Harry’s vs. Dollar Shave Club

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So the other day while browsing my overwhelming SDCC feed on Instagram, it said: “Try Harry’s!” it boasted that it was a better blade, and a better price, and while they claim that, unless I’m grandfathered into some insane pricing setup, the pricing was about $1 difference.

I considered the offer for $8 via Instagram, however, I didn’t want to jump into another subscription which for something I honestly don’t do that often, the subtle beard is a common thing for me, and by subtle I mean – I get harry. It happens.

I was Target bound today, picking up a scooter for an upcoming 4yr old 🙂 and saw the display and figured “Why not” it wasn’t as robust an offer as the online, but it also meant I didn’t need to wait, that is one plus over DSC is that in the past if I was out of blades for any reason, I was stuck. No quick pickup all local Target locations carry their products, and I didn’t need shave cream or anything else, Brandless has me covered.

So tonight I had a blade setup fresh and ready for each and I must say in the hand, Harry’s felt better, more control, stable, a bit larger so it wasn’t a small thing to hold, it was comfortable. The cut was cleaner too + as my hair is insanely thick/full usually with the DSC blade it’s constant tapping and rinsing, only had to do that 1 time after I over shaved without rinsing – but no tapping out hair. Nice.

All in all, in comparison to the final cut, Harry’s took me less time. So as it stands, I’ve got the DSC on hold at the moment, pushed it back a month, may toss it back another, because honestly, that’s my big issue, DSC sends whether or not I need them, and I actually have a small stockpile, so may cancel and run out the stockpile then make a choice.

Harry’s seems to not be going anywhere, it’s comparable in price and the quality/ease of shave is better, plus I don’t HAVE to get a subscription for savings, the price in store is basically within a buck of what I was getting, so long-term maybe a fresh set of blades every 3-4 months? Not bad at all.

Overall verdict? Harry’s? Worth a shave. 🙂

April 17+1 (New Tax Day)

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So it appears that Monopoly wasn’t far off. Bank error in my favor? Kind of lol. The IRS had some issues with their site and in turn, the 17th is now the 18th for taxes due.

I keep trying to get ahead, but this year I don’t think I’m going to wait, literally next week I’m going to find some sort of accounting software that’s a tad more robust than spreadsheets, something that can track things and it will mean a bit more leg work, but I’d much rather get more put away in savings this next year + bank more towards taxes, this year I actually didn’t come down to the wire, I had my funds already set aside, but I’d like more breathing room.

Too I’m trying to figure out how I can work Church Hosting better, I’ve considered Non-Profit, but at this point with tax law changing for 2018 taxes, non-profit giving may not be a benefit anymore, so those tithes and various causes a friend asks you to support on Facebook, will be a thing of the past, so the idea of making Church Hosting a non-profit, won’t have many benefits to getting businesses to jump on board I’d imagine. No perk for them.

But I’m praying on it, working on it. Tomorrow I’ll submit, I figured since I had a rough day (been feeling off lately) I didn’t want to push it too much, sure I have 13 minutes left before midnight, but better to wrap this tomorrow with a fresh head and just call it good. Profits growing, pretty much every year, however, I’d love to see them grow enough to add an employee, or at least employ myself as a W2’d employee.

For now, time to wrap things up, after I hit submit in the AM and e-File it all away, I’m off to coding, doc writing, and working on wrapping up some projects that have been waiting for me to wrap this, then if I can get it done before swim class, I may find something completely mindless to do – do they still have those movie theatre places? 😀 Night all.

Diabetic Road: New Meds

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This week was a tough one. Sugars have sucked since we’ve fooled around with meds a bit, the PA I was seeing and working with on meds took me off the BCise and went solely on Toujeo + Jardiance – but my system seemed to really kick back a bit since that change, but as it started leveling out after some rough weeks including this past Friday with the passing of my Uncle Greg 🙁 things started doing better, actually having a 136 on the day of my doctor’s appointment.

