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Well. Working for Apple has sure kept me busy. In the last few months I’ve been to

  • Seattle Washington
  • Dallas Texas
  • Haifa Israel
  • Orlando Florida
  • Calgary Canada

I like working for Apple. It looks like my traveling is coming to a halt for a while. My one HPC co-worker has put in notice. He’s off to a startup. An interesting one. Groq. A machine learning silicon startup spun from some top Google folks. He should be in for some interesting and fun times.  Which means all the systems he and I maintained will now be taken care of by just me.

Life in Silicon Valley is good.

 

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Here is a great picture of Gandalf, our 80+ pound Pitty. Megan dresses him up occasionally. He’s hilarious looking with eyebrows drawn on.

Gandalf just kicking back

Gandalf just kicking back

 

This is how I start my morning on the  weekends. Now that it has warmed up enough to enjoy the morning outdoors.

Gandalf and I sit on the upper deck, I drink coffee and read, he watches the world. Take an hour or so to just relax.

Weekdays are, get up, make lunches, chug coffee, clean up, take kids to school, go to work, go go go. But weekends, I sleep in til 8 or 9, if I’m being lazy. Sip my coffee and enjoy the world view for a bit.

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Well, it has been a week now that I have been on the new Minimed 530G pump with the Enlite continuous glucose monitoring system, or CGM.

A few notes so far. I have found that I poke my finger and take my blood sugars nearly as much as I did without the CGM system. The CGM is nice, but can be wildly inaccurate. For example. I poked my finger because it felt like I was getting a low blood sugar, yet the sensor was saying 105. (Normal for a non diabetic is 80-120). Well, sensor 105, blood sugar test 78.  Another night sensor complained of a high of 241. Took my blood sugar, 304.

Also, and this is probably just psychological. The sensor looks disturbingly like a very large tick attached to my belly and taped down.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to be able to just look and see where my blood sugars have been trending. But, dang can it be a bit more accurate please? I have discovered that my biggest sugar issues are at night. I’ve been bouncing into the 200-300’s almost every night. Not good for my long term.

FYI. The new pump and sensor set up cost my insurance company $9,400 and change. The new pump was $7k+ just by itself. 4 year warranty and I’m supposed to buy a new one. FYI. The technology is from the 90’s. Gee, it can talk to a sensor though! That’s got to be worth a couple of grand right? Bullshit. My $350 phone talks to my car to my computer to my earpiece to google, the internet, wifi, Bluetooth, gps satellites, and a myriad of other things. For 1/20th the price. . It’s a damn simple pump system with very very rudimentary electronics.  The display is straight out of 90’s pager. I know,  I had a pager with the same display then.

Here is the $100 pager

Old pager

Old pager

versus the $7400 pump

The Minimed 530G insulin pump with the transmitter.

The Minimed 530G insulin pump with the transmitter.

Well, the good news is that I’ll be using the sensor during SEMA in Vegas in a few weeks. My cousin Paul will have a more difficult time killing me off with Yard Long Margaritas.   🙂

So, I’m done complaining for now. It’s a hell of a lot better than taking shots all the time. I was up to 8 a day at one point. Now I insert a tiny plastic needle once every three days for the pump and once every six days for the sensor. Much better hand half a dozen plus shots a day. And much better control.

Now, make the damn thing better and less expensive.

Sadly I ended up selling my 2007 Yamaha YZF-R6. That was one fun motorcycle. I have a lot of good memories on that thing.

The R6 being loaded up and taken away

The R6 being loaded up and taken away

 

Some day after things settle out I’ll get another bike.

It’s funny. When life is pretty normal, read as unstressed, I do a lot of posting. However, the more stressed life has been the less I tend to post. I find it hard to post about the simple things in life when life is going through a difficult phase.

