Rude Train

I must say that public transportation in Colorado doesn’t fuck around. 

After we got off our flight in Denver, we had to take a train from the gate to baggage claim.  As the train approached the station a little guitar strum over the loudspeaker announced it’s arrival.  A pleasant recorded voice then told of the train’s destination.  We shuffled inside, and some musical chimes sounded followed by the same pleasant voice announcing the train’s departure: “Please step away from the doors”  Someone on the train next to us was rushing to beat the closing doors, and they slammed shut on the luggage trailing behind her.  The doors on our car shuttered and then flew open.  The same voice came blasting over the loadspeaker, this time sounding a little perturbed: “YOU ARE DELAYING THE DEPARTURE OF THIS TRAIN!”

Video and WordPress

You may have noticed some videos in my posts lately.  Video has become so ubiquitous on the web lately, I had to keep up.  One of the problems I had was that our camcorder has a great widescreen format, but a lot of the flash video services like YouTube don’t display widescreen formats very smoothly.

I tried a WordPress plugin called Viper’s Video Quicktags for a while, but I had a lot of problems.  While it displays things great in IE, WMV videos were broken in Firefox!  I looked at the problem on the developer’s website, and he/she had this attitude like: “Some video formats might not work well across platforms, but it’s really hard to make things compliant everywhere and I really don’t care so I’m not going to try.”  Great attitude!

Finally I found another WordPress plugin that does what I need: Coolplayer.  It works great and does everything I need.  Hopefully I’ll have some videos of Devin in the snow soon!


So, we’re in Colorado – Devin’s really psyched to see snow for the first time! We must’ve looked like idiots playing in the snow outside Applebee’s.

We got to see Jenny and Alan and the famous Rocky Mountain Pug – Baxter. They’re doing well and really like Colorado.

Devin discovered his kegel muscles and found that he has control over one more appendage. He has fun making it go up and down and up and down.

I’ll post some photos of us in the snow as soon as we get back.

Merry Christmas,


Another Dream

So the family and I are just relaxing in our Avila Beach vacation home, about to head out to the sand for an evening stroll, when I see a bright flash outside. I look out the window towards the ocean, and in the twilight I see a mushroom cloud in the very distant south, off the coast. I flip on the TV, and immediately emergency broadcasts are on – detailing the blast off the coast of Southern California. Initial reports state that the tidal wave will take about 15 minutes to reach the Central Coast. Just then, a low rumble shook the entire house.

I looked out the window and saw the idiots clammoring in their cars to take the only road out of Avila. It was a dead stop. Even if it was flowing, they couldn’t get far enough away in 15 minutes. I looked at the road towards Port San Luis. It was wide open.

I forced Lara and Devin out the door towards the car. She could see the wild, determined look in my eyes, and she understood that I would do anything to save us.

My first thought as I sped towards the port was that we would take refuge in a large boat, and hopefully it would float us to safety. There were a bunch of boats up in dry dock. Then I imagined the wave crushing the boats into the rocks above the port. Not a pretty picture.

As I rounded the corner, I had an even crazier thought: We could escape the nuclear blast inside the nuclear plant! Those things have huge domes of thick concrete designed to withstand all kinds of terrorists and earthquakes!

I pulled up to the entrance and 2 guards armed with AR-15s approached. I told them that if they were going to shoot us, they should shoot me and my family in the head so we die quickly, and then I sped off towards the plant.

Again – the alarm went off and we will never know if I made it or not…

The Fires

We got a little scare today when someone told me that a fire in Fontana had some people considering mandatory evacuations in Rancho Cucamonga.  Fortunately, the fires in Fontana have been contained.  We’re all safe, but we can still see the plume from the Grass Valley and Slide fires near Arrowhead.  Lara took some pictures today:

Fire Plume

Here you can see the plume rising.

Santa Ana Winds

This shows the wind bending the trees.  These Santa Ana winds are fierce.  They have gusts up to 80 mph.  Stuff from our yard has been blown into neighbor’s yards – Three trees were blown over in our neighborhood – I even saw freeway signs that were bent from the force of the winds.

Sun Obscured

The smoke was so thick this afternoon that the sun turned red.  You can see ash falling like snow in some places. 

PRK Post-op day 19

I had another appt two days ago.  Since stopping the steroids, my left eye has come back from 20/150 down to 20/40.  My right eye is still holding steady at 20/40.  He started me on some NSAID eye drops and I’ve already noticed some pretty significant improvement.  He gave me some contacts to help me out during work hours, which really helps me.  I just hope I don’t have to have another surgery.

PRK Post-op day 12

Saw Dr. Vishteh again yesterday.  It was the first time he actually checked my refractive powers.  Before then, he just checked my visual acuity with the snellen charts.  Unfortunately, he found that I had gone too far in my left eye.  I started at -6 and now I am at +2!  He gave me a contact so I can function on my rotations, and he told me to stop my steroid drops.  He says that stopping the steroids can help bring me back from the hyperopia side of things.  I hope he’s right, because I can’t see much at all without this contact.

PRK Post-op Day 7

Yesterday I woke up and my vision was getting great.  I went to my appointment, and it was 20/30 in the right eye and 20/50 in the left.  After he took out the contacts, it got a little worse, though.  It’s still getting a little better each day, though.  Now that the contacts are out my eyes are a lot less irritated, but they are still really dry.  It also stings now when the steroid drops go in.