Friday, October 29, 2010

MOVED!

Moving sucks.

The act of it, the process of it and the fact that I realize how much shit we have and how much stuff we need comes into play.

I am cranky.  Just a bit.  We have not had a home-cooked meal in over a week.  And until we get a chance to cook in the place on a regular basis it will not feel like home.  No, reheating crap in the micorwave does not count.  The act of setting up a space for food preparation and actually cooking it is what makes a house a home. 

We also decided that we would get rid of the couch and love seat that was kindly donated to me after my divorce (thanks Ethan but it was not as comfortable as it looked.)

We are in the market for a sectional.  Either that or I am going to build one.   I figure that all I need would be some milk crates and 2 x 4 boards... 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Zenni Optical... More Thoughts...

There are a few things that I did not mention about getting any eyeglasses via online or mail order.  If you have a straight forward prescription then you will have no problems with getting good quality glasses from any number of vendors. 

Mine was pretty straight forward.  I needed bifocals and I have a slight astigmatism in my left eye.  I knew my pupillary distance (the distance between the pupils.)  For the record I ordered a PD of 60 even though my centered PD was 30 and 30.5.  Not quite equal but within the range necessary so not to worry about causing issues with vision.

I also cheated and got an idea of what would fit in terms of frames.  This means going to a local business and trying on frames to get an idea of what would fit and what would not.  Then taking those numbers and finding a corresponding size on Zenni. 

However, if I were to have a prescription that necessitated something outside the ordinary then I would not hesitate to avoid mail order or internet ordered glasses.  Spending money on good glasses will prevent problems in the future.  I happen to be in the situation where I can get quality at a very good price.

Yes it is not local but local is too expensive right now.  

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Zenni Optical... A Review of Sorts

Since my last post on eyeglasses I received my first pair.  They were from a local shop that had a deal for a pair of progressive bifocal glasses for $139.00.  Add the poly carbonate lenses and the total came to around $195.00. 

About 11 days later they arrived and I F'N HATE THEM!  They do not stay on my face as they are spring loaded and want to bounce off my face.  As my scalp moves they move down my nose and on more than one occasion required me to catch them in mid air as they fell to the ground.  This also happened while I was peering over a balcony and they fell 3 floors to the concrete sidewalk.  They had a mark on them but WTF kids.  Glasses should not do this ever!

So I have been eager awaiting the glasses to arrive.  I had them sent to my office as I was in the middle of the move we had facilitated over the weekend.  They arrived 20 days after they were ordered. 

Here is me with the package:


Here is the case that came in the package:



This is the presentation of the glasses in the case:



And the glasses:






Me wearing the newly acquired glasses...





My overall impressions are this:  HELL YEAH!!!

Zenni Optical made no claims other than I would get the glasses and that they would be what I had ordered.  The lenses appear to be much the same if not better than the other ones.  The fit is a bit better and they do not fall off my face for no apparent reason.

Here was the test that proved the fit:

video

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

One reason that I have become a cynic.

William K. Black goes over why the recession has happened, why it won't end and why the grifter elite has spoiled any chance that the average Joe will never be able to make it in this world.  We are screwed by big business because government allows us to be screwed and big business paid for it.  So go ahead and vote kids, it won't do much good. 

Money and power have corrupted them to the point that there is no turning back.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Would want to join a club...

...that would have you as a member?

It is strictly voluntary but in doing so it has saved millions from desperation and futility.

Dues are whatever you can give and member meetings are frequent.

Coffee is usually a staple at the meetings along with sweets or donuts.

Alcoholism is a disease that requires daily treatment.  Meetings are just a small part of the requirement.  It is also knowing what can trigger a relapse and how to avoid those becomes a daily routine. 

So for example family functions are okay except that there will be a bar available for anyone who would like a drink.  A newly recovering alcoholic may want to have a means of leaving early or not going altogether.  A person further along in their recovery may want to just have a means of leaving early.

