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Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Right Recipe for Summer

 I am a diabetic (yes you all know that) but, I am also a sweater (my wife knows that) and now that it is time for summer and keeping my outdoor adventures trouble free and exercising becomes a challenge.  The insulin pump is the greatest thing since the no code glucose meter but your infusion site during intense workouts and high sweating can get irritated, infected, or start that slow peel off, or even just pop right off in the middle of nowhere.  Working with my own body and in my home science lab I have been trying to come up with a mixture that will reduce sweat and keep my infusion site safe.  Up to this summer it has been mixtures of anti-deodorant sprays, gels, and roll ons mixed with band aids, tapes, and even colostomy bag glue.  Nothing to date has really been affective until now.  The first thing I found out is that Mitchum is the best anti-persperant deodorant on the market (yes, I have tested them all) but, it does not stop sweat and in high heat and intense workouts it simply can't handle life by itself.  So I start by rubbing my arm pits with Mitchum then around my pump site making sure not to touch the tape because that will cause it to fall off.  Once that is done I add some around my belly (I sweat everywhere) and call it good.  The downside to Mitchum is that it irritates my arm pits if I use it every day so on none sweating days I switch to a straight up plain old deodorant.
 Once I am done with the Mitchum rub down I then top it with Gold Bond medicated powder.  The powder adds a touch to the mixture that keeps the drips of sweat away from my pump site and reduces friction once the Mitchum limit has been reached.  This one-two combination has been a personal miracle since I started using it.  Now I don't have pop-offs or irritating slow peel backs or even the third day itch.  Now, there are downsides to the powder as well because it gets everywhere and so once you get done your clothes, body, and surrounding area is covered with a nice layer of white powder.  I apply the powder in my arm pits, around my pump site, on my back, in my under pants and even feet.  Think of any place that gets irritated by sweat apply this stuff.
Recently Gold Bond has added this "Chafing Defense" anti-friction deodorant that I will be trying real soon.  Now I know it will not be as good at Mitchum (nothing is as good as Mitchum) but maybe it will be a close second and not have the stickiness that Mitchum has.  Of course once I put it through my science lab there will be a full report posted here.  Stay tuned and until then let me know what you do to defend your diabetes against summer time.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Out of the Wild the Alaska Experiment

 A month or so ago while out camping my buddy Paul and I were discussing NetFlix and I was talking about how I am about fed up with the eight bucks a month I am paying and they never add anything of quality to the offerings.  Then we get into the discussion of what we are currently watching and Paul tells me about this Discovery show called "Out of the Wild" and how it is this reality show on people having to make it in Alaska with little to nothing.  This show sounds interesting and Paul gets my attention how they have to use a map and compass while staying at these predetermined locations for only a few days not knowing how long this experiment will last or what the next location might hold.  They get random rations at each place but are constantly hungry, cold, and tired I now have to keep my NetFlix subscription and check this show out.
 The show is made of nine people that get a three day lesson on how to survive in Alaska and also basic items on survival and safety.  One thing I did forget to mention is they each get a location GPS finder thing that they keep on their belt and at any time if they feel they can go no longer all they have to do is turn it on and a helicopter comes and picks the individual up.  In the beginning they have two people that are somewhat outdoorsy people but the rest are basic city slickers with little to no camping or hunting experience.

The beginning the group is dropped off at a location and there are tarps with all sorts of equipment on them and the group makes the bad decision as to taking everything instead of analyzing and discussing what is needed and what is wanted.  So one guy is carrying a 25 pound cast iron dutch oven along with a giant wash bin and all sorts of unnecessary item.  What was real neat is how they had to make these ruck sack things out of tarps and rope with some foam strategically placed in the waist and shoulder areas.  I have never done this and would definitely like to try something like this.
I must say this eight episode show was extremely entertaining and they did a great job of filming the experience.  The group had real appeal as well with their likable personalities instead of the weirdos you see on Survivor and the likes.  While watching this you see them make some classic mistakes such as crossing streams in your hiking boots (been there, done that), trying to make snares (tried it and I will resort to eating boogers before I try to survive on my snare abilities), and then how they did not know how to use the magnesium fire starter.  Part of the drama is the first two to leave are the most experienced fisherman and a lady that camps and hunts.  I had certain pegged for lasting and others to go out in no time but it was amazing to see when the go or who goes.

