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Recipes, technology, personal stuff and a crap load of archives.

Too Busy Being Awesome

A question posed to me this week by one of the White Roof Radio boys had me thinking, and researching. And, well, I’ll just come out and say it.

Holy Crap

I have been posting words to the internet, in some fashion of a blog or another, since about 2001. I can’t verify that however, so I have to dig through the archives. did you guys know that dbmini.us went ‘live’ on or about 9/24/_2002? That is the date of the first post. It might have been at blogger, but it’s there, so it counts.

WRR went live on August 1st, 2005. The show started a few months before that, on June 30th, 2005, which means I have been podcasting for 12.5 years. Let’s go back to the title question for a bit and have a proper, very long time in coming, rant.


Podcasting, at it’s core, is very incestuous. I’m on a few of the groups on Facebook and have listened to a few of the podcasts about podcasting, and they are nothing more than circle jerks of people telling each other lies about how big their shows are, and how many millions of downloads they have gotten. Each one of them, of course, is also an expert in podcasting, blogging and social media, as you would expect.

I guess my ego isn’t big enough.

Easy there kids. My ego is plenty big, trust me. And, as you probably know, I do have a bit of diva in me. I’m not trying to kid anyone. I just don’t think my ego is that big. I have a hard time showing off my work (not to you guys, but to strangers) and flaunting to a group of people that I can only imagine do not give a shit. These are the people that are popular. The yellers, the screamers, the ‘look-at-me’-ers. They are the ones with the shows that have triple digit downloads getting nominated for awards and crap like that.

That’s just not me.

Another thing that those people are really good at is burning cycles. Checking stats like it’s the end of times, constantly fussing with their website, trying to figure out why they aren’t getting any traffic from Facebook, and checking stats. A few of them can actually keep this up for more than a month before they burn out and stop making their show. Which is usually ok since their shows aren’t that great anyway. Oh, c’mon now, you know I’m right.

The thing that I learned, a very long time ago, is that all of that is crap. The trick is to focus those cycles on things that matter. The thing that matters is making a show. Fine tuning the show to something that is awesome, made with awesome people and listened to by people who have become fans because it’s awesome.

Why are we not more popular? To the contrary my dear Watson, I would argue that we are very popular. I would guess that there are very few MINI Cooper owners in the United States and Canada that have not heard about WRR. Do you know how many MINI Coopers there are in the United States and Canada?

Why are not getting awards and recoginition for being podcasting pioneers and producing a show for almost 13 years? That’s easy, it’s because we are too busy being awesome.

What’s Next?

About a year ago, almost to the day, I was first diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. About a year ago, almost to the day, I have received my second blood test where I did not, in fact, have Type 2 Diabetes.

Started with an A1c (blood glucose percentage for the last 4 months) that pegged all known instruments at almost 13%. If sugar where alcohol, I'd still be in jail. Today, after being off the meds that I was taking to get that down for 6 months, I'm at 5.6. 5.6, for those that are wondering, is considered good. Not even pre-diabetic.

1 year. That's all it took. Well, it took more than that, but not much. Regular excercise, trying very, very hard to keep my diet in check and regular excercise.

I know there are a zillion people out there that suffer from this. Some of them can't control it due to other medical factors. Some can't control it because of other reasons. For those of you that can't, you just keep doing you, follow your doctors instructions and do what you are doing to keep it in check.

For the rest of the people that have been diagnosed; why do you still have it? Please excuse me for a minute while I climb upon my grand ol' soap box, won't you.

  1. Excercise. This one is easy because you know what you need to do? Get off the couch and go for a 20 minute walk, and make it brisk. You have the 20 minutes. Trust me.
  2. The drive-thru is a lie. Besides the fact that it takes longer than actually going inside, it's over-processed crap full of all of things that are driving your blood glucose up.
  3. Diet. Try to work into a diet consisting primarily of proteins, vegetables and fruit. Have some beans in there too. Stay away from the baked goods, processed anything, frozen dinners and anything that has ingredients that you can't pronounce.
  4. For good measure, exercise.

Honestly, this is all I did. Granted, I started on the diet about 7 years ago, and really knuckled down about 2 years ago, and again about a year ago. Am I perfect? Fuck no. Am I doing better than you? Most definitely.

You shouldn't have to take a pill or a needle to do what your body does for you by design. If you do, and don't fall into the categories that I listed above, then you are definitely doing something wrong. This isn't easy to fix, especially if most of your meals come from drive-thru windows and are washed down with corn syrup laden drinks, but you will find that it is easier than you think.

There is no reason to have this. I did because I was lazy and eating poorly and used to weigh 320 pounds. And smoked a pack a day. But, here I am, 220 pounds, not smoking and riding my bicycle 70-100 miles per week. Check my Strava and you'll see that I have, really, riden almost 1300 miles this year.

Turn off the TV, cut cable, shop for your food around the outside edge of the store, only get coffee at the donut shop and get off your ass! You can do this!

Please allow me to dismount my soapbox. Thank you.

I will be going back again in 3 months for another check to make sure I haven't gone off the rails. But this is who I am now. This is how I eat, how I exercise, how I live.

Finally, there was some strange results from this test. With all of my cycling and driving to work in a car without tinted windows (and about 5 hours a week with the top down), my vitamin D levels came back in the mid 20's. Good is 30 – 100 on whatever scale they use to measure that. Yes. You read that correctly. A guy that spends 20 hours a week outdoors, while living in Arizona, is vitamin D deficient.

Well, at least I beat Diabetes. #boom.

What Happened To The Science

For the last few months I have stopped checking my BC pre and post workout. Or, rather, I have stopped sharing that information. I know, that's weird coming from me, Mr. Share All The Things Even When Mom Hates It. But, to be honest, there is a reason for it.

