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So, what’s it like to have an off day as a type 1 diabetic? Well, not good, especially when it sneaks up on a person.  I bet if you asked half the people I work with they probably wouldn’t even consciously remember I’m a diabetic. I try not to live like a diabetic. I prefer to be a normal person that happens to have a faulty pancreas and requires a battery operated replacement.

15 years ago when I was first diagnosed I made the decision that, I would take care of myself, but, I would also live a normal life. I wouldn’t let diabetes rule my life, or lifestyle. Most days me and my spector of death get along. It helps to be a cyborg. Other days, well the bastard gets loose on me. Today seems to be one of those days. More on that in a minute.

My spector has never gotten so out of control that I’ve fallen over, touch wood as my friends in Scotland would say. But, I’ve come pretty damn close a couple of times. Nothing like waking up on the kitchen floor in the middle of the night with half a gallon of ice cream gone and the other half melting in my lap. It’s what happens when my sugars get so low in the middle of the night that I no longer have conscious thoughts and only work on the tiny hind brain still working. I have enough neurons left to save my life, but no higher functions. Eat sugar, eat lots of sugar, do it now, let nothing interfere. I’ve actually growled and mumbled angrily at Roberta in the middle of the night while eating ice cream on the kitchen floor. For some reason ice cream tastes good when I can’t think. Not much else does. Most things get a stong metallic taste that makes me nauseous, but not ice cream, I crave it.

 What I’ve been talking about so far is low blood sugars. Being a type 1 diabetic is a balancing act, and when I fall to the low side it can lead to a quick death if I don’t get control pretty quick. If I fall to the high side far enough often enough it can lead to a slow death of cut off fingers, blindness, and other fun things. If I go far enough high I can fall over and die if someone doesn’t find me, similar to going too low.  It’s my life. It’s what I live with.

So, what does this mean? Nothing to others really. It’s my balancing act, and it’s gone okay so far. I’ve had extreme lows and awful highs, but I’m still alive and have all of my fingers and toes. Well, today happens to be the highest blood sugar I’ve had in 3-4 years. If not longer. 500+. Normal is 80-120. Some people pass out and need assistance in the 400’s. I didn’t even know I’d fallen out of whack until I took my blood sugars a bit ago. I looked in surprise at the meter. Went and washed my hands and tried again. Sometimes having something on my fingers will cause the blood meter to wig out. Not this time. First reading was 506, second was 512. Damn.

First thing I did was pull the current insert from my belly. Put new insulin in the pump and put in a new insert and took a big old slug of insulin. It’s only been 30 minutes since then and taking insulin takes longer than that to get into my blood stream and get my glucose levels to drop, so now I’ll stab my finger every hour for the next few hours to make sure I get things to drop back down without dropping too far. Get myself back onto my balance beam. The biggest danger right now is that I take too much insulin and cause a blood sugar crash. Are we having fun yet?

I know I know. Quit my bitchin. It could be worse. As I type this next to my wife of 20 years as she battles with her demon called Cancer. Believe me, I’d much rather be a diabetic. I’ll die with diabetes, but I probably wont die from diabetes. Roberta can’t say that about her demon. It’s a much more insidious, evil demon.






I’m very unhappy to say that my good friend Chuck has won a cancer t-shirt. It’s not something I would wish on anyone. It seems he has been diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma, Kidney Cancer. Sometimes mother nature can be a real bitch.

He’s still in the early stages of diagnosis, tests, and the general “Oh F#ck! what does this mean?” stage.

What’s really strange, to me at least, is I don’t know what to say to him or Lynn. I’m so use to dealing with it from a personal level that I don’t really know what to say to them.

All I know is that this really sucks. I have my fingers crossed that they’ve caught it before it’s metastasized.

So, I was poking through Netflix tonight and ran across the Liam Neeson film “The Grey” and thought, hey, why not.  I would have been pretty pissed if I’d paid theater rates to see this.

