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Monday, April 30, 2012

Wichita Mountains Climbing Weekend

 This past weekend was our third and final climbing and rappelling class for our instructors cards.  We were at the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge just north of Lawton, OK.  The campsite was just outside the park right on a lake and if you look in the picture you can see to the right the lower part of the tallest mountain in the park which is Mt. Scott.  What was nice about this campsite was the wind coming off the water at night kept the nights cool since we are now starting the warm season of summer.
 You are wondering why I took a picture of our Saturday morning breakfast of scrambled eggs and sausage.  Well this was our first attempt at eating Pete the Chicken's eggs on a campout.  My wife boils them and takes them to school with her but Zaine and I have not had any until this weekend.  Lucky for us she has been real steady with dropping those eggs out and we had 16 eggs for the five of us to split over two mornings.  These were the best eggs ever, not just because we fed dog food to Pete and this is what she gave us but backyard free range chicken eggs are great.  Now after I ate this around 7:00am I had a 9:00am snack of two honey buns on Saturday morning and Sunday after breakfast I had 4 oranges.  The great thing about being active outdoors with diabetes is you have to eat about every two hours and take in lots of calories and carbs.  My BG's got a little low around 10:00am on Saturday but by 11:30am they were around 180 and stayed there most of the rest of the day until about 5:00pm when they dipped to 44 and I ate some delicious sour gummy worms and in thirty minutes they were up and I was rolling along.  Paul brought our usual sliced meat and sandwich rolls for our lunches and all the other adults were so jealous and I would eat an orange about once every few hours to keep my BG's up and also my energy level high.
 The Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge is home to Buffalo, Elk and Longhorn Cattle herds.  Probably my favorite animal of all is the Buffalo and to go out and hike and climb with them all around is an amazing thing to do.  Paul would not stop the van for me to get a better picture but to just see the Buffalo roaming the open areas is real exciting.  One year we had a Buffalo walk through our camp.  The boys thought it was the most amazing thing ever.  They are huge beautiful creatures but are extremely dangerous if you try anything with them.  These are not cows just out roaming the pastures, these are almost wild beasts.
The Picture above you can see one of our groups setting up "The Meat Grinder" climb.  We set up the anchors and would rappel down then climb from the bottom with a bottom belay.  At the top of the picture near the right you see two boulders just sitting on the side of Elk Mountain.  The rangers refer to these boulders as "The apple and Pear" but for scouts and all my life we always referred to them as "King Kong's Balls."  A little crude but come on don't tell me two giant boulders on the side of a mountain are fruit.  We all know what to really call them.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Why are my diabetes supplies not active lifestyle compatible?

Headed out to the Wichita mountains today to finish my climbing and rappelling instructor certification.  These are not your typical tall snow capped rugged mountains.  They are more of a definition mountain that look like huge hills.  What is nice about them is that they are a course granit with lots of boulders. 

Yesterday I was talking about rugged diabetes supplies and what I forgot to mention is how your psyche is when you don't trust your equipment.  When you don't trust your medical supplies you worry and that causes unwanted and un-needed stress and that affects your BG level.  Then you carry multiple backups so you can sleep at night.  I have been emailing meter companies to come up with a meter that is like the Animas and MiniMed pumps, high durability that is functional.  Some meters have great back lights and can be read in outdoor light and some are great at high accuracy.  There are just no meters made for clumsy outdoor people like myself.  What I have gathered is that people are not willing to actually pay for their meter.  Most or probably all meters are free so that once you have a certain brand you will use their strips and that is where the money is made.  So I am stuck emailing companies, trying to let them know that diabetics can go outdoors and run, swim, camp,  run and have fun.  I just hate that the companies that are supposed to be helping us live normal lives are our biggest obstacle.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ding and Dent Sale

 Diabetics always are thinking about their diabetes.  No matter what time it is or what day it is we are thinking of our diabetes.  Then there are those few occasions where we aren't exactly forgetting we are diabetic we are just no aware of our complete diabetes around us.  Last weekend was rock climbing for me and during my first climb I was loosening up and making my way up the wall when the people below me informed me of my insulin pump was bungee jumping off of my back.  When I had a free moment I put the pump in my pocket and went along my way.
 Once I was done with that first climb I realized that there was no prepump planning nor any diabetes thinking.  I just wanted to climb, and that was when it hit me that no matter what we have to think about it even when we don't think about it.  From the pictures above you can see that my Animas IR1200 took some pretty good scratches to it and she still survived.  That is the first thing I do with any new medical device is make sure it is durable.  A year ago I upgraded to the Omnipod system and in about three months realized that they system was awesome just the durability was not there.  My first camping trip I brought three backup pods and by the end of the first day I was on the last one and had basically duct taped the thing to me.  Then the PDM was lacking on the durability side as well.  Once I realized that the Omnipod system would not hold up to the Diabetic Camper I switched back to my out of warranty Animas IR 1200 pump and have been on it since.  That pump is the greatest.

