Smoke gets in your eyes

Where’s the fabled New Mexico wind when you need it?

The smoke has finally paid us a visit here in the Sandia foothills.

The world sometimes feels like a very small place, and never more so than when a wildfire in Northern California can make your eyes sting in New Mexico.

“Very hazy, hot, and dry,” predicts the National Weather Service. The women must be happy to be first off this morning as the criteriums wrap up masters nats at Balloon Fiesta Park. It was already 63 in the Duke City foothills as racing kicked off down below, where the high temp should be challenging the century mark this afternoon.

A tip of the Mad Dog sombrero goes out to Colorado hardman Wayne Watson, who took the 70-74 road-race title yesterday with a solo break. Wayne was hard to catch Back in the Day® and it seems that this, unlike so many other things, remains unchanged.

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24 Responses to “Smoke gets in your eyes”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Up here you can barely see the foothills from the house. Yech.

  2. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Amazingly bright and clear down here. Maybe that’s because I just got my eyes fixed. Chapeau, also, to Wayne for a solo break win! Those solo break wins are always exciting to watch, because the odds are long on making it stick.

    • B Lester Says:

      Pat, I’m approaching my second anniversary with new lenses. My old ones were so yellow, that the retina specialist wondered out loud how I could see through them. I was 62 at the time, and he said I had the lenses of a much older guy. Dad and little bro had same thing at a early age. Great hilarity when I was in the two week interval twixt surgeries, as the old eye saw green where the new one saw blue.

      I ponied up an additional $4575 for the latest and greatest zoot-tech lenses. The surgeon claimed that me, as a lifetime glasses guy, would be glasses free! Truth is, I passed the DMV eye test so I’ve got no driving restriction, but far away ain’t razor sharp. Up close is also improved, but carrying round “readers” is a bonafide pain in the ass. About nine months ago I opted to go back to full-time progressives just to sharpen it up. Turned out to be the best choice for me.

      • Herb from Michigan Says:

        Ah the dilemma is real. I’ve worn specs so long that life without them would be weird. What would I clean and polish twice a day? Yet I struggle like hell when fixing or fiddling with things (ok with my skills it’s mostly fiddling) to see close up since IF you have to turn your head a little sideways with progressives you are screwed. I can’t see squat closeup without specs or half the time with em. Nobody I know has opted to have the close up vision fixed with their cataract job so I have to rely on the docs. And they say things “usually “ work out ok with either option. That isn’t my kind of affirmation.

        • Pat O’Brieb Says:

          G’day Herb! Has your eye doc said you have cataracts? When my right eye vision went to 20/60 with glasses, the doc said you can’t pass the driver’s license eye test. That got my attention. The distance correction lenses are the ones most selected in the US.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      Yes sir, my cataracts also gave my vision a yellow tint. During the 3 weeks between surgeries, I would see yellow streaks when there was a white background. Since I have an astigmatism and also need prism in my prescription, I was going to need glasses in any case, so I went with the distance correction intra-ocular lenses. I am now good from about 15 inches out without glasses, albeit the left is a little sharper than the right. The glasses will make my right eye equal to the left, 20/20 for distance. The old guy your doc was talking about was me. Just turned 72.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Man, that’s a leap of faith, letting someone tinker with your peepers. I won’t even let the optometrist dilate my eyes. Weren’t you afraid of getting the bloke who finished last in his class at the University of Wooloomooloo’s College of Cataract Surgery & Sheep Dip Application?

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        Nah, Dr. Aviles used to be an engineer. And, he treated me before for a split vision problem that made me bail out of a metric century half way through. He invented a special headrest used in cataract surgery and patented it. Man has his shit together. The alternative, doing nothing, is what scared me. Blind, or damn near, is bad. But, rand paul ain’t getting anywhere near my eyes. If it quacks like a quack……..

      • B Lester Says:

        Rand Paul indeed. John Bussa M.D. has been keeping an eye on my “pigmentary dispersion syndrome” and krukenberg spindles. It seems that I have tiny bits of pigment floating around inside my eyes that threaten to clog things up and kill my optic nerves. Sort of a mechanical (not disease driven) glaucoma. He’s been putting me through a battery of tests once annually for over a dozen years. Sharp dude. He’s built a strong eye department here.

      • SAO' Says:

        What do you call the guy who graduates medical school last in his class?


