Thursday, November 30, 2023

The eyes of Texas may or may not be upon you

One of my favorite (British, favourite) activities as a youngster in Texas seven decades ago was learning about the night sky (Northern Hemisphere version) by gazing at it with my father. He showed me Orion the Hunter's shoulders (the stars Rigel and Betelgeuse), knees, and the three stars in Orion's belt. He showed me Canis Major with Sirius (the "Dog Star") at Orion's side. He showed me red Antares in Scorpius, the constellation that actually resembles a scorpion with a curled tail, and Leo the Lion, and the Big Dipper in Ursa Major. He showed me how I could extend a line through the Big Dipper's two front stars to find Polaris, the North Star, at the end of the handle of the Little Dipper in Ursa Minor, and how if I extended the imaginary line an equal distance beyond Polaris I would see a big letter W in the night sky that is the constellation Cassiopeia.

Some of you know that I was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in 2017 and that I have been receiving injections in both eyes every couple of months to try to slow or possibly even halt the degeneration of my vision and save what remains instead of slowly going blind.

About a year ago I was dismayed to realize that I could no longer see Orion's belt. My vision is currently at the point that I can see only four objects in the night sky: the moon, the planet Venus, the planet Jupiter, and Sirius, the "Dog Star", which is the brightest star of all. I can no longer see Orion at all, or any other stars or constellations, for that matter. My daytime vision is actually still pretty good.

On a happier note, I knew three answers on Jeopardy! tonight that none of the three contestants knew:

Who is Minnie Pearl?
What is a cloche?
Who is Brunhilda?

14 comments:

  1. A cloche is a hat. Just proving I know something :)
    What a shame you can no longer see the stars. Age steals so many joys from us. I'm glad you can see in the day, thats when most of the action happens

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    1. I never doubted that you know something. Believe it or not, a lot of action happens at night too, much of it nefarious and unsavory.

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  2. I've never heard of MInnie Pearl but knew the other two. Eye injections don't sound much fun but the alternative is less attractive.

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    1. You are right, eye injections are not much fun and the alternative is less attractive. Minnie Pearl was a comic hillbilly character on the Grand Ol' Opry radio and television programs out of Nashville, Tennessee for many years. In real life she was actually a wealthy, educated woman named Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon who lived next door to the governor of the state. Tennessee.

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  3. I am sorry for your loss of eyesight. That is my greatest fear as I am getting older. As far as Brunhilda there are more than one so I'd like to know the clue.

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  4. I hope the can keep your macular degeneration under cotrol.

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    1. I hope so too, Red. The doctor has used five different medicines and the one he is using now, vabyzmo, is working better than the earlier ones.

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  5. I understand your eye problem because my Dad had it in the last decade of his life. I hope that your treatment is successful. There was little available when my Dad had it.

    Never heard of Millie Pearl but (I was going to say 'of course') knew the other two. Well 'The' Brunhilda anyway. There are more according to Janice, about whom I am unaware..

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    1. Graham, it's not Millie Pearl, it's Minnie Pearl and I explained who she was in my reply to jabblog's comment. Stay tuned regarding multiple Brunhildas as I intend to talk about them in my next post. But who is Janice? It was Emma who mentioned there are more than one Brunhilda. Or have I missed something?

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    2. Bob, obviously I should revert to my legal/bureaucratic background when commenting on your blog. Strictly (ignoring my careless spelling error) I should have said that until I read your blog and the comment thereon I had never to the best of my knowledge and memory heard of Minnie Pearl.

      For some reason I thought Jabblog's name was Janice and I have been calling her that on and off on my blog for a while. It has gone uncorrected. I shall have to apologise next time we 'meet'.

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    3. Graham, I did the research and you are correct. Jabblog's name, based on her email address, seems to be Janice. I had not checked previously.

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  6. I look good in hats but NOT a cloche and not a beret. I need height. Anyway, I am sorry about your declining vision and here is hoping and praying that the injections halt the macular degeneration. Good job on knowing three of the Jeopardy answers! Certainly they should have known Minnie Pearl? But then I don't know what the answer was. Can't wait to read the Brunhilde post. xoxo

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    1. I also knew a fourth answer that night that none of the contestants did and I forgot to mention it: Who is Oliver Wendell Holmes? The Who is Minnie Pearl? clue was a visual one. I forget what the voice-over was but there was a photo of Minnie complete with the price tag hanging from her hat. I am not surprised when my UK readers don't know our American characters, but I did expect that American contestants would know here. They must have all been too young (or I'm too old). Thank you , Jenny.

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