The eyes have it

Mars 19May A

Retina? What is it?

Yesterday was the third visit to SCGH for eye tests. The verdict? Can’t see any problems, come back and see us in six months. Well, that’s very reassuring but it doesn’t answer my questions – why am I seeing, very intermittently, a curved line in the lower field of my left eye? They had no answer. And why am I being troubled so much by glare? No answer.

The doctor yesterday was frustratingly brief and vague. He didn’t go into any detail, just said my field (peripheral vision) test was pretty good with just a small area of concern, but didn’t properly show me the printouts. My intra-ocular pressure is marginal but OK, but he didn’t tell me the readings. I came away reassured, but a bit frustrated.

Each time in these three visits, I had different doctors who were very nice, but they always introduced themselves with just their first name, so I wasn’t sure who I was seeing or even if they were a medical doctor or just a technician. If I was asked who I saw, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. Oh well, as I said it was all reassuring, so that’s OK then.

But three visits! Each time it was nearly 90 mins to get there and park. And another hour to get home, of course. It’s more than 70Km each way and the traffic was heavy yesterday. Luckily the parking in that new parking building off Thomas St is easy. But expensive! For my roughly three hours, $9.60. Bloody hell, it’s enough to make you sick.


From The Guardian:  “The most obvious piece of “bad” infrastructure is the NBN, too closely identified with Kevin Rudd to be anything but anathema [to this Liberal government]. Unsurprisingly, the government has commissioned a hatchet job on the project, based on the unsurprising premise that, if we don’t discover any new uses for the Internet, our existing infrastructure, with a modest upgrade will suffice to meet our needs.”

Malcolm Turnbull – the man who crippled Australia’s fibre optic network. This Liberal government – the government that is crippling Australia’s scientific base.

I spit.


Aha, two boxes have just arrived from the UK, with my $850 parts order of model rail gear. That’s exactly a week to arrive. Not bad! Crumbs, they’re much smaller boxes than I expected, but it’s all there. It’s N gauge, that’s why it’s so small.

So now I’ve got all the track and points (ie turnouts, switches), and therefore, when I’ve got the plan done, I can make a start laying the track. I’ve got five folding tables to put the baseboards on, and one sheet of 2400 x 1200 x 9mm MDF, cut into three pieces. I’ll build the baseboards in 1200 x 1200mm sections so that I can lift them and store them away if necessary, and I’ll bolt them together to make the larger pieces.

I also bought a roll of 3mm thick black rubber sheeting, 1200mm wide by 4000mm long. It’s made from ground up car tyres, to make a fairly soft and porous sheet. I figure it looks much like black coal or very dark granite chipped surfaces. It’s meant to be a base to lay the track on. But it pongs of rubber. I’m wondering whether I might take it back (Bunnings) and buy the cork sheeting that’s the normal underlay. The rubber was $69.95 for the roll, so it’s not cheap. I don’t know what cork would cost. A mix of both would probably be appropriate.

I’ve got one loco on order from a Gold Coast shop and I think it’s talking longer for the order to come by Australia Post from Brisbane than the order from the UK took to arrive!. That lonely loco will allow me to test things. But before I can do that, I have to spend another $800 approx. on a power supply and controller. Ouch. I’ll buy these locally from that Naval Base shop I mentioned as they are quite heavy items.

So I’m on the way. No going back now. But I’m still working on the design on the computer. I’ve realised I’d better build it in two halves that can be operated independently, as, in my typical style, I’ve designed a very large layout, probably too big at the start. I’ll begin with one half of it.

Lucky there’s no woman telling me what I can and can’t do with my lounge area!


I mentioned being very sensitive. A couple of days ago I met up with a local retired couple I know at the big shopping centre. They were sitting at a cafe so I sat down for a chat. The guy asked if I would like a coffee. I hesitated, but said OK and pulled out my wallet to give hime some, money, but he said no, his buy.

I assumed they were ordering for themselves, but my cup arrived and that was all. After a few minutes, they said they had to go. So I was left drinking my coffee on my own when I didn’t really want coffee – I hadn’t eaten yet.

I was embarrassed by this. Yes, it was generous of the guy to buy me a coffee, but I think he should have thought ahead and said, “We have to go in a minute but I’ll buy you a coffee if you’d like one.” Small thing, but …

Not so small was the occasion many years ago when I offered my two brothers their choice of a framed print of any of my photos. By any standard, I think many of my images are pretty damned good and they seemed to have nice things to say occasionally. so I thought this offer was OK.

But both of them just said, “No thanks.”

Bloody hell!!!!! I didn’t show my feelings but I was hurt and embarrassed. I was offering a framed print, free and gratis. What would it have hurt to accept my offer, even if they didn’t intend to put it up on a wall? I was angry and I still feel the hurt. It told me that their weak praise had been insincere, that they really didn’t care for my photography. Thanks a lot.

Other examples: one Christmas, I received a gift of one place mat. Not a set, just one cloth place mat, of a completely boring design. What??!!

Then there was the gift, another Christmas, of a DVD of a couple of episodes of Little Britain. But not a boxed set that you buy in the shops, it was a bare DVD of the programs recorded off the air with the title scrawled on the front in felt tipped pen. No box, just a plastic sleeve. Cost? About 50c and an hour of time. Gee, don’t got to any trouble, will you?

Another Xmas, as I always do, trying to make things easy for people to buy for me, I asked for wooden coat hangers. I specifically said I was sick of the cheap bendy plastic ones, and would like a few higher quality wooden ones.

What did I get? A set of 10 K-Mart plastic ones. The direct thing I said I didn’t want. Yeah, don’t put yourself to any trouble, will you?

As all the Christmases went by, when we exchanged Xmas gift lists of suggestions, I gave up suggesting things I really wanted and only suggested things I knew were easy to get. I learnt over many years that I was wasting my time asking for anything that couldn’t be found at the local shopping mall. Or anything that required any efort. I knew I’d never get it. Too much trouble.

By contrast, I went out of my way to buy gifts of as much variety and quality as I could find. I would buy things during the year if I came across something exotic or particularly beautiful or interesting. I would travel fairly far afield. But it was never reciprocated.

In recent years I’ve been trying to do what Dad used to do, give gifts that I’ve made myself. To me, they mean more than shop bought items. So about a year ago I gave a group of friends copies of the Scotland DVD (made to a professional standard, showing vision of the school friend in Scotland they all used to know), and a Blu-Ray copy of my short Venice/Vivaldi disc. Again professionally made with full printed label and fully printed slip-case.

Not one of the five has ever said thanks, or given any feedback on whether they’ve watched them or liked them. Except for one. A few weeks later, she handed them back to me and said, “I’ve watched the Scotland one thanks, but I’ve seen it now, and I won’t need it again You can have it back. And this one (she meant the Blu-Ray), I can’t play it and I can’t see myself ever being able to, so you may as well have it back.”

Bloody hell!!!!!!!!  I was hurt and angry. These were GIFTS! This is not the first time I’ve had gifts ignored or handed back to me, not wanted. I didn’t show my feelings, of course, but I’m hurt by things like this and I can’t forget.

These are just a few of the hundreds of stories I have to tell. I think I’m allergic to people.


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