Monday, February 22, 2016

Blood Sugar Test Strips

    I went to the pharmacy the other day to get test strips for William. This was the first month that he was not covered by Michigan Special Health Care. The price quadrupled last year and then doubled this year. It no longer made since to have it any more. I was surprised when they told me how much the test strips where going to cost. I can buy test strips for $81 with insurance for six boxes of strips or I can go online and buy the same strips for $63 dollars without insurance. What is this world coming to? I can go and buy medical supplies cheaper without insurance than I can with insurance. 

    The cost of diabetes is very expensive. So many supplies each month. Just dealing with diabetes is hard enough, then you have to throw in the stress of having to pay for all of this. I was on a forum for dads of diabetics. I made the comment that the supplies where getting so expensive. One of the dads interjected that his supplies where all covered through Obamacare even the Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) supplies. That just added insult to injury. My health insurance rates have gone up so significantly but someone else get their supplies for free. I guess that is the democratic way. 

    Funny side note my spell checker doesn't correct Obamacare. I guess it is officially a word. LOL

    I do worry about when William gets older. How will he take care of himself? Will he have insurance that is good enough to cover everything for him? There really isn't much you can do about it right now. I guess your options growing up are to be really rich and get good coverage or to be really poor and get good coverage. If you are in the middle you get to pay for it. 

I love you buddy and want to see you grow up healthy,

Your Loving Dad

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Robotics has Started Again

    We have learned what the game will be for this year. Now it is time for building our robot. We have our plan and this year we should be a very good team, if everything goes as planned. We have the design mostly done and now we are building the prototype and programmer robot. This allows my team of programmers to try to build the software that will make the robot successful. This years game will include traversing across different obstacles. Some are rough and bumpy. Some you have to move a door out of the way. There is a mote, teeter totter type things that you have to go across, A castle door to open, a gate to open and go through and many other things to figure out. Another part of this game has us shooting bolders at the castle to weaken it. We have to get these bolders through a window just bigger than the ball. then the last part of the game is capturing the castle and climbing the walls. There will be a lot going on this time.

William Having Fun
    We are well into our build for the programming. We will be using a vision system to find the castle window to throw the bolder. If everything is working well, we will be able to find the target and have the robot automatically target and shoot the bolder. We are in the early stages but right now the vision system is working very nicely. Next we are going to be using a PID control system to change the speed of the shooter to accurately shoo the ball through the window. We can get the distance to the wall from the vision system. Then we have to make it all work together.

    At the beginning of the game there is a 15 second period where the robot has to play the game all by itself. We are going to have to get the code written for that and get his working as well. There is a lot to do and I am having a lot of fun teaching these students how everything works. I really wish they had something like this when I was in school. Two weeks to go on building our robot. I will let you know how things go as we move along. 

    We like to have fun along the way. One of the mentors on the team bought a Rafiki head a while back for the students to wear at the competitions. The were going to dye it maroon to match the team colors. They were going to call it the maroon baboon. Everyone was taking their turns wearing the head. I had William stand still long enough to get this shot. 

I am glad you come along for the adventures my wonderful son,

Your Loving Dad

A Story by William

William's letter about Lucky     William sat down yesterday an wrote a letter about Lucky our dog. He wanted me to publish it. So ...