In actual fact, I used to quite like some types of jazz – a little bit of Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden or the explosive madness of Count Basie would be just lovely at the right time and in the right place. However all that changed one evening a few years ago.
I was spending some time over at the Islay Jazz Festival and so far everything had gone well. We’d listened to a various mix of bands in a miscellaneous collection of village halls and drafty sheds. Being famous for having eleven (at the time) whisky distilleries our Islay hosts prefixed each performance with a tot of good whisky. This made some of the less accomplished acts somewhat more bearable.
But all that changed with a performance in Bowmore’s famous round church. Sadly I’ve forgotten (or blanked out) the name of the duo in question, but it consisted of a Swedish twosome – one on double bass and one on saxophone – who played a specially composed composition called “Whales” or “Birdsong” or “Complete Boredom” for what seemed like four hours. There would be a trill of saxophone followed by a thrub of double bass, followed by a random cacophony of untold, unending misery. And the musicians (if you can call them that) looked so damned smug all the way through, like they knew it was impenetrable and clever (but unlistenable) and you just weren’t clever enough to get it.
The pews were rock hard and, being a church, we weren’t allowed our usual stiffener of whisky. After the second hour I thought I had died and had been placed in once of Dante’s rings of Hell specially created for those who had been particularly bad (leaving toast crumbs in the butter, etc.) And it was only by repeatedly and painfully punching myself on the leg and knocking my head on the pew in front that I was able to survive the ordeal.
So, as you can probably now imagine, it was with some trepidation that I received my new Wavesense Jazz blood glucose testing meter in the post.
The meter itself is small, compact and is pretty straightforward to use, having up, down and “do” buttons. It has quite a useful backlight (but nothing to light up the test strip itself – surely the Holy Grail of night-time meter usage) and a plethora of graphs and statistics about your glucose management.
The Wavesense Jazz also comes with alarms that can flash and buzz if you are hyper or hypo. Though I would have thought the readout displaying a result of 2.3 or 17.4 in big numbers would be have been enough notice for the average user, but the alarms might be useful for the moronic.
The meter allows you to tag results as being before breakfast, after breakfast and so on to allow you to track your blog glucose compared to mealtimes which is a mildly useful feature. However, from the meter itself you can’t adjust what time it thinks breakfast, lunch or dinner should be and to my tastes they were far too early. Dinner at 6pm? Pfft, I haven’t even begun to start my nightly Bacchanalian feasts of port and pheasant by then. I suspect these timings will be adjustable via the computer software that will come with the meter (once it has been approved) but even so it would be nice to adjust these things via the meter.
The Jazz also allowed me to try out Wavesense’s test strips for the first time. And by crikey I like ’em. Handily they can only slot into the meter one way, useful in low-light conditions (such as in an opium den or crack house) and they soak up the teeny-tiny amount of gory blood required in a jiffy. Processing is quick (though perhaps not as quick as the “1-2-3? advertised) and the lancet firing device looks cool and works as well as any.
Of least use is the positive feedback mechanism which gives you a little smiley-face icon if your latest reading is within acceptable limits. As much use as a gelignite suppository, this icon will only be of practical help to drooling morons, but its cheery countenance when I get things right does help me to block out the nightmare of that hideous night in Bowmore.
Sample size – 3/5
0.5?L – fairly large but acceptable
Test time – 4/5
3 seconds – though oddly seems longer
Test strip calibration – 5/5
Self-calibrating – yay!
Test strip slurpiness – 4/5
Nice ‘n’ slurpy
Memory – 5/5
1,865 results – a memory like an elephant
Sexiness – 4/5
Not bad, nice sexy screen
Beeping – 5/5
Can be turned off, thank heavens
4am test – 3/5
Nice bright backlight is helpful.
Grand total – 33/40
Read about our reviews here.