I Can See Clearly, Again

The story I’m about to relate is, for better or for worse, absolutely true. I have no explanation for it. A few theories, maybe, but no facts to back them up.

Our tale starts last Friday, March 26, 2010. I was sitting in my office around 10:00 ayem or so talking football with a couple of co-workers, when I casually noticed that my eyeglass lenses seemed to be smudged. In the midst of discussing the benefits/downside of Jake Delhomme joining my beloved Browns, I reached for a napkin from the stack on my desk and began to absently polish…

Nothing.

I threw a confused glance at my friends, interrupting the conversation. As they looked at me, I revealed the cause of my confusion by pulling the napkin completely through the left side of my frames: my lens was gone.

We figured it must have popped out while I was inattentively polishing it. The three of us hands-and-kneed it around, beside and behind my desk. I moved a software box lying on the floor and found the withered remains of a dead mouse (so that’s where that smell was coming from a few months back!), but no lens. We searched file folders it may have bounced into, moved nearby copiers and throw rugs, but no success.

We examined my frames: no breaks, no bends, everything screwed down tight. How the hell could a lens pop out, anyway?

I retraced my steps since I’d arrived that morning, but no luck, and no lens.

(Sharp-eyed [har!] readers may wonder how I could not notice I was missing an eyeglass lens earlier, but my long-time reader will remember that I’m afflicted with macular degeneration in my left eye, and can barely see straight out of it on a good day.)

We searched far and wide, up and down, hither and yon, everyplace we possibly could. No lens.

I had a desperate thought. The previous evening I had taken two hours of MMA training. On the nights I do this, I stick my socks into my shoes in the locker room, then slide my glasses in so I know where they’re at. Was it possible that someone had stepped on my shoe, somehow dislodging the lens?

I called Tiger Schulmann, where I trained, but Megan told me that nobody had handed in an orphan eyeglass lens.

When I got home, I examined every square inch of my humble abode. It’s not a huge place, just a tiny two-bedroom condo that takes me all of 20 minutes to vacuum. But that’s because I don’t vacuum the kitchen floor; I mop it two or three times a month. Or once every two or three months. I forget.

Anyway, the lens seemed to be nowhere to be found. I searched my car. Nothing. Checked the shoes I’d worn to training the night before. Nope. Looked in the parking lot. No lens. Looked everywhere I could think of. Nada.

I began to resign myself to the inevitable: the lens would not allow itself to be found, and I would have to fork over a few hundred dollars to Lenscrafters for a pair of replacement lenses. Because those guys won’t replace just one lens; they travel in pairs.

Yesterday, Tuesday, March 30, began like any other. OK, maybe not like any other. It was pouring down rain and pretty miserable all the way around. After I did my ADRs in the morning, I dressed, choosing to wear a pair of shoes that hadn’t graced my tootsies for 10 days or so (yeah, I have a dozen pairs. So what? I’m in touch with my feminine side).

I get to work, do this, do that, blah blah blah. About 2 pee em I got up and walked back to the kitchen area of our office. About halfway there, I felt like there was something in my shoe, like a small stone or a dead mouse.

By the time I got back to my desk, it was very uncomfortable, so I took off my shoe, only to find…

Yes, my missing lens.

Don’t ask, I don’t know. Obviously it became dislodged at karate. Maybe someone stepped on my shoe, I don’t know. Whatever. It was in a shoe that I hadn’t worn in a couple of weeks, and I had the shoe on my foot for eight hours or so before I noticed.

Strange, yes. But true.

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Forward This Blog To Everyone You Know

Just a few minutes ago I received an email from a friend:

90# on your telephone

I dialed ‘0’ to check this out, and the operator confirmed that this was correct, so please pass it on.. (l also checked out snopes.com. This is true, and also applies to cell phones!)

PASS ON TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW

I received a telephone call last evening from an individual identifying himself as an AT&T Service Technician (could also be Telus) who was conducting a test on the telephone lines. He stated that to complete the test I should touch nine (9), zero (0), the pound sign (#), and then hang up.  Luckily, I was suspicious and refused.

Upon contacting the telephone company, I was informed that by pushing 90#, you give the requesting individual full access to your telephone line, which enables them to place long distance calls billed to your home phone number.

I was further informed that this scam has been originating from many local jails/prisons. DO NOT press 90# for ANYONE…

The GTE Security Department requested that I share this information with EVERYONE I KNOW.

After checking with Verizon they also said it was true, so do not dial 90# for anyone !!!!! PLEASE HIT THAT FORWARD BUTTON AND PASS THIS ON TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!!!

Anyone who’s been around the internet, or even been receiving email, for any amount of time will immediately recognize this for what it is: an email hoax.

Even without the parting admonition “PLEASE HIT THAT FORWARD BUTTON AND PASS THIS ON TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!!!
“, there’s plenty of internal evidence that “Delete”, and not “Forward”, is the button you need to push.

