Friday Filler – I Can See Clearly Now…YIKES!

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

I’m writing this a day early, because tomorrow I will once again be “under the laser” for cataract surgery Part Deux.

Let’s just admit from the top, that during these very odd and trying times, anything that seems “normal” is a bit of a miracle…especially when the normal is a miracle of science.  And, come on…the speed and precision with which cataract surgery takes place is pretty damn miraculous (as well as an amazing light show that took me back to the 1970s..far out, man!).

But, the problem with having “One Old Eye and One New Eye,” is that you spend a lot of time comparing.  It’s like so many other things in life. If you spend all of your time looking back at the way things used to be, you can’t appreciate the way things are now.   And, contrary to what current events would have you believe, there are plenty of good things that have come out of “this very bad thing.” But, they take perspective…and being able to see that things really are more clear now, even if that reveals cracks in the details.

And, certainly on that list, is the fact that TSTO is still alivemostly.  I guess that is all in the way in which you see things. But, for me…I am lucky enough to see things from two perspectives…at least until tomorrow (which is actually today, or yesterday, depending on when you read this).

Anyone who has had cataract surgery says pretty much the same thing. “I can’t believe how much more colorful everything is…and how much detail I can see now!”  And when you have one eye done, and the other not, it really is very stark. As it turns out, over the gradual decline of my vision, what happened was a combination of lowering the light (exposure) while covering everything with a blurry, brown film.  But, like I said…it was gradual. I really only started noticing the primary difference in distance vision (couldn’t see my golf ball beyond 100 yards).  I didn’t really notice the loss of color, brightness or clarity as much…because it was gradual. 

Now… at least for today… I can switch back and forth, to see the difference in perception. And, it is stark.

I’ll try to replicate it here…

Granted…this was done with one good eye and one bad…so I could really tell the difference, while not being entirely sure. But, it is pretty close to what you see before and after. 

But,  like I said, it is kind of a metaphor for life.  Over time, if you don’t open your eyes, and realize that life is multi-colored…and layered in nuance…it’s pretty easy to simply fall into narrow fields of perception, that can limit your overall appreciation for the differences.

And holyfreakinshirt…are we starting to see some differences in perception of our reality.

As we slip into weeks, and maybe months more, of “the new normal,” there is a huge divide over what we need, want, or think we want, until things go bad or worse again.  But, even in this situation, the “gift of clarity” comes from people making it pretty clear how they feel, simply by how they act.   So there’s that.

There seems to be way too much “truth telling” that isn’t true…and a whole lot less kindness than I would have hoped for. As usual…the writers seemed to prognosticate this, not only in our games, but in the most recent Simpson’t episode.

The most recent Two-Part Simpsons episodes really hit home with this concept.  Pete Holmes played a “new kind of priest,” Bode Wright, who comes into town with a new message of open-armed  peace, love, and tolerance that sets the “old guard” (Reverend Lovejoy and Ned) into a whirling dervish of accusation and distrust.

The new guy’s holistic views expose a lot of the weaknesses of organized religion. And, when it is discovered that he was run out of his original parish for burning a Bible (he was just 19), he explains himself to Lisa with a couple of great lines.” ”I was trying to tell people that God is in your heart, not some overbuilt cathedral or some book.” And, “People were worshiping a road map, instead of trying to find the destination.”

It’s weird, but the same could be said about politics… and the battle between science, and “freedom.”  But, the fact is…I’m done trying to convince anyone of anything.  It’s clearly becoming “personal choice,” and I’ll let Natural Selection sort it all out.

So as we move forward, in what appears to be a clear move backward (1931 anyone?), we are challenged to look to the good things in life…to see the bright and colorful highlights in an otherwise dark existence.

I admit, that between doing Emergency Food Boxes for families through our Rotary club, and looking forward to actually seeing my golf ball on the golf course after a short waiting period next week, I still find myself with one eye looking at the pain and suffering CD-19 is causing, while being immensely appreciative of the opportunities for beauty that I have in my life.

And I also admit that by the time July comes around, unless there is  some huge reversal of the current trends, we are going to “risk it” and fly back East to see our “East Coast family.”  We need some face time…and there will likely be a memorial service for a family member who passed recently.  Again…light with the dark.

And, with Round Trip Airfares at below $300…you can only play “Virtual Hide and Seek” with this little guy for so long…

Zoom and FaceTime just don’t cut it, when you can zoom there for REAL face time for less money than it costs to buy a package of toilet paper these days.

But…I also admit to being sick to death of the mad see-saw that is Social Media. I now almost completely avoid Twitter and YouTube…unless it is something that is going to make me laugh. 

My favorite ironically ambiguous “Facebook Share” being passed around this week, is the whole “Perspective” Post, that talks about how much easier we have it than people born in the year 1900, who lived through WWI,  the Spanish Flu epidemic, the depression, WWII and the Korean War.  All true…except the life expectancy for people in the year 1900 was 46 years old. It dipped to 38 in 1918 (the end of the war and the beginning of the flu epidemic) and didn’t climb to the mid-60s, until the 1950s.  So…yes…perspective. Kinda.

