Monthly Archives: October 2011

Halloween

Tomorrow begins the so-called “National Blog Post Month.” What you write about and whose nation it is doesn’t really seem to matter. All that matters is that for a month participants post something every day. I’ve done this for the last couple of years, and I’m doing it again, although last year seemed a bit uninspired. This year, I hope things will be different, as I have a lot of topics on the docket already—things I’ve been meaning to write about but hadn’t gotten to. Now the trick will be actually getting them out of my head. But that’s tomorrow.

Today is Halloween. Every year, I hand out the candy. I like seeing the kids in their costumes, because most of them really seem to enjoy it. And it feels so magnanimous to give out tiny presents, even though it’s really nothing. But mostly I like the randomness that is small children.

Here’s a small sampling from the 55-or-so kids who showed up today.

Ben Ten, who seems to be some kind of animagus: I like Mike and Ikes.
Me: Have another.
Ben Ten: No.

Child #1: OOOH! Mike and Ikes!

Me: You don’t want any candy.
Child #2: Oh, no thanks. We already got some earlier.

Me, to a girl with a black arrow on her forehead: And who are you?
Girl: Fine.
Me: Well, okay.

Child #3: I’m a mummy, but I need more toilet paper.

Little Kid: Trick-or-treat! (I give the child candy.)
Little Kid, turns to leave and returns: Trick-or-Treat!

See what you have to look forward to!

Posted in General, NaBloPoMo, NaBloPoMo 2011 | 2 Comments

Instant Replay, Friday, 6:04AM


I recorded myself at the pool this morning, much to Pool Lady’s delight. Pat moved over a lane; perhaps she didn’t want to be in my video, or maybe she was just taking advantage of an uncrowded pool. The Awesome Elderly Ladies in the far lane, along with Walking Cane Guy (a.k.a. “Old Daddy Cane”) next to me, didn’t seem to care one way or another.

I still have to look over the video on a bigger screen than the back of the camera, but it’s pretty clear that (1) I splash a lot more than I thought, (2) I have a different left-side and right-side stroke, (3) I probably rotate more than I thought I did, and (4) I need to work harder on keeping my flutter kick under control. Bup-bup-bup-bup. Dara is in one of the videos, so I can study her stroke, too—I might have turned the camera in her direction near the end. It’s a thing of beauty. (I wondered why she was swimming so slowly today, until I saw the pull buoy between her legs when she executed a perfect flip-turn. Even the awesome people do drills, Jeff.)

p.s. — In the video still above, I’m getting ready to rest at the end of a set. I don’t actually doggy-paddle or breaststroke.

Posted in Life Lessons, Swimming | 2 Comments

Bup-Bup-Bup

I hate doing form and technique drills at the pool. They don’t feel like real exercise; I would rather be getting my heart rate and muscles going. Moreover, I feel slow and exposed. Of course, there’s real value in taking time to be mindful of what my body is doing. The drills imprint what doing things right feels like; when I start the main part of my training set, the goal is that I can think less about what I’m supposed to be doing and just do it.

That’s the goal—and it does help—but I still feel insecure about how dumb I think I must look to the people zipping by me as I try to flutter kick my way across the pool (without a kickboard) while concentrating on keeping my arm and shoulders in just the right position to be streamlined.

So imagine my horror when I looked up at the shallow end to see a pair of shoes at the pool’s edge . . . at the end of my lane! Pool Lady squatted down to be closer to my eye level.

(Pool Lady, I know you have a name, but who are you really? You show up at the high school early on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to be there when we sign in, but you don’t seem like a lifeguard. Obviously, anyone going to the pool at 5:45 on a weekday is there to throw down laps and isn’t really at risk for drowning. But I like how you take that for granted as you grade papers or read the newspaper while we steep in the chlorinated brine. Is it community service? In any case, I like you. We’ve talked before. Among other things, you got me in touch with Dara, the swim goddess, who got me in touch with the open-water swim people. Steady on, Pool Lady.)

