PhotoHunter: Daily


I have to remind myself to remain patient.

That it isn’t easy for her, either.

That I need her as much as she needs me.

That one day she we’ll lose the “her” that is her.

That’s what Alzheimer’s does…

Eye Institute, today.

I had another appointment at the Eye Institute, today. After last week’s appointment where I discovered that they didn’t have anything in my file since my visit in October, they put those %*#%^%  drops in my eyes for no damn reason which screwed my vision up for about 4 hours and I had to wait at least an hour before I could drive home, and I wasn’t sure if they knew what the Hell they were doing, I was ready to be pissed off, today.

However, I was very pleased with the visit.

Firstly, the woman that, to date, I have seen on every visit wasn’t there and one of the doctors actually saw me rather than another resident (or intern, I’m not sure which) saw me. I was ready to be upset because the first thing she asked was something along the lines of “When was your last visit, here?” I asked if they still hadn’t located my file and she assured me that they had my file but she just wasn’t sure if it was last week or two weeks, etc., from my last visit.

She actually seemed familiar with the case and she said that they had been in a quandary about whether it was an infection that was the cause of the problems or Herpes (which is the virus causes both Chicken Pox and Shingles, cold sores, as well as a variation being Genital Herpes which I can assure you is NOT something I have).

After having a really good look, she said that the problem seems to have stemmed from the Shingles I had last fall and possibly a recurrence recently. There is an old scar on the top right of my cornea and a new lesion near the centre of my cornea, so she is pretty sure that I had a recurrence after Christmas.

However, the lesion is healing, the old scar looks like a faint patch on the cornea, and that the vision appears to be getting better.

There will likely be a small amount of permanent damage in the form of a light scar but that it will probably fade as the old damage has done. As I have said, I don’t notice the vision as much as I do the sensitivity to light and that has CERTAINLY improved. Cloudy days don’t bother me nearly as much as they did and the one really sunny day I was out, once I had the sunglasses on, the light didn’t bother me at all. Before, if it was sunny, even  with two pairs of sunglasses, I was nearly blind.

They are reducing the medication and my next appointment is in two weeks.

All-in-all, I am pretty happy with the visit.

How to be an online critic.

With the recent popularity of viral video sites, “blogs”, and a vast array of online media-sharing sites, the career possibilities for online or “armchair critics” have become infinite!

Anyone with access to a computer and steely nerve can become an “online critic”.

So. With all these possibilities, how does one set themselves aside from the “wanna-bes” and rise to the top of the heap?

Following just a few of the following pointers will immediately make you a leader in the field of criticism.

The first step…

Screen name

The most important thing and the first thing an online critic needs to do is set themselves up with a “screen name”. It is important to note that most websites require anyone commenting to have an account.

The exception to this rule is “blogging” sites. Most blogging sites allow one to make comments anonymously. If you wish, you can acquire a screen name for posting your critiques here. It isn’t necessary but anonymity is a double-edged sword. Many critics use the “cloak of anonymity” to shield their identity. This allows them to cut and run which can be a powerful tool. Alas, without a screen name, you remain unknown.

You COULD choose a name which conveys the idea that you are a critic — such as “internetcriticno1” — or even that you are a critic who specializes in a particular media — “moviecriticno1“, for instance. However, to really make your mark, you need a name that sets the tone for your criticisms and lets folks know YOU MEAN BUSINESS! Here are a few suggested screen names which fit the bill:

  • asshole54564
  • fuku54233545
  • dipshitz7878787

While there may be 54563 other users named “asshole“, YOU STAND OUT!

It is always a good idea to have several accounts with such names in case you are blocked by the person whose piece you commented upon. You can continue making your point until all your profiles have been blocked.

How to criticize….

While many critics “get by” spending a long time writing long, well-crafted and educated criticisms or “reviews” and may refer to specialized knowledge gained by attending colleges or universities (called “places of higher learning”) or many years immersing themselves in “books” and studying the work of other experts all this takes time, energy, and effort (and even MONEY!). This is all needless in the fast-paced world of online criticism.

You don’t have time to waste with all this.

