Controlling diabetes

Posted in health, weight loss with tags , on December 12, 2018 by jefferyrn

On a health note, I visited my endocrinologist on Tuesday and my A1C is down to 6.0. It is amazing. For those of you not versed in this statistic, 5.7 is considered normal. Anything below 7.0 is considered managed. Before I started seeing an endocrinologist my A1C had jumped to 10.1 last January.

I have also officially lost 28 pounds since starting the new medications. That brings my total weight loss to 40 pounds from my all-time heaviest. The doctor says he has seen patients lose over a hundred pounds in the first year. That is only 3 months away so I won’t have quite that good of results but hey, for not really doing much about it but taking medications I can’t complain too much.

I have a goal of losing another 50 pounds by May which is our 20th anniversary. We are going to Hawaii. Something to look forward to for sure. I know If I go to the gym and behave with starches I can achieve that goal easily. The five things to do are: 1) Move more, 2) Eat a balanced diet with proper portion sizes, 3) Stick to a schedule, 4) Follow my treatment plan, and 5) Track my blood sugar.

Moving and portion control are the hardest ones for me. The medications help curb appetite but I am an emotional eater. Food makes me happy. But you know what? Reaching my goal weight will make me even happier. I have to learn to put off some of the immediate gratifications that are all around me this holiday season and stick to the plan. And like the doctor said. If you eat too much get up and take a walk. Even five minutes of movement can make a difference.

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The suspense is killing me…

Posted in health with tags on December 11, 2018 by jefferyrn

It’s finally here. My Christmas cold. I thought I was actually going to make it through the season without getting one, but someone came to the Christmas party with a cold and gave it to us. Sinus meds are on the menu for the next few days. I hope I can shed this one without antibiotics.

Now let me telling something that women probably do get but here we go. I warn you it is a little gross. I hate to use public restrooms. Okay that’s not that gross right? But let me tell you the reason. The water level in the toilets. It’s too high. Things get wet that shouldn’t. Sometimes this happens when I first squat and other times it happened after the bowl gets a little fuller. Yikes. Reminds me of the old joke, “the water is a little cold”, says the first man. The second man says, “And deep too.”

If I haven’t totally grossed you out, there are some solutions to this issue. If I remember I can cup them with one free hand and aim it down with the other. The tricky part is wiping. Both hands are already busy. The solution is to stand. Another solution is a product called the suspensory. It is basically a strap that goes around the waste and cups them for you while letting your willy roam free. You can order one from Walmart. I have not tried this but it does sound better than getting wet. Okay, so I am an old fart with low hangers. Now you know.

On to less crude things. We are having a potluck tomorrow and so far there are only 3 things on the signup sheet, meatballs, artichoke dip, and cookies. I asked the organizer what gives and she assured me that there will be more things but for some reason people have not posted them. It will be a surprise. Sort of a “suspensory” potluck. I told her I would have to dip a meatball eat a cookie and go out to lunch. Sort of a theme going here isn’t there? Sorry about that, this was supposed to be less crude.

Anyway, I am having nothing to do with the White Elephant gifting. Talk about getting wet from a bunch of shit. I guess this post is just going to stay is the gutter. I will end it now.

Merry and bright

Posted in family, food, friends with tags on December 10, 2018 by jefferyrn

The Buena Vista, San Francisco

My posts of late have been a bit dark. Moving past that lets look at the bright side……hmm. Okay, so I am not good at this…let’s see. We got all of our Christmas shopping done over the weekend. We went to Roseville Galleria over the hill in California. It was a little warmer there then here in Reno and the mall is much bigger. While we were shopping our son posted on FB what a great time he was having at the Buena Vista in San Francisco drinking Irish coffee’s. He doesn’t even like coffee, rat bastard. Sorry it’s hard to control the darkness sometimes.

Anyway, our stockings are hung by the chimney with care…blah blah blah…bah humbug. I got a new skirt for the tree. I was going to make one but I found one I liked for $19. I could hardly make one for that price. Maybe next year I will tackle my own creation. I found the missing candles up in the top of our closet so we didn’t have to buy them again except of course the AAA batteries are all dead. It should be noted I looked for these damn things for 2 weeks. We almost did buy them and then something clicked in my tiny brain and I realized where they were all along, in an unmarked box that looked like mailing supplies.

We went to a Christmas Party on Friday, held by the doctors at the center. They paid for the whole thing. It was nice. I tried to mingle and get to know people but it was crowded and people tended to separate into their own little cliques. But I made the effort and Ricky went with me.
My IT group is going to go out to lunch for Christmas next week. Location is still TBD. I hope they decided soon or we may be out of luck. The cancer center is doing a White Elephant gift exchange and potluck which usually is quite amusing even though I don’t participate in the exchange. Then there is a huge department lunch in the auditorium which is never fun but attendance is expected.

Once all of that crap er ah festivities are out of the way, I am off till the New Year. We go visit the kids for one night in Modesto and then have Christmas with a group of friend for dinner at the Nugget. I hope to make more friend at this party. My goal is to invite at least one couple out to breakfast some time.

