Monday, August 10, 2009

Diabeasties

So. It's been a long time. A long time since we talked, a long time since I have even thought about this blog. I think I want to change that. I don't know if anyone will care or take note. Since I have tried to recreate this thing many times, and not been successful, maybe it will be another failed attempt. Oh, well. Hello, all.

I wanted to vent a little this morning, to complain that I am not my diabetes supply company's customer any longer. It's not that I have found a better company, not yet. It's that they don't see me as a valuable customer any more, and the nasty truth is, they probably never have. It's not for lack of trying mind you, they give lip service to me by calling me customer. But when the rubber meets the road, the only customers that matter to them are the big customers, not us people. The insurance companies are the ones they care about and are what drive them. We are put through any number of dehumanisations every time we call. (Your insurance company is asking for your doctor to sign this form...I know what the prescription says, but how much do you really use a month?...I know what you just told me, but how much would you say you use the first of the month? The second, third, fifth, sixth, fourth, seventh, ninth, eighth, aw shucks, can you fill out this 365 page form and get your doctor to sign it, have it notorized and mail it back?) Not that the suppliers aren't culpable, but if we were the customer, then we would have less hassle, and much better service.

Sorry about the rabbit trail, fortunately, it is not totally tangential. I was told that I was no longer a valuable customer for my supply company. They were not willing to work with me on payments, though they had received my prior commitment faithfully month to month. I sent extra when it was available, and followed all the guidelines they had set up, but, I was not paying down fast enough. They said if the deductible were being met (if I were owing them more each year) and the insurance company were paying even $5 dollars/year, that they could work with me, but since it was just my deductible and no insurance money, they would no longer be filling orders for me. This means that my $1000+ dollars / yr business was not as valuable as my insurance company's $5 / yr. (I know this is exaggerated, but it's hyperbole.)

All of this brings me to now. I am now having to figure out how to manage my diabetes at a lower cost and as effectively. (Or preferably better, since my A1C numbers are not good.) I will try to update as I can, and hopefully get a better grip on this ugly diabeastie.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Heavy Blogging

Talk about heavy blogging lately. I may let November slip all the way by before I blog again; yet, I am here right now. Happy! Happy! I guess the problem I have with blogging weekly is that I don't reflect on things enough. Without reflection, my posts are vapid; and who is reading this stuff anyway?
I am writing for me I guess. I will keep posting, maybe even increase the posts. Perhaps that will encourage me to reflect more; to be more creative; to be more productive; to be.

Blessings to all who stumble upon this.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Nashville Eating

I have decided that local eateries are the best. I ate at a place called Wing Basket for lunch. It was really tasty, but I got a funny look from the server when I asked for 6 tenders and fries and a drnk. I don't know what that was about, and she didn't explain it, but then I got the "tenders" and realized the look. This was like two of Sawyer's chicken fingers. I enjoyed the chicken, but hated the fries...soggy soft stuff. They had homemade sweet tea, which I loved.

For dinner, we went to Mafiaoza's. Delicious. Delicious. Delicious. The ravioli sticks (kind of a cheese stick on steroids) were so good. All three of the boys had a good time, with all of them having been given a piece of dough to play. What fun! And then the entrees came. Our pizza was an 18" New York style pizza without much grease. It had salami, pepperoni, and bacon in copious quantities and wonderful cheeses. The boys loved the pizza, and Mom and Dad loved the price. Not expensive at all for a family of four.

Nashville has a great selection of food, but these were just the ones that we visited. All in all a fine trip.

John Maxwell and Christ Church

My leadership conference came upon me before I was ready. I had been planning to attend the Maximum Impact conference back in May, but I wasn't able to because of a hole in our department if I were gone. (Sounds very impressive, but we also had others out, so don't take it like that.) I was able to arrange to go to a Leadership Effect conference instead, but it wasn't until September. Well, as always, it arrived to soon and we found ourselves shuttling to Nashville with kids in tow. The highlight of the trip down was my 20 month old shouting, "Yea! Daddy!" and giggling histerically for about 20 miles, 30 minutes from our exit.

We had a really good time down there. Visiting with my Sister-in-law and her husband and son. They were very gracious in receiving us into their small apartment, and we slept on the floor in the living room.

I was familiar with Christ Church--where the conference was held--only by the various recordings of their choir. I was astonished at the enormity of the complex that was this church. Back in Knoxville, we have several churches that seem to be as large as local high schools and are ever expanding. I attend one of these. But when I went through the doors at Christ Church, I was taken aback by the vastness of the facilities. There was the two-story auditorium, an atrium above the foyer, a two story nursery and elementary school wing, and another for jr high and high school. There was a gymnasium, again two story, and an indoor kids playground that was two-story as well, and consequently, as large as the first church that I had ever attended. There was a cafe, that had a full line of high quality coffees and espressos, and bookstore that had clothes, music, videos, cards, stationery, and more books than some of the bible bookstores in Knoxville. All told, I think there was 5 or 6 stories and any number of people at the church just working (volunteering?).