“You do this with your feet.” She made an exaggerated chopping motion with her hands, keeping lots of space between them. “What you really want to do is keep them much closer together. Bup-bup-bup-bup-bup-bup.” She made small little flutters.

Despite the fact that I was starting to feel really self-conscious, I thanked her for noticing and for telling me about it. (I guess you do pay attention to us after all, Pool Lady.) “I’m doing drills to try to improve my technique. . . . I taught myself to swim a couple years ago, and now I’m trying to undo all of the bad habits.”

She was genuinely surprised, almost incredulous. “Really?! I just figured you knew what you were doing.” Then she said something about how I bring my elbows out of the water in a way that made her think I’d been swimming with a coach. “About your feet, when you do that with them, you have to displace more water, and it brings your hips down when you really want them up. And I noticed you’re not really driving your stroke from the hip.”

Ain’t that the truth! The whole reason for me doing these drills is to get my body used to starting from the core and unwinding from the hips to move my stroke forward. I thanked her again and she went back to her lifeguard chair chanting “bup-bup-bup-. . .”

I thought for a minute about what I was doing, started my watch, and pushed off from the wall. “Bup-bup-bup,” I told my feet while trying to do that thing where I glide longer, unwind from the hips, and use that to switch which arm I’m using to glide with before it pulls me through the water. On one side of me, Pink Suit sped by, doing that thing with her hands that I figure I’ll eventually figure out how to do. On the other side of me, Pat, who introduced me to prescription goggles, swam steadily away from me. Farther down the pool was Flip-Turning Speedster. Along the wall in the other direction were the Awesome Elderly Ladies who show up every morning and take their swimming very seriously. There I was in the middle, wondering why I was ever surprised that anyone would notice my swimming technique. “Bup-bup-bup-bup.”

A bit less than a half-hour and a bit more than 1250 yards later, I walked past Pool Lady as I was heading toward the showers and the rest of my day.

“I noticed that you were using your hips more. It looked much better! You were even going a bit faster.” It’s true; I went well under five minutes for 250 yards—a kind of benchmark for me—for the first time. “But I also noticed that you’re bringing your arm out of the water like this.” She made a wide exit about mid-hip. “Try bringing it out farther down your body. Mid-thigh. I wish Dara [who literally laps us on a mile swim in the lake] were here. You should watch her next time.”

She turned her attention away for a moment to tell Flip-Turning Speedster, who was leaving the pool deck, that she saw her sister’s husband, the Olympian, in a print ad the other day.

“You know what you should do? You should video yourself. That way you can see what you’re doing with your stroke.” It seems like a good idea even if it will draw a lot of attention in my direction. Who cares? I’m probably the only person not looking at my swimming technique, anyway. “And you do this thing with your hands.” She sliced inward. “I do this,” and she imitated Pink Suit. “But my coach used to do what you do. It looks prettier your way.”

Bup-bup-bup-bup. . . .

Posted in Life Lessons, Swimming | 4 Comments

3600 Yards

Here’s a quick update about yesterday’s race: I’m a bit sore.

Was it the lack of arch support in my spikes? The dehydration? Maybe the exertion of running three miles before digging deep to find a kick that helped me pass five or six people in the last tenth of a mile? (I forgot to put that into my “Snap out of it! You should feel good about your race” calculus last night.) Who knows for sure? Not me. Whatever the cause, it’s here—slight, but here.

When I got out of bed today, my first thought was (as always) “OMG, it’s early!” The second was that I’m glad today is a swimming day instead of a running day. There was the aforementioned (mild) soreness, and also I knew I wasn’t going to run after work, since we have a customer visiting from 6:15 to 8:15.

When I realized on Friday that I was going to work later, I decided that I would also go to work later. This presented me with an opportunity: swim extra long. Most Monday, Wednesday, and/or Friday mornings, I swim for about thirty to forty minutes, starting at 5:45. Despite my early departure, the pool is open until 7:15. The longest that I had ever swam before was back when Lisa and I would swim for an hour on Saturday afternoons, but that was a while ago. I decided to see how far I could swim in an hour and a half.

