Skip to content


Home of the JohnstonCentral Blog

I think Facebook made this site obsolete. That and I have nothing exciting to blog about. ūüė¶ Maybe someday I’ll be inspired again.

Another Rattler
Another Rattler

As I was leaving for work this morning I encountered another Western Diamondback Rattlesnake.¬† He was haning out next to my driver side front door, so I couldn’t really just ignore him and get in my truck and head to work.¬† He¬†finally mozied along, and I would have let him be, but he decided to take up residence in the bush next to our front door.

¬†Since we’ve had bad experiences with snakes recently, I didn’t want to leave the house knowing her was there, and I wasn’t about to go into that bush after him, so I decided to call the Apache Junction Fire Department to handle it.¬† We’re told by our home owners association that they are the ones to call…

When they got here they poked around in the bush with their “snake tools”, but¬†couldn’t find the snake.¬† So either he snuck out when I was on the phone, which I doubt, or he found a hole under the bush to crawl in.¬† We’ve seen holes under that bush in the past, so that’s very possible.

¬†I guess we’ll be steering clear of that bush for a while!

From Atty Dewy Cheatham
From Atty Dewy Cheatham

I got a package from Atty Dewy Cheatham today.¬† I knew right away that something was fishy.¬† I thought I recognized the company name on the shipping label, but I just couldn’t put a finger on it.¬† Then I opened the box…

I wouldn’t normally tip my hand that I have it, but that was a good one and I had to share.
The funny thing is, this operation¬†was almost botched due to some bad communication between partners Dewy (DJ) and Howe (Les) that I happened to be CC’d on.

Which one of you is next?

Tags: ,


Living in the desert, it was only a matter of time.  We had a close call last year with a rattle snake.  Luckily I just happened to see it on the camera and dealt with it.  This time George found it first.

He must have seen it come in the yard, because he was on the hunt as soon as it did.¬† Sonya was sleeping, because she’s been working the grave yard shift this week, so she had no idea what happened until she woke up hours later.


What she woke up to was a swollen George.¬† She wasn’t sure what was going on, and didn’t know if he’d been like that when she got home earlier that morning, so she called me at work to find out what I knew.¬† I had no idea, so she sent me a picture.¬† This is the picture she sent me, and I was certain that was a snake bite.

She took George to the emergency vet after doing a quick search for a snake, and they thought the same thing I was thinking.  They started him on fluids and blood tests right away, and will be holding him for observation for at least 24 hours.  So far the prognosis is good.  The snake may not have been able to get much venom in.

When I got home I did another complete search of the house, inside and out, trying to find the snake, and came up empty handed.¬† Then it dawned on me, “What if the camera saw something?”¬† Wouldn’t you know it, it did.¬† Not quite all of it, but a lot of it.¬† Below is the video captured (edited) of what happened.

What you see:

  • The rattle snake (~3.5′ – 4′) enters from the weep hole between the planters
  • George is on the hunt within seconds
  • It takes him a few minutes to track it down, but at about 11:01:33 he gets what he’s in for

Windows Media Player Required (.wmv)

(~35 MB, may take some time to load)

After a long day at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse show, Sonya & Kristin (our friend & neighbor) decided to stop & get a pick-me-up before leaving. 

Turns out, George has his own coffee business on the side‚ĶI couldn‚Äôt believe it!  The coffee we bought was ‚Äúespresso by George‚ÄĚ ….What a riot.  George has kept this a pretty good secret, we had no idea (nor has he been sharing any of the profits!)‚Ķ

Ever wonder what it takes for us to get our Christmas picture done every year?

Ryan especially liked this one of George.

Merry Christmas everybody!

Before I’ve been thinking about having LASIK done¬†for several years now, but I just kept putting it off for one reason or another (mostly the expense).¬† Most of you know I’ve worn glasses for near-sightedness since I was a little kid.¬† My eyes progressively got worse as I got older, but started to settle out in my early to mid 20’s.¬† I was completely dependent on my glasses (or contacts).¬† Without them I couldn’t see anything that wasn’t eight inches from my face.¬† Forget about driving, watching TV, using the computer, etc.¬†

Most of the time I would fall asleep watching TV¬†with my glasses on.¬† This is never a good idea of course.¬† I’d wake up to find them slightly askew and digging into my nose or ears, or worse, I’d¬†find that they’d fallen off and I’d been rolling around on them all night.¬† If they did manage to stay on my face they would be all smudged in the morning, so I wouldn’t be able to see when I woke up anyway.¬† Wearing glasses in the rain also stinks cause you constantly have to be cleaning them.¬† Ever try to look through a camera, binoculars, telescope, etc with glasses?¬† Also sucks.¬† I’ve hated wearing glasses.

