Coping: Aging Eyes, Shop Work and a Welding Note

While Elaine and Zeus the Cat keep an eye on the homestead, Ure’s truly will be off to the eye docs for a one year (or so) follow-up to the eye surgeries this morning.

As you’ll recall, this is from a conventional IOL of some 25-years going bad (by slipping out of position) and having to fall back to an anterior chamber lens.  While it works, having to wear rigid gas permeable contacts has been something I wouldn’t put my second worst enemy through.

But in case you ever run into personally, or know someone who has been through the mill on this stuff, here are a boatload of hard contact lens tips that they don’t tell you at the doctor’s place.

(Continues below)


This is not to find fault with the docs, it’s just that (as we are forever saying around here) everything is a business model.

Since most eye group practices (practi?) have an attached contact and eyeglasses shop, I understand there is some rationale to having them fit the first of any lens changes.

You go in, get fitted for the right lens, it’s ordered, and then when it comes in you go back to make sure the tear fluid is flowing right and all that.

However, in my case, once I was through the one-fitted by them, I got my prescriptions in written form and promptly became a lifetime customers for

The price difference is amazing.

In a doctor’s (captive optical) shop the Boston EO series I wear sets me back $108 per lens – as of last year.

On the other hand, it was about $32 per lens at www.lens.ciom.  And since the manufacturing tolerances are tight, I ordered a total of half a dozen pairs.

I’m out, too, so it’s a good time to recheck fitment before I order another huge supply.  So one for each eye from the doc’s place (unless there is no change) and then a big order to I have spares on hand.

The reason for losing lenses is simple:  I work around the place here…lots.  And when a lens drops on, oh, a 6-acre field when you’re bush-hogging (and it’s stuck somewhere in the goggles) no telling whether it will ever be found.  Down on hands and knees with chiggers ain’t this old boy’s cuppa tea.

Some other learnings – in no particular order.

  1. Shop prices on saline.  Equate brand from Amazon is a good alternative to big brands.   If you get Equate Saline Solution for Sensitive Eyes Twin Pack, 12 fl oz, 4 count, fort $22, it’s 48 oz., or $0.4583 per ounce.  Bausch and Lomb?  Well, they are actually cheaper at the moment: Bausch & Lomb Sensitive Eyes Plus Saline Solution, 12-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 6) is running about $30 or #0.4166 per once.  Because we do lots of useful math around here, we can buy a cheap bottle of vodka at the local package store for $20 and that’s 59 ounces.  So that pushed out to $0.3389 per ounce which gets us back to some interesting discussion of which medical supplies cost what.  Self medicating is cheaper, lol.
  2. Next thing I’ve learned – and fairly recently is the Lobo brand of RGP contact cleaner is non-abrasive and does a fine job with less irritation that the abrasive types.  Don’t know if it will work as well over a longer term, but a pair of contacts making 90 days of use is something of a reason to party around here.
  3. Bausch & Lomb makes a good eye vitamin called ARED2 – which apparently has something to do with Age Related Eye Disease, second study.  Taking two of these per day, morning and night, doesn’t seem to hurt.
  4. Alcohol consumption really matters.  If I have three adult beverages before dinner no impact on the eyes, but with four then the next morning my eyes are less precise.  Sobriety has its payoffs, and this is one of them.   Sell your distillery stocks before the word gets out.
  5. This alcohol deal may be related to either dry eyes or Vitamin A being washed out of the body by booze.  I’ll ask the eye doc, but not sure if he’ll have the answer.
  6. On Vitamin A eye drops, there are some OTC drops to look into, or talk to your eye doc.
  7. But on the Wetting the best I have found so far are the Lobo brand wetting drops and I’m just trying some new drops from Japan.  For the dry eye angle, I’m going with Rohto Hydra Dry Eye Drops 0.40 oz (Pack of 3) which are a bout $21 and in a few days some of their Vitamin 40a drops will show up.
  8. The real place for a great eye care product is in the cleaning machines.  I’ve tried two of the VueSonic Patented Portable Contact Lens Cleaning Device, Mini Ultrasonic 3D Contact Lens Cleaner, Contact Lens Case but with mixed results – see my product review on that page.  I’ve also tried several other ultrasonic whiz bang sounding machines that didn’t seem to do much better than a good manual cleaning job.
  9. 9.  Consider using the software program f.lux to max your monitors to a color temp of 4800 K at max white.  Above this, I find long-term eye strain.  Has to do with limiting UV output which can go – on some monitors  – up to 7200K.

