All hail the drops

Filed under: Uncategorized — iain @ 15:18:44

This morning for the first time since Tuesday I woke up without my eyes feeling like they were full of grit. Even when they did over the past few days the myriad bottles of eyedrops helped. I felt physically tired all last week, though, so I’m hoping that will improve as well.



Filed under: Uncategorized — iain @ 21:47:04

As my man friday so insightfully points out, today is Wednesday, the day by which I promised to debrief my loyal readers should I have survived unscathed my date with destiny.

I have.

The operation itself was mostly painless. They stick a suction cup in your eye to hold it in place while the laser cuts open your cornea. The surgeon kept telling me to relax and look at the microscope while this was going on but my eye, quite involuntarily, wanted to blink and spasm when this happened. So he’s saying "relax, don’t blink" and I’m thinking "I’m not doing it deliberately" a few times over. No doubt they are used to the routine by now.

I could feel the laser cutting through but with the anaesthetic it wasn’t painful. More irritating, like being poked with a blunt stick. After that I felt nothing for the actual correction procedure. And saw very little. At first I thought that cutting open the cornea had perhaps blocked light from entering the eye at all as I literally couldn’t see anything but blackness. This was just the drops forcing my lids closed. When the nurse yanked them open for the second part of the procedure I could see well enough.

My vision was blurry afterwards but even walking (slowly) home the world around me just felt like it might be clearer if I hadn’t had a concoction of eyedrops floating around. As instructed I went straight to bed with my goggles on but I couldn’t sleep. An hour or so later I started to experience a fairly painful sensation in my eyes, as though I had been drinking all night and started rubbing my eyes with sandpaper. I’d been told to expect this and eventually it passed. My eyes were still very sensitive to light, though, and I wore my shades for the rest of the evening with all the lights off and Rebecca banished to the bedroom to study.

The biggest problem was boredom. I couldn’t watch TV. Of course I couldn’t read or go on the Wii. I tried going out for a walk but even with the shades on and keeping to the streets with the fewest lights it was still too bright so I decided to come home.

Finally I did sleep and I woke yesterday morning feeling very tired. My eyes felt very dry and it was a relief to apply some drops to them. Even then there were sensitive to light. I wore the shades most of the day, shedding them at last in the evening when this time I was able to venture outside.

It was a similar story today. A dry and unpleasant sensation in the morning which was relieved with the application of the drops. I walked to work with the shades safely tucked in my pocket and I was able to work although when six o’clock came round I was glad to be able to look away from the screen and head home. My pupils are still dilated but nowhere near as sensitive to light as over the past two days. The recovery is proceeding nicely, thank you very much.


Laser vision correction

Filed under: Uncategorized — iain @ 20:36:43

I’m booked in for LASIK surgery tomorrow to correct my vision. This prompted Andy, the office joker, to crack wise throughout the week, calling me a variety of playground names such as Speccy and Four Eyes. This was on the basis that he only had six days left to do so. Of course neither he nor anyone else had felt the need to make such comments up until now but the old saying goes that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.

Needless to say it’s all in good humour and in fact Andy wears glasses himself. For now. He too is planning on having the treatment in the near future.

Assuming everything goes well I will be able to report on the procedure next week. If you don’t hear from me by Wednesday you are free to assume that it went horribly wrong, that I am now quite blind and this will have been my final journal entry.


R.I.P. Dookie

Filed under: Uncategorized — iain @ 22:44:47

Dookie, one of my parents’ cats, passed away last night. The news was relayed to me by my distraught father this morning.

He was fine the last time I saw him, a few weeks ago, when he was his usual mischievous self. He’ll be remembered for trying to eat his sister Vlaovic’s food, scratching anyone who dared offend him and having the loudest purr of any cat who ever lived.

This photo of him has cropped up on various people’s blogs when they needed a picture of a crazy looking cat. He certainly was that.

Rest in peace my furry pal. We’ll miss you.


Tales of prejudice

Filed under: Uncategorized — iain @ 23:08:45

Rob, Carmelo and I decided we would spend the evening watching a DVD. We went down into the street, crossed over to the commercial centre, passing the chicken joint and the pizzeria who knew us from the first sound of our voices on the telephone – "the Westerners" – and to the video store.

We spent an inordinate amount of time browsing the extensive catalogue of films but we couldn’t decide what to rent. One of us had seen that one, one of us didn’t like that style of movie, one of us didn’t like that director.

