T + 317 Nothing to See Here

Posted by raetsel at Thursday, July 30, 2009

On Tuesday I went to the late evening clinic at the eye hospital having been referred by my optician because my pressures were a bit high.


I got my long suffering taxi driver Dad to take me in case I had my pupils dilated and couldn't drive back. We arrived early and it was pretty busy. My appointment was for 18:45 and I was seen about 19:30 I think. They were short staffed apparently.

The doc I saw did the usual eye exam checks with the big light and called a colleague to come in to take a look at my map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy caused by my dry eye syndrome as he thought the colleague would like to see it.

The doc then recommended I start using the night cream lacrilube again and told me to come back in six months. At which point I gently reminded him I'd been referred for abnormal pressures and could he check them. I guess he'd had a long day. Anyway the good news is that my pressures are fine and I will go back in six months for a general check. The checks they do in opticians with those air puff machines are not as accurate as they can do at the eye clinics with the yellow dye and the blue light thing ( which I now know is known as Goldman Tonometry. You can see a video of different way to measure the pressure here , ( not for the squeamish ) )

In other news I've not been in to the office this week as someone on the floor below where I work and the wife of the person I sit next to have both been treated for swine flu. It hasn't spread anywhere else in the office so far and both people mentioned are now fine so hopefully I shall be back in the office Tuesday.

Tonight I am off to see the British independent Sci-Fi Movie "Moon" with Gareth and Andy and tomorrow the wood is being delivered to build the vegetable beds for the garden.

I ordered the wood from the local saw mill last Saturday where there was that frequent and special use of the word "be" as in "2 be 2" and "6 be 2". Rather oddly the lengths are metric and the other dimensions imperial hence ordering several 3m lengths of "6 be 2" . Now just hoping we get some dry weather to be able to build the beds.

In gadget news, thanks to a heads up from Andy about this recent change in Orange's T&Cs I have been able to get out of my current Orange contract and having been impressed by Gareth's iPhone 3GS I've ordered a white iPhone 3GS 16GB on contract from O2 via Carphone Warehouse and it's due for delivery today with a following wind. ( "Carphone Warehouse" is an odd brand name these days. Car phones used to be just that, fitted in the car and not removable but that was many years ago ).

T+308 Intermission

Posted by raetsel at Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sorry for the bit of an intermission on my blog. Of course in one sense it means nothing exciting is going on medically which is a good thing but I really should try and manage at least one update a week. I will try harder.

My excuse, such as it is, is that last week I was working Wednesday to Friday doing a disaster recovery test at Hewlett Packard's (HP) recovery centre in Rugby. This is where we pretend some of our systems have exploded and we go down and try and recover them using just the backup tapes onto new equipment provided by HP.

These are relatively intense sessions albeit with some periods of inactivity whilst we wait for the data to be recovered from the tapes. This along with travelling to and from Rugby for three days meant I was really tired by the end of each day. More so than usual. You'll be pleased to know, however, we recovered the systems successfully even if the client never turned up to test them.

In other news I finally got my eye hospital referral sorted after several more phone calls to both the eye hospital and Vision Express and three faxes. A few days after that I had my appointment come through for 28th July at 6:45pm. I was a bit surprised the appointment was so late and I hope I don't get a doctor that has been in clinic since 8:00am. Still I'm glad I've got an appointment relatively quickly after finally getting my referral onto their system.

Yesterday I went to see the Harry Potter (HP) film "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" at he Electric Cinema in Birmingham with Gareth and Andy. We didn't have a posh sofa this time just the normal seats and in relative terms the cinema was pretty busy with about two dozen people in the 17:30 showing. Even so we had the row to ourselves and the rows immediately in front and behind were empty as well which suits me just fine.

I won't go into a review of the film at the moment other than to say I enjoyed it and was surprised to have an intermission about half-way through ( it is 153 minutes or just over two and a half hours long). We thought this was something the Electric were doing off their own bat but just after the Christmas Party scene up came an official HP (not that one, the other one ) title screen announcing an intermission so clearly this is designed in to the showing of the film as it were.

We had a five minute break and people could get drinks from the bar and go to the loo. All very civilised. Quite how this would work with a huge 300 seat screen at your local multiplex I'm not sure but for the couple of dozen people at the Electric it worked well.

