Happy Dia-Versary To Me!

What’s a “Dia-Versary,” you may ask? It’s a diabetic anniversary.

Memorial Day weekend, 1987 was when I was officially diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic. We called it Juvenile Diabetes back then. We also tested our blood sugar by pricking our fingers with something everyone today refers to as the Guillotine. Click on this link to see it in all its glory. They even have the directions pictured there. Imagine hitting your fingers with it multiple times a day. It didn’t last long, as I recall, but it will never be forgotten… Wait, here, I have to include the pic:

The Guillotine

It’s OK to shudder. We all just did with you.

I recently switched to an insulin pump and have nothing but great things to say about it, but maybe we’ll get to that in a future post.

For now, er, Happy Dia-Versary to Me! Please pass the Russell Stovers Sugar Free peanut butter cups, OK?

The Voice and American Idol

  • Next week, both The Voice and American Idol will crown new winners. It’s possible both competitions this season will be won by teenaged girls (*) who have a knack for dramatically interpreting songs in their own modern style.

  • Both will likely quickly disappear, never to be heard from again save their performances on the shows next season when they “drop” their first albums.

  • Jacquie Lee got robbed last season, dagnabit!

  • THE VOICE SPOILER: The internet sensation was saved by a Twitter vote tonight. Who didn’t see that coming?

  • One completely random and meaningless The Voice thought: One contestant this week sang a song by Jewel, a judge on another NBC singing show, The Sing-Off, while another sang a Disney song, which is owned by rival network ABC.

  • And finally — this season on singing competition shows, everyone who sang “Let It Go” was immediately let go from the show the next night. Seriously, people, don’t sing songs on these shows which would be ironic in their titles if you got voted out the next night. It’s TOO easy….

(*) OK, so Grimmie is actually 20 now. Close enough. Kids these days…

Separated at Birth: Adam Levine and David Byrne

Levine has to be a Talking Heads fan, don’tcha think?

Separated at Birth: Adam Levine and David Byrne

Crazy Harry

Sometimes, on American Idol, Harry Connick Jr. pontificates a bit too much, leaving his fellow judges flummoxed, confused, and bewildered.

Harry Connick Jr. gets crazy looks from Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban.

Insert your own crazy word balloons, but that look on Keith’s face pretty much says it all.

Bad Survey

How many things can you count wrong with this on-line survey?

Bad survey with a lot of bad decisions in it.

First, each row uses radio buttons instead of check boxes. In this survey, when it comes to the blogging question, I need to decide if I wrote/created one of my own OR provided comments to one OR read one. I’ve done all three. I can only choose one.

Second the responses don’t fit all the categories. Provided comments to tweets? I suppose you could say you responded to one. But is creating an original one considered “Wrote/Create my own”? Or does that indicate I wrote my own Twitter-like web service?

Third, I may have commented on a YouTube video but never watched one? Wait, that might be possible. Have you read YT comments? I wouldn’t put anything past those people…

I’m a bad bad man

I saw this and all I could think was, “Sure, Mom. You’ll get a Grammar Pass. Just this once.”

Comment says "Mother's get a free pass." with a possessive "Mothers" instead of plural.

The Insulin Pump

Things you learn from wearing an insuling pump after 27 years of taking shots:

  • Three days seems like such a long time — until you’re counting the days to change your infusion set. Then, it flies by. Just when you’ve gotten comfortable with one site, it’s time to change it out.

  • Checking your blood sugar is no longer a chore. It will never mean having to poke yourself with a needle again right afterwards.

  • Those annoying blood sugars somewhere between “perfect” and “just slightly high”? Not a worry anymore. Since the pump can dole out insulin in teeny tiny steps, let it do the work. You can think of 135 as a high blood sugar now if you want, since the pump will push out a little insulin to bring you back to 100. (Mine just gave me .1 unit for just that reading.) You never would have wasted a needle for less than a unit like that before.

  • You’re so hip wearing a pager on your belt!

  • Carbohydrates are measured in grams. OK, you likely knew that before, but you likely didn’t care that much.

  • Being in peak physical shape is awesome and all, but having a couple extra pounds around the belly makes for a far easier injection site, I have to think.

  • Women have a slight advantage here: With all their pants being low-rise, they have more room to plug themselves in.

Deserving a Special Oscar

Mandy Patankin.

Just give it to him for this scene in “The Princess Bride”:

It’s 25 years too late, but he still deserves it. This scene is a masterpiece in line delivery. Just the one line.

The Morning TV Show Format

O.A.R. was on the VH-1 Morning Buzz show this morning. They were performing a new song I hadn’t heard before, so I watched the show.

It was painful. Not O.A.R. They were great, even with a stripped down four piece version of the band. (Chris and Benj were absent.) It’s the television show: A cheap, stripped-down, grasping-at-straws-for-content version of Today or GMA, which are similar poor shows just with bigger budgets.

I don’t watch much television anymore, and I definitely don’t watch any of the morning shows. So while I’m familiar with the format from so long ago it feels like a previous life, I haven’t sat through an example of it in years.