I realize this may be TMMI (too much medical information) especially for a Monday, but print it off and save it for a few years.  It’s axiomatic in the eye business that everyone will get cataracts if they live long enough.  And for people with other forms of eye disease (like a mild corneal dystrophy like Ure’s truly has) RGPpita ( I leave it for you to decode) is something to be ready for.

Like prepping, driving within the speed limit, not texting while driving, and so on all makes like roll smoother, so does collecting little bits of eye health tips like this should you ever need it.

Hope you don’t, but like draft numbers back during the Vietnam War, sometimes you don’t much to say about when you’re “numbers come up.”  Seems to be one of those universal gotchas to life.

Around the Ranch

We have only had a simple screen door on the shop for the past 13 years but now we have a nice, solid (and did I mention heavy?) steel door.

Works like a champ.

Elaine finished her project, installing the pet-proof screening around the screen porch.

I kept offering to bring in the BPT’s (big power tools) but she’s not much for loud noises so she did a perfect job using hand tools.  And it was quiet.  Her, an Amazon Echo playing music, the cat, the birds, and oh, joyous peace.

About drove me crazy, though.  I could have brought over a miter saw, compressor, couple of nailers and been done in an hour… Better yet:  She wanted some custom thickness wood and I’ve been itching to get a thickness planer…would have been a perfect sales pitch time….

But no.  With no sell on the big noise-makers, there wen’t the dream of a thickness planer.

Still, real men make noise when they’re working.  I think that’s why I got banished to the shop…

(Maturity is defined as that moment in a man’s life when the new issue of Family Handyman or Woodworking seems more useful than the new issue of Playboy.  Another sign is when “Not Your Father’s Root beer” sounds better than chugging shots…)

Welding Equipment

Rolled into town to get oxygen for some cutting chores with the oxy-acetylene rig Friday.  Turned out the place I went for $11 gas wouldn’t refill it because they weren’t sure if it was a customer-owned tank.

So with directions, I found the place where I’d bought the tank and they charged me a bit more ($16) but they also swapped me from an S size steel tank to a 4K tank.  Damn nice of ’em.  They muttered something about a 1.5 instead of a 1.25 in local weldingese.

Also finally got tired of tiny disposable shielding gas on the MIG rig, we stepped up for a 60 CF shielding gas tank.  A couple of electric welding projects are in view.  The combination of Innershield flux wire plus shielding gas and now you’re talking from mighty fine beadwork…in the hands of someone more skilled than…er….uh….the Prince of Burn-through?

Acetylene prices are about $35 for a refill…so as hobbies go, welding stuff is fairly inexpensive.  If you find some scrap and have an imagination.

I keep looking at one of those weld-it-yourself bumper kits  at for the truck.  Of course that would lead to setting up a chrome plating operation and now we’re talking EPA and…no, maybe that will be on hold for a while.  Next lifetime.

Oh, they also had a gorgeous new Makita metal cutting chop saw on display.  I’m sure it’s a step up from our old (but 1/10th the price) Harbor Freight special from years ago.  But it claims 4X faster cutting by using a carbide tipped blade instead of abrasive wheels…so now I have to see if I can find such a blade for our old beast…

The Makita blade is available (Makita A-90532 12-Inch 60-Teeth Dry Ferrous Metal Cutting Saw Blade with 1-Inch Arbor” but don’t expect to go out to lunch on the change from a $100 bill.

