Got back from L.A. yesterday. We took Kari's Element there this trip...that was a great trip car. In spite of it being a big boxy vehicle, it got the same mileage my Lancer did. The trip out went really well. We left her house in Scottsdale around 2:15, and managed to get out of the Phoenix area by 3. We were in Manhattan Beach before 9. I love cruise control; I've got to get that installed in my Lancer. Kari ended up sleeping, and I knew I'd need some stimulation for the drive, so while in transit, I ended up calling XM and having her Element's radio activated. The music quality is good. They have a really good punk / surf rock channel called Fungus. I ended up listening to that most of the time. The audio quality is pretty decent...there are still some compression artifacts, especially on the high end. Digital radio has yet to rival wideband FM for quality. But Sirius's sound quality has suffered compared to when I started listening a couple of years back...I don't know if they're trying to make bandwidth for more new streams or what, but the songs there sound like they've tried to crunch the bitrate too much.
I woke up thinking about this phrase this morning, which should tell you how much I love the public telephone system. You can read about the commercial it comes from here. I think it was right after MCI got direct dial access to most of world. My dad had MCI for a while in the early 90's...I remember it sort of sucking. I got an automatic intercept one time, and the tape machine was all warbly...sort of out of maintenance. The lines were sort of scratchy then as well...I don't think they had cut over to fiber at that time.
PRK rocks. This may have been one of the better decisions I have made in my life. I still have a little bit of day to day fluctuation, but I no longer have the constant sinus headaches that I used to with my glasses.
Today was housekeeping day, for lack of a better term. I took my GK bass amp to M-troniks in Mesa to have it fixed. I need a good, powerful, lightweight backup in case the SVT ever blows a tube or something. What I thought would be no more than 10 or 15 minutes of stuff turned into over an hour. Mike, the guy at M-troniks, reminds me a little of Chris Mitchell, a guy I used to work with in Seattle. I also bought a stomp switch to fix a channel changing switch for Andy's Marshall. The switch itself was $10. Maybe the quality is good enough to warrant that, but with electronics prices like that, it's no surprise that nobody really wants to build their own stuff anymore.
Reading has gotten a lot easier. I stil have a bit of ghosting on the computer monitor, but it's getting harder and harder to tell. I can have the monitor set farther back as well. I'm finally beginning to see pretty decently after the PRK, and I'm really excited about it. I wonder what it will stabilize at?
I didn't really have to use many eye drops over the weekend. With that comes the forgetting to use the steroid drops as frequently as I should, although I'm probably still using them 2-3 times a day.
Day 12 after PRK. When I wake up, I can see really well for a short while, then my eyes deteriorate to basically where they're going to be for the day. I haven't had any more headaches, so I think my last one was most likely due to sinuses. ( Thank you Les for the link. )
If I put in eye drops, I can see perfectly, so I'm pretty confident of two things at this point: 1. the PRK was successful. 2. The distortions are due to uneven healing of the corneal epithelium. Opinions vary on when this really goes away, from 1 month to 6 months. I hope it's sooner rather than later. I read somebody's account of using viscous eye drops, which apparently are thicker and stay in the eye longer (I don't really get more than a minute or so of perfect vision with the regular ones) so I'm looking for good ones to try out.
Days 8, 9, and 10 after PRK are going OK. My left eye is doing really well, but unfortunately my right eye, which is also my dominant eye, fluctuates quite a bit. Right at the end of last Friday, it seemed to catch up and even surpass my left eye, and on Saturday (Day 8), I could see pretty well. I don't remember that much about day 9 (Sunday), but yesterday kind of sucked. If I cover my right eye, I can read pretty easily with my left, but put them together, and the right casts fuzziness over everything. From what I've read, this is *normal*. But, a lot of opthamologists don't want to talk about that. They pretty much say that you'll be good to go after a week. For garden variety distance tasks (driving, etc.,) you will be, but reading can be difficult at times. I had a good sized headache when I finished work yesterday, and it may have been related to some sinus issues, but it wouldn't be out of the question that having to read with the wonky right eye might have something to do with it.
