Archive for June, 2009

Hows the RSI?

Its been a while since I gave everyone an update on the old RSI. I am still suffering from various symptoms, I think I always will have that background discomfort.

I have though improved enough to get myself a Samsung netbook which I find more comfortable to type upon than my desktop keyboard for blogging and writing on generally for short periods.  I wouldn’t use a net or laptop as a replacement for a desktop as I do think that they should not be used for extended periods of time ~ in fact it actually says that in the Samsung instructions somewhere I believe!

I do take regular exercise; including using weights, walking and activities like gardening. I am even thinking about growing my own fresh food as I’m sick of the cheap rubbish in the supermarkets lately. The trouble is the soil isn’t very good and it would mean some new top soil and lots of horse shit.

I still do get the hand numbness, pains in the neck, shoulders and spine. I still get that referred pain and hazy mind. I am still very forgetful to the extreme and to be honest it can be so bad where I can forget where I am for a while. That is a bit odd and it stresses me out when I’m on my own. I have SatNav for the car and I rely on other people for other times.

I am still taking the same amounts of breaks and sticking to my 30 hours per week with dedication. I am tempted to do more, but I know I physically cannot or I could but I would be unable to do anything for 2 or 3 weeks afterwards. So, remaining disciplined to a routine is really important for my recovery.

Motivation is something that is hard to maintain with a long term injury like RSI. There are many backwards steps that you have to take in order to move forward. Sometimes you are taking 3 steps back to take one forward, which is disappointing and it can be quite depressing. If you can accept this is the nature of the beast then I find it helps. It still upsets me, but I won’t dwell on it. Think of it like riding a bike, when you fall off you get back on and try again. Yeah, you may cry like a baby for a while but you still get back on and try again.

I think positive mental attitude is important and you have to learn to block or not to be concerned about those around that are being negative, but at the same time try to help by turning their negatives into positive. Just don’t let them turn your positives into negatives! It can easily happen, if you let it.

I still cant and won’t use a normal mouse. I use a track pad on the netbook and/or a vertical usb mouse on here and my desktop. I do use my netbook with a good posture not too dis-similar to when I am using the desktop.  Also, sometimes I do plug a big screen into it and use that rather than the tiny 10inch one. But for writing on the go, simple editing of pictures and other light duties its a very good solution. Well so far so good!

Anyway, I must stop now as the numbness is starting to return which means its time to something completely different for 10 minutes.


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Optical Express Review

On Friday I went for an eye test at Optical Express. The only reason I choose them were because of the special offers they were running at the time; 2 x pairs for one if you spend over £100 and £79.99 for desginer wear including lenses.

Firstly the eye test did seem pretty good, but afterward I did feel that the optican wasn’t waiting for my eyes to refocus and assuming I can’t see the letters at all. Also the right eye takes slightly less time to re-focus but are just as blurred. Now they are even more blurred! I mentioned that my original lenses were fine but I’ve been getting some headaches on my right side.

The shop itself has a very modern layout with a huge range of frames to choose from. The problem is that there are too many and very few decent pairs or even vaguely nice pairs that are avaialable in the special offer or any offer. The staff at optical at the shop were very pleasent but the store, range of offers and their limitations seemed to be desgined to be as confusing as possible to customers and staff alike.

I overheard one member of staff tell another customer that if they spetnt over £100 then they get a free pair. They failed to mention all the limitations with that, that that only included frames on a small selection of poorly made sub-standard eye wear that even the most uncool of us wouldn’t be seen dead in.

In one shop the assistant we saw tried to explain to us that the special offers only included glasses that had a certain colored sticky label on the glass and others without a tiny colored label on them had other confusing labels too with yet more information. There was some at £79.99 that included from lenses and others at exactly the same price that didn’t. All very confusing and misleading in my opinion.

When I was in the consultation area I asked if they would measure my pupil distance because I may want to buy eye wear from elsewhere another time. I was told they can’t measure me for that and that if they measure it, it will go down on their records.  After rephasing the same question, it was found to be 66.

I eventually gave up and was feeling quite ill with the flickering lights near the cabinets. I paid cash for my eye test and asked for a copy of my prescription. The assistant firstly at no point offered me a copy of my prescription and secondly when I asked for it seemed reluntant to supply it. It was eventually produced on a normal A4 computer print out. Not on prescription paper, not little presentation folder, nothing. When you go for an eye test and have a prescription issued having a paper copy is not an optional item! The assistant informed me that if I came back within 28 days then I would get my money back for my eye test since it would be taken off against a pair of frames.

I left the larger store and proceeded to do the rest of my shopping. On my way I spotted a smaller store and popped in there. Not only were there a massive smaller range, but I was able to find a pair of frames that I liked within 5 minutes and the assistant appeared to be very good.

In the smaller store, this time my pupil distance was measured at 65, rather than 66. Also the offers were totally confusing. I wanted anti-glare coating to help when driving and I asked if that was “40 pounds” as the staff member in the previous job had said and he nodded yes it would be extra. Still I thought if I were paying over £100 then I could get a free pair of sun glasses right?

