Saturday, December 22, 2018

Learning to manage blood glucose with Metformin

I have been a Type 2 diabetic for some time now and up until recently I managed my blood glucose with diet and exercise. Recently my blood sugars have gotten out of control (mostly due to complacency on my part) and I have been put on Metformin.

Initially I was put on Metformin HCL ER, and after a few weeks of gradual dosing up from 500 mg to 1500 mg with split dosages I became very ill with extreme GI upset and fatigue. From both my research and my doctor's knowledge of Metformin this we contrary to expected behavior.

Normally the Extended Release (ER) form of Metformin is easier on the gastrointestinal system than the original formulation.

I had read on some online forums that others had similar experience with both forms of Metformin and they found that cracking or crushing the tablets helped with the symptoms. I decided to try cracking the tablets before swallowing and found some relief, but not enough to fully mitigate the symptoms.

My doctor switched my prescription to the original form of Metformin and it did help with both the GI upset and the fatigue, and I found that cracking the tablets even more helped to reduce my fatigue to where it was no longer a problem, and to where the GI upset was a minor inconvenience.

My thoughts are one of the buffering or binding agents of the capsule was causing the fatigue and extreme GI upset. I did some research and found this interesting article comparing the use of Metformin in capsule form as opposed to tablet:

Severity of Gastrointestinal Side Effects of Metformin Tablet Compared to Metformin Capsule in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Patients -

The study shows there was an improvement in both reducing GI upset and glucose management - "Capsular form of metformin may result in decrement of GI side effects and intolerability in diabetic patients and may be an option for those that metformin is an appropriate medication for them but cannot tolerate it due to the mentioned side effects."

Unfortunately Metformin is not readily available, and most insurance companies will not pay for compound pharmacies providing Metformin in capsule form.

I will continue to research this subject and either add links to this article or post a new article. Feel free to comment on your experiences with Metformin.

Here is an interesting video I thought I would include from the Pharmacist Tips Youtube channel titled Metformin 500 mg and Side Effects

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Seasteading 101: How to Build the World’s First Society-at-Sea | Marc Collins

From the Big Think YouTube channel - Published on Sep 29, 2017

Seasteading began as a thought experiment: imagine a sovereign Libertarian utopia in international waters, far from the reach of any government. Over the last decade, this dream has inched closer and closer to reality. But establishing a completely independent floating city in the ocean isn't simple--or cheap. The Seasteading Institute compromised a little on its independence and instead sought a partnership with an established nation that could support their project while having a very light hand on regulations. The idea grew out of and caused a stir in Silicon Valley, was widely reported in the media, and Marc Collins, a former government minister in French Polynesia, saw an opportunity for symbiosis. The Seasteading Institute needs internet connectivity, energy solutions, food, and government permission to establish themselves in the South Pacific Ocean, while Polynesians are very interested in the technology needed to build floating cities—a concern at the front of their minds as sea levels rise—and in economic growth. And so Collins co-founded Blue Frontiers, a world-first company that builds societies on the sea. But who will live on the this brand-new floating nation in the South Pacific—and how? Marc Collins explains the feats of engineering that are making this vision a reality.


Saturday, December 15, 2018

OceanX - Our Underwater States of America

From the OceanX YouTube channel - Published on Dec 6, 2018

"Some of our greatest natural treasures lie just off our doorstep. Located only 130 miles from Boston, the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts have been known for their dizzying abundance of marine life for decades (they are even nicknamed "the Serengeti of the Atlantic") and yet very little of them have been explored. Because it's not just life at the surface that thrives: deep below, within chasms deeper and vaster than the Grand Canyon, are corals that are hundreds, even thousands, of years old. On the second anniversary of the Canyons' designation as a Marine National Monument, OceanX's research vessel the Alucia took a voyage to observe them up-close and in person for the very first time. While remotely operated vehicles have ventured into the Canyons before, this was the first time humans have actually dived into the Canyons, from OceanX's submersible. What we saw were incredible deepwater corals, very different to the kinds that live in warm, shallow waters, and species specially acclimatized to living hundreds of meters under the water. This was the first mission from the partnership between OceanX and Bloomberg Philanthropies to dedicate 185 million to the protection and exploration of our oceans over the next four years. With thanks to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for their support."

