I’m Keeping An Eye On You

eyes-2

No good deed ever goes unpunished. 😯

A young man was convicted of a crime, and sentenced to prison. Shortly after arriving, he became well-known to the prison infirmary. First, his tonsils got infected, and had to be removed, then he jammed his little finger in a press in the prison work-room, and had to have it amputated. His appendix swelled up and almost burst before they operated on him. Finally, he had to go to the prison dentist to have his wisdom teeth pulled.

The Warden followed him in and stood in front of the chair. “I’m onto you Mister! Don’t think that I don’t know what you’re up to. You’re trying to sneak out of here, one little piece at a time.”

Gravity Well

And so it is with me. I had the retina of my right eye operated on, back around New Years. I was told to come back in about 6 weeks for a follow-up, and if things had gone well, I might have the left eye done also. Things went well. The film on the retina had caused a divot which made words and letters fall in, like the Black Hole gravity well above.

The eye still has blurry spots, but is expected to continue to improve. Re-examination of the left eye shows that it can be ignored for some time. HOWEVER….

I was told to go to my local Ophthalmologist after another 6 weeks for a final check-up. Tests last year showed the merest of beginnings of cataracts in both eyes. When she examined them, she was happy with the surgical results, only….

After the Optical Surgeon poked three needles into the right eye, some of the vitreous humor fluid leaked out, and got on the lens. Apparently, this can stimulate the development of cataracts. Now I am scheduled to go to a local hospital, Thursday, June 13th, to have her peel off cataracts which are developing on the right eye and which made me think that the first operation was not completely successful.

Pirate

First I told my pharmacist that a guy had stuck three needles into my eye. Now I told her that someone is going to use a medical potato peeler to strip off cloudy surface lens material. She is astounded that I can so calmly joke about such a thing. That’s just the way I deal with potentially stressful situations. There’s no sense brooding about it, and driving up my blood pressure. Making fun of it makes it less frightening.

During the first operation, my head was reclined almost upside-down, and all work was done below my field of vision.  For this one, she’ll be coming directly at me.  I wonder how disconcerting that will be.  😯

Like before, I may be incommunicado for a while, but, like Arnie The Terminator – “I’ll be back.” See you then – I hope.   😎

White Cane

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’19 A To Z Challenge – F

AtoZ2019Letter F

First, I gave you several ‘Seinfeld’ posts, each with 6 or 8 unrelated points, but, essentially about ‘Nothing.’ Then I published several posts titled ‘Shotgun,’ like a shotgun blast, with multiple vignettes, but nothing in the way of a single, solid theme.

I got creative, and coined the word ‘Triviana’ to describe these fractured offerings, because it sounded better than Cheap Smarm and Gossip. I stole researched a theme from an American blogger with the right last name, added a photo of Canadian coinage, and called it Smitty’s Loose Change, because my grip on reality is loose, though I don’t really like change.

Eventually, of course, I found that those with more couth and language capability than me, have a word for my weird submissions. They call them

FACETIAE

humorous or witty sayings
obscene or coarsely witty books

It is NOT related to facet, which is a flat surface on a gem or something similar. It Is related to facetious, which means

facetious

adj.

1590s, from French facétieux , from facétie “a joke” (15c.), from Latin facetia “jest, witticism,” from facetus “witty, elegant, fine, courteous,” of unknown origin, perhaps related to facis “torch.”

It implies a desire to be amusing, often intrusive or ill-timed. Related: Facetiously ; facetiousness . “ Facetiæ in booksellers’ catalogues, is, like curious, a euphemism for erotica.” [Fowler]

So, as you can see, I am very serious about not being very serious. I have faced the challenge of A To Z – F. Now I gallop onward, toward the letter G. See you there.  😀

 

I Need My Meds!!

Valium

My OCD about proper, correct English usage nearly gnawed its way out of my thick skull. My automatic proof-reader was on angel dust, and my internal editor was having heart palpitations.

