Slim and Dexi hookup with my iPhone

Living with Type 1 diabetes and my Dexcom G6 and t:slim X2 is like having a tiny, bossy robot that's constantly whispering secrets in my ear and occasionally saving me from eating that extra slice of cake.

It's an uncommon occurrence to receive a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis in one's early 40s, but such is life's capricious nature. My journey with Type 1 diabetes started in June 2001.

Imagine Type 1 diabetes as an unwelcome lodger that refuses to leave. I often liken my body to a bustling metropolis, where insulin serves as the gatekeeper, ushering glucose into cells for sustenance. However, in Type 1 diabetes, the body's immune system, typically vigilant against harmful invaders, goes on a drunken rampage and targets the insulin-producing cells in my pancreas. Consequently, insulin production halts, leading to glucose accumulation in the bloodstream. Mishandled, this scenario can pave the way for severe health complications1 like neuropathy or vision impairment.

In contrast, Type 2 diabetes is like a city where cell doors have rusty locks. Despite insulin's persistent attempts to unlock them, these locks (cells) resist, causing glucose to accumulate in the bloodstream. While Type 2 diabetes primarily affects adults over 40, it's increasingly prevalent in younger demographics. Factors like obesity, familial diabetes history, or a sedentary lifestyle often play roles in its development.

Type 1, an autoimmune puzzle with no known preventative measures, usually manifests in childhood or young adulthood, necessitating lifelong insulin therapy. Conversely, Type 2 diabetes can often be mitigated or managed through lifestyle adjustments and medication. Despite their disparities, both types demand meticulous oversight to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and ward off complications.

Once dubbed juvenile diabetes, Type 1 diabetes seemed an improbable diagnosis for adults back in 2001. It took the medical community decades to shed the juvenile label, recognizing that Type 1 diabetes didn't care if patient was too old for high school. My online web searches introduced me to fellow adults, recently christened with the diagnosis, who referred to it as Type 1.5 diabetes. These unfortunate souls had been misdiagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, underscoring the entrenched misconceptions surrounding Type 1 diabetes.

A Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGMS), my digital guardian angel, meticulously monitors my glucose levels round the clock, dispatching updates to my phone or insulin pump. Farewell, incessant finger pricks; hello, streamlined diabetes management. While my trysts with CGM systems date back to 2010, the Dexcom brand, particularly the Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGM), is my favourite. Designed to render glucose monitoring less intrusive and more continuous, it affords me a clearer snapshot of my glucose levels sans the incessant finger pricks.

The Dexcom G6 comprises a petite sensor snug against my skin, measuring glucose levels in the interstitial fluid (the fluid between my cells). This sensor, tethered to a transmitter, dispatches real-time glucose readings to my iPhone and insulin pump. Sleek and discreet, resembling a quarter in size, it requires replacement only every ten days, a welcome respite from the daily rigmarole of traditional blood glucose testing.

The Dexcom G6 is a quantum leap in the quality of life for people with Type 1 diabetes, offering more autonomy, less guesswork, and a deeper comprehension of how various factors sway glucose levels. In short, it gives me enhanced control and confidence in navigating the diabetes labyrinth.

The Tandem t:slim X2 insulin pump, sleek and user-friendly, streamlines diabetes management. Among its attributes, its integration with my Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system stands out. This symbiotic relationship enables real-time glucose data transmission, laying the groundwork for features like Basal-IQ and Control-IQ technology, elevating insulin delivery to new heights of sophistication.

My tech squad, Dexi2 and Slim2, comprising the Dexcom G6 and Tandem t:slim X2, join forces to keep my diabetes demons at bay. Picture a personal assistant, perpetually on call, scrutinizing my blood sugar levels and relaying updates to my insulin pump. That's Dexi, keeping tabs on my glucose levels 247, nudging my pump with the latest updates every few minutes.

As for Slim, it's no slacker either. Endowed with the brainy Control-IQ technology, it processes intel from Dexi, analyzing glucose trends to forecast future trajectories. Much like a weather forecaster gauges atmospheric shifts before deciding on carrying an umbrella, Slim preemptively adjusts insulin delivery, forestalling glucose spikes or dips. This collaborative effort translates to fewer frets about glucose levels and more focus on living life to the fullest.

