PhoneBoy's Personal Blog http://phoneboy.info I am PhoneBoy, this is my personal blog. 2014-12-15T08:57:02+09:00 EN hourly 1 10Centuries | 14L150 Post Nine Hundred... At Least On This Blog http://phoneboy.info/2014/12/15/post-nine-hundred-at-least-on-this-blog/ http://phoneboy.info/2014/12/15/post-nine-hundred-at-least-on-this-blog/#comments 2014-12-15T08:57:00+09:00 PhoneBoy 54b7f18c35af444182d089a0625e7db4 The one thing I see on 10 Centuries that I haven't seen on Posthaven is: the number of blog posts I have in a blog. Apparently, this is post 900 for this blog. Which is sad because I have more than 3200 on phoneboy.com, some dating back to the 1990s (note this also includes nearly 730 episodes of the PhoneBoy Speaks podcast).

That doesn't include the more than 26,000 ADN posts, the nearly 39,000 tweets, the thousands of Facebook posts, and who knows how many posts on various other social networks.

Clearly, I put a lot of stuff on the Internet. In the grand scheme of things, it is probably all for naught as it will all get lost in the noise of everyone else's postings or the great EMP pulse that will take out all electronics everywhere.

Kinda depressing, if i think about it too much.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
Green Pill Redux http://phoneboy.info/2014/12/14/green-pill-redux/ http://phoneboy.info/2014/12/14/green-pill-redux/#comments 2014-12-14T22:20:00+09:00 PhoneBoy de8f57c5eaa3e651587d43468f4071f4 It's been a little more than a week since I got new blood pressure medication. I've been checking my blood pressure periodically, and sure enough, it's crept back into the hypertension levels. Not as high as it was (yet), but I'm definitely concerned.

So, of course, I checked the Internet and found this little gem [www.drugs.com]:

It may take 3 to 6 weeks of using losartan before your blood pressure is under control. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 3 weeks of treatment.

Fantastic. It's been a little over a week since I changed medication. Hopefully this will resolve itself in the next couple weeks, if not, back to the doctor...


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
Welcome to the New and "Improved" phoneboy.info http://phoneboy.info/2014/12/14/welcome-to-the-new-and-improved-phoneboyinfo/ http://phoneboy.info/2014/12/14/welcome-to-the-new-and-improved-phoneboyinfo/#comments 2014-12-14T20:41:20+09:00 PhoneBoy c53da77c43e53cfa4eb709030844b750 I followed through on previous threats and I've moved my personal blog onto 10 Centuries. Thanks to some handiwork by Jason, other than the temporary DNS hiccups that occur with these changes, you shouldn't notice a thing. All the previous URLs should work as before.

The one benefit I get from the current 10 Centuries platform is that, when you search on this site, it will also search all of my App.Net postings (which I've had quite a lot of) as well as recent tweets (starting from around 20 November 2014). Hopefully when Jason gets 10Cv3 launched, I'll be able to import my entire Twitter archive and have that searchable as well.

Another benefit with this new arrangement is that it allows me to blog using App.Net private messages, which ends up being fairly convenient as I can use Drafts to craft the post and send it to Chimp, which will get it to 10 Centuries. The downside to that approach is I'm limited to 2,048 characters which isn't the end of the world.

Meanwhile I posted several blog posts in anticipation of having my blog moved over to 10 Centuries. I didn't advertise them because the URL for those posts were going to change, so I just wrote them and figured I'd let folks know about them once the changeover occured. If you care, here they are:

Meanwhile a few of my other blogs will also move over to the 10 Centuries platform in the very near future.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
It's End Of The Season As We Know It, And I Feel Fine http://phoneboy.info/2014/12/14/its-end-of-the-season-as-we-know-it-and-i-feel-fine/ http://phoneboy.info/2014/12/14/its-end-of-the-season-as-we-know-it-and-i-feel-fine/#comments 2014-12-14T18:27:10+09:00 PhoneBoy bcaa1ad1a9d41e90b7ecc24e6d410806 As I expected, the 49ers lost to Seattle in Seattle. And since Detroit won, the 49ers are out of the NFL playoff picture for 2014. And you know what? I feel fine.

Sure, I would have loved to see the 49ers compete for another Lombardi trophy, but the Quest for Six will have to wait another year. With all the injuries suffered during the Seahawks game, the penalties (some questionable), and the poor execution and play calling, it just wasn't meant to be.

I came to terms with the fact the 49ers weren't making the playoffs last week after the Raiders loss. Given how bad the Raiders have played this year, there was no reason they shouldn't have walked out of O.co Colosseum with a win.

Of course, as much as I enjoy watching the 49ers win, and I occasionally feel depressed when they lose, I have to remember: it's just a game. Whether they win or lose, it does not materially change my life. I still have my family, my health (which is generally improving), and everything else that's important. It also doesn't change my faith in the team.