I’ll have to run  some cost benefit numbers besides, I’ve got half a dozen chop saw wheels in stock.  Did I mention prepping to excess?

I’d go check my arbor size about here, but first some headlines and a peak at the market.  This being Monday, we need to sort of sneak-up on getting too serious…

Write when you get rich (or find a tool I don’t own, lol)

16 thoughts on “Coping: Aging Eyes, Shop Work and a Welding Note”

  1. On wearing contact lenses.
    Why do people go through that grief? My cousin (rest in peace) wore contacts and she is the reason I don’t. Too much trouble and all that ritual that goes with it. You can collect germs and virus’s thru your eyes they love sticky places. There’s a reason people who wear glass’s always have to clean their glass’s thru out the day. The goop we walk in daily is not going in the eyes. Or so it seems to me.

    • Absolutely correct. MY issues is corneal dystrophy (think of canyons in the clear part of the eye) and the only way to fix that is with an artificial lens – which for me is an RGP contact

      • Get a skeleton diagnosis I think it’s called a skeleton diagnosis it’s where they give you a skeleton diagnosis and you’ll find out from there that’s where I’ve been cut off for the last day I go and I don’t know how couple hours here about this skeleton diagnosis they won’t allow me to speak about that but anyway here we go

      • Only skeleton diagnosis I know of is done by a coroner. MRI? No thanks…more tomorrow AM on today’s adventures.

      • I forgot and I hate that when I forget because the skeletal diagnosis is The Vow the ingredients that you’re lacking or have too much of on the skeletal diagnosis cash I’m making this up but anyway it works what happens is you don’t have enough of a certain thing or you have too much of a certain thing I think the guy’s name was Pete Peterson or something like that and he was going to put one of those units out that can diagnose you and then at the last moment he was reneged and said no I can’t do that so we have the ability to scan which we know from for Randy Kramer we have the ability to redo all the parts in our body and we have ability to scan our body and tell us what we need in order to keep going with that same body they’re not going to tell you that because of like you said the money situation it’s a money thing to keep calling you and pushing you out and pull you in and push me out that’s how they make the money they’re not going to make no money if they course you know on the higher technology and what they do that toward the sort of thing where you know they keep you in top shape for the ability to defend the oppressors on Mars so yes what is it you looking for are you looking to live longer the answers they’re all you have to do is find it we have we we we have the ability to to change everything that we knew in the past because gosh we’re just so immature and what we’re thinking and we don’t even know that we have the ability now to do anything and everything to the point where we don’t even need this body to body adjuster manifestation of something that we need or even thought that we need so, kama what is it your looking for but you will find it

      • No it does not have to do anything with death especially when you’re living how to do with it was done electronically Pete Peterson have the device and it could be aimed at you it’s an electronic device and tell you what you did or did not need or what was wrong with you so it was like an imbalance but it electronic device that gave you the answer to your imbalance so now we didn’t have to take anything out of your body

  2. Why on God’s green earth would use shielding gas with flux core wire? Use your flux core for welding out in the wind in the shop use a Hobart premium er70 solid wire no bigger than .030 that alone should put an end to your burn through. I have been doing this for 40yrs and you are the first one I have heard of using gas w/flux core

  3. Boy, I must have really strong eyes/eyeballs. I’ve been wearing gas permeable contacts since, well, 50 years ago (you and I are the same age). ONE pair lasts until the next eye exam, or longer, if the prescription hasn’t changed. A polish at the optometrist’s office, and I’m good to go for another year. I never soak them in solution because that warps them (who knew? the optometrist), just rinse and store overnight, clean in the morning, rinse again, pop ’em in and I’m good to go for the day. The only time I “lose” them is when I drop them while inserting; those little suckers sure do bounce. Pretty much an expert at finding them although sometimes the cats help! Sterilize and done. I’m sorry you’ve had so much trouble, but I know for many of us, they’re no big deal at all. AND, I don’t have to pay for them, over and over again, like you are doing or the “disposable” soft lens. I like ’em!

