Hello Again

Well, it’s been a very long time since I have contributed to my blog, which I started way back in 2014. My last post was in December 2018 so it’s actually been over a year.

I had a habit of regular posting, emphasizing the music that I love so much. But the break was longer than I expected because I have been very busy, and this had to take a back seat for a while. Of course, once I wasn’t thinking about the blog all the time with what I might post next, which artists, albums, playlists, etc, it slipped from my top priority and it became hard to just get started again.

Anyway, I think the time is right now to resume my posting, and I will be sharing more music with you. Of course, I have continued listening to music all the time, identified some artists and albums, and even created some playlists in the meantime that will be coming your way.

As I mentioned, it’s been a very busy year for me, so I thought I would share a little of that so you know what I have been doing while I was silent. First, I have been learning iOS, Swift, and related technologies over the past few years, and I have been totally preoccupied developing my iOS apps for diabetes. I also realized that I had a lot to learn, and needed to read books and articles and watch videos.

Initially I focused on reading Apple Health data captured by my One Drop Mobile app, which includes my blood glucose, insulin, food, and exercise. I wanted to provide a more structured way to view and analyze my diabetes data than a simple log with basic analysis. I applied additional statistical analysis with summaries for daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly periods, with the ability to expand into more granular detail. I added graph and calendar views, as well as reports.

That was actually looking pretty good, but I decided to explore what I could do for more focus on my food, so right now I’m working on My Diabetes Meals. It also incorporates Health data for glucose before and after meals, as well as insulin and exercise, but shows how they relate to each meal. Since I capture a photo for each meal, I match those images in the Photos library with their associated meal. This allows you to see what you ate, along with its carbs and calories, any insulin, and its impact on your glucose.

I’m a member of Diabetes Meal Plans, and find their weekly meal plans, recipes, and information enable me to focus more on low-carb food to treat my type 2 diabetes. So I wanted to incorporate their weekly plans and recipes into my app. This was quite a challenge, but the effort has been worthwhile. It will benefit other DMP members, and perhaps encourage others to become members too.

My younger son (now 46) has been living with us for over a year. He broke his ankle in March (overweight and skateboarding!), and was helpless for 3 months. Then in September, my older son (49) broke his ankle too, which set him back during his recovery but at least he could work from home.

My mother died in May just short of her 99th birthday with all my siblings there (except my younger sister who’s teaching at a NJ university in China). My father had died back in 2013, and we recently had inurnment burial & graveside service in January for both my parents. It was nice to have the whole family gather and spend time together all weekend, with all my siblings, their children, and some grandchildren.

In November, I had prostate “vaporization” surgery to remove the middle of my enlarged prostate and recovery took several months. Then I’ve had an upper respiratory infection with significant cough that just wouldn’t go away for more than 6 weeks, but I feel that’s now under control and getting better.

So, here we are, and I will give this another go. Hope you are all doing well.

Personal Playlists

Check out my personal playlists.

  • My Playlists (10) – favorite piano, guitar, folk, pop, and country music
  • My Reel Tapes (14) – playlists from the 60’s and 70’s based on personal tape recordings from FM radio
  • Discovery Mix (8) – background music for reading, writing, or focus work

I recently created the Discovery Mix page with all my Discovery Mix playlists. I will be creating more so I thought it would be helpful to provide an index to them in one place. I added a Discovery Mix link to the PLAYLISTS section in the sidebar, which was shifted to the top. Also I added a Music > Playlists menu option and updated the Music section on the Welcome page so it’s always easy to find.

Long Pause – Blogging Again

I have been very inactive with my blog over the past month or so. I’m feeling great and nothing’s wrong with me, but I was just extremely busy and something had to give. Many projects suddenly all became active suddenly in December that I have been working my way through to get caught up. It didn’t help that it was also the Christmas holiday, family visits, shopping, etc.

Well, I’m finally coming up for air, and will resume posting again. Since I have been regularly posting for more than 3 years straight since starting my blog began in September 2014, it was actually nice to get a little break even though I missed doing it.