I moved up from the PA to the primary Endocronlogist. My wife had seen him before and warned me he is a big “numbers guy” and kind of built him up in my head to be doctor type “blah” as I don’t like hardcore clinical “You’re dumb” docs who just explain and don’t listen. Pleasantly, this was not the case.

The doc was running a little late, the office actually gets me in fairly quickly and out too! But we talked about what my meter had down, he liked the lower numbers and trust me when I say lower numbers are good, still some sucky ones in which he asked about my exercise & stress, explained some spikes which worked alongside lack of sleep + sad + stressed (this week had a HUGE fire with a BIG customer) but he encouraged me to find time to pray/rest/meditate and let my body chill out without work + keep up the exercise.

We also worked out a new med to take called Soliqua which is as the doc described as a mix of Toujeo + BCise as we did see better results with BCise, so instead of two injections just one, and increasing the dose of Metformin to 1000 x 2 a day. So we are giving it a shot. I’ve had 2 doses now, actually just took one after fixing a flat tire (thanks to people for leaving dark color sharp trash on the road!) I’m having some discomfort but not sure if its the med -or- the new exercise plan I’ve picked up Seven.

Seven has been great. I have it on my iPad and in the morning I start off with 7 minutes. You’d probably think that 7 minutes wasn’t going to give you a workout, but it does! I still want to do more workout and exercise in the day and haven’t added another 7-minute window yet, but a great app on both Android and iOS (Free with Paid Options) all in all though, works great on both! Has helped my sugars I think for sure!

Lastly, I did get a call today about the blood work they ran, my A1C was 8.1. Before you say “OMG!” please bear in mind at one point it was completely out of control, 12-ish area, not good at all, so coming down from that to 10.1 on my bloodwork previously now to 8.1? Progress. Definitely want it lower, but finding a good balance of it all is key! Can’t have meds making me unable to function! So hopefully in another 3 months, we’ll see it below 7! That’d be awesome! 

For now, rest soon as tomorrow is going to be a busy one! 

Shutting Down Vonage

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14 years. Yowza. I hadn’t realized how long I have been with Vonage. But that all ended today.

I signed up 14 years ago while I was still living with my parents, the reason? I was doing business in Tennessee and I wanted to make it easier for locals to call, so I picked up my old 615 number and used it to talk to customers in that area.

Well fast forward 14 years and it’s been ages since I’ve actually seen the Vonage hardware. I’m not even joking, I’ve been paying monthly to keep the number safe and it was set up if the hardware wasn’t found or “offline” it’d simply route to my business line. Worked just fine. Till my business debit card changed.

It’s scary that I’m still just barely finding out months later things that were using the old card which didn’t get updated, and Vonage was one of them, so I paid my bills, called in and canceled. Now the lady told me something interesting:

You can port your number for the next 30 days.

Normally you port -> cancel, but at first, I was going to let it go, but then with the whole debit card issue, figure there might be a call or two still tied to this account, so I looked around and found NumberBarn.

Now, this ended up actually giving me more to work with overall, and for half the cost a month I actually picked up a toll-free number for the business + ported the old 615 to a parked message! Score! So for the cost of less than one month with Vonage, I got a year of the number parked, and unlimited forwarding on a toll-free number for over half the cost I was paying for the 615!

So a big win, something positive, something good. Been needing more of those lately, so a day where I don’t feel great I actually feel like I’m getting a lot accomplished. Thanks NumberBarn!

The Fight for Positivity. #struggleisreal

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Today is one of those days I guess, not a fan of what I see in the bank account, a small mountain of work in front of me, and I don’t even want to sluff it off, I honestly just want to not really even stare at a wall right now. The sun is out and I’ve considered just going for a LONG walk, but sadly some of these items on the todo are time sensitive.

The loop of music I’ve got today is:

A great song, really been one of those things I’ve found myself continually reminding myself that I have something positive to hang on to, but its been a rough couple of months, even today had to just call the doctor asking about the continuation of an injectable med (BCise) as its having some mixed issues, one of which my blood sugars are higher with it, and it’s leaving knots in my gut + a lingering pain from my ribcage to my back.  Not fun.

