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Collected editorials

What I did on my day off

Global warming is a hoax

According to some folks at Fox News, global warming is a hoax – junk science – created by progressives and socialists who want to impose a socialist world government upon us, though they will settle for just destroying America. According to them the global warming scare mongers tell us the world is getting warmer, the sea level is rising, the weather is getting more extreme, and the world is going to hell in a handbasket if we don’t take immediate action. According to extremely reliable sources, none of this is happening, and if the world is getting a wee bit warmer, it is all to the good.

In completely unrelated news, there were over 650 tornados in April, a record smashing number of tornados for the month. Over 300 people have died in the storms.

Cowboy wisdom

If you ain’t shoveled shit, you don’t know shit.

A long hard winter and a long hard spring

The trouble with this global thing is that it doesn’t mean that everybody’s temperature is warmer every where. What is more it doesn’t mean that we still don’t have all of the the usual variations in climate. The thing is, we’re talking about small changes in the average temperature. Now the thing you have to understand about averages is that half the time the temperature is above average, and half the time it is below. Which brings us to the winter just past.

It was a long hard winter. It wasn’t that it was exceptionally cold. It wasn’t. There was a bit of twenty below weather, but not much. However there were no warm patches. It got cold and it just stayed cold. There was no January thaw. There was no February thaw. It snowed. It blizzarded. The snow drifts piled up. I dug out paths between the drifts so that the pets could go out and do their thing.

That was winter. It started in November and lasted through March.

In April we tried to have spring. There were problems. April started out with the idea that we were still in winter. Somewhere in early April we got a warm spell, a few days with temperatures in the sixties. Wonderful. A big melt happened. The huge piles of snow turned into lots of water. Then Mother Nature said, “Fooled you.”

The cold weather returned. We got a foot of wet sloppy snow and the drifts returned. Eventually in late April Mother Nature relented and the remains of the snow finally went away.

Let me tell you, it really sucks when you have six months in a row of below average temperatures.

What is the old saying, something about “May showers bring June flowers.”

Eye say there

A long time ago, maybe seven or eight years ago (I’m in my second or third childhood so eight years is a very long time), my eye doctor said, you’ve got some small cataracts started. Oh, I said. (I’m good on snappy repartee.) Does this mean I’m going blind or I’m going to have some horrid operation? No, he said, they’re small. Some day they will get big enough so that they will have to be removed.

As I say, that was a long time ago. Last year my ever friendly eye doctor told me that the cataracts were coming along nicely. I had begun noticing that my distance vision wasn’t quite as sharp as it should be. Said ever friendly eye doctor suggested that I wear wraparound sun glasses that counteract the yellowing effect of the cataracts by making the rest of the world look yellower. I’m not sure that one actually sees any better with them, but they fool you into thinking your vision is better, and that suffices unless you actually want to read road signs. (For anyone who might be one of my passengers, rest assured that I am exaggerating.)

That was last year. Move forward to this year plus a few months. I was returning from the capital of South Dakota where I was engaged in a major commercial transaction. (I was picking something up at Walmart.) I popped on my magic wraparounds. I noticed that the right side seem to be fogged up a bit so I took them off and tried to clean them. Alas they were already clean. What is more my glasses were also clean. (This was really disturbing – they are hardly ever clean.) Being a curious sort, I thought I would check this oddity out. After a bit of experimenting I discovered that the vision in my left eye was still good albeit not really sharp but that the vision in my right eye was fairly foggy. Oops, time to see my friendly eye doctor again.

This time he informed me that my cataracts were doing very well indeed. Cataract removal time had arrived.

I had not previously been aware of what this implied. I had a vague impression that they did some sort of rotorooter operation on the lens to clean off the encrusted cataract. No such thing. It seems that the lens sits in a little pocket. The eye surgeon makes an itty-bitty hole in the pocket and slips out the lens that nature gave you. Then they slip in an acrylic lens through the same itty-bitty hole. (Itty-bitty is a technical term.) The operation takes about 10-15 minutes and you are good to go. It does take a day before your vision settles down and you can drive again. The success rate is upwards of 99% or so they tell me.

The other day I had a visit with the eye surgery people. The performer of surgical deeds explained all sorts of things to me. Most of these you can look up online. The besides of which I don’t remember them anyway. What I do remember is that he told me that I was an exceptional person, one in a hundred. What a nice man he was. The deal is that your new lens is a fixed lens. You get your choice – do you want your best vision to be distance vision, intermediate vision, or close vision. Most people opt for distance vision – you don’t need glasses for driving, but you do need reading glasses.

That’s most people. Me, I’m different. I’m quite near sighted. What is more, I am asymmetrically near sighted, which means that one eye is more near sighted than the other. Most people with my degree of blessed seniority have trouble reading with their glasses off. Me, it’s the other way around. My close vision is quite good. I take my glasses off for close work.

According to He Who Removes Bad Lenses, people like me get upset if they opt for clear distance vision at the price of needing glasses for reading. They have spent a lifetime relying on their near vision and get upset when it is taken away from them. The upshot is that I will still be wearing glasses. I need them anyway because I have a lazy eye. (Some people say that it isn’t just my eyes that are lazy – it’s the whole package.) If all goes well, though, my vision should be quite good.

So that’s the story. They will do my right eye June 15th and the left eye July 7th. We shall see if all goes well.

Other news

May is tear up the house month. This involves taking out walls, putting in new walls, putting in a new bathroom, little things like that. Web site updating may be impacted.

This page was last updated May 9, 2011.

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Collected editorials