  3. JD Says:

    I and my bride here in the “Bibleburg Environs” took a photo late yesterday PM of the sun thru the “haze”.
    With the “World’s Second Worst AQI being the state of Colorado” according to MSN, it looked like the Red Planet Mars.
    I rode my MTB early this AM for 1+15 and by the 1-hour mark I was starting to cough a bit. Stupid me!!
    Does this have implications and lessons for those who engage in “smoking” other substances??

    • SAO' Says:

      Noticed this a while ago … The Front Range has this natural inversion problem, been around since the dawn of time, but only because a “problem” when we started burning dead dinosaurs. What makes it a problem no one will address is that, from Denver, the foothills hide a lot of the mountains, so if you live in the city, you’re breathing brown air but it looks fine from where you sit. You have to travel south down I-76 from Nebraska or west along I-70 from Kansas to see it, and until recently that was where growth was the slowest. Bottom line, if you live in the city, you look up and everything’s blue. But if you live to the north or east, you see the brown sludge that encompasses the entirety of the foothills.

      Now the problem is a thousand times worse, thanks to the the whole country being on fire. And it looks like its the new normal.

  4. Dave Watts Says:

    We have been dealing with smokey and haze conditions here in Chi Town for weeks now, so I can’t imagine how bad it might be there, closer to the origins. I’ve been trying for a week to get some good shots of Saturn and it’s moons, along with Jupiter, but I can’t. And not due to clouds. Maybe masks are a good idea for the smoke, too.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      I grew up just North of Chi Town. The only time the air choked me up there was when I walked through a cloud of tear gas on Madison St. trying to get to the train station. It was 1968, and I worked on the West side of Chicago.

  5. SAO' Says:

    Speaking of fire … tried to clear my mental fog with a book that had nothing to do with current events. But I guess mnemonic devices and subliminal references were playing a trick on me, and I grabbed Normal Maclean’s Young Men & Fire. Then, on my next trip to the library with the kiddos, saw that The Premonition, Micheal Lewis, was on the 7 day check out shelf. And guess what story one of the key players in The Premonition used to explain the mentality you need to fight a pandemic? The Mann Gulch Fire of 1949.

    Highly recommend The Premonition. Moves fast, covers a lot of ground. Don’t expect any broad conclusions, though, other than that the two party system has destroyed basic competence across all sectors of our government.

    “Not much about fighting big fires can be learned by fighting small ones.” Just one of the 87 ways fires and viruses are alike.

    • Herb from Michigan Says:

      This song gave me the creeps years ago and I looked up this infamous fire event after hearing it.
      Richard Shindell- The Cold Missouri Waters from Cry Cry Cry cd.

      • SAO' Says:

        Army firefighters are MOS 12M (or at least used to be), so like Divers (12Ds) they’re part of the family of Combat Engineer red-headed step-children. That book got a lot of traction in Officer Professional Development circles. Lots to ponder from an operation that was only a couple of hours long.

      • SAO' Says:

        I love historical narrative folk music. Something about crafting art that’s based on history. Maybe it’s that, if you’re doing three chords and the truth, it helps if the truth is both emotionally and historically true. It’s like Spinal Tap’s “none more black,” you just can’t go none more true.

        Kaplansky still has lovely pipes. If she’s ever in town, grab tickets.

    • JD Says:

      I’ve reserved Premonition thru our public library. Now #76 on the wait list.
      Back to the original “Smoke gets in your eyes” theme. We cancelled our high school MTB Team practice today due to the bad AQI.
      And the most recent UN Environmental report IS NOT UPLIFTING. Quite the amazing consensus of nations/experts that we’re in for some ever-increasing bad environmental times unless we mend our ways. And they were willing to go on record.
      Does the term “Homo Stultus” resonate and become more appropriate?

      • SAO' Says:

        I was #32 on the waiting list, but our library takes 1-2 copies of new books or newly popular books and puts them on a special 7 day, no renewals shelf. Total luck of the draw if you happen to be there when a copy is returned.

        Nice libraries up in these parts. The one by the community college has a coffee bar, and the old town branch does stuff like yoga in the park. Still, they’re a slight step down from the library system Denver’s north metro has. The librarians there wore t-shirts saying “Shhh is a four letter word.” Just too much stuff for kid six months thru 99 years to do. There’s a straight line from my kiddo’s love of books back to their first impressions of libraries thanks to the hundreds of little people programs they put on.

      • SAO' Says:

        UN Report: Yeah, we’re toast … metaphorically for now, probably literally within a couple of years.

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