Friday, April 18, 2008

Who's an Absent-Minded Professor?

I am which means it sometimes takes me awhile to adapt to a new routine. For example, I need to measure my blood sugar and take insulin before every meal. Now that I am back at work, I have to make sure I have all of the supplies to do so with me as I travel between work and home. So far I have:

*Left my lancets for pricking my finger at home on Wednesday. I used the needle to poke my finger instead to get a drop of blood.

*Left my insulin at work on Wednesday. I was about to sit down and eat dinner that night when I realized this so I drove all the way back to work and then back home.

*Left my test strips for the glucometer at home today. I also skipped eating breakfast at home since there wasn't much to eat. That meant I couldn't test my sugar before breakfast and I won't be able to do it before lunch either. I still need to give myself insulin, though, so I can eat. Not wanting to give myself too much, I am giving myself the bottom amount on my sliding scale. We'll see how high that makes my sugar at dinner time.

It doesn't matter how many notes or reminders I give myself, I invariably do things like this until I have time to settle into a new routine. I can tell you the first fifty digits of pi, though, if you're curious.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's a Beautiful Day

Going back to work on a Wednesday can mess up your schedule. I just checked my calendar and realized it is Thursday. I get to pick up my daughters after work and that makes today a great day.

No More Snow!

What the hell is wrong with this picture?

Can't global warming help me out and stop it from snowing here in Billings?

Yo-Yo Dieting

At my appointment today, my doctor told me I have gained twelve pounds since last week. That gives me some comfort, so I'll probably cut back a little on the food intake. I have been piling on the calories to gain back some of the twenty-five pounds I had lost, but now that I am making good on gaining that back, I'll ease up on the food which should in turn help bring my blood sugar down. The doc wants me to up my evening lantus injection to 20 mg because my sugar is still above 200 in the morning. Not eating three or four plates of food at dinner should help.

He also stressed that I need to pay attention to my feet because diabetics can have trouble with their circulation and not realize they are getting sores and infections in their lower extremities. That means daily inspections. He also wants me to have an full eye exam so that I have a baseline to look at down the road as diabetics become prone to all sorts of wonderful eye diseases.

He also wants to continuing seeing me weekly for now until my blood sugar is regularly under 110, but the longest I get to go without seeing him once everything is under control is three months. Good thing I have insurance.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Dem Debate

I didn't catch the debate tonight, but Andrew Sullivan live-blogged it. He called it a loss for Obama and ABC.

The big winner is John McCain. Then Clinton who seemed at least awake. Then Obama whose calm was nonetheless trumped by obvious exhaustion. Yes, the Clintons have shredded him. But that's what they know how to do. It's also what the GOP knows how to do. Obama has got to get used to this and find a way to withstand it and fight back without enabling the very cynicism it represents. That's not easy, and we are discovering if he has it in him. Tonight he looked and felt depleted beyond measure. Which is when his supporters have to take the weight.

The loser was ABC News: one of the worst media performances I can remember - petty, shallow, process-obsessed, trivial where substantive, and utterly divorced from the actual issues that Americans want to talk about. At the end of the debate, it appeared that the crowd was actually heckling Gibson. "The crowd is turning on me!" complained Gibson. He has no idea. But he will soon enough.

Isn't our media great?

An Invitation to a Dialogue on Abortion

My good friend, Jeromy, quotes Obama and Hillary on abortion from their appearance at the religious "Compassion Forum" recently. His response is a beautiful picture of crap. Literally.

Anyway, what I would like to do is extend an invitation to Jeromy to a dialogue (or debate or whatever) between our blogs on what government policy toward abortion should be or at least how anti-abortionists should approach the issue. I think that Jeromy and I both agree on abortion itself in that we both find it abhorrent. I also think that we would both agree that in a perfect world, it would not happen. Where I believe Jeromy and I may differ is how best to get closer to this ideal.

I have written about the issue before (here and here chiefly), but I will reiterate and summarize here.

1) Pushing to overturn Roe vs. Wade is not helpful. It polarizes people and allows pro-abortionists to frame the debate as individual rights vs. big government taking away your rights. We Americans are big on our freedoms and rightly so, of course, but it is hard to argue about even something as critical as taking a life when your opponent says you want to take away someone's rights.

2) What is more likely to work at this point is limiting abortions - late-term abortions, partial-birth abortions, etc. More people can get behind laws like this right now than for complete bans on abortion. Until we have a massive culture shift in where a majority of the population stands against all abortions, we need to take baby steps getting there.

3) Part of #2, really, but bears emphasis...parents of children under 18 should be informed if their child is wanting an abortion. Their minors for cryin' out loud! No doubt they are worried about how Mommy and Daddy are going to react. They damn well should be worried 'cause they screwed up. They need to accept the consequences.

4) Abstinence only education is a joke and should be abolished. It doesn't matter whether or not one believes that people should wait until they are married before they fool around. The fact of the matter is that people including teens and young adults have sex. We are all human beings and have human urges and desires. Even the best of us fall short. We can teach our children that it is best to wait until they are married, but, if they don't they need to use protection. The fewer people getting accidentally pregnant, the fewer chances of having abortions there are and that is something we can all support.

So, what do you think, Jeromy? Agree? Think my arguments are a pile o' poo?

Fill My Eyes With That Double Vision

Strangely, I think my diabetes is going to have more of an effect on me physically at least in the short term than my multiple sclerosis. I've been struggling this last week with double and blurry vision. It was bad enough today to give me a headache. My doctor says that it should go away once my blood sugar is more even and not up and down as much as it is now. That will be nice because constantly trying to blink away blurriness is aggravating to say the least.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Teflon Obama

Clinton's desperate attacks on Obama over his "bitter" comment are not working.