In the end this 2009 Discovery show is great and I would recommend it to anyone not just for its survival appeal but for the quality of the program.  They also show how the team doesn't listen to everyone and how the group dynamic changes and when people explode they just have to get it out and everyone gets along in the end.  The next series they go to Venezuela and I can't wait to spend a few hours late at night watching it as well.  These always make me sad thinking how us diabetics would survive in these situations and how I would love to participate in something like this.  Maybe in my next life when I am re-incarnated as a Hypoglycemic.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bing

Everyone I know of uses Google for all their searches on the inter-web and some even use Google Chrome as their inter-web browser thing.  Then there are those few others that use Ask.com or lycos as their search engine, but what everyone needs to do is switch to http://www.bing.com/.  You are asking yourself why?  Well because Bing is the only search engine that pays you to use them.  How do they do that?  Well first sign up for a Bing account and then whenever you do your searches on the inter-web use Bing and for every two searches you use they give you a point.  Then everyday if you look at their topic of the day they will reward you with more points and then the more points you build up you gain levels which gets you more points and so on.  In the end when you go and redeem these points they have quality gifts.  I was very sceptical of this Bing reward system at first because I am a Coke rewards person and they usually offer at the best a free coke with so many points but most of the rewards are either discounts on stuff or raffle chances to win big things you are almost guaranteed not to win.  With Bing the rewards are simple and they are good such as free red box movie rentals, Xbox live gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, Groupon gift cards, and my favorite Amazon.com gift cards.  Many of my friends are extremely sceptical of using Bing and one even told me it was because "they record and monitor what you do on that website" and my response to that was if you are scared of Microsoft keeping your search results because that part of their business is about .001% of their revenue stream but Google does the same thing but your search history is about 99% of their business that makes no sense to be scared of Bing any more than Google.  So all of you penny pinching diabetics out there (OK and regular people as well) switch and earn free stuff.  I have already received 5.00 dollars in Amazon.com gift cards and 1/3rd the way to another 2.50 cent gift card just for doing what I already do.
Random photo of they day here, I was walking through the store the other day and noticed this "Lawn Darts" game and had to stop and take a closer look.  I am not sure any of you remember the original lawn darts game of the 80's but one of my best friends and I during the summers of early elementary school would play the original lawn darts at his house.  The original lawn darts had long sharp metal tips so they would stick in the ground.  The game was to set these rings out in your yard and they had red darts and blue darts and you were to throw these suckers in the air and try to get them to stick in the ground in the circle to get a point.  Well you can easily guess that throwing huge metal darts in the air for kids under the age of 10 would stop them from making that game for long but I remember the fun my buddy and I had with his set.  Now they make these as just weighted balls with fins on the back.  These should not be allowed to have the name of lawn darts.  They should be something like safety lawn spheres or something.  When you take the danger out of the original lawn dart you take all the fun out of it.  My friend and I would of course modify the game to where the circles where close to danger so if someone was a real bad thrower they were getting into some major trouble.  What will come next, not allowing babies to stick pennies in wall sockets?

Friday, May 25, 2012

What is in my Bag?

