Posted by: David | November 24, 2009

Untitled: Blog Post About Nothing

Let’s try a contradictory title this time. This is going to be one of those posts that struggles to find some meaning from the back end of existence. Like Seinfeld, it’s about NOTHING, but not nearly as funny. Not funny at all.  The news in my life that feels post-worthy is simple enough. Last Saturday I rode up the Newport and stopped at McDonald’s for a cheeseburger and small fries. $2.19. Then I rode home via Route 10 and Goshen. About a 40 mile ride. As November winds down each weekend day that the temp goes over 50°F makes me want to ride. My road bike is starting to make an odd clunking sound. Sometimes it seems in rhythm with the crank revolutions, sometimes not. It’s definitely louder when the torque is high, like when powering up a hill.  The touring bike has been out of commission for a while now. I had a blowout and some serious chain skipping in upper gears. I left it at my local bike shop for a few weeks, but they were busy getting ready for ski season. Which is a good thing, because I want to work on the bike myself  I decided later … Looks like both bikes are needing some attention this winter.

Also new is that I’m now officially bespectacled. My eye doctor graduated me from my drugstore 1.75x reading glasses (< $20/pair), to a pair of genuine “progressives” ( > $400/pair). She said I should wear them for a couple of weeks before making up my mind as to whether I like them or not. It’s been a week and while I am getting used to them, I still resent having to move my head around so much to look at stuff. It’s damned inconvenient. I feel like a bobblehead doll. A friend at work told me that when she’d gotten her first “progressives” it was not that long before she’d realized that she didn’t hate them anymore. She also said that she’d felt like she had clown feet when she was leaving the eye doctor’s office wearing her new glasses. Tomorrow will be one week with the new glasses. I did not wear them while bicycling– not really necessary.

On Sunday I turned compost for a couple of hours, making 2 piles into one. Sometimes a compost pile “lights up” a couple of days after this turning process, when you get just the right critical mass and combination of decomposing vegetation and air and moisture. This pile hasn’t lit up yet.  I’m not sure it’s going to. One way to get a pile heating up is to dump lots and lots of grass clippings on it. One of the two piles was high in grass clipping content, but I think it might have cooked itself out. I took a picture of the Monday night. It’s topped with some wood ashes, like frosting on a big dirt cake, and a wet spot in the center where a bucket of water got dumped.


Rather a homely looking thing, this compost pile at night. It’ll shrink some in the next week.

There are only some brussels sprouts and a couple of dozen leeks left out in the garden. And a few sprigs of parsley here and there. The garlic beds, mulched with oat straw, are sprouting oat grass. Hopefully that will winter kill. The whole point of using oat straw for mulch is that it’s not supposed to have any seeds in it. Well maybe that’s not the whole point, but it’s one major point. Mulch isn’t supposed to sprout weeds.

They started up the Large Hadron Collider over the weekend too, and Monday, they had “candidate collision” images from the detectors to show to the world. The images themselves are computer generated, and they look kind of cartoonish to me. And though I’m not a physicist, I know my cartoons by golly! Don’t get me wrong, I still find this fascinating, as I drool over hundreds of photographs and videos of this unimaginable machine, but the old bubble chamber images of particle collisions register more forcefully  in my visual cortex. I added a link to CERNTV (CERN’s YouTube site) in the blogroll listing. They’ve hired a handsome young science lady to go around and interview the scientists. I recommend CERN in 3 Minutes for a quick synopsis of the whole endeavor.


A couple of protons smash into each other. A candidate happens.


The Large Hardon Collider had better start making pictures looking more like this. Soon. Or else!

Or else what? I’ll lose interest? I already have, but that means nothing, since I will become interested again. Then lose it again, etcetera. When spring arrives, I will turn the compost pile one last time. Hopefully.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.


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Responses

  1. Ahhh Dave, you are encouraging me to be ‘wordy’ again! Lol, but you did blog about an area that I have expertise in….so I’ll share, cause I want you make a successful ‘transition.’

    Progressive lenses really are the best way to ‘deal’ with the natural weakening of the eye muscles, as we all venture farther over that “40” line! It allows you the possibility of vision at any focal length, without the hassle of changing or removing eyewear. The problem is we hear so many ‘stories’ of other people’s experiences, and in our profit-driven world, (oops, putting that soapbox back under the desk!) there are less true Opticians our there with true optical and technical knowledge.

    Too many places ‘train’ sales people how to use their machines, and are geared towards ‘sales’ versus patient satisfaction. Did you know there are over 400 different possible ‘designs/materials’ of progressive lenses available? So of course, you want someone you trust, who has the optical knowledge to match your frame, visual needs, etc to the proper progressive style. Also, the biggest error made in fitting progressives is the seg height is placed too low. When this happens, patients often struggle to read up close, or ‘get into the right area’ of their progressive.

    Assuming though, that you have been properly measured and fit in a style progressive that is appropriate for your needs, all progressive designs have ‘multiple focus areas’ as the power blends to accommodate the different focal lengths. Believe it or not, our brains actually really will adjust to this, IF we give them time, and we don’t FIGHT the transition, by trying to analyze every little experience we have with the eyewear. (Hence your friends experience turning out successful.) If we notice every thing that is different, and complain about it every time we have to do it, it is like we are making it ‘new’ every time for our brain.

