Recent months away from the PC

Recent months away from the PC

Hi folks,

I find myself at the PC today, so I thought that I may drop in and say hello.

I’ve been avoiding the PC for a couple of months. It all started after a visit to my eye surgeon in July. Once again he refused to remove any stitches. Once again my eyes seemed to show only the smallest amount of progress. They are just not settling down, he said.

I despaired. After all, I have a mortgage that needs paying, and while my money in the bank will last us well into 2017 I really had no desire to use it all up.

When, when, when… I asked. The surgeon had no satisfactory answer.

On the way back to where my wife had parked the car we walked by a Vision Australia shopfront. To be honest, I knew nothing about Vision Australia other than its self-proclaimed goal to help people with vision issues. So we wondered whether they might help me find work suitable to my current vision. We stepped in and asked. Yes, they did. So I made an appointment.

At home Nicole and I chatted. We wondered why it was taking so long to heal. After all, back in 1991 I had had exactly the same operation and was able to use the eye within 2 months. My age? Or perhaps I simply was not resting my eye. After all, ever since the op I had struggled daily using my PC and my smartphone. When not doing this I read, the novels ever an inch away from my face. We could only imagine it was this overuse of my sight. Hence I stepped away from my PC and reserved my smartphone for a few minutes of Facebook each day (Facebook is my main tool for keeping in contact with relatives). Hence why you have not seen me.

The experience with Vision Australia was good. They had to perform an independent assessment of me which initially annoyed me. The specialist was very knowledgeable, and I answered all questions truthfully, at which point she stated that I was not bad enough to meet their requirements for aid. Well yes, I responded. Sitting in a controlled environment and given plenty of time to work out what I was looking at, naturally I did fairly well. Unfortunately my 30+ year career has involved staring into computer monitors and required me to be very, very accurate (I’m a professional software engineer working mostly on financial systems) often with high workloads.  My experience with job agencies is that they try to get you back into your key skill areas and I felt that for me this was impractical, hence I wanted lateral thinking from an organisation experienced with dealing with the vision impaired. Also, my eyes still weep really badly and go blurry after 3 hours if consistent computer use.

The case worker who sat in there will me was excellent, however. She went to senior management and made a case for helping me. Yippee. This means now that any potential employer will be funded by Vision Australia for equipment that will extend my timeframes using a computer. And yes, they have such stuff. So this means that I can go back to computer work! It will really make a huge difference and I am so grateful for them doing this.

OK, so besides staying away from the PC, what have I been up to?

Well, around the same time an old friend of mine asked whether I wanted to volunteer some of my time entertaining old folks in nursing homes. Apparently since October last year Jon had been taking his guitar and other equipment to nursing homes and singing. Yep, why not, I responded.

At first I did a few Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra songs…

What’s that? You did not know that I sang! Well, I have mentioned it once or twice before. I have always been a fan of the old crooners from the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Well, it has been going amazingly over the past few months. I’ve been building up my repertoire and Jon has been encouraging me to try different material so as to stretch myself. So I have just started singing stuff my Bad Moon Arising and Rhinestone Cowboy – neither of which I would normally have considered.

The nursing home audiences have also been marvellous. They clap and sing along and we all have a great time. Now Jon and I are trying to work out a way to encourage community focused groups to fund other duos like us to do the same. Mostly they just need equipment as the time is volunteered.

Anyway, so that is what I have been up to.

Oh – so why am I back using the PC? Well, two reasons. Firstly my daughter has a young friend who loves my digital art work and his birthday is comping up. So I am going to create one especially for him. Secondly, it’s time to find myself a job now that I have Vision Australia behind me. :)

Thanks all for reading and I hope that you are all well. I will try to catch up on all of your blogs over the coming weeks.

Greg

11 Comments


  1. Hi there! :o)
    I’m so sorry that your operation hasn’t gone as stellar for you. Hugs! Yes… I hear that keratoplasty doesn’t do well for every case or for every person. This is why I refuse to tell people that it is THE answer for their eye needs, in spite of the fact that it’s been a huge success for my case. Then again, I’m age 35 and this is my first keratoplasty surgery ever. I wish you better luck with Vision Australia!
    And… if you’re looking to raise funds for equipment for entertaining nursing home residents, may I suggest crowd-funding… like GoFundMe.com or Patreon.com? If you set up such a site and advertise it, I’d be sure to donate a few dollars to it! It’s a great cause that you and your friend are doing, I applaud you, sir! :o)


    1. Thanks :) I am still hopeful. Maybe it will just take me longer to heal. I guess I am an impatient sort of fellow. LOL.

      Vision Australia have been amazing. Truly. I have been offered a job interview with Government in mid October and Vision Australia are organising for me to have a practice interview with them beforehand. Wow. The lady looking after me has been helping me to craft my resume and cover letters so that they look really astonishing. She says that I am too modest when I write or talk about myself (I really need to get her tell everyone that I am modest – most would not believe it).

      I spoke to Jon about crowd-funding. He is my partner in all the singing at nursing homes. He is not keen, but then he is 3 years older than me and a bit more conservative in outlook. Obviously I will have to work on him. :)

      I agree, it is a great cause. The happiness it brings to the old folks is brilliant. Probably one of the best things I have done for other people (the only comparable thing being back in the 80s when I used to volunteer my annual holidays to help a local charity take disadvantaged children on holidays).

      Thanks :)

      Greg


  2. It’s great to hear from you, Greg. I was sort of starting to worry – you used to post so often, and then – poof! – thank you for checking in :)

    Just a thought about reading on computer: I’m not a specialist or anything, but my eyesight is below the norm. I find that it makes huge difference how my electronic reading material is formatted. Large black font on white or off-white background is the best. Smaller grey on white (like your blog here, for instance :)) is harder, though still readable. And then there are the killers, of course, like yellow on black or green on pink, though these have become rare on the internet nowadays, thankfully :)

    Anyhow. I’m glad you have Vision Australia behind you now, and I wish you luck in your job search!


  3. Wow those emoticons are huge! =)


    1. LOL. Indeed. I know not why.


  4. Greg, so sorry to read about your vision problems. I hope it heals soon. It looks like you’re on a path that will get you there. Good luck and best wishes.


    1. Thank you so much :) Slowly but surely seems to be the way. I am certain that everything will turn out OK and even more so that the journey of recovery will see me explore paths that I may have ignored otherwise. All is good :) Thanks :)


    1. Hi Greg! I hope your health improves in the nearest future! Meanwhile music is a great thing to have in your life… especially with an audience.


      1. Thanks :) I find the eyes so frustrating at the moment! This said, I have received an offer of a job interview for mid-October writing ICT policy and Vision Australia are giving me so much support!

        Once the eyes improve I do intend to be around more. I am now considering trying to find a music school to attend at night once I have an income again. And yes, it’s great having an audience, especially one that (surprisingly) enjoys my efforts. :)

        Greg


    2. Thanks :) As time goes by I will be back more :)

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