Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Abbott's Paradox

Does anyone else find it odd that Tony Abbott's statement that we should only take his scripted statements to be 100% correct was not scripted, and so shouldn't be taken as 100% accurate?

Monday, May 24, 2010

On Contacts

Most people who know me have only seen me while wearing glasses. In fact, there is a decent bunch of people who have only seen me in one specific pair of glasses. In fact the only time I've seen myself without glasses since I was in high school was either as a blur or from about 15cm away from the mirror, neither of which give the greatest perspective. So going to contact lenses was kind of a big step.

I had tried contact lenses once in university when the optometrist on campus was offering one day trials (I guess this must have been when daily lenses were a new thing) and they were all right then, but I didn't have to put them in or take them out myself, and being a broke uni student with a relatively new pair of glasses at the time, I didn't follow it up further.

So why did I decide to try sticking pieces of soft plastic directly on my eyeballs instead of just continuing to wear glasses? The answer is pretty easy, my bike. Glasses and a helmet don't work well. Neither do glasses and peripheral vision.

Getting the lenses didn't turn out to be too tricky. I made an appointment with an optometrist, and after an eye test it turned out my eyes were just bad enough that medicare would cover some trial lenses to see what worked best for me. So then I waited for a week for a pair in my prescription to arrive, and the next Friday I was back to learn how to put them on and take them out.

Now putting a piece of plastic on your eyeball, much like putting anything one your eyeball is not something you generally want to do, and the body has a whole bunch of automatic systems that try and stop you doing this. And these even interfere with trying to take the damn thing off as well. So it started out with the optometrist putting the contacts in. Then I had to take them out. This involves holding your top eyelid open with one hand while first sliding the lens down the eye so as to form a fold, and then grabbing the fold and pulling the lens out. sounds easy when you say it, but you try poking yourself in the eye and see how easy it is.

Next I had to put them in myself. This proved even trickier than taking them out. You need to hold both eyelids close, and then stick the lens straight onto your eye. And if you don't hold your eyelids tight enough and blink halfway through, well then you just have to start again. I think it took about twice as long to get them in as to take them out. But get them in I did, and with a few other pieces of advice I was sent on my way.

I hung around the city for a little while to give my eyes some time to adjust to the presence of these intruders on my eyeball before riding out to Chermside for games night.

This first pair was meant to be a fortnight pair, but I stopped wearing them after about a week. After getting them on the Friday, I think on Wednesday night while they were meant to be soaking in contact lens fluid the right lens got stuck on the lid of teh container and so stayed out of the fluid. In the morning it had a bend in it and I couldn't get it in, and so wore my glasses and let it spend the day soaking in fluid. The next day I was able to get it in, but on the Saturday I was reading when the right lens fell out. I didn't notice immediately, but after a while noticed that the focus of my two eyes was different, and assumed that the right lens was a bit out of place. Close my eye and rubbing the eyelid did not do much to restore vision in the right eye, and so I decided to just take them out for the night. Only when trying to take off the lens and getting a more than normally unpleasant sensation did I realise the lens was actually not there. I did manage to find where it fell out, but decided that that was that for that pair of lenses.

At the follow up appointment on the next Tuesday I got two pairs of daily lenses and a monthly pair. Unfortunately I only got to wear one pair of the dailies as I managed to drop one while trying to put it in, and it ws then that I truly began to appreciate how helpful it was that the first pair I'd got were actually blue (it didn't seem to affect my perception of colour, but it did make seeing the things a lot easier). As a lens in just the left eye isn't much use, after get one day out of the daily, I started using the monthly pair, which I'm still using now.

In general the contacts are best while I'm out and about, either walking around or riding the bike, although riding the bike tends to dry them out a bit. Sitting in front of the computer gets a bit uncomfortable after a while, and when I play on my Wii I tend to lose focus a bit, forcing me to close my eyes for a little bit, which during most games can be a disadvantage. If I'm at home I stick with the glasses, as my routine has become such that I put the lenses in after taking a shower (I should ask if it's ok to wear them in the shower. I was told to use a daily pair if I was going to go swimming or such so I'm not sure), so when they go in depends a bit on my schedule.

I'm going to have to make a decision soon on if I want to keep going with them, as medicare will only pay for so much trying out different things. I think I'll continue using them, even if they are a bit uncomfortable at times (I presume that that will change with time). The improvement in vision is pretty good. It does avoid the hassles of the glasses not fitting in the helmet well, although it does introduce the whole eyeball poking as an alternative hassle.