I'll enjoy the last two 49er games of the season and go back to whatever it is I do when it's not football season, which is: live my life.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
The Green Pill http://phoneboy.info/2014/12/08/the-green-pill/ http://phoneboy.info/2014/12/08/the-green-pill/#comments 2014-12-08T22:21:10+09:00 PhoneBoy be7eecf9f0a209d56ccbcbe80a72bdac When I asked my doctor for different medication for my high blood pressure, he gave me Losartan. As usual, the potential side effects [www.drugs.com] are always a frightening read, making me wish I had taken better care of myself when I was younger.

One of the side effects listed there, of course, is a cough, very much like the cough I have when taking Lisinopril. I still have it, but it seems better than before. Still have to drink a bit of water to keep from coughing too much.

Unfortunately it takes a while for the drugs to reach their full effect and I can already see my blood pressure numbers creeping back up while my body adjusts to the new medication.

On the plus side, my blood sugar has been below 100 mg/dL for the last few days. At least that's going right.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
Oh Christmas Tree http://phoneboy.info/2014/12/05/oh-christmas-tree/ http://phoneboy.info/2014/12/05/oh-christmas-tree/#comments 2014-12-05T21:21:20+09:00 PhoneBoy 033c4885f43e847e234ebe362e66e8ab It's that time of the year when, at least in this part of the world, many people are putting up their Christmas trees. Personally, I could do without Christmas, but the family likes it.

To be perfectly honest; I don't remember too many Christmas trees as a young child. Oh sure they were there most years. Because I was with my mom one year and my dad the next and they both moved regularly, there just wasn't anything I could consistently remember.

I did remember a couple of trees from Hawaii. Typically, an evergreen-type tree is used for this, but those are exceptionally hard to come by in Hawaii. And they were pretty expensive. While we did a "Christmas Palm" a couple of years, my stepfather "won" a real Christmas tree one year, which of course we put up. But beyond some lights and maybe a few ornaments, none of which I remember particularly, that was that.

Now, with a family, we have boxes of ornaments that my wife has acquired or the kids have made for us over the years. Surely, there are memories associated with each one for my wife and/or kids. I recognize most of the ornaments, of course, but most of them hold little memories for me and just feel overwhelmed by the whole thing.

Maybe forgetting all the Christmas trees is my coping mechanism for that...


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
Zen and the Art of Blood Sugar Maintenance http://phoneboy.info/2014/12/04/zen-and-the-art-of-blood-sugar-maintenance/ http://phoneboy.info/2014/12/04/zen-and-the-art-of-blood-sugar-maintenance/#comments 2014-12-04T21:55:10+09:00 PhoneBoy dc5e066a9bf2821ec6e52eeed1367f32 One of the rules of diabetes club is: blood sugar readings don't always make sense.

Like today, both of my blood sugar readings were under 100 mg/dL. I'm certainly not eating no carbs but I'm not pigging out on them either.

The treadmill my wife found from someone who lives a couple streets away was a real find at $20. It's not in the best shape but it works. This means I can walk indoors when the elements are working against me outdoors. I walked a good 40 minutes today, worked up a nice sweat, and was able to proceed straight to the shower.

I even ended the day well below my target calorie range. Not intentionally but that's how it seems to have worked out.

All in all its been a good day for my blood sugar. Maybe today is a reflection of the good work I've been doing to manage it. I'm hoping numbers in this ballpark are the new normal.

[![phoneboy-1417758411388](http://cdn.10centuries.com/content/om7Lvn/2014/12/9721d8e249da8b888ab29d219c34e7b3.jpeg)](http://cdn.10centuries.com/content/om7Lvn/2014/12/9721d8e249da8b888ab29d219c34e7b3.jpeg)


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
The 49ers "Crisis" http://phoneboy.info/2014/12/04/the-49ers-crisis/ http://phoneboy.info/2014/12/04/the-49ers-crisis/#comments 2014-12-04T10:14:10+09:00 PhoneBoy 16dedc051b569460182885928a32074a Many of us 49ers fans have high expectations for the team. It comes with the rich legacy the team has had, not to mention the last few years where the 49ers were in the NFC Championship game and a Super Bowl. No, the Lombardi trophy was not brought back to the Bay Area in 2012 (first loss in a Super Bowl), but still, there is an expectation among 49ers fans that the team is usually in the playoff hunt.

Of course, that ignores the fact that a lot of the playoff activity was in the 1980s and 1990s. The 2000s, quite frankly, were terrible. I wasn't football aware in the 1970s, and wasn't alive before that, so I can't comment much on that.

This year, 2014, the team is not doing so well. Not by most teams standards, of course, who would probably be really happy with a 7-5 record, but by 49ers standards, it's not so great. The offense is absolutely anemic this year. The 7 wins this year has occurred because the defense has been nothing short of outstanding, despite all the talent currently on injured reserve (Bowman, Willis, etc). Special teams is also not that special right now.

