Monthly Archives: March, 2009

Zenni Optical

I have been very near-sighted since I was in 3rd grade. After the optometrist completed my first eye exam, he called my mother in to ask “how did this child find his way to school?” As you might imagine, this makes me no stranger to wearing glasses. But during my high school/early college years I tried wearing contact lenses. I found them to be more hassle than they were worth, so I ended up going back to glasses. However while I had been wearing them, one thing I greatly enjoyed was having sunglasses.

One pair of sunglasses that were particularly nice had a blue tint to the lenses. It cut out all the glare and made dull, grey days seem more pleasant (grey skies would look blue). Since I’d gone back to wearing to glasses, I’d given up having sunglasses as prescription lenses cost too much for me to buy a 2nd pair. I tried glasses with clip-on shades but the clip-on broke and later pairs of glasses I chose didn’t come with them.

Then this year back in February I decided to try ordering a pair of prescription sunglasses online. I’d read several reviews of Zenni Optical and it sounded promising. So I poked around their site and ended up ordering a pair of titanium frames with mid-index, polycarbonate lenses and a 80% blue tint. Total cost $58.85. Compared to $251 for just a new pair of lenses from the local optometrist.

So if price is your only criteria, then Zenni Optical wins. However price isn’t my only consideration, for one thing it took over a month to get my glasses from them. Over a month with no communication from them on the status of my order until I wrote them. Then when I did write them, it took them several days to reply. Additionally it’s hard to correctly judge how the glasses will fit from just a picture and the measurements. I suppose if I’d paid more attention to the measurements given, I might have had less trouble but that’s how the cookie crumbles1. Also the images they have of how the various custom tints do a poor job of showing how things will look through them. It would be better I think to have a reference picture of something with know colors (e.g. banana, stop sign, etc…) and then various shots of the same item though lenses with the various custom tints. Something like that would have given me a better idea of the very, very bright a blue my 80% tint would turn out to be2.

Still they do a good job against bright sunlight and against snow-glare, which I had been somewhat concerned about. “Fortunately” we had several inches of snow fall around my house last night and so my new glasses got a good workout vs snow-glare.

Overall I’ve been pleased with my purchase but Zenni Optical’s customer service could use a bit of work.

1 The glasses don’t fit badly but the arms of the frame are a bit shorter than I’d like.
2 I’ve been told my new sunglasses look like “hippy-shades”.

Killer Rabbits 2.0

Monty Python’s killer rabbit has nothing on these bunnies from a new 3D animated show, by the Japanese, called — I kid you not Cat Shit One.

Found via Danny Choo

Tuesday Update

Bit behind on the old blogging, so here’s all the news fit to print… Or something like that. Generally I try to post about pleasant subjects but events of late have not been conducive to doing so, but I am trying to post more this year so bear with me.

Picked up Guitar Hero World Tour (Wii Edition) the other day. I’ve played some of the previous Guitar Hero games but hadn’t purchased any of them until now. Then Amazon had a lightning deal on it and I was able to pick it up for $60 (vs the normal $100). Talked about it with my supervisor at work and she made the interesting comment of comparing the concept of Guitar Hero to Simon. Now that I wrote that I’m not sure why I found it so amusing or apt, but I did. *shrug* In any case, I’ve been having a lot of fun with it. We did try picking up a second controller for the game, so the wife and I could play the game together but most places around us are sold out currently. One of the used, game shops had a used controller but it was missing the plastic cover which holds the Wiimote inside the controller. Meh.

Yesterday our failing US economy hit home a bit more directly. The company I work for announced all employees will be taking a 8.33% paycut effective April 1 through at least June 30th and if that wasn’t bad enough we all have to take 1 week off without pay. Either one of those is bad enough but both at once really hurts. Especially since that paycut effectively wipes out 2+ years of raises. I’m trying to be positive about it (e.g. I’m still employed and I’ll get a week to do some work around the house) but that’s hard when you see new reports indicating the company’s board of directors paid themselves 2 million dollars in bonuses and changed the rules on their bonuses so they could take the entire bonus in cash1. *sigh* The situation blows away all our plans for having fun this summer and kills any plans we had for painting the house this year. Epic suck.

1 In previous years, they were required to take a minimum 25% of their bonus in company stock. Rather disheartening to have them grabbing all that cash for themselves while they cut our pay.

Don Quixote: Savior of us All

XKCD: Strip# 556

Today’s XKCD is wondrous on so many levels. Below is a lower-resolution copy of the comic, which you can click to visit XKCD to see the full size if you wish.

Alternative Energy Revolution | XKCD

Lucky Day

This will be a somewhat scatterbrained… err, random post.

First off if you are having problems with a certain contest, then plugging the secret letters into the Internet Anagram Server could be very helpful.

I like RPGs and play in a couple now & then.  I have also run the occasional session or two, but lately I got this itch.  The itch to play in a campaign world of my own devising which means I’ll need to run more than a single session or two. In trying to prepare myself for that, I’ve been following some new blogs and today read the logical article I’ve ever seen on the subject of war & international relationals.

This week while staying home sick1, I finally got around to upgrading my work laptop from Ubuntu 8.04 to 8.10. I had been holding off mostly because it is my work machine and I had the idea I should keep it on Ubuntu’s LTS releases. Then I realized while I was keeping the system on a theoretically more stable version, I kept adding 3rd party packages/repositories to update specific programs I wanted (which contradicts the point of sticking with a LTS release). So I did the upgrade and was pleasantly surprised at how smooth the upgrade went. However I did run into one minor and one major problem after the upgrade.

  • Minor problem: My dual monitor configuration got screwed up. Most likely because I did the upgrade at home (where I don’t have a 2nd monitor for the laptop).
  • Major problem: All my SSH keys stopped working. I ended up recreating them and getting them pushed back out to all the servers I need to access using keys. Still that was disconcerting, especially since nothing about the keys (client/server) had changed. Even our network admin at work was confused by that one.

On the positive side, Adobe Flash Player 10.x is available for Ubuntu 8.10, so now I can watch Comedy Central’s clips of the Daily Show again (under Flash 9.x, they always crashed Firefox). Additionally there are prebuilt packages for Gnome-Do 0.8.x for Ubuntu 8.10, which like Mr. Pibb + Red Vines is crazy delicious! Specifically, Gnome-Do with the Docky theme. I believe the idea behind the Docky theme was to mimic some functionality of OS X’s dock, but could be mistaken (don’t own a Mac). The performance is bit slow on my older desktop2, but it works great on the work laptop.

1 Nausea + dizziness + complete lack of energy. Fortunately I’m mostly over it now, though still working to get my energy levels back up.
2 Based on an AMD 1800+ CPU.

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