The peace of mind and adaptability afforded by this dynamic duo are beyond measure. The realization that my pump and CGM maintain an incessant dialogue emboldens me to embrace spontaneity. Whether hitting the hiking trail or enjoying meals, I can go about my daily activities without diabetes constantly intruding. My diabetes management is on autopilot, allowing me to live my life more freely.

The insights I glean from this system are invaluable, facilitating informed decisions and keeping me on track and in control.

A closed-loop system like the Dexcom G6 and Tandem t:slim X2 partnership makes diabetes management more seamless, efficient, and less intrusive to my daily life.


  1. Nerve damage and loss of sight are among the complications. 
  2. Dexi and Slim are common nicknames for these devices. 

Kodak Tri-X Pan - Expired

The first time I exposed a roll of Kodak Tri-X pan 400 (TX400) was during The January Term (J-Term) at Drew University. J-Term was a four-week academic term during which students took intensive courses on various subjects, often focusing on experiential learning. In 1988, Drew University offered a J-Term photography course covering black and white photography, documentary photography, or photojournalism. The coursework included classroom lectures, discussions, hands-on photography exercises, and field trips to locations in the surrounding area for photography assignments.

In the 1980s, photography was synonymous with "film photography", and the most popular format was 35mm. I bought myself a Pentax P3 with an SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/1.8 lens somewhere in New York City. Or maybe Flushing, Queens. It was long ago, and I don't remember those details. Along with Ilford HP5, the Kodak Tri-X Pan 400 was one of the first 35mm film stocks I used. That was mainly because it was inexpensive compared to 35mm colour film and cheaper to develop in the on-campus lab.

I was excited when I found an expired cartridge of Kodak Tri-X pan in the box my friend sent me. The packaging was damaged, but a sticker on the side showed the expiration date, March 1980. The film in my hand was over 40 years old!

When film expires, it can lose sensitivity to light, resulting in lower contrast and less detail in the shadows and highlights. The wisdom of the Interweb suggested that I should overexpose this expired film by one stop for each decade after the expiration date. I carefully loaded the roll into my Minolta XD-11 and set the ASA to 50.

The unpredictability of expired 35mm film means that not all images turn out as expected. Would the expired roll still produce images when exposed?

Wow! These are bad. I do not know what those streaky patterns are. I've not seen anything like this with any of the rolls of expired 35mm film I have exposed over the last 18 months. That's $6 down the toilet.

Expired Kodak Tri-X 400 Pan · 15 March 2023 · Minolta XD-11 · MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2
Expired Kodak Tri-X 400 Pan · 15 March 2023 · Minolta XD-11 · MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2
Expired Kodak Tri-X 400 Pan · 15 March 2023 · Minolta XD-11 · MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2
Name Kodak Tri-X Pan
Price FREE
Type C41
Native ISO 400
Exposed ISO 50
Format 35mm
Features Fine grain. Natural colour reproduction. High contrast.
Lab Boutique Film Lab
Scanner Epson Perfection V600
Software VueScan 9
Expired Kodak Tri-X 400 Pan · 15 March 2023 · Minolta XD-11 · MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2

Goodbye Micro.blog

Micro.blog is a promising concept, but there is much room for improvement. I am tired of waiting.

micro.blog (µblog), has positioned itself as a platform aligning with the IndieWeb community. While its intentions are commendable, there are opportunities for improvement to enhance the overall user experience.

The platform has garnered recognition within the IndieWeb community and was featured prominently on the IndieWeb wiki, accompanied by informative content. Manton Reece, the creator of µblog, frequently emphasises its alignment with IndieWeb principles, portraying it as an Indie-friendly platform. Outbound webmentions are fully supported but only accepts incoming webmentions from sites which have registered on the service using their sending base URL.

However, there appears to be a discrepancy between the platform's perceived integration with IndieWeb architecture and its actual implementation. For instance, I've encountered challenges when trying to engage with µblog comments from my IndieWeb WordPress site, where my webmentions are sent and acknowledged but don't reflect on the timeline.

