Sunday, December 2, 2012

Annual Diabetes retreat weekend at Vail....

So, normally the Adult Type 1 Diabetes retreat is in November... before the ski slopes are open - which is just bitter irony that I can afford to stay at the base of Vail or Beaver Creek and there is no skiing.

This year?   It was the first weekend in December.  While we had a great time at the retreat with all my D friends we also enjoyed some time on the slopes on saturday and sunday!

Not much snow yet.....  :(  But a good time anyway!

I did discover how to remove the latex paint from the front of my pump - when I run into walls (don't ask, but it happens)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Karyn's 1st half marathon (without swimming and biking) and/or first ski trip to Washington state

Soooo....    we went to Seattle for Thanksgiving weekend.  Our good friend Catherine lives there and many of our monoski buddies as well - and there are 4 half marathons that weekend that aligned well with my full marathon training plan.  one on thurs, one on fri, one on sat and one on sun.  many people do all of them.   Many also complete all FOUR FULL marathons offered on those same days.

We arrived Wed night and had dinner with Catherine and her brother Tony who was visiting from California.  Thursday was sighseeing in downtown and then dinner with friends of Catherine who all seemed to have a Colorado connection!

Friday morning Tucker, Tony and I headed to meet our monoski friends for a day of skiing at Steven's Pass.   We brought boots and borrowed boards -

It was great except for the rain which froze on my goggles preventing any real good sight of what was going on around me.  I took 2 runs and called it a day.   But, it was a GOOD day!

The following day - Saturday - was the half marathon.  It was beautiful and warm (50s).  But, I had never run a half marathon.  I have walked one after some biking and swimming (1/2 Ironman) but have never run one.  I was scared and excited and unsure how things would pan out.  I followed my coach's plan and finished 1 hour faster than the 13.1 miles that I walked in my 1/2 Ironman last year!  (the finisher's medal is a bottle opener)

I followed this guy FOREVER and finally passed him around mile 8 or so... thank goodness.   He had the same saying tattooed on his calf.   Odd, but motivating.  He high fived me at the turn around as I passed him!  Such a low key race and such a good crowd!

We had brunch.  I took a shower and then we saw the wooden boat exhibit and then were off to Gregg and Darcy's house for dinner!  But first....   it started raining and we headed out with them on their boat to pick up the evening's dinner - crab!

We only got one crab but it was delicious!   It was a great excuse to race, see friends and ski!   Watch out, I might do it again next year!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ironman Arizona spectating (and signing up)

The weekend before Thanksgiving I headed to Tempe to watch Ironman Arizona.   With many of my past teammates and other IronMonsters (Chicago based Triathlon team that I've made friends with).   The morning of the race started out watching the swim start and enjoying each other's company -

And the day ended - a little sleep deprived and excited to sign up the next day with my buddies at the finish line at midnight!
*I mentioned sleep deprived right???

The next morning 4 of us were in line at 5:20 am.....

We made friend with people that had CHAIRS!  yay!  no sitting on the cold, hard sidewalk for a few hours!

Registration was supposed to open at 8 but we think it opened early since we weren't at the front of the line and were done registering by 8:05.   Here are some of us right after we forked out the money (and our sanity).  (all of us are type 1 diabetics)

I'm really, really hoping to do this race but before then I have a half marathon (the Sat after Thanksgiving) and a full marathon (Jan 20th in Tempe) and who knows what else?!?!?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Today is..... World Diabetes Day..... screw that sh!t.

Today is World Diabetes Day -

I am facing healthcare costs that are more than 2X what they were 2 years ago (not including premium increases) and less tax free dollars to spend on them - thanks to the latest American legislature.

I'm not REALLY blaming Obama but I am.

I'm not usually politically vocal but this change means the new technology on the market is less affordable - a CGM with higher accuracy and better alarms is available NOW.....  I won't be paying the $399 'upgrade' fee but rather wait for my warranty to expire in July (which might cost me more with my copay).   JULY until I can keep better track of my blood sugar.  8 more months that might lead to more ER visits and/or complications.   BECAUSE I'm not willing to pay 'full' price for that 'luxury'.   So the system is still (and/or more) fucked.  Sorry, but I am pissed.

Now my healthcare costs a full $2000+ more per year than it did 2 years ago. 
*edited to add more detail to this additional $2000 - these are costs that my secondary insurance (Tucker's) used to cover for me BUT Obamacare has driven more and more companies to 'Consumer Driven Health Care' - which you can't have at the same time as traditional insurance - a.k.a. HSA.  Google it if you must. ;) 

Oh, AND I can only set aside $2500 tax free in my healthcare spending 'flex' account.(this is new for 2013) - because we thought that limiting this amount would result in more tax dollars to pay for Obamacare.  Sorry that I'm pissed but this hits close to home.   I just got a new insulin pump.  My co-pay?   $1000.  that is almost half of my $2500 of pre-tax dollars.  Guess what?  I normally put aside $4000 pre-tax.  so, this is awesome.  And by that, I mean NOT.  By definitnion, I am not a Republican and I am not a Democrat.