Sunglasses were also a pain.¬† I couldn’t wear normal sunglasses unless I was wearing my contacts.¬† Prescription sunglasses are expensive.¬† Clip-ons are a pain and expensive too.¬† So, most of the time I never wore sunglasses, not even if I was out in the sun all day.

Contacts are great if you can get used to them, and get into a healthy¬†routine of wearing them.¬† But you have to be religious about your routine.¬† If you’re not, you’re going to be uncomfortable and possibly do some kind of damage to your eyes.¬† Like my glasses, I would fall asleep with mine in, and in the morning it would feel like I slept with sandpaper contacts in my eyes.¬† Or, I’d go for a while without wearing them, and then I’d have to get used to them all over again.¬† Ugh.

As I said before I’ve been thinking about LASIK for a while.¬† My regular eye doctor seemed to be trying to nudge me in that direction too.¬† Several of¬†our friends and co-workers have had it done and were extremely happy with their results.¬† So last week on a whim (when my glasses were bugging me again)¬†I sent an e-mail off to Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Clinic¬†to see about a consultation.¬† I didn’t just pick them willy-nilly.¬† That’s where most of the people I know went, and had nothing but good things to say about them.¬† They’re also well known world wide, and are considered experts in the field.¬† I really couldn’t find anything negative about them, and they’ve done¬†like tens of ¬†thousands of these.¬† A couple of days after my e-mail, Monday, they called me back and setup a consultation for the next day.

The Consultation (Tuesday)

The consultation was pretty much a normal eye exam, with a few more extra tests thrown in.¬† Some of the extras included measuring the pressure in my eyes, creating a topographical map of my eye, and measuring the thickness of my cornea.¬† All were painless and easy, although they did have to touch my eyeballs for a couple of those, which was weird.¬† They also had me watch a video to learn what LASIK was all about.¬† Of course I had already done TONS of research about it, so I didn’t learn much from the video, but it was still nice to watch and verify my own findings.¬† For some of the tests they had to dilate my eyes, we’ve all had that done, and know how pleasant that is for a few hours afterwards.¬† Well I don’t know what they used, but I was dilated for the rest of the day AND the following day!¬† Did I mention I don’t have sunglasses?¬† Good thing the doctor provides temporary shades, and they’re SO stylish!¬† Oh well, at the end of the consultation (Tuesday) they signed me up for surgery on Friday.¬† Holy cow.

The Day Before (Thursday)

I didn’t have to do anything special the day before, but as the day went on my stomach started churning more and more.¬† Every free moment of thought that I had dwelled on what would happen the next day.¬†

What was I thinking?¬† What am I about to do?¬† I could be blinded for life!¬† I could be one of those 0.001% that has serious problems, or one of the 3%-6% that has minor problems.¬† I have to have my eyes for work, let alone a decent quality of life.¬† Quit being a baby, hundreds of thousands of people have had this done if not more.¬† You’ve had surgery before.¬† It’s only going to last a few minutes.¬† They say my vision will improve greatly in the days following, how bad is it going to be right after?¬† Bad enough to where I can’t see anything?¬† Worse than I was without my glasses?¬† Sissy!¬† Pull your pampers up and get over it, you’re doing it.¬† You have the whole weekend to recover, that’s plenty of time for most people.

I’ve never had a panic attack before, but I might have been on the verge a couple of times that day.¬† Luckily it was a busy day and I was able to keep my mind off of it.

