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Wiser’s Wramblings on 3-23-23…or 32323


By Chuck Wiser, I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels

I love number coincidences almost as much as I do word oddities. With the date above written with the dashes separating the digits it may not appear obvious of its rarity. Take away the dashes and it may become more obvious that the date is special in that it is what is referred to as a Palindrome. By definition: A palindrome is a word, number, phrase, or sequence that reads the same backward as forward. Simple words like level, rotator racecar, numbers like 1881,or todays date 3-23-23, or phrases like “Do geese see God” or “A man, a plan a canal-Panama” are palindromes.

Speaking of number coincidences, when I received my first cell phone, I was randomly assigned the number. As it turns out, the last four digits of my number are exactly the same as those of my daughter’s phone. I think she had some say in her number as it represented a combination of the numbers of two favored sports figures of hers. Just by chance our numbers matched.

Sticking with the numbers theme, for some reason, perhaps having heard a TV comedian do it, I got on a kick of giving out my phone number when asked for by reciting the numbers in a non-standard format. If you recite your phone number, you do so in the standard format with groupings such as 585-593-1234. It really blows people’s minds if you recite the number 5855-931-234. If you don’t believe me, try it the next time you verbally give out your phone number. You have to put more concentration into it even to say it improperly.

As we drove from our home in Scio to Belmont today, I commented to my wife about people lacking consideration by discarding trash and old tires in a popular turnaround/dumping place on the Back River Road, despite there being a sign nearby against it. Her comment in reply was, “and they can’t read either.”

I read a comment on social media the other day written by a woman complaining that her, and other women’s slacks, often are made without pockets. I have a pair of sweatpants that I purchased, only to discover they had no pockets. Mentioning that in the conversation, initiated a conversation about other disadvantages and inequalities that women are still faced with. I also asked in that conversation if women’s front buttoning shirts still have the buttons on the side opposite of what men have. One comment led to another, and it turns out that the shirt buttoning standard goes back centuries to England where ladies of distinction were usually helped to dress by their “hand maidens” and it was more convenient for someone facing the one being dressed if the buttons facing them were on the opposite side. I guess those ladies didn’t have a need for pockets either, then again, they weren’t likely to be wearing slacks or sweatpants.

I don’t know if it’s a sign of the times, or just the fact that I have a scanner and am hearing things that have been going on all along, but three times this week, I have heard 911 scanner calls involving; A father and daughter arguing in a parking lot; A grandmother who can’t control their grandchild, and a non-violent disagreement between husband and wife. There seems to be either a heightened frequency of these disputes, or a trend of not being able to resolve differences of opinions, or willingness or ability to discipline unruly adolescents.

I have ranted before about people’s driving habits, or lack thereof. First up is the issue of “round abouts”. A) You do not have to stop while in the roundabout to let cars in. B) You are not supposed to race to beat someone already in the roundabout as they have the right of way. C) Just in case you observe A and B, it is a nice courtesy to let people know that you are exiting the roundabout by using your turn signal indicating your intention. On the issue of “turn signals,” it is apparent that Detroit is making an alarming number of cars either without turn signals, or with vehicles with turn signals that don’t work. They must not work or be in the vehicle. An alarming number of people don’t use them. Maybe they are a throwback to the ages of my learning to drive when hand signals were the law. I guess people grew up that way and just don’t want to get their arms wet if it’s raining. Still on the topic of driving, why do some people feel the need, on a wide open 4 lane road with no other traffic in sight, to pull right back in front of you with scant feet of clearance after passing you. Throw in a factor of rain, or just merely wet roads and it gets even more of a nuisance as the road spray from their tires makes your wipers temporarily inadequate.

Re-reading those past few topics makes me think I should title this week’s writings as “Grampy’s Grumblings”. I guess I better lighten up a little.

