clear vision

Today I got my first pair of prescription glasses. Apparently I am a little bit short-sighted.

Well, I’ve kind of known for a while, but I’ve just been avoiding seeing an optometrist. No real reason why — just that I was once told to put off getting glasses for as long as possible because once you get them, you kind of rely on them, and your vision will slowly get worse and worse, and you will be more and more dependent on glasses. (The friend who said this to me doesn’t really like having to wear glasses, and was probably being a little bit dramatic, but these things stick with me!)

Anyway, it wasn’t that I had that much trouble with seeing that it affected my life to any significant degree. I just started noticing that it was a bit harder to read street signs and see things far away.

This was last year.

I’ve been pretty good at putting this off.

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keep going

Last week, as I was driving to work along the freeway, I noticed that the car behind me was driving quite close. So close, in fact, that there’s almost no doubt they were intentionally tailgating. I could even see the driver’s impassive face clearly in my rearview mirror.

Maybe they were in a hurry to go somewhere important, for something important, that they only had short notice about, or were late for some other reason, but they were tailgating on a freeway, and that is dangerous driving.

I was already driving at the speed limit, so I don’t know what they wanted me to do. Exceed the speed limit and tailgate the car in front of me? I glanced at the lanes beside me — the other driver was probably avoiding those because they weren’t any faster.

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hold your breath

A few years ago, I drafted a blog post about how I sometimes hold my breath when I walk past bins or smokers or people who, for one reason or another, look like they might smell. I never finished writing this post, and never published it because I thought it was too weird. 

(But I don’t mean to be judgemental. Sometimes it’s obvious that someone has just been to the gym, or maybe I’m out running, and there are other sweaty people out running. And it’s not always body odour — sometimes people who exercise wear too much deodorant.)

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine shared an article that detailed the findings of a Belgian study on the kinetics of exhaled air/vapour during exercise. Specifically, the study looked at walking, running and cycling; and the aim was to determine whether or not it was safe to walk/run/cycle behind or beside someone, with a view to minimising transmission of airborne viruses.

As it turns out, you probably want to stay at least five metres away from other runners, and stay further away from other cyclists, if that is your exercise of choice. 

Recently, I’ve noticed that I hold my breath more and more when I walk past people — perfectly normal-looking people with no suggestion of body odour or excessive fragrance usage, and not even a cigarette in hand.

The other day, I happened to walk past a man in the street, and he turned his face away from me as we passed each other. Perhaps it was just a coincidence, and perhaps he happened to see something interesting across the road, but maybe he was holding his breath too.

Who’s the weird one now, hey?

screen scourge

Being unable to go out to borrow or purchase a copy of my book club’s current read, my only options were to resort to buying an electronic copy, or otherwise miss the next meeting (which I suppose will be done online, considering current circumstances).

Speaking of current circumstances, my book club’s current read is The Plague by Albert Camus. It’s quite a fitting read at a time like this, although it is about a fictitious plague set in a world several decades in the past. But it makes one realise that we are doing quite well in comparison. (Well, I’m speaking only for the country I live in, and the people I know.)

In the novel, the plagued city in question, Oran, closed off their borders as the epidemic worsened, and forbade travel in and out of the city, both by locals and foreigners alike. The story being set in pre-internet days, the inhabitants do not have the option of video calling each other, nor can they even send letters due to fears of transmitting pathogens via paper. If I remember correctly, the only option left to them is the use of telegrams.

Moreover, the treatment for the plague must be sourced from Paris, and of course there are supply issues, and of course the treatment does not always work. Continue reading

sleep results – April

Since today is the first day of May, I have now had thirty nights of sleep through April, so I suppose it’s time for a recap on the never-ending struggle to fix my sleep.

I haven’t posted a recap for February or March because I went on holidays at the end of February and didn’t get a chance to look at that month’s data; and since I was not at work during most of March, I thought all of that data would be terribly skewed and show a falsely positive result.

Anyway, a quick glance over the February data shows that it was much the same as January, with several nights of inadequate and/or poor quality sleep. As such, I don’t think it would add much value to my study. Besides, I really can’t be bothered entering all that data and properly analysing it.

In the first two weeks of March, I was consistently sleeping at least 7.5 hours each night (often more), so I stopped recording my sleeping hours and scores because I figured it would just end up as a flat line of very uninteresting data.

In April things were kind of back to normal in the sense that I was back at work every week, so I resumed recording from then. Sure, I could have included the last week or so of March, but I was readjusting to not being on holidays, and I figured that it was better to just exclude it.

Well, anyway, enough preamble. Let’s get to my April results. Continue reading