Nikki at "Diabetes and Celiac Sunshine" blog asked the question: What is in your bag? Then she then proceeded to pour out all the dirty secrets us diabetics try to hide from most people in the world with a nice looking un-noticeable everyday bag.  Her bag was a nice fancy and very well organized bag which is the first step to living the right way with diabetes.  We use our bags constantly and they get put through everything so always start out with something that is of high standards (try to by name brand for their warranty) and made of quality materials.  When you look at my picture above you can see I carry an old school leather brief case to hide my diabetes lifestyle, or is it to keep my diabetes lifestyle in one place?  At the end of her post she put it out there for the rest of us to show what we have in our bags.  I think this is a great questin and whenever I get the chance to see what other diabetics or another camper carries in their daily bag I jump at the chance.  You can always pick up good ideas or products that make our diabetes lifestyle (or camping) easier to tote along with us.
This is going to get scary and I am not going to go through everything.  Remember I try to always be prepared for any sort of zombie attack.  From the beginning you can see I am a mess and my bag needs a thorough reorganizing.  You can see from the top of the picture meds that need refilling, the blue bag is my pump stuff (alcohol, cartridge, infusion set, insulin, old syringe as a backup, random over the counter meds), Then you can see some bills that need to be paid, a pocket full of random scout patches and checks, pen, grocery store discount cards, the red at the bottom is my glucagon pen, then a few snack bars, hand sanitizer, and lots more.
What you cant really see is that attached to my yellow "S" biner clip is my compass, magnesium fire starter, a flashlight is behind the biner in another pocket along with a pocket knife and in the pocket  a Swiss army knife with tweezers and a can opener (yes, two pocket knives in one pocet), batteries, and jolly ranchers.
I took out a majority of the things floating around and like I said before with the blue bag of pump supplies and glucagon injection kit I also have more snack bars of various reasons and types.  One snack bar is a fiber bar (you never know when you need to encourage a number 2), low calorie bar, and some health bar.  Then you have another pocket knife and this one is of the multi tool style, some single serve coffee bags, extra test strips and antibiotic ointment.
Then on top of that I keep my reading glasses in my bag and my test kit which consists of my rite in the rain notepad, finger sticker, meter, pen, and various Starbucks gift cards, allergy meds, more glucose tables, jump drive, library card, and band aids.

To top all this junk off I didn't even show all the papers and calendars I keep in the back of the brief case nor did I show you my wisdom teeth that were removed in 2004 that are in a sealed back in a hidden compartment of my brief case or all the mints and cough drops that are lurking at the bottom.  Yes I know I have a problem, it is just hard to not bring one of everything when you want to be prepared for every situation.  The comforting part about this is that my son knows if he is hungry there is a snack in my bag, if he needs first aid items that they are in my bag, or if he needs paper and a fire starter that they are in my bag.  The bag does get cleaned out every four to five months and most everything gets put into fresh Ziploc baggies or thrown away.  So now lets see what is in your bag.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Eye Spy with my little Eye

Do diabetics have too many doctors?  My answer is yes, today I had a doctors appointment at 11:15am and I was lucky and arrived at the appointment 15 minutes early when I checked in.  The lady behind the desk asked for my name and I gave it to her and she said that I was not on the list for an appointment today.  I pulled out my handy dandy smart phone and looked at the appointment and it was for my eye doctor not my endocrinologist.  At that time I rushed out and hauled insulin down the road to the eye doctors office.
To my surprise I was only 15 minutes late and of course that is on time for the eye doctor with having to dialate my eyes.  At this time I am starting to stress because this is not just an eye check up this is laser beam eye surgery to clear up one of my eyes that had cataract surgery.  There are a few things I don't like going to the doctor for, one is teeth, another is feet, and the last is eyes.  The eyes are just one of those things diabetics know they need to keep a close watch on but we never get good news from the eye doctor.  There usually is something like well they are OK but you need to keep you BG's better because I can see a little diabetes in the back and stuff.
Above is the laser beam projector he used to shoot into my eye.  The little black thing dangling on the right was a blinking red light I was supposed to focus my right eye on where he held this contact lens that is attached to this orb thing to keep me from blinking.  think of the movie "A Clockwork Orange" where he is forced to watch the movies but this did not hurt I just could not blink my eye.  Then in the black circle thing was the laser beam that from what I could tell was like four laser beams being projected like a shotgun.  Every time he hit the button the laser beam would shoot and I could feel it in the back of my head.  This must be exactly what a TV dinner feels like in the microwave.
Here is a shot of my eye dialated.  The nurse lady was like "Wow that cataract is crazy looking."  Then she goes off and gets her co-workers to look at it and they start forming lines to come by and see the weirdo diabetic eye.  Once they had their fill I had to bust out my phone to take a look at it to see myself.  So looking at my eye and in the middle black part you see the dash which is the light in the room then under neath that you see what looks like either a ghost or  someone smoking in my eye.  That is the cataract he was trying to shoot out with the laser beam.  They were telling me that cataracts usually don't have this fluid movement to them and of course that meant when the doctor shot them with the laser beam it just burst and he could not see where else to shoot.  That means I have to go back for more rounds of laser beam treatment until he can get it all out.  Maybe the ghost in my eye is why I am diabetic and if the doctor kills it the diabetes goes away.  Any body with me on this theory?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

