Friday, January 30, 2009

Toby Keith's album Big Dog Daddy on sale for $1.99

For any country music fans reading, I just picked up a copy of Toby Keith's album Big Dog Daddy from Amazon MP3. The album is currently on sale for only $1.99

Also on sale is Bryan Adams' Reckless, which includes Heaven and Summer of '69. For $.99, I couldn't go wrong!

New Features

I’m trying to add a few new things to the blog again, hopefully all one or two of you who read my blog will find them worth using.

The first thing I’m adding is an integration with Twitter. I’ve set up my blog so that every time I write something new, it will send an announcement to anyone who follows me on Twitter. If you’ve never heard of twitter, it’s a sort of social network tool and microblog service. I can send very short messages through it, which get sent out to anyone who chooses to follow my twitter account. It will send it to you by your choice of email, text message, or IM. The nice thing about it is that I can follow you as well, so that if you send a tweet (a twitter message), I’ll get it. It’s a great way to keep up with what your friends are doing, and to keep them posted on your status.

That Twitter integration is also working the other way around. Not only will my blog send a tweet when I write a new posts, but all of my recent tweets will be listed on the side of the blog. So if you don’t get my status messages by sms or email, you can always look at the most recent ones right here on the blog.

I’m also going to start using DIGG buttons on some of my blog posts. If I am writing something that’s not a primarily personal post, I’ll include a small square DIGG icon to the right of the post. If you think what I wrote is good, and worth sharing with other people (the general public), click the DIGG button. DIGG is a social bookmarking site, where a post gets added to their list and ranked by how many DIGGs it gets. A post might start at the top of the list, but if nobody diggs it, it goes down fast. If lots of people digg it, that means it’s worth reading, and it goes to the top of the list.

The last feature I’m adding tonight is related to everybody’s favorite web store, I’ve signed up for an associate account with amazon, and will begin linking to items I talk about in the blog. If you click the link and decide to buy the item, I get a small percentage of the cost. I’m not going to link to things just to try and get people to buy them. The links are there more as a convenience to readers, and as a ‘just in case’ thing if someone should want to buy what I talk about. For example, if I write a short post talking about a book I am reading, I’ll link to the book on Amazon. If you read my review of it and decide you want to read it yourself, you can buy the book in just a couple of clicks, and a few cents from your purchase goes to me. Also, even if you don’t buy that particular book, but end up ordering something else, if you went to amazon through my link, I still get the percentage of it. Again, I don’t expect people to go out and buy things just to give me money, but if you happen to be buying something from amazon anyway, please use these links. This Link will take you right to the main amazon page, so you can search for whatever you want, and includes my associate link.

So, that’s about it for now. Nothing major, but 3 small new features for the blog that I hope people will use and enjoy. I’ve also added a couple more widgets to the right side column of the blog, and moved things around a bit. Check it all out!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I’m going to miss food

Tonight, I walked through the grocery store, reading labels on foods and snacks that I like.  I also looked at things I hadn’t tried, but thought might be somewhat healthy for me.  It made me want to cry when I saw just how many foods I wouldn’t be able to eat anymore.  I mean, I could still have oreos, but if I want them as a ‘snack’, I can have 2.  I could go as high as 6, if I wanted to call it a meal.  Lots of other foods I looked at were similarly unhealthy. 

You see, last night, Allison and I met with a dietician who works at the local Hy-Vee store.  She spent nearly 2 hours with us talking about foods, suggesting meal plans, and walking through the store to show us some good and bad products for a diabetic.  I have an appointment next week to meet with the diabetes educator and a dietician from the diabetes center at Genesis, but I wanted to learn something about what is good and bad to eat ASAP so I can start practicing new eating habits.  At the time I scheduled the appt at Hy-Vee, I hadn’t heard back yet from the Genesis diabetes center to schedule an appointment. 

One good thing I learned from the dietician, she told me that meats, eggs, and cheese are just fine, since they don’t contain any significant carbohydrates.  So a breakfast of 2 boiled eggs and a couple of sausage links wouldn’t affect my blood sugar much at all.  At least there’s SOMETHING I can eat when hungry that doesn’t screw things up!

For what it’s worth, it looks like the Metformin is helping my glucose some.  I am only just beginning to make diet changes, and yet my glucose the last couple of days has stayed in the range of about 200-300.  That’s not great, but it’s much better than the over 600 from last weekend, and 450’s in the beginning of the week.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Goin’ thru the big D(iabetes)

Well, it’s official.  I just got back from my Dr appointment to review my blood tests, and he confirmed I do have Type 2 Diabetes.  My fasting blood sugar yesterday was 331, with a Hemoglobin A1C of just over 14.  I’ve got a prescription for 850MG of Metformin daily, and appointments with a dietician and diabetes educator.  This should be loads of fun! Or perhaps not.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Announcing: A new blog joins the family!

I suspect most anyone who reads this blog knows my mom, and knows what an interesting character she can be.  Now, you can enjoy her unique (We love ya mom! :) ) style online.  You can find her new blog “Rena’s Ramblings” at .  Don’t forget to sign up as a follower, and check back frequently for Rena’s latest Ramblings!

Another day, another President. . .

Okay, so maybe getting a new president isn’t an everyday event, but I sure am glad it’s finally over.  It seems like the election coverage started years ago, and after that ended it went straight into what will Obama do for this or for that.  We even had about 2 solid weeks of ‘pre-coverage’ of the inauguration, which is what, an hour long event?  I’m very happy for the guy, but enough is enough.  Maybe the newsies will finally let the President settle down and get a few days out of the media eye.

As for the ‘another day’ part of the title, I guess that’s just life.  One day at a time.  I received somewhat disturbing news yesterday morning, and have spent a lot of time thinking about that.  I don’t want to say a whole lot more about here it until I get confirmation, but suffice it to say I’ll be thinking about it a lot for the next week. 