    Lol, I experienced all of this with my adaption to the lenses. I was told the visual issues I was having would ‘go away’ if I gave it a few weeks and wore them all day. Of course, being an intelligent woman who thinks I know everything, I argued about it. In the end, though, they were right. Turns out, just like your body actually ‘drives’ your car now with very little instruction from you, your brain will teach your head how to move, once it adapts to those multiple focus areas, so that with no thought from you, your head automatically moves so that whatever you are looking at comes in clear. “It’s a Miracle! No MORE bobble-head!”

    Lol! Yes, there are some little ‘habits’ we may have to shift, as we will never make progressive lenses work like the wonderful-ness of a ‘young eye!’ But they are the next best thing to what the alternative could be. There is even an “Office” type progressive (Hoya Tact or Shamir Office are my favorites!) which is to be used in ‘office’ settings, or I also call them my ‘cooking, crafting, sewing, home’ progressives. They have no far distance, you can’t drive in them. But they do have a tiny part a the top to see across the room. The majority of their lens is for intermediate areas, like computers, etc, so you don’t have to tilt your head back to see, depending on where your screen is located. Plus you still have up close reading also.

    So yes, I’ve become someone with a ‘three eye-wear collection’ as I also wanted a good polarized sunglass. And I’ve developed some ‘mindful’ habits about always putting them in the case when I take them off my face….since I DO have an investment in them….but all in all, I am very thankful that I have this technology available. That I don’t have to do as my grandparents did, and have a line cutting across everything I looked at, with only up close and far away focal lengths to see at.

    So don’t give up, find something you love to do, immerse yourself in it while wearing them, and see what happens over a couple weeks! If they have done the important stuff correct, you should be ‘loving’ them! Oh, how anal are you? I have noticed the more ‘detailed-oriented’ we are, the harder we adjust! Lolol! Wishing you good ‘seeing’ experiences….and a very Happy Thanksgiving!

    Oh, okay, I also work in the industry, and really have about 12 pair….but shhhhh, don’t tell!

    Thanks so much for the advice and for sharing your expertise. This has to be one of the most technically informative comments I’ve ever received. The glasses are getting better, no denying that. It still feels like the full-magnification segments at the bottom of the lenses are just a bit narrow. When reading a full page width of text or a computer screen I still feel like I’m needing to swing my head left right left right as I read. Maybe this is why I have a slight ache in my shoulder.

    I’m taking good care of them, putting them in their case and keeping them clean. As a lifelong photographer I’ve always taken very good care of all my lenses. These spectacles are coated with something that’s supposed to be very hard and anti-reflective. Crizal I think it’s called. With Scotchgard? Wait, what? That must have cost extra. I felt bad about spending $420 until my buddy told me that his glasses were over $700. OK, whatever.

    Thanks again for your thoughtful comment.

  2. Nothing! Nothing? This is hardly about nothing! The LHC is really something, for one thing. Very exciting. I concede, McDonald’s not so much.
    I had been using (avoiding) reading glasses for some time. Then, I obtained multi-focal contact lenses! Changed my life (and, apparently, my brain—can you tell the difference?) I shall now be young forever.
    Thanksgiving wishes to you and your vegetables.

    Thanks museditions. The LHC is fascinating all right. The more I look at all the online photos and videos the more fascinating it seems. Such a huge effort to try to unravel the tiniest mysteries. I’ll take fries with that. 🙂

    I didn’t want to start wearing glasses, but some years back, the computer screen just got too fuzzy and so the 1.25X glasses helped me do my work. Passing 50 I needed a little more magnification. And now …

    I plan on staying young forever too. So far so good. (Steven Wright line)

  3. I did not know you had two bikes. Does this include the static one? Or are there three?

    And I did not know thast compost had to “light up”. Aren’t there any forest fires in your region? I thought that they are called “wildfires” there.

    I actually have 3 bikes. The two aforementioned road bikes and a mountain bike (so called- it’s designed for rougher terrain- I don’t ride it on mountains per se) and they hang upside down in the garage for the winter with bicycles of my wife and daughter.

    Compost piles don’t really ignite, but when you have them built properly, the heat of all the decomposing material can make the pile pretty steamy. Alas, this pile seems not to have “lit up”. 😦

  4. This seems like a healthy post about SOMETHING.

    I don’t wear my glasses when exercising. I am not sure why, but I just never have, I think they would slip down my face. As I was getting ready for the Marathon last March I realized I was at the start line with my glasses on…I panicked and ran back to my vehicle to stash them.

    I have done some electrical work inside of a super collider here in Virginia. It was just some lighting work for some of their stations, but the people in this place were like no otehr that I had seen before…Velcro shoes kind of people…couldn’t be troubled with something like tying shoes…brain was only for smart things and my humor wasn’t one of them.

    Thanks MTAE (do you pronounce that “em-tay”?) for finding substance here and pronouncing health. Coming from you this means something. No really. 🙂

    I won’t need to wear the glasses while exercising either, since they provide a pretty minimal correction at distance. Learning more about these things from friends and family, it looks like what I have invested in are “office progressives”.

    Yes! Velcro shoes. Particle physics is not just a body of human knowledge, it’s a lifestyle. Too bad for them not seeing comedy in their midst. If you made just one particle physicist laugh, then it will all have been worthwhile. If not, then fuck Higg’s boson anyway. Am I right? Don’t answer that. Please.

  5. Now I know how to make the sidebar Oliver picture clickable. It was long to find out. On my template there used to be only a text widget. Now there is an image widget.

    I wish that I could somehow let Oliver know that he is prominently featured on the blog of a highly cultured person living in Spain. It may never mean much to him, but it means a lot to me. 🙂 I’ve always appreciated that link cantueso. Thank you.


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