Among 49er fans, there is a lot of finger pointing about who is to blame. The most vocal bunch are ones who are clamoring for the firing of offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Some are starting to blame head coach Jim Harbaugh. There's also folks calling for the replacement of quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

I'm in none of those camps, at least not yet. Unlike a lot of fans, I remember that, even during the dynasty years, the 49ers played some really bad football games. Yes, five Superbowls were won, but 13 playoff games were lost between the years of 1981 and 2002. A few of those losses were ugly, too.

And then there was the 1991 season where, despite a 10-6 record, the 49ers didn't make the playoffs at all. I don't recall anyone demanding that then head coach George Siefert or then offensive coordinator Mike Holmgren be fired, but of course this was before the Internet Outrage Machine existed. Beyond the newspapers and the conversations you had with your friends, this kind of rhetoric was simply hard to come by. That said, Mike Holgrem went onto coach the Green Bay Packers the following year.

I know we are all passionate about this team, we want them to win, and we all think we know the best way to make that happen. The fact is, the 49ers will not necessary hear, or do, anything we say. The team at all levels is very aware of their situation with respect to making the playoffs. They understand what is at stake and they understand they must execute at the highest level from here on out to have a shot at a Lombardi.

And if they don't win? Changes will surely be made for next year in order to improve the 49ers chances for a Lombardi. Even if they do win, changes will be made next year because of the draft, injuries, free agency, or whatever. Either way, things will change next year. Arguing over the minutia of what those changes should be? Not my thing, personally.

Meanwhile, I'm not worried about the "crisis." I'm looking forward to the next game.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
So Yeah, That Cough I Have http://phoneboy.info/2014/12/02/so-yeah-that-cough-i-have/ http://phoneboy.info/2014/12/02/so-yeah-that-cough-i-have/#comments 2014-12-02T23:19:10+09:00 PhoneBoy 99b79c5643a18541d6ed98e1e26611fb I've had this little cough for the last month or so. Seems like my throat is occasionally dry. Sometimes it turns into a coughing fit, which is quite unpleasant.

My wife pointed this out to me today and told me it was a common side effect of Lisinopril, the drug I'm taking to lower my old pressure. Sure enough, it is [www.everydayhealth.com]:

Common side effects of lisinopril include:

  • Cough
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Low sex drive
  • Rash

Serious side effects can also occur. If you have any of these side effects, call your doctor right away:

  • Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Hoarseness
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Signs of infection, such as fever, sore throat, and chills
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Chest pain

So yeah, I should get that cough checked and my meds changed.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
Going All In With 10Centuries? http://phoneboy.info/2014/12/01/going-all-in-with-10centuries/ http://phoneboy.info/2014/12/01/going-all-in-with-10centuries/#comments 2014-12-01T20:20:20+09:00 PhoneBoy 71e39597e63533973fbda5228e0ff792 It seems every few years or so I get tired of whatever blogging or content management system I've been using and I try something else. And, of course, every time I do it, I swear this is the last time I'm doing this.

And yet I do it. Again and again and again. I've actually lost track of everything I've tried, but it included the ever popular Wordpress and I'm even using Jekyll for my main phoneboy.com site because it gave me the most control with the least server overhead.

But it sucks, it all does. And quite frankly, I have better things to do with my time than to try and move things between various content management systems, which have all sucked in various ways.

Ignoring the content management systems themselves for a moment, let's also look at the cost. Sure there are "free" services out there, but do you want someone else's ads all over your content? Do you trust that company will be around in a few years? Do you trust what that company might do with your data?

And while I'm thinking of conventional blog-like content, I'm also thinking of microblogging content. I've put quite a lot of data into Twitter and App.Net over the last several years. Who knows how Twitter will change their Terms of Service or their public API to the point where I'll even want to use the service anymore. And App.Net? It was a nice idea but, sadly, the lights may still be on there, but it's hard to know if anyone's home or not.

And Facebook? I don't even know what to say there, but I've given up trying to manage my privacy settings on Facebook. I just assume everything I post there is public. I also try and post as little content there as possible, as I know it's basically a roach motel.

Basically, I'm tired of it all. I just want to put all my stuff in one place, have it go everywhere everyone else is, and at the end of day, know that I have control over the original copy of said content and actually own it, unlike with the other services, that is not entirely clear.

Have you heard of 10Centuries? Unless you've been on App.Net, you've probably never heard of it. The mission of 10Centuries is simple: "ensuring all of our content is readily available and readable by future generations." And no ads. Ever. Those are principles I can get behind.

Will it last 10 centuries as the name implies? Who knows. I know nothing lasts forever, especially anything that man makes. But I gotta respect someone with the gumption to try.

10Centuries will handle most of my blogging needs for the time being, which are pretty meager. What about the social networks? Version 3 of 10Centuries will hopefully solve some of those pain points once released. Meanwhile, I can import all my Twitter and App.Net stuff so it's searchable on this site.

Hopefully, in a few days, most of the blogs I have on Posthaven will move over to 10Centuries. I have a couple of other, static websites that are not appropriate for 10 Centuries. I opted to move those off of Dreamhost and onto 123systems, which has a reasonably cheap CPanel type hosting setup for websites and email as well as a virtual private system which will host phoneboy.com. Amazon will be my backup solution of choice, mostly because of the pricing on Glacier, but the flexibility of S3 is also a bonus.