I was visiting my friend Paul and one of his boys had decided to grow corn this year.  Now most people would just plant it in the ground but he decided to just start it in a cup, then he moved them to pots.  I guess he is just going to leave them in the pots but this is very neat as a porch garden, just a pot with corn in it.  I told him just to make sure he gives it plenty of nutrients and it should do good.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ancient Diabetes Camping Secret

 Here is one of my many first aid bags that are usually packed for certain types of weather and activities.  This one has band aids, gauze pads, pain relief gel, gold bond medicated powder, and a spare clear plastic bag.  Of course this is missing some mole skin and medical tape (maybe a few other items as well).
 This is my hiking/backpacking/ gonna sweat alot first aid kit.  The band aids are for my usual cuts and scrapes.  The gauze pads usually help out as a towel in changing infusion sets.  The plastic bag I think is supposed to be used as a CPR dam or something.  I use them to put sweaty gear in on the occasion.  Then the gold bond is for everything else.
 I remember the first time that gold bond was introduced into my life.  It was a hiking trip in the Oachita mountains in Oklahoma and it rained nonstop the entire hike.  There was nothing dry by dinner time and when we made camp everyone took out their dry change of clothes (the rain stopped for dinner) and proceeded with the rest of the evening.  I however felt a funny tingle in my pants, and no it was not that kind of tingle.  This was the soft inner skin of my thighs had been rubbed clean off and I was officially chafed.  Now at 12 years old who knows how to do anything about this?  I just figured to walk bow legged until we headed home, but the pain was to much and I asked one of the adult leaders what to do and he gave me gold bond powder and I poured that stuff on like it was Christmas and the pain went away and the rest of the trip I poured more on and kept the pain away.  Gold Bond is great for swimming, boating, and just out having fun.  Anytime you are going to be wet it works.  The trick to Gold bond is to first buy the small container which runs a solid two bucks or more.  Then go to a discount store and buy a jumbo container of generic powder and refill your gold bond travel container, this will save you lots of space and money.

The next great thing about gold bond is to use it as a pre-sweating event.  Don't use it before swimming because you will just be a dough ball.  I am talking about your under pits and also that elusive pump site.  Have you ever had someone tell you to put antiperspirant deodorant on before applying your infusion site to get it to stay on longer?  If you have heard that from anyone it would be from someone who has never don it because it doesn't work.  Antiperspirant deodorant wont allow your infusion set to stick to your skin.  What I have found to do is of course IV-prep and then once your site is on, then use antiperspirant deodorant around your site but, don't touch your site.  Then I put gold bond powder all over my body to look like a ghost and that will usually keep my site on for the entire day of sweat filled fun and then change your site out afterwards.  Now remember (here is my disclaimer) I am not a infusion site specialist, nor do I possess a degree in infusion site management so see a professional infusion site specialist before doing this.  This not a perfect system but it helps if you are a sweat monster like I am in the summertime.  The trick also is to bring your sham-wow towel and dry off often and re-apply gold bond.
This morning I was letting Pete the Chicken out of her coup the sun was coming up so beautifully in the sky that a photo had to be taken.  This to me is a nice clear break of all the blues from the reds to orange then a nice yellow sun coming up.  Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Strapettes