I’m not a big fan of the Batman films he’s been in, or some of the others, but  normally I enjoy movies with Liam Neeson in them. Well, not this time. I’m saddened to say this film was horrible. I can understand the need for suspension of belief in some of these movies, but really? This one was bad. I should have researched the Director Joe Carnahan before watching. He’s made such literary masterpieces as “Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane“, Mission Impossible 3, Narc, and Smoking Aces. Talk about not being my types of movies.

Scenario, bunch of rough necks from up in Northern Alaska crash in a plane killing most. Then the big bad rabid wolves attack slowly killing off others. They leave people behind to die, they never once build any type of shelter from the cold ( even though several die from exposure), they fall in a river and don’t bother to dry off, just keep trudging through the snow. It’s really bad.

Oh well, hopefully Liam will make a better film next time.


According to the article in the Monterey Herald the annual Monterey Blues Festival is in dire financial trouble. The attendance this year was the poorest ever.

It seems that the people running the Blues Festival are blaming the economy on the poor attendance and the high cost of getting talented musicians. I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree. Sure the economy sucks. Sure talent costs money, but that’s ultimately not why no one I know went.

So, in the land of Richard’s head, what’s the cause of lousy attendance? Way Too Damn Expensive to go! Who in their right mind wants to pay $35 per head just to get into the fairgrounds, $20 to park, $180-$250 per person for tickets into the seating area, $4 per soda, water, $5 per burnt hot dog. Etc etc etc.

I’d love to take the girl to the Festivals. Will I pay over $900 just to get us all in? Plus another couple of hundred to feed everyone? Hell No! Golly, why is attendance so poor? Gee, wonder why.  It’s almost as bad for the Jazz Festival and half a dozen others that are held at the fairgrounds.

I have an idea. How about you make the damn thing more realistically priced and maybe people will actually attend. I know, I know. I’m crazy.

FYI. If you think I’ve exagerated the price, here’s a link to last years purchase form.

Well, I tried to do the rear brakes on Megan’s superbeetle yesterday. The brakes stop good, but the bloody things squeak and squeal when cold. It’s irritating as all get out. I disassembled the front brakes and cleaned everything a while ago, but I couldn’t do the backs because I couldn’t get the castle nut off the rear hub.

It turns out that castle nut that holds the rear drum on is torqued down to 217 foot pounds. It’s not coming off easily. Rob and Dave’s VW page has a nice article on doing the rear brakes of a Super Beetle. In fact I use their pages for reference quite a bit.

Anyhow, I purchased a 1 7/16 socket. Grabbed a 1/2 Craftsman ratchet from my friend Chuck, acquired a 4 ft cheater bar from some scrap metal at work, and went to town on the brakes starting on the driver’s side. The first thing I did was get a Sharpie pen and mark the holes on the bolt and hub where the cotter pin went through. Then I attached the socket, ratchet, and 4 foot breaker bar, also known as a cheater bar. Easy peasy. Castle nut spun right off. Brakes were good. Gave the drum and pads a quick scoring with some sand paper, cleaned everything with brake cleaner and reassembled. Woot! This is easy.

Except when I tried to do the passenger side something went horribly wrong. I attached the socket, ratchet and breaker bar, started putting pressure on the bar to break the castle nut loose when, CRACK! Slam! Breaker bar, socket, and ratchet all hit the ground. Huh? Must have come off the nut. Strange. Tried again with the same result. Sadly it turns out I snapped the inner workings of the ratchet. It appears to work, until you put heavy torque on it then it just snaps free. I actually took the ratchet apart and you can see the stripped teeth inside. 😦 As the girls would say, Sad Panda!

So, at least it’s a Craftsman ratchet with a lifetime warranty. Time to find out if that’s true in reality or not.  We don’t have any Sears stores close, closest is in Salinas, but we do have Orchard Supply stores which sell Craftsman tools. I’ll be taking the ratchet over there today and see if I can exchange it.

Well, Roberta went in for a scan today to see if her cancer had metastasized into brain. Good news, looks like no tumors! Big sigh of relief.