  4. Re Welding gasses;
    Acetylene is pricey, you can use Propane for most torch jobs, cutting, brazing, heating and it is way cheaper. It does not get hot enough to weld steel, but how often do you want to gas weld with all the distortion slow etc. That’s why you have the TIG.
    The welding supply can sell you a special propane tip for cutting if you want, you don’t really need it. Just adjust the flame like you always would.
    The tank fitting used to be the same, the combustible gas Left hand thread, I don’t know now with the 15 year ago LPG fitting ‘improvement’ change.

  5. I have serious dry eye (due to aging eyelid atrophied oil glands)- have tried everything short of total surgery including plugs and the Lipiflow procedure (that all before the vitrectomy and membrane peels which made matters worse). Found a great product – iSolutions Nanotears (for me the MXPForte for severe dry eye)works wonders (as does the MO and XP solutions for moderate days). Can’t find it in stores – only online, but this preservative free formula, although spendy, is worth every drop – at least for me.

    Can’t wear contacts so even after catract surgery still have to wear glasses (and have since 1964). Find that when I buy my rx glasses from the eye doc’s office, my vision is crisper and sharper due to the high quality plastic lenses. Unlike when I buy my glasses from non-doc places of business (you know- places where you can buy 20 rolls of paper towels and 60 rolls of t-paper and that big screen tv)and on-line – the plastic is lesser quality (hence, the lesser cost) and my vision,although o.k. and acceptable, is noticeably less sharp.

  6. Cutting metal with a blade? … well why not a Plasma Cutter for cutting that metal?

    When I used to go into industrial plants that cut metal plates, bar, round stock, or large beams they were dirty noisy places. Today they are quieter than a church at midnight and almost clean enough to eat off the floor!!

    Those plasma cutters are THE DEAL!! Super Fast, clean, NOISELESS.

    Not sure what a “small shop” version would cost … but wow!! if there is one out there for the small shop or home shop you should consider one

  7. 6. “On Vitamin A eye drops, there are some OTC drops to look into, or talk to your eye doc.”

    Have you ever tried/evaluated Astaxanthin supplementation for your ‘aging eyes’?

  8. another “tip” on healthcare cost. I was eating in a restaurant when I heard my waitress say she had been billed $487 by the ambulance company for a trip 6 months ago. This was after her insurance company had paid “something” toward it.

    The “tip” is that lots of providers are sending out notices of the billed amount to insureds that look like a bill but technically are not, they are notices of how much was billed to the insurance co. Most people don’t know the difference and often pay the full amount after the insurance company has paid a smaller negotiated rate. For all the world, it looks and reads like a bill.

    Provider gets double paid the negotiated fee and the “ignorance” payment from the insured. Will they refund? I’ve never seen them refund without a stink!

    Read carefully, is it a bill or a notice……. it is illegal to “balance bill” the excess over the negotiated fee, not including a copay or coinsurance.

  9. The skeletal the skeletal thing is electronic device that picks up on all all the vibrations that we put out I remember back in the 1980s I had a device it was a scanning device electronic scanning device for scanning voltage I use that in most peculiar ways I can hold it up to any individual or myself or around Electric Feel producing place and it puts out the scales I used it in diagnosing shorts and electrical systems on trucks I also used it to diagnose the feelings of people so everything’s electrical we live in electrical universe that was when back in 1980s that I had this device and it was auto-ranging automatically picks up from run range to another and you’re going to like well how that happened they have them but back then it was like it was unheard of it was new to be able to pick up on each and every thing that’s electrical or electrical in nature so we have the experience of that I mean you could pick up on a person’s negative or positive being with this little device which is auto ranging

    • So anyway Pete Peterson is the one who had a device I think he had the patent for it and it just by holding up it up against next to your body it has the ability to tell you what’s wrong with you and how to cure what’s wrong with you very very very very simple

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