The only other films I have seen with an official intermission in them are "Gone With the Wind" and "2001: A Space Odyssey" and no I wasn't old enough to see these at the cinema, these were on DVD.

T + 295 Irrational Pleasures

Posted by raetsel at Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Well I finally got the automated system at City Hospital to understand me when I encountered it again today. When it says "Did you mean Eye Centre or Eye Department at City?" you have to say "Eye Centre" again not say "Yes". Not really intuitive particularly given the way the inflection is on the sentence.


After that, when I got through, my referral from Vision Express is still not on the system despite supposedly having been posted two weeks ago and faxed 3 days ago. The woman at the eye centre said give until Friday and if not on the system by then get Vision Express to fax it again and she will walk it through the system.

Meanwhile a non-medical item.

Irrational Pleasures

There are some things in life that give you far more pleasure than they really ought. Disproportionate to the significance of the item or act. I refer to these as irrational pleasures.

As you will see below I have currently deprived myself of one my specific irrational pleasures and that got me thinking to what irrational pleasures there are that are common to people and what are specific to me.

So here are a few, first the common ones:-

  • Popping bubble wrap
  • Poking the spoon through the seal on a jar of coffee
  • Getting into a freshly changed bed for the first time
  • The other side of the pillow

Here are some that are prolly specific to me:-

  • Popping freshly cooked broad beans out of their jackets
  • Sealing a zip lock bag
  • Shredding paperwork
  • Using my "S" bookmark

The last one I should probably explain. A couple of years ago a couple of friends, as a little "stocking filler" for my birthday ( to mix my metaphors ), bought me a pressed metal book mark in the shape of an "S". I've never used a bookmark before as I never found one I liked and I tended to remember the page I was on anyway ( I have that sort of memory for numbers ). However for some reason using this S bookmark and clipping it on the the page and at the paragraph I was on was really enjoyable. I love that little bookmark.

Now I am reading books on my Sony Reader I have deprived myself of that pleasure. Though I will still be reading normal printed books in the future.

On the subject of the Sony Reader it is really good and so like a printed book that last night in bed I found myself reaching to turn the page on the top right edge rather than pressing the next page button.




T + 293 "I'm sorry I didn't catch that"

Posted by raetsel at Monday, July 06, 2009

Well another week has flown by, such a trite saying I know but I feel the need to say it somehow.


Quick recap on the week's events:

The 20/20 Cricket on Sunday 28th June with Dad was a great day out. The weather held and there was an exciting last ball win for Warwickshire.

The week at work has been its usual intense mix of tasks. I made it in the to office on Tuesday and Thursday, as is becoming my routine now. Whether I shall have to retreat to my bunker next month when Swine Flu takes a real hold or not remains to be seen.

I chased the eye hospital about my referral from the opticians from the 25th June and it was there I encountered City Hospital's wonderful voice recognition system. "Please state the name of the department or person you wish to contact". I said "Eye Centre" not expecting that to work at all, but low and behold back came the response "Did you say Eye Centre?" but then despite three attempts it could not understand me saying the much simpler "Yes". As it is part of Sandwell trust maybe I should have said "Bostin'" instead.

I eventually got through to a human who confirmed no referral had been received so I gave them a week and then checked again today and have now had to ask Vision Express to fax a copy through with my hospital number on. All this is just get the appointment process started. I shall try not to go blind in the meantime.

Last Wednesday was a nice little excursion for me again. Dinner at the Green Room and then the cinema, this time the Electric Cinema. I had a sofa seat to share with Gareth and though we took our drinks in we didn't take advantage of the waiter service you can get by texting the bar during a performance. It is a great little cinema and worthy of your support.

On that topic I nearly achieved an ambition of being the only people in a cinema. Right up until the very start of the film, the BBFC certificate was on screen in fact, Gareth and I were the only people in the screening but then another couple came in and my ambition was thwarted again.

The film we saw was "Sunshine Cleaning" made by the same team as "Little Miss Sunshine" but no relation apart from the word Sunshine. It was a poignant, touching and funny film. Very enjoyable and only 90 minutes long which is ideal for a mid-week 20:30 showing. Though the subject matter is completely different, a good comparison for the sort of film it is, in terms of sensibility and general feel at least, is "Juno"