Showing posts from 2016

A Lesson in Entrepreneurship From Playing Chicken With a Squirrel

The following is a blog entry I originally wrote many years ago, for humor value. Re-reading it again this morning, I realized it illustrates at least one personal, striking lesson in entrepreneurship.  I went to college in the early 90's in East Texas, where a man is often equated with the truck he owns. I say 'often', because if it were 'always', then my roommate John would have been the biggest, nastiest, most gargantuan creature of all time. And he would have smoked and rattled. To get back and forth between our house and school (or maybe it was suggested by their home owner's association), John's family gave him their big, old, 1974 Ford Extended Cab pickup, formally known as The Guck. Now remember in 1974, American automobiles were BIG. 1974 was the first year for the extended-cab, so Ford made that BIG, too. And it had a camper. A BIG camper. This gargantuan beast was so big, we actually measured the carport before his parents brought it up, just t

Google Calendar Chart Visualization of A Day in the Life of My Diabetic Daughter

My 9 year old daughter Darcie has Type 1 Diabetes, and we use a Google Sheet to track her blood sugar, carb intake, and a couple of other important T1 details. She enters data on a Google Form, and it's populated in the corresponding Google Sheet. We have a number (a large number...) of charts we use to visualize what's going on there.  We, along with her endocrinologist, use the log and the charts to help determine what tweaks we need to make to her insulin regimen to keep her safe and healthy. To see a good visual representation of what goes on with her blood sugar over time, and especially to tell if her school routine, summer routine, and weekend routine are all on track, all along I would have loved to have had a Calendar Chart . We've been working on some pretty cool interactive Calendar Charts over at Tiller , and I'm already totally hooked on using this kind of chart to help me understand my spending habits, so also using them to visualize blood sugar checks i

Dad of A Diabetic Daughter Doing Difficult Duty Running Ragnar Right

I would highly recommend every parent of a young child with type 1 diabetes spend some time doing something difficult -- immersed in a group of grown adults with type 1 diabetes.  Last month I had the privilege of running  Ragnar Trails Cascades with Team ConnecT1D . The run was AMAZINGLY fun, of course, but the experience of being the only person on the team with a fully-functional pancreas really had an unexpected impact on me. It was a little bit depressing - and yet tremendously inspirational. My INTENT was to show my nine-year old daughter Darcie, who has type 1 diabetes, and LOVES to run, that she doesn't have to slow down, even though exercising, and distance running in particular, can be a little tricky for someone with type 1 diabetes. In particular, it is common for someone with type 1 diabetes to experience a 'low'* (hypoglycemia) when running, or at least have to carefully plan ahead to avoid it. I am regularly seen at Seattle-area 5K runs and CYO cross count

Despair, Hope, and the Innovator's Dilemma

A little over a year ago, our daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes , a lifelong chronic condition that requires she receive four or more daily injections of insulin. Type 1 diabetes is distinct from the much more prevelant type 2 diabetes, in that with type 2 diabetes, the beta cells in the pancreas still produce insulin -- but the body is not efficient at using it. With type 1 diabetes, however, the pancreas no longer has working beta cells with which to produce insulin. And they're not coming back. People living with type 1 diabetes need injected insulin to survive, and there's currently just no getting around that fact. We've since joined a number of support networks, and two related topics come up over and over again: cost, and cure. The current state of affairs introduces some despair -- the costs are high and there is no cure. My family spends about $1500 per month to manage our daughter's care (including insurance premiums) - just to keep her alive. Th

Darcie's First Diaversary, 03AUG2016

One year ago this morning, my daughter Darcie was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. She'd basically been hanging out on the floor in the living room for a few days, with nausea and a low fever, not really wanting to do much - just no energy.  I figured it was the flu. At one point, however, I looked up at her and was shocked at what I saw - it was clear she had very visibly lost a lot of weight, and she was a skinny mini to begin with. At that point I knew this wasn't just the flu, and we made a first-available Monday 9:00 a.m. appointment with her pediatrician. We talked to Dr. Shlafer, who looked her over, and just as I was starting to get worried he might tell us he couldn't find anything wrong, he looked me in the eyes, paused for a minute, and asked me "She really doesn't look good, does she?" I'm sure he could read the stress on my face as I replied "No, she does not." His next comment was something along the lines of "OK, well we