So, some of the normal things in life. I’m playing with a GoPro Hero3+ camera now. After the SEMA conference I received a $100 off certificate. Basically 1/3 off. So I stepped up and bought myself a toy. I haven’t done a lot with it yet. I discovered that mounting it on the fairing of the motorcycle induced too much shake for a good video. So now it’s mounted on the top of my helmet. It looks like I have a periscope on my head, but it’s amazing how well your neck works as a shock absorber.

As you can see by a prior post, I’m working on a 1969 Triumph. It’s not actually mine yet, but it will be. It should be a fun little project for the girls and I.

Roberta and I’s divorce is nearly completed. Talk about a lot of work. Getting divorced in California begins as a nightmare and gets worse. But, I successfully worked through the dozens of forms, filings, etc and finished it without needing to hire a lawyer to fill things out. It was close, but it looks to be completed.

Megan is back to living with us. She spent the last 5 months living with my parents down in the southern tip of Texas.

Molly, Nora, Megan, and I are all still living in the same house in Pacific Grove California. It’s a nice place to live.

Anyone who is crazy enough to check this site every few months has probably noticed that I’ve almost completely stopped posting over the last year and am only now starting up again.

The reason is that I doubt people want to hear me complain and whine  about how crappy life can be. Over the last year a lot has happened in our lives, and almost all of it bad. I don’t wish to post about things like that. I know there was a lot of little good things too, but when all you can see and feel is an overwhelming depressive haze, well, blogging about that is foolish.

So, since life hasn’t killed me yet, at the suggestion of my eldest, I am going to try and start putting things on this website again. The simple day to day things no one but me and mine really care about. It’s a start though. And frankly that’s what this web site is for. It was a place for family to come see what was happening in our lives, since we are scattered all over the country, and I started this before facebook, myspace, twitter, or any of the other sites came about. Yes, this we page is over 10 years old now. Damn.

So, before anyone asks. Roberta is still alive and doing okay. She’s living on her own a few miles away. She has a nice little place right off Cannery Row and within walking distance of her work. She still works part time. It’s hard for her, but she is still doing it.  I’m not real sure how she is doing cancer wise. She’s still kicking though.

Megan is trying to figure out her life. She’s not doing too well and I’m worried as hell about her, but she’s 18 now and I can’t do anything but hope she figures herself out before falling too far.

Molly is doing well. She’s our little Buddhist minded child. She just doesn’t let things get to her. It’s really strange having a Red headed daughter with a mild manner.

Nora on the other hand is making up for Molly. That child has a temper! Woo buddy. A broken door frame, several times, crashes and bangs and dents in the walls. Welcome to the life of a teenager.

As for me. Well, I’m gettin on. Work is work, I’m looking at moving myself and the Girls to Albuquerque to take a job at Sandia National Labs. I haven’t accepted yet, but it looks like fun and it is a really good offer. What Megan and Roberta are going to do if we do move is up in the air. They may move down or stay here. I can’t predict that right now.

So, that’s where it’s at. Now, back to the show called life.

 

I just heard through the grapevine that one of the contracts that was let out last year ended up with a company “owned” by a woman, minority, disabled vet. All the boxes tick’t for a government contract.

So, where’s the downside?

When this new contracting company sent out a welcoming committee to the team (about 10 people on the team) the first point they made was “Everyone here is replaceable.” Then proceeded to tell them there would be a 10% pay cut across the board and benefits would cost 4x as much. Seriously.

Needless to say the first thing everyone said, en mass, was bugger off. Turns out they backed off of the 10% pay cut and made it a bit better on the benefits. Not a great deal better, but a bit. Then this company proceeded to screw up by the numbers for a year. The way the contracts with the Navy are let is a 1 year contract with 1 year extensions. So, everyone was breathing a sigh of relief when the year came up and they could get a new contractor on board. Ya, not.

Seems that not enough documents were kept on how poorly this company was doing. Said company filed a complaint that they were being replaced, and since all the documents weren’t in place, they won. So, the poor bastards on site are now stuck with this company for another year.

What a bloody nightmare.

FYI. My contract is up in February and it sounds like they are going out for “open” competition. Oh joy. Oh resume time.

Well,

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.

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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