last here is my dogs minus MoMo, and what they used to do is put their buts on MoMo but since she is in doggie heaven now they finally found a way to use each other as pillows and the such.

    Now go out and get your diabetes in order and remember one thing, "all you have to do is not eat sugar and everything is OK."  I am just kidding.

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

    I figured out why I like these so much...

     I bought some of these Browning wool blend socks like a year ago or something and last week while at Tractor Supply I ran into them again with a great discounted price.  Last time I had my son with me and asked him if he wanted some wool socks and he turned his nose up at them, but ever since then he has been eyeing my beautiful Browning wool blend socks wishing he had said yes and had some for himself.  The reason he did not want any was he thought that when socks said "large" on them that meant like for old people or big footed weirdos.  He later found out that when socks said a size like "large" they meant a range from say 10 to 12, which is what these fell in and was his size.  This time when I asked him if he wanted some Browning wool blend socks he said yes.
     I like browsing the isles at Tractor supply to see what they have that goes on sale.  Their seasonal stuff is usually marked down pretty fast when times change and other things need the space.  These socks started out at like 6.99 a pair, then marked down to 4.99 a pair, and then 2.99 a pair when I got them.  Now my son was telling me how he likes wool socks but he hates how they make his feet sweat.  I let him know that I wore these wool socks all summer and never had an issue with sweat and I am a hard core sweater.  A funny side note to this whole thing that really isn't that funny is that I have contacted every wool sock company, from the smallest to the largest and none of them recommend diabetics to wear their socks.  That was your random interesting, sad, diabetes fact of the day.
    I started thinking more about why these wool socks were different than all my other wool socks in the way they did not make my feet sweat in the summer.  I have some socks that are straight up old school wool (the kind that don't stretch) and I have lots of different types of  merino wool socks which you don't have to wear a sock liner with (I still like to wear a sock liner when backpacking no matter the sock).  So I looked on the label and noticed these socks were 65% acrylic, 20% merino wool, 13% nylon, and 2% spandex.  This is a great mix of sporty materials with the right amount of wool mixed in.  The acrylic is good at moisture wicking, the wool is good, the nylon helps the sock stay flat to your skin, and the spandex holds form so they don't get all stretched out.  Now that I am aware of this mixture I am going to start checking all the wool socks at the store and see what each is made of so I know more info, and knowing is half the battle.  Affording is the other half.

    Monday, November 12, 2012

    Step out to Stop Diabetes

    Saturday was the Dallas ADA step out to stop diabetes 5k run/walk.  I had my booth space all set up and was working it before the run started for www.insulindependence.org to get people interested in exercising with their diabetes.  Then I ran the race which was lots of fun.
    My friend Don won his age group and was quick as lighting.  He did this even after giving the opening motivation speech to everyone.  He is a diabetes trooper, I bet he even went out on Sunday and ran another 25 miles or so.  He is gearing up for his first marathon in December.
    You are asking me about how I did?  Well, lets just say technically I won my age group.  From the picture above you can see that somehow I fat fingered my keyboard when registering and fell into the age group of "0 and under."  Everyone always said I was a kid at heart, just maybe a little older on the outside.
    I have never seen a funnier team name ever in my life than "Duck Fiabetes."  That is so smart, funny, and freakin awesome.  Hopefully I can steal that name and put it to my own use.  Maybe a t-shirt with a duck on it or something, who knows but I keep laughing every time I see this picture.

    We had so much fun hanging out at the Texas Rangers Ballpark in Arlington before the race and after the race.  I love going to the vendor area and collecting business cards and trying to do some more networking and sampling the free goods.  One table had this cheese that was like lactose free and 75% reduced carbs and calories with a great taste as well.  Don and I hung out at that table for a while getting our fair share of samples.  My favorite was the Jalapeno cheese.

    Friday, November 9, 2012

    Who's a Dork?

     So since my nose surgery I have been more "up" to working out and running.  Then since the time change (don't we have this time change thing backwards?) running at night is so not fun.  I have been going to my local community gym.  Nothing is wrong with going to the gym just that I am a complete dork and from the picture above you can see I wear my CGM, insulin pump, and my cell phone on my waist band.  Then what I forgot to have on in this picture is my bluetooth headphones to put the cherry on the dork.
    I am not sure what the rest of you do but for me I first like to see how my numbers move around with what activity I am doing so my CGM is a cool kind of must have thing, then at the gym I take my pump off to run but if I am pumping iron or just doing the endless stair stepper there is not enough intense pace to keep my numbers down, and my cell phone has my zune music player in it, or I guess it is now called the xbox music player so I can jam out to the latest Lynard Skynard tunes or something.  There are lots of stares from people and I am comfortable with it maybe because they assume (they are making an ass out of u and me) I must be a doctor or something with two beepers and a cell phone so that is kind of cool.  In the end it just goes to show that how much we advance our diabetes care with technology it just creates another issue with things like a workout waist band full of gizmo's and gadgets.

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

    Why do I keep missing opportunities?