1300 people were in attendance to hear John Maxwell talk about leadership. It was a really good presentation, and I know that there are going to be some good take home points, but one thing I left knowing was that Maxwell is a marketing genius. I'll leave my bitter cynicism for another day, but just wanted to point that out.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Prayer and Habits

If you have ever had a week like mine, you might understand. I have been trying to change a number of habits. I have been sleeping in after staying up late, and I want to be going to bed earlier and getting up early. I have also been attending church on Wednesday nights and Thursday mornings. While this time has been good for my soul, my body, and my family time have been needing attention. I am tired. I am snappish and weak.
This shouldn't surprise me. I have known that I needed to make changes. But, I am just now screwing up the courage to carry through with it. Lowsy old habits. The Quakers have a tradition in prayer that I call "Palms down, Palms up." It is basically like this: You sit in a chair with your hands on your knees, praying for God to help get rid of bad habits (strongholds) and forgive sins by turning your palms down and saying something like "God please forgive me for lying, and those little half truths that pepper my day. I cast them off (palms down)..." and turning your palms up, "...and grow in me a heart of honesty, and integrity to tell the truth, no matter the circumstances, Amen." In this way you are not just leaving a hole for some other stronghold to build up. I have been palms-down, palms-upping a lot lately. Casting off and taking on. I need to do more, but I feel like a shatter pot reforming as it is.
Pray for me.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

No, FAN does not equal HATER

I have neglected posting on this thing for some time now. Not that anyone is probably watching or reading, but I thought it necessary to toss out that beginning. I was at a college football game last night with my dad. It was supposed to be THE game, the University of Tennessee Volunteers vs. the University of Florida Gators. Dad got hold of some tickets way up in the upper deck "QQ". The stadium holds over 108k people so when I say way up, I mean that we were in a different weather system from the field.

Neyland Stadium is the largest of its kind in the South--a tribute to how much the University and the city of Knoxville love the VOLS. There is so much hype heading into a game. Politicians selling politics, charities asking for donations for towels, seats, and programs, and a 'village' of tailgaters who want to have a good time.

Since the days of Steve Spurrier, the University of Florida has been one of the fiercest competitors in the already powerhouse SEC. They have also been one of our biggest rivals. Some fans would say 'most hated'; I just say biggest. But I will get back to that in a minute. Because of them being such a talented team, and because they have such a strong fanbase, there were a lot of Gators on campus. Traveling from Florida in their favorite charter buses, they brought with them a palpable excitement and enthusiasm for their team. There weren't many I ran into that would do more than quote stats with you or talk to you about how they liked the town. Nice People. Just fans.

Sure there were drunks there, and stoners... Students that had partied all night the night before and were running on fumes. The Police and Security officers sent these on their way, (mostly). But then there were the crazed fans. The ones wearing gator-hater shirts and hats, cussing at every blue shirt they saw and brick-shouldering anyone that looked lighter than them. These were the fans that made me a little nervous climbing to the top of the stadium. Two of them got in a fight ahead of us. Some shoving and a lot of shouting, and I figured I was about to go back down the steep steps quickly. But it settled out thanks to some level heads around them.
We kept moving and sat down beside a nice guy named Josh and his wife - never heard what she said her name was. Soon the teams were coming out, first UT bursting through the "Power T" and then the Gators with a burst of blue from the south end and "boo" booming as one from the majority of the crowd.

What is that? Why did they think they had to hate in order to be a good fan? What about respect for worthy opponents? What about them bringing their best game so that we had to play our best? The game was well fought and while there were a few controversial calls, they seemed to balance out. Florida won. Florida just outplayed Tennessee, all the way down to the 12th man.

...And it got me thinking.

Are there any attitudes or challenges in my life that could do with less booing and more rising to the challenge? Am I one who needs to degrade someone else to make myself stand out? What kind of man am I? A fan or a hater?

Lord, don't let me be a hater.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Genesis

The beginnings are always hard to get your mind around. I am sitting at my in-laws desktop computer, with a 7 week old baby in my arms and the sounds of Sunday dinner getting on the table. My other son, 19 months old, is suckering his Ah Bah (Aunt Bec) to read a story to him for the fifteenth time. My youngest is staring at me with a little bit of curiosity (not to mention a little bit of gas, I suspect) and is smiling. This is a snapshot. This is my time in life. It is here that I have chosen to write. Perhaps to keep me busy while downloading OpenOffice.org and perhaps to justify my being on this machine, I am here sharing with you my day. Take a moment, look around you and realize there is a world full of moments to share. These are the moments that teach us to laugh. Get caught up.

God be with you.