Saturday, April 25, 2009


  • So I've been putting off going to Dr. Morgan because 1) I am lazy and 2) Dave had an A1C of 5.5 the last time and I knew that there was no way I'd ever get my A1C down that far.  
  • For those who don't know, the A1C is a blood test that looks at glucose attachment to red blood cells - this happens when blood cells are made - and since blood cells live around 120 days, you get basically a 3 month shot at your blood sugar control.  Normal (I guess I should say Non-diabetic) levels are 3.9-6.5.  
  • Before Triabetes, I had never broken 7... in 25 years.  Not that 7 isn't pretty good.  Then while training for Ironman, I got down to 6.2.  I thought that would be the low point.  Since the 7 months since Ironman, I haven't swam one time.... I've only run a few times... and there have been very few bike rides.  Everything I gained through training, I have lost:)
  • Actually, its not everything apparently.  My A1C yesterday was 5.2 - on the lower half of normal!  It looks like I have learned something about being a diabetic over the last year and it seems to have something to do with taking this "disease" seriously - i.e. testing when I need to test, being conscious of the interaction of insulin and food and (lack of) exercise at all times (thank you Diabetes Training Camp), switching to a morning and evening lantus shot, basically (as Dave used to say) being a "professional diabetic"
  • And I still can't count carbs
  • PS - I wasn't low that much in the last few months (like 7 months) - so it was a kind of genuine A1C
  • I emailed the Triabetes folks and the Diabetes Training Camp guru Dr. Matt Corcoran and basically thanked them again for saving my life.
  • On a related note, the guy who talked me into Triabetes, John Moore - is gearing up to run the Leadville 100 with another Triabetic, Peter Nerothin.   They both are on the board of Insulindependence.  The Leadville 100 is a 100 mile RUNNING race through the Colorado Rockies.  The only other diabetic who has done this is Bill Carlson... the most famous Triabetic.  If you want to help out John, please consider giving $10 - its easy and fast and safe at FIRSTGIVING. He is trying to raise $10,000 for Triabetes and Insulindependence by having 1000 donors of $10 each.  Thanks for considering it.  Please pass it on to anyone who might have an interest in Diabetes - Because inspiring diabetics is as important as any of the medicine or technology out there.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Question for Beekeepers

Ok, its spring and my friend Jon and I have 3 hives... had 3 hives.  Now we have 2 dead hives and 1 strong hive.  I have a couple of questions for beekeepers here.  I am pretty much a novice and I tend toward a hands-off approach to beekeeping.  The yellow hive on the left is dead (bees still there), the top bar hive in the middle is dead (no bees), and the white hive on the right is strong.
Here is the entrance to the yellow hive - it was never strong - captured from a swarm from the white hive.
Inside the super of the yellow hive. There are a bunch of bees still here (dead).  There is very little honey left and that honey is on the outside frames.
  • Inside the brood chamber - no bees on the brood frames.  I assume these guys fell from the top.  
  • Question #1:  Did this hive starve?
  • Inside the yellow hive brood frame - small white flakes in the comb.  
  • Question #2:  Any ideas on what those are?
Top bar hive.  Inside are top bars that had only a small spline coated in wax.  Caught a swarm from the white hive and put them in.  The sides are sloped at such an angle that the bees think the sides are floor and so do not attach the comb to the sides (so you can take out the frames)
They build the hive from the front to the back - so brood is in the front and honey is in the back (instead of top to bottom like conventional hives).  This frame is from the back.  Totally empty.
  • This frame is from the front.  Totally empty.  
  • Question #3:  Any ideas why this hive might be gone?  There's no honey.  But there's no bees either.  Is it CCD, or is more left behind with CCD?  
  • Question #4: Why does wax turn dark?  Is that where brood was?
  • Question #5: Any opinions on whether we should start a new hive in this and leave the wax, or harvest the wax and start from scratch again?


