Island Musings

Do not believe a thing because many people speak of it

Cateract surgery and Intraocular lense implants — March 18, 2019

Cateract surgery and Intraocular lense implants

I am writing this so that when people are looking for real world experience Google will find this. I did a lot of research before and after my surgery and did not find anything written by people who had the surgery. One of the better explanations of interocular lens implants is here. I hope this is helpful. 
It is important to emphasize that all reputable eye surgeons and websites well emphasize that the purpose of the surgery is to correct cataracts and reduce reliance on glasses. It is very unlikely that you will completely emiminate the need for corrective lenses.

What can you expect..

The day of surgery you are disallowed food and drink 2 hours prior to surgery. 

The surgery takes approx 15 minutes per eye. Just prior to surgery you will receive 15 drops in each eye spread over 20 minutes. You will probably be offered an Ativan to reduce anxiety. At the beginning of surgery a numbing paste is applied to your eye along with a disinfectant. Your cataract lens is then broken up and sucked out and following small incisions the new lens in put in place. You are wide-awake and your eye is held open. All you can see is a bright light. Repeat for second eye. I was given a rubber ball for each hand to squeeze if stressed. I am sure I flattened mine. 

You might be told there will be no pain. I felt pain when (presumably) the incisions were made. It was brief and not at all intolerable. You will leave the clinic wearing sunglasses and for first sleep you will wear eye shields. Avoid straining and do not pick up anything over 10 pounds. Just be sensible. 

Depending on your lens you will see in distance clearly almost immediately. It is a holy sh** moment. You will probably still need off the shelf readers for up close viewing. I use 2.5 X at a cost of 5 pair for $23 from amazon. You will see your surgeon 24 hours after surgery to make sure all is well. You will take an antibiotic eye drop 4 times a day, a NSAID drop 4 times a day and a corticosteroid drop once a day. These reduce over a 3 week period. 

Now the real purpose of this. What to expect post op. 

My surgery was at 1 pm. Following surgery I could see well for distant sight. Despite readers I could not read nor see my iPad. My night vision was poor and vision was blurry. I was feeling moderate stress. 

Day 1 post op. One eye was still dilated so I could not see much and I still could not read. At my 24 hour check up doc told me he used extra dilation fluid in one eye so thatP was why it was still dilated. By mid day I was able to read with readers but it was a struggle. 

Day 2 and distant vision is remarkable and I can read fine with readers. I am comfortable driving. The sun is very bright and I need sun glasses. Recommendation – buy premium sun glasses. I consider Serengeti to be the best and that it what I will have. Don’t go cheap. 

Day 3 and I am delighted. Everything is clear, colours are vibrant. One eye is perfect and the other almost. Vision in second eye is not quite as good as the other. One eye is a little puffy on bottom which I will obsess over. It is my nature. 

Day 4. My vision is still good but left eye still a little puffy and vision in that eye is not perfect. I called the doc and he advised he is not concerned as long as no pain, no redness of lid or change in vision. If any change I am to see my local optometrist for a check. 

Day 5. No change. 

Day 6. Puffy eye is less. Vision is pretty much the same. 

It is probably useful to mention that it is normal see a slight shimmering in peripheral vision. As well a halo around lights or a laser like beam of light off lights is considered normal and will diminish over time. I had all and was prepared so I was not concerned. I still have all but it is diminishing. 

Day 7. No change other than the effects around lights is diminishing. Still a pesky shimmering occasionally when I move from dark to light rooms. I did not have a crescent shape flash in side of eye but that too would have been considered normal. 

You are provided with artificial tears to use if your eyes feel irritated. I only used occasionally up to now but have discovered that more frequent use feels better. I will now use if I feel any irritation. 