Micro.blog is not just an alternative silo. It’s worse than your average silo. It’s worse than Twitter. From the point of view of IndieWeb, it’s even worse than Facebook. Evgeny Kuznetsov

Certainly, µblog has many attributes of a traditional social media platform, which might lead to some confusion regarding its role in the IndieWeb ecosystem. While it makes strides towards IndieWeb principles, there's room for dialogue about how closely it adheres to the core tenets and how it can continue to evolve. This dialogue presents an opportunity for the platform to evolve and foster a more seamless experience for users.

Designed with Considerable Friction

µblog's approach often introduces significant friction. For users aiming to host a comprehensive photo blog, navigating µblog's interface can prove challenging. Unlike WordPress, where adding media is straightforward with the "Add Media" button, µblog requires managing two browser tabs simultaneously—one for editing and another for uploading. The upload page lacks search functionality, necessitating manual copying and pasting of HTML (or markdown) from the uploads page into the editor.

Additionally, µblog's themes do not support header images, resulting in limited visual customization. Upon post publication, only a title, link, and thumbnail image, often minuscule in size, are displayed publicly on the timeline.

The Micro.blog userbase seems actually pretty good at putting the effort into leaving real comments, but on some other sites (or if I had a blog that wasn’t integrated into a social media platform like this), this lack can result in people making post after post that gets no apparent response, and feeling like they’re shouting into the void. Jayeless.net

µblog users can see and managed whom they follow but are not privy to who follows them. This creates the possibility that a user might be following a number of people but no one is reading that users posts.

Challenges with Customer Support

Customer support, unfortunately, can be slow, especially for a paid service like µblog. Despite having an active subscription expiring on April 4, 2024, I've faced ongoing difficulties with posting to the timeline. Despite reaching out multiple times to support for assistance, I'm still awaiting a permanent resolution.

micro.blog annual invoice
micro.blog does not recognise that I have a subscription.

µblog's Social and Community Dynamics and Platform Limitations

The diversity of participants and resulting conversations are somewhat limited and are likely to remain so. This might suit some people just fine, but I appreciate people of different races, creeds, colors, economic backgrounds, and even those with differing political opinions. The kind of people you might find on a more mainstream social media service or the right Mastodon instance.PhoneBoy

µblog's simplicity is commendable, offering a clutter-free experience devoid of ads. However, this streamlined approach also translates into limitations, such as the absence of features like direct messaging, group chats, and advanced search functionalities.

Discoverability remains a challenge due to µblog's design choices aimed at curbing abuse and harassment. The lack of hashtag support and topic searches hinders users' ability to find content and connect based on shared interests.

The platform's emphasis on content ownership within the IndieWeb community is evident, yet it struggles with balancing freedom of expression with community safety. The cautious approach to user directories and content curation has implications for visibility and collaboration.

I always think appreciation, likes, reactions, and follower count should be made available privately to the content owner. Making them public should be an opt-in decision, if at all possible.Havn

Despite these challenges, µblog's community continues to offer valuable insights and suggestions for improvement, reflecting a shared desire for a more inclusive and feature-rich platform experience.

There seems to be a lot of community push back when anyone advocates for incorporating standard social media features in a manner that benefits all.

While some users may opt to disable "Likes" on their timeline, others, like myself, find value in having this feature available.numericcitizen

Evaluating µblog

Reflecting on my journey with µblog, I appreciate its vision but find the execution somewhat constrained by an emphasis on preventing harassment, which at times hampers community growth and user interaction. Throughout this discussion, the concept of "community" has emerged repeatedly, highlighting the significance of shared connections and interactions that contribute to a sense of belonging—an aspect that µblog could enhance.

The diversity of participants and resulting conversations are somewhat limited and are likely to remain so. This might suit some people just fine, but I appreciate people of different races, creeds, colors, economic backgrounds, and even those with differing political opinions. The kind of people you might find on a more mainstream social media service or the right Mastodon instance.PhoneBoy

In conclusion, there are several factors leading me to withhold a full recommendation for the current iteration of micro.blog. While acknowledging the challenges, it's worth noting that platform governance, akin to Twitter, rests with the owner. Despite this, I maintain a positive view of Manton's character, even if we haven't met in person. However, the platform's responsiveness to change requests could benefit from improvement.

Wishing for a future where µblog strikes a better balance between fostering a safe environment and encouraging vibrant community engagement, I bid farewell.