List of Previous Titles

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cataract Surgery

Removing Cataracts without Pain

We live in a world of rising expectations because of technology advances in the operating theatre. The world has come a long way from the days when whisky served as anaesthesia and your friends, if that was what they were, held you down. I have just had surgery for cataracts that is so routine it's hardly worth mentioning. However, that is not to say that extremely refined skills are not involved, because they are.

Cataract surgery involves the removal of the lens that you were born with, and the replacement by a plastic or silicone one. Information concerning such surgeries are available on the internet, including taped narratives of the operation in action.

I had mine performed at the Hospital Casa de Salud in Valencia, which has a fine reputation for all mod cons when it comes to equipment. My procedure went without a hitch, and now I am recuperating, sitting here at my computer wearing Ray Charles-like sunglasses because I am light sensitive at the moment.

It is a very good thing when all aspects of the operation goes well, especially since I will have to return to have the same thing done for my right eye at some time in the future. It is a really amazing thing when we consider that they do the following to your eye without the patient suffering any pain whatsoever:

Your eye is anaesthetized by drops, then a drape is placed over your face with an opening through which the surgeon will work on the applicable eye. By having the drape I was not able to see any movement from my other eye, which helped my anxiety.

They then broke up my existing lens using sound waves and then removed it through a small cut that had been made. It was interesting in that I could see it go, and from that eye I could still see light and very cloudy movement. A surprising amount of liquid is doused in my eye during the surgery, but I suppose that since I am able to open my eyes under water that is not so unusual.

There was only one time that I felt some pressure. I suppose that was when they were inserting the new lens in place. I have to admit that I was far more stressed than I thought I would be. Mainly this was because I knew that I had to remain absolutely still. My head was not restrained in straps, so it was all up to me. I thought I might feel an unexpected prick that would make me shake my head, and that kept me on edge.

Before long the surgeon said, "That's it!" My relief was wonderful. In total I was in the operating room for about 20 minutes, much of that time was spent in pre-op and post-op. The procedure went quickly, so quick I thought it only took about 5 to seven minutes, but it probably was a bit longer.

I went into hospital without the slightest worry about what was to come. I went alone, leaving my wife to remain at her work. I actually took the Metro to the hospital and checked myself in. Everyone I dealt with was superbly professional, yet warm and friendly. Valencia, in general is a wonderful place for health treatment where some of the most advanced procedures have been carried out.

If you are scheduled to have this surgery it is probably a good idea to read about it beforehand. Just Google Cataract surgery. That should give you confidence. The only thing I advise is that you take a pair of sunglasses with you because after the process is over and you are released from hospital you will find the glare from light to be difficult to handle for a little while without your sunglasses.

Copyright (c) 2011 Eugene Carmichael

Saturday, October 22, 2011

African Women, European Women

African Women, Western Women

As I was relaxing on the beach in Valencia, all around me there were topless women, and that got me to thinking about the village of Gouria, located high in the mountains of The Extreme North of Cameroon, West Africa. Myself, together with six other volunteers adopted this village in 1999, and we are lending support and guidance to bring the citizens of this remote area into the 21st century. I should add that this is at the request of the people themselves.

When we first encountered the village life progressed largely as it did at least one thousand years ago, with the exception that the motorbike had become a form of transport that was owned and used by some of the young men of the village. There was also a dirt road that carried trucks and a few cars past the village, and as a result some visitors from far off places came into contact with the people.

Their life style was very simple, and was ordered by the break of day and the setting of the sun. The daily routine was unrelenting, in that there was always the search for wood and water, and herding of the cows and goats, and working in the fields to grow crops. Most of this work was done by the women and children as the men concerned themselves in meetings to discuss the present and future of the area.

The village had many customs and traditions that have existed since time immemorial, many of which our little solidarity group still don't understand. As a people, our tribal group are known as The Kapisiki, and are as pure an ethnic specimen as can be found. Their culture is somewhat complex for the foreigner to understand, but it has worked for them. We do not agree with everything that we have learnt, but we first and foremost respect what they have.