In some situations it may be a person who can trigger the urge to drink.  A simple way is to avoid that person in the first place.  Or have someone else who is working the program there with you. 

No one should expect that every situation will be welcoming for a person in recovery.  Making exceptions for those folks is completely up to the hosts involved. 

With that in mind we need to also remember that in many cases there are people who need to keep the alcoholic sick.  It gives an alcoholic enough reason to keep using and gives the co-dependent person the power to maintain control. 

Learning to deal with those people is also a part of recovery. 

That is why we have a club.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Transportation:

The teenage rite of passage is getting you drivers license.  It is at that moment that the only form of transportation we generally see is the automobile.   It becomes our burden to drive wherever we need to go without too much more thought than what the route will be and (sometimes) where will I park when I get there.

We generally never think about the costs associated with ownership of said auto, we generally just make it go and see where we end up.  Payments, insurance, maintenance and gas become just another expense in a long line of costs that in the end may not be all that it is cracked up to be.

Car payment:  $300.00/month
Insurance:         $50.00/month
Gas:                $100.00/month (it may actually be more than that I am just shooting at a ballpark number.)
Maintenance:   $100.00/month

So $550.00/month.  Spread out over a year and that becomes $6600.00/year.

Consider mass transit.  Through my employer I can get a pass for about $75.00/month.  That pans out to $900.00/year.  Compared to a car that  is $5700.00/year cheaper.

How about a bicycle?  I am not talking about a shitty Schwinn served to you from a Big Box store where the clown who put it together also stocks the personal care products isle with adult diapers.  I am talking about a bike from a local bike shop (LBS) who knows what he is doing and will remember you name and the bike that you have.  Remember, we want to like to ride bikes not hate the experience from the get go.

A good sturdy bike that has quality components will run in the range of around $1000.00.  One that can tolerate my fat ass and hard riding will run about $1500.00.  Over the course of a year add $200.00 for tune ups and repairs.  Hell,  add $500.00 as you might like to wear those funny lycra suits that Lance likes to wear.  So at the end of the year it is $2000.00 for a new bike and maintenance...  every year...  a new bike. (I'm liking this idea.)

So given the options, why would I want to drive a car?  Well there is only one.  My daughter.  In order to spend the time with her that I like I need to have a car.  Unless her mother moves closer to us (fat chance) or we move closer to her (I would rather have a root canal procedure done everyday for the rest of my life...) my options are limited.  I am choosing a hybrid approach.  A car and a bicycle.

We are moving close enough to my office that using a bike to get there makes sense.  That is less wear and tear on my car and I get a fair amount of activity.  Also I am within a fair distance to get to most of the things that I need during the week on a bike.  This includes AA meetings, grocery shopping and the occasional date night out to eat.  The other part of this is that we are living on the bus line.  This will take us to the light rail or other connections.  Kitten's office is right across the street from the end of the light rail in Bloomington.  She will be taking that most days along with a bike to get her where she needs to get and I will have my cargo bike.

Did I mention the bikes that I like?

Cargo Bikes!  Xtracycle and Surly Big Dummy are the bikes that I like.  I can haul all my stuff and a person and all their stuff too.  Worth a closer look too if you want some options.  That will be another post for another day!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Generation X

We are the Cynics...

Trust no one.  Especially if they are in some sort of authority.  In fact, ignore authority if it speaks too loudly.

That is the motto of Generation X.  We have seen respected authority figures become vilified, corrupted and despised.

Politics is what it always was and big business is pushing the influence with money.  That leaves middle class folks like me with no where to turn.  I am coming to the point of not voting because it turns out that when I do vote for someone who says that they will look out for my interests they change their mind because someone, somewhere was able to pull a personal/financial string that made a difference.

We are seeing it today.  I am no longer caring about the ruling class or the wealthy.  They decided that I would not matter anymore and therefore it is time to disengage from their activities as much as possible.  If my activities hurt them financially then I am doing something right.

