Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Christmas Tree

 "We're kicking off our fun old fashion family Christmas by heading out into the country in the old front-wheel drive sleigh to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and select that most important of Christmas symbols." Clark Griswold.

It is so ridiculously crazy that it has to be just a folk lore, a figment of our imagination, a dream no make that a nightmare......did I really do that? Life imitates least a movie. The Christmas Vacation specifically.

OK, so here is the story that relives all the "dad is out of his rocker" for Christmas moments in our family.  There were no pictures to capture the evidence, but trust me it was true.  You will just have to visualize the moments described.

This took place back in Pennsylvania when the kids were young.  My oldest two boys were about 5 and 3 years old. We had...ok I had...decided to begin a new tradition by going and cutting our Christmas tree down.  All my life I had grown up with an artificial tree and each year I had to "set up" the tree by going down to the basement, digging out the tree from a box and assembling it.  I just wanted something a bit more special and memorable for the kids.

At the time, we lived out in the country in a one room school house that was built over 150 years ago.  It was a pretty cool place as it was positioned next to a huge animal reserve surrounded by hills and a small creek running nearby. The old house was made of all brick and yes there still was a working bell on top.  The ceilings were over 13' high with three very large windows on each side of the house.  Most of the heat was generated from a wood burning stove that could quickly heat up the entire house. I remember telling the kids that they needed to bring in firewood each day before I got home from work because if they didn't......we would all freeze that night! The kids would bring in one log at a time (that was all they could was too heavy) and fill up the fire box ready for the night.

We had never done the "cutting down the tree thing" before but had seen a sign up near the house where there was a large property (private residence) where they had a huge yard with trees to cut down. I didn't know they were only open on weekends, but I was so busy with work and time was limited.  So I decided to run up to the place with my two boys and cut down a tree.....after all, how tough could that be....right? When we started this adventure, it was still daylight outside....but nightfall was coming quickly....time was limited.

At the time, we drove an old green station wagon fondly referred to as the MOBILE COMMAND UNIT.  It was green, no air conditioning, back windows didn't even roll down, not even a radio.  It was simply our troop transport for the Thompson family.  Anyway, with the two boys loaded up in the ugly green sleigh and a hand saw ready for cutting down our first we go. We get to the location, parked down at the bottom of the hill near the entrance.....there was nobody in sight....hum....should have been the first clue. No matter, I was bound to make this event happen.  The boys and I marched up the hill and knocked on the door.  The nice lady at the door said they were closed except for the weekends.  I begged to allow us to cut down our tree.....with two little boys standing next to me all bundled up how could she deny us.  She allowed us to cut our tree...just not one that had been tagged already and there was a netting machine down at the bottom of the hill.  Unfortunately nobody other than herself was at home so she couldn't help us. We were on our own.

No worries....we can do this! So we went back down the hill near the car and began looking for the perfect tree. The night was coming on .... and oh started misting.  So not only was it cold, but the rain was making it worse outside. We knew we wanted a big tree because of the ceiling just had to be the RIGHT tree. We started looking nearby the car, but they weren't very big.  We moved through the forest of trees looking for the right one....each one we came to the boys would chime out together, "How about this one, Daddy?", nope....not big enough..."yeah, your right Daddy, we need a bigger one." Onward we marched through the maze of trees until finally we were pretty far up the hill.  We found the perfect tree, it was a perfect shape, filled out everywhere and most certainly it looked like it was big enough. I couldn't tell very well how big it was because I didn't have a measuring guide and now it was dark and the rain began to turn to freezing rain as the temperature had dropped once the sun went down.

Rusty Griswold: Dad, this tree won't fit in our back yard. Clark: It's not going in the yard, Russ. It's going in the living room.
So the sawing began...our first REAL tree....the ground was wet now and it was cold.....not easy cutting this tree had a huge trunk. But finally it fell...and now to get it down the hill to the car.  The kids weren't much helping carrying the tree.....5 and 3 years old....what did you expect!  Man, were we that far away from the bottom of the seemed like forever dragging the tree through this forested labyrinth. man is it cold. but, with much struggle and much grunting.