One of my Hero's

 The other day I was getting the mail when I noticed a large envelope that was stiff and had lots of postage stamps on it.  I looked at who it was from and it said "Kudlow and Company" and my eyes went wide open with excitement.
 I opened the package and saw that my autographed picture of Larry Kudlow was inside.  Now you all know I am basically a level 9 dork and really get into odd stuff.  One of my favorite things to do is get autographed pictures of people that I am either a fan of or consider a hero of mine.  Now Larry Kudlow is a hero of mine with his wise insight and witty conversations he has with anybody from investors to politicians he makes anything and everything excited on his show "The Kudlow Report" on CNBC weekday nights at 6pm central time.
 What makes Larry so great is how he deals with anything that deals with money from businesses, investments, stock markets, to politics.  I consider Kudlow as a TV personality of the Forbes magazine and you all know how I love Forbes.  I think there is a personality and lifestyle that could be defined as the Forbes lifestyle, kind of like the quarterly magazine you get with a subscription to Forbes magazine.  Larry dresses amazing and follows the money with his patented "free market capitalists" lifestyle just like how Forbes magazine does it. 
 So what happens to my autographed pictures when I get them?  Of course I put them up in my work cubicle.  I usually keep them up for around a year then replace them with new ones.  Larry's picture is my first one to get this year in our new office so he goes up right next to my camping stickers.  Yes I do know my desk is a mess, I am still trying to find the right place for my stuff and until then it all gets sprawled out.
Here is a close up photo of the picture in my cubicle.  Now my cubicle is starting to feel like home. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Is it a Canoe, a Kayak, or a sailboat?


 A couple of years ago one of our scout leaders was at a storage facility picking up some boxes and came across the owner of the business.  The owner was cleaning out an abandoned unit when my friend Chris noticed some bags of boating parts.  He asked the owner of the facility what he was planning on doing with the leftovers and the owner says when they find camping equipment they donate it to a local boy scout troop.  At that time my friend Chris let the facility owner know he was a leader in the boy scouts and if he wanted to get rid of the boat supplies now and to a scout troop that this was the person to give it to.  So, for two years now we have had these bags of random boards and paddles not knowing what they were.  There were no actual solid boats just bag after bag of boating parts and we finally did some research and found out these are some sort of kayak that collapses down for your person that does not have the space to keep a full size kayak in their garage.  Kind of funny that they were found at a storage facility right?  You know what I mean they were made to save space but someone still did not have enough room and paid to store them.  OK, back to the story and last weekend we were having a kayaking and fishing campout so we thought what a perfect time to bring these boats out and try to see if everything was there and if we could get them on the water.
Putting these boats together was an absolute blast because we had no instructions and it was like a huge erector set.  We all took turns trying to figure out what each part was and where they went.  By the end of it all we found out they were these wild canoe, kayak, sail boat things for two people.  We looked online once we found out they were made by Klepper and we had the Aerius model with the optional upwind sails and foot peddle rudders.  You can see in the pictures how these are all wood with ribs to give shape and rigidity but what you don't see is the skin on them.  That is the one thing we forgot when loading these up, the skins were left behind.  Our hopes and dreams were so close but yet so far away.  We were so determined to get these in the water that we almost sent someone back to town (100 miles away) to get the skins so we could get these suckers on the water.  I don't know if the boys had more fun putting these together or if the adults had more fun.  It was like we were all playing with a giant lego erector set.  So for now we have to wait till we take these to another lake and make sure we bring everything but, till then we will all dream in our heads how cool we will be in a canoe, kayak, sail boat headed into the sunset on some sort of  crystal clear lake far away from city life.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Testing your emergency plans

