What a shit month this turned out to be.  Multiple snow storms, a major cold, trip to the doctor's, ear infection, and a grand total of three bike rides the entire month.  Fuck me.

Add to that a biomedical screening this morning that didn't exactly have me feeling great about myself, and it's about time March got here.  So much for grabbing a burger for lunch I guess.

Current beer-scale: 6.9 but oh wait, I'm still on antibiotics.  Fuck it all.


More glasses: Zenni Optical review

Years of riding a bike has put my glasses through some serious shit.  My aviators managed to stay on my head through repeated close calls, and my backup normal glasses stayed on my face even through the rest of me flying ass over head during a dooring.  So keeping all that in mind, when it was time to find a new pair I was a little dubious about finding something that would meet my high expectations at a reasonable price.

"Reasonable price" being the key phrase there.  Warby Paker was going to cost me around $95 for an everyday pair.  Not terrible, but with my current glasses rapidly deteriorating I knew I'd have to get multiple pairs to work for all the different conditions I wear them in.  That put some budgetary constraints on what I was looking at.

I was initially interested in a pair of oakleys so I could switch between clear and tinted lenses depending on conditions without resorting to transition lenses.  Interestingly enough, shopping for prescription oakleys landed me a price quote of nearly $1000--$200 for the frames, $410 for tinted lenses, and another $385 for clear lenses, both in my prescription.  OUCH!  And not being able to use insurance?  No thanks.

So it was time to research some cheaper options.  Thankfully, after much searching I came across the sports section of Zenni Optical.  I guess this site used to be $19glasses or something like that, until they started offering even cheaper (!) frames.  They have frames starting at $8, and even though the two I ended up liking were $28 I wasn't going to complain.  Even having had some luck ordering glasses online before, I was a little dubious of another site I'd never heard of.  But the majority of reviews on the site are overwhelmingly positive, which makes sense for something saving you so much cash.  You're either going to love them if everything works out, or hate them if anything at all goes wrong.

If I can't get interchangable lenses, transitions make for a good compromise, and the first pair came to just over $50.  And that's with UV and anti-reflective coating.  So cheap in fact, that I decided to add a second pair to my order, straight up sunglasses.  With 80% tinting for $4.94, the second pair came to around $35.  Insanely cheap.

I mentioned in the WP review that virtually trying glasses on can seem like a roll of the dice, but at that price for two pairs of glasses I was willing to take a chance.  You pay to wait as well, since even though it's a California company the glasses ship from Hong Kong.  So for a 2/4 order I waited until 2/19  for them to arrive.  I completed the order the day before I submitted one to WP, and they didn't actually ship until the day the WP order arrived, 2/14.  Not the best packaging for two pairs of glasses but they were fine.

Only two weeks but christ that felt like a long time.  It didn't help that the order went from "processing" to "manufactured" fairly quickly, but took forever to go from that to "shipped."  But again, you're not paying for expediency.  What really made it stretch was the fact I didn't want to be bouncing between two different prescriptions, so until the zenni order showed I didn't want to wear the new WP pair either, even though they looked great and I felt like I had superhero-level vision clarity in them.

Turns out I'm split on how much I like each pair.  The transitions pair is perfect--they feel sturdy as hell and are exactly what I was looking for to ride with.  I haven't had them in the sun yet to see how much they darken but the fit is great.

transitions pair: A+
The straight up sunglasses not so much.  The lenses and prescription are fine, but the frames themselves feel awfully flimsy.  If I had gotten the same frames as the first pair I'd have nothing to complain about at this point.  Still, $35 for a pair of prescription sunglasses is a steal, and they're a fine back-up pair.  I'll probably just go to zenni to get a different pair anyway. 
sunglasses: C-
And that really says it all.  Overall I'm very happy with the experience and will definitely be trying them again since their prices are unbeatable.  Who knows, I might end up loving the sunglasses after wearing them a few times.  I'm just happy to have spent less than $200 on three pairs of glasses that have me seeing really well.

Current beer-scale: 5.6


Fuck but do I feel terrible. 

Missed a good riding day yesterday b/c I felt close to death when I tried to get up.  Which really sucks, b/c today it's back in the teens and it sounds like it's going to snow through the weekend.  Fan-fucking-tastic.

Current beer-scale: an anemic 4.1


Warby Parker: the review

Let's not waste more time bitching about how much it can suck to buy glasses.  Contacts aren't ever going to be an option for me and as tempting as it might be to have someone shave parts of my eyeball away with a laser, corrective lenses are my only option right now.

So, Warby Parker.  Ultimately a godsend for someone who, even with decent insurance, doesn't want to drop $500 on a pair of good looking glasses that will last a while.  Also a positive is my personal preference is for chunkier frames, right up WP's alley.

I don't remember what originally brought WP to my attention, I think it was just a random side-ad on a cycling website.  Hipster frames for hipster bikers.  But I was impressed with both the look of several frames, as well as the option to try on five pairs at a time at home for free.  Sign me up.  I've gotten lucky buying glasses online before that looked good virtually and were okay in-person, but if I can see it and handle it beforehand I'm in.