Ok, lets see if we can run it through the the way I have never used one of these before. First to try and pick this massive thing up and put it on an 18" wide table that is 1/3 rd the size of the tree.....oh yeah, now beginning to be covered in frozen rain drops. We line it up after much struggle and much much grunting.....we get maybe 4 foot of the base in the netter when we realize it ain't goin in any further. I am standing on the table top tugging at the base of the tree, slipping all the time on the slick table top......defeated...."Lets pull it out and just put it in the car," I say to the kids. Easier said than know those netters were design ed to go one way....not the other.

Finally we got it out of the netter and begin to put it on the car.....yes, I was going to tie it on top.....wait....with who's help?  My oldest was probably only 2 1/2 feet was he going to reach the top of the car.......yes, again with much struggle and much much much grunting I finally gave up on the task of tying it to the roof of our faithful MOBILE COMMAND UNIT.

So, in the back of the wagon.  I lower the back seat. I lower the tail gate.  I tug the tree in the back. easier said than done.....I have to lift it up on the tailgate, climb inside from the front and then pull, pull and pull some more until it is all the way a far as it would go.....up the the back of the front seat.  With nothing inside the car to tie the tree to, I go around to survey how much is remaining outside of the command got it......I managed to get all 6 feet of the tree  in the wagon....with only a mere 12 more feet hanging can add..... 18' of tree......13' tall a 6 foot MOBILE COMMAND UNIT with only two little boys hanging on to the tree preventing it from falling out as we eased down the road homeward bound.  The boys had been given strict instructions that if they let go and let the tree fall out of the car that there would be disastrous consequences. so, with much struggle and much much much much grunting....they held onto the tree.

We made it home.....all of one piece.  You will have to stayed tuned for Part II of the Christmas tree story of how we got it in the house the next evening......coming soon!

Enjoy my friends.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Feathered Beast ..... Feast

The day has finally know the day....the day where we turn the corner for the beginning of the new year.....37 DAYS AHEAD of know the day where you are supposed to begin shopping for everyone else......and get in know the day where you begin the onslaught of family members visits.....and pull your hair know the day when the sacred family traditions kick much know the day when football starts to get really bowl games, NFL know the day when the refrigerator is so packed full that you cannot get one thing out of it without ten other things falling out at the same time......yeah, that day THANKSGIVING!

The day that you go through the routine of telling of what you are so thankful for.....instead of being thankful all year long. Yep, we did that at church last is always good to hear.  Actually there is way too much to be thankful for....God has been good.......(okay that was the serious part of the on to ridiculousness).

My wife and I have been working on running lately...okay so I have been working on running....she has actually been running. This year we made an agreement that we would run the Turkey Trot 5K in the morning....thinking that it was going to be like at was scheduled for 9:45AM...WHAT? That is way to late.....okay, we can still do it.....oh it was in the 40s this morning.....THAT IS TOO FREAKIN COLD.....nix that idea.....I will jump on the treadmill later.

One of the things we always do is have this massive meal.....and I mean massive. Food everywhere piled up on counters and tables and wherever it will fit until we can possible start the feeding frenzy.  A task that always takes place before the feast is going to the grocery store and buying all the things necessary to prepare for the festivities.  The first being the Aw aspiring featured beast.....the Turkey! It is the only food (for our family), no ham, no roast, just this BIG FAT BIRD! We have always had to get the biggest bird possible to feed everyone and still provide enough leftovers....Leftovers are always a must! Shopping is required early enough so that we can have a good selection. Cooking the bird isn't that bad now that we have a system....listen to me that my wife has the system! Several years back, my mother bought us a roaster.  We have used it ever since, turkey cooked perfect, moist, delicious and in 1/3 rd the time.....No waking up at 4 or 5AM to start the meal......there is plenty of time to go for a the way, my wife is currently running outside right now while I type away sitting in bed.......what a slacker I am!