So I guess I'm not going all in with 10Centuries, but I'm certainly consolidating and 10Centuries is part of my plan.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
Amazing What Blog Posts Get Traction http://phoneboy.info/2014/11/23/amazing-what-blog-posts-get-traction/ http://phoneboy.info/2014/11/23/amazing-what-blog-posts-get-traction/#comments 2014-11-23T21:28:10+09:00 PhoneBoy 5309a983618ea08d887f10acaf1b429b I'm looking to move some of my blogs over to the 10 Centuries platform and, for kicks, I decided to look through the hit counts on some of my blog posts on my personal blog, currently hosted at Posthaven. A number of posts had a high hit count from when they existed at Posterous, which is where I imported some of the posts from. But a couple really got some traction:

Most of the other page views I see were old, so I don't believe their page view counts.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
Lies, Damn Lies, and Blood Glucose Meter Readings http://phoneboy.info/lies-damn-lies-and-blood-glucose-meter-readings http://phoneboy.info/lies-damn-lies-and-blood-glucose-meter-readings#comments 2014-11-23T02:41:00+09:00 PhoneBoy 1c35d45effbdbd025e2a5cf5748b33f3 My doctor had originally prescribed me the Accu-Chek Aviva Plus Glucometer to check my blood sugar. It's a good enough device, but with it, it didn't take me long to learn the dark secret of diabetes monitoring.

Namely, that these devices are sold under the Gillette model. Except rather than give away the razors and make money off the blades, it's glucometers and test strips. Same idea, though.

The Accu-Chek Aviva strips cost me $25 for 50. And that's after the insurance pays their share (whatever it is). If I want to get more, say, before a long trip and I'm not "due" for more, well, I have to fight with the insurance company to get them at that price or pay the out-of-pocket cost, which is a hell of a lot more than $25.

Needless to say, I was looking for a cheaper solution. Also, it'd be nice if I could get something that would also send the data right to my iPhone where I'm tracking it.

Enter iHealth Labs. They actually two Glucometers: one that is Bluetooth enabled, and one that just plugs into the headphone port on the iPhone (they also work with Android devices too). Since I didn't always want to be tied to my iPhone when checking my blood glucose, I opted for the slightly more expensive wireless model.

That's all fine and good, but what really attracted me to these glucometers: the price of the strips. At $12.50 for a box of 50 (two vials of 25 each), it's half the price of what my Accu-Check Aviva strips cost. Better yet, I don't have to deal with my insurance company if I need more, I can just order them from iHealth Labs and they'll arrive in a few days.

I ordered a new iHealth Wireless Smart Gluco-Monitoring System and a couple boxes of test strips in early November. Given they are based in Mountain View, CA and ship UPS Ground, it only took a few days to ship once the items came in stock which I knew when I ordered. I ordered before my recent trip to South Africa, so the "extra long" shipping time wasn't an issue for me.

When the meter and strips arrived, I of course tested myself using both meters. The iHealth one was giving me very different results. When I looked at the strips a bit more closely, I noticed that the strips I had been shipped were going to expire on 2 January 2015--less than 60 days away.

Another dark secret of blood glucose meters: they're not as accurate as, say, a blood test. They are good for getting a general idea of where your blood sugar is at, which is the reason your doctor tells you to use one. That said, different meters should give you similar results (within a few mg/dL of each other). When they're off by tens of mg/dL as I was seeing, something is probably wrong.

Given where my blood glucose is averaging, which is 117 mg/dL over a 30 day period, consistently higher test results could mean I test ok on the iHealth meter when, in fact, my blood sugar is actually at hypoglycemic levels.

I contacted iHealth Labs customer service via email. I asked for a bottle of the control solution, which is used to verify the meter and strips are working correctly (it has a set amount of glucose in it) and a box of strips with a later expiration date since there was no way I could use the strips I had ordered before they expired. I got a return email saying both should arrive in a few days.

Meanwhile I continued to periodically test with both my Accu-Chek and the iHealth meter. The iHealth results were consistently at least 20 points higher than my Accu-Chek, sometimes much higher.

I finally got the new box of strips in the mail today, but no control solution. My Accu-Chek strips are starting to run out and I really don't want to get another vial of those at $25 a pop, so I decided to test with iHealth using a strip from the new box I just received to see if it's a problem with the strips I had originally received.

On this test, the iHealth result was about 5 mg/dL lower than the Accu-Chek one. I tested with strips from both of the older boxes of iHealth test strips and the results were more than 40 points higher than the Accu-Chek number. This suggests I got a bad batch of test strips.

I just sent another email to iHealth Labs customer service. Hopefully they'll send me another box of strips and, this time, a bottle of the control solution.

Bottom line: if you're going to change blood glucose meters for one reason or another, make sure you test with both meters for a while to ensure the results are similar before completely ditching your old meter. Also, make sure to get the control solution for your meter.