For starters, the message is not signed. Who wrote it? Who got the call from AT&T (or Telus, the Canadian telecommunications provider; apparently the author isn’t sure where they live)? How would someone in many local jails/prisons get their phone number? Are prisoners now allowed to willy-nilly wander around and make random unsupervised phone calls? Okay, maybe they can, but still… And GTE’s Security Department wants one person to share this information? If it’s that big a deal, why doesn’t GTE get the word out? Oh, yeah…they haven’t been around since 2000.

I hate getting these things in my inbox, for the simple reason that people I know forward them to me, and it despairs me to think I have friends gullible enough to believe those sorts of letters. My sister used to forward three or four a week to me.  By way of reply, I’d forward her to the appropriate Snopes page debunking the info in her forwarded messages, and add as a signature, “If you get an email asking you to pass it on to everyone you know, it’s probably bullshit.” Eventually she wised up and started asking me before forwarding anything on, and finally stopped cluttering people’s inboxes with that kind of junk altogether.

It’s one thing to make a family member feel a little foolish, but I have no particular desire to be derisive to certain friends, even if they should know better. This doesn’t, however, include my damn fool co-worker who forwards me variations of “Obama is not a citizen!” emails every other week. I did Snopes back a reply to the current forwarder of the 90# letter, but I think for general purposes I’ll just post the following, as it appears at About.com:

Here’s How To Spot An Email Hoax:

  1. Note whether the text you’ve received was actually written by the person who sent it. Did anyone sign their name to it? If not, be skeptical.
  2. Look for the telltale phrase, ‘Forward this to everyone you know!’ The more urgent the plea, the more suspect the message.
  3. Look for statements like ‘This is NOT a hoax’ or ‘This is NOT an urban legend.’ They typically mean the opposite of what they say.
  4. Watch for overly emphatic language, as well as frequent use of UPPERCASE LETTERS and multiple exclamation points!!!!!!!
  5. If the text seems aimed more at persuading than informing the reader, be suspicious. Like propagandists, hoaxers are more interested in pushing people’s emotional buttons than communicating accurate information.
  6. If the message purports to impart extremely important information that you’ve never heard of before or read elsewhere in legitimate venues, be very suspicious.
  7. Read carefully and think critically about what the message says, looking for logical inconsistencies, violations of common sense and blatantly false claims.
  8. Look for subtle or not-so-subtle jokes — indications that the author is pulling your leg.
  9. Check for references to outside sources of information. Hoaxes don’t typically cite verifiable evidence, nor link to Websites with corroborating information.
  10. . Check to see if the message has been debunked by Websites that debunk urban legends and Internet hoaxes (see below).
  11. . Research any factual claims in the text to see if there is published evidence to support them. If you find none, odds are you’ve been the recipient of an email hoax.

Tips:

  1. Virtually any email chain letter you receive (i.e., any message forwarded multiple times before it got to you) is more likely to be false than true. You should automatically be skeptical of chain letters.
  2. Hoaxers usually try every means available to make their lies believable — e.g., mimicking a journalistic style, attributing the text to a ‘legitimate’ source, or implying that powerful corporate or government interests have tried to keep the information from you.
  3. Be especially wary of health-related rumors. Most importantly, never act on ‘medical information’ forwarded from unknown sources without first verifying its accuracy with a doctor or other reliable source.

Now, forward this blog to as many people as you can, so we can start keeping our inboxes clear of this crap!!!

I Can See Clearly, Not

 

Today I had an appointment with iDoc. I go see him on a regular basis because of my macular degeneration. For the first couple of years after I was diagnosed, he would inject me with Avastin in an attempt to salvage my eye.  The injection does not go into my arm, or my hip, or my buttoral maiximus, but directly into my eyeball.

It doesn’t hurt (much), truth be told, but it’s still stressful.  For me, at least. iDoc performs this procedure so often that he has two “injection days” a week. And I’ve had it done 11 times over the past few years. But no matter how often it’s been done, and no matter how much I tell myself that it doesn’t hurt, there’s still something about seeing that needle approach out of the corner of your eye, and watching the fluid squirt out of the tip and dissipate throughout…can we please talk about something else now?

Actually, November was the last time he felt the need to inject, and before that it was July of 2008. so I can’t complain too much. Stlll, these monthly “possible injections” don’t give me much to look forward to, other than the relief and thankfulness of iDoc saying,”It looks OK, I don’t think we’ll need to do an injection this month.”

However, in order to be properly examined, my pupils need to be dilated to the Maximillian, and after having extremely bright lights probing all the way to the back of my eyeballs, I generally leave his office with a splitting headache and a strong sense of “Where the hell am I?”

Driving back to the office on a day like today is the worst: not a cloud in the afternoon sky and snow as far as the eye can see. Or could see, if everything wasn’t so bright.

I’ve often thought I should just go back and sit in the waiting room for a half-hour or so until I can see without squinting again, but I’m afraid if I do that, he’ll have a change of heart and pull me back into his little chamber with a clamps and needles. No, thanks. I’ll make my break while I can.

But if I were you, I’d stay off the roads for a good half-hour after I leave his office.