Thursday, December 27, 2012


I don't watch the news. I avoid it like the plague. Someone told me about the "shootings in Connecticut" at a bar during happy hour on December 14th.

Since then, I've been unable to blog. I don't talk about it. It sickens me how much time the media has spent making revenue from it. It infuriates me that the NRA feels they have the right to say anything at all.

I don't care which side of the fence you are on concerning gun control. Just keep your mouth shut. It's too late.

Nothing you say is going to give that 6 year old his right to free speech. Nothing you say is going to give that 8 year old her right to bear arms. Nothing. Just, be quiet. Peace.

Friday, December 14, 2012

I See Red

I haven't done a musically motivated posting in a while.

Therefore, in order to break up the monotony of talking about my day to day activities and how they are impacted by the weather, I bring you this special treat.

I'll call it my inexplicable attraction to redheads and good music.

Without doing too much research, I can think of Bonnie Raitt and Reba McEntire.

Recently, via Pandora, I've discovered a group called Escala who has a violin player named Victoria Lyon.

Then, this morning, via Pandora, Beth Hart came on one of my stations. She's my new favorite. Make sure and listen. She's awesome :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Reminiscing Blisters

Yesterday had me bowling and reminiscing. Or maybe I was bowling yesterday and reminiscing today? I can't seem to remember.

Here's what I learned: don't bowl in a button down long sleeve shirt with the cuffs buttoned.

Why, you ask? I'll tell you why. I creates pit cloth burns. I'm almost blistered. Even typing is uncomfortable. I'd take pictures, but then you'd see my right moob and no one wants to see that.

The reminiscing is more fun! It's Durango's fault. He reminded me of my old hangout in Euless called Gators. About a decade a go there were some weeks where I'd spend 5 nights at Gators. They had some good party bands Thursday thru Saturday, free pool on Sunday, karaoke on Tuesday or Wednesday.

I have countless stories that took place at Gators. A few years ago they closed the place down. It wasn't long after that, they bulldozed it. I still get a tear when I drive by it's resting place at Westpark Way and 183.

At one point I thought about opening a new bar in its location and calling it, "White Trash is Back". But, it was just an idea.

Many of my epic social failures start out with, "Remember that one time, at Gators?"

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Socially Awkard and Proud Of it!

On my best days, I am socially awkward. The last four days have found me in situations where I am forced to be social and I must say, being forced to be social scares the hell out of me.

I wrote, briefly, about my mishap on Saturday. Basically, someone backed into my car which was parked in the street. No note was left. It looked like someone just hit it and took off. I called the police (social situation number one).

He came out and basically said that someone from across the street had backed out of that driveway and hit my car (I already knew this). If I filed a police report, I was basically filing charges against my neighbor across the street.

In my private hell of avoiding social situations, I've never spoken to my neighbor across the street. I wave at him when we happen to be outside at the same time, but I've never said a word. I've lived 20 yards away from him for 5 years and never spoken a single word. I take that back. One time, about 4 years ago, he asked if I had gotten my mail yet. I think I said, "Huh?"

Luckily, my next door neighbor is very talkative. I enjoy talking to her for about 30 seconds, but she can talk much longer than that. She managed to handle the across the street neighbor crisis for me. As in, she talked to him while I was at the bar consuming liquid courage.

She called me (whilst at the bar) and informed me that he had guests the previous night and he called his girlfriend and discovered she was at fault, but didn't realize she'd backed into it. "But, she's good for it,"  she said he said.

Later that night, across the street neighbor comes over with insurance information and an apology. The minute I opened the door I was scrambling for how to handle the situation. Do you invite him in? Do you write down the information? Do you have him send it to you via email or text message? Do you apologize for never talking to him in 5 years? I'm a complete neurotic, antisocial mess. And I talk about myself too much.

Monday, I called State Farm, but they said they couldn't do anything until they talked to across the street neighbor's girlfriend. Let's call her ATSNGF. Not really.

Tuesday, I called State Farm again and they said, "We left a message and we sent an email, but have not heard anything yet."

Tuesday night, I had to gear up for social situation from hell part deux (is that a cliche?). Basically, I needed to talk to ATSNGF or get ATSN to call his GF and make sure she was going to file the claim with her insurance because I can't move the car until it's been done. I love acronyms.