Actually, my goal was to see if I could swim two miles. I had swam about 1.25 miles before, but most of my swims are about a mile. One day at the reservoir, somebody sprang the idea of swimming an extra mile, doubling our normal route. I really wanted to take them up on the offer, but I wasn’t ready. Physically I knew I could probably do it, but I was worried about the diabetes part. I didn’t have extra snacks with me—though I usually carry a gel or two in the ankle of my wetsuit—and I didn’t know what my blood sugar was going to do on a swim that long. I declined; September came around; it got colder, darker, and rainier; and I thought my chances were gone until next summer. Then today came along!

I was also going to use this swim to see what happens to my blood sugar on long swims. I brought a small chamois towel to dry my hands and my “exercise” meter with me onto the pool deck, along with a bottle of water. (Swimming is thirsty business.) A half hour earlier I had turned my pump down to 0% and eaten an obscenely large banana. At the time, my BG was 121. (Yay!) Half an hour in, Lisa had to leave to go to work. I took a break, gave her a goodbye smooch, drank some water, and tested: 161. (Yay!) Another half hour later, at around 1.25 miles, I tested again: 115. (A bit of a drop, but . . . Yay!) Finally, at 7:15 I stopped, looked around, saw that I was the last person in the pool, and tested: 120. (Woo-fucking-hoo!) When you take out the time when I was testing, I swam 2 miles in 1:21. And I did it all while rocking the happy BGs.

What a difference a day makes!

I’m still not a very graceful or efficient swimmer. I’ve swallowed my pride and started doing a few drills from the Total Immersion system, and I can start to feel a few changes coming on. In particular, I’m trying to be more of a “front quadrant” swimmer. Instead of being a whirligig-like wind-up swimmer with windmilling arms, I should try to keep one hand out in front of me longer. Lengthening out my body should help keep me streamlined and tilted correctly in the water, and I can already feel it starting to change where my power is coming from, as it moves from just my shoulders to include my core. It’s slow going, making these changes. I’m glad I have the rest of the winter to work on my form.


p.s. — My Internet-friend—hopefully one day my have-met-in-real-life-friend—Céline has been swimming a lot lately. It’s fun to watch someone have many of the same experiences that I’ve had.

Posted in Data-betes, Diabetes, Life Lessons, Running, Swimming | 3 Comments

There Will Be Mud

Lisa is my sports psychologist. While she’s not a licensed mental health practitioner, she’s a good listener, asks probing questions, knows me pretty well, and has a basic philosophy I can get down with: “Snap out of it!”

So I kinda knew where the conversation was headed just after I started it while we were making dinner this evening.

“I need to talk to you about how I can feel better about my time today.” I ran a 22:57 at the Mayor’s Cup 5K race in Franklin Park, Boston.

“Well, it’s only about a minute off your best, right?” It’s true. I set my (most recent ten years) PR of 21:48 in Holliston over Memorial Day.

“And you weren’t that far behind your most recent race.” It’s true, in September I did 22:26. Of course, it’s on local roads that I’ve covered (easily) a hundred times, where I know each crack in the sidewalk, not to mention every uphill and downhill. But . . .

“But I know you feel like your times are going the wrong way.” It’s true. That’s part of it for sure.

“Today was a cross-country race, right?” Yeah. There was grass and mud and short, steep uphills and downhills to bomb and tight turns. It was glorious! At one point, a runner started to squeeze me toward a mud hole to keep her feet dry; a little (I mean tiny) shove from my arm kept everybody where they needed to be. I had forgotten how much I love the click-click-click sound of running spikes as they cross a road or cart path. But all that grass, mud, uphill/downhill, and turning certainly counts for a little time.