One bit of good news, Ryan had a pretty darned good day today.  He woke up for breakfast this morning without a fuss, took his pill very smoothly, and even got dressed and ready for school all with a great attitude.  Thank goodness for small things, because last night he was very ADHD and with things on my mind, I wasn’t in the mood. 

I guess that’s it for today.  I’ll leave you with a pic I snapped tonight of Ryan as he was working on his homework. Daaaaad!

Of course, he didn’t want his picture taken, so it’s more of him hiding from the camera than doing homework.  

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Campin' out at Mom's tonight

Mom's computer hasn't been working right.  After a thorough diagnostic, the hard drive turned out to be bad.  After someone was gracious enough to buy a new drive for her, I came down to install it and setup windows for her. 

I'm trying to get the new Windows 7 public beta installed, but not sure if it's going to go.  Overall, I've heard nothing but great reviews about Windows 7, and have been running it on my home pc for a short while now.  I think it will work well for her, if it installs.  At some point during the install, the screen goes black and I can't tell if it is still going in the background and or if it's never going to come back.  It could also be because I'm using the x64 build, rather than the x86, so I'll give that a try if this doesn't work.

Anyway, we're all here, watching "The Pacifier" on ABC.  Mom's watching with us, but Brad has already turned in for the day, since he has to get up at some ungodly hour for work.

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

No school again tomorrow

Based again on the forecast for extremely low temperatures tomorrow, local schools have decided to take the day off.  Unfortunately, Fridays are a day I really need to be at work, so I’ll be going in tomorrow morning while Allison sleeps in at home with Ryan. 

With Monday off for the MLK holiday, this will make a 5 day weekend for students and teachers.  Though I’d rather they close school for actual ‘snow days’, rather than for extreme cold, but either way I’m glad they are giving the kids a couple of days off.  Everybody enjoys an ‘extra’ day now and again.

This would be a good morning to stay home from work and curl up in bed…

So that’s just what I’m doing.  After our 6” snowfall yesterday, the local schools saw fit to stay open, so Ry went to class as normal.  By noon however, they had decided to close schools for today, due to the predicted below zero temperatures and high wind chill factor.  Since Ryan was going to be out of school, I decided to take the day off as well.  He’s still tucked warm in his bed, sound asleep.  I should be in bed too, but I’ve still got this itch bothering me, and woke up half an hour ago unable to sleep because my legs itched so bad.  Hopefully these meds the Dr gave me this week will help clear it up. 

Anyway, my sympathy to all of you who had to get up this morning and go to work in these bitter cold temperatures.  I’ll be thinking of you as I climb back in bed in a few minutes and try to catch a few more Z’s before Ryan wakes up.  :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Just when you thought Sudoku was taking over the world...

I've just finished reading My latest puzzle love: KenKen, in which Stephen Shankland describes the latest puzzle game to migrate to the US from Japan. Well, finished reading the article and trying out a puzzle or two.

A KenKen puzzle, like Sudoku, consists of a square grid of numbers. Also like Sudoku, the rows and columns of the grid must contain one of each number available in the puzzle, with out repeating. That is where the similarities end. Unlike Sudoku, a KenKen grid can be made up of anywhere from 9 to 81 squares arranged in a 3x3 to 9x9 grid. Instead of dividing the big grid into 9 smaller square grids, you'll find the KenKen grid divided up into various odd shapes made out of any number of squares. A bold black line divides these sections, called cages. A cage may consist of two or more squares on the grid, or even just one single square. Inside each cage, you'll find a number and a mathmatical operator. (+ - x or ÷) You must use the number of squares in the cage, along with the printed number and operator in the cage, to fill in the squares. To do so, you determine which number or numbers, when combined with the given operator, result in the given number. For example:

In a cage made up of 2 squares, one of the squares has a small 3+ written in the corner. For this cage, you need to find 2 numbers that add (Because of the +) up to the number 3. In this case, hopefully you all know that the only possible combination of 2 whole numbers to add up to 3 is 1+2. So you know that these two squares will have a 1 or 2 in them.

To figure out which number goes in which square, you fall back to the old rule of no two squares in a single row or column can contain the same number. If there is already a 1 or 2 anywhere in the same row or column as the two squares you're working with, you know that the other number must be the one to go in that square.

I'm going to give a few more of these a try. In the mean time, click through to the linked article and check it out!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Another weekend wasted, and it’s all Mom’s fault

It’s Sunday evening, the end of the weekend.  Tomorrow Allison and I will return to work, and Ryan to school to start a new week.  So, what did I do this weekend?  Nothing.  Well, not quite nothing.  I read.  Other than that though, I did nothing.  I didn’t even get dressed.  I laid around the house all weekend and read a couple of books by my favorite authors.  See, for Christmas, Mom bought be a new book.  It was on my wish list, had been for a year or more, so it was a good choice.  But the trouble is, once I start reading, I can’t quit.  If I get into a good book, then I want another, and another, and another.  So, I’ve been to the library 5 or 6 times in the last 2 weeks.  I picked up a couple of good books by Stephen J. Cannell, and a couple by J.A. Jance.  I also grabbed books from a couple of authors I hadn’t read before, including David Baldacci.  These are all excellent authors, and the books are all page turners.  They all write much better than I do, as evidenced by this post.  Anyway, because mom bought me a good book, I have been reading every free minute for the last week or two, and haven’t accomplished much of anything.  And it’s all Mom’s fault.

Oh, one exciting thing did happen this weekend… Ryan got to go see the Globetrotters today with his Grandma Connie.  He got a red white and blue basketball, and got 2 autographs on the ball to go along with the autographed T-shirt he got 2 or 3 years ago.