Eye Spy

I’ve often said that getting old isn’t for kids, nor for the faint of heart: you have to be seasoned and tough to be able to handle this aging nonsense.

Hence: eye trouble. Last year I was having trouble with my vision, so I went off to see my eye specialist — okay, opthalmololojist or whatever [10,000-word rant against medical terminology deleted] — and he gave me the good news that I have cataracts (a symptom of old age, apparently; everyone gets ’em sooner or later) which will eventually require surgery, oh joy. Also, the itching and pain in my eyes are caused by glaucoma (i.e. incurable, and eventual blindness). Oh, happy happy joy joy. The conversation then ran as follows:

Kim: So… are you going to measure me for a glass eye, or what? How do we deal with glaucoma?
Doctor: Drops.
Kim: Drops?
Doctor: Drops. Take a single drop in each eye every night, and that’ll at least reduce the pressure. Here are a few bottles to get you started — samples, no charge — and let’s take a look again in a few months. Your eye pressure is 21 [I have no idea what that means – K.] and we’ll want to get it down to at least 13 on your next visit.
Kim: Drops?

Last week was my follow-up. Good news is that the pressure is down to 11, so the doctor is happy. I am less happy because the cataract in my left eye is worsening, and will require surgery next year. Aaaargh.

My eye specialist is a good man. His old office was in a medical suite attached to a hospital so at the front door there was the usual shitty “30.06” (as we call it here, the thirty-ought-six) sign which forbids concealed carry in the building. Of course, at my first visit I forgot to de-gun in the car because Idiot Kim, and when I sat down in the examination chair I winced as the gun stuck into my back. The conversation went as follows:

Doctor: You okay?
Kim: Yeah.
Doctor: Gun got ya?
Kim: Uh… yeah. [no point in lying, he had me dead to rights]
Doctor: What are you carrying?
Kim: Uhhh a 1911.
Doctor: Cool. I’ve got a SIG 220 myself [patting his hip]. We should go to the range together sometime.

Man, I love Texas. A doctor who shoots .45 ACP… it just doesn’t get much better than this. Oh, and earlier this year he moved to his own office suite across the road: no 30.06 sign outside.

Harmless Addictions

As a rule, I have to drink quite a bit of liquid each day because if I don’t, the old kidneys malfunction and Mr. Gout puts in a reappearance:

(Yes, I take Allopurinol daily, and haven’t had a gout attack, not even a twinge, in years — but I’m taking no chances because excruciating agony, not wanting.)

Of course, “hydrating” means drinking water, but that actually makes me thirstier afterwards and anyway, as I was once told by a doctor:

…so generally speaking I ingest water only in solid form, surrounded by Scotch or gin.

But I still need to drink liquids in fairly large volumes each day. For a while, I’ve been drinking water flavored with lemon juice (just to make the water taste better; Plano is a fine city, but our tap water while potable tastes like shit). One cannot live by lemon water alone, however, so I sought out other liquid alternatives.

I don’t care for iced tea, and I can’t stand fizzy drinks as a rule — forget Coke and such — because with my lap band, gas causes me pain almost as bad as gout. I don’t mind a teeny bit of fizz such as found in costly products such as Perrier, but for the quantities I require (I’m not a Russian oil oligarch), Perrier is out of the question. And I feel like a pretentious dick carrying it out of the store. So what to do?

Then I discovered this evil substance:

…and OMG I was hooked on it shortly thereafter. I use it as a supplement to the lemon water (one can per day) so I probably drink only about a case of it every month in that manner. Unfortunately, the Aranciata Rossa also makes an excellent mixer for vodka and gin, so my total consumption of Pellegrino is, shall we say, somewhat higher. (Yes I know: booze is not A Good Thing for gout sufferers, that’s why I take Allopurinol so shuddup.) I generally pour it back and forth a couple of times between two glasses to take out most of the fizz (which is much lower anyway), and let me tell you, it’s nectar. I usually drink it in the evenings only, but I know it’s an addiction because yesterday when I looked into Ye Olde Iceboxe and found only two cans extant, I had to race off to the local pusher of said product — both Central Market and Trader Joe’s in Plano carry it, thank goodness — and stock up.

And no, I receive neither subsidy nor consideration from San Pellegrino so this punt is completely without motive, other than to tell you all that I’m addicted to the lovely stuff. But yes, if someone from San P. happens to read this adulation and wants to subsidize my addiction, they should feel free to do so and I’ll duly note that in an update.