One Drop | Premium

One Drop | Premium

UPS Delivery Box

Yesterday, my One Drop | Premium package was delivered by UPS. This was so exciting, I had to take a bunch of photos with my unboxing and discovery of my wonderful new gadgets to help manage my Type 2 diabetes.


The Unboxing

I was so impressed with the packaging, which makes a big difference. Actually it is now available directly from Apple online and in their stores (where it fits right in). When you open up the delivery box, there’s a folding chrome box inside a partial white wrapper surrounded completely by clear vellum.

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Inside Covers

After first removing the vellum protective wrapping, you see the write box with chrome protruding on the right. When you slip off the write cover, you see an all-chrome box.

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The white cover sides include the One Drop logo and image of the Chrome meter, as well as feature summary, highlights of the contents, and general information:

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Chrome Glucose Meter

When you remove the white cover, it reveals an all-chrome folding box, which opens up into two half boxes, showing the sleek One Drop | Chrome meter on top of the right side.

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Lancing Device and Carry Case

After lifting up the tab on the left side, it shows the chrome lancing device and vegan leather carry case on the left of the meter.

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User Manual

The underside of the left cover includes a Quick Start, and under the meter there is a Owner’s Guide.

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Unlimited Test Strips and Lancets

When you lift up the section that contains the Chrome glucose meter, you see two chrome boxes, each with 50 blood glucose test strips, as well as a package of 10 lancets to use with the chrome lancing device for finger sticks to get a drop of blood to test with the meter.

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These are just the initial 100 of unlimited test strips and additional lancets that will be delivered based on my usage for my Premium subscription service.

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One Drop | Chrome

After removing everything from the box, here’s what it all looks like. Everything fits great in the carry case. Very cool! It’s gorgeous. It’s a nice size for my pocket, and I’m proud to show it off when out and about where I need to test my glucose (like at restaurants).

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Christmas Tree

It’s looks great under my Christmas tree with other presents. It’s my favorite present and I will love it all year long, especially with the unlimited test strips (which will save me lots of money).

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I feel so fortunate to be one of the early recipients of these wonderful new devices to help manage people manage their diabetes. I have benefited significantly over the past year that I have been using the One Drop | Mobile app on my iPhone, and this will make that experience that much better, especially with the availability of the One Drop | Experts program available from within the app for any ongoing guidance and support.

Now I need to upgrade from my old iPhone 5 to an iPhone 7 so I get automatic activity tracking, and might just need to get an Apple Watch since One Drop is also available there.

Thank you, Jeff Dachis and the entire One Drop team for achieving this fantastic milestone to improve diabetes care worldwide!

One Drop | Experts Advisory Board

One Drop | Experts Advisory Board

In April 2015 One Drop launched the One Drop | Mobile app for Apple iPhone, and later for Apple Watch and Android. It allows people with diabetes to log and analyze glucose, food, meds and activity all in one place, set diabetes management goals, track their progress, and integrates with other apps via Apple Health. The One Drop | Mobile app is available free worldwide for Apple iPhone and Watch from the Apple App Store via iTunes, and also for Android at the Google Play Store.

Earlier this month they announced FDA and CE mark approval and availability in US, UK, and EU of the One Drop | Chrome blood glucose meter with unlimited test strips for One Drop | Premium, the first-ever monthly subscription service to provide affordable, accessible diabetes care with One Drop | Experts that provides 24/7 live in-app support from diabetes experts.

One Drop | Chrome is available at Apple online (under iPhone Accessories > Health & Fitness > Health Monitors) and in retail stores, as well as the One Drop Store on their web site. My UPS shipment was scheduled today but was delayed getting on the plane in Louisville so now I have to wait until tomorrow for it to arrive!

One Drop | Premium includes the following:

  • One Drop | Chrome with Unlimited Test Strips: A sleek, compact blood glucose meter that use Bluetooth wireless technology to transmit data directly to One Drop | Mobile app for iOS and Android, as well as a chrome lancing device and vegan leather carry case. Unlimited blood glucose test strips are delivered on-demand directly to subscribers — no prescriptions, no insurance, no appointments, and no hassles.
  • One Drop | Mobile: Award-winning, cloud-based diabetes management solution delivered entirely via mobile app on iOS and Android, including fully-featured Apple WatchOS app for logging and analyzing diabetes data on the go. Provides the only diabetes management platform that offers comprehensive health data analytics, peer-support, and expert support all in one place.
  • One Drop | Experts: Diabetes education and coaching program delivered entirely via One Drop | Mobile app. Experts (Certified Diabetes Educators) have real-time access to subscriber data and are available 24/7 to provide guidance, support, and anytime care via in-app chat.

