My apologies for the lack of posts of late, certainly was enough to write about. Heck, Erik Buell Racing’s condition has been upgraded to zombie status as the new owners have pieced together a few bikes from parts, but the promised friendly local dealers to sell them have yet to materialize. Car and Driver magazine has defied Ford and instrumented a Focus RS, finding it slower than the rival VW Golf R DSG by a couple tenths of a second in the quarter, while pulling a couple hundredths more of a near G in the corners. And despite a near $40k price tag, those Golf Rs are racing off the dealer’s lots and the Focus RS is in such short supply that dealers are gouging customers for thousands over list price. Looks like performance is selling again, and given that these 4 door hot hatches can equal the performance of sports cars costing twice as much, damn well they should sell. But the blowout sales surge was Tesla’s new model intro, taking in around 300,000 $1000 deposits on a car Tesla says they won’t even build ’til late 2017. In Tesla talk, that means the early depositors may get their Tesla(s) to flip by decade end, assuming anybody still wants one then. Meanwhile, GM is already doing pilot assembly line builds of their Bolt EV that offers similar range and price, and unlike Tesla they actually have a dealer network to service the things.

But I been in a funk of late. Started when I noted the soles of my feet painin’ me  a bit, and hypersensitive to cold too. Now granted this seemed to start about when Costco switched the design of their $20 sneakers that used to be so comfy, and coming back from Florida I was driving barefoot after eight hours or so behind the wheel. By April Fools Day I was concerned enough to google the situation, learning that the medical establishment would look at my half way from obese to morbidly obese BMI and age and de facto diagnose me with diabetes. And given that I know how to shill, lie, and cheat with statistics I figured out that I have about a one in four chance of being diabetic. So I studied up on how to beat rather than merely medically treat diabetes, which involves some serious reduction in my volume of eating enjoyment and more exercise than the medical “experts” think a body my age can handle, in other words slightly more than none. So been out beatin’ down the trails on the bicycle and cuttin’ back on the sweets, while figuring out how to extract a diagnosis for less than the price of a new motorcycle from what passes for the medical profession around here.

Now let me first detail the duopoly that dominates the medical biz around here… We have on one hand the religious mega medical behemoth, long on prayer and so-so on healing abilities. Wander in there in the middle of a heart attack, and instead of hooking up the jumper cables to me they’d probably do an exorcism. On the other hand we have the medical temple of capitalism, the good Lutherans having sold naming rights to their medical monolith to the aging owner of a usurious bank for a few hundred million. Is it any wonder that a lot of my neighbors out here drive 200 miles one way to the Mayo clinic for even routine health care? Not much better at my edge o’ the Everglades digs, where the better hospital’s NCH initials are reputed to stand for “never come home” and the other hospital was caught setting a quota for their doctor’s admissions. Heck, they’d probably keep me for a week for an ingrown toenail without even looking into my sore feet. So clearly I needed to find a means to get a diabetes diagnosis or undiagnosis for less than $10,000 or a few thousand miles of round trip drives to the Mayo. And my previous and pretty well proven MS diagnosis and an MS pattern to the symptoms suggested something other than diabetes fueled neuropathy.

Now diabetes is one of overweight America’s most common diseases and the treatment modes have changed little (test strips and insulin) over the decades, so given that a few billions of diabetes test strips and insulin doses have been produced, the stuff outa be dirt cheap. Then I shop around and see that a prescription is needed for a prick ‘n’ read blood glucose meter? Heck, was I violating a federal law or something every time I drew blood whilst wrenching on too many often rusty machines over the last half century? So now I know why a months worth of diabetes blood test strips costs over $100 for nothing but paper dipped in reagent and sliced up, and a diabetes diagnosis costs in the thousands of dollars… Then I remember the urine test strips they use for DOT physicals. Turns out the local pharmacies don’t stock them, while they have a full array of the more profitable hundred dollar plus month’s supply of blood test strips and the cheap Chinese meters to “read” them. Given that the urine test strips are a tenth the cost of blood test strips, I can see why… And while I can’t draw my own blood without an RX, strangely I’m allowed to handle my more toxic pee. So I order up what looks to be a lifetime supply of urine test strips for $11, pee in a cup, and momentarily insert said test strips in pee and wait for them to turn dark from pink… And try as I might, they stay pink and I don’t have diabetes!

So quite relieved, I celebrated with a fry-up of hash browns and all the other good stuff… Like turkey sausage and tomatoes cooked in olive oil. Topped it off with a couple laps around my small town’s mile a lap unofficial criterium course… The funk is gone, but I still need to get in shape and lose some pounds!