The other part of our tradition is the Thompson Cranberry Salad.  A massive under taking each year to first buy the best of the red grapes no you cannot use green and seedless grapes really are not still need to cut in half by hand and if you can get real cranberries,whipping cream no you cannot use cool whip....not always easy depending on location and how the growing season has been. No substitutions in the formula either....yes I said is scientific marvel that is scrumptious for your mouth!  My mother-in-law once thought that it must be good for you since my family was diabetic...HA HA HA.....We are diabetic BECAUSE of the cranberry salad! But honestly, why live if you cannot have Thompson Cranberry Salad. It is just too good. You have to grind the cranberries the night before so you can drain them.  We have had to be creative over the years in figuring out how to GRIND the cranberries...after all, my mom has the only grinder left in the world!   Okay maybe not the only one.... My Uncle Gene wrote me on Facebook saying they had just grind the cranberries and set them to drain too.  That is awesome....oh yeah and by the way...if you want our famous recipe....cannot have it! The only way is if you marry into the family.  My daughters-in-law got the recipe once they were married! hopefully there hasnt been too many secrets given out here!

So funny, My son called me from Colorado last night 11:00 saying that they may have made a mistake....there was A LOT of cranberries...yep! We always make A LOT! They were taking it for a family event with my daughter-in-laws family.  Very cool.

Then we have the rest of the meal which is pretty much always the same.  No deviations.....this meal is not for the imaginative....just do it! Dressing, corn, mash potatoes (real potatoes) and everything else.....only time by the way that we make gravy.....just because we are supposed to! And then finally sitting down with family at the (crammed in at all corners to get a piece of) table, the blessing and then the passing of the food....around and around the turkey and dressing and potatoes and corn and green beans and and and takes 15 -20 minutes (maybe a slight exaggeration) to pass all the food an get some on your the way....setting the table with enough plates, hot pads.....and whatever takes some major coordination in itself!

Such a good meal....don't clean it up...leave it there for a while because I will be back to snack on the turkey....some potatoes and of course some Cranberry salad.......yes there are pies and eat and eat......THEN.....Turn on some football!  The kids, when they were younger, always wanted me to go out and play ball in the yard.....are you kidding...I cannot even move.....I am stuffed more than that turkey was 30 minutes ago!  No, sorry we finish off the inaugural celebration of tradition by dad doing what he does best....succumb to the curse of the THANKSGIVING TURKEY.....falling asleep on the sofa watching football........!

That my an awesome Thanksgiving! Be thankful, be safe, enjoy family and have some merry times.  Beware.....around the corner lurks....BLACK FRIDAY!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Back on board!....with the treadmill that is.

me on the treadmill.....terrible picture,
looks like I don't have any teeth
Okay, so I guess it was the barefoot running that was killing my skins.  Today I jumped on the treadmill and did just over two miles! Not great by any means but far better than what I have been doing.  I feel the next step is loose a few pounds, which the continuous running should eventually help this out, and maybe a new pair of running shoes.  They say that you need to replace them regularly and I cannot quite honestly say how long I have had these....maybe since I finished the last half marathon????? Anyway, my skins didn't hurt and I really wasn't too tired.  A little winded, but I didn't want to overdo it like i always do.....and then not walk for a steps.

Anyway, I am excited.....the first mile I averaged about 12:00 and the second was roughly 15:00. I also had a warm up walk before and after which added to the time, distance and calories.  The count said 312 calories burned.....Yeah! I am hoping to do the turkey trot 5K on Thursday. We have always seemed to miss this one. Join us in the race.....would love to see you!

Keep running my friends....If I can do it you certainly can! Tell me about your struggles and your triumphs, no matter how great or small.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Okay actually had to use the speak into the iPhone thing for the word epiphany because I don't think I would ever spell it right. I got up and did my run this morning on the treadmill. It was pretty much the same thing as has been the last few days, my shins started to really hurt after about half a mile. Actually, I could barely make it to the half mile point. I have been thinking that it's probably because I'm overweight that my shins start to hurt. Which is probably the case. Or at least an added factor. However, it may be something else that I just discovered.

I've been running barefoot lately on the treadmill. Well, you know they say that the natural running thing is the biggest hit right now. I don't know who says it but I guess I just did. I've seen those barefoot shoes, and I've seen even other people run in half marathons barefoot. Hey, natural has to be the best thing right? Okay, well maybe not for me. Today, after running a half mile and cramping up, I put my shoes on to see what would happen. I was already sore, so that really wasn't a fair test. But it actually did help, the cushion in my shoes was able to give me a little but more support. I guess right now I need not only the cushion in the treadmill, but also the support of my shoes.

I know, I know, who I think I am. Some native in Africa running across the jungle to catch his latest pray? Or, a Native American running across the wheat covered fields to catch a buffalo? Nope, just an overweight, balding business man retired from high school football tiring to hang on to his youth just a little bit longer! Hey! Why not?