 Do you ever think about how your emergency plans will ever go?  Well if you are like me and have ever needed help with your diabetes with a low at any time you might think about practicing your emergency while you are OK.  What I am talking about is having those around you "pretend" you are in a state of disrepair and you need their help.  Recently I have been thinking about this the last time I was really low in the middle of the night and my wife decided to call our emergency services instead of just giving me my glucagon injection.  She said she did not feel comfortable injecting it into me.  I now have a rule that if I ever need glucagon that whoever the injector is they get to pick where to stick me (hopefully they pick an affective place).
 What I have come up with is having people around me use my diabetes equipment on me so they can feel comfortable if this was a situation and so that they understand how this stuff works.  I have been using my son to test my BG's while I drive and so he knows what my meter looks like, where I keep my meter, how to prick my fingers, and last how to milk a drop of blood out of said finger.  This has been a real eye opener for me because my son has been around me forever with my diabetes but to see how he knew nothing of how my equipment works amazed me.  He now can test my BG's in no time and I don't have to walk him through anything, he just knows where the equipment is located and also how to use it.  Next I am going to have him give me a bolus so he feels comfortable with my pump.  then I will have him give me a couple of shots instead of doing a bolus so he feels comfortable with needles.  The reason I started with my son is that we camp together all the time and having him knowledgeable first then work on the other adults around me to have a safe support system that can do more than use a phone and wait for help.  Once I get my campout emergency plan working and fluid I am going to move to my co-workers, but probably just to give me my glucagon injection.
 This past weekend we were out doing some kayaking and fishing at a state park in east Texas and we had a couple of real deal fishermen and my buddy Dustin above in the photo is showing off his latest bass killer.  this is some sort of Yumbrella five wire rig that brings your chances up from one lure on your line to five on your line.  He tells us it looks like a school of feeder fish for the bass but to us it looked like something from a late night "As seen on TV" ad.
Here is a photo I found of the Yumbrella 5 wire rig.  Dustin put it on his pole for us to see but there were no takers from the fish world.  Maybe next time.  He did have this lure that looked just like a fish and he was pulling all sorts of large mouth bass with that lure.  Maybe if he put five of them onto the Yumbrella he could catch 5 big bass at once?  We will never know.

Friday, May 18, 2012

You can never let your guard down with Diabetes

 Last week I cleaned out my truck for the world famous Penta-Date and while doing that I thought it would be a good idea to get everything out even my emergency supplies.  Look how nice and clean my truck is with Scentsy Frog just the only thing hanging around.  I even put some leather cleaner on the seats to shine and protect them.  Then once the Penta-Date was over on Saturday night I was supposed to put all my emergency supplies back in but I was lazy and did not do it.  My lazy thinking was that I could go a few days of course before I had a breakdown or the next zombie apocalypse would happen and for sure by then I would have the truck stocked up and ready to roll.

What is it about Murphy's law that says you will need something the few moments you don't have it and that is what exactly happened, not to me but a co-worker.  I was leaving work Wednesday to get my son and go work out when a co-worker asked me if I had jumper cables.  I almost said "why sure I do" but remembered how clean my truck was and the bag of emergency car gear was in the garage.  I told her I did not but would ask around and see if anyone else did.  Lucky for us another co-worker had a pair in her garage as well but she only lived 2 miles from the office.  She headed home and picked them up and we got the car running and on the road in no time.  The co-worker with the dead battery kept apologizing about needing our help but I was the one that felt bad because I should have had that in my truck and was to lazy to do it.  This is what can happen when we get in a routine and start to let our guard down with diabetes.  We always have to be prepared for any emergency at all times and lazy is not an excuse for me or anyone with diabetes.
Now, I have put my essential gear bags back in my truck and am ready for any emergency or zombie attack.  You can see in the picture above my first aid kit in the yellow box, my vehicle emergency kit in the grey bag, my red handled loppers, the yellow handled bolt cutters, and to the left of the first aid kit is the handle to my axe.  On the other side of the vehicle emergency kit is my tool bag with the usual basic tools you would need to fix most items.  Now let the zombies attack and see if I am ready for them, or an emergency either way I am prepared now.  You should see the center console of my truck it is loaded with water bottles, diabetes supplies, goggles, batteries, and all sorts of random things for any need.
Yesterday was my companies annual trip to see the Texas Rangers play a day game.  We take half a day off and ride a bus to the ball park and enjoy some all you can eat seats and a game.  The Rangers lost to the A's in 10 innings but we had so much fun.  My blood sugars on the way to the game got pretty low (40) and everyone was so nice to make sure I was OK and had me check several times after eating some glucose tabs and a snack bar to make sure my BG's were going up.  Back to planning for anything to happen, and that is why I took my MountainSmith bag with a back up infusion set for my pump, lots of test strips, batteries, hand sanitizer, snacks, glucose tabs, sunscreen, a hat, and a water bottle.  I think that is the biggest thing about trying to get all of you to go out and explore the wilderness.  Being outdoors and away from home teaches you how to think quickly on what you will need and how to carry it.  Camping and getting out is the best way for anyone to be self reliant with their diabetes.  It makes you think about every scenario and have to plan for it.  Then camping you get to test how you did and make adjustments.  These things are very important for any child with diabetes or adult with diabetes to practice and be prepared.
Yes everyone here is a picture of me wit my Rangers jersey on that my brother bought for me probably eleven years ago.  All my co-workers harass me because my jersey is dry cleaned and pressed and I wore a polo t-shirt under it.  I am just an old man in this youngins body.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

