Thought for the Day

Friday, October 19, 2012

No, Dude Working at Vitamin Store...

Earlier this week I was shopping in a local franchise of a nationwide vitamin store chain, and the saleswoman there asked me about my tee shirt. I was wearing a "Team Diabetes" shirt from a marathon several years ago.
The vitamin store woman told me that her mother was a type 1 diabetic "Red Strider" and that they were going to do the Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes together in Griffith Park on October 27th.
We had a nice talk about diabetes-related events. I told her I couldn't do the event in Griffith Park in LA because I was planning to go to the TCOYD Conference and Health Expo in San Diego. I told her about Insulindependence and some of the events I've been involved in with that organization.
So then the guy at the cash register said, "You know another web site you should check out is ..."
And he helpfully told me about a raw food diet web site, and assured me that it was helpful to many diabetics.
I started to explain that I was type 1, and he said he knew about type 1 and type 2 and the difference. He didn't seem totally ignorant. But as I tried to tell him that diet can only do so much, he would agree, then start telling me how good this raw food diet is.
So I started to tell him about this guy from Phoenix, a type 1 diabetic who earlier this year was convinced that a spiritual healer could cure him with a drastically modified diet, herbal detox, reducing his insulin...
While I told this story, the vitamin store dude kept saying, "Yeah!" "Uh huh." like it all made sense and sounded right to him.
I knew he wasn't getting the point of the story, but the look of shock on his face was so profound it shocked me when I finally said, "... then he died."
"He died?!"
"Yeah, he died."
Yes, vitamin store dude, he died. Yes, this is serious.
No, I can't cure myself by eating raw food.
I think the saleswoman smiled. She may have tried to have a talk about diabetes with this guy before.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Diabetic Running Gear

Hey, reader,
I've been doing a bit of running lately, but not enough. When I get out there, I'm having fun, so I'm confident that I'll be able to build up some more mileage before meeting up with the Insulindependence crowd at the Carlsbad Marathon, which is the next event in which I'm sure I'll participate.
But today I'm just going to share a report on the diabetes gear I take with me on runs.

Glucose tablets, or some source of quick carbohydrates:
These are the store brand glucose tablets. Glucolift makes a tastier, all-natural alternative, but this is what I have right now.
 Some ID, indicating that you are diabetic:
This is my MedicAlert ID. I started with the MedicAlert Foundation in 1974, so I'm not going to change now.
A meter:
OneTouch Ultra Mini meter, lancet device, a few strips in an old Listerine Strips container, a piece of tech fiber cloth (like ShamWow) and plastic bag to hold it all.
A meter is so much smaller than so many less important things people run with, there's really no excuse for not carrying one except if you're not going far. The little piece of cloth is for those few times when it might be necessary to dry your fingers to get a test.

An infusion site:
What a fat model I had pose for these pictures, huh?
An insulin pump:
My Animas Ping.
My DexCom sensor and transmitter:
That's the back of my arm near my shoulder.
My DexCom receiver:
It's in an iPhone arm band wrapped around my forearm. I can see my blood sugar trend as easily as the time on my watch.
Then of course there are all of the ordinary runner things, a watch, maybe some Gu, some water...
It does take some organization sometimes to get out the door.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Chumash Trail

OK. Forget that last post. Let's talk about running.
Saturday I ran up the Chumash Trail to Rocky Peak Road and back from my house. It was pretty awesome. Here's the view back toward Simi Valley from the trail:

So I looked at this run on Google maps before. I tried to get up to Rocky Peak Road a couple of weeks ago, but I had wasted too much energy and time running around on trails which turned out not to be going in the right direction, and it was hot, and I ran out of water. So I turned around without reaching my objective. Twice. On two different days.
But on Saturday I went back up there with a Camelbak and a water bottle, and of course my meter, glucose tablets, insulin pump, Gu, all the trappings of a diabetic runner.
But I kept going, up and up and up, until I finally had to ask myself, "Is Rocky Peak a dirt road?" Of course it is. As I determined later, Rocky Peak Road is a dirt road only a little bit more substantial than the Chumash Trail, and I ran about a mile on it before I headed back for home.

The postscript today is that everyone should really check out Type 1 diabetic runner Dave Masiuk is running across the USA.
It's pretty clear to me that he and I have different perspectives, but he's doing something fantastic, and I'm very impressed.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Logical Post

"Boy, don't you worry, you'll find yourself
Follow your heart and nothing else
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try
All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied

And be a simple kind of man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby, be a simple kind of man"

Lynyrd Skynyrd

"They say now watch what you say. They'll be calling you a radical
Liberal, fanatical, criminal...
Won't you sign up your name? We'd like to feel you're
Acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable"


So here is some of who I am.
Some of my opinions will align with your opinions. I may just say them a different way. Some of my opinions may strike you as radical,  liberal, fanatical, criminal...
So be it. I want to be a simple kind of man.

