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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Eye, Eye

What's all this?

I thought I was seeing things. I kept trying to brush my eyelashes out of my eyes, or pick fluff off them. Last night it slowly dawned on me that something was getting between my brain and what I was looking at.

First thought - floaters, those little bits of stuff that are sometimes found in the vitreous humour of the eye. But my eyes (especially the right) felt a bit gritty and tight. So off it was to the optician's, where I was due for an eye test anyway.

Two-and-a-half hours later, my eyes had been observed, tested, dripped with stinging drops to make the pupils dilate, with soothing drops, and finally photographed. Here is my right eye:

Now you know me better than I know myself.
The optician could see some floaters, one of which looked a bit like a tadpole. Of course, they are pretty well untreatable except in extremis.
In case there is something he's missed, he's written me a letter to take to the hospital ophthalmic department of my choice.
All I need is the time to fit a visit in between work and my appointments for my shoulder, while making a moment for my burglar alarm engineer and getting the builder down to rectifypart of the job he began and never finished (and I have yet to pay for...)
Oh, and I left the shop with an order in for two new pairs of glasses amounting to a cool £700.
I'll never be rich.

How to pass the dead of night

Dreaming of our darling.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Saved for the Nation

It was announced today that the papers of AlanTuring had been secured from private puchase and possible export abroad. They will now be housed at the Bletchley Park Museum.

If none of that means a thing to you, you are probably in the US. It isn't your fault - it's your film industry, where only US soldiers and heroes won the World War II. Americans retrieved the papers that led to the breaking of the Enigma Code and proceeded to break that code. The truth is rather more understated.

This is Alan Turing. He was a brilliant British mathematician who, when an Enigma code book was taken from a U-Boat captain by the British sailors who had sunk the vessel, created the machine that could decode any message intercepted.
Bletchley Park was the codebreaking centre where all this secret activity took place. It is only fairly recently that it has been saved from crumbling or being sold off itself. A few years ago someone stole a rare and priceless enigma machine from the museum there, but it was returned via a BBC journalist, the obnoxious Jeremy Paxman. Security has since been improved to the level this precious heritage deserves.
In fact, it is probably less than 20 years since the activities of those who worked at Bletchley Park was made public, and the people concerned were able to talk about their wartime activities. They had been sworn to silence in perpetuity. My friend Susanna's parents had both been codebreakers, training at Bletchley, and finally working in Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon). The women were mostly glorified used as skivvies and secretaries. Many of the men were allowed to use mathematical and linguistic excellence freely to crack codes and read messages. Thanks to Turing the Allies were aware from an early stage in the war of most moves that Germany was going to make, but they had to conceal the fact that they had cracked Enigma by pretending that their information came from a variety of other sources.
So Alan Turing was pivotal to the Allies' success in WWII. Then after the war, he was instrumental in developing the early computers that ultimately developed into the wonder machines we use today. He truly was a genius. And what was his reward or recognition?
Turing was gay, and he was prosecuted for this illegal activity. Rather than be sentenced to prison, he agreed to take female hormomes to "cure" him. Before he turned 42, in 1954, he was dead of cyanide poisoning. It was ruled as a cuicide, but his family believed he was murdered.
A couple of years ago, when Prime Minister, Gordon Brown issued an apology for the way Turing was treated. Only 60 years too late.

Acts of Gorgeousness

My mind wouldn't work enough to help me make up anything wittier.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Taking It Easy

Those of a delicate disposition may like to look away now.

I have been suffering from post-anaesthetic constipation, and yesterday I crammed every possible over-the-counter medication into my body from both ends. I'd had serious aches and pains, not to mention a measure of exhaustion, so after sorting out the girlies at 6am, I went back to bed.

Just as I roused myself again at about 9.20, the doorbell rang. Quickly thrusting my arms into my dressing gown backwards (to protect the innocent) I went and answered the door to what turned out to be the man delivering my pet supplies order.

Off I went for a shower, and then thought it was time for a relaxing breakfast watching some LOCI on my satellite recorder. This afternoon I was expecting someone to fix the last few problems with my new window, and a burglar alarm engineer. But before I even got breakfast ready the burglar alarm guy arrived.

As I hadn't wanted a hole drilled through the sill on my new window, I'd decided to have my alarm upgraded to a wireless version. This is the closest I can find on Google to the keypad. Exciting isn't it (yawn):

The guy was fully entrenched for 5 whole hours. Meanwhile the window man came and did his thing.
As it was going to be a fine, warm, sunny day, I'd asked my friend to come over and watch over the chickies while I was tending to the workers. That way they could have their first roam in a week. At 1.30 she arrived and out they came, with her uncustomarily lapping up the sun with them.
When the alarm guy finally left at 3.30, Sus and I (OK, mostly Sus, I admit it, I was just a little bit careful for once) cleaned out the coop and run.
And so went my nice, relaxing day. Tomorrow I want to go to a family history fair.
Well, as long as my nether regions are operating OK. My multi-medication strategy seems to have turned my original problem into its opposite...
You can look back now.

Who would YOU like to be locked in a cell with?

Don't bother to answer - I already know!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

There are parts of Bobby I'd like to make Grow...

This is another of those episodes where I managed to load the same set of pictures several times over, while missing out others altogether!
There are still some lovely ones, though.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What goes into a fruit yogurt?

Aside from fruit and milk, that is.

Well, bits of dead animal, actually. Most of them have it. They call it gelatine, and pretend there is no alternative.

Well, WeightWatchers' citrus yogurts used to use an alternative. I would eat them quite often. I didn't bother to check the ingredients list, or look for the Suitable For Vegetarians logo, when I bought some last week. It was only after I'd eaten one that I realised the logo was gone, and that these yogurts now contained either pigs' feet or calves' hooves. Or maybe a mixture of both. Strangely, they don't specify.

Needless to say, I felt sick. I've been a vegetarian since 1976.

The rest are now in the bin, and WeightWatchers is a brand I won't be buying again.

I'll Be True To You

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