From 2012 Adventures

And here is proof she’s got a brain. (-:

Well, I’ve decided to start spending time updating my web site again. Whether people read it or not, well, that’s a different story all together. (-:

What I do know is that I am truly sick and tired of the rotten spewage of crap on Facebook. It seems that every time I check my Facebook account all I see are asinine games, people wining, the pleas for “like this or xxx”, and senseless babbling. With the occasional interesting bit thrown in now and again. But the pure noise of crap totally overwhelms most useful information. I’m not saying this website is worth reading, I’m just saying that at least I can write what I want without all the noise.

I can pretend that society has a bit of sense left and we’re not all a bunch of reality tv watching morons.

Believe it or not our cat plays the lava game. Remember way back when, when you were a small kid and you pretended the floor was lava. So you climbed across the furniture and did everything you could to avoid touching the floor? Well, we have a tiny orange tabby cat, that I swear plays the lava game. She runs across the couches, bounces over the coffee table up onto the tv stand and from there up onto the window sill. In our bedroom she jumps from the window to the bed, over to my armchair, across to the laundry basket and out the door. Without once touching the floor in our bedroom. From one side to the other, not a single step on the floor.

Well, now that a large portion of the tourists have gone home I’ve started riding my motorcycle along the beach to work in the mornings. This adds about 3-5 minutes a day to my commute. The thing is, is that we live in a very beautiful area and very seldom do we stop long enough to look around.

From Monterey Living

This is one of the views I’m talking about. This is literally right down the road from us. 5 minutes walk.

Today I left for work at a bit after 8am. It’s roughly a 9 mile drive to work and it takes about 20 minutes. I dropped down past the lighthouse, which is only 2 blocks from home,

past the deer munching away in the El Carmelo cemetery, through the PG golf course down to the beach.  This is a picture looking to the left as I go through the golf course (taking a few years ago).

I then follow the beach along past Lovers Point and over towards Cannery Row where I’ll pop up to lighthouse avenue and bring that past the Defense Language Institute, under Portola Plaza and Fisherman’s wharf, through the eucalyptus grove in front of the Naval Postgraduate School and then up to a small residential community where our compound is.
So, this is where we live. It’s also where we hide. In the last 6 months I have taken the beach route, get ready for it, twice. Yep, twice. I don’t do it on the way home because of the frustration of dealing with moronic tourists, and I just don’t think about it on the way to work in the mornings. I really need to get in the habit of going along the beach.
This morning I didn’t see any whales, but I saw fishing boats, kayakers, runners, walkers, seagulls, egrets, deer, and a sea otter down by lovers point. It’s a tad better than looking at nothing but the bumper of the car in front of you in stop and go traffic. I must admit, I do not miss that.

I’m half a heartbeat from running in circles screaming in frustration. The medical system here in the US is so F’n broken I’m ready to hurt someone. Roberta and I have really decent medical because I work for a company that has over 40,000 employees. And yet, we’re still out of pocket over $800 a month on average.

Now, Roberta needs a high contrast MRI to see if her cancer has metastasized into her brain. She’s getting severe muscle cramps randomly and the neurologist she went to thinks that this might be a bad sign. He’s worried that she has tumors growing in her brain.

So, you’d think we’d call and just make an appointment right? Oh so wrong. Two weeks of getting this faxed from one Doctor to another, getting approval from insurance, blah blah blah. Finally we get an appointment. Then the imaging clinic says, make sure to bring  at least $280 with you to cover the initial part of the fee. Wait, What?!?! They want to charge us over $600 out of pocket for the scan. Again.

I called and said “What the Hell?” Oh, well we need to charge for the deductible (Met back in February), the out of pocket %15, etc etc.

I think, think, I have it down to only about $300 out of pocket at this point (on top of the current $700 or so owing this month). So, we’ve rescheduled the appointment for Friday morning at 9:45. Nothing like fighting over money to take a scan to find out if you have brain tumors. Oh so much fun this is.

Yes, I’m ranting.

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September 2012
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