I thought I'd squeeze in one more post this month. Lets get on with it, then, shall we?

Even as I write this, the short-term fix for my lack of internet connectivity is a very precarious would-be broadband... thing, I'm not even sure how to call it. And here to elaborate on the perils of new technologies and their misaplications, we would have Detective John McClane, who wasn't able to provide us with a defenitive answer, yet whom we expect to make an appearence at any time.

This Internet connection thing really has me on edge. I'm working with what calls itself a Z020 Telemodem. It will often disconnect of its own accord, but even worse, even more often it will lose connection with any webserver whilst mantaining some sort of ISP connection, or at least believing as much, meaning it wont provide Internet access, and if you try to disconnect to re-connect, it won't be able to terminate the connection - and well it should not, if there is no connection to terminate... - and should you try to unplug the thing, Windows might crash. I'm not sure what the X factor is here, but it sure is one gargantuan red X.

It's been hot, and it's been about a year since Mr. Bloke made his appearence here to tell us of his dislike of warm weather. Said weather is still just as warm, which, I've just found out, can also give me insomnia. I really ought to invest on a cooling fan for myself, some day... But get this! Just a few days ago, on the news, some reporter made a point of going out and interview people regarding the hot weather. Now is it me or is this a clear sign that 1 hour long news programmes might be a bit more than our networks can handle? At any rate, some norse couple complained about the heat and commented that it made them "feel like doing nothing" and further added that if it was ever this hot in their country "they wouldn't be as productive"! Well, there you have it! Norse insight just excused our lame entropy with the most guilt-free reason - the very weather. What would become of us without norse knowledge...

Detective McClane has yet not arrived, but we expect him to drop by in time for the end of this entry.

Summer time is a poficient time for some things, despite the inexorable truth in the norseman's prespective. Spotting hotties on the beach, for one thing, is rather hard during the Winter. But Summer time is also prolific for movies. Now over here, and contrarily to most of Europe's general practice, we like to subtitle our imported media, be it cinema or TV shows, something which remained from the censorship dodging of the old regime, but lately, dubbing has become more and more of a common practice - which I resent. Just last Thursday I was about to watch The Simpsons Movie ("in glorious 2D") when I'm told it's dubbed over. I see... so we should also probably draft up a letter reading "Your voice acting, superb though it may be, has been deemed unsuitable for our narrow little minds. Thanks for a job well done and subsequently wasted." and send it to Dan Castellanetta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer (off the top of my head, I'm not bothering with IMDb links, get them yourself), just to name a few. I wonder how the dubbers would feel if ever they knew of their hard work (which, I hear, in this particular instance, isn't so hard at all...) just being discarded on a whim. I'd dub their whines of protest myself.

Or maybe it's just the heat getting to me. Perhaps I shoulf fly South... Do I hear Australia? It ought to be nice and cool there by now...

Pax vobiscum atque vale.

ArabianShark would like to thank Det. John McClane for his contribution to today's edition of Shark Nibbles. Yipee-Ka-Yay, Motherfucker!

We do have contact

So it all worked fine... ish! The test contacts did arrive in the predicted timeframe and I have them. They're comfortable and I see fairly well with them. So now for the sunny side down bit.

Because they're only test contacts, the astigmatism isn't fully corrected which means tha, while I can go on about with them, reading is out of the question. Which isn't too bad, since I wasn't really planning on wearing them to work. The other thing is that the right lens seems to turn around a lot, which really imparts my sight sometimes. Still, not too much, just enough to notice. Also they seem to fit too snugly, which could become hazardous to my eyes, if worn for oo long or too often. For the usage I intend for them, however, they should be fine. The only real issue is that putting them on and taking them off is way more complicated than I originally thought. That and that by the end of my first day (rather, my first few hours, I put them on in the early evening), I had one mean splitting migraine. I couldn't even enjoy the symphony of sensuous screaming from my neighbours (you say voyeur, I say victim. It's not like I'm eavesdropping, she's just... loud. For all I know, they could even get off on making it known that they're having it off. Not that I'm complaining, she has a beautiful voice). And it echoes. A lot.

So today i was just enjoying a lazy Sunday and flipping through the channels when Demolition Man comes up. Now, I had seen it before, quite a few times in fact, but its not like I had annything better to do, so I sat and watched it. Not too long into the movie, much to my surprise, after a quick brush with Wesley Snipes, Nigel Hawthorne invites Sylvester Stallone to dinner at Pizza Hut. I though, "Well, now, If I remember right, wasn't it Taco Bell?". I spent the next few minutes watching intently and listening for any breaks in sound, because I did think I heard somewhat of a dubbing splice when Hawthorne said "Pizza Hut". I searched in vain for a Taco Bell logo not edited out or replaced, tried my best to read the characters lips as they spoke "Pizza Hut" (and I thought I could spot the mismatch every single time, even if the dubing seemed flawless every other time). Not happy, I looked it up on IMDb and found out that, for some countries, they produced a "second version" in which all references to Taco Bell are replaced with Pizza Hut.

So that was the hand we were dealt. A version sophisticated enough to dub the name of a worldwide known franchise over that of a not quite so widespread one (with multiple degrees of proficiency), but not sophisticated enough to have the mention to an alledgedly alive convict fellow actually deceased edited out. I hate living off the tablecraps of the Spanish, I really do.

Pax vobiscum atque vale.

