Monday, July 27, 2015

And He Drew his Cane Like a Samurai Sword

Yep, me again!

Short one this week but a couple of cool things...

This is what happens when you have a few supplies on hand and a need to relax! This would be the much famed (at least in my own mind) cane scabbard. Yes, I will be using this thing while riding Alley Hawk (no I haven't named the scabbard yet (or the cane)). Yes, I really can do an over the shoulder draw with this. Actually it draws better over shoulder than from the hip. Yes, I've tried both.

Will I actually be wielding my cane while riding...I'll let you draw your own conclusions on that.

In other news...

I have done it! As of Friday I am off insulin and doing just fine thanks. So... Thank you to those who had faith in me, and those who prayed for me. For those of you dealing with old info, it can be done . For the 'professionals' that told me I couldn't do it... How's it feel to be wrong? (Hey I was told by enough people I couldn't do it, that I can afford to be cocky!)

In other other news...

Lisa continues to work on her dissertation. She's teaching multiple QM classes and has been doing some live online training for them (yep... live online... don't ask me how that works...). She also got word today that her copy of the book her chapter is published and is in the mail and coming.

Um... by the way... Don't count me out on that one. I will have one (if not two) books out by the end of the year. This is happening. One book is self published and is two pages, a cover and a check to the printer away from being published. The other one still is in rough draft but I've got three images (including the one for the cover) left to take and the writing isn't bad. (Now as for that %#$%#!!! novella....)

Well that's about it for this time...
Lisa's published...
I'm publishing...
This had to happen...

Original video, by the artist... From back in the day when MTV actually played videos and you couldn't just whip one up on your home computer!

Probably taking a week or two off from the blog due to publishing stuff and other issues (but no promises...). So if we get a chance to post sooner we will. If not, see you in three.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Back on Rubber!

This week I've been on a bit of a hiatus from doing fiction... My novella needs eyes other than my own to edit it and I got jumped by several other projects that I will talk about in this post. Typically if I put in a video it's at the end of the post (or close to it...) but, this time it's going at the top because it kind of describes the week.

So a big thank you to... well, this one has been attributed to three different people besides the makers of House and The Dandy Warhols (who own the song...). So thank you to Dutchie88, Spoenk, ZdenekLU, the makers of House, the Dandy Warhols, and the people who actually read this blog (you deserve thanks too...). And here we go...

First off this week... a bit of actual medical science! I'm down to three units of the long acting insulin and zero (0) units of the short acting on a daily basis. If I can bring the sugar numbers down a little bit (and not very much!) I can skip the insulin completely. So I've been figuring out how to do that. Fortunately I have several weapons I haven't dragged out yet!

Words N' Stuff!

I'm currently engaged in two different diabetes related writing projects (which I won't talk too much about here because I don't want to give away details that could cost me). One is filling a niche that no one seems to have noticed and the other is an improvement on already existing stuff. The second one is pretty close to being released so I'll talk about it more when it hits the market. Yep... me making money with my words... scary ain't it?


Two myths I would like to dispel right away 1) diabetes means you have to avoid sugar... No, you have to control your intake of carbohydrates including sugars and starches. And I can still have them I just need to watch how much. 2) you can't eat Asian food if you're trying to control carbs...

This is fried rice. I made it. I ate it. I lived to tell the tale. The reality is there are a lot of things in Asian (particularly Chinese) cooking that you do have to watch. There tends to be a lot of corn starch and sugar in that stuff. But, if you cook at home you can control the sugar and starch levels and you actually know how much is in there so you can know how much you (or the diabetic you love...) can eat. and in this case I've cut down the rice and upped the protein and non starchy veggies so people watching carbs can have more than they think they can. And, because I use good spices it tastes good too.


On the subject of making stuff I've also been working chainmaille. This week I finished the son of the chainmaille belt. This time it is lighter and went together faster because I used about 55% rubber rings, which are lighter, faster to work with, and stretch to fit the buckle without having to pull out rings. The belt will also stretch to fit waist lines (or so I thought...). The son of a belt looks great, but the rubber rings stretched more than I thought. When the belt is actually tight enough to wear it's got even more left over belt than the original (which I made when my waste was 4-6 inches bigger....). So that one is not exactly a complete success (but I did make a cool thing...). The mark 3 belt is already in the planning stage (more steel, less problems (I hope!)) and the mark 2 will live on as part of another project.

Specifically the Mark 2 belt will live on as a component of a chainmaille scabbard for a cane. No pictures yet because it isn't done, but soon. Why would I want such a silly thing? Well that will be revealed even sooner than the pictures.

Words and metal!

Another of the writing projects is that I'm writing up (and will soon be selling) patterns for chainmaille projects. I'm only going to make a buck or two per copy on these, but hey that's a buck or two I didn't have.

Why I want that scabbard...