Day 8. My right eye is still perfect but I am struggling a little with left. It just did not feel right. Dr Google assures me all is normal but I invested $75 with my optometrist who confirms doc google is correct. Both eyes appear perfect and it just takes time for both eyes to adjust to lens implant. Before surgery and with glasses I had 20/40 vision in both eyes. Yesterday I had 20/20 in right eye and 20/40 in left without any correction and this will only improve. I discontinue the antibiotic today and continue with the steroid drops for another 2 weeks. Starting tomorrow will be one steroid once a day and another 4 times a day. 

My new Serengeti sun glasses arrived from Amazon. I wore Serengeti 30 years ago when I could wear contact lens and felt they were the best of the best. 30 years later and they appear to be unchanged and remain my all time favourite for driving and general use. I prefer the drivers lens but Serengeti offers many shades.  I am trying to convince myself that I am now a cool dude. …fail

Days 9,10. No real change other than a slight improvement in left eye each day. Antibiotic has been discontinued and steroid drops continue. I find outside vision is crystal clear. Inside in dim light is ok but less than outside. All is good. 

This will be my last update. All is good. I do not need glasses for distant vision and will use readers for close up. I don’t really think much about my eyes except for continuing drops for another week. I will have a follow up visit with doc in 10 days and expect to be told I am done. If there is any negative I find my eyes are ‘tired’ by the end of the day. I know this is my brain getting used to working in a different way. It will pass and I expect I will be experimenting with different power in readers. 

At this point I am entirely satisfied with the outcome. If you need surgical attention for your eyes The Halifax Vision Surgical Centre and Doctor Dan Belliveau has my vote of confidence. The surgical administrator, OR nurses and doctor met my expectation. Doctor Belliveau is not a warm touchy-feely type doc. He is reasonably friendly and very professional. I had no desire to share a beer with this doctor and all I wanted was a professional competent surgeon who could fix my eyes. As Dr. Belliveau has done 22,000 of these surgeries (and counting) I think I picked the right doctor.

KISS — March 2, 2019


Steve Jobs was obsessed with the interface between human and his machines. I have not thought about that much but realized today that my home entertainment devices are a perfect example. 

We have a his and hers TV. Hers is hooked up to Shaw direct satellite system and she pays around $100 a month. It works very well. She pushes one button on her remote, then the up or down button to select a channel and one button again. Excluding volume she has  3 buttons on the remote to keep track of. She has a limited selection (what she pays for) and watches programs when Shaw broadcasts them. It works well. 

My TV is entirely streaming. I can watch most any TV program series or episodes that was ever produced when I want to watch. In addition I have access to most any movie ever produced. I push one button to turn on. Then I scroll through a selection of apps which provide different services. I select one which opens another screen. From there I select the program (series and episode) or if not listed on my preconfigured screen I will search. I press another button and the app searches for various streams and I will select one. Press again and I am watching. My process has more choices and takes longer – maybe 20 seconds. It works well and a good performance comparison is Netflix. My system handles hi def and Dolby sound. My cost is under $10 a month. I am not downloading any files so I am on the right side of what is allowed. 

When I offer to set up the same on her TV, she says nope, to complicated. She will use Amazon Prime streaming as that is one button selection. 

Jobs was correct. A simple interface for people who have no interest in tech is the answer. I don’t think voice control is the answer but it may be close. With the various IoT voice devices, progress is being made. An example..  my daughter is hiking in Tasmania right now and I spoke aloud, “Alexa, what is the population of Tasmania”. Instantly I was told 509,000. With a little work I could easily say, “Alexa, play NCIS series 4,

Creig Dewitt Robinson —
ASUS RT-AC68U — February 23, 2019


I know only a geek will understand that I find it fun and challenging to set up a new router for my home network. My home network manages traffic from:

2 iPads

1 iPhone

1 android phone

2 TV

1 Nvidia Shield

1 Amazon Alexa

1 weather station monitoring display

Numerous Hue lights

1 USB 3 T network drive

I was replacing a decade old AirPort Extreme as Apple had discontinued support and I wanted more granular configurability. The replacing router arrived a day early and I spent the afternoon setting up to suit my needs.