Surgery Day (Friday)

My appointment was at 7:30 am, about 40 miles away, so we had to get up at the butt crack of dawn to get there.¬† They said I had to eat breakfast on they day of surgery because of the drugs they give you before you go in for surgery.¬† I hate eating breakfast early in the morning.¬† My stomach isn’t awake yet and it¬†doesn’t appreciate it.¬† Oh well.¬† I forced a bagel down anyway.¬† Once there, we checked in.¬† They’re very friendly there, everyone is referred by their first name, except the doctors of¬†course, which is nice and comforting, EXCEPT when two Ryans check in at the same time.¬† There were several confusing moments at first until everyone realized that there were two of us.¬† They had the patients wearing “Hello, My Name Is” name tags, so I finally ran up to the nurses station and borrowed a highlighter to highlight my last name on my tag.¬† It got a good laugh, but hey, we don’t need any confusion in the operating room!¬†

I had to fill out some paper work (this is a doctors office after all), and by this time I’m pretty much awake and starting to have those thoughts again…¬† STOP IT!¬†¬† Next, we had another consultation with a nurse and one of the doctors (Dr. Perkins).¬† They¬†gave me an idea of what exactly to expect during the surgery.¬† Again, I was pretty prepared already by this point, but it was nice hearing it from the doctor that would be doing at least part of the procedure.¬† We were only sitting in the waiting room again for a little while when…they called me back.

While Sonya headed off for breakfast and shopping,¬†they took my vitals, which clearly showed my anxiety, but then they gladly handed me a Demerol, Valium, and something else, explaining, “These will take care of that.”¬† They taped a hairnet on my head, put gauze on my ears, and made me go relax in a really cushy recliner.¬† My task was to sit there for a while¬†with my eyes closed, pretending I was at a spa, ¬†and let the drugs kick in.¬† Boy did they.¬† See ya later little voice in my head.¬†

 I really have no idea how long I was sitting there, maybe 20-30 minutes?  Then they called me into the surgery room. 

The Intralase

DSCN4058¬†My first stop was the Intralase machine.¬† The nurses were very nice and friendly.¬† When the doctor came over, there was some discussion about fluffing up the latex gloves, which lead to another discussion about fluffers that I will not get into here.¬† It was quite funny and comforting that everyone was this relaxed.¬† During our consultation Dr. Perkins explained that he would be doing this part of the procedure, which meant he was going to be the bad guy of the day.¬† This is the only part of the LASIK process where there can be some discomfort.¬† In order to make sure the laser cuts a good flap they have to hold your eyeball still with a suction ring.¬† I guess for some this can be uncomfortable, but I didn’t find that to be the case.¬† I thought it was kind of cool actually.¬† The suction ring did cause some bruising around my eyes though, which is fairly normal.¬† I forgave Dr. Perkins for being the bad guy, and they moved me on to the Alegretto Wave machine.


Once the flap was created, the other doctor doing the procedure,¬†Dr. Rivera, peeled back the flap and reshaped my cornea one eye at a time.¬† This also was completely painless and amusing.¬† All I had to do was stare at this big blurry green light while he held my head still and let the laser do its work.¬† This laser tracks any minute movement in your eye so there’s no need to do the suction ring with this machine.¬† In between eyes we joked about how we burned ants with magnifying glasses when we were kids, and then teased Dr. Perkins a little for liking the burning hair type smell that comes from the laser.¬† The process was so easy there isn’t much more to say about it.¬† After re-seating my last flap he sent me back out into the “spa” room where I got some last minute instructions and some more drops.¬† Then they sent me home.¬† It was so fast that Sonya was only able to get a cup of coffee and something to eat.¬† She didn’t have any time to shop.

Recovery at Home

Goggles The first few hours afterward I slept the drugs off.  I get to sleep in these really cool goggles for the first few nights to make sure that flap can heal on its own without me rubbing my eyes.  I was able to see surprisingly well right afterwards, even though things were quite a bit hazy/foggy.  By the end of the day I was reading the clock on the stove on the other side of the room.  (20/40 ish?)  My eyes were very scratchy like I had dirt in them, and they burned a little at first, but things got better as the day went on.  I was even able to watch a couple of movies in between naps.

Today (Saturday)

Day 1 This morning I had my first post-op checkup.¬† (Butt crack of dawn again.) ¬†Things are looking very good.¬† I’m seeing 20/15, but still a little hazy.¬† Obviously I can see well enough to type, so it can’t be that bad.¬† My left eye, where most of the bruising and inflammation is, is still a little irritated, but that should go away soon.¬† I’ve got a plethora of drops that I have to put in my eyes several times a day for the next week, so that will be annoying, but worth it.¬† So far I’d say I’m extremely happy with the whole thing.¬† I told you that you were being a baby.