Thursday Nov 22, 2007

Old eyes and new flashlights

    Looks like it's confession week here on the old blog. I've always had a thing for flashlights, probably stemming from my wee little days when I wanted to stay up later than my parents let me. I've owned quite a number of interesting flashlights over the years, including one from the 80s which included 3 LEDs in the side to tell you the battery strength. I didn't think that was such a compelling idea, and avoided buying one. Then one day, while partaking in a common habit of mine to browse stores during clearance sale times, I wandered into an American Eagle Outfitters and found said flashlight on clearance sale. Feeling generous, and loving a bargain, I bought one and soon discovered that while I did indeed find the LEDs rather a waste, the flashlight itself was surprising powerful. That was one of my favorites, until I lost it. :-( They stopped making them even before I bought mine, so getting a replacement was out of the question.

    Before I digress into more war stories of my flashlights, which may make another blog entry sometime, I'll move on to my eyes. Today being Thanksgiving Day, one of the things I give thanks for are my eyes. Most of my life I have had better than 20/20 vision, and my eyesight was one of the few things the Navy found worthwhile back in the 'An Officer and a Gentleman' days when I tried joining the Navy flight school program. Suffice it to say that I didn't make the program, and went on to live a productive life anyway. As I age gracefully, \^_\^ , my eyes have started to weaken, so that I am learning new habits, like trying to always have a pair of reading glasses at hand. Darn frustrating to not be able to read things I used to read with ease. Oh well, I'm well stocked with reading glasses, and I'm slowly getting used to it.

    The other night I went out for a bite and a night out with my best friend. We checked out a 'super buffet', and despite buffets being a weakness of mine, we enjoyed the food, didn't eat too much and did much chatting. We would have probably done more chatting, but the wait staff seemed to be wanting us to move on, despite the abundance of empty tables. Earlier in the day, my youngest had put his hand through a window pane, and ended up with stitches between 2 of his fingers. My wife called to ask me to pick up some antibiotic ointment for him, so my friend and I stopped by CVS, a local drug store chain. I don't get out shopping as much as I did in my youth, for a variety of reasons, so when I do and I'm not rushed, I often browse. While doing so at CVS, I saw a 21 LED aircraft-grade aluminum small flashlight. It was packages to let one try it, and upon trying it I found it was bright. It was only $10, so I couldn't resist. I didn't really have a compelling reason for it, but I bought it anyway. Turns out it's been handier than I thought. I've already used it to distract and entertain my youngest when he was getting close to being fussy. And it's strong, very white light came in handy at church on Sunday.

    Despite my best efforts to keep reading glasses in as many handy places as possible, I was fighting a cold and was a bit spacey in the process and ended up at church without reading glasses. Our church does have a large print order of service, but those old hymnals can be tough on the eyes. While resigning myself to humming the hymns, I recalled the flashlight, currently in my pocket, and how extra light often helps me read. Sure enough, the bright white light helped. That and holding the hymnal at a readable distance allowed me to sing along and handle other reading that came up. Since it was an intergenerational service, meaning the kids stayed in the service instead of going to Sunday School, I again used it to distract my youngest, who had stayed up front for the story for all ages, and had been quiet though restless for a while and would soon likely start making noise. I finally caught his attention, showed him the flashlight, and he made his way back to our pew. Now I'm thinking about getting another one, as I inevitably loose things I use a lot, and may never find this model again if I don't get one now. Hmmmm, I wonder if CVS is open on Thanksgiving Day.

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A place where Perley Mears sounds off on topics relevant to his work at Oracle.

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