If you like to sing, other than Christmas carol month, this time of year is probably the most pleasing to be a choir singer. As the religious holidays and events are coming to fruition this, and next month, church choirs, and community choruses are preparing for the holidays with appropriate musical concerts. One such event is the Lenten Concert titled “Come Walk With Me” to be presented by the Genesee Valley Chorus at 2:00 PM, April 2nd at the United Methodist Church in Scio. The Genesee Valley Chorus will follow that up in a few short weeks with their annual Spring concert. New voices are always welcome, and you do not have to be a music professional to be able to join. The minimum requirement is that you enjoy singing.

You can tell when the rivers and stock-able trout streams have been stocked even if you don’t see the trucks from the fish hatcheries doing the deed. As soon as you drive by a popular fishing spot and there are a half dozen cars parked along the road or in the parking areas, you know that stocking has taken place. Today was just one such, of those days. I have seen fisherman departing the river area with a bucket loaded with caught fish, apparent by the signs of it being pretty heavy.

Wisers Weapons

My table of contents was “set” over several pieces of paper today so it wasn’t “invertable.” I have mentioned that my “writings”, when not necessarily colorful, at least when done on paper, are always colorful. Shown here is my arsenal of weapons.

When I was teaching and writing on the white boards that were introduced in the latter stages of that career I would write my notes on the “white board” in color. Oh, writing on black/green boards didn’t deter the colorful writing as I did the same with chalk. It was a lot less messy carrying a pocketful of white board markers than chalk, however.

I have been prescribed to wear glasses since my teen years. However, I didn’t start wearing them on a full time basis until much later in life. Giving due respect to those who enjoy wearing glasses, as evidenced by the preponderance of those who wear sunglasses even on cloudy days, and for my wife who said recently that I looked better with my glasses on, I hate wearing glasses. When I was confronted with the aspect of having cataract surgery a couple of years ago I was given three choices. I could have the near vision corrected, or the far vision corrected either of which would be fully covered by Medicare. The third option was to have all of my vision, near and far corrected but with the caveat that it would cost me $1800 PER EYE, to have the second correction added. In the cataract repair a lens is permanently inserted surgically in your eye. Now logic would tell us that a lens is a lens. At worst, a double vision lens might cost a “tad bit” more, but the procedure should not be any more difficult or costly. When inquiring as to why, it was explained to me that it was a Medicare insurance coverage issue. Medicare would not pay to have the second vision corrected. Why?

Where does the added cost come from then? No good answer, but I assume that the medical facility charges significantly more for the second correction addition, because they can. Medicare refuses to pay for the second option. Their rationale is that the repair of your vision whether for “near,” as in reading, or “far” for anything but reading, is a necessity. Having the ability to do both is a “luxury or cosmetic change.

Having the need to wear glasses full time formerly, I opted to have my “far vision” corrected, supplemented by wearing glasses only to read. It made sense to me at the time, but it is a real nuisance carrying a pair of glasses with me anytime I am going out and about, like to a store, or for chorus practice, where I might need to read something. I answered that nuisance by inserting my own second lens. I now have contacts that I can wear that for long vision, are transparent, but corrected for near vision, with the astigmatism, for reading. Why couldn’t they have done that for a “nominal” surgical insertion instead. I don’t wear contacts when I am only going to be working around the house and I carry my glasses if I just run up to the store. I now have to pay for reading only “magnifying” glasses, that requires a prescription, as the surgery left a little astigmatism in my left eye. “Over the counter” magnified reading glasses are only a possibility if my reading time is short. I now must pay for contacts every couple of months which is an unplanned expense.

Maybe the $3600 for both vision corrections would have been worth it. If I had it to do over again, I would pay the extra. I suppose I could afford to bite into my retirement “nest egg” a little. I don’t plan to leave anything behind.  

My heart was warmed and full of gratitude seeing the outpouring of love exhibited by readers of the Wellsville and Hornell Sun and on social media, after an extra column I was honored to have been able to write this past weekend. I was able to tell the story about a Scholarship that was named in honor of a local former scholastic athlete and military veteran.

Here is the Announcement flyer for the Lenten concert to be performed by the Genesee Valley Chorus on April 2nd.

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