Epitome of Unnecessary

Many doctors offices use automated calls to remind patients of upcoming appointments. I received some of these from an eye doctor recently. Age and unhealthy eating habits are catching up with me requiring double treatments for each of my eyes — injections and lasers.

Yes, I consented to allowing a total stranger to numb my eyeballs and inject medication directly into each orb. Leading up to the first treatment, their reminder service called three separate times. As if I needed to be reminded of the pending action.

Eye Trouble

The sound of a high-speed drill came through the neighboring wall. It sounded gruesome.
Whirrrrrrr! Whirrrrrr! Whirrrrrrrr….grunnnnn…whirrrrrr!
Someone groaned in the other room as the drill slowed and sped up again. Steve wasn’t sure if it was the patient experiencing pain or the doctor applying greater leverage.

Either way, he was regretting selecting this dentist/eye surgeon medical practice.

The new generation of medical price cuts had caused many practices to consolidate. Steve was not sure this combination was a good one.

Tricky Visor

What is the problem with car sun visors?
Why do they stop at the point where the sun actually shines?
On a recent three-hour drive, the highway curves kept putting the sun at the visor gaps. It was uncanny.

Drive, curve, SUNLIGHT glaring past the edge of the visor.
Adjust for shade in time for the road to curve again and move the sun to another area not blocked by the visor.

Early morning driving into the East, battling the rising sun with a seriously deficient sun visor is no fun.
Late evening return drive facing West provides another battle with blindness.

I blame the car makers for designing the visors sized just small enough and with gaps at the hinge and clipping point to be partly useless. Getting actual sun protection is tricky.

Scratch That Place Off the List

The user reviews gave high praise. Ratings were solidly 4 and 5 stars. Our expectations were elevated. We were gravely disappointed.

Who were those online reviewers anyway? Did they get paid to say nice things? Perhaps our instincts were missing something.

We revisited the online reviews once again. In hindsight the signs were much clearer. They read like a movie endorsement where critics struggle to say something nice, but all the terms have multiple meanings open to interpretation.

Maybe we should get out more and be less desperate for an evening escape. Keep our standards high, but expectations lower. Live and learn.

Have you ever gone to a new place or tried a new experience and thought to yourself, “I’m never doing that again!” Tell us about it.

Big Night Out

The new movie theater opened in December. Two weeks before Star Wars: The Force Awakens released. The theater is the latest one in a local chain that combines food, beverages, and comfortable chairs with the movie. Dinner and a movie, combined.

The food is not gourmet. Definitely nothing to rave about. Consider burgers, fries, pizza, nachos, chicken wings and such as the majority portion of the menu. Salt, fat, cheese, and carbs in abundance – perfect for munching in the dark

The chairs are powered recliners with swivel trays to hold your food and drinks. It is almost better than your own living room. The hot food comes to you. The lights go down. The movie begins. If you choose to fully recline, the tray can pivot to line your plate up to your waiting mouth. Ultimate lazy eating.

Star Wars was good. (No spoilers). Before going, a friend warned me to disconnect my analytical thinking and just “go with it.” For once, I did just that and it made the movie more enjoyable. The scattered plot holes, continuity errors, and overall conflicts with the previous six movies melted away like the creamy cheese sauce on my nachos.

Part With the Dollar

The power of a single dollar was demonstrated one exhausted night as the young couple drove across Texas. They had been driving for hours with only brief stops for gas, food, and restroom breaks. The hour was late. The darkness in the remote area was total. There were few indications of human activity around.

They pulled off the highway at the next exit. It wasn’t a town, simply a wide spot in the road. It had a few motels, quick restaurants, and gas stations. Not much else could be seen.

The young husband drove towards the two nearest motels. They stood on opposite sides of the road and declared their rates openly. One was a national chain, the other an independent place. The difference in the advertised prices was one dollar.

The young wife was the frugal one of the pair. She scanned the prices and quickly decided they should stay in the independent place. The young husband was not so sure, but was too tired to argue much. After all, it was only one dollar. He turned away from the well-known national chain location and pulled into the unknown’s parking lot.

The couple climbed out of their small car and checked in to the place. The flickering porch light, peeling paint, and NO REFUNDS sign at the office should have been a clue, but they decided to stay there anyway. They went back to get overnight bags and walked to their room. They used the key, turned the doorknob, and went inside.

The odor of old tobacco smoke hung in the air. There were ashtrays on the night stands. Clean, but clearly used. Neither one of them had ever smoked and the stinky film on the curtains and blankets irritated their noses and skin.