Follow OceanX on these social channels:

Ocean Cleanup Project: System 001 in Action - First Results

From the Ocean Cleanup YouTube channel - Published on Nov 20, 2018

"It has been four weeks since we deployed System 001 in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. In this time, we have observed that plastic is exiting the system once it is collected, so we are currently working on causes and solutions to remedy this. Because this is our beta system, and this is the first deployment of any ocean cleanup system, we have been preparing ourselves for surprises."

Read more in our latest update:

Follow The Ocean Cleanup:

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Ocean Cleanup Project

Very interesting video on plastic waste in the oceans and one project's attempt to clean up the waste:

Video Source URL -

The Ocean Cleanup URL -

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Thank you Canada - September 11, 2016 Operation Yellow Ribbon 15 Years Later

September 11, 2016 marks the 15th anniversary the September 11 attacks, and while there will be a multitude of news articles and special reports on the courage and challenges of that day, this post is about an often overlooked act of a good neighbor which also took place on that day.

On the day of the attacks the FAA closed down US airspace and Canada implemented Operation Yellow Ribbon to handle the influx of aircraft which were beyond the point of no return and needed to land as well as quarantine aircraft to prevent further attacks on the US.

Not only did Canada provide a means to remove potentially dangerous aircraft from US airspace; Canada and Canadian citizens provided a safe haven for stranded air passengers. There are many stories of how the airports in Gander and Halifax Newfoundland were inundated with stranded air passengers, and how the people of those towns took them in. This act of kindness took place all across Canada.

Here are three articles which provide more insight in to the events and actions that took place on that day and the days that followed:

For the record other countries also took in aircraft that were diverted from US airspace, though it was Canada which took in the bulk of aircraft and Canadian citizens who took them in.

Operation Yellow Ribbon is a classic example of international cooperation, and individuals helping strangers in need.

Thank you Canada, as well those other countries who took in all those air travelers on that terrible day in September ~ Jim

Image source:

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Over the line! #Linkedin is not #Facebook

The Lebowski meme above was inspired by people who I feel do not understand the difference between a professional networking site like Linkedin, and social networking site like Facebook.

On a social network like Facebook it is pretty much accepted for people to post their views, either publicly or just to friends, and if others do not agree they can either ignore the post, or make a comment to the contrary. People can also stop following or even unfriend the person if they choose to do so.

Linkedin on the other hand is a professional network and what is posted on Linkedin can be viewed by your coworkers, competitors, and prospective employers which is something people really need to consider before posting their views on politics, religion, or other "hot" topics.

While I have posted articles on Linkedin which were a little tongue in cheek those articles were either about issues I faced in my search for a new career opportunity and how I dealt with them, or about technologies which I have an interest in, and therefore I felt where appropriate for Linkedin.

There is a old axiom regarding how the discussions of sex, politics, and religion should be kept out of the office.

People should consider Linkedin an extension of their office.

For further reading may I suggest this Glassdoor article - Sex, Religion& Politics: Why You Should Never Discuss Them At Work 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Thursday getaway and the Bettie Page House in Seattle - #vandalismsucks

Today is Thursday and like Arthur Dent in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "I never quite got the hang of Thursdays", and after spending the last six weeks job searching I decided to take a short break and go for a drive just to get out of the house. So I hopped in the car and drove over to the Wallingford District in Seattle. I stopped for lunch at Dick's Drive-In on 45th, and even though this is the first Dick's Drive-In to take credit cards (refer to this article for further details) being a traditionalist I still paid cash for my lunch.

After lunch I drove around Wallingford for a bit and then I headed over to the University District to take a first hand look at a classic example of stupidity and jerkery.

You see in the U District next to I-5 there is a house which on the side facing the freeway there is beautiful  mural of 50's pin-up model Betty Page. This house has quite a number of admirers who refer to it as "The Bettie Page House". Photos and articles about the house can be found all over the Internet such as this Atlas Obscura article. Unfortunately sometime in the latter part of June someone decided to defaced the mural and this is the stupidity and jerkery I mentioned earlier.

Below are some photos I took today of the vandalism. Seriously who would do something like this?