I plan on doing a full review of the iHealth Wireless Smart Gluco-Monitoring System on a future episode of PhoneBoy Speaks.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
Carry That Weight http://phoneboy.info/carry-that-weight-1 http://phoneboy.info/carry-that-weight-1#comments 2014-11-20T18:50:00+09:00 PhoneBoy c1a7b57b21745cf4da08893fb03d5d0e Earlier this week, I went to the doctor to follow-up on the high blood pressure I had. Thanks to medication and the other changes I've made, it is now very close to the normal range. This is good news.

The other change I've noticed is my weight. Since I started tracking a month or so ago, I've dropped about 15 pounds. Not that I'm trying to lose weight, but I guess with the dietary changes I've had to make, the natural result is: less calories consumed. This along with the increase in activity means I'm losing weight.

My blood sugar, meanwhile, has mostly settled into a normal range after returning from South Africa, with a 7 day average of 116 mg/dL.

Hopefully these trends will continue as we enter the holidays.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
Different Strokes for Different Diabetic Folks http://phoneboy.info/different-strokes-for-different-diabetic-folks http://phoneboy.info/different-strokes-for-different-diabetic-folks#comments 2014-10-31T16:27:00+09:00 PhoneBoy 65b8e883e5157b8c2819e2b09a0fbac5 As I've been finding others on the Internet that also have Diabetes, I've got a few different observations. They're probably simplistic and obvious, but here goes:

  1. A lot of people have diabetes, including people I know. I keep finding out about more of them every day.
  2. There is no shortage of information about Diabetes on the Internet or from your doctor, some good some bad.
  3. There are a few different "types" of diabetes. It's not just Type 1 and Type 2. Regardless, of the reasons or the treatments used, it's ultimately about getting your blood sugar down to a normal level.
  4. What works for one person won't necessarily work for another. Everyone responds differently to different things (see previous point).
  5. A lot of folks have it way worse than I do. I'm on the Internet whining about numbers that are not that far above normal when some people have numbers that are downright dangerous, for example one of the comments on my last post on Facebook.
  6. Diabetes is expensive once you find out you have it. I feel bad for those who don't have health insurance because even with insurance, the supplies you need to monitor and maintain your blood sugar gets pricey.
  7. Monitoring, testing, and keeping track of your food intake and activity is the best way to figure out what's working for you and what's not. Right now, my doctor has me testing twice a day. I try to do it: in the morning before I eat, and two hours after some meal during the day. I'll either do it after dinner or, if I have something unusual for lunch, after that. On a few days, I've tested three times in a day.

I'm sure I'll have more to say on this. :)


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
Morning Has Broken...My Blood Sugar http://phoneboy.info/morning-has-broken-dot-dot-dot-my-blood-sugar http://phoneboy.info/morning-has-broken-dot-dot-dot-my-blood-sugar#comments 2014-10-30T18:19:00+09:00 PhoneBoy fee0b1da6698714bd9f03b715f5ecfb9 You'd think when you wake up in the morning, wouldn't have above normal blood sugar readings when, the night before, they were normal. Unfortunately, it can and does happen, especially in people with Diabetes.

It's happened to me--the fasting numbers were higher than I went to bed with. You'd think I was sleepwalking down stairs, going into my pantry, and eating a slice or two of bread. Which actually sounds pretty good right now, but I know what it will do to my blood sugar.

Welcome to the dawn effect, caused by the liver dumping glucose into the blood overnight. The hormones that are believed to cause the liver to do this (including cortisol, glucagon, epinephrine) are also believed to give rise to insulin resistance. The end result: your body is unable to process the excess glucose in your blood stream, which of course means elevated blood sugar.

I do not experience this every morning.A diabetes site in the UK suggests this spike occurs 8 to 10 hours after going to sleep, which explains why on the mornings where I did observe this, I slept later than usual.

One of the possible solutions to this problem includes a late-night low-carb snack. Mixed nuts seem to be my go-to snack. We'll have to do some more science and see.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
Feeling Groovy http://phoneboy.info/feeling-groovy http://phoneboy.info/feeling-groovy#comments 2014-10-29T05:38:00+09:00 PhoneBoy 4f740fb36a80500f6831ccb3c4b193c4 Today, I went to go see the Diabetes Dietitian to learn what I need to eat. Seems kind of silly since I think I've figured out what I need to eat--and avoid--but I am satisfying my doctor's treatment plan. This visit included also had to share what I had been eating over the last week or so, what my blood sugar readings were, have I been exercising, how much how often, and so on.

The prognosis: I could eat some more carbs--healthy ones, obviously--more green vegetables overall, and a little less fat. But so far, so good. I even had normal, non-diabetic blood sugar when I woke up this morning-100 mg/dl. I checked a couple of other times during the day. My numbers were 115 mg/dl mid-afternoon and 126 mg/dl a couple hours after dinner.