You are right. This is still a little bit of a dark piece. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Remember me?

Posted in death, family with tags , on December 6, 2018 by jefferyrn

In recent days the thought of death and funerals had been pervasive. President Bush’s funeral has been monopolizing the air waves, and rightly so. It has also got me thinking about my own mortality. First of all I thought Bush’s son did an excellent job eulogizing his father. But then I think who will write my eulogy? Have I made a difference? Will anyone remember me?

My family will most likely all be dead before me as I am the youngest and have no children of my own. My nephew may out live me, but I have not been a part of his life since he was 10 years old and we still all lived in the same city. I have a stepson and two granddaughters, but will they remember me? Rick is 11 years older than me. He will most likely go first. Once he passes I don’t think his family will even stay in touch. I would like to think they would because I have been a part of their lives at least for the last 20 years. But the reality is that their connection to me is strictly though Rick.

So if there is no family to remember me, what about friends? I have a few friends that would remember me today, but after I retire, those work friends will drift away. We have a saying here that 10 days after you are gone nobody will remember what you did. Everyone is replaceable.

My only hope is to start making a difference in people’s lives outside my family on a personal level. I will have a lot of time on my hands after I retire so this may be doable. Maybe I need to start now.

In recent years, family gathering for the holidays have shifted focus. My stepson has a new wife and a whole other family that lives in town with him. It seems spending time with him is more of an inconvenience and a duty to his father than a joy. Of course, Rick would disagree with me, but I see his disappointment when plans are changed that don’t include him anymore. I want to call my stepson and tell him what he has done to hurt his father, but that is not my place. They are adults and can work things out for themselves.

What do I want to be remembered for? Aah there is the rub, maybe there is no reason to remember me at all.

Maybe, I will start writing again. Maybe I can have an influence on people’s lives that way. If describing my experiences could comfort just one person that would be a win for me. If I could help change the perception of what a gay man is and how he lives his life that would be amazing.

My problem is I am a self-defeatist. I think of things to say and then I read someone else’s take on it and decide it has already been done. Who wants to hear from me? This blog is an effort to force myself to put my thoughts into words. I don’t want to be remember for writing a great post. I want to be remember for changing someone’s life. I want to make a difference.

Growing pains

Posted in family, health, love with tags on December 3, 2018 by jefferyrn

Growing older means your parents are much older too. While this might be stating the obvious, it is not always our perception of the situation. My parents see me as their baby boy, and I intern see them as the protectors that will always be there for me. Until a reality check happens like the one I had this weekend.

My father called me. I didn’t immediately answer the phone. Seem rude I know but it is easier for me to read his voicemail messages (transcript by Google which has its own set of problems). The transcript takes out all the hesitation and panic in his voice and leaves me with the facts. It is sort of a buffer for me and my emotional response. Plus I know if there were a true emergency the call would be coming from my mother or my sister. I live too far away to be the first responder.

Anyway, such a call came in on Sunday. I ignored it and waited for the voicemail. He was having problems with his computer again. Let me preface this by saying we have installed an app on his computer that allows me to remote in and see what is actually going on. It is a godsend for me assuming the computer still boots up and he can launch the app on his end.

I read the transcript: “Hi, Jeff. Hey, I’m having all kinds of….”. The message cuts off. He often has trouble with his cell phone and either doesn’t hang up or hangs up too soon. But that’s another story. So now I have to listen to the message since it drifted off and could not be translated completely. I can hear enough of it to know it is his computer he is talking about.

Let me also explain that my father is very hard of hearing and has very bad eyesight. So I know to call him back on the house phone, not his cell. Yes old people still have land lines. He can hear me better on the land line because the phone has amplification.

Also I should note that his computer monitor is actually a 30 inch flat screen TV that he uses on the highest magnification possible (800 x 600) and sits right on top of it. If you don’t know much about resolution on monitors this means there is very little real estate and it requires a lot of scrolling around to see everything on the screen. For example, his home page which is Yahoo only displays the banner and some adds without scrolling down or across. Imagine this on a 30 inch screen and you get the picture. Plus he is using the zoom at 175% in windows explorer which he refers to as the E.

Now with that background let’s get into the story I started to tell. I get home and in front of my computer ready to remote his computer. Then I call him back. You may ask why I wait till I am in front of the computer. The answer is simple. He lives in his office chair and assumes I do too. I put him on speaker and he describes his problem, immediately rattling off a passcode for me to connect over. This is an ordeal of its own. He can’t seem to read the passcode and it takes several attempts for me to get connected. Sometimes mom has to read it to me. Let me also fill you in on that situation. He is calling me because mom has had enough and refuses to come in and work with him anymore that day. I can hear him calling, “NORMA…..LEEVI….”. If he adds that I am on the phone she will respond and help with the passcode.