(This last picture is of the alterations of the vandals comments made by the owners of the house)

Here are a few articles on the vandalism:
In the last paragraph of the Seattle Times article one of the owners of the house made the following statement regarding donations for the restoration of the mural - “In lieu of donations for Bettie, I would like to draw people’s attentions to the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network. … Donate at”

While the vandalism to this wonderful mural truly does suck, I guess some good can be found in the determination of the owners of the house, and their suggestion for donations.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Took the advice

Just a quick post to say I took "The Stranger's" advice and updated my profile picture on Linkedin. I am not too impressed with my camera work though I think the image is better than the original one that has been on my Linkedin profile for 10 years now. If you are interested you can check the new image by accessing my Linkedin profile via the link to the left.

While I was at it, I updated the image for this blog. Right now the approach to life I am taking is to "Abide"

(Official image credit unknown at this time, unofficial credit - "The Dude)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Sage advice from "The Stranger"

(Image credit:

Maybe I should update my profile picture considering it is at least 10 years old. Guess I better get a selfie stick or bribe a friend to take a decent picture of me.

If you have noticed a lot more activity on the blog it's because I am rediscovering my inner blogger and I have also found that lighthearted blogging is a great way to de-stress while searching for a new job.

I am also having a lot of fun with memes base on the The Big Lebowski which is one of my all-time favorite movies. As a matter of fact I think I will watch it again tonight.

Cheers ~ Jim

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Pokemon Go vs. Job Seeker Quest

Here is another article that I posted today on Linkedin, and I am re-posting to my blog. The topic on balancing ones job search with other "priorities".

Below is the URL for the original post:

(Image credit:

While Pokemon Go is the latest craze and the game looks like a lot of fun to play I do wonder if Job Seekers such as myself should stay strictly focused on our real-world quests rather than chasing imaginary creatures, or if by not playing the game are we robbing ourselves of new opportunities to learn and relax a little?

For me the technology behind the game is fascinating and I have shared some articles on Linkedin about the game and the augmented reality technology involved. While playing the game would provide me with more exposure to augmented reality the truth is I have as yet to download and install the game let alone play it.

As a Job Seeker I believe I must focus my time and energy on my quest to find a new opportunity where I will work with new technologies such as augmented reality. At the same time I do wonder if I am denying myself the opportunity learn more about specific technologies while having some fun in the process.

Looking for work is not always fun and at times it can be quite stressful if you make it so while according to all reports looking for Pokemon can be fun and relaxing (as long as you avoid of trouble).

There are times during a job seekers quest they will find they need to take a short break and possibly take a walk. Whether or not that walk is to capture a breath of fresh air, or to capture imaginary critters is up to them,

In the end it is a matter of balance plus some self discipline with regards to one's focus and priorities.

As always feel free to leave a comment.

Cheers ~ Jim

Monday, July 11, 2016

Maybe I was a little too creative?

The article below is a re-post of an one which I wrote on July 1st 2016 and posted on Linkedin concerning whether or not one should change their status on Linkedin to show they are unemployed and seeking new employment opportunities.

Here is the URL to the original post on Linkedin:

I hope you enjoy the article and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

(Image credit - AZQUOTES)

Yesterday I completed my 18 month contract at Microsoft, and knowing in advance that my contract was coming to an end I began searching for new employment opportunities though nothing has yet to materialize.

Since I am now seeking new employment opportunities I thought I should reflect this in my Linkedin profile. Now there are those who advise not to state in your Linkedin profile that you are unemployed and looking for work, and then there is the opposing view that you should change your status to reflect that you are available for new opportunities.

I agree with the latter opinion because I want people to know I am available for new opportunities and I want to utilize the new listing under Experience to state what sort of opportunities I am searching for. While the Headline and Summary fields in a Linkedin profile are intended to for these purposes I find that most people reviewing profiles tend to focus on the most recent status listed under Experience.

Having decided to make the change to my status I thought I should try something different from the normal “Self” for Company Name and “Unemployed” or “Job Seeker” for Title, and I felt these changes should reflect my experience and interests in technology.

So early this morning in a fit (more like spasm) of creativity I updated my profile and listed “Career R&D” for Company Name, and “Career Engineer - R&D” for Title, and then added additional information to show what sort of opportunities I was conducing R&D for.

Where my “research” fell short in this update to my profile was the effect Linkedin’s status update to my network would have and the number of congratulatory responses I would receive for finding a new job as a "Career Engineer". While I do appreciate the consideration from those who offered congratulations I must offer a mea culpa for the misunderstanding.