 I have told you all about my MountainSmith lumbar series pack and how it is the best thing on the planet since sliced bread.  This thing is rugged, comfortable, adjustable, and fits perfect.  Last weekend we had to bring a day pack with our lunch, water, personal gear, and climbing accessories.
 I have used my MountainSmith Lumbar Classic pack as a brief case and a fanny pack on several occasions.  To take it one step further I purchased an accessory item called "Strapettes" which converts your pack into a 3 day pack or gives you the ability to Carry more weight.  Our water requirements for this past weekend was three quarts to a gallon of water.  Now I know that is alot of weight in just water, then you throw in my oranges, sandwich, long sleeve shirt, random diabetes backup equipment, survival gear, first aid kit, then the climbing gear.  The one draw back of having the Day Classic pack is that you can load this sucker up but to wear it as a fanny pack it gives a bit of bounce and that is where the Strapettes come in.
 The Strapettes make the pack into one of those WWII packs you see alot where it sits on the soldiers rear but has a waist belt and shoulder straps.  The Strapettes are the shoulder strap part of the system.  Now, I have told you all about how awesome MountainSmith is and how their packs work great.  The Strapettes turned my pack into the absolute greatest day pack on the planet.  It takes all the weight from off even your hips and moves it to the perfect spot on your back to where you don't even feel it.  Then the shoulder and sternum straps are so comfortable you can wear the pack all day and night and almost forget it is on you.  I had a solid 25lbs of gear and did not know it until I took the pack on and off.
 Here in the picture above you can see the Strapettes by themselves.  They cost me 25 dollars at REI but if you surf the web they had them as low as 20 bucks.  I did have to figure out how to put them on for a few moments because the pictures are not so clear on the bottom section.
This not a photo of me it is another stock MountainSmith photo but shows the Strapettes on a Lumbar series pack.  I forgot to take more pictures this weekend.  My first climb I started up and in two minutes had my pump dangling behind me, my cell phone on the ground, and my pocket knife poking me where the sun don't shine.  After some adjustments I left most of my gear in my pack except my Glucagon injection was always in my back pocket and my teammates knew where it was.  I even had another glucagon injection with my friend Paul as my redundant back up.  Overall I give the Strapettes 5 syringes out of a possible 5 because this is the Holy grail when it comes to comfort and convenience for day trips and diabetes.  I love how they add to the Lumbar packs and are made of the same high quality materials and have so many ways to adjust everything.  I could run in this set up and not have that jingle jangle jungle of gear bouncing everywhere with this setup.  I would like to have the option to buy the Strapettes with the pack as maybe a optioned out pack.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The worst case of the best time.

 Texas limestone rock climbing and rappelling training weekend two at Lake Bridgeport.  This was a best case scenario for the weather.  It cooled off on us Friday night when we arrived and  stayed pretty mild during the day on Saturday.  Probably the most awesome thing about this weekend was getting to set up the gear as a bottom belay climb and having to rappel down it.  The fun part about this is your rope has to run through a carabiner so as a person climbs up the wall, the bottom belay person tightens the line so when the climber falls they only go a few inches.  The rappelling challenge is that this carabiner has to be over the edge of the cliff and to start your rappel the "OMG" factor is real high because you have to dangle yourself down to where your rope gets tension below the carabiner over the side of the cliff.  You can see my son in these pictures using the rope to walk down to where the carabiner is and the below picture is of where he gets to rappel.
 The photo above was one of those rare chances you come across where I was on one cliff and my son was on another starting his rappel and the angle was right to where I could get pictures of him going down.  When I was younger my friend Will and I would go and do some boulder hopping  and take pictures of us out on the rock.  The only thing is that you don't realize how you need to take a photo when climbing and we took the shots from the bottom of the cliff looking up at each others butts.  After our first time of a whole roll of butt shots we learned to set up shots with one person either at an angle or looking down so that you get a head and the rock in the photo not some sweaty butt going up.
 So how was this the worst possible case of the best time?  To start my day we were loading up and I looked at my safety glasses in my truck and asked anyone else if they were bringing any.  They all said no and only two other people brought sun glasses, so I made the not so wise decision to leave them in the truck.  The moment we get to our site to set the anchors we needed to run some chord out and verify we had enough length.  I was the individual to run it through the brush and happened to get a stick in my eye.  In the photo above you can see how my eye is already starting to swell.  Lucky for me It scratched my eye behind my eyelids so that the sun only felt like Satan was poking it with a trident for a little while not all the time.  Once we had our anchors and rope set we went around and inspected the other groups ropes and anchors.  I waled down a trail and see three boys sitting on a rock looking at me.  As I walk up my foot gets stuck and so I think it is a vine of some sort and tug real hard getting my other foot stuck in it as well.  Not one to give up I try real hard to get both feet out and at that time I fall like a statue and both knees take all the force of the fall.  Then I stand up and the three boys ask if I am OK and after a short evaluation realizing it was only my knees hit I feel OK.  When I look back to see what I tripped over it turns out to be a barb wire fence that had fallen and the three boys let me know that I was the fourth person to trip on it but mine was of course the best fall of them all.  How nice of them to not mark the downed fence and to just sit and watch everyone come by and fall.
 The day continued and I rappelled down and we did a bunch of climbing the walls of this cliff.  Now of course who looked like the worst climber of the entire group?  Yes, that would be me with my two busted knees and eye that has Satan's trident poking me in it.  To top everything off I ran out of my blood  pressure meds and the pharmacy could not fill them till I got back from the trip.  So as I pushed hard up the wall my heart would pound and my rate would increase to a solid 180 and make me have to give up the climb and rest.
In the end it was a great time and we all made it OK with only the usual minor bumps and scrapes from trying to wedge your body into small places and one boy found all the cactus in the climbing holes.  Now, I am not complaining about my misfortunes or my incompetence's to get meds filled on time.  I just learned alot of good lessons for next weekends climb.  What this does for me is now I know what I can do (with one eye and two busted knees) and can work on areas to improve upon.  This works with diabetes as well how we hate to hear our A1C numbers if we have been slacking on our diets but once we know that number we can work on improving it.  One gentleman told me to train my fingers by lying on the floor and trying to pull myself across the room with only my fingers.  I tried it out this morning and let me tell you my fingers need alot more work.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Get your guns out!

