Category Archives: General

Props to Olympus

So our Olympus waterproof camera got flooded when we were in Hawaii this summer.  Well, I sent the camera in for them to check out as soon as we got home.  Shortly thereafter, I received back a brand-new camera!  I was worried that the leak might have been my fault (oops), but they didn’t ask any questions or anything, just sent me a replacement at no cost.  It might have helped my case that I just had the camera serviced and the seals replaced by Olympus a few months prior (they recommend doing that annually).   So anyway, Olympus makes me happy!


I just got LASIK surgery yesterday! Amanda had suggested that I go to a free evaluation for LASIK while I’m out of work, so I had reluctantly scheduled one for yesterday at Saddleback Eye Center. I ended up being really happy with that facility, and they offered a discount for getting the surgery done that same day (so they don’t have to re-administer some of the eye tests). I was about ready to get it done, but Amanda talked me into shopping around at a few other facilities first before diving into it. I was going to be paying $4900 after discounts, and Amanda had only paid $3600 for hers. Hers was a different procedure (LASIK instead of PRK), but it still seemed like I might find a place that could be just as good for significantly cheaper.

But when I went into the office to explain my thinking to the staff, one of them told me she could shave another $800 off the cost by decreasing my 24-month open door policy (free visits and touch-ups) to a 6-month period (and touch-ups would no longer be free). This is the same kind of policy that the other offices offered anyway, so it was just what we wanted, and only a hundred dollars more than we were hoping to pay anyway!

So I got the surgery done then and there. It was a little scary once I was under the laser, but it was painless and quick. I started seeing pretty well last night, and at my post-op visit this morning I was already seeing better than 20/15! I need to put lubricating drops in my eyes for a year, but my eyes should be pretty much healed in another week or two. Hooray for clear vision!

Unfortunately, only now did I find out that I could get a LASIK@Home kit for only $99 plus shipping and handling:


Yes I’m joking, but no, this site is not a joke. Sadly.

Jason’s Allergies

My allergy blood test results are in. I passed! Really though, it turns out I have a variety of interesting respiratory allergies. The first is house dust mites, both Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides farinae. Cockroach is another one, which I learned is actually the most common human allergy. I’m also allergic to oak, Bermuda grass, and rough pigweed. My reaction to each of these allergens is considered “Low Level.” A test result of less than 0.35 is classified as “Undetectable,” and my results on each of these allergens is around 0.40.

My true kryptonite, however, seems to be Alternaria alternata, which is a fungus. My test result for that allergen is 3.59, “High Level.” No more mushrooms for me! (Yes, I know, bad joke.) Now comes the exciting process of trying to learn how to minimize my exposure to microscopic organisms and particles.

Holy Light Refraction Batman!

It rained a lot this morning. Then it stopped, and got sunny. Then I drove to work. And then I saw the most amazing thing ever.

You know how cars kick up a cloudy spray behind their wheels when driving on a wet road? Most of the cars on the road were doing that. But this one car was spitting out a rainbow cloud as it cruised along Bake Parkway. Not just a rainbow in its cloud – the cloud was a rainbow. It looked like something straight out of Care Bears or Rainbow Brite. I pulled up for a closer look and sure enough – there was a unicorn behind the wheel.

And the best part of all this is that it’s true! Except for the bit about the unicorn. I lied about that.

Vacation in Mexico

This past weekend, I had off Monday for Martin Luther King Day. So, on our long weekend off work, we took a vacation to Baja Mexico. We packed up our new car with tons of stuff, our dog in the backseat and our surfboard on the roof, and drove the 2+ hours to a place in between Rosarito and Ensenada on the Pacific coast of Baja Mexico.
Jason unpacking carTeddie comes with us!
The hotel was called La Fonda. Our room was beautiful- with an ocean view, and Teddie loved to sleep out on the porch since it was so warm at night.
Hotelhotel office and restauranthotel lobby areaview from deck
We also had an awesome fireplace in the room- Jason went out and cut down wood with his machete (or so I thought- but really he just got free wood off a woodpile outside)
Jason cutting woodJason makes fireFIRE
It was so fun to bring our dog with us- He LOVED the beach, but not-so-much the water. He sniffed the whole beach but was scared of the ocean waves. He did try to come in the water once or twice but soon found out he couldn’t swim and ran back to shore. There was almost no one on the whole beach except for us.
Teddie in hotel roomTeddie sniffing alwaysTeddie asleep on bed20090119_141209.JPG
We also got to watch two gorgeous sunsets over the ocean on both nights we were there, enjoying it from our hotel veranda.
Sunset Saturday20090117_170532.JPGSunset Sunday
Every day we were there, Jason went surfing. The water was FREEZING! Jason wore a full wetsuit, and I ended up wearing his short wetsuit to go in the water and body-board.
Amanda in wetsuit
Everything was so much fun, except for the fact that my credit card info got stolen and someone used my card to buy $114 worth of shoes at a department store (Note to self- never use a credit card in Mexico!). And also except for the 2 1/2 hour wait in line at the border to re-enter the USA and all the peddlers knocking on our windows trying to sell things like Steelers blankets (since they had just won the big game!) Here’s a picture of the border:
Mexico border
But overall, it was a wonderful vacation. We ate authentic Mexican food overlooking the ocean, ran on the beach with Teddie, and just enjoyed our time together.

I Had An Amazing Nightmare

I had an amazing nightmare last night. It only lasted a few seconds. I was standing in the driveway of a house I had never seen before. Suddenly the screen door swung open. I saw a black shadow dart out the door towards me, and the door slammed shut behind it. I couldn’t really see what was approaching because there was a truck between the door and me, blocking my view. From the glimpses I caught I thought it looked like a large black lab. Suddenly it leaped into the air, over the truck and towards my face. I realized how similar to a dog it was, but also how wrong I had been. Its hair was long and matted, hanging in ragged chunks from its flanks and below its belly. There was an impossible number of teeth in its mouth, and they were all much more long and needle-like than on normal canines. I think I caught a glimpse of a hairless, shriveled snout and dull red eyes before its mouth clamped onto the left side of my neck. Suddenly I was physically awake, but still mentally involved in the dream. I realized that I wasn’t moving, that I couldn’t move, and this beast was mauling me. I tried to defend myself, but it took all of my concentration just to roll my head to the left, covering the exposed area of my neck. By no longer exposing the area the creature was attacking, I was able to wrench myself out of the dream. I was exhausted.