Ten years later, this still makes me chuckle.
I had laser eye surgery performed on the weekend. Today was my second follow-up appointment with the opthalmologist.
My vision is now sitting at 20⁄16 with both eyes, which is apparently a step better than 20/20 or “perfect” vision. I gather that the 20⁄16 means that I can see at 20 feet what a normal person can see at 20 feet.
I had a look at the documents the doctor provided. Before the surgery, my good eye was at 20⁄400. My bad eye, well, they didn’t even bother with a 20/number, just marked OF 2ft (I assume “out of focus at two feet”).
Now all I need to do is get used to a life without glasses.
With some of the money I inherited from my dad, last year, I bought an 11–16mm f/2.8 lens for my camera. In plain English, it’s a nice fast lens with a nice wide field of view, which means that it’s great for astrophotography.
Tonight, the stars aligned for me, as it were. There was almost a 50/50 chance of some aurora sightings, per SpaceWeather. The temperature was a balmy -1°C, which was a pleasant change from the -25°C and -35°C nights we’ve had for the last couple weeks.
Long story short, there was a faint haze to the north. Editing with Gimp brings out quite a bit more than the naked eye could see.
As my camera clicked away, I leaned back against the car. At one point I thought of Kurt Vonnegut’s quote: If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.
I just got notice that the book I requested via Inter-Library Loan—The Island of Dr. Death and Other Stories and Other Stories—has arrived at the desk. By coffee time I’ll have it in my hands, and by evening I’ll be reading some Gene Wolfe short stories.
I’m probably more excited about this than I should be, but then I’m a late-in-life Wolfe convert, and I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.
Wolfe is the one that once tore to shreds a pretty common writing trope—calling something indescribable when it isn’t really—and then, I like to think, poked fun at his own advice a few years later in a different novel. I’ve seen him described more than once as the writer’s writer, and I look forward to reading some of his short works.
Happy Hollow Bean, y’all.
…“And what is the purpose of this celebration?”
“To collect the all-important food.”
Thanks to Merriam-Webster’s “Time Traveler” feature, I now know that the following words’ and phrases’ first recorded use happened the year I was born:
- bikini wax,
- razor wire,
- postfix notation,
- gamma-ray burst, and probably my favourite,
- space cadet.
And dozens of others, too. How about you?
(Maybe later I’ll indulge in a caipirinha.)
I recently finished my re-read of Gene Wolfe’s Fifth Head of Cerberus. Feeling pretty smug, thinking I’d caught a lot more than I’d picked up on first reading it, I Googled
fifth head of cerberus analysis, which led me to a passel of articles on Ultan’s Library, including Proving Veil’s Hypothesis [warning: many, many spoilers] . And… wow.
I had no idea.
I still have no idea.
But I’m glad there’s at least one writer out there as subtle, as sneaky, as sly, as Gene Wolfe.
2 alternate takes (and more, so much more!) on my Flickr account.