why can't I drink the water?

I am pretty familiar with the "Non-Potable" water sign.  This one just has been bothering me for a longtime.  I had to get a picture of it and put it on my blog because of its location.  I think this one is probably the best of them all.  Now why does it usually have to deal with a coffee cup?  I guess that is just a universal image that reflects something you drink out of instead of, hey this thing does not dispense hot coffee.
Again with the coffee cup even on what apears to be a saucer.  Like you would go that far before you found out it was just filled with unsafe to drink water.  As if I am in someones house and they forget the coffee cup on a saucer on the coffee table is full of non-potable water so they lay this sign right next to it to let me know not to drink it.
This one is set for people at different levels.  It amuses me about how the notice is of course the largest print, then the non-potable water is second because only folks above the age of 30 know what non-potable means and it has to be a print size that is readable without glasses, then last is for the youngins saying not for cooking or drinking use.  The picture of the coffee cup under the faucet is much simpler and easier to understand.  I can't even read the fine print at the bottom.


This one you just pray kids see the yellow and black sign with its warning on it and just decide to drink their own urine or something before they drink the water.  I associate this sign with the pools of water that keep the nuclear rods cool at reactor plants.


Now back to my original non-potable water sign and where it was placed.  This sticker is above each urinal and toilet at the city of Wylie, Texas Recreation center.  I want to meet the person that said "hey we have alot of people that drink from toilets and urinals in this town and we don't want that on city property so lets make sure we let them know not to do that here."  Really, who is going to fill their coffee cup with toilet water?  I was thinking that maybe this has to be some sort of OSHA rules that like they have well water at the city buildings and it is not cleaned for the toilets or something .  I might have to call the city and see just what they were thinking.  Now, I am not sure if it is legal to take pictures in bathrooms and that is why I have let this go so long without putting it on my blog.  Finally I made the decision to take the pictures when the bathroom was empty and I was fully clothed so please do not turn me into the authorities if this is not legal.  Thanks!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spring is in the air for some new underwear

 I know that once the lilies bloom it is the end of spring here in North Texas and the beginning of the summer.  Here you see my last Lilly of 14 Lilly bulbs I planted 8 years ago that has survived the horrible Texas winters.  I should probably dig these guys up each year and put them in some pantie hose and store them in my garage like my mother used to do but I don't and therefore am left with just one. 