You can whittle down what these blow-hards have said and say it better by limiting yourself to a few words, instantly making it clear you know what you’re talking about.

Remember too, that while there may be many millions of videos or blog entries you will dislike, there may be ones you do like (usually involving tits [women’s], people falling off skateboards, people being run over by trains, anything with either heavy metal music or rap music, or animals being tortured). These may require you to make positive comments.

The negative comment

This sort of comment should be reserved for videos you hate or don’t understand or opinions either with which you disagree or which you don’t understand. Other reasons to dislike a video or blog entry are because the person who made the video is fat, wears glasses, is homosexual (or appears to be homosexual), is handicapped, or because other people like the piece you have chosen to comment upon.

And remember, if you know nothing about the topic there is no need to familiarize yourself with the subject. After all, if someone had made a video about something you know nothing about, they are obviously an asshole and need to be put in their place.

As previously noted, short, to-the-point comments are always better than spending the time and effort of writing long or well. Spelling well and using good grammar are not necessary and simply make you look like you care. In short, unnecessary.

Here are a few excellent examples of good negative comments:

  • “This suks”
  • “boaring” (alt. “boreing”)
  • “I wasted 3.28 seconds of my life watching this shit”*
  • “WTF is this shit an why it it featured”*
  • “Fuk Of and dye”
  • “Wat is this shit”

*While these are often used comments, they are tried and true and never get tired.

And, remember any comment is better than no comment so you might wish to remark on the attributes of the person who posted what you are commenting upon (see above).

  • “fag”, “gay” and/or “lesbo”
  • “UR FAT”
  • “Fuking Fat Faggot”
  • “fatt cunt”

You may also wish to make it clear that you are an expert in the topic of the piece you are commenting on.

  • “shitt art” (on a video of a well-known and well-respected artist because you know what you like and this isn’t it. After all what do people with educations know?)
  • “ive studdied bisniss in colege 4 8 year and U dont no shit”
  • “ure music suks”
  • “suk my dick”

The positive comment

  • “nise titts”
  • “Fukin A”
  • “I hope that fuker died”
  • “ur hot!”
  • “suk my dick” (Note! This can be used in both a positive or a negative critique!)

What to do when challenged on your comment

Remember, only YOUR opinions matter (or the opinions of anyone who has posted similar opinions – safety in numbers is always good. Bolstering your like-minded colleagues with comments such as “Haha” and”fukin right” is always good).

Options available when challenged on your opinion

  • repeat your comment
  • call anyone who disagrees with your opinion “Faggot” or “gay”
  • “Fuk U” (when someone calls into question your “8 year in bisniss colege)
  • Say nothing (This is for suckers)
  • “suk my dick”
  • “i hop U die”
  • “i hop u die fagot”

Welcome to the world of online criticism! Good luck!

PhotoHunter: “Cuddly”???? Not….

Just a note… these are not my photos. I have NO photos of anything “cuddly” (and believe me, I LOOKED!). I have photos of my cat but while he LOOKS cuddly he just isn’t. So I cheated this time around. In my defence, I TRIED to take Basil’s photo one time but he immediately ran away and hid under the couch and refused to come out. These photo are one’s taken by my friend Krys.

Possibly one of the least cuddly cats on the planet. What this series of photos just doesn’t capture is just how orange Basil’s eyes are… Pumpkin orange… Creepy!

The Polish Airman — Update

A few days ago, someone named Grzegorz left a comment on the posting I have on “my” Polish airman, Alojzy Dreja. He told me that he could provide me with a little more information about Alojzy. This morning, he sent me information which fills out Alojzy’s wartime biography. Much thanks to Grzegorz!

Alojzy Baltazar Dreja was born on 1st of Jan 1918 in Przyszowice (small village in the vicinity of Katowice, south of Poland).

After he had passed his secondary school examinations  in Rybnik he joined The School of Air Cadets (Szkoła Podchorążych Lotnictwa) in Dęblin which he graduated from as Air Observer in 1939.