They also announced the One Drop | Experts Advisory Board and its six inaugural members with healthcare professionals and clinical researchers as well as people living with diabetes – including me! I am honored to be invited and thrilled to participate on the One Drop | Experts Advisory Board.

Click the image to see the One Drop announcement for more details.


See http://onedrop.today For more information.

Diabetes Progress: Jun 2016

It’s been almost 10 years since I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in October 2006. And over the past year I have made great progress in getting my blood glucose levels under control.

Every 3 months, I get a Hemoglobin-A1C blood test and visit my doctor for a Diabetes Follow-Up to review my results and discuss how I’ve been doing with my diabetes since the last checkup. The A1C test provides a measure of average blood glucose levels over the past 3 months based on the percentage of glucose attached to hemoglobin in the blood.  The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that your A1C should be less 7.0%, which is equivalent to a blood glucose level of 154 mg/dL

My A1C this week was only 6.9%, which is equivalent to about a 151 estimated average glucose level. Actually I was surprised since during that time I had a bilateral inguinal surgery, root canal and crown, and 56 chigger bites. My previous tests over the past year had been 7.0, 7.1, and 6.9 so it’s been fairly consistent and demonstrates that my current health focus matters.

Recently, I have increased my daily exercise and reduced my meal carbs significantly and it’s really starting to make a difference. In addition to my usual 30 minutes on a treadmill at the local gym after lunch, I had added a 15-minutes morning walk after breakfast as well as another 15-minutes evening walk after dinner. At the same time, I have tried to eat less carbs per meal and trying to target about 25-35 grams per meal, although I am aiming for less with a high-protein  breakfast.

For the past 7 days I have had an average blood glucose of 140 with a variance of 23%. My average total carbs per day has been 129 grams with average 68 minutes exercise a day. I have had 15% Highs (> 180) with 2% Lows (< 70), and I have only had to inject meal-time insulin on 3 of those days.

Although this requires constant attention and discipline, this is all very encouraging and shows that I am on the right track. I just need to keep it up, and my next test should be even better yet.

My Playlists

I have created over 100 Spotify music playlists for artists included in my blog since I started it in September 2014. However, I don’t think most of the over 5,000 visitors to my site are really aware of how much music is actually available.

Although there have been almost 10,000 views over that time, I’m not sure how much of the music is actually enjoyed with an average of only about 2 views per visit. I feel like much of the music is probably currently invisible, except maybe to my regular followers who automatically receive all my music posts. But I only have 240 followers via Email subscription, 186 on WordPress Reader, 40 via Twitter, 13 through Facebook, and some on Pinterest.

Recently I had a very productive dialog with Juan Maria Solare, who is an Argentine pianist and composer of contemporary music and tango living in Bremen, Germany. He had many very helpful suggestions in his feedback and recommendations that I should be offering more mixed playlists from my blog’s music.

After thinking about it some more, I agree that this really makes so much sense that I decided to try creating new playlists from my blog’s music. This will open up all the music that I have shared in the past in a new way, and enable many more to discover all this great music.

I know I also need to review and improve my menus and sidebar, and generally reorganize the music on my blog so it’s more accessible, and also deliver it in new ways to my readers. I’m also creating some software to help me manage my WordPress blog and Spotify playlists to make it easier to maintain and present.

Please let me know what you would like to see me do with my playlists. Do you like artist playlists with a variety of music across albums for a single artist? What about mixed playlists with many artists for a specific genre or style of music? Do you prefer shorter lists like an hour long, or longer ones? I would really appreciate additional feedback about what you like, especially as I try to focus on additional enhancements and refinements for my blog.