Like the rest of you... I am trying to figure out what works best for me.  This doesn't.  End of story.  If I had gotten my insulin pump on Jan 1st.   That would leave me with $1500 to pay for a years worth of insulin ($50/3mo), meter strips ($50/3mo), copays for the endicrinologist ($30/3mo) plus pump supplies and continuous glucose supplies ($250/3mo).  Plus, my $500 deductible off the bat.  great, just great.  do some math.   $2000.  Plus, any other prescriptions - oh, I'm hypo-thyroid, yay, another auto-immune disease.   I am known to hurt 'something'.  there is the dentist and the ophthalmologist.   why aren't more people pissed about the $2500 cap???  cause there aren't that many of us.  so WHY LIMIT US?!?!?!?!    you think people are using the flex spending account as a tax shelter?  I doubt it.  So, instead those of us with predictable healthcare spending - the chronically ill....  we suffer and put off healthcare we need.   Like an upgraded insulin pump, CGM, a crown at the dentist..... etc.  Guess who suffers?  The chronically ill and the companies we would purchase from- that dentist office, the pump manufacturer, the CGM manufacturer.  Guess what it causes?  More problems downstream. It is not just me/us with diabetes.  I have friends with MS, cancer, etc.
Done ranting but not done being pissed.  Going to watch my 'less acurate' CGM while I train for my next Ironman.  yes, my next Ironman (Tucker-you are supposed to talk to Tony and Karen*)
Diabetes sucks and it's WAY more fuking expensive, for me, than it was 2 years ago - Thanks US GOVT.
*rant done.  thanks for putting up with it ;)
Here is a pic of KarenL's crap that helps her control her diabetes - weird that the running shoes, wetsuit and bike aren't part of it but.... anyway...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 2 on the slopes

Day two for me.  Karyn is already ahead by 1...

I saw this as I was walking in to breakfast at the basin 7:55 am.

I will be on the FIRST CHAIR!!!

No Karyn and I had a leasurely breakfast, got in line about 8:29, and they had already started loading chairs...  We were on about the 10th chair...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The last hunt in Hitchcock

Dad wasn't able to make the hunt this year.  Everyone asked about him, and sent along a hello with best wishes.

Sounds like Matt and Butch are not going to host the hunt after this year...  I bet Marv finds us a new place to hunt for next year.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Boring weekend...

Tucker is off hunting and I am home alone.  I cleaned up some stuff... went to the Habitat For Humanity thrift store and got some stuff  (but didn't install any of it).   I did get one thing done.  (note the old electronics 'stand' in the lower righthand corner - and ignore how cute handsome is being)

We woke up Thursday morning to our electronics stand (read 'night stand' having the back legs broken off.  All the electronics were 'leaning' against the wall precariously. 

I found 12 or 15 nightstands at the Habitat store that were identical (and $10 each) and picked the one in the best shape.  Then the work began - figuring out what wires went where, what I could throw away (my insulin pump DVD was the first to go - I know how to use it now).

The end product was worth it!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Live Lobsters and Handsome

Tucker's co-worker lives in Canada and when he comes to town for work he usually brings us a box of live lobster!  Today was no exception.   The cats' reactions are usually less than desirable and not even funny.  Today was no exception.  *note the paws on the edge of the box.....*

Saturday, October 13, 2012

keeping in shape in the shoulder season

This morning I had to wait until the weather warmed up, I left the house on the bike about 11:45. The threat of rain was high.
I got to Cherry Creek Beach, and as you would expect... Nobody there!

The colors sure were pretty.

On the way back it started sprinkling immediately, and by the time I was in Cherry Creek, it was full on raining...

I hammered it home, with one quick stop on my hip crossing the south platte river in front of REI, it's been a long time since I've ridden in the rain, and you can tell I"m out of practice, I hit a metal plate joining the concrete to the bridge at an angle.  The tire just kept on going down that plate...

Everything is fine, but when I got home I was soaked!

The last big fall I had was last year Oct 23rd.   Maybe I need to stay off my bike in October... 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

harvest chilli?

Karyn got to go to the harvest part this year, some friends always host a feast from their garden...  This year I was riding home from California, in Las Vegas at the time of the party in fact.

That was about the time we got our first snow, so I had re-located the garden, but today I used some of the ingredients that had been ripening in the front room.


Some tomatoes there I'm not sure are going in yet...

Also a little treat from last weekend's trip...  Pheasant.

Friday, October 5, 2012

latest trip to The Big Orange

It's been since April I was talking with a co-worker on a business travel week to SoCal...  I was chatting up about thinking I need a new bike, but you know the rule.  "You have to sell one if you want to buy a one."  But I can't sell a bike that has fewer miles than 45-50k...

'89 Katana ~47k
'82 GL1100 ~109k

'98 VTR? ~32k

So the co-worker says...  "We need to set some goals for you!" "50k by the end of the summer, you've got 3 months."