 A while back I was out searching for a new place to get some mulch for my garden.  One of the places I came across had this fountain out front of their business and as I walked by I thought how neat it was.  Then as I passed I thought it was some sort of rendition of a kid playing back in the day like he was a cowboy in the rain.
Then I got close to it and noticed the boy had "super soaker" water guns not cap guns like I originally thought.  That is when I realized how times have changed and a kid with a super soaker is the modern day gun compared to the old cap gun I had as a kid.  Once me and the boys finished playing war with our cap guns we took the rest of the black powder shots and would beat them with a brick.  I once found a store that had a gatlin gun cap gun and bought it for my son.  He played with the caps in it for about a day or so then just used his "Imagination" the rest of the time.  I wonder if a kid was found with caps on him now if he would get in trouble?  The kid in the fountain probably wishes he had a cap gun instead of silly looking super soaker guns.  I guess this is alot like diabetes.  We used to go around with needles in everything we owned and now with the pump and pens you almost never see a diabetics needles.  My needles are so old and have been in my bag so long most of the writing has rubbed off and I haven't even used the needle, it is my back up in case my pump breaks. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Whatever floats your boat!


 Remember last week when I told you all about this amazing event I made up in my head about boats made of only duct tape and cardboard?  So Saturday was the day of the race and we had a total of 10 teams to try their skills at boat making.  Well lets just say the event was a blast and we all had a ton of fun.


 The rules were the boat had to be made of only duct tape and card board and it had to carry two people.  We set up a safety line and had the boys wear life jackets.  The competition was a single boat timed event so everyone could cheer the boys on.  Let me just tell you that currently we don't have any future engineers but maybe after some rethinking of plans for next year I might change my mind.  The boat above was called "The Black Mamba" and looked really fast and of course it was made with black duct tape.  The only thing they needed to do was make the sides a little taller and more fore to aft strength.  The boat folded in half from the get go and the walls took in water instantly.  Now if it were a single person event it might have had a chance.


 The boat above would have taken the prize for longest afloat but soon after this picture the rear passenger jumped out and pushed the boat in.  Another mistake made was the oar situation.  They had nothing to move the boat but it could have been a contender.  Notice the tall side walls and quality placement of the duct tape to keep a solid portion of the water out.


Here you see the boat my son was in charge of making.  Its main flaw was that the stability was off and once the first guy got in it started to lean and as soon as the second guy tried to get it the thing turned over.  Once the boat was over the boys freaked out over the time and decided to just swim the boat in upside down.  The made it to the shore and tried to pull it up to the finish line but it had about 25 gallons of water in it and slowed them down.