We entered the picture at their invitation because they were concerned that their boys were not being educated, and the request was made of us to help. We, of course had to insist that if they wanted our help they would have to agree to educate both boys and girls. They were simple people but they were not stupid. I want to focus on the attitude of the women, and to a certain extent, the men.

We have all seen those National Geographic films depicting Africans in their native dress. The women of our village dressed in like manner in that they covered up their lower body but went about bare chested, the same as the men. The men likewise covered their torsos, but they did not seem to notice the female's exposed breasts.

Over the years we have brought education to the children, and their parents of Gouria. We have also introduced certain other social benefits, including providing the children with shoes. The change of attitude was electric upon putting on shoes for the first time. We were astonished to observe how the children held themselves erect, and their sense of pride was palpable.

As the children progressed in their education , and as they carried themselves with more pride and respect, so too did the mothers start to wrap their upper halfs in cloth. Our teachers are native locals, who are helped by the occasional visitor from abroad, but it was not a part of our philosphy to have women cover their breasts. There are Christian churches in the area who might have had something to do with the change, but the end result is that most of our women are now covered up.

Switch now to Europe, where for many years European women have reserved to themselves the right to sun themselves on the beach topless. The beach, and on the water are the only places where this is done in public, but there are also nudist beaches to worship the sun completely naked. The European attitude to full frontal nudity has always been healthy as we are all constructed in the same manner, so it's no big surprise to anyone. However, it's curious that in Africa where women have always been completely un-selfconcious, that practice there is going in one direction while in Europe and The United States the trend is in the opposite direction.

For the record, I note that exposed women's breasts in public are not sexy. The woman who wears a fashionable bra is sexy, until she takes it off. Sexy is in the imagination, or in my bedroom. I, together with my companion, once wandereed into a nudist hotel late at night in France because we were desperate for a bed for the night. Breakfast was taken while nude, which excited us, but our fellow diners were not impressed with us sexually, but they sure were impressed how smooth our skin was. (They were all senior citizens.)

A while ago there was a boatlod of Africans who had been at sea for far too long. They were in dire straits with some of those on board who had died. The boat drifted ashore on a nudist's beach, and I hate to seem to be making light of such a serious situation, but surely for the survivors encountering a whole beach full of naked white people must have been quite a shock for them

What is your tribe, and take me to your leader!

Copyright (c) 2011 Eugene Carmichael

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


The Beloved Austin Mini

I noticed something quite interesting about the size of vehicles that we drive or ride. Try to follow me in this thesis:

Drivers of large trucks, buses, JCBs, Mega earth moving equipment, etc all have something in common, in that they are generally very careful while in motion. They have to be due to the sheer size of the equipment under their control. There is no room for mistakes, but mistakes do happen and when they do the results are jaw dropping.

If the driver of an artuculated truck with eighteen wheels turns a corner just a little too fast, over goes the truck with the potential for killing others on the road, and spilling the cargo. If the driver of a bus with a full load does something silly he risks killing his entire cargo of passengers. Large earth moving vehicles operate on terain that is not firm to begin with, so it is in their own personal interest to be very, very careful.

However, truck drivers learnt a valuable lesson from a calamity that occurred because of the habit of driving in convoy, nose-to-tail. When the lead vehicle got into trouble that trouble resulted in closing the A7 for many hours, such was the mess. The message is clear: Keep your distance!

Moving now to the Medium size vehicle, the family saloon, here is where we find, on a numerical basis the class of vehicle that produces the most road fatalities. This is because of the variety of drivers behind the wheel and the potential to do some stupid things. However, within this group there are some exceptions when it comes to the cause of accidents. I don't think that I have ever heard of the driver of a Rolls Royce being the cause of an accident, period! Volvos, Mercedes, Range Rovers, Jaguars, and a few other car brands are conspicious by their absence in being the cause of accidents.