So a mountain of stress/bad – and I’m going to keep fighting for positive, and to make this post have something actually positive, I made a sugar free bowl.

The sugar free bowl #diabetes #sugarfree #snacks #3dprinting

A post shared by Chuck Brown (@mrcbrown) on

Diabetic Road: First in a Journey

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Everyone has their journey in life. But sometimes you just need to read something that says “Okay, I’m not completely crazy.” because in a trip like this, sometimes you may feel like you are, so I’m going to post at least once a week from now on regarding my journey with diabetes.

So about four years ago I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. I went to see my new GP, and in checking my A1C, it was off the charts. Bad. Like really bad. So, of course, what does he say? Very just matter of fact:

You are a diabetic. Check your sugars. Take care.

You may say “Oh come now, it wasn’t that bad – it was. He sent me off with a followup appointment, but with no tools to check my sugar. No meter. No supplies. Nothing. Not even a prescription for Metformin the grand-daddy of sugar drugs. Nothing.

So I left the office, I didn’t think, I just got the word that my life was changed, I had diabetes. 

After I spoke with my Wife about it, I called back, asked how I was to check my sugar, and the nurse simply confused said: “You don’t have a meter?” I didn’t; I explained I didn’t know I was a diabetic. All of this was new, and she told me to come in, and she gave me a meter, walked me through using everything and that was that, as it turns out for me, that was also the last for that doctor as my GP.

It may have been rash, it may have been maybe the worst choice I could have made, but honestly, I never felt more abandoned by the person I entrusted my health and wellness to than I did by this guy, so I moved onto my Wife’s GP.

Now with my Wife’s GP, she was a big “test for everything” person, I don’t personally like that approach, I know my sugars sucked, so she got me on metformin, and it sucked. Hard. Bad. [insert word of choice for not fun that you can think of here].

I have not been a big taker of medications in my life, the one time I could remember (well what I could remember) was after a car accident, and I’m missing about one day of time from the meds I took. So meds tend to hit me hard. Metformin did not do well.

I went through Metformin, Glipizide, and Onglyza all on samples, never finding a med that worked 100% of the time and since Metformin didn’t sit well it wasn’t a matter of stacking and getting better results with meds working together, it was one different one each time.

I hit the spot where honestly, my wife’s GP wasn’t cutting it. Appointments were 2-3 hours before you were even seen, it made work hard to keep up with since there was zero internet access in the bowels of the building – it wasn’t working so what did I do? The best I could.

Watched what I ate, got a Walmart Brand ReliOn meter and strips (which were all obtainable without dealing with a pharmacy, just visit your local Walmart) and did what I could to avoid tons of sugar, throw some exercise in there, and eat well.

Life threw in stresses, life dealt me blows here and there – but fast forward years I hit a snag. My sugars were terrible after getting through some insane months of extreme work hours both at the desk & outside building and fixing up two houses.

It left me with some spikes which led my wife to finally make the call and say “I’m worried about my husband” to a local Endocrinologist’s office which took me in rather quickly for some workups, got blood work and we got to work.

We’ve done some working on things. Currently, he’s attacking several factors. We’ve tried Glyxambi, Metformin (no side effects this time around), Jardiance, and others, but we’ve hit snags with injectables like Trulicity. It affected my mood (I think it was too aggressive on sugars and my body not used to significant lows, acted out) and BCise currently but I think it’s causing more bad than good – so may go soon.

Sadly I did have to make my way to insulin because they felt the numbers were jumping around too much, from higher spikes near 300, but then strange lows like 116! It’s an odd thing blood sugar as I could take blood from the same prick and have a difference of 40 points, so they gave me a new meter, same thing.

This week has been an odd one, and as the BCise has started to come off and I approach another day to inject tomorrow. I’m going to call in and see if they think its wise.

I’ve had a pain in my gut on the injection site and its similar to what they say about the side effects is a bad thing, but as it’s come down to today. With the Toujeo its been in the 130-ish range, so I am going to stay at that dose tonight of 12 units and see if it does the job still off the BCise more or less.