I don’t recall who it was but there was an actor that Carmelo simply didn’t like. A Hollywood A-list actor. A big shot. And Carmelo didn’t like him. Simply refused to watch any movie with him in it. It might have been Arnold Schwarzenegger. Or Nicholas Cage. It was so long ago. I can see Carmelo point blank refuse to rent that particular title because of its star. Tom Cruise? I can hear his protests but I can’t recall the name.

It frustrated me. We’d been in that shop for what seemed like hours and we just couldn’t decide what DVD to get and here Carmelo was refusing a perfectly adequate choice for what I took to be a perfectly ridiculous reason. I thought it was quite irrational and I made sure he knew what I felt. But he didn’t budge and we didn’t get that flick. I don’t even remember what we did watch.

Now four years on I can almost see where he was coming from. Without a TV when they were originally shown, I’ve finally watching the latest series of Doctor Who. Overall I’ve really enjoyed them. A fitting continuation of a show I loved as a child. Then I had to go and read (it won’t be news to you of course) that Catherine Tate, whom I’d never heard of before watching the show, is to be the co-star in the next series.

And for that reason I can easily see myself not watching it.



Filed under: Uncategorized — iain @ 13:09:18

TV shows are finally available on the UK iTunes store. This means I can get to see Lost series 2 (yup I’m behind the times).

US customers have been able to download TV programmes on iTunes for ages and ages now but a US credit card was required to open an account. So I couldn’t download and watch the show even though I wanted to and was prepared to pay to do so.

There’s very little in life more frustrating than being prepared to do business with someone, prepared to pay them money, and have them not want you as a customer. Few companies are big enough to afford to turn customers away. But that’s what has been happening up until now. I didn’t have a TV, the DVDs weren’t on sale yet, I had the money in my pocket but Apple wouldn’t sell me the product.

Now they will. For &stlg;32.99 I can buy the whole of series 2. That’s way less than HMV quote to buy the DVD box set and a little more than Amazon have it for. That makes it a less compelling choice than series 3 which is the same price on iTunes and twice as much from the retail outlets, though the box set isn’t available yet.

In the end I decided to buy both series after all. The main benefits of DVDs – having a nice box you can show off and the comfort of having physical media – don’t apply so much to a TV show I almost certainly wouldn’t want to watch a second time. But by purchasing it online I can show my support for Apple and the TV companies doing what they should have done years ago. And I can watch it tonight instead of waiting for the DVD to arrive…


A tiring Saturday

Filed under: Uncategorized — iain @ 22:04:29

The sun hasn’t visited in quite a while. I refer not to the daily newspaper, which visits its subscribers every day, but the glowing ball of fire in the sky which Cambridge residents may recall seeing in March and April. It hasn’t been much in evidence over the last month or so but clear skies on Friday hinted at a fine weekend in prospect.

This is just as well, since I had to get up at 0600 for a train to London and not having to wear a jacket or cart an umbrella around are not inconsiderable advantages when operating in such inhospitable timezones.



eBay scam

Filed under: Uncategorized — iain @ 21:56:35

Today I was the target of my first eBay scam.



Filed under: Uncategorized — iain @ 09:16:21

Once upon a July morning, as I brushed my teeth, yawning,
Trying not to spill water over my carpetted bathroom floor,
While I brushed nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
" ‘Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door;
Only this, and nothing more."

Turns out the visitor was Chris from the opposite room, and she was wearing a very concerned expression. Quoth the housemate, "Maggots!"

It was true. Despite being regularly changed, our black bin bag had attracted some unwelcome visitors: maggots indeed. Chris had discovered them while cleaning up after breakfast and had tried unsuccessfully to dispose of them. We used to have a dustpan and brush in the house but it must have belonged to her predecessor because it recently vanished. Thus was I called upon to help out.

Wielding a pair of short, wooden, Thai-style chopsticks, I collected the maggots one by one and dropped them into the cereal box Chris had appropriated for the purpose. We then threw this out and mopped the floor.

Top priority this evening, then, is to purchase some kind of disinfectant – assuming one exists that is safe to use in the kitchen – and any new tools or chemicals we’ve run out of.


Superman Returns; the script

Filed under: Uncategorized — iain @ 10:22:01

Act 1
Lex Luthor: I’m going to make my own island!

Act 2
Superman picks up Luthor’s island and hurls it into space.


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