“It’s the diabetes, huh?” Yes. I couldn’t seem to bring my blood glucose down below 200 mg/dL (11 mmol) overnight, and it totally messed up my race-day plan. The plan was to lower my basal when I left home, eat a banana when I started to warm up, and run with happy BGs during the race. Instead, I left the house in the low-200s, got to the event in the mid-200s, and started the race at 318 (17.6). I ended up eating and bolusing for something small just before the start, but I was hungry and also a bit dehydrated from all the peeing that I’m sure was related to the highs.

“It’s tough, but you’ll get it figured out soon.” That’s my goal for this off-season. I want to learn how to run while eating and shooting insulin, but (honestly) it scares the bejeezus out of me. But nothing ventured, nothing gained; I’m just going to have to suck it up, eat something like what I hope to eat before a race or triathlon, and then go for a run. If I can’t really race over the winter, I can pretend.

“You’re too hard on yourself.” It’s so true. We all are in our little house. Well, maybe not the cat. He thinks he’s perfect.

Here are some pictures from my race today. As always, there are captions that you can see by clicking on an image, which also makes the pictures bigger. So why not start by clicking on the first and going through ‘em?

Posted in Diabetes, I am Rembrandt, Life Lessons, Photography, Running | 2 Comments

My New Favorite Running Picture


This photograph of Jenny Barringer Simpson winning the women’s 1500m world championship in Daegu, South Korea, is my new, all-time favorite. I’m going to cut it out and put it next to the treadmill. Maybe it will help me get through another long winter in the basement.

Lisa suspects that my previous favorite was a photo of Paula Radcliffe (like this one maybe) or steeplechase—I do love the steeplechase. Although, it’s still tough to beat the picture in Sports Illustrated from the late 80s of the guy on crutches running the NYC marathon while a bunch of young sisters stare at his awesomeness. I couldn’t find it online. Sorry.

Posted in OPP, Running | Leave a comment

LADA – Day 3

Turns out, I don’t know what else to say about LADA. I started the week not really knowing what latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (a.k.a., LADA, type-1.5 or T1.5) was but suspecting that I had it. Yet within twenty-four hours, I wrote what I had learned about it and decided that I probably don’t have it. Where could I go from there?

The plot—as they say—thickens.

It seems that there’s disagreement within the medical establishment about what LADA is. (This is a natural state of affairs in science and medicine.) Take today’s DiabetesMine article, which asks experts for their definitions of LADA. For some, LADA is strictly a subset of T1 diabetes. Others see it as appearing on a continuum between T1 and T2 or as sharing traits of both types. One researcher introduced even more new jargon types of diabetes: T1a and T1b.

Amy from DiabetesMine might say, “Oy!”

As someone who already takes insulin, knowing about LADA doesn’t really change my life. Of course, as an advocate, it’s good to know about these differences; it could potentially save the life of someone who was diagnosed with T2 but who actually has LADA. I’ve heard stories about this happening, and it sounds awful.

And that’s the real reason to have LADA Awareness Week: for people misdiagnosed to learn about LADA, get themselves tested for the antibodies that indicate it, and start a treatment strategy that works better.

Posted in Diabetes | Leave a comment

Hmm…

I was thinking about my athletic goals for 2012, which I will discuss in another post soon, when I—well, let’s just show a bunch of “random” facts.

  • A few months ago, we started planning a trip to Barcelona in March 2012.
  • We’re absolutely, positively going to Barcelona in March. No question about it: It’s going to be Lisa and me in Barcelona in March of 2012.
  • Last year I ran the New Bedford Half Marathon (21km) and got pwned by my blood sugar.
  • I swore I would make New Bedford my bitch.
  • Next year’s NBHM is March 18.
  • Over the last year I’ve met some of my diabetes peeps in NYC, Boston, DC, and Kansas City.
  • This month we met a bunch of my online peeps because of Simonpalooza.
  • I like meeting my online peeps in person.
  • Several of my Canadian peeps are planning on running the Around the Bay Road Race (30km).
  • Next year’s Around the Bay is March 25.
  • I’ve never seen Niagara Falls.
  • Visiting Toronto again and seeing Niagara Falls are on my “101 things to do in 1001 days” list.
  • Around the Bay is in Hamilton, ON, which is halfway between Toronto and Niagara Falls, an hour in each direction.