I am opposed to killing human fetuses. Maybe it's not a human being. It's something, and it is a living thing that gets killed.
I am opposed to the goverment forcing women to carry unwanted fetuses in their wombs. I don't want the government to force women to bear children that they do not want to bear.
I am against forcing little girls to have the babies of rapist pedophiles. This is not a hypothetical. This is a position taken by the Irish government in its opposition to abortion.
No matter how I might feel about it, I don't think I have the right to decide, either personally, or as part of society. The decision belongs to one person, the woman whose body is involved.
I am pro-life, anti-abortion, pro-choice. I don't think that's a rare position to take.

I believe that in rare cases there are crimes which merit a penalty of death. That is not an issue in our society, though.
What we debate is executions by the state. When we give government the right to kill people, we get injustice, not justice.
Innocent people are executed. The question is not whether you are all right with some murderer being executed, the question is whether you are all right with the state killing you or your loved ones after an unfair mockery of a trial. Wealth and skin color still have an inordinate influence on our judicial system.
I am opposed to state executions. They are not justifiable. And such things should not be called "death penalty" or "capital punishment" since we are not certain of the guilt of those being executed.

Outlawing marijuana is basically outlawing an avenue in the pursuit of happiness.
We should not put people into prison for things that aren't crimes. We can agree that some things should be considered crimes under the law, assault, robbery, murder, fraud, trading in mortgage-backed securities until you crash the world economy...
But having marijuana illegal at this point in time is like making the eating of meat illegal. Most people think it's OK. There are undoubtedly some negative effects from it. A minority are strongly opposed to it.
It's not something we should be putting people into prison over.
If only some other nation would legalize marijuana first, so we could see what happens when it's legal, without risking our own fragile populace. Well, there are such nations, and they have fewer problems with it than we do.
And it hasn't always been illegal here.
We know what prohibition does. It creates profitable criminal industries. It does not stop people from exercising their inalienable right to pursue happiness by chemical means.

People will say that we shouldn't begrudge the 1% their millions and billions of dollars. They don't realize that the concentration of wealth in the hands of the 1% devalues the fraction of wealth remaining for the rest of us.

Ordinary people have always wanted to get the best home they could afford, the best car they could afford, etc. Ideally, money-lenders enable people to buy things that they can't pay for all at once, but can eventually pay off. The money-lenders who have money now, were supposed to make more money by loaning what they have now to people that will pay them back, plus interest, later.
However, at some point, money-lenders started treating IOUs as if they were money.
It no longer mattered whether a debt was going to be repaid, because the debt itself was what the lender was after. Accounting firms, insurance firms, banks, real estate investors, the entire financial sector participated, continues to participate in this game, because they take in debt and pay themselves in dollars, in real money.
We have been treating debt like money for several decades, and it's gotten progressively worse. The culmination of this pattern is triple-A rated mortgage-backed securities.
And this money made from nothing devalues the money made from real productivity.
While most of us need our income to keep pace with inflation or our buying power goes down, others are making millions, hundreds of millions, billions, from nothing. This flood of fake cash, based on IOUs, drives inflation.
It inflated the cost of our homes until the bubble burst and left us with the debt, but none of the phony profit made from the debt.
This inflation hits the 99% harder than the 1%. Their getting more cash causes our cash to be devalued.

How much more is the time of a bundler of mortgage-backed securities worth than the time of a fire-fighter? What exactly does one do to make more in an hour than most people make in their lives? Don't imagine that it's just too complicated for all of us to understand. Some of us who aren't in the 1% are pretty smart.

Some people do earn more than others, by the difficulty of their work or a unique set of skills or talent, or just by working harder.
But there are those who don't produce anything anyone really wants, yet seem as if they are winning the lottery every day of the year.

No CEO should make 100 times what his lowest paid employee makes. Any executive making that kind of money is underpaying employees, overpaying himself, or both.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Testing Limits in Montana

I had the good fortune to spend a week hiking in the mountains of Montana with a group of diabetics, and one non-diabetic.
I say that it was good fortune because:
a) It was an unforgettable experience.
b) There's no way I would have done this on my own.

This was another adventure organized by the Testing Limits club of Insulindependence.
I don't think I could possibly describe this trip, so I will just ask you to follow the link to my pictures if you're interested.

In case you were wondering, I used about a third less insulin than usual every day of this five day hike.
I posted a picture of a 100 I got on the last morning in the mountains at One Hundred BG.