Last week, after four years thinking about it on and off, I called the number for LASIKPlus. I've worn glasses or contacts part time since I was 13, full time since 17. I was fine with it when I could wear contacts without problem, but more and more, I was getting fed up with the whole thing. I had a pair of glasses break recently, and glasses in AZ are, for me, of marginal worth because you basically need to have welding goggles on your face in the summer time; the sun is really intense. That leaves you with using either prescription sunglasses, and changing back and forth between those and your regular glasses, clip on old-people style glasses, photochromatic lenses, or using contacts and regular sunglasses. I felt that the first three ideas basically sucked, and contacts were beginning to get more and more difficult to wear comfortably for long periods of time, so I started thinking about correction surgery again.
I think Les or somebody has already used this title, but great artists steal, right?
Much has happened in the recent past. First off, my band, The Andys finished our EP. It sounds pretty damn good, if I do say so myself. Most of the mp3's are up at myspace, but lately myspace seems a little jacked up, so I'll try and put it up elsewhere.
My GK bass amp blew up last weekend right as we were starting recording. I've traced at least one part of the fault to R49, which is what smoked itself. Unfortunately, GK hasn't responded to a single phone call or email for parts or support.
What really sucks is that the amp is out of warranty. By less than a year. My feeling is that the resistor itself is only a symptom of something else being wrong. So yesterday I went down to M-tronics in Mesa to talk to the guy who runs the repair center. He was surprised that it was out of warranty, but he mentioned that Gallien-Krueger hasn't always had the best support. He mentioned specifically that they made an amp with a switching power supply in the mid-90's, that was apparently a mistake. They won't even provide service support for techs anymore on the amp.
But anyone who knows me knows that I'd have to post on 6/6/6. A co-worker and I were sure to play a little bit of Slayer for the occasion.
So I haven't blogged in like a month. Almost. Sorry. Partly I have been really bust living life and not really writing about it, but part of me has just been a bit lazy.
So here's the quick updates:
Busy week. I realize that I'm not blogging very much because I'm rarely home except to sleep. Generally, that's a good thing. I really needed the activity to get over events a few years ago, but I'm getting to the point where I'd like a little bit of time off. I think I can handle it.
My 30th birthday was last week. Yes, I'm 30. Kari and Neil K. threw me a surprise party. It was great. I really didn't have any idea it was happening until we were coming back from dinner and I saw Mrinal's car in the street. Kari got some old photos from my mom, and between that and some more recent stuff, they made up a PowerPoint presentation with history, and Neil MC'd. It was pretty amusing. It culminated with an old picture of me, and a picture of the El Camino, arranged in the color scheme and layout of the Knight Rider DVD's.
It's Saturday, and I'm...at work. We're moving all of our machines to the new company's network. We've been planning this for over a month; how we're going to get around various obstacles, differences in naming standards, authentication, etc. Of course, two days before we're ready to do this, we get a completely different set of requirements and the plan goes out the window. Hence, us working on the weekend.
Just got a BlackBerry for work. I'm not porting over my old number, so if I didn't email you already, get in touch with me and I'll send you the new number. So far, I like it, but the rings are not nearly loud enough. The only other bitch is that the UI could use a bit of refinement, some things get easy with just a little bit of use, but I wish there were more keyboard based shortcuts (maybe I just haven't learned them yet, but my manual didn't have any info) to get to places. For instance, to lock the keypad, you've got to scroll through three lines of stuff to get to the lock. Why not just give me a hot key sequence to do it, like Nokia does?
I apologize for not updating in something like a month. Plenty of stuff has happened, and in fact, I had a huge blog entry about it, but then my browser screwed itself up and the entry was trashed. So here's my usual few sentence blurbs about what's up.
That's it for now. As an FYI to my LA friends; I'll be in the LA area in mid-May, visiting my sister (and you guys, if you're up for it).
Mitsubishi finished with my car today; I picked it. I asked what was up with the transmission, and the tech took me out into the shop and showed me; the end (overdrive) clutch drum was slightly scored on the inside, allowing fluid to leak past and not build up pressure that quickly to engage overdrive, hence the flaring on the upshift to OD. They replaced the drum (which came with a new piston, as well as a new set of frictions and steels) and the outside cover, which contained the point that the drum rides on. I haven't taken it on the freeway yet, but I'm optimistic that it's fixed.