Archives for: July 2012

07/23/12

  09:15:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 5 words  
Categories: DVDs / NetFlix

DVD: Wild Target

07/21/12

  07:26:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1104 words  
Categories: General, Travel, Home

Transit Service comes to Manhattan, KS

This was originally going to be a longer, and possibly angrier blog post about transit service finally coming to Manhattan, KS.

But, it needs to come first before another post that I've been writing in my head...so I need to get something out.

The background, is that back when I lived in Medicine Hat, which at the time was about a 35k population...though it has its cyclic population factors....the main being summer army training activities, and the influx of british soldiers. But, it was nice small city with a town like feel...and it had a wonderful bus system....5.5 routes. Well...4 of the routes were really 2, two buses on the routes...and downtown terminal crossings. Then there was a route that ran between the two malls, so didn't ever go to the downtown terminal. And, a part-time route that went to the community by the airport. They were probably 50k population in real numbers...but there's also a large chunk of the population that give their primary residence as being across the border where auto insurance is cheap...being a no-fault state.

One of the ideas that brought me to Manhattan, KS was that its kind of like Medicine Hat. Well...it does have the huge population swing....when the 23k+ students are here and then aren't. And, it was an under 50k population city. But, the big surprise was there is no bus service here....which is kind of problem since I don't drive. Though it did have much better walk-ability than where I was before in Columbus, Ohio.

Anyways...finally being over 50k in the 2010 census....a bus service could finally be created. And, there had been a few proposals on what it would take form of when it started. Eventually, the paratransit service (ATA Bus) expanded into doing fixed route public transit service that has finally arrived. ATA used to stand for "Aging Transportation Agency", but now it stands for "Area Transportation Agency".

The service was started with funding from federal, state, county and private funds. There was originally a proposal to seek city funding, but the city rejected it. So, the service went ahead with private funds....which causes the first problem with the fixed route service in Manhattan, KS.

City wouldn't allow bus stop signs to be put up. So, where the stops are exactly...is pretty much only known to the drivers. And, in some cases...it is only known to the specific driver. There have been numerous times where I was missed or nearly missed, because a driver stopped (or didn't stop) in a different place than expected.

There are like 3 places where the bus driver might stop in the College Ave United Methodist Church parking lot.... two are in front of the church, but one is where the driver hairpins entering the parking lot and pauses only long enough to quickly open and close the doors at the street entrance. And, doesn't really look around to see if anybody is standing running from the entrance of the church screaming because of this.

There are also at least 2 places for the stop in the Ace Hardware parking lot....usually its kind of in front of "Alex's Affordable Eyewear"...but once when it was running late....it just came in straight off Hosteller Dr and went straight to the exit to Bluemont Ave, and then just quickly opened and closed the doors for a split second and then took off without looking around.

Where the bus stops are shouldn't be a game where only the drivers know where they are (and they can move them when its suites them) and penalize anybody that didn't guess right.

Which brings us to the second problem with the ATA Bus service.

While running late could be understood....providing the drivers still stopped in their efforts to get back on schedule, instead of not picking up people waiting for the bus. Even the people that have ridden before, so know where the stops should be.

But, there's also the problem that if the bus is running fast...they don't care. There have been numerous times where I've been waiting at the CAUMC stop...and having an Atomic sync'd watch...know that I was there before the scheduled time....only to have no bus ever show up, because they were probably early. Except to make things worse, if you call to complain...they'll claim that the bus was there exactly on time, ignoring if you tell them that you've been waiting there 5 minutes before that time. Or that the stops have no shelter from the rain or the sun...and its 102 or hotter.

Otherwise...the service has been great, and I hope it gets better.

Pages: 1· 2

  06:13:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1047 words  
Categories: Stuff, Healthcare

Glasses are fixed

The previous posting How to check your PD, was a prelude to ordering a replacement pair of glasses online. Which seems to have turned into a mini-review of 3 online companies....

First: Given the hassle of getting dental costs reimbursed by my limited use FSA, for dental and vision expenses.... I was worried that I may have put too much into FSA this year.... So, I decided that I would probably be looking at getting a pair of prescription sunglasses this year. Somewhere after I've had time to adjust to my new progressive eyeglasses.

Which hasn't been going so well...so I was considering that a LASIK evaluation help spend down my FSA. And, plan on next year's FSA paying for that.