Like I said, totally random facts.

Wait a minute! Maybe I should run the Around the Bay Road Race at some point, whether that’s 2012 or 2013. Brilliant!

Let the negotiations (about New Bedford or Ontario, but not about Barcelona) begin.

Posted in 101 in 1001, Diabetes, General, Running, Travel | 4 Comments

Live from New York, It’s Simonpalooza

So we took a day trip to New York City to see Simon from Australia again. And meet people from the DOC. And bowl. And eat cupcakes. Good times!

(Click any photo for a larger version. But why not start at the first one and click your way through so that you can read all of the captions?)

Posted in Diabetes, General, I am Rembrandt, New York, Photography | 3 Comments

What Is LADA, Anyway?

When I said I was going to learn about LADA/type-1.5 diabetes and post about it this week, I had in my mind that I probably have this disease, as compared to “plain” type-1 diabetes. I was going based on the various, nebulous definitions that use these criteria:

  • Do you make your own insulin? No.
  • Does anyone in your family have a history of type-2 diabetes? No.
  • Were you over 20, 25, or 30 at diagnosis? I was almost 25.
  • Were you obese? Not after I lost those 50 pounds in six weeks from ketosis.
  • Did your diabetes come on quickly? Define quickly. One day I felt fine. Then I felt off. Then a week or two later I felt really bad but thought it would pass. Then I got scared and didn’t want to learn that I had a disease. Then I could barely function. Then I was in the hospital and feeling like I had been brought back from the brink. So is that a quick onset with a longer period of denial? Or is it a slow onset, since I didn’t end up in the hospital in a coma after a week or two?
  • Alright then, were you on insulin within a year of diagnosis or did you have several years of successful type-2 treatment? Oh no. I was shooting insulin before I left the hospital. Of course, we never tried any T2 pills or diet/exercise-only changes. . . .

So it’s still fuzzy in my mind: LADA v. T1. I get that LADA looks a whole lot like T1, and I understand that one of the big reasons for LADA Awareness Week is to help the LADA folks who have been misdiagnosed as T2 and really should be on insulin. But is there an actual difference?

Yes, says Amy Nierras of the JDRF in a DiabetesMine article:

According to Nierras, the key difference between Type 1 diabetes and LADA is not the age of the person when they’re diagnosed, but the gradual way the disease progresses. Whereas people with classical Type 1 diabetes tend to be completely insulin-dependent within twelve months after diagnosis (usually less), people with LADA can often survive without artificial insulin for years.

Clearly these LADA folks, the ones who can survive for years without adding insulin, do not sound like me.

Unless. . . .

I hadn’t had a physical involving blood work and a health questionnaire in the several years before I was diagnosed. I was young. I was mostly in good health (except for the pressure in my eyes). For about a year I didn’t have health insurance, and for a couple years after I finally got insured, money was tight. Since I hadn’t had an A1c taken in many years, it’s possible that I had been living with impaired beta cells for some time. After all, on those rare occasions when I would eat candy in college, I would get that cranky feeling that I have nowadays when my BG is high.

But, as they say, “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.” It’s possible but probably unprovable. For now I’m going to go back to calling myself a person with late-blooming type-1 diabetes. Type-1.25, perhaps?

Posted in Diabetes | 1 Comment

Frenchification

I’m trying to learn more French.

I studied French for five years in middle and high school, and then I took a French literature class in my first year at Grinnell. It became obvious to me that most of my classmates, who had spent the previous two or three years in 100- and 200-level French courses and a semester in Aix-en-Provence, were having a much easier time writing their essays and coming up with interesting things to say in class. Well, until we got to Ionesco, that is; nobody really gets theatre of the absurd, anyway.