After more liquid courage, I sent him a text message. I was polite as I could possibly be, which is easier via text message because I can think about it. Get me on the phone and all kinds of socially unacceptable crap spews forth with alarming and unfiltered clarity.

In the midst of sending this text message I get an email from my boss at work basically telling me that instead of fixing other people's problems, I need to talk to other people and tell them what they've done wrong and ask them to fix it. This is completely logical, but it causes some kind of cold ball of inexplicable nausea to well up inside me.

I'm always afraid they're going to get mad at me. And I can't drink at work. Although one time I did drink two cans of Red Bull and then yelled at someone on a conference call. I quit drinking energy drinks at work after that.

As of today, I've got an appointment to get my car paid for and I've explained to one of my colleagues what they've done wrong and asked them to fix it. At some point, I told my ATSN to let me know when ATSNGF comes to visit and we could go out for drinks (just so there's not hard feelings).

I figure if I do this enough, my social awkwardness will eventually go away. It's already better than it used to be. Now, how was your day?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Illiterate Cliches, Medical Doctors, and Cold Weather

Yesterday, I blogged about Durango the Magnificent and how I needed to learn by example and follow closely in his footsteps.

Yesterday, Durango, who apparently still muddles through my blog, had some friendly advice hidden behind a petty demeanor. You can read it here.

He is a bit verbose, but, in summary, I apparently don't have enough original content except of the sexually explicit variety.

Durango blogs about the weather and how it impacts his life. He just does it without using cliches.

Therefore, I am doubling my efforts to perhaps churn out half as much as Durango the Magnificent.

A while ago Durango and I had such huge misunderstandings on regular occasions that there was often talk of bringing in a professional mediator. I miss those days.

But, back to telling you what I did yesterday when it was blustery and cold. I spent most of the day at the Doctor's office.

My hip doctor said I was better than new and recommended I only call him if I have problems.

My hand surgeon recommended something called Xiaflex. Apparently, there is lots of paperwork involved with obtaining the prescription because it's a new drug and it's expensive. They have to shoot it into my hands where it will eat through the cords and allow me to straighten my hands out again. It sounds painful and it's not a cure. Apparently, I've never had a disease that can be cured.

My new itinerary will be: hand surgeon for the Dupuytren's Contracture, periodontist for the Periodontal Disease, and Endocrinologist for the Diabetes. Ain't no problem I ain't got, but at least I don't complain. Oops, that was a cliche. Or maybe not. It's possible I don't know what cliches are.

Durango said I was naturally aggravating. Instead of trolling, I should just be myself and it would work better.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Thur Thru Sun

I've grown tired of trolling.

I've decided to take a page out of Durango's book and just blog about my day to day activities and how they are impacted by the weather. His blog is much more popular than mine so I suspect this will be an epic failure, but I enjoy epic failures.

My goal, when I wake up in the morning is to solve one problem per day. Occasionally I have really good days and solve more than one problem. I don't blog about work though and that's where the majority of my problem solving skills are used. You see my dilemma. How can I blog about day to day activities, when I spend 8+ hours per day at work and I refuse to blog about work?

Last time I blogged was on Wednesday, December 5.

On Thursday, I went to a Christmas dinner hosted by the place where my gal pal works. The place I work has not had a Christmas dinner in about 10 years. This tells me that all the complaining about the economy depends a lot about where you work. It's a bit frustrating actually. The weather on Thursday was nice.

On Friday, I went bowling at the Plano Superbowl. I've forgotten how to bowl since my hip surgery. However, in my asperger's induced neurotic stubborn streak of taking no blame for myself, I'm blaming it on our new bowling teammate who is trying to help me bowl. He seems like he knows what he's talking about, but I think he's lead me astray. I must get back to my roots.

I also helped someone with their grammatical problems on Friday. I can't tell if it was kindly accepted or not. It was one of those who/that problems that I used to have before Durango the Magnificent straightened me out. It's, "he who solves problems every day", not, "he that solves problems every day". Friday was also a good weather day.

Saturday was the day to begin my Miata restoration project. We had a mishap. The police were called. I finally met my neighbor from across the street. He was nice and so was the weather.