No doubt, some other doctor will soon be advising me:

…but I’ll ignore it, as I do anyway to most medical advisories which harsh my mellow. It’s too early right now to have one, so I’ll just get me a glass of squeezed OJ instead.


Afterthought: I should probably add that I’m a huge fan of the blood-orange flavor; I eat the fruit whenever it’s in season, and even the flavored yogurt is a breakfast staple.

 

Interesting Situation

Here’s an interesting situation:

A widower who lost his wife to cancer was accused of being a paedophile by Travelodge staff because he booked a double room for him and his daughter.
Craig Darwell, 46, was taking Millie, 13, to visit Thorpe Park and was forced to book the double room in Chertsey, Surrey, because there were no others available.
But when he checked in, suspicious staff demanded that he show them his daughter’s ID.
Mr Darwell, who lost his wife to leukaemia when Millie was just four, explained that he did not have ID for his daughter and instead showed staff pictures of them together when she was a baby.
But even after seeing them, staff called the police and he and his daughter were forced into separate rooms and interviewed by a police officer.

Needless to say, the daughter was traumatized by the whole thing,

Here’s why I think this is an interesting situation. I know, hotels should MYOB and all that: the days of refusing to let rooms to unmarried couples and such are long past, and we have Moved On.

However: pedophilia is a crime after all, and the hotel  staff has every right to be suspicious — they could be held culpable if they allowed a criminal act to be perpetrated on their premises when there was evidence that such a crime might be committed.

Where this hotel screwed up was involving the Filth (sorry, but it’s a Brit story) right from the get-go, instead of taking the father to one side, quietly explaining their concerns, and letting him have his say. The problem, of course, is that 13-year-olds don’t have ID, and proving paternity for a man (like this unfortunate guy) could be problematic. Nevertheless, having baby pics (as this guy did) is prima facie evidence, I think, that he’s just a proud dad and not Chester The Molester, and the hotel should have apologized and let the matter drop. I bet the guy would even have thanked them for their concern — I probably would have.

The reason that this story resonates with me is that it could quite easily have happened to me. Back when the Son&Heir was a youngin, we lived apart — I in New Jersey, and he with his mother in Chicago and later, Texas — and I used to fly down to spend weekends with him every month. And of course, we’d check into a local hotel as our base of operations. So had the above chain of events happened to me, it would have been unpleasant, to say the least, and proving my paternity equally problematic.

As I said, I can see the hotelier’s concern, but I am excoriating them for their insensitivity and clumsiness, and I am especially angry at the fucking police for treating this guy like a criminal when it was so obvious that he wasn’t. It’s a transparent case of bullying someone because you can, and not because it’s justified. The whole matter could have, and should have been handled discreetly and sensitively by both the hotel and the cops, but clearly, both sets of bureaucratic fools possessed neither characteristic.

Do you realize what would have happened to this man (and his daughter) had some bastard cop decided to arrest him? Court cases, legal fees, sex offenders list etc,. etc., etc. And don’t tell me that this couldn’t happen, because if we’ve come to learn anything in today’s 1984 society, it could.

I am generally loath to involve The Lawyers, and because this happened in Britishland, not much can be done because Britain. But these amateur Sherlocks need to get their pee-pees whacked, and this should be actionable, if for no other reason than that the man’s daughter was traumatized by their blundering actions — yeah, why not show concern for a young girl’s well-being post facto?

Grrr grrrrr grrrrrrr….

Caution

Conversation between Doc and myself, this morning:

“Kim, the lawn guys are coming to mow the grass and spray the weeds in a few hours.”
“Okay.”
“So if you see some strange guys walking around the back…”
“Yeah yeah yeah, I know, don’t shoot any of them.”
“Just wanted to make sure…”

Life in a Gun Nut’s house is so complicated sometimes… shoot this guy, don’t shoot that guy, yadda yadda yadda… I think I’ll just go to the range later on today to avoid a potentially messy situation. Anyway, that new Ruger Mk.IV isn’t going to shoot itself, you know.

Just Curious

I see that Amazon is facing an attack from the Usual Suspects who demand that they stop selling this Halloween costume.

But this isn’t about that, although I think it’s funny as hell (the protest, not the costume, which is kinda lame).

No, I’m curious to see if any of my Male Readers would be interested in getting one of these (my design and yes, I’ve trademarked it), which is guaranteed to trigger the LGBTOSTFU crowd:

Let me know, in Comments or by email, and I’ll get the thing rolling if the response is adequate.