My usual pattern for summer shorts is usually boating shorts that are made to look like regular shorts.  They have a cotton look and feel to the polyester so they fit in most outdoor occasions such as BBQ parties, camping, or hanging out at the Texas Rangers games.  I like these shorts because they first have lots of pockets for all of those diabetes needs then they have the gusseted crotch.  The gusseted crotch makes them pretty much like a pair of swim trunks just they usually have either a built in belt or belt loops and either a faux fly or an actual fly but they do something to create a non-swimming look to them.  Then there is the comfort of quickly drying which is why I like them so much.  I am what you would consider as a heavy sweater and keeping moisture in the areas where the sun does not shine produces rashes, chafing, and is just annoying.
Recently a friend of mine told me about how he wears performance boxer-briefs in the summer time to do exactly what I do with the boat shorts.  The difference is he can wear his underwear with other materials such as cotton or even with blue jeans or hiking pants.  With my friends advice I started the search for summer weight performance briefs.  Now, I don't wear the boxer-briefs, I wear just regular whitie-tightie underwear.  They just feel right on me and I don't have all the bunching in the legs that the boxer-briefs have.  My first stop was to Target where my friend told me he purchased his and all they had were the boxer-brief models (they were remodeling the Target I was at as well).  Then in February I received my REI dividends and a coupon to get 20% off any regularly priced item and also 20% off one clearance item.  As I was looking at what they had on clearance I noticed they had these Gordini Silkweight Briefs marked down from 18 bucks to 11 bucks.  Then with my extra 20% off I got the pair for around 9 dollars.  The first time I wore these were a few weeks ago at an orienteering event where my son and I ran across this park finding 10 control markers on a course that covered at least 4.8 miles (my runkeeper said we did 5.5 miles) and the day was warm in the 80's and the humidity was as thick as could be, probably above the 60% zone.  Once the day was through I was still covered in sweat but I was not uncomfortable.  If I had worn my usual boat shorts my legs would be covered in scratches from doing alot of bush whacking and I still would have sweat through the shorts.  The shorts just usually dry faster but it was nice to be able to wear some new polyester performance pants with my new performance underwear and be comfortable.  I am definitely going to pick up a few more pairs of these undies and put them into my daily summer use and I will let you know if I change my mind or have any issues with them down the road.  These Gordini Silkweight Briefs are only offered at REI but I am going to try to get a couple of different pairs and try them all out.  Kind of have an underwear test off, or something like that.  Heck I might even buy a pair of boxer-briefs to test as well.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The New Pioneer

I was at CVS the other day and was picking up some deodorant, tooth paste, toilet paper, and baby powder and came across this magazine next to the "As seen on TV" section.  The name stopped me and grabbed my attention so I quickly thumbed through it to see what it was all about.  Was this a magazine for country bumpkins or was this a save the trees publication who knows unless I reviewed it.  The magazine really grabbed my attention and all the stories were interesting to a common camping diabetic fool like myself and a bunch of the do it yourself projects seemed like the boy and I could knock them out in a weekend.  This was truly a magazine for the masses, they covered knives, basic survival, camping, cooking, homesteading, animals, homeopathic remedies, and much more.  Still I was not completely sold on purchasing the magazine but wanted to see what it would cost and flipped it over to see a price tag of 14.95 and I quickly put the magazine down and stepped away.  I almost left but, something made me want to get it still so I first looked for a website so I could maybe get a subscription online for the usual 19.95 for a year but it had no website listed.  Then I thought to just take a picture of the tittle so I could do more research.  Much Bing searches later (I love Bing, so far I have received 5 amazon bucks and a year subscription to a magazine just for using them to do my searches) the only thing I could find were blogs and message boards saying the same thing I am saying now about how awesome this magazine is but no website or way for me to give them money for the magazine.  I might go back and pick up a copy to read and also check out the advertisers.  If you have any word on this magazine and how I can subscribe please send it my way.  I did find out that it is put out by The country almanac but that magazine went out of business a few years ago.  If you at the pharmacy and have a moment check this magazine out, I am sure you will find it interesting just like I did.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Trail Dust SteakHouse

 Penta-Date was Saturday night and Paul had mentioned to me how he wanted to go to "Trail Dust Steakhouse."  I looked at their website and saw that they had a band playing which went with our dinner and dancing theme.  The thing about Trail Dust in another town is when you wear a tie they cut it off.  Kind of like saying we are relaxed in this place but, this Trail Dust is owned by a different group and they had nothing on the website about cutting the ties off.
 From the pictures you can see that they surely do cut off your tie if you wear one (OK, so they do it if you want them to).  Which my son wanted to wear a tie just in case they did cut them off and surely they did.  You can see him in the top picture getting it cut off and in the picture above you can see him with his date.
 Then Paul also wore a tie and had it cut off.  I totally messed up and was left out of all the fun.  You can see the wall of ties behind Paul and his wife Deb.  Now the bad part about the date or at least the parts that could be improved upon would be to next time go to a bigger place where we could have more conversation.  The band was good but they were loud, then throw in all the graduation parties, birthday parties and us with the band noise and you couldn't hear yourself think.  Then the food was not exactly the finest of foods but it was good.  I would say next time we need to go a little higher class on the food.  This place even had a slide that you could go down and it dumped you right on the dance floor.
Here Zaine is tacking Paul's tie up on the wall o' ties.  The funny thing is on his place card Paul put down the date and also the "Penta-Date" minus one.  The reason for the minus one was that Paul's youngest son's date had fallen through so we were four couples and a stag.  Paul's oldest son had a funny joke where he kept going "Neil, party of one" and that cracked me up.  We tried to get him to dance with the million girls in the place but he had no game to even go up and ask one to dance.  The other boys did get on the dance floor and performed a little two stepping.  I would say Penta-Date was a success and now I know what to improve on for next time.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Penta-Date