I don’t know if you are reading this looking for a similar story, or help in determining if a drug is right for you/wrong for you – I’m just going to document my journey here on out. Stick around; I hope I can keep this going into a battle end with Type 2 and get out from under it.

Be strong!

Health, Life, Business

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13 days till the big upgrade, not really looking forward to it, nor dreading it – it’s gonna happen whether I like it or not 🙂

I have had a rough week. My sugars aren’t leveling out and doc officially added insulin to the mix. Not something I had desired honestly. Tonight is the first night that I’ve increased my dosage from 10units -> 12 units as 10 units wasnt’t cutting it, so slowly on-boarding to find a dose that works – I am honestly thinking it’ll end up being 11, but time will tell, as 3 days with 10 no luck, now onto 12 for 3 days. Here goes nothing.

Life is crazy, made it though V-Day, both gals in my life were very happy with my flowers, I will admit while the wife enjoyed the flowers, the daughter went maybe a tad crazier over a giant red tulip 🙂 She’s three and excited 🙂

Business is blah. Just a lot of stress lately with cash-flow, I hate it when customers seem to have more power than I do. I have one who is 3 weeks of payments behind, I do contract administration for them and in some cases its 4 payments before I get the payments that as they were set up were meant to be delivered weekly – that’s only happened a few times.

Too business in general just in a slump, trying to stay positive, but when you throw in crappy blood sugar, negative nancy’s who aren’t pro no need for insulin, it’s not been a good balance of good/bad in life lately, seems like a lot of bad.

For now, I am going to try and take it easy the remainder of this evening, I do have a server reboot for a customer in about an hour, but I’ve taken my insulin, still need to take my other nightly meds before I crash out, but after 11, I think its going to be a quick translation from Chair -> bed.

Hope.

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Lately, in this wacky world we live in, I don’t see a lot of hope. Some blame our president, some blame a skin color, some blame God, some blame the person next to them. Honestly? It’s my fault. It’s your fault. We have all lost hope.

Our previous president was embodied as “Hope” – it was hope for change, it was hope for the future. For many of his followers, that hope he created, quickly went away when he left office, but after all, things said and done he was and is just a man. If you misplaced hope in someone who could fail. Who had a limited time in power, who may of went left instead of sticking right, we’re all human! It happens.

Do you want to see a better world? Want to see things better? Don’t expect the current president to fix it for you. He isn’t your hope, nor is he your destroyer. He’s a man. Flawed, broken, and too is going to make good things, and bad things. Not here to debate what he’s done good or bad – because as with anyone on the left, right or middle can say about ANY president – but Trump isn’t my hope nor was Obama.

Lately, I find myself looking for hope in what intake into my mind, my heart, my life. From stories to music, and I find myself in stories of hope, all of which start with us looking to the light, not towards the dark – that never-ending battle of good over evil. The Machine vs. Samaritan (Person of Interest), Kevin doing for others (Kevin Probably Saves the World), Crowder singing about where his hope is in the song above, to Mercy Me telling us in the dark, we can hold on to hope in him (Even If).

It hasn’t been what I would call an easy few years for me, friends moved on, life changed, health took a plunge and my connection to life has changed drastically. How do you find hope in what you know as your world – which just crumbles in front of you? You’re told you’re bad, you’re told your stupid, and told your health is crumbling – Diabetic, High Cholesterol, Dangerously High Blood Pressure – and let’s not leave out a business which has had its share of dings. Where do you find hope?

Honestly, I’d love to write that I was the good Christian boy, that I said “Yay God!” in all moments, but I’m not. I’m human. I’m flawed. I made choices, which brought me to this day where I am right now. And what can I say today after these hard years and maybe more hard years to come? God is Love, and in His Love, there is hope.

Today I write not hiding behind some magical and happy life that I post daily on Social Media that is fake, today I write as a guy who’s fighting uphill to get where God would have me. Not where I’d like to be always, but taking that step into the fire knowing that he won’t let me get burned, but I may feel a little heat, I may break a sweat, but even through all of this, through 400+ blood sugars, to heart rates that likely if had been higher would of sent me to a hospital, from fights in my marriage, fears in my child not coming into this world, to words spoken to me in “love” stabbing deeply and abandoning me – I’m still standing.