Router configuration ( 10 years ago) was black magic, filled with frustrations and confusion. Not any more. ASUS has it dumbed down to a point if you can read and click, the basic configuration and connectivity is a 10 (or less) minute process. Once that is completed the fine tuning is next. I enabled the firewall and malware detection first. Malware protection is a huge plus and eliminates the need to run on individual devices.

After that I set various priorities. I made streaming video priority over other functions. I then enabled traffic monitoring so I could understand how much data was being used, by whom, what application etc.

Wi-Fi is a beast. I have excellent coverage in every room with signal strength of -38 dBm and 340 Mbs at most distant point.

Download speeds are consistently faster but that is subjective as my ISP may be having good days. I am paying for 25 Mbs download speeds and Analoti indicates I am getting between 20 and 50 most days.

Wi-Fi networks of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz are separate networks. 5 is faster but is an ‘in room’ network as 5 is always a weaker signal. It is nice to have the choice.

I had intended to run the WRT-Merlin firmware but the OEM is so good I see no reason to change.

I can recommend this router to anyone looking for a good sold performing device. ASUS RT-AC68U

Surely not —
Free TV — February 17, 2019

Free TV

I was asked again how to obtain ‘almost free’ TV and to keep it simple I will outline what I think is necessary. 

An internet connection with download speed of at least 10 Mbps. Check your speed at 
An Android TV box. I recommend the best. Nvidia Shield. (Approx $200 on sale.)
A software package from one of the many providers. Currently TVZion is the best. These packages are free. In addition Cyberflix and Cinema work well. 
A real-debrid account. 16€ for 6 months. 
Optional. If you use TVZion a club membership. $15 for one year. 
Optional. A VPN client. I prefer NORDVPN. $3 monthly. 
Not absolutely necessary but a quality router will make a difference. Typically the wifi router your ISP provides is crap. 
So, there is no free TV. However with the above you can have equivalent or better quality than Netflix. The key to the quality is a real-debrid account and adequate download speed. 
Trusting crow — January 30, 2019

Trusting crow

A good friend refers to my GPS as crow. When we are traveling he has been known to ask, “what does crow say?”. I just returned from Halifax where I relied on crow to lead me around. I asked crow to take me from Lady Hammond Drive to Hobsons Lake Drive, a distance of 9 km. She (crow speaks with a female voice) took me to a vacant lot in a scary section of town. A U-turn allowed crow to collect her wits and she correctly led me to my intended location.

I just updated the maps on my GPS. A 6.5 G download.

Don’t blame me — January 27, 2019

Don’t blame me

…but I can’t cook. I am of a generation that men did not learn to cook. I grew up in a home where my Mom did the cooking and to my regret, I was not taught this critical skill.

Due to unforeseen circumstances Herself has been unable to prepare meals for a while and while we muddled through, it emphasized a deficient in my life skills.

Thus, despite an instinct to avoid following the latest trends, we invested $99 in an Instant Pot. I can read instructions and I can push buttons. Magic!


I am not judging — January 25, 2019

I am not judging

CNN just reported that the majority of US Government employees do not have sufficient savings to manage missing one pay cheque.

The Huffington Post reports, “In 2014, the average federal employee salary was $84,153, approximately 50% more than the average private sector worker earned. This discrepancy increases to 78% when benefits are included. The average federal worker costs the government (aka taxpayers) $119,934.Dec 21, 2015“.

For perspective various organizations report 3 1/4 million people in Canada live in poverty.

Neuvoo reports, “The average Government salary in Canada is $47,150 per year or $24.18 per hour. Entry level positions start at $23,400 per year while most experienced workers make up to $80,155 per year”.

Just another comparison stat, Neuvoo also reports, “The average Family Physician salary in Canada is $195,000 per year or $100 per hour. Entry level positions start at $20,000 per year while most experienced workers make up to $331,500per year.”

Again — January 20, 2019