Island Musings

Do not believe a thing because many people speak of it

IOL Implant — May 7, 2019

IOL Implant

I have been asked if the eye surgery I had (interocular lens implant) is a viable approach to eliminating the need for glasses for otherwise healthy eyes. Having now approximately two months since surgery my opinion, and just my opinion, is no. If you have cataracts then sure, get the lens implants. But if not, and your goal is simply vision improvement you may be disappointed. 

Following surgery your distant vision is usually excellent. Your close vision still requires readers. I find it inconvenient to constantly reach for readers. Then there is intermediate distance vision. – think your car speedometer. Readers are no help for intermediate distance and is still to close for distant vision. You can see intermediate but it is a struggle. There is the other factor that your eyes before and post surgery are probably not identical. Thus the off the shelf readers will not be the same for each eye, leading to eye strain. 

The answer is continue with progressive lens where the distant portion has little or no prescription and close and intermediate vision is handled via the progressive portion and is prescribed correctly for each eye. I am told by my optician that this is what most people do. 

I am told there is an implant that permits both up close and distant vision but it takes your brain a while to adjust – sometimes up to 6 months. That is not for me.  

Thus, your reliance on glasses is reduced and you won’t require often. However if you are doing an activity that requires frequent up close, intermediate and distance it is less of a bother to just wear glasses. 

Doom Patrol — April 28, 2019

Doom Patrol

Doom Patrol is a new 2019 (popular) TV series. It is crude, crass and profane to an extreme. Included as ‘stars’ is a robot with a human brain, a washed up actress who turns into a blob, a woman with 23 personalities, a man covered in bandages which cover disfiguring burns, a cyborg black guy, a missing doctor they all call father and an evil enemy. 

The plot is weak, the acting overdone and some of the circumstances ridiculous. For instance a location called Queer Street which is a street that can teleport to different locations and is overseen by a drag queen. Gay men, heterosexual and Lesbians are represented throughout the show. 
It is completely off the wall and sure to develop a cult following. 
If you watch it keep the kiddies out of the room. 
Election 2019 — April 24, 2019

Election 2019

Election seat allocation:

PC won 12 seats or 46% of total (rounded)
GREEN won 8 seats 31% of total (rounded)
LIBERALS won 6 seats or 23% of total (rounded)
NDP won 0 seats or 0% of total. 

But of the popular vote..

PC won 36.52%
GREEN won 30.62%
LIBERALS won 29.52%
NDP won 2.99%

I have heard from a number of Tory friends who are pleased with the outcome and all expressed the hope that premier King will develop a true working relationship with Greens. 

This might turn out to be one of the best governments we have had in decades.  
Points — April 20, 2019

Points

My dog won points. So what does that mean?  In the dog show circles the goal is to be awarded points for specific placing in competition against other dogs. After a certain amount of points the dog receives the right to a title. Champion, Grand Champion etc. With the exception of puppy Ziva all of our dogs are Grand Champion. 

Dogs compete against their own breed. In our case German Shepherds. There are sub categories, I.E. junior puppy, puppy, etc. If they win their breed they get points. The winner of breed moves on to compete in group. In our case that is the working class group. If they win they get more points. The winner of each group moves on to compete against the winners of other groups for Best In Show. BIS awards more points. 

Judging is done by qualified judges who have been through an extensive training process. The judge compares each dog to the ideal breed standard and awards winning based on his or her opinion of which dog comes closest to breed standard. It is possible to win a total of 5 points in one weekend, but highly unlikely. In 30 years of showing only Halle won 5 points at one show. She is an exceptional dog and mom to our Ziva. 

So on a given day at a given time a particular dog is closer to breed standard that other dogs in the competition. All of this is on a particular judge’s OPINION. 
It is very subjective. For example Ziva was in her first competition last week. In the first three competitions she did not place. In the last competition she placed first over the same 6 dogs. Each competition had a different judge. Judges have preferences – some prefer the very German lines which are more rugged, coarse coated, working lines and low in the hocks. Others prefer the more refined ‘americanized’ lines which our dogs are. 
So when you are considering a dog, parental titles do not mean everything. They are important but great dogs come from kennels that do not bother to show. 
Skills — April 2, 2019

Skills

I was half listening to a CBC radio piece about youth employment and my mind drifted back to my secondary education. The late 1960s was still the age of sex, drugs and rock and roll and I chose to attend a business college. My choice was a 2 year privately owned for profit school. 

One day a week we were required to wear business attire. Facial hair was prohibited and hair over a certain length was prohibited. Curriculum included accounting, statistics, physiology, public speaking, business English, Business math and an emphasis on computer programming and applications. Ever student had to type 50 words a minute without looking at the typewriter. 

