Thursday, September 07, 2017

No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!

Today I had a laser pointed at one of my eyes.  It was a medical laser, being used in a function known as SLT, to reduce levels of pressure inside my right eye.  (Don't pout, Left Eye; your time is coming).  I learned a couple of things:

First, its really not extraordinarily helpful to have spent the prior evening leafing through the results of a Google Search on "SLT Complications laser), even if the results were that a) the process is about 40% effective,  b) complications are very few, and c) in almost every case, the complications either went away on their own or could be caused to do so.  I could not stop thinking about the one case where the doctor's office mis-set the laser, delivering more power than needed, or the case where a man had adverse results despite looking like a good candidate.  Its one thing to know there are no guarantees, its another to be face-to-glowing-green-dot with it.

Though I think my casual mentions of tri-lasers and foveal burns did get the opthamologist's attention, which, given that this is MY eye, is a good thing.

Second, I learned that just because they say the process takes about ten to twenty minutes doesn't mean you'll be out of there in 30 minutes.  Try more like 90 minutes, what with getting these eye drops, those drops, scheduling, and just sitting and waiting.  There's a reason we're called 'patients', and its not particularly thrilling.  I told him that it would have been nice to know how long the process could be expected to take, and he said that for most of his patients, they would be scared off by knowing how long they'd be there.

Third, it really does not hurt (maybe just a tiny, tiny bit),  but the apprehension can deliver a throbbing headache, which is not what you want after Mr. Goldfinger's just done a job on you.

Friday, August 25, 2017


About three weeks ago, I lent my MP3 player to my wife so that she could listen to an audiobook while we were at the gym.  Which she did.

Somehow, in the space of two hours, that player - bright red - disappeared.  Don't think it was stolen.  Pretty sure it didn't go into hyperspace, or dissolved into quanta.  But its gone.

Today I received a call from our French exchange student.  It was a text message.  My phone, which is now about 5 years old, received it fine -- but the Verizon So you think you have a communications device package said Don't even TRY to respond to that text.  Our student, you see, still has her French phone number -- her carrier, Free.Com, does not charge her for calls to US numbers, so she can still use it here.  Of course, in the US, where we are more technologically advanced, we do.

Fortunately, she then called the house phone, and I was able to talk with her.  But it made me think again that I really should get that WhatsApp messaging tool, which apparently works well enough to use all over the world.  But WA requires you to go to their website and use your phone's camera to scan a QR code, which I don't think my phone can do.  Not sure, but don't think so.

So now I'm thinking well, maybe I need an MP3 player AND a phone. At which point I think or a phone that HAS an MP3 player in it, like most do, these days.  So I looked at the students phone and - of course - its an iPhone (How'd you pick this one?  Oh, my father knew I needed a phone, so he bought it).  Now, I'm not a big fan of Apple -- can't stand the Oh your phone is more than six months old?  Why aren't you just using two tin cans and string? attitude -- but there ARE things I like about it, like their abillity to synch the contents of the phone to the Apple Cloud, so that if you lose the phone, you have not lost the data.  I know that other phones probably do this too, and I know its been quite some time since It Just Works was a truthful Apple slogan. And the ability to do a remote lock of the phone, or even cause it to dump its data and reinitialize -- or set off an alarm even if the sound is turned off - these are all of interest to me. As well as  the question of protecting the physical phone.  Hers came with a cute little wallet that shields the glass, but I doubt its impact resistant.

I feel myself sinking into the quicksand, while Tim Cook says Don't struggle, relax....

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Apparently, Trump cares what no one thinks.  Not other world leaders, not experts, not members of his own party, certainly not the media (unless it is fawning over him). And yet his supporters love him. They have no basis for this - unless one counts fondness for his willingness to lie, change his story, exaggerate, support injustice, nod approvingly as people get beaten up, and be generally a rich thug. But they do. They don't even seem to care when his ignorance hurts them. Amazing. If Obama did a tenth of what he has done, they'd be waving pitchforks. But then, again, of course, Obama is black, and liberal, and Democratic. He can, therefore, do nothing right. While the orange puke-inducer can do nothing wrong. 

Were the roles reversed, the horde would be calling for impeachment, and their rabid leaders, for assassination.  I'm for impeachment  I think it will happen But with the gutless Republicans in congress now, I may have to wait a long time.  