Mom Talk

Mom Talk

I visited my mother several days ago. She is almost 96 years old and has had Alzheimer’s for more than 10 years. Her money ran out in January from the remainder of my father’s life insurance since he died 3 years ago. It was a busy time for me looking around at nursing homes, hiring a lawyer, establishing a Qualified Income Trust, and applying for Medicaid.


Fortunately, we got lucky and somebody passed away a fews earlier and there was an opening so we jumped at the opportunity and moved my Mom right away. So she has now been on Medicaid pending status effective February 1st while we’re waiting approval in several months. It’s a very nice facility with above average ratings, and she’s getting much better care now that she was in the memory care unit of the assisted living facility where she had been living for over 7 years.


In fact, the Activity (“Wellness and Life Enrichment”) Director is great since she had been at the nursing home where my father was during his last year. She was so good with my Dad and now she gets to know her too. She told me recently that she had my Mom playing “volleyball” (where they bounce balloons around each other from their wheelchairs) after she told her that she needed more people to help her and my Mom said “sure!”. Maybe she will get her more involved with some of their activities like she did with my Dad.


Actually my Mom is doing quite well considering her age. She’s always in good spirits, smiling, and happy most of the time. She usually stills knows who I am, and also my wife and siblings. That day we woke her up and she was somewhat groggy for a bit and slightly confused. However, as she came to, she was responding to my wife, but I didn’t register with her at all. That was rather strange because she normally can’t keep her eyes off me, wants to hug and kiss me, and tells me that she loves me (constantly). Not this time. So my wife was getting her attention, and she pretty much ignored me.


Since I wasn’t that busy, but just a spectator this time, I was observing the “conversation”. Actually she can’t really put more than a few words together at a time before she forgets what she wants to say. So everything is rather short, with many of the same expressions. So I thought it might be interesting to capture some of them on my iPhone. Here’s the intermittent dialogue.

I don’t know
No, I don’t think so
You’re wonderful
I love you
Thank you
That’s about it
Well …
That’s the way it goes

Background Sunset Photo Image

Background Sunset Photo Image

In my Blogging 201 course on Intermediate Customization, we have been experimenting with various background colors, images, and fonts for our sites. Although I had selected a nice background color several days ago that seemed to look pretty good, I thought I would check out whether background images might be worthwhile.

Today I thought I might try using the same original sunset photo that was cropped for my custom header. I thought I would see how it works, and whether readers have any comments. Then I will probably explore some different font combinations to see whether I like them any better than the current ones (PT Sans and Arimo).

Music by Artist: Updated

I have now updated the Music by Artist page under the Music menu tab to show all Music posts by artist in alphabetical order by post title, which would usually be their first name. All 131 additional music posts since July have now been incorporated into this alphabetical index for a total of 605 (80% of my total blog posts of 761) .

These have been grouped and separated by a letter index to make it easier to find an artist, so clicking on one of the letters will jump directly to that section. However, you can also use your browser Find search function to locate them on the page more quickly or by last name. Since there were so many Christmas and SXSW music posts, they were moved out of sequence to the end.

The initial version only included the 100 most recent music posts, and then this new format was introduced; also it was rather limited since there were so many Christmas Music posts, which resulted in no artists beyond the letters A and B being displayed.

You can also use the Search field in the sidebar to find music for a specific artist or genre, which will retrieve all posts that match your search. Another option is available with the Music Calendar which shows all music posts by month and quarter.

I have also included the publish date after the post title. This might be formatted better, but at least it offers a complete list of all artists for now until I can improve the presentation. For example, it might be helpful to have a link for each post, but I need to figure out a way to do this automatically so this list can be maintained easily.

Any ideas or suggestions are always appreciated. Specifically, comments related to these questions would help me determine what improvement might be desirable.

  • Do you think this format is useful?
  • Is sorting by alphabetical post title appropriate?
  • Would it be better to organize by artist last name instead?
  • Should links be enabled for each entry to provide easier access (without have to search)?
  • Let me know what other music menus might be helpful?
  • Are the videos worthwhile in my music posts and do you actually watch any of them?
  • Do you find it easy to access the music on my web site?
  • What would be a good way to remind you of music in my archives?

Thanks for helping with your feedback. Keep on listening.