Category Archives: Reviews

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”.

Review: Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull

What a wretched, steaming pile of poo this movie was. Two thumbs all the way down. The wacky, over-the-top stupidity of the script turned what should have been a fun night at the movies into a constant groan fest as things went from bad to worse to crap. I’d been warned off the film by friends with good taste in movies, but we were heading down to the in-law’s anyway…. And while we’d been warned off we’d heard from others that the movie wasn’t too bad. Unfortunately it was worse than I’d been expecting and I knew within the first 15 minutes or so that I was going to hate the film. Near the beginning of the film, Indy & a friend are captured by the bad guys and taken to a government facility out in a desert. The bad guys do some weak exposition and we’re taken inside a warehouse. If you hadn’t realized they were at Area 51 yet, the filmmakers decided to pound the point home with a 80lb sledge by painting 51 in 2 story tall numbers on the inside of the warehouse doors.  *sigh*

And things just went downhill from there.  True there were moments in the film which were enjoyable, but they were the exceptions not the rule.  I highly recommend staying away from this wretched, steaming pile of poo.

Cloverfield

Like others in this thread, I didn’t care for the camera shake. It wasn’t bad enough to make me leave the theater but it definitely made me queasy. As for the storyline to the movie…. meh. While most of the characters had a good line or two; I didn’t them. Any of them. In fact, I would go so far as to say my main complaint with the movie is one of them might have survived. I would have preferred a clean sweep of character deaths.

In response to the Cloverfield thread on the Whateveresque forums.

EP134: Me and My Shadow

Without question, Me and My Shadow the best episode of Escape Pod I’ve listened to in quite some time. It’s got just the perfect amount of creepiness to suck me into the story, rather than sending me running for cover. Additionally the level of tech seems entirely believable in that we could theoretically be doing this to criminals in the real world within a generation of now1. Those two factors are blended together into a tasty treat2 by the writing of Mike Resnick and Stephen Eley’s reading of the work.

1 As rule I prefer my Sci-Fi to be extrapolated from existing science to have believable future tech rather than wildly unlikely technology. Though if something with wildly unlikely tech has an interesting story or characters that can be fun too (e.g. Old Man’s War by John Scalzi).
2 I’m glad lunch is coming up soon, I’m starting to get pretty hungery. *smile*

Fall 2007 TV Season Premieres

Like most Americans I’ve been a bit more glued to my TV this week than usual due to the return of fresh programming for the fall. Here are a few quick impressions of the shows I watched this week.

Monday

  • Chuck: The producers/advertisers of this show are obviously targeting something very close to my demographic with this show. The first episode was nothing special, butit did amuse me. I suppose if this show is playing while I want to watch TV, I’ll watch it but it is nothing I would go out of my way to see.
  • Heroes: What a disappointment. I really enjoyed last season, but bringing back both of the Petrelli brothers in the season premier when last season’s finale showed them getting nuked cheapened the show immensely. I had been looking forward to this, but now I doubt I’ll be watching it.
  • Journeyman: Meh, this looks like a weak remake of Quantum Leap only significantly less interesting. Maybe I was just in the wrong mood, but I gave up watching it 10 minutes in. It was just putting me to sleep.

Tuesday

  • NCIS: Yup, I’ll be watching this one all season long again. The season premier didn’t pull off any astounding changes to the show but did show off the writers’ ability to keep giving us what we want. Explosions, murder, mystery and action.
  • The Unit: First off whoever came up with the new intro clip to this show should be fired. It’s utterly horrible. That being said, like NCIS this show delivered. While the show is going a lot darker than before and looks like it will be spending this season mostly inside US borders; it looks good and was a solid hour of entertainment this event.

Wednesday

  • Bionic Woman: Surprisingly, I was impressed. I expected it to be considerably cheesier and crappier than it turned out to be. I didn’t much care for the main character but it was nice to see some actors from other shows I’ve liked.
  • Life: Heh, this was quite a bit of fun to watch this evening. Though the main character was excessively flakey for my taste and I’m not sure I’ll keep watching it given that it’s got the same timeslot as CSI: NY.

Thursday

  • Ugly Betty: This show is really more one I watch because my wife likes it and I fiddled around on my computer while it was on. What I caught of it was funny, but not enough to draw me back to the couch to watch it.
  • CSI: I had been looking forward to seeing this right up until it was on TV. I don’t know if I was just in a bad mood, but I just didn’t care if the CSI member was going to live through the episode or not. Perhaps I’m getting a bit burned out on all these CSI shows.

Friday

  • Moonlight: Cheesy, vampire, detective show. A bit funny, a bit dark and worth watching if you happen to be home on a Friday night.

So there’s my quick thoughts on the premieres I’ve seen so far. Did I miss anything good?

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