So I started commuting on the bike, and thinking bike trips for the year.  You remember the new Givi addition:

I started working on a bike trip to Madison for IMWI, we could have ridden to the black hills for labor day, then over to twin cities, flew someplace to work, then back and take the bikes to Madison (1246mi), and home (964mi).  With of course some odds and ends riding for ~2500mi.

Didn't happen, but you saw the AK trip instead.

So I started working on a trip to the Irvine office instead...  ~1k mi each way.  Sperry wasn't able to meet me in Vegas on Saturday, and Karyn wasn't able to ride part way out with me...  I ended up planning Saturday night in Lake Arrowhead camping with Sperry and the kids.
 A fill up in Vail.
One great tank of gas!

I spent the first night in Grand Junction like I have done before.  After checking into the hotel I got back to the bike and it was dead...
Some time debugging decided the ignition was shorting the battery to ground (not good), I took the battery up to the room, and crashed out.

Up at 6 with my plan to be on the road at 6:30, I was debugging some more, and determined the issue was most likely the regulator rectifier (RR) by using the DMM I brought and the computer in the lobby (schematics, chats and all).  Not being able to remove this part without major dis-assembly of the bike, I waited the remaining 30 minutes for the shops to open and called in.  Anthony picked me up, and the rolled me in the shop immediately.
Sure enough the RR was bad, charging the battery at 18V (not good) fried the battery.  I probably could have made this work with a new battery, swapping the charge on and off as I needed charge.  Thinking through this...  You know you need a charge when the battery is dead; when the battery is dead the bike isn't running to charge the battery...

They managed to salvage a part, but in worst case, I could have begged borrowed or stolen the RR from Anthony's bike and been on my way...  (I would have tried to pay first.)  I was back on the road at 1:30.  (a quick stop for gas and to re-install my electronics...  Apparently my chatterbox charger had also fried... I had a backup...)

With all this riga'mer'roll I was a bit tired, so I stopped on an off ramp somewhere past Green river and took a nap.  On the bike... until...  a wind gust blew me over...  (lost a turn signal, some scratches, my backup chatterbox charger, and a bent brake lever)
I hit Vegas at 9:30, so I crashed out again not making it to meet up with Sperry and the kids.

I got up early to head to the campsite. I got to add one picture to my album that wasn't there the last time I took this ride!

When I got there, I'm not sure who was more needy.. Sperry or the kids...  Everyone was in High Gear!

A few hours of hanging out, 12 trips to the potty, we headed into town to try for a quick swim.

We found Swings, but no place to swim...

We parted ways about 1:30.  I headed to Irvine...  But after about 30 minutes of riding in San Bernadino, I decided I should be on an interstate, and stopped to check my navigation...  Another battery dead?  yep, but enough to let me figure out how to catch one of those interstates...  SoCal... interstates everywhere... except for where I was...

I finally hit the 10 west.  I kept seeing these sign:

(no I didn't take this from the bike.)

So... what the heck, I'll head into LA!  THE LA.  Sunday afternoon, there wasn't much going on...  A few loops around town and back to the highway... 

Eventually I hit the hotel, and called it good for the day.

INSERT BUSY WORK WEEK HERE.  A new charger for the chatterbox, new turn signals, installation of those, and the usual stuff...

Friday night, I headed out to Thousand Oaks.  Ventura County. (I'm sure there are more names for this place...  They are apparently NOT LA.)  I got some dinner with Sperry, Laura, Cambria and Agean.

We got in a bit of  mountain biking in the next day, Sperry took me out on his old bike for a tour of Dos Vientos.
Then off for lunch with the kids!

And for me a 3 pm departure to Las Vegas.  I think I missed a turn somewhere and took an extra 20-30 miles when trying to get out of LA.  When I got there, I thought I would try the irish pub for dinner.  I parked, pulled out my ear plugs, got in to my seat, and put the plugs back in...  The sliders were great, and the live music was something like this:

Back up and at 'em early.  I was ready to be back home.  Shot through the same old places.  Probably not surprising that my fuel tank was in sync with the trip out.  After I passed this sign:

my gas light came on, if you've driven this road, you know that from this point it is 35 miles to fuel in Utah.   Too many miles for me to try that with the fuel light on!  Of course, you could guess this sign is .5 miles past the last exit in NV, and 7 miles from the next turn around.  This fill up, gets me an extra 14.5 miles!

The weather was beautiful in Utah!  Someplace on I-70.

One question came up when talking to my friends about the trip.  "Isn't there a spot in Utah where it is 300 miles between gas stops?"  With my fuel range anywhere from 120-175 miles, you bet I know the answer to that!  on I-70/I-15, the longest distance is 107 miles... between green river, UT and Salina, UT.  Both trips... same gas station on each end...

I caught up with a KTM 950 someplace around Silverthorne.  More specifically, 2 miles east of the on-ramp to the tunnel, riding 2 up, they were moving pretty well, so I paired up all the way to 6th ave (Denver).

I rolled into the house at 7:15, it was already dark.  Karyn fixed me up some nice supper, and when I looked at the odometer in the morning...  36996 miles...

It was a great trip!  I would have rather taken this route:

That adds over 1000 miles, and with the things to see, probably a couple days...