Tuesday, June 5, 2007

What is wrong with this country

So, I have keratoconus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keratoconus). It means that I am unable to get 20/20 vision from glasses. I need gas permable contacts in order to have something hold my eyes to a shape which allows me to see. This means two things. The first is that over time, my eyes change shape. The second is that because the contacts hold my eyes to a specific shape, any time you change the contact, the shape of my eye will change. Both shape changes are unpredictable.

Therefore, contact fittings are moving targets. Like trying to fit a tight fitting dress to a woman who is losing weight at an unpredictable rate for an unspecified time in the future. In fact, it's a lot like that.

Every year I visit an eye doctor who makes a topological map of my eyes. It would seem the simplest thing to use a software product to model contacts on the map of my eye and figure out the best fit for the new shape, also you could use the same setup to predict shape changes depending on the contact shape. However, this software does not exist.

Instead my contact doctor (yes, that's right, it's a different doctor) guesses. I grant you it is an educated guess, but it is still a guess. We'll change the slope to this degree, the edges to that degree. The diameter with be this and the color will be that. Then it comes in and we look at how it works with my eye. Then I come back and he looks at it again in a few weeks, after my eye has changed shape. I'm on the third revision of this, this year. It gets harder, the worse my eyes get.

The reason the software doesn't exist is

1. Doctors don't talk to software developers
2. Because keratoconus is fairly rare, it isn't profitable to develop this software, which would be costly for SO many reasons.

What really kills me is the modeling software, at some level, must exist. Contact vendors have standard shapes and sizes that they cut off a cylinder of plastic, so they must, at the very least, feed the machine various contact shapes.

This sucks.

Thursday, May 3, 2007


I stand at the bottom of the hill and look up. The day is beautiful, sunny and 80 degrees. I watch as quietly, gradually, almost unnoticed as the sunny day turns into night.

I watch as dark clouds slowly cover the sky, the distinct smell of rain permeates the dusty air. Fog begins to boil over Twin Peaks and a sharp cold wind begins to whip the palm trees.

What was once a warm, sunny day becomes doomsday almost without notice, it happens so fast.

Bad Day

I feel like utter poo

Monday, April 30, 2007


Every morning, as I get off the bus to climb on the underground to go to work, a scent assails my senses that brings me a little bit of my father.

Most people close to my father would tell you he was a coffee aficionado. It was spoken of, almost exhaustingly at his funeral. This coffee house to go to if you wish to talk, this one if you really just want good coffee, this one if you are taking really good friends, this one if you wish to impress people.

What no one realized was as much as my father loved coffee, and he did, I learned coffee from him, he loved chocolate chip cookies more. The afternoon 3pm espresso (exspresso, as he pronounced it) was merely an enhancement of the the two chocolate chip cookies he would eat.

It was the first thing I leared to cook (the second was pizza for similar reasons) was chocolate chip cookies. That was why he drank the coffee.

So, when I step off the bus and smell that unique combination of butter, vanilla, and baking chocolate coming from the local cookie shop, it is my father wispering in my ear, his ghost before my eyes. And it is something I enjoy every day. A brief visit from my father.

Body Guard

The skills of a muscle man. Gotta know when to look tough, when to bow out gracefully. How to be invisible when necessary and how to be quietly but utterly visible - when to pour a man a drink and when to smack him upside the head. He has to be able to read people better than his employer - charm them better and yet be paid minimally for these skills. Remain unbribable, unseducable, untouchable, unreachable and all for less than the man who he is protecting and that man can be bribed.

The reward is not having to think - not making the decision. The danger is when the boss fumbles, gives the wrong signal and the muscle man does what he is told, not what he is expected.

"If you didn't want him dead, why did you leave him with me?" --Mouse in "Devil in a Blue Dress"

When We Fight

I am afraid to contradict you.
I am afraid to disagree

If I do, then an argument will ensue and you will be mad at me

It is always MY way or YOUR way. You are never willing to compromise

You state a concern - don't want to pack car, drive, drive in dark, arrive late.

I suggest compromises, you get angry

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Just had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. I want to write this down before I forget about it. The Expert from Paris, Black, and the Flying Man all met us there. The Expert from Paris and The Flying Man had planned to bring wine, but after checking the wine list, changed their mind.

Since there were five of us, it was easier to tell the waiter what we didn't want rather than all the stuff we did. We started with an apertif of OJ, vermouth, and bitters. It was tasty. Then a small beef tartare with truffles. We then started in on a bottle of Prosseco. We had five appetizers, which we would take a bit of and then shift one person to the right and then do it again.

The Flying Man had chatted with the wait staff and chose the wine by saying "We've ordered most of the menu, so we're all over the map. I know I want to start with this white and end with this red. That's the theme and the price range, if you could pick two or three in the middle, that would be great.

The white wasn't my favorite, but it was well made. We then went into Pinot Nero, then two yummy bottles I don't remember, then a Valpollicello. Then the waiter brought another red to try with us, then Grappa.

Highlights on the food were polenta with squab and amazing carpaccio appetizer, risotto, foie gras and black truffles with the accompanying glass of sauterne (I'd never seen the Flying Man so amazed at a dish). Main dishes included kobe beef, lamb, veal, and salmon. Everything was incredible.

The waiter brought out another red from the same vintner as the Valpollicello we had, just to try with us and when Hubby spilled his grappa, the put the bottle on the table and insisted we finish it. We started at around 9pm, left after 1:30 in the morning.

All in all a wonderful 2nd/10th anniversary dinner with some amazing friends.