Clearly that's only one day, but it's a start. And overall, I feel better than I have in quite a while. I think I'm sleeping better, too. All of this has me feeling pretty groovy right now.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
I Feel Like A Number http://phoneboy.info/i-feel-like-a-number http://phoneboy.info/i-feel-like-a-number#comments 2014-10-24T04:00:00+09:00 PhoneBoy 65504a8591626ec50fed210ed11d8fcb Like the old Bob Seger song, I have my moments where I feel like a number--insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Right now, however, how I'm feeling is defined by a number: my blood sugar.

As I'm trying to figure out exactly how to keep my blood sugar at an even keel in a world full of food that mostly puts it on a roller coaster, I've experienced a gamut of emotions. Happy that I know what's causing some of the issues I've experienced. Sad that eating bread, rice, or potatoes is something that I know will spike my blood sugar. Frustrated when I make a bad dietary choice and can see and feel the result.

I know eventually I'll get enough data--and experience--to know what works and what doesn't, which will ease some of the anxiety I'm currently experiencing.

Sadly, though, this is not the only number I have to worry about. I'm also monitoring my blood pressure which is also high and likely related to the diabetes. Hopefully treating one, along with meds, will help the other. My numbers have gone down since my doctor's visit last month, which is a good thing.

The one number I am happy about so far is the amount of walking I've done: at least 30 minutes a day almost every day for the last week. This is going to get more challenging to do as the weather gets increasingly worse around these parts, but I managed to walk during a rain break this afternoon and thus stayed mostly dry.

The other number I'm happy about is the number of calories I've consumed. It's not an exact science, but at least it doesn't appear I'm eating more than I should. Leaving out all the bread and rice has really helped my cause there.

Maybe all these numbers aren't so bad. I certainly didn't get this way overnight and I won't get better overnight either. I need to keep this in perspective.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
Straightening the Curves, Flattening the Hills http://phoneboy.info/straightening-the-curves-flattening-the-hills http://phoneboy.info/straightening-the-curves-flattening-the-hills#comments 2014-10-22T23:20:00+09:00 PhoneBoy 53323248a695f7edf64abe75aca34564 The past couple of days, after lunch, my blood sugar spiked and crashed. Not to unsafe levels, mind you, but enough that I got really tired when my blood sugar crashed back down.

Yesterday, I noticed it as I was sitting in a presentation at work after lunch and I needed help staying awake. Because I made some not wise dietary choices--having some sushi, which includes rice--I actually checked my blood sugar two hours after lunch. Sure enough: my blood sugar was higher than I expected. When I checked an hour later, it dropped 30 mg/dl.

Today, I had a similar experience. This time it wasn't due to my breakfast or my lunch choices, which were fairly low carb. But I'm guessing it's something that was in the trail mix I had been eating at the office the past couple of days: Raisins. The amount of raisins I ate over the past couple of days was not terribly excessive (1-2oz a day), but clearly it was enough to spike my blood sugar.

A quick look on the Internet suggests raisins both have a high glycemic index and a glycemic load, the latter of which is more important in that it helps determine how quickly the sugars will hit your system.

Just to give an example based on recent dietary choices: An apple has a glycemic index of 36-40, but a glycemic load of 6. Meanwhile, raisins have a glycemic index of 53-75 and a glycemic load of 28. Rice is similar to raisins in this regard.

Bottom line: I need to avoid things that I know will spike my blood sugar.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
Well, That Didn't Escalate Quickly http://phoneboy.info/well-that-didnt-escalate-quickly http://phoneboy.info/well-that-didnt-escalate-quickly#comments 2014-10-19T11:59:00+09:00 PhoneBoy bde136453791ee7f2241d8e3731c8372 I just woke up in the middle of the night with one of those headaches. You know, the kind that, for the last couple of years or so, would quickly escalate to a migraine complete with nausea. It's something I mentioned to my doctor during my checkup and he confirmed its a likely symptom of the previously undiagnosed Type 2 Diabetes.

The good news is that the headache did not escalate into a migraine and the Excedrin I took did not come back up. The bad news is that it woke me up good and now I can't get back to sleep.

It's too early to say if the migraines are gone or not, but this appears to be a small step in the right direction.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
A New Machine http://phoneboy.info/a-new-machine http://phoneboy.info/a-new-machine#comments 2014-10-18T23:33:00+09:00 PhoneBoy 7762b300111871ae943e5c06da67a227 Earlier this week, when I got my new medications, I also go this stuff:

Yup, it's a blood glucose monitor. There are many like it, but this one is mine. Fortunately I only have to use it twice a day: once in the morning before I eat and some other time during the day two hours after I eat. Some people, particularly those with Type 1 Diabetes, have to use it far more often.

My doctor sent me to a program where I had to get trained on how to manage my diabetes: using the equipment and how to eat so it doesn't get worse. My upcoming travel schedule made scheduling this in a timely manner difficult, but I did manage to get a session in with an educator before my next trip. The dietitian will have to wait, but I have a feeling the dietitian won't tell me anything I don't already know.