The husband forged ahead to the bathroom to take a hot shower. Rusty water trickled in a weak stream from the mostly clogged shower head. A rinse in that stuff would leave a person worse off than when they started. He decided to skip it and get some sleep.

His head hit the pillow and he was engulfed in tobacco odor, triggering a fierce coughing spasm. After a few minutes, he was able to settle down and begin resting. They both had a fitful remainder of the night and struggled to sleep. In the morning, they left quickly once they grabbed a fresh set of clothes from the car. The bags they brought into the room smelled bad.

They drove many more miles across Texas that day. The windows were opened to ventilate the car and keep their own odors flushed away. By late afternoon, they were ready to stop again. This time, the young husband insisted upon a recognized national chain – whatever the price. Sometimes it’s just worth the extra dollar. You can quote me on that.

Life Unplugged: Imagine

Your life without a computer: what does it look like?

Unemployed. No wait. There was a time I worked without a computer in my life. I was a child then. Manual labor and chores were the lifestyle. Typing occurred on typewriters (*gasp) and the “return” function was not a simple button on the keyboard, but a physical act of the hand and arm. Can you imagine the barbarism?

A return to those days would not be catastrophic, but one wonders what catastrophe would have to happen to apply the same conditions across the world. The topic is a favorite subject for numerous science fiction apocalyptic stories. My meager blog pales in comparison.

Be strong, my readers. Pray the horrific day never comes!

Snow Day and Lemon Tea

A major snowstorm hit the East Coast of the United States this week. Some areas received large quantities of the white stuff. Roads and businesses are closed. Emergency services are struggling to provide help where necessary.

My family is fortunate to be warm and dry in our home. We are able to enjoy the day by watching the weather reports and comparing it to the views outside our windows. Occasionally, one family member opens the door to poke their head out for an interactive experience before quickly retreating inside once again.

Our pet rabbit likes it when I am home. I spoil him with extra treats and the freedom to roam the living room. He is a relaxed bunny. One mostly content to sit alongside my recliner in the shadow of our coffee table within convenient reach for me to drop my hand and stroke his fluffy head. Here I sit. Blogging and sipping lemon tea with my little bunny buddy at my side. A pleasant snow day indeed.

The Yummy Snake (guest post by #1 son)

The weather has been unseasonably warm so far this winter. It has inspired us to begin our Spring cleaning early. While I’m sure the winter will snap into shape soon, it has been fun going through cabinets to remove clutter. Along the way, we have rediscovered school writings from our (now adult) children. Today’s guest post comes from #1 son who was 9 years old at the time.


The Yummy Snake

Once upon a time, there was a boy named Josh. Josh loved snakes. One day he saw a rattlesnake. He knew all about rattlesnakes because he had read about them, but this one was different. It had no rattle. He left it there because he had to go to school. Without knowing it, the snake crawled in his book bag. When Josh got to school, it crawled out of his lunch box. It was show and tell. When the class saw the snake they screamed. It crawled out the window.

When it was lunch time, Josh had no lunch. The snake had eaten it. He asked everybody if he could have a sandwich, but they said “No.” So Josh had to eat all the vegetables the snake didn’t eat. Then he had to go to the principal’s office because during show and tell the snake crawled out. He called Josh’s mom. She did not believe him when he said the snake went in his book bag. He was grounded from the TV for a month.

The next day he went outside with a shovel and tried to kill the snake. It was too fast. He decided to get it in a box and fly the snake to the desert. The snake saw someone else. The guy was going to where I lived because that guy was Josh’s dad. Then Josh killed the snake and ate the snake.

The End

Reset Your Life

I grant my readers permission to start over. At midnight, wherever you are, you may exercise your right to begin the year with a new attitude. Flex your powers of influence and make the world around you a better place. Let us all agree to shape the internet into a more positive place. One place to consider your impact is where you click.

Every tap of a mouse or fingertip gets measured. News outlets track the trends and push popular headlines to the top. Help me in my quest to eliminate the prominence of the more irrelevant content that seems to clutter all our lives with unnecessary trash.

I urge you all to avoid clicking:

  • Anything relating to the Kardashian, Jenner, or West clan. Let’s get these people off the world stage and allow them to drift into forgetful obscurity once again.
  • Race-based reporting. Pick a news outlet, any one, and you can find bias. Skin color stereotypes should not be the basis of any story. All people are valuable. Color should not spawn endless arguments about one group over another.
  • Articles promoting further erosion of individual rights in favor of greater government control over aspects of our lives. Wake up, people. Enforce the laws on criminals. Don’t make criminals of ordinary citizens.

Please join me in starving the click-fed beast.