Thursday, August 10, 2017


Well, I don't know if Trump has scared the North Korean leadership -- I doubt it -- but I know that he's certainly scared me

What I would like to see now is the Secret Service bundling him into a straight-jacket and dropped off on Guam, or perhapps Seoul.  It won't happen, of course, because we always protect the leader , even if that's who got us into the war. 

Next best would be super-Christian and uber- Mormon Pence saying Okay, thats it, fuck it, you're clearly wacko, 25th Amendment, hustle his ass out of here, but since he's such a smiling, nodding, go-along kind of guy who can probably tell you the exact number of days until the end of term (including the asterisk which reads 'unless impeached or otherwise removed from office), the chances of him stepping forward and taking any kind of forceful actionare pretty minimal.  

As are the chances of the Congress doing anything useful.

So I hope we'd not fucked, but I'm not counting on it.  Bastards.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Trump's Chumps

I really don't see how anyone can trust him, in anything.  He lies so often, he's double-crossed his own appointees, he's contradicted people who are saying what he told them to say - he is an agent of chaos.

It's bad enough that his replacement would be someone who is likely much better at pushing the severe-right agenda.  Its worse to find myself thinking Would he REALLY start a war just to prove his manhood?  Would he REALLY consider the use of nuclear weapons?

Because I really think that he would.  He would.  As bad as Pence would be, as he guts social programs and rips the heart out of support systems, without in any way bringing jobs to areas that need them, without improving infrastructure, without doing anything that would be unquestionably good for our country -- I don't think he'd do that.

Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.  This is between a rock and a blast furnace.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


I would never advocate violence against our politicians, no matter how insipid they are, no matter how despicable their actions.

But there are times when I see what they do for political points, or to push their agenda , without regard to the effects on people, and I think I hope someone else has fewer scruples.  I wince thinking that.  But is it too much to hope that some kind of non-violent action will get these bastards and their gleeful wrecking of us and our ideals out of office?At the moment, it certainly feels like it.

I know - "Wait till the next election, vote them out.  If they aren't voted out, it means they're acceptable to most people".  And I know that Trump has a solid 25% of the voting population who would support him no matter what he did.  Some would do it if it meant damaging their own families.  Others would say well, its the Democrats fault for not just going along with us. The number varies, from 24 to 26 percent, depending on the issue, with a high degree of overlap. But its consistently right around that core number.  As long as the opposition is disorganized, thats all he and his crew need to continue, because with that number, the politicians -- thinking first of themselves -- will not bail on him, will not resist.  Some will.  Most will not.

It sucks and it sickens me. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Images and Thoughts

One of the wallpapers that I have on my PC is an image taken, apparently, by a Depression-era photographer  It is of a woman, very plain, looking through the window of a black car. A small child peeps over the edge of the window. The door of the car is dusty, with dents.The impression I get is tiredness -- the woman, the car, the whole environment.  Just TIRED.

I like the image for a couple of reasons.

For one, it reminds me of how good I have it.  The image comes up on my computer, my personal storage and play device.  When that picture was taken, no one could possibly have imagined a world like this one, where such things were possible.  It would have been magical. And it reminds me that when I get really irritated because, once again, my PC has disconnected itself from my wireless printer, so that, despite the cheerful oh-just-do-this instructions on various web sites (most usually "just uncheck Use Printer Offline, and you will be good to go), I know that I will almost certainly have to turn the PC off and turn the printer off.  I shouldnt have to, and all those cheerful instructions seem to assume that of course I don't have to do that; further, my shaky knowledge of how these things work say the same thing to me, that -somewhere- there is a connection process that happens when the PC starts, and that sets a bit somewhere to say yes, this printer is usable, but something has unset it, and so now you have to go through that process again.  You shouldn't have to, this is a magical world, but guess what, you do.  Live with it

And the picture reminds me of how bad things can get, in our world, how downtrodden people can get, how abandoned they can get.  Which I guess is exactly what has happened.  And it scares me to think how bad it COULD get, with people who are totally oblivous to the world I live in, because my world, my magical world, is as far away from their world as mine is from daily life in Bangladesh. Those people, those powerful, rich people, they could squash my without noticing.  They could.

And they might.

Sunday, July 02, 2017


I totally loved this.