Over the summer, my cataracts caught up with me. My left eye was uncorrectable with glasses (correctable to 20/100), and my right eye was correctable to 20/60; I was functionally blind in the one eye, and marginally able to see out of the other. (Interestingly, you only need to be 20/60 in one eye to drive a car in Pennsylvania. I'm here to tell you that the words "barely be able to" should be in front of the word "drive" in the previous sentence.) It's hard to describe how this affected me. It was gradual, until it was impossible to ignore. The best way to say it is that it affected my zest for life. Not being able to see beyond a certain distance made my preference for introversion more pronounced. If I couldn't see it, it wasn't important, and since my maximum clear distance was about arm's length, books and magazines and my laptop became good friends. When I couldn't ignore it any longer, I made the appointments to have my eyes analyzed and lens replacement surgery surgery performed. Although from the patient's perspective the surgery is similar to LASIK, the surgery itself is completely different. The lenses in my eyes were removed and discarded, and replaced by polycarbonate permanent lenses. The procedure is quick (about 5-10 minutes per eye), painless, and in fact this is the most commonly performed surgery in the world. As best I can describe it, again from the patient perspective, you look at a bunch of moving colored lights and then it is over, and you can see perfectly. My surgeon, Harvey Reiser at Eye Care Specialists in Kingston PA, is an amazingly dynamic person and a phenomenal surgeon. I had one eye done in late September, and the other in early October. To say that the results are astonishing... I don't know. I'm not sure there are words to describe it. The world is so sharp I feel like I could cut myself on the edges. My left eye is 20/20, and halfway to 20/15; my right eye is 20/20, and 3/4 of the way to 20/15. I feel like if I concentrate I could read the license plates on the cars driving by on the highway 1/2 mile away. And colors! I didn't know how much they'd degraded, how yellow the world had gotten, until I had one eye done and the other waiting. Everything in the left eye was clear, and vibrant; everything in the right eye had that late evening warm glow, even in mid day. (Which I'll admit, I kind of liked.) Perfect? Ah, not quite. There are limitations on the technology. The lenses are not biological. What this means is that their shape never changes; everything is always in focus. In practice, the brain takes care of this, only paying attention to what you are looking at specifically, but nevertheless it can feel almost artificial at times. I had considerable astigmatism, and I couldn't get the workaround for that phenomenon, bifocal lenses; I had to pick, slightly nearsighted and driving glasses, slightly farsighted and reading glasses, or one of each. I picked the reading glasses. Which is a really odd reversal of where I was before. Now I have trouble discerning anything within arm's length! For most things that don't matter, well, it doesn't matter. For all things distance, it is a non-issue. And if I'm reading, I have the glasses at hand. But for some things, involving both close and far, it really matters. Reading a recipe. Using a cell phone. Paying a check in a restaurant. If I don't have the reading glasses right there, I'm lost. Bringing something closer to my face just makes it worse. Which brings me to photography, and Live View, and my E-P1. Ouch. The add-on optical viewfinder, which I previously had no use for, is now a godsend. Even with the zoom lens, it is great for composing, with a little imagination. But a problem arises with the information display! The histograms are not a problem, but ISO and exposure data are problematic, and forget checking focus with the digital zoom; it's out of focus regardless! But, these things are really minor issues, not really even irritations. I'll adjust, I'll find workarounds. What matters is, I can see again! I can take pictures again! A week after the surgery, I drove halfway across the US to the Pitt/ND football game. I didn't take the E-P1, I needed more zoom; I took the Canon G9 and the telephoto extension lens. But since I'm not in the 4/3 section, I'll post a couple of things I saw, one close and one far. Life is good.