In all this was so much fun and I think we will for sure be doing this again next year.  I bet we get alot more teams to put more effort into the designs and maybe even some style like colored duct tape and maybe one of those ladies on the front that vikings used to have.  Sometimes we need to participate in a silly game to remember that life isn't always BG numbers and counting carbs.  It is about having fun and naturally burning off some of those sugars by laughing at cardboard duct tape boats.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Making Rope

 This past weekend was our districts scout camporee, and guess who was in charge of it this year.  Yes, you guessed correct that I was the man with the game plan during the camping event.  One thing I always like for the boys to do and know are the basics of today's modern technology that we use every day.  When we camp now you never have to tie a knot besides your shoes and even then you can get Velcro shoes.  A tent now has fancy lines with built in adjustable line tighteners.  We have easy ups for instant shade and everything is easy one, two, three done.  A troop asked me if they could set up a rope making station so the boys (who wanted to) could come by and make rope.  So I was in charge of the knots class and let me tell you this, kids do not want to build an Ewok village any more like I did as a youth(well besides a few of them like my son).  Same thing goes for using a compass or cooking on coals from a wood fire.  These things just are not done as much any more.  Technology has advanced to easier and faster ways of doing these things.
When the rope machine was brought out it initially had just a few boys that wanted to make some rope.  The first few pieces of rope were pretty sad looking for rope.  Now Tom Hanks would have used it in Castaway but it did not look appropriate on any Pirates of the Caribbean ships.  Then I jumped in and gave the boys some pointers on how to make a solid piece of rope and what to look for in each phase (there are only three phases).  In the end we were all making awesome looking rope that would make anybody proud.  Now I know that modern rope making machines do this much faster and better, just teaching youth what goes into a rope and how it gains it strength at each step brings out some appreciation in them and they understand the outdoors better and maybe one less kid wont waste my rope any more.  In the end I always feel that knowing how to use your basic items or know what makes up your modern technology helps you use this and makes you a better outdoorsman.  When that plastic thing breaks or your GPS batteries don't work, knowing what came before these things will help you get out of a pickle.

I saw this show the other day waiting for the IRL race of Long Beach to start and I was dieing laughing.  Who in the world has a battle royal competition on fishing knots and takes it to extremes by testing one against another.  I recorded it and showed it to my son and he said I would do the same thing.  He said if I had the technology and the science know how I would do the same thing.  We just sat quiet the rest of the night watching TV and not saying another word to each other.  Like I would ever make a show about knot wars.  Now maybe an Ewok village build off or something but not knot wars.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Maxpedition gear review

 I had an Epiphany about my recent post about needing a pouch of some sort to Carry my BG meter.  Now my test kit is not large at all but you do need t carry strips, lancets, and a finger poker.  The idea of combining my cell phone and my BG meter in one bag.  There has to be a MOLLE bag that is for a smart phone and also shot gun shells or something like that.  Just a small pouch to carry these few items in.  Not a full on medical bag with pockets everywhere, just simple and durable. 
 While surfing the web I came across this bag you see in the pictures.  On the web the dimensions and everything was exactly what I needed.  It even had both MOLLE attachments and normal human being belt loops that I was looking for.  There is a main pouch and a small pouch on the front, just what I was looking for.
 So the day the bag arrives and I open up the box, instantly the realization comes over me that this bag is nice in every way it is just larger than what I was looking for.  This is more of a bat belt small jumbo pouch made for packing stuff, instead of a slim smart phone sized pack.  The quality was real nice and the design is exactly what I am looking for, I just knew it is not the pack I want or need.

I would say this is a nice medical style bag if you want to carry your snacks, BG meter, insulin, pocket knife, compass, and other small items.  In the end I would say a solid 3 syringes out of 5 syringes on my patented diabetes camping scale.  They just need to make bags with a purpose not for fluff and stuff.
 The moment I open the pack and my son sees this MOLLE gear pouch he is excited beyond belief.  He really loves anything military or military looking, especially if it is MOLLE compatible.  His school backpack is a military tan day pack that is MOLLE all over it and the back.
 In the end I tell my boy he can have the bag and be happy.  Then I see what he did to the thing and I realize I have alot more learning to give that boy.  You can see in these pictures his Osprey backpack with his military shorty pad and look what he sticks on the side of it, the bag I gave him.  Now, you all are saying to me what is wrong with this and why does it disappoint me?  Well the name of the game when backpacking is keep it simple and light.  Him strapping this extra bag on the outside is what we refer to as "dead weight" meaning it does nothing but slow you down.  Kind of like putting rocks in your pack.  The reason this is "dead weight" is because his backpack is the right size for him and his gear.  When you go adding "stuff" to the outside it causes you to pack extra nonsense and it gives the hiker a larger profile if you have to do any off trail hiking.  I know this is small but it is like crack,  you start small then wind up with what I call a "hobo pack" where you have a cup tied to the outside, a pot tied to the outside, maybe some rope and random gear tied to the pack.  Keep your gear in the pack or on yourself.  Now if he turns this pouch into a belt  pouch that holds trail mix, compass, map, flashlight, personal first aid kit, and pocket knife then the pouch is use full.  Just the function does not work strapped to his pack.  If this was his day pack and it had similar items in it then that makes it use full as well since a day pack is much smaller and sometimes needs more space for your activity. 