Anyway, the results were that I did get sore again fairly quick. But after all I had already tightened up previously. However I was able to run another three quarters of a mile. (Martians are LeBatard right now it still felt good to get over a mile.) - somehow that did not turn out right. Let's try that again. So for right now it did feel good to get a run in over a mile. So today's run totaled 1.3 miles. My immediate goal is to be able to run the turkey trot on Thanksgiving day. That is a 5K. 3.2 miles. That is one week from today, seven days, 24 hours times seven days whatever that adds up to. Whole bunch of minutes (24 hours times seven days times 60 minutes).

My friends, I'll keep you posted as to my progress. Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


This blog will be the first of many different things. First I'm doing it from my iPhone. And secondly I'm speaking into my iPhone. I'm sure that it won't have all the same things that I do when I am on my PC but we'll try. Bear with me if there's too many errors or too many misspellings or too many whatever's. I'm not sure that I can even add pictures from the mobile app but we'll see.

Okay, about today's topic exhausted. Lately I've been feeling ridiculously tired all the time. I'm not sure it's my medicine, my diet, or lack of exercise. Maybe it's a bit of all of them together combined. I really don't know which, but I can tell you one thing, I am tired of being tired.

I feel maybe one of the things is causing my tiredness is my lack of Cohesive schedule. I do whatever whenever however whenever it needs is just the way my life is today. I am fortunate enough to be it was going to work pretty much whenever I want to and to leave whenever I need it. That is a blessing in itself. I can say that within my schedule there's one thing that is pretty consistent. And that thing is my morning routine. I wake up reregulate somewhere around 545 to 615. Once I wake up, I go out half cup coffee or two. This is typically the only moments I had to spend with my wife. Okay, maybe not only, but it's one of a few. I oftentimes get on the computer and do a little bit of social networking, such as this. Facebook time is often enjoyed, even LinkedIn for the business side and a little bit of finding out what's going on in the world. The news on the Internet is awesome you can go where we want to read whatever article you want to and you don't have to worry about the messy newspapers. After that morning ritual is over, it is time to get ready for work shower shave grab breakfast as I'm running out the door and on the way to work we go.

Okay the missing part for all that above is, exercise. I haven't been very good lately at keeping up with the exercise routine part of my schedule. Now that my blood sugar is down to a more reasonable level, I really need to focus on trying to get back in shape, and that's the tough part. It sucks when I used to be in such good shape to be able to do all these things, play football, run, do all the things with the kids, but now it's An uphill battle. Most certainly a battle for me right now, but I am going to win. Right now what I can do is little tiny victories and that is kind of frustrating. Because I always like to win big! Little by little I've been trying to add some exercise back into my routine, I have lately been running on the treadmill to get back in shape. Man all I can say is I am out of shape. Right now seems at all I can do is little runs at a time about a half mile or three quarters of a mile and then I need to set an rest. Not really because of fatigue, but more because my shins hurt. Again, little victories, at least it's a half a mile, right? Saturday I was able to run three 3/4 mile increments which wasn't too bad. The pause in between was really because I was tired, is because my shins were really aching ! This morning, my marathon wife, went running and said she would be gone for an hour and a half or more on her long run. That is great, she is doing really well, I just need to try catch up with her! She has always been good at doing little victories, little steps, little things along the way to get to her goal and she's there. And she's very consistent! I praise her, and envy her for that. So this morning I got up and my cup of coffee and started running but only got in about half a mile before my skins started to really hurt. (Let me tell you that this speaking into the iPhone is something really Siri - silly.)

The second thing I need to incorporate into my routine better, is my diet. Now it isn't so much my food, but more about when I eat. Like I said before, my breakfast is usually very consistent! But when it comes to lunchtime,? It is all over the place. I will eat lunch anywhere between noon and 3 o'clock and afternoon and sometimes I even skipped. I just get too busy at work, and I don't really pay attention. I know I know I need to pay attention it's important. So, that's my new goal to eat lunch at lunchtime! Dr. Sam says so!

