Thursday, December 20, 2007

I wear my Yellow glasses at night

Back in 2000 I had LASIK to correct my incredibly bad near sightedness. For those familiar wit hthe lingo, to give you an idea of where I was at, in one eye I was a -.875 and in the other I was -.85 with an astigmatism. Well, after dry eyes did in my ability to wear contact lenses and after my glasses almost flew off my head on a rollercoaster at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, I made the decision and to this day it is still the best $5000 I ever spent on anything.

For the first year I had the halos every one talks about as my eyes healed and the damaged tissue was reabsorbed but I could see great and it's only gotten better ever since overall. The two things that LASIK compunded however were my dry eyes and my night vision and for years I've been struggling with that and eye drops only help so much with the dry eyes and hardly at all with the night vision.

So for the past month I was on a mission of discovery to find another solution. I asked myself, what do I know about my problems and what I realized was that during the Fall and Winter months the problems always seemed much much worse since overall the air is drier (less humid) during these seasons. The dry eyes also compounded my night vision issue making that worse. So I started thinking that maybe, while driving, I should try to shield my eyes so that when i have the heater on, especially the defroster, it won't continually blow in my eyes and dry them out.

Well, some google searching later, I came across the notion of amber driving glasses which I have to be honest, I found to be a bit hokie of an idea. I just figured it would make my world darker. Plus they are incredibly nerdy looking.

Ambervision Sunglasses

The idea intrigued me tho, so I decided to read some more about them. I found almost nothing good out there but I did find this from an eye doctor:
Laramy-K Optical Lab - The Dangers of Night Driving Glasses

So I bought into what that link said and set the entire idea aside for a few weeks because the notion that it made certain things much harder to see due to the tint is something I bought in to.

Well, since the problem didn't go away, and I was getting desperate some weeks later, I again started looking into it because I thought ot myself you can't always believe everything on the Internet someone puts out there, especially since the potential exists for there to be an agenda when an eye lab says don't buy off the shelf glasses. So again, I searched.

On ebay, I found a guy who sells particularly cool, yellow tinted, not amber, driving glasses and since the price was right, I said, what the heck, it's only like $11 I might be wasting so I bought a pair from his ebay store The Place for Yellow Glasses

Well, I've been wearing the glasses almost a week now and I'm just a seriously HUGE fan. They really do make night driving easier as they pop contrast by blocking blue wavelengths and my dry eye is much much more managable since they almost fully shield my eyes from the car's heater blowing hot air throughout the compartment.

Overall, I can only speak for myself for these but I'll never stop wearing night driving glasses now. If you have the problems with your eyes like I have, maybe you'll want to try it too.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

State of Fear

Other than the afterword, I just finished Michael Chricton's State of Fear at lunch today.  Talk about an eye opener of a book, it really blew away so many things that I just sort of took for granted, it helped me to feel good about some things that I had been truly skeptical of and all at the same time it was a rousing work of Fiction based on lots of solid science. 
Much of the premise of the book is centered upon debunking the notion of Global Warming and in its turn it does that and also takes on many establishment and institutional issues of crime, media, corporations, private charities and does a fair job of giving the reader some interesting things to consider about what information we get exposed to in our daily lives, why we get exposed to it, where it comes from and perhaps who benefits from the State of Fear that these forces can combine to create in a nation's population.
Now certainly this is dramticized since it's in a work of fiction but the book comes loaded down with citation after citation of the arguments, pro and con and its just a real facination, gripping action-filled Chricton novel.
I really enjoyed it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Question Askers, Question Answerers

Question Askers, Question Answerers.  That is one of the simplistic ways in which the world can be broken down.  Maybe another way of expressing it would be:  Active Thinkers, Lazy Thinkers or being smart vs. being dumb.
Anyway, I find that I'm one of these people who simple exists to figure out and provide the answers to other people's questions.  I also find that when I have questions I will generally do my damndest to seek my answers on my own before asking my question of someone else since inevitably I find that others don't answer my questions well and I just end up again seeking my own answers.  Maybe that person I asked provided a small clue or piece of the puzzle but I hardly ever experience someone who provides me with the clarity I seek.
What i find in this, however, is there is a certain tyranny to the process.  Once a question answerer, always a question answerer to the point where the question asker becomes a lazier and lazier thinker.  The question I have had trouble answering for myself is, short of being a total dick, how do I steer the askers back to thinking for themselves and answering their own questions.  It's something I continue to ponder as I seek clarity and enlightenment.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