Sunday was the day to begin repairing the hot tub (again). I had to call State Farm about Saturday's mishap. I watched the Cowboys win (miraculously). I procrastinated too long on the hot tub and it became cold and dark. The weather was overcast and became continually colder throughout the day.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Preemptive Bologna

Since my last round of trolling activity produced no anger, I've decided to try again.

I think I mentioned in the last post that I'm not fond of handguns. I believe this way because good people have really bad days and handguns make it easy for them to make a bad day even worse. True, I'm not fond of knives in that regard either, but my karate instructor taught me how to disarm someone with a knife. If memory serves, his instructions for handling a gun situation were to run.

Having preambled with all of that, how do I handle it when my religious neighbors start stockpiling guns? I've already said I'm not fond of it. They've broken no laws. I just happen to know they are zealots so I try to avoid them. They could be Christian or they could be Muslim. I don't know. I just know they are very religious and it makes me nervous that they have guns.

I should mention this is all hypothetical in an attempt to make a point. I don't even know my neighbors. Well, except that nice teacher lady next door.

It would be perfectly legal for me to go buy a rifle so I can protect myself against any aggression they may make upon my abode. I believe I could go talk to them and try and figure out how much danger I was really in. I could let them know that when their "prophesied apocalypse" is happening, I will not be taking part and I will be shooting at anyone who attempts to hurt me or mine.

There are lots of things I could legally do. What can I not legally do? Well, I can not break into their house and steal their guns. I can not do a preemptive strike and kill them all before their prophesied apocalypse. Both of these would be considered criminal activities.

It's kind of odd to me that this is what we are threatening to do against Iran. Romney (thank god he didn't get elected) even said that if Israel decided to take out Iran, the USA would back them. Huh? You just can't do things like that. Who said USA was allowed to dictate which countries are allowed to develop nuclear power?

The Iraq invasion was even worse. I'm all for defending ourselves, but when defense turns into taking out our neighbors (yes, it's a small world) because of some predicted danger, you have to draw the line.

You can't go around killing people because they worry you.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Whiminally Insane

In an attempt to get all the political posts to scroll off the bottom of my blog, I've decided to write opinions about even more volatile headlines using an abundance of ignorance.

I lock my doors. I've been told, on more than one occasion, by more than one semi-educated person, that this is a waste of time. If a criminal comes by and wants your car or wants your stereo or wants to break into your house and take your television, they'll do it. I agree with this.

I lock my doors for the normally law abiding folks who are having a bad day. I don't want someone who's down on his luck being tempted by something I did. An unlocked car door with a purse laying in the seat is tempting to even the best of us. A locked door deters the whiminal. This is my new abspewtulation for someone who commits a criminal offense on a whim. He's a whiminal.

In light of the recent headline news about the Kansas City Chiefs player who shot his girlfriend and killed himself, I tend to think along the same lines. When the government talks about banning handguns, the immediate reaction is, "Wonderful. Only the criminals will be armed." This is largely true. However, it would be good to disarm the whiminals. But, how do you know who's going to be a whiminal and who's not?  I believe we're all capable of being whiminals.

I don't own a gun. When I'm around people who do own guns, I'm uncomfortable. It's not because I don't trust them. It's because I don't trust anyone. I believe everyone is capable of becoming a whiminal. You never know when someone is going to have a really bad day and that really bad day is going to make them more upset, angry or depressed than they've ever been in their lives and they're going to snap.

It's at that point, I'd rather they didn't own a gun. It's too easy to make a life ending mistake on an emotionally charged whim.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Required Insulin Pump Infusion Set Review

I finally received my Tandem t:slim insulin pump. I am mostly happy with it. As with all things, the more you like something, the more you can find to complain about. Just ask my gal pal!

I love the rechargeable battery. Which is interesting because the rechargeable battery was also the part I was most concerned about. Who wants to worry about charging a battery on a device that's physically attached 24/7? Well, when I take a shower, I remove the pump and charge it. A 15 minute charge once every couple of days will keep it at 100%. Even after 2 days of use without charging it's never gone below 90% battery. The rep told me it would easily last a week on a full charge.