This actually ties in everything above (except the rice...)
I've been working on one of my biggest weapons to fight the blood sugar, and get rid of that last three units of insulin. This is also the $15.00 project Lisa talked about last week... I recently went down to the DI store and bought a BSO (Bike Shaped Object) which I have been working on...

It was a BSO because the shifters, the brakes, the chain, the tires... they all didn't work.
Well, the tires were actually good, but one of the tubes needed to be fixed. The chain was recoverable and now works fine. The shifters... well... the front shifter and derailleur work just fine (with a little adjusting maybe). The rear shifter lever needs to be replaced (but the derailleur seems to work just fine...).

And then there were the brakes! Some nearly intellectually gifted person tried to fix them and messed them up... The fact that I was able to figure out how to fix them with a minimum of swearing suggests that the previous person wasn't quite as smart as he/she thought.

I do need to fix that rear shifter, but the bike is a bike again! And now I'm coming up on the level two issues; like the fact that the handle bars need to be better aligned with the front wheel, it needs a rack, I'm really out of shape...

Actually that last one is how the defeating the blood sugar levels (getting of insulin) and the cane scabbard fit into this... Two of my big weapons for dropping these last three units of insulin are losing weight (they tell me that a 5-10% weight loss can have a major impact) and getting more exercise (which helps the body use glucose in spite of insulin resistance...). Unfortunately I'm me and and sometimes my knee or back hurts (this is where the video fits in...). Dr House has a cane mount on his motorcycle... I couldn't figure out how to mount the cane to the bike conveniently so I decided to mount it to me (in the scabbard).

The bike (now dubbed 'Alley Hawk' (why must I name everything?)) is a part of my diabetes fighting regimen, a project, a story, and something to have fun with (and occasionally swear at...). It kind of ties everything from the post together and brings us back to the start.

So... One more video. This one is by Ghost Dog and the song is by Sabaton. In addition to being literally about one of my favorite WW2 battles it describes where I feel I'm at with the fight with my diabetes.

You can guess for yourself how this fits in. I've actually found several ways it symbolically fits. One that helps it tie the post together... let the Japanies (who eat a lot of rice) stand in for the high blood sugar. And the Americans, well that would be telling wouldn't it.

That's it for this one (more to say but I've said too much).
Till next time. Make, do, just don't get into too much trouble (I'd hate to miss the fun!)

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Finished Project

It has been a while since you heard from me.  Patrick does a great job of entertaining you with our projects and updates.

It is finally cooling down a bit here - it was very hot, although seeing as I work in the basement of the library, it really wasn't that different for me - at least M-F.

I finally did complete a project that had been sitting near the sewing machine.

I had made one for Marisa's birthday... (my phone does not like to take clear pictures - or perhaps it is me.  The outside fabric is the same for both mine and Marisa's - even if the colors look way off.)

But I had used Christmas money to buy a full set of bamboo dpn (that is double-pointed needles for the non-knitters), and they needed a home.  So I finally finished mine.  There is still room for some more - perhaps hardwood, or metal, or some other pretty needles that decide to come home with me.

It rolls up nicely!


And there is a pocket!  I will eventually need a needle gauge that fits in here, as the full set of dpn's only has markings in mm instead of US sizes like I'm used to.

I also finally used my birthday money and bought a hand-thrown knitting bowl.  It is larger than I expected, but it works nicely for the larger sizes of yarn.  I still have my other little bowls to handle the smaller ones.

 At the end of June we ventured up to Rexburg to attend the Temple.  The Idaho Falls Temple is closed for renovations until next year.  Afterwards we headed to The Hickory for some lunch and were greeted by a flock of little ducks!

Patrick is doing really well.  The "new" eating has actually not been that difficult and has been enjoyable to visit the Farmer's market on Saturday to pick up some local lettuce for salads each week.  Granted we still eat enough salads and lettuce wraps that we still buy lettuce at the grocery store as well, but it is nice to have all the fresh produce around as it is the right season.  We did not plant a garden or pots this year.  It was just one more thing too much. But rest assured we still have many projects to keep us busy.  You'll be hearing about a recent $15 purchase from Patrick in the weeks to come.

I still have the dissertation staring at me.  I have gotten approval to move forward by 2 of the 3 reading committee members, now to find some more motivation!  I have also been doing more with Quality Matters and I do enjoy that work.  It gets me teaching, facilitating, and helping other create quality courses.  I have just begun facilitating the first introductory workshop offered in China!  It is all online so I don't have to go anywhere.  I have a wonderful co-facilitator and a wonderful support team to help with translations and applications specific to the Chinese educational system.  Quality Matters is in other places internationally, but this is the first where the language is more of an issue.

And when I'm having a hard time, Patrick is always good about finding something to pick me up.  Last week he gave me a happy Wednesday present :)  I love my new little purple boxes!  Now to find what is going to go in them!

Well, that is it for this week.  Other projects are in the works and I'm sure you get to hear about Patrick's new one(s) next week!