1701 - Master and and Commander

Ug, I'm so addicted to my new game 1701.  It's a SIM/Strategery game and it's soaking up like 70-80% of my free time lately.  Every free moment on working setting up trade routes, building cities and preparing for war against other cultures.  I've probably logged somewhere near 50-60 hours on the game now and I've finally raised my civilization up to it's final level and begun a blockade of the island of the last culture I have left to defeat.  Blockade is where it's at, as it's easy to take down an opponent by starving them out and then landing a few powerful units on their land to tip em all the way gone.  However the hardest part of the game is keeping your trade routes optimized so your civilization doesn't run out of needed goods.  You're only allowed 20 routes but your towns need dozens of different types of goods.  Now that I'm almost the only player left, it's just left to me to build my civilization up so much that I can declare my independence from the Queen and defeat her armada and army.  It'll take a lot of supplies and such but I think I know what I need to do.
Ok, beyond that level of geekdown, I'm also addicted to the Aubrey-Maturin series of books and I'm now starting Book 4.  The movie Master and Commander was based on this series and it's great reading and storytelling and just enjoyable.  There are something like 21 books too so I'll be in books for awhile which is something I like.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Walking Out the Pain

Well, after two weeks of sciatica, poor sleeping, general uncomfortableness, pain while driving, etc. etc. i hit on something a few nights ago and it's the most basic of things but it has provided more relief than all the Advil and Tylenol and rest combined: Walking on the treadmill for 1/2 hour every night.
Now, in truth, I should have been doing this anyway but there is nothing like pain as a motivator and while the stiffness and ache isn't gone yet from the leg, the walking warms up the entire area and really gets things feeling good and it really feels like it's healing now.  Thank god as I wouldn't wish this kind of thing on anyone.
Meanwhile back in life world, it's time to start figuring out the house situation and getting that just done.  It's dragged on too long now and housing market slump or not, we have to get going on it.  Prices have dropped and that's good but now I have to find out what may have changed in a few months in regards to obtaining a mortgage.  It's been some time since I talked with my banker so I should probably find out and feel out how the climate has changed.  Mainly on not worried as we fall into the "Excellent" credit designation although I do wish we had some more savings to draw upon but we're debt free too so it's all basically good.
The Navy game and tailgate were a great time and I have pictures I pulled off my phone which I have to put... someplace.  But overall an excellent day with beautiful weather and good times with great friends.  Hopefully Norfolk State this weekend is more of the same.
Go Yanks! Go A-Rod!  Boston must be crapping their pants.  Yes, time is drawing short and this series this weekend looms huge. 5 games back because the Devil Rays couldn't hold onto a gazillion run lead last night. 
OMG, it's almost hockey season.  I was sad to read Jimmy Dowd wouldn't be back this year and that he might land with (gasp!) the Flyers.  No Rasmussen either. What a different team it will be with Gomez gone to the Rangers and Rafalski playing for the Red Wings now.  I'm not at all up to speed with who might be playing where with the Devils anymore.
Started reading a book called Pride of Carthage about Hannibal marching over the Alps to attack Rome.  It's a novel, not a history and so far it's only eh but it was a $5 hardcover on the cheap stacks at B&N so I can't complain that much.  It has potential at least.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Sciatica and other lint

Sciatica sucks, there is no doubt about it.  It makes living miserable but at least the pain is lessening a little bit every day and actually being at work is probably the best thing for me as I've been reading that bed rest is the very worst thing you can do for it.  Oh, well... yes, it's a tough trade-off, not working and being in pain or working and having much much less pain. 
That said, the one thing I've noticed through all this is that where pain killers like Advil and Tylenol fail, Coffee steps up.  Yes, it's the weirdest thing but I kid you not.  I have a cup of Joe, sit at the computer in the morning and all my pain just vaporizes away.  Just crazy talk but true.  My theory, since I have a theory about most things, is that coffee slightly raises my BP and heartrate leading to an increased level of circulation through the afflicted area (even though it's also constricting blood vessels, I know, it's a theory after all, not fact and I'm just trying to find hope here, people). 
Anyway, my biggest concern is that it subsides by Friday since sitting on those bleacher benches for Navy my be extrodinarily painful otherwise.  I think it will.  I'm hopeful. ;)  Plus there is the booze factor to consider on friday night.  Me thinks it will all be A-OK.
September 19th is "Talk like a Pirate Day!" YAAARRRRRRR!
Oh, and my wife will be making a special guest star cameo appearance Friday night, which is exciting.  I didn't think she'd ever come to another game unless somehow RU got the Giants on the schedule or Bon Jovi was singing the National Anthem.  See what winning football can do?  That's PROOF POSITIVE!  And on top of that, Friday is our 4th wedding anniversary.  Ain't she the best letting me do football on our wedding anniversary?  And she got me a new RU flag to display as well!  SHE RULES!!  SHE RULES!!
Ok, final thought:  Hey NYY, WTF?  You only win when I'm in media blackout?  Ug.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Reverting back and other random thoughts