That doesn’t mean I want to risk going back to the “good old days,” where we just ignore the odds, and take our chances, because we NEED to see stadium sports again.  No thanks.  Again. I’ll let Natural Selection do it’s thing there.

But………..when all is said and done, the odds are very much in our favor. No matter what you see or hear on YouTube.  We aren’t being overtaken by some wild New World Order plot.  They are not trying to implant us with tracking chips that manipulate us with 5-G transmissions with vaccines.  And, yes…there are loads of reasons to keep our distance and wear masks, that aren’t training us for “Marshall Law.”  That stuff would actually be too weird for even a Simpson’s episode.

I’m not negative…but I am pragmatic. Things are likely going to get worse before they get better.  It will require us to see things with BOTH eyes… one, that is weathered over time…with a darker gaze…the other, so bright you need shades.

But we will get through this…just as sure as The Wrestling Update will end…and we will likely still get something more…that isn’t as good as Stonecutters, but whole lot better than a sharp poke in the eye with a stick.  And that’s something I’d rather avoid…now that I can see my golf ball again. 

30 responses to “Friday Filler – I Can See Clearly Now…YIKES!

  1. LIke the title of post I can see clearly now..Reminds me of a song about a new view. “I can see clearly now” lol. Was that planned or a coincidence?

  2. I hope your second cataract surgery went well. Love, from your “NWO Idgit” who is proud to have taken the red pill.

    • All is good…newest eye catching up to the new eye…but, colors are very vibrant.

      And no…I had nobody in particular in mind when I wrote “NWO Idgit.”

    • And I’m not sure it is a red pill…more like a tab of blotter acid. It takes a shred of reality and makes thing “oh, so, warped!”

  3. Hi Patrick, I hope you feel well after the surgery. When will your other eye get one?
    It is a bit scary how much insanity is spread through loads of kinds of media, not just YouTube, but also through politicians, rap with sexist/antisemitic/nwo bs etc. I think that many people are really lacking good education if not most people. Maybe it’s especially tough if you live in remote places or poor countries, I guess. Many people lack critical thinking, they don’t see their own preconceptions and bias, especially not the beliefs that primed them as kids and that pull their strings all the time. Most people are not aware of the loops they go though due to their „programming“ which is your dna and upbringing combined. You were never a neutral being, you are always the product of your dna and upbringing and this primes you, especially if you don’t become aware of the way your beliefs and habits are and why you have them.

    If it’s ok, I would like to ask a completely unrelated question. Do you know if the golden train was only available through uncle Norbert during the Destination Springfield 2017 Event? I wonder if I ever had it. I don’t have Norbert, so if there was never another chance to get the train, I never had it. I am unsure if I had it, hence my question, if the train ever got re-released for donuts or a token box at some time. Do you know by chance?

    Thanks and have a great weekend.

    • Whoa! A lot to unpack there. I’ll break it down.

      1. The eye that I got done yesterday was my 2nd eye. First was Monday. So as I write this, my color is the same in both eye, while the new one is catching up in focus. All good!

      2. Yes. The world is chock full of nutjobs who take opinion over fact, because it makes them feel “less stupider.”

      3. Alas…I doubt we will be seeing the train again. It was pretty much a decoration…but the REAllY cool part is the way Norbert flies his biplane. So…we MAY see him offered at some point, and I would snap him up. But, the train was an add-on, so less likely.

      • Thank you. Great to hear you are doing well. The imagination of surgery at the eyes is making me feel uneasy, but in reality it is in most cases routine and safe, isn‘t it?

        • Super safe. Super fast. The whole procedure takes about 15 minutes. Crazy…

          • I had my cataracts done 20 years ago, and it was an inpatient surgery that took an hour. My first reaction to my upgraded sight was “WOW, windows are SO SQUARE!” I’m about to need them done again. Glad process is quicker.

            • VERY quick. I was reminded that “back in the day,” (50 years ago) they had people recovering for days…in the hospital…with no lights, and little movement. Crazy. Modern tech…is the best!

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Very true Tom. Many people cannot escape their programming for various reasons. So when something comes along that moves their cheese, they don’t know how to react.

      I feel for people who have trouble adjusting to the technological world we live in. So I try to be helpful. I’m the neighborhood tech support guy. I try to help whenever possible.

      It takes work to think about your beliefs and to ask the difficult questions about them. Most would rather just stare at their phones for the next sound bite, and then they just react to it.

      • It’s the one advantage to being old and open minded. I have welcomed and been a first “bleeding edge”early adapter to all of it.

        I Think back to my days as one of the “greenhouse developers“ with AOL. They were a very few of us working with streaming technology at that point trying to expand and figure out how to use Netscape to our advantage as an interface to the audio. Crazy times… But of course before that, I was involved with the very first digital recording devices back in the mid-1980s. I still have one of the first Sony a/D converters ever made. It used VHS tape as its capture device. Still works. Lol.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Good times for sure. I was in college during the late 80’s and remember learning about A to D conversions. I was more of an analog guy back in the day. Never thought I’d end up designing digital communications systems.