This Saturday is the first annual "Penta-Date" ever or at least organized as this type of date.  The question is what is a "Penta-Date," and of course we have all been on a date, and most of us have been on a double date, but what do you call it when you have 5 couples on a organized date.  I like to call it "Penta-Date."  What is this Penta-Date, well it is myself and my wife (couple number 1), my friend Paul and his wife (couple number 2), Paul's oldest son Sean and his date (couple number 3), his other son Neil and his date (couple number 4), and finally my son Zaine and his date (couple number 5).

This whole thing started with Sean and his great leadership skills he shows in scouts but he is timid and scared of people.  I told him he needs to work up his self confidence by asking a girl out on a date and get used to the idea that someone telling him no is not the end of the world.  Then I had the idea of Paul and I taking our wives on a date because they have never really had the chance to get to know one another so a double date sounded fun.  Then it all just rolled into one with making all the boys get dates and we could just have a Penta-Date.  This is all the boys first dates so it will be interesting to see how they act with a lady and with their friends watching and with their parents around.  We are going to a steak place where they will have a live country and western band playing so of course I told the boys they had to dance with their dates and after all of that we plan on heading over to Chick-fil-A where another of the boys friends works at and we will all get ice cream then head home for the evening.  In the picture above you see me in the blue shirt and wearing my ball cap under my helmet like the dork I am.  The behind me to the right all the way to the back in the brown shirt with the helmet strap undone is Zaine my son, then in the green shirt to the far left is Neil.  Next to me is Aaron another gentleman but not part of the Penta-Date.  This whole thing is an experiment in observing our boys on their first date and getting the opportunity to help them out in a positive role model for them when looking for the right lady to eventually settle down with.  If the Penta-Date goes well we will add additional families to the party and we can all help our boys by setting up a safe fun environment for our boys to date in.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It will never happen if you don't plan it.

 Last weekend I told you all about an orienteering event my son and I participated in.  I found this event by scouring the inter-web for search words that I enjoy.  One of them was orienteering and I live in north Texas so I start with orienteering then add in north Texas and see what I get.  Then I found NTOA (North Texas Orienteering Association) and I mark their calendar on my Windows smart phone and also added the inter-web site as a favorite so I can visit the site regularly to keep track of what they have in the pipeline.
 When you have a free weekend like I did last weekend doing a little research and pre-planning can get you a cheap fun event.  What I do is search the inter-web for anything I like which includes, gun and knife shows, coin collecting, camping, outdoor events, festivals, 5k running events, and anything else.  With those searches I can see what is local and cheap.  Last weekends orienteering event cost my son and I a combined 10 bucks and it was close to the house and a ton of fun.  Local clubs have lots of small events that can introduce you to a new activity, usually at a low price and they love to have newbies come and learn.  So next time you have a free weekend get on your old desktop computer and look on that inter-web for local outdoor activities.  You never know what you will dig up or who you will run into.  You might even find an organization that wants you as much as you want to join.
I have an update on my front porch doves.  Sad news is the mother aborted her eggs so now I have to throw them in the trash before they start to rot.  This is good news as well because having baby birds eye level on my front porch did not seem like a safe thing nor did having the mother fly into my face every morning seem safe.  I hope she found a better home where she can raise her kids to be productive citizens in the dove community.  The mother was a beautiful bird not like those pigeons that are kind of ugly and poop everywhere.  The dove didn't make a mess at all.