Hopefully these two things will allow my schedule to be a little bit better. And help me from being so tired. I usually go to bed pretty early, for an old guy! About nine or 930 o'clock. Sometimes even earlier, on my birthday I actually fell asleep at 7:30 in the evening..... and yes, I slept all night! That's not necessarily unique, on Monday night I fell asleep about 830 on the couch. And then I got up went to bed at nine. Monday night football wasn't going to be that good anyway, it was the Packers and Vikings two touchdowns already scored.

Okay that's all I have to report for today. Right now I'm speaking this blog as I rest my shins trying to get ready to run another half mile. I'm not sure I'm Gonna be able to do it. But we'll see what it has a store for me. Again little steps I know.

Take care my friends, and try not to be too exhausted. Have a great week and enjoy all those that are around you.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Food for Thought

More gold has been mined from the thoughts of men than has been taken from the earth. So dust off the cobwebs and use all those great ideas you have!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

5 Early Warning Signs

Incredibly, one in four Americans over age 20 has prediabetes -- and most don't even know it. Being prediabetic means that your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but short of being classified as diabetic levels. Studies show that most people with prediabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years, unless they lose weight and make dietary and exercise changes.

Because prediabetes develops gradually over years, it's often said that there are no obvious symptoms. But it's possible to notice certain warning signs of growing insulin resistance, the inability to process the energy in food properly that's a key aspect of prediabetes. Paying close attention to those signs gives you plenty of time to make changes to avoid diabetes, says Beth Reardon, director of nutrition for Duke Integrative Medicine at Duke University.

"These symptoms usually occur in tandem with one another; together they create a bigger picture that says insulin resistance is going on," Reardon says. "Some signs can be measured, some we feel, some we can just see."

Prediabetes warning sign #1: Feeling tired and sluggish after eating
Ready to nap right after a big meal? This is a normal response to an influx of carbs (think of that post-Thanksgiving dinner feeling). But if it happens often, your body may be sending a message that your diet is too diabetes-friendly.

After eating, all carbohydrates -- whether in a doughnut or a carrot -- are broken down into the bloodstream as glucose (blood sugar), the body's main energy source. When the blood containing the glucose hits the pancreas, this organ gets the message to release insulin, a hormone it produces to help the cells throughout the body use glucose. Cells have insulin receptors that allow glucose to enter and either be stored as future energy or used right away.

It's a great system. But a diet that's high in simple carbs like sugar, white flour, and sweet beverages -- especially when consumed in large quantities at one sitting -- overwhelms it. The cells' insulin receptors eventually stop receiving the insulin, which means they can't take in the glucose. The glucose builds up in the blood while the needy cells don't get any. The pancreas, meanwhile, notes the glucose level is still high in the blood that flows through it, and it pumps out still more insulin in response. Net result: You feel sleepy and may find it hard to think, because your brain and body are depleted until the system rights itself.

Over time, this cycle can cause someone to become chronically insulin resistant. The body simply can't keep up with the demands that all those simple sugars and fats are placing on it.

What helps: Slow your carb load. Choose more complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains (barley, oats, quinoa, spelt, brown rice), vegetables, and whole fruits (not juices) that the body has to work harder to digest. This means blood sugar stays stable longer. Move around right after eating -- take a 15-minute walk; even washing the dishes helps -- rather than plopping in front of the TV. The activity will help your body begin to process the big glucose intake faster and more efficiently.

Prediabetes warning sign #2: Craving carbs
Among the most craved foods: chocolate, chips, and French fries. They're loaded with sugar, salt, and fat -- three substances that taste so good, they light up the reward system of the brain, which begs for more, more, more.

But what happens next in the body can be dangerous, says Reardon. Simple carbs such as sugars and white flour break down very quickly, providing a fast hit of energy. Soon, however -- because the insulin-resistant cells essentially ignore this entry of glucose into the blood -- the pancreas overcompensates, releasing more and more insulin to handle the glucose. What follows is a dramatic drop in blood sugar as the extra insulin quickly shuttles the glucose to the cells -- and energy levels plummet. The body is caught in a wave of fatigue. So, naturally, it craves another quick hit of energy to bring blood sugar back up. The brain becomes obsessed with this mission. And before you know it, you're reaching for a pick-me-up guzzle of soda, another handful of pretzels, a second cookie (or three).

People get sucked into a vicious cycle before they realize it, getting hooked on problematic foods they think they're craving -- while gaining weight.