One thing; not every frame is always immediately available for at home.  The frames that first caught my eye seemed to always be out, so I spent a week checking every day to see if I could get them at home.  Once I could, I picked my five pairs (actually four, with that first frame in two colors) and checked out.  Two business days later I had the box at home.
What a great service.  Everything is clearly labeled and the included return label makes the entire process a cinch.  Even the wife was curious to see what the options were in such nice packaging.  Just fantastic.
The one I wanted to see the most, and the one that was out for a while, was the clement in silver.  I thought a brushed silver frame would be different enough to look good without being to garish.  But I also got the cast iron option to compare the frames in different colors.  To round out the five I picked out three more chunky options, the wiloughby, the reynold, and the pierce, all in black.  I could have picked five more options easily, and might end up doing just that when I look for some non-biking sunglasses.

The silver frame did not work on me, and the wife agreed.  The cast iron looked much better, but ultimately it came down to the wiloughby and the pierce.  Funny enough, the pierce almost didn't make the box initially but I ended up liking those the most and made them my choice.  Wearing them felt good--they were heavy and looked alright, and it seemed like they could handle a grabbing or two from a certain mischievous baby.
demo pair
I made the order the evening of 2/5 and they arrived on 2/14.  Not too shabby, and again the packaging was impressive.  They came in a firm case, always a plus if I'm tossing these into a bag.  There was a thank you card too, which is kind of insane b/c I feel like I should be thanking them.  Add to it the fact that WP will donate a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair purchased, and this is my go-to eyewear site from now on.

I don't think I'll be wearing these all the time until I get my other order so I'm not bouncing between different prescriptions on and off the bike, but I couldn't be happier with my Warby Parker experience.  If you're wondering about buying glasses online, give WP a shot.  You won't be disappointed.

Current beer-scale: 3.5


back to it!

Finally, a morning where I didn't feel like I was going to fall on my ass walking the dog.  Good enough to get me on a bike and off the goddam train.  I did nearly eat it on a patch of ice that is apparently refusing to melt despite temperatures close to 40 degrees but whatevs.  Totally worth it.

Unrelated, but I was half asleep after yet another 2 AM wake-up from a certain baby, and the weirdest thought popped into my head.  While I wait for prescription glasses from various vendors, why not see how much it would cost to get two different pairs with tinted lenses to frankenstein into Spider's glasses from Transmet.

Yeah, I've used this before.  That's b/c it's great.
It was one of those strange random-neuron thoughts that for whatever reason has really taken hold in my brain and now I can't stop debating if it would be worth getting two $15 pairs of glasses to destroy.  Do I need glasses like that?  Hell no.  Will that stop me?  Probably not.

Current beer-scale: 7.1


My plans for the weekend?

1. Rye
2. Ice
3. Justified, Archer, Community, The Soup, Arrow, Parks & Rec
4. Rye
5. Rye
6. More rye.

Current beer-scale: Rye.


Happy October 19th!

Just make it to 7 PM.  No probs.

Current beer-scale: 9.8



What's that?  I need to stay late at work tonite after getting two hours of non-consecutive sleep last night?  And there's not going to be alcohol?  Fan-fucking-tastic.

Current beer-scale: 8.9


prescription pain in the ass

I need new glasses.
Do NOT click on this image, for your own good.
Actually, I've needed new glasses for a while.  The tinting on my aviators has started bubbling up on both sides of the lens for quite some time, and breaking my back-up pair of glasses last spring meant one pair getting all the work which is never good.  The final straw however, was the kid knocking my clear glasses off my face in the garage over the holidays (now his favorite game is grabbing them off my face and laughing maniacally.  Hysterical).  At the time I didn't want to look but the "crunch" sound they made when they hit the concrete was not a good sign.  Unbelievably, the only damage was a chunk of the bottom left frame breaking away.  A little sharpie on the gap and it actually looked good enough for me to keep wearing them until I could make myself get an eye exam. 

It's been over 4 years since I last had an exam, so this was a long time coming.  Last time, I was so aggravated by where I got the exam I didn't buy any actual glasses and started looking online.  Very similar story this year.  Let's just say I wasn't impressed with the Specs on Chicago Ave.  But that's why we have the internet.

Warber Parker's been on my radar for a while, so as soon as I finished the exam I had my try on at home box ordered.  More on them after I make a choice.  But I also need something to ride in and not worry about if they get a little beat up.  Thankfully there are even cheaper options out there.

After a LOT of searching I went with Zenni optical and we'll have to see how it goes.  Two different pairs from their "Sport" section, one plain sunglasses and one transitions.  Hopefully I'm not waiting a month for them to get here but at $94 for two pairs of glasses plus shipping I guess I can afford to wait a while.  It would have been even cheaper if I hadn't gotten the transition lenses.  The wife says I look like a pervert when they aren't fully clear or fully shaded but she's not riding a bike with me so who cares.

This is why I've gone far too long between exams and glasses.  Getting the exam and finding a pair that looks decent is such a pain that once I find something, it's going to have to last a long time.  And if they cost $100 versus close to a grand (stupid Specs) even better.  More on each choice when they get here.  Until then I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Current beer-scale: 6.7