    Last week sometime was Halloween and at work we love to get into the spirit of any holiday (OK, we do have about a 50% nonparticipation but the rest of us have fun) and I was really wanting to be the band from the Red Stripe beer commercials but, no one wanted to do it with me, I didn't want to hunt down the costume and so I gave up.  The night before Halloween I was in debate as to what to be.  Should I be Santa clause, I have a Santa outfit in the closet, should I be a cowboy, I have a cowboy costume in the closet, or should I be generic military dude and call myself Forest Gump and just say his famous quote all day: "She tasted like cigarettes."  You can tell from the picture above I went with the final option and then last night I realized what I should have done was even more simple but much more witty.
    I should have just worn my boy scout uniform and said I was Scoutmaster Ward from the Khaki scouts on the movie "Moonrise Kingdom."  That would have been witty, easy, and I could have just said " He flew the coupe" all the time and been in character.  Oh well, another year and I missed another opportunity.  There is always next year and I can have my Scoutmaster Ward uniform in order.

    Monday, November 5, 2012

    earthen burm

     So working land is fun, and owning land is even more fun.  Maybe because my land is not in a city so I only have county rules to work with.  Two weekends ago I told you about how the rented out billy goat did not work so my buddy Paul came up with something else for us to work on.  You can see in the picture above how my land has a slight downward grade.  There is a giant hill on the front of the property and the back opens up to fields with loplolly pines behind that and then onto some good old elm trees.  You see how I grow like no grass from the cabin on down and what I need to do is create things to lessen the fall so the top soil will stop washing away.  Next to the tree you can barely see is a tree we cut down and started to create a natural burm to collect the top soil and level out the hill (or mountain as I like to call it).
    Here is a better view of the tree we are using to create an earthen burm to create a natural stop to the loss of top soil and maybe in a few years I can grow grass in front of the cabin. 

    Monday, October 29, 2012

    What a dissapointment

     The nose job worked and now I am camping as much as I can.   With this new attitude and I have some plans to get my ranch ready for the winter.  The first thing on the list is to mow my weeds down and plant some winter rye grass.  I had horses two years ago and we had an interesting summer that year where we had a severe drought and my grass was taken to nothing.  The the past summer I was a little relaxed on the maintenance and weeds took over the back pasture area.  So I rented out something called a "billy goat" which is basically a large mower that is on two wheels and pivots like a pendulum thingie.  The front slides on bars and if the front hits something the whole thing just tips back.  This is not meant to do a pretty job of mowing but to chop down unwanted weeds.
    The above picture is of us out shooting guns on Sunday evening and behind the everyone you can see my tall weeds in the background in the back pasture.  The Billy Goat was going to be such an awesome thing to help me get ready for the winter and be ready for the coming spring but after just four short passes the Billy Goat decided to stop cutting and I was dead in the water.  Now this did get me down since I planned to mow, and mow, and mow all weekend while the boys bow hunted for dear (they saw some just didn't shoot any).  Being a diabetic that I am and used to huge let downs in  life I got over this issue and worked on other projects around the land and had a good time.  The lesson here is even though life will almost always let you down with diabetes you need to look at the small victories we have everyday.  We shot guns, the boys worked on a deer blind thingie in a tree (more like a tree house), and I had a good weekend at the land being the diabetic camper that I am.  I also contacted the rental place as soon as I knew the Billy Goat was not going to work and let them know.  They were happy I contacted them and were willing to work it out with me.  Now they are getting a newer Billy Goat from another store by next weekend so I can try this all over again.

    Thursday, October 25, 2012

    Should you do, or should you not do- do?

    Sorry I have been absent the past two days, things always come up when I try to blog.  Last weekend I participated in an orienteering event and the picture above is of me at point 32.  You ask why am I taking a picture of myself at point 32?  It is because someone stole the puncher so to prove we made it to the point I took a picture of me there.  Anything for points.  The day was going good and we had a goal of making it to the furthest point on the map and also the most valuable point of all, point 75 which was worth 30 points.  On our way from 75 to 72 I get a phone call on my phone letting me know we had a youth at the health lodge that took a spill and had gashed his leg about four inches long.
    Now I am one to always assume the best and brush off the worst.  The medical people were telling me the youth was OK but they thought that I might want to take him to town for a paid medical professional to look at it and see if it needed stitches.  I asked the medical person if they thought he needed stitches because I was a solid hour from him and a rush back for nothing was going to put my diabetes into a bad mood.  The medical professional kind of him-hawed around and I finally asked him if this was his youth would you take him to get a professional to look at it.  His response was "oh yeah I would for sure take my child in if they had this kind of cut."  Well that was all I needed to hear because I am a diabetic, an accountant, scout leader, but I am not a doctor so when he said he would take him in that was exactly what I was going to do. 
    The medic sent a car for me and another leader and we took the youth into town where he received 10 solid stitches.  The physicians assistant let us know that it was a good thing we brought the youth in because this was a really nasty cut and they still had lots of gravel to clean out of the wound.  In the end this entire thing was no big deal to me and the youth was bandaged and we drove them to a meeting point for their parents to take them home.  There is no reason to stay in the woods when you have a freshly sewn up wound.  I am not sure if being diabetic so long that I pretty much knew what the medical professionals were going to do and needed to do but I guess having a disease can prepare you for other medical events.
    One thing that this event brought to my mind is that my old scout leader always kept a suture kit on campouts just in case something happens like this even further in the back country.  What a coincidence this was because he was actually at this event with me and once I arrived back to camp I hung out with him and I told him the story.  Once I finished telling him all that happened he went to his tent and pulled out his old suture kit that even to this day he still keeps on campouts.  We looked it over and made sure it was still all there.
    In the side pockets I pulled out several scalpels that were in sealed bags to keep them sanitary and then came across this polyester fiber suture thingie.  This thing must be 25 years old but just seeing how prepared my old scout leader is to this day made me think about going out and getting a suture kit for myself.