Friday, February 15, 2008

Welcome for A Weary Guest

Several years ago, George, a minister friend of my father's, visited a small church in the mountains. Since the hour was late, and he was far from home, he accepted an invitation given by a kindly old couple to stay in their home that night. They made sure he was comfortable, giving up their own bed for him while they slept in the downstairs living room. He slept well. However, during the middle of the night, George awoke with a terrible thirst. Not being acquainted with the house, he was feeling for a light, when he noticed that the couple had left a glass of water on the night stand for him. He assumed that they didn't have running water upstairs, and made a note to commend them for their foresight and thoughtfulness in providing him with a glass of cool water. After drinking a couple of long drinks, he returned to sleep the rest of the night.
Early the next morning, half-groggy with sleep, he opened his eyes at the sound of someone quietly entering the room. His elderly host crept cautiously to the bedside, picked up the water glass, fished out his false teeth, and, inserting them into his mouth, tiptoed quietly out of the room.

Sunday Scribblings We had two topics to pick from: Sleep, or Teeth. I did both. But the story is true.


On the outside sleeping,
oh so quietly
in satin and flannel,
poured out over the mattress
like a puddle of molasses
in the middle of its waffle.
Nothing moves. Not a whisper.
Just the veriest little rising and falling,
half a centimeter at most.

But on the inside---
wildest profusion of terrible nonsense-talking,
guffawing at inappropriate moments of great solemnity,
shrieking and cackling, spinning and crashing.
chaotic questions, head-shaking worries.

And the stupid sheep keep slipping--
slamming the fence with their heads.
Wham! Wham! Wham!

Do I have to wake up to get some sleep in here?

Sunday Scribblings

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Eye Surgery Tomorrow

This is an update for All Misty-Eyed.

We never found the records of my husband's LASIK surgery, but an efficient and helpful ophthalmologist in Gunnison, Colorado still had my husband's paperwork from a decade ago, and he was prompt in sending it to us. The numbers are accurate enough for our surgeon to configure a lens to match the one that is in the eye. I finally understood that since the cornea has been altered by LASIK, they cannot simply put in a perfectly shaped lens; it has to match the corrected cornea. Once they correct one eye and make sure it has healed properly, they will operate on the other one. That will keep him from becoming incapacitated should the surgery fail.

They operate tomorrow. I'm taking the day off to do driving, waiting, and restraining with words of caution. We won't really know if the surgery was successful for a couple of weeks, because the eye has to "settle in". There may be a little 'trial and error' involving more surgery to correct the lens, or maybe glasses will have to be made to fit this new arrangement of the eyes. Even so, at this point we have no choice. The haze has grown even in the last week. So for a valentine, my husband will get a new eye. How was I ever privileged enough to be born in this century, in America? It's more than I deserve.

"Can you read that sign ahead?" he asks, "because I can just make out the words...not yet...not...NOW!"

By tomorrow he will probably be telling me what they say...all the way home, and the leaves on the trees will be sharply defined, and the wheat blades in their green fields will all stand out in vivid detail. He will amuse himself by reading the license plates on cars ahead of us and by wondering aloud why those out-of-state-people are traveling in February. Let it be so.

Update: We are home. The doctor said the surgery went well. We won't know how well he will be able to see until the inflammation settles down--maybe ten days, but the initial glimpses are promising.They did 14 lens replacements this morning. It's amazing.

Update: After Ten days: My husband is seeing extremely well with his new lens. The doctor had run several models using the numbers he had. Each time the computer recommended a different doppler, ranging from 17 to 21. The doctor selected the 20 doppler. He is really pleased, because yesterday's test showed the vision between 20-20 and 20-30--almost perfect. It was just in time too, because the other eye is beginning to cloud badly. They have scheduled that surgery for March 6th.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Puzzle Games--That's What Pirates Do.

If you like playing all kinds of puzzles in an online game that isn't about warlords, quests, magi and levels of power, you should try Puzzle Pirates. They have three oceans--Viridian, Sage, and Hunter--where you can play without paying any actual money--Well you can pay if you want to, but you can survive nicely just making 'poe'. (That's 'pieces of eight' for you land-lubbers). There are also adventures and crew chats and shops and houses and all the stuff that makes up another world, only this one is pretty innocuous. Anyway, here are thirteen of the puzzles you can play.

Treasure Drop-I've actually never played this one, but some people like it. There are even tournaments and stuff.

Apothecary--This is a shop job; if you are good at it, you can take a job here and raise poe even when you are not online. Can't beat that. It's a calm, un-timed game. Lots of fun.

Battle Navigating--If you play enough to buy a ship and captain's badge, or if your crew deems you worthy, you will eventually get to navigate the ship in its struggle against other pirate ships, maybe even get shot, or shoot the other ship. Don't worry. You can't die in this game...or drown...well, if the ship sinks you might get an eye patch or peg leg, but those are all kinds of cool, and the ship won't sink unless you set it on "sinking" allowed. There are cures for all the lost limbs and eyes, but, like I said, who would ever want to lose their impressive battle scars? "These wounds had I on Good St. Crispin's Day" and all that!

Bilging-This is the easiest game, a great one to start with. You can play it in the Navy at no risk to anyone. They will even give you a little "poe" for it and a set of clothes if you keep playing...not to mention those golden and jeweled crab trophies. Oooh la la.

Navigating (by starlight)This one is simply maddening for those of us who like time to think. Needless to say, I'm terrible at it. But I think it's really fun to watch someone who is good at it.
It's a multiplier for ship efficiency, and it also is very handy for memorizing shipping routes.

Carpentry--This one is also a little hard for me, but then, I was never the best at jigsaw puzzles, particularly the kind that start shaking when they think it is their turn next. Ah well, I like the little hammer sound it makes.

Distilling--This is not my favorite puzzle, but the sound effects are also great.
It's another crafting puzzle. (i.e. poe-maker)

Gunning--This one is probably my least favorite. Ok, ok, so I confess: I hate it because I'm terrible at it. Notice how all the elements--shot, powder, wad--are all up in the corner and flying everywhere? They are supposed to be going into the canons. Um-hmmm. Precisely.

This one is lots of fun. You can challenge one on one, multi-player, or against a whole crew if you happen to find "barbarians" on a pillage. It's great.

Shipwright--This crafting puzzle is one of the best money-makers around. (Excuse me that's "one of the best poe-makers") Pirates are always buying ships, and someone has to build them. It might as well be my little pirate with his labor badge.

Swordfighting--If you liked Tetris, you'll like this one. No, I didn't say it was exactly like Tetris. It just has some similar elements. It can be played one on one, tournament style, or battling brigands or skellies. A wonderful game.

Blacksmithing-This looks a lot like chess, but it is nothing like it. It's much more exciting. Ok. So I exaggerate. But at least you have cool sound effects here and in chess you have to make your own. In my case they usually are a variation of "ouch" and "oooph"

Sailing--My Absolute Favorite. A game I'm actually good at, believe it or not. When you get 4 of the same stacked they crumble, and set off a chain reaction if you have them stacked right.
This one is going to be a Vegas!-That's seven in the chain.

So for all of you who wonder why I haven't been blogging for years. This is the answer. I was trapped forever in these puzzles. (It's an addictive game) Don't feel so smug. I have a sneaking suspicion that blogging is too. Come on. You know it is.