Case in point:  Target Corporation gave a nice chunk of change to MN Forward.  MN Forward, in turn gave a chunk of political ads to support the campaign of Tom Emmer for Governor of Minnesota.  Emmer is a homophobe who will  balance the budget of Minnesota on the backs of workers and the poor.

As a result, guess who has two thumbs and doesn't shop at Target anymore?  "This Guy!"

This happened back in August 2010.  At the time of this posting they have done nothing of substance to address the issue other than to give the standard non-apology of "If we have offended you, we are sorry," bullshit letter. 

What would get me back to Target?  At this point...  Nothing.  I have figured out that I can live without their sales and deals.  If they are less concerned with doing the next right thing then I am not concerned about the welfare of their business.

Free market monkeys like to say "But you are censoring Target's free speech by not spending money at their business!"  If that is the case, then Damn Right I am Censoring them!  Businesses should be open to political speech but if it interferes with my personal beliefs then I can spend my money elsewhere.  If it puts them out of business then all the better.  Also, free market monkeys need to understand this.  I am free to censor anyone I like.  I am not government nor am I a government entity.  I am a free citizen and therefore I am able to censor anything I like by not supporting it.


But I got off track.

I am a cynic.  I am fully aware of this.  I trust few businesses and even fewer politicians.  I do not trust churches nor do I fully trust the Clergy.  I prefer to work on the merits of one person at a time.  If they do the next right thing and can do it without getting caught up in a bureaucracy of how to do the next right thing then I will do business with them.

Everyone else can pound sand...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Zenni Optical...

Glasses on the cheap!

So the news, for those who have not heard, I have come to the age where Bifocal glasses have become necessary. 

Now, I am not new to glasses.  I have worn reading glasses for years.  I have always been far sighted and after years of not wearing glasses my ophthalmologist recommended that I just wear my reading glasses full time and don't bother taking them off.  And I usually don't.  However, the result is that I have been wearing my glasses like this for years...


Basically as cheaters on the end of the nose I have that has been broken several times and can balance only there.

Now comes the change.  First, has anyone besides me ever priced out bifocal glasses with progressive lenses?  I managed to find a crappy pair at a crappy place that got crappy reviews from previous customer and still paid $200.00 for them.  I am not sure of the quality but I will provide a detailed review of the glasses when I get them in 10 to 14 days.

Also I have been informed that I need to wear them up on the bridge of the nose that is off kilter and crooked.   Nice...

BTW, my reason for getting glasses from a local source had to do with the fact that these were my first bifocals and I wanted to have face to face support if something is not right.  If nothing else, I wanted a person to look at when they told me that my life was going to suck because I had to wear bifocals and I just needed to get used to that fact.

Flash to Zenni Optical! (http://www.zennioptical.com) 

I have heard of this source for cheap glasses that were of a relatively good quality.  I have not ordered from them before because I managed to make my glasses last.  Now I wanted to try and see if I can get good lenses and frames from them.  I placed the order this morning and I expect that I will be getting them within the next month.  I will write a review of the lenses and include pictures of me wearing them.

Theses are the frames that I ordered.



The price of these frames with polycarbonate progressive lenses with shipping came to $61.85.  I may need to get them adjusted someplace but at less than 1/3 the cost of the walk in place with the crappy reviews it is worth the risk.

Until I get them I am stuck wearing my old Rec Specs as my last pair have finally gave up the ghost.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Move!

Not literal...  Not yet...

We have made a decision regarding the placement of our stuff.  It needs to be closer to transit options that fit our lives.  In order to do that we need to  make a move.

There is an apartment in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis.  Two bedrooms on the third floor.  It is right on the bus line and has easy access to the light rail.  It is also within walking/biking distance from my office.  This will reduce the wear and tear on my car and also reduce the fuel costs associated with having to travel long distances. 

The only drawback is the commute to get my daughter from her mother's house has effectively been doubled.  Not to worry.  We will figure out a way to make this work.


The move will be happening sometime within the next month...  Stay tuned.