Can you see me now?

As I was getting a prescription for eye drops filled – for reasons that will become clear – I was looking at all the food (in some cases, that term is used very loosely) that I can no longer eat for whatever reason. Many of those reasons are dental: I have crowns, missing teeth, ¬†and some weak teeth, so terribly crunchy things are out of the question, and I have so little tongue movement that some foods I simply cannot move around well to chew enough to get down (lettuce is a huge issue). While some things are really unfortunate – I’d kill or seriously maim to be able to eat a good salad now and again – in other cases, like the sheer variety of Halloween candy, it comes in handy to be able to avoid chowing down. In a lot of cases, I no longer even have the desire to eat any of that sweet stuff anyway. Good and bad, pros and cons everywhere.

The drops were for my eyes, to help my night vision. About three years ago, I had lasik on both eyes. The right eye, where I had an astigmatism, turned out really well. The left eye I was never completely satisfied with, but the folks at the place where I had it done didn’t seem terribly enthusiastic about doing/recommending anything, and in both eyes, night vision is poor. So I found someone else, because lately, the left eye is getting significantly worse, to the point of giving me headaches from time to time. They did a full workup, even doing one of the image captures twice, and the doctor says there is some cloudiness at the bottom of the left lens. Precursor to a cataract? Some side effect of getting blasted with radiation (since the more powerful dose was on the left side, where the cancer was)? Who knows. In the meantime, he recommended doing nothing for now, and rechecking in six months. So we shall see (get it?) where that leads.

Some days

Sometimes, it seems like days just start off badly, as if the world wants to crack an eye at the sunrise, yawn, and roll over for a bit more sleep.

This morning was one of those mornings. The plan was to get up in the wee hours, get the smoker going, and have some pulled pork ready by the 1 PM games. I thought I had slept through my alarm, having had only two hours of sleep the night before. Not the case: I simply set it for PM instead of AM in my fog. When I did get up and go to get the smoker going, I found that the smoker portion of my Bradley was not working at all. I also found that I was going to have to go to the NOC to take care of a server that was simply down for no apparent reason and which would not respond to a reboot request.

Thinking the smoker issue may have just been built up sawdust in the feeder, I left the heating side of the smoker on, so it would be fully to temp by the time I got back, and hurried off to the NOC. Problem found: blown power supply. Easily enough solved by swapping out the power supply, but a pain in the ass for interrupting my day, which was already not starting off well.

Back at the ranch, I finally discovered the motor that powers the feeder arm was simply not working at all. I figured I could just rig something to keep the microswitch in the down position, hoping this would keep the smoker from knowing the arm was not moving. Didn’t work – the timer that feeds the wood expects the switch to trigger and then depress when the motor arm comes around once more. The switch is also not in a position easily reached when the control unit is back together. Alas, no smoking available. But the heat still worked, so I went in to rub down the butt and get it in the thing.

I made the rub, using my usual 20+ ingredients, and then dropped one of the bottles straight down on the tile while putting it away, shattering the thing and spewing glass everywhere. Swell.

By 9:30, the butt was finally on the smoker. We didn’t eat until the late games were well underway. It was good, but not as good as it usually is, of course. I also made rolls, mom made potato salad, and I’d made a huge batch of barbeque sauce the last time around, so at the end of the day, my sisters, newphew, mom, and I had watched a bunch of football and eaten good homemade food. Not a bad end to a day that started off so poorly.

On the plus side, it was another absolutely gorgeous day on the ranch, although unlike yesterday, almost all of which I spent outside, I did nothing outdoors today at all. Tomorrow after getting one of my eyes looked at, I hope to transplant some tomatoes at least to get the last ones out of the flats. From there, I’ll be left with the brassicas and the onions to get into the frames, and will be able to move on to breaking apart the garlic bulbs into cloves and prep for that planting. The great garlic plantout of 2011 is at hand.