Just always remember redundancy is needed in rock climbing and rappelling not backpacking and hiking.  If you carry two of something one is dead weight.  Or strapping onto your backpack may look cool but is not functional.  Use the KISS method of "Keep It Simple Stupid."
An update on yesterdays post, check out the mother "Killer" pigeon back in her spot.  I thought for sure I scared her off for good.  When she flew away this morning as the door opened I noticed two eggs.  What is this lady doing or thinking?  How am I going to raise two baby pigeons in this economy and with diabetes?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Attack of the birds!

We live our lives (diabetics) around schedules, measurements, pills, and exercise.  The one thing that diabetics or other people can not prepare for is a change in your life or a stressful situation.  This morning was a great day (besides running late to work), Pete was chasing me around the yard and the dogs were happy and off to work I go with my diabetes man purse and my water bottle.

 The moment I open the front door to the house I get the surprise of my life.  A pigeon flies right into my face and then flies off.  Now who on a Monday morning is expecting to get a pigeon in the face as they open the front door?  Well I for certain was not and right at that time I felt the BG's go south real quick.  Once I recover from the attack and get all my gear settled into my truck I went back to see why the pigeon was in my face.  From the pictures above you can see that we occasionally try to do flowers in iron baskets on our front door/porch.  Well the flowers always die because we forget to water them and halfway through the summer if they are still alive the sun does not shine on them long enough to get them to do much either.  So we end up with empty baskets all year.

Back to the situation at hand, when I returned to see why a pigeon was on my front door I look into the top basket (this basket is head high) and notice that last night this pigeon made a nest and had an egg.  I have had to deal with unwanted pigeons before and know that once you scare a mom as bad as I did she has now probably ditched this egg and nest. and I am left to deal with the leftovers. 

Once I got back to my truck I began to eat my backup low BG tootsie rolls stash and once I felt comfortable with everything proceeded with my day.  This is just another one of those days where everything is going perfect and just the most simple thing throws your day into a frenzy.  By the time I got to work my BG's were still stable but fluctuated a little low the rest of the morning.  Just another day with diabetes.  Its not just a disease it is also an adventure!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Building a two man boat out of duct tape and cardboard

 This weekend we are having an exciting event.  I kind of made this up off the top of my head.  This is the first (hopefully annual) cardboard/duct tape boat race.  Teams have to make a boat only using cardboard and duct tape that has to carry 2 people across a very small pond.  The teams will go one at a time and the team with the fastest time wins.
 My son has decided to make his team boat like a "John Boat" where it has a flat bottom, flat sides, and of course a flat front and back.  He used smaller boxes as side support and they also double as seats.  A few years ago I was out running around a lake and saw a bunch of high school kids jump out of a truck and drag behind them a cardboard/duct tape boat where they went to the water and began to paddle around this lake.  From then on I thought how fun it would be to make a competition out of something like this.  Hopefully it all goes well.
 Notice how one side is higher than the other.  There is little engineering with this boat and more tape and play it by ear.  The goal I am shooting for is to have the boys work as a team to create something that should not really work but can work if they think through the process, and also to think out of the box.  Get it, think outside the box, cardboard is usually boxes.  Sorry, I had to do it.  Any way I was thinking about this and how much it is the same with diabetes.  We all know what the goal is (just like the two boys need to make it to the other side of the pond) but what we have is inferior and just a bunch of guessing.  Hopefully we are thinking through the process with our guessing and making rational choices.  Then you have to do this disease with everyone in your team from parents to spouses and even children and co-workers.
In the end their boat looks nothing like a boat but they are proud of it and are eager to get it wet.  I think us diabetics need to strive our best to have the same attitude and work to do our best every day.