What helps: Kick your food cravings. It's challenging, but one starting place is to avoid triggers that you associate with these foods. Just seeing a fast-food sign or the cookie package in your cupboard can be enough to set off the pleasure system in the brain that fixates on having the craved food.

Instead of quick-hit snacks like candy bars or chips, substitute slower-to-digest choices, like a handful of nuts, a banana, or raw carrots dipped into a tablespoon of peanut butter, which will keep you feeling sated longer. Be persistent: It can take as many as a dozen "successes" in resisting an old craving before your new habit is established.

Prediabetes warning sign #3: Being overweight -- and unable to lose extra pounds
Most prediabetics carry excess weight, says Duke University's Beth Reardon. That fact alone is a major risk factor for diabetes. But especially worrisome is when you try to cut back on calories and still can't see the scale budge. It may be time to consider whether insulin resistance is the culprit.

Stubborn weight loss despite best efforts can be the result of mixed messages that our cells are receiving, Reardon says. "The cells are starving because the fuel they need (in the form of glucose) is not being absorbed at the insulin receptor site on the cell. In the face of a perceived fuel shortage, the body will hold tightly onto existing stores of energy -- fat," she says. What little is absorbed also goes straight into storage -- as more fat.

What helps: Incremental change. Don't think, "OMG, I have to lose 50 pounds; I can never do that." Instead, think small. Losing just 5 to 7 percent of body weight prevents or delays diabetes by 60 percent, according to the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a major multicenter research study, and people over age 60 see even greater benefits, according to the DPP. Five percent of body weight translates to just 10 pounds for a 200-pound person.
Prediabetes warning sign #4: Looking more like an apple than a pear
Weight gain is weight gain, and all of it risks moving you down the path toward diabetes. But added pounds in one particular area -- the midsection -- are especially associated with insulin resistance and prediabetes.
Weight gain around the waist and abdomen (visceral fat) is considered more dangerous than extra padding in the thighs and rear. So-called "belly fat" is linked to a higher rate of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and dangerous cholesterol levels -- all risk factors for diabetes. Having an apple-shaped middle has also been linked to Alzheimer's disease.
For men, the danger point is considered to be a waist circumference of 40 inches or more; for women, the dangerous measurement is a waist of 35 inches or more.

What helps: Diet, weight loss -- and exercise. The third leg of a diabetes-thwarting approach is moving. It's not true that sit-ups and other abdominal exercises will target belly fat. (Though they do build muscles.) Exercise plays a critical role because when you build muscle, you increase the number of enzymes that are able to metabolize glucose as a fuel source for those cells, Reardon says. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise (like a brisk walk) most days of the week.
Prediabetes warning sign #5: High blood pressure
High blood pressure is linked to many different conditions. But insulin resistance is a common cause when it appears in tandem with excess weight gain (especially around the middle), fatigue, and other negative numbers on a medical workup (abnormal cholesterol levels and high triglycerides). Many people with high blood pressure worry about their heart without recognizing that the presence of hypertension -- along with these other signs -- is a neon red sign for prediabetes.

The numbers to beware: blood pressure equal to or higher than 130/85, an HDL "good" cholesterol level below 40 mg/Dl for men and below 50 mg/Dl for women, and triglycerides of 150 mg/Dl.

Blood pressure elevates in part because of inflammation, a damaging cascade of events in the body that high insulin levels contribute to. "Blood becomes stickier and more viscous, and blood clotting factors increase, making it more difficult for the body to move the blood around," Reardon says. "Insulin also has an effect on the pliability of blood vessels, making them less elastic and therefore less able to respond to changes in pressure. This, in combination with blood that doesn't flow as easily, results in elevated blood pressure."

What helps: Losing weight slowly through dietary changes and increased exercise.
If you're experiencing the above signs, you should ask your doctor about a glucose tolerance test to measure glucose levels as well as insulin levels, because elevations in insulin levels will precede abnormal rises in fasting blood glucose. All this information together helps you identify insulin resistance long before an actual diabetes diagnosis. At the very least, you can consider yourself warned to reexamine your diet and move around more -- down the path away from diabetes.