One of the big "advertising" points of this pump is minimizing the number of actions required to give yourself a bolus of insulin. Well, in some ways they did. I can type 6.5 on the touch screen to select 6.5 units of insulin (3 actions). This is way better then hitting the up arrow 13 times on my old pump. But, then for some reason I can't quite fathom, I am forced to "agree" to at least 2 different menus (it's like agreeing to not have an accident when using a car's GPS). If I decide I don't want to give myself the insulin all at once, but over the course of an hour or two, I think I'm forced to agree to a couple of more menus. It's quite irritating. I wonder how many people read the stupid warnings every time. Get rid of them. Or give me a nice little warning option and allow me to permanently disable them.

During the purchasing of my new pump, I also shopped around for infusion sets. Infusion sets are little devices with tubing which connect the pump to your body. It usually has a little flexible cannula that allows the insulin to be subcutaneously delivered. Here's a review of the one's I've tried:

Inset from Animas: I've actually been using this one for about 5 years. If something that you use to poke holes in yourself can be chosen as a favorite, this one is it. I switch them out every 3 days and I've never had a mishap or attached one that didn't work. They do all the work for you. It's an all-in-one insertion device. Just throw a few in your bag and you're out the door for a 7 day cruise!

Spring: They sent me two boxes to try. I've decided they sent me two boxes because they know they'll never sell them all. The introductory needle is even more automatic than the Inset. I really like the way they do the injection. It's completely awesome. It's a little spring loaded device that quickly pops the needle in and out in one quick motion, but leaving the little flexible cannula behind.

But, then they decided to get fancy and make the part that attaches rotatable and put in some kind of little spring thing which detects when the base comes unattached from the skin. Why? I don't know. Perhaps to completely ruin an otherwise perfect design. Perhaps because they're from Israel and are striving to make my life complicated?

It makes the base too big and it seems to snag on everything. The rotating connector has a bad habit of either not connecting correctly or falling apart. I had one that looked like it picked up part of the plastic from the device and permanently sealed off the needle end of the tubing. In one box, I had two go bad. Not nearly as good as my experience with the Inset.
Orbit: I originally clicked on one of these because they appeared as an ad on my blog before Google closed down my ads. I'm not sure how that works when I sign an agreement not to click on my own ads, but I couldn't get the ad to appear anywhere else.

The ad said, "So comfortable, even kids like it" or something like that. I'm paraphrasing quite a bit because I can't find the original ad.

It's pretty neat. The first oddity was it required manual insertion which seemed completely opposite of what a kid would like. They only sent me two to test with and I must admit, I'd be more apt to buy more of these than I would to buy the Springs.

Where the Spring set advertises 360 degree rotation, it rotates by pushing in on the side and it feels kind of like shifting gears. The Orbit freely rotates 360 degrees. It's a little disconcerting because it seems like the tubing would just kind of pop off, but it never did for me.

It's profile was a little too tall for me. I'm fond of very low profile infusion sets. The base was small, but tall enough to irritate me. I don't think I'll order any of them. This, of course, brings me to my THINSet.

THINSet: This is also known, by Tandem, as the t:set. I got this one because it boasted a low profile. It may have even said the lowest profile.

Infusion sets contain a cap that closes off the site when you take a bath or go swimming. I hate keeping up with these things. They are small and easily lost and often forgotten. I think, most of the time, the base is self sealing to some extent, but I don't know if I'd want to test bacteria in a hot tub or pool for too long.

The THINSet base has a clever little plastic slide you can slide over the opening when you disconnect the tubing. The THINSet was also as thin as they claimed.

The only complaint I have against the THINSet is if you want to have an automatic insertion, you have to buy a separate device. It's called the Quick-Serter from Medtronic and I've heard reports that it doesn't work very well with the THINSet. The first time I tried to manually insert one of these little guys I failed. Pump started complaining about occlusions and blood sugar went up. Ended up costing me $100 because I was out of pocket when it happened and had to drive to Walgreen's for a syringe and insulin. Second try was more successful.

Next week I'm going to try the Cleo simply because I received a box of free trials. It appears to have an insertion technique similar to the Spring so that will be a plus. Then, I just have to judge the profile, size and reliability.