It’s bad.

In the half hour or forty minutes I saw, host Nick Lachey and his two co-hostesses ran through a ridiculous number of spots, one more hollow than the next. There was the bartender showing them how to make fancy mixed drinks. There was the pole dancer showing the three hosts how to pole dance (I notice the second hostess stood by and never got on the pole — she must be the smart one). There was a three minute interview with Akon, following by two questions asked from tourists on the street. Nick Lachey sang 20 seconds of a song coming out of a break. An even more annoying co-host helped introduce O.A.R. and smiled like a doofus when Lachey teased the next show. Lachey went out into the “crowd” of about 20 people in Times Square to answer a couple of Tweets, and then took a selfie or two with the people.

Bam bam bam bam. Don’t blink or you’ll miss a segment. Better idea: Blink and you WILL miss a segment. One more vapid than the next. Lachey reading his questions off index cards is painful, especially when he can’t pronounce the name of an artist he just referred to as a “major” one, like he had never heard of Matisyahu before.

Later on, I listened to a Nerdist podcast where the host and friends interviewed Donald Fasion for an hour.* Sure, the topics were a bit scattered, but there was a flow of conversation that didn’t seem scripted or rehearsed. It felt natural. It was funny. It was entertaining. I learned a thing or two and had a couple fun flashbacks to things I had forgotten about. Obviously, they went into the podcast with topics to discuss, but it wasn’t carefully planned. All the proof you need of that is the awkward way it ended, like all Nerdist podcasts. There’s about three rounds of good-byes before the tangents stop and they actually end the recording.

Morning Television is the true vast wasteland, showing us on a daily fast-forwardable basis just how scattershot and minimally attentive television audiences are assumed to be. I’d rather sit in a chair, close my eyes, and listen to a podcast, where there’s no commercial breaks, no need for multiple segments, the freedom to talk about anything using whatever language they see fit, and a sense of spontaneity not created by cringe-worthy audience interaction.

Give me podcasts or give me — well, boredom!

Apple’s Healthbook and Diabetes

This is Healthbook, Apple’s major first step into health & fitness tracking | 9to5Mac.

9to5Mac has a scoop of what might just be coming up in iOS 8. It’s called Healthbook, and it’s one central place on your phone to put all your health data.

The most interesting section to me, of course, is the “Blood Sugar” part. Some immediately jumped that it meant that (A) the iWatch is coming and (B) the iWatch would magically check your blood sugar readings.

That last part is never going to happen. But — there’s a solution here for diabetics that’s awesome, if Apple can pull it off. There are things called CGM — Continuous Glucose Monitors. They stay attached to you around the clock and measure your blood sugar levels through your interstitial tissues every minutes. They then beam the numbers to another device you keep on you to show you your readings. The insulin pumps these days can read those numbers, but the displays make for an ugly look into the data. Imagine a custom iOS app with nice graphs and tables of data? It would be much easier to use, and more likely for a diabetic to use it.

There’s no reason the iPhonecan’t graab that signal, aside from the proprietary nature of the data format? If Apple can strike a deal with the medical device manufacturers who make the CGMs, they can unlock those signals and make apps that show you how you’re doing.

I’m not sure if Apple would go so far as to add this data to the iOS 8 framework — I’m sure HIPPA would not make it easy, and users would at the least have to approve it on an app by app basis — but it would be nice if they could…

AI 13 Week 1 Results

Let this be a lesson to all contestants: Do not try to perform a song with a title like “Beautiful Disaster” as if it’s an upbeat pop song that makes you smile and validates all of your life choices.

America will kick your butt back home.

Is there a holiday coming up?

This is my “Promotion” tab on Google for less than the last week.

2014-02-07 at 9.38 PM

The iWatch to Save All Diabetics

I’m still extremely cynical and pessimistic on this one. With evidence now that Apple met with the FDA to discuss wearable medical devices, the iWatch rumor mill is back at it.

9to5Mac is putting together the pieces and sees:

>Besides fitness tracking, a marquee feature of “Healthbook” will be the ability to monitor a user’s vital signs.

>The application will be able to track a person’s blood pressure, hydration levels, heart rate, and potentially several other blood-related data points, such as glucose levels, according to our sources.

I’m still not believing it. Measuring blood glucose is still reliant on blood samples. Measuring it by the moisture on your skin is still too science-fictiony for me.

Pointer to Tech Blog

I should also point out that the Various and Sundry CS blog is back up and running after a two month hiatus due to — ironically enough — technical issues.

Expect lots of Elixir on there in the weeks and months ahead.

Jack Is Back

I have to be honest. I never watched the last couple seasons of ’24.’ Or that television movie that led into the one season. I’m not even sure where we left Jack.

But it’s been just long enough that all the nostalgia flows through me and I’m super excited that Jack Is Back:

Besides, once upon a time, ’24’ talk was a regular feature around here. I didn’t forget you.