However, there is a class of vehicle that is very suspect for its potential to be involved in the cause of car crashes because they almost beg to be driven too fast. At the top of my list is the beloved Austin Mini. The sensation to me of driving a Mini is that of driving a Go-Cart. It is so small and compact, and so quick that it takes a very responsible person to go lightly on the gas pedal. This car, and the group of Seat cars and others of a similar size are classed in the Small size. They all are a big tease to their drivers and unfortunately not all drivers are sufficiently mature enough to handle the provocation. There is one insurance company that will offer cover only if you are 50 years or older.

Motorcycles are a special study unto themselv,es. It is no wonder that medical staffs call them donor cycles. Something to keep in mind when strapping on a helmet. If you are going to ride a motorcycle, at least wear a reflective vest so that you can be seen to be safe.

Copyright (c) 2011 Eugene Carmichael

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My Bed, My Real Estate!

My Space!

There are many things that we, as people all over the world have in common, but perhaps the most significant of all is our beds. The way I see it, "My bed is my Real Estate and my castle." In our case our bed is 150 centimetres wide and 190 centimetres long. Therefore, my bit is 75 centimetres by 95.

I am fortunate in that I get to share my bit of real estate with my wife.

From the moment we are born we are placed in a bed, but we are just passing through at the time. When we get home we are placed in our very own bed, which some people call a crib. Even if we are born of poor parents and they place us in a drawer of the bureau, it's still our very own space. We spend most of our days in that place so it is the most important place in the world to us.

If we are lucky, as we grow we get our own theme style bed. As teenagers the very lucky get not only their own bed, but they get their own room, which they promptly proceed to maintain in the most messy state possible. You can compare what you have with others, but the real choice situation is to have your own room. That is like having your own home.

The curious thing is that many times it is the privileged person who has everything who is in fact unhappy. That may be a good opportunity for that person to help someone less fortunate. I can guarantee them that they will obtain a measure of happiness unlike any other from doing so.

Sailors often have to time-share their bunks. I suppose you get used to it, but there is nothing like going to bed and knowing that no one else has used my space.

When we have been off travelling and sleeping in many strange beds, the experience accentuates the feeling of coming home all the more so. We all say that there is no place like home, and that combines many aspects, not the least of which is that first night's sleep back in your bed, in your very own piece of real estate.

Pity the homeless person who sleeps rough on a park bench or covered over in cardboard. If that is where he normally sleeps, I'll bet it's as sweet as my own bed.

Copyright (c) 2011 Eugene Carmichael

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Interview

A question of credibility?

On the 18th September, 2011, DSK gave an interview to French television regarding his New York troubles, in which he described having sex with Nafissatou Diallo as having been a moral fault on his part. He maintains that it was consenual, without any force whatsoever, or payment.

She, on the other hand alleges that she entered the room to clean it, and found him coming out of the bath. She says he briskly approached her, closed the door and grabbed her breasts and her crotch, causing soreness, then dragged her to her knees whereupon he stuck his dick in her mouth and ejaculated, leaving her to run from the room.

Who do you believe? Which version is more credible?

It has been written that the Late Rev. Martin Luther King loved to play with the ladies.

It has been written that the Late President John F. Kennedy absolutely had to have sex every day, and took steps to make that happen.

Famously, former President Bill Clinton seemed to think that as President of The U.S. he must have been entitled to use a bright eyed intern as he saw fit.

Male rock stars, movie actors, and sports legends are famous for their womanizing.

What do all these men have in common? These are men of wealth, fame and power, which is a very heady cocktail. It is some form of human nature that if you have all of these things you tend to get carried away with your own sense of importance. At the very least you seem to feel that your reward should be to have any woman, and as many as you want, but you would have to be very responsible indeed to push back against such an impulse.

When the man thinks "I am who I am little girl, and you have no right to resist me" then things have gotten way out of hand. Such a man should be locked away from decent society as he is a danger.

Guys, this is a very serious character fault on our part, and is something that we have to robustly work to correct. It is a false friend that leads to all manner of problems for those too weak to control themselves. If we think we have a right to access any woman we fancy, then sorry guys, life just doesn't work like that. Not in the civilized society in which we live.

The era of The Cave Man ended eons ago.

We owe women a much better form of behaviour.

Copyright (c) 2011 Eugene Carmichael