One other thing that I did not consider at the time was that recruiters may not recognize or appreciate the intent of the Company Name and Title, and therefore not review my profile any further.

I have since made some more conventional updates to properly reflect my status and search for new opportunities and as far as I am concerned the original update was not a failure but instead a learning experience. I have also disabled the Notify your network? option regarding updates to my profile which I originally enabled for this particular update and I will leave it disabled until I have finalized by profile. Also this entry in my profile will be deleted once I find a new opportunity.

What I would like to know from others here on Linkedin is what do you think about posting your status as unemployed and seeking a new job. Should you change your status to reflect you are unemployed and seeking new opportunities or should you just leave your status as is with only a change in date?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

Cheers ~ Jim

Sunday, April 10, 2016


It has been over two years, so I guess it is time to write "something" on this blog.

A lot has happened since the last post, and most if it is really boring stuff, so I won't write about it.

You may notice that the link to the Urbanspelunkers blog is gone as well as the link to the Astrolink blog.

The Urbanspelunnkers site, blog, G+ page and community are no more. I just lost interest and decided to kill everything off over this weekend. To be honest, I lost interest in the urbanspelunking scene a long time ago. The only thing left now are the and .org domains, and I am going to let those expire, or transfer the domains to anyone who wants to take them over.

The AstroLink blog which is a mirror of the Cloudymidnights blog will go away in a month or two, and speaking of mirror blogs, the Wordpress mirror for this blog will most likely go away too.

It is too much effort to have so many blogs and web sites for as little interest or time I have to maintain them and write anything interesting.

In the end I will only have this blog, as well as the Cloudymidnights and 8-bit Retro Computing blog. Astronomy and retro computing are hobbies and interests that I plan to continue focusing on. This blog will be focus on general ramblings that I feel like sharing with others.

That is is for now.

Cheers ~ Jim

Friday, December 27, 2013

New CoCo book available!

Long time CoCo enthusiast Boisy Pitre and author Bill Loguidice have collaborated on a new book entitled "CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer" which is now available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and CRC Press.

I received my copy the day before Christmas, and I am really enjoying the read. Members of Facebook group for the book are also giving high praise to the book and it's authors. You can find the Facebook group by searching for the title.

There are also several posts about the book on the 8-Bit Retro-computing  blog's G+ page, and in the Color Computer G+ community.

(Image used with permission by Boisy Pitre)

Though the book chronicles the history of the Tandy Color Computer I believe many retro-computing enthusiasts will enjoy reading the book and appreciate the historical information it provides so check it out. Cheers ~ Jim

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Should we celebrate Columbus Day or Exploration Day?

Recently I watched a hangout on Google+ where Nicole Gugliucci of CosmoQuest interviewed Tom Diehl about a proposal he is involved with to rededicate Columbus Day to Exploration Day, and within minutes of watching the hangout and listing to Tom I was hooked on the idea.

Tom Diehl along with Karl Frank and Dr. Rod Wright are putting forth a proposal that Columbus Day be rededicated as Exploration Day. You may ask why should Columbus Day be rededicated as Exploration Day? Well in my opinion this quote from Karl Frank in this article best sums up the rationale behind the proposal:

"Rededicating Columbus Day as Exploration Day will allow those who wish to commemorate his accomplishments to continue doing so," says Frank. "But for those who find Columbus's role in history disquieting, it will enable them to celebrate the day in a very different way. Exploration Day covers the depth and breath of America’s rich history of exploration, research and discovery. Thus, Exploration Day will be something that unites rather than divides." (1)

That quote drives home the one point that I really like about the Exploration Day proposal, and that is that Exploration Day would be an all inclusive celebration of exploration that anyone in the US can embrace. Also given that the holiday would be near the start of the school year it would also be a great springboard to get students more involved in exploring science, technology, engineering, and math; also known as STEM.

Below is the video of the Google+ hangout Nicole Gugliucci, and Tom Diehl that is well worth watching. I am hopeful that once you watch the video and check out the included links to the Exploration Day web site, and several articles, you too will also be a supporter of Exploration Day:

Links to the website and articles:

Happy Exploration Day ~ Jim