Despite a weekend of negative coverage following his controversial remarks about some small town Americans, Barack Obama appears to be holding steady or making gains in the next three primary states, according to a just released poll.
The poll also shows Clinton only holds a 5 point lead in Pennsylvania (48 to 43 percent). That margin is among the slimmest measured between to the two candidates and is significantly less than the double digit lead Clinton held there two weeks ago.

A less divisive and polarizing politician may have been able to make more headway after Obama's slip. Not Clinton, however. She is just coming off as desperate and shrill by continuing to make an issue of this. Certainly this will come back on Obama in the general election, but there is no way Clinton is going to be able to stop Obama.

Returning to Work and Thanks

I go back to work tomorrow after taking the last week off to deal with my health. I want to offer my most sincere thanks to all of the family, friends, and co-workers who have offered kind words and support to me this past week. It means a lot to me and reminds a cynic like me that there are still good people out there. I certainly feel as if is more than I deserve and I hope that I can repay everyone in some small way.

Again, thank you all who have been there for me.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Alien Menace

I love conspiracy theories. They can provide a lot of amusing "what if?" scenarios as well as good laughs. Check out this one for example.

Those of us involved in the emerging field of exopolitics attempt to make sense out of the huge body of evidence available to us involving extraterrestrial reality. I believe the stakes are very high for all of humanity that we collectively understand our situation relative to UFO/ET reality. Developing this situational awareness involves understanding the real reasons for 60 year old UFO/ET cover up even while we struggle to end it.

The pattern I see emerging which I think is reasonably accurate is that we can define two categories of extraterrestrials, colonizers and liberators, interacting with humanity that are the most important for us to understand. I have written previously that there are two very basic evolutionary strategies in nature competition and cooperation, and because we are part of nature our society is driven by these evolutionary forces.
What the religious texts seem to indicate is that there has been a longstanding attempt by less ethical predatory colonizing extraterrestrials to take over this planet that are being resisted and thwarted by more ethical cooperative extraterrestrial races. All I am trying to do is bring the public up to speed on modern developments in what seems to be an end game scenario resulting in extraterrestrial colonization if we don´t get smart fast.

Of course, anyone at all into conspiracy theories needs to read Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco. It is one wild read.

Sex Offender Sentencing

This country really needs to rethink how we deal with sex offenders.

Johnson has been arrested a staggering 53 times — the majority for groping women on the subway, police and prosecutors said.

In the latest incident, Johnson was being followed by plainclothes officers who recognized him from police photos, authorities said. He was charged with persistent sexual abuse, and if convicted this time, he could be sent away for life. The district attorney's office branded him a "recidivist transit grinder" at a court hearing earlier this week.

53 times. Most of them for sex crimes. I am all for trying to rehabilitate people which we sadly do not focus enough on in this country, but I continue to read too many stories about repeat sex offenders and the inability for the majority of them to change. Couldn't we use some of the billions we spend on locking up the occasional dope smoker to come up with better ways of dealing with sex offenders?

The Trials and Tribulations of William Shatner

Poor Shatner. He gets into a motorcycle accident and people just shout Trek phrases at him.

Unfortunately for Shatner, the image of him bloody and bruised riding a motorcycle almost naked, attracted unwanted attention from other motorists.

He adds, "People are driving up and college kids are yelling at me.

"Finally they uttered the ultimate insult, 'Beam me up Scotty,' so I gave them the finger."

Is that really what Kirk would do?

It Goes All the Way to the Top

We continue to learn more and more about the Bush Administration's torture program.

This is disgusting. Yes, everyone who signed off on this should be brought up on trial for war crimes. Unfortunately, as stated in the report, Congress seems little willing to do anything and that gets me as fired up as Bush and company signing off on this. How far our country has fallen.

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan.

Obama Hits Back

Obama stops being defensive about his "bitter" comments and comes out strong. I have to say that this is one of the problems with the long campaign cycle and our media. There's nothing substantial to report from either campaign so we get a bunch of hullabaloo over nothing. Don't even get me started on how desperate Clinton is to be making a mountain out of such a mole hill.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Eating Woes

It will take awhile for the reality of diabetes to set in. Like any life changing event, understanding and comprehension take time. Hell, I'm not sure that the full reality of having multiple sclerosis has hit me. The one aspect that is starting to sink in, though, is my changing diet habits.

Over the last two years, I have been trying to become a better eater. I drink very little pop anymore (as opposed to almost a six-pack a day), have cut way back on red meat, upped my intake of fruits and vegetables, and cut back on the amount of food I eat. Overall, I have to say my diet is much more healthy than it used to be. The one weakness I had was sweets. I have a bit of a sweet tooth and I have been known to mindlessly eat half a bag of Hershey's Hugs while watching a movie. Well, no more. In fact, no longer can I just eat whatever I feel like in between meals. Oh, no. I have to eat stuff that is low in carbs (veggies, meats, stuff high in protein), so that my blood sugar doesn't spike.

It's not the eating healthy that bothers me. It's the fact that I have lost the freedom to eat whatever I want whenever I want. Oh, sure, I still can; I'll just suffer the consequences. It's especially trying when my daughters and mother are eating a tasty apple pie with whip cream right in front of me and I'm helpless. I'd take an extra three shots a day if I could go back to eating sugary stuff whenever I had the desire for it. Ah, well. I'm sure I'll get used to it.


Weekly Music Video

Kansas - "Dust in the Wind"

Weekly Secret