Shortly after I composed my Blog – How to be taken seriously, I found this post. The writer is an example of an English redneck. If this guy were living in the US, he’d be wearing a MAGA hat, and helping Trump build a wall.

Since he states that he is English, to have his racist screed taken seriously, it would really help if he could write it in The Queen’s English. I only downloaded the title, which is what caught my attention, and the first two paragraphs. It continued to offend my eye and my sensibilities for another illiterate, rambling three paragraphs. I stopped counting the errors after about 100. I couldn’t see them all, through my tears.

Here it is, with most, but not necessarily all, the errors highlighted.

Their our to many Pakistans in my town Luton too ignore its time to take are country back now!

By Timmy Rodinson

Im going too explain this in the most simplest of ways too make you understand what is really going on in are nation right: I was born in england and that makes me english and a british because I am british. If your a muslim your a muslim so it doesn’t matter were you were born in because your a muslim. its as simple as this. so if your an islamist muslim you are not and can never be english or british no matter where your born because you are not from english history and your taking are identity to make islamist

suicide bombers who you are giving birth too and were not going to stand for it any longer we our taking back are country from you sick violent muslim imigrants. its as simple as this. that does not make me a racialist that makes me proud to be from a country that does’nt send people to other countrys to bomb millions of inocent people like has been happening in france and europe and there our just not enough people speaking up for peoples who want’s for are people to live in a country that is’nt run by shuria laws that are from rapist genocidal ideilogy. its as simple as this. your not british and you should leave to your muslim homeland in pakistan or iran or suadi arabia were you’re religion’s are from.

He certainly made me take him seriously…. Seriously disturbed! Oy, learn correct spelling and punctuation and language construction, then we can clearly communicate our distaste for your racist ramblings. Seriously Tommy, you’re giving soccer hooligans a bad name.  🙄

This post is only about how upset I am with his misusage and mangling of my Mother Tongue.  I’ll leave his social and political views for another day.  Feel free to comment about them, though.  😯

 

WOW #45

Sandal

Today’s program is brought to you by pompous arrogance, and by the letter DUH! Bert and Ernie are out getting wasted at a gay bar, and Oscar the Grouch has battened down the lid of his condo garbage can. Since I couldn’t come up with a story for the phallic-symbol photo at Rochelle’s this week, Elmo is tickled that it’s up to me to tell you about the word

Ultracrepidarian

(uhl-truh-krep-i-DAYR-ee-uhn)
Adjective:
-Pertaining to one who is talking about things beyond the scope of their knowledge.
Noun:
-A person who gives opinions and advice on matters that they know little about.

This word was coined by the essayist William Hazlitt in 1819. From Latin “ultra” (beyond) + “crepidarius” (shoemaker), from “crepida” (sandal). Earliest documented use: 1819.

Donald Trump

This word comes from the same base that we get the English word creep. The next time you see some creep who doesn’t know a Red State from a Blue one, or thinks that the budget will balance itself, “from the heart out,” running his mouth while his brain is only idling, you’ll have another useful word to call him.

Trudeau

Ego And Insecurity – Episode 2

Bible

Trying to debate the existence of God, with someone who has renounced critical, rational, logical thinking, is like trying to administer medication to a dead body.

A Fundamentalist Christian recently declared that, if he found a passage in the Bible which stated that two plus two equaled five, he would unquestioningly believe it. Another was quoted as saying that, if it was proved to him that the entire Bible had been written by forgers, he would still believe that they were Divinely-inspired forgers. Who could have a meaningful debate, or even an intelligent conversation, with someone with such desperately hidebound assumptions?

A recent Christian response to anyone presenting Biblical mistakes or contradictions, has been to defensively ask (demand), “Do you think that you are smarter than me?” That question is as vague, insecure, irrelevant and meaningless as all their unproven beliefs and claims. Smartness is almost impossible to define or measure. I’ve written of a woman so clueless that she didn’t realize that she had Polish ancestry. Yet she owned three homes, while my MENSA-grade IQ was still paying rent.

