November 28, 2000

The view from here.



Here are a few of my favorite online haunts:

[This is the site I visit to fantasize about living in Toronto again, which is almost every single day during the winter]

Jonathan Cainer's Zodiac Forecasts
[This is where I visit in the morning, when I need a positive spin on things past, present and future.]

Living Local
[This is where I go to see what Canadians are up to, sometimes I even buy things from the businesses listed there.]

Environment Canada Weather
[This is the site I visit every morning, and before every road trip during the winter]

Attila worked last Saturday, leaving one day of rest this week. He will be working the occasional Saturday throughout the winter. This should not prove to be intrusive, as starting time is flexible and sleeping-in can be accommodated. All is well in Attila's world. Sleep!

From my perspective, it is a privilege to participate in the aging process. The alternative, and lets be realistic there is only one alternative, is to die young. No one has come back from the dead to fill me in on what it is like to die young. I am left to my make my own comparisons and reach my own conclusions as to the pros and cons of untimely endings. Not knowing any better, I prefer living. On a pragmatic level, this involves a preference for aging and the accompanying side effects.

Having accepted the aging process as inevitable has not exempted me from emotional distress as my body reminds me of the passage of time.

What leads me to ruminate over such matters are my eyes. They are not as young as they used to be and apparently not as fit and limber.

The Ontario Health Care System is not what it was a few short years ago. The last time I had my eyes checked by an optometrist we both expected to see one another again in one year's time. Our government decided that no citizen really needed to see an optometrist that often and changed the health care coverage to allow one visit every two years. This may work well for the average patient, but in reality, it does not work well for a great many people. There are those who do not need their eyes checked every two years, who do not experience serious deterioration in their eyesight. However, many others do experience a more rapid decline in their ability to see. I fit into the latter category.

My eyeglasses have not been adequate for reading for over six months. I have taken to using a magnifying glass, which I carry about with me in order to read things like the newspaper or books. All this time I have been waiting for eligibility for an eye examination and the subsequent prescription for new eyeglasses.

Wondering if my optometrist had devised an approach to deliver the necessary care to patients, I called her office. After explaining my situation to the receptionist I was cheerfully told that "most of our patients just pay cash". This seemed the only solution to the problem as far as the health care provider was concerned.

Not completely deterred, I called our local Conservative (PC) Provincial Representative. The receptionist listened carefully to my dilemma and cheerfully said "write a letter to the government department". This seemed the only solution to the problem as far as the government policy representative was concerned. I question the efficacy of this assumption. This exchange will effect the way I vote in the next election.

This week my time came. Feeling abandoned by my family optometrist, I visited a walk in practice for my eye examination. As suspected, there has been a significant deterioration in my eyesight over the last two years. So significant, in fact, that for the first time in my life I need eyeglasses to drive a car. This came as a complete surprise, a nasty shock, and has legal ramifications. Two pairs of eyeglasses will be needed, one for driving, and one for arms-length activities, I need bifocals. Bifocals are much more costly than single focus lenses. Health insurance does not recognize the increased cost and does not cover the added expense of bifocal lenses, nor of two rather than one pair of eyeglasses.

"Just pay cash", say the cheery young girls on hire to answer the telephones and stand behind the counters. Someday, many years from now, they too will hit the wall of the Ontario Health Care System. The way Health Care seems to be evolving in Ontario, instead of a cheery "just pay cash", they may be met with hysterical laughter.

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

Eyeglasses with painted face.
Keeping an eye on things.

By the Easy Chair
Life in a Medieval Village
by Frances and Joseph Gies

Carol of the Bells
The Vienna Boys Choir

On the Screen
The content of the programming is going unnoticed this evening. I am distracted by the amazing visual detail. Oh, how quickly we forget.

Page by Page: A Woman's Journal
by Maggie Turner

Canadian Maggie Turner writes and publishes poetry, photography, and a personal journal online. Her work reflects the current way of life in Canada, embracing Canada's past, present, and future in a unique portrayal of everyday life. Maggie's voice is one of the many that actively depict the rich diversity of Canadian culture.

Photography: "a term which comes from the Greek words photos (light) and graphos (drawing). A photograph is made with a camera by exposing film to light in order to create a negative. The negative is then used in the darkroom to print a photograph (positive) onto light-sensitive paper.
Source: University of Arizona Glossary

Poetry: "a form of speech or writing that harmonizes the music of its language with its subject. To read a great poem is to bring out the perfect marriage of its sound and thought in a silent or voiced performance. At least from the time of Aristotle's Poetics, drama was conceived of as a species of poetry."
Source: Creative Studios

Journal: " "Though a journal may be many things - a treasury, a storehouse, a jewelry box, a laboratory, a drafting board, a collector's cabinet, a snapshot album, a history, a travelogue..., a letter to oneself - it has some definable characteristics. It is a record, an entry-book, kept regularly, though not necessarily daily.... Some (entries) will be nearly illegible, written in the dark in the middle of the night.... Not only is it a record for oneself, but of oneself. Every memorable journal, any successful journal, is honest. Nothing sham, phony, false...." (Dorothy Lambert from Ken Macrorie's book, Writing to be Read )
A journal is a way to keep track of your thoughts about what you read... as well as what you did on any given day."
Source: Journal Writing

A Blog is an online journal created by server side software, often hosted by a commercial interest.

"The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger[4] on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com in April or May 1999.[5][6][7] Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms."
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_blogging

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