Mentally, I'm all ready to go down the low-carb road. Turns out I don't need to go quite that strict in terms of carbs, like I was on Atkins, but I think many carb-rich foods are "trigger" foods for me. In other words, if I have a little, I'll suddenly want to have a whole lot. They also want me to watch my fat intake because it apparently affects insulin receptors.

Using the machine to check my blood sugar is not that difficult. It is a lot of moving parts to manage: the lancer, the test script, and of course the monitor. Last night, I actually tried using it in my car--it was parked--and that was probably not the best place to do it, but I know I will have to do it on an airplane in the not too distant future.

When I got the results for my blood test back from my first doctor's visit earlier this month, my fasting blood sugar was 153 mg/dl. My first reading at the educator's office? A nice reasonable 114 mg/dl. The educator was suitably impressed. Quite honestly, I was amazed. When I did it in the car last night after watching the Gig Harbor Tides wallop the Olympia Bears 45-14 on the gridiron, I was down to 100 mg/dl. This morning before breakfast? 105 mg/dl.

I know it's early in this process, but so far, it looks like what I'm doing in terms of diet, exercise, and medication is having a positive impact. I even managed 9 hours of sleep last night, which is unheard of for me. I'll have to keep monitoring the situation, of course, but so far, so good.

The real test comes when I have to take this show on the road, which will be happening tomorrow.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
Just Take Your Meds, Son http://phoneboy.info/just-take-your-meds-son http://phoneboy.info/just-take-your-meds-son#comments 2014-10-16T05:31:00+09:00 PhoneBoy c79aa527ee17df8087ed4dc3dfef5a4b After receiving the news earlier in the week, I had a followup consultation with my doctor today to discuss the treatment plan for my diabetes.

The good news: he thinks it will be manageable. It's going to require some meds, dietary changes, and of course exercise. And monitoring my blood sugar regularly. No insulin, thankfully, which I imagine would make my travel just that much more challenging.

The cocktail of drugs I now have to take meant, for the first time in my life, I had to get a pill minder. You know, a container that has several compartments--one or more for each day--that you fill with your doses of medications. You can tell at a glance if you've taken your pills or not and all the pills you need to take are in one place. I needed one for two different compartments per day. They also apparently they also make them with four different containers per day. That's quite a lot, but depending on the meds you're on, I could totally see that being needed.

New meds, of course, means I need to pay extra close attention to how I'm feeling for the next several days. Things have potential side effects and, while unlikely, I could be one of the rare ones that experience them. Reading the drug inserts the pharmacy includes with the drugs is always a scary experience.

Next up is learning how to use the new hardware that I'll be using to monitor my blood sugar. That won't take place until Friday. I won't be able to meet with the dietician to set a diet plan until after I get back from California, but the basic idea appears to be: avoid carbs and sugar to keep my blood sugar low. The good news is that I did Atkins a decade ago so I have some experience with this, and was even successful at it for a time.

Earlier today, when my energy was at a particularly low point, I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood. I wish I had started doing this before the weather changed into the typical fall weather patterns around here: periods of sun and rain that, as fall turns into winter, gets colder and colder. I managed to get out during one of the sunny periods and walk around the neighborhood for a half hour or so. It felt pretty good.

At the end of the day, I've taken the first steps towards getting healthy. I have awareness, I have a plan, and I've started acting on it. I just need to keep taking it day by day.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
The Big D http://phoneboy.info/the-big-d http://phoneboy.info/the-big-d#comments 2014-10-14T16:07:00+09:00 PhoneBoy 30e9e62edd50605688e4b95234fc7791 I've been called Big D at various points in my life. Comes with being a large guy most of my life. Now, it has a different meaning.

I've been a bit negligent in terms of keeping healthy, I must admit. I've been having migraines from time to time and my legs have been swelling--anything from a little to quite a lot. The swelling started getting really bad on some of these long trips I've had over the past year or so. But, of course, I never went to the doctor, despite some nagging from my wife I should do so.

I don't know why I resist going to the doctor. Mostly because I don't like what they're going to tell me most of the time, namely that I'm fat and need to lose weight (both of which are true). That said, it's the only way to make sure potentially bad health issues get caught before they become really bad.

One of the business trips I have to take in the very near future requires getting a yellow fever vaccine. This requires a prescription. Which meant, if I was going on that trip, I had no choice but to see the doctor.

Since it's been a few years, I also got a physical, which included notes about my blood pressure being high and printouts from my doctor that basically say, you know, you're a fat bastard and you should really lose some weight. We discussed ebola, since it's in the news and I'll be passing through some countries where it has recently been an issue. And, I got a couple of other shots I hadn't considered.

Part of getting a physical is getting a blood draw and having various things checked. Most everything was normal except one thing: my blood sugar, which was high. Which meant they decided to run an A1C panel against the remaining blood to see if it's been a persistent issue. And, sure enough, it has.

That means The Big D can only be one thing: Diabetes, Type 2.