Remember also to support my diabetes camping group: Team Testing Limits where the funds go to help pay for a youth go camping with an adult type 1 diabetic mentor.  I need your support and that means if you have five dollars to donate please do.  Any amount helps.  Thanks in advance for your support.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sowing the seeds of life

 Finally I have planted my garden for this year.  I am a lot late but in Texas we have a long season so better late than never.  Now, I am probably one of the laziest gardeners on the planet.  You can tell first by my garden boxes so I don't have to bend over.  Then I have my backyard sprinkler system hard wired into my garden boxes so I don't have to do any manual watering.  Last I stick to the basics of tomatoes, peppers, and grapes.
 Here you can see one of my four tomato plants.  This year I did do different types from a beefeater to heirloom purple variety.  I am not sure you can make out the green tomato lattice in the background but that used to be a patio cover that the top burned off in a tragic outdoor grill fire.  The only thing left was the frame so we turned it into decorative tomato lattice.
 Grapes are one of the most easy and fun things to grow in your backyard.  First you have to be patient because they take a good two to three seasons before you get a solid harvest but, once they take hold you just cut it back in the winter and trim it in the summer so that it doesn't get too large.  Grapevines need to stay a certain size to make a good grape and they have to be cut back because they only grow grapes on new growth.  The great part about growing grapes in your backyard is you instantly are considered high society because you have a vineyard in your backyard.  How neat is that? 
 One of my Achilles heel issues is growing onions.  My aunt and uncle in  Smithville, TX grow onions the size of your fist and they are so big they look like they are trying to pop out of the ground.  When I do onions, the look like those shallots just small and skinny.  The same thing goes for carrots.  I can't grow a carrot for the life of me.  This year I planted the onions in all sand to try and keep the soil well drained.
This year I did try potatoes but I might not be doing so well with them.  This morning while inspecting the garden I noticed the latch on the gate undone and when I looked at the potato box one of the dogs had decided to do a little digging.  We also have lots of herbs thought the yard that just go crazy.  I have some sort of lemon herb thing that has spread all over my back yard and when I mow it smells like lemony basil.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

SOG Micron product review




 I have been looking for what is known in the knife community as a EDC (every day carry).  Everyone has their own needs and wants in a EDC.  The other day I was surfing the inter-web and was looking for some carabiners for our upcoming part 2 of our three part series of getting our climbing and rappelling certification.


 So I see this SOG knife called the "Micron" and it looks like a great candidate to be my EDC.  Some of my requirements are: it must be all metal, very slim, feel good in my hand, and be of high quality.  Well this SOG Micron looked to fill all of my requirements so I ordered away. 


 When the knife arrived I noticed one thing that I did not check for, and that was how big the knife was.  This was a 14 dollar knife made by one of the best companies around so to get it and realize this is more of a key chain knife than a EDC I was a little disappointed (note to self, make sure to check out the size of the knife).  Now I of course was still going to carry this knife and give it a try.  In the end this is a solid knife even for its size.  It really is of high quality and even in my dress pants I can't even tell it is in my pocket.  The blade is a Tonto so it looks cool even if it is the length of my pinkie finger and the matte black and "SOG" etched into the sides is cool.  Over all I give the SOG Micron 4 syringes out of 5 syringes for its high quality, slim sides, and cool look.  I do think it should come with the key chain setup if that is what they meant for the knife.  It is so thin I think you could easily put it in your wallet and not even feel it in it.  I think this is a perfect knife to keep in your diabetes gear purse with your backup lancets.  This also is a great knife for the ash tray of your car or purse.  I think the ladies would be wise to carry a solid knife like this with them or if a guy like myself wears slacks and doesn't like things bulging out of their pockets.  Just remember it is still to small and kind of awkward to be a real EDC.  I might order the Micron 2 just to see if it is the right size as an EDC knife.


To make things fun and try to raise some more money for our "Team Testing Limits" I wanted to do a giveaway for one of these SOG Micron knives.  I ordered two of them and only used one.  The other one was for my son but he did not want it at all.  So for the next 20 people that make a donation of any size (I would like it to be at lest 5 bucks, but any amount will work) to Team Testing Limits.  I will have a drawing once the 20th person makes a donation and give one of these 14 dollar SOG Micron knives away just to say thank you.  Below is the link:

https://www.z2systems.com/np/clients/insulindependence/campaign.jsp?campaign=63&team=359&fundraiser=10622&

I already have two people that have contributed so they are numbers one and two so that leaves 18 chances left to win the knife and remember if you make a 100 dollar donation I will send you a CRKT Eat N tool, and if you make a 250 dollar donation you will get the CRKT Eat N Tool and a Maglite 2AA LED red flashlight.