          • We did the first music tests for the Sony 501 A/D converter during the mastering of the Claymation Christmas album. It was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more cost effective (around $2k) than the Mitsubishi open reel-to-reel that came in a mere $80K. Crazy times….

  4. Rusty Shackleford

    I’m with you Patric. I’ve totally cut myself off from most of the online world. If I need to know something I go to our state government webpage. But even that is not needed as there is no way I am eating in a restaurant for the foreseeable future.

    I’m grateful nobody in my family is sick and that I have steady work. I am an electrical engineer who designs 5G systems and we are very busy with new projects. Yeah, that 5G.

    A good friend recently flipped out on me over this. Rather than remembering the fact that you cannot use reason to convince someone to abandon an emotionally held view, I engaged in the argument. Big mistake. All I did was raise my blood pressure.

    So now I do my work, and after that, I play a little TSTO. But that’s it for online stuff. I’ve started doing a jigsaw puzzle. Very relaxing.

    Best wishes to you on your recovery.

    • WOW…so I can actually now tell people that I know someone who is officially working for the New World Order?? Soooo cooool!

      What always amazes me about conspiracy nuts, is which tidbit of fact they use as their launching pad to blast off into a realm of insanity. It is clear that “This is Good Enough, Dammit!” leads a lot of their basic reasoning, when they decided to pick on 5-G technology. Having been involved in the internet, almost as long as there has been a commercial version, I very much remember the days of being excited when modem speeds got fast enough to download a single blurry graphic in less than a minute. And now…these Luddites are fighting the very thing that will allow them even MORE freedom of expression for their silly, insane YouTube networks. With 5-G they’ll be able to stream their rallies and organizational events in real time from any number of devices, continuously in Hi-Def! Wait…maybe 5-G isn’t great… LOL!

      Stay safe. Stay sane. And tell your NWO leaders that I want to be in in the joke.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Ok, I spit out my coffee.

        I will let our leaders know that you are on our side. (Evil Mr Burns laugh).

        Fun fact, back when I started I this industry, we used to call the signal you see on a spectrum analyzer a “Barts Head” as it looked like his hair cut.

        By the way, we can reach close to 1gbps with 4G today. So a lot of those scary things people talk about are possible today with 4G.

        • Ya think? 99% of what the “NWO Idgits” have to say can be just as easily communicated by two tin cans and string.

          I always love the guys in cammo…and their ARs strapped on…staring into their cell phones with reading glasses. It’s also clear that “analog spell check” doesn’t work great when making their rally signs. I’ve seen some doozies. But then again, most of their “leaders” read at about 5th grade level. So there’s that.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Yeah. Great technology being used to carry rubbish.

            The problem isn’t 5G. The problem is that people waste so much time staring at their phone. The are like snakes, coiled and ready to strike at the smallest offense.

            What a terrible way to live.

  5. I had cataract surgery 2 years ago. I had a week between and it was easy to conclude that I had been more blind than not. Life changing. Good luck with round 2.

  6. I remember an uncle getting it done and it was like a whole new world, he said.

  7. I built/organized, hosted, and led a Zoom memorial service last Saturday for my stepmom, who passed away on April 18 in NYC. It actually went very well, and the participants (there were about 60 of them) were very grateful for the opportunity to come together to mourn and to celebrate her life.

    The downside to having the memorial online was the inability to hug one another (and to have some food together afterwards), but the upside was that I think more people were able to attend than would have had it been an in-person memorial during “normal” times. (For one extreme example, a cousin of mine in Australia joined in….while he did have to be online at 4:00am to do that, it still was a lot more feasible than a flight to NYC, having to pay for hotel accommodations, etc.)

    I was very lucky that my company had decided to allow our employees to use our work Zoom accounts for personal stuff during this crisis…they have a “top-tier” Zoom subscription, which provided more useful bells and whistles than I would have had with a personal account.

    As someone who can’t fly anymore (due to a disability), but who has lots of elderly relatives clear across the country in California, as well as in Ohio and other places, I think it would be great if funeral homes/synagogues/churches could add an online attendance option down the road when “regular” funerals return, now that they’ve probably developed the infrastructure for that.

    At any rate…thought I would share these thoughts when I saw you talking about going back east for a belated memorial service.

    • Actually…the memorial service is a side benefit. We are going back to be with Katie, Ryan, and Jake. Already missed his 2nd birthday. Plus, “Rita’s is calling.” (That’s a reference for Alissa).

      • Thank you for your condolences…’s been a rough time the past few weeks, so that means a lot. I hope you enjoy your trip east, once it’s safe to take it.

  8. Due to a detached retina I needed cataract surgery in the one eye. Two years later I am finally getting my right eye done. Was suppose to have it done sooner than covid19 stopped everything.

    • Wow…that is a long time to be “cockeyed!” On the mend today… can’t wait to hit the golf course next week!

      • Patrick.

        I met my love on the bridge at midnight. She cocked an eye at me and I cocked an eye at her. There we stood. Transfixed and cockeyed. She’s now my wife.
        I’ve no regrets.

        Best wishes for quick recovery.


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