Well, playing around with wordpress on my own server was fun for awhile but the one feature i really missed was being able to post remotely via email in a simple straight forward way which Blogger provides nicely.  I know worpress has a facility to do it, i just found it to be a PITA and more trouble than it's worth.

Other random thoughts:
- I just completed a cruise over the past 8 days. My wife and I, with my family sailed out of NYC on August 23rd and returned on Friday and it was 8 days of pure relaxation.  We loved the time we had but we're both in agreement that we've had better vacations and that cruising was not really for us.  The food was great, but overwhelming, it ended up being very expensive even though we didn't actually pay for the cruise itself (my folks picked that up), the time in port was way too short to enjoy and explore fully, we're not gamblers, Sue doesn't drink and I'm not much of a drinker these days and after drinking all that is left is sun bathing and we're both not really sun bathers.  That said, the time with familiy and the experience of seeing even a little of another place and all the beutiful clear warm water and snorkeling, etc. were a lot of fun.  It was a good trip, not our favorite tho, as I've said.

- Rutgers.  My cable box switched off on me sometime during the cruise so my Tivo recorded like 3-4 hours of nothing but black screen.  Nice.  Anyway, it's tough to complain about not seeing a game against the likes of a Buffalo which is like College Football's version of a pre-season NFL-esque exhibition (although don't tell that to anyone in Ann Arbor right now and, yes, I've thouroughly purged my mind of our own UNH debacle at this point).

- Yankees.  I couldn't be happier to see that they swept the Red Sox while we were away but then the first game i get to see when we get back, they lose to the Devil Rays.  Sheesh.  But at least they are now 2 games ahead in the Wild Card.  I'd love to catch Boston for the division, it would be fitting right?, and it's definitely possible but the Yanks are now a pretty dangerous team so just making the playoffs now is enough.

- Sciatica. I have it and it's the friggin worst.  Ok, rewind to a little over a month ago, I was down in the basement and move a chest of drawers to another spot and I pulled my back.  Now I have a chronically bad back and it spasms like normal, except unlike normal, this time it doesn't fully go away.  After the spasm subsides, i feel like the whole month of August something just isn't right, and I have a small ache in my lower back.  Over time I feel like I've dislocated something but it's only mildly annoying so i live with it figuring it will correct itself at some point.  Ok, fast forward to the cruise and our walk through Old San Juan in Puerto Rico.  For those who've never been, Puerto Rico is hilly and we walked up to San Cristobal fort and then around town.  Well, after all that my back was killing me so that night in the cabin, I stretched it in every way I could think and finally I felt my back finally realign.  Oh, it was totally wonderful at that point.  Well, the persistent pain is gone now but just over the past 2-3 days I've had a terrible pain shooting down my right leg and and my big toe on my right foot was very numb.  It is starting to slowly subside but damn sleeping is tough.  Advil and Tylenol have almost zero effect, so i figure I just have to grin and bear it.  My theory is that when I realigned my back, which does feel perfect still BTW, I caused another kind of spasm which is making something swell and irritiating my sciatic nerve.  So that's what I'm hoping and starts to dissipate now.  It does suck major tho.

- Books, books, books.  The cruise was a perfect opportunity to do my favorite pasttime which is read.  I finished a book called "Never Call Retreat" which was the last in a series of books which were like "what-if" history and in this case it was "what if the South had one at Gettysburg". Well, it was an enjoyable read but what if history doesn't really do it for me.  Meh.  No great shakes.  The other books I've been reading are the Aubrey-Maturin series, which are the books the movie "Master and Commander: The far side of the world" were based on.  I love these books, the characters, the style, the sense of historical accuracey, the manners and actiaons of the Napoleonic era.  Great reading.  All told there are 21 books and I'm about to finish book 3.  Great great stuff.  Not the easiest reading as much of it is heavily laced with terminology that takes some getting used to but it's still worth it.

Ok, enough for my fist blog entry on my return to Blogger.  Hopefully more now that I've moved back to my old platform.