In the September Campaign of 1939, he flew several sorties in reconnaissance flights as Air Gunner. He managed to get evacuated from Poland and via Romania, and from Beirut he got to France. In Andresieux (France) he was attending The Observers School between April and June 1940.

Then again he had to get evacuated to Britain.

Having completed his training as pilot in 18 Operational Training Unit he was posted to 300 (Polish) Bomber Squadron in September 1941. He managed to take part in 35 operations before completing his first operational tour.

Then, in July 1942, with the rank of Flying Officer he was posted to Bomber & Gunnery School in Pembrey where he had the chance to rest from operational flying. In April 1943, he started to attend Polish War Air Staff College which he graduated form in February 1944. From February to October 1944, he was a staff officer in Polish Air Forces Headquarters in Britain.

In the period between November 1944 and May 1947 he served as the teacher of Bombing Tactics in Polish War Air Staff College.

After his demobilization he finished studies on the London University. He lived in London [Surbiton, Surrey] where he died on 18th of Feb. 1986.

Pathe newsreels

“General Sikorski”

Various shots of General Sikorski inspecting Polish patriots who have joined the army and are now serving in Gibraltar. A few hours later Sikorski was to die. Polish destroyer arriving at British port. Various shots of the flag-draped coffin of General Sikorski being carried from destroyer. Several shots of the coffin laying in state at the Polish Government Headquarters in Kensington Palace Gardens – wreaths are laid.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

“Battle Colours for Polish Airmen”

Location unknown, somewhere in Britain. The camera pans across the first Polish squadron of the R.A.F. (Royal Air Force) a year after they were formed. Polish Prime Minister General Sikorski and Air Marshal Sir Charles Portal walk past them saluting. M/S as Sikorski greets an injured airman who is on a bed in the parade ground with his colleagues. M/S of Polish crest. Various shots as the Colours are handed over. Women take photographs of the bomber squadron. They march off with it.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

“Fighter Pilots Meet Bomber Crews”

Polish Club, London.Various shots of a reception given for the pilots of the Polish Fighter Squadron and the British and American bomber crews. Words of thanks are exchanged between Flying Officer Todobinski and Colonel Anderson (natural sound).

Vodpod videos no longer available.

“Bomber Squadron Of Our Allies”

Location of events unknown. M/S of RAF (Royal Air Force) men marching past. Various shots of a Polish bomber crew just prior to boarding their aeroplane. A British officer with map briefs them. GV Bomb train crossing the airfield. Various shots of the Polish crew climbing into their Wellington bomber. Various shots of pilot and gunners inside the plane. Panning shots of two Wellingtons taking off.Panning shots of group of Czech airmen. Narrator explains that many of the men were craftsmen in famous Skoda works. Various shots of bombs being loaded into a Wellington bomber. Various shots of crew climbing into their Wellington. C/U of the forward gun turret. Various shots of Wellingtons taking off.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

"On the Road"


PhotoHunter: Broken

This week’s PhotoHunter theme is “Broken”…

I may have shown the first of these before, though not this photo. It’s of a Raku pot I made. It was deliberately broken after the first firing, glazed and then fired in a Raku kiln. I gave this to my therapist when she retired. She found that many of her patients were fascinated with it and their associations with it opened new avenues of discussion. I was very pleased about this.


While the first was deliberately broken, the second fractured on its own in the Raku firing process. The crackle in the glaze occurs during the rapid cooling of the firing process. The smoke and creosote that covers the surface during the oxygen reduction enhances the crackles. This is one of my favourite pieces.

"Cracked and Crackled"

A few years ago, I went to my friend’s daughter’s birthday party workshop. We made glass mosaic mirror frames. Mine is the blue one. My friend’s daughter’s one is the flower design (she was, I think, 11 when she made this). My friend’s is the one with the lizard. I think she also made the orange one (she was fast!) because she gave it to my niece who loves orange. Her niece made the dog one.

Glass Mosaics

And, of course, because I can’t leave anything alone here is a fiddled-with detail from my mosaic…

Mosaic detail (tweaked)

My eye.

I had my second appointment at the Eye Institute, today.