Old Age and all that entails
Ok well, just passed a milestone of 46 years of age.  Not sure where on the scale that puts me but I do feel and bit OLD many times. Kids are mostly gone now and living their lives away from us. No hair on head, all grey in goatee.  Too many medicines, chiropractor and too difficult to exercise.  Over weight, hard of hearing, cannot see with my glasses on or off. (constantly taking my glasses off to read my iPhone and then putting them back on to see further than 12 inches away from my face....what is the deal with that.) Achy in the morning, achy in the afternoon and most certainly if I wasn't so tired in the evening I would recognize that I am also achy before bed.

I understand (and relate) too much of the commercials on television about 'going and going and going' or Happy Bob (sorry too much information), blood pressure medicine, depression medicine.....and even medicine for medicine. My exercise exists in watching other people exercise on TV (and that makes me tired watching too). A treadmill sets in my front living room to remind me everyday of what I need to be doing. (An early birthday gift from my my request). Chores around the house are so exhausting, for that matter walking is exhausting!

This morning my knee started to spot that usually doesn't hurt surprisingly with all my knee injuries from football, baseball and powerlifting.  My theory is that it is telling me it is about to rain or the weather is going to change.  Yes, I know, it could be that it is 33 degrees this morning. Just one more thing that aches.

Thursday was my birthday.  Cannot really do anything during the mid week due to work schedules etc. Supposed to have a birthday dinner on Saturday evening. Excitment really doent exist somewhere after the 35th birthday. Anyway, nothing special planned on the day, except having to go to the dentist the first thing in the morning.....oh yeah, add that to the list above of things falling apart or OUT. My mom called me at 6:45 my time, 5:45 her time, while I was still in bed....awake always by 6:00 or earlier...this morning was 4:30, to wish me a happy birthday.  A text from my son going to work real early in Colorado and a mountain of Facebook posts from of the best features of Facebook. A few meetings, a card from my employees and then out of the office a bit early.  Thought about going to a movie with my wife....oh, wait this is only Thursday, new movies don't come out until Friday....scratch that idea....ok just dinner out.  Oh of the same 'ol places and same 'ol selections off the menu (don't need to look at the menu I always get one of two things there). And then home!

Here is the clue that tells me I must be OLD.....I fell asleep at 7:30 on my birthday! Yep.....oh how exciting is that?....all I want for my birthday is to fall asleep! And I did.  My clock is all screwed up. my calendar is all screwed up...I am only 46! That shouldn't be old! Wake up body! Get moving!......okay maybe later after I have another cup of coffee, go pee and take a nap.......oh brother!  I see it now...just a few years bed early by 7:00PM, with my walker by my bed, bottle thick glasses on the nightstand right beside the teeth in the water glass (that is just gross) and out like a light ready to snore the plaster off the ceiling (ceiling is falling in but not because of snoring) due to my fat little tummy....(by the way I hate it when my wife wakes me up when I am snoring only to tell me to go back to sleep...her gentle touches are probably more ignoring than just one huge shove!)..........oh brother! Maybe I will go back to sleep and wake up 20 years younger......yeah right, Dream On!

Stay young my friends!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Running Progress

Well, not much progress to report here.  I haven't been able to run lately due to a cold.  It is kind of hard to breathe with a stuffed up nose and coughing all the time.  Hopefully I am over that and can get back to training.  This morning I started slow again.....I hate starting over! But movement is always a great idea...even if I have to keep beginning again and again. I short 1.2 miles at a pretty brisk pace so that was nice. 

I found out this last week while I was walking in Richmond from my hotel to the convention center that I was WAY out of shape.  Walking up hill (in dress shoes and sports jacket) was a major hurdle.  It didn't help that I kept walking the wrong direction.....plugged in the address to my iPhone and then took off.  When I looked at it again, I had gone 6 blocks in the wrong direction....walking in dress shoes is not comfortable....especially after walking all day throughout the convention center.

Anyway....we will see what the can do this week by staying committed to the running. Oh by the way, indoor treadmill running right now.

Stay in touch my friends.  Let me know your hurdles you are fighting with diabetes, running or just exercise in general......Take care.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Seventeen seconds. It's two breaths. It's barely enough time for the first verse of your favorite song to kick in. Still, every 17 seconds in the United States, someone is diagnosed with diabetes.

Every 17 seconds someone learns they have a disease that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower limb amputation and blindness in adults.

