Vital Statistics

Van odometer: 151601
Weight lost (in pounds): 10
Aches & pains: sciatic, right ankle
Current reading: The Book of Totally Useless Information by Don Voorhees, The Areas of My Expertise by John Hodgman, My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk
Recent listening: ClutchThis American Life
Recent viewing: The Quiet, The Office, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Democratic Presidential Debate, America’s Funniest Home Videos
Recent playing: n/a
Recently accomplished: Joined Bally’s gym, finished 401k rollover, replaced heating element in clothes dryer, tagged old blog posts, prescription refill, coordinated Xbox repair
Imperative To Do: Sell G4, get rid of junk (couch, vacuum cleaner, mower), buy trailer for van, activate new Tivo, weed & feed, change voter registration, develop comprehensive reward/punishment plan for homework, bike to work

Vital Statistics

Bike odometer: 1777
Weight lost: 40 lbs.
Hours of sleep last night: 8
Hours billed last week: 43
Aches & pains: abrasion near left elbow, right wrist, lower back
Current reading:: 2107 Curious Word Origins, Says & Expressions by Charles Earle Funk, The Book of Totally Useless Information by Don Voorhees, Writing Solid Code by Steve Maguire
Recent listening: Wolfmother by Wolfmother, Coverville, DrugMusic, NPR Story of the Day
Recent viewing: World Series of Poker, Hardball, Gilmore Girls
Recent playing: Gimme Friction Baby, Guitar Hero II (XBox 360)
Recently accomplished: Paid bills, fixed Thomas’ computer, scheduled doctor appointments
Imperative To Do: RMA old Tivo drive, sift through inbox, post office, finish garage, freecycle gorilla shelf parts, Goodwill trip

Vital Statistics

Bike odometer: 1747
Weight lost: 42 lbs.
Hours of sleep last night: 6
Hours billed last week: 16.5
Aches & pains: none!
Current reading:: 2107 Curious Word Origins, Says & Expressions by Charles Earle Funk, The Book of Totally Useless Information by Don Voorhees, The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester
Recent listening: CSN (box set) by Crosby, Stills and Nash, Coverville, DrugMusic
Recent viewing: Tournament of the Americas, Countdown
Recent playing: Gimme Friction Baby, Guitar Hero II (XBox 360)
Recently accomplished: Paid bills, finished “Medium” level of Guitar Hero II, beach pictures
Imperative To Do: RMA old Tivo drive, sift through inbox, post office, fix Thomas’ computer, finish garage, freecycle gorilla shelf parts, Goodwill trip, doctor appointments

Vital Statistics

Bike odometer: 1690
Weight lost: 41 lbs.
Hours of sleep last night: 10
Hours billed last week: 16.5
Aches & pains: abrasion on right calf, back, shoulders, bruise on right forearm
Current reading:: 2107 Curious Word Origins, Says & Expressions by Charles Earle Funk, The Book of Totally Useless Information by Don Voorhees, The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester
Recent listening: Wolfmother, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Metallica
Recent viewing: Masters of Science Fiction, The Colbert Report, Gilmore Girls, Mindfreak, Tournament of the Americas
Recent playing: Pangea Arcade, Gimme Friction Baby, Guitar Hero II (XBox 360)
Recently accomplished: More garage re-organization, returned cans and bottles, cleaned cat box, foam recycling, cardboard recycling, mowed front yard, cleaned and lubed bike
Imperative To Do: RMA old Tivo drive, sift through inbox, post office, fix Thomas’ computer, finish garage, freecycling, Goodwill trip

We can laugh our lives away and be free once more

Recent events in the Portland Ring household:

  • As mentioned earlier, our cat Nietzsche had to be put down on Saturday. Possibly more on that later.
  • Tina saw her doctor on Monday and was disappointed to find that her foot fractures have not healed. I’m renewing my efforts to keep her off her feet. She will continue to wear “the boot” until she is healed.
  • Tina’s dad, Leroy, arrived yesterday. He’ll be with us for a week. Tina’s cousin Natians (Buddy’s step-daughter) will be in town for 10 days starting on Saturday.
  • Last night we took Leroy to his first zoo concert. The Charlie Hunter Trio played an incredible show. Hunter is a unique guitarists who simultaneously plays lead and bass guitar parts on his 7-string guitar. Unfortunately, after they returned from their mid-show break, the set became more solo jazz oriented so we left early.
  • Because Natians and Leroy are in town we’ve got a busy week ahead of us: a long weekend at the coast, another zoo concert (featuring the beautiful voice of Richie Furay), Body Worlds 2 at OMSI and the annual CPS golf tournament and company picnic.
  • I’m finishing up a big project at work and will soon be transitioning to a new project. When my product ships, I’ll have a link to the announcement here.

Doctor, doctor, give me the news

For several years now I have been paranoid about developing Type 2 diabetes, formerly known as adult-onset diabetes. My paternal aunts all developed it and so has one of my cousins (on both sides). Being overweight puts me at a higher risk, too. In recent years I’ve noticed what I imagined to be symptoms including slow healing of injuries and the occasional negative reaction to large amounts of sugar. After my sister, Mardy, developed it a couple of years ago, I felt sure I was going to get it if I didn’t have it already. However, I pushed it to the back of my mind and didn’t get tested because I was afraid of the results.

This year, though, with Tina’s help I’ve really gotten my weight under control and I feel healthier than I have in recent years. So when I called to schedule an annual checkup with my doctor, I requested a glucose test. It was finally time to take control of the situation and deal with the consequences, if necessary.

On Tuesday I arrived at my appointment early after fasting for 12 hours per doctor’s instructions. Fortunuately, I did not have to do the glucose tolerance test. Instead, it was just a simple blood test and the doctor would call with the results that night. He warned that a high glucose concentration combined with other factors would also put me at a higher risk for heart disease. One of those factors was also blood cholesterol so they tested for that, too.

Blood glucose levels while fasting are considered “normal” when they fall below 100. 140 and above is considered diabetic and everything in between is a gray area which would probably indicate the eventual development of diabetes. My blood glucose level was at 97 for the test. That’s very good and I’m pleased. The doctor was surprised and wants to have a second test done where they measure my blood glucose two hours after I eat a high calorie meal (or the highest calorie meal of my day). I’ll probably have that done when my regular doctor gets back from his stint in Africa (long story).

The blood cholesterol story was almost as good. My triglyceride levels were at 103 which is well under the 150 threshold for concern. My “good cholesterol” level was 46 which is in the healthy range of 40 to 60. My “bad cholesterol” level was 108 which is in the “near optimal” range. “Optimal” is considered to be 100 and below.

So the news was almost uniformly great and if I can lose more weight it will continue to get better.

Vital Statistics

Bike odometer: 1282
Weight lost: 58 lbs.
Hours of sleep last night: 8.5
Hours billed last week: 10
Aches & pains: right wrist
Current reading:: 2107 Curious Word Origins, Says & Expressions by Charles Earle Funk, The Book of Totally Useless Information by Don Voorhees, The STL Primer
Recent listening: Frances the Mute by The Mars Volta, Pure Pod For Now People Episode 20, Dolly Parton, Pictures at an Exhibition, Coverville, DrugMusic
Recent viewing: High Stakes Poker, Gilmore Girls, Countdown, The 4400, Dead Zone, Last Comic Standing
Recent playing: Pangea Arcade, Big Bang React
Recently accomplished: Paid bills, yard debris, weed eater, recycling, tried to help Graham’s friend’s mom start her jeep (fruitlessly), picked up bike, picked up new glasses, doctor appointment
Imperative To Do: RMA old Tivo drive, backup Thomas, backup Graham, backup Tina, sift through inbox, CDs to post office, return cans, book Iowa trip, expense report, vacation planning