That was my last French class. In retrospect, had I been a bit less stubborn, I might have gotten a lot out of going back to an intermediate course, and I might be in a much better place today. But I was a bit stubborn, and there were always so many interesting classes that I could take in the humanities that I was never at a loss for filling out my registration card. Life is choices.

It’s hard to hold onto language skills that you don’t use regularly. The first to go, as one might suspect would be the case, was the subjunctive. Then went the simple future and past. By 2001, when Lisa and I went to Montréal for the first time, I was pretty much down to the present and the past imperfect tenses, the passé composé, a good handle on the imperative mood, and a surprisingly decent vocabulary. (I will admit to using on a bit more aggressively than is probably acceptable: «Demain, on retourne aux Étas-Unis.»)

I did okay with those limited skills when we went to Paris in 2008 2009. Except, I didn’t know the names of any foods. «Qu’est-ce que c’est, “épaule?”» . . . “That’s ‘ham.’ Would you like an English menu?” (BTW, I suspect that most English menus in France are actually high school English class projects. “Okay class, let’s translate!”) I was determined to learn more practical vocabulary, and I did much better on the food front on subsequent trips to Montréal. When Mom and I went to France last month, I did have to ask, «Comment dit-on “medium-rare?”» but I was frequently the translator for our group when we were out on the town. (The answer is saignant, or “bloody.”)

Over the last couple of years, I’ve listened to a lot of Francophone music that I picked up in Montréal and on iTunes. I flipped through the occasional Paris Match at the library and bought a Paris Vogue or two. I followed a few French Twitter feeds. I even cracked the spine on the copy of Harry Potter et la coupe de feu that I bought at Powell’s City of Books in Portland last year. And I’ve always loved watching French films (with the subtitles on). All told, while I wasn’t exactly immersing myself in French, I was trying to get some additional skills in small chunks.

I think I did okay on the trip to Provence and Paris last month. I realized about mid-trip that my accent is pretty good. When you combine that with the fact that I tried very hard to greet everyone properly with a «Bonjour, monsieur» or «Bonsoir, madame», the fact that I’m American actually surprised a number of people. As we were checking in at the Air France desk in Paris, the agent had a look of confusion that morphed into pleasant surprise as she said in French: “You have an American passport, but you speak French.” And at the end of a marathon, half-hour-long chocolate-buying and small-talk spree on our last full day in Paris, the nice twenty-something shopkeeper said, «Vous parlez très bien français!». I think I blushed.

Believe it or not, the hardest thing for me this most recent trip was understanding numbers. Yes, those words they teach you in your first weeks of your first French class got me. The problem wasn’t the words themselves; rather it was the extreme rapidity with which they were said. People speak more quickly than normal when they say numbers, whether in a phone number, address, or price. (Listen for it next time.) Throw in a «euro» between two sets of numbers, and you hit upon the perfect recipe for confusing me.

And I got flustered a few times on those occasions when I lacked just the right word to get my idea or question across and I couldn’t think of a way to talk around it. I might have tried to revert to English only to get more stymied. (*might have*) Clearly, vocabulary—and not grammar or accent—is the thing for me to work on.

I heard recently that you need 1,200 words in your vocabulary to emulate conversational fluency. While I’m not actually going to take an inventory of words that I know—I mean, who would do that?—it’s my destination. There’s also idiomatic vocabulary, the words that take on different meaning when they’re combined together into phrases, which I’m also trying to learn. It looks like the good people at french.about.com might be able to help me.

I’ll keep you posted.

Oh! and I still can’t eavesdrop.


p.s. — How much do I love France? Enough to put a French house number plaque on the front of our house:


Posted in Bon mots, City of Light, Life Lessons, Travel | 3 Comments

LADA Awareness Week

Diabetes: we know all about it. Kids get “type 1,” and older adults get “type 2.” [1] Except that I got type 1 at the age of 24, and because of the general state of health in the US, elementary school kids are getting type 2.