Every 17 seconds, someone learns they have a condition that is a major cause of heart disease and stroke.

And every 17 seconds someone learns they are now fighting the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.

In fact, the CDC says that the number of diabetic adults age 18 years and older in the U.S. has more than tripled between 1980 and 2008. Today, diabetes affects 25.8 million people in this country — and 7 million of them don't even know it.

The epidemic threatens to transform our communities and rob our children, friends and families of their good health — and their lives.

That's why we're launching a collaborative effort that brings together leading diabetes and health experts, celebrities and organizations like the American Diabetes Association's Stop Diabetes campaign. We hope to prompt you, our readers, to take action. We want you to share this information and mobilize your loved ones to learn more about diabetes. Our feature stories, photo galleries and tips will make it easier to take meaningful action in your life and through your social networks.
Check back every week as we keep you up to date on preventing and living with diabetes.

Because in the time it's taken you to read this, another three people have been diagnosed with diabetes. And as far as we're concerned, that's three too many.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

My favorite food!  It is most kids favorite food! Always has been probably always will be.....I know, I know....yes I am a diabetic.....but I cannot help it.  It is AWESOME. I have always loved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Over the years, from a young age, I have developed what favor and process of PBJ is the best (according to my palate). My mother used to buy grape jelly and I always made it with that forever.  Then one day my mom bought some strawberry jelly, probably for biscuits or toast.
(On a side note, I used to cook an entire can of biscuits and sit there on the couch on Saturday morning eating the whole thing by myself with jelly and wife wont let me do that anymore.)

There are certain things that I have discovered a PBJ just must have or else it isn't worthy to be called a PBJ. I have tried over the years (20+) to get my wife to understand that these certain things cannot be sacrificed.  Unfortunately, she has many times, failed to fulfill these PBJ requirements and the almighty PBJ has suffered! Okay, maybe a little over dramatic!

The first part of the PBJ is the bread.  It has been a long time since I have eaten white "wonder" bread.  Even as a young teen my mother got me started on WHEAT bread so it has become a foundation of any of my sandwiches but especially the PBJ. You cannot use a heal unless.....there just isn't anymore bread and you have to feed your PBJ fix.....then it is acceptable.  I have had to do this many times in a crunch to prevent PBJ withdraws.  And it has to be two sandwiches.....yes two.....yes I know I am diabetic.....TWO!

The peanut butter: My wife over the years has purchase....dare I say it?....inferior peanut butter products just to save a few pennies for our budget.....Now let me tell you I am all in favor of meeting our financial budget and goals, but more importantly I am in favor of EATING our budget and taste goals. You cannot, absolutely cannot buy anything but REAL not store brand peanut butter....YECH! And it has to be EXTRA CRUNCHY....not just crunchy.....certainly not in no way can it be has to be extra have to TASTE the nuts and hear them crunch.  And yes it sounds like a good idea at first to get organic peanut butter......but come on! if you have to stir up the jar every time to get rid of the ponding OIL on the top.......NO WAY.....don't do it!

There is a certain selection of jelly that is also now important....News flash...Grape is out....SINCE HIGH SCHOOL! Strawberry jelly is the favor....always. Back in the day when I was lifting weights for competition (Don't did actually happen.  I was 4th in the Nation weighting 165). I ate what I thought would give me high protein and energy to lift peanut butter with honey.  It was okay but the honey really did drip out pretty bad.....or if you made them up early is seemed to turn to sugar...yech...but that was a long time ago.  Now...Strawberry! Be very careful that you buy Strawberry.....the jars look very similar. Red Raspberry is the same color, same jar, same size.....but not the same!  Oh and the biggest pet peeve......Not Jam!  Jelly! Yes there is a difference....Brand name please so I know that it is REAL STRAWBERRIES because of the giant chucks of strawberry that you need to spread around on the bread.

So that is a glass of milk to wash it down......if we don't have any it just ruins the finish. Don't laugh....I am totally serious! Too many mothers and wives are destroying the foundation of solid PBJ production and causing the PBJ lovers of the world to have a screwed up perception of what a true PBJ should be like.  Oh yeah, one that thing, don't s p r e a d it on.....pile it on.....come on, dont be stingy! PBJ my friends! Share with us how you like your PBJ.