“Smart” is not the matter at hand. Instead, it is the gullible, sheep-like, unthinking, dogmatic rejection of any portion of evidence of reality that conflicts with their (and their church/religion’s) unthinking hope/wish that their existence was exactly the way they needed it to be, to make them feel good about their life choices.

I realize that ‘salvation’, and ‘eternal life’, are very important concepts. It’s just that far too many people put far too much belief and energy into things that have no real connection to God. In a legal sense, I’ll stipulate to the existence of God. That means that I may, or may not, accept the concept, but I’ll allow it for the purposes of discussion. I’ll also, grudgingly, agree to ‘Christ as Savior.’

ALL the rest, is bullshit! Petty rules and orders, dreamed up by men, for the benefit of men. God doesn’t need you to kneel. Even if He did, he’d want you down on BOTH knees, not just the right one, with the left foot forward. He doesn’t care if you accept Him, dabbed with ashes, or oil, with a little water sprinkled on you, or dunked whole-hog in a creek or pond.

I can manage to get born, married and die without some guy in a funny hat and dress being there to demand his 10% – not for GOD, but for him, and his church. Ritual actions can be important, not in terms of God, Jesus, and salvation, but for ‘the group – the congregation,’ as well as those performing them, so that the group will accept them.

They are an external indication of an internal decision of belief, but no specific rites or actions are any more “right”, (or wrong) than any others. Lutherans will not go to Hell, just because they don’t genuflect, no matter what your priest/preacher tells you. In the Old West, preachers were often not available. Many couples were ‘married’ by gathering friends and family, and performing some overt, ritual act, like ‘jumping over a broom,’ with a Bible present.

“Church” becomes a place where we go once a week, to pass judgement on others. A lot of folks would do well to dispense with the irrelevant details, dreamed up and enforced by men, having nothing to do with God, Christ, or salvation, and concentrate more on ‘Love thy neighbor’, and ‘Do unto others….’

Episode 1 is here, if you’re interested.

’19 A To Z Challenge – E

 

Letter E

AtoZ2019

 

Canada’s entertainment has (almost) caught up to the USA’s.

First, we dumped cable TV, as content deteriorated, and prices soared. Later we ditched satellite TV, when their charges approached Cable’s. We have YouTube as part of our internet package. The wife signed up for Netflix – considerably cheaper than either of the other two. Later, she enrolled in Amazon Prime, which not only gives us advantages with the increasing number of things that we purchase online, but provides another cheap platform for videos.

I watched episodes of Babylon 5 on TVs in Detroit hotels, five years before it became available on Canadian television. About 3 years ago BrainRants made me aware of an epic series, on SyFy in the US. We couldn’t access it here, but I began reading the 7-book series about The

Leviathan Wakes

Expanse

I have read the first three books, with the 4th on order. Each book becomes a year’s series. So far, the first 3 seasons are available on Amazon Prime. Pleasantly, the wife finds that she likes it. We have watched though the first season, and into the second. They are big, 700-page books. I’d better get reading, to stay ahead of the Canadian video releases.

Are there any other sci-fi fans out there, also watching this series? What do you think of it? Many TV series, including science fiction are consecutive; what happens in this week’s episode occurs after what happened in last week’s, but usually has no direct connection. This series, like many European series, is sequential. There are some flashbacks, but you can’t miss an episode, or you don’t understand what’s happening next.

I am ecstatic that I finally get to watch The Expanse. Thanx Rants! 😀

On The Ball

Selectric

The wife and I are not ‘Retro,’ we’re just old fogies.

It’s not that we’re technophobic. Lord knows, we embrace technology to the limits of our non-Electronic Age brains. In our house, there are 2 PCs, a laptop, 2 tablets, 3 Kindles, 2 Kobos, 2 Smart Phones, and a Smart TV that’s smarter than both of us together. Still, sometimes we like to relive The Good Old Days, in The Good Old Ways.