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Once a Runner

If you read this blog at all you know I haven't been running much lately. You may wonder what gives me the right to call myself "The Incurable Runner."
Well, I'll admit I'm not "The Incurable Runner." I'm just "An Incurable Runner," one of many.

Obviously there are a lot of runners out there who are more "hooked" on it than I am, more consistently putting in more miles.
But here I am, sometimes going a week without running, yet I know I'm a runner.
Every time I see a hill or a mountain, I wonder how it would be to run up. I mean every time.
I'm not saying that I would be able to run up every mountain I see, I'm just saying that's what comes to my mind.
When I see someone else out jogging or running, I think, that's what I should be doing, every time.

So I'm not worried that I might not be an incurable runner. I may get tired or lack motivation once in a while, but I know I'll put my shoes on and go for another run eventually. So I'm still incurable.

I have a theory about this. It's actually not my theory. Others with deeper knowledge of the subject will agree with me.
We don't really get hooked on running or hooked on physical activities, it just seems that way when we start getting close to the amount of exercise our bodies require.
It's sitting on our butts working at a desk or watching TV that we get hooked on.
Running dozens of miles at a time is what we evolved to do. It's not an addiction, it is our natural state.
So of course I'm an incurable runner. We all are.


Friday, May 18, 2012


A couple of random Haiku.

mankind stands apart
from the lesser animals
in thinking he's more

thousands of years on
a photon from my flashlight
will reach a dead star


Friday, May 11, 2012

A Shrine to Me

OK, bear with me. I'm a little embarrased about this, but not so embarrassed that I'm not publishing it to the World Wide Web.
I'm moving, so that means packing stuff up, taking stock of what I need and what I don't need, what's clutter, and what's important.
One of the things that hit me during this process is that I have a buttload of medals, trophies, t-shirts, and other assorted race junk. I know there are charities that will take your old medals and give them to someone else who deserves and will appreciate them. Well, that's fine if that's what you want to do, but it doesn't feel right for me.
Maybe I'm too much of a packrat. Anyway, the medals and trophies mean something to me. If someone else has earned a medal, I'd rather buy them one than give them one of mine.
I've given away only one medal, and that was one that had a special meaning to me. I gave it to someone for whom I think it will have a special meaning.
But that's just what makes sense to me, not something I'm trying to convince anyone else of.
What this means is that I have a bunch of race junk. Which gets us to the embarrassing part. In one of our spare bedrooms, I had built up what kind of seemed like a shrine to me when I started packing it up.
Here are 5 medals from the Silicon Valley Marathon.
Next to that I had decorated a steer skull with 5 medals from the Tucson Marathon and a bunch of leather-strapped ceramic medals from the Big Sur Marathon and Marathon Relay.
When you walk around race expos, you see companies selling various methods for displaying your medals. These are often something a little like a small set of coathooks, six to twelve hooks or pegs to hang your medals on. That works fine if you only run a few races.
I would need about a dozen of those.
I got this great idea to use a four-by-six-foot sheet of pegboard and a box of pegs like you might use in a workshop.

I'm not going to get into the other stuff here, trophies, cups, plaques, etc. The medals filled a small box, a about the size of a four-slice toaster, that I put into a large plastic tote, which I then filled with the other stuff, using race shirts to protect the fragile stuff.
Yeah, I'm going to have to think about what it says about me before I open that tote and rebuild the shrine.


Monday, May 7, 2012

I'm back

Hello. I'm back, at least for one blog post.
I have moved from Chandler, AZ to Simi Valley, CA. Simi Valley is hills and trails, awesome running territory.
I'm totally out of shape, but I did this run last Saturday.
What else is new? There's a new No Sugar Added Poetry Book coming out from the Diabetes Hands Foundation, and it looks like I'll have a couple of poems in it, both about death and diabetes. Inspiring, I know.
Here are a couple of other things I wrote recently, after poetry was collected for the book.

Blue Candles

I thought about buying blue candles
In symbolic support for the dead
But I would hope never to light one
That they'd melt in a drawer instead.

my eyes

I hate what you see in my eyes
I know you only know because you love me
Please, when I come around
I mean me
not the me with barren, hungry blood
not the angry, resentful me

I hate that you see it in my eyes
before I know myself
I hate that you learned to notice
please when I come around
forgive me.

If someone can get grouchy
missing a meal
what happens when the brain is starving?

I know, because I've felt it
You know, because you've seen it
Please forgive me
I hate what you see in my eyes

That's all for today. I have at least a couple other blog posts half-written, but you know how it goes with this.