The member of staff produced from glasses from a cupboard under the main cabinet and asked what about these? And they were very nice. Just my style. He said the price would be £129.99 for 1 x pair with lenses, a anti-glare coating and a second pair of prescription sun glasses. That does seem a good price to me on the face of it.

I left the shop and then realised he hadn’t taken the price of my eye test off my purchase despite getting an eye test only a few minutes before hand admitively at a different store. Question, why didn’t there computer system remind him to do a £15 discount? And so we turned around and went back. He told me he couldn’t give a refund and to go back to the main store. I did and they said they couldn’t do it either and sent me back to the smaller store! Also its there company policy not to give refunds on cash purchase, but instead they had to send a check to your address for the same amount. That is correct, rather than giving £15 from the till, it has go to area office to be processed and sent out which is going to cost more in man hours! That is plainly rediclous! They offered nothing at all in writing to confirm they intend to send a refund and you had to take the word of the member of staff to remember to do it.

It was later on when I got home my Mum looked at the invoice and said theres something wrong with it. There was a price for the frames at £79.99 and then another cost of £50.00 for other frames and then £12.00 for the sunglasses which was taken off again. I only had 2 pairs of glases and so why the extra £50 and should that not be £40 for the anti-glare coating?

Mum went back the next day (shes always in town) where I go once every blue moon. Getting me into a city normally is a major achievement.  but anyway I digress. There was a different assistant on at the smaller shop who wrote on the receipt that I may have been over charged £20 and he also noted that there may had been issues in mis-communications – Just a bit, Optical Express seems to encourage customers to be thoroughly confused. Is it a case of tell them anything just to make a sale?

The glasses themselves, the frames I am happy with but the lenses are impossible to wear. I wore them for several hours on Friday and yesterday too whilst out walking and in the car. I quickly became to feel very dizzy, sick and it looked like some surfaces were floating away from me. The sickness was the same sickness I have when I don’t wear glasses but far worse. Also my right eye became to twitch and hurt allot. I was popping headache tablets on Saturday like sweets since the pain was so bad.  I don’t take many tablets normally, perhaps once a week if that.

Today, Sunday I woke up feeling really ill and I’m not even wearing the glasses. I can’t even stand up without feeling dizzy and just have to sit down. Is it right that I spend £129.99 on glasses that making me ill? That are impossible to wear?

Optical express also offers eye laser surgery, but I would let these incompetent fools anywhere near anything sharp. They appear they will take your money and give you a sub-standard product that is at best impossible to use and at worse dangerous when used for driving etc. You cannot drive safely with Optical Express eye-wear.

I don’t know what to do. Mum suggested that I should give it a week to get used to them before going back. The thing is I cannot afford to be off for a week being sick and dizzy like this if today is anything to go by. I guess I will give it a few days especially since I can’t get back into town this week probably. Its back to the old glasses.. Optical Express is a complete waste of time and money.

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Today we only went for a short walk from Bulwell, past the Hucknall Aerodrome and continuing on criss-crossing the motorway several times. Its a good walk but not very challenging.

This weekend the Aerodrome was having some sort of air show, though unlike other years, the planes were parked at the far end of the field, meaning that I was unable to take any pictures from the side. I think the organisers must had done that on purpose to discourage people enjoying the planes for free.

A little way past Bulwell park itself is a stables and a small selection of houses at the end of a long drive way with a cattle gate at the end. The owners of the land were closing the gate and refusing access because of all the cars that were trying to park on their property for free.

Just as we were approaching the closed gate an unmarked police car with two uniformed officers drew close next to us. They wanted to turn their car around and wanted me to open the gate. I said to the gentlemen that they wanted to turn around and that they were policemen, but the angry man just didn’t seem to be listening and said “No they are not coming in here!” – Okay I thought and tried to tell him again who they were, but still he wasn’t listening. Hmmm

Then I asked whether we could come in as we wanted to use the public footpath. He said no and told us to use the public footpath gate which they had put a piece of barb wire on it holding it shut. If anyone even tried to open that gate they would end up in hospital sue-ing the bleeding idiot that put rusty barb wire on a gate post, just perfect to shred a child’s hand.

The angry guy’s face was a picture when the policeman got out of the car and was told to open the gate. Funny enough on our return journey past here the gates were wide open.

We walked past onto the footpath going towards hucknall and it was around here where I was able to take a couple of pictures of the aircraft in the display since they were using the location as a way point.

The shot below is a Hurricane:


And my favourite world war 2 plane is the spitfire and I was lucky enough to take this shot from almost the same position:


Both pictures are quite small since they were taken with a standard digital camera with only a 4 x optimal zoom and obviously being aircraft they were quite high up. The shots were taken at maximum resolution and then heavily cropped and sharpened when I got home using Paintshop Pro that I think I must have had for 8 or 9 years and it still does its job!

I did take some other shots of planes doing stunts expelling smoke but none of those pictures worked very well and just looked like a smoke with a few dots where the planes were! Perhaps I should had gone to the actual air show.

I enjoy these sorts of walks where different things happen like being buzzed by a spitfire. That doesn’t happen to me very often.

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