It wasn't the answer I was hoping for, but it explains a whole lot. Since that message came from the person reading me lab results rather than my doctor, I will be shortly returning to the doctor to discuss what the next steps are. I'm pretty sure it means making some lifestyle changes at the very least.

Gotta admit, I'm a bit nervous and scared about it all. That said it's better to live in the light of the truth than in the darkness of denial.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
Cassidy's Pizza http://phoneboy.info/cassidys-pizza http://phoneboy.info/cassidys-pizza#comments 2014-05-15T18:21:00+09:00 PhoneBoy 0148b29cc1078d5c039bdb73677977d6 My dad had always been a musician as long as I known, anyway--at least until he couldn't play guitar anymore because of his hands. That and smoking were two things I most strongly associate with my dad.

When I was very young, I remembered going with my dad to Cassidy's Pizza in Salinas where he would perform on-stage. I even performed with him one time and made my first dollar there, which hung on the wall of my bedroom in a frame with some sort of certificate. I also got my first taste of pinball and video games there as well, which of course were very different back in the mid-1970s.

When my sister sent me this photo she recovered from my father's stuff recently, it brought back a lot of very early memories.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
Does This Describe Me Professionally? http://phoneboy.info/does-this-describe-me-professionally http://phoneboy.info/does-this-describe-me-professionally#comments 2014-04-16T04:19:00+09:00 PhoneBoy 4950e6ef95662f49f52c889351274498 I'm going to give a talk at West Sound Technology Association in the near future, and I have to write one of those dreaded "about the presenter" blurbs. Here's what I came up with, I'd love to get your feedback.

Dameon D. Welch-Abernathy, better known to some as PhoneBoy, has been in Information Security for nearly twenty years. Starting as a systems administrator for several small companies and then moving into a technical support role for Nokia's Security Appliance Business, Dameon has helped numerous IT professionals secure their organizations networks. Now working for Check Point Software Technologies, Dameon brings a blend of business acumen, product expertise, and technical know-how to solve customers business and security challenges.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>
Living in Enemy Territory http://phoneboy.info/living-in-enemy-territory http://phoneboy.info/living-in-enemy-territory#comments 2014-01-18T08:03:00+09:00 PhoneBoy cdaef55853253abee202cf33360adfae I have been a life-long 49ers fan. It probably has something to do with growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area during the beginning of their Superbowl run during the 1980s. It's the kind of thing that something like moving will not change, and based on the number of displaced 49ers fans out there, I'm not the only one!

Check out this map made by Facebook of Seahawks vs 49ers fans based on "likes" that proves my point:

Clearly I'm living in Seahawk Country, which means showing my true Red and Gold colors is not always appreciated. Even so, I only have two pieces of 49ers swag: a hoodie my wife bought me, and a iPhone 5s case I bought a couple weeks ago and just arrived today!

I wear my 49ers hoodie fairly regularly during the chilly months except for weeks that the 49ers are playing the Seahawks. Not because I don't want to represent, but because I don't necessarily want to draw undue attention to myself on game weeks.

This, however, is no ordinary game week. This is the week of the NFC Championship and the pundits and fans have been waiting for this game all year. The rhetoric from both fan bases has cranked up to ridiculous levels, with stats flying from both sides saying why their team will win, copious amounts of trash talk, Seattle bars banning 49ers fans from coming in, and worse.

In short, it's the kind of thing you'd expect from any sort of rivalry, however the 49ers Seahawks one is relatively new in the pantheon of NFL rivalries. The 49ers and Seahawks were not division rivals until 2002. Seattle had several appearances in the playoffs during that time--including winning NFC title game in 2005--but did not win a Super Bowl. The 49ers, meanwhile, were unable to make the playoffs for 8 straight years starting in the 2003 season.

Then, as they say, shit got real. The 49ers made it to the NFC Championship game in 2012, only to lose to the New York Giants in overtime. In 2013, they made it to the Super Bowl, only to lose to the Baltimore Ravens. And, for the third straight year, the 49ers are in the NFC Championship game. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have made it to the playoffs 3 of the last 4 seasons, losing in the Divisional Round the previous two times, but winning the NFC West in 2013.

When you add in the rivalry that Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll brought with them from the Pac-12 (Stanford vs USC), the fact both teams operate and are built a similar way, the fact the 49ers have won their last 4 post-season games on the road, the Seahawks being hungry for Super Bowl rings, and a 15-15 tie in the overall series between the 49ers and Seahawks, and you have the makings for a NFC Championship Grudge Match that only the best scriptwriters could come up with.

My experience with Seahawks fans is they are generally respectful. Same with 49ers fans. A little good-natured ribbing can and does occur. However, there are the 1% of fans who are not and, ultimately, ruin it for everyone else.

Since you never know when you'll encounter that 1%, it's sometimes best to hide in plain sight. And since I can appreciate good football--even when it's played by a rival team--it's actually not too hard to do. That said, to those 49ers fans living in the Seattle area, know that your fellow 49er faithful are out there.


Copyright 2014 - PhoneBoy's Personal Blog ]]>