I don't need to.

Now, I still have to go in for my quarterly blood work, but I'm pretty sure I have this beat. I wake up and check, I'm at 120 or better. I get home from work and I check and I'm at 120 or better. I exercise and I check and, again, I'm at 120 or better. Except for a few times where I had some issues after longer, more strenuous bike rides, I'm always pretty good.

I'm not really sure what happened. I am very sure that I started riding bikes just in time. The more people I talk to the more I am reminded how much more of a struggle this could have been, how much more dangerous this could have been, if I still weighed 300lbs this time last year.

I do still struggle with my food intake just a bit, but I have it mostly nailed down. You know the drill, only shop from the edges of the market (except the bakery) and the aisle where they keep canned beans and those cute little diet cokes. Like I said, I do still have some struggles with my diet.

Besides going back for another blood check, I'm actually going to be revisiting the initial problem that brough me to the doctor in the first place; my feet. The primary reason I am taking Cymbalta isn't because I'm bat-shit crazy as most of you might have thought. It helps with the pain in the feet caused by peripheral neuropathy. It's really hard to describe, but there is a giant Wikipedia article if you want more infomation. I can tell you that it makes my feet, especially my right foot, feel as if I am always walking with a shoe full of sand. As if that wasn't fun enough, at night, I get the sensation of icy fire below the knee and in my hands, with the occassional feeling of electrical pulses violently leaving my body. Enough that I get the jumps and loose a few hours of sleep.

I've added Turmeric to the mix which has helped a huge amount! That, plus keeping my numbers in line is about all I can do on my own. There are some crazy hippie theories I've been hearing about out there, but I'm going to stick with science on this one to see if there is anything else I can do. Mostly because I really don't want to have to continue to take the Cymbalta longer than I have to, because it is one of those drugs that once you start, you just can't stop. Just like Lays chips, but without the satisfying crunch and salt, but with the annoying weight gain. Night. Mare.

In one month it will have been 1 year since I was officially diagnosed. While I really can't say that I have actually beat Type 2 Diabetes, I can say that I have it's number and know how to manage it.

Who Rides for Science?

If you have been following me on Strava or Facebook recently,you might see something like “Riding for science. -36” on a recent post. While not really science, it is to me, since I’m keeping track of how my cycling affects my blood sugar levels.

Yes. Blood sugar levels.

Why would I need to do that you might ask? I’m pretty fit, exercise regularly, appear to eat well and all that, right? That’s what I thought too.

My year started off badly and included making bad choices. Drinking too much, eating poorly, smoking and not exercising regularly. I was also experiencing more stress at work than usual. So, like I said, year started off badly. I am back on track, but that doesn’t change what has already happened. Add to this the fact that, not terribly long ago, I was not pretty fit, did not exercise regularly and weighed 100-ish pounds more than I do today.

Back in May I started feeling a tingling sensation in my feet and hands, along with numbing. I had a feeling I knew what was going wrong and took way to long to see the doctor about it. When I finally made it to the doctor, a check of my blood sugar without fasting pegged the device at close to 350. For reference, normal is between 90 – 100 (110 – 120 after eating). I was started immediately on 2 medications; 1 to help lower my blood sugar, the other, an anti-depressant, to help with my feet. Continue reading “Who Rides for Science?”

Wanna Ride Bikes?

tandem

Been riding bikes for most of my life, like many of you. I remember my first bike almost like it was yesterday; a screaming red Schwinn Stingray with banana seat and ape hanger bars. Or, at least I thought they were since I was 5. Learned to ride that thing **like a boss** too. Imagine how upset I was when I let it get stolen. It was soon replaced with a screaming yellow version of the same bike. And I rode that thing like a boss too. Forever. No kidding, like my car, I had that bike forever and rode it everywhere. It’s where I started with bikes. [This might sound familiar](http://donburnside.com/the-history-of-me-wheels/) if you’ve been a donburnside.com reader for more than a few years.

Fast forward to this last weekend. [The Burnside Manor](https://foursquare.com/v/the-burnside-manor/5334dd3b498ebe83228b3a65) played host to the ‘rents as they needed to visit to deliver a few things. Namely some really _kickass_ (potentially) wine. And, the beauty you see above.

I haven’t fully researched the bike yet, but I do know it is a Colson Tandem, built sometime in the 40’s. Most of it, from what I can tell, is original, like the seats and fenders, the frame and the wheels. Again, I only think. It’s got an internal front brake, coaster brakes and a 3 speed that mostly works. It was delivered with rotten tires and tubes, quickly replaced day of delivery so I could get out and ride it.

I remember when this bike first came into my life. It was at Newport Beach. Grand dad picked her up and made it part of the beach house bike stable. There were always very unique bikes in that collection. This one quickly became a favorite. Not because you could ride it with another person, which is cool to be sure. It’s that you can ride it by yourself.

From the rear seat.

Yea, this particular tandem bicycle allows for 2 person steering. Since both riders can steer, 1 can drive from the back without a front seat passenger. Took it for a ride around the hood last night and got some interesting looks, since I was riding from the back. Don’t worry, I’ll get video soon enough.

It’s a cruiser to be sure. This is not what you would consider a speedy bike. It rides so low that if you turn too sharp, the pedals will scrape the ground. But, high speed turns with big leans aren’t what this bike it about. It’s about the ride, baby. She is comfortable to ride and a joy to pedal. With as much weight as she carries, once you get moving the momentum just keeps it going, smooth and comfortable over the bumps.

This is my next project. Getting it cleaned up and tuned up. Like I mentioned, she is rideable now. After a few minor things, she’ll be ready for anything.