Frequently each student was offered a job interview conducted by various local employers. These were real interviews that might result in a part time job or a job offer on graduation. It also taught the student about how interviews worked and how to prepare for an interview. 

There was no public funding at this school thus they could impose whatever rules they wished.  If a student did not like the rules they could leave. The school usually had a list of employers who wanted to hire recent graduates. The school also offered employment placement assistance for life and refresher courses for life (without fee). Sadly, after over a century in business, Albany Business College closed their doors. 

The complete focus of the school was to prepare quality, qualified and prepared individuals to enter a business workplace. 

I was well prepared and entered an industry that provided me with a rewarding 47 year career. Two of my roommates went on to complete a 4 year degree in the State University system. One of the two became a millionaire many times over and is world renown in the fashion industry. The other became CFO of a large manufacturer and has enjoyed a comfortable life. Another started a produce business and owned | operated a family general store. Another friend started a concrete pumping business which is going strong to this day. One started a residential contracting business and another owns a successful chain of auto dealerships. Finally, and perhaps the happiest and well adjusted of us all, had a little landscape business and was stoned every day since 1967. 
What I find interesting is we were the rebels. The wild bunch. The parents of pretty girls did not like us. We drank beer, drove fast cars and simply did not really care what others thought of us. Yet when the time came we adjusted as required and did what was necessary. I suspect the rebel attitude has always cooked away in the background and served us well. 
My much admired and respected employer of many years once said to me in exacerbation, “your generation always has to ask why”.  I was flattered by the comment.   
We were fortunate that our parents could help with the financial burden of our education. The various colleges and secondary schools focused on providing an education with a desired outcome. I know we live in different times but I do wonder what our secondary education institutions are aiming for. 
Veddy veddy gud — March 20, 2019

Veddy veddy gud

First I will be clear. I am doubtful the recent announcement of high speed internet access for rural PEI will live up to the grandiose announcement of our Liberal overlords. However I am convinced we will see an improvement which will be the least the telcoheads can get away with and still be granted access to OUR tax dollars. Do remember, we the sheeple are paying for this. 

This morning I have read and heard the objections of the small ISPs and opposing political parties that this funding is unfair competition. Yes it is and it will always be thus. The big and powerful will always eat the small and weak. 
I hope some of my friends are sitting down when I say if there is any chance for this to work our Liberal overlords made the correct decision in selecting the two big telcoheads. 
The build is just the beginning. Maintaining and managing a complex hybrid network is a monumental task which requires deep financial pockets and sophisticated technical skills. I don’t think our small ISPs have the necessary financial depth nor technical background to make this happen. 
There is a wonderful opportunity to bring the smaller firms into a support role. Xplornet now has a CANADIAN based support team who speak both official languages. I have accessed numerous times to my satisfaction. Think how wonderful it might be to call support and be speaking to an Island based centre instead of the current Bell support in Mumbai where I am greeted with “veddy veddy gud, meester Bub”. We could make this happen!  
Digital island — March 19, 2019

Digital island

20 years ago the germ of an idea was born for a little company,  Wireless Island Ltd. Friend and business partner Christopher Ogg hypothesized that PEI was a perfect jurisdiction to use as a test bed and roll out platform for developing wireless technology. Christopher was a remarkable thinker and he theorized that our small size, small population and friendly geography made it possible to make PEI a world leader in wireless internet. 

Through introductions arranged by MP Wayne Easter we met with Minister Brian Tobin, Minister Alan Rock and Finance Minister Paul Martin and shared our idea. Our meetings played a small part in the federal BRAND program which invested millions in rolling out higher speed internet access to qualifying jurisdictions. 3 Western PEI municipal jurisdictions benefited from the program and out little company assisted in the roll out. Unfortunately our association with the Liberal Federal government tainted our relationship with the provincial Tories and the Tories seemed to distance themselves from any local support. 
Fast forward to today and the recent announcement of higher speed internet coming to rural PEI has made me smile at the memory of Christopher’s dream. His dream is as valid today as it was 20 years ago. I doubt our provincial overlords have the vision but with careful planning, strict management of the telco vendors and continued financial investment PEI could still become a true digital island and be a leader in small jurisdiction forward thinking in the fast pace of internet development. 
RIP Christopher. I can still hear your cynical chuckle. 
Sent from my iPad
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 friendly and very professional. I was not looking 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. Glenda is the surgical administrator and a delight. The surgical nurses were great too.

(Update.. I had my 30 day follow up with Glenda and Dr Belliveau. All is good)

KISS — March 2, 2019

KISS

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 —