But, lately...the progression of my disease now has me falling a lot lately. (the latest casualty being my Casio Waveceptor watch....had thought it being atomic, solar and metal, would mean it would last forever....or more than a year or two. Alas, I fell yesterday and broke it. :..( )

So, anyways...back to breaking my glasses recently.... I found myself looking online for a temporary replacement...the damaged pair were semi wearable, but eventually to fully fix it...it would require a transplant. So, I checked a couple of online sites. Now, until this time, I have pretty much only been only dealing with one company for my online purchases of eyeglasses -- 39DollarGlasses.com But, now and then, I'll see listings on deals.woot.com for 'cheaper' deals. And, now I was thinking more cheap for this temporary/spare pair.

After pricing things out quickly...the base cost (frames + conventional single vision lenses) is rather negligible when you start piling on things like "As Thin As Possible" lenses, Free Form / Computer Progressive, and Anti-Scratch, UV Protection, Anti-Glare, Water Repellent coatings. It more comes down to how much the different companies charge for those options. That decides which is the better deal. As it happened, EyeBuyDirect has a first time customer discount that put it ahead of staying with 39DollarGlasses for this order.

Later, I poked around online to see where I could get the frames of my first pair could be had. And, there were a couple of places that still had the now-discontinued frame style, and I went with LensesRx.com.

This is where the mini-review part kicks in.

In all 3 cases, I normally go for the free USPS delivery option. Which is Priority Mail. And, with 39DollarGlasses.com and EyeBuyDirect.com, it was just with regular Delivery Confirmation service. This means the letter carrier can leave safely locked up in the mail lockers outside my condo. And, I'll have my new glasses when I get home from work. With LensesRX.com, I was order just frames, no lenses....for $99.95....(first pair were like $350, the temp/spare that I got were $170.)....they opted to send it with Signature Confirmation. Which meant that I came home to an orange-ish delivery notice instead of the frames.

That was a Friday...July 13th. Since Saturday, July 14th was the day for the Virtual 5K walk/run for Narcolepsy Research...I decided that I would adjust my route to swing by the post office to pickup the frames. Except I got off to a late start, and by the time I got there...they were closed.

Pages: 1· 2

07/02/12

  04:29:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 440 words  
Categories: Stuff, Healthcare

How to check your PD

Since I seem to have this problem recently, that seems to lead to unexplained damage to eyeglasses....I thought I should acquire some cheap spares. Like using offers that appear via deals.woot.com or such sites now and then.

But, I had a bad experience before, because my PD wasn't right.

Now, I had noticed that there was a different PD measurement listed on my prescriptions that I've been getting from Eyecare Associates....which are probably right, but I thought I should see if there was some way to check for myself.

Searching the Internet, I found these instructions.

Self measure PD in front of a mirror: you need a mirror and a MM ruler.

  • Stand with you face about 20 cm (8 inches) from the mirror.
  • Close your right eye and look only with your left eye.
  • Place a ruler flat against the mirror and align it horizontally with the millimeter scale pointing up.
  • Look over the top of the ruler and align the zero mark in the center of your left pupil.
  • Open your right eye and close the left, but do not move your face or the ruler.
  • Read the millimeter measurement corresponding to the center of your right pupil.
  • Repeat the procedure several times to make sure you have a consistent measurement.

But this is rather difficult....well, there's another procedure:

  1. Hold the mm ruler on the bridge of your nose for stability. Pretend you can look through the mirror (X-ray vision) to see the horizon far away. This keeps your eyes from rotating in toward your nose.
  2. Point your face [nose] straight into a mirror.

    --- CLOSE your left eye to avoid parallax error. ---
  3. Align the ruler's zero to the center of your right pupil. The pupil is the black spot in the middle of the eye.
  4. Without moving the ruler, close your right eye and open your left eye.
  5. Read the millimeter line under your left pupil (careful -- backwards in mirror!).

    --- Keep you face "square" to the mirror to avoid parallax error. ---
  6. Repeat two or three times to confirm accuracy.

Using this second procedure, seems to confirm the PD on record for my prescription from Eyecare Associates.

65mm.

That's kind of a big difference than the number entered at Lenscrafters (62mm). Probably explains why buying glasses from anywhere other than Lenscrafters had always been a disaster. Which they don't use in the store, rather marking PD locations on the demo lenses and making the pair from that....within an hour.

Time to see if a few $9 pairs will really work....well, they'll end up much more than that, because I'll add in things like anti-scratch, anti-glare, high-index and progressive....and maybe I'll tint one.

Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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