So the problem according to dad is that the shutdown button has been replace by a “START” button and he doesn’t want that, he wants to shut it down. This is the part where I swallow and realize what he is actually telling me. Someone has changed the theme on the computer to one that has a Start button in the lower left hand corner. He used to know what this was but not anymore. So sad. I click on the Start button and show him that the shutdown is under it, but he still can see it. The color scheme has made it invisible to him.
I switch the theme back to Windows 7 default (God help me if I ever have to teach him windows 10). Of course then his “favorite” background is gone so I restore that from his photo album. Now when I click on the windows ball in the left bottom corner of the screen he can see the shutdown button. Problem solved.

So here is the deal. We went through this same scenario a few days ago. How it reverted back is beyond me. And that time he had somehow turned off all of the desktop Icons. It’s a view feature that until he did it I had never realized was there before.

I love my father and would do anything to help him. Rick says you need to call and fix your father. I say if only I could. This man was a rocket engineer and chief scientist in his day. He taught me about computers before they were even a thing. He got me my first job in Aerospace which was around the time IBM created the first PC. I learned from the beginning. It was and is something my father and I shared. The realization I had after that phone call is that he is drifting away and even as I write this I am beginning to cry.

More political crap…

Posted in politics on October 18, 2018 by jefferyrn

This Presidency is like a very bad reality show. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does. We went from justifying sexual assault to murder in one week. It reminds me of those old soap operas where the villain catches her foot on the carpet and tumbles down the stairs on purpose to have a miscarriage. This is truly a miscarriage we are experiencing as a country.

We see our leader parading about with dictators, kings and other foreign aristocracy. He believes them because he can read people. He knows when they are telling the truth. I find that hard to believe coming from someone who doesn’t even know when he is telling the truth. He is a pathological liar. He believes his own lies.

The Republican Party is swept up in this charade because they are too close to the source. I know how this goes. I dated an arsonist. It wasn’t until he went to jail and I was out from under his spell that I could see the truth. He was a pathological liar. His sister let me read his psychiatric examination. He was diagnosed as a sociopath. He had a poor inner sense of right and wrong. He had used me to get what he needed, a place to stay, a lawyer, etc. He was totally disingenuous. It was all about protecting himself. The sad part of this is that I loved him. He made me feel special. Just enough to keep me going. But he could be mean. Scary mean.

I am afraid that this is what the leader of the free world is too. We have seen him manipulate congress. We have seen him lie and then double down on that lie, until we start to question the reality of the truth ourselves. I am afraid he will cast his spell on the rest of the country. We may not get the chance to back away and see him. The evil will manifest itself and take over. We are headed down a scary path as a nation. It Is not too late to turn back, but we are dangerously close to losing it all.

Hairballs

Posted in random on October 11, 2018 by jefferyrn

What follows I wrote with the intend of pull out some random ramblings and creating a post. Instead I am leaving it the way it came to me, a hairball of ideas full of wild hairs and slime that needed to come up to stop me from choking on it.

Despite my liberal lifestyle, I am a conservative at heart. I actually find these labels too confining for me. As a liberal I am all about human rights, socialized medicine, clean air, climate change, etc. But my conservative family values are different. Maybe I am mixing conservative up with moral.

Conservative and moral are not necessarily the same thing. I am conservative in that I believe in marriage. And I think the same rules should apply whether it is two men, two women or heterosexual. This is a liberal view. One should be loyal to their partner. One should be faithful. There needs to be trust above all else. I think an open relationship is wrong. But I respect the fact that not all marriages have this same requirement. Monogamous relationships are what I would call a conservative idea. When you look at the right, you hear “boys will be boys” in an attempt to justify extra marital affairs. It is an unbalanced power trip where women are expected to be loyal and faithful but men can go rouge and often do. Sexism is a part of the conservative mystic. I am not a sexist. Being gay takes the woman out of this equation, but I see the same roles taking place. One is more dominant and demanding while the other is more sensitive and discerning. A women can be the dominant partner as well. However, this is again a liberal view, but these do not have to be sexist roles.

So now let’s look at the moral issues here. I think it is morally wrong to sexually assault someone. I think it is morally wrong to lie. I think it is morally wrong to disrespect someone, unless that person proves unworthy through immoral actions. Here is the grey area that gets redefined with every generation. What is truly immoral? I think the fundamental truth is that any action that harms or puts another person in harm’s way is immoral. The rest of society’s norms are based on protecting that fundamental idea. While this rule seems simple, it can become very complicated. To protect someone from harm may mean putting someone in harm’s way, for example, self-defense or in the case of an entire group of people, war.

Where is all of this going? I think that power and greed breed corruption. You can see this in our leaders, be it our company, social club or government, temptation and greed rule supreme. Most of us are sheep. We keep a low profile and out of the line of fire. We depend on these leaders to make decisions and do the right thing for the good of the whole. The problem is that we get caught up in the details, which I guess is what makes us followers verse leaders. I have seen change come out of an idea and the details filled in behind. We need to pick strong leaders that can resist temptation and greed. We need to place representatives that are truly for the people as a whole, not some special interest. We need a hero, a savior, a prophet, a divine. Short of that we settle for someone who tries hard for us. Maybe makes some mistakes along the way, but for the most part helps our world become a better place.