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring's a coming

So spring is coming and there is nothing I can do about it.  Zoe and I went to Damascus the other day and planted a bunch of potatoes (German Butterball and Yukon Gold).  I had never planted potatoes before, so we'll see.  Homer (our neighbor) had plowed up the garden plot down by the road (and river) but hadn't tilled it yet - so Zoe and I worked pretty hard to get out the sod - but the soil under it was pretty nice.  Then we planted 30 asparagus crowns.  Getting a bit hungry just thinking about it.  Then the next day we used Jon's idea of folding newspaper seed pots and planted our seed beds.  It was a neat little origami trick to make a plantable pot for free. 
These pictures are all backwards... as usual - you would think I would figure it out someday.  Anyway, this is Easter night - we were invited to Rosa's house for a little impromptu get together.  Easter egg hunt, dinner, bonfire (I think that is Aidan with sparklers)... it was a pretty wonderful time - thank you Rosa.  And that was after Reid and I went for a bike ride to the greenway, where he then ran with Ashley.  I don't do that stuff anymore:)
Easter Egg hunt.  They were master egg dyers.  Art people, how I love basking in their glow.
Adia had a great time as well.  All the kids played so incredibly well together (especially the older kids with the young ones) - thank you Dargan, Marshaun (probably spelling that wrong), and Aidan.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

DUML 2009... Done!

Whew. Trip number 6 (I think) is in the books. Well, there are still a few bills to be paid that total around 10 thousand dollars... but for all practicality, the trip is over. We had a great week atDuke University Marine Lab. It started out a bit rainy and cold but quickly turned sunny, windy, and cold:) The kids seemed to love it and Zoe had a HUGE time. It was shocking to see your beloved 5 year old suddenly not need you – but it was also wonderful. Food was wonderful as usual (thank you Gilbert, Sly, and Sandy). Here is a quick rundown:
  • Day 1: Left the school at 7am and got there by dinner. Got settled in and then went for a walk to radio island. I totally remembered a gate preventing us from getting to the water – I was only wanting them to burn off some energy before bed – but the gate was no more and there by headlamp, a few brave souls plunged into the still sound water. As they squealed and splashed, I did inform them that this was prime shark feeding time...

  • Day 2: We split into 2 groups – one went kayaking and the other went to Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve (Bird Shoals). It was pretty rainy. I led the Rachel Carson group each time and we found some great stuff – though the water was murky and the second group was there at high tide. The kayaking groups had a good time (I hear) and even some close encounters with dolphins. Dawn Keller – the Pirate Queen took good care of us again.

  • Day 3: Weather cleared and we went into Beaufort for a double decker bus historical tour, Maritime Museum, toured the huge research vessel the Cape Hatteras, and then on the Susan Hudson for dredging and trawling. I got sick that night but it cleared on the night beach walk... thank goodness.

  • Day 4: We went to the NC aquarium in the morning (I had to take a student to the Urgent Care center, but it all worked out well) and then way out to Shackleford banks (via Perry Barrow at Outer Banks Ferry) for the entire afternoon. A perfect barrier island – we landed on the sound side, stayed there awhile, then marched across the island to the surf, found a well sloped beach and the mountain kids got to play in the (ice cold) waves. That night we spent time watching basketball, playing ping pong, pool, foosball, and working puzzles.

  • Day 5: We bid bon voyage to wonderful breakfasts and got back to Boone in time for dinner.

  • Now there is 4 inches of snow on my deck and it should snow the rest of the day. Ahh, Boone.

Here is a link to pictures

Great Spirit, thank you for a great week, great group, and good weather!

PS - the skirt is one Ash made for Zoe while we were gone.  Sorry I couldn't move around the pictures to make the blog flow a bit...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Duke Marine Lab trip in progress

36 kids, 6 chaperones, 1 crazy triabetic group leader, dolphins bubble fishing next to our kayaks, mating horseshoe crabs, rain, seine netting, horse poop, bones, living lettered olives, great food, rain, flounder, mud snails, wading waist deep across tidal ponds, swimming, cold, sharks, rays, crabs, tired, day 1.... almost done.