I may be light in a few areas of my life, I may not be driving a sports car, I may not have the supports or same outlook as to where my life was going, I’m standing.  I am watching a 3 yr old grow into an amazing life, I’m watching a marriage with fewer fights,  I’m seeing blood sugars lowering down to 110.  I’m seeing me stronger. Maybe not as quickly as some felt it needed to be, maybe not how quickly as it was supposed to be – but I’m human, I’m flawed.

2017 is quickly coming to an end and like Job the end of this tale where many times I feel like was told to “Curse God and Die” by so many areas of my life, I’m happy to report I did not, and I’m looking forward to restoration. To seeing how God can continue to redeem my life, redeem what I’ve lost even more. Yes I know so many of us can say we feel like Job – I know so many people I’ve talked to over the years have gone through their own Job Season – I think for many of us we do, not everyone does in this life and that’s one of those “Questions for Heaven” an old Pastor I knew used to talk about, but he also reminded us no matter the trial and tribulation we went through in this life, his God. My God. Is there besides us.

I’m thinking this will be my last post for 2017, I’m hoping to continue writing about my journey in 2018, but I’m going to focus my creativity, my energy, my life into building the things God’s laid in my lap these past few weeks, focus on exercise, on eating better, on building – so I wish you all who actually read this a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you in 2018.

Hello… My name is Inigo Montoya

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Or so I probably would’ve told you yesterday! (Don’t worry, You didn’t kill my father , so prepare to live!) It has been a busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy busy week! I’ve been cleaning, packing, sorting, throwing away and trying to get things all ready to go – but forgetting things small things like rest, rest, and well rest. I even forgot to eat the other day – so a tad focused on things, which has helped create some pretty rough exhaustion!

But last night got some quality sleep! So good I overslept and missed morning prayer & devotional with Daisy! (DOH!) Don’t worry though I’ve done my morning bible time & prayed for her, but we’ll be doing devotional & prayer a little bit later today 🙂

Today though is a busy one, the kitchen will be… No matter what…. 100% done today, and the bathroom and Office. Still will have big furniture in all awaiting the move to in most cases Mom and Dad’s with me, but some items may make the move to Daisy’s to live there for the mean time – but should be able to make the Saturday key-turn-in!

Really been a deep cleaning process – not just a wipe down and throw in a box, but rather “Do I need this?” followed by “Can I sell this?” and in some cases the answer to both is no! So a LOT of tossing, I’ve gone through a lot of stuff and just got rid of many things!

So things are moving forward, prayers are appreciated for my energy level! Work to keep up with too – thankfully customers are AMAZING and being very patient and relaxed, but come Monday, that will change and have me kicking right back into work full time again during the day! (Okay okay maybe a BIG nap day Monday!) 😀 but things will balance out and come together for sure! Thanks for reading!

prepare to die.

Normal Foot and Flat Foot

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My journey in to jogging/running has been an interesting one till this past week some light has been shed on the likely problem… My feet.

It’s summer – let’s be honest in Bakersfield sometimes wearing shoes in the heat is like boiling your feet alive, so sandals even for this ginger man are the shoe of choice! So the other day while Daisy and I were talking I had my sandal on the ground and my leg crossed and she looked over at my foot and asked quite simply:

Do you have flat feet?

Which led to the investigation that changed my own knowledge of my feet that I’ve been attached to for years – I have 1 normal arch and 1 flat foot. Which does seem to make more sense on my pain that occurs when running as one foot likely over compensates for the other and just causes some pain in general after some running.

So picking up an insert (or a pair of inserts.. apparently it tends to go with both feet lol) sometime today (about to finally stop being super lazy!), but all in all I am hoping that it is something that makes my journey into jogging/running something a tad bit easier and maybe too relieve some various pains from jogging/running that I’ve had in the past! Would be nice to get going and not have pain in my foot, hip or knee!

Left Foot Normal, Right Foot Flat!

Left Foot Normal, Right Foot Flat!