Vital Statistics

Bike odometer: 1263
Weight lost: 58 lbs.
Hours of sleep last night: 7
Hours billed last week: 45
Aches & pains: right wrist, lower back
Current reading:: 2107 Curious Word Origins, Says & Expressions by Charles Earle Funk, The Book of Totally Useless Information by Don Voorhees, Prey by Michael Crichton
Recent listening: The Pixies, The Rising Tied by Fort Minor, Collision Course by Jay Z with Linkin Park, Teaches of Peaches by Peaches, The Mercury Anthology by Rod Stewart, Meat Puppets II by Meat Puppets
Recent viewing: 2007 MTV Movie Awards, Ocean’s 12, Gilmore Girls, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Sportscenter, NBA Finals
Recent playing: Virus 2, Excite Truck
Recently accomplished: Paid bills, Tivo scheduling to ensure NBA Finals are recording while I’m gone, dropped bike off at Bike Gallery, renewed BTA membership, packing list for WWDC
Imperative To Do: Pack for WWDC, RMA old Tivo drive, backup Thomas, backup Graham, backup Tina, sift through inbox, CDs to post office, return cans

Getting Old Sucks

Yesterday morning I injured my right wrist in the shower. You might think that there was some sort of freak accident which involved slipping or falling or maybe both, but it was not nearly that dramatic. The sad truth is that I was simply washing my hair when it happened. The act of rubbing shampoo onto my scalp with my hand caused the injury to my wrist. I wasn’t rubbing particularly vigorously or pressing very hard. It just started hurting and has hurt since.

Since I turned 40 I have been noticing more and more that my body has become much more fragile. Injuries that used to take a day or two to heal now takes weeks or even months. Last year, on a trip to the coast, I made the mistake of hefting too many laptops in my shoulder bag. Result: a popping sensation in my left shoulder that has only recently gone away.

It wasn’t like this when I was 20 or even 30. When I was in college, I used to do crazy things so people would think I was crazy. One of the crazy things I did was to jump out of a second story window once when I was drunk. Because I came away from that experience completely uninjured, I concluded that I would never be injured jumping out that window and demonstrated my theory a few days later. Even though I “rolled” with the impact, I injured my right ankle enough that I rolled around on the ground in pain for several minutes before limping off for a beer.

It probably took only a week for that injury to heal, but it has come back numerous times to haunt me in recent years. In the last year especially, that ankle has gone from normal to painful in a matter of minutes. And the transition doesn’t even have to involve movement. I can be sitting with my feet off the ground for a long period of time but when I stand I’m suddenly in excruciating pain. The extreme pain fades but a dull pain lingers for days after. I plan to speak with my doctor about it next time I see him.

Sometime between jumping out that window and now my body decided it could no longer put up with my shit anymore. Or perhaps it was no longer able to put up with my shit. Whatever the correct shit-putting-up-with verb, my actions now have consequences on my fragile body. That fragility has not only created a greater awareness of physical consquences but has also led to increased caution and hesitancy. Straining to move that bookshelf a few inches further while the body is twisted awkwardly is no longer an option. Greater planning and frequent plan re-evaluations are the order of the decade now.

And when the body says, “Pain!” – it’s time to finally listen.

Vital Statistics

Bike odometer: 1220
Weight lost: 58 lbs.
Hours of sleep last night: 9
Hours billed last week: 45
Current reading:: 2107 Curious Word Origins, Says & Expressions by Charles Earle Funk, The Book of Totally Useless Information by Don Voorhees, Prey by Michael Crichton
Recent listening: Dolly Parton, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Science Friday
Recent viewing: NBA Eastern Conference Finals, Gilmore Girls, World Poker Tour
Recent playing: Virus 2, Excite Truck, Hoshi Saga
Recently accomplished: Optometrist appointment, bagged cans, cardboard recycling, pulled blackberries, attempted hose return, bike maintenance
Imperative To Do: RMA old Tivo drive, backup Thomas, backup Graham, backup Tina, renew BTA membership, sift through inbox, Bike Gallery, CDs to post office, return cans, pay bills