ArabianShark will give Systems Analysis one last go before shipping off to Summer Vacation. And that's nearly all I can think of right now. Summer Vacation...

We have contact

Or have we?

So as yo might recall, I am severely myopic. I also have quite a bit of astigmatism. As you may know, I rather dislike bright lights... with a passion. So Summer time is often uncomfortable for me. Granted, shades come in to save the day, to some degree, at least. The thing is, when you're so severely myopic as I am, shades don't come in so ample a supply as you may find at an optician's shop. If you'd like a pair of curved sunglasses that still fits your sight impairment, adequate lens must be cut and assembled at the manufacturer. This usually isn't a problem, until your myopia becomes in excess of about 3,5 diopters. You see, if your lens needs to be quite vergent, the edges must become rather thick. If you'd like your lens to be curved, the edge must become much thicker. My flat (as opposed to curved) uncut lenses vaguely resemble throwing weapons, so thick that they are (my miopia is in excess of 7 diopters, further aggravated by the astigmatism). A curved lens befitting me would be unreasonable to assemble. Of course, I have little trouble, if any, arranging for a pair of flat prescription sunglasses. In fact, that's not my point entirely. What really bothers me is that whenever I go out I must carry my regular glasses with me, or be plunged into darkness whenever I go indoors for some reason. And when I do go indoors I have to swap my glasses and again when I leave. Is it worth the trouble, not being blinded by sunlight and not finding myself running for shelter with bloodshot, aching eyes? Defenitely, but isn't there an easier way around the ordeal?

Certainly. Radial keratomy to the rescue!

OK, let's back down a little here, shall we? Forgive me if I'm just a smidgeon reluctant to start cutting up my corneas in order to reduce their curvature. Let's hear alternatives, if you please...

I hear contacts. I like what I hear. So I slap them on in the morning (morning is a relative term... shortly after I'm up, then) and whenever I go out I put on my (stylishly bent around my face) shades. If I happen to pop indoors for a cup of tea or whatnot, I can just hold them for a while. Sounds good? Must be.
And this is how the cookie crumbles.
So what are the steps to salvation? Step one, we need to get an appointment with an oftalmologist. Sure, no sweat. Not so fast, lads. Would you like a timely appointment or an eventual appointment? For the latter, go on, talk to the receptionist, schedule something to about St. Patrick's day. For the former, and this you won't find in the rulebook, approach the receptionist, proceed exactly as per an eventual appointment, and after she tells you "you're not seeing any doctor any time soon", whine a little and - OK, this really is the crucial step, here, listen up - slip her €5,00. Yeah, she's not working for free, here. She gets paid by the boss, she works for the boss. You need to pay her yourself if you want some service. Oh, and if you'd like to have her not squeeze any geezers in front of you just beacuse something or another, well, you're screwed. Let me know if you find a way. I just know what I know the hard way, i.e., skipping the step when I slip her the bill and being told what I should have doon all too late. But don't worry, she'll illuminate you on how to proceed correctly by schedulling several appointments for "tomorrow" as you wait for your appointment.
Step two, we need to find an optician to order a pair of trial contacts. Again, timely v.s. eventual come to play. I haven't found a surefire way around this problem, but stick with me. I might manage. First, find an optician. Any optician. Tell them what you want. They'll put you through yet another full battery of oftalmological exams. Don't worry, it won't hurt a bit. It's just like going to the oftalmologist. In fact, it's exactly like going to the oftalmologist. Yes, I know, we've already done that, we even showed the optician the prescription the good doctor went to college for 5 or 6 years to write. Why can't they trust him, I'll never know. Then thay'll blabber on something you've already know about semi-rigid contacts v.s. disposable contacts and tell you to return in three weeks. Um, news flash, sweethart, in trhee weeks time I expect to be sipping mai-tais under a palm tree in a tropical beach. Well, not really on a beach. And not mai-tais. And the whole idea of going to a tropical spot seems rather unlikely. But you get the point.
Onwards to...
Step three, we need to find an optician who can really come through for us. So flounder about for a bit until you find one. A standard battery of tests ensues, suck it up. Don't moan about how it's the thrid time you've had it in two days, don't flinch at the burning light they all but jam up your eyes to check your retina, just go through it. If you're lucky enough, they might do a full cornea topography. This might mean you're on the right track. It doesn't hurt, but it does make you see concentric white circles for a while after you've done it, rather like a bullseye. Resist the urge to utter "Headshot!". Just listen through the brief lecture and they just might annonouce that your otherwise 3 to 4 weeks long awaiting time just might be cut down to about six working days.

Step four, we need to remember this is still only a pair of trial lenses we're getting, and there is no guarantee that the contacts will suit you perfectly or at all... but, hey, chin up, they just might!

So now I'm almost all set up. I've got the really nice shades (which I just couldn't fully strip of the manufacturer's brand. You know, they don't pay me to advertise for them. At least I removed the name from the lenses themselves), I'm waiting for the trial contacts, and I'm hoping - hoping! - everything will turn out great. This Summer, with any luck, I'll be done fumbling with two pairs of glasses and a gigantic bulge on my pocket. "Yes, it's a rocket, I'm not that happy to see you."

Pax vobiscum atque vale.

ArabianShark wishes Good Luck upon all who must still labour for those courses that didn't make the grade along the last two semesters and those who will labour for the courses that didn't make enough of a grade to suit you. Carry on, fellows!