I had to wait endlessly to be called and had a gigantic coughing fit in the waiting room. Every time I sat down I would start coughing (I have a sort of throat thing). I would get up, go and get some water and the coughing would stop. I’d go sit down and within about 30 seconds was coughing up a lung. I kept assuring the folks “Tickle in the throat, not the FLU!” Finally after about the 4th visit to the water fountain, I was called in to see the doctor. Thank GOD!

After examining my eye, she said that the “damaged area” was smaller than the last visit but still fairly significantly visible. This time, however, when she poked me  repeatedly in the eye, I felt it. The last time, the surface of the eye didn’t “feel” anything.

I still can’t read the chart. If anything, that was WORSE than last time. The only thing I could make out was the big white letters on blue which were the name of the program they use for testing eyes — letters about 6 inches high. The actual chart letters were either straight-ish  fuzzy blobs or rounded fuzzy blobs.

During the last visit, when she mentioned that there were blood vessels going into the damaged area which, to me, sounded like a “good” thing but this time, the way she said it, it sounded like a “bad” thing. Somewhat confusing…

I was able to drive with no problems on Saturday but Sunday was AWFUL, even wearing the new wrap-around sunglasses. Saturday was fairly overcast but still rather too bright. Sunday was a brilliant day.

She’s given me more drops, this time with a steroid to reduce the swelling and inflammation, on top of the other drops and an ointment, and said that I am to go in again on Thursday. Hopefully, there will be more improvement.

Really, it is rather depressing to feel so unsure about whether there is any change or not, particularly because I can’t see any change. With something on the surface, you can tell when something is healing. With an internal problem, generally, you can at least FEEL if there is some improvement. With this, I don’t FEEL much improvement and a don’t see any improvement in my vision, really. I have to depend on the doctor seeing changes within the eye which won’t make much difference to me for some time… if ever.

At least it gives me something to legitimately worry about instead of having panic attacks over nothing. Oddly enough, I haven’t been anxious beyond just being worried. For someone who becomes nearly incapacitated worrying about things that may never happen, having something to really worry about is less stressful.

My vision…

… seems to be improving.  I was able to drive today without much of a problem. I bought some new wrap-around sunglasses which are large enough to put on over my glasses and to block out light coming in from the side, so, aside from a few minutes when I first went out, I wasn’t bothered by the glare from the sun.

I don’t have any problems seeing distance. It was the close reading and details that were really blurry. The seem to be a bit better (I think).

I’ll have to be careful… Tje little bottle of eyedrops is about the same size as the little tubes of Krazy Glue… 😉 (That’s also a visual pun!) Luckily the tubes are in a plastic bottle.

Finally got the second of two Benevolent Postcard Society cards off this evening. And for the second time, I forgot to scan it before sending it. I hope THIS time I hear if it got where its going. I have only heard the one card reached its destination. 😦

I’m sure there’s a lesson in this…

… but damned if I can tell you what it is.

In the last two weeks, by eyes have been bothering me. Ultra sensitive to the light  (having to wear TWO pairs of sunglasses* while driving and one pair in the office) and the right eye feeling “scratchy”. I finally decided to make an appointment with my eye doctor and went in this morning. I got there and discovered my appointment was NEXT week but they said they would fit me in. I was really glad they would do so and after seeing the eye doctor VERY glad they did.

It was late last night that I suddenly thought “I wonder if this could have anything to do with the Shingles I had last fall?”.

It does.

I was sent immediately to the Eye Institute.

It is either a recurrence of or a residual infection from the Shingles.

Today, not only was my eye sensitive to the light but we found that there is a significant reduction in the vision in the eye (sharpness-wise). I can barely see the top line in the chart, whereas in the fall, I was seeing as far down as the last line.

So I am on drops and ointment and have to go back next week to the Eye Institute. Luckily…. and this is where my “It Could Be Worse” luck comes in… They don’t think there will be permanent damage to the eye.

Fingers crossed….

I have been wondering if all these “It could be worse” things are Karmatic… Getting me back for being a hypochondriac when I was a kid.

*Apparently, wearing two pairs of polarized sunglasses cancels out the polarization, a fact I did not know until this morning.

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