I was also surprised by the general lack of comment brought about by switching to contacts. It was about two weeks before anyone commented on the fact, and in the month I've been wearing them there have been only 4 comments, and one was asking why I had gone back to the glasses on that day. I guess like a few other circumstances I've tried applying it to, Daria episodes are not a suitable guide for life. I guess perhaps its not so big a change from other people's perspectives. I have had two people not recognize me straight away, but one is understandable since I hadn't seen her in about 4 years and have a beard now as well (although given my irregular shaving habits back then that's not such a big change) although the other person had no such excuse.

Here endeth the stream of consciousness

Thoughts on an empty blog

So it seems my life has become boring. This is the only conclusion I can come to after considering the fact that I have only written one blog post in the last almost two months, and that 2010 was already shaping up to be a record slow year as far as the blog went.

There have been a few things I've meant to write up but haven't for various reasons. Something on wearing contacts should have been written a few weeks ago to be timely, but I just haven't done it yet. There was something I wanted to write about involving an incident with some people I know, but since I was felt there was a pretty decent chance of at least one involved person reading it, I didn't put it up. Given that this blog started out as an emotional outlet for me to try and work stuff out by writing it up and putting it out on the interwebs shows that that has changed.

My current job is less exciting than my old ones. No exotic (or at least foreign) locales. No adventures on the weekends. The biggest thrill that's happened was a systems crash today that meant I got to sit around bludging for two and a half hours or so while getting paid.

I considered writing something for my birthday, now a month gone, but felt that it would probably end up to whiny and emo, much as this one seems to be trending.

Perhaps this situation has developed because my current situation is what one could describe as safe. I've got a place where I get room and board pretty cheap, I've not worried about money since I've got back to Australia, although being on the dole was frustrating, my current job is modestly lucrative but not challenging, and in general I've got a pretty regular schedule going with a mix of new friends and old.

There are a few things that by previous standards of notability would have gone up on my blog. These include buying a motorbike and getting my motorbike license, being a bridesmaid at a friends wedding, comments on various news pieces the most recent of which being the situation regarding the alleged sinking of a South Korean navy ship by North Korea, getting a new job, tests for my finance course, learning to play go and a whole bunch more.

I do see this lack of writing to be problematic. I've had times where I've aimed to put something up every day. Now my goal of something every three days has a massive backlog. I guess I need to make more of an effort.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A message for Greece and Germany

So I'm sure most people are aware of the slightly sticky situation Greece has got itself into lately. And I'm sure that the people who already want to know more about the causes already do so. I just want to give a brief statement on how I think certain parties involved in the situation should be acting.

Firstly, Greece. Man the fuck up. You've dug yourself into a whole, and now it's time to start fixing shit up. Cut back on the budget. Fix the god damned civil service. Don't give people 14 months pay each year. Don't let them retire on generous pensions at 50 (The only way someone should be able to retire comfortably at 50 is if they've made a fortune somewhere, not just held a job for 30 years). Change the constitution so you can fire the crappy ones.

Next, the Greek People. Man the fuck up. You voted for the fools who got you into this position. Recognise that you are not entitled to retire at 50, get cheap credit and cushy jobs. Rioting against cuts in government spending does not make people want to lend your government more money, or visit your country and you need all the tourism euros you can get. Don't get uppity when the countries trying to pull your asses out of the fire make strong suggestions about what you do with their money. And pay your god damn taxes.

Germany. Man the fuck up. You are the big dog of the Eurozone, and naturally the place people are going to look to when the shit hits the fan. Yes, you've done the tough things that the Greeks haven't. You've kept wage growth low, saving high, debt low, you've raised the pension age, and a raft of other things that have made your economy pretty strong. But you've also committed to a common currency with a bunch of other people, and if some of those other countries self implode, it will hurt. It's not going to be fun handing over sackfuls of cash to ungrateful, whiny, Greeks who show no signs of changing their ways, but it is the lesser of two evils.

Finally, to every other country, person, corporation and any other kind of entity who deals with money. Learn from this. Don't spend more money than you god damn have, and don't think that easy credit is yours for the taking with nary a care. And expect a rough time if you don't.

PS This is a rather simplistic rant at some of the main groups involved in the whole Greek Crisis thing. The causes and solutions are nowhere near as simple or straightforward as what I've just said, although I think it would be a good start.