The QWERTY keyboard was originally developed when early typists got faster than the rudimentary machines, and jammed letter strikers against the platen. It put the usual letters in unusual places, to slow typists down, and prevent jamming. It was touted by its proponents as, “More efficient,” a lie with a bit of truth in it.  It reduced the words per minute typed, but almost eliminated having to stop and unjam the machine, resulting in more total words typed at the end of the day.

The development of the electric typewriter smoothed out the jamming problem somewhat, and also eliminated the need to manually move the heavy carriage with the left hand/arm.

Selectric Ball

In 1961, IBM re-invented the wheel – actually, a ball. They produced the Selectric, a typewriter with no keys to jam. Instead, it had a little ball with all the characters on it. The smart machine rotated the ball – nicknamed a ‘Golf Ball’ – to the right position before smacking it against the paper. Different balls, with different fonts could be quickly snapped in and out.

Several models, with different features were developed, including one with a rudimentary 40-character memory. If a typist noticed a mistake while typing, (s)he could hit a special ‘Hold’ key, back up in the memory, change the error, and free the machine to continue.  There was no more heavy carriage to move back and forth. Instead, the ball and ribbon moved smoothly and quietly across the platen. This was the precursor to the computer word-processor.

Sadly, because of that, they didn’t last long, and soon became extinct – but not before over 2,000,000 of them were sold. The wife worked on one, in one of the offices where she was employed. She loved it. Recently, she had a couple of typing projects – recipe cards, and knitting patterns – where a computer and printer just didn’t work out well.

She found one offered for sale on Facebook Market. The woman wanted $40 for it. I asked where I had to go to pick it up. She’s had me drive 10/15 kilometers locally, for other items. This one, she said, was in Oshawa, the other side of Toronto. I told her that it would cost another $40 in gas, to drive there and back. Without any other offers on it, the price reduced to $35.

Driving completely across metro-Toronto, on Highway 401, is not the worst traffic in North America, but it’s definitely in the top 10. When I checked the location with a map program, the actual mileage (Canadian kilometrage) wasn’t all that high, but the program warned that, at the time that I checked, based on current traffic conditions, estimated trip time is 2 hours and 8 minutes.

We planned the trip for the middle of the morning, after the get-to-work onslaught, but before the lunch-time rush, and made the 160 Km/100 Miles in 1Hour/40Minutes. We waited till 2:00 o’clock to start back and, aside from some slowdown from the ‘memory of an accident’ we saw on the way there, we got home in 1Hour/40Minutes again. We immediately stopped at Costco, and put $45 of gas in the car.

The wife wanted some proof that the machine worked, but the woman getting rid of it was a young Real Estate agent, charged with disposing of an estate. She was so young that she’d never heard of or seen such a contraption. She plugged it in and turned it on. It hummed. She hit a couple of keys, and it clacked a couple of times.

Since she’d still not had any other offers for it, and since we were coming from so far away, she reduced the price to $20, which she may have quietly pocketed. When we got home, the wife plugged it in and turned it on. It hummed! She tapped a couple of keys…. but the little carriage didn’t move. She sat down and pored over the included owner’s manual – to no avail. A part may be broken/missing.

Mennonite

With the existence of so many Mennonites within a 50 kilometer radius, it is probably easier to locate a Ferrier (one who shoes horses), than to find a local typewriter repair shop. There was one, but the old gentleman who ran it was 83 in 2015, and the website is dormant. The wife has located one in the city of Hamilton. It’s not quite so far away, and in a different direction. It should only cost us $35 for gas – TWICE – once to drop it off, and again when we pick it up, plus the charge for Barney Rubble to fix it.

You may never get a hand-written letter from me – for which you should be thankful. With my essential tremor getting worse, the doctors’ scribbles that I mentioned in my Griffonage post, seem clear and legible, compared to my handwriting. I’ll tell you whether we are successful at this technology resuscitation project, and you may get a hand-typed letter to prove it.