Tuesday, July 26

So I Got Lost On Youtube This Morning

I've got better, more important things to do today. But this particular losing of my mind made me ponder an almost imponderable notion.

The following video "explains" how MC Escher did some of his famous drawings. I'll be back after the video:

...me again. Yeah, that answers a hell of a lot. Could probably figure out how to do that in Photoshop and maybe win a few votes in an upcoming Fark contest. Whatever.

But back to that pondering of MC Escher - HE DID THOSE DRAWINGS WITHOUT A COMPUTER.

Monday, July 25

For You Wasteful Old Farts Out There

From Facebook:

At the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day."
The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment."

The clerk was right about one thing -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned GLASS milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up a kilowatt or two -- wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a screen the size of the state of Montana.

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us.

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service.

We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn't it sad that the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart young person.

Saturday, July 23

Why Did I Save That?

I was just poking around my hard drive, looking for cool pictures to use in Photoshop contests, and found one interesting text file that for whatever reason I'd decided to keep. On the desktop, no less.

[Yeah, some of you know what my Windows desktop looks like. As always, there's still room.]

Anyway, I think I saved the little tidbit below because it has everything to do with living in Utah. Or, rather, it just has to do with dealing with the other 60% of the population IN Utah.

In any case, the filename I saved it under was "Appearances."

Quite apropos:

"Mormonism is heavy on the appearance of conflict resolution, when in fact, it exacerbates both internal and outward conflict by emphasizing general "peace" at the expense of individual personality."

Friday, July 22

Thursday, July 21

Asshole Is One Word

This morning had Marilee and I off to yet another eye appointment for me - a followup to my laser surgery for my left eye last Friday, and the surgery for my right eye today.

Everything went well, particularly since I didn't pass out this time.

When we'd gotten to the parking lot, there was one spot right near the door; at that moment, it hit me that...

"Hey! Maybe we can get a handicapped license plate!"

"I don't think you qualify for that... yet."

"I meant for you."


"...for putting up with me."

Talk about suddenly being put at ease with the impending doom of another surgery.

Later this afternoon, she turns to me and asks "What are we gonna do tomorrow?"

I'm slowly getting used to these questions, though only four days into my sabbatical, I'm starting to run out of ideas.

"...and are you going to be "normal Bob" or..."

She trailed off at that point, leaving it up to me to fill in the blanks.

"How many words?"


"But asshole is one word."

Tuesday, July 19

Statistically Speaking

To this day, I still don't know what an "Earned Run Average" is. And I don't care. In my youth, my Dad read the box scores with aplomb; baseball was full of calculations. I think ERA pertained to pitchers, though I'm not quite sure. There was some sort of calculation involved, and that algorithm was set in stone YEARS before Visicalc and even Excel, though they're probably calculated in real-time now.


I just came from a world where people likely spent all day having algorasms trying to come up with a calculation that would pare down a statistic until they knew at a glance whether someone had taken a sh!t that day and whether it was affecting their performance. Really.

Yeah, I know at least ONE person who got a chuckle out of that one.

That kind of calculated performance tweaking only works for well-oiled machines.


Monday, July 18


Marilee just asked me if I was bored.

"Not yet, but I'm working on it" was my reply.

It was about 7:45 when I'd just gone upstairs. She was still nodding off; I was playing with Bambi and Lexie when she asked.

You see, at 7:45am - every morning for the last two years or so - I'd have been leaving the house for my first call of the day. Wherever that was, as it depended primarily on where the great computer in the clouds decided I was to go. Except now, there's no computer in the clouds any more. Oh, I'm sure it's still there, but I have no way of seeing what's going on.

And that's making me a little stir-crazy. Part of me doesn't want to know what's going on. With one less person it's bound to get a bit crazy. Another body will be forthcoming, I'm sure, but when and for how long is still up to the powers-that-be.

Me? Oh, I'll stay busy if Marilee has anything to say about it. But I think I'll pace myself.

Right now, anyway, I've got all the time in the world.

Saturday, July 16

Glaucoma Update: Day One After Surgery

Well, that was an interesting experience yesterday.

At the time, I wasn't nearly as anxious as I thought I would be. Maybe that was because a new chapter of my life was beginning. As I was having trouble seeing at night and my job on occasion requires me to drive after dark, I'm now on medical disability. And since Glaucoma is an irreversible disease, there's little chance I'll ever have another job doing what I did.


The procedure that was done is called Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty (ALT). An Argon laser creates tiny holes in the trabecular mesh that's supposed to let the aqueous humor drain out of the eye; if that mesh-work gets blocked, the eye's intra-ocular pressure builds, and Glaucoma results.

Only my left eye was worked on yesterday. I'll be having a followup exam this coming Thursday; if everything's cool, I'll have my right eye worked on the same day.

In the meantime, I'm still doing drops to lower the outflow for both eyes as well as some steroidal drops for my left eye.

Overall, I'm quite positive about the procedures. The outcome, of course, is that my Glaucoma won't get any worse. But the damage is already done.

Folks, if your eye doctor EVER says anything about Glaucoma, take him seriously. Don't mess with your vision.

I don't want to see you in my position.

Sunday, July 3

Taking Things For Granted

OK, folks, this isn't BS. It's not even "bob's bs".

THIS is a protip of epic proportions.

I've battled depression, and still do. I've battled the knowledge that I have Klinefelter Syndrome, and still do. I've battled a lot of other things that don't come to mind just now.

But one thing I'm battling within the last twenty-four hours is that I'm losing my eyesight. Vision. Seeing things. Looking.

It's that one primary thing I think most folks take for granted. You're reading this? I bet you're taking your eyesight for granted right this second.

I was diagnosed Friday with Wide-Angle Glaucoma.

From what I got from informational pamphlets at the ophthalmologists' office, there's surgery. Considering those were likely written years ago, it figures.

Now there's drops. And surgery.

It's still so early in the sequence of events that I'm not sure what the "next" step is. I'm using Lumigan drops through Tuesday evening then another appointment early Wednesday AM. Taking Marilee with me since I probably lost some info in the process. Forgot much of what was said after he said "blindness".

Dammit. I used to kid around about "Not seeing myself going to work."

Didn't think that might end up as "Not seeing."

Saturday, July 2

Amazing Color-Changing Card Trick

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