But wait, do I have type 1?

Several years after I was diagnosed in the hospital with “type 1 diabetes mellitus,” I learned about “latent autoimmune diabetes in adults,” a.k.a, LADA or “type 1.5.” It’s possible that the diabetes I got as an adult and the kind that the kiddos get are different beasts (i.e., have different etiology, as the pathology med school kids might say). This supposition hasn’t impacted my life in any significant way; in fact it almost feels like trivia. Sure, from time to time I introduce myself as having T1.5 diabetes when I’m around other people with diabetes, but it tends to confuse most people without this little disease.

To be honest, I don’t really know that much about LADA. Does it imply a different treatment strategy? Not so far as I know. How do you distinguish between T1 and T1.5? Don’t know. Does it even matter after all these years? I’m shrugging.

It’s not like me to be less than curious about something, but I’ve been trying to be more selective in how deep I get into topics these days; life is choices, and all that. This week, though, is the first ever LADA Awareness Week, so maybe it’s time for me to become more aware about LADA. I’m going to do my best to learn something LADA-related each day this week and share it with you.

Stay tuned.


1 — In case you don’t remember, type 1 is where the body’s own antibodies destroy the insulin producing cells in the pancreas, while in type 2 the body still produces insulin but becomes increasingly resistant to its awesomeness. There’s more to each condition, of course, but in either case blood sugar goes up if it remains untreated. [Back . . .]

Posted in Diabetes, Life Lessons | 2 Comments

Simonpalooza

Three days later, I still have no words for last weekend. So here are some pictures until I can find them. Why not just start with the first one and click your way through?

Posted in Diabetes, I am Rembrandt, This is who we are, Travel | 2 Comments

International DiabeTees Day 2011

It’s that time again! Last year International Diabetes T-Shirt Day was a big success, but I know we can do better. This year let’s make more tees, and let’s all wear them on November 14th, which just so happens to be World Diabetes Day. Let the world—or your coworkers or gym peeps or friends or strangers or whoever—know that you’re part of Team Pancreas.


There are a bunch of different ways that you can participate. Well, okay, I can think of three ways.

You can wear a diabetes-themed T-shirt that you got at an ADA, JDRF, or IDF event. Let your advocacy shine. You can also buy a shirt . . . online naturally. Some of these stores even donate the profits to organizations that do things for those of us with this little disease.

But the real fun is making your own. All it takes is an idea, a few craft supplies, and an hour or two. It’s good family fun, and when you’re done you can look at your creation with extra pride.

“Jeff, how do I make my own T-shirt?” I hear you asking. It’s easy, and it all starts at your local craft store. If your store is anything like the one in my town, you’ll find everything you need, from colorful, blank T-shirts to iron-on letters and patches to this special stuff that you can use to draw designs and write messages.

And, if you have a computer and inkjet printer, you can fire up Photoshop, make as fancy of a design as you can imagine, and print it out on iron-on transfer paper (also available at the craft store). One hot iron and a few minutes later, voilà! you’ve got your own fancy-pants DiabeTee. What? No printer? No worries; you can upload your design to a place like CafePress, which will print your design for you.

So are you ready? Great! You have 33 days left to make your shirt before November 14.

And don’t ever underestimate the power of a simple T-shirt.


p.s. — I have about a half-billion things on my mind that I want to write about. (For example, see the photos above.) Seems like it’s feast or famine around this here weblog. So I’m going to start with the most time-bound issues. I hope not to let y’all down and post the rest of everything here in the coming days.

Posted in Diabetes, General, I am Rembrandt, Photography, This is who we are, Travel | 4 Comments

Photos from the Trip

Whew! There were a lot of photos to go through. Here are my favorites. Click on any thumbnail for a larger version.

Posted in City of Light, I am Rembrandt, OPP, Photography, Travel | Leave a comment